Feb 26, 2009

Death Where Is Thy Sting? Oh Wait, There It Is.

I am down for the count.

Fading fast.

In over my head.

I've fallen and I can't get up.

Under water.

Barely breathing.

Driving the bus.

Yep, that's me. I'm laid up in bed right now with death knocking on my door. I just know it.

Of course I tend to be overly dramatic about these things. But that is why I didn't post yesterday. I couldn't. I seriously couldn't get my fingers to work; they just wanted to stay curled up under a blanket wrapped tightly around a remote control. So I let them win.

Of course the AG says if I didn't post every time I felt sick that I would only post twice a year. How rude!

So I am just writing today to let you all know that I am, in fact, alive - but I cannot guarantee how much longer that will be the case. I very well may die tonight. And if I do I want you all to know these three things:

1. I've loved keeping up with you through this bloggy world we live in.

2. I am leaving my gold shiny shoes to Faith(ful) Reader and my wig head to Lulaville.

3. And I'm leaving all my jewelry to Maria who stalked me at Home Depot (I am using the term "stalking" quite liberally, here) because I've always wanted a stalker and I've made no secret of it. Unfortunately all my jewelry is from JC Penney so don't get your hopes up, Miss Maria. Had you used a telephoto lens and left me a dead animal and a love note I might have given you better stuff. But alas you broke stalker code.

Oh, did y'all hear that? It's my bed calling me. Good night every one.

Feb 24, 2009

Love Thy Neighbor.

Last week I had a post dedicated to the fact that the AG and I are packing up the family band and moving back to Texas. It's not an easy decision, but one that was prayerfully considered and is now looked at with great expectation.

Just ask Remi. I told her we were moving to Texas to which she replied, "How about the zoo?" Which I can tell you doesn't mean "how about we move to the zoo" but rather, "how about you take me to the zoo and quit your yappin'."

Some of you were so kind to email me, leave me a post, give me a call or just throw an arm around my neck at church. Thank you. Others of you didn't do any of the above even though we've known each other for a coon's age. That's okay...as my Granny so famously says, "Don't make no difference to me - we're all gonna go to heaven happy." Amen.

One of the things I wrote about in that post was this...

And one more thing...would you pray specifically for this? About twelve miles from my house here in TN is a beautiful cemetery that holds the memory of our son. The thought of moving 700 miles away from it makes me physically sick. I cannot imagine how I will feel the day I drive away as I can barely stand to think of it over 10 seconds at a time now. I could use some special comfort in this area. God is good, I know this.

Now, I'll tell you right now - I have never been much for the "victim" mentality. And by that I mean I've never been big on poor, poor, pitiful me. I share my grievances and the depth of my heartbreak with very few people. So for me to write those words last week were quite a big deal for me. The reason being is that the pain of knowing I am leaving that grave has racked me with both guilt and absolute panic. What may seem silly to you makes me physically sick. I cannot fathom the moment that we load up in the car and pull out of town. And it will not be because of the friends we've made or the church we call home (though leaving those things can hurt a bit, too).

It's because as of now I have the ability to go stand beside something every time it snows...to check on him...to make sure it's not too cold.

It's because, if I want to, I can drive by there on a Tuesday afternoon with an ice cream cone and tell him how beautiful the weather is and something funny Remi said.

It's because every time there is a thunderstorm I go the next day to make sure his flowers are okay - and there are no leaves on his headstone.

It's because whenever I get the notion I put Rocco in the car and take him up there and tell him all about his big brother who is patiently waiting to play some flag football in heaven.

Those are the things that will make leaving beyond painful.

I suppose all of us, if we were honest, could agree that there are those scriptures that we've heard a thousand times over. And they still. Mean. Nothing. Not because we don't count them important - we do. But because we've never had to apply them. Only when words become tangible do words truly become meaningful. When words come alive they make their biggest change.

For instance, remember this one?

Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments. (Matthew 19)

Two days after I wrote the post on us moving I received an email. It was from a former neighbor of mine. I don't go to church with her, I never see her in the grocery store, our children don't attend the same schools and our husbands don't work together. She was my neighbor years ago - later she became my friend. And it was her email that said this...

I want you to know that the first thing that came to my mind when I read the first sentence that you were leaving was having to leave Elisha. I know that is breaking your heart to move away from him. Please know that for some reason that feels more powerful than just sympathy for a friend, you, David and Elisha are never far from my mind. I am so thankful for the blessing of Remi and Rocco in your lives. I know we are not best friends but I feel that God is calling me to offer this to you – I would be honored to do whatever you wished concerning Elisha in your place. I don’t know how often you visit his grave or place flowers or talk to him there, but if you would like to know that someone is caring for him here I would be more than willing to do that for you both.

