A Journal of our Journeys


Greetings to my few and faithful readers! I would apologize for my lengthy absence, but I imagine at this point my apologies no longer seem sincere. I realize that my blog posts are coming sporadically, and are often followed by great lengths of silence. I really do feel badly for this, I think about my blog and the few faithful readers that I have a lot more often then I actually contribute to my blog. So I would like you all to know that even if I am not drafting fun and interesting posts for you to read, you are not far from my thoughts.

Now on to the business of LENT.  A few years ago a friend of mine asked me, “What are you giving up for Lent?”  My response was, “Nothing, I’m not Catholic.”  She laughed and imparted a great revelation unto me.  She said you don’t have to be Catholic to give something up for Lent. I thought about this, and mentioned the conversation to my mom, who like me, is a baptist. She told me that she usually gives us something up for Lent. This was a long time ago so I don’t remember the exact conversation, but she said something along the lines of how it’s good to sacrifice something for that short time as it helps with self-discipline and often times is something that you really need to take a break from. I have been observing Lent ever since. I can’t remember what I gave up the first two years I observed Lent, but I can tell you that this year is a doozy. This year I am giving up sugar and gluten. I’m sure you’re asking yourself ‘Why would she give up two of the things that make life so wonderful?’ Well, I’m glad you asked. Part of it is for health reasons, part of it is strictly in hopes of losing weight, but mostly it’s just to see if I can. Of course I don’t think that gluten is unhealthy, but since it can contribute to weight gain and there is such a thing as too much of a good thing. Over the holidays I took a holiday from dieting. I ate whatever I wanted and I did not exercise a bit. Not At All. I knew I would gain weight over the holidays and I was OK with that. I had it in my head that once the holidays were over I would get right back into my regimen of eating salads, and doing Zumba, running, and that whatever weight I gained over the holidays would just fall off. Well, ladies and gentlemen, I have a revelation for you. This was a pipe dream. I gained weight over the holidays and even though I did go back to eating salads for lunch and being careful about my portions for dinner and exercising, not quite as often as I had been before, I did not lose even half of what I gained over the holidays. Then my hubby and I went on an amazing vacation to the Bahamas. I ate whatever I wanted, I had dessert with every meal. Thankfully they had all kinds of activities, like Zumba and dance lessons for salsa lessons so I was able to burn off some of those calories I was putting in my body. Thanks to that I only gained 1 pound over vacation, the problem was I still hadn’t lost much of the weight I had gained over the holiday. Lent is my opportunity to kick start my weight-loss again. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not terribly unhappy with the way I look. I wouldn’t mind slimming down a little bit, and I wouldn’t mind toning up a little bit. But unlike when I was younger, I don’t want to lose weight so that other people will think I look good, I want to lose weight so that I think I look good. I want to step out of the shower stark naked and glistening,  look in the mirror and think damn that is a good-looking woman. I also want my son to see me trying to be healthy. Not so I can brag to him about how healthy I’m being, that would be dumb. My seven-year-old could care less about whether or not I eat carbohydrates, or how many calories I put into my system. However, I want him growing up thinking that eating healthy and exercising is just the way that people live. That way, he won’t have these struggles with his weight,  because he will have been raised to be active and healthy. So far I have been successful at giving up added sugar. I say added sugar because I still eat fruit and sweet vegetables, like carrots, and I know that those have sugar in them but it’s natural sugar, and I’m not going to stop eating fruits or vegetables just because they might have sugar in them, that’s just silly. I have even stopped putting sugar in my coffee, and let me tell you, that that is just miserable. Coffee without sugar is just bad, unfortunately I can’t function without the caffeine coffee provides so I choke it down and continue about my day without fantasizing about murdering the people around me. I call that a win.

