summer bucket list.

I haven’t had a summer off in years. Really, it’s been a long time.

I think the school system kinda sets us up for failure. I’m serious. Follow me here. You go to school for what, like 13 years or something, and you get incredibly accustomed to starting a new year in August, and daydreaming of June, when you’d be on break for two whole months. And then, you go to college, and you get extra long breaks, in the summer AND the winter.
And then you get a job. And BAM. It’s NOTHING like that. No summer breaks. No winter breaks. Just work. It’s really cruel, you know.
Anyway, back in the days when I had a job, I’d sit at my desk and dream of having a summer off. I had beach pictures posted all over my desk. I’d stare out the window and imagine what my friends and family were doing (most of them work in education). I secretly hated them, and I hoped that it rained every single day and ruined their summers. I’m a baby like that. And then once I made up my mind to get my teaching certificate, I would daydream of what that first summer off would be like. 
And here I am. My first summer off. This isn’t exactly what I pictured. Because, you know, in order to have a summer off, that means you would have to have like a job first, which, as of now, I don’t. So this is my first summer unemployed. Wow. That doesn’t sound nearly as glamorous.
Anyway, I’ve determined to make the most of this summer off. In between sending out resumes like it’s my business and praying for a job, I’ve compiled a list of things I want to do this summer. I shall call this my summer bucket list. I’ve seen some other gals do this around the web, and I thought it was a neat idea to keep a record of what I wanted to do this summer. So, without further ado, my summer bucket list:
Summer 2012 Bucket List
1. Take PB to a water park (we actually did that today).
2. Make PW’s blackberry cobbler. We have a gazillion blackberry bushes around the house.
3. Go fishing as many times as we can.
4. Go to the beach.
PB at the beach last year. He looks like a little groundhog.
5. Teach PB to catch lightenin’ bugs.
6. Eat from our garden daily.
7. Lose 5 pounds. Haha. Yea. I can’t even keep a straight face as I type that.
8. Fall asleep on the couch one night while watching ‘Fresh Prince’ reruns. 
Back in the days when my little bald boy would sleep peacefully.
9. Sleep in till 8:45. Side note: why does my son wake up at the butt crack of dawn every morning?
10. Drink more water.
11. Have a water balloon fight with my boys. 
12. Finish at least 2 pieces of furniture. At the moment, I have 5 pieces of furniture waiting to be refinished, and I cannot get motivated.
Part of a kitchen cupboard I’m working on, and have been working on for a year. Sigh.
13. Go yardsaling. And poundsaling, as much as I can.
14. Make a table. I’ve been eyeing a few Ana White plans. And I’ve been playing with my miter saw for a while now. I’ve been stocking up on some needed tools, and I’m ready to get my first furniture build under my belt!
15. Take PB to a carnival/amusement park.
16. Take my mamaw to the social club dance. There were alot of older, single men there!
17. Go to the dentist. Gah. I hate to go to the dentist.
18. Have a picnic with my boys.
19. Take PB to a football practice with Ben.
20. Go to a weeknight movie.
21. Gain those 5 pounds back by eating my weight in chocolate ice cream.
22. Find a JOB.
23. Read 3 books in the Bible. Currently, I’m in Matthew. I’d like to finish that, and read at least 2 more.
24. Simplify and declutter. I’ve actually been doing this for a few weeks. Ben and I cleaned out our closet a few weeks ago and took out 5 big bags of clothes that didn’t fit or we didn’t wear. I didn’t know we owned so many clothes!
25. Slow down and enjoy these sweet days with my boys. They’ll be gone before I know it.
What about you guys? Do you have a summer bucket list? Plans for the summer? Things you’d like to accomplish/see/do? 
Have a blessed Wednesday 🙂
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desperate measures.

Desperate times call for desperate measures, y’all.

I’m sure I’ve told you about our little old house before. It’s really old, really small, and was in really bad condition before we moved in. We gutted the entire house, and basically rebuilt it from the inside out. This is my favorite picture of our house, circa a long, long time ago:

Yep.

