Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Letting Go...

Its been a long time.... and I don't know how much longer this blog really is going to last... 2014 has been a year of letting go (the timing of Frozen worked out nice with that)

I am letting go of my dreams of having a photography business... it became a lot of work where people wanted me to do things that I wasn't comfortable with, they questioned my worth and a lot of people made me feel really badly... I didn't want that anymore - especially since I gave and gave to that, I only believed in giving my customers the best, which meant that a lot of time went into everything that I did.... and I wasn't enjoying it.... and I realized that my children are growing up and this is the time of their lives that they will look back on, and I don't want them to look back and say "mom, was never there" or "mom was always in front of her computer"... its just not worth it.... I still plan to continue with my photography as art because I do that for myself and I love it and it gets so much of the creativeness out of my brain and "down on paper" so to speak... but I can no longer do it for anyone else.... sad (of course, this does not include the people that have stood behind me forever, and you know who you are - I am always there for your pics!)

I am a people pleaser... I hate to tell people no... but this year, I have been learning that that is exactly what I need to be doing.  There is only so much of me to go around and it was putting a strain on my mental health... I was at a breaking point - too many people wanted me to give and give but were not willing to help out when I needed it.... so I am learning to say no.... and it has been wonderful to actually know what free time feels like some days - strange and wonderful.

I also cant sit still for too long... I got offered a job to help be a cheer coach at Gabe and Emma's gym... I already teach tumbling classes but my heart lies in cheerleading (which I know is weird for the goth girl, right?  but I was never one for stereotypes), so I get to be at the gym 4 afternoons a week and my hearts bursts from being there... I love it.... and its helping to pay for Emma and Gabe's cheer, which is good for both of them in different ways

Like I said, Im not sure how often I will post on this blog anymore.... when I was writing often, I used it as writing therapy - to get out all the hurts and such and move on.... but family members were using what I wrote to be mean to me.... and I just don't have a lot of tolerance for that - I truly believe in my heart that "family" is personal and should love you unconditionally, so when that doesn't happen, it breaks my heart... so I feel weird writing personal stuff here when I know people can (and probably will) use it against me.

but since I have been letting go of more and more of the negative in my life, Im finding time and space to heal.... and our family is doing wonderful.  Willow has settled in beautifully and now I get why some people say adoption is so easy... if Willow's adoption had been first, we would have already adopted sooner.... and I think she is healing much of the hurt that Wallaces adoption (not necessarily Wallace himself) caused... she has been a balm to our souls.... and even my family is doing amazingly well with all 4 kids - it causes me to be very, very grateful and so much joy.

Daniel and I have even gotten a few date nights in here and there, and they have been heaven and remind us how lucky we are, in so many, many ways.

I don't know where this blog will go or what will happen, but I didn't think it was fair to leave you hanging like I have... Im sorry for that, but I needed some space and time, thank you for that....

Wednesday, April 30, 2014


Sometimes I wonder if I should give up blogging... facebook seems to have taken over everyone's lives, so everyone stays there and no one reads anymore.... so I gotta ask - yall do know about feedreaders, right?  It keeps all the blogs you read in one place and you only have to click on the blogs that have updated....


Monday brought some bad weather with it.... here in the south, we have two tornado seasons and this is one of them.... thankfully, the schools were smart and let everyone out early so no one was on the road when it hit... I made it home like normal, and we checked the weather radar and it was supposed to reach us around 6:00, so we cooked dinner early at 5:30 and were just finishing up when the power went off at 5:50... it was already raining at this point, but it started getting bad.... so we all headed to the hallway and sat for about 30 minutes as it had settled down a little bit.  So we all sat and ate dinner... and just as we were getting done, it picked back up again, so we headed back into the hallway

We stayed there for about 15 minutes and came back into the living room where Daniel read us all some of Little House on the Prairie... then everyone headed to bed at 8:00

The power came back on sometime during the night, but our cable/internet/phone is still out, which Im not happy about.... but not much I can do either.

Thankfully, we didn't get any damage... but a tornado did touch down not too far from our house and a lot of wind damage around town.... but I haven't heard anyone who got really hurt... thankfully everyone took the weather seriously and everyone was ok

Scary for a bit, but its supposed to be smooth sailing here on out... :)

Monday, April 21, 2014

Happy Birthday Willow!

Happy 3rd Birthday to this sweet jewel!  So happy she is ours!

Thursday, April 10, 2014


So this past weekend, we loaded up our crew (+my mom and sister) and headed out to Floriday for a cheer competition...

Have you ever been to one?

