11.22.2011

Black Friday Rules

I am so sad to say that I am not going to be participating in Black Friday shopping this year. I will be in Gatlinburg with the VK's for Thanksgiving. Although I will go shopping on Friday at the outlets, it just won't be the same. I usually go with my mom and cousin and the three of us define Black Friday shopping. Someone needs to do a documentary and follow us around on Black Friday. Seriously. Our record is something like 16 hours. We are there when Riverchase Galleria opens and I'm pretty sure we surpass everyone else that walks into the mall. Have you seen the Target commercials for Black Friday? I love the Christmas Champ because I can relate to her. I am her. Target should have called me to do these commercials.




I've been saying for many years that I need to write a book. Let's be honest, there are some people that are simply not cut out for Black Friday shopping. I'll admit that I'm a bit of a snob when it comes to the task of shopping the day after Thanksgiving. Since I can not attend Black Friday shopping, I thought I would share with you a few of our (mom, cousin, and me) rules and expectations regarding the Black Friday shopping. We consider ourselves experts, so it's our responsibility to educate others. Consider it my gift to you. These rules are in no particular order.

Black Friday Mission: To complete most or all of the Wright/Milstead/Von Kanel Christmas shopping in one extremely long shopping trip by strategic planning and having a go get 'em/don't mess with me attitude.

This is serious business, y'all. We are trained professionals and we will stick up for ourselves. Yes, even if that means arguing with a stranger over a table at Auntie Anne's pretzels. 

Black Friday Preparation:
1. You may NOT under any circumstance and by any means view sales until Thanksgiving day. 
2.  Sale ads can not be viewed until Thanksgiving meal is complete and the kitchen is clean. You will need the entire dining room table to plan. 
3.  All family members are required to turn in Christmas lists by Thanksgiving day if they plan to receive gifts on Christmas day. 
4.  Compile all lists, compare to sale ads, and make a game plan. The first 4-5 hours of shopping are critical as that is when doorbusters are happening. 

Black Friday Shopping Expectations (While you do not have to abide by these, it is really a good idea that you do if you would like to avoid the evil eye and the snide comments from us, the experts.)
1.  Get the free snow globe from JCPenney.
2.  Going to JCPenney at 4am to buy 2 pillows and then leaving does not qualify as Black Friday shopping. 
3. Your best shopping is not done at an outdoor strip mall. You must shop at a large indoor mall. 
4.  You are allowed to visit stores that are not found in a mall (such as Target and Toys R Us), but you can not do that until you have exhausted yourself at the indoor mall.
5.  All shopping during Black Friday is for giving, not receiving. You may not shop for yourself, unless you are shopping for a gift that you will receive from someone else on Christmas day. If you are there to shop for yourself, you will only slow us down.
6.  This day is not intended for leisure walking through the mall. We will run you over either with our bags or our bodies.
7.  This day is also not designed for youngsters to love on each other in the wee hours of the morning. Black Friday shopping is not an event to which you bring a date.
8.  Strollers are not allowed or those ridiculous rolling carts for storing shopping bags.
9.  Since strollers are not allowed, neither are children. The age requirement for a kid is 13, must be without a sassy attitude, must be able to stand in long lines without complaining, and must understand the mission. 
10.  The success of our trip is measured by how many trips to the car we make, especially the amount of trips made before 9am.
11. Review your list hourly to ensure you are abiding by the strategic plan and not forgetting any gifts. 
12.  Meet at Starbucks in the food court when you arrive. I don't care if you don't drink coffee any other day of the year. You need it to endure the day.
13. After noon, the early morning crowd will quickly fade away. They will go home and take a nap. You, however, will continue to shop like a mad woman. You will get looks from "normal" people because you look rough and are getting delirious. It's okay...stay focused on the mission. 
14.   Lunch is at 9am at Chick Fil A in the food court, with additional meals/snacks at noon and 4pm. Dinner is at Granny Rosie's house where she has graciously pulled out all Thanksgiving leftovers and heated them up. 
15.  After dinner, unload cars and sort through gifts.
16. Pat yourself on the back. Look in the mirror and tell yourself that you are beautiful and those awful bags under your eyes are proof that you are a devoted shopper. Stand proud with a smirk on your face, you accomplished the mission yet again.
17. Go to sleep. It will all happen again in a short 364 days and you will need all the rest you can get.

*I can't believe I forgot this one: Get a pedicure at 2pm at the nail salon inside the mall. It is well deserved in the middle of the shopping day. 

11.04.2011

Exciting News!

Not preggers.

I am a contributor for a local website called Rocket City Mom! The website is a great resource for North Alabama moms. I'm the recipe girl and every Friday (with exceptions like holidays) there will be a recipe that will  hopefully make mealtime easy and encourage families to gather 'round the dinner table more often. I share family favorites and yummy recipes I find on food blogs or cookbooks. I am NOT a chef by any means. I'm just a wife/mom that loves to cook and share meals with my family.

Here's my first post. 

So even if you aren't a "Rocket City Mom", check out the website on Fridays for new recipes and ideas to prepare for your family. Everybody has to eat, right? You can also like their page on Facebook. 

