Spring Break Kicks Off with a Banging Fever, a Bat and Four Eyes

It’s officially Spring Break in the South. We celebrated with Mike purchasing my birthday present a tad early yesterday- new glasses and new prescription sunglasses (polarized!). Goodbye to my Arseino Hall glasses that he has been making fun of since 2004. You know you’re getting old when this generous gift elicits this much genuine excitement.

The pre-Spring Break fun continued when I picked up Raynes from preschool yesterday symbolizing the commencement of a 10 day break and he has… fever. Of course.  It’s fitting that while I was trying on glasses I received an email from his preschool teacher that croup has been circulating his classroom.  Awesome.

Last night Allie Boone made her debut as a flower girl at Lucki Jo’s wedding so we left the kids with sweet Mary and watched Miss Thang sashay down the aisle with the Maid of Honor.




He seemed to have perked up this morning so we loaded up the truck for a day trip to the coast- not in the relaxing, sunscreen and cold beer kind of way. More like the moving mattresses and cleaning out pantries kind of way.  Unless of course you are 8 years old.

With Mike at the Carrabelle condo working on it, I hung out at St. Teresa with the kids and got my clean on. Just as I was in full on Spring Clean Mode, wiping out drawers, cleaning the fridge, throwing out junk, I dump out some odds and ends from a basket and notice a brown little creature. As I am about to flick it with my finger, I notice the long brown fur looks pretty real. Upon further inspection, the darn thing is breathing. It looks like a bat, but I know that a bat wouldn’t be inside the house.

Oh, I’m a silly girl and so, so wrong.

Yes, I found a live bat while cleaning. Wing and all. My skin’s crawling as I type.

We’ve made our way back inland, only stopping for boiled peanuts sold on the side of the highway and a quick U turn when Mike saw the flashing neon ‘HOT’ sign outside Dunkin Doughnuts. In 36 years I was only recently introduced to a hot glazed, mushy doughnut. Let me tell you, any other doughnut is just not worth the calories. It momentarily erased the spread bat wing from my mind.  The girls decided that their Dad has created a wonderful new tradition since he has now stopped there twice on the way home from the coast. My mind says thank you for the memories but my thighs are not nearly as enthusiastic about this new family tradition.

Raynes is back to fighting his virus this evening with a 104 fever and wanting no one but his Mommy. I’ve taught him to say, “Mommy’s Boy” and my heart swells when he repeats this (particularly when he says it to his Daddy- I’m mature like that). While a 104 temperature is not fun that boy is sweet when he is sick.

My little Bat Man.  Ugh, there goes the skin crawl again. Cheers to Spring Break 2014!

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Why I Don’t Ask My Husband to Come to Church Anymore

Sounds crazy, I know but the truth is I never ask my husband if he wants to come to church with me. I wake up on Sunday mornings, get myself and the kids ready without ever asking him to come. There is no, “Hey, will you be ready to leave in 10 minutes?” or “What service do you want to go to?” or “what do we want to do after church today?”

I simply get our children ready and if he wants to come- great. And if he doesn’t? Well, that’s okay too.

You want to know what the crazy thing is? More times than not he is showered and helping me with our children so that we can all leave on time together, as a family. In fact, I can probably count on one hand the number of times, of lately, when he hasn’t been at worship with us.  He is now the one driving our family on Sundays.

For some couples, I’m sure church is implied. Both husband and wife attend together as family. For others, it’s simply known that it has no part of Sunday’s agenda.

For a while, Mike would come with me, but it was begrudgingly and primarily to make me happy. While I admire him putting my needs above his, it wasn’t exactly a willing heart.  Or a heart filled with want either.

Looking back, I can understand why. I grew up in the Episcopal church- we attended services regularly. As in it’s just what we did every Sunday morning.  Mike, on the other hand, didn’t have a lot to do with church growing up. He was baptized and called himself Catholic but Sunday worship was far from the norm for him. He argued that he could experience God just as well while fishing as he could sitting among the beautiful jewel-colored stained glass windows.

I can remember calling my University of Alabama roommate, Hope, shortly after Mike and I were were married in the Episcopal church.  She got married exactly one year before me and was my friend that (tried) kept me on the straight and narrow during sorority fun-filled weekends. I complained to her how Mike never wanted to go to church with me. How I was always having to “drag him” there. I was fearful the whole ‘church thing’ was going to be a long road.

I can remember vividly what Hope told me. She said, “Garrett, it doesn’t matter what church you go to so long as you go together.”

The church we were attending at the time was the same church where my grandparents were members, where my father grew up and the very church where  I was baptized and confirmed. I had just assumed he and I would raise our children in the same church. After all, I was the only one who mainly went.

