Another Edition of Thursday Thirteen

I attended a Christmas Card addressing party on Wednesday, and my friend Becky asked if I had given any thought to reviving Thursday Thirteen (through the alphabet) during the six months McDaddy will be deployed like I did last time. Actually, I have thought about it, and I’ve decided I probably will do it because 1. it provides a great way to count down the 26 weeks of deployment, and 2. it’s totally random and fun.

And speaking of random and fun, I thought I’d revive it for today and play 13 things I did today –

This one’s for you, Becky.

1.  Filled out Stevie’s birthday invitations – how is it that my sweet son will be in the double digits in just 12 short days? It seems like just yesterday I was whining all sprawled out on a day-bed in our great room whining (in my 4th week of bed-rest! whining) waiting to meet this sweet baby boy whining.

Not that I whined or anything. 

2. Watched Shemar Moore Criminal Minds – Ok, so the truth is I started watching Criminal Minds years ago because of Shemar Moore, but it really is a great show. And it would be with or without Shemar. Don’t you love how I just throw his name around like we’re pals? I just wish they’d bring Gideon back.

3. Cracked myself up when I referred to Apollo and Duke (our dwarf hamsters) as “Brothers of the wheel”.

4. Went to Reeds Jewelers to have my wedding ring cleaned and also to see if this set was a third of the size as it appears in the advertisement they sent to my house today.

On the off-chance there are three of you out there who are looking for something to buy me for Christmas, look no further. I love all three of these pieces, and was surprised to find out that they are almost true to size as pictured. My preference, in order would be, necklace, ring, earrings. Oh, and as it turns out, I got so excited about this set, I totally forgot to have my wedding ring cleaned.

5. Saw this family picture on the JEEP Facebook page. I took a screen shot to show McDaddy – a great idea for a future family Christmas picture. (Photo credit: Sharper Photography)

6. Managed my Facebook yardsale inventory –  y’all, it is a job keeping up with those items and comments and private messages and meeting times. I keep a page in my memos specifically for my FBYS “business”.

7. Visited with my granny – She is my last living grandparent and I enjoyed spending most of the day with her. She asked me if I had any idea what “that whole tweetering thing is all about.” (And in case you’re a Tweeter, you can look me up – I’m JulieatInmates – though I don’t get on there much anymore.)

8. Had dinner at Chilis with friends – and as always, I ordered my usual, chicken crispers with mashed potatoes and corn on the cobb. After making myself half-sick on chips and salsa of course.

9. Moved Louis Hamilton, our Elf on the Shelf – which is really a stupid name, because OUR elf? Well, because he never just sits on a shelf.

This was Louis Hamilton a few days ago spreading the good news.

10. Laughed hysterically when I read this e-mail from a sweet blog reader: You don’t know me, but I have been following your blog for quite some time now… I actually wish you would print a recipe book of the meals you cook (I’m sure you’re laughing about now, but I’m serious) because, like you, I prefer recipes that have 5 or fewer ingredients! – Oh dear goodness. I’ll give you all some time to process that last statement.

Never in a gazillion years would I ever think of writing a COOK book.

Me? A recipe book? Me? The same someone who baked a marble cake for Thanksgiving dinner and thought she got jipped out of the marble because the cake was just plain yellow. I had no idea that marble was in its own separate packet.

Me? A Cookbook?

Such kind words. Thanks Wendy. =)

11. Prepared two breathing treatments for my sweet Alex.

Don’t ask why he has that goofy look on his face, because I have no idea.

12. Ordered Poptropica for the DS. Actually, I ordered two copies because I figured it was worth the extra $25. for each kid to have their own copy, and thought in the long run it might preserve some of my sanity.

13. Got myself in gear to kick off Santa’s Workshop tomorrow – I am prepared for a fun week. It is a lot of work, but the kids love it so much.

What did you do today?

Oh, and it just dawned on me that it’s now after midnight, which also means that it’s Friday now.

I suppose I spent way too much time thinking about the whole Me? and Cookbook? thing.

Another Clever Christmas Letter

If you happen to be on our annual McFamily Christmas card list, this would be a great time for you to click that little red “X” up there in the corner of your screen. Otherwise, you might ruin the mystery and suspense that surrounds our annual Christmas letter when it arrives in your mailbox. 

Either way.

Your decision.

I always feel a sense of relief when our annual Christmas letter is done. I had come *thisclose* to not writing a family Christmas letter this year, but decided that there are at least four of you out there who would have missed it. And even after deciding I would write one, I first offered the job to McDaddy.

