The Day that Walmart Didn’t Suck

Last week my son and I headed to Walmart like we do every week for our grocery shopping. I was dreading it because well it’s Walmart and the place has a way of ruining your day. Either you get cashier a that’s been treated rudely or cursed out because of how there are only 4 cashiers working and a customer had to wait in line for more than 10 minutes, so that in return just makes them upset and not friendly. Or you run into bunch other shoppers that are just pissed because they are shopping at Walmart or maybe they’ve had a bad day. And some days if you’re really lucky you get to deal with both of these things.

After working for the Walmart Corporation (Sam’s Club)  and other retail jobs, I can tell you this: treating your cashier like poo because there aren’t more cashiers or other mundane things is uncalled for. It’s not their fault. They don’t make the schedule, a computer usually does that. If you want more cashiers, pick up the phone and give the manager of the store a call or call the corporate office. The cashiers are seriously just doing their job. Because of being a cashier and a consumer I always try to keep in mind that everyone has a bad day and sometimes that effects us in other aspects of our lives but we shouldn’t take it out on innocent people. Anyway that little rant has nothing really do with he story I’m trying to tell. So where was I…Oh yeah….

My son and I walk into Walmart. As soon as we get in there he sees the little ridding toys and video games, like always he ask if he can play. (This is usually where I lie and tell him no because they are broken. Seriously, I hope the man/woman that decided to put those things at the entrance, stubs their pinky toe and then steps on a pile of legos every day. I’ve tried telling him the truth, that results in a meltdown but if I tell him they are broken he’s like okay and I don’t have to deal with a meltdown. I know it’s bad Mommying but grocery shopping with a curious 3 year old is tough.So judge all you want.) For whatever reason this day I decided to let him ride one of the little riding toys. I even played the vending machine  and won two little toy balls. I let my son pick out the he wanted and I gave the other to another little boy.  When my son was finished with his little riding thing, we grabbed a buggy and did our shopping without hassle.

I was almost to checkout when I remembered that I needed olive oil. So we ran back down to the oil aisle. While there my son began asking me for ice-cream. I told him no because he had popsicles at home. He then started with the pretty, pretty please bit and batting those beautiful baby blue eyes at me but this Mama stayed strong.  Then this older gentleman who was probably in his late 70’s early 80’s turns to me and say’s  “You should get that young man some ice-cream, Mom.” (If you’re a parent in the South then I’m pretty sure you’ve heard some variation of that line before.) I smiled politely and explained that he had popsicles at home. Then the man started to reach for his wallet and I quickly stopped him. I tell him “You don’t need to that. He’ll be fine.” Then the older gentleman looks at me with the saddest eyes I’ve ever seen in my life and says “Please, I don’t have a wife or a family. It’s just me and it would make my day to buy this handsome young fella some ice-cream”. I could feel the lump gathering in my throat, the tears swell  in my eyes and I knew I had lost a battle I won so many times before “Okay Sir, but you really don’t have too.” He smiled real big, opened his wallet and gave my son a dollar. My son thanked the man and he was so excited about his dollar. Then I thanked the man and he just smiled real big  and replied “Your Welcome”. Then he walked away in the opposite direction. I immediately walked my son over to the ice-cream aisle and let him pick the kind that he wanted.  On our way back to check out we ran into the gentleman again. I made sure he knew that we had gotten ice-cream and I thanked him again.  He smile still hadn’t faded.

Then while I was searching for a checkout lane, the cashier working the 20 items or less aisle motioned me over. To which I responded “Are you sure? I have way more than 20 items”. She said” Yes, honey it’s fine.” She let my son help her bag the groceries and turn to the wheel of bags thing. That kind of stuff is just the coolest thing to a 3 year old. She was so friendly and kind. After she rang us up, I told my son to give her his dollar for his ice-cream. He dug in his little pocket and handed her the dollar. She had another dollar sitting beside the register. She then takes her dollar and puts in the register and gives him his dollar back.  She tells him “Save your dollar for something else, sweetheart.” He thanks her and I thanked the lady and offered to give her, her dollar back to which responded “No, honey. I wouldn’t have done that if I didn’t want to”. We told her goodbye and to have a great day.

As I was loading the groceries into my car, I couldn’t help but to smile. I kept thinking this is the BEST DAY I’ve ever had a Walmart. It wasn’t because people gave my kid money either, it was because they were kind when they didn’t have to be. It was very eye opening, to what the world could look like if we were just a little kinder to each other.

