A Major Ordeal

This post was originally written on May 5, 2008 when I blogged over on mySpace. I brought it over and parked it here on Inmates. We had just found out about the deployment and it was a very tough time for me. It is even tougher today. I miss you, McDaddy!


It is Saturday afternoon. I am watching the boys run their Thomas the Train engines on McDaddy’s back. It is cold and windy and I am wondering where the warm weather is.
And, how long it takes for robin eggs to hatch?
And, what I should wear to the wedding tonight?
And, what I should wear to McDaddy’s pinning tomorrow?
McDaddy is being promoted from Captain to Major in the Air National Guard in the morning. We will miss church to honor him. He is an awesome husband and father. I am blessed to share his life. He is the kind of guy that does the right thing even when no one is watching.
He is the place I run to when my simple world gets all jumbled up. His hands are the ones I look for when I need to be held. His smile can make all things right when things are going wrong. I am proud that he is my husband.
I am sitting in my bloggy chair (the blue recliner that sits right beside of our bay window), listening to my playlist, trying to post something entertaining. Something of substance. Something of interest.
I cannot dig deep enough to pull something like that out today. I am blessed beyond measure, yet, I am having trouble thinking straight. And, on top of that, McDaddy has asked that I not blog about it yet.
I don’t like being asked that.
Yet, I am a dutiful wife.
And a dutiful wife does not blog about off-limits stuff.
So, while I am one blessed gal,
and we are all healthy,
and we are all happy,
I have this thing.
This thing that I cannot blog about.
This thing that is looming over my head.
This thing that I would like to forget about.
This thing that has me sick to my stomach.
This thing that has left me with so many questions.
This thing that has me running right into his arms.
The same arms that held me when we stood at the altar in 1998 and pledged our lives to each other.
The same arms that held me when I battled depression.
The same arms that held me after the birth of our first child.
The same arms that held me after my grandma died.
The same arms that held me after the birth of our second child.
The same arms that held me after my papa died.
The same arms that hold me every time I need to be held.

The same arms that held me seconds before he boarded the plane to his current destination.
I need those arms.
I depend on those arms.
And, speaking of arms….
I have a right to bear arms.
For that I am thankful.
Thank you Major McDaddy for your service to our family, our country and our God.

I am proud to be your wife!

Just So You Know

Just so you know is a monthly letter I write to my boys.

To: My 2 Sweet Boys

From: Your Mama

Date: February 27, 2009

Re: Just So You Know

Dear Boys:

WOW! February, 2009 will surely go down in the record books as a yucky month thanks to daddy’s deployment. Both of you are handling it very well, although you remind me daily that, “you miss daddy very much.” It breaks my heart but, I am thankful that he is where he is. I love to watch your face light up when you hear him ring in on Skype. (When our internet is working, of course!) I know that daddy misses you guys very much and he can’t wait to be home with us.

Electronic devices such as the Nintendo DS and the Leapfrog Leapster are the hot topic around here these days. It is a struggle for both of you to understand why you can’t just sit around all day, everyday playing those blasted things. I am sorry to say that you will never be permitted to sit and play those all day long. Sorry, it will never happen.

It is so exciting to watch the two of you grow and mature. You are buddies and I enjoy watching you play and interact. I feel so blessed! It is a privilege to be your mommy.


After talking to daddy one evening, you were sitting together watching Monster Jam and fell fast asleep. Stevie was holding the remote. He dropped it right before I took the picture.

Dear Stevie:

You are so excited to turn seven years old. Might I remind you that you have only been six for two months. Your claims that being seven will make you braver, run faster and taller are so sweet. My hope for you is that you are always as happy as you are at this very time in your life. Six is an awesome year and I would like for you to be six for a very long time.

We went to the Monster trucks this month and so your favorite new show to watch is Monster Jam. Your favorite monster trucks are Monster Mutt, Prowler and Destroyer. You and Alex sit and play with these little trucks for hours. I love it when the stars are aligned and all is well is Brotherville.

