Friday, November 26, 2010


It took me a bit to remember how to log in.  AND there are a ton of new features.  Talk about a leave of absence.  We have been one busy family lately.  I've thought about the blog many times, but haven't found those spare hours in the day to make it all come together.  I'm still not sure I have spare HOURS, so we will shoot for minutes.  I miss my diary and I miss my pictures.  I hardly even take any anymore.  Time for change.  Be back soon.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Big Girl Panty Kind of Day

While I believe I have finally mastered the picture thingy on blogger again, I regret to tell you....there will be none today.  GASP, I know...I did NOT take a single picture today.  Back at the first of the year I committed to Project 365.  That didn't work out.  I kind of decided to do it on New Year's Day and didn't think out a good way to document my pictures.  I'll think that one out better next year (maybe).  I still like the concept and don't really understand why it has to start on New Year's Day....why not my birthday?  I think I like that idea.  I hear Flickr is the way to go with this project....I guess I need to figure out Flickr since my age change is fast approaching.

Today turned out to be one of those where you really wish you hadn't left your big girl panties at home.  I should have known....All this week my children have camps from 9 -1.  Ordinarily, I would be doing the happy dance in the middle of the street to have 4 hours for 5 days in a row that my children were otherwise occupied.  The problem is they both start at 9 and are about 45 minutes from each other.  This is definitely a week of divide and conquer and carpool, too.  For some reason we shelled out over $400 for this insanity.  To make matters even more interesting, I had to go for my girly tune up this morning at 9:20.  On my way out the door, I got a very suspicious text from a friend and fellow agent that is on vacation this week....Things were not going good.  About the time I was shoving Dalton out of the truck, I found out a fellow agent is in the hospital in ICU and not doing well at all.  I was instantly sick.  Knowing that I had to keep going this morning, I prayed the whole time I was on the interstate.  It's a good thing, I guess, because I have no idea how I got there and on time at that. 

I have come to know that if I go into a doctors office thinking ALL is good, I am typically in for a rude awakening.  SO, I pulled the extra stick of Secret out of the console that I keep for just such emergencies and slathered on an extra swipe or two.  After my blood work and awesome trip to the scale, I was beginning to think things were going to be cool.  SCREECH, put the brakes on.  Only I can go in for a routine check up and come out with some minor outpatient surgery scheduled.  NICE.  So, I did what any woman should do after such a rough morning and I went shoe shopping.  The doctor told me not to lose more than 10 more pounds.  I would really like to lose 20 more.  When I told Jeff, he said, "Well you aren't going to listen are you?"  ????  Why did I get married again?

 I let everyone know before we even got home from all camps that TODAY was the day the house was going to get cleaned.  Of course, by the time I changed my clothes to get started, I couldn't find a soul.  They were all outside and Jeff had decided that something just HAD to be fixed on the car.  I DON'T think so, buddy.  The kids split the bathrooms and I rearranged Dalton's room and cleaned the rest of the house and got all of the beds changed.  Jeff walked around with a tape measure and managed to do absolutely nothing.  I sweetly explained that this was the last time I would take my day off to clean house.  If we are all unable to keep this place cleaned up, we will no longer be able to eat out because I am going to hire a housekeeper.  I'M SICK OF IT.  (I'm screaming that in case you were confused.)  One meal out with my family would pay for the housekeeper for the week.  Considering we typically eat out twice a week, that would do it.  I don't care if they eat bologna sandwiches if my house is clean.  I need that mental peace more than they realize.  AND, they are all lazy.  I think I'm going to start charging them to live here.  Something has GOT to give.

We still don't know about soccer.....I guess they were kidding when they told us the whole Sunday night Monday morning thing.  No, not really....I actually think they are going from 4 teams to about 7 or 8 teams and are actually completely overwhelmed.  I am still hoping that my two children are a part of those teams.  My two children are REALLY hoping they are.  One of Dalton's friend's Grandmother lives not far from us and she came over and played this afternoon.  The kids love her and so do Jeff and I.  I was so happy to see my kids playing outside until dark.  Dark here is pitch BLACK.  Jeff had to take the friend home, because it was so dark outside.  It feels good to see the kids dirty and exhausted from a hard day of playing.

Prayers for my fellow Allstate Agents please.  I only know bits and pieces, but those aren't good and they have an uphill battle to fight.  These are some special fellas in my market and they have become like family.  Thanks for your help.