They are fierce and crowded and crazy... pretty much just chaos with a bumping bass beat... :)

My poor mom's car broke down so that was a bummer, but it did mean that if she wanted to go anywhere she had to borrow the van or ride with us, so we got to spend more time with her than normal, so that was fun.

So yes... Emma is 7 and going to professional grade cheer competitions... her team was amazing.  They were one of 11 teams in their division... and for reference, the other teams from our gym only had 3-4 teams in their divisions, so big deal... and these girls are only 7-9 years old. 

And you know what?  They were in first place on the first day... yall, they totally rocked it out... I mean, ROCKED IT OUT.... so proud.... then they competed the second day and had two small little bobbles.... and they came in in second

By .05 of a point.... yall see that.... 1/20th of a point.

Every single girl was absolutely heartbroken... this is their last competition and their last time to compete as this team, so yeah, it was hard to lose by that tiny of a fraction.... but no matter, we were proud of them... for real!

I wish I could show you their routine... Im betting you wouldnt believe they were only 7-9 years old.

So yes, we were at the beach... but nope, not a vacation... mostly b/c it rained most of the trip, and b/c a family of 6 to do anything costs major money.... but!  I did have the good sense enough to book the hotel right next door to the convention center - which meant Emma and I could just walk over, easy-peasy and go back and forth and not have to stay inside the chaos....

We did get to walk to the beach for about 45 minutes and their was a park behind our hotel.... ok, we did splurge and took the kids to see the Lego movie at the matinee when it just rained and rained all one day... and maybe we snuck some ice cream in some where too... :)

It was really nice to get away for the weekend though and still so proud of my girl.... and shhhhhh - Im trying to talk Gabe into joining next year too... I think it would do amazing things for his confidence

My poor mom though... she was stuck down there until Tuesday waiting for her car... when it rains, it pours... but she made it back safe and sound thankfully....

try outs for next year is only a month away.... eeek.... exciting!

Friday, April 4, 2014


Last Sunday night, Emma and I went out to dinner together - just the two of us... turns out Emma's love language is quality time and she really needed some with her mama... she chose Wendys so we headed over and split a chicken sandwich and fries.... when we got there, we were the only ones in there so we had the whole place to ourselves....

So we laughed and talked and I was reminded of how much of my heart belongs to that little girl... we held hands through most of dinner... after our sandwich and fries, we both admitted we were just a little hungry still...

So I offered to get us a small frosty to split... her eyes got wide and she asked "really?" b/c well, dessert is a bit of a luxury in our house of 6... so when I said, yes, she was utterly elated... she didnt even know that was part of the deal... so both of us felt pretty special

As we were having the preceding conversation about frostys... a pile of people came in, obviously church people as they came in bunches and were nicer dressed.... after they all got in line, I picked the back spot to order our frosty and I realized that I knew several of the people who were in front of me... and also sitting at some nearby tables.

And I saw their eyes slide over to me.... and they purposefully turned around...

And ignored me.

From then on, they purposefully looked every direction but mine... making sure I couldnt make eye contact.

It hurt... but I understood.

If you see me on weekdays, Im dressed pretty normal - usually jeans and a sweater or tshirt b/c I work in an office and have to look somewhat presentable... but on the weekends, I wear "my" clothes, the ones Im comfortable in - usually black with some skulls or spikes somewhere, and my knee high lace up biker boots... combined with my bright red "punk" hair which is usually pulled up in a way to make it more punk/goth/whatever you want to label it.... well, Im not exactly the southern baptist definition of "cute" or "presentable...

So I waited my turn and got our frosty and went and sat back down... right across from the brightest eyes and biggest smile... and well, I couldnt really be sad anymore...

And right in the middle of sharing our frosty, my daughter walked around the table, hugged me and said "thank you mom"

Forget sad... I have something amazing that those other "church people" (and yes, they were coming from church, and no, I cannot in good conscience call anyone "christian" anymore) missed out on.... you see, they missed out on the opportunity for me to introduce them to one of the most incredible people I know... I feel sad for them, and hope that one day, they will get a second chance...

But I aint sweating it.... because I dont mind keeping this little one to myself as long as I can... :)

Monday, March 31, 2014


...“Many years ago, I was at a national conference on biogenetics.  It wasn’t purely a scientific conference; it was open to the public.  The idea was that people from all walks of life – intelligent, thoughtful people – would discuss our dreams about what this technology might do for us.  There were panel discussions on the eradication of MS, and Parkinson’s, and Lou Gehrig’s disease, and on and on.  We’d identify the genetic flaws, and no one would suffer from them again.

