I hope that everyone had a fatty Thanksgiving! We sure did! Most of our cooking and prep work was done on Wednesday. I made pies and my mom made cornbread dressing {as we Southerners call it} With all that out of the way, we were able to start out our Thanksgiving morning with mimosas and little family breakfast. We followed that with watching the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, and then the dog show. I was pulling for the Boston Terrier, but they were robbed this year!

We were true gluttons and gorged on all of our family traditions such as Mac & Cheese, Mashed Potatoes, Sweet Potato Casserole, Green Bean Casserole... oh yeah and turkey! Keating especially loved the sweet potatoes and green bean casserole. But those nasty diapers had me second guessing cloth diapering! Talk about disgusting. {That is wrong of me to go from talking about food to poop... So sorry!} The rest of the day we enjoyed watching the multitude of Christmas movies that were on and ate pie!

I know that Black Friday is usually a ladies outing, but a few years ago Brad and I started venturing out in the early morning hours looking for TV's and big ticket Christmas gifts. This year we didn't really have anything to buy, but we ventured out anyways and brought Keating along for the ride. He was actually a trooper and enjoyed every minute of it. They even gave him a cookie at Home Depot, so he was a happy camper! We went to 3 stores and the mall... and all we ended up with were three 1$ poinsettias. There were so many good deals out there, I was sad we don't currently have a house to buy anything for.

I was awful about taking any photos. I have been swamped with Christmas card photo sessions... so photography is the last thing on my mind when I'm at home! But, speaking of Christmas cards, thank you all for voting on the photos! It came down to photos 1 and 4, and we ended up deciding on #4.

Here is the Shutterfly design that I decided on for our cards. It wasn't the design that I had originally had in mind, but it had two of my qualifications... it said Merry Christmas and it had religious reference. So many of the designs had a lot of red in them, and they didn't show up against the photo, I thought this tied it all up nicely. I hope they arrive soon, because I am a procrastinator and it will take me forever to get them out! Other than that, Keating has been working on cutting a lot of teeth, and it has made our lives miserable. He isn't sleeping through the night anymore and he whines a lot. So far I haven't noticed the teething necklace working, but I haven't tried it in a while. Maybe I will give it another whirl... I will try anything at this point!

I hope y'all had a great Thanksgiving!



In case anyone happens to be bored and browsing my blog {which I doubt} and you notice that I have a lot of photo bucket messages over my photos... I am working to fix that. Apparently they dont give you a message to inform you that your free space is nearly filled up. It should be fixed soon!

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving!!!



Christmas Card Vote!

So after a lot of disappointment and failed attempts at getting a good family picture for our Christmas card, I have decided to only have Keating in it this year. Between using a tripod, a timer, and having Keating, Lola, Brad and myself all looking in it... this just seemed easier!

Now I am having trouble deciding which photo to use. If you could, please vote on your favorite in the comments, I would greatly appreciate it!

Thanks Yall!




I'm leaning towards 1 and 4...


Mountain Get-Away

Last weekend our entire family took a little trip to the Great Smoky Mountains. They don't call them smoky for nothing!
More specifically, we went to Gatlinburg, Tennessee. We had a great time enjoying the wilderness as well as the people watching! If you have never been to Gatlinburg, then you are truly missing out... it is like the Panama City of the mountains, a "Redneck Riviera" of the Hills! If you've never been to Panama City then think airbrushed T-shirts, permed mullets, and trinket shops every ten feet. Not that there's anything wrong with those things, just trying to paint a picture!

We left early Friday morning and took the scenic route through back country roads. It was a gorgeous drive and the leaves were glowing. My dad thought that it would be nice for us to drive up to Clingman's Dome to take in the view. Clingman's dome is the highest point in the Smoky Mountains, half in Tennessee and half in North Carolina. I had the WRONG impression of what this place entailed.

Here we are in the parking area overlooking the mountains... Looks pretty high right? Well apparently that wasn't high enough.

For a "short hike" we could go to the very top. I'm pretty sure the words "hike" and "cowboy boots" are oxymorons, needless to say I was not prepared for this little adventure, but I forged through it. It wasn't a hike per-say, just a paved walk way at a constant steep incline. When we got to the top, we found this.
Which led to this. I guess two sore feet were worth a great view, just wish I had come a little more prepared!A view from the top.

With Shonnie and G-PawAfter our little expedition, we made our way to Gatlinburg which was PACKED! We decided that we would find our cabin and wait for everyone else to arrive.

The next day we drove through Cade's Cove, which is a park that used to be an early mountain community. Brad and I had come here a few years ago, so it was neat to be back with Keating. Many of the families of the community lived in tiny one room houses with 9 children... {and I thought the three of us were crammed in the basement!}

We actually have this same photo of the two of us here years ago. Please just ignore what I am wearing. My outfit looked a lot cuter with my coat on than it does in this photo. Oh well, I was "roughing it."

