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.

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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.

january2014

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!

february2014

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!

march2014

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!

april2014

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.

may2014

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!!

june2014

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.

july2014

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.

august2014

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.

september2014

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.

october2014

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. 

november2014part1

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!

november2014part2

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.

december2014

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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.

Cheers!

 

I Wouldn’t Change A Thing

I Wouldn’t Change A Thing

Today, Jason and I mark our 16th wedding anniversary. I know what you’re thinking… “She must’ve been 10 when she got married.” No, actually, I was 22 and three weeks out of college. A baby, yes. A child bride, not quite.

I look at Pinterest and see photo shoots my friends do of some amazing weddings, weddings I wish were mine. Oh, if I had it all to do over, I would do this, that and the other thing. 

No. Actually I wouldn’t change a thing.

It was a at the beach, a week after a tropical storm blew through. A destination wedding before destination weddings were cool.

It was the only off weekend for Auburn AND Georgia. And Georgia Tech was playing away. (Those are the most important details, y’all.)

The morning of the wedding, the hotel decided to lay new St. Augustine sod right in the area where the aisle was. Do you know how hard it is to walk on fresh sod?

I did my own flowers, except the bouquets and boutonnieres.

My cake decided to lean at a precarious angle, causing friends to dismantle it while we were taking pictures. I was hardheaded and refused to cut it before it was time in the pre-arranged schedule.

Everything didn’t go according to plan, but at the end of the night, after everybody else went to the Village to see The Outfield play a concert, we were married. Til death do us part.

Lighthouse Wedding

 

And to this day, I wouldn’t change a thing. Not about our wedding day, and not about our life together. Sure, it hasn’t been all roses and sunshine, but life isn’t always roses and sunshine. And it’s led us to where we are and led us to the life we’ve made.

We’ve defied the odds and laughed at statistics. People don’t survive things we’ve been through.

But we have. So far, we’re still standing.

Happy 16th Anniversary, Jason. Here’s to many more!

The One Where I Get A Finger Monkey

The One Where I Get A Finger Monkey

A few months back, I mentioned that I really wanted a finger monkey for my birthday.

A what?

A finger monkey. You know, one of these:

ISN’T IT THE MOST ADORABLE AND RIDICULOUS THING EVER?

Well, they can’t get me one because they’re probably illegal and hell, I don’t know if they even exist or not. They’re probably expensive, too. And likely would terrorize our dog and cat and kid.

So I figured I would opt for something else. Maybe a gift certificate for a facial or a tank of gas. Maybe I could sleep in until 7. Something practical.

I woke up this morning to being shuffled off to get a Starbucks Chai, a breakfast at Waffle House, and back home to this.

Look at that beautiful cake! It was tiramisu and to die for! But it didn’t kill me.

I didn’t die until I opened my gift and wondered why the HELL they bought me a monkey charm for my Pandora bracelet.

Then Henry said, “It’s because of your love of the finger monkey. And bananas for the monkey to eat.”

And THEN I DIED!

According to them, this is what went down in the Pandora store:

Pandora girl: Can I help you today?

Henry: Do you have a monkey?

Pandora girl: Sure. Why do you need a monkey?

Henry: Because my mom saw this picture on the internet and it had a pointy finger with a monkey on it. 

Pandora girl: OH! I WANT ONE OF THOSE FINGER MONKEYS!

Henry and Jason: ((dying laughing))

Henry: We’re going to need some bananas, too, because her name is Jana Banana and her finger monkey will get hungry.

After I gathered myself and stopped snorting while laughing, I quickly corrected them and let them know it wasn’t a finger monkey, it would really be a wrist monkey.

Pin-Up Girl

Each of us has a story.

You have one, you have one, even YOU have one. (yes, you, the one in the back saying “I’m just a normal girl.”)

If you’ve been around very long, you’ll know that from 2010 until just recently, I worked on a group site called Band Back Together. It was a labor of love, one that started from a little seed in Becky’s brain, and one that came to life quickly and successfully.

People come from all walks of life and submit stories – THEIR STORIES – of life, love, loss, abuse, addiction, special needs, special circumstances, and both hope AND fear. The stories are real. The stories are raw. The stories are LIFE.

For 2013, Band Back Together has produced a beautiful calendar. This calendar will feature the faces of different situations and conditions. There’s Bipolar, Domestic Abuse, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Special Needs Parenting, Organ Donation, and others.

I don’t want to give anything away, but Jason and I will be featured as the Faces of Child Loss.

While I wish our situation was different and I didn’t have to be the pin-up girl for losing a child, it’s the hand that Jason and I were dealt. We play that hand and sometimes it’s an even an honor for us to be able to share our story and share our Charlie with others around us. I feel like we offer hope to those who have suffered a loss, helping them realize that life CAN go on. It’s not easy and it surely takes time to be able to see the other side, but life is still beautiful, even through the sometimes foggy lens of grief.

Here’s where I ask you to buy a calendar.

But I’m not asking for me. Though I think you’ll love having a picture of me and my adorable husband on your wall for the entire month of May!

It’s for the Band. It’s to help continue providing a safe place for people who feel like they don’t have a voice, to have a voice. It’s for those who want to speak their truths without fear. It’s for some of you. It’s for all of us.

In addition to selling the calendars, Band Back Together will be offering calendar bundles. The bundle includes a calendar, BB2G stickers, BB2G temp tattoos, and while supplies last a BB2G button as well. For just a few dollars more you’ll be able to snag some cool extras. We have enough supplies to offer the bundle during pre-sales, and will continue to offer them until supplies run dry. We cannot guarantee the supplies will last through regular sales.

Order now by clicking on this pretty little picture. Put my name in the comment section so they know I sent you!

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BUY A CALENDAR NOW!

 

Proceeds from the 2013 Band Back Together Calendar will be used for outreach efforts in 2013. Band Back Together runs as a nonprofit, meaning we do not profit from any incoming funds. All proceeds go directly into Band efforts such as server costs or outreach efforts. As of this posting, federal nonprofit status has not been received, therefore purchases or donations are not tax deductible at this time.

Memories: Leftover Yesterdays

Memories: Leftover Yesterdays

memories are leftover yesterdays

Memories are leftover yesterdays. 

Say that a few times and really think about it.

Memories are leftover yesterdays.

Jason was working on a project the other day and that was a line he used. It just came out of his brain, y’all, and it was brilliant.

I was watching the video he prepared and was struck by those four words. The rest of the video was beautiful, but when they came up on the screen, I physically gasped. I was that moved by them.

Memories are leftover yesterdays. 

Memories are made to be kept tight in your heart, to be opened when you need to remember.

Think back to an early memory. I bet if you turned off the computer , TV and any kind of noise, and you sat in silence with that memory, you could actually feel yourself right back there. In that moment.

Memories come in all shapes and sizes.

Happy and sad. Tangible and not. Physical and emotional.

In hyper-color and in sepia tone.

They come with sound and with smell.

Memories allow you to be in two places at once…here and there.

They allow you to feel love and happiness and sadness and joy and fear and pain and excitement.

Just like the day it happened.

 

 


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