Tuesday, May 28, 2013


Ben and Chandler have spent the last few days swapping rooms.  After Jake moved himself to the back porch last year, Ben no longer needs the bigger bedroom.  So, being a good brother, he offered to swap with Chan, who was crammed in the smaller room. 

I helped some, but mainly stayed out of the way.  Ben has come in with sorted bags of toys he either wants to get rid of or store in the attic, Chan has packed up one toy after another.  This afternoon she brought in Jennifer Claire, her 'My Twin' doll I bought when she was 9.  I had it hand painted to not just have freckles like hers, but to have the same pattern.  Nearly all the girls name their dolls after themselves, but Chan insisted the doll's name was Jennifer Claire.  When I first opened the box and saw her face, I cried.  She was perfect.  Chan played with her for years, amassed quite a wardrobe, too.  As I combed out the doll's hair and laid her in the box for storage, placing her clothes around her in acid free paper wrappings, I put the last bundle over her face and shut the lid.  And it hit me.

The reason moms miss so many of 'the last' things their children do is because knowing every one would break our hearts.

Jennifer Claire goes to Washington DC

Jennifer Claire on the Blue Ridge Parkway

Jennifer Claire geocaching outside St. Louis
She's been to 14 states and Disney World with us.  I can't believe how much I am going to miss her being around the house.  I know growing up is the goal, but it's hard.


When I was 15-16, my father started taking me to the Ocoee at least twice a summer until I was 20 and Jake was on the way.  He's the guy they probably still talk about, the one who went rafting in polyester dress slacks and wing tip shoes.  He didn't wear a tie at least.  My father had no play clothes, no swim suit, he was 60 before I ever saw him in a pair of jeans.  I lived with him for 2 decades and could not pick his legs out of a line-up of 3, but I will guess they are skinny and bright white.  Now he dresses like one of The Village People, in leather vests and hats, with fringe on some of his things and large buckles on his boots.  He has a motorcycle complete with a teddy bear dressed just like him bungee corded to the handlebars.  He'll be 74 this year. 

The next time I got a chance to go rafting, Matt and I were just about to celebrate our 9th anniversary and realized we had not been away, just the two of us, since our honeymoon.  I looked around online and found the best deal out there, an opening weekend special that included a cabin for 2 nights and a trip down the river one day.  I booked it and off we went, I was glad I had planned the rafting for the second day or else we would have blown our budget to go again (and possibly again!) the same trip.  That was the last time my kids ever stayed with my mother, I still don't know what I was thinking other than really just wanting an adventure that had everything to do with Matt and me and nothing to do with being the mama for 2 whole days.  Getting married with a baby already here and one arriving less than 10 months later, we have not had many 'Matt and me' times so far.  In fact, other than one other weekend, we have not been away together since and we just celebrated our 16th anniversary. And that trip did not involve rafting!

So, I had decided what we needed to do was go rafting again, this time with the kids.  One of the reasons we have not gone since 2006 was waiting for all the kids to be old enough and now they are!  Matt turns 40 in a month, I had planned to go then as a surprise and went to check the outfitter we used the last time and they were running a Memorial Day special that was too good to pass up.  I sent out some e-mails and Gina was raring to go as well, so everything fell together at the last minute, we made our reservations about 20 hours before our raft time!

Blogger will NOT let me put my photos back in order, so the first three should be in the middle, but I am not going to stress about it.

We met up at Suzette's house-which was a surprise to her-when the Lackey's dropped off Dakota to hang out with Z for the day.  They had planned for him to stay, but not for us to park there for the day.  I ended up blocking her in and leaving my keys just in case.

It was 8 when we hit the road.  I was all about being on time, and the day fell into place without a hitch, I was not stressed once the whole time.

Chan secretly delights in elbowing her sleepy baby brother, bwahahaha

We got to Quest at...well, on time.  Our trip was 1:30 eastern and the lunch included was served at 12:30.  We were checked in and first in line, which was wonderful because the group coming in from the 10 a.m. trip did not all wash their hands!  

After we ate, they encouraged us to get more if anyone was still hungry.  I nabbed another homemade cookie!  I had bread and cookies both and I had a flour tortilla at dinner.  I feel queasy today, but that could easily be from 6 hours in the middle of the backseat.  But my rash is back.  I had a few bumps this morning and now, after noon, I have a small field of them.  That CAN'T be from lack of Vitamin A, even if I had celiac disease, it would take more than 24 hours to do that kind of 'deficiency' damage.   I need more information.

My four lovely children. 

