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Stuttering Shell: July 2010

Thursday, July 29, 2010

one day.

one day, i'll fill you guys in on the jack johnson concert & the dave matthews concert.  both were amazing. 
{the photo is's such a p.o.s. phone}

come and relax now
put your troubles down
no need to bear the weight of your worries
just let them all fall away.
~ pantala naga pampa by dave matthews band

one day, i'll tell you all about the fun we had at the river.  the rappahannock river, to be exact.

{big sunglasses, one hand on her hip, watching her brother like a hawk.  yep, that's my girl!}

one day, i'll share with you all our day at king's dominion.  it was hot as hell & adam got malia to ride on this with him:

{it's called the drop zone.  my nine year old rode this. her brother, aidan, said "sissy is crazy, mom!"}

one day.
i've just been so blah lately that i just don't feel like sharing much.
or, dare i even say that blogging feels more like a chore these days?

whatever it is, i will snap out of it.
one day.


Wednesday, July 28, 2010


if you've been reading the private blog shell said what?!, then you know what i am referring to.

i've been trying to take a more active, more holistic approach to my health & well-being.  i'm fortunate to have a friend & co-worker whose family believes in holistic care and i am very appreciative that he has shared some insight with me.

he knows a lot about what is going on with me personally {it's always nice to have someone unbiased to talk to} and yesterday i approached him & asked him to give me some alternatives to being a slave to a prescription pill.*
  1. diet - he told me to take stock of my eating habits & to look for deficiencies.  i believe we are a relatively healthy family when it comes to cooking & eating.  we shop smart. we eat fresh veggies pretty much on a daily basis and, if fresh isn't an option, then the frozen veggies in our freezer come to our rescue.  we don't have soda in our home {much to adam's dismay}.  we drink lots of water.  we eat fruit.  but, when i get sad, i have a tendency to binge on sugars & carbs.  i've jokingly said in the past that i haven't met a carb i didn't's my favorite food group.  according to my friend, acute depression is the result of a b-complex or cal-mag {calcium-magnesium} deficiency.
    i started taking a cal-mag supplement {with vitamin d} yesterday.  i plan on adding a b-complex supplement to my diet this weekend.

  2. chamomile or mint tea - more than one person suggested a nice, warm cup of chamomile.  it's a natural soother.  duh.  my mother drinks {green} tea on the regular.

    "there is no trouble so great or grave that cannot be much diminished by a nice cup of tea." ~ bernard-paul heroux {1900's basque philosopher}

  3. massage - my friend suggested that i get a deep tissue/stress relief massage.  the massage therapist he recommended to me offers relaxation massage, too.  relaxation: i definitely need some of that in my life.  the massage therapist is located in a chiropractor's office.  i should probably see the chiropractor, too {for other reasons}.

  4. yoga - my friend hit the nail on the head when he said to me, "there's probably way too little quiet in your life."  there is.  yoga is something i've wanted to try.  i had every good intention of starting a class months ago; however, the financial commitment deterred me.  coincidentally, i was reading our local newspaper online yesterday and found out that a free class is offered at the oceanfront every sunday through august 22nd.  free yoga.  on the beach.  the class is at 6:45 a.m., but for the relaxation & peace of mind, i'll be there {any local friends want to join me??}.

so far, i've only done points 1 & 2.  i started taking a cal-mag supplement yesterday at dinner and i ended my day with a cup of chamomile tea.  i hope to incorporate points 3 & 4 into my life this weekend.

we'll see how these four things help me along as i try to regain control of my inner self.

is there anything that you do to try and keep balance & sanity in your life?  suggestions?  words of wisdom?  prayers?

*i have not been to a doctor nor have i been clinically diagnosed with depression.  my friend is not a medical doctor.  his suggestions are merely that...suggestions.  this post isn't meant to knock modern medicine {please, my sister works in the medical field!}.  instead, this post serves as a reminder to me {and, hopefully to you} that there are other ways to finding your inner well-being than by collecting prescriptions.

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Friday, July 23, 2010

by invitation only.

tonight, i created a private blog that i titled "shell said what?!"

if you are interested in reading, either email me or leave your email addy in a comment.

be warned:  it's my emotional & psychological dumping ground.  it's not a pity party.  i just need a release.


