The Divine Miss Em

By now, most of you know that I grew up overseas.  As a Missionary's Kid, I was given an opportunity that I often took (and take) for granted, but definitely realize that the entire experience airs on the side of super-fortunate. 

When I think back over my time as an MK, my memories wouldn't be complete without one particular person.  If I think about Bangladesh...she's there. 

Meet Emily.

This picture of me and Em was taken just last week in Branson, where she was vacaying and I was chillaxin' with the 'rents.  And I was thrilled beyond Texas to see her and her mama, Aunt Patt (all missionary kids refer to the other missionaries as "aunt" and "uncle." It's just how we roll.)

Before I get too far away from this picture...do you see how tall she is?  Jiminy Cricket.  Um...I'm also standing on my tippy-toes.  And she's just as gorgeous as ever.

Anyway...Em and I were raised together.  Both of our families arrived in Bangladesh at the same time and both waded through the knee-deep waters of culture shock together.  Emily and I were the same age, and we instantly bonded.  Em's parents were my parents' BFFs, and they went to Language School together, as well as muddling through the first months of ministry together.  We lived in a duplex with Emily's family, so the togetherness was end.less.  Emily's younger brother, Nathan, always wanted to be like us, and my big sister, Michele, couldn't stand us.  We were family.  Plain and simple.  Family.

Here's some early pictures that Jim-Dad dug up of me and The Divine Miss Em....

That's me on the left in the stunning red ensemble.  Em's in the middle, and that's her little brother, Nathan, on the right.  It looks like, in this particular picture, we were hangin' in a village somewhere.  I do recognize the man standing right behind me.  That's Matthias, who was our cook there...so I'm thinking we must have been in his village. 

That's me and Emily getting off of our school bus and heading for the house.  We went to the American School for our first year in the country (we were later home-schooled), and every morning and afternoon, our aiyahs would walk us to and from the bus-stop.  The pretty lady in red with me was my aiyah, Cecilia.  The unfortunate looking guy escorting Emily was Cecilia's good-for-nothing husband Shamir.  If you want to get Jim-Dad stirred up, just get him started on Shamir.  Whoa.Nelly.

Aren't we precious.  Ahem.  This picture was taken at one of our Mission Meetings, and our moms thought it would be all kinds of swell to dress us up alike.  That's me with the fabulous red shoes on the left.  Emily's on the right.  And the girl in the middle is Jamie, another Missionary Kid.  Our mothers should be hung out to dry.  What.Were.They.Thinking.

Back to last week.  It was so great to sit and visit with Emily and Aunt Patt.  Emily had also brought a friend of hers with them, and Nathan's soon-to-be-fiance was with them, too.  Cannot believe that little Nate is old enough to be gettin' hitched. 

A lot of time has gone by.
But some relationships last forever. 
You can't quit family.


From Toes to Tampons. You're Welcome.

I had my toes done today.

It's one of those small indulgences that has turned into a flat-out necessity.  About three pedicures ago I switched Preddy Bootie Nayol Schalons.  After my last experience with the still-in-utero-fetus working on my feet, I was definitely ready for a change.  And it was just my luck that a new nail place opened up in town.   And get this....they speak English.  Whahuh?  And they love Jesus.  Double whahuh?  And the lady rubbed my feet for 20 minutes straight today.  Triple whahuh and a scoop of Hallelujah on top.

Heaven, I tell you.  Heaven.  My good buddy, Perpetual Preschool, has decided that pedicures should be covered by health insurance under some mental health clause.  And I totally agree.  I would gladly plop my $20 copay down for that kind of therapy.  You betcha.

I also went and had hairapy today.  I took a picture of my new self right after I walked out of the beauty shop, but I look like I'm 103 years old in it, so I altered it bit.

Um...yah.  Nothing like crow's feet on a smiley face.  Growl.  But the hair is cute and swingy.  Silver lining.

Although most folks wouldn't consider the dentist office as part of a day of blissful therapy, I on the other hand do.  Well, if it is dentist day for the offspring, that is.  Because that means I have an hour to myself in a quiet waiting room where I have nothing to do but just sit.  And contemplate which organs I'm going to sell to pay for the orthodontia services that I was informed today now needed to be paid for.  For not one of my children, mind you, but two.  Anyone need a good kidney?  Lung, perhaps?

