This may be a new low. 

Friday night. Athens, Ga. Downtown. 

I am not partying…or bar hopping.  Nope. I am, from a good 14 paces BEHIND, following my daughter who IS with friends. In Athens. Downtown. On a Friday night. Looking like she belongs. 

It’s going to take more than one Tropicalla to get me thru this night. 

She wanted to go to a surprise party. Downtown. Athens, ga. Did I say that already? I may have.

So…we are in downtown—Athens, ga. Home of the university of Georgia. A college town. On a Friday night. Yes, I let her go. Have you met me? I also went with her. 

I sat at a different table…inside. She sat outside. I discreetly paid her tab and sat quietly and nursed my beer. She had cheerwine. I checked. 

After dinner they wanted ice cream. Did I mention we were in Athens, ga? Downtown. On a Friday night? I may have.

I let her go. I also followed at a discreet distance. I slipped her my credit card so she could buy her own $10 ice cream. From Ben and Jerry’s. In downtown. Athens. On a Friday night.

So, here I sit, a 1/2 block away writing a blog (how pitiful is that) so I appear to be “engaged” on my phone while she sits, admits friends, on Washington and Broad. In downtown Athens, ga on a Friday night. 

This may be a new low. I can’t decide which is sadder…me stalking my 15 year old or the fact that I have nothing better to do on a Friday night then follow my 15 year old (discreetly) while she enjoys a social life. 

Oh snap. I may have just gotten a little more pitiful. A beautiful, statuesque woman just passed. Flawless makeup. Legs for days. A fierce walk. Impeccable makeup. I am impressed. Only it’s not a woman. Damn. 

How long does it take to eat a $10 ice cream cone? Evidently longer than it takes to write a woo-is-me blog. 

I’ve watched my 15 year old CHILD be “checked out” more in the past 20 minutes than I’ve been ooogled in my entire life!!!!!! There are limits to what a mom can take. If she even noticed I might be forced to swoop in to to her rescue. But she is, thankfully, way more interested in her double scoop waffle cone then in the passing college boys. 

At this point I am straight up killing time so I don’t look quite as old as I feel. I am madly typing on my phone like I am wildly popular! No do I look as pitiful as I feel, right?

Friday night. Living large. That’s me. 


For real this time!

There aren’t any balloons. No cake. No pomp and circumstance. 

“I really want to do this momma,” he said while we sat on the couch, just the 2 of us, holding a green folder emblazoned in gold. Last week we were accepted and denied in less then 36 hours.

Today, again, we were accepted and promised time to decide (AND PAY).  

So here we sat. Decision time. 

Just before I hit submit he said,”wow. I won’t be swimming this summer,” my heart jumped to my throat. I hadn’t thought of that. In theory I had but not really. I gasped. He said, “It’s okay…I just didn’t know it would be my last.”

I didn’t either. Guess you never really realize the last time you will see someone, do something or experience anything. But here it was. It ended and I didn’t realize it was over. 

But it was. 

After an exhilarating acceptance and a disappointing “opps” we ended up here…at the bottom of the emotional roller coaster. 

This is what he wants. He’s made his decision for his life. It’s unexpected—he was offered the chance to swim at a collegiate level. Instead he’s going to start school this summer at an intensive immersion program. 

I have no idea how this summer will work. My daughter hopes to have an opportunity to work with young swimmers but she doesn’t drive. Colton leaves in early June and won’t be allowed a home visit outside of July 4th until the end of July. 

But this is what he wants. He says it’s what he needs. So we will do what we always do and figure it out. We excel at figuring a way even when the way isn’t obvious. 

I have a new role now: bobcat mom. 

I still play some of the same roles—-I still have a Titan. My girl hopes to continue to cheer, she wants to swim, coach and excel at 2 AP classes. I have a few more months where she will need me to get her where she wants to go. So I’ll stay cheer mom (hopefully) and I’ll keep driving the mom taxi. I am used to those roles. 

My baby girl is growing bolder and more independent with each passing day. We will see what role she needs me to play. 

