Tag Archives: life

A lowcountry anniversary

May 21st is an important day in our family. When I was 4 1/2 years old, it was the day I became a big sister. On that day in 1977, I didn’t yet realize what that meant. It meant I got Donnie and Marie Osmond dolls as a gift and that was pretty neat, but it was a few more days before I started to comprehend that there were now 2 babies at my house and they were there to stay. Over the coming years the responsibility of being a big sister became something I both loved and hated at times. But through it all, I always loved those 2 babies that came unexpectedly as a package deal on May 21st. So the first anniversary we celebrate on this day is the gift of Pam and Angie, who today turn 40 years old. I’m so proud to be their “big” sister (even though they grew past me years ago) and I’m glad to have them to celebrate today.

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P & A circa May 21, 1977

15 years after I became a big sister, I met a guy. Well, I’d met lots of guys before him, but I met a particular guy in May of 1992. He was funny, good looking, and OLDER – with a really cool truck. And he liked photography and sports, two things I liked a lot too. When I met him at a grimy, noisy dirt race track back then, I didn’t think much of it other than it would be fun to spend my summer break flirting with him before I went back to Nashville for my sophomore year of college. I never imagined that by the end of the summer he would be proclaiming his love a few days before I packed up to go back down South. Even more unbelievable was the idea that on May 21, 1994, I would marry that goofy guy – but I did. So twenty-three years ago we added another anniversary to this day, and through many ups and downs and curves we never expected, we’ve built a life together over these years.

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Me & K, May, 21, 1994

It wasn’t until I was looking at my Facebook memories today that I realized May 21 has yet another anniversary for me. It was on May 21, 2011 that K and I first stepped foot in the lowcountry for the first time. We were visiting before K made his decision about where to apply for grad school. My comment on Facebook was “the lowcountry is beautiful. I’m fascinated by the trees and the window glass.” We were in Beaufort, SC at the time, on our way to Savannah. I again had no idea that this day would mark another big transition in my life. A little over a year later we moved to Savannah where we would spend the next 4 years making facing new challenges, making friends and having fun. Then in August of last year we moved again, this time bringing us to the heart of the lowcountry I fell in love with on this day a few years before. So today also marks that anniversary.

Kev taking pics

Beaufort. SC, 2011

Now let me say, none of these transitions was easy for me. I don’t adapt to change easily (that may be the biggest understatement ever.) But in hindsight, all of these dates mark important times in my life. All of them have lead to things I never could have imagined feeling and experiencing. My sisters have become 2 of the most important people in my life, and every day I am so proud of them for their strength, compassion, beauty and love. I can’t imagine not being P & A’s big sister. And for being K’s wife, well, that’s been one adventure after another. Nothing we have done has been done conventionally. But today we mark 23 years of travelling our own path our own way. We have fashioned a good life together, chased dreams, and picked each other up many times along the way. We have an amazing little family with the Wildman, and now we are living it here in the beautiful scenery of South Carolina. This place feels like home more and more every day.

So today I celebrate all these anniversaries, and I’m truly thankful for every single one.

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Back on track

OK, so I haven’t done a good job of writing. I still find excuses to keep from bareing my soul to the world, like doing pretty much anything else than writing. I really do think about this blog, I even think of clever things to share. But I’m usually not anywhere I can write when I do. But I know I need to write. Writing is theraputic. Writing is good for me. Writing is how I can make myself be a little more human.

I know that last thing sounded a little weird. But I really do feel that way. I can so easily close myself up here in the house and keep everything to myself. Sure, I go to work and deal with the public all day long, but I don’t share anything more than anticdotes with them. My staff knows me, and a few of my peers do. We have a small group of friends, and that’s about it. I don’t really have to go out of my way to be open to anyone other than K and the Wildman most days. But if I write, I’m forced to open myself up to anyone who bothers to read, and I feel like that makes me be a little more human.

So here I am. I’ve been working to be a better me so far this year, like I said I wanted to be back in January. I’m working hard at work to give it my all. I’m trying to have more fun. I planned a great vacation that I think we all enjoyed, even took my Mom along. We went to Universal Studios and played Wizards and Witches for 3 days in the Florida sun. I think we all needed to have fun and spend some quality time together. And I’ve made sure I’ve planned my time at work so that I get to not only spend time with the guys this summer but also get to take a week to lay in the sun and relax with my girls. Last summer two of my best girlfriends from high school and I took  a week and escaped from the rest of the world, reconnected and had a wonderful time. We’re doing it again this year. I have learned that if I don’t take care of myself, I can’t expect anyone else to. And if I don’t love myself, no one else should be expected to either.image

I am going to work more on doing something meaningful for myself at least once a week, as well as doing something for the boys. Last night I had a “dinner date” with the Wildman and we talked and laughed and shared some time. It might not have meant much to him – I think he was annoyed that I won’t let him use his ipod or phone – but maybe some day he’ll appreciate it as much as I did. Tonight I’m fixing K some of his favorite food for dinner and trying to take care of some things here at home so he doesn’t have to. Not big things, but thoughtful things. Things that make me feel good to do them.

