The Look!

Mikayla has gotten this look down pretty good. I am not sure where she got it from but she is starting to use it a lot especially when we tell her no. I think we are in trouble..uhoh!

Mama's Dahlia's

I was totally shocked I planted these beautiful Dahlias and they were thriving. I am not known for having a green thumb so everyday I would tend to them with excitement. Then one day I opened the shades after one of our big rain storms and my poor Dahlias are no more. At least I know I didn't kill them, this time it was Mother Nature:)

Pool Time..or NOT!

It's that time of year when everyone who has a pool takes the cover off to reveal what looks more like a swamp. These are the times I am glad men walk the planet because it would never get done if I had to jump in there and make it happen. There is noway I am getting in a hole with frogs, algae and who knows what else, just not happening!

So the brave hubby I adore of course jumped in this past weekend so we could enjoy our Summer in relief of this horrid heat and humidity. Did I mention I hate Summer time in the South! I am sure I have but I repeat myself a lot. So now we know momma hates Spring and Summer in the South. That leaves Fall which I LOVE and Winter which is quite nice. So 2 out of 4 isn't bad. But I miss the days where I could say I loved every season back home in Cali!

Ok back on track my poor hubby who spent all Sunday in the heat and humidity scrubbing the walls floors every stinkin crevice of that pool. Who is now literally a "REDNECK" because he hasn't seen the sun in days and was burnt to a crisp..OUCH! Now has to re-empty yes I said "RE" empty again that darn pool because the lovely relentless rain decided to return the day after, before he could finish his goal. We had a pool in Cali growing up and I do not remember the task being so neck breaking. But then again I wasn't the one cleaning and getting it ready so I guess I cannot comment. But I do know we never had to empty the thing out, I don't remember it looking like a swamp before summer and I definitely don't recall there being rules on when you can actually open up the pool, yes there is a pool season. In Cali the pool is open 24/7...sighhhh....missing home again. Maybe if I was never born in paradise I would never know I was in hell. Yes Humdity=HELL!

For now I will turn up the air, drop the shades and shut up cause I'm sweatin just writing this blog...ughhhhh:/

Here Come's the Rain Again!

Mikayla's favorite thing to do on a rainy day. I will open the patio blinds and she will stare out the door for hours trying to feel the raindrops through the glass. Here comes the rain again and again. That's Spring time in the South:)

Daddy's Home!

I took this picture on a Saturday evening on May 1st to be exact! Daddy had just walked through the door and sweet Mikaya always has this reaction when daddy gets home. But on this particular night she was beyond happy to see daddy and daddy was over joyed to see her. I have been replaced and I LOVE IT!

Say Cheese!

It has been almost a year now more like 9 months 3 weeks to be exact since I began taking pictures everyday of our newborn baby girl Mikayla. Her daddy wants to take daily photos and morph them into one video for her first birthday. I have to admit I love taking pictures but even this seemed like a task and a responsibility I was hoping I could remember to accomplish for the sake of my dear hubby's sanity. I do not say this lightly if I miss a day I am scolded and reminded of those days I missed. He honestly makes a an empty folder on our computer that if I happen to pass by and ask innocently, "Hey there aren't any pictures in this folder!" he will turn sharply with an evil stare and say, "That's because you forgot to take pics on that day!" Whoa okay I get it! Lets say in the 9 months since I started taking pics we have only forgotten a handful of times and that make-up day leads to endless amounts of photos thinking we could somehow get that yesterday back.

Needless to say all this picture taking sparked a yearning in my soul to take great pics! If I am going to take pictures everyday I do not want to take the same old humdrum photos and have a box full of Mikayla crawling towards me, though I still do get lazy and have tons of those. Hey but they are all just as equally cute! The thing with digital photography these days is you can take lots and lots of pics and delete the bad ones and there is always chance for a do over before you take it to print. So much has changed since my last child was born previous to Mikayla. I was working with film and once you shot that was it no editing, no peeking the end result was what you got to put in a frame.

