Archive for January, 2012

2 Women, 2 Different Days, Same Parking Lot

January 31st, 2012 at 2:09 pm » Comments (1)

The day after Christmas, I was out doing errands. I’d been out for awhile when I pulled into a parking lot and talked to my mother on the phone. She’d called to see if I wanted to go shopping for wrapping paper at the after-Christmas discounted rates. Usually we do this. But we’d done SO well the previous year, that we could skip a year and be fine.

As we talked, a very distressed woman in flannel pajamas approached my window. I told Mom to hang on, but I didn’t hang up. I rolled down my window and this poor, sobbing woman poured out her heart to me.

My first thought was, “she’s trying to con me, and she probably will… but listen anyway.”

She had a terrible story to tell me. And… it wasn’t a con at all. As complicated as it was – it all fit together and made sense in a way that a complicated lie never could. I won’t even try to re-create it for you. But it all made sense and she wasn’t at all the person I expected her to be.

Her stringy blonde hair was permed and brushed. Her nose had a trickle of dried blood where her boyfriend had smashed her against a wall. She was six months pregnant.  She had a few dollars, but needed $33 more for a bus fare to Dallas.

I asked her about her nose, and she started crying harder and was so mortified. She had no idea there was blood on her face and that seemed to be as awful for her as admitting she was talking to me about needing money. I gave her a tissue and $40 and told her to take care of her baby. I watched, stunned by our conversation, as she cried even harder from gratitude and walked away.

Twenty minutes later, I went back.

She was gone.

I wanted to find her and say, “Forget it. Let me check you for weapons and drugs real quick and then I’m taking you to Dallas myself. You can sleep and eat and we can talk about it all, while I drive… okay?”

Mike probably would have said, “be careful” and I would have said, “okay, and I’ll let you know how it’s going” and that would have been that.

It would have been all right. SHE would have been all right. That baby would have been all right.

I wish I’d found her.

I wish I’d thought of that to begin with and helped that poor woman who so desperately needed helping.

That regret haunts me still.

I was in the same parking lot yesterday.  I parked and got out of my car and encountered a woman – a different woman, of course – who was talking to herself. “OH MY GOSH. I canNOT believe this.”

I smiled at her. She was well dressed, mid-fifties, and in a very good mood. She started laughing when she realized she’d been talking to herself and I’d heard her, but it didn’t stop her. “COME HERE. You just won’t believe this.” She showed me her iPhone and nothing seemed unusual to me.

I asked her what we were looking at, specifically. And she said, “Well. NOTHING. But it works now! It hasn’t worked in ages and just LOOK! It is WORKING. They fixed it.”

I hadn’t seen where she came from, but there was an AT&T store nearby. I just smiled and let her show me pictures of kids and grandkids and ooh and ahh because she was happy and I wasn’t in a hurry and it didn’t make a bit of difference to me if she wanted to be grateful for a working phone.

And then I wondered about the blonde mother-to-be and how she is.

I hope she’s healthy, and at peace, and not stranded or abused.

I hope she’s well.



Greetings from the Ottoman’s Empire

January 30th, 2012 at 10:35 am » Comments (5)


thank you.

Just saw the comments on the previous post and they are quite a group of funny questions and remarks and lovely unwanted nicknames for my butt and advice and there’s even an appearance by my dad.

Quickly, though, I’ll just say:

yes on the avoiding ear infections, thank you GW!

I’d never PIERCE?! MY?! BUTT?!, JS

Not FH, Jan, but VS ‘pink.’  (Hopefully discontinued.)

Melissa, a tattoo that “trickles down into a buttcrack” is QUITE A PHRASE, ohmygosh.

JB, cellulite needs no explanation or defense. it’s like ear wax. : ) you don’t have to like it, but there’s no need to acknowledge or apologize for it. you know? (of course, there’s no need to exaggerate the effect with studded panties, either, so what do i know?)



Furniture people just left. Remember that i told you that mike went on a furniture buying spree and I was so apathetic about the entire thing that I was all, “eh. whatever you want. i don’t care?”



There’s a brown fuzzy loveseat and an ottoman that now sits in the living room.

