Mar 31, 2011

Happy Anniversary (sorta)

11 years ago today I went to a concert with Dannielle Mclane, Matt Rampey and Ashley Davis. It was at this concert that I set my eyes on my now handsome husband, Hardy, my prince charming, my soulmate, the love of my life...

Happy Anniversary Hardy :). I love you!!

And an interesting thing happened today - he got a bonus from work. Do y'all know what that means??!? Disney World HERE WE COME!!!

Mar 28, 2011

Rain Rain Rain

This weekend was pretty drab.  Hardy I went out to eat Friday to Olive Garden (yum), then headed over to Movie Stop to trade in a few movie's and pre-order True Blood Season 3.  Saturday we finally got out of bed at a staggering 10:30am.  We usually never sleep in that late but we did, I think it was because of the rain.  We got up, ate lunch and then spent the rest of the afternoon/early evening entertaining some unexpected guests.  What we thought was going to be a cuddle day, watching movies while it rained we ended up having company. Not that I'm complaining, it wasn't a huge inconvenience but sometimes...I just want a weekend to myself. 
I ended up getting a migraine before we headed to bed Saturday.  I was laying in bed at like 10:40 and started hearing this loud popping noise on our roof...Hardy was in the shower at the time so of course I couldn't pull the usual wife line "What was that?  Did you hear it?".  I ran downstairs and opened the front door, we were getting pummeled with hail, the biggest hail I'd ever seen in person.  I was so worried about my car because for once in a long time, I had parked in the driveway this weekend.  Hardy tried to investigate but it was hard to see it because it was still raining really heavily and was dark.  I picked up a few pieces of hail from our flower bed - - they were about the size of cherry/grape tomato's and were actually pretty heavy.

Unfortunately, my migraine spent the night with me and was still with me in the morning.  We checked on my car, found about 4 dents on the roof but nothing worth reporting to my insurance.  I sucked it up and we went to church, took one of my pills and crossed my fingers it wouldn't come back.  We did some grocery shopping at Publix, got lunch at Shane's (which by the way - - @ Flowery Branch they offer 10% off if you show your church bulletin) and went home.  We watched a few episodes of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, yes....we have the entire series on DVD, I napped and then we had dinner and went to bed.
Now is the beginning of another work week.  Spring has certainly sprung because the phone's here are crazy - by the way Rachael - - we got your payment :)
I'll be working 4 Saturday's between now and Memorial Day weekend to try and make up my vacation time that I had to use in January thanks to the big snow of 2011.  Ah well, at least I get to make the time up.

Mar 24, 2011

Tic Toc...Tic Toc

That's the sound of my clock ticking.  What clock you ask?  The biological one.  For the longest time I never understood what people mean't when they said their clock was ticking, but now I do.  I'm about to be 26 and my alarm is going off.  Is this something we're naturally given?  I feel like my loins are actually speaking to me, it's so strange.  No I don't have butterflies in my stomach, I have them in my ovaries and uterus.  At first I just thought I was "in the mood" but this is's not passing.  I went to bed feeling like this and I woke up feeling like this....I'm at work, feeling like this.
Sure, I've had baby fever a few times but it was only when I was near new babies.  However, it quickly passed as soon as I was no longer in the presence of the baby.  Now..out of nowhere, in the middle of the day - BLAM.  It's like I'm overwhelmed with a feeling of wanting to conceive.  I don't know what to think of it, of course I want a baby, not necessarily right this second but do you ever really know? 
Although, I have only been married (almost) 1 year, Hardy and I have been together for 11yrs, so it's not like we don't know one another by now.  I definitely want to be with him for the rest of my life and I would love for him to be a father.  BUT BUT BUT, he says he's not ready for a kid and the thought of having one is a big turn off.  I'm not exactly sure what's given him such a bad taste in his mouth, I know they're a handful and it changes your life forever, but how could creating a new life be such a turn off?  I don't want to pressure him, yet I feel like if we never try - I am being robbed of my opportunity to be a mother.  It's amazing...this great gift that we as woman were granted.  So...I am stuck between a rock and a hard place.  My body is saying reproduce and my husband is saying not anytime soon.  I understand I'm still young but I don't want to be a 40yr old mother to a 5yr old - - you catch my drift here?
So a big THANKS to all you ladies out there who are pregnant, trying to get pregnant or just popped a baby out....I think reading all these blogs has gotten my clock in a tizzy and I cannot locate the snooze button

