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Sunday, April 26, 2015

Tybee, Like a Boss

It has been far too long since I have posted here. It's far too easy to just type out a few sentences for a Facebook status update than it is to actually gather my thoughts and sit down and write something. However, sometimes I have these thoughts swirling around in my mind and I have to get them out. Lately if I ignore them long enough they just go away but tonight I felt like I needed to write them out.

I've been thinking a lot lately about how Lucas is almost double digits and our job raising him (at least while he is under our roof) is about half way done, if not more. Time just goes by too fast as cliché as it sounds, it is so very true. Far too fast he will be graduating from high school and one day out on his own.  I'm just trying to enjoy the time we do have now and I am in such awe of the person he is growing into everyday. Friday I woke up and he was sitting at the table already dressed for school and he had his science book out and was writing something. He looked up at me for a second and said, "So I forgot I did have homework after all. Don't worry, I'm almost done. It's about gravity and velocity and things like that. Oh and today is NUT day (No Uniform Today) and I already have a $1 in my pocket. I got it covered." And I just stood there for a moment amazed and wondered who this mature kid was sitting at my kitchen table.

I've been consciously trying to not be attached to devices (at least when Lucas is home) so we can spend quality time together as a family. So when my husband made plans to go deep sea fishing with his Dad and brother today, Lucas and I made beach plans to go to Tybee after church.

The drive to Tybee always brings up so many memories for me. It holds this special place in my heart.  So many firsts have happened there and I've spent time there were so many people I hold near and dear.

It's the first place I felt like a "grown up." My cousin Davia and her family came to visit when I was 15. Davia is one year old and had her license. My parents gave her the car keys and we headed to the beach with my friend Shannon with out any adults. I remember Davia didn't want to go near the water at first because she was used to the Pacific Ocean being cold.

It's the place my Mom took me for my 17th birthday. I was heart broken because the boy I liked came to my birthday party and fell for one of my friends. My Mom and I went to dinner by the Lighthouse, stayed in a hotel, and went for a midnight walk on the beach.

It's where I went after the Junior prom with my best friend Katie before having to go home and then go to the hospital to see my Grandfather who was dying from cancer. It's the place I went with my friend Ashlee the day after senior prom with my hair still up in an updo. We had to fend off seagulls when they tried to steal our sandwiches.

It's the place Curt and I went on our first date.  We had this really bad cup of coffee at the Sugar shack and then walked along the boardwalk. He asked me for permission to kiss me for the first time. It's the place where we went to wish my friend Gretchen Bon voyage before she studied abroad in London.  We had planned to be roommates when she returned. I remember her sending me a picture of Curtis and I on the beach and she told me she knew I would end up emailing her while she was gone telling me plans had changed. She knew more than Curt and I did and we ended up getting married before she came back from London.

It's the first place Lucas ever experienced the beach. He was just 11 months old when I met my friends Candi and Shannon for lunch on Tybee and we took him down to the beach. He instantly loved it. He hated the way grass felt on his skin at the park but he loved the wet sand on his skin. Ever since then the beach has become our thing. He had his PreK graduation there and it's just become a special mother son place.

The two of us venture out there whenever we can. We always try to meet my friend Shannon and her family there when she is in town from Alabama. We still have a blast even if nobody else is free and it just ends up being the two of us.

So back to today.... we practically ran out of church straight to the car. We only made one stop (Chipotle for burritos) and then headed straight to the beach. As soon as we got near Tybee we hit traffic. I was expecting it to be busy because it was a gorgeous day after a pretty bad rainstorm the day before. When we had been sitting in traffic for a while I saw a place we could have turned around and I remember asking him if he was sure he wanted to go to the beach or we could go do something else. He said that he really wanted to go to the beach ( and so did I) So we sat through an hour of traffic. When we got to the beach we spent another hour trying to find a parking place. I was getting a little frustrated, and so was he so he said "if we don't find a parking place after we try one more place, lets just go home and try another day" and I agreed. We tried for another 30 minutes and decided to give up. We headed for home and hit more traffic. This time things were not moving at all. It took us another hour and a half to get home. We basically took a 4 hour scenic route home from church!

At first I was frustrated that we had wasted the whole afternoon in the car but then I thought about it. We might not have made it to the sand and water but we certainly had another memorable trip to the beach. It's not often that we spend four hours together just talking and being together. I'm pretty sure the next time I drive out to Tybee this is going to be another memory that pops up and makes me smile.

I hope I will remember how when he got his burrito he said "whoa, this thing should be on man versus food. This thing is huge! Take a picture so I can show Dad." And after eating on it several times over 4 hours he finally handed it to me to put in the cooler with our drinks. He just had a couple of bites left but he said, "I'm done. The food won THIS time,"

I hope I will remember how he panicked for a moment because he had to pee and we were parked on the highway going nowhere fast on Highway 80. Before I knew what was happening he had used an empty water bottle to alleviate his problem.  He proudly help up the water bottle and asked "where should I put this" while I freaked out and yelled something about the top needing to be on very tightly! And I might have taken a picture of him holding up his bottle and texted it to his uncle and Dad who knew we were stuck in traffic. And when they asked me about the contents of the bottle I might have responded with "well it's NOT water."

