Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Fall Pics 2016

Spoiler alert!  If you get a Christmas card from me you will definitely see these pictures again :)  I had a second to blog so I wanted to document these amazing shots Kasey Stringer took last week.  How photogenic are my boys??  All three of them!  I'm a lucky girl--and having these pictures to look at will always remind me of this sweet, sweet time in both of their lives.  LOVING IT!

Hope you are having a great break.  Pretty lazy around here....

Thursday, October 13, 2016


I guess this post started back in March when I found out I was NOT selected in the lottery for the NYC marathon.  Truthfully, I was a little jealous of Jeff when he ran two years ago so I put my name in the hat to run this year...and it just didn't happen.  Sooooo.......

One night Jeff and I were sitting on the couch eating ice cream (busted!) and we just on a TOTAL whim decided to BOTH apply for the Chicago Marathon.  We didn't think about logistics, time constraints--nada.  We just whipped out the AmEx and put our names in the hat.

We BOTH got in.   I literally couldn't believe it.  You see, the first (and my only) marathon we ever did was Chicago in 2004.  We hadn't even attempted to do one together until now--for a LOT of reasons--but mainly because we were in baby/pregnant/toddler stage and there just wasn't time for all of that.  BUT WE ARE OUT OF THAT STAGE!  This race was symbolic to us.  For a lot of reasons.  I won't bore you with details, but this race to me symbolized WE together went through the crazy years we went through and WE TOGETHER are left standing and WE TOGETHER are stronger than we have EVER been before--physically and otherwise! And although it was NOT easy, and we had LOTS of help from Jeff's side of the family (mainly Resa) we trained and we RAN a 4:29 marathon together.  I'll never forget Jeff telling me to just enjoy myself at mile 24 and I literally smiled the last two miles.  Yes, I was tired and hurting but I couldn't stop smiling because I knew we DID IT!  And crossing the finish line hand in hand....y'all. I'll go to my grave remembering how that felt.  No words.  None.

Of course we squeezed in some fun on out trip!  And we were SO GRATEFUL to Resa for going with us and watching over the boys while we ran.  And SAW HAMILTON! 

Did I mention Jeff surprised me with Hamilton tickets for my birthday?????  He's a keeper, that one.  If you have not seen it just swallow hard and buy the tickets.  It's THAT GOOD.

I had fully expected this was my last race.  It was crazy hard to train in the Summer.  I did more treadmill than I would have ever dreamed and I put a lot of other things on my life on hold to sweat it out for the mileage.  But you know....I've got a few more in me I think.  St. Jude?  Disney?  Napa?  I'm not signing up tonight, but I will one day.....

Good night!  Mommy is TIRED :))  #marathontired

Saturday, September 17, 2016

AEP Cross Country 2016

So I'll never forget the first time I took Preston to a Cross Country practice.  It was the year he did his "warm up" Kindergarten year at Choudrant.  He LITERALLY stopped in the middle of the timed mile to look at the fish in the pond at Lincoln Parish Park.  Needless to say we did not join the Cross Country team :))

Then, of course, P started attending AEP.  Kindergarten does not officially participate in Cross Country at AEP--although sometimes Coach Tyler lets K siblings run and I'm SURE John Cole will want to do that--but Preston didn't run at 6 eiither.

I missed Preston's first meet last year because I was OOT.  He ran the mile in over 11 minutes...he just didn't know really what to do I think.  He improved through the season but never even broke the top 20.  I was very proud of his improvements, but had just about decided XC wasn't going to be his sport.

All Summer long Preston said he was going to get Top 10 in an XC meet this season.  I just kind of smiled and told him I was proud he had a goal and really thought nothing of it.  I love the "team spirit" of this sport and love--LOVE--the exercise they get but really had no clue this little guy had his sights set so HIGH.

At the first meet of the season last week, I was standing at the bottom of the hill before the last 200 yards of the course.  When Preston's good friend Davis appeared--he's always out front--I was not at all surprised. Then there was a runner from Quitman.  Then.....wait for it ...there was PRESTON!  In third place.  Of 86 boys.  I literally couldn't believe it. I don't think he could either.  Literally the whole town was there and I think he got a little distracted and got a little winded on the hill but he finished 8th!  I was crying I was so proud of him. I honestly didn't know he had it in him.  His team EASILY won 1st place...and for the first time ever he was a part of the winning score.  He was SO EXCITED to go to the little assembly where they recognized the winners at school.

This morning he said he wanted to be in the Top 5.  I knew the kids that didn't do so well last week would be hungry to do better.  And, honestly, I thought last week could have been some sort of fluke.  And although he was as far back as 7th around the 1/2 mile.....that baby pulled it out and finished 4th place!!!!!!!  I can't wait to get his time ....

Why am I making such a long post about this?  Preston Parker this morning you showed SO MUCH GRIT AND DETERMINATION!  You were tired but you passed up those boys going up that hill and never looked back.  And the BEST part--your teammates all love you.  I won't ever forget these last two meets, and will be happy for you Preston if these are your lifetime best finishes...but I just don't think they will be.  More later....

Wednesday, August 31, 2016


These pictures aren't the best quality but I had to document this super fun night!  Jeff bought our tickets to this concert MONTHS ago the MINUTE they went on sale.  Getting to be in the suite was seriously just icing...the music was phenomenal.  They played EVERYTHING I wanted to hear.  We had a blast with this group as well....just a fun night!  Until next time Chris Martin......

