About Me

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Welcome to my blog. I'm a Mississippi country girl transplanted to Grapevine, TX. I have been blessed with a great husband, and my kiddos, Aleck and Ella. When I'm not eating bon bons on the couch, I am my kid's room mom, PTA member, Sunday School teacher, taxi driver, amateur photographer and personal chef. When I'm not doing those things, I'm running a small jewelry business, 2nd Amendment Jewelry (www.2ndamendmentjewelry.com), that I started with my twin sister, Glenda. It's a crazy and busy life, but I wouldn't trade it for anything in this world. I am so thankful for all the blessings in my life!

Sunday, May 29, 2011

The Dirty Dozen Brass Band

We met Dede and her family, and Rita and her family at the Levitt Pavilion in Arlington to listen to The Dirty Dozen Brass Band.  The weather was perfect!  Ella entertained the people around us by dancing to the music.  She was so adorable.  Aleck had a great time seeing Josh and Clay, Rita’s twin boys.  All the kids loved the popcorn.  Great memories with great friends. 

Happy Memorial Day!




Saturday, May 21, 2011

Happy 41st Birthday to Me

Tom let me sleep in this morning and then served me breakfast in bed.  While he cooked, the kids made this adorable card.  Aleck drew the cake and Ella added the pink marker embellishments.

Aleck said, “Mom, we made you a card with a cake on it.  It has LOTS of candles on it!”  Yes, honey. It sure does. 


This is the first birthday card the kids have made, and my most treasured birthday card.  I love it!

Friday, May 20, 2011

The Life of Poppo


Over the last few days, I have heard so many new stories about Poppo.  Some were stories about Poppo’s life and some were stories about the kind of man Poppo was. 

Poppo met Nana when he gave Nana’s father a ride home from work.  I’m not sure of the distance, but the ride was rather out of Poppo’s way.  When Poppo got home, he told his family that he had met the woman that he was going to marry.  Poppo and Nana were blessed with sixty-two years of marriage.

Poppo spent twenty three years in the Army and they lived in lots of places, including Germany and Alaska, but the would eventually call Oxford, Alabama home.  Early in their marriage, Poppo and Nana became friends with Kay and John Hawthorne, their neighbors in a trailer park, and have been close friends ever since.  In the early years, money was so tight that Nana and Mrs. Hawthorne would share a ham bone and pass it back and forth to season the beans.  Nana and Mrs. Hawthorne told stories about late night Rook games.  The kids would get so excited when it would get so late that the visiting family would just spend the night with the host family, with the kids sacked out on the living room floor.

Nana and Poppo were blessed with six children:  Gary, Mike, Darla, Joy, Cathy and Tom.

The one tragic story in Poppo’s life was the loss of Gary, his firstborn son from a brain tumor.  It was especially difficult, because Poppo and Nana were separated during Gary’s hospitalizations.  Poppo was with Gary at the hospital, while Nana was at home with the other five kids.  This must have taken amazing courage and strength from both Poppo and Nana.

Somebody described Poppo as a man who showed mercy on others.  Nana and Poppo were involved in a serious car accident involving a drunk driver.  Nana’s hip was shattered.  The drunk driver, a young man, was killed in the accident.  Poppo knew the grief of losing a son.  When he could have easily been angry, Poppo grieved for the father of the drunk driver. 

Poppo saw good in others and trusted others, even strangers.  Once, Poppo had a used car for sale.  Poppo let a stranger take the car for a test drive.  I suppose Poppo trusted the stranger because he left his own car in Poppo’s yard.  The stranger never returned with Poppo’s car.  When Nana and Poppo woke the next day, the stranger had returned in the night to retrieve his own car.  On more than one occasion, Poppo was taken advantage of by others, but that never tainted the way he viewed people.  Poppo always saw the good in people.

Poppo worked hard to provide for his family.  After he retired from the Army as a Master Sergeant, Poppo worked for, and retired from Barber’s Dairy.

