Trip-Trap

Y’all, I have way too much trip-trap (that’s a Lynne Denney-ism for needless items you accumulate that at the time of purchase you think you must have or your life will not be complete or random things given to you by even more random people.) Even on my desk I realize that there are more items that I don’t use than those I do (computer- yes, faded coaster- no, old paint samples- not so much.) For instance, there is the candle in the star holder that I got in 2004 playing secret Santa at work. No I don’t like it but someone gave it to me ergo I feel compelled to keep it (yes, I obviously have some issues… no surprise there.) It has no special meaning to me, I cannot remember who gave it to me and it has become nothing more than a dust magnet.

Then there are the 7,000 pieces of trip-trap that sit on our bookcases because they were gifts… from whom I have no idea and I’m sure the person that gave it to us doesn’t remember either. It kind of reminds me of in the Bible where they mention the altar to the unknown gods… just in case they missed a god, you know??? Well I have bookcases full of unknown trip-trap just in case the giver stops by and wonders if I still have the ceramic apple with the candle inside (yes, I really do have one of those and no, it is not attractive or useful… unless of course you are the giver in which case we LOVE IT!)

It’s no coincidence that I am noticing this now as the weather warms up and the boys head home. You see I love spending time with my boys just a bit more than dusting the trip-trap I’ve accumulated over a lifetime. So while I won’t necessarily clean it out anytime soon, I will put it on the list. You know, the list titled “Things to do once the boys are no longer home”… yeah that list!

ps If you don’t know who Lynne Denney is, first- who are you? second- read this.

126 Days Later… He’s Home

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It was a long Saturday partly because Tim likes to add an hour or four buffer just in case there are any snafus when heading to the airport and partly because we had waited for this day for SO LONG!!! We picked up Matt on the way and thank goodness had enough time to eat at Chuy’s (if you’ve never been to Chuy’s then I’m sorry for you… when you go, try the creamy jalapeno dip. You WILL thank me.) There was very little traffic and we made good time until we got almost to the pick-up area at the airport in Charlotte.

I will warn you because there was no one to warn us. If you are picking someone up from the Charlotte Douglas Airport, then good luck because there is NO hourly, daily or long term parking for what looks like it’s going be the next hundred or so years (maybe that’s a slight exaggeration… maybe.) They have torn down all parking areas and are in the process of rebuilding them in the form of a fifty story parking deck (or so it seemed to my untrained eye.) In the meantime, you have two options: park and shuttle in from Virginia to pick up your loved one or simply time it just right and pick them up right outside baggage claim (of course you will need NASA like precision with your timing.) Now maybe it’s just me, but typically when I go to pick up someone from the airport, I am going because it is easier to be picked up than to spend hours being shuttled out to your car once you get back. Well, apparently the master planner at Charlotte Airport didn’t know that (now you do and you’re welcome!) We arrived with about fifteen minutes to wait thinking that was the perfect window. Nope! Thanks to the lack of parking, you are only allowed to stop for 42 seconds before they make you move on and you have to pull back around… which sounds simple until you drive on and realize that the pull around loop is approximately a fifteen minute ride… if you are the only car in a fifty mile radius. Sweet Tim dropped Matt and me off to wait while he left on what felt like a three hour tour. It was slightly ridiculous and I’m tired just reliving this people!

I told myself I wasn’t going to cry… I lied to myself. There was just no helping it. When you haven’t seen your son in 126 days, you just are overwhelmed when you finally get to hug him. I have to say, there is no sweeter feeling than seeing that handsome mug across the baggage claim area and knowing he is finally home. So yeah, I cried just a little and didn’t even care who it bothered. Of course the first order of business once he got back to Augusta was food… Jimmy Johns to be specific. One “Gargantuan” sandwich later, all is right with the world.

It’s His Birthday!!

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Today is the love of my life’s birthday!! I thought about telling you fifty-three things I love about this man since today is his fifty-third birthday, but I decided no one would read past number ten except for him, so I’ll just spare you. Tim and I are different in many ways and when it comes to birthdays we are really different! When it’s my birthday, I like to pick the restaurant and truthfully the gifts as well. Not that I don’t trust Tim to do it, it’s just that he has less than stellar taste in gifts and Waffle House is his go to place (he once gave me a shower stool….you feeling me now?!?!) So when it’s getting near his birthday I start asking him where he wants to go and what gifts he wants. The answer is always the same, “wherever you want to go” and “I don’t want anything, I have everything I want.” See how easy it is being me?????

But really that sums up this wonderful man. Tim is content with spending time with people, doing what they want to do and just enjoying every day as it comes. He rarely gets mad, never raises his voice, puts others first and doesn’t even understand the concept of holding a grudge. (Told you we were really different!) I know that I am the most blessed woman in the world to get to call this man my husband and though we have our differences we also have our similarities. From simple things like pretzel dogs at Sonic to our love of traveling to our total joy in getting to raise our sons. Even though he is a mountain person and I am a beach person we can agree on the fact that we love to be together. (yes, in typical Tim style, the beach usually wins.)

