Something to Think About: Letting Your Significant Other Go

This is an amazing post that I found a while back. Freedom to be ourselves in our relationship with our partner/spouse is so important, and I could have never imagined saying it the way Seth Adam Smith puts it in his post

I’m Letting My Wife Go.

But now I frequently refer to our life and plans as building our birdbath 😉

Go check out his post.

Hope you have a great weekend!

Lexi Lee Walk for Hope at the Alabama Jubilee and Hot Air Balloon Festival

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Over the last 8 months I have participated in various events for a 3 year old little girl in my community. Her mother and I were co-workers and then became friends as the recent events in Lexi’s life unfolded. Here is Lexi’s story directly from her mother:

Lexi’s Story
Within 2 weeks, Lexi had 20 to 30 unexplainable, thumb print size, dark bruises mainly on her legs but on the rest of her body as well. After noticing the excessive amount of bruising, with no explanation and no signs of going away, instead more were showing up, an appointment with her local Pediatrician was scheduled and blood work was done. Then, about four hours later while Lexi was playing outside on the swing set, the phone rang. Lexi’s blood-work came back abnormal and we were told to take her to Huntsville Hospital as a direct admit. Fear and confusion set in. Lexi was outside, playing like a normal 3 year old child and hours later she was being poked for more blood-work. Later that evening we got news that she might possibly have a blood disorder or leukemia. On September 24, 2013, the oncologist came in and told us the confirmed unfortunate news. Our beautiful daughter who we had bragged on since birth for being so healthy and never getting sick had the c word. She has cancer. She has Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia, commonly known as ALL, or just simply, Leukemia. That was the day our lives changed forever. We did not know what to do other than pray. Doctors at Huntsville Hospital gave us options as to where to receive treatment for Lexi and when St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital was mentioned, we knew that was where we wanted Lexi to be. We knew there was no better place for Lexi to receive treatment. No family ever pays for anything at St. Jude. Because of events like, The Lexi Lee Walk for Hope, with the help of participants like YOU, my daughter is getting a second chance at life. Without the funding for research, Lexi and many other children would not be so lucky. People like you make this possible for our daughter and our family as well as so many other children and families. We will never be able to say “thank you” enough to all of the researchers who work to find the medicine and cures or the doctors and nurses who care for the children, so as a way of saying “thank you” and helping bring awareness to childhood cancer and it’s need for funding, our family is hosting The Lexi Lee Walk for Hope. Our goal in hosting The Lexi Lee Walk for Hope is to raise money for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
Donations like yours allow research like this to happen!
YOU are helping St. Jude save lives by making a simple donation!
We, Lexi’s parents & family, want to say THANK YOU!
**100% MONEY RAISED WILL GO TO ST. JUDE CHILDREN’S RESEARCH HOSPITAL – MEMPHIS, TN.**

Update on Lexi
Lexi is doing amazing! She is in the last phase of her treatment which consists of 2 ½ – 3 years. The last phase consists of 120 weeks. As of today, May 21, 2014, she is on week 15. We have a long road ahead of us even after the 120 week mark. Currently, Lexi receives at home chemotherapy which we give to her at night time. She also has an appointment each week at the Huntsville Hospital St. Jude Clinic where she receives chemotherapy, physical therapy and musical therapy. Sometimes she needs blood and/or platelets, which she is able to receive at the affiliate. She also goes to St. Jude in Memphis for check-ups, intrathecal chemotherapy and more intense chemotherapy. Some of the chemotherapy Lexi receives causes the leg and hand muscles to weaken and some cause nausea but if you saw Lexi, you wouldn’t believe that’s true. She runs and plays all the time like nothing is wrong. Even on clinic days when she has received chemotherapy, she comes home and runs and plays like it’s a normal day. For that, we are thankful!

Pictures of Lexi Lee and her Family:

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Chase, Jenna, and Lexi Chase Lee at St. Jude

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Lexi in the early days at St. Jude

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Lexi getting to play video games and still be a kid!

The Lexi Lee Walk for Hope was held at the Alabama Jubilee and Hot Air Balloon Festival in Decatur, AL. The Jubilee is held every year around Memorial Day Weekend. The walk was at 9 a.m. on Saturday and was a great and upbeat way to start the weekend! I love doing positive things and being active on a long weekend because it makes my time feel more accomplished. I invited my Girl Scout troop and also took my daughter along. It turned out great!

