Thursday, May 31, 2012


Being rebellious is so fun.  And exhausting.  I was born with this specific designation woven into my character.  Maybe because I'm the baby of the fam.  Maybe because I'm a Scorpio.  Maybe because I married a baby of his fam who constantly challenges me in who's right.  Who knows.  I just know that half of the rules in this universe simply do NOT apply to me and probably never will.  Kinda like this one:

I argue incessantly.  I drive everyone crazy with how challenging I can be. I have to be right and I know it's not my best trait.  Even BFF and I got into it this morning over something we disagreed about.  She said she was right.  I said I was right.  I called her my mother.  She said that's why I love her.  She was right.

So it will come to no shock to anyone to learn that my first born grandson is just like me.  Okay, maybe not.  Maybe it's just because he's almost 2.  But he acts just like me.  He wants his way.  He hits you and says "NO!" when he doesn't get what he wants.  He throws himself down and cries.  Sound familiar?

I love that little nugget.  I hope he continues to be as spicy and sassy as he is today when he grows up.  I want him to be fiery, to want what he wants and be fiercely determined.

I'm sure with his parents he will be.

Happy Thursday, friends!  Go get what you want today!


Wednesday, May 30, 2012

What's the Plan?

Everyone always thinks boys are so much easier.  Yeah, right.  Don't get me wrong... I am so thankful I had two boys!  They are true loves of my life.  I absolutely adore them.  But oh, how I wish I would have had a daughter.

And then I did.

I unequivocally, unconditionally love my daughter in law.  We get along so well that sometimes I have to remember that she only came to me because of my son.  Or divine intervention.  That might be a better explanation.

We have the best conversations.  I love when we can just sit back and talk (which always ensues hysterical laughter, usually at the expense of my son).  I'm so glad he doesn't read my blog!

We had this actual conversation this weekend:

K:  Mom, I still don't know exactly how and when Bub is leaving.

Me:  Well, I'm sure the government has purchased his ticket.  No way they buy them within 30 days of departure.  They'd be to expensive.

K:  Yes, I agree.  But I don't know when.

Me:  Do you think Bub knows when?

K:  If he did know, he doesn't know now.

And so it goes... we laugh.  We are in teen digits of his departure and we have no idea how and when this whole thing is going to work.  If Bub knows, he has forgotten or hasn't conveyed it to us when we ask repeatedly.  We sigh with joy (and frustration) of the situation. 

A big reason we get along so well is that we are both planners!  Oh sure, things can be spontaneous.  If they are planned that way.  'cause we just gotta know.

At least we can be confused together.  God love that boy.  We'll get him shipped out of here one way or another!

Happy Wednesday (on a short week!), friends!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Fun in the Sun

There is nothing better than just chilling at home, relaxing with the fam.  We had the BEST Memorial Day ever yesterday!  Fun in the sun, grilling and playing with Eli.  I know I say this all the time (and he is my grandson) but I swear he is the cutest kid I have ever seen in my life.

So instead of gabbing, I'll just share some pics.

Coops sleep over buddy

Brothers will be brothers!

Happy Tuesday, friends!


Monday, May 28, 2012

We Salute YOU!

Our military is so freakin' awesome.  I didn't always think that, to be honest.

When I was a little girl, my dad would always tease me about the fact we were a "military family."  I find this comical now only because I never spent a second of my lifetime in the military.  My grandfather served and my dad served but neither of them active duty once I came along.  I lived in the same house for 36 years!  Clearly I did not have the full military family experience.

The expectation though (not really) was that all of us kids would go into the military after high school.  Yep, including me.  Being that I was not (am not) very girly girl, my dad thought this would be suitable for me.  Mind you this was the 80's so there weren't a lot of women in the military at that time.  Oh, sign me up.  I'm such a trail blazer.

When I would lay around on Saturday mornings being a typical kid watching Underdog, my dad would lecture me endlessly on the virtue of being "productive".  Ugh.  Was he never a kid?  Apparently not.

Hence the reason I was supposed to enlist.  Yeah, right.  So instead I told him I wanted to be a lawyer because I was good at arguing.  Then I got knocked up and changed my mind about both options.

And that's life.

Today, however, with Jer's impending departure to serve our great country, I am no longer bitter about the military.  So the opposite.  What an awesome institution.  I cannot believe what these men and women sign up to do for my freedom.  Completely selfless if you ask me.  I'm so proud.

