Showing posts with label WinterMommy. Show all posts

36 while 36: A New Opportunity

I have to be honest. I’m not quite pleased with how I did with my 35 while 35 bucket list. Yes, there were some pretty nice accomplishments like exploring a new city and attending a black tie affair. However, I didn’t get half of the stuff I should have and I felt my list was slightly superficial. It just didn’t make an impact. No, I didn’t make an impact. So, I’m going to try it again. I’m hoping that I can knock some things out this year that open me to a lot of new experiences, and help me to grow as an individual. (Some of these beautiful suggestions came from a variety of bucket lists around the world including  Like last year's list, I'll add links and dates where applicable.  I also invite you to return to last year's list.  I'd like to see if I can complete some of those items, too.

1. Establish a strong social media presence for YGI and OF&S

2. Establish a stronger physical presence at my son’s school events for the upcoming school year

3. Do one thing every two weeks that will take me out of my comfort zone but open me to new experiences and opportunities

4. Volunteer for the Alzheimer’s Association

5. Awake NLT 6:30A M-F and NLT 8:00A on Saturdays and Sundays

6. Complete 2 30-day challenges

7. Attend the 2017 Honda Battle of the Bands

8. Try a new dish

9. Have a monthly date night with my husband (Almost)

10. Attend a poetry slam

11. Achieve my ideal weight (126-130 pounds)

12. Attend a spa day

13. Watch every movie on the IMDb Top 250 Movie List

14. Do 36 random acts of kindness

15. Get a professional massage

16. Hike at Government Island

17. Write letters to 5 people who have positively influenced me

18. Host a dinner party

19. Learn to swim

20. Attend an Ugly Christmas party

21. Visit a new city

22. See a play

23. Host a Game Night

24. Attend a Sip n’ Paint or Dine n’ Paint event

25. Have dinner with TFatherWinter at Potomac Winery

26. Buy something for a stranger off their wish list/registry

27. Attend a jazz festival

28. Attend a Mother Daughter weekend with just my mother and I

29. Go to an orchard and pick fruit

30. Make preserves

31. Regularly get my hair done

32. Take the kids to an amusement park or the state fair

33. Take a self-defense class

34. Have a professional family photo shoot done

35. Landscape

36. Bake my own bread

Weekend Recap: Of Seminars and Family

Hi everyone!

I hope everyone is having a great weekend.  It's been great for us thus far.  Last night, Superbug and I had a Mommy-Son night.  Since last month sent us bowling, we opted for free movies!  Yep.  Thanks to discounts and movie packs, we were able to see Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows.
Photo courtesy:
It was a pretty good movie.  But I have to say he enjoyed it more than I.  I give it a 3 out of 5.  But, we had a great time watching it together and that is all that truly counts :)  After the movie, Superbug asked for dinner at Burger King.  I have to laugh at this because of all the places we could possibly go, he wanted Whoppers.  Sigh, I'll get him in the habit of enjoying real food sooner or later lol.  In the mean time, Superbug has hinted that he wants to do laser quest next time.

When we arrived home after our Mommy-Son night festivities, we found we were home alone.  There was nothing wrong though.  FatherWinter had some family members who were coming in from out of town for one evening only.  He and Honeybee joined them with NanaWinter for dinner.  When we arrived, they hadn't quite made it home yet.  That just meant Superbug and I sat down and conversed about a few more interesting topics--school, life, our upcoming cruise (8 more days!!!), and vacations to see NanaNorth.  Soon, it was time for him to call it a night and I was left to my own devices.  (That's code word for sleep lol).

Today, Honeybee and I went o our church for a Women's Ministry seminar on Domestic Violence.  It was very informative and sad to hear the statistics.  The representatives from the local organization were wonderful though.  They are actively seeking volunteers and I think I may want to sign up.

After the seminar was over, our original plan was to go to the Food Truck festival about thirty minutes North, but it was so very hot that I didn't think it would be a good idea to walk around outside for three hours in 70+% humidity.  So we have been at home enjoying family.

I will catch up with you all in a few days.  Have a great evening.


35 while 35: Mother Daughter Tea

Hello everyone!  Today's Weekend Recap features an item from my 35 while 35 bucket list.  This weekend, Honeybee and I were able to attend our church's 2nd Annual Big Hats and Pearls Mother's Day Potluck/Tea.  It was such an amazing day.

Honeybee and I enjoyed donning our cute hats and accessories just to spend some time together!  We were able to have some very yummy food and play some cool games including one where Honeybee won!  Yay!!!

The food was all potlucked by the beautiful women in attendance.  It was such a wonderful evening.  I really enjoyed myself and I think our Honeybee did too!

One of the coolest things about the event was it was on my 35 while 35 list.  Slowly but surely it is getting whittled down, but there is a lot more that I need to do!

Have a great evening everyone and we will be checking in with you soon!


The greatest Mommy Son night

Last night, my son and I had the best Mommy-Son date night ever.  We've been overdue for a while now.  That meant last night was more than important.  We first went to dinner at IHOP.  I took advantage of our local location's Kids Eat Free every night until 6 May.  Since it was the last night for the evening, I thought it a great opportunity to take advantage.

Superbug and I sat at the table, just he and I and enjoyed each other's company.  We talked about everything--school, life, the upcoming cruise, summer desires, and Christ.  We talked about things we'd like to see happen in the future.  We talked about things we wished we could change in the present.  It was the best conversation that I have had in a long time.  There were no interruptions, no sarcastic remarks, no feeling of being overwhelmed.  It was just my son and I.  It was beautiful.

