Sunday, April 13, 2014


3 days in Ohio.

I mean, who's sick of me getting all moony-eyed over Ohio? Raise of hands?

I get it. I'm sorry. It's just that I can't help myself.

Being there made me remember (again) that it's okay if we can't take actual vacations. It's all we need. We walk into that back door to the immediate sensation of being tucked in under a fleecy blanket. I literally get sleepy just thinking about it.

Most relaxing place on earth.
Having said all that, this next part may not make perfect sense.
But my favorite moment was going to dinner (alone!) with Cory.

It was in the 70's so we parked our swagger van on a random side street and walked to the restaurant. ("Restaur-aren't", as Silas would say.)

Photo: Walking toward the salsa with Shannan.
I made him take a selfie with me, because hello.

And we had actual conversations about important things while we strolled. And, we scoped out all the pretty yards and day-dreamed about the future back-yard of our dreams.

And then there was this. Because, hello.

I can't entirely pinpoint why La Fiesta is my Happy Place. But it has something to do with the salsa. And the fact that anytime I'm there, I'm already in vacation mode. Annnnd...I almost always run into fun people there, because all the fun people know what's what.

Back at the farm....

This was happening.

Cousin fun.

They walked across the road and roamed around in the same woods I used to tramp through as a kid. They came home covered in mud.

My kiddos couldn't believe I used to play in the woods. Like literally, they didn't believe me.
I'll just put this out there now: I'm not "that" mom. I'm not super fun. I mean, I am, but not like that. You know.

I'm indoorsy.

It's an unpopular admission, but I'm sitting here making it. 

And on second thought, I'd really like to recant. 

Because I lovvvve the outdoors. 
If I'm in a hammock, with a book.
Or if I'm picking flowers.
Or weeding.
Or slow-walking.

Sidenote: I don't really know how to swim.

Again, unpopular.
I own it.

I blame everyone in my life except myself, because I managed plenty of interesting things on my own, but I couldn't be expected to teach myself to swim. Not when it was so traumatizing to have water up my nose or in my ears.

Besides, my nurse practitioner (yes, she's mine. I called it) recently diagnosed me with "faulty Eustachian tubes". So there. Boom. Vindicated.

Photo: Mama with Big Sis & Lil Sis! .. down on the farm!
Hey, when we meet, let's not start the conversation with, "Oh my gosh! You're so tall!"
I mean, I keep telling you guys.
No one believes the middle child.

File this one away as proof, and let me remind you now, my mom and sister are wonderful and cute and special in their own ways, but they are not Little People. Or vertically challenged at all, really.

They're normal people who don't require any design modifications in the kitchen. They don't even own a step-stool. (Weird, right? The step stool thing?)

Photo: Nothing beats FAMILY time, down on the farm :)
I spoke to another fantastic bunch of ladies on Saturday. And I didn't even sob! I didn't have to literally turn my back to the audience and compose myself! I only barefly wept a tiny bit! #success

I loved the day. Loved my friends. Some readers (Holla, Danielle!) drove over from Columbus. They found me and told me this 10 minutes before I took the stage. No pressure, or anything.

I was bowled over. So sweet!

The Oasis ladies put together such a great day. Everything was so pretty, every detail tended to. I saw some of the women who shaped me in my adolescence. And my mom, sister, an aunt and 2 of my cousins were there. So loved! So lucky!

The ladies gave me tons of the left-over food before I left. SCORE! Can't even tell you the excitement.

I crazy-love all these persons.

And although adults usually leave Ohio feeling refreshed with higher-than-normal levels of invigoration, this is what being in Ohio does to the shorties.

She was so tired, she couldn't even close her eyes!

Which reminds me, what's the all-time best love song ever written? Because I heard it on the drive home last night. Do you know? Any guesses?

Bryan Adams. Heaven.

"We were young and wild and free...."
Yes we were, Bryan. Yes we were.

I can't quit your gravel-voice.

There'll never be another.

Title: "I Swear I'm Not An Animal Person"

And on that note, the ball's in your court.

PS -  Don't forget - free shipping on all fashionABLE scarves with the code "flowerpatch" through tomorrow!


  1. I also cannot swim. I'm going to pretend that I have that same thing you have, and that's how I'm going to say it. "I have that thing that Shannan has, neither of us can swim, but its not our faults." Boom. Thanks.
    So glad the speaking went well! #likeaboss #neverdoubted

  2. Look so fun & refreshing. HOME! Sorry I missed you. Grandma Nancy looks so good standing & reading to the little ones! Memories!

  3. That was a fun picture with you and the lassies... p.s. have you ever considered the nickname "The Keish" for little miss world traveler?...I don't just came to me...I find that things sound trickier with "The" in front of it...and that's...The End. (See what I mean)

  4. That first line to that Bryan Adams song has always ALWAYS made me weak.
    "Oh thinkin' about all our younger years..."
    Even in 8th grade. Even now.
    Bruce has been gone for five days...can you tell? :)

  5. I think people that vacation at their parents hometown are the BEST sort of people. Second only to the people that never leave their parents hometown : ). When I was little we would visit my Grandma every summer for one week in Clarion, PA. She lived in a trailer. I am not even kidding when I tell you that I used to pray and hope to Jesus that I would have my own tin house when I got big. My parents were a little worried about me, but I thought it was FABULOUS! : ). So, all that to say, I love that when you go home you are filled with peace and joy! The kids look so happy and so adorable. I am glad God gave you the family he did. It is just about perfect.