Mar 18, 2011

Spasmodic torticollis ~aka~ cervical dystonia

What is it?
Spasmodic torticollis is a chronic neurological movement disorder causing the neck to involuntarily turn to the left, right, upwards and/or downwards.  Causes of the disorder are mostly idiopathic (spontaneous), although a small number of patients develop the disorder as a result of another disease.  Most patients first experience symptoms mid-life.  The most common treatment for spasmodic torticollis is the use of botox injections.
Why am I blogging about this?
My Dad was diagnosed with cervical dystonia almost 2yrs ago (at the young age of 51).  He had been a healthy man all of his life up until then.  He started noticing at work his head would involuntarily move to the left.  No matter how hard he tried to look straight forward, it would still pull to the left.  After co-workers started noticing and commenting on it (making fun of him), he went to the doctor.  It took a while but the doctor finally diagnosed him. 
Initially they tried a muscle relaxer and some neck exercises to try and loosen up the nerves in his neck to no avail.  Sleeping was uncomfortable and driving even became impossible.  Obviously the doctor couldn't approve work duty with this condition since there seemed to be no safe way my Dad could get to work.  The doctor eventually suggested they start doing Botox injections in his neck to see if it helped.  My Dad has continued with the injections every 12-14 weeks.  He generally gets 6-8 injections in his neck per visit.  There's definitely a big difference between when he has had a recent injection and when he hasn't. 
After being on short-term disability from work for so long, they finally laid him off :(  after 20yrs of service.  After this, his long-term disability kicked in and was going great until September 2010 - an Aetna team had contacted my Dad's doctor to do a patient review...apparently the doctor wasn't exactly stern when describing my Dad's condition and after the conversation ended, Aetna decided my Dad COULD work.  Of course my Dad was livid, how can the doctor tell him he can't go back to work but not keep the same story when the insurance company calls to investigate things?!?!  Since September 2010, my Dad has been without any income what-so-ever, he's been going back and forth with Aetna and his doctor's office to try and get some resolution.  Ever since then, he's been down to just the change in his pocket, avoiding creditors and trying to explain to Bank of America that he wasn't purposely delinquent on his mortgage and trying NOT to go insane. 
Finally after 6.5mos of arguing Aetna called him yesterday to let him know they've reinstated his service and will immediately be sending him a retroactive check to pay for the months of disability he has missed.  This deserves a CELEBRATION!!!  I am sooooo happy for him, he was only 30 days shy from losing his house and then this GREAT news is given to him.  Praise the LORD!!!!!
This is just a reminder that you never know what can happen at any time in your life and to be thankful for what you have.  We may not always know what our future holds and should take life one step at a time, but always.....keep the faith.

Mar 16, 2011

Show Us Your Life: Family

My name is Amanda Layne. 

I am an only girl, middle child, born a Lockaby. 
I have two brother's, Michael & Trevor.
Although we each have a different father, I have never considered us half siblings at any time in my life.
(We all lived with my mom full-time, that might be why).

Dad, Mom and I

My Mom and I
May 2010

Darla, 4th born to a family of six.  Grew up in Douglas County, GA.  In 1980 she married Mike (My oldest brother's father) until he passed away.  In 1984 she married my father, Jimmy and they divorced in 1989.  In 1993 she married Derek (My younger brother's father) and they divorced in 1999.  In 2009 she married Phillip (whom I believe to be her soul mate).  Today she resides in Birmingham, AL with her husband Phillip and my younger brother Trevor.  To me, my mom is an honorable woman, independent, kind, loving, funny, witty, sarcastic and sometimes mean as a rattlesnake but still my hero.

