Parenting, Uncategorized

Hostage Negotiating


Can I get an Amen? Does anyone else ever feel like this?

My really good sleeper (child #3) did not get her nap in yesterday and it was torture on all of us. We attempted to take her sleepy self to my older daughter’s basketball game and it was like wrestling an alligator to get her not to run out on the court or right out of the gym door. I think at one point I was even letting her play with my fingernails (ok she wasn’t playing with them, but more so trying to rip them off) so that she would sit still. You know it’s not going to be a good experience when the toddler goes through her “sit still and be quiet snacks” before the opening tip.

By the time it was all said and done I needed to take Advil for my jaw and she was chewing on her toes. That’s right, she had done the old toddler move… You know the one, when they don’t want to sit in your lap and they arch their back really quick and their head ends up cracking you right in the chin, sending this sharp pain up your jaw line so bad that you see stars. Yep, at that point I handed her off to husband for a moment, and the next thing I see is that she is quiet, yes, but it’s because she’s removed her shoes and socks and is now chewing on her toes…. Whatever! If she’s quiet and still, at this point I could care less… I was really impressed that she could get her toes all the way to her mouth!

The rest of the day was spent looking at the clock and praying that it was closer to bedtime than it really was. As much as I wanted to come home and put her back in the bed, I knew that would mean a late nap and a crazy wild toddler when it was time for bed that evening, so we stuck it out.

Add two older siblings to the mix and that’s really where the crazy comes in. I mean, riding in the car with the two of them in the back seat really makes you rethink what a genius idea it was for limousines to put the partition between the driver and the passenger rows. AND, why has someone not thought to do this in the family SUV… I would pay extra for that!

Even our four-legged child (Duke the dog) couldn’t keep his crazy contained. I won’t go into detail, but when your 140lb Great Dane is in the house while your gone and has a very, very bad stomach issue, all you can do is toss the rubber gloves when you’re done cleaning up and pray that the nice living room rug will make a full recovery and not have to be burned.

Sometimes, I just want to lock myself in the bathroom, eat chocolate and cry… but let’s face it, they’ll find you there too! At the end of the day, I wouldn’t trade our crazy for anything else in the world. Sure, it’s hard and they try my patience a lot, but they’re good kids. They have big hearts and dream big so I can’t wait to see what the future holds for each of them. I thank God every day for all three of my kiddos and always ask for strength and wisdom to make it through another day of being a parent. Oh, and yes I thank my parents for putting up with me for so many years.img_3767fullsizerender-23img_3791




Exercise, Fitbit, Fitbit, Exercise, Healthy, Health, Travel, Uncategorized

Get Out Of My Way Pink Jeep…

Our final day in Sedona we hiked from the time the sun came up until about 3:00 in the afternoon. My legs and feet were exhausted by the end of it, but I’m so glad I pushed myself to complete the almost 7.5-mile loop to see some of Sedona’s well-known sites and a 360-degree view of Munds Mountain.

We hiked Little Horse Trail to Chicken Point, The Broken Arrow Trail, Mystic Trail, Submarine Rock Trail, back around to  The Chapel of the Holy Cross and then took the Chapel trail to meet back up with the Little Horse Trail to hike back to the car.

There was not one cloud in the sky and it seemed like the sun was right overhead the entire day. We started out to only hike the Little Horse Trail to Chicken Point so we didn’t take any water or snacks with us for the journey. BUT, when we saw the views from Chicken point and saw that there were multiple trails that you could link up with that would take you all around the rocks (one giant loop) we decided to press on.

I will say by the time we made it around to the Chapel of the Holy Cross I was so thankful that they had a gift shop that sold water… I needed it!

What I like so much about this collection of trails was not only the sites along the way, but the nice people who would show you offshoots to other trails, warn you about certain areas or just stop and have a conversation with you. Let’s face it I liked to stop and talk because I got to catch my breath.

One thing I saw that just blew me away, was the number of mountain bikers out on the trails. There were places that were only 4-6 inches wide with huge drop offs, places I was a little nervous to walk and the bikers just whizzed on by like it was no big thing. I guess that’s why they call it extreme sports.

