The “Girls’” trip

No boys allowed. Not even Clark

I always question people who say they are not close to their siblings. Like, why? I’ve already shared my love letter to my brother, but I also have two older sisters, and I talk to them all the time. Every summer, my mom, 2 sisters, sometimes my sister-in-law Lakon, our combined 4 daughters, and I go on a beach trip. We first started this tradition when my eldest sister was in high school, and then it was interrupted for a few years while she and my other sister were in college, med school, grad school, etc. Basically they were too busy building their fabulous lives to go on vacation with me. Those bitches 🙄.

The girls’ trip. No boys are allowed. Not even tiny ones. I mean, think about it. Guys always want to do things on beach trips instead of just relax. Also chicken salad and fruit aren’t enough to satisfy them for lunch. So, basically they aren’t allowed to come and poop all over our trip. Seat’s taken, you can’t sit with us, bye Felicia 👋

Anyway, when Katie (#1) was pregnant with her first baby, we started up the tradition again. We stayed in a hotel on that trip, and Katie was all, “I’m cool, no worries. Y’all can watch TV while I sleep. It won’t bother me!” Five minutes later, the room next to us was being a little loud. She shoots up out of bed, grabs her slipper from the floor and begins smacking the wall, “BE QUIET!!!” She promptly lay back down with her eyes closed. Anna (#2) and my mom and I exchanged glances, turned off the TV, and wordlessly went to sleep at 7 pm 🤫. No one wanted that wrath (or slipper) directed at them.

We’ve since mostly stayed in condos, occasionally hotels, and most recently at my parents’ new beach house. We eat chick food, are supremely lazy, and laugh a lot.

One year, we were staying at a condo in Gulf Shores, and my niece chunked her baby doll’s pacifier off the balcony. She then cried and cried for it because toddlers are rational. We looked for ages, but never found that one. Then there was the year that Lakon had to dig a belly hole in the sand to accommodate her very pregnant belly. Then there was the year Katie took a muscle relaxer for her janky neck before playing cards and just got stupid. Probably the only time I’ve been able to beat her because she was literally moving in slow motion. I’ll never beat Anna. She’s a freak and can play a whole deck. Ugh, and last year I was about 11 weeks pregnant with Clark, and Darcy wasn’t walking yet. Toting her and our beach gear while I was miserably ill was awful, so Anna and Mom did the grunt work on that trip. Also Darcy was basically just miserable on that trip. She was demanding (surprise, surprise), and hated the beach after about 30 minutes. We tried to make it more bearable with a baby pool for her to play in. My sister Anna had to blow that bad boy up and ultimately it did nothing to convince Darcy that the sand and water were not the devil. Anna still bitches about that.

This year, we had our first stay in my parent’s new beach house. It is just beautiful, and I swear we had the best time! I should mention that Katie is a gourmet chef. Seriously, she is amazing and everything that we ate was sublime. My favorite was a sea bass dish she made. Also she mixes fabulous cocktails, and I was the only one to benefit because Anna is pregnant and my mom doesn’t drink at all. Katie and I also took the kids crabbing one night, and it was hysterical. Katie’s daughter is a beast at catching things and crabs are no exception. Anna’s kids–not so much (God bless ’em), but seeing all of them chase after those crabs was hilarious. We then took the golf cart off-roading. Not exactly intentionally, but memorable all the same. I really haven’t laughed that hard in a long time.

Anna has had a difficult pregnancy and doesn’t need to carry anything but herself, so Mavis, Katie and I carried all our gear to and from the beach each day. This wasn’t a problem until one afternoon where Darcy decided she needed to be carried across the sand. I told her, “No.” Cue the full-on meltdown. She screamed from our spot on the beach all the way to the boardwalk. We passed by a tent of people laughing and they pointed to her and said, “Does she happen to be about two?” “Uh, yes. How ever could you guess?” They just laughed and said, “Darcy, what’s wrong?” Darcy cut them an evil look and continued to sob. But guess what? The next day when I told her no, she didn’t cry (as much). So, I’m counting that as a win. 

