The Harris Life

chasing life, one hilarious adventure at a time

August 28, 2015
by Tiffany

Fixer Friday? : Simple fixes and Kindergarten woes

Y’all, this has been A WEEK. I haven’t even blogged because I kept writing this beautiful blog in my head and well, the ending hasn’t quite happened beautifully yet.

The truth is, we have had a hard week. Rory has a lot to learn about self control and not needing to get vengeance in every situation.

For example: When someone is on your side of the table tapping and getting on your nerves it is not okay to make it stop by gluing his hand to his side of the table.

Also, if someone is hitting you over and over again we should surely go tell the teacher instead of giving them black eye.

Don’t get me wrong, I very much so want both my girls to be strong, independent women who take care of themselves and don’t want them to be picked on because they are timid. BUT… but…. we need some self control up in here. People get on your nerves and make you crazy. That does not mean every single person who bothers you needs to be glued.

So basically this week I’ve been pouring wisdom (ha) into her and praying with her and over her so we can have some better days at school. We have also had some hard consequences like zero tv or screen time and one night of no soccer. I cried just as many tears as she did, but things are looking up. Not perfect, but who/what is?

It is only three weeks in but I’mm already so impressed with Rory’s teacher because while she has high expectations for her students (which I prayed for!) and yet she also knows kids are kids and they mess up. She expects a lot but doesn’t expect perfection. I think that is such a great trait in a Kindergarten teacher. Also, she gives grace. She writes me notes saying, “we will keep working with her and encouraging her because she is a great kid!” Do you even know how much that means to me?!

I haven’t done any major “fixer” to the house this week because of all of that and because my in-laws are coming in town tonight! So basically I’ve just been cleaning and making sure the house is just ready and comfortable for company.

I thought I would share with you this weird thing I was telling you about in our living room. For some reason it was painted the same color as the walls and looked strange. So I slapped on a few coats of shiny white paint and now it looks like it fits in with all the rest of the trim and molding!



The only “major” project I worked was organizing my laundry room because- Y’ALL- it has been a hot mess.

IMG_4504Every day it was making me more of a wreck and I was avoiding laundry at all costs because it was overwhelming me so much to even go in there. So one day I just kinda lost it and tackled this room.

The first thing I did was get every single thing on the floor and on the washer and put it outside the laundry room. Then I swept, mopped and cleaned off the washer/dryer. I needed to see the room clean before adding anything back in it.

I got all my cleaning supplies and put them into this cart from IKEA that I love so much. Now I can wheel it all over the house and it always has all the supplies I need. Winning!




I love this cart in here because it fits perfectly tucked away next to the dryer. I put the things I didn’t need into the cabinets that I sadly cannot reach. #shortpeopleproblems


On the left side of the washer/dryer is a card table and chairs. We had them in the basement but I wanted them closer for easy access. IMG_4505I have been a washing fool since getting this done. Sometimes you just need a clean slate to help you breathe a little better! I do SO much laundry because, hello, have you smelled paper mill clothes?! So having a clean laundry room is essential to my mental health. Ha!

So that’s it. Just cleaning and trying not to lose my mind.

PS: I have lost it, who am I kidding?!

Happy Fixer Friday!





August 21, 2015
by Tiffany
1 Comment

Fixer Friday : Bathroom Cabinets Edition

When we lived in Savannah I started on a bathroom re-do project but never got completely done. I was so terrified to paint the bathroom cabinets that I left them be the light wood color I hated and resented overtime I looked at them.

Our home now has those same cabinets and I’ve stared at them with disdain since we moved in May. After redoing the china cabinet last week, I decided WHAT THE HECK, LETS DO THIS THANG.IMG_4528

So, quite literally, I woke up and decided to do it on Tuesday.

My first step was to go on Pinterest and look at some bathrooms that were the size of mine and that I thought, you know, I wouldn’t mind looking at that every day. After seeing MANY white cabinets or black or dark stains, I typed in “blue bathroom cabinets” in the search bar. That is when I saw this picture and immediately knew I needed to do a blueish greenish color on my bathroom cabinets.


