Wednesday, May 20, 2015

We’ve Decided To Build A House! #FredNMimiSayIDo

We’re planning a wedding, and now we’re planning on building a house. So how the heck did this happen, especially when we’re planning one of the most stressful things a person or couple can do.

Here’s how this all went down.

Almost two years ago, Fred realized it was time to buy a house. Unfortunately, he went out of the county to find a house. That would’ve been all fine and dandy had we gotten married either that same summer or the one after. Since that didn’t happen, my boys have gotten settled into their schools. I don’t want to have to move my oldest to a brand new school the last two years of his school. That just wouldn’t be fair to him.

You have to understand, my boys grew up for almost 14 yrs in the same town, and with all of the same kids. Buddy had gone to 3 different schools in the last two years (including the one back in Annandale). There was no way I could move him again. I would’ve married Fred and lived in this dumpy house for the next two years if I’d had to.

We could’ve moved into his house in the other county, but to have Buddy stay at the same school, that would’ve cost $8,000/yr! Then  if we moved back into this current county in a couple of years, that means Doodle will have to move to another school, then back into these schools, and build those friendships again. UGH! I can’t do that to him, so that would mean another $8,000/yr for him! Sixteen grand a year until we get back into this county? Just crazy.


Fred and started talking about options. We could rent his home, but recently, the rentals in his development have all ended up with police cars in front of them. Delightful, eh?

We could buy a house that’s already built, but most of the homes in this area are several hundred thousand dollars out of our price range. Our hope was to find at least a 5 bedroom, or a 4 bedroom with maybe a bonus room we could use as a 5th bedroom. Man alive that was hard to weed through.

I stopped looking for 5 bedrooms and on a whim decided to look at 4 bedroom homes figuring maybe one of the 4 bedrooms would be big enough for the youngest boys to share while still having enough space so they weren’t on top of each other.

Enter, a small development being built just a few miles from the house I’m renting right now! They have several houses designs to choose from, and we headed to an open house a couple of weekends ago. We walked through a couple of the styles the week before with our realtor so we had an idea of what they looked like. What we didn’t know was which plot of land we wanted.


Turned out they had the one lot of land that wasn’t at a premium price and was the biggest one available still! That was definitely the one I wanted, but we looked at a couple others as well. We also walked through the biggest home that was only framed in. I’m not someone who can imagine something that isn’t there. The way it was set up, we knew that was the design we wanted! It’s a 5 bedroom!

That means the kids will all get their own rooms, and Fred and I will have a bathroom connected to our bedroom. On top of that, we’ll have the most amazing walk in closet! I’m super excited about that. We’ll also have an extended porch and fireplace! Two things I’ve never had before in my own home!

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We found out very quickly that we wouldn’t be able to change the outside design of the house. I had hoped to push out the entryway about 5’ because the stairs are pretty much right there the second you walk into the house and it doesn’t have an entryway closet. My dream had also been to have a sitting room where I could have a reading nook. Maybe one day in the future.

We’ve been able to change things inside the house. Fred’s going to get a Jacuzzi tub, we’re putting the fireplace along a side wall instead of in the corner, and extra windows in the living room. I’m a lover of windows! I kept looking for ways to add more windows. lol


There were things I found out we can’t change. I wanted to go nuts personalizing the heck out of the house, but the builder has asked us…well, me…to take it down a notch. I was already going on contractor sites finding their leftovers to see if I could use them in our house. Craigslist has complete, custom kitchens that people are getting rid of while remodeling their homes! I wanted to go gang busters, but I guess not this time.

We’ll have to live with the standard, new construction white paint on the walls and native Maryland plants in the front yard. We’ll have to live with it until we’re given the seal of approval to move in and then c-ya! I’m planting my own plants, painting the walls, and hopefully having a heyday. Of course we’ll have no money left after moving in, but I can dream for now. =)

Have you ever built a house from the ground up?

Saturday, May 16, 2015

What I Was Born To Do: Be A Mom #imbornto #sp

The Motherhood Disclosure

I remember when I was a little girl, the one thing I really wanted to do was work with animals. I wanted to be a veterinarian, work with dolphins, or do something with horses. I loved all things animals. My only issue? I wasn’t a big fan of science. lol Doesn’t partner well with wanting to be a vet!

