Wednesday, December 15, 2010


Yes, this picture is a few months old but I just love everything about it. The three people in it, the scraped knees, the toys, my flip flops...the whole thing! It's my life...and I love it! So since I love it so much I thought it was worth of a WWW.

What: Mommy snuggling with her boys
When: Fourth of July 2010
Where: Mayfield High School

Friday, October 15, 2010

Elbow grease

With a little elbow grease this solid wood table
(that I bought at a yard sale for THREE BUCKS)
was stripped of it's chipped and sticky black paint
back to it's birthday suit.

Well, he kept his pants on!

(yes, that is my shoe in the top left corner. I despise shoes, even when working with power tools!)

I loved the table and the price tag but I didn't love the finish. So I went to town sanding away (barefoot and without a mask!) and stopped when it looked like this!
Sprayed some black spray paint on, let it dry, wiped on some poly and it's like a whole new table.
I do realize I don't have an after photo but just imagine the top matching the legs!
Next project, painting a new (to us) bedroom set crisp white!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010






Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Stream of Consciousness

I've got a lot to say these days but I just haven't been able to sit down and sort it all out. Some day soon I plan to do a post dedicated to our trip to Michigan to see Ryan! We had a great time and I can't wait to share the details with you! Right now I'm eating pancakes with Nutella (you should really go get yourself some!) and syrup. Was going to avoid the syrup so as not to eat such an unhealthy dinner but oh well! It's all good. I did spare the dreaded sticky stuff on the children's dinner. We all know what a mess that would be with two toddlers! Not to mention the dog with awfully fuzzy and crazy hair!

School started Monday and so far it's been a breeze. I have classes on Monday and Wednesday starting with General Psychology and ending with Math. The math is pretty basic because, well, I stink at math. Stink isn't really the word to's really more like, I suck at math! Yea, that's better. Doesn't sound better but it's more accurate! Both my teachers are pretty awesome. My Psyc teacher is in our Sunday school class and his wife was my geometry teacher in high school! At least I know where I can go for help! On Monday my math teacher taught class without shoes on! Now that's my kind of teacher. Shoes are overrated. Seriously. Well, they are!

While we were out on the water in Michigan I snapped this great picture of Chad. I happen to think it's one of the better pictures I've taken of him. He's just not a good picture taker. Something happens when that flash goes off. His face just goes sour, or he's got the goofiest grin or his eyes are closed. Now that I think about it, Riley pretty much does the same thing. Unless he doesn't know I'm about to click!
(And yes, those are picnic tables in the water!)

Looking at that water makes me just want to lay on the beach and relax. But none of that nonsense is going to happen these days. Partly because we don't live that close to the lake and partly because I have a lot of walking to do just between two classes. I mean, could the buildings be any further apart?! Oh well. It's all good. At least till it's pouring down rain or the snow is three feet deep. Oh who am I kidding, we live in Kentucky. Not sure the last time there was three feet of snow on the ground. At one time anyhoodle!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010


I've waited just under six and a half years for this very moment. Words cannot even begin to describe just how awesome this picture is and what it means to me; so I'm not even going to try.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Check out this awesome GIVEAWAY

I'm not usually a fan of blogging about giveaways but I couldn't pass this one up. I mean, who wouldn't want to win a new Silhouette Machine! This thing ROCKS! Endless fun and ideas right here in this little machine. I had my little heart set on getting a Cricut Expressions and then bam, this thing came out! Hey, maybe I could win one and buy the other?! I gal can dream, right?!

Check out the giveaway over at The Idea Room!

Friday, July 30, 2010

Of white picket fences and tree forts

In the perfect world I would have a little pink house (it's cute trust me!) with a white picket fence trimming the front yard. A huge tree in the backyard with a daddy-made tree fort way up high. A chocolate lab laying in the grass under the tree just waiting for the kids to come back down to play. Two boys and two girls of course.

In the perfect world I would have a spotless house with white slip covered couches and a recliner for Mr. Wonderful, dinner on the table when he came home and a nice, relaxing dinner as a family at the table. A farmhouse table. Just to the left of the kitchen. They boys would share a room painted a grey-ish blue all decorated in a nautical theme and then the girls would have the most whimsical room you could imagine.

In the perfect world Mr. Wonderful and I would walk hand-in-hand everywhere we went. We would write mushy love notes and leave them around the house for the other one to find. We would sit in the hot tub together and have a glass of wine after the kids were all nestled in bed. We would talk about the day we had, about the future, the children, about growing old together and about our next date. A date where we didn't ague over dinner, where we completely and totally enjoyed the company of one another even if no words were spoken. Where we laughed so hard I cried. Where Mr. Wonderful really and truly felt like Mr. Wonderful.