I am continuously amazed at the people my children are becoming. Colton made this opportunity for himself. Kinsley continues to grow more caring and thoughtful. Sadie is starting to explore her little world more and more.  We are changing a bit. 

But the biggest change of all….

Bobcat mom. That’s going to take some getting used to. 


I started this blog in my head yesterday when I was envisioning buying blue/white balloons and a blue/white cake emblazoned with GO BOBCATS in celebration of my son being accepted into a Bridge program at Georgia College and State University. “A letter with more information and important documents will be sent to you” said the email. I am writing this today with a whole other BLUE on my mind.

You see at 9:35am Monday, March 6th I got an email on my personal email that my fella had been accepted into the Bridge program. I don’t often see my personal email at work but on this day I’d kept an eye on my phone hoping for just such as message. This is a special program that would have him starting college June 16th and bridging over into the fall. It was ideal. He was excited and wanted it. Bad. So I watched the email and the mailbox anxiously.

And then it was there. THE EMAIL. 

I texted him and told him to go to the bathroom and call me. I wanted him to hear the news first. And I wanted to hear his voice when he heard the news. 

I called his grandparents. We planned a celebratory dinner.

I looked at the website absorbing all the information I could. 

I talked to my friend about making bumper stickers and decals. 

I checked the map. 

I mentally traded out my red for blue to show my pride in my sons college choice. 

I told my son to review the program CAREFULLY to be sure he could commit to what was being offered. Prudent, right?

I told my daughter that her summer plans might be different now.

I texted my son again to tell him how proud I was of him. He texted me back that he was proud of himself.

After visiting Chicago, which he loved and LaGrange, which he liked, he’d driven himself to GSCU and, by himself, had interviewed for this program. He’d toured the campus alone. He’d driven back and said, “That’s the place momma. That’s where I want to be.” He chose GCSU over the chance to swim at a collegiate level.

So we waited.

And waited.

2 weeks later we get the email I’d hoped for. CONGRATULATIONS it read. And so we’d celebrated.

Little did I know that they’d had 2 weeks to decide on him but they were going to give him less than 36 hours to be accepted, decide AND PAY A DEPOSIT for a spot. Today at 2:00p I got another email telling me the program  was full and “hey, try again spring 2019!” One email led to celebrating. Less than 36 hours later—devastation. 

I immediately called. The admissions person in charge of the program is gone for the rest of the week. I got another counselor on the phone. She stammered. She apologized. She offered excuses. “We were surprised too! So many of the first session accepted….didn’t know….not enough spots…maybe next year. Hey, if he re-takes the SAT we will consider him again next year.” The more she talked the more upset I became.

I understand competitive. I understand first come, first serve. I don’t understand, at something so important and life changing as DECIDING AND DEPOSITING MONEY FOR COLLEGE, is so oversold that the selected students aren’t given time to even consider and respond to the offer. It sickens me that they give a child their dream only to jerk it out from under them because some adult, some professional had erred. Rather they made a mistake or offered waayyy more spots then were available or weren’t prepared made no difference. It was wrong. 

It’s not blue and white school colors that I am thinking about now. It’s blue as in sad, blue as in dejected, blue as in disappointed….that is the only blue I can think about now. 

I can only think about gray- Blue eyes looking at me sadly when I have to see that sweet face and tell him that he won’t be a bobcat.

 Blue eyes that will haunt me because I needed to see the financial aide information before I could pay the deposit. 

 Blue because I couldn’t/didn’t immediately send them money so my fella could start his future in the place where he wanted to. 

That’s the blue I am thinking about now.

I am not a mom who believes every kid gets a trophy or that baseball games shouldn’t have winners or losers. Life isn’t fair. I know that. I’ve taught my children that. God knows they’ve experienced that fact on their own enough. Life isn’t fair but it should be RIGHT. Adults should do RIGHT by children whenever and however they can. The admissions office at GCSU didn’t do the RIGHT thing. They made a mistake, they overcommitted or oversold at the price of kids hopes and dreams. The not RIGHTness of that makes me sick to my stomach. It makes my heart sick. It makes me sad and angry and dejected. And that’s just ME. I can’t imagine how my son, my son who just needs something to break his way this year, feels.

