Tuesday, December 23, 2014

25 more random things about me #2

My life sometimes just feels like randomness... so why not go with it??
Here and here are some other random things about me if you haven't read them before...

1. I will pause my TV when I get on my computer. This happens nightly. (I guess I can't focus on two things at once.)
2. I cannot talk and type at the same time (I'm convinced this uses the same part of my brain) and I'm jealous of people that can.
3. I turn down the radio when I am lost. (I'm seeing a theme here...)
4. When scraping icing off the side of a bowl, I make the same movement with my mouth as I did when I used to scrape baby food off the sides of my boys' mouth...  I find this entirely strange, but can't help myself from doing it.
5. If you want me to remember something, I have to see it written or in text... This is especially true with names.
6. People compliment me on my long hair all the time... I'm not impressed with it.
7. Last time I had longer hair, I was also heavier... I'm secretly afraid there is a connection.
8. I miss my children, even when they are asleep in the next room.
9. I hate that only flat boots are in this season and I can't replace my black heeled boots even though I need to and I love wearing them more than any others.
10. I like to have brief but deep conversations with strangers.
11. Because of #10, I'm now not fully convinced that we haven't lived previous lives.
12. If I get to laughing, just the thought of me laughing uncontrollably makes me laugh even harder.
13. My mom used to cut out hundreds of recipes a year and try them out on us... I can almost always tell if a recipe will be amazing just by reading it.
14. I am not a morning person... yet I will sing to my children in the early morning to get them out of bed.
15. I hate ladybugs - an infested house that I cleaned in college turned me against them.
16.  I have a routine that I follow in the shower, a specific spot I park at school, and cannot stand for someone to use "my" towel or mug.
17. I have become more "OCD" about things like in #16 as the years have gone by... I think it is a small way I can show I'm in control of what is happening in my life. (No, I'm not saying this is healthy. LOL)
18. One of my biggest fears is becoming mentally unstable like my father... So I purposefully break away from my own OCD tendencies just to prove it to myself that I am mentally okay.
19. I shaved my arms once as  kid because my mom refused to let me shave my legs.  My arms itched for weeks as the hair grew back.
20. My son, Sam, loves for me to "steamroll" him, so I do.  It makes me laugh every time!
21. I plan to save my first year's extra money from my pay raise from my masters and go overseas.
22. I have always loved babies... and still wish I would have one more.
23. I used to keep pet spiders as a kid and do experiments on them (like see if a small established spider would take out a larger newly introduced spider).  I wish kids these day were inclined to do things like this.
24. I know most people that just read #18 REALLY think I'm weird now, but I don't care.
25. I know several people personally that have written books (and I have signed copies from them) and I think that maybe one day I will write one too...

Monday, December 22, 2014

The damp and dreariness of the weather is a perfect example of how I'm feeling without you here

Today was one of those days that you plan for, but don't look forward to.

My girls and I do our annual ornament exchange.  This used to include four of us... now it is down to three.

The lost of Kel still stings our eyes with tears and aches our hearts with pain.  Two years in passing and it still doesn't feel real.

I couldn't speak out the words I wanted to tell Kel today because it would have came out in a cracked voice and it would have been by no means eloquent.

But what I wanted to tell her is that it sucks that a gravestone gets ordained with the ornaments meant for her.  That no one I ever knew could pull off a cute outfit quite the way she did (even though I tried today)  ...That our annual ornament exchange will forever be a place of pain in my life.
I love and miss you Kel!

Monday, December 8, 2014

Wicked Stepmoms only Exist in the Minds of Bitter Ex-wives

I can't even begin to describe how thankful I am for R's girlfriend, K.
I've said before how wonderful it is that she and I are friendly with one another.
She has done a wonderful job of making my boys feel loved, but not make me feel like I needed to be edged out of the picture. (Been there.)
Plus she's willing to let me cuddle their new little bundle of joy repeatedly.

R. and I have tried to describe our relationship to people that don't understand it.
We consider each other family.
(You hope the best for your family... but sometimes they can drive you batty!!)
In the end, you want them to be happy.
K. has made R. happy and for that I am thankful.
I'm also thankful that my boys know nothing of wicked step-moms.