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This was the flyer distributed for the event.

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My daughter, Khloe, and Lexi’s Mom, Jenna. Lexi did not get to be at the event, but everyone still came out in support!

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Sign up table at the walk (:

HERE IS A LITTLE FYI ABOUT ST. JUDE CHILDREN’S RESEARCH HOSPITAL:

In 1962, the survival rate for Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (which is what Lexi is diagnosed with) was only 4%. Thanks to St. Jude & it’s research, the survival rate has reached 94%!!
• On average, 5,700 active patients visit the hospital each year, most of whom are treated on an outpatient basis.
• St. Jude is the first and only pediatric cancer center to be designated as a Comprehensive Cancer Center by the National Cancer Institute.
• St. Jude has treated children from all 50 states and from around the world.
• The daily operating costs for St. Jude are $1.6 million, which are primarily covered by public contributions.
• During the past five years, 81 cents of every dollar received has supported the research and treatment at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

If you would like to have updated information on Lexi’s progress or would like information on how to donate to the Lexi Lee Walk for Hope you can follow the pages on Facebook here and here. Also, Lexi’s mom blogs here.1240607_10202265096095892_106046578_n

My daughter and I didn’t get to stay long for the Jubilee after the walk, but we did get in a few hot air balloon sightings. (Next year it is my goal to go for the balloon glow and get to do a tethered ride. 😀 )

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We did get to see one balloon up while we were there and my daughter was SO EXCITED. She told everyone about it the rest of the day.

 

I rarely have a chance to craft anymore, but finally did…

As the subject line states, I never really have the chance to dedicate time to crafting or DIYing anymore. Between work, running a household, playing with and raising our daughter… I’m happy to sleep. Ha! This weekend when I knew I had one extra day to get things done, I made time to finish a door wreath that was supposed to go up for spring through summer. Oops.

First, I started with a straw wreath from Hobby Lobby. I picked a medium size.

Then, I bought a roll of burlap ribbon and hot glued it down around some edges as I wrapped it around the wreath.

After that, I took a wooden letter “H” that I also bought from Hobby Lobby and glued it to the side that I preferred for it to appear on.

I made my fabric flowers next. Here is a tutorial to show you how. I promise I am the worst example to follow. So watch this video or find someone else on YouTube to learn from!

I arranged and rearranged the flowers until I was happy with the outcome.

(I bought fabric sample packs from Wal-Mart for around $3 each.)

I hot glued the flowers down and cut a strip for the hanger at the top.

Here was the outcome:

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In this picture I actually had one more flower to add, but I didn’t think it turned out too shabby! The floral prints are blues and greens. Then I picked a green pattern and white ribbon for the other flowers.

What kind of summer wreaths have you seen that you love?? Have you made a new spring/summer wreath? I’d love to see it!!

Happy Memorial Day, Grandaddy!

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1st. Lt. William D. Britton

United States Army

1 Cav Div Airmobile

Vietnam War

My Memorial Day is always honored toward all of those who serve in the United State Armed Forces, but specifically to this man. My paternal grandfather who gave his life in Vietnam just one month and one day after arriving. He left behind a pregnant wife. Four months later, she delivered William D. Britton, Jr. Twenty-one years later, I was born and then my brother 21 months after that. During my early childhood, I did not understand much about my grandfather. In my teenage years is when I began to investigate and understand who my grandfather was and what I came from. This quote sums it up:

“The legacy of heroes is the memory of a great name and the inheritance of a great example.”

– Benjamin Disraeli

Today I celebrated Memorial Day with my father and daughter. I snapped a picture of them fishing together and later looking at the photo, I just thought of what my grandfather left behind. But most importantly, what he ensured his son and descendants would be able to enjoy in freedom.

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Today and every day I am thankful for his sacrifice.

I hope you celebrated and thoroughly enjoyed your families this weekend. And more than that, I hope you remembered to thank a military service man and/or woman.

Venus Snap VoxBox

 

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I am honored to have been selected to review another product through Influenster. They mailed me the product and I have to use it for a few weeks and then submit reviews on it. I share them on twitter and on the Influenster site. (I could also share on Facebook, but I don’t have one of those.) Basically, I’m testing the new product for the company so that they can create brand awareness because a company’s greatest branding opportunity is word of mouth. This time I received a Gillete Venus Snap:

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Is that not the cutest razor you have ever seen? Haha! It is so tiny. It is for on the go moments when you accidentally missed a spot, forgot to shave, etc. It fits in the console of my car. I think it might would fit in my pocket!!

