Posted in Uncategorized

JoAnn is giving away gift cards again…

Click here and check it out (


(This gives me extra time to reply when they send me a notification, I’m not going to lie. I need all the help I can get getting my classroom ready for school and this would help A TON!)

Posted in 2017, HomeSchool Summer, Motherhood

Vacation was had!

We’re not going to talk about what I’ve eaten, when I’ve slept or got up, or any of that over the last 4 days. Why? Because I was on VACATION!

So, here’s the quick and dirty version of our trip and I’ll be back to add pictures once I recover enough to get them off the camera!

On Thursday, we traveled to Titusville, FL, just North of Cocoa Beach for our, now annual, summer trip. Our goal was to play on the Space Coast all weekend! AND BOY DID WE! We arrived just after dinner time Thursday night and set up our campsite pretty quickly. We’ve done it enough, now, that it’s pretty routine and easy. We camped at the Manatee Hammock campsite, which is a Brevard County run facility. The staff is very friendly, and very helpful, even though the site is a bit… low end? There’s a pool, and the showers/restrooms were clean, even if they were VERY warm. It’s just off Highway 1, so there’s constant road noise, but it’s very shady and very well kept. Cocoa Beach is about 20 minutes away, and Kennedy Space Center is about the same distance, so it’s not a bad place to camp for a few nights. The worst thing about the site was the amount of mosquitos and no-see-ums that bit me every time I stepped outside. We set up a pop up with mosquito netting and it did little to no good keeping the bugs out. Since I enjoy sitting outside and letting the girls ride their bikes and play while we’re camping, it was a bit of a disappointment that all of our down time was spent inside our conversion trailer.

Friday morning, we overslept a bit, but still made it out to Kennedy Space Center by 10:30. If you’ve never been, you seriously need to go. I walked under the Saturn 5 rocket, gawking at the sheet size of the thing every step, sat through what mission control was like during the Apollo 11 launch, and enjoyed a very cool bus tour of the launch pads, then came back and introduced myself to the Space Shuttle Atlantis in one of the best presentations I’ve ever sat through. The annoying thing is that they make you watch a video before you see most of the displays (the Saturn 5, the Atlantis, even the Hall of Fame), and part of that were cool (minus all the standing to watch them, anyway). The Atlantis was my favorite, though, and even though I dreaded going through a 2 part video presentation, seeing that beautiful girl through the screen and hearing a voice introducing us to the Space Shuttle Atlantis was worth every second of it. The Shuttles represent my childhood, you see, and the astronauts that flew in them fed my dreams of being an astronaut, too. I watched the Challenger explosion sitting in the hallway with the entire school of  Belle Chase Elementary School, I stopped what I was doing every time that shuttle lifted off from pad 39b and watched until they were out of range of the cameras, and I watched their reentry, too, crying like a baby when the Columbia never made it back. So being that close to the Atlantis with her arm out and her shuttle bay open… it was everything I’d wanted to see since I was in second grade, watching Christa McAuliffe give her life for the privilege of being the first teacher in space.  Am I a geek about this? Yes, yes I am. We found some great pizza for dinner after we left NASA at Mamma Rosa’s Pizzeria Restaurant which serves some GINORMOUS awesomeness, and came back to the campsite to crash. My Fitbit showed 12,543 steps for that trip and my feet owned every single one of them!

On Saturday, we ventured into Cocoa Beach, to hit a few spots, after starting our day in the pool at the campsite. We started our day at the Dinosaur Store because Peanut is really into Dinosaurs. This turned out to be even more than I had expected, as they have a very well laid out museum upstairs with real fossils scattered in among castings of fossils on display in life size awesomeness. Quite a few of those critters wouldn’t fit in a single shot on Peanut’s camera, so she killed the battery making sure she got every inch of them! Then, we splurged and bought her a real fossil of her own, a 75 million year old Raptor tooth! I even found real amber to make SCA bling with, so WIN-WIN! After this, we drove over towards Ron Jon’s Surf shop and parked in the public access lot at the Four Seasons. It’s free to park there, only two blocks from the beach, and right across the street from Ron Jon’s, so I highly recommend it if anyone needs a good parking spot when they visit! We ate at the Shark Pit Grill there at the Four Seasons, and sat at the bar next to this amazing tank with sharks, eel, and a whole bunch of other salt water fish (WE FOUND DORI!). The crab cakes are amazing, Tadpole inhaled her cheeseburger, and I don’t even remember what my husband got, but there wasn’t much left by the time he was finished, so obviously, it was good, too! Afterwards, we crossed the side street and entered Ron Jon’s Surf Shop which hasn’t changed much since we went in 1998! We loaded up on touristy goodness with T-shirts, stickers for my car, and toys for the girls. There was even a live band playing while we were there! We scoped out the beach accesses along A1A and chose our beach spot for Sunday before we returned to the campsite with enough time to get in the pool, which was very warm because it had been sitting in the sun all day.

