'Tis the Season...

So here it is five days from Christmas and there is still so much to do....I was hoping that my shopping list was a little shorter but it's not.  Luckily I don't have to buy for my mom's side of the family until after the new year so that helps.

My list:


And I have to work everyday except Thursday!  I just hating getting out in the cold and fighting the crowds.  I don't like to go shopping at night (although I have almost every night) because after work I just want to be away from "PEOPLE" and I am tired.  I don't like to go shopping on my days off because there is so much to do at home and I like to get some extra sleep!!  I have found myself laying down with Wilkins when she takes a nap...LAZY, right?  Who knows, I might have some kind of health condition that makes me tired all the time?!   I just don't feel like there are enought minutes in the hours, hours in the day, and sure not enough days in the week!!

I know this is a pretty boring post but my brain is also tired so I don't have anything interesting to say!  Hopefully my next post will be a little more interesting with a lot more excitement!  Hope everyone has a

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!!! 


Sorry but this needs to be said...

Since when did God hand over his duties and make certain people judge and jury of who is or isn't worthy?

I am seriously over these people who are trying to bring my family down.  Back off!  You are judging and deciding a person's fate and you have no right nor authority.  You need to look in the mirror and realize that judging someone is no different than holding a gun up to their head and pulling the trigger. There is no difference as far as I am concerned and I promise you I wouldn't want to be standing in your shoes on judgement day!  I am not an overly religious person and I can't quote ANYTHING from the Bible but I can tell you that there is no human being on this earth that has the right to condemn someone's soul...if anything you should pray for that person instead of brow beat them.

We are a big family and you don't just get one of us, you get us all...and there are a lot more people out there that are true friends, care about us, and do not judge our actions but only pray for our mistakes than there are of "you people" that would rather knock our legs out from under us rather than give a shoulder to lean on...

To end this rant let me say this :

You that have declared yourself the judge and jury, the end all be all, do not be a hypocrite and smile at me in public.  Do not bother to approach me and pretend that we are friends or that you care for me or my family because I might not be as generous as I was the last time.  I probably won't reply back with "hi", a polite smile, and a few words.  More than likely if you catch me on a good day I will not acknowledge you but find me on a bad day and I might just call you out.  This I can promise you, though, I will not be a hypocrite.


Straight from the heart...

I am not normally a very emotionall person (at least not outwardly) but when it comes to my family I get emotional.  I am not talking just about my immediate family....I am talking all 39 of us (about to be 40 in March).  I am talking about the Middlebrooks clan...

It amazes me how far apart we all are but how close we really are.  We don't talk everyday (although I am sure one Middlebrooks talks to another every SINGLE day) but we still know that each of us will be there in a moment's notice if needed. 

I can promise you that we are not a perfect family (which some like to scream from the rooftops!), hello we know that we are human.  I can promise you that we all have pasts just like everyone else some more colorful than others.  The only thing that matters, I PROMISE, is that we are all good-hearted people and we are A FAMILY.  We are not overly a "lovey dovey" family...some of us choke on saying "I love you" (lol...seriously...I am one of them!).  We have a hard time showing our emotions face to face but buddy do we ever know how to text (except Aunt Sheila, even granny can...lol), email (I think Aunt Sheila is getting better at this), and snail mail cards (I love to send cards).  The thing is it isn't necessary in this crazy family because we know we love each other.  Cast one stone towards a Middlebrooks and let's just say you better run....

Some of us are a little more outspoken than others (me...which my mom hates) and some that just everything bottled up.  We all balance each other out pretty nicely...at least we think so. 

What I like to brag about the most is granny and grandaddy had 5 children who are still married to the same person.  All 5 children have children who are all married to the same person (except me of course...kind of the outspoken black sheep lol) and they all have children.  That is rare these days...no divorces, no step children, etc.  The one thing I miss is that we used to all live so close to one another (and the kids all worked for grandaddy which probably wouldn't work well now!!!  to many egos!!  ha! ha!), that we saw each other every day.  The thing I look forward to the most is our weekend getaway in Pigeon Forge once a year for Christmas.

