Get 'em, Parks!


They call them bubbles.  

I call them bottled up smiles.

a first grader in the making


For the second Summer in a row, he's working through the pages of a Summer Bridge workbook. 

Gotta keep those mental juices flowing somehow.

Even on a Saturday.

five on friday


Our Summer Bucket List is rockin' along.  If you've started one, I hope yours is too.

Last Saturday, we went to Talladega for Jim to have a Rusty Wallace's Racing Experience.  One hundred sixty-one miles per hour and three laps later, he scratched something off of his own bucket list.  So. very. cool. he said.

My niece, Emily, celebrated her eighth birthday on Tuesday; and when I called her that morning to sing to her, she let me know she reallllly technicallllly wouldn't be eight until around nine o'clock that night.  A few days later, now I know for sure she's eight, so Happy Birthday, Sweet Girl!  I hope your year of eight is as fabulous as you are.

Jake has spent the past few days with Grandma and Grandpa.  He's had the best time.  They've been flying remote control helicopters, picking and shelling butter beans from my parents' garden, grilling out and playing hide-n-go-seek with extended family, and swimming (twice).  He's coming home this afternoon.  I'm ready to sqeeze him.

If you notice my posts getting shorter but more frequent, it means I've started a Project 365 (a photo day for 365 days).  I hope this helps me miss less and write something in the present tense and not always in the past.  I feel like I wait and wait for the words to come when less thought out or just a picture (they say they're worth a thousand words) would say it best.  I hope that's okay with you. 

And I hope you have a great weekend!

We finally got our pool on.


Oh!  And I found the neatest Summer Bucket List on pinterest.  It came from a website called, and has things on it to do like watch a movie outdoors, go camping, look for constellations on a starry night, and make homemade ice cream.  So fun, right? 

Summer totally gets my vote.  



Bound to happen and it finally did - last Monday we got our you're-not-in-Disneyworld-anymore reality check.  By Tuesday, I was ready to call in and say nope not coming today, and our trip to the pool after work was a huge failure. 

There were toddler meltdowns.  For example, Mr. Independent will not be helped and in the case of the pool outing-gone-bad...even while climbing out of water that's four feet deep.  But he needed it obviously, and when he finally got out he laid on the side of the pool under the lifeguard's chair screaming and unable to pick himself up because his puddle jumper kills the range of motion in his arms.  And there were daddy meltdowns.  After one too many attempts to make a picture in my head come to life, he in so many words named me the paparazzi.  "Does every event in our lives require cameras?" he asked me.  And I wanted to say, Well, clearly!  So help me get this baby back in the water so I can take his picture!, but instead I turned to the lifeguard who was watching (Who wasn't?) and asked her where the closest bathroom was for Jake who was clinching his teeth and complaining that his stomach was hurting.  I finally just sat on a lounger next to Parker who had lost all privileges after he swung his fist at me and filled his swim diaper to the brim and started planning a do-over. 

To me there's nothing sweeter than a chance to make everything that went wrong right.  Not pefect.  Just right.

This week has definitely gotten off to a better start but because it never hurts to look back and hope to relive certain moments, here's one that I, the paparazzi of our family (Who cares.  I'm owning it.), took of the boys staring outside our Disney resort room window.      

Housekeeping would leave little washcloths tied up with rubber bands and stickers on them to make them look like butterflies, etc., and Parker had the best time picking them off and attaching them to the window.  Jake kept his eyes peeled towards the bushes to see if he could see any of the wild bunnies that we saw jumping out from them pretty much daily.  And they both got the biggest kick out of seeing someone go by - especially if they were riding a scooter.  Well, that just totally lit them up!   

Happy Tuesday, Y'all!

letters to my sons


My Little Dreamers,
Having only been back for a few days, we are still very much on a Disney vacay high.  What an incredible week.  Just keep swimming, Chewbacca and ewoks, hakuna matata, Mad Tea Party, Toy Story Mania, Belle and the Beast...we breathed it all in for six straight days.  But as surprisingly wonderful (I say surprisingly because going in, Daddy and I had no expectations for this experience other than to just enjoy the good moments no matter how many or few and far between they were.) as it all truly was, the best, most memorable part of it was seeing the magic of it all through your eyes.  Parker - the way you pointed at every animal you recognized and shouted their names as we sailed through It's A Small World, your squeals and screams as you handed Woody your own cowboy Woody doll and touched his hat and hugged him tight, and watching you sleep snuggled in your stroller when you'd had enough.  Jake - the extra minutes you wanted to stay and watch Darth Maul interact with everyone else even after your turn to meet him was over, the confidence you exuded after you had ridden "big" rides that you couldn't yet the last time we were there, and the way you celebrated with us as Parker finally warmed up to his favorite characters.  Simply priceless.

This time around, the happiest place on Earth was just was happy.  And I hope and pray that happy is something you always are.  Just remember...sometimes it may not always find you - you have to find it.

Seek to find the good in every situation.  It's there, I promise.

Change your circumstances if you can.  Don't be afraid to step out of your comfort zone if it requires it.  Most times you'll find the only thing holding you back is you.  I'm the greatest example of this I know, and so often I wish I wasn't.

Let go if you must.  Tough, but necessary.

And through it all, keep smiling.  The world will then smile at you.

Hugs and Kisses,

"Laughter is timeless.  Imagination has no age.  And dreams are forever."  -walt disney 

"I only hope that we don't lose sight of one thing - that it was all started by a mouse." -Walt Disney


After six full days and seven nights, we are back from vacationing at Walt Disney World.  It came and went like a whirlwind, and if you had told me even two months ago that I would be filling up blog posts with pictures and memories from this past week, I would have said you're crazy love ya anyway.

But Jim got the urge to go after lots of lunch conversations with a friend who recently honeymooned there with his new family and started researching airfare online.  He found a steal of a deal, the rest fell into place; and in less than three weeks, we were there.

I realized after about three days in that I really hadn't captured much picture-wise, so I started making more of an effort over the next few days to not just enjoy it but to have something to remember it by.  I took this one during our last visit to the Magic Kingdom (We made several since our tickets were "hoppers" because it really is the best in our books.), and I knew before I even downloaded it that it was a favorite because it really has WE WERE HERE! written all over it.  Hats with ears, a Mickey-shaped chocolate-covered ice cream bar, watching the carousel go round and round...just magical peeps.

More later.  Just feelin' the need tonight to clear the piles of dirty laundry. sigh