You Know You’re Southern When… Boots, Band & Football Games

2014 August 27


We have season passes to the local high school’s football games. We faithfully cheer and proudly wear the school colors, plus I get to wear my new boots sent from Country Outfitter. The team is… well let’s just say they aren’t ranked very high most years.

The real reason we show up isn’t for the football team at all. (Gasp!)

You See… We are Band Parents

There is a certain pride to joining the Band Parent world. You must be initiated slowly otherwise you will run screaming from the crazy that is Marching Band in the South. If you make it all the way to ‘Parent of a Senior Band Kid’, the Freshman Band Parents will look to you for wisdom and understanding. (They have NO idea what’s coming their way.)

marching band state champions nation ford  fort mill 2013 goodncrazy

Because… for 3 months your world will revolved around Marching Band. Every weekend. Nearly every afternoon. Driving them. Feeding them. Keeping them hydrated at all costs! And never dare be late to a practice. “On time is late”, — Preach it Mr. D!

The kids put in as much as 20 hours of practice per week. With more than 160 kids in the band this year, Band Parents are expected to help in a massive way. Moms help with uniform alterations and accessories. Dads help with giant props and rolling themed backgrounds. Fundraising, cookie baking, sign-up sheeting all must come together with military precision and a tight timeline.

And then there is the Travel. This is a competition year. Our goal is set on the biggest of the big national competitions. Grand Nationals in Indianapolis. Ooooohhhh say it again! Evoking the grand daddy of all high school band competitions will raise the hair on any self-respecting Band Parent. We have no less than 4 traveling competitions this year. 2 of which the kids will stay overnight for the multi-day nail-biting pain that is a huge competition with rounds of performance and judging.

So we happily attend football games and brave the heat of the south in August and September to watch a few minutes during the half-time as our Marching kids begin to put their show together.


You know you’re turning Southern When.. Justin boots


  • Your family alters their whole schedule for marching band.
  • Wearing boots to football games is completely normal.
  • You answer with a hearty “Yes Ma’am” at the Chick-Fil-A Drive-thru window when they ask if you want Chick-Fil-A sauce with that.
  • Shrimp Appetizers show up with grits as part of the dish and you LIKE it that way!
  • You purchase earphones for a NASCAR race.
  • Y’all slips out and you don’t notice anymore.

Excited to wear my new Justin boots from you know you're Southern when...I’m excited to wear my new Justin boots with a lovely hint of turquoise in the stitching to upcoming Marching Band shows – AKA Football Games, and competitions… I will pick up my Chick-Fil-A sandwich on the way and practice my loudest mom-whistle!

You always want to embarrass your band kid as much as possible with the loudest parent noise. I’m thinking about a cowbell. But for now I’ll stick to stomping on the stadium with my boots and whistling really loud.

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post with AcornInfluence. Country Outfitter graciously sent me a pair of the most fabulous Justin boots. Square toed to fit even my gargantuan feet with wide toes. My opinions and fake Southern Drawl are all my own.

{MY BOOTS: I chose Justin Women’s Sorrel Apache Boot and you can find them on You can also search for square toe boots to find the best fit for wide feet/toes. I was told the Justin brand run a bit large—I was scared but I did it—I bought a half size smaller than normal and with the square toe they are a perfect fit! Price is $127 with free shipping.}

Keeping My Sanity In A GoodNCrazy Seminary Year

2014 August 25


You Want Me To Teach Early Morning Seminary?!!


long skirts seminary teacher

Wearing a Skirt Everyday…. The Whole Year??? Are you Kidding!


Back up… What does it mean when a Mormon goes to early morning Seminary?

When I was a kid growing up in Southern Idaho and later Eastern Utah; Seminary meant… each high school day I designated one of my classes to ‘release-time’. I was allowed to walk across the street during 3rd period and attend an LDS church run school.

