weekend recap (alternate title: I am not clever today)

We had a whirlwind fun weekend and so this post is just going to be a lot of pics and updates.

Friday Ryder had her first appointment with a new pediatrician here in Cleveland. I was really impressed by him and Ryder really liked him too, which is saying something. Unfortunately, Ryder has lost four pounds and considering the way she eats (read: she loves to eat) and some other factors, there is some concern about her thyroid. It was so horrible trying to get her blood – she is a really hard stick (heart babies just are) so it took a really long time and a lot of tries before we finally got a tiny amount of blood.

This is where I’m going to be brutally honest- there are times, like Friday, when I think, WHY? Why does every single doctor’s appointment end up at some sort of “we are concerned” talk or hard blood work or tests? I mean WHY CAN’T WE JUST HAVE ONE UNEVENTFUL DOCTOR’S APPOINTMENT?! We have not ever ever ever had even one appointment that was just “normal” or uneventful. There is some sort of “concern” every time. I will admit that sometimes it is hard to put on a cheery face because it is just all so exhausting.

And then I think about how far we have come and how SHE IS HERE WITH US and it is hard to feel anything but grateful for her life and her journey. We truly are thankful for every trial and triumph because it means she is still here when it could have so easily been a different story. It probably should have been a different story. So yes, sometimes I am weary, oh so weary, but I would do it 100 times over to have Ryder exactly as she is. I’m taught so much with every doctor’s appointment and scare and relief.

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I mean – what on earth would we do without this Sassy Pants????

10599334_10101310019911656_5222645959379043000_nOn Saturday we went to the Chattanooga Zoo! We ended up getting a membership for the zoo on a Groupon deal for $35! Pretty amazing! So now we can go whenever we want and have unlimited carousel rides!

I was really impressed with the zoo- it is a small zoo but sometimes the small ones are the most fun because they animals are right there and it seems much more intimate than other large zoos do. The girls had the best time. Rory was so excited she couldn’t stop jumping and saying “THIS IS THE BEST DAY EVERRRR!”. I mean. PRESH.

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After the zoo we ran into the mall and to Costco. Both were packed madhouses and I started to wonder if I was missing some sort of mega sale or something.

We went to my cousin Jessica’s house for dinner and my girls probably had more fun there with their cousin Bree than any other thing we did that day. Jessica has chickens and the girls chased them for hours. It was the funniest thing I have ever seen. We all had the best time- I am loving having some family close by.

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(Side note: No chickens were harmed.)

Sunday we woke up and headed to church. This is our third week into the Church Search of Cleveland and y’all, it is so refreshing. We never found a church in Savannah we felt was a great fit. We were active in a church there, but more and more it became clear that it just wasn’t where God wanted us. So we just never found our niche there when it came to churches.

We have been to three churches and while one was a clear “no” (incidentally the one Rory graced with her presence in a huge way) it still wasn’t bad.

The church we went to this week was an amazing worship experience – I’m not saying it is THE ONE- but y’all….

It was the best sounding choir/music I’ve heard in person probably ever. And I’ve heard a good choir/music in a church in my life.

I told Andy as we were leaving that I had chill bumps the entire service because it was just so incredible and yet even though they sounded PERFECT you could still worship at the top of your lungs and not feel like your singing ability was insufficient.

Most of all, I thought to myself during the service – Oh my goodness. If I have chill bumps and feel so full of worship now, CAN YOU EVEN IMAGINE WHAT HEAVEN WILL SOUND AND FEEL LIKE?! I mean, seriously. I’m tearing up now just thinking about it. Even if we never go back to that church, I will always be thankful for that experience of true worship for the first time in way too long.

10410332_10101313571953336_8916747346128893585_nPart of the reason we had a hard time in Savannah was because of their lack (in the entire town) of age appropriate worship. Age three is the cut off in Savannah for childcare, which in my opinion, is the most ridiculous non-serving young families thing I’ve ever heard of in my life. Despite my best efforts in Savannah, we still never got anyone on board to help young families out so they could truly worship and so that their KIDS could truly worship in an age-appropriate way.

So our main focus here in Cleveland is girls. We want them to be able to worship at full potential and then we are praying that fits with the adult worship too.

Sunday afternoon we took a “Family Fun Adventure” as Rory calls it to Gee Creek Falls. I was a little worried about Ryder since she has a history of “MY WEGS WON’T WORK”, but she was a champ and of course Rory was in her element.

We really had the best time together out in the woods and out of the apartment. I tell Andy almost daily that I can’t believe God has blessed us with such a beautiful place to live. Rory is such an explorer so this was her ultimate fun day. And believe it or not, Ryder had a blast too.

