Thursday, December 31, 2015


Dear 2015,

Looking back you were a year of decisions and blessings all the while revolving around family.

You started off with so much snow. Snow. Snow. Snow.

I wasn't sure why so much snow. And then one day it became clear. I always knew what my priorities were. I knew what was most important. Yet, for some stupid reason it took all that snow for me to do something about it.

It was that melting snow that busted the damn and words spewed from my mouth I may have never had the courage to say. Yes, the words came with anger. But the words were true. I stood up for myself along with 20 of my co-workers / friends. I turned in my resignation and when begged to stay I didn't back down.

I held my head high, I worked a notice... a longer notice than most would have. I know they hoped I would change my mind. But I didn't.

And thank goodness I didn't. As of April I was officially a stay at home mom. I was and am still thankful for my wonderful husband. He continues to work to make my dreams come true.

In March Maddie turned 3. Wow how the time has flown, dear friend. I am so thankful to you for each day.

You are also the year that has taught me that no matter the age Divorce is never pretty. Who would have thought my remarried Granddaddy would be getting a divorce in his 80s. But when money and health are involved no one seems to think soundly. I love them both and refuse to be in the middle. I only hope 2016 will continue to assist me in this as you have dear 2015.

2015, looking back I had my doubts on more than one occasion. But you were also a year of faith. Faith that each decision we made would be the right one.

And oh so many decisions that were made! Becoming a one income family being the first of the road of decisions...

The decision to buy a camper, the decision to run an Etsy Store, the decision to forgive a family member, the decision to add more animals to our small farm, the decision to take a leap and purchase property with family, the decision to sell the family business.

Yes, 2015 you were a year of decisions, changes and most importantly faith.

The camper.... oh when Marine suggested a pop up camper I had my doubts. But oh the fun we had in it this year! The memories made will never be forgotten.

I, independent and, like having my own money. I have had the Etsy store since 2014 but with quitting my job it was like it was confirmation I had done the right thing. In April my sales tripled to my amazement. It gave me the courage to do what I love. Design. Plus it works perfect with the stay at home mom of a demanding 3 year old schedule. Thank you again 2015 for allowing me to follow my dreams!

Possible the biggest decision of 2015 came as a family meeting. We were going to sell the restaurant that Marine and his Step Dad opened in 2011. With Brother In Law getting out of the Army and joining as a partner it was to much family stress. And we always said that family would come first. It was such a hard, bittersweet decision that required much prayer and faith. It was not my place to select the buyer. But from day 1 in my gut I knew from the prospective buyers who I wanted to run the restaurant. And thankfully it worked out. I hope they will love and cherish it as much as we have! I also hope that it will continue to be successful and will continue to be a staple in our community!

2015 I owe you so many thank yous. You were also the year that Marine admitted he has PTSD and made the decision to seek help. I have known Marine has PTSD. Heck the award he received that I have hanging on the wall clearly supports what I have known. Yet he has always been strong saying others saw more action than he did. He is fine. After awhile I let it go and learned ways to deal and cope with it and to notice the signs and trigger points. It has been 5 long years and I would never have guessed that a movie would have had such an impact on our lives. Yet it did. American Sniper. Several scenes hit close to home. The birthday party scene with the dog, the driving down the road while always scanning for IEDS. And the words that she said that I, like probably many other military wives, have said "You're here but your not here."

After getting home from that movie we stayed up for hours. Marine talked about Afghanistan more than he ever has. He talked of the day he saved a fellow Marine's life. Of another day lying in a ditch hearing bullets whizzing overhead as he and two others rock-paper-scissored over the order they were going to get out of the ditch to run back to the safety of the building behind them. He laughed at some of the funny memories and shed a few tears at some of the harder ones. And for the first time he apologized and said I was right he had PTSD and had been to proud to see it.

He made the first effort to get help. We have always known we have one of the worst VA's in the country but this year also proved it. But with determination and my continued support Marine was finally able to get the help he needed and our marriage is better than it has ever been. He is getting back to the care free Marine I feel in love with all those years ago.

I thank you so much for that 2015.

