April 27, 2011

Mary, Mary, quite contrary...

Garden bed bursting with goodness

Mary, Mary, quite contrary,
How does your garden grow?
With silver bells, and cockle shells,
And pretty maids all in a row.

I used to think that gardening was a complete waste of time and something old people did to pass their retirement days away. I personally thought that they were insane and their time could be spent elsewhere enjoying a sandy beach in Florida....that is what "old" retired people do, right?? They head South to enjoy the fruits of their labor? 

Cucumber Bloom
It wasn't until I got "old" that I had a desire to start my own garden. For starters, anyone that eats or cooks a lot of vegetables knows that the prices are ridiculously high and you get very little in regards to the quality and quantity. Secondly, to buy Organic vegetables you are paying 2x as much but I really don't like buying vegetables that have been soaked in pesticides or other potentially harmful substances. Call me crazy but it's something that I have really been paying attention to lately and I try to buy all natural when it comes to certain food groups. We do enough damage to our bodies without me feeding my family food that's really not that good for them.

I have found that gardening is something I really enjoy and it makes me feel productive. Not that I am not an unproductive person but when you become a housewife you feel different in that department. With a job you always see the final outcome of your hard work and when raising a family and taking care of the house it always seems "unfinished" or incomplete. With a garden it gives me a sense of pride because I have accomplished something. I started off with tiny seeds in packets, planted them, water them daily and now they are growing. Eventually they will grow into vegetables that I can feed my family and friends with; that to me is amazing and fulfilling.

Plenty of beanstalks for "Jack"

Gardening is also very therapeutic for the soul and I highly recommend it to anyone who has the extra space for a garden bed and needs a little tranquility in their life. I find it very relaxing to go out to the garden every evening to water my plants, pick the grass out of the beds and take a little time to myself. I may only be out there 5 or 10 minutes but it's still a breath of fresh air and I can let my brain rest for a second. I actually think the soil smells refreshing and who doesn't like to be surrounded by nature? 

I guess I am really showing my age but I have a new found appreciation for gardening and it brings me happiness! I won't call myself "old" until I start heading further South for the winter!! At least that is what I am going to keep telling myself to make me feel better :)

"Gardening is about enjoying the smell of things growing in the soil, getting dirty without feeling guilty, and generally taking the time to soak up a little peace and serenity."
  ~Lindley Karstens

April 25, 2011

Somber Sunday

I know that this weekend was supposed to be a joyous and spiritual event for all involved but I think I am damaged goods when it comes to Easter. My earliest memories of Easter revolve around my Mammaw and her love for the holiday. She and I would always go Easter dress shopping several weeks before and she would buy me almost any dress I wanted...even if she really couldn't afford it. I can't tell you how many beautiful dresses I had thanks to her hard work in the Concord High School cafeteria as a lunch lady. Like most families we would have the traditional Easter lunch - Southern Style; spiraled honey ham, green beans, egg noodles, potato salad, brown-n-serve rolls and a big glass of sweet tea. Of course you can't forget the Easter basket that came with neatly placed dyed eggs in the plastic green grass that she recycled from one year to the next. I was very blessed and at the time I never fully knew how much those yearly traditions meant to me until she became ill with Leukemia and passed away in 2006....since then Easter has never been quiet the same and honestly neither have I if the truth be known.

I tried desperately to stay in the spirit of Easter for my family and especially for my two children. I want them to grow up with the traditional lunch, dying Easter eggs and baking/decorating sugar cookies but this year I failed miserably....even their Easter baskets I assembled for them were pretty lame. I know my Mammaw would be disappointed in me and I think secretly my husband was too because I let sadness and grief get the best of me this year. My parents were unable to make it to Georgia for the holiday because my Pappaw is terminally ill with cancer and they can't really leave him now so that didn't help matters or my mood. It was like a double dose of sadness that filled my soul this past Sunday. 

