Sep 30, 2008

Starving For Attention.

So this past week my cousin Meridith, who you may remember from these exhilarating posts, moved in to town. I'm excited, I will admit. Finally, after living in Tennessee for 14 years I have family that I can call on...to pick my child up from daycare when my hair appointment runs long...come over and eat cookie dough with me when the Attorney General is at one of those dadblasted NASCAR thingies...and tell me the truth when I'm trying on clothes in the Dillard's dressing room.

FINALLY!

So this week her and her brother, Brandon, have come in to town to look for apartments (I'm singing inside just a little. I cannot lie.). and so we spent all of yesterday looking for an apartment.

Here is the space where I was going to wax eloquent on our search for the perfect apartment; one that had a spacious closet, a view of the pool, nice light fixtures, a pool table in the club-house, some privacy and security, and a wall big enough to hold a 92" flat-screen.

But as I sit here beside her tonight she INSIST that I instead write about her favorite moment of the entire weekend.

Yes, you heard me right. She is moving to a new state! Looking for a new apartment! Trying out new churches! Meeting new friends! Applying for exciting jobs in exciting locations! And yet her favorite moment of the entire weekend was the moment I tried to sit down at the table at our local Mexican restaurant and missed the chair. ENTIRELY.


Today's lesson can be found in James 4:6:
God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.

I'm not above needing a good lesson every now and then. I can readily admit this. But why does God have to remind us of humility in such a humiliating way?

Sunday after church we made our way into our favorite place for cheese dip. I entered as I usually do...the AG says it looks like I am running for mayor...I wave and chat and stop and talk and shake hands and kiss babies...you know, the usual. Then I mistakenly hang my big, beautiful, 44 pound diaper bag on the back of the chair.

I have to say the next part is a bit of a blur, but suffice it to say the chair flipped over before I even knew it. And as I went to sit I ended up being stuck - VIOLENTLY - as I landed on the four metal legs of the chair.

I kid you not, I have big horrific bruises to show for it. And I would be glad to show them to you for a small fee.

The only thing that stopped me from literally ending up flat on the floor is that my chin got caught on the table.
That's what Mer said she remembers the most...just looking up and seeing just my face resting on the table. Just a head. Yep, that would be me!

It all happened so fast that all I could imagine was that this was it, "this is the moment that I have been fearing...my legs have given out on me. I have lost all control of my legs. Thanks to these thighs they have had to tote around all these years I have officially lost any ability in my legs."

Oh, no. I'm not a "glass is half empty" kind of girl at all, am I?

So there you have it. Mer's favorite part of their last five days in their new state? Me. Picking myself up off the floor of the local Mexican restaurant while members of my church body clapped.

I always was a sucker for applause.

Sep 29, 2008

I Left My Heart (and some brand new pajama's) in St. Louis.

I would love to share with you what I did this weekend, but honestly - I'm just not sure.

The weekend seemed to go by at such a rapid fire pace that I am sure of very few things that actually happened. I just know I am exhausted, my face is breaking out and I seem to have put on eight pounds.

It's like a really bad college weekend.

Not that I would know...I went to a Bible College...which meant our curfew was at 11:00 PM and getting drunk on Kit Kats was about as reckless as we got.

Here is my best guess on the exhaustion:

A Women's Retreat.

You know how at a "women's retreat" they advertise it as a place to "get away," "rejuvenate," and "revive?" Yeah. None of that happens.

What actually happens is you work yourself up into a dirty sweat trying to:

  • Pack your bags.
  • Get your kids to a sitter.
  • Make sure there's a frozen lasagna for your husband when he tries to feed himself and the kids.
  • Hoist your bags up into the car.
  • Pick up your girlfriends so you can all ride together (because who wants to be seen walking in - gasp! - alone!?!)
  • Check in.
  • Tote your bags up to your hotel room.
  • Change clothes because you've sweated through your first outfit.
  • Finally find your way down to the ballroom where your church group will be meeting.
  • Find not one seat, but two, since your girlfriend was not done getting ready in the room.
  • Open up your 18 lb. King James Version...
  • listen to the speaker while exuding great effort not to yawn.
  • Go back to your room to change into your "pajama's" (which really aren't your pajamas at all. Yours are dingy and grey with a hole in the back. These you bought at Dillard's so it wouldn't look like you wore dingy, grey pajama's in real life) then head back down stairs for a "pajama party" that will be fun, but will nonetheless keep you up past your typical 9:45 PM drop-dead-from-exhaustion bedtime.
  • Ride the elevator back up to your hotel room at 12:47AM with 6 other giggly females. Your face hurts from smiling.
  • Look through your dried up contacts until you see the door marked 548.
  • Open the door.
  • Drop dead in the bed.

Yep, that's a typical day at one "relaxing women's get-away" events.

Here is my best guess on the sudden onset of adult acne:

You know the part where you look through dirty, dried up contacts until you find room 548? Well, once you get there you seriously consider removing the 4 lbs. of gunk that is covering your face. But then you remember Heidi Klum telling Oprah once that sometimes she is so tired by the end of the day that she sleeps in her make-up. So you think, "what could this one time really hurt?"

The next morning you awake and make plans to hunt down Heidi Klum and kick her lying bottom.

Right after your morning devotional and quiet time, of course.

Oh, and here's how I explain the extra 8 lbs.:

When you arrive at said Women's Retreat and they offer to feed you baked chicken and green beans for dinner, make the decision instead to feast on the jumbo sized bag of M&M's your girlfriend picked up at Sam's. (Because buying chocolate at a bulk whole-sale club is always a good decision.)

And the next morning when they provide an all-you-can-eat buffet of eggs and muffins and fruit, make the decision instead to get your nutrition from 2 cans of Coke and a Reese's cup that you found in the bottom of your purse.

And when they serve you a lunch of Greek salad and cheese, make the decision instead to start with the chocolate cake; telling your friends, "I think I'm in PMS mode" even though you know full well you are WEEKS away from that being even remotely true.

