Mr. Reeve

Teach teacher teach

 

They call him Mr. Reeve… which is SO strange to me because my husband has been the only Mr. Reeve in my life for the last twenty plus years (I know what some of you are thinking but no, his dad was Dr. Reeve.) However the kids in Will’s fourth grade class at Dunbar Elementary School in Memphis, Tennessee don’t know or care about any other Mr. Reeve. (Their loss honey, their loss!)

I’m pretty proud of that oldest son of mine. He has done some amazingly wonderful things in his 23 years and the latest one is teaching at an inner city elementary school. His first day with students just happened to be the day Matt and I were in Memphis to pick up Luke (who spent his summer working at SOS in Memphis for the second summer.) I can’t tell you how excited we were to be able to go see Will in his classroom and hear all about how his first day went. Naturally, Luke and Matt were a bit unruly acting… no different than the nine year olds that Will spent his day with… yeah, no surprise there.

I found it a bit surreal to see my son, who just yesterday set off for kindergarten, in HIS classroom, in what has become HIS city, fulfilling HIS dream. Will is a realist and no, everyday has not been all glitter, unicorns and rainbows. But for every bad day there have been two great days. He’s learning that just because you are called to be somewhere, it is not necessarily going to be easy. There are always going to be challenges and trials but hopefully those are going to be followed by victories.

So to you my firstborn son. Congratulations on entering the real world as a gainfully employed adult. By the way, you now get to pay all your own bills… including your cell phone and car insurance. What? Oh, you are quite welcome son!!

This Is What You Get When I Am Your Daughter

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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…

 

 

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…

Learn To Let Go

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Tim and I raised three boys who graduated from high school, are all in college (one already in grad school… woohoo!) and are pretty amazing men if I do say so myself. I tell you this so that hopefully you will hear what I am about to say. There are some things that you should JUST… LET… GO. Now if you are raising girls, I got nothing. Sorry! (But I have a cool friend, Annie Downs http://www.annieblogs.com/ who has an amazing blog for young women.)

When it comes to the men in your life, there are some things that you should just let go. Like hair length. Our boys could have hair as long as they wanted so long as it was clean. Seriously, if you’re afraid your friends or people at church are going to judge you because your boys have long hair, you REALLY need new friends or a new church (last time I checked, my Bible didn’t mention hair length…just sayin.) Is it going to matter in ten years that your son had long hair when he was a junior in high school? And how awesome is it going to be to show his wife-to-be those embarrassing pics! Why not let your son express some independence in a way that is safe? (I’ve yet to hear of someone getting seriously hurt by the length of his hair.) Same goes for facial hair in my book… LET IT GO!

Only one of my sons was a clothes addict. The other two, blue jeans and a tee made them happy (heck, athletic shorts and a tee made them ecstatic!) but for years I tried to force them into khaki’s and collared shirts causing us all to be unhappy. When one day my husband (who is the farthest thing possible from a clothes horse!) caused me to realize, if others don’t like what my boys have on and judge them as bad kids because of that, then I’m sorry for them because my boys are great students, grounded in their faith and just plain good people. Who cares what they wear? And just FYI, one of those non-dressers now voluntarily wears a shirt and bowtie to work every day.

When my oldest was two, my dad looked at me and said, “Pick your battles. You’ll realize how little of this will matter when he is grown.” It took us some time to grasp this but when we did, it was game on! So the next time we see you and your family, don’t worry about how long your hair is or what you have on… cause we won’t even notice.

One of a Kind

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She was a grandmother many times over when we met and I was just a bit older than her oldest grandchild. I was the woman her son had chosen to spend the rest of his life with and I’m sure I wasn’t anything like what she dreamed of for her precious baby boy. Yet she never made me feel like anything less than royalty. She welcomed me into the family with open loving arms and acted like I was just what she always wanted for Tim. She taught me many things in life, but the best lesson she ever taught me was how to be an amazing mother-in-law.

If you know Ruth Reeve, you know she is one of a kind and an extra special person. She has more friends than you can count and any one of them would concur on what an amazing and caring person she is. Today is her 92nd birthday and I’m thankful for all the birthdays I’ve seen her celebrate. Icepocalypse 2014 is keeping us from being with her today but I feel certain she will be well celebrated.

