Designing My Mudroom

For more than a year, McDaddy and I have been making plans to turn our fifth bedroom into a mudroom. The room is off of the garage, but when we moved into our home, there was no door connecting the room to the garage because apparently the people who owned the house before us were crazy people who didn’t feel a need for the garage to be accessible from inside the house.

It took about fourteen minutes after closing on our home for McDaddy to decide that the first project up in here would be to cut a hole in the basement wall and put a door in.

And that’s precisely what he did.

So, the fifth bedroom – as it was listed on the house description – became a fifth bedroom with garage access. In addition to the room being more useful (because now McDaddy could get to the basement bathroom from the garage) the room became a catch-all because aside from walking through the room from the garage, we rarely spent any amount time in there.

Then, I started spending time on Pinterest.

And I saw all these beautiful mudrooms.

And the proverbial wheels started turning.

And like I do every time I get a wild hair up my you-know-what I began my mudroom campaign talking to McDaddy about turning the big, handy room off of the garage into a mudroom.

I started a Pinterest board called Designing My Mudroom and I started pinning like a crazy person.

Have I mentioned how much I love Pinterest?

Soon after that, I asked my dad if it would be possible to build a wall-unit and I showed him several pictures of units I pinned to my DMM Board, and explained how I’d like more shelves because OH MY WORD WE HAVE LOTS OF JUNK.

If I had any sense, I would have taken a picture of the drawing my dad made based on the description I gave him, because it was impressive. 

Soon after deciding to remodel the room, we started to shop for flooring. We settled on wood-grain foam flooring, and ordered it soon after that. That flooring is in boxes in our basement and I can’t tell you how excited I am to get the floor installed. But that’s another story for another day.


My dad’s friend, Frank has a workshop. The two of them spent several days working to get the wood cut and prepared.


And you can imagine my excitement as I watched the wall unit starting to come together.

That’s Frank on the left and my Daddy on the right.

And here’s my daddy attaching the hooks that will eventually hold our jackets. (HI DAD!)


Do you see all that fancy chair rail on top of the unit?

That was all my dad. I assumed that it would just be a flat board on top because it is so close to the ceiling. I never dreamed he would make it so fancy, but OH MY HEAVENLY DAY, I LOVE IT!

Nor did I have any idea that he and Frank would make the shelves on the sides adjustable, BUT SWEET HALLELUJAH I LOVE OPTIONS!

You can imagine my excitement when I walked into the room to see this.

I plan to use scrapbook stickers to put our names on each of our shoe bins. Additionally, I have asked my friend Jill to make a denim cushion for the area just above the shoe bins. And as bad as I straight-up HATE to wait, I. MUST. WAIT. because Jill is busy making a Halloween costume for her daughter.

And speaking of WAITING.

I won’t be waiting long before telling McDaddy to GET THESE FRIGGIN’ JEEP TIRES OUT OF THE ROOM, so we can clear out the room and get the new flooring down.

I’ll share the pictures just as soon as we get the floor done.

Stay tuned….

Totally Random Nonsense

It is with regret that I announce that I shot my wad on the SLIMpossible diet today.

While at the hospital for most of the day, I found myself with about six minutes to scarf down some “lunch”. I made a quick trip to the hospital snack bar and settled on a bag of Doritos and a chocolate pudding parfait, which I could not pass up because, HAVE YOU EVER HAD ONE? And, in a moment of weakness, I swallowed four thin mints, almost whole.

On an unrelated note, who named those suckers THIN mints anyway? I realize they are THIN, but that’s the last thing anyone who eats them is going to be. (Especially when you eat an entire sleeve. * Not that I’ve ever done that! *

In my defense though, I did come home and spend an hour with Leslie Sansone in an attempt to work that parfait and the Doritos and those four measly 160 calorie THIN mints off.

For weeks (or maybe it’s been months at this point) my kitchen counter has looked like this because the screen on that pretty pink laptop decided to quit working.

Only, I did move the monitor and keyboard over toward the wall to clear up half the counter.

But alas, I am pleased to report that tonight I am no longer sitting on that HARD bar stool. Instead, I am blogging from the comfort of my big, blue, bloggy couch with a brand spankin’ new laptop with a screen that works.


And Amen.

