Military Spouse Life

Happy Birthday, Talia

Today is our daughters 2nd birthday. I haven’t had time to do a true blog post, so I’ll post some pictures of the coolest kid ever….and a few celebrities. 

Brendon Ellis of the SC Stingrays during a benefit for Breast Cancer. 

Our favorite radio guy in Charleston, Mr. TJ Phillips. We were in line with my sweet friend Missy to meet…

Trisha Yearwood and her sweet sister!

Yes, it’s Paula Deen, her very lovely husband, and my sister from another mister, Beka! Paula Deen grabbed Talia right from my hands!

The last three were today! Happy birthday, baby girl!


We Will Survive!

After being gone for a whole week….and taking two of those days just to get home, we made it!

Our house was left alone by hurricane Matthew, and we are truly blessed! I know there are so many people less fortunate than us! Right now, I’m home with Talia and Bill is out with the (animal) rescue, helping those who are struggling with a broken levy upstate. It’s a small thing in the scheme of things, but we are really hoping he and the rescue get those animals out and safe!

In the end, we basically ended up with a trip to see family and Talia scored pumpkins! The kid LOVES pumpkins….. We also learned the proper way to sneak dogs in and out of hotels!

The day before we heard we had to leave, I started working on some soaping products for my business, Sugar Pie Spa Company. The idea was the products would be in a local magazine. I have no idea if they were able to get it put together before the storm. Here is what I was working on:


Then we heard we had to go…..the Birth Center where we are due to have Liam had to close, so my father being the closest parent, won getting us all at his house in PA!

Bill and I are both from up north. Give us a blizzard or nor’easter any day of the week. When someone says “hurricane,” it’s time to go! My dad didn’t hesitate when I told him we were coming with 5 dogs, 4 cats, a toddler, 2 trucks, and me at 37-38 weeks pregnant to take over his house!


Talia loves exploring at Grandpa and Ga-Ga’s house (she calls his girlfriend Ga-Ga!). Here daddy is showing her a woolly caterpillar.

The dogs love their GIANT fenced in lot:


Pretty sure they could do without the sounds of the cows next door, but other than that, they enjoyed being outside in such a large, previously unexplored area.

Then it was off to a local farm for pumpkins. I have no idea why, but Talia LOVES pumpkins!

We then went to my mom and step-dad’s in CT. Another trip in the car, but again, worth it!

Talia was so excited to go to Stew Leonard’s. She LOVED seeing Stewie the Duck from one of her favorite books. She also loved the giant pumpkins and getting to push ALL of the buttons at the petting zoo.


She also loves exploring Nene’s house. Nene is my grandmother, so Talia’s GREAT grandmother. Nene has lots of cool things in her house and so do Grandma and Grandpa, so she just spent two days exploring!

Then it was back to my dad’s to see the Hershey Bears! It was Talia and Bill’s first AHL game! In the middle of all this (the 6th) I also had a birthday……so we used this as our little birthday celebration! I mean, who doesn’t want to celebrate their birthday with HOCKEY?!!!!????



Everyone had a GREAT time, even though the Bears lost. Thankfully, it was just pre-season! The best part was getting to see several of our Stingrays who moved up from here in Charleston, to Hershey!!!

Finally, we were given the all clear and were allowed to head back to Charleston. Sadly, there were parts of North Carolina just DESTROYED by rain and hurricane Matthew. Our 9 hour trip turned into two days. We sat on I-95 for 3 hours at one point, trying to go 2 miles.

Thankfully, even in 2 vehicles, all was well. The dogs pretty much slept, and Talia was just really well behaved. There was a lot of pushing and shoving in line trying to get where people had to go, most places didn’t have fuel, lots of places were just closed, and so much was under water. It was hard at the time, but I had to keep remembering we had a home to go to and we lost nothing. Not everyone was so lucky. It was hard at 1 am, trying to find a hotel to take dogs that was not already booked solid, not to lose my $h!+, but we managed. The tire Bill had a nail in also held up until we got back into Charleston. Talk about God watching our butts! Stopping on the side of the road with no spare tire (that’s a long story, but we had the OTHER tire have an issue right before we had to leave) with so much debris, water, trees down, both vehicles, dogs, Talia, etc, would have been a nightmare!

Hopefully with our upcoming move back north, we don’t have to deal with a hurricane again….and especially not at 38 weeks pregnant (I was seriously praying the whole time NOT to go into labor!!!!) So now it’s time to get reorganized, do all this crazy laundry, and get back to writing and making soap!

