April was a VERY busy month in the Dever household. VERY BUSY!!! I think we actually spent more time cluttering up our house, rather than decluttering it. So, due to our schedules and time, I picked a pretty simple and easy decluttering project for this month. And, as you can tell by my late night post on the last day of the month, I waited to the very last minute to work on this project.
See this shelf, these are my recipe books and above that is my recipe PILE!! Yes, I said it, my Pile O' Recipes. You know, all the recipes you pull out of Southern Living, get from a friend, print off the internet, jot down at a party...yes, all of those are in that pile. The funny thing is, those are usually my "go to" recipes; the ones I use more often than the recipes in the books below.
The Pile O' Recipes out of its hole and ready to be sorted.
I sorted all the recipes into categories. The categories I chose to use for my recipe binder were: Appetizers, Bread, Side Dishes, Dips/Marinades, Soup/Salad, Pasta, Chicken, Beef, Main Dishes, Breakfasts, Desserts, and Beverages.
I used the recipe binder printables from Prudent Baby for my spine label and front cover. Then for the dividers, I used regular Big Tab dividers. If I can find cool dividers like Prudent Baby used, then I will replace the Big Tabs, but they'll have to work for now. Prudent Baby's post for a recipe binder was super helpful and her printables are great...you can find those here and here.
THAT'S IT...short, sweet, simple, and to the point. I can't wait to keep adding recipes to my new binder and hopefully, start a second one if this one gets too full!! Now, if I can just find time to start cooking some of those recipes!!!
Emerson is back on a reading kick and Ballerinas are Beautiful has quickly become one of her favorite books. Ballerinas are Beautiful has three short stories about three ballerinas; Di, Izzy, and Zoe. Each ballerina has her own story. The story of Dizzy Ballerina Izzy is about her not knowing her left foot from her right foot. The story of Shy Ballerina Di is about Di being too shy to go on stage and dance the main part in a production. And, the story of Showy Ballerina Zoe is about Zoe being too confident and boastful for an audition. Emerson has a great time filling in the words I leave out of the book and pointing out all the ballerinas in their tutus. I think it has also given her the dance bug and hopefully it will help her transition into dance classes a bit better than her first experience went.
Emerson is very fond of Ivie and Macie's playground. She mentions it at least once a day. We try not to intrude on their playground time TOO much, but when we do, Emerson walks away very excited about playing and talks about it for days. For the entire time they've had their playground, Emerson was pretty content with it being THEIR playground. But recently, Emerson has begun mentioning that she would like her OWN playground. Today, on the way home from school, Emerson and I had a conversation about said playground:
Emerson: Mommy, can we play on Ivie's swing set when we get home? Me: Emerson, I'm not sure if Ivie will be outside later so I don't know. Emerson: Ivie's swing set has a slide and swings. Mommy, I don't have a swing set. (with a very sad tone in her voice) Me: No, Emerson you don't have one, but you do have a very cool sandbox. Emerson: I do!! I have a sandbox. Mommy, when I get my swing set (not sure how she got this in her head) I want it to have two swings; one for you, one for Daddy, and one for me. Mommy, I also want a slide and and jungle "gyn". I don't need a sandbox, I already have that. Me: Wow, Emerson that's a lot. So you want one just like Ivie's? Emerson: Yes, just like Ivie's, but Mommy, maybe we make mine bigger!
Ahh, already trying to keep up with the Joneses at such a young age!!
I can't believe that eight years ago today, at this very moment, I had just walked down the aisle for our 6:30 pm wedding, said my vows, kissed my groom, and walked back up the aisle with him as husband and wife. There are times when it feels like it was yesterday, and then there are times when it feels like it happened light years ago. I CAN tell you, it was one of the best days of my life, besides the birth of Emerson. We were very fortunate to have a wonderful and beautiful wedding. It was so much fun for me to plan and everything turned out better than I could have imagined. (It won't be hard for some of you to believe that I created 20+ planning word, excel, and publisher documents.) We had great support from family and friends and were surrounded by love on our wedding day. It was a heck of a party and we danced until it was time for the band to leave. It brings a smile to my face just thinking about it. Thanks Mom and Dad for making all my dreams come true...I truly felt like a princess (gown and all)!!!
I don't think Danny or I could have imagined that eight years, 3 houses, 1 new job for Brooke, 3 promotions for Danny, 1 major move (that Brooke never made) and one very special little girl later, we would still be just as in love as we were on our wedding day (maybe even more in love). Don't get me wrong, things are not perfect (they never are) and we, like all couples, have had bumps in the road. But, I can truly say, we are a team and we really work well together. We balance out each other's strengths and weaknesses and we certainly are the best of friends. It brings tears to my eyes to even think about the thought of losing Danny and having to continue in this world without him. He is a wonderful husband and an even better father. I love you with all my heart, Danny!!!