We did get around to making the egg hunt with the Blake family on Saturday and that was uplifting and a breath of fresh air. Brody had fun and it was his first "real" egg hunt so it was nice to see him run around putting eggs in his bucket but something was still missing. I didn't dye eggs and we didn't do our annual sugar cookie or gingerbread house which is something Victoria really enjoys. She didn't mention it but I am sure she noticed the void of the two. I did manage to cook the traditional Sunday meal but it was missing something too; the heart and joy that I normally pour into my meals while cooking. I knew it was important for my husband, daughter and son to experience our yearly Easter feast but it was lacking for me because mentally I had checked out on the whole deal. We ate at our kitchen table instead of the large dining room table but I did  decide to use our china instead of our weekly dinner dishes because it always makes Victoria feel special. 

Oh, and Easter basket fiasco was one for the Beemer books! Like my Mammaw (didn't notice that until just now) I decided to use the baskets and grass from last year because Vic is too old to care and Brody is too young to know the difference. I had bought all of the goodies and candy earlier in the week because I like to be prepared and not out shopping for the junk last minute when it's all been picked over and your left with the stuff no one else really wanted. I made the mistake of leaving the candy upstairs in my craft room and our dog Campbell helped himself to the goods because Victoria had accidently left the bonus room door open and the two rooms are connected. Talk about done -- that was when I basically threw my hands up with the whole Easter situation. 

Believe me....I *know* I am blessed. I *know* that I need to let go of the past and move on with the present.  I *know* that my parents can't make it for every holiday. I *know* that making memories for today and the future is what counts. I *know* my Mammaw would want me to enjoy the holiday that she loved so dearly.  I just wish that my heart and mind would do that....I can only hope that next year is better. 

I have closed the book on this Easter and I am ready to move on to the next holiday. I *know* it will get easier and easier with time; at least that is what I keep telling myself. 

April 22, 2011


Mike and I have been discussing taking a mini family vacation for a couple of weeks now and I have been pondering where we could go that would be close, cheap and kid friendly...having a two year old and thirteen year old in tow really narrows that list down so I was excited about finally making a choice. We had thought about the beach but that is always pricey this time a year plus it's a pain trying to keep up with Brody around the ocean because he thinks it's a giant bathtub! It's also a pain in the ear hearing your teenage daughter huff and puff out of boredom while complaining that not having a friend tagging along sucks. 

We are stuck in between the Gulf and Atlanta so with the beach sounding like a nightmare our only alternative other than staying home is Atlanta. I have been to Atlanta several times and honestly had no idea what it had to offer other than a racetrack and Buckhead (nightlife) but after a friend told me about all of the "kid-friendly" activities it sounded like a dream!

Atlanta is a smorgasbord of educational fun waiting to happen for the family and I think we would all enjoy a trip to "Hotlanta"! I know the heat will be an issue but we already live in the Deep South where we're already hitting a toasty 85+ degrees so it's not like we aren't used to it. Half of all the attractions I am interested in are indoors so that will provide some relief from the sun in the big city. 

A few of places that I am eager to check out are the Georgia Aquarium, Atlanta Botanical Gardens, Zoo Atlanta, World of Coca-Cola and the Children's Museum

All of this sounds great, right?!?!? Right, if your not conflicted like I am! For once when I get stoked about a weekend away from the hustle and bustle of our normal every day life I am only greeted with more hustle and bustle in the form of a school letter. Victoria cheerfully threw a letter at me this evening and after reading it my smile turned upside down into a frown. There is an after school event for her soccer team the weekend we had planned to go out of town. You have GOT to be kidding me...sEriOusLy?!? And not only is it the weekend we were planning to get away it's an overnight school thing so we can't just push the trip a couple of hours back. 

I know I probably sound just as shallow as she does at the beach grumbling about not having a friend to pal around with but I was really looking forward to getting away. My life has been nothing but 24/7 errand runner, Band Mom, Soccer Mom, Chef, Laundromat worker, Diaper changer, Wife and the list could go on & my husbands list is equally as long so this little retreat was a welcome break. 

I guess we will have to wait and book all vacations once we retire and the kids are out of school because it looks like their extra curricular activities will keep us very busy for the next 20 years or so!