How did you make out in the hurricane? Did it come near you?

Life · Writing & Publishing

Busy BookWorms!

So you may have noticed there was no Monday Book Club yesterday. If you did notice, I apologize. I have been reading less and writing more this week. (Don’t worry, Talia is still read to every day. Sometimes we get to read the same book 50 times in one day!)

First, I’m working diligently to get my novel, “Seeking Sita,” edited and polished and then off to the proofreader (aka my mom) before I submit to Pitch Wars. What is Pitch Wars? It’s the chance to be chosen by a mentor who is usually a literary agent, to help you perfect your manuscript for submission to literary agents. The odds of getting picked are slim, but I am still hopefully for the opportunity, and even if I do not get picked, I’m that much closer to getting my work edited professionally and off to the right agent.

This said, I met up with an acquisitions editor this week (I love these kinds of Monday morning emails) who is interested in my idea for a non-fiction piece on Elizabeth Thorn. Ms. Thorn was six months pregnant and left to care for Evergreen Cemetery during the Civil War. When the Battle of Gettysburg was over, she returned home to find she had hundreds of bodies, already decomposing, in the July heat, to bury. She did this and carried her baby to term.

The story is interesting to me, though as I talked to the current caretaker of Evergreen Cemetery earlier today, we may have a problem with the book. It seems another book, backed by the Evergreen Cemetery board, is already being published. The caretaker doubts the board will give me reprint rights on photographs. Now I have to craft an email to the acquisitions editor (who already seems like a dream to work with!) and explain this to her.

Finally, another reason I am not up to date on my  reading is spending time with family.

Saturday we took Talia and Tremor to Lost Dog Cafe on Folly Beach. It’s a dog themed, dog friendly breakfast and lunch spot. Tremor had a blast and enjoyed his bagel and eggs.

Bill had the dish on the left, and wouldn’t even wait for me to take a picture before he started to eat…this place is THAT good!

Then Monday, Bill started his “Learn to Play” classes at the local ice skating rink.

He hasn’t played in years, and it has taken a toll on his body each time he gets on the ice, but he really loves it!

Talia loves watching Daddy (and Doritos). She is CERTAIN Daddy is a “Stingray” (our local hockey team……for the record, at 18 months, every hockey player is a Stingray!

After the initial shock of daddy in hockey gear wore off, she was excited to watch him practice.


This also happened this weekend. Why she decided to climb off the bed into the laundry basket, I don’t know, but at least it was clean!

On top of all this, I have started another blog to focus on children’s books. It’s live, but does not have much content loaded (yet)! Be sure to bookmark if you have little ones!

How was your weekend? Anything exciting this week?

Military Spouse Life

Way to Wait Until The Last Minute

So here we are, 24 days away from getting married……and getting married on the ice at the Stingrays game is a no go because of insurance. We are SOOOO disappointed! Plan B? Well, we don’t really have a plan B. Bill thinks getting married in the parking lot while tailgating before the game is acceptable, but something about a parking lot hot dog just doesn’t scream wedding to me.

We are trying to keep this simple so we can just be married and have the money we would have spent on a wedding, for Talia. Then, we were planning on doing a full fledged wedding the way we want it when she (and possibly her siblings) are old enough to participate.

So I’m lost.

Before we found out we were pregnant, we were going to have the actual ceremony at the gazebo downtown because on our first date, we ended up there, laying in the middle of it, just talking. We had already applied for the permit, and technically have the right to be there from 1200 to 1300 on the day we are supposed to get married.

Bill still wants to tailgate.

All this aside, we did manage to pick up her furniture for the nursery last night. It’s still in boxes…and I’m sure it will be in boxes for at least a few weeks, before we get around to putting it together. At least we have it though.

We also discovered today, Talia likes music. They have something called Belly Buds meant for the baby to listen to music in the womb. We plugged it into my Pandora on my phone, and have her listening to classical music. She INSTANTLY started having a dance party in there. I really hope it’s because she’s liking the music and not freaking out. Bill thinks she wants to listen to country, I think we should just leave it up to Beethoven at the moment.

Other big news? Well, our baby shower is next Monday, AND the Stingrays (in a bit of a redemption move…) have selected Bill as the Hero of the Game for December 9th. Each game, a member of our military (active / veteran / retired) is selected as the Hero of the Game and Bill being my hero, I nominated him! I will try and get some video to show you!

Okay, well, it’s off to go and plan a wedding…or maybe we will just wing it 😉