You know, in a perfect world.

But you see, we don't live in a perfect world. We live in a world full of stress, work, school, crying children and a toddler right smack dab in the middle of OUR bed. A world where instead of that peaceful dinner on the dining room table there lies a stack of bills that may or may not get paid this week. The clean white slip covers are piles of unfolded laundry waiting for someone to pay attention to them. And that tree house, it's just a pile of lumber behind the garage that's never been built.

And somewhere under the piles and the mess I have become hidden. Hidden from Mr. Wonderful. Hidden from myself. Hidden from my children and most importantly, hidden from God. I have let the cares of the days burry me. Just as the laundry buries the couch and the bills cover the table. Where have I gone? Who have I become? This is far from my perfect world. Am I even in the right house? Will I ever be able to find MY perfect world again? Does it exist?

Across the room I hear the laughter coming from my children as they play. Without a care in the world. They are having so much fun with what they have and here I am. Lonely, crying, depressed. Sitting at the computer typing away, felling sorry for myself. Sorry for my family and my own marriage. Sammy knocks the tower down with a thud. It jolts me. The kids cheer as they see the damage that has been done. Just as the Devil is sitting behind me cheering himself on.

Helping the children pick up the blocks to build it back up again it hits me. I hear that once familiar voice in my ear again. He whispers to me, "I miss you. Come back to me. Sit on my lap and stay for a while. You can cry if you need to. Come and let me wash it all away. Let me wrap my arms around you. I created you and I love you as no one else can. And when you let me love you again the chaos of your world fades and you will see the perfect would that I have created just for you. I never promised it would be easy or exactly the way you dreamt it would be but you have all you need. You just need the right tools to make it right again."

And now I leave you with one of my favorite songs.


Wednesday, March 17, 2010


Riley's birthday is this Sunday and his party will be on Saturday! He is so excited. All he cantalk about are his gifts, what he wants and who's getting what for him. He told us all that his Aunt Cheryle was getting him a basketball goal. I'm pretty sure she got it for him...this boy isn't loved at all!

He requested a race car cake this year. With the cost of his birthday gift from us and with the mindset of keeping things simple I decided to try my hand at making his cake. I've baked before and frosted a few cakes but nothing pretty or fancy by any means. What was I thinking getting myself into this baking disaster.

Like always, I did my research and set out to find the perfect cake to make for the coolest three year old I know. I found pictures and directions on how to make a crazy-8 race track cake. Spent some time reading the directions, going back and forth on just ordering a cake vs making it and then my hubby told me, 'just do it already!'

So I rushed out to Wal Mart and bought my supplies. Stood there quite confused as to what I really needed but in the end I, surprisingly, got exactly what I needed. Sunday afternoon I baked the cakes and mixed the frosting to get just the right color green. Crushed the Oreos, with a jar of spaghetti sauce. It worked quite well till the husband decided to help me crush them up a little more and when he hit the bag the sauce decided it was time to come out of the jar. Good thing just a little escaped because we needed that for dinner. And I was NOT going to the grocery again.

I must say that I'm pretty proud of my cake and the way it turned out. Not only did it look cute but it was super yummy. And three days later, it's STILL yummy. I should know. I'm eating a piece right now!

Can't wait till the big day and to make this cake again f
or the real party!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

March for Babies

Today was the March of Dimes March for Babies kick-off lunch! It went great. Not many people showed up but that didn't bring anyone down. We had a great little lunch, Tom spoke a little about this years walk and then introduced Chad, Sam and myself as the ambassador family for Graves County. I wasn't really sure what I was going to say and I was super nervous.But I just prayed about it and let God tell me what to say. I think I did okay but I'm sure I could have done better. Sam totally stole the show by showing off his mad people skills! The kid never meets a stranger. Here is a copy of the letter that I wrote that got put in all the folders for walkers/volunteers!

Dear March of Dimes Friends,

Meet Sam! The smallest member of our family, born October 30th 2008 at just 32 weeks gestation. He may be small but he sure is a fighter, strong-willed and full of determination. We joke that Sam is such a fighter because he is the baby brother to an equally strong-willed big brother-but we know the real reason. He had to be a fighter.

After being thrust into this world a bit too soon due to a partial abruption Sam was struggling to survive. just hours after he was born he left for his first car ride, in an ambulance. He spent his fir

st three weeks of life in the NICU at Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital. Ten of those days he survived with the help of oxygen and surfactant therapy to help his immature lungs grow big and strong.