Friday, November 21, 2014


I can feel it.
I can feel myself pulling away.
I don't know why... we had such a great weekend last weekend.
But I feel it.
It's the instinct that I have where I know if I go much further, I'm gonna get hurt... or someone's gonna get hurt...
... and so my walls start to go up and I want to run.

And I begin to question why I wasn't worth fighting for in my marriage...
and if I wasn't worth fighting for then, am I worth fighting for now?

I don't feel like I have that kind of fight in me anymore.
I used to be so strong in believing that good always won out.
But it doesn't.
And I don't believe that any more.

I believe there are good stents.
And you hang on to them as long as you can...
But they will end.
And when they do someone will get hurt.

So that is why I put up my walls and run...
Because the pain from running is a lot less than the pain from staying... and not being worth fighting for.
Or at least that is what I have convinced myself.

So... here I am, standing at the crossroads trying to decide a path of whether to stay or run.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

The Windy City is more than wind

Todd's birthday was this weekend.
He wanted to celebrate big.
I wanted him to celebrate big.

So... when he suggested we go and stay with his best friend, Matt and his wife, Shannon, who was I to say no??

(You should know I have always been a go-er.  Even as a kid if someone was just going into town to wal-mart, I was sure to tag along!!)

Chicago stole my heart a few years ago, so any chance to go back is a chance I'm going to take!!

We left right after my school meeting and ate crazy gas station food on the way.

We arrived well after dark.

We woke up the next morning to the sound of this...  

But nothing could dampen my spirits because it was Todd's birthday!!
I decorated this cake at home 2 nights before and had done everything in my powers to NOT let him know.

When he opened it, he almost dumped it out of the box because he thought it was a plaque to hang on the wall... I guess, I did good. :)

Monday, November 3, 2014

What to expect when you're... the first woman he's dated since his divorce

I have been here before.

I somehow attract men that are freshly out in the dating world.

Don't get me wrong... Being in the dating world too long can make you cynical. It can make you believe that there really isn't anyone out there and you are just going to float through life alone.

So, new and optimistic that a love can happen again is great!

But with that positive outlook also comes with exes.

Exes who have never had to experience and adjusting to their ex being with someone new.
Exes who have never thought about their child being around someone new.
Exes who want to hurt the man that you now care deeply for.

So... here's my two cents worth... for what it's worth.

It is an adjustment, so let them adjust.  Also, let the kids adjust. Sure, they maybe loving all the fun we are having, but they also have to share daddy... and sometimes sharing makes jealousy rears its ugly head.  So give them time... and let them all adjust.

I get it.  I want to know who my children are around, so let me meet your ex.  Let me talk to her so she can see that I mean no harm to her child and that I will love that little one, but that won't replace her as the mom. I'm a good person and I want your ex to see that too.

Of course you two are not always on the best of terms, but how you react about her tells me a LOT about you... and vice versa.  So, remember to be cordial (when really what you want to do is rip their head off.) and know that sometimes the other party just needs to blow off a little steam.

So... Yes, I have advice to give about what to do or not do (because this isn't my first rodeo), but really it's advice I would rather not give.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Over the mountain and through the woods

Well... to say things with the new guy are going well would be an understatement.

This weekend we spent some time hiking over the land he is getting ready to buy.

He keeps including me in his "future plans" like with the house that he plans to build on this land he is planning on purchasing... but it's scary to me as well... and I've told him this.

That in the past any "future plans" that were made in any of my relationships have gone awry.

In the midst of it all, I have gotten used to not making future plans to ensure I don't get hurt.

So, today, I'm not thinking about "future plans" I'm just enjoying the hike over the mountain and through the woods...

Sunday, October 26, 2014

A Ghoul Ol Time

I love dressing up and hosting parties!!

In the past few years, I have done it for my birthday, but this year I just had TOO much on my plate around that time.

Don't get me wrong, NOTHING has fallen off my plate... It's just that things seem to be "easier" right now... By easier, I mean, I have a wonderful man who likes to host as much as I do. :)

So here was our spread...

We had "Take a dip in our coffin" dip

"Finger" foods

Shrunken head punch

That had a little fog added to it

Look at that swirl coming off of it!!