April 19, 2011

Binky Blues

Tonight I was faced with a Mommy's worst nightmare...mending the dreaded worn baby blanket. Brody calls his blankets (yes, blankets, he has two of them) "Binks or Binkies" and they are a necessity in our every day life. Brody has to have his binks at naptime, bedtime, roadtrips and when he is under the weather. Needless to say they are a very important part of our life and they keep my little man happy. 

It seems like yesterday that I was standing in Babies-R-Us searching for the *perfect* blanket for my unborn child. I was about 6 months pregnant and I was adamant about buying him the exact same baby blanket that I had growing up; a pale yellow thermal blanket with satin trim. I was ecstatic when I found them and I decided to pick up two; one for Brody and one for Alex. I know buying a baby blanket for your dog sounds a little outrageous but I had read online that if you give your dog something that smells like the baby then your pet will be more comfortable with the new addition. I figured I would wrap Brody in it while we were in the hospital and let Alex have it afterwards to get accustomed to his scent. After all, Alex had been my "baby" for a long time and I knew he would have some issues with being ignored and second so I wanted to make the transition easy for him. 

Needless to say, Brody held on to both blankets and they have been with him since the day he was born! We were lucky in the pacifier department because Brody never liked his and would spit them out....he had already found comfort in sucking on his blankets. It's probably not the safest or most sanitary thing but it keeps him happy and asleep. 

The only downfall to his blanket sucking habit is they get dirtier and worn out quicker than the average blanket. His poor little satin trimmed binky has seen it's share of better days and tonight I had to do the unthinkable. I had noticed last week that the satin trim was starting to come apart from the actual thermal blanket and was potentially a choking hazard so as much as I hated to take the scissors to the beloved blanket I had to do what was the safest thing and cut the worn shred off. It honestly broke.my.heart

Call me a sap but it was really a hard thing to do and it was just another reminder of how fast he is growing up. However, I have a little peace of mind that I have TWO binks to hold *me* over for a while...notice that I said "me"...I think they are more of a security blanket for this Momma than they are for my son. 

April 13, 2011

:::Warning:::Warning:::System oVerLoAd!!!!

I am not really sure what is going on with me lately but whatever it is needs to be, well, moving the hell on. I have been in a horrible funk since this past Sunday and I can't seem to pull myself out of the dark hole that I have decided to hide in. Each day I venture out a little more from this deep pit only to hunker back down it around dinner time. I absolutely *hate* feeling depressed, sad, tired, anxious, overwhelmed and I have all of those going on at the same time. Not good. This system is on overload and my warnings are sounding off LOUD and CLEAR(Don't worry folks I would never hurt myself or others....no need to admit me anywhere)!

I know I have a ton on my plate and usually I am very good at managing it all but lately it seems time is running the show and I have no "say so" in the matter. Re-reading that makes me sound completely OCD and I will be the first one to admit that I am and I get completely out.of.whack when my world is the teeniest bit disrupted from it's routine. Go ahead, feel sorry for my family...they need some love and a pat on the back for dealing with me. Thankfully, they (for the most part) understand it's me "just being me" and accept it without a ton of static.

I have kind of taken a break from blogging because I haven't really had anything nice to say and I don't want to bore you with griping or whining about things. I try to blog about happy things going on in my life and right now I am still trying to get out of the hole pit to see the sun. 

I know it's shining and I am ready to see it's rays and warmth. Hopefully warm and sunny blogs will be coming your way soon :)

April 10, 2011

Break Is Over - Yesssss!

Hip, Hip, Hooray....Hip, Hip, Hooray....Today was the last day of Spring break for the kids from Lee County Schools so guess what that means?!?!? Once tomorrow rolls around we will officially be back to our old schedules and Lord, do I love having a schedule and sticking with it. When holiday breaks for school come around I kind of wince and whine about it because I am the worlds worst when it comes to being around kids 24/7 without a break. I really do enjoy the hours when the kids are doing their school thing because it allows me to do my stuff around the house without being bothered and I can take care of errands that need to be ran.  I feel like with the kids out of school I get behind with everything and it's just that much harder to get back in the swing of things after having a "break" from it all. I mean, don't get me wrong, I did enjoy having the kids and their company this week but I think that Victoria is more than happy to go back to school so she can see her friends and boyfriend. Breaks to her are like being grounded because it forces her to go a week without the normal drama from the usual day to day activities that are going on in the 8th grade. Ah, the pain <hear the sarcasm> of losing a whole week with friends, drama and school work. That's gotta suck <insert eye roll>.

