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Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Disconnecting

I got my first iPhone in 2009, after about 3 minutes I thought "How did I ever live without this?!" and I have been hooked since. You can spout your love of your Androids and how much better they are, but I am not listening. Maybe it's just because I feel like I'm too tired to learn something new, but I can't imagine ever having something other than an iPhone.

Now don't get me wrong, I am not saying I am getting the new $1000 version, but I do love my iPhone. It's pretty cool that I have a camera in my pocket and that I can catch up with friends (and enemies) far and near by just tapping an app. My abundance of email accounts and social media apps, coupled with my OCD kicking in whenever I see ANY little red number on an app means I am on my phone a lot. Like A LOT, A LOT.

As long as I have been giving PDs for teachers (read: 12 years) I have said some version of "And if you have any questions, feel free to email me. I will probably get back to you within the hour unless I am at Commonwealth Stadium." And this was pretty true. As soon as my email buzzed, I answered. Once I woke up in the middle of the night and picked up my phone to see what time it was, and saw an email, which I promptly replied to. The next day, the teacher stopped me and said "Do you ever sleep?"

My one exception to this has always been vacation. When I am actually ON vacation my email is OFF on my phone. It's the only way I can relax. I turn it off, I don't think about it, and when I get back to work after the week, I deal with the consequences of my choice.  Or as my former 4th grade teacher self would put it, the opportunity cost for having it off for a week at the beach is being chained to my desk for the first three hours back going through the 200 emails that have come in.

Last week was our Fall Break. Last week, I took a vacation and went to Pennsylvania for some much needed E&J time (and some E&J&J&J time).  When I came back to work on Monday, I spent the better part of the morning sorting, replying, fixing, and deleting. At around lunch time, I realized I hadn't turned it back on on my phone yet. And I made a decision.

I'm not doing it.

I am not turning my work email back on on my phone.

Monday and Tuesday, I was in my office all day, so during the day it was a moot point...or as Joey Tribbiani would say:

via GIPHY

However, today I was out of the office from 8-3 doing Learning Walks in some of our schools with the leadership teams from our schools and central office. I didn't bring my laptop, our Learning Walks are old school take notes on paper deals, so I didn't need it. Plus, I figured that I was with most of the people who would need something from me anyway.  The most interesting part of the day was in the hallways between classroom visits, in the school media centers during breakfast/lunch/breaks, basically any time we weren't watching a teacher and filling out our Plus/Delta sheets, every single administrator I saw was on his or her phone. Every. Single. One. It's funny the things you notice when you are NOT on your phone.

Hear me out, I am not judging, because I was that person just a couple of weeks ago. But I just don't want to be that person anymore. When I got to my office today, it had been approximately 22 hours since I had checked my email, and the building was still standing! I had 36 emails in my inbox, and another dozen or so in subfolders (thank you inbox rules). Nothing in there was too crucial (I fancy myself pretty important, but no one's going to die because CoolMathGames is blocked). Plus, I know that the most important people in my school district have my cell phone number and would text me anyway. Also, to be perfectly honest, there were a couple of emails in my inbox that had I seen them, they would've changed my attitude and put me in a bad mood all day today...and no one wants that to happen.

So, at least for the time being, if you e-mail me after 5pm, expect an answer in the morning.  As I told a friend tonight, I don't have a husband and kids I spend my evening with, but I do have a Deacon, and sometimes, I just have a couch I want to lay on.



Friday, July 21, 2017

Sunsets

I've seen the sun rise on water several times. The first time I watched the sun rise at the beach, I was at Hilton Head. We woke up and it was already light out and we thought we'd missed it. But the light comes first, then the tip of the sun, then it pushes out of the water and the waves dance with all the colors of a new day. It's always refreshing, invigorating. It always makes me want to say "Thank you God for waking me up this morning and giving me the chance to try again" (which is something I try to say every morning, but it seems more heartfelt when you're watching the sun peak over the horizon). This year, I was blessed to watch the sun rise on the ocean at Jacksonville Beach on New Years Day, and I was immediately filled with hope for the possibilities to come in 2017.