Gina took this one.

 These are from Gina's camera:

After!  Soaked and happy.

Matt did a track log of our raft's progress down the river.
Ben was a little worried about the trip, just not knowing at all what to expect gets him worked up.  Even on a day when we will just be home, he asks a dozen questions about what exactly is going to be happening through the day.  He had gotten pretty worked up inside his head about the river, but as soon as we were past the first set of rapids, he was thrilled.  He said one tiny 'wheeeee' and smiled the rest of the afternoon.

Below is my after-rafter snack.  We were like terriers.  It was too pooped to be like wolves, though I did do some damage to that avocado there.

While I was eating, Gina got to spend a few minutes visiting with a friend of hers who rode her...motorcycle but with extra wheels, down from Knoxville.  It was a good day for a ride, though too bad they missed rafting!  It was a perfect day on the river.

On the way home, the kids were wiped out.  It's not a major physical trip, there are only a couple of sections that you really have to dig in and paddle.  The guide does 90% of the work of steering and the river does the pushing along.  The rafters just keep it moving now and then to get across or through a sticky spot.  But the day was LONG and the excitement was high and the drive is 6 hours round trip no matter what you do-that's a good bit of down time.

My child for sure.  84 degrees outside and he's bundled for Siberia.  I sleep COLD, so does Ben.

Jake gets tired of waiting and wakes everyone up with his pigtails and hat.

Brit has no idea what to say, so Chan helps her out.

 We stopped for dinner at Scottsboro and then zipped on down to pick up the van and get home.  I had NO trouble sleeping last night! I can't wait for next time!

Friday, May 24, 2013

Good News Friday

Last week camping interfered with my good news Friday.  :)  I am trying to be a little more thankful and aware of what's going right, so I am trying to hit this post as many weeks as I can.

Let's see, I am thankful for the library system, I know it comes up often, but it's SUCH a fabulous and useful thing, I can't help but be grateful. Which leads me to my next thing, which is well-written books, useful and informative books and the ability to teach yourself.

Okay, on to good news.  Jeremy from Cyber came yesterday and moved our antenna, which brought back the internets to our house-it crapped out 3 days last week and 2 this week.  He was yet another super nice employee of theirs, other than the woman answering phones, I have never had a bad experience with them.  And they JUMP on problems, I called around 11 and left a message and he pulled up at 2 and worked until after 5.

Ben got out of rubber bands AND they took out his bite plate at the orthodontist this week.  I hope that means the traction is working and his jaw is moving!  They don't tell me anything unless it's time to pay more money.   His teeth look amazing already.

Matt gets off early today and has a 3 day weekend followed by a 3 day work week followed by another 3 day weekend.  Score!  We are going on a date tonight, too.  (and if that date involves all 3 kids, picking up groceries and running to Lowe's then skippy)
The weather today is awesome, it's perfect.

I have 4 books waiting for me to read.  I have my hammock on the porch, I have a new Backpacker AND Mother Earth News still warm from the mailbox that I have not cracked open yet, True Blood disc 2 is in the mail, the last disc of Fringe just arrived today. 

I spent the morning cleaning the kitchen and bathrooms top to bottom.  It took nearly 3 hours to scrub and get disinfectant and what-not in all the nooks and crannies and get everything really clean.  I was inspired by a police investigation I was reading about in which the mother was cleared as a suspect in her family's murder in no small part because she kept behind the toilets clean.  Apparently that kind of devotion indicates a good mum and not a bad one.  At any rate, I'm good for a few days.  hahaha

And that's it for now.  I know I am missing good things that have happened, but that's okay.  Another good thing is that I am all grown up and this is my own blog and I don't really have to do more with it than please myself.  : )  And post pictures.

I have spent the week focused on being happy where I happen to be, and a big part of that is being comfy.  So, I made a fan tent last weekend, which has morphed over the week to become a huge ordeal with lights and extra pillows.  I love it.  hahaha

Also, lounging on the porch to read, major pay-off for getting my to-do list completed.
Yesterday, Wonder wanted to join me, which led to Nia piling on, she really really wants the kitties to play with her more.  But the kitties don't like being stood on or getting their tails yanked.  I need to get her a goat to knock around with.

I have been walking most afternoons with the dogs, mainly to get Jessie moving more-though I have to admit getting ME moving more is not entirely a bad idea.  Yesterday I toted the camera along, planning to get a shot of the yellow/white/purple combo of sweet pea, honeysuckle, vetch and buttercup in bloom, but did not like any of the shots I took of the whole affair, I do well with single subject nature shots but don't seem to be able to capture a field the way I 'see' it.  Something new to work at, maybe.