My Dad and I

Jimmy, 2nd born to a family of three.  Grew up in Maulden, SC.  He married my mother in 1984, adopted my older brother Michael and then I came along in April 1985.  He worked for Atlanta Journal Constitution for 20yrs until he was let-go due to developing spasmodic torticollis (cervical dystonia).  This causes his neck to involuntarily turn to the left.  The only known treatment for this is botox injections every 12-14 weeks.  To me, my dad is a loving, funny ole' guy...I gladly attribute most of my goofiness from him :)

Trevor, Michael and I

Michael, 1st born of us.  Grew up in Lawrenceville, GA.  When he was only 8.5mos old, his biological father took his own life.  Michael was later adopted by my father, Jimmy in 1984 when he married our mother.  We fought like cats and dogs when we were younger...always tattling on each other.  He would burn holes in my blankey and I would throw the TV remote at him....oh sibling rivalry :)    He has an adorable 5yr old little girl Avery from a previous relationship (I love my niece).  Currently he lives in Buford with his wife Kristin and their 5 kitteh's - Wicket, Gambit, Boo, Denny and Mary.  To me, my brother is a smart, genuine guy.  I am so glad even though we went round and round as kids, we are close now and I wouldn't change it for the world.

Trevor, Michael and I
May 2010

Trevor, Third born of us.  Grew up in Lawrenceville, GA - Bloomingdale, GA - Mt. Pleasant, SC - Columbia, SC - Birmingham, AL.  Is in 9th grade at the Jefferson County International Baccalaureate School (that's a school for really smart people).  He is extremely SMART although I debate how much common sense he has (hehehe).  Trevor was my little buddy when he was born, in fact...I even used his hospital photo as my "prop" for our photo's in 5th grade.  I loved playing with him and helping my mom anytime she needed it...she likes to blame his adolescent attitude on my graduating high school and leaving the nest - - ha ha ha.  To me, my brother is almost a genius, sweet, goofy and loving.

Tinker Bell.  She is a beautiful Calico (aren't moms allowed to brag about their own??) almost 7yrs old and a nice petite 18lbs.  She has personality, attitude and flare.  She makes me laugh, sometimes makes me mad (when she doesn't listen)...but I guess that's expected from a kid.  She is the QUEEN of our house even though Hardy and I both clearly wear pants and she doesn't.  She usually is the first to greet people when they come in the door, but don't pet her for too long because she does BITE! (then she'll turn around and lick you)

Flower.  He is a handsome Tuxedo black/white almost 6yrs old.  He has the sweetest meow (some might say it's feminine) and even though I hate to say it - Daddy's Boy.  I try to get him to love me as much as he loves his Daddy but it just doesn't happen.  He is the first in our faces in the morning when it's time to eat, and he'll gladly let us know if it's past our bedtime.  He is very loving, sweet and playful.  Generally he's the last to greet people, he's skittish at first meetings but eventually warms up and will at least sit in the same room with strangers.

Hardy is 28yrs old.  And he is my everything (first kiss, boyfriend, relationship, husband..ha and hopefully my ONLY).  We met at a concert in 2000 and have been together ever since - - who says fairytale's don't come true??  Although we've had our share of UPS and downs we have stuck through it all.  FINALLY on May 8, 2010 we were married, I guess it was only appropriate after a DECADE of being together that we would get married....I'm hoping this isn't a pattern for our future though.  He is a hard-working man that delivers boxes/files/documents/x-rays..etc to and from business throughout North Georgia.


Hardy's Junior Prom May 2000

Well I'm pretty sure I've spilled whatever FAQ's there are to know about me, after all...this is MY blog.  But, I am almost 26, married and a happy mom to two cats.  I live in Flowery Branch, GA.  I have been working at a local lawn care company in Gainesville for 7yrs (this Friday is my anniversary).  I make collection calls, answer accounting questions and help with customer service.

So that's my family....and here are some pictures

Michael and I - - wasn't I a cute baby?! Gotta love that olive skin!

