9 Years of Louisiana Bride

Today marks 9 whole years of blogging at Louisiana Bride. To celebrate I thought I'd share a little about how it came about, especially for any new comers that don't remember the all wedding posts all the time past of the past.


Halloween might seem like an odd time to start a wedding blog, it is, and I don't remember why today was the day I wanted to start it. We were engaged over two months already, but I guess wedding planning was just getting into full swing. Either way, I recall so vividly opening up my Dell laptop on in my loft bedroom from my first little townhouse and finally committing to a name to start this little wedding blog.

I regret to this day not saving all my previous title banners, over the course of the first two years my tag line changed many times.

I started out as Louisiana Bride & a Mississippi Wedding, copying the Conway Twitty/Loretta Lynn song Louisiana Woman Mississippi Man.

The original plan was to quit writing after the wedding. What else was I going to write about? The wedding was over and it was time to end this puppy after the honeymoon.

Then the wedding happened and I recall my former pastor's wife and another church member asking me about the blog and then telling me I had to continue it. I should just keep writing about daily life.

And so I did.

It was rough at times, there was a big thing with bloggers with bloggers around 2010 to know your niche. Oh that stupid niche.

Instead of just writing for the sake of writing every now had to "know their niche." At the time I followed a ton of food bloggers and mom bloggers, I was neither. I was writing about daily life, journaling.

Over time lifestyle became a thing, but by then I was posting recipes constantly. So I was a "food blogger."

Luckily the niche deal opened up a tad and I eventually could call myself food & lifestyle since I still posted about daily life and things I loved.

Still though my most popular posts are recipes.

Then there was that time I got kicked out of Southern Blog Society because I posted phone photos in my pregnancy recap posts. I think it must have caused a few deaths, some might have lost their religion. Either way I learned that the "blog society" thing that was attempting to take off was a massive joke and served me zero purpose. The helped mainly the fashion blogger type with the invites to local fashion shows and such. Literally zero food stuff.

So yeah, I'm a blog society reject.

Forget them though, I've been writing longer than they've existed anyway.

(end snark towards blog crap)

So anyway, new bloggers or new people wanting to blog... let me tell you this... just write. Your niche develops over time. Don't go into this expecting to get paid just because Pinterest has tons of articles of bloggers saying how they made 4 figures their first month. They're sell outs who don't like blogging anyway, it's all click bait. Just write for yourself, maybe someone will read, maybe they won't. If they don't... who cares. I'm not writing this for them anyway.

In the end this is just a big diary that happens to be posted online. It's where I can store my recipes without taking up space in my home. And if something happens or some posts gets noticed and posted elsewhere then good for it, it's not the reason to write. Don't write to be famous, write to get your thoughts out of your head and record them somewhere.

Chicken Nugget Prayer

A few days ago Harrison was parked at his tiny table with his chicken nuggets as per the usual when I noticed he was acting odd. It was as if he was waiting on someone to do something.

I know he’s been paying more attention to what we are doing lately simply because before he eats he wanders over to the utensil drawer and digs out a fork. 


Suddenly he uses a big fork to eat chicken nuggets.

But he was just sitting there, hand in his lap, waiting for something.

Suddenly the thought came to me that maybe since he’s copying us on getting a fork that he also wants to copy us with praying before a meal.

In case you’re wondering, no we haven’t forced closing his eyes and folding his hands for prayer. At two it’s essentially the equivalent of getting feral cat to fold its hand and close its eyes in prayer. He’s not your sitting still kind of kid.

I asked him, “Harrison do you want someone to pray with you?”

He looked at me, stuck out his little hands and said, “Yes.”

My heart nearly melted into a puddle.

So we prayed over his chicken nuggets.

Which ended up being the most prayed over chicken nuggets in the history of human existence.

The situation evolved into praying for each nugget.

The basically every bite.

He started saying, “A-nen” after each prayer.

Which evolved to yelling, “Yay!” and clapping after he said “A-nen.”

Because who doesn’t cheer for a good prayer?