You have brought so much joy 2015! Each day with Maddie has been an adventure! I wish that time would slow down. Each day she is a little smarter, a little taller, a little more independent, and little less my little baby and a little more my little girl. In August when she started "school" (aka mothers morning out) she was such the big girl. Never shedding a tear.

Then yesterday we closed on our small piece of heaven. Mountain property with a view and a creek. It was a joint purchase with family with the intention of it being a family getaway and for the guys a hunting land.. Being located in the neighboring county it is close enough we can for the day or for a couple of hours. We are so excited for what 2016 holds and this new adventure.

What a year around the sun it has been 2015!

Tonight we will ring in the new year with a new family being forged as we attend the wedding of Red. What better way to end the year of family and love.

Cheers to you 2015! Thank you for the memories!

Love Always!

Past Letters: 201220102009 and 2008

Friday, March 21, 2014

Tweet Tweet Turning Two is Such a Treat

Birdie Birthday Invitation 
IMG_2198 On March 14 our little girl turned two. 

It is amazing how fast time flies. It seems like just yesterday we were coming home with our little bundle of joy unsure of what to do to take care of her. 

 Somehow we figured it out.... And now we find ourselves parents of a two year old, independent, stubborn, smart, silly, little red head. 

On Saturday the day of her party had arrived. I myself was running around like a chicken with my head cutoff. While Marine... well of course he was as cool as a cucumber... and he had the common sense enough to make himself scarce while I, in last minute fashion, tried to make everything just perfect. Perhaps years of marriage have taught him it better to be cussed from afar.... In reality a Marine buddy was passing through town and he evacuated the house to go eat a quick breakfast with. 

 That is how I found myself day of the party cupcakes un-iced, the princess's birthday cake in the oven, balancing on a chair trying to extended my short five-foot nothing self tall enough to reach to tape up the streamers. Imagine that with a little red head chasing a cat around with extra streamers. At that point I'm not sure who was more frazzled... me... or the cat. Probably the cat.


So it is time for a confession. I confess that I am addicted to Pinterest and truely believe that I to can be crafty, super-mom, Susie homemaker. In reality I cannot quite live up to all that. And that's ok. Even though I have confessed this to myself many times and now for the first time to the universe I can guarantee that in the future I will continue to be knee deep in denial telling myself that I can do what I see on Pinterest.... I tell you this so that you will understand that is how I found myself at the kitchen table hot gluing the IMG_2210pendant banner at 9:00 am while Maddie at her breakfast. I admit though. I'm a details kind of girl. Not a perfectionist... just details. I like the simple touches. So after the banners were made, the cake was out of the oven, the streamers were hung, and the princess was bathed I still had to get ready myself...... oh and make the princesses skirt. Did I forget to mention that little detail? I promise I am usually not this last minute. Ok I'm lying. I work better under pressure. But I normally have a good excuse for waiting till the last minute. And this time is no different. This time my BFF had made the princesses birthday shirt and she had the fabric still from that so I couldn't start on the skirt yet. So there. Scapegoat averted. Ok I would have still probably waited till the last minute anyway. Po-tay-toe, Po-ta-toe. tutu Either way I have to say I may not be Susie homemaker but I am the last minute Queen! Exhibit A: The scrap tutu Thanks to my mother and mother-in-law answering the bat call for help everything was done by the time the first party guest arrived and everything turned out fantastic! I had prayed all week for the rain to hold off and for it to be a pretty day. Thankfully my prayer was answered and the day was gorgeous. What to do for a two year old's birthday? I wanted the kids and adults alike to be entertained so that everyone could have fun. On the porch I IMG_2207 set up three stations. One a bubble table, another a play-doh table (cause really what kid doesn't like play-doh), and a coloring station with several books and abundance of crayons. This was a big hit with the kids, even the older ones, and I think it is safe to say all the kiddos at the party had a blast. Now for the dad's. Cause let's face it as the hubs always says, "Do I have to go?" I mean this is a thing the dad's get dragged to but not always willingly. I wanted them to have fun as well. And I must admit they are much easier to entertain. A 12 pack of beer, a grill, couple packs of hot dogs, and they turn into men with a mission. So they all escaped to the carport where they grilled hotdogs for everyone while drinking a beer and laughing with each other over non-sense stories. It was a wonderful day and a wonderful party. It was great getting together with all of our friends and their kids. It's amazing to see how much we have all grown over the years. Yet nothing has changed. We are all still friends. And now are kids are friends. What more could anyone really ask for. Sigh. I really do love my small town life.      