On Sunday, we made a few stops for food and other things on our way out to one of the beaches near Patrick Air Force Base. There’s no restroom, no food, just beach down there, so there’s not a lot of tourists and the beach isn’t crowded. However, there’s sand that had been trucked in, I’m guessing, then from the tide line out is all broken shell bits. It’s not hard to walk on, but it’s really uncomfortable to sit on and if you thought sand in your bathing suit was annoying, try SHELL BITS! About ten feet into the water, are full shells that have been deposited there by waves. Getting knocked down by a wave there is VERY uncomfortable! Tadpole and Peanut didn’t care, though, and, honestly, once I got used to it, it was alright. The waves hit you with small bits of shell, too, so it’s literally everywhere. Tadpole and I sat at the edge and let the waves hit us from there, playing with the shell bits that you couldn’t make sand castles out of (just ask Peanut!) and taunting the Atlantic Ocean with things like, “You can’t find our feet!” which she promptly proved she could do by using waves to wash away the shell bits we’d buried our feet in. Tadpole, more than once, started hauling out a line from Moana, “Fish pee in you! ALL DAY!” Once we’d had our fill of the beach, we came back to the campsite, where the girls begged to get back in the pool. We rinsed the shells off of us and then got in the pool, where we stayed for another hour or so, giving my husband time to take a nap in the trailer. I will say that I hosed myself down in SPF 70, hosed the girls down, too, and I have come back with a sunburn that is deep into the muscles of my legs. I hurts to bend my knees and not just because the skin is burnt. Ah well, such is the price we pay for being a blue eyed blonde on a beach and in a pool while the sun was up. Ibuprofen has helped take some of the pain away and I’m keeping the skin hydrated, too.

This morning, Monday, we got up, packed up our site in a little over an hour (practice has made us pretty efficient at that, too) and got back on the road at 10:30. Our plans for stopping in St. Augustine were sacrificed on the altar of both my sunburn and my husband’s, whose chest resembles a lobster almost as deeply as my legs. Neither of us slept all that well because of it, so we were both tired and ready to crash. We stopped for gas and lunch, and made it home by 3:30, where we promptly crashed on the couch. I have so far managed not to fall asleep, but I can tell you… that’s not going to last much longer!

So, aside from pictures, that’s the story of our summer vacation! We’ll get back to our regularly scheduled stuff tomorrow!


Until next time!


Posted in 2017, Tired of being Tired

Journal 7.11.17

Bed last night- 12 AM                                                        Sleep-

Wake up- 8:00 AM                                                             Get up- 8:20 AM

Today’s Weight- 234.4


MOM Time-

Today was library day and, for once, I didn’t have to fight either of them about books. They were excited to get new ones and actively hunted for something to read. Then, we went over to the mall and played with the Butterfly exhibit. So much fun!

butterfly exhibit


C- I worked on my knitting a bit at the doctor’s office and started writing again this evening. Feels good, even if my words are coming out mush.

R-I haven’t read anything today. 😦

A- Butterfly exhibit

F- Time to change

T- blog, journal



Breakfast- Activia Yogurt cup

Lunch- Buffalo Wild Wing’s Buffalitos (confession, I had a small chocolate cake, too).

Dinner- Burritos at home- much healthier than the ones in a restaurant

Snacks- chocolate raspberry cake



10 ounces of water with breakfast

20 ounces of tea at lunch

10 ounces of water before the library visit

24 ounces of tea with dinner

total— 64 ounces! That’s the minimum… let’s get it higher!


Review of today’s plans:

*Doctor’s appointment at 12

*Return Library books and check out new ones

*Butterfly Exhibit at the Mall

*Play Place Time

*Clean Dining Room

*Laundry— eh, I got one load finished…?


