Snake, Rattle and Roll

It’s another wild day in the life of me,
Which means it’s also another crazy post.
One day last week, I did something new
It was a day with those I love most.

It was another fun day with friends and our Jeep,
Before we left, I packed us a big lunch.
As we drove to the woods where we’d spend most of our day,
I thought about how much I loved this crazy bunch.

We spent the day driving through dark green woods,
And some rocks and then, the creek,
I decided to do my best today,
To not act like a scared, crazy freak.

As we drove along the road on our way,
There was a truck stopped just ahead,
Why were they blocking and stopped in the road?
And then we saw it lying there, almost dead.

They had stopped to take care of this,
And I jumped out to get a closer look,
Yes, I almost peed down my leg,
When its head moved toward my foot.

Somehow the thing was still moving,
Despite the rock to the head,
According to some they move till sundown
And then, they’re really dead.

Less than an hour later,
Something bizarre took place,
If you have a squeamish stomach
You might want to turn your face.

Something I never thought I’d do,
And no, this one is not fake.
The fellas had beheaded it earlier,
How did I end up holding a rattlesnake?

In forty years, I had never seen one,
But within an hour, I seen two,
Even without a head, it still moved
I squealed and yelled to my crew.

Not many of our group held it,
I guess I can understand why
Still can’t believe I held that thing,
And didn’t kill over and die.

This is one Jeep outing I won’t forget
I’m crazy for goodness’ sake,
And you guys will probably always remember,
The one where Princess Julie held the snake.

Have a great Monday, y’all!

Not Topless This Time!

It has rained on and off for several days. Last night, Stevie’s game was called in the fifth inning due to lightning and we high-tailed it to the car just before the sky opened up and dumped torrential rains down on us. I was thankful that we made it home without incident because at times, the visibility was bad.

It rained on and off throughout the night. And then again, throughout the afternoon. I was sure that Alex’s baseball game would get cancelled, but with the exception of sprinkling just a teeny tiny bit, the rain stopped early in the evening. The temperature was perfect and it was a glorious evening.

I absolutely love being at the ball field. During games, I am typically in the dugout because I am the bookkeeper for Stevie’s team. Because All-Stars is a totally different ball game (see what I did there?) I get to sit in the stands, and visit with the other moms while we watch the game.

After the game was over, I was in a big way of talking (something my Granny always says when she’s in the middle of a story) laughing with some parents when my foot sank into a deep mud hole.

I knew I was going down.

.3 seconds later, my butt and right leg were buried in three inches of muddy water.

My butt cheek was bruised.

And, so was my ego.

Stevie said, “Man, I wish we could’ve gotten that on video for You Tube.”

Punk.

The ground was wet and soggy and so was I. My Crocs flip-flops did little to help the situation. I couldn’t get up because my wet feet kept sliding in my flip-flops. And there was no reason to get up because I knew there was a 98.4% chance that I would fall again.

The only thing to do was crawl out.

And laugh.

Dang, what a klutz.

As my wet feet sloshed in my wet flip-flops on the way to the car, I tried to figure out what the best course of action would be for the one minute ride home. The thought of hopping into the Jeep in these muddy ‘draws’ was more than I could bear. I knew what I had to do.

And for the first time in, well, ever… I went bottomless in the Jeep instead of topless.

Enjoy that thought and your Thursday!

What I Learned This Week

It’s Tuesday, and that means it’s time for another award-winning edition of What I Learned This Week.

Except I’ve never really won any awards. (But, there’s always a chance, right?)

Here’s what I learned this week.

1. Drew Carey is a minority owner of the Major League Soccer team Seattle Sounders.

2. No matter how many times I go Jeepin’ with McDaddy, this type of situation always make me cringe.

3. It is possible for a dancer on Dancing With The Stars to bring me to tears. Amy Purdy is a true inspiration. (And Derek Hough is a talented choreographer, too!)