Poppo was a man of integrity who strived to live an honorable life.  Poppo was a member of First Baptist Church Oxford.  You could recognize him as a Christian man by the fruit of the Spirit seen in his life.

He was always concerned for his fellow man.  At one time, he worked as a car salesman.  He would come home from work troubled and he would confide in Nana that he just didn’t feel right about a sale he made that day.  He would say he sold a car to a couple and he just knew they couldn’t afford the monthly payment. 

Poppo loved his grandkids.  Most of the grandkids have grown up and moved away, but Poppo still enjoyed spending time with Molly.  He also loved being around Aleck and Ella.  Smiling ear to ear, he would meet us in the driveway when we arrived for a visit.  With tears in his eyes, he would wave goodbye when we backed out of the driveway headed back to Texas.  Knowing Poppo’s health was declining, I would have tears in my eyes, wondering if this was going to be our last time to see Poppo. 

Before his health declined after a stroke last April, Poppo would crawl down in the floor and play with Aleck and Ella.  He would say, “Hey, Cookie.”  That was his nickname for the kids.  Even in the last year, his eyes would light up when Aleck or Ella crawled up in his lap to rock.  The picture above is one of the last pictures I took of Aleck and Poppo together.  I took it the morning of Poppo’s 84th birthday.

Ella and Aleck loved their Poppo.  We had talked to Aleck about Poppo being sick.  As we were pulling into Nana’s house on Sunday, Aleck said, “Is Poppo better now?”  It broke my heart.  We told Aleck that Poppo was with Jesus now.  How much of that can a four year-old really understand?  Ella pointed to a picture over Nana’s couch and said, “Poppo”.  This was especially moving because Ella isn’t really talking much yet, but she knows who her Poppo is.

Poppo, in the life you lived, you left a wonderful legacy for your children and grandchildren.  I am a better person, and innumerably blessed for having known and loved you.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011



Today, we laid Poppo to rest.  I watched Nana and her children receive family and friends offering their condolences.  Poppo was a loved man.  There were so many that came through to offer kind words and tell us how much Poppo meant to them.

As I watched from across the room, a young woman spoke with Nana and the children.  I could see the pain in her face and the tears in her eyes.  This was a woman who loved Poppo and grieved for him.  When I asked who she was, I discovered she was the nurse that admitted Poppo to the hospital.  She said, “I know I just met him and only knew him a little more than a week, but I loved him.”  That was a testament to the kind of man Poppo was, and the kind of life he lived. 

Poppo was buried at Oxford Memorial Gardens.  Poppo was buried with military honors, complete with a gun salute.  As the honor guard carried Poppo’s casket to the grave, a bagpipe played “Amazing Grace”.  The graveside service was a beautiful service, fit for a wonderful man; yet, at the same time, filled with sorrow and grief.  How can something be beautiful and filled with grief at the same time? 

As I sat in front of Poppo’s casket and watched the honor guard fold Poppo’s flag, my body shook and tears poured down my face.  My insides felt like something was being ripped out. 

I feel selfish, almost like I don’t have a right to feel this overwhelming grief.  After all, I am just the daughter-in-law.  As brokenhearted as I am, how could I possibly understand the grief that Nana, Tom and his siblings are feeling?  I feel like I should be strong for my family, but all I want to do is find a corner and cry.

Everything reminds me of Poppo.  Yesterday, I took cloths out of the washing machine and found some of Poppo’s clothes, which instantly brought fresh tears. 

I know Poppo is with our Father, and it is a much better place than here.  I am so thankful for the time I had with him, but I am also selfish.  I just wanted a little bit more time.  What I wouldn’t give to hear him say, “Hey, Cookie” and watch Ella crawl up in his lap to rock.