Welcome...  Let me serve you!!

I love that my friends get into it as much as I do :)
Bob Ross and a Happy Little Tree

Madam Butterfly

Zach Galifianakis as Alan with Carlos

Death - can't elude him

Popeye and Olive Oyl
Sally Stitches

Look out Sally!!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

A birthday wish

I wake.
It's not immediately clear that you are here with me, but you are.
I go about my day.
I read off the date to my students and it hits me.
It's your birthday.
How could I have forgotten?
I stop frozen in my tracks... but only for a second because young voices call me back to the present.

Later, with the sun on my face, I admire the changing leaves.
Happy birthday to you!
Nature's own special gift.
Again, I smile.
How many times did you make the trip to see the mountains of changing colors?
Too many to count, I'm sure.

Blinking through the tears, I look to the sky and whisper a soft "Happy birthday" hoping the gentle breeze will carry my wish to you.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

floating downstream

So... first off, I know Facebook isn't private.
Not totally anyways.

But what I didn't know is that if I post something onto a public forum page, it will show up in my feed for others to read.

...and here's how my story begins...

So... I follow this public forum where the curator every so often posts - "Right Here. Right now. Tell me the 100% truth"

So I did.

I typed "The guy I'm dating mentioned me being his wife tonight... And I'm scared because we have only dated a month."

Well... guess what.  T doesn't spend a whole lot of time on FB... but as my fate has it, he logged on RIGHT after I posted that and that was the FIRST thing in his news feed.

I found it strange that he was calling me so late.

But this is the kind of guy that he is... He told me why he was calling (yes, I was completely embarrassed!!) then he explained that he had said that tongue in cheek (which I knew he had) and then he gave me a scenario.

He said,  "When we are fighting against our past fears, it is like we are trying to swim upstream. It's hard. We wear ourselves out. But when we roll over onto our back and look forward, it's like we are floating downstream.  It's easy and it takes us to where we are meant to be."

So... here's to floating downstream.

What a nasty, rainy, glorious weekend - Seriously Serious

Yeah... So I had this wonderful weekend all planned out where the boys and I would hang out with the new guy I'm dating, T. We would go to a festival nearby hanging outside all day...

Somehow, I missed watching the forecast.

And it rained... and rained... and rained some more.

This, of course, kept us inside...

But, it also kept us inside... to take time to do things we may not have otherwise.

Like playing this game...

My mother bought it for my brothers and I back in the 90's.  I honestly don't remember playing it as a kid, but when my youngest brother was cleaning out our family's home, I called dibs on it.

I had forgotten about it until I was digging through my HS stuff and I came across it again.

Sam is my game player.  Ever since I told him about it, he has begged me to get out the box and let him play it.
This rainy day just happened to be that day.

And we read fate cards like this:

If you know Branson, you know about some seriously serious traffic. LOL

Then to get out of the house, we headed to a little hole-in-the-wall coffee shop that I just stumbled upon once when Sam needed to pee. (I know.  The things we do as parents)

It is such an eclectic little place... and drinking coffee there just makes me smile.

T. also loved it.  Which added to the list of "Reasons why I like this guy..."

We then came home and T. fixed us dinner (Yep. That would make the list too...) and this just happened in my salad.

No, T. didn't plant it there... it just fell out of the bag like that, but it made me smile and solidified that this weekend was pretty great.

Who knew a nasty rainy weekend could be so glorious??

Monday, October 6, 2014

Babies... Such a nice way to start people

I know for majority of the world they would think of me as a crazy woman to say that I'm excited to go meet my ex's new baby.

And maybe I am... Crazy that is.

Or maybe I just love babies...

Or maybe I have just moved past the past and am okay with the future.

Was it emotional?  Sure. My boys were pinging off the wall with excitement and  I'm very excited my boys got to be the first to meet their sister!

Was it stressful?  Not at all.  I know that it is not only a unusual situation for me but also for K., R's gf... I mean, here I am the ex coming to see your new baby.  But I'm very thankful for K.  I'm thankful that she doesn't try to replace me, but I'm also thankful that she is okay with my presence.

