Quite a random update.

I have a lot of little things to talk about but nothing big so I have no clue how to title this post…


I was cleaning out the display cases and he decided he needed to get in there.  He’s clearly not afraid of being in them anymore!


My mom was getting home late Friday so I went by to let her dogs out for a few minutes and put them back in.  While I was chasing her wild child of a dog Oreo around Rylan decided to hang out with Bailey in her kennel!  haha

Saturday was blah.  We rested.  It was rough.  I’m not really a sit and rest kind of person.  I apparently needed it though because I was supposed to go to Zumba that morning and I slept in.


I know.

I had a headache too.  Sometimes your body just needs that I guess.

On Sunday I was in a cooking mood.  I’ve been looking for a good chili recipe.


I found this one from The Pioneer Woman.  At first I wasn’t too crazy about it but I made a few tweaks to it and I really like it.  20150712_163308

I also made some monkey bread.  It’s not that great for you but everyone needs a treat every now and then.

20150712_162421My little man eating his supper.  He’s such a big boy.  He won’t sit in his high chair anymore.  I guess he’s too “cool” for that now.  He does great in a regular chair though so that’s where he sits.


Rylan had to go for his well child checkup Monday.  He’s 34.5″ and 25lbs!  20150713_125205


He had to have a finger stick and his last Hep A shot.  He HATED the band aid on his finger.  The prick wasn’t bad but when she put the band aid on he was not a happy camper.  I’m guessing this is when it probably started throbbing too.

When it came time for his shot he started telling the nurse “Peese, Peese, Non’t”.  Poor little feller.  :(  He’s so smart and so cute.

As for a workout update:

I’ve wanted to try Yoga for years now and it has just not worked out for me.  I finally gave it a whirl last Monday though and I love it!  You really do use muscles you haven’t used in a long time, if ever.

My arms and my abs really got a good workout.  I felt it for the rest of the week…no joke!

I went again last night and it was wonderful!

I burned 383 calories in an hour and was completely challenged.  I now get what all the fuss is about.  I’m going to add a Yoga class into my routine once a week for sure.  I wish I could do it 7 days a week honestly.

I’d take pictures but in such a calm environment with so much concentration (and lets face it…weird positions) I don’t really feel like it’s appropriate.  I know I wouldn’t want someone taking pictures of me trying to do any of it.


My Old Chair


This chair is old.  It holds so many precious memories for me.  I used to sit in it and read.  I’d watch the news.  Discuss world issues.  Ponder life’s problems.  Dream about traveling to faraway places.  Listen to tales of World War II.  Eat snacks.  Study and work on homework.  This chair means a lot to me.

I’ve had people come to my house and make comments about my “old chair”.    No, it doesn’t “go” with my decor.  No, it isn’t new.  Yes, it is ripped and showing it’s age.  I don’t care.  It’s mine and it means a lot to me.

The man that gave it to me was very special to me.  He died in 2007.  Sometimes I can still hear his stories and his laugh.  He was like another Popaw to me.  He gave me this chair a couple of months before he passed away because in his words, it had always been mine anyway.  

I still sit in it sometimes and read.  It’s comfortable even if it is worn.  It’s big enough to fold up in with a blanket and a good book…or a napping little boy.

Rylan seems to like it just like I have all these years.  He climbs up in it with a toy or a book and he’s content to sit there, which for him (or any toddler I suspect) is quite a feat.

I hope to get it reupholstered this year at some point.  Up until now it just hasn’t felt right to change the look of it but nowI think it’s time.


Small Town Living

Anyone who knows me knows that I love to travel.  It is by far my favorite hobby.

But anyone who knows me well knows that I love coming home too!

I live in a small town…well actually, I don’t live in the town but outside of it, in a small county in the Heart of Appalachia (and a little help with this pronunciation – App-ah-latch-an because if you say App-a-lay-sha you’re wrong).  The county is made up mostly of small family farms and the population is under 30,000.  I would wager to say that we have more cattle than people and that’s just fine with me!

calm before the storm

The mountains and farmland make for some great views!  I shot this just before a summer storm rolled in a couple of years ago.


Scenes like this are commonplace.  I took this yesterday morning on my way to work.  This is a Main Street intersection with one of our five (count ’em…5!!!) stop lights (not traffic lights y’all, stop lights!).  Across the road in the green roofed building is town hall.  It’s just as common to see a tractor or cattle trailer coming into town as it is to see a car.

I feel so blessed to be able to call this place home.



Thoughtful Thursday: Rough Day

Yesterday was hard.

Our shop was so busy I didn’t feel like I got anything accomplished.  (I am so glad we’re busy though, we’re very blessed.)