My mom plans all these precious parties for the girls during the trip. She picks a theme for every night and it was just the cutest thing. The first night was a barn party, the second, a unicorn party, and the final night was a pink pirate party complete with a scavenger hunt. It was so much fun! The adults had just as much fun as the little girls. My mom really is amazing. She cares about all the little details and makes everything so special. She’s always been that way, and I strive to make similar memories with my babies.

Ladies, if you weren’t so fortunate to be born into a girl-tribe, then you’ve gotta make your own. Pick your friends and hold them close. Go on the beach trip. Help your girl out when she is big and pregnant and basically useless, and forgive them when they’re being a bitch (never me). Cook the amazing food and laugh at each others kids when they faceplant during a tantrum. Go off-roading with the golf cart. Make fun of each others hairy arms and talk about everything from Jesus to snissing to sex and all topics that fall in between. You can google snissing if you don’t know what it means, but if you’ve had a child then you’ve experienced it.

If you were born into a girl tribe, then you are lucky. Super lucky. Foster that relationship and love each other hard. Just because you aren’t close now doesn’t mean you can’t build that relationship into something worth having. Look, I love my sisters, but I definitely still argue with them. For instance, two weeks before the beach trip I told Katie she was uncompassionate and sucked at being a sister. Three days later, I apologized and told her that I knew I was actually being crazy, but she still sucked and was old AF. It’s all about balance, you see. I love these women so much. I mean, they’re control freaks and judgmental and not nearly as funny as I am (God bless ’em), but I love them and couldn’t imagine my life without them. I am #blessed.

Kidnapping a grown man

Ben’s 30th birthday

I’ve been quiet on my blog lately. Why? I don’t really know other than I haven’t particularly felt compelled to write. I’ve had enough adventures and happenings and thoughts to fill at least 4 blog entries, but I just haven’t had the itch? Maybe Raynershine’s days are numbered! 🙀

Anyway, in early May, I decided to begin planning for Ben’s 30th birthday. I had exactly zero clue as to what I should do. There are all kinds of ideas available on the world wide web: surprise cancun trips, surprise party, blah, blah blah. Ben is not what I would call the party type. He’s the spend quality time with family type. I even asked him offhandedly what he would like to do for his birthday and he said, “I don’t know. Nothing. Hang out with you and the kids.” Yeah… not giving me much to go on, dear!

So I decided to plan a getaway. I talked to my mother-in-love and scheduled her to take both kids for the night and booked a cottage in Ocean Springs. I asked one of my sweet Phi Mu sisters, a Gulf Coast native,  for her suggestions on what to do, where to eat, that kind of thing. Following her suggestion, I made reservations at a restaurant in nearby Biloxi, and I told Ben that he needed to come home early on the Friday before his birthday. And that’s as far as I got for a while. Ben’s starting of a new job combined with the end of the school year was even further complicated by Clark’s medical scare and kept me busy. So, before I knew it, the getaway was only 2 days away, and I didn’t even have anything else planned. Yikes. So, I decided that on Saturday we could have breakfast in Ocean Springs and tour Beauvoir, the last home of Jefferson Davis, before heading back to Baton Rouge.

Friday morning arrived and I dropped the kids at daycare, got gas in the car,  packed our bags, put them in the car,  went on a quick run, came home and showered, and then panicked. Because I didn’t have a card or gift or anything cutesy to tell him where we were going and I needed a new dress because I hated everything in my closet and this idea was basically a stupid disaster. He was going to be home in an hour and there were no lunch plans, or any plans at all besides showing up at our cottage and our dinner reservations at seven. This is his 30th birthday, y’all. He just graduated from his third and final degree. I am trying to do this thing right! You see, fortunately or unfortunately, Mavis is my mother 😜, and I just couldn’t not have all these extras. I ran to the grocery store and picked up champagne, glass-bottled Cokes because they are way cuter (obviously), cheese, and fruit. I bought a funny card with naked old people on them (those always make me laugh) and a new dress.  I raced home and got out the picnic basket she gave us on our wedding day, packed it up and placed the card on top. I then “cleaned” the house with a quick once-over and waited.

