Archive for the ‘Thoughts and Ramblings’ Category

It’s been a month since my last post, and I will admit, my fellow author tour hosting duties have been severely neglected. But I’ve had a lot of my plate. I didn’t realize how much ME time I needed until I hadn’t had enough.

Moving is hard. And with four kids in tow, it can get complicated. There’s new doctors to find, new dentists, and orthodontists, and insurance switching to do. School registrations, and homework, and sports, and well, weather. And sickness.  Everyone in my house has been sick with something. For most, its been sinus infections and bronchitis. All with antibiotics. For me, I had a sinus infection for almost four weeks. And did I tell anyone that I’m expecting MacKinnon kiddo number FIVE this summer? Yeah. We planned this one out well, didn’t we? *wink* Totally a planned deployment baby.


Having a sinus infection and not being able to do anything about it really kicks you in the butt. I was in bed for weeks. The house is 95% unpacked… there are just those few stragglers that I can’t put away because, well… we can’t find the hardware for the bookshelf, so I can’t put the numerous boxes of books away.  We also can’t find the hardware for the kitchen table. We haven’t been able to eat at a table for a MONTH. I wish my husband would just go to the store and buy new screws, you know? Sigh. There’s also that one box… you know the one… the one where all the crap goes that you don’t know where to put it. So it all goes in that one box. And just sits there until you either find a place for it, or get so tired of it that it all just goes in the trash.

Most of you may not know that in my daylight hours I also work as a Disney travel agent. I work from home, and most days it keeps me very busy. It doesn’t pay much, but I highly enjoy what I do. It’s very rewarding to see families have the trip of their lifetimes… and knowing…. yeah, I did that. 🙂 *grin*

I’ve finally gotten back on track with the writing. I’ve been really depressed after numerous Thanks but No Thanks emails, and plot holes, and feeling worthless as all my friend shoot by me on their awesome career paths. That is really hard to swallow sometimes, but I keep pushing through. My time will come, eventually. My first book should be coming out soon, I hope, and the second is almost finished. If you check out my tracker, I’m almost there. So freakin’ close. I hate my ending though, so that is making writing it all the harder.

So there you go… there’s me in a nutshell. Over worked, underpaid, with zero motivation. Time to get my ass in gear, I guess!  I can do this… right?

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I’ve been asked this several times this week, so I just wanted to let you all know that, yes, I am indeed… alive. 🙂

We’ve had a busy last few months. We’ve moved from OK to GA, found a house, and traveled to visit family for the holidays.  I’ll be back to work after the New Year, so until then, have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Peace and Love!

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I haven’t posted a personal blog post in what seems like forever.  I had this great idea to drive clear across the country, with all FOUR of my children, to go visit my bestie Sarah Ballance and family in the surrounding area.  It all sounded fantastic, but oh good God, I’d forgotten what it was like to drive … alone … and without my husband’s willing awesomeness to drive.

Of course, the plans changed a gazillion times before we actually left, and so did my spreadsheet calendar. And of course, the last one – and most important one – I got wrong.  I missed a day. So not only did I procrastinate until the very last minute, I ended up losing a day because I forgot to put a travel date on the handy dandy calendar.  Insert mass panic. I hadn’t even started packing.

We left on a Monday morning in the pouring rain, which would turn out to be one of the biggest rain/weather system to hit Oklahoma in a year.  Flash floods, high winds, cars vs. semi accidents everywhere.  My poor husband was left alone to deal with two leaks in the roof and a flooded back yard, also with two dogs, one of which is afraid of thunderstorms. Thank goodness those Army skills sunk in and he was able to barricade the water from reaching the back patio doors. The carpet only got a little wet. 😉

Our first overnight stop was in Nashville.  OMG, I just LOVE Nashville.  And I forgot to take pictures.  The next morning, we woke up late, packed the SUV late, hit the road late.  Arrived in Virginia late.  I had a birthday cake, balloons, and presents waiting for me though! Such a thoughtful and amazing surprise. And I ate way too much cake.

