Goodbye 2014, Hello 2015

Goodbye 2014, Hello 2015

Oh, 2014. You’ve been good and you’ve been bad. As far as I’m concerned, you can go ahead and get on out of here…

Last year, I chose Intuition to be my word of the year. I’ve worked very hard to trust my intuition this year. It isn’t always easy, and sometimes it’s downright impossible, but when I’ve listened? It’s never led me astray.


2014 was a busy year, and unfortunately I didn’t share a lot of what we did in posts. But here are some of my favorite moments from the year.

January: I cut off all my hair and the entire metro Atlanta area shut down from #snOMG14. Auburn went to the National Championship and lost, Henry won a trophy in the Pinewood Derby and Henry and I ran the Hot Chocolate 5k.


February: Henry was asked to be in the Austin Chorus that would perform at the local high school. It snowed again. This time, like 6″. We had an amazing time playing in it for days and drinking iced snoffee! I started and completed the hardest weekend of my life, running 19.3 miles over the course of two days. It was stupid and amazing!


March: March was super busy with Listen To Your Mother stuff. We held auditions and planned, plotted, and schemed. I spent a full week traveling the Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi area with my boss and coworker. I got to ride in the backseat of the truck the whole week and needed serious pain meds when it was all over!


April: In April, my dad tried to catch himself on fire by blowing up his lawnmower. He’s fine… now we just laugh. Henry spent several days camping with his grandmother and her friend at Stone Mountain. The girls I grew up with from the time we were born all spent a day together. We always have such a great time! Listen To Your Mother: Atlanta happened. It was magical!


May: May saw the end of third grade for Henry. Mom 2.0 was in Atlanta and I was fortunate to have been asked to be on the social media team. It was an amazing conference and I just l.o.v.e being able to see my friends… especially in “my” city! We marked Charlie’s 11th birthday without pomp and circumstance.


June: In June, I left my job at the wholesale nursery to do social media management full (part) time. Jason and I took Henry to New Orleans for the 70th Anniversary of D Day. We spent the full day at the National WW2 Museum, which I highly recommend to anyone and everyone. On this trip, after probably 6 years of being friends online, I finally got to give Leah a big hug in person!!


July: July was busy. We moved into a new house where we have a small pond behind us. Henry and his friend had a lemonade stand. He also participated in the GIANT Dunwoody 4th of July parade and went to Camp Winnataska for the 3rd year. I posted my 700th blog post on this here site.


August: In August, Henry and his first girlfriend Daria were able to get together. Our families went bowling and they were absolutely mortified to have to take a picture together (though later, I saw them playing a game standing about 1cm apart). Henry started 4th grade and I landed myself in the ER with a crazy reaction to a sulfa drug. Fun times, y’all! I also shared a recipe for the Georgia Cash Crop Cobbler. It’s seriously delicious.


September: In September, Jason and I dressed up and went out. It was to a wedding where we knew only the bride, but it was out. And fancy. Henry’s hair got to epic lengths and he looked like a teenager in his school pictures. Type A Conference was in Atlanta and I spent a few nights down in Buckhead with dear dear friends, old and new.


October: In October, I went to a few Auburn football games, hanging out with Kim and my #BelieveBitches crew! We went to the fair down in Perry, as usual, and celebrated Halloween with the Hollidays for the 5th year.


November: November marked Henry’s TENTH birthday. Double digits. He had a Game Truck birthday party, which was amazing! I highly recommend having someone bring a game truck to your driveway. You can drink while they play games and entertain your child! The Cub Scout Den went zip lining. What a blast! Henry was a narrator in his class’s patriotic program. If you want, I can have him recite his part in his Arnold Schwarzenegger impersonation. My friends got together for an unofficial 20th class reunion. There was much drinking and much Cards Against Humanity going on. 


We spent Thanksgiving Week in New York City.

This was by far the highlight of our year. Henry and I got to hang out with my dear friend Neil for two days while Jason worked in Long Island, and then we spent the next 5 days as a family doing amazing things, like the Intrepid Museum and the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade! Yes, I’m going to recap the trip after the new year because there is SO much more!


December: In December, I turned 39. Yes, I’m staring down 40. We celebrated my birthday and our friend’s 50th with all you can eat catfish! We celebrated the holidays with Jason’s side of the family at the annual Anthoine Christmas Party, and of course, took goofy pictures of ourselves with our Christmas tree! Christmas was wonderful as usual, with my parents coming over for Christmas day lunch and then going to Jason’s mom’s for the weekend.