Although I've never really celebrated this day other than drinking tall cold Millers and firing up the BBQ, this year we are truly celebrating the real meaning of the day.  And this may be my new favorite day of the year.  It's a close one.

Happy Memorial Day to all of those who have already served or are serving our great nation.  Live each day knowing that we are appreciative of the generous and unwavering dedication you have to ensure we are all safe and sound.  You are LOVED!


Sunday, May 27, 2012

Mr. Intimidating

Hubs wins another blog spot. 

TD and I have been together for a L O N G time.  Almost 20 years this fall (19 married).  We can finish each others sentences (and I often try because I talk way faster than he does).  We love to cook together, run together and just hang out.  We're one of those weird couples that really do kinda like each other, strange enough.  But there are a few things as with all relationships that we are very, very different.  One in particular has become quite interesting.

When we first married, I was very vocal about my son, my job, my likes and dislikes.  I think it's because I had been married previously and I knew exactly what I did NOT want from my life partner!   I could articulate my feelings at all times.  If I was mad, I was screaming.  If I was sad, I was bawling.  Pretty much an open book.  As I've gotten older though, I have learned to bite my tongue, bide my time, hold back when necessary.  And I let a lot of things roll off my shoulders, because somethings are just not that important.

On the flip side, Davis has done the opposite.  When I first met him, I found him to be pretty introverted, almost shy at times and not very vocal about a lot of things.  He was extremely patient (thank GOD or we probably wouldn't be married anymore!) and he didn't seem to get to excited about things.  I am convinced it was so he could help me through the insanity of parenting with my ex, but nonetheless he was a saint in the process. 

 think once he started back to work after being a FAB stay at home dad with little guy things started to shift a bit.  For starters, he had just finished college and rerouted his career into finance, where he became a credit manager.  He has to wrangle a zillion sales reps and make sure they collect on their accounts as well as extend credit to new customers and watch all the money.  It's awful, but he loves it.  But as you can imagine, he now has to manage these crazy, ADD spastic sales reps (not much different than the one he's married to).  It's made him a TON more vocal and quite frankly, he doesn't take anyone's crap or excuses anymore!  Suffice it to say it is spilling over into my personal space and I don't like it much.

Sure, it's nice to have someone stick up for you.  NOBODY on the planet has my back more than that man.  He'd literally take a bullet for me.  Or give one.

That's what he tried to do today.  We went to a local restaurant/bar for dinner tonight and didn't realize it was Battle of the Bands night.  Ugh.  Dumb kids trying to play guitar and drums and sing at the same time.  With all their friends cheering for them.  But we were starving and out of patience so we stayed anyway.  After waiting 15 minutes at an empty table for our waitress, I should have known it wasn't going to go well.  She was flighty, wouldn't write anything down but couldn't remember stuff to even make it back to her computer screen 5 feet away.  It was loud, hot and she was awful.  But then it was so much worse.  On her way to deliver a cold Miller Lite to the hubs, she knocked the one in front of him right in his lap.  And all over his plate full of food.  Yeah... not great.

Not only does he know these people (they are one of his accounts) and they never pay on time, now he's out for this girls head.  And she won't stop apologizing, which is making it worse.

His blood pressure was rising right in front of my face.  He barked at her "um, I need another plate."  No more nice words like please and thank you.  She's red faced and starts to avoid us.

We didn't get our bill until 20 minutes after she cleaned our table.  She would walk around and talk to everyone but us.  I'm sure she was humiliated.  Hubs wanted to kill her.

Luckily she discounted our bill when it arrived.  Otherwise I am certain he would have made a giant scene.  He told me he was going to make her at least give him his 1/2 beer and one slice of pizza she ruined.

I wanted to hide under the table.  I asked him to just take little guy and go get the car, I would pay.  Nope.  He wanted to stare at her while she gave us the check.  One last dirty look before we walked out.

I would never have done that, and he knows that.  Someone could spill my entire food on my lap and I would apologize to them for feeling clumsy.  I have never sent my food back for any reason.  I hate confrontation.  Unless it's for my kids of course.

So we've switched roles in our old age.  I guess that's okay.  Tells me he won't jam me into a nursing home and let someone be mean to me while I drool on myself.  As long as he doesn't go in there first.

Happy Sunday, friends!  


Saturday, May 26, 2012

Nothing Else Matters

Today I am humbly reminded how love and support can come from the most unexpected of places.  And I'm smiling.

