{Almost} Empty Nest

A baby bird takes 2 weeks to hatch from their egg and another 2 weeks to leave the nest. Wow! That is fast!

Humans typically get at least 18 years (and sometimes more) with their children. The first 9 months you are pregnant seem kind of slow, but when it’s over you feel as if it has flown by. I have come to the realization that the next 18-20 years flies as well. Mainly because I.Am.There.

I remember carrying my boys waiting on them to arrive, the late nights with sick boys when they were little, the teenage struggles when I got less sleep than I did when they were nursing every 2-3 hours, the tears I cried–both of joy & sadness…..Oh, how the time has flown. You are not alone sweet Mama (or Daddy)! Many have gone before you and many will go behind. Hang in there because being a Parent, although one of the hardest jobs you will ever have, is also one of the most rewarding.

I have a 23 year old who gave my first Grandchild 7 months ago yesterday! That 7 months has flown. They live 12 hours away, so when I see pictures or Skype she looks like she has grown so fast!20140205-112241.jpg

This week, my 20 year old son interviewed for a job (ahem, a career) an hour and a half away from here. If he gets it, he will be moving out soon.

My 18 year old is graduating HS in May. Tonight we have a meeting for 1 of his scholarships for College.20140205-112321.jpg

Don’t get me wrong….I’m thrilled my boys are growing into fine, young men! I just pray I have given them everything they need to be responsible and dependable and productive in life.

Hear me Mamas & Daddys! TIME FLIES! All these struggles with hair, clothes, chores, homework, etc…..they will soon be gone. My encouragement to you parents of young children today is this:

1. This too shall pass–If you are having a hard day, be encouraged that you WILL survive it.

2. Take a little time for yourself each day to breathe! Whether you are a working outside the home Mom or a working inside the home mom life can be overwhelming some days. Moms who work outside the home don’t have a break because they are doing so. They need wind down time too and their job begins again even when they clock out at 5. Moms who work inside the home need time to be alone because they are also on the clock.

Here are two things I did that helped me when I was in both positions….when I worked inside the home I made my children have at least 1 nap time together. I had a baby and a 22 month old, so I started as soon as the baby got on a schedule to make that happen. During that time I did NOT clean or work for at least 30 min. I rested, watched tv, read a book, prayed, ate a meal without sharing a bite, used the bathroom by myself….I.needed.that. and you.do.too!

When I worked outside the home, I took 15 min when I got home to sit down, take off my shoes and just breathe. If I couldn’t be in peace in the living room, then I would go to my bedroom and shut the door. It didn’t take long for the boys to understand that Mommy needed a few minutes before she heard “What’s for dinner?” “He hit me.” or any other myriad of things.

So if you are feeling overwhelmed, put yourself in time out! It will help! I promise!

3. Take/make time with your spouse! Put the kids to bed at least half an hour before you go to bed….even if they are older and you give them half an hour to read a book. You need time to talk and connect. Even swap babysitting one night a month with friends who have kids. It’s free and if “all” you do is have dinner in and talk, then it’s worth it!

4. Enjoy this time with your kids! Let me repeat that….ENJOY THIS TIME WITH YOUR KIDS! It really will be over before you know it! They will be standing on the edge of the nest flapping their wings and when you least expect it they will jump!

Now, I just have to remind myself of this on the days I secretly wish they were out flying instead of sitting on my couch watching tv and eating all my food! Ha ha! 🙂 There will be days like that too!

Press on my friends! Take care of that “baby bird” until they are ready to fly–then watch them soar! 🙂




Hiking Mt. Leconte for our 20th anniversary

Brian suggested that we either hike or ride the motorcycle to spend the day before our anniversary together. He just wanted us to be able to spend all day together–no cell phones, no tv, no distractions. I was game for anything.

So, we decided that it would be neat if we hiked Mt. Leconte since it is such a BIG hike! Of course, day hiking was adventurous to say the least, but it is definitely one you can do as a day hike. If you are in great shape, you can do it much easier! 🙂

Now, the day before this I ran my first ever 5K. No, I didn’t break any land speed records, but I had a great time and actually felt really good the next morning when I woke up around 6:30. So, we got up and got ready to hit the trail!

