Category: Travel

fun, sun, and embarrassment

So, as most of you know, thanks to Instagram and the facebooks, we went on vacation last week! We spent the week in Orange Beach, AL and had the best time. This was our first official family vacation just us and it was so needed and so wonderful.

We had the same schedule every day, because my kids are sticklers about a schedule. We woke up around 7:30 (oh yes, we slept in!) (no that isn’t a joke- 7:30 is sleeping in around here for sure!), ate breakfast, went to the beach, swam in the pool, ate lunch, took naps, got ready, went out to eat, came home and got in bed. It was fabulous.

Now. Get ready for picture overload.

We decided to leave when all these crazy Savannah people do – 3:30 am. Rory was a perfect little angel baby and went back to sleep and was a champ in the car.

RYDER WAS NOT. She was so mad we woke her up and put her in the car. She literally cried at least 3 hrs. Like screamed. It was awesome. Or not. When it was my time to drive Andy decided to get in the back and all three of them passed out. I had to take a picture because it was so hilarious to me seeing them all back there like that.


Most nights while we were there we met up with our friends who were vacationing down there at the same time. Clay, Haley, Abby, Josh, Cindy, Dennis and three kids stayed in the same house down the beach from us. The girls loved seeing all of them at night. They are especially smitten with Haley’s mom, Cindy. In fact, Rory said, “Her is my favorite girl ever” to which Ryder replied- “YEAHHHH!”.

Typical girls picture with Abby and Haley.


Y’all are totally impressed with my mad skillz, I know it. Getting that many toddlers to take a picture that is semi decent- MIRACLE.

Actually, bribery.


Oh, look! Another girls pic! So original!


Excited for the beach!


We built approximately 239230592342 Barbie sand castles.

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A sweet lady came and asked if we wanted a family picture and I thought, “Sure lady but no one will ever see this because it is a bathing suit picture and that would mortify me”…

but then I noticed a little bonus surprise in the middle of the pic (front and center)- a nice crotch shot of some dude in the background. So I had to share because pretty much this sums up our life. What other family would find this typical?

(PS- thank the Lord for the crop feature for pictures!)


Rory LOVED the beach. She didn’t mind getting sand everywhere and loved building castles with her daddy.

Ryder, on the other hand, was a total diva. And I LOATHE calling kids divas. It makes me crazy.

But in this case, Ryder totally was just that. She would scrunch her nose up and say “ew dirty” the entire time. So she just ended up sitting under the umbrella, eating and drinking and people watching.



SEVERAL times over the week we attempted family pictures. None went very well. But hey, we tried.

Although, I’m not sure why we even try. Ha!

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One night we planned sunset pictures and totally missed sunset. OH WELL- kids were heifers anyway! ha!

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I kept trying to get a picture we me and the girls or at least one girl by myself.




 Mornings started out with lots of choke holds snuggles, as per usual.


Their favorite thing was getting to go to the kiddie pool our condo had. It was fabulous, but a bit warm and that gave me the gags a little. You know what I’m talking about. Kiddie pool. Pee. Warmth.


So, I know y’all are thinking, “ok this is boring- let’s get to the good stuff”. Well you are in luck! I have some amazingly embarrassing stories for you!

Let’s start with Rory. This precious face is deceiving.


The very first day we were out on the beach, a lady came over to talk to Rory (side note: why do people do this?) and Rory looked at her in her TINY bikini and said, “Hey why you not have any clothes on?”, and then she walked away and left me standing there MORTIFIED.


The other majorly mortifying moment came walking back from the pool one day. A very sweet, very large (tall, muscular, probably a football player back in the day) African American man was walking next to us and we were talking about the weather etc. He said to Rory, “Man, you are getting a tan little girl!” and she bounces along and says to him, “Yep! I’m black as a biscuit!”

Y’ALL. You should have seen me scrambling. I assured him I had NO IDEA (and seriously I don’t!) where she got that from because I have never ever said anything like that before to her. Thankfully, he just laughed and laughed. I pretty much died right there.

On the last day we went out to the kiddie pool while Andy packed the car up for us to drive home. There was a guy laying next to my chair and he kept talking to me and was a bit inappropriate with me. So, I was already uncomfortable and embarrassed and wanting to leave. Then Rory came over and noticed he was laying spread eagle on the chair. She says to him, “hey mister man, I can see your body”… “body” is code for privates. I DIED, y’all. DIIIIIED. Can’t even begin to tell you how mortified I was. Horrified. Beyond ready to leave and never come back. Lord have mercy.

And then there is this stinker….


She had some doozies of her own.

