Friday, October 2, 2015


A few things you need to know about me before you can fathom the depth of my joy in this post:

1. We very rarely have an evening sitter for all 3 of our children. I can count on one hand the times we've been completely alone as a couple in the past year and a half. Simply eating at a restaurant together and not having children fighting, screaming, refusing to eat, needing food cut, etc. is a blessing in itself.

2. I've liked Jamey Johnson since 2008. I've been what you'd call a 'fan' since 2009, and by 2010 you could definitely call me a HUGE fan. Don't believe me? Look.

3. I started listening to Outlaw Country on Sirius XM this summer. A lot. It was there I first heard Whitey Morgan and subsequently bought his album.

4. Both Whitey Morgan and Jamey Johnson "starred" my tweet this summer, which was a pretty big deal.  

5. High Cost of Living is not only my favorite Jamey song, but probably my favorite song EVER of all time and all genres.  
I'd had tickets for months. This was my redemption. I'd had tickets to see him on the very same day 4 years earlier, and the show was cancelled at the last minute. I tried to manage my excitement and not let myself get too over-enthused, for fear it could happen again.

I tweeted Cash on KTTS several times, trying to find out if they were going to do a meet and greet. I had plans to be the first one at the door, even if it meant leaving home at noon. Much to my dismay, they were not. I called the venue to find out if the standing-area in front of the stage would be open as it had in concerts past. It would not. It didn't matter when I arrived, I had an assigned seat and there was no way I was getting any closer than row 3 (which is a pretty great seat, I'm not saying it isn't!).

As the day approached, I knew it didn't matter. I had a hotel reservation and a night out planned with my husband. Even if the show were cancelled, I'd still have a great night. I knew it. I could feel it.

We had dinner at Big Whiskey's. We were out and about early, so we hit happy hour. Side note? Best BBQ wings I've ever had, and THE best Long Island anywhere. Hands down. I was beaming as we walked down the block to the Gillioz. Already a great night, and the doors were about to open.

We trickled inside with the crowd, and I stopped first at the merchandise table. I started scanning the shirts and noticed they weren't Jamey Johnson shirts. No. They were Whitey Morgan shirts! What?! Nowhere did anyone mention him! My thoughts quickly became words.

"Oh my gosh. What! If Whitey Morgan is here, I'll just..."

I was quickly interrupted by sales dude.

"Yeah, he is. It was a last minute thing, him and Chris Hennesse, but we're so excited!"

It was all I could do to contain my enthusiasm.

So I bought 2 shirts. I went to the bathroom right away to don my Jamey Johnson shirt, and folded up Whitey for another day.

Chris Hennessee was great. Whitey Morgan and the 78s did not disappoint. It was nearly 9 by the time they left the stage, and I made a run for the bathroom before it was time for the concert I'd waited six years for.

Pretty soon the lights went down, and finally Jamey came out on stage. To say I was excited would be like saying the North Pole is chilly. He got his guitar ready, and played two notes before I knew he was playing my song.

The crowd erupted. I sang EVERY. WORD. (much to the dismay of those around me, I'm sure!) He followed it with "Place Out on the Ocean" which is another of my favorites.

I sat down and told Bryan that was it. I was completely satisfied and happy, and we still had the whole concert to see.

He sang all the good ones. He sang some old songs, did some covers, and a little before 11:30 called it a night.

I've never had such a great night.

We walked outside and started talking about what to do from there. Should we go out for a while? Big Whiskey's was just two doors down. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw some of the guys from the 78s just hanging out in front of the theater. I asked them for a picture and they happily obliged!

The more we talked, the more my wheels started turning.

"What if we just hang around here a while?" I asked Hubby. I mean...maybe he'll come out, too.

He told me he was sure that stoic Jamey Johnson wasn't going to come waltzing out the front door to hang out. I decided he was right. I mean, he DOES have a bit of a reputation for being...well...quiet. And maybe introverted, and not always social.

"Wonder if there's a back-door?" I asked him with a sly smile.

"We can find out. C'mon," and that was the first and hopefully last time in my life a man led me down a dark alley :)

We snuck down the quiet alley and I jumped the gun as I saw a group of people in the distance.

"Oooh!" I started.

"Don't think Jamey Johnson's bunch are in hoodies looking at their's probably a gang..."

We picked up the pace and made it to the back side of the theater on the next street. There was a small group of people in a sort-of line. Some of them had guitars and albums. And then I saw them: trailers. And vans. And that's when it hit me. They were waiting for him.