My neighbor showed me love. My neighbor offered to do for me what I cannot do for myself. My neighbor.

Last night, I received this email...

It would be a great honor if you want me to visit Elisha's grave as often as you'd like to check on things. In a small way, it would be like I'm doing it for her (my mother-in-law who has passed away), too. But ONLY if you really want, and ONLY if you REALLY, REALLY want me to.
I go to church with her. I'm not sure what service she goes to for we rarely ever see each other. She doesn't know my husband's name and I don't know hers. We've never been to each other's house, never shared sweet tea on my porch. She was just a willing servant. Someone who offered to give a hand to someone who needed it. She doesn't owe me that courtesy, and goodness knows I'm undeserving, but the love she has for the Lord supersedes my need or her convenience.

That, my lovelies, is how you love a neighbor.

There's something else you can say about "neighbors" like this - you dare not tell their names because they are rarely ever in it for the recognition. "Neighbors" like this give when no one is looking, serve when no one knows and love when no one is counting. "Neighbors" like this are few and far between. And yet they are God's best weapon. I know He must be beyond pleased at their obedience.

One of them told me in their email that they feared I might find their request "odd." Odd? Really? Remember this, friends, what you may find as odd - someone else might find as oil.

Soothing, healing oil.

And just so you two "neighbors" know...I would be more honored and feel more loved to have the two of you check on my boy than to have 50 people I might have had to ask.

Thank you for all the oil.

Love,
Melissa

Feb 22, 2009

Weekend Recap: What's Wrong With Jermaine Dupree

If I told you my weekend was uneventful would you believe me? Because let me tell you - I would be lying. Boy, it was something. It was full of all the things that make up a major motion picture (insert recap of 2009 Academy Awards show here...subtle, huh?):


Drama...


Oh, the drama. This weekend was chock full of all the heavy weight emotional moments that you shell out $9.75 for. For instance, I almost cried Saturday morning when the AG let me sleep in while he took care of the kids. AND he woke me up with chocolate milk and took me to Cracker Barrel. Which now makes me think...he must have done something terrible that he hasn't fessed up too, yet. Oh, the drama.


Comedy...


My favorite moment of the weekend might have been sitting in the theatre on Saturday night with Ronnie, Leslie, the AG...and her.







Oh, my mercies. When she thought W.W.J.D. stood for "What's wrong with Jermaine Dupree" I almost lost it. I highly suggest you go see this little nugget. And I'll be honest, when it comes time for the high drama moments I get up and refill my popcorn, but the Madea parts?? Priceless.


Intrigue...


Sunday night was the Academy Awards and as usual I sat motionless for 12 hours and watched like an imbecile.


Every year I say I will not waste my life away like that - but every year I do it again.


And every year I watch the skinniest women in the world walk down a red carpet leaning on their date for fear the wind will blow them away since they've been starving themselves since the day of their nomination. And every year I check out their dresses and their jewels and promise myself "tomorrow is another day, I am going to get my rear in gear and I'm going to look like Halle Berry on her worst day." But every year...


So I think it's safe to say this really isn't intrigue as much as it just really, really sad.


This year to make myself feel better Meridith and I thought up horrible things to say to the television when we saw women that made us want to roll our eyes. Like Jessica Biel...


"Hey, Jessica! Lift up that huge napkin on the front of your dress and 20 bucks says there's a hug chili stain underneath it! See? You ain't no different than me!"









Suspense...


Then Beyonce performed in a red sequined number with high heels on.
As if we didn't already want to take our big, pasty white bodies outside and run them over.



How is this moment suspenseful you ask? Well, the suspense came when we wondered if Meridith would be able to finish off her bowl of Blue Bell ice cream while watching Beyonce...but lo and behold, she did it!

It really was touch and go there for a while.

But that Meridith. She's a lot of things - but she ain't no quitter. Congratulations to her for not only wanting to throw the bowl at the indestructible pair of thighs on the television but also for polishing it off. Way to go, Mer.


Comedy...

So that was my weekend. Uneventful? I think not. For pete's sake, I saw Slumdog Millionaire and Madea all in one weekend. So I don't know whether to laugh or cry. But I do feel sure that once I shower, take this hat off and put my contacts in I'll feel much better.


Feb 20, 2009

Good Will Shopping.

Okay, this post started out as a personal plea for your help. It has since turned in to something different.

I was cleaning out our closet yesterday per the request of our Real Estate Agent who uttered on more than once occasion "floor space, floor space, they like to see floor space." And let's be honest, any one who comes to take a look at our house and peers into our closet will immediately lose both their interest and their lunch. And let's hope they've got good aim because when you open the door you have to stand there and just throw whatever it is you have in your hand and hope you hit the mark. Oftentimes I miss. Sooooo not the point.