Sunday, June 6, 2010

Weekend Update with Kacy Acree

I sponsored a golf tournament this weekend for my favorite High School Junior, Haleigh and her Cheerleading Squad.  We spent all day on the Cherokee Valley Golf Course Saturday, but we had a ton of fun.  Haleigh hurt her little knee...:(.  She has to wear that big nasty thing for four weeks...that means on our trip to Florida.  UGGHHH.  I just hope that does the trick for her...NO SURGERY.

This is the JV Squad and I think they were a little shy.  I didn't know any "shy" cheerleaders in my day, but whatever.  Maybe it was just because they didn't know me.

This tournament raised a lot of money for the Cheerleaders and their Scholarship Fund.

There are the Varsity Girls.  NOT so shy.  There was more drama on that golf course that day than you could shake a stick at.  WOW.  Savannah already creates a lot of drama....I'm kind of dreading this stage in her life.  She stayed out there with me all day and just soaked it up.  Jeff and Dalton were there most of the day as well.  Thanks family for supporting me and my endeavors.

Here are all of the Junior girls!  Too cute.  Haleigh, thanks for letting me come out and enjoy the day with you all.  Art, her dad, put most of this together and played in the tournament, too.

Aren't they cute?  I love you Ash Family!!

We are painfully awaiting an announcement by the Olive Branch Rush Soccer Club for the new teams.  We were told we would hear something tonight or in the morning.  Both kids tried out this week.  As a matter of fact, that is all we did this past week.  Since it's almost 9:45, I'm feeling pretty safe to say we won't hear tonight, but tomorrow.  I've been in bed all day today.  I woke up with a horrible headache.  I finally figured out tonight, that it was from a lack of caffeine.  I fixed that and my head is finally feeling better.  I'll probably be up all night, but my head isn't hurting.

We have two more weeks until our vacation in Florida.  I'm praying for no OIL.  We have already decided we are going regardless.  The beach is my favorite place on Earth.  I want nothing more than to park my rear end in the sand and let the water rush up over me, but if I have to park it at Big Kahunas all week, that will be fine,too.  I'm just ready to leave for a week.

Dalton has his first play performance this Friday morning.  I can't wait.  He has been working really hard all last week and has really enjoyed camp.  This week, he will be there every morning and Savannah will be in Memphis at soccer camp.  Both camps are from 9-1 everyday.  That's a bit of a logistical nightmare, but it will work out one way or another.

MY HOUSE on the other hand is about to be the death of me.  We've been living on a construction site for almost a year now and I'm beginning to think that Jeff prefers it that way.  He seems to find whatever he can to keep him from working around here.  On some days, he'll even admit it.  I don't know what else to do to encourage the finishing of this project.  I've quit cleaning house, but I seem to be the only one bothered by it.  Today, I announced I was going to hire a housekeeper thinking that might matter, but all I got was a "huh".  I guess he realizes no one in their right mind would agree to clean my construction site.  If you have any ideas on how to get this job finished, PLEASE let me know.  I'm about to move out and into the crazy house.  It couldn't be much different anyway.


Monday, May 31, 2010

Holiday Weekend

Happy Holiday Everyone!

We decided this morning to spend the day around here today and it was a good thing.  Dalton needed some new shorts, so I wanted to go get that out of the way.  About the time I got to the store, the bottom fell out.  It has rained on and off all day.  It's been beautiful in between but then it starts up again.  We didn't have quite the wonderful day outside that we have been having, but a good day still.  I at least got some much needed cleaning done.  This place is torn completely apart!!  My laundry closet is being changed into a pantry and I'm giving up space in my craft room for a new laundry room and closet!!  Have I mentioned that Jeff and I are "sharing" a closet?  Yeah, THAT ain't working!  I will gladly give up some craft room for some closet and some laundry room.  Anyway, that means the back three rooms of my house are a WRECK.  All of the contents of the pantry are on my kitchen kitchen still hasn't been painted and Jeff cut a giant hole in the wall of our house to vent the dryer out of my craft room that has never been a craft room because it still has boxes from when we moved in it.  YEP, I'm feeling a little overwhelmed and I'm going on vacation in three weeks and in case you don't remember, I get a little freaky about my house when I'm leaving.  That means we have three weeks to get this mess finished.  OH, and I planted flowers in my flower beds this weekend that have no bushes because the house has to be painted.  M-E-S-S!!!!!

I intended to talk about Dalton's graduation tonight, but since this post took a turn toward the dumps, we'll talk about that tomorrow night.  I'm holding the fort down at work alone this week.  PRAY.  and I almost forgot, this is Dalton's first full week of camp and soccer tryouts are this week.  BETTER PRAY HARD.