IMG_20141129_181227_600 (1)

Life went on and things went crazy in our family. I grew up not realizing I had ADD. It really affected my academic life. I was more of a comedian and had very little direction in my life. Absolutely no clue what to do with my life. For me, that meant I had no desire to go to college. I mean, why go if I didn’t have any idea what to do with my life. It seemed like a waste of time and money.

Again, life went on, I got married and had two little girls. I was a stay at home mom at the early age of 22. I enjoyed it, but again, didn’t realize I had severe post partum depression. For some reason, things like ADD and PPD were part of the vernacular AFTER I’d gone through them. As I mentioned in my last post about being a mom, I’d had issues with my first pregnancy and my daughter wanted to come early. I had to take medication for three months to keep my contractions at bay.

Christmas in VA

Jump ahead almost 7 years and I had my first son and then my second son. It was at that time that we were getting settled into life in our little country town. I remember joining a mommy and baby group, and that’s where I learned what I was born to be.

One of my best friends and I were talking because we both couldn’t figure out what we were supposed to be doing with our lives. We were both SAHMs, but felt like the world was telling us we needed to have “jobs.” It took us quite a while, but I think it was around the same time, we both had an epiphany. What if, just maybe, we had been born to be MOMS! Go figure! What if we were already doing what we were meant to do! What if we weren’t called, at that time, to work outside of the home!

It took us both a little while, but I think we both realized that was our calling. God created us to be full time moms and that was to be our job for a season. I can’t tell you how relieving it was to come to that realization! We’d had the support of friends and family, but in our own minds we felt like being a mom wasn’t enough. The weight of that guilt was lifted when we were on board with who we were meant to be.

My kids

It has been great, as a mom, watching my kids grow up to be who they are meant to be, too! my oldest daughter graduates May 23rd with a Masters Degree in Social Work. My next daughter has a degree in linguistics, and on May 23rd comes home from traveling to 11 different countries over the past year doing mission work! Both of these girls are doing what they were born to do! I can’t wait to see what my boys end up doing with their lives. They’re still growing into the men they’ll be!


Father’s Day is right around the corner! From Mother’s Day to Father’s Day, the March of Dimes encourages consumers to shop, donate or take part in partner promotions to support the cause. Visit to learn more about special Mother’s Day and Father’s Day offers from their partners.

Mud Pie believes that every baby deserves the chance to start life healthy from head to toe. So accessorize baby in Dad’s style and Mud Pie will donate 10¢ from each sock purchase to the March of Dimes throughout the year.
Shop now at


Planning on cooking at home this Father’s Day? Why not fire up the grill – and help all dads while spending quality time with yours? Blue Rhino, America’s #1 brand of propane exchange, is proud to support the March of Dimes as a sponsor for the imbornto campaign.
Find a store near you at


What do you believe you were meant to do?

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Surprise Bridal Shower #FredNMimiSayIDo

In all the wedding planning, one thing that wasn’t on my list of things to do or plan was a bridal shower. It had never even crossed my mind to have one. I look back now and don’t know how it never came up in conversation with Fred.

What did come up in conversation was having lunch with a couple from church. It was something that was planned on a day when we had a lot of stuff going on. Fred was supposed to have gone to a concert with his daughter in the afternoon, but it was canceled. I was supposed to go to a baseball game, but the time was changed and I knew I’d have to miss it.

So, the day came. We dropped the youngest off at baseball, and headed over to hang out with the couple from church. You know what’s funny? Since the boys and I moved to the East coast, this is the only couple we’ve ever done anything with, and that was over a year ago. They had gone over to Fred’s to have dinner with us. Now we were visiting them in their new house!

It was an absolutely gorgeous day and they are living on the Chesapeake Bay. As in RIGHT on it! The drive to their house on the dirt road was gorgeous. We were a couple of minutes late because of baseball, and all I wanted to do was walk around the property and go look at the water.