We celebrated my oldest son last night as he embarks on his new journey into the Navy.  It was the first time ever that I have converged many different friends and families into one room and experienced the profound effect of pure happiness.

If you've read my blog more than a day you know that my oldest son is from my first marriage.  Subsequently, my ex remarried (as did I) and created a family with his second wife with three additional (beautiful!) daughters.  Simple math will now tell you that my son has four sets of grandparents, four sets of aunts and uncles and cousins galore.

Mix in the fact my own brother was married several times and we have a few more "exes" to add to the family tree (along with of course nieces and nephews from each marriage).

Although my ex is no longer involved in my sons life and onto his 4th wife, his stepmother and her family love and support my son unconditionally still today.  She and I have created a fantastic bond that is quite simple:  we love the same boy.  And he loves us.  And we don't have to pretend like we don't or that we shouldn't simply because my son's bio dad is no longer in the picture.  We are not jealous of one another, we do not compete with one another and we do not hurt one another with words or actions.  We respect that this special boy loves us both.

She spoke to me at the celebration last night with some profound words that I think will stick with me for my lifetime.  She told me once she understood that her responsibility in the equation of marrying a man with a child from another mother was to simply love the CHILD, calm and happiness ensued.  She's right.  When we all first remarried, we were all trying to control everything.  I, of course, wanted complete control of my child, even when he wasn't with me.  Because he's my child!   Yes, my ex donated his sperm... but seriously, a mother's instincts are to be protective of their children.  And sometimes that even applies towards the father.  It becomes even more significant when divorce occurs and another woman moves in to try to love and parent the child.  Mothers are not biologically designed to share the bond we have with our children.  It doesn't make us evil, it makes us REAL.  Insecurity and parenting are a common thread.  None of us really know what we are doing and question ourselves all throughout the parenting journey.

So as I sit here today, I am reminded of how incredibly lucky I am.  I bore a son and I didn't kill him.  He lived.  He is happy.  He is healthy.  He is secure in his faith.  And he is LOVED more than I could have ever hoped.  

It makes all of the negativity he has journeyed through insignificant.  The people that have conditions in their love of him can jump off a cliff.  They simply don't matter.  Because everyone else that does love him, does matter.

I am so blessed and happy.

Have a great Saturday, friends!


Friday, May 25, 2012


Yeehaw, it's another Friday!  I am AMPED UP today, with Jer's going away party tonight.  I am so proud and excited for my kids.  They are amazing and this journey is bound to be an awesome experience for both of them!

As always, below are my faves to share this week!


You may recall my new love of TOMS.  Well, this just upped the ante by a zillion!  I also love wedges!  It about killed me to drop $50 on shoes the first time but I see it in my summer future to do it again.  Yes, I am a cheapskate.


I absolutely love yoga.  It centers me, makes me feel whole again in the universe when I feel I'm splitting into a zillion pieces.  So who wouldn't love this awesome water bottle? NAMASTE, BITCHES! :)


Yes, please!  I'm using this picture this summer to get these legs.  I already love my legs... it's my fave part of my own body.  But THESE legs... SO SEXY!


Brussels will never get old for me.  I absolutely love them.  So who wouldn't love them with bacon and cheese?  Come on peeps, give them a shot!  Click here for the recipe:  Bacon and Brussel Sprout Salad


I have GOT to pick this up.  Fantastic!


I love her hair.  Come winter, I'll chop it all off again.  I like longer hair in the summer so I can put it up in the convertible.  Yes, I'm a bit spoiled.


Oh yeah, oh yeah.  Every single time I read this phrase a smile came to my face.  I totally think the Book Beotches (my book club) totally need these shirts!


Always my hair. Always, always.  Especially once the top comes off my car!  Welcome, warm weather!


In honor of Bub today...


This is one of the jobs my son wants to do in the Navy.  This individual is a Gunners Mate on a ship (.50 caliber weapons).  Wow.

Happy Friday, friends!!!


Thursday, May 24, 2012

Rain Makes Corn

It appears it's almost time for me to find a new home.  In the 4 years we have lived in our home, the zillion acres behind our house that is apparently owned by the Mormon Church and farmed each year has yielded tons of soybean and winter wheat crops.  I am quite fond of the process ~ watching the giant machines roll in and prepare the land, the uniquely formed rows of green plants growing uniformly.  I can stare out at this farmland from my living room, breakfast nook and back patio.  It's really relaxing.

Except now.

