All posts by akirkley

July into August: 7.9.17-8.14.17

Yep. I’m guessing I’m once a month blogging now. To see all the pictures, my flickr is loaded. And I try and update my facebook and Instagram some still. I’m on my way out though. I’m seriously about to drop it all. I’m tired of being tied.

Anyway- what we’ve been doing….

School! Yes! In July! Why not man?? It’s hot. You either have to be in water, or inside. And so we figure when it’s October or November and bearable outside, we will play and play and play. And we’ll take our days off then. But while it’s 96 with a heat index of 109? We’ll get busy and knock some days off our list.

Both of my kiddos are doing exceptionally well. I’m amazed really. They learn SO differently. I feel for teacher who have a class of 19 Kindergarteners. It just doesn’t make sense teaching them all the same way. I’ve had to adjust how I’m teaching the most basic thing: reading. My two do not learn the same. And I couldn’t imagine how bad Judah would be doing if he were in school. And I can’t imagine how bad Lucy would be doing if she was in school and being forced to learn like Judah needs to. Only one could excel. Teachers just can’t- not that they don’t want to- I was there. I was in a classroom – I know. You want each child to learn. But when you’ve got to keep control… learning is last.

Anyway – off that soapbox…

And this.. My last picture with my four year old boy. He’s no longer 4.

He’s FIVE! My baby is five. Oh where did it go. I’m glad it’s behind us, don’t get me wrong. He’s so much fun. So nonstop. Excited, loves to do. Loves to go. He’s just my favorite.

And I do believe I’ve got a couple of swimmers on my hands now. Judah’s sorta figured it out. Lucy figured it out last year and had to refresh this year. She’s swimming like a fish. And Judah… like a fish with.. some ticks I guess? He’s getting there.

And my sweet Lucy. I was doing some music for a local retirement home and Lucy had to come with me. I asked her if she wanted to make cards like the last time we went to a place like this Рand she said YES! So, She and Ms. Freida handed them out while I did some music with my team (Ms. Sam and  Hannah). We had a great time and Lucy was the star of the show for sure.

I think about the things I could be doing for her. Dance lessons, Karate, different classes… And I sorta feel bad because we don’t really offer those to her right now. Mostly because they are so expensive. I don’t want to pay over $1500 a year for a hobby she sorta likes. Her year of dance made a huge difference in her life, but, we can’t afford to do every-little-thing they want to do.

And then I see her willingly spend almost 2 hours each day over 2 days making cards for people she doesn’t know. I see her putting little details into each one. I see her saying she want’s them all to be fair and equal, because that’s right, that’s what you should do.

And I feel like maybe she doesn’t have to have all that extra. She doesn’t have to have a hobby like everyone else. Because, she’s definitely not like everyone else. She is so creative and generous. And She came with me to the home and handed out her cards and spoke to each person she gave one to. Not a whole lot, but she answered questions and she said you’re welcome. And I think… This seven year old I’m raising.. she’s not too bad.

And I want to encourage her to continue making and giving. I want to encourage her to see that giving to others is just as much fun as being given too. I want her to grow up in Christ like she is already and I want her to have a better foundation than even I had.

Man this girl… She’s my favorite.

We played in makeup. I’m not going to show you what she did to me, but trust me when I say, people would think Wes beat me. I got it all off later…

And my little boy. He comes home today and I’m gonna swoop him up in the biggest hug you ever did see.

He’s been gone with his Daddy and his Papa J to a car show in Ohio! He’s been too far away from me. He’ll call and we’ll talk on the phone and he says, “Mom, I like it here. You should have come too.” I love that he misses me.

And most of all… My husband.

I’m such a super blessed lady. Gah, I cannot stress that enough. This man loves his children so much. He sent me pictures all weekend of pink cars to show Lucy. He sent me probably 30 pictures of Judah beside cars with his goofy little grin. He wanted to take Judah. Judah’s not the easiest kid ever – he’s 5. And a five year old no matter how good is still a 5 year old.

Every time I talked to Wes, “He’s doing good. He’s hanging in there.” No matter what, he loves his children and he wants them to be whole.

And he loves me.

And yes, yes, yes… we fight. Pretty much all the time. We argue and we have spats, and we’ll go 3 hours without speaking to each other some days. And we are in a unique situation where we are both home, all day. So we are around each other, all day, every day, for the most part. When he studies at the church or when I have errands, that’s about it.