 My Bucket List also contains watching the sun set on water. I've been close a few times, in San Diego, in Clearwater, Florida, and now in Pensacola, but I've never quite made it. There's always a house or a cloud or a peninsula jutting out in my way. They're always still lovely, even though I've not seen the water light up like a fire as the sun tucks its head away for the night. But it's not as exciting, is it? While the sunrise seems full of promise, the sunset seems to taunt me, whispering "Another day is gone. What do you have to show for it?"

Some days I think my answer would be "Nothing." Logically that's probably not true, but some days it feels like I'm just going through the motions with not a lot to show for it.

But on this particular day, my answer is a few more freckles, sandy toes, a full stomach, and several new pictures on my camera roll.

I think that's enough for today.

We'll see what I have to say to Mr. Sunset tomorrow.




Monday, July 17, 2017

Conversations

Contradicting the laws of what I think should be true, but confirming the laws of mathematics, my 20 year high school reunion was this weekend. While it was a low turnout (class of 97, if you are reading this, I vote Keeneland for our 25th), it was a fun night with familiar faces, laughing about old times until the wee hours of the morning.

I had stumbled across this picture a few days before the event, taken the summer between high school and college on our way to the Carter County Fair. Inspired by dozens of sibling sets I have hilariously seen do this on Pinterest, I wanted to recreate this picture after the reunion. 
If you're wondering why this is a circle, all I can think is it was the 90s and I probably had a circular frame it was in...or just it was the 90s.
When I texted this to the always active group text with Megan and Jen(ny), Megan replied "I am not making that face." To which I corrected her "Yes you are. That's what recreating the picture means." And she did it because I am bossy and maybe she is still scared of me a little. Anyway, we didn't make it back in front of that house, and sadly that 1989 Prelude (that you can't really see but that I know is in the background) is long gone, but we did end up with this:

Now, if you are friends with me on social media, you've already seen this, because I posted it immediately. It honestly might be one of my favorite things of all time. I can't help but smile whenever I see it. How has it been twenty years since that top picture? TWENTY YEARS?! I don't get it. As I was looking at this picture over and over every time a notification popped up, I was thinking about the difference in those girls. And not just the few grey hairs and wrinkles that we might be covering up, but the deep down differences too. Not to be too Brad Paisley over here, but if those girls at Grayson Lake could sit down with those girls on West Main Street, what would that conversation look like?

Maybe something like this...

Enjoy the moment you're in. Even if you don't want to be in that moment forever, enjoy it while it's here. 
Travel more. Spending money on experiences is much better than spending money on "stuff." You already have plenty of stuff.
Stop worrying. 
Stop obsessing about your make up. (Your college roommate is going to tell you that everyone looks basically the same without make up and with. You're going to think she's insane. At age 38, you will believe her.) 
Stop comparing yourself to other girls. You are different. Different is good. You weren't created to be them, you were created to be you. 
Stop overanalyzing.  
Stop and take a walk (you're going to wish you started getting those 10,000 steps a day a lot earlier than you did). 
Stop and look around.
Listen to the birds. 
Listen to your friends. 
Listen to your heart. If that little voice tells you he's not the one, guess what? He's not. LISTEN.
Call people you care about. Even when this thing comes along called texting and you never "have to" talk on the phone, it's good to hear each other's voices.
Stand up for what you believe in.
If you don't want to do something, don't do it. And don't think you have to have an excuse, you don't. Just don't do it.
Tell that boy you think he's cute. Boys are slow sometimes, he might not be catching on.
If it's not something you can talk to your mom about, then you probably shouldn't be doing it.
When the credit card bill comes, pay it off every month (or at least pay more than the minimum payment).
Speaking of money, in 7 years, this thing called Google is going to start selling shares for $85 each. Buy some of those.