For whatever reason (probably some scientific soil rotation idea) the farmers had a different idea this year.  Hence my concern for needing to depart.

They planted my most dreaded nightmare.  CORN.

I'm sure you are wondering as a Missouri girl why this would ever bother me.  Surely you grew up around corn fields, right?

Touche`.  But it is so much worse. 

A little short story written in 1977 by my fave horror writer. Thanks Stephen King.

At 13 years old, I watched the screenplay of this wretched book.  Children of the Corn tormented my dreams for YEARS.  I was extremely sensitive to horror movies as a teenager so no doubt this one haunted me.  And still does.

And now it's growing outside my windows.  70 feet away.  What can I do?

Thank GOD I'm not training right now, because I can promise you I would NOT be running alongside these fields on the road to my neighborhood.

To top it off, my neighb is excited about the corn because now he can hunt in it undetected.  Seriously.

Guess I'll be searching out some tiny house listings this weekend.  Sooner than later!



Wednesday, May 23, 2012

My Promise

"Patience is a virtue".  I want to know right now who the hell said that.  Because I'm going to back over them with my car.  Rapidly.

Patience is certainly NOT my strong suit.  I actually have to will myself to be patient, which isn't easy either.  Must be that Scorpio thing.  Or the Taylor in me.  Or probably the Jackson.  Either way, it seems that somehow God shortchanged me of patience in my DNA.  Or wait... is that a learned trait? Then that can't be right either.  My parents both had the patience of saints, especially my mother.  No way I learned it from them.

Maybe if I had watched endless hours of Rachel McAdams as a kid I would have learned patience.  She's beautifully exhausting.  The Notebook, The Vow... same movie, same trying love stories.  She has more patience in love than God himself.  She is constantly having to be patient for the one she loves.

Sometimes my overactive imagination, ADD, slight anxiety (ahem) and lack of patience collide and explode to a fantastic trifecta leaving me utterly useless and unable to function.  It creates this hopeless feeling that sits in my gut awaiting direction.  Should I flip out?  How do we refocus?  REDIRECT! (as attachment parenting will tell you).

In celebration of my continuing trial of patience awaiting Bubba's departure, I decided to make a list.  Because that's what we women do.  We make lists. Particularly Taylors.  It makes it all better when it's down on paper.  If only I could find that yellow legal pad.


1.  I promise to NOT flip out, cry or make any kind of a scene in any way, good or bad.  This includes not drinking red wine and crying on his shoulder.  Drinks are restricted to vodka only to ensure sanity.  Davis will ensure that nothing else hits my hand, at least until after 10:00 pm.

2.  I promise to NOT make any part of the night focused on my insane anxieties or stress out my kids in ANY way.

3.  I promise to laugh ALL NIGHT LONG.

4.  I promise to be silent when possible (yes, this has to be a task of mine or won't get accomplished) and listen/watch the kids enjoy their family and friends.

5.  I promise to giggle with Eli every second I get, because he will lighten my mood if it ever gets icky.

6.  I promise to let go of any past opinions of others.  This will be tough, I am a giant grudge holder.  I will let it all go for one night for my kids happiness.  

7.  I promise if my anxiety creeps up and starts to battle me, I will find Kate's face and smile.  She and I will pull each other through without fail.  Because she feels the same way I do.

This I promise to myself.  I can do it.  I've done it before.

Stay focused, Davis.

Happy Wednesday, friends!


Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Moving on Up

Another year down!  As my oldest gets ready to ship off to the Navy, my little guy gracefully (and quietly) completed another school year.  Time sure flies.  Other than longer hair, it doesn't appear that 9 months changed him much.  Alas, it has.  My little guy is turning into a MANCHILD.

August, 2011
May, 2012

Recap of the 4th grade, via my witty son:

1.  Deodorant is no longer what I wear when putting on fancy church clothes.  I have to wear it all the time now because I'm 10.

2.  I like girls now.  Not as girlfriends, but friends that are girls.  Only the smart ones.  Most of them are still so ANNOYING because all they do is TALK and TALK.

3.  I want to be a geologist because minerals ROCK.

4.  I want to go to Mizzou Journalism school and be a sports broadcaster.

5.  I want to play football at LSU.

6.  I want to go into the NFL when I grow up.

7.  My brother is going into the Navy and will be trained to save the world.

8.  I like my nephew Eli a lot more now that he can play ball with me.

9.  I learned everything there is to know about Missouri and it's the coolest state ever.

10.  I want my brother to live in Florida so I can spend Christmas there.

11.  I want to learn to play lacrosse in 5th grade.  I already know all the rules.

12.  I was a tight end, pitcher, striker and center.  I love playing sports!

13.  I am so excited to be 11, be in 5th grade, play the trumpet and try out for the school choir.  And I'm still not going to be in Student Council.  Ever.