Monday, December 16, 2013

The Day The Christmas Tree Farm Died

Bye, bye Miss Christmas Tree

Drove my Ford to the tree farm but the tree farm was empty
Them good ole boys were drinking hot chocolate and crying
Singin' this'll be the day that I go to Lowe's 
This'll be the day that I go to Lowe's

What a rainy year it has been in the south!! That is how we found ourselves half way to Christmas and still no Christmas tree. 

Every year my family has made a trip to the Christmas tree farm to pick out the perfect Christmas Tree. Mom, Dad, and I would always make a day of it and it was one of my favorite parts about Christmas. Debating which tree was the "perfect" one. 

Operation Christmas Tree 2012

So Sunday the clouds loomed but the rain held as we got in the truck and headed to the Christmas Tree Farm. Over the years the farms have dwindled... I guess as more people switch to artificial trees. This will be the 3rd tree farm I have visited in my life span..... which over 30 years is a relatively low number. 

Marine is driving the farm truck, I ride shotgun and Maddie is snuggled in the backseat with my mom. Maddie is getting excited as we tell her about going to get the Christmas tree. 

I of course have my camera ready to capture Maddie's 2nd year going to the tree farm.

As we near the farm I say, "I don't see any signs for the tree farm. I hope they aren't sold out."

"Surely there will at least be a Charlie Brown tree left," replies Mom.

"I'm sure there's plenty," Marine agrees as he turns the truck down the road. 

As we near the farm I have yet to see a sign........ the farm comes into sight..... no Christmas trees.

"Um..... looks like he went to cattle." Marine slows down taking in the once Christmas tree field now fenced in with cows. 

It was 11 days till Christmas what were we to do?

Note to self: Everywhere is sold out of Christmas trees 11 days till Christmas, but Lowes.

So we went through the remaining trees looking for just the right one. 

Needless to say this may be the smallest tree we have ever had. But it is beautiful none the less. And I'm sure one day we will look back on the concrete Tree Farm of Lowes and laugh. 

Either way I have told Marine that his new goal is plant a few Christmas trees on the back of our property so that maybe in a few years we can just walk back there and chop down our perfect tree.

Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Hello 30

Tonight I had dinner with the girls to celebrate Giggle's 30th birthday. Of the first generation she is the last one to turn the big 3-0. Next will be Vivi, Blondie, Red, and Hollywood but those lucky whores still have a few years of their 20's left to enjoy.

After a long day at work it was nice to meet up for dinner with the girls. We are a large group so when we get together we tend to take up the biggest table in the restaurant. And I must admit I'm sure we are rather loud. I mean a table full of 10+ women all trying to talk at once is a bit much. But hey that's us! At least for the first ten minutes as everyone exchanges greetings and discusses what drinks to order with dinner.

Once the food arrives the table quiets and one person at a time is allowed to talk as we all try to catch up on the happenings that have been missed since our last gathering.

As we sat eating dinner another group of girls we know came in and said hello and then were seated in a small corner booth. Now I admit I have a good looking group of friends. We may not all rank a 10 but I guarantee no good looking guy in his right mind would kick any one of them out of bed.

But these girls....

Add a cardigan or blazer and would be perfect for a photo sessionThey all looked perfect. Stylish almost to a fault. Imagine all those clothes that you pin on Pinterest but never actually break down and buy....well if your like me anyway.... yes that is what these girls were wearing. All four of them looked like they stepped out of a magazine. Perfect hair, perfect clothes, perfect shoes, perfect accessories, perfect manicures. Flawless.

On the way home for some reason my thoughts drifted to those girls, sitting there in their booth with their perfect store bought tans and designer labels. What must it feel like to be perfectly put together?

For some reason the word that came to mind was plastic.