Anyway, as I was cleaning out the closet I came across three things that have throughout these years become a thorn in my cellulite.

Here they are...


Here are three pairs of shoes that my husband refuses to part with.

In the far left corner we have a pair of 1982 Nike's. They are ugly. They are old. And they smell. But apparently the man had the winning free throw in them, won the All-state track and field competition or did his first break dance routine while wearing them, I'm not sure which. He won't tell me why I can't throw them out - he just tells me I can't. So when I look at them and how hideous they are I just close my eyes and imagine him doing something wonderful and life affirming in them. Otherwise I cry.

Then in the 1 o'clock position we have another pair of tennis shoes, Reebok this time. And as Meridith said (our local sports enthusiast she is), "Reebok still exists?" Why yes, Meridith, they do. But they only exist in this color and design in the costume department of "That 70's Show" or on the set of "Napoleon Dynamite." Not in my closet! Of course Brandon says they would be ultra cool if they came with those little pump-ups like they had in the 80's. Here's hoping!

And then lastly we have the pair of sandals that legendary actor Brian Deacon wore in the 1979 movie, "Jesus." Or maybe we bought them at Target 12 years ago I can't remember which. But the point is he NEVER wears them and yet will not let me get rid of them. Why? Meridith thinks it's because he is hoping beyond hope to get asked to play Barabus in the next Easter production.


After I told him that I would be posting something special about him and his little friends on my blog today he made Meridith go to my side of the closet and pull out two of his personal favorites.

But before you laugh

I would just like to say this:


1. Every time I ever wore these I twisted my ankle almost to the point of no-return. That right there should have been my cosmic sign.


2. The Aqua blue pair can currently be purchased in your local Avon book, I do believe. So don't be jealous and don't rush the stage, my lovelies. You, too, can own a pair for close to $12.99. Beauty...delivered to your door.


3. Look closely at the tag on the gold pair. You can pick up a pair of these beauties at Ross for $14. I kid you not.


They're ugly, I know that, I'll admit it. Which is why they - and the AG's shoes (ssshh! he's out of town - don't tell him) - are currently at the bottom of a black trash bag heading to my local Good Will. Because if I can't use them there has to be some 6 year old longing to dress up like a drag queen. Or an apostle.

Feb 19, 2009

What Would Jesus Do...I Mean You, What Would You Do?

Well, I can tell you today that if there is a video attached to this post it is because my husband loves me and he stayed up extra late to figure out how to attach it for me even though he's out of town and dead dog tired.

If there isn't a video it's because he wishes he had never married me and wishes he had continued making eyes at that skanky cheerleader back in college.

And although I am hoping that I go to bed tonight and when I wake up in the morning there is a video, I won't be holding my breath. And it won't really matter anyway, I can do this post without it; but it would be oh so nice and beneficial. That's all I'm sayin'.

*Edited at 1:12AM to say: Video? Who needs a video? Links are where it is at. And by the way, that cheerleader was making eyes at me, not the other way around. Besides, you were (and still are) always the bigger challenge my dear. Love, The AG.

So lately I've been hooked on a Tuesday night show, because there is just not enough television that comes on Tuesday nights what with the 18 hours of American Idol and Law and Order: SVU which I am completely addicted to. So I had to find something else to watch as my brain turns to mush - and I'm glad I did.

I love...

Does anyone else watch this show? And if so, what do you think?

Every week three or four different situaitons are posed with hidden cameras all around. The person causing the controversy is an actor, as is the person that is being harrassed or confronted, but the scenes are set amidst real people in real places. All of it is done with the lingereing question of "What Would You Do?"

One week there was the attractive young lady being constantly hit on by the guy next to her at the bar. Though both of these people were actors the folks sitting around them were not. So as his remarks got more and more suggestive, more and more forward, more and more "touchy-feely" the question became "what would they do?"

There was the real estate agent holding an open house (actor) who made racist comments to several of her visitors (also actors) while several other walk through visitors listened it. Racist comments? To someone's face? In 2009? What would you do?

The sad truth is - sometimes I know exactly what I'd do. And sometimes I don't.

I wish that I always did what was right. I wish that I was never afraid to confront or complain, speak up and speak out. I wish that I was never afriad to do the right thing...but regretfully, I am.

I suppose that's human, but that doesn't mean it's always right. I mean even the best of us got ridiculously angry and flipped over a tax table or two.

I suppose if He can do it - so can I.

But would I?

Then I watched this weeks episode. In this week's episode we saw the elderly man who was trying to drive; would someone step up to the plate and offer to drive him, call the police and report his inability to drive? Or would they stand by and let him endanger himslef and others? We also saw the aforementioned real estate agent and her racist comments. Oh man, that made my skin crawl. And then there was this...

