Monday Ramblings

Monday, September 30, 2013

• Breaking Bad — y'all I didn't even know what channel this show aired on. I seriously thought it was Showtime, and we don't have Showtime. I also thought this was the first season... not that I watched a single show. Of course, I still don't have a clue what it is all about.

• New Fall Shows — we spent the weekend catching up on all the new shows that premiered this past week. I'll be honest, some of the new shows are a miss for us. But we will probably give them at least one more chance before cutting them out of our tv schedule for good.

• We hit the sixteen week mark yesterday. That means we have two and a half weeks to go until we find out the gender of our baby. The Monday before we find out, I will have a post for y'all to tell me what you think we're having. BTW, this weekend all I have said is boy. So clearly I have no idea because I keep going back and forth! Thank you to those of you who are continuing to pray for us and this sweet baby. We feel your prayers daily, and we can't thank you enough for remembering us.

• Our baby's/guest bathroom upstairs is hopefully going to be complete by the weekend. Doing projects on your own, you really don't have a time crunch unless it's your only bathroom. Which clearly we have two other functioning full bathrooms. But I'm sick of the mess... I'm ready for the toilet box to be removed from the hallway, and all the accessories we've bought for the bathroom to be hung.

• It's raining in Alabama today. I already take a nap almost every afternoon. And I'm pretty sure that this day will prove to be one of my favorite naps because it's gloomy and kinda cool outside.

• The last time I had my hair colored and cut was the first weekend of June. Well, tomorrow I will get my hair cut, and I'm ready for it. I've chosen to not have it colored until right before Thanksgiving. Our Dr said after the 1st trimester I could, but I don't see the need. I mean, don't get me wrong... there is a HUGE need with the almost 4 inch gray roots that I've got going on, but I don't really see anyone except for the occasional shopping trip or lunch date. It's grown, a lot. And my hair was already thick, but it's twice as thick as it use to be. I really just want it shaped back up again. I'm not going to anything drastic... I've already heard the nightmare stories from pregnant women who decided to make a big hair change while pregnant. And, I will not be one of those.

I'm sure there is more randomness that I could bore y'all with, but I'll save it for another rainy day.

Friday Five — link up #39

Friday, September 27, 2013

Here's a look back at our week for today's edition of the #fridayfive!

the Sowell life

the Sowell life's Friday five... 

1) {FALL is in the air} Meaning fall is making itself known a bit in the Sowell home. Did a little bit of decorating this week... not much, but enough to matter.

2) {How we welcomed FALL} Fall makes me think of soups and stews... so we kicked off the first day of fall with homemade beef stew.

3) {MB naps} MB went back to her Shannie and Papa's house on Monday, but before she left we had a long nap on the couch. I can't wait for her to come back so we can snuggle up together again.

4) {Friends and McAlisters} We all know my love for McAlister's Deli, and nothing makes me smile more than a friend who brings over my favorite AND a slice of their cake. Sarah and her littlest came over Thursday for some girl time, and we can't wait to do it again!

5) {Meatless Meals} So I'm back to not liking meat again for the time being. We ended up having a vegetable plate for dinner last night... corn, peas, mac and cheese, fried squash... oh and cornbread. Hopefully I'll be able to enjoy meat again, soon.

Now, who's ready to link up?!! I appreciate y'all spreading the word more than you'll ever know!! Please stop by and visit with the other bloggers who link up. It's a great way to find new bloggers to follow! And who doesn't love comments, right? =) Enjoy your weekend, y'all! 

Oh yeah, and don't forget to enter the fabulous giveaway here.


Thursday, September 26, 2013

Naming your baby is a huge undertaking because your child will have that name for a lifetime. And no one wants to name their child a name that he or she will grow up to regret. But you also are not only thinking about their name, but also the spelling of their name.

We're pretty lucky because we have already decided on our boy and girl name. They are family names and we feel pretty good about them. Of course, we know that when we announce the name we are likely to have one or two people say something about our decision. That's life I guess, but it's not like anything that is said will make us change our minds about the name.

