Easter SIMC

Unknown Mami

From these photos, you can clearly see who this Easter was focused on, 
for our family.
My dad is still in the hospital; he'll probably go home on Tuesday.
(he's doing VERY well!)
Mom was at the hospital with him but my sister, niece, niece's hubby, and my great-niece Hayleigh 
came to our house.  My son was here, and my mother-in-law also came over.

It was Hayleigh's 2nd Easter, but she was just a tiny newborn last year.

Fancy Easter dress

She LOVES my mother-in-law's dog, Toby.

I love this pose, although it makes my knees hurt just to look at  it!

She picked right up on the egg-hunting!

When she saw an egg she would say "Oooohh - weeee!" 

we didn't exactly 'hide' them.

She learned very quickly how to open them and find
the goodies inside.

Aunt Cyndy gave Hayleigh her first chocolate bunny.
She LOVED it!

She's like, "seriously? you're going to let me EAT this??" 
I seem to have forgotten to take pics of anyone BUT Hayleigh.  OOOOPSSS.....
We had great food and and a very nice time.
Hope y'all had a great Easter/Sunday!


He made me a Mama

What better day than his 20th birthday could there be to tell you how awesome my son is?
Yeah, I know, all Mommies love their babies.
But as my son has gotten older and more mature, he is becoming a (gulp) MAN who I am truly proud of.

He is a very hard worker.  He gets to work early and stays as long as he is needed.  He takes his job seriously and is very reliable.
He has a wicked, fantastic sense of humor.
He's friendly and polite, especially to little kids and old people.

But let me tell you what makes me the most proud of all.
This boy LOVES his family.
He has such a strong sense of love, devotion, and obligation to his family.
But not obligation in a negative way.
If his family is having a gathering - he WILL be there, if at all possible.
Not because it's expected of him, but because he wants to be there.  That's his family.
He has a four year old half-sister, his dad's daughter, whom he adores.  She was born when he was 16, a time when many boys would have been way too busy for a baby sister.  But not my son - he is a wonderful brother.
And my great-niece, Hayleigh?  OMG.
He ADORES her.  When they are together, he is playing with her nearly the entire time.  The rest of the time, he's feeding her.  She LOVES her Timmy.  He crawls on the floor with her, throws her in the air, and absolutely DELIGHTS her.
Any time my family gets together, my son is there.  Not because I guilt him into it- not at all.  Because he truly wants to be there.

And since my Dad's illness, he has proven himself more than ever.
Last night, when Tim got off work, he came straight to the hospital.  I expected him to make an appearance, chat with everyone, then leave.
But - no.  He stayed until I left at about 10pm.  He visited his Papa and then spent time with the rest of the family.  Because he wanted to.
And then .... today.  While I slept, he went to the hospital.  He left his home and drove to the hospital and spent time with his papa and the rest of our family.  I had nothing to do with it, and it wasn't because he was asked to....he WANTED to.  Because he understands the value of family.

I am immensely proud of this kid. This evening as I was leaving the hospital, I was explaining to my Dad why I was leaving.  Tim is here at my house tonight with some friends, having a little birthday celebration, and I needed to get home with pizza and soda, and to bake a cake.  I said to my Dad, "You remember today is Tim's birthday, right?" And my dad said "YES I do, and he came and visited me today.  And stayed for a LONG TIME."

I am not the only one who is proud of my son - my whole family is.   And sure, it's nice to receive compliments about yourself - but a MILLION times better for your family to tell you how awesome your kids are.

Happy 20th Birthday to the boy who made me a Mama!!


Good Friday Fragments

'Mommy's Idea 

You know what I'm having a hard time wrapping my brain around?
The fact that my son, my firstborn child, turns 20 tomorrow.  TWENTY.  That alone is mind-blowing, but here's the kicker - when I was twenty, I had just given birth to him!  He was about 6 weeks old on my twentieth birthday.

My dad's surgery got postponed from this past Tuesday till today (Friday).  Of course, I have a doctor's appointment and other important stuff that I have to do today. But - I'll get it all done and spend as much time as possible at the possible and IT WILL BE OKAY.  REPEAT AFTER ME.  IT WILL BE OKAY.

When the aforementioned TWENTY YEAR OLD Tim was just a sweet tiny tot, he had several surgeries; tubes in his ears twice, tonsils and adenoids removed, and then the big one, brain surgery.  Back when his very first surgery ever was scheduled I was beside myself; I knew the tubes were a 'minor surgery' but when it involved my baby boy going under, it didn't feel minor.  Well, the surgeon's office called the week before the surgery and informed me that they were going to postpone the surgery due to the doctor's schedule and I promptly burst into tears.  I felt like I could not go an extra MINUTE worrying, I needed it OVER AND DONE.  I am not usually a crier at all, especially around strangers.  The nice doctor's office lately said, "Um, hold on just a minute", and then came back to the phone and told me "Never mind, your son's surgery will proceed as scheduled." Score one for the hysterical crying Mama!  I told my mom she should've tried that when they rescheduled my dad's surgery......