And by ottoman, I actually mean “gigantically oversized brown square the size of a small apartment” and by sits I actually mean, “looms like a black hole ready to take on anything that foolishly ventures too close to its gravitational pull.”

I took a photo of Duke (the now EIGHTY FIVE pound dog) sitting next to the “ottoman.” They’re the same fuzzy brown. But then I did a doubletake at the photo because it’s the strangest thing ever – Duke looks like a super sweet six week old chocolate labrador puppy in this picture. Not a giant dog. A teeny little puppy.

It’s like an optical illusion just got delivered by two guys in grey hoodies and now it’s my very own.  I think I’ll put on my fat jeans and go sit on the ottoman and feel all delicate and dainty. I had Girl Scout cookies for breakfast. This will thoroughly UNDO that bad choice, and THEN SOME.

Behold the power of the ottoman.

I sent the picture to mike and to my mom and was like, “LOOK AT DUKE!”

Mom questioned the existence of the new helicopter landing pad in the living room (exactly, thankyou).

Mike asked if I liked it and wanted to keep it and if I sat on the loveseat.

Uh….? It actually did not occur to me to get that close. I’m still circling it warily.  And no, I don’t really like it, because it’s kinda scary how it distorts reality without even trying and i generally don’t appreciate that quality in furniture or people. But it should be kept because it’s very good for three little boys who will soon be three bigger boys. And that’s all that matters.

I’ll get used to it.

If you don’t hear from me, though, I’ve either disappeared again because of Life, or because my furniture swallowed me whole and I am gone forever. Don’t come after me. Save yourselves.

If I can figure out how to post that picture, I will. It’s crazy.

Silver Hearts, Silver Studs (sounds like a trashy book title, right?! i should write that! i’ll include fringed chaps.)

January 26th, 2012 at 11:06 am » Comments (8)

When I have something going on in Life that I am not quite ready to discuss with people, I tend to end conversations abruptly and dash away before i can either accidentally spill my guts (because i do that even when i don’t mean to) or somehow give something away by the expression on my face that will invite questions.

And with y’all, I just disappear.

None of that feels terribly honest, and it bothers me. So I’ll just tell you instead that hey, there’s some Life stuff going on and I’ll get to it in a few weeks, tops, and in the meantime let’s talk about other stuff.

Other Stuff:

I sorta pierced my ears yesterday. Daddy had given me those SO pretty diamond hoops before LaLa’s wedding and it got me wondering if my old ear holes still worked. I haven’t worn earrings in 12ish years. i thought probably not. But I’m having a Life Moment that makes you want to go out and get a tatoo or a piercing. Except that I’m not really a tattoo or piercing type. But if I WERE, then this would be the time to get a gigantic eagle across my stomach or a bellybutton ring with swarovski crystals.

(i’d NEVER. if you’re new here, just trust me. there’s nothing wrong with that, but it’s not me. for one thing, I’m insanely ticklish and a gigantic eagle tat would inevitably turn out to be one diagonal line, like when you’re writing and someone scares you and your pencil shoots off across the page? i’d have the tattoo version of that because I’d get tickled and jump and screw it all up. that probably isn’t even possible with tattoos. but what do I know?)

So instead of a tattoo or a bellybutton ring, I decided I’d just investigate the 12 year neglected ear holes. I’m all crazy like that.

And…? It hurt. But it was successful. I have these little silver hearts in my ears that are sort of sculpted and rough around the edges. Not overly sweet looking hearts, you know? They were called “tough love” and the name appealed to me. So I shoved the tough love hearts through my earlobes and then tried to distract myself with cleaning yesterday so that I wouldn’t stare at my throbbing, bright red ears in the mirror.

That experiment is working out well so far. I’ll work my way up to the diamond hoops.

An experiment that did NOT go well, in the Beware of Online Clearance Items category, I learned an important lesson:

There’s almost always a REASON something is oddly deeply discounted and in the online clearance section. At least try to think of what that reason might be before purchasing.

I did not do this. And I ended up with a really cute pair of lace trimmed blue panties with what I thought were silver polka dots. THEY WERE NOT SILVER POLKA DOTS.

