Tourist Traps

Tourist Traps

Y’all…There is something you should know about my husband. It’s about his affinity for..for…for tourist traps. It’s a fact, that this man will stop at every tourist trap within a twenty five mile radius when we are traveling. He adores them. Gold panning – done it. Car Museum – been there. If it has the name Ripley in it I can assure you Billy Claunch has bought the t-shirt.

.Suffice it to say when he went to pick Hank and Stella up from camp and I stayed home with the other kids nothing surprised me about getting these pictures.


Because, of course, he took them to the wax museum.


I mean…


Alright cowboy, step away from Mrs Bullock.

James, the fourteen year old, and I are too cynical for that kind of tomfoolery. Speaking of traps, though, that what I feel like I’m walking into when I argue with James. For example, here’s the kind of claptrap I have to endure from him on a daily basis.

Me, constantly telling him he can’t watch something.


I love his teenage ‘but Mom, what I watch doesn’t affect me’ argument. As if kids haven’t been using that one since the beginning of time. Look at him sitting on that boat…Homefry was probably composing a text to send me asking if he could watch more business I was going to say no to.


Nacho Libre knows what’s up.


Clearly he doesn’t approve of the TV shows James is trying to get approval for them either.

Yes Ma’am

Yes Ma’am

Last week at Hank’s football practice I decided to stay and chat with the other moms. Was it because I wanted to watch Henry do what he loves? Nope. The fact is Gracie Rae is on a one woman mission to turn our house upside down every single moment we are home.

Consequently, any time we spend outside is a good thing. The stories I could tell about the mayhem her sticky fingers have caused…


So cute. So much trouble. 

Once she was knee deep in the sand pit beside the field happily playing I put my chair down next to another mom with a child a similar age. Now, as a warning I should have known I was out of my league. This mom was dressed in these leggings with these shoes l and had this hair thing going on but she was really friendly so we started talking. We had several things in common and I was really enjoying our conversation. The more we chatted the more I began to envision coffee dates and trips to the movies when, suddenly, things came to a screeching and abrupt halt.



She ma’amed me. Oh boy, did she ma’am me. As in, I asked a question and she responded with ‘yes ma’am.’ And not in the ‘oh girl, yes ma’am this pie is good!’ No, it was a ‘yes ma’am’ that you give to your Great Aunt at a reunion when she asks you to pass her the pitcher of tea. Like, up until then I was thinking we were peers. And she let me know by her ma’am that, oh no, I’m the old lady she is just being nice to.

Goodbye to coffee dates. Please pass the Metamucil.

I mean…what can I say. I out kicked my coverage. Which is just fine because the friends I have are awesome.

Yes, they’re great. Well, except for my friend Heather. See, usually she goes to the school’s athletic events with me but last Friday night she decided to sit at home and eat bon bons okay, legit excuse, she was staying home with a sick child, but I did’t have her to keep me out of trouble.

So, at the football game my friend Jenni asked me what I was reading. Now this is a woman that is well read but I don’t know her super well and I didn’t want her to think I was a complete dolt so I blurted out the, second..thing that came to my mind. I told her I was reading The Breakdown. While I had recently finished that book – which I loved you should definitely read it – that wasn’t what I was currently reading. Why didn’t I tell her what I was currently reading? I’ll let the text I sent to my friend Emily afterwards speak for itself:


I mean…texting a friend to lie for you so she doesn’t find out you were reading a trashy Regency. Y’all, that ain’t right. And Emily is such a good friend she was willing to go with it. This is what happens when my friend Heather doesn’t show up at sporting events. I’m forced to lie as I awkwardly project my extrovertedness on to people.

Yes ma’am it was quite the situation.




Well, I’m not sure how you’re doing in your neck of the woods but over here we’re just full of big wins. Ahem, for instance, last week during CHURCH – YES CHURCH, Hank slipped Damien this note:


“Shut up.” Nice. I’m sure that’s EXACTLY what the church admin thought people would be writing when they printed those out. Shockingly, lightning bolts didn’t fall from the sky.

We’re like the bad news bears of church. We sit in the very last row, Billy can’t sing because his voice has gotten wonky, three of us are as cynical as you could possibly be and, to top it all off,  we constantly have five hundred and four children with us – or, at least, it feels like we do. This is where the empty nesters all say ‘oh, you’re going to miss these days.‘ Y’all keep telling me that.

Hank got a phone for his birthday and it’s made him a little bit too big for his britches. I send politely worded ‘it’s time for bedtime’ texts and he sends me sarcastic gifs. Aw…he’s learning to be sarcastic – how lovely. Actually – that is a win. Hank is my straight A student that falls backwards into good grades but sometimes his comprehension is a little…uh…off.


On a side note he’s subsequently lost his phone privileges. We won’t go into it. Suffice it to say he no longer has a phone and won’t until at least next year.

I’ll tell you a legit way we are actually winning. Walking down by the creek a few days ago I passed Damien’s bike laying in the bushes. When I asked him about it he matter of factly said ‘yeah, the chain broke so I got mad and threw it down.’

Y’all, I’m okay with this answer. A year ago he would have fed me some line about how it wasn’t his fault and trolls appeared out of the forest and stole it or what not. I told him to go get it and he did. Win.


We got everyone off to school without too many frowny faces.  Two of the kids were even within dress code. Y’all, if we’re already having trouble with the dress code on the first day it’s shaping up to be a long year.


Even this little nugget of trouble is in school three days a week.


And, oh yeah, the guy I voted for actually won our Senate primary. So many wins.


What’s that you say? He has no chance of winning in the general election? Don’t stomp on my winning parade.

All I do is win, win, win…