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Henry, Lorelei and NoahPictures from a recent walk with Grandma

That first year of life with your child, you are at their whim. You get no say for the most part and do for them what they need. As they get older (like the day after their 1st birthday) the relationship changes and they’d like you to continue to do for them all the things. You start to say no more often, they start to scream, there might be spanking involved at some point and then they are tweens. That is something else entirely. They haven’t even hit teenagerland yet.


I’ve noticed that I will take a lot of crap until I won’t. Once I won’t, that’s it. I listen longer than I should to the ranting and let them get away with a lot. Between Jason and I, if you had to pick the heavy, Jason would be it. The kids don’t really talk back to him and I think why is a combination of things. He’s rarely here (comparatively), he’s got the authoritative male voice, he’s old school, etc. Mom’s voice just becomes background noise at some point. I also try to listen for more reasons. Are they upset about something else and it’s just coming out loud? I like to get to the root cause and teach in the moment if possible. That’s not old-school. Good parenting seems to be a combination of both, in my opinion.

We love grandma

In the thick of things, day to day stresses, I believe we put up with a level of disrespect. It’s different for everyone, but we aren’t machines and we get worn down by the constant bickering, whining, and neediness of children. It ebbs and flows through phases and ages. Our relationship with our child also has a lot to do with the level of disrespect you will accept and that relationship is constantly changing as they grow. As I’ve grown I’ve begun to stand up for myself a little more. It’s sad to me to think that we have to defend ourselves against our children, but boundaries need to be set for all relationships. I’ve actually said out loud lately, “you cannot talk to me like that”. I’m sad to say that because I love my children and would hope that they would regard me with the respect I deserve simply because I gave them life and we do our best to take care of them and give them a good childhood. Did I mention I’m also too trusting? ;-)

Crazy Chip

Me and Chip

Henry has that idolization, but Noah? He thinks he’s grown. He’s realizing that he doesn’t HAVE to do anything. I’m realizing that I can’t MAKE him do anything. There’s just keeping the relationship healthy, giving good consequences and trying to teach him to make good choices. For Nora, it’s an entirely different relationship. She’s really angry and feels persecuted, for example, because she has to clean her room. Such drama that one! I’ve been letting them talk back to me, ignoring their rants, but have realized that that is not okay. It’s important that they treat me better. Not just because I’m their mother, but because it effects everything. It effects their school life and how they interact with teachers. It effects their sense of security. It effects their future relationships. It effects our household and the peace I’d like to have and we all deserve.

Oh, Henry

Lorelei and Oreo

Noah and Grandma

I also noticed that the kids were coming and going in and out of our bedroom. That was an outward expression of their level of respect for us. I put a stop to that. I kicked the dog out too (his crate) because that seemed to make our room a common area for them. That began a good precedent. I’ve begun to notice disrespect instead of ignore rude behavior towards me and others in the house. Rude behavior might include screaming at me or calling each other names. I deal with that first, now. Anything you change for yourself becomes a ripple effect for those around you and I think that’s what is happening here and I’m glad. I’ve also started rereading Boundaries with Kids by Henry Cloud and John Townsend. It’s a christian book, but still very good as is their whole Boundaries series. Things have begun to calm down around here. I was reading something about teenagers and disrespect and one thing jumped out at me. Teenagers are territorial. They begin to leave their crap everywhere to assert dominance. Ha! I’ve started a plan with Nora and her room. She doesn’t respect property, her own or anybody else’s. I’ve started to demand and trying to reward her for taking care of her stuff. I took most of her toys and stuff out of her room, giving her a small amount of things to take care of and if she can, she’ll get her stuff back as well as be able to pick out some new sheets, curtains, paint color possibly. It’s slow going, but I think she is getting there. Respect encompasses a lot more than just how we speak to one another.

View of the house

With us being a step family and ongoing issues with the kid’s father, life is rocky, loud and hard at times, but I love it. We continue to grow and change. We learn what works and what doesn’t and I know the kids benefit from our consistency and stability. That foundation is most important. I don’t feel yet that there is ever a point that you can’t make different choices. The kids aren’t ruined because I’ve been a doormat. They won’t be perfect now because we speak to them differently, but our household will be a little bit healthier, hopefully more peaceful and we’ve all learned a thing or two.

Pumpkinfest 2015


We love the Pumpkinfest. We started going even before we moved here. There are local crafts, food, the pumpkin rolling contest which gets about 400 participants, and recently free bounce houses. We’ve done all of those, but they also have a costume parade, 5k Pumpkin Run, screaming contests and other smaller activities. People go all out, dressing up as an extremely tall real-life tree or this year, someone was a night riding an actual fire breathing dragon.


20151024_125104I confess I did have a small piece of the funnel cake. The kettlecorn, though, (nomnomnom) that’s my jam.

I don’t know if this is healthy, but I sort of judge how we’re doing socially/relationally on a large scale by if we see people we know and those interactions. One year, I think last year, we only saw one person we knew and we didn’t approach them. This year, we saw friends, acquaintances from church and people we knew within the community.