Our Wedding Day
a picture journey
The Church I grew up going to this church, so it was very special for me to get married here.
The Dress I loved this dress...I knew the second I put it on, it was the ONE!!!
Here We Go... 6:30 pm, the bells chimed and we were off, down the aisle to get married.
The Ceremony We were so fortunate to have my late grandfather, Billy Beaver, as one of our officiants. He actually read our vows to us...very special!
Everyone!! I loved these pictures
The Arrival We decided to have a Grand Entrance instead of a Grand Exit, especially since after the reception all we had to was walk upstairs to our room.
The Cake It looked great and was very yummy too!
The Band Katie had a great time dancing with the band. Sorry Katie, I had to do it, it's one of the best memories of my wedding.
The End Our favorite checkerboard hallway...the perfect place for pictures!
A great surprise from all of our attendants....our photographers did this without us knowing.
This was read at our wedding and I thought it would be nice to remember some of the words spoken to us about love.
by Kahlil Gibran
You were born together, and together you shall be forevermore.
You shall be together when the white wings of death scatter your days.
Ay, you shall be together even in the silent memory of God.
But let there be spaces in your togetherness,
And let the winds of the heavens dance between you.
Love one another, but make not a bond of love:
Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls.
Fill each other's cup but drink not from one cup.
Give one another of your bread but eat not from the same loaf
Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each one of you be alone,
Even as the strings of a lute are alone though they quiver with the same music.
Give your hearts, but not into each other's keeping.
For only the hand of Life can contain your hearts.
And stand together yet not too near together:
For the pillars of the temple stand apart,
And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other's shadow.
You'll remember a month or so ago I posted The ABC's Me and The ABC's of Danny. I got several emails from people that follow this blog (you know, the handful of you) telling me how much they enjoyed reading about the two people behind the most frequent blog subject, Emerson. So, I thought I would continue the tradition with this cute little email that was sent to me by a sorority sister. Although the email was titled 40 Odd Questions, I don't really think a lot of the questions are odd. I hope you can learn a bit more about me and hopefully I will get to post Danny's answers soon.
1. Do you like blue cheese?Yummy...yes, I love it...especially on a salad or with a glass of wine or bubbly, but oddly enough, I would choose ranch dressing over blue cheese. I only like blue cheese in its whole form, not in the dressing.
2. Have you ever smoked cigarettes?Yes, I will admit, I have and did smoke in college. Those are days gone by though, unless I am drinking then I get the craving every-now-and-again!
3. Do you own a gun?Yes, I guess technically I do. It was given to Danny and he brought it into the marriage. I don't know the first thing about it though. One of the tasks on my short list is to learn how to shoot a gun. I am still torn about my opinions of having one/not having one in the house with a toddler. It sure does help me feel a bit more comfortable, though, to have it in the house when Danny is traveling as much as he is. So "Killers" if you are reading this, know that Mommy Dever is "Armed and Semi-Dangerous" (ha!!).
4. What flavor Kool-Aid was your favorite?Not a big fan of Kool-Aid...I never really drank it as a child.
5. Do you get nervous before doctor appointments? I do get nervous, although I'm not sure why. They're humans just like us, right?
6. What do you think of hot dogs?I try not to eat hot dogs that often because they are so fattening. We have switched to turkey dogs in our house. I will say, though, there is nothing better than a good ballpark (at the ballpark, not the brand) hot dog, so I will indulge every now and then.
7. Favorite Christmas movie?Crazy, because Christmas is my favorite time of year, but I don't have a favorite Christmas movie. To be honest, I am not one to have favorites.
8. What do you prefer to drink in the morning?Diet Coke, Diet Mountain Dew, any really cold diet drink with caffeine in it (but not Diet Pepsi...just not a Pepsi girl).
9. Can you do pushups?Not yet. I can do the girly ones with my knees down. Notice I said, not yet....it's a goal.
10. Favorite hobby?Blogging? Ha!! If anyone knows me, they would say it is SHOPPING and they'd be right, but I would have to say a close second would be this blog.
11. Do you have A.D.D.?Technically I was diagnosed with it in high school (when every other kid in America was diagnosed with it). I would say I do have some tendencies of A.D.D, but I have tried to work through them. There are times, though, I feel like the A.D.D might be creeping back into my life, especially as chaotic as life is these days.
12. What's one trait you hate about yourself?Well there are quite a few I am trying to work on....one of them is the fact that it's hard for me to say "NO", but I am learning slowly and working on it. NO, see, I said it!!
