30 In Articles

I should do more arm-twisting


I was so entertained and thrilled to hear your dreams. Seriously, I read them all. Some of them more than once. Y’all are inspiring people with big dreams to do wonderful things! It really did my heart good to hear from you. I was starting to feel like our friendship was one-sided… like me doing all the talking and y’all doing all the listening and that can only last for so long, ya know? So, THANK YOU for coming out of Reader to post a comment! My sitemeter tells me you are there but some of you folks are way too quiet.

Speaking of dreams… The sun reappeared yesterday and I was so glad to see it, as were the children. Thanks to it my ears are filled with water and I can only assume Morgan’s are too. I decided to teach her how to do a back dive/flip off the ladder. It sounds much more dangerous than it is, trust me. I’m no olympic swimmer; I almost drowned in an intramural swim meet at Auburn trying to do a simple flip turn at the end of my lane in front of 30 fraternity boys. We call it a “back flip” but really it’s just a back dive where you lean backwards and keep leaning backwards ’til your head resurfaces and you’ve come full circle. We call them “BACK FLIPS” because it sounds so much cooler. Anyway, what better way to teach her than to show her so my ears are full too. I have this dream of Justin coming home from work one day and Morgan showing him a successful “back flip” on her own! Hopefully soon! When we bought this house we came very close to filling our pool with dirt because we didn’t want one…. on days like today I’m very glad we didn’t. Anyway, their ears may be full of water but their skin smells like Banana Boat and they have Popsicle stains around their lips… do you know how happy this makes me? Water in ears, sticky popsicle ring-around-the-mouth, and the smell of Banana Boat! Mmmm….. well, maybe not the water in ears part.

Back to your dreams, I didn’t count but I’d say close to 90% of y’all want a cozy little house with land. As I mentioned, that’s a dream of mine too. I always entertain it for months {usually in the winter} weighing the pros and cons then the mosquitoes come out and I completely change my mind. I hate mosquitoes. They eat me alive. If I lived on land then I would want to be out on it, enjoying it, but if thousands of mosquitoes are draining me of all my blood then I won’t be able to go outside. I know… very rational, right? I’m also a fairly social creature and I fear that no one would come out to see me if I lived out in the country. I love having people over and if they have to drive 30 miles to get to me… I fear they won’t come. I guess you have to adjust your social life if you live in the middle of nowhere… or just be okay with fewer visits from friends. Then there’s the driving to “town” to get stuff. I live a very “convenient” .75 mile from Target and 1 mile from Walmart and 2 {maybe less} miles to our church. With this said, I highly applaud the genius developers out there who have taken large tracts of land and rather than putting 400 houses on 100 acres in town they are putting 12 houses on 100 acres so that people can have between 5 and 10 acres {to plant their large gardens, have their chickens, burn their leaves} and you don’t lose the sense of community and fellowship that you often get robbed of when moving out of town. But trust me, I know those communites come with a very hefty price tag! When we need a “farm fix” we can usually hit up my parents farm… who live around real farmers, including Dale… who not only grows mean vegetables but also rides his bike in overalls.


We hope to spend a couple weeks at the farm this summer. One of my favorite posts Erika’s ever written was about the farm, here’s the LINK.

Hornet is awake {and he’s supposed to be asleep}… so I’ll have to cut this short. But I’ll leave you with him…


… and his brown watercolor {hopefully non-toxic} paint.

The sun is scheduled to be out this weekend and we are going to pick some blackberries. I think the mosquitoes are also scheduled to be out while I pick the blackberries. I’ve already planned my picking outfit and it includes knee-high boots, a turtle neck, and face mask. Should make for great pictures!

PS— Thanks for all your support of my DREAM! I really think Justin is “thinking” about it! 🙂 I’ll keep you posted!