Y’all there’s a lot to parenting that I’m just not a fan of. (See also the first 6 months) But these cute little moments when you can see that something is sinking in, something you do is being noticed by your child… it’s all worth it.

I’ll suffer a sleepless night to be able to witness the adorable things this little boy does and all the learning that takes place that I don’t even realize is happening.



Five on Friday

This week couldn't draw to and end quick enough. After 3 days of work with zero internet, allergies for days, and a desire to do things that I can't do and know things I can't know... I need a dang break from life for a hot minute.

[ONE] 

Pumpkin Patch numero two is in the books this week, totally spur of the moment. We were trying to stay out of the house while the weather was pretty. Notice his outfit, his Daddy dressed him in true Daddy fashion... shorts on backwards, tank top that doesn't match the shorts... Daddy's aren't very picture minded.


[TWO] 

I read the new keto book by Mark Sisson this week, I'm all about anything him and Rob Wolf get behind.


I also started implementing Intermittent Fasting into who I eat, I'm surprised at how much I enjoy it. I really thought I wouldn't even make it a day and would assume die over fasting. Nope. Not the case. I'm following the 16/8 method of fasting, fast for 16 hours, eat in an 8 hour window. There's a lot of data out there on why you should try IF, I won't get into that here unless y'all want me to.

[THREE] 

The Te-Te saga continues. This kiddo and his sense of humor kill me, for some reason his Daddy doesn't get the same treatment. In the bath last night he would give me this devilish grin and then call me Te-Te, because he clearly thinks it's funny. Then when it was time to read bedtime stories he had to add in one more, Where's My Mommy? I started off reading the word "mommy" but with him hollering "Te-Te" every time I changed over to "Te-Te" and he was beside himself. As soon as I said "Where's my Te-Te" he grinned, nodded, and said "Yes."

He's such a mess.


Our current forced to read list at night includes: Where's My Mommy, Tumble Bumble, Llama Llama Red Pajama, and Harold and the Purple Crayon. 

Dear sweet baby Jesus please someone steal that stupid Harold book from my house, I can't bare to read about the "be-be" again! 

What books do y'all dislike reading? 

[FOUR] 

I subscribed/ordered/whatever you call it... Beachbody On Demand this month. Loving it people! We've bought some of their programs before, but with the Roku this is so easy to use. I'm not following a specific program at the moment, but I've been doing the Upper and Lower workouts from P90X3. 

The current workout schedule looks like this:
Monday - Upper Body 
Tuesday - Lower Body
Wednesday - Abs (need something quick before choir practice)
Thursday - Cardio (rollerblading)
Friday - Pilates or Barre
Saturday - Makeup day if I had to skip one or whatever I feel like
Sunday - Rest


I started out with 21 Day Fix at the end of July, still followed Keto though because their containers are too high carb for me. I toned up a good bit following the 21 Day Fix workouts, and yet I still did a hybrid, this girl HATES to jump, so I skip a few of her workouts.

I did about two weeks of Shift Shop, I like the workouts but the eating plan made me gain weight that first two weeks... again too high carb. By week 3 of SS I quit his workouts, went back to keto, and jumped more into the P90X3 workouts. Just mixing and matching depending on my mood. Which works out great with On Demand.

[FIVE]

I'm still on the Teddie Organics Rosehip oil train, and everyone is getting this for Christmas from me. My skin is so soft and it's definitely maintained what my RetinA did. I use this morning and night under my moisturizer and my skin has never been softer. Plus it's a great price.


So before y'all think I'm nutty, here's a few benefits of it:
Essential fatty acids help improve appearance of skin. 
Rich in Vitamin A (as close to RetinA as I can get right now)
Natural source of antioxidents - repair and protect skin from aging
UV Protection
Makes your skin glow! 

31 - How I Enjoy Wasting Time

Y'all a writing topic couldn't be more written for me, this is my thing... "wasting time" or as I like to call it... living my best life.


Instead of being productive I love to...

Meal Plan

Think about how I'd make the house more hygge.