So that is how is how it came to be I started taking photography classes online and began learning all the technical stuff. The stuff that makes photography BORING! I will admit I wish I had the mind of my hubby right now because he just gets it in a snap. I can be staring at the screen trying to fathom what I am hearing, taking note after note. Then I share with him and he just starts rambling on what it means. This is where the frustration kicks in. I hate not knowing! I am so stubborn I would rather pretend to know before I admit I don't. But I am learning still, so hand in face to I am learning what the hack aperture is, shutter speed, lighting techniques oh the list goes on. I had no idea all the specifics that went in to taking an awesome picture. But now when I am viewing awesome pics I get it! I can see the difference and know these photographers got it! So I get excited myself thinking, "WOW, I AM going to take pics like that oneday!" I am loving these blunt professional photographers. Telling the world, "Don't even bother buying expensive gear if you can't even take a great picture with a point and shoot!" "It's not the camera that takes a good picture, it's the person behind the lens!" This has stuck in my head the most because I realize the investment. So my point and shoot and I have become best friends.

So in the spirit of learning and growing I am going to post a picture a day which I believe tells a story of what was going on. There is always more to what is going on than what we see. I will post the picture with the story behind the photo all taken with my handy dandy point and shoot nothing more. Let the picture taking begin!

Weekends in the South!

Friday night in the South and what does that mean for me...absolutely nothing. My heel collection is buried in my closet in retirement, collecting dust from their dancing days. I run through those days in my head wishing I could play Cinderella for one night. I envy those days at times. I am only human, I need a release, to laugh, to live, to dance until the sun comes up. Its not that we can't make that happen. I am sure if we really wanted to my hubby and I could work with what we got to make ourselves presentable, but instead we always choose home with our kiddos. Not that this is a bad thing we always find something to do even if it is just bickering to get on each others nerves. Or maybe accumulating one or 2 extra kids for 1 or 2 nights because my girls are bored and want company so they can all be bored together. So you can imagine I can have a pretty full house with up to 7 kids if they all choose to have 1 friend over minus Mikayla who is too young to repeat those 3 dreaded words any mother tires of hearing, "I AM BORED!" Some weekends we strike gold and 2 out of 3 choose to spend the night at their friends house which means mommy and daddy have less mouths to feed...haha..I kid. We love our girls but lets face it we also enjoy the peace and quiet every once in a great while so if they are asking to get out our very quick response is "WHO, WHAT, WHEN, WHERE never why! We rush them out the door quickly before the agreed parents on the receiving end change their minds and realize what it is they have agreed to. For we know we have been caught off guard and said yes on many occasions not really hearing the question just nodding yes. Then in about 1 hour after nodding yes there is a knock on the door some kid smiling ear to ear with what looks like they are just as eager to ditch their parents for the night.

So most weekends insist of Wal-Mart trips for groceries yes I said groceries. This is where the majority of the town does their grocery shopping. I have never been to Wal-Mart so much in my entire life. In California I maybe went twice a year never more than 5. Here I am visiting it weekly sometimes even twice a week. I HATE WAL-MART! Sure they have small grocers but I have to admit Wal-Mart has them beat on price and choice so maybe it's not that bad. I just despise it because going there is more like a chore than it is fun. Not to mention Wal-Mart is like "THE" social gathering place. You can be walking down an aisle and there are people chattin it up over a loaf of bread. I swear I hate taking my hubby who always gets stopped which means a 30 min trip has now turned into an hour. Oh wow I sound horrid like an anti-social being. I guess I am not use to socializing while grocery shopping. I take a list and like to stay focused and on task to get in and out. I have entered a town where somehow it seems everyone is connected in a round about way, like that trivia game "6 Degrees of Kevin Bacon". I think I can make a trivia game with my husbands name 6 Degrees of Mr Morten and somehow it will always come back to him.

Some weekends are more exciting than others I must say. It's all up to us to make it what it will be. We love Thai food, Sushi, seeing a good movie, listening to some good live music, maybe taking that hour drive into Memphis to take in Beale St with all the music history, and good eats we can't go wrong. Oh and we can't forget the Lake in the summer which is my favorite place by far. The drive through the Ozarks, waking up on the lake in a house boat..all things we love.