Sunday, May 30, 2010

Summer Has Begun

Today was a fantastic day and it has really started to feel like summer.  Dalton's graduation pictures are out in the truck.  I'm too tired to go get them tonight.  I gave my blog a little makeover.

Dalton started camp today.  He goes for the next two weeks.  It's a drama camp and at the end they will do a performance of School House Rock!!!  He tried out for the part of Joe who sings Conjunction Junction!!  That was always one of my favorites from back in the day.  I can't believe he got on stage and tried out.  We won't know until Tuesday if he got the part.  He said a girl tried out also that has been to these camps and in several plays and so he was a little worried she may get that part.  We'll see???  The people were so nice and he had a BLAST.  He's been talking about it ALL day and singing those crazy songs.  I think there are 11 of them.  I'm so proud of him AND he got his report card in the mail yesterday and had ALL A's for the YEAR.  He's such a good kid.

I went shopping all by myself while he was at camp and Savannah went to work with her Daddy.  That is the first time I have spent 4 hours alone in a LONG time.  Since we are going to the beach in a few weeks, I tackled the horrid task of finding a bathing suit.  What a treat!!!  After fighting all of my rolls, sitting in the dressing room crying with sweat dripping off the tip of my nose, I settled for a fabulous overpriced red one piece get up that I look CRAZY SEXY in ;)  I HATE BATHING SUITS!!  Hummmm, I wonder if Spanx makes one?  If they did, they would be trillionaires!  The last time I put a pair of Spanx on, I decided it wasn't worth it.  I was sweating from all of the hard work of getting my "extraness" into them.  I had to lay down to reach far enough around to get them pulled up and I'm pretty sure the whole experience gave me bruises.  All they did was push everything up anyway and give me an even worse "muffin top" than normal.  SHEEESH!!!!  I've lost about 15 pounds (THANK YOU LORD) but since I still have that much more to go, it seems like it will never day at a time.

This afternoon we all went and bought flowers for the flower beds.  That is one of my favorite things and we are finally getting to it.  Well, sort of anyway.  Jeff said I could put flowers in, but no shrubs yet.  We still have to have the house painted and the shrubs would be in the way.  I can wait for shrubs to get my house painted, NO PROBLEM.  When we got home it was sprinkling a little so I didn't want to start digging everything up to get rained out.  Instead, I played outside with the kids.  We traveled up and down our street and all around on the golf cart.  Savannah was my driver and she's not a very good one.  She said she is already scared that when she turns 16 (she's 10) and has to take her drivers test, she may have to pass gas when the instructor is in the car with her.  I told her to stop being silly and she said, "Mom, this is one of my true concerns."  Feel free to pray for the child.  Then, somehow, we ended up on the trampoline.  I had NO business getting up there, but I did and I showed Savannah up.  She can't flip on there and I did it several times.  I also did 10 toe touches in a row and she couldn't make it past 4.  She would bust out laughing every time.  Dalton could do it all.  We had a good time. 

We watched two movies tonight...Leap Year and The Lovely Bones.  Leap Year was good, a romantic comedy.  The Lovely Bones was a little scary but right up Savannah's alley.  An end to a good day.  We are going back to visit the church we went to last weekend only tomorrow it is an outdoor service in the park.  I hope the kids like it better tomorrow than they did last time. 

Have a BLESSED Sunday and Happy Memorial Day!


Wednesday, May 26, 2010


Everyone was feeling all bright eyed and bushy tailed for 5:30 in the morning.  EXCEPT ME.

There is my sweet boy holding his mama's GIANT cup of coffee.  I think I needed an IV.  After all of that coffee, I was ready to roll and chill out with the fifth grade class of Pleasant Hill Elementary!

I had never been to the Space Center before and certainly not with 200 ten and eleven year olds!!  What a treat!  I had a great time and truly felt honored that my boy WANTED me to go with him.  I do realize these days won't last forever.  (We just won't go there tonight.)


We were the Kelly Green class.  I have to admit, color coding the kids made my life much easier.  I was only responsible for Dalton and two other kids in the class.  I ended up with two very easy children and everyone got along very well and had similar interests, so it was actually a very laid back day.

Meet Ratchet...our fearless leader for the day...and YES, that is her real name (I asked).  She was great and I really liked the fact that we met her upon arrival and she was with us the ENTIRE day.

The kids made and launched parachutes...pretty cool.  If you haven't been to the Space Center I would definitely recommend that you make the trip. (Maybe not all in one day, like we did, but you need to get there.  It was a great day.)