Everything around here is a race. A race to the potty, a race to brush teeth, a race to get dressed, a race to the garage. It is really very annoying at times, however, one evening this week, I told you both to get ready for bed and to put your pajamas on. I was helping Alex and Papa was helping you. While Alex and I were rushing to finish, I heard you tell Papa that you wanted to let Alex win because he “never gets to win.” You melted my heart sweet boy and I am so proud of you for being considerate of your brother. It makes me smile!!!

You are doing very well in school. I am amazed at how well you are reading – you are a reading machine. Gosh, you are growing up so quickly. I wish I could freeze time. You are an absolute joy Stevie and I am blessed to be your mama.

Love, Mommy


Kindergarten Valentine’s Party – 2009

Dear Alex,

You have two speeds.


And wide open.

You are an endless ball of energy.

First, I want to tell you how proud I am of you for learning to use the potty. You couldn’t care less about the potty chair, the sticker chart or the candy jar, but you are doing great!!! The only other thing I will say is that anyone who knows anything about guns, knows that guns have to be aimed. And I am asking begging pleading for you to PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE aim your gun with a firm grip before you shoot. It will save both of us a lot of headache if you would just work on that. Okaythanks!

You were so excited to go to the Monster trucks this month. You loved every minute of it. Until you fell asleep. =) I have no earthly idea how you were able to sleep through all the racket, but you managed. You missed almost half of the show. But that’s okay. Really, it is. Your favorite monster trucks are Plower (Prowler) and Bulldozer. I love to hear you call Grave Digger the “Saster of Disaster!” You have such a sweet voice. I could listen to you talk all day. (And usually, I do!)

You now know all of your colors, you can count to 10 and you can spell your name. I love to hear you say, “Alex wif a Xth” It is my favorite thing that you say. You LOVE shoes and accessories. You rarely leave the house without your “toy of the day” (which changes daily) and typcially you go to bed holding it too. Your favorite toys are White-wall Lightning McQueen and White-wall Doc. Unfortunately, you lose them all the time. If they are your favorites, I would think you should be able to keep up with them better.

Just sayin’.

You have really shocked me with this deployment. I wasn’t sure you would think a whole lot about daddy being gone. Every single day since daddy left, you say, “I miss my dad and Stevie’s dad very much,” It breaks my heart to hear you say that, sweet boy. I’m so sorry daddy has to be away from us. It is nothing for you to tell complete strangers that “my daddy has a portant job and is on a long trip. We are almost through the first month. Only five more to go….

One morning this week when we dropped Stevie off at school we were leaving his classroom to head back to the car. You told me that you forgot to tell Stevie something. We walked back into Stevie’s room and you said, “I will miss you today, Stevie.” Sweet hallelujah. That thrills my heart. You guys are becoming so thoughtful of one another. I LOVE IT!!!

I suspect daddy will be in awe of your maturity when he returns. You are one cool kid and I love you so much. I love being your mommy!!!

Love, Mama


Stevie’s classroom Valentine’s Party – 2009

Thursday Thirteen – “C” How Easy This Is!

I’ve got 912 things to do today, so let’s get right down to business….

1.  Cake – I am an equal  opportunity cake eater. I like all kinds. Chocolate, Yellow, Betty Crocker, Little Debbie and even lemon cake. Probably my first love. I *puffy bright red heart* cake, especially when it is slathered in icing.

2. Camping – I love  to camp, however, conditions must be perfect (ie: air conditioner, soft bed, toilet for aggravating middle of the night potty trips and shelter from the rain). In other words, I love camping, but ONLY in our camper. Ahem! It is camping none-the-less. We just purchased this camper last year. I lovingly refer to it as our summer home. (McDaddy will notice right away that this is not OUR camper. It happens to be one just like ours that I found on the internet. Apparently, it is easier to post from Google Images than it is from my pictures!).