The spelling of a name. Who is to say which way is right or wrong? Our baby names aren't names that you can really do much changing of the spelling. But, so many of the baby names I'm seeing are basically the same name, just spelled differently. And the beauty of it is, it's the parent's right to do so.

I remember being the editor of 393 Magazine and going to all the events and taking photos. Right after I took the photos, I would have to ask for their names. And boy, I realized quickly that there are many ways to spell a lot of different names. I finally got to where when they would tell me their name I would ask for the spelling as well, you know, just to make sure. Here are a few that I remember...

Sara — Sarah
Teresa — Theresa
Claire — Clare
Melissa — Mellissa
Holly — Hollie
Crystal — Krystal
Sherry — Sherie
Betty — Bettye
Robin — Robyn
Addison — Addyson
Shawn — Shaun
Kylie — Kylee
Lee — Leigh
Jennifer — Jenifer
Susanna — Suzanna
Carrie — Kerrie
Lindsay — Lindsey
Jennie — Jeanne
Christy — Kristy

I could keep going, but I think you get the idea.

My question is — what is the craziest way you've seen a name spelled?

Pumpkin Patch Party {Giveaway}

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

As I prepare for motherhood, I have been playing close attention to all the moms out there. What kind of things they are letting their children get involved in, and what kind of fun events they make sure their children are getting to do every year. I've seen a lot of moms attending play group dates with friends and their little ones. And I love seeing all the fun little events they make them into.

I know we will want to make lots of memories with our little one each and every year, and one we will be participating in will be attending a pumpkin patch. Fall is my favorite time of year, and I can't wait to take pictures of our little one surrounded by lots of pumpkins.

For years, Lazy Acres in Chunky, Mississippi has been known as the go to place to get your live Christmas tree in Mississippi. But, they are not only known for their beautiful Christmas trees. Each fall, the planation opens up and has thousands of people come to enjoy their pumpkin patch and all the actives that happen during the weekends. From pig races, a maze, and fun hayrides — the fun never stops at Lazy Acres.

Lazy Acres is giving away a pumpkin party for 10 guests this October, and this is your place to win! That's right, all you have to do is enter below to win a free party at Lazy Acres valued at over $115. This can be used as a birthday party, play date with friends or a family outing this October. Come prepared like you're headed out to a picnic, and Lazy Acres will supply the fun!

Here's what you'll win:

• a tent set up just for your party with at least two picnic tables for two hours
• ten entries to the pumpkin patch
• and tons of fun to be had all over the farm

We will announce the winner on October 1st! Good Luck, and remember you do not have to be a blogger to win!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunshine on a cloudy day...

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Earlier this week I was tagged in a post from Nadine, and today I'm taking the time to answer the questions she's given me. Hopefully you'll get to know me a little better from these questions. =)

1) If you could be any animal on the planet, which would you choose and why?
Hello, I'd be Marsie Belle. Seriously, this dachshund has it made! If you follow me on instagram or even read any of my posts lately, you know how spoiled she is.

2) What is the best piece of advice you have ever received?
Never tell God your plans, because He will laugh and show you His plans are greater. AMEN!

3) What is your favorite TV show of all time?
Okay, so the Mr and I were discussing this earlier this week. I miss Big Love from HBO. Yes, it was a crazy show, and no, I do not believe in those practices — but, if you ever watched the show, you know how much you were drawn in. I told him the other day I wish they would rerun the seasons again, or I guess I just need to buy the box set!

4) If you could have any job in the world and it didn't matter how much money you made or what qualifications you needed, what would it be?
I'm on the road to having the best job any woman could want, motherhood. I'm blessed to be able to sit and take it easy while I'm growing our little one and I can't wait to have the greatest job (to me) in March taking care of our little one. (I almost typed little girl, I guess I'm still thinking girl.)

5) What is your favorite holiday movie?
Wait, I can't have a list? Christmas Vacation is probably my favorite, but I love just about every Christmas movie on the same level.

6) Suggest a new blog for me to read.
Any on my "blogs you'll love" are great blogs to read.

7) What is something that you are loving right now? 
I'm loving the fallish feeling in the air. It only happens early in the morning or late at night, but I've got my fingers crossed that we will soon feel fall all day, every day.