Technically on lent Sundays are cheat days. I don’t really want to cheat because I’m afraid that if I do I won’t stop cheating. That said, we took our son to the circus this past Sunday because it is the final show of Ringling Brothers Barnum and Bailey Circus extreme. According to my son, you cannot go to the circus and not have cotton candy. So we reached deep into our pockets and paid an extraordinary sum for circus cotton candy. I’m convinced that this cotton candy was spun not out of sugar, but out of gold bysome storybook character whose name starts with an R. I will admit that I had two small bites, no I’m sorry that’s a lie. I will admit that I had four small bites of cotton candy.  It was a mistake, that amazing sugary goodness melting in my mouth made me want to grab the bag from my seven-year-old and stuff it all into my mouth. Thankfully I have a little more self-control than that, and I was able to stop myself after those five Little bites of cotton candy. Other than cheating, on the designated cheat day mind thank you very much, I have stuck to my guns. I believe that one day I had gluten by accident. At work they were serving red Thai curry soup, it turns out there was gluten in the red Thai curry soup, who knew? Other than that little accident, I have been pretty successful at cutting gluten from my diet. My first gluten free homemade meal was beef and cheese lettuce wraps. My son, who never would Eaten letter lettuce wraps even if I had told him that he could never play with his captain America ever again if he did not, ate beef and cheese quesadillas. Wel, l guess technically just beef quesadillas because quesadilla means there’s cheese in there…anyway. Last night I made grilled chicken with corn on the cob. When’s dinner was completed I realized I should’ve cooked up some kind of green vegetable to go with it. The plate looked awfully bare with two strips of chicken and half an ear of corn, but it was a little late by then. It has been more difficult to give up gluten at work. I work at a school so they provide our lunches. Most of the time they are very conscientious about people with special diets, and almost always have a gluten-free option. But this week is spring break. Yesterday my mom and I went out for lunch because they were having hotdogs. Seriously, why do they think a bunch of adults want hotdogs for lunch? I can understand having hot dogs during summer camp, but when there are no kids at school I think hotdogs should be banned from the menu. But I digress. Today was Asian day. They had spring rolls and sesame beef and fried rice. Thankfully they also had a spinach salad, so I had a spinach salad and fried rice. Hopefully the fried rice didn’t have soy sauce mixed in with it when it was cooked, since soy sauce has gluten in it. If it did then I cheated once again, whoops. The hardest part about giving up gluten though is picking up food on the go. This past Saturday my son and I were out running errands all morning. By the time we were done it was nearly 1 o’clock, we were both starving, and we were more than 30 minutes from home. Of course, all I had at home were ingredients. We needed food, and we needed it now. My son, of course, wanted to stop at the local McDonald’s or Burger King and play on the playground and eat chicken nuggets. Unfortunately, I couldn’t think of a single thing I could eat at McDonald’s or Burger King. Neither have fantastic salad selections, and I’m not about to pay six dollars for a burger so I can eat just the patty. We ended up stopping at a KFC that we passed. I got him the fried chicken meal and got myself a grilled chicken meal with corn on the side. It was delicious, it was gluten-free, and if my fitness pal is correct, it was pretty low calorie as well. However, I don’t plan on making stops at the local KFC part of my regular schedule. I haven’t heard any reports lately, but I remember there was a time when KFC was notorious for using chickens from factories that were treated horribly. I personally don’t think my food should have been treated horribly when it was alive.  I think that if my food is being raised to slaughter, it should be treated wonderfully and live an amazing life before going to slaughter. I really don’t think it’s too much to ask to give our food good lives before we kill them.  Anyway, despite these challenges, I plan on continuing my gluten fast. See I gave up gluten and sugar One week ago. I have since lost 2 pounds, I definitely call that a win. I also call it motivation.   Motivation not to make myself a peanut butter and jelly sandwich when I get home, motivation not to make myself macaroni and cheese for dinner because it’s easy and quick and my kid will eat it, and motivation to not raid my coworkers candy jar.

Currently, my plan is to continue posting about my journey without gluten and sugar. However I will not promise you anything, because I’ve made these promises before and then not spoken to you again for months. Hopefully that will not happen this time. Hopefully I can also find the motivation to sit down and write a few sentences for your viewing pleasure and my own catharsis. So I will end this particular blog post with hope.