14.  I learned that I am a really good cooker.  I like being in the kitchen with Dad.


Oh sweet boy.  Stop growing up.  I want you to be little guy forever.  I guess you always will be to me.  Even if you are going to be 7 feet tall.

So proud of you, always!



Monday, May 21, 2012

Friday Night Lights

Hubs and I joined the rest of my work family last weekend for a fun night out at Kauffman Stadium.  Friday night games are an awesome way to watch our Royals!  It was Buck Night ($1 hot dogs, sodas, chips), firework Friday night and PERFECT weather!  

Have I mentioned lately that I love my work family?  They are fantastic.  We all get along so well, it's like a living the Duggar life (only with a lot more kids).  We tease each other and even bicker sometimes but in the end, we are all hugging it out.

Little guy had a game reschedule on the same night so unfortunately neither one of us were at his game?  Best replacement?  BIG BROTHER!  I love these moments when the two of them spend quality time together.  And because of their age difference, the boys get along famously.  Little guy worships Bubba in every way a little brother could.  Add on of course that Jer is enlisted and he now thinks he's a godsend out to save our country.  From Obama, of course.  Because we are brainwashing him that way.

It turned out to be a great date night, laughing with good friends, having a few tall cold ones and watching our beloved Royals lose.  No worries, we are used to it.

Happy Monday, friends!


Sunday, May 20, 2012

Sunday is MY Fun Day!

My hubs is a stud.

He continues to train without me (now 2 weeks) and makes me so proud.  This morning we all got up at 5:30 (yes, little guy was SO excited about that) and head out to the 4th annual 10k for Tin Cans run benefiting Harvesters.  We were all three signed up (Coop the 100 yard Kids Dash, us the 10k) but of course I was not able to run it.  Ugh!  I'm so over this stupid boot.  Yes, I know... keep it on, let it heal, blah, blah, blah.  I absolutely despise patience.  Such a pain in the ass.

I have to admit I was pretty sad when he took out.  Jealous is more like it.  I like running with him ~ we laugh and talk a lot when we run.  It's bummed me out to miss that time together.  So instead I cheered him off and pouted.

This race was the smallest race I have seen and it was quite refreshing.  Usually lost in a sea of people, I'm thinking there were less than 100 at the starting line.  Probably because it was a 10k only (no 5k add on), which personally I love.  I think more race coordinators should host 10k runs for people that are training for longer distances.

Little guy and I sat and played a 1,000 games of Mancala (one of our faves) while awaiting Dad.  When we saw him round the bend before the finish, he had a giant smile on his face.  My jealousy left me (at least temporarily) and I jumped up and down even with my stupid boot in excitement!  He had such a great run, made fantastic time at right around 10 1/2 minute miles and obviously was having fun.  Awesome.

To top it off, little guy placed first in the 100 yard dash.  Happiness all around.

Now onto the Hill.  I tried to keep my boot off all day Saturday and payed for it dearly Saturday night.  Today I've got the dumb thing back on and commit to wearing it one more week.  I'm determined to get it off before next weekend - we are 2 weeks out from the 1/2 and I'm thinking if nothing else I could run half of it and walk the rest maybe?  Big shut it to the preachers... I already know I shouldn't!  Have you ever tried to wrestle an alligator?  Yep, that's me.  Fiercely determined.

Oooh - and little guy just finished a weekend with 3 baseball wins.  Today he hit a true double and got two people out at first.  He is a giant rock star, too.

Hubs showed me a great motto today from Men's Humor twitter feed.  I'll have to paraphrase to stay G.  "Dear Monday, back the hell up... I've got some drinkin' to do tonight." ~ Sunday Fun Day       I like it!

Happy Sunday, friends!  


Saturday, May 19, 2012

Batter Up!

Ah, summer.  I love it!  I'm a professed sun goddess, loving the outdoors and beautiful sunshine.  I would sleep outside every night if I could figure out a way to keep not only the bugs away but the coyotes 20 feet from my backdoor. 