A little girl, maybe 8 years old, is swinging in the park. Her nanny is taking wonderful care of her until the nanny suddenly needs to run the restroom leaving the little girl to swing alone. Warning her to remember the rules and not to talk to strangers the nanny leaves. Shortly a man approaches our little actress. His dog is lost (aren't they always), he has a picture to show her, and he needs her help to find him. She begins talking to him, even considers going with him...

What would you do?

You've been there, swinging your kids, helping them on and off the slides and you've seen every bit of this happen - do you step in? Do you speak up? Do you say something to him? Or do you say something to her?

It was interesting to watch and I found myself wondering what I might do. I truly believe that I am just nosy enough to overhear any conversation that is going on within 60 feet of me (it's a gift, I'm not gonna lie) and can respond to it within seconds. Which I would do. ESPECIALLY if it had to do with a child.

But things are much easier to profess to when you're sitting on the couch with a glass of sweet tea. Harder to do when it actually matters.

What about you?

Feb 18, 2009

Orange In The Face.

Dear Grandma & Bonga, Nonie & Poppy,

This is a video my mom was supposed to send to you on Valentine's Day. But then again she was also supposed to send Nonie and Poppy a Winnie the Pooh card that Remi and I signed, and she was supposed to send Grandma and Bonga a jar of Blackberry Jam...both of which are laying under the passenger seat in the car. Maybe when she finally gets around to sending them she'll also send the 13 Bic pens, 4 onion rings, and her left earring that also rolled up under the seat about six months ago.

Ah, well. Let's don't hold our breath, shall we?

I did enjoy making this video though, I must say. Especially since I got to eat carrots the whole time and she talked to me in that really shrill high voice she uses when she thinks she's being cute. Babies find it annoying. Don't tell her, though.

Just know that I love you and I"m sorry I missed sending you anything on Valentine's. Being punctual is not really our strong suit around here.

Oh, and I don't always eat in the nude. Though I can't say the same for her.

She's a pretty great mom though, I have to admit.

Love,
Rocco





video

Feb 17, 2009

Here's The Part Where I Cry.

I knew I was eventually going to have to write this post. But I also knew that if I wrote it then that made it all the more real. If I wrote it then the chances I could "back out" were terribly slim. If I wrote it then I would have to follow through. And I have never been good with the "follow through."

Fourteen years ago - FOURTEEN! - the Attorney General and I decided to step out into the unknown. We had been married all of ten months when we decided that we should pick up our lives and move to Nashville. We packed up everything we had in one of those super small U-haul trailers, put my cat in the backseat of my car, and headed to Nashville. I cried the whole way here. (Some months later I pulled out the jeans that I had worn on the day of our big move, in the pockets were wads of used Kleenex. That's how hard I cried.)

We have never, for one minute of one day of one year, regretted our decision to be here.

It was God's will at its best. Which isn't to say that living under the covering of God's will isn't always the best, cuz it is, but sometimes His will feels a lot better than other times. And that's how the decision to move to another state with a man I barely knew and a family I dearly missed felt. It just felt right. It felt good. I will never regret doing it.

Except for right now.

I kind of regret it right now.

Because as I am writing this post I am regretting that I ever moved here and fell in love with Tennessee. I am regretting that I found a church that drew me in, loved me, forced me to grow and encouraged me to serve. I am regretting that I found friends that felt like family. Because to have none of those things would mean that leaving them would be easy.

But I am finding leaving to be terrible, terribly hard. Yet leaving is exactly what God is now asking us to do.


But again...it is the will of God for our lives. For mine. And the AG's. For Remi and for Rocco. And I wouldn't remove myself from under it's protection and covering for all the money in the world.

Not ever. Not even on Saturday when we met with our Real Estate Agent and prepared to put the house - that we built from the ground up - on the market.

Not ever. Not even on Friday when I sat down with two of the most important men in my life, two of my pastors, and told them we were leaving.

Not ever. Not on Sunday night when we announced it to our Sunday School class and their first question was, "Can we still have game night at your house next month?" Which just blessed me - they have no idea.

Not ever. Even when I sat down with Meridith and Brandon and had to tell them. And knowing that leaving Meridith might be one of the hardest things I'll have to do.

But if you've ever walked a moment in the shadow of God's goodness then you know to remove yourself from under it is a silly, silly thing, indeed.

And so the AG and I will be packing it all back up - bigger U-Haul this time - bigger cat, too - and heading back to Texas. For a job that excites my husband in a way I haven't seen in a very long time. To the town I grew up in. To live around the family that I've always wanted my kids to grow up around.

And yet I will feel like a stranger there.

Because this is my home. It has been for some time now.

And leaving home is always hard. Almost as hard as going home.