After fueling up the car and fueling up our bodies we made the drive to Alum Cave Bluff’s trail head. This is a VERY popular place and hike. I think even more so now that Chimney Tops Trail is closed due to landslides and fallen trees. We parked pretty easily, donned our backpacks (technically Brian had a back pack, all I had was a Camelbak and my camera) and headed off.

We began hiking around 9:30 – which is kind of a late start if you are going to day hike it, but it can be done. We were very excited when we started and hiked very well for a while. We knew the first place we would come to was Arch Rock which is about 1.5 miles into the 5.5 mi one-way hike. The trail up to that point is what I would consider easy-moderate depending on your hiking abilities. I typically upgrade whatever the websites or books say a trail is by putting it between what they say and the next level. I feel like they are speaking to very experienced and very in shape hikers. 🙂

Here is Arch Rock


It is a huge rock with a path cut through it. The stairs are very steep, as you can see.


This is a beautiful spot and at 1.5 miles in it is a great hike! You could hike here and have lunch and then hike back to the trail head. OR, you could keep going!

The hike from here gets a little more difficult with more roots, rocks and such on the trail and the elevation is continuing up, but at a manageable pace. There are plenty of places to take a rest if you need to and the views as you go up are plenty! There are little nooks where you can walk to the creek or look over the side and see the mountains.


1 more mile from Arch rock is Alum Cave Bluffs. Like I said, the hike gets a little more difficult, but this is also a beautiful place to hike to and have a picnic. It will take you a little longer to walk that mile, but you can do it! Here are a couple pictures of the Bluffs.



It’s pretty much the side of the mountain! It is steep to climb up (as you can tell by the angle), but once you’ve gotten there it’s really nice.

Now, for the fun part! We know several people who have hiked to Mt. Leconte, people who hike it all the time and really enjoy it. We thought this would be a neat accomplishment we could make for our 20th Anniversary! How neat would it to be able to tell people that you hiked to the highest point in Tennessee.  We have hiked a lot and I consider us to be in decent shape. Yes, we could still lose a few pounds, but we still felt like we could do this! We knew it would take all day and all day it did!

Now, from Alum Cave Bluffs, things drastically change! Almost ALL of the trail is narrow, covered by roots, rocks or snow and it is steep in a lot of places. You don’t think about these obstacles as much on the way up because they are much easier to navigate going up. But, when you are coming down you wonder in a few places how that’s going to turn out! HA HA!

Here are some examples of the steepness and some of the things we had to climb to get to the top!





So, all the while going up we wondered what we had gotten ourselves into. I was still pretty excited and VERY determined to make it! Brian, not so much! I think if I hadn’t kept going he would have been happy to just turn around at the Bluffs. (I can honestly say–the next day I wish we had! LOL!)

But, the reason we trudged over the obstacles and through the snow — with NO hiking sticks (we forgot them) and no snow cleats (we didn’t own any) — was because we wanted to accomplish something that some people never do.

As we continued to climb the mountain (& rest what seemed like a million times) we ran into people who started their climb in the dark to reach the bluffs by sunrise. Oh that sounded awesome – I just couldn’t imagine hiking it in the dark! We even ran into a lady who was just chatting in passing until we realized we knew her from our children’s elementary school. That gave us a much needed break to catch up a little, but it also made us feel VERY out of shape to realize this woman was a regular hiker of Mt. Leconte!

So, we trudged on! And eventually after all the craziness of about 5 stretches of snow & ice that took way too much time, we reached the sign that said Mt. Leconte Lodge! We were SO happy! We went to the dining room which is a very popular picture spot because they always have the date and elevation on the sign. So we had our picture made here to prove that the day before our 20th Anniversary we climbed Mt. Everest—I mean Mt. Leconte!!!


Oh we’re all smiles here and look like we jogged up the mountain, but the funny part happened next!

