I Heart Books

I love love love to read! There's just something about getting lost in a book. I love when the words seem to melt away and you are just seeing everything in your mind. I love getting wrapped up in the characters.

I think I love reading so much is because certain authors have a way of putting what I am feeling into words that I never could. I books where I can just relate to the characters. Some books I have to wait until I'm emotionally ready because I get so wrapped up.

I absolutely prefer reading an actual book instead of on an electronic device. But in a pinch I'll read on my kindle app on my phone.

I'll just about anywhere. If I have stuff I just have to get done and I'm in the middle of a really good book, I'll just rush through it to get back to the book or I'll read while I'm doing whatever needs to be done.

One of my favorite things in the world is to curl up in my oversized leather arm chair with a fuzzy blanket and a good book.

My kids know that if we go to the mall we are definitely going to the book store. I love taking my time and walking around. I have a to read list I keep on my phone that I add titles to as I walk around the store. So many books to read, so little time.

Do you love to read too? What's your favorite book?



Living in a Gangsters Paradise

Some days my brain is fried and I can't come up with anything to say that would be somewhat beneficial to my readers. Today happens to be one of those days. This post is merely for my entertainment as I write it and you my dear readers get to suffer through it.

I love love love to embarrass my kids. I get such an enjoyment out of it and I'm sure it will be the main topic of discussion for most of their therapy sessions as adults. One thing in particular that makes them burry their heads, is when I tell people I'm a thug.

Yeah you read that right I am straight up gansta. I've tried to talk my husband into buying spinners for my minivan but so far he hasn't. He also won't let me become a rapper. I have even thought of the perfect name. Loo Lizzle. For Mother's Day I asked for two knuckle rings, one that says thug the other that says life.

My family is not embracing my thug side. So until the day I make my big break I'll have to just keep rapping along with the radio in my gangster Chrysler Town and Country.

I'm thinking about starting my own gang. On Wednesdays we were pink. Who wants to join? Initiation consists of shopping at target, going to get pedicures, and singing the Fresh Prince theme song.

So who's in?!


How I Stay Organized When Life Is Hectic


Maybe organized isn't the word I should use, more like how I stay functional when life gets hectic. Life seems to have been especially crazy this month, but it always is at the end of the school year. Lately as long as I can do these few things, keep clothes washed, dishes washed, and food on the table I am doing good. I try to just do a quick pick up in the mornings and evening and when I have time on the weekends I clean. These tips won't necessarily work as long term organizational skills but in a pinch they can be very helpful and then when you have the time to sit down and catch everything up at least its all in one place.

I am a very visual person so having all of these available for a quick glance helps me immensely. The only materials you'll need are 2 dry erase calendars, 2 locker size dry erase boards, 1 mail organizer, and obviously dry erase markers. Let me break each of these down for you and how to use them.

1) Calendars

I suggest 2 because it seems like by the time you get to the 1st of a month the next month is already starting to fill up. Having both of these on the side of my fridge not only gives me easy access but is also very accessible for the rest of the family. As we are discussing different activities we can go to the fridge and look to see what is going on.

2) Locker sized dry erase boards

I use these for 2 different purposes. One is to keep my grocery list on and one is my to do list. First lets discuss the grocery list. I keep this on the front of my fridge and as I grab something out of the fridge or cabinets I can quickly add it to my list. The kids also know to add things to the list when we run out. The second board is to right my to do list. This isn't for everyday things that need to be done, this is for all the extras such as phone calls that need to be made, emails that need to be sent, appointments I need to make, etc. My mind is usually in a hundred different directions and I'm very forgetful so this really helps me to know what I need to get done. I keep this board right under my calendars.

3) Mail organizer

This is where I toss mail or any papers that need to be filed and when things slow down for a minute I can put them where they need to be. I have a slot for hubs, the kids, and myself. This helps me not to loose stuff before I have time to deal with it.

I hope you find these tips helpful for when your life is hectic! Do you think these will work for you? What helps you keep functional when life is crazy?


Be Daring

Today I had one of those rare grand moments. Nothing spectacular inspired it, it just seemed to occur. I saw myself today. I mean my real self. Layers suddenly seemed to vanish and the girl I have been searching for just somehow appeared.

If I could go to college, I'd study English. The ability to be properly educated in books and writing makes my heart swoon. Unfortunately we can't afford for me to get a degree. If I did go back to school one of my children probably wouldn't be able to go to college and that is a thought I couldn't bare. I could never be the reason they couldn't chase a dream.

Instead if will spend my days reading books and poetry and plays. I will watch movies that move me. I will write down my thoughts.