And she let me snuggle that little bundle of joy... Yep, babies can't help but love them... No matter what.

My boys with their new sister, Lila Mae.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Can someone take the limelight off me? thanks.

So... I have been a fairly decent student most of my life.
I was what you would call the "ideal student."
I was quiet.  I raised my hand.  I did my work.
Teachers liked me.  I got termed "Teacher's pet" a lot.
A lot. A LOT.

As an adult, not much has changed... okay, maybe the quiet part, but I still do my best to be a good student.  And actually, not being quiet in a masters program gives me my voice to state my opinion... But I digress.

I have never really enjoyed being the teacher's pet.

I feel like it is a reason for people to have disdain for you... and deep down, all I really want is for people to like me.

So, tonight in my master's class, my professor calls me out to ask if I would consider taking on a student teacher - an undergrad that he is very close to and he thinks would fit perfectly with me.  "Sure." I say.  (No biggie.)

Later in class, he tells us he is going to read over an assignment that we turned in last week.  He said that the paper he is going to read is not perfect, but that it is a great example of what he is looking for in response to his question.

He holds up the paper to begin reading... it is written in purple ink.  Yes, I am in a class of mostly middle school and high school teachers... Me?  I'm an elementary teacher.  I don't use blue or black... I use pink and purple and turquoise...  I immediately know it is my paper.

I was honored, yet also embarrassed.

For one, because I walked out of class last week telling everyone how I felt my assignment had been horribly written.

For two, because despite the fact that he shoved my paper into the middle of the stack (so no one would know whose paper he had read), there was no denying the purple ink that lay in front of me when he handed it back.

For three, because again, I don't need/want that limelight to be shown my way.

For four, I believe that just upped the standard that I have to hold myself to... and I'm already SO tired.

So, please, turn that light somewhere else.  You're blinding me here!!

Morning Haze

The haziness of the morning light covers me like a light blanket. 

Me grateful for the warmth that it provides but yet still allowing me to feel the crispness of the morning air.

Nothing quite provides like the morning glow. 

It reminds me that a new day is ahead of me.

Everything from yesterday has been washed away. 

And this new day its just starting to shine.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

20 years later...

I had my 20 year high school class reunion this weekend.

I had mixed feelings about it.

Part of me was excited - I had helped my friend Leslie get things ready and I was ready for everyone to see our hard work.

Part of me was nervous - I didn't run around with most of the people in my class (sure I knew them, but we weren't close) and of the three girls I did spend my time with, only one was coming.

I went at it though with a positive attitude and thought, "Well, if it doesn't go well... I don't have to see them for at least another 5 years."

But it did go well... very well, in fact.
You see... I could have never predicted how it would have panned out...
And I'm glad I couldn't.

I made some great new friends out of some old acquaintances - My eyes were opened to the fact that just because people are lumped in with other people because of their interests does not make them catty and mean like the people they were lumped with...
In fact, 20 years later, they are still trying to get away from that association.

I found out that there are classmates of mine that think I am someone else... and that's okay... It's been 20 years, I don't expect you to remember.  But just for some clarification, my mom wasn't a sub at our school and I don't have 2 beautiful daughters.  Whatevs :)

I also got my ego stroked a little.  I got propositioned by a classmate - I turned him down.  He had been drinking and I don't roll that way. I'm not oblivious and as I looked up from my drunk classmate and my conversation, all eyes were on me and all conversations appeared to be about us. Afterwards, I found out that I did have some of my classmates throwing out wagers (against me) that the one-nighter was going to happen.   I told them to their face that I have more dignity for myself and our drunken classmate than to do that.  I was then told I had balls. LOL

My ego got stroked a little more by another classmate the next night(who wasn't drunk) who told me that he wasn't trying to hit on me but wanted to tell me that I was the prettiest girl in the class and that he was sorry he hadn't told me that 20 years ago when he knew I didn't have much self confidence.

My favorite part though was catching up with someone who had befriended me back when I started school there and then our paths parted.  She currently homeschools her children because of one of her children having a disability.  She said that he now wants to go to public school, but she is afraid he will be treated differently.  I told her how much I loved my students for their differences... and she cried and said she hoped her son would get teachers like me.  I told her I would pray for that to happen.

