Tuesday Tunes – Don’t Stop

We busted this song out on a road trip with the kids, who surprisingly sang along with many of the words.  It is definitely a Jake and Lori song!

Just a small town girl
Livin’ in a lonely world
She took the midnight train goin’ anywhere

Just a city boy
Born and raised in South Detroit
He took the midnight train goin’ anywhere

5-4-F – Charleston

We went to the beach last Saturday and it was perfect (minus the sunburn we both got).  Just to sit on the beach and hang out with our friends Laura & David was perfect. We couldnt have asked for more beautiful weather or more beautiful company!  We had a good spot, lots of laughter and yummy snacks.  Also – pineapple shaped silly cups we got from the Dollar Tree for Laura & I.  Why I didn’t take a photo of those – I don’t know.   The only thing we packed that we did not use was the sand toys.  Oh well – there is always next time!

We left the beach around 2:30, and with plenty of daylight left – we went into downtown Charleston.  Jake had been to Charleston, but never seen Charleston from anything more than a pure tourist standpoint.  Enter Lori = lover of alleys, cobblestone streets, off the beaten path sidewalks and hidden parks.  Poor guy had no idea he was going to walk so much.  Here are my top 5 suggestions & tips for enjoying Charleston!

White Point Gardens & the Battery – we sat on a bench and facetimed Jake’s mom from this park.  There was a wedding party taking photos in the gazebo, families climbing on the cannons and older couples enjoying the shade.  It has a beautiful view of the water out to Fort Sumter.  It is one of my favorite spots in all of Charleston and no matter how many times we go down there, I will always make it a point to visit this beautiful space.

philly alleyPhiladelphia Alley – what a curious little alley.  It has a cobblestock and brick pathway and stretches between Cumberland and Queen Streets near the Market.  We “snuck down” this little alley and enjoyed the quiet.  The city is bustling all around you, but this pathway is shaded, quiet and very green!  To the right in this photo is a theater, some of the actors (children actually) were on the stairs behind and we could hear the applause from inside.

This alley was redone with money from the citizens of the city of Philadelphia after a devastating fire happened in Charleston in 1810.  It is often referred to as Duelers Alley for its history as the place where a local doctor met his untimely demise in a duel.  Residents say you can sometimes hear a man whistling when no one else is around, and folks seem to think its Dr. Ladd making his presence known.  Either way, I am glad we “snuck” down this alley!



Waterfront Park – its a given that this is one of the favorite tourist spots in Charleston.  With the Pineapple shaped fountain and large pier with swings, it is a great place to stop and take a breather.  We didn’t go out onto the pier this time, but did sit a bit on the wall and enjoy the breeze and the view while deciding where to go for dinner.

Parking Tips – there are numerous parking garages, and while it may seem expensive, its not really.  Your car stays shaded, and no worries about meters running out.  Street parking is tricky in Charleston, with all the people, horses and the fact that the city itself doesn’t “drain well” in a rain storm.  We parked at the Wentworth Rd parking garage and it was a very easy in and out, well lit and close to King Street.

Wear comfy shoes!  – Charleston is a very walkable city, but the sidewalks are sometimes uneven, and some of the streets are cobblestones.  Jake and I both had sandals and sneakers – but ended up splurging a little and he got some new boat shoes, and I got a new pair of flip-flops.  They were super comfy for the short amount of time we talked, but any longer and I would have wanted to have some sneakers for sure!

charleston collage



Tuesday Tunes – love songs

In every town, in every place
There’s a boy who’s trying to take a chance
And dance and find a way to run away with her heart..

to my JC – you ran away with my heart awhile ago, and I am so glad that you did.  I cannot wait to have more adventures with you.  I love you Jakers.  

Beachy Tips!

Every summer we swear we are going to hit the beach more.  And every summer, stuff happens where we don’t.  Life happens, but this year I am determined to hit the beach at least 5 times with (or without) the kids.

Here are some tips & tricks to get you “beach ready” for your next trip with the kids!