And we seriously look forward to drinking our coffee on the porch with each other each morning. We love to talk to each other. We would choose each other over anyone or anything else. (I’ll have to double check with Wes on that one, because he did just see most of his dream cars this past weekend so I may have bumped down a spot or two.) I’ll be back up in #1 slot when he sees me though.

He consistently pursues me and I’m forever grateful for him giving me compliments when I don’t feel like they are true. I love that he loves every part of me, even the parts of myself that I can’t stand to look at. Or the parts of me that aren’t where they should be as wife and mother – he loves me through them. I hope he knows that I love him through any of his.

I’ve missed my Judah, and I’ve loved spending time with Lucy, but most of all, I’m so so ready to have my husband back.

And that gets you caught up for July and part of August. Maybe I’ll update again at the end of August. (And maybe not… I might be busy living my life with my sweet family!)

The last month: 6.15.17-7:8.17

Man. I am super lazy. Blogging is full on back burner. I’m recording life in my journal again, and so my need for the blog is less and less. I do like having an online record, so I’m not stopping it, but it’s obviously not as much of a priority as it once was. 

So to catch you up. 


Kids went to VBS at my dad’s church. My aunt Karla and uncle Jerry were so kind to come get them and let them ride the bus to Bible school. The kids were beside themselves wth excitement. 

We went to the beach with Wes’ family. The whole lot of us went. It was quite a crowd. But we had a ton of fun. 

The weather wasn’t perfect the first half of he week- actually so much so that the lifeguards were giving tickets if you got in the water. So, in the sand we played and in the pool. Then, the last couple of days we all got sunburned. 


Ugh my hair makes me mad. 

A big step happened. This was the last picture I had with my 6 year old!



Now she’s 7. She had a sleepover and we had a party at church with a bunch of her church friends. 


We had a nice visit from Mimi and Pop and celebrated both birthdays. So glad we could see them. 

My kids went to spend the night with Mawmaw… for one night. Think they packed enough?!


We had a crazy July 4th bash… on July 3. Wes was leaving and so the family was around and we did fireworks and laughed harder than I have in a long time. 


The kids either loved it, or hated it. Mine- loved it. 

This year. 

(Also- check out Judah’s attire ūüôĄ)

And then we saw the guys off to India. 


The best picture I’ve ever seen was the one from Johnpaul.


They made it. Man am I missing my hubs. 

I’ve been able to talk to him way more regularly though, which has been good. The kids miss him too. Quite a bit. 

And in the spirit of not missing him, Judah’s definitely kept me on my toes. 

And Lucy’s worked hard at not biting her nails, so I rewarded her with A gel manicure. She was SO excited. 


And you are caught up! 

Dentists, DeSoto, and de Other Stuff 5.20.17-6.14.17

So… It has been almost a month. Sorry about that. Actually, I’m not sorry. I’ve been trying to be less on Social Media (which sometimes works and sometimes doesn’t). In the end, I’m more present with the people that I’m around and that’s what I’m trying to do.

The kiddos went to the dentist. No cavities! (I feel like I need to add… They’ve only been like one other time. And I think that was just Lucy. She was like 1. I long time should have been bringing them. Oops.)

Lucy loved the Dentist trip and was super pumped about all her “free stuff” (the toothpaste and new brush and floss.) She can’t wait to go back.

We’ve been getting stuff done at Mawmaw’s in between rain.

While we were digging up stumps at the new land, we dug up one by our house too. It’s going to look so different once grass grows in.

And what’s summer if not for lazing.

And swimming (or splashing..) This was the last of this pool pretty much. The kids wanted to see Tiger (our cat) swim. And… there goes the top ring.¬†

Judah was the “Church Cop.” Better watch that one while he’s undercover.. He’ll be like Don Johnson and lose himself. Nah, deep down Judah will do what’s right.

Lucy got an easy bake oven from Pawpaw Bruce’s whos been cleaning out. It was Kaileys. Lucy made sugar cookies. And we ate them. And then we realized they were like 10 years old.

(We all lived.)

And last weekend we decided to go camping. And we took Kowalski.

We didn’t know just how ol’ K-Dog was gonna do. But he was fantastic. He always came when we called, he stayed pretty close by (thankfully the campground was literally empty, and so we didn’t have to keep him right by us the whole trip.)

