Tooth Fairy or Not?

If it feels like you are doing something wrong then doesn’t that mean you usually ARE doing something wrong?! Well… that’s how I felt pretending to be the tooth fairy this morning. I felt deceitful. I felt sneaky. I felt… so alive. I’m starting to question my true calling in life. I could’ve been a spy. At approximately 6:03am my preset alarm went off notifying me that the tooth fairy needs to make her exchange. I, being said tooth fairy, entered operation sneaky mode. I tip toed into the next bedroom over trying not to breathe too loudly. Stepped on something wet in the floor, *please don’t be pee*, reached my hand under the sleeping child heads pillow annnnd… nothing.

I retracted my hand. Blinked to improve my night owl vision, and rubbed my hand on my pajama pants to stimulate my nerve endings so that they may be able to better detect said tooth. Then, for the second time I went back in. Ducking my head to the side, just in case sleeping beauty awakes. Nothing. “Where the heck is your tooth you rotten kid?”. I exited the room feeling a sense of defeat, grabbed a flashlight and went back in. This time from a different angle. “How are you sleeping through this? And where the heck is your pillow case?!”. Questions that will all have to be answered at another time. I let the light shine to the side of her face while examining the bed, careful not to beam the sucker in her eyes. And then I see it… I see a closed hand, tucked securely under the pillow. Oh dear, mercy!

This is what I have to work with

“So you wanna play hard ball, huh?” The things I whisper to my sleeping child as I’m trying to rob her of her baby teeth needs to be recorded somewhere. I turned the flash light off and wiggled my finger into the palm of her hand and found the TOOTH! Made my secret exchange and went back into mom mode. I turned on all the lights and told the girls to get ready for school. The kid didn’t even look under the pillow. Not even interested. I had to coax her to it. I did all of this, for an ooooh yeah, I forgot about that. Meh. I love you anyways. This tooth fairy may have just made her last run.

New beginnings everyday

My eyebrows look angry today. The lack of self care this week does not make for a grand entrance into the new year. The emphasis put on holidays annoys me anyhow. They are just days. You can make goals more than once a year. You can surprise your loved ones with gifts anytime. Turkey can be cooked on a Monday. Dress up as a witch this Saturday and eat Chinese take out, it’s not illegal. I’m not sure about celebrating Independence Day in February. There may be a law about explosives that I’m not familiar so do your research before you go rogue. I didn’t make New Years goals. I have different goals every week. No need to add something drastic to my plate.

I enjoy seeing everyone’s Facebook post about the changes they plans to make the new year. Why they didn’t start before? Probably because there’s an emphasis put on dates. It’s nuts. “You can not become a better person until January 1st”. That is not a law people. If it was I’d be thrown in the chokey for starting on my baking goal weeks ago. That is going to be a long standing goal. I have successfully stopped burning everything I bake however the cookies and biscuits I made yesterday do not taste divine. My daughter took a bite of one of the cookies I made last night. She said “it’s good mom,” as she threw the rest away. My ex husband also stopped at cookie number one. I’ve known him for 15 years, if he likes food he will devour it in one sitting. So the baking goal continues.

At least they look pretty

Most of the things I’m reading this morning involve a reflection of the year. The people you’ve gained in your life or the accomplishments you’ve had. But no one talks about the failures or the losses. These things are just as important. The way you respond to failure and loss will build your character and create a better you. When I reflect on this year we have just completed I only go back to May. That’s when I made a big change for myself and I don’t want to see the bad before that. But that’s part of it and I’m proud that I was strong enough to say that I want a better life. There is no greater feeling than to be in control of your own life. This year I’m in control of mine and I feel free. I’m going to go enjoy my freedom at work now, hasta la vista. Happy New Year.

The mad method to my baking

I’ve taken up a challenge to improve my cooking/baking skills. It’s more complicated than I originally thought. I’m not one to follow instruction well. In fact my motto in the kitchen is, “let’s just see what happens”, followed by fire, smoke and an “oh no, that can’t be right”. I’m not talking about your Pinterest recipes either. I’m talking about boxed Mac and cheese. I have a new oven. It’s changed me. I feel that I need to honor it and give it a good life. The other oven was somewhat of a slut and smelled like tomato sauce seared into an over done apple pie. This new oven in different. Loyal. I need to respect this baby.

