The Graduate

It’s no small feet to graduate from high school. In todays society the cards are stacked against our youth. Our kids battle so many different pressures than I did when I was growing up. It is no small feet to graduate high school in todays world.


As parents we struggle to grasp what they are faced with and at the end of the day find ourselves in unchartered territory more often than not. Influences coming from every angle and are continuously changing the way we think, the way we live, and the way we survive.

When I was a student, even though drugs and alcohol were around, it seemed as though my biggest obstacles were social. Who drove, who dated who, Friday night football games, the latest music and who dedicated what to who on the radio, *69 (of your too young to remember thats a blog for another day) and of course the latest fashion. Today, our students have to worry about their personal lives being exposed on any kind of social media, violence, very real drug and alcohol pressure, bullying, self identity, violence, and abuse. These are all before they ever step foot in a classroom.


Speaking from 26 years of experience with multiple children in schools in multiple states, I have to say their biggest hurdle is not the previously mentioned obstacles, but school itself.

Yes I said it! But let me explain what I mean.

From the State all the way down to the teacher, we need to relook at how we teach our children, protect our children, and prepare our children for adulthood. Heads up, in no time, our children will be adulting, and we need to do better at preparing them.

State to state, county to county, school to school, the rules change. What is taught, how it’s taught, and how we measure comprehension. Schools put so much emphasis on scores, numbers, and excellence…but forgot the basics. What happened to life skills (preparing taxes, managing checkbooks, understanding credit, cause and effect) that prepare them for the rest of their lives.


Our schools cater to the ivy league student and the 4.0. Our students who need to be taught are too often left behind. Educators rely on the parents, society, and social media to teach our youth.

I know some great teachers and don’t want to seem as though I’m bashing anyone. Those great teachers don’t forget about the struggling student. They show up to ensure that none of our students are left behind, but In the end, the state, county, and school have stacked the deck against them too. The pressures of fast paced curriculum, sensitive subject matter, and benchmarks on standardize testing limit the time they can spend actually teaching.

It’s been a long road, not just for me as a parent but for our kids to grow up, become adults, and graduate. It was a much different road than I knew. The hurdles were high, the challenges much more dangerous, and all of the ways in which their success was measured were anything but standard.

Regardless of all of this, they made it. They did it. As a momma, I did it too. We navigated this world together and graduated.

To all of the parents out there, you can do this and your kids can’t do it without you. It may all be very different from when we were growing up… just stay involved, fight for your kids, and let them know that this is the biggest accomplishment of their young lives so far. Once they achieve graduation, they will have an understanding of what it feels like to set a goal, work hard, overcome, and achieve something they set out to do. They’ve got this, and so do you!



Black and White Christmas Tree

2021 black and white Christmas Tree

Black and white meet elegance. All items available at Hobby Lobby to make this elegant, designer tree. I’m loving this look.

Tricks…. Your topper should be a highlight. Start with your angel, star, whatever suits your taste. Make it a focal point by adding branches and accessories around the bottom of it. This will also assist you as you move down the tree. Add ribbon to add texture to your tree. I like to tick my ribbon in and wrap with a branch to hold it in place. Next…Ornaments ornaments ornaments. Make them different in look, shape and size. Glass (or clear plastic) along with glitter ornaments help to reflect the lights and make your tee look like there are more ornaments.

I put my topper on with the lights off. Then I add my ribbon. After I’m satisfied with my ribbon I turn my tree on to add ornaments. One more trick, add larger glass balls further into the tree to give you the look of twice the lights. Happy decorating and be sure to share your trees! I would love to see what you come up with.


It’s coming, but when

He will soon be here

The time is coming, but no one knows just when. A great many lives will be changed in a single moment. The world as we know it will never be the same.

Will it be in the dark of night or in heart of the day. Will there be time to call the ones we love? Will it be quick and easy or will it linger on?

It will bring tears of joy, gut wrenching fear, the most epic triumphs, and aggravating failures. It will create havoc when we least expect it and it will bring peace without warning.

Will it come today? Will it come tomorrow? Is he ready? Is she prepared?

It is a HE, and HE is my grand baby. We wait by the phone to hear of his arrival. The day he arrives will forever change our lives. He will carry on the family name, will be the First in a line of Firsts. He will be the first grandson to carry on his PoP PoPs name. He will be my first grand baby, and he will be the first great grand baby.

We will wait. Not so patiently for the arrival of our little guy. We will pray for his mommy and daddy, as their lives will be filled with more joy than they ever knew possible, and will forever be changed. We continue to pray for his mommy for a safe and healthy delivery and a speedy recovery. We pray for his daddy as he will navigate taking care of the two most important people in his life. Finally we pray for our little grandson that he is as brave, kind, smart and loving as his mommy and daddy.