Tomorrow’s Plans:



*Chuck E Cheese with friends (PM)

*Clean up the house a bit



Let’s start with the heavy stuff. It’s nothing I didn’t expect… ok, that’s a lie. It’s a bit I didn’t expect. I had a doctor’s appointment with my primary doctor today. I walked in there with a laundry list of issues that I’ve been holding on to for a while. I didn’t expect it to be a pleasant conversation, even though I have one of the most upbeat doctors on the planet ( I seriously love her. If you’re in Savannah and need a PCP, look up Dr. Loraine McRae. She’s amazing. She reminds me of Doc McStuffin’s mom. No joke.). The things on my list were:

*kidney stone

*legs swelling

*wrist issues




I believe most of that is all a product of the last bit, with the exception of my wrist. She threw me a curve ball, though, asking about my breasts. Now, anyone who knows me knows mine are very large and that I hate them because of that. They, too, are a product of my weight gain. She pointed out that the weight of them, particular on the side of the larger one, could be contributing to my headaches. Yes, my weight is probably to blame for the leg swelling, but there’s also varicose veins scattered across them, which is a sign of poor circulation. So, stop crossing my ankles, legs, and lower legs when I sit down. *sighs* She also pointed out that Lexapro will cause weight gain, though that’s not enough to cause this mess I’m dealing with, right now. The kidney stone was more a reflection of my diet and I need to alter it, though just how to alter it won’t be clear until I have another one (I can wait for that). So, that leaves us with the anti-depressant, the wrist, and the weight. We tossed out the Lexapro and switched to Wellbutrin, since the Lexapro’s effects seem to have fizzled. Also, as a side effect, Wellbutrin is also used in weight loss drugs, because it does cause weight loss. Not crazy, drastic result weight loss, but at least it doesn’t add weight. Also, maybe if I slept better, I would be more active during the day, less tired, and burn more calories. She gave me a muscle relaxer to help me stay asleep, since that is my biggest problem, once my head hits the pillow at night. This should also help my stress and headaches, since it will relax the muscles of my neck and shoulder while I sleep, thus allowing them to fully relax and not start off with tension the next morning. I get to try this for a few months and follow up with her in September. If those things are better, then we’ll hit the weight a little harder and talk about serious methods of handling the problem. Which leaves us with my wrist, which she doesn’t want to diagnose directly without some tests. Rather than doing those herself, she is referring me to a specialist, because she’s pretty sure, based on my descriptions and the length of time I’ve had the problem, that I will require surgery to fix it.


All of that has been weighing on my shoulders a bit tonight, honestly. I have some positive direction in which to move, so there’s that. I’m a prime candidate for bariatric surgery with my BMI being over 40%. I’m mentally tired and have withdrawn into my office tonight because I’m on the end of the rope again. We leave for vacation on Thursday, so there’s a light at the end of the tunnel. I just have to get there.

On the bright side… I became a Disney Princess today, so I’ve got that going for me.

disney princess tiff


~Until next time!


Posted in 2017, Optimum Health, Tired of being Tired

Journal 7.10.17

bed last night- 12 AM                                                                 Sleep- 12:28 AM

Awake- 6:18 AM                                                                          out of bed- 6:45 AM

Today’s weight: 234.9


MOM TIME: Today was pretty simple, groceries and soft play at the Mall. We did the groceries early, so we got to the mall with enough time for the girls to play for over an hour.


C- worked on embroidery of Tower in Satin Stitches. I’m almost ready for outlining stitches and detail work. Also, I am still taking notes on Druid practices.

R- The Art of the Northern Renaissance by Craig Harbison

A- not much. 😦
F- Get stuff done.

T- blog, journal


Breakfast- Activita Vanilla yogurt

Snack- stick of monteray jack cheese

Lunch- 1/4 lber with cheese (McDonald’s)

Snack- roasted cashews*

Dinner- chicken breast (4 oz) and green beans with a King’s Hawaiian Roll

Snack- ?

Total Calorie intake as of typing this: 1455



10 ounces of water with breakfast

20 ounces of Coke with Lunch

10 ounces of water because I was thirsty

12 ounces of Tea with dinner


52 ounces of liquid intake so far. I’ll pack away at least another 12 ounces before I go to bed.


Review of today’s plans:

  • Go to school and :
  • Go through books
  • Move my furniture to one side and out of the way.
  • Get groceries
  • take the girls to the play place.

Tomorrow’s Plans:

  • Dr’s appt at 12
  • Clean dining room
  • laundry
  • library
  • play place time



Today did not go the way I had hoped. First, even though I got up and got the girls out of the house before 8 AM to work in my room, I couldn’t get into it because the custodians were only then stripping the old wax off the floor and laying fresh wax down. It’s going to take days to do that. “Maybe Wednesday,” was the response I got. So, I can’t get back into my room until NEXT Wednesday, after our vacation and *HOPEFULLY* my Lasek surgery.