And this my lovelies, may or may not have been how my week-end went.

I can't be really sure.

What I can be sure of is that there is a group of ladies in St. Louis who made my mom and I feel like we were with old friends. And like we were right at home. And so I'm sending a personal SHOUT-OUT and a whoop!whoop! to my South County Christian Center Friends...who, if they are anything like me, will be doing some deep-pore treatments and contacting a personal trainer, right after they take an afternoon nap.

It was a great weekend, my lovelies.

Sep 26, 2008

Things I Find Awkward.



Women who play air-guitar.
Oh, who am I kidding? ANYONE who plays air-guitar.

Happy Friday, my lovelies.


Sep 25, 2008

Momand Meah.


You get it? It's a play on words. It sounds like Momma Mia, but really it's Mom(and) Meah. I could have also done, Momand Me, Uhhhh. See? That, too, would have sounded like Momma Mia.

Okay. Whatever.

I'm on NO SLEEP PEOPLE. You might wanna give me a break.

Well, mom flew in today. Her and I have quite a big weekend ahead of us. Oh, yes, we do. All the ladies at the South County Christian Center church In St. Louis, Missouri have decided to throw caution to the wind and have us as their speakers at their women's event this weekend.

Apparently A LOT of other speakers already had engagements.

So her and I will be flying out on Friday morning to our big gig. I think we are going to celebrate by springing for a $8 Coke on the plane. Whoo! Now, that's what you call high living right there.

So will you pray for us this weekend? We are so excited and certainly feel like we have a good message to bring to these ladies. In fact, I feel so self-assured that I can say with all certainty that they will either LOVE us or we will be asked to kindly refrain from ever mentioning that we darkened their door.

Yep, I am absolutely certain one of these two things will, indeed, happen.

Let's pray for the former. Shall we?

Or maybe there is no women's retreat at all and this is Mark Burnett's (creator of Survivor) new idea for reality programming. Put two fluffy women in a twin engine prop plane, make them flag down a shuttle, miss lunch, then put them in a hotel room all weekend long with nothing but a two day old newspaper and 18 pounds of Spanx.

Now THAT is some good T.V.

Okay, seriously now. Y'all pray. I mean this is the same woman who unloaded her suitcase yesterday with gifts for my kiddos. All she pulled out for me was a Hairstyle magazine, to which she said, "Remi, hand this to your momma. Cuz I know how she loves to read about the latest hairstyles. And also because she really, really needs a new one."

Dear Lord, come quickly.

Sep 24, 2008

My Mom Once Forced Me To Wear A Denim Dress On Stage When I Sang. She Said It Could Have Been Worse. Mom, You Were Right. I Stand Corrected.

Okay, my lovelies, today is a rather serious post. I hope you'll bare with me.

I just feel it's important for us to have a RENEWED MIND. Every day. Scripture calls us to this. Does it not?

Now I realize that some of you out there might be unsure what exactly a RENEWED MIND is. Allow me to explain...

Oh, wait. You know what? I'll let my friends do the talking for me. I'm pretty sure they explain it better than I ever could, anyway.



You heard right.

It's Christ. In. Me. Two, three, four. Break it down - six, seven, eight. And turn, one, two, Port de bras, Port de bras, and moonwalk, Jazz hands, and spin in pumps, spin in pumps.

*If you have any trouble viewing the video go directly to the YouTube link (The Renewed Mind Is The Key).

Sep 23, 2008

There's Just Something About A Man With An Accent.


I've never been very boy crazy, not even as a young girl. Oh sure, I got a good "school girl crush" every now and again. But with the exception of five young guys who were simply new kids on the block (I'd really rather not say who they are - it's embarrassing), I never was one for Teen Beat magazine or hanging pictures on my wall.

But yet, I am a woman. With a heartbeat. I mean, I'm not dead for pete's sake.

So riddle me this...what is it about a man in a tux?
Or a man with an accent?

Is it just me or can a man with an accent pretty much get you to buy anything? Seriously, I almost signed up for a multi-level marketing scheme from a man who came to my door just because he spoke with an accent. And I'll be darned if I didn't see him waiting tables at Pancho's only two weeks later.

See? I'm a sucker.

Are you?

I know my poor Aunt Melba is on the brink of tears at this very picture
of Antonio Banderas in his swashbuckling garb and Latin accent...



Or maybe you're more like Meridith...you're more a Mr. Darcy kind of girl.


And then there's Kristen, whose taste has greatly improved. She went from Donnie Wahlberg to Bono in just 18 short years.

Or maybe you're more of the athletic type, like my girl Ali. More Beckham, less Bono. Okay, whatever, to each his own.

But me? I'm none of these. No, I like them kind of quirky. Kind of chubby. And very, very white.

Meet my new crush.




I bet if you read yesterday's post and thought, "Oh, poor Melissa, nothings wrong with her," you're really re-thinking that now aren't you?

And yes, the Attorney General knows about this, and surprisingly, does not feel threatened in the least.

Sep 22, 2008

There's Something Wrong With Me.

Really, there is.

Something is horribly, terribly, wrong with me.

When I was 11 years old my mom told me she thought there was something wrong with me because I never cried when I saw the commercials on television of the homeless children. To this day she swears she never said that, but I was there! I know! And she did.

She said that I wasn't sensitive. (She also added that if she had to "spank some sensativity into me" - she would! That's some pretty Politically Incorrect parenting right there, is it not?)

Of course, my husband tells me I'm overly-sensitive.

Needless to say - I'm confused.

But nonetheless, from a very early age, I have been moved to tears...very few times. I mean, I've cried. I don't mean to say that. But the times are a little odd, I will admit.

For instance:

First time I saw Steel Magnolias? No tears.

First time I heard Carmen was coming to town for a concert and I had been asked to take up an offering at the event? Uncontrollable tears.

Watching my husband walk across the stage and accept his law degree after four GRUELING years? Dry eyes.

