Friday, January 31, 2014


Monday evening the talk of the town was the possible snow we might get the next afternoon and the kids were thrilled with the idea of it.  I took them to school on Tuesday and started running a few errands.  The snow started around 10AM  and I got a text from Handley's school system saying they would be dismissing 2 hours early at 12:15 PM.  As I hurried to finish up what I needed to do the snow kept coming down more and more. I went to the preschool to pick up the little ones a bit early so I could go get in the carpool line at Handley's school. I was surprised I was one of the only ones picking up from the pre-school early.  Carpool at Handley's school took FOREVER.  Their traffic flow isn't wonderful and add snow and triple the amount of cars that are usually there, and it is just going to take a while.  By the time I got Handley around 12:45 PM she jumped in the car and was SO excited about the snow! She has been hoping it would snow for 2 years since our last big snow and couldn't wait to get home and build a snowman!  I started on my usual way only to notice cars turning around and heading back the opposite way.  There was a steep hill and bridge up ahead and I guess someone had gotten stuck or was unable to cross so I followed the other cars and turned around to take an alternate route.

By this time the roads were starting to get covered with snow in some areas, but there were a ton of cars driving so I was fine heading back to one of the main roads. It took a while because of all of the traffic, but I made it to the road I needed to be on and I started to head towards the interstate.  I didn't get too far before I saw more cars turning around another big hill that crosses over the Chattahoochee River.  There were cars that were sliding and one tractor trailer that wasn't able to make it back up the hill on the other side and it had blocked the entire road.  I turned around for a second time and was able to make it back up the hill.  There were cars sliding all around me and at this point I started getting a little worried just thinking about how far I had to drive back to Alpharetta and how many hills I knew I had to go up and down.  Plus, the snow continued to pour down.  It took me about 30 minutes to make it less than a 1/2 mile because of all of the traffic and during this time I talked to my best friend, Jen, who was in a different part of town trying to make it home from Parker's school.  She was stuck on a road with people unable to make it up or down hills with sliding and she said that people were starting to abandon their cars and just get out and walk.  We half joked about trying to get a hotel room nearby or even somewhere safe to stop (like a hospital that she could see), but little did we know that for many, things would get so much worse.

By 2:15 we were still inching along and barely moving because of all the traffic.  The kids still hadn't eaten lunch and I wasn't sure how long it would take to get us home.  When I finally made it to the Publix we pulled in for a quick pitstop.  I was going to prepare for the worst so I got bottled waters, a box of granola bars, sandwiches, and a few other snacks and we hurried on our way.

I made it to the end of the main road and when I started on a two lane road, I had a very bad feeling.  Cars were turning around, which told me the road was most likely not passable, but a few kept going.  I had been able to talk to Robby and he assured me that with 4-wheel drive, my car was capable of making it up the snowy hills and as long as I drove safe I should be OK.  Getting down the hill I was able to see that there were other cars stopped ahead because of people not able to make it up the hills.  I still thought that if they could get moved I would be OK with the other people in 4-wheel drive cars.  Then a police officer came and roped off across a bridge and no one was going that way.  I turned around and there was another huge line of cars.  In both directions people were just stopped, looking around, and wondering what in the world to do.

We stayed on that road for about an hour in that same spot and all the time I was running every scenario through my head.  I'd seen several people just park their cars on the side of the road and start walking.  The kids started asking when we were going to be home and wondering if we would even make it there.  I was seriously worried we'd be stuck there all night.  I wanted to stay positive for the kids so I told them to smile for a pictures so I could put it on the blog about the crazy snow.

I contemplated walking back to a shopping center that was about a mile away and also I thought about all of the neighborhoods that were right beside me and how I could start knocking on doors if I got desperate.  The opposite lane of traffic kept inching down not knowing the bridge was closed opening up that side.  The guy in the car behind me got out to walk up and check out what was going on up the hill.  He came back and told me he had 4-wheel drive also and he thought we could make it up in the opposite lane since it was blocked ahead and just get past all of the stopped, stuck, and waiting cars.  I went for it and that was the BEST decision I made.  Some people were giving us nasty looks as we went past them in the wrong lane, but I have never been so grateful for 4-wheel drive in my life.   As I made it to the end of that road and back to civilization (aka the shopping center) I somehow did not feel as worried.  Driving back to towards where I had originally come from I started going down a list of friends in my head that lived close-by and started calling them to see if the kids and I could come to their house because I didn't think we would make it home.  I was so grateful when Erica said for us to come on over and even more grateful when I made it through her hilly neighborhood to her house.  On the way there I told the kids we might get to have a sleepover and they loved that idea.  Erica has a 6 week old baby and two older girls that are Handley and Harper's ages so as soon as we walked in the kids all took off to play.  Erica's mom had come over to play in the snow with the kids and knew she wouldn't be able to get out of the neighborhood so she was stuck there, too.  We had the news on and that is when the stories started to unfold about just how dangerous and awful the rest of this day would be for so many others.  Watching the reports of interstates and side roads totally gridlocked and people abandoning their cars to walk made me even more thankful that after my 4 hours in the car, I had made the decision to turn back and call my friend and find somewhere safe and warm for us to stay.

