Nov 27, 2008

My Personal Prayer

A Prayer of Thanksgiving.

Why is it today I feel the need to tell you
“Thank You?”

Why do I not make a habit out of this every day?

Tell me why it is I come to You more with questions than with thanks –
more with concerns than appreciation –
more with causes than with love.

Tell me why that is. For that I am truly sorry.

And so today, on this day of thanks,
allow me to tell You what I’m thankful for.

You will find that this prayer may not be what You hear from everyone, but that’s okay, I know You like variety.
I am thankful today for my family.
The ones I was born to love and the ones I came to love.
The ones who call me “family” as well as the ones who call me “ friend.”

I am thankful for the home I live in.
It might be small and it might certainly not be clean,
but it is here and now and that is all I could ever ask for or want.

I thank You for my health for it may not be here tomorrow.

And I thank You for my life, for I gave it away to You,
and You may decide to take me up on that just any day now.

I thank You that the world we live in now
is not the world we will spend eternity in…
there is something greater, someplace better
that You have in store for us.
And I wait for it with an expectant and grateful heart.

I am thankful today because for every penny
I have
it is a penny more than some.

The clothes that wrap my body are warmer than some are wearing even now.

And the shoes that cover my feet
are not as worn as some that are being worn this minute.

I am thankful today that amidst war and catastrophe,
amidst elections and persecution,
my table is surrounded by love.
Thus my table, and my heart, are full.

And lastly, Lord, I am thankful today that the love You have shown for me
is greater than the love I have ever shown towards You.

That the faithfulness of which you bestow on me
transcends any faithfulness I have given You.
I am thankful that every tear I’ve ever cried has been held captive,
literally, by Your love.

That a record was kept of them and restoration was brought for them.

I am thankful that the years the locust had eaten were
restored to me tenfold.
And when they were restored they were done so
with abounding joy and great hope for tomorrow.

So today, with all I have in me, my heart sings…
Great Is Thy Faithfulness.
Great Is Thy Faithfulness.
Morning By Morning new mercies I see.
All I have needed thy hand has provided.
Great is thy faithfulness Lord, unto me.

Unto all of us, in fact…
And so may You find me, Your servant,
faithful to You as well.

I love You with all my heart…

Nov 25, 2008

From Foxholes to Faith.

Just imagine going in to Borders and seeing a sign that said, "Take one - it's free!"

I don't know about you, but I'd take one whether I wanted it or not.

Well, today is that day.

Feel free to download your copy of From Foxholes to Faith and feel free to pass it on to as many people as you'd like. Or just send them here and they can do it themselves. I mean, hey, it's a free book. Oh, sure, I'm not expecting them to make a movie about it and for young women all over the universe to flock to see it while wearing t-shirts that say, "I heart vampires." But hey, did I mention it's free?

So please take a moment to download your copy by clicking here. Or by clicking on the sidebar to your right. Just click on the arrow beside the word Menu and it's yours for the takin'.

Thank you all for your wonderful calls, cards and emails of encouragement. And for the sweet ladies who emailed me and asked if they could join in on the donation process, we have added Paypal just for you. Which is ironic that it's called that due to the fact that I feel like you really are paying your pal. Me! And I certainly appreciate your giving to the AG and I in regards to this book. Trust me, he put in far more work than I did and is rightfully deserving of every penny. If all he gets is a free plate of fajitas from Chili's, trust me, it was more than he was planning on getting.

*Note: Paypal has been set up for some friends who asked about this. It is not encouraged, required, expected or assumed. I assure you. I love you all because you're broke. Just. like. me.

So, my lovelies, here it is. Pray for a name. Now pray for another one. Now send it to them. They're waiting.

My story for His glory,


Nov 24, 2008

This is important. You need to read this. This is important. You need to read this.

I Googled creative titles and still this is all I could come up with? Are you kidding me?

But I felt it said what I needed it to say. Thus, it is both creative and useful. Which is how I imagine the Attorney General would describe me if he could only use two words.

Okay, that is sooooo not the point.

So this post has been a long time coming.
I'm a little nervous.

That's why I'm clearing my throat so much.
I do that when I'm nervous.

Can you tell I'm nervous?
I'm totally sweating.

Whenever I use the word "totally" I always think of Jennifer Garner in 13 Going On 30 (which I loved.) And then I think about the part where she said, "It's because I have these incredible boobs to fill 'em out!"

Do you see what I'm doing? Do you sense it?
I'm stalling.

I do that, too.
When I'm nervous.

Okay, here goes...

I've written a book, an e-book actually. And if you want to read it you can. But if you don't want too I totally understand and there will be no hard feelings because I know you're busy and you don't have time to read and in fact you are probably sick of even hearing my voice all up in your head and I can totally relate to that - I get sick of hearing voices in my head, so I get it. And that's fine.

And that's all I wanted to say.

Exhaling sigh of relief.

Wait. Ya know what? No it isn't. No it isn't all I want to say. I want to go on. Oh, yes I do! So I here I go, with all my going on.

Chin up. Chest out. Uh, no. Not that far out. Back in a little. There, that's better.

As many of you know several months ago I wrote a series of blog posts entitled The Foxhole Series. The series, if you will remember, were centered around the AG and I's most recent miscarriage and all the stinkin' heartache that can bring. And then culminated over the adoption of one adorable little Rocco. There were several posts that were written, beginning with "My Nakedness" and ending with "The Foxhole Series: The Grand Finale."