I swear I saw him roll his eyes before he simply said, “No.

I thought briefly about asking Stevie if he’d like to write this year’s letter, but I suppose I’ve waited much too late in the holiday season for Chatty McChatterson to compose the letter in a timely fashion. After all, he learned from the very best.

So… without further ado, here is the official 2012 McFamily Christmas letter.

Christmas greetings we send, a brief holiday message to write,
I could finish this much quicker if the kids would not fight.
The perfect little Christmas letter, no doubt would be great
If I don’t get off of Facebook, this letter just might be late.
Our house is often messy, the kids are rarely still,
You see, in this year’s Christmas letter, I’ve decided to keep it real.
These two crazy boys are loud, and they sure love to run,
They have races, play the Wii and build Lego creations for fun.
Alex turned seven this year, and Stevie will be ten,
And for the fourth year in a row, we’re doing cub-scouts again.
First place trophy McDaddy and Stevie took, at the father/son bakeoff
Oh look! The boys are shooting Nerf darts from the railing in the loft.
A busy calendar rules our life, and the laundry is never done,
During little league baseball and basketball seasons, our little family stays on the run.
McDaddy still travels for Honeywell, and does his thing at the Guard.
I miss him most at homework time, because holy cow, 4th grade math is hard.
We received news of an upcoming deployment, we weren’t one bit happy
Six months of separation, that’s depressing and it’s crappy.
We’re in this thing together though, our little band of four,
We’ll call, Skype, and pray our way through, yet another tour.
While running through the house one day, Alex sliced his knee wide open
Six stitches later at the Urgent Care, Yes, for a cool scar he sure is hopin’.
To our 20th high school reunion this summer, McDaddy and I did go
He and I will both be forty next year, say it isn’t so.
Stevie got some braces and we added two little hamsters to our fold
We didn’t camp as much this year, and the minivan, we sold.
Julie is thankful to be a stay-at-home mom, but runs the roads most days,
She is the bookkeeper of the baseball team and screams like a maniac at the games.
It’s almost time to wrap this up, cause shorter is always better,
We’d like to wish you a Merry Christmas before closing out our annual letter.
And in this final line we write, and take this chance to say,
May 2013 be the greatest year, with lots of blessings each and everyday.

Merry Christmas from our home to yours!

This post is linked to Works For Me Wednesday.

What I Learned This Week

The last time I checked in here, I gave you a list of things I was thankful for.

I should have included electricity on that list.

At 8:42 AM on Thanksgiving morning, I woke up to discover that our electric was off.

The turkey had been cooking in the oven since 6:00 AM, and I was flip hoppin’ mad. And, in case you’re wondering, that is one step past hoppin’ mad. Our electric flickers almost daily, but this was different. After making a call to American Electric Power, I did what I do when I don’t know what else to do. I cried. And yes, it was as crazy as it sounds. We were hosting eleven people for dinner and I had no idea how we were going to be able to do it without electric. On top of that, I had just days earlier spent a load of money at SAMS restocking our fridge after the great Halloween snow storm of 2012 knocked out our power for three days which required me to dump the contents of the fridge and freezer.

After deciding we would move the contents of our freezer to my mom and dad’s freezer, and have Thanksgiving dinner at a local restaurant, a power truck was spotted on our road. Thankfully, our power was restored a short eight minutes later.

Poor McDaddy probably thought I had lost my darn mind.

Besides being thankful for electricity, here’s what else I learned this week:

1. I fret more about school projects than the kids do.

2. It is tough to see Apollo and Duke when you switch from white bedding to brown bedding.

3. After writing thirteen annual Christmas letters, it is tough to come up with a unique idea.

4. After searching the internet for Christmas letter ideas, I discovered that an overwhelming majority of people hate Christmas letters.

5. Fancy new appliances make me smile.

5a. I AM OLD.

6. New fangled appliances have all kinds of instructions.

7. It is A JOB keeping up with that Elf on the Shelf every night. A JOB I tell you.

8. Stupid computer viruses make me crazy.

9. It has become necessary for me to keep a running list (complete with reminders!) of things that are important.

10. No matter how old I am, our Christmas tree delights me every single year.

That what I learned this week. Now what did YOU learn?

I’m So Thankful

I have cooked all evening.