Before heading home, I drowned my orthodontic information sorrows in a well-rounded pizza buffet.  Because pizza therapy should also be covered under the mental health clause.  Not only does it make me happy, but it makes me so dingity-dang sleepy that I went home and took a 3 hour nap....which I hear is excellent for the mind, body, and soul.  Amen.

And Walmart.  I almost forgot Walmart.  Because you can't come to town and NOT stop at Walmart.  That would be heresy on all accounts of all things good-and-Arkansan. 

Today's trip to the Mart-of-all-Wals had me buying the all-out-necessities. 

Two cartons of popsicles that turn our poop fun colors, four boxes of cereal that will be gone in 3.4 seconds, and fruit snacks.  These, people, are the things that make our world keep from heaving itself headfirst off its axis. 

And before I forget to discuss it...is anyone else bored out of their gourds with the Great Value sterile white nursing home floor lookin' packaging?  Everything looks the same. 

And I, for one, don't appreciate getting my tampons mixed up with my cheese crackers.

That's all.


The Little Things I've Learned This Week....

It's only Wednesday, and this week has already been a Wide World of Well-Learnedness.  And I'm not talking big huge life-lessons here.  I'm talking the little things.  The miniature.  The petite.  The scanty pocket-sized unpretentious tidbits that make our worlds go 'round. 

**** I've learned that the folks who make those yummy freezer pops which are a summer staple have been marketing their product all wrong.  I'm currently composing a letter to the various manufacturers informing them of their need to include little boys (ranging in age from 10 to 6 primarily) sucking down the frozen pouches of splendor in mass just to make a latter trip to the restroom more entertaining for themselves and their male siblings.  I've lost count of the times I've been hollered at from the bowels (pun totally intended...ahem...I'll be here all week, folks!) of the bathroom this week.  "Hey, Mom, those popsicles turn my poop weird colors!  Come see!  It's awesome!"  So, take that, Mr. Popsicle Marketing Man.  Take that.

**** I've learned that a KingSize Cookies and Cream Hershey bar and a Diet Pepsi make a delightful lunch.  I won't go into details about how I learned this fact, so you'll just have to take my word for it.

**** I've learned that even though George Clooney is pretty to look at, you are totally unable to get the two hours back of the time that you spend on watching one of his early movies.  The husband landed the television plane on a gem of theatrical mastery last night.  Something about vampires in a strip club in Mexico.  It was as pathetic as that description.  And it made me have weird dreams.  Which constitutes felony in my book...because I don't need help with my dream-life.  It's weird enough without any additional help.

**** Speaking of dreams, I've learned that somewhere along the way I must have sub-consciously wanted to be a gymnast.  Because during my nap this afternoon, I dreamt that I was a professional gymnast.  Complete with slicked back hair pulled up in a scrunchy and clippies that matched my spangly leotard.  I don't really remember anything about the skills...but I know I looked awesome!  Probably a good thing I didn't have daughters.  I'd be trying to vicariously live my leotard dreams through her.  Bless her heart.

**** I've learned that I'm beginning to get into the groove of getting ready for school to start.  Understand that I'm not ready for school.  I'm just ready to start thinking about school.  There's a total difference, but still progress where I come from.

**** I've learned that a box of cereal will be devoured in less than a day in my house.  The offspring have taken to eating it not only for breakfast, but as a morning snack.  And as a lunch dessert.  And as an afternoon snack.  And as a before dinner snack.  And as a before bed snack.  So I did the math....if I spend $2.50 on a box of cereal (generic, thankie very much), then that comes up to $17.50 a week.  Which is $70 a month.  And $910 a year.  On cereal.  Did you hear me?  On cereal.  And I didn't even figure in the milk.... We need to buy a cow.

**** I've learned that I need to go back to the gym.  Because my clothes aren't fitting right and stuff is starting to jiggle again.  But I don't like to sweat.  Here lies my dilemma....

**** I've learned that good friends are just that....good friends.  And that I wouldn't trade 'em.  Not for all the predictable relationships in the world.

What have you learned this week?


The Mother Ship and Punnett Squares....

I'm currently inhabiting the Mother Ship. 