My tailbone thanks you, McDaddy.

And I do, too!

I heard bad news today.

I mean REALLY bad news.

I haven’t been able to think about much else since I heard the news.

Can you believe that my beloved Maksim Chremkovskiy will not be on this season of Dancing With The Stars?

That makes me nine kinds of unhappy.

But seeing these at the hospital today sure made me smile.

Yes, those are tennis shoes.

The nurse wearing them explained that they are specially designed tennis shoes (called Z-Coils) for people with a bad back. I think they are super cool and really, I MEAN REALLY wanted to ask her if I could try them on. But instead, I just snapped a picture all secret-squirrel right in the middle of the E-R.

She bought them on a Canadian website and they were $240. And before you ask, for once I wasn’t the one asking nosy questions. My dad happened to be in the E-R with me and his nose is way bigger than mine! (Hi Dad!) He was asking her all kinds of questions.

[On an unrelated note: Since receiving a tablet for Christmas, my daddy has joined the ranks with LBF’s all over the nation. And you can bet the farm it is killing him not knowing what the heck an LBF is.

I do not suffer from back, joint or foot pain (but remember I still have butt pain from sitting on that hard bar stool!), still, I really want a pair of those shoes. They are cool and from what I understand very comfortable. Not to mention I am finding, at the ripe age of 39, that comfort trumps cute every. single. time.

Oh, and on the off-chance that the fine folks from Z-Coil end up here at From Inmates To Playdates, Inc., you should know that I would LOVE an opportunity to work with you on a review/giveaway promotion. Just have your people call my people and we’ll set something up!

And just like THAT, I realize the time on my laptop is an hour off.


Crazy random posts work for me!

In a line, in the rain, waiting for nothing.

I’m sitting on the love-seat next to McDaddy. I am writing today’s blog post and he appears to be looking at a forum, probably something to do with automotives. Desperate Housewives is a bust because it is a rerun from a few weeks back which is an aggravation. I put the smack down on Housewives about ten minutes in and now we are watching Sarah Palin’s Alaska. Because we usually watch shows on the DVR, we rarely watch the opening credits. I was surprised to hear Third Day singing the theme song for the Palin show.

It’s been a crazy couple of days around the McResidence

On Thanksgiving morning, my friend Jill asked if I’d like to go with her later that evening to the Toys-R-Us. I love to be out and about amongst the crazies, so I was all over the invitation. We arrived at Toys-R-Us around 9 PM to find hundreds of people already lined up. Fortunately, there wasn’t one thing in the ad that I absolutely had to have, so I was laughing and enjoying the time with my girlfriends. Just as we approached the door, it started to rain. There I was, standing in a line, in the rain, waiting for nothing. We got some awesome deals in spite of the crowd and the rain. After arriving home at midnight, I grabbed a bowl of Reese puffs [OHMYWORD, I love those!] and took my sleepy self to bed.

Four hours later, at O’Dark Thirty on black [cold, wet] Friday, I rolled out of bed and got dressed. It was 35 friggin degrees [I hate the cold] AND, it was raining. Less than ideal circumstances for a shopping extravaganza, I headed out with my parents, armed with ads and a coca-cola classic. We braved the elements and the crazies and then headed to iHop to rehash it all. After I had all I could take, I headed home and slept for several hours.

Then. THEN. I drug my sluggish self off of the couch and with the help of the three sweet people that occupy this house with me, got every single bit of my Christmas stuff out and up (there is a difference) and as I type this, I am watching our gorgeous nine-foot Vienna Pine rotate. You cannot imagine my excitement. McDaddy even went way above and beyond his holiday decorating responsibilities by installing a new receptacle just so I could put our second tree where I wanted it. I love this time of year, even though we have two birthdays, a boat load of Christmas celebrations, family stuff, basketball, Santa’s Workshop, PTA, shopping, church activities, dinners, and wrapping to take care of.

Whew, I’m tired just typing all of that.

I’m gearing up for a busy December.

You Capture – Togetherness

Nothing makes me happier than being with my fellas, so, I was pretty excited when I heard that this week’s challenge would be togetherness.

McDaddy and I are pretty fortunate that our boys get along very well (most days) and when Stevie is at school, Alex is like a lost ball in a field of weeds. He bugs the crap out of me asking what time it is counts down the minutes until his favorite playmate will be home to play superheroes and Wii with him.

