Wednesday, April 29, 2009


I have a tendency to smoosh several blog posts into one because I don't blog everyday. I wish I did. I know bloggers that blog nearly every day and I get disappointed when they don't blog. I mean, I'm not doing it but I like knowing what's going on. Maybe I'm nosy. Or maybe the constant bloggers should just take it as a compliment that I like reading their stuff. Anyway, let the smooshing begin.

I think I kind of left everybody hanging a couple of posts ago. I wasn't ready to jump off a bridge or anything I just had to face some things. It's amazing what happens when you do. First of all you might find out even more than you thought you already knew. I'm just going to be vague on that for a while. But if any of us sit down and have some coffee sometime I'd be happy to spill it. The internet is really public. And the second thing is that when you face your fears, really look them in the eye you realize that they're just a vapor. So I've done it and I'm not freaked out anymore by who finds me or what happens. I'm ready to do whatever, whenever.

My hubby has been out of town since Sunday, in Monticello, KY on a business trip (so I'm positive that he's not having any fun, poor guy). I was a bit mopey on Sunday and Monday but yesterday I was able to talk myself out of it and have fun with the kiddos. I'm trying to do a better job of raising the girls purposefully and spend less time just wasting time with this or that. I read a little note on my former voice teacher's web page that was inspirational. Because I really do feel like when I'm spending time with my family I'm often distracted. So yesterday morning Halle and I spent time outside (in our pj's) and she picked lots of "flowers" for me. I know they were weeds but it was so sweet. And then later I took Chloe and Halle to the park and then we planted stuff. Finally. We could have planted earlier, I think but I still remember that freakish freeze we had in April a couple of years ago. So we planted yellow pear tomato seeds and mini carrots. And that was all we had time for. It takes a while to get those teensy little seeds in the ground if you're being careful. That's probably why most people buy plants that are already successful. But I can't afford that. Tomorrow (hopefully the rain will stop) we'll plant pansies (also and edible by the way) and basil and possibly small sugar pumpkins. I'm not sure if it's time to plant those yet. The package says that they're perfect for pies and such- we'll see. I know I didn't have much success with pumpkins last year but I didn't know what kind of pumpkin it was and I'm pretty sure I drowned it. I read online that they need lots and lots of water but they were talking giant pumpkins so I have my fingers crossed. I have quite a few sunflowers growing from last year because birds are messy eaters and they dropped seeds all over the place. Unfortunately they're growing in spots that they can't possibly survive. It's hard for me to pull up plants- which is why I stink at gardening. It kills me to think that I'm taking a living plant and pulling it out of the ground by the roots to let it slowly die from lack of nutrients. I know it's not a person but I still hate it.

Here are my weed flowers from my sweet little Halle. She gets such joy from giving them to me and they actually smell good.

I think they look sweet in a little bud vase in the window. That's one of the reasons I bought these. The other reason was to fill them with cranberries and a white tapered candle for Thanksgiving. But I didn't end up staying here for Thanksgiving. And as a side note- yellow is totally my new color! I have this habit of picking a new color that I'm infatuated with every couple of years. For the last few years it's been turquoise but this year it's yellow. I remember yellow being my color in 7th grade too. I had yellow lipstick ladies! Really. It was the '80's after all.
I decided that I'd try peat pots this year for planting (except for the carrots). I never, ever get the spacing right when I sow a bunch of seeds right into planters so I'm hoping that this will help. The roots of the plants will grow right through these so you can just stick the whole thing into the ground.
Chloe was so excited. She begged and begged to do "some planting". I really hope that I have some success with this stuff. I don't like tomatoes but I'm hoping that yellow pear tomatoes taste better raw than the red ones- blech. And I thought that yellow salsa would be fun. I don't think that anyone would go for yellow pizza sauce though. Crossing my fingers for carrots and pumpkins and basil and pansies. Hopefully at least a few. And Travis is coming home tonight so I'm going to do some marathon house

Monday, April 27, 2009

Catch-Up or Bah-humbug

I pretty much wrote an entirely different post this morning...and then my internet went down and I lost it. I probably don't need to tell you that I have no motivation to re-write it. So here's the run-down.