While sitting there, we were observed by a first responder and his family.  He was sitting in uniform and would occasionally glance at us.  I was having such a good time with Superbug that I forgot about the family in the corner.  But, as we were preparing to leave, the first responder asked if I he could give me a sticker for Superbug.  I accepted and saw my son's eyes light up at the police badge. It was a great gift.  Superbug was very excited and made sure to show gratitude to the gentleman and his family.  Superbug wore that sticker all night long.

After our dinner, Superbug and I decided to visit the dollar tree to look around and because I needed Mothers' Day cards for the kids grandmothers.  We walked around, laughed at a couple of the displays the store put out, and then after paying, made our way to the next step in Mommy-Son night.

We drove to the bowling alley and played a game.  It was a great time and I even won.  Afterwards, we shared a huge laugh when I got on the wrong exit and drove the wrong direction for several miles before realizing and having to wait until a proper turnoff to get back on the right road.

All in all, it was a wonderful evening that I wouldn't trade for anything.  We had an amazing evening.

Hope your evenings are wonderful too.


Weekend Recap: A Night with the Stars

We had an awesome experience at church on Saturday evening.  Our music ministry decided to honor those who have shown faithful and committed service from past and present members.  They decided to do so with a formal black tie affair complete with red carpet and announcer.  It was a wonderful service.  It really was.  It was also outside the norm.

There was scripture and prayer, but there was also video tributes, gospel songs, spirit moving mime ministry.  It was just amazing.

Superbug and I

Honeybee and FatherWinter

Our family
I was even one of the presenters of the evening.  The award I presented honored four seasoned ladies in the music ministry for their grace, nobility, strength, and wisdom.  They had no idea.  There was a video montage and everything.  Again, it was just a great evening.

One of the really cool things about this evening was, in addition to being a great event to praise and worship God, it have me an opportunity to check off one of the items on my 35 while 35 list.  In the list, I wanted to be able to dress for a black tie affair.  I honestly didn't think I would have the chance to do so before I turned 36, but I was so thankful that God gave me the desires of my heart.

I'm hoping I can knock a few other things off my list and create another to knock off in July.  I hope everyone has a very great day and be blessed.


An Anniversary Post: Four Years Later

Four years ago today, I stood before God and loved ones and promised to love FatherWinter with all that was in me.  I promised that I would honor him and love him.  I promised I would be an encouragement, a motivator, a lover, a confidant, and a friend.  I had no idea that those words would be tested every single day.

Four years and forever to go...

In writing this blog post, I searched others.  I wanted to see if any of the posts would be like mine, unfiltered, unadulterated, just real.  I was pleasantly surprised to see that several were.

In the four years that FatherWinter and I have been married one to another, we've experienced some really great and amazing highs and some pretty awful and devastating lows.  There have been times when I have been so filled with love, joy, and affection I couldn't stand it.  Then, there have been times when I haven't been sure I wanted to walk the path anymore.  Times when I doubted if the effort was worth the tears.

There have been times when my very faith has been tested, times when I have spent more times talking to God than to my own spouse (not that there is anything wrong with that).  That's just what it is.  BUT, and I emphasis that BUT, we are still here--together.  My husband has been my sounding board.  He's been honest and direct and no nonsense.  He's been playful and silly and annoying.  He's been strong and caring and sincere.  He has been the absolute best and the absolute worst.  He has been mine and I have been his.

Marriage is a commitment.  It really is.  I remember seeing family members who had been married for decades, a century and beyond.  I remember seeing in their elder years how close they were, how affectionate, how sweet and loving.  I remember thinking in passing it would be nice to have that it I ever got married.  As I got older, I remember some of those same family members telling me that their place of serenity wasn't achieved overnight.  They even shared stories of gross inconsideration that I would gasp at in disbelief.  They laughed about it in latter days, but in their youth; those inconsiderate moments were no laughing matter.

I imagine all marriages have experienced that in some way or another.  Mine is certainly no different. I can certainly say I'm blessed to be married to FatherWinter and I love him very much.  So what has four years of marriage taught me?

I am stronger than I was four years ago.  I know that I am capable of handling a lot.  I know that I have the ability to contribute, to motivate, to produce, to succeed.  I know that I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.  I know the attributes of a Godly woman and a Godly wife and I strive to achieve them everyday.  That being said, I still have a ways to go before I'm satisfied with the process and truthfully pray that satisfaction never comes.

I still get butterflies.  Call it what you will, but when my husband walks into the room with a sleeveless T-shirt and jeans, my heart flips.  When I see him playing with our children and rolling on the floor with his nieces and nephews, my heart melts.  He's still handsome to me.  I still like his smile.  I still want his arms around me. I still get butterflies.

I am more than a wife and mom.  I have learned in the four years that I have been married, and the nine (almost ten) that I have been a mother that sometimes I need me time.  I mean I really need it.  If I don't get it, I get cranky and frustrated and burned out and not fun to be around.  I'm getting close to that mark right now and am secretly planning an early evening escape one day soon so I can just spend some alone time with me, myself, and I.  FatherWinter has told me on numerous occasions that I need to take care of myself and I plan to do that.  It's a great thing when you have a spouse who recognizes that.