3. Calendar – Oh internets. I am so picky about my pocket calendar. Anal in fact. If I had the energy and the time I would take a picture of my calendar and post it on here. I don’t like there to be mark-outs on any of the squares so I use a white-out roller thingie. The most important requirement for a calendary is for the month to be dislayed horizontally and not vertically. In other words, just like this one.

Never mind. I felt sure I could go to Google images and find exactly what I was referring to. Funny thing is, I couldn’t.  Just on a whim though I googled “Black sheep in heat” and guess what?

There it was, yet, I couldn’t find an image of a horizontal pocket calendar. What is the world coming to?

4. Camera – I bought McDaddy a camera for Father’s Day which was a newer version of my camera. Somehow, I ended up with the new one. I triple heart this camera. It is VERY easy to use and takes great pictures. Unfortunately, wordpress, or the server, or some other source is now making it very difficult for me to post pictures straight from my picture file. I know have to go to photobucket, upload, blah, blah, blah.


5. Camouflage – Not a big fan of it, but it is certainly a part of my (and McDaddy’s) life. Here are my guys on deployment day.


Sweet hallelujah. After some finagglin’, I got this picture to resize and post properly.

6. Car – I actually drive a minivan but, if I had my choice, I’d drive my favorite car – The Saturn Sky.

7. Capital My high school and the place where McDaddy and I met. Go Cougars!!!! Class of 1992 baby.

8. Crown – Um, hello. I am a princess, you know.

9.  Criminal – Any blog that includes the word “inmates” in its title, couldn’t do a Thursday “C” 13 and not include the word criminal. Sorry, I just had to do it. Here’s where I woked before hanging up my handcuffs to raise my babies.

I loved my job there. I was an inmate counselor and had daily interaction with inmates of all kinds. When I was preganant with Stevie a couple of inmates made bets on the gender of my baby. While walking past my office, one of the inmates asked what I was having and I responded, “Boy,” he punched the inmate behind him and said, “I told you dawg, you owe me 2 packs of noodles.” Fun times! (I totally just used the word dawg on my blogblawg.)

10. Cry – I’ve done a lot of it over the past month. Deployment sucks. It is the hardest thing I’ve ever gone through, esepcially since my 2 boys remind me every! single! day! that they “miss daddy really bad.” Hurry up, August.

11. Conversation – I am gifted in the art of conversation. Just ask anybody.

12. Caffeine – If I were to admit to an addiction, this would be it. I love Dr. Pepper, but will drink coke, pepsi or just about any other caffeinated drink that is available.

13. Chuch – We attend a great one. You can visit our web-site here.

14. Casket – I have very serious opinions about my funeral. I’ve discussed it at length in a post titled Over my dead body. Here’s the casket I like. It’s Solid Mahogany.

Remember, I said solid and mahogany, not pressed and wood.

Yeah, I know this is Thursday 13, but what can I say, I’m an over achiever. I had to add that last one.

Enjoy your Thursday, ya’ll.

(You can find lots more Thursday Thirteen posts here at Happy to be @ Home.)

Sunshine and Snow


I love taking pictures!

So, it’s no wonder I got excited when Beth announced her new blog carnival. It’s called YOU CAPTURE and each week she will issue a photography challenge to her readers. Then, you take a picture, post it on your blog, link to her blog, I Should Be Folding Laundry and visit the other participants. [And of course, leave comments.]

See there.

Fun Times.

And, with a little luck, I’ll learn something about photography in the meantime.

The challenge this week is to take a picture of something you love without using your flash.

I know very little nothing about taking a quality picture without a flash, but I did it anyway.