Following those canned instructions like a pro

I wanted to up my game so I started using recipes from scratch. I don’t understand most of the baking lingo. It’s like a foreign language to me. YouTube has become my shadow. Sifting, soften, kneading, beating… come on recipe makers, I don’t know what the crap those things mean when baking! It sounds like I’m reading a romance novel. I had to google every one of those terms. I even moved a tv into the kitchen so I didn’t have to keep taking a timeout to figure out the meaning.

The madness… painting and baking with a tv in the kitchen. I love it.

I finally made my first batch of cookies from scratch. It was messy, sticky, and terrifying. But it was better than any store bought cookie I had tasted before. Does everyone know that these homemade foods are this good? I’ve thought about opening a bakery with these cookie skills! Of course I will have to substitute that crisco shortening stuff in all my recipes. I almost used it… almost. Until I saw the warning label on the back in bright red letters. Fire warning. Major fire warning. It even goes into detail on what to do when the stuff sets fire… oh heck no. I catch non flammable stuff on fire, no way I can take a chance on something that requires a warning label.

I’ve read that the energy you use when cooking/baking transfers into the food you are making. I guess that’s why people say, “made with love”. I wanted good energy in my food so I set out on an adventure to dress my body in something that would make me feel the best. I found this 1970s style wedding gown at the local goodwill. I go there and try on the old creepy dresses sometimes. Don’t judge me. You have your hobbies and I have mine. Anyways, this dress has the biggest puff sleeves I’ve ever seen. I felt like a princess. The back wouldn’t zip all the way up which ticked me off. Who the heck in this town is skinnier than me? I love this dang dress so I’ll just have to buy a corset to squeeze my spine into it.

There is nothing better than baking cookies in an old wedding dress. Swishing around like a mad woman, praying the fire department isn’t called later so you don’t have to explain your attire… it’s risky business. These cookies will be made with energy that you’ve never tasted before. Just when I think I’ve found the ultimate happiness I get a random Snapchat from a guy, a selfie. I’m like eh? I don’t have time for this silliness. I can’t respond right now. I don’t even know how to respond. I can’t send you a snap back of what I’m currently wearing, that would send the wrong message.

Since when did we revert back to the ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics form of communication anyways? You are much more likely to grab my attention with a phone call. I felt it was safest to ignore. I do have good judgement some of the time. I only use the snap to convert my voice into something hilarious anyways. I may be 31 years old but I laugh everytime my voice and face gets altered by that app. My baking that night was a job well done. I am still munching on the goodness made with that unique energy. I’m planning to bake something similar for the ladies at work, they need a conversion of energy anyways. There’s bad energy “sifting” around. See what I did there 😉

My Therapist Would Be Proud

This past month I feel like I’ve been taken to the cleaners. It has me wanting to loop the Dairy Queen Drive thru until I slip into a diabetic coma. I don’t know what God is trying to teach me here lately but I can tell you I don’t want to learn it. I mean I asked for it, I asked for growth and direction in my life. And then I prepared for learning only the lesson feels more like discipline. Maybe those are the same thing, consequences are lessons that grow us into better people right? I don’t know. All I know is I don’t like it. I work hard as an employee, my time at work doesn’t stop when I clock out, I investigate cases outside of work, take phone calls off the clock and come in on a moments notice when help is need. I work hard as a mother, it’s an unappreciated job at times that is 24/7 regardless of whether they are at school, a friends house, or with their dad. I work hard in my relationships with people, I find time that’s not mine to give to you. I carefully word responses and refrain from saying what’s on my mind to spare feelings and save conflict. Maybe that’s not the best approach, I work hard but still need growth.

This past month I have asked for growth. I’ve set goals and made plans to meet them. Every positive has been counteracted with 2 negatives. So as I sit here with my large moolatte and reflect on this past month trying my best not to add my salty tears to this sweetly crafted goodness I see some critical errors I’ve made along the way. I think it’s time I had a crucial conversation with myself.

#1 You don’t give yourself credit for the passion you put into you’re job, and you’re not going to receive that anywhere else. So take a deep breath, hang that lumber jack calendar up, touch you’re salt lamp, and remind yourself why you are doing this. It’s not for praise, it’s not for appreciation, it’s for the patients and you can lay your head down tonight knowing you did everything within your skill and knowledge level to meet their needs. *side note to self, turn to march on the calendar to add some cheer on a gloomy day*

I’ll add quotes from counsel I turned to for each trial that’s came my way this month.