Play on my phone during my child's bath time.

Watch The Graham Norton Show on Youtube.

Watch The Wendy Williams Hot Topics segment on YouTube.

Watch random crap on YouTube.

Make lists.

Make lists of what lists should be completed first.

Eat.

Think about cooking.

Google.

Search for books on Overdrive.

Reccomend more than my limit on Overdrive.

Text my husband random crap he doesn't care about.

Text in general.

Cut individual split ends out of my hair.

Plan my next Ikea trip.

Think of camping.

Think of camping meals.

Google why my garden isn't working out.

Read random eBooks.

Make lists of things I want on Amazon.

Think of my ideal place to live.

I'm sure there's more, but that's what I could come up with off the top of my head. What are some of the ways that y'all like to waste time?


31 Days - 5 Things I'm Grateful For Now

I could easily list what I'm grateful for right now with the work internet being down... but less focus on the positive.



[ONE] 

The temps this week are making us believe that we actually live somewhere with fall.

[TWO] 

Allergy medicine, because I wouldn't survive Cane Burning without it.

[THREE] 

Online 30 minute workouts, I don't have time to leave the house to workout much less do more than 30 minutes these days. #NotMotivated

[FOUR] 

A silly toddler, because it makes life more fun.

[FIVE]

Finally seeing the light in a tunnel, I'll share more as the time comes.

31 Days - Dream Job

If I could honestly do anything in this world, I'd just stay at home.

Being a stay-at-home-mom would be absolutely the ideal.



Bad night at home? No problem, we could have a easy going day. Groceries, laundry, dishes, cleaning, absolutely everything could be done while Jeremy was at work and his off work time could be devoted to just hanging out as a family.

I could actually attend the child's doctor well-baby visits. That would be a dream. Up to this day I think I've been to 3. I've also only taken off work one time for sickness. Jeremy has more sick days so he is usually the parent in charge.

If I stayed home I'd more time to devote to blogging, I could actually take Louisiana Bride in the direction I was going before having Harrison.

Heck I might even mow the grass during nap time.

If I stayed home Harrison and I could participate in all the mother/child activities that occur only during work hours around town. He could go to story time, music, we could do arts and crafts.

Dinner could be prepped ahead of time, I wouldn't spend an hour cooking every night.

Heck I could even workout during the day when he's home, and not have to plop him in front of the TV or pawn him off to his Daddy right after work so I can squeeze in some 30 minute workout DVD.

My house would be clean.

My child would be more enriched.

Life would be less rushed.

How do I know this would be the reality? It's the life I get to live for 2 months out of the year every single summer.

For two months every year I get to pretend this is my life.

That's why I want to live that life 12 months of the year so badly.

31 Days - 5 Positive Changes I Could Make Right Now

This might be the easiest topic to write on all month, I'm all about changes... especially positive ones. I'm that nut case that will make some major change on the spur of the moment.



[ONE] Diet - I'm trying to get better at having one off handed meal a week. I don't like the term cheat meal, you can't cheat on food. Last night I did have some fun at Chick-fil-a after our annual Pumpkin Patch outing, but I'll be breaking my one meal a week deal to have a fun fall something this weekend. I'm making the Caramel Apple Sweet Rolls, Cafe au Lait, and we are painting pumpkins Saturday morning... then it's back to the grind.

[TWO] Attitude - I can come off as a negative person, when in reality the majority of my thought process isn't negative at all. I just have a habit of venting more than I probably should.

[THREE] Get outside more - Nothing makes me a happier person than gardening in the cool fall air or rollerblading around the park for an hour. Happier Emily = better wife and mother. Granted fall/winter in South Louisiana is probably the worst time to be outside with all of the cane field burning. Talk about pollution central. The air is thick with what is essentially smog and I've had the beginnings of a sinus infection for over a week.

[FOUR] Be more committed to bible study - Oh shoot I am awful at keeping something up, especially something so easily brushed off. I was doing pretty well at studying the bible daily until this fall semester when I signed up for the Women in Missions course through NOBTS, then I kind of sorts just did that in what would have been bible study time.

