Category Archives: Life Reflections

It’s My Birthday Too!

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It’s My Birthday Too!

Dear Softy,

You’ve been gone for 13 years now… and I still think of you every single day. But especially on our day. On our day, I sing the Beatles and miss you like crazy.

I’m afraid I don’t sing it quite the same way, but hey, I sing it to you!

Most years I cry. But the tears aren’t as awful as they used to be. The hole is still deep in my heart, but I’ve learned to smile when I miss you.

I wish I had more pictures of us together. I wish I had more pictures of you. There are never enough memories when you cross my mind.

Last year was probably the worst year of my life. I hope nothing ever tops it. I was scared most days. I thought any moment everything was going to implode. I worried about my daughters. I worried about my sons. I worried about my marriage. And I worried about the strain our troubles were taking on the entire family. I could feel the sorrow every time I talked with my mom or my dad and it just made my heart ache.

So many times I thought about you. I just know you would of had the perfect words of wisdom to get me through the rock bottom of my existence.

There were days when I tried to channel your voice and give myself a pep talk.

The other night I had this dream. You will still here. My step-dad too. And I was talking to both of you. And I was listening to you tell me you’d been here each day. You were telling me all about the things I’d been through, just to prove you were never far away. I woke up feeling your presence. In fact, I was calling your name out loud.

Sometimes I get those dreams and I see you and I don’t even want to get out of bed because I don’t want to lose that moment. But I have to get up. These kids will knock the walls down if I’m not watching carefully.

You know 40 started off rough, but it sure did turn around. I’m finally finishing college. I know, it took me a few decades. That’s ok. The more amazing thing is that I’m a writer. A real bonafide cash-the-check writer!

And my kids are doing amazing things. Blondie got married and her dreams are slowly coming true. My Dyl Pickle is graduating. And the rest of the crew is moving right along. Tucker is going to high school. I always wish you had seen him just once. I still think of you in the hospital that last night I saw you. You said “wee Willy Tucker, that silly little f—–fellow.” He was born 41 days after you passed on. I’m not sure how my dad came up with the exact same sentence, but he did. Isn’t that ironic?

Trenton is headed to Junior High which will make the twins the rulers of intermediate school- big fifth graders! And KK is only one step behind, but you know all this, because you’re still here. I know you’re here.

When I feel like breaking down, I say to myself “Girl get yourself together. Softy is gonna see you fall apart” and that’s how I pick myself up when the days are overwhelming.

41 is going to be amazing, I just know it is. Whether I’m conquering the world wide web or tucking my grandbaby into bed, I know you’re part of me and I never let that go.

Birthday Buddies

My grandfather and I at our last birthday dinner

And now when I think of our birthday, I smile more than I cry. You were the greatest gift the good Lord ever gave me. Grandfathers have a way of making the world magical, and you did exactly that.

So Happy Birthday Softy. I still miss you, but today I’m gonna try not to cry, because it’s my birthday too!

Love always,
Tiffany XoXoX

Impossible To Beat

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Valentine’s Day really isn’t my favorite holiday, but I’ve said that before.  It just never lives up to those movie-made expectations. I’m always left feeling sort-of bah-humbug. But this year I didn’t have a bad Valentine’s Day…

I didn’t sit around and write 65 cards for my kids to pass out. I sort of hate that tradition because I know where those cards end up. I also didn’t spend 19 hours perfecting the most amazing Pinterest cupcakes ever. Because I also know exactly where those cupcakes wind up. Instead the ZooCrew requested “Fruit Rollup Valentine’s”… AHHHH! The best of both worlds! A cool valentine + a snack for the party rolled into one! I’m loving the Type B personality that has taken over my life. Simple AND impressive: that’s how I roll! (OK, that’s how I’m learning to roll. Better?)

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Ready or Not, Here We Go

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I’m not sure if I’m going to sit down and make any iron clad resolutions this year. Instead I think I will vow to count my blessings every single day. This past year I really learned how to let go and let God. I’ve been at the bottom of the barrel with the cutoff notices in my hand and no idea how I was going to manage them and instead of freaking out I folded my hands together and at every turn He provided for my every need. It takes a lot for a control freak to give into blind faith and trust that everything will be ok, but I’ve lived in this house 17 years and so far we’ve always had food and lights and clothes and gasoline in the car so if I’ve had to swallow some lumps, that’s ok, it was all part of the journey.

20141209_083117I know 2017 is going to bring a lot of new changes. In just a few short months my first born son will graduate high school and move on to new things. This house will change. I won’t have my Mr. FixIt all the time. And when he goes, Hercules will go with him, and I’m gonna miss his big sad eyes riding shotgun every morning. Read the rest of this entry

We All Have Scars

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It’s been a long time since I’ve had so much to say that I’ve posted 4 days in a row, but this week my heart is so full of wonders and worries, questions and thankfulness, nostalgia and heartbreak, and I just can’t seem to stay focused on anything.