I can’t wait to use this a few times and see how well it works.

 

 

Southern Mom Life on Social Media

Good afternoon ladies and gents!

I hope you are preparing for a great Memorial Day Weekend!

As I attempt to grow my presence on Southern Mom Life, I want to ask you to join me on all forms of social media that I represent!

First and foremost, of course sign up to follow me here on the Blog! I would appreciate that very much. (;

You can also find me on:

Twitter

Pinterest

Instagram

Linkedin

Please feel free to join me and share the blog with everyone you know! I love to connect with people.

Have a great weekend!

Does my child have to play sports…?

As my daughter gets older, she is creeping up on the age where all of these extra curricular activities enter the scene. T-ball being the number one example in my neck of the woods. I cannot tell you how many times over the last two months I have been asked if Khloe is going to play t-ball. What? I don’t know. Ha! She cannot play until she is 4 years old. Which will mean even if she is going to play, it will be Summer 2015. All of these questions did get me thinking, though. Do I even care to sign her up for t-ball? Probably not. Now, before I get a million parents (more often moms) freaking out on me, let me explain.

Where I live, almost every child plays little league t-ball, football, and cheerleading. If your child doesn’t play, what kind of horrible lazy parent are you?! Well, here is the thing: It is not that I don’t want my child playing sports or participating in extra curricular activities. I want her to do anything and everything available. And then everything she finds that I didn’t even know about. Here’s the catch.. I would rather her do things outside of the normal box. Art. Karate. Martial Arts of any kind. Dance. Gymnastics. Rodeo. Guitar lessons. Singing lessons. Theater. Golf. Who knew they offer golf lessons starting at age 5?? Well, I just recently found out that they do! I’m weird, I know. What southern, small town mom doesn’t want their sweet daughter being cheer captain?! **Here I am with my hand raised jumping up and down.** I honestly don’t. I mean, if she starts Kindergarten and begs to play t-ball or cheer with her friends, sure we’ll sign up and attend every practice and game. I just don’t see the big deal of preparing for this a year in advance? (And all of this is coming from the person who played t-ball and softball and was a cheerleader from mascot to JV.) That’s all I was able to do. I wish I could have had broader activities as a child. I had to wait until I was old enough to make my own choices to start branching out. Why would I continue the cycle and limit my own child??

I want a child who I enable to see the world and view the world from a bigger perspective than most kids are able to. Shouldn’t that be on every mom’s priority list? I just don’t believe sports should be the heart and soul of my daughter’s childhood. How many people from my graduating class took their athletic careers past high school? Hm.. I’d say maybe 10 out of 118. From those 10 not a single one has carried that sport beyond their undergraduate careers. So exactly WHAT is the big deal of pushing the issue?

I agree about wanting my daughter to be active and healthy. Who says she can’t be those things with out t-ball? (I want to make it clear that I do not hate t-ball. It is the cutest and sometimes most hilarious thing I have ever witnessed.) My concern here is how stressed out parents seem to be about these things. The people asking me if our daughter was going to play t-ball have a child the same age. They have to wait another year too! Why are they already getting excited about this a year before their child is even eligible to play?? Am I being too negative?

I want my daughter to enjoy childhood. If playing sports does make her happy, then by all means I’ll sign her up for every one. However, I have watched as children cry because they do not want to attend practice, let along play or participate an entire season, and be forced to straighten up and get out there and play. Who benefits from that??! If you don’t like every activity out there, then your child isn’t going to either! I think this is the problem I have with the sudden obsession acquaintances have about my child signing up for a sport that is a year away. Who are you really signing them up for? For your child so that they can learn work ethic and team work or for you because you want to be a member of the cool parent club?

The final thing that shut me down on the whole t-ball subject was about a month ago, a friend of mine was telling me about her two children who are on a team together this year. She said that another mom stands and shakes the fence yelling at her child. If it is somehow a double hit, etc. the mom will scream and shake the fence telling her daughter to get on second base. SHE YELLS THIS AT A CHILD WHO IS YOUNG ENOUGH TO PLAY T-BALL. T-BALL. Her child has to be no older then 7 years old. I was speechless. And quite honestly I was a little mortified at what that same situation would teach my child. I am sad at what it is teaching the lady’s child and I do not even know either of them. I could not do it. I know that I cannot shelter my child from all negative things in the world, but jeez, that seems a little extreme. Sadly enough, its not uncommon.

