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

Thursday, December 31, 2009

The Air is Fresher Here

I forgot how much I love the lake. It's so relaxing here, no shopping, no rushing around, no eatting out, no bs. It's very laidback and lowkey. I haven't seen the kids or Dave frown for days now. We made a trip into Jay today to hit the Walmart (thanks mom for the walmart atlas, it was perfect) and got a few things for our trip to Texas, mainly me a real work coat. Thick, warm and bought in a small from the men's department I fit right in with everyone else plus I'm warm. Matches my boots, hot stuff baby.

This morning I slept in and then started my day properly by falling down the stairs. Other than a slight limp my right leg will eventually get better, I'm a complete dork. Dave moves fast, but other than grab me and carry me down the rest of the stairs, he didn't even stop in his telling of a story to his dad. I guess he's used to me by now.

Dave also managed to scare the living crap out of me this morning. I should have seen this one coming. Down from the lake house is the bigest blind dip I've ever seen in a highway. You don't see it coming, there is no sign, but once you go over the lip, it's straight down and then a small dip and straight up. Of course I was talking with my hands and laughing and the evil clown didn't say a word, just floored the truck and grinned as he went flying over the lip. I haven't screamed that loud and long in quite some time. Then we agreed to bring our kids back for that ride after lunch. I'll be watching for it and holding onto the "oh shit bar".

My girls were so awesome visiting everyone yesterday but the highlite was the Uncle Jose visit to the firestation. Dave took the new chief hunting when he was in Texas so the chief showed up to see us too, that was fun. It was a great 3 hour visit capped off with all of us (me riding shotgun) riding the firetruck around the block with the sirens blaring and the radio headsets crackling. I took lots of pics and we asked alot of questions. The kids really made me proud by asking alot of science related questions.

Tomorrow we leave for OKC to visit more family and catch up with a girlfriend I haven't seen in years. Looking forward to it. Saturday will see us up early and heading to Beaumont, Texas to move into our new "house".

Have I mentioned that our new "house" is a 30 ft pull trailer that will follow Dave from job to job for the next year?

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Day One of the Rest of My Life

Today was a really good day (Only a little bitter sweet cause I wasn't able to share it with my mom and dad). Three spare bedrooms, spread out in the house, so the girls ended up on the other side from us, this didn't last so Dave wound up snuggling with Duchess and fell asleep. I just went to bed alone and slept like a rock until Murphy woke me up by bouncing on my head, guess he needed to really go out at 8 something in the morning. Sigh.

This area recently had alot of snow which is unusual for this time of year. So man oh man, we were house bound for awhile today and it was great. A nice treat after the past two days of road rush.

I helped my MIL with her website design and then Dave and I hit the tiny local lake grocery store and surprise, they had a lot of gluten free food. Fun times. I get to eat while we're here. Spaghetti with salad for dinner and those new betty crocker gluten free cookies for dessert. I'm so freaking full, bedtime is not far off.

Dave and I also made a quick run to the town and it was crazy to realize that 13 years later we were cruising the same streets as when we started dating and became a "we".

Tomorrow is a good adventure. Not only do we get to go and see family and friends we haven't seen in years, we are taking the kids on a "mommy/daddy" memory trip. We're showing them where we lived and where we met and etc. They are so excited. And frankly, so am I.......


Well no internet at the hotel making a 1350 mile trip in less than 2 days make for a busy schedule. We have landed in Oklahoma as of 1-ish last night. Exhausted isn't quite the word, but it's close.

We left SLC area around 4 pm on Sunday afternoon headed for a family visit in Oklahoma with the inlaws before moving on to Beaumont/Houston area. Bless his heart, Dave drove with both kids and the dog while I followed in my car which was packed to the roof around me. Lucky for him, the kids had so many electronics and the dog was just happy to be included that everyone were angels for the trip. I got alot of peace and quiet, it was great.

It took us three hours to hit Moab where it was a striking -4 degrees. I have never been so freaking cold in my life. This is also where the kids managed to slam the tip of my finger in the car door, causing the cuticle to bust and pour blood, it wasn't pretty. Dave found me some $8 bandaids (thanks stop and rob store) and I managed not to throw up on myself. I'm getting better!

And then pushed on through the night until we hit I-40 in Gallup NM. The hotel was crap but it was warm and accepted Murphy so I can't really complain!

Yesterday saw us make it almost all the way to the Missouri line before we got to my inlaws. Not a bad trip at all. Lots of quick stops, lots of cigs and music on my end.