The second day on the beach we were walking back to go to the pool and this guy was walking in our direction. Ryder stopped and said, “Momma! A MONSTER!!!! A MONSTER COMIN’!” and was pointing straight at him. He was really big (not really fat big, just a tall, large guy) with a REALLY hairy chest and a doo-rag (is that how you spell it?) with long white hair. So apparently that is what makes a monster. Mortified.

Then a couple of days later she sees a man in the hallway and apparently he looked familiar to her so she runs at him YELLING, “Santa Cwaus! Santa Cwaus! Come back to me Santa Cwaus!” over and over and over and over. Luckily the guy had a sense of humor and laughed.

Who knew Santa wore Hawaiian printed bathing suit bottoms and a cute straw hat and vacationed in Orange Beach, FL?

All I gotta say is that I’m glad they don’t know what Duck Dynasty is yet because they would have called out A LOT of Si’s down there! Ha!


And then there were LOTS of stories of them embarrassing me together.

But the icing on the cake was at Souvenir City. Oh sweet mercy it was a doozy.

First, Rory determined she couldn’t walk. The only way she could get around was doing somersaults. Obviously, Ryder came down with the same ailment and decided it was the PERFECT PLACE to perfect her somersault.


Well, apparently her diaper was getting in the way, so she took that thing off, swung it above her head with a little “woohoo!”, and started flipping with her bare butt up in the air.

People were giggling and looking in horror.


I was trying to get on to them, but others were laughing and it was just a never ending battle.

So then I just pretended they weren’t my kids.


Andy was standing a few feet away AND DIDN’T EVEN KNOW ANY OF THIS HAPPENED!


So there you go. That was our trip in a nutshell. Fun, sun, and embarrassment!

Can’t wait until next year!

life has changed so much

Around 1:30 in the morning last night, I woke up with a child staring at me in that creepy way children insist on waking you up in the middle of the night. I jumped and sucked in my breath (because even in my subconscious fright I’d never let out a yell that would wake the kids!) and then realized it was just Rory. Too exhausted from being up with ear pain to put her back in bed, I just threw her in the middle of us. She snuggled up and immediately started snoring and I smiled in delight over it.

That is when it hit me. Life has changed so much.

Rory has officially, until last night which was honestly totally not her fault, slept ALL NIGHT BY HERSELF IN HER BED for a month straight. No waking up. Sleeping until 6 or later.

I don’t know if you realize… its not like I have ever talked about sleep issues here, ha!… but this is the first time in her life that she has slept so well.

And it is life changing.

I realize that sounds dramatic to those of you who have never had legitimate sleep issues with kids, but it really is.

What is funny is the first week this all started, Andy and I were SO TIRED. We went to bed at around 9 each night and would wake up more tired than ever. Our bodies (especially mine) were so used to no sleep that it took well over a week to adjust to sleeping all night. I swear I had a sleep hangover big time.

And since Rory is sleeping, so is Ryder, especially now that she has zyrtec every night. That has been such a relief too because she’s finally not miserable.

It’s crazy how sleep makes life more bearable.

Last week was Rory’s last week at her “preschool”. She only goes two days a week, but just those two days changed her life so much this year. She wasn’t labeled the “problem” anymore and her confidence SOARED. What an answer to prayer and a burden lifted off this momma’s shoulders. She LOVED going to school to see “Miss-us” Sharon and Miss Bonita.

Here she is first day of preschool and last day of preschool. My, my , my how she has changed. She’s taller, she’s losing that baby face, and SHE IS SLEEPING. Things that are the same- same bow, same sassiness (but with that pose, seems to be growing), and still bruised up legs from playing hard!


Tuesday was her last official day of school because Thursday was Preschool Fun Day. Tuesday we went for our favorite after school treat to get frozen yogurt! Rory loves the catfish out front!


Then Thursday we had a wonderful day with all our school friends! I wish I could’ve gotten a picture of the entire group.


This past weekend I was invited to a (very southern) Sip and See for a dear friend from Starkville, Kathryn and her new baby Mattie Grace. I was so excited to go, and everyone was bringing their kids, so I decided to bring Rory and Ryder along too. Well the day before I realized I’d be in the car for 6 hours for a two hour shower and that made me a little crazy to think about so I decided to get a hotel on Friday and spend more time with friends. Then after booking hotel I went a little crazy because I was SO WORRIED about how the girls would do since their track records for hotels isn’t the greatest and I was going to be BY MYSELF. So insert panic attack moment.

