A very, quick to the point post...

It's Christmas Eve Eve, also known at the Dasher house as our anniversary.
When I picked this date four years ago, I didn't realize that I may never get to celebrate an anniversary--that one day I would have kids and a bazillion things to do two days before Christmas. It makes me all the more impressed that my friends that had kids at the time even made it to my wedding at all. If you're reading this and you were there--I love you for it! But our wedding day was kind of a novelty and certainly different so I don't regret a thing about my date.

For one, we got married at 11:00 in the morning with only about 40 people there--our family and closest friends. We served Communion to all our guest which was one our favorite parts. It could have ended then and there and we would have been happy. I think I danced back down the aisle. Our minister actually said he would see us that night and we both had forgotten we were even having a party later. We left the church and had a beautiful luncheon at my in-laws house. Later that night we invited ALL our friends and friends of our parents to a reception. Because I just couldn't escape the whole "Christmas wedding" our first dance was to "All I Want for Christmas is You" and Santa drove us off is his convertible. I second and third guessed our song but now I love it--how many times do you hear Mariah from Thanksgiving weekend on?--well, each time I hear it, I think about the Husky Bear (aka Bert)!

We actually did get celebrate today. My mother was kind of enough to watch Loulie (I say that with sarcasm b/c for a minute Bert and I thought she may not bring her back) so that we could go to dinner. Instead, we went to an afternoon movie. I haven't been to an afternoon movie in about 3 years--it was such a treat. We held hands, took our time running errands afterwards and actually had a complete conversation--all things a couple with a one year old find a rarity and quite exciting.

We saw Love and Other Drugs. Three things about the movie...
1) Jake Gyllenhal is beautiful
2) Anne Hathaway is beautiful (I want her skin)
3) Warning: way to much nakedness--I was embarassed, even in front of Bert and would have died if I had actually gone with my mother a month ago when she asked me to.
4) we thought the whole depiction of the pharmaceutical industry was hilarious and very true both being former reps and all. (Clarification: * We however did not take part in the darker side of the industry;) )
5) Best thing about the day--last line--Bert said it was true of me for him just like Jake and Anne. Ahhhh--we still got it! (cheesy, I know but it's my anniversary, we can be as cheesy as we want)

Okay, that was 5 things. I gotta go start cooking. I am in charge of the oyster dressing--big deal, I am taking this responsibility very seriously. Considering, I am usually just in charge of bringing wine or napkins or something equally unculinary. I have advanced to the big leagues--I am now in charge of a dish. Wish me luck!


My little Elf

I woke up this morning feeling under the weather--Boo. I've eaten almost an entire bottle of vitamin C in the past 24 hrs because moms can't be sick during Christmas. It should be a rule.
Because no matter how hard you try to make the season about the birth of Christ and giving to others; there are just little tasks that keep you up late, make you tired and eventually get you run down. I have already decided that next year I will be finished with gifts, decorating and any ancillary tasks that takes away from spending time with my family or doing for others before December.

I will say this despite the exhaustion I am feeling at the moment--even the ordinary tasks have been more fun this holiday. I have a little worker bee that follows me everywhere and is so eager to help. Loulie may be a little crazy (sorry to anyone who may have been in a 5 mile radius of Whole Foods last week and may have heard her tantrum) but she has such a caring heart and spirit for helping others. It doesn't matter what I am doing, she is there assisting me.

From the cooking....
to making gifts for everyone...

(sometimes she even lets me join in)
to just bringing general holiday cheer...

I am so thankful for this little elf.

Hoping your to do list is shortening by the minute,



We race to the mailbox...

I absolutely LOVE getting the mail this time of year. We make it an affair to walk out to the mailbox every afternoon. Seriously, it takes like 30 minutes to get Loulie out to the mailbox, look through the pictures and tape them to the fridge. Great entertainment!

After mildly obsessing, I finally finished my cards and they went out Friday morning. I think the first picture perfectly embodies everything that is Loulie Bug Dasher. The second photo is merely to show that both my girls have the ability to sit still after running laps and being bribed with toys and food. Here it is...

