you learn.....

"after a while you learn the subtle difference between holding a hand and chaining a soul. and you learn that love doesn't mean leaning and company doesn't always mean security. you begin to learn that kisses aren't contracts and presents aren't promises and you begin to accept your defeats with your head up and your eyes ahead with the grace of a woman, not the grief of a child. you learn to build all your roads on today because tomorrow's ground is too uncertain, for plans and futures have a way of falling down in mid-flight. after a while you learn that even sunshine burns if you get too much, so plant your own garden and decorate your own soul instead of waiting for someone else to bring you flowers. and you learn that you really can endure, you really are strong , you really do have worth and you learn and you learn...with every goodybye, you learn."


**I saw this on a friends page and it spoke to me:) thought I would share it. I've been dealing with a few losses in my life...not in the sense of a breathing death....but the end of something I have put a little bit of myself into over the past few years of my life. Many times I've reacted with the grief of a child.....stomping my feet and yelling to what felt like an empty room. Sometimes it was a struggle to remain true to myself and not jump on a bandwagon of what everyone else thought I should do. I've always been a free thinker, quite independent from the rest of the crowd.....and it's always been the thing about ME that I am most proud of. Over the past few weeks I've questioned myself, wondering if I should take the easy route, play the sheep, and put what matters most on the back burner. I've found myself wondering if I should just back down and not defend myself and let sleeping dogs....lie. Sure, there are many times that I regret opening my mouth in anger...and there are times that I regret confiding that anger to others who misconstrue every thought or feeling that I voice into something mean, underhanded, or horrible.

After a quick kick in the pants from someone I love very much, I shook my head free of the clouds and questions that were floating around in it and remembered that I am pretty darn incredible. I'm rarely one to question a decision or second guess myself...*but when I am wrong....I have no qualms admitting it, and thank God for those who forgive me when I am!*.... I've shaken myself free of second guessing and empty, meaningless musings....
I know in the heart of my heart...that I truly have planted my own garden. At times it may lie dormant....but the sun always finds its way out from behind the clouds......then again, my garden becomes lovely and full of life....and full of the things IN this life that make me happy.

I am leaving Columbia tomorrow, no longer with a heavy heart...but with a light on in my mind, knowing that I remain....ME. I like myself the way I am, and thanks to a little tweaking from an amazing pal *I love u L!*, tomorrow......TODAY....looks a whole lot brighter.


ta-ta for now!

Moving day is HERE!!!!! The next time you hear from me....ok, read about me....I'll be back home in sunny Florida!!! Wish me luck with the move and loading up the truck tomorrow;) Pray that I don't fall and require medical attention again...and pray that we have a safe trip home!
I'll let ya know how we made it when I get settled in~~



On Friday, Brooke had her last Brownie troop meeting at this new pottery place called The Art Element. Since I still had a runny nose and looked pretty yucky, I didn't want to stick around and let Bub make one as well *so he and I went to the grocery store to kill time*.
Feeling better today, my friend Heather and I took the kids to make something new:) Bub chose a penguin piggy bank, Brooke chose a mermaid, and Linc chose a spider. I had my camera, but when I pulled it out to snap a pic, I found that my BATTERY was dead..xxx. ARGHH! Ah well....I do plan on taking pics of the finished products, which we are picking up on Tuesday. We had a really great time and the kids had so much fun painting their pottery!! *so B, when you read this, sorry about not having pics for ya! You'll see the kids' artwork in a few more days though!*

**update on my face and well being: I am feeling 110% better, but my voice still sounds a bit strained due to the general wear on my body over the last few days. The chin feels good and the swelling has pretty much gone down. Funny thing is, the only parts of my body that hurt now are my lips and nose...they are both fiercely chapped and look pretty yuck at the moment! thanks for the emails checking in on me and the get well wishes!*


black thursday

Yesterday morning....started all the norm. Hit the snooze button twice before I finally got up at 6:45. Gathered my clothes for the day, turned the shower on, brushed my teeth, got in the shower......felt really dizzy....then....nothing.

