Known_Media :: You should follow it on Instagram

I started this blog YEARS ago to share thoughts about being a wife, mom, home-maker, Disney fanatic, and all the things that go with that. I love to write. I just seem to consistently run out of time to write. (That’s probably a downfall of my awesome day job where I write all the day.)

However, I’ve never been the only writer in the House of Hills. And, I’m quickly being surpassed in talent and creative energy by my mini-me. Actually, she’s not so mini anymore, and she’s definitely so much more than me.

Maggie has grown into an amazing young woman who loves God, loves people, and is passionate about knowing that they are loved, beautiful, and not alone.

In fact, she started an Instagram about a year ago that has created an incredible community. If you have a young lady in your life, or if you just want to follow a pretty awesome Instagram account, then check out known_media.

There’s a blog that accompanies the Instagram account as well. Head over and say “hi” to my sweet girl—and awesome writer. You’ll be glad you did.


Book Review: The Selection Series

A guest post from Maggie…

A lot of times, as a bookworm anyway, you’ll get asked by a friend what series they should read next. Well this series is SO STINKIN’ GOOD I thought I should share it with all of you.

The series is called The Selection.
It is made up of three books, all the same story but spread out into thirds.
The first book is called The Selection.
The second is The Elite.
The third is The One.

The story follows a 17-year-old girl named America Singer in a dystopian future. The United States has been given a new name, Illea, a monarchy, and a system of castes. These castes separate the people and what jobs they can have. Caste 1 is royalty while caste 8 is basically considered dirt. America is in the fifth caste, musicians. America is soon entered into the monarchy’s nationwide version of the bachelor, and all against her will.

To find out what happens you’ll need to read it yourself, I don’t want to spoil anything!

Just to let you parents know, this series has some adult themes when it comes to romance. There is also some violence, very complex violence. That’s a weird phrase…

Have a Beautiful Day!

Maggie may be the youngest in the House of Hills, but she is the one with the most joy. You can find her YouTube channel here

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Spring 2015 Chorus Concert

Saturday morning was final Imrov Class.
Sunday night was Recital.
Monday night was the Spring 2015 Chorus Concert.


I have to tell you. I LOVE the Chorus Concert. Maggie has had the honor and privilege of being under the direction of one of what I would consider the best choral directors in the state. Miss Grizzle does AMAZING things with these kids, and we always enjoy the concert.


She sang in a total of three different groups last night. Was super proud of her. I grabbed some excerpts so the grandparents could hear. However, if you enjoy beautiful music, go ahead and push play. You’ll be impressed.



And, apparently my camera work was a bit shaky. I think I was enjoying the music too much. I seemed to be dancing to it! That’s hysterical!

This concluded our trifecta of performances, and we can now relax in the House of Hills. It’s been a crazy year, and I’m glad my girl has done so well in what she loves.

And, we got a semi-decent family picture!



Are you done with the end of the school year crazy yet?


Spring Recital Time!!

Spring has sprung here at the HOH, and we seem to be dashing off to this thing and that thing to celebrate the end of the year.

Last night was the spring recital with Maggie’s voice teacher who also teaches piano. Actually, she teaches more piano than voice, but is AWESOME at both. She’s got quite the number of kids that troop in and out of her house each week.


This was the first time we got to see Maggie play the piano at a recital. So exciting. She started before I could get the camera lined up, but here is her Lion King song on the piano.

Miss Ree always has themes for her spring recital, and this year’s was the 80’s. The parents had to pick an 80’s song for their child to perform. David of course chose a U2 song for Maggie. She forgot a couple words in there, but it was still a pleasure to listen to her sing, as it always is.

Love this kid…

Now, chorus concert tonight… Goodness…

Girls’ Night : Hanging with a 10 year old is the best!

Last night we had girls’ night. Just my and my girl. Hanging out.

Now, if you follow me on Twitter or Facebook, you know that my girl and I are together ALL the time. She’s got a crazy busy drama schedule, and I’m her ride. When we’re not hanging out in the car together on the way to rehearsal, we’re hanging out at a show, or on a drama trip. We always seem to be rushing somewhere together. She and I and the minivan.

But that’s just the thing. We’re always rushing. And even if we’re not actually rushing, there is a time we HAVE to be there. A schedule we HAVE to keep. Last night. We didn’t HAVE to be anywhere. We CHOSE to go hang out together.