We visited a small amusement park on Saturday and they had a wonderful time defeating enemies, giggling, and riding “big rides.” This was a fun week.

Even my mama and daddy had fun at the park.

And speaking of togetherness, I followed these two fellers out the road on my way home from the gym yesterday.

Togetherness at its finest.

For more You Capture posts visit I Should Be Folding Laundry.

Not Me And Not My Quirks.

Are you feeling guilty because you forgot your child’s dentist appointment?

Have you ever been overcome with embarrassment because your child made a grand announcement in a public restroom that “you stink when you use the potty?”

If so, then you are in the perfect place for Not Me! Monday. A blog carnival that was “created out of a desire to admit some imperfections and reveal a few moments you would rather forget”.

It seems my life was full of Not Me! Monday imperfections this weekend while we were camping with several families from our church.

For instance, it wasn’t me who stood perfectly still for the better part of 30 minutes with camera aimed and ready during a lightning storm with hopes of getting the perfect picture.

Unsuccessfully, I might add.

Well, I probably wasn’t perfectly still because the words me and perfectly and still could never be good friends. But, you get my drift, right?

It’s also not me who misplaced that same camera making it impossible to share the cool pictures I did get of the sky and the rainbow because me? I never lose stuff.

It most certainly wasn’t me who considered herself to be “roughing it” at the campground because my precious iPhone wasn’t able to perform in 3G mode therefore making it impossible to play Words With Friends for most of the weekend.

I did not make another one of these cakes for the third time in as many weeks. I also didn’t eat any of it.

There’s no way I decided to skip out on the laundry today, opting instead to write tomorrow’s blog post because I am not lazy. Nor am I a procrastinator.

I would never roll my eyes when reading that someone excepts something when really they should accept it.

What can I say? I’m full or quirks. Pet peeve alert, people.

It is not me who has killed more than her share of ants over the past month and who still found herself killing ants in the camper this past weekend.

Where in the heck do they come from, anyway?

And finally, it isn’t me who completely forgot to write a father’s day post before going on our camping trip this past weekend so that it would automatically post on Father’s Day. McDaddy is a great father and is totally worthy of his own personal blog post.

And so is this guy. My own daddy, Jimmy.

For more Not Me! Monday posts, head over to MckMama‘s place.

Thursday Thirteen – Thirteen Things [and folks] I’m Thankful For!

What better day to tell you thirteen things I’m thankful for than today on this Thanksgiving holiday.

I love Thanksgiving. I have fond memories of waking up very early on Thanksgiving morning to the smell of turkey and pumpkin pie baking in the oven. And, no Thanksgiving is complete without the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.  So, yes, I will watch it even today. I will watch it while I dig through the pile of advertising debris as I plot my course for the black Friday shopping extraganza. Yes, I am one of thosepeople. I will rise at O Dark Thirty to hit Kohls, Target, Wal-Mart and probably Sears in search of bargains that likes of which we only see once a year. I’ll be lucky to come away with my sanity. But I’d be lying if I said I didn’t enjoy the hubbub. I’ll let you know how that goes.

Now, back to thirteen things I am thankful for, in no particular order. When I say no particular order, I mean just that. It is more a matter of how they popped into my head as opposed to order of importance.

1. My three fellas – This one is a given, but certainly worth mentioning right off the bat. These fellers are the light of my life. (And yes, we do say fellers around here!)


2. Our Home – With so many people losing their homes these days, I sure am thankful for our home and the joy that fills it.


3.  SLEEP – Sweet mercy, this probably sounds silly, but believe me when I say that I am certainly thankful for sleep. The boys rarely crawl into bed with us anymore and it is glorious to wake up at 6:40am when the alarm clock goes off instead of 3:40am when someone needs to be fed or changed. [Not sure why this picture is so small or how it will look once its posted!]


4. The Blog – The fact that The Blog made the short list of things I’m thankful for will probably leave some of you shaking your head. The fact is that I really enjoy blogging and people love me here. So, its a great place to come and blow off steam or just say hi!  I have also met a lot of people who I consider to be URL Friends (the opposite of IRL – In real life friends). [Hey, remember that princess?]