My favorite thing would typically be my two boys, however, one day last week, I was outside sweeping our driveway and porch which happened to be covered in about 2 inches of snow.  (McDaddy is of course still on his 6-month vacation, so all domestic duties are mine.) I was out sweeping the driveway (I use a broom instead of a shovel) and I said out loud, “Lord, some sun would sure be nice to help melt this snow away.” As if He flipped a switch, the sun shined (or is it shone) right between these tree branches over top of me.

I chuckled and said, “Thanks, God.”

Me and God.

We’re tight like that.

This picture proves it!  There sure is something to be said for natural light.

Now, head over to I Should Be Folding Laundry and check out some more great photos.

I’ve Got You Covered!

It’s Wednesday and that means you get to read about something that works for me.

Last week, I posted about Y it works for me. Shortly after I hit post, a ginormous storm blew through my blog hosting site and this here blog was down for more than 24 hours. It was exasperating! My bloggy home has been moved to a new host server and hopefully this server will be more reliable than the last.

Another move you should be aware of is the hosting location for Works For Me Wednesday from Rocks In My Dryer to We are THAT family.

With all the bloggy business out of the way, we can get down to my business.

When asked my age, my typical response is, “I’m half-way to 70.”  That just seems like a fun response and it doesn’t require me to say thirty-um, five.

Wow! Where did the years ago? Just yesterday [it seems], I was using a Caboodle hairdryer on my brown hair and using way too much RAVE hairspray. After that, I’d rejoice in finding my newest favorite shade of Bonnie Bell foundation. [Did I even need foundation back then?]

Now, at (ahem!) thirty-five, I feel [and look] much older. Some gray hairs have made their way to my neighborhood and the long hours of motherhood and domestic bliss have caused a few wrinkles. A few. Seriously.

Wrinkles that I have tried covering with layers and layers of foundation.My sweet sister-in-law Angie who lives in NH is now selling Arbonne. Every product from Arbonne is pure. safe. and beneficial.  I really had no idea what to order because I had never heard of Arbonne. At her suggestion though, I ordered their virtual illusion primer. It is fantastic. I would say it is amazing, but the arbitrary use of that word would no doubt make McDaddy cringe, so I’ll just use fantastic.

Imagine you are getting ready to paint a wall and the wall is filled with holes. Before painting the wall, you need to fill in the cracks and the holes. You purchase some putty to prep the wall before painting. The virtual illusion primer is the putty. Your face is the wall.

Fantastic I. tell. you!

Totally worth the $32.50 because a little bit of it goes a L-O-N-G way. 

I’m off to putty my wall.

Check out other things that might work for you over at Works For me Wednesday which is now hosted by We are THAT Family!

Sharing The Wealth

It has been an exhausting week.

Between hosting problems, moving-to-a-new-host glitches, internet down time, and a gynocology appointment, I have been hittin’ the blood pressure meds pretty hard.

Oh, I kid.

Seriously though, I’ve got loads of stuff to share, so lets get right to it.

— If your blog is moved from one host to another, it is a safe bet that the move will not be glitch stress-free.

— If your hot husband decides to switch your internet service from Verizon to Suddenlink before his six month vacation in another country, it is best to stick! to! your! guns! and refuse the move.

Yes, as a matter of fact you have read that before. You have read it before because I have written it before. Hear me when I say, I was totally against said move. Our internet has crashed twice in four days.

— If you have Suddenlink internet service and the service crashes, you should, by all means blog about it. And it probably wouldn’t hurt to go ahead and play the deployment card if you have one. Because if you blog about it, a gentleman by the name of Mr. A. who happens to be a big wig Senior Vice President at Suddenlnk will contact you directly to find out exactly what your internet needs and problems are.

— If you receive an e-mail from someone “posing” as a Senior VP for Suddenlink, it is best that you not send an e-mail questioning which of your friends is playing this joke because in all likelihood, it is not a joke.

— Once the verification is received, you will tell everyone.you.know. about your new love for Suddenlink and its VP.

