DNA or Not

family option 4

Some of the people in this photo do not share my DNA

Most do.


My Momma of course gave me my DNA. In this photo, she was in terrible pain and she will probably be mad at me for posting this.Β  She dressed up and showed up because I asked. It was a big ask….. I know that. She was miserable and I am grateful she loves me enough that she would put on dress clothes to make me happy on this day.

steve and charma

The guy standing beside me does not share my DNA but he put a ring on my finger almost 35 years ago so he qualifies. A suit? He never wears a suit. But I asked and he put it on.

I see so much more in this picture than dressed up people. I see dedication and hard work. I see loving the unlovable. I see forgiveness. I see our home in the background. A place that we worked side by side to create. I see love.

The big kids showed up.

Two share my DNA and they all share my heart.

Some live under my roof and some live 2 hours down the road. They dressed up and showed up. They smiled and my goodness we all sweated cause it was hot.

with babies

The babies…….share a little DNA and a lot of my heart. They are precious and I love them to my very core. Every single cell.

Why would we pose in front of old truck in our prettiest of clothes? We could have gone anywhere.

Why? Because Vernon, Dad or Papa needed to be in the photo. Family photos seem to never come at the right time and we are no exception. Someone is out of town or someone is pregnant and we will wait until the baby comes. Someone is sick or someone has to work. That truck “Lucy” stands in for Dad. Dad loved old cars and trucks and there is no better symbol of him than “Lucy Truck.”

Don’t wait to take the photo. It doesn’t have to be professional but they sure are pretty. And you Mommas and Grandmammas……get in the picture.

Don’t wait to say I Love you

Don’t wait to make the phone call

The people in this photo are loved

They are cherished

They are part of my DNA even if we don’t share it.

Thank you family, every last one of you for dressing up, showing up and being my people.

You are loved.

Posted in Cinderella Project | Leave a comment

Reno is not pretty

So far the basement reno has been dirty

Did I say dirty ?

I meant really, stinking, filthy, nasty dirty.

In 2017 when the hurricane came through, the basement flooded. The water was at least 18″ deep.

Since then, we have had gutters installed, created a water flow pattern and some more technical things I don’t know the names of.

The last step in protecting the room from water was to dig a trench all the way to the bottom of the block wall

We crawled through this door

Shimmied under the house

We dug a trench

4 feet deep

32 feet long

This friend……….a real friend to do this kind of work, showed up with her work clothes.

We dug.

The next step was to seal the block.

This step included tar and some sticky plastic wall paper stuff

It was the worst

We threw our clothes and our shoes in the trash.

Steve threw his clothes and shoes away numerous times due to the tar situation.

Again……it was awful

One more Saturday filling up the trench is on the calendar and then the PRETTY BEGINS!!!

Starting yesterday, I spent the entire glorious day in paint clothes.

I have been lacking in using my creative juices due to the tar situation.

But now……

These cabinets, which will be included in the pretty part of the Reno started getting their face lift

They might be blue πŸ’™πŸ’™πŸ’™

I’ll be sharing so much more very soon

Posted in Cinderella Project | Leave a comment

Words of Truth

Yesterday was like any other Sunday.

I got up, after an extra glorious hour of sleep, thank you time change.

I got ready.

I was excited to be on the worship team at church. I was leading one of my favorite songs. I Am Who You Say I am by Hillsong Worship. It was my first time leading since we began attending Brick City Church. I have led this song many times before and it holds a special place.

We rehearse and the song list was great! I have a new team of people that I’m singing with and making new friends is always fun.

The piano plays the introduction.

I’m not nervous. The song is familiar and I know the words like the back of my hand.

The chorus begins

“Who the Son sets free
Oh is free indeed
I’m a child of God
Yes I am”
I start to get a giant lump in my throat.
Come on Charma………get a grip.
Put your tongue on the roof of your mouth…….that will stop the tears.
Look up to the ceiling. That’s a trick to stop crying.
I can’t get the words out.
The emotions are high.
I’m choking out every word.
I hadn’t sang this song since we had to make the difficult choice to change our place of worship. The flood of memories hit me hard. But more than that…….. the words.
“Free at last, He has ransomed me
His grace runs deep
While I was a slave to sin
Jesus died for me
Yes He died for me”
As I write the words, I’m still overwhelmed with His Love for me.
Blast it.
I’m so mad after the song is over. My first time with a solo part and I blubber.

The people in this place of worship do not know me, they don’t know I cry at the drop of a hat and songs……well they touch my soul.

I grab a tissue and I sit down when the song is over. They will probably not want me to sing again. Who wants the crying chick to ruin the worship experience for others?

I’m so mad!!

I silently text my friend.

Yes I said shit in church

I’m thankful for people who will speak truth. Even when it sucks and I don’t really want to hear it.

What are you Prideful about today?

It’s not a quality I’m proud of but situations arise and it’s a way to grow.

I write about this because I want to remember and grow when this pops up in my memories next year and the year after.

I’m going to keep singing.

Singing about His love for me.

Singing at the top of my lungs while dancing in the kitchen

Singing when I have earbuds in and I’m sure it sounds awful.

