Monday, September 27, 2010

Bedtime Princess

I love this moment....

....right out of the bath and ready for bed in her pajamas, slippers and all.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

The Girls of the Family

Today Emma and I met up with Angie and Crystal to support our former student, Sarah Crawley, who was diagnosed with AML leukemia on August 19.
Our prayers are already being answered.  Her diagnosis now is myelodysplasia!!!!
We went out this morning to walk a 5K as a fundraiser for Sarah.  I had Emma with me because Drew had a soccer game this morning and since Daddy is the coach, he couldn't watch her.
I packed the stroller ready to introduce Emma to her first race.
Well, upon arrival is was really quick that I figured out that this race was not made for strollers AT ALL!
Uh oh.  Well, Emma, get ready because you are really going to participate in a 5K!
Needless to say, we didn't finish (not because of our lack of discipline, but because we didn't want to hold everyone up.
So with Emma on my hip for most of the time, we walked about a 3K this morning.
It was fun and now she can always say that she participated in her first organized race at 20 months old!
This is a picture of Emma and I last night out at dinner.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Geaux Vote For Mike!!!!!

These are the words from my sister about being the Capital One Blogger for LSU:

I'm so excited!!!!!  I won a contest (well, it's more like a contest within a contest)!!!!  I've never won anything in my life.....especially something so cool!!  I was chosen out of THOUSANDS of applicants (OK....I'll be honest.  I'm pretty sure I was one of maybe two applicants, but who cares, I won nonetheless!!! ;-) to represent Mike the Tiger as he competes for the Capital One Bowl Mascot Challenge.  Each week for 12 weeks, mascots from 16 universities face off  against each other to see who is king of the mascot jungle.  My job in all of this is to help get the word out  (through facebook, twitter, and blogs) for all the fans to vote for my mascot.   There is NO DOUBT in my mind that Mike is by far THE BEST mascot out of any university....not to mention the 16 selected.  Anyway, at the Capital One Bowl on January 1, 2011, the winner will be announced.  If Mike the Tiger wins, I will win a trip to Orlandeaux and the Capital One Bowl (never mind that I live here....I'd llike to think that the voting committee didn't take that into account when they chose me ;-) to cover the event!!!

How does Mike the Tiger win??  We vote.  Please go to and vote for Mike.  You can vote as often as you like....the more often, the better!!!!!  He's losing pretty badly right now, but if we get together, tell all our friends, and VOTE,  I am confident we can put him back on top.....where he belongs.  Seriously, what other school has a better mascot???  NOBODY!!!

How did I win this little contest within a contest, you ask??  I wrote the following "essay".  I'm not claiming that its Pulitzer Prize worthy, but obviously someone liked it, because I was chosen!!  (As I said before....I'm betting there weren't too many other entries):

The top 11 reasons I should be chosen to rally support for Mike the Tiger in the Capital One Mascot Challenge (I could have gone with 10 reasons, but that's been done before...Letterman, God, etc.):

11)  I meet the minimum requirements - I'm a girl, I like college football, I can form complete sentences.

10)  I exceed the minimum requirements - I am a very funny, smart (and somewhat cute) girl;  I live for college football (especially LSU);  I consider my ability to create witty facebook statuses an artform.

9)  I was a student at LSU from 1992 until my graduation in 1998.  Yes, it took me 6 years to get that degree.  In my defense, I had access to awesome football tickets as a student...why would I rush to get out???

8)  I think Mike the Tiger is hands down THE BEST mascot in all of college sports.

7)  I have already started campaigning for Mike!  In fact, all but 2 of the votes he has received thus far can be traced back to me in 6 degrees or less....I am the 'Kevin Bacon' of the mascot challenge.

6)  I have gotten complements, both on facebook and in person, about how witty some of my facebook statuses are.  You won't see humdrum requests for votes from me.

5)  I have never played football, but my years participating in team athletics gave me a very good understanding of sports.  Except NASCAR.  I still don't understand why so many people gather to watch cars go around in a circle all afternoon.  But, who am I to judge?

4)  When all the other mommies had their children costumed as princesses and pirates for Halloween the week before Nick Saban's first trip back to Tiger Stadium as Alabama's head coach, my 2 young children dressed as Mike the Tiger and Big Al, the Alabama mascot who wishes he could cheer for LSU.  My 3 year old daughter dressed as an elephant with a t-shirt that read, "I'd rather be for LSU" on the front, and "I want to be like Mike" on the back (see photo below).
3)  I have a proven track record for getting people to take action based on my facebook statuses.  Last fall, I raised a whole lot of money for Leukemia research by being vocal on facebook about my fundraising efforts and running a marathon.  If I can talk people into parting with their money in this economy, just think what I could do if all they have to do is visit a website and click a button.