Everything isn't for everybody.  I have learned in my four years I can't vent to everyone.  I used to call on mom when FatherWinter would 'wreck my nerves'.  I had to stop.  When the nerve wrecking ended and FatherWinter and I were all hugs, kisses, and compromises, mom would still remember. While she has never been mean or nasty to him, I realized the possibility existed that her opinion of FatherWinter could change based on a miscommunication or simple disagreement.  That would be unfair.  So, I have learned to keep a lot to myself.  If I do need a human outlet, I go to the same trusted happily married friend who can let me vent, but hold me accountable for my part in whatever it is I'm venting about.  And she has been phenomenal.

Finally, the fun stuff....

My favorite moment as a wife.  It's pretty obscure, but I think my favorite moment as a wife was when we were on our way to our first anniversary trip.  We were at Miami International Airport preparing to go through security before leaving for our anniversary cruise.  There were a lot of people in the security queue and the TSA agent was separating people and placing them in lines to attempt to make the queues process faster.  FatherWinter and I were walking through the long line to get to the queue buildup when the guard allowed me to pass, and then very quickly, tried to send FatherWinter to a different line.  FatherWinter stated "no" and continued to move forward behind me. The agent looked ready to get nasty, but FatherWinter said. "that's my wife!"  in a soft even tone I hadn't heard before that brooked no argument.  In that tone, I heard "the woman in front of me is my wife and I will protect her.  I'm behind her because I have her back.  I'm protesting being separated from her because I love her and if I am separated from her, I won't be able to protect her as I desire.  So, I will not be separated from her."  Of course he didn't say all of that, but it's what I felt and it was one of the few times I've ever felt his protection so palpable.  It was a favorite moment.

What I hope our next wedded year will bring.  Pregnancy.  Unity.  Love.  Smiles.  And lots of date nights.

4th Wedding Anniversary Tradition Gifts.  Fruit/Flowers.  This should be easy lol.

Happy Anniversary, FatherWinter.  I love you very much.


Vacation Butterflies

We are officially BOOKED for our family vacation! This year FatherWinter and I decided to introduce the children to a cruise! Oh my, we thought it was an amazingly awesome idea. So much so that we asked FatherWinter’s sister and brother in law and their kids if they wanted to come as well. They said yes! I have to admit I like traveling together with them. They are not afraid to step out of the comfort zone and try new things. They came with us last year to Florida and I really did enjoy their company. Plus, their children are neck and neck with Superbug and Honeybee. We knew there would be a lot for everyone to do—both separately and together. Not only will this be the kids first cruise, but also my sister and brother in law and their family. So, I’m really hoping for a great time.

Photo courtesy:
I’m really excited about that there are kids camps throughout the day that allow the adults to have some alone time while allowing the kids to play together in all sorts of fun activities. I also love that there are so many different food choices that everyone’s palate will be satisfied. It’s pretty safe to say that I am more than a little excited about this trip. BUT (and of course there are buts), I am admittedly nervous.

I really want the kids to enjoy themselves. I really want FatherWinter and I to enjoy ourselves. So, I’m scouting everything. I’m trying to research everything. We’re riding down in a huge RV that will allow everyone to get there at the same time. We’re proposing leaving late night so that the kids will be sleep most of the time. It should take about 12 hours to get to our destination. Then, we arrive on board, grab something to eat, and then have a little down time before heading to muster station training.

Then we’re off! I can’t wait to see Honeybee and Superbug’s faces as we pull off and wave to everyone. I can’t wait until they have their first realization that they are on a moving ship for a week! I am so extremely excited about this journey!

But, admittedly, I have a few butterflies. I am really searching through these blogs and forums on what to pack for Honeybee. She has eczema. Are there any special extras I should take with us because of the sea air. I want to create a cool “to do” kit for Superbug while on vacation. Maybe a “scavenger hunt” of things to look for on the trip. I want nice pictures and fun memories. What is Honeybee has a tantrum? What if the kids get motion sickness? What if they get homesick? Sigh.

Then I can’t forget Superbug. I really want him to be happy and enjoy his trip as well. Time to sit down with him and ask him what he is most looking forward to? Does he even understand what will be on the cruise? Eeek! Yep, we have about 70+ days to get it together lol….not to mention my weight lol.

Here’s looking forward to great fun and wonderful planning!

Talk to you soon!


Weekend Recap: More than just a cause

I really wasn’t expecting this weekend to be as fun and memorable as it was. Truly, I wasn’t. I knew we had a few plans, but the outcome went above anything I could have imagined. When I arrived home on Friday, FatherWinter informed me that we would be getting up early the next morning to attend a 3-on-3 basketball tournament. I was less than thrilled and didn’t really want to go, but he mentioned it was co-sponsored by our church’s HIV/AIDS Ministry and I was in.                                        

We arrived at the event to be ushered into a cafeteria where a video was presented about HIV/AIDS in the community, prevention, and stigma associated with the diseases. I’m familiar with epidemic. I’ve lost family members to it and have been faithfully testing every year since college. What I wasn’t familiar with were the recent statistics in my area. DC ranks #1 in the nation for HIV/AIDS cases. VA ranks #2 and MD is #3. That’s a very sobering statistic. The county the tournament took place had the unpleasant distinction of being #2 in the state for new cases. Not great at all. I watched Superbug attentively listen to all that was presented and knew we would be having a discussion later.

After the video was over, we went to the gym and began the tournament. Our church has four teams because we had so many participants! That was awesome, BUT we weren’t as great as some of the other teams. Three were knocked out early. The latter team was knocked out in the championship battle. So, we came in second place, but had a great time participating! 

