Jan 30, 2009

Check, Check, Checking One, Two, Three...

Dear Mrs. Jones,

I wish to clarify that I am not now, nor have I ever been, and exotic dancer.

I work at Home Depot and I told my daughter how hectic it was last week before the blizzard hit. I told her we sold out of every single snow shovel we had, and how I found one more in the back room and that several people were fighting over who would get it. Her picture doesn't show me dancing around a pole. It's supposed to depict me selling the last snow shovel we had at Home Depot.

From now on I will remember to check her homework more thoroughly before she turns it in.

*Mrs. Smith

*Names have been changed to protect the innocent...and the mortified.


Updated: To those who may wonder if I have recently taken a job at Home Depot or if Remi is a prodigy now attending 2nd grade - the answer to both, is a resounding "no." This little mishap did not happen to me, I assure you. For if it had been me drawn on that picture I can assure it would not be money the customers would be throwing at me, but rather blankets. Big, woolly blankets.

Jan 29, 2009

I Am...

I promised a special LOST edition of the Stretch Marks Times, so here it is. Don't hold your breath, it won't be good. Or maybe you can hold your breath, cuz it also won't be long. Your choice.

Here goes. T
his is what I know so far:

1. Ben has a short man complex. This is a very real sickness as I have known many a man who came down with it. (But then again I also once dated a man and turned him gay, so who's to say my track record on men is really worth discussing.)

2. Kate looks good with make-up. Kate looks good without make-up. I hate Kate.

3. Charles Widmore is really really hacked off about something.

4. Jin is alive. I believe this to be true thanks to Tara Mathews, the bill collector from last night's episode of American Idol who has E.S.P. and can tell when people on T.V. are going to die. If she says he's alive - he's alive; which she didn't say, mind you, but I still think it.

5. Jack looks good with a beard. Jack looks good without a beard. I love Jack.

6. If I had one of those wheels in my house that could turn back time, I would go back to the summer of '84 when I had that polka-dot swimdress and honestly thought I looked like Marilyn Monroe. (Somewhere right now my BFF Nikki is spitting her Coke across the room.)

7. Maybe it's just me, but I think it's ttoootttaaallllllyyy obvious that Juliet had a boob job somewhere on that island between last season and this season.

8. Hurley has the best job of any actor in Hollywood. Someone told him, "You have been hired to be on a groundbreaking new show. It will be an overnight hit. Go live on an island for five months at a time and Hurley, listen to me, this is very important....are you listening? Do not - under any circumstances - lose weight. Do you understand? Eat. Eat, whatever you want, as much as you want and for as long as you want. Is that clear? Oh, and you don't have to bathe if you don't want to."

9. I was addicted to Archie Comic books when I was a kid, so it was especially endearing to see the H bomb named "Jughead." But I believe if you were to re-arrange the letters in "Jughead" they spell out... "AreyouseriouslytryingtomakesomethingoutofasimplewordlikeJugheadyouidiot?"

10. Aaron is the best baby ever. When Kate looked at him in the backseat he was sitting quietly coloring in his book. There were no sippy cups or french fries strewn about. There was not snot running down his nose nor was he screaming "I have to go poo-poo real bad." But then again chances are he's the son of Satan, so I suppose it's six of one half a dozen...

Does this tell any of you how LOST I truly am?

The bright side to all of this is that I may not have figured out the mysteries behind my favorite show, but I've figured out another of life's great mysteries...why men never ask for directions.

Because sometimes being LOST really is the most fun.

Jan 28, 2009

My Baby's Got a New Pair of Boots.

Oh, look! It's another video of somebody's kid.

I know that's what you're all sayin' to yourself right now. But I. don't. care. Today I am showing off my little bottom shaker because, well, uh, I got nothin' else. And also because she's cute. And also because she got her rhythm from her momma, but she most certainly did not obtain my stamina.

I mean, let's be honest...13 seconds in to this song and I would have already pulled something, wrenched something, or seen my blood sugar drop to devastating lows.

So here's to Babies!
Blue Boots!
And Bluegrass!

That's right, bluegrass. Because it's the only music we've found that can keep up with her.

Happy Wednesday y'all.

Jan 27, 2009

Please Speak Clearly, Lord, I Have Children.

Seems like an odd title for a blog post, doesn't it? I just thought I would use it for a title since it seems that I have ended every prayer I've prayed over these last few weeks with these exact words.

Am I alone? Or have all the mother's and father's out there breathed these very same words? Can I get a whatwhat?

Isn't it funny how not only our life changes when we have children, but so do our prayers?

My prayers used to consist of three things:
1. Me
2. Me
3. That God would seek vengeance on people that made me mad.

Then I got married, and my prayers changed to:
1. Me
2. Me
3. That God would deliver the Attorney General from all his insufficiencies and how they adversely affected...you got it...me.

I like to think that over the years my prayers have grown, as have I. I like to think that as my relationship with Christ grows and deepens, so does my prayer life. My hope is that they aren't as whiney, self-focused, whiney. Or as whiney. But that maybe - on a good day - they focus on the things of real importance: His faithfulness, His glory and His ability to use me (as risky as an endeavor as this probably is to Him) in whatever way He may choose.

Over the past several months the Attorney General and I have been focused on one particular area of prayer - a personal area for our family, and it's here that I've found myself saying those infamous words, "Speak clearly Lord, I have children." Sometimes I re-phrase it, "Please make sure I don't miss what it is you're doing Lord, remember I have kids to think about." I've even been known to paraphrase when I'm in a real hurry, "I can't hear you!! Help! What if I screw my kids up???"

Say it any way you want, He hears it all the same.

And He knows.

Truth is, He cares more about my children than even I do; more about their welfare, their happiness, their future. My concern may be greater than His, but His "ways" have mine beat by a mile.

