Books I Didn’t Read…

Books I Didn’t Read…

Oh look, it’s a stack of books I probably won’t get around to reading on our vacation.

We’ve been gone for a over a week now – we spent the first week with my family in a villa in St Martin celebrating my parents fiftieth anniversary.

Ask me how many of those books I’ve finished. Go on, ask me…


Zero. Yep, that’s a big fat zero. None. How is it even possible to spend a week in the Caribbean and not finish one single book? I keep looking at the list and going over it again and again making sure I haven’t finished anything and, nope, not a thing. I didn’t even finish the magazine! Oh well, there is always this week while we’re at family camp.

We drove to Atlanta last Saturday since we had to fly out of there on Sunday morning at zero dark thirty. Billy is a big fan of zero dark thirty flights. If there is any way he can make us all get up ridiculously early he is going to do it.


Making you get up early is all part of my evil plan.”

The good news is we got into town in time to go to Ikea. Here is my experience with Ikea every time I go: for the first twenty minutes I walk around in a blissful state – imagining my house all full of hygge lighting and happiness. Something happens at minute twenty one though that turns me slightly insane. All of the sudden I don’t want to be in the store one second longer. I spend the next nine minutes practically running down the aisles trying to get out. Billy is the same way.

We headed to Cabbagetown and the Beltline after Ikea to eat. I just finished Brett Trapp’s Blue Babies Pink  podcast so I wanted to see what all the fuss was about. We had pizza at Arrozza – y’all, they put edible glitter ON the kid’s pizza. Super cool.  Then we went to Krog Street Market and had ice cream.


Atlanta is too cool of a city for me. I need a city that is okay with my yoga pants. My yoga pants that, of course, I never do yoga in. Atlanta is just way too fancy pants.

The flight from Atlanta to St Martin was four hours long so you can imagine why I thought I would have all this supplemental reading time. Alas, there were TV’s in the seat so inflight entertainment won out.

At the end of our flight was Maho Beach, turquoise waters, and rum punch.


The runway is so short (kinda like my attention span) that you can feel the planes poof of exhaust as it takes off when you stand on Maho Beach. To me the danger sign looks like a dude is being shot out of the back of the plane. There were tons of people that lined up before every take off to feel the wind.

IMG_0020These guys included.

My nephew Tucker and I looked climbed around the tidal pools at the beach. There were thousands of tiny sea urchins in the water.

They probably wouldn’t feel so tiny if you stepped on them, though! Tucker climbed out precariously further on the rocks to get a good picture. We admitted that we were dangerously close to being people that get talked about on social media. ‘American tourists were admitted to the hospital when they climbed too far out on some rocks and were attacked by vicious sea urchins.’



At the villa – probably looking for sea urchins.

Actually, it was kind of my nephews and nieces fault that I didn’t read any books. It was just so nice to be able to see everyone and talk and not feel rushed to say all the things that need to be said – that’s how it is at Christmas. Why would I read when I could be chatting it up!

IMG_0041 IMG_0040

Look, all these people were thrilled to be able to chat with me all week. THRILLED, I tell you!


“Mom, no one was thr…”

Shut it kid. I’m on vacation. I don’t need any of your nonsense. Now pass me one of those books!




Getting home from Orlando after Spring Break turned out to be a pretty long drawn out affair. We took the Magical Express – which lets just admit, is WAY less ‘magical’ when you’re on your way home. Our flight was delayed until, oh forever, and it took a bajillion years to actually make it back to Huntsville. Don’t you just love it when people complain about their vacations? Yeah. me neither. Flight delays are no bueno when you have five kids and a grumpy spouse – I’ll let you decide whether it was me or Billy that was grumpy. P.S. Y’all don’t tell anyone but it was totally Billy.

Another fun and exciting thing that happened on the way home involved the actual aircraft in flight. When it was past time to land I realized we weren’t landing but were circling the airport. Now I’ve been flying forever so I’m no stranger to the ‘circling round ye olde airport’ rodeo. After about what felt like the fifteenth circle the pilot came on and said ‘well folks, I’m sure you’ve noticed we’ve been circling – just working out an issue we are having with a flap before we can land.‘ Cue the nervous laughter and looks. Uh, a problem with the flap? You mean the thing that keeps us in the air? The thing that lets us land without crashing?