Thursday, May 23, 2013


It's my 666th post. 

When I was a kid, being the preacher's kid, I was of course terrified of 666, The Mark of The Beast.  My mother warned me to never, ever get a tattoo with a number on it.  My brother told me if I dialed it into the phone, Satan would answer.  I actually tried that one, figuring I might be able to broker a deal for his soul, get some good stuff and still enter the Kingdom of Heaven unscathed-all I had to do was confess at some later date and repent.

I was all about taking it all back on my deathbed, that was my plan for a long time for my deep sins of eating candy before dinner, saying I was one place but being another (so I could ride my bike longer) and hating to work in the garden.  Also, there was an incident involving being stuck on the barn roof at age 6 I recall praying heavily about...but not how or why I was up there to begin with.  There were impassioned pleas to keep pound-bound animals, swears of, "Answer this prayer and I will never ask for anything else again ever." 

At some point, I stopped sending wishes and hopes and requests to the sky, last year, I tried a rusty plea for the return of my dog that was just as ignored as anything else I have ever fervently hoped for and I have not given prayer much thought since.  My wild fear of the number 666 went out around my attaining double digit age and now my feelings run somewhere along the lines of wishing I had faith, but knowing that's not how it works.

Sure, I'd like to leave everything up to a Zeus stand-in magical being who loves me no matter what and rest my head believing there's A Plan and I am Part Of It.  How easy that would make it all.  Ghosts are not real, other than of course the Holy Ghost and then there's no Santa but there is a guy watching your every move and making a list.  And letting children and dogs die anyway.  It's all more than I can absorb, more than my brain can take in.  But I feel like Mulder in the X-Files with his big poster over his desk.  The one with the ufo that proclaimed I WANT TO BELIEVE.

But, I don't.  My brain rejects the entire concept. We are animals and when we die, that's all.  No Granny baking pie in the afterlife or beloved pets or dead lovers, no man in the sky watching over us, no plan of any kind, no hell for the bad guys or reward for the good, it's all, every bit of it, right here.

So get off your ass and go marvel at something, cause when you're gone, you're gone and right now you have health, eyesight, freedom.  You can get in your car and drive and see something new, you can give money to a man who has not eaten all day, you can help a child or an animal have a better life, you can wash your hair in shampoo that smells of vanilla and watch a movie and eat popcorn with butter.  You can stand on your roof and scream poetry at the moon, you can weave yarn into a scarf, you can dance and sing and put your feet in a stream and isn't that magic enough?  Isn't this life enough? A flower, a star, a baby laughing, a lover's sigh, a cat's purr, the taste of strawberries, the smell of bacon, it's right there, right here.

Don't be a good person for hope or fear of some life after this, be a good person because it's good to be good.  Being happy makes those around you happy, being peaceful gives you a peaceful home, being a good mama gives you good kids, being a help to your partner makes your partner want to help you.  You get what you put in-maybe not everything is fair and equal and crap happens.  How you deal with it makes you who you are. 

There's no magic number.

Monday, May 20, 2013


I have been reading, among other things, a series by Tana French set in Ireland that are, on the surface police procedural who dunnits and in depth, fabulous stories with strong characters who are fallible and feel real.  I have not read the fourth book yet, it will be here later this week, but I can say the first three are worthwhile. (update, the 4th book is likely the best, read them all!)

The first, In The Woods is told from the point of view of Rob Ryan, a young detective in the Dublin Murder Squad (which does not exist) and jumps back and forth between his past and the present case he is working on with his partner, Cassie Maddox.  I loved Rob, he was so screwed up and still trying, yet-with a skill that I swear is either only Irish or the Irish are the only ones to cop to it-he manages to bungle up his best efforts with an even more enthusiastic streak of sheer self-sabotage.  Frank McCourt was the first writer I ever read who had a story with loads of heart and hope and who managed to stick his foot in it coming and going, usually by getting drunk even when it was against his better judgement.
There is no satisfaction in the ending, I've not read a book that left things so human before.  No miracles, no revelations, no new leaves.  Just another day to move past.  That being said, it's still one of the best books I have ever read.

The second book, The Likeness, took me well over a week to get through and that's saying something.  It is set at the last bit of In The Woods and overlaps the time frame somewhat before moving ahead.  The story is about Cassie Maddox, who resumes her previous role as an undercover detective to solve the murder of a young woman who looks exactly like her.  It has none of the same pacing as In The Woods, the mind of Cassie is nothing like seeing things from Rob's perspective and as she's undercover and on her own, it's set a good bit inside her head as she puzzles through things.  It's worth the read for the sake of the series, but can be skipped as it does little more than wind up the first book and introduce you to her boss, Frank Mackey.

