Southern girl plowing her way through life making the rules up as she goes. Warning: likes to bake, curse, quote movies/literature, is tattooed, married to The Man and mother of two girls. We bring new meaning to the "griswald way of life". Come along for the ride!

Life is My Highway

Montana and North Dakota have become home.... dang it lol.

These Girls

Lord help me but these babies wear me out.... they are just perfect!


Yes, it's from last winter but I adore this us....


This kid glows from the inside out... my almost 11 year old!

We are so smexy!

Favorite sport: embarrassing our kids in public


My mini-me is finding her own way in life

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Disappointed or Disillusioned

At what point do you lose the anger that normally comes when someone hurts you? I guess the main question is, why do you lose the anger?

Is it because it's a road that has been traveled too often therefore you aren't actually angry anymore? Have you just become so used to it that you no longer have anger left?

What scares me the most is the loss of that emotion. It can't be good right? Is it a maturity sign when you no longer have that raging fear and anger storm building in your stomach? Instead it's replaced with a deep disappointment, an ache that you are hurting again yet it won't matter.

So I guess the point I'm trying to reach is am I disappointed or am I disillusioned because I allow myself to be here again.....

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Day Trip

My brother is visiting town and drug the girls and I away from my plans to sand the deck today. So after spening all morning running to freight took stores looking for the right air tools, I blew it all off and we took off into the high mountain desert (oximoron?) to a ghost-town which is no longer a ghost-town, interesting! Built around an old abandoned gold mine, the town had a comeback with retirees looking for the perfect small town and oh boy did they ever find it. Built between two mountains in a very very narrow crevice, the town has room for two long streets of custom houses built between refurbished old old old homes and RV lots. Most residents ride ATV's rather than drive the 10 mile an hour speed limit. Fun. Old peeps rock, especially those who have a custom built ATV with a car seat for the dog in their life. (no pics of that, that would be rude without permission)

Interestingly enough, this old phone booth (still works!!!) was a huge draw. Seems they get snowed in often in the winter and landlines don't work but through the grace of God and mabell, this one does. The kids took a million shots in this thing! Oh and the phone book had 28 residents listed, fun fact.

Even though the mom part of me screamed "Danger!", the other part of me thought it cool that they've left the tracks and carts and other mining dodads up in the mountain sides above the town. Thank God the kids were in flip flops otherwise they were totally planning on hiking up to ride in a railroad cart. OMGawd......

We got there just in time for one of the owners of the restored cabins/houses to give us a tour (okay, she was giving her friends a tour and we tagged along with an invitation), Duchess quickly made her way to the front of the line with her stinkey, touchey everything fingers and endless questions: where is the potty? where is the bed? were they poor? why did they only have one room? blah blah blah..... the most interesting part though was my brother and me, I'm almost ashamed to admit that we got the bug....
Every little cabin was different, the first we saw was a shoe repair...not much in there to ohhh over so we moved on to the post office. Where we both immediately went into ........OMG's.... cause the old mail boxes built into the wall were originals from the early 1900's, teeeny tiny little bronze boxes. Exact copies of the ones that were in my mom's hometown, which we visited often as kids. By the time we were kids, there was one store and the remains of the post office. Where you walked onto a little porch and there were all these little bronze boxes with names of people who'd been dead awhile. Fascinating......especially since it was exactly 7 miles from where we lived in town. So that was quite the deal. Then I tried to buy the buffet they had in there gathering dust and she kept laughing me off. Dude, I was serious.

Duchess finally got to see the potties. She was sooooooooooo not impressed.
But I was mucho impressed with this one. Snicker. We totally need one of these at work, even though we aren't miners!

But they real nice public potties. This was one end of the ladies room. Once you get past the cutey on the bench and the antique vanity in the PUBLIC RESTROOM, notice how clean it was. Then notice my to-die-for-new-purse, my bday gift from my mommy. I dig it and it looks so good on my shoulder!