Gail wasn’t in the mood for dilly dallying so she marched us straight up to the house and asked her hubby to get changed for our meal. She opened the door, but because it was so bright out, her house was almost pitch black to me. I could see the silhouette of someone towards the back of the living room, and figured another couple was joining us. Hey, the more the merrier, and I was ready for more friends.


It took a second for my eyes to adjust, and when they did, I saw a table with food spread all over it and a room full of women! I think they all yelled, “surprise!” but truly, those first few minutes are a blur. I remember feeling Fred push me into the house, or maybe it was Gail guiding me in, and I heard him say something like, “Have fun, I’ll see you later.”

I felt terrible because he didn’t know what was going on, and he wasn’t getting the lunch he was expecting to have. I also started bawling. I was so surprised and overwhelmed by what was happening I couldn’t stop crying. Someone said to me, “this is supposed to be a happy thing,” and the pastor’s wife came over to hug me. What they didn’t realize at first was that it WAS a happy thing. I have felt so alone for such a long time, I never would’ve even  known who to invite to a bridal shower here aside from a few people.


We all started in on the food and it was wonderful. One of the gals who came was Jennifer. She’s the youth pastor’s wife. I’d seen her at the church staff Christmas party, but that’s about it. She made my cupcakes and she’s a blogger at How To Cake That!! You’re going to love her site! Now I totally wish she’d be around to have made my wedding cake, but we already knew she would be out of town. Glad I was blessed by her coming to the shower and making the cupcakes. I know I want to use her again in the future!

Bridal Shower Cupcake Topper

Most of the women there I hadn’t talked to more than in passing and even one gal came who I’d only seen in passing. They all talked about various things, and it was fantastic! I have to say I just loved sitting around hearing the women gab. It was water to my thirsty soul!

Bridal Shower Card

THEN, they put me on the hot seat. I mean, literally made me move to a chair where everyone could stare at me as I opened cards and gifts. I’m not one who likes that kind of attention. I would’ve been perfectly fine sitting on the couch with the other ladies around me. Oh well.

Dee  Diane

I received amazing gifts! I got a crock pot, a blender, several gift cards including Starbucks, Home Depot, Home Goods and Visa, cash, a candle, a check to put towards whatever I wanted (the mission trip), and a certificate to a vintage store! I was overwhelmed. Here are these women, who barely know me or have known me for a very short period of time, and they showered me with these gifts and sweet kindness.

Gaylen Gail  Marny

For the record, Fred wasn’t ever straight up told there was a surprise bridal shower happening. Gail hinted at something going on, but she never came out and told him. She knew that he’d say something. Turned out he almost blew it once because we knew we needed to leave the “couple’s lunch” by 3:15 because my oldest son needed to go to work. He said Gail would be done with me by 2pm, but he totally covered it, and I didn’t give it a second thought.

Melissa Jennifer  Jennifer

And, as you can see, I wasn’t prepared for a bridal shower. I hadn’t taken a shower that morning or put on makeup. lol I have to say, I’m glad I put on a decent shirt. HA! I was ready to hang out with another couple, not go to a party.

Eating with cat

I truly was blessed. I’m not sure if you’ve ever been completely lonely and felt supremely isolated. If you have, then you’ll understand how meaningful this was to me. To all of the ladies who came, I want to say, “Thank you!” 99% of the time I’m the surpriser. It was great to be the surprisee for a change!

Do you like to surprise loved ones with a party?

Monday, May 4, 2015

Having A Sick Kid For Two Weeks Stinks!

A couple of weeks ago my son was extremely sick. Actually, he was sick for two weeks. The first full week of April he was only supposed to have that Monday off for the end of Spring Break. He ended up missing every day, but Thursday, and sending him that day was a mistake. When I picked him up after his school meeting, he was white as a ghost.

Saturday morning he was supposed to compete at the Naval Academy for SeaPerch. His team had been working on their underwater robot since November. We were only there for about an hour before I had to call Fred to come get us and take us to the dr.

I felt so bad he had to miss his competition, but he couldn’t even stand up. We never should’ve gone.

The doctor we saw wasn’t his regular doctor, but he suggested a cold medicine with and antihistamine. We picked some up on the way home, and settled in for the weekend. We followed up with his regular doctor on Monday who prescribed a zpac for him. He took that Rx around 2:30, and seemed to be better until bedtime when he showed me some bumps under his chin.