For those of you who don’t know

There’s a really good reason I haven’t been writing that much lately. That reason is morning sickness. Okay so that isn’t the only reason but it was huge contributing factor. We found out that we are expecting and our new little baby will make it’s arrival in November.

I’ve heard women say that every pregnancy is different and I don’t think they were lying. With my first pregnancy I only had a little nausea the first trimester that was it. The first trimester of this pregnancy I was either nauseous or throwing up. I’m 17 weeks right now and  thank goodness the sickness has slacked off a great deal. Another new symptom I’ve had this time is the sensitivity to smell. I had my eyebrows waxed the other day and the beautician had on a really sweet smelling lotion. It instantly made me nauseous and I had to ask her to wash her hands.

Aside from all the symptoms I’m excited but I’m also nervous. Not about the diaper changes or the midnight feedings or even being completely sleep deprived. I’m worried about how much our lives are going to change. Everyone tries to tell you how much your life will change when you have your first baby but of course most of us are know-it-all perfect parents, so we don’t listen. Then we are quickly humbled when the baby arrives. I think there is beauty in that.

This time I’m not a know-it-all unexperienced parent. I definitely know more now then I did before my first. But I also know that this baby could be entirely different from his brother and that’s the thing I’m worried about. I know that sounds silly because there are no two people on this planet that are exactly the same but it’s still a valid fear.

What’s it going to be like having two kids? I don’t know but I’m certain it will be a humbling adventure.

A Cheesy Post

Today my husband and I have been together for 6 years (We’ll be married for two years in October.)  We met while working at Sam’s Club in 2009, we flirted a little and I just remember thinking his blue eyes were the most beautiful eyes I’d ever seen in my life. I was crushing hard but I thought he’d never be interested in me. (Also I don’t take rejection well.) Fast forward to January of 2010, I left Sam’s Club to move to Chicago for school. One night after I got there I decided (or it could have been the liquid courage that decided for me) to send him a message on Myspace to tell him that I liked him and thought he was cute. After all if he didn’t feel the same I wouldn’t have to see him again for 5 months.  His response was “Now you tell you me. Now that you’re over 2,000 miles away. I like you too.” (I would later find out that the reason he never made a move is because he thought I was in a relationship with one of my best gay guy friends.) We talked on the phone and texted back and forth the entire time I was there.  We decide early on that when I came home for the summer that we’d go out on an actual date.

The end of May came and it was time to come back home to Mississippi. It was time for our date. Our first date together was wonderful, we had this instant connection and honestly that terrified me. I came home and told my sister that I didn’t think it was going to work out because he was too nice. When I came home from the second date, I told her that this was the man I was going to marry. She just looked at me bewildered and started “but you said…” ” I know what I said but I’m telling you this is the guy I’m going to spend the rest of my life with.”

2010


By the end of June I had a job working at Forever 21 and Sam’s Club. It turns out that going to a really nice private art school and being completely finically independent means that even after you receive finical aid, take out the max amount of student loans for the semester you’ll still owe the school two grand. Working two jobs taught me a lot but it mainly taught me that I don’t want to work two jobs for the rest of my life. So I worked my butt off to get that paid off and decided to enroll at The University of Southern Mississippi in January 2011.

That same January my husbands lease was up on his apartment and one afternoon we were talking about it. He looked at me and said “Why don’t you and I move in together?” He must have read my face because he quickly followed up with “You don’t have to give me an answer now. Just think about it.” The truth is it scared the crap out me and I thought I was going to throw up. I had all of these thoughts going through my head. “We’ve only been together for 6 Months! What if it doesn’t workout? What if we hate living together? Is this too soon?!” So I turned to my 3rd Mom, Mrs. Candy, for advice. She basically told me that I should go for it and if it didn’t workout, it didn’t workout. And that I could always come back home. (I honestly believe that she knew, Shae was the one for me the first time she met him.) We moved into a small one bedroom apartment together and it was awesome. To this day I have never regretted that decision.

In October of 2012 we found out that we were going to have a baby. I was terrified to tell him, hell I was terrified in general. I had my entire life planned out, kids weren’t supposed to happen until I was 30 and here I was just turned 24 in August. I was in my senior year of college, I had plans of going to straight to grad school. I was having all sorts of thoughts and fears. I called him while he was at work to tell him, on his birthday I might add. I was freaking out. He was so calm and just reassured me that every was going to be alright and that he’d be right by my side no matter what. When he got home he told me that he had plans to propose before I told him I was pregnant. My response to that was “For the love of God, please don’t propose. People aren’t going to care that we’ve been together 2 and half years or that we actually love each other. They are going to think the only reason we got married is because we’re having a baby.” (We had talked about getting married prior to this but not until after I finished my degree because it was really important to me to have my last name on my diploma.)