  1. Pop-Up Hampers or small laundry baskets– you can usually find these at the dollar tree.  They fold easily, and are easy for sand/water to drain out of before you put items back in your car.  It will help corral all the buckets, small shovels and other miscellaneous sand toys, as well as any shells the kids find!
  2. Baby Wipes – because kids make messes – end of story.
  3. Baby Powder – while I have never personally tried this trick before, I will be trying it this weekend. I have read that if you sprinkle baby powder on your feet or legs (before getting back into your car for instance) that the sand will just brush right off.  There is nothing worse than riding 120 miles home with sand in your toes!  The powder absorbs the moisture of the sand, and it just shakes right off.
  4.  Pack the day before and NOT the morning of! – packing the morning of your trip, you will inevitably leave something behind (like towels?).  I like to put everything in the car the night before, so there is no chance we will rush and leave something behind.
  5. Towels – always take more towels than you think you will need, because sand and water happen, and trying to dry off with a sandy towel is just not comfortable at all!

As you are reading this, I will be laying on the beach at Sullivans Island here in South Carolina soaking up the sun, and listening to the crashing waves.


Happy Anniversary!

Today marks my parents 43rd wedding anniversary!   They have shown my brother and I the meaning of true love, and I am so thankful we got to grow up witnessing that!  We love you and hope you have an amazing day!



Top 3 Tuesday

My friend Becca from beccadorr.com started a Top 3 Tuesday posting a few months ago.  I have done it several times, and it is such a great way to reflect on 3 things that are positive in your life or things that you are happy about today.

Today I am happy about:

  1.  Date nights – we have one this coming weekend and its actually a “date day”.  We are heading to Sullivans Island with our friends David & Laura for the day.  Sun, sand, waves crashing and a good book – yes please!
  2.  twitter yes, that often misunderstood social media app/site.  Can you say it all in 140 characters?  probably not, but its fun to try.  Plus, hashtags – all the yesses!
  3. running getting back into running/walking has been huge for me.  Jake and I walked last weekend at his house, and Jonathan and I have run/walked several nights in the last week.  Trying to make this a “thing” – knowing it can only help us!

Happy Mothers Day!

Happy Mothers Day to all the beautiful moms out there, especially my mama Denise, my sister in law Lynsay & Jake’s mom Marge!   Thank you for all you have done, and continue to do for us!  


me, Lynsay, Matthew, Mama & Daddy – November 2008.

and to my 3 babies, who made me a mommy…I love you to the moon & back.


climbing out of darkness

1 in 7 pregnant & new moms will have a perinatal mood or anxiety disorder.*

I can pinpoint the day and the time that I first felt the gut wrenching feeling of post-partum anxiety and depression creep into my life.  It was the day I was being discharged from the hospital after having Natalee.  It was April 14, 2009.   I had an easy birth, filled with lots of laughter.  Natalee was taking to nursing rather quickly, and my mom was there to help me with the other kids and to help us get settled in at home.  I vividly remember sitting with the nurse as she was going over all the discharge paperwork with me.  Do I feel safe at home?  Yes m’am (although my mind screamed no).   Have I ever been abused?  No m’am (although my mind screamed yes).   I started to cry and she asked me if I was ok.  Of course, of course – its just hormones I quickly replied.  She said “you know you can stay another night, it is okay”.  I again repeated that I was fine, and that we needed to go home.  I already knew staying another night was not an option, my husband (now ex) would not let me.  I was already hearing about how much this was going to cost, and knew that staying an extra night would just bring more fussing at me, and more ridicule about how my emotions cost us so much more money.  We get home and I wanted so desperately to be this happy family.  We were complete, or so I thought.  I thought this baby would bring he and I closer – nope.  He went back to his ways immediately, although he never really stopped.  He texted his mistress the whole time I was in labor.  I remember asking for help, as he sat clear on the other side of the room from me on the couch texting.  I remember he left the room a few times, I can only assume now it was to call her.  He had moments of being nice – but I knew he wanted to be anywhere but there.