We live here.

Anyway, the big problem with the house was the rotten wood. Termites had taken over and practically destroyed every piece of wood. There were a couple of reasons for this. Most of the wood wasn’t salt treated. And the biggest problem was that the house was practically built on the ground, so the wood stayed damp and wet, and created a exotic paradise for the termites. That’s a nice little visual for you.

mid-remodel

We remodeled the house piece by piece, and actually moved in before we were finished with the outside. We eventually got a new roof, and some new siding, but never got any guttering.

So our semi-newly remodeled house sat, without guttering, for 3 years. And this is a really big deal if your house has termites. The lack of guttering was keeping the house moist. Rainwater was pooling at the base of our house and keeping the house damp. We spent lots of time and money working with the bug guy to get rid of the termites. He said he could only do so much to help us, because unless we got guttering, it would only be a temporary fix.

We wanted to get our house guttered, too. We’d wanted to get it guttered for 3 years for pete’s sake! We had people come and look at it, give us estimates, and promised us the sun, moon, and stars. But nobody ever came. Seriously, we started harassing people to come put gutters on our house. We called. We left messages. We begged and pleaded. But no one ever showed up. And those who showed interest were going to charge us an arm and a leg. And quite frankly, I wanted to keep both arms and legs, so we passed.

And you know what we just did, y’all?

We done gone and put gutterin’ on our house.

Yep. All by ourselves.

One day last week we got fed up. We were tired of spending money on termite junk, and tired of people never showing up, so we hopped on Google and got to work. We googled anything and everything about guttering. We watched videos. We took notes.

And then we went to work.

junk in the yard. caution, idiots at work!

To save even more money, we used the old, bent up guttering that was originally on the house. It was pretty beat up, so we spent some time pounding out the dents.

We measured, and cut, and measured, and cut. And then used some pretty impressive tools.

It took us three days (during nap times mostly) and some extra hands from Ben’s buddy, Gio, but we did it. And once we finished, we realized why nobody wanted to mess with it. Our house, as sweet as it may be, is a crooked as a politician. Nothing is level. The roof slants downhill, and then uphill. It was a mess trying to get the correct slope for a good drain.

But at the end of the day, we did it. It ain’t pretty, and it ain’t fancy, but it works. It drains and it keeps the water away from the house and that’s all that matters. And the best part about it is that we did it by ourselves. And this is coming from two people who know nothing about house-fixing-upping. Seriously, I was so pumped. We sprayed water on the roof and when it drained correctly, you would have thought we won the lottery.

We ended up saving a good deal of money in the long run, too. We’re talking at least $200-300 by doing it ourselves, and another $500 or so by reusing our old guttering. And by the way, I would totally post a step-by-step, how-to, except I really have no idea how we did it. Have you ever did something like that before? Get something done and not remember how you did it? Or drive from point A to point B and pull into the parking lot of point B and not have a clue how you got there, and panic, wondering if you ran any stop signs or hit any pedestrians? Anybody? Just me? Ok.

So, friends, the moral of this story is that if you are cheap enough, driven enough, and know how operate Google, you can do just about anything you dang well please!

Have you guys tackled any DIY projects lately? Any that seemed really intimidating? Anything you should’ve left to the pros?

Have a blessed Tuesday 🙂

vbs recap.

We had Vacation Bible School around these parts last week. We had such an awesome time. I love to see the excitement in the kids’ faces. I hope they never lose that joy and willingness to share the love of Christ with others.

You know, I guess somewhere along the way, I lost that excitement to share Jesus with others. I guess I worried too much about what people would think of me. And that’s what I love about kids. You ask them about Jesus, and they’ll tell you all they know. They’ll sing praise and dance to praise songs without any cares. I think I’m going to strive to be a little more like a kid in my love for Christ.

Our theme this year was based on Firefighters and fighting the fire of sin. We didn’t order any kits, so it was all DIY. My friend Kelli and I taught the ‘baby’ class (0-3 years). Oh my gosh. Talk about a workout!   I came home every night just pooped. It was so much fun, but totally exhausting at the same time. Taking care of one kiddo is hard enough for me, but add on 11 more, and WOW.