Stay tuned for new blogs to come. Story of the Gammy and her little man!


Wrinkles be damned

This morning I looked in the mirror and I almost didn’t recognize myself. I saw stretch marks I had never seen before, wrinkles I am most certain came overnight, and holy moly grey hairs everywhere. On top of that everything looked thicker. The visual was not pretty in my eyes. Have I let myself go?

I stewed on this in my mind for the better part of the day. First I thought: it’s time to diet, I have to shed these pounds, I look awful. Call me vein if not liking what I saw in the mirror fits the bill! And the gym! It’s time to throw myself back into the gym, and work to get down to my ideal weight. That’s it!

Planning in my head, I will eat two hard boiled eggs for breakfast, mid morning oatmeal, a small salad for lunch, carrots for a snack, and a salad for dinner. I’ll make time for the gym at least four or five days a week. No excuses! Overtime, stressful days at work, family time….excuses. Not gonna have it, I convinced myself I will do what it takes.

I was already feeling the exhaustion from the plan with the reflection in the mirror still vivid in my brain. Although it took an hour to admit, If do these things, I wouldn’t be happy. I would run myself down. No matter how much progress I saw, I would resent my schedule and eventually rebel against my own plan.

I went on about my business of cooking dinner, prepping some breakfast burritos and a meal for later into the week to make life simpler. I find a lot of time to think while cooking in the kitchen. Of course my thoughts quickly went back to the reflection that looked back at me this morning. But my analysis slowly began to change from disgust to a more fair and realistic view.

When I was in my 20’s I weighted in at a meager 110 pounds. I was skinny as a rail and couldn’t gain weight if I had to. But then something happened. Not overnight, not even in a year; It was life. Life happened. Then life of an adult mom.

I am a proud mom of three beautiful humans. The first one left me with some beautiful stretch marks. Each line represented the fact that I carried him in my body for 9 months. For 9 months his existence and his survival depended on me. The marks left on my body don’t even come close to the marks he has left on my heart.

The cellulite came with my second human. Being pregnant with whole having a toddler meant I was exhausted. Carrying her required more rest and less moving. She tried to come into this world too early. Because she needed me to protect her a little bit longer, I couldn’t be as active. Hence the arrival of the fatty gel. So now, when I think about the way that cellulite made me sick, I recall being more than willing to slow down my entire life to give my baby girl a shot at one!

My baby, last born, brought on the weight. I was a little older when I got to carry him and we were a very busy household of four already. Our meal choices became things we could get an 7 and a 5 year old to eat. I worked full time, and then we were beginning the world of youth sports. Ball field concessions were my friend. Fat is evil, but for each pound I put on, they could never amount to the laughter and joy my baby boy brings to my world.

As for the wrinkles, grey hairs, and stiff joints….they are all here to remind me that I have lived, loved, and lost. I have worried, cried, cheered, and felt pride for all of my kids. For each late night, soccer match, baseball game, football hit, breakup, makeup, party, and milestone, I have a mark.

I walked back into the bathroom, stripped my clothes off and took another look in the mirror. This time, the person looking back at me was more familiar. She was older, and physically looks different. But I began to see memories, a history, a mom.

I will probably still work on eating better. I will probably try to hit the gym a few days a week. But I will not make it the priority. Healthy is good, and I want to be healthy for years to come, but for once, that is now my why. Not to look thinner, erase the wrinkles, or burn the cellulite. Those things are there to remind me of the important roles I have played and I will now start wearing them with pride.

Starting today, I’m going to live a little healthier but I’m going to also proudly live in my skin!


Chicken Meatball Parmesan

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Take a family favorite, flip the switch and you have this flavorful pan of yumminess. This twist on Chicken Parmesan and Spaghetti has my husband and son coming back for seconds.

Delicious doesn’t have to be difficult. with 10 minutes of prep time and 30 minutes in the oven, this is a great last minute meal that is guaranteed to be hearty satisfying entree!


1 lb ground chicken
1 egg
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
1/4 cup water
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese plus a little extra for serving
1 cup shredded Mozzarella cheese
1 jar of your favorite pasta sauce

Preheat oven to 400 degrees

In large bowl, mix together chicken, water, egg, breadcrumbs, seasonings and Parmesan cheese.

Pour your favorite sauce into a clean casserole dish or cast iron pan.

Good sauce is a key here!

Form meat mixture into meatballs. This recipe should make between 15 and 20 meatballs depending on the size. Please meatballs on your sauce

Bake your meatballs at 400 degrees for 30 minutes.

Sprinkle mozerella cheese over meatballs and return to oven for approximately 10 min or until cheese is melted and beginning to brown.

Remove and serve. These meatballs can be served over any pasta. I prefer mine over spaghetti noodles. Enjoy!