#2. You have been through worse before with the kids. You have been close to rock bottom. You’ve been through the motions. You know you are a good mother, more importantly your children know it. Do not let an outsider have their 60 seconds of condemnation with you. Brush off that ignorance and pay the fine, do the time, and move forward. And your 7 year old is sleeping now so it’s alright if you want to go ahead and shovel what’s left of her fries into your sad tummy. You deserve it mom.

Oh yes it should!

#3. Girl. Even I don’t have anything good to say about this one. What were you thinking?! Being with that guy is like stepping into a revolving door with no exit. You end up in the exact same spot you started every single time. You are a smart woman. You know exactly what you deserve. You know there is no connection and no evolution so what the heck are you doing lady. If I had a ruler right now I’d smack your hand harder than a nun in a catholic school. Save your time for things you want to be doing until the right person who meets your standards in what you’re looking for in a man comes along. Smh. Girl stop acting a fool.

This quote is referring to Jesus Christ and it’s one of my favorites to reflect on

You know… that was a good talk with myself and a nice emotional binge on this Dairy Queen haul. I feel better already. My therapist would be proud.

MURPHYS LAW STRIKES AGAIN

Pain is something I’m used to. I have to be careful when I sit Indian style, or to be politically correct “criss cross apple sauce”. Which by the way makes no sense because apple sauce can never criss cross. The cold hurts my bones and turns me into a hobbled old lady. I look like I’m auditioning for a role in the walking dead as a zombie. I’ve tried to get it fixed, ortho consults, injections, anti inflammatories, the works. I’ve given up on the dream of being pain free and walking like a runway model, besides I think the gangsta walk suits me better anyhow.

This passed weekend I watched too many hallmark movies and got inspired to clean my attic out, pull my Christmas decor down, and bake a pie. The pie part was challenging, I had to watch a YouTube video with my daughter on how to beat an egg and then we didn’t know what to do with it… the can didn’t say if we should mix it in the filling or where to put it so I had to contact an expert. My older brother Jo Jo. He has always been the baker/cook of the family and for Christmas one year he surprised me with a ton of cooking stuff I’ve never used until now.

A little too late, might I add. We already screwed up the pie and racked it up on our list of Pinterest fails. We like failure around here, it’s educational. The kiddos went off to their dads as usual on the weekend and I decided I’d get in the attic to try part 2 of my hallmark inspired weekend plans. I forgot my sister had a ton of stuff piled away since she is in the army and needs a place to keep her memories safe. Naturally I went through all her things like any good sister would.

Why are you saving this dinosaur?

After neatly organizing everything into clear totes, I started my ascend to the attic with the remains of my sisters youth. It was heavy. Too heavy. I got halfway up the ladder and gave the big tote a big push and whoosh, my shoulder felt like the devil being soaked in holy water! I dropped the nonsense memorabilia and laid against the wall pretending I didn’t just screw my shoulder up. The pain didn’t stopped, not after ice, not after nsaids and rest and praying. Crikey. Now I’m really in trouble with myself. I am a worker. I don’t simply watch a movie, or sit still for anything. I always have my hands going, knitting, crafting, writing, ect.

My new worst enemy

I decided to show my wound some attention when I realized I couldn’t hold my coffee mug and brush my hair without a stabbing pain. So I went to the dreaded doctor, actually I love my doctor but I hate going. It’s only torn, no break 🙌🏼 ! They said to take the rest of the week off and no lifting but that’s just a guideline… like stuff they have to say when you’re a patient so, I hid the note and went back to work the next day looking like the hunchback of notre dame with ice packs shoved in my scrub top. I’ve mastered the art of looking fine when I’m in pain for years so the next couple or weeks should be cake, fingers crossed.

Being home from work was too boring. I didn’t have anything to do while the girls were in school and I imagined spending sick days being productive, like laying on the couch with the flu while crocheting a blanket and folding laundry here and there but none of that happened. I grazed through the things I pulled down from the attic, reminiscing through memories of my dad. He’d probably make me a peanut butter sandwich if he were here. He always did that when I was out of commission. I remember crying in front of the fridge once in my wheelchair days because I couldn’t reach the milk and felt helpless. He saw me from his office and came to the rescue as always. I miss that old man. I was able to visit a piece of his life over the weekend.

He had great taste in books hahaha

I’ll be revisiting most of his treasures for the next few weeks as I’m not able to get them back in the attic so if I seem suspicious for the next little while it’s because I’m learning secret trades from an old crook hahaha. Talley ho!