Hot Chocolate 5K

So I’ve signed up for my first 5K since I moved back to Georgia, the hot chocolate 5K, and I’m super excited about it.  The last 5K I did was in Florida, and that’s kind of like running on a treadmill because the terrain is so flat.  So I need to do some serious preparation for this one.  The first thing I did was to go onto Pinterest and start a board called hot chocolate 5K.  This does a couple of things.  First it allows me to find motivational articles, helpful tips, and nutritional recommendations.  The second thing it does is remind me to stay motivated.  The way it does this is that once I create a new board Pinterest will send me emails every few days or so with recommendations for new pins to add to that board.  Even if I don’t do anything with those pins, I still have that reminder that “hey, I’m doing this 5K in six weeks or so and I need to get on it.”  I haven’t done very many 5K’s so I can’t really speak on how other races help its participants prepare, but the hot chocolate 5K sent out an email with a six week training program to help me get ready.  I don’t quite have six weeks, so I’m increasing the intensity of the  training program.  But, strangely, the six week training program that the hot chocolate 5K sent me is more motivational to me than any of the pins I have found.

Photo courtesy of the Hot Chocolate 15k/5k Facebook page.

The best part about doing this 5K is the charity that it supports.  The hot chocolate 5K supports the Ronald McDonald house, a charity that is very close to my heart.  When my son was born there were complications.  It turns out that I have a genetic anomaly.  I can never remember the name because it is a full fifteen syllables long, no, I’m not exaggerating.  Anyway, it causes my antibodies to attack my baby. When my son was born his platelet count started to drop inexplicably.  He was transferred to NICU, neonatal intensive care unit, and a few days later, when my antibodies that were in his blood stream, started to die off his platelet count began to rise.  His was a very mild case.  It can be very severe, and can even cause death.  Thankfully that did not happen, praise the Lord!  The point of this story is that when my son was in NICU I was able to stay at the local Ronald McDonald House.  The Ronald McDonald house was a whopping two blocks from The Children’s Hospital, and if I hadn’t just had major abdominal surgery, I could’ve walked to the hospital.  The cost to stay at the Ronald McDonald house was about $10 a night.  They ask that you help out with one chore a day, although they were pretty lenient with me because they knew that my child was newborn and that I would be at the hospital pretty much from dawn to dusk and beyond.  Despite their leniency, I still tried to pitch in as much as I could.  The Ronald McDonald house was amazing!  The kitchen was always stocked with food.  There was always fruit, cereal, and yogurt so I could eat in the morning when I woke up and at night before I went to bed.  The beds were comfortable, and had a private bathroom.  The only thing that the rooms did not have was a TV, which was a problem only because I really needed that distraction.  Thankfully I had my laptop and a couple DVDs so I was able to turn something on and just tune out when I got back from the hospital.  The Children’s Hospital that my son was in NICU at was a good 45 minutes from my home.  The first night he was there it was too late to check into the Ronald McDonald house, and so rather than getting a hotel room in Jacksonville Florida, we did go home because my poor husband had to go to work the next day.  To this day I consider going home without my son the worst decision I’ve ever made in a long life of bad decisions.  After that night I decided that I would not return home again until he was with me.  So even if my home hadn’t been so far from the hospital, I still would have needed the service that Ronald McDonald house provided.  Without it I don’t know how I would’ve gotten through the stress of that week.  Having a place to go that had a comfortable bed, nice people who knew exactly what I was going through, and food to eat that was easy to prepare, but wasn’t home, was the only thing that allowed me to just keep putting one foot in front of the other.
I look back at that week and I marvel at the strength that my husband and I found in ourselves.  The entire nine months that you’re pregnant you worry about this kind of thing.  “What am I going to do if something terrible happens when my child is born?  How will I make it through?  How will I know what the right decisions are to make?”  When that did happen I found that we made it through the day, and then we made it through the night, and then the next day, and the next day, and the next day.  I don’t even remember being scared that week that he was in the hospital.  This was just something that we had to get through, in fact I didn’t feel the fear of that week until after it was over.  I give credit to my husband, and my parents, and my friends, and my family for supporting me and giving me the strength that I needed to get through that week.  But I also credit the Ronald McDonald house because it wasn’t home.  It wasn’t familiar.  It wasn’t the place that I was supposed to bring my baby back to.  It was just a place that was welcoming and understanding. It was just there.
If you would like to help me raise money for the Ronald McDonald house, then just click here.  And thank you.