Next thing I know, I wake up on the floor face down in my own blood. I'd completely passed out and don't remember anything past thinking, "Ughh, I think I am going to throw up" it's like a black hole...I came to moaning my husband's name, then realizing that he is 10 hours away from home. So I pull myself on my feet and try to think of what to do, all the while convincing myself that I am dying. Take a peek in the mirror and start freaking out because my chin is splayed open and there is actualy skin...HANGING from my chin.

What a way to start my day.

After a full day in the hospital...and a series of x-rays, CAT scans, blood work, and my fav, an IV.....I am now home with 8 stitches in my chin but feeling MUCH better thanks to some pain meds *non-drowsy of course...since I have 2 runts to look after!*, and some anti-biotics. My sinuses are clearing up, I've taken my med's, purchased new bandages, and taken a picture of my chin for you. Enjoy and don't be jealous that I now have a hot new accessory;)

Lucky for me, I am one of those weirdos who like scars...each has a story to tell and I think they are sexy:) Of course, mine will be on the bottom of my chin so you won't be able to see it unless I life my chin, but I will show it off nonetheless:) Thanks to my friend Heather for hanging out with me all day and watching the kiddos *and kudos to them for being so amazingly well behaved!* I was sooo proud of them, especially when the nurses stopped to comment on how well behaved they were after being cooped up in a little room for so long!


hello Joi'sey!

My good friend Joanna came down for the weekend to see us one more time before we move! We met Candace and the girls at the skating rink and had a good old time just haning out and laughing at kids wiping out...yes, I have a twisted sense of humor:) The kids had a great time seeing Joey, Bub's best friend! It's so funny to look back on pics of Bub and Joey from almost 3 years ago and see how much they've grown...together! They are both on the runt side of 6, have the same messy hair texture, and they both share the same lovey, sweet, but boyish attitude. They are definitely momma's boys! I love this family...they are all so sweet and silly, but very much loud mouthed "Joi'seyens!" Can't wait to see you guys again!! I am using pics that I stole from Joanna because I am too lazy to upload them off of my own camera!

Trying to skate....but scared of the hardwoods!

Candace, Joanna, and I.....notice how much Candace and I had to lean over...and we STILL weren't even with my little friend!! HAHA!

They were ALL unwilling to take this pic, but only Bub was moody enough to step completely out of it! Can you blame them?? We waited until we were LEAVING to make them take a pic. Not fun....or funny, apparently...HA!


Wonderful You*s*

Wonderful You
One day big bear said to small bear
"There's something you should know...
I made a wish ,and you came true,
and now I love you so.
You're the colors of my rainbow,
the honey in my tea...
You're butterflies and lullabies,
you're everything to me!
You're bright blue skies on sunny days
when we take a walk at noon.
You're shooting stars on summer nights,
you're a ring around the moon.
Let's hug the trees and ride the breeze,
let's gather stars and share them.
We'll talk to birds and learn their words,
we'll string some shells and wear them.
Let's name the clouds and dream out loud ,
let's ask a fox to tea.
Well thank the sun , and just for fun
we'll wave to bumblebees!
You are my child , my precious one-
special in every way...
I'm filled with the wonder of wonderful you,
and I love you more each day."
~Kate Gleeson

I came across this poem while browsing creative blogs and it made me smile. Like any mum, I adore my children. I have built my world around them and prefer their company to most anyone else's on any given day. I know how fragile life is and I never want to take ONE single moment with them for granted. If something were to happen to me tomorrow, I would leave this world knowing that my kids have their little lifetime of memories of their mum tucking them in every night, singing their song....playing with them and cuddling with them everyday. They won't be little for much longer...so I cherish those stolen moments when I bury my nose in their necks and breathe in their little kid scent...and when they climb on my lap asking me to hold them...

Happy childhoods last a lifetime....I can only hope that the happy contentment that I see on their faces when I tuck them in at night will be remembered when they are grown and mommy is long gone:)

I love you my little muffins:)


We've made a decision!!!!

After putting Brandon through the ringer about finding the perfect house....a task that was pretty tough on him being that I am HERE and he is THERE. Really, HE should be the one here packing, and I be the one there house hunting!