Well actually, I have cleaned all evening. For the past several years, it has been a day-before-Thanksgiving-tradition that my parents come over to our house, and we spend the evening preparing a lot of the food for our Thanksgiving feast. Tonight, we made most of the desserts, the turkey, the dressing, the yams (that’s a crazy word!) and a cheeseball. You know, because its not Thanksgiving without a cream-cheese and onion blob rolled in shaved beef. (And yes, it is much better than it sounds.) My job during this process is to keep the dishes washed, and the counters cleaned off. It is a job I take very seriously because I am a fan of the immediate gratification, and the clutterless countertops. My OCD and I jump right in and keep things movingrightalong. It is a system that works very well for us.

And then, once they leave (I’m blessed that they only live about 10 miles away), I prepare the table, sweep the floors, clean the bathroom, and this year, I also cleaned the hamster cage because I couldn’t remember the last time I did so. I am headed to bed here in a bit, but wanted to check in here first and count my blessings.

I am setting the alarm on my iPhone and for the next five minutes I will be sharing the things that I am thankful for as they randomly pop into my head.

Off we go,

my parents
McDaddy’s parents
our home
beautiful sunsets
my girlfriends
the invention of TiVo
travelling with McDaddy on business
my SKY
my twin brothers
mrs. H and miss P (great teachers)
our church
mcdaddy’s family
a good sale
our neighborhood
our health
our medical team that takes such wonderful care of us
my granny
our nieces and nephews
our bed
comfortable shoes
food in our kitchen
the blog
dr pepper
weather people
my little Pioneer class
ice water
clean water
great music
beautiful sunny days
my camera
words with friends
the Bible
hot bath
road trips with the girls
mcdaddy’s job(s)
the off button on the alarm clock

Phew, that was fun!

Happy Thanksgiving from our family to yours!

Christmas Letters

I am one of those people.

And if I’m being honest, I have contemplated not being one of them this year.

As best I can calculate, I’ve been one of them for the past thirteen years. And after thirteen years, I think you have to ask, is it time?

 Is it time to ax the McFamily Christmas letter?

I’ve written poems. I’ve used numbers. I’ve written from Alex’s perspective. I’ve used a multiple choice quiz. I’ve used the Merry Christmas down the side of the page (which has a name, but for the life of me I can’t think of it), and I’ve used the plain letter.

I’ve been thinking about the letter for a couple of weeks, and I feel like I’m stuck in a non-creative and non-humorous rut. If you’re one of those people who send a family letter, or if you are thinking of sending one for the first time this holiday season, here are some helpful hints and ideas to remember when writing your annual Christmas letter.

Oh, and in case you’re wondering, I absolutely love receiving Christmas letters, and cards, and holiday pictures. In the mail. As in the U.S. MAIL. In fact, it’s one of my favorite parts about the Christmas season.

1. Don’t be a Braggy McBraggerson. Seriously, your child is not the next Nobel Peace Prize winner.

2. Stay positive. – A fun, positive letter is so much more enjoyable than the depressing, boring one.

3. Keep it short and sweet. Or at least all on the same side of the paper.

4.  Use big words sparingly. Your friends and family don’t want to hear from an English professor, they want to hear from you.

5. Don’t brag.

6. Proofread the letter twice three times before sending it to print.

7. Pick a font and stick with it. As much as I love fonts, the Christmas letter is not the place to go all crazy with several different ones, or one that is difficult to read.

8. Pictures add so much. So long as they are clear.

9. This is a biggie – DON’T BRAG.

10. Target your audience. Will the general readership be able to understand the content? If your husband is a rocket scientist, you probably shouldn’t go on and on about the aerodynamic characteristics of his aircraft.

Is there even such a thing?

See what I mean?

11. Make stuff up. Sometimes, the best Christmas letters have a little bit of fun sprinkled throughout the madness. Part of the point is asking your readers to figure out which parts are made up.

12. Have fun. – If you had fun writing it, chances are, your readers will enjoy reading it.

I’d love to hear about the best and worst Christmas letter you’ve ever gotten. And if you happen to be on my Christmas card list, would you care to share which one was your favorite. Or least favorite?

Was it the one with MERRY CHRISTMAS down the side?

The one about the FAQ’s?

The one written to the tune of Twas The Night Before Christmas?

The one that Alex wrote?

Or my personal favorite and the one I can’t find right now because it is nowhere to be found on the blog, Our year in numbers?

Aw yes, the year that Stevie swallowed the penny and Alex fell into a cactus.

And what a year it was….

This post is linked to Works For Me Wednesday.