While we enjoyed hiking the trails to hit the high points and scenic views, there is another way to get around if you don’t have as much time, have small children or have elderly folks with you. The Pink Jeep Tours will take you all along the red rocks to see some pretty amazing sights. Although they cannot go quite as high as the walking trails go, you still get a pretty view and don’t have to worry about navigation and a 7.5-mile hike. I will say if you want to hike like we did… start out as early as you can, because once the pink jeeps start coming, they don’t stop for most of the day!

This was our final hike in Sedona before we made our way out-of-town. Thanks to Miss Jackie Sherwood for telling us to take the scenic route back to Phoenix, through Jerome and detour through Prescott… that experience will be a post for later!!

Travel, Uncategorized

I Got This…


This is exactly what I looked like when I was on my own in Phoenix last week.

The first couple days of our trip, Daniel had a conference in Phoenix so I was on my own to explore the city Sunday-Tuesday. Now, being raised in Birmingham Alabama I am not skilled in public transportation but had to rely on it if I wanted to go anywhere other than our hotel.

Planning an outing for myself last week entailed 30 minutes of pre planning on the Valley Metro website to ensure I knew where I was going, what rail or bus I needed to take and how long it would take me to get to my destination. Now just because I planned 30 minutes ahead of time does not mean that it was flawless. Nope, in fact it was the opposite. When did directions stop saying “turn right” or “turn left”? Why did they change it to “go Southwest” or “walk Northeast” I mean I was willing to look at my device for directions but not about to pull up the compass on my smart phone to figure out what direction I was going… All I could think of was the Friends episode where Joey has to “step into his map.”

For those of you that know me, I do not like to stick out AT ALL. I think it has something to do with being so tall. Growing up I was always a head taller than everyone and I felt like I was always slouching in order to not stick out in the crowd. I did not want to stick out as a tourist who needed help, or more so just a pathetic individual who didn’t know wich way was North.

I quickly learned the difference between 7th Ave and 7th Street when I got off the bus too early and had to walk about 15 blocks. Yes, some of you that are more skilled with public transportation are probably thinking that I should have stayed put and just waited for the next bus to come. While that would have been the smart thing to do, I didn’t want to look like I didn’t know what I was doing.

I finally learned from my three-day adventure that it’s okay to not know what you’re doing all the time and asking for help from others who do will not kill you. In fact, when I finally realized that, I was able to have a lot of fun interactions while riding on both the light rail and bus systems. Conversations ranged from a gentlemen asking me if I could see Jesus coming back on a white horse right behind my head to people asking me where I was from and telling me all their stories and experiences from time spent in Arkansas…some included stories of outstanding warrants they had in my home state, for some pretty interesting things. I met one girl, Brante, who rides a combination of buses and trains to get to school, work and then home again 6 out of 7 days of the week. Brante is a special young lady. She knows what she wants and she is not letting anything stand in her way to get to it. I hope I can teach my kids to pursue their dreams with the drive and passion that was overflowing in Brante’s voice during our conversation.

So, while I started off with my shark fin on, determined to not stand out in the crowd as a tourist who had no clue what she was doing, I’m pretty sure my goldfish started showing through as people began to ask me if I needed help. I’m glad I finally accepted the help as it led to some fun, memorable times with strangers that helped round out my Phoenix experience.


Don’t be a Flat Squirrel


How many times in my life have I heard, “Just make a decision!”

I’ll be honest, I usually hear it while having a conversation with my husband about what kind of takeout we’re going to pick up. We are both pretty indecisive when it comes to food.

I don’t want to be indecisive, It doesn’t inspire confidence.  If anything, being indecisive makes us doubt or call into question one’s knowledge and experience.

How do I become more decisive and what keeps me from being able to make decisions with confidence?

I need to stop worrying about what other people will think. I want to be more like Kevin Costner’s character, Ray in Field of Dreams…  He didn’t care what everyone thought when he was plowing over most of his crop to build a baseball field … he decided to do something and went for it!

Now I don’t have a farm, I have no need for a baseball field (although my son would LOVE one in his backyard) and I definitely do not have some strange voice that whispers in my ear, but I can certainly apply this to my life and learn to make good, confident decisions and stop worrying about what others may think.

If you think about it indecisiveness is also a decision. Something will happen whether you actively choose it or not.