Living Outside the Stacks

Navigating through life away from the library


Happy Birthday, Miss 16 {In the Family Room}

Happy Birthday, Miss 16 {Living Outside the Stacks}

Dear Miss 16,

Girl, you have been a source of joy and laughter since the day you surprised us at the doctor’s office. Nothing like going to the doctor’s for a tubal ligation and finding out that you’re pregnant… We should have known then that we were going to be in for a ride.

I remember when you used to crawl up in my lap, curl your fingers around my blouse and go to sleep. I’d sit there for hours, stroking your hair and wishing you’d get up so I could get something anything done. Then one day it all stopped.

You stopped sitting in my lap, you stopped being my sweet little girl who swore she could fly because she was dressed as an angel and had wings. Do you remember that? Running around the yard flapping your arms and yelling, “I can fly, Mommy! I can fly, Mommy!”  

You’re now a beautiful young lady with a quick wit and a snarky tongue. A while back you asked me “Besides me, which of your other kids did you want?” The truth is, I didn’t want any of you little buggers but now that I have you, I couldn’t imagine life without you. I love you all. Peering at you over my glasses. Every single one of you.

Thank you for 16 years of laughter.

Happy Birthday, Miss 16! I really do like you!


PS There will be no blowing out of the candles on the cake; you know how I feel about that!



Hanging with Miss 18 {This or That Thursday}

Earlier this week, Miss 18 and I decided to go on a photography walk in the historic section of Cape Girardeau. You can see my pictures by clicking on the bold words.  We love it down there because of the old buildings, the views of the Mississippi River and the fabulous antique shops that line the streets… Right now, though, my favorite place is the Cup N’ Cork, a hip coffee house that also serves wine.
Cup N' Cork

I’d visited the Cup N’ Cork earlier with a friend of mine and enjoyed the ambiance, I thought Miss 18 would enjoy it too. I also thought it’d be a nice “thank you” for letting me photograph her…

Miss 18

Miss 18

Miss 18

Miss 18

We had so much fun playing around with different poses and camera angles. Also she’s such a good sport! What you can’t tell from the pictures is that she was being attacked by bugs the size of small birds.

Do you have a favorite place to shoot?

I’m linking up with Deb of deb duty photography for This or That Thursday.


Guest Post: My Daughter Shares Her Feelings on Moving

Brya's Guest PostAs you may know by now, my family is in the process of moving to Missouri from Pennsylvania.  This whole event has been a whirlwind ~ everything is just going so quickly.  But this move isn’t just happening to us adults, it’s happening to the our kids too.  And, sometimes as parents, we get so caught up in how we feel about things that it rarely occurs to us to ask our children their opinion about events.  After talking to my daughter, I decided to give her the opportunity to share her feelings with my readers.

My dad told me things were going to start moving really fast. I didn’t think he meant lightning speed! I thought waiting for everything to be signed and official would be the hardest part. It was more…annoying, than it was hard. I mean, maybe it was fine for everyone else, but for me, waiting isn’t my forte. But then when everything was all official, my dad started throwing dates at us. My calendar was stuffed to capacity! Ok, so that was a major exaggeration. But that’s how it felt to me.

When we attempted to move almost two years ago it seemed like a lot more saying and a lot less doing. This time it’s the complete opposite. This time, we actually have the “For Sale” sign in the yard. We have people looking at the house. We have packers coming to pack up the house. We have ID’s (which was all I really cared about). We have  plane tickets. We’re ready this time.

The last time we attempted to move, nothing was ready. I don’t think anyone was ready. My dad told us that year that there would be a possibility of us moving. I never thought anything of it. When he told us that he was offered a promotion, I was in tears. Happy for him, sad for us. I wasn’t quite ready for us to move. I was afraid to leave my friends. I was afraid of change. I was relieved when he told us we couldn’t move due to timing problems. Relieved and then a little upset. I had already gotten a tiny bit used to the thought of us leaving. I had already told people.

This time, I’m ready. We’re ready. The timing is right (for the most part). I’m okay with change and I’m ready for an adventure. It’s kind of like reading a book. With every page, you never know what will happen next (that is, unless you’ve read the book before). There’s no turning back now. At this point, we can only move forward. That’s what life is about right?

I wrote a poem about the move:

There’s a place out there
That I just can’t seem to find
There’s a place out there
it’s just not mine.

I’m stuck in a rut
Can’t wait to see
The plan that God has for me
I yearn to go but I’m scared to leave
This place I call home
The only one I’ve ever known

There’s more to it
I can’t explain
but the thought of me leaving
brings on all the pain

It’s bitter sweet the thought of it
to think I’ll soon be on my way
but I know it’ll hurt to say goodbye
on that sweet and sour day

But it’s  time to move on
Try something new,
People to meet and
Things to do

Spread your wings
Fly like the birds
Know that your actions
Speak louder than words

Miss 14 is the youngest of five children and an aunt to 2.5 little people.  When she’s not texting her friends, she can be found writing short stories or entertaining her family with her snarky wit and charm.  A member of the National Junior Honor Society, Miss 14 plans to become an oncologist with the goal of curing cancer.

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