It was tremendously exciting, because there was a feeling that we really would have the potential to eradicate all human suffering from the earth.  There was a feeling of almost being godlike.  It was electrifying, Mr. Samuels.

I was as exhilarated as anyone.  But then, on the last day of the conference, a young man stood up in the audience.  We had all been listening to a speech about how prenatal testing was showing promising signs of making it possible to eliminate Down Syndrome.  And... “ Dr. Fukuyama leans across the desk, her eyes intent on mind. “Mr. Samuels, the young man who stood up int he audience to talk had Down Syndrome himself.  He was the head of a self-advocacy group of adults with down syndrome.”

I nod.

“We were all a little taken aback,” says Dr. fukuyama. “But this young man stood up, Mr. Samuels, and he said the following.  I have never forgotten it.”

“’I don’t understand.  We don’t make any trouble.  We don’t steal things or kill people.  We don’t take the good jobs.  Why do you want to kill us?’”

For a few secons I cannot breathe.  I stare at Dr. Fukuyama.  She stares back at me.  Then she smiles, a little sadly.  “That moment changed everything for me.  My excitement disappeared.  I got a glimpse of the world we really might create, with our high-flying ideas about the eradication of suffering.  A world in which so many people are found lacking.  Are considered unfit even to be born.”

- “Double Helix” by Nancy Werlin

The preceding is an excerpt from a young adult novel I just finished reading... and it stopped me in my tracks. If you have a child with down syndrome, or maybe another disability, then you know this world all too much.

Ive heard several parents of children with down syndrome asked if they could would they take away the down syndrome.... and almost all of them say "no, its part of what makes their child who they are".... maybe this is callous, but if I could, I would absolutely take away Wallace's down syndrome - not for me (ok, maybe a little bit b/c it would be nice to know what he is thinking sometimes), but more for Wallace - Wallace has his own personality that he would absolutely retain with or without the down syndrome, but it would make Wallace's life easier and more open and I would love to give him all the opportunities that my other kids would have - I would love for Wallace to be able to speak and tell us what he wants, or why he did something... to be able to stand up for himself when another kid says "wallace did it" and he cant protest even though he did nothing wrong... that he wouldnt be so misunderstood...  but if we couldnt have Wallace without the down syndrome, we definitely would still take him with it... :)

Did you know that 92% of babies that have down syndrome are purposefully aborted?  Im not going to judge anyone for their decisions - goodness knows, I can test that parenting alone is hard, but parenting a child with special needs is really hard some days - its also really, really good some days too (and no, we are not saints - if it was your kid going through something, then you do what you gotta do, thats just parenting).... but I hate that as society we equate down syndrome with being stupid or worthless... believe me, Wallace is seriously not stupid or worthless.... he is very smart and very good at getting what he wants and reading people... but it aches my heart that people can look at him and think its ok to treat people like him like they arent even human.... still as a society, we are using the word "retard" as if thats ok... its not.... even if you "dont mean it that way" - if you really dont, then find another word, how is that so hard?

I think weve come a LONG way in becoming more accepting of people who are different, but I also still think we have a LONG way to go.... my mama-bear insticts want to fight, but I know that isnt always the best way.... I just want to do what I can.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

blah, blah, blah

We are boring at the Talley household... well, maybe boring is different - "normal" people would probably find our life hopping, but we have settled in and so now, most days, I have no idea what to write about.

This week has been busy.... Ive been given different things to do at work which require me to work 8-5 some days, whereas I normally get off at 3.... the afternoon drags and I hate it... but you do what you gotta do, I guess.

Daniel is still coach of the tennis team... and he might tell you otherwise, but I think he is really enjoying it... they have an out of town game this afternoon, so Im eager to hear how it went

And Gabe is leaving on a merit (gift program) trip this afternoon after school... he will be living in a cabin with a bunch of other 4th grade boys for a few days.... his first real trip away from home... Im nervous for him b/c he is my shy one, I really hope he has a good time

The rest of us are just hanging in there.... :)

Several people have asked how Wallace is doing since I havent written too much lately - and the answer is that he is doing beautifully... he has been good at school for awhile now... it was a rough start to the semester, but having dad close by to administer "encouragement" when needed has made a big difference - it has also helped having teachers who actually enjoy having Wallace in class and listen to our suggestions... so Wallace is doing good.... he will move on to the 4th-6th grade building next year so they are starting a little bit of transition now to get him used to where he will go and what he will be doing..... oh man, honestly, I am dreading it!  Wallace does not do well with change, and being in classes where he will be the smallest and youngest, I just dont know what to expect... and every time he has been in a great classroom and has to transfer because he is getting older, well... it just hasnt gone well... Im really hoping for a different result in the fall, but I cant hold my breath...