I couldn't help but smile thinking about my group in contrast. Some of us were in workout clothes, having fit in a few minutes at the gym between work and dinner. Others were in semi-causal clothes coming straight from work and the rest in just jeans and t-shirts.

Maybe that is the difference of 30's and 20's. In your 20's you still want to run with the "in" crowd. You want to be noticed. You want to be the one that turns heads and that everyone else envy's. You blow your paycheck on clothes, purses, and shoes you really can't afford. But hey what else do you have to spend your money on? Your only young once.

At 30 you realize that none of that stuff matters anymore. You admit or realize you aren't perfect and you have no desire to pretend to be.

Maybe that is the real difference between 20 and 30. It's not just growing up, it's growing more real.

Cheers to 30! For me and my friends our 20's were a blast. So many fun times and memories made. I look forward to the 30's and the adventures they will bring.

Rachel: You know? I'm still 29 in Guam.

Ross: Hey, 30 is not that old! Do you know how old the Earth is?

Rachel: Late 30's?
~ Friends ~

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Famous Last Words - My Kid Will Never Act Like That

Maddie feeding the chickens
Vixen, my friend who swore she would never have kids, is pregnant. I like to think it's cause Maddie wore her down and made her realize that kids were fun. And that just because you have a kid doesn't mean your life stops. I mean Maddie is a trooper and goes everywhere with us whether it be to a horse show, out hiking. hauling hay.... you name it, if Marine and I are there so is Maddie.

I knew eventually Vixen would cave. But till she did I kept all the pregnancy horror stories to myself. I painted her the happy picture of rainbows and flowers leaving out the dreaded morning sickness and endless heartburn. I also only tell her the joys of motherhood with a few terror stories here and there.

Maddie hauling hay
But now that she's pregnant and in full morning sickness swing, it's time for to learn the truth and meet Maddie the Destroyer and see what she has to look forward to. Lucky for Vixen though Maddie loves her Aunt Vixen and tries to contain her most destructive unruly moments for when her and I are home alone.

Today Vixen had asked if I would go with her to Babies R Us to register.  In case you don't remember it was Vixen and Giggles who went with me when it was my time to register. And what an experience that was!!  Now though we are not blind leading the blind. She is taking me as her "baby expert" in hopes this time we will semi-know what we are doing.

We get the registry gun and once again find ourselves standing in front of the never-ending wall of bottles.

"So which of these do I need?" Vixen asks.

"Well I guess that is kind of a personal preference. I mean Blondie used the Nuks. But Maddie used to spit up real bad so I used the Dr. Brown's. Everyone likes different ones for different reasons so just depends on which ones you want to try." I ramble on.

Vixen looks at me and looks at Maddie who is offering a mischievous grin from her seat in the buggy.

"Dr. Brown's worked for Maddie and she's turned out good so Dr. Brown's it is." She says scanning a pack of bottles.

We progress to the next section.

Now let me pause here and offer a word of advice to those that may not have children yet. Have you ever been out somewhere and seen a kid misbehaving and thought to yourself, 'my kid will never act like that.'? If you have, NEVER think that again!! Just look at the kid and say a quick prayer for their mother to have patience and strength. "My kid will never act like that" is famous last words and a surefire guarantee your kid will act like that..

I was one of those unbeknownst judgmental people who thought my kid would never act like that...... I was wrong.

That child is my child.

She is a terror. A wolf in sheep's clothing. She looks all sweet an innocent..... then the red head kicks in.

I like to blame it on Marine. My mom has said I was such a calm and laid back child....... Marine's mom admits that Marine was a little on the active side.......

So there we are in Babies R Us and Maddie decides she no longer needs to listen to anything I say and that running around the store is perfectly acceptable...... I quickly grab her and tell her that if she doesn't want to go back in the buggy she will walk with Vixen and me and hold my hand.

She shakes her head no, pulls her hand away, and takes off down the aisle at a bouncy run laughter trailing in her wake.

I dart after her and grab her giving her one more stern warning.

She rebels again.

"Alright that's it." I say picking her up. This angers the beast more and she begins to pitch what can only be called a fit.

I try to calm her down. Nothing is working and we are past the point of bribes and threats.