4. When you wear these shoes on a Jeep ride, you will stick out like a SORE FRIGGIN’ THUMB.

 5. A good song makes me HAPPY.

6. Blue pants and a green jacket makes me all kinds of crazy.

7. Dinner at a Japanese restaurant is so much fun, especially when watching two young boys who have never experienced it before.

8. When you are working hard to lose weight, it will be easy to pass on a 280 calorie Little Debbie Brownie when you consider that it will take 47 minutes on the Recumbent bike to work it off.

9. Beavis and Butthead were actually the same person (voice).

10. Even after owning it for almost two years, I am still so excited to own a Saturn Sky!

That’s what I learned this week.

Now, what did YOU learn?

To join in on the What I Learned This Week carnival, simply follow these steps.

1. Any time this week, publish your What I Learned This Week post on your blog and link to this post.

2. Link up with the Mr. Linky form down below. Please put the link to your POST, not the front page of your blog.

3. Then visit the other participants and see what they learned this week.

Alrightythen. Ready, Set, GO!



Another Water Crisis

I had a great weekend.

On Friday, we accompanied my friend, Linda and her son after school and saw the Lego movie. I am not a huge fan of kid’s movies, but in my opinion, this was a really good one. We saw it in 3D and the boys loved it!

Then, on Saturday, we loaded up and headed out into the woods for an afternoon of off-roading.

We hadn’t been in the woods since we attended the Jeep Jamboree in October, so when his friend, Brian asked if he’d want to go Jeepin on Saturday, of course McDaddy was ready. Now, if you’ve spent any time at all around here, you may recall that it has snowed almost every day for the past month. If you’re like me, it might have dawned on you that perhaps Jeepin in the dead of winter on snow-covered roads might not be the best idea.

But, we went anyway.

It was so calm in the woods, on the snow, that I remarked to McDaddy that it was a snooze-fest.

We stopped for a photo-op and then for a short lunch (in the snow) before continuing on the trail.

When we started up again, I had a horrible headache and felt sick to my stomach. It’s possible that my turkey sandwich hadn’t had adequate time to digest before we hopped right back in the Jeep. As I fought with my stomach to keep that sandwich down, I sat back in my seat, closed my eyes and might have dozed off for a few seconds.

Next thing I knew the Jeep came to an abrupt stop and I opened my eyes to discover that we were door deep in a huge mud pit.

And no, we were not able to get out of it.

After dealing with the West Virginia water crisis the past month, the absolute last place I want to be is stuck in a big pool of muddy water.

Here’s a close-up of my right arm through the passenger side window.

Have I mentioned I am sick of this weather? And our water situation? Just look at those huge chunks of ice.

According to McDaddy, he realized it was a mud hole but he didn’t realize just how deep it was.

Dear Lord, help me.

My heart palpitated. Tears ran down my eyes. And I prayed.

Within minutes, McDaddy and Brian hooked a winch on to the Jeep and we were pulled out of this nonsense.

I don’t remember much more about the day because I was busy trying to get my heart rate back to an acceptable level. But here are more pictures from that day.

We also got stuck in this, too.

The result of LOTS of snow and RIDICULOUSLY cold temps, over the past month.

Even with the drama surrounding our mud-diving incident, it was a fun day with my fellas and our friends.

 

 

On Turning 40

I spent the day reflecting on my forty years of life while I cleaned and cleaned and cleaned some more. It was a snow day for our school district so the boys were home too. They enjoyed half of the day before I made them clean their rooms.

I have been dreading this day for many months. Maybe even an entire year.

FOR.

TEE.

It even sounds OLD.

And weird.

I’m not sure why this has hit me so hard. I’m not really *that* kind of person. Age has never mattered to me before this BIG one. Plus, I don’t think I look that old, despite the appearance of that stubborn wrinkle between my eyes that refuses to go away whether I’m smiling or frowning, and the gray discoloration in my hair.