I CANNOT believe that Christmas is this week. It occurred to me while I was at church this morning that there are no more Sundays before Christmas and then I panicked and then I remembered I was in church and the reason for the season and I calmed down until about 6:00 tonight when I realized CHRISTMAS IS IN 5 DAYS!

Going to Wrap.....



Their stocking were hung by the chimney with care

I live in Charleston, right?
I was just wondering since it feels likes I am sitting in an igloo at the South Pole. This unusual freezing weather has made me feel a little like a shut in but it has been somewhat nice being forced to stay inside and relax. I've spent tonight curled up by a warm fire, working on some Christmas gifts and watching Chronicles of Narnia (one of my favs). It has been one of those evenings that has been a combination of getting a lot accomplished along with actually relaxing and enjoying the warm feeling that comes with having a clean, decorated house.

I wish we could keep our houses decorated the entire year or at least half. I actually have a distant relative that puts up his Christmas tree on Christmas Eve and does not take it down until Easter. Strange I know but I kind of get it. Every year I go on this nostalgic walk down memory lane while I decorate. With a birthday and an anniversary in December, I've had a lot of gifts and memories that somehow include holiday decor. I usually try to bring Bert in on this walk down memory lane. Try being the key word here. He's not unkind about it--he'll politely nod and smile; all the while I know he has no idea what I am talking about and in the back of his mind he's creating a list of all he needs to get on his next trip to Lowes.
So this year i'm sparing Bert and staining you on the sentimentality of a few Christmas items--I call this "If my house was burning I'd grab...(Holiday Version)"
The #1 being this... I realize that it looks like a 1970s handmade tree skirt and that is exactly what it is. My grandmother made one of these for all three of her girls to put around their tree when they got married and she made one for herself. I imagine it took her forever to sew all the tiny beads and sequins on. But as one who takes joy in creating things myself, I'm sure she loved putting all of that effort in making something for her children. My grandmother passed away the first week of December, three weeks before my wedding and the night before a group of friends threw me a Christmas shower. My mother had already wrapped this up to give me but after the events of the night before, the tree skirt had a whole new meaning. I miss my grandmother a lot through the year but most of all at Christmas time and it always happens that I am decorating the same week she passed away. I love pulling this out as my final touch to the tree and remembering my grandmother.

On a lighter note, you can't help but notice that our last name has a festive ring to it. It can get a little annoying this time of year. Seriously, I can't tell you how many times we get "where's dancer and prancer?" Yes, people are stupid and every one thinks they are the first one to crack that joke. Bert has been putting up with a lot longer than I have. The good thing about being a Dasher is that 1)it is easy to match a first name to it and 2) anytime anyone sees a cool reindeer ornament, they think of you. Hence, the 5000 reindeer ornaments we have.
My absolute fav is the one of Dasher in evening wear. Our second date was on Christmas Eve--way too early in to buy a gift but we had talked enough that we both knew we really liked each other. So Bert gave me this ornament "so I would remember him." Looks like it worked. I always hang him towards the top of the tree.If you are still there, I promise I am wrapping it up.
Bert's aunt Hilda is sweet and very talented and decided years ago that Bert and I had to meet. So she and my mother worked out a plan that she would bring me over to Bert's parents to pick up some pottery that my mother ordered from Hilda and magically Bert would be there. Well, the pottery that we picked up was two clay angels and a year later everyone in the family joked that two angels had brought us together. Bert and I both call that angel Hilda. Anyhow, she gave us this big angel on our wedding day and I absolutely cherish it. She sits on our coffee table and watches over us.

Okay, that's it. It's actually not it--I could go on and on but for the sake of time and your patience, I'm going to stop. I hope everyone is enjoying the weeks building up to Christmas.

Stay warm,



All over the place

WARNING: This post may be all over the place which would be no different from my brain and my body this week.

First off, I want to thank everyone for such encouraging messages for my birthday and to my family for making it so special. I started the day off at church which was all about whether or not we really believe(in our heart, not our mind) that the Lord truly loves us. So I already had that on my mind when we got up to take Communion and out of nowhere the worship team starts playing one of my favorite songs. And as they are getting to my favorite part, Loulie lays her little head on my shoulder, snuggles in and starts to pat my back. It was all I could do to hold it together standing in the middle of the church aisle. What can I say--I am blessed and truly grateful to the Lord for all he has given me, most importantly his love.