Didn't quite make it this time...
Photo credit: National Geographic/
After the event, we took a journey to the National Geographic Museum to visit the Indiana Jones and the Adventure of Archaeology. FatherWinter and Superbug really enjoyed the exhibit as you faced interactive “walks” with movie and informational video clips on portable devices. Unfortunately, my device was malfunctioning and wouldn’t show any of the movie clips. It showed all of the informational clips though and I learned quite a bit including the origin of “thugs” and the history of the “Thugee” tribe made famous in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. My favorite part of the exhibit had to be the recreation of the Ark of the Covenant. I think I examined that most of all. When we’d completed our visit, we found temps dipping and stomachs rumbling. If you're in DC in the next couple of weeks, I highly recommend the visit.  It really was very educational but a lot of fun at the same time.

Yesterday was just the best day ever.  First, we got to hear Superbug sing. :)  Superbug hasn’t sung in the church choir since he was about four years old. He recently expressed an interest in doing so again and FatherWinter and I allowed it, after having a discussion about commitment and discipline. He did a great job and we were very proud of him. After he completed singing, the family went to the Family Fun event that Honeybee's adoption agency hosted.  We had such an enjoyable time.  

Honeybee, Superbug, and I enjoyed a hayride around a beautiful farm. FatherWinter couldn’t join because he is allergic to hay, but he was fine. While we were riding, he was parktaking of the yummy snacks and beverages in the greenhouse. The ride was a bit nippy but not uncomfortably so.  After it was over, we came to join FatherWinter and Honeybee found the cake to be her favorite thing there.  She spend the rest of her time trying to convince others to share their cake with her. :)

No cupcake is safe!!!! Lol 
Enjoying her own small piece

Superbug made a new friend and they spent the afternoon playing football until the sun’s rays began their descent. After farewells and pictures, the family loaded up and went to celebrate one more family event—an anniversary.

We spent time visiting with our brother and sister in law celebrating their 3rd wedding anniversary. While we didn't get to grab photos here, it was an enjoyable time and we were blessed to celebrate with them.

When we got home, we were so tired, everyone was out within 10 minutes of getting settled.  It was a wonderful weekend and we were very pleased to enjoy it as a family.  Next big event....we're going to try and hit Christmastown!!

Have a blessed evening!!

Our Summer Recap

It's over....sigh.  Summer is unofficially over.  It was a wonderful ride, but it's time to return to the normalcy of all things school and responsibility.  Usually, this is the point where I share our weekend recap, but since we've officially hit the last event on our "summer calendar", I thought it appropriate to give a belated summer recap and reflect on all the things that God has allowed us to enjoy and experience this summer.

1.  Placement Agreement

Before an official summer kick-off, we were blessed to sign Honeybee's adoption placement agreement. After such a long and arduous process, we were finally able to start the legal finalization proceedings that would lead to our Honeybee becoming a legal forever member of our family!  Even though we are still waiting for everything to be finalized, we are very close and I couldn't be more excited!

2.  Family Vacation

We kicked off our summer with a family vacation to the Sunshine State.  We were blessed to have FatherWinter's sister and her family join us and also FatherWinter's brother and his family join in. Theme park fun, tasty food, long car drives, magic shows, and tons of rain.  It was a pretty great time.

3.  Reading 

Superbug is just like his Mommy and loves to read. So this summer, it wasn't unusual to catch him curled up in his favorite reading chair reading new adventures.

He's been reading the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series and has really been enjoying them. What's awesome is his little sister has been observing him read and now sits in her seat or beside him to "read" her book as well. Looks like we will have another budding avid reader on board.

We've also enjoyed some pretty cool family memories from "camping" to weddings to birthdays. I didn't get to do all that I wanted to do with the kids this year, but I'm definitely thankful for the things that we were able to do.

Without a doubt, we had a great summer.   I'm looking forward to similar family memories this Fall.


Explaining 9/11

Photo Credit:  Google Search
When the first plane hit the North Tower of the World Trade Center, I was a senior in college and I was asleep. It was a Tuesday and I’d had a class schedule that meant my first class wouldn’t begin until 1PM. I hadn’t planned on waking up until much later that day, so I was more than annoyed when a girlfriend called and woke me up out of a restful slumber.

“Girl! Are you watching TV”

I remember sighing and asking her what channel and remember her asking me what channel I had. That shook me and I turned on the television just in time to see the second plane slam into the South Tower. I hung up the phone and ran into my best friend/college apartment mate’s room. I swung open the door and she stared at me wrapped in the arms of her boyfriend (now husband). Tears streamed down her face. I knew immediately it was no accident.

That day was a sad combination of raw emotion. I remember throwing on clothes and sobbing with relief as my mother picked up the phone from Jersey. She was at work, mere Life Flight moments from the destruction and could see the smoke from the roof. She begged me to stay inside because she feared more attacks and I told her I couldn’t because I had “a job to do”. I remember changing clothes, grabbing my reporter’s pad, and heading out. Somewhere along the line I ran into my male best friend and heart string. He and I walked together to the college auditorium where there was standing room only while our chancellor gave a speech about the tragic events, why classes would not be cancelled “because he would not let them win”, and how we needed to pray. I remember my friend praying with me and keeping me calm despite not hearing from his family at the Pentagon and in DC. I remember his walking me to my 1PM class and telling me to go straight to class and then to go home, that he loved me, and that everything would be alright. That was 14 years ago and I remember almost every detail like it was yesterday.