The next week was a whirlwind. The kids picked up right where they left off the last time we visited, and Sarah and I got zero writing done together.  We went to Busch Gardens, ate a pig, saw a movie, and went to the beach and counted children over and over.  (Ten between us both!) It was so sad to leave, and someday, I hope we are able to stay in the area longer.

After Sarah’s we headed north to the DC area to visit with my sister and brother in law.  We toured DC, swam some more, and had so much fun playing with my nieces and nephews!

Some pictures of the trip:

My first taste of roasted pig

My first taste of roasted pig

My 6.5 yo

My 6.5 yo

Honest Abe.  Some jerk painted him green the day before we visited.

Honest Abe. Some jerk painted him green the day before we visited.

My little man, and Sarah's little girl - both born on the same day!

My little man, and Sarah’s little girl – both born on the same day!


My oldest skateboarding in the cul-de-sac

My oldest skateboarding in the cul-de-sac


My middle one attempting to hold up the Washington Monument. ;)

My middle one attempting to hold up the Washington Monument. 😉

My kids and their cousins all piled onto a cannon in honor of my husband, who is a field artillery officer.

My kids and their cousins all piled onto a cannon in honor of my husband, who is a field artillery officer.



It was a fantastic trip, and just what we needed, and the consensus is, we can’t wait to do it again next year!  If you’ve made it this far, thanks for reading a bit about my family.





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The hubs and I decided it was time for a new tv for the family room.  You see, when we moved before he deployed, our old 50″ piece of crap died on us.  It had a proper burial at the local dump.

Fast forward a year.  We’re back in town, the hubster is home… we realize we don’t have a tv for the family room yet.  We splurge.  We research.  We price check. We must have looked at tv’s in seven different stores.  We decided on a 60″ sharp aquos.  Well, every store that sold them was out of stock, except for Sam’s Club.

We wanted to pay with our Disney visa, because let’s face it, if you know me, you know we are a teensy bit more than obsessed with Disney.  We live and breathe Disney.  We wanted the reward points. For Disney gift cards, to spend at Disney.  You see where I’m going with this…

Only, Sam’s Club doesn’t accept visa.

*insert face palm here*

So we ended up just paying for it from our checking account. *sigh* We really wanted this tv.

We got the tv home, hooked it up, its amazing. Like, out of this world freaky good picture quality, and its smart. It does stuff.

Fast forward a week, and we see that the same tv is on sale for like $400 cheaper at Best Buy.

WWWAAAHHHH??  Sam’s won’t price match, so we ended up driving an hour to the closest Best Buy to pick up the tv.  And we were able to put it on our disney visa.  Score!!

We get it home, set it up, and return the other one to Sam’s. (a process I’m not even going to get into because it was insane)  Fast forward two days, and, while watching a movie on tv, the hubs and I look at each other and I say, “Dude, we made a mistake.”  This isn’t the same tv. The picture isn’t as bright, not as clear.  My heart sinks into the pit of my stomach. Gerry Butler is blurry.

Our splurge has turned out to be a disaster.  What have we done?  I miss our old tv. It turns out that yes, it was technically the same tv, but it wasn’t a smart tv, and it didn’t have the aquos 240 aquamotion thing, whatever that is. It obviously made a difference in the picture, and of course we were too stupid to read the box.

So why am I rambling about a tv?  Well, we decided we wanted the tv we returned.  And so begins the quest to find the original tv.  It was no longer at the service desk, and the stock guys had no idea where it went or what happened to it.  They didn’t even know if it had been sold, and it was the ONLY one in the store at the time we bought it.  They no longer carried it, as it is last years model. We had employees running around the store searching for this tv.  Its HUGE, how can it be misplaced? Serious, like a six foot long box.