Borax Free Laundry Detergenty

When I first started this blog my family and I were drowning in our finances.  I routinely had to choose which bills to pay and which bills to default on.  If I managed to pay all the bills due that month, then I would often have to purchase food for my son, while my husband and I would sustain ourselves on ham and cheese sandwiches, or dollar store groceries.  I chose to embrace minimalism in an effort to simplify our lives and, hopefully, to save money.

As our lives improved, and we started to be able to support ourselves better, (and some much needed and welcome help from my family) our outlook and habits changed as well.  I started making new priorities.  I was able to put my family’s health above our financial situation.  I watched a documentary called GMO OMG posteron Netflix that really changed the way that I think about the food that my family and I eat.  I would look at the difference in price between organic and non-organic groceries, and started asking myself, “Is my family’s health worth and extra $.75, and extra $1.00, and extra $2.50?”  Once I started asking that question, then the answer was always “yes”.  Adding more organic foods to our diets is one of the changes that we’ve made that has reaped the most reward.  My son and I have stopped getting sick (my husband has an iron immune system and never gets sick anyway).  Hopefully I won’t jinx myself by saying this, but while my coworkers get knocked off their feet each year by a winter cold, my son and I have stayed healthy.  Last year I did get a taste of the gunk that was going around, but I was sick for about two days, unlike many of my coworkers who were fighting it for weeks.  We haven’t gone totally organic, but I try to make sure that at least some of our diet is.  For example, I try to buy organic fruits and vegetables, organic dairy, Annie’s Organic Mac and Cheese, and organic snacks such as Annie’s Organic Cheddar Bunnies.  If I don’t buy organic I do try to look for non-gmo food.  I’ve stared buying Zulka sugar, which is part of the non-gmo movement, and I was pleased to discover that my husband’s favorite orange juice, Florida’s Natural Orange Juice, is also part of the non-gmo movement.  I know there is a lot of controversy surrounding the use of non-gmo seeds in agriculture and whether they actually pose any health concerns, but the lack of transparency from companies, like Monsanto, have convinced me that my family and I are healthier without them.  And the fact that it took me three days to get over the last cold that tried to take hold of my system goes a long way toward supporting that theory.

I’ve also been able to support another cause that is close to my heart, cruelty to animals.  Even when we could barely afford it, I was always sure to buy free range eggs, or at least cage free if free range weren’t available.  The first time my husband saw me purchase $4.00 eggs over $1.80 eggs he had a few words for me, but my response has been my mantra ever since.  “We don’t have the space to rescue, and we don’t have the money to donate.  All I can do is buy food that wasn’t tortured when it was alive, so that is what I’m going to do.”  Since then, I have also started buying grass fed beef and free range chicken.  It’s more expensive, but the only way I know to fight for fare treatment of farm animals is with my decisions as a consumer.  I know that PETA believes that we should all be vegetarians, but that is not a choice that my family and I are going to make.  Besides, I believe that buying humanely raised meat says just as much as not buying meat at all.  I also shop at greatergood.com.  Greatergood.com has “sub-sites” that are geared toward supporting specific causes, like the animal rescue site, the breast cancer site, or the veterans site.  When you purchase from these sites they donate to that cause.  For example, I bought gloves and a scarf from the autism site for a friend of mine that has an autistic son, and a portion of the money was donated to autism awareness and research.  They also have “gifts that give more” which allows you to donate to a specific cause.  If I have a friend or family member that is particularly difficult to buy for, or is passionate about a cause, then I will often make a donation in their name rather than buying a gift.  For example, I have another friend whose husband is retired special forces.  They are active in a local canine rescue group and have fostered dogs, so for Christmas I made a donation to military dogs in her name.  I have also started shopping for cruelty free cosmetics, such as ELF for my makeup and Giovanni for hair care.  I found this blog post that helps you decode the symbols on your cosmetics.  The one I look for, though, is the leaping bunny, leaping-bunny-logowhich essentially means that the company doesn’t test on animals, does not use third party ingredients that were tested on animals, and is not distributed by companies that test on animals.

