Welcome to Kelly Martin's Blog! Here I share my stories from my blessed life as a wife to a super-talented man, Jason, mom to my precious kids, Lucy, Jack, and Connor, and friend to my amazing girlfriends who inspire me every day!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The Writing on the...table

Upon seeing this in the kids' playroom:

1. Wow, Lucy is doing well with her numbers...look how cute that 8 is, and wow, her 4 is pretty accurate...

then, 2. Wait, holy crap, she's done this on the table. Oh well, at least she thinks it's fun cleaning up her messes with the Magic Eraser :)

and finally, 3. Imagine if this was the code on LOST :P

Seriously, though, I think this is pretty darn cute! And though I was hardly upset about the mess to begin with, it's still good to remind myself that someday I'll be wishing my kids were still writing things on furniture :) I just LOVE this age!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Jack and Thanksgiving...

Here are some cute "funnies" from Jack:

One day, this note was sent home by Jack's teacher:

and his turkey from school...super cute what two-year-olds are thankful for:

Hope everyone had a WONDERFUL thanksgiving! pics to come from our t'giving in Oxford, AL with Jason's family!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Helpful Turkey Tip

So, as I was wasting away in bed all weekend (thanks to a yucky stomach bug that hit Lucy and me), I watched plenty of Food Network. Yesterday afternoon, they had a special live show that was all about Thanksgiving. People could call in, tweet, skype, whatever, and many of the FN chefs fielded the calls and provided helpful - usually - answers.

I could personally identify very well with one of the questions, as it is a pet peeve of mine (and my worst hostess dinners have been due to this beast! :) OVERCOOKING your meat.

A caller wanted to know how you know when your turkey is done. Alton Brown took this question, and everyone should take note of his answer. He explained how most turkeys these days come with that little popper thing that "pops" up when your turkey is done. According to the package directions, when your popper pops, that's when it's time to take out your turkey. WRONG!

Alton explained that because of the resin that those mechanisms are kept in, it won't pop out until your turkey has reached 179 degrees. And if you know the correct temperature to cook your turkey to (Dad are you listening!?! :) - which is 165 - then you'd know that relying on that thing will give you an overcooked turkey - very overcooked at that (because don't forget your turkey will continue to cook as it rests (so important to let it rest, don't forget! 20 min or so for a large bird!)- every time.

I never knew the science behind those popper things, but because every time I've eaten a turkey that cooked using that popper, it's been drier than a baby's new diaper, I figured those things aren't worth their weight in gold :)

So, ditch that thing, and check your turkey often as you cook it. Pull it out just a bit shy of 165, cover it with foil, pour yourself a glass of wine, enjoy it, and THEN carve your turkey.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

"Soldiers Are Mean"

I love holidays, but when it comes to Halloween, what I don't love is the excessive amount of candy that is always lying around the house, tempting me all day! And what I REALLY don't love is how my children spend every waking moment for days upon days after Halloween begging for, crying about, fighting over said enemy :)

Sweet CeCe's - our favorite new ice cream shoppe - saved me from weeks upon weeks of misbehaving children due to candy obsession by participating in a "candy drive" for the soldiers. For every pound of candy brought in, you received a punch on your punch card; they're shipping the candy overseas. Wonderful idea!

So, I talked up how we were going to take our candy and send it to the soldiers, and best of all, how we were "trading" candy for ice cream! The kids were super pumped about it (Phew!).

On our way to Sweet CeCe's, we were all having a conversation about the soldiers. Jack piped up, "I don't like soldiers. Soldiers are mean!"

This was a good opportunity to talk about how the soldiers were only mean to the enemy and how they keep us safe, fight for our freedom, etc. Bit heavy for a two-year-old, but he seemed to follow. But, he still kept insisting that soldiers were mean. We arrived, chuckled about Jack, and headed in to partake of some yumminess.

Five punches (yes, over 5 pounds of candy!) later, we were each stuffing our mouths with our own concoction of flavors and toppings when - I kid you not - a big soldier walked in the door. Decked out in army camo gear...black boots, black hat, the whole sh'bang! How perfect!

Now, this place is not a big place, and being that it was a Tuesday night, it wasn't very crowded. There were about five other people in the place. So, after I excitedly told Jack about who had walked in, of course everyone heard when Jack retorted that no, he didn't want to look at the soldier because soldiers are mean! Smiling, I continued to point out all the cool things about the soldier; I could see him grinning as he made his ice cream treat. Jack remained unimpressed.

As the soldier approaches the register, near where we are sitting, I suggested that Jack introduce himself to the soldier so he could talk to him and see that he's very nice. Jack thought that was a terrible idea. So I held out my hand and introduced myself to "soldier Tyrone." Jack just eyed him up and down, eyebrows furled.

We chatted briefly and then Tyrone went to pay for his ice cream. But before he left the shop, he turned around and approached us. He reached one arm to the other, peeled off his army patch and held it out to Jack. "Here," he said, "I want you to have this."

My heart melted.

And then my son rejected the sweet offering. (How lovely...)

Jason: "Jack, this is so awesome; he wants you to have his army patch."

Jack: "No." (Seriously, child of mine...)

I graciously accepted the patch, and the soldier and I exchanged a chuckle before he left.

I hope this soldier has children -and my hunch is that he does - because then he'll understand that Jack was likely to warm up to the idea of soldiers, and specifically the very cool patch he gave Jack. And that's exactly what happened.

In fact, while we continued to talk about the soldier and how cool his present was, Jack began to ask to wear it and inquire about soldiers. By the time we had eaten our ice cream and were leaving, Jack was clutching his patch protectively and insisting that he get to wear it on his pajamas.

And the next day, we pinned it on his shirt to he could wear it to school and tell everyone his story about meeting Soldier Tyrone! Very cool story! I love it!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Happy Veteran's Day!

"How important it is for us to recognize and celebrate our heroes and she-roes!" -Maya Angelou

Great day today! Kids had a nice time at the parade; Jack was just mesmerized by the large army tanks, and Lucy loved the infantry marching down the street. She kept asking me, "What are they saying!" and I couldn't always tell myself. But it sure sounded cool.

We are fortunate to live next door to some awesome people, Tony and Joann, and they happen to both be veterans. W e had a nice time making them some special treats to celebrate and thank them!

"I think there is one higher office than president and I would call that patriot." -Gary Hart

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Family Pictures

Unless you've been living under a rock, you have heard of Groupon and Living Social. A few months ago, a Huntsville photographer, Lauren Tomasilla, was featured with a killer deal for a great price. I hadn't heard of her - turns out she's new to town from Ohio - but I checked out her portfolio. I LOVED her work, and figured it was a pretty safe bet to purchase the deal.

She was a pleasure to work with, very professional (sent out a "get-to-know-your-family" questionnaire before the session), and super with the kids. But the best part was the beautiful pictures she took. It was super challenging to choose just 35 from over 100 proofs, but we were able to finally narrow it down.

One neat thing she sent us was a slideshow of her favorite images set to a cute little song. Many of her favs were also my favs. Check this out - and if you are looking for a great photo experience getting family shots, try her out!