Ben walked through the door, saw the basket, and smiled, saying, “What’s all this.” “Read the card.” The card explained that he was henceforth kidnapped and would be allowed a short bathroom break before following me to the car. He looked a little confused and said, “Wait. We’re going for the whole night? What about the kids?” “Your mom is watching them.” “Wow. Okay. Let me pack!” “Your bags are in the car. Move it! We’re leaving.” “Wow. Okay!”

And we took off to Ocean Springs, snacking on fruit and cheese and those bottled cokes. We got to our precious cottage, put our stuff away and then walked downtown to the stores in Ocean Springs.

There were so many restaurants, bars, and boutiques. The downtown area is just beautiful with large live oak trees framing the shop-lined streets. We grabbed coffee and just enjoyed talking to one another without diapers needing to be changed or babies needing to be fed. It was incredible, and it struck me just how important this time together actually was. I could look at this man and remember the boy he was when we first got started. The first birthday we celebrated as a couple was his 23rd birthday. He had just moved to Michigan, I was still in nursing school in Mississippi, and everyone said we weren’t going to “make it.” Now we were hand in hand on a pier in Ocean Springs celebrating his 30th birthday after 4.5 years of marriage and 2 children. It was a strange, almost wistful feeling to say the least.

That night we went to dinner at the White Pillars restaurant and it was pretty amazing even if I did think that the tiny complimentary tasting was the appetizer we had ordered. I was feeling pretty cheated! The bourbon-based drinks and delicious entrees were only eclipsed by the amazing White Pillars chocolate bar dessert. Seriously, I was living my best life for that plate.

The following morning we had pancakes at a local breakfast joint and then went to Beauvoir. It was beautiful and coincidentally it was Jefferson Davis’ birthday so they did a whole salute and shot cannons to mark the occasion. Also. Cupcakes. So I’m counting that as a win in my book. Ben and I love history so it was the perfect end to our trip.

And that’s how I kidnapped my husband. It was great, and I highly recommend it. Also, that boy better spoil me for my 30th, but it’s a while until then because I’m his much younger and hotter wife 😈.

Am I the only one?

Musings over my second cup of coffee

So, now I’m out of school, Clark is out of the woods, Darcy is out of her mind, and I finally have a moment to blog. I decided that since my unpopular opinion post was a hit because apparently we all have thoughts that suck, I decided to have an “Am I the only one?” post.

Am I the only one who…

  1. Hates hearing about television shows I don’t watch? Shut up about Supernatural or Girls because it is NOT happening. The only shows that count are the ones I watch. Obviously.
  2. Feels superior because I floss my teeth daily? Like, “I bet they don’t floss their teeth daily. Gross.” *scoffs*
  3. Breaks out in my sorority stomp while waiting for my food to finish microwaving? I mean, were you even in a DSU sorority if you don’t do this?!
  4. Thinks of someone randomly, and it makes my heart want to burst with love for them? Even if I haven’t seen them in years? I love people hard, man.
  5. Imagines a scenario or listens to a song so sad that I actually cry? Why do I do this? What is WRONG with me?!
  6. Eats a food because it is healthy, cheap, and convenient even though its texture and flavor are just barely above disgusting? Bananas. I’m talking about bananas, y’all.
  7. Smells meat/milk past their expiration to decide how “expired” it really is? I live  dangerously for someone who has had food poisoning before.
  8. Cleans house like someone with a major disorder? I start by cleaning the bathrooms. But when I go to take the trash out, I walk into the kitchen and decide to unload the dishwasher and then reload it…which then leads me to the bedroom to grab the glass on my nightstand which is covered in dust so I go to get the dust cloth and see the clothes that need to be washed and suddenly its 3 hours later and my house still looks like a pile of dog poop. Le sigh.
  9. Forgets that my sweet little dog is actually a vicious predator? Yeah…Libby has reminded me lately that she’s actually a damn savage. She decapitated a rabbit 2 weeks ago and ate its entrails. She left its carcass in front of Darcy’s playhouse. It was beyond repulsive. Two days later she killed a squirrel, and most recently, she attempted snake-murder. She would have killed the snake had Ben not intervened because it was a “good” snake. So she’s basically an absolute savage who sleeps on my pillow.
  10. Thinks Tom Selleck is still an absolute fox? This is actually probably a stupid “Am I the only one?” because obviously I CANNOT be the only one, here. I love you forever, Tom.
  11. Thinks Amy Schumer is too crude to be a fan of her? I can’t y’all. She’s like Sarah Silverman to me, who is also too crude. Or Dane Cook, who is ALSO too crude. You can be funny and clever without being disgusting. Hello, Ellen DeGeneres and Jimmy Fallon!