We know that without two very important things, our faith and trust

in God and the many medical advancements made possible with the help of March of Dimes, Sam may very well not be here with us today. Each and every new day we have is a blessing and to look at our little Sam now you would never know that he had to fight so hard for his place here on Earth.

This year we have the privilege to be the 2010 March for Babies Ambassador Family for Graves County. We are very honored to be a big part of such a wonderful and meaningful organization that helps babies just like Sam defy the odds that are stacked against them.

Without the help and support from friends and family like you, the March of Dimes would not be able to do what they do best. We hope you will join us and rally together in our mission to raise money so the March of Dimes can continue vital research in the hopes that one day all babies will be born healthy. We look forward to seeing you the day of the walk, April 17th 2010!


Chad, Tyra, Riley and of course Sam

Team S.A.M-Small And Mighty!

Friday, February 5, 2010

simple pleasures

Simple Pleasures-simply put!
(in no particular order)

*Indulging in a Kit-Kat after the kids have gone to bed so I don't have to share

*A cup of ice from Sonic

*Warm socks right out of the dyer

*Buying a new pair of jeans

*The feel of new Chapstick on my lips

*My favorite song on the radio

*A good hair day

*A call from my husband just to say hi

*Wet kisses from my two favorite boys

*Hearing my AWANA Cubbies say their Bible verses

*Listening to Riley sing 'Jesus Loves Me' while he looks at himself in the mirror

*Grandma's homemade banana bread

*Watching Sam and Riley play trains together-nicely. Even if it only lasts five minutes

*My dogs wet nose

*A hot meal cooked my Chad

*Phone calls from my Dad

*A cold can of Coca-Cola. With a straw of course

*Dinner out with great friends

*Monthly crop nights at church

*Dill pickles-and the juice

*The connivence of my new DVR

*Watching Sam learn to walk

*Buying office supplies

*Getting packages in the mail

*Warm brownies, hot fudge and vanilla ice cream. Enough said

*Penny ponies

*Writing notes in the margins if my Bible

*Getting a good deal

*Hearing Riley sing the apalhabet-his version anyway

*A new toothbrush

*Wrapping up in Lela's fleece blanket-made by Uncle Topher

*Receiving an unexpected gift

*Getting a haircut

*Holding hands with my husband

*Listening to 'I Wil Rise' by Chris Tomlin

*Getting phone calls from Ryan

*Putting activities on the calendar

*A fresh can of dill pickle Pringles

*Girls night out

*Playing brick breaker on my Blackberry

Tuesday, February 2, 2010



I think I may be the one who needs this devotion the most! I really felt that God put it on my heart to do this months devotion but at the time I had NO idea what I was going to do. I kept looking through the Bible for something that caught my eye. Searching the net for ideas, looking through some books I had but I kept coming up with nothing. Finally I decided to just let it go and pray about it. Duh, right?! I put down in my prayer journal and kept praying that God would open my eyes to whatever it is He felt I should share.

A few days later I was walking into Wal Mart and ran into an old friend. This kind of running into was not a happy one. This friend and I had parted ways in a pretty ugly way. We made eye contact for a few seconds and went on about our business like we didn't even know each other. What I REALLY wanted to do was run over and give her a big hug and tell her how much I missed her and wish her a Merry Christmas. I didn't because I knew that while deep down I really do miss her and wish nothing but the best for her...I was wanting to do it just to make her mad. One of those kindness kills type of things.

The lord reminded me that I should just smile and walk on.So I did. I did some shopping and then began to aimlessly wander the store. I found myself in the book section. Not sure of what I wanted to look at I just kind of stood there. I'm sure some people thought I was lost or something. A few minutes later this elderly man tapped me on the shoulder. I slowly turned around, a little worried about what was going to happen next. He asked about my shirt. I was wearing the shirt from The Promise. He was asking all kinds of questions. If I went to church there, how much I liked it, if I grew up there and so on. Of course I told him I loved our church and went on to invite him to join us one Sunday. He said he would love to. Then we went on to talk about life. About my boys, about work, school, the economy and whatever else popped into the gentleman's mind.

We probably stood there for a good thirty minutes. When the conversation was over we gently shook hands and then he threw his arms around me and gave me the biggest bear hug ever. It was the sweetest thing. When he finally let go I could see that he had a tear or two in his eyes. He said he enjoyed our conversation and hoped that maybe we could meet up again. As he walked away he had the most amazing grin ever. It was kind of a thank you grin, a grin that said I touched him. One that expressed how happy he was to have had that conversation. I will ALWAYS remember that man and his grin.