Emotional For Education

I know what you’re thinking ‘Tinman actually has a heart’. I’m not your typical crier. I didn’t know I could do that for the longest time. Growing up I thought, “well maybe I’m a psychopath because I don’t cry at funerals or when babies are born”. My oldest daughter told me once that I needed to sit in a quiet room with a lit candle and try to turn my emotions on… I think she was joking but maybe not. I’ve seen other nurses at the station after a code balling their eyes out, I feel it too girl but it’s not coming out of my eyes.

Today I cried a little, like in front of people. It was weird. I was only talking about education, how important it was and how learning from someone with wisdom is much better than learning by mistake. The more I explained it, I felt the wetness under my eyelids no matter how hard I tried to stare at the ceiling. A work pal started to cry just watching me cry… she must be an empath. My middle child is an empath.

I do have an emotional bond with education. I love learning, anything and everything. I didn’t have the privilege to attend high school. I worked hard to get into nursing school after I got my GED. I had failed my entrance exam into nursing school, studied harder and made it in, only to end up in a car accident during the final semester of school… I went to the school in my wheelchair and was told I couldn’t attend because I couldn’t complete my nursing responsibilities. Once I was able to walk again I had to start all over, entrance exam and all.

I cannot explain to you how much I cherish education. I study everyday. Not in school or for any sort of college credit, just for me and my patients. Come to think of it the last time I cried was watching a movie. It was called the boy who harnessed the wind. He wants to go to school so badly and his father can’t afford it so he sneaks into school everyday, sneaks in the library, he gets caught eventually and man oh man does my face end up flooded with tears every time! That movie is based on a true story. I think people often forget that education is mandatory in our country but in others it’s considered a privilege.

Today I was teaching about preventative skin care. I added some show and tell to the mix because that has always been my favorite way to learn.

Check out how that fake urine beads up and rolls off the skin!

I do this once a month and it always gets the “ooooow… awwwww” effect. It really clicks seeing the difference you can make. This is information provided for free! Learn from wisdom, from the experience of the people before you. We rely heavily on that in the medical field. I can describe nothing worse than learning by mistake in this field. It happens, sometimes you do the best you can, the best you know to do, and it’s still not enough. Later down the road you may learn the answer to that problem and wish you had that knowledge before. It will rip your heart string in half, sure you will learn, you’ll never forget that one time you should’ve done this instead of that. But when the information is there, when it’s provided to prevent those nightmares of “learning by mistake” take it!

By the way I didn’t cry while teaching. If that’s what you were thinking.

The Veils of Morality

I’ve heard that death is as easy as walking into another room. That there is a veil between this mortality and immortality. There is a sacred symbolic meaning behind the veil, it can mean obedience, modesty, concealing, humility or all of the above. I want to share the oddest dream I had the other night that changed the way I viewed the veils of our mortality.

I dreamt I was walking into work. It was quiet which is unusual for a nursing facility, there were no other employees, no call lights ringing off, and every patients room had a white veil hanging on the entrance to the doorway. In most of my dreams I can not talk, rather I feel what’s happening. I felt at peace in this one and continued to prepare myself to treat my patients. I approached a doorway and felt a voice ask me who I was. I’d describe it as a telepathic conversation as my mouth never opened but I answered with, “I am Annabelle”. The voice responded with the same question, “Who are you?” After a revolving Q&A with the same results I finally took a step back and thought there is a patient in there who needs my help and I am a nurse. The mystery voice said, “You May enter”. I stepped through the veil and only found the patient inside, no security guard at the door… it was odd but I didn’t question it. The patient was angry at me, he was asking why I took so long and why I hadn’t come to see him sooner. I wanted to respond with, “my child was sick and I’ve had a stomach ulcer so I’ve been out of work” but the voice in my head said again, even louder this time, “WHO ARE YOU?!”. I answered silently, “I am a nurse”. I felt a change internally, the stressors that control my time outside of that room quickly dissipated. I was no longer a woman who had only 4 hours of sleep, a sick child, a crippling stomach ulcer, or a single mom with bills racking up. That woman was not permitted into this room, only the nurse in me was extended an invitation. My response to the patient changed to, “I apologize for my absence but I am here now, how can I help?” The angry mood shifted as the patient allowed me to treat his wounds. I finished up and stepped back through the veil. As I entered the hallway I was Annabelle again, I was a mom, a painter, an adventurer, and a nurse all in one. But each time I approached the door to another room the same question was asked before entry was granted, “Who are you?”.