They were silvery metal STUDS.

Have you ever worn lace trimmed blue panties with  silver studs? OF COURSE NOT. No one should.

Who cares if they’re cute, because you keep thinking you have some odd crumb or pebble or something in your PANTS. Like, EVERY TIME YOU SIT. And then you’re all shifty, like someone in a hemorrhoid commercial. So you move, and dang, but THERE IT IS AGAIN.  Except, it’s not the same stupid stud, it’s a different one and there is NO escape.

And that’s only the best part. Because you decide, okay this is dumb, but I’ll just hang in there for the rest of the day and then throw them away later ONLY TO FIND OUT THAT WHEN YOU TAKE THEM OFF, YOUR BUTT IS COVERED IN PERFECTLY SPACED DENTS.

Like, HELLO, did you want some CELLULITE today? Because HERE IT IS.  The Illusion of Cellulite Panty, just in case you don’t have enough, now on sale, gets yours today!!

Anyway. I threw that ‘bargain’ away.

Shop carefully, y’all, shop carefully.



January 23rd, 2012 at 12:45 pm » Comments (6)

As in… the 3rd part of the 3 part series detailing LaLa’s wedding. I know you thought I forgot. I didn’t. I’ve just been consumed with life and details and angst and last night I saw a child vomit into a trashcan and it was BRIGHT pink because I’d just given him pepto bismol and I’m still scarred.

And now you are, as well.

My apologies.

Here, let me distract you from that.

After LaLa’s wedding to The Groom (totally need a new name for him), there was much un-decorating and cleaning to be done. LaLa thanked Seth-6yr for his attendance and complimented his attire and manners and ushering. She asked him what his favorite part of the day had been.

“WELL. Dad took us swimming today at the hotel and that was really good.”

Fortunately, LaLa was charmed by his candor.

Not long after that one of the boys came and got me because they needed to confess that they had managed to throw some sort of globby toy up at the ceiling and it had stuck. I went and looked. I believed them, of course, because they don’t tend to need to make up false confessions in order to spice up the disciplinarian measures in their lives. If they say they stuck a globby toy on the ceiling, then it is true at the VERY LEAST that there is one globby toy on the ceiling, whether it can be seen or not.

I strongly suspect that the true motivation of the confession was not guilt over this misdeed. They wanted to see if I could somehow retrieve it and give it back to them so they could wreak more havoc with it once I walked away to fold tablecloths again. But this was not to be.

I was tired. I gave a half hearted lecture on globby toy etiquette, wedding edition, and figured it might rain down on a bride some other day when we were all long gone across the state and there was nothing I could do about it anyway.

We left and the three boys sat side by side in the backseat of our rented car. Ethan-11yr was the first to complain about the itchiness of his dress shirt. He said he was considering taking it off.

“I wouldn’t,” said Seth-6yr.

But within minutes they had all removed their shirts and then were in the backseat in slacks and cowboy boots and they began the process of analyzing body hair. OF COURSE.

“I have fur,” Seth-6yr announced. But when he says fur, it comes out FFFHHHUR.  ”Yes. I have FFFHHHUR in my armpits. SEE?” And he elbows both brothers at once (OW! and OW!) as he lifts his arms to show off that he has some pit lint.

“Oh yes. Well. That is very natural for me,” Caden-7yr says. Caden-7yr is bleakly accepting of the misconception that he has excessive body hair, and he laments it at every opportunity. And when he says ‘natural’ it comes out as “NATCH-uhrull.” He elbows a brother (OW!) as he lifts his arms to show off his perfectly normal amount of baby fine blond non hairy armpits. “Fur is NATCH-uhrull on me.”

“Just because we don’t have shirts on does not mean we have to talk about it, guys,” Ethan-11yr says. He may have been the first to strip off, but he is the least likely to want to discuss such things.

The next day, Monday, we made our way to the airport and returned the rental car. Then we learned that our hometown was besieged with high winds and blowing dirt and we might not get home as flights were canceled and delayed. That sort of thing happens here from time to time. Which is why the throw cushions on my outside furniture are probably in the next county.