The rest of the weekend was spent doing fun things as a family. We hit up the tree lighting downtown and the boat parade in the harbor. For whatever reason, Loulie was still going strong at 10:30 while Bert and I were crawling back to the car. I'm pretty sure she stopped and talked to every person from waterfront park to King St.

We decided to leave the little munchkin at home Sunday night so that Bert and I could enjoy a meal together (which has happened maybe three times since Loulie was born).
He took me to Husk for my birthday. I included a picture because the best thing about this place is how beautiful it is. How bad do you want to live in this house? I requested this place because of the hype that has been built up around it. The winner of the James Beard award opened it a few weeks ago and is only using local ingredients to prepare his courses. Right up my alley, right?--no! It turned out to be a real disappointment. The service was great, the atmosphere is beautiful but the food was some of the worst I have ever had. Hopefully, they will get it down soon--it would be such a waste for this place not to be successful. My suggestion--for now, just go to the bar. It is in an entire separate building. I so badly wanted to pull out my camera and take pictures of the exposed beams, slanted brick due to Charleston's last earthquake and the vines that they left growing in and out of the ceiling from outside; but I contained myself and you'll just have to go check it out yourself.
We also finished decorating or are at least close. After my last chaotic post, I thought I may not hang the first ornament but we all chipped in and now Loulie can tell you exactly where our tree, Santa and baby Jesus are in the house at all times. She still gets a little confused at times..
"Loulie, where is baby Jesus?"
"Ho, ho, ho"
"No Loulie, that's Santa. Jesus is Happy Birthday"
Then she starts to blow like there is a birthday candle in front of her which is my clue to chill out because I really don't think she needs to fully grasp the virgin birth at age one!

Have a good rest of the week!

thirty something



A quick summary of the past ten years...
Graduated college
Moved to Atlanta
got my dream internship
got my own first place
got my first grown up job
got my second grown up job
got engaged
moved apartments
lost my grandmother
got married
moved to Charleston
got a really grown up job
had a baby
lost a lot of sleep
TURNED THIRTY!!! Will I have a longer or shorter list for the next decade? Only the Lord knows!

Congratulations to Hannah and Matt--I now get to share my birthday with precious little Henry!


Dose of Reality

You know those scenes in cartoons where the babysitter cracks the door open and behind her you see a child hanging from the ceiling, feathers flying through the air, a dog covered in leftover breakfast food and the family fish lying on the floor gasping for air?

That would be about the scene here on Jimmy Isle today. It is almost lunchtime, I am still in my pjs--not by choice but because before I could take a step up the stairs something would crash or bang causing me to fly over the banister to make sure there was no blood or broken limbs. Loulie has refused to take a nap this morning. I have been trying to put lights on the tree for about two hours. Instead of showing interest in decorating the tree, she has removed all the cushions from the sofa and is dive bombing onto them. Bridget thinks the tree lights are a chew toy. And everywhere I turn a random object is in a new and interesting place. It seems Loulie has taken a liking to the recycling bin leaving me to find a carton of milk in her cabinet, an empty jar of jelly on the stairs, a calculator in the vegetable drawer and my favorite, some (unused) female products in Bert's laundry pile. Nice!

Last year on this exact day, I ended my glorious 12 weeks of maternity leave and headed back to work. Beyond stressed and sick to my stomach over leaving my baby, I hated hearing stay at home mothers talk about how stressed and worn out they were. I remember thinking they had it made. I also remember thinking when I left my job to spend 24 hrs a day with my Bug and Bridget Bojangles that life would somewhat slow down. That things would magically get done because I would have all this extra time. WRONG!!!
Having now experienced both sides of the coin I have come to this conclusion--no mother, stay at home or working has it any easier than the other. We are all linked by the same concerns, stress over making everything perfect, and an ambition to please ____ (the boss, the husband, the kids). In looking back over the year, some things have become easier while other challenges have reared their ugly head. The bottom line is this--it will always be something and no matter how hard we work, a perfect Christmas is not created out of hard work and piles of presents; it is out of memories with our family and time spent together. ( I make this sound so easy, don't I?) So while at this very moment, I would like to go shower and spend some quiet time away from this house while my fairy godmother finishes the decorating, cleaning and childcare; I am going to challenge myself to relax and enjoy the fact that Louie thinks the funniest thing in the world is to hang ornaments off of Bridget. In fact, I know that in a few years this will be one of my favorite memories.
So relax and enjoy the weekend! Happy first few days of advent! Cheers to used coffee filters showing up in your clean laundry!!!
I am off to squeeze my Bug and BB and put a lock on that recycling bin :)


