Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Remember me?

I know.  I'm a bad blogger. And it's not really so much that I'm a bad blogger, it's that the past year dealt some punches that were doozies. When life throws sixteen heavy things at you, it takes some time to muddle through them.

As I am currently eating a spinach salad and watching Scandal, I'm thinking about how two years ago, I was a gym rat. I had lost 40 pounds.  And then divorce helped me gain some weight.  And then falling back in love helped me gain some too.  Because those date nights and good food, actually having someone to eat supper with, that's a lot of food. 

A couple of months ago, my sister's best friend Lori (and who used to cheer with in high school), invited Jamie and me to do Zumba at the local gym. Jamie and I trepidatiously showed up.  Thirty minutes early like we always do.  One very sweaty hour later, we were hooked. I love Zumba. I can't shout it enough. But it also made me realize how much I actually missed working out. Which is something I never thought I would say. Sure, I like being lazy and watching Netflix. But I hate missing Zumba and I hate that it's only twice a week.  I also decided to try a couple other classes and forced TJ to get a membership so we can go together and stay healthy. I also got us FitBits and found out I'm very competitive. Which helped me find out that I don't sleep well, either. 

The fun thing is, if we work out at home, Wilder copies us. He likes to "work out".  He's barely three and we're teaching him to be active.  And my sister! She used to groan about how often I was working out and how she didn't get it. But she gets it now! I have friends inviting me to do 5ks but I haven't done a 5k since the mud run and before that it had been two years. I did two miles earlier but it took me 33 minutes of walking and running. I want to be a distance runner, but I'm a better sprinter for now.

So, I'm on the fitness wagon again. And I hope you help hold me accountable. Mainly through Instagram, maybe? You can find me @agirlandmerle. Or add me on FitBit! My email is 

Here's to the rabbit food.  

Monday, February 9, 2015


This weekend we went to the local trade days, Second Monday. Ultimately, I was looking for a dresser to refinish but we ended up just walking around and eating some yummy food. There are vendors from all over and the weather was perfect.  We hadn't been since November when we were looking for up pies and ultimately ended up with CiCi.  We passed the roasted corn vendor three times before we finally broke down and stopped to get one.  TJ also insists on getting an onion burger when we're there, even though it barely 10 in the morning.
I had mine smeared with butter and tequila lime salt.
With mustard, of course

Looking at the animals has always been one of my favorite parts of Second Monday, I remember doing it as a kid. 
There's so much to see and do and it can take you all day if you have that kind of time.  There's games, any and every type of food, clothing to buy, anything your heart desires.  While I didn't find what I was looking for, we still had a fun Saturday.  I would really love to go to Canton one of these weekends.  I can't even imagine what it would be like.

Sunday, however, Wilder and I had some sort of stomach bug and we're still recovering today.  I hope y'all had an amazing weekend!

Thursday, January 22, 2015


In Hope Floats, one of my all time favorite movies, Birdie's (played by Sandra Bullock) mother, Ramona says to her, "Look at me.  My life has no real meaning or direction or purpose, and I'm happy."

I think when we, as women, become mothers, we just assume a motherly purpose because we want to raise decent, hard working, kind human beings.  Our purpose to ourselves gets pushed to the back burner or even completely off the stove.  I am one of those believers that thinks time to myself as a person greatly and positively affects my child.  Because Wilder's father's schedule has never changed in the three years he's been alive, I now can tell every time when Wilder and I need a time out from each other.  Which was hard for me to admit.  I wanted to take on everything when it came to Wilder.  I didn't leave him alone with anyone until he was almost 11 months old.  I didn't trust Clint alone with him.  I dealt with it all.  Then, it came to a point where Wilder didn't trust anyone but me.  He would flip out if I left the room.  Mother was my purpose.  But, I saw the detriment.  I had offers to have some time to myself, from Clint, my mom, friends.  It wasn't fair to me or Wilder that I wouldn't give anyone else a chance to prove themselves, or give Wilder the chance to trust anyone.

Clint supported my blogging when I started.  It was a way to get me out of Mommy-mode and just be adult Casey.  He kept Wilder so I could go to meet-ups.  Gave me time to help plan a get together last year.  My mother would offer to keep Wilder overnight, just because that's what grandparents do.  All these factors got me to loosen the reins.  To remember that Casey, pre-motherhood, was lurking under the surface somewhere in there.