5. The United States of America –  I have to say that deployment, coupled with our trip to Guantanamo Bay left a lasting impression on me. I will NEVER EVER AS LONG AS I LIVE look at the American flag without thinking about the honor, sacrifice, and courage of the thousands of soldiers stationed all over the world.


6.  My Parental Units – I am thankful that I have my parents and that they live close-by. I had a great childhood with two loving parents.


7.  The In-Law Siblings – When I married McDaddy I gained a truck-load of in-laws because he is the oldest of five children. His two sisters and two brothers (and their spouses) are also our friends. I am thankful most especially for four great sisters-in-law!


8. Deployment Is Over – I am so, so, thankful that we are done with deployment. This time last year we were preparing for deployment. We filled out a will, a power of attorney, and all the other stuff that comes with your husband being out of the country for six-months. I am THANKFUL to have him back at home!


9 . My In-Laws– I LOVE my in-laws. They are living in Florida where my FIL is serving on active duty and I miss them terribly. And I’m not just saying that because my sweet MIL, Jean  reads From Inmates To Playdates daily. She is one of my biggest bloggy fans and frequently makes references to my book. The book that she wants me to write. Someday. If the opportunity were to present itself. Not at all sure what I’d write about. I’m guessing it would be filled with crazy, crazy, and well, more crazy. [Keep in mind that it was a hot August day when McDaddy returned home. My hair kept its flip for all of three minutes in the humidity.]


10.  Our Church – The Lord sent us to our sweet, little church about two months before we were married. We have been worshipping there ever since. Most of our friends are from our church. I have no doubt that I could call any of them at any hour of the day and they would drop what they were doing to come to our rescue. I am thankful for the love I feel when I enter the church doors. I look forward to going to church for each service.


11. My new job– Okay, so its not a new job. Its a job that I’ve been privileged to hold since 2003. While there are days that I miss the craziness that happened in jail, I am so appreciative that I’m the one who is there everyday with my boys. When they are sick it’s me who holds them, when they want to make lego chapels, it’s me who gets to help them design it, when they want to play outside on the swingset, its me who gets to sit and listen to them make big plans about pretend repairs and super jumps off of the swings. I am thankful for the chance to be home with them every day.


12. My twin brothers – While I am not as close to my twin-brothers as I would like to be, I am so thankful they are my brothers.


13. A tie between my TiVo and my iPhone – I know this probably sounds silly! These two little gadgets make my life easier and happier. They save me time and just make my world a better place.

That’s all.

Happy Thanksgiving, y’all!

Not A Creature Was Stirring Except For The Mouse

Before we left for our two-week vacation in New Hampshire, I thought it would be a good idea to wash my kitchen cabinets and counter tops off. I was armed with Clorox Kitchen cleaner, a magic eraser, and motivation. The latter always makes a job like that more thrilling.

As I was wiping, swiping and repeating, I noticed something peculiar in our snack basket.

The giant Hershey bar given to my boys at a recent Doctor visit had gnaw marks on it that were NOT the gnaw marks of a human.

Oh snap.

My mind started to race and I immediately dumped everything that was in the basket into the trash.

And then it dawned on me that a stinky, nasty mouse had been in one of my beloved Longaberger baskets.

Sweet mercy. It was all I could do to breathe.

I threw away most everything in my kitchen and refrigerator that day.

Then, I remembered that a mouse had been in my Longaberger snack basket and I went from grossed out to furious.

I might have murmured something like, “Oh no, he didn’t”  as if somehow I knew our pesky intruder was a male.

Doesn’t this rodent know I have a majorette rifle beside my bed?

A majorette rifle that I AM NOT afraid to use.

Even on a six-inch mouse.

Barbaric? Yes, maybe. But totally true.

Did I mention the mouse was in my Longaberger basket?

I continued on with my cleaning and silently thanked God that I had not seen the varmint with my own eyes.

Because I probably would have squealed so loud the thing would have a heart attack right in my kitchen.

Fast forward to last Sunday evening.

In preparation of having my carpets cleaned the following morning, I was clearing out all of the ‘sitting around on the floor’ stuff and I noticed a hole in one of our bedroom walls just above the baseboard. It was a little larger than a dime.