On my soapbox for a minute.... please dont tell any parent of a child with down syndrome that 1. they are the sweetest child ever, 2. I could never do that, 3. how could you punish/discipline them? 4. they are always the happiest people ever.    None of those are helpful or true.... we LOVE Wallace, he is our little monster... but he is our little monster - he can be BAD if he wants too.... just like every other child in the world, down syndrome or not... We arent special or saints - we do what we have to for our children, chances are that you do the same thing.... off my soapbox

Also, Willow is doing wonderfully... her speech is coming along really well and we have forgotten how tedious a two year old and their endless questions can be sometimes.... we love it and wouldnt trade her, but for real it gets old to be asked the same question every 30 seconds for 10 minutes straight sometimes... :)

But really, we are doing good.... 2014 is definitely a learning year for all of us, but as I said, we are finding our new normal...

Any questions?

Wednesday, March 19, 2014


Did I really let Tuesday go by without posting?

This past weekend was so much fun... we went over to Birmingham and visited the Botanical Gardens - I have no idea why weve never been there before - its free and its huge - we only covered about a third before the kids got hungry for lunch, so we will definitely be back... after that, we headed across the street to the zoo and had a picnic lunch outside, and then into the zoo - which is also mostly free b/c a year membership is the one christmas present we get for our family so you can go for a whole year for free and thankfully it was a warm, cloudy day so it was nice to walk around

Later on that night, we went and found the color tunnel - I just found out about this and it is so cool - the lights change and its just so pretty... we all had a ball with that!

And it didnt start raining until our drive home... so yeah, that was a great day!

And then Sunday, we layed around the house, took naps, watched Darby O Gill and the Little People, and pretty much did nothing....

Yep, and thats pretty much how you do an amazing weekend right there!

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

So yeah...

So I guess you can tell from the last post that we went to the beach a few weeks ago... this is the one trip we always take during the year.... mostly because its off season which means hotels are cheap and when its Mardi Gras - the parades are free.... and so is the beach.... so its actually a pretty cheap trip... and thankfully, this bipolar weather decided to be nice and let us actually enjoy that weekend... :)

This week is spring break at our house - well, at least for Daniel, Gabe, Emma and Wallace.... me and Willow have to carry on as normal.... supposedly Daniel is cleaning the house and such... but I think his intentions might be just a bit bigger than his opportunity this week -especially with 3 kids all to himself.... but we will see

And just so ready for spring to be here... so tired of the weather being amazing and then going back to cold, back to hot, back to cold.... its so nice today, but supposedly going to turn colder again tomorrow.... Im already predicting that this back and forth weather - this - is our spring.... after the last cold snap, its going to go straight up to 80 and then 90 and then its all uphill from there....

We shall see....

In other news... if anyone is looking for wedding photography - Im doing a special right now... check out to check that out and pass it along.... we are still looking to pay off the last little bit of the adoption

Besides that, not too much going on with us.... just enjoying each other as much as we can.... :)

So whats happening with you lately?

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

The weekend

Oh, the things you can find to do in a weekend... :)

Tuesday, February 25, 2014


And its Tuesday again... :)

The weekend was busy... well, no it wasnt, Sunday was busy, the rest not so bad. 

Saturday, I took Emma to tumbling and a party and Willow came with us... Daniel took the boys to tennis practice and then we met at home when it was all said and done.  My grandparents called and asked for Gabe and Emma to come over, so we went and spent a little bit of time visiting with them and then headed to the grocery store to do our weekly shopping.  We also did the married thing and rented a couple of movies from the redbox and we watched those when Willow and Wallace went to bed.

Sunday, I had two photo shoots - one in the morning, and then one three hours away.... and we stopped on the way home and had pancakes b/c we found a Mcdonalds that has all you can eat pancakes on Sunday night for only $1.49 - which means our family of six ate for less than  $10 and really, you cant beat that!  And it was a treat for the kids... especially since they had been so good all day.

But it also meant we got home at 8:30, so I missed the first 30 minutes of Downton Abbey.... anyone else watching?  Glad there is a season 5, but dang it, we have to wait a whole year on it.... boo

Not too much going on this week for us... Willow has some more immunizations (aka shots) to get this afternoon... so yeah, not looking forward to that b/c she starts welling up as soon as we get to the dr's office, regardless of anything actually happening.  But last time, she was over it not too long after, so hopefully it will be the same this time as well.