Recently I made the mistake of stumbling onto this website, www.ewg.org (Environmental Working Group), that rates the products that we use.  I was devastated to learn that Mrs. Meyers, my favorite cruelty free cleanser got an F, as did Borax because it has a high concern of developmental and reproductive toxicity.  This turned me back onto making my own cleaning products.  My first order of business was to find a Borax free laundry detergent.  I found a recipe through Pinterest that is seriously easy.  All you need is water, washing powder, castile soap, and your favorite essential bfldoils, all of which get an A on ewg.org.  Here’s the link to the original post if you want to try your hand at your own homemade Borax free laundry detergent.  I’ve been using it for about 3 weeks, and it works really well.  I did have to wash one of my son’s shirts three times, but I don’t blame the detergent, I blame the chocolate milk.  The milk was finally defeated and the shirt looks good as new.  The next time I make it I think I will use more citrus essential oil.  I like a little stronger scent than I got with the lavender.  Each load of laundry uses 1/3 cup, which is the same as the cap from my last store bought laundry detergent, so I just kept the cap. Easy.

Note: This detergent will separate, especially if it gets cold, so be sure to shake it well before using it.  If it starts to separate and you don’t shake it, then you could end up with a glob of detergent on your clothes at the end of the cycle.  If you prefer powdered laundry detergent, you can find those on Pinterest as well.  I chose this one because it meant I didn’t have to grate any soap, so it’s less labor intensive.

I also made some Borax free dishwasher detergent, but I’ve only used it once, so I’ll wait for a few more loads to review that one.


Life has been too crazy around the pleasantly poor house.  But a good kind of crazy.  We moved into our new house, and a week later we went on vacation.  Needless to say, we’re not really moved in yet.  There are boxes and suitcases everywhere.  We’ve gotten our family room set up with a couch, a couple of chairs, and a TV so we have a place to relax.  And, thanks to my mother in law, our sons room is mostly in order.  We’ve also managed to organize our kitchen, for the most part.

I don’t mind the chaos though, because after all, it’s our chaos.  And our vacation was totally worth the added chaos.

We took our very first family road trip to Austin, Texas and back.   To prepare for the long car rides with our six year old, we made sure to bring a lot of stuff to keep him busy.  For starters, we put four movies on his kindle.  Because we have Amazon Prime, we were able to download Prime movies onto his Kindle for 30 days.  So once his Kindle was loaded with some good entertainment, we packed it in his backpack, along with headphones, coloring books, crayons, and picture books.  I have also discovered that the library has audio books on an MP3 device that you just plug your headphones into, so I borrowed a couple of those  from the children’s section.  He did so well on those long stretches in the car, my husband and I were so proud of him.

The first stop on our trip was New Orleans!  I had been there before several years ago with my mom, but my husband and son had never been.  We walked all over the French Quarter, ate, drank, and were merry.  My husband wanted to eat at a restaurant called Mother’s that he had seen on several of the travel/food shows that he watches.  They are famous for a debris poboy.  Debris is the beef that falls off the roast and into the gravy during roasting.  Of course, at this point it’s so popular, that I’m certain they make it on purpose.  The hubby had the Famous Ferdinand Special, a poboy with ham, roast beef, debris, and au jus.