Brad is dressed in workout attire because he, my dad, and brother-in-law thought it would be a great idea to ride bikes through the park. {10 hilly miles} We knew that sounded like too much work, and lucky for me, I still can't participate in strenuous activities... per Doctors orders! Darn! =)

They were still pretty energetic at this point. 5 Miles later, they were trying to bum a ride from us by holding onto the side mirrors of the car!
Keating wasn't so sure what to think about this mule... I don't think he has ever seen an animal bigger than our family's yellow lab!
A tired baby that skipped his nap.

My sweet Reece that had us rolling laughing the entire car ride. She is a little comedian!

Blue and Auntie

The primitive Methodist Church, one of the historic buildings in the park.

That afternoon we went back to town to eat at the local brewery and watch the UGA vs. AU game.... not even going to go relive that game. By the looks of Keating's pullover, it seems like we converted to Auburn-ism. I can assure you that we did not, he was wearing red and black underneath!!

We enjoyed touring the town, people watching the MANY people there were to watch, and eating way too much salt water taffy.

We also found ways to express our growing Harry Potter excitement! Yes, we are nerds.

I have more photos, but I am sleepy so I believe this is enough for now! Probably only my mom will read this whole post anyways, but if you're still reading... THANKS!!!!


Kate Middleton's Hats

I have a love of fabulous hats. I always tell Brad that I am going to be one of the old ladies wearing a big at church and blocking everyone's view. I am always too scared to sport one now, so I figure by the time that I am eighty, I wont give a darn anymore. One lady that can truly wear a hat is Kate Middleton. This girl has an amazing fashion sense and always looks impeccable.

She even makes feathers look classy!

Does one have to be a future royal to rock a hat like this??

I hope she has a fantastic hat for her wedding!

Christmas Cheer

I decided that my blog needed a little seasonal face lift. What do you think? I am adding new things to my nav bar. Be sure to check them out!

I will be back later to update y'all on our last week, and even seeing a bear out in the wild!


New Boobs... Part 2

I remember waking up from the best nap of my life in a really long line of beds. Kind of odd, but I remember being surrounded by elderly people, everyone trying to wake up from anesthesia. There was a nurse there trying to help me to come out of my foggy coma. The first question I asked her was how big my boobs were! {You may remember... I said I gave my surgeon a size range of what I was looking for and then he would decide which looked best on my body?} Well, she told me that I was now packing 400 cc of silicone implants. My inspiration boobs were those of the lovely Marisa Miller. The nurse later told me that they thought I would look better than Marisa Miller, I was very pleased with that answer!

Everything after that is a sleepy blur. Brad brought me home and I went back to sleep for a few hours. When I woke up I was feeling pretty good. That night I slept miserably because they had the ace bandage tightly compressed around my chest and as a side sleeper, being on my back was awful. I ended up sleeping in the recliner {Where I slept for the next 5 days}

The following morning I could take the bandage off to shower, and then begin wearing a regular sports bra. Taking off the bandages I was a little bit nervous, but excited to see how they looked. I immediately thought they looked fantastic despite the swelling and being hard as rocks. They were in a perfect position and not underneath my collar bone like some implants I had seen. I knew they were going to heal great. Since I had a periareolar lift, I had purple circles outlining my nipples that looked strange. The purple was the ink from being drawn on prior to surgery and then those incisions were then covered in glue.

I was sore, but nothing unbearable... it felt great to get the bandages off. People told me that I wouldn't be able to wash my hair, lift my arms, or anything else for that matter. The next day I was able to wash my own hair, I did need help getting shirts on. As for pain, I was surprised at what hurt and what didn't. The only real pain I had was the muscles and skin underneath my arms. They felt like they were pulled and stretched. I only took the heavy pain meds for two days. I was really sick throwing up and finally realized that it was from the pain killers, after that I have stuck to tylenol.

I was worried about how long I would be out of commission... Four days post op, I went to a wedding, and then the following day was Halloween and trick or treating. That weekend I was a bit more sore because I did too much. But the nice thing was, that I was able to choose to do those things so soon after surgery. I had been very concerned that I wouldn't be able to hold Keating, or get him all dressed up in his costume and miss out on his first Halloween. Thankfully that wasn't the case. I was able to pick him up two days after surgery with a little discomfort. Brad had basically taken over the big parenting duties for about 5 days, but I was able to help and do what I felt comfortable with. The next Monday I was back to being a full time mom when he went back to work, so not a lot of down time.