Then it was Princess' turn to pose. So cute!

Along the way we stopped by the actual boarded up mine to mountain gaze and take a pic on the side of the road. Since we were literally in the middle of no where, I was totally gun that is. Safety first.
But all too soon it started to rain, and once we talked that damn cow out of the middle of the road, we came home where the sun was shinning and I worked on the deck. The not so perfect ending to a perfect day. It could have been worse, I could have been hog hunting......with him.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Party at my house!h

Okay, first off this is how I spent my Friday night........sanding my new deck.

Secondly, that dang vest (while warm) does nothing for my figure.......

And it's time to get my roots done....

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Deep Thoughts

You know we actually thought life would get less hectic with our ten years of military service behind us (I say us because a military wife is definately service peeps! Can I get an amen girls?) And while we enjoyed the first two years of civilian life, it was missing something. I didn't have the community support I was used to, I missed my jobs (military/government community, which is a family in itself), then my mom relo-ed to this area and fell in love with the mountains, vowing to stay forever (even though we weren't) and The Man just wasn't happy working in a fab lab. He's not your inside kind of guy, he thrives outside and using his hands/head.

So when our contract with ********** ran out and budget/layoffs were hinted at, he started looking elsewhere. He found the perfect solution and was hired immediately. Problem is he's working in Texas for a company that works out of four states. So once the job in Texas is done, he's probably going to be relo-ed to another site. So he flies home once a month for now to do the family thing and otherwise is working, taking his welding cert classes and finishing his engineering/safety degree so he's keeping himself pretty busy. It doesn't hurt that any downtime is spent on the golf course or in the woods. He's happy, which means I'm happy.So soon the plan will be to relo the family back to the area in which he'll be assigned. Even though we probably won't go to exactly where he is (cause hello, I need a mall and a good place to work and the oil fields don't really offer that) at least we'll be close enough to see him every weekend and holiday, even weeknights if he wants a commute. That said, wow what a pain.

Thank you economy! Since we bought our house this time last year, it's not going up for sale, so I'm slowly doing all needed improvements (yard, landscaping, basement) to max out the space and then we're going to lease it. So I'll be a property manager, woohoo. There also comes the problem of leaving my mom, which I'm SO not into, but necessary.

The kids however, are ready to move today. They are such Navy brats. They are excited and daily asking when we move. They love having new friends, new schools and a new house. I am blessed that they are so adaptable and the confidence they have developed from our military nomadic lifestyle is awesome!

So why am I dragging my feet? I'm not in love with my job, although it's grown on me and I do well for myself. My house is my house but nothing I can't leave behind. The summer is the perfect time to move, yet I'm thinking Christmas or next summer.I think I'm waiting for the Lord to make the way first. I am a huge OCD planner and yet I find myself in a pickle often times cause I jump right in without waiting for the Lord to clear the path. Things seem awful hard when I do them myself, but if it's meant to be, wow how smoothly it goes.

So please include us in your prayers. We're slowly making our way. I'm totally walking on faith that the Lord will provide the answers we so need.

Until then, I'm going to stick my foot in the water and put out some resumes in various areas and see what comes up. I will make sure to keep my family closeknit and loving even through we are spread across a six state distance.What would you do?

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

He Dropped by........

The Man joined us for Memorial Day Weekend. 10 minutes after he walked in the door, he was on the tramp with the kids.
Throwing them around and having a blast. Honestly this thrills me as at least it wasn't me up there being man-handled. Although I did get throw over his shoulder and carted to another room at one point, that is not as fun as it looks, dang sharp shoulder blades!

But for a little while, it was all about our girls. The way it should be. I love that when he comes home, he tries to carve out time from fix it projects and must do's to just enjoy his kids.

And enjoy himself!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Mommy's Graduate

My baby is on her way to 1st grade.....

First, I didn't think she'd actually get up there and say her part, she's notoriously shy when she wants to be.....most of the time, if she doesn't know you well, she'll just look at you talk and then walk away when it's her turn.