Each year of High School was a different focus of study. One WHOLE year of Old Testament, then a year of New Testament each from the King James Version of the Bible, a third year was Book of Mormon and finally a year of Church History with the Doctrine & Covenants. These release-time courses are taught by LDS Seminary teachers who are employed full-time by The Church.

But most kids who belong to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (LDS) living outside Utah and some other denser populations of Mormons attend the same 4 years of study before school each morning taught by volunteers. Our kids attend Seminary as early as 5:45AM in some places.

Bless their little hearts! Hence we call it Early Morning Seminary… because It’s EARLY!

Seminary in Fort Mill South Carolina

I love this picture!! It says so much about the kids.

My daughter is a senior this year and she’s completed 3 years of early morning seminary, first in Oregon attending in a church building and then shuttling and carpooling over to the high school in time for the first class of the day. After moving to the Fort Mill area near Charlotte she spent one year being taught in her teacher’s home with the other kids.

But this year… there are so many LDS kids in her high school that they had to come up with a new situation to teach them all. And when that happened they lost their old teachers.

And guess what? My Stake here in South Charlotte asked me to team-teach the Early Morning Seminary kids.

Did you hear the part about EARLY? And MORNING?
Oh I am NOT a morning person!
Plus there are over 25 kids in the class!
25 Sleepy Teenagers!
At least it’s 7AM and not 5:45AM though!


We are one week into the school year and I’ve been on my knees a lot. This year is Church History and the Doctrine and Covenants, which is a great subject. But it’s also the year of study back when I was a kid I opted for early morning so I could fit AP English into my schedule. Which also meant… um… I might have slept a lot and missed a lot of the class. (God is smiling at me right now, huh?) I’m praying that I can simply bring the Spirit into the class and let the Lord guide my words.

Two things are giving me more stress than teaching the class right now. (More than wearing a skirt everyday!) One is just making sure my family has everything they need and our relationship is strong. Especially the relationship with my husband. The second thing is keeping myself and my home ORGANIZED.

Two Books have recently spoken to me in a big way since I took on this new role as Seminary Teacher.

Often publishers send me books in the hopes I’ll read them and share my thoughts, other times the author’s publicist will reach out to me directly and ask if I might read a new book. I don’t have time to read a LOT of the offers so please know if I’ve taken the time to read and then share the books, I genuinely think they are worth your time too.

Family: The Good F word

This first book is by Troy Dunn (A Mormon Dude in fact!), I’m not a fan of the title of the book but stick with me… Mr. Dunn apparently is on the Dr. Phil show all the time (I didn’t know that). And he created a show for WE Network called The Locator, following stories where he and his company helped reunite over 40,000 people with missing loved ones.

Family the good F Word by Troy DunnMore specifically his book is a self-help book directed at helping people make their marriages better whether you are in the midst of a marriage bomb or you feel your relationship sliding or even if you are in a good place and simply want to STAY there!

He’s all about action. Creating a “Life-Changing Action Plan”, assessing your relationship and working towards a goal. I like that. And in my world of crazy teen kid schedules, less sleep, more responsibility with this new teaching gig… I LOVE the idea of really digging deep into my families’ well-being by improving my marriage.

There is a relationship test you and your spouse can take directly in the book and a lot of examples and advice in a nearly 300 page book. Troy and his wife have 8 children and they seem to be doing something right!

Good or bad book title; this is a great book for self-evaluation of your family in todays busy world.

Available on Amazon for $18.90

A Mom’s Guide to Home Organization

The title of this second book speaks for itself. I am in need of a major organizing overhaul. In many aspects of my life! –I think if my home and family were more organized it would likely help contribute to the overall health of our family relationship as well… Maybe Mr. Dunn should add a chapter from Debbie Lillard’s new book!

Home Organization Book by Debbie LillardThis little paperback book is organized into 7 categories. Areas covered include organizing your time, your home and whole sections where she teaches you how to teach your children to organize themselves. I think that is the brilliant part of this book.