This was my MOST favorite part of all of the cool things we saw....

The ACTUAL craft that the first "monkey-nauts" went to space in!

Dalton, I love you so much and am so proud of you.  I can't believe you are heading off to middle school.  Please don't ever forget how much your mama loves you and how special you are to me.  I enjoyed every minute we got to spend on this last elementary school field trip.


Tuesday, May 25, 2010


I have survived the roller coaster of this past week.  I made it through the Space Center and both a 4th Grade Class Picnic and a 5th Grade one.  My baby boy graduated and I didn't even snort during the ceremony.  (I did it privately in my car the day before...I broke into the full on "ugly cry".)  I am now the proud mama of a middle school boy!  and just for good measure...I completely rearranged my den tonight.  (I tend to do things like that in moments of extreme stress.)

I think, now that all of the festivities are over, I can find my routine again.  I have a lot of fun things to share (or document for myself, at least).  My mom let me know this morning when she saw Haleigh, that I never shared pictures of her from the actual pageant....WHERE HAVE I BEEN??  I promise, we'll get to it.  It's back to work for me tomorrow and I am honestly happy about it.  I miss the routine (and the "quiet" time).



Monday, May 17, 2010

Fast Pitch!!

I'm trying to keep it together, but it's 12:06 a.m. I've been at a soccer tournament ALL weekend in either the scorching sun or a monsoon.  I'm exhausted, have had an Ambien and am still awake.  I am obviously the mother of a child who is about to graduate from elementary school.  I am about to lose it!!  How do you do this?  Every time I try to even think about the fast approaching ceremony, I can feel all of the stomach fluid in my body making it's way up to my throat.  My baby sweet child...the tender hearted one that prays for the class bully...How do I enroll him in Middle School?  I want him to stay in the cocoon that Jeff and I have helped build a.k.a. Pleasant Hill Elementary School.  Dalton was in the very FIRST Kindergarten class there.  He has grown up with the school.  I can't stand it.

Emotions...that's an understatement.  I'm overflowing with JOY for my boy, but I'm not ready for this part of life to be a pastime. 

We have an insanely busy week.  I have training tomorrow from noon to 5 and then a compliance inspection on Tuesday.  Dalton has Takewondo Tuesday as well.  Wednesday, Dalton and I have to be at school at 5:30 in the a.m. to board a chartered bus to Huntsville AL to the Space Center.  Savannah has a soccer game Wednesday night but Dalton and I won't make it home until around 9 or 9:30.  Thursday, we have Savannah's initial workup with the Pediatric Rheumatologist and then she has another soccer game that night (the last of the season).  Friday is Savannah's class picnic and Field Day for which I am the Room Mother.  If you see me around town this next week please pardon the gray roots, I realize my hair looks a hot mess, but I'll be lucky to put clean clothes on everyday this week so we'll get to those roots sometime around the first of JUNE.

I know we will make it, we always do, but this is the first time one of my babies graduated from elementary school.  I cried for a week when he left preschool.  He's fine and excited about it, but I could sure use some prayers.

I'm sure I'll have lots of pictures after Wednesday and will update as soon as I can catch my breath.

By the way, the soccer tournament went well and the girls, and boys, for that matter had a good time.  We won our first game by a landslide.  We lost the second game in a hurricane but the girls could not have played any better.  They walked off the field with their heads held high.  We played again this morning and lost again and honestly didn't play with much heart....It was one of "those".  Two more games this week and then the season is over.  Tryouts of the new teams are the first week of June.  Gonna be tough!


Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Don't Be Scared!

Scary, huh?? She's gonna GET YOU!  I'm coming at you live tonight from Dalton's computer which means our photo selection is extremely limited.  As a matter of fact, our choices were the Miss Olive Branch Pageant, one of Savannah's soccer games, or Talladega.  I chose Talladega.  If anyone has requests for the others, by all means, let me know.  I had an "educational" dinner last night for clients about the Retirement Red Zone.  (I know settle down, I'm living LARGE, doing lots of "fun" things these days.)  I left my camera there:(....Luckily through the planning process of this event, I got to know the ladies at the catering company very well, and I will just pick my camera up in the morning.  We actually did have a fabulous time.  I'm required to do this type of thing quarterly, and I have to say this was my best one yet.  I owe a lot of that to Jeff who targeted many of his FedEx co-workers. 