This is Amanda's birthday brunch. I bought the muffins and quiche but nobody seemed to mind that they weren't homemade.Especially the little ones that are carb-aholics.Manda blew out the candles on a triple layer chocolate cheesecake made by my mom.Here are the previously promised pics of the girls and I in our Easter outfits. Chloe picked out my dress. I don't think I would have picked it but it looked nice on. And it made her *really* happy that I decided to buy that one.Homemade pizza for Manda's birthday. Guess which side is for the grown-ups?And Trav with his little girls. Amanda had to stay home and work.
And thus concludes our tour...maybe I'll get a chance to post a more thoughtful, uninterrupted post tomorrow.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

I Smell the Sound of Sweetness Baking

That's what Travis just said to me. Of course he meant that he smells homemade brownies in the oven. It's upside down nature made me think of things that were already swirling around in my mind though. For one- Facebook. That ultimate time stealer (if you let it) and artificial people finder. Not that I should be too critical, I've found several people that I really care about and have even been able to write some encouraging words to friends that needed it. The problem is that I haven't really wanted to be found. Found by college friends is OK, those were good memories. But I didn't want to be found by people I went to high school with. I don't know about you guys but high school was the most wretched, horrible experience of my life. Well, besides just growing up. I think my life started falling apart in 5th grade. No, I'm not kidding. That was my first experience with friends turning on me and spreading rumors about me. 6th grade was actually better because I went to public school that year and everyone was really nice to me. But I begged to go back to private school because it was all I had known. It just goes to show you that kids really don't know what's best for them.

I moved away from Lakeland. It was really all I could think about during my college years. I didn't want to see or hear from anyone I knew growing up. They knew my mistakes but they didn't know who I was. I wanted to get away from my ex-husband and make sure that Amanda was safe. For those of you that don't know my teenage years went like this- I played every sport imaginable, had my daughter at 17, got married at 18 (to my drug dealing boyfriend that promised he'd changed) and divorced him at 19. My divorce was final 3 days before my 20th birthday. The hearing date went like this- I was in college. Because I was getting divorced my counselor felt that a full load would be too much so I had classes at 11:10, 12:20 & 1:30. So that morning I went to court, got divorced, cried driving down the road, my ex-passed me and laughed at me and I made it to my 11:10 class. That afternoon I went to my job at Wal-Mart. That evening I was sitting in the break room thinking about the day and it felt like I should tell somebody, anybody what happened. But I knew that nobody would care. So I didn't.

In January 1993 was when I really got serious about my relationship with God. I was at youth group and the pastor, Mike Tedder- a man that I will be forever grateful to for so many things- gave an "altar call" and I was the first one out of my seat and up at the front. I threw my hands in the air and said "God I don't have anything left to offer you but my life. Take it and do whatever you want to with it". And it's been that way ever since. The next month God called me to ministry. If your familiar with my (former) denomination at all, you know that a divorced person has no place in ministry. Whether or not there are Biblical grounds. I'm not going into it all but I had all the Biblical grounds I needed. This would prove to be a faith builder my entire college career.

Back to Lakeland. My ex got much, much worse. He was arrested for selling drugs several times and even confessed to a mediator (we were seeing her about a visitation spat) that he was selling crack but in the state of FL that is not enough to terminate visitation rights for a child. I knew that my only option was to play along and wait until he got tired of putting forth the effort to see Amanda. I had to quit acting like anything he did bothered my while simultaneously being the biggest, um, rhymes with witch, that I could. It turns out that I was pretty good at it. But I was also very concerned for her safety. Lakeland felt like a prison and I couldn't wait to leave, burn the bridge and only go back for Christmas. It's funny how bridges get rebuilt without your permission.