We headed out for dinner at about 5:30. Now, in Cumming, GA hitting a restaurant at any time after 5:30 on a Friday means you will wait… at least 30 minutes. Since I actually didn’t get her out the door until 5:30… you see where this is going. We attempted where she wanted for pizza, but, ahem, the wait was at least 30 minutes. I told her it was her choice. I didn’t get upset. (I may have said “I told you so” though.) We didn’t have a schedule to keep, so it didn’t matter to me. She was hungry. So, we didn’t wait.

We ended up at Chickfila, which didn’t bother either of us a bit.


Then, we decided what to do next. Multiple suggestions were tossed around. We landed on painting pottery. We hadn’t done that since last summer.

And of course we ended the evening with her favorite, Chill Hill frozen yogurt.


The best part of the night. We talked. A lot. Not the staccato talking that really is me giving her a list of things she needs to do and her giving me a list of things I need to know.

The kind of talking that has long pauses while we reflect and just be. The kind of talking that lets her be vulnerable and tell me how she really feels about things at school. The kind of talking that lets me see the young lady she’s becoming and be awe of what God is doing in her heart. The kind of talking that helps to cement our bond and let her know that I’m there for her always… no matter what.

Girls’ night what awesome. Can’t wait to do it again. Looking at the calendar now to figure out a day.

Disney : Autograph Time in Storybook Circus


We had an awesome time at the Magic Kingdom this December. There were so many new things to do in New Fantasyland! The new Ariel ride and Belle experience were awesome, but I have to admit that my favorite part was Storybook Circus.

I know. I’m a sap.

I just love the fun of a circus. I LOVE the Dumbo ride. And now there are two of them!

Ya, it’s awesome!

The best part of our visit to Storybook Circus was Maggie interacting with the characters. They all reside in the Pete’s Silly Sideshow tent.


Daisy met us at the door and led us in to meet with her and her friends.

The entire family had a good time laughing and getting pictures with the characters. I love that my “little” girl still enjoys getting some character autographs.

Who is your favorite character at Disney World?

30 Day Giving Challenge Day 17 2012

The House of Hills is once again participating in the


Our goal is to give something EVERY day of the month. Big or small, every give is a gift to someone! Join the giving with us. We’d love to hear what you’re doing.

Today, we left for our week in Florida with my entire family (on my step-dad’s side). All the cousins run around together for an entire week. It is MY ABSOLUTELY FAVORITE week of the year. I love being at the beach. I love being with my family. I love that I actually relax for a few days. I love, love, love it!

One of my favorite things about a week at beach is that I actually get to read some books. I love to read some books. And, my daughter has inherited this love of reading some books. So, I hid some new books in her backpack to find on her way down to Florida. She read the first one in the car, and then read this one after a trip down to the beach.

I love spoiling her when it comes to books. It’s such an easy give.

Do you ever surprise your kids with gifts just because.

Follow the 30 Day Giving Challenge on Twitter and Facebook.


30 Day Giving Challenge Day 10 2012

The House of Hills is once again participating in the


Our goal is to give something EVERY day of the month. Big or small, every give is a gift to someone! Join the giving with us. We’d love to hear what you’re doing.

Tonight we did a give that Maggie has been absolutely begging to do for the last two years. Each year as we start talking about what we’re going to do for the giving challenge, she has asked that we pay for someone behind us in the drive thru line. Each year, it’s gone on the calendar, and each year, it hasn’t happened for one reason or another.

This year as we were looking at the calendar, she pointed to today and said.”There mom. We can do it on Saturday after my late rehearsal. I’m going to need to eat anyway.” I agreed, and we put it on the calendar.

On the way to rehearsal, she confirmed that going through the drive thru was still the plan. I assured her it was. When I picked her up, she was giddy with excitement. We were taking a friend home too, and Maggie was so full of joy about the whole thing that the other girl got excited too.

When we first got in the line, there wasn’t anyone behind us. Maggie was almost in tears. She was turned around in her seat praying that someone would pull in behind. When someone did, she started bouncing. “We’re going to do it mom. We can do it!”

When I pulled up to the window and asked to pay for the people behind us, the young man just looked at us stunned and said, “Why?” He apparently had never been part of an random act of kindness. I explained what we were doing, and asked him to tell the people behind us “Happy Thanksgiving.”