[FIVE] Don't feel so guilty about doing things for myself - I'm not that mom that only does for others. I blame that on the fact that I get a tiny check from blogging every month. That check has been my fun money now for 6 years. I spend it on me and me alone. Whatever my heart desires. It's been great because with a tight budget there isn't extra money to spend on unnecessary items. For instance, I bought new chairs for our table last year. Even though what I'm doing isn't actually selfish, sometimes I still feel that way. At the onset of having Harrison I was so lost as to who I was. Marriage even sucks it out of you. So I've tried to focus on me to an extent, and I shouldn't feel so bad about it.

31 Days - Making the World a Better Place

Realistically I'm not some big advocate for Green Peace and promoting saving the world at every turn, but I do try and do a few things to make the world better. Try as I might.

These are a few things that are just apart of my life, nothing crazy.



[ONE] Smiling and saying hello to people. 

Blame it on the Southern upbringing, and when I say Southern I don't mean where we are now... nope, the actual South. Not Cajun land. If you've lived farther into what is stereotypically Southern, then you are well aware of the fact that driving from work to home means your arms hurts from having to wave at everyone you know. Growing up in Vidalia was a great lesson on how to treat people. If you have an awful day and you arm was sawed off you still find it in you to be kind to others and make them feel noticed or acknowledged.

I've come to realize that people aren't like that other places we've been or lived. That first week of college in Monroe was puzzling, I said hello to everyone I passed and was constantly ignored. Even with that I still feel that you should acknowledge the people you are walking past by at the very least making eye contact and smiling.

[TWO]  Sharing the Gospel. 

It's hard to do, and I'll admit the opportunity to do it isn't all that common. However, if I (or we) fully believe that Jesus is the answer to a fallen world, then we must share it with others. So take the opportunity, weave it into conversations, and pray that opportunities arise. (and you realize that the opportunity is there)

[THREE] Do for others. 

Take someone a meal after they've had a baby or lost a loved one. If you live in the South that meal is typically Popeye's Chicken. Nothing says "sorry your granny died" like a bucket of chicken. (kidding, but really it's true.) Send you hubby at to mow someone's grass. Find a widow to love on. Send cards, everyone loves snail mail. Bake some bread and take it to a neighbor.

How do you try and make the world a better place?

31 Days - 10 Things You Like About Yourself

Eek!

What's more narcissistic than a blog... a blog about what you like about yourself.

Here's goes though...

[ONE] I like that things my child does doesn't set me off into anger as easily as I would have thought. In fact I tend to laugh things off more than get irritated.

[TWO] I like my legs, I've always been able to tone my legs easily.

[THREE] I have a sense of humor, I don't take things very serious, and I don't advise taking what I say seriously either.

[FOUR] Good hair, while I'm no "Becky with the good hair" this mop is not in bad shape and I've got a naturally good color.

[FIVE] I've always loved that I have a Puerto Rican background. No plain white chick here! While it does afford me the nose I'm not too fond of, I love having an different background from most people I know.

[SIX] I actually like that I'm Type A, someone has to keep everything neurotically planned out in our family.

[SEVEN] (getting harder over here) But I like that I'm an open book about things, I'm basically a walking talk show, you see what you get. There are no secrets, and I'll talk to anyone about anything.

[EIGHT] Fairly independent, I like to do what I want to do on the time frame I want to do it. I don't like a lot of outside interference. I like that because... I don't need someone else to do anything.

[NINE]  I like that I enjoy cooking, it's a needed skill.

[TEN] (really pulling out of the bag here) I like that I can adventurous about where we live, what I'll eat, and traveling. I didn't realize for a long time that other people weren't as adventurous about life. I'm not skydiving though.


31 Days - Fear

On today's episode of "Emily isn't actually blogging everyday for 31 days" the topic is a fear you'd overcome if given the opportunity...

Umm...

I wouldn't have the fear if that was the deal.