One minute I’m thinking about the election and what it means and the next minute I’m praying over my little sister who is dead-locked in a battle with the Big C and then I find myself sorting out unresolved feelings from the unexpected death of my step-father which prompted me to think of the other veterans in my family and what I’ve come up with is this: we all have scars. Read the rest of this entry

Semper Fi and I Miss You

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My step-dad and I had a complicated relationship. There was a lot of love between us. When my teacher decided to push a gifted student over the edge by giving me Trigonometry homework in the 4th grade, he stayed up with me until 2:30 in the morning, teaching me this math that I had no foundation for, and somehow we got it done. When I proudly turned it in the next day, she looked at me dumbfounded. When I asked what my grade was, she said “oh this wasn’t for a grade…” I went home that night feeling defeated and the next day he went to school with me, and I got my grade. I’m sure I was quite a nerdy kid, but he didn’t tell me that. Read the rest of this entry

About Last Night

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Yesterday my list was longer than the hours I had in front of me. I had work, one sick kid at home, two kid appointments, senior pictures (that were luckily postponed), voting, grocery shopping, making cheeseburger pie and keeping the grand-baby on the list. That doesn’t include the stuff I didn’t put on the list, like laundry, iTigers, lunch drop-offs, or desperately hoping to squeeze in a nap. Needless to say, it was a typical too-much-t0-do kind of day. Read the rest of this entry

It All Evens Out

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Last night I heard yelling from my bedroom. “Hey! I accidentally paused the TV! How do I fix it?!” I couldn’t believe it was my husband asking this ridiculous question, but I went ahead and answered him. “Push play” I said. “It’s not working, I tried;” he carried on and on until he said “come fix it!”

“UMMMMMM NOOOOO! I’m pretty busy in here!”  Read the rest of this entry

The Prince and the Showgirl and Me

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The Prince and the Showgirl and Me

When I was 9 years old I remember going to our beach house with my grandfather. It was a special place- built by my Great Grandfather. He called it a fishing shack- a place to spend the day out on the bay on a boat named “The Finnegan Jethro” stringing together enough fish for a feast. (I just realized I’ve always wanted to know where that name came from, and the person I would most like to ask is no longer here). It was a bit musty with paint peeling from the boards that fastened together a two room cabin- but that simple little house could somehow sleep 40 people. Fancy furnishings of the 1960s scattered here and there showed that my grandmother had once tried to put her upper-class decorating spin on the place, and hence the shack was transformed into “the beach house”. Still, it was decorated with little people made out of seashells and googly eyes and strings of coke tabs folded into chains to hold back curtains and hang plants. I can picture my great-grandmother gluing those funny little eyes on her seashell finds of the day.

There’s a story in here somewhere that I really wanted to tell, but the more I type about my great-grandparents (Daddy ‘O and Mama Jimmie) and my grandparents (Softy and Robbie Doll), the more I’m overwhelmed by memories of just how special these people were and how lucky I was to be raised in such a family of jokesters, fishermen, poker players, magicians and fancy decorators.

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No More Shadow

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No More Shadow

Seventeen years ago I was a young mama full of enthusiasm. We had just moved into our house and I absolutely hated it. It was so small, so bland but the landlord offered to sell it for a rock-bottom price and I had HGTV so we started making it our own for our little family. We had a bubbly little girl, a bundle-of-joy baby boy, and a black Labrador retriever that was never meant to be our dog and she’d just had a litter of puppies.

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We weren’t going to keep any of them. I swore it up and down as my little Dyl Pickle toddled through the hallway saying “puppy” for the first time. Then Blondie started getting attached to the runt. “But Mama, this one is so tiny…..” Read the rest of this entry

Laugh A Little, Cry A Little, Just Keep Swimming!

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Laugh A Little, Cry A Little, Just Keep Swimming!

Ok, before I say anything else, let’s start with where the heck have I been? According to Facebook and it’s built-in guilt-trip providing insights, my followers are wondering why I haven’t been posting! The answer is far too simple I’m afraid. It’s summertime.

I have to admit this has been one of the better summers I’ve had in a while. No, we didn’t get to go on vacation. We haven’t seen anything fabulous or fantastic or amazing. We’ve seen a few cousins, hit a few family gatherings, but mostly, we’ve tried to find as many swimming holes that meet our criteria, which happens to be within an hour drive, free, and fun. So far I think we have about 5 different ones we’ve frequented.

I wish I could tell you it’s been all water holes and jars full of lightening bugs and capturing memories with my Rebel Read the rest of this entry