Back to School 2016


My boys have done MDO since they were 6 months old so having days at home is not a new thing for me.  However, I've had a child at home with me on Mondays and Fridays for....well....8 years!  (John Cole gets out at 2:00 this year so,...let me be clear that I am FAR from footloose and fancy free...ha! )  So this has been a BIG DEAL for us to have them both in school....BIG DEAL!

I'll start with a BTS post for my Preston.  He has Ms. Haley Hay and is loving the 2nd grade.  He was mostly glad his BFF Caed Baines is in his class.  He looks SO TALL in this picture to me and just is thriving in school.  So far homework is time consuming...but not difficult...so he is really getting to enjoy his extra curricular activities.  He is taking tennis lessons on Mondays and is gearing up for a big AEP Cross Country season and has those practices on Tuesday/Thursday.  Proud of my Bullpup!

Little bit is LOVING his school as well.  Jeff and I really struggled with the decision to send him to the public Pre-K4 center here in town.  Preston attended it and it was great for him--but I don't know we just struggled with it.  But now that it has started I'm pretty sure he's not going to want to leave after the year is over.  He LOVES "eating on a tray" in the lunchroom, his precious teacher Mrs. Maggie Graham, recess and has in ONE WEEK learned to spell and WRITE his name.  GO JC!! You GOT this man :)  I'm looking forward to being his "room mom" this year and enjoying all of the fun that goes along with that.  It is of course a lot of work...but I'm taking advantage of his wanting me to be there for as looooong as I can!

Hope you are all settling into Fall routine....more later....

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Preston is 8!!!

Preston Luke Parker how in the WORLD are you 8 years old??  It just doesn't hardly seem real.  I think the first years don't exactly fly--just being honest---but a wise woman that I have spent a lot of time with over my Mommy years once told me once they get in real school the time FLIES.  And it totally does.  Have to treasure the time I get with you and make the most of school breaks and Summers!

Closed down our Summer with a super fun pool party with the ALL of the boys in the 2nd grade invited.  We had  GREAT turnout--despite the rainy weather--and I am SURE this party will be the talk of the school for weeks to come.

I keep this blog because it is my scrapbook...and so I want to document how I feel right this moment.  I feel sometimes like I could never be a "good enough" mom to you Preston Luke because you are SO special.  We just found out last Spring officially that you are a Gifted student.  And for that I am SOOOO proud.  But that is not even your biggest strength.  You are so humble and kind and loved by everyone and sometimes I literally am blown away by your sweet spirit.  I pray to God to make me the Mom he would have me to me for you.  I know I fall short....every day....but I pray that I can be the Mom He would have me to be to you...because you are truly a gift from Him in every way.  I LOVE YOU PRESTON LUKE!  Happy Birthday!!

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Eureka Springs Family Trip 2016

Nana and Pop treated us to a wonderful trip to Eureka Springs, AR last week and it is one we won't soon forget.  So many fun things to do ....and so nice to have downtime as well.  We boated, ziplined, went to museums and caves, hit up Silver Dollar City, canoed/kayaked, had a spa day for the girls and of course had some great food...not ad SDC lol.  So much fun with family...especially "baby" Patrick.....Thanks so much Nana and Pop!

Dream Come True

If you know me at ALL, you know that I am a musical theater junkie.  No, really.  I know every word to my favs and have seen almost all of the shows every produced.  Can't get enough.  As a little girl...heck, as a big girl, I have always DREAMED of singing on stage in the lead role of a musical.  My top choices would be Elpheba (Wicked) and Eponine (Les Mis) but really any dream will do ...(get it???)

I auditioned for the Lead in Ruston Community Theater's production of Oklahoma and literally could not BELIEVE I got the role!  I felt silly trying out because...let's face it....I'm knocking on 40.  But I GOT IT!  I gave that audition my ALL--I really acted a fool---and I GOT IT!

Early in the process I was painfully aware that although my singing voice--and believe it or not my old person dancing skills--are pretty great.  My ACTING was a little lacking at first.  That coupled with the fact I had a LOT of love scenes with that cute cowboy I'm pictured with and I just was rattled...nervous, unsure of myself,...doubting....rattled.  BUT I STUCK IT OUT.  I had to totally get OUT of any sort of comfort zone...and in the end I thought my performance was on point!  Broadway is NOT calling...but on point for RCT!

Had a little sidetrack a week before the show when a show prop I was riding on catastrophically broke while I was on it and I ended up with 5 (yep, 5) staples in my HEAD......but I rallied and was at rehearsal the VERY NEXT NIGHT.  Look, you can't keep me down.  And, they weren't giving my part away...oh no way!

Preston had a TINY role in the show and of course he LOVED staying up late, eating junk food and playing on his iPad...oh yes and his role...lol.  But I was truly proud of some of the acting I saw from him onstage...he may have the bug as much as Mommy does.....

Gotta keep my figure and get some botox so I can hopefully have a few more years trying for leading lady roles.  It was a BLAST!!  So grateful to Jeff for essentially being Mr. Mom for months while I followed my dream...know not every husband would do that.

Until South Pacific 2017.....