We rented the biggest SUV we could find and drove home instead. I’m the designated Long Haul Driver. Except. i don’t drive at night. So I drove as long as I could, and then maybe TOO long because when I finally gave up and turned into a Dairy Queen parking lot it was a little darker than usual for me and I almost took out a road sign and created a new, alternate  entrance.

I don’t really see all that well at night. It’s NATCH-uhrull for me, what can I say?

Mike did dramatic arm flapping motions and screaming sounds (but no actual words) and it was ALL FINE and I found the humor of it all MORE than enough to make up for it.

And then he drove the rest of the way.

The end.


Prince Charming Strikes Again

January 23rd, 2012 at 10:42 am » Comments (2)

Last night Seth-6yr cornered me again on his proposed date with the beautiful Olivia.

“so when CAN we go ride horses with O’Libya?” he asked.

“I kind of…. have a LOT… going on. But I don’t think taking her a few hours away for a horseback ride is really appropriate anyway.”

“I NEED to do this, Mom. SHE has a cowboy hat and boots. And now I have a cowboy hat and boots, too.” He stared  me down. Perhaps he knows that if you mention footwear, you are more likely to fare better in any given negotiation with me. Okay, he DEFINITELY knows this. Everyone knows this.

“This is okay. If you will not do this, then I will just get her a horse for her berfday.”


If I were really on top of my mothering game right now, this conversation would have gone differently. But instead, I just asked, “So. How much of this is because you want to hold onto Olivia while riding a horse?”

He smirked.

“That is NOT what this is about.”

I breathed a sigh of relief.

Too soon.

Seth-6yr turned to go out the door and said, “She could always hold onto ME.”

He waited JUST long enough to see my face register what he’d said, and then he ran down the hall, laughing his little head off.


Prince Charming. On A Horse.

January 20th, 2012 at 4:08 pm » Comments (5)

Seth-6yr has been experimenting with various terms of endearment. He has called me “mr bossypants,” “little and beautiful artichokie” (more specifically, “well OKIE DOKIE, my little and beautiful… artichokie”), and “my sweet and nice ladeeeee.”

I think you might need to know this before reading the rest of this. So. Please excuse this brief interruption of the LaLa  Three Part Wedding Series in order to bring you this conversation between Seth-6yr and Caden-7yr:

Seth-6yr: Mom says I can have a playdate soon with O’Libya.

(she’s really named Olivia.)

Caden-7yr: That’s nice.

Seth-6yr: I want her to come over and we can ride horses.

Caden-7yr: But we don’t have horses.

Seth-6yr: Mom knows where to take us to ride horses though. I will ride with O’Libya and hold onto her middle so she does not fall off.

Caden-7yr: HUH. Do you know how far away that place is?

Seth-6yr: Yes. It is two hours there and two hours to get back.

Caden-7yr: That isn’t a playdate, Seth-6yr. That’s called a DATE.

Seth-6yr: Oh.

(long pause)

Seth-6yr: Well. She’s my shortie.

(here is where I almost drove off the road, hopped a curb and slammed into a hamburger place with a sandbox. instead, I slowed down and forgot to blink or breathe.)

Me, with a weird sounding strained voice: Do you know what that means? (and if you do, please consider explaining it to me.)

Seth-6yr: Well. I guess it means she’s short.

Me: But you’re in kindergarten. Aren’t you all short?

Seth-6yr: good point.


I’ll finish that conversation later. When my head stops spinning.

And NO, I did not agree to horses or dating or out of town trips with members of the opposite sex for kindergarteners. I really didn’t. Just in case you’re wondering.


January 18th, 2012 at 9:46 am » Comments (3)

My father emailed to say, “I do too know how to hug!!”

And…? I KNOW, DADDY. You just learned this weekend and I am proud.

In our family, we call the old style “PawPaw Hugs.”  One day a few weeks ago I hugged Caden-7yr too hard and he tripped and fell (and the two of us are so clumsy that it’s a wonder we both weren’t on the ground) and then I helped him up and asked if it was a PawPaw Hug. He brushed himself off and said, “Nah. It didn’t hurt bad enough.”

And THAT is what I’m talking about.