I don't harp on things like death, losing jobs, house fires, none of that mumbo jumbo. It just doesn't come to mind. I can't control them.

What I do fear though are lizards, snakes, frogs, any amphibian basically. I also don't like chicken feet or animals with hooves.

I can control those.

Birds freak me out.

Not to the extent of running screaming, but I'm not touching your weird footed chicken.

I'd rather die than touch a lizard. Won't be overcoming that fear anytime soon, ever. That's my running and screaming fear... see also: snakes.

I can tolerate looking at a frog, but I'm not touching the frog.

Pigs and cows have weird feet. I'll touch your head but not your feet.

I MIGHT overcome my chicken feet and split hoof issue in the effort to have chickens and a pig one day.

I will not ever on my life overcome the lizard/snake problem and allow my child to own one. He's more than welcome to remove them from my house or out of my sight... but they won't take up residence in my home.

Ever.

So, yeah, that fear over coming thing was a bust.


31 Days - A Hard to Forgive Person

Oh gosh, today's topic is yet again something I don't talk about. Especially not on the blog.

In my life I have a hard to forgive person, we all do.

The how it's shaped you part is what has changed over the years.

I'm not even going to touch on who or what because I don't want anyone reading this and figuring out who they think it is.

I'll just say this...

I use to harbor a massive grudge about it.

I'd dread this person, panic attack like freak outs when I had to deal with the situation of any length of time.

For years it was a nightmare, and my own attitude about it was less than great.

I felt justified in my anger. No one should have to deal with that nonsense, right?

Looking back I think what caused me the most problems was my expectations. My expectations weren't met. They honestly weren't even high expectations, but they weren't met.

They haven't been met, and they will probably never be met.

So you could say the situation hasn't changed, just my outlook on it has. A lot of my attitude changing was based upon the fact that I finally felt supported.

Someone else say my misery and agreed that it was wrong. I finally had a partner in crime, so to speak, to get what upset me and understand my perficiment.

Best of all I was freed in the situation.

You see, for a long time I had to stay quiet. I had to just bottle the issue and move along, no matter how mad it made me. If you know me in real life then you'd know that's not how I roll. I have to say how I feel.

I'm from a family of saying how you feel about things.

When I could finally defend myself, it was okay to say something, I didn't have to feel bottled up... the need to actually act on the need to defend myself or call out injustice faded away.

So don't think my hard to forgive person has changed, or the situation has changed... it hasn't.

The only change was me, and something about the simple idea that I could defend myself resolved my anger and caused me to not even need to defend myself.


Church of the Small Things

I received a copy this book to as part of the Church of the Small Things launch team, I was not compensated monetarily to participate. All opinions are my own. 

Y'all this book was probably one of my favorites by Melanie Shankle, and I'd even go so far as to say my favorite out of this genre.

At a time of my life when I feel like I'm less than, not doing as good as others, waiting for something big... this was a great reminder of what really matters.

A reminder of what kids will actually remember and cherish.

The small things in life.


The parts of life that I often think don't matter, the moments my parents and grandparents probably felt the same way about.

I didn't care much about my mother graduating from college when I was in junior high, it was a big achievement, a big moment. It wasn't important though.

Instead I remember the year she got a big CD player in the kitchen, she would spend most nights cooking dinner and listening to Elton John or Rod Stewart. At the time I could have lived without hearing Wonderful Tonight yet again, but it's a memory I vividly have of her now.

My grandmother and I use to go window shopping on Saturday, we'd wander around and look at every outfit on the rack. We'd comment about how ugly they were. Laugh about everything that was around.

Although a favorite small thing moment was that my grandparents use to buy me a Dreamsicle snow cone with extra cream, and it's only special because my mother never would.

In Church of the Small Things, Melanie reminded me that the tiny moments that seemingly mean nothing are what my child will remember. He won't care that I wasn't some big shot, but he will lovingly remember gardening, singing, and random moments we will have over the years.