Oh, and I know unlike these other two girls, you weren't ever a Girl Scout, but I know you've heard them sing the song "Make new friends, but keep the old, one is silver and the other gold." Take that to heart. These girls will be there for you when no one else will. There will be times you are completely convinced there's no one in the world who even notices you besides them. The next 20 years will be much more eventful than the first ten or so since you met. You'll be there for each other for big things-amazing things and devastating things. You'll hold one another up when one of you can't stand. You'll pray the prayers for one another when one of you is too tired or sad or overwhelmed to even muster the words on her own. There will be a day when you will get to meet their husbands and then, hold their babies, and those moments will be precious. Realize what you've got here, and hold on tight, even when life pulls you apart. In the end, it will be worth it.

 
Friday, June 10, 2016

How to Savannah on a Budget by Erin & Crystal

I mentioned to someone at church Sunday that I was going on vacation this week. "Oh, where are you going?" She asked.
"Savannah," I replied. 
Her response: "Again?"

Yes. Again. Don't judge me. 

Several people have asked for recommendations, so I'm dusting off the blog to bring you How to Savannah on a Budget. 

Getting there
I've been to Savannah close to a dozen times. Before, I've always driven. I can get here from Lexington in a little less than 8.5 hours (unless my mom is reading this, which in that case, it takes me about 9. I don't speed mom, really). This time we flew. Allegiant now has flights mon stop from Lexington, and we scored tickets for $100 each (round trip). This did include checking a bag, but between the two of us, we just checked 1. The weight limit is 40 pounds/checked bag. We didn't even hit 30 between the two of us, so why would you pay for 2 bags? Plus, you still get a "personal item" free (I used my 31 pool/beach bag; Crystal brought a backpack). Plenty of room, saves money, win/win. 

Obviously if you can fly for cheap, fly. 1.5 hours in the air > 8.5 in the car. 

Where to Stay
I've stayed a little bit of everywhere-hotels outside of Savannah that were super cheap, hotels in the historic district that were a bit pricey, hotels on the outskirts of town. I hate to spend a lot of money for a place where I'm just sleeping, but location is important in Savannah. This time we did an AirBnB off Forsyth Park , and honestly I doubt I'll ever stay anywhere else. (If you're new to AirBnB, use this link for $25 off your first booking!)


The location was great, the last pic was the view just outside out front door, and yes, that's Forsyth Park. It was close enough that we could walk over and drink our coffee in the morning, and it was no more than a mile from anything in Savannah we wanted to do. The rates were cheaper than nearly any hotel we saw, and it was a nice place. Good towels, comfy sheets, and a full kitchen if we'd ever wanted to make dinner (which we did not, but you never know). 

Getting Around
Now obviously, in the past, I've always had a car in Savannah. This time, we decided to just see if we could make it without. Guess what-we could. Now don't get me wrong, I'm not saying we didn't go far (one day I had over 25,000 steps) but we really didn't NEED a car because of the location of the AirBnB. 

The times we wanted to go far (airport, Tybee) we just got an Uber, and never had to wait more than a few minutes for a ride. The Uber to/from the airport was about $20. To Tybee was a bit more, but we actually ended up not paying much at all. You see, while I don't use the Uber app every often, I remembered if a friend uses your referral link to sign up, they get $20 off their first ride, and then you get $10 off your next ride. I gave my referral code to Crystal before we went to Tybee, she signed up, and our ride there was $2.50. I requested the car on the way home, and our fare was $12.50. A trip to Tybee and back for $15? Yes, please! (If you're new to Uber, here is my referral link to get $20 off your first ride! You can then share your code with someone else (like a traveling companion) and get the same sweet deal we did! FYI that link must be accessed from your phone)

There's also a free dot Express Shuttle that will take you to certain points in the city. We didn't use it, but saw it several times. (Look for the purple bus stop signs or visit connectonthedot.com)