It was SO CUTE because every time Ryder kicked a rock she would say, “Oh, I’m sorry rock! I didn’t mean to kick you! I just tryin’ to keep up with eberyone.” Or if she stood on a rock to help her up she would thank the rock for helping her. Is that not the cutest thing you have ever heard in your life? Because I almost cried several times listening to her. ha!

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Rory helped her sister out the whole day and OHMYWORD is that not the SWEETEST.

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It was such a wonderful weekend. I am loving all these new “adventures” with our family.

 

 

 

just your average embarrassing mom.

As we have already established, Rory is quite fancy.

When I worked I had an awesome wardrobe. It was one of my favorite things about working, getting dressed and looking nice every day. I never tired of it. I was much more comfortable that way that I am in a tshirt. Which is astonishing because I spent years in tshirts. Most of my life. Why did I just now discover this?!

Since being home I’ve tried to get dressed, not quite as dressed up as work because I mean… why?, but more than just yoga pants and a t-shirt.

But twice now, I have worn a t-shirt and jeans to take Rory to school.

Also, Ryder is sleeping late and I’m having to wake her up to take Rory to school at 8:15 (!!!!) so on occasion she’s just gone in her pjs.

This morning was one of those mornings where I wore a t-shirt and Ryder was in pjs.

We are about to walk out of the door and the following conversation happens:

Rory: WE CAN’T LEEEEEAVE YET.

Me: Why not???

Rory: Mom. *rolls eyes* You and Ryder are not ready. You have on that shirt and Ryder isn’t dressed at allllll. You CANNOT take me to school like that. 

Me: Rory, I am dressed. Ryder just woke up and we will just drop you off and leave. It isn’t a big deal.

Rory: MOOOOOM. You used to be fancy like me. ‘Member?! ‘Member when you used to take me to school the last day? You always wore DRESSES and pretty shirts and you were FANCY. And Ryder NEVER wore pajamas out of the house!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Me: (laughing) Rory, are you saying you are embarrassed that I’m wearing this? 

Rory: I do NOT know what “barrassed” means but I do NOT want my friends and teacher to see you.

BLESS HER HEART, Y’ALL!

I can’t even believe my child is already embarrassed by me.

I mean. The audacity. I’ve worn a tshirt TWICE with SKINNY JEANS and I’m embarrassing?????

And yes. I was a terrible mother and still rolled up in there with my tshirt and Ryder in her pjs because I am knee deep in laundry around here.

Rory was slightly mortified. So much so that she walked into the gym and waved without even looking at me and then ran off. She couldn’t even be bothered to say goodbye.

Ryder told Rory’s teacher, “Whoa-wy not like me wearing pjs to school. Her grumpy with me and mommy”.

Moral of the story: I’m not fancy anymore. BUT at least I taught Rory a new word- ‘embarrassed’.

Also. I’m doomed. I’ll never be fancy enough for Rory.

 

how to rock a tutu {written by Rory}

Yesterday morning Rory decided she wasn’t wearing tutus EVERYDAY anymore. I pretty much was hysterically sad over this declaration. I thought about it all day. She’s been wearing tutus every single day pretty much for two years. So I decided to question her last night and figure out what was going on. She said, “Mom. I’m growing up. I’m getting bigger. Some of my tutus are baby tutus so I need to wear other clothes that are IN now.”

“IN”, SHE SAID.

I went to bed with a heavy heart last night because my sweet girl is declaring that tutus aren’t “IN” anymore.

Let me let y’all in on a little secret…. though we have fought over her clothing choices some, her wearing tutus is probably my most favorite thing in the entire world. She rarely completely matches but it always goes together. It takes any ordinary outfit up about 100000 (princess) notches. So the thought of her not wearing tutus anymore… I CANNOT EVEN IMAGINE IT.

When Rory woke up this morning and chose a tutu my heart sang many lovely tunes. I was so relieved. SO RELIEVED.

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It occurred to me that Rory is very deliberate about every decision she makes, so why not ask her how she chooses her tutus.

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Me: Rory- you rock that tutu today girlfriend! How did you choose that tutu? And how do you know you are rocking it?

Rory:

Mom. This is easy.

First you have to pick out a shirt.

Then some shorts or pants to go under the tutu because we don’t want our panties to show.

You put the pants and the shirt on first.

Then you pick out a tutu that matches… or sometimes it doesn’t have to match but it has to GO with the shirt.

You gotta pull up the tutu all the way and make sure it goes OVER the shirt. I always wear my shirt tucked into my tutu. It is fancier that way, you know.

But then you have to TWIRL and make sure it twirls big and twirls right. If it doesn’t I have to pick out a better twirler.

You put your shoes on and you are ready to ROCK in your tutu!

Love, Princess Rockstar Rory

And there you have it, folks. Rory’s first fashion blog post. Ha!