In recent years, I have shown Superbug pictures and articles of that day. I showed him the slide show that showed the destruction of the towers. I showed him the candlelight vigils. Last year, when he asked why the people didn’t come down the stairs, I showed him the captured of pictures of those who jumped because of the heat of the flames and being blocked from any other way.

When we discussed 9/11, we discussed people who executed a terror attack because they believed they were within their right to do so. He asked what I was doing on that fateful day, how I felt, and if I think about the day anymore. As he gets older, he doesn’t ask about it as often. I suppose it is similar to thoughts I had about Pearl Harbor. I was aghast at the attack and could only imagine what my great-grandmother felt, but I couldn’t quite relate and some how felt a safety bubble that it wouldn’t happen again. At least I did.

I hope and pray that Superbug and Honeybee never experience a moment of profound historical significance as 9/11 or Pearl Harbor. While it is always important to #NeverForget, let us hope and pray that the next generation won’t have such a moment to recall.



It's September!  Woohoo!  This month ushers in a bunch of "new" experiences and milestones in our family.  Superbug returns to school in a few more days.  Honeybee begins her first day in the toddler room tomorrow.  FatherWinter and I started our first week of classes at the accredited Bible college at our church.  FatherWinter's first class was last night.  Mine was tonight!  How is that for new experiences?

I am currently taking Gifts of the Spirit.  I started off wanting to take the class simply to learn more about what God wills for my life, what my purpose in Him is, and what He wants me to accomplish while I am on Earth.  Some how that ended up with my signing up to begin degree coursework toward a new Bachelor degree!  I'm still not sure I'm quite on board with that one, but I'm willing to ride this out to see where it leads.  I really enjoyed tonight's first class and am looking forward to a very inspirational and important season.  Somehow I think this is going to be bigger and more important to me than I even realize.

Speaking of important, I learned some important new information for Superbug tonight.  Superbug's bus schedule arrived and since there are more students in the neighborhood route now (new subdivisions), Superbug's bus will come ten minutes earlier than it has for the past two years.  When I told him, he was kind of taken aback.  (Smile).  He figured it meant his morning schedule would back up by ten minutes from now on.  He's right, but I am not complaining.  Because Superbug's bus typically picked him up later in the morning, I would always get to work about 9:15 since I didn't leave for work until he was safely onboard and couldn't get to work until Honeybee was dropped.  With him on the bus ten minutes earlier, I can get to work earlier by a few minutes and that extra time is appreciated.

We find out tomorrow who Superbug will have as his teacher for the upcoming school year?  He's anxious to find out.  He'll meet the teacher and view his classroom this week at Open House.  Then it's all out planning for the next few weeks' activities.  I was looking at the calendar today and it's a busy month!

We have our NFL Fantasy Draft Cookout/Potluck, then Superbug has his first day of school, our friend and her fiance get married on the same day as Superbug's birthday (which we're celebrating that evening), followed by a baby shower for my sister in law, and prayerfully a finalization notice for Honeybee's adoption is coming soon.  Truth be told, October is my favorite month, but September is quickly giving it a run for the money.  Especially with all of these fun activities scheduled.  Stay tuned!


Me Time! Oh How I have missed you!!

So, at 6PM, I heard the sound of the garage door closing.  I was alone.  My husband, son, and daughter had just gone to a high school football game.  I had that moment where I wondered if I should have went too.  I thought part of me was going to regret that I didn't go, but the other part of me--the tired part, the exhausted part, was just so thankful that FatherWinter was fine with taking Honeybee as well.  Truthfully, I had not thought of him taking her, but not complaining that he had.

It was Superbug's first high school football game and the guys were sure to have a great bonding experience.  As they walked out the door, garage door descending, I debated about what I should do next.  Should I see a movie?  War Room was released and I really wanted to see it, but that was a movie I think I'd like to see with FatherWinter.  With a little work, I might be able to convince him to see it with me.  I thought about going out to grabsome Panda Express and some red velvet cupcakes from my favorite cupcakery.  But, and isn't this horrid, I didn't want to drive.  Truth be told, I just wanted to chill. And that's just what I did.

I ordered my favorite pizza in the world that I never get because FatherWinter hates the brand. I got my special garlic cheese sauce.  I grabbed my cheese sticks.  I had it delivered, which is a no no, but I was exhausted.  The delivery guy delivered it and we had a wonderful albeit conversation about faith. Then, after eating to my heart's content and cleaning my mess, I went upstairs, popped on the television, and watched nonsense until I fell asleep.  It was great.

The family came home about 11PM.  I didn't move even as they settled into their respective areas.  I simply rolled over, adjusted the pillows, and fell asleep.

I don't get me time often.  But when I do, it's more than enjoyable to me.

Time is Relative

It’s amazing to me how fast time can seem to glow and at the same time crawl to a snail’s pace. I’m learning as the month slowly progresses to September that time is going to do what time does—continue at its own pace.  

