then and now


Still hoping to fill in the gap between then and now but for now.

reality. check.


I'm so thankful last week was one of those so-good-while-it-lasted kind of weeks - full of no school and no work, traveling, Black Friday scores (on Friday), and leftovers.  It definitely makes me smile right through the alarm clocks and "Let's go!"'s of this week.

I hope you all had tons of turkey and tons to be thankful for last week too.

double dukes


I'm not sure what possessed.  Or maybe we were just making up for lost time (Last year our time spent at our church's fall festival was cut short because of rain, and we never made it out of our front door on Halloween for the same reason.) when we went three rounds of trunk-or-treat slash fall festivals.  This was in between one (their school) and two (our church), and the costumes (and they) were still going strong.

"It wouldn't be Heaven without 'em." ~Dr. K


After an impromptu date night with Jim and keeping myself busy this past weekend scratching things off of my projects-to-finish list, I've finally stopped crying.

Of course our home just isn't the same without her, but that's nothing new.  She changed it completely the minute she came to us.

"dogs are not our whole life, but they makes our lives whole." ~roger caras


Forgive me today.  I'm a complete mess. We have to say good-bye to our sheltie of eleven and a half years, and I am as heartbroken as I've ever been. 

To my sweet girl the words she loved to hear most...Go get your ball!  

trunk or treat after party

we went. we saw. we broke a serious sweat. we made Mickey tie dye t-shirts.


So way back when before homework was a nightly priority over anything else and we didn't spend our weekends doing all the things we don't make time for Monday through Friday, we spent a few days doing Disney - a total of four - two at the parks and two at our resort.

This time around we stayed at the Animal Kingdom Lodge - a first for us - so we chose to keep the parks at a minimum and soak in some extra days there.

As for me, I could have soaked in all four of our days there. The sweltering heat, Everest, and The Lion King, the stifling crowds, the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train and Wishes just couldn't hold their candles next to pool parties, a playground, giraffes and roasted marshmallows, zebras, flamingos, making their Mickey tie dye t-shirts and that waterslide. Worth. Every. Penny.

Here's a few more shares - plus the two I've posted before - from inside the parks and in and around the Lodge.

Jim and Jake are in the third row from the top. Jim is on the right and Jake is...well, you can barely see his hands, but he's on the left.

and i quote {from an assignment he brought home from school}….


"First I obey my parents and all those peaple 
need me.  
Next I do my homework well and check 
my work.  then I will go to Junior 
high and then to high school
I will study hard.  
Last i will go to college 
and medicale school so I will 
learn a lot about helping
that is my plan."


oh, hai. i'm still here.


I have no idea what he whispered in his ear…but, oh man…..THIS.

It feels like this was just yesterday...


so I think I'll pretend that it was.



When we started planning this "let's get outta here one last time before school starts" trip, I called it a win-win for everybody. Golf for Jim, the beach for me, and Disney for them. We planned a different route than we normally take to Orlando, booked a one-night stay in Ponte Vedra Beach, and Jim set up a tee time to play eighteen holes at TPC Sawgrass. It's the course that hosts The Players Championship every May, so without question it made his bucket list of "must play here"'s.

The day after we arrived, he spent the entire morning with his own personal caddy.


we've been here. we've been there. {ponte vedra beach, fl}


A little pit stop on our way to see the Mouse, and now I'm simply obsessed with Jax beaches. There were families and dogs and paddleboards in the ocean, seashells for daaaays, the same was so packed you could ride a bike on it, and the sunset left the moon in the blue sky then transitioned to pink then to purple right on the horizon. Sooo so pretty.

Had I known I would have planned better, but after I took off his black Star Wars t-shirt it all just worked, and I love this lovin' moment.



Today is my dad's sevenieth birthday, and this is how cool he is.

When I called him this morning to give him happy wishes, he said he was thinking about changing the ring tone on his phone for the day to sing "Happy Birthday" to him every time someone called him, and he said he was trying to decide what kind of wine to tell his airplane-building partner in crime he'd like for him to bring him so he could kick off his plan to drink, gamble, and chase women.

He's obvioulsy one...full of it and two...taking the seventy bull by the horns.

Happy Birthday to my witty, non-alcoholic, penny-saving, monogomous, AH-mazing, Dad! I love him so much it hurts.



Still holding down the rewind button...I realized when I got the hard prints in the mail just recently, that I never posted all of these here.

