Thursday, December 31, 2009

One Word - 2010

One word. That's it. No lengthy resolutions spanning into paragraphs of promises that are hard to keep. No spectacular goal that seems to get farther and farther out of reach as the new year progresses. My friend, Connie, has inspired me to choose one simple little word – a word that will ring in my thoughts throughout the new year. A word that can be easily be remembered and called upon when I need it most. One word that I will apply in my life to make me a better person in the year twenty ten.
As I contemplated my life and what 2010 may bring, I knew I needed a powerful word. A word that would represent resilience in old battles and entrepreneurship in new endeavors. I have a lot planned for the coming year, many of these plans have been in the works for a very long time. Plans that have now become a passion. In all my efforts, in my relationships with people, old and new, past and yet to come I need THIS – this one word:

You see, I lack courage quite often. I cower down in the name of peace and relent myself to the world around me. I receive 100 praises and allow one criticism to send me plummeting. I tend to care entirely too much about the one and don't appreciate enough the 100. I'm a lot like the lion, in the Wizard of Oz. If I can only get my courage, and keep it, I will be okay – more than okay. So, in 2010, I'm following my yellow brick road. I'm getting my courage.
My beautiful – oh so beautiful – children will give me courage, my unbelievably wonderful husband will be my rock, my friends will be my sounding board and my courage will remain. I will be able, with courage, to melt away the wicked witches of self-doubt and hopefully sway the arrows of mean people as well. No, I wont be perfect, but I will have the courage to keep trying.

I look forward to building on budding friendships this year. I feel my friends – and you know who you are – are kindred spirits. We will be courageous together!! Happy New Year to all. We are all blessed to see 2010 and to have the freedom to follow whichever yellow brick road that takes YOU where you need to be!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

10 Again....

Most people don't know that I love Science Fiction. I'm a serious Trekkie - one of the things Travis and I had in common when we started dating which I thought was WAY cool. Anyway, while perusing Amazon, where I spend way too much money on books, I stumbled upon a title that stopped me in my tracks and opened the flood gates on many wonderful memories. There it was, "The Wonderful Flight to the Mushroom Planet." I read this book when I was 10. I vividly remember picking it up at the bookmobile and reading it constantly until it was finished. I renewed it over and over all summer long. Upon it's completion, I forced my little brother to read it - and then the incredible adventure began. We spend all summer building pretend spaceships in the woods - designing control panels, concocting recipes for rocket fuel, drawing sketches of designs for space travel. This was probably the last summer I was really a "kid" before the middle school years kicked in. This book made me a SciFi fan. I ordered it a re-read it with very different eyes. I was worried that re-reading it would spoil the magic of it all, but it didn't. It re-lit my belief that amazing things are possible. And to quote a main character from the book,"You can never doubt. You must not doubt." I can't wait to share this book with my boys. This should be exciting...

Follow my blog with bloglovin

Tuesday, December 15, 2009


I think the one reason I loved college so much was that I loved a good challenge. Challenge keeps the motivation going and prompts learning, and learning new things is good! Challenge also makes up step out of our comfort zones. So, I have a challenge for all my friends who love to take pictures!! If you click a pic with your cell phone or are more high tech, everyone can do this! POTW stands for Photo of the Week. Starting in January, our goal is to try to take one photo a week that fits our theme/assignment and blog it. There are no rules – it's all in your interpretation of the theme. We should get some very different photos depending of the interpretations of these themes. I hope some of you will play along. I can't wait to see what we all come up with. NO RULES – just FUN. If your photo leaves a lot to the imagination you may want a brief explanation of why you took that particular photo. I found a list very similar list to this but changed it all up to suit us! We can't exactly take many snow pics....
I will email this list to anyone who wants it!


01/04 beginning
01/11 home
01/18 sweet
01/25 handmade
02/01 signs
02/08 peace and comfort
02/15 books
02/22 personality
03/01 time
03/08 simple pleasures
03/15 old
03/22 spring has sprung
03/29 then and now
04/05 shoes
04/12 goals
04/19 nature
04/26 favorites
05/03 eye spy
05/10 keys and locks
05/17 planes, trains, or automobiles
05/24 barns
05/31 storytime
06/07 talents
06/14 color
06/24 architecture
06/28 action
07/05 sunrise or sunset
07/12 water
07/19 bloom
07/26 round things
08/02 from the garden
08/09 frolic and play
08/16 sand/dirt
08/23 into the wild!
08/30 in the air
09/06 style
09/13 travel
09/20 shadows
09/27 autumn beginnings
10/04 windows and doors
10/11 paths, or walks on them
10/18 family
10/25 haunted
11/01 the little things
11/08 old school
11/15 words
11/22 light
11/29 laughter
12/06 soft and fluffy
12/13 loose ends
12/20 brrr!
12/27 finales

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Lovin' Life!