Faithful Place centers around Frank Mackey and has no mention of Rob or Cassie.  Frank left home 22 years before after being dumped by his girlfriend, Rose, the same night they planned to run away together to start a new life.  Now the head of an undercover unit and a 41 year old divorced father, he gets a call from his sister saying to come home.  They've found a suitcase that belonged to Rosie.  Maybe she never left him or Faithful Place.
Frank is a different type of screwed up than Rob and the story is mostly in his head as well, but he embraces his faults and uses them to help solve puzzles.  He's manipulative and tough, but underneath everything he's ever done for the past 2 decades hinges on believing the girl he loved more than life had walked away from him.  The reconciliation of her death and the subsequent unraveling of events weave together to create a really good story, I zipped through it in 2 days.

Her latest, Broken Harbor focuses on Mick 'Scorcher' Kennedy, the Murder Squad detective with the highest solve rate and the man in charge of Rose's murder investigation in the previous book.  It's set up to go into his past as well, to when he was a child and something happened to him and his sister in Broken Harbor-where he's just been sent to solve a triple murder of a father and 2 children.  I can hardly wait to sink into it.

She's all about pasts shaping present, she gives each character a juicy one.  Rob is the sole survivor from a childhood trio of friends.  He was found when he was just a kid soaked in blood and holding on to a tree so tightly his nails had to be pried out of the bark.  His 2 best friends were never seen again.  The woods where it happened are the same woods a young girl has been found murdered in, some 20 years later and he pulls the case.

I love the way each story leads to the next and I like how there are questions and loose ends in each story and characters I want to know more about put on display for a chapter or two and then whisked away to do their jobs elsewhere.  I want badly to get back to Rob and see where he is in 5 years from the end of his story, to see if 'Legion' ever makes another showing, to see if Stephen from Faithful Place gets his own tale.  I want so badly for some of the people to stop drinking and wallowing and live up to their potential, to get over their pasts and have a future.  It's funny how much time I spend thinking about them and thinking, 'If only'.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Home Again

Last Sunday, we headed out to camp for a few nights and returned Friday, then proceeded to go through a combination of eating too much, sleeping too much and doing lots of laundry.  I finally put a stop to that and we got the camper unloaded and the house clean and everything squared away, did the shopping for the week and took the recycling.  And put on actual clothing.

This afternoon, I made a fan tent and crawled in to read a while and everyone else played on their computers.  Nia had a bath, which sent her into a major funk, everyone put their hats and shoes and flashlights where they go.  It was not a super busy day!  Or week for that matter, it was the least-doing-anything trip we have ever had.

This next week is shaping up to be pretty lax for us, just one day out so far.  It's Matt's 'long' week at work, made longer by some transitions going on that I have been assured are 'nothing for me to worry about'.  The next week looks lovely-a 3-day work week and a year-end homeschool swim that should be pretty awesome.  I have some plans that are falling into place for next month as well, I am liking the easy pace of things at the moment, the very low level of stress.

I am off to get back in my tent-bed and read a few more chapters before someone realizes it's time to start thinking about dinner!  We are still going mostly GF for now, though I did buy a regular loaf of bread for the kids to make sandwiches.  I have only have one round of gluten in the past 7 weeks and I was sick to my stomach and had a raging headache the whole evening-which may mean nothing at all as the privet is blooming and a dozen other things that could be attributed to making me feel blah. 

Friday, May 10, 2013

Good News Friday

Jake got to have friends over today, he was so happy he was dancing in the yard before they got here.  It worked out very well because one was able to pick up the other on the way here, so I did not have to do anything! YAY!

I took the van to a real shop and got the AC recharged and had them add the dye to check for leaks.  It checked out fine and they could find no leak in the hour they worked on it, but was nearly totally out of freon, so I think there's a loose hose somewhere.  Still, it will be easier and cheaper to find and fix than if some major component had gone out.  They were not at all surprised it was over 2 pounds low, though in my mind, it's a closed system, I could see over 7 years SOME of it getting out, but not nearly ALL of it.  I only added a small can a couple weeks ago and it worked until yesterday...so anyway, maybe it's fixed or has enough to last the whole summer.  Good news: it works for now.

