Twenty Five! You are TWENTY FIVE YEARS OLD!.​

Twenty Five! You are TWENTY-FIVE YEARS OLD! Your dad and I were “children” ourselves when you were born, or at least we felt like it.

The day you were born was probably the scariest day of our lives. Parenthood started by me climbing out the window of your tia Minnie’s house. That, alone, should have been a clue as to the adventure that we were about to go on. One that continues until this very day.

We didn’t have a clue what we were doing, but there you were, eight pounds, eight ounces, and, probably the prettiest baby in the nursery (and I’m not just saying that because I’m your mother, it was true). We held you, we fed you, we slept at the foot of your bassinet until that thing could no longer hold you and fell so we had no choice but to put you in a crib that was on the other side of the room. You would think we had put you in another house the way your dad was carrying on, constantly getting up to check on you.. We weren’t perfect parents, not by a long shot, but we loved you as much as any two people could love another little soul. While we know we made a FEW mistakes, we’d like to think we did a pretty good job. Here you stand before us; one of the most strong-willed, compassionate, intelligent men I have ever known.
And yeah, you may be an adult already but there are still some things you need to know; so here goes: MOM’S WORDS OF WISDOM ON YOUR 25th BIRTHDAY

Everyone needs friends.

I get that you are an independent soul and prefer to have your time to do whatever you want, when you want- EVERYONE needs to have a small, handful of friends they can count on. Find that tribe.. and don’t ever let them go.

Write down your thoughts.

I know you think that we have ZERO things in common but we are much more alike than either one of us cares to admit. So I’m telling you now; write something every day. Even if it’s just what you did that day, write it down. Fears, song lyrics that struck a chord, things that made you smile, random thoughts that popped into your head out of nowhere – write them down. Look back on your notes every now and then and relish in the memory. You are going to have to just trust me on this one..

Family is important.

It still amazes me how different the three of you are from each other. As an only child, I didn’t really understand the dynamics between siblings until I had you guys. As much as I would love to say that we have raised all of you the same, who are we kidding? Not even close… But that’s only because each of you are your own unique person. We’re actually quite proud of your differences, knowing that each of you has a quality unlike the others, but at the end of the day, we are all FAMILY and being a family is so important. So as crazy as we may make you know that we are the only people that’ll support you no matter what. No matter how far away we are, how busy we may be, we, your family will always love you..
And even if you don’t agree that Michael Keaton was the best batman around, I still love you with all of my heart and I always will – whether you like it or not.

Your life is what you make of it.

Last, but not least, this is YOUR life, so make of it what you want! Be a lawyer, be a plumber, own a comic book store – doesn’t matter as long as you are happy with it. There is only one stipulation; if you’re gonna own a comic book store, it HAS to be as cool as the one in the Big Bang Theory, otherwise, be a lawyer.

I hope your day continues to be a great one and I hope your love of pancakes never, ever goes away!

Happy Happy Birthday, Derek. We Love you to the moon and back!

Advertisements

About Me

One of the first assignments I was given when I first decided to go down the Mass Comm road was to create a blog. At first, it was an assignment, but after a while, it grew on me and I decided to keep it up. I even went as far as buying the domain and creating other social media accounts tied to it. It didn’t take long for me to realize that I LOVED everything about social media – and I do mean all of it.  In no way does that “define” me but that, and taking pictures, is a HUGE part of who I am.

It’s amazing how things change. One day, I was a wife and a mom and THAT defined me, then before you know it, im not “just” a mom anymore; as they have grown and left and I have to find new things for myself. It really is a very strange transition.

Luckily, I managed to get through it, relatively unscathed, and now here I am.