Since writing those posts I have received so many emails from people all over who were touched (or maybe they're just touched in the head, I'm not sure which) by words that were so familiar to their own. By heartache that resonated with them. And by loss that mirrored something they had gone through.

Others were struck by the faithfulness of God through our adoption of Rocco. Some mentioned how eager they were to start a family. A few mentioned how the fact that God heard our cry for help gave them enough hope to believe he was hearing their cry, as well.

Oh, yes, our stories may be different - but heartache is heartache. Is it not?

So here's what I've done. I've compiled a book from that precious period of time; the time when God reminded me that I was neither overlooked or forgotten...and now I want to share them with you. In an e-book called...

From Foxholes to Faith.

I'll take your questions now.

Melissa, why would we need your book if we can just go back and read it on your blog?

Well, if you can find it on my blog - go ahead! But I don't even know that I could pinpoint the exact date that the whole sordid story began. I suppose I could, if I looked at a calendar or looked at the big pile of medical bills on my counter. But who wants to do that? So what I've done is put them in book form for you. Don't worry about looking up the dates, the work has already been done.

Also, there are those out there like my friend Ashley's mom, who has no idea what a blog is or how to look one up! Well now she doesn't have too. Because Ashley can just send this book right to her. Oh, Ashley - you are very welcome.

So Melissa, is the book exactly like your posts?

Yes. And no. They are taken exactly from the posts, word for word. But at the bottom of most pages I have written an update of sorts. Just some fresh thoughts from where I am now as opposed to where I was then. I also have added an introduction and a conclusion which I hope will speak volumes as to what this whole foxhole process meant to me.

Okay, let's have it, Melissa. How much does it cost?

Nothing. It doesn't cost anything. Seriously. There is no catch. Trust me, times are as hard for me right now as they are for you. I don't have an extra dime to my name and don't imagine you have one. So the book is free. From me to you. Merry Thanksgiving!

If I was a reader during the whole Foxhole series then I don't really need the book, do I?

Oh, Helen, that is an excellent question. I'm so glad you asked. Yes, you do need the book. And here's why. Number one, I've spent a lot of time writing those updates and those beginning and ending thoughts - and by George, you are gonna read them!

But also, and here is the serious KNOW somebody that needs to read this book. Yes, you do. There is someone you went to school with or work with, that you are in MOPS with or sit beside in church. You know someone whose husband just lost their job, who just got a bad report on their mammogram or just lost a mother to cancer. You know someone whose husband has walked out on them or whose wife took the kids. Or maybe you know someone, like me, who has wanted nothing more in this life than to be a mommy. So send it to them. For free. Just download and send it to ten people on your contact list. Or better yet, ten people on your prayer list.

Listen people, the needs are great out there right now. If we have a little bit of hope - then why not give it?

My story is certainly not the most powerful in the world, but it's true and honest and glorifies the faithfulness and goodness of God. So who knows, it may be just what the Good Doctor ordered.

Besides, look at what the critics are saying:

From Foxholes to Faith moved me so much! And I haven't even read it yet!
- Meridith

Not only did I live through this experience with her, I saw her grow into a woman of grace and character. I saw her bloom from tragedy and give women everywhere the hope to one day be a pillar of strength just like her. She is majestic and awe inspiring. And she looks glorious without one stitch of make-up on. And she in no way stood over me breathing fire down my neck as I typed these words.
- The Attorney General

The fact that Melissa can even spell Foxhole impresses the heck out of me.
- Brandon

I think she needs to charge big money for these books cause I'm sick of buying her meals.
- Poppie

Now she can add "author" to her list of professions. Along with interpretive dancer and hairstylist-in-training. Could a mother be more proud?
- Nonie

All of this, for Rocco?
- Remi

Come back tomorrow to download your copy of
From Foxholes to Faith.
God is so very good.

Nov 21, 2008

A Prayer for the Saints.

There really is nothing more honest than the words of a child.

Take my child for instance, who is a child prodigy, yes (that's a given), but also has some sort of inner depth that only Billy Graham's kids or maybe Moses' sons had. Either way - she's a wonder.

So for the first time the other night she asked to pray over our meal. And as we closed our eyes and bowed our heads we heard words that we long to say because they're short and sweet and pretty much to the point.

"Thank you, God. And help me, Jesus. Amen."

There are a few preachers who should take a lesson.

Happy weekend, everybody!

Nov 20, 2008

When Life Hands You Lemons, Fill Your Glass Up and Drink.

Are you a "my glass if half empty" or "my glass if half full" kind of person?

Me? I'm a "my glass is getting a little low, let's fill 'er up with some sweet tea" kind of woman. But that's just me.

Dependent on where you stand will depend on how you see my day today. (Which is now not really today as much as it is yesterday since I am writing today's post yesterday yet telling the story as yesterday, which it was, yet posting it today, which it is. Make sense?)

So Poppie came to town again. Poppie is my dad; well, he's "dad" to me but he's "Poppie" to Remi. And since she is really cute and has dimples and doesn't yet know how to ask for anything, he answers to Poppie and Poppie only. I haven't been acknowledged by him since May of '06.

Whenever Poppie comes to town we get to eat wherever we want. FOR FREE. Poppie's treat!

So yeah, I had to straighten my messy house, change the sheets on his bed and finally put away the laundry that had been stacked on my couch for the last week...but I got a free meal out of it.


When it came time to take Poppie back to the airport I had to get up two really grumpy babies, put them in to a freezing cold car and drive their grumpy selves into town so we could grab a quick bite of lunch with my husband first.