And most of all…….. singing when the lump forms in my throat.

Have a wonderful week!

Posted in Cinderella Project | 3 Comments

Praying With My Feet

4 weeks ago Mom hurt her back.

2 weeks later she picked up 30 pound Jack and REALLY hurt her back.


Primary Care Physician

Emergency Room

CT scans

Pain and more pain

It’s hard to watch the suffering.

I didn’t know what to do.

Pray with my feet.

That was the sermon from Sunday.

I can pray like nobody’s business.

I can also ask for prayer but sometimes I think that Jesus gives us the opportunity to do more than be on our knees.

I advocate for my sweet Mom. She’s of sound mind and is a strong woman but she has a terrible hearing deficit. The phone is not her friend so I prayed with my ears. I scheduled appointments and prayed with my car the last month as I drove her to and from appointments.

Yesterday, Monday, we finally had an appointment with a neurosurgeon. A referral from the ER. We waited two long miserable weeks to get in to see him and we didn’t know him which is always a little stressful.

Will he be kind?

Will he be patient?

Will he be compassionate?

All the things you wonder and want from your doctor.

We wait in the waiting room.

Fill out 30 sheets of paperwork.

Finally we meet him.

He is wonderful!

He is all the things we wanted and the best news was he knew exactly what the issue was and he wanted to do surgery immediately. He didn’t want her to suffer any longer.

I prayed with tears.

We immediately schedule a MRI for Monday evening (who knew you could get an MRI at 8pm) and surgery was scheduled for today (Tuesday)

We arrived at the hospital at 7:45am and were hopeful for a quick and easy surgery, recovery and home by noon.

Was I ever wrong .

We waited and waited and waited some more.

At 7:02pm surgery started.

The nurses apologize over and over again.

My heart kept telling me that something was up and it was more than just a slow operating room. I later learned that that 4 traumas back to back had come into the hospital while we waited.

One involved a young man who was involved in an automobile accident and flipped his truck 7 times.

He is in critical condition and if you have a moment, would you pray for his family. I can’t pray with my feet on this one but I can ask others to surround this family.

Our Courtney was in a horrible automobile accident in 2008 and my heart hurts every time I think of a family going through the same thing we did. (I will write out that story one day.)

I sit in the waiting room at 8:26pm waiting for the recovery team to come get me.

The lady beside me wants to talk. Her story is important but I am so tired and weary from this day. I pray with my ears as I listen as her son was seriously injured in an accident 9 days ago and she can’t hug him because he is in a bed that has to rotate his body.

It’s not about you Charma.

It’s about loving on those around you. I can be tired and weary tomorrow.

If you only heard one thing as I rambled tonight……… pray with everything you’ve got.

Posted in Cinderella Project | Leave a comment

What do you do when you can’t sleep?

I’m asking.

Sleepless nights are ridiculous. I can’t just lay in the bed waiting for it to happen when I can feel in my gut that sleep is far away.

Stare at the ceiling? Well it’s dark so no.

Count sheep or goats or whatever farm animal you choose? No thank you.

It starts with a nudge. My brain nudging my body from beautiful slumber. I can feel it and I try my dangest to push it away. Just lay there as still as you possibly can and the nudge will go away?

It just doesn’t work.

DANG IT!! I have such a busy day today, as it’s not yesterday anymore……it’s today. Saturday! Glorious Saturday when my favorite human is home. We wake slowly and sometimes play with Jack while still lounging around on our pjs. I drink coffee while he munches on his favorite cereal. We plan our day and enjoy the slowness of the morning.

This particular Saturday is photo day. We have our favorite photographer coming today to use our prized Lucy truck as her prop. She will have strangers lining up beside our beautiful red truck, dressed in their finest, smiling their biggest with Christmas music blaring while the photographer snaps their pictures. At 5:30, it’s our turn. The family has arrived and we have laid out our clothes. We are taking a family picture. We haven’t had one in a very long time. It’s not been an easy sell. The matriarch of the family is injured and can barely walk, a newborn in the house makes some look like walking zombies, a two year old escapes his crib most nights and tonight…..of course tonight, my body’s chooses to lay awake, currently on the couch watching Gilmore girls on Netflix and eating Cheetos.

I think of the dark circles I will need a bucket of concealer to cover up.

As I think about our photo, I still wish Dad was here. He would be so excited to be sitting next to that old truck. He would be rolling his eyes when I tell him we are dressing up for the picture. I can still hear his voice as he says “I gotta wear what?” or “you are kidding me.” His presence will forever be missed when the new picture hangs in the house and I walk by it every day.

Life definitely goes on.

As I sat on the porch with a young friend the other morning, she mentioned how much she enjoyed our friendship. I replied ” I’m old enough to be your mother.” So……. was her response. It’s not important the age of your friends, it’s who you enjoy spending time with.

The same friend came by yesterday with her young daughter and played with Jack and I during Jack and BB Friday Fun day. It was a rough morning for her and her young daughter. As the two young ones played “dump the rocks in a bucket” over and over again, we chatted. We spoke of the needs of a young working mother and some of a not so young grandmother. The tears flowed as we talked about life. About how hard some things are and how wonderful other things are.