After I made that decision I went into the bathroom to look at the tile to make sure it would match and low and behold- IT WAS MEANT TO BE. Not too matchy but in the same family of color. Yes.IMG_4538

I got my trusty sander and went to town on the cabinets. They had a protective coat so I made sure to knock all that off. Then I took the drawers out and the doors off. All the hardware was placed in a baggy PER DOOR. I only had two doors so it wasn’t a big deal, but I can see how confusing and jumbled things could be if you took them off and put them in a pile. You want to be sure you separate them out per door.

I headed to Lowe’s to grab some paint. It took me a while to find the color I wanted. Everything seemed a little too blue or a little too green. Finally I settled on Valspar 5002-4B La Fonda Villa Fountain in a Satin finish. One reason I chose this color was because it is a National Trust for Historic Preservation color and in my experience they have always turned out great. I feel if it has that title you really can’t go wrong. Here is an online swatch of it but it clearly isn’t the same as in person or on a surface.2a45c69ba43b1d953f9ece4433089345

I went and grabbed Ryder from school and headed home to paint!

Here are the cabinets before I started:

IMG_4527 IMG_4528 IMG_4526After sanding:

IMG_4539 IMG_4531

The first coat when on pretty patchy and thin so I was very nervous thinking, “WHAT HAVE I DONE?!” (I have tried rotating this picture a million times but IT IS NOT ROTATING. Sigh.)IMG_4543Luckily, it didn’t stay that way! I painted three solid coats on every surface of the cabinets and that seemed like the perfect amount for them. I painted the doors on the ground and then carefully inserted the drawers and painted the fronts of them. (AGAIN, WON’T ROTATE, KILL ME NOW.)


Right at the end of this project I may or may not have had a moment of clumsiness and well…. this is what happens.

IMG_4551Because it is a bathroom and the surfaces will get wet, I HAD to put on a couple of coats of polyurethane. I did two coats on the sink cabinets and three on the tub cabinets. *I first let the cabinets dry for 24 hours before applying polyurethane.

I truly cannot believe what a difference just the cabinets make. I plan to paint the walls a light grey and have some storage solutions and pretty things to go up on the wall. Hopefully I will get that done this weekend and be able to show you the finished master next week!

This project cost me $35 dollars: I bought the paint ($18-20), a brush and tarp to lay down because I was out. I should have skipped buying the brush because I bought a “cabinet roller” from Lowe’s thinking that would save time. Turns out, in my opinion, paint does not go on well with those. So I scrapped that idea quickly and got my trusty ol’ brush out. So the project could have cost me only $25.

As far as time frame goes…. y’all, I decided to do this at 8:00am, researched on pinterest until probably 1o:00am, sanded and cleaned every surface and taped off edges, went to lowe’s, picked Ryder up at 12:30, came home and painted the first coat (always takes the longest), picked Rory up from school at 2:30, finished and had the cabinets back together by the time Andy got home from work at 5:30. So half a day for a major bathroom change! Side note: I didn’t inform Andy I was doing this project so he came home to a surprise! ha!

I mean…. TWENTY FIVE DOLLARS AND HALF A DAY FOR NEW CABINETS. You cannot beat that! I am so glad I stepped out of that fear/comfort zone and went for it. I think it makes the bathroom a million times better already! Can’t wait to show you the finished room!


Apparently I had painters tape over a spot and well, that will need some touch up paint!

bathcabinet3 bathcabinet4 bathcabinets1 IMG_0485 IMG_0487 IMG_0490


I hope you enjoyed this Fixer Friday! I would love to see your fixer so use the #fixerfriday hashtag and I will be searching for yours!

Selfishly I am loving this new series on the blog because it has gotten me so inspired to go ahead with the projects I’ve had in my mind for the house. It is amazing what a can of paint and branching out of the box can do!


(I also linked this post up with The Shabby Nest: Frugal Friday – I LOVE reading this blog and especially browsing the links on Friday!)


August 20, 2015
by Tiffany
1 Comment

breakfast ain’t free, baby.

Last week was the very first week of having a kid in “big kid school” and I navigated it well, I think.

This week, not so much.

For starters, let us talk about carpool.

Also known as the bane of my existence.

Here is the deal about carpool that I just CANNOT UNDERSTAND. People get there hours early to be the first in line. Buuuuutttttt they have to wait for hours in the car????? And they get their kids a whopping 4 minutes before I get mine if I show up *gasp* exactly on time????? I AM SO CONFUSED ABOUT THIS PEOPLE. Can someone honestly tell me what the point is? I literally showed up at Rory’s school one day at 2:50 and got through the line in 5 minutes.