I want to inspire my children to be thinkers and doers. To ask why and seek answers. I want them to be unique. I don't want them to conform to the world around them. I don't even want them to grow up to be the people I think they should be. I want them to flow against the current and be world shakers.

I want them to see themselves. They're original selves.

Especially when it comes to Jesus. I don't my relationship with Christ or theirs be based on the fact that "it's the right thing to do". No, I want them to have a burning passion for Jesus. I don't want it to be because I shoved the Bible down there throat and taught them all the right things to say and do. I want them to be the unique individuals He created them to be and love Him with an all consuming love.

Today I vow to quit living by the world's standard (yes even the Christian world) and march to the beat to my own drum. I want to live. I want to express the creation that I am. I don't want to watch or follow, I want to live. I want to be weird and quirky. I want to be gracious and passionate. I want to look around and have the ability to see things from a different perspective. I want to read books and dance to music.

And when I draw my last breaths I want know that I seized every moment that I could. I want to love my family deeply. I want to keep dreaming big thoughts. I want my life to be extraordinary even during the ordinary moments.


The Secret to Getting Rid of Mice from Your Home Permanently

When we bought our house it had been empty for about 2 years. They didn't keep up the yard too well, there was just a path cut to the back door but the rest of the yard was waist deep. Literally. Mice were a problem for us for a while!

But thankfully I found the perfect solution and I have never had to deal with mice again!

I've got to give ya'll the story to how I found this miracle solution because it was kind of a complicated thing to find.

We had been doing the trap thing for a while and occasionally would catch one but still kept finding mouse surprises, so we put poison up in the attic. One morning I walked in the laundry room and there it was sitting in the middle of the floor. I screamed and jumped around and said all sorts of things I won't dare repeat. When I finally got brave enough I got closer to it and it wasn't moving so I assumed it was dead. Hubs was gone to work so I had to deal with it myself. I called up my mother in law and asked her how to get rid of it without touching it. She suggested scooping it up in a box or something then throw it away.

I searched the house and finally found a shoe box. As I approached the thing and readied to scoop it up, it moved which set off another set of screams and foul language. I should note that I was still on the phone with my mother in law who at this point couldn't breathe because of the laughter.

I get it together and try again to scoop it up. The bottom of my robe brushed across my foot and I thought the mouse had got me so again another set of screaming and foul language set off but add in jumping, arm flapping, and gagging. At this point my mother in  law wasn't in good shape either I thought she'd pass out from the laughter.

We both finally got it together and I was able to get it scoop up in the box in which it was scratching around. I forgot to mention when it was laying in the floor it had thrown up and was laying in it so clearly it was sick and dying, so now my mission was to finish it off before I disposed of it. Once it was in the box I started searching for something to finish it off. My mother in law suggested just taking it outside and whacking the box with a shovel but I didn't have the stomach for it. Instead I found some wasp spray. Now I assumed since this mouse was clearly poisoned and dying that the wasp spray would just finish the job, so I sprayed like half the bottle in the box. I waited and waited and waited. I picked the box up but he started moving around again. So I sprayed more wasp spray. This continued over and over until the bottle was empty.

The little <insert word of choice> still wasn't dead. I couldn't figure out what to do. Finally I decided to put the box in a garbage bag. I took the bag outside and banged it over and over on my steps, called it good (cause honestly if he wasn't dead I didn't want to know) and threw the bag away.

After that I have never seen another mouse! I think his little mouse friends saw what happened and got the heck out! They didn't want to come anywhere near the crazy lady that tortured and murdered (or buried alive) their little friend.

There you have it! Got a mouse problem? Just scoop it in a shoe box, spray it with wasp spray, put it in a trash bag, and bang it on your steps over and over like a crazy person and the mice will leave and never look back.


Crawfish Etoufee

Hubby went to New Orleans last week for some work stuff.  I was jealous the whole time of his trip because of all the delicious food I knew he'd get to eat. On the way home he stopped and picked up a sack of crawfish. That has to be one of the things I miss the most about living in Mississippi. He was going to bring me home a king cake since I didn't get one for my birthday this year but the bakery that I love to get them at you have to preorder them when not in season. I was disappointed but got over it really quick when we started boiling the crawfish.

Sometimes we need to give ourselves a break from healthy eating and eat something just because we love it. After we ate all that we physically could we peeled the rest and I put it in the fridge and made etoufee the next night for supper. The best way to make etoufee is with crawfish left over from a boil because it has all the delicious seasonings cooked into them, but if you can't do this you can find peeled tails in the frozen section at the grocery store. They are kind of expensive so this is a dish I don't make often. The recipe is really easy to make so don't worry if your not a great cook. If I can do it, you can do it.

