April 9, 2018

welp!  jovie successfully got out the door this morning for school.  and bonus! no tears!!  funny how sleeeepppyy she was, as she woke up at 6:30 or earlier every day of spring broke!  tho’ to be fair, we were in central time zone, so that made sense at the beginning.

so from the title, you might wonder if i’m speaking jibberish now.  but alas, no, i am speaking the states.  (:

our main focus of the trip was St. Louis.  my friend heather told me about it a year or 2 ago and said how kid-friendly it was.  and in our quest to do all 50, we had to add in kansas.  so we flew into KC & out of STL.  but then!  THEN!!! i looked (closer) at the map and saw that we could sneak yet another state in.  i didn’t realize St. Louis was the border of illinois!

we all had such a great time, and it seemed to just get better and better.  we were sad to leave, but ready to leave the cold.  so of course when we landed in ATL, it was overcast & mild.  it was the coldest day of the week, according to my weather apps.

so, in researching what to do in kansas city, most of what pops up is the missouri side!  but of course, we wanted to give kansas a color-in on the map.  so we found Great Wolf Lodge.  last year jovie showed interest in a water park, but we chose “the palace” instead.  funny how she always reads my mind b/c shortly after i booked the trip & she had no idea, she said she had hoped maybe for spring break we can go back to indiana to do the water park.

here was our week:

Sun- Kansas City, KS

we left easter afternoon and landed close to dinner time in the snow.  nothing really special day 1.  jovie enjoyed exploring some of the hotel and having her “own” room.  went to bed at a normal time, gearing up for the next day!

Mon- Great Wolf Lodge, KS

so, truly, this coulda gone either way.  after a yummy breakfast (bob evans!) we headed for the water park.  and so did the very many people that were also there.  we scoured the place & there were no seats.  anywhere.  jovie & i jumped into the lazy river.  and so did the very many people that were also there.  we finally got one float.  jovie didn’t like sitting inside with her legs draped, and every other way we were crashing and bumping into everyone.  she even said “i’m too tall for in here”.  it wasn’t the greatest welcome.  meanwhile, The Mr. was (patiently) standing nearby while we watched jovie wander a little and try to figure out what she could/would do next.  the inside of my head was justifying the expense of this place as “well, we needed to sleep SOMEWHERE” and was prepared to venture off into other things KC had to offer.  but then i spotted some chairs.  2 together.  front & center.  and then jovie got her wits about her and explored and played and slid and splashed everywhere.  7 hours later, she was a prune & we needed to eat supper so we left!  we got so very lucky!  The Mr. & i even ventured into the hot tub for awhile while she played around.  so it was a successful day.

jovie must’ve done that splash bucket 34 times; and that was where our seat was!

Tue- Lake of the Ozarks, MO

wow.  what a pleasant drive!  lots of winding roads.  farmland.  hills.  it was a great and quick couple hours to get to the ozarks.  we got there early, and they were able to check us in.  they had a beautiful (and necessary!) fireplace in the lobby.  perfect for a coffee & a book, which we did later.  the throw blankets in our (shared) room were cozy!  in fact, after a most delicious dinner, i went on the balcony with said blanket and was quite protected in the 31 degrees.  if it weren’t for the 19mph winds blowing my hair everywhere i woulda enjoyed a bit more.  our view was overcast, but the resort was lovely & peaceful.  unfortunately we weren’t able to stay there 2 nights because they had a conference going on.

Wed- Lake of the Ozarks, MO; Ha Ha Tonka State Park

we got to see pretty sun-shining on the lake the next day before we left.  we actually stayed in our room until checkout time because we had hoped for a hike in a nearby state park, but as it was in the low 30s we waited til the last possible moments for it to warm up to the low 40s.  once we did the very easy, picturesque, sunshiny hikes, we warmed up to a nice time before our drive to St. Louis.  more lovely drives through farmlands. …. i wished i could’ve gotten some pictures of some of the drives.

after the ozarks, we drove the few hours to get up to St. Louis.  we really just checked into our hotel & walked to dinner.  then we spied the arch from afar that evening.