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Sweet Rory, I hope you always rock whatever you want to wear (as long as it is modest, of course!). I hope you never lose your sense of unique style. I hope you are always so proud of your outfit choices even if they aren’t “the norm”. Everyone who sees you in your tutus delights in them. Let your light shine, sweet girl. You certainly make my every day so much brighter.

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girls trip and the church show-off.

We just had such a great weekend that I was so sad it had to come to an end last night.

Saturday Amber and I went down and met Erin for a day of shopping – IKEA and the Lenox Square mall- in Atlanta. We had the best time. IKEA is the best place on earth I’m pretty sure. I can’t quite put into words the love I have for that place, that little corner of heaven on earth. Then we decided to head over to the mall because we were FREE and had no one TOUCHING US and we could BROWSE and not CHASE anyone. It was the best day ever.

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And then.

AND THEN.

Amber and I were on our way back from Atlanta and I saw these outlet malls. So I said “hey look there is Coach, i just want to run in there real quick…”.

We walk in and everything in the store was HALF OFF.

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

So then I end up finding the purse I’ve been on a mad search for and it was like practically FREE (or not) because HALF OFF.

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And THEN.

I went to get my phone out of my purse and my zipper broke. MY ZIPPER BROKE ON MY PURSE IN THE STORE WHERE MY DREAM PURSE WAS. So I finally call Andy and convince him with promises I can’t even talk about and HELLLLOOOOOOOOOO LOVER he said YES.

HALLELUJAH!

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I mean. What kind of amazingness is that?! It couldn’t have gone better for me.

As you know, I have a girls trip coming up in Nov to NYC and this bag is completely perfect for the trip. It is exactly what I’ve been looking for.

IT WAS FATE I TELL YOU, FATE!

Then there was Sunday.

We slept past 7 as a family because while the children going to bed around 9 makes me insane they are actually sleeping on most days to 7. Which is a miracle and has never happened before.

We got ready and headed to try out a new church. We dropped Ryder off in the 3 year old room and were told Rory would come in with us until after the music was over. When the choir came down, the kids were to go to the side door and they would be led out.

Rory knew the plan.

She saw the door.

She was prepared.

Then it came time….

Rory sees all the kids and the door but instead she walks up on stage and walks across the stage waving at the crowd. Andy and I were waving at her to get down but also paralyzed because this was a new church and not one soul knew us and it just seemed like we couldn’t do much about it.

So she just marches and waves at everyone with a big grin on her face like, “HELLO I AM RORY AND I WILL ROCK YOUR WORLD, PEOPLE! You should know me because, BELIEVE ME, you WILL love me.”

Andy and I didn’t stop laughing the entire day.

I mean is that not typical of our life? Because why not, right?!

I’m literally laughing out loud as I type this.

I immediately went online to see if they had a live stream type thing so we could record it somehow. I’m so sad they didn’t. It would’ve been the best video ever.

They did look super precious yesterday so at least there’s that.

1623707_10101304910785386_3261080891992298254_nHappy Monday! Hope you have a fantastic week!

 

 

Lake Winnipesaukee

One of the best parts of our move here is that I already have a few friends in the area, Andy’s brother lives 20 minutes away, and also an aunt and a cousin live in the area! We have rarely lived anywhere with established friends and family so I just feel so thankful I already have a few people close to me!

My Aunt Patrice and cousin Jessica and her little girl Bree invited us to come to Lake Winnie to have a day of fun. There are tons of rides for kids and a great waterpark too. I’m pretty sure, mainly because they won’t stop telling me, that it was their “MOST FAVORITE DAY EBBBERRRRRR”.

I couldn’t believe it but Ryder actually rode pretty much every ride she could ride and had a blast doing it. I was so proud of her.

Rory was in heaven because girlfriend would ride ANYTHING.

You will ALSO be shocked to know that Ryder walked in the heat from noon to 7:30ish without ever saying “my wegs won’t work”. It was a true Labor Day miracle!

{However, her legs or body wouldn’t work the entire morning because “they too tired, momma! they can’t work!”…}

Rory also told me between giggles yesterday, “Mom! My face hurts from smiling so much!” Mine did too, Rory girl, mine did too.

I didn’t get a ton of pictures because I was too busy having fun! It was just such a wonderful day with family and we can’t wait to go back again!

Rory giggling like crazy on her first ride. This was one of my favorite parts of the day. I literally almost cried watching how much fun she had on that first ride.

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And believe it or not, Andrew and I got to ride a couple of rides without the kids too. Isn’t he just precious?! IMG_4727We all slept GOOD last night. The girls woke up telling us they’d like to go back there everysingleday. Bless it. They are precious.

