The Fight is Over.

Hunter's Dad & Brother,  1/22/13

Yesterday Hunter's Dad's long battle with cancer 
finally came to an end.
He passed away at home in his bed.
My heart is full of love for this family, 
and full of sadness for their pain and loss.


It's Not Enough

I'm not posting this from my High Horse.  I'm posting this as much as a reminder for myself as a suggestion to my readers.

It's Not Enough to say to a friend, "you know you're welcome to come over and visit any time".
You need to say "Hey, I'd like you to come over for dinner this week.  Is Wednesday good for you?"
Maintaining relationships with friends and family is important.  Casual 'stop by anytime' throw-out statements are not conducive to that.

It's Not Enough to say to your aging parents, "I'm going to come visit as soon as I have time".  You won't have time.  You MUST make time.  You never know when time will run out.

It's Not Enough to say "let me know if there's anything I can do for you" when someone is going through a terribly difficult time or a loss.  For most people, they won't do it. Even if they have a need, they won't call.  They don't want to be a burden.  When Hunter's Dad's health took this recent bad turn, at first I asked that question to Hunter's mom..."let me know how I can help".  Of course she didn't.  So I told Hunter to ask her if they would be home on Tuesday night.  She said yes.  I made dinner and Hunter and I took it over and we all ate together.  (except his dad, who is no longer eating.)
Just show up.  And if you see a need - offer to help specifically.  Don't say "If you need someone to take care of the dog while you're at radiation appointments for several hours, call me".  Say "When is the next radiation appointment?  OK, I'll be here to take care of the dog."

I don't think there are very many people who sit at a funeral thinking "Man, I spent WAY too much time with this dude.  Sure wish I'd made less time for him in my life while he was still living....."


Listicling It Up

This Monday's Listicles theme is 10 THINGS YOU THOUGHT AS A CHILD YOU WOULD DO/BE.
My memory sucks these days, but to my surprise things started coming back to me as soon as I saw this theme.

  1. A mama....I don't remember ever NOT wanting to have kids.
  2. A teacher.  BahahaHAHAHA - I have no idea what I was thinking.  There's no way I could handle that job! *sidenote*  - I did work in childcare for years but never with children older than three.  I ADORE babies but once they become talking-back-creatures and I actually have to make them learn something vital?  I'm out of my element.
  3. A veterinarian or animal rescuer of some kind.  Always did love the animals.  I would read in the paper (at a very young age) about all of the animals that were euthanized and get SO upset.  Another (related) dream was Marine Biologist.
  4. A photographer, but not of people, of nature and animals.  
  5. A wife.....I also don't remember ever NOT wanting to be married.  And now I've done that twice, go me! HA
  6. I wanted to move far, far away.  I still live in my hometown.  I have moved into smaller neighboring towns, but am now back in my old hometown.  And now I have no desire to move away!
  7. A cosmetologist.  Which is hilarious because I SUCK at doing hair.  I would've been the worst hairdresser in the history of the planet!
  8. I SO desperately wanted to be a famous singer.  However I was not graced with the voice for that.  If I could have one talent, that would probably be the one I chose.  
  9. I wanted to be a writer.  I have been writing as long as I can remember, pretty much from the time I learned how to write.  Journaling, short stories, school newspaper, etc., you name it.  I would love to have a book published one day.  I can dream......
  10. I've always loved old people and wanted to take care of them, and wanted to be in health care.  And Now I have been in health care for the past 6 years!  

It's funny to look back and remember the things I thought I wanted to do that now TOTALLY don't fit with the person I've become (teacher, cosmotologist), and at the same time see the things that absolutely DO fit (writer, health care, animal rescuer)!
Fun Listicle as usual.
Have a great week amigos!


Eventful Sunday in my City

As I mentioned before, we celebrate birthdays around here for at least a month week.
So this is really more of a "Weekend in my City" post.

  • For our family birthday celebration on Saturday, we went to my parents' house. 

 I made Three Cheese Chicken Parmesan, with spinach and dinner rolls.  
For dessert, Shelbie and her BFF Ashlee made rainbow cupcakes, 
and Elayna chose Blue Bunny White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Ice Cream.  
It was ALL absolutely delicious!

  • Hayleigh is walking now and we had a BLAST playing with her.

That's Tim on the couch.  Hayleigh is pretty much his shadow!
They are so cute together.

Hayleigh and Elayna

  • This weekend we also got a new addition to our family.

Elayna & Bo

A little backstory here: 
Shelbie and Hunter's son, Tyler, have known each other and gone to school together for years.  
They are not close friends but they run in the same circles.  
Tyler has dated several of Shelbie's friends.
Anyway, one of their mutual friends found this gorgeous puppy a couple of months ago.  Her parents wouldn't let her keep him, so Tyler ended up with him.  He originally planned to give the pup to his girlfriend, but her parents vetoed that idea.  So Tyler tried to keep him himself, but between school and baseball and of course having a girlfriend, he just doesn't spend enough time with the pup.
In fact, we puppy-sat him for a weekend a while back, I blogged about it here.
So Tyler called Dear Old Dad.