So let this short, inconsequential blog post be of some comfort to you today. You're not the only one who's uttered a prayer under your breath that you desperately need to hear God clearly for fear that your choices will affect the lives of those you love. It's every parent's personal predicament: Oh, Lord, may your words be as clear as writing on the wall lest I screw up my children's lives and make them wish they had been born to circus folk.

See, my friend? You're not alone.

Scripture reminds us of this...

Meanwhile, the moment we get tired in the waiting, God's Spirit is right alongside helping us along. If we don't know how or what to pray, it doesn't matter. He does our praying in and for us, making prayer out of our wordless sighs, our aching groans. He knows us far better than we know ourselves, knows our pregnant condition, and keeps us present before God. That's why we can be so sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good. (Romans 8:26, The Message Bible)

May you be reminded today that nothing you are concerned about - not anything or anyone, not any decision or any condition - has gone unnoticed. He knows every detail of our lives, even the little ones that run around in their glorious 2 year old nakedness, and He is working it into something good. Something great. Something glorious.

Please speak clearly, Lord, I have children.

Jan 26, 2009

Weekend Recap: Color Blindness

I am not making fun of the colorblind. Hello! I AM COLORBLIND! So trust me, I don't make fun of those who can't tell the difference between navy and black; it hurts, I'm not gonna lie. I can't tell you the number of times that I've worn navy socks and black shoes. But this weekend, color took on a whole new meaning.

This weekend I got to spend some personal, one on one time with two women in my life - my mom and my Granny. Aaahhhhh...good times. More on that later.

Overall it was a slow weekend...

Rocco is teething and I now have to change his clothes every 2 hours because they are drenched in drool.

Remi has learned that the phrase "you're driving me crazy," "that's what she said," and "boom-chicka-wow-wow" (thanks Brandon) can make her dad and I fall over laughing. So imagine her Sunday School teachers surprise when the classes craft of painting a rock brought both a "that's what she said" and a "boom-chicka-wow-wow" from my daughter.

I finally relented and watched the first two episodes of 24 that the AG had saved on the TiVo and begged me profusely to watch. I had given up on 24 ages ago when there was absolutely nothing else that could happen to Jack Bauer, except for him to end up on an island, fall in love with Kate and turn that little wheel that would turn back time to when my hair was a beautiful shade of blond. (Those were references to LOST, which will make an appearance later this week out of due respect for the show and my loyalty and friendship to Lulaville.)

But my favorite part of the weekend is reserved for time spent with mom and Granny. I love it, honestly I do, but after watching two solid hours of Jack Bauer saving the world I have to confess - I don't know if Jack's got anything on me. I, too, saved the world this weekend. Oh, sure, it might not have been in counter-terrorism, but it was just as serious.

On Friday, my mom called me in to the bathroom to fix her hair. This isn't anything new. To this day my mom goes down once a week to fix my Granny's hair and now I fix my mom's hair. It's just the way our world works. Only no one fixes my hair. I mean, Remi tries, but her favorite objects to use are a pair of metal tongs and a jar of Vaseline. And I just don't have time for that.

So mom calls me in to the bathroom and I proceed to fix her hair - and it is adorable, if I do say so myself. Think Jane Fonda in Monster-in-Law. Cute. For a senior. (JUST KIDDING, MOM! Don't leave me a dirty comment.) Anyway, I finish with her hair and she stands up to leave and lo and behold, what do my eyes behold? The woman is wearing a black shirt, WHITE CAPRI PANTS, WHITE HOSE and BLACK SANDALS.

I'm going to ask you to re-read that last sentence.

Now, we're not talking "winter white." Heck, we're not even talking "pearl" or "ecru." We're talking, "isn't-it-beautiful-in-Destin-during-the-summer" kind of white. I'm not even going to discuss the fact that they were Capri's and it was January. I can't even go there. Besides, I don't know if I'll have the energy after discussing the white pantyhose (oh yes, you heard me right. NOT knee highs...Pantyhose) and black sandals.

What has happened to my world?

Why did I even bother with her hair? She might as well have put on a Minnie Pearl hat and been done with it.

Thankfully she changed clothes. But only because I swore I would rub Vaseline through her hair with a pair of metal tongs. That usually does it.

Later that evening I think I came to terms with why my mom is the way she is when it comes to color.

That night we were all sitting around the table enjoying dinner when my Granny says she made a dessert to enjoy. Oh, yum, a dessert. Right? Wrong.

My Granny then proceeds to pull out a green cheesecake.

I'm going to ask you to re-read that last sentence.

No one says anything, which seems to odd to me, so I speak up..."Uh, Granny...what happened to your cheesecake?"

"Oh, I messed it up. I forgot to put the cheesecake in the middle, so I just put it on the top."


"I made the graham cracker crust, but then I was supposed to add the cheesecake layer and then the whipped topping, but I forgot to add the cheesecake, so I just put the layer of whipped cream and then spread the cheesecake out over the top of it."

(At this point I am going to ask any and all of my friends to never, ever ask me to make another dessert for anything...because this truly is in my DNA.)

"Oh, okay. Well, actually Granny, I was more curious as to why it's green."

"Because I added green food coloring."

"Oh, okay. Wait, why?"

"Because I had some."

It was at that moment that I spit my sweet tea across the table and asked the AG to bring me my digital camera. I did have a picture of both the green cheesecake and my Granny giving me a very dirty look, but my mom made me promise not to show them. Probably because she knows I also have a picture of her white Capri's and pantyhose.

And personally, I don't know what's more embarrassing. Wearing the Capri pants and pantyhose, making a green cheesecake, or taking pictures of them both because they are the most exciting thing to happen in your weekend. Oh, well.

Here's hoping you had a colorful weekend, as well.

Jan 22, 2009

Juanita Returns: Is There Any Such Thing As "A Little" Celine Dion?

