Oct 29, 2007

Aaahhhh...the Fascination

So here's the deal. Since my last blog I have been inundated (yes, that's inundated) with questions regarding my penchant for lying. Apparently I wrote something about my unsavory ability at the tail end of my last entry. However, I didn't write that. Someone else must have.

What I am now going to do is tell you truth from lie. Help you decipher fact from fiction. I will give you a statement. You determine whether or not it is true. The real answer will follow.

Let's begin.

David Radke was my first kiss.

True. I did have one other kiss but it was gross, I was young, and so I don't count it. Besides, he is now living an alternative lifestyle so it most assuredly does not count.

When I was 13 I had a heart condition.

False. Though I must admit this is a tricky one. You see, I have been in perfect health my whole life so I did not knowingly have a physical heart defect. I was, however, insanely in love with Joey McIntyre from the New Kids on the Block and in all my journaling, poetry and love songs - that was oft referred to as a "heart condition."

I was in love with Joey McIntyre when I was 13.

False. Don't believe everything you read. I was 16.

I spent an afternoon swimming with Monica Lewinsky when I was very young.

True. If you know me at all you know this is my big "claim to fame." I was young, as was she. But I remember it well so don't try to tell me it didn't happen (MOM!)

If spending an afternoon swimming with Monica Lewinsky is my big claim to fame then I really need to get a life.


My best friend once drank all ten of my freshly cut toenails.

True. I put them in her Coke and she had no idea.

My first job was at a fast food Chicken restaurant.

True. Grandy's. I hate, loathed and despised it.

I quit my first job when I got a new hair cut and the mandatory visor no longer looked good on me.

False. That is the reason I gave my parents as to why I should quit. They didn't buy it.

My dad parked across the street from Grandy's and spied on me my whole first week at my new job.

True. He would pull up an hour after I got there and then follow me home. He wanted to make sure everything was alright. My mom eventually convinced him it was creepy.

The girls posted in the blog section "Golden Girls" are indeed real girls, who are really my friends and not just a picture I "pasted on my blog".

True. They do, indeed, exist. Although I am a big, fat liar I am not so pathetic as to have to download some strangers to paste onto my blog. But thanks to Debbie and Becky for thinking that was the case. Shout out to you, girls!!

My favorite food is chili-cheese dogs.

True. I could eat them five nights a week.

I loved the movie Top Gun when I was a teenager.

False. I just saw Top Gun for the first time about a year ago. It was alright. (I have also never seen Raising Arizona, the Breakfast Club, Sixteen Candles or Dirty Dancing.)

When my mom, my aunt, my cousin and myself sang Southern Gospel my dad once referred to us as the Dixie Chunks for a whole year.

True. The Dixie Chicks were in their prime and I suppose he thought we looked, well, nothing like them.

I once tried to sneak out of the house in high school but I couldn't because my mom would never go to sleep.

True. Eventually I got too tired and just went to bed. She told me it was because the "Lord wouldn't let her go to sleep." He and my mom were always close and it used to really make me angry.

Now, listen. I realize that telling fact from fiction in my world is a little hard. So here are the rules. Just assume everything I say is true. Besides, my mom says I am not a liar. Just an "exagerator." And people, there's a big difference. There's a reason why this is called STRETCH Marks. Sheesh.

Oct 24, 2007

What's the deal with your Stretch Marks?

Have you ever been asked that question?
Mortifying, isn't it?

But I was asked it just this morning. And yesterday. And twice on Sunday. I was asked about my Stretch Marks, or rather, why my blog title has changed to Stretch Marks. (You didn't honestly think I meant actual Stretch Marks did you? How tacky.)

Here's why the change.

When I created this blog I was sitting in my living room chair (aka my "Vestal" chair. Which is what all my friends call it, since it's the biggest and best chair in my living room and no matter who comes over I sit in it - because it's mine. Kind of like on all those old Gaither Homecoming videos and Vestal Goodman was the only one sitting in a throne chair down front while everyone else crouched together on some cheap riser). Anyway, I was trying desperately to come up with a name.

I begged David to help me think of something but he would occasionally just throw out random words like, "announcer", "yardage", "throw" and "Cowboy" as he stared intently at Monday Night Football. I know now those were not options for my Blog title but rather words that apparently go with this game he continues to be obsessed with. Since he was being absolutely no help to me at all I did what usually works, I gave him an impassioned "hmph." Still, he was unmoved.
I sighed deeper. Louder. To no avail.
Finally giving up I put my computer to the side, got up from my "Vestal chair" walked in to the kitchen and declared, "Where's the cookie dough?"
Viola! A blog name was born.
But alas, it was the blog name that could never be. No, it isn't already taken. It's that I'm joining Weight watchers tomorrow and the last thing I want to see every day is the words Cookie Dough spread across my computer. But what will indeed keep me motivated to "count those points" is if I see the words Stretch Marks plastered across it. Yep, that should do the trick.