What I Learned This Week

I’ve had a very productive day. In fact, I feel like I’ve conquered the world.

In reality though, all I’ve done was cleaned out every kitchen and bathroom closet and tackled the hall closet. Two bags of trash, plus a garbage bag of donations for the Goodwill, and I fell like I’ve really done something.

I am finally able to relax after swarping for the last four hours, and for the life of me I can’t think of one single thing I’ve learned this week though that probably has something to do with the fact that Valentin Chmerkovskiy is half 99.7% naked on my television right now.

Is that legal?

1. It feels good to organize and minimize clutter. I should do it more often.

2. My sweet Alex is a lot more aggressive on the basketball court this year than he was last year.

3. A tooth can hang by a thread for a long time.

4. I am nowhere near ready for the holidays. I had planned on having my Christmas cards finished by now.

5. The cranberry pecan chicken salad from SAMS is really good.

Well played SAMS sample team, well played.

6. At the rate the retailers are going, Black Friday will start on Tuesday in just a few short years.  Geez. Enough already.

7. A peppermint candy barrel makes a great form for a Chickasaw indian house. Apparently, so does the round “head” part of a straw hat.

8. Facebook Yardsale is my newest obsession. If you have one in your area, you should check it out. It’s sort of like eBay, only quicker and easier.

9. The pumpkin spice candle from Yankee smells much better burning than it does sitting on the shelf.

10. Sometimes the best pictures are the unplanned ones.

Now, what did YOU learn this week?

To join in on the carnival fun, you can click here for complete instructions on how to link up.

Cheap Entertainment and So Much More

I feel like its been a sweet forever since I last posted here on the blog. Sometimes life happens, and it’s necessary to back away from the computer and do some laundry.

Or get caught up on the DVR.


Anyway, during my brief hiatus, here’s whats been happening in this neck of the woods.

1. As PTA treasurer and fundraising chair at Stevie and Alex’s school, I had the job of overseeing the delivery and pick-up of 2,600 tubs of cookie dough on Thursday. Y’all, in case you were wondering, that is a heck of a lot of cookie dough. It’s actually $29,000 worth a whole gymnasium full. God bless the hundreds of parents who worked so hard to peddle massive amounts of cookie dough so that our PTA budget could be met.

2. If I used the word amazing, I would tell you that I had an amazing weekend! (How much you wanna bet McDaddy just rolled his eyes?) Four of my girlfriends and I took a little weekend road trip to the Tanger outlets in Jeffersonville Ohio. We took that place by storm on Saturday, and shopped until we almost dropped. If you’ve ever have the opportunity to spend a night away from home, you know that it takes some major work preparing the family for your absence. It’s a lot of work but totally worth it when you consider the possibility of getting to enjoy a meal – an entire meal – in peace and also have the day off from refereeing one or nineteen arguments.

Between the five of us, we filled the entire back of the Chevy Equinox with stuff.

Anybody with some sense would have moved that Lane Bryant bag to the bottom of the pile before snapping this picture, because when you travel with four skinny friends, it’s obvious whom the Lane Bryant bag belongs to.

(I’m sure hoping I used the right form of who/whom. I still get it confused with the whole he/him rule sometimes. And just for the record, I never ever use the word whom in everyday conversation because that would make me sound like a crazy grammar fanatic.)

It’s also worth noting that I spelled grammar wrong the first time around.

Thank the good Lord for spell-check.

I was absolutely tickled to death to find these at a primitive store and I can’t wait until they join the rest of my snowman collection – which will of course be after Thanksgiving because of McDaddy and his Christmas decor doesn’t come out until after Thanksgiving rule.

3. Stevie’s native American habitat is due today, and nothing makes me happier because we’ve spent a whole big bunch of time fretting over working on it. After seeing pictures of the other fourth grade Indian habitats on Facebook, I’m afraid the McHabitat looks like it belongs in the Chickasaw grass-house ghetto. And yes, I referred to the habitat as ours – because OH MY WORD ANOTHER FAMILY PROJECT! – but honestly, Stevie did most of the work himself. I can’t explain the relief I feel that the thing is due because its been like a black could over my head for the past three weeks. And I know y’all are anxious to see the finished project, but that would require me to get up from the couch, and honestly, I’m under a warm blanket watching Criminal Minds while McDaddy plays in my hair, and well, I just can’t bring myself to move under those circumstances.