Seeing Celine Dion appear on stage on the bow of a boat? Water works.

Commercials of hungry people? None.

Me, being hungry? Many.

See? I know there's something wrong with me. I am admitting this. Please don't leave me a comment that chastises my callousness. I KNOW THIS.

Yesterday at church was another great example of the insensitivity that my mom was speaking about. It was a special Sunday dedicated to the Educators in our congregation who are now fully engulfed in this new school year. And a movie, a "short film" if you will, was played for them.

It was a sweet story - it really was - in fact, if you'd like to see it you can go here to do so. You will probably love it. You will probably cry. It's about a little boy and his teacher and I think a bottle of perfume or something, I'm not sure. There may have been a puppy in it, I can't remember.

Point is, as I sat in the choir loft and watched the movie I noticed something odd happening all around me, women crying. I mean SQUAWLING, BAWLING, wiping their eyes, and reaching for more Kleenex. At one incredibly awkward moment a lady next to me picked up a box of Kleenex and proceeded to pass them out to everyone around her - except me.

She looked at me in total disgust.

But I couldn't help it! There's a real possibility I'm dead inside.

Even now as I'm typing this post I just looked up at the AG and said, "Hey, Mr. AG, can you think of a time in our marriage that I cried at an incredibly ludicrous time?" To which he calmly replied, "Celine Dion."

"Okay, can you think of a time when I should have cried but instead..."

"Laughed?"

"Laughed? I laugh?"

"You always laugh at completely inopportune times. Like the time when we had a really tragic thing happen in our family and I sat you down on the couch and broke the news to you and you got so tickled that you continually repeated, 'Stop - I'm gonna pee...stop - I'm gonna pee."
"Oh, yeah, I remember that. (Long pause.) Honey, do you think I'm dead inside? And be seri..."

"I absolutely do. No doubt about it."

So will you all please pray for me? I mean, I got a lot of stuff coming up that I'm gonna need to shed some tears for. I have a daughter who will eventually have dance recitals, start kindergarten, learn about broken hearts and have her first kiss. If that were to happen tomorrow there's a good chance I would stare off into space blankly and wonder if my chili is burning.

Okay, maybe I'm being a little hard on myself. I do have a heart.

Just the other day I was telling someone how my precious little baby boy was waking us up at all hours of the night and before I knew it tears were streaming down my face. "Oh, that is sooooo sweeeet. I know you are so happy to have him," she said.

That was not exactly what I was crying about. But she was none the wiser.

Sep 19, 2008

She Ain't All Bad.

But she ain't all good, either.

But Lordy, she sure is cute.


I realize that watching video of other people's kids is not nearly as fun as watching video of your own. I know that. I get that. But on this good Friday just know that although you may not be amused by any of this, there are two sets of grandparents who will be foaming at the mouth.


So let's just humor the four of them, shall we?


Besides, if you don't smile a little bit after watching Remi refer to her brother as a "beautiful princess", well, then something is seriously wrong with you. I mean, I smile just thinking about how I will use this video years from now to ruin his life. Cuz that's what moms are for.



video


I would also like to add that for every one of you who grimaced when she put her hand on top of his hand, have no fear - the law was laid down ONCE AGAIN for the 8 millionth time that you can't touch baby Rocco's head.

I'm just as sure that she'll remember next time as I am sure that I have lost weight this week just by really really thinking hard about it.

Have a good weekend, my lovelies.

Sep 18, 2008

Be Still And Know

Today's post is a little odd in that it might not be as much for YOU to read, but FOR ME to say, FOR ME to remind MYSELF of.

Maybe today's post is all for me. Maybe I am writing this because I NEED to.

So forgive me, if you will.

Tonight I was traveling home from church with a lot on my mind. A lot. There are several things just running rampant up in that big ol' empty brain of mine right now...things I just can't seem to put down, put to bed, put to rest.

And I hate that.

For you see, I am obsessive compulsive (this has not been diagnosed by a doctor, only an Attorney. Cough. Cough.) Oh, yes, indeedy I am. In fact, if there is something going on in my life that is nice and easy I will ( I MUST) obsess and over-analyze it until I find something - something, anything - that is wrong with it! To which I will then go OCD all over the place and inspect it until I am both exhausted and angry. And most times it will be all for not.

Why am I like this?

So tonight as I was traveling home from church I rolled the windows down on my car, handed Remi her sippy cup (which equals peace and quiet) and had "a moment."
It was quiet.
There was a nice breeze.
The stars were beautiful.
And I was a mess.

But why did that happen...
I just don't get it...
Why is she acting like that...
Why does she hate me...
Why did that person say that...
Do you think they really meant to...
Did I mess this whole thing up...
Am I to blame...
I'm to blame, aren't I...
Why does this always happen to...
I can't believe that...

And there I was. Back in my vicious cycle.

But then...God.

Oh, what He can do with only a moment.

If I were to try to calm myself down it would take hours - maybe days - there was this one time it took a year and a half.

Oh, but God.

He can speak to me like no one else can.
He can read my mind.
Know my thoughts.
Calm my fears.
And answer my questions.

And tonight He did just that. All in a moment.

I am reminded of the old hymn that I used to sing growing up...

Be still my soul; the Lord is on thy side.
Bear patiently the cross of grief or pain.
Leave to thy God to order and provide;
In every change; He faithful will remain.
Be still, my soul: thy best, thy heavenly Friend.
Through thorny ways, leads to a joyful end.

Allow me to say it again to myself, just for good measure, of course.
BE STILL MY SOUL...

And then listen to the words He so tenderly reminded me of, in return.
THE LORD IS ON THY SIDE.

Anyone else out there feeling this way tonight?
Anyone having a hard time letting your mind rest easy?
Taking a night off from the guilt?
Taking a breather from the chaos?
Anyone having trouble letting go of the reigns so that God can have just a moment with you?

