Mar 132015

So, I have talked a lot in the past about how much Patrick and I love Charleston.  We have been there once at a couple (took my kids to the beach), and been separately dozens of times.  We plan to go back next month for our anniversary.  Here are 5 things from our list of  ”things we want to do”!



1.  Bowens Island Seafood (Patrick’s choice)

You won’t find anything fancy here, as this is a paper plates, plastic solo cups, order at the counter kind of place.  It gets pretty decent reviews on both Yelp & Urban Spoon.   Seems pretty famous for all you can eat oysters and other fried seafood.  The prices seem reasonable as well.  Will report back how it is if we end up there.

2.  Hominy Grill or Lowcountry Bistro (a tie: Lori’s choice)

I really just want shrimp and grits, lets be real.  I am not picky about where I get them from either.

The menu for Hominy Grill makes my mouth water reading it!  Lots of low-country items, fresh ingredients and daily specials. In reading the menu and the reviews, this maybe a great spot for lunch one day.

Both get great reviews on both Yelp & Urban Spoon – which is always a plus.  You have the naysayers, but that’s with anything out there.  Some people are never happy.

Lowcountry Bistro however, has gotten some amazing reviews for their shrimp and grits, which in the photos I saw posted online by various diners, they look – AH-MAZ-ING!   Other folks raved about their salads and their desserts – strawberry creme brulee anyone?



3.  The Ravenel Bridge and the Mount Pleasant Pier (bridge: all Patrick!  pier: both of us).

Patrick mentioned the pier to me and I went to find it online and think its a beautiful spot.  It even has swings!    The bridge, I am not a fan of it.  He mentioned pulling over on the side, and I think I told him I would beat him.  He said, he would pull over and get out taking the keys with him.  My response “if I have to get out of the car to come after you, there better be a proposal waiting for me.”  Not a fan of the bridge, as it is so incredibly high.    From what I have read, the views of sunset from the pier are pretty incredible!   Patrick will also take great delight into making me go across this bridge, multiple times….for no reason whatsoever.  Last trip down there, we went across it – to get gas….when there were perfectly good stations on the “mainland” side!


4.   City Market, the Battery and Waterfront Park (both of us)

These are our “go to” places to walk when we go to Charleston.  We love city market, even if we aren’t buying anything, I love looking at the prints in the various stalls.  I also love watching the women design and make their sweetgrass baskets for selling. Parts of it are air conditioned, which makes for a nice walk on a hot day.  The battery is a beautiful walk, and the park with gazebo is beautiful.  Its a refreshing walk along the water.  The Waterfront park just down from the battery also has a wonderful pier with swings, great spot for picture taking!   There is also a fountain & water feature close by that kids can play in.

5.  Firefly Distillery & the Charleston Tea Plantation (both of us)

This is something we have looked at doing for awhile.  I keep coming back to both places because tours of both locations are free (which is a great thing when you are budgeting a trip like this!).   Even better is that Firefly is part of Irvin House Vineyards.  For $5 you can get a tasting of all of the varieties of wine they create there (5) and  a wine glass too!   You are also welcome to stroll through the vineyard on a self-guided tour.   At Firefly you can get tasting of several varieties for $6, and tours of the Distillery are also free.   The Charleston Tea Plantation is not that far away, and also offers free tours of their factory.  They also offer a trolley tour of the plantation for $10 per person.



Mar 092015

The word control freak has such a negative connotation, and it in general is a negative sounding word. I mean really, it sounds terrible.

This is the moment that I admit that sometimes I am a control freak.  I spent the last 5 years of my marriage in an ever spiraling out of control state.  Not knowing when things would come screeching to a halt, when would the house sell, when could I move on?  It was terrifying and I didn’t like it at all.   

I like order, and I thrive on routine.  I love chaos in small doses.  I am a fixer and a people pleaser.  I fix problems, and appreciate immediate resolutions to problems or situations.  I also genuinely appreciate having a plan (especially if the plan is how to fix a problem or situation).

