Thursday, December 15, 2016

The one with the approaching anniversary....

My heart is heavy this time of year. I think of last year and where we were. I was writing around Thanksgiving on how thankful I was to have my Papa still here, even though things were totally different, HE was still with us. Then a month later, we lost him. That wasn't how he wanted to live and as hard as it was (and at times now) we know that he is still with us. My kids still remember him and often times will ask Mamaw where is Papa? One day Addison asked if after school we were going to pick up Papa and bring him to Mamaw... I'm happy they still have him in their memory.

Over the last year, we have helped Mamaw clean out a ton of stuff.... mainly starting in the work shop. It brings me back to my childhood being out there. It smells the same, it looks the same, and some of our projects and paper are still there. The only thing missing is the big 6 foot something man piddling around trying to find something to build or fix. Man, he loved it out there. I've been able to reflect so much on all the details I had forgotten.  And as we clean out the junk (no offense Papa), we all get a good laugh on what a great, detailed and goofy man he was to be around. We laugh because when he saw something on sale, he bough it and he saved everything: paint brushes and nails from the 70's still in the original packing, dusts masks by the 10's stacked up, operational and maintenance manuals from a shop vac he had in the 80's, retirement papers and cards, sketched out plans of clocks and canes, empty cans and mayo jars he planned on using for something- So much stuff out there and we didn't even put a dent in it yet, but so many memories. Of course it wasn't junk to him, he thought he could re-use everything. That the kind of person he was, turn just a plain ole can into happiness.

He lived a long and happy life. He had so many years of retirement and many many hours spent out in the shop. I'm so very thankful I was able to spend so many years with him and remember it so vividly. I'm so thankful God brought Josh and I home so I could spend his last years around the corner from him. I haven't had someone so close to me pass before and the loss is a great one. I have his picture by my bathroom sink. It brings me back a lot, happy and sad. It doesn't really get easier, sometimes I smile and sometimes I cry... this was the last picture where the kiddos got to see him. Love you always Papa.


Thursday, November 3, 2016

The one with the minions...

Yes yes, you know, I have 2 crazies running wild daily, Benadryl doesn't even slow them down- SO what more perfect depiction of Halloween characters for the kiddos than from the movie Despicable Me 2. If you haven't seen it yet, stop what you are doing and watch Despicable Me and Despicable Me 2. These are hands down my favorite movies. There is plenty of adult humor thrown into this cartoon. You can thank me later. Anyway, Addison was the purple minion from the 2nd movie who turns complete crazy mad and Cooper is the yellow minion, still crazy but nothing like the purple one. Josh was Gru, the main villain (Gru really isn't a villain, he has a soft spot for kids and tries to save the world in the 2nd one!) and I was agent Lucy, she's a quirky agent who falls in love with Gru. So basically, these movies are awesome and we are awesome....


Monday, October 10, 2016

The one with Matthew...

Matthew was one of the most powerful hurricanes to hit in recent years. It tore up the whole eastern coast from Florida to North Carolina. It began as a 4, but I think by the time it got close to us it was a category 3.... Much of Jacksonville, especially close to the beaches and river were evacuated and received a ton of destruction. Luckily, we aren't in a flood zone, nor did we get it with the real strong winds, but the one day of the 1,086 days we've lived here- Friday was the only day I didn't want to have a single tree in my yard. The winds were very strong, (I'm guessing between 60-80 mph this far inland) and all the trees looked like they would snap in half and land right on the house. Fortunately, we didn't receive ANY damage from fallen trees. A ton fell around us, but absolutely no damage! Praise the Lord. Just made for an exhausting Saturday cleaning up. At least the sun was shining and it was a gorgeous day.

And like most Floridians, we had a hurricane party! Grandma Kay and Captain evacuated from Amelia Island to us. And my friend Lauren, Paige and Jason (the kids were just in their wedding) and Tim and Malinda Dooley all evacuated here too! True form to the sunshine state and the McCarty house hold, it just wouldn't be a hurricane if we didn't have a party- we had steaks, tuna, wine and lots more wine! We bunkered down and rode out the storm together, all of us- 9 adults, 2 kids, 2 dogs, 2 chickens and a cat! Definitely made for some memories... and even better ones that we walked out of the storm unscathed!