After an hour of searching – and I do have to add that, the hubs and I contracted the death flue two days ago, and we left our death bed to go on this quest – we gave up.  It must be gone.  On our way out my hubby just so happened to see our tv.  OUR TV, on the display of the new Sharp tv’s.   YESSS!!!!  So we bought it.  Again.  And this time it was cheaper.  HA HA, joke’s on us.  The whole reason we bought the one at Best Buy was to save some money.

So now we’re waiting on Best Buy to come and pick up their crap tv, and as soon as we’re able to get out of bed, we’ll set up the once new, but returned, and now new again tv.

So moral of the story is….  I don’t know.  If you like something, stick with it. And don’t buy the cheap model because you get what you pay for.  I like being to view Gerry Butler in high quality HD. I prefer him not fuzzy. I want to see every bead of sweat on that six pack in 300. And I like him in 60″. He’s so close I feel like I could lick him. I don’t think the hubby would like that. 😉

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You made me fat and tired.

Well, in all seriousness…he did.  And yes, I’m talking about the big mouse that has overtaken the better half of Florida.  Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE all things Disney – I even work for them – but wow, ten days in “the world” made me want to sleep for a month!

I must apologize for my recent lack of posts and Six Sunday submissions – the month of March I have spent soaking up every second I could with my husband and my kids.  The Mister was granted two weeks of leave and joined us for one last hurrah before heading to the great big desert.

The entire trip was a whirlwind – five star dining, which I ate way too much of, enough walking to put the Biggest Loser contestants to shame (in my mind, anyway) and characters, pictures, and kids galore.

We had a fantastic trip, but as it drew to a close, I couldn’t help but think of how we would all have to say goodbye and wishing that the happiness overload from being in a Disney park would carry over to the following months.

Dropping my husband off at the airport was soooo hard this time.  I couldn’t let him go.  That tiny, miniscule thought in the back of my mind kept wanting to propel itself forward – “this could be the very last time I could ever hold him, see him, kiss him.  Ever.”

It’s times like those that I hate being a writer, and hate having an imagination.  Everything is so vivid, so real.  Life has settled down again though, and I find myself needed to write again.  A month long hiatus has put me far behind schedule and I find myself wanting to play catch up with the thousand things I need to get done.

Gym membership (for that twenty pounds of gourmet Disney dining)

horseback riding lessons

dance lessons

unpacking (I detest this, and the suitcases will probably stay in my room for the next month)

Umpteen phone calls to make – insurance claim for the stroller baggage check destroyed, the cell phone my husband dropped, an unauthorized charge on the credit card, kindergarten registration…

There are a million things I need to do now… I should probably start making a list.

(how about write, Melissa?)

I blame Mickey for my exhaustion and weight gain.  That’s right, everything is his fault, not the 10 mickey bars, or filets, or fish and chip platters and frozen lemonades.  Nope.

When in doubt, blame Mickey Mouse.

It works.  Seriously.

(I {heart} you, MM!)

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This is not a New Year’s resolution.

It’s a revolution.

Let’s me honest…who ever keeps their resolutions?

I know I don’t.

My husband asked me to email him some family pictures and funnies of the kids, and after exhausting two computers and an external hard drive, I realized (and counted) I only took 76 pictures of my family last year.  76.

That includes four birthdays, Christmas, Thanksgiving, three school plays, countless times at the park, playground, special events and the first year of my son, who was born in May of 2010.  Okay, I will admit I did take more pictures of him when he was a baby, but I subtracted those by default.   Newborn pictures don’t count.  So here we are, a family separated for the next eighteen months or so, and I only have a handful of pictures of the kids with their dad.  Starting tomorrow, I’m bringing a pocket camera with me everywhere I go.  Too many special moments and opportunities have been missed.

I love photography.  I used to own my own studio, and I really do miss it.  I miss those candid moments – I miss capturing nature and all its glory.  I WILL display my work in the next house we live in when my husband returns from his deployment.  And I’ll be proud of it.  *I’m currently living with my mom while he’s gone and I don’t think she’ll appreciate the sudden mass of clutter, albeit impeccably arranged.*

I will tell my children that I love them each and every day.  Life is precious.  They are my everything and I want them to know that.