I could tell they were hives, but not like I’d seen them before. I actually called the after hours doctor because I’m used to seeing hives that are more like little pin pricks all over the torso. The on call doc said to give him allergy medicine, which I had already done.

He headed to bed, and about an hour later, my older son was going to bed, and told me I needed to look at him. He had gotten worse. The hives were on his face and a couple little spots on his body.


I called the doctor back because I was getting more than a little worried. She told me to give him a second dose of the allergy medicine and if he didn’t show signs of improvement to take him to the ER. Ugh, I really wanted him better because I didn’t want to go to the ER with that poor kid. Unfortunately, an hour later, he hadn’t improved at all.

These are his elbows when we were at the ER:


We got to the hospital around 12:30. This hospital had a pediatric ER so we were in a wing set apart from the rest of it. Man alive, that hospital was huge!! We’d never been there before. They ended up taking an xray of his chest to make sure he didn’t have pneumonia. Thankfully he didn’t.

They sent us home with a steroid Rx, and told us to see the dr the next day. We got an appointment in the morning, and headed out. He ended up having an ear infection on top of everything else. Poor kid.

These are his knees the afternoon after we came home from the hospital. And this is them starting to go away. You can see the white in the middle of the hives…when they were at their worst, they were completely red.


By this time, he’d missed a week and a half of school. Every day I was getting two calls and two emails telling me my son was absent from school. I had to call and ask for homework to be put together for him. The first week of school he’d missed the last week of the quarter. The second week of school he missed was the start of the next quarter! He was missing a lot of school. I was afraid if he missed any more we’d have to get a tutor to help him catch up.

I was taking pictures of all of these hives because like I said earlier, I’d never seen anything like them before. I was afraid they’d go away or they’d lessen before we saw a dr. or specialist. I wanted it documented because I really had no idea what was going on with him. It’s such a helpless place to be as a mom.


On Wed, the day he saw the dr and got onto a new Rx for his ear infection, was his worst day with his hives. The entire time he’d been dealing with them, he was never having issues with itching. He would rub for a second and then stop. He did amazing. The last day was horrible for him. He was so uncomfortable and his entire body was covered. Before they were migrating from one spot to the next, but the last day, they covered him entirely.

Thursday he was very improved, and we were hoping he’d be rallied enough to go to the 6th grade field trip on Friday, but he just had no energy. So in two weeks he missed his SeaPerch and his 6th grade field trip. Breaks my heart for that sweet boy.

I’m happy to say, he finally went back to school after being out for two weeks! I could tell he was tired from the full day at school, but his color looked good, no coughing, and no hives! Just praying he stays healthy. We’ve got the allergist appointment on the calendar.

Have you ever dealt with an unexplained illness?

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

I Was Born To Be A Mom #imbornto #sp

The Motherhood Disclosure

Almost 24 years ago, I gave birth to my first daughter. I can barely wrap my brain around that number. I kid you not, it feels like it should’ve been just yesterday I was holding her as a newborn baby in my arms.

Next month has not only Mother’s Day, but also the day my oldest will graduate with her Master’s Degree in Social Work. I can’t believe how quickly the time has gone from her being in my tummy to her going into the working world full time, doing what she was born to do.

When I think back to finding out I was pregnant with her, I remember not believing it was true. lol I had only been married a month! She was a honeymoon baby. There was so much newness in my life at that time. I’d only been a Christian for a few months. I’d only been married for a month. Now I was going to be a mom.

I didn’t know much about being pregnant. I was only 22 and very ignorant. Even though I’d taken a family life class in high school, it certainly didn’t prepare me for pregnancy. Thankfully I had a wonderful doctor who educated me along the way.

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When I was about 24 weeks along, I started having contractions. I was working full time, and on my feet all day long. I had started to dilate, but not to the point of the doctor needing to do anything drastic. I was required to sit at my job, and was put on medication to stop the contractions. Let me just say, as a first time, and young mom, it was pretty scary.