Would you pray for us? Would you pray that our home sells and that God continues to provide? Would you pray that the adjustment is easy - especially for Remi who is madly in love with one Tobey Jones? And would you pray that we find as many friends there as we did here?

And one more thing...would you pray specifically for this? About twelve miles from my house here in TN is a beautiful cemetery that holds the memory of our son. The thought of moving 700 miles away from it makes me physically sick. I cannot imagine how I will feel the day I drive away as I can barely stand to think of it over 10 seconds at a time now. I could use some special comfort in this area. God is good, I know this.

I am excited about what the future holds for me and my family. I am excited to return to the Great State of Texas...I've always been a Texan. I'm excited about the prospect of real Mexican food and Barbecue. And I'm excited that my blog will only get more and more colorful with my family living right down the road.

But I'm even more excited about the fact that saying "yes" to God, when He asks something of us, means that He is pleased by our obedience and just might find us faithful.

And thankfully, He never frowns on a pocketful of Kleenex.

Feb 16, 2009

Weekend Recap: Roof! Eeee! Ohhh!

I cannot imagine what my life would be like if I were a drinker. Thank heavens I'm not, because I don't remember a single thing that happened from Thursday night until about Saturday morning around 8:45AM.

What happened to my Friday?

I honestly do not know.

I asked the AG, "what did I do on Friday?" and he said, "Uhhhh...I don't know. What did you do on Friday?" For the life of me I don't recall.

Which makes me think there is a good chance someone slipped a Roofie in my drink. Because as you know, there is a deep seeded desire in the heart of every male to drug a middle aged mother with two kids while she guzzles a Slurpee from the local Sonic. And I'm startin' to think that's what happened.

Maybe the reason I don't remember almost 30 hours out of my life is because this week I won the award for "Biggest Suck Face Mother On the Planet". Yep, it's an award. Look it up. And this week it was given to me when Remi began complaining to me last SUNDAY night that her arm was hurting.

SUNDAY night.

Believing that she was trying to edge out Kate Winslet for performance of the year I took her to her KinderMusik class on Monday thinking she would forget it was hurting and join in the fun. She didn't.
She didn't forget.
She didn't join in the fun.
Instead she twirled and sang and danced with big tears in her eyes all the while holding her right arm.

That was MONDAY.

But because I am the Biggest Suck Face Mother On the Planet I proceeded to take her to preschool on Tuesday, again thinking that being in the presence of her friends might do the trick. But when they called and said she was tackling other kids on the playground with one arm - I knew the girl had made her point. She was hurting.

TUESDAY. Hello? Someone call the authorities.

I crawled into the Orthopaedic office on my belly feeling for sure they would arrest me for child abuse or child endangerment or child neglect or child insensitivity or child procrastination, etc. And sure enough she had NurseMaid's Elbow. Yep, it's real. Look it up. After the doctor popped her elbow into place, and she screamed like it was naptime, I slunk back out to the car feeling like the worst mom on the planet. Which I am.

The AG said, "Don't you think you should quit beating yourself up and pay some attention to her?"

To which I replied, "You're absolutely right. Let's take her to Chik-fil-A. I need some nuggets."

Hey - if I'm getting the Bad Momma award at least I should receive it on a full stomach.

* Side note: This story completely reminds me of the "season" I went through when I was about 7 years old, and considering it was the 80's pay-phones were almost everywhere you went, and my mom says that no matter where I went and no matter who was standing around I would pick up the pay-phone and say, "1-800 Child abuse hotline? I need you to come pick me up." Which apparently was the tag line from some public service announcements that were being aired at the time. And she says the people would always look on with both amusement and concern. To which she would pull me away from the phone by my arm and say things like, "I'm fixing to give you something to call about." So I'm thinking they should have looked on with a tad more concern. That's all.

But then Wednesday, Thursday and Friday came along and I pretty much remember nada about those. The first memory I have is of Valentine's morning and the AG waking me up with hot chocolate and sweet gifts. Actually, there was no gift. Just a picture of a gift that he ordered for me but hasn't come in yet. (Which I cannot tell you all about - don't even ask - for the day I receive them I will be blogging about them with great joy that cannot be told. Wait for it! Itsa comin'!!)

The rest of Valentines day was spent cleaning house so the sitter could come and not think we were white trash.
Then we went on a date.
And came back home.
And made sure the kids were tucked in soundly.
Thanked the sitter.
Locked the front door.
Shut our bedroom door.
And...

The End.

Hope all you bad momma's had a good one as well.

Feb 13, 2009

365 Days of Love, Love, Love.

I was thinking about last Valentine's Day, and how much things can change in a year.

A mere 365 days ago I had no idea that I would bring home a perfect stranger that would steal my heart. Oh, that sweet Rocco. He came into my life and changed it completely. Thank goodness I didn't know about him last year, I would never have been able to hold out.




