Wednesday, January 12, 2011

The REAL housewives of Knox County...

First of all, I am going to start this one off by saying that I am an awful, horrible soul. Its out there on the table so there is no need talking about me behind my back. It is what it is.

This morning when I woke up, I stumbled into the kitchen (to pour myself a cup of wait... that's Dolly's gig) to get a cup of coffee and low and behold, there it was. A sink FULL of dishes surrounded by dirty dishes on the counter top that wouldn't fit into the sink. The kitchen table was a mess- cereal spilled all over it, chairs pushed out, apple peels and a peeler just sitting directly on the tabletop. Are you kidding me?!

Let me back up a bit and tell you that I FINALLY got to so out to dinner with my yayas to celebrate CHRISTMAS last night. I say finally because that just proves a point that Momma's extra curricular activities always come last. I had not been with the girls since well before Christmas and I was so looking forward to relaxing and catching up. I woke up with a spring in my step ready to clean up the house after coming off a long week full of snow days and little children who had been home from school making messes on said snow days. I was ready to reclaim my house. This brings in the "keeping it real" part of my blog.

I actually took pictures of my mess (or at least some of it) because now that I am blogging again, it seemed "blog worthy". So here you go- Here is the glamorous life I lead. Don't be a hater. You too can lead this life. I will divulge my secrets to you. All you have to do is ask.

Notice the organic types of food a Real Knox County Housewife serves her family. Hot dog buns and Diet Mt. Dew.
This is the chest in my foyer. Its the first thing you see when you come into my house. Yes- it is stacked with mail that I haven't gone through in weeks. If I owe you money, chances are that your bill is somewhere in there and I will get to it. That is if it doesn't snow again.
yep- that's a lot to go through and I keep putting it off...
This is a shot off my back deck. Two bowls that are STILL sitting there as I type. This picture was made like three days ago. Mary Lawson and her friend made snow lemonade (whatever that is). All I know is that they were outside and entertaining themselves so I would have let them taken the living room sofa outside if they had asked. Nonetheless- bowls still there.
Dirt on the floor where little miss prissy plays.This is only a sampling of her toy mess.
And the twins room. uggh! The twins. You have no idea how messy they are! AND there's two of them!

Stacks of clean laundry to put away that most likely will never get put away and will end up back down the laundry chute, some still folded.
my mud room. yes. that is a Santa Claus that hasn't been put up yet and now that I glance over my shoulder, he is still sitting there waiting to be put up.
ML's room

This just might be my FAVORITE! This is David's "hunting room". Also known as the hamster room. The storage room. The "gun" room. I am proud to say that it doesn't look like this anymore because I got tired of waiting on him to clean it up so I did. Lets just say that I have no idea where I put anything and I am not responsible for lost or thrown away items. You should have done it yourself.

And my computer table. Those wires are out of control and kids toys strewn about and there's my trusty Starbucks and my bottle of wine for night time facebooking. Don't you judge me.
mud trail.
and the grand finale- that is our sled that was left in our neighbor's driveway. Here's the kicker... we don't even know them. Never met them. They just moved in like two days ago. They hate us already, I'm sure of it.

Back to my story. So, I wake up ready to take my house back over. I clean and organize up to the very moment I have to leave. Scratch that, GET to leave.All that you see in those pictures was straightened and put back in order. My sweet husband (who is a saint) had to work all day so as he walked in the door, I tagged him in and I left feeling accomplished and like I could really relax and enjoy my time with my friends. I had a great time. Got home close to 11. I know- party animal! Just another example of how a Knox County housewife rolls. Walked in the door and said hello to my husband who was watching TV in the living room. Walked into my bedroom, put my PJ's on and got into bed to watch a movie. And that is the end of the story until this morning when I woke up to the kitchen mess.

I LOST it. I mean LOST IT! I ranted and raved and shamed children and woke my husband to yell at him. I cleaned it all up again and still couldn't let it go. I made smart comments under my breath when anyone came within earshot of me. and then that is when a thought popped into my head. Think of the devil sitting on my shoulder (cause I'm sure he was) whispering to me, "Be done with it". And honestly, I wanted to pack a bag and walk out of the house and move to a beach somewhere and work renting wave runners to tourists but of course I would never. I still felt guilty for even having the thought of it. I recollected my self and gained control over my temper and cooled it down. About that time, Reagan walks in looking like this.

she made it herself. See what it says. "How imaginative, Reagan! I LOVE it! Let me take your picture! What are you playing anyway? Hospital? Let me see what the other girls are doing." Then I walk into the "hospital room" where I found Mary Lawson and her bestie, Hadly Anna sitting in "hospital beds" getting ready to give birth.
To bouncing baby balloons! Hilarious. Now... How could I ever leave this behind?!
and that my friends, is the Real Life of a Real Housewife of Knox County. Don't be a hater.