But I’m off topic. This is the short “During” post which only details points of interest during the wedding and reception.

1. The Groom’s family is all VERY nice. Have I mentioned this? They are. They seem like such nice, gentle, maybe quieter people. I appreciate a quiet type of people. They’re rare in my world. Actually, now that LaLa is officially family, I don’t think they can be called a Quiet People any longer. Hee! (But so true.)

2. Aisle Walking. No one tripped. All went well. Ethan-11yr walked our mom down the aisle, per her request. The other two boys walked HolyMiMi down the aisle, and they all took their roles VERY seriously.

3. At some point in the ceremony, the Groom started tearing up. He was clearly very overcome with emotion over the darling fireball of energy kind of woman he was marrying and he was SO sweet and it just UNDID me. I was fine until I saw that, and it was so nice to see this dear man who felt that way about my sister. Tears. LOTS of tears. SNOT. not a lot. But STILL. All running down my face and dripping off my chin and down my matte satin (satin, but not shiny! love it!) navy dress. I was holding two bouquets and no tissues. OF COURSE.

4. At another point in the ceremony, LaLa gives the Groom a little kiss. There is a wave of amusement through the seats, since that was NOT ON SCRIPT and it’s not the end with the whole ‘go ahead and kiss’ moment and all of that. It was adorable.

5. Kids’ Sand Ceremony where each of the 4 members of the newly joined family create a collaborative sand art thing to symbolize their new togetherness. (Okay. You caught me. I wasn’t listening at that point. i was trying to stop from crying and discreetly looking at my dad to see if he had a tissue.) But it WAS an excellent idea and the kids were cute and enjoyed pouring the brightly colored sand.

6. Reception. There were people. A LOT of people. I hugged a lot of them. I talked to almost all of them, because i made myself not get all antisocial and hide under tables. And then when I’d talked to about 90% of the 80ish people there, I went and hid in the Bride’s dressing room and collapsed in a chair and enjoyed the silence for ten minutes before emerging and hugging/talking more.

7. There weren’t toasts or dancing or bouquet tossing so NONE OF THAT NONSENSE, thank you GOD.

8. There were Legos for the boys, thank you HolyMiMi, and hundreds and hundreds of cookies instead of wedding cake, thank you Lala, and it was really nice. Seth-6yr and Caden-7yr could not believe the caterer had included nachos in the menu. SCORE!

9. Mike disappeared and headed up the Decorating the Car project. It turned out REALLY cute. Partly because the car is really cute. The Groom has a tiny little Honda Fit. Which looks even cuter with a pair of heart boxer shorts on the back and “just married” written in Ethan-11yr’s handwriting across the back windshield.

Preview of the “After” post:

my kids get something stuck on the ceiling, i find it impossible to recognize someone i knew my whole life, and the boys discuss fur issues.


i’ll get right on that.


January 17th, 2012 at 4:42 pm » Comments (6)

LaLa got married! I’m overwhelmed at the task of telling y’all about it because there’s just so much to say. (it was beautiful. she was beautiful. that’s the short version.)

Lists. We need lists to break down the past few days of stress, happiness, joy, wedding stuff, and the chaos that tagged along uninvited. so I’m thinking ‘before’, ‘during’ and ‘after.’   but we’ll see how long they go and decide how many posts come of it later.


Pre-Wedding List:

1.  I arrived ON TIME, and whoah, PACKED, and ready for my flight. Off to a good start. Then I accidentally chose a seat in front of a college “spirit squad.” Male and female members of this group all spoke loudly, and in high-pitched chipper voices, and ALL of their sentences ended in question marks even though no one was asking anyone anything. Let’s disguise our declarative sentences! Ready? OKAY!