Yesterday Ryder had a dentist appointment …..

*short interruption- Ryder loves the dentist. But she has to take this nasty medicine before because she is a heart patient. I forgot about her appointment so I rush over to Walgreens to get the RX and give it to her. Then we had one hour to kill before the appointment. So I headed to target and distributed the medicine in the car……….. except I forgot that without fail the first tsp always ends up being spit out. On me.

IMG_4568Once we got to the dentist she was fine and happy as can be.

IMG_4569 IMG_4573Back to the story…

On Wednesday we were out too late from Ryder’s appointment to do anything other than just sit in the carpool line. I got there at 2:15. Rory woke up at 4:15 yesterday morning so I had run all over the place all day long and then sat in carpool for too long and ended up falling asleep. Twice. And both times a lady in a minivan behind me honked very aggressively at me when I didn’t move the 2 inches forward in line. MY BAD, LADY- MY FREAKING BAD!

You should also know that the girls started children’s choir at church yesterday and both said they couldn’t believe I had never taken them there before because they had the time of their lives. Rory was just a tad disappointed she didn’t get on stage and sing with a microphone the first night.

^ that was random.

Now. On to the other failures I had this week so far. On Tuesday they had a parent volunteer training at Rory’s school. I called to see what time it was and apparently misunderstood the secretary because I thought she said 9 and 5:30. My original plan was to go at 9 but then I got a wild hair to redo something in my house and decided I could go at 5:30 because then I would also get a break from kids! Win-win!


Turns out the times were 9am and 1pm. So I ended up missing it altogether because I’m selfish and a terrible person. Sigh.

If you are keeping tabs you should also know that Rory is SO UPSET because I won’t let her join girl scouts. I mean, the soccer and gymnastics just isn’t enough. *insert mom eye roll*

The biggest change this week was that Rory now gets dropped off in the morning outside and she goes in by herself. I may or may not have shed even more Kindergarten Mom Tears over this.

IMG_4452So I had talked to her and told her that when she went in the first day to make sure and ask where to go so she didn’t get lost. She bee-bopped herself right in like no big deal. I mean, I don’t want her to be crying but I would really love for her to AT LEAST WAVE and pretend she is going to miss me.

So we got a notification saying she was running low on lunch money and Andy and I were like HOW ON EARTH could she already be out?!

When talking to Rory later about her day she excitedly said to us, “Did you know they have FREE BREAKFAST?!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

Andy and I look at each other like, “SAY WHAT?”

She then goes on to say, “Well the first day I walked in and the lady says you can either go to the gym or to the cafeteria for breakfast so I’ve been going in and eating free breakfast! They had pan-a-cakes and fruit and so much good stuff!”

So the mystery of the missing lunch money is solved because BREAKFAST AIN’T FREE, BABY.

Andy and I have laughed nonstop about this. I mean, bless her heart, she just did what I told her and asked where to go and thought she was taking them up on a good deal of free breakfast. hahaha!

So there you have it. I haven’t been a great kindergarten mom this week but oh well. I have a bunch of weeks left to do better, right?! ha! Honestly, it is all just so trial and error at first. She is getting to school and her folder has been signed every night. I call that a big ol’ win!




August 14, 2015
by Tiffany

Fixer Fridays : China Cabinet Edition

I’m excited to start a new series on the blog today called “Fixer Fridays”.

Here’s the deal. I love to fix things up. Give me the nastiest piece of furniture and I will find a way for it to be revived. Show me a house that looks like a dump and I don’t see the bad, I see the good.

When Andy and I were looking for houses I really, REALLY, really wanted a fixer upper. We looked at a couple of “fixers” and I loved all of them. Unfortunately, I am also very practical and knew that with Andy’s work schedule and our budget currently it just wasn’t in the cards for me to get that fixer. So now my plan is to keep at it and eventually buy a cute little fixer that I can transform and then rent out. Compromise.

There are so many reasons why I love our new house, one of them being that there are some definite fixer things in the house. Our kitchen isn’t my favorite. Definitely functional and great bones, but the aesthetics and layout aren’t my favorite. There are a few other things with cosmetic changes coming their way.