All in all, I'm thrilled to be out of my car. We're resting today and will post some pics of the trip this afternoon.

Hugs and kisses,
Hope4Grace aka Road Warrior

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Three, Two..........One....

Today is D day. The house was emptied yesterday, alot of which we blessed to our friends, the really good stuff in storage and alot to the dump. Now it's just the final purge, just Dave and me before we pick up girls from my mom and hit the road.

Couldn't have done this without the help of some AMAZING friends. Three guys, three trucks, a moving van and my mom and brother. Once again, you slay me with your generous natures. I aim to be as much of a blessing to others.

But for now, I am attempting to get my fingers working in this 11 degree ice prision and get my butt in gear. We hope to make ABQ tonight. By this time next week we'll be settling into our new "home" in Texas.

Hopefully pics to come....of trip.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Ho Ho Ho

He's home. This morning, we watched him deplane and come down those airport stairs for hopefully the last time. He's here to take over and take me to Texas.

He also brought me a gift. It's very rare that I get surprised with a present. I had no clue this time. I got an ebook reader and permission to fill it with as many books as I want to buy. This will keep our small traveling space clear of bulky books and let me indulge in my book obession. I'm a book slut peeps.

Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night.........

With much love,
The Hope4Grace Family

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Step Five

Admit that you're falling way behind in schedule and am anxiously waiting for husband to land tomorrow morning so he can take control. I do so love the control thing the military breeds into a guy. I have complete faith that he'll totally take over and make my life so much easier....cause that is what 12 years of marriage has produced. He backs me up when my mouth writes checks my arse can't cash. I adore that man.

Anywho, since the warranty peeps needed two full weeks to get my radio replaced, looks like I'm going on a long roadtrip without a radio/cd player/surround bose sound/tape player (yeah, I actually still have tapes, classics!). So I loaded up my ipod with some serious road jams and I'm working out the playlists now. Cause everyone has a hobby, and playlists seem to be mine.

Soooooooo as you ascertained already, I'm not packed. I'm not ready for this move. I'm exhausted and I'm waiting on my hero to show up and save the day. What a liberated woman I am. :)

Oh and can I say how absolutely awesome it is not to have a job........for the first time since high school, it is amazing not to have to juggle everything at once.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009


Snow storm time...yuck.

And after driving through it with my ever helpful bro, just to creep home. The freaking storm subsides and it's just cute little flurries. But it's coming back tonight.

I'm going to cook, clean and maybe pack.

I'm not leaving this house.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Aint Gonna Miss This

Thanks a million to my momma and my girls, I'd already plowed twice this day and they lovingly shoveled the end of my driveway.
I'm not gonna miss snow.
I miss humidity and heat.

Blessings oh blessings

I have to completely believe that we are on the right path. When you walk on faith, doors open so smoothly and the blessings flow. Which is sooooo different from trying to force something to happen.

Today, I rented out my house. There are no words.

I'm celebrating my actually cooking dinner.

Dave washed our new house and has been getting everything set up and ready to go. He'll be here in 2 days, and won't be leaving us again. We're going with him. There are no words that can express how excited my kids are about that fact. They need their daddy. And I'm blessed that they have such a great daddy.

I'm still not sure if we'll fit everything into our storage unit, I'm not the weather will be pleasant for a cross country trip, and I'm not sure I'll be able to leave my mom without a full crying hysterical breakdown (on my end) but I do knwo this.....

I'm so very blessed.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Oh I love school

I have a professor who repeatedly has spelling errors in his critiques.

I have a professor who misspelled his own name in a posting.

I have a professor who has posted wrong information in regards to test answers.

I have a professor who hates my guts because when my grade was wrong due to those wrong answers, I emailed him proof and requested that he correct my grade.

I have the same professor who tells me that I'm "Surprisingly well written" after grading my papers.

I seriously am flabbergasted! And really offended. I hope they offer professor reviews for this class.

A well deserved break

I took this afternoon off, spent it helping my mom make the major gumbo......

What a blessing she has been to me.

I love you mom, I'm not leaving you....I'll always be there in phone calls everyday, facebook stalking and lots of visits.....

I dig you

Saturday, December 19, 2009

really? really?

As I get closer to Christmas it is becoming more and more real to me that this Christmas will be different. It really still seems impossible that I'll be leaving Utah. I can't wrap my head around life outside of this place. It's been three long years and honestly I can't wait.

Even better, Dave will be home for Christmas and then instead of leaving us, he's driving with us back halfway across the country. Beaumont Texas, here we come.