We knew we had read that we needed to climb to Cliff Tops to see the summit and have the best views of the mountains, so we started that section. We only had to hike another .2 miles (2/10 of a mile can’t be that bad, right? WRONG!). The Cliff Tops trail was completely snow/ice covered and it is pretty straight up. We passed a couple of younger guys who told us we were all but there–after proceeding to tell us that they had been told that all day by people going down the mountain, but they were really still far away from their destination. I guessed after reaching the summit that at that point we were halfway, so we had .1 mi to go. HA! It’s pretty funny now, but then it wasn’t really that funny. 🙂

We had purchased a pair of the shoe covers to help in ice. Since we have similar sized feet, we got 1 pair (because we knew there were better made ones out there) and we each wore 1 for our outside foot going down the mountain. It helped a lot getting up this trail, but it was definitely still slick and steep. BUT, oh what a view!


The closest thing I personally can relate this to is Pikes Peak, but I can tell you that I drove up that mountain in a vehicle and the Rocky’s are beautiful but I am extremely partial to our Smoky Mountains!

I took a few minutes to soak in the view and then it was time to head back down! There IS light at the end of this tunnel!


The trip down didn’t take as long, but it was definitely still a rough trek. After you have climbed the steep terrain you must also go down the steep terrain. That is hard on your knees and feet. Like I said, we took fewer breaks coming down because it isn’t as exerting as climbing, so it took less time. When we got to the Bluffs we were happy to have a short rest, but ready to hit the trail again. We knew we were halfway there, so we wanted to keep going!

When we finally made it to Arch Rock, we knew we were on our way. Although both of our knees were killing us, we weren’t going to stop! We rested for a very short time and while I was rubbing my knee a man who only had 1 leg hopped across the foot bridge and used his hand crutches to walk down the trail. Now, I know he didn’t climb the mountain, but the man hiked 1.5 miles on 1 leg and hand crutches! Boy, did that light a fire under me! Who was I to complain?!

Brian & I had decided we would go to dinner, but once that last 1.5 miles was done, we were so tired and sore it wasn’t funny! We decided that we just wanted to go home! 🙂 But, when we sat down in the car we high fived each other and were so thrilled that we had done it.

Now, don’t ask me about the next few days! After the 5K and the hike my calves were tight as banjo strings!!! So, be prepared!

Was it worth it? Absolutely!

Will we do it again anytime soon? Probably not!

Now, while we were hiking I had this thought.  Hiking this mountain for our 20th Anniversary was SO fitting to me!

To me this hike was very symbolic of a marriage. When we started we were so excited and happy. The height or difficulty of the mountain made no difference because no one was going to tell us we couldn’t do it.

As we reached bumps in the road or rocks on the path early in the hike, we easily overcame those obstacles and still proceeded undeterred.

The higher we climbed the more obstacles we faced and the harder it became to overcome them, but we continued to press on.

We took small breaks along the way to stop and enjoy the view. We needed that little bit of time to gain strength to keep going and to reflect on how far we had come.

Even though there were times we felt like turning around and heading back, we didn’t stop! We continued to push forward and never gave up!

When we got to the top, the view was SO worth it! That’s why it’s so important to not give up during the hard spots–you could miss the best & most beautiful times of your life!

Coming down the mountain was easier, so we had a little more time enjoy the scenery. And the obstacles that we came across going down, well we had already overcome them once, so a second time was easier. We knew how best to approach them.

And the sense of accomplishment when we reached the car, even as tired as we were from the strain, length and time it took to hike this trail was enough to make us feel like we could overcome anything. AND it didn’t make us feel like we never wanted to hike again. 🙂

So, I hope you have enjoyed my funny take on our day! Really, we did enjoy it–even if it has taken a week for the soreness to go away. Just don’t ask Brian if he wants to go again anytime soon!

Good Friday

Good Friday…..it may seem strange to some people that we call the day Christ was crucified “good”. I liken it to the fact that the end result is good, great even, for you & me!

Yes, on Friday Jesus was mocked, beaten & hung on a cross to die for sin–EVERYONE’S sin–whether they believe it or not. Yes, He had the power to get down off the cross and prove to everyone there who He really was and what power He had. No, He did not do that.

Why, you ask? There could be many reasons argued. One reason I believe it happened that way is because people would be shown more who Jesus was if He died and was resurrected than just if He climbed down off the cross and said “told ya so”.

When He was confirmed dead and was buried and then when His grave was being visited a stone that no one man could have moved had been moved and His tomb was empty–oh, that made much more of a statement!

