Post #2 – a status update

in which I attempt blog-resuscitation

I just noticed that I have only posted once to this blog for all of 2016. Like many of my fellow blogging friends of the early 2000’s, I find myself asking, “Should I renew my domain for one more year or let this die?”

Considering that I was a daily blogger for SO MANY YEARS, it makes me sad that I haven’t made time for writing. A lot has changed. I guess, in the midst of the changes, I just didn’t want to write and hit publish at the end of the day.

Sitting…at what used to be our school table. Now it’s just a table. I’m not sad about it.


ReadingEverything We Keep: A Novel by Kerry Lonsdale. It was suggested by my kindle, so I borrowed it. Right now I’m just getting dragged on by suspense at the end of each chapter. So far, so good.

Preparing…for the holidays. I’ve done my shopping. I’m almost finished with the wrapping. The kids are counting down the days until exams are finished and school is out. Then the fun can begin.

Thinking…about whether or not it’s safe to return to facebook. Yes, I deactivated after the election. I have learned that I get along better with others when I don’t know what they think about every.little.thing. Plus, who needs to know what 480 people think about a thing? Not me.

General mood…roll tide.

That’s enough for now. I’ve got laundry to do.


Snowy Days

We were only expecting a light dusting of snow.

I took Hannah to school Tuesday morning. I remember asking her if she was sure she was dressed appropriately for the weather.

“It probably won’t even snow here. And this pull-over is so soft and warm on the inside. I’m fine. I just go from the van to the school. And all of the classrooms are SO warm anyway.”

“OK. But you never know what’s going to happen. I just want you to be prepared for anything,” I said thinking about her hats, scarves, gloves, and heavier coat back at the house.

She makes a good point, though. All of those things become burdens to carry around in a toasty school.

Leslie Wiggins photo

And so…we parted ways at the school’s entrance. I returned to our home to begin the school day with the other three kids.

The snow began to fall sometime during math. Of course, we stopped to gaze out the window in awe of ALL THE SNOW. It was really falling quickly and heavily. The kids bundled up to get out there and play before it melted.

Except the snow wasn’t going to melt this time because the temperatures were much lower than we’re used to. Instead of the temps hovering right at freezing, they were in the 20s and dropping.

The first thing I heard them say was, “This snow feels different. It’s powdery!” Meaning, it wasn’t wet like previous snow storms they’ve experienced. It was nearly impossible to gather up and pack together.

About an hour or two later, the school system called to say that they were releasing students at 12:30. Then, Karl’s employer announced they were free to go.

Leslie Wiggins photo snow on shrubbery

That’s when he called to let me know that I didn’t need to wait another minute to pick Hannah up from school. He had already seen the road conditions; police had already closed off a roadway near his office. Trusting his judgment, I bundled up and went to get our girl from school 2 hours before I was supposed to. I am so glad I did.

Though ice was forming, there wasn’t much traffic on the roads at that time. Keeping the van in its lowest gear, I puttered along at about 10-15 mph. My 3.5 mile drive took about 30 minutes.

Only a handful of other like-minded parents were in line to check-out their students. One fired-up woman voiced her displeasure about the forecast. “They got it wrong! Y’all need to go ahead and start sending kids home now.”

Unfortunately, turns out she was right. Many people ended up stranded where they worked or in their cars for the night. (Karl’s dad was one of those trapped on I-65. We spent most of the day thinking about his situation, praying for his safety, and calling him every few hours.)

As Hannah made her way to the doors, more and more parents and grandparents began lining up in the office.


We made it home without incident. Karl, on the other hand, was not able to make it all the way in his car. His 7-minute commute took 75 minutes. By the time he reached our neighborhood, the police had blocked the road. He had to walk the last mile home, which he was happy to do rather than risk sliding into a ditch or into another vehicle.

We were all home and eating hot soup and quesadillas for lunch by about 1pm. The kids played outside while we watched the traffic and tried to contact family.

Tuesday was an absolute nightmare for so many Alabamians. I felt sick to my stomach for parents who could not reach their children. I thought of sweet little cousins of ours stuck at preschool while their parents were stuck in their vehicles for hours. I thought of Karl’s dad trapped on the interstate for 17 hours…it was awful.


Life was almost back-to-normal today. Karl had to go in to work for a few hours this afternoon. We were able to retrieve his car from where he left it yesterday. Except for the shady spots, the snow is almost gone.

Some things I’ve enjoyed most this week: extra snuggling time under heavy blankets, bird-watching, soup.