It's always good to make the great voyage to my Home Planet.  Firstly, because I love to see my Parental Units.  And secondly, because it means that I don't have to cook for as many meals as I spend suppin' at the Table'O'Rents.

I've been breathing the same air as my Begetters for the better part of 12 hours now, and I've made some very observant observations.

1.  That my mother is an excellent housekeeper.  I left my white gloves in my other purse, but I've been studying the surfaces and faces of this fine crash pad, and I can't find a speck of dust anywhere.  I've also noticed that the beds are always made here.  And the laundry and dishes are always caught up.  I decided that maybe it was just because we're not at home anymore, and surely Jim-Dad can't make too big of a mess for her to have to clean up after.  But then I remembered that the house was always clean when I lived at home, too.  And she worked a full-time job.  And now I realize that I inherited narry a squosh of her cleanliness genes. 

2.  That I will from now on blame my messy house and piles of laundry begging to be folded on the unfortunate outcome of a Punnett Square.  Can't fight genetics....

3.  That my affection for an afternoon nap is also the result of many years of fruit fly analysis.  As long as I can remember, my mom has settled herself down for an afternoon siesta.  No ifs, ands, or buts.  Just napping.  So my retirement to my bed every afternoon isn't laziness....it's genetics.  That's my story and I'm sticking to it.  And to think that I didn't believe them when they said that suffering through Mr. I'm-A-Bore Berry's Biology class in highschool would all pay off one day. 

4.  That while we're on the topic of genetics, this would be a safe time to huddle around the fact that I was not blessed with my mother's Green Thumbedness.  Well, I guess that's not entirely true.  Perhaps my own Green Thumb is just suppressed under miles and miles of my own unwillingness to hang out watering flowers for an hour in the hot and sticky Arkansas humidity.  I kid you not...it was an hour that my mama stood out there with that water hose tonight.  AN HOUR?  ON FLOWERS?  That's a whole episode of Grey's Anatomy.  Um...not gonna happen.  Even for the love of a tiger lily.

5.  That Shirley Temple movies are just as black and white here as they are my house.  But they are much more entertaining and easy to watch.  Could be because Jim-Dad and Grammy watch them of their own freewill and don't huff, puff, and blow the tv set down.  I'm beginning to notice that the Husband's idea of vintage viewing entertainment is watching an episode of Manswers from last November, and that the only Shirley Temple he knows of is the one propping up a mini paper umbrella.

6.  That I'm going to sleep well tonight knowing that my mama and daddy are in the next room....

Whoever said you can't go home again was crazy..... 
As was Mr. Boring Biology Berry.


Being FAP-ed

Being FAP-ed stinks. 

And lately we've been getting FAP-ed more and more often.  I blame Facebook and its siren call that speaks to my offspring like cheesecake speaks to me.  You see, my wee babes don't log onto FB to network socially...oh no....they log on to play those blasted games.  Farmville.  Frontierville.  Treasure Islandville.  Pet Societyville.  And every other -ville possibly alive. 

The -villes are the source of the FAP-edness. 


If you are unfamiliar with the world'o'FAP, let me just tell you that it is some hokey mess that my satellite Internet provider came up with to make my life miserable.  Apparently we're only allowed a certain amount of bandwidth yada yada per 34.6 seconds or something or other.  And if we exceed our allowance, then the FAP Patrol waltzes in and retires your computers to slower than dial-up speed.  And it takes me to my very ugly place.  And dern Farmville FAPs us faster than all get out.  (***I've had some people commenting that they have never heard of the mysterious FAP.  Go here.  Be enlightened.***)

Last night and today, we succumbed to the FAP gods, which disappointed me highly since today was my day that I had designated as my entirely free day.  All my chores were caught up around the house, and we had absolutely nowhere to be.  'Twould have been a fantastic day to catch up on all of my webby responsibilities, but, Behold:  The Almighty FAP. 

Double Growl.

So I did what anyone else would do when the FAP appears.  I got a little crafty.  And I napped.  And I read.  And I went through all 9,563 pictures stuck in my computer and organized every.single.one.of.them.  Go on....yawn with me.  Because the pictures wore me out.  But, I'm so glad that I got that job done.  My picture folders were beyond the clean-up stage....they needed an all-out overhaulin'. 