I can’t imagine the pain that God went through on that “Good Friday” even though He knew the outcome! I know that I am thankful that He was thinking of ME and how MY life would be changed by His sacrifice! I pray that your life has been changed by it as well. If you are unsure or need someone to explain to you what God has done for you, please leave me a comment!

I will leave you with 2 things! 1 is words to a song that I feel like explain it all about MY part in why Jesus had to die.

How deep the Father’s love for us
How vast beyond all measure
That He should give His only Son
And make a wretch His treasure
How great the pain of searing loss
The Father turns His face away
As wounds which mar the Chosen One
Bring many sons to glory

Behold the man upon the cross
My sin upon His shoulder
Ashamed I hear my mocking voice
Call out among the scoffers
It was my sin that held Him there
Until it was accomplished
His dying breath has brought me life
I know that it is finished

I will not boast in anything
No gifts, no power, no wisdom
But I will boast in Jesus Christ
His death and resurrection
Why should I gain from His reward
I cannot give an answer
But this I know with all my heart
His wounds have paid my ransom

The other is a video about the HOPE of Sunday (Easter) after the crucifixion on Friday. Click on the following link to watch it!
It’s Friday, but Sunday is coming!

Weary Mamas

I saw a post from a friend yesterday about the struggles of her day.  As I read it, I could FEEL the words she wrote.  She was tired, her kids were sick (yet again), one of them was having a meltdown….She was weary to a certain degree.  She craved another Mama to tell her it would all be okay.

Have you been there before? I know I have! I don’t think there is a Mother out there who hasn’t felt overwhelmed at least, oh, a million times!  Sometimes we just need someone that has been there to tell us “this too shall pass”.  Now, before all the Dads get upset that I’m just talking about Moms, I know there are some Dads who do a lot to provide and help with their children, finances and cleaning.  So, I know dads do a lot too.  But for today, I am speaking to Mamas because I am one!

I saw this picture yesterday on FB and I really thought about what it said.  I know that I personally feel like I always have something going on.  Part of that is because I have children (and forgetful children) and part of that is because I am a volunteer–not just because I live in the Volunteer State either!  Ha Ha!  But I never want to be too busy to spend time with God.  I know I couldn’t make it without Him!


When I had my youngest child, this was my life.  I had a “bonus” son who was 5, a son who was 22 months old and a newborn.  I worked full-time up until 2 weeks before my last son was born and then I stayed home.  I wanted to be able to stay home at least until my children went to school.  With the costs of daycare it totally made sense.  We even though about homeschooling our children, but that didn’t happen.  I think it was really a combination of things.  I tease it’s because my middle son was strong-willed, but that really wasn’t why.

I remember my husband worked 12 hr shifts at his job and he went to work less than a week after me coming home with our youngest son.  Trying to nurse a baby who wanted to eat every 2-3 hrs, keep up with a toddler who just wanted to go outside and play but it was too cold, trying to rest myself and get a schedule of food and naps while changing diapers and forget about trying to clean–I was exhausted!  He called me on one of his breaks and I just cried on the phone and told him I couldn’t do it.  HA!  Oh, he was so sweet and encouraged me that I really could.  But that was a WEARY time!

I worked for about 9 months right before our youngest turned a year old.  Then, I was home again!  I loved being able to spend that time with my boys–even though it wasn’t always easy.  When our middle son started Kindergarten, I started work.  Now, I understand that everyone can’t stay home and everyone can’t work outside the home.  God made us, and our situations, different.  There are probably people who are working that could stay home and people who are staying home that could work, but that’s not a question I choose to debate.  I believe we do what we feel is right and there should be no judgement on a fellow Mother regardless of whether she works inside the home or outside the home.

I can tell you, since I’ve been on both sides, that you WORK regardless!  Being a Mom is a full-time job!  I think sometimes the world wants us to feel like Stay-at-home moms do nothing but watch TV and lay on the couch while spending all the money their husband makes on QVC….and that Working Moms get away from the children and spend their time in a fantasy world where they don’t worry about the things at home for that 8 hrs and spend all the money we make on clothes & shoes (oh and that we don’t love our children).  Well, NEITHER of those is true!  Though I know that SAH Moms crave & need adult interaction, they are working hard at keeping up with everything that has to be done on the home front as well as the schedules of extra curricular activities and volunteer work.  And working Moms are trying to do their “outside” job, but all the while are thinking of what needs to be done at home, what the schedule for after work is and what they might be missing in their kids’ world this week.