This is only half the sandwich, he ad already eaten the other half.

This is only half the sandwich, he ad already eaten the other half.

After a day in New Orleans, we hopped back in the car for the drive to Austin Texas.  My aunt and uncle were nice enough to let us stay with them while we were in town.  They have a beautiful home on Lake Austin, and when we got up in the morning Mother Goose was there to greet us.


We spent most of the day on the dock by the lake.  We had to be very careful not to get in the water though.  The recent flooding had forced them to open the dam to let some water out, so the lake had a really dangerous current.  We all did a little fishing and my son caught his very first fish, my husband was so proud.


That evening we went to my cousins wedding.  She and her boyfriend had been together for nine years, but had waited to get married until it was legal for their LGBT friends could also get married.  They had a really small, fun wedding.  Most of the attendees were friends they had made in the graduate program in Austin, along with their parents, a couple of aunts and uncles, and my little family.  It was a beautiful little space that was part outdoors, part indoors.  Outside they had games of guests to play like corn hole, frisbee, and a giant Jenga game.  It was a really cool wedding.


The trip back home was completely unplanned, so it was a bit of an adventure.  We talked about stopping in Baton Rouge on the way home, but the one thing my little guy asked to do in New Orleans was to ride on one of the river boats he saw.  We decided to find a swamp tour on the way home that would allow him to  ride on a boat and see cool swamp things.  We decided on a small town outside of LaFayette called Breaux Bridge, the crawfish capital of the world.  There weren’t very many hotels to choose from there, so we stayed at the Microtel.  It was a nice, cheap hotel with clean rooms, a fridge, and a pool.  There are a couple of swamp tours to choose from in Breaux Bridge, so we picked the one that AAA recommended, Cajun Country Swamp Tours.  We had a great time.  The guide was really knowledgeable about the animals and plants that live in the swamp.  He put my son in charge of counting how many alligators we saw.  We saw nine!  We also learned about Snake Birds, Great Blue Herrings, Red Winged Black Birds, and Little Blue Herrings.  It was a great tour.

Little Blue Herring

Little Blue Herring

Great Blue Herring

Great Blue Herring

Snake Bird

Snake Bird



Change is in the air!

There’s a lot of changes going on at the pleasantly poor house. Most notably, we are getting a home of our own again. We’re renting for now, not buying.  We’re not ready quite ready to buy again yet. We just got the key to our new place today, and are officially moving in this Sunday, but I’m taking a small load of boxes over after my little man’s swim lesson.


Our plan is to take over one or two loads between today and Sunday, and finish with the big stuff on Sunday. That’s the great thing about having a slow move, you’re not killing yourself to get everything moved in a day.

A lot went in to finding our new home. The most important factor, for us, was the school district. We have been very unhappy with his current school district. In kindergarten he has had no regular recess, testing every two weeks, oral reports, and a long list of curriculum that is inappropriate for a kindergarteners developmental stage. Some of it is due to the fact that more is expected of kids his age than when we were in school. But I’ve done my research, and I know that a lot of is due to Clayton County being Title 1, and having to prove that they are earning the money they are receiving from the federal government. The reasons are irrelevant, though. We simply cannot allow him to go to that school another year. We tried to get him into the private school where I work, but he’s not quite ready for that. So, I started to research metro Atlanta schools, to make sure we got him into the best school we could.