This is the biggest way I spend my summer:

And not only for the past 6 years, but the 12 before that.  Both of my boys have played baseball since they could throw a ball.  Little guy has had a huge advantage having the same coach work with him for the past 6 years in a rec league, which RARELY happens!  I cannot even express how much I love this man (and his entire family).  They are so incredibly good to Coop and inspire, encourage and motivate him better than anyone ever has (well, maybe with exception to Coach Dalton...).

Bubba was an AWESOME ball player as well, from t-ball to lettering in high school.  He has helped my little guy tremendously with form, attitude and sportsmanship and overall baseball mechanics.  

The best part?  My boys played opposite of one another.  Jer was a fantastic catcher (at 6'1) and little guy.. a pitcher.  So it's awesome to watch them work together as a team now.  

So although I wish my butt was in a lawn chair laying out by a lake right now, I love sacrificing my time for my buddy.  He is so incredibly worth it.  And there will always be a time for me to be lazy.  It just isn't today.

Happy Saturday, friends!


Friday, May 18, 2012


Hey friends!  This is going to be an awesome weekend... I can just feel it!  We have baseball, baseball, baseball... little guy should be thoroughly wiped out by Sunday.

Below are my faves for the week found via our fabulous interweb.  Enjoy!


Ah, summer.  I love this one!  It's right up my alley!!


Oh man, if I had a dollar for all of the black bean/corn salsa Mr. Davis makes I'd be a rich woman.  We are giant fans of this ensemble!  Click here for the recipe to this low fat yummo!  Flank Steak with Black Bean Corn Salsa


I LOVE my bestie.  She is the most fantastic woman and friend.  I am so fortunate to have her in my corner, always having my back, loving me unconditionally and making me laugh every single day.  I love that we vow to speak every day to each other (and do our best to make that happen always).  This immediately reminded me of her this week.


Oh Dr. C would be drooling all over this.  I don't have another single friend that can stash more items inside of her bra than her!  This is FANTASTIC!  Only question... what do you do if you have that fat stuff that hangs out OVER your bra?  Probably can't wear this then.  Guess I'm out.  Drats.


I am so fortunate that we have Fire pit Fridays in the 'hood all the time.  The smell of the burning wood just brings a smile to my face.  How genius is this?  Now I can smell it whenever I want!

Crackling Firewood scented candle made by The Hartmont Candle Company


Okay, not exactly "bling" material, but I couldn't resist.  As a child of the 70's, my momma wore a spoon ring I think for the entire decade.  Love that woman, love this memory!


Love, love, love compasses!  I've always wanted to collect them but alas the hoarder tendencies would overcome me I'm sure and I'd have a zillion of them.  Just the thought of traveling with this tool thrills me!  Throw out that damn GPS!!

No words needed!


YUM! Hubs is making gallons of homemade granola every weekend and we are consuming it like wildfire. This recipe calls for peanut butter, granola, raisins and of course sliced apples. I'm thinking little guy would eat this up!


I've needed this extra this week, not being able to run and train for our half marathon.  I've GOT to get this boot off SOON!

Have a GREAT Friday, friends!


Thursday, May 17, 2012

You Complete Me

I meet new people every day.  In the midst of strange faces stands a person that can motivate me.  Inspire me.  Has a story to share.

I am in constant awe of people and their personal journeys.  Everyone has one, which fascinates me.  Their path has shaped them to become adults.  This, joined with some complex genetics, causes them to be humans.  Separates from the animals.  Makes us each unique.  I think that is why I am confounded when I see someone acting like an ass.  What caused this behavior exactly?  How has it registered morally correct in their mind to be hurtful to another human?  What happened in their personal journey?

I've been pounding research for several weeks for my book and I'm thoroughly exhausted.  Set out to write a "how to" (or rather how NOT to) book, it has morphed into something completely different.  I have always loved to write short stories (in fact have binders full of them) which sit next to my grandmother's poetry on my shelf.  My mom wrote novels of notes, recipes, cards... little bits of inspiration to me.  Even my in-laws have participated in my writing quest by preparing Grandparent Journals for my boys, chronicling their lives for remembrance.  I have every scrap of paper, napkin, card and note my husband has ever written me.  I'm quite fond of the written word.  So that is my new path ~ to write a story about what I know using my own experiences.

This whole blogging thing is fun but a bit of a challenge for me. There are days when I'm cranky and I don't really want to throw up on the world.  There are days when I simply have nothing worth sharing.  But I try to think about how my kids will feel when I am gone from this earth and they want to see what their mother was like... not as a mother, but as a WOMAN.  I yearn to know what my mother was thinking, feeling and doing in her 30's and 40's.  Not as my mom, but as a friend.

