Friday, February 26, 2010


While I nurse a pretty severe writer's block, I decided to award your patience with videos (and they don't require much creativity - there, I said it.) But a few quick comments before I let you see this one.

First, it's long. But when your baby is really laughing like this, it's hard to turn off the camera!

Second, the camera work is pretty pathetic. I guess I was just so excited that we actually had the video camera running during her giggles I didn't care. But seriously, I could have at least slid those dirty dishes over to the side or something!

Just don't judge me, ok? I do clean my home. And I do dishes all the time. I swear.

Thirdly, I have to swallow my pride to post this one because I'm pretty much making a total fool of myself. On camera. Lovely. Isn't crazy what we'll do just to make a baby giggle? I mean, you've done this too, right? Right? (Just say yes)

Don't judge me, ok?

And no, I'm not insecure.

ANYWAY....enough about me. My sweet girl is laughing her head off in this video and I'm pretty sure it's the absolute best thing I've ever seen! So I'll quit talking now and let you watch. Thank you for obliging me - you may proceed :)

P.S. Apparently writer's block doesn't prevent me from still writing too much.

Thursday, February 25, 2010


I finally found my camera cord today, so I'm trying to catch up on some videos we've taken recently. While I upload some of her first giggles caught on tape, I thought I'd share this little gem. I didn't even know Dan had recorded this until I was working on uploads today - enjoy!

Friday, February 19, 2010


My dear daughter,

Before I had you, I thought about how hard it would be to become a Mom.

Everyone told me about how much I'd have to give up.

Sleep, dates, alone time, shopping for myself, even showers some days.

Becoming a mother meant sacrifice.

And there are days when the laundry and diapers and nursing totally exhaust me.

Many days.

But then I hear you wake up from your nap.

I hear you happily talking to yourself with that sweet little voice, and the sound warms my soul.

I peak into your crib and you smile with your whole being -

just because you see ME.

It's in that moment that the word "sacrifice" disappears from my vocabularly.

What I've done for you pales in comparison to what you do for me each and every day,

every time you smile from head to toe at the sound of my voice,

every time your tiny little hand finds my own

every time you lay your sweet little head against me.

I've done nothing for you, my child.

You have done EVERYTHING for me.

I Forgot...

My sister posted some great Caroline pictures earlier this week - check them out here if you're interested.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

CUSTOMER Service??

I have had a few run-ins with so-called "customer service" departments lately, and I'm becoming a bit put out. Since when is customer service not about the customer at all?? I'm beginning to believe it should really be called "company service" - because it's really all about them. And their money (not mine).

Recently I tried to return a shirt I had purchased for Dan with the receipt - it had never been worn or washed, I had just bought the wrong size. The receipt had expired. What?!? I had bought it awhile back and saved it for a gift, being careful to keep the receipt incase it didn't fit. So that receipt - the one that clearly states how much I spent on that very shirt - was null & void because I had waited too long.

"But I have the merchandise right here, the receipt right here, and the credit card on which it was originally purchased. That's not enough?"
"I'm sorry ma'am, but all I can give you is $13.00 - and that's really more than I should."

"But I spent $20 - you can see it right here on this receipt that apparently is no good."

"I'm sorry, but this is the best I can do."


Then on my recent flight home, I encountered another customer service debacle. I had called in advance to make sure I understood all the rules of flying with an infant, and had been told that I was allowed my 2 bags as well as 1 infant item, and yes a bag for her counted. Well, SW airlines apparently changed their minds somewhere between that phone call and when I checked in because that bag that I had so neatly packed would simply not qualify as a baby item.

"But you told me it would. That's why I packed like I did."

"I'm sorry ma'am. You can either pay $50 or try and consolidate."


No, they weren't kidding. And they even went so far as to suggest I was trying to take advantage of the system. Really?? I'm trying to "take advantage of the system" by flying with an infant...just so I can bring an extra bag?

They got a nice little note from me.

Then yesterday I sat on hold for well over 30 minutes trying to return some phones that we recently ordered (our sim cards didn't fit). I finally got a woman who mumbled so much I had to ask her to repeat herself after every sentence. I gave her the order number - meaning I clearly had the order sitting right in front of my face - home address, phone number, first born, etc. She then asked who she was speaking with.

"This is Kali Johnston."

"The name on this order is Dan Johnston."
"Yes that's correct. He's my husband."
"Is he available?"
"No, he's at work. I'm trying to get this taken care of for him."
"So he's not there?"
I thought we just covered this. "No, he's not."
"Then I'm sorry, but I can't give you the return info."
"Seriously? I'm on the account."
"I see that ma'am, but your name is not on the order so I'm afraid I can't give you any information."
I'm beginning to think that being called 'Ma'am' is just a form of mockery. "Then I guess I just wasted my time. Thanks a lot."