What to Do
Take a tour. 
I might be a nerd (let's face it, the "might" could for sure be taken out of that sentence), but I love the trolley tours. I've done several of them-the on and off Olde Time Trolley Tour, the on and off Old Savannah Tour, and the 90 minute Olgethorpe Tour that gives you on and off privileges afterwards. They're all good. I suggest choosing the one that is the cheapest that day. You're almost always better off buying online than in person.  You can search Google for coupon codes for each (that's what I did this trip, found a coupon code for $10 off two tours, it said the tour had to be booked 24hours in advance, and we were booking approximately 10 minutes in advance, but I tried the code and it worked!). Also, set your Living Social or Groupon app to the Savannah/Hilton Head location a few weeks before you go and you'll probably catch an even better deal. 

Several companies also offer carriage ride tours and walking tours which I've never done, but are on my list to try another time. Many of the historic homes have tours as well. 

In addition to the history tours, as Savannah is supposed to be one of the most haunted towns, there are a plethora of Ghost Tours to choose from. I've done a couple in the past, but sadly I've never seen the ghosts others claim to see.  

Visit River Street and City Market (or as my mom collectively calls them "Market Street"). There are a bunch of stores and places to eat in this area. Stop in River Street Sweets or Savannah's Candy Kitchen (or both!) and get a warm praline sample. You can thank me later. 

Just walk. 
Regardless if you're staying in the heart of it all or driving in from the outskirts, find a place to park downtown and just walk. There are over 20 "squares" (think teeny tiny parks) to sit and take in the nature, history & architecture, or drink a beer and people watch, you know, whatever tickles your fancy. 

There's also Forsyth Park which is a great place to sit and people watch, especially by the fountain. My personal favorite thing to do is to offer to take pictures for strangers so their whole family can be in one shot. I'm nice like that. 

Shopping
As I said before, there are lots of places on River Street to shop. One of my favorites is Savannah Bee Honey. They have a bunch of local honey that you can sample, as well as other honey products (soap, lotions, chap stick, etc.) it's definitely tell worth a stop. 

Another favorite is the ShopSCAD store. This is items created by local college (Savannah College of Art and Design) students, and there's some cool stuff in there. Now, I've never actually purchased anything because it's pretty expensive, but it's cool to look at. 

There are also Tanger Outlets close to the airport. So if your flight is cancelled and you have to stay another night, ask of your hotel will shuttle you there. The Country Inn & Suites will. Trust me, I know. Also, did you know Gap Outlet will ship your purchases home for only $5? I have utilized this on a previous trip and when I came home to a huge box it was like Christmas!

Tybee Island
If you're a beach person, hop in the car or use our Uber tip and head to Tybee. It's about 25 min outside of Savannah, and is a great beach. In the spring and fall, the beach is NOT crowded. In the summer, obviously a bit more so. Just by the Pavilion/Pier you can rent two beach chairs and an umbrella for $25 until 4:30. Worth it, even if you didn't save $30 getting there and back. 
There are also porch swings throughout the beach area. They make my heart happy. The beach AND a porch swing? Well that's the south at its finest. 

Where to Eat (and drink)
Now we get to the good stuff. Food. Drinks. Sweets. 

Savannah is full of places to eat whatever you're in the mood for. Again, check Groupon/Living Social for deals before your trip. (In the past I've even gotten buy one/get one deals.) When I'm close to the water, I eat seafood. If you're not a seafood fan, you might want to ask someone else for tips. 

Seafood
River Street is full of restaurants. What's nice is that they all have menus posted outside, so you know before you head in in you want to eat there. I always like to have a "go to" that I KNOW I love. It used to be Uncle Bubba's Shrimp and Grits, but then sadly, that restaurant closed (RIP). Luckily, a stop this week at The Cotton Exchange and an order of Cajun Tortellini has helped right all the wrongs in the world.  It was legitimately one of the best things I've ever eaten in my life. Cheese tortellini, seared scallops and shrimp, and a creamy Cajun sauce. Oh. My. Deliciousness. Now I'm not saying this is heath food, but I told you I walked 25,000 steps one day, so lay off me.  (Disclaimer: no picture. We were too hungry.) We also ordered the crab cake appetizer which was delicious. 