Oh, almost forgot about Emma yesterday.... she had cheer practice and going into it, she was actually in a pretty good mood (she can get grumpy in the afternoons).... but that didnt last too long..... about an hour in, she was working on a semi-stunt and her foot got caught on someone else and she face-planted on the floor....which of course, led to a few tears, but the girl is tough so after a minute, she got back up and kept on going.... after about 30 more minutes, she walked into someone's tumbling and got kicked in the eye, which left a small cut.  At this time, she was done... she had had enough and she told me so.  She even let me hold her in the gym for a little bit... I let her sit and coddled her a bit, and then we talked about being the littlest one on the team and how that automatically makes you the toughest - you have to be (speaking from experience) - usually if someone's going to get hurt, its the flyer... we talked it over and she decided that she would finish out practice... thats my girl -she is tough yall... she looks fragile, but she is a force of nature when she wants to be.... so proud of her.

And thats our week so far.... :)

Tuesday, February 18, 2014


Whew... this weekend was exhausting!

Emma had a major cheer competition this weekend - Nationals in Atlanta, with around 1200 other teams... so you can imagine how crowded it was.

Emma's team had practice at 8:45 that night, so she rode with one of her teammates to Atlanta, and Daniel and I and the rest of the kids left at 3:45 when Daniel got out of school.... we got to the arena at 9:30, but they didnt get done practicing until 10:00... so I went in and waited and Daniel and the kids waited in the car.

And then we had to brave Atlanta traffic... so it took 45 minutes to get to our hotel 12 miles away... so yeah, we didnt get to bed until 11:45 or so.

And then we all had to be up at 5 AM (which counting for the time change going across state lines, is like 4 AM to our bodies).  Emma had to be at the arena at 6:30 and she performed at 8:28 and there were 13 teams in her division.  We got done around 10 and headed back to the hotel where we ate lunch and I took a small nap.

Then the fun started.... we got to meet up with some of our adoption travel buddies - one of the ladies who was in China at the same time with us lives in Atlanta, so we got to see her and her daughter again and meet the rest of her family!  We had a great time - they are wonderful people, and the kids had a blast.... going to see them was the highlight of our Atlanta trip, so we were so glad they were available that weekend.

We got to bed a little earlier that night - around 10... but had to do it all over and be up by 5 AM the next day again.... and Emma performed at 8:12, but awards werent until 10.  They got 8th place - there were some really amazing teams there and it NATIONals which means teams from all over the country, so 8th place in the whole country is pretty good in my book....

But not to Emma... she was completely heartbroken.... poor thing.... but I finally got her calmed down and even some girls from other teams came up and told her how good she did, which was just amazingly sweet.

So after two days of getting up at 5 AM and then going through all the work of performing and the emotions of awards, we were all done for... so we spent the rest of the day at the hotel where we ate lunch, swam in the indoor pool and just crashed in front of the tv.

So we went to Atlanta.... and pretty much did nothing touristy, but walked away having had a great time (thanks mostly to our friends!)

We got home yesterday... Daniel had to go in to work to make up for the snow day they missed last week, but the rest of us pretty much layed around and just rested.

Busy weekend, but good.... :)

Thursday, February 13, 2014


thought yall might like to see the snow we got yesterday - big huge chunks of snow falling out of the sky... we walked down the road in it and by the time we got back to the house, it had all but quit... it was fun while it lasted... :)

*sidenote: look how big the kids have gotten!

Tuesday, February 11, 2014


Guess I wasnt on as much of a roll as I thought I was...

Schools are closed today because it was supposed to be icy - I came into work at 6:30 and no ice... I think the schools around here are a little trigger happy when it comes to it though - we are so un-used to the cold so everyone gets a bit jumpy.... which means Daniel and all 4 kids are at home today - inside, all day.... Yeah, he's pretty great like that, for real.

This past weekend, Emma had a cheer competition - small, hometown kind of stuff (even though it was an hour away), so me and my mom went and cheered her on.... Her team was way better than the others in her division - her team even took home the grand champions of their level, which was about 20 teams or so.... and she loves it.  Im so glad too... being a shorty can be cute, but it can be brutal as you get older and turn into a teenager if you have nothing to cling to about yourself.

I love to watch her compete... maybe, maybe Im reliving my old glory days through her, but most of the time she doesnt mind... she does actually like to hang out with me - most of the time, which makes me think Im doing something right

This weekend is one of the biggest competitions that they will compete in... Im more nervous about the crowd than Emma cheering (and yes, she is a flyer!) because I know she will do amazingly well.  Thankfully, she is also an extravert and a complete social butterfly (which comes from her daddy, not me)... so Im looking forward to seeing her do great things.