2015 is now upon us.

I think I speak for a lot of people when I say I hope 2015 is better than 2014. Not that it was horrible for my family or myself exactly, but there’s always room for improvement. I’ll be spending the next few days thinking about what I want in 2015 and I’m sure you’re going to do the same.

My big hope for everyone is that we can all find happiness and peace.



Her Last First Day of Football Season

Her Last First Day of Football Season

Football season is here. The countdown has been on since January 6 when Auburn and Florida State faced off in an amazing final BCS National Championship Game before the new Playoff system goes into play. As the clock ticks down and the very first college kickoff is within reach, or even on the same calendar page, plans start being made. Tailgates are planned. Trips to games are scheduled. The excitement builds!

Both of my grandmothers were big football fans. My Mimi (my Dad’s mom) was an NFL gal. Of course, she watched Auburn play, but her Sunday afternoons after my grandfather died were spent watching the NFL. I remember her talking about Refrigerator Perry, Joe Montana, Dan Marino… all those guys who were household names were burned into my brain after hearing her wool suit and pantyhose in all seasons wearing self yell at them on television.

My Grannie, though, she was a college football girl. My Grandaddy much preferred golf and baseball, played as background noise to naps, card games and the heat of summer. But my Grannie? Well, she wanted to watch a hard hitting football game, preferably Auburn, Georgia or Georgia Tech, any day of the week. Those were her grandkids’ alma maters and she did everything she could to support them. Up to and including missing the evening news on Channel 13 to watch a game well past midnight.

I couldn’t help but think about her this weekend.

This time last year we were with her in the ICU, wondering if and when she would recover from the stroke she had suffered on the first Saturday night of football season. She died a few short weeks later.

When I took my walk through her house a few months ago, I only got a few things. I got all the deviled egg dishes I could find, a desk, a few photo albums and a few kitchen items. But the one thing I cherish that sits on my desk is something most people would have thrown into the trash.

It’s my reminder: She had big plans on that Saturday night.

Her Last First Football Saturday

In the emergency room, while she was still able to help us piece together a timeline of when she suffered the strokes, we learned that she did watch the Auburn game and was excited that we won. We know she started the other two games and took her medicine at 10pm. We know she was very mad when we told her that Clemson had beaten Georgia.

She was excited about the start of football season — excited enough to have my aunt write down when and where to watch the important games — and I’m thankful she got to see and enjoy some of it. Getting excited about the start of certain seasons — whether it’s football, NASCAR, deer hunting, golf or hockey — is important. Being able to forward to enjoyable activities is really what life should be about.

This piece of paper is a good reminder to me.

This paper reminds me that she was excited about her evening activities. It reminds me that she always thought about her children and grandchildren (and great grandchildren) and knew that we loved these teams alongside her.

It reminds me that the majority of her last pre-stroke hours were enjoyable for her — spent celebrating her last first day of football season.

Stream of Consciousness Sunday: Going Home

Today’s post needs no real introduction. There are places we all feel are “home” even if they’re not physically our homes. They invoke emotion in us that can’t usually be put into words, but today we’re going to try.

Today’s (totally optional) prompt: Going Home

stream of consciousness sunday

Home. They say it’s where the heart is.

Some say it’s where your family is.

Sometimes it’s just where your heart starts beating faster, your skin flushes, memories of a time come flooding back, and you find yourself saying out loud, “This is home!”

That’s Auburn for me.

I picked up my roommate from Auburn at the airport and we drove down for a road race this weekend. Both of us upon reaching the city limits, said that THIS is home.

The sights, the smells, the memories… even though it’s been 15 years since we left here to move on with lives, get married, have babies, etc, it’s like we never left. Sure, “home” has gotten new stores, A FREAKING TARGET, a lot more bars, and a lot of facelifts, but it’s the same.

We’re those people now, the ones like our parents used to be when they would drag us to Auburn. The ones who say, “I used to live there. We used to go there on Wednesday nights. That used to be the xyz store.”

We’re like that now because it’s home. It always will be.