I am really excited about this coming week because Brody starts preschool on Tuesday after being out for a month!!! Yes, FOUR whole weeks!!! Talk about insanity. I would probably have to commit myself somewhere if he were out another week. He was out 2 weeks for that nasty flu bug we had and then Mom was here last week and they were closed for Spring Break this week. The poor kid will not have a good first day back (because he's been out so long) and I will probably leave him at his classroom door screaming but he has GOT.TO.GO and I will *not* look back once he's dropped off! This Momma needs a kidless day and Tuesday can not come soon enough! 

April 8, 2011

The Zoo Crew....stalkers and all.

The past week while Lee County schools were celebrating Spring Break, Susie and I really tried to keep the days busy, busy, busy, so we wouldn't have to hear the annoyed groans like "I'm bored" or "What's next" from Victoria, Brody and Will. Annelise was added into the mix later in the day when she was picked up from Montessori School

Yesterday we decided after lunch at Pearly's Famous Country Cooking that we should head to the Parks at Chehaw so we could explore the zoo and bask in the sun. This has been my first time at the park since moving here. We did ride through their Christmas light exhibit but that was always at night and animals were not part of that exhibit. The Blake family are complete zoo nerds so they already have a membership and after the wonderful time we had I can say our membership is right around the corner. It's so totally worth the money because it's something we can take the kids to on the weekends and when the school is closed. I can also take Brody there during the week to do something fun and educational when he's not in preschool. Sounds like a win/win situation if you ask me!

While at the zoo we enjoyed seeing the Alligator exhibit which had tons of gaters sleeping in the sun. Brody called these huge monsters, "Dinosaurs". I got a lesson from Susie on the different type of snakes and which ones we need to look out for here in Albany....rattlesnakes. Really??!? I mean, the scariest one of them all in my book and they are everywhere around our location in the Deep South. I can't believe I slept last night after seeing that thing! I don't do snakes.

We all enjoyed the Meerkat exhibit because they are the CUTEST things ever and have so much personality! They reminded me of little Alex's running around. I seriously wish they could be domestic animals because I would beg for one!

After spending time at the zoo it was time to leave and go get Miss Annelise from school.It was still early so we decided to continue the fun and find Paula Deen's childhood home that is only a couple miles away from both of our homes. Yes, I will repeat it....We only lives a few miles from Paula Deen's childhood home! 

(Can Albany/Leesburg seriously get any better?!?!? )

We entered the coordinates into the GPS and we were on our merry way to Southern bliss *squeals*! As we rounded the corner to her street my heart sank because this once cute community has now turned into the G.H.E.T.T.O a less than desirable location. I am sure that poor little house has had more than food cooking in that kitchen these days. It's actually for rent and if I had it in me I would love to go back to check it out on the inside but I don't think I feel safe enough to go back into the neighborhood. You could tell that this once cute street had seen it's share of better days. Nonetheless, we got to see what most won't or can't see so I am happy. It's something that Susie and I can say "We've been there, done that". 

After feeling somewhat brokenhearted over poor Paula's house we took the kids to the Turtle Park in Albany and that was definitely a good decision! I had never been to this park and I am glad we got to go because it was a-d-o-r-a-b-l-e and had 2 playgrounds depending on your age (which is a life saver when you have a toddler). The park has so much to offer children of all ages so it's something we will frequent this spring/summer.

Yippeeeeee for surviving Spring Break with the children. I think they enjoyed themselves and we ended up having a blast, too. 

April 6, 2011

Time keeps on slippin' ....