The emotions of having a failing marriage, coupled with the emotions & hormones that come from just having a baby were eating me alive.  I wasn’t sleeping at all, even when the baby slept I couldn’t sleep.  I would forget to eat, and I remember having to be reminded to shower.  I remember putting Natalee in her bassinet to sleep, and I went downstairs and sat on the couch next to him.  I so much wanted to spend time with him, but with one glance & one comment he cut me so deeply “you smell funky, better go shower before the baby wakes up so you can take care of her”.  There was no offer to help, no “let me take care of our daughter while you get some rest.”  I began getting sick.  It was 2 weeks after we left the hospital. Kids had gone back to school, and he back to work. I was both pumping and breastfeeding, I was determined to continue nursing.  I was sitting on the couch downstairs pumping while she slept, and I felt like I had been hit by a tractor trailer.  I was shaking, and despite having a 102 fever; I buried myself until blankets and hoodies because I was freezing.  This went on for 3 days.  Nursing was excruciatingly painful, and Natalee all but stopped, spending so much time screaming as we tried to latch on that I would often give up and offer a bottle of breastmilk I had pumped earlier.   My husband told me I wasn’t sick, there was nothing wrong with me – that I was just tired.  On the 3rd day I called my doctor, and after a short visit (and more fussing from him about how much money this was costing), we determined I had mastisis.  I would never wish this on anyone, it was awful.   Antibiotics, and I continued to pump and began supplementing with formula as well.  I was determined that if I wasn’t going to be able to get her to latch, that we were going to pump and bottle feed her.  I continued this for a week, and got very sick again.  Back to the doc, more money spent and I had a 2nd bout of the same infection and after a very serious talk with my doctor – I came home to tell him that I could no longer nurse.  More fussing about how much formula was going to cost us, and how I better find a way to pay for it = more anxiety for me. I wasn’t sleeping again, I felt better from the infection – but my mental state was out of control.  I never asked my doctor about any postpartum mental illnesses, I was too scared of what my husband would do.   The mental bashing I took throughout my pregnancy, and since giving birth was enough.  I didn’t need to add fuel to his fire.  I was never in a place where I had thoughts of hurting my children, in fact it was the opposite.  I was terrified of something happening to Natalee, and any thought of her out of my sight was paralyzing to me.  It was awful.  Coupled with a failing marriage, my anxiety took control full on.

He stopped coming home nights, and I knew he was staying somewhere else with “her”.  I was almost relieved when this happened, as I didn’t have to walk on eggshells.  But the anxiety was still there.  My husband finally came clean about his affair on March 11, 2011, and moved out the next day.  I was finally able to talk to my doctor in April 2011 (Natalee was about to turn 2) about getting some help.  He talked with me for a very long time, and I was finally prescribed an anti-anxiety/anti-depressant.  I began to heal, and began to move forward with my life.  I battled with the anxiety for two years prior to that day, and that day I chose to get the help I needed so I didn’t have to battle anymore.  I began counseling at our church, and that helped me tremendously (in addition to medication).  It took time and love to climb out of this, and it didn’t happen overnight. I still have bouts of anxiety, and days where I want to crawl in bed and hide.  There are days even 7 years later that my chest tightens and it hurts to breathe.  Those days are far between now,  and I thank God everyday that I sought the help I did when I did.  I wish that I had been encouraged to seek help prior to this, and wished that I had not been so scared to do so.  It is my hope, that I can encourage other women to seek help as they need, without fear or additional anxiety.

Climb out of the Darkness (COTD) is an amazing fundraiser program started by a wonderful, dear woman named Katherine Stone.    COTD helps fund Postpartum Progress Inc., a 501c3 nonprofit organization dedicated to raising awareness of postpartum depression and all other mental illnesses related to pregnancy, childbirth and new motherhood.


How does this relate to me?

I am climbing with the Charleston team on June 18th, and we are climbing the Ravenel Bridge in Charleston, SC.   If you are interested in climbing with us on this day, or want to help fund this amazing cause, please visit out climb page:  Team South Carolina – Charleston

To learn more about Postpartum Progress, their programs and how they help mothers please visit their website at:  http://postpartumprogress.org/

*Learn more about PPD & More:  http://postpartumprogress.org/learn-about-ppd-more/