So today join me as I celebrate the greatest husband, father, son, brother, uncle, friend in the world. I have loved you for over half of my life and I don’t plan to stop… Happy Birthday Timmy! Waffle House here we come…

The Boys Are Back In Town… Almost

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The month of May will be here tomorrow… WHAT?!?!? Am I the only one who it snuck up on?? It seems just yesterday that the boys were leaving after Christmas break (and when I saw the mess that was left in their wake, I may have actually been grateful that they weren’t coming home again until summer…oops!!) But I do love May for lots of reasons: Tim’s birthday, Will’s birthday, my mom’s birthday, my favorite cousins birthday, my nephew Andy’s birthday, Mother’s Day (plenty of notice boys… books are always good), school ends, summer begins, and our household occupancy doubles while my laundry/cooking/cleaning TRIPLES! I have learned to make very few plans in May because I know it’s the longest my boys will be home all year and we just plan to soak it in.

Other mothers talk about having their college kids home for the summer and I must say that I have never had that experience. Our oldest son worked every summer and spring break for his entire undergraduate life. It looks like both our middle son and youngest are headed down that same path. I’m not complaining, because I believe it’s good from them to experience all that they can while they are young and unencumbered. (Plus, none of them are dumb and they know there is no way their dad would put up with them staying in bed until noon.) Do I miss them? YES! Would I love to have them home for a longer period of time? Sure in theory but I’m pretty sure we’d get on theirs nerves about the same time they started getting on ours!

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Tim and I are loving the empty nest! Seriously, when your kids do what you raised them to do it’s hard not to be happy for them (besides, I’d be crazy to mind less laundry, smaller messes and cheaper grocery bills…just sayin) it also means that when any or all of the boys are home we put everything aside and just enjoy our time with them. So for the next month there will be late nights, tons of good food, great conversations and more fun than you can imagine. Seriously, I may be worn out and used up come June but it will all be worth it!

My Biggest Mistext…

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Tim and Thad in their twin shorts.

You know how something happens and you laugh until you almost cry then years pass before you think about it again but it makes you laugh all over?? No? That’s just me….bummer. Any who, years back I was in New York on a business trip with one of my bosses walking from one appointment to another when we saw an interesting advertisement for a new show. We got to laughing about it when he said I should take a photo and send it to my hubby to let him know I was thinking about him. So I snapped a photo of the advertisement for what was at the time a new HBO show which was just a tad suggestive and put “thinking of you” and promptly sent it off to my sweet husband. And then crickets….I heard NOTHING. It was a bit disappointing since I’d been out of town for almost a week but we were flying home on the late flight that night so I kind of assumed we’d just laugh about it later. Little did I know…

Around 10:00pm that night, Mark and I are standing at the luggage carrousel in the Atlanta airport with about five hundred of our closest friends and we’re so tired we’ve gotten to the point when everything is funny. My phone goes off and it’s a text from a guy who we work with saying “Ummm, thanks I guess??” I show it to Mark and at the same time we both notice the text I sent him earlier… instead of selecting “TIM” in my contacts I had selected the contact right above his which just happened to be “THAD”!!! So this sweet fellow I worked with got a text from me saying I was thinking of HIM when I saw the advertisement for the new HBO show…. “HUNG”!!! I could have died from embarrassment! We started laughing so loud I thought we were going to get asked to leave the baggage claim area and we simply could not stop. We could not even talk and it took me a good ten minutes to text my apologies and explanation back to Thad. Needless to say we all had a great laugh about it especially my husband when I told him. It also may me way more careful about double checking who I am actually sending my texts too.

Older But Wiser

You spend your whole life thinking you love something and then one day BAM!! you realize that there was something better out there all the time and you know in your heart that your life will never be the same again. I can’t even begin to think about all the years I wasted with the wrong one… the wrong cracker that is. I have to tell you that I am by no means a brand snob. There are very few name brands that I insist on but there are certain products that you’ll only buy a specific brand because frankly the other brands are just sub-par. For instance, I am a Heinz girl. No ifs, ands, or buts about it… it has to be Heinz ketchup. Thank goodness my ketchup eating machine of a husband agrees Heinz is the only real ketchup (I’m not sure I could have married him otherwise.)

So if you asked me three weeks ago, I would have assured you that I was a Ritz cracker girl for life… there was no possible chance of me changing. But then Publix had Toll House crackers on sale and I may or may not have thought to myself I have one box of Ritz left that I can ration while letting Tim eat the Toll House (living the truth people, living the truth!) So I bought four boxes and quietly put them in the cabinet where Tim would see them. Once my hidden stash of Ritz ran out, I had no choice, either do without or try the Toll House. Well, I had just made a huge batch of pimento cheese so I didn’t really have an option did I?!?! Y’all, all I can say is that I was blown away. The Toll House crackers are so much better: more of a buttery flavor, super light yet still crisp and they melt in your mouth. I found myself eating them by the handful… which is not the best thing for my waistline let me tell you!