I had no idea that I could love Remi deeper than I did one year ago. I also had no idea she would talk more. Think more creatively. And get sneakier. It's been one heck of a fun year!





And who would have thought that the Attorney General and I would become even closer, better friends. But just like a fine wine, our relationship just keeps getting better and better.



I would never have imagine last Valentine's Day that my cousin Meridith, who has lived in Texas her whole life, would pack up everything she owned and move down the street from me. I had no idea that our relationship would move from "cousins" to "friends". I had no idea that my friendship with her would turn into one of the best I have ever known.



Last Valentine's Day I would have thought you were lying if you told me that within a year Meridith's brother, Brandon, would also move to town. And I would be able to convince him to watch The Bachelor, mow my yard and eat cookie dough with me. And watch someone who was once like a younger punk brother to me, turn into one of my husband's closest friends.




I can't believe a year later that my church has continued to grow by leaps and bounds. It has reached out to too many continents to name because it knows and understands the importance of furthering the Kingdom of God. And as proud as I was to be a part of that church last year, I am even more so this year.



I am happier and more fulfilled this Valentine's Day than I was last year (and last year was pretty darn good, if I do say so myself.)

But this year has been even better.
Even sweeter.
Even more lovely.

God has been just as faithful to me this year as He was last year. My love for Him grows deeper, as does my respect and awe. So I think I can say with full assurance that this has, indeed, been a lovely, lovely year.

Happy Valentines weekend. From my heart, to yours.

Feb 12, 2009

To Nadya From Melissa: A Not-So Dramatic Reading.

If I had 14 children
I’ll tell you what I’d do -
I’d never speak a sentence
That didn’t start with “pee” and “poo”

My words would run together
And my thoughts would cease to gel
Cuz if I had 14 children
I’d be on the 21st level of hell.

If I had 14 children
And all 14 had my genes -
Then I’d start a school for the Dramatic Arts
For all my drama queens.

I’d make them stand for pictures
I’d make them dance and pose.
And I’d shop our story to TLC
For one of those reality shows.

We’d probably go on Oprah
The View and Dr. Phil,
Who’d look me straight in the eye and ask,
“Ain't you never heard of the pill?”

And I’d tell him my sob story
Of how I had wanted to do IVF -
But since I couldn’t afford to do it the right way,
I’d bought a kit and done it myself.

And how I really thought I’d messed up
Lost my ten bucks along with my dream
But 9 weeks later my nose spread across my face
And I’d put on 48 pounds so it seemed.

And right then I knew there was a problem,
There’s no way I was carrying one!
So I had my doctor check the ultrasound
And that’s when I spotted my son…

And that’s when I spotted my daughter
And when I spotted my other daughter and my son
And when I spotted my other son
And my two daughters and my son.

And it’s also when I spotted my other son
And the son that son was covering up
And then I spotted another daughter and son
And another daughter and son…what luck!

And so I’d say, “Dr. Phil this isn’t anyone’s fault
I just wanted a big family.”
And he’d reply, “Considering the state our society is in
May I ask where the dad might be?”

And I’d take a deep breath in an relax
And wait for the steam to come out of his ears,
Because unfortunately my 14 kids don’t have a daddy
He left a forwarding address to Tangiers.

But I suppose who can really blame him?
All I’d asked for was a kitty cat.
And all he knew was he left for work one morning
And when he came home the house was quite packed.

“Uh, who are all these children?
Coloring my walls red, purple and grey?”
“Oh, I’m sorry dear. Didn’t I mention…
They’re all yours. Did you have a good day?”

He’d muttered something about hiding out,
About running off to an island, or a bar.
But with all 15 of us looking for him
I doubt he can get very far.

But that’s what you do when you have 14 children
You run off very, very far.
Because if you can’t stand the heat in the kitchen
Then you can’t be an internet star.

And that’s what I’m doing with my 14 children
I’m raking in the dough by singing my song
Because as everyone knows that 15 minutes
Of fame isn’t really that long.

And since I only have 3 ½ minutes left
I’ll do what I can and have a ball!
Cause when I’m left alone with these 14 children
There’d better be padding on my rubber walls.

Feb 11, 2009

I Also Like Swiss Cake Rolls.

When you are the mother of two little ones, "girls nights out" are few and far between. Can I get a "whatwhat" from some of my stay-at-home compadres?

And to be perfectly honest...pull in closely here, if I say this too loudly I am sure to be banned from all women's events from here on out...sometimes, sometimes, they are a tad overrated.

Sometimes I don't want to spend $40 on just my meal so we can eat out at the hippest place in town. I mean honestly, people, I ate a Lean Cuisine, some Mandarin Oranges and 3 M&M's I found on the floor, for lunch. I'm not a hard gal to impress.