We stood for what seemed like years. I kept telling myself he wouldn't be there. He'd probably already escaped in some bus and these were just his 'people' getting the stuff.

One of the 78s came out and said he didn't know what we were all waiting for.

I lost a little more hope.

Then there was a light.  A flashlight.

It was one of the 'people' and he was holding the light so Jamey could see to sign.

Yep he was RIGHT THERE!

I couldn't believe it.

Finally our turn came, and I got to meet the musician I've idolized for years. And guess what? He was NOTHING like his reputation. He wasn't grouchy or anti-social. He was also shorter than I thought he would be, but that's beside the point.

I introduced myself, and told him I'd waited six years to see him in concert, and how much I loved the show. He said to me, in his quiet, baritone voice, "Well I'd say that's long enough!" We took a picture, he met the husband, and thanked us for coming out.

I started walking away and suddenly realized in all the commotion I forgot to have him sign my shirt.

I stepped back up to the "guy" and told him the dilemma. He told me he was sure he'd be happy to sign it for me and told me to stand next to him. I stood and waited through the rest of the line, then the guy explained and he smiled, and happily signed my shirt.

I told the mister that I could just die happy now, and that's just how I felt. I've never had a better night or been happier than I was that night. I'm so thankful for a husband who lets me be a fan-girl and takes me on stalking adventures and always makes the best of the little time we get alone. I'm one very lucky girl.

Friday, September 18, 2015

Kitchen Renovation: Labor Day Weekend (literally)

We decided Labor Day weekend was a great time to get started on the kitchen. There were tons of sales going on, and we had an extra day to work.

The beginning was FUN!

Bringing the vision to fruition was exciting. While most things worked out that we had in mind, we had to tweak a few things, and we ended up having to run all over Sedalia to get our corrugated metal. When we picked a paint color, we quickly agreed on a shade, and later noticed the color name was "Farmhouse Red." It must have been a sign.

My favorite purchase was our flooring. We decided to go with a vinyl plank. I could bore you with all the advantages to using it, but I'll just leave it at this: cheap, easy, functional, nice-looking. If we were building a new home, maybe we'd splurge for fabulous floors, but the truth is, we're working on a 60 year old home and re-doing old cabinets, so we're looking for FUNCTIONAL and kid-friendly. This floor was perfect, and I absolutely LOVE how it looks.

When we finally got home, we were so excited to start working. We removed cabinet doors and hardware, and started sanding. We painted well into the wee hours of the morning. We were having a great time, and things were running really smoothly. We were excited to start again the next day.

 The next day we decided we'd really need to get the walls started and re-do the counter tops. We didn't have a sink or a counter top. so another trip to Sedalia was necessary.

We found what we needed, and it was time to start demolition. That's when things became UN-fun really fast.

Those cabinets were made solid and sturdy, we THINK by someone with a new nail gun and nothing but roofing nails. It was a nightmare. Hubby finally had to bring out the Handy Man to get the job done!

I guess this was the point where it started to get real. We were able to see exactly how much work was ahead of us, and if we hadn't already destroyed the counter top, I think we might have just forgot the whole thing.

Instead, we charged through, and my amazing husband installed his first sink and counter top all by himself, and actually did a fantastic job. With the cabinets basically done, it was time to start on the walls and floors. We laid the floor in no time, and it was so easy we thought we pretty much had things made. We started cutting boards and tin and began covering the walls.

Things moved along well, but before we knew it the weekend was over and we had forgotten to get trim, door hinges, and some other things, and we decided with all the money we saved (and with our pretty new kitchen) we wanted new appliances. So, we did what we could and put it away for another day.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Kitchen Renovation: Pre-conception

Kitchen Renovation: Pre-conception

It's official. My family is outgrowing our home. After a lot of consideration, planning, and house-hunting, we decided to just add-on to what we already have. A bedroom and two small bathrooms is what we decided, because we need the extra room and a bathroom re-do above all else.

While we were discussing all this, we started toying with the idea of re-doing the kitchen.

"One day when we get the addition paid off..."

"If we have any money left after our add-on...."

We nonchalantly rattled off "somedays" at each other every time the topic came up.

As we got closer to working on our add-on, I started looking for decorating ideas on Pinterest (because decor before the foundation is poured is totally normal, right?)