13. Middle name?Brooke...yes, that's right, I am one of those people that goes by their middle name. Since that doesn't give you much new info about me, my first name is Lindsey (and yes, spelled with an "e" not an "a".
14. Name 3 thoughts at this exact moment?So much to do...where do I start?, On a roll now....MUST-MAKE-MYSELF-GET-UP-IN-THE-MORNING-AND-GET-ON-THE-TREADMILL and I can't believe my 8 year anniversary is tomorrow.
15. Name 3 drinks you regularly have?Water (with Crystal Light), any Diet Drink, an occasional glass of wine (damn, I'm starting to sound like a lush, but I swear I don't drink much).
16. Current hate right now?As my neighbor would say, "HATE is a strong word!" But I do hate that Danny and I have recently had to spend a bunch of money on things that aren't so fun to spend money on....air conditioner, car, termite prevention, refinance!! Yuck!
17. Favorite place to be?This is a hard question....it really depends on my mood. There are times that the only place I want to be is at home with the two people i love the most. Then there are times when I want to be out-and-about, traveling, experiencing new things, etc.
18. How did you bring in the New Year?At Topsail Island with family...drinking wine (lush?), shooting off illegal fireworks and watching (and laughing at ) grown men converse in a hot tub.
19. A place you would like to go?SOOO many places....but here are just a few on my list: San Fran/Napa Valley area, always up for a Vegas, New York or LA trip, Greece, Africa, Hawaii, back to the Caribbean, Italy...and the list goes on and on!!
20. Name three people who will complete this:Hmm, this question is pretty much for the email version of this questionnaire, but I do have some blog friends who might want to do this. So if you do, feel free to link up and add your answers to these 40 Odd Questions. (I've added a McLinky at the bottom of this post) 21. Do you have slippers?Yes, but I never use them unless my feet are really cold in the winter. I am definitely a bare foot girl!!
22. What shirt are you wearing? Just got off the treadmill, so it is a very old t-shirt that I don't mind getting dirty or sweaty.
23. Do you like sleeping on satin?Sounds so exotic. I've never slept on satin, so I wouldn't know what it feels like but I am sure it is luxurious.
24. Can you whistle?Yes, but not great.
25. Would you be a pirate?Now this is an odd question.....probably not, I don't think attacking boats and stealing other's riches is really up my alley.
26. What songs do you sing in the shower?I really don't sing in the shower...I usually plan out my day or make my mental to-do list, totally a sign I need to chill out and relax more, right?
27. Favorite girl's name?Again, I don't have favorites but I tend to lean toward different names (not different like Sunshine, but different like, well, Emerson). I love using last names as first names: Sloan, Smith..etc.
28. What's in your pocket right now?I have on workout pants...no pockets in those.
29. Last thing that made you laugh? Last night as we were getting Emerson ready for bed, she was watching a Mickey Mouse on our bed. Danny and I were at the computer looking at something, Emerson comes to the end or our bed, looks out into the landing area and says, "Hey guys, don't forget about me...." For some reason, it cracked us up.
30. Favorite bed sheets as a child?Uhhh, another odd question...don't know many kids who have favorite bed sheets. I did have a pillow and blankie that was given to me by my grandmother.
31. Worst injury ever?I am so lucky to say I have never had a bad injury.
32. Do you love where you live?You mean city or house? Actually, at this very moment I do love them both...but Danny would tell you that changes monthly!!
33. How many TVs do you have in your house?I am embarrassed to say that we have 4 televisions in our house.
34. Who is your loudest friend?That would be Ann Johnson...but it is a good and funny loud. The kind of loud that makes you grin from ear to ear.
35. How many dogs do you have? Just one dog...our ever present, super cuddly, often barky Labrador/Springer Spaniel mix named Hogan.
36. Does someone have a crush on you?I hope after our almost thirteen years together (eight, of which have been marriage) that Danny stills has a crush on me. Do you Danny?
37. What is your favorite book?Book? What's that? I haven't read one of those in 2 years and 9 months...wonder why? I'm lucky if I even get to skim my subscription to US Weekly!!
38. What is your favorite candy?Again, I don't do favorites (too limiting). If I had a ton of candy in front of me to choose from, I would more than likely go for the plain M&M's.
39. Favorite Sports Team?Uhhh, this is a dumb question....Tar Heels!!!
40. What song do you want played at your funeral?This is certainly an odd question as I have never really thought about it, and don't really want to think about it....I'm going to leave this one blank!