So when I say that I question the necessity of my child playing sports, it is not because I insist she be an outcast or because I want to force her into an activity of my choice. It is actually quite the opposite. I want my daughter to have the freedom to develop into who she wants to be and who she is meant to be. Not a clone of what I loved as a child or who I want her to be. She is not me and I do not want to force her to be. Lord knows that is the last thing she would need. She is beautifully and wonderfully unique. I think I prefer to encourage her to stay that way.

Even if it means she loves playing t-ball and ends up pitching for Team USA.

One thing is for sure, it’ll be her choice. (;

 

EZ Girl Scout Troop Camp – Summer 2014

This past weekend, I took my girls to a one night “EZ Girl Scout Troop Camp” in Anniston, Alabama at Camp Cottaquilla.

The girls chose to use their Girl Scout Cookie Sales money to attend a one night camp. We left on Friday afternoon around 3:30 p.m. and headed home Saturday afternoon around 4. To them it was the greatest trip EVER, and that is what mattered!

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Entrance to the Camp

Out of my 4 girls, none of them had ever stayed away from home on a trip like this. So when we pulled in to the gate they were jumping up and down.

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This is the lodge at the front of camp. It houses dining and offices.

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This was our first view. The lake/pond, boat house, flag pole and pool.

After check in we dropped our bags off and headed to the lodge for dinner. They served pizza and drinks. The girls learned some songs and were given an assignment to create a skit that had to do with camp. Hilarious. After that we were given about 30 minutes to get our cabins settled and then we went to the campfire area where the girls sang songs and roasted marshmallows and made s’mores.

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This is where all of the troops come together for the campfire, girl scout songs, and s’mores.

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This is pretty much what all of the cabins looked like.

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Inside of the cabins. We literally FROZE. Who knew it was going to get into the 40’s in May in Alabama!? They held about 6 cots and some walking space.

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This was the bath house for “Four Winds” set of cabins and “Deep Woods” cabins.

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Cabins

Saturday morning it rained. My girls went fishing, canoeing, and pedal boating. In the rain and never cared. Before lunch they also got to do archery. By then it had stopped raining and that was a lot of the girls’ favorite part.

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My young cousin and a camp counselor at the archery range.

After lunch our troop went on a Fairy Hike and a Nature Hike. The fairy hike took them throughout the entire camp and they learned about the 3 fairies that live at Camp Cottaquilla. It is a really cute story and if you have the opportunity to take your girls, I definitely suggest taking them!! The EZ Camp was one night and was just enough for the age of the girls in my troop. Our Junior troop consists of ages 9-11. The other troops there were Daisies and Brownies (K-3rd grade.) I think it was perfect for the maturity levels and ages. They offer week long camps but I think that most appropriate for the older end of Juniors and above.

Have you ever been to a Girl Scout Camp with your troop? What was your experience like?

Mother’s Day 2014

I hope all of the wonderful mothers out there had a fabulous Mother’s Day this year. We had a real laid back style weekend and it was perfect. Saturday we got up and just headed to ride around and do whatever. We ended up eating at Buffalo Wild Wings and window shopping around Academy for a while. Isn’t that real lady like? Sounds like Father’s Day to me. Ha! Maybe that’s why he loves me so much. (; Then I laid around outside and got some sun. Whoa, where do days like that come from? I wish I could pull the “it’s Mother’s Day weekend” excuse more than once a year.

Sunday we woke up and had eggs, breakfast potatoes, and mango. (YUM!) And of course that was my breakfast decision, the other troopers would have been good with cereal and toaster strudels. We were rushing around talking about getting ready for church when Man of the House suddenly decided, hey how about I take you hiking. Huh? I was getting ready for church. Then I thought about how it would be nice to spend a little time off the grid with them so we switched clothing gears, psyched our daughter out about the waterfall, and off we went. It was the best time.