After he walked away I just kind of stood there. Amazed, humbled and happy. It took me a minute to regain myself and wipe the tears from my eyes. Again with the stares from strangers thinking I'm some crazy goon just standing in the book section of the local Wal Mart! I finally reached for a book that caught my eye. It was a light brown leather Bible with a pink stripe on it. I picked it up and immediately began to cry. It was then that I knew exactly why that man and I met just moments ago. I flipped through the pages and the first verse that I stopped at was Col 3:12- So, as those who have been chosen of God, holey and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.

I came home, wrote that down and prayed over this devotion. Then the Lord led me to Acts 9:36 which says, Now in Joppa there was a disciple named Tabitha: this woman was abounding with deeds of kindness and charity which she continually did.

When I read those two verses I knew exactly what I needed. I needed more kindness in my life. I needed to SHOW more kindness. After all, that's what the Lord wants from us. We can't be great Christians and now show kindness to others. When we do kind things it's a great testimony to who we are and what we believe. Through our kindness it shows others that people do care and more importantly, that God loves them. It seems that Tabitha was ALWAYS showing kindness to others. No matter what kind of mood she was in. I can't help but think that she never thought twice about doing them. It was part of her daily routine to fulfill God's command. We can bet that she would have never hung up on the sweet lady from Mothers Against Drunk Driving who called to share important facts just doing her job trying to earn money to feed her family. And I'm pretty sure we can assume she would have never yelled at the poor gal about time and children screaming and annoying phone calls, either. We all know that I did NOT show kindness to that woman and she probably thought I needed God in my life.

As Christians we have to be especially careful how we go about our daily lives. We have non-believers out there who are judging our every move. Show them one ugly side of you and they will think the worst. They will wonder what kind of Christian acts like that. Think back to the WWJD fad...he would be kind, to everyone, all the time.

Kindness isn't just about saying nice things or guarding your words. Matthew 10:42 says just that, And whoever in the name of a disciple gives to one of these little ones even a cup of cold water to drink, truly I say to you, he shall not lose his reward. The Lord WANTS us to do these random acts of kindness. He wants us to meet the needs of others. Grabbing that jar off the top shelf for the guy in the wheelchair, opening the door for a mom and her child, giving the waitress an nice tip, volunteering to sever soup at the shelter...anything! What we may think of as simple can mean the world to someone else.

Maya Angelou put it nicely when she said,I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.

I challenge YOU to do one kind thing today and every day. It will soon become a great habit that just might rub off on others.

Sunday, January 31, 2010


Ryan Thomas Guiles.
My firstborn.
First boy.
June 17th, 2003.
He got his first name from his Daddy-Robert Ryan Guiles.
His middle name he got from my Dad, John Thomas. They share the same middle name.
I can't explain the joy he brought his Dad and I the day he was born.
An unplanned surprised.
Happily welcomed by friends and family.
The first Grandson for both sets of Grandparents.
Pure joy.

It's been almost six years since I have seen him. Since I have held him in my arms. Kissed him goodnight. Ran my fingers through his baby fine hair. Rocked him to sleep. Made his bottle. Gave him a bath. Got him up in the morning. Played outside.

My heart hurts for him. It aches. I want so bad to hold him and squeeze him tight. Hear him call me mommy more than just over the phone. I want to run my fingers through your thick curly hair. I want to watch you run and play. Push you on the swings.

I want so bad for you to know your brothers. For you to run and play with them. What I wouldn't do to have you here with me. To share you with your Daddy. I hope to come see you soon.

Until then, Ryan, I love you. I miss you. I pray for you all the time. I pray for your family in Michigan. I pray that when we do meet again you know exactly who I am. That we connect like it's only been a week since we've seen one another. I can't wait to see your Daddy and your Grandparents, too. It was rough but I still care for them. They still hold a special place in my heart. Just like you, Ryan.

I love you, my firstborn.

Friday, January 29, 2010

confessions of a stay-at-home-mom

Very rarely do we change into regular clothes. Jammies are so much more comfy and why dirty more clothes.

Speaking of dirty clothes. At any given moment I usually have about seven or eight loads to get done. Where do all these clothes come from?

Cleaning is not something I enjoy. In fact, I despise cleaning. And because of that my house is trashed about 99.9% of the time. I don't mean nasty plates everywhere and garbage piled high. I just mean you will step on about ten toys on your way to the bathroom. Just watch out for the GI Joe. That guy hurts.