It was just an off day for me.

My allergies have been bad and I’ve had to deal with daily headaches and yesterday’s headache was especially painful by the afternoon.

I’ve not had Zumba in 3 weeks now so I just don’t feel that good physically.

Sometimes its hard not to get into that mental state of “everything is going wrong, nothing is ever right, life is ridiculous.”

But you know what?

It is just a bad day, it is not a bad life.

Even days that are hard are worth it.

The big picture is where it’s at.  I have so much to be thankful for and so many good things going that to stay in a pity state would cheat me out of this mostly wonderful life I had.

I think people get into a habit of looking at what is going wrong and ignoring what is going right and they have a hard time breaking it.


Busy Week & Weekend

Short weeks seem so crazy around here.  I don’t know what it is but it is more hectic on a short week than a regular week.

I entered some photos I had taken in the Clinch River Days Photography Contest.  Thursday would have been the awards ceremony but I couldn’t make it.  Our week has been so crazy that I just couldn’t leave work early enough.  I don’t think I won anything because no one has called but I feel good to have just entered.  I’ll check on them this week and see when/where I can pick them up.

Friday we did a 5k Fun Walk/Run called a Glow for a Cure.  We just walked.  Mom wanted to do it and we agreed to do it with her.  We hadn’t trained or anything for it but it was fine and always good to spend time with family.  There was a good turnout, probably 75+.  I was silly and didn’t get a single picture!  Can you believe that?  Anyway, we had us three, Mom, Bets, Larry and my aunt Heather in our group.  I hope they do it again next year.

Saturday we went kayaking at Adventure Mendota.  Christina’s birthday was last Tuesday so this was her (slightly late) birthday present!  We had such a great time!

20150530_123251We didn’t intentionally match…but it happened!  


The owners even made sure to personalize our trip.  They seem like nice, genuine people who are very passionate about their new business venture.  I really think they’ll do well.  Anyone interested in some SWVA kayaking should check them out!


Sunday mornings don’t get much better than this!  We all slept in and Rylan and I had some extra cuddle time.  It was perfect.

We stayed home to work on some projects and getting ready for the week to come as well as some rest.  I had to move a lot of things around so that we could get our walls textured and ready for paint.  It has been hard to deal with everything out of whack but it will all be worth it when it is finished.  I’m trying to decide on a wall color right now.  I have an overall plan but picking the perfect wall color is hard sometimes.  I’ve gotten so many paint swatches and I keep looking at them in different lights at different times of day.  Its quite a process.  I want this to be the last time I paint for quite some time.

I worked on a sign for our dining room.  I love the way it looks so far.  I hope to finish it up soon.


I also painted my dining room table.  I had painted the chairs earlier.  Now I’m ready to reupholster them and my table is FINALLY finished!

I hope to be finished with it all soon.  This process is definitely love/hate.  Maybe when I get done I’ll do a post on it.  I love being able to look back at everything we’ve done.


Thoughtful Thursday: Being a Mama

There are some things I was never prepared to feel as a Mama.

The almost crazy like love that I feel for my son.  Sometimes I sit and think about how much I love him and it makes me feel like I’m a bit unhinged.  How is it possible to love someone so much?  It is overwhelming, all encompassing, like nothing else.  There is nothing I wouldn’t do for him.

The pride I feel when my child shows his tender heart.  If he thinks I’m mad at him he comes over and gives me a hug.  Our dog had cut her paw a few weeks ago and he noticed her limping.  I told him she was hurt and he went over to her and gave her a hug and said “Awww…”  He loves wholeheartedly and it is such a beautiful thing to see.

The way it changed how I looked at my husband.  I have always loved my husband (of course, duh) but after seeing him with our son my love for him is just so much more.  He’s so good with him.  He’s patient, kind, gentle and fun.  He’s really everything a Dad should be.  Seeing how much he loves Rylan just makes me love him that much more.

The deep compassion I feel for other mamas.  If I see you in public and your child is crying my heart goes out to you.  If they’re having a melt down and you look upset I wish I could comfort you.  (I won’t though because I don’t know you and you would think I’m a weirdo.) I’ve been there.  It is frustrating.  If I see your child tell you “I love you mommy.” I am ecstatic for you and I might even get a little misty eyed.  If your child is sick, I understand how helpless you feel.  I know.  I’ve been there too.