Thursday- St. Louis, MO

jovie woke up fairly early with a slight fever.  complaining of her belly & not being able to talk well.  so we had a very lazy late start in the morning.  The Mr. & i were obviously wondering if this would be a re-do of the grand canyon, but we were also hopeful.  we were silently willing her to feel normal because THIS would be the only day it would near 60 degrees!  it worked.  i got her to take a shower & she said she felt better so we went to the arch.  some people call that the Gateway Arch.  i think it needs to be re-named the Wait-way Arch.  because we did a lot of that!  jovie was feelin pretty anxious about it, too.  we only asked her 216 times if she wanted to go up.  (she did).  it tests your anxieties and patience, that’s for sure.  luckily it was a gorgeous day, so it was (mildly) worth it for the views.  it’s amazing we can do it at all, and i really don’t know the right answer.  but by the time we were leaving the views and going down i think we were all just wanting to shout COME ON ALREADY.  it did not help that jovie was feeling complainy,sick,rundown too.  so we didn’t get to explore all that we could have, but we made it back to the hotel for some chill time.

the only other thing we had planned to do that day was go to the big, beautiful library we passed on our evening stroll that first night.  however, The Mr. being a genius & all found some indian mounds to explore in illinois that was a 15 minute drive away.  we wanted to take advantage of the one “spring-ish” day and save the library for the next day when it would be cold again.  once jovie was up for it, that’s what we did, and it was so neat!

jovie & i enjoyed the mounds near us in Macon this past summer.  it was neat to see a whole different view.

(that’s me, touching the very top of the arch)

getting to illinois:

(i kinda like the side view of the arch!)

Cohokia & Monks Mounds:

maybe THIS is the windy city in illinois?

IMG_6533 (2)

Friday- St. Louis, MO

well, as expected, it was a chilly day so we knew we’d wanna stay inside.  luckily jovie seemed a bit better after having a dose of tylenol before bed.  the only plan we had was to NOW go to that library….   but before that, we went to a place called City Museum.

this place defies all explanation (& logic!)  i could show you a thousand-word-picture that could NOT do it justice.  i can write a million words on the topic and you still wouldn’t have a clue what amazingness it was.

when researching our trip, i saw this place, and the thing they tout a lot is an outside thing, so i immediately dismissed it.  but luckily The Mr. also happened on it in his own google search and saw that it was INSIDE.  and boy was it ever!

all i can really say is- if you have a kid, or know a kid, or used to be a kid, you gotta go to this place!  if your mobility is ok with stairs, go.  if you want to test yourself on slides, go.  if you wanna see what some crazy imagination looks like in real life, go.  i truly think it’s worth the trip just for this, b/c St. L has lots to offer!  we didn’t get to take advantage of their supposedly stellar zoo & botanical garden.  it would be awesome to go back!

basically this is a place to explore to the fullest.

  • nooks & crannies galore.
  • cave rooms.
  • airplane.
  • 2 story colorful slide? ✅!
  • 5 story twirly slide? ✅!
  • 10 story twirly slide? (not to be outdone)- ✅!
  • regular slides galore? ✅!
  • holes you would be afraid to go into? ✅!
  • paths you have no idea where they end up? ✅!
  • paths you think surely you shouldn’t crawl THERE, but yes! go ahead and crawl there!  ✅

The Mr. said it defied even HIS imagination as a kid.

so, here’s a couple of pictures that really and truly can’t even show you the scope.  but let’s just say our less-than-daring kid had a GREAT time and we spent 5 hours there, only leaving so we’d have time for a coffee & GET TO THE LIBRARY ALREADY!!


look close enough and you can see people in almost every wired structure.  at one point there’s even a place to slide on your back to maneuver.  (no, not for jovie.  but i did see ben on the airplane wing at one point!)


example of: probably aren’t supposed to go here, but sure go ahead.  there’s a kid is going from one wire tunnel thing to the whale fin up at the roof. 


here’s my favorite example of looking below my own feet while standing in line for the 2 story slide and seeing people crawling out of a hole below even that!

asked 100 times, and jovie couldn’t pick a favorite of this trip.  but each new place, she seemed more and more excited.

all in all, i’d say our spring break #5 was a great success!


Spring Break #3 aka road trip

April 9, 2016

So. Um. I am not sure what happened because I could’ve sworn I talked about last year’s spring break.  ??  We went to Texas.  Basically just off of Texas (Galveston Island); but rule-follower that I am I made sure to venture “mainland” & we spent a little time in Houston, too.

Ummmmm….  ?? Ok. well, spring break #2 was good.

now on to Spring Break #3.  We took a road trip to Biloxi & New Orleans (with a stop in Selma- where I lived for 4 1/2 years) on the way back.

We have known we were doing this as a road trip for quite some time.  So we went ahead and upped our schedule (just a little bit) and bought ourselves a car back in October.

