My family

My family

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Show & Tell Tuesday

It’s Show & Tell Tuesday!!  J

This week is all about the soundtrack to our lives.  I’ve been excited about this one so let’s get to it.
Music has always been a big part of my life.  HUGE!  Tracey took Charlene & I to our first concert – Barry Manilow – in 6th grade. 

There are songs that get me through sad times.  Songs that make me dance in my chair.  Songs that help me make important decisions.  For every single memory I have, there is a song attached to it. 
First of all, there are certain songs that remind me of certain people.  Every time I hear the song (most are ringtones), I picture their sweet faces.

Tracey:         Save Me, San Francisco by Train

I can remember her singing “I’ve been yes and I’ve been oh, hell no!”  in the middle of a shopping mall a long time ago.

Bea:            I run for life by Melissa Etheredge

These heart-breaking lyrics remind me what a warrior she is.

Jim:            You are the best thing by Ray LaMontagne

The way you move me, it's crazy
It's like you see right through me
And make it easier
Believe me, you don't even have to try

Garrett:        My Wish by Rascal Flatts

My wish for you
Is that this life becomes all that you want it to
Your dreams stay big, your worries stay small
You never need to carry more than you can hold
And while you’re out there gettin’ where you’re gettin’ to
I hope you know somebody loves you

Delanie:        Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen

We used to crank this song up in the car and she would say, “I don’t like this song Momma…’s scary!”

Then there is music I associate with a certain period in my life.



I graduated high school in 1987 so I was all about Bon Jovi, REO Speedwagon, Air Supply, the Bee Gees and Wham.

My parents always listened to old-school country – Barbara Mandrell, Conway Twitty, Tammy Wynette.  Although I hated it at the time, I love it now. 

After the kids outgrew Disney soundtracks (thank God!), it was George Straight, Garth Brooks and Kenny Chesney on the radio 24/7. 

In 2003, I took a leap of faith by quitting by State Farm job without another one lined up (a decision I had been wrangling with for about six months) after I heard these lyrics from Down the Road by Kenny Chesney:

        “Are you washed in the blood or just in the water?

There was a really dark period in my life during the early 2000s that I craved Nickelback on full volume.

I woke up on my 40th birthday to Tim McGraw’s Let It Go.  I decided right then and there to pull my head out of my behind and get my life headed in the right direction. 

I’m Moving On by Rascal Flatts still makes me catch my breath because it transports me to an especially painful time. 

When Jim came into my life, he brought a big dose of Motown with him – Barry White, Kid Rock, etc. 

Home by Phillip Phillips gave me the encouragement I needed to make the move to Minnesota.

Hold on to me as we go
As we roll down this unfamiliar road
And although this wave (wave) is stringing us along
Just know you're not alone
'Cause I'm gonna make this place your home

When Mom died, Rascal Flatts helped me grieve……especially with their songs Let it Hurt and Stand.  

Cause when push comes to shove
You taste what you're made of
You might bend, 'til you break
'Cause it's all you can take
On your knees you look up
Decide you've had enough
You get mad, you get strong
Wipe your hands, shake it off
Then you stand

The song that reminds me the pep talks I used to get from her is Brave by Sara Bareilles
        “Show me how big your brave is

These days, there’s a motley mix of everything from Meghan Trainor to Steven Tyler.  It’s always good to have options! J

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Happy Doodle Day!!

Happy National Doodle Day!  J
While doodling may not be up my alley, I love love love to color!  I must be channeling my inner four-year-old.

I came across these coloring books last summer right before our trip up north in my local Barnes & Noble.  Eeks!!  I packed those suckers up and colored every chance I got……. so relaxing.  I even sent a set to Tracey for Christmas! J
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Speaking of Barnes & Noble……is there any place in the world better?  I mean, really.  I could spend hours checking out books and drinking hot chocolate.  I am one of those readers that gets completely engrossed in a book.  After I’m done with the story, I miss the characters.  Yep, seriously.

Image result for barnes & noble
Jim doesn’t get it.  He thinks a bookstore is the equivalent to Chinese water torture.  The only thing I’ve ever seen Jim read is work emails and my car owner’s manual.  Let’s be honest…..this man HATES to sit still.  His motto:  A body in motion stays in motion. 
For me:  Gloomy/cold weather + my favorite wubby blanket + a book = HEAVEN
I’m a sucker for romance novels.  My mom used to call them crotch novels.  TMI? 
I have read every single book written by
Sandra Brown ( )
Jude Devereaux ( )
Judith McNaught ( ). 
Every.  Single.  One.  Give me a historical romance novel and I’ll sit quietly in a corner for hours. 
Lately I’ve been gobbling up books about vampires.  I’m more than a little embarrassed to admit that.   Moving on….