But, much to my surprise, the girls were DELIGHTFUL. Their behavior, sleeping, and their mostly calm car riding SHOCKED ME if I’m being honest. It was the most fun weekend I’ve had in a long time. I loved getting to be able to take the girls to Starkville and letting them meet all my friends and their little kids.

hotel fun (they insisted on sleeping together and it worked well for half the night, then Ryder wanted to sleep ALONE…)


We met up with my sweet friends Kristen and Lydia at Chik-Fil-A first and the kids all had a blast playing in the playground area and eating together. Then we somehow managed to get all five children down for a nap at the same time.


After nap we went to our hotel and swam our little hearts out and ate some pizza! It was such a fun day and night!


As you can see, Ryder became OBSESSED with Reed and the feeling was MUTUAL to say the least. Bless their hearts, they were down right smitten. It was the sweetest thing I’ve ever seen. Guess we will just have to arrange a marriage or something. HA!

Saturday was the shower for Kathryn and y’all it was the best time ever. I loved getting to visit with my sweet friends from way back when we were in college.

This group of girlfriends have been through so much together. Incredible joys and incredible losses, devastating divorce, infertility and miscarriages, cancer, job losses, extremely sick babies, and I could go on and on. But even in MY darkest times, these girls have always been the first to tell me they are praying for me and I know they mean it. I’m so blessed to have them, even if we don’t see each other as often as I would like, I love knowing they are there no matter what.

Top picture- left to right: Ashley, Kristen, Lydia, me, Emily, Amanda, Martha Ann, Kathryn

Bottom picture- left to right with kids: Lyda (Jake and Reed), Ashley (Peyton- not pictured?), Kristen (Collette), Me and the stinkers, Emily (Olivia and Riley, Sam not pictured), Martha Ann (Emma), Kathryn (Mattie Grace), Amanda


Ryder, Riley, Olivia, Rory- these girls had the best time together. Riley and Olivia were like little babysitters. They did such a great job watching the girls during the shower and at lunch! Rory has asked for them every day since!


I just had the best time in Starkville. On the way out of town Rory said, “Momma, I just love Starkville.” Oh me too baby, me too.

Since Ryder was so insistent that she sleep ALONE in the hotel room, I decided to go ahead and take the dive into a big girl bed. I was so worried she’d wake up scared or wake up not wanting to be in it since she is already such a good sleeper in a crib as long as she is feeling good.

Well. Easiest transition EVEERRRR. (I’m using the word ‘ever’ a lot in this post, yes?) Anyway- seriously, she loves it. She has slept so good in it, sleeping all night and later than normal. So thankful! Doesn’t she look so tiny in that big ol’ bed?!


The other big news associated with the new bed is that I’m able to just lay her down again and walk out and she goes right to sleep. AMAZING! Isn’t she precious?!


I’ve always hated the guard rail things but had to break down and get one because the daybed was higher up than I expected. Well, little miss was just like this and sound asleep when I went to check on her this morning! So much for guard rails! ha!


It was an awesome weekend with my girls and we loved coming home to Andy on Saturday. This week has been busy too, I will post more later on that. Right now my kids just went down for nap without a fight and I’m heading to bed myself for once!

Happy nap time!

the cruise

Well, I figured it was about time to sit down and tell y’all about the cruise. Warning: this will be long. Also, I’m not sure why some of these pictures are normal sized and some are super large. I have no time to figure it out. Sorry.

Honestly, it went surprisingly well. The kids were like little angels. It was as if little angel babies came in and took over my children for a week.

They ate great.


They played great.

They were sweet to each other.

They were sweet to every single person on the cruise. EVEN ME!

They were little sweet baby angels, I tell ya!

Yes, you did read that right… they slept great on the cruise! Mostly because we wore them out every day. They were in the sun and water all day every day and we loved it! It was so fun! We would all go back to the room and take a long afternoon nap and that was BLISSFUL. Then we would go explore something on the ship and enjoy the afternoon as a family. After that would be dinner.

Now, the first night for dinner was a disaster.

The kids were tired and grumpy and acted insane. Andy ended up leaving early with them and let me sit and enjoy dinner. Win!

The rest of the week they had in-room babysitters and once we put them in the daycare.

Now. I want to take a break and encourage all of you parents out there who might cruise in the future- IF THEY HAVE A DAYCARE THING ON THE SHIP, SEND YOUR CHILDREN!

I was very, very leery of all of this but oh my word it was amazing. The kids LOVED the in-room babysitters. They were Jamaican and so loving and fun. Rory would ask the rest of the week, “When are my girls coming to stay with me again?”. Then the last night we decided to leave them in the daycare and all we could do was ask, “WHY OH WHY OH WHY didn’t we do this all week????????”. Again, the kids LOVED it. They had little friends (max of 8 kids allowed) and played games and did crafts and snacked and watched movies. They were in heaven and I didn’t worry even for a second.