She is acting out and I know that we are at a pivot-able moment.

And then for the first time ever I pull down her pants and pop her on the bare butt.

She freezes and becomes silent. She looks at me and then at Vixen with a look that seemed to say, "can you believe she just did that?" then the silence passes and she burst into screams and tears. I pick her up and am putting her in the buggy explaining to her why she got a spanking and telling her she can't act like that. She has to act like a sweet little girl.

At that moment a male sales associate comes up to us eyeing my screaming bloody murder child, "Ladies is there anything I can help you with?"

My back is half turned as I am focusing all my energy on Maddie.

"No we're good," Says Vixen with a forced smile.

"Ok..........." He says drawing it out as Maddie's cries start to calm, "Let me know if you need anything." He turns and walks away.

I turn to Vixen, "You better scan quick. I'd say we have exactly 5 minutes before child services shows up."


Needless to say child services never showed up..... maybe it is still ok to spank your child in public. Or maybe the sales guy saw the 5 minutes before the spanking on the security camera and decided I was justified. Either way after that Maddie once again became my sweet little angle. 

Sitting in the buggy pointing and laughing as she showed Aunt Vixen exactly what she needed to register for. 

I'm not sure if it has to do with me going back to work or with the age but Maddie has been acting out more lately. Testing her boundaries. Seems today though I won and the boundary line has been clearly drawn. I'm hoping that one little pop will last a lifetime and never have to be repeated. It may be true when they say 'it hurts me more than it does you', cause it broke my heart to do it. 

But Mom I need them both!
After Babies R Us we made a quick stop at the mall and since she had been so good the rest of the day and through lunch I decided she need a little reward for good behavior. So while Vixen was looking at maternity clothes Maddie I stopped in the Disney Store. Most of the toys were for slightly older kids so I steered the stroller to the stuffed animal wall telling Maddie she could pick out one. After showing her the selection she made a grab for Minnie and Piglett. I was laughing as I would tell her to pick one and she would laugh and pull them both tight hugging them to her. Of course by the time I get the phone out to snap a pic you can't tell so much she is laugh as trying to convince me why she needs both. 

How can you tell that face no? So I figured we would be going home with both. But Maddie is definitely going to be a shoe girl and a bargain shopper! We pass by a sale rack that has shoes on it and Maddie spots a pair of pink Minnie Mouse sandals and she points and makes her I want that noise. I look and they have her size and are on sale for $3.00. I show them to her and ask if she wants them. She throws Minnie Mouse down and reaches for the shoes. Safe to say my wallet got the better end of that deal. 

Overall it was a great day and Maddie and I both enjoyed spending it with Vixen. Can't wait till her little one gets here. I hope that she will have a terror to! lol 

Friday, June 21, 2013

Always Listen To Your Gut

So part of my new year's resolution to myself was to blog more. I was thinking once a week..... at least once a month..... I've failed miserably.

Tonight though I find myself home alone and yearning to write!

Why am I home alone?

The boys are back in town! lol yes the song plays in my head even as I typed that. Marine's USMC buddies (3 of them) are in town for a visit. We haven't seen them in over two years so they were a site for sore eyes. Marine and Roommates bromance is back in full force. I'm so happy for Marine to get to spend time with his best friend. I take for grant that I can see my bestie as often as I do. So this weekend Marine and his buddies headed over to the family camper that is parked at lake campsite over the summer.

Perfect night for a girls night! So after dinner with her Aunt Vixen, Maddie and I came home and I was all excited about time just the two of us....... well Maddie fell asleep on the way home and went right back to sleep as soon as I laid her in her bed. So that means party is postponed till around 2 am!

So I made a big leap a few weeks back and decided to go back to work full time. When I originally took the job a few years ago my gut had told me not to take it and I had ignored it. The job was ok, the people were great, but working with an office of women all under the age of 35 was a little to much drama for me. So when I went part time it was good. And it clouded my memory of before. Then the offer came. My boss got promoted and I was offered a promotion to her previous job position. Great salary, pretty good benefits..... of course I would have to come back full time.....

The debate began. Marine told me wasn't going to give an opinion. It had to be my decision.