As I was looking, I saw where someone had used pallet wood to re-do a wall. I loved it. I showed it to the hubs, and we started researching what it would take to do something like that in our kitchen. We could just do it ourselves, you know, real quick-like, and give it a little update, then do cabinets down the road in the future.

Because have you seen our kitchen?


Let me let you peek.
Is that shower board above the stove, or is it just really awful paneling? Either way I'm pretty sure it belongs in a bathroom...
The cabinets are solid, and very functional...but not so pretty. Someone made an attempt at the wallpaper, but even an act of God isn't getting that glue off, believe me. I tried.

I inherited this mess, mind you. I did not make it. It came with the whole husband package as-is, no warranty, no maintenance plan. Half-attempted to be fixed at some time by a former owner, and abandoned. I can't blame them. I'm not certain they didn't cement that wallpaper to the walls.

As we perused Pinterest to figure out how easily we could (or could not) apply the pallet wood, hubs mentioned a corrugated metal backsplash. Sounded interesting.



I found a corrugated metal and barn-plank wall!

That would be SUPER easy, and SUPER inexpensive, right?


And so, our DIY Kitchen Renovation 2015 has begun.

There have been bumps along the way, most of them at 3am or with 3 children standing in the work-space screaming about 3 different things (they say bad things come in 3s right? I'm buying that), but for the most part it's gone well....and we've done it ALL! BY! OURSELVES!

So stay tuned for all the crazy shenanigans, and for the BIG REVEAL, coming soon to a blog near you.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Together Again

Well, I took a full week off from my relationship with Facebook. It went well. I felt less stressed and much less irritated on any given day.

However, I didn't realize how deeply Facebook has rooted itself in my life (YES, I'm placing ALL THE BLAME on Facebook!).

Chloe wanted to go to the 4-H open house, but didn't have the flyer. I needed a date and time. Guess where you can find that information? Facebook.

I usually eat in town on Fridays if I'm at the shop. I wanted to see what specials were offered and make a timely decision about where to get my lunch. Yep. Facebook.

I needed to contact a friend about something business-related. Oddly I don't have her e-mail address or phone number, because who needs those when you have Facebook?!?!

Also, my husband no longer had a 'wife' on Facebook. All the pictures we shared, he no longer had access to because I post them and tag him. I could no longer access our Girl Scout page. I wasn't getting school updates. When my bff text me asking if I saw her post about missing me, or the pictures of her new house, I had to say no, I hadn't. While my life was better in some areas, it was harder in others.

After weighing the options, I decided to take Facebook back.

Don't worry, though. We had a LONG talk. I think the deactivation showed FB that I'm serious and things HAVE to change ;)  So I've un-followed some of the most negative posters. I've adjusted privacy and news feed settings. And more importantly, I've taken a week to learn that I don't NEED to know EVERYTHING about EVERYONE at EVERY minute.

I hope that we can repair our relationship and not fall back into our bad habits. Only time will tell.

Friday, August 28, 2015

It's Not You, It's Me....Really....

Facebook is a tough bitch to break up with, and that's a fact.

I guess I better back up and tell you what brought me here. I guess it all started a few weeks ago. There had been a lot going on locally: accidents, untimely deaths, arrests, and, on this particular day, a baby died tragically in a hot car right here in our area.

Stories like that truly break my heart, and when it happens locally to acquaintances, to a child whose face I've seen many times in the area, it's crushing. As a mother, it's just too much for me to handle emotionally. Unfortunately, so many people are so OBSESSED with being the first person to "break" the news on Facebook, that my feed was clogged with the gory details and opinions of so many people. I was bombarded all day with the news, and had a knot in my stomach so big it hurt.

I decided I'd had enough, so I began the process of deactivating my account.

Oh Facebook, such a crazy, deranged lover you are.

If you think you're going to break up with Facebook all clean and easy, think again!
You see, first you have to choose to deactivate and manage to find the right security menu to allow you to do so.
Enter your password.
Yes, love, I'm sure.
BUT WHY?!?!?!?!  (No, really, Facebook wants an explanation for your deactivation).
I looked through the responses and a few of them actually applied to me.
*This is only temporary* or maybe *I spend too much time on Facebook*
I finally decided on a response, but before letting me deactivate, Facebook made some suggestions to me about how to solve my problem without deactivating!


It seemed like such a commitment to deactivate. FB warned me I'd lose contact with some VERY! IMPORTANT! PEOPLE! and asked how I'd feel if I didn't see their pictures anymore.