So today, I am appreciating those in my inner circle that motivate and inspire me.  Thank you for sharing your stories, your journeys and your life with me.  I appreciate your worth and respect you.  You have amazing strength, dedication and perseverance.  You know who you are :).

Happy Thursday, friends!


Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Fantastic Fall Fun!

I'm so freakin' excited!!  The contract on our fantastic rental house is signed, sealed and delivered!

Each year, my gfriends and I rent a house in Hermann, Missouri (about 3 hours southeast of Kansas City).  This little town is well known for it's German roots but more importantly... it's WINERIES.  Yep, there are about 7 wineries in and around this little town in Missouri.  Who knew?  We did, of course!

Although sad that a few of my friends from the last two years can't return this year, I am still super excited about our upcoming adventure.  Of course it's FOREVER from now (in boy speak, 5 months) but as we women know it will be here before we can blink an eye!

This year's group should be fairly comical.  We've sprinkled in some newcomers that I'm certain will mix things up a bit.  Thank god there is a trolley that goes through town and we don't have to drive ANYWHERE (although I'm quite shocked frankly that we didn't get kicked off the trolley LAST year!)

Aside from all the wine and food consumption, the house we rent is absolutely fantastic.  In another life I would buy and live in it full time.  It is so eclectic, awesomely decorated and totally perfect for a group of girls having a fun weekend away.

Hubs is so awesome ~ as we chat last night about the trip I asked him if it bothered him that I was going.  His response (as always) was simple.  "Why would I care if you are gone for a weekend with your friends?  Of course I will miss you, but letting you have fun with your friends always comes back to me tenfold in appreciation!"

So true, Mr. Davis.  I'm so glad you know me so well.

One of our faves - Stone Hill Winery

Happy Wednesday, friends!


Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Memories Defined

In gathering pictures for Bub's going away party I can't help but be a bit sad.  I wish my momma had taken more photos of me when I was a kid.  The baby of the fam (of 4 kids) spread out over 15 years, my momma was T I R E D.  I'm also certain that following a daughter with special needs added additional stress to my momma and she probably just didn't have the energy to snap away.  My memory unfortunately is not as sharp as my hubs... I can't remember specific events in my childhood without a visual picture to snag my recall skills.  It saddens me that I don't have more photos to look back on now.

What I love most about this project is seeing the transformation my son has made from a little boy to a man.  He had the opportunity last week to spend an entire day with my best friend (who of course to him is his Aunt Jenn) and I loved my follow up convo w/the bestie.

Bestie:  J ~ he's a MAN now.  When did that happen?

Me:  Um... about 4 years ago?

Bestie:  Yeah, but seriously... when did that happen?

Yep, it goes that fast.  Yesterday I went into labor in her apartment and today, he is a man.

I felt the same way when I spent an evening with my niece (her oldest) last month.  How can time fly so fast?  I remember standing in the delivery room with that little princess as she entered the world?!

I try to keep that in mind as I snap photos of little guy.  I try to record the memories as best as I can realizing that one day it will only be a memory. 

I love being a mother of an adult son.  I chat with him on the phone last night as I lay in bed until I was to tired to talk any longer and it was the best.  I can't believe this is the same teenager I was exhausted by all the time.  I guess God actually has a plan to all of this child rearing madness (although I have NO idea what it actually is...)

Just a couple of pics to share my big guy and his transformation!

My favorite picture of all time... pouty Jer, 18 months

And still... my serious man, snuggling with my nugget

Happy Tuesday, friends!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Back in the Saddle

I had a work conference to attend last week and on a spur of the moment decision, I begged decided to bring the fam along.  Kids are so incredibly funny when you slow down enough to listen to them.  You would have thought we took little guy to a 5 star resort on top of the Eiffle Tower by the way he acted when we pulled into the resort.  Mind you, this is a old resort in Central Missouri built in the 50's but you could have never convinced him of that fact.

The resort has a strange name:  Tan-Tar-A.  Weird, I know.  Kind of a Japanese feel to it mixed with rustic lodge.  Yes, again.. weird.  The best part I think of the entire trip is that no matter how many times we corrected him, little guy could NOT remember the name accurately.  Hence, we stayed at Taratan.  Yep.  That's where we stayed.