Second, I swear I did her hair before she went to school. I'm not sure what happened, I think perhaps she rolled in dirt and then went through a wind tunnel.

Third, I'm so glad she didn't adlib her part for "U", cause she'd been working on some very interesting things to add.......thank you Jesus for hearing my prayers.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Life Lesson

Princess learned a life lesson yesterday. (See previous post).

Her principal called her entire class into his office to speak with them, thinking they were in trouble for picketing the school over the firing of their beloved teacher (the same teacher with excellent reviews throughout the school year) not to mention the chanting and marching through the halls on recess and lunch periods, she was so scared.

Except, he informed them that due to circumstances, he had offered their teacher a position with the 5th grade next year.

My kid learned that some things are worth fighting for. And sometimes, the little people can make a big enough voice to make things change.

I wouldn't change that for the world. So very proud of my little protester!

More to come tomorrow, lots of updates!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Strongly Worded Letter...

Rather than drop an F-bomb, I took a different approach email to the entire school board!

Mr. Superintendent and ********* school board,

I am a parent of a fourth grader at *** Elementary. I'm extremely concerned as my fourth grader came home today with the news that the Principal sent them from their class today to yell at their teacher, ******.

I am not happy that my child is being exposed to this!!! I do not feel that the behavior on Mr. BigButtHead reflects the professionalism and maturity that I expect from a principal. I actually spoke with Mr. BigButtHead two weeks ago when I called to express my joy and wonder that my daughter's reading levels and spelling levels have jumped dramatically since the first of the year, I credited (teacher). I found him unresponsive and distant when we spoke. I was very surprised at this as I have always found a principal to be most helpful and concerned with my views and opinions as a parent concerning my children's teachers.

(insert teacher) has been a huge asset this school year to my family. As a dual working family, it is difficult for us to be as active in our children's classrooms as we'd like. However, *** works with us to keep us up-to-date and informed about (daughter's) progress. She has coached me on reading and spelling projects to help (daughter) reach her goal of A's in reading and spelling. We have actually accomplished this!!! That is a huge success for my daughter. She has gained much confidence from reaching this goal.

As a former military family, we have experienced many school districts and since moving to BFE, we were overjoyed with (previous school here). That said, I'm sorely disappointed with (current school) specifically the principal in charge. This issue with (insert teacher) needs to be addressed at the district level. Mr. BigButtHead's actions are reflecting very very poorly on the district! While this is our first year with (current school), I must say that I will remove my children from (current school) if this behavior is allowed to continue. It is unethical, unmoral and unprofessional!

That said, please consider this last thought: Teachers and Staff are tasked with teaching our future, our children...what are they learning through the actions of this principal (which is very much known by these children!). I urge the school board to step in and address this problem immediately before this becomes larger and more visible, as if the picket line today wasn't news worthy enough! While it definitely reflects negatively on Mr. BigButtHead, it is also coloring (our town) and the ********* School District. I would happy to speak with you if you have any questions or concerns. Thank you for allowing me as a parent to have a say in the district which teaches my children!

Best regards,

My most dignified letter to date, this is the one I sent, the others were too heavily censored with naughty language not really appropriate to sway school board into listening to me.......sigh. Bullies suck, and my children should NOT be exposed to this. I miss the South.....and I'm glad my hubby isn't home. So if the picket line and calls to the school board fail, tomorrow we'll rinse and repeat with the local news.


Saturday, May 16, 2009

My other name is Wrath.....

I'm so seriously pissed.

We have worked our tails off on our yard....and it was going great. Until my main sprinkler valve cracked. Thus the story begins.

It was the sprinkler valve that controls all the lines and was put in by the builders with the front and side yards before we bought our house. It was labeled a self-draining system. But we winterized it anyway by draining the lines before the snow kicked in last winter.