I guess my point is this – it’s a conscious decision every day to be happy, to be human, and to actively live life. Some days it is a stuggle, but I’m going to do it.


Ms. Super Tough

Okay, so it’s been almost a month since my last post. But only almost, not quite. So I’m not a total slacker, right?

I figured out what’s held me back from writing. I realized when I’m just writing about our normal everyday lives and such, it’s much easier than writing anything about me that has real weight. (Not my weight, although that does weigh into it but we’ll get to that later.) Anyone who knows me well knows I’m a pretty private person. At this point you’re probably asking why I ever started a blog in the first place. Well, I’m private about myself. I don’t mind telling the world about anything Kev and the Wildman are up to, especially if it’s funny. I’m especially uneasy sharing my struggles and anything that could appear as a weakness. Because I’m super tough – can’t you just tell that by looking?

10430895_10205486622512498_1569430663930111882_nSee? Super tough.

Anyway, back on point. I’ve been putting off writing because I didn’t want to talk about the hard stuff. It’s much easier to convince myself that I should be catching up on Downton Abbey or planning to redecorate the living room. But this time I won’t. This time I’ll write something instead.

I mentioned in my last post that the previous year or two were difficult. I refused to find happiness. It wasn’t always a conscious decision, but it was a decision nonetheless. Some days I did nothing at all outside of sitting at home and wishing I were somewhere else. Other days I went through my day at work or wherever I was with the minimal effort or true involvement. I didn’t take care of myself, and really did the least I could get away with.

But I want this year to be different. This year I’m going to live. I want to have fun with friends and the family and make more happy memories. I want to put an effort into my work so I can fully enjoy the rewards of knowing I gave it my best. I’m going to take better care of my body, my mind and my soul. I’m going to share more with the people I love and who love me.

I started with this blog. I want to find the fun and humor in every day life again and share it with you. Second, I recommitted myself to my work and my job. I told my boss I know I haven’t given her my best effort, and I’m tired of being mediocre. That’s not how I roll. And speaking of rolling, I’m going to take better care of my self by starting to eat healthier and get some exercise. I’m not happy with how I’ve let myself go, and I’m going to do something about it.

And I’m still going to have bad days, I know that. And that’s okay. But I’m not going to let the bad days become bad weeks, months and years. I’m going to turn up the music and dance – no matter how hard the Wildman laughs at me. And I’m going to live.


Cleanly inspired

I write my best blog posts in the shower. Well, I don’t “write” them in the shower, which is actually part of the problem. Whilst I’m pampering my skin, exfoliating and moisturizing in all the appropriate areas (or hurriedly running a cheap shower scubby thing over myself which I may or may not have remembered to put shower gel on, which is, you know, the same thing) I often come up with brilliantly clever and witty stories that I’m sure will stop all of my readers in their tracks and make then want to share my words with the world and sing my praises to anyone who will listen. Or perhaps retweet or share it on Facebook. Or even just enjoy a little snicker to themselves while reading.

(Side note – the third sentence in the above paragraph may possibly be the longest sentence I’ve ever written.Ever.)

Anyway, I have these charming tales all laid out in my head during the solitude of my shower. I think about how great it will be when I have a minute to sit down and get the words out for all to read. But then it happens. I know you’re anxiously awaiting to know what it is that could force my mind to lose sight of the creative masterpiece I had recently created, so I won’t keep you in suspense. The “it” that happens is real life. Yes, no sooner than I’ve stepped out of the shower, life starts happening. Usually, it’s the Wildman looking for something, or the dogs need to go out, or I can’t find the mate to the sock I wanted to wear. Once I’ve turned in my towel for real clothes, the day has begun. Lunches are packed, backpacks are filled and out the door we run.

Sometimes, I forget these inspired thoughts altogether. Other times, when I finally get a chance to try and write, the magic is gone and I know it isn’t going to be nearly as good as what I thought of previously. Then there was today, when I had a hilarious post going in my head the entire time I was showering, only to then be distracted by the idea of this blog. Which was even wittier when I was washing my hair.

So the moral of my story is that I need a way to directly transfer my thoughts from my brilliant mind onto the computer screen – or maybe I need a waterproof computer. Does anyone else have this problem –  inspiration at inconvenient times? What do you do? How to you “hold that thought” until you can get it down in type? If there is a secret, I’d love to know. Because otherwise, only my shower scrubby will ever know how masterful my mind truly is.