Today I am going to show you the first furniture fixer I have done since moving to Cleveland. One issue with the kitchen is the lack of storage. I needed a place to hide small appliances and also something pretty in the room. When I lived in Savannah a precious lady sold me this china cabinet for $35. And it is the best $35 I’ve ever spent probably.


The first step in redoing furniture is cleaning it. I always get a swiffer duster and dust the piece of furniture. Then I go in with a broom and clean the bottom of it to be sure there are no bugs. (I once bought a piece infested with spiders and I can’t even tell you what kind of nightmare that was.)


The next step is sanding. I hate to sand, but you just gotta do it. I get my electric sander and buff all the “shine” off the piece of furniture. 99% of the time I don’t need to do more than a very light sanding to rough up the piece so the paint with grab onto it better. Once you are done sanding, take that duster you used earlier and get all the extra dirt the sander kicks up off of the furniture.


Now it is time to paint! Tape off anything you don’t want paint on and get to it! I personally always use a brush to paint, but some use small rollers. The style I usually paint my pieces is an antique look where it isn’t perfect and looks aged so the brush works better with this technique. On this piece I did three coats, but most of the time two is enough. The paint I used was paint and primer together – Behr from Home Depot. I don’t know the color, but it is just white. I’ve used this quart of paint on 5 projects now. FIVE! IMG_4125 IMG_4188

After the paint dries it is time to rough that bad boy up! My favorite part of the process is this part. Sometimes I will look at a piece of furniture freshly painted and think, “oh man…. is this gonna work?!” because I HATE the way it looks sometimes before I rough it up.

To rough up the edges and give it the antique look I take a piece of sand paper and rub it on all the edges that would naturally wear down- like the corners and edges of the furniture. Some furniture and looks you want to achieve require the use of stain. I just rub the stain onto the furniture along the edges and then rub off with a clean rag until the desired amount is on the piece. The piece I’m showing you today I didn’t feel the need to use stain. Next time I do I will document that part and show you!

IMG_4189 IMG_4190

Once you’ve sanded it the edges and make it your desired amount of “dirty”, you are done! Again, some pieces you may want to put some stain on the edges. If it is a piece of furniture you will be eating on you’ll need to polyurethane. I did my dining room table and added stain and polyurethane and that post can be found here.

So here is the piece before:

FullSizeRenderAnd after:

IMG_4291It took me about 3 days from start to finish but I didn’t work in long time frames. If I would have had 4 hours without interruption I could have done it all in that time.

I hope you enjoyed this Fixer Friday and that you are inspired to buy something ugly and make it beautiful!

IMG_4259 IMG_4262 FullSizeRender IMG_4268 IMG_4260I’m so glad to be able to have something to hide ugly small appliances and also display my beautiful china that Andy’s mom gave to me!

I made a tiny video of the living, dining, and kitchen today. It was pouring down rain so sorry about the lighting!


Happy Fixer Friday!




August 12, 2015
by Tiffany

“Yep, got played by a 4 year old.”

Since Rory’s school is starting later than normal the first week and she actually had the day off today for staggered enrollment, Andy took Ryder to school yesterday.

Mainly because Rory was still asleep at 7:20 which was shocking enough but then she ended up sleeping until 8:37. DID YOU READ THAT CORRECTLY?! YES YOU DID. I’m telling you. It is a miracle.

At 8:10 I got a text from Andy that read, “Ryder won’t let go of me and is screaming that she wants to go home.”

I immediately called him and told him to throw her at a teacher and run. He then says he feels bad. I then say get over it. My love language is not mercy sometimes.

He called me back to tell me that she screamed and kicked and that he sat down with her for TWENTY MINUTES to try and calm her down.

I was secretly giggling on the other end because I knew what was happening here.

Just to be sure, I sent a text to her teacher to ask how Ryder was.

Here is the conversation we had:


I don’t think I stopped laughing for a good thirty minutes. “Yep got played by a four year old,” will be my favorite saying from now on.

Poor Andy. He just didn’t know how to be swift and efficient at the drop off. I mean, I basically open the door kick her forward and run outta there.

Kidding! I give her a hug before kicking her in the school. I’m not a savage, gah.

This just goes to prove that daddies are truly suckers when it comes to their little girls.

And that moms who are desperate for the tiny amount of time alone while their 4 year olds are at school  are vicious creatures who need coffee and quiet.