And then lastly...Two years ago I received a card from a friend that absolutely brightened the living daylights out of my sorry ole' day. I laughed and laughed and laughed. This was a pretty sad time in my life and so cards were coming in my mailbox every day, but this one was different. And what was so great was that it wasn't what the card had said, but what she had written in the card that made it so wonderful. And it was right then and there that I decided I wanted to write a line of greeting cards for Dayspring / Hallmark greeting cards.
Has she lost her mind? You may be asking.
No, I have not.
For you see my husband (who shall heretofore be known by his pet name, "The Attorney General") has a wonderful and longstanding relationship with Hallmark since they are now distributing a line of greeting cards from one of the musical artists he manages.
So if ever there were connections, baby, we got 'em!!
And I have decided that if a person is really down. I mean way down...down in the dumps and can't get out of bed down...then the last thing they want to see is two furry kittens reciting the Lord's prayer.
Or a kite flying in a gentle breeze while the clouds spell out a Psalm.
Or a little lost lamb being carried on Ziggy's shoulders.
That doesn't make us feel better.
What's the old saying? LAUGHTER is the best medicine. Make us laugh. Make us have to get out of bed for fear that we'll wet on ourselves. That's the kind of card I want. So the Attorney Generals advice?? Write them. Give him the ideas and he'll pass them on to the card company. Have I done that yet? Nope. But when I do Stretch Marks is going to be the name of my card line.

Sometimes it's difficult to send a card. We forget to buy one. Or we don't like any of the ones we see. We put it off because we don't have their address, or we're out of stamps. But sometimes a card is just what somebody needs. Email is nice, but knowing something arrived just for you - with your name on it. Well, that can solve a world of hurt. Yeah, it's sometimes a STRETCH (see where I'm going with this?) but we still make the effort to do it. But I'm also going to call it that because the line will be devoted to women, what makes us laugh, what makes us tick, what ticks us off, etc.
And what is one thing we know much about?
You guessed it.
Stretch marks.

So until I actually have a card line that I can call Stretch Marks I'm going to call my blog that! Mainly, because I just think it's so darn cute. Of course I should probably go online and actually look up what Stretch Marks really are. I here a lot of women have them, but of course, that's not something I would know anything about. (Tomorrow's blog is dedicated entirely to why I lie so much.)

Oct 23, 2007

The Golden Girls

Having girlfriends is one of God's greatest gifts. Seriously, it's His way of making up for that whole PMS thing.

But something happens when a little girl becomes a lady. Friendships aren't based off of favorite colors anymore. The thing that brings women together is no longer their plans to marry two guys from New Kids on the Block and live side by side.

But let's not discount those days either. They were fun, weren't they?? And they were special. But as we grow up we lose memory of those days. They seem farther and farther away. Unless we are lucky enough to remain friends, best friends, with those little girls we made those plans with.
Well, I'm lucky enough.
Meet my Golden Girls.

Yes, the name is based off of the show. But the name fits, trust me. Just like Blanche had her Dorothy, Rose and Sophia - I have my Golden Girls. And Golden they are, too.

Considering that the four of us have been friends since we were 5 years old there are very few memories that I have that don't include them. As far as my childhood goes, they are in each memory.
They are the reason I got many spankings.
But they are also the reason my parents lengthened my curfew (we were good girls.)
They are the reason I fell in love with New Kids on the Block.
And they are, thankfully, the reason I fell out of love with them.
They were my dates on many a Friday night and my escort to a certain Homecoming game.
They were my biggest fans.
They still are my biggest fans.
When I got married they stood beside me.
When I buried my son, they stood beside me.
They had my back.
Now they have my heart.

This is special what we have. It's rare for four best friends in the 1st grade to be best friends at this stage in life. But that is the Golden Girls.
They are indeed, golden.
Rare. Precious.

Oct 15, 2007

Five Crazy Ladies in need of a good Monkey

Well, it's official. I'm in full-time minisry.

Now, let me just go ahead and say that being in full-time ministry may not seem like that big of a deal to some. So be it. Point is, I get to say that sentence now. And I am getting as much mileage out of it as I can.

