Surviving, Snacks, and Family Vacations #100HappyDays

Day 80:  Surviving makes me happy.  This was my sixth day in a row of teaching customer class and my voice started going out.  I was able to get through my class anyway though–sometimes you just have to be happy you made it through.

Day 81:  Buying snacks makes me happy.  For our upcoming family vacation (more on that below) I was in charge of buying the snacks.  Who doesn’t like buying snacks?!?  The hardest part was trying not to eat them before the trip (and remembering to load everything into the car).  For the record, I did try to buy healthier snacks…but some s’more ingredients may or may not have made their way into the cart too.

Day 82:  Fridays make me happy.  Especially Fridays before a long weekend!

Days 83-87:  Family vacations make me happy.  My family and I camped near Mammoth Cave for the holiday and it was really fun!  We had the most awesome RV in the park (and that’s not me bragging–people came by multiple times a day to compliment it).  We hiked a trail near the cave, which was somewhat challenging in 90° weather with 1,000,000% humidity.  But we made it–and rewarded ourselves with great food and lots of laughs.  Check out the view from our campsite and my new friend Belle below!


Kentucky is so beautiful!

Victory (a.k.a. the baddest RV in the park).

Belle!  She protected us by barking at everyone who walked past our campsite.


Days 88-89:  Short work weeks make me happy.  That’s the awesome thing about coming back to work on Thursday–you’re already basically at the weekend!  Is it bad that I’m already counting down the hours until the weekend officially starts?


My Old Kentucky Home: Final Four Edition

I am a Kentucky girl born and bred. I love my Commonwealth (yes, Kentucky is a commonwealth not a state) and since I moved to Wisconsin almost five years ago I really look forward to taking trips back home. Seriously–these Wisconsin winters are *not* something this Southern belle appreciates much. 

I started the nearly nine hour drive to my hometown early Wednesday afternoon. Overall it was a pretty easy trip; just a few traffic snags outside Chicago and Indianapolis slowed me down. Once I finally made it home my mom and stepdad were waiting up for me. We chatted for a few and then headed to bed. 

Thursday morning, I did mostly nothing–and it was FABULOUS! I slept in, visited my high school speech coach, watched Jerry Springer and Maury, and indulged myself in a Hodgenville staple: Laha’s hamburgers! 


 Those burgers are so greasy and delicious. 

I also went to visit my great-aunt’s grave. It has been two years since she passed and I miss her all the time. I’m glad I was in town on the anniversary of her death so I could pay my respects. I also ran into two of her daughters there–my great-aunt is still bringing our family together even though she’s in Heaven. 

  Rest in peace, Granny Aloma. 

I picked my brother up from basketball practice and I do believe he has grown more since Christmas–if he keeps this up he’ll be seven feet tall! I call him “my big little brother.” Once my mom and stepdad got in from work, we ate dinner–I made chicken tortilla soup–and relaxed. President Obama was in Louisville making a speech and it was all over the local news. 

 Someone needs spell check…#ecomomy

On Friday my stepdad headed to Indianapolis to watch the University of Kentucky play in the NCAA Final Four. Kentucky is known for college basketball! I always tell people that on the day you’re born in Kentucky you have to choose a team: University of Kentucky (UK) or University of Louisville (UofL). My mom and brother are UofL fans; my stepdad and I are UK fans–a house divided most definitely. Makes for interesting times when the teams play each other…

Anyway, the big game wasn’t until Saturday but my stepdad wanted to get up there early to meet with some of his Air Force buddies. My brother was spending the weekend with my grandfather, so my mom and I went to the outlet mall with my grandmother. I know where I get my good taste and unquenchable appetite for shopping from! I got a ton of good deals and I got to spend time with two very influential women in my life–a great day indeed. I also visited with my grandfather and his wife for a bit. 

  One of my MANY purchases–found it on clearance at The Loft Outlet!

Saturday Mom and I met with our cousins and took a trip to Indy ourselves! We went to the children’s museum and met up with my college friend Katie for lunch. 


Kids (and adults) having a good time!

Then we headed to Lafayette–I got us a free room with my hotel points–and watched UK play Wisconsin in the Final Four. UK lost by just a few points, which was devastating, but I live in Wisconsin so I guess if we had to lose I’m glad it was to them. Mom and I had cake and wine to ease the pain. 

Sunday morning Mom and I had breakfast, then parted ways: she headed south toward Hodgenville; I headed north toward Madison. It breaks my heart every single time we leave each other. She is truly the best mother on the planet and I love her more than life. But I know I’ll get to see her again soon–not to mention we talk almost every day. 🙂

So that was my trip! I had a great time hanging out with my family and friends and can’t wait until I get to spend more time with them in the Bluegrass State! 

Check out a few more pics from my trip back home:

  Rainy Kentucky days–still a beautiful place. 

  Honest Abe chillin’ downtown. 

  Finally got to see the speech state champion banner with my name on it!

  Awesome Easter gifts from my awesome parents. 

 Crossing the bridge on my way back to Madison. 


Guess what, y’all?

I’m a homeowner.

Due to my ridiculously slightly superstitious nature, I wanted to wait until things were certain before I made the big announcement.  It happened so quickly–it was only a few months ago that JB and I decided to start looking at houses–but the opportunity presented itself right way and we took it.  I once heard, “Good things happen slowly; great things happen all at once,” and hoped that mantra applied to the house we wanted to purchase.  After numerous phone calls, scanned documents, and trips to the bank, I signed a ton of papers and received a house in return.

I’m excited, relieved, and more than a bit terrified about all this.  Aside from moving to Wisconsin, this is the only “adult” decision I’ve ever really made.  There’s definitely the legal aspect of it to make it scary (30 year mortgage, taxes, home emergencies that I can’t call the landlord to fix now) but the idea of having a new “home” really freaked me out.  To me, “home” has always been Kentucky and the house where my mom lives.

Now I’ve got my own “home” which, in my mind, meant that my old home isn’t mine anymore.  Though I haven’t lived there in years, that house on Shady Lawn was the one place I knew I could always run to.  Now I’ve got something of my own to take care of, to take responsibility for.  I’ve got a place to build my own family and raise my own children…a place that is 8.5 hours away from the only place I’ve ever known and the people that mean the most to me.

So I guess it’s time for me to learn a new place.  My heart will always belong to Kentucky–no amount of time in the Midwest will change that–but after living in Madison for three years I can finally say that I like it enough to stay for a spell.  Y’all come visit anytime.  🙂