 We had the local fire department send a truck down for the kids to see.

And in true kid fashion, they chanted “spray us, spray us”, until the firefighters obliged and got the kids soakin’ wet. I could totally see myself doing that 15 years ago. Today, not so much. I’m a water weenie.

On the last night, we had a ‘carnival’ for the kids, complete with a ‘pie in the face’ game, in which Ben proudly took part of.

We had games and treats for the kids. We rented a big inflatable firetruck for the kids to jump in as well. I may or may not have came down to church a little early, before all the kiddos got there, and jumped until I got dizzy (which didn’t take long).

By the last night, I was completely drained. My energy was gone, and I started getting whiney. It’s so easy to get wrapped up in ourselves. Too often, I forget my priorities and I don’t focus on WHY I am doing this or that. The answer should be to glorify and honor Christ, who died for me. Instead, I get consumed with the details and lose focus of my man, JC.

I see this with everything I do in life. I’ve often heard people say, ‘if Christ is not in it, it’s not worth it’. I’m trying to make more of an effort to seek God in everything I do. It helps me to forget about all of the tiny details, and instead focus on my Savior. I think I had a wakeup call at the end of Bible School last week. I was tired and felt unorganized, and instead of remembering that I was doing it all for God’s glory, I chose to whine and complain about it. It made it less enjoyable for me when I lost sight of what I was doing.

How do you keep your heart and mind focused on what really matters?

Have a blessed Tuesday 🙂

‘pishin’

I love, love, love to fish. It’s probably one of my top 3 things to do in my free time. Free time. Haha.

Anyway, we took PB on his first fishing trip this weekend. My parents took him a couple of weekends ago, but he wasn’t feeling well and didn’t really enjoy it. so I don’t count that as his ‘first’. I was a little disheartened. I was hoping that he would really like it. As he gets older and into his teen years, he probably won’t have much in common with his ole’ mom. I was hoping fishing would be something that we could do together, even as I get less ‘cool’ in his eyes.
I’m pretty sure we’ll be hanging out, fishin’ together for a long time.
He really liked it! He has his own little Spiderman pole. We threw it in for him, and he caught a fish! Of course, we had to reel it in for him, but he was pretty pumped. He kept saying, “wow, pish, pish, pish”. 
Of course fishing held his attention for all of 5 minutes, but that’s pretty good for my mile-a-minute boy. He ran around the whole time, and would always come and touch a ‘pish’ whenever I caught one. 
I can see that this will be the start of many fishing trips with my little fella……as long as he doesn’t catch more than me.
Have a blessed Monday 🙂

an ungraceful mom.

I came across an article the other day (and don’t you know I can’t remember where in the world it was) that talked about having kids. I mean reallllly having kids. It was so brutally honest. Not much fluff or political correctness, just real, true life with kids.

The girl that wrote it really needs a high-five. She talked about the need for moms to be totally honest about life with kids. Not to hide behind a smile and pretend that everything is fine, or that you’ve got it together. Just to be honest. If more people were real about motherhood, we’d all probably feel a little more normal (or at least I would).

So.

I don’t have it all together. In fact, I’m not quite sure I’ve had ‘it’ together since PB was born.

And some days, I want to lock myself in the bathroom and sit in silence.

And some days, like when he throws a fit in Target, I get so frustrated that I want to cry and throw a bigger fit.

And sometimes, I want to sit on the couch and watch 30 uninterrupted minutes of a TV show, while eating a bowl of ice cream without sharing it. Yea. I said that.

And sometimes, I want to go to a restaurant without having to scarf down my food in 2.1 seconds.

Am I alone?

Motherhood is not for wussies. It is such a strange bird.



Why, yes, that IS my son, sans diaper, in his Elmo pajamas, after he escaped off the porch as we were trying to dress him for church.