Okay, back to the cruise update.

The one other night we took the girls to dinner, they actually did AMAZING. They were so good and ate spaghetti like it was their last meal. In fact, they outlasted most of the adults at our table- ha!

The first port was the Bahamas. We went out with the girls and took them to the beach. We were so excited to take them since they’d never been to the beach at the ocean before. The water was too cold to really enjoy, but they had a blast in the sand!

Our ship


Little miss sassy pants, as per usual.


Strike a pose, giiiirl.


Rory was way too busy exploring to get a picture of her… unless she was running in it.

IMG_5057The second day was at sea. (I think this is right… but I may be a little off. ha!)

That morning we woke up and went and had breakfast with the Dreamworks Characters! Rory and Ryder had a blast seeing the characters and eating a fun breakfast. Shrek snuck up on Rory and FREAKED HER OUT so she was a little leery the rest of the morning of the characters, but we still had fun. Ryder was OBSESSED with the characters though. It was hilarious!






We stayed at the kiddie pool all day and Rory and Ryder loved it. Especially Ryder. She was in little baby pool heaven.

Also, did you know the baby pool is the only warm water on the entire ship?

I’ll let you think about it and get back to me as to why that is.

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Something that we started with the girls on the trip was to make them hold hands everywhere we went. We knew it’d be harder to lose two who were holding hands and that they would be willing to hold hands like that because it is fun, so they held hands EVERYWHERE. It was the cutest thing EVER. Like, ever ever. HA! Everyone would just die when they saw them walking around holding hands in their matching outfits. And hello- do you know me?! They matched CONSTANTLY and my heart was full and happy. Thankyouverymuch.






On Wednesday we went to St. Thomas. Andy and I left the girls with his parents and got to spend the day with his brother and his girlfriend and his sister and her husband. It was such a fun day! We went up to Paradise Point and got some pictures and then shopped around.

We also took pictures of a guy who had the most epic butt crack I’ve ever seen. Like how do you not feel the breeze- I can see your entire butt? kinda crack.  It was insane.

You’re welcome for that.



Austin and Victoria


Ashley and Drew


The next day we went to St. Maarten and it was my favorite day on the trip. Andy, the girls, and I got off the ship and did a little shopping. After that, we spent several hours on the beach. It was the most beautiful beach and it was really warm that day so the water felt amazing. We just spent the day swimming, making sand castles (meaning we would build like one tower and they’d knock it down), and just having fun together. Our kids are total beach lovers and I can’t wait to take them back.

On the water taxi – just taking in the beauty of St. Maarten.



trying to get Ryder to come out and swim with her – Ryder prefers just playing in the sand



taking a water break



little model


The next two days were at sea. The first day we spent all day outside at the pools. The last day on the ship was EXTREMELY cold. We had to stay in all day and it was just a hodge podge of a day. We went ice skating which was a total bust and we went to a parade that night on the ship. It was really fun for the girls.

Here are some random extra pictures I have from the cruise that I don’t really know where to place, ha!

With daddy, waiting on the parade!


With Daddy again, on formal night.


Before dinner on the night they did SO GOOD, in front of the giant Christmas tree on the ship.


At dinner, during the part where we swing our napkins over our head- their very favorite part (meaning Steve’s favorite too! ha!).


I don’t know what they put in that spaghetti but these girls SHOVELED it in their faces. ha!


Meeting Gloria


the entire family on formal night- all of my pictures are blurry from this night ?


sweet peas


So that’s it. The girls actually barely embarrassed me.

Rory did say several times, “why he/her talk funny?”, after some of the people on the cruise (none of which were American) and that was quite hilarious.

The girls also became a little famous on the cruise. People would see them walking around, holding hands, and they would say, “oh! I’m so glad we saw them again! They are the sweetest and cutest kids ever!”. I mean… I know they are but it was so nice to hear. HA! Honestly I got a lot of compliments on how well behaved they were and I was shocked every time. Because they are a bit heifer-ish at home, if you didn’t know this already.

Andy and I are already planning a little beach vacation for May. We had the best time getting to actually BE with them. No phones. No work. It was wonderful.

Hope y’all had a great New Year! I will be back to blogging regularly now that all the Christmas celebrations are over and I’ll blog about those next week.

before the world ends.