While I was digging around and deleting and moving folders here and there, I rediscovered some of my most favorite pictures EVER.  Some I remembered...but others I had forgotten about....

Like this 'lil beauty:

Nothing like a toga party.....

Or this one of me and Tate.  Gosh...I love his angel face.  Looking at this picture is enough to make me do the ugly cry.

Or what about Keaton dressed up as Gandalf the White (Lord of the Rings)?  It makes me snicker and snort all over myself:

This one is of Kirk and me up in Rocky Mountain National Park.  One of my most favorite pictures of us evuh.  And that trip to Colorado a couple of years ago was one of my most favorite trips I've ever taken.  Good sweet memories....

Aw...and this one makes me misty because I love my momma and daddy and big sister....

And I love this one of Keaton and me because he's actually smiling in the picture, and the.kid.NEVER.smiles in pictures....

I could keep this up forever....but if I keep uploading pictures, I'm just going to FAP us again.  And you already know my feelings on that whole scenario....

Although if I can dig back through pictures and snort-giggle and ugly cry a little bit...the FAPage may just be worth it.

I said MAY.


Random Smatterings: An Update

You may want to read this post first.  Or not.  Whichever way you want your kite to fly.

On the topic of my 15 year highschool reunion:

  • I'm still musing over the way that Facebook has utterly and definitively changed the entire dynamic of the mysterious reunion phenomena.  I didn't feel nearly as apprehensive about going and showing my crows' feet to a group of people that hadn't seen me since waving my fresh 18 year old face goodbye several years ago, seeing as they've seen my pictures and profile stuff floating around the net for some time now.  My crows' feet are old news in cyberspace.  What has kept me snickering since Saturday, though, are the people who have been sticking pictures on Facebook that are.most.definitely.not.them.  You can't post a picture 2 Thursdays ago of a buxom bombshell wearing a teensy two-piece on a beach in Key West and then show up to your reunion sporting love-handles and skin the color of baby powder.  You just can't.  We're smarter than that.  Really.  We are.  
On the topic of the nasty infestation of deadness around the house:
  • For those of you who wondered.....I think the carcass was dog related.  Not that I got close enough to perform a complete inspection.  But, regardless of its used-to-be, I do think that our dog, Lucky, was the culprit.  Not of the homicide.  But of the carting it up to the house and plopping it front and center in my yard.  I'm going to pretend that he was trying to gift me with treasure.  I'm also going to pretend that I don't gag every time I think about it.
On the topic of not wanting to start school yet because I just don't want to:
  • I've decided that I might just be getting in the spirit of back-to-school time.  And all thanks to this:
  Nothing thrills my heart more than brand new school supplies.  And on sale?  Be.Still.My.Heart.

On the topic of Solo cups:
  • We've now graduated to a package of 1000 plastic straws.  $1.99.  You betcha.
On the topic of procrastination as it relates to retail establishments:
  • I sucked it up today and went to Walmart.  But only because we were out of Diet Dr. Pepper, and that registers entirely too close to a breach in Homeland Security around these parts.

And with that.......


Random Smatterings

1.  I went to my 15 year highschool class reunion this weekend.  No matter what anyone says, nothing can quite prepare you for a reunion.  Seeing the ex-boyfriends and their wives.  Seeing the old best friends.  Seeing the old enemies.  Seeing the people that you genuinely liked.  And seeing the people that you genuinely didn't.  Seeing people and pretending that you are thrilled beyond belief to be again breathing the same air with them, yet having no recollection at.all. as to who they are. 

It's a bizarre thing, a reunion.  Some people have changed...a lot.  There was lots of weight gain.  And lots of weight loss.  Lots of...um...surgical enhancements.  And lots of new tattoos and hair colors.  And then there are some people who haven't changed a day since high school.  Those are the ones I like....because I actually knew who they were! 

I also feel very sorry for spouses at these kinds of things.  How horribly terrible to be dragged along to a place where everyone is remembering stuff that happened 15 years ago, and you are struggling to just read a scrawled out sticky name-tag of someone that your wife or husband apparently has missed so much, but yet you've never even heard them mention before. Ever.  The husband and I are super fortunate in this department.  We graduated from the same highschool and in the same class, so we were spared the awkwardness of the spousal issue.  Except we know too much of eachother's history with most of the people in the room...which is a whole other bowl of awkward. 