On that car ride home tonight I felt Him so near to me. I felt Him speak so clearly to me. "Melissa. Be still. Hush. Let go of it. Leave it alone. Take your hands off of it. This problem you're obsessing about? It's for me. Not you."

Reassuring, isn't it?

When The AG and I traveled to Texas a few weeks ago we got to my parents house very late at night. As we tiptoed down the hall to see if anyone was awake I noticed my little sister had left her bedroom door open. Having just had her whole room remodeled (goodbye pastels, hello neon!) I tiptoed inside, turned on a lamp and looked around. As I turned to leave I caught a glimpse of a sign hanging on her wall; though I sing "Jesus Loves Me" with Remi every day, some 30 or 40 times, the words that hung on her wall that night, touched me.

It said...Jesus Knows Me. This I Love.

I'm thinking about those words now - as I type this post. And I'm remembering my car ride home.
How clearly He spoke.
How purposeful were His words ("Let go, Melissa. I have it. It's mine. Just be still.")
How sincerely he knew me.

He knows you, too.

So be still.

Jesus Knows Me. This I Love.


Sep 17, 2008

Letter From The Editor.

To my sweet friend who emailed me and asked me why I haven't posted any more pictures of baby Rocco...

Dear Sweet Friend,

Since returning from Texas I have washed 14 loads of clothes; 13 of which I forgot in the washer, eventually smelt them from down the hall, re-washed them in order to get the stench out, dried them, placed them on the couch to fold and now watch my daughter as she digs a hole in the middle of them and falls asleep.

They have been there for over a week.

I have changed more blow-out poopy diapers from my son in the last week than I did in the first two years of Remi's life. He pees all over himself and poops all over himself and I find this, well, odd and not a little disheartening.

I have been to Target 87 times for things like burp cloths and onesies, because every time I put a onesie on him or use a burp cloth with him - he blows up all over it. You might suggest I wash them, but remember, my washer is full of mildewing clothes. (And I hate to pull them out when they're in the middle of something.)

I went from sharing a room with the man I love, to sharing a room with the man and the little girl and the little boy I love. The room that used to be neat and tidy and clean and organized now looks like the baby aisle at K-Mart threw up all over it. My floor shares space with 6 hairbows, daddies GINORMOUS tennis shoes, 4 Cinderella nightgowns, 2 packs of Huggies newborn diapers and Pampers swaddlers (so we can decide what might "hold him in" better), a tiara, some Alcohol and Aquaphor, my bottle of Big Sexy hairspray that I am always looking for, and a pack of Rolaids that someone found in daddy's drawer and broke into.

My daughter has never slept one single night of her life in our bed and now can't seem to leave it. She wants to be held all day, every day. And when I look at her big, blue eyes I find it very hard to say "no." So I don't.

There are bottles ALL OVER my kitchen counter and I haven't vacuumed my floor in for.ever.

I ran out of my Secret deodorant four days ago and still haven't picked any up.

I threw my bra in a load of laundry about 6 days ago and apparently my dryer ate it, because I can't find the dern thing.

Much less my camera.

So all that to say, as soon as I find my bra and wear deodorant again, I will pick up my camera and take a picture.

But until then, let this be enough....I am madly, deeply, sweetly, in love. And there is no camera that can really capture what I feel. I assure you.

Melissa

Sep 16, 2008

Flo.Rita.

That title grabbed your attention didn't it? I am known for my titles, after all.

Really I'm not. But I'd like to be known for something and so I guess I will just award myself with the title of being known for titles. Uhhh...I'm rambling.

Anyhoo, I know there is some crazy young rapper guy (I am a 30 year old, extrememly caucasian female, can you tell?) that has betwixt himself the name FLO.RIDA. Which I find particularly clever if you are, in fact, from Florida - but ridiculous if you are, in fact, from Des Moine. I don't know much about him, granted, but it isn't because I have anything against crazy young rapper guys - it's just because I don't listen to the hard stuff.

Now, if he had toured (or was currently touring with) 4Hymn - then maybe I would know him. But if not, then I'm lost.

Durn it. Rambling again.

But I couldn't help but spot a picture of Mr. Flo.Rida the other day as my Billboard magazine obsessed husband left it lying out (AGAIN!) on the kitchen counter. Normally, a husband leaving a magazine laying out on the kitchen counter would not promote such irrationality from a wife, but Billboard magazine is different. It is, literally, 3x the size of normal magazines and is usually covered with pictures of musicians that are either a.) young, beautiful and air-brushed or b.) terrifying. There seems to be no in-between.

I'm sorry but I cannot cook a Paula Deen dinner while a fresh faced Leona Lewis looks up at me with her big brown eyes that scream, "Eat that? Never look like this."

Sheesh.

Or then there was the day he brought it in and left it laying out on purpose because the cover was absolutely terrifying. I'm serious. Terrifying. There were some people wearing masks - and if you have read my blog for very long then you know I DO NOT get along with people who wear masks. That cover...oh, I dare not speak of it. Ever. Let's just say that I ripped the devil-spawned cover off the front, ripped it up, threw it in the trash and proceeded to walk throughout my house with some oil and a prayer cloth.

*The AG is currently reading over my shoulders and would like it to be known that he does not subscribe to this magazine for pictures of Leona Lewis, satan's favorite band, or even Mr. Flo.Rida. But for the articles that deal with his area of the music business and for the current listing of charts which cannot be found anywhere else.

*I would also like to add that if you believe that, then I have a 1990 Honda I would like for you to take a look at that is in top-notch condition with only 2800 miles.

As I was saying...or trying to say...Mr. Flo.Rida really needs to look into a nice, Old Navy belt. Or maybe some suspenders. Something for the love of pete that will keep the man's pants up. Bless his heart, that can't be comfortable. If you don't believe me check out his website (which I will not be linking here for reasons that will, indeed, be obvious if you were to check out his website.)

I mean, just last week my bra strap kept slipping off my shoulder. I griped under my breath all day - came home - took it off - and marched it straight to the closest trash can. AND THAT WAS A STRAP FOR GOODNESS SAKE! Imagine what I would have done with pants. (Not that I've ever known the feeling of pants slipping down. Nope. Not ever.)