4. During a brief break from the cookie dough madness, I had Thanksgiving lunch with Alex last Thursday. This year’s offerings were much tastier than last year’s, but that didn’t much matter because some genius forgot to order the pumpkin pie. Not sure if the lack of pumpkin pie was due to the healthy school lunch initiative, or the pumpkin pie is not in our budget initiative. Either way, I couldn’t help but think of the sad state of affairs and the shape this world’s in when we can no longer offer a small processed piece of pumpkin pie with Thanksgiving school lunch.

It’s unfortunate that you can’t see the turkey on Alex’s hat. It is adorable and he was mighty proud of it. I suppose that’s what happens when you ask a six-year-old to snap a picture. Honestly, I was more concerned that he’d drop my beloved new iPhone 5 in the mashed potatoes than I was with him getting a quality, focused, centered picture for the blog.

5. Can you see that front tooth? In the school lunch picture, it was hanging by a thread. Or a root. Or whatever it is that holds a tooth in your gums. My biggest fear was that it would come out while eating and he’d swallow it. Not so much because he’d have a tooth rolling around in his bony little body, but basically because I knew that such a fate would require me to dig through his poop for seven to ten days until I could verify with certainty that the thing had passed. I also envisioned him getting hit right square in the mouth with a basketball at his game on Sunday, and well, that scenario didn’t play out well in my head either because BLOOD, lots of BLOOD on the high-school gym floor. Thankfully, as we were leaving church yesterday evening, he agreed to let our friend Mitzi put that tooth out of its hanging misery, which in turn put my mind at ease. (Which is no small task, let me assure you.)

She is the best tooth puller I know and I was relieved that he allowed her to pull it.

I know you’re thinking I should have made him put a shirt on before snapping this picture of his first missing tooth, but it didn’t dawn on me at the time. What can I say except that he’s a redneck who sleeps without a shirt on?

And now, he’s a snaggle tooth redneck who sleeps without a shirt on.

But I suppose things could be much worse.

Especially if he had swallowed that tooth instead of pulling it.

And I’ll leave you with that thought and this brutally honest and nasty tip (what are friends for, right?):

If your child accidentally swallows a foreign object that must be retrieved, the best method for retrieval is to purchase a dollar store colander. Scoop the poop from toilet into the colander. Pour VERY HOT water over the poop and wait as the water runs out of the colander and back into the toilet. The VERY HOT water will also break down the poop and provide a clear view of any foreign objects that might surface. Once the crappy job is completed, throw the colander away and give your child a long talk about putting foreign objects in his/her mouth.

I saw it all the time people, this blog is about so much more than just cheap entertainment.

Have a great Monday!

Letters To Crazy People

It’s been way too long since I last wrote letters to crazy people.

Dear Little Old Lady:

You don’t know me. You almost swerved right into the side of my beautiful little chili-pepper red Saturn Sky, but you don’t know me. As you changed lanes yesterday, you did so without looking, or signalling, or paying the first bit of attention. I was the one laying on the horn. I have no idea what the maximum driving age is, but sweet little old lady, I think you might need to check it out. Please, either watch where you’re going, or stay off the road.


The girl in the Saturn Sky that just about had a conronary when you swerved over into her lane just about taking the whole passenger side out without even looking that way.—–

Dear Burger King Big-Wigs,

Our lunch was wonderful last week. There was a bit of a problem with the cinnamon rolls, however. $7.49 for four mini cinnamon rolls? Did you see my eyes pop out of my head?  That’s what my eyes do when I hear something crazy. And $7.49, for those mini cinnamon rolls is straight-up crazy. I didn’t really need those fat rolls anyway.

Yours truly,

An aggravated customer


 Dear Dummy,

You are not capable of hauling five boxes of cookie dough, a Longaberger basket and a purse on a dolly. Unless of course you enjoy dropping the basket, watching the cap bust on a bottle of coca-cola classic and mopping the floor.

You should have known better you klutz,

Yours truly.


Dear third-grade parents,

I would suggest you enjoy this year of school, because I’m telling you, fourth grade is no joke. With a major project every single month, and three to four tests per week, it is something to prepare yourself for. And don’t even get me started on the math homework.


A tired, stressed, fourth grade parent


Dear fourth grade parent,

Indian figurines are difficult to find. Do not expect to find them in Wal-Mart, or the Hobby Shop. Order them online the very minute the assignment comes home.