All kidding aside, it has been a hard week for my Ryder. Monday after school I had to take her to get her blood drawn. If you’ve been reading here a while you know just how big of a task this is. It took 45 minutes to get the amount of blood needed because her blood doesn’t flow well. (I liken it to pouring the last drop of syrup or molasses out of the container.)IMG_4066

Ryder has had some pretty bad thyroid numbers for a year now. She didn’t gain any weight this year and has such terrible spells of drowsiness and feeling lethargic and her hair hasn’t grown much either. So HOPEFULLY this was the last blood draw for a while and it will give us the answers we need to start her on some meds and lifestyle changes to help with the issue.

Holding her down for 45 minutes while she sobbed was incredibly hard for me. It is torture to both of us. I told the doctor that he would need to do everything he could this time because we weren’t doing that again for a while. She’s had a lot of blood work done over this last year and it is now to the point where we need a break. 45 minutes is an eternity to a kid. And though you all know I try my hardest to be positive and encouraging- sometimes I just can’t be. It sucked so bad. The worst part to me was that the nurses (and I always LOVE nurses and think they are the greatest people on the planet) had the nerve to yell at her and at me because they were having a hard time getting the blood. As if we wanted to make it take longer.

We walked out, both sobbing and clinging to each other, and Ryder looked at me with those gorgeous green eyes filled with tears and said, “Momma, please please don’t make me do that again.”

Ugh, I just started crying again just thinking about it.

Today we dropped Rory off for her first day at Kindergarten with her whole class. She will go every day now and is so excited. Ryder, on the other hand, realized that Rory would be away all day and she had a breakdown. I failed to talk about it more with her and I feel terrible about it. She had to be pried off of Rory finger by finger and it was the sweetest, saddest thing I’ve ever seen. They truly are the very best of friends.



August 10, 2015
by Tiffany
1 Comment

Rory goes to Kindergarten.

It is finally here. The day she has been counting down for over a year…. and no I’m not even kidding about that.

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Rory is a Kindergartner.



It took four outfit changes last night for her to finally decide on this outfit. And I am not gonna lie- I could not have been more thrilled to see that tutu. Some things will never change. I needed that tutu to remind me she’s still the same girl, just now at big school.



Last night when I was making your “first day” sign, I cried huge crocodile tears for so many reasons. Memories flooded me at that moment of all these years we have had together. I’m so thankful that my #1 job has been to be your mom. Nothing has made me feel more proud than to have you as my daughter.

You have tested me and made me giggle all within seconds for years. There were many times I couldn’t wait for you to go to Kindergarten so you could test someone else, ha! Your toddler years were hard at times because I just wasn’t ready for a child as magnificent as you. You have blown my mind with how you like to experience every.single.detail. of every.single.thing. you see. For so long we battled because I wasn’t wise enough to let you be strong willed. I didn’t understand your “engineering” brain and tried to make you have a brain more like mine. That was a failure on my part because I wouldn’t want you to change one thing about your personality or the way you think.

That is my biggest fear and therefore my biggest prayer for you as you start your new journey into school. I don’t want anyone to ever try to put you into a box again. I want you to soar with your own uniqueness.

I want your teacher to love you for YOU. I want her to love every quirk and every detail about you. For so many years I have been your main caretaker and your biggest cheerleader and I’m going to be real honest- it is so hard to pass that torch onto someone I don’t know. That right there is the hardest part to me.

I’ve been praying for your teacher for a long time now- that she will let you be yourself and love your strong willed nature. That she will nurture and love you like your momma does. She’ll never love you as much, but I’m hoping she is a close second.

Today is hard because I know how ready you are, but I’ve found myself not so ready. The house is so quiet without you in it. But I know with everything in me that Kindergarten is going to be amazing for you. You are going to soar at school. You are so much like your daddy and you absolutely love to learn. I am so thankful for that.

Driving you to school today was like torture. I knew I needed to be brave, just like I’ve told you to be for so many years now, and I knew I couldn’t cry before dropping you off. So I choked back the tears on the two minute drive to your school and just prayed for God to stop the stinkin’ tears until later.

When we got to the school they had us all go into the cafeteria to sit for a minute and it was so cold in there. You immediately asked if you could snuggle in my lap and IT TOOK EVERYTHING IN ME TO NOT BAWL LIKE A BABY. Oh, how I needed just one more snuggle before Kindergarten. So we sat there and I put on a smile and kissed your head and smelled you (moms are freaks) and savored every second of that snuggle.