Some days it feels like sitting in a car backwards and fighting your way to get out

Some days it’s shoveling sawdust over and over again and never feeling like it goes away

Late in the day we chatted via text about some of the earlier discussion. She thanked me for today and why it’s good to have friends not the same age. Mamas who have been through the younger baby age can share how it’s going to be ok and that one day you will look back on the current season with fondness. Thank you sweet friend for filling my life with things I didn’t know I needed and wanted.

Maybe I have basement renovation swirling in my head as we gathered floor samples and paint chips last night. Fun date night huh? Saturday to-do’s include deciding on a cabinet paint color and seeing if the floor is anywhere near my liking. I’m not hopeful on the floor, but starting is the first step.

Bathroom vanities

Kitchen backsplash




Oh my…….. no wonder I don’t sleep.

Too much excitement swirling around my brain.

Well it’s 3:30am and I’ve already been awake for two hours.

I might need a nap.

Have a great Saturday!

Posted in Cinderella Project | Leave a comment

Obviously I’m a Farmer

Months ago I saw a succulent wall post by #ourfauxfarmhouse and I knew I wanted one.

Here is their version

I knew the exact place I would put it because I had miraculously been able to grow succulents on the front porch. There were zero casualties!!

I can’t say that for some of the other porch plants.

May they Rest In Peace.

I started looking for supplies. Just because you want a certain thing, doesn’t necessarily mean you will find it in your neck of the woods. It might be slightly different and costs 10 times more.

I found the metal holders and because I’m God’s favorite, there were on clearance for $2.48.

The wood was just plain ole wood from Lowe’s.

I figured out the size I wanted it to be.

Put some boards together and figured out to make them stay together.

I could have followed along with the blog post but that would have been the easy way.

The boardA were stained and I added the metal potholders.

I wanted white pots but do you know how much 8 pretty “already white” pots are?”

No way.

I bought 8 terra cotta pits for $1.18 each and spray painted them.

My handy dandy and very cute assistant (don’t tell him I called him that!) helped me hang it on the front porch. Right between two of the prettiest old windows I’ve ever seen.

Right next to the swing that will now be used since there is a ever so slight hint of fall in the air. Don’t get excited yet Floridians, it’s still blazing most of the time but it’s getting there.

I added plants. Some were previously loved on and some were new and loved on by Walmart before me.

You may call me farmer.

Have a fantastic weekend!

Posted in Cinderella Project | Leave a comment

It was all about the Shoes

Today I cried.

I cried a lot

It seemed like every time I heard a song, I cried

Every time I spoke I got a knot in my throat.

I’m not sad.

I’m not sad at all

I cried each one of those times because I was happy

This morning I teared up as Jack and I played in bed after Steve went to work, I am so grateful for that little boy. He brings me such joy. He is so much fun and for years I didn’t think I would ever have grandchildren. I never thought I would be called BB or any other loving Grandmother name.

I got a giant lump in my throat when I held baby Luke today. He is so precious and when I look at him, I am in awe all over again the beauty of a child and how God created this human and allowed him to be in our lives.

I served at Interfaith Emergency Services Thrift Store today. It was a very ordinary day, except it was 90 degrees in the warehouse instead of 100. Praise hands!!! As we pulled out item after item, the tags were tore off and they were priced. I then saw a pair of shoes. Do I need more shoes??? Absolutely not. But this pair of shoes I tried on in the store just a few short weeks ago and I fell in love with them but I really didn’t want to spend $40. I could have had them if I wanted them but I just didn’t see the need. However today, the same exact shoes that I tried on came out of the box and they were exactly my size. Instead of $40, they were $5 and I even got an addition discount.

God knows the desires of our hearts. He knew I wanted those shoes. He knew the exact time and place I would find those silly shoes. I believe that as we are obedient and we follow His guidelines for our lives, we will be rewarded with the desire of our hearts, even when they are a silly pair shoes.

Steve and I met for lunch and as we shared a sandwich, I watched him across the table, I am grateful for his love. I am grateful for his forgiveness and for the space he has created for us. I just smiled as he spoke of his work day and how he really didn’t want to be there but he gets up, he goes, he works hard and then comes home and works with and for me most evenings. He fills my heart with joy.

I stopped at Walmart for a few things. I greeted the door greeter because he is my friend. He gave me a giant hug and, yep you guessed it, I shed a tear. How lucky and I to have a friend at Walmart, practically the worse place on earth, who will greet me with joy and smile as I pass through the doors.

On the way home from Walmart, the radio was on.

Oh my goodness…… the words.

Oh, the overwhelming, never-ending, reckless love of God
Oh, it chases me down, fights ’til I’m found, leaves the ninety-nine
I couldn’t earn it, and I don’t deserve it, still, You give Yourself away. Oh, the overwhelming, never-ending, reckless love of God,

There’s no shadow You won’t light up Mountain You won’t climb up
Coming after me
There’s no wall You won’t kick down
Lie You won’t tear down
Coming after me

I don’t regret it being a crybaby day. As good as today was, I kind of hope it happens again.

Posted in Cinderella Project | Leave a comment