2)  I lived in Baton Rouge for 18 years.  In March, a great job opportunity took me to Orlando, Florida.  While I was an avid LSU fan while residing in BR, my enthusiasm has only intensified since moving....absence truly does make the heart grow fonder.  I work with a few Florida Gators (shout out, Susan and Sheila!!), and defend Mike and LSU just about every day.  My office is plastered with LSU memorabilia, and I make no apologies for that....even in enemy territory.

1)  Did you catch that I live in Orlando?  WHEN Mike wins (largely due to my campaigning), you're off the hook for airfare during the expensive holiday travel season.  Instead, extra tickets to the game will suffice ;-)

So.....that's it!!  Now geaux to and VOTE FOR MIKE!!!!!!!!!!

Geaux Karen!!!!! Geaux Tigers!!!!

First off, I have to say I can't believe it, but this is my 400th blog post!!!!!  Holy Cow!!!  

Secondly and more importantly, my sister has been selected to represent Mike the Tiger in the Capital One Mascot Bowl.
She was selected to be the Capital One Blogger for LSU!!!!! Go HERE and vote for Mike the Tiger for her!!!!!

And On These Farms They Had Some.....

...apples, pears, horses, barn cats, and roosters.

We took off on the 4 wheelers to explore the charm of all of the neighboring farms.  Brandon took Emma and I while Daddy took Drew.
Emma was ready to go!

Michael, Melinda, and Sadie rode together as they took us out.

First we went to pick some pears.
Melinda, Brandon, and Michael checking out the wasp situation.

We ended up staying back because of a wasp issue so I snapped a picture while we waited for the boys.

Then we turned it around and stopped by the barn to see the horses.

Drew really wanted to see a barn cat, but unfortunately they were not there.
This is a picture of the barn cats that Mary took earlier that morning

We did get to pet and feed the horses and look at the rooster though.
Sadie and her daddy petting the horse

Drew trying to feed the horse some hay.

Then it was off to the apple tree and creek.

 Drew and Sadie loved throwing the rotten apples into the creek.

Emma enjoyed trying but I wouldn't let her get too close to the creek and she kept tripping and slipping on the rotton apples on the ground so there wasn't a whole lot of reward for her there.
Sadie and Melinda

Mary and Sadie
(both of the above pictures were taken before we got there, but I had to share them because they are so cute!)
This is one that Brandon took of Mary at the Christmas Tree farm

It was a beautiful day and I can't even put into words how charming and beautiful it all was, and as pretty as the pictures are, they do nothing for what it really was.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Melinda's Aunt Dinah's

This weekend Melinda invited us to spend the weekend at her Aunt Dinah's with her family, the McLaren's, and Daniel.
The Siscoe's and the McLaren's / Horton's went out Friday after work, but we had a soccer game Saturday morning, so we had to meet them up there Saturday afternoon.
Melinda gave us perfect directions, so we were able to really enjoy our drive through the mountains to Aunt Dinah's house.
When we pulled up our jaws dropped.  It was so beautiful inside and out!!!!!!!  It looked like the homes that I see featured in Southern Living.

We got the kids out of the car, got unpacked and were ready for the fun!
First we ate some lunch.  Michael and Melinda made some awesome chili that we really enjoyed!!!  Then we ran around a bit throwing the football and a few bad apples and blowing dandelions
Emma showing Daniel the kitty after we ate our lunch on the porch.

Brandon's throwing the ball while the kids stretch their legs running around in the front yard.

Drew and Sadie looking for holes in the apple and permission to throw it

Mary took this neat picture when Drew was ready to throw the apple 

Drew and Sadie sit for a second to blow dandelions

After unpacking and having a bit of play time, it was time to get on the 4 wheelers and go enjoy the nearby farms.
Drew can't wait to get on a four wheeler.

So we were ready to go see everything and everyone was ready to show us.
Obviously Daniel had been having fun on the 4 wheelers.  I can't put into words how awesome it was to see him coming up that hill on that 4 wheeler!  Daniel, you rock!

Uncle Mike took Drew for a ride.  Drew's face in this picture pretty much sums how he felt about the "rollies"

"Alright, I'd like to go on a ride of my own after I finish this apple"

Michael showed us a thing or two before we went out

The daddies taking the little ones out

A close-up of Drew and Daddy after their ride

"The Tot Rollie"

Big brother is taking his little sis' out for a pretend ride..... "Vroom Vroom"

Sadie's in the driver's seat now!

Alright, now it's time to venture off the property to visit some of the neighbors.

Friday, September 17, 2010


The Little T-Shirt That Could (Cont')

Remember the little t-shirt that could?

