Category Archives: Birthday

And Then She Was Two.



The past couple of years have been such a learning experience for me. I always knew there was more to learn, but Tori gave me truly interesting subject matter. I’ve watched her start as a soft, squishy lump and then blossom into a miniature girl with big hair and a bigger personality. We’ve reached an incredible number of milestones – so many that I curse myself for not spending more time carefully writing down each one.

Around Memorial Day we took the paci away. I thought it would be a huge fight, but to be honest, Tori never looked back once we took it from her. We were concerned that taking her pacifier may impede the progress she was making through TEIS with Project Help and with her Occupational Therapist, but she lost the paci and never skipped a beat.

Since starting services with TEIS and playing with Sue and her friends at Project Help, Tori’s language skills have grown by leaps and bounds. I mean – absolutely exponentially. She now spontaneously counts to six. She regularly calls for her malk (milk), book, Towi’s toys (Tori’s toys), fwends (friends), and knows how to say pwease (please) and tanks (thanks).



She absolutely understands us when we’re speaking to her. If she starts throwing a tantrum we tell her “Tori, that’s fine if you want to throw a fit, but you can throw a fit in your room.” You then hear little elephant feet stomping toward her room where she wails for a couple of minutes until we go in to check on her. When we get to her room we’ll ask “Have you calmed down?” She’ll nod “uh-huh.” We’ll ask for a hug and she’ll gladly give one while she says “hug” and then she comes out to play again.

This is the little girl that calls for me in the middle of the night when she learns that I’m not in the bed with her anymore. When I come to her room and snuggle in bed with her she cuddles up against me and smiles a sweet smile before falling fast asleep. She also wakes up the next day, rolls over to see me, smiles a sweet smile, and then gives me a morning hug and kiss.

When I walk in the door for lunch or after a long day at work, Tori will run to me when she hears me walk in the door. “Mama! Hug.” Then she starts jabbering. I’ll be able to pick out words like school, water and Dad amongst other unintelligible jabber – but I can tell she’s sharing her day with me.

I’m telling you – all personality.

This little girl has laughed, cried, played, slept, and warmed my heart. And now she’s two. Time flies. I can’t say it enough. Time absolutely flies.

Happy 2nd Birthday Tori!

Happy 2nd Birthday Tori!


Have you tried Swagbucks yet?

Search & Win

I know a lot of you have tried the “Do Surveys for Money!” and “Submit for a free sample of blah!” gimmicks out there. If you’re like me, you haven’t had a lot of success with actually getting money or free samples from these sites.

Well here’s one that actually works.

I get the most Swagbucks from my searches. When I’ve got a lot to search the web for, I head straight for Swagbucks’ search engine. (It’s powered by Google but you have to look below the link to see if it’s a sponsored ad or not.) You get awarded Swagbucks at random for searching. I even use my Swagbucks search engine when I’m going to familiar websites like WordPress, Facebook, and Yahoo. I just type that into the search bar and then go to the site from there.

You can also do surveys on the site, take a daily poll, do tasks, things like that. And you’re actually awarded Swagbucks, unlike those other survey sites that say “Hey, we’ll give you a dollar!” and then, twenty minutes later, you find out you haven’t qualified for their survey.


Back to the point, just give Swagbucks a shot. Click here and go look around. I’ve already redeemed some of my Swagbucks for music prizes, and I’ve got a lot of other things from the Swagbucks store on my wishlist – things like a Wii, a Keurig Single-cup Coffee Maker, and a Dali poster.

This site really works! Try it out! (And if you join from these links, I’ll get a referral bonus when you use the search!)
Search & Win

Seven Years

Today I celebrate seven years of marriage with my husband Josh. We’re just shy of having been together for eight years.

Josh and I had known each other a few years before we started dating. I met him through a friend of a friend and as the years went by I knew that I always had a great time when we got together with friends over games (or political discussion).