My Mom, Dad, Michael and I

Mar 9, 2011

Wordy Wednesday

- - My mom and Step dad have rented a cabin for Memorial Day weekend at Dismals Canyon in Alabama.  It's a national natural landmark in Franklin County Alabama that consists of a sandstone gorge, six natural bridges (whatever that means) and two waterfalls.  It's also home to these insects called dismalites that emit a bright blue light to attract food and mates,  you can see the glowing insects at night along the canyon wall.  I am looking forward to it, any time away is a fun time but especially when you visit something naturally pretty.
- - Hardy and I are still trying to figure out a way to go Disney World this year.  Since 2005 we've only missed going once (2007)...I know some of you have never been before but trust me, if you love having fun - - DISNEY is the place to let your inner child go free.  They have a lot of great deals going on right now....FREE DINING PLAN, KIDS STAY & PLAY FREE...etc.  It's just a matter of picking the deal we want  (obviously the one with kids we can't use) and then selecting the time to go.  I have never done the dining plan, but I hear it's totally worth it and maybe we'll give it a try this year.
***Speaking of Disney, I've decided I want to be cremated, then I want my ashes spread inside The Haunted Mansion and Pirates of the Caribbean rides.  Both are dark, one is dusty by default and the other is a boat on water - how hard could it be?  Now that's assuming Disney will still be open when I die (hopefully a long time from now).  Is that a silly request?  
- - I upgraded my phone last month, I broke down and joined AT&T and got the iPhone 3GS for $49.99.  So far I have no complaints, I am used to it's functions because I played with Hardy's iTouch all the time.  So far, I haven't had any interruptions in service, no dropped calls.  I know everyone has their opinions about each and every carrier but so far, this has been perfect for me - although they are a little more expensive when you start adding the data, messaging and all onto your plan.  In May when Hardy's T-Mobile contract ends, we will get on a family plan, we have some church friends (Jason and Lisa) who gave him an iPhone 3G so we won't have to pay for another phone (yay).
- - Trivia Thursday's.  Lisa & Jason also introduced us to trivia.  We have been going every Thursday night to Rick Tanner's in Buford (at Hamilton Mill / Atlanta Hwy).  They have trivia at 7:30, it's FREE to play and the top three teams win credits toward food.  We haven't won yet but it's still fun to play.  ***If any of you ever want to come out, please do!! If Buford is too far, you can check out and find a location closer to you!! I would like to add, however, that Rick Tanner's has some awesome chicken tenders ;)
- - Last week work sent a beautiful green plant arrangement to the funeral home.  I grabbed it and brought it home, then Sunday Hardy helped me re-pot them all.  I ended up with 4 new plants at home...of which all are poisonous to cats (go figure) but I have them all sitting on furniture off the floor so hopefully they won't eat them.

Mar 7, 2011

ABC's of Me

A – Age: 25....only 1 month away from turning 26!
B – Bed size: Queen, and let me tell you - we fight over space, ALL THE TIME.  Especially when two cats hog part of the bed.

C – Chore you hate: Cleaning a dirty toilet and folding laundry.
D – Dog’s name: I don't have a dog, but our cats are Tinker Bell and Flower.
E – Essential start your day item: A shower
F – Favorite color: Pink and Blue, it's hard to pick one.
G – Gold or Silver: White Gold - take that.
H – Height: 5'3", I am definitely vertically challenged.
I – Instruments you play: I played the keyboard for a while when I loved Hanson.  But importantly, I USED to know how to play electric guitar, I even took lessons at Mars Music when it was still open but my instructor moved to California and I gave up :(
J – Job title: Accounts Receivable/Collections
K – Kid(s): I would like at least 1.
L – Living arrangements: Hardy and I purchased a beautiful town home in July 2009.
M – Mom’s name: Darla
N – Nicknames: Mandi, Mandabear, Mandi-lou.
O – Overnight hospital stay other than birth: I think once when I had pneumonia but I don't remember how old I was.
P – Pet Peeve: Bad drivers, liars. 
Q – Quote from a movie: "Why is the rum gone?" - Captain Jack Sparrow - Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl
R – Right or left handed: Right

S – Siblings: Michael, 30 and Trevor, 15. 