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FIRST WE WENT TO BRUSHY LAKE. IT IS A CAMP GROUNDS AREA WITH A LARGE FISHING DOCK, SHORT HIKING TRAIL, AND MAN MADE WATERFALL. THERE WERE NAMES ALL OVER THE DOCK FROM YEARS PAST, SO HEY WHY NOT JOIN IN. LOOK FOR US NEXT TIME YOU GO (;

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WATERFALL AT BRUSHY LAKE. THIS PICTURE SUMS UP TWO THINGS: MY CHILD’S PERSONALITY AND THEIR RELATIONSHIP.

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ON A HIKING TRAIL AT BRUSHY LAKE. USED OUR DAUGHTER AS OUR PHOTOGRAPHER.

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IF YOU CROSS OVER THE FENCE BY THE WATERFALL AND HEAD UP INTO THE WOODS, THERE IS A TRAIL THAT LEADS YOU TO THIS. HERE DADDY IS TEACHING THE FIRST EVER ROCK SKIPPING LESSON. (;

There wasn’t much more hiking available at Brushy Lake, it is more for camping and picnics. So after about an hour we moved on to the other side of the mountain to the Sipsey Picnic area. It has miles and miles of hiking trails, natural waterfalls, and caves. FYI all state park caves are closed at this time to prevent some disease in bats?

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Sipsey River Entrance

 

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THE FIRST WATERFALL THAT WE CAME ACROSS. I SWEAR WHEN I WAS A CHILD IT FLOWED HARDER THAN THAT. OR MAYBE IT IS ALL PERSPECTIVE.

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SHE WANTED TO SEE THE WATERFALL, BUT NOT GET TOO CLOSE…

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IN EVERY PICTURE. WHY. HAHA HERE WE ARE STANDING INSIDE A “CAVE” ON THE SIDE OF A ROCK WALL. SHE KEPT SAYING WE WERE ON AN ADVENTURE.

 

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BY BIRTH AND FOR LEGAL PURPOSES, MY DAUGHTER AND I ARE BOTH REGISTERED NATIVE AMERICAN ECHOTA CHEROKEE INDIANS. SHE MAY LOOK A LOT LESS LIKE AN INDIAN THAN I DO, BUT I KNOW ONE THING, THIS CHILD CAN MOVE THROUGH SOME TRAILS AND WOODS! AS YOU CAN SEE, THE TRAILS WERE MERELY THERE FROM YEARS OF BEING WALKED, NOT PAVED LIKE THE ONES AT BRUSHY LAKE. WE STRUGGLED TO KEEP UP WITH HER THE SECOND HALF OF THE HIKE AT SIPSEY. SO I TAUGHT HER TO SAY “I’M A NATIVE AMERICAN INDIAN.” IT COMES OUT “I’M A NA-MERICAN INDIAN” HAHA!

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THIS IS A RANDOM WATERFALL THAT WE FOUND ABOUT 2 MILES IN. WE TURNED AROUND ABOUT THIS TIME. THE CAVES WERE CLOSED AND LITTLE MISS ADVENTUROUS WOULD HAVE PROBABLY SAW IT AS ANOTHER ADVENTURE TO GO ON. NO ONE WANTS TO FIGHT A STURDY 3 YEAR OLD OUT OF THE WOODS AND DEPRIVE HER OF AN ADVENTURE. HA!

 

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THIS WAS THE LAST PICTURE I TOOK OF THE DAY AND I HAVE TO SAY THAT IT IS ONE OF MY ABSOLUTE FAVORITES. WE WERE HEADED BACK OUT OF THE SIPSEY TRAILS AND LIL MISS NA-MERICAN INDIAN HAD FINALLY GOTTEN TIRED. IT WAS SO BEAUTIFUL AND IT WAS NICE TO BE ALONE WITH MY FAMILY IN THE QUIET. JUST US. HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY TO ME.

It was an unplanned Mother’s Day. And it put us behind schedule for visiting with our own mother’s and grandmother’s but it was totally worth it. At our last stop of the day, my maternal grandmother brushed it aside when I tried to apologize for it being so late and tell her how our plans had changed and she said, “well, you’re grown now and this was your Mother’s Day too. You can do whatever you want.” Hm. Now I know where parts of my personality come from…

How was Mother’s Day for you this year? Whether it was planned out, busy, spontaneous, or uneventful, I hope that it was perfect for you!

 

And while typing this, I realize I knocked another item off of my Birthday Bucket List: to go hiking. Even better! (;