And just like that. As I was typing that last line, I hear the announcement that the princess has arrived! Humming some royal tune, they bring her in!
Life could not be any better.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Eat sweet buggy!

eat little one....She looks so grown up- sitting at the bar eating chocolate cheerios. She is so precious. She wakes in the morning and says ," I hungry, Mama". We go through the ritual every morning. I make her breakfast. She eats like two or three bites then says she wants to get down and "go play". I go through the ritual every morning praying that this will be the morning she REALLY eats. And she will... someday. I just know it. For now, I will take those three bites that she gives me. I will call it a victory. Poor little bug has come a long way and I am proud of her.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Losing a friend...

Yesterday, Mary Lawson and I had the honor of being with Browning as he took his last breath. As heartbreaking as it was, it was also (strangely) very precious. Browning is now cancer free, pain free, allergy free and electric collar free. He is free to run the gold paved streets of heaven and I know he is having a ball.

The rest of us on the other hand.... not so happy. Browning was our first FAMILY pet. ML has had many different animals that were hers but Browning was ALL of ours. I never have been a huge animal person. I mean, I like most animals just fine but I have never been animal crazy like some friends are. They are just a lot of work and quite frankly, I have plenty of work to do around here already. We had talked about getting a dog and I knew that "for the kids", I would go along with the idea. I wanted a Golden Retriever because they are such a picture perfect dog. You know, the husband, the kids, the house, the picket fence, the Golden on the front porch. That's what I wanted. I knew he would be pretty in our family pictures and that was how I made my decision. It was easy to convince David that a Golden would be the best dog for us because he had a Golden as a boy who was his best friend. Annie Dog was always loyal and was a good dog so he was sold. Now, there is NOTHING, and I mean NOTHING cuter than a Golden Retriever puppy but my practical side knew that I could not have a puppy in the house. I checked into the rescue here and next thing I knew, they were coming out to do a home study to see if we were good enough for them. If we were capable of taking care of a dog. I guess when they saw that we take care of five kids, we could handle a dog so we were approved. We told the lady that we wanted a blond female. That was the picture I had in my head that would look good on the Christmas card. She said she would call us back and let us know when our dog was ready. She did call but she said that she had found a red male that she thought our family would love. There was an adoption fair being held at Petsmart and this red male would be there. I agreed to go but I wasn't feeling the love. We gathered the kids in the car that Saturday morning and went to meet the red male, Keegan. I walked in and saw the lady we had been talking with. She led us to the dog and I have to say, it was love at first sight. He was beautiful! He was HUGE and I knew he was OURS! We took him for a walk around the store or should I say he took us for a walk. Think Clifford the big red dog. Keegan (later named Charles Browning by us) never had good manners. He would plow over anything or anyone to get to where he wanted to go- just like a Johnson kid. We all agreed that we wanted this 85 pound beast. We gathered supplies and loaded him into the car. He fit right in. He was a maniac. He would get out the front door and he would run as fast as he could! You could usually find him down at Mrs. Mobley's under her carport eating her cat's expensive high dollar geriatric cat food. I know he always was very sorry even leaving her a bag of the same cat food on her porch step with a note saying that he had borrowed some of the cat food and wanted to replace it. We finally had to get an invisible fence to keep him in the yard and away from Mrs. Mobley's carport. With all that said, Browning was a good dog. The best. He made this cat loving girl become a dog lover. He never once had an accident in the house. Even in his last hour, that sweet baby tried to stand up to get to the door to throw up. He was loyal and fun and we will miss his sweet crazy ways. I'm not sure if we will ever get to a point where we will not be looking for him as we drive up to the house. Time will heal our hearts but we will never forget what a good boy he was.

He is now buried in the backyard of the house we are going to be buying soon. The owner is a good friend of ours and was gracious to let us lay him to rest there. There is an empty place in all of our hearts but we will never forget the lessons he taught us. He taught us about life and about dealing with death. Until we meet again, Charles Browning....

Monday, January 3, 2011

My new Years Resolutions

I have a resolution for 2011. A few of them actually. I have NEVER made one but this year I have a few- or maybe its several.

The first one being to lose weight. blah blah blah... That one is a given. I am so sick of food right now that one seems like it will be easy.HILARIOUS!