11.01.2011

Bragging on God

I don't know what to think of myself, finding time to publish two posts in one day. I must be sick or something.

But this is something that HAS to be said, because it's AWESOME!

The month of November is welcoming some abnormal (but fun!) expenses to our already tight budget. My best friend Allison is getting married!!! And with that comes extra gas, food, gifts, showers, and what not. I'm certainly not complaining about it, I've just been a little concerned how these expenses are going to be covered. Allison was a HUGE help to me when I got married. She was my maid of honor and I am her matron of honor. We were living together when I was planning my wedding, so she was involved with all the details. Now we live nearly 5 hours away and it's not so easy for me to be a part of all her wedding planning. So I'm excited and honored to get to share in her big day in any way that I can.

Anyway, worrisome thoughts have flooded my mind a lot this week and I've been faithful to take them to God and let Him reassure me that He knows our need.

And He certainly does...

Apparently we over payed Lily's ER visit a couple weeks ago when she had the croup. We got a refund check in the mail today from the hospital. It brought tears to my eyes to see that check, as if the Father was speaking directly to me saying, "Brittany, I know your needs better than you do. I will not fail you. Continue to walk in My ways and you will have what you need."

Isn't He amazing?! I am just overjoyed and humbled tonight :)

Lily Lately

Sweet girl, you are such a joy and blessing! You are a spunky little toddler that loves to play hard! You keep your mommy and daddy running around like crazy, but it's fun! It's hard to believe you will be two in less than two months! At the same time, though, we feel like you've been two for a while now since you are Miss Independent and can talk so well.

Favorite snack: "montee nacks" or "nana nacks" aka fruit snacks in the shape of Curious George or Veggie Tales
Favorite show/movie: Air Buddies, Dora, MM Clubhouse, Curious George, Thomas the Tank Engine, and anything with Elmo, cars, planes, or animals
Favorite color: You finally realize that yellow is not the only color. You can name green, purple, and orange as well.
Favorite song: ABC's, Amazing Grace, Our God, Itsy Bitsy Spider
Favorite book: Knuffle Bunny, Ten Tiny Tadpoles, and the Bible
Favorite activity: making a fort in the den, running around in the backyard, "drive fo a minit" aka playing in the car while it is parked in the garage, helping Mommy in the kitchen, going down the slide at the park
Favorite store: Target
Friends: Logan, Davis, Dusti Jo, Emma, and Samuel
  • You are learning your shapes and can pick out a circle, square, and octagon (thanks to a puzzle given to you by one of Mommy's students last year). 
  • You can put your shoes on by yourself, assuming the straps are already loosened. 
  • You talk in complete sentences, have been for a while actually.
  • You forget NOTHING, seriously. I might casually say something once and a few days later you will repeat what I just said and follow it with "memember?" Your memory is impeccable. 
  • You love when Daddy comes home from work and you love to go visit him at work. 
  • You are asking what everything says and who everyone is. Many times we make up answers because we have no clue what a grape says, what a pumpkin says, or who the man is in the parking lot at the grocery store. The words "I don't know" don't suffice for an answer. 
  • You love going to the "bibeddy" (library) for storytime. We go every week and check out books after storytime. 
  • You love all things music. If anyone is ever a fly on the wall at our house, they would frequently see the whole family twirling in your bedroom or singing the ABC's or Itsy Bitsy Spider in unison. You even try to get Sanibel in on the action. 
  • You love to pray for others 
  • You survived the croup and all 3 of us survived the stomach bug. Mommy survived it twice!
 You and Daddy at the Pumpkin Patch. Mommy's camera died shortly after this. Thankfully, Tbone had his camera and took plenty of pics. 

 Just chillin' with my shades on

 Breakfast with Puppy

 You LOVE stickers!!!

 Taking Aubie for a walk in the backyard 

 Thankful for a big, fenced in backyard so you can roam and play as much as you want.

 You take such good care of your babies. This is Aunt Katie's baby doll from when she was younger. 

 Such a mess! Those old Winnie the Pooh shorts around your head, sunglasses on, twisted pants, hair falling down...

 Blowing bubbles!

I love the smile on your face!

 When Daddy gets home you greet him at the door and beg for a walk outside or to go look at the moon.

 Whoville???

 Silly face #1

 Silly face #2

 This is a typical fort in our house. You usually sit on it or slide down it from the couch. 

Your first Halloween party: Daddy dressed as Andy John (youth pastor, they look alike), Mommy as a Twitter hash tag, and you as the cutest chef ever!

You and "Lissy" (Linsey). Ever since she hurt her back and has to wear a brace, you've been apprehensive around her. You must be scared of the brace :( But you ask to pray for her and Mitchell all the time!

 Absolutely love this picture of you and Daddy! This is just before he took you on a date to get a free GiGi's cupcake on Halloween!

 Daddy's trick or treat cupcake and Lily's creepy crawly cupcake

 Enjoying the sugar!!!

 Jessica surprised you on Halloween night!

So did "Kenna" (McKenna)! Jessica and McKenna are two girls that were Mommy's SS class. You were crazy that night...so sugared up! It was hilarious! McKenna taught you to say, "I love sugar!" and you said it over and over again. Fun times!

We love you Lily Boo!!!

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