So it’s not meant to be. Tomorrow we’ll re-group and re-focus. Tonight I am wondering how many more get up and go-s my fella and I have left. Hopefully one more. 

Let the air out is the balloons. Cancel the dinner. Scrape the icing off the cake. Better yet throw the damn thing away. Tonight we will just be blue. And sad. And disappointed. 



I dood’it myself

I dood’it myself!
That’s what he said as he put his little spider man tennis shoes on. The toes pointed outward making him look like a tiny penguin but he was so proud that I didn’t correct it.

I dood’it myself, mama.

That’s what he said as he hopped out of the car that very first day of kindergarten. He was so little. His book back nearly drug the ground. As he said that he turned to give me a wave. “I’ll be okay,” he said. “I won’t,” I responded as I joined him on the sidewalk. I took his little hand in mind. “I know you can do it by yourself but mama needs to walk you inside today.”

Somewhere along the line the ‘I dood’it’ became I got this.

I got this momma.

That’s what he said the first time he ever swam in a swim meet. I sat in the stands, terrified for him, wearing a t-shirt emblazoned with this little face. I couldn’t do it for him but I could darn sure cheer him on. So he did his part and I did mine. And we’ve been playing these roles for 11 years now.

I got this momma.

He said that as he stood by my car with keys in hand the day he turned 16. It was just before he took his first solo drive. My heart ached as I stood on the sidewalk waving as the car turned the corner.

I got this momma.

That’s what he said his junior year as his grades plummeted. He didn’t have it. I intervened. He survived, somehow.

I got this momma.

That’s what he said as he sat down to complete his college applications.

I got this momma.

This was what he said when it got time for his college essay. I sat on the floor and watched him type away. He wouldn’t let me read it—in fact to this day I haven’t seen it. His life changing event was a painful memory for my little family. I respected his need to write it and NOT have me read it. It wasn’t easy but I did it.

I got this momma.

He said that as he lost his first job and started looking for his second.

I got this momma.

The last time I heard this he was standing in a foot of snow, in a state we’d never been in about to go in to a meeting with a college swim coach. I’d been coaching him. “what if he asks why you want to go to school here? Did you research the school and the team? Don’t forget your manners. Have you practiced how you are going to sell yourself?” He shut me down with the sideways smile he reserves just for me. “I got this momma,” he repeated.
And he did.

We’d taken a plane to Chicago, we’d found the subway to the city of Chicago. We’d walked, in 12 degree weather to the transportation center where we caught a train to the town of Lake Forest Illinois. Together we’d figured out Uber. We’d checked into a hotel being warned of a huge snow storm headed our way overnight. We’d awoken to the predicted foot of snow, businesses and schools closing for the first time in 8 years but we’d preserved and found a brave uber driver to chance the weather and the conditions to take us to the school. All for this meeting.

I’ve got this mama.

To my hearts delight my son was being ‘recruited’. They’d rolled out the red carpet. A full itinerary which included a hockey game, a team work out and an overnight stay with a swimmer in his dorm room. My hands were shaking and my voice was unsteady as we sat down with the head coach and his assistant. But he had it. He handled himself so well. Good manners, good answers, strong conversations and he even managed to give some stats on their current team members, very conversationally, that impressed the coaches. He did indeed ‘have this’.

I watched him walk away, this time the book bag wasn’t quite so ill proportioned, with a boy I didn’t know, to a place I’d never been with the same anxiety I had when he toddled off to kindergarten that first time. 18 years later I was with him as he confidently strode away from me.

He’s got this, he’s got this, he’s got this.

That’s what I repeated to myself the rest of the day.  

And he did. I admit to texting him a few times to check up on him. Each time I got an enthusiastic reply. The next day I ubered my way, alone, back to campus to pick him up. He sauntered out of the athletic center surrounded by college swimmers. He was wearing a Lake Forest t-shirt. He looked comfortable, he already looked like part of the team.  

We had an exit meeting with the head and assistant coach. “We want Colton. He would walk in and be a contributing member of this team. With a little hard work we could make him top 8 in this conference.” They went on to compliment his manners and his behavior.  