Yesterday I was thinking, between giggles, about how hard parenting is and then just when you think you can’t answer another “BUT WHY” or “HOW DO YOU SPELL ____?” or referee another fight or step over another tantrum-pitching toddler you suddenly get a day of pure joy. That is exactly what yesterday was for me. Its been a tough week or so and I thought IF I HAVE TO BREAK UP ONE MORE FIGHT OVER STUPID CRAP I’M GONNA CUT SOMETHING. Then we go on a fun adventure and the girls are SO good and I get to laugh with them the entire day and experience the joy of riding rides for the first time with them. THAT is what parenting is all about.

Keep up the good work and fight hard through the tough parenting decisions/discipline/toddler tantrums and you will have days of pure joy as a reward for your hard work. It never fails.

 

the identity struggle, part two.

I’m currently blogging from Starbucks because I’m now SO COOL and can do things like this now. Seriously though, it is pretty awesome. After a long week with still one day to go, I told Andy I just needed out of the house for a while. So here I am. Sipping a white mocha and enjoying non-kid music.

I’m currently going through yet another identity crisis. Which is funny because my timehop app notified me that I wrote about it the first time exactly two years ago today. I reread it and tears streamed down my face because I remember that girl and how fragile she was.

Thankfully this identity struggle is a bit different and not quite so hard.

But it is still making me uneasy and unsure of where I am and who I am now.

I just came off of working more than staying at home and completely loving it. I loved the identity I had in my job and how it made me feel worth more than just staying home did.

I also have realized that as I was leaving my job, no matter how excited I was to move here, I was growing bitter. I’ve always tried so hard to not be bitter -more than anything really- because I have someone dear to me eat up with it. But the thing about bitterness is that it sneaks up on you before you even realize what is happening. This week I’ve had this terrible feeling inside and finally realized today that it was bitterness.

This week has been insane. The girls are doing well with the move, but their behavior … notsomuch. Monday I was mortified beyond what I’ve ever been I’m pretty sure because of all of their terrible behavior antics. I mean. It was unreal. If I told y’all you would think I was the worst parent ever because no good mom would ever have kids that acted that way. Y’all know I’m the first one to address the behavior and move on. IT WAS HARD TO MOVE ON THIS WEEK AFTER TUESDAY.

Between their bad behavior and ALL THE BOXES I have had this bitterness coming in and it has stolen all of my joy at times. All of it.

I realized I’m bitter because I left my job that I lovedsomuch and that I was now thrown into stay-at-home-mom world that I really never wanted to do again.

I realize that a lot of you dream of being a stay at home mom…. and I wish beyond everything that you could be. Each of you. I apologize if it stings to hear me say that, but it just hasn’t ever been my dream.

Luckily, Rory started PreK on Wednesday and I’ve gotten so much done at the house so things are starting to get back to normal. I have had to do a hardcore behavior bootcamp and that just hasn’t been fun.

So here I am. Now a SAHM again. The days are long. Sometimes it is unbearably tough.

But you know what? Their behavior showed me more than ever what my job is. It took me a few days to get that bitterness to uncloud my eyes so I could see what a task I have for me.

God placed me into that job for a reason, and now He has placed me here now for a reason. 

If I believe whole heartedly that God called us here for a dream job for Andy, then I have to believe the above whole heartedly for myself and my job now.

I know there was no mistake in Him placing me at First Family Medical. So now I know there is no mistake that He wants me home for now with my girls.

This is not the part of the post that I get all sappy and say “So I will enjoy every single second! and I will LOVE being at SAHM because I am LIVING THE DREAM!”.

This is the part of the post where I say that I will trust that God knows best for me and my girls and that He will direct my path and that He will help me to be calm, patient, loving, grace-giving when discipling my girls. I will trust that He will provide for us while I am not making any income. I will trust that He will open doors for me to do big things IN the home and outside of the home.

I have just been hit by a ton of bricks this week that the grace I’m giving my girls is so insufficient. I am praying that God can give me discernment where to give Grace and where to stand firm with consistency.

“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.” 2 Corinthians 12:9

Oh, how weak I am in my mom game. And my wife game. So weak. I know God can do a good work in me in my home if I let Him. If I let Him. 

As far as updates go- Rory is LOVING PreK. LOVING. She told me tonight, “Mom! I miss school!” Bless. She is going every day for half days. It is a perfect fit so far for her- nap time was always where she struggled. I’m very impressed with her teacher and the school.

Please note the cut piece of box because that is all I had to work with, people. It is a mad house in our small but beautiful apartment.

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How is she so big? I realized that this is my last year with her forever. After this year she will be in full time school forever and I’ll never have her home every again ever ever ever. (Paper bag, please?!)

Ryder is going to start a one-day-a-week program next week. I’m excited about that half day I will have alone! She is loving sharing a room with Rory (Rory isn’t so sure all the time about it) and they have actually been doing really well in their bunk beds and sleeping – believe it or not!

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However.