I started my school research on schooldigger.com, a website that ranks schools from best to worst, 1 to 1240.  You can also read reviews of schools, check out demographics, student to teacher ratios, etc.  I looked at every school in metro Atlanta that ranked 500 or better, that was within 30 miles of our work, and then checked rentals in the area to see if we could afford to live in those areas.  I used Zillow to search for rental homes.  Zillow was a wonderful tool.  I thought it was just a property appraisal site, but it has become so much more.  Now it provides property values, homes for sale, and homes for rent.   I would search the zip code of the school I was researching, and could add filters, such as the  property type I was looking for and the maximum monthly payment I was willing to make.  (Trulia.com has similar tools, but I found that Zillow was more user friendly.)  These searches allowed me to quickly determine which school districts we could afford to live in.  That data allowed me to create a spreadsheet with school ratings and an average cost of living.  Once I had narrowed down affordable school districts, I checked another school ratings site, greaterschools.org.  This site also provides reviews, demographics, student to teacher ratios, and the like.  The difference from great schools and school digger is that great schools ranks schools from 1 to 10.  I found that using the two sites together gave me a more dimensional understanding of a schools pros and cons.

Once we had our list of schools, we began visiting them.  We found one in Stockbridge that we liked right away, and while there were others that were also good, we had found our favorite.  We began searching for rental homes in the two school districts that we liked the most, and visited a few until we found the one for us.  We were lucky to find a great house, bordering a cul-de-sac, in the school district that we wanted.  God is good!  Now, if only he would move our stuff.  Oh well, without struggle we cannot fully appreciate victory.

Speaking of victory.  Yesterday my son graduated from Kindergarten with a ‘Most Improved’ honor.  I am very proud of him, but not as proud as he is of himself.  He told my dad, “I worked REALLY hard!”  Here’s a picture of him receiving his certificate.


Mother’s Day Blues

Caution: This post contains melodramatic material.

Sometimes being the wife of a chef is pretty cool.  Like the time Alton Brown came into his restaurant, and I got to tell everyone that my husband cooked dinner for Alton Brown. Or the many times that he managed to make a delicious dinner out of seemingly useless ingredients the day before payday.

Other times, being a chef’s wife really stinks. Mother’s Day is one of those times. Don’t get me wrong. I love being a mom, and I love the adorable homemade cards that come with it.  But what I want most on Mother’s Day is to be with my family.  Unfortunately, Mother’s Day is one of the busiest days of the year for a restaurant.  In the 6 years that I’ve been a mom, he’s never been able to take it off.  Of course, he can’t get Father’s Day off either, so sometimes things stink all around.

This year has been a little better because I’ve been able to spend it with my family, for a change. I got my hubby up early this morning so we could take his mom out to breakfast, which was really nice, and a treat, since we usually don’t get to see her at all on Mother’s Day.  After breakfast I took the hubby back home so he could get ready for work, and I went on to church.  At church the kids gave roses to the moms, and all the mothers were recognized and blessed by the preacher.  After church my parents, my son, and I  had a picnic lunch with my grandparents, aunts, and cousins . So it hasn’t been a bad day.  In fact, it’s been a very good day. If it was any other day, I would feel very content. But it’s not any other day, it’s Mother’s Day, which means it’s my day, but half of me is gone.

I am well aware that I am just feeling sorry for myself, and that my life is very blessed. I know there are some mothers who have lost their children, mothers whose partners are away on active duty, or are on active duty themselves, or a countless number of other reasons why I should stop complaining. So I’m not trying to ruin anyone else’s day by weeping openly everywhere I go, and I’m certainly not looking for sympathy from anyone.  But no amount of rationalizing makes me feel any better, in fact, it tends to make me feel worse. So, since this is my blog, and my day, I’m going to go ahead and have this pity party.

Please tune in to the following posts for cheerier topics.

Swim Lessons

I’m writing this on my iPhone because I’ve been having issues with my laptop. Recently I installed an antivirus program called Kaspersky. I can’t say that it’s a bad product, because it works fine on my mom’s laptop, but it’s certainly bad for my laptop. Shortly after I installed it my computer started crashing every time I used it. When I finally got it to stay on long enough to properly restart it and run a virus scan, then it worked fine for a while. But the other day it started crashing again. I restarted the computer, uninstalled and reinstalled it, ran a virus scan. Nothing worked. Finally, I just uninstalled the program and disconnected the internet until I can get my usual antivirus software, Norton. I know that I can download it, but then I have to pay full price for it, and I haven’t paid full price for it in years. I usually get it for a discount from No More Rack or eBay.