Also, looking forward to seeing some friends this weekend that I havent seen in a while... yay!

Tuesday, February 4, 2014


Oh look, less than a week and Im writing a new post... maybe Im on a roll.

But I had to write because I need you to know something about me... something that may make you change your mind about me altogether...

I did not watch the super bowl halftime show....

Because I CANNOT STAND Bruno Mars.

There I said it.... cannot stand him - no, I do not think he is hot - at all.... every interview Ive seen of him, he has been the most arrogant person....

And yall... his voice is like a cheese grater on my eardrums... like my ears are bleeding.

His music is not allowed to be played in our house or cars.... I dont think my children would even recognize his face (much less his voice) since I cant stand him.... ugh

And Lordes - her voice is right up there with Bruno.... I just cant take it...


Ok, now that Ive gotten that out of my system... :)

Besides not watching the halftime show (on a sidenote: the Chili Peppers were given second billing?!!! what the what?).... I turned on Downton Abbey at 8:00 and watched that - which I gotta say, was probably a good decision (and how very unamerican of me).... poor Broncos

commercials werent really all that great either... I did like the Doritos time machine one... and the battery commercial about the deaf football player... :)

while Im on it... I also liked the Coke commercial with all the different languages - it was beautiful and swell with a bit of pride that our family is so diverse....

Anyway... :)


My lovely husband and children got to celebrate Chinese new year with some friends - who cooked a huge Chinese spread on Friday.... I got called last minute and had to skip out - but only because a soldier was coming home from Afghanistan for good to his pregnant wife and 18 month old son - and I got to be the one to take pics.... that opportunity doesnt come around often... I hate that I missed the huge Chinese feast and hanging out with friends, but I think they understood.

I didnt realize how crazy busy February was until I flipped the calendar page... goodness! 

Ok, thats all I got for now.... hope your week is good!

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Thursday again

I have no idea what to write... I feel bad for going a week without blogging, but our lives are pretty boring and predictable, so I feel like Im writing the same things over and over

Daniel's dad found out he had cancer so he had surgery this week and Daniel has gone up there every night to sit with his mom so we have been missing having him at home... but his dad seems to be doing pretty good and will get to go home before too long.

Otherwise, we have just been doing homework and work and science fairs (Gabe came in second!), new kittens and house cleaning and chores and such.... yawn... :)

But... yall!.... it has been COLD here.... Im not sure what is going on with the weather, but dang it, its cold... I live in Mississippi for a reason

sidenote: I need to get up on my soapbox for a minute.... if you live in the south, as soon as it gets into the second week of May, please stop saying "its too hot/ I hate the heat/ I cant wait for it to get cold" or some such likeness there of.... because really I just want to punch you in the face.... because you are the same people who as soon as its cold for two weeks are saying how much you hate the cold.... just be quiet and realize that you live in Mississippi for goodness sake and stop making me want to punch you in the face, it ruins my day

Ok... off soapbox, ahem

It is cold here.... like 11 degrees when I come into work in the morning... ugh.... but then it gets warm on the weekends - like in the 60s - wish is AHHHMAZING, but then come Monday, its cold again... its the strangest thing.

Yeah, boring post today... what can you do?

Thursday, January 23, 2014


Is it Thursday already... I lose track of my days too easily, I think.

Anyway... this past weekend, we headed out to Chattanooga, TN for a cheer competition that Emma was in... my mom and sister came with us - so me, Emma, my mom and sister all went to the competition while Daniel and the other 3 kids stayed at the hotel or bumped around town... we really only had to be there in the morning so the afternoons were free...

Let me tell you, having a family of 6 can get really expensive, so we are always looking for the offbeat paths.... too bad, it was like 20 degrees most of the weekend so that cut out alot of free parks and stuff... but we did go and tour the Mayfield Creamery and that was fun - and our tour came with a large scoop of ice cream for each person, so well worth the minimal tour cost....

We also went to the Chattanooga Zoo - since we are members of our local zoo, we got in at a discounted price and the day actually warmed up into the 50s... and the zoo was pretty deserted, so although it was small, it felt like we had the whole place to ourselves.

And let me tell you... I fell in love at the zoo....

With a crow.... :)

Yep, an American crow - which is not what you are thinking probably... its not one of those black birds that hang out in groups in a field that kind of swarm (although to be honest, I think those are pretty too).... American crows are actually pretty big - like the size of a parrot/macaw and they are solid black - black feet, black eyes, black beak - think of the size of the crow that Maleficent carries around in Sleeping Beauty but all shiny and black.