But this weekend we stayed close to home rented those over hyped movies which left us slightly disappointed. Inherited an extra child, visited grandma and grandpa, worked on getting the pool open for summer and just enjoyed being home. There is nothing like home, bickering, boredom and all.

Southern Thunderstorms

Woke up this morning to rumbles in the sky and lightning strikes outside my window. Now normally if I were living in California I would just turn over and fall back asleep, whats a little thunder and lightning going to do. I am safe and sound in my comfy bed. Not the case when you are living in the South. Well at least not the case for a Cali girl living in the South. My hubby can sleep like a baby while the rest of us are wide eyed waiting, praying it doesn't turn into tornado warnings...ughhhhhh! I never knew I hated the month of May until I moved to the South.

What made it worse for me is knowing I have 3 girls who must go to school today in the midst of this storm. Mommy is freaking out! I can't send them to the bus stop with lightning and thunder! I right away tell them they are staying home, 1 out of 3 does not complain and jumps back into bed no questions asked. While the other 2 older sisters tell me they MUST go. I sit at the kitchen table going over with my 2 oldest daughters on why it is they think they MUST go to school today and "BOOM" the lightning strikes and the rumble is no longer a rumble more like a TNT blast which shakes the house. We all jump and laugh at the fact it scared us. Ali my oldest says "Mom today is graduation. I have to be there I am in the band and helping set up". I am thinking "GREAT" it is 6:30am I have a 9 month old sleeping baby I am going to have to drag out of her peaceful rest into a chaotic thunderstorm and my car is on empty. I will have to stop and get gas all with bed head, morning breath, and spot treatment on my face,lovely. I call my hubby and beg him to come back home..."PLEASE!" I beg him on the phone. "I need you to take the girls to school". He calmly tells frantic me, "I can't I have to load a truck and be at an install ASAP". I hang up the phone irritated at him as if it were his fault this was all happening. Poor daddy, sometimes mommy can be dramatic. Ok, a lot of times I can be dramatic, but I have my valid reasons..right?

I sit at the kitchen table in stealth mode. There has to be a solution to get these kids to school today. Cassie who is already texting her friends at 6:30am says, "Mom, Brianna is going to school." I snap back, "Does she have to go to the bus stop?", Cassie, "YES, but she says she wishes her dad would tell her she didn't have to go to school." Ok why am I the only parent freaking over this thunderstorm? Am I really overreacting? "FINE, tell your sister to get her butt out of bed, your all going to school!" With 10 min left until the bus arrives it hits the girls to the bus stop, it is right around the corner! I don't have to wake the baby, nor do I have to stop and get gas in the storm and pouring rain.

Stop laughing that it took me 30 min to figure this out. I bet you didn't think of it either until I mentioned it. Let me just remind you I was up at 4am due to the storm and it was now 6am. I was a stressed mother with bed head and morning breath. My thinking cap was not on. Give me some slack here people. Lets be honest, the real reason is~ I am just a Cali girl living in a small southern town that has thunderstorms and tornadoes all of which I am not accustomed to. So I freaked, so I was dramatic. But I prevailed and came up with my own solution and guess what my girls made it to school today....ahhhhhhhh....VICTORY!

Rewind...Back to the Beginning

Ok Back it up...REWIND...Lets take it from the top. I started a blog and never once mentioned how we ended up in small town Arkansas who knows how many miles away from my home in sunny Southern California.

In the beginning there was a sweet country boy who met a Cali girl. After a very long 1 year dating spree sweet country boy decides to make the move to California to be with his new found love and her 3 girls. All was well in Cali land and the 2 married happily on July 27, 2007. Memories were being made, goals were being pursued and life was going as smoothly as one could hope for. In the end of 2007 Cali girl decides to start her own business selling vintage clothing and lingerie. With much anticipation it starts off with a bang. I was doing...I mean "SHE" was doing great. She loved watching it grow making it her own, going down to the fashion district sipping on wine while choosing clothes from the buyer to sell at "HER" store. She finally felt like everything was falling into place. Ok wait this is getting way to long...long story short will thank me for this.