I think I probably had the pattern and fabric for his cape for nine months before I made it - a case of better-late-than-never without a doubt. My Parks is everything it stands for - fierce, bold, brave, oh so super - and he's been wearing it like he stole it ever since.

if I could be a bubble I would be one of theirs.


and I would wait anxiously for the minute they would blow me away.

errrrr day


"Mommy you make me chocket milk?"

Eat. Sleep. Set. Hike.


Ever since we've made it back from the beach, dude's been working on his Summer resume; but before I go there, a little bit of history.

To date, he hasn't really played any team sports unless you count two seasons of church league t-ball at ages three and four.  He hated running the bases and at times held up his team's turn in the outfield because he needed one more sip of a capri sun.  Awesome right?!  Needless to say, the motivation from him wasn't there, so it wasn't there for us.  We let it go and decided we'd put forth the effort (and time and money and…) when he was ready to do the same.

Just this past school year, we started seeing some big changes.  In the Spring, he asked Jim to teach him a little bit about golf, and he's been swinging his clubs at the driving range a few days a week ever since.  In the afternoons, I'd go pick him up from the playground at school and see him and some friends playing a game of baseball.  And his teacher said he'd spend almost every recess alone kicking a football.  SIGN HIM UP! which brings me to ever since we've made it back from the beach.  

Among all the VBS and extended stays at his grands, he's been to baseball camp at a local community college, football camp at his school, and football kicking camp at a high school on the outskirts of Atlanta.  He's been learning and honing his skills, and he's met some pretty great talent along the way…Chris and Brad Smelley - both players and graduates of UA (Chris now coaches at his school, and Brad still currently plays in the NFL.) - and Marshall Morgan - a kicker for the Georgia Bulldogs.  Pretty cool if you ask him.  Or me.  :)  

After all that camping, he's declared football is his fave.  Flag starts in eight weeks or less.

And because a post isn't really a post without a "pichur" as Parker would say... 

I've been not only inspired but motivated (two w's to the win-win) to pick up my camera.  From a super cloudy and super wet this-past-Friday…he had picked a few scupadines from the vines behind him.  He was counting how many were in his hands when a raindrop hit his arm.  Gotta make sure it's nothing that bites.  :)

X {diver}



…purchased on a whim during a last minute Wal-mart run for double the price of what we saw them for last week. Sigh.  

3, 2, 1...action


I still have a few pictures to share, but I stayed up waaaaay past my bedtime last night to finish this little number and couldn't wait to share.

disclaimer: No professional equipment was used in the making of this video. Just an iPhone or two, the iMovie app (Windows Movie Maker if you're not a Mac user), and my all time fav Summer number "The Sound of Sunshine" by Michael Franti and Spearhead.

Oh! And I didn't borrow the people playing with Parker and strolling on the beach. Those were his grandparents who joined us for two nights of our four-night stay. Them being there with us was truly the extra sparkle in the sand.

our bags are {un}packed

Of all the things that have left me speechless - watching from our driveway while Jake rides his bike with no training wheels and the grand finale of first grade (He brought home an award for having the second highest number of AR points in his class - 74 - and a medal for having a servant's heart), his new smile has rocked my world the most. That let go moment of the last thing that was "baby" did it for me, and I cried and I cried.

He lost his top right on a Saturday afternoon a little over two weeks before the last day of school and his top left the day before Honors Day (It was loose before, but after a faceplant on his classroom floor during a game of freeze dance, it was barely dangling, and he couldn't wait to get home so he could pull, pull, pull.).

In between the first and second, we played at one birthday party and one end-of-the-year party, and I packed our bags for the beach. I didn't capture his 50/50 grin before we left, so I made it a point to while we were away.

...from our last few wee early hours there waiting for the sun to shine.

catchin' some air

june 05, 2014 | 6:04 am


Praying myself through a reality check today and oh-my-word the laundry.  When I sort through it all, I'll sit a my computer again and relive these four days.

Words fail me as I sit here and get lost in his world.

just parker


...from a walk that we took to the picnic area and boat dock that our home owner's association had built last Summer. The crazy steep workout was worth it so he could throw sticks and count boats. Whatever works.

As many unspoken words written on his face say that he is, he really wasn't mad at me at all. I sat in front of him and crossed my legs just like his so he could see how I wanted him to sit and then I bossed him around a little more and asked him not to smile and to give himself a big hug. He wrinkled his forehead in deep thought and made his move and said, "Wike dis, Mommy?"

I swear I could see his soul from four feet away.

until I find the minutes and the words...a little {much-needed} visit to my happy place