Are you loving your life? I'll have to say that despite typical ups and down and frustrations that plague even the best of us, I can actually say that I am enjoying my life. I am where I want to be doing what I want to do – what else is there? I have four healthy, growing, annoying, hilarious, crazy children and Travis – the love of my life!! I've been up late studying and reading lately and the sleep-deprivation is even thrilling. I'm learning so much and everyday I can put something new into practice. There is so much this world has to offer - we just need to embrace it. I'm learning to ignore negative influences and contention – let's face it, misery DOES love company and I don't care to be there to appease them.
Found this quote and I love it, “When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left, and could say, "I used everything you gave me." ~Erma Bombeck So let's do it people!!! Use what you have, follow your passion.

This is my happy girl on Thanksgiving Day. All the boys were passed out in the house after too much of Grandma's cooking!

Monday, November 30, 2009

The Pink Camellias

On what should have been an average Monday, the day has wrapped with some lovely moments and some good memories. I think I've mentioned before about how Lacey collects things on our walks. She loves to have something in her hands. Rocks and sticks suffice, but if she can get her hands on a flower she is absolutely giddy. I so hope that she marries a romantic who will send her “pretty flowers” on a regular basis. Last week she got thorns in her fingers from insisting on a rose from her Daddy's rose bushes, and today she spied the lovely, plump, fluffy, pink Camellia blossoms on the Camellia bush. I really didn't want her to pull them off. I explained to her that once they were picked they would start to die and that they would be prettier for much longer if we left them on the bush. Her response, “Well, we can take a picture and then we will have them for a long time.” She is so MY child it is ridiculous. How did I not see this coming? So, we picked three choice blossoms, only three. We found a pretty glass from the kitchen cabinet and arranged them. Lacey went to her room and promptly returned with her camera, an old film camera that I gave her so she wouldn't get any ideas about using mine. We walked the yard and placed the little arrangement in various locations. Each time, she would take a picture, and then I would take one. I was trying to pay attention to the light, trying to find the perfect sun-kissed but covered spot. She had lots of suggestions as well. We ended up with a photo that I love, and a memory that I love even more. I will print this photo and hang it in Lacey's room. One day I will show Lacey's children the photo and will tell them the story of the pink Camellias, about how their mother suggested that a picture would make the pretty flowers last a long time. I guess she was right...

Saturday, November 28, 2009

The Sewing Box

This little sewing box holds a special place in my heart. It's been put away, for safe keeping, but I decided to bring it out and once again and make it a part of my home. Perhaps I remembered it due to the time of year – the coming of Christmas. This box once belonged to my paternal grandmother. She passed away a few years before my birth so I never had the opportunity to meet her. I've been told we a lot alike – same height, same build, and both have a love of sewing. But alas, this post is not about sewing or my sweet grandmother, it's about saving.

This antique box was a part of my bedroom growing up. It was always there, on my shelf, dresser, chest-of-drawers. I moved it around but it was always there. As a child of about 10 or 11 I really loved it. Not because is was antique or a keepsake, but because it had a “secret compartment.” Having two younger brothers, “secrets” were invaluable. The little tomato pin cushion could be lifted to reveal this compartment that I swore nobody knew was there except for me.
One day in the summer I embarked upon a self-imposed challenge. I decided that I wanted to buy everyone a Christmas gift with my own money. No help from the adults. I would start in the summer so I would have enough saved by December. The “secret compartment” would hold the loot and I wouldn't tell a soul what I was planning to do. So, for months and months I squirreled away my nickels and dimes in the sewing box. I would volunteer to help with the laundry in order to collect the change my dad left in his pant pockets. I would clean the kitchen and get a quarter – BIG money for our family at the time. I would regularly move the couch cushions to find more change. I honestly remember walking through parking lots looking at my feet just in case someone had dropped a penny or two! My endeavors were fruitful. My heart, full of pride, announced that I would be buying everyone a gift with my own money. I don't recall what I purchased for everyone. I do remember buying my grandma, my mother's mom, and pair of knee highs because I noticed hers had holes, and a tin of hard candy – her favorite. What has stuck with me is the feeling - the feeling of working hard, accomplishing a goal and getting to show love for my family in a way I had never done before. I have never forgotten what the accomplishment felt like. This lesson has carried over into my adult life. I want something, I work, I save, and it makes me appreciate to have what I've worked so hard for. I think if I could simply go out and buy everything I wanted, the appreciation would be greatly diminished., and the “newness” would wear off way too quickly.
So, I look at this sewing box – complete with the same little calico fabric scraps I placed in them as a child, and it makes me happy. It represents lessons I want to teach my children, and lessons I need to continue to implement in my adulthood. It represents how sometimes having less makes you love more, work harder, and in the end, find that you were never lacking to begin with.