Oh baby, my heart pounds just to write that.

So this Christmas/holiday season truly feels like the best already. I can't wait. Even if I'm not sure all my stuff will fit in the storage unit, I can't wait.

P.S. I'll be blogging and keeping updates as we travel! As usual, it'll be a griswald vacation because we just can't seem to operate any other way. :)


the results of Princess' karate photo session are in

and this is my fav

she totally didn't get those long legs from me, no wonder she's almost as tall as I am at 10 years old

a little sad though, not sure if she'll have a place to practice karate in Texas, we'll have to see about that

but my baby is so gorgeous here

and red headed, geeezzzz.....guess she did get my hair color

Friday, December 18, 2009

Step Four

More packing....

So tomorrow bright and early I have packers coming, oh so thank you peeps. My goal is to stage all light furniture and boxes in the garage till Dave gets home. Fun times are coming. Today I accomplished nothing, seriously nothing. My stomach decided to revolt (it must dislike Utah too) and I decided that napping and resting was in order. Surprisingly I'm still tired and am ready for bed.

But tomorrow is a special day so it's early up for me.

Tomorrow my baby turns 7. My baby as in the youngest of my litter. My baby as in my precious little Duchess. Who is so freaking excited. So we're taking her out to lunch, my mom and I (three generations of redneck fun) and she requested a trip to the local rib joint. After we assured her it wasn't unladylike to be smeared with bbq.

I'm looking forward to spoiling my baby tomorrow.

And hopefully getting most of the rest of my house together. Sigh.....

Thursday, December 17, 2009


I actually cooked tonight, a first this week. I've been so overwhelmed trying to get this place packed up and deal with all the hoopla that is involved. I'm exhausted and sore. I'm not lifting (much) but my energy levels are low. Having to moniter my bp again during the day. But there is an end in sight.

Except I packed the kitchen except for pots/pans and it's dang hard to cook the dinner without the extras. Such as measuring cups........shit.

So here we go...

Dave lands in one week. Oh thank you Jesus.


So kids are in school, I'm unemployed and packing my house.

GAC is blaring and I'm dancing around in my underwear....

And the UPS man knocks on the door.

Damn it.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

oh my girlie

So Duchess had her Christmas program tonight. Fantastic....only complaint, the general NOISE produced from over 300 parents of first graders and a million little kids let loose in the gym during the kids performance. Insane people....keep your kids under control.....borrow my spoon, my belt or even my shoe!

Otherwise my baby was great. She's the punk in the pink plaid with the pink hat.......go baby go

Tuesday, December 15, 2009


When the Lord moves, the Lord moves...

I needed new brakes and roters for my car before traveling it half away across the country. The problem is that Dave has always been my mechanic and I'm spoiled. Big time spoiled. So I started calling around to get quotes as he won't have time to deal with my car issues. Poor me. The problem is that these people have no conscious, at all. Sadly. So finally, I went to a place in my local town and I was flabbergasted.

Once again, the Lord provides. The man looked over my car and then straight into my face said, $180 for all of it. God Bless these mechanics. Not only does my car drive like a dream, my checkbook it happy too. Looking out for me!

So today, my former nanny backed her car up and loaded up a lot of toys, a tv and three bags of kids clothes. Rather than throw anything away, I was able to donate it to their family. I'm already working on the next load. No worries guys, I'm not tossing stuff that can be used by another family! :) I'm passing on the blessings.

Cross your fingers, I'm hoping to have all boxes packed by the end of this coming weekend. And so far I've just managed to make the largest mess in Utah. There is no walking through the house without full lights on! I'm hoping to have some volunteer packers tomorrow, hopefully that blessing will bear fruit.

Now I'm going to dig out my tea bags, I need tea.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Step Three

Errands. They will be the death of me. I keep forgetting how much there is to do before you can actually move.

Today, we rocked.

Mom and I hit the road at 8. Got more boxes and tape. Opened a new bank account. Located and reserved our climate controlled storage space. Hit up the pharmacy for my refills and found out how to transfer them to a nationwide chain. Started packing the kids' rooms. Set aside a ton of stuff to donate and even more to toss. Made list of things to sell.

Dave was just as productive. He rained out after lunch so he joined us in getting it done. He got us an address in Beaumont for our mail. Yeah, been six years since I've been a postal box girl but okay. Then he found us a new place to live. A really nice place from the sounds of it, can't wait to see pics and we can have Murphy with us. Yeah! Now he is looking at larger trailers so the kids can have a space of their own while on the road.

How much fun is this?