So, I figured I’d do one more blog post before I fall off
the radar for a week starting tomorrow. Or, before the world ends.
Let us discuss this for a minute, by the way. I’m going to be on a
big ship the day the Mayans say the world is ending. I can’t decide
if this is the absolute smartest or dumbest idea ever. Guess we
will see. Ha! Let’s start at the beginning of the trip. We were
supposed to leave for Nashville by 3:30 yesterday but ended up
leaving wayyy past that because of crazy mill happenings. Well,
Rory didn’t sleep well for nap at school so she slept pretty much
the entire way… and believe me, I tried and tried to wake that
chick up. We get to hotel and of course, both girls are BUCK WILD.
They go to bed at a crazy hour and then they did not sleep. Like,
DID NOT SLEEP. I never went to bed. I might have dozed off for 5
minutes on two separate occasions but that is seriously it. I
pulled an all-nighter with the kids. Yes, Andy was there too but he
slept great. And snored amazing too. Andy is awesome at a lot of
things but one thing he is AWESOME at is snoring. Ask me how I feel
about this on a day when I actually got an hour or so of sleep.
Today is not that day. Anyways. That was obviously loads of fun. So
I’m pretty freaked out about how two non-sleepers would do on the
flight. But I have news! They were SO GOOD. Seriously. They sat so
still and didn’t complain about being trapped. They played
peek-a-boo with some fans of theirs sitting behind them. Rory held
a concert and dance party at one point. Ryder read Sky
for literally almost an hour. They LOVED the
peanuts and pretzels. They completely charmed the flight attendants
and one pilot. Of course, it wouldn’t be my children without some
embarrassing moments… Take, for example, Rory’s
need to lick the seat, window, etc on the
plane. And then she almost licked the guy in front of us and he
totally knew it. Ha! Mortified. But then she decided to announce
about 3 different times that she had passed the gas. “I tooted! You
heared that, Mommy?” … “Oops! I did it again! I tooted again! I
so silly!” I immediately got in Pinterest and pinned 2146984 links
to teach me how to teach etiquette and manners. HA! It has been a
pretty fun day, not as stressful or terrible as I imagined. So
here’s to hoping the rest if the trip isn’t as bad as I envision!
I’m typing this on the iPad and my finger is very tired so I shall
go now. See y’all in a week! PS – here are random pictures from
today. PSS- I don’t know why this is in such a weird format. Blame the iPad. And lack of sleep. Goodnight.







the car situation.

Well, we are in Tennessee. I promise I will blog about the move and saying goodbye to wonderful friends really soon and our fun 4th of July.

But for now I want to talk about our trip here to TN and how it was AWFUL.

First, the kids literally yelled and screamed the entire first 4 hours. It was terrible. TERRIBLE.

Andy and I had made a deal that I’d drive the first 4 hours with them in my car, then trade out and he’d drive my car with them the last 4 hours.

And OH SWEET MERCY I was so looking forward to that blissful silence with the satellite radio blasting and me thinking (in the confines of my car, of course) that I sounded EXACTLY like Katy Perry, Carrie Underwood, Whitney Houston, and the like. Don’t judge, you know you do the same thing.

Then it happened.

I started hearing this noise and I pulled over at our exit for the ChickFilA and got gas before heading to lunch. The noise was worse.

Have you ever just known for no explainable reason that something is going to be WAY WRONG? Like cost you a lot of money, wrong?

Well, that’s how I felt right there at the gas station.

So Andy transfers all of the essentials into the truck and transfers car seats, etc, so that we could go on the rest of the way and he would take the car to the shop. And then I realized that WE DIDN’T HAVE A DVD PLAYER and at that point I literally lost my mind. I started crying like a lunatic. It was amazing.

The last leg of the trip with the girls wasn’t too bad, thankfully!

Anyways, Andy took the car to the Volvo place and basically my car is now going to be scrap. The engine blew and its SO MUCH MONEY (like basically what we payed for the car) to get a new one. Dang foreign cars.

So here I am, moved-ish to Tennessee with no home and no car.

That’s about as homeless as you can get, folks.

And to top it all off, Andy has made the executive decision that I shall get a minivan. Which I should be happy about since it’ll be a car and all…


I will not look cute in a minivan. And I looked so cute in my Volvo SUV! Seriously! It was my dream car!

And I talked about it on the facebooks today and everyone said all kinds of negative things about the minivan situation (things I was already thinking in my head) and it confirmed the situation that NO ONE WILL EVER THINK I’M COOL AGAIN. EVER. EVER.

And I’m cool, y’all!


Okay, I think I’ve done enough complaining about first world problems now.

I’m so thankful we are safe and sound at my parents house.

And I’m thankful Andy is buying me a car.

Even if it is a dadgum stinkin’ minivan.

I will go sob just a little now.


day 4 and 5.

I did that stinkin’ challenge thinking it was only five days so SURELY I’d be able to keep up.


Oh well! I will just do day 4 and 5 at the same time!