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  • Megan
    May 29, 2009 at 3:11 pm

    How do you get Morgan in the pool? I took Layla to the neighbors pool today, just the two of us, and she freaked out at me that she was going to sink. She had arm floaties and a noodle. She was born in Hawaii and lived there for 3 years going to the beach AND taking swim lessons. She went in the pool with help on Mother’s Day and was excited to get her floats so she could swim alone. And today, spazz attack never wants to go in the pool ready to throw the noodle away fit. I’m stumped!

  • blessdtwice
    May 29, 2009 at 3:16 pm

    Looks like lots of fun at the pool! And not to butt into your business, but can I PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE suggest ISR swim classes for your girls and Hornet? www.https://www.infantswim.com/

    There is someone in Enterprise…that’s not too far from you, right?

    A 6 yr old boy just drowned yesterday at a birthday party here in decatur…it was his last day of kindergarten. I did ISR with my two girls because I witnessed my own brother drown when I was 6, he was 8.

    With yall having a pool and enjoying the lake- please consider it. Contact me if you want to know more. (I don’t get a kickback or anything- but I just believe in thier philosophy of drowning prevention!)

  • Anonymous
    May 29, 2009 at 3:17 pm

    I just love the smell of tanning lotion and sun screen in the summer. Instantly relaxes me!

  • Molly
    May 29, 2009 at 3:36 pm

    Did you teach your kiddos to swim? If so, I’d love to hear about it either by email or in a post. I’m wanting to forego swim lessons this summer for our 2 1/2 year old daughter and teach her myself but I’m needing to hear from someone who has done this. AND if this age is too early. When did your girls learn to hold their breath and doggie paddle/float to safety?

  • erika
    May 29, 2009 at 5:10 pm

    Sounds like you need to let folks know about the Survival Swim Lessons that your kids all have taken… 🙂
    I love you and those little fishies of yours.
    I’d like to twist your arm. I just read about a great yard sale tomorrow morning and I’d love for you to come see me this weekend…?
    I love you,

  • meredith
    May 29, 2009 at 5:14 pm

    What a great day! I would come visit you if you lived way out of “town!” We could sit on the front porch swing and watch the kids run through the sprinkler and sip sun tea and talk about everything!


  • Anonymous
    May 29, 2009 at 5:22 pm

    Do people read other people’s comments? Courtney Cloud posted a heart wrenching comment yesterday and no one responded to her here, or on her own blog, with one exception. Am I missing something?

  • Amanda
    May 29, 2009 at 6:06 pm

    I read, read and read your blog, everyday after the kids are down to breakfast and I have my latte already you are the first place I go, I never comment though b/c you get like a million comments per post it seems…I can relate though, no one ever comments on my posts, make me sad but I really write just to have a record – but I’ll comment from now on b/c I don’t want you to be sad…! Ha!

  • J and C
    May 29, 2009 at 6:16 pm

    This is a totally random comment, but I hate mosquitos too, and I found out while I was reading my This old House magazine that if you put a bat house (kinda like a bird house) in they can eat 600 mosquitos an hour. So, as long as you aren’t too scared of bats, may be an option for a pest free yard.

    Here’s the link, if you don’t think it is too crazy, https://www.thisoldhouse.com/toh/how-to/intro/0,,20165965,00.html.
    The little house in the magazine looked more like a little bird house, it was cuter, but I though it was interesting! So keep your dreams, just get rid of the mosquitos!

  • bella grace photography
    May 29, 2009 at 7:08 pm

    Darby…back again out of reader mode..lol
    I love reading your blog…I find it so funny..well at times. But it keeps me reminded of the great humid summers in gods land. I miss it. Cant wait ..2 weeks we are headed down for a week with all my family there. Chase those dang blood suckers (mosquitos) away before we get in bama..they LOVE my daughters skin….we do not have them here in TN..
    Pool pics adorable.

  • Lauren
    May 29, 2009 at 7:24 pm

    I have never commented, but I just had to say that mosquitoes eat me alive too! I almost don’t want to go outside. I hate bug spray and don’t want to use it on my 17 month old. I found these cute, all natural bug repellent wipes from Tarjay! They’re called Teeny Towels and come on a little keychain! They’d be great for nursing moms! Love your blog!