Thursday, September 15, 2016

The one with the scallops...

We made the executive decision to keep our vacation as planned, even after hurricane Hermine (category 1) hit the Florida Panhandle a few weeks back. I say that because, we have had plans to go scalloping in Steinhatchee for a few months now and a little hurricane wasn't going to rain on our parade. The town was still there and in full blown vacation mode. It was like they never missed a beat. So we packed our truck and our boat and headed West. Steinhatchee is on the Gulf and known for their bay scallops. Usually the Gulf is clear and you can see right to the bottom. Well, even a category 1 hurricane it sure stirred up the Gulf. To scallop you need a good set of fins and a mask and snorkel (and crystal clear water for me!). I jumped in the water a few times to hunt for the scallops (who hang out on the sea floor) but the moment I jumped in, I felt like I was in the St. Johns River and couldn't see a thing and surely wasn't sticking my hand in the seaweed not knowing what was below. But you know, the man of the house, totally proved himself to be one heck of a scalloper. Josh filled our entire 5 gallon bucket in no time. Me and the kids just enjoyed the wide open ocean and peacefulness it had to offer along with some country jams. The boat ran good all weekend and I got to enjoy my new birthday present from Josh- a kayak. I've been wanting one for a while now and he finally picked up all the hints I've been spelling out for like 5 years now. so Yay! I love it and the kids do too! Cooper can actually paddle.



 And yes, Cooper lost another tooth on vacation and No, mommy did not pull it out. It fell out while he was sleeping, thank goodnes. The tooth faiy was stingy this time, only $2. I asked Coper how it felt to have 2 teeth missing, he said "Free as a bird, like riding a bike with no training wheels."


Thursday, September 8, 2016

The one with the Tooth Fairy...

As I was writing my previous blog, it was school bus drop off time and not much to my surprise, Cooper lost his first tooth! That's right we are officially losing baby teeth. I definitely sent him to school, with a Ziploc baggy labeled "My Tooth". The wiggly teeth make my stomach turn- that's something I can't handle, blood, throw-up anything but a wiggly tooth! Cooper told me his teacher used a tissue and pulled it out when he got there. ha-ha! I'm such a weeny. But in all seriousness, this is a huge milestone that actually makes me sad.... Kindergarten, bus riding, baby teeth losing, what's next a GIRLFRIEND!???!!! Lord brace me for that day!

P.S. I hear the going rate is NOT $1.00 for the tooth fairy anymore! Daddy bring home the big bucks!!!


The one with the Carter Wedding...

Our cute, adorable kids were asked to be in a long time friends wedding which took place last weekend. The Bride, Paige, who is my Best Friend Lauren's sister, married Jason (an FSU fan, but we will forgive him!) And after long anticipation, the wedding weekend came and gone in the blink of an eye (like any wedding). The week leading up to it, we were threatened with a hurricane (but if you live in and are from Florida, its just another excuse to have a party) anyway, we were threated with lots of potential rain and flooding over the weekend. But after all the worry and stress, it turned out perfect. Like a man said to me on my wedding day as it rained, "Honey, its just God's way of washing away your past and allowing you start fresh in your new life." And as y'all know, the weather cleared and it was perfect (other than it being muggy- but again, that's Florida). So, the kids were perfect and as cute as can be walking down the aisle. Addison didn't throw a single rose petal and Cooper definitely didn't walk.... he ran down the aisle, then Addison followed suit. It was like a race to the groom. Cute and funny and gave everyone a little chuckle. Both of them stood up there the whole ceremony like little angels. Cooper did tell me the best part was walking (or running) down the aisle, and he also said the worst was standing up there because he was bored. Hey- can't blame a kid for being honest, he just doesn't get it yet. Every time I look at these pictures, my heart is overcome with happiness and I thank God for this beautiful family of mine.... ENJOY


Wednesday, August 31, 2016

The one with the routine...