I got home and within minutes, my husband is calling telling me that the campground we were supposed to be staying in this weekend won’t allow our conversation trailer to be an RV in their park. We had to cancel the reservation and find a new one. So, I spent a while on the computer AGAIN, finding a campground that a)would take us, and b) was available. Thankfully, we got into what appears to be a decent one!

By then it was lunchtime, so the girls and I hit McDonald’s before we went to get groceries. The toy in the Happy Meal this week was a deck of cards with Minions on them and we sat and played Go Fish while eating lunch. That was probably the best part of my day. We zipped through groceries (it helps when we already know what we need and where it is) and then came home to unload them. Afterwards, we went to the soft play space at Savannah Mall where the girls played for over an hour and I did research on Druidry.

When we came home, I was a little munchy, so I grabbed a handful of roasted cashews to tide me over until Dinner. I have now learned that my system doesn’t handle Cashews, anymore. I bloated up last week before dinner when I ate some while the girls played at the play place, but I didn’t connect it to this. This afternoon, I ate about six of them and bloated up and felt horrible, again. So, that’s it… no more cashews. That’s a shame, because I really like cashews. *sighs* At least it wasn’t peanuts, I guess. Luckily, my cat, Mitch, snuggled me until I fell asleep for an hour and woke up feeling better. ❤ my baby boy!


So, tomorrow’s plans have been altered a bit, since I can’t go to work. There’s a lot to do before we go out of town!

~Until next time!

Posted in 2017, CRAFT Time, Optimum Health, Tired of being Tired

Journal 7.6.17

Bedtime last night: 11:30   PM                                         Sleep time: 12’ish?

Wakeup: 8:15 AM                                                               get up: 9:00 AM

Today’s Weight: 237.7

MOM Time:

Today was Field Trip Day and we’d decided on the Art Museum today, so off we went! I had every intention of a there and back, trip, but it totally didn’t turn out that way.


We started at the Jepsen Center, which is a really good art museum to take kids to see. They have a ArtZeum on the 3rd floor with lots of interactive art for kids to play with. They have everything from Architecture to clothing, with some wall graffiti and garden design to boot! We wandered through the rest of the exhibits and the girls at least pretended to look at everything. Their traveling exhibit this summer is William Wegman: Improved Photographs.  The girls enjoyed that! They also have a Tech Art space where all of the artwork is technology-based. From virtual painters to virtual reality… it’s all there and the girls had so much fun interacting with it, it was hard to make them walk away. They also had kids art activities from 1-4 in the 1st floor atrium, so after we found lunch, we came back to do that.



I mananged to get the OK to hit McDonald’s on Broughton Street, but we made a wrong turn and went the other way down the street. We compromised when we found Jalepeno’s on Broughton and Mexican it was!


We wandered a little on our way back, stopping by The William W. Gordon monument in Wright Square (horribly ugly thing) on our way back to the Jepsen Center. I forced them both into the Wright Square Cafe  for some Chocolate Truffles (YUMMY YUMMY) on our way back, too.



After they “arted” for about an hour, we headed over to the Telfair Museum. You see, if you buy admission to one, you get admission to all three (Jepsen Center, Telfair Museum, and the Owens-Thomas House) and I enjoy getting to see a lot of different stuff. The Jepsen Center is good for modern art (I’m not a big fan), but the Telfair has the more classic styles of art. Besides, it’s located in one of the 3 remaining William Jay houses in Savannah and I love his architecture work, so I enjoy walking through them (the Owens-Thomas House and the Ships of the Sea Museum @ the Scarborough House are the other two, just in case you were wondering). They’re hosting the Hattie Saussy Exhibit, right now, which is also a really nice treat. What I didn’t realize, in all the trips I’ve made into that building, is that one of my favorite paintings resides there: Julian Scott’s Black Prince at Crecy.

I had grossly underestimated that thing’s size, let me tell you! From there, I talked them into High Tea at the Gryphon Tea Room. They were hot and tired, but I think they enjoyed the experience, even if they don’t quite have the palate for the food or tea, yet. I enjoyed it, so there’s that!



C- I sat down and organized, printed and laminated pieces for the Rise and Shine Notebooks for my class

R- I read the entire Words Their Way 3rd edition book.

A- Walked many, many steps around Savannah and up and down the steps of each museum.

F- Keep it Positive!