After I let my nerves calm down a bit the kids and I bundled up so they could go out and play in the snow.  It was Hudson's first time seeing snow and he loved it!

The kids continued to have a ball together and loved getting to wear their friends' pajamas, brush their teeth with their finger, and have a sleepover all together. Hudson kept saying he wanted to go home and sleep in his bed, but he finally fell asleep, too.  I just laid there awake half the night, my heart pounding, and unable to sleep.  There were so many reports on the news about people and stories of friends on Facebook who were stranded. Kids spending the night in schools who couldn't get home, kids on buses stuck in all of the gridlock, people sitting on the interstates unable to move and running out of gas and others who abandoned their cars and walked miles and miles to get home.  I just kept thanking God that I was in a place with toys, food, and clothes for my kids!

Robby had tried to leave his office only to be stuck in the same mess we were seeing on the news.  Thank God, he tried to take an access road instead of getting on the interstate, or he would have been among the cars that sat stranded on the interstate for over 24 hours.  He was able to inch bit by bit and get into the parking lot of Rays on the River (a restaurant) so he ended up eating and hanging out there for about 5 hours.  Then around 11:30 PM he was able to make it back to his office (that was close by) and slept there for the night.

The next morning were more stories of people who had taken refuge anywhere they could find. Pictures and videos of people sitting in restaurants all night, people sleeping in the aisles at Publix, CVS, Home Depot and Target and then the poor people who were still stuck in their cars on the interstate.  The stories I loved hearing the most were about the southern hospitality that so many displayed.  People walking to the interstates to give out food and water to those stranded, people opening up their homes to those who couldn't get to their own homes, and people with 4-wheelers helping to rescue pregnant women, elderly, and children.

On Wednesday we took the kids back out to play in the snow and when they were done with that they dressed up, played Wii, and had the best time. Robby was able to get to Erica's house that afternoon and I was so happy to see him!  He took the kids and I home and we left my car because we weren't sure what the roads would be like.  It was surreal seeing hundreds of cars just abandoned on the side of every road we took.

School is cancelled again for Friday because so many of the neighborhoods and back roads are still icy.  One thing is for sure, you can bet that if there is snow in the forecast again, we will be sitting right at home and might take our own snow day, even if school is not called off.  That is one experience I do not wish to experience again!

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

In Loving Memory

Over the weekend I learned that my grandmother passed away.  I can't say it came as a shock, because her health had been declining and over Christmas when I saw her, she seemed incredibly weak and frail to me.  She was my last living grandparent, so that has been difficult.  But, I know that she is so much better off now and that she and the love of her life, my grandfather, are reunited and happy together once again.

A lot of our summer vacations were spent visiting my grandparents at their home in North Carolina.  They lived on the Intercoastal Waterway and as an adult I can appreciate the beautiful backdrop that is like non-other.  As a kid though, I just remember all of the fun we would have there with them.  It's where I learned to fish, check crab traps, and water ski.  We were taught the art of rocking on a screen porch while sipping sweet tea and watching the boats go by.  We would devour an entire watermelon at the picnic table out by the waterway and swing from the rope swing that hung from one of the giant trees.  We'd pose by the azalea bushes on Easter Sunday and enjoy Sunday supper there after church.

My grandmother was the perfect southern woman.  She exuded beauty, class, and grace.  I will always remember how perfectly polished she looked with her scarves, pearls, and broaches...some of which she gave to me and I will treasure now more than ever.  She always had her hair perfectly curled and always had her lipstick on.  As a little girl I would ask her for lipstick on the way to church and she always let me have some...making me feel so grown up.  She would also sneak me pieces of Juicy Fruit chewing gum, which I forever to this day, associate with her.

I wish I had some of the pictures of me as a child with her, but they are all at my parents' house.  I'll have to post some when I get them.  I do have pictures of her with my children though. She loved them so much and they brought her such joy.  When we were at her house over Christmas the kids were amazed that she still had Mother's Day cards and Valentine's hanging they had sent to her over the years, along with any and every picture of them I had ever given her.

Meeting Handley for the first time
Meeting Harper for the first time

She was such a special lady who I learned so much from.  I will miss her so much.