As I spent the day cleaning out and organizing most of my cabinets, I began to reflect on my forty years of life. I received a text today from a friend asking for prayer for her dear friend who is fighting pancreatic cancer. I found out on Sunday that my 40-something neighbor is in an ICU bed fighting for her life. If that isn’t enough to snap you out of your funk, I don’t know what is. I decided that instead of dreading this rite of passage – this 40th birthday – I should count my blessings and thank my lucky stars that I am alive, well, healthy and loved.

I have led a charmed life. I have seen and done things that most people only dream about. I don’t say that in a prideful way. Rather, I mean simply, that I have been blessed beyond measure throughout my life.

I grew up in a loving home. We weren’t rich, but we didn’t want for much, either. I had a beautiful lavender-gingham bedroom with a big, canopy bed. I have fond memories of sledding on inner tubes on snowy days, twirling my baton on our front walk for HOURS, and Sunday dinners gathered around our family table. My twin brothers and I were taught that honesty, respect, and hard-work are more important than material possessions, and my mom always told me you never do wrong and get by with it – words that I find myself telling my own kids today. I enjoyed playing school or office on our back porch and every Christmas was magical and memorable. I thought those were the best years of my life.

I met the man of my dreams in high school, even though it took me a couple of years to figure that out. We dated all through college and I could hardly wait to marry him. I worked my way through college and attended graduate school. If I had written a thesis I would have received a Master’s Degree in Criminal Justice and Counseling. That is probably the biggest regret of my life. Still, at this stage in life I have no desire to go back or finish. Our college years were busy and fun, and I remember McDaddy and I would often hop in the car on the weekends and take a day road trip to Virginia or Kentucky. I thought those were the best years of my life.

After we were married I entered the workforce. I enjoyed the craziness in jail. I enjoyed my job. And I appreciated doing a job that I really enjoyed doing. During this time, McDaddy and I travelled the world – having visited ten countries – romantic places like London, Paris, Switzerland and Rome – and we’ve been to 36 states. (Just last month in fact, he took me to New York City to celebrate my 40th birthday.)

Back then, McDaddy and I were foot-loose and fancy-free. If we wanted to go on a trip, we packed up, and we went. I thought those were the best years of my life.


After trading in a career for motherhood I realized that I had it all wrong. These children – these two human beings that I helped to create – arehealthy and beautiful and wonderful. Realizing that this is the most important job I would ever do, I prayed that I would get this thing right. There are days that I lose my temper. There are days that I feel like I have lost [what’s left of] my mind. There are days I feel like a complete failure and I go to bed knowing that tomorrow is a new day. I am not a model mother. But I try to give it my best every day of every year. I have so much to be thankful for.

I am not a perfect wife. I am not always the best friend. I am certainly not the best Christian. I am impatient. I have strong beliefs and opinions, and often times my mouth beats my brain off the starting line. God has been so good to me, even though I fail Him often. His grace and His mercy is something I will never understand.

And that, my friends, is something you can’t put a price on.

I am loved by so many people. I have wonderful parents, a husband who adores me, children who are healthy, and friends I could call on any hour of the day.

Who cares that I am FORTY years old? These are the best years of my life after all, and I don’t want to waste another second dreading it.

So here’s to my F-O-R-T-I-E-S.

May they truly be the best years of my life.

What I Learned This Week

It’s been a crazy busy few days. Over the weekend, McDaddy and I attended a Jeep Jamboree in Williamsburg, Kentucky (so yes, there are some lessons from the Jeep Trail) and I spent most of today unpacking and doing laundry.

And now this week, I’m in full-on Halloween/Alex’s birthday party/Alex’s class Halloween party week. Back in 2005, my OB Doctor called to say that I was pregnant with a big baby and did I want to go ahead and schedule my C-Section? I excitedly picked November 1st because me and my OCD like nice round numbers.