Our search has come to an end! We've agreed on a house that is of the perfect location....close to my mum in law and close enough to B's new job:) I adore this house!!! The school that the kids are zoned for is down the street from my MIL and I already know it's a good one. It's "out" enough to make us feel as if we're not in the city...and I love love love it.

Enough of ME loving it....here, you look and tell me how much you love it too:)

Living room...my poppy pic will look beautiful over the fireplace, don't you think?

Ok, never thought I was one for black appliances, but I ADORE this black sink. If you look closely, you'll see that the trash bin is hidden in a snazzy pull out cabinet like the one Joanna had and like I coveted:) mwahahahaha~ Also, over the cabinets, you'll notice these other wee cabinets....OMgawwwwww. This house keeps getting better *in case you're wondering, I keep reading my blog again and noticing things about the house that I didn't notice at first glance. I'm taking a cue from Lori here and trying to be more detail oriented...haha*

The cabinets are about the same color as the ones that I have right now....love the cabinets. Can we say, CABINET SPACE!? WOW! Look at the stove and microwave...built into the wall! I am offically drooling and will probably spend the first month in this house cleaning up my own puddles of slobber! I am super picky about my kitchen, and it has been the reason for my saying no to a few otherwise perfect places. I love an open space. I think it's important to have lots of open space in my home because I believe it encourages togetherness:) Walls are my enemy...hahaha!

and...a BIG fenced in back yard w/ a tool shed. B can park his boat back here *I'll post pics of his boat some other time, but it's fabulous!* My dog will love me for this back yard:)

Now....it's all up to me to pack pack pack! I am so ready to move back to Panama and the beach and my MIL and *one of* my hometown(s)....life is gooood. gooooood:)



I found my new favorite foodie blog today! You can see it HERE

I plan on making the stuffed chicken breasts *from the Nov 12 posting* this weekend, only I think I will replace the brie with gouda.... because I prefer the smokey flavor of gouda to the blah taste of brie:) and I think I will add some chopped spinach to get our veggies in. It's very similar to my feta stuffed chicken, but I am hoping it won't be as salty. It's a different take on chicken cordon bleu...will let ya know how it turned out!

In the meantime....check out the blog! It is fabulous!



Since giving birth to my kiddos, by breasts have adopted a new name. The name was giving to me by...oh, I don't remember which one, but they've both adopted it and it's become quite the joke around here. *the joke being that compared to the true size of them, mountains are far from the correct descriptive term!* So, around this house, my breasts are known as "The Mountains" *duhn, duhn, duuuuuhn!*

The past Saturday morning, Bub and I were cuddling on our mattress pallet in the living room. *we are a bit unconventional around here and if you were to drop in on the weekend, or maybe even then random weekday...you just might find a massive mound of covers atop a mattress in the middle of our living room because I enjoy slepping with the kids, and they love camping out in the living room with me*

It's a win win situation, really.

So back to the story.

We were cuddling, watching cartoons when all of a sudden I realized that he was rubbing his hand back and forth across....my mountains.


So I moved his hand and told him that he can't touch mommys' mountains like that. But he kept on trying...and I kept on pushing his hand away. Then I asked him why he kept on doing it....his answer was such to make any dad proud of his son.

"Because I reaLLy Like your monutains and I reaLLy like to!"

well now.

**disclaimer: As any other normal mother would do, I took this opportunity to tell my son that he shouldn't touch any girls' chest until he were married. This was not some perverted moment, just a silly one in the life of my normal boy. Naturally, he asked why he couldn't, and naturally I told him WHY he couldn't touch my chest, or any other girl's for that matter. So please don't work overtime getting concerned about the well being and the sanity of my household. I was grateful for the perfect moment to explain a bit about the birds and the bees to my ever growing boy:) I would hope any other mother wouldn't scream and have fits and make their son feel as if they are dirty, breasts are dirty and that they should NEVER touch them...but explain to them reasonably why it's not proper**



I am planning on redoing Brooke's room when we move....have been searching for ideas and think that I've finally found it! She's almost 8, so I wanted something that was a little more progressive for her...something that would grow with her and hopefully inspire her individuality:) I found these prints on etsy, an an ebay like website for artists that I found out about through my friend Liz. You can check out more of the prints here: The Black Apple

I think they are too cute for words and there are a lot of prints with animals, which is VERY fitting for my little animal lover.