Day 4: Tell us about your hobbies! What do you do in your free time? What are your favorite books, movies, music etc?

Well I don’t have much free time anymore but my in my free time I love to spend time with Andy. After the kids go to bed, I love having that one on one time. Even if its just sitting on the couch watching TV. I love it.

I also LOVE to read. It is hard with little kids to find time but I read as much as I can. I love a book that really makes me think and I love a chick-lit that takes me away to a non-thinking zone. I love books by Jennifer Weiner, Nicholas Sparks, and Jane Green. I’m about to starting reading a book called Don’t Make Me Count to Three by Ginger Plowman. Its a book on disciplining your children in a Christian and uplifting manner. I’m really excited about it!

I would love to be more crafty and have time for that, but right now I just don’t. I plan to learn how to sew soon and am excited about it… or at least I’m excited about the thought of it!

Pretty much every minute of my day is taken up by my family, so my hobbies seem “boring” BUT my life surely isn’t with these two stinkers who refuse to cooperate with me on the whole picture taking business.

Day 5: Tell us about your dream vacation! Where would you go? Have you been there before? Who would go with you?

Right now Andy and I really want to go to Alaska and Europe as our next adventures. I think next year we will do Alaska and then for our 10th anniversary do Europe.

I want to go to Alaska because it’s so beautiful and it is right here in the U.S. America is so gorgeous and I just want to be able to experience that part of the U.S. soon. I’ve done East Coast, West Coast, and all through the middle and south. Now we both want to go to Alaska next! I’d also really love to see the Northern Lights one day!

I want to go all over Europe, but I think if we get to go we will go to Italy. That’s #1 on both of our wishlists for Europe. I also would love to go to Switzerland, France, Spain, London, and Greece.

There are other places we’d both love to go, and there are places I’d like to go on a girls’ weekend with my sisters or friends (like NYC again!). I absolutely love going places with Andy though. We travel so well together and I love experiencing new things with him!

Okay! I did it! I finished the challenge, even if it wasn’t exactly on time! I’m so glad I did it though because I’ve loved seeing other blogs through it!

hello, again!

Why, hello!

Its been a while since I’ve updated the ol’ blog, but we have been out of town and crazy busy!

 Rory’s school year ended! She had a great year and learned so much. They had an end of the year program and she sang her little heart out. It was SO CUTE.

Here’s the video I got on my phone- sorry its not the best quality, but I don’t have time to upload the better version right now! (Rory is in the very center!)

 We went to TN for Memorial Weekend!

We spent the first part of the weekend with my family. It was so great to be together. I haven’t seen them in so long!

We went to Papa’s church

and did a lot of swinging…

and rode the “tractor” A WHOLE LOT (like, starting at 6:00 am!).

Then we made our way to the river (TN river) to see Andy’s family!

Rory LOVED every second on the boat. She loved the beach and riding the tube for the first time too!

She conquered the castle!

As for Ryder… well she’s been her usual happy, crazy self. She loved every minute of being in TN too!

Hope everyone had a great Memorial weekend as well!

Las Vegas 2012

So here’s the scoop on the Las Vegas trip:

It was by far the best vacation we’ve been on since having kids… and is in the running for best vacation period.

We relaxed, ate, spent time together, walked and walked, were adventurous, relaxed, ate, and had the most wonderful time.

Andy and I needed the time together so bad. I didn’t even realize it until we got there and were having so much fun together. I’m so thankful we got the opportunity to reconnect and have some fun.

Unfortunately, I took most of the pictures with my phone. And my phone was stolen mid-way into the Vegas trip. So we lost most of the pictures. But my camera is huge and we didn’t want to carry it everywhere so I took pictures with the phone. Sigh. I did get some though, so I will share what I got!

Our last day we went to Hoover Dam and it was amazing. Andy was, of course, in absolute engineering heaven!

(PS Little known fact about the dear husband… he reads every.single.word. of the exhibits in museums, zoos, aquariums, etc. I usually wonder around and take pictures or take a nap while he does this because it takes for-ev-er.)

Yes, he was so giddy over the dam thing.

HA! Get it? A dam joke! I crack myself up.

My favorite picture of us from the trip.

And I did happen to upload a couple of pictures to Instagram over the trip-

Also, I decided to get a tattoo while in Vegas, much to everyone’s suprise/shock and horror. HA!

Its a heart with a tiny stitch inside of it. Someone asked why I did it and I told them this-

Ryder’s scar is fading more every single day. I am so happy for her that she won’t have that as a negative thing when she is older, but I’m also sad because its MY battle wound too. So I got the tattoo to remind me and everyone who sees it to be thankful and to remember how might our God is in His grace and healing power. Also, for those who ask me about it I can tell them Ryder’s story and how God healed her and provided me with peace and strength during that time. I want her life and story to impact others in the future… it shouldn’t just stop after surgery is done.