Something Ms. Lillard emphasizes over and over is to start a task and stick to it before moving on to the next dis-organized chaos in your life. If you start on your personal home office space, don’t move on to the dining room even though ‘stuff’ in the office needs to move to the dining room. Completely organize one thing at a time. –Advice I REALLY need.

I love her solutions about grocery lists: keep a ‘perpetual food list’ on the fridge for quick reference. And there are several chapters devoted to helping your kids create an after school routine and help declutter your KID’S clutter, another huge problem area for our home.

My biggest struggle is our evening family routine. Right now I am the one who NEEDS to be winding down and getting to bed much earlier than is usual for us. But if the kids are still finishing homework or tracking down last minute details for projects I can’t just tell them sorry … mommy needs a nap!

I seriously think every mom needs a personal organizer. I’d like Debbie to come to my house and do a whole time/space/family makeover but until that happens I’m happy to refer to all her ideas in this book!

Available on Amazon for $22.46


After a whole week of early morning seminary first I have to say I love the kids. Such a great group of fun teens. And I am genuinely excited about the coming year. Church History and all!

Second while I’m all about being silly and fun and basically waking up the kids each time I teach, I’m excited to share my testimony of the Gospel of Jesus Christ as it was revealed to Joseph Smith. And to help them really learn about the people mentioned in the Doctrine and Covenants. The more I dig in and read about and learn myself the more I am gaining a deeper appreciation for the sacrifices the early Church saints made. So many even gave their lives.

I’m grateful for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.
And I’m grateful for the opportunity to get up in the 5 O’clock hour, wear a dress and look into the faces of 25+ sleepy teenagers. You are my heros.

(I might be lying about the happy to wear a skirt part though.)

Disclosure: Both books mentioned were sent to me at no cost to me. The links above are not affiliate links. I hadn’t even been asked to teach seminary when I received these books. I think the Lord knew I was going to be in need of extra boosts of help I didn’t even know I would need yet! My thoughts and fears are all my own.

#Fury325 Announced For Carowinds | Biggest Giga Rollercoaster In The World!

2014 August 21


If you’ve been listening to my tweets or seen my Instagram feed you’ve see my love of the giant rollercoaster park that is quite literally in my back yard!

Carowinds Amusement Park is home to some pretty amazing thrill rides. Several I’ve only tried out ONCE and that was enough! Backwards, laying flat on your back, standing… all types of rollercoasters! My kids on the other hand are the perfect ages to enjoy having an amusement park this close. My favorite coaster in Carowinds is the Intimidator.

#Fury325 newest Carowinds rollercoaster what is a giga rollercoaster?

I was lucky enough to be invited to the media reveal of the newest Carowinds Rollercoaster to join the family. Once it’s completed it will be the tallest and fastest Giga Rollercoaster IN. THE. WORLD! Introducing the Fury 325—so named because it will be themed after the Hornets from Charlotte’s Revolutionary war nickname; and it will be 325 feet tall!

Ummm… What’s a Giga Rollercoaster?

“A giga roller coaster is a non-inverting sit-down complete circuit roller coaster that is built for height, speed, and airtime. These coasters are between 300 and 399 feet (91.4 and 121.6 meters) in height.” –Coasterpedia

#Fury325 coaster

Graphic renderings of the coaster once complete.

#Fury325 coaster rendering

“Riders will board into three 32-passenger open air trains and begin their ascent to the top of a 325-foot (over 30 stories) hill. This immense hill is followed by an exhilarating 81 degree first drop. Like an angry hornet chasing its target, Fury 325 will race through a series of hills, curves and quick transitions while reaching speeds of up to 95 miles per hour. Riders will speed along 6,602 feet of track during the nearly three and one half minute ride.” –Carowinds Press Release

The new Fury 325 will be 100 feet TALLER than the Intimidator!!

Watching this video is like being ON the ride!
(You might want to take some Dramamine first.)

