Hello, Happy

Jessi, from The Hummingbird Memoirs, proposed the idea to participate in a series on her blog that challenged me to find doses of joy in a regular day, and then document them through the lens of a camera.  How could I pass up an opportunity like that?  Above is a snippet of the post.  You can see the rest of it here.  I do hope you take the time to hop over and read it; just don’t be surprised if you fall in love with her blog; your eyes will become lost in her photos! Plus, she offers so many homemade beauty products that have me inspired enough to start a facial regime. 
Happy reading, folks! 
And if you’re wanting the link again, click here.

A Rough Start


At first, I thought this trip was doomed.  Mainly because our overnight trip to Asheville, was the stuff my nightmares are made of.  I let the experiences there set my expectations for our trip this week to Myrtle Beach. 


, at first, it appeared like things were starting off just the same. 

We packed our car up, Griswold style, and hit the road. 

The rest of the day went a little something like this.

Rori wailed, the entire drive, and

we get lost, twice.  (No fancy GPS for us. We roll old school around here, lol)

When we arrive at the hotel, 4 hours later, the gentleman kindly tells me our room will not be ready for another



The hotel offered zero parking and make its guests park a few buildings down. 

Oh! There was also a crotch rocket rally being held on Memorial weekend causing us to be surrounded by a very, very, rowdy crowd.  Even the hotel employees were counting down the days until the rally was over. 

“Just one more day…”  the housekeeper told me.


Three miserable hours later, we grab a hotel dolly, cross the busy street, down the sidewalk, and up a hill to the car and load it up to the top.  My husband was in charge of getting the dolly across the street and into our room, while my job was to safely cross the street with three kids.

However, we didn’t account for the bump in the road, sending two of the frozen meals I had prepared in aluminum baking dishes,

flying through the air and onto the street corner


Bubba scrambles to save what is left and made a flying leap to the sidewalk just before the herd of crotch rockets hit him.


Relieved to be in the room and settling in, we all dress in our swim suits and head to the beach, where Bubba and I try to corral two crying toddlers running in opposite directions across the beach.  During this time, I get

pinched by a CRAB

!  If you follow me on


, then you probably saw the delightful image of my pinched foot.  And if you’re wondering, it hurt! hahaha! Bubba tells me this sort of stuff can only happen to me, lol. 🙂 (Thanks hun.) 


Even after all of that, the trip was awesome, and I will be documenting it here over the next week.  As for the rest of that first day, the motorcycle crowd & staff were very polite to us and held the doors open for our brood.  Others welcomed us with smiles and


.  The waves and weather were picture perfect, and after the initial first few hours there, everything straightened out, kids slept like champs, and we all had a memorable vacation.  In fact, we didn’t want to leave!  I think we could have stayed there for the rest of the summer.

Wouldn’t that be a dream come true?!

Until next time!


Grilled Chicken Marinade

You never know where your pantry, full of ingredients, will take you.  A dash of this and a sprinkle of that can bring a recipe together that will pull your family around the dinner table, time and time, again.
As usual, a few days before grocery shopping, I stood in front of my open fridge, a crumpled facial expression that was daring to create new wrinkles.  I tapped the handle with my fingers, thinking of what I could possibly pull off, that two picky toddlers, a teenage boy, and one man-child would eat and be satisfied. 

It wasn’t too much longer, before I had a handful of basic ingredients that sat, waiting to be combined, on the kitchen counter.  And as I threw everything into a plastic bag, I simultaneously said a silent prayer and crossed my fingers that this would taste good.

And it did. 
Ever since I made it, we’ve come back to it, and even used this marinade on pork chops.  No matter the meat you choose, it will taste full of flavor.  However, chicken is my favorite.

Grilled Chicken Marinade
Ingredient List
1/4 Cup of Pale Ale Beer
1/4 Cup of Fresh Lemon Juice
1 Tablespoon of Olive Oil
1 Tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce
1 Tablespoon of Dried Parsley Flakes
1/2 Tablespoon of minced Garlic
2 teaspoons of Dried Oregano
1/2 teaspoon of Cumin
Pinch of Salt
1-2 lbs of Thawed Skinless Chicken Breasts

Place everything into a plastic bag and massage the chicken around with your hands until the chicken is well coated.  Let the chicken sit inside of the refrigerator for 1-2 hours, and then grill the chicken until cooked and the juices run clear.  **For best results, grill the chicken on an outdoor grill. 
I usually serve it on corn tortillas with cheese and lettuce, sometimes salsa.  I also serve it with some sort of rice.
I hope you enjoy it!