Back to Facebook. I've been found by a few people that were peripheral and also by someone that made my life miserable. Oh, plus my ex-husband is "Facebooking" now and is friends with the one that made me miserable. And I have to say that I haven't freaked out. The Lord has given me peace. I should probably add that my husband adopted Amanda on election day 2000. She's been safe for a long time. Actually, she's been safe all along. But I did remember every single reason that I hate Lakeland and never, ever wanted to go back.

Do you ever wish that God would just leave well enough alone? Does every single area of my life have to be completely plowed up so that I have to take a good hard look at it? Can't I just forget that my former life existed and live here? A few thoughts came to me though as I was thinking (maybe, possibly pitching a fit about it) and praying. The first thing is that God wants me to fear nothing. There is nothing that man can do to me. People can gossip and hurt me but I'm different and I have an amazing support system now and God gives us wisdom to deal with things. And maybe those same people have grown up the way that I have. I'm not really giving anybody any credit if I think that after 18 years they aren't any more grown up than they were in high school. And the other thing is this- how will God's glory be displayed if I don't stick around for that to happen? I said this before but they knew what I did but they didn't know who I was. And they certainly don't know who I am. The only way that a person can get from so broken to whole is by Christ. There isn't an amount of counseling that can fix problems so deep that only God can get to it. I believe that the purpose for our moving is for restoration. Restoration for our families, restoration for people that we knew a long time ago, and restoration for people we haven't met yet. Facebook wasn't my issue, being found wasn't my issue- fear is my issue. And we'll face it, God and Travis and Amy. And we'll walk it out together.

This is pretty heavy duty stuff so maybe later I'll post about those brownies. Which coincidentally were pretty heavy duty. Maybe it was the stick and a half of butter.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Late Update...

I didn't even know what to title this post since I've been back home for over a week now but late and update rhyme and for some reason made me giggle so that's that.

Since I got zoo passes for my birthday I was determined to go to the B'ham zoo because they have a reciprocal agreement and I get to go for free- yay! I hadn't been to this zoo since Chloe was a baby and it was nice to be back. Overall I like the Nashville Zoo better but it was still a nice day outdoors and the B'ham zoo has a few things that Nashville doesn't.

Like a train!

On our way in, someone was kind enough to give Chloe and Halle tokens so they could ride. And our engineer was very hammy and really seemed to enjoy the attention and having his picture taken. Which I think is better than a grouchy conductor.They also have flamingos...I love them. And I haven't seen any in a really long time.We also went out to eat on this trip...a lot. I think it's my parents favorite thing to do. At one point they decided they wanted to go to Red Lobster and I very eloquently talked them out of it. I think my exact words were "you people are crazy"! I was really just teasing them but we did already have food ready in a crockpot. I'm just not used to eating out that much, except for Chick-Fil-A. Anyway, it was really nice.
We ended the week with Travis getting into town and he and I took an amazing walk Friday morning. The park we used to go to has an amazing walking trail. It goes through the woods and up and down hills. There was an overlook at one point and we realized we were up higher than the roof of a house. And we had a date at California Pizza Kitchen. I highly recommend it. I've only been twice but I've loved the pizza both times. Last time was a vegetarian pizza with Japanese Eggplant on honey wheat crust- delish! It would have been better with sausage. And this time it was Chipotle Chicken on the same crust- outstanding! Spicy but wonderful. And if you can drink sugary drinks, the peach tea is amazing. Then we headed over to Big Mountain Coffee that I've told you about before. It was a little disappointing. They've changed some things and it wasn't really the same. The coffee was still really good but there was no live music and they've added a TV that was playing Nickelodeon. Bummer. But it was a nice night out for us.