During late 2001 and early 2002 I started thinking more and more about him and couldn’t understand why I couldn’t get him off my mind. I talked often with our mutual friend, Georgia, about what was going on in my head and my heart. She was an angel to do about fifteen billion tarot card readings for me (each always asked the same question). The cards told us that we’d be good together – but we would have to fight many battles along the way.

On my birthday in 2002 I asked Josh to go out and play pool with me. At the end of the night we went back to his place and ended up like usual – playing card games and laughing with our friends Adam and Shannon. Adam and Shannon left as we reached the wee hours of the morning. When they had gone I asked Josh if he thought we could have a relationship together without sacrificing our friendship. He agreed that we could.

Josh and I had a little bit of a trying time between then and the time he moved out of one friend’s house, into an apartment of his own, and then into my apartment with me. I graduated with my BS degree that December. I took him with me to Mobile to meet my extended family, and then to Bilouxi on my graduation trip. He loved getting the chance to meet my family and said after the trip that he loved me more for it.

Within just a couple of short months, Josh and I decided on Valentine’s Day to tie the knot. It was a Friday night. The courthouse wouldn’t be open for another few days due to President’s Day. The following Tuesday, as soon as the courthouse was open, Josh and I went to the courthouse with a handful of friends to get married. Georgia and Adam paid the wedding license dues as our wedding present.

It was there that my heart burst when the judge asked, “Do you take this woman, April, to be your lawfully wedded wife?” and his response was “Absolutely!”

Wedding Day

February 17, 2004

The tarot cards were right. Josh and I have had many battles throughout our marriage, but we’ve come out stronger as a result of each. Here we are today with an amazing daughter. I’m sure we still have many trials and tribulations to come, but we’re committed to sticking together through it all.

Happy Seventh Anniversary, Josh. I love you.

Happy happy birthday, baby!

It’s hard to believe that this time last year my little one had only been on the planet for 14 hours.

This morning when we woke up I smiled at my sweet baby girl and sang her “Happy birthday.” I was able to take a little bit of an extended lunch so I could spend some extra time with her today. When I get home tonight we’ll play with one of her new toys; then I’ll tell her birthday story when we go to sleep tonight. It won’t be long before she’ll come to expect these things and more on her birthday. I can’t wait until next year when I can start taking off work to spend her special day with her!

29 Forever

Here in a couple short weeks I’ll be 29 years old. You know, “29 forever” – the dreaded age women hit when they suddenly lose the will to share their age with anyone ever again. Some ladies would be freaking out right now. “29?! How could I be 29?!” Let me share with you why I’m not scared.

The last nearly-29 years of my life have been full. Rich. Interesting. I took piano lessons between 6 and 12. I competed in a pageant (piano was the talent, of course) when I was 8. I have lost loved ones – due to death, distance, and arguments. I gained my first best friend at 9 years old, my second at 11, and my third at 14. I still speak to each one of those lovely ladies to this day. I’ve fallen off a bike and skinned my knee countless times. I’ve broken hearts. I’ve learned that we have two ears and one mouth for a reason. I’ve won countless prizes from the radio stations. I’ve lusted after men I couldn’t have. I’ve had surgery five times – six if you count my wisdom teeth. The only true vacation I’ve ever taken was to Panama City Beach, Florida – our senior trip. I graduated from high school and graduated from college four and a half years later. I survived an abusive relationship and left the bastard. I’ve earned every one of my silver-grey hairs. I’ve grown comfortable with my body. I married a man who makes me laugh and stimulates me with intelligent conversation. I have nurtured my little girl with my body while I was pregnant with her and continue to nurture her outside my body as well. I graciously ask advice. I understand the value of a job well done. I’ve grown comfortable with my opinions. I’ve also grown comfortable with the fact that I’m not always right.

There are many things I still have yet to do . . . I’ve never been camping. I’ve never been overseas. I haven’t worked for a radio station. Some of these things I may never do – but the beautiful thing is that I still have plenty of time to do them in. I’m counting my blessings. 29 is good.

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