Monthly Archives: September 2013

No Room at the Inn


In disappointing times I try to remind myself of the saying that God only brings us those disappointments because he has something better in store for us. Well this weekend was a perfect example of that.

We made camping reservations at the Red River Gorge for the weekend. All the state park sites we knew of were already reserved or were “first come first serve only” so we opted for a private campground that advertised some great pictures. We loaded up the camper and set out on our way Thursday afternoon. The road back to the camp was definitely scenic but once we arrived at the campground we were bummed. The owner drove down from her house nearby to meet us and took us to a open yard that had RV’s packed in like a can of sardines with not a tree anywhere near them. When The Hub explained we were expecting something a little more woodsy and asked if she could put us in one of the spots she had back in the trees she got really PO’d and took off. Yes, took off… Like said tough luck and just hopped back in her truck and left him standing there and us with nowhere to go. I mean, are you kidding me?!

So there we were driving in the dark through the gorge and debating if we were just going to drive back home or what. If I wasn’t in such shock about the whole situation I may have been able to find humor in our “no room at the inn” predicament and a seemingly modern spin on that biblical event. I mean how ironic is it that we are literally pulling a house on wheels behind us and yet can’t find anywhere to stay?! As hard as it was to laugh in that moment, it was not lost on me that’s for sure.

We stopped at one of the state park camp sites knowing they were booked for the weekend but hoping they’d have a spot for us for the night at least. By this time the baby was crying wanting to get out and be somewhere already. The host there was a nice old man and had mercy on us. Turned out they had several spots available for just that night and after hearing what happened he gave us the best spot on the campground. He told us he couldn’t check us in or take any money since he was just the overnight host but that it should be fine. He told us to check with registration when they came in the morning to pay and also to see if they had any cancellations.

Hesitant to unpack a lot  we ate dinner and just relaxed for the night thankful we weren’t on the highway heading back home. After breakfast The Hub went up to registration and hung out with the overnight host to wait for the staff to arrive who could check us in and check on any cancellations. I called several campgrounds looking for any available spots. Of course everyone I got through to was booked solid and the rest I left messages with. After half hour we started to hitch the camper back up and get things ready to leave convinced we were going to be heading back home when I got a phone call back from one of the campground owners nearby. As luck would have it, their system was down this week and they weren’t able to book any reservations online so they had a whole campground full of sites. I know – Thank God! We were just about to cruise up to the registration office when the guys pulled up beside us in their UTV. Not only did we find a campground to stay at for the weekend but the sweet old overnight host talked them into not charging us for the night before either. He just wished us luck and told us to “mosey on”. It took everything in me not to hug the man. Though I was able to resist that urge I couldn’t hold the tears back that came after everything fell into place so well. And to boot, the campground we found ended up being better than the private one we originally booked plus we got the best campsite in the place.

The weather was absolutely amazing all weekend. You couldn’t ask for better camping weather. So nice during the day and the second the sun tucked behind the tree covered cliffs around our valley the temperature dropped to downright chilly – just in time to snuggle up next to a fire. If it was any more peaceful I may have started singing Kumbayah. So despite some initial hurdles we still kicked off fall with campfires, poor man pie concoctions, campfire chili, s’mores and hiking through some beautiful forest. The baby loved every bit of it (and I burned some serious calories hiking that steep terrain with her in a chest carrier). Despite our initial setback it ended up being a great trip. Even better than it may have been had we just stayed at the first place. Thank God that some things don’t work out sometimes so better things can.

Oh the beautiful signs of fall. My favorite!  (c) The Write Side of Life

Oh the beautiful signs of fall. My favorite!

The view from atop the Natural Bridge (Red River Gorge, KY)  (c) The Write Side of Life

The view from atop the Natural Bridge (Red River Gorge, KY)

One of my favorite pictures from our trip. The Red River Gorge, KY.

One of my favorite pictures from our trip. The Red River Gorge, KY.

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The First Day of Fall


It’s officially my favorite time of the year. Fall. When the sultry summer weather gives way to the crisp mornings and the warm beautiful colors that only autumn brings. The season of harvest. When mother nature shows us the best that she’s kept tucked away all year. When the earth explodes with so much beauty like the grand finale of a fireworks display. And I don’t know when we’ve ever had such a text book entrance to autumn either – With a last giant rainfall to prepare for the drought, brisk nights, damp mornings with a chill and daily highs only reaching the low seventies. It’s the season of campfires and hoodies; when the rush of summer slows to a peace where the sun shines brighter but not longer and just begs you to cuddle closer in the night and enjoy the mornings draped in your coziest afghan with your favorite cup of tea. The trees become a work of art and hearty mums and pumpkins decorate front door steps. What is not to love about the fall?