Take my word for it,

Chickasaw Indian Seeker


Dear AT&T,

On the one hand, you make me crazy with your ridiculous hidden charges each time that I purchase a 30-day data plan for my iPad. Charges that require me to spend half -a-day to get removed. But on the other hand, finding out about your generous trade-in program on old iPhones was a pleasant surprise. I am now the owner of a brand spankin’ new iPhone 5 that I absolutely love!

I can’t thank you enough,

A loyal AT&T Customer


What would your letter to a crazy person say today?

What I Learned This Week


It has been a great day.

Early this morning, my iPhone dinged alerting me that an item I had posted on eBay had sold. It’s been years since I bought or sold anything on eBay, but I heard from a reliable source that things were going well over there. I was tickled to death because the item was my original beloved iPhone 3G. And I sold it for $125.00.

Don’t ask me why. Don’t ask me how.

When I initially posted the 3G on eBay, I also posted the listing on Facebook. A couple of my Facebook friends mentioned that AT&T has a trade-in program as well.

While running errands with the boys today, I stopped in AT&T to inquire about this program. I was shocked to learn my iPhone 4 had a trade-in of $131.

So after thinking about it for 4.2 seconds (and calling McDaddy to get his opinion), I traded that sucker in and met my newest love.

So, needless to say, I learned that shiny old apples are worth more than you think.

I also learned that the ‘restore from backup’ process is much quicker and easier than it was two phones ago.


That’s what I learned this week.

Now, what did YOU learn this week?

For linking instructions, go here.


I woke up to several posts on my Facebook wall thanking McDaddy for his service to our country. I was humbled to think that several of those posts came from blog readers I have never met.

If you knew McDaddy in real life, you would know that recognition or attention is the last thing that he desires. But he is certainly appreciative of each of you who took the time to think of him, and thank him. And I am, too!

Our lovely little church has been planning a Veteran’s Day service for a number of months. I knew it would be the kind of service that would make me regret putting mascara on because I get all emotional and sappy about stuff.

As it turns out, I was right.

I was humbled to escort McDaddy into the service. My mascara lasted approximately 3.4 minutes.

We were seated near a World War II Veteran who worked for months in a 7,000 bed POW hospital.

Two other World War II veterans were honored for their long-standing serving overseas.

Another Veteran was credited (and honored!) for saving a comrade’s life.

I didn’t feel worthy of sharing a pew with these men. They had served for years in foreign countries. Witnessed horrific events. True American heroes.

When McDaddy first told me about this upcoming deployment, I acted like a brat. OHYESIDID.

I slammed stuff. I cried. I said “I TOLD YOU SO.” I questioned. I cried some more, and then I got quiet. It was like I had hopped on a roller-coaster and couldn’t get off.

But here’s the thing; I am so freakin’ proud of McDaddy. And I support him. It’s just that I know how tough these six months are going to be. When the kids go to bed, it is sooo quiet in the house. When I’m cheering for the boys at a ballgame, and I think about McDaddy being alone in a foreign country, it’s almost more than I can bear. He’ll miss holidays. And both of our 40th birthdays. School activities. Important events. You name it. He’ll miss it.

Deployment is not easy. In fact, it was the hardest time of my life. But, when McDaddy took the oath to uphold the constitution, and protect this country against all enemies – foreign and domestic – he meant it.

He meant it with every ounce of his being, because that’s who he is.

And when I took a vow to be his wife, guess what?

I vowed to support him – for better or for worse – in this endeavor.

And I sometimes need reminded of that.

So, as I sat and listened about the sacrifices of these true American heroes, (one received FOUR purple hearts, AND SAVED A LIFE!) a tear ran down my cheek. And when McDaddy presented a World War II Veteran with a plaque and saluted him, I cried the ugly cry because I could tell McDaddy was holding back a tidal wave of emotions.

It was enough to give me the swift kick I needed to get a grip on this thing.

And believe me, I needed one.

I was humbled and honored to participate in the Veteran’s Day service today. Political affiliations and beliefs aside, we are all citizens of this great nation, and we, as responsible adults should be praying for our leaders to make sound decisions, and for every single service member to make it home safely to their families.

And, remember that any day is a great day to thank a Veteran for his service.

There are some pretty special Veterans in my life (my father-in-law, my cousin, and two great uncles) and I’d like to thank them for their brave service and sacrifice. Words could never properly express my gratitude.

And to the most important Veteran in my life, I would like to say that the boys and I love you and support you. We are a team, and we will get through this. The boys are so fortunate to have such a wonderful, selfless example as their most important role model. You are my hero.