Another great choice is the fried fish sandwich at River House Seafood. So fresh and perfectly lightly fried. I got it with the Sirachia sauce instead of tarter. Yum!  

We happened on a couple of places that seemed to be full of locals as well (always a good sign) on special nights. Crystal Beer Parlor was having a pint night, and purchase of a certain beer yielded a free pint glass. Also Treylor Park on Bay Street has Taco Tuesday-free draft beer with the purchase of any tacos (I recommend the Fried Grouper-it was the catch of the day). Both restaurants have specials listed on their Facebook pages. 

Southern Comfort Food
I'm sure locals will tell you there's more than two choices, but I think all you need are these two: The Lady and Son's and The Wilkes' House. Both offer buffets of fried chicken, mashed potatoes, Mac and cheese, and other southern staples. Lady and Son's (Paula Deen's restaurant) also has a menu you can order from, but I prefer the buffet (honestly the best mashed potatoes ever in the history of the earth). You can request a table online and show up when it's time to eat. You can also just walk in and get a to go container and eat lunch in one of the close by squares (I've never actually done this, but I did email them to make sure that was a real thing and they told me in fact it is).  At Wilkes, you'll be waiting in line a while (about 45 min for us), and it's family style, so you'll be seated with a bunch of strangers (they say you can make friends this way, but my table was too busy stuffing our mouths to meet and greet). Wilkes has the BEST fried chicken. I think you can't go wrong either way. 

Dessert
As mentioned before, a good tiny bite of dessert is the free praline sample at one of the candy shops. If you're in the mood for more, you can always buy a whole praline, or any assortment of fudge, truffles, or chocolate covered anything.  

In City Market, there's a cookie shop called Byrd's. They make tiny shortbread cookies in dozens of flavors that are all scrumptious. They offer free samples (and you can sample several) as well as a free small bag of their featured flavor if you sign up for their email list while you're  there. 

If you're in the market for a cool treat (and don't mind waiting in line), Leopold's is the place to go. You might be in line for 30 minutes, but honestly. It's worth it. Best ice cream I've ever had. 

Drinks 
At Jen & Friends, there are over 300 martinis you can choose from. Yes. I said  300. Honestly, I could've put this under desserts, as the ones we got (Reese Cup and Rice Krispie Treat) were much more dessert like. At $9 a pop you won't want to have many, but honestly, you need to have one. 

There are several local beers that I fell in move with in Savannah (and sadly can't get in Kentucky)-Son of a Peach (brewed in South Carolina oddly) and Southern Delight Praline Amber brewed in Savannah by Coastal Empire. If you like beer, I recommend both, although not at once. :)

The interesting thing about Savannah is that there's no open container law, so you can get a beer, martini, etc to go and walk around with it. It's an odd situation at first, but we adapted fairly easily. ;)

So there you have it... the best things to do and see in one of my favorite places.  Now, if you will excuse me, I am off to find Cajun Tortellini recipes.

ENJOY!


Tuesday, September 15, 2015

A Little Bit of Decorating


The Problem:


I need something above this television.  I have never had anything there, but I just cut the cord with my cable (thank you Sling!!!) and now that the DVR box is gone, and I can finally display these lamps that were my Gurnie's (The story goes, my Papaw bought these at "the thrift" when they lived in Vero Beach, Florida. Gurnie told him they were ugly and were NOT going in her house. Then somehow, she found out they were worth hundreds of dollars, and they adorned her mantle every day after that!)
So ugly they're fabulous!

Anyway... back to the empty wall space.