"I'm so glad I live in a  world where there are Octobers" -LM Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables

“I’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers” -LM Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables

"Autumn is a second spring where every leaf is a flower" - Albert Camus

“Autumn is a second spring where every leaf is a flower” – Albert Camus

"Delicious autumn! My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns." - George Eliot

“Delicious autumn! My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns.” – George Eliot

"Autumn…the year's last, loveliest smile." - William Cullen Bryant

“Autumn…the year’s last, loveliest smile.” – William Cullen Bryant

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Hashtag ButtTag


What’s better than a “W” for your home team? When your team also gets lots of national attention & media coverage too – even if it is for a sports blooper. The Cincinnati Reds won against the Houston Astros last night but what was even better was when Jonathan Villar made an attempt to slide into second base and was met by the butt cheeks of Brandon Phillips instead. I’m not talking a brief encounter or a quick bump then brush it off and get up , I’m talking full face smash and at full speed. It was hilarious. I have watched the replays a few times and it is still cracking me up. In case you missed it, here you go…

Of course the always smiling second basemen, Brandon Phillips had a sense of humor about it too creating the  hashtag ButtTag on Twitter. I love him.

I love my home teams period.  After a win on Monday Night Football against the PIttsburgh Steelers by the Cincinnati Bengals  (WhoDey!) it’s always great to get another “W” by our Reds too – and the added comedy is just another perk.

I just wonder if Villar went back to locker room bragging to his teammates that he got past first base? 😉


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Never Forget


It’s hard to believe it has been 12 years. I think it’s safe to say most of us remember it like it was yesterday. Take a minute today to remember those who were injured, whose lives were lost, those who lost loved ones and especially all of the heroes who rushed to help during the chaos. #neverforget

9/11....Never Forget

9/11….Never Forget

7 Years & 8 Months


7 years ago today I laced my arm through my grandfather’s and walked down the aisle to my husband. From the moment we met I knew he was my soul mate. Through the years we have seen ups and downs, helped each other through hard times and celebrated together through high times. We have faced whatever life has to offer up hand-in-hand, for better or worse, sickness or health, richer or poorer. We believe in and encourage one another and no matter what changes in the world around us, one thing has remained unchanged – our love. We laugh, cry, even argue together and at the end of the day we are still crazy about each other.

Today is also special because our baby girl is 8 months old. Every month I say it but I really can’t believe it when another one passes. From the moment I saw her I knew God had given me more than I could ever hope for in this world. She is truly the greatest gift to both of us and the sweetest blessing to come from our love for one another. She called The Hub “Dada” yesterday. It’s like a special little anniversary gift from her that she’s calling us by name now.

So, with it being our 7 year anniversary, the traditional symbol is wool or copper. Actually the “modern” list says it’s  a desk set. But then again the modern list has diamonds listed like three times. Not that I would complain about getting anymore diamonds but if you’re going to change a tradition at least try to be creative with it people, geez! Besides, The Hub could care less about desks even, let alone desk “sets” to go with them. So I’ll stick with tradition…But being that it’s still 80 degrees outside I don’t think a wool sweater is very appropriate so I guess I’m going to stroll through the neighborhood and see what kinda copper I can lift off people’s air conditioners.  ;)~

Have a great week everyone!

Sweet Suzie Q


It’s a gorgeous day here today. As for me, I’m being an extra sweet ‘Suzie-Q Homemaker’. Making a roast with all the fixins and baking banana bread for The Hub now that my chores are done. 😉 The house smells divine.

Mmm, banana bread!

~Mmm, banana bread~

I hope everyone’s Friday kicks off a great weekend! Make it count! 🙂



Every day with this baby is such a gift. Every day she learns and does something new. From crawling and standing up to new faces. Lately she’s been making a “ham face” where she squints her eyes and shows all her teeth in a big grin. It’s the same ham face I made as a baby. And she knows just when to do it to make you laugh. It’s impossible not to love her. My little comedian.

Yesterday we spent the day with Little Oma (her great grandma) and her Dutch friends. Every week they have been singing different nursery rhymes to her in Dutch and she apparently is making the connection. Her favorite is “Klap een in je handjes”. So when Little Oma started singing it she surprised us all started clapping her hands together along with the song. She even did it for her great great aunt and cousins on a Skype call to The Netherlands. For the rest of the afternoon she was doing it and wanting me and Daddy to sing it to her. My little entertainer.

As if the day couldn’t be any better, I got another surprise before bedtime. My sweet girl said “mama”.  When it happened I was backing up photos and her daddy was trying to pick her up. She reached to me and then said it. “Mama”. Plain as day but I still did a double take at The Hub and said, “Do you think she really meant to say that?”. As if to convince me she did it again (and several more times before the night ended). Words can’t express how it made my heart swell.  I have been called plenty of things in life but this is by far the greatest. My little sweet girl.

I must have listened to the recording of her saying “mama” a hundred times after she went to bed before I finally fell asleep. Before she was here the sweetest song was her heartbeat. Then I heard her cry for the first time. Then I heard her laugh – the icing on the cake. But now, hearing her say “Mama” is definitely the cherry on top. How does it get any better? My biggest blessing gave me the greatest gift the day she called me “Mama”.

Here we are a few days shy of her 8th month and I continue to wonder what else she has store for me. These truly are the joys of parenting. It doesn’t get much better than watching your child learn and grow and reciprocate your love for them. My heartstrings have been playing nonstop these past (almost) 8 months and they are creating the sweetest symphony. Every day I think it just can’t get any better and every day it does. My cup runneth over.


Truly music to my ears

Truly music to my ears