He LOVED it. 

He loved sleeping in the tent with us too. 

He was more exhausted than any of us I do believe. 

Everywhere we were… He was right by us.¬†

The kids did good too. This was their first legit kayaking trip. We’ve paddled them short bits, like in ponds and lakes, but never set out on an actual “drop this car here and go put in and paddle down then go get the other car” type of trip.

Lucy rode with Papa J, and Judah with daddy for the most part. K-dog was with me.

He did good too. He wasn’t as big of a fan of the kayak as he was just being out in the sand, but he didn’t try and get out, and that’s what mattered.

This was our going home picture. Everybody’s pooped.

And the kids started VBS this week at my dad’s church. My Uncle is the bus driver and they’ve so sweetly said they’d come pick my kids up and bring them home for a day so they feel like real bus riders.

Lucy couldn’t be more ecstatic.

And after day one, they came home with this need to paint. So, I got out some super cheap paints, and we painted. Some of their paintngs are.. chaos. Un-look-at-able. And some are actually quite impressive when you can tell what’s going on.

And this is Judah “helping” us with some work at Pawpaw Bruce’s.

Looks like Bruce taught him well.

PS – they were watching Scooby Doo.

I’m so glad my dad is home and feeling better. I don’t like visiting him in the hospital; I do like the chance to just reconnect and talk with my dad. Good Ol’ Bruce.

Well, that gets you caught up!

Thanks for reading with us and sticking with us.

MIAMI baby! (And other shenanigans) 5.6.17 – 5.19.17

It’s been a minute- and we’ve been enjoying some life!

Wes and I took a little trip down to the MIA- and stayed a few nights (the whole trip was paid for in points, baby!!) Free flights, free hotel, free rental car. All we bought was food and we had some good food. It was fantastic.

We landed around 1pm (our flight was upgraded to nonstop!) and made it to our hotel around 2:30 (we were upgraded to a suite there! Hello jacuzzi!)

Wes (having taken 2 Dramamines) crashed, literally, after we’d had a little lunch. He slept for 2 hours. 


Here I am, fresh off the plane, in Miami. Enjoying the trip, haha!!

I woke him up and we headed for Wynwood. As a lover of art, and wes a lover of graffiti- this was the place for us. The Wynwood Walls. 



Basically, every building, every wall, every surface was bombed with graffiti. We saw some amazing stuff. 


It was insane. Like, really some hard work and creativity blooms here. 

We walked around there some and then headed to South Beach, because… that’s what you do in Miami. 

It was getting evening so we grabbed some dinner and strolled along…

It really was beautiful, with the palm trees and the lighted hotels. 
Truly reminiscent of the 80s… and I guess the cocaine that built the city. Tragic that something so terrible created such a beautiful city. 

Day two- we went for a tour of the new Miami Dolphins stadium!


We got to walk out on the field. I believe it was a little bit of a moment for Wes. 


We got to go in the locker rooms, and wes got to sit at the head coach’s desk. 


He was like a little kid. This was the main part of our trip- it was his birthday present from me. 


I was so glad I could be the one to give him this. He’s such a great guy.

After the tour, we found a little beach that was absolutely magical. 


Yep- paradise. Palm trees on the beach. 


We ended up spending 2 days here, sitting and relaxing and looking up at the waving branches. 


And giggling at inside jokes. 

Friday, our last day we went down to the Keys. 


Our Florida Keys beach search ended pretty quickly- given there aren’t many beaches down there. We hadn’t planned on snorkling or fishing- and so weren’t really prepared for doing that. We laid around for just a bit, enjoyed the beautiful clear water, but then headed back to Crandon beach to claim a palm tree and take a nap. 

After our nap we went back to south beach to pick up some souviners and to see the lifeguard hits. 


There were SO many people on the beach. Compared to Crandon park- it was insane. And Crandon park is not even 5 miles away (through the water).


We saw one more sunset and then headed back to the hotel for an early turn in. We had to be at the air port at 6am the next morning. 

We made it to New Orleans before 9:30am and got back to a snaggle tooth kid! 

Still so pretty. 

And then Sunday was Mother’s Day!


We are blessed to have lots of mothers, and Ms. Steph is a fantastic mom and grandma for sure. 