Exhausting but fun......

8 days till my guy gets home.

(Man do I have a super massive amount of work for him)

Tomorrow is gonna be another crazy day.......need brakes and roters done before road trip. Off to get quotes.

Step Two

Prep kids......and have them memorize the following:

I wish I was in the land of cotton,
old times there are not forgotten,
Look away, look away, look away, Dixie land.
In Dixie land where I was born in, early on a frosty mornin',
Look away, look away, look away, Dixie land.
Then I wish I was in Dixie, hooray! Hooray!
In Dixie land I'll take my stand, to live and die in Dixie,
Away, away, away down south in Dixie,
Away, away, away down south in Dixie.

Old Missus marry Will de Weaber, Will-yum was a gay deceaber,
Look away, look away, look away, Dixie land.
But when he put his arm around her,
smiled as fierce as a forty pounder.
Look away, look away, look away, Dixie land. (Chorus)

Dars buckwheat cakes an' ingen batter, makes you fat or a little fatter,
Look away, look away, look away, Dixie land.
Den hoe it down and scratch your grabble to Dixie's land
I'm bound to travel,
Look away, look away, look away Dixie land. (Chorus)

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Step One

Step one is now in progress. I'm making lists and starting piles of things to take with us. It's not going to be much. The rest is being readied for packing. Going into storage.

Hopefully if all goes to plan, the kids and I will be TEXAS by New Years.

This will make sure that I have a very good start to a new year.

I can't even begin to start to tell you what this feels like. My stress levels are so freaking low. Still needing my meds for sleeping and such but hopefully that will change soon. I've never felt so very blessed.

I have learned so much from my lessons here in Utah, lessons that the Lord patiently taught me. I will carry those with me forever. That said, I will strive to NEVER put myself in a position where I put money first, where I am tempted by the lure of money. Utah has been such a learning experience for us. We came here following the highest bidder for work, and we have been miserable. This place is sooooooooo not us.

But now, my focus has narrowed and become very clear.

We're going home peeps.

And if that is surprising, well stick around cause it's gonna get more shocking as things fall into place.

So I'm gonna go finish packing up my work clothes and shoes. I can happily wear my jeans, boots and hoodies everyday now.

Life is really really good here. And for the first time in a long time, I can breathe so easily.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Tis the season

I got laid off last Thursday.

24 hours later, I hit my knees thanking God for his blessings. He knows what we need and his path clears the doubts.

Peeps, prepare yourselves.

I'm leaving Utah.

Join me in a happy dance.

Heading out to use my snow blower since we got another 5 inches last night. Strangely, I don't mind at all, the snow is temporary. :)

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Oh my

Our evening took quite the turn tonight. Rarely do I get the chance to really sit and talk about big important events with my kids one on one. Tonight I got that chance.

Princess came home from school with some facts about Pearl Harbor. All said with a smile and I had to stop her and explain why mommy was tearing up.

Pearl Harbor hurts my heart.

No matter what I accomplish in this life, one of my most important accomplishments is the fact that for ten years, I was a military wife. No I didn't actually serve. But in a sense I did.

I was there the day he left for bootcamp, I can still remember the hug of steel and the desperate kiss as he struggled to be nonchalant and sober. The look in his eyes was apprehensive and proud. It was that day that he developed a habit that he never changed......he walked away to the military without looking back. (Never in 10 years of deployments and underways has he ever looked back on the walk down the pier, focus ahead.....that is his way, it took me a long time to understand that was his way to actually leaving even when he didn't want to.)

I was there the day he graduated bootcamp. So shiney, so strong, so tall. He stood out among his classmates. He was older than 99% of them, military bearing was so natural to him. I was so proud that day, there really are no words. I'll never forget how he found me in the crowd afterward they released everyone and the place became an instant crush. He'd let some of his fellow sailors smell my perfume (from my letters, how very old fashioned of me....we still have all of those too) and it was a tall, lanky kid who grabbed my hand, sniffed my neck and yelled that he'd found me.

Two weeks later, we married on Dec 22, 1997 because we didn't want to be apart. So I went with him to his schooling and then onto his first ship assignment....

I was there for every assignment. I was there when he called to tell me he'd been burned. I was there when he called to tell me about a close call with a flooding chamber. I was there in every email, phone call and letter.

I have prayed more for that man than anything else in my life.

The military is something very near and dear to me. So I sat Princess down and explained Pearl Harbor. She's almost 11. It's was time. As the magnitude set in, I reminded her that the military is the very backbone of our freedoms. I explained that as a future woman, why she was blessed to live in America. And when she didn't grasp that, I explained the rights of women in some other countries. I pointed out the differences.