  • Shelby
    May 29, 2009 at 7:57 pm

    Hey darby! everything you said about living out of town is EXACTLY how i felt!!! every single thing you said! haha I used to live 2 miles from target, the mall, wal-mart, restaurant, and most importantly, my family! We decided to buy 3 acres in a town 30 minutes from where we used to live and sometimes i still struggle with it! in the summer, the mosquitoes are horrible b/c our property is backed completely by woods, we don’t get nearly as many visits from friends and family, and the drive to any shopping is 15 minutes (not bad…but still!) and i always fear my kids will feel left out b/c they aren’t in the neighborhood with their other friends. HOWEVER!! i have dreamt of having a horse and chickens as well! I dreamt of my children riding 4-wheelers around our property, walking hand in hand up our hill to get the mail, sitting outside on our deck in the morning with nothing but the sound of the birds and its’ all worth it! so peaceful! my husband said he remembers when he was a kid and lived in town, that all he ever wanted to do was go to his friends house that lived out of town! so, that makes me feel better! i would definately say that there are definately ups and downs!

  • Laura Beth
    May 29, 2009 at 8:17 pm

    I just found your blog the other day and LOVE it! I have been reading about all your remodels and even made your banana bars because I had 3 very ripe bananas calling my name to do something with them! They are delicious! I’m going to keep checking in regularly now! 🙂

  • Melissa
    May 29, 2009 at 8:18 pm

    If you lived way out of town, we could be neighbors! Wow! I had no idea that I might be living everyone else’s dream! I figured most people just thought we must be rednecks. I’ve lived in the country, on open land my entire life. I realize that I haven’t experienced the pluses of living in town, but I really love living where we do. We have lots of room to spread out here, and it’s not that far from “town”. The mosquitos ARE terrible though!

  • Miranda
    May 29, 2009 at 8:33 pm

    I have a question and hope you can help me out. I love how your pictures are so large on your blog. How do you get them that size?

  • Melanie
    May 30, 2009 at 6:03 am

    Darby, You probably don’t remember me, but I grew up in Mt. Carmel with Erin. Michelle directed me to your blog. I love it! I, too, have 3 kiddos and your posts help inspire me!! I had to laugh when I looked at this blog post b/c I love Dale and Jean! They do grow some mean vegetables in their garden! Great picture of him. I’m going to try your banana bars in a couple of weeks. Can’t wait! Take care, Melanie (Harris) Brashears

  • Lindsey
    May 30, 2009 at 6:18 am

    I missed the dream post. But as for a house and land, Jeremy always tells me that there is no such thing as 100 acres in the middle of Dothan! And like you said, when there are less houses and more land, you’re going to pay a lot of money and we don’t have that! 🙂 I have also gotten way to used to being close to Target, the mall, etc. I grew up in Slocomb where you had to drive almost 30 minutes to get to these places. Jeremy would love to move to Hartford, but I don’t think I can do it!

  • Hillary @ The Other Mama
    May 30, 2009 at 6:41 am

    I love that the sun is out this weekend! Enjoy the pool! I love that picture of Paige “toasting” with a cookie! Too cute!

  • Meredith
    May 30, 2009 at 9:34 am

    I love the pool pictures! It makes me jealous for a pool to lounge around in. Thanks for your blog. I really love reading it!

  • Marie
    May 30, 2009 at 11:13 am

    Brown watercolor…priceless.