In April 2013, he was about to fly out for work, I was huge 7 months pregnant and we went out to eat at one of our favorite restaurants on the coast. After dinner as we’re driving back to the hotel he says to me “Why don’t we stop at one of the beaches? It’s such a nice night.” My fat pregnant self is all like “Babe it’s so humid right now, I don’t really feel like it.” He said “Are you sure babe?” “Yes, honey I just wanna cuddle and watch a movie.” He just said “Okay, babe.”But I felt guilty so I decided to stop at the last beach before our turn to go back to the hotel. We walk out on the beach and we were looking out at the ocean talking. He was right, aside from the humidity it was a nice night. I remember looking at the ocean and him saying “Wouldn’t it be a nice night for a proposal or for us to get married?” I said “Yeah but it’ll happen when it happens” then I turned to him and he was down on one knee. My 7 month pregnant self started jumping up and down, giggling, smiling from ear to ear asking “Are messing with me?!” then he asked and obviously I said yes. I graduated in May 2013 and our son, Deklin was born June 19th, 2013.

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Photography by: JoCo Foto

We finally got married in October of 2014. It was a beautiful ceremony and we had so much fun. That entire first year everyone kept asking “What does it feel like now that you’re married?” I told them the truth “It feels exactly the same, except I have a new last name.”  I think from the moment Shae and I started dating he’s always been my husband and a wedding just showed that publicly.
I truly feel like God made Shae for me. He’s always calm when I’m freaking out and knows exactly what to say to help me calm down. He’s my protector but he also knows I can take care of myself. He may not understand my love of the arts but he respects it. He’s never told me that I had to do something or that I couldn’t do something. He encourages me and gives me that extra push when I need it. He’s honest with me. He still surprises me with the little things he does. He loves me unconditionally. My husband is my best friend. He’s a wonderful Daddy too. (There is this beautiful picture my sister-in-law took of Shae looking at Deklin right after he was born, it’s absolutely my favorite picture of them. My husband is grinning from ear to ear and you just see so much love in his eyes. It makes me cry happy tears every time I look at it.)  I had an emergency c-section with our son so for the first two weeks of my son’s life my husband basically did everything because I was trying to recover and he never once complained about it. Even after I had somewhat healed he still got up with me in the middle of the night to help take care of our son. There are mornings where he’ll take Deklin in the living room so I can sleep in just a little longer. There is no doubt in mind that he’ll be doing the same with our new baby when he makes his arrival.

 

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Photography by: Laken E-Photography

One of the things that I love about my husband is how brave he is. I’ve been with him in a resturant when someone has started choking in a restaurant and people are just watching in horror and without hesitation Shae will jump right in. We’ve been driving along, passed an accident that just happened and my husband will turn the car around, run to help them and wait until the ambulance gets there. (I should mention he does have some medical training). He always shrugs it off when I’m in awe of him jumping into one of the situations. He’s like “It’s what was right thing to do, it’s what anyone would do. It’s no big deal” But it is a big deal to me. I tell him all the time that I don’t know what I’d do if I came up on some of the situations he has. I’d like to think that I would just jump in and do the super hero thing, but I don’t know that it’s true. But I’m so thankful that our boys have him to look up to though, someone who isn’t afraid to lend a helping hand in a scary situation.

A few months ago I was talking to a friend/mentor of mine. I was telling her how it makes me feel really proud when I meet someone Shae grew up with or went to school with because the first thing they tell me is how he treated everyone with respect and how he’s a great guy. I instantly apologized to her because I felt it impolite to be bragging. She then told me something I don’t think I’ll ever forget. “Brandy, you should never apologize for bragging about your husband. You should always take pride in him.” That just floored me because up until that moment I thought that it was rude to brag to other people so I tried not to do it. But not anymore I want the world to know my husband is freaking amazing!! I’m so thankful that God brought him into my life. He’s truly the best thing to ever happen to me and I love him more than he’ll ever know.

There is this cheesy quote that I love that goes something like “Every love story is beautiful but ours is my favorite.” I don’t think truer words could define how I feel about our story. I wouldn’t change anything about it. It’s crazy  to think about how much life has changed in 6 years. Happy Anniversary to my AMAZING, FANTASTIC, ABSOLUTELY WONDERFUL, HANDSOME HUSBAND, SHAE! I LOVE YOU!! I  can’t wait to see how much our love story grows over the next 80 years.