I love and miss you, Poppo.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Homeward Bound

Cathy called at 3:00 a.m. to say Poppo’s heart rate was dropping.  Tom was there in twenty minutes, but he was too late.  Tom thinks he was already in the hospital when Poppo took his last breath, but he didn’t make it to his side in time.  It saddens me that Tom didn’t make it in time, but I am so thankful that Cathy was with Nana.

I drifted off to sleep around dawn and Poppo came to me in a dream.  He was standing in a white doorway smiling at me.  He had the most peaceful and beautiful look on his face.  My heart breaks, but at the same time my dream gives me comfort knowing that Poppo is with his Father. 

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Turn for the Worse

The kids and I left Glenda’s house this morning headed for Texas.  A couple of hours into the drive, Tom called saying his dad was doing worse and he needed to get a flight to Birmingham today.  He was headed home from a band performance.  I pulled into a McDonalds and jumped on their wifi to book a flight. 

A few hours later, the kids and I picked Tom up at the Birmingham and headed to the hospital.  When I went back to see Poppo, he was so lethargic that he slept most of the time that I was in the room.  I’m not sure he ever realized I was there.  Tom took the kids for a walk and I was able to spend some time with Poppo.  I stood at his bedside and rubbed his arm, praying that it wouldn’t be the last time.

Poppo’s kidneys are shutting down, but his blood pressure is so low that he won’t tolerate dialysis.  The doctors have done all that they can.  We pray that God’s Will be done.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Fishing with Pappaw


Papaw took Aleck fishing for the first time today.  Pappaw and Mammaw have this pond behind their house, so we didn’t have to go far.   Aunt Glenda bought Aleck a cool Spiderman fishing pole for his birthday and he was all set.  Aleck was more interested in exploring than fishing, but he did help Pappaw reel in one fish before he was off and running again.  I love it that my children get a small glimpse into life in the country when we visit my family.  I am so grateful for these precious memories.

Homemade Icecream

My dad loves homemade icecream.  It takes a bit of work to make it, so he only gets it on special occasions like birthdays and Father’s Day.  I thought it would be a fun experience for the kids.  It was a great teaching experience.  We talked about how the salt melts the ice and makes it colder so the icecream will freeze.  They both enjoyed pouring the ice in, but I think Ella probably ate more ice than she got in the bucket.  I didn’t get pictures of the finished product, but trust me, it was yummy!DSC_3977DSC_3961


Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Poppo is stable

Poppo is stable.  Tom has to go back to work so he flew back to Texas last night.  The kids and I spent one more night with Teena and dropped by the hospital to see Poppo this morning before heading to Mississippi to spend some time with my family. 

When we first entered Poppo’s hospital room, Ella was scared of all the tubes and didn’t want to go near Poppo.  Poppo looked better today, but at one point he looked at me and said, “I’m miserable”.  It breaks my heart to see him so helpless.

We only stayed a few minutes before we needed to leave and let Poppo rest.  Poppo and I hugged and told each other “I love you”.  We have told each other “I love you” many times before, but this time was different.  We locked eyes and it was as if we both wanted to make sure that the other person really, really knew “I love you”. 

When we were leaving, I picked Ella up to give Poppo a hug goodbye.  She was so intimidated by the tubes that I expected her to push away, but she didn’t.  When I pulled away from the bed, she kept reaching for Poppo and kept trying to crawl in bed with her Poppo.  Oh, how Ella loves her Poppo. 

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Visiting Poppo

The kids and I drove to Jackson, MS last night.  It was a long day!  I didn’t get out of Hurst until 12:15 p.m. and Ella was not happy about being in the car, so I had to make several stops.

Glenda and her family were at a soccer tournament in Jackson this weekend and I am so thankful that God’s hand is in absolutely everything.  When Glenda knew that I was going to make it to Jackson, she booked the hotel room across the hall from her room.  There is no way that I could have made it to Birmingham safely.  We pulled in at 10:00 p.m. and Glenda met me at the front of the hotel to help get the kids and luggage inside.  God is so good.  We had a nice breakfast with Glenda’s family and they helped me load the car and we headed to Birmingham.