I hope I always remember how we talked about the book we are reading at bedtime, TREASURE ISLAND, and how we both want to go to the Pirates House after we finish.

I hope I remember how he kept telling me he had "swag" and kept saying he did things "like a boss" and how I tried not to laugh but couldn't help it.... because he has these hand motions he does when he says "like a boss." And I hope I remember how me laughing made him laugh too when I was worried it might hurt his feelings.

I hope I will remember how we fought over the radio and how I would change the station when any song came on that had a bad word in it or mentioned adult situations. And if I changed it to a country station he would say "Mom!!! Not the Texas music again!"  And if he said something to me I would turn the radio down to here him better and he would instantly say "can you please turn the music back up." So I don't even know if we listened to a whole song the whole four hours because I was constantly changing the station and turning the radio up and down. About 20 minutes from home I was kicking myself for not remembering he had an Adventures of Odyssey CD in the car. We listened to that on the rest of the way home.

It's true what they say that a bad day at the beach is still better than a good day anywhere else.


Monday, October 21, 2013

Our 8th Day in Pictures

I might not post here much any more but I am glad to say I am still doing our annual day in pictures.... even if it takes 6 months to get it posted and shared.

Without further ado here is April 25, 2013
You can see our previous days HERE

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Easy Pleasey Cheesey Lasagna

* 1 lb ground beef
* 1 2 cup bag of shredded Italian cheese blend cheese
* 1 cup of low moisture part skim shredded mozzarella cheese
* 1 15 oz container of part skim ricotta cheese
* 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
* 1 TBS chopped garlic
* 1 egg
* 1 24 oz JAR or spaghetti sauce
* 1 cup water
*12 lasagna noodles uncooked (do not need no bake noodles)

Preheat over to 350*F

Brown garlic and meat in large skillet.

While meat is cooking mix together 11/2 cups Italian cheese, 1/2 c mozzarella, ricotta cheese, egg, and parsley in a large bowl. Set aside.

Drain meat and return to skilled. ADD the spaghetti sauce. Add the water to the empty jar and close with lid. Shake the jar to get the remaining sauce out and pour everything in skillet. Stir well until blended.

SPREAD 1 cup of sauce on the bottom of 13x9 baking dish. Top with 3 lasagna noodles. Spread 1/3 cheese mix on top of the noodles and top with 1 cup of sauce. Repeat layers 2 more times. Top with remaining noodles, sauce, shredded cheese.

Cover pan with foil sprayed with cooking spray

Bake 1 hour. Remove foil after 45 minutes. If you want cheese to be browned you can broil for the last minute or so of cooking time.

Let lasagna sit for 15 minutes before serving.


I've been making this for several years and it is always a big hit! Serving this always means a whine free meal in my house. I modified this recipe from here

Monday, January 28, 2013


I've been feeling a little bit worn down lately. It's strange how I'll be fine for months and think that I am "over" this whole baby thing. Then unexpectedly someone will announce that they are pregnant or invite me to a baby shower, or a first birthday and then it's just another reminder that we are not doing any of those things.    Then there are other times that those things don't bother me at all. There is one thing that always hurts my heart.  Lucas will randomly talk about being a big brother. Lately he wants to know why he is the only one he knows that isn't a big brother. It seems like right now we are surrounded by babies and pregnant ladies.

My sister is pregnant again and it just feels so bitter sweet. I am so happy and excited for her and my brother-in-law. They are fabulous parents and they make beautiful babies. I already love the little one growing in her belly. But I also know I'm building up my walls preparing for all the questions that will come along with friends and extended family that probably have no clue that we've been trying to have another baby for so long. "Oh my gosh, aren't you so excited to be an aunt again?" "Well, when are YOU going to have another baby?" "Your brother has 4 kids now and soon your sister will have 3, when are you going to catch up?" I know they are coming because I heard them (and more) when my brother and his wife were expecting their fourth child.  Don't get me wrong I KNOW people mean well but hearing those things is like rubbing salt in a wound. 

The thing that makes me the most sad is that I know my sister is going to be concerned about hurting me. I don't want to steal even an ounce of her joy. I don't want her to feel guilty over anything or feel like she can't share this part of her life with me to protect my feelings. 

Music is the one thing that always seems to help. If I'm having a rough time I can put in my earphones, crank up my music and shut the world out. Last week during one of my lowest days I heard this song on the radio and I've been listening to it on repeat ever since. 