8) What is your favorite nail polish color?
I love Big Apple Red (at least I think that's the name) from OPI. I usually wear red all year long on my toes. Of course, right now I've got some maroon on them... #hailstate!

9) What is your favorite season?
I think I've already covered this, but FALL is my favorite. I love the air, I love the holidays, I love the football, I love the scents... I LOVE IT ALL!

10) Tell me something that most people don't know about you.
Hmmm... I guess one thing most people don't know is I was our high school mascot for my last 3 years of high school. Yep, I was the bulldog!

Did you learn something new about me? Most will say I'm pretty predictable... Ha! Hope y'all are having a wonderful weekend!!! And even though it's rainy and cloudy out — there's still some sunshine on this cloudy day.

Friday Five — link up #38

Friday, September 20, 2013

Here's a look back at our week for today's edition of the #fridayfive!

the Sowell life

the Sowell life's Friday five... 

1) {Bathroom Remodel Update} If you remember from last week, I showed you a picture of the demoed bathroom. Well, this week mom and Terry laid the tile. And it looks great.

2) {Shaped Reese's are BACK!} Why is it the shaped reese's peanut butter cups taste better than the regular cups? When I saw the pumpkins were out, my day was made!

3) {New Kitchen Gadgets} A few weeks ago I went to a Pampered Chef party. And this week, my goodies came in. I've already used some of them, and I know I'm going to love all of them.

4) {LOVE this face} MB has been visiting this week, and out of all the pictures I've taken of her this week... this one might be my favorite...

5) {I COOKED} That's right, I cooked a full meal on Tuesday. BBQ chicken, loaded mashed potatoes and green beans. Of course, after smelling the chicken cooking, I was turned off when it came time to eat. But the Mr and I made sandwiches out of the chicken breast I didn't eat for lunch on Thursday. I didn't have to warm it or smell it, so it was great!

Now, who's ready to link up?!! I appreciate y'all spreading the word more than you'll ever know!! Please stop by and visit with the other bloggers who link up. It's a great way to find new bloggers to follow! And who doesn't love comments, right? =) Enjoy your weekend, y'all! 

Oh yeah, and don't forget to enter the fabulous giveaway here.

Update on Baby Sowell...

Thursday, September 19, 2013

We had our September OB appointment yesterday and I was nervous and excited all day. Our Dr informed us at our last appointment 4 weeks ago that we would get to hear the heartbeat, and that is exactly what we heard. We heard our sweet little one's heart just a beating. Music to my ears.

Our Dr (we lover her) found the heartbeat immediately, and then we couldn't hear it, the baby moved and she had to go find it again. Ha. Our little active one. We only got to hear the heartbeat for a minute or so, but it was so sweet to hear that Baby Sowell was indeed doing okay in there. And for the record, the heart rate was 140.

She said everything was great, and she would see us in 4 weeks for our anatomy scan, and that's also the day we will find out the gender! We're excited, have our names ready and can't wait to see our little one again on the big screen.

And I'm officially off the progesterone. She said the placenta has officially taken over, and it isn't needed anymore. WaaHoo!!

Before we left, she asked if we would be having the testing to rule out a few disorders. Judge if you want, but we decided that we would not be having the testing done. We truly believe that God has everything under control and no matter what the outcome from the test, it would not change the love we have for this baby. She also told us there is a high risk of false positives. We all know how I handle stress, and stressing for a week to get the results, and then finding out news that might be false... we just decided it was not for us. Our Dr did tell us that after she looks at the anatomy scan, if she thinks we need to have the testing done, she would suggest it. But, she felt like we made the right decision, too.

What could make me change my mind about having the tests done? Finding out the gender!! She said if we had the blood work done yesterday, we would know our baby's sex in a week! My eyes lit up so big, and then we asked could we have the test but only find out the gender and not get any of the other info... our Dr laughed and said, oh Joy, you can wait 4 more weeks! So we will wait 4 weeks to find out if Baby Sowell is a he or a she.