I came home from this trip so refreshed and ready to take on the world. We have a lot of things going on right now that aren’t exactly ‘easy’ and it was perfect timing for us to be able to reconnect and face them together. I’m so thankful for Andy and everything he does for our family. He works so hard and comes home and works hard too. I wouldn’t want to do this life without him.

Have a great weekend!

vacation bloopers

**** I wrote this post earlier today and just before I was going to post it Andy called to say he was extremely sick. I had been running to the bathroom a lot myself, so I knew things were about to get ugly. We both ended up getting really sick. We found an extremely shady walk in clinic but were in and out within 30 minutes with about six prescriptions to help. The doctor was super nice and felt so bad we were on vacation and sick. We ate at a Japanese restaurant last night and had the same thing and we’re pretty positive it was food poisoning. Great way to spend vacation without kids, right? Luckily we were able to get a lot of rest tonight and both feel so much better but are very weak. Hopefully the worst is behind us! ****

Hello, hello! I’m currently blogging on my iPad in Starbucks and wishing I had a Mac computer instead so I’d look cool like every other person in here. But alas, I am busily tapping away with my little pointy finger like a goob. I am pretending they are envying my sweet iPad and hating their MacBooks.

I am now going to tell you some random facts about today:
– I had to pack everything up and load it in the car by myself today. It took 37 trips because Andy has 123 code books from his training and they are heavy.
– We are under a strong wind advisory here in Columbus OH and that is the understatement of the year! I almost fall over every time I go outside. Of course, that added to the awesomeness of loading the car by myself.
– I have been stopped 34567 times by random people asking if my hair is really purple. When I say yes, most of those people have said “ohhh interesting….” …. meaning “ohhh weird” or “ohhh I hate it”.
– I’m sitting in a tall stool at a tall table and my feet are dangling and I feel like a little person.
– Oh my gosh! That reminds me of a dream I had the other night! I dreamed that I was on a bus with a bunch of people, some I knew and some I didn’t. Anyways, I started talking about this crazy midget who attacked me in the Target parking lot and my mom was cutting her eyes like crazy to the left. When I finally looked over, I realized there was a little person next to me. Awkward.
– Don’t you wish I did more random facts posts?
– I wish I could be a little more dramatic and exaggerate just a tad more. I’m obviously not good at that.
– Dude next to me just announced loudly that he needed to take a “huge crap” except he used another word that in my world is known as the Davis word and it’s 2 syllables instead of one. Thought you’d like to be mortified with me. You’re welcome.

Ok! Let’s get to the important part of the post! I know every single one of you (hi mom!) who wait for me to post is dying to hear the story I promised yesterday.

The year was 2006 I believe and Andy and I were two poor college students wanting to take a mini vacation somewhere. Since Andy is an avid snowboarder, he suggested we go snowboarding. Now, I was raised in TN and MS so I hadn’t seen just inches upon inches of snow so I was excited about going.

Andy, the precious terd that he is, convinced me that I should just go straight to snowboarding instead of skiing because it was SO MUCH EASIER that way. And I skeptically went along with this plan.

But I was hopeful! I had convinced myself that since I knew how to surf (meaning I had done it once on our senior trip to Maui) and wakeboard it’d be easy as pie. (are pies really easy????)

So off we went to West Virginia to go snowboarding together and bond over Andy’s love for the sport. In my head, the trip was going to be awesome and we were going to tear up the slopes like Shaun White together.

And then we got there.

First, let me tell you that while we were driving up to WV I started running a very high fever (103) and I’m about 99.9999% sure it was the flu.

So that was certainly on my side, no?

We drive up the mountain and Andy gets straight to business going down quadruple black diamonds (or whatever they are called) while I went to snowboard school. I was in school with four other people, all of which were age 14 down to age 7. They were tearing it up immediately and I kept landing on my face. Which totally wasn’t embarrassing AT ALL. By the end of the day though I was started to get the hang of it.

We woke up the next morning to snow everywhere and bitterly cold temperatures. This meant that they could make snow a lot of snow.

Andy and I decided I would get a private lesson first thing that morning to make sure I could go down more than just the bunny slope.

We get up to the mountain and I meet up with my private instructor who was young and mighty cute (ha!) and start our lesson. The problem was that the area where the bunny slope and lessons were was in direct path of the huge snow makers that were shooting straight ice out. I had ice cycles coming out my nose, my hair was completely frozen, and my eyes kept getting stuck closed from the ice. The instructor (did I mention he was hot and from Switzerland??) just kept apologizing because there was no way to do anything. He couldn’t even stay up very well.