The biggest take away from the book, God is also in the small moments. He isn't waiting on Jeremy to finish seminary before he does anything in our lives, or uses us in someone else. I don't need to be a writer to effect someone. God is in the small things, the small moments. It's all about us being faithful to him.

"We are all climbing our own versions of Mount Everest and have no idea if our oxygen will last or if an avalanche will come, but God does. We can never underestimate the grace and the strength he will give us for whatever he is calling us to do and whatever challenges we'll face. What he has planned for us is higher and deeper than anything we could ever hope to achieve on our own. 

It's too much. It's too much for us to do in our own strength because we will mess it up, be he knows that and uses us anyway. It's never about creating or doing or being something that's perfect. It's not about having all the right answers. It's about being his. It's knowing that he who has called us if faithful."

If you didn't pre-order Church of the Small Things, head on over to the bookstore and grab a copy. Or even order it online. It has also been turned into a group bible study, and the promo video will basically make you sob while as you're thinking back on your own life. I honestly couldn't recommend this book enough, you'll laugh, you'll cry, and you'll get a great reminder that the small things in life matter.

Just as much a the big moments.

31 Days - That Awkward Topic This Month

Today's topic is a past love who had a significant impact on who you are today. Um, weird to talk about such thing, right?

But it happened, and it's true.

Old boyfriends can shape who you are.

I happened to have my first old boyfriend in high school and it lasted about six years. Yes, I dated someone for a long dang time and never married them. We talked about it, but we were kids, and in the end it didn't work out. We wanted different things.

It taught me a lot though, what I wanted in relationships, what I didn't.

It made me value myself.

It gave me a best friend who had the same likes and dislikes.

We worked out at the local gym like obsessed gym rats. I learned how to cook and had someone around who loved to eat it, we grilled all the time. I had a movie watching buddy. Someone to go to youth group with. Someone to vent to when girls where mean to me in high school.

A boyfriend at that age, at least a long term one, it was basically a partner in crime to help you survive the awful high school years. When everyone else hated you, you had your boyfriend to agree that the world sucked too.

In the end, I don't think I had some big love where I learned so much about myself. Instead I had a partner in crime as a teenager that allowed me to not feel alone in a block of years that many kids feel awfully alone.






31 Days - Friend Memory Small Town Antics

Yes, I know I skipped a few days. Luckily, the blog police aren't coming to get me and I can do that sort of thing.

Today's memory and pics don't go together, but they are the pics of my friends from that memory. Just not pics of that particular memory. Recently my friend Ryan sent a ton of photos and we spent hours reminiscing about old times.

Good stuff

Also, this is Monday's post and it's just going up early, again don't send the police after me.

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

You know for certain you are from a small town when a fun filled Friday night when everyone is home from college involves telling your parents you're headed to "The Walmart."

Meaning the only one in town.


But it wasn't even in our town. We had to cross the bridge and go to Mississippi to go to Walmart.

Gabby and I did this quite often.

One particularly fun Friday night we wandered The Walmart like weirdos, purchased the flavored Cool Whip and then rode on over the the... again "The Dirt Cheap" and got into more trouble.

The fact that we were never stopped by cops sometimes baffles me.

Then again two 18 year old white girls carrying Cool Whip containers isn't something to be alarmed over.



Point being, we took Gabby's ultra cool car (we thought anything with a slight sports car look was amazing) blaring our gangsta rap, Cool Whip in hand, and took our party to the parking lot at Dirt Cheap. From there we located a lost buggie and took turns pushing each other up and down the slopes on the sidewalk and in the lot.

We squealed and laughed like idiots while eating Cool Whip. Had it not been for the Cool Whip someone would have thought we were drunk or worse yet, on drugs. Who has that much fun being pushed in a buggie?

Where the rest of our nutty crew were is something to be wondered about. But Gabby & I got into enough non-trouble-trouble to amuse any actual drunk or pot head. Because those are the only other people who would think being shoved around in a death buggie down a hill is fun.


31 Days - A Life Changing Event

I honestly don't know where to go with today's topic.

Having a baby was pretty life changing.