But Poppie filled my car up with gas.


After eating a quick bite of lunch with Poppie and two grumpy babies and the AG, I loaded up said babies into my car and had barely gotten out onto the highway when - BOOM! - blowout.

So the AG and Poppie turned their car around and came to meet me and help me. Which was nice since Rocco was starving and I had no water to make a bottle and Remi was tired and was crying for a non-existent sucker and it was freezing cold and we were stuck on the side of the road.

But Poppie helped get my car into the shop and then sprung for four brand new tires!

That my lovelies is called - GLASS IS HALF FULL!!

Now, I'm not sure how my dad might see it. I mean, he did buy dinner for me and the AG and Remi and Meridith and Brandon. And he did fill up my empty gas tank. And he did buy the AG and I some lunch. And he did purchase four new Toyo tires.

So, yeah, he's out a good deal of money.

But do you think he viewed that as "glass is half full," or "glass is half empty?"

He did get to spend some pretty good quality time with me. So I'm thinking his cup was full and running over.

But that's just me.

Nov 19, 2008


A few nights ago I found myself surrounded by a group of women. Now normally being surrounded by a group of women might not be a good thing. It might mean comparing yourself to a sure death, or clawing yourself due to all the cattiness.

But then, of course, there's Jerry Seinfeld, who believes that women being together means there is at least a small chance a pillow fight might break out.


However, on this particular night - I had a really nice time. We didn't do much, just ate. And talked. And considered playing a game of Mafia, but then just kept on talking. And then we had dessert. And then we kept on talking.

And amidst all that talking something wonderful happened.

My eyes were opened.
My blinders were removed.
And my life was changed.

All due to a night with some ladies from church.

Why, you ask? Why was my life changed? Why was the heaviness I feel due to these economic times lifted from my shoulders, if even for a moment?

Because of this...

I am not sure who said it (if I did I would most assuredly give her some props) but someone said that this show was classic television. And Lordy have mercy, it most certainly is.

Meridith and I found the marathon they were running on CMT this past Saturday, recorded all seven episodes and haven't moved off the couch since Sunday evening.

Oh, y''s delicious.

Now, I'm not gonna lie. Meridith and I did look at each other with just a little bit of hopelessness in our eyes when they let one girl go due to her being "bottom heavy." And I remembered thinking that I would rob the nearest bank for a bottom that heavy.

But it's full of all the good stuff that you come to expect from a show where women wear nothing but bikini bottoms, exercise until they nearly puke, have to dance in front of judgmental and catty woman who are paid big money to ridicule and degrade them, and are then criticized for the length of their fingernails and their salacious MySpace pictures.

Yeah, we're talkin' good, clean, American fun.

And I'm only watching it so I'll know how to pray for these girls.

Uh, huh. And Amen.

So let me know if any of you are watching it. And let me know if she reminds you of the popular girl from your high school, who sat in the cafeteria and looked everyone over from head to toe before she spoke to them.

As Meridith said, "Someone needs to take her down a few notches...and I think we're just the two women to do it!"

Uh, huh. And Amen.

Nov 18, 2008

38 Seconds.

Do you ever have those moments when your house is quiet? When everyone is busy doing whatever it is they're doing, and you're all alone. All alone in the quiet.

That moment is right now.

And I better write fast as it will last exactly 38 seconds.

From the kitchen I can smell the wonderful scent of my white chicken chili. Just the smell of it screams "winter!" You know the food, the kind that just implies that it should be eaten while lying under a fleece blanket in front of a roaring fire. Yep, that's my white chicken chili. (Actually, it didn't really sound too good for dinner tonight, but I had all the ingredients. So forgive me for simply trying to talk myself into it.)

My television is paused right now on, of all things, Good Times. Don't ask me why. I don't know. But Florida just quit reading JJ the riot act and I had to pause it, because I just can't take much of her.

Rocco is asleep in his crib beside my bed, which is amazing since Remi is laid up in my bed like Lady Godiva eating her snack and drinking from "Cuppy." (That word is capitalized because Cuppy has become a friend of ours. When Remi takes a nap, so does Cuppy. When it's time for bed, Cuppy also has to go to sleep. In the fridge. When it's time for Remi to take a bath, Cuppy goes into his stainless steel Maytag bathtub. See how that works?) All while watching, you guessed it, Pooh.

I think that bear will be with us forever.

It's getting darker sooner now, and so it's kind of dark in my house. My lamps are turned on, though, which means the lighting is just right.

I'm sitting in the AG's big, leather recliner and I'm curled up under my favorite blanket.

And all is well.

Oh, wait.

Brandon just walked through the door.

The AG is calling on my cell phone to ask what we're having for dinner.

Okay, Remi heard Brandon come in and is now running full force to the door. They are now wrestling on the living room floor.

Their screaming, wailing and gnashing of teeth has awoken one little Rocco.

In their quest for UFC contention, Remi and Brandon roll over the remote causing Good Times to come back on blaringly loud.

Rocco is screaming now.

Okay, Brandon plays too rough and Remi is crying.

Brandon's cell phone is ringing.

The timer on my dryer is going off.

My chicken chili is starting to boil.

The AG is calling my cell phone to tell me that white chicken chili doesn't sound that good to him.

Pooh is still singing.

Florida is still whining.

And my 38 seconds is up.

Nov 17, 2008

If At First You Don't Succeed, Fry, Fry Again.

What can I say to all of you? How do I say thanks? All I can say is you all are fried and true friends, that's for sure.