As we got to the end of the pregnancy, I had an ultrasound and it showed a mass inside of her. We even have it on video tape! The doctor sent us to an ultrasound specialist a week or so later, but we and friends prayed over her, and when we went to our appointment, there was nothing there!

My daughter’s original due date was supposed to be August 11th, but she decided to come early on July 27th. We’d just gotten done with a day on the water, and I had a feeling my contractions were starting. She was my smallest baby, and the only one I ever had an epidural for. Go figure! If I remember, she was 6 lbs 13 oz. Yep, she was pretty tiny.

I wish I had pictures of her as a newborn with me. In just a few months I’ll have them with me again as we bring all of our belongings out to Maryland! When I get my hands on them I’ll try to remember to come back and post some of those pictures.


In the meantime, I’m one of 39 bloggers (representing the length of a full-term pregnancy) joining The Motherhood to share about the importance of the March of Dimes. I know first hand how important a healthy pregnancy means to mom and baby!

Did you know for more than 75 years, the March of Dimes has
been helping families? Check out these staggering statistics:

In the United States:
• 1 baby is born prematurely
every minute
• approximately 72 die each
day before reaching their first
• 15 million babies are born
too soon each year


This year, you can partner with the March of Dimes in a variety of ways! You can make the March of Dimes your charity of choice for Mother’s Day and Father’s Day (can’t forget those dads). You can also make purchases that will benefit them as well.

Here’s who you can shop with to benefit the March of Dimes and help make sure more babies are born healthy!

• Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, Inc.

Emerils Restaurants

o Chef Emeril Lagasse has teamed up with Martha Stewart Living to help raise at least $30,000 for the March of Dimes by giving patrons the opportunity to add a donation to their check at participating Emeril Restaurants in New Orleans, Las Vegas, Orlando and Charlotte. This runs from 4/26 to 5/10 and from 6/7 to 6/21.

o Fans can also participate by joining the #thx2u movement and sharing what their thankful for (visit to learn more; please share starting MONDAY APRIL 13). For every baby photo uploaded with a caption about what their thankful for with the hashtag #thx2u, Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia and Meredith Corporation will be making a $10 donation.

• Bon-­‐Ton (and

Bon-Ton Atomizer

o Customers of The Bon-­‐Ton Stores (and any of their other 7 nameplates) will receive a $10-­‐off coupon for every $3 donation to the March of Dimes made at checkout.

o When the donation is made online, instead of a $10-­‐off coupon, it will be a 25% off coupon.

o In addition, when a customer makes a $1 donation with a women’s fragrance purchase of $75 or more prior to Mother’s Day, they will receive an atomizer filled with the fragrance of their choice. This will run from April 30th to Mother’s Day and will be revisited again in June for Father’s Day.

o Link:

• MudPie

Mud Pie Bracelet

o MudPie will donate $2 to the imbornto campaign for every Bella Bar, Mom Bar and Mommy and Me jewelry item purchased for Mother’s Day.

o In addition, MudPie will donate 10 cents from each baby headband or sock purchase to the March of Dimes throughout the year.

o Link: http://www.mud-­‐­‐of-­‐dimes-­‐imbornto

• A&E Jewelers

A&E Single Enchanted

o Will be donating 20% of the purchase price from each brand new twinkling Swarovski encrusted sterling silver March of Dimes Enchanted “Healthy Beginnings” Necklace that was designed for this campaign.

o Link:

• eBay Giving Works

o Visit eBay’s Charity Shop for Mother’s Day gifts where proceeds from your purchase support the March of Dimes. Also, from April 30 – May 11, you’ll be able to make a donation to the March of Dimes in checkout when making purchases on eBay.

o Link:

• Kmart

o Celebrate mom with a gift of puppy love! From April 15 to June 21, Kmart will donate $1 from the purchase of each mother/baby puppy ornament to the March of Dimes.

o Link:



o ALEX AND ANI have designed their Special Delivery Bangle to honor all mothers. The Special Delivery Bangle is available in pink or blue both in copper and silver. 20% of each bangle sold will benefit the March of Dimes.

o Link:­‐special-­‐delivery-­‐charm-­‐bangle.html

What are you hoping for your children as they grow up?

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Woven by Words by Mimi B is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.