I’m Now A Professional Yard Crasher

YC Collage

So last September I get a text from my Ansley in Nashville to let me know that she has just been chosen to be on DIY’s Yard Crashers…. WHAT?!?! And can I come up ASAP to help? Well of course I said YES! (ROAD TRIP!!) Seriously, I know if I can just get a break, I am meant to be a TV star. (Why me you ask? Well, first I can talk about anything anytime to anyone and second, they are really good with hair & make-up so they can make anyone beautiful.) But I digress… back to Yard Crashers.

For those of you that don’t know, the show is basically this: TV host (who is a real contractor) scopes out a local hardware store to find someone there who needs a new back yard. He goes to their house, assess the yard, tells them to call some friends to help, then comes back with a local construction team and incredible plans to make the yard AMAZING!! Then the yard is transformed in two days. Yep, I said TWO DAYS!! You cannot even imagine what can be done in a back yard with 6 TV people, 5 contractors, 3 stone guys, 2 home owners, about 9 friends and two days. Truly crazy!!

They took my friend’s completely useless back yard that they NEVER, EVER used and made it the most used room in the house. But it was not easy! I may be permanently scarred from this but it was so worth it. After all I can now put ALL THIS on my resume: deck sander, railing/fence/gate painter, street scraper, mulch hauler/spreader, pebble layer, champion shovel user, water passer-outer, trash picker-upper, mud boot buyer, sod roller, not to mention antique wood waxer. (Oh yeah, you are wanting to hire me right now aren’t you???)

I will confess I worked harder than I’ve ever worked in my life and had no idea that this many muscles could all be sore at one time. There is nothing like a little manual labor to put things in perspective. The professionals that worked with us (shout out to Brandon Nutt Construction, Franklin, TN… whoop! whoop!) were not only amazing at their craft but unbelievably patient people. Imagine having to do quality work quickly and with a bunch of untrained, unskilled, unruly friends while TV cameras rolled. Yep, those guys deserve a HUGE reward for putting up with all of us.

So, in the end how’d it turn out? Well you won’t see me with my own TV show anytime soon (I know, I worked my razor sharp wit while muddy and sweaty but they must have missed it…their loss) but that back yard? It looks like a dream. Once the plans were laid out, I thought nice but when it was actually completed, it was like something you only see on TV… oh, wait, that’s exactly what it is!!

Before: (You really can’t tell how sloped the yard is from this pic so trust me!!)

YC Before


YC During


YC After

Yes, I’m a pretty skilled worker at this point… but you’d have to pay me a ton to do it all again!!


My Ansley is going to be on TV y’all!

You have all heard me talk about my Ansley (I blogged about her here.) Well way back in September of 2013, Ansley and her husband Adam were chosen to be on the DIY network show “Yard Crashers”. I KNOW!! Can you believe they got picked to be on TV?!? And get a free yard in the process!

Naturally being the phenomenal good friend that I am, I drove up to Nashville and worked harder than I have ever worked in my life for this:

Yard Crashers

So y’all tune in cause you might just see the back of my head or a close up of my gloves. I’ll be the one sweating…

Yes, I Am Still Alive

May Adventures

Yes, I realize I have been silent for some time… I’ve kind of been half too busy, half too lazy. Keeping it real people, keeping it real.

Here’s the thing, all my boys are typically home for May so all I do is focus on spending time with them along with doing all that I can to assure that Tim’s end of the school year goes well. This year Luke and Matt were home all of May and we all traveled to Memphis with a nice stopover in Nashville for Will’s grad school graduation. We finished off May by heading to Charleston to see our beautiful niece Rachel marry Robert and y’all it was all a blast!

So before I turned around it was June and I was shipping off Luke to Memphis to work his second summer at Service Over Self (check it out here, a GREAT ministry!) and Matt off to Greenville to serve on Furman’s summer orientation staff. Obviously, Tim and I then headed off on a few vacations and adventures of our own.

So as July hits I assure you, you will get tired of hearing from me! Enjoy your fourth and stay cool….


