Life Under Par – he’s doing what?

Someone asked me the other day how everything was going at home.  This person knew of Jake’s job loss, and seemed genuinely concerned about how everything was going.  Since everything happened a month ago, no one seems to believe us when we say we are doing great.   But I promise you we are.  When she asked what he was doing, and I said “he is being a stay at home dad currently, while pursuing a professional golf career.”  I’m not lying, he really is doing this.   She slowly turned to me and gave me this look of concern, fear and maybe a little disbelief.  She said “well that is an interesting job choice.”  I laughed it off, but it still stung a little.   I don’t tell many people what he is up to, because people are so insanely judgmental.  This is his dream, and I told him that he would regret it forever if he didn’t take a chance to pursue it.   Who am I to hold him back from his dream?   He wouldn’t hold me back from mine!

I don’t expect people to understand the journey that Jake and I have decided to take on.  Financially we are fine, and will be fine.  The kids are taken care of, we have health insurance, we have a roof over our heads, vehicles, insurance, etc, etc, etc.  We are good, I promise (although, I wouldn’t turn down a tournament sponsor…LOL).   I do however, ask that people respect the decisions we are making.  Jake is so excited about this possibility, as am I.  We have goals – big, scary, life changing goals – and I am so stoked about them.

We have his first tournament lined up, and he has several more rounds lined up this week to continue to prep.   We have equipment set, we have researched the course he is going to be playing at and I probably have done more research than is possibly needed.  He is the one doing the actual playing, and I’m in the background being the accountant, travel agent, nutritionist, nurse – and my most important role – a supportive wife.

So please do not pity us, or think that our life choices are crazy.  Our choices are just that – OURS.  Life isn’t meant to be boring, it is meant to be crazy, fun, silly and exciting.   So we are going to jump on this, take a chance and hopefully come in under par.


Hooks, Adams and Richie

Memorial Day in our home this year will be spent quietly, Jake and I have no real plans, and the kids don’t have school.   However, very close to my heart and in my thoughts will be a few special people I had the honor and privilege to know. While I do not discount the countless other families who were affected by conflict and war, by the loss of a child, a husband, a father, a brother, a sister, a mother, a wife – these two individuals are close to my heart.

Frank (Capt. “Puj” Hooks) – a pilot in our squadron in South Carolina that made the ultimate sacrifice in June 2004.   I have a hard time this year grasping that it has been almost 14 years.  His loss deeply impacted all the Marines of 115.   My best memory of Frank was the DVD that I unexpectedly got in the mail one day during the first deployment Matt (my ex husband) went on.  They had made us a “we are halfway home” DVD full of photos of all the guys from the squadron.  It was a silly DVD, but so special to all the spouses.  Frank was married to my sweet friend Cindy.   I still have that DVD, tucked away in a drawer.  I was able to upload it to YouTube a few years ago to share it with everyone we were with at 115.  If you have about 5 minutes, you can see that video here:      

   Second is Clarence Adams.  Clarence was 3 years ahead of me in school (me a freshman, he a senior) when I decided to run indoor track.  He then decided to take me under his wing and teach me to throw shot put.  So, he taught me and I did it.  I wasn’t that good, and didn’t stick with it, but he was always encouraging.    He always had a smile on his face, and was loved by so many at Varina.   Clarence died in Baghdad, Iraq in September 2004. He was the father of six, and devoted husband.   The school still paints a rock with your number on it before every football season, and the team is always reminded of all you did.

Also on this Memorial day, please remember those whose battle was lost when they returned home.  An average of 22 U.S. Veterans commit suicide everyday.  Fighting the demons that battle them here at home is sometimes harder than the battles they face while deployed.  22 a day is too many, and it has to stop.

While for many it’s a day of picnics, BBQ’s and the unofficial start of summer, it is also a VERY real holiday to remember those who have fought and died for us to have the ability to go to the river or beach, watch a parade in peace and have a picnic.   Please take a moment today, say their names and remember them, their families and their sacrifice.