I LOVE hearing about other people’s weird habits. There’s just so much more to appreciate about a person when you know some of their tics. So feel free to share them! I probably won’t judge unless you are just a freak. Or don’t share my love for Tom Selleck. That’s a deal breaker, there. And that’s it. Not a lot of substance here, today. But honestly I’m glad. Because my personal life is a little too exciting sometimes and not in a feel-good kind of way. So you’ll have to contend with my random musings or find another more interesting, compelling, and/or exemplary blog. You’re always welcome here, though. Love to all!

An update with a pending update

So basically I still don’t know anything

Waiting.

We sent off labs a couple of weeks ago on Clark to test for a rare metabolic disorder called Hurler’s syndrome. The symptoms are vague in the first year of life, but become more apparent the older the child becomes. He has a few of the vague symptoms and early intervention is essential. Without treatment, children with Hurlers rarely live past 6 years old, and with treatment, some are living into their 20s. It is a life-limiting disease. All week my prayers have been that Clark does NOT have this disorder. I’ve been calling the lab directly to see if the results were in, and at 9:00 a.m. this morning, the lab confirmed that they were resulted. And now, I’m waiting.

Waiting for the doctor’s office to call me with the results. Waiting to know if our lives will be completely uprooted. Waiting to know if a timer has been set on my son’s life.

I’m scared to know what the results are. I’m scared to know whether my son will require a bone marrow transplant thus necessitating chemotherapy. I’m scared that I’ll have to leave my Darcy to be with Clark in the hospital for months. Some people say that it is foolish to “borrow trouble.” We don’t know if he even has Hurlers, afterall. But we will know today, and I’ve made plans. I’ve looked at different hospitals that treat Hurlers and offer bone marrow transplants. I’ve thought about how we can make it work living apart from one another as no hospital in Baton Rouge can treat this syndrome.

I’m praying constantly that this is not going to be a part of our story. Please pray with me, for guidance and strength. I will update very soon. Love to all ❤

There’s a lot of ugly here

My most brutally honest post to date

I’m mad at God. I mean, I am really, really pissed off. Let me back up a minute and fill you in on past events. As usual, prepare yourself for my rambling overshare–

Ben graduated! Yes, he really did. He graduated with his bachelor’s degree in Engineering. He had multiple job offers and accepted an awesome job before he even graduated. I. Am. So. Proud! We left Ohio with big plans and it’s happening, y’all. Ben has changed careers and has started work as a structural engineer as of Monday. I’m winding down my school year and have been re-hired as a PRN nurse on my old unit for the summer. I finished my awful research class. Basically life is awesome, right?

Then life throws you that curve-ball. I hate, hate, HATE to be cryptic, but I don’t want to share exactly what’s going on quite yet. I need another few days before I can confirm everything and share it with whatever readers may exist. Believe me, I hold no illusions of having this huge platform of captive readers. I’m not that into myself, so I can’t see that I have more than a few close friends/family member that actually have an interest in the Rayners’ going-ons. Anyway, I have this need to word-vomit– to get my anxieties out onto these blank pages and overshare. So here goes.

I’m worried. Why? Because I’m waiting on results again. Once again, I’m waiting. And I’m damn tired of waiting. I mean it. I no longer feel like I can wait in any manner that is socially acceptable. I cannot sit back and say, “I’ll know in God’s perfect timing, and that’s alright with me.” Because it is not alright. It is SO not alright. It is effing torture, and I am filled with fear and anxiety. I am also SO angry. I am angry that–once again– when life seems to be coming together that there is an insidious, lurking threat ready to destroy us.