We brought Chip too. Oh the smells! Lol The local animal shelter walks dogs around in hopes that they will be adopted. Chip made many new friends. Jason and I talked about this being a memory the kids have of going to the pumpkinfest every year and bringing the grandkids here one day. :)

New Puppy

10 weeks old

At the end of August we got a new puppy. We had been talking about getting a puppy for about six months, doing the research, soul searching and whatnot to prepare for more chaos. We knew we wanted a dog, but it had to be the right kind of dog. We’ve had dogs in the past that did not fit in with our family and we planned to commit to this dog for his lifetime, so it had to be a good one.

We got realistic; smallish dog, not a chihuahua, low to medium energy, affectionate, smart, short hair, no grooming, great with kids, chickens and cats. I did quizzes that tell you what kind of dog you should get, searched family dogs and looked at every breed we might like and one dog type that kept coming up was a rat terrier. I looked more into that breed and it seemed like it would be a good fit. I searched for rat terrier breeders in North Carolina and two came up. One was for miniatures and the other for standard sized dogs and they were both about five hours away and the typical $350. Did we really want this type of dog? Was it worth the trip and cash? We sat on that for a couple of months. During that time I looked at other options. Rescue places, craigslist, friends and family. Most dogs were older or mixed with chihuahua or jack russel which didn’t match our criteria, so we decided to go for it.

The trip went well and we liked the breeder, Barrel Creek Kennel in Middlesex, NC. She takes good care of her dogs and answered all of our questions while we took our time picking out our new puppy. I let Jason and Nora pick and they went with an adorable brown headed, sweet boy.


The kids loved him.

early mornings

He would cuddle with me in the mornings before the kids got up and I was drinking my coffee.

tiny puppy

He took to our family right away and we all fell in love. We began house training which hasn’t been too awful. When it’s a tiny puppy, it’s a tiny puddle, thankfully and he’s doing really well. That was our biggest concern. We didn’t want a vindictive dog, one who would poop in the middle of your bed just to spite you. He’s a good boy and so sweet.

Sleepy puppy

It’s been about two months now and we are so glad we got him. I’m really glad we didn’t settle for a different dog just to have a dog and took the time to pick the right one for our family. I think it made all the difference.

This Simple Life

I remember almost five years ago frequently coming up to Franklin from Florida to visit Jason’s family for a few days at a time. Once we hit the mountains it felt like we could take a deep breath and relax. Franklin is a small town (less than 4,000 people) while our previous home in central Florida was a very large city (100,000+ people). Once Lorelei was born we took the opportunity to move to Franklin. It was quite the adjustment. I missed the ease of shopping in a large city where you could get what you want/needed that same day. I missed Publix where, “shopping is a pleasure”. The first few years were hard as Jason settled in, got promoted, settled in, got promoted, and finally started making the drive to Asheville every day. We had Henry in there too while also shuffling the kids back and forth to their dad’s and all the stress that comes with that.

We moved in October of last year, to the house we see ourselves in for many, many years. Life is still stressful as Jason is now in school full-time and I’m about to be as well, but it’s a simple life. A country life, if you will and we love it. We’ve learned to love Ingles and Walmart (as much as anyone can love walmart) and to wait patiently for packages via Amazon Prime shipping. We take a lot of walks and hikes and watch the birds on the porch for fun. We spend a lot of time with family. We have chickens and recently acquired a few more dreaming about a farm one day. I’ve got the garden growing. We love this little town.

I had friends come in for a quick visit this past weekend (Hi, Nicole!) and it made me think about living in Lakeland and how different life is now. We have crappy cell service and internet and don’t really mind. The pace is slow and the mountains are still beautiful and the seasons are fully embraced.

We went for a walk yesterday evening since we all took a late afternoon nap.
BlackberriesBlackberries in our yard.

Farmer LoreleiShe said she’s “a person that takes care of animals” aka a farmer. Lol

cookiedoughCookiedough came along for a little while.

holding handsHappily holding hands

the view

Cheese!Henry started saying “cheeeeese” thinking I was taking a picture of him, so of course I had to anyway.

I'm here tooI was there too.

Interesting flower

More blackberriesMore blackberries. Yum!

Tree stumpAny opportunity to take a picture of my sweet loves.

Oreo comes alongOreo followed us there and back exploring along the way.

Run!They love to chase each other

sleepy bugLorelei picked this flower for me and it had a sleepy bug underneath (he woke up and crawled on top)

Tired Oreo

Take my picture


me too!Monkey see, monkey do

My beautiful girl

The road back homeThe road back home.