This was my 5 minute Stream of Consciousness Sunday post. It’s five minutes of your time and a brain dump. Want to try it? Here are the rules…

  • Set a timer and write for 5 minutes.
  • Write an intro to the post if you want but don’t edit the post. No proofreading or spellchecking. This is writing in the raw.
  • Publish it somewhere. Anywhere. The back door to your blog if you want. But make it accessible.
  • Add the Stream of Consciousness Sunday badge to your post (in the sidebar). .
  • Link up your post below.
  • Visit your fellow bloggers and show some love.

Stream of Consciousness Sunday: Career Choices

I spent Wednesday at Auburn, in the Horticulture department (yay, Ag School!) talking to students and interviewing a few. This was so exciting for me for many reasons… one is that it was Auburn, another is that I could go to the bookstore, and yet another is that I was going back to where it all started.

Funchess Hall: Where every day smells like formaldehyde and dirt. 

That brings me to our (optional) prompt for the day. As usual, PLEASE feel free to just free write for 5 minutes about your topic of choice. It’s your space and your time. Just write!

Today’s (optional) prompt: How did you settle on your major/career choice?

stream of consciousness sunday

I went to Auburn as an Exercise Science major. Then I put on my Freshman 15 (er, 20) and decided I didn’t like the word “exercise” so I left that major.

Accounting it was. Definitely accounting.

I was good at it, too. Only problem? I’m a little OCD with numbers and sometimes they give me nightmares. I remember them and count in my sleep and ohmygod why can’t i forget my ex-boyfriend’s phone number? The numbers were everywhere.

Did I mention I would have to dress up for work if I was an accountant? Yeah, that wouldn’t be fun. CPAs don’t wear jeans and t-shirts on a daily basis.

I set out to look at the course catalog. Surely there was something that wouldn’t require this girl to wear a suit to work daily.

A is for Agriculture.

Ooh, Horticulture looks good. Plants are pretty. Dirt’s not too scary. I can memorize latin names.

I think I’ll do THAT. Yeah. I’ll be a plant girl.

So I set out to do just that.

And now I wear jeans and t-shirts to work every day.

How did YOU choose your major or career path? 


This was my 5 minute Stream of Consciousness Sunday post. It’s five minutes of your time and a brain dump. Want to try it? Here are the rules…

  • Set a timer and write for 5 minutes.
  • Write an intro to the post if you want but don’t edit the post. No proofreading or spellchecking. This is writing in the raw.
  • Publish it somewhere. Anywhere. The back door to your blog if you want. But make it accessible.
  • Add the Stream of Consciousness Sunday badge to your post (in the sidebar). .
  • Link up your post below.
  • Visit your fellow bloggers and show some love.

Life Changes in Split Seconds

Just like that. Decisions are made that can’t be taken back.
Just like that. A life is changed.
Just like that. Families are forever changed.

Over the weekend, several Auburn students and Auburn residents were murdered and injured at their apartment complex. As of right this minute, there are three dead, one fighting for his life and two others with non-life-threatening injuries.

(Stories about each victim here.)

I’m not here to write about the actual events of the night because, well, I don’t have all the facts and can’t.

But there are things that I know.

I know that this isn’t about football teams or championships. This is about young people whose lives have been affected in ways we can’t imagine.

I know that *just like that* three families became bearers of bigger holes in their lives than any bullet could inflict. Their Thanksgiving tables will forever have an empty seat. Their hearts will never heal.

I know that *just like that* three other young men with bright futures became victims of a violent crime that will alter the way they go through life. Maybe they will be faced with depression, PTSD and physical impairments from the injuries.

I know that *just like that* people who witnessed any or all of the shooting are now secondary victims of a crime. They are the victims that will be forgotten. They will be the ones who, as “survivors,” will carry unspoken guilt with them about why and how it was the others and not them.

No, I’ve never been in any of their particular brand of shoes. So who am I to write any of this?

I’m a card-carrying member of the Auburn Family and of the club of parents who have buried a child. I’ve faced PTSD head-on and in my work with Band Back Together, I’ve heard from many who have been witnesses to crimes and who carry that heavy burden of survivor’s guilt with them.

My heart hurts and I can’t shake the feelings of hurt and sadness I feel for these families and young people. I know many others who feel the same way.

As far as the Auburn Family is concerned, we may be scarred, sad and heartbroken over this horrible tragedy, but we will NEVER be broken. We carry a spirit that is not afraid.


 Side note that IS related to the case: The gunman, Desmonte Demontez Leonard, is still being sought. For information on him and how to report a tip, see this article .


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