PICTURE THIS:  39.5 Middlebrooks (of all ages: 9 are 5 years or under, 7 are under 20, and well the rest of us we won't mention age but 75 is the oldest) in a three story cabin with 16 bedrooms, 13 bathrooms, and a TON of food.  Let me just say not a lot of sleep happens but there are definitely some laughs and looking back on years past:

"the grandkids"

granny and grandaddy

aunt lora

grandkids: Brandon & Emma
great grandkids: Bryson, Will, & Emily

Daniel...who knows what he is doing?!

grandaddy in the 80s
grandaddy with an audience

dumb & dumber

Uncle Chris, Aunt Lora, Alex, & mom

Addy & Lucas
(the year WE ALL went to the
Dixie Stampede)

Uncle Chris & Aunt Lora

Scott & Tyree

Granny with the "only" two great
granddaughters (at the time)

Beth, Aunt Sheila, Aunt Sonya

the FAV grandkid (lol)

LeAnne & Beth

4 more since then...and one more on the way

Aunt Maronica & Uncle Kevin

Me, Alex, and Kyle

Daniel & Sonya



In response to this comment on my previous post:

Brandy, I'm so sorry you feel that way about seeing me. I love you and all of your family and have for many years. You know who I am.

By Anonymous on Thanksgiving Weekend.... on 11/28/10

By being anonymous could make you a lot of different people because as we all know Pigeon Forge is the happening place to go for all of us southerners so seeing a familiar face isn't unheard of. 

As far as loving my family...what that means to me and to you must mean different things.  When you love someone, especially for years, you support them.  If you disagree with one's actions or opinions you either confront that one person but you do not judge them. Whether this person is wrong or not it is not your place to decide nor your place to openly hurt them.  As far as I am concerned, who has time to fight battles that is of no concern to them...don't we have enough battles of our own to fight?!  Life is hard enough without our "lifelong" friends making it more difficult.  

I am not trying to start a battle with anyone...I am only supporting my family and friends because I love them and will not be the one who judges their actions.  Like my mom always tells me..."Think before you speak or act because your actions and words have consequences."

Not Anonymous....


Thanksgiving Weekend....

Wilkins xmas outfit mom made her...
she literally stopped traffic

...what a fun weekend?!  As soon as I got off work (a wonderfully steady, organized, and completely fun day...NOT) on Thursday mom, Wilkins, and I took off to Pigeon Forge to get busy shopping!

We left Murfreesboro at about 6pm in the pouring rain to make it to Pigeon Forge to hit the Disney Store by 11pm.  Wilkins slept the majority of the trip and then was a trooper while we shopped.  She was in her pjs and had a blast and believe it or not she was up until 4am with us.  We got tons of good deals even though it was a miserable experience because of the steady drizzle of rain.  IHOP was the happening place to go to but it was good and hit the spot then off to bed we went.  Slept until about 11am Friday, ate breakfast at Cracker Barrel, and then off we went shopping again.

This is the outfit that had everyone's head turning everywhere we went all day long. 

Wilkins posing with
Santa and Rudolph

It was kind of odd with just me, mom, and Wilkins running around without LeAnne and Haley but at the same time it was also fun.  We went to the Christmas Shoppe which Wilkins loved.  She was like a kid in a candy store.  It was so funny watching her running around looking at all the different stuff.

Wilkins was all about posing for pictures.  She kept saying "mum mum take a picture".  She has started calling me that for some reason and refers to herself in the third person now all the time.  Who knows?!  She is changing everyday...it is absolutely amazing to me.  Her eyes tell exactly what she is feeling which is something she definitely gets from me.  She counts to 12 and must have learned it from Nick Jr because none of us taught it to her.  She is almost to  smart for her own good. 
The closest Wilkins will get to Santa
and this one is fake and I still had
to make her!

 After doing some more shopping and running into someone I had rather not have, (someone who claimed to care about and use to call themself a friend of our family) we went to Aunt Sheila and Uncle Herbie's cabin to eat some leftovers with them along with Aunt Veta, Kyle, Amy, and Debra and let Wilkins play with Ellie (Emily) and Blake.  The kids had a blast and we adults just sat around talked and laughed.

Wilkins and Blake watching the
Wizard of Oz
Wilkins played with play dough for the first time (unless she has at Yaya's house) I think.  And now all she talks about is "play dough".   

Uncle Herbie, Ellie, Blake, and Wilkins
watching Wizard of Oz
Who knows what they are talking about?!
Kyle playing with the kids...
I think he was having more fun.
Then on Saturday we met up with the rest of the clan again to let the kids ride race cars and play some games.  Unfortunately we had to drag Wilkins and Blake away crying.

Wilkins and I riding her first race car




Uncle Herbie with Wilkins and Blake


Playing catch up....

 Friday, Saturday, and Sunday of Halloween weekend was super busy!!  Besides working all three of those days we also went to a Halloween party at the church on Friday night, the Pumpkin Patch on Saturday, and then a birthday party Sunday afternoon, trick or treating that night! It was super eventful to say the least. 