When it comes to recipes thank you all so much for your frydance. I mean, guidance.

By the way, I have a million more of those if y'all are interested. Just email me.

Let's see, so far I have...

Baked Red Potato Casserole
Cheater S'mores
Warm Nutty Caramel Brownies
Jalapeno Cream Cheese Corn
White Castlerole
Apple Pie with Crumb Topping
Mashed Taters
Macaroni and Cheese
Thanksgiving Cheesy Potatoes
Paula Deen's Gooey Pumpkin Cake
Fried Okra Salad
Sweet Potato Casserole
Corn Casserole

So needless to say, our table will be laced with some kind of corn and some kind of potato. I think that's a given.

So Meridith and I will be looking these beauties over and deciding on what we'll be serving for our Country Fried Thanksgiving, and as soon as we decide we will serve it to our families, render a verdict and send you a prize.

Yeah, that's right, I said a "prize." Which is what we say to Remi when we don't have the money for a "toy," she hasn't been a good enough for a "gift" and we are walking out of the Mexican restaurant and she wants to play that little game with the mechanical claw; that, my friends, is a "prize."

What I'm saying is, don't expect much.

We'll be broke after buying that 43 lb. bottle of vegetable oil.

But it's not too late to get in on that mechanical claw prize action!! So please, send on. Don't be diswayed (is that a word?) by all of the recipes we've received so far. Trust me, we got so excited just looking at all of them. We can't wait to decide which one or two or eight to get busy and send us your faves.

By the way, just for the record, I would like some feedback on Meridith and I's latest squabble.

She says that Macaroni and Cheese would be kicked up a notch if we were to sprinkle those little fried crunchies from Long John Silver's / Captain D's all over the top.

I say that sounds mooey disgusto.

Whereas she says my addiction with trying to add Dr. Pepper to every thing - and I do mean everything, i.e. boxed caked mixes, chili, roast - is annoying and terrifying all at once.

Who's right?

On another note, tonight is Bunco - and that makes me happy. Mainly because I finally found a group of women who play for the real thing. Money. Which makes me feel very dangerous. Because nothing says danger like rolling dice, while eating Chex Mix and listening to Air Supply.

Let's all say this together, shall we?

Melissa, Get. A. Life.

And stay tuned tomorrow when I tell you the story of seeing my mom in Houston. Her and my dad decided to stay an extra night in the hotel after the AG and I flew home, and as they were driving the AG and I back to the airport she said the first thing her and dad were gonna do was "go back to that hotel room and get in bed."

I kid you not.

I don't think she meant it like it sounded, but no one can be sure.

And if I end up with a little brother or sister at this stage in the game, I am gonna be sooooo mad!

Nov 14, 2008

Making It Official.

Hey, guess where I am?

The great state.

What? You still don't know? I said the "great state." That should be a dead give-away.


I'm in Texas! And do you know why?

Because today, right now in fact, as you are reading this blog, I am sitting in a courtroom waiting for a Texas judge to announce that the adoption proceedings for "one Rocklin Cooper Radke are official and finalized according to the state of Texas and the court of law. God bless us, God bless us all. So say I. And yada yada yada."

I can't be sure it will be said exactly like that, but that's how it plays out in my mind.

And then he will ask us how we feel about raising Rocco. And then he will ask to see him. But unfortunately Rocco will not be there because traveling with him means traveling with Remi and traveling with Remi means traveling with a band of wild, drunken gypsies.

So I will say, "Oh, your honor - we couldn't bring him, because his sister is really bad. So he stayed home with his Grandma and Bonga but we did bring some pictures."

And then he'll say, "Well, I'd love to see one."

And then I'll say, "One? That's rude. Cause I have 18."

And then he'll say, "Well, I don't know that I can spend time looking..."

And then I'll interrupt and say, "So here we are at the grocery store. And here we are at the Fall Festival and here we are..."

And then the judge will hit his little stick thingy on his desk and then it will be over. And Rocco will be mine - all mine - in the court of law. Which to be perfectly honest, and I mean no disrespect, is a perfectly wonderful thing but changes nothing in my heart.

The boy's been mine.

And then I will look in the back of the courtroom and see Nonie and Poppy (because they will be there with us - which is rather amazing considering they came out to be with US, just US, even though they knew their grandchildren weren't going to be coming. Don't you just marvel at the fact that miracles still happen?) And I will look back and see Nonie crying and Poppy
beaming with pride.

And then the AG and I will let them take us out for a good Texas steak. Because it would do their hearts good to treat us like that. And I just want to please.

And then we will get on a plane and come right back home because I will need to squeeze Rocco extra hard and remind him that he and I don't need a silly judge to tell us that we were always meant to be.

And then he will smile that little crooked smile at me like he does whenever I say, "Rocco, it's your mama," because he thinks it's silly I still tell him that when he so obviously knows.

And then we will fall asleep.


Have a good weekend, my lovelies. So say I. And yada yada yada.

Nov 13, 2008

A Country Fried Conundrum

So Meridith and I are hosting Thanksgiving this year at my house.

I say “hosting” as if there are 25 people coming who we are really trying to impress with our pomegranate tea and homemade pine cone centerpieces.

I say “hosting” as if I know what in the heck I’m actually doing and I do it well and I do it all while wearing a dress and heals and listening to Enya in the background.

I say “hosting” as if I have ever listened to one word Martha Stewart has ever spoken. I have not.