All in all...it was a great time.  It's always fun to dip back into history for a little bit.  To reminisce and recollect and remember. 

We got back home last night, and I just realized that as great as my history is...I'm desperately in love with my present.  So good to be home.

2.  In other news, we have an infestation problem.  Of the dead variety.  We pretty much fell into the bed late last night when we arrived home from the festivities, so it wasn't until this morning that I made the discoveries. 

This was in my kitchen window. 

And this was in my front yard.

Gag.  Nasty.  Gross.

I'm assuming Tweety sneaked in through the fireplace while we were gone and decided to commit suicide by way of ramming his head into the glass of the window.

And the carcass?  That's just gross.  And I'm not asking questions.

3.  I looked at a calendar the other day and realized that summer is almost over.  And that I haven't done the foggiest thing to prepare for the upcoming school year.  I've been hearing of how my fellow homeschool moms are ordering this and that, and preparing thus and so, and even setting start dates for their broods.  I don't have any excuses other than I just don't want to think about it yet.  And I'm thinking that it is still going to be awhile before I seriously think about it again.  Because I'm just not ready.

4.  I'm not sure why we invest money in video game systems and other pricey entertainment devices for the children.  The boys have happened upon the wonder of a $2.99 package of plastic Solo cups.  I've been handling this buying toys thing all wrong.  Never underestimate the power of paper products.

Oh..and please pardon the undies-only.  The boys aren't known for wearing an abundance of clothing around the house.

5.  I am on a mission this week to see how long I can postpone a much needed trip to the grocery store.  The fact that the husband is out of deodorant, and that I just fed him a peanut butter and jelly sandwich for lunch may indicate that I need to go sooner than later.  But still....I've never backed down from a challenge. 

And with that....
That's all.


Felines and Felons

I never knew that I was allergic to cats.  It could be that I've never really been around cats, because they freak me out.  I don't like the sneaky look in their eyes and how they are so...uh...quiet.  They just are creepy.  In fact, the only cat I have ever loved is Indiana Jones, our current cat, and I only love him because he acts more like a dog.  And Indiana doesn't make me sneeze. 

But....now, apparently, I've developed a feline allergy.  And I discovered it this morning when I was volunteering at the Humane Society.  What?  You volunteered?  Don't get too excited.  My choice would have been to volunteer to drop my kids off at the Humane Society and let them play with the animals while I voluntarily went to WalMart sans little people.  But since I chose to have my children just 10 years ago instead of 15...I had to stay with them.  Dadgum age restrictions. 

Keaton has been bugging me for a week to take him to "volunteer."  He really isn't a philanthropist at heart, and, in fact, was highly disappointed when he found out that no money was involved with volunteerism, but he decided that hanging out with a bunch of animals for a day sounded intriguing.

After putting him off for 4 days straight, I threw on some old nasty clothes this morning and trooped my troop up to the animal cages. 

I don't know how the Humane Society is set up where you live, but ours can only be described by the word "interesting."  And you can interpret that however you see fit.  Ahem.

We were ushered into a room with lots of little rooms full of cats.  Cats.  Cats.  Cats.  And more cats.  Just when I thought I had inventoried all of the sneaky suckers, more would appear.  And just FYI...it doesn't matter how many episodes of Animal Planet's Cats 101 you are forced to sit through....you still will never be prepared enough for that.many.cats.

After a bit, a teenage kid decided to so generously befriend us.  It only took me 3.4 seconds to realize that he was there volunteering his time, as well.  But his community service was that of the more mandatory nature, if you catch my drift.  My head was spinning with the stress of being trapped in a small contained room with twelvity hundred felines and an adolescent felon. 

And I'm pretty sure that both species can smell fear.

I sneaked a peek at my phone to check the time and decided that surely 8 minutes was plenty of volunteer time to put in for one day.  No need to over-do the philanthropy, right?

I began to usher the boys out into a more open space when we were met by a lady that I can only presume was somewhat in charge of the place.  I politely tried to make small talk with her about all the critters and asked how many cats were crashing at the Humane pad.  I was promptly informed that she had no idea and had not counted the cat herd in at least a month.