— Oh, and before you get totally swept up in the Suddenlink excitement, you should totally write down Mr. A’s e-mail address on a scrap sheet of paper. You should do this because in the event of your internet crashing four days later, you will be kicking yourself because it never dawned on you that an e-mail address does you no good if you do not have access to your e-mail account.

–And, IF you did have his e-mail address, you remember that you could e-mail him from your new PEEK.

— Suddenlink has the best customer service of any business I’ve ever dealt with. Even though their internet has been random. At best.

— If you find yourself without a baby sitter on the day of your annual exam with your gynecologist, it is probably best to reschedule. If that is not at option, you should, by all means visit the potty with your three year old before getting undressed in the exam room.

If you hear nothing else I say, trust me on this one!

Visit Musings of a Housewife for some other great tips that you probably can’t live without this week.



So, if you’ve spent any amount of time around here, you probably came here in total anticipation of learning something. Things I’ve learned this week will be up shortly. Let’s live on the wild side for a moment.

I am writing this post because I could seriously use a 250. gift card from Target which is sponsored by Barking Mad.

To qualify for the prize, I am tasked with choosing my 10 favorite posts.

Here are my TOP 10…..

10. Potty Fears and Pap Smears.

9. Unleashing my inner Latin freak.

8. Over My Dead Body.

7.  The Split Second.

6.  The Finished Product.

5.  Y are you naked?

4.  Look at that sky.

3.  13 Things that Tick Me Off.

2.  A [grand] Parent

And my favorite post is….

1.  This is how I Roll.

Now, head on over to Barking Mad to read more fabulous posts!

Potty Fears and Pap Smears

Although I could present you with a post about any number of topics, I have decided to put them on a shelf and save them for a rainy day.

Or a snowy day as the case may be.

After all it is February. In West Virginia.

I had my annual annoyance appointment on Friday and it was too good to pass up. Tell me, what better topic is there to discuss than my trip to the gynecologist.

Yes. You heard right.

To my male readersMcDaddy: You can feel free to exit this post at anytime. I will promise though that I won’t go into great detail about the torture tool, the stirrups or the personal events that take place when one must have THAT examined. All I will say is that its pushed, prodded, poked and papped.

I promise that’s all I’ll say about that.

After navigating my way through the parking garage to an elevator, across a cat-walk, onto another elevator, stepping outside onto the sidewalk, going back into the hospital, down a long corridor, through a waiting room, into another elevator, onto the second floor and finally entering the newly decorated office, I found myself even more annoyed than normal because her last office required two easy steps – parking (for free) and entering her office.

There was something in her “we’re separating” letter about “dreaming of an all-female practice,” and “convenient to labor and delivery rooms,” – but what she failed to mention was that I would need to be armed with a map, $3.00 for parking and an extra thirty minutes to get to and from my vehicle.

An organized woman with a strong will and a sharpie could revolutionize that hospital. There HAS GOT TO BE an easier way.

Anywho.  [side note: Did you know there re people who can’t stand that word?]

After arriving twenty minutes late because the hospital only had seven parking spots (which were all reserved for Doctors), the gal at the window informed me that the Doctor would see me in spite of my being late.

Are you freakin’ kidding me?

My mind immediately went to last year’s visit. I waited two hours to be seen by the Doctor only to have the nurse inform me that she would not be able to see me that day because she was delivering a baby. I had to reschedule for the next week.  Which happened to be a huge inconvenience.

So, yeah, I was taken aback by the whole “she will see you in spite of being late” thing.


As I sat in the office trying to get my blood pressure to return to a normal level, I silently prayed that my sweet Alex would cooperate during the exam.

Yes. You heard correctly.

Me + Alex + GYNO Visit = Possible disaster

I had already bribed him with watching a movie in the van on the way home if  he behaved and cooperated.

When it was my turn, the nurse took me back and gave me instructions to strip down. She reported that the Doctor would see me shorty. I stripped down behind the curtain while Alex examined every piece of equipment in the exam room. After wriggling into the hospital gown, I emerged from the curtain and took my spot on the examination table and placed the white sheet over my legs.