Other shenanigans? We brought our 15 chicks home. They are happily living in the rabbit pen- while the rabbit moved back inside. It’s easier to clean up after one bunny than 15 baby chickens. 


And in case you were wondering, this little joker is still cute. 


And that gets you caught up. We had a blast and we have already started planning a trip for all four of us to head south one day. 

Miami, we’ll see you again!

  

New Ring, New Car, New Husband 5.1.17 – 5.5.17

From since I can remember, I’ve looked at my ¬†Mamma’s jewelry. Let me identify here, since my life has been kinda a mess at time. My Mamma, Diane. She gave birth to me. She also had a lot of fancy jewelry. Big stones, gold, flashy. And I always wanted to wear it, yet my fingers were always much to small.

She passed away when I was 11, leaving me everything. Including all of her gaudy rings. Her gaudy and real rings. They weren’t all beautiful, and they weren’t all real, but a lot were. I tried wearing them, but still, my slender 11-year-old hands were not ready.

Then, her sister, Martha and her husband Bruce, adopted me. (Yeah, I’ve written a book that helps explain… Maybe one day I’ll share it with the whole world). And she had some rings, and they fit my 12 year old fingers, because Martha had dainty little hands. But she was still wearing most of hers and she dare not give a real ring to a 12 year old.

So I looked at them. From a distance and from up close as they spun on my finger and slipped off with ease back into my jewelry boxes.

Fast forward to myself as an adult.

I’m happily married to a wonderful guy, and he had given me my first diamond when I was 18. He even told me through this process, that he didn’t buy the one he thought was “for me” he bought the only one he could afford. (HA!) And it doesn’t matter to me – it’s the one that HE bought for ME. So, I love it.

So, now I’ve had all of these mothers… Diane, and Martha mostly. But their sisters as well have helped raise me.. Sandra, Karla, and Mary. Mary knows why I call her most. (Sorry… You still sound so much like her…) And then when I turned 19 and got married, I gained some fabulous Mother-in-Laws as well. Stephanie and Pam are great. I don’t have the “wretched mother-in-law” stories. Unless you call a “Loves me like I’m their own” wretched… And even Wes’ aunts are like moms to me. I couldn’t ask for better mother’s in my life.

And don’t get me started on my church mothers…

I’ve got a lot of moms. And I had a few pieces of broken and… not so beautiful jewelry that were from most of them. And so I decided to take 3 of them and create a new ring from them. I chose my mother Diane’s sapphires, I chose my adopted-mother’s small circular diamonds, and Ms. Stephanie, Wesley’s mother, contributed some larger circular diamonds.


It’s so hard to see the sparkle. It’s such a gorgeous ring. And I mean that mostly because of who it was that helped me make it. (Of course, it is beautiful anyway…)

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And so I am officially in love with this ring. My little marquee used to sit alone, just above my gold band, so it’s quite a change. I do love it so much.

I have written a memoir… I may post my chapters online and see if any of you are interested in reading the whole thing. It’s just my life, so not THAT exciting.

Now, onto other things.

Judah helped me cook one night because he specifically requested a type of soup.

Ms. Sam from school started a new batch of chicks. We had 15 out of 16 hatch! And we’ve decided (I don’t know why….) to keep them. It’s obviously straight run (males and females) so in a few months we’ll be hearing lots of crowing and offering some roosters for free. They are all specialty breeds mixed with a game rooster (retired fighting rooster, Carlos) so they should be interesting birds to look at.

Lucys in love with them all.

And I got new wheels and tires for my car. Since tires alone were going to cost me over 700 (YES… you read that right) we opted for buying barely used tires and rims for just a little more and increasing my car’s value.

She does look nice doesn’t she?!

And finally… My new husband.. He is so fantastic. I’ve been reading books on marriage, and the biggest thing that he’s done, is in his responding to my change.

I didn’t get a new husband, I just started appreciating mine more.

After he put my new wheels on my car, he asked, “You still want to paint them black? I like it how it is, but if you want to, I will. You’ve got this spell over me… I’ll do whatever you want me to.”

Gah, heart eyes all around, am I right?!

He’s got a spell on me, too. I’m so thankful for all he does for us.

We have a little mini-vacation-moon scheduled, just the two of us. And I cannot WAIT!!! It’s been 3 years since we’ve had a trip just the two of us and we are so excited.

Thank you for bearing through my long post.