And there it was….absolute proof that he did, indeed, have it.  

Wish I could say the same.  

He fell in love with the school. I fell in love with the school for him. His only worry, which he shared with the swim team, “I am worried about being so far way in case my momma needs me.” Sweet, sweet boy. If this is where you end up we will miss you but your sisters and I won’t need you. We are strong, independent woman…we got this. That’s what I told him.

Truth is…I don’t got this.

He got this…but momma don’t!


Last chance

Last chance meet of the high school season. His last high school season. His last chance to qualify for the race that’s eluded him up to now: the IM. 2 minutes, 12 seconds and 25 hundredths of a second. He need 2 minutes and 12 seconds to swim all 4 strokes to qualify. Can he? This season has been corrupt with slow times, issues and distractions. He’s managed to pull out of most of it but now, today, the beast looms. The one he wants. The one he’s worked for. The one that’s so close yet he’s never been able to grasp. 
Today it’s in the line. 
After today it’s only the area championship (which doesn’t count toward state times) and the grand daddy—GHSA state. That’s end. That ends his high school swim career. How will it end–with a bang or a whimper? He’s got a ticket to state for other races but the IM…the IM…that’s the one he WANTS. That’s the one I want for him. 
His body’s done the work. He’s put in the time. He has dreamt of it. Now it comes down to heart. That’s what what will get him there…pure will and heart and WANT. He’s won races before on pure heart. Can he do it again?
I haven’t let myself think too much about the end. But it’s starting to materialize–this is it for him. This is his last year as a Titan. Last year on a swim team? I don’t know. 
My last year as a swim mom? I don’t know that either. My beautiful, dedicated and hard working daughter has proven to be swimmer of her own rite. She’s gotten faster with each meet. She’s gaining confidence. She can hold her own as a Titan tide member. But will she? That’s up for her to decide. I am trying not to sway her although I’d like to. 

So different my 2. He glides she powers thru. He flies like it’s a choreographed ballet. She defeats the water by battling her way thru. Both styles impress me. Both of them swim with all they have. Both have hearts of champions. Both have my heart. 

That same heart is beating a little faster today for both of them. He for his last chance at a state time. She because she has a chance to swim a b relay and finish second in her heat. She’s seeded last but in the fastest heat for a 200. She’s as nervous for that as he is for the IM. As their mom I carry those nerves along with my own.

It’s not about the time. It’s about the life lesson. It’s about proving that hard work and dedication matter. It’s is about having a goal and getting there. It’s about believing in something that sometimes seems impossible. It’s about having an anchor to keep you grounded and seeing evidence that the sacrifices it takes to keep that anchor holding strong are worth it. It’s about doing your best and then giving a little more. It’s about pride. That’s what this race represents. The state cut is tangible. The rest of it isn’t but it’s those things that matter most. 
Swim hard-swim fast babies. Swim with all your heart…last chance. 


2018: the year of the brave


I wanted a word, an anthem, for 2018. A word to help guide me, to give me strength and direction-something to hang onto. I sat quietly with it for a bit to see what felt right. 

I had a few that I tried: light, simplify, breathe. They all intrigued me in different ways. A friend sent me a Facebook quiz just for what I was looking for: a word to anchor my 2018. I took the quiz and got my word. 

My word for 2018 is Brave. 

Brave. Ok. 

At first I scoffed a bit. What did I have to be brave about??? 

But I sat with it a bit. All day I asked,”Brave? Brave. Brave!!”

I think of brave as big, bold moves that change the direction of a life. I think of brave as facing down fears and boldly plowing into the unknown. Brave is battling cancer. Brave is leaving an abuser; beating an addiction or caring for an ill loved one. I’ve been brave before-I think. I’ve tackled things bigger then me and have come out on the other side. 

 Brave just didn’t seem to fit me this year. And, to be honest, I don’t want to be brave anymore. Being brave is being a single mom. Being brace is rebuilding a long life. Being brave is leaving a life you thought you’d earned for one you didn’t want. Being brave is being 100% responsible—for everything. Being brave is knowing nothing but letting yourself learn. 

I don’t want to be brave anymore. I am tired of being brave. 