While this is going on, the bunny slope lift stopped working and so I was having to go down the mountain on the snowboard and then walk back up which was MISERABLE.

After a few times having to do that I was done and got some coffee and waited on Andy to come back from shredding it up on the quadruple black diamonds. When we met up he insisted that I was ready to go down a green slope.

Cue the drama queen in me… I started BAWLING telling him I wasn’t ready and he kept insisting so I decided that maybe he knew something I didn’t so I would go down.

So, reluctantly, I started down the green slope (aka baby slope) and KEPT FACE PLANTING EVERY FIVE SECONDS. I was hurting physically, but more importantly my ego was severely bruised. After about a hundred tries and EPIC FAILS in which I landed flat on my face I did the most calm and rational thing possible.

I threw the BIGGEST tantrum anyone’s ever seen, screamed at Andy that I told him I wasn’t ready and whyyyy wouldn’t he just listen to me for once, said words that would make even the worst sinners blush, and literally threw my snowboard down the mountain and walked back up the mountain. I got in the car and drove to the hotel and took a big ole nap while Andy continued to have the time of his life on his fancy quadruple black diamonds.

Now, in hindsight I may have over reacted. Just a tad. I wish I would have taken the snowboard off and sat on it and just went down the mountain on my butt instead, but I wasn’t thinking clearly at the time.

But it’s a story we will tell the grand kids one day and they will laugh so I guess that makes I worth it. (??)

So tomorrow we are going again but this time I’m skiing and praying so hard I can get down a green without having to throw a huge fit and losing my religion. I will let you know how it goes.

Also, I’m never listening to Andy again when it comes to things like this.

The end.

kid free silence

All this kid-free silence is making me want to write. I have all these ideas in my head… all these words, sentences, and even paragraphs I’d love to put down. And of course, of course, no computer to do it with. I have my iPhone and iPad but not having a keyboard messes me up.

So I’ve scribbled some ideas and words on a scratch piece of paper I found in the hotel room and am praying I won’t lose the rest when I get back to real life.

I’m currently in Ohio where Andy has been for almost two weeks now doing a training course for his job. I am in mommy heaven. I took a Tylenol PM to ensure a good night’s rest (which was probably totally unnecessary but I didn’t want to chance it) and slept from 10 pm to 10 am. OH.MY.WORD. IT WAS ABSOLUTELY BLISSFUL. I’m sure you’ve heard me say it before, but neither of my kids inherited Andy and I’s love of sleep apparently so getting even four straight hours of sleep would be heaven on earth since that never ever happens at home.

Today I watched an old Lindsay Lohan movie (like before she went all crazy), took a long,extremely hot shower, and took my time putting on my makeup and doing my hair. After I got ready I ventured out and found my most favorite shops that I most definitely don’t have in Paris- SuperTarget, Best Buy, World Market, etc. I also found Starbucks and Panera Bread which made my life complete.

I do miss my little stinkers, but I won’t lie and say I’m not enjoying every second of this kid free time by myself and with Andy. I think it’s so important to get away and rejuvinate yourself and remember what life was like before the constant touching, feeding, and no sleep that comes with having kids.

I’ve also had a lot of time to think about what I want to do with my life. I’ve always had this struggle of not knowing what I’m meant to do or who I am supposed to be. I’ve toyed with so many ideas as to what I want to be when I grow up but have never been truly satisfied with what the outcome would be. I thought for a long time I’d settle with being a teacher and I think I could be a good one but I don’t have that desire to do it. And with only one life, I feel like settling is the last thing I should do. So I’ve decided, and am so very happy about this decision, to go back to school and get my degree in English with an emphasis in creative writing. Maybe I will write a book or children’s book, or maybe I will never write more than this here blog, but I will finally feel like I accomplished something for me and that’s enough for me right now. Four colleges and about ten majors later, I finally figured out what I want to do with my life and it feels good. Now I just have to figure out when to start back and what to do with the kids. I don’t have much left, but I’m not under any illusion that it will be easy. It will be hard to juggle it all but I’m ready.

Anyways, I will be back tomorrow to tell you a hilarious story about a mini vacation Andy and I took once… and I’m hoping it isn’t repeated this weekend.

And one more thing- will you pray with me for a friend of mine, Sara, and her family? Little Cooper started spitting up blood this morning and has been admitted into the hospital to try and figure out why. I KNOW the fear she is going through of the unknown and I know she would appreciate the prayers. Thank you!