Finalization Progress.  A couple of days ago, I contacted Mrs. Care to see how things were progressing with Honeybee’s finalization.  We’d heard nothing since our lawyer had sent in the paperwork on my birthday.  I wanted to know if she had heard anything before I contacted our lawyer.  [And] She had.  There is still a delay occurring in the court system where Honeybee’s finalization will occur.  Sigh.  The court system only just received her court case files from her other hearings last week.  That information has to be processed and then the paperwork which was sent in this time.  BUT, that processing cannot occur until the cases and casework that was submitted in earlier cases (before Honeybee’s) is processed.  Where we’d once been told we could expect to receive finalization notice before Labor Day now seems to be before the end of September.  Insert HUGE sigh here.  I got off the phone feeling a bit disappointed.  While nothing changes here because our Honeybee is still with us, happy, and growing, she is still not legally our daughter.  And it still isn’t completely done when finalization occurs.  We still have to get new birth certificates and social security cards.  It is my sincere hope that FatherWinter and I can take the day off work and go down to Vital Records together once we have the finalization notice.  We can just go to Vital Records and get the birth certificate and head to the Social Security office to get her new card.  Hopefully, that will be sooner than later.

Daycare.  Yesterday, I went to pick Honeybee up from daycare.  As NanaWinter still watches her on the latter part of the week, the staff knew yesterday would be her last day there for the week.  What I wasn’t prepared for was the information that it would also be her last day in the baby care room.  Oh my goodness!!! Can I tell you how emotional I felt myself getting?!  Next week, my Honeybee will be going to the big girl class.  She’ll sit in big girl chairs in big girl tables.  She’ll learn songs and colors and new experiences.  She’ll make friends and have a great time.  At least that is my hope.  But isn’t it funny how time can flow so slow in one scenario and flow so quickly in another?  I kid you know it seems like I was just dropping Honeybee off at daycare for the first time and getting emotional over that.  Now, there’s a milestone here and I’m amazed by it.

Superbug.  So I spent part of yesterday updating our family’s Google calendar with all of the appropriate information for Superbug.  His county has come out with the school calendars and there are abbreviated days, holidays, parent days, and activities that must be locked in before they catch us unaware.  This year opens new doors for Superbug.  He is a chess whiz.  He gets to join the chess club at school and he really wants to.  There is an option for school chorus this year.  He wanted to do it last year, but the major performance was going to be the week we were out of town and I didn’t want him to be disappointed that we couldn’t come.  The option exists this year.  There are also a few other things that he gets to do that he couldn’t do last year.  It’s such a blessing to see the little man that he is becoming. He has his own interests now and I hope that he will be allowed to pursue them.  I loved that my great-grandmother was such a loving individual, but she was very sheltering.  A lot of things I wanted to do, I couldn’t and I always felt bad about that.  I plan to continue to take her example of being a loving and wonderful mother figure and apply it, but also allow Superbug an opportunity to spread his wings a bit more and become his own little person. 

Announcements.  Well, the last four weeks have garnered three weeks of pregnancy notifications.  There is something in the water for sure.  Unfortunately, it hasn’t decided to swim around my way lol.  I’m super excited for the new expecting mommies.  I wish them all the joy in the world.  Babies are truly a joy.  I'm so happy those I love get to experience the same.  

Weekend Recap: Superbug Returns and Yummy Meals

Superbug is back!!
Superbug has returned!!  Woohoo!  It's been more than a little interesting having both Superbug and I away from home at the same time, but in different locations.  Technology is certainly a great tool as I was able to FaceTime with FatherWinter and Honeybee every night.  Superbug has a traditional cell phone and not a smart phone, so I was only able to call him nightly.  I loved hearing his voice, but certainly missed him.

He had a great time with his birth father as always and came back with all of his school supplies and a few new outfits.  That was certainly awesome!  I'm very thankful that Superbug has a great relationship with FatherPharoah.  They always make some pretty cool memories when they are together.  Plus it's a great boon that everyone gets along and genuinely enjoy each other's company.  I know that my family isn't the only one that operates well as a blended family, but I am told it's an exception and not a rule. (Honeybee's Guardian Ad Litem enlightened me).

Anywho, I picked him up the day after my arrival from the airport, got back through the summer traffic congestion, and quickly changed clothes to take the family to a rather nice restaurant to celebrate my in-laws 46th wedding anniversary.

I have to tell you that I really enjoyed this place.  They make all of their food from scratch using locally available produce and meats.  Everything is made in house including the bread and pastas.  I loved everything.  I had my crab cakes (I know.  I know, but I love crab cakes).  They were very delicious, but I think the ones in SC had them beat.  But that doesn't take away anything from them because the crab cakes were amazing here too.  Now, hands down the smashed potatoes I had at this local restaurant were SO good.  They tasted like my great-grandmothers.  They were real potatoes and were seasoned so well.  Loved them.

Superbug wolfed down his breaded chicken tenders (which he claimed were awesome with a big thumbs up).  FatherWinter had his ribs and devoured them.  It was a great meal and a wonderful time to spend with the in laws.

I hope I'm blessed to see 46 years in marriage.  It would be more than wonderful to do so.   We'll see what God has in store!

Welcome back to my Superbug!!!


Charleston, SC

While on a business trip to Charleston, SC, I decided to take some of my down time to visit a few sites in the city.  I've never been there before, but have always wanted to partly because of the deep historical and architectural significance.

The city didn't hesitate to share its history with me.

The city's children could run up and through this fountain.  On a humid day, it hit the spot

I  took a walk near the Charleston Waterfront Park and just enjoyed the beautiful fountain, the cool breeze, and the beautiful architecture that was constantly surrounding me.  My colleague accompanied me and I was very fortunate that she also loves and appreciates such things.  She's traveled extensively in Europe and saw a lot of European inspiration in the buildings.  She thought about how the colonists settled in the area and saw the connection immediately.

Most of the older or restored buildings had markers that designated their year and any awards they won for the resoration

The Art Institute has a campus in Charleston.  Some of its students went across the street to sketch on the stairs.