They then tell me starting in September the company is going to offer daycare at work. The daycare would be small, only about 5 kids.

This made the decision tougher to make. My gut told me not to take it. But my head said this was a great opportunity. I admit I may have been blinded by the money..... I convinced myself that if I didn't take the job I would be being selfish. That I know I wanted to stay home with Maddie but what about in a few years when she starts school? What would I do then? Go back to a low paying receptionist job? I thought of all the money Marine and I would be able to save. The money we could put into finishing out the new house. The money we could put towards Maddie's college fund. I mean we have been living on Marine's income so my new salary could mostly go into savings.

My gut still had alarm bells going off. I ignored them. And decided it would be best for the family if I took this possibly once in a life time offer.

I accepted the job stressing that I was accepting it due to the upcoming daycare. My boss said that over the summer I could come back to work and her daughter could watch Maddie at the office. There was an empty office in the back that could be turned into a playroom. "It'll be fine!" she said.

Now maybe I should mention her daughter is 12.

I knew this wouldn't work. But I knew if I didn't at least try it I could kiss the job goodbye. So I made arrangements with the 12 year old and settled on a babysitting salary I would pay her each week for watching Maddie at the office.

On June 3rd I went back to work full time.

Needless to say it took 2 weeks for Maddie to break me. Maddie is not much for going to work. The first day was good because it was something new. The second day.... not so good. And it has only went down hill from there. We now pull in the parking lot and Maddie say's "mama no, no."

So the second week in I cave and tell my boss I can't keep doing this. That I understand her daughter is trying hard and is doing a good job Maddie is just used to being more active. I mean Maddie has never stayed home an entire day in her life. I mean we always go to the barn every day to feed horses and the chickens. And most days we go Marine's restaurant to eat lunch with him after the lunch rush has ended. So staying in place all day was not her idea of fun.

I thought it would get better as she adjusted to the new routine. But when you can hear crying from a few doors down and her desperately saying "Mama... mama..." your heart melts and you realize no amount of money is worth it.

Maddie knows I'm in the same building so I know that is probably part of the problem.

I have since been juggling trying to make the best of the situation. Marine's mom has also pitched in keeping Maddie 2 days a week.

I keep telling myself that if we can just make it two more months problem will be solved.

Then I learn this last week that we more than likely are not going to be getting a daycare.....

*****crickets chirping******

Marine and I have both agreed we really don't want to put Maddie in actual day care. And call me old fashioned.... maybe it's because my mom was a stay at home mom.... but I want to raise Maddie. I don't want a stranger raising her. I want to be the one to teach her things. I want to be the one to see her as she tries to experience new things. I want her to learn our families values, not those of someone else.

Now don't get me wrong I know that most families have to have two incomes in this day and age. With the price of gas and food it is nearly impossible to get by on one income like earlier generations were able to.

But when working part time I realized just how many things you can really do without. And you know what? You don't even really miss all that stuff you once thought you needed.

After 3 weeks of not seeing Maddie but a few hours a day I've determined two things.
1. Somethings are more valuable than money
2. Always listen to your guy

I know I'm being Debbie Downer as I wallow in stupid self pity. I mean with all the "real" problems in the world this is ridiculous to even waste blog space over. I get that. But since Aunt Flow is currently visiting I will chalk up crazy hormones as being one of the author's behind this post.

I write in hopes that I will one day look back and read this and know that I made the right decision.

But what should that decision be?

Back to the drawing board.... Do I suck it up and deal with it? Or do I follow my heart and return to being a full time stay at home mom?

Friday, April 26, 2013

Look Whoooo's One

On March 14 Maddie turned one year old. Of course this was cause for a celebration! Not only was our little baby no longer a baby but full fledged on her way to one year old toddler status, but Marine and I the baby dummies had also succeeded in raising a healthy, happy, terror, of a little girl!

We held Maddie’s first birthday party at the restaurant on Sunday, March 17th. I of course went overboard on the DIY and trying to make everything just right and special for Maddie. Needless to say Marine teased me relentlessly and kept reminding me Maddie was one not ten. But when it came down to making the cupcakes who do you think was in charge of icing at 10:30 the night before? Yep that would be good ol' Marine himself! And he did a mighty good job, much better than I would have done I admit!