Another great thing this week...my daddy came in to see us! He had to be in Blythewood, so on Tuesday morning we had breakfast with him. It was short....but such a sweet treat to spend time with him.

Bub showing dad that he can tie his shoes....finally!
Dad was busy looking at Bub...
Drop off....
So I guess I AM a little bit taller than you dad:)

I love you! Thanks for coming to see me:) It made my week!

Idle Time

B is officially between jobs right now, so he is at home alllll day long. The plan is for him to leave either this weekend or early next week, but for now...he is hanging out around here trying to find new ways to annoy me:) HAHAHA! *u know I am just kidding B*

I am the cart pro!

Yes, I used the timer....to take a pic of myself doing what I did 90% of the time at the course.

and this expression says it all....LOL!

Brandon gets bored between holes, so he takes to drawing on his score card....hmmm, this is a side of him I've never seen.....

Then, on Wednesday the kids asked if we'd come eat lunch with them since daddy's not working....he was cornered with no excuse or way out. The kids were thrilled and we had a great time with them at lunch.

As luck would have it, I didn't have to work this Tuesday or Wednesday either, so rather than sit around and stare at each other, B and I spent some time at the golf course....he golfing, me driving. The cart, that is;) I wanted to try to hit a few balls, but, again...as luck would have it...we got to the 4th hole when the need to find a bathroom hit. But I could do nothing about it because the course was pretty full, and if I'd driven to the club, I would either 1, have to leave B alone with his clubs and make him wait on me, or 2, take him with me. Nice wife I am, I sucked it up *literally* and sat in the cart the entire time. Sport that HE is....he took a few pics of me but was pretty reluctant to take one WITH me *as is the norm*. It was a pretty day but I am filing suit for some porta potties to be placed on the course!

I want*s*

Look at these little lovlies:) I found this artist on Etsy and I LOVE her work! I would love to have this one for my bedroom.

This...is actually called the "Cody coffee table". I am going to restain my coffee table to look like this one..the only difference is that my drawers are on the bottom of the table. So do-able:)


Another happy:)

My daddy is coming into town tomorrow!! YIPEEE!!! I am so super excited:) He won't be here long, but at least we'll have breakfast and time hanging out by ourselves! Counting down the hours........tick tock:)


Pink Christmas

I have been meaning to post a pic of my Pink Christmas present on here but keep forgetting! So here you are:) I signed up for a girlfriend swap this year called Pink Christmas. It's a swap made up of over a hundred women across the world. Our "duty" as part of this group is to make at least one handmade gift for our partner and keep it a secret until Christmas. This year, as a group, we were also asked to give a little to a family who needed help. This year's family was the Calhoun family, specifically Claire, their daughter. Claire was diagnosed with a rare bone marrow disorder and is in the process of chemotherapy. You can read her story here: Claire Calhoun

When I signed up for Pink Christmas, I answered a questionaire and wrote a short note about myself for my secert partner to read and get an idea of who I am and what I would like to get. A few weeks later, I recieved this huge envelope stuffed full of neat little things...like a teeny lipgloss tin and a homemade Pink Christmas ornament/keychain, as well as business cards from sites that supported Pink Christmas *and in turn, supported the Calhoun family*. It was so exciting getting that letter and sifting through the pile of pretties over the next few days.

Then, at the beginning of December....I recieved a package.....from Australia! From my Pink Christmas partner!! Oh, I can't begin to tell you how hard it was to NOT open my gift. My daughter spent the day shaking it and telling me that it MUST be some jewelry.....me, I didn't want to speculate OR get myself so worked up that I gave into temptation, so I hid it under some other gifts under my tree so I wouldn't even have to look at it!

It was worth it:) On Christmas morning, Brooke pulled it out from under the tree and I was surprised because I'd forgotten all about it!!! I opened it to find this:

A wonderful little necklace with my kiddo's names engraved on it! My partner, Mandi, did me goooood:) I love jewelry and I adore my kids, so this necklace is perfect for ME! Thanks Mandi! I've yet to hear from my other partner, so I am not sure if she like the scarf and necklace I made for her:( I should have taken pics of it all before I sent it....I even made the box I sent it in! It was too cute. Hopefully I will hear from her before long!