I would like to encourage all you Mamas out there to stick together!  Not just with those Moms who are like you, but also with those who do the opposite of you.  I like having SAHM for friends–they help keep me grounded about what the important things in life are!  They help remind me of the days when my children were younger and now I can look back and see the fun we had.  Even though I missed some things my kids did because I worked, I worked even harder to enjoy the time I had with them.  And, I hope that SAHM can look at me and see that although I don’t have it all together I enjoy my family.  Family is important–whether you have a big family or a small one–and making the most of that time, as well as taking some time for yourself, is a necessity.  Whether you just started your family or like me, are almost an empty nest.

Encourage a Mom this week!  Send her a message, note or card.  Let her know that motherhood can be challenging, but some of the best things in life are worth working for!  Also let her know we don’t have to be perfect!  I could give you a long list of things I’m not perfect at, but I’m thankful that my God sees the good and sometimes sends sweet friends in to remind me that I am loved!


Lord, I pray for all the Mothers who read this.  I pray you give them grace to see through the hard days, peace to know things will get better and rest when they have the opportunity to take it.  I pray you surround them with women who are encouragers who allow them to talk when they need to and let them know it will be okay.  I pray for both the Stay at Home moms and the working outside the home moms would respect each other and love each other–not talk down or be jealous of the other’s “perceived” way of life.  I thank You for the different abilities and strengths you give each of us as Moms, Wives, Sisters, Daughters and Friends!



Here is a snippet of my morning today–just so you can realize that I DON”T have it all together as a mom! Most of my days are similar (& sometimes worse) than this. HA HA!

I went to bed at 11:30pm, got up at 4:30 am to let the dog out, then got back up at 6:30 to start my day.  I got Brian’s clothes ready, woke Hunter up, fed the dog & let the dog out. Then I went to make lunches for my guys and realized that we had no lunch meat or peanut butter and we had no chips or crackers and the only fruit we had was 1 over ripe banana. So, I proceeded to tell them they would need to eat at school today (which isn’t near the amount of food I pack for them). So, I let the dog back in, get Brian’s medicine for him, pray with him and kiss him goodbye. Then, back off to force Hunter to get out of the bed–that is a fight every morning. I took a quick shower because my hair HAD to be washed, got dressed & left my hair curly and just quick dried it because I didn’t have time to completely dry it. Finally got everything together and headed out the door and I thought we would be good. Then I started the car and my gas light came on. I knew I wouldn’t have time to stop on the way to get Hunter to school or he would be late! So, I drove him to school, asked him where his backpack was (he forgot it in his dad’s truck) and where his checker was (he forgot it at home). I’m not worried about the backpack, but he HAS to have his checker! I went to the closest gas station to put gas in. When I left the house I was burning up because the heat wouldn’t kick off (& I was rushing around), so I forgot to grab a sweater. Here I am pumping gas in the cold with half sleeves on freezing!  I knew I didn’t have time to go home to get his checker, so I grabbed something for breakfast and headed to work. When I got to work, I opened the passenger door and a CD case fell out of the door pocket, opened up and the CD went rolling under my car….thankfully it just kept rolling because it rolled uphill out from under the car and then hit the wheel and fell. I could just see me climbing under my car to get a CD! So, now the only thing I have to do is work, go to the post office and run home to get his checker, drop it off at school, log into the school lunch area and put money on his account (since he doesn’t normally eat at school) and come back to work!  See, life is never boring!

When I get stressed about it all I just try to remember the good times! I hope you can too!

I think about the country song “Don’t Blink”…..it is so true!

Don’t blink
Just like that you’re six years old and you take a nap and you
Wake up and you’re twenty-five and your high school sweetheart becomes your wife
Don’t blink
You just might miss your babies growing like mine did
Turning into moms and dads next thing you know your “better half”
Of fifty years is there in bed
And you’re praying God takes you instead
Trust me friend a hundred years goes faster than you think
So don’t blink


Happy Birthday Sadie


When Sadie came to us a little over a month ago, we thought we knew how old she was. Then I looked on some papers from the vet and they had her a year older than we thought. I was concerned, but had basically come to the understanding I was going to have to just make up a day for her birthday!

