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

During:

YC During

After:

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!!

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This Kid Gets Me

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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.

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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.)

Black Monday

An oldie but a goodie...

An oldie but a goodie…

It’s a REALLY sad day in my house…one I dread for months. No, it’s not the day the boys go back to school it is WAY worse. It’s the very last College football game for seven months. WHAT?!?! Now it’s true, I have plenty in my life to keep me occupied. But why does college football have to end just when the weather gets so cold, grey and windy? At least during the spring and summer, we have the sunshine and being outdoors to keep us occupied but winter? Yeah, nothing.

It’s funny because by this point in the year Chris Fowler, Lee Corso, Kirk Herbstreit, Desmond Howard and David Pollack feel like family we’ve spent so much time together!! And yes, like any family, we have had our differences (especially with you Herbbie! Don’t act like you didn’t pick against me on purpose…I know you did.) But as I’ve told you before my TV practically turns itself on for College Game Day every Saturday morning. I admit I don’t sit down and watch every second but it’s perfect for me as I prepare our game day noshes. It’s like my own game day ritual only I get to stay warm/cool and then enjoy a seat on the fifty yard line for every game.

So I will just endeavor to enjoy tonight’s game to the fullest. We’ll have our classic game day foods, we’ll all be in our spots and, if our luck holds, it will be a good, close game. (Yeah, when you don’t have a dog in the hunt a close game is WAY more fun… sorry Auburn & Florida State fans.) Just make sure you don’t call me early in the morning… because not only will I be tired from staying up so late because of the five overtimes (my blog, my dream) but I can promise I’ll also be in a mood so bad it make take more than two cups of coffee. Yes, I eventually get over the fact that the college football season is over… but people, let’s keep it real… it’s going to take a while!

The Best Way To Spread Christmas Cheer

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Everyone has a favorite Christmas movie and while we’ve already discussed my love of the Hallmark Channel Christmas movies, I don’t consider them REAL Christmas movies. (sorry Hallmark!) No, real Christmas movies are movies you go to the theater to see when it’s cold outside and you are all excited because school is out. They are the movies that you can watch with your kids and not get embarrassed! Tim’s favorite Christmas movie is hands down “It’s A Wonderful Life” but my Christmas movie choice is not quite as traditional. Now there are literally hundreds of movies to choose from and plenty of those movies that I love. Everything from “A Christmas Story” to “The Holiday” to “The Santa Claus” and I will watch these films over and over. But HANDS DOWN my favorite all time Christmas movie is….. “ELF”!!

I know, I know, it’s not really an adult movie nor what you would expect a well read, highly educated adult to pick (it’s my blog just go with it) but what is not to love about “Cotton-headed Ninnymuggings”, “He’s an angry elf” and my favorite “No, it’s the world’s BEST cup of coffee.” All through the year I find random quotes from “Elf” coming to mind at the most arbitrary times. Admit it, there has been a time or two you wanted to answer the phone, “Buddy the Elf what’s your favorite color?” (just between you and me, life would be a lot more fun if that were the norm.) When we watch the movie as a family, and yes we MUST watch it as often as possible during the holidays, we find ourselves not only laughing out loud but saying the words right along with them.

Maybe that’s why I love this movie so much, no matter who is at our house or how old they are, we can watch this movie, laugh, have fun and no one is offended. Well, other than the occasional South Pole Elf…

So Much To Be Thankful For

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I’ve been married for 24 years and made it this far before having to cook Thanksgiving dinner all by myself. Yep, we’ve always celebrated with family so at most I’ve brought a few sides and pies so this was a big adventure. No, we were not asked to leave the family but all the celebrations were in our hometown of Carrollton this year and with all three boys home we decided to stay here in Augusta so that they could catch up with their friends.

Now the four of you who read this may or may not know that I am a notoriously bad cook. It’s not that I don’t have the intelligence to follow a recipe it’s that I simply don’t pay attention to the details like I should (OOPS!) But this year is going to be the year that I master cooking. And people, so far so good. The food turned out amazing (I swear my family kept raving about how good it was…seriously, I’m not kidding!) Between my mom and google I found easy to follow recipes for everything I fixed from sides to pies to dressing to turkey. I didn’t even freak when Matt’s five friends spent the night… found a breakfast casserole recipe for that!!

Truly it just may have been the best Thanksgiving ever for a lot of different reasons. For the first time, Tim and I decided to live on the boy’s schedule and all I can say is there is nothing like starting a three hour movie at midnight… it helps knowing you can sleep as late as you want the next day. What a week! Of course there was wrestling (told you it would happen), but also tiddly winks, back porch sessions, good food, great conversations, incredible football games and more late night movies than any of us can remember. It’s funny, just when your kids become enjoyable human beings, you ship them off to college. Thank goodness for college breaks!! Now, on to Christmas…