Thursday, July 22, 2010

fall garden?

we've always had a summer garden.  always.

this year, our garden proved to be exceptional...if i do say so myself.  everything we planted came from seeds we sprouted ourselves.  quite a big feat for us because in years past we've always planted seedlings from the "orange-y" home improvement warehouse.

snap beans.
sugar snap peas.
yellow squash.
roma tomatoes.
grape tomatoes.
bell peppers.
jalapeno peppers.
serrano peppers.
snow peas.

we even planted carrots & watermelon, but neither thrived.

we also grew sunflowers.  the not-so mammoth kind and the mammoth kind {click on the photo above & you'll see the sunflowers in the distance...the actual flower is drooped over because it's more than a foot in diameter.  our guesstimate is that it once stood about 14-15' tall & it finally snapped during a windy thunderstorm earlier this week}.

we were also pleasantly surprised to learn that the pineapple sage, basil & cilantro we planted last year came back...with a vengeance.  we planted rosemary last year, but it's so hardy we get to enjoy it year-round.  the red onions we planted last year did really well this year, too.

and, we even have a small fig tree {a gift from my parents} that is starting to bear fruit and i cannot wait to eat our first figs from that tree.

we've been enjoying the bountiful harvest our garden has given us and now it's time to start thinking about planting a fall garden.  we've never done a fall garden.  have you?

we'd like to sprout our own seeds again, but i'm at a loss of what we should plant, so help....

what would you plant in your fall garden?

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Wednesday, July 21, 2010

st. anthony is my homeboy.

i've lost something.  actually, it's more like some things

i accused a friend of taking them.  and, even though i confronted him, i'm not backing down.  my intuition tells me i'm right.  the pain in my heart screams that i'm right {even though part of me believes hopes i am wrong}. 

perhaps this is the work of karma coming back around to kick me in the butt. 
perhaps this is a sign that i've been too trusting, too gullible.  
whatever the reason, i'm missing jewelry.  jewelry that is important to me, has meaning to me & has value that no pawn shop or dollar amount can touch.

my white gold & diamond hoops - worn last thursday night - gone.
my sapphire & yellow gold hoops - gone.
a sapphire & diamond ring - gone.
an aquamarine ring - gone.

my original engagement ring - all not even one-quarter carats of it - gone.
{adam gave me my 'original' engagement ring on my 19th birthday.  i suppose it was more of a promise ring.  i upgraded to a slightly bigger diamond - and kept the 'original' ring - a few years ago.}

i know i'm not crazy.  i didn't misplace these things.  the earrings are earrings i wear all. the. time.  the other items are kept in my jewelry box.  the jewelry box that i am in all. the. time.

everything that is missing was given to me mostly by adam.  some by my parents.  i had the sapphire & diamond ring for over 15 years.  the promise/engagement ring? turning 19 happened almost 14 years ago.  the aquamarine ring had three stones.  three for the month of march.  aquamarine because adam & malia were both born in march {my parents gave it to me well before i birthed aidan}.

i know these are just things - material things - but
my heart is sad.  it makes matter worse that the friend {yes, friend} i accused is battling his own demons & trying to cope with his own life.

still, for what it's worth, i hope that whomever took my baubles got whatever they needed out of them and that whatever they got brought to them more joy than my friendship ever will.  stealing isn't worth it.

st. anthony, st. anthony...please come around...something is lost that must be found!

{the pictures are from we♥it}


wordless wednesday - you are my sunshine

{from our garden}

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Tuesday, July 20, 2010

'mater thief.

this guy has been busted more than once stealing little grape tomatoes from our garden.  the garden is "fenced off" {i use the term "fenced off" loosely because it's just chicken wire}; however, he's clever enough to get to the tomatoes anyhow. 

obviously, he doesn't remember the time he spent most of the night throwing up the most vile vomit last summer after eating a rotten tomato from the garden.  and, he clearly doesn't realize that tomatoes just aren't good for dogs.  period.

frisco, i swear.

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Monday, July 19, 2010

i think i'm cheap.

no, not cheap like that.  geez.

cheap as in you need to go check out my blog sale because i finally have a few items listed.  one dress has already sold {and is already in the mail}!  whoop, whoop!

seriously, carry your eyeballs over to shell sells.  i plan on adding to it throughout the week.  right now, it's just ladies clothes, but purses & maybe some shoes are coming.  next week, i'll add some kiddie clothes to the mix. 

now, go.  tell people, please.  tweet about it, too.  help me clean out my closet & earn an extra buck or two in the process. 

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Thursday, July 15, 2010

these are a few of my favorite things.