The girls were both turned around in their seats trying to see the reaction of the people behind us. Unfortunately, it was already dark so it was hard to see. It led to a great conversation about not needing recognition when you give to someone. I shared that my favorite way to give is anonymously. I don’t need the gratification of seeing the recipient’s reaction. I give because Jesus asked us to give, not so someone can say thank you.

So, today’s give was some chicken nuggets and a chicken sandwich… at least that’s what the receipt said.

Have you ever paid for the person behind you in the drive thru?

Follow the 30 Day Giving Challenge on Twitter and Facebook.


30 Day Giving Challenge Day 3 2012

The House of Hills is once again participating in the


Our goal is to give something EVERY day of the month. Big or small, every give is a gift to someone! Join the giving with us. We’d love to hear what you’re doing.

Day 3 brought yet another opportunity to share some yummies with those we love.

Don’t those look good? I will admit I ate a couple. I love me some chocolate chip cookies. Before you ask for the recipe, please know that I use the recipe on the back of the Nestle bag of chocolate chips. Always have. The only modification I make is that I use butter-flavor Crisco in place of actual butter. And, I might add a little bit more vanilla. I don’t really measure things like vanilla.

Where were these delightful cookies going? To retreat with my drama girl, Mags.

She and her troupe (aren’t they the cutest group of kids) headed up to the mountains for some bonding time. They are all going to sleep together in one room. Well, let’s admit it. They’re not going to get much sleep.

Doesn’t that look like fun? Craziness I say. Mags did get there early enough go grab a bunk. She was pretty excited about that.

One of the coolest things they do at retreat is pick their buddy for the year. This year, they’re calling them “Bubble Buddies.”

That’s my girl with her Bubble Buddy. I’m not sure what they’re doing. But, it sure looks like they’re having fun!!

A HUGE THANK YOU to all the drama mamas (and dads) that help organize this weekend every year. It is an AMAZING experience for all the kids. I mean seriously, I wish I could share every picture that has been uploaded to Shutterfly already, and they’re not even home yet. The moms in charge are AWESOME!

I sent cookies. It was the least I could do.

Follow the 30 Day Giving Challenge on Twitter and Facebook.


The Not So “Drama” Mama

I’ve been a “Drama Mama” for over a year now. It’s not a role I ever thought I’d have in my life. I mean sure, I wanted to be a mama – since I was old enough to know I could be one. And, I figured when I gave birth to a mini-me there was going to be some drama. But I never saw myself being a “Drama Mama.”

The mom that drives hours every week just so her child can get to rehearsals and shoots. The mom who sits and waits and sits and waits and waits some more while her child performs. The mom that willingly works wherever she can pull out her laptop so that her child can experience everything there is to experience about the theater. The mom who seriously needs to learn how to french braid, but can do some awesome stage makeup.

I’ve become that mom.
And, I like it.

I like it because I’m able to watch my child totally consumed by something she loves. I like it because I have watched my child grow in ways I never even thought of. I like it because I get to see my child use her God given talent to teach others about His love. I like it because when I watch my child perform she is full of passion and joy and confidence. It’s really amazing.

However, there’s a side of the “Drama Mama” role that’s selfish too. You see, where there is one drama mama, there are more drama mamas. We’re ALL sitting and waiting. We have a common bond, and we kinda enjoy each other. What you see on TV… ya, that’s not real. What’s real is a group of women joined together wanting what is best for the entire troupe. What’s real is a group of women who work hard to make sure the show is the best it can be and that EVERY child shines. That’s real. And, I love it.

Yesterday, a local news station filmed a rehearsal at Mags’ studio, Off Broadway Dance. It was a special rehearsal called for 7:45AM on a Monday morning so that they could be filmed and interviewed. The reporter was hoping to a have a few kids there for the story. EVERYONE showed up (minus two who were devastated they couldn’t be there, but had prior commitments). Not only did they show up, but they were EXCITED to be there. They couldn’t wait to share their passion with this reporter. They wanted her to see what they LOVE to do.

And, show her they did. The drama mamas were oh so very proud!

To see the news story click here.

I think the reporter was a little surprised by the lack of drama in the “Drama Mamas.” What she found was a group that acts like a family, each member having something unique to give, and everyone better because of the group.

Is your child involved in a group activity? How has it grown him/her?