So I wanted something above the television.  But the walls are plaster and it's a brick chimney behind them, and, well I didn't really want to hammer/drill/whatever to hang something.  I thought about doing one of those vinyl wall decals, but I have one on the adjacent wall that leads to the dining room, so I thought that was overkill... but I did like the idea of a word: blessed.

Among other things, every morning I pray that God helps me remember all of the blessings I do have and not to focus on the few things I don't have. It's easy to focus on what we don't though, isn't it?  I do try to be grateful and understand that I truly am blessed... but I will admit, sometimes it's harder than others.

The idea of this word blessed morphed into a Pinterest worthy idea, and I am pleased at how it turned out!

I went to Michael's for some canvases, paint, and brushes.  Can you believe that the $14.99 canvases were three for the price of one this week, and I had a coupon for $5 off a $25 purchase and my total was just at $25. See, I told you I was blessed!

Step one was painting the canvases a tan color. Oh, I'm sorry, "Unbleached Titanium." Which makes sense, because who wants bleach in their titanium?

Because I am highly aware of the fact that fonts are WAY cuter than my actual writing, I had found this free font online (I found it at 1001fonts.com but I can't remember which of the 1001 it was... sorry) and printed the word in like 635 point font. I wish I could've used this size on my 30 page grad school papers.  

I then turned it over and shaded the back with a pencil, so I could rub the outline of the letters on before I painted.





Look closely and you'll see the outline











Then it was just painting over the letters (which I readily admit I should've practiced before I went right in to the canvas, but hindsight is 20/20, right?) Today I bought the Command strips that are kind of like velcro, cleaned the wall and hung them up.  Those strips are the best because part stays on the wall and part on the wooden back of the canvas so I could straighten, move, etc very easily. I love those things.

So here it is now!



Again, the letters don't look as good as I wanted, but all in all I am happy.  And blessed. :)



Saturday, January 3, 2015

Fixing Single People

I love my DVR. I love that I can set a series recording and never miss a new episode of Scandal. I love that while watching a UK game, I can rewind and do my own version of an instant replay even if the SEC Network isn't going to show me the play again. I love that at the end of a close basketball game, I can pause the TV and watch in slow motion (which somehow makes me less of a nervous wreck). But I really love it because I can skip through commercials, because let me let you in on a little secret...



I



Hate



Commericals


Now, every now and then, there will be a funny commercial (the Taco Bell one where the guy kisses his girlfriend's dad on the cheek because he won't put down his tacos to shake his hand) or a sweet commercial (Peter coming home for Christmas) that I don't mind, but in general I am not a fan.



I have never taken an advertising class, but I have noticed that commercials are more than just selling us something, they are all about fixing us. A quick look at commercials will show you everything that's wrong with you, and what you need to buy to fix it. Lashes too short? Too much grey? Stomach too flabby? Hair too flat? You can get products to fix each of those problems.



And the latest catastrophe that's plaguing us? Singleness.



Are you still single? You need to be married! Join a dating website so you can find someone! Join NOW!



While that's not the exact script, it does seem to be the theory behind the commercials I continue to see from Match, eHarmony, OurTime, and even FarmersOnly. You are single, something is wrong, join this site to fix it. While I am not bashing online dating (I really do know people it has worked for), the multitude of commercials for dating sites really does convey the message that this is an epidemic... a problem that has to be fixed.



And while we are on the topic, does anyone think it's a coincidence that when someone has a friend, or a friend of a friend, or a boyfriend's sister's neighbor's dogwalker's college roommate that would be "perfect" for you, it's called what--fixing you up. FIXING.



Everyone wants to fix the singles.



But... not all of us feel like we need to be fixed. Not all of us think it's a Greek tragedy if we are coming home to an empty house. I'm not even talking about people who are anti-marriage. Whether single people want to be single or not, it's okay to be single. Whether you are okay with it or not, it is okay to be single. Just because my happily ever after doesn't look like everyone else's doesn't mean I'm not happy.