Then we went into your classroom. You found your name and started to play and looked at me like, “when the heck are you going to get out of here?!” All the other parents were standing around and some kids were crying. Not you. You immediately dove into the play-doh and starting making something with the intense concentration that makes your tongue stick out. I knew it was time. Even if all the other moms were still there, I knew it was time.

I bent down and gave you one last hug and kiss. I told you how much I loved you and how proud of you that I am- you weren’t paying me any attention but I said it anyway because I always need you to know that.

Then you looked at me with those big brown eyes and said, “Mom, I got this,” with a huge smile on your face.

You are so right, Rory, you got this.

You’ll be proud to know that your momma didn’t cry until she got to the car. And then I sobbed HARDCORE. I cried all the way home. I cried into my cup of coffee. And now I’m crying into my keyboard.

I’m so incredibly proud of you. You were made for Kindergarten. This is the time I get to sit back and watch you shine. I cannot wait to see what God does in you this year.

No one will ever, EVER, love you as much as I do Rory- don’t ever forget that.

To the moon and back,



August 6, 2015
by Tiffany

#TBT: trip to the donut shop. (alt title: pregnant cravings were fierce)

Andy’s been without a car all week and today as I was driving home from dropping him off at work I started to literally laugh out loud at the memory of another time Andy was without a car.

Or actually I was without a car.

So here is a little Throwback Thursday story for you on this dreary Thursday.

Let me set the scene for you:

I was INSANELY pregnant with Rory. Like almost 8 months pregnant.

We lived in Pineville, Louisiana in the cutest little house you ever did see. I’m not even kidding. I still miss that tiny house all the time. It was our first bought home and we were madly in love with it.

For some reason or another we were down one car, so Andy just took the car to work because I had no job and we were actually already starting to pack for our move to Texas. So it was just me and my perfect house and I had no need for a car at all.

Except then I did.

You see, I rarely had a craving for anything other than watermelon when I was pregnant with Rory. I literally ate like 4 whole watermelons a week. Sometimes I would even sprinkle chocolate chips on my watermelon because I was a rebel like that.

I never ate meat. That is just a side note.

On this particular morning I was watching TV and a commercial came on.

A Dunkin’ Donuts commercial, to be exact.

I went into full anxiety attack, y’all.


The problem was that I didn’t have a car. And Andy couldn’t just leave work to get me a donut.

So I came up with a plan.

I found my favorite purse for traveling. Filled it with my phone and a water. Through it across my chest.


We lived close to downtown Pineville so I knew it was like no big deal to walk to this amazing old donut shop just two roads over.

I mean, I had walked for hours in NYC every time I went so COME ON this would be a breeze.





Turns out the half mile max I thought it was turned out to be a leeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeettle more than what my pregnant brain remembered.

You see.

It was actually almost 3 miles to the donut shop.


When I finally got to the donut place I literally practically fell into the store. There were only approximately 2380230923 old men sitting there staring at me like I had gone mental.

The lady behind the counter rushed over to me and started fanning me.

Then she said, “Honey, are you okay? Do you have a husband? PLEASE TELL ME SOMEONE DID NOT ABANDON YOU AND YOU’VE BEEN WALKING FOR HOURS.”

I mean, she was ready for a TV drama to play out.

I told her that I had a craving and no car so I decided to walk. She asked where I lived. I told her. SHE STARTED HOWLING WITH LAUGHTER because she knew just how crazy it was.

So she brought me two chocolate donuts with sprinkles and a large chocolate milk just like I had been so desperately craving.

It was the absolute best meal I have ever eaten in my life.

I sat there for over an hour dreading the walk back to our house. Finally, I got up the nerve to go. The lady gave me her number in case I couldn’t make it. I will be forever thankful of that sweet woman for making me feel a little less crazy by telling me some stories of her own cravings while I ate those donuts.

I proceeded to walk home. It took FREAKING FOREVER to get home. Three people stopped to see if I needed a ride.

Before getting home I had only thrown up 7 times. I lost my precious donuts and all the dignity I had left (which was .1%).

I remember telling people that I knew about my adventure and all of them looked at me like a crazy person and laughed their heads off.