Wilkins had a lot of fun and got tons of candy which of course left her bouncing off the walls.

She wanted to be so many things for Halloween that I just got tired of hearing it all and picked something out myself.  She started with telling everyone she wanted to be a "halloween party"...gotta give her credit it is pretty original!  We laughed at her when she would tell people that because they would just look at me like "did she really just say that".  She then wanted to be Jessie, Mickey (yes Mickey not Minnie), Peter Pan, a princess, Tinker Bell, etc...so we went with Dorothy because it was super cute (pretty inexpensive).

Mom, dad, and I took her to the pumpkin patch by herself which wasn't as much fun as it wouldn't have been if the rest of the kids had of got to gone.  She had fun though and that's all that matters.  Here is the funny thing though...her little pumpkin has been sleeping in the bed with her!  Very uncomfortable I might add!

I know it is uncomfortable because she has been sleeping in my bed for the past couple of months.  When we moved we took down her baby bed and was looking for a "big girl bed".  I took forever finding what I wanted for her but I finally did and it was delivered today!  Yaya and I painted her room last night and of course Wilkins helped....yikes!  Today they delivered her bedroom suite and I got her comforter and all on both beds....she was super excited to have her own bed!  I will post pictures soon when I get everything put together but here is an idea:

Two black twin beds with polka dot comforters, turquoise walls, striped curtains, Minnie and Daisy picture....you got the theme yet?!  Mickey Mouse Clubhouse....it is turning out to be super cute.  Can't wait to take pictures and show you.


Fall Festival...

What fun!?  Bryson and Will's school had a fall festival and so we all decided to take the kids!  Let me just tell you....what a killin' a school makes when they do one of these things!  We paid $15 for an arm band that let each kid do everything EXCEPT paint a pumpkin, get their face painted, get a carmel apple, basically everything a kid really wants to do!!  This arm band let Wilkins pull a duck out of the duck pond in which she won a pencil and throw a ball to get it in a can (like ski ball) to win a piece of candy!  Are you serious?! Did it really cost this much money when we were younger?!  I definitely remember it being a lot more entertaining too...
I mean don't get me wrong the kids had a blast but I didn't remember it being this boring and such a waste of money!!!  I must be getting old!! 

Here is a picture of my little artist's pumpkin...I see real potential!!!


Playing catch up....

Working all these crazy hours I feel like I don't get to blog at all...there are so many things I am sure of interest that has happened over the last couple of days but my memory has gone by the waste side! 

I can say that I finally have two days off this week which one was yesterday.  I literally spent all day yesterday cleaning out Wilkins' closet...going through shoes and clothes to find out which ones this little growing weed could or couldn't wear.  It is pretty depressing to tell you the truth because I have spent so much money on clothes and shoes that she barely worn.  The funny thing is I put it on my facebook status that I was going through her clothes and people started wanting to know what I as going to do with it.  I took time away from cleaning to post pictures of clothes and shoes to sell.  If I do ok I might put more on there but we will wait and see.

Oh I just remembered a good thing that happened at work on Monday!  My dm came in (which right now he practically lives at our store), pulled me in the office, and asked me how long before I thought I would be ready to be a gm.  I told him my plan was to be ready by January.  He told me I needed to get everything done asap!!  Super excited!  My new regional vice president came in on Saturday and although, our shift didn't go so well but my rvp said I was the highlight of the entire day.  He said I was a great leader and was super impressed at how well I handled frustration.

But that's all I got for now!  Here are a couple of pictures of Wilkins of the last two weeks.  Try to keep you updated better in the future....
 I love this picture...

What fun?!

My little girl....

Priceless!  Look at those eyes!


No title needed....

I don't even think I need a title for this post because I have so many thoughts and so many happenings going on  in my life that one thing will not describe this post!!

First, what is so fun about sticking your hands in the toilet?!!  Apparently something because my wonderful daughter that I call Wilkins on a good day and brat on a bad day has now been in the toilet twice today!!  Not only has she put her hands in the toilet, an excess amount of toilet paper, but also Mr Potato Head!!  Oh yeah I said Mr Potato Head!!  Not only did she put this toy in the toilet but the piece you can take off on the back of him she filled him with wet toilet paper!!!  AGHHHHH!!  I am pulling my hair out right now!! 

Second, how in the world did I ever think that being a full time mommy, full time student, wash clothes, clean house, sleep, breath, eat, and work 6 days week 12 to 14 hours a day would possibly work!!  I find myself completely stressed out on Thursdays (my only day off, my day of school so not really a day off) because it is the only day I have to do my homework, to wash clothes, to spend the day with Wilkins (or clean up her mess after playing in the toilet), etc...  And no wonder it has been a while since I have posted anything on this blog or should I say anything interesting enough to read...I don't have ENOUGH time!!