I asked about the heart rate, and was that pretty accurate with the gender. She said, well Joy, you've got a 50/50 shot of it being right. Gotta love her answers, right? So most are telling us boy, but we've had a few people who had girls with that heart rate, too. Only time will tell. And I plan on doing a post where we want you to tell us what you think the gender is... I want it separate so I can go back and calculate the percentages and see what our readers really think.

In other baby news... mom and I went to Babies R Us this week, and she couldn't resist buying this...

I want to thank y'all again for all of your love and support in this journey to parenthood. We appreciate your prayers so much, and trust me... we feel them. We are so thankful to have such sweet friends showering us with love.

Maroon and White in a sea of Orange

Monday, September 16, 2013

We didn't get to attend any of the Mississippi State games last season, and when the chance arose for us to attend last Saturday's game in Auburn... we didn't think twice about saying yes. Every MSU game I've attended has either been at our stadium in Starkville or has been at a bowl game where our fans are all around us. Saturday, was a little different for us.

Saturday around lunch we headed out the door to our destination at Auburn. A first for the Mr and I. We have family that attend Auburn and have a house a mile from the campus. When I told them we would be coming down for the game, they invited us over to the house for a little pre game warm up — otherwise known as food, food and more food. Susan cooked some yummy chicken fingers and fries, and had rotel, chips, and vegetables and fruit to munch on, too. She has two kids who attend the university so we got to hang out with the "cool kids" before they were on their way to the stadium. We loved getting to enjoy conversations with Susan and Pam, and even caught most of the Alabama/A&M game.

After a great visit, we decided to leave around 5:30 to head to our parking lot and make our way to the stadium. (By the way, having a parking pass is the only way we were able to leave so late and still make it to the game on time.)

Once we started walking to the stadium, a guy in a golf cart asked if we needed a ride in. Hello, this pregnant girl couldn't say no to that. He was very talkative and we found out his sister went to school at USM, and he was dating a girl from State. He drove us right to our entrance and we were very grateful.

Our seats were in section 107 (the nose bleed section is what we call it) and we knew I would tire out pretty quickly from climbing all the way up. So we took the elevators. And in no time we were up at the top headed to our seats. T made sure I held onto the rails as we climbed a few more steps to our row. And looking up, I saw two other people in maroon and white, and they weren't sitting anywhere near us.

Two minutes of the game were already played once we sat down, and the Auburn fans were going crazy because they had already scored with a field goal. It was obvious we were the minority when everyone else is up cheering and we were the only ones sitting and not saying a word. However, we got the ball and my mouth opened up. No, I don't trash talk, but I do cheer our boys on and will scream "what were you thinking" a thousand times when they mess up! But when that first touchdown was made, I was the only one standing and screaming. It was priceless. Of course, the Mr told me to sit back down and try to stay calm. But how do you do that at a game? So when the second touchdown was scored, I had my hand on the Mr's back and I just started hitting his back over and over again. I'm pretty sure I left a mark. (Hey, he said not to jump up again!)

Yeah, I have a pretty good zoom on my camera.

Sitting with the Auburn fans, I'm not sure what I was expecting. However, even though the guy behind T was VERY vocal and there was no filter on what was coming out of his mouth, he was still nice to us. He spilt his girlfriend's coke and it started running down the back of my seat and was getting the back of my jeans and my feet wet. He went to get napkins and offered to clean it up, but it wasn't necessary. And we thanked him for offering. The girl I sat next to told me a little about their stadium, and T was even offered a swig of whiskey from the guy in front of me. Which he respectfully turned down. We were pleasantly surprised at how nice we were treated at the game. So we give two thumbs up on Auburn's hospitality.

We left at halftime because we decided before we left the house that we knew I would be getting tired, and sometimes grumpy. And I'm sure the Auburn fans we were sitting around were happy to see us (or me, rather) go. I was hoarse when we left the game from all of my cheering and screaming.

On the way home, we found the game on XM and thought we were doing pretty good until the last 4 minutes of the game. But, I think it was a good game. The way we see it, if we would have made that field goal and not have gone for two after the first touchdown... we could have easily been in overtime with the Tigers. But, there's always next year, right? #hailstate

Friday Five — link up #37

Friday, September 13, 2013

Here's a look back at our week for today's edition of the #fridayfive!

the Sowell life

the Sowell life's Friday five... 