Oftentimes I don't want to spend 8 hours looking in my closet for something to wear. I am not Carrie Bradshaw; I ain't even close. Don't make me go out and look like I am. If I had my druthers I would wear those stretchie pants that have the paint and spit-up on them and my dad's red T-shirt that he lent to me when I was in the 11th grade.

I don't want to have to hire a sitter and spray on Chanel and get my hair all teased up. Okay, that's a lie. I'll pretty much tease my hair up for anything...you don't even have to ask.

Now granted, sometimes these things are nice. Sometimes they are tons of fun and I'm glad I went. But more often that not...

I just want to go to a movie in the middle of the day with some of my favorite girls and it be completely unexpected and impulsive.

I want us to all get our own popcorn and our own Dr. Pepper's because we hate sharing!

I want to wear my comfy clothes because they love me ugly and they love me dressed up.

I want to go get soup afterwards that only cost $5 but spend two hours in conversation that is priceless.

I want to laugh and joke and talk about the Lord and talk about our husbands and talk about our kids and talk about the Lord some more.

I want to have someone else that can relate when I tell them, "No, I didn't like 'The Shack.' And yes, I thought 'Facing the Giants' might have been the worst acting. Ever."

And I want someone to tell me I need to pluck my eyebrows.

Kenda calls these moments, Little Debbie's. Just like the little snack cakes that don't take up too much room in your pantry - but sure do hit the spot when you eat them.

That's what today was. It was a Little Debbie kind of day.

It was...
Sweet.
Simple.
Low-Maintenance
Low-glam.
And it perfectly hit the spot.

Do you have any Little Debbie's in your life?

Feb 10, 2009

Hear Ye! Hear Ye!

On this the tenth day of the second month of the 2000 and 9th year, so let it written, so let it be done. I harken unto thee to heed these words and hold them close to thy chest. For they hold the key to a peaceful existence that is hitherto now been nonexistent for you.

It has been brought to my attention that many a Sunday School worker, Preschool volunteer and Mom's Day Out teacher has had a run-in or thorny word with my precocious youngster. That needn't be. For you see, just across the pond you will find me soaking up Scripture as the clergyman recites his verse and key...


(Okay, this has gone too far. I truly have no idea what I'm saying.
What I'm trying to say is this...)

On this day, Tuesday, February 10, 2009 let it go down in the annals (oh, I said it. Oh, yes I did) of modern history that what I'm saying is true and I mean it totally and completely and I. Ain't. Kidding. Because if you want to be able to enjoy your job and not dread it with every fiber of your being then you will want to hear what I am about to say.

Recently I have heard account of the atrocities my youngster is raising in one very well built Sunday School Program. I apologize now for this. But let me go on record as saying this, okay? Remember it.
Don't forget it.
Here goes...

Come get me.

Doesn't matter where I am. Doesn't matter what I'm doing. Doesn't matter if I'm singing in the choir. Or making notes in my Bible. I don't care if I'm on stage singing a solo and just about to break out into interpretive dance - Come. Get. Me.

This is how I was raised. And this is how she shall be raised.

When I was 7 years old my mother was playing the piano in the front of the church. I would not / could not shut up during the prayer time. My mother got up off of the piano, walked down four aisles, grabbed me by the arm and drug me up on stage to sit with her until the service was over. For another 19 minutes I sat while perspiration dripped down my 7 year old head. My stomach was in knots because I knew as soon as we reached our driveway at home I had indeed, met my doom.

Remi can look forward to the same kind of life.

So if she cries, or screams, throws tantrums or kicks. If she tells you she will not put down the play-dough and that she doesn't want to get off the slide. If she decides that Goldfish don't sound that great to her and she'd rather they fly across the room. Come. Get. Me.

If she growls or sneers, if she slaps or kicks. If she shirks or screeches or hits or rolls her eyes. Come. Get. Me.

And if you decide that coming to get me is too much trouble and I am, in fact, in the middle of the 2nd verse of a choir song, then I give you full authority to do your dead level best in correcting that situation - and sister, I back you up 100%! Because the rule that always applied in my home growing up also applied in the Attorney Generals home as he was growing up - and it stands for our kiddos as well - "The teacher is right and you is wrong."

So let it be written. So let it be done.

Feb 9, 2009

Weekend Recap: Me, George and the Marble Jar.

Aaaaaaaahhhhh. The lake. The lovely, lovely, lake. The most serene, quiet, inspirational place I have been to in a long time.

Which is really saying something considering I am one of those girls that would rather swim in my own filth than dip a toe in lake water. (Of course this is better than Meridith, who once refused to return a guy's call because she heard he enjoyed spending time at the lake. We are two peas...)