Well, she's back. Juanita makes another appearance on the Stretch Marks blog because she is a sweet friend and I enjoy nothing more than exploiting all sweet friends on the internet. That's just how I roll. So sit back with me, if you will, and delight in Juanita. And please know that Juanita KNOWS she is being exploited and would probably be offended if she wasn't being showcased on here from time to time. So just know I'm not poking the proverbial bear, okay? She knows it. And LOVES it.

Oh, and I posted her words because sometimes when she leaves messages she is hard to understand. I once told her that if I was going to post her messages on my blog she will need to speak clearer, louder and more precise. She has spoken like an English translator ever since.

Sit back and enjoy. Get a good laugh at Juanita's expense, we always do, and feel free to leave me a comment letting me know that you also think I should go on American Idol so that the Holy Ghost can flow through me...cause I'm sure that's exactly what they're looking for.

Bonsoi Attorney General!
I was over in Paris recently, learned that "bonsoi" meant goodnight.
But it's not the same as when you say "night-night" to your children.
It just means the sun has gone down and you're saying "have a good evening."
Bonsoi, Attorney General!
I know you like that name, Mr. Radke.
I was calling to let you know - of course you know who this is, it's none other than Juanita Louwayne - I had watched the American Idol tonight.
There something about that show that draw me in.
I believe it could be a demon, but it's a good demon,
cause I don't feel like I'm hurtin' nobody, you know what I'm sayin'?
This is the second night, a very interesting night, but I ___ ___ these contestants.
Some of 'em a little dramatic for me.
Some of 'em remind me of my niece - still live up in Brooklyn.
Just too much for everybody.
But I was watching this program and I was thinking of the lovely Melissa Lee.
That would be your bride.
That would be your better half...probably on some days - some days not.
But I was thinking my girl need to be on that show.
They need to raise the age limit to at least 30 - cause you know Melissa probably 30.
But my girl is Holy and Anointed.
She need to be on the show so the world can see the Holy Ghost through her.
She can sing.
Anything the girl going to sing gonna be anointed.
You know what I'm sayin'?
If it's a little R-E-S-P-E-E-C-T or a little Anita Baker or a little Celine Dion.
So I do believe she need to be on the show.
Just gonna encourage you.
I know you a powerful man, maybe you could do something for your wife.
And Juanita's going to give endorsements, okay?
Take care and have a good evening.
Now listen, take my words to heart...Attorney...General.
Bye, bye.

Jan 21, 2009

Teshy and the Big Cat.

So I get tagged, right? Which normally I never really reply to tags because it always seems everyone else's is so much more interesting than mine. And tags usually make me feel like I am "less than", when God says we should feel like "more than." I'm kidding, of course. Well, not about feeling unexciting and "less than." That's pretty standard fare.

Mainly I don't do them because I am just too lazy. Seriously. When someone says, "Smile, Melissa, you've been tagged." I just roll my eyes and think of 12 reasons why I can't do them, like...

1. Must change out sheet of foil in bottom of oven.
2. Must try to buy a cheap set of hot rollers if I ever wish to aid in bringing back big hair.

Things like that.

But this one, from Heather, intrigued me I do have to say. The tag rule states that you have to go to the fourth folder in your Pictures Folder, and post the fourth picture in that folder. Hmmm...I'm intrigued.

Not anymore.

Here it is folks.

I would now like to go on record as saying that since my computer crashed I have had to use the AG's. So this is actually HIS fourth picture in HIS fourth folder.

And yes, that is John Tesh holding a huge cat.

"Why?" you ask.

Because my husband and some of his buddies find John Tesh amusing. The AG has met him and worked with him on a couple of occasions and finds him to be, if I'm quoting him correctly, "really nice, but pretty easy to laugh at." And find that pictures of him holding big cats only add to their amusement.

Only I don't get it because it isn't really John Tesh's body, he isn't really holding that big cat and that plane was not really coming at him at 400 mph. So I'm not sure what's funny about it.

But when I showed the AG what was the picture that had to go up he just fell over laughing and said, "Ahhhh...Teshy and the big cat. Good times."

I tag:

1. John Tesh

2. Connie Selleca

Jan 20, 2009

Brace Face.

This past week my sweet Attorney General went to his orthodontist appointment. "Why," you ask. Because my dear, sweet soul mate.......wait for it.....wait for it.....has braces.

It's a fact that we don't talk much about around here.

Here's another little fact for you: Several years ago we were trying out a new Sunday School class and as we were discussing something, I'm not sure what - probably the Bible, a man we had never met before spoke up. He had on braces. And I do declare, if I'm lying I'm dying, my husband whispered to me,

"That's it. We've tried this one. Moving on."

"Why? What's wrong with this class? They just started."

"That grown man is wearing braces. I cannot take anything a grown man says seriously why he is wearing braces, anymore than I can take him seriously for wearing that yellow cardigan."

We never went back.

And I'll be a monkey's uncle if four months later he wasn't wearing braces himself. See how God works, people? Don't get me wrong, He works in other ways, too. Good ways. Faithful ways. But also He'll get you sometimes just for making fun of Sunday School teachers.

It had been a pretty uneventful day. It was a Saturday, and it was before children, so I'm pretty sure there had been some napping, maybe a matinee, you know, all those things you get to do before kids. And there we sat, in Shane's Rib Shack and without warning my love bit down into a rib...

Which is really how the story should go. I mean, if the Attorney General had to lose a tooth he would prefer it go down in one of two ways: eating ribs or playing in the NBA. It was only logical that it be the rib thing.

So there we sat when he made a pretty aggressive bite, and out it came. It had been knocked out years earlier when he was in high school and there was some kind of aggression used on the court, yada yada yada, he's told me but I've never really listened to him, yada yada yada, he was a really good "baller", yada yada yada, I think his team won, yada yada yada, his coach put his tooth in milk and hauled him to the ER. There, that pretty much sums it up.