{sandbridge beach - virginia beach, va - july 2010}

{our lilies - when they were in bloom - full of pink & green goodness}

{frisco's puppy butt - fredericksburg, va - august 2009}

{my amazing children - hatteras, nc - september, 2005}

{this guy - dinosaur land - may 2008}

{korean food - or any food for that matter}

{crafting - should i start making hair bows/clips again?}

{me...just being - who else? - me}


Wednesday, July 14, 2010

i've come to realize...

i’ve come to realize that my chest-size… is small & that is okay. 
i’ve come to realize that my job… feels like like a chore than it really is {being yo-yo'd around isn't cool}.
i’ve come to realize that when i’m driving… i have a tendency to zone out especially on long road trips {don't worry, i've got a spotless driving record}.
i’ve come to realize that i need… to get away...far away...from here.  the hubs & i deserve a vacation to someplace wonderful.
i’ve come to realize that i have lost… faith in quite a few people.  people whom i was once proud to call friends.  not anymore.
i’ve come to realize that i hate… tries to fill my heart on a daily basis.  i have every right to hate who & what it is that i do hate, but - at the same time - i know it's not healthy nor is it good for my soul.
i’ve come to realize that if i’m drunk… i get a whole lot louder than i normally am.  i giggle more, too.
i’ve come to realize that money… really IS the root of all evil.
i’ve come to realize that certain people… are sorry excuses for human beings & should really feel lucky that they are even allowed to walk on this planet {see?  there's that hate thing.  ugh}.
i’ve come to realize that my siblings(s)… is an amazing, smart, beautiful woman & she's fulfilling her dreams.
i’ve come to realize that my mom… is absolutely, positively the best & i love her more than she'll ever realize.
i’ve come to realize that my cell phone… isn't all that it's cracked up to be {or maybe it's just my cell phone provider that i'm  not crazy about anymore}.
i’ve come to realize that when i woke up this morning… i really wished it was already friday.
i’ve come to realize that my first love is… is not the man i married...believe it, or not.
i’ve come to realize that right now i am thinking about… how my day will be tomorrow.  i hope it goes better than i am expecting it to.
i’ve come to realize that my dad… is my rock.
i’ve come to realize that when i get on facebook… i get a bit frustrated - is it really necessary to brag about what you have?
i’ve come to realize that today… may not turn into the day I hoped for.
i’ve come to realize that my best friend(s)… has been more of a best friend to me than I have to her.
i’ve come to realize that my spouse… is hard-working, honest & faithful...what more could a girl want?
i’ve come to realize that i really want to… get through graduate school as quickly as I can.
i’ve come to realize that life… is constantly throwing curve balls at us.
i’ve come to realize that this weekend… is going to be amazing.
i’ve come to realize that next weekend… should be amazing, too.
i’ve come to realize that my children… are absolutely brilliant -- meet them, you'll agree with me.
i’ve come to realize that when life gives you lemons… don't make lemonade, make margaritas instead!

i'm in a bit of a blogging slump so i stole this from my dear friend, rachel.  check out her blog, please.

Monday, July 12, 2010

lovin' my loaves.

my first attempt at baking bread - on saturday night - was a big failure.  i'm pretty sure i killed the yeast because the buttermilk i was using was too hot {totally my fault because i forgot i had it one the stove...d'oh!}.

i tried again on sunday afternoon.  this time, i used a different recipe.  and, this time, the outcome was totally different.  and, if my bread baking experiences continue to go this well, then we plan on never buying another loaf of bread from the store ever again. 

{the dough...after rising for an hour...success!}

{yeah, none of my loaf pans match}

voila...three loaves of honey wheat bread.  three.  the house smelled wonderful as the bread was baking.  i was just thrilled that the dough was cooperated & rose not just once, but twice as the recipe stated.  i was also thrilled that i did this.  by myself.  without the help of a bread maker {although i am inheriting my father's old bread maker and i cannot wait to use it}. 

want to make some honey wheat?  here's the recipe...

simple whole wheat bread from

3 cups warm water (110 degrees F/45
degrees C)
2 (.25 ounce) packages active dry yeast
1/3 cup honey
5 cups bread flour
3 tablespoons butter, melted
1/3 cup honey
1 tablespoon salt
3 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1. In a large bowl, mix warm water, yeast, and 1/3 cup honey. Add 5 cups white bread flour, and stir to combine. Let set for 30 minutes, or until big and bubbly.
2. Mix in 3 tablespoons melted butter, 1/3 cup honey, and salt. Stir in 2 cups whole wheat flour. Flour a flat surface and knead with whole wheat flour until not real sticky - just pulling away from the counter, but still sticky to touch. This may take an additional 2 to 4 cups of whole wheat flour. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to coat the surface of the dough. Cover with a dishtowel. Let rise in a warm place until doubled.
3. Punch down, and divide into 3 loaves. Place in greased 9 x 5 inch loaf pans, and allow to rise until dough has topped the pans by one inch.
4. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 25 to 30 minutes; do not overbake. Lightly brush the tops of loaves with 2 tablespoons melted butter or margarine when done to prevent crust from getting hard. Cool completely.