Ultimately, I compromised by logging out of the Facebook app on my phone. So if someone *needed* me very badly, they could still reach me. I could still peruse the site by top stories in the evenings, but not be constantly alerted and bombarded with drama.

But that wasn't enough for FACEBOOK. It started to stalk me. Sneaking me an e-mail or an unnecessary alert here or there. Creeping into conversations. Still tagging me. Getting my friends to use it, just so we could spend time together.

Finally, on Wednesday night, after I went to bed still talking about how irritated I was with something someone else had posted, and after thinking all day about something ELSE I had seen that BUGGED me so much, I decided to deactivate.

I didn't read any of the mumbo jumbo, just clicked through and turned it off.

If there's one thing I DESPISE, it's the "TAKING A BREAK FROM FB!" attention-getting status several hours before ACTUALLY taking said break, just to get one last attention high. So I didn't say anything.

It's been the most liberating two days. I had withdrawal at first. Looking blankly at my phone, wondering what to do, how to fill those empty seconds of a commercial break or how to occupy a 5 minute ride in the truck with hubs. What I have realized more than anything, is that instead of complaining about the drama other people were "forcing" me to read, I had the power all along to CHOOSE NOT TO SEE IT.

It's been a great 7 years together, but it's time for a change. Maybe FB and I just need a break. Maybe if we see what it's like without each other, we can appreciate each other with PROPER boundaries. Or maybe it's forever.

For now, I focus my social energy into my blog, and a few Instagram posts here and there. A snap chat to my hubby once in a while helps break up the day, and a few minutes watching the Today show instead of reading FB actually helps me be MORE informed in LESS time each morning.

There is NOTHING wrong with Facebook, the only problem was my addiction to it. So I mean it with all my heart when I say, I'm sorry Facebook. It's not you, it's me. I hope one day we can be friends, but right now I just need some space.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

You're Gonna Miss This

The weekly trip to Wal-Mart is always interesting with a one and two year old. My kids aren't really fit-throwers (most of the time) at the store, so I don't really dread it, I just never know what to expect. The two year old is beginning to assert her independence. She wants to help with everything. Do everything "all by mah-self" even when she doens't have the coordination to do so.

Yesterday was a particular day in which she felt independent.

"I'm gonna walk myself," she proclaimed, as she stomped toward the automatic doors in her sparkly boots. She'd been in a good mood, and seemed to be moving quickly. My list was short. I decided to let her win.

"Ok, you can walk, but you have to stay right beside me, and don't touch anything unless I ask you to, ok?" I laid out the rules.

"O KAY!" She skipped, gallopped, trotted, tip-toed, wandered, did everything BUT walk, but she stayed with me. It wasn't long before she decided SHE would be getting the groceries. She tried a gallon-size jug of fruit punch. "WOW! It's pretty heavy!" she exclaimed, stooping over as she pulled it off the bottom shelf.

I had to thwart a few attempts at her sneaking in some extra items. She's young enough that she doesn't choose things she'd like (such as cookies or candies), but rather things that are light and easy to toss in the cart without me noticing.

We were almost finished shopping when we stopped in front of the Ritz crackers. The shelf was fully stocked, which caught her eye.

"PEANUT BUTTER CWACK-UHS!" she exclaimed. "OH goody, goody!" The Ritz were on my list, and they were on the bottom shelf, so I told her it was ok to pick out one box. Just as she began pulling the VERY bottom box from the stack, another lady started down the aisle.

As if timed, the whole shelf of Ritz fell like a Jenga tower, blocking the entire aisle and stopping the lady in her tracks. She politely waited while I helped stack the crackers back on the shelf. I was glad she was understanding, as I was becoming a little frustrated with holding up the traffic.

We got the boxes put back, and Kailyn took her place next to the cart and began galloping away saying, "Yee haw!" As the lady passed us, she stopped. She was smiling, but had tears welling in her eyes.

"I miss those days SO MUCH," she said sadly, but with a smile.

I watched her go about her business, and I saw myself as her in a few years. I could see me, looking at a tired, frustrated mother of three and seeing the blessing she couldn't see. Seeing the innocence and joy she takes for granted every day. It made me really look at things differently.

They say all the time "You'll miss this one day," but you never fully understand that until it's too late. I'm glad I had a glimpse of the future, so I can enjoy the present a little more :)