Yes, I could have never predicted how this weekend would have turned out.  But I'm glad I went to find out.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Listening to good advice

The reason I like hanging out with guys is that they give you a perspective that females just can't give.
Also, with guys most things are face value (girls... yeah, most of the time not, unfortunately.)
I have some great guy friends!

One of my guy friends J. recently told me that if a guy I dated didn't treat me as well as he treated me, then he wasn't worth my time.

I found that funny at the time... but it got me thinking.

I know that I haven't always had the greatest self-worth... and because of this, I allowed myself to be treated poorly.

I would never allow my friends to treat me poorly.  I tell them I don't need that type of drama... and yet, time after time, I allowed guys to treat me as such.

So... I decided to put myself back out into the dating world with this new mindset. "Would J. treat me this way?"

I have gone on two dates with a guy,  So far, he has proven himself to be up to that standard.  He keeps telling me that we will take it slow because I am special. (Yep, that's def. something J. would tell me ~ even though I tell him I don't always believe it)

I'm scared... because I would rather be single then to be treated poorly again. So, I'm baby stepping it.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Holding onto my 30's as tightly as I can

I have loved my thirties.
I gone through incredible trials and tribulations in my thirties, but I have also become a stronger, more confident woman throughout them.

I honestly love celebrating my birthday... Until this year.

This year came with some trepidation.
Coming to the end of an era... One that I have loved so much.

So, I specifically didn't plan anything. No party. No get together. Nothing.
I had decided that it would be fine if the boys and I just spent it together... alone.

However, my wonderful circle decided different.
First, my brothers, Nick & Tim and their families came down on Friday night and cooked me dinner.

Then, Saturday we all went and hung out at the butterfly palace.

After I dropped the boys off with their dad and everyone else headed home, I thought I would be alone with my thoughts of how depressing 39 actually is...

Until my bestie calls to tell me to get my butt up to her house.  (That's why I keep her around ;)  We ate and laughed and talked well into the night.

Sunday I recovered. LOL

Monday (when my actual birthday rolled around) one of my co-workers decorated my door way - First time that has ever happened!

Students brought me gifts.

Then I got treated to dinner with more family!!

Yeah... even when I don't have anything in the plan book, I'm sure glad God does.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

When it all becomes worthwhile

I struggled this summer not really taking a break...
I taught summer school, I tutored a little girl that was heading into first grade (her mom was worried she was behind in the reading), and I took master's classes.

I knew with all of this going on I really couldn't leave town for a vacation... I might have complained (just a little).

I like it when this come into focus... and this crazy summer finally has for me.

First off - Normally, I use my summer school earnings to pay for our vacation.
This year, my air conditioner decided to completely die... due to us not going anywhere, I had the cash on hand to pay for it - Sure, a new air conditioner is not as fun as a vacation, but I wouldn't trade my cool house right now for 2 weeks of fun.

Secondly, I got a text from the little girl's mom this week...
She said, "G. said today that they pulled each kid out of the room to test them on their Kindergarten and 1st grade sight words.  G. knew most of them and she was super proud of herself! When the testing was over the teacher came over and told G. that she was one of the top kids to know her sight words. Very, very thankful for your time spent with her this summer!

Thirdly, I realized that I am half way through my master's program!!!  In a year from now, I will be completely done!

Sometimes I just need to remind myself that good things are coming...

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Just what the doctor ordered

Okay.  So I realize I have been in a funk...
But I laughed SO hard today!

To start off, my class (that I absolutely adore) gave some of the best answers to the questions I was asking!  They are so quick witted and I love that I can laugh and joke with them!

Then this evening, I hung out with a friend.
We laughed and joked and carried on.

I think that is what my body/mind/soul needed.
I needed to have that type of belly laugh where you can't breathe.
I needed to remember what it was like to be around people that get my crazy sense of humor and play off it.
It truly is.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

The worst place to be

She walked into the room that was filled with friends.
The laughter engulfed her ears.
The familiarity should be there.
She should feel comfortable...
...but she didn't.