I can’t pray this away. I alternate between feeling good and peaceful to feeling like the whole sky is falling down. Isn’t it, though? I don’t know how to deal anymore. I used to hit the pavement, you know? Throw on my raggedy tennis shoes and run until it hurt. That way I could at least feel semi-accomplished. Yesterday, I didn’t do that.

I googled worst-case scenarios, formulated hypothetical plans, and cried to my mother. I went to the grocery store to delay picking up my children. I grabbed a 6-pack of petit fours to binge on because I eat my feelings. My coping skills are 👌🏻. I then promptly dropped the box of petit fours onto the pavement while I was getting into my car, which should tell you exactly everything about how my life is going these days. I drove to daycare in defeat and then I carried my children out of said daycare, one in his heavy carrier, the other kicking and screaming because I wouldn’t allow her to continue playing in the water fountain longer than the 2 minutes she had already done so. This older woman (older than me by 20 years) was walking her children (grandchildren?) to the car. She stopped in her tracks, turned around and looked at me in disgust, and said, “Ugh. Y’all come on!” to her kids. Like I was an unfit parent for having a 2 year-old that was tantrum-ing. So, to you, 50ish, pudgy, short, dark-haired lady, “Screw you.” Seriously, though. Next time you look at me like that I will embarrass you soundly by saying, “Please offer me your *expert* advice since you are clearly not in favor of what I am currently doing. Please, do that. And in exchange I will share with you that the Carol Brady hairstyle went out of favor about 4 decades ago. See? We can help each other, you hag.”

Petty, I know. But I was not feeling like the bigger person yesterday. I wanted someone else to feel as bad as I do. I wanted someone else to worry and be anxious and understand the absolute hell I’ve been through the last year. I wanted to be understood. I wanted to enjoy the blessings in this life. I wanted to recognize all of the good, and I also wanted to be ignorant of the bad because I’m tired of knowing all the things and imagining worst case scenarios about the things, and honestly I just wanted to give up because I was so tired. The kind of tired that sleep can’t fix.

Truth be told, I have some ugly vices. I like to withdraw when I’m sad. I crave alcohol and isolation. And yet, because of Jesus and immense growth, I refuse to give into those temptations. Even though they’re there, they just aren’t that loud. I eat my feelings instead. Like yesterday, I ate 3 out of the six smushed-to-hell-petit fours instead. And have plans to eat the remaining ones today. I’m #healthy.

And, in the midst of my downward spiral–I’m reminded…that Jesus has not left me. That the moments of peace I have been blessed with are not of this world. The peace that passes understanding is a gift from my Jesus. My husband is a gift from Jesus, my children are a gift from Jesus. He loves my babies more than I ever could, and He has plans for GOOD. If I were the only human in creation, God would have still sent Jesus to die for my sins.  I don’t need to understand His ways. I just need to trust that He loves me, He is good, and He is sovereign. And if I step back for a minute, that’s pretty easy. It’s literally saying, “You are the God of all the universe. You hereby get to deal with this crap problem because I am tiny and human, and I cannot even.” And yes, I actually pray like that. I also say, “These are some shit circumstances, God, and I am majorly pissed off at you. Fix it, Jesus.” My favorite song right now, is called “Sparrows,” by Jason Gray. It’s based on Matthew 6:25-34. The chorus lyrics are:

“If He can hold the world, He can hold this moment. Not a field nor flower escape His notice. Oh, even the sparrow knows, He holds tomorrow.”

So there you have it. I am a sinful mess with poor coping skills. But I am okay with that. I am me. I’m still here. And Jesus loves me, the foul-mouthed and imperfect woman that I am. I will update soon. Love to all ❤️

Opinions are like butts…

Everyone has one and they all stink

The picture is of Darcy choosing her potty she has yet to use 🙄. Whatever. Anyway, this is a different kind of blog post for me, but lately I have realized that I really just don’t agree with a lot of things, and I decided to have an unpopular opinion post! Maybe it’s that I’m getting closer to being a real adult (i.e. almost thirty) and really knowing what I do and don’t believe in, enjoy, or even condone. Or maybe it’s just that most people are stupid and have stupid opinions. Me, obviously excluded. Hey, what’s the point of having your own blog if you aren’t the queen of it? Be gone, naysayers!

