Feb 24, 2010

Maybe I Should Read A Book On How To Solve My Problem About Reading This Book.

Today, I'm taking my cue from Gladiator, Spartacus, Ben-Hur, or any other movie where blood and soldiers were involved.

"You! Yes, you. You there in the bleachers. Third row, fifth from the left....come down here and fight me. Fight me like a man."

Okay, that may be a bit dramatic, but hey, I'm a bit dramatic.

But today I am calling out an author of a book I just finished reading. (*Let it be known that in the course of this blog rant I will not name said book. And you will not figure out what book it is because it is rather old and more than likely you haven't read it. And besides, the author is probably being held hostage in someones play room right now by a bunch of mama's who poured themselves some Sangria and are now tasering her with silly string. And laughing.)

But today I finished a book on child rearing.

This shouldn't surprise you. I read a different book on child rearing almost every week. I would be the same way if I were called tomorrow to fly on the next shuttle into space. That is how un-prepared for parenting I am.

So far I have read books on babies, toddlers, babies who take pacis, babies who won't take pacis, toddlers who scream, toddlers who cry, pre-k kids who argue like criminal defense attorneys, etc. etc.

Does it say anything to you that I own almost every book on parenting ever written and own even more spanking spoons? Does that tell you aannyytthhiinngg at all?

Before you go off half-cocked thinking that I really am that desperate for answers with my children, let me just say that "yes, yes I am." But also, I actually really like reading them. I have always liked books on marriage, families, child rearing and discipline. I find them interesting (who knows why) but I also find that I can say almost anything on those subjects now and people think I am an authority; and I use that small window to be both judgemental and condescending.

Weird. I haven't been invited to a party in a very long time.

But the book I recently finished struck a chord with me in a way that very few have. Now, let me say that it may be because I have been having some 3 year old struggles lately. And it may be because I tried to do all the lady said I should do. And it may be because my 3 year old laughed at me. Who knows. But here is the gist of the book: Teach your children about God.


I love the Lord. I love Him dearly. And I don't really need a book to tell me that I should teach my children about God; though I am thankful for the reminder because sometimes I get really caught up in my hair. But her message is that we should discipline our children by discipling the heart of our child and that the only way to do that is to teach them how Scripture would have them act.

Well, duh!!

Trust me, on more than one occasion have I wished that Remi would act the way Scripture teaches, but then on more than one occasion I have wished that I, myself, might act more like scripture teaches. Remi and I both fail miserably at times.

My question for you all today is: Is it just me or do you momma's find yourself disciplining children based off of the situation? Or are you able to stop, think, re-adjust and then discipline your child off of what scripture would have both them and you to do?

Let me give you an example.

Today I let my children go over to see their Nonie and Poppy. Going to see Nonie and Poppy should be a privilege and my children look at it that way. They ask from the moment the sun rises if they can go see them and although I almost always want to say "yes, yes, sure, go now, run, off you go..." I hold back and let them see Nonie and Poppy after they have been good, taken a nap, etc. But once it is time to finally leave Nonie and Poppies house? GOOODDDD FOORRBBIIIDDD. It is like the taming of the shrew. You have never heard such a racket. Kicking and screaming and yelling and rending of garments. Its really quite ridiculous. So, in that moment am I supposed to let my children scream and act like complete imbeciles until I can get them inside, pull out the Bible, read to a ONE and a THREE year old what Scripture says and then ask them to explain how they might do better next time.

Tell me honestly, is that what I am supposed to do?

Because if I were to write a parenting book it would be called, "As Soon As You Have Free Hand," because as soon as I have a free hand I jerk them in the house, remind them that going to see their grandparents is a reward for good behavior and can be easily taken away and then, well, in the south we call it "kickin' butt and takin' names." And that's what I do.

You see, today's post, though it sounds all "ranty" and "in your face," really isn't. I really want to know if what this author says is just book talk, or is it a method that many of you have found to work. It sounds hard to me. It sounds time consuming and like a lot of "talk" to my children. Whereas my goal has always been to teach them about the Lord on their level, at opportune moments, making Him the focus of our home and our hearts; and hope that the discipline I instill in them is a representation of our love and duty to Him. But to think that I may be doing something wrong because I don't pull out James 2 every time my kiddos are disrespectful left me feeling both exhausted and inadequate.