It's a good day already and its only 6:30, because both kids are in school today. It was a fun, but long Summer with them. I love them unconditionally. But as you know, they can be sweet as sugar one minute and fight like cats and dogs the next.... so with limited  play time at home together, it seems they are getting along better.  The best part of back to school is, I can start running again! I took off ALL summer, but who really wants to run when its 100 degrees anyway.  But, I'm back in the swing of things and back in my routine. I've got some work to do, because while I had my feet kicked up at the house, Josh was out there running with his work group with a RUNNING COACH! So he's basically professional status now. Off to hit the pavement I go. I've got us signed up for another race in a few weeks and hope I can get some miles under my shoes to train for another half marathon by the end of the year. It's been a while and I'm way over due!

In other news, I had my first official close on my own last week! So I guess you can say the real estate business is going great, since it only took 3 months to really get moving. I love it so far. It's been stressful at times, but the good definitely out weigh it all. I have a great partner, who is patient and such a great teacher! So I feel like I've been very much prepared to step out on my own. I've got another close next Friday and 2 more in September. Mama is doing work and Josh LOVES it. Before I even cashed my check, the paver guy was here giving us a quote for pavers and a fire pit off to the left of the deck. Since football season is here, we spend a ton of time grilling, watching football and hanging out by the fire, so this year we are going to do it in style! 

I think we have a future runner girl on our hands, look at her stride!! This was the race we did last weekend! Too cute for words!


Thursday, August 11, 2016

The one with our Kindergartner...

I just sent Cooper off to Kindergarten on the SCHOOL BUS!!!! Yes, you read that right, my more conservative child wanted to ride the school bus. He was up super early this morning, scarfed down breakfast, was dressed and ready to go with 20 minutes to spare. 20 minutes to spare after I took 100 pictures. We waited in the garage until it was acceptable to walk to the bus stop, where he is surrounded by girls! Josh told him to make sure he sits next to the pretty ones. ha! He gave me one quick kiss and off he was. I'm not the type of person who typically gets emotional on these kind of days, in fact I am usually excited for my kids and for myself (a little peace and quiet never hurt anyone). But as I watched him walk up the bus stairs with that huge grin on his face and not turning back, I found myself with that knot in my throat, telling myself- Hold back those tears Allie. My once "premie" baby who barley filled my arms when I held him was now walking onto that school bus and embarking the best journey of his life! All I can think about is where has the time gone? Some days may seem to linger, but these weeks, months and years FLY. As Kenny Chesney says, Don't Blink.


Thursday, June 2, 2016

The one with Ohio...

Summer has officially started in the McCarty household. The kids have been out of school now going on 2 weeks- and Cooper took right off to Ohio. He told Jeff and Deanna he needed his "space" from Addison. So he is LOVING this mini vacation of his. This vacation to Ohio has been all this kid would talk about for about a year now. We've been counting down the days since last summer when we decided he could make the trip. Of course, we met them half way- he didn't go at this alone. But since he has been there its been nothing but farm life. He's rode horses, helped clean the horse stalls, drove the big tractor, washed the trucks.... I mean, Cooper has put his self to work. You know he loves to stay busy and outside. It's good for all of them. I'm hoping to make this a summer ritual. He's going to look back and love the summers spent on a farm. That's so Cooper too. He hasn't missed a beat and hasn't really missed us. Thank goodness for FaceTime, I think that helps us all. But we are ready to have our boy back. While its been quiet and just a bit cleaner around the house, it feels empty. I guess I've grown accustomed to the loud chaos and the box wine. LOL We pick up Cooper this weekend and we can't wait!!!!

You're probably wondering, how is Addison doing. Well, she definitely misses Coop. She asks about him everyday. But I also think she likes being the center of attention. She's getting to stay up a bit later, eat ice cream in bed, go to the beach, go shopping and pick out whatever movie she wants to watch without tears and fighting. But I can't wait to see the excitement when Addison and Cooper see each other Saturday. I have a feeling they will both squeal like little girls.

Check out how happy this "only child" has been over the last few weeks... nothing but smiles



Tuesday, April 12, 2016

The one with the eggs...

That's right folks, we've got all natural, all organic and cage free eggs! Only one of the girls is producing an egg a day and she has been for about 3 weeks. The eggs came just in time for Easter! Red Ellie is still a tad bit smaller than Monica so hopefully we can fatten her up with some food and get her laying too. I've been able to give some eggs away and yes, they taste great. Fresher is better.

