On Homecoming Dances, Giant Mums and Growing Up

Hannah&Nate1Mum 2

A couple of months ago, I asked Nate what the plan was for Homecoming. He looked at me blankly and said, “I’m not going to any dance.”

I’m not surprised by this notion, because he has not been on any kind of date since Hannah moved to Seattle last summer.Since Hannah moved, it’s been pretty rough on the both of them. I think it would be pretty rough on anyone! There have been many tearful phone calls, many Skype dates, and many promises made.

“So, you mean you’re not going to go to any dances or events with anyone, not even as friends?” I asked, already knowing the answer.

“No, Mom. I’m not going to anything without Hannah.”

Although I fully expected this response, it made me a little sad to think about the two of them missing out on some of the big milestones of high school: the homecoming dance, prom, the band banquet—all rites of passage that we remember all our lives.

“Hannah and I will have our own dance.”

“How so?”

“She’ll buy her dress, and I’ll put on my suit, and we’ll Skype each other.”

The thought of this nearly did me in.

Then this happened.

Here’s a picture of Hannah telling Nate that she had saved up the funds to come see him for Homecoming.


I’ll let that sink in for a minute.

Neither one of them has celebrated their 16th birthday yet, but in some ways they behave with the maturity of couples who have been married a dozen years.

Seattle is approximately 2,106 miles from Dallas as the crow flies. To make the drive, it takes about 31 or so hours. To fly in, Hannah spent most of the day in airports.

It’s really, really far.

(Here’s a pic of Hannah marking trees, earning money to come back to Texas).


But last week, they managed it.


This is a pic of their reunion at the airport. I cried my eyes out–not that they noticed!

When his sisters found out, they spent about 3 days building the most beautiful mum ever. For those of you not familiar, it’s a Texas tradition. The bigger and more extravagant the mum, the better, and every girl going to Homecoming needs one. People spend tons of bucks on them! It’s crazy. When we first moved here we were schooled in the art of needing mums. It’s completely different now that we have a boy going through the process.

Jody and Sarah built Hannah’s mum with her in mind. They also made it with Nate’s marching show in mind. Nate’s solo, “The Peacock and the Sparrow” was one awesome piece.

As sweet as it was to pick her up from the airport, it was ten times more agonizing to take her back. Mum 2 Mum2

Y’all, pray for Mancub and Watergirl, and Mama Bear, will you? We all would so appreciate it.


5 Reasons YOU Should Move to Tyler, Texas


I’ll be the first to admit it: when my husband was offered a job in Texas, he drove me here kicking and screaming. I cried for days…and it wasn’t just the fact that I was coming down with strep throat. No, I’m not THAT moody, usually. I just couldn’t fathom why we had to leave my beloved Arkansas. Most of my extended family is there, and it’s always been my home.

But move we did, and we’ve been here for several years now. Though I do still miss Arkansas dearly (after all, it’s in my blood), I’ve come to love Texas, and I’m always trying to get my extended family to move here. There are at least 6 reasons I give them.
1. People are very friendly here (with the exception of morning traffic on Loop 323). It’s true of much of the South, but the displays of kindness I have seen since we moved here never cease to blow my mind. The first day we attended church here, we were invited to a couple’s home for small group. It just seems second nature to many Texans to see a need…and fill it. Maybe that’s one of the reasons why when most people move to Texas, they don’t want to leave.


That, and the lovely roses that sell super cheap in the springtime, since we are The Rose Capital.


2. Tyler is about 90 minutes east of Dallas and 90 miles west of Shreveport (which seems to be quite the gambling destination…because the Tylerites rarely speak of Shreveport, but when they do they just call it, “The Boats”). A day trip with bedtime in your own house is always a possibility, and the drive to Austin isn’t bad either. Because we’re so close to Dallas, we’ve attended some pretty cool concerts (like Lady Gaga).

3. The winters (except for the weirdness that happened this season) are usually very mild. Rarely do windows need defrosting, and usually hoodies are adequate.This is perfect weather for me–I don’t need the extra fluff heavy coats deliver.

4. We have the best Tex-Mex anywhere, hands down. I have yet to find a Mexican restaurant that rivals our restaurants here in town, and you always get all the fresh tortillas, chips and salsa, and mouth-watering sopapillias at your table for free with your meal. Geez, I’m getting hungry just thinking about it. Note to self: this could quite be one of the reasons I have so much fluff. Anyway, when my Arkansas peeps come into town, they always want to get a bite, and I always use the excuse to get one myself.

5. There are 3 hospitals in town and numerous clinics…so if you are a nurse or medical professional there’s always tons of work opportunities. The reason we moved here to begin with was because Lee graduated from the UofA with a BS in Chemical Engineering.

So, there you go.
If you decide to come visit, let me know! I’m always in the mood for some cheese enchiladas. Seriously.