Friday, October 23, 2009

With what you have...

I was talking with a friend today about fund raising, when something from my past came to mind. Once upon a time, I devoted my entire life to playing the flute. I still do not know exactly why I majored in English instead of music performance, but English felt right at the time. I spent most of my four years in college in the Music department, practicing flute way more than studying my English texts. But here's the story:
In the sixth grade, I wanted to be in the band in the worst way. I didn't figure we would be able to afford an instrument, but I had to ask anyway. I remember the conversation like it was yesterday. My dad told me they would do everything they could to get me a flute, but I had to practice or it would be sold. I had to be serious about it. So, I played on the borrowed school flute for a while. The director let me come in at lunch and play too. We had a night meeting where the music stores brought in their instruments for sale. We looked at some used ones, but my parents just weren't liking them. I'm not sure why, because I knew a flute for me would be many sacrifices in other places. I didn't say a word, I just followed and watched. They settled on a brand new Artley flute and I was in AWE. My hands were shaking when I got home and took it from the case. I started practicing and played late into the night. My parents didn't even make me go to bed. By the night's end I was playing the last songs in the beginner songbook. Those were supposed to take me months to get to. This went on for many years. My junior year in high school, I auditioned for region band. I won first chair, beating about 500 other flute players. This meant I was ranked #1 in the eastern counties of SC. Now, if I had been a football player, this would have been on the news. I digress! Having made region band (they picked 12 flute players)I had the opportunity to audition for All-State band. I would complete against all the winners from every district in SC. Well, my flute broke. Two weeks before auditions. We went to have it repaired and the repairman said that it was just completely worn out. “How long do you practice each day?” The repairman couldn't understand how every pad, gear, screw was completely worn out. I had been practicing 2-3 hours everyday for 6 years. He said I needed a new flute – it was beyond repair. I went home empty handed and locked my room door and cried. Two weeks away from what I had worked so hard for and it was about to all be gone. A brand new flute was out of the question for us at this time. I prayed. I put it in the Lord's hands and asked for Him to help me. Saturday morning came around and my parents went to garage sales. When they came home my dad was beaming from ear to ear. He handed me a flute and said, “This lady bought it for her daughter who never practiced. It looks like new, and it was only $50. Play it for me and make sure it works." My dad, being raised Baptist, always wanted me to play “Amazing Grace.” I played. It was perfect. I was so happy.

Two weeks later, I auditioned for State and placed 8th chair. At this point I had won out over 550 players. As I sat in state band rehearsals, I was surrounded, ahead of me and below me by girls with $3000+ flutes. And there I was, the only one, with my $50 garage sale flute and I was still happy. If you want something bad enough, you take what you have and you give it 100%. Work your hardest, and you will be blessed. Our example was a child born in a stable and raised as a carpenter. Give it all you've got, never give up, and you will be happy. My parents had to ask me to STOP practicing. I drove them insane I know, but I'm so glad. Music has been a blessing in my life and it was worth every minute I practiced.
Work with what you have, add faith and hard work, and everything else falls into place.

Friday, October 09, 2009


This time of year brings back many memories. Fall changes everything in the air; smells, textures, colors, it's all in the process of metamorphosis. This time of year, in 2004, I was in the middle of a divorce. I had made the decision to move out of my house (his house), and move into MY house. Seeing as I had a 4 year old, a 2 year old, and no job, this was going to be difficult to say the least. But I had decided to make it happen. So, I prayed, and then I prayed some more, and more. You get the idea. Finally one day I had some news that my aunt and uncle's rental mobile home was vacant and the rent was only $200 a month. It was a quick walk right through the woods to my parents home, and I knew my boys would love that! Excitedly, my dad and I went to check it out. It was hard to swallow. Holes in the wall (I could see the OUTSIDE from the inside), rats nests in the oven – it was falling apart. My dad looked at me, I looked at him. He said something like, “we can make it work.” I believed him – I always believe my daddy. So, the work began. I watched my dad constantly turn trash to treasure, he made something out of nothing over and over again. He used scraps and leftovers from other projects. We painted, hammered, patched and prayed. My mom cleaned and cleaned until the whole place reeked of the wonderfully sanitized smell of Clorox. The day came and 5 elders from the church in 3 pick-ups moved everything I owned all in one trip, and then unloaded it in my new home. It was home. The metamorphosis had begun. From wife to single mom, homeowner to renter, together to alone. What should have been a sad day, and I did shed a few tears, ended up being remarkable. I KNEW I could make it, I was independent, my boys were happy and I would be okay. To this day my boys still comment about how much they loved our little “trailer in the woods,” It was the happiest stop on earth. They often recount their wonderful memories of that home. I felt like it was a spot blessed from above. I discovered through this process that I thrive on independence. Being forced to make all the decisions all the time brought me “back to life,” and it was a good life. A family member told me, “It's so nice to have Christy back.” Perhaps we all need a "metamorphosis" in our lives, perhaps we all need something to bring us "back to life.”
Photos taken in October 2004 on the property where I was renting:

Wednesday, September 23, 2009


I aimed my camera heavenward today and snapped a shot of these beautiful clouds. I don't know why I took this photo - maybe it was just because the clouds were so perfectly "pillowish," or maybe it was because today is the only day I will stand under THIS sky. Life changes so fast, from instant to instant, breath to breath.
The flu has run like wildfire through my home for the past two weeks. We are finally coming out of its clutches and I am feeling so thankful. It was a great joy to witness these beautiful clouds, another day. Fall is here and I can already picture its warm colors perforating the skyline. Sometimes it's just enough to be alive.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Joy in Your Posterity

My children make me happy, they make me crazy, ill, frustrated, proud, jubilant, joyous, afraid [insert your own adjective here], being a mother causes one to run the gamut of emotions! Yet it's this very roller coaster ride that causes me to wake up each morning glad to be alive, happy to have another day to be a mom, blessed just to have those sweet spirits around me for a little longer. In the end, it is this joy and/or pain that children bring that makes my life so fulfilling. This week's joy:

~Having Caleb recommend a book to ME, instead of vice versa. WOW. It's a book I haven't read too. I'm very excited about this.
~Having Lacey request a “group hug” from her brothers.
~Having Dylan tell me, “I need to get organized.” I had to ask him to repeat that one!
~All my boys had their noses in a book on the way to school this morning.
~Watching and listening as Lacey sang her baby doll to sleep.
~Cody finally setting his own alarm clock and waking himself now.
~Watching Lacey dance -- I fight the tears back every week!
~Caleb, “It's okay if I outgrow you Mama. That just means I'll be able to take care of you better one day.”

Little moments, sweet memories, joy in my posterity.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009


Lacey is absolutely loving dance! From day one she walked right in and found her “polka dot” on the floor. Today was her third dance class, and the first day she paid me any attention at all! She is usually focused in on the teacher and won't even look at me. Today she decided to look at me while videoing and she got all confused! I'll hide next time!
In those sweet baby blue eyes I can see her determination and her resolve to do well. She concentrates and for the most part is very focused. Part of me wants to say, “Lighten up, just have fun.” But, people have been telling me that for years and it has never worked!! I can see so much of me in her personality, some things I wish I could change. I just hope she finds good friends who will love her and accept her for whatever she becomes – even if she is too “serious” and even if she does need to “lighten up.”
I wanted to take dance as a child, it just wasn't in the budget. I wrote story after story about ballerinas and a magical world full of dancers – my mom still has these stories. Every time we would go to the library, I'd find a book about ballet. Now, I have the opportunity to have a little ballerina of my own and it's thrilling. I am just so thankful for the opportunity. What a blessing.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009


School in in session, and I miss my boys terribly. Several years ago, when Lacey was an infant and very mommy dependant, I was excited for the boys to return to school. Now that Lacey is not so attached, I had a summer where we all could do things together. We could take walks, swim, just enjoy the break. Now that they are back in school, the alarm clock, the homework, the football practice – it all seems to get in the way. It makes me miss them – the quality time – so much. I miss waking up to boys “camped” on the living room floor, casually pouring pancake batter on the griddle (because we had no schedule). I miss the hours of Slip & Slide, and late movie nights. Precious times. Maybe it was my imagination, but the weather seemed a bit cooler this morning as we loaded up the van. We still have many hot days of summer, just not many “free” days. I am thankful for every moment I am given to enjoy my children. I wonder if they miss me...

Peeking through the trees - sneaking a photo.


What a moment. A few weeks ago, before school started back, I caught Dylan furiously writing on little white slips of paper. I didn't want to interrupt him, but I couldn't help myself. I asked him what he was writing and he said, “I'm writing all about my favorite parts of summer vacation. If I don't write it, I might forget. I had so much fun that I don't want to forget.” Needless to say, I broke into a mile wide smile. He was writing ,voluntarily, and he was enjoying it! This was one time spelling errors and such didn't bother me one bit. He loved our vacation and didn't want to forget any part of it – priceless moment!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Write. Wrote. It has been written.