So it was just waiting for the day that some Shane's tasty ribs could bring it all to a sticky conclusion.

And within five days the man was wearing braces.

Did you get that? FIVE DAYS. Five days of him missing a front tooth. Which I believe is the time he started watching NASCAR, playing paintball and growing a beard. (I'm not typecasting people, I just callz 'em as I seez 'em.)

And it's been soooooooo long now. Like, four years I think. Which in braces years is quite a long time.

Four years of seeing those little bands fly across the room if he laughs too hard.

Four years of having to say, "yeah, you have a little bread stuck in there but it's not bad." And then having to turn your head for fear you'll throw-up.

And lest we forget, for years of...say it with me now...


That's right, folks. The Attorney General wore head gear. Which wouldn't have been so bad had he not been suffering from corpel tunnel syndrome at the very beginning of "bracic training" (play on words there, did you get that?). So every night I went to bed with him I felt like I was cheating with Robo-Cop. Those were good times, though. Almost every night we would wake up and play "find the head gear." That's a fun game. One of those where you look all over the room to find where your deep sleeping husband took off his head gear in the middle of the night and threw it; him never remebering a thing. It was so bizarre. Once we found it laying on top of the dresser, like he had gotten up puposely and put it there. Only he never remembered.

It's scary what you can do in your sleep and not remember the next day.

But now we've come to the part of the story where neither he nor I can take it another day. You just cannot be called The Attorney General and go to lunch meetings with bands on your teeth. I told him the other day, "Whenever you meet with prospective clients you know they're thinking, 'we really want him to be our attorney but not until he's at least expererienced prom.'" I try to make him feel better if I can.

And so we are petitioning his orthodontist (even saying that word makes me feel like I am back in the 9th grade and my best friend, Ang, wants to try out for flag line if her orthodontist appt. doens't interfere with the tryouts) to remove them - NOW.

Dr. F says "it's not time." I say that you can only tell a man "you got a little something right here..." so many times before you go completely immune to it and send him to serve communion at church with half a donut hole between inscissors 4 and 5.

Here is a picture of a "brace face." (I don't really like that term by the way, I use it becasue I am easily swayed by popular opinion and labels.) It is not his, for he would hunt me down and kill me in my sleep and swear that he didn't remember doing it. He firmly believes he could represent himself in my death and get away with it. I believe him, as well.

And yes, that is Prince Harry when he was, like, 12.

I've always wanted to die in my sleep.

Jan 19, 2009

Weekend Recap: Don't Get Your Hopes Up.

Let me start by apologizing. Cuz my weekend recap is less than stellar. Seriously less than stellar.

In fact, my weekend makes my Friday look like a toga party. And I think we all know how sad my Friday post was. Of course, now that I think about it, a toga party doesn't sound all that fun unless you look good in a sheet. Which I do.

Friday night was exciting. We conned (and by "conned" I mean we "tricked" Brandon into staying with our kids while we escaped all by our lonesome adult selves. And by "escaped" I mean we went to Target.) Oh wait, don't leave...it only goes downhill from here.

I spent the better part of the day on Saturday trying to convince my beautician (and yes, I still use the word "beautician" and I still say "beauty shop"; I know you're laughing) to just bleach my head all over and get it over with. Ever since I went red I have been getting the thumbs down from people. And I mean that quite literally. My pastor, whom I love dearly but I will be wrapping his house very soon, literally looked at me and said, "I didn't know you with your hair that color." When I asked him what he thought he stuck out his tongue and gave it two thumbs down. Here's hoping my tithe gets lost in the mail.

Anyhoo...actually it's my mom who should be offended since when she saw me over Christmas her exact words were, "Oh Lord. You look like...me."

She refused to bleach my hair siteing the need to shave it afterward since it was hanging on by a very fried strand as it was. So she added some "highlights." Let me just go on record as saying that I am not a big fan of the "highlight." I am an all or nothing kind of girl. Don't give me blond highlights. Bleach me. Don't give me red highlights. Give me the Lucy. See? I learned this from reading Dolly Parton's autobiography...three times.

Saturday night involved some kind of casserole and a really depressing movie.

So that was a great day.

And then Sunday afternoon I did the unthinkable by sending dad and his two screaming kiddos out the door and from under my feet so I could stay home alone and - CLEAN HOUSE! Does that tell you how badly my house needed cleaning? And God forbid, that I try to do it when they are all home! I mean, why would I want to do that? There's cereal to make, and cereal to clean up. Sippy cups to pour, and sippy cups to wipe up. There's laundry to fold and laundry to fold and laundry to fold.

And yeah, that about covers my Sunday. There was the moment where I found the AG staring blankly at the NFL playoff games repeating, "That should be us, that should be us" over and over again. But I didn't say anything to him. After all, he overheard me tell Remi...

"I have waited six long hours to tell you this: It's time for you to go to bed. And I've never been happier about anything in my life,"...

and he let it slide. So I gave him the same courtesy.

Here's hoping yours was better than mine.

Jan 16, 2009

It's Friday. Seriously, What Else Have I Got?

So my mom calls me today to ask me how she would tell her friend to go to my blog. What? I've had this thing for well over a year and you don't know how to get to it?

"Well, it's hard. First I have to cut on my computer..."

At this point I'm hoping her friend knows it's a risk going in if you have to - gasp! - cut on your computer.

"Then I have to enter my password which I can never remember. So then I have to call your daddy at work to get him to give it to me again, which it's my pin number for my bank so then I remember it as soon as he says it. And I get mad that I bothered to call."

This is going to be awkward, my mom's friend is going to have to call my dad every day at his work just to get my mom's pin number. Wow, this is a hassle.