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Sunday, July 11, 2010

one love, one ocean.

if you watched the jimmy buffett & friends: live from the gulf coast concert tonight on cmt, then you probably saw this same shirt - in yellow - worn by jimmy himself.

do you want a shirt of your own?  i know i do!

you can find them here along with some other fun one love, one ocean things. 
and,  yes, the lulu of lulu's at homeport marina would be lucy, jimmy's sister.

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Saturday, July 10, 2010

craptastic? nah.

more bad news came in the mail this week, but whatever.  shit is hitting the fan just like we knew it would.  we just keep hoping that good will triumph over bad.  and, if anything, i reminisce about the day that karma called the office for my f.i.l. {of all people to have karma actually call...}.  yes, a woman named karma called.  she was trying to collect what was owed.  karma... 

that's not craptastic.  that's fantastic.

but anyways...
  • my parents & the kids are here this weekend.  we're busy working around the house today, but tomorrow should be a great day to head to the beach.  the kids are excited to be home; however, they're headed back with my parents on sunday night.  {we are so grateful that my parents help us out every summer with the kids.  not having to pay nearly 2.5 months worth of childcare is wonderful.  but knowing that memories & bonds are continually being formed between the kids & my parents is priceless.}
  • i may or may not have picked this book up at target last weekend and skimmed through a few lines chapters.  i didn't buy it, though.  hell, i don't even really watch that housewives crap.
  • on thursday night, we went to see jackass flats.  it's not often the boys play in our area, but when they do we are almost always there.  this was a free show and adam & i had never been to doc taylor's seaside lounge before and it was a great way to end what was a pretty craptastic day.  and, i think this coming tuesday we're going to trek down to the outer banks brewing station to see the boys play again.  **if you like bluegrass or are open to other genres of music, please check them out.  you won't be disappointed.  promise.
  • something is going on at work and, if it all works out, it should work out in my favor.  at least i hope so.  i have my fingers crossed.  but {and there's always a but} my boss said that my transition from full-time to part-time kind of threw a wrench in his plan.  but {of course i countered!} i told him that the reason i went part-time is because my current job isn't keeping me busy enough to work full-time, so...   at any rate, i just hope whatever it is keeps me at the office closer to home & maybe comes with a pay raise.
  • i won a giveaway!  the lovely summer {whom i'm proud to call a friend!!} picked out the beautiful silhouette print shown below.  soon, this beauty will grace my home.  where should i put it??  in the meantime, please check out summer's blogs:  {B is for...}, House of Dolls, B is also for Baby & Bon Temps Cake Shop
    {check out loveliette's etsy shop, please!}
    • my blog sale is still very much in the works.  my goal for this weekend is to get a few things photographed & listed.  notice the key word:  goal.  but, definitely bookmark the site or follow it with that google friend thingy, please.
     {you can find shell shells... by clicking here}
    • everything has been so craptastic lately that i'm really trying to focus on the good and make myself a more positive person.  i've always been a "glass half-empty" kind of a gal.  i've got to change because i find that i bring myself down at times.  so, if you see me getting sad, kick me in the pants, will ya?
    • did i tell you that i'm registered for the fall semester?  well, i am.  i'm taking f-o-u-r classes.  three are at the graduate level.  spring 2012 is my graduation goal.  if it comes sooner, that would be great.
    • adam & i have two concerts to look forward to in the next two weeks:
     this guy

    {jack johnson}

    and these guys

    • our veggie garden is doing well.  i'm going to start canning.  i need to also make giant batches of pesto because our italian basil plants are out of control. 
    i think it's probably safe to say that craptastic stuff is making way for some fantastic stuff.  at least i hope that is the case.  we're happy-go-lucky people.  we're simple.  we don't deserve to be going through what we're going through, but we'll be alright.  i think.  i hope.  i know.

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    Thursday, July 8, 2010

    better together.

    the last time adam & i saw jack johnson in concert was back in 2002 {i was a few months pregnant with aidan}.  however, in just over a week we will see him in concert again.

    we are stoked.

    mellow, meaningful music.  i'm very much looking forward to a night out with adam.  a night to forget the bad.  a night to cherish the good.  a night to remind us both that we truly are...

    better together.