They all looked like normal (although overly groomed) people when I picked that seat. It was a fakeout. None of them said ANYTHING until after takeoff, otherwise I would have changed seats as soon as I heard the first, “Yes? I’D LOVE THAT…? I REALLY WOULD…? I’M ORIGINALLY FROM HOUSTON? I… LIKE THAT NEW DANCE WE LEARNED LAST WEEK….?”
I thought I’d DIE. There was a really upset Yorkie across the aisle from me and I actually tried to focus on his incessant yapping because that was TOTALLY MORE PLEASING TO THE EAR. That Yorkie was getting a lot of dirty looks, but seriously? He was trying to drown out the ‘spirit team’ and he was the only passenger sensible enough to come up with a strategy. Later, at baggage claim, I talked to the Yorkie’s doggie mama about him and whispered to him through his carrier about how well he’d done. I wouldn’t normally have done that, but I felt a debt of gratitude to him. (Although I have since, inexcusably,  forgotten his name. No, it wasn’t Niles.) But no one had given him noise canceling headphones, and we were in that hell of superfluous question marks together, and we survived together.

2. Before the wedding there was shopping to be done.

My mom needed shoes. I needed nothing. My sister needed everything from candles to batteries to plastic plates and rust colored flowers which are NOT in season and thus impossible to find. Although Mom and I tried MIGHTILY and went to 6 or 7 places looking. Please do not tell me where we could have gone or that you have some in bloom right now. I mean it. Don’t.

3. My two cousins from the Midwest arrived. On this blog, I often refer to one cousin as HolyCousin. Her sister shall now be referred to as HolyCousin of the Midwest. Partly because she likes to tell you where she comes from. Which drives her two teenagers nuts. But I don’t give out city names on this blog, so we’ll just say the Midwest, instead. HolyCousin of the Midwest and I spent rare quality time talking and crying and discovering our shared adoration for the exact same cheap mascara. (no. not the pink and green one y’all all love. a different one.) At one point I was crying and I’d JUST finished my makeup so I was trying to lean way over and turn my head upside down so maybe the tears would just fall straight out of my eyes and onto the carpet instead of running down my face. That works, by the way, if you just have one or two tears. But if you’re crying your fool head off, just GIVE UP, cry it out, and then re-do your face.

4. Wedding Rehearsal.

I’ve mentioned that my dad gives… painful hugs. There are often abrasions and bruises, scrapes and sometimes there’s blood. In fact, that day when he arrived at the Rehearsal, my hug from him left my right ear so scraped that it went completely numb and I kept pulling at it and hitting it to see if feeling had returned. (if anyone wondered why the matron of honor was repeatedly hitting herself in the head throughout the rehearsal, THAT WOULD BE WHY.)

So when the officiant said, “This is when the bride’s father will turn and hug the bride…“, LaLa and I both were quite vocal about NUH UH, BUT NoooOOooo, that will NOT be happening.  He mighta VERY SWEETLY and totally unintentionally knocked her flat on her bridal butt right there at the pivotal handing off to the groom moment.  So it was then amended that the father of the bride would instead kiss the bride on the cheek. He is good at that.

5. After the rehearsal, we had the opportunity to stay and decorate the venue. This is KEY. This was unexpected. This meant that the layout, floorplan, and decorations could be supervised by the bride herself, instead of done the next day by everyone else and Bride Panic ensuing because maybe it’s not getting done juuuuuust right, per her 11 pages of detailed documentation. This was perhaps the very best thing that could have happened that day, and it did. Although at one point I had the job of hanging miniature Christmas lights under tables, and I just pulled the floor length tablecloths down and disappeared completely and enjoyed the sort of peace that one can only find by hiding under a table. It was nice.

6. Daddy, QUITE SHOCKINGLY, changed his hugging style. We had no idea this was even possible. We’ve begged and pleaded and joked and held How To Embrace tutorials and prayed that the man might learn to hug like a normal human. And… perhaps the “You Can’t Hug the Bride” thing inspired him. I don’t know. But I got at least THREE mostly normal and not painful hugs from him after the wedding and that is THREE more than I have EVER gotten before and each time I was all, OH MY GOSH, HE HUGGED ME RIGHT!!! HE DID IT!!!! DID Y’ALL SEE THAT?! I am soooo proud. I really had no idea he had it in him. I thought it was completely impossible. It must take a great deal of concentration.