I will take care of ME.  And stop putting everyone else first.  ME time.  Getting healthy, learning to love myself.  Stop being so insecure and putting myself out there. Be vulnerable.  Love me.

Read.  Even if its only for 15 minutes a day, I will read.

And last, but not least, blog.  I have told myself over and over again that I will start blogging more, and hosting – opening up my world to let others in, but I have yet to accomplish this.  The reason?  I fear rejection.  I’m a private person, and change makes me nervous.  I hate starting new things and trying things that I don’t know exactly how to do.  I want to be more adventurous and put myself out there.  I will open my own doors.

It’s a revolution.

(and oh yeah…. I will write.  Snort.)


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Dear Darling,

Yesterday we celebrated 12 years together.  12 fantastically crazy, whirlwind years.

38 days left until our world changes.

Year 13 I will spend without you.  And I always thought 13 was my lucky number.

After dropping our daughter off at preschool and informing her teacher of our impending move, I left feeling…guilty.  Like I needed to apologize to her for moving.  Mrs. Teacher teared up  a little.  I can’t handle other people’s emotions all that well.

I feel torn.  Stuck between a rock and a hard place.  Whatever you want to call it.


I question if we are making the right decision.  We still have time to change our minds, but I know we won’t.

The boxes are packed.  Well, 22 of them, at least.

Jojo’s teacher was visibly upset when I told her the news, and wrote our daughter’s name down with her last day of school on her notepad followed by a frowny face.  😦  As if that makes me feel better about it, right?

This wasn’t an easy decision to make.  We weighed out the pros and cons, talked about every scenerio, we came to this conclusion together…but with each reaction from our friends and family when I mention I am moving, they leave me wondering if we are doing the right thing.  Other women look at me with questioning eyes, as if they really want to tell me to suck it up and take it like an Army wife should.  Don’t chicken out and run home to mommy just because your husband is deploying.  I really want to tell them that none of them will be around for support since my husband is the only one that is leaving.  They still get to laugh, fight, and kiss their husbands each and every day.  They won’t understand, even though many of them have been through it at one time or another.  But its different when its here and now.  And really, since when did they all start caring about my well-being?  We’re cordial when we have to be but we aren’t exactly friends.  I don’t fit into their little clique so I would continue to sit on the sidelines if I stayed here.  We wouldn’t suddenly become bff’s during your absence.  I really find it hard to believe that they would be there for me.  And what…pray tell…would they even do for me?  I find I would more than likely get more support from our long time friends and family on the other side of the country.  (at least, this is what you want me to believe, ha ha)

Taking our children away from a stable environment where they have friends and activities also makes me nervous about our decision.  I hate uprooting them.  There aren’t any neighborhood children for them to play with where I’m going.  Just their siblings and crotchety old people.  I am sad for the neighborhood children, who will be losing three playmates.  For one, the only friends she has.  This makes me guilty, too.  They’ve all become such good friends over the last three years.  I just hate making them switch schools and start over again…and again.

On the other hand, I am excited that our kids can spend time with all their grandparents and catch up with relatives, and be surrounded with new things while you are away.  Dance.  New projects.  The OCEAN.  You think that I will turn into a recluse while you are gone, but I’ve got news for you, honey, I already am one.  YOU are my life.  I have no activities or social groups.  No mom’s clubs or playdates.  No friends left.  They’ve moved.  The ones that are left, they have their own friends–they live on post and do their own things.  Calling me takes too much time and effort for them.  Why call and wait for me to drive when you can walk across the street?  It’s one of the hazards of living off post, and I accept that.  I look forward to spending time with you and the kids.  Family is my first priority, not gossiping over coffee, although, it is nice to get out once and a while… (even though I just sit there and listen to everyone else talk…its much more fun)

Sigh.  I am so torn.  I know this move is a great thing for us financially.  I’m not so sure about socially and mentally, but I know it will work out in the end.  That end is just so far away right now.


Your loving wife

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