Meet Bo, the newest resident at the Casa de Dysfunction!

He is beautiful, a truly gorgeous dog.  He is ALL puppy.  
Sweet, affectionate, playful, HIGH - ENERGY.
I get tired just watching him.

If you're counting, that brings the pet total to 3 dogs, one cat, and one rabbit.
And one tired Mama.

Unknown Mami
Visit not-so Unknown Mami for more Sundays in my City posts!



My baby is twelve.
Still trying to wrap my brain around that reality.

she's crafty.

she's a Belieber.
I am NOT.
I didn't purchase this gift; Hunter did.
Hunter spoils her.

I let her ice the cake.

She ate more of the icing than she actually put on the cake!
I LOVE her friends.  They are smart and friendly and funny!
In our family we celebrate birthdays for a week or two.  She celebrated at her dad's, here at home on Thursday night, again tonight with friends, and tomorrow evening we'll be celebrating with my family.

I've thrown some pretty awesome theme parties for Elayna in previous years.

One year it was a 50's Party.  Another year it was a Tea Party.
This year, I was a slacker and we didn't have a theme.  We've already decided to start planning an awesome theme party next year for the big THIRTEEN!  I'm thinking MARDI GRAS theme.  It's gonna be a blast!

Hope y'all have a wonderful weekend.


Bracing Myself...

Hunter's biological father was never a part of his life.  He left his mother when Hunter was just a baby.
Hunter's mother is one of the sweetest people you could ever want to meet.
She is not, and never was, a disciplinarian.
When Hunter was a (rowdy) teenager, his mother married his stepfather.  Stepdad, Mr. J, was a cop.  Very strict.
It was like fire and gasoline.  You can imagine, I'm sure, the conflicts that ensued.  Suffice it to say, it was a volatile relationship.
But things changed.  Hunter grew up.  He put his parents through hell for years, but as he matured and settled down, things got better.  It took a long time, but now, they are very close.  Mr. J is a WONDERFUL man.    Mr. J has been incredibly welcoming to me and my children and is very happy to have us in their lives.  Not only does he call Hunter "son", but he even introduces him as his SON - not stepson.  He is very proud of him and the man he has become.  It sometimes makes me tear up to see the way they are now.

And now, Mr. J is dying.

He was diagnosed with cancer several years ago.  He has undergone chemo, radiation, and who knows what all other treatments.  He has four grandsons (including Hunter's son) and I believe he has endured all of this for them.  He adores them and wants to see them grow up.
But it seems that is not going to happen.
The treatments just aren't helping any more, and in the last few weeks he's been going downhill quickly.
Today, they arranged hospice care.
Now of course, Hospice doesn't stamp an expiration date on someone.   People can be under hospice care for a very long time; I know someone who was under hospice care for over a year.
But truthfully, I don't see that happening here.  He hasn't eaten in well over a week.  He can't walk, and falls when he tries.  He mostly stays in bed.  He's fading quickly.
It's heartbreaking.  Mrs. J has a wonderful support system but still - she will be lost without him.

Suddenly cancer is really rearing its ugly head in our lives, and it's terrifying.

My friend's son who is also my daughter's ex-boyfriend has lymphoma.  He's 17.
Another family friend, a very young teen girl, just had a mole removed that was melanoma.
Another family friend, who already beat cancer once, has cancer again, this time in his liver and colon.  He's 45.
And the list goes on.
It makes me mad.  And scared.  And sad.

There are hard times coming for people that I dearly love.  It's time to for me to be there, to support them and help them in any way that I can.  I hate to see people that I love, in so much pain.
Bracing myself.....


Sundays in the Wilderness

Photos from my Nature Walk here at home.







I always have to take a photo of the creek.  
For as long as I can remember, I have dreamed of living way back in the middle of the woods,
with a creek running through my yard.  
That dream has finally come true, and I love it.
I can't get enough of this creek.

P.S. I'm getting a new camera next week!  No more phone pics!  I'm SO excited!

Visit Unknown Mami for more Sundays in my City posts!

Unknown Mami


Cute Medical Scrubs ~ Review

Working in the medical field comes with many benefits.
But the best one of all?
Cute scrubs.

Seriously though....working in Home Health Care, 
we had to wear plain blue scrubs with the company logo.
When I started working in a hospital, 
I was happy to be able to wear my cute scrubs again, and of course,
anxious to get some new ones.
I found a great website called MedicalScrubsCollection.com, and they helped me out with that!