    There is no combination of words I could put on the back of a postcard
    And no song that I could sing but I can try for your heart
    And our dreams and they are made out of real things
    Like a shoebox of photographs with sepia-toned loving
    Love is the answer at least for most of the questions in my heart
    Like why are we here? And where do we go? And how come it’s so hard?
It’s not always easy and sometimes life can be deceiving
    I’ll tell you one thing, it’s always better when we’re together

    It’s always better when we’re together
    We’ll look at the stars when we’re together
    It’s always better when we’re together
    It’s always better when we’re together

    And all of these moments just might find their way into my dreams tonight
    But I know that they’ll be gone when the morning light sings
    Or brings new things for tomorrow night you see
    That they’ll be gone too, too many things I have to do
    But if all of these dreams might find their way into my day to day scene
    I’d be under the impression I was somewhere in between
    With only two, just me and you, not so many things we got to do
    Or places we got to be we’ll sit beneath the mango tree now

    It’s always better when we’re together
    We’re somewhere in between together
    Well it’s always better when we’re together
    It’s always better when we’re together

    I believe in memories they look so pretty when I sleep
    And when I wake up you look so pretty sleeping next to me
    But there is not enough time
    And there is no song I could sing
    And there is no combination of words I could say
    But I will still tell you one thing
    We’re better together

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    Wednesday, July 7, 2010

    my spark.


    today didn't go as i expected. but, it's okay. more questions were answered. a little more confidence was gained. i can feel the stress weighing heavy on my heart, mind & shoulders. the financial uncertainty sucks. not knowing entirely what the actual outcome will be sucks.


    there is hope. there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

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    this is for real.

    thank you EVERYONE for your sweet words of encouragement either here, on twitter, on facebook or via email.  i was a little reluctant to share such a personal issue.  marriages are not perfect.  and, often times, it is those {external} issues that weigh heavy on a marriage & cause the marriage to start crumbling.  and, right now, we are dealing with a lot of extraneous crap.

    i'll be honest.  adam & i have crumbled more than once.  in the 16 years we've been together {eight years of those years we've been married}, we've seen some really great highs & some really awful lows.  c'est la vie, right? 

    marriage isn't easy.  it's definitely not for the faint of heart.  there is no such thing as a perfect marriage {in my opinion}.  my parents {who have been married for 38 years} will be the first to tell you that the road to a successful marriage is full of bumps, wrong turns & dead ends along the way.  and, boy, they so right.

    this hurdle that adam & i are facing and, hopefully, about to leap is a big one.  a very big one.  to put things bluntly, we are very, very, very close to losing everything that we have.  everything.  and, this is through no fault of our own.  no, we are at fault {in a sense} because adam trusted his father. 

    adam & i are not wealthy people.  if i told you our bank account balance, you'd probably think i was joking.  no, no...really...our bank account balances will either make you laugh hysterically or have you crying in a heartbeat.  paycheck to paycheck?  we live that way.  we've got our own mountain of debt that we pay every month {and have made such progress with, thankyouverymuch}.  we live in a modest home.  we live a modest lifestyle. 

    we knew this was coming, yet we kept hope.  hope that things would be made right.  hope that adam wouldn't be held liable {what were we thinking?}.  hope that we would just wake up from this bad dream.  instead, we are living the bad dream.

    but, we haven't given up hope.

    adam called his father the other day.  the last time adam spoke to his father was nearly seven months ago.  at that time, adam's father told him that he no longer considered adam to be his son.  this time, adam chided his father's actions.  in return, adam's father told him "to have a nice life."

    and we will.  we'll get through this.  together.  and, because of it, we'll be stronger than ever.    


    *the only real name used was adam's name so don't use this post against me {you know who you are}.  details & facts have been purposely left out because my blog readers just don't need to know everything {no offense, y'all}.  however, i felt like i owed my readers some sort of an explanation as to why i've been so ridiculously moody & downright depressing lately.  the people who read this blog don't even know who "adam's father" really is.  the readers who do know who "adam's father" is are probably already very well aware of the situation.  nothing slanderous was said.  i didn't call you any names.  quite simply, i told the truth...and it hurts, doesn't it?


    Sunday, July 4, 2010

    happy birthday, u.s.a.!

    happy 4th of july!

    get out there and celebrate america.

    be safe.


    Saturday, July 3, 2010

    my symphony.

    thank you, rachel.

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    Friday, July 2, 2010

    falling to pieces?

    it sure seems like it.

    last sunday, my marriage was very close to being over.  very close.  we yelled.  we cried.  we accused.  we fought.  we hurt.  we blamed.  we {almost} gave up.

    and then...we made up. things are fine now. 

    there's a lot of stress weighing on our shoulders at the moment and we're slowly, but surely, drowning in it all.

    more stress & uncertainty was thrown at us just yesterday.  top off those three hateful letters in the mail with a very sad, unsuccessful phone call to adam's father and it's easy to see why we're stressed, on edge & barely hanging on. 

    but, i'm not quitting.  not on adam.  not on myself.  not on my family.