Unpopular opinions that I, Rebekah Rayner, have and hold dear to my heart.

1. Chipotle is not great. Yep. I know, as a millenial I’m supposed to be all, “OMG! Chipotle, let’s get extra guac!” But, I just don’t get the fascination. Their meat is kinda gross, and overall I think it’s overpriced and under-flavored.

2. I hate the over usage of ALL CAPS when promoting your AWESOME multi-level marketing product. While I realize it may be an AMAZING OPPORTUNITY, I just think the caps and multiple emojis look stupid. Stop it.

3. This here is a biggie and I am sure people will hate me forever–I don’t like publicized adoption fundraisers. There. I said it. Maybe it’s because I feel like there are go-fund-me pages for everything today. Maybe I’m bitter because I’ve paid for both of my children to have neurosurgery, multiple scans, and therapy without asking for other people to pay my bills. Maybe it’s because I am a self-professed cynic and question people’s motives. Probably a combination of all of that and other specific reasons I won’t go into right this moment. Anyway, a lot of things about it just turns me off.

*Edited to add that I LOVE adoption itself. Seriously I do. Just not fundraisers❤️❤️

4. Putting any sauce other than Polynesian or Chik-fil-a sauce on your Chik-fil-a nuggets is a straight-up abomination. You know who you are, and you are wrong, and you are ruining the Lord’s chicken.

5. While I enjoy my friends who are mamas, I’m not into mama groups. They tend to freak out over Every. Little. Thing. Oh mylanta. Your baby has a runny nose? It’s fine. Wipe it off occasionally. Your baby is only saying 6 words and they should be saying 8?! He fell down and cried?! Agh. If you are a laid back mom, we can probably be friends. If you run to the doctor’s office every time your kid sneezes or has a fever, we will never be friends. Most of this comes from being a nurse, but also I have worked with kids who are dying of cancer. Get your perspective straight, mama. He has a cold. He’s gonna get approximately 25641321568 more in his lifetime. It’s small stuff.

6. People who constantly talk about their special diets suck. I mean I would have never guessed you ate “clean” foods when every post has #cleaneating #wholefoods #healthy. Hashtag: Get over yourself. No one cares. That’s right, no one. They really don’t. They also don’t want to see your food pictures #chefstatus. Look, I’m a nurse. I totally get healthy living. Just try not to make it your God because while eating well can and will totally improve your overall health, it will not eliminate your chance of death. You will still die. So quit trying to say your kale brownies are just as good as my butter filled ones are. You’re lying to yourself.

7. I have not cried once watching “This is Us.” It’s a really great show, but I don’t understand everyone’s constant tear-filled status updates about it. I came closer to crying watching Glenn’s garbage can scene in Walking Dead. Also Kate is really mean to her mom, and it gets annoying. Be nice, girl.

8. I don’t agree with the whole “Mama needs wine” thing. If you’ve been living under a rock, it’s really this whole social movement now, filled with memes, t-shirts, and yes, even wine glasses touting the misery of motherhood and the MUST have daily “wine to put up with your kids’ whine.” Maybe I’m just more sensitive to those who may struggle with drinking, but I find the constant promotion of needing “mommy’s juice” distasteful.

*Sidenote–I am not against drinking. I really enjoy an occasional cocktail, mug of beer, or glass of wine. Nothing wrong with that. What I’m talking about is the greater culture’s attitude associated with motherhood and needing alcohol. It’s offensive.*

10. I don’t care that McDreamy died. I’ll explain. In the beginning, he had a wife and never told Meredith until said wife showed up looking like Cruella. Then he chooses wife over Meredith. They work that mess out, but he was a total jerk his last 2 seasons of Greys. He was hateful and unforgiving and punished Meredith forever for the clinical trial/chief webber’s wife thing. He was a total jerk when he was chief. Finally, he totally strayed even if he didn’t actually sleep with that lab assistant. Suddenly he has this “I actually love Meredith” revelation, they’re happy for one episode and he dies. Big. Deal. He was a tool, good riddance.