T- Journal and Blog (and Facebook! hehehe)



Breakfast- Activia Yogurt

Lunch- Chips and Queso

Dinner- High Tea (Cucumber sandwich, chicken salad sandwich, cranberry scone, assorted petit fours)

Snack- ?



12 ounces of water at Breakfast

16 ounces of tea at lunch

16 ounces of hot tea at the Tea Room

12 ounces of water this PM

56 ounces of liquids today… *sighs*



  • Field Trip Day- SUCCESS!
  • pick up meds from the Dr- oops
  • drop off mailing for Dana- oops

Plans for TOMORROW: 

  • Pick up meds
  • drop off mailing
  • drop off meds
  • Fun Day- Bowling


BONUS: I don’t have a lot to say about today that I haven’t already! We had a great time downtown and I loved walking around with the monsters. At least, I did until they started getting tired! Tomorrow is going to be a good day, too! My charger for my FitBit came in today, so my watch will be ready to go again tomorrow! Yay for accurate accounting of steps and activity!

~Until tomorrow!

Posted in 2017, CRAFT Time, Growth Mindset, Optimum Health, Tired of being Tired

Journal 7.5.17

Bed last night- 12 AM                                                                Sleep- 12:15 AM

Wake up- 8:15 AM                                                                     Get up- 8:48 AM

Weight: 238.0


MOM Time:

Today was supposed to be field trip day, but we decided to swap Craft Day for the field trip because of the heat. We’ll try to get on the field trip early tomorrow to avoid the heat outside (Heat Index over 100, humidity through the roof). So, instead, we painted rocks! It was a lot more relaxed than I thought the girls would be into, but I refuse to complain about that. Now, we have rocks that I need to seal and we can put out in the garden!


C- Started building my Rise and Shine Binders for next school year today

R- Aftermath, by Chuck Windig

A- (failed here today. I really need to clean up my treadmill, so I can fix this)

F- Stay Positive- combat negative thoughts

T- Journal and Blog entry



Breakfast- Activia Greek Yogurt (vanilla) and a 1/4 cup of Bare Naked Granola (Vanilla and almond)

Lunch- Yoplait Yogurt Smoothie (Pina Collada)

Dinner- 4 oz of pork loin chop, 6 slices of baked zuchinni (breaded, with parmesean and garlic), Marzetti’s Asiago dressing (1.5 tblsp )

Snack- (I’m craving something really bad and luckily, I don’t have much in this house that classifies. I’m going to try to keep it not contradictive, though.)



20 ounces of water with breakfast

12 ounce smoothie for lunch

24 ounces of tea with dinner

56 ounces total. I found my bottle today, so I’m working on this, this week.



  • Start cleaning routine and get back to your checklist.
  • Find the charger for your FitBit and get it charged to track heart rate, sleep, and steps- Ordered a new charger which should be here tomorrow! 
  • TAKE A WALK and Meditate after dinner.
  • Call the dr and set up an appointment for meds, and other medical issues.
  • Craft Day- Painting Rocks 
  • Cleaning Day- Dining Room
  • Cleaning out the veggie garden on the side of the flower garden up front.



Today was an important day in my life. I don’t think anyone else will know the difference, but I felt the change this morning. It started yesterday evening and I’ve just kept turning it over in my head. Today, the changes started. You see, I realized yesterday that the reason why I’m upset every time I see my friends getting together without me, or plans don’t go the way I had them in my head, or I’m disappointed with how something turned out, is because of an expectation I set for myself. I can blame Damon Salvatore for this a bit, since I caught a quote while I was binge watching Season 7 of the Vampire Diaries that resonated very strongly.  He was talking about this bottle of wine that he’d purchased, thinking it would just keep getting better with time and, as a vampire, he had loads of that on tap. He stored it and thought about how amazing it was going to taste when he finally cracked it open. Then he realized one day that there wasn’t a single sip of that wine that was ever going to taste as good as he’d built it up to be in his head. So he let go of the expectations for that bottle of wine (and started drinking bourbon, but that’s a different conversation, altogether).  I realized yesterday that I had been treating all of my friends like that bottle of wine. I keep building up expectations of all the wonderful things we’ll experience and getting hurt when I see those expectations falling in someone else’s lap, some other person is there in my place and I wasn’t even invited. These people don’t even know what I’ve built up in my head, so why am I holding them responsible for the pain I’ve caused myself? It didn’t make any sense. That was true for everyone in my life… my husband, my kids, my friends, my relatives. Worse, I knew it was horrible of me to expect it, so I never said a word, if I could get out of it. So, I was being fair to THEM, but I was still torturing MYSELF.