But Mr. Tramar "Flo.Rida" Dillard, do our young people a favor and pull your pants up. Look what you've started, even in our house? And we're Republican.




And apparently Remi saw the lovely young lady Mr. Flo was posed with on his website; I imagine she would heartily approve of this shirt. In fact, there's a good chance she owns several.



Yes, it says, "I'd Rather Be Naked." And believe you me, Remi would. Or as I now proudly refer to her as, Flo.Rita.

You can call her that, too. But she probably won't answer.

So what are we creating here? A rappy little freak monster, that's what. So I tell you this much, I am ending that subscription to Billboard magazine TODAY! And will replace it with Pat Robertson's 700 Club magazine. The AG will never notice the difference.

Sep 15, 2008

I Heart Sarah. I Double Heart Tina.

I realize it seems kind of cavalier to post this video of my best friend, Tina, after something as horrendous as hurricane Ike, this past weekend. But I figured some of us could use a good laugh.

We did end up talking to my folks late Sunday night. They have been out of power for almost 24 hours, no phone service either - and we were getting curious as to how everyone was doing. But my mom assured us that everyone in the family took refuge at their house since my dad had a generator and all were doing well.


As she said, "We are all fine...I made some chicken gumbo and a pecan pie and we just had a good time." Yep, that's my family folks. They rode out the storm by feasting on various types of pies, brownies and southern creole.

Ike ain't got nothin' on my mamma's cookin'.
Of course, even a hurricane doesn't have enough gale force wind to go head to head with my family of 12 who are all laid up eating gumbo. Talk about wind. I would have been far more fearful of them.

So here's a video that my play BFF, Tina, made after our fun weekend together eating cookie dough and shoe shopping. I was the one who told her to throw in that whole "imaginary rifle pose." Yep, that was me. She steals half my jokes.

So enjoy!


Sep 12, 2008

Note To Today's Readers: There Are Much Better Things You Could Be Doing With Your Time.

No worries, no worries. I am NOT going to talk about my kiddos today. So have no fear. Nope, I will not be discussing my kids lest I become one of those blogs.

Oh yeah - you know the ones I'm talking about; where every day that you go and check it out there's a different picture of some kid with a bowl turned upside down on their head and you think to yourself, "Yowza...now there's a face only a grandmother could love."

What? You've never thought that?

Oh, okay. Well, now I just feel bad.

So I'm coming up short on what to blog about tonight. Not there are not a lot of things to discuss. Oh, I assure you, there are.

For instance. I could go into great detail on my trip to Costco and how the AG said I absolutely positively could not get the Mamma Mia soundtrack, but then he bought it for me anyway. And then he said I absolutely positively could not buy the Trisha Yearwood cookbook because I would just read it and never actually use it, but then he bought it for me anyway. And we have been home for some time now and I have neither opened the cd or the book and it is causing some real tension up in here.

I could discuss the new study that came out that says if you have "fat in your genes" (their words, not mine) then you might can overcome it. BY LIVING LIKE THE AMISH. In other words, by getting between 3-4 hours of exercise or physical activity a day by working outside.

Honestly, even as I type these words I wonder if I read that article correctly. They expect me to do 3 to 4 hours of hard labor??? Outdoors??? I'M NOT AMISH. There is a reason I choose to drive an SUV and spray my hair. And ya know, to be perfectly honest, at this point in my life I really do not need the Amish making fun of me.

Or I could discuss at length this whole Jonas Brothers / Purity Ring / MTV VMA's thang and how sickened I am by it. Do you guys know what I'm referring to? If not, read here. It's just ridiculous and goes to show you how mocked we are in this day and age for being true to ourselves, our values, and even our future spouse.

Of course, I'm fond of these boys. I have to tell ya. The AG has recently made some connections with this family (due to running in some of the same circles in the music business...just another reason why I find the AG delicious and hot. His power and connections. Shallow? Maybe. True? Absolutely.) And y'all, say what you want about their music, but they are good boys. They are super respectful to their parents. They go everywhere with their dad. And, they TITHE for pete's sake. I mean, how many kiddos do you know who would do that?

Sidenote: In fact, I would like to go on record as saying that I ACTUALLY KNEW that Joe Jonas was seeing Taylor Swift WEEEEEKS before People magazine reported it - and I wanted so badly to call my friend April and tell her, because she cares about silly minutia like that, but the AG wouldn't let me. And I had to promise not to tell in hopes that the next time he got a juicy piece of information he would pass it on to me once again. And then I would FOR SURE go to April!! And no, he may never share anything else with me - but it would have been totally worth it.

But I won't bore you with all of those things. Instead, I'll let you get back to your super exciting Friday. And as I sit here and stain-stick the spit up on my clothes I'll think of you and what you're doing on this Friday. So share it with me.

Go ahead.

Rub it in.

Sep 11, 2008

I would love for this to be a great title, but I'm tired and my roots are showing.

Do you know what time it is while I'm writing this post?

2:12 AM.

Is it because I'm dedicated? No. It's because I'm up, people. I'm up.

And I've left a crying baby in the room with his daddy, where daddy will continue to sleep right on through, even if the baby cries until noon on Sunday, at which point daddy will get up, watch the Titans game and exclaim, "Oh heavens, I forgot we had a baby, well he's being awfully good, now isn't he?"

Okay, so I'm being a little cynical. Actually the Attorney General is helping out a lot. He makes bottles, changes diapers, and even takes the early morning feeding session because I can make sense of getting up at 1AM or even 3AM, but 6AM? Something in my body just won't allow that.

Thank you all so much for commenting on my last post. I read each and every one of them. I cried at several, laughed at many and was thankful for all.

So here are eight things that I've learned oh these eight glorious days.