No, when I say “hosting” what I’m really saying is this…Meridith and I are fixing the meal for Thanksgiving for our parents and we’ve decided that both of our dad’s better update their wills because we don’t plan on fixing anything that won’t stop a heart dead in its tracks.

See? That’s what I mean by “hosting.”

Yes, gone are the days of turkey and dressing, ham and sweet potatoes. What is this, an episode of “Little House?” Seriously, folks. Meridith and I are today’s modern woman. We don’t cook anything we don’t fry and we don’t serve anything that doesn’t come with add-in ideas on the back of the box. And ooohhhhh, it’s gonna be good – ya wanna know what we’re calling it?

A Country Fried Thanksgiving.

Doesn’t that just make you wanna come over and eat with us? You know it does.

It was really tricky how we decided the menu. Let me explain, it went like this, we went around the table and asked the AG and Brandon (Meridith’s brother, therefore, my cousin) and Remi what sounded good. What was it they just had to have on their Thanksgiving table? And then, if we liked said food we added it to the list – whether it even went together or not. But if we didn’t like what they suggested we just rolled our eyes and skipped right over them.

So for instance, when Brandon said he wanted homemade mashed potatoes and gravy we added it to the list.

When the AG said he wanted green bean casserole, we rolled our eyes and said “why do we even continue to address you?”

When Remi said she wanted Chex Mix – Chex Mix was added to the list.

See how that works?

Brandon wants corn casserole? Sounds good to us.

The AG again asked for something green. We ask him to leave the table and go choke on something fattening.

Remi wants Skittles? Skittles it is.

It’s an easy process. Unless you’re the AG.

So it’s a Country Fried Thanksgiving, complete with chicken fried steak and fried chicken tenders. See how the words “fried” and “chicken” were in both of those items? HEAVEN!

See how the words “steamed,” “grilled,” “sauteed” or “Splenda” was not used? GENIUS!

But I'll be honest, with the exception of the two types of meat (chicken fried steak and chicken tenders) we got nothin'. And this is where you come in. We need your country fried recipes. Your best ones. Your most delicious. Your most deadly.

Just go over there to that Email Me button and click on it, then send me your Granny Helen's favorite side dish or appetizer recipe. (Meridith asks that you make sure it includes butter, sour cream and/or bacon. We're religious. So it's important we eat healthy.)

Nah, it doesn't matter what it has in it - just send it on. If we choose your recipe to serve on our Thanksgiving day then we will take a picture of it, we will get first taste responses from our families (that should be good for a few laughs) and you'll get something for your trouble.

Want to know what you get? ME TOO! I have no idea at the present, but it'll be grand. You can count on it.

So send 'em on, my lovelies. And remember, it needs to be country, and sinful, and rich and fattening and utterly delicious. It can be any color and any consistency. But the calorie count has to be pretty hefty, I'm not gonna lie. Or it's a waste of our time, okay?

Don't waste our time on Thanksgiving, that's just mean.

Yeah! This will be fun!

Nov 12, 2008

Even a Canker Sore Needs A Little TLC. And So Do I.

Okay, so no one liked yesterday’s post on Bond. I came to this assumption by the fact that I had three comments, as opposed to my usual five. So you didn’t think it was funny…that’s okay. I don’t need y’all to like every post I write. I know who I am in Christ.

I would now like to go on record as saying although I do, in fact, know who I am in Christ, I would prefer that y’all like every post I write. It just doesn’t hurt as bad, ya know?

So I’m riding in the car with the AG yesterday and I say, “I don’t think anyone liked my post on Bond. You didn’t even mention it.”

“What was I supposed to say about it?”

“You didn’t think it was funny?”

“It was fun.”

“Cause I thought it was funny. Real funny.”

“Really? Maybe I read it wrong. Tell me what was funny.”

“Hello! All those laser beams I talked about and then showing that picture of Roger Moore as a wrinkled old man.”

“Like I said, it was fun.”

Fun? Can you believe that? Fun? Who wants to be fun? I once had a canker sore, now that was fun. But you ain’t never seen no canker sore be funny, have you? I think not.

So the Attorney General’s complete demise of my self-esteem and overall worth as a human being really got me to thinking last night when I was in the shower. (And just so you know, I do some pretty heady thinking in the shower, now granted it’s usually deep thoughts like, ‘what kind of shampoo will I buy once I’ve used all of this stuff up?’ And then there’s the 15 minute ‘do I shave / do I not shave’ debate.)

So like I was saying, I got to thinking…

And here’s the deal. At some point in every mother’s life she is inevidably going to go through a season of feeling unappreciated. It’s nothing serious fellas, no need to go buy ten books on How To Keep Your Love Alive, just give her a little love. Am I right, ladies?

Just tell her “thanks,” every now and then.

Tell her you like her hair.

Tell her the jeans she has on, well, she’s swimming in them.

That’s all I’m askin’. I’m not askin’ for the moon here, folks. I’m just sayin’…

You don’t have to tell me my food was wonderful. Just tell me, “ya know, that meatloaf you made me, I actually kept it down. Not once did I even throw up.” See? That’s sweet right there, I don't care who you are.

You don’t have to tell me I look thin, just tell me how proud you are that I haven’t put on any more weight since the spring or “remember the summer of ’04? At least you’re not back to that size.” Don’t tell me that don’t feel nice, cause it does.

You don’t have to tell me my hair looks great, you just might want look over lovingly at me on the way to church, run your fingers through my hair and say, “I am so glad that when I run my fingers trhough your hair it doesn’t fall out in clumps.” Precious.