The resort is filled with onsite activities such as bowling, arcade, mini-golf, swimming, water park, hiking, running, horseback riding.  Of course most of the activities were closed during the week still (it's not our "in season" just yet).  And those that were opened didn't really work well for the gimp.  All good though, I had my own work to do while there so the boys took off on their own.

Fun was found!  They played golf and drove out to Horseshoe Bend (one of our fave places to visit) to have lunch at the Shady Gator where Coop learned the value of looking older than he is (yes, a 24 year old waitress was very kind to him).  Thank god I wasn't there ~ I would have given her the momma stare down and told her to step off my 10 YEAR OLD!  Coop swam and played in the arcade for hours.  We have finally found a talent he doesn't possess... bowling.  Poor kid topped out his night with a 40.  The Wii totally betrayed him.  I guess throwing as hard as you can really isn't an asset if you can't throw it straight.

His score ~ 40.  Ouch!

The trip was long but fun.  My legs were burning fire on Friday so I cherished the car ride home to get my feet up.  I'm so inpatient ~ by the end of the conference when someone would ask me what I had done to my leg I started to come up with new answers.  "My hubs threw me down the stairs... accidentally."  "I fell off a step stool astriding my new thoroughbred."  "I don't quite remember.. it was a long night."  That was my fave.  And people believed me.

Thank god it's Monday ~ I am so ready to get back into the routine of work and life.  Have a great week, friends!


Sunday, May 13, 2012

Momma Pride

I love being a mother.  It is by far the most rewarding job a woman can ever have.  Even when you screw up, even when your kids screw up, that bond of unconditional love between a mother and her kiddos is unbreakable.  Hence the reason you can see women stand in the court room of their child being convicted for murder and weep for their child.  Unconditional.

Bubba is heading out to boot in 36 days.  36 days.  I can barely type that without feeling my heart come up into my throat.  Mostly, I am SO excited for him.  He is going to have so much FUN.  I can't believe I'm typing THAT either!  This is so perfect for him... to be part of a team, to be honored and respected for his work, to have giant expectations placed upon him to strive to be his best.  This is where he shines best.

Bub's story could have been so incredibly different.  Academics were incredibly rough for him and not because he isn't incredibly smart.  His attention to detail, tenacity and determination are fantastic.  It was always the "little things" that he hated ~ those daily homework assignments that meant nothing in the real world.  Things he thought didn't make a difference.  So in the midst of struggling through high school, he took a road I had BEGGED him not to take pretty much his entire life... he worked for the bio dad's family business.  Key word FAMILY.  Yikes... run away.  It had already taken it's toll on another marriage and family unit so I was quite worried about this.  And quite frankly... I never, ever wanted him to settle into a "given" and not work to his total potential.  I prayed A LOT while he worked there.

He graduated high school and continued in the business.  He declared he wasn't going to college.  I cried a LOT.  I felt like a failure... like he settled.  My worst nightmares were coming true.

Then the best thing that could ever happen to him occurred:  his bio dad remarried for the 4th time and the new wife had a son that needed a job.  Could see this coming a mile away.  Immediately following my son's honeymoon, he returned to work to find out his job was eliminated (right... replaced is the proper term).  So the tie was cut.  My prayers were answered.

It took Bub a bit to get his footing after that.  He worried a lot about what he was going to do.  I didn't.  I knew that no matter what direction his life took it was going to be tenfold better than the one he had originally started.  And I was right.. thankfully!

Flash forward three years and my son is leaving in 36 days.  He is following a dream ~ one he has had for years but didn't have the courage to travel.  His amazing wife is fully supporting him and will be departing shortly after him (which will be harder for me I think than his departure).  All is right in the world.

Sometimes I focus my energy on hating the ex and his 4th wife for what they have said and done to my kids... but today, I relish in it.  It was the perfect set up to the perfect life for my kids, without drama, without pain, without conditional love.  They are able to spread their wings and be free.

As for my little guy... well, he is perfect.  I am amazed at how easily being his mom has been.  He makes me proud every single day.  He makes great decisions, he is compassionate, loving, caring for others and unconditional in his love for others.  And nugget?  Well, I couldn't be more proud of my beautiful children giving me the most amazing little boy EVER.  I feel successful as a mom today. :)

Happy Mother's Day to all my beautiful, fantastic, amazing friends and family.  You are all cherished by me... unconditionally.  I applaud you for the daily work you perform in raising your own children.  

Love you, friends!