But that was the word I got. 

I sat quietly with the word and thought a little about what else brave could mean. What could it mean for me-this year? 

Was it brave to want to lose weight? I didn’t think so. Been there-done that. It wasn’t bravery that got me to this-the biggest size of my life. Nope. Eating for comfort and a lot of couch sitting got me here. Getting myself out of it shouldn’t constitute bravery. 

Or does it?

I am scared I’ll fail. I really am. I am afraid I can’t get it off. I am afraid if I try and it doesn’t work I’ll have to admit I will be forever be like this. Big and uncomfortable and unhealthy. So I sit here-day after day- thinking about losing weight but doing very little to actually make that happen. I hate to exercise. Hate it. Makes me feel ridiculous, stupid, embarrassed, incompetent and worthless. Yet I am going to have to face all of that to not be the way I am now: grossly overweight. 

Today I bought new clothes. Big girl (literally) clothes. A size I was devastated that buy. But I did. Because I have to accept where I am to get better/smaller. And trying to squeeze into my old fat clothes which are too small now was sending me into a depressed spiral every day. So I bravely accepted one thing until I am brave enough to do something about it. 

My sons future.

Does this require bravery? Scoff. Of course not. Sons graduate all the time. 

But it does. My fellas life is ahead of him. His starting his journey means that my journey as his mom takes another route. A route I don’t feel equipped to take. A route I don’t want the take! I want his little hand in mine as he teeters along beside me. I want him to stay the center of my world—I want to continue to be his biggest fan, his first love and his everything. But I am not. And I won’t be ever again. 

I have to support him as he makes HIS decisions. I can advise, I can help but I can’t decide or do-that’s on him now. 

And I have to have faith that I can afford or find a way to finance any decision he makes. And I have to do this alone.  And that is scary. Letting him go is scary. Not being able to control some of his choices is scary. Knowing he will lead a life that I know nothing about is terrifying. Handling it all solo is scary. 

Who am I?

This question does scare me. I am going to have to be brave to find an answer. I’ve hidden behind being a mother for 18 years. And though it’s the best part of me it’s not the only part of me. As he goes my big girl will follow. They don’t need me like before. They need me to have wishes and plans and interests of me own so that don’t invest all of me in them. They want me to have something other than them to invest in and the be passionate about. In truth…I have nothing but them. And I am scared to try and find something else. But I need to. I know I do. 

But what? What do I have? What can I build that’s just for me? 


“God grant me that serenity to accept the things I cannot change…”

  • Work is changing and it’s out of my control. I am losing control over things I’ve always controlled. I am not going to be the only person that knows things any longer. I am not the youngest, the smartest or the most experienced any longer. That scares me. 
  • My age is changing me which creates issues I can’t control-only accept. I have to face my age. I have to face my health: this year I need a head to toe evaluation, a lengthy dentist trip and all the old lady test that there are. Scary. 
  • I can’t control all aspects of my son or daughter’s lives. I can’t save them from hurt or disappointments. I can’t make good, safe  choices for them. I can’t. 

What makes me happy? colton. Kinsley. Sadie. Being a swim mom. Being a cheer mom. My tribe. My new work family. My family. Going places. This blog. Beyond that? 

I need to dig deeper.  Have a wealthier and more diverse list. The need to Be happier. Getting there is scary. 

What do I want? As absolutely crazy as it sounds I don’t ask myself this. I just do…I do what I am supposed to do. I do the thing. I move from point a to point b as I should. I follow most rules. I say yes sir and no ma’am and do as I am told. But I never, ever, asks myself what do I want? What do I want to do? How am I supposed to get there if I don’t ask myself that question? 

I will need to be brave to figure out what I want. Brave enough to want something I may not ever have. Brave enough to have a goal, a dream and a wish. Brave enough to try. Brave enough to not let be the end of my story. 

I don’t know where to find that kind of courage. 

What do I want? This year, next year or as my legacy–it’s all something I try not to think about. It’s much easier to just take what’s given to you and go from there…but that’s the easy way out. The safe way to live. If I want more  have to want more. 