I didn't mean to be such a Debbie Downer on my last post.  I promise I'm not laying around in my pajamas crying or anything.  I just needed to share.  That pain is there in my heart.  My mom called me this morning, though, and said something that I have thought about all day.  She read my post and hadn't talked to me in a couple of days.  (I was busy yesterday making sure I was ready for dinner for 20.)  The first thing she said was, "Are you OK?"  After I explained that I was fine, just really sharing a deep feeling, she said, "You know Stuart can talk to you anywhere.  It doesn't have to be there."  (I hate when things hurt so badly they make you cry.)  All day, I have had that on my mind.  What is it about that hotel that opens up my heart to hear and feel what I do?  Like I said, I don't even have a paranormal meter.  I've had a few instances in my life that I know without doubt God was telling me something.  You know those moments when the hair on your arms stands up?  or when months after you made a decision it suddenly becomes apparent why you blurted out your choice without hesitation?  I always felt safe and protected with Stuart.  I have an overwhelming sense of security and clarity there.  My mom is right though.  I slow down when I'm there, I look around and I listen.  I don't do that everyday at home.  I don't always allow myself time to listen to what God is telling me.  Some days I drive to work, get out and am inside and realize that I have no idea "how" I got there.  Other days, I see the blooms on the trees and people that I know in the cars.  As I get older, I "see" a lot more than I used to.  I see other people who maybe "aren't getting older".  I guess with age comes an appreciation for little things in life and makes you more aware of how you treat other people.  I'm getting WAY off of my intended topic.  WHOA, anyway, I've been trying to figure out how to find that little bit of time to open up and hear what I need to hear.  A special friend turned me on to Max Lucado recently.  I read a great little book, In the Eye of the Storm at precisely the right moment.  I was smack up in the middle of that particular storm and it gave me some great perspective.  I checked out his website and found a ton of material.  I think I linked to it if you click on his name.  Somewhere on there, I read about scheduling time with yourself.  That seems easy enough.  I've been trying.  I think I'd have better luck running at a 6 on the treadmill for an hour straight.  YEAH RIGHT.  If any on you reading have figured out how to schedule time with yourself, let me know how you did it.  I just scheduled time with myself for the gym.  I was thinking that would be a good time to open up and listen to messages on my iPod or something.  I quickly realized that I was so busy sucking serious wind that I hadn't heard a single thing coming from those ear phones.  It was a good theory and maybe one day when I'm on the cover of SI this work out thing won't be so hard, but for now, if I don't concentrate, that treadmill is gonna throw me straight off the back and then they would have to call 911 and I do live in a small town and that would just be NO GOOD.  So help me, WHERE do I fit it in?

Isn't my brother a cutie??  Oh and Jeff, too?  Somehow when I started this post, I thought I could incorporate Talladega pictures, but it's not working so good for me.  So we will just leave it that these two are good looking fellas and we made a lot of special memories on this trip.  Bradley, I love you!!  (Jeff, you are alright, too.)

I also had this picture that I don't think needs much explanation...tacky?  YES, but it sure makes me laugh.

If I haven't already asked you to pray for a local little girl that was hurt two weeks ago Sunday after the bad storms we had here, I sure meant to.  Her name is Madysen and she is BEAUTIFUL.  (Click on her name and it will link you to her Caring Bridge site.)  I don't know her personally but I know the family of the little girl that was with her when she was hurt.

I'm pretty sure Jeff volunteered our entire family to serve Bar-B-Q tomorrow downtown.  Don't freak out, I will have my kids out of there before dark and then Friday we are heading back to Tupelo for another soccer tournament.  I heard today the weather is supposed to get nasty again.  I don't know what that will do for the tournament.  Have a great rest of the week. 


Monday, May 10, 2010

Flooded Connections

Do you ever have something that you feel so strongly in your heart but you have NO idea how to get it out?  For the last week or so, I have found myself overwhelmed with deep feelings of sadness.  BUT for every sad feeling I've had, I can hear God telling me to stop being sad and feel the joy.

I don't know where to begin and I'm not sure I can do justice to my feelings for the entire situation.  Thanks to all my readers, first of all, just for following my nutty family.  Based on those of you I keep in touch with regularly, I can say my readers span the nation.  I'm sure you've all heard about the horrible flooding in the Nashville area.  I can't begin to express the concern I have for the families there.  Jeff and I have talked many times about how we would live in Nashville without a doubt.  We enjoy the city immensely and visit often...several times a year.  I have pictured myself being one of the families who were told to evacuate their homes and had only a few minutes to choose which belongings to take with them.  As an insurance agent, I have seen what flooding can do to a home.  I can imagine the mud and the destroyed "little" things that make a home a home lying there when the family returns.  It breaks my heart.  It hit really close to could have been me.