"Then when my computer comes up I have to go to my Favorites..."

"Oh, it's listed under your favorites?"



"So then after going to my Favorites, I..."

"Mom. Can I just tell you how to get there directly?"

"Yes, that would be good."

"Go to www.thestretchmarksblog.com"

"And that's it?"

"That's it."

"Well, Granny told me that you had to..."

"Mom, don't listen to Granny, she unplugs her computer every time she logs off. Just take my word for it."

"Okay, well, Sister L wants to start reading it."

"Mom, don't tell Sister L about my blog. It's a dumb blog. She won't find anything there worth reading. She's smart and intellectual and she cooks really great, she'll be bored."

"I know, I tried to tell her that, but she still said she wanted to read it."

"Thanks mom."

"You're welcome, love."

So mom, Sister L, here is my Friday's blog post. It is deep. It is super spiritual. And chances are - you'll want to teach it in your next Bible Study or Sunday School class session. So grab a pen and paper...and don't say you weren't warned.

To find your ROCK STAR NAME take your first pet & current car:

Chrissy Lexus

To find your GANGSTA NAME take your favorite ice cream flavor and your favorite cookie:

Vanilla Oreo

Your favorite color and favorite animal:

Green Lion

Everybody wants a SOAP OPERA NAME, so take your middle name and the city where you were born:

Paige Lufkin

Want to know your SUPERHERO NAME? Just add the word "The" plus your 2nd favorite color, and your favorite drink:

The Blue Pepper

Oh gross. Your NASCAR NAME. Take the first names of your grandfathers:
Lester LeRoy

If I ever go into WITNESS PROTECTION you can find me with this name. Your mother’s & father’s middle names:

Annette Eugene

? Just take your 5th grade teacher’s last name and add a major city that starts with the same letter:

Harrison Houston

Of course, if you find me in witness protection I will assume it was because you were using your SPY NAME. Add your favorite season/holiday to your flower:

Fall Lilly

Tell your kids their CARTOON NAME by taking your favorite fruit, an article of clothing you’re wearing right now, now add "ie" or "y":

Peaches Flannelie

And lastly, your ROCKSTAR TOUR is heading across the northeast...it's called
("The” + Your fave hobby/craft, your fave weather element + the word “Tour”):

The Television Thunderstorm Tour

Happy Friday, my lovelies!

Jan 15, 2009

All You Single Ladies!

Beyoncé - New Music - More Music Video

This video is for anyone who ever said, "Y'all I went to one step aerobics class today and I'm already feeling better."

It's for anyone who's ever said, "I've been lifting weights. And I can really tell it in my legs."

It for anyone who ever said, "I don't get why people think Beyonce is pretty, my gym teacher looked just like her."

It's for anyone who's ever said, "If I got paid 100 million dollars I could dance like that, too." No. No you couldn't.

No, this video is for the woman who puts shorts on the first day of summer, looks at herself in the mirror...then takes them off.

It's for the woman who refuses to help her child out of the deep end, for fear someone will see her in her swimsuit, much less put a video online of herself in one.

And it's for the woman who is sitting watching this right now, with a Family Size bag of Doritos in her hand.

Here's to you, my friend.
From me; the woman who told her husband she could dance to this video for as long as it continued ("I can dance for 3 minutes solid, what do you think I am 100?"), and when he challenged her to do so she had to sit down by the 2nd verse for fear that she was having an asthma attack.

From me; the woman who once sang in a trio with her mom and her aunt and the said trio was hence referred to by her father as "The Dixie Chunks." Somehow I don't think the three of us on stage quite looked like these three.

Here's to us all!

Enjoy, my lovelies. Bathing suit season is just around the corner. Try puttin' a ring on that.

Jan 14, 2009

Dear One.

To My Dear Friend (who by all accounts and purposes has yet to figure out how to turn her computer on, much less check this blog site),

I've known you for years now.

I knew you when you drove that horrendous green van (until I wrecked it.)
I knew you when I would come over and crawl in your bed and sob and moan and you would just listen.
I've known you over much sushi.
And I've known you over many a girls nights and many a movie...

And I wouldn't trade a minute of any of it.

But today, none of that matters. Today the only thing that matters is that you know this...
I. Am. Here.

Every minute that I've been your friend you have encouraged me.
Every minute that I've known you, you've looked out for me.
Every year that we've been friends you've been the prayer that covered me.

Let me do that for you now.


Scripture says, "Evening and morning and at noon I will utter my complaint and moan and sigh, and He will hear my voice." (Ps. 55:17) Of this, we can be assured.

I am standing in the gap for you, my friend.

Because I love you. And because I owe you. And because I could never ever repay the kindness you've shown to me and the friend you've been to me. So if I could sing for you right now, I would sing this...

I heard that you were hurting
That you were suffering pain
But I didn't dare just turn my head
And look the other way
For when your heart is aching
My heart is aching too
Let me help you bear your burden
That's the least that I can do

I'll be standing in the gap for you
Just remember someone, somewhere is praying for you
Calling out your name
Praying for your strength
I'll be standing in the gap for you

Right now you may be troubled
But everything will work out fine
For the Spirit knows before you speak
What is on your heart and mind
So I'll be interceding
Til your standing strong again
The peace that passes understanding
Is going to be yours, but until then..

I'll be standing in the gap for you
Just remember someone, somewhere is praying for you
Calling out your name
Praying for your strength
I'll be standing in the gap for you

So hang on my friend
It won't be long
And you have the strength
To carry on
For when two or three are walking together
It will be a much lighter load
For isn't that what a brother and a sister are for?

*Note to readers: Sorry to be cryptic, but if I were to share my dear friends name or her need - she would surely crawl in a hole and eat chocolate until she died. So I dare not. But considering that you're reading my blog right now, I count you as a friend. Won't you say a prayer for her today? She surely needs it. And there's not a one of you I don't trust with it. So today, just say, "Melissa's friend needs you, Lord. Be with her, as you are with me." Trust me, He knows exactly to what and to whom you're referring. Thank you, my lovelies.