No more. I’m done with that. From here on, I promise myself that I will be independent and happy about it. I will live in the moments that I have, that I am present for, and I will be more mindful of those things, instead of moping because they’re not going the way I wanted them to. I’m going to fight the urge to have expectations, which is EXTREMELY difficult for my INFJ self to do, because I think through every scenario of everything before it happens so that I’m prepared for the outcomes. Just NO! I’m not going to do that to myself, anymore. I vow to put down the phone more, goose my kids more, and STOP raising my voice to get my point across. Volume doesn’t make an argument more right.

I’ve reverted to a paper bullet journal so I have a physical thing to manipulate. It does a good job of forcing me to be accountable to myself, so I’ll take it. I won’t say I feel better today, because that’s not really true. I feel a bit more numb and indifferent, which feels strange since it’s been 10 days since my last Lexapro. I set up the doctor’s appointment this morning, though, and started writing down all the things I need to discuss with her. I’m going to keep adding to the list as I go, all the way until I am sitting in front of her.

I started working on things for school next year. I uploaded my class posters to Staples and priced printing them out (almost $80 and that’s with a 20% off coupon code). I printed the pages I need for the student Rise and Shine notebooks, so it’s ready for me to copy onto colored paper and laminate. I even logged into my school e-mail ( I never do that away from the building because I don’t like the stress) and tried to find information about the changes they’re making for next year in the curriculum. I can’t stand it that the board is keeping everything so close to the chest. They’re going to expect us to be doing this on Day 1 in August and most of us won’t get the particulars until the fading days of July. You can’t train me on something on Monday and expect me to be proficient enough to start teaching it on Thursday. Not without a lot of prep work and planning time and, let’s be honest, that isn’t happening. It looks like a home grown program, anyway, and one that they’re not fully funding, at that. We were told they’re getting away from novel studies, but the stuff they released last month has a read aloud list full of, you guessed it, new novels! It looks like they’re twisting Reader’s Workshop into it, with Writer’s Workshop, in the Grammar section. There are hints of Daily 5, too. Honestly, it just annoys me that we have no time to learn what they want before we’re expected to do it. I feel a bit like a first year teacher again, except there’s not going to be anyone in any better position than me. The state changed the Science and Social Studies standards, the board is changing the ELA and Math delivery systems… and I’m switching grade levels. No worries, though. I’m going to attack Reader’s and Writer’s Workshop, I have been doing butchered versions of these the last few years, anyway. Throw some Words Their Way on the side as Differentiated Spelling work and work my way through the Eureka Math modules that they are getting the Print Shop to print for everyone in the district. Raise your hands if you think we’ll have those the first day…


Ah well, folks. TO steal a phrase that I need to wrap my head around a bit more…

Image result for it is what it is

Until next time!

Posted in About me

Happy 13th Anniversary, Dana!

(I can’t find my digital version of these pictures, so I’m giving you the pictures of pictures version until I can. I HATE that, but it’s what I’ve got right now, so…)

This is not going to be my normal blog post, I’m going to tell you a story. It has moments of laughter, moments of woe, moments of shock, too! I think we managed to avoid bloodshed, but I’m sure it was a close thing. That’s what happens in my world, my friends. And this? This was my wedding day! Or, as I prefer to call it, a comedy of errors.


(Please know, there’s a lot more to this story. I’m just going to tell you about the actual wedding day. Ask me about the week leading up to it, some time. This was just the icing on the cake, friends.)

The alarm went off at 7 am and I got up, quickly. I don’t ever get up quickly, but this was the adult version of Christmas, so you can see why I did. I got through the shower, knowing my hair needed a ton of time to dry before I hit the salon a few hours later. Mom and Dad were already up and moving around downstairs when I got out of the shower (they may have been up before that, but I was focused on getting my to do list checked off). We stared out the window in the dining room, glaring at the clouds overhead. It was going to rain. Rain on your wedding day is good luck, right? What about a downpour that nearly flooded the cul-de-sac outside my parents’ house? Huh? My parents slide some of my most prized possessions on me about then, a rope of pearls that were cool on my skin and a pair of earrings to match. They’d picked this particular rope because they weren’t bright white, they were soft ivory, like my dress, and had an antique feel to them. It was love at first sight and I don’t remember whether I cried, then or not, but if I didn’t, it was a close thing. Mother Nature decided to be distracting then, as she let loose with a downpour you couldn’t see through outside.

