Monday, March 29, 2010

Congratulations Dr. Pickett

On Friday, March 26, Brett presented the public defense of his dissertation. I was happy to find a babysitter so I could be there. Bretts mom was also able to fly out from Utah. It was so nice that she was able to come and support Brett in this final hurdle before graduation.

Brett did a great job. He has worked very hard during the last 5 years and I am so proud of him for finishing everything up and graduating.

After the presentation, Brett's boss, Elliot, had us all up to the lab to celebrate. We picked up Emmeline and Mabel to come to this celebration with us. Elliot provided a nice cake and champagne for Brett and another grad student in the lab who also defended a dissertation that morning. We were a little worried until Elliot announced that there were two types of champagne available. Mary had the alcoholic one and Brett the non-alcoholic one. :) Emmeline and Mabel were very thrilled to get some of the "fancy drink" with us adults and they were very proud of their daddy for being able to open the bottle.

(Note to Brett- I love you so much. You are such a dedicated man--dedicated to your family and to your career. Thank you for taking such great care of me and our girls. And for working so hard. I could not ask for a better husband. I'm so proud of you. Congrats Dr. Pickett!!) If you want to see it, a pdf version is at:

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Brett Dissertation Private Defense

On March 23 Brett defended his dissertation to his graduation committee. Brett passed with flying colors. Each member of his committee signed off on the dissertation requesting only a few minor changes/additions. This private defense was a major milestone for Brett and having it done is a huge stress reliever. After he finished we went to celebrate at the Cheesecake Factory (Where else :)!)

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Legend of the Seeker

This month I have gotten into the t.v. show Legend of the Seeker. I blog about it because it has taken up a fairly significant amount of my time and I love it. In a nutshell, the show is about a hero named Richard Cypher who, with the help of his friends--Zeddicus Zu'l Zurander (a Wizard) and Kahlan Amnell (a Confessor), must save the world from the evil Tyrant Darken Rahl and later the almighty Keeper of the underworld. The show is filled with magic, beauty and forbidden love. If you like fantasy, its worth a try. You can stream the entire 1st season from Netflix on demand.

My aunt Sara recommended the show to me. After I had checked it out I wanted to call my brothers and sisters and tell them about it since I thought they would also really like it. I called my brother Adam and it turns out that he and Andy were already watching it. They have even read the books that the show is loosely based on, the Sword of Truth series by Terry Goodkind. (I have yet to read them, but after watching this show. . I might just have to check them out). Anyway Adam spent an hour on the phone telling me differences between the show and the book (I actually like spoilers). It was really fun to talk to him about it. Just goes to show that even though I have lived far away from my siblings for so many years, we still all like the same stuff. Family is the best!!!

Monday, March 15, 2010

All Through the Night

I'm really proud of little Madelyn. She started sleeping all through the night this month. I put her to bed about 10:30 (give or take a half hour depending on the night) and she doesnt get up until 7:30 or 8 the next morning. It is AWESOME. It makes mom a much happier mom. We moved her into the crib in the girls room. It's pretty cool that all three girls can sleep together in the same room. I suppose I'm really lucky. This is my third baby, and all three of them have been great sleepers.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Wedding Cake and Garbage Disposal Issues

Recently a gal I know had a wedding and I volunteered to make her a cake. It was fun for me to do and not have to worry about having a big cake in my house for me to eat afterwards. The only problem occurred when I first got started and realized that the garbage disposal in my sink wasn't working. Both sinks filled up half way with dirty water when I tried to use it. Brett was working at the science center so he couldn't come home and help me sort it out. I didnt have time to try and figure it out myself (not that I would have been able to if I had tried) since I needed to get the cake finished before the wedding. So I decorated the cake without the use of my sinks. I had to stack all my messy dishes and stuff on the counters instead of in the sink. It was interesting but it worked out fine. When Brett got home he was able to fix the problem with the disposal without much effort. Mabel enjoyed being his special helper (flashlight holder) as you can see in the pics. And although certainly not perfect, I think the cake turned out pretty decent. So it was a good day. lol.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Swimming Lessons

Swimming lessons have started up again. This time we signed up Mabel as well as Emmeline. I dont think that they are as much fun since they are private lessons instead of group lessons. Apparently, private lessons are the current trend right now and there were not enough kids signed up for group. Luckily, the Y gave us the group discount even though the lessons ended up being private. We'll try for the group ones again when we get to Dallas.

In the mean time, Emmeline has been working on swimming with her head under the water. She has made good progress and its fun to watch her skills develop. Her teacher discovered what an imaginative child Emmeline is. Miss Lindsey was trying to get Emmeline to look forward when swimming and not up at the ceiling. Emmeline was having a difficult time with this. After several attempts at getting Emmeline to look forward, Miss Lindsey finally told Emmeline to pretend that she was an alligator with her eyes forward just above the water. This did it. There wasn't any more trouble after that. After the lesson Emmeline excitedly told me about how she was an alligator looking for fish. I laughed. Mabel has progressed to swimming by herself--with a noodle. This is a big step and she is so proud of herself for swimming "all by myself." She had a couple hard lessons but is doing better in her brand new tinker bell swimming suit. I'll try and get some pics of their upcoming lessons and post some soon. :)

Monday, March 8, 2010

House for Sale

It is official. Our cute little townhouse is on the market. I dont think the idea that I am moving really hit me until I saw it--the big FOR SALE sign posted up in our front yard.

I am excited to move. I am excited for a new adventure and hopefully a bigger home for my family, however, I will miss this townhouse. When we bought it, it was a disgusting mess. But together, Brett and I cleaned it up and turned it into a home. This is the place where I have brought home each of my three babies from the hospital. This is where we've lived and loved for the past 5 years--and I'll always look back on it with fondness.

So if you're in the Birmingham area and you are in the market for a nice little townhome close to the University, I know of a good one that is available. :)

Monday, March 1, 2010


It has been cold throughout January and February this year, and with a new little baby in the house, we have been hibernating. Granted, I have been tired, with the new baby and the lack of lengthy sleep. Overall Emmeline and Mabel have been good sports about staying in and hanging out at home.

But now the sun is starting so shine and I am starting to wake up and feel an energy that I havent had for almost a year. I am getting excited about exercising (YMCA here I come), shopping, starting new projects, taking the kids outside, and just getting involved with others again. It feels so great to be ready to get out into the world again.