WHO KNEW going from Central to Eastern time would be so hard???? I MEAN SERIOUSLY. Because my children are up in the night still, I have to make sure they go to bed early because no matter what time they go to bed they are usually up AT LEAST once each and wake up at 6am every morning or before (I can’t even talk about it). So they’ve been going to bed here at 9-9:30 (especially since it is STILL BRIGHT AND SUNNY AT NINE) and it is HARD to adjust to that right now. But we have tried little by little making them go to bed earlier and they end up just staying up forever either way. And I’m going to bed around 12-1 because I DON’T HAVE ENOUGH TIME TO DETOX FROM THE DAY when they go to bed at 9! They also haven’t had a nap since moving here. And I am pretty sure I can say goodbye to nap time forever. Sigh. I’m in mourning.

Andy’s enjoying his job so much. I am just so thankful. The last job was so hard on him. I felt like it was slowly killing him and our marriage. But I couldn’t say anything because you don’t bite the hand that feeds you- and that goes for Andy and the company in my case. Men hold such pride in their jobs so you have to walk a very fine, sensitive line when talking about their work. I’ve always made a strong point to let him tell me anything he does or doesn’t want to tell me and to just sit and listen and either praise God it is going so well or pray fervently that God would send him something better- something he deserves.

And for me, besides the identity struggle of the work/home life, I am doing well. I kind of enjoy this time of being unknown to anyone. Besides my family, no one expects anything of me. No one is disappointed by me. No one wants me to be someone I’m not. I don’t have to put on a good face 24/7 to new friends. It is just kinda nice.

I am, however, longing beyond longing to find a church. I know a lot of these struggles come from the fact that we have been out of church for the longest period since well before kids. Our marriage and parenting is so much better when we are involved in a church body and are striving to learn and grow in our walk with Christ. So the great Church Search begins this Sunday. Will update you with that later.

One last note before I go- I want to apologize for my last blog. I made a joke that was tacky and careless. The chicken crap was crazy, yes, but I shouldn’t have joked about it as much as I did. I hurt someone’s feelings and I am sorry. Hopefully she will accept my apology and know that my humor didn’t translate on the blog… the blog I had no idea she read which was also careless of me. I’m not about bullying or making crude jokes on the blog so I don’t know what got into me.

When I get all the boxes unpacked I’ll give you a tour of our apartment. The girls think it is fun for now, so that is good! And we have a pool like I promised Rory. Win-win.

Much love, I promise to start blogging more and not be such drag next time.

I survived.

After 20something long days, the day is finally here for Andy to come home and get us moved.

I didn’t tell hardly anyone because of security issues I have, but Andy has been gone since the end of July and I’ve been single parenting it since then.

I would like to first give a huge shout out to all those single moms or military moms out there. I cannot imagine doing this more than what I did. It was HARD. Way harder than anyone can imagine until they do it. Kudos to you. You deserve all the breaks in the world, all the coffee in the world, all the money in the world. No joke. You have the hardest job.

Let me just tell y’all something.

There have been times in the past almost month that I have LOST THE WILL TO PARENT. No seriously I AM NOT CUT OUT FOR THIS PARENTING THING type of lost it.

I was SUCH a fun parent the first ten days. Then we were all over it and wanted daddy home. Thank the Lord for the amazing park here because I winged it after the initial TEN DAYS O’ FUN and just took them to the park all the time and pretended I was super fun. Except the fact is, the park saved me. Gave me a will to live. Gave me a will to parent. I could sit there and watch my little tooties run around like banshees and enjoy the breeze and NO TOUCHING. It was my saving grace, y’all. We parked it everysinglenight. Not even joking. We went to the park every.single.night.

Also, my kids are going to have to go on a detox diet to rid themselves of all the toxins they have ingested while Andy’s been gone. No but for real. Let me just tell you how many meals I have cooked since Andy’s been gone….. ONE.

I just laughed out loud.

Basically we have survived off mac and cheese/spaghetti o’s/chicken nuggets/poptarts/cereal/fruit. And by fruit I mean fruit snacks, of course.

Most nights I didn’t even eat dinner because I didn’t want to cook or dirty any dishes. I just let the girls have a bowl of their favorite cereal and called it a day.

I did, however, drink three bottles of wine.

Stop judging me. Or do judge me. I really don’t care.

I survived and so did the children. That is all that matters.

In other news, I’ve dropped 7 pounds which proves that I am fat (and happy) because of Andy. Right?!

Also pretty much anything that could have happened while he was gone DID. Because I have limited internet usage time I am going to make a list of ALL THE CRAZY that happened while he was gone.

1- The entire time he was gone our house was for sale. That means I had to keep it perfectly clean the ENTIRE TIME. Have you met my children?! Is this the real world?! THEN the house sold in record time and we had to have every person under the sun come into our home and fix this and that or inspect/appraise/random other reasons the realtor wanted in our house. IT WAS TOO MUCH, Y’ALL. That alone almost made me an insane person.