I'm not trying to make you jealous or anything, but my husband puts the toilet seat down AND changes the toilet paper roll.  He also takes the trash out....AND puts a new trash bag in the can.  All of this without being asked, much less nagged.  Back off ladies, he's taken.

Looks like our Easter is shaping up to be a good one!  I originally figured we wouldn't do much of anything.  Instead, provided my Dad is recovering well, we're having a bunch of people over from both our families for a combination Easter/Tim's birthday celebration.  It will be fun celebrating with my great-niece Hayleigh, who is one year old!

Speaking of families  -  Byron's family and mine blend together so well.  Tonight my brother arrived in town for Dad's surgery, and we all met at a local pizza place for dinner.  At the last minute we invited my Mother-in-Law to join us.  She did, and we all had a great time.  It doesn't feel awkward at all for both families to be together, and I love that.  Same goes for Byron's son Tyler, and Tyler's girlfriend.  I love hanging out with all of them!

I post both of these every Easter - I just love 'em!

This goes out to my son; no matter how many birthdays he has, he'll always be MY baby!


Old School Blogging

I still occasionally do this "old school blogging" 
because well, I AM old school.
Also, old.
I seem to like to cling to things LONG after they've gone out of style.
That's how I roll.
Anyway, my friend LeighAnn from Single Mom in the South 
tagged me for this and I thought

What were you doing 10 years ago?

This time 10 years ago, my first husband and I had just separated.  I was working (cleaning houses) and trying to figure out how to be a single mom.

What 5 things are on your to do list?


1. Start the process of getting my name changed on a million different things.  
2. Get my husband started on building my chicken coop so I can fill it with chickens! YAY!
3. Laundry.  It never ends. 
4. Get my nails filled.  Priorities, people. 
5. Color my grays. 

What are 5 snacks you enjoy?

  1. Veggies & ranch dip
  2. Nuts...cashews seem to be the current favorite.
  3. Cheez-its.
  4. Kettle cooked BBQ chips
  5. cheese in almost any form.

Name some things you would do if you were a millionaire.

Pay off all bills.

Pay for the kids' college. 
Buy the kids crap they don't need. (just being honest! ha)
Build our dream home here on our property. 
Buy a vacation home in St Augustine area.


Name some places you have lived.

I've always lived in the Gainesville, Florida area.  I only moved out of the county once, briefly, and it was just one county over.


Name some bad habits you have.

Snacking mindlessly
Drinking WAY too much Diet Dr Pepper. WAY.
Cursing like a sailor.

Being stubborn.


Name some jobs you have had.

Supermarket cashier
DMV worker 
Child Care
Health Care

Name those you are tagging for #OSBlog:

Debby at Just Breathe because I think she'll enjoy it.

Kimberly at All Work & No Play Makes Mommy Go Something Something because I love her face.
My DEAR friend Kat at Seeking Sanity
Tami at Pretty Purplexing because hello, PURPLE.

There are a bunch more people I'd like to tag, but I'm not sure if you'd want to play so if you do want to -  join in!!


Rainy Sunday

Today was a perfectly.....icky day for a nature walk around our home.
It rained most of the weekend.
But some days, I feel like I have spent too much time cooped up indoors.
Too much time breathing hospital air, then closed up in the bedroom sleeping.
I literally crave the fresh air and feel as if I must go out and soak it in.

Wellies are a must.
These are not REAL Wellies, of course.
What would you call them?
"Good Enough-ies"?

Mud, mud, everywhere.

Also everywhere are blackberry bushes!
I can't WAIT till they produce yummy berries.

I mean seriously, EVERYWHERE.
Bumper crop.
I can almost smell the cobblers already.

The moon was peeking over the trees.
She cranks,
she cranks,
she cranks my Tractor

And now, a few shots of the various wildlife that appears right outside of our back door.
Most of these were taken with Byron's motion-sensor camera.

Male wild turkey

deer and female wild turkey

very alert deer

I took this picture from my kitchen window.
Byron puts corn out every day for the deer and other wildlife to eat.
This raccoon on the left literally filled his belly for about forty minutes,
and on the right is a female wild turkey (hen) who joined him for much of that time.
Hope you had a great weekend!

Unknown Mami


Thank You Fragments

Mommy's Idea

I seriously MUST have the most supportive, loving friends in the whole blogosphere, and I can't thank you enough.  Y'all are awesome.  I love you.  From the bottom of my heart, THANK YOU.

I can't express how good it feels to close one sad chapter and start a new, wonderful one...and I truly believe this one is my happy ending.  I intend to elaborate on that more later this week. Stay tuned....