The day Monica laid her first TWO eggs (I think she was backed up) I called Josh and said, I think she's going to start laying soon. She is really singing. And by singing I mean she isn't clucking her normal cluck cluck, she's almost squawking like, get this thing out of me. And she laid right in the nest box, right next to the fake eggs I put in there to "show" her where to lay. And from them on, she's been giving me one a day.  Both the girls sing daily, so I'm hoping Red Ellie pops them out soon.

We've been letting them out to roam the back yard lately and the kids go nuts. They love it. And so do the Chickens. New bugs, new dirt to scratch and it certainly gives a new meaning to free-range. Miles (our cat) doesn't seem to mind them. He looks at them like what the heck are you? He's unsure, but doesn't mess with them, yet. I don't let them out together when we aren't there. The chickens are so docile. They follow me around the yard when we are out there. They come to you when you whistle and they don't mind being picked up. Who needs dogs, when you have chickens??? I wonder why we didn't think of this sooner!

Did you know brown chickens lay brown eggs and white chickens lay white eggs????


Monday, February 29, 2016

The one where I discover a career...

Y'all know, I've been a SAHM (stay at home mom) for quite some time now. And while I LOVE my kids and I truly think I am making a difference in their life, it was time I started doing something for my self too, while still being a SAHM (for the most part). I have been doing a ton of praying, looking for signs and asking God to point me in a direction. I am one to know, God DOES answer prayers. This wasn't in any direction I was looking and I don't think it really ever crossed my mind. But I woke up one morning a few weeks back thinking Real Estate! It was like DUH Allie! I immediately opened my computer and contacted a woman (a VERY intelligent woman in fact) that I went to high school with. Josh also knew her from UF and said she was one of the smartest chick he knew. She got right back to me to meet for coffee and BOOM, I started work last week. She's looking to grow her brand and needs a buyers agent. I am doing some paid training while she is showing me the ropes. I am taking an online class and will HOPEFULLY be licensed in the next few months. I still need lots of prayers to get through this.  I haven't had a single reservation about this career transition. Although, I have had some push back from people I have talked to. Like- don't you know you are going to be working every night and weekend??? You are going to lose so much family time with your kids on the weekends... blah blah blah. And while I may be naive, because I am just getting my feet wet, I am looking to start a passion and begin a life long career and by the time the kids don't want anything to do with me anymore I'll be a rock star and an expert in the industry AND the million dollar agent! I know, I know, high hopes.... but I wanted a career that provided me with the flexibility to be at home when my kids get home from school. I know I may not be around Saturday morning some times, but I am blessed with kids ( and a husband) who sleep until 9 and it only gets later as they climb closer to the teenager years. { I won't be missing much in the mornings!} So, that's my "me" life in a quick blurb, agent in training while maintaining SAHM. I'm so excited!

Shout out to my #1 supporter!!! LOVE YOU BABE
Did I mention, Happy Leap Day?! I needed this extra day this year!!!


Tuesday, January 19, 2016

The one with the girls...

We finally got our butt in gear and finished our chicken coop (it only took 6 months!) And the best part is we got chickens. We still have a ton to learn, but I think we have the basics- food, water and shelter. We got the girls as teenagers, as I like to say. They weren't chicks and they aren't quite mature, which means they aren't laying eggs yet. We had 4 to start with, but 2 days after we got them, one "flew" away (as Cooper says). We aren't quite sure what happened, but the only thing we can think is we received her sick and she couldn't kick it. So we have 3, Merida, Monica and Red Elephant, or Red Ellie for short. Cooper named Red Ellie. I never grew up around chickens and honestly never have been around them, but since we moved to this house on Hawkcrest, we loved using the land and it seemed easy enough. Our garden we started last year is still thriving and soon, we should have fresh eggs daily, who needs a grocery store!! And NO we aren't eating the girls. We are strictly raising them for their eggs. They are cool pets too. The kids can pet them and pick them up and since we've had them for about a month now, they are stating to come to us when we go out there. Now we just wait on the eggs!