But here is the thing.... American crows can talk!

Like parrots, but even better - not only do they mimic the words you say, but also the inflection and the tone, so if you didnt know it was the crow talking, you would think it was an actual person... unlike a parrot, which sounds well, like a parrot.

Of course, if youve ever seen my photography logo, you know Im kind of into crows anyway, but seeing one up close and personal kind of sealed the deal...

We came up to them and I was so excited... especially when the crow then asked me "Whats new?" I about fell out, and then he flirted with me for a good 10 minutes... he said "hello" as well... and really it took Daniel finally dragging me away before I would actually leave... because really, I could have stayed there all day... and if I lived in Chattanooga, that crow would so be my boyfriend and I would go see him every day

Ok, really, thats just weird, isnt it?

But yeah, I was seriously trying to figure out a way to sneak that bird out of there and take him home.... I even did some research when we got home and found that it is illegal to have an American crow as a pet, and they tear up everything, so yeah, I guess that isnt going to happen.


Anyway.... back to reality for a minute...

Emma's team did 4th out of 7 teams, which isnt really fantastic and I think it hurt their feelings a bit, but we only have 12 on our team and when you are competing with teams that have 20-25 on them, well, they are probably going to do more stunts and stuff... no shame there.... Ill be interested in seeing if the coach changes up the routine before the next competition though

Also, on the trip, Wallace started not feeling good... mostly a cold - fever, runny nose, headache... nothing serious.... and mostly, Wallace has an amazing high tolerance for pain - unless he has a cold, and then he becomes absolutely pitiful... and well, his behavior becomes atrocious! Like really, really bad.

And once he develops that attitude of "I dont have to do anything, I dont have to follow the rules, I can do whatever I want - including being ugly and mean to other people" well, it becomes really stressful for our whole family.... and no matter how many times Wallace gets in trouble, he seems to think he has to continue this attitude even when not sick....

Its frustrating... seriously.... I cant even tell you - it reminds me of when Wallace first came home.

Honestly, I wish people would quit asking how Willow is doing - she is doing wonderful/fantastic/amazingly well.... we, are still stuck on getting Wallace to do right.


He has been home for 3 years now... so only 3 more years with us and that will be the same amount of time he went without a family


In other news.... we STILL havent been able to get him on social security..... He has been home for 3 years!  Ugh - its one thing after another, after another, after another.... and guess what?  Without a SS#, you cant get on Medicaid - not super convenient with you have a child with severe medical issues....


Since you didnt ask.... Willow is not used to this cold weather and she has a bit of a head-cold/junk.... it doesnt get cold where she is from, so all this is new to her....

And Im so ready for spring.... :)

And yeah, Oliver is pretty much staying now... :)

Long post... I will be impressed if you made it the whole way through

Friday, January 17, 2014


Yeah, I think Oliver is going to be a new addition to the family... even Dash has started to play with him a little bit... so I think he has pretty much won everyone over.

I am so glad its Friday... it feels like Monday was so long ago.... its only the middle of the first month of the year and it already feels like 2014 is old and worn out.  I guess thats due to being already back in an established routine.

Routine is good, but it wears me out... actually, life in general, wears me out.

I wonder if Im a good mom... alot.... but I have to just realize that I do the best that I can - and although its not as good as others, its good enough.... I feel security in knowing that my kids are loved, they are fed, they are warm and safe.

But I wonder if in 20 years, they will look back on 2014 with fondness or loathing.

I guess there is nothing I can do but to keep on living the best I know how and hope thats enough.

I am taking this year back... in the past, Ive given of myself too much - not knowing how to say no to things that didnt matter... but this year, I want to take back myself and give back to my kids for being wonderful people... they have carried me through alot of dark days, and I hope this year becomes their year.

Not sure why Im writing all of this out here other than to just add some accountability to my stream of consciousness... but maybe you are feeling the same way too.... maybe wondering if you can stop overgiving yourself and just be and enjoy the moment... maybe we could work on 2014 together.

Happy weekend... make it good.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014


Thought y'all might like to see the new kitten... :)

Monday, January 13, 2014


I know its bad, but I always forget about blogging... I think Im going to do it at lunchtime, but then Im usually reading and get caught up in my book and then lunch is already over....

So this weekend...

Saturday, Daniel took Wallace to a birthday party so I had Gabe, Emma and Wallace so I took them out to a local place with nature trails and such.  When we got out of the car, a cute little orange kitten ran up to us... but there were other people there so we figured he was with someone else, so we pet him and left him to go walk some of the trails.