The theme was Look Whooo's Turning One and just springy fun colors. Nothing over the top, just simple finger foods and cupcakes. And punch. I even made punch! The girl who can barely do anything when it comes to cooking or mixing. Thank goodness for Pinterest and easy recipes is all I got to say! lol

The guest list was composed of our family and friends and their kids. Of course the guys were all to meet and than since it was St. Patty's day they were all going to walk down to the pub for a beer. Needless to say grown men just can't pass up cupcakes! All of us girls had to laugh as the stood around for the whole party watching the shenanigans unfold. 

For the day I did have one big epic fail...... I found a smash owl cake on Pinterest that looked easy enough to make. So being the DIY money saver I try to be I figured easy enough I can make that myself. So my mom and I attempted to make it.... However the icing would just not hold up the eyes and nose like the picture and easy directions showed. Oh well Maddie was going to smash it anyway so nothing to stress about. And oh did she love smashing into it!

She had so much fun! All the bigger kids helped her open her presents which at times she wasn't sure she liked that idea. But then realized she could be in the middle of all the chaos and loved that. She was so funny looking in all the bags and unwrapping the gifts. 

We are so blessed to have such an amazing family and group of friends. I am so happy that our kids will get to grow up together and I hope they will become just as good of friends as we all have been throughout the years. 

It's hard to believe a hear has passed. She is no longer a baby but this tiny little person with a mind of her own and a determination that I did not know could come in that small of a package. I have always heard people say that you can't imagine your life with kids but once you have them you can't imagine life without them. That is oh so true. Maddie has forever changed our lives and Marine and I both awake each morning excited to see what new things Maddie will do that day. 

Now time to enjoy her being one before the terrible two's strike!

Chandler: Emma, how old are you? How old are you today? (He holds up his index finger, and she holds up her finger too.)

Rachel: Oh! Emma, that's right! You're that many!

Ross: Oh my, God! Our daughter's a genius! Rach, this means--

Rachel: No! No science camp!
~ Friends ~

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Small Town Football

I was reminded Saturday night just why I love living in a small town. 

The game was scheduled to start at 7:00 and the gates were opening at 6:00. Maddie and I were going with my mom and meeting the rest of the family and my friends there. I figured if we got there about 6:15 we would be sure to find a good seat......

At 6:00 I drove up the hill to my old Alma Matter and was shocked to see cars were already lining the road on the way to the football field. When I say the place was packed I'm not exaggerating! 

By the time I found a parking spot and pack muled all the necessary stuff in and found a seat the stands were full. I couldn't believe at the great turnout! 

Did I mention this Alumni game was also a fundraiser? I'm not sure how the money is split between the company that puts on the games and the part that is donated to the schools but I do know that the school gets a larger portion of pre-sale tickets versus tickets purchased at the game. Our side had sold 1700 pre-sale tickets and the other team 1300. For two small towns that is quite a bit. Just shows that in the south we love our football!

The game was great! It was fun watching and cheering for Marine and watching our little munchkin cheer for Da-da! Vixen had been sweet enough to make Maddie her own spirit shaker. And boy did it get used!! 

The game was exciting and much better then I expected to be for a bunch of old guys playing. ;) Our team may have been playing it's biggest rival but it was also great to see all the good sportsmanship what was displayed. After each play members from each team would help the others up. All these men were just so happy to be playing a game they loved once again. It was great for the younger generations to see the good sportsmanship, I think though.

Marine played awesome! Up until the end of the second quarter when he blocked a guy three times his size and pulled his hamstring. The second half of the game he ran a few plays but mainly stayed on the sidelines. I hated that he got hurt but was relieved it wasn't worse then was. 

Of course he said, "Practice for 8 weeks and only got to play to quarters...." so he was a little disappointed but overall he had such a wonderful time. Him and the others are already talking about next year! Just goes to show you never really grow up. 