Lorraine Galloway Spivey

MARCH 19, 1927 - JANUARY 26, 2014


Lorraine Spivey died January 26, 2014 at Davis Healthcare after a brief illness. She was preceded in death by her husband, Jimmie P. Spivey
Born on March 19, 1927 in Brunswick County, she was a graduate of James Walker Memorial School of Nursing. After her training, she assisted in the establishment of and was director of nursing for a new hospital near Fort McKoy, Wisconsin during the early 1950’s. In 1953, she and her husband became one of the first residents of Bald Eagle Lane in Porters Neck.
In July of 1966 she assisted, as a staff nurse, in the opening of Davis Nursing Home, later to be known as Davis Health Care Center. Mrs. Spivey worked for more than 35 years with Davis Health Care including 11 years as Director of Nursing. She never forgot her kind and nurturing touch as a nurse and always expressed this to everyone she came in contact with. She is also remembered by the staff as always having a smile on her face. Lorraine was a lifelong and active member of Calvary Baptist Church.
She is survived by her son Jimmie P. Spivey, Jr. and wife Deborah, daughter Julie Anne Barefoot and husband George, grandchildren, Carrie Beth Posener and huband Robby, Jimmie P. Spivey III and wife Stefanie, Cameron Spivey, Rhett Barefoot and fiancé Ryann Fussell, and Anna Barefoot, and great grandchildren Handley, Harper, and Hudson Posener and Sophia Spivey.
The family will receive friends on Friday evening from 5 to 7 PM at Andrews Market Street Chapel. A graveside service will be held at 11 AM, Saturday, February 1, 2014 at Oleander Memorial Gardens.
The family wishes to thank the entire staff of Davis Health Care and especially the staff of East Wing 1 for their devotion, care, and friendship.
In lieu of flowers, the family has requested that donations be made to Calvary Baptist Church, Young at Heart Ministry or to Davis Health Care.

Monday, January 27, 2014

100th Day of School

Handley had a great week at school last week and was so excited to jump in the car at carpool with her 100th Day of School crown and also her great behavior progress report.  I had her iPod charged and waiting for her and she was so excited to have earned it back.  I was so proud of her!

We spent the weekend at the lake and although it was freezing we did get some antique shopping in.  We're on the hunt for something specific for the powder room at the new house and haven't been able to find quite the right thing, yet.  The kids were good sports (if you don't count Hudson and either his tantrums because he was tired or his running like a football player through the antique stores making me a nervous wreck that he would break something).  The girls loved checking out all sorts of neat finds.

That night we relaxed and let the girls have a movie night - complete with popcorn and Sprite - to watch McKenna, the American Girl movie, for about the 100th time since they got it for Christmas.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Almost Friday!

Another week come and almost gone.  Tomorrow is the 100th day of school for Handley and I can hardly believe she has already been in 1st grade for 100 days!  Her class has some really fun activities planned for tomorrow and she did her part by taking in 100 jelly beans for their special snack.

Earlier this week I got the sweetest phone call.  I was just about to head to the pre-school to pick up the littlest ones and my phone rang with a number I didn't recognize.  I answered to hear Harper on the other end saying, "Mommy!  I know your phone number!"  She was so excited and I was so happy to get that call.  Her class is working on learning their phone numbers and addresses and when they know their number her teacher lets them call on her cell phone.  Harper had been practicing over the weekend and it paid off!

Later that night on our way home from dance we passed by a Ferrari dealership that we see several times a week.  I think this was the first time Hudson noticed it though because as we drove by he pointed in awe and said, "I want to go there."  It cracked me up.  He loves matchbox cars and calls them all "race cars."  I know to him those looked like real life-size race cars.  He's such a boy.

Not only is he into cars and trucks and all things that shoot, he also is loving sticks right now. Like everywhere we go he finds a stick and has to bring it with us.  Here he was today coming out of a store and he was so happy to find a stick in the landscaping beds.

While the little ones were at pre-school I spent my morning volunteering in Handley's class and having lunch with her.  She has had a wonderful week and I'm so proud of the way she has really been trying to be on her very best (no talking in class) behavior.  I'm certain that she will earn her ipod back tomorrow.

After leaving the elementary school I picked up Harper and Hudson and we went to grab lunch.  Those two would drink the cheese dip if I let them.  They LOVE it and we have to hide the fact that we go from Handley because she loves it just as much as they do.

Tonight all three kids were wound up before bed and playing some sort of crazy wrestling game.  It is obvious that tomorrow is finally Friday because they are all a bit coo-coo!  We are all ready and excited about the weekend.