For the past seven years, UNC Lineberger Cancer Center has been bringing the beach to Chapel Hill with its annual event The Beach Ball. I am honored to say that for the past five of the seven years I have been involved (in some-way-shape-or-form) with the Fundraising/Silent Auction Committee. I served on the auction committee in 2006, was co-chair of the auction committee for years 2007 and 2008, served as chair of the auction committee for 2009 and served again this year as co-chair of the auction committee for 2010. Over the past 6 years, the Beach Ball has raised more than $770,000 for UNC Lineberger’s cancer prevention, treatment, and outreach programs to benefit the citizens of North Carolina.
The original Beach Ball was started in the early 90s by Missy Julian-Fox and a group of survivors/volunteers as a fun way to celebrate National Cancer Survivor’s Day and as a fundraiser for UNC Lineberger. The event was reinvigorated in 2004 by a new group of volunteers to raise awareness and money to support UNC Lineberger programs and to continue celebrating survivors.
This year's Seventh Annual Beach Ball, held on April 17th, made a big splash as it shook things up a bit and proved to be a beach bash like never before. The committee was excited to unveil a totally refreshed event to previous attendees and newcomers. This year the Beach Ball event was held in the recently renovated and newly unveiled Chapel Hill Country Club (where Birdie is one of the golf pros). A much posher space than in previous years when we were at University Mall. About three years ago, we attached themes to the event; Beach Ball Under the Sea in 2008 and Beach Ball on the Boardwalk in 2009. This year we upped the ante and hosted a South Beach/Hamptons-inspired "White Party". Everyone (600 to be exact) showed up in their brightest beach whites, even our honorary chairs Coach Roy Williams and his wife, Wanda. While the event changed slightly with a new venue, we still offered our attendees the components they enjoy the most about Beach Ball; an exclusive Pre-Party, dancing to music by The Troupers, a great auction and excellent food and drinks. We did have a great addition this year of Sam Girton, a great photographer who has a very unique style. Lots of pictures were taken and I will certainly UPDATE this post when they have been posted.
I've thoroughly enjoyed my run as one of the chairs for this event. At times it can be stressful and daunting but I know I'm helping to raise money for such a great cause and hopefully making a difference in the life of someone dealing with such a horrible disease. How can I even complain about the challenges of a silent auction when there are so many going through so much during their treatments. So many of us (including me) have been touched in some way by cancer. I'm honored and humbled to be part of such a great event that will hopefully help find a cure for the BIG C!!!
Did You Know???
*Cancer is the number one cause of death in our state, claiming the lives of more than 17,000 North Carolinians each year?
*UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center is the state’s only public comprehensive cancer center. As one of only 40 National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer centers nationwide, we are at the center of an unprecedented effort to make strides against cancer and the suffering it causes.
*Almost 300 scientists and researchers from across the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill are successfully developing innovative therapies through research, ensuring that leading-edge treatments are available to all the people of North Carolina.
*The $180 million, state-of-the-art N.C. Cancer Hospital is the clinical Home of UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, providing world-class cancer care and support services for patients from across the state.
*Cancer patient visits have increased 27 percent since the NC Cancer Hospital opened in August 2009.
*In-Kind donations for the Beach Ball over the past six years exceed $394,000 including media coverage, food, beverage, auction and other generous contributions.
*Almost 4000 guests have attended the Beach Ball since 2004.
(Some information and wording in this post has been taken from
Danny has been traveling ALOT for work lately. In fact, he has been gone for, at least, a part of every week in April. Emerson is constantly telling me, "Mommy, Daddy is on an airplane but he's coming back soon." We all know Danny's history of bringing Emerson presents home from his trips and this time was no different. As long as I could report back to Danny that Emerson had been a good girl for me in his absence, he would bring her back a surcee (that's surprise for all you non-southerners)! Emerson was super excited this time when Danny brought her back a "light-up/take-off" airplane and the Dr. Seuss classic Fox in Socks. Emerson instantly fell in love with the airplane and hasn't put it down since her dads return on Thursday. So, as you can imagine, the airplane was this week's first choice when it came to picking out a Show-and-Tell item for school.
If it's any indication of what Emerson is going to be like when she's a teenager, WE'RE IN TROUBLE, because Emerson LOVES cell phones. Her love affair started when she was about 8 months old and I had to replace my cell phone; in turn, she got the old cell phone as a new toy. She loved having conversations with no one, mimicking her Daddy texting all the time, and hitting every button possible to make all the beeping noises. As she's gotten older, we've given Emerson a couple of play cell phones, but she seems to still love the real thing; most recently growing fond of my new fancy-schmancy Droid and all the toddler games I have downloaded for her. I guess we better start saving now for all those upcoming cell phone bills!!! (Emerson one day remember to ask your Papa about that and how your Daddy ran up a cell phone bill one month while he was dating Mommy!!!)