I let the kids pick the direction first, and of course, they picked the muddiest one... ugh.... I finally got us back to the beginning and we took the paved trail around the lake/pond and that was fun.... we then started to head back to the car.... and what do we see running toward us.

Yep, the sweet, little orange kitten.

And the parking lot was empty.

So I called Daniel with our dilemma... do we leave this 6 week old kitten here by himself - or do we take him home?

As a backstory... I have a weakness for orange kittens/cats, its weird.... and Ive also been jokingly asking Daniel for a kitten for Christmas/my birthday for at least half of last year

So he said we could bring him home, but we may not keep him... especially if our old, ornery housecate doesnt like him.

Which he didnt, but he hasnt seen another cat for almost 9 years (as he stays inside by himself) and he is spoiled (but I love him! and he loves me).... he is getting a little closer to the new kitten each day, but he still isnt really fond of him yet....

We named the new kitten Oliver and then watched Oliver and Co...

So we will see, but Im starting to think he is the newest addition... :)

Monday, January 6, 2014


We had a great weekend... we didnt accomplish much, but it was just what we needed... :)

Saturday, Daniel and I had our first date night since September (thats pre-China, yall!) - we usually get about 3-4 a year so its very much anticipated.... and it was really fun - we went and saw 47 Ronin (which we both enjoyed) and ate a nice dinner out.  So much fun just spending a little bit of time with my wonderful husband.

And then Sunday, my mom called and asked if she could have all 4 kids for the afternoon... how crazy is that?  But super welcome and Im so, so thankful for my mom starting to come around - I know its hard on her, but she has really done a great job with the kids, and Im thankful that she is trying.... so Daniel and I got to do the grocery shopping by ourselves and then we went home and the house was quiet, which was weird, but nice....

Then we went and visited with my grandparents and picked the kids up.... Wallace acted up (sigh, I wish he could just be good sometimes), but Willow was good and was talking up a storm, so sometimes I wonder really what her personality is going to be like when she gets a bit older.

We got home, spent some time with the kids, got the kids in bed and then Daniel and I watched Downton Abbey.... I really didnt think we would like this show, but we have really gotten into it and are enjoying it - maybe thats a sign of being an old married couple, who knows...

Anyway... great weekend..... :)

But not enjoying this super cold... there is a reason I live in Mississippi!

Friday, January 3, 2014


Oh, these holidays have me all mixed up on what day it is... two days off, two days on, two days off, two days on, two days off, two days on, one day off, two days on, two days off... then everything goes back to normal...

So yeah... :)

Back to China.... so after the guy gave us the yogurt drink for the kiddos, we learned that our flight was delayed for about an hour, and everyone was getting restless and hungry.... so one of the other moms took her 18 month old into one of the quickie-mart type stores in the airport to see if they could find something that she liked.... and they came back with a huge bowl of ramen noodles... in a red bowl.

The mom saw her daughter salivating over them so she just got them... but didnt bother looking at the package or asking someone what they were.

So she brought them back to our little group and then realized that she had no idea how to make ramen noodles.... (as a sidenote, who doesnt know how to make ramen?)

So my sweet, chivalrous husband offered to make them for her..... and as another sidenote - they have hot water stations all around the airport for free (cool, since you arent allowed to drink the water in china unless its been boiled, ie: no waterfountains anywhere).... so he took the bowl and got the water and came back and asked the other lady if she knew what she got  because it looked like it was really spicy from the package.

We gave each of the girls a taste, and the other girl had one bite and lit up - her mouth was on fire and she wanted none of it.... so I tasted it and sure enough, it was pretty spicy.... Willow wanted some by then, so we let her taste it and she gobbled it up, so the other mom said we could have it.... and we had to stop Willow eating after about 2/3 of the container was gone because she would have kept going (and this was a large bowl for like 2 people)....

Since the other girl didnt like it, the mom took her back to the store to find something else for her.... you would have thought she had learned her lesson... but nope, she came back with some weird package of stuff that looked like some kind of seasoning - she tried it and didnt like it at all, but her daughter liked it, so she let her have it....

We were just all happy to have found something to eat.... we were all so exhausted by the time we got on the plane.... only to find out, that yes, they had stuck all 3 adopting families in the very back of the plane - I mean, the very last seats.... ugh, but we took it...

thankfully, the long airport wait and full belly meant that Willow passed out pretty quickly and slept the whole plane ride... Daniel and I werent so lucky (especially b/c the back seats of the plane sit straight up with no recline at all).... but we made it.... :)

Cant believe its already 2014, can you?