No one can make me want to scream at the top of my lungs like my son. And no one in this world can make me more happy than my son. 

Sometimes, I feel so unnatural with motherhood. I love my son more than anything in this world. He really is the center of my life. But a lot of times, I feel like a failure. I feel uncoordinated, and ungraceful. Even with PB at 1 1/2 years old, there are still some days when I feel like I can barely hold my head above water. And I’ve only got one kid!

We went to a new church when we visited Ben’s mom last week. PB lasted about 10 minutes in the service before he was laying in the floor, whining, and trying to crawl under the seats. Literally two seats down from us sat a kid who looked close to PB’s age, and he didn’t move the entire time we were there. He sat in his own seat, and watched the preacher on the stage. Ugh.

I couldn’t help but wonder what was wrong with me. I started to get hot. My face was getting red. Beads of sweat started popping up. I felt like everyone in the crowded church was staring at me, wondering what kind of hellion I was raising.

I wasn’t holding it together. Any mother in the room could clearly see my frustration. I was literally pouring the sweat, trying to climb under the seats to grab my kid. I managed to grab his foot, and I literally dragged him out from beneath the seat, kicking and screaming.

Nobody told me about this. Sure, people said parenting is a hard job, but even when they said that, they said it with a smile on their face. And what’s worse, is that I can’t mask it. I can’t smile or gracefully pull  my child from the floor of the church. I’m the mom whose dress is tucked in her underwear, mascara is running down her face, and bangs are glued to her forehead, while she’s dragging her kicking, screaming son by one leg out from under the church pew.

But because I’m ungraceful, or unnatural, doesn’t mean I love my son any less than the mannequin kid’s mom. The truth is, I love deeper than I ever have before. I would not hesitate one second to do or give anything for my boy. He is what my world revolves around now. Being his mom is the best thing I have ever and will ever do.

I just won’t look that graceful doing it. I might cry when I’m frustrated because he won’t nap. And I’ll still want to scream when he throws a tantrum. And I won’t feel guilty for wanting 10 minutes of sanity to eat my own dern bowl of ice cream.

He’ll make me want to pull my hair out, and as he gets older, I’ll make him hate me a few times.

I’ll never look graceful, and I’ll never be able to hide my failures behind a smile.

But with God’s grace, we’ll be just fine.

Hellion and all.

Am I in this boat alone? Any other ‘ungraceful’ moms out there? Do you secretly want to watch just one uninterrupted rerun of ‘Friends’ while NOT sharing your bowl of ice cream?

Have a blessed Tuesday 🙂

quick trip recap.

We’re back home after visiting Ben’s family for a few days. We had a wonderful time and are now flat exhausted. This is the first big road trip with PB since he was about a year old. He traveled pretty well then. He’d nap most of the drive. Ben and I were high-fiving ourselves driving down the road.

What a difference 6 months makes.

We planned to leave on Friday, but PB had a fever and a touch of a virus. So we held off until Saturday morning. We played hard that morning, thinking we would wear him out and he’d sleep the whole way.

We thought wrong.

He napped for zero minutes, and screamed the whole way, saying ‘out, out, out, peas, peas, peas’. By the time we reached Ben’s dad’s house (the halfway mark), our eyes were bloodshot and our sanity was lost. We refueled, traded cars (literally-more on that later), and drove on through the night and got to Ben’s mom’s house at 2:00 a.m.

We’ve decided that we’ll just travel through the night from now until PB can tolerate a car a little better. It’s much easier to put him to ‘bed’ in the car, and travel. It makes for tired parents, but our sanity is worth it.

Ben’s mom lives on the coast, so we always enjoy the beach there in the summer months. We’re both beach lovers, so we were anxious to see how PB responded to the beach.

He fits right in!

He loved the sand. He liked the water, too, as long as he could have control over getting wet. If a wave splashed on him, he’d scream and run up the beach.

He’s at such a fun age right now. He’s talking up a storm and getting in to everything. No one can make me laugh and make me want to pull my hair out at the same time like he does.

Have a blessed Friday 🙂