Living in Memphis…


My oldest son is a home owner… what?!?!? Now don’t get your hopes up about it being a grand place that you can go spend the night in just yet. As of right now, it has no bathroom, kitchen or even an attached front door. But what it does have is tons of potential and a pretty fantastic owner.

Will has essentially settled in Memphis Tennessee where he will be teaching the fourth grade in an inner city school starting this August. While I don’t love that he is going to be living nine hours away, I do love that he knows what he wants to do and is not afraid to do it. So now that he has his dream job, he decided the next item on his list was to buy a house. (Obviously, making a list of life goals is a first-born thing… being a youngest child myself, I never made a list of life goals, heck I don’t think I’ve ever made a list of anything other than groceries!!) But my Will is a quintessential oldest child. He makes lists and actually does the things on them… I know! How crazy is that?!?!?! So this amazing child who graduated from Georgia Tech in only four years (even though he changed his major and managed to be on the Dean’s list his last five semesters), got his master’s degree in one year (and somehow got not only the schooling paid for but also got a stipend to live on) now has a fabulous home right near his new school. Y’all, I could not be more proud of this guy. He was truly a joy to raise and even though he was our practice child for all intent and purposes, he turned out AMAZING and I only wish I had two more just like him (I kid, I kid! I’d take three more just like him….)

It came as no surprise to me when I was on the phone with him recently and I was teasing him about not getting to see him more often when his Wendy side came out. He quickly said “I’m just doing what you raised me to do MOM!!” Ahhhh…. How I love that boy!


Don’t You Wish Your Family Was Fun Like Mine?


We had a family wedding this past weekend in Charleston that was fabulous! For those of you that are not part of the Reeve or Walton family… I’m sorry for you because we are a fun wedding bunch!! Just to give you a taste Go here

Yes, that is my middle son Luke and yes ladies, he is single….


Luke and Europe In A Nutshell


I could write a nice long rambling blog about everything Luke did while studying abroad in France but why? Especially when he says it best:

To spend even a week in a European country is an experience of a lifetime, but four months? Well, according to my calculations, that’s the experience of 16 lifetimes, and that’s exactly what I did during my spring 2014 semester. Oh, and I forgot to mention, it was more like 13 countries. I lived in the small French city of Metz, right where Germany, Luxembourg, and France all meet: the perfect launching point for a semester filled with the works of masters such as Michelangelo and van Gogh, the ruins of ancient empires such as Greece and Rome, and the fine wines of France and Italy. I have walked the Cliffs of Mohr, skied the Swiss Alp’s Matterhorn, and been amazed by Gaudi’s masterpiece: the Sagrada Familia. From Dublin to Athens, Barcelona to Amsterdam, and all in between, I have seen more in my 21 years than a lot get to see in a lifetime. But as I look back and the reality of it all sets in, I realize that, more than the places, the people I met were the ones that changed me. They are the ones that, in some way, will stay with me forever. I’ll always remember the five Scots that helped me take Dublin by storm, and Ashley, the Australian who I toured the underground tapas world of Barcelona with, and then the Nigerian street vendor from Athens who sold me the bracelet I still wear, and his story of how poverty has defined his life. I’ve seen the best that Europe has to offer and tasted some of the best food in the world, but it took me over 15,000 miles of travel and a semester abroad to discover what is life’s greatest potential for adventure: the human race.


Today’s A Great Day

Will bday

Twenty-three years ago today my life changed forever. My first child was born and no matter how much you love each of your children, there is just something special about your first born. When we got to the hospital, the doctor said “are you ready?” to which I replied “NO!” and he said “too late!” Yes, this was when I realized I had the greatest doctor in the world. Who, by the way, delivered Will with a broken arm. It was broken playing church league softball. He had it set afterwards. Nope, never has my life been normal.

Will’s was an easy pregnancy and delivery. So easy in fact, I clearly remember sitting in the delivery room thinking two things. First, I need to call my mom and apologize for all the times I was bad and second, I already want another one. (Oh don’t look shocked, you all know how strange I am.) Will was put in the NICU because his blood sugar was higher than normal which they attributed to him being a big baby (8lbs 8oz, 22 inches long) and I have never felt worse in my life. I wasn’t all sad because he was in the NICU, no I felt so bad because there was my enormous, essentially healthy baby boy in a room full of teeny, tiny, truly sick babies. (I’m certain the other mothers wondered why the ginormous baby was even in there and I was a bit worried that I had somehow contributed to this by drinking gallons of sweet tea from Wendy’s while pregnant with him… oops!)