I learned a valuable lesson people, you don’t always have to eat the brand you have always eaten. I realized while I may be older, I am also wiser. Branch out and try something new every once in a while. Who knows you may decide that you have a new favorite. Just don’t ever expect me to try a new ketchup… I mean, I have to draw the line somewhere!!

Front Door Surprises

Because you might have missed this one…. not because I couldn’t think of anything to say today!

In My Humble Opinion...

FedEx just dropped off a package which to a stay at home wife is like a bonus!! Woo hoo! And I always hope it is something fun, exciting and paid for by someone else. So I rush outside being extra careful to not let the neighbors see me since I am only wearing a bathing suit cover-up (another story for another day my friends) and it’s a package from…………………. Wells Fargo. Wells Fargo???  Ummmm. We refinanced our house recently taking advantage of the lower interest rates so I’m thinking what wonderful treasure could this package possibly contain? I won’t lie, all kinds of thoughts ran through my head: customer of the year award, free iPhone 5S, gift card to a fabulous restaurant (hey, it was a small package so I knew it wasn’t a car.) Nope, none of the above. Are you ready ? It was two coffee mugs with…

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Rules Do Apply

Can we talk about the kid who was suspended for asking Miss America out? Now before we get too far into this, I need to tell you I agree with the suspension. Maybe it’s because my hubby is an assistant principal at our local high school, maybe it’s because I raised three boys to understand there are consequences to breaking rules or maybe it’s because after seeing him interviewed I realized this kid has more ego than Kanye West. (he said he ended with his signature “dance move”…. well now buddy you have three days to work on your signature dance move at home, how’s that sounding?)
I think what really got me riled up were all the morning show anchors (other than my new buddy George Snuffaluffagus) being aghast that the kid was punished. Well news flash people, the kid himself said that he was told ahead of time by the school administration NOT TO DO THIS but he decided to ignore them and “just do his thang.” Um, yeah, not only do I not feel sorry for this kid but I hope he gets in trouble at home as well. Sure you may say this is just a kid being a kid but as the wife of a high school administrator I say no, at some point we all have to learn that like it or not we have to follow rules or there will be consequences. He was told by the school administrators not to do this but ignored them because he knew this was “his moment”… sounds like a swell kid to me. Seriously, if your boss explicitly tells you not to do something and you do it, how’s that going to work for you???
Ok, off my soapbox now but I will leave you with this. Rules may not be fun but for the most part they are for our benefit. I truly hope this kid learns from this because one day it may be a more harmful rule he breaks and someone might pay the ultimate price for it.

Chocolate Then Church

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It’s Easter weekend and while most of us celebrate Christmas in a really big way, I always wonder why we don’t put the same emphasis on Easter? After all, to us who are Christians, there could be no Christianity without the sacrifice of Easter. Don’t get me wrong I’m glad it is not a secular commercialization of a Holy day but I hope going forward we really spend time thinking about who and what we are celebrating.
Now when the boys were young it was a very BIG DAY at our house! I mean when else were the kids given tons of candy before 8:00am?? (Yeah, not real sure who came up with that tradition but I am pretty certain they did not have three boys.) Candy in the morning was made even worse by the fact that we then dressed them up and expected them to behave for the next few hours while we all went to church. Again, not much forethought on our part… I mean why on earth did we not give them the baskets AFTER church?!?! Hind sight people. But what I did love was the pure unadulterated joy on the faces of those boys as they ran around hunting eggs, eating candy and celebrating life. They didn’t really understand the holiday for years, but what a reminder to me as a harried, busy, overwhelmed mom of what really mattered. Celebrating new life and the sacrifice of our Savior.
So this year, even though they’ll be no little boys running around here on a sugar high, Tim and I will still be celebrating not only new life, but the selfless sacrifice of our Lord and Savior. And I’m hoping wherever you are, you will be celebrating the same!!

SQUIRREL!

It’s the little things that drive me insane. For instance, there currently is a credit card commercial where they swipe the credit card the wrong way over and over and over and over! Let’s be real, I use enough credit cards to know the strip is on the top of the card and every time I see this I find myself thinking, “You can’t even show your card being used properly and I’m supposed to trust you with all my personal information?? Ummm, no thanks!” Seriously people, someone should be fired over that. This company is asking me to trust them yet they don’t pay enough attention to detail to show their product being used the right way. It just bothers me y’all and yes, I know I have issues.
Even when watching a movie or TV show, when an incorrect edit happens it drives me crazy. Mainly because I know NOTHING about movie or TV interworking so if I notice the miscue it must be bad. Tim and I were watching a show the other night when I noticed that the lights in a building behind the guys talking were on, then off, then on, then off. I started thinking, “Maybe that’s going to come in to play. I bet the flashes are a signal to let us know where the bad guys are. I should pay attention to this.” Yeah, no that was not it at all. Again just somebody sleeping on the job. But the worst part is that I totally missed the conversation going on in front of the building because the lights had my full attention. It was like SQUIRREL! I was totally distracted. Guess I’m seeing where Luke gets that quirky trait from. And all this time I thought Tim was the one from the questionable gene pool…