And, here, may I present to you- our brand new car.  On the road trip.  In Gulfport, MS (we were taking a ferry to Ship Island for the day!)

ah, yes.  the car didn’t break down, so much as STOP WORKING….  during a left-hand turn to boot!

All was well.  I have some very very choice words for our dealer who did NOT fix the recall that was done for our car before we purchased it. And hindsight being what it is…. I can affirm, attest, promise you that THIS was the best place/time for us to be in this situation!

Some humor, a little stress, extra expense & time….  and our vacation continued.

(To be continued……)

tiger fan

January 11, 2016

so it’s all clemson all up in here these days.

it is quite an exciting time to be a clemson fan!  no matter what, we have done excellently this year, and although we have been extremely lucky in a lot of cases, the ORANGE Bowl itself was well-earned.

it’s about time the luck has fallen our way;  you know they coined a term for the typical luck that has befallen us over the years.

“clemsoning” is taking a new form this year!

how exciting!


reasons why we will win:

  • the blind-side dude is a starting freshman (rare) that is the nephew of the last guy who did this for us.
  • we have been underdog for the past 4 bowl games and have won.
  • Danny Ford was coach of the year in 1981.  Dabo Swinney is now.
  • We haven’t beat Alabama since 1905- it’s about dang time we do!
  • we upset Nebraska when we were 7 point underdog the last time; going against a heisman winner.
  • Clemson’s Death Valley is 1,981 miles away from the stadium in Glendale.

whatever happens tonight, i firmly believe this won’t be our last chance. and i hope Dabo keeps Dabo-ing and celebrating his players/fans… even when this isn’t new!

it has been fun!





September 9, 2014

so i’ve mentioned before how uncanny jovie has been.  people who know us in person knows about the time she read my mind and asked “mommy, is gum healthy?” at the moment i thought about gum-  even though we don’t chew it in our house; and at that time she had never had a piece herself….

but a couple of weeks ago she did it again.  it prompted me to ask if it’s ESP if my mind is blank.

to be fair- i don’t believe in ghosts or ESP or anything like that.  however, i am documenting a lot of stuff jovie has done through the years just in case she gets her own TV show in the future.

so for who knows what reason she asked me about MY grandparents.  she asked what they were called, and i told her i had a Gramma Gursey, a Nana, and 2 Papas.  I explained that i never knew either of the grandfathers.  and for some reason that wasn’t what she had in mind.  she wanted to know their real names.  so i ran down the list.  i said:   Ida, Catherine, Julius and…….   ummmmm    hmmmmm  uh oh how do i not remember my grandfather’s name?  wow.  ……… ummmmmmm

just as i was about to pick up the phone to text a sis, jovie said “Charlie??”

at that exact moment i remembered his name was Charles.  and i freaked out a little.


Grandparents’ Day

October 1, 2011

what a treat to have Gramma & Grampa come down for a (much too) short visit!

her preschool puts on a program of sorts.  i was told it was a very nice setup.  parents aren’t allowed to this “exclusive” shin-dig.  so many grandparents come, there’s just not enough room for parents, too.  so i wasn’t invited.  but it musta been cool, because g’ma & g’pa really enjoyed themselves.

i happened to be in the parking lot feeling shunned reading a magazine when i noticed jovie’s class go into the auditorium first.  i happened to look up and i saw her from far away get excited.  physically excited.  she literally hopped up & down and i’m pretty sure i heard a squeal as her class was walking in line (!) to go inside.

last night, gramma & i were talking about how jovie would be for this program.  i assumed there would be a song, but i didn’t think it would be a big production. (it wasn’t).  but we talked about how it is all of the 3’s, 4’s & K’s…. so like i dunno. 100 kids.  at least 100 grandparents.

sally asked me what i think her reaction would be.  without missing a beat, i stuck my fingers in my mouth and played coy.

because my daughter comforts herself that way at any new situation.  crowds. loud noises. new places. expecting to sing/dance/answer/perform.  which would be the exact definition of “grandparents’ day” at school.

sally wholeheartedly agreed, but then mentioned she may surprise us.  and for a fleeting second, i thought:  hmmm yeah. she probably will.  (she’s been known to do that a few times!)

apparently she enjoys the stage.

no fingers.  the excitement i saw.  and also- she spotted them in the crowd (had no idea what they would be wearing, so that must’ve been a feat) and happily said loudly “there’s my gramma & grampa!”

now, i’m not gonna say that she lit up the stage or anything.  and i was told she barely sang.  but- she didn’t withdraw.

and i think that is huge.

it’s amazing to see how far she’s come with adapting to ….life.

and it means so much, to me in particular, to see jovie developing an honest-to-goodness relationship with her grandparents.  it was wonderful of them to juggle their schedules and make the drive for such a short visit.  it meant a lot to jovie as well as me.

interestingly, at lunch afterwards, somehow jovie asked about my own parents.  i pretty much floundered about the whole thing.  i can’t remember what even started her on it, but when she asked if meemaw or poppa were going to come visit, it stopped me in my tracks for a minute.