I need to be brave and leave my little world sometimes. I need to bravely face my weekend days instead of “running errands” and spending money and genuinely avoiding facing the quiet days that make up weekends around here. I am queen of avoidance: chores, cleaning, quiet, no plans, empty beds or solo nights. So I shop. Goodwill, sales, consignment stores. I won’t spend $100 but I’ll spend the hell out of $10 10 times. 


I love my church. But I am still scared, hesitant and nervous about claiming faith. I want all faith offers. But faith terrifies me as well. For reasons I am not even sure how to articulate. So much on Sunday’s feels so good. I am moved by the music, touched by the message and feel hopeful when I am there. When I a not there I worry I am an imposter who doesn’t belong and will never belong. 

So my word is brave. I’ve spent the weekend thinking of all the ways I am not living up to the word I was given. Now I have to figure out how to live out my word: brave. 


YOU are the problem


1/1/18. New day, new year, new you…right? And just in case you didn’t think there was anything wrong with the old you there is Facebook or email campaigns or the internet to prove you wrong. 

So far this morning I’ve spend $59.95 on tea GUARANTEED to reduce bloating, fight stress, drop pounds, create a youthful flow and improve skin tone. Day-yum. And only $59.95. What a bargain. Luckily I had an ounce of wit and didn’t agree to the automatic monthly renewal plan. 

I’ve downloaded, or tried to download, Dave Ramsey’s budget planner. Probably should have done that BEFORE I spent $60 on tea. 

I almost–Almost clicked HERE to enroll in a crossfire challenge. Me. OMG. I consider putting on tights as excercise (and get winded to prove it). Yet I almost clicked the button to willingly push over 100 pound tires and run. Physically and willingly run. Stop. The. Madness. Yes I have so do something but it would be insanity to even consider anything resembling cross fit. Of cours if my tea delivers, as promised, I won’t have to excercise. Just sip while the pounds melt away. Now that is my kind is fitness plan!

My essential oil mister is blowing and infusing the room with sweet orange, lemongrass and a touch of lavendar to for tranquility. 

I am dancing around the kitchen in my fur zip up robe (thanks mom), wool socks and pj pants singing I so fancy to the delight of my 7 year old. Since there was no champagne toast to ring in the new year I have combined my low sugar, low cal, faux orange juice and my prosecco into and old-large-lady mimosa. In a snowflake glass coffee mug because-ya know-champagne flutes aren’t in high demand around here. 

I’ve pintrest-ed a recipe for baked eggs already. I could lie and say I wanted to cook but the truth is I’d used both my pans in the baked spaghetti last night and the dishwasher didn’t run. All I had was muffin tins. But Pinterest delivered and BAM! a dozen mini little omlets are being made while I sip my faux mimosa and shake my booty while singing I so fancy! Hell one is them even has a vegetable in it thanks to the artichoke/spinach bread spread no one ate last night. Wheeee-I might have just earned another verse in my I so fancy song.  Tater tots make fine substitutes for hash browns and dinner rolls work on lieu for biscuits.  I may just pull this off! Of course my 7 year old would prefer captain crunch and my big girl and her friend have yet to grace us with their appearance. But this party is starting without them. ‘Cause I so fancy!

Oh wait. Just saw an ad for a cream that is guaranteed to make my eye bags disappear in seconds! Hold my mock-tail.

Took me longer then expected. The eye cream was a bust but there is this Botox deal that I have my eye on!  When your girl asks  “are thin lips a sign of aging as is it hereditary?” It is time to think about taking action! Maybe they will after a package deal cool sculpt-Botox-b-12 shots so I can take care of all by business at once. 

Of course to afford all of this I’ll have to sign up for that masters degree online. But I can sign up for a fabfit box so I always have something to wear since I won’t have time to shop. And if I get an instapot I can make a weeks worth of healthy meals in 13 minutes. With all this effort I should probably go ahead and take advantage of the free online dating promotion so I can get a date to make my life complete. Or will the new book club fulfill me? The ads are starting to blur together. 

20min on the internet is enough to convince you that YOU are the problem and all you have to do is click to get a solution! 

Thank goodness for logical-pragmatic friends.