My realization of how bad I am sometimes came the other day, in the midst of a Friday afternoon at work.  See, Patrick and I have been planning a trip to Charleston for our anniversary for about a year.  We were supposed to for our first anniversary (in 2014). Of course, “life” got in the way in the form of 2 kids playing baseball, 3 kids in school,  Patrick’s travel schedule for work and of course, money.   We rescheduled for June 2014, then it was August and finally September.  When September fell through due to hotel complications, I all but gave up on the trip.  Clearly we were not meant to go on this trip.  Fast forward to 2015 – again, we decide to go on our anniversary weekend, March 19-21.  I was so excited and spent more time than I should looking up events that weekend, places to visit and eat and things that we wanted to see.  Hotel rooms were booked at a great discount.  I waited and prayed that maybe this time would work out.  We need the time away from everything to focus on each other.  I also secretly worried so much that I convinced myself that it was not going to happen.  Patrick kept saying it would work out and probably got seriously annoyed with my constant worry.

On Friday, March 6th, I was sitting at work when I got a text from Patrick:

“I got some sorta bad news”

My first thought was not our trip to Charleston.  I thought something was wrong when it came to this weekends baseball schedule, or another work trip for him interfering with an awards banquet he was to attend with me.  I immediately called him and he said what I had for weeks feared.  ”We have to postpone out trip, I have to go to India”.   I was crushed, another reschedule and the 2nd missed anniversary (1st he was playing golf out of town).   We talked a few more minutes and the conversation went back and forth “what’s 2 weeks later”, “no we can’t go then, that’s Easter and we have to go to Walhalla”, “ok, book it for 2 weeks after that”.   Hotel rooms were rebooked for April 17-19.  I am calmer at this point, its not like he has a choice about this trip and he seems as disappointed as I am over these changes.

I sit back in my chair, still sad and a little disappointed when I remember that his ex-wife is taking a work trip in April.  I text her and she sends me a text back that confirms my fear again.  She has to leave on a day we had planned to be gone.  I call Patrick back, upset that we will have to make even more changes.  Patrick, in his normal way calmly says “give me time, and I will work something out”.  I instinctively go to that place where I want to be the fixer, and I want immediately resolutions.  I want a fix, why can’t he tell me how we are going to fix this, what are we going to do, we are going to have to reschedule again – all these thoughts are in my head and I send myself towards a completely anxiety induced meltdown.   Instead of verbalizing all those thoughts, I say fine and we hang up, I stew about it for the next hour or so.   

The need to control the situation, to “fix” it, to make sure it all goes to plan – its all chaos and I don’t do chaos well.

I brought it up again last night, and again he calming told me that I needed to relax, and that it will all work out.  He said that I needed to give him some time and he will find a way.

Giving up control is hard, especially when it is something you want so badly to happen.  I have to learn to trust that he will make the decision that is right for us (and for the kids), and that he will find a way for us to have our trip and this time together as a couple.

Mar 062015

Dear Mom reading this post…questioning her choices OR questioning someone else’s choices,

Let this serve as a reminder to you. There are moms who vaccinate and moms who don’t…there are also moms who fall in between. You women are strong and you are wise.

There are moms of intact little boys, moms who circumcise, moms with one of each, or moms who regret their choice no matter what it was. You women are strong and you are wise.

There are moms who formula feed from birth and there are moms who refuse to even let a pacifier enter their child’s breathing space until they are 6 months old. BOTH of those women are strong and BOTH of those women are wise. There are also moms who spent countless hours in tears hiding in shame in the corner of their nurseries trying to figure out nipple shields and breastfeeding covers. Trying to understand why their breasts felt soft and their babies were crying but someone told them “just keep trying….our bodies are made to do this.” Sometimes, village, our bodies are not. You women are strong and you are wise. There are flaws in natures design and we must remember that. There are moms who chose donors and nurse with an SNS. Praise you women…you are strong and you are wise.

There are Moms who take their 6 weeks begrudgingly and hurry back to work. You women are strong and you women are wise. You know you need that to be the best mom you can be. Some moms beg and plead for more time and don’t get it and STILL have to go back to work. They drop their little babies off at daycare and are forced to trust someone to love and care for this little human that they have LITERALLY SPENT their entire life growing. You women are strong and you are wise.

There are moms that cannot bear the thought of someone else being responsible for their child’s education, some moms count down the minute until they can send their kids to kindergarten, some mommas fall in between. They cry the day they drop them off but revel in the silence when they come home. You all are strong and you all are wise.

Some moms yell. Some moms count backward from 10. Some moms journal. Some moms go to therapy. Some moms sit at the table with their kids and take  45 minutes explaining what happened, why they are mad, what they should do differently next time. Guess what? You are all strong and you are all wise.

