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Family Visit


It’s a rainy, gray morning here in Memphis.

I think the weather reflects my mood.  That is: sad and sleepy.

My step-brother, sister-in-law, and niece have been visiting with us the last few days and left this morning to drive back home.

We had a wonderful time together this nice long weekend!

It’s always nice to see them, but it’s especially neat to see them with C, and even more so to see my niece, Ryan, with her cousin, C!  They are so cute together!

AFbike1It was HOT here while they visited, so we stayed indoors in the blessed air conditioning!  They helped with putting together some furniture for our new move, but we also took them out to show them a good time on their vacation.  We did some of the usuals with our meals, like Central BBQ and Muddy’s Bake Shop, but also Exlines Pizza!  We also went to the Children’s Museum of Memphis.  Here’s Ryan on the Sherrif’s motercycle.  Wee!

AFbike2C really liked it when the lights were on, and seemed to enjoy the exhibit about emergency vehicles.

AFtruckHere they are in a fire engine.

AFbottleRyan got to spend lots of time playing with and interacting with her cousin.  She carried her, some, and helped with everything baby!  Here they are chowing down!  They also got to go swimming together twice.  Both girls are fish!

AFgame3Last night we went to see the Memphis Redbirds play.  It was a nice cool (for Memphis) night and a fun way to wrap up the visit.

C was a trooper after a long day.  She wanted to see everything at the ball park and spent some QT with her Uncle Drew.

AFgame1And then…

AFgame2That’s all, folks!

Hope to have some more pictures of our time together soon, but the pics are on their camera.

Can’t wait to see you again Uncle Drew, Aunt Angie, and cousin Ryan!  We love you!!


Summer Fun


As we gear up for the move and the winding down of my summer with Claire, there have been a few random pictures that have been taken that I’d like to share.

There’s no real theme, just hodge-podge, I guess.

Anyway, enjoy!

radio2Claire loves her bouncer.  I think we’ve established that.  BUT, she loves our stereo, too.  It’s a stereo I bought with graduation (from high school!) money.  The face of it has lights that correspond with the music.  Because her bouncer is in front of it anyway, I usually put on some tunes for her to listen to and watch while she’s bouncing away.  She’s a fan of Justin Timberlake, by the way.

radio1Even when she’s not in the bouncer, if that stereo is on, she’ll watch it.  Too funny!

pigletThis is a picture of her at my Mom’s house while we were visiting Ohio.  She loved sleeping with that Piglet.  She likes it so much that Piglet rode home with us from Wisconsin to Memphis.  As I type, the kiddo is napping.  With Piglet.

bookShe’s “read” lots this summer.  She has a pretty good library going and she and I both enjoy when new books come from Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library.

7_2jennClaire has spent some time with her cousin Jennifer.  I think they both enjoy it.  Lots!  Here’s a picture of crawling lessons.

6_23happyClaire likes it when I take our picture with my iPhone.  I’m not sure she realizes that it’s her in the picture.  Sort of like I’m not sure she knows it’s her when we look into a mirror.


usWe’ve still got some time together this summer.  It’s been fun!  I know I was nervous at the beginning of this, but folks were right when they said it’d be fine.  Though I am so happy that she has Miss Pam, BE, to watch her when I head back to school to work with 12th graders, I know I’ll miss her and our time together!!

Blissful week


Well, we’re back from our super wonderful relaxing family vacation.  No joke.  It was all of those things, and more!

Claire did a pretty good job with the long road trip through AR, MO, IL & WI.

AR7_6Most of the time, she looked like this:

JulysleepWe drove through the night and wee hours of the morning until we reached Aunt Janet’s house.  I was so happy for Janet and Bailan to meet Claire.  Meesh, Bailan’s friend, also go to meet Claire.  They all seemed to hit it off well!

JulyBailan JulyJanet JulyMeeshI remember Bailan at the age that Claire is now, and it was pretty cool to see them interact with each other.

bailanFrom Aunt Janet’s, we drove up to the Door County peninsula, AKA my home away from home.  I love it up there.  The weather, the family, the memories, and now to make more memories with Alex and Claire!  You bet!

Here’s a picture of a view that makes me grin everytime I see it in person.

JulySisterBayIt’s the hill into Sister Bay, Wisconsin.  A place that is near and dear to my heart.  I spent every summer but one up there while I was growing up.