Jan 13, 2009

Tuesday's Dilemna.

When I think about what to post today, I don't know where to start. I am having major problems, people.

I might as well let you know that you may or may not hear from me again this week. And it may be because I've been hauled off to jail for killing Brandon. At some point he decided to "help me" get my computer running faster. And now my computer has sighed it's last breath and gone bye-bye. Thanks, Brandon.

Actually, I can't be completely sure if it truly was Brandon's fault. Or mine. But considering he doesn't have to sleep with the Attorney General and here his deep sighs, the rolling of the eyes and the jaw tightening over his frustration, I'm blaming it on Brandon.

Things always go better for me when I put the blame on others. (Ephesians 3)

So at this point I am without a computer. I bummed this computer off of the AG but normally he leaves his at work, leaving me with nothing. No way to check my emails, no way to post my deep thoughts, or play Tetris. What will I do?

Who knows, it may come back to life. But if it by any chance it requires calling a Dell service representative - then forget it. I would rather drives screws through my fingernails than talk to them over the phone. Once they asked me to check the battery on my computer and I broke out in a rash because I couldn't find the battery on the bottom. The AG pointed out that it was the big, black box with the sticker that said "battery" on it.

So there's the computer problem. But that might not be my bigger issue. What I might need to focus on is the fact that Meridith and Brandon have decided that Remi needs a "catchphrase," something they can be responsible for teaching her.

I like to imagine that Mary Poppins taught the children she was responsible for the catchphrase "a spoonful of sugar." Or that Mrs. Doubtfire taught the children in her lot how to say "Oh Dear!" in that high pitched voice of hers. But my children's caretakers? The family members that spend the most time with my little ones? Want to teach my oldest princess how to say, "THAT'S WHAT SHE SAID" in response to anything she may hear.

So if her preschool teacher tells her, "Remi, it's time to lay down on your nap mat." She replies, "That's what she said."

See how precious that is?

I have really got to find some different people to be an influence in my children's lives, don'tchathink?

And now you see my dilemma. Two big problems. Only one solution I can think of...kill Brandon.

Jan 12, 2009

Weekend Recap: Did You People Even Utter A Prayer On Our Behalf?

It has been tense around here. I'm not gonna lie.

Saturday, on the way to the game we laughed and talked. We honked at other Titan fans we saw on the road and we even sang along to a Fleetwood Mac song! Fleetwood Mac!! It was glorious.

See? Happy, happy, joy, joy.

And now? Total disgust. 18 below zero disgust.

On the way home I think we uttered two words.



Needless to say, our boys lost. And, well, let's just say, the Attorney General did not take it well. I didn't either, but I have learned over the years that there is no pain that some hot peanuts and a 96 oz. soda cannot cure. And once again - I was right!

Besides, I think Garth Brooks wrote a song about unanswered prayers, didn't he? So maybe it was for the best. Because believe you me, I was praying. Oh yes, I was. In a crowd of some 60,000 people I was probably the only person uttering a real, true prayer, but nonetheless - I was. Sure, laugh. But my husband has had a difficult few months and the man needed a break. He needed his football fantasy to last just a little bit longer and so yeah, I prayed for them. It might not have been the most beautiful prayer you've ever heard, it went like this...

Dear Lord,

I realize that I am probably the only idiot in the world praying for a football game right now. And I know that you have big things like Darfur to deal with, not to mention the fact that there's a pretty good chance Jen and Angelina will run into each other tomorrow night at the Golden Globes. And believe me, I know what I'm asking - I know that a good percentage of the men on this team probably do drugs. And have even been known to stab someone on occasion. But that doesn't change the fact that right now, I need you to work a miracle.

Then I got distracted when the man behind me began yelling, "THE RAVENS ARE MURDERERS AND ANYONE WHO LIKES THE RAVENS ARE PROBABLY MURDERERS, TOO!" That can squelch an anointed prayer pretty quickly.

But I ended it with a hearty, "Amen. And I'll see you in the morning at church if you'll make the temperature go up another 20 degrees. Amen for real this time."

But we still lost. Which must mean God has a plan. A really mean, awful, NFL-hating, plan, but a plan nonetheless.

And so that was pretty much our weekend re-cap. There was other stuff too, we went to Target, we watched a movie, I got Meridith addicted to LOST and she spent 49 hours watching past episodes on my computer and Remi got an alarm clock for her room so that she will quit getting up before the rooster crows and actually wait until the alarm goes off.

$23 and one alarm clock later, Remi has decided that "sleeping in" really isn't that difficult. So we've had to sneak into her room the last three mornings and cut her alarm off so that it wouldn't wake her up.

Oh yeah, and we got a pizza.

Jan 9, 2009

Moment of Silence. This Saturday. 3:30 PM.

Wish me luck, my lovelies.
The high is 38 and there's a 30% chance of rain.
But I'll be there and I'll be in heaven.
I'll also be purchasing 5 cups of hot chocolate and 8 bags of popcorn.
(But that's not really my concern, that's the AG's...he's paying.)

So here's hoping the Titans do what NO ONE is predicting them to do.....blow it out!!

I'll be bundled up, I'll be with my best friend and my babies will be with their babysitter.
And that's about as good a weekend as you can get.

Here's hoping you have a "playoff winning weekend" of your own!



Jan 8, 2009

This Goes Out To The One I Love.

Stop the presses!

I got a letter from my Granny.

I knew it was coming, because my mom had called me last night just to tell me, "Granny is sending you a letter and I can't waaaiiiiiiitttt for you to read it."

That can't be good.