Right before the wedding, the photographer was going to take a picture of LaLa and Daddy and me and he hugged me and DIDN”T hurt me, but he did dig his fingers into my side in such a horrifically tickle-y manner that I completely freaked out on him. And there is now a photo of LaLa (looking at the camera, all gorgeous and bridal) and Daddy (looking at the camera, laughing his head off ) and me (side profile, yelling and glaring at him as if I’m about to start punching.)

7. LaLa’s dear friend did her makeup. This is NO small feat because LaLa has an eye related phobia that sorta prevents any discussion, contact, messing with her eyes or she just loses it altogether. You can’t really even talk about anything eye related, even if the eyes in question aren’t hers. Her friend (who is more like a little superhero than a mortal) overcame the eye thing and made it look easy and of course she did an amazing job on her makeup, too. I don’t think anyone else on the planet could have done that. Really.

8. LaLa’s Other, Countless Friends showed up from all areas of the country and were lovely. Some of them I’d met years ago, and most of them I knew only through Lala’s descriptions over the years.

9. HolyMiMi (my stepmom) did a WHOLE lot of food stuff for various gatherings and it was all delicious. She was not asked to do this. She just offered. It was wonderful.

10. Daddy gave my sister and me gorgeous, GORGEOUS, gorgeous diamond earrings. I said, “it’s okay… you could do something nice for LaLa and her wedding without having to do the same thing for me…” but I was beyond thrilled and I probably didn’t even mean that, it was just the right thing to say. My ears aren’t even pierced. They used to be. Daddy remembered this, and I assured him that the earrings were so gorgeous I might need to shove them through my earlobes and just drip blood down the aisle in the name of pretty jewelry. If he’d hug me twice, using his old hugging technique, THEN my ears would be suitably numb and it probably wouldn’t even hurt to do that.

11. My mom enjoyed providing childcare for the two newest, cutest sweetest little grandkids. I don’t know what to call them. Not their real names, of course. But they’re 4 and 2, and they love LaLa and she loves them.

12. HolyCousin. Oh… HolyCousin.  She’s the one who can get everything done the right way, ahead of time, and more efficiently and gracefully than anyone else, and you’ll usually not even have noticed that there was a problem in the first place before she’s already finished fixing it. It’s an interesting set of skills I don’t quite understand but I always enjoy seeing in action. When she isn’t in that particular mode, she’s taking gorgeous pictures that catch a unique angle or an unexpected viewpoint. Her boyfriend is really nice – they are SO cute together – and he’s smart enough to see the rare talent she is.

13. LaLa put together a beautiful weekend of events and gatherings and brought together the people she loves in order to celebrate how much she and The Groom adore each other. The list of details and plans and things that needed to be done in order to pull this off was staggering. She did it. I never, EVER could have. (0kay, I wouldn’t have wanted to. I’m a ‘hang out under a table alone’ kinda girl. but still.)

I think that’s all the “Before.” Of course, I’m probably wrong, and it’s really going to screw up my “during” and “after” posts if I think of a lot of good “before” stuff then.

Eh. It’s okay.

AND IT JUST HAPPENED. I was going to tell y’all about this amazing smoked salmon, wilted spinach, diced tomato, herby cream cheese egg white omelet. And is it on the list? no.

and… I totally left out the mani/pedi thing where our mom accidentally got a really trashy looking manicure (she’s never had one before, and had no idea that color was really Hooker’s Favorite Neon Shell Pink) and then had it re-done. LaLa held my hand during the pedi, because GEEZ IT TICKLES and then LaLa kinda bumped her hand and messed up her nails and had a couple re-done. I had a really REALLY tacky french manicure that tickled my spine into a backwards C shape with the top of my head planted into the back of the seat so that I could withstand the Emory Board Torture Section. We three are…. really not good at manicures.


Okay. no more. promise.




“Procrastination With a Discount Bikini” Post

January 12th, 2012 at 8:25 am » Comments (5)

is it actually even possible for me to leave on a trip without an “I should be packing but…. i’m not” post…?

I think not.

I’m supposed to be leaving the house in…less than forty minutes. I’m heading to the Wedding City.

I have a pile of most of my stuff next to a suitcase. CLOSE ENOUGH. that’s PRACTICALLY the very same thing as being packed.