So when David asks why I haven't cooked since God was a boy I just say, "David, sheesh. Can you give me a break? I'm in full-time ministry now."

Or when I drop Remi off at the church nursery with nothing but a diaper bag containing 48 cents and a tampon I just sheepishly smile and whip out the ol', "Sorry ladies, I've just been swamped being in full-time ministry and all."

Yeah, it's a hard job. But somebodies gotta do it.

I am however, thrilled to announce to you the officail ministry team of "THE CRAZY MONKEY LADIES." (Go ahead and get your laughing over and done with so we can move on to some really serious ministry. 'Kay??) I kid.

Rhonda Brady, Kate Watkins, Stacey Jagger, Terra Tucker and I have joined together in ministry and I am really excited. When you hear people refer to a "God thing" - this is what their talking about. Rhonda Brady is a precious friend who I have much in common with and a deep love for. Her and I were called to a secret lunch one day. We had no idea who would be there or what it would be about. All we new is that it was a nice resteraunt, the food was free and Rhonda had a new hair-do to show off so of course we agreed to go. When we arrived at the table (late as usual) I saw Kate Watkins who was a friend from church, Terra Tucker who I also knew from church but did not know her very well, and then I saw Stacey Jagger who was one of my best friends during my college days but I had not laid eyes on her since 1998! Our mouths dropped, we hugged, and we wondered what in the world was going on. We had been called together by a wonderful, and trusted, man at our church Larry Watkins who said God had given him a vision for this group - and we were the women he saw in the vision. We had so many questions but Larry assured us that whether or not we did anything with the vision was up to us, it was all up to us now. He cast the vision. And he left it in our hands.

Six months later and here we are.
A couple of Bible teachers, a worship leader, an Actress and an Artist.
And we truly couldn't be more excited.

There are a few things in life that I know...
  1. I was created to lead in worship. That I know.
  2. I have a testimony to tell; my story - His glory, right?. That I am sure of.
  3. And I will be in disobediance if I don't finish the book I have started and stopped ten times now. I am sure of that.
But when I think of getting to do all of that, while on the road, and with friends???
What in the world could be better than that?

If you would like the Crazy Monkey Ladies to come to your church - well, guess what? We would too! So just leave me a comment with your info.

But if you would like to know why we have chosen such a silly name. Well, of that I cannot be much help. Names are hard to come up with.
Some are too edgy (Mosaic, Destiny, Sho-kinda-glory...don't ask).
Some go too southern gospel before you know it (Spirit led, Vision).
And some are already taken (Women of Faith).

So leave it to the son of one our members to come up with the only name that he saw that truly fit us - Crazy Monkey Ladies. Kids, they callz 'em as theys seez 'em.

So we are...

The Crazy Monkey Ladies
Refreshingly Unique: Surprisingly Sane
1 Cor. 2:16, "For we have the mind of Christ..."

Coming soon to a town near you!

Oct 12, 2007

HARPO spelled backwards is...

How many of you can say your phone rang today and your caller I.D. said "Harpo Studios??"

I CAN!!!
Oh, yawn, another day, ho hum, with Oprah ringing my phone off the wall.
Okay, okay, it wasn't actually Oprah. She was probably taping. (For those of you who don't know, that's fancy tv lingo for, well, uh...taping.)
It was a producer for her XM radio show, Oprah and Friends. Dr. Maya Angelou is doing a special show on adoption. I sent them our story. They gave me a call.

And get this, after playing a bit of phone tag with them over the past several days the producer calls me and says, "Well, Melissa you left us a message regarding your email you sent us, but we can't seem to find that email."

I'm thinking to myself, if you haven't read my email then how did you know to call me???

She then asks, "Could you just begin to talk me through your story."

I agree and before I get very far into it this is what she says, "Oh, Melissa. I'm so sorry. We did get your email, I remember it now. It was very hard for me to read. I cried when I read it. I suppose I stored it away in the back of my mind."

I told her it was okay, if it was hard for her to read imagine how hard it was to live.

She laughed, the ice was broken, and I shared my story.

She asked if she could tell my story.


She said, "Normally we make our submissions to Dr. Angelou in writing but I would love to recite your story to her. The power of it is in the telling."

"The power of it is in the telling." I thought on that one a moment and felt ashamed I have not been obediant to God in the telling. This is my story. This is my song. If the power is in the telling then I should be repeating it day in and day out.

She said it was remarkable, this "story" I have lived.