Seriously, it was the size a little larger than a dime BUT, there was three little mouse droppings black something or other on the carpet just in front of the hole.


When McDaddy left for this six-month deployment, I formulated a plan in my head to protect my children in the event that an unwelcome visitor was found in my home without permission or an invitation. Basically the plan was 1) Grab majorette rifle, 2) Bust intruder upside the head as hard as I could, and 3) Scream like a crazy person.

I was sure it would work.

I could picture these rats this mouse and all of his buddies partying like rock stars at all hours of the night, IN MY HOME MIND YOU, while me and my sweet boys slept the night away in our beds. I thought about my fail-proof plan and then immediately called for my dad to COME OVER RIGHT AWAY AND SET TRAPS TO GET RID OF THIS RAT!

He came armed with two traps and just like that he had the suckers in place and ready for the trapping kill.

Remember, I do not play when it comes to rodents in my house.

After a lengthy conversation with my boys about how and why the mouse traps are needed and why they should not touch them no matter what, I was questioned about their friends Mickey Mouse and Jerry the Mouse.

As I type this, one of the traps is sitting on my kitchen counter JUST INCHES FROM one of my beloved Longaberger baskets and the other is just outside of the dime-size hole in the wall.

I tried to explain to my daddy, that I have first-hand knowlege that this intruder prefers chocolate (we’d probably get along great if he wasn’t a mouse!), so I’m not certain the cheese will do the trick. What I do know is that I will never again leave a giant-size hershey bar in the snack basket because the mice? They love some Hersheys.

And I will make for darn sure that the majorette rifle is beside of my bed for easy access, you know, for protection.

I’m hoping the mouse trap and the cheese will work for me!

Stay Tuned….

And be sure to visit We Are THAT family for more things that might work for you.

McDaddy and My Daddy

Today is Father’s Day. Fathers everywhere will be honored and celebrated.

When I married McDaddy, I married him for the kind, gentle, loving person that I knew he was. What I didn’t know at that time is that he would be the best daddy our boys could want. He is so patient and loving.

I am so sad that he cannot be with us so that we could honor him, celebrate him and love him.

McDaddy, we miss you so much and we can’t wait until you are back home where you belong!

 And, I am also blessed with the best daddy a girl could ask for. I am sad that we are away from him on Father’s Day. We went to dinner on Thursday before we left to come to New Hampshire. And, that evening he made two batches of his fabulous ‘No Bake’ cookies for me to bring along. I just enjoyed one before I sat down to this post. I am thankful for my daddy!

Happy Father’s Day to the two special men in my life!

Thursday Thirteen – The Letter S

Last night I crossed another thing off of my “things I want to do sometime” list.

It was quite an evening and one I will never forget. Unfortunately, today is Thursday and I know that my loyal blog fans are looking forward to reading all about the letter “S.” So, I’ll save that post for another day and proceed through the alphabet.

You may recall that I began my Thursday Thirteen Alphabet Edition a few weeks before McDaddy left for his 6-month deployment. If all goes as planned, McDaddy should be returning home around the time we get to the letter “Z.”

I’ll quit rambling (something I excel at!) and get started.

1. SUMMER – Here at the McResidence, we are enjoying our summer. It sure  would be nice to see a little more sunshine though.

2. SONG – There is a song on KLOVE by Jimmy Needhem called Forgiven and Loved. It is my new favorite song right now. I also like “There Will Be A Day” by the wonderfully talented Jeremy Camp.

3. SLEEP – I never seem to get enough. Between the iPhone, the TiVo, the facebook and my friend aDell, I stay up way later than necessary.

4. SALE – Few things excite me quite like a good sale. A 50% off in front of the word is even better.

5. SCARECROW – I love scarecrows. Fall is my favorite season and I have lots of scarecrows. I picked this guy up at a craft fair at our lovely little church.

6. SHAMU – The day after Christmas, the McFamily took a vacation to Disney. We spent one day at Sea World because they were offering free admission for military families. I am always amazed by this guy.

7. SHOES – I counted 45 pairs of shoes in my closet. I found these cute shoes at the JC Penney outlet in Columbus, Ohio. They are not the least bit comfortable.

Here is my favorite shoe. I was never a big fan of the tennis shoes until I found these suckers. May I introduce you to the Nike Air Zoom Hot Shot.


