Tag Archives: joy

Nesting Like It’s My Job

Sammy's NurseryOn top of my duties as a writer I’ve taken on another job: nesting. I started way back in March when my baby was just the size of a plum and now on the eve of his arrival I can say that I think my to-do list is down to just a few items. (The main one being pack my bag for the hospital.) I hear that not everyone gets the urge to nest, but I definitely did. Back in the spring I started cleaning out closets, one-by-one, sorting, purging, organizing, scrubbing. And perhaps my favorite part, labeling.

Once the closets were done I hit every other space in my house. We even removed everything from our kitchen cabinets, scrubbed them, put down shelf paper and carefully put everything back. To which my sister says, “who does that?”

Then I started working on the nursery, researching, planning, assembling, styling, rearranging. I put my coupon skills to work to become an expert on diapers and wipes. (My threshold for diapers is 10-15 cents and for wipes it’s a penny.) I now have 791 diapers in various sizes and 1,336 wipes ready to go.

My nesting didn’t stop there. Starting in late July I began a freezer meal plan. Once or twice a week I doubled a recipe and put the extra in the freezer– labeled of course– with specific instructions on defrosting and heating. We installed our car seat bases and had them inspected by EMS workers. We interviewed pediatricians. I even have about 50 jars of baby food in my pantry, which were about a nickel each thanks to coupons. I’ve put anything that isn’t nailed down through the washing machine and even cleaned the inside of my dishwasher. Even that one has me wondering, “who does that?”

Sam's LettersIn terms of work, I’ve been adding extra to my plate for three months so that I could actually take a maternity leave. Since I’m self-employed my boss (yes, that’s me) isn’t required to give me one. But, thanks to my kind editors, perhaps the biggest weight off my shoulders is knowing that I can take time off and I will still get paid because the work has already been completed.

I partly blame Pinterest for my onset of pregnancy OCD and partly my excitement. I just want to be able to give little Sammy my complete devotion. I want to soak up every moment without worrying about running to CVS for toothpaste (I’ve got ten tubes in my stockpile) or to the grocery store for paper towels (there are 22 rolls in the basement.) I would never be so bold as to say I’ve got it all together. I know enough to know that there’s plenty I don’t know. And that’s OK too.

I’ve heard a million times that once my baby arrives I won’t even have time to shower. Maybe, just maybe, I’ll be an exception. Because of my enthusiastic prep work, perhaps I’ll be able to enjoy my new baby and an occasional shower. But I guess if I have to give up the shower I will survive.

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Filed under Family, Funny, Home, life

A Look Back at 32

Tim and I in LiberiaTomorrow is my birthday and I plan to celebrate with some shopping, relaxing and a milkshake. Tim’s birthday was last month and we spent it at the Powerscourt Ritz Carleton outside of Dublin enjoying a five star meal at Gordan Ramsey but for my birthday Tim’s taking me to Cook-Out Burgers. Don’t worry– I’m not mad. It was my idea after I saw a sign on the side of their building that says they offer 40 milkshakes. I’m already a little nervous about having to choose just one flavor!

Anyway, when my birthday comes around I always like to take some time to reflect on the past 365 days. (Here’s last year’s for instance.) Here are some of the highlights of 32:

  • I enjoyed seeing my byline in more magazines than ever before including about half a dozen times in REDBOOK.
  • I opened the Wall Street Journal on June 15, 2011 to see huge color photos of my friends and I along with a write-up about our Traveling Journal.
  • In early July I spent several days in Atlanta promoting authors at the International Christian Retail Show. I also got to visit CNN and see fellow Iowa State alum Jacqui Jeras.
  • On July 18 I found myself sitting on the set of The Today Show with my best friends talking about the Traveling Journal.
  • I spent the first two weeks of August in Liberia, Africa helping to drill wells in remote villages and share Christ with Muslims.
  • I spent the last two weeks of August enjoying time with visiting relatives from Northern Ireland. We had a fun trip to Atlanta where we bumped into Whitney Eve Port from The City.
  • My sister came to visit and we had an amazing time which included a trip to the Old Edward’s Spa– amazing!
  • I helped plan and organize the Reality Check event, benefiting Water of Life. We raised a couple of thousand dollars to help drill wells in Third World countries.
  • We spent Thanksgiving in Florida with Tim’s parents and got to see some of my friends.
  • For Christmas we headed to Seattle for an extended visit. Tim and I went skiing, shopping and site seeing.
  • In January we found out we were expecting!
  • Tim and I did several weekend getaways for a magazine including a resort in the Georgia mountains, The Grove Park Inn in Asheville, and the Opryland in Nashville. All of them were so fun and full of special memories. We also got a behind-the-scenes tour of Dave Ramsey’s headquarters which was a highlight.
  • In April we went to Northern Ireland for a 10 day trip that included amazing sites and some of the best food we’ve ever had. Plus we got to spend time with our family.
  • We found out that our baby is a boy and we named him Sam!