When I took her to get spayed, I also took her microchip we got from the Humane Society. I had called a couple weeks earlier to get the information on it changed over and they had told me to call back in a couple weeks to verify the information had been updated and so I could get a username & password for their website.

So, I logged in and added more phone numbers (it’s imperative for you to have as many updated ones as possible) and also a picture of Sadie. While looking around on the site, I found the Humane Society had already entered some information, such as her weight and her birthdate! We had a birthday!!!!! And it was in less than a week!

So, today is the BIG day! Sadie is a year old, is healing very well from her spaying and has captured our hearts! She loves to “talk” like you’ve probably seen in some of my videos. (Here’s a clip if you haven’t.) Sadie Talking

She also loves “hugs”. Every day when we come home from work she jumps up (standing on her back legs) and hugs us and waits on lots of talking & petting. After a minute or so she gets down and she’s good the rest of the night.


Sadie is a very quiet and mostly extremely well behaved dog. She loves to snuggle & loves to sleep. If you are looking for an animal to share your life with, please consider adopting from a local shelter or pet rescue. There are so many animals out there that need a good home. Here is a link to the Hamblen County Humane Society MHHS Facebook Page

Think of all the memories you will be creating with a little pet food, a warm place to sleep and a lot of love!

What’s in a name

2 plane tickets $300
Hotel & Rental Car $200
Getting to take maternity pictures for your first grandchild- priceless!

I have been excited about this ever since Tammy asked if I was interested in planning a trip. The day before we were flying to Kansas there was a huge snowstorm “Q” that completely covered most of Kansas/Missouri! We were hoping we could get there and not be delayed…..especially since I was driving 3 1/2 hrs to Tammy’s house!

That day the entire airport in KC had been shut down, so we weren’t sure what the next day held for us. Once I got there, we were double checking and re-packing our bags. We were also trying to decide what we would take for them to have to wear for pictures out of the clothes we had, going through props and pictures to decide what to take.

We went to bed late, but I couldn’t sleep a lot because of the excitement. I just kept checking the phone for updates. I finally just got up and showered so i could be ready. Tammy got up just a few minutes after me, so we double checked all our luggage & we headed to the airport.

We got there and enjoyed our wait. We just milled around and took a few pictures. Here is us at the airport and also on the plane.



The plane ride was great and short, but when we landed we realized the entire runway was covered in snow! That was a little scary, but our pilot did a great job and you would never have known if you weren’t looking out the window.


Once we got near KC we could see all the snow through the clouds. I have never seen that much snow before. Maybe 1 time TN got anywhere near that much snow and I was a little kid.


The airport was lots different than what I am used to (in my very limited amounts of flying), but we went straight out into the corridor and had someone snap a quick picture of us in the airport.

We left the airport in our rental car, grabbed a quick bite and checked in the hotel. Just look at all the snow piled up at the Wendy’s where we ate!

Then we headed to Brittney’s house to meet her and her family and to wait on Chris to get off work. We had both missed him so much and hugging his neck was worth it all!


We had a great time getting to know them and searching for baby pictures of Brittney. Once Chris got there, we headed out to eat. We were all hungry, especially Brittney!

Our choice was Cracker Barrel and while we were there we found some pink owl booties that were perfect for the pictures the next day! We headed back to the hotel and spent a long time just talking about all kinds of things.

We got on the subject of names and they had picked a name they liked, but were having a hard time picking a middle name. We talked through a lot of names and nothing seemed to fit. Tammy explained that picking a name was important and you have to pick a name that you feel like they won’t get picked on for later in life. Chris left the room for a few minutes and as we were talking I had this thought.

I said how names should have a meaning. So, I told Brittney that they couldn’t really name the baby after her daddy (since she is a girl), but they could come up with a name that had the same initials. She loved the idea and said she had liked the name Chloe, but she didn’t think Chris liked it.