  • Lodmell House
    May 30, 2009 at 2:16 pm

    So, I didn’t make it to commenting yesterday. But, I am one of those that hardly makes it out of reader to comment. I found your blog months ago through my old college roommate Heather Spencer. I love reading it! My kiddos are now huge fans on “cini-minis”.
    I have 4 kids. Twin girls that are 4, a two year old girl and our little boy who is almost 4 weeks old. So, at this point the only dream I have is to fit back in my clothes and have a good night of sleep!!!
    Thanks for writing and all the fabulous, I also dream of one day being as good at sewing as you are and having more time to sew! (Because along with being at home with the 4 kids, I am finishing my masters)

  • JeninKC
    May 30, 2009 at 5:18 pm

    Hi Darby! I'm Jen, I e-mailed you a while ago. I'm the one with the twin sis & 2 kids. I have never commented b/c you seem to get so many. Love your blog & look forward to it! My Mom & I were just talking this morning about some dreams. If I won the lottery, I would buy all the homes on one cul-de-sac of my neighborhood and move my husband's siblings & my sisters in. Then all the cousins could play outside and run all over together.It would be a constant block party. Of course, we would have to get a "vacation" house in another neighborhood so we could get away from everyone during the holidays-haha:)

  • Jill
    May 30, 2009 at 6:47 pm

    Could you send some of those blackberries! YUMMY!

  • MyLittleHappyPlace
    May 30, 2009 at 8:30 pm

    Oooh! Made blackberry cobbler for the holiday weekend – at plenty of it a la mode, of course!
    Yummy, yummy for our tummies! 😉

  • The Wiggins Family
    May 30, 2009 at 9:24 pm

    I was looking back through old Southern Livings tonight (drives my husband crazy that I save them all, but you never know! 🙂 and came across this blackberry cobbler recipe from last July. Thought you might want to whip up something yummy with all your blackberries this weekend! I loooove cobblers–they are so easy and so yummy over vanilla ice cream. Gosh and now that I’m thinking about it, I think baby boy #2 is going to want some tomorrow. haha 😉

    Preheat oven to 375. Place 4 cups of blackberries in a lightly greased 8 inch square baking dish;sprinkle with 1 Tbsp. lemon juice. Stir together 1 large egg, 1 cup all-purpose flour, and 1 cup sugar until mixture resembles course meal. Sprinkle over fruit and drizzle 6 Tbsp melted butter over topping. Bake at 375 for 35 mins or until lightly browned and bubbly. Let stand 10 mins–serve warm over ice cream!
    *makes 6 servings
    *personal side note–I think raspberries, peaches, and blueberries would be de-lish, too!!


    PS–thanks for your email back about the big boy room! 🙂 i am going to get those jenny lind beds and probably paint them red! fun….

  • Mandi
    June 1, 2009 at 5:19 am

    The mosquitoes love me too. They eat me alive, and after a weekend at the river, I look like I have chicken pox on my arms and legs. Do bug sprays work for you? They don’t for me, but I have heard taking Vitamin B helps. I am gonna try that this week and will let you know!

  • Beth
    June 1, 2009 at 7:12 am

    Hi from middle Alabama. It’s funny that you are weighing the pros of cons of living out in the country. My husband (Mr. Country/Outdoors) was raised on a family farm. Farm meaning other people rent the land to farm, his family mainly hunts, fishes, plants for deer, burns stuff, etc. He would LOVE to live on the farm, he’s even told me we could build the house of our dreams. I, however, can’t see past the impracticality of it all. Driving back and forth to town for kid’s activities (our baby is not old enough yet, but she will be soon enough.) Driving back and forth to church, work, etc. I just can’t do it. For now we’ve agreed to stay in town, but I know his heart is on the farm. Maybe one day… Until then I will spend my time enjoying the convenience of living in town!

  • Jessica
    June 1, 2009 at 10:48 am

    i used to lifeguard as a teen and now despise the smell of sunscreen, so I’m wondering if this is something you’ve always liked or if it’s just that you like the way it smells on your kids! maybe when i get a kiddo one day i’ll like it too?! i swear morgan and paige have the best haircuts ever. (and i don’t just mean for kids.)

    have you seen the crewcuts line by j.crew? your girls should be models for it.

  • No.35style
    June 1, 2009 at 5:38 pm

    i so want your pool!! btw, when are we going to see the other bathroom you mentioned??

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