Category Archives: The Boys Are Back

The Worst Easter Ever

Most people associate Easter with springtime, bunnies (live or chocolate; I prefer the latter), baby chicks, egg hunts, new life … you get the picture.

When the boys were younger, we would let them eat candy from their Easter baskets for breakfast, dress them in cute (sometimes matching) outfits, take the obligatory family photo on the front porch and head off to church. A very traditional and idyllic family Easter Sunday – except maybe the part about letting the kids eat candy for breakfast. But then, I’ve done worse as a parent.

That’s how the boys would say they remember most Easters – until that one time.

Our church was planning a big to-do on Easter Sunday, complete with a buffet-style continental breakfast. I volunteered to play breakfast hostess and keep the bagel and donut trays restocked. I also took it upon myself to decorate the tables.

The day before I had gathered up some Easter and spring-looking decorations from around my house. I even took a few flower pots and items from my garden area (I am a Martha Stewart wanna-be, without the prison time). The tables looked great and the morning was enjoyed by all.

Later that afternoon, I unloaded the decorations from my car and placed everything on the kitchen table. I set about putting the items back into their proper places. That’s when I noticed something strange looking on the table. HOLY COW – it was a baby bird! A live, newborn baby bird! Confused, I looked around trying to figure out where it had come from. That’s when I realized the birdhouse I had taken from my garden, to use as a breakfast table decoration, must have had eggs in it. And between the warm temperatures of the church’s fellowship hall and my kitchen, the eggs had hatched.

My squeal of shock caught my youngest son’s attention and I looked up to see his face frozen in horror. Newborn baby birds are not the cutest things. In fact, they are pretty ugly. But my heart was aching knowing a mother bird was probably frantically looking for her nest of eggs. I took a step back trying to figure out what to do next and I felt a “crunch” under my shoe. I immediately said a silent prayer and begged for it to be a leaf or anything else except what I thought it was.

My worst fear was confirmed when I looked down and saw that I had stepped on a sibling to the bird that was now struggling for life on my kitchen table. My son saw the look on my face and said, “What’s wrong , Mom? What’s wrong?!” I knew there was no delicate way to get out of this situation.

The birds didn’t make it, and I was forced to have a brief and tearful conversation about the “Circle of Life”  with my son. It was definitely not the way I had imagined the day ending up when I started that morning.

Unfortunately, when your mom kills two baby birds on Easter Sunday, there’s just no way to erase that kind of memory. There’s no card to make it better. I know – I’ve looked for one. And in an effort to help others who may have gone through this kind of tragedy, I even reached out to Hallmark. Surprisingly, they have not returned my calls.

Happy Easter, everyone – I hope your day is only filled with birds that are alive!




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Southern Snow Days

I’ve lived in Georgia since I was five years old. My daddy moved us here to make a better life for his family. I would have to say that he more than accomplished that goal.

Since living here, I have watched the area around the city of Atlanta grow and expand. The city’s perimeter, 2-85, used to be a four-lane road with a grassy median. Now it’s a multiple lane highway that still can’t accommodate the rush hour traffic that moves along it every day.

New buildings have gone up while old ones have been torn down. I remember watching the demolition of the old Omni Coliseum on television and reminiscing about seeing my first concert (Electric Light Orchestra) there in 1977.

One of my favorite memories of growing up in the south is the occasional snow day we would have from school. It was a rare, but precious thing to wake up to a winter wonderland and the news that school had been cancelled. It was the kind of excitement that could only be matched by the anticipation of Christmas or a birthday.

Our boys have been out of school for four days now due to a large winter storm that dumped an unusually large amount of snow and ice over the Metro-Atlanta area. Each day they have waited impatiently to see if school would be closed. Again.  And it has. We could, conceivably, miss an entire week of school. A kid’s dream, right?

One would think so, but I have seen a lot of complaints posted on Facebook by all the kids and parents snowed in for the past few days.

I get it. Sort of.

I just remember, as a kid, hoping and praying for that elusive southern snow day off from school during the winter. So another part of me doesn’t get it at all.

“I’m bored.” “I have cabin fever.” “There’s nothing to do.”

These are just a few of the postings I’ve seen on facebook and twitter. I know that all these people have access to cable, DVDs, video games, computers, etc. I also know I sound old when I say that “back in my day we only had three TV channels, books, Monopoly and Pong, and we were happy to have them.”

I love technology and all the entertainment if affords us, but I guess I’m also a little old fashioned. I like the idea of having a snow day, or five, where school is cancelled and I’m stuck with a good book, long conversations and an afternoon nap.

I think sometimes we have to learn to enjoy the moment more and stop wishing away our time for circumstances other than what we have. I think there’s a better way, a better life and I want that for my family.

Just like my daddy did.


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Has It Been Enough?

I passed another milestone this week and, in retrospect, I think I might have rather passed a kidney stone.

I took my oldest son to register for his college classes.

Want to know the painful part? We bought the text books!