    1. My hometown is 20 miles south of Clarion, and I attended college there! My kids think a week at my parents camper in Cook Forest is better than Disney!

  6. Oh, and PS I LOVE your parents. Love them! I love their cat. Stop the trick right this second with that fabulousness! And I also love your sister : ). What a fabulous bunch.

  7. We just returned from six nights visiting family in Ohio. You can talk about Ohio all you want. Best love songs: "Put Your Head In My Shoulder" by Paul Anka and "Love Letters in the Sand" by Pat Boone.

  8. as an Ohio-born myself, I understand the feeling of going back to Buckeye land. I sure hope and wish I can see you in person someday - not like a stalker, but you know, like at a speaking event or a Mexican "resturaren't"

    and i get the whole 'not fun' mom thing. i don't think my kids would believe me either if i told them i walked in the woods and explored. but all the things you listed that you like to do sound splendid!

  9. oh bryan adams.
    i whole heartedly agree.
    best love song...
    also, by bryan adams, 'have you ever loved a woman'.
    when i hear that i wish my husband could play spanish guitar and sing to me by the moonlight.
    actually, i'm just a huge BA fan, in general.
    brings me back to junior high (not that junior high was particularly great or anything... actually it was all kinds of awful).
    but i still like the nostalgia it induces.

    looks like you had a lovely trip.
    ohio seems mighty fine!
    sorta the same when we visit my parents.
    don't do anything really exciting but... we have lots of good family relaxing time.
    being together, doing nothing special is special all on it's own.

    love ya...

    1. "i wish my husband could play spanish guitar and sing to me by the moonlight." hahahaha!!!
      You're my kind of lady. :)
      xo back atcha!

  10. Love your blog! I got nostalgic reading about your visit home. My parents moved close to us (it had nothing to do with me… the grandkids, you know :) which I love since we get to see each other so often . But I do miss that feeling of going back home, where I grew up and where time seemed to come to an amazing slow-down. Like a heart vacation : )

  11. This made me think of you .....

    1. Posting on FB right now. Thank you for drawing my attention to it. LOVE!!

  12. Two things jumped out here - that book your mom is reading to the kids - I had (still have!) that same book as a child, inscribed to me by my precious grandmother, and read to my own sweet daughter many years later. Love!
    Just heard Heaven on the radio two days ago, with that same sweet, now 12 year old, daughter in the car. I made the confession that it was the first song I ever danced with a boy to, at the age of fifteen (I think....) And then I quickly clarified that I did NOT condone such things for her, I was just sharing : ) Oh the memories you brought back!

  13. I'm not "that" mom either. I definitely enjoy the indoor pursuits, and not even the fun ones according to my kids. So glad you had time to enjoy home. And a super big congrats on your incourage gig. Can't wait to read your words over there too!

  14. How can you NOT get moony over "home?" Great post! I want to go to that little dome-roofed shed. How sweet!

  15. I love Ohio too! I have family in Cleveland area and Hudson Valley area. I love both for different reasons. When I go there in the spring/fall/summer I always think I could live there. Then I remember the 5-6 months of winter, no thanks. I'm from Texas, and I just can't hang. Also the indoor mom thing, totally there with you especially being from Texas. There are exactly 4 months that it's bearable to be outside. And step stools, I have 3 that float around my house and I should probably have more, so I envy the hight thing. Sometimes it's just not worth the effort to get high things. I have to organize the upper shelves based on amount of use. HaHa!

  16. Again, you knock it right out of the park. Such honesty in your writing...

  17. Being from Dayton, Ohio and vacationing OFTEN there to see family & friends, I Loved this post! O-H-I-O!!! Fist pump! P.S. I only learned to swim to "the rope"!

  18. Gorgeous pics. And yes to hammocks and books and slow walks, and lounging in trees. That was my childhood. I loved being outdoors (indoors too) but lounging, watching, reading, dreaming, hiking, discovering.. not so much the running, jumping, falling, chasing balls set. And that's cool too.

  19. Oh, I was surely going to suggest it must be something by Air Supply or no, Endless Love. I mean, come on. It's the song I couple skated to the one and only time a boy asked me to couple skate. So of course there is special middle school romantic nostalgia there. We went to Chicago for Spring Break. It was ridiculously cold, rainy, blowsy and expensive. I wish we had gone to Ohio. Please ask Momma if we can make a reservation.

  20. I just got to see Bryan in concert sing and play his Spanish guitar!! I know I rock but I can't swim.

    1. As in...recently? He's still out there crooning?

  21. Hahaha !! Yes I have seen him a couple times in the past years. He plays a smaller venue with an acoustic performance. Just him his guitar a band mate with his piano. He is just as awesome without the rocking band. He played at the Adler Theatre this past month in Davenport, Iowa.

  22. please take me to ohio with you next time.
    because HELLO.

  23. I spent a full minute believing that you time-traveled to the 1970s, or it was some kind of metaphor or something. Oops!

  24. I love Ohio but I am a born and raised buckeye girl..lived here all my life :)

  25. Always cracking me up! I love it. Admitting you're not "outdoorsy"...I feel ya! Own it girl! No shame :)