My family is still my #1 motivator but now its me I work on and myself I try to do for.. the rest you can read here.. (About Me)

Big Boo in St Lou

(Original post Sept 2015)
Flew into St. Louis last September and before even checking into the hotel we had to stop at Pappy’s IMG_1957and get our hands on some original baby back ribs. Now, i’m not really a rib eater (I don’t think the McRib counts) but these suckers were GOOD. I had my elbows deep in BBQ sauce when I saw this lady walk by. I had to do a double take and even then it took me a minute to figure out who she was, but I quickly became a screaming fan. I stood up on my picnic bench and followed her around trying to get a good pic – of which I could never do. After some persuasion, I finally got the nerve to ask her for a pic and she was beyond gracious. Don’t let the tough exterior fool you – inside, Big Boo is ALL HEART.
IMG_1961
Thank you for making my day – and for proving to my kids that you actually WERE there!
I became quite the tourist while in St. Louis.. visited a few places I think you should check out if you are ever in the area:

Budweiser Brewery

IMG_1969

Founded in 1852 and the original of the six breweries;  you will be transported back to a time when the beer was stored in caves and there was an actual school on the property. (I’m guessing attendance was pretty darn perfect.)

IMG_1983

You’ll get to learn about the vision that became one of the largest and oldest breweries in the nation. Surrounded by architecture rich in history- including three National Historic Landmarks – and cutting-edge brewing technology, you’ll see history come to life. The days of the cave coolers may be long gone but the plant remains in tact visually transporting you back in time.   AND.. they give FREE beer samples!

IMG_1973

Such a fancy place to make BEER! Either way, it was a great tour and you get free samples!

IMG_1989
Did I mention the beer samples were free?

The Gateway Arch

There is no way you can even step within 50 miles of this city and NOT see THE ARCH. Not gonna lie though, I was a little disappointed that the view was cluttered with construction. It may have just been a bad time for me to go but it is certainly something you have to see at least once. (Once is pretty much all you need.)
354
For $10 you get to go up a pod and walk a portion of the top of the arch. One side of the arch is nothing but a green river but the other side was actually pretty breathtaking. Would I do it again? Probably not. But it was nice to scratch something off of the ol’ Bucket List and say I have been there.
IMG_1147.jpg
Allow me to tell you a thing or two about those pods. They are, literally, pods. Like eggs – with seats – and a tiny window. I had pretty much assured myself I was going to die on the way up… I did, however, manage to survive. Screen Shot 2018-04-30 at 9.29.46 AM
There isn’t a lot to do up there but look out both sides of the arch.
Then you gotta get back into the pod and start the prayers all over again.

St Louis Cardinals Game

They played the Reds – Best thing about this game was the company and sitting in the Champions Club! Unlimited EVERYTHING! I ate more olives than any one person has the right to – or should.
IMG_1154
I think they even won… I think.

The Bottomless Pit – that bottoms out at 140 feet (Carlsbad Caverns)

(Original Post Dec 2016)
If there is one thing you need to do in your life just once, Carlsbad Caverns is probably it..                ONCE is enough for me! 
IMG_1044.jpg
We started our journey early on the morning on the 21st.. a quick stop for fuel (gas and coffee) and we were on our way.. The hardest part of this trek is getting out of Texas.. it takes FOREVER.. like, an eternity. And there isn’t much to see… but finally we made it out of there and crossed that state line.
 
It’s almost as if someone flips a switch because the landscaping changes instantly. And it is nothing short of beautiful. The dry land of east Texas suddenly changes and the skies turn blue… and then before you know it, there’s snow! And mountains! And SNOW ON THE MOUNTAINS!
IMG_0964.jpg
After what seems like a million hours, WE FINALLY MADE IT! 
 
The town is pretty small and there isn’t much to do so a Domino’s Pizza Night it was! 
 
The next day we started our journey with a trip to the caverns.
If you haven’t already been there, you should . I probably wouldn’t go again but it’s certainly something you need to see at least once in your life..
 
BUCKET LIST
Carlsbad Caverns
 
It takes several hours, shoes with traction, and A LOT of stamina to get through it but it’s totally worth it.
 