So, there. Now you can say what a negative person I am. But in the spirit of comradeship, I will give you some examples to show that I probably love or do several things that you kind of hate. Unpopular opinions, UNITE!

1. Starbucks. I’m probably supposed to hate the overpriced drinks and stupid naming of their sizes, but I feel sassy when I get a drink there. I also love lattes, and you will not take that away from me no matter what evil Starbucks perpetuates in our world.

2. I am very ambitious. See, I totally want to be the mom in the SUV who wears yoga pants, drinks her latte, drops her kids off at daycare, and then goes to the gym before meeting her friends for lunch. I would love to be *that* mom because *that* mom has it going on and is living life right. #lifegoals #divaaspirations

3. I love “Walking Dead.” Just like the rest of the world, but maybe you don’t.

4. I think politics is the worst part of our world. I also don’t feel the need to be involved. And yes, I’m aware that people will say that is my “privilege talking,” but I don’t really care. I hate discussing politics, and if you continually espouse your hard-right or hard-left leanings, I have probably already blocked you on social media. Not sorry.

5 I’m a touchy-feely person. I tell people how I feel, and I hug ‘em hard. Some people absolutely hate affection. I’m not one of those, and if you’re my friend, I’ll tell you I love you everytime we talk. I’ll mean it, too.

6. I double dip my chips. I’m courteous enough to get my own bowl of dip, but I’m a double-dipper because the dip is the best part. By dip, I mean salsa. Obviously.

7. I zone out on social media or playing on my phone all the time, just like baby-boomers accuse the evil millenials of doing. I’ve ignored my husband talking to me and allowed Darcy to clobber Clark while doing this. I’m working on it, but yep. I’m a distracted millennial.

8. I’m not into the hella long beard thing. A little scruff is okay, but the super long beards are gross. Like don’t come near me with that. Something living might fall out of it. Just ew. Also manbuns=🤢

9. I’m not wild about avocados. I mean they’re fine on or in stuff, but I’m not trying to make an entire dish featuring avocados. I get that they are a *hot* food, but I’d rather not have avocado deviled eggs or avocado toast. Ain’t my thang, y’all.

10. I totally overshare on my blog. Not much is off limits to me, so I have a hard time understanding super mysterious people. Like what’s your deal? Why are you standoffish. Are you hiding something? Why won’t you tell me things? Why don’t you love me?! See # 5.

11. I’m a Rodan & Fields convert. Can’t argue with results, y’all.

So there you have it! What unpopular opinions do you have??

Scooter-racing and egg-hunting all while I’m helmet-hating

The past few weeks have been  busy y’all. I’m currently on Spring Break, so like a child, I am out of school! It’s awesome! I’m not even gonna try to lie to make you feel better about your crappy non-spring breaky job. Be a school nurse, yo. Or spend spring break at work. It’s your choice, people.

This past weekend, we were grateful to go to my hometown and celebrate Easter with most of my family. My brother Caleb, his wife Lakon, and their 3 rambunctious sons joined Ben, Darcy, Clark and I at our parents house. My sister Anna and her three children already live in my hometown, so it was a full and fun weekend. On Good Friday, my niece Mary Mac had her birthday party at a skating rink that I’ve been going to since the early 90s. It was awesome because nothing has changed. Seriously. Not the paint colors, not the sound system, not even the smell. All of the kids had these walkers to help them skate. It was hysterical! They looked like tiny uncoordinated old people skating around with walkers. Even the babies like Darcy had fun. There were these little foot-propelled riding scooters, and the 2-year olds loved them. They actually made it look like too much fun, so naturally I had to try one out. I sat down on the scooter. My butt was approximately 2 inches off the ground which placed my knees right next to my ears–that’s how low to the ground the scooter was. I immediately decided I needed to race Lakon. Around the rink we went as fast as our little scrunched up legs could putter. Oh Mylanta. My calves! My loins! How they burned! I totally killed her though, I was so fast. So then Caleb decides he also wants to race, and Lakon told him to hurry up because I was tired, and he could beat me. She was right, man. My legs were done, and he absolutely destroyed me. Keep in mind this was happening all while Darcy was chasing after me, weeping,”It MY!” because I had stolen “her” scooter. Whatever, kid. 🙄 You own exactly nothing in this world.