The doctors think that Poppo has suffered another heart attack.  They would like to perform a heart cath, but Poppo’s kidneys aren’t doing great. The doctors think the risk of pushing Poppo into complete kidney failure outweigh the benefit of the heart cath, so for now we wait and pray for healing.

The nurses let Aleck and Ella briefly visit Poppo.  I love the way his eyes lit up when they walked in the room.  Poppo loves his grandkids.

Poppo is in Shelby Medical Center in Alabaster.  Teena and Danny, old friends that I met when I first moved to Birmingham, live just a few miles from the hospital.  We haven’t seen each other since Aleck was a baby, but when I called them, they graciously opened their home to my family.  Our kids played so well together and it was so nice to catch up with Danny and Teena.  Even though the circumstances that brought us to Birmingham are not good, I am thankful for renewed friendships. 



Friday, May 6, 2011

Praying For Healing

We received a call yesterday from Tom’s mom.  Poppo had a heart attack and was being transferred to a hospital in Birmingham.  Tom’s Dad has an extensive cardiac history and multiple other health issues.  Tom flew to Alabama this morning to be with his family.  It is so hard for me to stay in Texas, but until we know more it doesn’t make sense to drive across four states with two kids.  

Dear Lord, please give the medical team wisdom to know the correct treatment option.  Please let Poppo be comfortable and pain free.  Please heal the damage to his heart and improve his kidney function.  Please be with Nana, Tom and his siblings. Comfort them and give them peace and calmness, knowing that you are in control.  Please keep Tom safe in his travels.

Thank you, Lord, for being our one constant.  In your name.


Thursday, May 5, 2011


Transition with my kids makes me a little sad.  Transition means that things will never be exactly like they were yesterday.  Transition reminds me that my kids are growing up, and as wonderful as this phase is today, I sometimes miss the phases that are long gone.  Lately, when I see a brand new baby snuggled into his mother’s neck, I miss that feeling of my own newborn on my shoulder. 

This melancholy mood is brought on by three big changes this week:  Ella moved from her crib to a toddler bed, Ella is down to one bottle a day and will likely give that up this week, Ella is intensely interested in potty training.

I know. I know.  It’s crazy that I am a little sad about potty training.  This is the thing.  When Ella is potty trained, it means that I will never again change my own child’s diaper.  It means that my little baby girl is one step closer to college, moving out, marriage and having her own family. 

I just blinked.  Where did my babies go?

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

High Tea with Big Girl Panties

Ella has been consistently using the potty for the last several weeks.  I usually have to remind her to go potty, but she always  sits on the toilet and  tinkles when I change her pull-up or diaper.  She usually prefers to use the big toilet, instead of her toilet seat.  She is fascinated with the potty and although I certainly don’t want to discourage her, at times I have to distract her to get her to leave the bathroom.

For the last two days, she has taken all her clothes off several times and run around the house buck naked.  This morning while I was getting Aleck ready for preschool, Ella was running around naked and it dawned on me that she was unusually quiet.  I took off running, in fear of a potty catastrophe.  She was strolling out of the bathroom with a grin on her face from ear to ear.  Sure enough, she had made it to the bathroom to have a BM on her potty.  We spent the rest of the day in big girl panties.  She had a few little accidents, but took off running to the bathroom when she realized she was tinkling. 

We spent some time in the afternoon celebrating her huge accomplishments over a nice cup of tea.  Girl bonding time…..gotta love it.




Famous Last Words

Me:  “Aleck, go potty.  It’s time for bed.”
Aleck:  “I don’t need to go potty.”

This exchange went back and forth several times until I absolutely insisted that try to go potty. 

Aleck:  “Fine, WHATEVER YOU SAY!”

Aleck’s teenage years flashed before my eyes, that is, if he makes it to his teenage years.