We found this jewel in a hotel courtyard.  If you look carefully, you'll see the bottom fountain bowl is actually multi-colored.
There was so much for our eyes to feast on it that it would have almost been easy to forget to feed our bellies.  Almost...

We stopped at a local restaurant called Charleston Crab House.  Can I tell you how much I loved these crab cakes?!  Oh my goodness!  They were so yummy I ended up writing a review on them for Tripadvisor.  The service was great.  The food was spectacular and it was visited again the next day!!

It made waking up every morning to prep for meetings a lot less painful.  Though I have to admit that my meetings weren't half bad.  New experiences will never be taken for granted.

Meeting bound....
In the afternoons, I was able to return to the our hotel and enjoy some quiet time.  I took advantage of room service only once.    I wasn't really that impressed....except for the cake.  The cake was amazing.

Not the Lobster Roll I was expecting, but I won't complain.

This Carrot Cake was pretty good though

All in all, it was a very productive trip.  I hope to return one day with FatherWinter and the kids.  It has a lot of wonderful attractions and things to keep everyone entertained.  Plus, it has tons of history and I love that.  Of course there is also tragedy here.

It was my sincere desire to visit Mother Emanuel AME Church to pay homage to the victims of the Charleston 9 Massacre.  Unfortunately, it rained a lot in Charleston and the area wasn't so easy to navigate for me in the rain.  The downtown streets flood quite a bit there.  I do plan on returning to pay my respects the next time I am down.

Hope you enjoyed the journey.

Business Travel: Has it been that long?

So, today, I started the first leg of a very rare out of state business trip for a program I'm backfilling while its assigned analyst is on maternity leave.  No problem.  I've done business travel before.  I mean, heck, before I became mommy and wife, I was traveling (at one point) 3 weeks out of the month.  I had points for every airline, well over 40-50k worth of hotel points for most business hotel chains, and some of the chains even remembered me and my preferences--placing me in the same room with the same perks just because they remembered them.  (And this was before the days of electronic preferences).  But eventually, I found myself getting bored with that life.
 I had a scrapbook full of hotel card keys (before they charged you if you took them) and photos of all of these great places, but I didn't have a personal life.  Shoot, my personal life was work.  My friends and family no longer started phone conversations with "Hello", but with "what state are you in today?".  They thought it was fun and glamorous.  For a while, I did too, but about the same time I discovered I was pregnant with Superbug was the same time that I realized that a life on the road by myself wasn't exactly what I was looking forward to for the rest of my life.  So shortly after his arrival came a company personnel change.  I found myself off my contract and taking a job that involved minimal travel.  I haven't been on a business trip beyond a day trip in eons.  That never bothered me.  I just figured that portion of life wouldn't be happening anytime soon...until this week. My goodness...things have certainly changed.

First, let me be clear.  I am no longer the completely laid back, easy going, vibrant and wide eyed 20-something that traveled three weeks out of the month.  That little girl loved layovers and delays because they gave her time to explore.  This thirty-five year old woman prefers flights that have a 90%+ departure/arrival on time rate and minimal conversation.

So imagine my joy to discover my flight to Charleston, SC was nonstop and required no shuttling to rental car locations because it was right below the main terminal.  LOVE LIFE!  Then, imagine my amusement to find out the entire rental car location was empty of cars except two--a minivan and an SUV.  Can you guess what I chose? LOL

HUGE vehicle, but I enjoyed driving her

After getting the vehicle and locating our hotel, I found another thing had changed in this age of hackers and technology.  With my current company, travel arrangements (hotel and airfare) are made and paid for by the company executive team. This means no corporate credit card, just authorization documentation from the company that must be faxed since credit card information is not allowed to be exchanged via email.  Well, the company had sent the information, but it wasn't received in the proper format.  No harm, no foul.  I was able to get the company to re-fax the information, but it was still an interesting experience from how things used to be.  It got me wondering about things that I would suggest for a week long business trip (for parents).

A beautiful hotel

1.  If you can make it with a carry-on, do so.  I'm a fan of Cetaphil moisturizer.  It's become more of a necessity than a luxury.  Because I couldn't find the travel sized containers, I had to take the big jar. Hence the check on for me.  It helps to move in and out of the airport with less as opposed to more.

2.  Make the most of technology.  I  miss my Superbug and my Honeybee with all that is in me.  I also miss my FatherWinter.  I am very thankful for the invention of FaceTime.  Tonight, I got to see my daughter sitting on her potty for the first time.  I got to give her kisses and smiles through the telephone.  My Superbug is having an amazing time with his paternal family.  Technology allows him to share that with me.  I've been taking some amazing pictures and enjoying the ability to share them with family and friends.

3.  When there is down time available, take it.  I've never been to Charleston.  I was able to see a small part of it today and I was struck by its beauty and the irony of its past and recent events combined.  I was so thankful to be able to be a part of today
4.  When at the hotel, verify that you aren't in the flight path or in earshot of the plane.  It's 10:21 p m.  The jets flying over this hotel are so loud.  It's going to be an interesting night.

I plan on sharing some of my down time sights with you in a future blog post.  Hopefully, you will enjoy them as much as I do.


Weekend Recap: Pictures are worth 1000 words!!!

  • Good Food
  • S'Mores
  • Great Company
  • Wonderful Memories....Sounds like an amazing weekend to me!
This past weekend, FatherWinter, Superbug, Honeybee, and I all found ourselves at various points of the day at Wilderness Presidential Resort to spend some quality time with my brother and sister in laws.  It really was a great time.

