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.)

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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!

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!!

What’s Really Important

As I was driving over to my niece’s house, I realized it’s almost Masters Week… and truly for the first time in ten years I have no idea the actual dates of the tournament. Even though last year was my first year not working there full time, it was still engrained in my brain because I worked about eighteen months out and it is hard to un-know something. But this year? I couldn’t tell you the actual dates for love nor money.
People ask me all the time if I miss working there and I can honestly say yes. Mainly because there are SO MANY people I worked with that I miss seeing on a daily basis and I truly loved what I did for almost all of the nine plus years I worked there. In all truth, there was a time when I could not wait to get in the car and head to work… I just could not believe that I got paid to do what I had so much fun doing with people I loved being with. When that changed, I began to realize that maybe it was time to move on…
The day Tim and I decided it was time for me to resign, I felt like a million pound weight had fallen off my shoulders. It was nothing that anyone else had done to me, simply put, I forgot that my job was not supposed to be the most important thing in my life. How in the world could I have gotten so mixed up that I put my job before God, my amazing husband, my three incredible sons and my wonderful family and friends?? Easy, the more attention I got from people because of what I did, the more important I thought I was…and that’s a HUGE problem my friends.
Now, I’m still pretty important but to a vastly different group of people. Mainly, my family. As I held my nieces brand new baby girl, I realized that were I still working I would have been far too busy to stop for a few hours and enjoy the newest member of our family. What a shame that would have been because Riley Kate told me that I’m her favorite Aunt Wendy… but let’s keep that between us, I wouldn’t want the her other aunts to be jealous!

Oh the Places He’s Gone

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Yes, he is still in France; yes, he cut off the curls; yes, he’s seeing the world and loving every minute of it; no, as of right now he hasn’t lost anything other than his phone and one credit card (that being nothing short of a small miracle people); yes, we hear from him often.

Sunday afternoon has become my favorite time of the week. Why you ask? Because that’s when Luke Facetime’s us to let us know how his week has been. (And can I just be honest? I want to be Luke when I grow up.) Every time he calls I am reminded of the Dr. Seuss book, “Oh the Places We’ll Go” because people, he has done some goin! I won’t bore you with the details but thus far he has been to Paris, Austria, Germany, Greece, Italy, Amsterdam, Prague, Belgium, and I’m sure I’ve left some off. The places he has gone are great, but seeing him re-live those trips every Sunday when he tells us about them?? Priceless!! There are things we do for our children that bring us far more joy than it will ever bring them and that to me is the greatest part of parenting.
I’m thankful we can give him this opportunity but I won’t lie… I’m ready for him to get home. It’s one thing to have Will in Memphis and Matt in Greenville where I can always road trip but a whole other thing to have Luke a very long plane ride away. He’ll be home in just over thirty days and I have to tell you, people, I will be one happy mama.

Pulling Tim into the Smart Phone World

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We were out of town this weekend visiting family since my two stateside boys are on spring break. Somehow the conversation turned to cell phones and we realized how short of a time they have been in our lives. Tim got his first BAG PHONE back in the late nineties and not only did it weigh 100 lbs but it was difficult to get service. Also, it was only for dire emergencies… we would never have used it to just chat. Just like today… NOT!!

My first cell phone was a small white flip phone and I really did not want it or any other phone. (We’ve discussed how much I abhor talking on the phone, WHY would I want one with me constantly?!?!) But Tim, who seriously likes talking on the phone, surprised me with one around 2005 and now like the rest of the world I panic if I leave the house without it. Times have changed and as a whole, we rarely use our phones just to call people. The best cell advice I was ever given was from a friend who also has three sons a few years older than mine. Leigh told me to get unlimited texting for everyone in the family. She explained that boys will text a hundred times more than they call. BEST ADVICE EVER!! Because my boys text a million times more than they call… they are their mother’s sons after all!