My second resolution is to blog. iI used to be so good about it but life got in the way and I figured it was more important to actually take care of my family rather than just blogging about taking care of my family. The thing is though, the other day I visited the 'ol blog and realized its like this great scrapbook of my life and I LOVED it! Even if nobody reads it, it is still a record of memories and quite frankly, I had forgotten many of the things I had blogged about! And the fact that Santa brought me a new Mac for Christmas makes it all the more fun! So I guess this means that my children will all look like they are homeless again but at least I will have record of it!

Along with that is the resolution that I will keep Caringbridge updated as well. That one is tough as we are in this "holding pattern" waiting on Hutton's new heart. Not much to say about it really...THANKFULLY. She is doing quite well and thriving. I try my best to not take these good days for granted because when you are in the throws of it, you LONG for a nice status quo day. I realize that as soon as we get the call, life is going to SUCK for about six months (if we are lucky). My family will be torn apart and poor little Hutton will have to endure so much. My brain can't "go there" right now. God will get us through like always but it will still be painful.

My last and most important is to read the complete bible this year. I have never done that before. I realized when my kids would come home and tell me something that they learned in bible and I would say, "thats not in the bible!" and they would show me that it was, it was time for me to get with it. I cannot fail at this goal because I would be letting someone really important down so I will prayerfully attempt this commitment.

So... here's to 2011. Could be a life changing year. Praying for all my friends out there for a joyful year. Life is hard. I have just learned to accept that but in the pain, I find JOY. It must be a God given gift because I can't explain how you could find JOY when you are waiting for a heart for your sick baby.


Monday, February 15, 2010

At what point do we get used to it? Thought by now, I would be a pro. I am not. Same feelings of butterflies and uncertainty that I felt over two years ago are as fresh as the day is long. This one feels particularly raw.
Just got the final confirmation of Hutton's reconstructive surgery. David and I will be taking Hutton to Philadelphia on February 28th with surgery planned for March the 4th. Although we have been praying for this date, reality has now slapped us square between the eyes as we prepare for a very long March. I got an email from our favorite anesthesiologist, Dr. Montenegro who is now a beloved friend. When I read the words which I am certain meant no harm whatsoever, my heart dropped to the floor. She said, "so- you have to be up here for five weeks? You better bring the sunshine. March can be a long month.". Uggh. DREADING IT!
For anyone curious, here is the plan: We arrive in Philly on February 28th and will be staying at my sweet friend's penthouse (I just like saying that I have a friend with a penthouse). I thank God for my sweet friend Stephanie. (I need to blog about her. More on her later). On March the 1st, she has an appointment with the airway specialist, Dr. Jacobs. We have a few appointments scattered on that day with various departments. On March 4th, Hutton will have her trachea reconstructed. The surgery will consist of an incision on her lower side to remove a piece of rib cartilage. Then there will be an incision on her neck where they will be doing the actual reconstructing using the rib cartilage to open up the airway nice and wide. She will be intubated through a tube in her nose and on the ventilator for a minimum of 4 days. Its been a long time since we have seen our baby intubated and on a vent. At that point, They will extubate her and send us to the floor. That in itself is huge for us. We have only stayed in the CICU at CHOP. Everyone (and I mean everyone) knows our precious Buttons there. The CCU is the "step down" unit where the kids go who aren't as sick. What the?! Seriously? As exciting as that sounds, leaving all the Doctors and the nurses who know us so well is so unsettling to me. I will still have my sweet Steph and Dr. Montenegro checking in on us I am sure but I think it will feel so lonely over there. Hutton gets the royal treatment in the CICU. Everyone over there is her biggest cheerleader. The good news is that I think I heard somebody say that we will score a private room. Shoot me now if we don't.
David will be staying in Philly until after her surgery but then will be returning home to tend to business and four precious children who will be waiting for their Daddy. Please say a prayer for everyone involved in the care of our children while we are gone. I am sure that they will be having flashbacks to August of 2007 when we left for what was supposed to be a month and five months later returned home to Knoxville THANKFULLY with a baby sister. The twins have a hard time putting their emotions into words and can seem angry at times. Mary Lawson is a walking basket case and poor old Cooper J. tries his best to be the man of the house and keep it all together.
I am going to try my best to blog here and update caringbridge as often as possible as well as facebook. I am so very thankful for my friends and family who help me keep it together during these times. What would I do without you?!

Saturday, November 21, 2009


Just wanted to take a moment to give THANKS to The Lord for all our blessings. He is so good and we are so grateful for each and every life experience He has given us. My prayer for each one of you is that you will be thankful for the big and small things and that we would all realize that even in the hard times, we should give thanks. I hope that each one of you has a special Thanksgiving surrounded by people you love. I will be and I am so excited!