I don't typically think of myself as an angry person, but this sort of stuff just makes my blood boil. These big coorperations have put so many rules in place to try and protect their own assets that they simply no longer care about the customers who provided those assets to begin with. Why is everything so difficult?? Except actually purchasing something - now that's easy. It never takes more than the blink of an eye for them to take your money, but getting it back in these situations, now that's going to take some time.

Argh!! I'm getting angrier as I type!

Anyone else feel the same way I do? Anyone have any good strategies that seem to work in these types of situations? I haven't yet resorted to yelling and screaming, but I think that might be next.

Thank you for listening to my rant this morning. And if you're worked up now like me, I'll leave you with a few pictures that will make you smile and bring your temp back down to a nice simmer.

Okay, I feel a little better.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Waiting for Spring...

I took these a few days ago, but that hill you can see through the window that was sparsley speckled with snow is adequately covered again this morning. Part of me is very much enjoying a real winter, but another part is ready to get out of the house a bit more. Oh well, spring will be here soon enough.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Blog Slump

Why is it so hard to get back into "blogging mode" after even a short little hiatus? I feel like I need a larger chunk of time to catch up, so I continue to procrastinate, and therefore continue to need an even larger amount of time than I did initially. Such a dilemma.

If only I was a little better at multi-tasking, I think I'd be a better blogger. I mean, just think of the time I'd save if only I could blog in the shower! Okay, so it's a little dangerous. Or what if I could fix my hair and dinner at the same time? Hmmm...disgusting. Maybe I just need a little help with the combinations.

Anyway, I'll just let the pictures do the catching up for me. This past Thursday evening, I boarded a plane with Caroline (another blog post altogether) and headed back to Missouri to celebrate with Paige & Torri who BOTH were selected to the Courtwarming Court! They were beyond beautiful, and it was SO fun to be with them for this. We also were able to celebrate with my Dad for the exciting news he received a couple weeks ago about his court case - but somehow I think I missed those pictures. (People were there with big fancy cameras - like Kelsey - so I just leave the photography up to them in those situations. Call me lazy.) Then there was the Superbowl with Caroline's (and Daddy's) beloved Colts (we'll stop there with that conversation), time with my dear Aunt Linda (again with the pictures - sorry), time with Caroline's Great Grandma & Grandpa (ditto), and of course her Nana & Papa. She even got to meet her crazy Aunt Kandi this time (my best friend from childhood)! All in all, it was a very sweet time and I am so thankful that I had the opportunity to go - thanks to Dan.
Gorgeous! (not me...them.) For lots more pictures of this event, go here.
Asleep in Nana's arms.

Had to slip this early Valentine's gift from Great Aunt Linda. The cuteness is almost unbearable!

A couple of Peyton fans.

Getting acquainted with Aunt Kandi - she's funny :)

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Snow Weekend?!?

For the first time in the 4 winters we've spent here in Nashville, we had a true blue snow storm this past weekend. And it was CRAZY folks. Take that however you'd like (IT was crazy, the folks are's all true). Beginning around Monday all of the news stations started talking about preparing for "The Storm of 2010." By Wednesday most schools had already cancelled for Friday. The snow started falling late Friday morning, and by 1:00 Dan's office decided to close (yes, a medical office). After a drive that took MUCH too long, he finally made it home and up our very steep hill...and we didn't leave the house again until Monday. Even church was cancelled (though the snow stopped by Friday evening). It was a glorious weekend indeed :-)

Having grown up in the Midwest, I have to remind myself that this is mind-blowing for Southerners. There really is no such thing as snow removal here - they just sort of push the snow around and use some sort of salt-to-snow ratio that ensures there is something white on the ground at all times (and it's usually NOT snow). They certainly have never learned how to drive in any sort of weather (i.e. do NOT slam on your brakes on slick roads). And the poor children of the south get about one day every few years to break out their fancy sleds (or air mattresses as we witnessed Friday evening). It's really quite amusing.

On Saturday night Dan & I watched our neighbor's two sweet little girls while they went out for an annual work banquet. With two under the age of two, they aren't able to get out much and were bound and determined that a little snow wasn't going to stop them (plus they are from hardy Midwestern stock). Here they are all dressed up with their tennis shoes on, ready to hike down our hill in the blizzard to meet their ride. Because there was really no driving up or down our hill this weekend.

Dan & I had a good time with the 3 girls (ages 2 months, 4 months & almost 2 years), although we realized the blessing of only having one at a time (God bless you, Kate Gosselin)! We were pretty proud of ourselves when we had them all in bed by 9:30 - whew!

I can't wait until these girls are old enough to really enjoy playing together. Future BFF's for sure :-)

Then on Sunday, Dan & Jason just had to get out and do a little shoveling/competitive snow-ball throwing. You can tell by their attire just how brutal the weather really was.

Ahhh....Tennessee winters. How I love thee.

And just so you know...schools are closed yet again tomorrow. It's only been in the mid-40's for a couple of days now. And you know how treacherous the snow can be when it's 40 degrees.