She was surrounded by couples.
She was the only single.
A role she should be okay with by now...
But, for some reason... today, it hit her wrong.

She was expected to sit..
Her safe place (with her children) was not available - they were by their friends.

As her head swirled, she tried to not look indecisive... alone.
But that is what she was... alone, in a room full of people.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Eyes are the window to your soul - RIP Robin Williams

I don't normally get caught up in the world of celebrities...  I feel bad for their families, but I don't have a heartfelt connection to them.

Robin Williams was different for me.
Mork and Mindy was one of the first tv shows I remember watching.
I watched it religiously.
I'm not sure I really understood the plot line at the time (I was 7 when the show ended), but I do remember his eyes...
They were like wells that ran deep.
I would sit mesmerized by them.
I honestly didn't know there were eyes that blue in the world.

As years past, I remember a movie coming out with him in it and I told one of my friends "I want to see that movie because Robin Williams plays in it!!
Their response was "Who?"
I shook my head because I knew I couldn't explain the entity of him if they didn't already know.

I know it sounds strange, but I feel like he was looking off the screen straight at me and, in turn,  I could see into his deep being through those eyes of his.

I loved how they sparkled even when he was playing a scene that was sad.
I guess that's what saddens me the most... that in those sparkling eyes that connected to me like no other actor ever has... he, himself, was so very lonely.

He will be sorely missed...

Friday, August 1, 2014

I'm normally ready

Normally by this time of summer I have had my fill of fun.
I have stayed up WAY too late and slept in.
I have traveled and felt like I actually had time with my boys.
And, normally, I'm ready for school to start.

But this summer, I taught summer school ... and tutored... and took master's classes.
I know in the long run this is a good thing...
but here we are, at the time I should be heading into my classroom to get everything ready...
and I'm not ready.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Girls Weekend 2014

This is the first Girls' Weekend without Kel M.
I wasn't sure how it was going to go.
In fact, right before we left, I was willing to back out.

We decided to go to Eureka Springs (even though the boys and I had just been there)... Kel M. had always mentioned wanting to go there and it just had never happened.

We stayed at the Pointe West Motel on Beaver Lake.  Even though the rooms were nothing to call home about, we got to witness this daily.

Our girls' weekend normally consist of us sitting by the pool. napping, and then going out on the town.  Again, I wasn't sure how things would be...

So we started out with what we knew... the pool.

And, of course, laughter ensued... 
I'm pretty sure the hammock sank ALL the way to the ground!! 

But that has never stopped us.

We laid out by the pool and napped the afternoon away.

By the time we were ready to head into town, the sun was setting again.

We didn't realize that Eureka was a town that went to bed early (unless it is the weekend).

So we found ONE store open.

We were just being casual browsers, 
when the sales manager came and asked if we needed help...
...Or some pie.
We picked pie.
Seriously... He gave us pie!! LOL

We then hung out with him for the next hour.
(Kel M. would have loved that!!)

The next day we went for pizza and massages.

That night we headed out on the town to celebrate our friend Kel.
We cheers to her life and her laughter and our friendship and our loss.

And somehow, with puffy eyes and tear stains...
I guess I still have it...
Cause on our way out, a guy stopped me and asked where we were going...
because he had shots in hand that he had just bought us...
and he said, "Because you are the most beautiful woman I have ever seen."

Yep.  Kel would be proud that I haven't lost my touch 
of getting the whole group a free drink without even trying. ;)

Monday, July 28, 2014

I may have the last name as them... But...

I don't know why I have struggled so much this summer.
Maybe it's because my ex is having a baby...
Maybe it's because I don't know my place or role anymore...
You see...
My boys have gone on a 2 week family vacation with my ex and his WHOLE family.
Vacations I used to go on.
Places I used to go to.
Family I used to see.

And even though R's family has been tremendous to not exclude me in most things, the truth is I'm an outsider... and will forever more be an outsider.

I have no desire to be back with R.  Please don't think that.
I just miss that I'm missing out on adventures and family time... with a family that I dearly love.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

In my corner

My parents divorced when I was 7.
My father was an abusive man to my mother.
I grew up believing in strong women and not needing a man in my corner.