After a talk with my mother, we've concluded that I should not be a hermit. Maybe I should be more “hobbitish” and enjoy the comfort of dear friends, but fiercely exclude all that could be deemed villainous. I keep asking myself, “what is the point?” After pondering and researching, I LOVE to research, bear with me here, I'm basking in my geekdom; I found this spectacular quote:

“We sleepwalk through most of our lives and every once in a while something happens outside ourselves that forces us to pay attention in a new way...And we suddenly realize that the world is so much richer, and more magnificent, and more wonderful than we had felt for a long time."
--Scott Russell Sanders

Eureka! This is the point! These magnificent moments seem to be finding there way into my life quite often lately. Perhaps it is because I am in constant effort to find and enjoy them. Seeing the world in a “new way” makes each day something unique, a challenge. Just to notice the color of the leaves or the smell of the air can be invigorating. How many people who have passed on would havegiven anything to have just one more day on earth, even if they came back in the middle of a horrendous hailstorm? And yet here we are, living breathing, we have heaven all around us. Nextly, I love to write. I'm not much on crowds and speaking up to be heard, but writing – ahhh, it is that first breath of salt air at the ocean, that one little snowflake fluttering to the ground that might mean school is out, it's the way you felt the first time you kissed the man that would one day be your husband. Get the picture? I have to write.

Still there is this one “bite” that I can't swallow, and that is how to deal with those who do not like me. Those who read my blog just to have someone to make fun of. Those who take what I write and somehow claim that I am bashing them. Not hardly. I would not waste my energy. I guess I will always have to guard my heart, my blog, to some extent. However after giving a friend advice this week to not let mean people “run her off.” I must take my own advice and not be forced into hiding. Maybe a break here or there, but not into hiding. I know I'm not doing or saying anything wrong or hurtful, and as long as I know this, I have some shelter from fear, from people who have hate in their hearts.

Thank you my friends whom endure my rantings and bouts of indecision. Thank you , Mama. I'm so blessed to have you still in my life. Five years, cancer free this month.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

The Point?

Just wondering, really what's the point? This blog thing – I love it one day, hate it the next. I like to write what I think, what it on my mind. I DO LOVE to write. I like to chronicle my life and the lives of those of love. It's a journal of sorts, with photos included. BUT – don't most people hide their journals under their mattress or something? I have never hidden my handwritten journal, but it's only in the vicinity of near and dear, trusted family members. So, I have my heart out on my sleeve so everyone can read it – WHY? I don't have an answer. I think life is just easier when I take the advice of my husband. He basically stays out of everything and everyone's way. Can't get hurt, can't get talked about, you can't talk about anybody because there is no one to talk to when no one is there. Do I need people to read about my life – or do I just need to live it (and write about it) like “they” aren't there? Wasn't it Emerson who promoted a life of solitude? I'll have to research that, my brain is slowly leaking info and Ralph Waldo may have just fallen out. Maybe I could get out of crisis mode if I stayed away from that which causes the crisis.
I HAVE to update my business blog, business Facebook, business site. I'm thinking that my personal life should no longer be everyone else's “business.”
Or maybe I just need a break, some space from Blogspot. Bottom line, I just don't want to “deal” anymore. I think I need to revert back to a former self, a “closed book,” an “enigma.” I've been doing a lot of walking lately, and when I walk I think. I think of lots of topics to write about, my take on life and it's struggles. I begin to type and I think again, what's the point? I usually call a friend when I feel this desire to shut off all of humanity and be a hermit. This time I'm just going to be a happy loner. Maybe my desire for solitude will last three days or three months. I really don't know. What I do know is that I will be walking (exercising), thinking, reading, writing (I have a book in my head that needs to get out, a fiction novel), studying scriptures more, enjoying my family, planning for my young women group, living – all in private. If this is a phase, I'll see you all next week. If not, sorry I missed you, please feel free to leave a message.

"None of us will ever accomplish anything excellent or commanding except when he listens to this whisper which is heard by him alone."

"Nothing can bring you peace but yourself."

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Spiders and Flies

The classic poem, "The Spider and the Fly" is a favorite of mine. I read it to my classes at the beginning and end of every school year when I taught. Many times throughout the year, when I noticed something was "afoot" I would say, "Remember spiders and flies" and they knew what I meant. I also read the poem to my children before school starts. Trickery and flattery have been around for a very long time. I have fallen prey in my lifetime to people pretending to be something they are not, pretending so that at some point they could "drag you up the winding stair." It happens to everyone at some point. I just hope my children are wise enough to figure out the plots, plans, and secrets of evil people and stay far, far away. Public schools are, no doubt, full of spiders.