At the risk of being mortified, I’m sharing a sneak peek at the books on my reading list.  Yikes….don’t judge me.  These are not books meant to stimulate the minds of geniuses.  Pleasure purposes only.  Thinking not required. 
James Patterson – This was recommended by my sweet friend Teresa. 

JD Robb – Jim’s sister, Carol, recommended these books written under Nora Robert’s pseudonym JD Robb.
Danielle Steel – Who doesn’t love a good Danielle Steel book?  I have to be in the mood to read these because there is always a gut-wrenching-ball-my-eyes-out section in her stories. 
Julia Quinn & Julia London – Awesome historical romance novelists.
Jackie Collins – Pure smut.  No other words necessary.
JR Ward – These vampires stories are just so dang romantic to me.  Maybe it’s the Cajun from New Orleans in me……guilty.
Now you know way more about me than you ever wanted to.  J
Here’s a book I read last month.  I love Betheny Frankel!  She’s a ball-busting-no-filter-swearing-son-of-a-gun.  She calls it like she sees it.  This book was super interesting to me because it’s all about getting to know yourself. 
So there you have it……my current obsessions with coloring books and trash novels. 
I’m always looking for new authors so send your suggestions! 

Friday, March 11, 2016

Flashback Friday

Happy Friday, friends!! :)

In honor of Jim's birthday, here's a look back at his karate era, circa 1987.

Jim has a two black belts in American Karate.  Impressive, right??

Looking good, honey!!!

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Judy Judy Judy

I love this dog.  I mean, look at her……how could you not love this face???  Bailey's nickname is Big Booty Judy.  We call her that so much that she answers to either Bailey or Judy!
She gets her ears all sloppy every time she eats supper!  Jim decided to “help her out” last night by pinning her ears up.

Nothing gets to this dog.  As long as you feed her and give her some loving, she doesn’t care what you do.  So Jim grabbed a clothes pin (I promise, it didn’t hurt!) and clipped her ears back.

Since she was concentrating on her food, she didn’t care.  I picked the food bowl up so I could get a picture.  That’s when she started pawing at it.  The pawing caused the ears to fall over her eyes.  As she was trying to find her food bowl – eyes completely covered by her gigantic ears – she ran smack dab into the wall. 
Go ahead…..I know you want to laugh!

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Show & Tell Tuesday

If you missed my first Show & Tell Tuesday, check it out here.  That post was all about totally honest, uncensored mom confessions so you don’t want to miss it!

This week it’s all about our hometown. 
Fact:  My hometown is hands-down the best place in the United States for having an all-out, balls-to-the-wall good time!
Welcome to New Orleans, LA…….home of Mardi Gras and some of the craziest Cajun cousins on the planet. 
Charlene and I were born on the west bank of New Orleans.  Our family lived there until we were six, then moved to Texas. 
Charlene and I visited NOLA last year and we are still feeling the hangover!  It was totally worth it though. 
Check out our adventures here, here, here and here..   That was one of my favorite vacations of ALL TIME!!!
What do I love about my hometown?  EVERYTHING!
Mardi Gras…..

Bourbon Street and the never-ending supply of frozen cocktails (Fais Deaux Deaux)……

The architecture…..

The neighborhoods…..

The food……

Lord have mercy, the food!!  I would cut off my right arm to eat a bowl of my mom’s red beans and rice.  YUM!!
While all of these things are pretty dang awesome, I just love the vibe New Orleans has.  It’s such a melting pot of cultures and tons of history.  It’s full of survivors that live life to the fullest. 

Monday, March 7, 2016

Happy Birthday, Jim!!

Today is Jim's birthday!!!  

Whoop whoop!!

Jim got to work this morning and found this waiting for him....

His team even had an everything bagel with plain cream cheese (his favorite!) waiting for him.

I'm hoping that will make him feel better.  Over the weekend, he started feeling pretty bad again.  Poor guy......just when he gets over one thing, he comes down with another.  No Bueno!

Happy birthday, Jimbo!!  

We love you so much!!!