You don’t even have to comment on how clean the house is, just make sure and point out that as long as TLC hasn’t contacted me to be on the How Clean Is Your House show that you’re proud of me and you appreciate it. That’s love.

That’s all I’m askin’ for. Like I said, it ain’t the moon. Just show mama some love.

Oh, and this post? It had better be FUNNY.

Nov 11, 2008

"Bond" is also a Dental Adhesive. Which may come in handy just any day now.

Doesn't today just feel like a 007 kind of day? It does around our house.

I mean, if you know me at all then you know I have been counting down the days until Quantum of Solace.

I mean, who doesn't believe:

Microscopic radio phones that burst into flames and shoot poison darts into people.

Or a lipstick tube that begins to talk and and walk and breathe radioactive energy and death rays.

Or when a Ford Taurus becomes an Aston Martin convertible and converts gas into a deadly fuel that makes ugly girls become beautiful bikini clad CIA agents.

Nobody can make that kind of stuff up - know what I'm sayin'?

I mean, that kind of stuff? Right up my alley.


The Attorney General, however? He's alllllllll over it.

He seems to find the whole genre completely believable and not at all predictable. (But then again he is a firm believer that our nation would not be in the shape it's in today if there really were...a Jack Bauer. Lordy, don't get him started.)

But I have to tell ya, if my opposing enemy were named Hugo Drax, Goldfinger or Dr. No (all real Bond villains, mind you) and if there primary purpose in life was to finance Soviet Operations in the Caribbean, rob Fort Knox or escape bankruptcy by playing a game of baccarat (all real objectives, mind you) then I'm not entirely certain this is the man I would put up for the job.

Nov 10, 2008

Happy Birthday, Rebekah.

I can think of several different things to write about today. Really, I can.

I was going to tell you how the Tennessee Titans are 9-0 and my husband has just about decided to put our house up for sell and move into the club seats at LP Field.

I was going to tell you how we all curled up on the couch this weekend and watched 88 Minutes with Al Pacino. And how the Academy of Arts and Sciences would probably like to write me a letter and ask me to refrain from watching their awards program ever again due to the fact that I find Al Pacino to be one of the worst actors I have ever seen.

Or I was going to tell you how my mom called me on Friday morning and the first thing she said was, "Hey baby, are you busy? Can you talk?" To which I said, "Well, no, it's not really a good time. I am running into the pediatricians' office. It's freezing and raining outside, Remi's crying and I'm trying to feed Rocco." To which she replied, "Okay good. Listen, I was you think you can make me a hair appointment when I come in for Thanksgiving." I love that woman.

But I'm going to be honest. My fingers will not allow me to type anything but this...

Please go here and read my friend Teresa's blog.

Do it for me, because I love her.

And because she's worth it.

And because even if she's not, Rebekah most certainly is.

And then leave her a comment and let her know you came by; a "Happy Birthday, Rebekah" will more than suffice.

Teresa and I have similar foxholes. And I am proud to call her another Soldier In Arms.
So scoot over, Teresa, you are not alone.

Nov 7, 2008

Saturday Night. My Place. 9 O'Clock.

Dear Attorney General,

Thank you.

That's all I wanted to say, really.

Thank you.

Thank you that yesterday when I was feeling overwhelmed and under-appreciated you slipped a few bucks in my hand and told me to hit the road.

Thank you for suggesting I go see a movie. ALL BY MYSELF!!!!

Thank you for suggesting I get some popcorn and Peanut M&M's and eat them for my lunch.

Thank you for giving me enough money to wash them down with a large Dr. Pepper.

Thank you for making sure my kids were fed, dry and loved on while momma was away.

Thank you for running to the grocery store for me, so that when my movie was over I had nothing to do. Nothing. Just drive and listen to music.

Thank you for saying that chicken and dumplings were okay for dinner. Again. Because you know that they are one of my all-time favorites. And last night I needed a little "comfort food."

Thank you for letting me go to bed early and offering to stay up and feed one little Rocco; since you know tomorrow is "our-2-babies-get-their-shots" day and that is never a good day for a momma.

Thank you for being my very best friend.

I plan on making it up to you this weekend, my love.
Oh yeah....I said that!


Nov 6, 2008

As Everyone Sleeps...

There's something to be said for writing your post at 11:43 PM. When your house is all quiet and dark and you can hear the deep heavy breathing of a little girl after a very full day.

Or the congested cough of one Attorney General who is fighting something off.

The baby snore of an eight week old, intermingled with coo's and toots.

And the deep snore of your dad, who came to visit. And his mere presence makes your house feel fuller, safer. Just like when you were 10.

Yes, there's something to be said for moments like these.

As I look around my living room tonight it gives off that "lived in" look that all Southern women seem to be raving about this season. Oh yes, you can have it too! Just take one plastic Halloween pumpkin, fill it to the brim with animal figurines and then dump them on your floor. Throw in an infant swing piled high with paci's and burp cloths, a shiny sequined dance skirt that (surprisingly) does not belong to me and empty ice cream bowls. Space them intermittently throughout the room and then plop yourself on the couch.

There you have it! This season's "lived in" look. It should be out in this month's Southern Living. Or maybe it's Trailer Park living, either way - it's gonna be first rate.

But that's not actually the reason for my post tonight. My comments tonight are more from what I HEAR in the dark than what SEE in it.