Sunday & looking ahead

My mother’s day included sleeping in, opening sweet cards, grocery shopping, cooking, eating, visiting with my mom and grandmother, picture-taking, and geocaching

Looking ahead for this week:

(1) I am going to be proctoring SAT tests this week. My kids will be taking SATs this week. I think I’m experiencing more test-anxiety than they. (2) Abbey’s second band recital is happening this week. Her first year of band is almost in the books. (3) Our last night of AWANA is this week. This is both stress-relieving and stress-inducing. (4) My 2 scouts are sitting for Boards of Review tonight. (5) I am excited about 2 photography jobs this weekend. Yay!! With tests, school, scouts, church, and work, this is going to be a crazy week. Bring it. And James 4:15 and all that.

Celebrating Family

Yesterday evening, as we celebrated Karl’s grandmother’s 80th birthday, I had the privilege of sharing my lap with one of the cutest toddlers around. We watched a little Cinderella and Monsters, Inc. together while snacking on some crackers and cheese. The only problem was that I couldn’t simultaneously share my lap and take pictures of her at the same time.  Each photo is very up-close-and-personal, but these few were my favorites. She’s so precious!!

leslie wiggins photography

leslie wigginsphotography

And her tight curls!

leslie wiggins photography

As we celebrated Mima (pronounced mee’-mah) and took pictures with her,

Mima's 80th birthday party

I thought about each person in our family.

Mima with her children (1 grand standing in for her mom)
Mima with her children (1 grand standing in for her mom)
Mima with some of her grands
Mima with some of her grands
Mima with some of her great-grands
Mima with some of her great-grands
Mima with some of her children- & grandchildren-in-love
Mima with some of her children- & grandchildren-in-love

I am so thankful for each one of them. I’m glad they were born. I’m glad two people married and had children who married and had children who married and had children. I can’t imagine what our family would be like if one of them had never been born. Each one is unique and talented and awesome in his or her own way.


Que sera, sera (just imagine the diacritical marks)

We have about one month left before we absolutely, positively, no-more-playing-around have to start school. I know it’s going to fly by so quickly; if I don’t start planning for our next school year, I won’t be ready when we have to start. If the activity on our homeschool community facebook group is any indication, I’m behind. Each day another mom posts a question or curriculum request I am reminded that I haven’t even given one serious thought to the next year. I haven’t even purchased one book. Actually, that isn’t true — I bought a science textbook a few weeks ago. Still, I know one family whose first day of the 2012-13 school year was today. Yikes!! I don’t feel like I’ve had a good vacation yet.

In addition to academics, I’ve been thinking about extracurricular activities. Everything costs money, time, and other resources multiplied by 4. I know a lot of families just choose one or two activities and ALL the kids do the same things. That certainly makes things easier on the parents, but what if the kids have other interests? My children do, and I don’t want to force them to participate where they aren’t passionate. We haven’t finalized anything just yet, but I feel like my calendar is about to take a major hit.

What have we been up to? Well, I haven’t spent much time blogging. It’s not that I don’t enjoy the blogosphere; I just haven’t had anything worthwhile to share. I’ve been trying to read books that interest me and take pictures that speak to me. The kids spent 3 weeks swimming, electing to forgo the full 6 weeks of swimming that we’ve participated in the previous 8 summers. Karl and I have been more intentional with the way we spend our time with our children. Hannah is 13 now, which means we only have a few more years left with her living under our roof. Again, YIKES! We wrote out a few things that we definitely want to do with the kids before they leave the nest. We’ve been reading more, conversing more, and playing more. We’ve had more visitors. I put myself on a housekeeping schedule of sorts so that drop-ins and impromptu invitations are more pleasant. All good things, but not very interesting. Instead, they are aspects of our lives that are more appropriate for a personal journal rather than a public blog. Forgive me for not sharing.

In photography-related news, I’ve got branding on the brain. What is my personal brand? Answering that question is stress-inducing. I think I know what it is, and I can almost articulate it succinctly, but encapsulating it in an image/logo is a whole ‘nuther task for which I am not equipped. I’d like to incorporate my blog’s name as a business name and use Alabama state imagery, like the yellowhammer. But I’m not sure it works very well. Still thinking through that one. I threw something up at the top of the blog just to see how I like it, though, so if you’d like to contribute your $0.02 I’d gladly hear it. Karl drew the bird for me, by the way.

That’s enough rambling for this Monday. How are you?