That night we played 13-sol (a family card game) and drank wine and whiskey drinks. We made stupid jokes at each others’ expense and laughed a lot because we are hilarious. My brother is leaving soon, and it breaks my heart to have him far from me. Caleb is my best friend even though he cheats at cards, screams like a girl, and uses unfair advantages in baby-scooter racing. I love his guts, that jerk.

We were able to go to my hometown church’s Easter egg hunt on Saturday. It was fun, and Darcy was a beast at hunting eggs. My siblings and I always kinda sucked, but apparently my Jewish husband would do very well at his neighborhood egg hunt as a child 🤔 So, I guess she gets it from her dad!  We went to my church on Easter Sunday, and it was good for my heart to see so many faithful members who have prayed for my family and my precious baby. My family took up an entire pew!

Clark Elliott has gotten his helmet. If you follow me on the Facebook or Instagram, you have already seen that the helmet has only enhanced his devilishly handsome looks. He wears the helmet 23 hours a day and will likely wear it for the better part of a year. In the spirit of complete honesty, I hate that helmet with the fire of a thousand suns. I know, I just said it was cute, but I actually hate it. I want to press my face against his sweet cheeks and I only get to do that for one hour each day. The other 23 hours, my cheek rests against hard plastic. I know, I know. I should be grateful, but I think it sucks, and I hate the helmet. So there. Moving on…

Clark is just so, so sweet, and he has made SO much progress with physical therapy! His doctor said that he can’t believe that Clark is even the same baby as when he was born. I’d like to say it’s because I work so hard with him, but it’s all God. He has been working miracles y’all…and yet, I still doubt. For the first time ever, I really understand the Israelites. They saw Moses part the Red Sea, and they were delivered from Pharaoh! Even after that miracle, they doubted the Lord and built and worshipped idols shortly after leaving Egypt. The apostles saw Jesus raise the dead, heal the blind and lame, and yet they still doubted that he would return as he promised. I always scoffed at their disbelief. Now? I get it, man. You see, this past week, Clark’s awesome physical therapist noticed Clark was making some odd eye movements and notified our neurologist. Our neurologist wanted to see us, and she ordered an EEG to determine if Clark could be suffering from seizures. His EEG was normal 🙌🏼 which doesn’t completely rule out seizures, but it does make them less likely especially as no other symptoms have been noticed. Y’all I got so upset when his PT initially told me her concerns. I just felt so defeated. Like, “What is this NOW?!! Could I get a damn break, please? I mean, throw me a freaking bone” My beautiful husband was like, “Chill. We’ve been here before, he’s gonna be fine.” But I? I struggled. I, who have seen my son healed so much, still doubt that God plans goodness for baby Clark. One little setback–hell, potential setback and that negative thought manages to grow an entire forest of doubt in my mind. This total Eeyore-attitude then effectively wipes away my appreciation for all the good things that have happened and in turn magnifies my fears of what’s to come. It’s ridiculous and ugly and sinful. I’m working on it. Still could use a break from scary stuff, though.

Darcy goes to a Jewish daycare, and now she covers her eyes when she sees candles because she thinks they are Shabbat candles. It’s pretty cute. She covered her eyes for her birthday cake She also sings a song called “God is everywhere,” at daycare. So now she points to the sky and says, “God…is over there!” She’s listening and putting things together, y’all. Which makes the whole interfaith thing complicated. Not in a bad way…just a complicated way. She is both Jewish and not. And I’m thankful for it. She is special and our family is pretty damn cool. One of the greatest things about it is that it keeps Ben and I on our toes praying for guidance and reading. It’s interesting, but I’d rather it be our way than any other.

It is no coincidence that all of these happenings coincide with a renewed sense of purpose for me. God is leading me to explore the Scriptures in new ways. I’m not sure where it will lead, but I am hopeful and excited in a way I cannot remember having been before. I’ll keep you updated on that.

So that pretty much concludes this session of word vomit where you learn entirely too much about my family and our going-ons. If you’re still hanging in there, I’m glad you are along for the ride. Love to all ❤