I apologize for not getting this out sooner, my computer crashed on Saturday and I am still without it. The nerve of my IT guy to have his baby the same day my computer crashed....sheesh, some people (ha, ha)! Luckily I have been supplied with a loaner, but since it isn't mine and doesn't have all capabilities that my other computer had, I am keeping pictures and blogging to a minimum. But I thought I could, at least, get a couple of short blogs out.
Last Friday Emerson decided she wanted to take her Disney Princess camera to school. Emerson is very interested in taking pictures right now and I am not brave enough to let her hold my fancy camera JUST YET. So she uses this camera that she got for Christmas in her Disney package and she takes pictures of everything in our house; Danny, Me, Hogan, her dolls, her toys, her chair, everything. Each time she takes a picture, the camera talks back with one of several different phrases: "How Beautiful!!", "Oh, you look wonderful!", "Say Cheese!", "You're as pretty as a princess!", and, of course, "Smile!". Hopefully soon I can get Emerson her own small camera and she can start to take real pictures. Hopefully she will enjoy taking pictures as much as her mom does.
This past weekend we were jam packed with Easter activities. The most frequent activity was hunting for eggs. Emerson participated in five Easter Egg hunts; at school, in our neighborhood, at Emma's house (Mimi's neighbor), at Grammy and Papa's house and at the annual Dever/Herman Easter Egg Hunt. Needless to say, she was a pro by the end of the weekend.
On Saturday morning after our breakfast with the Easter Bunny, we rushed home to make it to the First Annual Neighborhood Easter Egg Hunt (at least we hope it continues next year for a 2nd Annual). The Kelly Family was nice enough to host about 25 kids and 40 adults in their front yard for a great hunt. Emerson ran around from yard to yard hunting and finding lots of eggs. I think all the kids had a blast!! After the hunt on the way home, we met our up-the-street neighbors, the Fosters, and their new-to-the family 8 year old Golden Retriever, Daisy. Emerson loved meeting Daisy and had a great time throwing the ball with her. We are so glad Daisy has joined the neighborhood and hope she and Hogan can have a playdate soon.
On Sunday morning, we had our 2nd Annual Easter Egg Hunt with the Herman clan. Can you believe how much the girls have grown? Check out the picture from last year and then this year's picture. The girls had a great time searching for eggs in our backyards. It was great that Macie could join in the fun this year and not just watch. I have a feeling next year there will be a mad dash for eggs. After the girls were all "hunted" out, it was time for a playground pitstop, then lunch, and much needed NAPS. We ended all our Easter festivities with a non-traditional Easter dinner of hot dogs and hamburgers at the Hermans...thanks for the yummy dinner. Until next year's festivities...(Amy and I have big plans)!
Saturday afternoon, we decided to dye Easter eggs (our first annual attempt). I really can't remember the last time I dyed Easter eggs, probably before I was in college. Emerson was a tad too young last year to really "get it", but this year she was ready. Emerson had a great time watching the eggs turn from white to yellow, pink, or blue. You'll never guess her favorite was PINK (ha!). We used the magic crayon to write her name on an egg and she used the crayon to "draw" on an egg. We put stickers on several eggs and we used metallic sheets of paper to create "gilded" eggs (those were my favorite). It was a great way to spend some time outside on a Saturday afternoon with two of my favorite people (ahem, three if you count Hogan).
We started our Easter Weekend Festivities on Saturday with a trip to The Carolina Inn to have breakfast with the Easter Bunny. Mimi, Grammy, Papa, and Ms. Betsy joined us for the fun. The Carolina Inn had a great breakfast set-up. As an event planner, I loved the attention they gave to the kids, by giving them their own toddler sized buffet. Emerson had a great time being the center of attention by all her favorite adults. Emerson was a bit timid at the first sight of the Easter Bunny, but her curiosity was quickly peaked when she saw a basket full of eggs for him to give out. She wanted her Daddy to sit with the Easter Bunny first, and then decided to take her own picture with him. After breakfast, we toured the Inn, checked out the Birdhouses on Display, and showed Emerson where Mommy and Daddy got married.
Quick Emersonism: Friday night, while I was putting Emerson to bed, I informed her we were going to have breakfast at the Carolina Inn the next morning. I told her the Carolina Inn was where Mommy and Daddy got married. "Married?" she giggled. I said, "Yes, Mommy and Daddy got married there". "Mommy?" she said, "I'm going to get married there to!!" To which I QUICKLY replied, "You'll have to talk to your Daddy about that one!"