2016

 

The Dos & Don’ts of Building a Fireplace Mantle

A few weeks ago my dear sweet friend asked me to help her build a mantle for her fireplace, so naturally I said yes. (I should mention that neither of us had ever built a mantle before.)  Today I’m going to share with you a few of the Dos & Don’ts of Building a Fireplace Mantle.

Do your homework (Hello, Pinterest)

Don’t follow the exact lay out another person posted. (Your fireplace will be different, so there will need to be some adjustments made. If you don’t you’ll be making to two mantles and one of them will end up being a wine rack.)

Do find the most experienced carpenter in Home Depot and talk to them about what you’re doing. She or he can give you some helpful hints to make your project go more smoothly. (Shout out to Mark at the Home Depot in Hattiesburg, MS!!)

Don’t forget to charge your tools the night before.

Do make a list of ALL of the supplies you’ll need.

Don’t do your shopping the day you plan to complete the project. (The shopping took a lot of time.)

Do this project with a friend it makes it so much fun and a lot easier. Enjoy!!

 

 

Easy Peach Cobbler Recipe

I loved sweets for as long as I can remember and one of my all time favorite summer time desserts is peach cobbler with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. So today I’m going to share with you one of the easiest peach cobbler recipes.

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Here’s what you’ll need:

2 Cans of Peaches

1 Stick of Butter, Melted

1 Cup of Milk

1 Cup of Bisquick

1 Cup of Sugar

1/2 Teaspoon of Nutmeg

1/2 Teaspoon of Cinnamon

Start by preheating the oven to 375 degrees. Grab a cake pan (The smaller the cake pan the thicker the cobbler will be.) Pour the melted butter on the bottom of the pan, add the peaches with the juice, and sprinkle the nutmeg and cinnamon over the mixture. Stir.

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In a separate bowl combine the Bisquick, milk, and sugar.

Pour the Bisquick mixture over the peaches. Then place the cobbler in the oven and bake for an hour.

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When time is up cut a slice, throw a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top, and ENJOY!!

How to Clean a Dishwasher

Lately I’ve noticed that the inside of my dishwasher looks a little dirty and it’s made me question how clean my dishes are actually getting. So I decided it was time to clean my dishwasher and today I’m going to show you how to do the same.


Here’s what you’ll need:

1/4 Cup of Baking Soda

1 Cup of White Vinegar

First you’ll need to remove the filter and the filter tray and soak them in warm soapy water for 10 minutes. Using a wash cloth lightly remove any debris that may be caught in the filter. (You don’t want to be careful because these pieces are delicate.)


Then you’ll want to replace the filter and the filter tray.


Then sprinkle the baking soda on the bottom of the dishwasher.


Next pour the white vinegar on bottom of the dishwasher and turn the dishwasher on the deepest clean cycle you have. After the cycle is finished your dishwasher is clean. There you have it.

DIY Spring Wreath

I think it’s safe to say that Spring is in the air!! (My allergies confirm this. haha.) I decided to celebrate the change in seasons by making a beautiful Spring Wreath. Today I’m going to show you how you to can make a beautiful wreath without paying the big price tag.

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Here’s what you’ll need:

Grapevine Wreath

Artificial Flowers

Wire Cutters

Hot Glue Gun

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Start by cutting the each flower from the bunch it’s attached to using the wire cutters. (I strongly suggest using a bigger pair of wire cutters than I used because it will take F.O.R.E.V.E.R. if you don’t)

Next you are going to take the flowers and slide the steam through the wicker wreath in a pattern that you like. Once you have a pattern that you like glue the back of the flower to the wreath using the hot glue gun.When it’s dry cut off the excess flower steams from the back of the wreath. You’ll want to cut them close to the wicker wreath to make sure your wreath sits as flat as possible, once it’s hung.

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Then hang your cost effective Spring Wreath and enjoy!!!

Helpful Tips:

1.) Buy more flowers than you think you’ll need. Trust me half way through mine I had to run to the store to get more. Needless to say they were out of one of the flowers that I used, which lead me to rearrange my wreath.

2.) Use more durable wire cutters than I did. Using those little tiny things was like a cruel punishment.

3.) Buy your supplies from the dollar store. I bought all of my wreath on a whim from Hobby Lobby because it was half off ($4). When I took my weekly trip to the Dollar Tree they had wicker wreaths for a dollar. They also had some really cute flowers, so I wasn’t about to miss that opportunity. The total cost of making this Spring Wreath (with the cute little butterflies I added) was $15 dollars.