But i’m in a bathrobe and my hair is half wet and in a messy bun and no makeup and i’ve spent the last ten minutes trying on a bikini  - not that there will be swimwear this weekend, i’m just wasting time i do not have – and talking to dogs and thinking that i’d rather talk to y’all for juuuuust a minute. and so here i am.

the bikini was a jcrew dirt cheap clearance thingy that just came in the mail yesterday. red and white little flowers soooo cute and soooo doesn’t fit because it’s way bigger than it should be, and all dirt cheap sales are final and nonreturnable.

but that’s okay.  I haven’t taken it off yet because I keep hoping it’ll somehow start fitting. that’s fairly pathetic, but these flowers…? oh! so! cute!!


I should just go pack, but instead lemme tell you about how a few weeks ago i was at a hip hop class (even though i can’t even clap on-beat it is STILL a great workout that doesn’t require holding weights which is real important right now) and a girl next to me told me “it’s like yo booty don’t hear the music.”

I mighta bumped into her a time or two. by accident. clearly.

I thought that was a FANTASTIC description. “It’s TRUE! It’s EXACTLY LIKE THAT! MY BOOTY DOES NOT HEAR THE MUSIC!!!”

And she told me that my booty could just watch her booty because she could hear just fine.

that was an interesting suggestion.

Turns out, my booty cannot hear OR see.

That’s what I learned there. Still a great workout. All that matters.



Off to a wedding!


A Glorious Monday Morning

January 9th, 2012 at 9:48 am » Comments (4)

If you have three little boys, it is not advisable to take them to a sandwich place with varying sizes of sandwiches. Unless, of course, it doesn’t bother you at all to hear very serious discussions of “length.” Size matters, and all that. And this doesn’t bother me, so much, as it makes me want to hide my face and just die laughing because they are so earnest about it and I can’t possibly explain why I’m laughing.

“Mine is seven inches!”

“I got the ten and a half inch one so I could save some for later. That is SO LONG.”

“Mine’s bigger.”

“Mine’s longer.”

“I think mine is better because it’s THIS long and yours is THAT long.”

I stare at a speck on the wall and silently say the alphabet until the need to laugh passes. And if that doesn’t work, I pull up my shirt over my mouth and tuck my chin to my chest and just hide like a turtle. And no one notices anyway, so that works.

The boys went back to school today for the first time since before Christmas break. They were more than ready. Well, Seth-6yr was excited about the concept but not the ‘getting out of bed’ part. General refusal to get dressed. With hugs and charm. As if that helps.

I counter with the “get dressed or I will put you in the car naked and take you to school that way, even though I love you, but you do not have the power to make your brothers late for school” speech. And threatening the common nightmare scenario of at-school nudity works every time and the child loses the charm and tosses some clothes on.

Yesterday at church, I had the three years olds. And then after that, I moved next door to the Toddlers. The three year old girls were VERY interested in where my daddy was. Why he wasn’t at church with me. And why he wasn’t right there in that classroom with them where they could talk to him and see what color pants he was wearing.  (don’t you just love three year old girls? Oh my gosh. They’re so funny.) They drew pictures for my daddy. And they wanted to know his name. And generally got off on a strange tangent about knowing all things about him.  So I told them he is afraid of spiders, he’s very smart, and he had a dead bat in his workshop that he thought was lucky but then he lost it and he has really long toes that are a lot like worms. (well, he does.)  One little girl did NOT believe any of this and thought I had to be making it all up. And i can understand that. But it’s all true, of course.

I got blue playdough in my hair and baby snot on my sweater (not that I really mind these things) and one little blond headed boy screamed and clung to my neck and just thoroughly lost it when his dad dropped him off with me… and even though I was so glad to be there with these little ones, I kept thinking about today. When there would be quiet in this house.

And that is now.

This moment.

It’s beautiful.

There are two dogs asleep on the floor next to me, one brown, one black. My closet is not a disaster area because I finally did something about it. The air outside is cold, the air inside is warm and I’m very aware of the peacefulness around me… and within me and I couldn’t be more grateful. I know its origin. Where it comes from, Who it comes from.

Right now, little else matters.