Two Places I've Traveled... {thursday thoughts}

Man, over two years ago I started a list of ten posts I wanted to write over the next ten weeks. Well. It's been like, 104+ weeks since then and I still have two of those posts to finish. This is one of them. Here are the first eight of them:

I haven't traveled extensively in my life but I have explored some really awesome places in the last 30 years of my life. Two stick out especially in my mind because they're the two trips I left the country.

01. Canada
I lived with my aunt and uncle for a couple years and made so many great memories with them & my cousins. We took a trip that included a stop in Canada and it was the first time I ever left the United States. I was 17 years old at the time which is old enough to soak so much of it in but just young and inexperienced enough to not realize the depth of what a cool and unique experience this was. We saw Niagara Falls - on the 4th of July! - and went to a super amazing amusement park in/…

Things About Me.

I'm trying to write 30 different posts about myself for my kids. This one marks the third one that I've completed. Baby steps.

List 20 random facts about yourself.

20. I feel like drinks are easier to taste and more enjoyable with less ice. Sweet tea, iced coffee, pop, water... all of it better a bit closer to room temperature. My husband is the exact opposite. He gets extra ice for his drinks and I want very little in mine.

19. I love planning our family vacations. So much. Especially the Disney ones. Which are very few and far between. BUT. I'm always making mental notes for our next one. I'd love to do it for a living someday for other families!

18. My Hogwarts house is Hufflepuff. My patronus is a wild boar. My Ilvermorny house is Thunderbird. Just in case you were wondering. (And yes, I'd love to hear yours! If you don't know them yet then I highly suggest you sign up at and find out after taking a few short quizzes about yourself.)

17. It…

Guilt and Grief.

Grief -- the deep sorrow caused from someone's departure in your life -- is such an interesting concept.

I've found there is nothing small about grief. But there are both small moments and big moments when you experience your grief. Lately it is the small ones that creep up on me and stick with me the longest. Like ordering our most recent family photos and Crosby's two year portraits. We had two less "staple" people to order for this time. It felt like a punch in the gut. And now we're approaching Christmas card season and I feel that deep sorrow by such a "small" moment all over again. Not being able to write Granny or Gramma Myers on the list. It just drives home the reality once again that these people are gone from us.
One of the biggest feelings accompanying my grief these days is guilt. I could have and should have seen them more. Spent more time calling them and visiting them. Not out of some sense of obligation but because I genuinely know…

Gramma Myers.

I wish there was more time. Even with 88 years on this earth, I still wish there were more time. The world was better and brighter with her in it. Somehow more right. Gramma Myers was funny and witty and smart and kind and snarky and generous and sassy and fun and tough. She's the kind of person who gave us savings bonds for gifts throughout childhood because she saw we had more than enough clothes and toys. Gramma is also the one who encouraged me to draw and to write as a child. I can remember her giving me a diary, telling me about journaling, and encouraging me to write. And later in life when I started blogging she shared with me how much she enjoyed each one and asked me to have them emailed to her every time one was posted. She's the Gramma who would send us calling cards way back when you needed them in order to call long distance because she always wanted us to have a way to contact her.

She was the kind of person who didn't mind telling you when she disagreed or…

Marriage Monday: Don't Underestimate the Day Date!

I just had the best Monday I've had in a long time.

Tony surprised me with a day date and we rode Bird scooters around Memphis today! It. Was. So. Fun.

To say I was intimidated up front is an understatement. Though I LOVE trying new things, this was totally out of my comfort zone! Having to ride alongside traffic made me nervous at first. Riding a scooter takes balance while riding an electric scooter takes balance and timing and it's kinda scary to go that fast!!! But also SUPER fun.

We started in Midtown and decided on a whim to ride all the way Downtown, get a late lunch at Huey's, and then ride them back. Truly the only downside (besides me being clumsy the entire time) was my scooter dying halfway back in an area of town that didn't have any scooters! It took us a little bit to track another one down during a super hot part of the day and of course Tony was a complete gentleman and insisted I take his scooter and he would run alongside me which was so sweet. I tr…

Marriage Monday: 8 years ago.

Tony and I got married at the Rock Island County Courthouse on a Friday morning eight years ago.

We didn't tell any friends or family we were planning to do this... mostly because we were in the middle of planning our wedding that would happen in less than a year. We "got married on paper" so that I could have his health insurance because I was going through some minor health stuff back then.  It was a very quick exchange of words mostly read unfeelingly to us by a judge. It felt really surreal.

Tony and I came up in the digital age and didn't realize these types of things were printed in the local paper regularly. Which is something my Gramma reads every day, apparently. So you can imagine my surprise when my Gramma asked when we were planning to tell her we got married!

So while I will always consider May 20th our anniversary and the day we got married... August 20th is a funny little special day I like to remember every year, too. Because it's the day I becam…

30 Things My Kids Should Know About Me: Dear Sixteen Year-Old Me...

A while back I stumbled upon a list of writing prompts (here) and I thought it was a brilliant way to write more while also giving my kids something substantial to read from me. I lost my dad without getting to know him as a person and I would really give anything to have pieces of him. So, despite how narcissistic it can often times feel to write about myself, I'm doing this for my kiddos. Slowly but surely, that is, because this will only be the second prompt completed here. (You can find them above at the "For My Kids" page)

Today I'm here to tell my 16 year-old self 10 things - so here we go.

01. Friends will come and go.

This was a really painful lesson for me as I lost a lot of friends throughout high school whether someone moved, graduated, grew apart, or due to bad decisions. Each loss felt devastating at the time. It wasn't until quite some time later when I realized it was OK and normal to grow apart from people throughout your life. The thing that real…