Some moms drive past a McDonalds and think “eh what the hell” and they drive through while their kids scream happily in the backseat about chicken nuggets and french fries. Some Moms drive past a McDonalds and think “that would be SO much easier…”. Some Moms drive past a McDonalds and think “GROSS! I cannot put that trash inside my child’s body” Some Moms drive past a McDonalds and pull into a chain restaurants parking lot, walk in and order their kids chicken nuggets and think “at least I didnt go to McDonalds”. Some Moms drive past McDonalds, straight home and hand craft quinoa nuggets for their kids. You are all strong….and you are all wise.

When getting ready for birth some Momma’s proudly proclaim they cannot wait for the drugs. GIMMIE THE JUICE. Some mommas spend hours, weeks, months researching every single detail of the birthing process….and in the end they seek some sort of medicinal pain relief. Some mommas wing it and end up with no pain relief what so ever. Each of those mommas has their own feelings about their birthing journey. Some love it. Some hate it. Some have more kids JUST so they can give birth again. Some proclaim they will never, ever birth again, ever. You know what? You are all strong and you are all wise.

You see…social media moms….we are all birds of the same beautiful feather. We, as some point, gave life to another human being. We grew them. We nourish them in one way or another. We kiss booboos, wipe tears, dance in the living room, put on time out, spend hours with bloodshot eyes in the ER because WE SWEAR that fever is not JUST teething…it cannot possibly be. We wake up in the middle of the night…poo smeared all over everything. There is even poo in the next room…how did it get there? We will never know. We go through food slumps where our kids diets consist of Mac N cheese and half chewed gum from movie theater chairs. We go through highs where whipping up a quick batch of “toddler muffins” is” totes no big deal for us/” We go through pride, we go through regret, we go through trials and tribulations, highs and lows. We go through it all. We are responsible for life…LIFE. That is A LOT of pressure. Its a wonder we don’t spontaneously combust.

Moms we are each a phoenix in our own right. We are burned everyday by our own self judgement. Then, because we are strong and we are willful and we are the single most powerful beings on planet Earth…we rise again with a fire inside that cannot be contained.

Remember this, my sweet village, never let anyone hurt your Phoenix. Not even yourself.

You are strong and you are wise.



Hello everyone!  Super honored to be a little guest post-er here on Ramblings! I blog as often as I can..but I am a busy momma! I have 4 little nuggets, 3 of which I have home grown…the other I get to throw a dash of ingredients here and there. They are Aidyn-9, Jameson-5, Paisley-3, and Macie (aka Phil)-6 months!  I have been in love with my main squeeze for just over 10 years! I am super duper passionate about Mommas building each other up, having their village and empowering others!! I love all things birth, babies, breastfeeding and I also love carbs! Thanks for the quick read! Feel free to drop in here ocassionally to see if I have updated!

Toodles <3  Kaylin



Mar 052015

I am blessed with a huge and amazing group of women that I call my friends, my sisters and my girls.  I have put out the call for guest posters on my blog, and I am so excited with the number of friends who want to! 

You will see friends from across the US from Hawaii to Ohio and all points in between.   Be kind to them, please comment on their posts and give them all some love! 

If you would like to guest post, please let me know!


Mar 042015

1.  I joined a group on facebook for people who are obsessed with their planners (as in my 8×12 calendar planner).  I am hoping it will help me to see that I am NOT as OCD as people think I can when it comes to planning things.  And I have discovered there are about a million etsy shops with little planner stickers & inserts for sale.   I have discovered my people, and it is amazing.



2.  I went to sleep at 8:30 last night, apparently my body needed sleep desperately.  Patrick called at 10:05, and will not tell me what I said in the 4 minute long conversation that I do not remember.  He did tell me that I told him several times he needed to go to bed.  I think he finds me hilarious and likes these late night talks that I don’t remember. 

3.  Ghirardelli Dark Chocolate squares with white mint filling and girl scout thin mint cookies = addictive.  Basically, give me all the chocolate and no one gets hurt.  

4.  I am having a hard time lately blogging, or finding topics to blog about.  I think every blogger goes through this sometimes.  You have all these ideas and then boom – nothing.  I guess it is writers block, or some form of it.  I write these amazing blog posts when I take showers in the morning, except – by the time I can sit down to type them out or “talk them out” (yes, I blog by voice on my drive to work sometimes), I don’t remember a damn thing I had said earlier in the shower.