I walked 6 miles total for a craving.


In closing, I would like you all to know that Rory is still madly in love with chocolate donuts with sprinkles.

As she better be. I mean. The things I do for her!

Happy Throwback Thursday!



August 3, 2015
by Tiffany

summer is coming to an end.

If you would have told me a few years ago that I would get to the point where I could say that we have truly had the best summer ever, I would have laughed in your face. I mean, I can’t believe how fast time has gone now that I’m in this stage. I spent several summers inside with babies thinking that summer would never end. I mean I HATED summers. Last summer was fun, but this summer…… it was amazing.

Last week was our last official week of summer because today Ryder started PreK! Can you even believe that little baby who had to overcome so much is now a thriving PreK girl?! I can’t either. There were times I really didn’t think we would ever get here.11796458_10101829522154996_7770302727723680_n

The girls went to camp last week which was basically HEAVEN to me because I got to have four full days at home alone. I mean, that is a true vacation to a mama!

I’m going to be real honest with you people……

4 out of 4 days I took a nap.

A long, delicious nap.


I did make myself do one productive thing each day. Just so I didn’t have to feel guilty.

The big thing I did though was closet purge! And I mean I got rid of more than half my clothes.



After- the giveaway pile.


I tried on every single item of clothing I own. If I didn’t LOVE it immediately I took it off and put it in a pile. I feel so much better about life right now and it is so much easier to pick what I’m going to wear each day!

I also made Andy do the same thing because, bless his heart, he has a hoarding problem.IMG_3398

He was thrilled.


We also spent the week playing outside at night and having family game nights. Rory, Andy, and I take the game very seriously.IMG_3409

Clearly Ryder is serious about it too.IMG_3401

This weekend we went to Splash Country for our last big summer adventure.


It was so crowded but we still had so much fun.

After our day at the water park, we went to the outlet mall to find some shoes for the girls. I thought this would be an easy task because clearly I am naive but OH NO. Honestly, I will just tell you that I didn’t think the girls could spend the entire day at the water park and then be able to shop for several hours but they did and only twice did Ryder tell us her legs couldn’t work anymore. That is a successful shopping trip if I ever heard of one.

The girls got new shoes and new jackets and a few clothes. They also entertained themselves and a whole lot of people that passed the window by pretending they were mannequins. It was hysterical.IMG_3537
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We went to approximately 47 shoe stores before heading to our last stop and finally finding the shoes that 1)fit – apparently every girl is in a size 12 because they were no where to be found and 2) met all the children’s requirements – weren’t too stiff, weren’t too soft, weren’t too pink, weren’t green, weren’t too girly but NOT boy-y at all.

I needed a strong drink by the time shoe shopping was over.

I meant a strong coffee, mother.

On our way out of Sevierville we stopped at Cracker Barrel to eat (it was 9pm and we were insanely delirious). All of a sudden Rory pulls out some of those try on hose/socks and puts them on her head. We, and about 10 surrounding tables, got a kick out of her and Ryder’s faces in them. Again, we were delirious and just cracked up until I couldn’t stop crying. It was just too much for me.IMG_3566 IMG_3569

I’m so sad to see our amazing summer come to an end, but I’m also so ready for the schedule and steadiness that comes with the school year. Rory and I have the week together while Ryder is at school and both of us are so excited for some one on one time.IMG_3665

July 30, 2015
by Tiffany

use this for something great

About a week and a half ago, an event happened that left me devastated and feeling hopeless. I won’t get into the details because 1) it isn’t important to anyone else and 2) I want to protect people that I love (and myself)- just know that I’m not being dramatic when I say this is one of the hardest things I’ve been through.

It took a week of tears and fear and complete hopelessness to get me to breathe properly again.

And a week to open my Bible.

I don’t know why it took so long. Maybe I wanted to continue to wallow in my pain. Part of me was wishing I wasn’t a Christian so I didn’t feel so devastated and that would make things easier for me. So picking up my Bible seemed like an assault to my wounded pride.

When I finally picked it up, I opened it and decided to turn to 1 Thessalonians. I have no idea why and it sounds like a cliche, but it just happened that I turned there and wanted to just read a minute without actively pursuing comfort. Again, I wasn’t ready for that yet.