Why is this a problem? Well, you see, my wedding was taking place in the meadow by the lake at Red Top Mountain State Park. Yeah… outside. Where it is now pouring buckets. The day before, I picked this little sunken area off to the side where there was a copse of trees that would give everyone shade and it wasn’t a far walk from the lodge, either. That would SOOO not be happening now! Mom said it was fine and we’d do the ceremony in the group shelter we’d rented and decorated the day before. No worries! It wasn’t what I wanted, but I was determined not to be Bridezilla, so I nodded and we got on with our day. Other ladies from the wedding party started arriving, my maid of honor and my sister, to be specific. It wasn’t long before we piled into cars and headed to the salon to get our hair done.

As everyone else got their hair finished, they headed out to help work on prep work. Mom and my sister went to the group shelter to start working on getting veggies sliced and ready to be set out after the ceremony. My best friend stayed with me laughing and taking pictures of the massive ‘fro that my hair had been teased into on its way to being a beautiful updo. We were about to walk out the door when she realized that she’d left her wallet at home. She couldn’t pay for her hair without it and everyone else had left us. She had to call her mom, who lived 45 minutes away. So, we hung around until they arrived, and I’m pretty sure I was an antsy mess by then. I get a call as we’re leaving an hour later from my mom, who needed me to stop by the house and grab one of the plugs for the fondue pots (they’re electric) that had been left at home. Oh yeah, and the refrigerator that I tried to tell everyone the day before was a freezer… it was a freezer. Everything we put in it (and by that I mean ALL of the food for the reception, including both cakes) was frozen solid. A couple that I dance with bailed us out and ran to the grocery store to replace it all, though, and they left the cakes out in the group shelter to pray they thawed again before the reception started. Be proud of me, I didn’t scream. I nearly cried, but I didn’t scream!  I run in and grab everything that looks like the right plug (none of them were) from my parents’ house and we’re on our way to the ceremony site, two hours before the wedding is set to begin.

The ladies at the front desk very nicely let me check into the room we booked VERY early and we unloaded everything into that room. My dress got hung up on that huge picture frame that hotel rooms always have over the bed. It’s bolted on so no one steals it, not that anyone would, because it’s hideous, but there ya go. The good news is that I could hang my two ton dress from it with the train on it to hope some of the packing wrinkles fall out. I attacked my makeup, as did everyone else. I handled the flood of people coming by like that wedding day scene in My Big Fat Greek Wedding, smiling and refusing to scream. I was not going to be Bridezilla! Before long, the dress was on, pictures were taken and it was time to wait for the wedding to start.


We were told when we arrived that the meadow was dry in the high point, so, knowing I wanted to be married outside, Mom and Dad started prepping the outside space. OK, Dad started prepping the outside space. He didn’t get much help, not even unloading the 100 chairs he moved from the group shelter an hour before the ceremony was supposed to start, which he did in the tux I made him wear. I watched through the window, so close to throwing on my tennis shoes and helping, since everyone was just standing around watching.  A few people helped here and there, finally, and I could stop fuming. It was freakin’ hot outside, and the humidity was thick inside the room, too. Or, maybe that was just me getting irritated and trying my hardest not to turn into Bridezilla. I cranked up the AC, which was one of those under-window units, and dropped my skirt on top of it. It was glorious.

My Maid of Honor told me to come look at something funny, so I walked outside, thinking nothing was very funny at this point. The ceremony was close to an hour late in the sweltering July heat in North GA. I had no idea why it was late and my patience was wearing thin. I needed something to laugh about. What was so funny? You see, I only had about 50 or 60 people come to my wedding. The ceremony was set it a big open meadow, next to a lake. This meadow didn’t have much in the way of shade or trees, but it did have two small little trees that happened to flank the ceremony site. From my vantage point in the lodge just outside, I could see most of my guests huddled together under those two tiny little trees. I know it was miserable for ya’ll, but I really needed that laugh. While I was standing out there, I saw my Mom running by the end of the walkway. I yelled down the walkway to find out why we were so late and she said the the radio we’d been using for the music I’d burned had been left on the night before and the batteries had died. She was going to run to the store to get more. The closest store was a 30 minute drive to get there and back. So, my now famous response echoed through the meadow, “Mom, screw the music!”