[….. i just spent entirely too much time looking in my archives to where i may possibly have mentioned meemaw & poppa.  and so far i didn’t find anything to link to.  (i’m sorry)…… i don’t think i have any readers who don’t know me, but just in case- unfortunately both of my parents have passed away]

it’s awesome to see that jovie legitimately thinks about, misses, and loves gramma & grampa.  and of course- it’s reciprocal!

in a year

October 4, 2010

will i ever stop comparing the todays to the year agos?  i don’t think so.  we’ve been doing it a lot lately, and i wanted to let y’all in on it.

crawling; tiny (adorable) pigtails.

a year ago, at september’s end, jovie had a vocabulary of 13 words.  she signed 6 & spoke 7 words. 

standing upright, unbelievable (atrocious) hair. picture day at SCHOOL!

now, she will narrate everything that’s going on.  EVERYTHING.  here’s a sample of just a walk from our car to the store:   “mommy’s unbuckling….  i holding flopsy.  ..we’re going to the store.  see the lady?  she has a bag?  see the lady?  going to ride in the buggy?  wanna drive??!!!?? (not today)…  mommy’s cleaning.  throw away”

i sh*t you not.

a year ago we began music class.  she spent most of her time staring at the teacher and the other kids.  it was the end of the fall class where we realized she WAS paying attention, because in the backseat, she said “pup pup” when she knew the song about the dogs was coming up next!

nowadays, she still stares at the teacher and other kids—  [but in a few weeks, she’ll warm up again & will dance and sing for others.]  but she likes to listen for guitars, pianos, trumpets, flutes and singers in the songs… for instance:

on the way home from greenville a couple of weeks ago, (without any prompting), while listening to Jack Johnson, she began her normal routine:     J- “do you hear the man singing?”  M- “yes. i do hear him.”   J- “hear the guitarrrr?”  M- “yes! that is a guitar.”  J- “and maraccas?”  M-(ohmygod are you kidding me?) “yes. i DO hear maraccas.  good listening!”…. (in my head:  that kinda sounds like egg-shakers that we use in music.  hmmm, i wonder if musicians use those for real)…..J- “egg??’  M- “ummm, ohmigoodness. yes, jovie. that does sound like an egg-shaker!”

i sh*t you not.

a year ago, in november, we went to the apple orchard.  ok, so 11months ago…  well, in looking at pix from last year, anticipating about our upcoming trip this weekend, we noticed she’s in socks.  that’s right.  because she didn’t own a pair of shoes.  (well, thanks to my sister-in-law, she did have some adorable shoes that didn’t fit her GIGANTIC feet.)

i look forward to posting about that trip very soon!

2008 :



and tho i don’t know why i don’t have a more current picture to prove it, she still gives us that blank look.  (maybe b/c i delete all those!)

The Mr. & i were just discussing how very non-amazing she’ll be next year.  but at least for now, she blows our mind!


September 14, 2010

so, jovie- maybe you’ll read this when you are eight years old.

incidentally, 8 is one of the four numbers you recognize.

more importantly, eight is the number of years mommy & daddy have been married.  so, happy anniversary to The Mr.  we miss you.  a lot.

this one’s an interesting year, as it marks the point where we’ve been married half as long as being together.  it’s weird to think that just next year we will have been married longer than not.

more crazy with the numbers, as daddy put in perspective that 16 years ago we met.  when he was a freshman in college.  that was a long, long time ago!  (October marks that anniversary). 

the internet pretty much got invented just after that.  so 16 years ago technology was so much different than today. do you know that people use phones for way way more than calling people these days.  in fact, i bet more phones are used for not calling people!

but you know the crazy thing??  daddy pointed out that it will be 16 years from now when YOU are a freshman in college.

that blew my mind!

he sure does make life fun.

happy anniversary, daddy! we (i) love you.