Sunday, January 19, 2014


Friday afternoon Handley came home with her weekly behavior sheet and it said she had been "Very Talkative" that week and that it was keeping her from staying on task. I was so disappointed when I saw that because I talk to her constantly about being good at school, paying attention, and not talking (something her teacher had mentioned once before).  Now, don't get me wrong...I obviously think there are much worse things than talking.  I really think it is great that she is so social and friendly with her classmates.  However, I reminded her that there was a time and place for the chit-chat and that it was unacceptable to be getting in trouble at school for talking in class.  After discussing it a little more, she told me her seat was moved to a new table because she had been such a chatterbox that week.  You'd think that would have solved the problem, but NO!  She KEPT talking at the new table and got in trouble for talking there, too. I was really upset when I heard that and couldn't believe that she wasn't able to correct her behavior.  We were also upset with her because she hadn't told us this was happening this week.  Because of her behavior at school, she has lot the privilege to play with her ipod touch until she brings home her next behavior sheet on Friday with the words "Great Week" and a big ole' smiley face on it.  She was devastated and said next Friday felt like it was SO far away, but I think it is just what she needs to remind herself to get back on track.  This mama don't around.

Besides that little mishap, we had a great start to our weekend.  Breakfast for dinner on Friday night, a lazy day at home on Saturday where the kids had all sorts of old-fashion fun.

At one point I was busy doing laundry and things around the house and next think I knew, Hudson was asleep on the couch.  It was around his naptime, but since he can kind of go either way with a nap these days, I had planned on just letting him skip one that day.  I guess he had other plans though and I think this was the first time he has ever just fallen asleep like that if it wasn't in the car.

Today was a busy day with Parker's birthday party, shopping for the new house, and our dinner club with some of our best friends. It was a pretty awesome day and the kids and I are all very happy that they get tomorrow off of school too so we have one more day of fun.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Girls Day

We had a pretty low-key weekend. On Saturday the girls had been begging for a "girls day" so Robby took advantage of that and decided to take Hudson to the boat show.  While they were off doing that the girls got all dolled up, packed their little purses and then we had fun dancing in the car, shopping for fabric and lighting for the new house and having lunch out.  They were so sweet and it was fun to be out with them all day.  

The had so much fun hunting for fabric with me and loved picking out their favorites for their new rooms.

By the last stop they were SO over it and literally begging not to go into the store.  However, I'm so happy I made them go because I scored some great lights at a really low price for our new house.  As we got back in the car Handley was telling me that she just couldn't walk anymore and I explained to her the meaning of shop till you drop...we literally did it that day!  

Sunday Robby worked like a dog at the new house to clear some more of the forest that is there and while he was gone the house so the kids and I got lots done around Gigi and Papa's.  They got lots of playtime outside in the sunshine and I got started on a project I'm working on for the new house... more pictures to come soon! 

Friday, January 10, 2014

It's FRIDAY!!!

Let me just say, the best daddies come right in from work and get to work piercing an American Girl Doll's ears.  Harper had been asking for some time and Robby was never home at the times she asked about it, but last night the timing worked out and she was so happy.  Now, she is contemplating getting her own ears pierced for her 5th birthday, just like Handley did.  I'm not so sure she will really go through with it, but maybe, just maybe she will.  I told her it is totally up to her!

Today was a crazy busy day and I felt like I had run a marathon by 10:30 AM.  I had to meet the electrician at our new house bright and early, which is always tricky since the littlest two love to sleep and are so hard to get going in the morning.  From there we were rushing and literally running inside the pre-school to get Harper there on time and then Hudson and I continued running to get to Handley's school so I could be the parent reader for her class.  Hudson just loves going to Handley's school and he was so cute sitting right there with all of the big kids listening to me read the books.  After that we were off and running to get to Hudson's tumbling class.

This afternoon at Handley's ballet class she got to try on her costume for the recital and was so excited. It's a Cinderella theme this year and her class is playing the part of Lucifer (the cat)...hence the ears.

One the way home this afternoon, Handley was hurrying to draw everyone pictures before we got out of the car.  While sitting in traffic, at the end of a long day, my sweet girl passed me this note and it totally made my day.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Back at it...

Today we were back at it.  Our normal school routine of waking up early, sitting in traffic, and being on the go, go, go.  As much as I loved our break from it, there was just a little bit of me that was happy to be back in our routine today.

While Harper and Handley were at school, I took Hudson to his sports class.  He has so much fun there and loves all the skills he is learning.  After that we hit up Lowe's to return something and spent a little time browsing their lighting aisles.  I have so much fun when it is just the two of us. He is so funny and has the cutest personality.