It IS me.  I don't know if I've ever mentioned my father in law, Stuart, on this blog.  He passed away several years before I even thought about a blog.  He was one of only a few men I have ever trusted and truly loved.  We had a unique relationship, and I would have to say he was one of my best friends EVER.  Jeff and I spent every day of our lives with him at least until we had kids and I'd have to say every other day after that.  He wasn't just Jeff's dad, he was his friend as well.  We worked together and we played together and we never got tired of each other.  We fought, we fought hard, but we always loved each other and we always accepted our differences. 

So how does this connect with the floods in Nashville??  I feel like I have lost my connection to Stuart.  Oh, here is where it starts to hurt.  It hurts to say, it hurts to feel, and it hurts to doubt.  One weekend out of the clear blue, Stuart called us on a Friday morning and said, "Let's go to Nashville for the weekend."  He wanted to go on vacation and take the kids to the Opryland Hotel.  I honestly don't remember if they had ever been at that time.   I don't think they had.  Stuart could be spontaneous, but his wife Barbara WAS NOT.  He knew Jeff and I would pack up and take off in a heart beat, and we were honestly shocked when he MADE Barbara go.  We got to the hotel LATE that night and our rooms were screwed up.  Luckily we ended up in fabulous rooms with atrium views.  I have to admit, I was somewhat hesitant to take this trip because I was scheduled to go on a girls trip back to the hotel the following weekend.  Jeff said come on, who's with Dad.  Everything about the trip was perfect.  The kids were great.  We had brunch in the Cascade Restaurant and we had dinner at the steakhouse.  I think our meal was almost $500 that night, and I remember Stuart saying, "Come on try it...We are on vacation."  We shopped and took the boat tour through the hotel.  We sat on a bench in the gardens and ate ice cream.  We came back home on Sunday.  My birthday was that Wednesday or Thursday and of course, we celebrated it with him at his house.  He made me a cake.  He always did! 

I left again on Friday with my friend Jenifer to head back to the hotel for a relaxing girls weekend.  We left early that morning and got there in time to hit the spa for pedicures.  We went downtown that night and had dinner at the brewery and went back and hung out in the atrium at the hotel.  My kids spent that Friday night with Stuart, they called him Pepaw (Pee-paw).  Jeff picked them up Saturday morning after Stuart made them pancakes and he was getting ready to put up a new flag pole he had purchased the weekend before in Nashville.  Jenifer and I were enjoying daiquiris at the pool.  About 3 o'clock, Jen and I headed back to the spa for our massages.  I had checked on Jeff and the kids and was SO looking forward to this massage.  About 30 minutes after checking in and laying down and I think they were working on my legs, someone knocked on the door.  Having never had a massage, this didn't strike me as weird.  A lady stepped in and said, "Mrs. Acree, you have a phone call.  It's an emergency."  I remember standing up and feeling all of the blood rush to my feet and not caring a bit that I was butt ass naked.  I HAD to get to that phone.  My massage lady threw a robe over me when I was in the hall.  (Have I ever mentioned I'm NOT shy?)  They took me to the phone at the front desk.  All the way there, I knew in my heart that Dalton was hurt.  After all, he had been airlifted before, it had to be him and it had to be bad.  Who knew where I was or how to find me?  I picked up the phone and Jeff was crying telling me to get home right away.  That was all he would say.  I kept asking why and he finally told me he had found his dad and he was dead.  I was sitting in the floor behind the front desk at the Relache Spa when Jenifer got to me. 

Anyway, I got home...  We have been back to the Gaylord Hotel every year since then at LEAST once.  Every time I'm there I can feel Stuart talking to me.  I can feel him behind me walking through the atrium.  He is part of the breeze that flows through there and I get such an amazing calm that I don't get anywhere else.  He has never been the reason for my return, but he is there every time I've been.  Have you seen the hotel lately?  It's full of water and ruined.  I'm ridiculously scared of what it will be after it is repaired and terrified that my "connection" will be gone.  I don't do the whole ghost thing, and hope that I don't sound crazy for sharing this, but it breaks my heart.  If I had known when we were there in February, I would have said "bye".  If I had known that birthday party would be the last time I saw him, I would have said "bye".  Dalton told me last year he could still taste the pancakes and sausage Pepaw made him that morning.  Stuart, we miss you and I can't believe I have lost that place of connection to you. 

Thanks for letting me "share" something that has been weighing me down.  Sometimes a good cry is all you need.


