Friday, February 17, 2017

Oh Hey Friday! | 4 on Friday and a Flashback

{24 Valentine's Days}

You know what's cool about my Valentine? He doesn't give a rip about Valentine's Day and neither do I. I mean, we like to acknowledge the occasion and exchange a small memento - card...candy, because it's just fun to celebrate something...right? But we are definitely not the go-all-outers or anything.

We used to be! But then we both realized that we get a heck of a lot more mileage out of the random acts of affection than commercially pressured holidays. Shan knows I love him more than air and that I'll always look at him with heart eyes 😍 . And he especially knows that anytime he agrees to wear a costume... Well, we all know how I am about costumes and nothing says love like a grown man in a Jon-Jon. So the love is there!

And although he's a man of few words and I sometimes wonder if he's alive, he will occasionally surprise me. This year he actually did! He got me 2 dozen baby pink roses to commemorate our 24th Valentine's Day together! 💘  LOVE!

I made him some of my world-famous Chocolate Covered Strawberries!

And here I am taking it all the way back to 1993...our very first Valentine's Day together! Maybe there was a ghost in the room or maybe I was contemplating going goth? Either way, I can't figure that look very white.

And of course the Valentine Chicken made a pit-stop to see the boys! The frosted sugar cookies from Silver Spoon...OH MY WORD. And those boys love an iTunes gift card! (If you've been coming here a while, you know we have the ridiculously made-up tradition of the Valentine's Chicken all because of my Kindergarten teacher and then my mom and I who have kept it going for 37 years. Out of control.)


No body likes boundaries, but everyone needs them! Friends, parents, grandparents, and especially the kids. Our Sunday School class has been reading this...

and it's really good. I suggest you grab a copy or ask your church to add this to the upcoming studies. Or better yet, come join us anytime! We'll be covering the book over the next 6 weeks. Any's got me really looking forward to class each week because it is so relevant right now. 


Has the blog even met Arnold???? I don't think so!
OMGeeeeeee! So last April we went to an annual event called The Golf Ball. It's an auctiony event where the goal is to get you to drink more-spend more. Well, 4 cocktails, 1 - $25 raffle ticket, and a 5 gallon drum that said "puppy" on it later...we came home with a dog. 

Here we are just a normal dogless couple and then here we are getting our world rocked! Of all the tickets in that bucket who the heck would have thought we'd actually win.
I mean we had been wanting a dog. Me, more like another dachshund and Shan had really been wanting a lab, but not a lab first. We screwed that up that night. We came home with a 6 week old yellow lab who was appropriately named Arnold Palmer. He has since then become a social media sensation donning the hashtag #BadArnold.

So really long story short - follow his hashtag on Facebook and Instagram - so you can see why he got that hashtag!

Any who, he had to be sent away to "camp". He was in St. Matthews, SC at Beaver Creek Kennels...where bad dogs go to die. Not really, know what I mean. We got him back and he's been home almost 2 weeks and he's SO much better. He'll always be #BadArnold, but he's more like #BetterArnold now. Look at my shweet boy! Who's sleepy?

{French Pressin'}

We are fancy, y'all! In one of my scary convos with Shan about the havoc that the K-cups are wreaking on the environment and our bodies with all their chemicals, I convinced him to go French Press. I don't think he's ever going back to traditional coffee making or K-cups. All those parts inside your coffee maker get corroded with funk and they are all made of plastic. So don't be like...oh well we still use a coffee maker...because it's all gross.  

It's amazing how much different the coffee tastes. I'm not even a coffee person, but I notice a huge difference. It doesn't have a plastic after taste! It's amazing. And it makes mornings feel super fancy!

Go get one!

{Flashback Friday} 

I really don't have a 5th thing to mention and since I have taken such a huge hiatus I feel like my blog has missed a lot of our lives! So I'm gonna throw in a flashback...

My flashback this week is to last summer when wise guy Sam thought it'd be funny to change my name in my phone and wouldn't tell me how to change it back! 😂  Every time I'd ask Siri something she'd say "Sure Huge Anus! I'll..." We still laugh so hard that we cry! I finally figured it out and have a regular name. But sometimes I secretly wish Siri would still call me Huge Anus because it was hysterical. Especially in public!

Happy Friday!

"Huge Anus"

Monday, February 13, 2017

Weekend Wrap

Wow! After my post last Friday, I had no idea I would evoke such emotion. Your FB comments, texts, private messages and conversations in passing warmed my heart. It's so good to know I'm not alone in these feelings. I also did NOT intend to make so many of you sad or fearful of the teen years. It's all good. Just a HUGE learning experience!

But the flip side of all that is that it breathed some life into this empty space of mine. It used to get some pretty good foot traffic on this blog and it was nice to have visitors again...

Thanks for inspiring me to come back!

I used to enjoy recapping our weekends. I want my boys to be able to come back and read what life was like back-in-the-day. It's usually simple with no frills, but it's ours.

I had the pleasure of attending the 2nd Grade Poetry Cafe. We watched and waited as 7000 - no lie - 2nd graders read their masterpieces. Some were endearing and touted love and praise for mothers, fathers, brothers, and sisters so sweetly! Some, it was hard to tell who plagiarized who, as they sounded extremely similar to their classmates. Then there was the child who read his perfectly written poem - chock full of metaphors and personification - about his alien-like clothing. I'm sure that mother's heart was melting! ;-)

And Friday night was so eventful that I can't even remember what we did. All I remember is that there was pizza and brownies involved. Good enough.