1. When Remi says she would like to take Rocco back and get a baby turtle - she ain't kiddin'. Well, it doesn't have to be a baby turtle, mind you. Anything will do, really. A fish. A new box of colors. Some dominoes. Stickers. Mommy's blush brush. And last night she told me, "Mommy, no Rocco. Just chicken."

2. To the makers of baby clothes, whoever you are. Yesterday I clothed my son in yellow and light green. My husband checked his pulse to make sure he wasn't going to go into cardiac arrest. Did you enjoy seeing your future Hall of Famer dressed like this? Cuz I know one Attorney General who does not. In fact, he actually handed me the checkbook, shoved me out the door and told me to "go to Target and don't come home until you have some primary colors in your hand."

3. Do I want him to be a "pacci" baby? Yes. No. Yes. No. Yes. No. Yes. No.

4. You do know that I'm the mother of a 2 year old, right? So I've done all of this before. Explain then why I have forgotten every bit of it? I mean, the other night before we went to bed I actually said to my husband, "Now, tell me what to do again if he cries?" What is wrong with me? He looked at me like I was nuts, then said, "You got me."

5. You KNOW that you have been walking through Wal-Mart, seen a couple carrying around a baby that looked all of 14 hours old, dropped your jaw, rolled your eyes and whispered to your shopping buddy, "Can you believe someone would carry their baby out when they are that little? That's ridiculous." So don't ask me where the baby is when you see me. He's 8 days old and I don't want anyone claiming they saw me in Wal-Mart at 2AM with my baby. I mean, let's have some class here, people. I'll bring him out soon enough and when I do - you'll know it. I'll be the one in Wal-Mart yelling, "Heeeyyyy girl!! Come here and get aload a' my baby!"

6. If you can answer this age old question - Why do they stay asleep when you try to feed them only to wake up the minute you put them down? - I will pay you 18 million dollars.

7. When daddy comes home from work and momma has made chocolate chip cookies for dinner...let it go.

8. When you are driving home from Wednesday night church and your 2 year old says, "Mommy, I only miss daddy and baby Wocco" and you can truly say, "Me too, baby," then you know - LIFE IS GOOD.

Sep 8, 2008

The Foxhole: The Grand Finale.

Well, if you're looking for an example about how God moves in mysterious ways, then HAVE I GOT A STORY FOR YOU!

In fact, I have been looking forward to writing this post for some time now. It's rather lengthy - but there sure is a good pay-off in the end. Which is kind of like our life in Christ, now that I think about it...canIgetawhatwhatandawhoopwhoop?

It's been almost a month now since the sweet AG and I huddled down together in what I referred to as, The Foxhole (you can catch Part 1, 2 and 3 here, cuz I want you to be caught up.) So many things went through my mind in that foxhole...like, why does it take so dadgum long for me to get pregnant in the first place? Will Remi ever have a sibling that she will be close to - and them not be 14 years apart? Will all of these millions of dollars I spent in bows go to waste? Will my husband ever be able to raise the quarterback of his dreams?

But also there was the, "Why, why, why?" And the, "Lord, I just don't understand."

You know...things like that.

*Note to readers: I would love for there to be a fancy segue here, but sadly there is not.

About ONE WEEK into our Foxhole I received a call that went like this...

"Melissa, this is mom. I just wanted you to know that I met a beautiful, young girl who is looking for an adoptive family for her baby. I told her about y'all, but nothing may ever come of it so don't get your hopes up. Also, did you ever go buy yourself some new underwear?"

Uhh....

And that was it. Honestly. I decided then and there that "getting my hopes up" was an impossibility since being in a Foxhole generally means you pack very little, and, well, hopes are certainly one thing you don't pack for a Foxhole experience.

I mean, who has hopes in a Foxhole? It's a pretty grim existence.

So imagine my surprise when days later my phone rang and that "sweet, young girl" my mom had spoke of was on the other end of the line.

And imagine my surprise when she shared her story with me.

And imagine my surprise when she said she had been looking for a family for nine months.

And imagine my surprise when the family she said she was looking for sure did sound a lot like mine.

And then try to imagine how quickly I crawled out of my Foxhole, found my hopes, packed them up real tight, got in a car and drove to Texas.

Little did I fully realize on the Tuesday morning I went in for surgery, that only one week later I would walk into a restaurant and meet someone face to face who would give me one of life's greatest gifts. I will never forget meeting her for the first time and liking her instantly. I will never forget the way she told me, "It's you. You are the family I have been waiting for this entire time." And I will never forget how she slid every ultrasound picture across the table and told me, "They're yours now. They belong to you. They're of your boy."

Oh my word, I will never forget.

And I will never forget the day he was born and how I got to be a part of every second of it. I got to cut the cord!! ME!

But mostly I will never ever forget how from day one you all, my friends, prayed for me. You prayed for me broken heart and you prayed for my faith. And both have been restored, greatly. And I thank you.

So without further ado...allow me to introduce...



Rocklin "Rocco" Cooper Radke

Born September 2, 2008 at 5:42 PM.

7 lbs. 19 in. long




Remi is doing fine with all of this. So far. She enjoys feeding him his bottle, slapping him silly until he burps, and repeatedly asking if we can take him back and get a baby turtle.

But she does ask that you respect her rank; as if there were ever any question.




Our deliriously happy love to you all,

The Attorney General, Melissa, Remi and Rocco




One final note. This post will be left up for a few days for several reasons.

1. I want anyone who is late checking in to be able to share in our news.


2. Moving 8 truckloads of bottles from Texas to Tennessee takes time. And patience.

3. And I am really having to spend some serious time learning how NOT to get peed on when I change a diaper.


But I will be back very soon, I assure you. So please check back. As I feel certain my posts will be filled with questions that will need answering in a most urgent fashion.

Sep 4, 2008

Poo-Pourri

If this and this, and God forbid this, had never happened,
then I would never have needed this.



But they did.
And so I do.

And let's be honest - you do to. (There could be a pun in that, but I shall refrain.)