8. SKI – McDaddy loves to ski. Each year, we get together for a ski trip. The guys ski and the gals stay in with the kids, scrapbook and relax. This year, McDaddy and I watched as Stevie had his first ski lesson. After a three-hour lesson, Stevie accompanied McDaddy on the bunny slopes and a couple harder ones.

9. SOLDIER –My favorite soldier. My Hubby. My hero. McDaddy.

10. SPAGHETTI –My favorite meal is spaghetti. My top 3 favorite spaghettis are Olive Garden, my mama’s, my mother-in-laws. (Hi Jean, you made my blog!)

11. SUITCASE – I am currently packing my suitcase for a trip to New Hampshire to see McDaddy’s sister, Angie and her family. Oh, AND. Angie is pregnant with a baby girl. Baby Anna will be the 12th grandbaby in our family. I am praying that Baby Anna makes her debut while we are there.

12. SALAD DRESSING – I love salad BUT I will only eat it if I have salad dressing. My first choice for salad dressing would be blue cheese. Eating a salad without dressing is unheard of.

13. SWITZERLAND – McDaddy and I had the privilege to tour Europe in 2000. We visited Lucerne, Switzerland during that vacation. It was one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen. Here’s a shot of me and McDaddy at Mt. Pilatus.

I’m not sure why this pic is so small. Hopefully, you can clearly see that I am wearing capri pants and not pegged pants.

Happy Thursday, Ya’ll!

Can you believe I left the Saturn Sky off of my Thursday Thirteen list?

Nah, me neither.

Thursday Thirteen – The Letter N

It’s Thursday and I’d be lying if I said this post is getting my full attention.

The truth is I’m watching American Idol – The Results, and I’m hoping like heck my boys, Danny and Kris make it to the finals. It will be a long shot given The Screecher and his fine following, but I am hopeful.

I have a lot to do tomorrow so I thought it best to get this done. I’m doing what I do best.


So, without further ado – The Letter N.

1. NEW ORLEANS – Me, McDaddy and our boys spent two weeks in LaPlace, Louisiana. McDaddy was on official business for his job and me and the boys were able to tag along. While we were there, I asked McDaddy take me down Bourbon Street. It was a whole nother world.

2. NIKE – I have mentioned my favorite shoes on the old blog several times. If you are looking for the most comfortable shoe on the planet, I would suggest the Nike Air Zoom Hot Shots.

3. NATIONAL GUARD – McDaddy has devoted 18 years of his life to the National Guard. Here he is pictured with our boys on Deployment Day, January 30, 2009.

4. NO-BAKE COOKIES – My daddy makes the best no-bake cookies in the world. I like to eat them while they are still warm and chewy.

5. NAG – I may or may not do this every now and again.

6. NEPHEW– There are 2 nephews on my side of the family and 4 nephews on McDaddy’s side. We are surely blessed!

7. NEW YEAR – This is me and McDaddy on New Year’s Eve. [I miss you McDaddy!!!]

8. NOVEMBER – McDaddy’s birth month and Alex’s birth month.

[Holy crap, Adam is showing the weather lady in San Diego how he applies his guy liner]

9. NEVER – As in, I’ll NEVER see this waistline again. (9th Grade – 1988)

10. NIECE –There are 5 neices on McDaddy’s side and one more due in July, 2009. McDaddy is the oldest of five and there are 11 grandbabies and one more on the way, all under the age of six. And probably another one soon after that at the rate we’re going.

[Kris just made it into the finals!]

11. NEW HAMPSHIRE – McDaddy’s sister lives in New Hampshire – here we are in NH at Hampton Beach.

[Here we go….. SHOOT SHOOT SHOOT. Danny got the boot! DANGGIT! Bye bye, Danny. I’ll miss you! Aw, they are showing pictures of his wife. I can’t wait to hear your album!!!]

12. Nightmare– If I had been with McDaddy when he found this snake at his deployment locale yesterday, I would most certainly, without a doubt be having nightmares. [That just happens to be an 11 foot Boa.]

I’ll give you a second to get that image out of your head.


13. Nighttime – It is 12:24am. Must. go. to. bed.

Good night, all!

Forget I showed you the snake, mkay.