If you haven't tuned in all week....be sure and read back a few posts.  It's been an eventful week.  I got married, and stuff.

I've told y'all before and I'll tell y'all again.  My job kicks my ass.  I also have some amazing co-workers who build me up and keep me going.  We truly care about our patients and giving them the absolute best care possible, and that feels SO good.

My father - who turned 76 today (Thursday), is having open heart bypass surgery on Tuesday.  I JUST posted about it on Facebook and I'm sitting here in tears over the support and prayers that are now coming my way.  Thank you from the bottom of my heart!!

If ONE MORE OF YOU comment on my post about my dad before I finish this post I'm going to absolutely collapse in tears.

I am having another great-NIECE.  I totally confess to hoping for a BOY but I am absolutely ecstatic about having another great niece to spoil!  It's a win/win for me.

This weekend will be filled with baseball and family.  I hope you enjoy yours as much as I intend to enjoy mine!!!


When we returned from our wedding/mini-honeymoon on Sunday, we arrived to a beautiful reception thrown by my mother-in-law.  My entire (local) family was there, along with all of our children, Byron's "second mom", and my best friend.  It was absolutely lovely.

AND my MIL had a gift waiting for us....a personalized engraved photo album full of our wedding pictures that she had already printed!

She had decorated her house, had a cake made, and she and her friend (B's second mom) cooked a delicious dinner for everyone.  It was SO sweet and made me feel so welcome.

purple and an owl.
she knows me so well.

fake smile much? 

you gotta have a little silliness.
or...a lot.

love these girls <3

and these boys.
(my new stepson, me, and my boy.)

this picture CRACKS ME UP.
I'm pretty sure Tyler is saying,
"oh sweet jesus, what the HELL has my dad gotten us into?!"

Tyler hates to be embarrassed or have attention called to himself.  
I absolutely LOVE embarrassing my kids.
Poor Tyler.

my boys.
I so love them.

this picture is freaking HILARIOUS.
I was taking a pic of the banner that my mother-in-law hung up.
I have NO IDEA what my niece is doing, or what Shelbie is doing,
but I laugh my ASS off every time I look at it!
Those two LOVE to pick on me
Happy Thursday Y'all!!!


Vows on Vilano Beach

My Hunter is no longer hunting - he caught me.

Reading the Introductory Prayer

Allow me to introduce my husband, whom until now I have called Hunter on the blog.  His name is Byron, and we got married on Friday.

Vilano Beach is a mixture of sand and coquina shells.
So pretty.

We've actually been engaged for a few months, and were planning a wedding at our home in May.  I planned to announce it here on the blog very soon.

But then Byron's Dad passed away, and my dad had a heart attack, and between that, wedding plans, trying to get our property in shape for a wedding, work, and life in general....we became overwhelmed.

I came home from work one morning last week and suggested we cancel all of our plans and elope on the beach.
Byron was TOTALLY on board.

Listening to the prayer.

So, that's exactly what we did!
And it's one of the best decisions either of us has ever made.

The weather was perfect.  We couldn't have chosen a better weekend.
Warm, breezy, and not a cloud in the sky.

I rounded up an officiant, rearranged my work schedule, booked a room, asked my best friend Danielle to join us, and we bought our outfits.
Once we got here to Vilano Beach, I grabbed a bouquet of fresh tulips (purple, of course), and we were on our way to our wedding!

Saying our Vows.

There were a few more details than that, but truly, not many.  We kept it as uncomplicated as possible.

Our Song was playing here -
 God Gave Me You by Blake Shelton

It was absolutely perfect.  Incredible, amazing, and beautiful.  I was able to hand-select every word that the officiant said.  We had two friends join us for the ceremony.  One videotaped the service, the other took pictures.

Pure happiness.

I mostly cried. LOL  It was just so beautiful, moving and romantic and perfect and did I mention BEAUTIFUL??

Danielle cried maybe even more than I did.  Byron and I are just so in love, and the sweet simplicity of it all was so emotional and moving.

I won't bore you with the entire ceremony but I am going to print the poem here, and bombard you with pictures.

I am a happy, happy girl!

From this day forward

I make a promise:

Whatever happens, 

You shall not walk alone.

I’ll stand by your side, 

And sleep in your arms.

I’ll be the joy in your heart,

And the food for your soul,

May you feel deeply loved,

For indeed you are.

Through our brightest days

And our darkest nights,

I take you into my heart. 

May God bless us

With a great light, 

Around our hearts

And around our home.

I see your beauty, 

Your innocence and light.

May it shine.

May the world see how beautiful you are

As I see how beautiful you are.

But may there be a special light

That only I can see.

I give you my heart.

May we feel this joy forever.

Unknown Mami

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