Third, I am finding myself getting worn out with school too!  I know that I want to go to school and finish it but I just find myself every Thursday battling whether to go or not to go!  I know in the end it will be so worth it but there is just so many things going on right now....Hello the holidays are right around the corner.  How in the world can I even go shopping for Christmas when I can barely hold my eyes open when I am not at work.  I know what a crazy question...how can I possibly spend money?  Most of the time I would say that would be easy but not right now...I don't think I could.

Anyway, it looks like I am going to be on 6 day work weeks until after Christmas which really makes me SAD!  The only good news is I get a vacation at the end of October if nothing changes (please, please pray that nothing changes!!)...I think that I will cry if it does!!  Some good news is I feel like my family is closer than ever...all the negative people in the world will eventually fall by the waste side and only brings us all closer together!  So in closing of this blog there are five things that keep me going....1. Wilkins (of course...everything I do is for her and her future), 2. vacation in October (even though I will be spending that week recovering, catching up on cleaning and washing clothes, and doing some stuff to move myself closer to becoming a gm), 3. Halloween  (because this is the first year Wilkins is really looking forward to it)  4.  Christmas (because I love, love it especially now that I have a child) and 5.  the Middlebrooks' Christmas in Pigeon Forge (it is so much fun to spend 3 days in a big ol' house with a bunch of Middlebrooks'!!!  'Til next time....(maybe it won't be so long)


The Cardin Family Reunion Weekend...

The Cardin Family Reunion...need I say more?!
We had lots and lots of fun...tons of laughs and lots of strolls down memory lane!  We love spending the weeked every year in cabins doing absolutely nothing except for eating and talking...two things us Cardins do well!  This is the one time a year when all of our kids get to play and run wild...no naps, no bedtime, no certain meal time...just acting like the little devils they can be!!  I would load more pictures but it takes to stinkin' long and unfortunately I have a lot of things to do and not a whole lot of time. 

I loaded this picture because Aunt Veta, Aunt Thelma, and Aunt Betty are the only three remaining children of Harvey (my great grandaddy) and Myrtle (my great grandmother).  These are the three that keep this tradition going.  What a wonderful weekend it turned out to be...unfortunately, it ended on a not so good note.  Tiffany (daughter of Donnie and Anita Cardin) is in really bad shape.  She is needing a kidney transplant really bad...we are not sure how she is still surviving, to be perfectly honest.  Please if you read this pray for her so that maybe next year she will be able to enjoy the reunion and watch her little boy run wild with all of our kids...


On a break....

...at school! 

The last two weeks has been pretty busy!!  I have worked from 5am until about 5 or 6pm.  I am also in school for four hours every Thursday night.  Plus I went to visit one of my favorite cousins, Kyle and Amy on Monday night after work.  I got home at midnight and very minimal sleep for work on Tuesday.  It was super fun, though, just goofing off with them, my sisters, my mom, Aunt Sheila, Uncle Herbie, and Debra.  On top of that I am still a mother...so needless to say I am so super tired.  I am sitting in a pretty boring class going over the basics to Microsoft Word.  Luckily, I only have to go into work for about 2 hours tomorrow and then I am done for the weekend!  Yeaaaa!!!

On another note, my little girl is getting way to big for her britches!!  She has got a very BIG attitude for those very small britches and she is about to wear me out. 

But the fun starts tomorrow....the Cardin reunion!!  If you are brave feel free to join us at Rock Island Park.  We will be up late laughing and telling stories and of course EATING!!  I will definitely be putting some interesting pictures up on Monday or sometime next week....

Gotta go now because our break is over so I need to start paying attention...by the way I got an A on my first class!!  GO ME!!


Monday...need I say more?!

First let me follow up on my last post concerning Kyle...I have talked to him everyday the last couple of days and Amy too.  Last night I heard the Kyle I know on the phone...thank goodness.  He still has a really long road ahead of him because of all the close minded and unmerciful people he will come in contact with for the rest of his life.  The good news is he has way more people in his corner than all those unmerciful people.  That is what I am most grateful for.  I don't go to church but I definitely have a lot of love and respect for all of those people who are supporting him.  Kyle is such a good person, has a big heart, and just genuinely a good person so how anyone can be unkind to him just blows my mind.  Anyway, continue to pray for him and our family....