November 1st – as in, the day after Halloween. November 1st – as in, the first week of the month, which means McDaddy always has drill that weekend. November 1st – as in, always the same week as the school Halloween parties.

And every year at this time, I kick myself for my lack of forethought.

But just like Gloria Gaynor, I will survive.

Here’s what I learned this week:

1. According to a fella on the Jeep Jamboree trail, you can never have too much fan.

2. When you’re on the Jeep trail and you have to use the “restroom,” remember, it’s women on the right, and men on the left. WHY? Because women are always right.

3. If you’re wheelin’ with other “Jeep Peeps” it is important to ALWAYS keep the Jeep behind you in sight at all times.

4. When your Blackberry begins to recite the Bible to you, and you are unable to SHUT THE BLACKBERRY UP, it might have you to wondering, What is the Lord trying to tell me?

5. According to McDaddy it is tough to get white road-paint off of a chili-pepper red Saturn Sky. YIKES, Y’ALL.

6. There is at least one fella working the customer service desk at Kohls that has no business servicing customers. *coughEUGENEcough*

7. The staff at our local Chick-fil-a goes above and beyond every single time I am in there. Most recently, the young guy working the dining room accompanied my mom (who uses a wheelchair) and I to the car with an umbrella in the pouring rain. I have never experienced service quite like this in any other restaurant, ever. And today I called to tell them so.

8. The battery in the SKY key-fob is deader than 4 o’clock. I don’t really know what that means, it’s just something I say all the time.

9. The battery in my beloved iPhone 5 is on my LAST NERVE. I might suck at math but last time I checked 20% was equivalent to 1/5.  Twenty percent should not equal dead.

That’s what I learned this week.

Now, what did YOU learn?

To join in on the What I Learned This Week carnival, simply follow these steps.

1. Any time this week, publish your What I Learned This Week post on your blog and link to this post.

2. Link up with the Mr. Linky form down below. Please put the link to your POST, not the front page of your blog.

3. Then visit the other participants and see what they learned this week.

Alrightythen. Ready, Set, GO!



It’s All Good. Or Something Like That.

I had a wonderful weekend with McDaddy and our friends, Brian and Kelley. We attended a Jeep Jamboree in Williamsburg, Kentucky, which means we spent two action-packed days in the Jeep crawling over rocks, and plowing through mud holes.

There were 180 Jeeps representing 25 states and Canada.

The good news is: We did not end up COVERED IN MUD as we did last year.

Hallelujah and Amen.

Instead, we kept our top (the JEEP top, I mean) and doors ON, AND, we proceeded very slowly through the mud holes.

The bad news is: The shirt that I wore on Saturday (which is also the same shirt I was wearing during the crazy mud splattering episode) still shows some signs of the mud which shouldn’t be a surprise considering how it looked last year.

The good news is: I actually had a REALLY good time and remained calm throughout the entire weekend, even when McDaddy was barreling up a group of rocks that in my opinion we had no business barreling up.

The bad news is: McDaddy scared the ever-livin-daylights out of me when he walked out onto this rock that was every bit as dangerous as it looks.

The good news is: This guy put new tires and a three-inch lift on the JEEP before the Jamboree which means that climbing rocks and clearing stuff was much easier than it would have been three weeks ago.

The bad news is: This guy put new tires and a three-inch lift on the JEEP before the Jamboree which means I can barely get up in the thing now.

You know what?

I love him anyway.

The good news is: We saw some fantastic views on our trail ride on Friday.

The bad news is: According to a local, the fall foliage is about two weeks behind in turning so most of the trees were still green.

Still?

A beautiful weekend in the hills of Kentucky and Tennessee.

How did you spend your weekend?

Because I Like To Ramble

Let the record reflect that as of 4:19 PM, I am totally CAUGHT UP on the laundry. And yes, that announcement is blog worthy. It is blog worthy because that is something that rarely ever happens around here.

And, as luck would have it, as of 7:24 PM, it was no longer true.