Crawfish Etoufee

1 large onion
1 large bell pepper
1 stalk of celery
1 can, per pound of crawfish, cream of mushroom soup
1 can, per pound of crawfish, rotel tomatoes
 1 lb of crawfish tails
1 stick of butter
Season All or Tony's

Sautee onion, pepper, and celery (sometimes I add mushrooms and green onions) in stick of butter. Add soup, tomatoes, and crawfish tails. Season to taste and simmer for 30 mins. Serve over rice.

This is sooo good I know ya'll will love it! Go ahead and indulge in a piece of pecan pie and get back to eating better tomorrow!

What's one of your favorite southern comfort foods?


Dancing to a Different Tune

As part of finding myself I've been branching out and trying new things. One of those things is listening to different music genres. I LOVE music! I love music that doesn't make since and just has a great rhythm to dance to. I love listening to deep meaningful music that reaches down and wraps itself around my soul.

Recently I have discovered that I really like Queen! I know, I know I'm late to the party but I just really love their stuff! The Queen station on Pandora is amazing! Just so much greatness.

Usually I listen to country, Christian, pop, and 80s-90s rap. I think I'm loving this new genre is just because its so different.

I sang along to Bohemian Rhapsody and I think my cat Sophie is digging it too. She just stared at me and purred so I'm counting that as digging it.

So dear readers I'm wanting more music recommendations. What's your favorite songs and bands?


Beyond the Blues

Depression. Such an ugly, weighty word. Some experience just glimpses of depressed moods while others it comes in seasons. But there are some of us who live beyond the blues.

Depression has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. Chronic depression. The type where some days you want to just dissolve into a fine mist and vanish into thin air. Days where I don't necessarily want to die but just want a break from living.

"I don't know if you've ever felt like that. That you wanted to sleep for a thousand years. Or just not exist. Or just not be aware that you do exist. Or something like that. I think wanting that is very morbid, but I want it when I get like this." Perks of Being a Wallflower

That's the best description I've ever seen of how it feels. I wanted to write about so that maybe someone out there knows that they are not alone. Know you aren't a freak.

I hate that I struggle so much with this. This is something that I constantly cry out to the Lord about.

Why did You create me this way? Why did you make me so broken?

I've been sorting this around in my head and also aloud with a couple of close friends. They both basically said the same thing and it was simple yet somewhat profound. I've been pondering them around in my head and trying to make since of it. They said:

This is how the Lord created you. This is a part of your story. Like Paul this is the thorn in your side. I know it hurts and doesn't make since but this is part of your story that He is using ultimately for your good and His glory.

The past few years have been just plain hard. The Lord has pulled of the Band-Aid and exposed wounds. He's pulled away friendships that at the time really really hurt but now I am thankful. He has a way of pulling back all the things we use to shield and cover who we really are. He is pulling me out of myself and my comfort zone and putting me front and center with a mirror to look straight into the person He created and not the person I've shaped myself to be. I have warped His creation into something totally different in an effort to please everyone and not cause any waves.

While He may never miraculously deliver me from my depression He's using it to show me different sides of myself and to depend more and more on Him. He thankfully has given me very wise friends that love on me and speak truth to me.

If your clinging on for dear life as you are getting hammered by waves know you are not alone. Really that's the only advice I have. I don't know you and your story or struggles so I'm not going to heap a bunch of advice on you. Except find someone to talk to that you can be open with about your feelings, even when they aren't all filled with butterflies and rainbows.

Thank you to my friends that are there for me.


Bummed About Mother's Day

Sunday is Mother's Day. Every where you look there are ads promoting Mother's Day. There are constant commercials with cute kids telling why they love their mother. Quite frankly it bums me out because I don't feel like I'm any of the adjectives used for mothers.


Selfless--I try to talk my kids out of the last piece of cake

Kind--I can be kind but I can also be unkind

The list goes on. My kids will beam during some of these commercials and list why their mom is the greatest, but I have a very hard time believing it. I don't feel like any of those things. I feel like I constantly mess up and fail them and I'm so worried that one day they will look back with their kid blinders off and see where I messed up.

I know I can't be perfect and even if I never messed up I'd still pass on some type of dysfunction but the fear that one day they will wake up and realize how much I suck at this mom thing and they'll resent me.

So I'm sitting here thinking about these things and bummed about Mother's Day and feel like I really don't deserve this special day.

I think my focus is in the wrong place though. Maybe I need to quit thinking so hard about where I fail and focus on the fact that I get to be mom to these two awesome kiddos. I got to carry them inside me. I got to feel their little kicks. I got to hold them on my chest while they slept and hear their first words. I got to see their first steps and first days of school.