But what I think is remarkable is Elisha Cooper and how he came to be. And how he had to leave.

And what I think is remarkable is Remi Hope. How she came to be. And how she got to stay.

He is my story. She is my song.
Praising my Saviour all the day long.

And what I know is remarkable is God's grace.

Can you say "God's grace" on Oprah and Friends? If the power of the story is in the telling then she'll have to say it, because that is what I said. "God's grace." I told her He gives hope to the hopeless. Then I held out the phone for her to hear my Hope, calling out to me from another room.

16 Things She's Taught Me in 16 Months.

1. There is no problem to difficult or fall to hard that crawling up in daddy's lap won't help.

2. Going pantless really is the way to go.

3. It's okay to take a nap right in the middle of your day.

4. Milk really does do a body good.

5. There is no excuse for tan lines. So swim naked.

6. Throw something off of a balcony, it's a hoot!

7. Looking at Elmo really does cause you to smile. Just try staring at him and not smiling.

8. Whatever I need, at any time of day or at any stage in my life, my grandma already has it and knew I would be asking for it.

9. If grandma has fallen off the face of the earth and can't be found - Grandpa will buy it for me.

10. Bows are overrated.

11. Nothing in life taste better than a dinner of french fries, mac-n-cheese and a roll.

12. If it's your birthday you have every right to cram the cake in your face. To heck with your guests!

13. Mommies fix everything.

14. Touching someone's face and saying "pretty" means I can get a horsey or a new car.

15. Everyone should have someone who kisses their boo-boo, let's them ride on their back and reads them to sleep.

16.If I could look half as cute as her saying "NO" I would say it in my life a lot more often.

Oct 10, 2007

Breaking Bread with Miss America

Boy, talk about your High School moments all over again.
I had lunch across from a beauty queen today.
No, seriously. I did.
Suddenly I was transported back to April 3rd, 1990, 11:47am, Hudson High School cafeteria. The prettiest girl in our grade pulls up a chair across from me. This is not intimidating to me, of course, for I am full of pep, personality, zeal and charisma. And as we all know, those things are important in High School. NOT!
I am intimidated. Why?
Becuse I always seem to get the most tickled when there is food rolling around in my mouth.
If ranch dressing drips down my hand I never got the concept of "wipe it off". I lick it.
And I always...always...spill something on myself.
And so, on that third day of April 1990 I sat across from her.
And yes, I spilled. And no, she didn't.
And yes, I used too much mayonnaise. While she used none.
And yes, I caught the ranch dressing rolling down my palm with my tongue, while she never soaked her fries in ranch dressing at all.
And yes, I went to English Lit. with taco meat on my vest...but it's all okay.
As my granny says, "who cares. you'll still go to heaven happy."
I have no clue what that even means.
But there I was today. Sitting across from another beauty queen. A real live beuty queen. Not like the girl I went to school with (who rumor has it worked at Kohl's for four weeks before she slipped in the bathroom and got worker's comp which she used to open up a tanning salon that eventually went belly-up but not before she went belly-up, if you get my meaning.) I chuckle lightly to myself.
No, today's beauty queen was Miss America.
A real live Miss America. And she made a sandwich for me. And we ate together. And yeah, I think I laughed with my mouth open while she kept her elbows off the table.
And yes, I think she saw me pick that piece of cheese up off the table and eat it while she politely wiped her mouth with her napkin.
And so what if sweet tea dribbled down my chin while she cut her sandwich into fourths?
We had a nice time. She's wonderful and secure and could care less that she ever was a beauty queen.
And me? I'm perfectly happy - after all, I am full of pep, personality, zeal and charisma. And while that may not count for much when your 15 it sure makes people want to have you over for lunch when your 30.

Oct 9, 2007

I will tell you what I know, but first things first, where's the cookie dough?

David Radke has wanted me to start a blog for over a year now.
Translation: David is sick of me buying expensive journals and then writing my grocery list in them.

David Radke says I will enjoy it, he says I am a good writer.
Translation: David thinks blogging is cheaper than therapy.

David Radke wants to know if I am going to write about "funny" things or "spiritual" things?
Translation: David wants to know if I am going to write about him.

David Radke wants me to come up with a really clever title that describes who I am and shows my maturity and depth.
Translation: David is driving me crazy tonight and I would pay $1,000 for a cookie log.

David Radke says blogs are a good idea if I want to share my deep, spiritual thoughts or some daily devotionals that I write.
Translation: David hopes I don't embarress him.

David had best not read my blog.
Oh yeah, this is going to be fun.