Then we spent Easter there too. Minus Amanda- she had to work. I had actually forgotten that it was Easter so I didn't have any dress clothes to wear. So, of course I had to go shopping. I bought a dress for the first time in four years! It's not that I don't like dresses and I have some skirts but it was nice to be able to buy an actual dress. And earrings (I don't even remember the last time I wore earrings and apparently my ears didn't either because they gave me some trouble) and pumps! Wow! I felt like a real girl. Mom was sweet enough to do Easter baskets, dresses, shoes and hairbows for the girls. A picture, you say? You'd like to see a picture? Well, I'd love to show you one but Blogger is giving me trouble again and I can't really move them around. So maybe with my next post I'll show you a picture. I'm really tempted to try out another blogging site...

Now I'm off to have family night. I think we're going to enjoy this wonderful weather at the park. Fun...

Wednesday, April 15, 2009


It's time. Time to get back into a schedule and leave the days of sleeping in behind. The only problem is I'm so darn tired. I don't really have trouble waking up and really, 6:55 isn't too terribly early. The problem is staying awake after that- blah. But Halle slept until 11 yesterday morning and that means that she's up late (midnight-ish) and I'm up late and Travis goes to bed by himself...not ideal. So I'm trying to get us on a better schedule. Which means I have to drink coffee apparently. There is no way I can stay awake by myself. The other upside is that I have more energy for working out.

I got Halle up at 8:00 and she hardly opened her eyes. I put her on the couch so that I could drink the aforementioned coffee and she said "it's not comforble". So she fell into a crumpled heap in the floor. Very cute but she's foiling my attempt at a schedule. And I'm not staying up until midnight tonight.
Back to the week at my parent's house. The first day we spent mostly at Best Buy. Well, it seemed that way anyway. Thankfully they had a Wii set up for demonstration and the girls and I played Mario Cart. It was really fun; we should get one of those someday.
The next day we spent mostly at Bass Pro Shop. Normally it's not my cup of tea but out of deference to my dad I thought we'd check it out. He usually spends hours sitting on mall benches or taking naps in his car while we shop with my mom so I thought this was a nice compromise. And I actually, really, had a lot of fun. This particular store is enormous (bigger than the one in Nashville) and had an eating area. Dad got the girls ice cream cones and we sat at a table and watched mom and Chloe play checkers and talked for quite a while. We spent longer than we meant to there. And then we headed off to meet my Aunt and Uncle for dinner.

All in all it was a great day and from this point I only had to wait two more days until Travis joined us. He was able to take Friday off thankfully. And he might possibly have been miserable without us...

Monday, April 13, 2009

I Meant to Mention...

that I was leaving for Birmingham for the week. So, hey, guess what? I went to Birmingham for the week. It was really a last minute thing but I decided to spend the last week of Chloe's spring break with my parents (she gets 3). I really needed to get out of town but I didn't want to drive to B'ham all by myself, plus I'd be leaving Travis and Amanda with one vehicle so it wouldn't have worked. So Travis and I met mom and dad about half way between here and there and they took the two little girls and I to their house. It was nice and relaxing. We went lots of places and watched *a lot* of Food Network. Chloe was ecstatic to watch Unwrapped. She shushed us when we talked through Iron Chef America. I'll give you a little peek of what we did now because it takes way too long for my computer to upload photos- darn DSL.

See these sweet tulips Travis got me when I was sick? It was so sweet. He had to work all day, go to the store to buy essentials on his way home and still bought flowers for me.This has nothing to do with spring break but this is the view from my bedroom window this time of year. And this year I can actually see it.Our second day into the trip we took the kids to the mall to ride the carousel.What I really want you to notice though is how long their hair is...Because on day 4 we cut it off. Sigh. Chloe has been begging for a while to have her hair cut off for locks of love. She hates her long hair and cries every single time I brush it. Just before we left for B'ham Travis told me to get it cut before he got there because he figured that he couldn't handle watching it. So here are the Button girls with newly short hair. They both love it and Halle no longer has to throw her hair over her shoulder when she goes potty. Yep, it was *that*long. Chloe's hair seems to not have as much curl and Halle's hair seems a lot thicker and less blonde. But my not cutting their hair won't keep them from growing up, will it?So there's more updating to do and I'll get to it shortly.