More so over the fact that I'm a hardcore needs-8-hours-to-function sleeper. That first year and a half was rough, super rough. So rough in fact that my dentist even commented on the coffee stains... and I use to not be a huge coffee drinker.


I was dying.

But I love the little thing.



He's made life around here much more fun, more loving, and shown both of us how hard headed our genes apparently are.

This 1n1/2 to 2 1/2 has been a blast, other than sleep being great, watching him learn new things is always exciting.



So biggest life change, more thank likely having that first baby of ours.

31 Days - Earliest Memory

I love today's topic just because this is basically the first time I recall thinking my mother was insane.

I was sitting in a chair in the kitchen, right at the end of the dining table facing towards the living room.

She was pregnancy with my sister Laura, not hugely pregnant, but far enough along that you'd chat with your 5 year old about the baby.

I could have been four though, it was either the end of '90 or early '91.

I very clearly remember Mom standing in from of me and asking me, "What do you think the baby is Emily? Is is a boy? A girl? A puppy?"

This is where I can't remember my answer, but I very clearly remember thinking, "No Mom, it's not a puppy, who on earth is pregnant with puppies."

But imagine this more along the lines of an attitude that would say, "No woman!"

That's the feeling behind the thought I was having.

She didn't have a puppy by the way.

I did get a puppy that year though, and a massively overgrown "newborn" with what appeared to be a black toupee.

** I do a few earlier memories than this, but none were quite as well developed. Mostly pieces of events and people before the "Mama's having a puppy" question. 


31 Days - Traditions

Family traditions, everyone has them. Or almost everyone has them. Some more than others, I'm sure we'd have more if we lived closer together. 

Today I'm sharing my favorite Cater family tradition. 


Christmas is really the pinacle of holidays for me, and it has nothing to do with presents. I could actually do away with presents and be just fine.

Christmas Eve is basically where the party is at for me. We spend that day making every appetizer you can think of, way more than we need for our small group.

Some years we also roll tamales and make salsa.

Then after stuffing our faces everyone piles into the car and we drive around looking at Christmas lights. There's usually a stop somewhere for hot chocolate. Although, I think we made our own last year.

But that's basically it! I'd like to add in some festive pajamas, but the guys aren't easily talked into those things. Christmas movies would be okay, except we aren't staying up that late.

So share with me, what is you favorite family tradition? 

31 Days - Kid Emily

Today's topic - what were you like as a child?

A stubborn nightmare. Is that blog enough?


From what I understand, the nonsense I deal with at home isn't something new. Much like my own child, I was stubborn and had my own opinion pretty quickly.

Around two my mother had to lower my closet rack so that I could just dress myself.

There were rules, no leopard print leggings on special occasions. It was the 80's and early 90's no less.

I liked to eat raw veggies and dip them in ranch dressing.

I played outside a lot.

I also recall building a fort in front of our TV using the cushions pretty regular.

There was a thing about how I wouldn't wear pants or socks, I was serious about it. Girls didn't wear pants, Emily just wasn't wearing socks. Who cares what the temp was, I was set in my ways.

I also recall getting in trouble with the kindergarten teacher for coloring my strawberry purple. She said they were red. I supposedly informed her that mine was purple. I went to Montessori school before if that explains anything.

Well, that's as far as I'm getting today. My stubborn mini me is requesting attention before he starves to death, 

31 Days - England... and then nothing went right.

It's October, and that can only mean one thing... 31 Days as begun.

I came up with a wonderful topic for this year, storytelling, but alas I couldn't think of very many stories. I'm living with a touch of the brain fry.

So instead I'll be writing all this month on the topics 31 Days organizer Crystal emailed out a few days ago. Today's topic is...  my most memorable moment.

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I went to England when I was 14. That might seem young, but at the time it felt like I had spent more than 14 years praying to God every night that somehow, someway, I'd be able to go to England.

Blame it on the Anglophile issue, my Beatles obsession, and it was the late 90's and the Spice Girls were all the rage. I might have even jacked my knee up wearing platform shoes around this time, but that's another story.