I can't wait until next Pink Christmas!!


The Hardest of All Choices

My blog title is the name of this painting by Rodney White. Read my blog title and THEN read the saying painted on the print....WOW:)

I've been wanting this print for absolute AGES!!! I love the vintage print and the saying is just perfect:) I'm very picky as to what I am going to spend my $ on to decorate the house...I MUST ABSOLUTELY ADORE IT in order for me to invest in it! Over the years, I've slowly been amassing my own collection of things...and sorting out the hand me downs that we've inherited over 9 years of marriage:) *not taking away from the value of those by ANY means!* This print has been in the Ballard catalog for the last year and I've been waiting for it to come to Kirklands *AND I've been trying to describe it to L for just as long, but never did it justice!*....well.....Krikland's new Spring line came out this week and MY PIC IS PART OF IT!!!! YEHAWWWWWW! So rather than paying over 200 bucks for the Ballard one, I get to pay 70 for the same pic:) Oh....the little things that make me happy! It looks perfect on my yellow wall....and FYI, I am carrying over my yellow kitchen into the new house! I love it!!!! This New Year just keeps throwing little happy's my way:)


Christmas back home!

For some reason I never take as many pictures at my daddy's that I intend on taking. I am not sure if it's because we all get to running our mouths and I forget....or if it's because I am too busy shoveling food into my mouth to pick the camera up...or if it's simply because I live in one big brain toot while I am there....either way, I always come home wishing I'd taken one with my daddy...or made the kids sit down and take one with him....and this year was no different. I did get a few pics of the road up to my dad's house, just so L can see just how in the country that I am from...but I didn't get a pic of the actual house because when I pulled up in the yard, my daddy was waiting in the front for us *in his pajamas at 4 in the afternoon....go figure! HAHA!* I did get a great pic of me and Daryl, which I do everytime that we are together...and for once he doesn't look too terribly stoned in it. Some cute pics of the kids and of John Reese *who is as yummy as a real Reese Piece!!*....

As usual, I had a WONDERFUL time being home visiting with my family and sitting around doing nothing but....BEING. We went on the fastest furniture shopping trip of my life, as well as the fastest car shopping trip of my life *dad got a new chair AND Sandra got a new truck....all in 2 hours! LOL!* Sandra made my favorite things...green bean casserole and mandarin orange pie....I learned that Ginger has a crazy, grouchy grandma *HAHA!*....caught up with my cousins.....laughed so much that my sides hurt, ate so much that my stomach still hurts....and simply had such a wonderful time being home.

Thanks daddy and Sandra.....every year is the best....you all mean the absolute WORLD to me....thank you for your love and the big arms that welcome me home every time I am there. I love you all sooooooo much! *ps...thanks D...for the BEST Christmas present that you've EVER gotten me...I think we should start telling each other what to get EVERY year! HA! Hope you liked World's End:)*

Kids....getting ready to open presents. Look at Brooke's face! AH, I love it!

My daddy....handing out presents:)

D and Ging....I think you two are the cutest couple ever:)

Bub...opening a present:)

This is where you could find the boys most of the time...playing 360. My son is sufficiently HOOKED on boxing now, thanks Noah!

I just may have the best looking daddy in the world....and to think, he's so close to 50 that it's singeing his nose hairs! HA! I love you daddy...this pic was taken after we'd eaten those ribs that he'd slaved over....hahahaaha

My step-mum, Sandra.....she spent a lot of time cooking *thanks!*....see those red hots in the background? She made the best Wassial that I've ever had....and I drank 3 cups to prove it! I love you lady:) You always go out of your way to make everything special for me....if I don't say it enough, it means so much to me...and I have to say....that pineapple in the pie...you can Hawaiian it up every year!

John Reese pieces:) Cutest little buger!

Me and Daryl. Really, we can't mess a picture up, can we!? HA! I love you so much...and I hate leaving you:( But I am looking forward to more frequest visits in PC! YEHAW:)