Hearing Hope say this was an a-ha moment for me, a dig her heels into the ground gal.  She was right. Mike felt like it was my church- not necessarily the church for us. For him, it was too ritualistic (even for a non-affiliated Catholic!).   

I had to be willing to walk away from my beautiful, comfortable building so that he and I could walk together as one.

We ‘shopped’ for a new church home, and found one immediately where we both felt at home.

This didn’t change the fact that I was still married to an avid outdoors man who much preferred Columbia shirts and deer stands to starched shirts and hymns.

Years went by of the same old thing. Me asking for him to please come to church with me- to the church where we had become members. Mike, being the great husband that he is, obliged.

Until one day, I had an epiphany. Why was I asking him to come with me? He is a grown man capable of making his own decisions. I no longer wanted him to be there unless he wanted to. I decided right then and there I was no longer going to even ask.

The Lord did an amazing thing to him too- from that point forward, when I released that expectation, he now enjoys taking his family to worship on Sundays. He wants to be there. Not just for me but because he wants to.

I am so proud of him taking on the head of the household role and leading our family. When I over hear him explaining to our children why this is something we do as a family on Sundays, it is yet another reminder of the things God can do in our lives. It easy for me to think I can change people if I put forth enough effort, when the truth is, only God can really do that.

Fun is a Loose Term

I should have just stayed home yesterday, starting at my dog’s urine puddle. My day only got better from there.

After dropping off children at the second school of the morning, I began the 18 minute drive back to my house (I know this because, if my calculations are correct I spend approximately 6 hours week driving Raynes to and from his preschool).  Insane, I know.

That’s when the bitchin’ Camaro drove into the back of my SUV while stopped at a red light.  Wait it, gets better… he then fled the scene. Yes, drove away leaving me with minor damage to my bumper and major damage to my nerves. What a class act that driver was. Sped away as fast as he could. Awesome.

So you see, I really would have been better off cleaning up after Tucker’s little (large!) accident incident yesterday.

While I could get used to this whole keepin’ it real thing, I thought I would go all Brian Williams on you and end on a happy note.

In case you are wondering where you go to get your craft on, when Curious George in the form of a 2 year old brother lives in your house, here is your answer.

The front yard, of course.

The girls decided to paint pet rocks. Unfortunately for the florescent friends,  God decided to send rain a few hours later….

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

A friend said to me yesterday, something along the lines of, “I like reading your blog; You do so many things- I don’t know how you do it all.”

First, I now know the one person reading this blog- other than my mom.

Second, just to clarify – it ain’t always pretty around here. The benefit of a blog is only the Pinterest-worthy is highlighted.  You don’t see photos with the dried toothpaste splattered everywhere or hear about the time (times plural if I am being honest) I screamed at my kids. The messy, ugly, complicated areas of life are tucked away.

But I can assure you, it ain’t always pretty. Let’s take last night for instance. Mike has been in Naples on business all week leaving me single Mama. All was well until last night when Raynes began to cry hysterically at 8:30, clutching his stomach. My self-dubbed RN degree told me it was one of two things: appendicitis or constipation.

After rubbing his belly, giving him Ibuprofen and the fun act of administering a suppository (with Nurse Britton assisting) over the course of two hours of screaming (two hours!), my suspicions were confirmed. Nothing says relaxing Tuesday night like glycerin suppositories.

Oh, and for dinner I fed the kids cereal. I’m good like that.

While I’m spilling the beans I’ll go ahead and tell you that I might have told Kenley to stop honing her math skills on a new app her teacher told had her download because it was interfering with The Voice. You like that?

I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that as I am sitting here at 6:36 am typing this post, Tucker just peed on Mike’s cow hide rug. Wow, that’s a lot of urine.  Should I clean it now or can it wait until I have a few sips of coffee first?

There you have it: the good, the bad, the ugly.
And that’s just been the past 9 hours…..

Happy Birthday, Kenley

It was 10 days before your due date when during a routine exam Dr. Davenport thought you seemed like a big baby.  He scheduled an induction for the very next day.  On Friday, March 3, 2006 you were born into this world. The biggest of all my babies, you weighed a hefty 8 lbs 13.5 ounces and immediately flashed that dimple of yours capturing our hearts.

With a head full of brown hair and were so happy to have you finally here. You had some large bumps in the road that we eventually overcame. The sleepless nights of worrying you gave us only brought me closer to God.  You put my faith to the test.  More than you may ever know.

Who would have thought a tiny baby girl could have the strength and of a warrior?

Sweet to the core you are (well- at least most days). Happy 8th birthday, Kenley! We are thankful to have you in our lives- pigtails, stacks of books, attitude and all!