I downloaded 5 books onto the Nook to take camping and proceeded to read 3 of them this week.  I am a glutton.  But the good news is that one of the books I really wanted to get and had to be put on the wait list has come up and I can get it before we head out.  So, yay.

Before Jake's friends came over, I moved the BAGS of food off the kitchen table and put them in here next to my desk along with a couple sodas.  Teen boys will eat anything and I just finished the shopping for the trip, I don't want to go back and get anything else.  There's other food in there they can have at.  This afternoon, the internet guy came out to check our connections and radio as our connection has been REALLY crap of late.  He used MY computer and only after he left did I realize I had 6 big brown paper bags full of food, 5 of them with some kind of chip or cookie bag coming out the top and a small stockpile of sodas all around my desk like I am some kind of gluten free goodie hoarder.  Hopefully he noticed the camping gear and the 4 big bags of fruit by the front door.  Good news:  Internet is a little better.  The radio antenna was pointed at the ground.

Netflix has FINALLY come through.  Remember that, nearly 3 weeks ago when some idiot hacked my account?  Well, I got my new debit card in that same week, which was a minor miracle.  Then the next week I got an e-mail with a form I had to print out, sign and MAIL in to Netflix to verify it's me.  That took 5 days to get to them and get processed.  Then on the 30th, they cleared my account and allowed me to restart my subscription, which I did and BAM, had to pay for the full month up front, which I had JUST paid 4 days before my account was put on hold by THEM.  Then on the 3rd, I got the notice that I would get the next dvd in my queue as soon as possible.  By the 7th, it STILL had not mailed, so I called.  My account was still on hold in the computer!  After I was done chatting, they had refunded last month's total-which cleared today-and had my next dvd in the mail right then.  So, yay.

That's it!  

Thursday, May 9, 2013

GF Update

Today has been 6 weeks of being totally gluten free and 11 weeks of being gluten-light, which is what I call only eating a single meal with gluten each day.

I can report a couple of things, one, it was much easier than I thought.  Two, that the rash I was hoping to eradicate is indeed gone on me, Ben and Chan.  Jake, who ate gluten every chance he got, still has his full rash and his was the worst to begin with.  But, it's his body, he knows how to get rid of it if he's willing to change his diet. 

I can also report that as of today, I am not longer toeing the line on the GF lifestyle.  I realized this after driving 80 miles in a van with no air conditioning to pay $22 for 2 loaves of bread and a box of 4 gluten free veggie burgers to take camping for the 5 of us  Because I refused to pay $16 for 8 burgers, so I guess someone is eating grilled cheese.  This was my THIRD stop to look for the bread, it was freezer burned and about 25% ice crystals at both Kroger's so I ended up at Earth Fare where I bought shelf-stable bread that was exactly the same texture as Styrofoam. 12 slices for SIX dollars. 

i don't plan to run out and buy Ramen and have that 5 days out of the week, but I am done with the special driving and effort and hassle.  We were nearly GF on the pasta just buying rice pasta at the Asian market, I rarely eat bread anyway, GF cornbread mix is affordable (and easy to get), so I can keep getting that.  But I am not going to stress and buy $8 veggie burgers to avoid wheat when it's the LAST ingredient in the $3 box we like more anyway.

So, GF experiment is over after next week, I won't go off the wagon until we are through the $$$ stock I have on hand.  If we lived in a town where running around was not as big a deal or if someone was really allergic, it would be different.  But I feel like I am making a huge effort and spending too much time and money for a minor sensitivity.  I am not sleeping better, did not lose any weight, I don't feel less depressed or moody, my stomach hurts just as much and as often as usual, so it did not 'fix' any of the prime issues I was hopeful about.

I bought more freon for the van, I will juice her back up next week.  Since we are not going anywhere for a few days, there was no need to mess with it now.  It's going to pour rain and then turn cold.  If there is a leak and it's not just still low (though I had it checked and he said it held pressure fine so I think it's still just low) then there's no need to let it sit out there in the yard and fritter away.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Slow Round Here

Thank goodness there's nearly nothing going on lately.  I used to not like lulls, but have come to the realization that they also mean nothing drastic is going on, either. 

I have been moving photos to my external drive, that is like poking molasses uphill in January using a coffee stirrer.  I have been reading, according to everyone else in the house 'all the time' though the laundry is done and the house is clean and their little bellies are full, so I can't imagine it's ALL the time.  I made a little schedule this morning so I can have a more interactive remainder of the week.  Today, I am rearranging my room.  So far, I have the bed moved.  But since it's 6'3 x 6'2, I feel that single article is an accomplishment.  Plus the stuff I moved so I could move it. 