We were effected greatly by the economy everything that could go bad went bad at once. Jobs were lost, the business I was so happy to see growing had to be let go. We were so stressed not knowing what we would do. Jobs were not coming easy...we became desperate. Opportunities came far from hubby's home sweet home and so we basically had no choice...we HAD to move. But here's the kicker all while preparing to pack and move....SURPRISE!! Mommy finds out she is pregnant..we did not see this coming! It wasn't until driving one day my hubby out of the blue says, "You know I had the weirdest dream last night, I had a dream you were pregnant and it was a girl." I literally stopped breathing looked at him and said "OMG" we need to go to the drug store NOW! So 1 pregnancy stick and moments later as the Jeopardy song played in the background(I kid you not) I walked ever so slowly out of the bathroom handed my hubby the pee stick and in a daze walked right past him falling to the bed. HOW are we going to do this, WHY now at a time like this, WHAT did this all mean. My poor hubby stood there with the widest grin on his face obviously not in the same state as I. He quickly assured me everything would be fine and told me "There is never a perfect time to have a baby". Honestly I wasn't buying it and at the time. I was not so optimistic. The only thing I could do now is prepare myself and him for the great hormonal changes I would be experiencing. He had no idea what was to come, actually neither did I.

Wow..did I say long story short...scratch that there is no way, but I am almost done:) So prego and all we packed up and took the ever long journey home. Now coming home meant literally coming home to my hubby's parents place. We would need to live with my in~laws until we could get back on our feet. Ok so lets recap, lost jobs, no money, planning a move, finding out we are pregnant, now moving in with in~laws. Now tell me if we could get through this we could get through anything. Can anyone say stress galore. My body,mind and spirit had it.

We landed home and hubby went to work and I was on my way to find work. Morning sickness, tired,pregnant and all. Try convincing an employer to hire a full time worker who will be giving birth in a few months...not an easy task, but I went to those job interviews anyway and YES I landed me a part time job, something until the baby came. Not the job I wanted but something is better than nothing and it only took me a month vs the whole year it took me to try and land a new job in Cali so any job excited me at this point in fact I had options.

So now here we are still living in dear hubby's home sweet home. His parents gifted us with more than we could ever imagine. They bought a new house and gifted us not only a roof over our head, but a start on a new life. It literally feels like we are starting from scratch, but I guess because that is what WE ARE doing. There is no amount of gratitude I can show to his family for the love and support they have given us up to this day. I am forever grateful and feel extremely blessed for I realize our situation could and WOULD have been worse if it were not for his family. I may be away from my home sweet home but we are thriving with a roof over our head, food in our mouths, everyone healthy and adjusting to our new surroundings.

Oh and our new baby girl our gift from above. I am so grateful for God to surprise us in this way. I believe NOW she came at the right time. She brought us smiles when we thought we couldn't smile anymore, she helped remind us what life was truly about. She brought joy, hope, so much back into our lives when we felt like the world was against us and we were out of luck. She replaced all those bad feelings with nothing but good and took our mind off the negative and helped us focus on the positive.

Mikayla Sophia brought back our smiles to each and everyone of us, she was our blessing in the midst of the storm.

I Cannot Conform!

There are tons of great things in the South but somehow its easier to point out the bad. Like I said I am a stubborn girl and there are things I will NEVER try, say, do, or be and here they are in no particular order:

I will never try Frog legs! Let me repeat that..I WILL NEVER TRY FROG LEGS! I cannot understand this. I see them in buffets. I see my hubby pile them on his plate and chew on those tiny little legs. The vision is giving me chills as I write this. I keep hearing him say "They taste like chicken". My answer to this statement, "If it tastes like chicken than why not just eat chicken?" How can a slimy creature that lives in swamps, dirty ponds taste like chicken..well this I will never know cause I refuse to even bring it close to my mouth.

I refuse to say Y'All...well this doesn't take much explanation. It just wouldn't sound right cause I don't have the accent to pull it off. Though I have wondered at times if living out here long enough will change the way I talk...Oh God NOOOO!