IMG_1008.jpg
 
The town is pretty cute, too, so we stopped and had some lunch in their ONE restaurant before we headed out.. We were the ONLY people in the restaurant so I cant complain about the service – it was pretty darn great.
IMG_1033.jpg
 
Aside from that, not much else to see… I did, however, leave my mark in those caverns on more than one occasion – so when I tell you to wear shoes with traction, DO IT! 🙂
 
 
 
 

Scratch one off the ol’ To Do List-

2. Take a Gun Class – DONE!
Turned out there was a gun store right across the street from my office (who knew? not me) and they offered a class with a DISCOUNT – I mean, if that’s not a sign to do it I dont know what is! So I did it – I signed up.
The night before I was pretty nervous and even thought about cancelling, several times, but in the end I knew if I didn’t do it now, I would never do it and I promised myself I would so, reluctantly, I got my a$$ up the next morning and drove on over.
The class part was a piece of cake and ALOT more interesting than I ever thought it would be. I learned so much! Now, let me make one thing clear – I am not a proponent of guns, I am no expert in gun laws, and I dont even know if I will ever own one. What I do know is that things are not like they used to be, this world seems to be getting crazier every day, and should the occasion ever arise where I do feel Ill need one – I want to be ready. I want to know how to use it PROPERLY, I want to know how to store it, and I definitely want to know what my rights are IF I should ever need it.
Want to add a caption to this image? Click the Settings icon.
Like I said, class part – piece of cake – gun range, not so much.
Driving over to the gun range was nerve wracking enough… trying to maneuver my way there through a parade while hungry was even worse. After what seemed like an eternity, I found my way to it and walked the very few steps to the range. I got myself checked in and ordered a burger (I mean, you cant shoot anything on an empty stomach, right) Burger was incredibly delicious (another who knew moment) and I scarfed it down way too quickly – and I say that sincerely- my stomach was already a mess and adding this burger that I inhaled in three bites to it only made the matter worse. There were noises coming from inside me that I had never, ever heard before.
My nerves were really getting the best of me. I was shaking like a leaf. I couldn’t imagine holding a gun, let alone, pointing it at something with this shakiness so I let every single person in the class go first before there was no one left. Only me. At that point, I had two options – make a run for it or put my big girl pants on and just do it.
I opted for option 2 and walked on in.
It was a lot louder than I had expected it to be. Pieces of the bullet were flying all around me (that wasn’t in the brochure). I was given my slot, a gun was laid in front of me along with a box of ammunition. A target was hung up directly across the table and I was instructed to load it.
Want to add a caption to this image? Click the Settings icon.
I had JUST taken this class! It hadn’t been more than 2 hours and yet, I was blank. I couldn’t stop shaking, my mind was racing, my stomach doing things no one wants to know about … I just stood there. Literally, unable to move. I had made the wrong decision. I needed to get out of there – and fast!
But I didn’t. I was physically unable to move.
The instructor told me to take a deep breath, which I did. I closed my eyes for a minute, tried to gather my composure, held back my tears (I still dont know what the tears were about), and opened up the magazine (or as I like to call it, the bullet holder).
Note to self: CUT YOUR NAILS! My nails were so long that my shaking hands made it impossible for me to get the bullet (yes, only one) in there so I had to have my instructor help me. Which he did – thank you, Lea!
I warned him (and everyone else in the room) to stand back as I had no idea what was about to happen. And I did it – I stood as instructed – legs slightly apart, firmly on the ground, both hands on the gun, thumb in position, target in my sight, and I pulled the trigger. Then I dropped the gun on the counter and jumped back… I stared at it.. waiting for something to happen, but guess what, nothing happened. (Pun most definitely intended)
I hadn’t realized it but my eyes had been closed. Still- I made the ONE shot I was supposed to and allowed to move on to the next set of instructions.. two rounds this time. One right after the other.
I removed the magazine, still couldn’t get the two bullets in without assistance, but managed to do it well enough, assumed the position, tried to focus, and pulled the trigger. BULLSEYE! (wrong sport?) I did it! and I didn’t throw up and hurt anyone! Ok, not so bad.. on to the next round.
One single shot, one double… three bullets. I managed to get them all in without breaking a nail or assistance. Small Victory. I assumed the position, held my breath, and pulled the trigger! And I did it – AGAIN!
The next rounds seemed to fly by. I eventually figured out loading it and even managed to put the safety on correctly. The shaking eventually stopped and my breathing returned to normal. I even passed the class and was given the permit to apply for my license.
That was in January. I still haven’t submitted the application nor have I held another gun. But my mission was accomplished. Should the need arise, I think I can do it and do it safely. Not sure that will ever happen but scratching one off the list is good enough for me.