How the death of other children would make me hold my own child tighter, longer.  When Rylan was 7 months old there was a little boy that was 5 months old a couple of towns over that went missing.  I cried thinking about what could be happening or what had happened to that innocent little boy.  I worried.  I prayed.   I held Rylan till he would sleep and I would fitfully watch him until he woke.  It shook me to the core the way things like that never had before.  I had always felt bad of course hearing those things but now the feelings became REAL.  They ended up finding him alongside the highway.  He was dead.  His own father had dumped him there and his mother was also charged in his death.  My heart still aches for this poor little boy.

How it would feel to be the most tired I’ve ever felt in my life and be the happiest I’ve ever been at the same time.  I never knew that could be possible.  I remember the first time Rylan ever smiled at me.  We were in my bedroom and he was laying in his Rock n’ Play.  He had just woken up from a nap and I was so tired from the 6 weeks of sleepless nights.  When he woke up I heard him coo and looked down at him.  I said “There’s my happy boy!” and looked at me with the biggest, gummy grin on his little face!  He was moving his little arms and cooing away!  I remember thinking that nothing was better than this.  And I cried.  Haha!

The side splitting fear that would wash over me when he would do something dangerous.  He fell of the bed when we were at a hotel in South Carolina when he was seven months old.  Jason had left to go grab us some supper and Rylan and I stayed there.  I laid him in the middle of a king sized bed, took three steps to the corner table and plugged my phone up to charge.  I looked around as soon as I plugged the charger in the wall to see him teetering on the edge of the bed.  My heart stopped.  I immediately jumped, covering the distance and catching him mid drop, skinning my knee and elbow in the process.  I cried.  My chest ached and I couldn’t put him down for a while after that.  The fear coupled with the adrenaline rush left me a crumpled, blubbering mess.  He climbs so much now.  He runs fast and jumps off of things he shouldn’t and my heart drops every single time.

Worry.  Yes, worry.  I know my child is just a toddler and that I’m just getting started in this whole worry thing.  I think this started from the moment I read that positive pregnancy test.  Will I be a good mom?  Can I keep him safe?  Will I be able to be strong enough to parent?  I still worry.  Not so much of the crazy things like “will he like me?” or “will I like him?” (haha…all sorts of crazy thing goes through a pregnant lady’s brain, y’all!  Don’t judge!)  Now I worry about him falling or getting away from me in a crowd.  Sometimes I let my mind wander to the future though and I really get scared.  I keep Philippians 4:6-7 in the back of my mind:  Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

I cry more.  A lot more.  And 99.9% of the time it isn’t because I’m sad.

Speaking of crying…

The way I would look at television, movies…even commercials with new (albeit, emotional) eyes.  Gone are the days that I can sit stone faced through a tear jerker of a movie.  Gone are the days that I can watch anything about a kid being kidnapped, hurt, etc. even if it has a happy ending.  No thank you.

smiling face

Being a Mama is such a whirlwind of love and emotions.

It is by far the best job I’ve ever had and it is also the hardest.

Everything I do carries more weight.  Every decision I make, everything I do revolves around what is best for my child.

I feel things so much more deeply.  My love is stronger.

This is my purpose for sure.  I am blessed.

I think it is pretty safe to say that he has turned my world every which way…and I’ve loved every minute of it!


Workout Update

So I’m still going to Zumba twice a week.  I still love it!  Once last week and Monday of this week they have substituted R.I.P.P.E.D. for Zumba.  I wish I could do R.I.P.P.E.D. twice a week too (they offer the class) but I’m already pulled in too many directions.

I’ve lost 10lbs so far and toned up all over.  I know that muscle weights more than fat so I’m trying not to get discouraged when I don’t see the scale budge.  Its getting harder not to though, I have to admit.  I feel great though, I really do!  I have a lot more energy and I can tell that I’m building my muscle back in my left leg (it had gotten really weak after my injury).

Its time to do what I always dread when it comes to getting in shape: altering my eating.  Ugh…  I know that I need to start watching what I put in my body in order to see the results that I want to see.  I love healthy food, I love non healthy food….I just love food!  And, like everyone else in today’s society, I feel like my time is stretched thin as it is so meals need to be quick.

So this weekend I’m going to get a plan together and go grocery shopping (in between working on our rental, working on our home, etc.).  I’ve been reading up on meal planning, eating clean and IIFYM.  I’m going to ease myself into all of this.  Honestly, there is so much information out there on everything and I’m a little overwhelmed.  I want to play around with some things and find what works for me.  Everyone is different.

My plan thus far:

  • Weekly Meal Planning/Prep  (So that I can have more control over what I eat and not be tempted to eat bad when I’m in a pinch)
  • 2 Zumba Classes a Week
  • Walking in the morning 3 times a week (I’m thinking Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, weather permitting)

Once I get in a decent routine I’ll do an update on all of it.