Also note in the picture Marine has on white cleats..... cleats he has had since high school. They have seen better days and need to be retired. But ah Marine is such a cheap skate! Lol I even went and bought him a new pair of cleats for Valentines day and he took them back saying it was crazy to spend that much money on a pair of shoes he would only wear for one game. I thought he was crazy but come game time was thankful he is such a cheapo! Why? Because everyone else had on black shoes and him in the white ones was so easy to spot!! lol

The game was so close. At half time we were ahead 14 to 13. In the second half the other team made a comeback though and scored another touchdown to win the game. Even though we lost it was a wonderful night! I enjoyed sitting with Nurse Betty and Conscious and running into old friends I hadn't seen since high school.

Sometimes living in a small town can get a little old. But times like these remind me why I love it so. Seeing the support of the community behind this event was wonderful!! In the end our team ended up raising $16,000 for the High School Sports programs.  

And in case you were wondering Marine's butt did look good in those tight pants! ;)

Friday, March 8, 2013

The Boys of Fall

Before Marine was Maddie's Dad....

Before he was my husband....

Before he was my lover ;) ....... (lover just rolls off the tongue so smooth I had to say it).

Before he was a Marine.

Way back when he was your typical American teenage boy. Back then he was one of those "boys of fall" Kenny Chesney sang about.

Marine lived and breathed football. And from what I have been told he was pretty good at it. 

When I started dating Marine, Babbles called me and the conversation went something like this:

Babbles: "So you realize Marine is kinda of a big deal right?"
Me: "Uh.... ok."
Babbles: "I mean you do know he was like one of the star football players in high school?!"
Me: "Ummmm....."
Babbles, "He still holds 2, TWO, school records."
Me: "Wow.... ok."
Babbles: "Scouts used to come to our po-dunk town to watch him."
Me: "Wow....."
Babbles: "I really can't believe you sometimes."

Maybe I should point out again that Marine is several years younger then me. And Babbles has always been big on our towns High School sports, holding a school record herself and now being a teacher and track coach. So she can quote you about any stat. I on the other hand am clueless.

So perhaps Marine was a big deal during his day. 

Come tomorrow night I will get to see if he still has it. 

In January someone contacted Marine about playing in an Alumni football game against our school's biggest rival. 

Ever since he has been like a kid in a candy store. So excited as he heads off to practice after work and on Sunday afternoons. 

Another shot to relive the glory days. 

Our entire small town is abuzz with excitement over the game. Vixen has even dusted off the old pom-poms and organized an alumni cheerleading squad. 

I admit with all the excitement I feel like a kid in high school again. Looking forward to the big game and going and hanging out with all my friends. In high school we used to watch the game and vote on which guy had the best butt.... Oh admit it you know you did the same. I mean those tight pants? How could you not!

I for one admit I am excited to see Marine in those pants. *wink, wink*

The game is for a good cause to, with the majority of the money being donated to the two schools athletic programs. 

So tomorrow night I will don my school colors and wear Marine's high school Letterman jacket as I go to fully support my sweetheart. In high school I never really dated a jock, tomorrow night will be reliving not only those days for Marine but my chance to relive what it's like to date a hot, football player. 

Awe the boys of fall....

When I feel that chill, smell that fresh cut grass
I'm back in my helmet, cleats and shoulder pads
Standing in the huddle listening to the call
Fans going crazy for the boys of fall
They didn't let just anybody in that club
Took every ounce of heart and sweat and blood
To get to wear those game day jerseys down the hall
Kings of the school man, we're the boys of fall
~ Kenny Chesney ~

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Remodeling... So many choices!

With the new house there are so many decisions to make and things to choose.

The remodel is underway and going faster then I thought it would to be honest!

It's now time to choose colors. And when it comes to the kitchen colors I'm stuck....

My current kitchen is barn red... and I love it! It's very country kitchen.

But for the new house do I want to paint the kitchen red and the cabinets an antique white?


red kitchen white cabinets

Or .... do I want to paint the walls the antique white and the cabinets a blueish color?

Kitchen idea! Love how the interior windows create a separation from the family room, yet it still feels quite open.  Color of the cabinets, however, remind me of a bathroom.

farmhouse sink

What are your thoughts? Help me out!!