He has a little tape measure that he found at my parents' house over Christmas and didn't want to put it down the whole time we were there. My dad told him he could bring it home with him and it has been in his hand or clipped on his pants non-stop.  Not only does he pretend to measure things with it, but it also doubles as a sword.  This morning he was very specific about how he wanted it clipped onto his pants so he could walk around measuring everything in sight.  It seemed so appropriate since we were in the home improvement store.

This afternoon the girls took their first tumbling class.  I had been promising Handley for a while now that she could take gymnastics or tumbling since cheerleading was over.  Some friends had told me about an all-star cheerleading/tumbling place and it worked out that they can both be in the same class since it is based on skill.  They did a trial class tonight and when it was over they were both beaming and said they loved it and had the best time.  They asked if they could go back tomorrow for another class.  I took that as a great sign and registered them both. There was an advanced class going on at the same time so they got the chance to see lots of older girls doing all sorts of tucks and twists.

Seeing all of those fancy tricks tonight prompted Handley to tell me she no longer wants to be a teacher when she grows up and instead wants to be a cheerleader.  I tried explaining to her she could easily do both.  Meanwhile, Harper says she wants to be a mommy and a worker at Kroger...that girl loves working a cash register!

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

One more day

I'm not one of those mom's that can't wait for school to start back.  I really do love having my kids home with me and although they do argue at times, for the most part they all get along so well together and truly enjoy playing with one another.  So, you can imagine my excitement when yesterday around lunchtime I got an automated call from the county saying that school was cancelled for the next day (Tuesday) due to inclement weather.  It wasn't snow or ice, but just the extremely cold temperatures that caused all of the metro-county schools in our area to close.  There were concerns about the buses not working properly, the buildings not heating properly after being on a break for 2 weeks over Christmas, and concerns about kids not having proper attire to stand at a bus stop in 7 degree weather.  I was so happy they cancelled school and thrilled to have just one more day before having to get started back in our normal routine.

The pre-school was not closed because they don't rely on buses, etc. but I still kept the little ones home for one more day, too.  We celebrated by playing last minute games, letting the kids stay up late to watch part of the National Championship game, and having one more day to sleep in this morning.

We did go to the girls' dance class this afternoon and it was nice to see some friends, catch up, and ease back into our routine.  6:00 AM is going to come very early tomorrow, but I'm happy it will be a really short week for us.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Loving Christmas Break

This Christmas break has been so much fun and makes me so excited about summer. The kids have all been getting along together great (for the most part) and we've had lots of fun meeting up with friends we don't see all that often.

Earlier this week we saw Frozen for the second time with Avery and Dylan.  It was just as good the second time and the company was great, too.

Tuesday we met up with Harper's friend from school last year.  Parker and Harper had lots of fun playing on the Chick-fil-a playground. Thursday we met our friends Annabelle, Emerson, Jake and Reece at the mall for some playtime.  We hadn't seen them in forever and it was so great to let the kids catch up while the mom's did, too.

Today we saw Handley's friend from school last year and then Gigi took all the grandkids to the movies (to see Frozen for the third time!!!  Did I mention my kids LOVE that movie.) while Robby and I met the cabinet guy at our new house.  The week flew by, but it was lots of fun and we got lots of friend time in.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Happy New Year!

2013 had lots of great moments for us, but some really stressful ones too and I would be lying if I said I wasn't looking forward to 2014.  It will be the year we move into our new house and can finally get our lives back in order.  It's the one event I'm looking forward to most and now that we are in the new year I feel like we will be inching closer and closer to that time.  AND, the real fun part of building the house will begin like getting to pick everything and see the house coming together.

We said goodbye to 2013 and Happy Birthday to our friend, Justen, last night.  Our dinner club friends went to a delicious (kid-free) dinner and had the best time laughing and making up excuses and plans for a grown-up only weekend get-way to possibly happen sometime this year.

While we were at dinner all of the kids were at Jen and Justen's house with two babysitters, who definitely had their hands full with 8 kids.  However, the kids all did great and so did the sitters (one was my cousin, Bryn).  The youngest ones were sleeping when we got home and the others were in their PJ's cuddled up on the couch watching a movie.  

After we got the kids to bed the adults, including Bryn who really needed a drink at this point, had fun watching football, listening to music, dancing, laughing,  and doing Wii Dance Party as we welcomed 2014.

Today we got dressed in our red and black to cheer for our beloved Bulldogs in the bowl game and made our way back to Gigi and Papa's house.  Robby went to the new house to work on clearing some more things and the kids and I stuck around the house.  We opened lots of their new toys from Christmas and spent lots of time relaxing and playing on this first day of 2014.