I read the entire book – just numb to most of the words, but it was when I came to a certain verse that I realized why 1 Thessalonians had been chosen for me –

“Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” – 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 NIV



I have made that my mantra, my cry to God this week.

I will rejoice even if it hurts because the Bible tells me I have hope in Christ. That this circumstance would be hopeless if I didn’t know Him, but I do know Him and He loves me and cares for me and is hurting with me.

I will pray continuously because the Bible calls me to do this even when I don’t want to. Sometimes my prayer is, “God, please.” That is it. Sometimes that is all I can muster. Mostly, though, my prayer is that God will use this for something great. Praying that is what helps me to hurt less. If I can have the hope that this will be used for something amazing it hurts just a little less.

I will give thanks in this circumstance. I will give thanks for this event in my life because I know it can help me to be the person God wants for me. It will help me to be more compassionate towards others. It will help me to be less callous to things that are clearly not right. It certainly has helped me see the sin in my own life. I will be a better mother, friend, and wife when I get to the other side of this. I will give thanks because God chose for me to have to go through this storm because He wants better for me and wants my life to mirror Him more than it currently does.

I feel like a wreck right now. One minute I’m the same person and I forget. The next minute I find myself unable to get out of bed. Luckily for me, I have two precious girls that need me and love me unconditionally and that helps me so much. Seeing their smiling faces helps the worst days seem like they aren’t so bad.

I am determined to let God do something amazing with this time in my life. He already has opened my wounded heart up and poured Himself into me. I’m honestly looking forward to the growth I know I will experience and seeing the other side of this thing.

God has always been faithful to me, and I will be faithful to Him. Even if it hurts right now, I know He will use this for something great.

July 24, 2015
by Tiffany

where did the summer go? and a creepy child story

We have had one of those weeks where some days seemed long but now it is Friday and I don’t even know where the days have gone to.


Summer is almost over.

How did it happen so quickly?! Where did the summer go?!

I mean I literally cannot believe it is coming to an end. It has been the most fun summer ever. I need about 3 more weeks of pool time.

Next week the girls will be going to “camp” at church during the day. I won’t even know what to do with myself.

And then the next week is Ryder’s first week of PreK and then the next is Rory’s first week of Kindergarten.


In other news, I need a hobby.

Moving on!

When we last left off at my parents’ house last week I told you all about the fun we had. Well it got even better on Friday because my sister, Tasha, and her boys came in and we got to spend the day with them. It was way too short and I wish I could have seen them longer but I’m glad for the time we did have!

282 281 280Clayton and his wrestling moves. Ryder giggled the entire time, ha!

We spent last weekend with Andy’s family at the river. The girls had the time of their lives. Rory tubed by herself and Ryder tubed with anyone she could. The best part was spending time with Andy’s sister and her babies! The girls couldn’t get enough of Emma and Zoe!

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The ride home was amazing. They slept for a while which never happens. They didn’t want to watch a movie. They never asked for a snack or drink. They never asked for a bathroom break. It was amazing.714

Tuesday we went school shopping! We had the most fun. My little cuties were so excited and loved every second of picking out things. Rory found the most perfect folder for herself. 008She’s a stinker alright.

This is the part of the post where I tell you a creepy kid story.

The other night I was painting something in my living room –

(This is what I was painting. Why they painted it the same as the wall color I will never know.)026


After I got done I started up the stairs to turn the girls’ lights off.

As I head up the stairs I put my phone light up the stairs to see and when I looked up with the light I saw it….

A child standing at the top of the stairs staring down.

It was Rory, of course, BUT STILL. I was not prepared for that.

I ended up falling/sliding down 1/4th of the stairs and laying there trying to just breathe.


I say to Rory, “WHAT ARE YOU DOING?! YOU SCARED THE LIFE OUT OF ME CHILD!!!!!!!!!” (While holding my heart. Naturally.)

She says, “I can’t find Ryder, Mom. I just can’t find her.”

Me: Rory, she is in her bed.

Rory: *Still standing there all creepily* I just can’t find her, Mom.”

Bless it. She never even woke up.

I want you to know I didn’t sleep that night. I mean, I know it is my child, but there is nothing worse than getting scared out of your mind by a creepy little girl staring down the stairs. IT WAS THE WORST.

This morning I found her like this.088 089

Apparently sleep walking is our next adventure into the no sleep world.