The Spider and the Fly
Mary Howitt

Will you walk into my parlour?" said the Spider to the Fly,
'Tis the prettiest little parlour that ever you did spy;
The way into my parlour is up a winding stair,
And I've a many curious things to shew when you are there."
Oh no, no," said the little Fly, "to ask me is in vain,
For who goes up your winding stair can ne'er come down again."

"I'm sure you must be weary, dear, with soaring up so high;
Will you rest upon my little bed?" said the Spider to the Fly.
"There are pretty curtains drawn around; the sheets are fine and thin,
And if you like to rest awhile, I'll snugly tuck you in!"
Oh no, no," said the little Fly, "for I've often heard it said,
They never, never wake again, who sleep upon your bed!"

Said the cunning Spider to the Fly, " Dear friend what can I do,
To prove the warm affection I 've always felt for you?
I have within my pantry, good store of all that's nice;
I'm sure you're very welcome -- will you please to take a slice?"
"Oh no, no," said the little Fly, "kind Sir, that cannot be,
I've heard what's in your pantry, and I do not wish to see!"

"Sweet creature!" said the Spider, "you're witty and you're wise,
How handsome are your gauzy wings, how brilliant are your eyes!
I've a little looking-glass upon my parlour shelf,
If you'll step in one moment, dear, you shall behold yourself."
"I thank you, gentle sir," she said, "for what you 're pleased to say,
And bidding you good morning now, I'll call another day."

The Spider turned him round about, and went into his den,
For well he knew the silly Fly would soon come back again:
So he wove a subtle web, in a little corner sly,
And set his table ready, to dine upon the Fly.
Then he came out to his door again, and merrily did sing,
"Come hither, hither, pretty Fly, with the pearl and silver wing;
Your robes are green and purple -- there's a crest upon your head;
Your eyes are like the diamond bright, but mine are dull as lead!"

Alas, alas! how very soon this silly little Fly,
Hearing his wily, flattering words, came slowly flitting by;
With buzzing wings she hung aloft, then near and nearer drew,
Thinking only of her brilliant eyes, and green and purple hue --
Thinking only of her crested head -- poor foolish thing! At last,
Up jumped the cunning Spider, and fiercely held her fast.
He dragged her up his winding stair, into his dismal den,
Within his little parlour -- but she ne'er came out again!

And now dear little children, who may this story read,
To idle, silly flattering words, I pray you ne'er give heed:
Unto an evil counsellor, close heart and ear and eye,
And take a lesson from this tale, of the Spider and the Fly.

Mary Howitt
poem first published in 1829

Saturday, August 08, 2009


So, before I get completely off my vacation kick, I left out one important milestone that occurred while we were in the mountains. On Lacey's third birthday, Travis and I celebrated our four year wedding anniversary. Travis is such a wonderful husband, he enables me, through his support, to dream and do things I never thought I could. Being his wife is easy and fulfilling. He loves me more than he loves himself – he is the most selfless person I have ever met. I love his humor, his work ethic, and that he loves me back – no doubts. I often search for “Everybody Loves Raymond” re-runs just to hear him laugh out loud. I also got him several seasons on dvd. Simple things make him happy; just being together is enough. Here's to eternity...

(It is my plan, really, to get a photo with me in it – I just have way too much fun behind the camera!).

Sunday, August 02, 2009

Beautiful Baby Boy

I have lots to blog about and NO time to do it! Just when I thought I was caught up, I have four more dresses to make. I'm still not finished my "vacation" mini series and I have yet to mention my new adventure in the Elgin Ward. The one thing I will make time to blog will be the precious baby boy. I grew up with his mommy and grandma. Their entire family is so special to me. I was elated to catch a few sweet photos of beautiful baby Skyler. It was an honor.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Spic 'n Span Dylan

As a mother to boys, I feel that it is my responsibility, my DUTY, to teach my boys how to "keep house." My boys will not go on missions and be slobs, nor will they marry and expect their wives to do all the housework. My goal is to have my future daughter-in-laws love me to pieces! Well, I've been annoyed at the amount of socks on the bedroom floor, all the "stuff" that gets taken out and never put back, the beds that go un-made lately. Dylan took my not-so-subtle hints and went to work. Dylan cleaned his bedroom from top to bottom, vacuumed, dusted, even stripped his bedsheets. Mind you, half of the atrocity we call a bedroom belongs to his older brother, Caleb. The fact that Caleb was busy on the PlayStation mattered not, Dylan kept at it. I was very proud of his hard work and the clean bedroom is heavenly. He did it by himself and he did great. I couldn't help but to reward him a bit - a small contribution to his piggy bank. Maybe some of my lessons are sticking! I love this kid!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Vacation 2009 - The "Wild"