I was just told on FB the other day by a Southerner I spelled bbque wrong. In the South they spell it BBQ. My response was well I am not one to conform so I shall continue to spell it bbque cause I am stubborn like that!

I will never wear camo after seeing the way it is worn out here. I remember in Cali for awhile the whole Camo look was in being worn as a fashion statement... not in style if I see it I run the other way..Camo=BAD!

You will never hear me say I can't wait until Summer time unless it means I am going home to Cali, or the lake up in the Ozarks. Point being Summer is when the mosquitoes come out to play and the humidity is relentless. Both of which do not agree with me. Tell me why my hubby and I can be sitting outside sitting right next to each other and I will be bit 6 times and him 0? They just know I am not from here I know it. My perfume scent all Summer long... citronella/lemongrass/cedar. This is the lovely blend I will be sporting to keep the bugs off thanks to California Baby who makes a deet free product for my sweet baby Mikayla. Though once they attack her than it will get really personal and I will have to find a full blown army to take them out one by one.

Oh and of course I will never be a Southern Girl with the pearly whites, perfect hair, perfect nails, perfect tan...ok perfect everything. I feel like I walked into a beauty pageant they are everywhere. Oh and they say California is superficial...they have no idea.

So I somehow ended up in the South tell me how I ended up here again...oh yes..I married a sweet redneck man!

Eat them up YUM!

"Home Sweet Home"

First off...thanks to my sister who brought me back to this Blog by creating one of her own(which I love by the way).

I created this blog awhile back but was too scared to write one word because at the time I was coming from a place of anger and sadness and thought that would be one very dreary blog. I am so not that type of person...or am I?

Yeah yeah what I was angry. I still sad but I am coping and I am living. Living..yes living! In a world which seems so foreign to me and in a world the man I fell in love with calls home. It's HIS Home Sweet Home. Literally I am living in his "Home Sweet Home". The home he grew up in, the very streets he learned how to ride his first bike on. The backyard pool he learned to take his first doggy paddle in. The front door step he took big juicy bites of watermelon as the seeds laid scattered beneath his feet which now lay buried in the dirt. Ok you get the picture.

Now.. I am happy HE is home but I am sad I am missing my own. I spend day in and day out trying to figure out how a girl not just any girl a mixed breed, predominantly Hispanic girl is going to find her place in this small town of predominantly Caucasian people. I see white people! Ok but its not just about me I have 3 girls from a previous marriage gone bad that are on this same journey and this makes it harder for me to cope. I worry for them day in and out. I still remember sending them off to school in this small town thinking, "What have I done?" how are they going make it in this town where I have heard racism exists. I thought OMG I didn't think this whole thing out this far ahead. The What if's ran through my mind I could not rest that whole first day til they walked through that door. I made sure to be in hiding when they did to avoid the evil stares of which I cannot blame them.

Ok fast forward to a year later we are past the stares, the "I HATE IT HERE", the "CAN I BE HOMESCHOOLED" but not quite over "When are we going to California?" I do not think we can ever be over going back home since this to "US" is "HOME SWEET HOME". It is where we took our first breath, it is the pavement we took our first steps, it is the sandy beaches in which we dug our baby toes into, the first sunset we gazed upon, but most important it is where our family still resides. It is where a huge part of us still is. There is no taking that away. Home is where you were born, the familiar streets you walked, the skies you looked up to for answers day after day when pondering life's hardest lessons to be learned. I cried, laughed, danced, loved, lived and shared so much back in MY Home Sweet Home. So it is only right to want to go back. I have learned there is no getting over missing home, I have learned I can't be angry when I am blessed, I have learned I can't be sad anymore because it is keeping me from the joy this new journey will bring me. I am a stubborn girl so this may take awhile but eventually I will give in and this too shall one day be my Home Sweet Home!

As for my girls they are thriving in school, made tons of friends and are learning along with me...this change is not as bad as we dramatically made it out to be. We are still alive, still loving life, and still missing home..some things will never change.

Ahhh..Home Sweet Home! When can I go Back?

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