You know its been a boring day when I start out talking about the laundry.

But, MY WORD, did I mention that I got new front-loaders on black Friday?  I love them because they are beautiful and quiet and oh HAPPY DAY I can do a week’s worth of laundry in three loads.

You should totally picture me doing the cabbage patch right now.

In other news, I spent the day running around town in this.

Isn’t she lovely?

Unfortunately, it wasn’t anywhere near warm enough to drop the top. As a general rule, it must be at least 70 degrees before I’ll do that. I missed that mark by a long shot today.

I’m telling you, folks.

We brought the SKY home in June. Seven months later, it is still so hard for me to believe that this sucker is mine. Everytime I walk out to get into it, I think to myself, holy cow, this is my SKY. In just a few days McDaddy will wash it, maybe wax it, and tuck it away in his parent’s garage for the winter. I will miss having it around but I’ll be glad to have my Jeep in the garage for those below freezing mornings that require me to scrape the stinkin’ windshield, and trod up the driveway to start the car so it will be warmed up before I take the kids to school.

I went with my granny to the Doctor today. I was amused by the Doctor’s shoes. So much so that I snapped an incognito picture.

I know, I’m a dork. But I think you’ll agree that those boats shoes are straight-up strange.

And speaking of shoes, is it time for these yet?

Because I am totally ready to slide my feet into these and go.

We are eighteen days into January. We have had ONE big snow this winter (well, actually it was in October) and I am already tired of the West Virginia cold weather.

I hate to be cold, and right now I’m sitting on my big, blue, bloggy couch wrapped up in a fleece blanket, and wishing I was on a beach somewhere warm.

Have a great weekend, y’all!

What I Learned This Week – Jeep Edition

As you might imagine, I learned a great deal during our Jeep Jamboree weekend. And on the off chance that any of you ever attend a Jeep Jamboree weekend, here are some things you might want to know.

1. If you put your top down before the trail ride, be prepared to clean for hours days to remove the stink mud.

2. Or better yet, DO NOT PUT YOUR TOP DOWN FOR ANY REASON on the trail ride.

3. Leave your good camera at home.

4. Don’t wear anything that you don’t want ruined.

5. If you do decide to put your top down, you might consider taking a tarp to cover the contents of the JEEP.

6. DO NOT PUT YOUR TOP DOWN FOR ANY REASON.

7. Do not wear bright white new-ish tennis shoes.

8. Flip-flops probably aren’t a great idea, either.

9. Bottled drinks are better than canned drinks because 1) they won’t splash out when you’re on the trails, and 2) when they are empty the last little bit won’t spill out into the trash bag.

10. Pack plenty of toilet paper.

11. And speaking of toilet paper… men to the left, women to the right. Why? Because women are ALWAYS right!

12. Don’t just pack the bug spray. USE IT! 

13. When driving in deep water, GO VERY SLOW. Especially if your top is down.

14. DO NOT PUT YOUR TOP DOWN FOR ANY REASON on the trail ride.

15. Pack a change or ‘draws’.

16. Be sure to take your stupid blood pressure pill.

17. If you have an Incipio audio cord in your vehicle, remove it for the day and use a normal iPhone car charger. Otherwise you will be hitting pause or turning off your stereo each time you plug your phone in to charge.

18. Avoid the trees.

19. Read the FAQ’s on the Jeep Jamboree site before the trip.

20. DO NOT PUT YOUR TOP DOWN FOR ANY REASON on the trail ride.

Now, what did YOU learn this week?

1. Any time this week, publish your What I Learned This Week post on your blog.

2. Within that post, please mention the What I Learned This Week carnival and link to this post.

3. Then link up with the Mr. Linky’s form down below.

4. Please only link if you have written a What I Learned This Week post. And please link directly to the carnival post, not the main page of your blog.

5. Visit other linkers, read, learn, and comment, because comments are fun!