Monday, April 20, 2015


Mags: "I'm gonna name my chicken Foo Foo."
Tuck: "Mags, you already had a fish with that name."
Mags: "Then I'll call her Foo Foo Two."
Tuck: "Your SECOND fish was that name."

Mags: "Well then what about Foo Foo Three?"
Tuck: "Mags.  That was your last fish's name. You've had a lot of fish with all the same name. Maybe try a different name."
Mags: "Yeah. Cause the name Foo Foo doesn't seem to be keepin' my pets alive."

It's 2AM and I'm up right now. You know why? Chickens. 

We. Got. Chickens.

It seems that deep rooted Mama instinct extends to pets that live in your yard, too. Don't get me wrong, I've been productive while I sit here wondering about how our three new feathered friends are doing. I haven't heard a peep out of them so far...which all moms know could mean one of two things. But it is raining pretty hard out there. I hope they're not cold. Or scared. 

Someone smack me. 

They're fine. I'm sure of it. Well, technically, I'm not certain they're fine. It's dark over by their little fortress we built them, so I can't really SEE them. Maybe I should turn on the outside light for a peek? I can't just run out there in the rain. What if *I* scare them? You know what they say...let sleeping chickens roost...or something along those lines. 

How can I be so tired and so awake all at the same time?

Okay. Enough is enough. I'll trust in our research and constructing abilities for the coop. It has more layers of poultry wire on it than a hen could shake a tail feather at.  So, it's off to bed for me. I'll be able to squeeze a solid four hours of sleep in here. And hope that we all wake up to clucking chickens. Fingers and feathers crossed!

Sunday, April 5, 2015

The Easter...NINJA

Mags: "Mama! Watch! I am the Easter NIN-JAAAAAAAAAA!

Sometimes you just have to start snapping pictures and then stick them in the "When Mags Gets Married" folder on your computer.  At this rate, we'll have to set aside about six hours at her wedding to see the slide show from this ever growing folder, but it will be worth it.


One thing is for sure...her husband will never be bored. 
Keep on hippin', hoppin' and  rockin', Mags!

Thursday, March 5, 2015


Me: "Hi, Tuck! I'm so happy to see you. Mama missed you so much while I was in the hospital. Get over here and gimme a hug."
Tuck: "Okay, Mama. (insert quick hug) That e-nuf. Where my bee-bee? I rock her now?"

Mags completed Tuck and Tuck completed Mags. From the first moment he held her, it was like she was always there. They were the best of friends. He asked for her constantly. She responded to him more than anyone else. The second she would hear his voice, all was right in her little, overstimulated, newborn world. He was the Mags Whisperer. And still is. 

Do they fight? Of course. Do they get sick of each other? Definitely. But, their bond is one that I am in awe of constantly. No matter the time, space, or situation, those two are there for one another. I have a strong feeling it will remain that way for all time. 

And their story all started in our first home. 
Oh, the stories those walls could tell!  


Tuck (age 2): "Yook it, Mama! It a barn...right dere!"
Me and Chris: "Wow. You're right, Tuck. It does look like a barn."

BOOM! That's how the name of our garage was born. "The Barn." And just like the structure, we built our memories in that 700 square foot room. Its walls echoed with screams of laughter and was inundated with rays of sunshine. It was a place where pirates were born, ocean of carpet were sailed, ships were docked and our imaginations were charged. 

In that room, a brother and sister learned to play together. A bond was created. We set the stage for more fun to be had. Oh, Barn. We'll miss you the most. 

Wednesday, March 4, 2015


Tuck: "Awww. Look at my fish mobile, Mama. What happened to that?"
Me: "I took it down the day I came in to get you from your nap and found you swinging from it."

We prepped. We painted. We paced. We pushed. And pushed. And pushed. And pushed. Tuck came in his own good time ... in "Tuck Time." We were a family in an instant. There were tears of happiness, tears of frustration, tears of fears ... and tears of colic.

The constant hum of the vacuum was our only hope against the rage of the cry. It soothed the beast within the tiny baby. That, and his daddy's thumb. But only Daddy's. Not Mama's. Not Meme's. Not even the UPS Delivery Man's (there were no limits to what I would do to stop the incessant crying).  

Within those walls we rocked, sang, bounced and laughed. Within those wall we were safe, warm, happy and loved. 

Within those walls...we were...a little family.

Monday, March 2, 2015


Mags: "Look at you and Daddy in that picture. You guys look Were you really that young? I mean, Mama, you look so good. Look at that! You have no crinkles around your eyes and these dark things (pointing to the dark suitcases under my eyes) aren't there either."

Me: "You mean my eye bags? They come with children. No extra charge."

It was a simple house. "Live within your means" was our driving force when we looked. Eight to ten houses were on our ambitious agenda the day we found it. If you asked either one of us, we could tell you the EXACT moment we knew. For me, it was the bathroom. I was coming out of the downstairs half-bath as Chris came around the corner. We saw each other and simultaneously mouthed, 

"This is it."  

And so it began.

For 11 years, 5 months and 9 days

Photo credit: C.Alexander, September 2003

Thursday, February 26, 2015


Tuck: "How can you be so happy that we'll never live in our old house again?"
Me: "It has just been a lot of extra work for me and Daddy, Tuck. It'll be nice to just have ONE house to worry about again. I'm sorry. I know you loved that house."
Tuck: "It's all I ever knew for eight years. How can you forget it just like that?  I miss my room. I miss the smell. I miss IT!"

That was an eye-opening conversation I had with Tuck the other day as we pulled away from our soon-to-be-sold house on the mountain. It has been a long process for us: preparing the house, putting the house on the market, waiting for people to look at it, fixing (and replacing) things that broke along the way, and overall, taking care of routine maintenance. After having been on the market for almost a year, my feelings have gone from sad nostalgia to pure relief. I was so happy someone found our sweet house to love. 

But Tuck reminded me of something. He hasn't felt what I've felt for over the past year. He hasn't been worried about things breaking down, price changes, foot traffic and normal upkeep. He hasn't had to make phone calls, locate paperwork, or make stomach-wrenching decisions. He hasn't had to be the adult in this situation.

What he has been in this situation ...  the kid. He felt a loss over the past year. He moved away from all he has ever known. He had to leave the safety and comfort of his well-known surroundings.  He had to adapt to a new house...with new creaks in the night. He had to adjust to a new school. He had to make new friends. He had to join new after-school activities. He had to move on.

But he was resilient. He did it. WE did it. Together. And as I told Chris this conversation I had with our son through my tears, he reminded me gently that this has been a life lesson for us all. Things change whether we are truly ready for them or not. The important part is how we handle the change. We've all grown stronger, more determined and smarter through this process.

Thank you, Tuck, my sweet boy, 
for brushing the "adult" away from my eyes for a moment. 
That way, I could see our true accomplishment in all its purity!