By far, the most awe inspiring part of our mountain vacation was the natural beauty that surrounded us at every turn. We took many, short hikes, as far as Lacey could tolerate and spent lots of time in the COLD river water. It was very precarious as I balanced on slippery creek rocks, at times no longer being able to feel my toes, but I just had to document all the smiles and good times. The boys pitched small stones for the longest time, Lacey always wanted to head to the bank so that she could get yet another handful of blooms to watch float down the river. Almost every photo her little hands are filled with a bouquet of some sort. We even had the unique experience of seeing two bears, in the wild. Thankfully, we were in our car. The police were there asking everyone to get back in their vehicles. I took a photo as we drove by. You can see two black “blobs” (no time to focus on this shot).
I also took time to examine the light as it filtered through the forest canopy – just stunning.
I have at least 30 photos I love, but I'll share just a few.
This beautiful land that we live in is proof positive, evidence if you will, of our Heavenly Father. This was no “big bang” people, just no way. What a blessing to live in this beautiful world.

"Mommy, take a picture of my flower." She made sure, several times, that I was taking a picture of her flower, not her. "Not my face, mommy." I tried to follow her instructions!

More flowers...

The Blob Bears - LOL

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Vacation 2009 - The Pool

Everyone loved the pool at the end of the day. The boys are regular fish now; so much so that getting a picture of them was impossible. I noticed this year that, "Mama, watch this" wasn't screamed every 10 seconds as in times past. They were content to swim and dive and spent forever diving to the bottom of the pool for the money Travis kept throwing in. I guess they are growing up and don't need to show off for mama quite so much.
Lacey, on the other hand, was hamming it up big time. She is all about the camera these days. She's such a willing model, it's hard not to have a million photos of her!

Friday, July 17, 2009


Before I continue with my vacation tales, I must tell this story before I forget. These are Lacey's words, exactly from a conversation we had while I was making dinner.
“Mommy, I have a boo boo. I need a band-aid.”
“What happened? How did you get a boo boo?”
“Well, I was going on an adventure. I was taking a long walk around the water. I tried to go in the water and a big ole alligator snapped at my leg and I got a boo boo. I want a pink sparkle band-aid now.”
Travis gets home from work and I'm telling him the alligator story. Lacey finishes the story by telling her daddy, “ that alligator never would have got me if my high heel hadn't broken. I guess I just need to go shopping for new ones.”
And everyone thinks Lacey is quiet. Ah... the imagination of a child.

Vacation 2009 - The Cabin

I actually do not know where to begin. I think I will have many posts about our vacation this year because we had such an wonderful trip! There is so much I want to document and remember. Hands down, the best family vacation we have ever taken together. The excitement really began when we arrived in Pigeon Forge and checked into our cabin. I think everyone had a moment of complete awe when we opened the front door. Lacey had us all in stitches fairly quickly. She stood at the bottom of the stairs and looked up and said, “This place is amazing.” Pretty great description from a three year old! They boys loved the pool table and game room in the basement – their bedrooms were on the third floor. Lacey went “swimming” every night in the Jacuzzi on our bedroom. The views from the balconies were breathtaking. Every morning we sat and watch the fog lift from the mountains. Just gorgeous. We spent our days enjoying attractions such as MagiQuest, putt-putt, exploring the Forbidden Caverns, sliding down a mountain at Ober, Gatlinburg, Sky trams, hikes, playing in the river/creeks, swimming in the pool and shopping. I guess I'll begin with a few shots of our cabin. MORE to come!!

Lacey is THREE!

Could it be, already? Lacey celebrated her birthday on Saturday the 11th with her friends at Bounce Around. I think all the children, and the adults, left the building exhausted. We decided to have a flip flop themed party, since Lacey loves flip flops. Shannon Benson made the adorable flip flop cake, complete with sand! Thanks to all who came to help us celebrate!

Lacey on her actual birthday, July 13th:

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

So Excited!

In just a few short days we will be headed off on a family vacation! I don't know why I'm so excited this year, usually I dread the packing, planning, unpacking, laundry - but this year I have a different outlook. Travis and I have been working so hard lately. He's been working late every day and I sew when everyone goes to sleep. Finally, we get a nice break! Another source of excitement is that we are going to the mountains this year. As much as I LOVE the ocean, Cody is 13 years old and had never seen the mountains! I'm sure he will be unimpressed as a typical 13 year old would be, but deep down there will be that "wow" moment for him, I just know it. We will be staying here - the Rocky Retreat cabin overlooking a pool and a gorgeous view. I can't wait! The best part?? I don't have to cook! WhoHoo! These four little monkeys are going to make some great memories for sure!