2- Andrew, from Chattanooga, sold everything we owned. Mostly without informing me. He sold the lawn mower, tiller, furniture, playset, other random crap. I had two sweet Mexicans show up and say, “Two hundred dinero, yes?!” while shoving money in my face. I’m standing there like a deer in the headlights wondering if Andy sold me into slavery.

3- The pool became DONEZO. We aren’t sure what is going on with it, but we know something is and we cannot spend any more money on a pool we can’t use. That made me shed lots of tears. I thought I had a months worth of swimming left aka free entertainment and good sleep. It was very devastating to me.

4- Rory became convinced that the move was nothing more than taking everything she loved away (pool, swing set, etc). We cried a lot of tears together. I had to bring out the big guns and make sure this was so fun and that she knew this was going to make our lives even better.

5- Our dog was accused of killing chickens. It is still a very touchy subject and I just don’t know how much I can say seeing as the sherif department is involved and I haven’t moved yet.

I feel like that is a good note to end on. There are more things that happened, but I will save that for another post.

Today my BFF Joe is here packing all of my stuff up in an insanely fast time frame and I just want to kiss him on the face I love him so much. But that would be weird.

To be continued…

probably not until I get the internets at the new place.

Which by the way, could y’all please harass Andy until he agrees to get me cable?! I have several shows I CANNOT MISS. Bachelor in Paradise! Real Housewives! Naked and Afraid! BOTCHED! Candidly Nicole! I mean COME ON, Andrew!

 

on my last day of work.

Today marks my last day of work. I have such crazy mixed feelings about all of it. On one hand I am just so excited about the move and where our life is taking us next that I’m ready to be done.

And yet.

I am so not ready to leave my job.

I’ve written before about how life has shifted since I got a job. I just don’t even know how to adequately describe it. My life has been better because of this job. I have found a new sense of value and worth in having this job. I have gained another family.

I will miss so much all the joy that my coworkers and the patients brought each and every day. I probably laughed more in the past year than I ever have in my life. Which is saying something.

Out of an entire year of working I had MAYBE two days I seriously didn’t want to go into work. TWO DAYS. I worked through a kidney stone and tried to work with the flu. I mean I seriously loved this dang job. Ha!

It was more than the friendships that I so strongly have with my coworkers too.

I felt a new sense of purpose and worth just in the fact that I was getting up most days of the week at a scheduled time and actually getting ready. I took showers. I wore nice clothing – dresses several times a week! (!!!) I put on make up and fixed my hair. I enjoyed every second of it.

Just those simple things shifted my life so much.

When you are a stay-at-home mom there really isn’t much need or time for all the showers and make up and fixing your hair. And why wear beautiful clothes when your children are just gonna crap and puke or spill everything they eat/drink on them??? I mean. Seriously!

I loved getting to go to work and (mostly) have adult conversation. I loved getting to eat lunch with friends and not have anyone ask for a bite. Or not having to count someone’s bites. Or not saying “EAT YOUR FOOD” twelve million times.

Yes, there were lots of days I missed my children. But that was so good for me. To actually miss them. For so long I never had a free second. So this year was just so good because we missed each other during the day and loved seeing each other at night. And because it truly was THE PERFECT JOB, I got to still be home with them two days a week. I mean, I’m telling y’all- dream job.

On Wednesday we left work early and went to Florence to eat downtown and do a little shopping. My coworkers went in and got some gag gifts for me and also some gift gifts. Then they wrote me a poem called “Ode to Tizzy” and it made my life complete. It was the perfect day and the perfect end to one of the best years of my life solely because of my job.

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Let me just state a few things for the record: I did dance all day every day- its what I do best in life. BUT I did work. Dancing is just a priority sometimes. I’m not a fan of washing my hair but it isn’t OILY dirty. And some men/women mistake my FRIENDLINESS for FLIRTINESS. I sometimes mess up messages… like I forget the patients name or get it wrong (example Mick Jagger). I did NOT kill my neighbors chickens and cannot discuss this yet because I still live in the neighborhood. When I was a young PK my friends and I sometimes would copy our butts on the church copy machine. (sorry mom and dad and Sheree and Joyce) Paper Mill Wife status is something I’ve never heard of until I started working here- but around these parts apparently most paper mill wives are “ladies of leisure” … clearly this is something I am not. — Just felt I needed to clear some things up. HA.

I have loved getting to know the patients too at my job. I obviously worked in a medical facility so can’t say much but there were some precious people that I will miss so much. One older man who was sorta grumpy to some people took to me and I definitely took to him and I’m going to miss his grumpiness and his way of making fun of you because he loved you way. Then the other elderly man who brought fresh veggies and ALWAYS brought his digital camera so he could show me pictures of his garden, his family, his “trophies” from WW2. Sweetest man on earth and I will surely miss him. Then every other “regular” patient who came in and laughed at/with me- they all made my day so much brighter. Some of the drug reps and I got to be friends and I will really miss seeing them as well. I hope they miss me just as much!