Ok.  Good to know.

And with that, I pinched Tate, made him cry, and told the cat lady that it was time for us to go because one of the cats had attacked my baby.

I kid.  I kid.


We did make a quick exit shortly after, but not before observing a very nice dog named Henry rip the head off of a squeaky toy rat, and another mandatory volunteer eat a popsicle that was covered in cat hair (I know..because he showed it to me. *shudder*).

On the way home, I asked Keaton what he thought about his, ahem, 14 minutes of volunteer experience. 

His response:  "Um...not exactly what I thought it would be."

Me neither, kid.  Me neither.

And now I need a Benedryl.

And perhaps a shower.

***This post is in no way degrading the work of the Humane Society.  Its mission and purpose is commendable and an important faction of our community.  Please consider adoption if your family is looking to add a pet.



Little League Baseball in the South is a crazy little thing.

It's splendidly wonderful and thoroughly competitive and ridiculously political.  And you either choose to ride the crazy ride, or you choose to not.  Because there isn't much middle ground in baseball.  You're either whole-hog, or you go home.  There's no "playing for fun" or "everyone wins" when a certain level of baseball is reached.  It's all about the intensity of the game.  The thrill of winning.  The extreme talent possessed in tiny bodies.

What?  You don't get it?  You don't understand how we could subject our babies to such craziness and pressure?

Believe me.  There are nights that I wonder why we do it.  But then...when experiences happen like what we experienced this summer...then it all makes sense. 

See this little guy?

He's why we do it. 

Because he loves the game.  And he's good.  Really good.  And we're proud.  Really proud.

Sawyer was honored to be chosen for the 7 & 8 Year Old Rookie League All-Star team for our League.  (If you don't know baseball....it's a big deal.) 

All-Stars is a special team hand-picked out of the bigger league teams that brings the best players together to compete for the State title.  It is a huge commitment and requires daily practices for two weeks before the District Tournament and daily practices for the two weeks before the State Tournament.  What that equals out to is.....Baseball. Every Day. Every. Single. Day.

We headed out-of-town to the District Tournament the 2nd weekend in June and spent 4 days straight playing baseball and bonding as a team.  We, along with several other team members and their families, chose to stay over in a hotel which is the.very.best.way. to bond with each other.  Late nights talking and laughing and swimming in the hotel pool turns baseball players and fans into family. 

The tournament was intense, but we were able to not only win the District Championship title, but our team was able to pull out the entire thing as Undefeated Champs!! 

To say that we were proud of our boys is the understatement of the year.

As excited as we were it was time to look forward to the State Tournament.  One little hiccup was that Kirk and I had planned our trip to Mexico around tournament schedules, but had not really considered practice schedules.  We were left with a major dilemma.  Send Sawyer on to my parents' with his brothers and have him miss a crucial week of practice before the huge tourney, or leave him in town to practice baseball.  One of the hardest decisions of my life.  Last thing I wanted to do was separate the boys with Kirk and I out of the country, but commitments to teams and baseball are a HUGE deal for our family.  Lots of people didn't understand or agree with our choice, but we felt like we were making the best one for the situation and the circumstances.  Kirk and I are so grateful to the families that took Sawyer in that week for the sake of baseball!!  I'm telling you....that baseball family really is family!

As soon as Kirk and I landed, we were off and running with baseball again.  It was time for the State Tourney, and we traded our swimsuits and beach clothes for uniforms and team tee shirts. 

Luckily, our town was hosting the State Tourney, so we were at least able to sleep in our own beds and wash our clothes in our own washing machines.  Such a blessing that was!!

The State Tournament was held over the 4th of July weekend, and it was maddening.  I've never had blood pressure problems in my life, but I'm pretty sure they developed that weekend!  Stressful and exhausting doesn't even begin to explain the emotional roller coaster that that level of baseball will take you on.  INSANE.

Again, our team rocked it!  We continued our winning streak straight through the tournament bracket.  Amazing record for a group of hard-working 7 and 8 year olds!  We entered into the Championship game for the State title as undefeated champs.  The ONLY team in the entire tournament that had never lost a game. 