As I woke up I started pondering the dream with the veils. I thought about all the doors I walk through each day and the person in me who was permitted on the other side. When I come home am I bringing the stressors of work with me? Or am I stopping at the door and asking myself who am I with the response, “I am a mom”? Am I doing the same at work? It’s an interesting concept when I sit back and think about all the mortal doorways we each have in our own lives, with that invisible veil that only allows a part of us to enter. What have you come to that doorway to do? If it’s to give excuses when you get to the other side then take a step back and remind yourself who you are before you cross.

When I walked into work yesterday I couldn’t get the image of the veils out of my head. I believe the dream came about to remind me of who I needed to be in that room, and who I needed to be at home because I couldn’t be both. The hard days I have at work do not belong in my home with my children and the hard days I have with my family at home do not belong in the room with my patients. I thought to myself yesterday before I entered each room, “Who are you?” and that changed my entire day.

The world’s worst ninja

I wanted to be a ninja when I was growing up. My inspiration came from The power rangers, Mortal Combat and anything Jackie Chan related. For some reason I swore up and down I could kick Chuck Norris butt if we ever went to battle. It probably didn’t help that my dad was also a karate guru. He used to tell me that if I ever saw anything ordinary out of the ordinary that it was a bad sign. Like a perfect coke can sitting in the middle of the road or a match box sitting centered in a chair. If you’ve followed my blog post until now you know that I don’t carry a purse because it makes it harder to run if I have to, and I don’t wear jewelry in case I have to fight someone. Thanks dad. I’m a paranoid weirdo who is always prepared for a sneak attack.

This past week I went on a mini vacation. I stayed at an Airbnb and on our last night we returned late at night to find a package on the front porch of the cottage we were staying in. It looked perfect. Too perfect. We all sat in the mini van staring at it and discussing how this package looked suspicious. Against the protest from the other passengers I got out of the van to inspect the box… I had trained my entire life for this, if Chuck Norris was in that box, we were going to throw down and get this internal childhood fantasy over with. There were several steps up to the porch and while slowly making my ascend I noticed a hole in the side of the box. I thought to myself, this must be where they’ve put the laser. I needed to jump over it, trust me I’ve seen this in movies. I jumped as high as my chicken legs would take me and landed right where the laser hole was crafted. In my defense only people who do parkour daily could’ve made that jump successfully, it was an upward incline so there’s that. Luckily, no explosions set off. I took out my flashlight and peaked through the hole to find a box filled with q tips… that’s even more suspicious if you ask me.

Who orders a box of q tips this big? I nudged the package with my foot. Nothing. My kids were giggling from inside the van. They laugh now but I guarantee as they get older and discover the wicked ways of the world they too will be ready to fight an inanimate object. I wonder if the Lord was watching me the same way people watch cats play with boxes. I’m crossing my fingers hoping the Airbnb host didn’t have cameras set up. We had already discussed the conspiracy of the google home box hiding behind the couch and with this box interrogation, I couldn’t imagine what the host would think replaying the events that went on in that house. Just know Chuck wouldn’t have stood a chance.

What’s weird about it?

I’ve got a question for anyone who is divorced with children, does it feel weird to spend time with your ex for family functions such as birthday parties, holidays, cookouts, whatever the case where your children might be that the other parent may also be? If yes then why? I get asked this question a lot, “isn’t that awkward?”… well no, why would it be? You know what would make it awkward? If we were still married. I mean, how awkward would that be if I was still married to this guy that I only see once every other weekend, show up to a birthday party with another wife and kids, now THAT would be awkward… but I’m not. It’s not awkward because we aren’t married anymore, and haven’t been for 7 years. I’m trying to dip inside the mind of someone who would find the situation weird. Is it weird for you because you are not on good terms? Do you argue a lot? Do you harbor unresolved feelings? Bad blood between the new member to your co parenting team? Your problems are not my problems. I’ve known this fool for 15 years, he’s my kids dad, and yes I can call him a fool because it’s just a playful term of endearment. His wife is good to my kids. And here’s the thing, we live separate lives with the same children who we each love and they love us. So spending time all together is not “awkward” because I’m at the point in my life where they are just another part of my family. Sometimes it’s funny, like when we all went up the mountain to take the kids to see Anakeesta, they take a photo before you go up with your group. Imagine 3 adults and 5 kids, my kids dads laughed and said we looked like a bunch of Mormons… I laughed even harder because I am a Mormon, but not that kind 😂!

Can you see how happy these silly kids are?