1) {A Marsie Belle Visit} We love it when Miss MB coming to visit. She's always our entertainment, and she always rules the roost. You might have noticed a "few" photos of her on instagram.

2) {Food} Mom has been here this week, and she's been doing some major cooking in the kitchen: roast, fried chicken and lots of veggies. And the best part is I've been able to eat most of it because I'm not handling the food or cooking it. 

3) {Remodeling} We only have one room left in our home to remodel, and while I was away last weekend, this happened. I can't wait to see it all put back together. This will be the baby's and the upstairs guest bedroom's bathroom.

4) {Baby Sowell received a gift} I had a package delivered this week. And inside were cute clothes and a sweet toy for our little one. Suze was so sweet to send us this package, and it included a journal for me and some wonderful aloe gloves to keep my hands warm and soft.

5) {#hailstate} Tomorrow we will be traveling down to Auburn to watch the Bulldogs play. This will be my first time to this town and stadium. But, I'm excited to see our boys play. Considering that I tire out pretty easily, we will be taking it slow so I don't get too hot or too tired. And we will probably leave at half time because I'll be ready for bed. Nevertheless, we are still excited! 

Now, who's ready to link up?!! Thanks for stopping by, linking up, sharing the link up on your blog and on twitter! I appreciate y'all spreading the word more than you'll ever know!! Enjoy your weekend, y'all! 

Oh yeah, and don't forget to enter the fabulous giveaway here.

Celebrate Good Times with CAKE

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Today is my dad's birthday. And we did a little celebrating last night. How do you know you've celebrated the right way — when you are so miserable from all the food and fun at bedtime.

We started off the evening with the Mr cooking up some sausage to snack on while the HUGE steaks were grilling. Mom and I went with filets and the Mr and dad had ribeyes. MB was the supervisor.

Now, y'all know I've been having a big problem with meat here lately. And we've finally figured out part of the problem.

1) The smell of the meat or the smell of the meat cooking turns me off, quickly.
2) Handling the meat makes me gag.
3) Chewing big pieces of meat — a big no no, and the texture has to be right.

I've slowly been able to add meat back into my meals as long as the above three do not happen. I'm proud to say I almost ate half of my steak last night. But I've noticed that I get full a lot quicker than before, and I'm wanting to eat more smaller snacks throughout the day.

Anyway, to accompany the steaks, we had baked potatoes, baked beans, salads and rolls. Yeah, a lot of food. The Mr and I bowed out of the salads because we knew we would never be able everything we already had on our plates.

If you follow me on instagram you know that I was craving a slice of his birthday cake ALL. DAY. LONG.

And we finally got to cut into it after singing Happy Birthday, and MB giving Papa some kisses!

Happy Birthday Dad! We love you and hope you have a great day!

Have you entered the awesome giveaway I've got going on? It's easy to enter and I know you will love getting to pick out your bracelet if you win! Good Luck!!

Wrap It Snap It {GIVEAWAY}

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

I love it when I come across something that is handmade and trendy, and also doesn't cost an arm and a leg. The icing on the cake is when it's something unique and not something everyone else has.

That's what I found when I came across Wrap It Snap It's etsy shop.

Wrap It Snap It is owned by two sisters who live in Los Angeles. They love arts and crafts, but especially love making jewelry. They strive to make their leather bracelets unique and original. The bracelets are colorful, stylish, and fun to wear. This is their life, and they enjoy the entire process of designing and making the beautiful bracelets they sell.

Recently, the sisters introduced a new vegan line in support of their vegetarian/vegan fans, and plan to expand the line in the future. With this new line, 15% of all vegan bracelet sales will be donated to an animal shelter. (And y'all know how much I love animals so this makes me VERY happy!)

The best part is Wrap It Snap It is hosting a giveaway here on my blog. That's right, one lucky person will get their choice of a baby blue leather triple warp bracelet or a double wrap vegan suede leather bracelet in their choice of color: red, blue, purple, green, black or brown.