One week later, I went back to have the stitches taken out. With the stitches gone the glue began peeling off. {I also helped the glue come off... because I can't stand not picking at something} They are beginning to look totally normal now and they feel like they are mine, not like I have big torpedoes strapped to my chest. I think looking at me, you would never think "BOOB JOB" they appear very natural. I am also glad I went with silicone, because they feel very real.

Currently all of the skin is very sensitive. I think this is the nerves regenerating. It feels like I have a sunburn and I don't want to wear shirts... Since I cant go around topless, I have put bandages on them so that they wont rub on clothing. Still, nothing unbearable, especially since I LOVE the results.

For the questions that some of y'all had....
*Could I hold Keating? - Yes, I picked him up two days later and was back to my regular mom duties in 5 days.
*Can I breast feed after surgery? - Yes. My Dr told me there is no reason that I should not be able to breast feed.
*Would I have to wait until we were finished having kids? - No. I have to wait 6 months before I get pregnant again {Which we planned to wait 6 months or more before we even consider another baby} so that is fine with me. Once I do become pregnant again, my Dr said that I can come into the office and he can take a look at everything after they grow with pregnancy, then I would come back again when I was done BF that child for a follow up. He said he has never had a patient need their breasts fixed after having a child post surgery.

Thanks for all of the support! I thought I would see a lot more criticism, but it seems that so many of y'all are already considering it! If anyone has anymore questions please feel free to ask or email me. I would be happy to answer.


It's beginning to look a lot like... Christmas??

It seems that Christmas is rapidly approaching! Our grocery store already has the tinseled decorations hanging on the light posts, the mall is playing Christmas Carols, and in replacement of political propaganda commercials... the toy companies are hitting us hard with the newest greatest toys of the year. This year is exciting for our family because we have Keating. Christmas with a baby is going to be very special.

One of my favorite things about Christmas, is receiving Christmas cards from all of our friends and family. While viewing the cards we get, I always take a mental note of the ones I love. Last year I noticed a few of those were from Shutterfly, they were nice heavy weight cards and even came in a matte finish. I perused their site and found a few I LOVE! Here are some of the contenders...
My main card qualification is that it has to say "Merry Christmas." Even better if it has a religious reference. There is a great selection of religious cards and even gift tags as well. Which card is your favorite? I need to get our family pictures taken fast so that I can take advantage of their 20% off sale!

New Shoes for Blue!

I had been thinking for awhile that it was time for Keating to have a pair of play shoes. The only "real" shoes he had were for church and a tiny pair of cowboy boots. He didn't have any casual shoes. I had the image of tiny Chuck Taylors stuck in my head and he had to have them! I decided to get them in red, naturally. Since I don't get to buy red patent leather mary janes for a little girl, then I had to get red Converse!

He likes his new shoes! Mostly he tries to pull them off and chew on them. Nice. But they are a lot more handy to stand up in and walk around the furniture.
He also had to have a jacket because it is already SO COLD HERE! I found this at Old Navy on sale and its really cozy inside. Once again.... its red. {I may have a problem!} He isn't fond of the jacket. It gets in his way, he reminds me of the little brother in A Christmas Story that "CANT PUT MY ARMS DOWN!" But he sure does look cute in it!
Tiny shoes are just the cutest thing ever!


Give Thanks!

$25 + shipping

Just wanted to let yall know, I have reopened my Etsy shop and I am selling/ taking orders for my new Give Thanks pillow. They are hand painted on cotton canvas. You can email me at mrssouthernbelle@gmail.com or go to my etsy site. http://www.etsy.com/listing/60811757/give-thanks-pillow



Why I got a boob job...

So, if you follow me on twitter, I made a little confession the other day while on strong pain killers. I wasn't really planning to put it on my blog... but percocet and I don't mix well and I already came out of the closet. So here it goes...

I got a breast augmentation. (Technically it was a lift, but I will get around to that)

Before you go and judge, hear me out.

I have never been well endowed, and I grew up wanting boobs. Every woman in my family has a nice set of ladies. My mom always told me "Just be patient, they will come." Well, high school came and went, and they never made their appearance. In retaliation, I went as far as possible to stuffing my bra, without being "The Girl That Stuffs Her Bra." Water bra, gel bra, push up bra, miracle bra, a "boob job bra" and I once even wore two bras at once. Yes, I wanted boobs.

Since my boobs never really showed up on their own, I started to mention getting augmented a few years ago. My mom's response to this was that my boobs would come when I had kids, because "Her's did". Well boy did they!!! I jumped from a very small B to an enormous DD after Keating was born.

It was glorious.