Then she dropped the bomb.

She's really been thinking of joining the military when she is older.

I explained that I would be proud of that. I also explained that after COLLEGE that would be an option. Because education = choices. I also explained that while I would support whatever she wanted to do, her daddy might be a problem. He will always see her as the blond toddler following him around....and that man is against anything dangerous for his kids.

But he surprised me tonight. He had an intelligent, supportive conversation with her. He didn't exactly embrace the idea but agreed that education = choices and if that was her choice, he'd do whatever to help her get there. Once again, he made me oh so proud.

So for now, she wants to be a Naval Officer. Last month it was a large animal vet. Next month might be an astronaut. But you know least she is thinking and dreaming and looking forward.

I can't ask for more.

Except maybe that she cleans out from under her bed.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Who Dat?

Way to geaux saints! It's awesome to see my home team kick some butt. First time in franchise history to go this far with no loss. Thank you Drew Brees.

I sure do miss my home state sometimes. The parties being held back home right now are yet another reason!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

I Deserve A Cookie

Today was busy. Not only did we conquer Mount Laundry before noon. Me sorting, them stuffing and switching loads and dragging up the stairs and me folding, them putting away. We team work like crazy here now. We also cleaned out all five (yes FIVE) junk drawers and then under the sink. Poor Maddy was dragging trash bags out like crazy. Serious muscles on that kid! We then sorted out all the kids' summer clothes and folded them nicely to be stored away till spring (whenever the hell it shows up here in Utah).

Then it was time to get dressed (sue me if it was more partially dressed) and head out for Princess' karate pictures. Cause we've missed the last two sessions this year, bad mommy. When we got there, I got to catch up with a couple of the other moms I have missed seeing while in my funk. It went great, the kid was amazingly cute.

And when I ran into another person quite unexpectedly, one that I don't really care for, well I deserve a cookie cause I was polite (quite the accomplishment for me these days) then I managed the grocery shopping.

Then I collapsed and took a huge nap. And after a quick dinner, I'm taking a pill and visiting the sandman..........Enter sandman.........I'm done.

Tomorrow I'm not moving from the couch. Scouts honor

Bored = Baking

I love to cook, but occassionally I try new recipes........ and while tasty beyond belief, the petit fors turned out butt ugly, but gluten-free! Yeah! With raspberry layers. Oh my baby.

But my real treat, the homemade southern pralines I made........oh just look at the calories.

Except I let them go a little too long, hence burnt first batch...........GAG
But the second batch.......... = perfection....... took a little longer to harden but oh so worth it.

And since I cook when I'm feeling strange (which is alot lately) I'm making dirty rice today. We'll see what else I whip up while I'm in here.....

Friday, December 4, 2009


I made it to the weekend. Manage to work three full days, next week I promised myself I would stop counting. Getting back into my schedule. Sore and tired but pills peeps pills.

Also, I love my guy. That rare email made my day, giving me the reminder I need to keep moving forward and towards our common goal. I do so love him and I'm so very blessed that he still thinks I'm a catch.

I'm so blessed, even if my dog did throw up plastic blue crap next to my bed. Sigh

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Baby Steps

I made it through my first day back at work. And came home to promptly collapse and proceed to hold down the couch, cause that bastard keeps trying to run away! You can't get away from me though, so it's still here.

Again my kids bring a tear to my eye......they totally rocked tonight. They got homework done (thank you Nicole), and the house somewhat picked up......yeah.......somewhat, lol. That counts tonight. So if we're low on towels and their rooms are scary........who cares........cause they are cute and sweet and don't complain, they snuggle........on the couch.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009


So I had a good visit with my dr. She cracks me up. Seriously, besides the prescription I got for sleep aid, the talk on blood pressure and the okay to return to work....she wrote Dave a prescription too, for Christmas. Wonder if he'll think that is as funny as I do?

So after my visit, I came home and the kids' and I made our plan for the rest of the week. Then I went to wash my hair.....which apparently was a bat signal.......cause Duchess wanted to know why I was getting all fancy? (geez should wash hair more).... seems my afternoon nap buddy is gonna miss her momma. Finally the mom gets some of the love around here.

Big hugs to Dave for the new phone. I now don't have to spend half of our conversations going......"wait, i can't hear you, talk louder" it's really cool.

Here's to hoping I sleep meds, fresh hair and sheets.........surely this is the right combo for sleep......right?