When I see it all written out like that it’s hard to believe that I will ever have a year quite as unique and memorable,

group with KL and Hoda

With Kathie Lee and Hoda on The Today Show

but then again, I am about to have my first child so that will be full of its own adventures and memories.

The older I get the more I realize that every year is special in its own way. There really doesn’t have to be a time designated as “the best years of your life” because each year has the potential to hold something remarkable. You just have to be willing to welcome new opportunities and often that means spending a lot of time outside your comfort zone. So here’s to 33– I’ll be toasting it with a milkshake!

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Filed under Family, Friends, Funny, Getaways, Holidays, life, Marriage, Uncategorized

Join in on My Favorite Christmas Tradition!

One Resident Opening Gifts Last Year

For the past five years my friends and I have been “adopting” the residents of Reedy Place. It’s an innovative apartment building that gives chronically homeless people a place to live. After living on the streets, and even in dumpsters as one resident told me, they now have a small apartment of their own. Many of the residents struggle with mental illness, physical disabilities and other issues. But they are beautiful people. And I love spending part of my holiday season with them. This year they recently opened Reedy Place II, a second apartment building next to the first one. That means we have more residents than ever to buy Christmas gifts for– 23 in all! So I thought I’d invite you to join in on this tradition. Feel free to email me at alison at alisonstorm dot com if you have any questions. We’ll be giving the residents their gifts on December 20 at 7pm!

1. Caleb Goodman: Shirt XL, Beige Pants 48×30, Socks size 13

2. James Paul: Jacket XL, Tennis shoes 10 1/2, Socks

3. Richard Dickerson: Red or Blue Baseball Cap, Socks and shoes size 12, Radio

4. Carl Lindsey: Tennis shoes size 9, Sweat suit size 34 pants and large top, Table Clock

5. Thomas Jones: Converter box for a TV, Tennis shoes size 10 1/2, Jacket 2XL

6. Boty Young (male): Crock pot, Tennis shoes size 12; Groceries

7. Anthony Holloway: Jacket size L, Jeans 34×32, Socks or Hat

8. Pamela Cooper: Color TV, DVD player, Gauchos size 20

9. Johnny Mattison: DVD Player, Watch, Timberlain Hiking Boots size 8 1/2

10. Elaine Jones: DVD Player, Converter Box for TV, Watch

11. Larry Huggins: Work Boot size 13; DVD Player, Levis Jeans 38×32

12. Richard Chluzinkski: Ozzy Osborne CD; Converter box for TV, DVD Player

13. Nathaniel Rosemond: Television, Converter Box for TV, DVD Player

14. Veronica Elmore: Underwear size 13, Socks, DVD Player

15. Glen Allen: Sweat Shirt size small, Jeans 29×29, Tennis shoes size 8 1/2

16. Allen Brown: Watch, DVD Player, Gold Chain

17. Illya Golden (male): Long Sleeve Shirt size 18, Beige Pants 46×30, Tennis Shoes size 10 1/2

18. Sherman Simpson: Watch, Jeans 32×32, Jacket size medium

19. William Issac: Fila Shoes size 12 in red, orange or yellow; CD Stereo, Smoothie Maker

20. Marcus Gambrell: DVD Player, Black Coat size large, Work boots size 9

21. Tommy West: Nike Tennis Shoes size 11, DVD Player, Classic Rock CDs

22. Cathy Lagroone: Light Blue Curtains 50″x84″, Spongebob items, Tablecloth

23. Michael Massey: Telephone for house, Dress Shoes 13D, Christmas Candies

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Filed under Charity, Friends, Holidays

Dogs are Funny

Dogs have such personality. Maybe that’s why I try to rescue them all the time. Our newest shelter dog is Milo, formerly known as Zippo, we like to think of him as The Situation from Jersey Shore in the form of a dog. He’s such a boy. He grumbles at noises, picks on his brother and occasionally eats poop. (YUCK!) I found him hanging out in the recycle bin a few days ago.

