Beware...I've Given Up Caffeine!

There's nothing more that I like in the mornings than to grab a hot cup of java.  Before anyone speaks to me.  Yea, I'm that person.  I'm that cliche; "Don't talk to me until I've had my coffee."  I LOVE MY COFFEE.  However, in the last few years I have noticed that the feeling is not reciprocated.  My coffee is not loving me back..

People have asked me why in the world I would decide to give up caffeine.  And to be honest, if it was not affecting my heart rate and making me jittery I would not be giving it up.  But, it does and I am.  And I decided to do it cold turkey!

One of my doctors suggested that I just wean myself off of it and my husband thought that was a pretty good idea too; probably because he lives with me.  But no...I decided to just cut the head of the snake off!

I bought decaffeinated coffee to prepare myself and yes, I know that it has trace amounts of caffeine in it.  But believe me, it's nothing compared to the real stuff.  Then Saturday I kept Parker Ann and Livie overnight and started my caffeine detox Sunday.  I got both girls up and dressed and to church.  That alone was an accomplishment since I was by myself over the weekend, but doing it with no caffeine was nothing less that miraculous.  After church I dropped each girl off at their respective  houses and then went home where I grabbed my pillow, got into my favorite chair and slept until 4 p.m.!  When I awoke, it was with a headache.  The withdrawals that my doctor had warned me about had set in (ugh...).  It was at this point that I knew it wasn't going to be easy telling my dearly beloved caffeine good-bye.

And so, I decided to share with y'all the stages of withdrawal from caffeine:






And just like that...I'm done with caffeine!  It's been pretty brutal but now that I've made it this far I will never go back.  Bye-Bye, Caffeine, I'm done with you!


Did I Mention That Our BIG, FAT SOUTHERN FAMILY Is Expanding AGAIN?!

It seems as though the babies are coming FAST around here these days.  And in pairs to boot!  As you may remember, Justin and Sarah (parents to Parker Ann and Lila Kate) are expecting their third child in November, around Thanksgiving.  Now, Ryan and Allison (parents to Olivia) have announced that they are expecting their second child in March!  That will mean that our grand count will be up to 9 and OUR BIG, FAT SOUTHERN FAMILY will now add up to 19.  That's 10 adults and 9 kiddos...The little ones are catching up with us very quickly.  And we consider ourselves so very blessed that God has chosen to enlarge our family.  Because there is nothing like family.  It is just such a wonderful support system.  A safe and soft place to land.  A place where you can always find a pillow to lay your head on, a hot meal on the stove, an understanding ear to listen and LOADS and LOADS of unsolicited advice.

                                                      MEET THE GRANDS!
This is Parker Ann (sister to Lila Kate), our oldest.  She turned 6 years old in August.  She's a real doll with a sweet spirit. She loves to spend the night with anyone in her family and all of the little cousins adore her.
Meet Holli (sister to Andrew).  She turned 3 years old in April.  This one here has a HUGE personality and contagious laugh.  One never knows what she will come up with next.  When I visit her in Ohio she always squeezes my neck and says, "YaYa, I missed you so much...".
Beckett (brother to Grayson) was our first grandson.  He turned 3 in July.  What a sweet boy he is.  He likes to "help you" do everything.  Whenever he visits me our special thing to do is read books and play his favorite games on the i-pad.
Lila Kate (sister to Parker Ann) is our Christmas Eve baby who will be 2 this year.  And what a wonderful little gift she has been to our family.  She's got the cutest little spunky personality that no one can resist.
Olivia or Livie as we call her will be 2 next March...a week before her new sibling is due to arrive!  With a personality very much like her mom and dad, Livie is a laid back and happy child with a smile on her face most of the time.
Andrew (brother to Holli), who we affectionately call "Drew Boo" was born last Halloween.  He started out a little fussy with stomach issues but what a happy boy he is now.  With that smile and those big blue eyes he can charm anyone.
Grayson (brother to Beckett) is currently the baby and probably has been the "baby" longer than anyone except Parker Ann.  He will be 1 year old in February.  This sweetie has the most pleasant disposition.  He always  has a big smile on his face and actually looks more like Andrew than his brother, Beckett.

And THESE are our Grands!  Justin and Sarah have decided not to find out the six of the baby that is  due in November so we patiently await that big surprise.  Ryan and Allison will find out at the end of this month what they are having.  And so the count continues to grow along with our love for all of these precious little ones!

The Peacefulness Only a Porch Swing Can Provide...

The photo of the swing and rocking chair below is where I will be spending lots of time for the next few days. They will be my best friends, swinging and rocking away my troubles. I can remember spending time at my grandparent's farm when I was a child. Their house was situated deep in the woods and two of the things I remember most are the screen door that squeaked and shut in quiet, comforting rhythm and the wooden swing that hung from the front porch. 

I spent most of my time on that porch swing because for the longest time my grandparents didn't have air conditioning. In Louisiana and no air conditioning. It was worse than hot and there was really no relief from the heat except when you sat in the kitchen where the giant window fan blew or laid in that porch swing rocking yourself to sleep with the breeze you created by your own movement.  Those were the days when I didn't have a care in the world. Life was not fast paced.  There were no computers or cell phones and my grandparents had only one small television set that could be found in the living room. It caught one channel pretty well if the rabbit ears were adjusted just so. I had no idea what Cable Television was until I was about 16 years old.  I would grab a magazine or book and lay on that front porch swing and my eyes would often times close and I didn't know it at the time but that was the best sleep ever. I miss my grandparents and I miss those lazy days where time stood still and nothing was urgent. 

My porch swing and rocking chairs sit on the back porch of our lake house. And this is where I will be for the next few days. I will drink my coffee out there each day as I watch the morning fog lift from the surface of the lake. I will sit out there in the evenings where I will hear a nightly symphony performed by the crickets and cicadas. And my mind will relax. It will let go of everything I believe to be urgent. I will breathe slow peaceful mindful breaths and meditate and inhale the fresh country air. Perhaps I will even dose off one day out there in my swing and for just a moment feel as carefree as I once felt as a young girl swaying back and forth in hypnotic rhythm on my grandparent's front porch swing.