Have you ever had one of those days where it hit you that there seriously wasn't enough time in a day to get ALL the things you want and need to get done? This afternoon was that type of day for me. It's like the old saying "Don't bite off more than you can chew" and that saying was drilled into my brain by my parents and grandparents on a daily basis while growing up but obviously it never sank in....I tend to do it more often than I should. I always cram as much as I can in a day and that leaves me up writing on these blogs until 1 or 2 in the morning because it takes me that long to unwind and I can only blog when the house is quiet!

The downside about blogging in a quiet house is that it's actually too quiet and my mind starts thinking about what I was supposed to do, need to do, didn't do or wasted time doing. It's very frustrating because I have so much I want and need to do but there are only 24 hours in a day and if I want to sleep then things keep getting shifted to the next day....and that adds on to "the list".

Funny thing is that my "To Do" list never gets done and I keep adding (imagine that) to it. I'm not a happy person if I am not staying busy so I guess it's good that my list keeps getting longer because I will never be bored, unhappy or restless....well, "rest-less" from lack of sleep! I still have so much I want to do in my craft room and that keeps moving over to new list(s)! I have sewing projects I want to start (and finish), put the finishing touches on some cards I started making with my Cricut, paint the wooden birdhouse I bought a while ago so I can hang it by the garden beds. We need to  hide the Geocoin we found while Geocaching months ago before some angry mob of Geocacher's hunt us down for it. I need to finish decorating the yard for Easter. I need to transfer my seedlings from their indoor trays out and into the garden beds within the next week. I need to start planning Brody's birthday party which is in July...

It's like the list has turned into a book. It's nuts. Good thing is that I will eventually find a way to get it all done and make it happen. That's one of those OCD traits in me and it's one I don't mind having. I do stay somewhat organized and make all of the chaos above happen. I may drive my family completely insane in the process but they will manage and I will too!

April 5, 2011

Hues of Blues

Today was a pretty exciting afternoon when it came to my special haven in our house...the master bedroom. As I mentioned in an earlier post we finally got around to having the painters come this weekend to paint our bedroom a beautiful new shade of blue. I honestly can't believe I am admitting that because there was a time in my life where I would have refused to let any of the walls in my house be blue. As a child both of my grandmothers loved the color "Country Blue" and their house was covered from the carpet up in the putrid color. As I have aged a little I find myself picking out certain hues of blue in every aspect of my life....clothes, accessories and decor. Granted, I still *hate* the "Country Blue" color but I do seem to like the other lighter shades. 

We agreed to go against all of our usual paint picks and choose a color that was new for our bedroom and I am so glad we did! I am in LOVE with our new shade of Agave Blue. It's so serene and peaceful...it reminds me of a spa and what girl doesn't love the spa? 

One of my biggest "wants" during this whole new bedroom redecorating phase was to purchase new linens and a comforter set. We have been sleeping on the same two sets of sheets for almost 5 years now and it was time to fold those up and stash them in the linen closet. I loved our old sheets because they were so soft and the thread count was heaven but they had seen their better days. Our duvet comforter has also seen it's share of better days so I wanted something new in that department too. I am kind of over the whole "Duvet" phase because we have 2 covers for ours and it seems like you pay a fortune for something that is really nothing more than two pieces of fabric sewn together (Hmmm, future sewing project??? possibly). Today I was looking at new coverlets and they were $100 and that was without shams or a bed skirt and I just couldn't bring myself to buy one. Call me cheap but it seemed like a huge waste.

I bought a new set of sheets at Wal-Mart this past Saturday and about died when I forked over $70 for 400 thread count Egyptian Cotton sheets but I kept telling myself the old ones did last 5 years so it was worth the money. I couldn't find any coverlet or comforter set there that I fancied so I decided to give Stein Mart a try and I came out a winner!

Stein Mart is usually hit or miss with me and today I hit pretty big when it came to a comforter set. I found an awesome deal on a set that matched our room perfectly and the price was reasonable. It was your  typical "bed in a bag" without the sheets which was fine because those had already been purchased. 