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Pumpkin Cheesecake

This recipe makes two pumpkin cheesecakes.
2  Graham Cracker Pie Crusts
4 pkg. (8 oz. each) PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese, softened
1 cup sugar, divided
1 tsp. vanilla
4 eggs
1 15oz can of pumpkin
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
Dash ground cloves

HEAT oven to 325°F.
BEAT cream cheese, 3/4 cup sugar and vanilla with mixer until blended. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating after each just until blended.  Stir pumpkin and spices into batter.
SPOON the pumpkin batter into crust   
BAKE 45 min. or until center is almost set. Cool completely. Refrigerate 4 hours.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012


I know I don't post here anymore. The days just seem to go by too fast and it seems like if I do post anything it is just short status updates or pictures on Facebook. Sometimes though there is no way to say what I want to say in a few short sentences or in a snapshot. Right now is one of those times.

My Facebook feed is full of lists of what my friends are thankful for and what a nice change it is from a few weeks ago (I don't think anyone is missing the election posts.)  It is almost the middle of November and I have yet to post a single "thankful post." It isn't because I can't think of things to be thankful it's because I feel so loved and so thankful I just don't know where to start. I can not even begin to count the times that I have started to write "today I am thankful for...." and just stopped because one or two sentences just can not sum up what I am feeling.

Out of nowhere I started crying in the shower tonight because I was just overwhelmed by all the kindness I have been shown the last few days and just how truly blessed I feel. I realized that I needed to find an emotional outlet and just get out everything I've been feeling and how crazy our life has been lately. Forgive me if this comes out jumbled. I am a bit rusty.

Let's start from the beginning..... In January Curt hurt his back badly at work. He was working on light duty at work until his boss told him they were running out of work for him to do and that he should just go out on workman's comp. He saw a doctor who suggested physical therapy. He had spinal injections. He was released back to work just to see how his back would do. Less than an hour later after his job had his workman comp release papers he was laid off for "lack of work."  We were taken completely off guard.

He filed for unemployment and started looking for a job. In the meantime he decided to go back to school. The first step was getting his GED. (He would be so embarrassed if he knew I was telling people this, but he should be so proud of himself) He spent the last few months going to GED classes.

In the midst of our financial troubles my friend decided to open up a Bakery. She asked me if I would be willing to watch her kids for the summer and in the fall get them back and forth to school. Looking after her kids took some of the financial burden off of us. She opened the bakery and I helped out on opening day. Turns out that I have a real knack with talking to strangers. So suddenly I found myself working a few days at the bakery.

Then there is the job I already have at the airport. My boss asked me to go do training in Houston, Atlanta, and Cleveland. Training is wonderful because I get paid for travel time, the time I am in training, and I'm given money for food. So whenever I train I make more money than if I was here at work. On top of that I get to see some really cool places and meet some really cool people. If my husband was still working I would not have had those opportunities. While I am all over the country he is taking care of things at home. He is doing homework, cooking dinner, and in charge of carpool. On top of all of that he was also going to school himself.

Right now I have one day off a week. I work at the bakery 3 days a week and I work at the airport 3 nights a week. I could not possibly love my jobs anymore than I do. I know I might be more tired these days but I can honestly say when I am at work I am in the moment and I enjoy the people I work with I love what I do.   Right now (with the exception of when I travel) I am able to be home and do homework with my son and we eat dinner as a family. I am thankful to have jobs I love and the flexibility they provide to still be home so much.I'm also thankful that one of those jobs involves having extra kids in our house.

It's no secret that the two plus years have been hard on us fertility wise. We were trying to have another child and it just didn't work out. While I still struggle with all the emotions that go along with infertility I try to look on the bright side. If we had another little one right now it would have made all the financial hardships we've been going through that much harder. So instead of another mouth to feed we have these two "borrowed" children that Lucas gets to play with, share with, and sometimes even fight with just how he would if he was a big brother. A few months back I remember him asking me if his friends were considered family. I asked him what he thought and he said, "well, a kid at school told me friends can't be family but he's wrong. My friends are my family." It is so huge to me that my friend trusts us enough to take care of her kids. I am thankful for the three little faces that I see around my kitchen table every weeknight as I help them do their homework.

Curt ended up passing his GED on the first try. (I knew he would) He applied last week for college and filled out his financial aid paperwork. Right now we are just waiting. His unemployment runs out in a few weeks. When it does I'm not sure what we'll do. We are hoping (and I am praying) that he will get financial aid for school. Then we will be okay. It will keep being tight but we will be okay. Maybe I should be worried but I feel peace.

Anytime I start to worry I read Matthew 6:25-34. It talks about how we shouldn't worry because God always provides. I have been reminded so much of this over the last few months. When Curt had to apply for unemployment you have to wait two weeks before it kicks in and without being asked a family member put money into our bank account to get us by until then. Another family member covered the cost of Curt's GED test. We've have had friends call and invite us over for dinner at the very same moment that we are looking at an almost empty fridge wondering what we'll throw together for dinner to get us by one more night before we have to break down and go to the grocery store. Tonight I even had a friend offer to help me get the one Christmas present Lucas' wants most of all. We never asked for any of the help it just came right as we needed it.

So I'm thankful my husband lost his job. He has never been happier. I'm thankful that money is tight. It's brought us closer together. I'm thankful for friends and family who are always there for us and I could never properly thank you for all you have done for us.