Volleyball season officially over




My daughter’s volleyball season ended this past Monday and though we didn’t have a winning season, the girls had a blast playing together and becoming friends.


So I invited the team over for a spend-the-night party to let them all hang out one more time together.  and of course what did they spend most of their time doing?  Playing volleyball in the front yard, in the back yard and in the street.


Around 1am my husband asks me if I think they will ever go to sleep.  I think not.  Eight 12-yr-old girls just threw out their sleeping bags and lounged while talking, giggling and eating.


After emptying numerous 2-liter bottles of soda, bags of chips, boxes of cookies and brownies as well as random candy, they made their way downstairs this morning to eat 2 dozen krispy kreme donuts.

vball team

Love these girls and the fun season they had!


over the bridge and through the woods


So my nephew, Q, has set off on an adventure to find bears but the trickling creek caught his attention just as he started out.


Maybe there could be some good stuff to find in the creek before getting on to the bear hunt.







He was a bit disappointed that nothing was biting or hopping or making any kind of excitement.



Did you hear that?


Did you see that?


Enough fishing, on to my bear hunting.


I think if we are very quiet we will find some in these dark woods.


Aunt Tara, you aren’t very quiet.


You will scare all the bears away unless you are as quiet as I am.


No bears out on this day so he trudged back up the hill, dejected.


He makes me laugh!

Last game of season


Praying before Championship game.


Coach and Son


Got himself a couple of doubles when at bat.


Worked hard behind the plate.


I love this picture.  Don’t know the batter but his face says it all.


Our friend, Coach Mike was umpire behind the plate.


Story about Coach Mike:  The game we played before this one my son was pitching.  This is his first year pitching and so he doesn’t have total control over his pitches just yet.  Well, a couple of his crazy pitches hit two batters.  When the second batter went down he got real upset because the batter was obviously hurt.  My oldest son is pretty sensitive and doesn’t like when others are hurt and especially if he is the cause.

Well I didn’t feel like Big Man there would appreciate me going out there and consoling him while he was on the mound.  So I am quietly crying, Luke is seeing to the batter and I look over and Coach Mike who is umpiring in the field walks over to him and pulls him into a hug.  He talks to him and lets him know that it happens in baseball and the batter will be okay.  He gets him calmed down and then looks over to me and I mouth, “Thank you.”


Well, the Championship game was exciting and close!  We didn’t win though.  The whole team was pretty upset because they went from the losing most team at the beginning of  the season to working so hard that they earned their spot in the Championship game and came up short.  They had nothing to be ashamed of cause they gave it their everything.  My nerves were shot!


5K, 8K, 10K, and 21K…. k, I am taking a summer break!

Last October, I began running again after years and years and years away from that activity.  From that point on I was a little obsessed.


This spring I signed up for 4 runs in 6 weeks.  My first run was the Cooper River Bridge Run in Charleston, SC.


Fort Sumter (Civil War) in Charleston Harbor


This 6 mile race hosted 45,000 runners and 2.7 miles of it was over the gorgeous Cooper River Bridge.  Cool run but the crowd was a little unsettling at the end of the race!


My next run was the Ultimate Marine Mud Run (The Leatherneck) which I ran with my husband and two friends.  In this race, you run a little over 6 miles and 36 obstacles.  That was tough and challenging but so much fun!

mud run girls_edited-1

The next run was an “only ladies” 5K mud run.  This was my team, The Muddy Cougars.


The last run was May 18th and the one I am most proud of!  My first 1/2 marathon.

half marathon

When I began running, I contacted a dear friend of mine from high school, Jan and made plans to meet in the mountains of Georgia and run this race.  I am partial to trail runs so thought this run would be more interesting than your average road race.  (I am not a fan of road races, I get bored way too easily.)

This was the most challenging thing I have ever done in my life.  We literally spent the first 3 1/2 miles climbing this mountain and then the next 6 miles running across the top of it (up and down, up and down) and then the last 3 1/2 miles coming down.  This was unlike anything I have ever done in my life and pushed me way past comfortable.

before halfafter half_edited-1

Before and After pictures.  We were both so proud of ourselves for accomplishing this!  Totally cool!


There is no way I could resist getting a 13.1 sticker for my van to remind myself that I did something I never even imagined I could do!

Still running this summer but taking a break from races until October when I have another Mud Run and the Color Run planned with some good friends.

on the farm


It has been almost 3 years since we have visited my dad on his farm in Alabama.


Of course the kids are older and therefore felt it their right to learn how to drive the 4-wheeler by themselves.


There were chickens to feed as well as the eggs to gather.



There were a handful of cows that were ready to give birth or had already given birth to their calves.


The mama’s were very protective and kept their calves far from my wildly loud children.