And trust me, happy or not, the last thing a single person in their 30s needs is someone else making them feel like there's something wrong with them. We've got plenty of commercials for that.







Saturday, May 10, 2014

MOM



I have the greatest Mom in the world. Seriously. No offense to any of you reading this who have moms or are moms, but no one holds a candle to terri. Really. I love my mom for a million little things, but here are a couple dozen big reasons why I love her so much.

I love that she's about the cutest thing you've ever seen. Even when she's wearing a brooch on a sweatshirt or children's sandals, she's still pretty stinking adorable.

I love how much she loves my dad.

I love how much she selflessly loves her kids. All five of us.

I love how much she loves her grandkids. All ten of them.

I love our "bits". After that weird early teenage years/arguing with each other every day phase was over, it was "Hey remember when you used to hate me?" and she'd reply, "I never hated you, you hated me!" Then for a while when I'd tease her she'd say, "You're gonna miss me when I'm gone!" To which I'd reply, "Where are you going?" Now on our Tuesday morning calls after she says "Good morning! How are you?" and I mockingly say it back she says, "Are you making fun of your mother?" To which I reply "I wouldn't do that!" And then before we get off the phone she asks me what kind of shoes I have on. None of these things are probably funny to anyone else, but they make me laugh.

I love her faith. She isn't just a Christian, but she really knows and loves Jesus.

I love how humble she is.

I love how smart she is. Beating her at Scrabble is nearly impossible. I think it's because she can un-jumble letters like no one else. In fact, once I gave my fourth graders a word jumble I found online which didn't have an answer key to it. After no one could figure it out, I said, "Hold on kids" and I called her on my cell phone.  I read her the letters and in about 15 seconds she gave us the word.  My students were in awe.

I love how talented she is. The cross stitch things she's done are just beautiful, and she can sing better than anyone you've ever heard.

I love what a good cook she is (and that she makes things on request when I come home).

I love that she doesn't care about things that don't matter. So if she's coming over and there's laundry that needs to be folded or dishes in the sink, she won't even notice.

I love how cute she is when she gets things messed up. Sometimes she will say "She's up a tree without a paddle" or "You've made your bed, now you've got to eat it." Or when she's texting and her iPhone autocorrects, she says "Stupid spell check!" It makes me laugh so hard.

I love that growing up she always wanted all my friends to just call her "mom" (or "terri" at the very most). No formalities in our house.

I love how much she loves the Reds. I mean I like them. I love watching in person, and I will watch the playoff games, but this woman will listen to them on the radio if they're not on TV and at any given moment can name you all the players and probably tell you their batting averages. It's pretty impressive.

I love her sense of humor. She's not a joke teller like her dad was, but when she says something funny, it's really funny.

I love the way we can sometimes look at each other and silently know we are thinking the same things about someone.

I love that she's a perfect balance of the storytelling of her dad and the "Do you like it? Well, you can have it if you want!" of her mom. It's like a little bit of Mamaw and Papaw Wells all rolled into one.

I love how when she texts me she often throws in a bonus PS that's semi-related to what the text is about. I know that's Papaw Wells coming out in her, but I think it's about the cutest thing in the whole world.

I love that she's addicted to her iPad games and if I don't play my turn she will text me or call me to let me know she's waiting.

I love that she brought me up with rules and values. I am thankful that she loved me enough to set boundaries and hold me to high standards.

I love that she taught me life skills. I have known how to budget for groceries, paint a room, and balance a checkbook all before I could even drive a car.

I love how she's so strong, and she's made me strong. I don't even think she knows how strong she is or what a great example she's set for me, but she's fought through some seriously tough crap, and she's about as much strength as you could possibly pack into a 4 ft 10.5 in body.

I love the way she let me be my own person, and continues to support and praise me every chance she gets.

I love that I know whatever I do and wherever life takes me, she will be in my corner cheering me on.

She's the greatest mom a girl could have and I am so very very lucky that she's mine.



Happy Mother's Day Mom! I Love U!