So heres to you Ruth Reeve, world class mother, mother-in-law, grandmother, sister, aunt, friend. I hope you have a wonderful birthday and if I can be half as wonderful a mother-in-law as you, I will feel like the biggest success in the world.

The Love of My Life

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My husband is one of the most amazing people in the world (and I’m not just saying that because Christmas is coming and I don’t have a job.) No, Tim is really one of those rare people who are truly kind, always loving and full of grace. He lives life with a song in his heart and on his lips. Which I cannot fully appreciate since he starts singing first thing in the morning (I’m not fully human until after 9:00am… ok 10:00am!) Tim truly embodies the practice of putting other first and is hands down one of the greatest listeners in the world. He is an amazing husband, father, educator and friend.

Now don’t misunderstand me, he’s far from perfect. I mean, he is a hoarder like no other! Just last night we discussed WHY he wanted to keep twenty-six empty prescription bottles…yes, twenty-six!!! His reason? Just in case we need something to keeps safety pins in or if we travel and need something to put all our pills in (yes, the TSA would just LOVE that!!) And don’t even get me started on the nails, screws and bolts on his work bench. Let’s just say if there is ever a shortage, you people know where to come!

He’s also one of those people who I describe as having “wheels on his butt” meaning that he cannot sit still! You give me a book, I’m not moving for hours unless there is a federal emergency. Tim? Yeah, he can barely sit still for twenty minutes. Other than taking our kids to Disney movies, I can truly count on one hand the number of times Tim and I have gone to the theater to see a movie. Our first movie together was “Field of Dreams” in 1989 and it was our only movie in a theater until well after we moved to Augusta in 1999. The few other movies that we have seen in a theater were movies with other couples and, truth be told, he only went then because of peer pressure.

Yes, I am married to the most amazing man in the world and I don’t tell him that nearly often enough. I mean who else would put up with a wife who wanted to “retire” just a year before having two sons in college and two years before having all three sons in college? Only one man friends, and that man I am proud to say is my husband or more accurately the love of my life!

Yes, I Asked Him

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So I briefly mentioned yesterday that I asked Tim to marry me. What?!?! You people act like that’s not normal. Ok, I admit it, I have come to realize that there is a lot about Tim and me that is definitely not “normal.” So let me just give you the low down.

I was one of those girls that knew right away if the guy was a keeper or not. Therefore, I didn’t go on many second dates and heaven knows I went on what seemed like THOUSANDS of first dates. (At one point in the mid-80’s, my photo was beside “Blind Date” in the dictionary… seriously.) In the spring of 1988, when I was actually dating someone, it was a normal thing that we’d go to his church league softball games. What wasn’t normal, was that one game where I found myself laying eyes on the guy that would be my husband and knowing it without a doubt. It was strange, I’ll admit, but I knew the second I laid eyes on Tim that he was the man God wanted me to marry. I broke up with the other fella that night because when God tells you that you’ve found the one that’s what you do (call me crazy, but it HAS been 24 years and we’re still together!) So I set out the very next day trying to meet this “Tim” that was destined to be mine.

It took from May to October to actually get to meet Tim because shortly after laying eyes on him, he left for a three month mission trip to Sweden with about 20 girls (again, I ask you, what do you mean that’s not normal??!?!) Well once Tim was back in the stares and I finally wrangled a meeting, in my mind it was a done deal. So mid-December, a mere six short weeks after we met, I told Tim I wanted to be married to him…. by the next Christmas. He was a bit shocked by my forwardness but I knew if left up to him, we’d still be just dating!! So yes, I asked Tim to marry me (24 years and counting people… 24 years.)

People always want to know what my parents thought about our whirlwind courtship, but you have to remember these are the people that raised me. They knew me and knew that when I was sure of something, I was sure (plus I think they were just hoping someone would marry me so I could get off the payroll!) It also didn’t hurt that Tim actually asked my dad for my hand in marriage before he did the actual “here’s a ring, let’s make this official” proposal.

It’s not always been easy, but it’s never been dull. When all is said and done, I’ll take interesting over boring any day. I love that man of mine more every day and can I just say that when you’re right, you’re right? Yep, 24 years and counting!!