The kids (ours and my adorable nephews and so talented niece) enjoyed swimming and playing on the playground.  The men (FatherWinter and our brother in law) showed that they "still have it" at the gym defeating a group of young men several years younger than them in basketball.  The ladies (myself and my beautiful sister in law) enjoyed conversing in the lot, talking about the soon coming arrival and the family in general.  A couple of hours later, the family enjoyed S'mores over a homemade fire pit with great conversation.

FatherWinter and our clan didn't leave until after midnight!  It was a great time and I highly recommend it if you are ever in the mood for clean and enjoyable family fun.  There is tons to do and a great place for building memories with the family.

Love, Live, Laugh--Date Night

Well, that was quick! In my 35 by 35 post, I mentioned that I would like to have monthly date nights with my husband. I haven't even mentioned this to him yet nor am I even certain he reads this blog, but God grants us the desires of our hearts. Last night, my husband and I had the opportunity to laugh out loud and be a bit carefree as we went to see Kevin Hart, one of our favorite comedian/actors perform.

Now, to know me is to know that I have a love of Kevin Hart. To know my husband is to know that he enjoys laughter (and magic). For his birthday (February), I surprised him with tickets to the Kevin Hart show which was coming to DC in August. I thought I’d purchased tickets for Friday only to realize rather quickly that I purchased them for Thursday instead. Not a big deal as I am certainly up for mid-week excursions. But I have to admit that, as I write this a day later, I am exhausted.

35 while 35

Inspired by

So yesterday, I turned 35!  Eeek, the big 3..5..  Love it!!  Today I wanted to figure out a way to make 35 more of a meaningful celebration than just one day.  I thought about doing a list of things I wanted to accomplish this year.  This list was inspired by the awesome Elise at Polka Dotted Blue Jay.  I found her 30 while 30  post back in March and decided that, if I am still alive and breathing, I would like to do something similar.  So, here's my list.

To make things even more interesting for me (because I really am trying to get out of my comfort zones), I plan to donate $5 for every item not accomplished by July 21, 2016 to the Alzheimer's Association in honor of my great-grandmother.  If I do accomplish everything, I will donate $200 in her name.

Here's my list and the links or completed dates for those things I do accomplish.

1.   Visit the Newseum
2.   Lose 10 pounds
3.   Have a Mommy-Son weekend with SuperBug
4.   Have a picnic
5.   Pamper myself more (bi-monthly with either massage or nail session)
6.   Lock on 5 new monthly service clients for my business
7.   Attend a Mommy-Daughter Tea with Honeybee (5/14)
8.   Have a professional family photo taken
9.   See adoption finalized for Honeybee (10/1)
10. Bake a pecan pie from scratch.
11. Bake my mother in law's peach cobbler from scratch
12. Gain 35 new blog followers
13. Go camping in a cabin w/s'mores and hiking
14. Go to the National Zoo
15. Spend an afternoon museum hopping all by myself
16. Have monthly date nights with my husband (8/7)
17. Volunteer at the Alzheimer's Association local offices
18. Learn how to swim
19. Host or attend a fab Christmas party complete with games, a photo backdrop, and a visit from Santa (12/12)
20. Start seriously building my investment portfolio
21. Take a weekend trip solo.
22. Learn to tango
23. Attend a professional conference
24. Run a marathon
25. Spend at least 15 minutes a day in quiet devotion to God
26. Visit a new city and explore (8/17)
27. Create a really nice nursery/bedroom for Honeybee
28. Create a really nice bedroom for Superbug
29. Create a really nice bedroom space for FatherWinter and I
30. Finish Masters degree or start new Masters degree program
31. Attend a play or live performance (8/7)
32. Go to a book signing
33. Do a boudoir photo session for my husband
34. Visit a planetarium
35. Attend a black tie affair (4/24)


Weekend Recap: Independence Day Edition

This weekend our great nation celebrated Independence Day.  Traditionally, the nation celebrates with cookouts, fireworks, friends and family.  This year was no different for a lot of families.  Our family, however, decided to take this weekend and spend it with just us.

Friday mid-afternoon, I took Honeybee and Superbug on a walk to the playground.  We played for a little while, allowing Honeybee to twirl on the merry-go-round and slide on the slides. Then, we decided it would be a pleasant day to visit my honorary parents.  We went over and enjoyed the beautiful landscaping that was done in their front and back yards. Honeybee sat with her Nana for a while smiling and giving hugs.  After a nice visit, we walked back to the house and settled in for the evening.

That night, we gathered around pizza, hot wings, and pasta to watch Teen Beach Movie 2.  It was great.  We all gathered around the TV, laughing at the antics of Tanner, and smiling at the self-assertiveness of Leah.  Honeybee managed to go down with a full belly and hugs for her stuffed belly at her regular bedtime.  The remainder of us sat up well past midnight laughing and enjoying each other's company.

Saturday morning, we slept in (which is a rarity for us), and woke for a reheating of pizza and accompaniments.  After doing morning cleaning, FatherWinter discussed whether or not we would attend the fireworks this year.  Superbug had told me the evening previous that he wasn't too thrilled about going this year.  He would rather stay with family and enjoy time with us.  So, we decided to stay in and watch the fireworks on television and just enjoy each other's company.

It definitely was not the most interesting holiday, but it was one of the more enjoyable.  Just Daddy, the kids, and I.  I won't complain about that at all.