The boys all had headphones in and were completely oblivious to any trouble on the plane. Once the flap issue got worked out and we finally landed the ENTIRE PLANE burst into applause. The boys began asking ‘why are people clapping?‘ Cue the ‘Sheesh Mom, why didn’t you tell us’ comments and the excessive Southwest jokes by the boys for the next few days.

Egads, what a blast we had in Disney World. Mainly because we brought sitters along. It was so so SO nice to be able to send Gracie home in the late afternoon and spend the rest of the evening without her. 


Our sitters. No, you can’t have their numbers. They’re mine I tell you – mine, mine, mine!

For real though, Gracie is way more trouble than this picture lets on.


One night we sent both Gracie AND Stella home and set the boys loose so we could have date night. We ate at Le Cellier which was just as amazing as everyone says it is and walked around Epcot. See all these empty seats? We watched the America movie at the very last showing.


Along with one other person we were the ONLY people in that gigantic theatre. It was even more fun that way. I LOVE date night in Disney World. We love the kids but man is it nice to be alone for a few hours.

Oh look, it’s those kids…


This is on Tom Sawyer Island. Yet another place Gracie wasn’t invited to. Oh don’t feel sorry for her. Look at that grin – she knows you are over there feeling sorry for her.


Welp, the good news is no one died on that plane with it’s flap issues.

About That Pain…

About That Pain…

A couple weeks ago Hank decided it was all over him. He had this pain he couldn’t explain in his abdomen and he was pretty sure his short little life was drawing to a close. It was nothing that should have caused too much trouble but he absolutely couldn’t shake worrying about it. Why does it hurt? What is causing it? What if it doesn’t go away? What if I have to have more tests? What if the doctor can’t find out what was wrong with him. It was consuming him.


We got it x-rayed, we went to the doctor, heck, we even had blood work done. The doctor determined he’d probably just injured it during baseball but Hank still couldn’t stop thinking about it.

Come to find out he’d watched some sort of movie about a child that get’s cancer and dies. Oh Henry…Even after I talked to him about how movies can put ideas in our heads he was still fixated on this pain.


Finally I had the bright idea to ask my friend Kathy,who is a therapist, about it. I told her how he had no reason to worry but he was.

In case you can’t see the picture here was her response: “I would say something like ‘I know you are worried. We have been to the doctor, he has run all the tests he needs, and you are healthy. Sometimes our brains get stuck and we worry about the same thing over and over until it seems real. You really are okay. You need to tell your brain what to do. Tell it you are fine and go do something fun.’


Y’all! It worked. It really worked. Now I had to say it several times over the course of the next several days but every time he would bring it up I would just pull out my phone surreptitiously and just reread it to him. He’d say ‘okay’ and then wander off.

You should totally find a friend who is a therapist.

The other little quandary we’ve had with this character occurred before we left for Disney World at Space Camp. The fifth graders at Hank’s school go to the U.S. Space and Rocket Center for a five day day camp. After graduation the kids were allowed to hang out and ride the rides. All his friends piled on the Space Shot ride and he got on with them. Now he had hemmed and hawed about whether to do it or not and finally decided to go for it. He gets on the ride, they buckle him in, and then they say ‘last chance to get off’ and Henry raises his hand and says he wants off. Whomp, whomp, whomp…I pleaded with him ‘Hank, I’m worried that you’re really going to regret not going on this ride.’ But, he insists that he wants off. So, off he comes.

About thirty five seconds after we get in the car to go home he starts up ‘I should have gone on the ride. Why didn’t you make me go on the ride?’ It reminded me of a tweet I’d seen Jon Acuff make recently:


‘Regret has a longer shelf than fear.’ Ain’t that the truth. It certainly set us up well for the next week when we went to Disney World though because he went on everything there. Even Everest.


Let’s just hope he doesn’t see a movie about a kid that dies on a roller coaster or we’ll be back at square one.