One Step Forward, Two Steps Back and Still Smiling

AUTHOR: | POSTED: October 8, 2012 | COMMENTS: 1 Comment

Carolyn Savage

Best laid plans. 

That phrase was muttered out of my mouth a number of times starting with the miserable weather that spoiled our plans for Friday night.  In the spirit of keeping my eye on the half full cup, we quickly punted and ended up spending Friday night making a huge batch of chili and lighting our first fire of the season.  It was a comfy evening for everyone but Drew.  He insisted on keeping his plans to attend his high school’s homecoming football game…two inches of rain and all.  No one will ever accuse him of being a fair weather fan. 


An admirable trait, that in spite of it’s inherent  frustrations, will hopefully serve him well in life.


Saturday brought sunnier (albeit crisper) skies and a birthday celebration for a special little friend, Addyson.   Sara, Addyson’s mom,  was an eighth grade student of mine in 1995-96.  I’ll never forget the morning I stood in front of my class and asked if any one had a mom who babysat.  My daycare situation had temporarily fallen through, and I was a desperate.  Sara offered up her mom, I made the call, and an epic friendship began.   Shelly, Sara’s mom, took care of Drew for a few days, which led to Sara becoming our go-to babysitter, followed by her sister, Amy.  Over the past seventeen years, we’ve celebrated many milestones with the Perna family, and Saturday’s was the best so far.  A first birthday… 



Check out this adoreable cake from Syd’s Bakery in Mayberry Square, Sylvania.


Playing with Addyson’s toys. Other’s toys are always so much fun!


Back in 1995, I’d have never guessed that one of my students would become such an integral part of our lives.  That we’d eventually have little girls the same age.  It’s a reoccurring theme for me as I’ve written about how my students have been reemerging in my life–all grown up–with kids the same age as our girls.  I know I’ve beat this drum before, but the tone of the message is so important. 


We must treat everyone we meet with kindness.  Not only because it’s what God wants us to do, but also because we never know when and how people from our past will become an important part of our future.


Reagan found a bunny lovey in Addyson’s stash and wouldn’t let go of it!


 Sunday’s weather held up enough to keep our promise to MK about our trip to the apple orchard.  I must admit, the gray skies and downright cold temperatures were really calling me to my sweats on the couch, but as always, MK’s persistence won the day.  When we asked the boys if they wanted to come, they laughed–hard–and then happily retreated to their homework and NFL.  We bundled the little ones up and made the trek to MacQueens Apple Butter Stir Festival…along with the rest of Toledo. 

We looked more like we were headed to the Christmas tree farm. 

The twins are having fun…right?


Not having been to this festival in a decade, we made a crucial error.  We entered near the carnival instead of the orchard.  At first sight of the rides, the idea of picking apples was very lack luster to MK.  Nope.  She wanted her carnie fix for the month.  So, there we stood.  Stuck at the kiddie ferris wheel…freezing our rear ends off.


MK had a ferris wheel date. A match made in heaven. They both kept rocking there seat and screaming “no hands”. This girl’s going love roller coasters.


We eventually made it to the orchard, but by that time, Sean and I were frozen.  It’s hard to pick apples when you can’t feel your hands.  When we broke the news to MK that we’d be going home appleless, she responded accordingly. 

“I didn’t come for the apples.  I came for the donuts.”

Which posed a problem.  The line for MacQueens famous apple crisp donuts was a 45 minute wait and we weren’t about to become completely frostbitten for donuts.  In an attempt to avoid a donutless inspired tantrum, we bribed MK with kettle korn.  Which after a few tears, worked.  Relieved, Sean and I started to make a b-line for the parking lot when things got complicated.  MK had to go potty.


No.  Literally.  Sh*t.

The only bathrooms were porta-potties.  After a harrowing game of rock, paper, scissors, I found myself crammed in a porta-potty with an overly dressed four year old, who haa some olfactory sensory issues.  In English…she’s sensitive to smells and for some reason she thought the I could make it smell “pretty”. 

Fix it mom.  Make it smell pretty“. 

Um, MK.  No one can make this smell pretty.  The trick is to take care of business as quickly as possible.”

We were out of there in record time.  Never mind that MK didn’t even wait to pull up her jeans.  “Something smells stinky in there.  Hold your breath!”  she advised the next kid in line as I yanked up her pants. 


MK’s pony was named “Baby Cakes” !

The fact that my vision of apple picking,warm donuts and apple cider gave way to rickety carnie rides, frozen toes, frayed nerves and a porta potty experience from hell didn’t ruin my day.  By staying focused on the half-full-cup, we laughed.  Norman Rockwell paintings we are not, but we do manage to make some good memories and get a few cute snapshots along the way. 


Little Reagan…all bundled up!


Two steps forward, one step back.  That’s the way we roll these days…smiling through it all.


We have to…



 Otherwise, I’d live a life of frustration. 




Tomorrow Mary Vogel will be back with an awesome Halloween craft!  I can’t wait for you all to see it!   Form more from Mary’s blog, visit her at
















One Comment on “ One Step Forward, Two Steps Back and Still Smiling ”

  • Lisa | October 10th, 2012 9:47 am

    Love the first birthday cake? Is the frosting Fondant? Or was it edible?

    Also, love your attitude. Only you can smile your way through a portjohn.

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