I married not having the self confidence of a pre-pubescent girl and I tried to believe that the man I had (slowly, begrudgingly, completely) fallen for would be in my corner. But, in the end, he was not.  He had his own and followed it out of our marriage.

So here I am many years later...
Fearful to give my all to any man because I don't see them ever being fully in my corner.

...There is this one man...

This man is the father mine was not.
This man thanked God for sending him a second child (me) in the form of a high school student.
This man stood firm to try to help me save my marriage and then stood beside me when I said it couldn't be.
This man was at the birth of both of my children and has quietly let his presence be known as their Papa.
This man has listened to my struggles and has offered support time and time again.

But best of all...
I know he is in my corner.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Our mini vacation

This has a been a crazy busy summer!!
I love to take my boys and get away on vacations, but this just didn't seem like it was in the cards for us this year.
To start out, my a/c decided to give up its last leg.  I have been repairing it for the last 4 summers or so and it just couldn't make it any farther... so there goes a LOT of money!!

I'm taking classes for my masters this summer, so that has limited my time and then I am also tutoring 2 days as week.

All of this put together, is not a good 'get away' recipe...

But I just HAD to.
I needed to feel like I ACTUALLY experienced summer.

So, I rescheduled my tutoring and the boys and I left town for 3 days.

Colby got car sick on our way down (which has never happened before)...
Here is a pic just seconds before he puked on these stairs. LOL

To calm his stomach, we walked around for a while...  we turned the corner and I was sent back 20 years.  Yes, the last time I was here was in high school with my best friend, Erin.  We sat in this park and watched the eccentric locals - One I remember specifically was a high school boy dressed in a bright red long tailed marching band coat.

Erin and I also shopped in this store... Funny how some things don't change.

After Colby's stomach settled down, we got a quick bite to eat. (He's still a little green in this pic)

Then we headed out of town toward our cabin... 
This is the road that lead to it... the first sign of peacefulness and relaxation.

It had horseshoes for the boys to play.

An a HUGE yard, for baseball (of course)

And while they enjoyed themselves doing that... I enjoyed myself doing this.

We did find this little friend's home while we were out exploring.

Thankfully, he didn't live TOO close to us!

The first night we headed to the Great Passion Play.

I remember my mom bringing my brothers and I here when we were kids... 
So, it was nice to pass on this tradition to my boys.

The setting sun just added to it!!

Wednesday we headed into town.  
Colby had mentioned this 100' lookout tower several times and asked if we could stop.
Needless to say, Sam with his fear of heights was not exactly thrilled.

However, I was happy that the sign said it was FREE that day!

Reluctantly, Sam climbed... and would NOT stand up. LOL

So, we had to pose squatting for Sam. LOL

Colby, on the other hand, was extremely happy to be up that high!

So pretty esp for a July day!

After we went up 3 times, THEN Sam decided to go up and stand up.
Notice where I took the picture from??  Yep. This Momma was too tired for a 4th trip.

 We had heard wonderful things about Ermilio's ... only to find it closed for lunch.
What a blessing in disguise!  Because it was closed, we stumbled upon Oscar's Cafe.
It turned out to be our favorite thing all week.
I had the peach, brie, prosciutto salad. Delicious!

Sam tried out the waffle with sour cream and jam.

Colby had the chicken cranberry salad.

We then headed to the Turpentine Creek Wildlife Rescue.
We saw lions...

...and tigers...

  ...and bears. OH MY!
Actually this bear I think wanted to eat Sam.  He would huff and anytime Sam would turn away from him, he would charge the fence.  It was funny and scary all in one!!

Look at these scary creatures!!

That evening we did do back to Ermilio's for dinner...
... but what is a vacation without s'mores??
So we built a quick fire and made some.

The next day, we got up and hiked along the Beaver Lake.

Our hike was quick because it started to look like rain.

Colby bought this walking stick at the wildlife refuge.  He had to include it in our picture. LOL

We got a quick bite before leaving town.  This sign seemed appropriate for our mini vaca. 

Our last stop on our way home was Onxy Cave.

It was a self guided audio tour.

 It was interesting to be the only ones down there.

Any time I get to spend with my boys is a good time though!!!