I mean, this is my Granny - my mom's mom. Any of this starting to make sense? If my mom can throw some zingers at ya, then just imagine my Granny.

This is the same woman who once told my Pawpaw (and I quote), to "Sit down and stop yelling, you're still fat." In order to have that make any sense you'd need to know that my Pawpaw had stood up to yell at the dog. Does that help you sort it out? Yeah, I know...us either. We just all sat there thinking, "what does him being fat have to do with anything?" We were never sure. Still aren't. Be you can bet he sat down.

Last Thanksgiving when she came to Tennessee to visit she found herself laying on the same bed that my aunt and I started rolling around wrestling on. She got mad and yelled at my mom, "Annette, come in here and tell them to stop! I'm being good and just laying here like a little squirrel!"

Who knows.

Needless to say, whenever we get a letter from Granny in the mail we all gather around and fight over who gets to read it first. I won! So as me and the AG, Meridith and Brandon all gathered together like we were reading a draft notice I opened up her letter only to find a short letter and two news articles.

The first news article was on how to become a vegetarian.

After reading the title (Going Veggie) Brandon said, "Man, does Granny even know you?" I've made quite a name for myself in the meat department. That sounds weird.

The second article was entitled, "How Kids Manipulate Us and What You Can Do To Stop It."

Apparently their have been one too many blog posts on Remi.

I think it's pretty safe to assume this. Don't you? After all Granny told me in her letter that she reads my "stories" every day. But that I "don't talk enough about the little baby Rocco." Of course I don't think her article on toddler manipulation was meant to offend me, and it didn't. I know I have my hands full. I know this.

Oh, and here's one of my favorite parts of her letter, "I hope you won't be mad at me for sending you this magazine article. I just remember how it was when I had two babies. David would always come in and bring me the Ivy that he had pulled up, and your momma just ate dirt."

I could listen to her rattle off stories about my momma eating dirt alllllllll day.

My Granny. I love her dearly. I miss her terribly. And so that she knows "the little baby Rocco" is alive and well and teething all over the place...here you go, Granny.

I love you Granny. And I love getting your letters. And I'm sorry that I hurt your leg the night I rolled over you when you were just laying there "like a little squirrel." It might not have hurt so much I had a decided to become a vegetarian years ago. But Granny, don't hold your breath for that.


Jan 7, 2009

The Curious Case of Bejamin Nuttin'

Dear Carmike Cinema Movie Manager,
I want my $7 back.

Dear Chronus, mythological god of time,
I want my 3 hours back.

For the record...I didn't like it.

Okay, that's not fair. I did sneak in a 8 count chicken nugget from Chik-fil-A in my purse. And I did get that greasy non-butter butter poured all over my popcorn. And I did get one gully washer size Diet Coke to wash it all down with. And I really loved that aspect of the movie. So I don't suppose the 12 hour feature film was a total waste of time.

But you know that a movie has totally lost your interest when you take out your cell phone in the middle of it and text your husband; and this is coming from the woman for whom it takes between 12 to 15 minutes to type out one word. No kidding, I texted him the sentence, "Come rescue me, I'm dying here." And it took me an hour and a half.

He told me just to leave, but I was with a girlfriend and didn't want to hurt her feelings. And also, she was holding my nuggets hostage if I didn't stick it out. So she won, needless to say.

But finally, 3/4 of the way through, I gave up. I gathered my purse, stood up and proclaimed, "That's it! I'm out. I am so depressed I want to run myself over. And I came to see Brad Pitt look like, well, Brad Pitt. And for the last hour he has looked just like the little old man who put the moves on my Granny the last time she went to her senior citizen game night! See ya!"

But then about ten steps from the bottom I look up at that giant screen and see that finally - FINALLY - he had reached this age.

And figured I might as well stick it out.

What? I had already spent money on the nuggets.

*Did you see it? What did you think? Please note: If you liked it, I plan on emailing you and ridiculing you for hours.

Jan 6, 2009

What's Your Name?

There's so many different things I want to say on today's post. But if I were to throw them all together in one pot - well, it might taste a lot like my first attempt at chicken gumbo. Lumpy, nasty and burnt.

Therefore I might have to narrow it down. But I'm not really sure that I can. My plan was to write on New Years resolutions. Or maybe, the lack of New Years resolutions in my house. For you see, this is the same girl who looked out the window in 2002 and vowed to never invest in an US magazine ever again. But then 3 months into the new year my money had probably paid for an additional wing on their offices. So see? I'm really not one to talk much about resolutions. (Though I do resolve to have grown from that experience and once again vow to never purchase another one. But this time it's due to more fear of my husband and his "budget.")

But then today Remi said something to me that I found a brilliant nugget in, she said, "Mama, what's your name?"

Hmmmm....think on that one for a moment. There's a lot we can chew on there. Especially at this new year.

And I thought for a moment. Ya know, what is my name?
If I had to call myself something, what would it be?
If someone else had to describe me, or call me something, what would they say?
Is who I am different than who I was?
Or do I even know who I am?

What is my name?

Thankfully, as I begin this new year I do so with the knowledge of what my name is. But lest you think I am boasting, I only learned my name a few years ago. Yep, sometimes it takes years - a lifetime even - for us to truly "get" who it is we are meant to be; who it is we were designed to be; and who it is He created us to be.

For some of us, the name we carry around with us is not the name we were ever intended to have. Let me explain.

I have a friend (several actually) but this one in particular I will call Frida (I do this with the utmost respect for the name Frida - but feel pretty sure that I don't have a reader by that name). Frida lived every minute of every day of every week for one thing and one thing only - her children. Not her husband, not her church, not the Sunday School class she taught or the missionaries she financially supported - and most certainly not herself - consumed as much time for Frida as those children. Not even God.