Sunday, May 9, 2010

Happy Mother's Day!!


Monday, May 3, 2010


Well, I'm working from Dalton's computer tonight....this is a test mission to see if I can "manipulate" pictures from his computer. IF so, I'm going to go on a full blown protest with Jeffrey Michael to get my computer fixed. He bought me a back up drive for all of my pictures. I still can't move pictures around in blogger from my laptop OR check my email. That's really weird, but it's true!! I unloaded my Talladega pictures I guess that is the topic.

I'm worn out tonight!! I went to the gym this morning. Scary thought, I know. I'm actually a little disappointed. I'm using Calorie Counter on my phone and keeping up with everything I eat and my exercise. Today (even after working out for an hour) I only ended up with a 1200 calorie deficit for the that rate, from what I read, it will take me 3 days to lose 1 pound. Why can't losing weight be as easy as gaining it???

Still having trouble moving pictures around??? WHAT IS THE DEAL?? Anybody else have trouble?? First, we all posed for "kissy face" pictures!! I hate "kissy face" pictures....

HUMM, I may have just figured out my picture issue with a change to some "NEW EDITING" thing...This could be good.  Sorry, no makeup to's a sunscreen day!
First of all, I think I mentioned that we got to actually meet Denny Hamlin.  He is Jeffro's favorite driver so it was a real treat for him.  I enjoyed it too, don't get me wrong, BUT it wasn't Carl Edwards.
They were very kind at the tent and fed us and gave us all kinds of goodies.  FedEx is sending us the pictures they took of us with Denny.  For some reason, we took those with our phones and I'm not savvy enough to get those on the blog.  Check out the flower arrangements on the table.  This was a great time and a real treat for all of us.  We were eating Hot Wings at 8 a.m.  GOOD TIMES!
And then we entered the pits and the massive crowds of people.  I took a TON of pictures but I will highlight a few of my favorites (and Jeff's, too).  I think you all know from past races, my favorite thing is to people watch!!
She went for the "layered" look.
These were the BIGGEST shoes we saw all day long.
...lots of kids this year!!  I've never noticed kids there before and quite frankly don't think it's a good place for them.
OH YEAH, we were at Talladega!  You never know what you might find...
Those were DUDES...I had to do a double take.  We found this pair walking around in the pits.
These made me laugh out loud and if you look closely, THAT IS A MAN!
This was one of Jeff's picks for the day!

And I saved the best for last...This is artistry in it's purest form...


Sunday, May 2, 2010


I am in over achiever mode tonight. I cooked dinner for not only tonight, but several other nights this week. I even packed a bag to go to the gym in the morning. Since I was doing all of these things I NEVER do, I decided I should update the ole blog, too.

Dear Blog, I have really been missing you...When Savannah was playing soccer 6 days a week, I was having trouble getting anything for myself done. I miss my photo journal here. Facebook has kept me pretty well documented, but it's not the same.

I have a lot to share...Savannah's first soccer tournament, Dalton's Taekwondo Testing and Inauguration onto the "Extreme Team" (exhibition team), TALLADEGA and two weekends of severe weather. We will take it one day at a time and see where we get. I'm back and I'm committed. I'm also curious to see what I can do from my phone. That thing is getting more and more addictive for me. I'd have no idea where I need to be without it.

The real laugh for tomorrow may just turn out to be this trip to the gym. I'm all packed up and ready to go. I can't fit it in at night so I've GOT to go in the a.m. Jeff made it sound so simple until we got into actually packing what I would need to get ready at the gym....NOT SO SIMPLE. Gonna be a busy day at work tomorrow. The tornado sirens went off 6 times yesterday!! Last weekend all of the damage was from hail...this weekend I'm expecting wind and rain damage. Say a prayer for those who are struggling right now.

I'll pick a spot and start getting caught up tomorrow. Let me know if there is anything you want to see first!


Thursday, March 18, 2010


Little Vacations are so wonderful....not very "relaxing" with my crew, but very renewing for the soul. We had a really great time just 25 minutes up the road. Just what we needed.
I love these critters. Our family completely believes in the power of the t-shirt. That is the ONLY thing these two will wear. I have bought TONS of shirts and this is what they want. They even have them categorized in to every day t-shirts and "good" t-shirts. (Dalton's is an every day t-shirt and Savannah's is a "good" one.)

We had a fantastic time at the Tunica Aquatic Center. If you haven't been...GO. Call us and we will go with you. I'll even put on a bathing suit and was that AWESOME. I don't know too many places a family of four can get four hours of fun for $16 either. LOVED IT.