May Yoga






High plank

Halfway Lift

Standing Forward Fold

Chair pose

Mountain pose


Boat pose variation

Boat pose


Camel pose

Fish pose

Pigeon pose

Gate pose

Triangle pose


Hero pose

Standing Forward Fold

Chair pose

I took a wee break from all of my challenges and only participated in two short ones this past month. I really enjoyed the first one because it was focused on “what this pose unlocks for you”. I don’t enjoy all yoga poses and I’m still learning and my body is still getting stronger and more flexible, so most of my poses were from a place of frustration. Some poses, however are sweet release. I actually was one of the winners for that challenge; #masterkeymay. It’s fun to win and I received a sodalite bracelet. The second challenge was focused on Sun Salutation and the poses within that vinyasa. Very simple. I’ve started school, so I’m not doing any challenges this month, however I do jump in occasionally with a video or two. Perhaps I’ll share those with you here next month.

*March and April Yoga
*February Yoga
*January Yoga
*December Yoga
*November Yoga
*September Yoga

March and April Yoga


Marichasana C

seated twist with half lotus

Side crow


Uddiyana Kriya

Dancer pose

Seated forward fold

Tiger pose



pincha half lotus

Wheel with half lotus

baby bakasana

ear pose

camel pose

Funky tripod headstand

Lolasana with lotus

Noose pose

Peacock pose

Lotus bakasana transition

Garbha Pindasana


Half Bound Lotus Standing Forward Fold


Revolved Triangle

side plank with half lotus



Butterfly pose

lotus cobra

Marichyasana A

Wide legged forward fold

Revolved side angle

Shoulderstand with lotus pose

Hero with lotus pose

Peacock with Lotus pose

Lotus pose

standing forward fold

yoga with friends

pincha scorpion

eight angle

Crane pose

Side plank

Seated twist

Float prep


Baby grasshopper

Flying pigeon



firefly prep

Forward fold


Baby bakasana

Warrior II

standing forward fold

standing backbend

pincha with stag legs

dolphin pose

shoulder stretch


Warrior III

dancer pose

side crow


bound side angle

puppy pose

Extended hand to big toe pose

Mountain pose

Eight Angle

It’s MAY?! In March I took on a lot of challenges. I always end up dropping one usually because I don’t like the hosts, but the challenges were pretty intense, so I teetered off a bit. I then did a Journey to Handstand challenge and a Lotus challenge in April which I enjoyed. I took a little break from Yoga the last week or so. I’m only doing a short challenge again this month and it’s more introspective than asana focused. I like those the best. I’m continuing to make progress, but have moved away from a daily practice.

*February Yoga
*January Yoga
*December Yoga
*November Yoga
*September Yoga

February Yoga

Peacock pose

Flying crow

Flying Pigeon

Pincha with lady legs

Side Crow

Pop up headstand

Bird of paradise

Handstand scorpion


Side Plank


Thread the needle headstand


Triangle pose

shoulder stand

humble warrior

Handstand with eagle legs

Wide angle forward fold

pincha hollowback

Easy pose

Handstand tuck


Warrior II


Handstand scorpion

Locust pose



Half moon variation

Forward fold

Bow pose

Dancer's pose

Mountain pose

Eight angle

High cobra

Easy pose

Pincha straddle



Funky bakasana

Camel pose

Handstand pike

Flying Ninja


I had to do a lot of inside yoga this month due to inclement weather, but lots of progress was made and a few new poses tried. I’m dealing with a lot of “almosts” in my poses and I’ve recently stopped going to the gym and switched to the new yoga studio downtown. Her studio is more Vinyasa Flow style and will help with cardio as well. She has a foundational class and what I would call a power class. I hope her studio will continue to grow and she’ll be able to expand her classes. Franklin needs more yoga!

*January Yoga
*December Yoga
*November Yoga
*September Yoga

The Last Big Snowfall




This is what we woke up to last week not once, but twice. It was beautiful. We got between 3-4 inches both times which is enough to be stuck at home and play in during the morning.




kittyThe animals were silly in the snow, running around and playing, except for the chickens.

chicken and snow

Chicken and snow

Nope Nope NopeThe chicken says, “nope, nope, nope”. Lol

Nora snow ball

Lorelei and Nora's snowman

Snow pretty

Snow pretty

Snowball fightJason threw a LOT of snowballs at Noah, but Noah came back with one really good one!

Jason's favorite thing to do in the snow Snowball fights are his favorite, if you can’t tell by that huge grin.


Our house It didn’t last but a few days and we’re now more than ready for Spring!

February Snow Days

The kids were off all week due to “inclement weather and secondary road conditions”. Our first winter when the kids would have snow days I was a little appalled at how easily they called off school, but now I’m used to it and have acclimated. We seem to get at least one Winter Break 2.0 per year. It was actually a nice break from our routine. :)



The first few days were more ice than snow. It would fall then melt a little and fall again and freeze, so Jason was working from home for a few days. It finally snowed a little more on Thursday and again Friday late. I wish it would have just dumped a load and been done, but the weather is so silly sometimes.

yoga I took the snowportunity to get a #snowga picture.

Cat prints I love seeing the cat prints in the snow.

Cold Chicken
The chickens have mostly stayed in the coop. They’ve come out today because it is about 20 degrees warmer than it has been.


Chicken prints Chicken prints are fun too.

Coop Most of the snow has melted and the chickens are thankful. Still pretty, though.