Seriously, I’ve been kidding myself all summer that I was ready for this and that I was going to be okay when the time came. Well, the lump in my throat tells me I’m not. And honestly, it doesn’t really matter if I am ready or not. The real question is – is he ready?

More importantly, did I do enough as a mother to prepare him for this moment?

In exactly one month, his father and I will help him move into his dorm and eventually we will drive away, leaving him there with more freedom than an 18-year-old should probably have.

In the end, I have to trust that he really did listen to all the speeches, lectures, instructions and pearls of wisdom I shared with him over the last 18 years. I have to trust that he will do the right thing when faced with issues of integrity, honesty and sincerity. I have to trust that he will study, make good grades, eat his vegetables and be in by curfew.

In the end, I have to trust that it has been enough.

In the end, I just have to trust.

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Filed under All About Me, College Life, Random Ramblings, The Boys Are Back, You Gotta Have Faith

How to Tell If You Live In a House Full of Boys

  • Your toilet seats are always up.

 I have been baptized, by immersion, in my own toilets in the middle of the night more times than I care to recall.

  •  You have a full arsenal of weapons.

Should our house ever come under attack, we are fully prepared with an armory of air soft and nerf guns, as well as a complete supply of plastic swords and knives of all shapes and sizes. Should the battle take an inter-galactical turn, we are prepared with numerous light sabers.

  •  Your washing machine has a special setting for “camo.”

 I wash a lot of camouflage clothing, and we don’t hunt. In fact we have enough to outfit a small army. See the item above to understand the need for so much camo.

  •  You purchase milk and cereal in bulk quantities.

 We go through more gallons of milk and boxes of cereal in a week than I can count. I have watched an entire box of cereal disappear within 45 minutes of entering our home. Our boys firmly believe that “cereal isn’t just for breakfast anymore” because they eat it night and day.

These are just a few of the things that I have found that indicate a household full of boys. I’m sure all you moms of boys have others. What are your tell-tell signs that a boy lives in your home?

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At Least It Smells Like Fall

Just because the calendar says it’s fall doesn’t mean the weather is in a cooperative mood. We’ve had highs in the 80s this past week and it definitely isn’t sweater weather yet.

I did, however, make some purchases to help move the autumn process along. Febreze has these wonderful fall scents and are, of course, “available for a limited time only.” I found mine at Wally World and bought the two pack. I “really” want my house to smell like fall. Besides I have all these smelly boys running around so I can use all the help I can get. I also picked up some fall inspired candles.

Thankfully football is in full swing and even though the temps outside don’t tell me it’s fall, Saturday College Football and lazy Sunday afternoons with the NFL tell me it is. And football means fall cooking, you know: chili, cornbread, homemade apple sauce, pies – well, you get the picture.

With that in mind, I’m excited that Pioneer Woman has finally finished writing her cookbook and it is now available. In fact she’ll be hitting the road for a (cook) book signing tour and Sis and I are already making our plans to attend when she hits our town.

I love taking pictures in the fall and even though the leaves haven’t started changing color in full force yet, my backyard has a good head start on collecting them. Soon I’ll be forcing asking my boys to pose with pumpkins and scarecrows in order to get that perfect scrapbook page photo. I remember the year I saw this great photo idea where the kids were laying in the leaves and the mom took  their picture from overhead. It was a really cute shot, and even though I tried for about 20 minutes, I just couldn’t duplicate the look. It didn’t help that J, who was about 3 at the time, did not want to lay on the ground in leaves and even though I kept pushing him down patiently trying to convince him, he just wouldn’t cooperate. Maybe this year.

But if you need to catch up on scrapbooking those fall (and if you are like me, every other season) pictures, check out this web site. I haven’t tried them myself yet, but I have great intentions. 

So, while I’m not breaking out the flannel jammy pants and sweatshirts yet, I am enjoying college football, chicken nachos and the sweet smell of cinnamon flavored pumpkin spice air freshener.

Now where are those boys of mine? I’m in the mood to take some pictures.

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To My Baby

I’ve always loved you best because you were the third miracle. You were the last and it made you such a joy. You accepted the stained bibs, old bed, the “third-hand” toys and the baby book that was never quite up-to-date. You are the one I held onto so tightly. There were times when I wanted to stop the hands on the clock; if only for a few hours. You challenged my patience, gave me humility and you made me laugh. You were spoiled beyond belief and you were positive the world revolved around you. Even when you’re old and gray, you will still be the baby of the family. That’s why I’ve always loved you best.

My youngest isn’t my only favorite. I have two others. You can read why they are my favorites here and here.

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To My Firstborn

As I indicated in my last post, I have written little, love notes to each of my boys telling them why they are my favorite. This one belongs to my oldest.

I’ve always loved you best because you were the first miracle. You were the genesis; the fullfillment of young love, the promise of new life. You accepted the fact that I was new to motherhood and we often cried together. Your first words, first steps and other notable milestones were a joy to me. You were new and perfect in every way. You got the new clothes, new toys and new parents. I was always scared I would do something wrong so I read the books and studied ways to be a good mother. You made me soon realize I only had to follow my heart. That’s why I’ve always loved you best.

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