To Richie – I’m sorry I couldn’t save you from the demons that ravaged you.  I wanted to so badly, I thought I could, and I couldn’t – none of us could.  I sometimes laugh to myself remembering late night phone calls, and the story of “what would everyone at 115 think of us now?”  Oh how I wish you were here now, to laugh with us – to do stupid things on the beach with all the boys at the last 115 reunion. You would have loved it so much.  To run around the yard with everyones kids, to laugh at how ordies always fault with air frames – and your constant reminder of “IYAOYAS”.     To work on my car when something goes wrong and me fussing at you over you driving that old truck from Beaufort to Lexington late at night.   I know that you are in a better place, but it doesn’t make it any easier on my heart knowing that you aren’t here with us anymore. I love you crazy, always have, always will.   #22adayistoomany  #untilValhalla  #22toomany

Note – photo of Frank courtesy of Cindy Hooks, and photo of Clarence courtesy of  This post was originally posted on 5-28-2012 with edits every year since.

and then there are curveballs

When I turned on my Spotify station this morning when I got to work, the first song that came on was “Praise you in this Storm” by Casting Crowns.  This song is special to me, as it was played at the funeral of my sweet friend Anissa.  It also just hits me in my heart.  It is a reminder to praise God in every storm that you face in life, no matter what, no matter what curve ball life throws at you.

Curve balls by definition are a pitch that at pitcher throws with spin to make it swerve downward and usually to the left when thrown from the right hand or to the right when thrown from the left hand.   Life tends to throw curve balls at you when you least expect it to happen, which is why baseball has always been a great metaphor for life.

Last Friday, Jake and I were thrown one giant curve ball in life.  While I wish I could be jumping up and down saying we are pregnant, we aren’t.  That is my kind of curve ball.  Unfortunately this one affects a few more things.  Jake lost his job.

It was something we knew was a possibility, we just didn’t expect it to happen when it did.  However, now – 3 days later the initial shock has worn off and we are working towards solutions.   It is a scary, and overwhelming feeling when you realize that you are now the sole provider for a family of 5 people.  Jake carried our health insurance through his work, so we are now having to switch all that over to my state insurance plan.  We are in the middle of dealing with the major expense of our A/C units (both of them) dying.  We have a home warranty, but it only covers a portion of the cost.   This couldn’t have come at a worse time.   I have always firmly believed that God laughs we we make plans, because it’s his timing, not ours.  And oh boy do Jake and I have all sorts of plans.  We want to redo the flower beds at the front of the house, we want to paint our kitchen cabinets and get new counter-tops.   We have dreams and goals, and things we want for the kids – but those things can wait.   God laughs – and we keep making plans.

I went into full blown survival mode on Saturday morning, similar to how I felt when my ex-husband first left.   I counted out every penny we had between my paycheck, child support and the small check I got for selling oils last month.  This is doable, I got this.  Work at Historic Columbia is slow, but even 1 wedding brings in about $80 for me, which is groceries.  Being able to say “I got this” is such a blessing, and I am so thankful for where I am in life right now that I can look at my husband and say we can do this, it is going to be okay (even if I am secretly sometimes freaking out).  I know deep down “we got this”.

It is going to affect a few things – but they are minor.  We are cutting the cable television off, which is a savings of over $100 a month.   I won’t be getting a new car, we’ll keep patching and putting along with the van.   We may not make it to Michigan in July as planned.  We will be totally bummed, but a vacation is not as important as the roof over our heads and feeding my kids.  I’m not typing this all out for sympathy, or to get anything from it.  I would love prayers and good vibes if you can spare them, but other than that – we are okay.

Life throws you curves, and you learn to swerve – or at best, swing and hit it out of the park.





being the coaches wife

As this season of baseball winds down – I am a mix of happy and sad.  I love watching Jonathan play ball, he has worked hard this season and has worked his way out of the outfield to playing 2nd base.  He is doing wonderful!  I love watching Jake coach.  It is something super special to watch your husband work his butt off with these kids, and he loves it.  Jonathan loves having him for a coach, and that bond between them is growing so strong.

But….I digress.  We have had some problems this season, and I’m happy for the season to be ending.   As the coaches wife, it is hard to sit in the stands (or in my chair), and do the score book, while parents all around you complain about coaching decisions.  Being a coach is never a perfect science – someone is always going to be unhappy.  We have more kids than positions, so we have to rotate the kids in and out.  Some weeks some kids will play every inning – it is a balance.  Especially when you have to remember pitch counts in weeks when you have 2 games.

Then you sometimes have to deal with the occasional “crazy mom” – every team has one.  The one who complains if the coach is even 1 minute late to practice (traffic happens, even when we leave in plenty of time), the one who refuses to participate in an anything (ie: working the scoreboard, snacks, etc).  Then there are the bleacher coaches, who despite the fact that we have 3 coaches on the field – they still think they should coach their kid from the bleachers (this actually happened, we had a dad calling pitches from behind the backstop before being called out by the ump).   People always want to complain, but never step up to watch to volunteer – they want someone else to do it.  They are also the ones who are going to complain the loudest.