Apparently you have to have a special tool to drain the actual valve too, or it will freeze and crack. Like mine did. And worse, it can blow a pipe that leads out of it to the front lawn sprinklers.

Guess what?

My line cracked and blew. But since it's underground we didn't know until we went to replace the valve regulator today. And bam......there's an underground marsh in my flowerbeds up front.

Warranty peeps? Doing their very best to NOT ACCEPT any blame and then rush off the phone.

So thankfully since my brother is in town and The Man is out of state still, he's spent most of his day knee deep in mud....fixing it.

Until the fix gave way.......and another marsh of mud filled up.

Tomorrow is another day, pray for me. Cause I've already beat a shrub to death with the pipe wrench after getting off the phone with the warranty guy and then his landscaping guy.

Hell hath no fury like me pissed off and dealing with a situation where I have no control.....geez and I thought I was getting better at the whole vengeance thing.

Guess not. Going to bake my brother a cake, cause he's the bomb and then I'm gonna get some sleep. Gonna pick him up early and start this madness all over again tomorrow.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Caged Monkeys and Framing

It was a most productive Thursday!

I broke down and caged my monkeys. Mom and I got the kids a tramp, how much fun is that. Even better the Photo-Elusive-Step-Dad and my visiting brother came in while we were all at school/work and put that bad boy together. Woohoo baby. The kids came home and promptly passed out in joy, then came too and I didn't see them again until dark. Heaven.....

The back corner of my yard looked bare, so this wound up being the perfect addition. Now mind you it looks a little dorkey but unlike 99% of the parents in my neighborhood I actually put up my enclosure. I.E. my dad put it up, and then read me the instruction manual over the phone, and then went over the rules, twice....cause he is a teeny bit protective of his girls. Not to mention he's a retired cop so he's kinda safety concerned. (probably has nothing to do with the fact that my children inherited my "clumsey" gene)

So I left the back door open, cooked a great dinner. Cleaned my kitchen, watched "Hairspray", sang and danced with my broom and mop while sneaking pics and peeks wondering when they'd get bored. Turns out, they multiplied. Everytime I looked out, there were more additions to the cage. And the noise, Oh My Lawd, the noise. Hence "Hairspray" cause I sooooooo can outsing anyone at the top of my lungs. Yeah baby (notice I didn't say anything about quality of sound, just volume)!
Now Murphy's reaction to the cage was unique. He ran outside and skidded to a stop, promptly had to pee in place on the deck and then barked for three hours straight while running around and under. Terrified. Poor little thing, he just didn't get it. He's had a really rough day. Besides all the outside noise and strange new cage in his yard, he had to deal with compressors and hammering.......downstairs........
Cause the contractor showed up and started my basement today. Woohoo baby. See we're adding a great room (seriously great at 24x16), a nice sized laundry room, a bedroom and the largest damn bathroom in Utah. I got carried away on the bathroom thing. Opps, does anyone else have a 12x9 bathroom that is NOT a masterbath? Anyone?

So if you're standing where I was when I took the picture, you're in the great room looking down the hall. Simple and flowing layout. I hacked those damn plans up, cause I hate corners and silly cluttery floor design. Not for me. My goal is large, open and airy.....yeah!

This is the view from the bedroom (the bathroom isn't framed in yet, this is just the first day's work). So you're lucky enough to be able to follow this cool project of mine which I've labeled the "Pay as I go, phase 1-5, basement expansion cause I need somewhere to send the kids in the winter cause they drive me nuts when we're snowed in" project, or for short....the Bat-Shit-Crazy project. Join me, it'll be fun. And seriously I can't possible annoy you as much as I annoy my contractor, poor guy. I seriously make changes and small adjustments until the VERY LAST MINUTE, which he must absolutely love.
Teeny example of that......this conversation actually happened this morning when we did the pre-work walk-thru
"I'm not liking that there is a corner here? Why is there a corner there? What purpose is that corner? It's not like I could PUT anything in it, it's tiny! What if we move this wall out oh what is that 2 inches..."
Patient contractor: "more like 12 inches"
"and then just streamline this wall, it'll just add to the laundry room, I like that much better, what do you think?"
Patient contractor: ".."
"perfect, let's do that"
He got smart and just started nodding alot. See, he's learned how to deal with me already. And, I was totally that pic again from the great room, see how lovely and streamlined that hallway stupid 2 or 12 inch corner between the laundry room and bedroom in the hall....
And you've just met my new that most of the landscaping is done, I'm now a basement building/design junkie. God help us.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mothers Day....Hope4Grace style....