When Chris came back in Brittney told him I had an idea — then she made me tell him. Lol! (She is so cute!) So I told Chris about the initials and his face just lit up and he had an ear to ear grin! (Yep, he’s already wrapped!) Brittney said she liked Chloe, but she said he didn’t. Chris said he DID like Chloe, he just didn’t know what name to put with it. Then came the task of going through all kinds of names that started with an S.

We all 4 started throwing out names. Some we were serious and others were completely just silly! Tammy & Chris were talking to each other and all of a sudden Chris said he really liked Savannah. So we started saying the names together and while Tammy was talking to them I jumped up and took the scrabble letters and spelled it out on the bed (I’m a visual person). We took pictures of it and they said they really liked it.

After they left Tammy & I talked about how happy they were and we really wanted Britt’s parents to like it and for them to have a peace about the name. We liked it a lot and practiced saying Chloe instead of “the baby”. 😉

And that’s how Day 1 ended. Boy, we had lots to do the next 2 days! But we were like teenagers talking and not sleeping a lot. We were just so excited over this special time we got to spend with them!

Day 2…..coming soon!

It’s a GIRL!!!!!


I just returned from the Kansas City area after taking maternity pictures for my “Grandbelly”! I have SO much to write about our trip, but not enough time right now! Very soon I will make an entire post about all the fun we had and the wonderful time we had meeting & spending time with Brittney’s family!

For now, here are a few pictures from our 2 day photo shoot! I can’t begin to describe the joy I felt while taking these photos. It was such an honor and I had a great assistant! 😉 We can’t wait to welcome Chloe Savannah in July!





A furry addition

Wow! How things work out sometimes! Who knew after losing our beloved family pet of almost 12 years that we would have another furry addition 1.5 months later!

We have never been in a position to have an indoor pet before. Hershey had been indoors as a pup, but got big pretty fast and needed to go outside. By the time we would have been able to bring him inside, he was already too old & definitely set in his ways to house train.

We finally got to the point we could look at dogs again without crying. Of course, we certainly didn’t expect to find one. We had been looking on Craigslist and at the Humane Society. We knew it would be easy to find someone who bred puppies, but we really didn’t want to start with a puppy. Plus, we thought it would be great it we could save an animal.

We went to the Human Society one Saturday….actually the Saturday it snowed. We looked at all the dogs and found one we really liked. We took her our of the cage and walked her in the snow. We thought she was a great dog, but it was hard to make that decision. Partly because we knew it was a BIG responsibility and partly because we wanted to be sure we were ready.


We drove to Tractor Supply and looked at crates, dog beds and other dog items. We talked about how we knew the dog we had just seen wouldn’t last long because she was such a great girl. Sure enough, as soon as we got home, I saw a friend on FB had adopted her.

We had another dog we were scheduled to look at that week, but that didn’t work out. She was an older dog that needed a good home due to a divorce situation, but she had some other issues that wouldn’t work out for us.

Even though we were disappointed those two dogs didn’t work out, we trusted that we would eventually find the perfect dog for us! We knew what we were looking for, we just had to find the perfect dog for us.

A few days later, we received a message asking if we wanted the dog we had seen at the pound. (Just that morning we were going to talk to another rescue about a dog they had.) There were circumstances that wouldn’t allow the sweet people who adopted her to keep her. There were lots of things that transpired and we had lots of people help is in making it work. So, 1 week ago tomorrow, the perfect dog came into our lives!

Her name at the shelter was “Jill” but we named her Sadie (because we liked the name & Duck Dynasty). She is 10 months old, house broken and she does great without a crate! She brings such joy to us! I only wish everyone could find an animal that brings them as much joy!


Sadie greets us at the door every day so happy to see us and jumping around and “talking” to us! She makes noises that sound like she is trying to tell us about her day! She snuggles with us and makes us laugh. She is a very quiet dog most of the time and is learning not to beg for food.


Please visit your local shelters and rescues if you are looking for an animal. We have several in our area that do great work in trying to find these animals good homes. Also, if you are unable to care for or keep your animal, please find someone who can. We appreciate the ones who called us. They can see pictures & video of the girl they cared for for almost a week. They loved her for us and we are now loving her for them. 😉