I will, however, not miss the men who are INAPPROPRIATE and touchy. Just sayin’.

I will also miss all the WEIRD AS HECK ailments people have. I mean seriously. You wouldn’t believe unless you worked in the medical field. MERCY PEOPLE. Mercy.

My life will be much duller and a little less bright after today. I’m just so thankful I was able to have this opportunity and meet and know these wonderful people. I will miss every single one of you tremendously. I love you and cherish your friendship.

{From left: Rejetta (and Sayer!), Lisa (favorite-ever boss), Stacy, myself, Tanya, Tiffany (my partner in crime co-receptionist), Olivia and Aleisha}

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PS- I gave them pictures of me with different phrases recorded as a gift. It was fantastic.

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married monday : temporary housing edition

I’m gonna rewind a few years back to when we moved to Texas. I was so extremely pregnant with Rory. Like. So pregnant. 36 weeks to be exact.

We had a house under contract but couldn’t close on it until the end of January, but Andy was to start his job at the new mill the first of January. That meant we had to find temporary housing.

Andy, ever the budgeter, decided to find an extended stay hotel near the mill until time to close on our house. He finds a place online that was “NEWLY RENOVATED! ALL NEW FLOORS! ALL NEW PAINT! BEAUTIFULLY REMODELED!” via the website.

Y’all.

I walked in to see it and the first thing I notice was that the floors AND walls were all tiled with huge floor tiles which was strange.

Then I noticed that the couch (it came “fully furnished”) was sitting ON BRICKS. It was also a very unnatural-to-cloth color. I’m like sure it was pooped or puked on.

Then we went to bedroom. Not too bad. But definitely needed mattress pad covers for me to sleep on the beds. Just in case.

And then. AND THEN…. we went into the bathroom.

The toilets and bath were BLACK. The floors had the weirdest film on them. There were bugs.

It was also in the middle of what I lovingly describe as the “Mexican Ghetto”. There were about twenty Hispanic families living in two apartments next to us and there were things going on that could not have been law abiding.

And right then and there I will like to tell you that Tiffany (who is normally totally laid back and go with the flow) had her first ever legit panic attack.

I MEAN I SHOULD HAVE BEEN HOSPITALIZED.

I laid on the bed and sounds of sobs that have never escaped my body poured out. Andy was looking at me with sheer panic all over his face.

After hearing myself and the strange noises coming from me and seeing his face I then started laughing hysterically between sobs.

So, basically, pure hysteria.

Andy and I still laugh until we cry (or I pee my pants) when we think about the sounds that came from me that day. haha!

Fast forward to when we moved to Savannah. Andy found us a house to rent.

Next to a meth den. (Like I’m 99.9999% it was for sure a meth house. Actually. No. 100%.)

Our neighbors (husband and wife) literally got into a fist fight in the front yard as I was trying to take the girls to school one morning.

The house also smelled like pee no matter what we did.

Obviously, it was a real winner.

So when it came time for us to find something we would be living in until our house in Texas (oh yes, we still have a house in Texas- don’t even get me started on that) I knew I could not trust Andrew alone this time.

Fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me.

Well I had done been SHAMED so I was NOT going to do that again.

Before we embarked on our temporaryish housing trip, Andy made a list of places to check out.

I had a list of two places I wanted to see and they both had “luxury apartment complex” next to the name.

Andy, on the other hand, had a large list of places to check out. He was determined to try and avoid anything with “luxury” next to the name.

In fact, he trudged us through the ghetto for a good half of a day looking for that special place.

And I’m not hating on the ghetto. Clearly we have lived in some not-so-nice places. (We lived in an apartment on the coast once that was nasty and had a total creepster across the street. I couldn’t wait to get out of that place. And it was FOR SURE ghetto housing.)

But I feel we have two kids and Andy has worked hard to climb the ladder so that we don’t have to stay in (literally) government housing anymore.

Each place he took me to got worse and I got more giggly and delirious and we laughed literally half the day away because it was just TOO MUCH. I’m pretty sure we witnessed a drug deal going down while waiting at a stop light in front of one of the complexes he LEGIT thought was family friendly.

And then he took me to this one place with duplexes that looked so quiet and serene and I was ON BOARD, BABY.

I even left a message with the management company.

Thennnnnn I took a closer look at the sign ….

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Not sure if you can read that but the bottom says, “An Affordable Senior Community”.

COMPLETE WITH A HANDICAP SIGN.

Clearly they need a more pronounced sign. Am I right?!

Bless it. We are just not good when it comes to temporaryish housing.

Finally Andrew took us to the two on my list.