Mother's Day started early this morning. At 8 a.m., luckily I had gotten up and just got out of the shower when the door bell rang, my mommy brought gifts and since she has to work later today, came by early to celebrate. Which led to some old school karate moves in the backyard....

(See my purty new grass) so once we have the gift giving out of the way (I got plants!!) we went out in the backyard to see about putting up the volleyball set I'd bought for the kids....

Can I just say that for such a potato shaped girl, I have small legs......short I really like it when I have a nice long reflection, legs for miles....

But sadly the volleyball set didn't work as it's TOO big. Good lawd that thing was back it goes. I think we need a badmitton set instead.

And because I can always count on my mother to keep it's a picture of my butt as I work on my honeysuckle plants......nice.......I need to get some exercise in....obviously

I heart Saturdays

So today, I managed to accomplish alot.

*I stood up for my kid.
*I purchased mother's day gifts (outdid myself this year, I must say)
*I did my yard work before 11 a.m.
*I managed to cook two meals today, record for this week
*I avoided school all together
*I avoided laundry all together
*I missed my husband
*Arranged two playdates for my kids
*Cleaned out my room
*Sat out in my backyard with a glass of sweet tea and enjoyed the grass between my toes and the full breeze.

Yep, I kicked this Saturday's butt......

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Patriotic? Then Watch This....

Oh my baby does sound purty.......or it just could be cause I'm her mom....

Preparations for the Kindergarten graduation are underway.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Heard Today...Bang Head Here

**better to be running around trying to book rooms last minute for strays than trying to keep people employed in this economy.....

**Right out the poop wazoo... (WTF? Kindergarten is an horrible influence)

**If there is no water and I used the potty, did it not flush it away (SAVE ME!)

**Do not call me up and tell me "I have bad news and then tell me you had to get new contacts cause your allergic to silicon and therefore can't ever have new boobs...." that is NOT bad news...

**He didn't make it....can you clean that up mom?

**I have no homework, sweet more time to watch tv and play on your computer!

These pretty much hit the highlights of my day. Enjoy.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Holy Crap here comes May...

It boggles my mind that May is upon us already. It couldn't have come fast enough when I consider how very long the snow has lasted.....cause honestly, the mountains are still covered with the white crap. But the amount of time that has flown since Christmas just amazes me.

The Man has been gone three months now. Strangely it feels much longer than when he was deployed overseas, gone for six months straight. He's been home four times already and we're getting better at just enjoying that time. Well, we enjoy that time and then we do home improvement stuff, like sod, sprinklers and starting the deck. However, I must say that the children have started to revolt. At first, they handled it like the good little military children that they were, except now, Duchess has completely declared war. She is all about the guilt factor now. Poor guy, I have to moniter her conversations so she doesn't lay it down too thick. It's not like he's having a Shrek Karoake Party down there. For the time being though, it appears that we will continue to live in two separate states while we work at meeting in the middle. So until then, we have our brand new house here, the girls and I making way in Utah while The Man is working in the oil/gas field in South Texas, working on his state license and flying home the occassional weekend. All this while still doing his school, he rocks. And he's got the red neck to go with the attitude, cause boy he doesn't ever remember the sun screen. Sexy!