5.  I am petrified that something is going to happen and ruin our anniversary trip to Charleston in 2 weeks.  Our last trip there was messed up and we didn’t get to to go, and this is sort of the make up for that plus our anniversary weekend (2 years).  I am just so scared something is going to go wrong, and we will have to cancel the whole thing.  I think it is because stuff keeps getting messed up, cancelled/postponed with him and I.  Patrick keeps telling me that it is all going to work out, but right now I just can’t believe him.  I want to, but I just right now cannot.  


Got confessions?   Blog it and link up at Making Melissa.


Feb 272015

We have talked so many times before about how much I love music.  We always have music playing in the car, in the house and I usually listen to pandora or iHeartRadio at work on my computer.   We have also talked about how I have an extremely eclectic taste in music, where one minute I will be singing along with Miranda Lambert, and the next minute be busting a rhyme with Eminem (no really, I love Eminem, and my kids are sometimes impressed with my rhyming skills…or is it skillz?)

In no particular order, here are a few of the songs I am totally digging lately!


1.    Four-Five Seconds – Rihanna, Kayne West & Paul McCartney.
~~this song probably has die-hard Beatles fans turning over in the graves, but – what evs.   Its catchy, and even if I am NOT a Kanye fan, I do love Rihanna.     I will say that Sir Paul looked a lil’ rough when he was trying to sing with them on the Grammy’s, like he didn’t quite know all the words or was unsure of the words.  Either way, its catchy!

2.    Love Me Like You Do – Ellie Goulding
~~this song is from the Fifty Shades of Grey soundtrack, and I think it completely appropriate for that movie (haven’t seen it yet, but plan to).  This plays on repeat in the mornings when I am getting ready, I love, love, love it.   I have it in the back of my head that I can get Patrick to dance with me to this in our living room.  Right babe?

3.  Make Me Wanna – Thomas Rhett
~~ another song I think I want Patrick to dance with me to in our living room.  When I hear this song, I imagine climbing in the truck and sliding over to the middle and laying my head down on his shoulder.  I can imagine taht because  every once in awhile, I ride in the middle seat of the truck right next time him.   Its not something I do often, lets be real the middle seat isn’t that comfortable – BUT, I will do it because I love being close to him.

4.   Mean to Me – Brett Eldridge
~~ I guess we will just continue the slow dance theme here.  This is such a sweet song, with a good melody and beat.   Again, such a sweet, sweet song and I would probably completely melt into the floor if Patrick ever said this song reminds him of me.

5. Uptown Funk – Mark Ronson, featuring Bruno Mars
~~ first off, who the heck is Mark Ronson and why doesn’t Bruno get top billing on this?  I mean, after googling his name and looking at his photo, it appears all he does in the video is ride on the front of the car the entire video.  Anyone, I digress…The kids and I LOVE this song.  Katie can do most of the dancing from it now too.   I also tend to car-dance to it too – I’ll admit it!



5 on Friday Logo - Final(2)

Feb 252015

5 years ago, I was a stay at home mom searching for a job with 1 kid in elementary school and 2 kids at home.

4 years ago, I was in a job that I loved working for a local company owned by 2 brothers.  I loved it, loved my coworkers and was generally happy.  4 years ago, my husband left me and our children.   4 years ago, I sat in a cold lawyers office signing separation papers I didn’t want.

3 years ago, I wondered if our house would ever sell so I could move to SC so the kids could see their dad, and so maybe, just maybe we could repair our marriage.   3 years ago, I came to the conclusion that our marriage was beyond repair and I moved on (as did he).  3 years ago, I forgave him for what he had done, not for him, no I didn’t forgive him for his sake.  I forgave him so that I could move on happy and in peace.

2 years ago, I was waking up on a Monday morning, eager to go to work at my new job.  I woke up with a wonderful sense of peace and calming.  2 years ago, I had just gone out on a date (the first of many) with Patrick.   2 years ago, I moved on.

1 year ago,  I wondered if it was really all going to work out, if we were meant to be together, and stay together.  I wondered if he was ever going to love me, really love me.  1 year ago,  I was still fighting my anxiety and still struggling with acceptance.

Today,  I am finally divorced.  I have a job I love, with people that I absolutely adore.  My kids are busy with friends, school and sports.  I stay busy with them, with my friends and work.   I have a man that I absolutely am head over heels in love with.  Today, I still struggle with the same thoughts I had last year.  Is this all really going to work out, if he will love me despite the anxiety and struggles I have.

Today – I have moved on, I deserve love and unconditional love.  I deserve happy.  I absolutely deserve to be cared about, to be treated amazingly.  I have so much love to give, and I want to give all that love I can.   I choose to be happy.  I choose to try my best to not let fear overtake me.  