August 2000 came and we hoped on a plane headed for London, roughly the week before the Queen Mother's 100th Birthday. I bought a tea dish to commemorate the occasion. It's actually hanging on my kitchen wall as we speak.

I couldn't have been more jazzed up about this trip.

However, I should have known things would come crashing down when I ordered my actual size in our mandatory "wear on the way there" shirt. Me, currently being a size 14 slim and wearing shrits from the kids section, was somehow shorted and ended up with a size adult extra large t-shirt.

I remember my mother begging adults to change shirts with me, no one would. There weren't enough scrunchies in the Southern United States to keep this shirt above my knees. It wore like some sad hybrid of a cocoon dress and an off the shoulder get-up. It was wretched.

But that is neither hide nor hair to the story. Actually, it is. It plays a sad role later on.

Between that an a panicked desire that demanded my mother to get me Sea Bands, I should have seen this coming.

The flight went well. As well as a 14 year old who was given an adult extra large shirt, and then sat far from her group and next to a man drinking whisky out of tiny bottles could go.

It was awkward. Clearly adults on this trip had their priorities in order... abandon children on an international flight... she's never even been to Florida.

Did I mention I went on this without a chaperone I was related to. I was at the mercy of other peoples parents.

Eleven hours from hell finally ended in my extremely large shirt and we were off to quickly run across London at a speed no other tourist has ever seen the likes of. It was a "take a quick look kids, you've got 10 days of work to do" kind of run through.

I was in heaven, a quick paced heaven where I was taking photos of monuments in a blur because I couldn't even stand still long enough to get my disposable camera to focus.

Then it happened.

We made it into Trafalgar Square.

I don't know if you're aware, but there's a McDonald's there. Some people from our group wanted to eat, so we went in. I recall remembering that I had to ask for ice if I wanted it, and then suddenly being hit with the feeling no teenage girl ever wants to feel in a large group of people you aren't that close to.

I had to puke.

Air sickness had kicked in and I was about to die 1000 deaths before this trip ended.

Sadly the bathroom at this particular McDonald's isn't on the first floor. I had to run downstairs holding in every ounce of embarrassment my body was about to reject.

As I made my way down the never end set of stairs to hell I noticed that the line for the women's bathroom was so long that it wrapped around the room. The men's, as I later found out, had one person in it.

One person too many.

My loving friend Rachel who had followed me down pushed me ahead of the women's line into the bathroom only to tell the attendant I was about to lose it and get shoved into the men's room.

I don't know if you've ever thrown up in a public restroom, let alone a mens. It isn't something I would wish upon anyone, or ever want to recreate for that matter.

Now this is where that one man comes into play.

There was one stall. 3 urinals. Or Ur-rain-ials as the Brits seems to say. There was a man in the stall. I had no choice, and in a state of total freakout Rachel shoved me to the urinal.

I puked.

I puked some more.

As soon as I thought my insides were on the outside and I was going to die in England, I opened my eyes to get a clear shot of the urinal full of my most feared sickness to see... the nasty beast was covered in pubic hairs.

Suddenly the feeling of hair in my mouth (not that I had somehow gotten pubic hair into my mouth) sent me into another puking spell.

When it all finally ended, there I stood covered in back splashed urinal puke in my extra large yellow as could be shirt with no dignity left to my name.

As we exited the McDonald's, or shamefully crawled out of there, I don't recall seeing the group. Somehow we didn't catch up with anyone until we were by the statues. I could still point out the statue.

As we walked up with my disgusting urinal puking self I begged the leaders to let me take the shirt off.

You didn't think I was wearing this off the shoulder adult extra large on my 14 slim frame without alternate clothing underneath did you?

All I wanted was to toss the shirt into the trash or let it be carried away by the creepy amount of pigeons near that monument, but no. No one would let me take off the puke covered shirt. I spent the remaining bits of that 1000 hour day covered in a far too large puke shirt.

It wasn't how I envisioned things going, that's for sure.