And all I have to say is I heard him out and went with an open mind to all of these apartments/assisted living homes/drug dens and applauded Andy in his efforts.

But this was one battle I knew I’d win and I’m here to tell you I did. If I’m gonna live somewhere for a year, it needs to NOT be scary.

So, “what does this have to do with marriage?”, you ask.

Everything.

When making huge decisions as housing, make sure you keep an open mind and hear each other out.

Learn to laugh even in the craziest and most stressful situations.

Don’t take yourself too seriously.

And always remember that most things are temporary and you can do anything for a period of time.

Like live in a meth den, pee house, or Mexican ghetto.

One day you will be able to laugh with your partner and say things like “WHAT WERE YOU THINKING?!”

 

 

 

desperate times call for desperate measures.

As you all know by now, potty training is the bane of my existence.

No really.

Loathe it.

Ryder FINALLY got the hang of peeing on the potty. Girlfriend will wear those cute panties and rocks it. Goes on her own without me even reminding her. It is super amazing.

But.

or butt.

She would not for the life of her poop on that potty.

In fact, I would put a pull up on her during nap and she would poop in her pull up instead of napping.

It was making me insane.

INSANE.

But I kept at it just praying that it would someday all come together.

Yesterday I tried a new tactic. I told Ryder that if and when she pooped on the potty she would get a…

POOP PARTY!

Oh yes I did.

Her eyes lit up! She told me all about what kind of cake she wanted. I went along and said she could have ANY CAKE SHE WANTED.

Incidentally she decided on an A-Hole cake. Which is ironic and hilarious.

And by A-Hole I clearly mean Ariel. You know Ryder and her potty mouth.

So much like her mom already.

About ten minutes later I saw Ryder get up and go into the bathroom.

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Next thing I know I hear a tiny grunt and then…..

“OHMYGOODNESS OHMYGOODNESS OHMYGOODNESS!!!!!!!!! I DID ITTTTTT!!!!!!!! I POOP IN THE POTTY! I POOOOOOOPED! I GET TO HAVE A POOP PARTY!!!!!!!!!!!”

We danced. We sang. We …. er….. I cried from shear joy.

Rory was even so excited she went and got money out of her OWN PIGGY BANK and gave it to Ryder. (Which incidentally made me cry tears of pride because that Rory girl has a HEART OF GOLD.)

We called pretty much every relative ever and made them cheer for the poop whether they liked it or not.

I texted every single friend that has young children. (Might I note that some  friends who are also in the throws of potty training *ahem Alexis* were quite hostile in their “congrats”)

Here is a convo between Erin and I:

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Can I get an amen with our extra jewels on our crowns, ladies?!!!!!!!

But seriously.

IT WAS THE BEST MOMENT OF MY LIFE.

Ok. Well. It was in the top 10 for sure.

So, today I marched myself into Walmart because I promised an A-Hole cake and you better believe I’m gonna keep that promise!

Me: I need an Ariel cake to serve 6 people.

Baker Lady: I don’t have anything that small that I can put Ariel on, would you like half a sheet cake?

Me: Sure, why not!

Baker Lady: What do you want written on the cake?

Me: Great Job, Ryder!

Baker Lady: Ummm ok? No happy birthday?

Me: Well, no. Just great job. You see… well…. its a poop party! I told her if she pooped on the potty she could have a party and IT HAPPENED so now I need a poop party cake!

Baker Lady: This is the strangest thing I’ve ever heard. But. Go you for being inventive.

 

Bless her heart. She didn’t want anything to do with that and I just went and spilled the beans.

I will be posting lots of pictures tonight of the poop party I am sure.

I also ended up having to order a cake to serve 21 people for our poop party if anyone is interested in joining us….. haha!

And don’t judge me.

Desperate times call for desperate measures.

I found a new school for the girls in Cleveland and Ryder can’t go until she is fully potty trained. SO I HAD TO COME UP WITH SOMETHING TO GET THIS DONE.

I bet that poop cake is gonna be GOOD too. HA!

And in case you were wondering since I haven’t been posting much in my moving haze- the girls are just as stinkerish as always.

for example:

I was laying in bed and looked over to find my outlet looking like this…

IMG_2492 Apparently one of them thought the ear buds needed charging too.

YIKES.

for example part 2:

Rory was supposed to be resting in her room. I told her she didn’t have to sleep but she HAD to stay in her bed and rest.

When I went to make up her bed after “rest time” I found this…

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First, let us be impressed with my photog skillz. Second, why yes that IS a bag of hot dog buns half eaten in Rory’s bed… why do you ask?!

I asked Rory why there were hot dog buns in her bed and she says, “CAUSE I WAS HUNGRY!” … like DUH MOM GAH.

So the answer is yes. YES. They are still SUCH stinkers.

Don’t tell them this but I totally love it. ;)

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