Out internet has been SUPER slow, the kind of 'click on the page and go away until it loads' slow.  I don't know why I am blogging, it may never upload.

Going back through the years (I am wayyy back at 2009) and looking at photos from our travels has given me a new list of places I want to revisit this year and next as well as a few reminders that Ben is no longer belly-button height and this fall is Jake's senior year, if I am going to get them out to see more of the US, we have to leave the house first.  In 2009, we camped 7 full weeks, that's 49 nights.  Last year, I camped 10 nights.  This year, I have camped one.  So far.

So, my goal for the rest of this year is to camp out at least 3 nights a month through November.  December camping is for hard-core people, not me.  I recognize a few things.  If cooking over a fire was so awesome, no one would have come up with a stove.  And if sleeping outdoors in all weathers was what we were supposed to do, I would not have a hot water heater.  Hot water and libraries are the two best things ever than humans have come up with, seriously.  Maybe...highways and cars, but mainly hot water and libraries. 

Friday, May 3, 2013

At Every Age

Matt's Aunt Judy once told me that she had enjoyed her kids at every age and still enjoyed them as adults.  She also told me that once you do some chore when you are married, that chore is yours from then on. 

That last one turned out to be too true until I figured out Matt is not very intuitive, but he takes orders pretty well.  He'll do anything I ask, but I have to ask.  He has never taken it upon himself to tackle anything from taking out the trash to mowing all on his own.  Jake is the exact same way.  The boy will work his arms off on some task I set forth and do so cheerfully, but something like just moving his shoes out of the walkway never even makes a blip on his radar.  He does, however, come in and ASK-every single day-if there's anything I need him to take care of for me.  Ben...well, the baby of THIS family is my personal pet monkey.  I will make an effort to get him in better shape for marriage or just life on his own.  Eventually.  I have to say that's the only living vicariously I have done with my kids-I was the baby and I was not babied enough.  My whole childhood was crappy and abbreviated. (Why is abbreviated such a long word?)  Theirs is as long as I can make it and pretty cushy, Ben the most.  They still play the better part of every day.

But that first one...that honestly had never occurred to me before, I must have thought there was some great phase and the rest was awful.  I heard 'they grow up so fast' and 'two is a horrible age' and 'puberty is the worst' and heard dire warnings about pre-teen girls, bossy little girls, muddy boys, 'boys will be boys' which, honest to God is the BIGGEST load of crap, EVER.  I hate that saying nearly as much as I hate 'put on your big girl panties'.  I am a size 16 and that's AFTER losing 40 pounds.  What the hell else kind of panties would I have?? 


I have enjoyed the kids at every age and it has gone too fast and I think ahead a year-Jake graduates next May.  Chan will be heading into the 11th grade and Ben will be starting high school. 

I was in the tub (surprise!) yesterday and Nia went tappy tappy through the little hallway and Chan went in to talk to Ben and the front door opened and shut 5 times, I heard the boys thunder past the window yelling with the dogs making just as much racket running in their mini pack and I have to wonder-how much longer will I have noise around all day?  At what point will it be just the fan and the fridge and the heat pump kicking off and on?  The crunch of gravel as the mail is delivered, the occasional windy day making the eaves whistle.


I guess I want to prove to myself that I AM paying attention, that time passing is being noted, that every day is one day closer to the next stage.  I am sad at times that while I am well aware of nearly every 'first' for each kid, I don't remember many of the 'lasts'.  The last time I tied their shoe for them or walked them across the street, ran the bath, did the seat belt buckle or poured their drink.  Don't get me wrong, growing up and becoming independent is absolutely the goal of the whole operation, but dang.  It's hard. I hope Judy is right.

A True Story

At Southern Accents in Cullman on what may or may not be our 16th anniversary.

Today we had to get a copy of our marriage certificate because the original is....????.  I was looking at it and said, "That's odd!  Daddy dated it for the 2nd and our anniversary is the 3rd!"  Daddy performed our wedding.

Matt said, "Did they date it at the courthouse, we went in the day before to get our license."

Me, "I don't know.  Did we get married on the 2nd?" 

Matt, "It was on a Saturday."

Me, "I thought it was a Friday."

Matt, scrolling on his phone calendar.  Hands it off when traffic starts moving again.

Me, verifying, "Well, the 2nd was a Friday and the 3rd was Saturday."

Matt, "Oh...God."

So, maybe we were married 16 years ago yesterday?  Maybe it was today.  Either way.