Blog often

I’ve been woefully negligent in posting lately, and I’m sure there’s more than a little irony in the idea that I’m too busy to write my blog about how busy I am. But I while I was searching for what I know is going to be a rockin’ potato salad recipe on one of my favorite blogs, The Pioneer Woman, I came across a blog that the author wrote about blogging. Now, the Wildman and I just love The Pioneer Woman, or PW, or Ree (because that’s actually her name.) We watch her on tv and I read her blog when I get a chance. I love her sense of humor and that she’s not afraid to share her less than perfect moments as well as all the wonderful things she’s successful at. I also love her photography, and being a bit of a photo snob as I am, I don’t always say that. And she has great taste in movies. Wildman wants to go live on the ranch with her and her family, and I think I’d love to hang out and chat with her.

But I’m really off the point now, which was that I came across a great blog entry of hers that deals with writing a blog. #2 on her list is “Blog Often”, which we all know I don’t really do. But I want to. This blog is my way of sharing with my friends, family and anyone else who happens along a little insight into our daily life. Some days it’s kinda boring, but some days it’s wonderfully funny. I want to share that, and share it more often.

So I’m going to be less picky about having the “perfect” story to tell or worrying about having a “long enough” post. I’m just going to get it out there when I can, if I have 10 minutes on my lunch break or hours in the evening (yeah, right, like I’d have hours to work on anything!) I’ll put something down and share it.

I hope you’re all ok with that. 


What to do with a little boy?

We call our son “The Wildman” for a reason. He’s full of energy, laughter and stubbornness. I hear constantly that he’s “all boy,” as if this is normal or something. Now I’m the oldest of 3 girls, and I have a goddaughter and 6 nieces but only one nephew older than our boy. I do also have a godson, but he’s 6 months younger than the Wildman so he doesn’t count in the total for comparison’s sake. As you can see, prior to becoming a mother I had little experience with boys. For the record, I did babysit a few little boys back in high school, some of them on a regular basis even. They were all much younger than the Wildman is now and were still fairly easy to control. Nothing at all prepared me for being a mother of a little boy. At least not a little boy like ours.

I remember when we found we’d be parents to a son, I was a little freaked out. Without getting into too much detail, I’ll just tell you that our road to parenthood was a short, bumpy, wild ride. Wildman is adopted, and while that’s a story for another time just know that it all happened in a matter of about 3 weeks. For the first week we thought we’d be bringing home a little baby girl. Then we found out that we would instead be parents of a little boy. I’m pretty sure my first thought was “I don’t know what to do with a little boy!” And some days, I still have that thought. More than once a day sometimes. Like when he’s so hyper that he can’t sit still for a whole minute or when he comes home from school with a note from the teacher because he couldn’t behave in class. He’s not a bad kid, and he’s not ADD, he’s just full of energy, and he doesn’t know how to contain it sometimes.

He’s to the age now that he doesn’t want hugs and kisses from Mommy all the time, which breaks my heart sometimes. But there are still times when he’s tired and he wants to cuddle or he asks me to lay down with him at night. I absolutely love these moments. It’s at those times when I can still see that precious baby boy we brought home almost 8 years ago, the one who smiled much more than he cried and who’s eyes sparkled and dimples melted your heart.

Earlier this week was one of those nights he asked me to lay with him for a few minutes, and of course I obliged. He always listens to music when he goes to bed, and right now it’s a Brad Paisley CD that serenades him to sleep each night. While I was laying there with him, the song “If he’s anything like me” played. It talks about a dad watching his son grow from a baby to adulthood and all the things he will do if he’s anything like his dad, things like riding bikes, climbing trees, getting in trouble and getting in fights, and how the dad will get his payback for the kid he was growing up. I really “see” my two boys whenever I hear that song. In so many ways, Wildman is so much like his daddy. He’s goofy and athletic and likes to laugh and tease. Those are traits that Kevin displays daily. They are both stubborn and difficult, although I suppose they’d say the same thing about me. I even see Kev in the way he walks and talks.

I hope that he’s learning some things from me too. I hope he’s learning to use his head and give things a little logical thought. I already see that I’ve passed on my love of books and reading, which thrills me to no end. He’s got my love of animals – although I think the animals in the house probably wouldn’t mind if he loved them a little less some days.

Most of all though, I hope he learns how much being his mother means to me, and how much I love him. I hope he knows that now matter how frustrated and annoyed I get with him some days, he’s still my pride and joy. I hope he knows that while I still don’t know what to do with a little boy sometimes, I wouldn’t have it any other way.