I breast fed Keating, and it was definitely the right decision for us. But, it took a huge toll on my body. 4.5 months into breast feeding, my milk supply started to dwindle, which created a VERY unhappy baby. If you read my blog then, I'm sure you remember those dreadful days. Looking back, I think it had to do with going back on the mini birth control pill. I wouldn't do that again, but hind sight is 20/20.

Anyways, when my milk went away, so did the girls. I was left with deflated balloons. I had the rack of a 90 year old and it was very sad. Call me shallow, but this new change affected my self esteem. It changed how comfortable I felt in my clothes. I didn't want to wear a bathing suit, I wouldn't wear a V neck shirt, and I DID NOT want Brad to see me with my shirt off. Something had to be done.
I decided to schedule an appointment with a plastic surgeon, just to weigh out the options. I had never had surgery, and it seemed so drastic. I kept talking myself out of it. I went for my consult and discussed all of my concerns with the Dr. "Would I have to wait until after we were done having kids?" "Would I be able to breast feed again?" "How long would it be until I could pick up and hold Keating post surgery?" He addressed all of my concerns and completely put me at ease.

Turns out that my balloons didn't only need to be re-inflated, they also needed to be lifted. Everyone had acted like I was crazy for considering the procedure, but I wasn't imagining things or a little self conscious. I had affirmation that motherhood had truly taken its toll on my body.

Brad and I discussed everything after the consultation and I decided that I was going to do it. I scheduled my surgery and went back to the Dr for a Pre-op appointment to discuss details, and to choose the size I wanted. I by no means wanted to look like a fake big boobed Playmate, I wanted to look natural.

"Trying on" Implant sizes is a little deceiving. They have you put them into a sports bra, to give you an idea of how they will look after. Every size I tried on, I felt like Dolly Parton. They all seemed HUGE, but they explained to me that the implant wouldn't actually look that large because it would be held down by the muscle. That was a relief. I decided on a size range. My surgeon knew what I wanted the end result to be, so the actual size wasn't determined until surgery. That way he could compare two close sizes and see which looked better on me.

Last Tuesday we woke up at 4:30 am to get to the hospital for surgery. I was surprisingly not nervous at all, but I think Brad was. He kept asking "aren't you nervous?" Thankfully I felt very confident in my decision and in my Dr. I knew I had made the right decision. Around 7am I kissed Brad goodbye and they wheeled me into the O.R. I had only seen operating rooms on Grey's Anatomy, so I was surprised at how bright and unoppressive it was. I remember laying on the table and they made sure I was comfortable and warm..................... then next thing I knew, I was waking up in recovery.

To be continued...


What happened to my baby??

Once again I am late on posting Keating's 8 month photos. So late, that he is almost 9 months old. Oops! This is the best photo I could get with him and Lola this month. Lola didn't want to sit still, she wanted to fetch... Keating is now fascinated by stickers and wanted the sticker off of his shirt. Oh well, its all we could do just to get them to both sit still at the same time.

8 Months was a very productive month for Keating. He learned to crawl and he got two new teeth! He also has started waving and giving somewhat of a high five. Best of all, he can shake his fist and say "hoo hoo" when we say "GO DAWGS! SICK'EM! WOOF WOOF!" Gotta teach them the important stuff when they're young!

Look at those cheeks! He has a bruise under his eye from one of his wipe outs.
He is in to EVERYTHING. If it is at his level, he is going to dig in it. He especially likes the dogs food, toys, and bed.
He has quickly grown tired of crawling and would rather stand... Lord help me if this child walks early.
My grouchy tiny baby has been quickly replaced by a happy BOY. He is getting so big, time just flies too fast!

This is my favorite part of the day. I will go into his room to get him up from a nap, and he is SO happy to see me he just laughs and rolls around. It makes my heart want to explode with joy. Its the little things...


Happy Halloween!!

Sorry for my lack of posting lately. I have been feeling a bit under the weather, and speaking of weather... we had a tornado go over the house last week! It happened so fast that we didn't even really know what was going on. Brad was on the porch and saw the clouds start circling around. Before we knew, it the fence was blowing and it got REALLY windy. By the time we realized we should head to the basement, it had passed. We never heard the typical train sound, it just sounded like we were in a wind tunnel.

A minute later there were trees snapped in a straight line down the street and the neighbors tacky halloween decorations were scattered around the neighborhood! Thankfully, it wasn't a big tornado, but still neat to witness that. I have always wanted to see one, I just always wanted to see it from further away!

Keating had a great time trick or treating. Well, he didnt really trick or treat, we just dressed him up. He was a brave little lion. I think he is the cutest lion I have ever seen!! He wasnt so sure about the fur around his face.

His friend Gates came over to compare costumes. Lions and tigers!
He's a mama's boy!

With his cousin "Cinderella"

and with his "Auntie"

I can't believe it is already NOVEMBER!