Baby gates are a great invention. Not only do they keep children corralled like wild horses where they are safe but they also provide a great way of keeping at least one area of the house clean!

We consume way more than the recommended serving amount of marshmallows and pb&j sandwiches. You can't have one without the other and we eat that meal at least once a day!

Most times I am walking around with one shaved leg and one fuzzy leg. We can blame that on the two year old coming in demanding he needs more chocolate milk before he dies and the dog has to take him to the hospital. Or the husband coming in with the baby letting me know that he has, once again, pooped in his diaper. After the long conversation about color, consistency, amount and the dreadful smell the hot water is gone and so is my window of opportunity to shave the other leg. Thank God for slacks come Sunday mornings!

While on the topic of showers...they are a rare indulgence. I can count on getting one on Wednesday evening and Sunday morning but the other five days are a complete toss up. Same goes with the kids.

Sometimes I blame the messy house on the kids. Claiming they were totally out of control or really needy so I didn't have time to clean. That one doesn't really work!

I'm guilty of leaving the place a complete mess until five minutes before my husband walks in the door. Then there's a mad dash to get all the toys put away, dirty clothes where they belong, sippy cups in the sink and marshmallows off the floor.

There are SO many more confessions that I really should fess up to but for the meantime I will leave you with just those and come back later with lots more! Off to tidy up the house...

Saturday, January 9, 2010


It seems I'm always wanting more. More clothes, more chocolate, more decorations for the home, more coke, more this and more that. I just want a bit more of everything. At what point will I be just satisfied with what I already have?

I have a great husband who works 40+ hours which provides me the luxury of staying home. I have two awesome little boys that bring me so much joy. Family and friends to help and support me. A roof over my head and food on the fridge. I have clothing that fits, shoes with soles and five space heaters keeping us warm. A van that works, a body so healthy I get the best life insurance rate.

Yet I want more.

I want a life. I want to get out of the house and DO something. Help people. Help myself. Help my family.

I want to MAKE something of myself. I know what your thinking-'But Tyra, you're a mom. A great mom. It takes a lot to be a mom, a stay at home mom at that.' And to you I say, 'Yes, you are correct.'


You see, there's ALWAYS a but...

I don't feel complete yet. I want MORE.

A job, a CAREER, a degree. I want to travel to foreign lands and hold little children on my lap and share the love of Jesus with them. I want to volunteer here in town and make someones day brighter. I want to open a soup kitchen and feed all the poor and needy. I want to know their names. Give them a hug. Share with them about Jesus, too. I want more.

Am I really asking for too much?

Maybe for right now I am.

Maybe right now I have JUST ENOUGH. Enough to tide me over till I CAN get more. Enough to keep me going until I CAN get more.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010


Constructed carefully. Each brick hand picked and set myself. As tall and as wide as I want. As strong and durable as I feel necessary. This wall is my friend. Maybe my best friend. It also doubles as my counselor. I don't really talk to this wall, you see. I just throw my feelings in it's direction and I'm done.

My wall has this awesome quality of stopping whatever I throw at it from getting to the outside world. Great characteristic, I think. Though I've been told it's really not all that.

Apparently it's not so safe to make best friends with a wall. I say to those people-y'all don't know what you're missing! Really, you don't!

You see, this wall has worked great since childhood. Built by me several years ago...still standing after years of abuse. Many ugly words, physical abuse and loss upon loss. It takes it all. I really should have been a brick layer. Okay-maybe not.

After all, this wall of mine, that I built myself, isn't really there. It's just a figment of my imagination. And as I get older the game of pretend is starting to wear off. I've been fooled. By my own self. Odd.

It's taken some time to realize this. Some time that I would have rather spent building my wall much higher. Much stronger. But, I've run out of bricks. I've run out of mortar. And honestly, I don't want to go get more. It's quite expensive.

The cost of building materials have gone up. Pretty expensive now, if you ask me. This wall I talk so fondly of has become an enemy of sorts. The great job it was doing of keeping my feelings in and away from others has now started to hurt me. And those very close to me. Mainly my husband. That wall. That blasted wall.

It's time I take you down. Piece by piece. No more holding back how I feel. No more ignoring how my husband feels. No more. Wall, I love you, you've been great. But now it's time to be honest with myself. With my husband. With my family and friends.

No more relying on the wall to keep me safe.

It's God's turn.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Thank You God

I found this video over at It's Almost Naptime and I just love it so I thought I would share it with all of you! I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. Blessings to each and every one of you!