Where they were - she was. What they wanted - she provided. What they needed - she arranged. When they slept - she slept. When they woke - she woke. And when they went away, and they did eventually go away, Frida was left alone. And on one particular day, I think she said it was a Tuesday, around 2:30 pm, she opened up her fridge to grab a bite of something and realized at that moment,

"I didn't even know what I liked anymore. I didn't know what I liked to eat. Or drink. I could not remember the last time I laughed. I certainly couldn't remember the last time I surprised my husband with romance. I can't remember my favorite old recipes for no one ever ate them when I fixed them, so I stopped fixing what I liked and started fixing what they liked. And I can't remember the last movie I saw that I wanted to see. I couldn't remember the last time I spent time on my knees with God, and not driving a tour bus for screaming teenagers. I had forgotten who I was. I had forgotten all about the who God designed me to be. I had forgotten what He originally intended for me to be. And I knew right then, Melissa, that I had no idea who I was."

Frida spent the next few months searching, again, for her purpose. The purpose she lost somewhere between a ballet lesson and a root canal. The purpose that got left out in the rain, along with two Tonka trucks and a pet gerbil. The purpose that went away the day she began saying "no" to God and "yes" to others.

And finally, Frida found it.

She found her name. She found her purpose. And her purpose? Was Him.

I listened yesterday to our nation's talk show queen tell us that her goal for this year was to "love herself first, most", to "put herself back on the list."

And as good as that sounds it brings to mind a book by one of my favorite authors, Max Lucado, called "It's Not About Me."

*Note to self: In 2009, try to learn the real lesson...it's really not all about me.

My kids should not be my priority. And although he would like to argue this statement on certain occasions, neither should the Attorney General. Nor should my church. Or my family. And to be perfectly honest - neither should I. At least not all the time...although a mani/pedi never hurt a woman.

God. That is my priority. It really is all about Him.

He is my purpose.

He is my reason.

And I, I am His.

And He knows my name.

Jan 5, 2009

You Have 14 Minutes. What Do You Do?

You might have to close your eyes for this one.

It's just easier to imagine it.

Though I do realize, harder to read about it. So whichever you choose - I'll totally understand.

Picture it. It's Friday, January 2nd, 2009. My house is full. Of crap. I kid you not. We rang in the New Year playing Yahtzee with some friends and so you can imagine what that meant; there were paper plates and red Solo cups full of Dr. Pepper all over the place (cuz when we "party" we do it in style, thankyouverymuch.) And do you think I cleaned it up on January 1? Uh, no. Because it's January 1. And you know what you're supposed to do on January 1, right?


That's how God intended it. He intended for the first day of every year to be spent lying around in your own filth and spoils. Didn't you all read that part in Leviticus?

Except that we got confused (probably because we are deviants who choose to read The Message Bible instead of the King James...whatever) and thought that God had intended for that unclean perversion to last until midnight of the third day.

Which is why on January the 2nd, at 2:30 PM my house looked like it could easily appear on some TLC reality show. For two whole days we let it build up, the paper plates, the red Solo cups, sippy cups with milk - no, apple juice - wait, Sprite - no, I guess milk, burp cloths and boxes of rice cereal that may or may not have spilled out, obnoxiously, on the hardwood floors. Not to mention dirty laundry in the hallways, dust and dishes...lots and lots of dishes.

All of us were still in our pajamas, though Rocco was the only one who had drooled on his. I think. Remi had, however, taken hers off and put them back on inside out and backwards. Which is more than I can say for the AG and I - who decided that pj's and greasy hair suited us just fine. We were starting to find each other's stench intoxicating. Or at least we told ourselves that.

The last thing I remember is the AG handing off our little drooling, teething, bundle of joy with a, "You're turn," before he headed back to the big, flat screen on the wall. And if, I'm lying I'm dying, my words to him were, "I'm so glad you arranged it where we could spend another day in our pj's and filth."

"Anything for the woman I love."

Aaaahhhh...good times. And then...


"What is it? What's going on?"

"I just got a reminder notice on my cell phone..."


"So, it's 2:46 and the Adoption Agency will be here at 3:00 for their home visit."

And it was right then and there that I looked at Rocco and told him all the wishes and dreams I had for him in his life and that I hoped his next home would provide him with as much love as we had, but would make sure that his head didn't smell like Philly cheesesteak - like his did at that very moment, for reasons we still don't know.

And then? I MOVED.

I knew that I only had 14 minutes, but you better believe that 7 of them would absolutely have to, without question, be in the shower. On that matter there was no debate. You can remove my baby from my home for the box of hot wings sitting on the counter - but I'll be darn if you do it because my bangs aren't styled.

Let's just say, you've never seen two fluffy people move quite so fast. Rocco laid on the middle of the bed, untouched, while we flew - I mean, FLEW - around him. We raked everything on the counter off into a garbage bag (which means there's a pretty good chance we lost a set of car keys and a cell phone.) We didn't bother to run a vacuum or pick up the Yahtzee game, we didn't have time to change Remi's clothes or dry my hair.

So when our adoption Agent showed up - at 3:00 on the nose - I looked exactly like my 6th grade school picture. Wet hair, big bangs.

Rocco smelt like something resembling Philly Cheesesteak.

The AG reeked of pizza and hot wings.

And Remi's clothes were still inside out. And backwards. Although none of that mattered...for only 10 minutes into our visit did my demure little princes proceeded to lift her shirt and announce, "Look Miss A, my nakedness!" And then shake her booty and sing "All single ladies - All single ladies". Beyonce would have been proud. Or mortified.

But thanks to your prayers all those months ago - they must have sustained us, because as the AG so eloquently put it, "Well, I think we get to keep the kid."

Which was never really in any question considering that I have the look of a definite flight risk if they tried to pry that little beauty out of my arms. And then who would raise my little, white, Beyonce?

Because let's be honest - that's gonna take some parental guidance.