Carowinds is injecting over 50 Million dollars into the park over the next few years completely reshaping the car entry and main gate walk-in entry (below). Plus they hinted at a new ride in 2016… saying it would create a big ‘Splash’… so we’re thinking a new water ride!!

Carowinds Changes Main Entrance rendering

This is Totally Cool! Live Cam!

If you are half as excited about the new ride as my family you might want to take a peek at the Live Construction Camera located on the Carowinds website (not much is happening yet but the camera is there and you get an idea of where the rollercoaster will be built). And see updated construction photos once they break ground!

My family will be there on opening day 2015!

See you there!

Disclosure: I was an invited guest of Carowinds and you bet I got to ride the Intimidator Coaster while I was there. However we are card carrying membership owners at the park and my opinions and excitement and FEARS about this GIANT new Coaster are all my own.

A few of my images from the media event:

Carowinds #fury325 big reveal

#HelloNewMenu Over At Bonefish Grill!

2014 August 19
#HelloNewMenu Over At Bonefish Grill!

Bonefish Grill has Released a Mew Menu Nationwide!
They’ve added new appetizers, desserts and an expanded grilled steaks section for anyone who would prefer their dinner closer to the land than the sea.


Back To School = Mom Half Year Mini Resolution {Giveaway!}

2014 August 11
Back To School = Mom Half Year Mini Resolution   {Giveaway!}

Enter to win this Prize Pack geared to jump start your mini resolutions from ZonePerfect by entering the Rafflecopter Widget below!


Ety Kids Safe Listening Earbuds

2014 August 8
Ety Kids Safe Listening Earbuds

Do you worry about the safety of your child’s hearing in the longterm when they use earbuds?


How To Make Yummy Fresh Salsa | Pico de Gallo

2014 August 3
How To Make Yummy Fresh Salsa | Pico de Gallo

My happy place is eating fresh homemade salsa, Pico de Gallo style. It’s also called salsa fresca and Google says Pico de Gallo means ‘Rooster’s Beak’. Well of course it does?? I knew that. Plus the ingredients make such a pretty picture!


Today Is Our 20th Anniversary

2014 July 29
Today Is Our 20th Anniversary

I made a slideshow with 20 years of memories and US packed into it. I Love Us.


Carrot Cake Cupcakes | Use A Food Processor!

2014 July 25
Carrot Cake Cupcakes | Use A Food Processor!

Easy to Make:
I looked around for a carrot cake cupcake recipe that included both baking powder and baking soda. (More like muffins that way.) Plus I wanted to use my food processor to both shred and chop the carrots as well as mix the liquid part of the ingredients.


Travelon | The Best Travel Bag I’ve Ever Used

2014 July 22
Travelon | The Best Travel Bag I’ve Ever Used

I tested the black Travelon Bucket Bag out heavily in the past 4 months. I used it as my everyday bag as well as put it through the traces on several air travel trips. I became very fond of it.


3 Best Summer Salads | Friends Will Be Thrilled!

2014 July 21
3 Best Summer Salads | Friends Will Be Thrilled!

I make a complete double batch of this salad because my kids devour it in the most adorable eat-more-than-I-do way.


When a Long Trip becomes Too Long (& then a cancelled flight makes it better?)

2014 July 17
When a Long Trip becomes Too Long (& then a cancelled flight makes it better?)

Tired of the smokers on the sidewalks and I just wanted my own bed and my own food (and a Diet Mountain Dew)! I wanted so much more in the way of modern art tours but the kids were ready to shoot me if I asked to go inside another Gaudi building.
Walking. Walking. Walking.


Fireworks And Fireflies In South Carolina | Light Em If Ya Got Em!

2014 July 3
Fireworks And Fireflies In South Carolina | Light Em If Ya Got Em!

I have a ten year old little boy who is super excited about this 4th of July.
Because for the first time ever we have BOTH: Fireworks and Fireflies!

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