World Peace and Cheese Dip

If I was forced at gun point to choose my favorite food (cause that could happen), there is NO DOUBT what it would be. Ask anyone in my immediate family and they’d know along with most of my Nashville friends. Why my Nashville friends you ask? Well a good portion of them agree with me (right Ans, Katy, Annie, Kelli, Graham?) You see we all believe that the only thing necessary to achieve world peace is to make everyone involved gather around a bowl of cheese dip. Yep, I said cheese dip. Now this would be no ordinary cheese dip but MEXICAN RESTAURANT cheese dip… with fresh tortilla chips (I’m drooling… you?)

I love Nashville for a thousand reasons but the biggest one is the people. Because y’all, I’ve found these are my Mexican restaurant, cheese dip loving peeps. On any given trip to Nashville, there will be at least one trip to eat Mexican… if it’s a really good trip, we’ll go twice. I’m not talking Chipotle or Moe’s (even though they have tasty food) nope, I’m talking what we call dirty Mexican. Meaning that when they bring you your food, the plate’s not pretty and all they’re going to get back is an empty, dirty plate from a satisfied customer.

Truthfully, I could eat Mexican food three meals a day and one of my most favorite trips ever was when Tim took me to an all-inclusive resort in Cancun, Mexico. We couldn’t do much since Tim had an emergency appendectomy on Saturday before we left on Thursday, but just between you and me, that made it better because all we could do was hang out by the pool and EAT (understanding now why it was my favorite vaca ever!!) I could lie to you and say that my favorite part was just being with Tim or the pool sitting, but why lie?? It was really all about the food for me. I ate quesadillas, enchiladas, burritos and even tacos for BREAKFAST. With fresh guacamole, sour cream and cheese dip…. this girl was in heaven.

Unfortunately, we can never go back to this particular resort… no, not because of anything we did but simply because it would never match up to that first trip. I never mess with perfection when it concerns food. There is absolutely no reason to go back and taint the amazing memories I have. So, I guess the next time Tim wants to take me on a once in a lifetime trip, he’ll just have to do his research and make sure they know their food. You think there’s any good Mexican restaurants in Paris???

Chasing Legal Tender

(Note from my oldest the day I retired)

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When you have three sons in college, you spend a fair amount of time going over your finances. (no, their clothes don’t cost as much as girls, but HELLO feeding them is expensive!!)  There are tons of things that need to be paid for, everything from tuition to books to gas. There are the little things you might forget about (like parking permits) and the big things you can’t help be remember (like housing.) The funny thing is that because of all the time I spend budgeting, paying and stretching funds, I find that I spend a lot more time thinking about money than I would like. Which leads me down the trail of chasing legal tender.

Most people have a job either full or part time that helps them to pay the bills that we all accrue by living. Some people are fortunate to LOVE their jobs, while others all but DESPISE what they do. My father always told me when I was younger, you can make money doing something you love just as easy as you can make money doing something you hate. There have been plenty of years when we’ve barely made enough to get by but because Tim and/or I were loving our job those were some of the best times of our life. There have also been years when we’ve made way more than enough but were miserable because one of us was hating what we were doing. How funny that you can really only see this in retrospect. At the time, you convince yourself that it’s just because you have a new boss or because your responsibilities have changed and you are still learning or whatever you had to tell yourself to keep getting up and going to work day after day after day. Until one day you realize that you’ve sold your soul for a stack of paper money that buys you no happiness. That was the day I realized it was time to “retire”… yep, one year before we were to have two in college… two years before we were to have three in college. (Oops!!)

You can imagine my surprise when my husband suggested that I “retire” because work was making me so miserable. I realized I was miserable, but was mortified to realize that my entire family knew I was miserable (guess I don’t have much of a poker face after all!) Well people, it was like a million pound boulder rolled off my back. I had no idea how weighed down I was by what most people would classify as a dream job. It wasn’t the job that was bad, by no means, it was simply that the price I was being required to pay was for me TOO HIGH!

And that’s the real rub. We are the only ones that can determine what price we are willing to pay. For me, there was not enough money in the world to make up for the time I was missing from my family. This last year and a half has been an amazing blessing! The old saying “you don’t know what you’ve got til it’s gone” applies to stress too. I feel years younger, pounds lighter and way more well-read!!! Don’t misunderstand me, I’m not saying run out and quit your job if you’re unhappy (your spouse would hunt me down!!) What I am saying is take a step away and weigh the price you are paying. Is it worth it? Only you can answer that, but one thing I do know, you can make money doing something you love just as easy as you can make money doing something you hate. Thanks dad!!