So this year let's make a pact: We will no longer dread being the only middle-aged woman in the Dillards stall when three 16-year olds walk in, breathe deeply, and proclaim,
"Oh my God...it smells like a stinkin' bathroom in here!"

Yes, this happened.
And it hurts.

So to all my supporters, fellow Americans, irritable bowel followers
and gastrointestinal disorder sufferers...

POO HAPPENS.

Do somethin' 'bout it.

Sep 3, 2008

Seven. Starring Me.

Seven Things I Plan To Do Before I Die:


1. Tuscany. Not just go there, not just travel there. I want to LIVE there, for a short while.

2. Have a book (or 2 or 3) published.

3. Take an African Safari.

4. I am embarrassed to say what #4 is, but my husband knows - and he is laughing right now.

5. Adopt more children.

6. Have a big catered party in my backyard, with fajitas and Mexican food, no kids, with tons of our couple friends, a mariachi band and dance all night to The Gypsy Kings.

7. Renew my wedding vows with a flower in my hair. (This requires some background info.of which I am embarrassed to tell.)


Seven Things I CAN Do:


1. Laugh at myself.

2. Laugh at others.

3. Make others laugh.

4. Sight read music.

5. Be overly dramatic.

6. Cut hair.

7. Say "I'm sorry."


Seven Things I CANNOT Do:


1. Always know when I've hurt someones feelings.

2. Although I AM dramatic, I do not like a lot of drama in my life. I did when I was 17. But now? Notsomuch. So I try to avoid it at all costs.

3. Stand passive aggressive people.(Ooohhh...or "know it all's"...hate that!)

4. Iron.

5. Remember what I have in my pantry when I grocery shop - so I always have TWO of everything.

6. Work electronics of any kind.

7. Pass up the popcorn at the movies, even if I have just eaten a five course meal.



Seven Things That Attract Me To My Spouse:


1. His big-huge-lights-up-the-entire-room smile.

2. His hands.

3. The way he looks in a suit.

4. The way he sounds when he gets passionate about something. Like when he's mean, ooohhh, I love that.

5. When I hear him talking business on the phone - cause I love a man who is good at what they do.

6. His ability to lead our home.

7. The day he took his cape off may have been the day I loved him best. (He knows what I mean.)


Seven Things I Say Most Often:


1. MOM!

2. Remi Hope!

3. DA - VID!

4. Siiiigggghhhh.

5. What do you want to watch?

6. What sounds good for dinner?

7. Oh for the love...



Seven Celebrity Crushes:


1. George Clooney

2. David Letterman

3. George Clooney (yeah, I said him twice. So what!)

4. Benecio del Toro

5. Jim Carrey

6. Daniel Craig (the new 007)

7. Chow-Yun Fat (No, I am not kidding.)



Seven People Who I Think Should Do This:

1. Tina Fey.

2. Matt Damon.

3. Chita Rivera.

4. The guy who played "Gomer" on the love boat.

5. The Fonz.

6. Sanford (but not necessarily the guy who played Sanford, but just someone named Sanford, cuz that would be cool.).

7. YOU!

Sep 2, 2008

A Tale of Two Stories.

So this Gustav thing really puts a bit of "frantic" in the air.
Want an example? Okay, here goes.


So Saturday night we get the bright idea to go to the grocery store because we MUST stock up on water. MUST. Cannot wait to get water. MUST get water now. A hurricane is'a comin' and we gotta get our share. GOTTA GET WATER!


So I went in to get some water for my parents.


And some Blue Bell might have accidentally fallen into the cart. Accidentally, of course.


Because if a hurricane is'a comin' and we lose power then at least we will have water and Blue Bell to drink. And on that, my lovelies, I can survive.


Oh, and some Big Sexy Hairspray. I did pick that up, too. But that was only in case Matt Lauer made an appearance and needed to talk to someone dignified, who had a touch of class, nice hair and all of their teeth.


Okay back to my story. I am in the check-out line (which was Express and I was over the amount allowed. Yes, I am that woman) when I hear someone behind me whisper my name.


The rest shall be told in two varied accounts. You be the judge.

Story #1:


"Melissa? Melissa Lee?"


(Oh man, this is soooo one of my old high school teachers probably wanting to know how I'm doing and if I ever made anything of myself. And considering I may or may not be wearing a bra I'm pretty sure the evidence speaks for itself.) I do not turn around.


"Melissa


(Man, they are persistent. Must be Mrs. Harrison - 9th grade - Algebra) I turn, "Yes?"


"Hi. It's me...KM." *Let it be said for the record her name was actually longer than KM but she may not want to be named on my blog...seriously, would you?....so I'm keepin' it legal.


(For pete's sake. I went to high school with her and have no idea who she is.) "I'm sorry. I'm trying to remember."


"Oh no, we didn't go to school together. I'm KM.I read your blog all the time. I post as ___."


"OH HI!!!! Wow, a blog friend. How in the world did you recognize me?"


"Well, you look like your picture..."


"I do? Cause I'm trying to do something different with my hair..."


"Well, yeah, except that your hair has grown out. But I knew you were gonna be in Lufkin this week so I was wondering if I might see you somewhere."


(I'm hoping to God at this point she's stalking me. You all know I have been praying for one of those for years now.) "Oh my gosh - well, I can't believe you are seeing me like this. Listen, KM, if you ever leave a comment saying anything other than 'Man, that Melissa is a stunner,' you shall be banned forever."


Appropriate amounts of laughter ensued.


The end.



Well, I'm not saying it was entirely the end - we talked a lot more than that, but I can't post every dot and tittle - youknowwhatI'msaying?

Story #2:

"Melissa? Melissa Lee?"

(Dear Lord, how do people find me? Can I seriously not go out of the house anymore and NOT be recognized. Even when I try to disguise myself by putting on extra weight and placing fake acne on my face. Still.) I don't turn around.

"Melissa?"