We met my Mom and her friend Karen up at the house and had a good time just kicking back and relaxing.  It was a good break from the craziness (and heat) of Memphis and the upcoming move.

Let’s see.  We:  shopped, ate at many of the staples (Wilson’s, Al Johnson’s, Carol House, Shoreline, Wild Tomato), went to a few parks, enjoyed local entertainment (see below)

JulyKaren JulySongClaire was entertained by Karen and her ukelele.

Claire is ALMOST crawling, enjoyed the bonfires and cookouts, and LOVED the waves and water at my favorite beach, Sand Bay.

julie1We also had some fun with the big chair at Julie’s.julie2I’ll have more pictures later, but right now we’re in packing mode.  T-minus 14 days ’til the move!  AUGH!  T-minus 13 days until teachers (that’s me!) go back to work!  Double AUGH!

Until next time, enjoy this.  Feel free to submit comments with a suitable caption!


1 month down, 1 to go


Summer is more than halfway over for us teachers around here.  Ba-humbug!  I am so enjoying my time off (well deserved, I might add!)

Our summer is about to get a little crazy.  You see, while I wasn’t blogging, LOTS was going on.  And with everything going on, blogging just wasn’t even on my radar.  Sorry!

We’ve sold our house, and bought a new one!  Holy moly!  It all transpired over the course of 6 days.  Wham-bam!

We’ve been on a mini-vacation to middle TN and are gearing up for a family vacation in WI.

We’ve been boxing up everything we can.

Yes, we’ve been a little busy and that’ll only continue through… well, forever, I guess!  Better than the alternative!

Here’re the highlights:6_19birdC and her cousin (and birthday buddy!), and I went to the zoo.  Both kids really liked the “Birds and the Bees” exhibit @ the Memphis Zoo.  For $1 you can purchase bird food on a stick and then the little birds will fly to you and hang out with you while they eat!  It was SO cool!

6_19pampoolC’s gotten to spend some time with BE and her family.  They have a pool, so C’s been getting her pool time in.  She loves to be in the water!

6_23happyMost days C and I are home just kicking around, running errands, and more recently, packing!  She does not like the sound of packing tape, though, so DH & I tape in the garage or outside or while she’s napping.

6_26swingers 6_26swingWhile over at our friends Allison & Craig’s house, C got to swing for the first time.  She really enjoyed it!  I think DH did, too!

6_28lovelessOn our way to middle TN we stopped at Loveless Cafe.  We totally recommend it if you’re ever in the Nashville area.

8mo1She’s now 8 months old!  She’s teething, almost crawling, rolling and turning and “skootching” all over the place… the cats had better watch out!  She’s enthralled by them and will be ready to chase them down soon!



Thank goodness for air conditioning!  How did Southern women do it, back in the day, before AC?  And wearing dresses and petty coats, no less??

Since returning from Ohio, C & I have been laying low, mostly to stay in air conditioning indoors!  Whew!  The heat and humidity were in full effect here in Memphis.

We’ve watched Baby Einstein, lounged around, read, napped, and enjoyed the AC!  Have I mentioned that I love our air conditioning?

computer book usToday, however, the humidity and heat broke.  Well, I ‘m not sure that’s 100% true, as we were under a Code Orange (ozone), but it felt nicer!  Nice enough that DH, C, & I went to the Memphis Farmers Market this morning.  Though we only bought a couple of things: black bean hummus and Las Delicias tortilla chips, the sights, sounds, and smells mesmerized all three of us!  Live music, colorful fruits and vegetables, baked goods, coffees, fresh flowers… oh my!

6_15flowersWe decided to take advantage of the nice day and go to one of our favorite restaurants, Central BBQ, to eat lunch.  I think the idea was to sit outside on their patio to eat, but we ended up inside.  No biggie.  As always, the food was delicious and keeping C entertained while we waited and then ate was fun.  Who knew how fun paper towels and straw wrappers could be?

6_15BBQWe also ended up at our friends’ Mid-Town pool for a bit.  Check out C!  She was stylin’ and profilin’ and LOVING the water.  6_15poolShe’s decided that she really likes the float, and we already knew she loves being in the water.  She also kept those sunglasses on the entire time!  Made no attempt to take them off.  She is a water baby for sure!