Now...I'm still bitter about the ending of this story.  I'm not a sore loser...I'm really not.  I just want to know that the other team won fairly and squarely.  And I honestly feel like our boys were robbed of a title that was rightfully theirs.  I'm not sure things were played fairly or ethically, and I think our boys were given the short stick.

The Championship game was extended to two games, and we came up with losses for both games.  But I cannot tell you a group of parents, coaches, and fans that were more proud of a group of kids.  The boys played the very best that they could with the hand that they were dealt, and they handled themselves with maturity and amazing sportsmanship.  So.Proud.

So, we ended up Runners Up in State.  Not too shabby of a title, I don't suppose. 

Would we do it again?

Absolutely.  Because it's what we do.

It's who Sawyer is right now.  And it's worth ever second.


Viva La Mexico!!

I'm in the throws of planning next summer's vacation away with the husband.  And I haven't even posted about this summer's vacay yet.

But that's how amazing the time away was.  So blissful that I can't wait for the next one. 

Want to hear about it?  Well...okay...you twisted my arm....

After a VERY eventful getting-there, we finally arrived in sunny and brilliant Puerto Vallarta. 

After almost dieing...even the outside of an airport is a beautiful thing!! 

We headed to our resort and instantly felt relaxed.  How could you not with surroundings like this....

And a view like this from your balcony...

Our resort beach was fantastic.  The guys spent a lot of time boogie-boarding and playing in the water, and we girls spent a lot of time napping and sunning ourselves.  We'd move from the sun to the shade of a palm tree and back to the sun again.  It doesn't get better than that.  It just doesn't.

This trip was so special, too, because we were able to spend it with the best company!  Wes and Lisa were the perfect travel companions.  We all were fine with either doing our own thing or hanging together.  Exactly as it should be.  No pressure from any direction.  Just the same goal:  Chillaxin'.

We had decided ahead of time that this trip was for the sole purpose of relaxing.  There would be NO touristy stuff or partaking of anything that would wear us out.  Just pure unadulterated relaxation.  We did, however, venture out of the resort walls ONCE.  And it was only for food and shopping. 

See that?  That is a plate of the best enchiladas that have ever passed through my lips.  Ever. 

We were told that we were not to miss out on PiPi's Restaurant in downtown Puerto Vallarta.  And I'm so glad that we listened.  It was beyond delicious.

I don't really have many stories to tell.  Because everything was just so chilled out and relaxed.  We talked a lot.  And giggled a lot.  And made lots of memories. 

And I fell in love with my husband all over again.

I'm ready for our next getaway.  Because they do my soul good.

Happy Summer!!

NORMAL...A Foreign Word

I don't even know what NORMAL is anymore.  But I know that I'm ready to get back to it. 

These last few months have been some of the most consuming, yet glorious, months of our lives. 

We've spent more minutes and hours away from home than we have in it, but yet, we've felt at home everywhere we've been.  Our bodies have run a gamut of emotions from extreme elatedness to intense pain to inconceivable stress to pure joy.  And we'd do it all over again a million times if given the chance.  I've cried a lot.  And I've laughed a lot.  I've felt as though I was breathing my last breath, and I've been so happy that I've felt as though I was breathing for the first time.  I've uncontrollably wept for friendships that haven't been nurtured the way that they need to be, and snort-giggled with glee over friendships that have bloomed in ways I never thought possible.  I've been extremely disappointed, and I've beamed with pride.

It's been hard.  Yet glorious.  All at the same bizarre time.

But I'm ready for normalcy.  For the mundane.  The routine.  The expected.

I'm ready.

For whatever that is.


It's been awhile since I've hovered around the worldwide web waters.  I won't lie to you and tell you that the break hasn't been somewhat refreshing.  It has.  But I'm ready to get back.  I'm ready to "see" my friends again.  To peek into the lives that I'm so attached to.  To journal again.  To connect.  

Over the next few days, I'll be posting about the consumption of our lives.  About the ironic way that "America's favorite pastime", baseball, can become work.  About the glories of a week spent under the shade of a palm tree.  And about things that could only happen to me...like breaking a Walmart register and emptying the entire contents of a tube of blue shoe polish all over a pair of white shorts and my car. 

I've missed you, friends.

It's good to be back.