(Okay, this is persistence at it's best right here. Fine. I'll give them a picture and send them on their merry way.) I turn around and act all stunned that I heard someone say my name.

"Hi, it's me...KM."

(Hmmm...I couldn't have possibly gone to high school with her she looks way older than my 24 years. Bless her heart.) "I'm sorry, I'm trying to remember..."

"Oh, no, silly, we didn't go to school together.I just read your blog every day. In fact, I was recently voted president of the Melissa Lee Fan Club. I'm your biggest fan! I always leave comments as Meliscious is Delicious. Can you sign my t-shirt?"

"Oh...yawn...how wonderful - another blog stalker. Oh no, I'm not used to that at all." Laugh, laugh. Kiss, kiss. "So how in the word did you recognize me?"

"Well, it wasn't easy. You don't look anything like your picture."

"Oh, I know. That's a picture that I found online. It's of a very lonely girl. Sad isn't it?"

"Oh, and your hair. Where do you get it done?"

"Monte Carlo."

"I see you buy your products here at the grocery store though...Big Sexy."

"Uh, that's for my mom. Bless her heart."

"Oh, well. I had read you were gonna be in Lufkin this week and I have literally gone everywhere trying to track you down. I mean EVERYWHERE. Everywhere I thought you might go...I went to the Mexican restaurant 13 times, the Barbecue restaurant 4 times and the movie theatre 6 times. And Ross."

"Wow, that might be considered stalking? Right? Right?"

"Well, I wasn't trying to stalk you..."

"Sure you where. Moving on."

"Well, it was really great to meet you."

"I know."

"And I can't wait to tell the other bloggers..."

"Listen KM, if you leave a comment don't tell them you saw me out in these hip new jeans and stilettos. Okay? I want to be perceived as a normal girl."

"Oh, I won't. Believe me. Especially since you're wearing flip-flops and sweat pants...with ketchup on them."

"Alright, that's enough from you. Off you go."

The end.

Now folks, I don't mean to brag. Honestly, I don't. That's just not me. But neither is exaggerating a story just to make it more interesting. So knowing all that - which story do you think is true?

No wait. I take that back. Which story do you think is more interesting? Let's go with that question.

By the way...* the following was true and not a paid advertisement. And thanks to my sweet new friend, KM, who does exist, is real and was both precious and beautiful - and didn't look a day over her God-given age. (Though she is wildy older than me.)

I'm just sayin'...

Sep 1, 2008

Hitting Landfall.

Dear Gustav,

I am in Texas. Did you know this?

Is this why you are here?

Because I hear that things like Katrina are a once-in-a-lifetime event, so I am thinking that you heard I was in town, just had my hair "did" and decided to rain on my parade. Is that it?

Oh, you are a nasty one, Gustav.

And what kind of name is that, anyway? Gustav? Seriously, if you were all that nasty they would have named you Chucky, Freddie, Jason or Cujo.

Gustav makes you sound like you are going to hit landfall, break into a rousing rendition of a Walt Disney theme park number and have your shirt unbuttoned down to your navel.

Sorry Gustave, been there. Seen that.

But in all seriousness, do you know what kind of havoc you are wreaking?

Imagine being 90. And alone. And the only people that care for you work in the nursing home where you now reside. So you are their problem. And you hate being anyone's problem. Now imagine that they pack your things, but not all your things, just the few things they can grab quickly. So they leave behind the pictures of you and your husband on your wedding day. Or the dog tags your son wore. Or the bracelet your baby girl wore home from the hospital. Sure they take a nightgown or two, a pair of house shoes and a toothbrush. But those things can be replaced. Your heart cannot.

Or imagine being a mother. A single mom, at that. And it's all up to you, mama. Those big eyes are looking at you as you drive eekingly slow down a jam-packed highway - praying to God your car doesn't overheat. Or run out of gas. And hoping beyond hope that where they put you can accommodate all four of you. Because you're a team, you and your babies.

And let's not talk about someones puppy or kitty. And how they are dropping them off by the carloads down at the Lufkin Expo center, where they are checked in, put in a crate and added to the pile.

Or how another busload of people - families, children, moms and dads, someones granny and some one's pawpaw - pulled into the church parking lot today. As our volunteers prayed the beds would hold out, the food wouldn't run out, and there would be enough arms to reach out.

Gustav you really are something.
Coming into our towns and our homes.
Filling up our thoughts.
Awaking our fears.
Making us re-live old memories.
Making us remember those we lost.

Certainly, Gustav, you are more than a song and dance. More than an animated figure with a toothy grin and booming baritone voice. You are the fear that once again people will lose their friends, and their pictures, their homes and their jobs. And that we will have to watch as babies cry and go hungry. And momma's beg for some bread.

But oh, there is one bigger than you, Gustav.

Job 38:1, Then the Lord answered Job OUT OF THE STORM...

4 "Where were you when I laid the earth's foundation? Tell me, if you understand. 5 Who marked off its dimensions? Surely you know! Who stretched a measuring line across it?
6 On what were its footings set, or who laid its cornerstone- 7 while the morning stars sang together and all the angels shouted for joy?
8 "Who shut up the sea behind doors when it burst forth from the womb, 9 when I made the clouds its garment and wrapped it in thick darkness, 10 when I fixed limits for it and set its doors and bars in place, 11 when I said, 'This far you may come and no farther; here is where your proud waves halt'?...16 "Have you journeyed to the springs of the sea or walked in the recesses of the deep?...24 What is the way to the place where the lightning is dispersed, or the place where the east winds are scattered over the earth? 25 Who cuts a channel for the torrents of rain, and a path for the thunderstorm, 26 to water a land where no man lives, a desert with no one in it, 27 to satisfy a desolate wasteland and make it sprout with grass? 28 Does the rain have a father?

Chances are if you are on a cot tonight, or in a hotel room in a foreign town, you are not reading this blog. But for those of you who are reading...say a prayer. Say a prayer to the One whose "way is in the whirlwind and the storm." (Nahum 1:3)

Amen.