We started my son in swim lessons this week at the VBG Recreation Center in Riverdale,Ga.  Monday was his first day, and today was his second lesson. He is having a great time, and is excited about learning to swim without his frog (life jacket).

This is from last summer, complete with frog.

This is from last summer, complete with frog.

There is a wide range of of ages in his class, so there are two teachers. One focuses on the kids that can already swim, and teaches them the different strokes. While the other teacher focuses on the smaller kids that are still learning to swim. That’s the group my son is in. We worked with him on swimming without his life jacket last summer, and he was doing really well, but that was months ago. This should get him ready for a summer of swimming like a fish.

My husband doesn’t like the other teacher, the one that teaches the bigger kids. He says that he is rude, and he doesn’t like the way he talks to the kids. He is a bit brisk, but I really saw his value today. A little girl in William’s group is really scared of the water, and just bawls when it’s her turn to swim. Her mom was just about to give up and take her out when he said “I’ve got her.” There was a moment when I was terrified that he was just going to toss her in, but instead he carried her into the water and put on his back. He continued teaching class that way, and when she got tired of that, and started crying again, he moved her to his side, and kept going. Once he had given his directions, and his class started swimming laps, he started working with her on a noodle, showing her how to pull the water with her hands and kick her legs. She was having none of that, and just cried the whole time. She would wail “I want my daddy” and he would say, “Can you swim to him?” When she would say no he’d tell her that she was stuck with him. But at the end of class she managed to kick her way to the side of the pool where her daddy was, blubbering the same whole time, and of course, all the parents gave her a standing ovation for her hard work.



Hello Again!

Hello Again…or maybe for the first time!

It’s been so long since I’ve posted anything, that I doubt I’ll have many returning readers.  And since I allowed my domain to lapse I’ve lost all of my old posts :-(.  Oh well, a fresh start isn’t necessarily a bad thing.  After all, the fresh start that my family has gotten since our move back to A-town has been a God-send.

I have not been idle during this sabbatical.  This spring I volunteered to coach my son’s U6 soccer team.  The things I learned coaching soccer is for another post, but there is one thing I’ll share with you now.  I learned that I don’t really enjoy coaching soccer.  There is a lot about soccer that wasn’t taught in the coaches clinic that I still don’t understand, and trying to reign in 8 kids running around with balls is a true exercise in patient.

But that’s enough complaining for today.  Let me take a minute to brag on how awesome my job is.  Yesterday was Administrative Professionals Appreciation Day, and for the first time ever, I was appreciated!  My managers presented me with a gift bag that had a gift certificate to Chick-Fil-A, a journal, and large coffee cup with a matching saucer.  The cup and saucer are so adorable, when I use it I feel like I should be sitting at a tea party surrounded by teddy bears pretending to drink Earl Grey.  It’s pretty clear that one of their wives picked out the gifts, but that’s not the point.  The point is, they took the time to recognize my contribution to our office.


I have also been upping my weight loss game.  I’ve taken to eating strictly salad for lunch, and often times dinner too.  Although I do try to mix it up a bit by adding chicken strips, chicken salad, or tuna salad.  And on taco Tuesdays I make it a taco salad.  My work offers exercise classes, and when you take them you earn points.  A few months ago I earned enough points to get a fitbit, which has really helped motivate me to exercise more.  I don’t always make my goal of 10,000 steps, but it certainly keeps me conscious of how much, or little, I’m moving.  It also throws little parties for me when I exercise 5 days in a week.  I have lost about 5 pounds, although I seem to have plateaued at that point.  I haven’t given up hope though.

I’m looking forward to sharing all this in more detail in future posts.  At the moment, though, it is nearing my bedtime, so I’m going to wrap this up with the promise of more to come.

“Beginnings are scary, endings are usually sad, but it’s the middle that counts.” – Sandra Bullock, Hope Floats