Anyway, my lake house experience this past week was wonderful. And I send a special "thank- you" out to all of you who left me a comment or emailed me a personal note just to say you were thinking of me, praying for me. Your prayers were a good part of the reason that I enjoyed myself so much, got so much accomplished and had such a wonderful experience putting my heart out on paper.

But you can only be gone for so long. Know what I'm sayin'? Mama can only stay gone from her little ones so long and then she has to get back. I mean, it honestly felt weird this week walking around the lake house with two available hands. Usually I have one that is constantly holding a spanking spoon. Wow! You can get so much more done with two hands.

Of course they were ridiculously spoiled while we were away, and thus I have spent the entire rest of the weekend correcting - with my trusty spanking spoon firmly in place.

By Saturday evening I had pretty much decided that one of two things were going to happen: my hand was going to eventually fall off or I was going to come up with something better. Enter: The Marble Jar.

I don't recommend this method if you are raising one of these three types of children:
1. A 2 year old that is overly dramatic in every sense of the word.
2. A child named Remi.
3. A 2 year old child that is overly dramatic and just so happens to be named Remi.

Between 4pm on Saturday until 8 pm on Sunday I heard her reasons as to why she needed to have a marble put in her jar...
"Momma, I woke up!"
"Momma, I'm smiling!"
"Momma, I like this shirt!"
"Momma, look at the dog...I'm petting the dog!"
"Momma, this milk is good. Can I have a marble?"

If it were up to her we would have filled and re-filled it 8 times by now. She really doesn't have the whole concept of the marble jar down as of yet. But has decided that when it does get full the prize she wants is: "to go to a moomie get some popcorn and then some icecream."

Like mother like daughter.

As I'm writing this the Attorney General and I are watching the Grammy's. Which I have to admit, is a total waste of time. If I really wanted to hear Sugarland sing with Adele I'll eat a half pound burrito and some spicy tuna sushi right before bedtime and have my own version of this horrific nightmare. But I pretty much feel that way anytime I hear Sugarland sing (sorry, my opinion probably not yours).

Also, do you realize that in once category these were the contestants: Jay-Z, Lil' Wayne, Lupe Fiasco, Nas and T.I. Do you realize that if you took all of those letters and scrambled them up they would spell: SomewheremymotheriswonderingwhyshebotherednamingmeRusty.

But as far as my weekend goes, the thing that got the biggest laugh out of me? Keenan. I love me some Keenan. If he's on the screen, I'm watching. So here's hoping your week starts off with a laugh.










Cause, as George Costanza said in almost every Seinfeld episode ever,

I'M BACK BABY! I'M BACK!!

Feb 2, 2009

I State My Regret.

Thank you, Dwight Shrute, for the greatest apology ever given. If you didn't see last night's Post Super Bowl Office Special, you missed it! I loved it even more than one single commercial from last night's game. In fact, I plan on using this line in case I ever decide to apologize again for anything; which the AG says there is a pretty slim chance of since he says I apologize about as much as I dust. Personally, I think I apologize pretty regularly, but he just bought himself a whole lotta fights ending with a smug...

"I state my regret."

Oh, and as far as "stating my regret" goes I would like to you all know that today's post will likely be the last one you see from me this week. That's right - momma's taking the week off.

I would now like to explain why. Even though chances are half of you don't care enough to ask and the other half have already hit your escape button. Whatever! I'm explaining anyway.

Monday morning, as you are watching the news to see if your child's school is closed because it's windy and 43 degrees, I will be heading out of town with the AG. He arranged for us to get away to a lake house for the week so that I can finish this business of writing that I started a while back.

For some time I have been writing the story of Elisha and my plans are to either finish it this week or at least get through some of the tougher parts. Either way, it will require me being somewhere quiet, secluded and toddler free. We have been deeply blessed to have been given all access to a beautiful lake house that is apparently rather large; the owner told David that he could stay on one side of the house while I was writing and we would never even bump in to each other. Now, that's my idea of a vacation!

I'm kidding, of course. Several people have asked why he's going with me if I want to get away and finish the book by myself. But there's an easy answer to that...much of the things I will be writing about this week my sweet husband was a part of. And as I sort through those feelings, and memories, and oh, the loss, it's him I want to curl up next to at night. And he, me.

So see? I have to take him. He's my right arm.

So this week, as you will have ten extra minutes added to your day since you won't be reading about my woes, my children or my mother, I ask that you pray for me. C'mon! It's ten minutes!

I ask that you pray for my focus, for my clarity of thought. And more importantly, I ask that you pray God would be with me during each memory I recall and each hurt that I feel. And that I would now - as I did then - feel Him near me; comforting me, loving me, and whispering to me that all will be well. Man, I love it when He does that.

So this week I dive head first into deep waters.
May God find me faithful to the story.
And may Elisha be proud.

Love to you all,
Melissa