If you are one of those early Christmas shoppers, and always have that chick who is difficult to buy for on your list — check out their shop and give them something they won't expect!

There are multiple ways for you to enter to win (you do not have to be a blogger to win), and the winner will be notified on October 11th. So start clicking away below to enter for your chance to win. And, Good Luck!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway  

Remembering from their perspective

I will always remember the morning of September 11, 2001. That day will forever be burned into my memory. However, I've shared my memory of that day and the days after with you many times. But today, I want to take a moment and think about those who died on this day so many years ago. I want to imagine what they could have been thinking as the morning went from normal to panic to tragedy.

A passenger on one of the planes — Their morning started off like a normal morning, except this morning they were on a plane headed to their destination. They've settled in their seats for the long flight ahead only to be interrupted with terror and fear as terrorists take over their plane. The fear of the unknown compels them. What can they do? We know most tried to call their loved ones from the plane. We've all heard some of the phone calls that were recorded. What we don't hear is their thoughts.  Whether they knew exactly what was about to happen, they knew their lives were in danger, and possibly knew their plane would be responsible for the deaths of so many others.

Workers on one of the top floors of the Twin Towers — I don't live in a city the size of New York City, but I can only imagine the hustle and bustle of every morning trying to get anywhere in NYC. After finally arriving at their building, and the long ride up to their office with a view, they had to be thinking how lucky they were to get to see the big city every single day — full of life. While working on their presentation for a meeting or conversing with a fellow co-worker about their previous evening, the entire building shakes. Wait there are no earthquakes in NYC, right? Some go back to their offices and continue to work not even phased by what just happened. Some immediately lost their lives. Some try to escape and realize there is no way out. Phone lines begin to be tied up with employees calling out for help, and then calling their loved ones. Did they know that day would be their last to head to their office?

The Firefighters and other Emergency Responders — Everyday their job is different: a different accident, a different structural fire, a different emergency situation. But none of them knew what they would experience that day. Their job is to save lives. Whether a police officer, a firefighter, or an EMT — they took an oath to help others. Knowing what had happened to their city, they rushed in to start saving lives. And they did save a lot of lives, not knowing that some of their lives and their brother and sister's lives would soon be lost.

I don't personally know anyone who lost their life on September 11, 2001. I don't know what was going on in their heads — I can only imagine and try to think from their perspective. But, I'd like to believe, and I certainly hope, that all of those who lost their lives knew the Lord. I hope that when they realized that day would be their last on Earth they turned to their Heavenly Father and prayed — prayed for their country, prayed for peace, and prayed for the ones who didn't know Him.

Today, not only should we pray for those who lost loved ones, and those who lost their lives, but we also need to pray for our country. Pray for our leaders who make the decisions for our country. Pray that they will turn to God and ask Him to help guide our country.

There is no doubt, we will always remember!

S'more Cake Recipe

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

A few weeks ago I was invited to a Pampered Chef party. Let's just say it's been a loooong time since I've been to one, however, I still use all the Pampered Chef cooking and baking goodies I've gotten over the years. Plus, they always seem to have some yummy recipes at the parties, and this one was no different.

I posted a photo on instagram and was instantly bombarded with comments and tweets asking for the recipe. This is the photo that got y'alls stomach's growling...

So, the Pampered Chef lady whose party I attended sent me the recipe to share with y'all. If y'all don't have a Pampered Chef lady, you can order from her and she will send your order to you.

All of the bold print is Pampered Chef items, but of course you can make this cake with any of your baking dishes you have at home, but I personally will be using the Pampered Chef baking dishes that I own.

I can't wait to make this recipe soon. It's so light and fluffy and doesn't make you feel like you've just had a heavy dessert. And it's quick and easy. Did you see where it said, MICROWAVE!!

Have you made this recipe before? Trust me, she made it look easy to make and the directions sound pretty easy, too. Do you love Pampered Chef? What is your favorite product from Pampered Chef? I love their stoneware. Oh, and it's 20% off this month! So stock up!

***The recipe was submitted by Mary, a consultant for Pampered Chef. She photographed the recipe from her Pampered Chef book and emailed it to me.***
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