What a GORGEOUS day! Winter has decided to only tease us this year in South Cackalacky and Mother Nature has been more than generous with the spring-like temps. So I decided while the crazies were wrapping up their basketball season that I'd do some spring cleaning. My new obsession...Method squirt + mop! With its delightful almond scent, my boys were very disappointed to discover that I actually hadn't made Biscottis, it was just the floor cleaner. Sorry, guys. BUZZ KILL!

Somehow, we ended up being childless Saturday night. The boys all went hither, thither and yon, sleeping over with friends. And Shannon and I were all.alone! We went all and heavy! With a spic-n-span house, we spent the evening eating takeout sushi, getting caught up to the season finale of The Affair and doing this...

Folding six loads of laundry! Because that's hot when it comes out of the dryer, and heavy when it fills the basket...right?

Sunday was a good Sunday. My friends and I have recently discussed the ridonkulous hustle and bustle that occurs on Sundays. Practices, games, school, there, and everywhere! When did it become like that? I like it Lionel Ritchie-style. After church, we went to lunch and leisurely enjoyed the rest of the beautiful afternoon. Shan and the boys made some progress on the tree house (Yay!), I went to barre3, got us all organized for the week, then Shan made us some amazing filets on the grill. I forewarned everyone in my house that it was Grammy night and that I would be out of commission at 8pm.

As far as the 2017 Grammys are concerned, I have 2 words (actually, names)...


And Beyonce´??????????

Adele cleaned house...again. It was just like a flashback from 5 years ago. And "Bouncey" was channeling the Virgin Mary or something. I'm not really sure what was happening there. Did you know she's having twins? I think she's the first person to ever have twins. #notreallyafan

Any who, it was just another wild weekend in the life of this family in The Acres.

See y'all soon!

Friday, February 10, 2017

It ain't that simple anymore!

Blogging these days ain't that simple. I used to blog about play dates, brightly colored thematic birthday parties, t-ball, the perfect DIY project, and the latest virus that was sweeping through our house. Of course we still have all of that stuff going on...and more! But life is happening so fast I can barely keep up.

When I started blogging 11-ish years ago, life was slower - simpler. Well, life ain't that simple anymore. And parenting definitely ain't that simple anymore. And it's all happening in a whirlwind. Is it bad to say that I feel like I am building them all up, just to let them all go? I am struggling and trying to hang on to every day I have with them in my home.

It seems like yesterday that a bright pink little baby boy was placed on my chest, as we welcomed him to the world. That little baby grew into a silly toddler who loved to take naps on the sofa with his momma. He then grew into an adolescent who had a fiery passion for guitar and a great sense of humor, who also loved to be his momma's copilot on errands. Now he's a handsome, solid, teenager who still loves his guitar, but also loves golf and friends and spending time doing his "own thing". And I hear "not right now, mom" a lot more than I'd like these days.

He still loves his momma. I know he does. But some days - lots of days - he makes me wonder. And lots of nights I pray myself to sleep, hoping he always will and wondering if I've done enough to make him the man he needs to be. I lie awake wishing I could go wake him up and get him to talk to me.

As I finish tucking in his youngest brother, I am secretly wishing it was his bedtime too, not only because I would like to spend some time with my husband, but often because I wish I could snuggle with him and have him ask me to read him a story. He has no idea how bad I want to. All that went by faster than I ever imagined and it was so special.

Instead, now he wants to play his video games or text-chat with his friends for a little while longer. It seems exerting independence is more prevalent at 14 than when he was 2. There are so many battles! I have to choose them wisely. The hair battle. The condemnable bedroom battle. The clothes-on-the-floor battle. The homework battle. The friend-choice battle. Pretty soon it will be the car keys battle. So for right now, I will rejoice in the simplicity of the bedtime battle.

All of's kind of like living with a stranger. A stranger who needs tighter boundaries. A stranger who doesn't like to share his heart a whole lot. A stranger who's trying to figure it all out. Little does he is his momma.

I am trying to figure out what he likes to talk about. I'm trying to figure out when to be quiet {which we all know I'd rather be shot than be quiet}. I'm trying to figure out when to tighten the reigns and when to let them loose. A few weeks ago we registered him for HIGH SCHOOL. And even with a guidance counselor sitting there advising us, I was trying to figure out what the best classes would be for my son. After all, I know him better than anyone else. He assured me that he's "got this". And he may for this, but I know that he still needs me, even when he thinks he doesn't.

I also know that in the next couple of years my heart is going to take a backseat to the heart of every other girl that crosses his path. I know that it will be that way until he knows his heart needs me again. And as tough as it is to swallow, I will wait, just like I did on his first day of school. And what a LONG wait that was.

Parenting a teenager is a constant second guess. I truly wish it was as simple as picking out a theme and invitations for his fourth birthday party. I wish I could rewind a lot of days and do things over again. Do them better. But grace is all I have right now. Amazing grace! Because we are both growing up together...learning as we go. And just ain't that simple.

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