We’ve all come a long way in my family with everyone in our family having a smart phone… well, except for Tim. He still has an old fashioned phone and now he’s the one kicking and screaming not to enter the smart phone world… not because of principle mind you, no with Tim it is purely an economic decision. But he’s softening. His coworkers harass him endlessly because he’s the only person in his entire high school without a smart phone (well, maybe I exaggerate just a bit…I think there is one ninth grader without one) and now that Luke can Facetime me from Europe and Will can Facetime me from Memphis anytime they want he’s almost ready to jump on board. Yep, nothing like your kids to force you into spending more money…

Embracing Your Muffin Top for Lent

I got this text from a friend not long ago just days before she was heading on a tropical vacation: ‘I just had a talk in the mirror like this “Self, gig’s up. I think your friends know you have a muffin top. No losing it between today and Saturday. Let’s embrace it!” Oh sheesh. Who am I?’ I could so relate!! You typically know months in advance when a really big event is scheduled. How many of us decide we are going to get in better shape and lose a pound or twenty before said event, only to arrive two days before without having changed a single thing and giving yourself this exact same pep talk?!?!

Here’s the truth in the matter, regardless of your size, big or small, there are very few REAL people who love the exact size they are. I have friends who would love to lose weight and I have friends who would love to gain weight. We all find ourselves falling short of where we wish to be. Why? Because we mistakenly think that our size matters. So I have decided to be the voice of truth… you are the only one paying attention to your size because your friends love you regardless (and if they don’t, news flash, YOU NEED TO GET NEW FRIENDS!!!)

I decided this past summer, when I turned 45, to just embrace the size I am. After all I have a husband who adores me, sons who love me, friends who enjoy hanging with me, and strangers whose opinions don’t matter. Think about all the time you spend obsessing about your size… I mean really people, we could end world hunger if we spent as much time dwelling on that. Be honest, how great would life be if you didn’t have to spend a moment focusing on what you see as your flaws?

Today is Ash Wednesday and I have a Lenten challenge for the four of you who read this blog: give up your negative self-image and embrace yourself EXACTLY AS YOU ARE.

  • Stop looking in the mirror and seeing your flaws.
  • Stop talking about what you should or shouldn’t be eating.
  • Stop trying to be something you are not.
  • Stop thinking that how you look defines who you are.

It’s only for forty-five days (yes, I realize that Lent is forty days but when you add the Sundays you get about forty-five days total.) Who knows, you just might get to Easter and along with celebrating the resurrection of our Lord, you just might be celebrating the resurrection of a life lived by a woman who is out to make a difference in the world instead of obsessing over herself.

Longing for Masters Week!!

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Yes it’s here… that time of year when I am REALLY tired of winter but spring is still a long way away. I find myself not only looking at the spring fashions wishing it were warm enough to at least wear a short sleeve shirt but longing for Masters week. In this part of the world, we begin the countdown to Masters pretty early for several reasons. First, it is the official beginning of spring to all of us in the Augusta area. Second, tons of people rent their house out so they have to get it Masters ready. Meaning the house looks like it is going to be photographed for a magazine (reason #4,563 why we don’t rent!!) And third, it is spring break.

Yes, you will NEVER EVER hear of a spring break in the Augusta area occurring any time other than Masters week. Now to those of you not steeped in Masters tradition, that means our spring break always starts on Monday following the first Sunday in April because Masters ALWAYS ends on the second Sunday in April (more than you ever cared to know? You’re welcome!) The good news about this is that you can plan your spring break years in advance resting in the knowledge that it WILL be that particular week. The bad news? It is so hard to wait that long for spring break. Especially when your college kids are enjoying an early March spring break.

For years we stayed in town for Masters week because, uh, I worked there and taking vacation that week was really frowned upon by the establishment. WHAT?!?! This past year, Tim and I had tournament badges so I REALLY wanted to get to go as just a normal person (I admit, it’s a stretch for me to be normal but I gave it my best shot.) So hubby and I have been torn this year, should we stay or should we head out of town??? Naturally, there are tons of fun things to do in town Masters week but there are also about a million extra people. That’s the rub, stay and play with a million of my closest friends or get out of town and enjoy peace and quiet… hmmmm… it really is a harder decision than you can imagine. And when we decide, I’ll be sure and let you know.

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.