On another note, I am about 3 hours away from home in Alcoa, TN doing some training from work.  Today was a pretty good day...other than having to sit in a class room setting the entire day of course.  I had a lot of eye openers and I got some really good feedback from my DM which made me really happy because ultimately he is the one who will have the say in whether I become a gm or not.  I feel really good about my training so far and the next two days should be more enlightening.

The hard part of this is being away from Wilkins.  I have talked to her a couple of times (as much as a 2 yr old will talk on the phone)!  Each time she has said "hi mommy" and jabbered for a minute and then she literally kisses the phone.  Today when I talked to her on my break she was whiny and sleepy and it broke my heart...I literally teared up.  It is really hard and I have only been away from her for one full day now!!  This is the time I am normally spending with her so it makes it even more difficult.  But I still have 2 more days and tomorrow is suppose to be a long day so maybe I will be so busy I won't think about it.  Then Wednesday (MY 31st BDAY) will be another long day but at least I get to spend it sitting in a class with my dm, gm, and a bunch of other managers....YEAH RIGHT!  I can think of other things I would like to be doing but it could be worse I guess...like I could not have a job at all....

Until next time...


Some people...

....love to bring other people down.  I don't understand it!  Why is that some people enjoying not only bringing someone down but also kicking them while they are down?! 

When someone is trying to hurt someone in my family it really irritates me.  Especially when you are messing with someone who is like a brother to me.  Kyle and I have been extremely close since we were kids and now that he is having to deal with this ridiculous stuff it really hurts me.  I don't know too many people who doesn't love Kyle and if you don't then there is something wrong with you.

So anyone who knows Kyle please keep him in your thoughts and prayers.  Pray that he has the strength to carry this burden and face the nay sayers that exist.  Pray for our family to have the strength to support him.  We are a close a family and we will always stick together so if you want to mess with one you better be ready to deal with all.  And let me say thank you to the tons and tons of people who are supporting him in this very trying time.  We love you all!!


Childbirth is a piece of cake...

...compared to going to the dentist!!  Those of you who disagree then you are NUTS!!  I went to the dentist this morning and left feeling like I had been hit by a freight train!  I had TWO ROOT CANALS along with a TOOTH EXTRACTION which is just a fancy way of saying "yanking the tooth out however it will come".  No kidding that is what it felt like.

I was literally curled up in a ball while it took my dentist at least 45 minutes to get all of my tooth out.  She had to cut it into two pieces and I would not be surprised if she wasn't standing on the side of the chair pulling as hard as she could to get it out!!  I don't know because I didn't open my eyes...I was afraid I would see her face and it would be straining!!!  Anyway, after sawing it into two pieces, cutting into my bone to get all the roots, a few stitches later, about 20 shots to try to numb it, she finally got it out. 

This was also a glorious day because I have officially finished my first class at school!  Five weeks later and I have completed an entire class...it is kind of rewarding.  I didn't get to give my five minute presentation because of my swollen jaw and I didn't do as much class participation as I normally do but oh well.  Some were proably glad that I wasn't talking...LOL!  I doubt it though because I think that I am pretty interesting!!!  :)

This was my only day off and I spent it at the dentist and at school so I didn't get a whole lot more accomplished.  I have so much to do in the next 3 days and I work every one of them.  I am leaving to go to Alcoa on Sunday at 2pm for some training and I am really worried.  I have never been away from Wilkins for more than a night or so.  I am going to be there until Wednesday evening so anybody who thinks about me please pray.  I would say pray for Wilkins too but they always say parents miss their kids more than the kids miss their parents...


So I thought today was going to be a pretty good day at work and for the most part it was...

It started off well.  There is one imparticular co worker that I really don't get along with but I am really trying to.  I had a talk with her last week to see what we could do to fix our "work" relationship.  I apologized for anything I have said or done that might have offended her and I really feel like I am putting a lot of effort into trying to build a better relationship.  The only problem is she didn't take any ownership in the tension between us so she is not working at our relationship.  This makes it really hard for me...
For those of you who know me, I am really bad at keeping my mouth shut especially when I don't agree with it.  Well, I have been biting my tongue a lot the past couple of days.  I am hoping that this will get easier over time and something will evolve from it.
On another note...I have an employee that is so hard headed and stubborn I don't know if I will ever get through to her.  Let's just say my day at work ended with me being highly frustrated and questioning certain things/relationships that I have there.  This is something that I am going to have to figure out over time but I have a massive headache from it right now....


Just a quick post...

Just wanted to post some pictures of Wilkins in this outfit my mom made...
I picked out this pattern and she obviously had to put her own touches to it even though it wasn't exactly the way I wanted it!  Oh well it turned out pretty cute...don't ya think?!