Well, the music was screwed and I’m pretty sure I annoyed my mom with that, but 30 minutes later, my best friend walked out and left me standing by myself watching the procession through the doorway as my wedding actually started. Dad came for me, since it was my turn, and teared up. He looks rather spiffy in a tux, don’t let him tell you any different. I’m sure I’m the only one that’s ever gotten him into one, and will die with a grin knowing I managed it with minimal fussing on his part. You’re welcome, world! Then it was our turn to leave the comfort of the shade and brave the heat of the July sun after a rain storm.


I stop at the end of the isle, seeing a friend who I wasn’t expecting standing right on the end and smiling at me. Then my family standing there smiling at me, probably because they were glad the end was in sight, but I’ll make myself feel better by saying it was because I was really pretty that day. You don’t hear me say that very often, but I’ll admit it on that day. I mean, look at this dress, people…


I walk all the way down to the end of that isle, the only music being the birds singing in the trees and the soft lapping of water against the shore of the lake, thinking everything is going to be fine, now that we’ve got the ball rolling. Right? The birds are playing better music than I could’ve picked, anyway. This is going to be good, right?


We purposefully picked the shortest ceremony in the book because of the heat and sun. I’m glad because I don’t remember most of it. I put my hand in Dana’s and smiled up into his… wait, is that a mustache? Dana does the full around the mouth facial hair thing, has since the day I met him. Not a full beard, not a mustache, the full thing. When it gets too long, he’ll shave it all off and start fresh, which is how I prefer his face, but he never has JUST a mustache. That is, until the one day where we’ll be taking pictures our great-great-great grandchildren will see some day, because standing in front of me is the man I’m pledging to marry missing half the hair I’m used to seeing on his face. Oddly enough, this is where I start to slip into “you’ve got to be kidding me!” I’d been through all of that, just today (remember, there’s so much more I didn’t tell you about the week leading up to this moment), and THAT is what made me want to toss that bouquet and cry. I call it stress. I managed to restrain it and we hit the vows. Now, the preacher that married us was a long-time friend of my family. I’d dated him in high school, shared a duplex with him in college… let’s just all assume he knew me pretty darned well, ok? How do you know he knows me? Because when my vows came out, “Do you promise to love, honor…” BIG DRAMATIC PAUSE… “and obey him?” I nearly gave myself whiplash and if looks could kill I’m sure we’d have a dead Donnie on our hands. Everyone laughed when I asked for clarification and it was repeated. Everyone knows me, apparently. Through gritted teeth I repeated it, adding, “if I have to” to the end for good measure. Dana was laughing at me, too.

My sister played a song I had long forgotten I had vowed to have played at my wedding. She played it on her flute, which I hadn’t heard her do since her sophomore year of high school.


Remember this one?

It was going great… mustache and “obey” aside. Then a bee flew past me. He hovered around my bouquet, which had 3 leather roses in it that had been sprayed with tea rose oil at the GA Renaissance Festival a few months earlier.  I tuned out of the ceremony again here, because my Mom is allergic to bee stings and I was scared to death the thing would smell HER perfume and go make friends with her. I kept my eye on that thing until it flew off. A few seconds later, there’s a shout because the bee did sting someone… my mother-in-law! Then it was all over!


Mom told us to give them a few minutes before we hit the reception, so we went back to the hotel room and cooled off. Detached the train of my dress (it was a cathedral length train, did I mention that? I LOVED THAT DRESS!) and folded it up to be packed away. Then we drove over to the group shelter and had a party! That’s where things finally went right. The food was perfect, the cakes were MOSTLY thawed, the music I burned was working perfectly!



I danced with Dana, which started as a box step and ended with white-people shuffle step. To this one, that perfectly outlined most of our dating life: 


I danced with Dad, choosing a song I refused to watch anyone cry through… Moonlight Serenade by Glenn Miller.


We cut cake, we tossed bouquets and garters, we left and changed clothes and came back to eat because we’d been so busy hugging people we hadn’t done much of that.



It was one of the most insane days of my life. 13 years later, here I am, regailing you with the insane tale of my wedding day while you’re shaking your head and wondering how in the world I made it through without screaming. If not, you should be, because, honestly, I’m not even sure. In the end, it’s a day everyone remembers parts of and I’m one of the few with the whole picture. It’s a story I tell when I need a laugh, now, though it sure didn’t feel like something to laugh about, then. “Not like Tiff and Dana’s wedding” was heard many times in the years since. *smiles* At least it was memorable for everyone, I guess…

Happy Anniversary, Dana! I’m glad most of the 13 years since that day have been INFINITELY easier to get through. ❤