Milo in the Recycle Bin

And just like The Situation, Milo is incredibly protective of his family. He loves to sit on the back of my chair while I work (he’s only fallen off once) and every morning he sneaks into our bed for a little snuggle. Some times I catch him sleeping in really weird positions.

That Can NOT be Comfortable

My husband and I are consistently finding lost or stray dogs. A couple of weeks ago I was running down a busy street and two doggies decided to join me for my morning jog. One of them had a collar so I was able to walk him off the main road and his big companion followed. Thankfully the little guy had a tag for a nearby vet’s office so they were able to connect me with the boys’ frantic mother. While we waited for her to arrive I snapped this adorable shot of Gus sitting on Jet.

Gus Using Jet as a Sofa

It was obvious they were best buddies. I think Gus probably convinced Jet to go on a little adventure that morning, but they were both happy to see their mom and I was glad I played a little part in the reunion.

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Filed under Family, Funny, life, Observations

A Special Delivery Headed to New York City

I shipped off this very important package to New York City today. Inside are two of my most cherished belongings. Although I can’t divulge more details than that I promise to explain in the future. Letting this box go was scary, yet thrilling because what’s inside is so personal and treasured. So if you have a spare second, pray for my box’s safe arrival in the Big Apple.

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Married for Two Years, Two Months and Two Days

Why do we only celebrate anniversaries to the day? Why not celebrate being married two years, two months and two days? So that’s what I’m doing. In honor of our two-year-two-month-two-day-iversary here are 22 things I love about my husband (in no particular order):

1. His Irish accent, which by the way was voted the sexiest accent in the world.

2. How excited he gets about the silly things that make me excited like finding a good deal on toothpaste.

3. His love of travel and trying new things.

4. His six-pack. Hello!

5. His inspiring endurance that allows him to run a half marathon without training.

6. His neat-freak tendencies that mean our house is pretty much always clean.

7. The afternoon “I love u” texts.

8. That he gets annoyed by the same things and entertained by the same things as me.

9. His work ethic.

10. That he passed on his love of Nutella and Indian food to me.

11. His dislike of watching football on TV.

12.His daily commitment to reading God’s word and prayer.

13.His nightly foot rubs. (Please don’t hate me ladies!)

14.His sense of style both in fashion and home design.

15. That he hates 95% of chain restaurants just like I do.

16. His never-failing support of my dreams.

17.The fact that he has the same satisfied reaction to a meal I whipped up in the crock pot and a dinner at a five-star restaurant.

18. His sideburns.

19. His super thick eyeglasses.

20. How he always wakes up in a fabulous mood.

21. How appreciative he is of even the smallest gifts.

22. His overflowing love.

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Filed under Family, life, Marriage, Observations

Don’t You Just Love Weddings?

Don’t you just love weddings? I recently returned from a great one. One of my very best friends in the whole world got married last weekend. The wedding was in Okoboji, Iowa, about 90 minutes from where we grew up. Okoboji is to Iowans what the beach is to South Carolinians. It’s the summer destination for sun and sand.

Jet Skiing on Lake Okoboji

Jet Skiing on Lake Okoboji

We stayed three nights at an Inn on the lake. I went for jogs along the shore and ended my workouts stretching on the end of a dock. The weather was absolutely beautiful and got me anxious for fall. I was a bridesmaid and my husband was the best man. I got to spend lots of time with some of my favorite people. We laughed until our stomachs hurt and made lots of great memories.

The Bride and Her Bridesmaids

The Bride and Her Bridesmaids

The bride and her new hubby are now celebrating in Hawaii. I imagine them relaxing on a tropical beach, zip lining like they are starring in an episode of the Bachelorette and hiking up volcanoes. While I’m a little jealous I can’t be learning how to hula dance, I’m glad I was a part of her special weekend. Now all of my close friends (except for one!) is experiencing the joys of marriage. Congrats Tonya and Ryan!!

All the Married Friends Showing off Our Bling

All the Married Friends Showing off Our Bling

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Filed under Friends, Getaways, life, Marriage