Medical Scrubs Collection has a great selection of scrubs, and many of the brands I already know and love -  Grey's Anatomy, Dickie's, and Cherokee to name a few.
They also carry brands I didn't even know made scrubs- like Carhartt and Mary Engelbreit!

I had the hardest time choosing an outfit because there are SO many cute ones to choose from.
And I'm a little picky; being in health care for over 6 years, I know what I like.  On scrub tops, big square pockets are a MUST.  I have too much stuff to carry and the sideways pockets, while cute, don't hold enough and stuff falls out of them.
Also, cargo scrub pants are a must.  I love all the pockets.

I truly love what I ended up with.  
I chose a  Cherokee Dickies Fashion Print Round Neck Top, Size Medium.
I love the pocket detailing, but my favorite thing is the way the neck is designed.

I LOVE the color and both the top & pants fit perfectly!
I absolutely love the convenience of shopping online, but
I'm usually a little hesitant to order clothes without trying them on.
But this time it worked out great!
They also shipped and arrived very quickly.  

I highly recommend using MedicalScrubsCollections.com for your scrub needs.
They also carry accessories, footwear, scopes, etc. 
Check them out!

MedicalScrubsCollection.com provided me with a set of scrubs for the purpose of this review.  
All opinions are 100% my own!


It's 'My Friday' {Fragments}

Work-wise, Wednesday night was "My Friday". 
 That's common hospital-speak, and probably common in other places that are staffed 24/7. 
The last shift you work in a week is called "your Friday".
Wednesday night was My Friday and I am off until Monday night.
WELL deserved!!!  This week was insane.

SEE THIS?!?!?!?

my severe, life-threatening injury.
What do you think this is?  Snake bite maybe?
(Trust me, if it were, I'd be locked up in the mental hospital. Forever.)
It is, however, a bite.  A vicious bite from a ferocious animal.

 Her name is Coco.  She's a lop.  A vicious little lop. 

In all seriousness, she is a rescue Bunny.  Elayna's early birthday present; she has been BEGGING for a bunny.  (her birthday is next week - she will be TWELVE!!)

Coco was taken in by a woman who raises rabbits.  She was starved and near death.  So, she has a wee bit of aggression when it comes to food, and apparently when it comes to me suddenly sticking my hand in her crate.


I still love her.
I'm a sucker for a rescue.

pretty sure Mama Kitty is thinking
"that is the biggest effing mouse  I have EVER seen".

Tonight I made chicken & dumplings and baby lima beans for the whole fam-damily.
It was delicious and I so enjoyed having all three kids here.
(even my BIG KID who will be 20 YEARS OLD in a couple of months!!! EEK!)

We have some major illnesses going on in our families right now
Like "C" word illness.
I really hate that word.
Hunter's dad, particularly, is very ill.
All we can do is pray and keep him comfortable.

I need a HAPPY weekend to combat my STRESSFUL week. 
So far so good.....
Hope you have a HAPPY WEEKEND too!!!

Mommy's Idea


A Likely Story

Last March I was in a car accident and the only thing hurt was my hair.

I am not quite sure how, but a large section of my hair was cut off pretty close to the root.  I think it was from me crawling out of the broken window while the car was upside down.

I have been able to camouflage it pretty well, especially once it grew out a little.  But every time I've had my hair cut since then, I've had to tell the story to the stylist about why I have a random chunk hair that's shorter than the rest.
This Friday when I got my hair cut once again, I realized that I'm getting tired of telling the car accident story.  It just gets old.  So I decided to make up a few stories to have on hand for the next time I get my hair done, that are more entertaining than the old, true version.


5. Tragic bubble gum accident.

4. Honey badger.  He really doesn't care.

3. WHAT DO YOU MEAN I HAVE A PATCH OF SHORT HAIR?!  I didn't have one this morning!!!!

2. It was ran over by a forklift.  My man Sugar Bear was driving.


....and the number one reason I have a freak chunk of short hair:

1. The rest of it was stolen in Vietnam.  In Vietnam they will steal your tires while you're driving down the road and you would never know it. Hey, they would steal your radio with the music still playing.



Mommy's Idea

Think I got my Linkys confused?
No, I just have seen so many things on Facebook/Pinterest/etc this week that I wanted to share, so I decided to do that today.

(and technically they're not wordless because there are words on the images...but they're not MY words.)


I only wish there wasn't a spelling error on this =/

Photo: Oh snap! ~ Moon

LOVE this cat.  Favorite meme EVER.

Photo: ATTN GUYS!! 
It's not too early to get your Valentines Day shopping out of the way!! 
Necklace available at:
Yes I am =)

Photo: Please Visit our New Web Site:

Please Like ✔ Tag ✔ Comment ✔ Share ✔ - thank you ♥

Love Notes: Not just for paper any more.  :o)

Have a fantastic weekend!!