We have been in this league since Jonathan was in tee-ball. I have been the team mom 5 seasons now, and Jake has coached for 2 seasons.  We want to become more active in the board, and look forward to many more evenings at the ball park – but for now, we are grateful for the summer break.


Happy Mother’s Day!


Happy Mother’s Day to all the mama’s out there.  

To my mama Denise who raised me and my brother.  We turned out as stable, hard working adults who are pretty decent humans too.

To my mother in law Marge, who raised the incredible man who became my husband.  Thank you!

To my best friend LJ, your sweet babies are so loved and one day we will get to hold them again.  <3  

do you ever?

Do you ever just look around and say “holy crap, this is my life?” – but like, not in a bad way, in a good way.

The other day I walked into my house after work, and the kids were all clamoring for my attention.  I had just suffered through another hour long commute home, I needed to pee, Jake wanted a kiss and dinner still needed to be made.

I took a step back as I walked into my bedroom to change and thought “this is the life I have always wanted”.  I spent the first 5 years after I moved to South Carolina struggling to keep it all together.  There were always more bills than money, there was never enough time to get from one place to another and I was being both parents a lot of the time.  My ex husband is as involved as he chooses to be, and after 5+ years of expecting more, I have learned to let it all go and stop expecting him to be the parent I want him to be.  Fast forward to January 2016 – I meet Jake and life begins to fall into place.  I still struggled then, being a single mom with a full time job and a business.  I take on a part time job to help bridge the gap, and my business builds.   Then we come to May 2017, we move into a house – together.  The puzzle seems to be complete.  We sit at the dinner table for dinner together, as a family.  I feel like we aren’t struggling any more.  I have help.   We have 2 incomes, and we talk – boy do we ever talk, and did I mention I have help?  He helps with homework, and brushes hair after baths and does laundry.  He doesn’t expect me to do everything, and that is HUGE.

I sometimes look around and think how God has blessed me.  With a husband who is amazing beyond my wildest dreams, kids who are content and happy, a home that is OURS.    It maybe messy, but it is a beautiful ride!

friday favorites!

It has been awhile since I have done a Friday favorites list!   We have been so busy with baseball that sometimes it feels like we barely have a moment to sit down and veg out, but we have had a few times we have been able to do this!

Here are some of my favorite things lately!

The documentary Flint Town on Netflix.  I watched the first episode on my lunch break a few weeks ago, and then came home and told Jake all about it.  I just knew we had to watch it together.  This documentary about a town in crisis is heartbreaking, heartwarming, somber and will make you laugh and cry.  I am willing to admit I did a lot of both.  Flint, Michigan ranks as one of the deadliest cities in America, with one of the highest violent crime rates ever.  Add on top of that an international news making water crisis, a city government in ruins (financially), and a police force that is struggling to serve the 100k citizens.  How the city is still standing blows me away.  We have several members of Jake’s family who live within the Genesee County area, and Flint is the largest city within the county.

I highly encourage everyone to watch this on Netflix.



Sending happy mail!   I love getting  letters in the mail, and I know that it is a lost art.  Plus, mailing stuff is hella expensive now a days!  A stamp is 50¢ now!  I remember back when the kids dad was in boot camp, stamps were like 28¢.   Either way, I still like surprising members of my oils team with letters of congrats or encouragement.  I also fully believe in sending birthday cards whenever possible!  I just got done writing up a few before I started writing this.

Our new patio set.  My mother in law got us a table & an umbrella for Easter/just because.  Jake and I then went to Charleston and picked up some matching chairs at the At Home store.   We have eaten out there a few times a week since we got it all set up, and we love it!  The kids are always asking “can we eat outside?!?”  They love the lazy susan in the middle of the table.

We were able to get 5 matching chairs, so everyone has a place to sit (we just didn’t have them all up when we took the picture).

The Umbrella & Chairs came from “At Home” stores (locally there is one in Charleston and another in Greenville).   The table & umbrella base came from Lowes here in Lexington.

I’m looking forward to many more nights of sitting out there while Jake grills (our grill is to the left of the table about  foot away), and while the kids play.

What are some of your favorite things?

wordless wednesday

This was taken in May 2012 at Jonathan’s PreK graduation, and now he is about to graduate from 5th grade!   I hope him and his sister Natalee always remain this close!   (side note – we just got rid of that dress last year, she still fit into it for 5 years!).