There are literally millions of wonderful things I could say about Will but I’ll just say this, if you gave me the chance to raise a thousand more just like him I wouldn’t even have to think about it before saying YES! Will has truly been a pleasure to raise and is a joy to know. I’ve said it before and I’ll keep saying it, when your kids become adults and you actually want to spend time with them, you are blessed beyond measure.

Happy birthday Will! Thanks for making parenting seem so easy that we did it again… twice!


Blink and They Grow Up On You…

Image Image

It seems like just a week ago he was going to pre-school for the first time. How is it possible that he’s now graduated from Georgia Tech with his undergraduate and Union University with his Masters? Oh yeah, and he has a job… a real job. You know the kind with benefits, a 401K, retirement plan, insurance and responsibilities. Better him than me!! I kid, I kid. Super proud of this guy.

After getting his undergraduate degree, Will knew that he wanted to get his masters in Urban Education because let’s be honest, he has been drawn to Memphis Tennessee since the first summer he went there with our church for a mission trip (I blame you Roy McVeigh!) Teaching has also been on his radar since he was in middle school and since he worked as a tutor at GT it just solidified his love for teaching (it also convinced him he wanted to work with younger kids… ones who weren’t quite as stubborn as college athletes.) Will found a graduate program much like Teach for America, only in our opinion better, called Memphis Teach Residency (read about it here and feel free to support them as well!) The beauty of this program is that they mentor and coach you through your one year graduate program and then see you through your first three years of teaching. Who wouldn’t love someone to walk you through your first few years as an adult?!?!?! Great program full of great people and Will is blessed to be a part.

You know I’m proud of all three of my boys but I feel a bit sorry for the younger two. Not only did Will graduate from GT in four years, with honors, he has now graduated from grad school and he’s been financially independent for almost a year… and he’s not quite 23. Yep, he’s set the bar pretty high. Good luck with that Luke & Matt…


This Kid Gets Me


There are people that get you and then there are people that GET YOU. Mother’s Day started off innocently enough… I’m texting a friend and every time I type “you” my phone autocorrect to “you’re not my dad!!!” I show Matt and we get a great laugh out of it as I think to myself “stupid phone!” Then later in the day as I’m texting my hubby who was playing golf (his gift to me), I type “babe” and it autocorrects to “little hitler”… it was at this point that I knew someone had been messing with my phone. I slyly glance over at Matt who has an enormous grin on his handsome face and he says, “Now type ‘home’.” Which I did and an entire paragraph appeared on my phone spouting redneck drivel proclaiming that the south will rise again. Matt and I started laughing so hard we couldn’t stop. It was classic Matt because y’all, this kid gets me.

I really thought that was his entire Mother’s Day gift to me and seriously it was more than enough. Nothing makes me happier than stuff like that. (Obviously, the bar has been set very low and I’m easy to please!) So when I got up this morning and saw this, I knew this child had great insight in to my soul.


Here’s the thing, I love fun and funny with just a small bit of touching thrown in. Well played Matthew, well played. (Yes, that’s Riley Kate holding Matt’s thumb in the above photo.)


This Is What You Get When I Am Your Daughter


Since it is Mother’s Day weekend, I thought it would be nice to give a shout out to my mom. So here is a poem that I wrote and hopefully you will pretend to like:

She’s much like my husband, a people magnet

Often confused for my sister, she’s so young & attractive.

Whenever that happens, I never cause a scene

Because I am hoping I inherited her genes!

My boys will say she’s the best cook in the state,

I have to agree her food really is pretty great!

She’ll say I’m the baby and call me a prima donna,

But I don’t really mind, cause I love my momma.

So here’s to you mom on this your special day,

It was cheaper than a card and your gift’s on the way!!


LOVE YOU MUCH MOM!! And yes people, my poem writing skills are available for hire…