Every situation is different. The kids are the most important aspect of our lives and as I see it they are not from a “broken home” they are from an expanded home, we’ve built on to what we already have. This is a very positive situation, my kids have more parents to love them, more siblings, more grandparents, more everything. We are not the stereotypical divorced parents. I despise the negative connotation that follows that term around. You are what you make it. We choose to make it right.

We did not start here. So yes I understand the scary looks on the faces of people when I mention I’m spending time with the kids and their dad/stepmom. We worked to get here. There used to be a lot of bad energy surrounding the situation. There typically is in the beginning. It takes a lot of growth, forgiveness, acceptance, and love to get here. We are not perfect but we are better than we were yesterday and that’s all that is important especially for our children. I can say that I know that in 10-20 years when my kids look back on their childhood they will remember feeling loved and being raised in homes by parents who get along, and that to me is NOT broken.

NANNY MCPHEE WOULDN’T LIKE THIS

I love how my parents always made me feel free. I know right now if we were able to pick our own parents before this life that I would have picked mine over anyone else on this planet. They always made us kids feel like we could do anything we wanted as long as it was legal and not too dangerous and even then during the teenage years we walked on the edge of that line. I never realized how amazing the feeling of freedom was until I went through relationships and roommates and such that had rules and regulations… those are the worst. I don’t like rules. I don’t like waking up and feeling like ‘this is what you have to do today, and this is how you have to do it’. Have you ever heard that phrase, “choose your battles” when raising your children? My parents were experts at this. They didn’t focus on a military uniformed household, they instead chose to step in when it came to our safety. I could’ve woke up in the morning at 10 years old and decided, ‘I think I’ll give my wardrobe a make over’, start painting my shirts, cutting my sleeves, bedazzling my shoes… and my parents would’ve smiled and told me it was interesting. Mind you if I didn’t like my artistic work, I would’ve had to live with it because we only went shopping for clothes once a year haha. And that is something I have actually done.

When I would tell my friends at school some of my daily activities their mouths would drop open and they would say things like, “your parents let you do that?”. Well yeah… I mean I didn’t ask, but I didn’t get in trouble either. My 7 siblings and I used to do all sorts of things that you’d probably bust your kids hind end for. We used to make biscuit dough and throw it against the chimney to see who could get theirs to stick the highest, play volley ball inside, collect random animals, cut each other’s hair, paintball and firework wars, build forts and zip lines, make a slip and side in the kitchen floor with dish soap and water, carry our mattresses outside and jump through the windows onto them… you know things that would give your parents nightmares. Nanny McPhee would’ve needed some extra magic to subdue us. I didn’t feel like I ever had a bedtime. I didn’t feel like I needed permission to go out into the woods or walk to the neighbors. I didn’t ask if friends could come over or if I could have this dog I found. Sure we had chore lists and the consequences for our actions came from themselves and not my parents, like cutting our own hair was humiliating, no need for further punishment there, or having the chore of cleaning a room we just massacred. The freedom of choice did not come with the freedom of consequence but I’m glad my parents allowed us to learn from our own mistakes instead of forcing us to learn from theirs.

Perhaps it’s why I live the way I live now. Spontaneous trips and random projects. Creative and free. I planned to spend this week in Salem learning about the witch trials, only my flyer mile points don’t come in until the end of the week… meh. So instead we decided to visit with family and do a road trip, which at the last minute turned into a trip to the smokies. I don’t mind what we do, as long as my girls and I can spend time together, I’m sure we will make whatever we do interesting. I’ve been to the smokies countless times, that’s one of the reasons it wasn’t my first choice. I don’t want to relive the same vacation time and time again. I’m an adventurer. I need to explore and do new things. Then I started thinking, we don’t have to stay in the same cabin/hotel, eat the same breakfast and have the same vacation just because it’s the same place we’ve been before… we can do something different in this place. I’ve asked my sister in law who is meeting me there to brace herself for what we are about to do. It will push her comfort zone to the limits… it will test our survival skills… it will be glorious. It is camp grits. Our home away from home for the week.

Isn’t it lovely?

The girls and I will start our journey today and Tonia will join us tomorrow. Gives us an entire day to set up booby traps to keep things interesting for when the gang arrives. The facilities are probably my favorite part, you have to ask the host in advance to bath in this bath tub that’s out in the woods… that way they can light a fire to warm the bath water 😂. Stay tuned for an update on how to not only take a last minute trip with your family but how to do it on a budget! The total cost for this beauty is less than what the average nightly rate is in the Pigeon forge/Gatlinburg area. Even with the added cost of bug spray and fire wood! Let the adventure begin.