I think mothering may be less about our abilities and more about just watching these little ones grow into the people they are meant to be. We get to do life with them. I get a front row seat to these two individuals, growing into these unique and wonderful people.

Mothering is less about me and my abilities and more about the people who gave me the title mom. Mothering can be found in the moments of laughing with my kids, serenading them in the car, and cheering for their ball games. Its not about my qualities or qualifications. Its not about the guilt I feel after hiding with the bowl of brownie batter so I don't have to share it.

Its about the moments and memories that we create while they are with me. They may look back over our time and hold grudges for things I did or didn't do, but I've just got to do the best I can and love them the best I can. You don't get a users manual when you become a parent. You figure it out along the way. There will be bumps and there will be delays and detours but I just have to do the best I can and trust that the Lord holds them in His palm. He has a path and plan for my kids and this messed up mom of theirs is a part of His plan. He will use me to mold them and shape them in spite of my own imperfections.

Happy Mother's Day to all the moms that don't feel worthy!


Working Girl

I told ya'll recently that I have been subbing for a little while now. Its going ok but just doesn't pay a ton. Its always been important to us that I be home with the kids. Now that they are getting older though I've been wanting to work and just help out financially. I want something that will be flexible though so I can be home when the kids are home. Its just always been so important to us not to put the kids in daycare.

Honestly though it wouldn't make sense for us to put them in any sort of child care as I have no college degree or any skills that would land me a job where I would actually bring home any money after paying for child care.

I've done just about every direct sales out there and have discovered that just aint my thing. I know people that are amazing at it and make a substantial income, but I just don't seem to care enough about the product to get the passion needed to drive me forward. I basically end up just wanting the discount to get stuff for myself. I'm not dissing anyone who does direct sales, it just isn't for me.

Anyway so I mentioned to Justin the other day that I had looked online at all the courses etc you need to get a teaching degree. I'm not really passionate about teaching but was curious just because that would give me the same schedule as the kids, and last week while subbing I got asked several times by students how much longer I had until I became an "real" teacher. Yeah they don't understand the concept of subs. I asked Justin what he thought, and if he thought I'd make a good teacher. He said, "Umm, no I think we'd end up getting sued by a parent after you told them off". The sad thing is, he's probably right. I think it takes a special person to be a teacher and I'm not that special.

So until I figure out what career path I'd want to pursue, who wants to pay me to eat fudge and watch movies? Anybody?


Mean Girls

Oh how I love the movie Mean Girls. It is one of my all time favorites! Any time an opportunity to quote it presents its self I jump all over it! I quote it so much that now my husband does haha!

Its one of those things where it is so funny because we've all somewhat been there with someone in school. My daughter is in 5th grade and real life mean girls are becoming a part of our lives. We both are learning how to deal with them. I mean as a mom sometimes I just want to jack a kid up, but legally and morally that isn't an option.

We all know how girls can be and sometimes I just want to tell her to stay out of the drama and not let it bother her, but I also can remember how it felt to deal with my very own Regina George.

It's so important to me to reach my children's hearts and love on them. I want to jump in and fix situations for them or just tell them to ignore it but lets face it there are some things in life we have to just be there for them and hold their hands and teach them to guard their hearts.

First and most importantly your child has to know that they can trust you with their heart and feelings. They need to be able to openly share with you without making lite of the situation. They have to be able to come and talk openly with you. Also ask her if she perhaps has talked with the girl she is having problems with in a non-confrontational way. Sometimes girls are trying to be funny and don't realize that they are actually hurting someone. But talking isn't always an option I know.

When your kids are dealing with tough issues like this it also opens the door to remind them of the beautiful gospel of Jesus. Remind them that outside of Jesus Christ we can't truly love others and that maybe these girls don't know Him. I'll say that again, outside of Christ we cannot truly love.

Teach your daughters to guard their hearts and be discerning. They can have several friends but they need to be careful with who they allow to be their close friends that share with. Teach them to not freely give away their hearts and trust. People who hurt, hurt others. You and your kids don't have to be friends with everyone but they can be friendly. It's ok to put up boundaries when people hurt us over and over again. Sometimes we have to love people from a distance and that's ok.

These are things I've learned from struggles with my own friendships. You would think as an adult it wouldn't be as difficult but it is. I have always been out going and also seek approval from others. The older that I get the smaller my inner circle gets. I cherish my close friends. They value me for who I am and help me to be the best version of myself. They don't hold me to impossible standards and seek to love and not hurt. Its my prayer for my daughter that she learn these things at a young age.

Did you have trouble with mean girls as a kid? Or what about as an adult? What piece of advice do you give for dealing with mean girls?