Ya know, tonight, I am not sad. I'm not mad. Or discouraged. I'm not fearful or angry. So the guy I voted for didn't win. So what! It's over now. Time to move on. Do I wish he had? Sure. I voted for him, didn't I? Am I angry he didn't? No. He had a 50/50 shot. I knew what the odds were.

What I feel tonight is the motivation to pray.

But before you roll your eyes and move on to somewhere else on the Internet - let me explain. It seems that too many of us "Christians" have tarnished the very phrase "to pray."

"Well, we're just gonna have to pray for our nation, it's going to hell in a hand basket."
"At this point all we can do is pray."
"I'm just gonna dig a hole in my backyard, move my family into it and pray."
"Pray for me, I'm moving to Canada."

Has that been you? It's been me, I must admit. How condescending that is to those who we feel might need the prayer. Are we really going to make a difference in the life of anyone by telling them that we'll pray for them, out of disgust? Has that ever really worked?

I've tried it. It hasn't.

So tonight when I say I'm motivated to pray. It isn't out of disgust or condescension. It isn't out of hate or fear or ingnorance. It's out of obedience.

There's a rule in my house. It's a relatively new rule. In fact, we put it into place on Election Night around 11:15 PM. It's called the...

"This is our President. We will respect the office and position that he holds. We will pray for the office and speak life over the office. It is the system that God intended for our nation and we will pray over that system no differently than we would pray had McCain won, Palin won or Elmo won. The office is to be respected" Rule.

It's a long title but the kids are really taking to it.

My friend reminded me of this scripture today that I hadn't read in some time. In the Message Bible it reads,

"The first thing I want you to do is pray. Pray every way you know how, for everyone you know. Pray especially for rulers and their governments to rule well so we can be quietly about our business of living simply, in humble contemplation. This is the way our Savior God wants us to live." (1 Timothy 1-3)

And there you have it. Our new rule.

It will be hard. There will be things I will disagree with, many things. I disagree with many things in our current government, but I try my dead level best (and fail miserably at times) to honor the position the President holds. Even when I want to hold him down and wring his cute Texas neck. And I'll do the same now. You have my word.

It was a historic night, wasn't it? Election night? An African-American man was put into our nations highest position and I got to see it in my lifetime. And I, for one, was glad I got to witness that. What happens now is up to God. It always has been.

The only thing that matters now are my prayers. And he most certainly has them. I am honored to give them. As good and lengthy as they are. And sometimes as short and shallow as they are. But what I have, give I thee.

I encourage you tonight to make our new house rule - your new house rule. I'm not asking you to hang up Joe Biden's picture or send a Christmas card to the White House. I'm just asking you to obey God's words...not mine.

I just heard my dad get up out of his bed and get his nightly glass of milk. And my eyes feel heavy now as I know it's getting late and my house is cozy and my family is safe and tucked in tight. And I appreciate the fact that just outside sit two fat dogs protecting my house and our precious neighbors who watch over my house just like it was their own.

And I am thankful for my life here. In this country. In this land. And I am thankful to God for it.

May He find me faithful in it, as well.

Nov 5, 2008

Somethin' Bad's Goin' Down At Marshall's.

I know we have a new President. I know it's a new day in America. But in some parts of the world, some things never change.

So while Oprah and Barbara Streisand were toasting each other, something bad was happening in Tennessee. And it was happening to me...OF COURSE!

Now I don't tell you this to gain your pity. I don't need your pity. (I'd love to have it, if you happen to be offering it up, but I wouldn't say I NEED it.) I'm telling you this because it's important. It's important that you know this story, just in case you ever happen to be in Marshall's. With me. At the same time.


Don't say you weren't warned.

I don't think it's news to anyone who reads my blog that something happens to me from time to time, something, oh, how do you say this, "digestional." Is that a word? No? "Digestational?" How about that? Still no? Well, no matter. It is now.

Maybe you're new here. If so, "welcome," and also read these. That way you won't feel behind on all of this I'm sharing with you. Otherwise you might think to yourself, is she really sharing this story? Is she really sharing with us what happened to her in the bathroom? How horrific, how crude, does she do that often? And you need to know - YES. I do this. Often.

Riddle me this. Does this happen to any of you? Do any of you have a particular place that the moment you walk in to it you run screaming for the bathroom? You can't even look at the first item or greet the first person before you clutch your purse, grab your child's hand, and pray to the sweet Lord you make it on time?


Well, I do. And yet I continue to shop at Marshall's. And I continue to peruse at LifeWay Christian Bookstore. What is wrong with me? I have frequented these bathrooms so much that I actually notice when they add a plant, or change the air freshener to a different scent. I am on a first name basis with their choice brand of toilet paper and I often bump into Marci who cleans the Marshall's bathroom every 2 hours. I've seen pictures of her kids and know she's looking into having lower back surgery or continuing on with acupuncture - she's not sure which.

It's an embarrassing situation. But at least I can still make friends.

And yet all that came to a screeching halt the other day when my time on the handbag aisle came to an abrupt stop. And I mean, abrupt. It was so abrupt that I dropped the bag I was holding, grabbed Remi's hand and started yelling, "Find your daddy, find your daddy, find your daddy, find your daddy."

Thankfully we did find him. And as quickly as I could I shoved her in his arms. He asked me if I needed him to take Rocco, but Rocco was in the buggy and the buggy was holding me up. So I couldn't part with the buggy. Thus, I couldn't part with Rocco. He was simply collateral damage at that point. So even though the AG was nice enough to offer his services, all I could answer was "I got no time. I got no time. I got no time."


And herein lies the part of the story where I talk openly with God.