T – Time you wake up: 6:40.
U- Unique fact: I have double jointed thumbs!

V – Vegetable you dislike: Asparagus.
W – Ways/Reasons you run late: Blow drying my hair, hard time getting out of bed.
X – X-rays you’ve had: My knee, because I tripped  UP the stairs in 10th grade at school.  My mouth and my head.
Y – Yummy food you make: Buffalo chicken dip
Z – Zoo favorite: Tigers, Lions, Elephants, Cheetah's...the list could go on.

Mar 3, 2011

Trevor's poem

Trevor's poem
The world is bright with you in it
You make the flowers blossom
You make the birds sing
You make the clouds into bunnies
You even make the dew drops taste like sugar.
But, alas, death has you in his grip
and he will not let go.
The world will then have no singing birds,
blossoming flowers, sugar tasting dew drops, or clouds shaped like bunnies.
The world will become a dark and desolate place without you.
**This poem is dedicated to Betty Fulbright, who is my grandmother.  She is a kind and loving person and we will all miss her.

The Goodbye


[suh-ree-uhl, -reel] 
1. of, pertaining to, or characteristic of surrealism; surrealistic.
2. having the disorienting, hallucinatory quality of a dream; unreal.
Since Friday February 25th my life has been surreal, a dream....more like a nightmare I guess. 
::Warning...this part is sad::
I miss her, I miss her so much.  I keep trying to hear her laugh in my head, see her smile, blink, hug, talk....I just keep trying to picture her alive and "in action" if you will.  But I'm noticing those things are already fading from my mind.  Because the last three months when I've seen her, she's been ill and not exactly herself. 
I had the pleasure of seeing her on Friday 2/25/11 hugging her, telling her I love her and just talking to her about anything and every thing.  I made the decision when I left that day not to go back and see her again because I didn't know how many times I could say goodbye and I didn't want to see her slowly deteriorating.  Monday my mother got a call from some family that has been staying with my grandparents said as of that morning she was unresponsive and in a lot of pain.  The hospice nurse stopped by and explained we wouldn't have long, that she would probably pass within a few hours. 
My mom immediately left work (in Birmingham, AL) and I met her off I-20 two hours later.  We rode over to my grandparents house and sat, waiting for her to peacefully slip away. By the time we'd gotten there she was in a coma and only breathing because of the oxygen she was connected to.  She was fighting it so hard.  At 2:38pm she passed away with all of us in the room.  It was then that I realized she was not recovering from this, this was it...the leukemia had won.  A woman with so much dignity had withered down to someone thin, fragile and weak, so weak.  I couldn't believe this was our couldn't be. 
After the trauma had passed through the room, we one by one told her we loved her....I kissed her on the cheek.  I made a few phone calls/texts to spread the news of her passing.  Just when you thought you were at terms with her passing away, you would have to tell it to someone and the world began crashing again.  Before my mom and I left their house that day, I told her outside cat, Bart, that his mommy had passed on.  I watered all of her plants throughout the house and gave my granddaddy a tight hug.
Her funeral was Wednesday at 1pm.  She had an array of beautiful flowers from friends, family and loved ones.  My younger brother, Trevor, read a poem he'd written aloud during her service and two cousins followed with a eulogy and a song.  I am back at work today but I still feel like I've been coming in and out of a different world.  I feel like being at home and work is my normal life and the all the time I have spent with family these last few days I've been away, far away.
In Loving Memory
Betty W. Fulbright
May 26, 1934 - February 28, 2011
You Wonder Why I Went Away
You wonder why I went away
and did not say goodbye,
I could not bear to tell you
for it hurts to see you cry.
My ship came in
and beautiful to see,
for the captain was King Jesus
and he softly beckoned me.
I ran across the leeway
and fell down at His feet.
He gently took me in His arms,
my rest is now complete.