Samford Hall


Samford Hall

Is this photo not gorgeous? Instagram is amazing. This is an iconic shot of Auburn University’s campus and the Georgian revival architecture. This is where I want my babies to go to college!!!

I ❤ Auburn


It has been unseasonably HOT here lately and rather than hide in the air conditioning, the kids asked if we could roast marshmallows! I love it – when you can’t beat it, just embrace it, right? Man, it was so stinking hot by that fire…

I decided to burn some old financial papers but quickly realized you can only burn a little bitty bit of paper before you create a fire hazard!!! The scouts among my dear readers are no doubt concerned about my fire building skills. I kept a garden hose close by!

Leah drew a fire…

This is our friend Andrew roasting his marshmallow.


You’ll notice a couple burned marshmallows on the patio… Freddie assisted with cleanup. Our dog will eat anything and nothing seems to make him sick!


The Ancestry Wall

A few years ago, I got the idea of creating a gallery wall with old photos of Leah and Michael’s grandparents, great-grandparents and even great-great grandparents. I slowly began collecting old photos and various frames, referencing gallery walls on Pinterest for inspiration. Originally, all of this was going on a blank vertical space at the end of our staircase until I realized… it wouldn’t fit!

Scratch Plan A.

The professionals suggest that you lay it out ahead of time and create a paper template to stick to the wall – and use laser pointers for accurate alignment. I kept shuffling frames in the den floor over the course of a couple of weeks. (Silly, I know.) Michael walked in and said, “Mommy, why are you thinking about this so much? Just put them on the wall.”


So I walked over to the Plan B wall – the hallway off the kitchen and hung the picture of my grandfather with his teammates on the cotton mill village men’s baseball team. Then I picked up frames and hung them up one by one, quickly and without over-thinking it.

I love how it turned out!

There’s a story behind every picture and now the kids will have a visual to go along with stories about their great-grandfather Everett who was one of 9 boys, and their great-grandfather Harold who went to work in a cotton mill when he was 9 years old…

The wall also means my great-aunt Mattie and her husband Lonnie will be remembered even though they never had children to pass along their names or DNA.

I am in love with this wall.

This Month in the Yard: June

I was just looking back at the pictures I took around the yard in early May – and – wow! It’s amazing how much everything has grown in 6 weeks! We’ve had a very rainy Spring and Mother Nature has worked her magic…

First, we need to discuss my new “happy place”. I am loving the side porch/pergola! We stained it since cedar otherwise grays over time. The plants are filling in nicely so that the space has a little privacy.

This picture was taken in the morning sun and it’s still pretty shady – it’s all shade by afternoon.

This picture is two weeks old because the Asiatic Lillies came out in mid/late May and did everything they were going to do in two weeks – now they’re gone. Bummer! They were pretty though.

The purple Day Lillies emerged as the Asiatic Lillies went away, which was a nice trade-off. My Gladiolus bulbs are popping up just behind the Day Lillies.

I am amazed every year at how fast these shade loving coleus grow!

The Hydrangea has a bloom! Remember last year it never bloomed at all!

I am really pleased with the flowers off the back patio – they are FINALLY filling in! This is the third summer for what I had envisioned to be Southern Living lushness. Last year was pathetic. This year brings great hope!

The Purple Coneflowers are gigantic! And they’ve spread since last year. I hope they take over!

Purple Coneflowers

More purple Day Lillies back here as well as two varieties of Cana Lillies in pots and in the ground (an experiment with bulbs).

Here’s a close up of a Day Lilly. I love the purple and yellow combo!

Bryan’s Blueberry bushes are loaded up this year!

Quick shot of all the trees which seem to be happy and green this year… Of course, it’s not August!

The Lantana is loving this spot by the creek which gets speckled sunlight.

My sister-in-law, Kathryn, gave me this gorgeous Calla Lilly for my birthday!

The Magnolia has a couple of blooms! It sure is growing s-l-o-w-l-y but gets prettier each year. It still looks more like a shrub than a tree.

Here’s what isn’t growing… The Trumpet Vine (bulb) that I’d intended to scale the playhouse appears to be dead. Some of the bulbs I planted off the back patio, in some pots, and in a side bed haven’t sprouted. I am done with bulbs. The Cana Lillies are slowly, slowly emerging as are the Gladiolus – all bulbs. The Flowering Cherry by the neighbor’s house is still trying to live but it looks rough and the new Burning Bush looks stressed. I’m giving them both time.

All in all – very happy with this year’s garden!!!

Mama P

I posted this to Facebook last week and wanted to share it here:

Bryan’s mom, Tommye, passed away very peacefully early this morning as Bryan’s sisters sang to her. Today is Tommye and Earl’s 54th anniversary. I want my children to remember her this way – as the 74 year old who was 9 months post-diagnosis with incurable Stage 4 metastatic breast cancer who grabbed a boogie board while at the beach with her grandkids and headed into the Atlantic to show them how it’s done. She showed them so much more than how to boogie board that day and each day of her battle with cancer. Attitude is everything.

tommye boogie board

Mama P

1940 – 2015

More Vacation

Vacation is such a good thing. I really envy the European sensibility of month-long vacations. A week never seems to be enough!

Lucy is all over the boogie-boarding!

Leah and Michael could live in the water!

Sandy and Terry are Molly’s parents and so much fun!

I loved the reflection of Rene’ and Molly on the sand as they walked up the beach.

Michael is adjusting his goggles here as Leah and Lucy stand at the edge of the water….

My babies, Michael and Leah.

Beach houses…

All of our babies… Leo (7), Michael (7), Eli (5), Leah (10) and Lucy (10).

This looks like a picture from a magazine… Caught Molly deep in thought.

Molly and Leo.

We are having a really nice time, but our thoughts are miles away with Bryan’s mom who has been really sick for a couple of weeks now.


A few Instagram shots to highlight our vacation because I’d rather go back to the beach than blog right now!

First, Leah has finally fulfilled her life long goal of becoming a mermaid. Second, we are on vacation with my high school bestie Molly and her family (hubby, three kids, parents) and having a blast! Lastly, we drove 40-gazillion miles to a beach that is equally inconveniently located for them and us… in North Carolina of all places!!! 

More later… 


Oh! We spotted candy cigarettes on the drive here when we accidentally detoured through 1977!!!