Wow.  I totally went on an unplanned blogging sabbatical.  I’m back and ready to write, though.
My two youngest children are at that stage where they have to know what I’m doing on top of the kitchen counter.  Nearly every moment that is spent in my kitchen, I have two children pushing chairs beside me, ready to put their curious little hands in all the stuff that I don’t want them to touch.  I’ve been trying to remedy this with what I refer to as the keep mom sane strategy.  On occasion, when I am trying to get something done, I give them two bowls and free rein over the sink.  It keeps them busy forever, and it allows me to chop vegetables in a little peace.
And if you are wondering if they get water everywhere, yes, they do.  They have fun, which is worth mopping up spilled water.


That Time My Car Door Fell Off

Story of My Life

Linking up with Jenni from Story of My Life (her link and picture above) 

Day 10 prompt is about spilling one of our embarrassing life moments for all to read in cyber land.

And while I have a vault full of funny moments, ranging from body parts, drunken college days, to just being an airhead, I think I am going to tell you about the time my car door fell off.

You read it right.

I was seventeen and driving a real piece at the time.  It was a white stick-shift, two door Cavalier, that had only one working window, and no A/C (big deal if you live in TX).

So.  There I was, resting at a stop sign, ready to pull out onto a highway, when I noticed my door wasn’t shut all the way.  (This is the type of car where the seat belt is attached to the door)  I tried pulling the door handle to open and shut the door…except…when the door opened, it went KURPLUNK onto the street, pulling me along with it!!

I was absolutely, stunned.

It took a minute of me staring down at my door, laying on the ground, to realize this really did just happen.  My car door fell off.  In the street!

After a minute, I pull myself together, wiggle out of my belt, and try to pick up the door that was barely hanging from the support of the seat belt.

Ugh!! The door was so heavy, though.  If you could imagine a 100 pound teenager, red faced, eyes bulging, on the verge of a hernia, trying to left a heavy bleepin’ car door…well it was a sight.

Then…a glimmer of hope came.  As I squatted, giving myself a hernia, someone pulled down the road.  Surely they would stop and help me put my door back on.  So I put on my best, “I’m helpless” face in hopes they would ask if I needed help.


The slooooowed down, peering at me with raised eyebrows, like I was a mad woman, and drove off!! Ugh! The nerve!

Eventually, I managed to find one of the “pins” that fell out of the door hinge and place part of the door back together…at least together enough, so that all I had to do was hold it shut while I slowly drove home.
Only thing was…I drove a stick.

There I was, creeping at five mph, holding the door closed with one arm, and the other trying to shift gears while my right knee steered.
It was a scene.  Looking back on it, I don’t blame those people for driving away.

I finally made it home, with my dignity momentarily left behind.

So there it is.  My embarrassing confession.
What is your embarrassing moment?

Defining What I Do

“What do you do?”
Over the last few years, I’ve struggled answering this question.  
Should I say, I’m a writer? Published author?  Because it is true, I am.  I receive royalty checks from my publisher and I own fancy business cards.  
I’m also a stay at home wife and mother.  
I’m not sure which answer a person is looking for when they ask that question.  Or when I’m at a doctor’s office and the form asks for my employer/employment information.  It feels weird to scribble across the line,  I’m an author.  
That response is also usually followed by many questions…especially the tried and true, “Oh! What is it about!?”  I still haven’t come up with a good summary for that question, haha!  
I suppose I’m going to say that what I do is take care of my family.  It is what I do day in and day out and it is the best job I could have ever asked for.  The responsibilities are endless, and the chores are exhausting, but it has been the most rewarding.  I’m rewarded with unconditional love, each and every day, which is the best form of money I could ever receive. 
linking up with story of my life

The Next Big Thing

Today we are supposed to show another blogger some love and tell everyone all about why we cherish their little space on the internet.  While most people will undoubtedly talk about one they have followed since the beginning of their blogging days, I will be telling you about more of newbie.  Not her being a newbie, but her blog being new to me.  So…without further adieu, meet Mary Beth from Annapolis & Company.
Picture is by Mary Beth @ Annapolis & Company
First, let me tell you that I don’t know how to write a post like this without it seeming creepy!! Ha!
I’m sending her an email directly after writing this so that she doesn’t think I’m so sort of weirdo blog stalker, and then apologize profusely for taking her photo from her blog. 
Like I said before, I’ve only recently began following her story, but it is one that I find myself not skipping over in the blog feed.  She writes from the heart. Good and bad.  She is extrememly talented in her photography and gives me inspiration each time I scroll through the pages.  Her pictures inspire me to be better and dare myself a little more when it comes to my pictures.  She shows me that its okay to have your photos be “moody”.  It gives them depth and can make an onlooker see beyond the surface.  On top of this, I swear we are one in the same at times, going through similiar walks of life around the same time. 
Mary Beth is younger and still exploring the waters between life, dreams, and faith, and I can’t help but admire her strength, and being able to witness her dreams manifesting before my eyes on screen.
Plus, the girl is as sweet as honey.  She has responded to every comment I have ever written! 
Alright.  There is my profession!  I hope you check her out, it will be worth your time, and probably the next big thing in blogging.
Now, I’m off to write that email…
linking up with story of my life