Duchess sadly still hasn't mastered her last name. Dear heavens, I know it's unusual but it's not that hard. But being left-handed and there are some unusual letters in there, so I gotta give her props for trying. So right now, she's up on the bar writing it over and over and over. I've been slacking in my homeschooling efforts...dreadful of me, really. However, the kid did make the principal's list for overachievement and got her a part in the end of school program. Rocking baby girl, kick Kindergarten's arse! Look out first grade, here she comes.

Princess has put karate on hold since it's too hard on my "single-mom" schedule during the week, but we did manage to get a Saturday cheer class going. woohoo. Ain't nothing like getting up Saturday morning to her cheering and jumping around the house. If only she'd get some laundry done too, little slacker. She's working on her 12-multiplication sums right now, so she's staring daggers in the back of my head....think she knows I'm blogging? lol

Statistics can bite me. Looks like I'm gonna blow my 4.0 folks. It's so freaking painful to admit but I'm carrying a high B and I just can't seem to blow through that ceiling to an A. Dang! But can I just say, DON'T take Statistics! It's the devil.

Got some good med results this week, still waiting on two more tests, so cross your fingers. And slowly but surely my contacts/eyes are getting back to normal. I'm officially falling apart. Figures, as I'll be 32 this month. Doesn't that just blow?

So since we have no water this evening till 10 p.m., I'm gonna go blow off chores and instead paint my toenails are the bomb baby.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Spring came to Utah

Oh how I love me some spring. I never realized that until we moved to this God-forsaken place, but spring is my heart. I love it almost as much as Fall, which is my soul. (Don't blame me, I'm on meds, hence I'm poetic and sappy, kill me now)

But the good news: my yard is blooming..........

No sign of black thumb death anywhere, just tiny little blooms and purty colors. I'm all atwitter. I must say that in the two + years since we moved here, I've never spent this much time outside, but I'm feeling it these days. I have missed it more than I realized. San Diego was climate perfection and I must say that I throughly enjoyed my years there. We were never inside, always enjoying the outdoors. My laundry was always behind and the kitchen was always dirty. Who cares. In Texas, it was too freaking hot to be outside, same backed up chores. I can't wait to blow this popcicle stand but I must say, I'm gonna enjoy it now, cause I have a yard that needs my help. As long as I wear gloves!

Being so far from my bayou home, I have searched high and low looking for plants that remind me of home. Hello honeysuckle.......(and yes, I'm too tired to rotate pics). I planted two vines this afternoon between showers. Since bees frequent these heavenly smelling creatures, I planted them under bedroom windows where our screens will keep them out, but let the smell in. Yum. I planted pine trees too, boy can you see the look on peeps faces in 15 years when those bad boys are 100 ft tall, lol. In the desert......woop wooop.

The good news is that the sprinklers work dude.'s perfect. And I did it, I did the whole dancing in the sprinklers dance. Yet another thing to add to the neighbor's list of why I am an unappropriate neighbor. (added perk there)


And since I'm getting my yard in order, it was time to get my kitchen udpated as well. I have been cooking on the same Wareever set of cookware my mom gave me when I got married. 12 years ago. Professional, heavy duty stuff there peeps. Except, I was down to a pot and a skillet. If you cook as much as me, you need more. So I broke down and got a whole new set. These babies are so stinking purty and they cook like a DREAM. Hello.

Did I mention they match my cabinets and are dishwasher safe? Have you noticed that I have serious obsessive problems?

And the fruit of my labor? A GF carrot cake, glorious stolen (borrrowed?) and adjusted for GF cooking from Country Girl.
In other news, I've been hit from every side with issues lately: med stuff, trying to get used to contacts for my new presciption, and school stuff, but thanks to my peeps (read: my mom) who is praying me through. What does not kill us makes us stronger. I've really been avoiding my blog lately because it's hard now that so many in-my-life people know me as Hope4Grace that I find myself hesistant to put stuff out there. So I'm struggling with the need for privacy and the need to vent and write it out of my system, which is what this blog was created for. Do you share all your life on your blog?