My husband’s favorite pastime on the farm is all the work that he helps my dad do.  This trip was spent fixing fences and installing a new gate to a back pasture.


My favorite pastime is walking the property and taking pictures.




Little man watching the men work on the fence.



There was no way I could resist the rust!



The one downside to this relaxing trip was that my middle boy was sick the entire time we were there.  He had some kind of virus with a high fever and headache so he spent the entire time inside watching movies, napping and getting plenty of attention from me and Grandma Martie.

Friday Ramblings


After being off my ankle for almost 2 weeks, I got back to running this past week.


That first day running was a little nerve racking.  My ankle was stiff and hurting for the first quarter mile but once it loosened up, I was good to go.


This is my favorite place to run and I was a little nervous that Luke wouldn’t let me go back.  =)


So after only 3 runs last week, I felt ready for my first race.  My sister-in-law, Amy and her sister Julie and I ran in the Great 8 where proceeds benefitted the Boys and Girls Club of Rock Hill.  It was a 5 mile race around Winthrop Lake and the surrounding neighborhoods and gardens.


My mantra that I continued to chant to myself was, “I will not be last.  I will not be last.”  I really only had the goal of finishing and showing myself that my ankle was better.  I wanted to finish around 1 hour and came in at 1 hour and 2 minutes.


So that was the first race in my list of races that I am signed up for over the next 2 months.

This is my countdown.

  1. 8K run at Winthrop University – finished last weekend
  2. 10K run at Cooper River Bridge in Charleston, SC – 16 days
  3. Come-See-Me 5 K run here in Rock Hill, SC – 23 days
  4. USMC Mud Run in Columbia, SC – 37 days
  5. Girls on the Run 5K race with my daughter – 38 days
  6. Twisted Ankle 1/2 marathon Summerville, GA – 58 days

….just another Manic Monday


It is Monday again and as for this girl… you will not hear me complaining!  I love Mondays…I love beginnings…. I love the possibilities!  I call it a Manic Monday because I am a lazy butt on the weekends so I do have a list of things that have to get accomplished on Mondays but I am a list girl and love to see those things marked off.

So my twisted ankle is much, MUCH better and I have spent this last week with it iced, raised and compressed, praying all the time that I will be better by today to start running again.  I have 6 races I am signed up for over the next 3 months (we will talk about how insanely confident I am to have signed up for all those races later).


While in Tennessee a few weeks ago, my cousin, Jennie, my daughter and I went to town to get our nails done.  Jennie was raving about this new manicure she got that lasted 2 weeks.  We went to the local mall and asked for Shellac Manicures.  Because of the virtually indestructability of this “polish”, it actually protects your nails so they can grow.

I have horrible nails that tear and chip constantly and even have a split down my thumb nail that won’t heal.  This week I surprised my daughter and we went back to get them again.  My nails are strong and longer than I have had them in years and I am ROUGH on my nails. 

(above picture…bottom hand is mine, top hand is my daughters.. just noticed that she has my hands..little chunky things!)


On Friday, as Lucas is leaving for school, he leans in to give me a big ‘o smooch when he noticed that I wasn’t my cheerful morning self.  He steps back and asks if my ankle is bothering me worse that morning.  I shake my head, hold back my tears and tell him that my floors are so dirty that all the trash is getting stuck on my feet.  He hugs me and tells me it will be alright and to go lay down and just relax today.

About 2 hours later, I am walking by my front door when I notice my best friend, Angie, climbing out of her car and getting some stuff out of the trunk.  As soon as I open the door she is standing there with her vacuum and cleaning supplies and a huge grin on her face.

me – Luke called you didn’t he.

Angie – yes and he was so pitiful telling me he will pay me whatever if I would come and clean the house for you.

me – Awwwwww  I have the most wonderful husband EVER!


So because Angie and I can’t keep our mouths shut for talking so much, she is here far longer than she had planned.  But, by the time she is able to leave, my home is sparkling from the bathrooms upstairs to the floors downstairs and everything in between.

She told Luke that she would not take one cent from him.  She said that if my sister was here she would have taken care of me but since she isn’t, Angie would gladly step in and do what family does for each other.

She also told him to buy me a big burger and fry from FIVE GUYS because she just KNOWS me!

“Angie, I love you dearly and thank God that I have a friend like you!  You are the most selfless person I know, always stepping in where there is a need.  God uses you to bless others more than you realize and I am so thankful to call you my friend.  Thank you for loving me and taking care of me and my home when I couldn’t. “

Lucas and I rarely get to go out on dates because of the chaos that is our life with 4 children in sports and other activities.  But recently, he set it up that my father-in-law watch our kids while he took me out to get a big steak.  I love beef!


Got my favorite boots on, going out with my favorite man to my favorite restaurant.  Happy girl!