Hump Day Ha-Ha

Saw this thing floating around facebook, and thought it would be funny.  Instructions are “without prompting – ask your significant other these questions and write down EXACTLY what they say.  Its great and funny, and the outcome could be hilarious.

I asked these questions to Jake when we woke up the other day before we got up to get ready for church. 

#1 – What is something I always say to you?
J – I love you.

#2 – What makes you happy?
J – you do  (aww…isn’t that sweet)

#3 – What makes me sad?
J – when you can’t fix something

#4 – What do you think I was like as a child?
J – quiet?  (haha, funny Jake! I don’t think I was quiet at all!!!)

#5 – How old am I?
J – 35

#6 – How tall am I?
J – chin height.   (I’m 5’6″)

#7 – What’s my favorite thing to go?
J – Pick on me about Clowney (yeah, I will totally give him that, I love to bring up the time Clowney obliterated Vincent Smith from Michigan during the capital one bowl.  lovingly referred to as “The Hit)

#8 – What do I do when you aren’t around?
J – wish I was around?  (good answer babe, I love our time together!)

#9 – If I become famous, what will it be for?
J – writing

#10 – What am I good at?
J – didn’t you already ask this?  Taking care of people.

#11 – What am I not good at?
J – I haven’t found that out yet.

#12 – What makes you proud of me?
J – your determination

#13 – What is my favorite food?
J – Mexican (this was after several tense moments as he tried to remember!)

#14 – What do we do together?
J – everything (true story)

#15 – How are you and I the same?
J – we both love college athletics  (and how are we different – I’m a Gamecock, He is a Michigan Wolverine)

#16 – Where is my favorite place to eat?
J – San Jose (true, but I love any Mexican food, except maybe that place we ate Friday night)

#17 – When is our anniversary?
J – January 15th

#18 – If I could go anywhere, where would it be?
J – sandy white beaches and clear waters (I just want to be on a pretty beach with warm water!)

#19 – What is your favorite thing about me?
J – the way you care for me, and the way I see you look at me.  Also, the amount of fun we have together.


Grace – what a word.  Its my daughters middle name.  Its the name that I see pop up constantly with friends kids, and in movies (Christmas Vacation anyone?)

We were faced with a situation on Sunday of someone who is hell bent on making Jake’s life a nightmare right now.   We never know when this person will pop-up, but they do pretty often – and we deal with it and move on as best we can.  I hate conflict, but I’m also a born and raised Southern woman.  I get sassy, and say all the things I’d love to say to said person – but never actually will.   Usually, its because I’m trying to make a joke to get Jake to calm down or laugh.  Like “oh bless their little heart, they are delusional” or “are they serious right now with that?”

After a sermon that morning, that touched on showing grace to others, I stopped to think about how my actions in this situation can change for the better.   My favorite article I have ever seen is about how to show grace to others was written by David Peach, a missionary in Mexico who primarily works with the deaf population.  He wrote:

While I can’t offer salvation to another person, I can be kind and gracious to them. Showing grace to others is a matter of dealing kindly with them, even if they don’t deserve it.

Oh yes, showing kindness and graciousness. We dealt with the stuff in the morning, and went to church. We sang, and my soul was revived with the healing music that our worship team performs.  We ate lunch with friends, went shopping, we did laundry, helped a friend move some furniture, and came home to make dinner.  All of which are normal routine things for us; and we thought maybe, just maybe it was over for the day.  Well, that’s what I get for thinking, because it all started again.   In my mind, I wanted to be sassy and angry.  This person is making the love of my life miserable, and is hell bent on causing strife and conflict.   This person absolutely does not deserve my kindness, or my grace.  

This time I chose instead to show this person grace.  I quietly let Jake deal with it, while I stood at the stove and prayed for this person.  God please put your hands on this person, and help them to remain calm to resolve this situation quickly and easily.  Its been dragged out long enough.  Grace Wins.  What an unhappy person they must be right now, to want to cause all these problems.   Lord, please shine a light in their life that they can see the pain they cause, and want to not continue on this path.  Please help us to show this person grace, even when we don’t want to.  

I prayed more, please just let us get through the next few days without this mess, we have too much going on this week. Grace Wins. I slipped my earbuds in my ears to prevent me from hearing the sounds of the phone going off in the chimes of rapid fire texts.  I prayed more.  I felt so at peace in that moment that I was juggling dinner dishes, and praying.  Grace Wins. 

I cannot do a single thing to make this situation go away right now.  I can try my best to make it better for Jake to bear, and for him to know he doesn’t have to bear it alone.   I can encourage him to respond with grace, without anger or sharp words.  Even when they absolutely do not deserve it, they do.  A tough lesson, a hard thing to put into practice.  It is so easy to respond with immediate sass or harshness.  Take a moment, breathe in and respond with grace.   Everyone deserves the grace of others, because we were given the ultimate gift of grace from Jesus himself.

And in time, this situation will be finished, and we won’t have to deal with it any more. We will look back and smile because we survived this, and we thrived despite it.   And in the end…grace wins


Remembering in 2016

Memorial Day in our home this year will be spent quietly, I have to work (yes, thank you University of South Carolina) and the kids don’t have school.   However, very close to my heart and in my thoughts will be two 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 12 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 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.

   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.  

Also today, please remember those whose battle was lost when they returned home.  An average of 22 U.S. Veterans committ 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 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, 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 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  #22untilValhalla  #22toomany

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


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!