Well, it's still kicking butt out there!!!!!!
My sister just spoke to Kim (co-owner of Creative Impressions and designer) and she says that to date there have been more than 3,500 shirts sold!!!!!!!!!!!!  That's 3,500 people wearing this message! (and for Karen and me, it's neat to know that 3,500 people out there are wearing our mom's initials (notice the "MJ" in the tiger striping).  Karen says that she can remember sitting in Kim's office and them saying "if only we can sell 100 shirts."
That's around $18,000!!!!!

It's unreal!
The majority of the money has gone to TNT for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and some has gone to help families directly affected.  
I'm so proud of Karen.  Mom would be more than proud.  I can't even imagine what she would say about it!
Now I must go and have this cry that is creeping up in me from my emotions about all of this.
Thank you thank you thank you to all of you who have helped make this happen. 
And to anyone who would like to order shirts, please CLICK HERE to visit the Fight Like a Tiger fan page on Facebook.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

PFC James Fleet McClamrock

Cabarrus County Soldier, James McClamrock, was killed in Iraq on September 7 when a man wearing an Iraqi military uniform opened fire on American soldiers who had considered him an ally.
Today our family stopped everything to support this soldier's family.
All of the overpasses on the procession route were draped in red white and blue and officers of all type were saluting.  The streets were lined with American flags and somber Americans.

Homes along the procession route flew their flags in show of their support

I cannot imagine the sacrifice this family has had to face.
James McClamrock's father is the pastor of Concord Associate Reform Presbyterian Church.  As the family passed by in the church bus, I saw PFC McClamrock's father.  He was giving everyone a thumbs-up.

We were just down from a group of people where we were on the street.  When he passed us he pressed his hand against the glass.  At first I thought he was waving.  Then it occurred to me that he may have had an emotional moment when he saw Drew waving two American flags.  His own son was only 22.  It probably seems like yesterday that his own boy looked like Drew.  I began to bawl.
I am so grateful for my freedom and I know it comes at a very high price.  I wish it didn't have to be this way.
It amazes me to hear this family speak about James.  They are all on the same page about how joining the army was the right thing for James to do.  They know that his death has a purpose bigger than all of us. They are blessed and their faith is strong.  To be able to see this through such a time amazes me.
Again, I can't possibly express how grateful I am.
Please read more about PFC James Fleet McClamrock HERE and HERE

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Fellow LSU Fans

After the game, we had to split up.  All of our tailgating gear couldn't fit into the car with all of us.  I mean, this is what we looked like on the 4 block drive from the hotel to the Georgia Dome when all of our stuff had already down at the tailgating site
The funny thing is that you can't even see four more people that are in the car!!!

So the Siscoe's took the car while Crystal, Darian, Colin and I volunteered to walk it.  Well, who knew that would be such an adventure!
We walked back to our tailgating site, spotted our hotel in the skyline, and headed in that general direction.
It wasn't long before we found ourselves (along with many others... safety in numbers, right!?!) stopped by a wrought iron fence right at the train tracks.  There was a hole in the fence that we could squeeze through though.
While I thought, "oh, how Stand By Me is this cute adventure," Crystal was soooo not impressed.  Later, I found out it was because while I was watching Stand By Me, she has was watching forensic/detective shows and this was "the scene" where someone always comes across a body!  YIKES!
Now that I think of it, that's the story with Stand By Me too!!!

Well, we made it through without having to call any detectives.  No bodies found and we were on our way.

Now here's the really funny part.  The photo that I just showed is not mine.  It is from another blog: "Who Has More Fun"  What I did not realize at the time was that Colin picked up a camera case on the train tracks that had an information card in it with a blog address.
We got in touch with Andrea and told her that we would mail her the camera case.
How neat.  Go on over for a visit and say hey to our fellow Tiger Fan!!!!!
After getting back to the road after going through "the hole" and then after Darian getting silly stomping on a beer can (we are not going to go there though), we made it past the CNN building and back at our hotel.
Things were good again once I saw this beautiful view from our room.


Geaux Tigers!
Well, I certainly can't write about this game any better than the pro's, so here's what NOLA had to say about it:

LSU might've popped off more explosive plays in the first half of its 30-24 victory over North Carolina on Saturday night in the Georgia Dome than it did during the entire 2009 season. But it allowed almost as many as it produced.
And a comedy nearly evolved into a horror, the likes of which wouldn't have been forgotten for years.
The Tigers repeatedly gashed the Tar Heels on offense and special teams and hammered away defensively to the point that the second half appeared as if it would be free of drama. But LSU needed to force an incompletion in the end zone as time expired to secure the season opener.
By halftime, LSU had run up a 30-10 advantage, and if North Carolina wasn't dazed by the exhibition, it only was because the Tar Heels had received so many body blows by the time they reached Atlanta, they didn't have much feeling left.
In just the second quarter, LSU cornerback Patrick Peterson, the best defensive back in the nation, thickened his resume - and maybe leapt into the Heisman Trophy race - by showing he also could be the best returner in the nation.
He had an 87-yard punt return for a touchdown, then a 37-yarder the next time the Tar Heels foolishly punted to him. And he had 42- and 47-yard kickoff returns in the second, and a 20-yard punt return in the first, and finished the first half with 244 return yards.
And after North Carolina took a 10-7 lead with 8:24 left in the second quarter, and Peterson had his 47-yard kickoff return, receiver Russell Shepard took a handoff and ran 50 yards untouched for a touchdown to put LSU back ahead, 14-10, with 8:06 left.
With LSU holding a 23-10 lead, and after Peterson's 37-yard punt return gave the Tigers first down at their 49, quarterback Jordan Jefferson zipped a 51-yard touchdown pass to receiver Rueben Randle to push the lead to 20 with 2:28 left in the half.
Mix in a couple of sacks by the defense (Sam Montgomery and Drake Nevis), two fumble recoveries (Brandon Taylor and Lamin Barrow), a safety when the Tar Heels snapped the ball out of the end zone - and even a couple of bonehead plays by LSU to keep alive North Carolina's touchdown drive - and it was about as eventful as a half could have been for the Tigers.
Obviously, the Tar Heels were affected by their crippling personnel loss.
Thirteen North Carolina players - nine of them starters - didn't play due to possible NCAA and academic violations.
No team can absorb that kind of deficit and be the same. Obviously, some of the slicing LSU administered in the return game was a result of the Tar Heels missing valuable contributors who might - might - have been able to angle off a return or two (Ron Brooks opened the second half with a 50-yard kickoff return for the Tigers).
But that wasn't LSU's cross.

Simply, the Tigers needed to target their potential more than their opponent Saturday. They couldn't be bothered with a lack of attention or focus because they believed the depleted Tar Heels were vulnerable.
And that's exactly what they did for almost three quarters.
LSU's early slips - a missed field-goal attempt by Josh Jasper, lost fumbles by Richard Murphy and Stevan Ridley and a Jefferson interception that epitomized "ill-advised pass" - weren't costly.
But the Tigers lost their form as they neared the tape, arms flailing and head bobbing while the Heels chased.
The Tar Heels had 150 yards in the first half, half of them gained on a pass from T.J. Yates to Jheranie Boyd that led to a field goal. LSU's 23 second-quarter points appeared to be enough to put down North Carolina.
But Yates and Boyd combined for a 97-yard touchdown pass, the longest play from scrimmage in school history, in the fourth quarter, to pull the Heels to 30-17, and Yates threw a 14-yard touchdown to Erik Highsmith with 2:32 left to pull North Carolina to 30-24.
And the gist of it was that the Tar Heels were more than just valiant in the face of their absences. They were gritty, and at the end, comfortable and seemingly more determined than LSU to win.
But they couldn't quite catch up to LSU's knockout plays in general, or for Peterson in particular. Even the sloppy, tentative play in the fourth quarter couldn't erase that.
But LSU, obviously, had better beware. It won't face many opponents as decimated as North Carolina. It had better force opponents to tap out before assuming they're tapped out.
And here again is the link to our video of our experience.

Monday, September 13, 2010

It's All Greek To Me

Friday night, Colin stayed home with the kids while I went out with good friends to the Yaisou Greek Festival.
Mary, Mama Horton, Crystal and I "got our eat on" in Charlotte.  We completely stuffed ourselves with souvlaki, gyro's, tiropita, spanakopita, and baklava sundaes!!!
It was a good thing we parked far away, because there was no way I could have sat down in the car without unbuttoning my jeans right after eating all of that!  haha
The only picture we got was a perfect one!!!!
Mama Horton with a Greek warrior (who owns a gym... haha)
After getting home, I could tell the kids had a great night with Daddy.  The living room was a wreck, but it was full of evidence of a great time.
There was a little carpet picnic set up (or what was left of it) and puzzle pieces everywhere.  The computer still had "Super Why" games on it and everyone was all tuckered out (including Daddy).


We had a great time tailgating before the game.  Shay and Christin went down to Atlanta the day before we did and they got a great spot for tailgating.  We met up with them after dumping our stuff off a the hotel.
The music was loud and the food was good.  Perfect LSU tailgating.
I met up with my sister and her family.  We had been on the phone and texting back and forth saying that we were going to meet up.  Little did we know that we were going to end up within 100 feet of each other.   Once I told here where we were, she told me where she was, and I saw it immediately.  Now if you've ever been to the Georgia Dome, you know how big it can be, so it was amazing that we were so close.
It was good to visit with her, Larry and the kids.
We were right next to these stands of LSU fans.  They were quite entertaining.

 I couldn't exactly tell Karen to look for the LSU tent because they were set everywhere.  Ours was one of a million it seemed!