Feb 182015

Guest Post by Kaitlin Gardner of An Apple Per Day

I want my kids to be able to enjoy the water like I did when I was growing up. My husband and I are now looking for a new house, and a back yard pool is on our wish list. It’s important that my kids learn water safety, and I’ve wondered how much swim lessons will help. While lessons won’t make my kids drown proof, they sure will help.

The safety issue. It’s just a reality that the water has inherent risks for a child. It’s reported that unintentional drowning is one of the leading causes of death among children between the ages of 1 and 4. It has also been stated that formal swim lessons can reduce the risk of drowning for small children by as much as 88 percent. Clearly, lessons can help a lot in keeping a child safe. Here are some resources with more information about kids and swim lessons:

Constant supervision. Given that lessons are important, but not a complete protection against drowning, there are other factors which can contribute to keeping the kids safe at the pool. The first level of safety comes from constantly watching the kids when they are in the pool. This means at all times – not sneaking to the snack bar at the pool, not texting with friends. My husband and I trade the duty – if one of us needs to take a phone call, we make sure the other parent knows and becomes the person to watch the kids. It only takes a few seconds for a child to inhale a big gulp of water, and get in trouble, so always watching is vital.

Think layers of protection. Since we are thinking about a home pool, we’ve investigated the different ways to make that pool safe for the kids. The first item was a fence – if there’s a fence around the pool, we control access. Even if we’re not home, an unfenced pool could be an inviting place for a child to play, and could lead to a tragedy. If the pool is fenced, but just has a gate that doesn’t lock, the fence isn’t much good. A gate with an alarm that the kids can’t operate makes that pool much safer. Another safety factor is a floating pool alarm, which will sound if a large object falls in the water. With several layers of protection, the pool becomes much more safe for our kids.

The lessons. Not all swim lessons are the same, so I want to make sure the kids get well prepared in knowing how to swim – and safely. I have checked out classes, and visited them in session, to see how they function, and what is being taught. I asked the instructor for his credentials, which he was glad to provide. I asked what would be taught at each level – beginner, intermediate, and advanced. Water safety is too important for just a one time exposure to swim techniques. I made sure that rules like “no running at the pool” were taught and enforced, and to make sure the reasons for it were clearly stated.

Reinforce the learning. Kids sometimes have short attention spans, so I have gone to watch their lessons, first to make sure they are paying attention. Then after class, I ask them to tell me what they learned, or show me if they had learned a new swim stroke. Just like with tests in school, if they know they’ll be asked about what they’ve learned, it will improve retention.

I watch my kids around the water, swimming confidently and really enjoying themselves, and I just have to smile. We have given them a skill which will benefit them for a lifetime, and provided multiple ways to keep them safe.

Kaitlin Gardner started An Apple Per Day to explore her passion for a green living lifestyle, and healthy family living. She and her husband have just moved to rural Pennsylvania, where they enjoy exploring the countryside to discover interesting and out of the way places. She is also learning how to paint watercolors.


Feb 112015

I don’t think this week can get any slower! Yesterday at work seemed to drag and be crazy all at the same time…I even texted Patrick at lunch and asked him “how is that I have only been here 4 hours and I feel like I have run a marathon?”.  I don’t know if its because I was out on Monday for a half day or what.  It was just a slow day.  We did get baby-day time though when one of our grad students brought his baby girl by to see us.  We love baby-day (every Tuesday!).    Another grad student made homemade zucchini bread and homemade pumpkin bread.  OMG – I could eat the whole loaf of pumpkin bread.  It was divine.

Thinking:  about things I need to do at work tomorrow for an upcoming event, thinking about the Valentines gifts I got for Patrick (so excited!) and about beating him on this darn golf game we tend to play every night against each other (on my phone & his tablet)

Listening to:  reruns of Criminal Minds on ION.   Its getting to the point I have seen every episode at least once.

Reading:  Just started “The Fixer Upper” today by Mary Kay Andrews.

Needing/Wanting:   I want a big juicy steak for dinner…but I’m thinking I don’t really need that.   Wanting to have an amazing Valentines Day weekend!

Thankful for:   Weekends with Patrick…sunshine…laughter

Wishing:   for warmer weather

Looking forward to:   planning our anniversary trip to Charleston, baseball season

Loving:   Patrick and our kids and my work-trifectas (bbbaaaaaa!!!)