I have a Christmas card idea...to be revealed later. But in the meantime I needed just a regular picture of Bridget and Loulie. So, we headed over to the county park for a little photo shoot this afternoon.
Now, I must admit that Bert warned me ahead of time. It went like this...
"Honey, do you think it is a good idea to take Bridget and Loulie to the park together and then expect them to sit still for a picture? I mean, you just said photo, dock and the name of our kids in the same sentence--not a good combination."
(*Do you like how we refer to Bridget as a kid?)
But I did it anyway and it was a cluster but not near the ordeal that it could have been. After 250 pictures and running around the park after a dog and a one year old, we headed home for Loulie's nap and some editing.
Here are some of the out takes that sum up Loulie's sentiments on having to sit still. Also included is some evidence of the abuse of Bridget--Loulie has a lot of love to share and whether fortunate or not, much of it is directed at Bridget.

Just plain mad
"Oh Bridget, I love you so much I'm going to squeeze you to death"

For 1980/81 babies...

I found this list online a few weeks ago. I thought it was a little funny, somewhat thought provoking and a little stupid. Some I have never done, some I am definitely still doing and some I have already left in my mid twenties. For those of you born in 1980/1981 here is a checklist for you!

  1. 1. Buying clothes from the junior section. Hate to admit it--still hit that section sometimes. It's more economical
  2. Forgetting her parents’ birthdays. Would not ever forget--October 19th and February 16th
  3. Making out with her BFFs at bars for attention. Umm--no thanks, not ever.
  4. Making out with her boyfriend at bars for attention. Again, no thanks.
  5. Filling her bed with stuffed animals (really, even one is too many). Between Bert, Bridget and sometimes Loulie, my bed is already a little full but Holley Dog is upstairs in my closet.
  6. Carrying a torch for anyone she hasn’t seen in the last five years. Can't even validate this with an answer
  7. Rebelling against her parents for the sake of rebelling against her parents. Never did this--love them, they're the best!!!
  8. Declaring an entire gender “all jerks.” Again, never.
  9. Holding a grudge against anyone who wronged her in high school. No, I think the fact that they are probably in jail is resolution enough for me.
  10. Skipping regular gyno exams. No comment
  11. Going to bed without washing and moisturizing her face. Are you kidding?--My skin is the one thing I am paranoid about now. I actually just splurged on my first old lady product--a DDX Revolver.
  12. Being “that person” who had a bit too much to drink at the office party. Did this once at 23, never again.
  13. Crushing on Justin Bieber. More like Taylor Lautner and turning 30 or 40 0r 60 will not change mine and Taylor's relationship ;)
  14. Thinking she’s got it all figured out. I daily wake up trying to remember my own name. I would never make this claim.
  15. Calling her father “daddy.” What would you have me call him, Big Tom?
  16. Engaging in sibling rivalry. Peaks and valleys on this one.
  17. Trying to get by on her looks. Don't think I would have gotten very far even in my early 20s
  18. Living paycheck to paycheck. This is not an age issue--it's a 2010 issue.
  19. Expecting a man/knight in shining armor to swoop in and save her.
  20. Aimlessly jumping from job to job.
  21. Using MySpace to pick up guys. Strange and dangerous
  22. Expecting a man to do all the wooing.
  23. Wishing she had someone else’s life. Is it so wrong to envy Kate Middleton?
  24. Expecting everyone to drop everything because it’s her birthday ...
  25. ... or because her “boyfriend” of two weeks dumped her.
  26. Measuring her self-worth by a number on the scale.
  27. Being cheap. Or you could call it thrifty
  28. Quitting a job without having a new one lined up first (especially in this economy!).
  29. Blaming her mother for all her issues. I blame Obama.
  30. Romanticizing her 20s. Hmmmmm