Lessons from Jenny.

Whenever I’m having a moment….things aren’t going right, the kids are making me nuts or work is stressing me out.  I stop, log onto youtube and watch or listen Jenny.  Yep, Jenny the Bloggess.

You can’t NOT smile at this.  Even if you don’t blog, don’t get the whole blogger thing, twitter, or any of that – you can’t NOT laugh or smile at Jenny.   This is probably not suitable to watch in front of children or at work, she does curse a few times and the song at the beginning while catchy is totally not safe for either!

The lesson from this is always – make your own path, enjoy your own happiness despite what outside forced may say.  And always, ALWAYS live furiously happy.

And from now on, I will live the art of being furiously happy.


ICE – not the cold kind

Do you have an ICE contact?  No, not the kind that you put in a drink, but your “In Case of Emergency” contact in your phone?

A post went around facebook recently, and I think it is such a good reminder!

In light of recent tragedies, does everyone have their Emergency contact info in their phones? One of the biggest problems of people finding out about their relatives and friends is because police and hospital workers can’t get into people’s phones to contact next of kin.

Medical ID

On iPhones you can put Medical ID info on to your locked screen for emergency so they don’t have to break into your phone. I am sure androids, etc have a similar feature.

For iPhones- Go into your Health App (white app with Heart) and go to the tab for Medical ID. Put your info in there and enable it to show on emergency screen. Then then you go to your passcode page and you hit emergency it will take you to the white screen and the bottom left will say Med ID and it will have all info.

For Samsung, you just go to your contacts and click on the name of the person you want to make a contact, then scroll down and click on “groups”, and select “ICE” for the group.  It will assign them to your ICE contacts.  Currently my ICE contacts are Jake, my friend MeriLyn and my parents.

ABC Game

Thanks to the beautiful Hazel from Two-Thirds Hazel for this fun.  Like her I’m having a hard time with blog content lately, so here’s a little fun to start the week!

A- Age: 35 – yeah, someone pointed out yesterday on facebook that we graduated from high school 18 years ago.  Thanks friends.

B- Biggest fear: suffocating, something happening to one of my kids, car accidents

C- Current time: 2:32pm

D- Drink you last had: Chick-Fil-A sweet tea.

E- Every day starts with: alarm, check my phone, potty..usually in that order, sometimes phone while going potty (come on, admit you do it!)

F- Favorite song:  If you ask Jake, he will say “every song that comes on the radio”, reality, my current favorite songs are “It All Started with a Beer” (Frankie Ballard) and “Send my Love” (Adele)

G- Ghosts, are they real?: Yes.

H- Hometown:  Richmond, VA – AKA:  River City, RVA.


I- In love with: Jake..my kids…anyone who brings me starbucks (kidding, babe – I love you and the kids only)

J- Jealous of:  everyone whose out on a boat or on the beach today.

K- Killed someone?:  is this a real question?

L- Last time you cried?: on the way to work this morning, as they played One Love by Macklemore on Q93, with voice overs from the Orlando shooting.

M- Middle name: Ann

N- Number of siblings: one, brother Matthew who lives in NC


O- One wish: that my job paid a little bit more

P- Person you last called:  ticket office on campus to help me with my season ticket questions

Q- Question you’re always asked: “where’s _____?” (insert name of any staff member or professor).

R- Reason to smile:  our Michigan vacation is 13 days and a wakeup, and our Disney vacation is a little over a month away!

S- Song last sang:  You Save Me by Kenny Chesney

T- Time you woke up: 6:00am when Jake’s alarm went off, again at 6:30 when mine went off.

U- Underwear color: Grey

V- Vacation destination:  Michigan in 2 weeks, Disney in 4 weeks.

W- Worst habit: soda…hands down its soda.

X- X-Ray’s you’ve had: teeth, knee, ankle, lungs, spine, wrist

Y- Your favorite food: Mexican

Z- Zodiac sign:  Capricorn

Summer Reading!

Happy Summer Vacation everyone!  My kids first official day of summer break was yesterday, and I’m sure that it was filled with Netflix and a whole lot of “nothing” while mom was at work!   However, this year I am going to try to do more summer reading with them, through programs available at the public library near us, and through local stores.
Summer reading programs encourage kids to continue to read during the summer, in a time when they often lose up to 2 months of knowledge that they just learned during the school year.  Reading can also be a great tool for kids to “earn” TV time, or special treats by doing their reading.  When we were growing up, my dad took us to the library at least 5 times a month, sometimes more. I would grab stacks of Nancy Drew books and read through them so quickly I thought I would run out of the series.  It was these trips to the library that lead to my lifelong love of books!  

summer reading

Barnes & Noble offers a great summer reading program for kids Grade 1 through Grade 6.  This years theme is the “Summer Reading Triathlon“.  Kids have to read 4 books, and answer at least 3 questions related to the books.  Once you complete the form, your child can pick from a list of books depending on their grade level.  For my son, one of his choices is a Lego Comic Series, and my daughter can choose from a few of her favorite series (like Pinkalicious or Pete the Cat).   

Our local library also does a reading program, where the kids earn points towards prizes.  In years past there has even been a summer reading program for adults with similar type requirements, to earn points & tickets towards prizes.

What ways do you keep your kids engaged and reading during the summer?


Friday deal……

Its my daughters birthday week! So, in honor of her 15th birthday on June 2nd, I am offering $15 cash back for 4 people who purchase their Young Living Premium Starter kits this week(through June 15th).  

kit_june special


How can you be 15?

How it is possible that my baby, my first born is 15 years old?  

We haven’t always had it easy – we have had some rough times.  I am so proud of your determination, and your spirit.  The way you help take care of your brother and sister, and the way you love even when you are angry with me.  We sometimes fight, but I love you so much.  You made me a mommy, and for a long time it was just you and me against the world.   I cherish every memory of our adventures in San Diego, and Beaufort.  In so many ways you save me everyday and you don’t know it.  I love you so much baby girl, and I am so proud of the beautiful young woman you have become.

katie birthday


p.s. – funny note – this post went live at 2:46am, the official time you were born!  I love you k-bug.

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  Iraqwarheros.org.  This post was originally posted on 5-28-2012 with edits every year since.