"Dear Lord, please, I beg of you. Do not let Marci be in this bathroom. If it means that she is down in her back and can't even get up to care for her three children - then that's the way it has to be. Knock her out! Just whatever you do, do not let her be in this bathroom. It would be better for her, I assure you. Please God, please."

"Oh, hello, Marci."


And now begins the part of the story where I wheel a buggy full of goods (plus one Rocco) into a bathroom that clearly states "all items should remain outside." Upon which a store manager follows me into the bathroom to tell me that...

"...taking items into the bathroom is not allowed, not because we think you are going to steal anything you understand, but just because you can't trust everyone, ya know? I mean, even my cousin Skid once tried to shoplift a wrench from Home Depot but he was caught and charged even though he was just a kid, ya know? And that's why we try and provide a way for people to not even look guilty, ya know? We ask that you keep your items outside just to avoid the very appearance of guilt, ya know?"

Oh my Lord. Just take the buggy. Take the baby. Take it all. Take my purse. Just get the heck out of here!


Here begins the part of the story where Miss Store Manager takes my buggy and pushes it out into the hallway, leaves my baby pushed halfway under the stall, halfway out, and leaves.

And a mother comes in with her son. Her son is dressed for Halloween as some kind of military man, although dressing as Damien from the movie The Omen might have been a more fitting choice.


Here begins the part of the story where Damien proceeds to look at me from between the stall door and the stall wall, while his mom uses the restroom two stalls down all while talking to her husband on the phone.

"Go away."

He continues to stare.

"Go away," I say to him.

Still. He watches.

"I'm very sick. And you might get sick, too. So move - you're gonna step on my baby."

"No, I'm not."

"So you can hear me? Well move or I'm gonna tell your momma."

Now he sticks his tongue between the door and the wall. I reach to grab it. I miss.

"Go on!" I say louder and louder hoping to goodness that Damien's mom will hear me and quit begging her husband to meet them for lunch. If my small chance meeting with Damien is any indication I KNOW why her husband doesn't want to meet her for lunch.

He walks away and decides to play with the water faucets. Beautiful.


Now begins the part of the story where Damien sets out to humiliate me with great success. And God proceeds to punish me for watching Soul Train and copying their moves in my room when no one was looking.

"Mama, it stinks in here."

"What if we ate at Macaroni Grill? Doesn't pasta sound good?" She asks her husband for the umpteenth time.

"Mama! That lady in there is sick!"

"Do you think J's would be too busy? What about pizza?"


"Well, what do you want to eat?"

"Mama!! Mama!! She is sick. You need to help her...It smells like doodie."

Oh, seriously. This is not happening. I am better than this. I serve you faithfully, Lord. Why is this happening?


And here begins - and ENDS - the part of the story where Remi Hope gets loose from her father, comes running into the bathroom and makes a friend with Damien, Satan's son. His military costume did nothing but intrigue her. I can hear her daddy in the hall, "Remi, get out here. Mommy doesn't feel good. Get out here. Remi, I'm not gonna tell you again. Get out here. Don't make me get out the spanking spoon."

But it doesn't work. Pleading only makes them more determined.

He finds Remi interesting as well, and quickly shows her how to stick her tongue between the stall door and embarrass her mother to no end.

It's the American way, I suppose.

And on that note I heard, "Well then, we can just grab a burger. Let's just grab a burger. He'll eat a burger and I'll eat a burger. Will you eat a burger?"

For the love of God man - go get a burger with your wife and Damien.

As for me, I'm headed to LifeWay.

Nov 3, 2008

Family First.

I'm not so full of myself that I think anyone gives a hoot who I vote for.
I am not so prideful that I think I can persuade.
I am, however, confident enough to hope that who I vote for - and who you vote for - will not keep us from being friends.

I appreciate our differences. They make me, me. And you, you.

That being said, tomorrow is Election Day. And I would be dishonest to myself - and to you, my friends - if I pretended it was just another day, and I gave you a recipe for Macaroni and Cheese or talked about what color I am dying my hair this week.

Tomorrow is important for me. Tomorrow will determine what my daughter's world will look like for the next four years. It will determine how my son's world looks like when he is four years old.

Tomorrow's election will set in motion a tide that can not be turned back. It will establish a society that either makes me in the minority or the majority.

It is that important.

And so today, it is important for me to tell you a few things about myself. Things that I would hope you might know. Things that I hope will keep you coming back to visit me - but that I shall never regret saying, even if you never darken these doors again.

I am a Christian.

I believe there is a God who saves and loves and forgives.

And who gets very very angry from time to time at our nations' rebellion.

And yet quickly moves to show unfounded mercy and grace.

I believe that for every man there is a woman. And for every woman there is a man. And the two should marry and continue to carry on the tradition of "family."

I believe that life begins at the moment of conception. I have seen life moving and swimming on an ultrasound in front of my eyes. This was not a dream. This was real. Real LIFE.

I believe that for every child born to a woman who cannot raise it or chooses not to, there is a family who longs to open up their home and welcome that child into it. Adoption is always an option.

I am the mother of two adopted children. They have changed my world. And they were a gift. From two precious women...and from one faithful God.

I believe that no matter who wins, no matter who is sworn in, no matter who addresses our nation for the next four years...that God is still God. He is, indeed, the same. Yesterday. Today. And Forever.

So to all my friends, who I have promised could hear me sing someday, here it is. Singing one of my favorite songs, Orphans of God, I put together a video of what is really on my heart this election day.

My family.