This is Jeff trying to talk our kiddos into jumping off the 16 foot platform. It took a little bit of time, but NOT much.
If Jeff jumped off once, he jumped off 900 times. He said his legs were sore today from climbing the stairs so many times. He has also announced that this will be the perfect place to have his 40th birthday party. That was news to me. I had NO idea we were having a party.

It didn't take long before Jeff and Dalton graduated to the 22 foot platform. Once they did, they never went back to 16 feet. (That's Dalton suspended in mid-air.) Savannah didn't make the leap. She still had a ton of fun. Sixteen feet was just dandy with her.
When we left there we went to the outlet mall for the quickest pass I've ever made. We were all exhausted!! We did pick up a few things and then we made our way back to the hotel. Everyone was asleep much earlier than the previous night:)
We got home about noon and this little toot wanted some more pictures. She wanted to brighten things up a bit. We thought the tulips were blooming at the Dixon Gallery but they weren't quite ready. (They should be by next weekend and I'm going to take my kids and get some great colorful shots.) So we did what we could and found as much beautiful foliage as possible. We actually did pretty good. (These are straight off the memory card with no Photoshop. Not bad.)

...and of course these are NOT the best ones. I wouldn't dare show the winning shot prematurely!! Haleigh is such a great little girl. Yes, I still call her a little girl. After all, I met her when she was three years old. Her mom (Jenifer) is the BEST friend I have ever had so that makes Haleigh my adopted child.....and she drove ME around all afternoon.

Savy girl had a soccer game tonight. (Yes, thank you for asking, I am worn smack OUT.) She didn't play her best tonight, but she still did a good job. She was worn out, too. Jenifer and Haleigh came to the game to see her. That was very sweet of them.

THAT is what worn SMACK OUT looks like. It kinda looks like someone smacked me. That's my friend Jenifer. Haleigh was sitting in her lap. Dalton cut her out of the picture....that's OK though, I took 197 of her earlier this afternoon.
Savannah is the "throw in queen". She has to do it most of the time. The other girls don't seem to understand that you DON'T want to throw it to the other team. I won't even touch the fact that they don't understand the concept of "throw it up the line" and the worst part is that back foot. It HAS to stay on the ground...Soccer 101. I've never understood why that's so hard but IT IS.

Savy played Goalie for half the game. She hates it, but at least she got to wear the cool green shirt. I was silently thankful because that means not as much running which means less wear and tear on those ankles and knees. They are swollen tonight, but not as bad as last week.

Goal Kick!! Her RUSH team makes her work on her ball arcs. Pretty cool...even cooler to see her putting those new skills to use in this league. I just wish he would get her out of goal.....
Her lab results were back today. Her blood tests were RA negative but her ESR was high...just like mine. We go see her pediatrician next Wednesday to determine appropriate care until we can see the Pediatric Rheumatologist. Approximately 50% people with rheumatoid arthritis are blood negative. Did you know that?
I've decided I'm good with all of this. Life is what is. I don't know where I heard the saying, "That which does not kill us only makes us stronger." I heard it YEARS ago and I really like it. Adaptability is an essential key in life. I used to not have any. I'm not saying I'm totally go with the flow (Jeff is) but I have learned that it is usually best. I wake up every morning with an amazing gift. Somehow while I'm sleeping, God gives me everything I need to deal with the next day. Sometimes I have to call on God to help me get through the day, but that's okay. I think he likes to hear from us. Can you imagine how you would feel if you didn't talk to your children? I know God loves to hear from me and right now, I call on him quite a lot.
Thank you for the prayers and well wishes. Please don't stop. Her negative blood tests mean a long road to diagnosis. In a child, they have to rule out EVERY thing else. Pray for her to have no fear of tests. They scared me to death. I can't imagine how I would have reacted if I were 10 years old. Please keep Dalton in mind, too if you have the time. He's worried about his little sister and has had to take a back seat to all of this. He is such a sweet kid. He inherited the gift of compassion for others. He's been that way his whole life.
They are both in the midst of room makeovers (I call it a HOT MESS at the moment). I should have some pictures this weekend of the progress. Jeff built Savannah a loft bed kinda college dorm room style. It's great with a built in desk on the lower end. Dalton got a bunk bed with the bottom bunk being a futon. It's really cool and they will both have a lot more room now.
I'm out. Gotta work tomorrow!
Oh, hey, if you have time leave me a comment on which pictures you are liking...we have to decide by the end of this weekend which ONE we want to enter. (Kinda hard when you took 1000)