Monday, July 06, 2009


In high school I had to memorize this monologue from Shakespeare's, "As You Like It." I remember absolutely NOTHING about the play, but this previously memorized passage crept back into my mind today. I could only really remember the first few lines, but the meaning I remembered more clearly. I think this passage speaks mountains about the stages of our lives. One day we have our babes in arms, the next we are sending them away to college. One day we are delightfully presented with crayon drawings and construction paper hearts, soon after we are hoping for a card in the mail or a phone call. Bottom line - it goes really fast. Does time go faster the older we become? It sure seems that way. My mom always says, "they are only little once, just let them do it..." How do we capture everyday moments? My guess is that if we really appreciate what we have and love the lives that we lead, perhaps these everyday moments will tattoo themselves on our hearts. Perhaps when our minds forget, our souls will remember.

"All the world's a stage,
And all the men and women merely players;
They have their exits and their entrances;
And one man in his time plays many parts,
His acts being seven ages. At first the infant,
Mewling and puking in the nurse's arms;
And then the whining school-boy, with his satchel
And shining morning face, creeping like snail
Unwillingly to school. And then the lover,
Sighing like furnace, with a woeful ballad
Made to his mistress' brow. Then a soldier,
Full of strange oaths, and bearded like the pard,
Jealous in honour, sudden and quick in quarrel,
Seeking the bubble reputation
Even in the cannon's mouth. And then the justice,
In fair round belly with good capon lin'd,
With eyes severe and beard of formal cut,
Full of wise saws and modern instances;
And so he plays his part. The sixth age shifts
Into the lean and slipper'd pantaloon,
With spectacles on nose and pouch on side;
His youthful hose, well sav'd, a world too wide
For his shrunk shank; and his big manly voice,
Turning again toward childish treble, pipes
And whistles in his sound. Last scene of all,
That ends this strange eventful history,
Is second childishness and mere oblivion;
Sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything." — Jaques (Act II, Scene VII, lines 139-166)

The sun illuminates only the eye of the man, but shines into the eye and the heart of the child…{ralph.waldo.emerson}

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Happy Birthday America!

July 4th weekend was fabulous. We decided to make it a stay-at-home family weekend. Caleb and Dylan returned from a week away on Saturday morning and things finally felt normal again. We swam and played, grilled, ATE, and then enjoyed homemade ice cream and brownies. Backyard fireworks were our grand finale. I'm thankful to live in the beautiful land of freedom, and I'm thankful for all those who sacrifice so that we may maintain our freedom.

Finally, my favorite image of the day - my sweet baby girl who will be three in just over a week!! No tweaking or editing of this photo, this is my girl, in all her cuteness, straight out of the camera.

Monday, June 29, 2009

How does your garden grow?

I was reminded today, the details I'll leave out, that life is a test, an opportunity to grow. I was reminded that we can't grow unless given the opportunities to do so. If we meander from day to day, year to year without opposition or challenge, can we ever really prove that we have the faith and “gumption” to rise above? Will we remove ourselves from situations that could prove harmful? Will we forgive someone who has harmed us? I think within us all there is a seed. A tiny manifestation of our creator. We can cultivate and tend this seed or we can ignore it while it slowly hardens and withers. I learned today that my seed could use some water and I'm thankful that I've been blessed with another day to grow stronger. I want to be counted among the mighty oaks, not the drought-stricken saplings. I also want my children to be strong, to be able to combat the temptations of every day life. In the world that we live in, temptation will be at every corner, at the touch of a button. I consider this post a journal entry of sorts. I will have to come back and read this often as a reminder of this day. I learned a lot today, and I am thankful, but I'm glad it's over.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Busy Hands

Lacey always wants to hold something, to have something in her busy little hands. Usually it's a rock, or a stick. I don't think her curiosity is ever fully satisfied unless there is a tactile experience involved. Perhaps she will be good with her hands...

Sunday, June 21, 2009


After years of running around, whipping out the little pink Sony Cybershot, this was a totally different experience. I'm liking the results though!
I was able to do a maternity shoot for a friend. We had a great time. She has the most beautiful baby bump! I learned a lot from our little session - filing my info in my memory banks to make the next shoot even better!

Friday, June 19, 2009


I had a conversation with Lacey today. Her responses to questions always amaze me. She is my strong-willed little girl. She is "too smart for her britches." Don't have a CLUE where she gets it from! Our conversation went something like this:

"Lacey, how old are you?"
"I am 5, so I can go to school."
"You are almost three. You are not five yet. You can go to school when you are five, but you have to go by yourself like the boys. I can't stay with you."
"I am not three I am THIS many (shows 5 fingers), and you have to go to school too. You can be 5 just like me."

I guess she has it all figured out!