Divorce, though it sucks, has given my son more opportunities to spend with my sister.  She, her husband and daughter are watching him Saturday so Tj and I can go out.  It will be the first time they've watched him.  That might sound mean but really, it's just that I know sometimes he's crazy and he's doing the tantrum thing now and I don't want to put that on anyone.  Integrating a new man was a smoother transition than I expected as well.  He and Tj get along swimmingly, which has allowed me to try new things, like Zumba and going wine tasting, knowing that he's in excellent care.

I turned 27 last June.  I realized that it took me 27 years to take chances and say yes to new experiences.  To realize that I don't have to cut myself down to having one friend in case no one likes me, that I can have a community of multifaceted women I can call my friends.  If I get invited to try a new restaurant, I'm doing it.  Renovating a kitchen because I know I can, I'm doing it.  Raising a decent, hard working, kind human being, I'm hopefully doing it.  I don't think motherhood is my soul purpose.  I think experience is my purpose.  As many opportunities to experience whatever I can.  I think that's a good purpose.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Girls Who Wine & Dine

On Saturday, I loaded up my sister and her best friend, Lori and we headed to Burleson to the Lost Oak Winery for the wine tasting and tour I won a couple of months ago at the Texas Women Bloggers Farm to Table event.  There we met my blogging girlies, Becky (The Java Mama), Michelle (Mind Of Meesh), Adrian (soul sister/Revelry Beauty) and Taylor (Pink Heels Pink Truck).
Becky, Me, Taylor, Adrian, Michelle, Jamie, Lori

Roxanne gave us an amazing tour, even though it was the dormant season, showed us through the 8 acres of vineyards, how they make the wine and then we got to sit down for a tasting.

I've never done a wine tasting before and I picked the best women to do it with.  We had amazing book talk, girl talk, blogging talk and just flat out laughing.  After we got our tipsy selves to Olive Garden, we continued our talking over carbs and more carbs.  Saturday is what I loved most about being a woman.  We all came together, supporting each other, hearing each others stories, bouncing ideas off each other, planning future get-togethers.  Lost Oak was so beautiful and I'm so glad they gave away tours as a prize at the dinner.  I will definitely go back.  Hopefully around harvest time.

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

In 2015....

The last day of the year and it starts with snow.  I can appreciate that.  I don't appreciate us all being up at 5:30, but Wilder and I did lay back down from 7:30-9.  I'm also sick AGAIN, and I don't appreciate that either.  I just got better and now I'm sick again.  At least it's now instead of ON SATURDAY WHEN WE GO TO THE WINE TASTING I WON AT LOST OAK WINERY.  Oh yes.  Very excited about that.  Keep a lookout for that recap on Monday.  

You  know what I love?  Or who, I guess.  Lauren Conrad.  Yep.  LC herself a la Laguna Beach/The Hills.  I want to be Lauren Conrad when I grow up.  I want to fill my closet rack full of her clothes.  I want to be her best friend.  I digress.  I'm constantly stalking her site and I saw her New Year's Resolutions.  Jumping on it!

Bad Habit I'm Going To Break //  Hmm...avoiding laundry?  I'm very bad about that.  Trashing my vehicle.  Bad about that too.  Not budgeting.  Gotta learn how to do that.  Not shutting my brain down so I can get a good night's rest.  Being lazy.  My list is abundant.

A Destination I'd Like To Visit //  Tj and I discussed going to Maine this coming fall.  I've wanted to go to Maine since I was a little girl and I don't even know why.  I've never really been anywhere but that's my continental dream.  Driving to Kentucky last summer was a trip I will never forget and I got to see so much.

I'm Going To Work Harder At //  Being a good mother and partner.  Just all around better person.  This year has taught me a lot and shown me a lot.  I've seen where I've failed in certain areas and I know I can do and be better.

A Project I'd Like To Finish // Our kitchen!!!  We're about halfway through with it.  In the middle of the month, I'd hope we will have the ceiling done and the floor installed and my sink will arrive around that time, as well.   An apron front one!  -cue hearts for eyes-

A Class I'd Like To Take  //  I love to learn.  I would take any class.  I saw a pin online where you can take one of a multitude of varying classes which would be the easiest for me.  Otherwise I would have to drive to the Metroplex.

I'd Like To Spend More Time Doing // authentic writing.  Laughing.  Cooking new things.  Being present in conversations.  Encouraging my creativity instead of stifling it.