I’d heard of the Shelby Farms Summer Concert series, and as tonight was just beautiful, we went as a family and met up with Susan, Margie, Rick, and Zach.  It ended up being just perfect – cool, mostly bug free, with a very pretty sunset in the background.  Not to mention the soul/funk band that was good, and the myriad of local food trucks that were around the parking lot!  DH & I both got a Philly Cheese steak from MarksGrill.  Oh My Gosh.  SO good!

Anyway, it’s been a really great couple of days and I am so happy to be back together as a family after the trip C & I took.

6_15group 6_15hat 6_15Susan

Happy Father’s Day to all the Dads out there!  A shout out to my Dad and to DH!  ❤ you!


Back to Memphis


Well, we made it!C was a trooper, again, as we navigated the airport and flight.  She fell asleep, again, except for the last 10 minutes or so.

plane 2 planeWe made it, our luggage made it, and then BAM!  We got out into the Nashville heat and humidity and just about wilted.

airportThanks, Aunt Mildred, for getting us to and from the airport!  And thanks, too, for letting us spend the night.  We were TIRED!

This morning we drove back to Memphis.  C figured out that her car toy, a Sophie giraffe, squeaks, so you can only imagine the car ride back!

Her first order of business was to JUMP in her jump-a-roo.  She was so happy to be bouncing around and I was glad to have a bit of time to unpack some.

homeNow for DH to get home!  We can’t wait to see him!  I’ll be interested to hear what he’s been up to while we’ve been gone, and even more interested to hear how he thinks C has changed!

On a side note, thank goodness for air conditioning.  Memphis heat is HOT, but after being in Ohio for a week and a half, it’s even more brutal feeling to me than normal!



No, I didn’t forget to blog, nor did I abandon blogging.  Things here got crazy!  Lots of fun to be had at the tail end of this Ohio vacation.

On Friday, the three amigas and our 3 respective kiddos got together to watch movies, play, eat some pizza…  Caleb & Samantha enjoyed having someone younger and smaller to play with.


Seeing as we don’t all get together a whole lot (TN, VA, OH), we thought it would be a good idea to take pictures of us, of the kids… HA! HA! HA!  It was like trying herd cats, or whatever that saying it.  Whatever.  It was what it was.  See for your self.

sillydownWe walked, we played, we too even more pictures.

wendy 2

C with Wendy. walk

Trying out our baby carrier.  Interesting.  I think I like it, and after a walk around a couple of blocks, I think  C likes it, too! wendy 6

Love this picture.  Thanks, Mr. Snyder, for taking this!! 3Friday night, SM and I went to an Akron Aeros game (they won 12-3!), hence no blogging that night.

On Saturday, C got to see her Aunt Angie!  We spent the day with her, Grandpa, & Mema.  We went swimming and played.  C loved the pool all over again and the float that Grandpa bought for her.  She sleeps GREAT after she swims.

ang 4

Angie fed her some peas. ang 3

And a bottle. ang 2 ang 1

And got down on the floor to play, play, play.  They thoroughly enjoyed each others company. The next morning we all went to church, then C & I drove back to Grandma’s just in time for me to go to Cleveland with SM for the New Kids on the Block concert!!  What a blast!!


First we went to Melt.  Oh my – PLEASE go there if you are ever in the Cleveland area.


Here’s my Monte Cristo.  Though it looks delicious (it was), this picture fails to show the size.  No joke – half of this sandwich was the size of my hand.  HUGE.  Delicious.  Mmmmmmm.  And then there’s the fresh cut fries and the sweet slaw.  Good, but BOY oh BOY…  the sandwich was yummy.

Many of us got super bright early 90s neon shirts to wear (“I ❤ NKOTB”), neon bracelets, earrings, necklaces…

group girls

I could’ve listened to Boyz II Men for another hour.

boysNKOTB was everything I had hoped they would be.


Thanks, SM, for getting me the ticket that started up this great Ohio vacation idea.  🙂


Today we just hung out.  SM came over to play and ended up feeding C some sweet potatoes.  C’s favorite!

sm foodThen C & I met Grandpa, Mema, & Aunt Angie for dinner.

handshakefamWhat a fun trip!  C & I head out on an airplane tomorrow.  She’s done so much and spent time with so many great people!  She’s also just about got the whole sitting up on her own thing. I wonder what DH will notice first about her, as I’m sure she’s changed a bit in the time we’ve been away from him.