Seconds after getting myself situated my sweet Alex looked up at me and said the dreaded words.

“Mommy, I need to go to potty.”

Sweet hallelujah. You have got to be kidding me.

After quickly weighing both options in my mind, I grabbed my pants, pulled them on and threw the sheet around my shoulders. We scurried to the restroom three doors down and made it just in time for Alex to empty his bladder. We rushed back to the exam room without being seen. I pulled off my pants, breathed a sigh of relief and took my spot back on the examination table. I started through the whole “When the Doctor comes in, I need you stay right by my side and hold my hand while the Doctor takes a look at my leg” spill.

We sat there another ten minutes or so while I answered the 419 questions he had about things in the room. He paused, looked up at me again and said, “Mommy, I need to go poo-poo in the potty.”

Oh! My! Word!

Not again.

Yes again.

So, I repeated the pulling on of the pants, the draping of the sheet and we ran down the hallway. I was fearful we would not make it in time. He jumped on the potty, did his business rather quickly and we returned to the exam room.

Thankfully, my Doctor came in before Alex could decide he had more business to conduct in the potty. My Doctor, (who by the way looks like a Barbie Doll) is cute, friendly, and personable. I like her a lot.

As promised I will not delve further into the actual excavation, but, I will say that the conversation during the procedure always amuses me.  Here I am stretched out in all my glory and we’re discussing Lightning McQueen and Mater. And since that conversation was right up Alex’s alley, he stayed right beside of me while the Doctor “checked on my leg.” I could not have  asked for a better child that day.

Pap smears and potty fears.

Welcome to my world!

Walking Along

For the Lord God is a sun and shield: the Lord will give grace and glory: no good thing will He withhold from them that walk uprightly.
Psalm 84:11

I Will Admit….

… that it is cold outside and that makes me frown.
… that I am hard to please at times.
…. that my husband is my best friend.
…. it takes me an insane amount of time to iron because I am not good at it. That’s why I just hang everything on a hanger.
….. that I eat way too much junk food. And, it shows.
…. I like all shades of pink.
…. I love buying a new pocket calendar, but, I am very picky about it.
…. there are times when I don’t answer the phone depending on who’s calling.
….. buying a new purse brings me great joy.
…. that I loved being pregnant, but have no desire to experience it again.
… that I sometimes wonder if my kids will think I was a good mom.
…. I have a touch of OCD.
… a lot of things that people couldn’t care less about are major decisions for me. See previous entry.
…. it makes me mad when people don’t follow the rules.
…. I absolutely hate fever blisters.
…. it’s no wonder I’m on blood pressure medication.
…. I always thought I would have a daughter.
…. I wouldn’t mind adopting a baby girl if I felt the Lord leading me that way. {If she was a good sleeper and could potty train herself :}
…. I spend ridiculous amounts of time on the computer.
…. Lonestar has the best salad in town.
…. that losing my dear friend in a car accident last month has changed my life forever.   
… I love my house.
… this blog is my personal diary.
… being a stay-at-home mom is a sacrifice (of income and career), but, I am blessed to be one.
… breastfeeding was something I never thought I would do.
… I love my in-laws.
…. I wish I was closer to my twin brothers. At times, I feel like an only child.
… I secretly dream about the Saturn Sky when I am driving around town in my mini-van.
… Grey’s Anatomy has the best writing of any show on TV.
…. my husband is the most amazing man on the planet.
… there are times when I wonder what people think of me.
…. us finding that place has changed our life.
…. I love to hear from old friends. (Which is why I spend ridciculous amounts of time on facebook and mySpace.)
…. I miss the jail and my co-workers.
…. I love the way he looks in that orange shirt and orange hat.
…. I love a guy in a do-rag.
…. that deloyment sucks!
…. I am a blessed girl.