Now I am laying in bed...recouping from a dinner that turned my tummy sour but at least I can feel somewhat better sleeping in my freshly painted bedroom with beautiful new bedding!! 

(Bedroom picture is from Google; not our own goods )

April 2, 2011

Modern Day "I Love Lucy"!


1. Argue about petty and trivial matters

 Usually my blog is about sweet and random ramblings of my life and I  try not to use this form of therapy to complain or rant but I am sort of at a place where I need to vent. I know I am not the only partner in a marriage going through tough times....nobody has the "perfect" marriage and you will drive yourself insane trying to. Lately it seems that Mike and I "bicker" about everything and it's really so petty that it's stupid and I am about sick of it. I would never leave my husband and vice versa; we love each other passionately but lately we can't seem to get on the same page with things --- it's almost like we are speaking two different languages. We could seriously argue bicker about the way one of us drinks water right now...and believe me, he *hates* how I drink a bottle of water! He thinks that I drink it entirely too fast and tells me it's not good for me? I don't know if there is any truth in that or if it's a pet peeve of his. Either way, we have bickered about it. I look at us and it's like episodes from the "I love Lucy" show! Our bickering is nothing big, just little things here and there. I am Lucy always doing something that Ricky isn't going to like or gets annoyed with. 

               We are the modern day "Lucy & Ricky". 

Arguing and bickering seem to be the same thing according to good 'ol Webster but not in my dictionary. Bickering isn't as intense but I do think it's more aggravating than a full blown argument. With an argument you have a "fight" (non-physical), talk it out and move on. Bickering you go round and round and round for months on end about stupid, petty things that really do NOT matter in the grand scheme of things. However, you waste more time and energy on bickering than you do having a fight/argument. 

I think the root of our bickering is not having the chance to get away with each other for a weekend without the kids, house responsibilities, work, etc....in other words we need a VACATION! Stat. We have not been anywhere together alone since our anniversary last year(Jan 2010) and it's been a long year since that getaway! We had a major move and had other major stressful events happen and we kind of put off our yearly vacation with one another because something "always came up". That is something (if I can help it) that we will never.ever.ever do again! Those two days away are like heaven and it takes you both back to a carefree time where you know why you fell in love in the first place. It's something that couples MUST make time for because your soul, relationship and happiness really does need and depend it. 

My parents used to take several "adult only" vacations a year and I would be left at my grandparents house for a long weekend. I hated it growing up because I felt like I was missing all of the fun. I thought that they were horrible parents for always going away without me and I swore I would never do that to my kids. However, now that I have children of my own I know why the did it and why they needed that time together without me. It just took me a very long time to grasp it but I get it now and I do feel it's a necessity in a marriage.

Mike and I are meant for one another. Nobody could love me as much as he does and I don't think he could find someone that loves him more than I do. I think we are just in this funk because we need some "us" time. We need time to look past "Mommy & Daddy" orders from Brody, the typical teenage stuff we get from Victoria, the daily life in the house...we just need a change of pace and scenery for a couple of days. We have a "date night" once a week but we need a "date vacation" soon. Real soon.

I want to stop bickering with my husband and I know he wants the same. We are better than this, our marriage is better than this and we both deserve it. Life is too short to worry about this crap and fuss over it. We are both completely stubborn and hard headed so one of us always wants to be right and annoys the other one. It's completely S.T.U.P.I.D and ignorant for both of us to do and I am putting my foot down and raising my white flag. I give up!!! I surrender. Please stop the bickering!!!

I do feel better after typing my very personal stuff out there but I know I am not alone. Maybe I am just the one who isn't afraid to show my blog followers that I am a real person with real problems. If I didn't have some type of problem I would be concerned....that's not real life. So, starting tonight I am going to stop bickering over the stupid crap. I am going to try to be more understanding when it comes to my husbands choices and wants with things as I hope he can meet me in the middle and do the same. If not, we will both be seeing a Gastro Doctor for ulcers because we are going to give one another one if we haven't already!!! 

At the end of the day I love my husband.