A Food I Want To Eat More Of // anything I haven't tried.  I want to try lobster but I want it fresh out of the ocean.  Preferably in Maine.  I just know in this area we're pretty landlocked and I don't know any lobster being fished out of the local lake.  I would like to try to be vegetarian one day a week which sounds easy, but it's not if you're not conscious of what you're eating.

I Want To Wear More // flattering pieces, preferably smaller pieces as I, like many of women, are fixing to vow themselves to get healthy.  In roughly 12 hours. 

What are your answers??  Happy New Year's, you beautiful bunch of readers. 

Monday, December 29, 2014

I Don't Like Reviews

I've been a bad blogger since Merle died.  I'll do better in the new year.  Jamie and I were discussing this past year and while it's had its ups, it's definitely had it's downs.  It almost seems like more downs than ups. actually.  And I hate that.  I'm not a negative person, generally.  Reviews almost always bring back bad feelings or reminders of things we don't want to rethink about.  Let me tell you about it.

-In March, Clint and I decided to divorce and I moved home, leaving all my new friends and experiences behind.  Leaving behind half my dogs and both my cats.

-In May, Arnold went missing.  The dog I had from a puppy when Wilder was a baby.  They grew up together.  Wilder was the only person Arnold cared about and then he was gone.  The first dog I lost this year.

-In September (I think), my father called to tell me first that he had throat and lung cancer that he decided not to seek treatment for.  Still not over the grief of my parents' divorce, I had to learn to process that too.

-My mother was struggling to find herself as well.  She stopped cooking which she loved to do and we were all just sad and struggling to find our places with her.

-In October, Merle was hit and killed.  He died in my arms.  Just as I had rebranded my blog around him.

But then I wanted to think about the good things.

-I met a man that has been nothing short of amazing to Wilder and me.  He's home every day, something I've never been used to, and he's jumped in right with me on renovating his home.  Plus, he got me an apron front sink for Christmas!

-Wilder is almost potty trained!  And he turned three!

-My mother is happy and cooking again.

-We got two new puppies, CiCi and Dixon.  Or Cinderella and Prince Charming as I call them.

-We went from barely seeing my sister the first two years of Wilder's life to spending every Sunday with them.

I felt like this year kind of knocked me around.  Some of it I asked for, and some of it completely blindsided me.  I've never been scared of the dawning of a new year.   I love a fresh slate.  A new year full of new memories, new milestones, new adventures.  And I can't wait to see you in it.  Thanks for plugging along with me.  I'm glad I have you, too.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Recently // Currently

Hi.  Remember me?  Your friendly neighborhood ginger?  Things have been a rollercoaster since my last post.  Some family drama happened the Wednesday before Thanksgiving and that post about how I loved having Thanksgiving at my mom's didn't happen this year.  Instead, a last minute switcheroo led to us hosting Thanksgiving at our house, even with our kitchen in mid-demo.  My mom came to help me and we pulled it off without a hitch.  I still got to make breakfast, watch the parade, dog show and football and eat to my heart's content.

Shortly after that, I got the stomach flu that hung around for almost a week.  And then last week, we got some form of the actual flu in our house and everyone but Tj was down and out.  I had to take Wilder to the actual doctor for medicine which I've never had to do.

We did find time to have Becky from The Java Mama take the boys' pictures and she got some great shots, even if we weren't feeling too hot.  We got all our Christmas shopping done too.  Well, almost.

I'm hoping to start on kitchen cabinets this week and then trying to measure the ceiling so I can buy the panels I want.  Wilder's 3rd birthday is also in 12 days, and Clint will have him during that time but I'll get to drive down and spend the day with him. 

I also thought I would jump in with my friend Nicole I met at the TxWB dinner and do her "Finish This" link up. 

~My Ideal Winter eating good food as inches of snow falls down, snuggled under a blanket watching The Family Stone. 
~My Favorite Song Lyric... Changes a lot. Right now it would have to be...All of these line across my face tell you the story of who I am. So many stories from where I've been and how I got to where I am. By Brandi Carlile. 
~I Smile Because...Wilder says "whatever" now and it's usually at the weirdest moments. 

I'll try to get back into the swing of things soon.  If not, you'll certainly see more of me in January.  My mum should be here in the morning to help with my cabinets. Eek!
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