Has any book or any piece of wisdom ever made you feel that way?

I'm sorry this post has been so long, but I have been wanting to get this off my chest for some time now. I'm sure some of you are turning your noses up at me right now. Perhaps you're concerned that I carry a spanking spoon with me to Home Depot, that I have Super Nanny on TiVo or that I use grandparents as a method of bribery. That's okay. But I'll be thinking of this poor author and her kids the next time I discipline mine and three minutes later we are playing, hugging and holding one another. Whereas she is still knee deep in Revelation and the explanation of the seven seals.

Feb 23, 2010

The Bachelor: Melissa Tells All

Why do I watch this particular episode every year? I hate this one, I really do.

The one where all the women return and they look all fresh faced and like they rolled out of the tanning bed literally 12 minutes before taping.

Not to mention they are all giggly with each other and high-fiving and whatnot, when only one week ago they were trying to poison each other with Retin-A and Sally Hansen products. Sheesh.

It really is my least favorite episode of the year. And last night was no exception.

There was Ali and her tears: Oh, Ali, dry 'em up - you know you'll be the next Bachelorette. You're just one handshake and a signed contract away from being the very thing that drives Meridith and I to my leather couch week after week after incredibly sad week.

There was Gia and her bangs: Dear Gia, cut your bangs. For the love of God, cut your bangs. (She seems like such a sweet girl and I actually want to see her end up happy with someone, but my momma once told me "it don't matter how pretty your heart is, we can't see it for that zit on your nose." Only this time I feel certain she would have said it about Gia's bangs.)

There was Michelle, the resident psycho: Nothing really great to note here; except that reality television got it right this time! Because this girl really is nuts.

And then there was Chris Harrison: Oh, see, you thought I was going to say something about Rosalyn. But you would be sooooo wrong. No, see, last night didn't belong to her. It belonged to Chris. I would like to throw in some special quote right now about how some men are real class acts, but unfortunately the only thing I'm coming up with is Ron Burgundy saying, "I'm a man who discovered the wheel and built the Eiffel Tower out of metal and brawn. That's what kind of man I am. You're just a woman with a small brain. With a brain a third the size of us. It's science." Now, in no way am I saying Chris Harrison is Ron Burgundy - he most assuredly is not - and yet somehow after watching him talk to Rosalyn the quote still stands. Don'tchathink?

"In fact, I would like to take a moment and offer Chris a rose. Chris, would you accept this rose and be the host of this show until it either goes off the air or until God convicts me of watching it altogether?"
**Cheeky hug**
"I'd be delighted."

And now, my lovelies, we must continue on with our with our pilgramage knowing that this time next week Jake will have made his choice and we will be months away from my riveting - RIVETING - (and did I mention riveting?) posts on The Bachelorette.

What will we do? What will we do?

Let's hope that by this time next week Jake will be saying in the words of Ron Burgundy:

"I know that one day Veronica and I are gonna get married on top of a mountain, and there's going to be flutes playing and trombones and flowers and garlands of fresh herbs. And we will dance till the sun rises. And then our children will form a family band. And we will tour the countryside and you won't be invited."

Until next week, my lovelies.

Feb 22, 2010

Hey, Manly Men! Top This.

If someone held a gun to my head and said "describe your weekend in two words" they would undoubtedly be........Twilight and Zone.

This weekend was a blur.

This weekend was odd.

This weekend was drug induced.

And Rod Serling may or may not have been narrating in the background, I can't be sure.

On Friday evening, one hour before The AG and I were to go out with friends to have dinner and see Shutter Island (can't wait! Don't tell me about it! Don't rub it in if you saw it!), Remi threw up all over the carpet in my bedroom.

Then she threw up again.

And again.

And then several more times.

And then - after her daddy went and picked up a prescription for her along with some Pedialyte, some Coke, some Sprite, a People magazine and an US (okay, it wasn't alllll for her) and got back home - I threw up.

And then I threw up again.

And then again.

And then again, every two hours, all night.

Thankfully Rocco spent the night with Nonie and Poppy who didn't want him to catch whatever it was me and Remi were laying down. Unfortunately it didn't stop them from knocking on our door at 8am with one sick little Rock Star.

What can I say? When it rains it pours.

Oh, and then there's The Attorney General. Who was SUPPOSED to be taking care of all of us but then decided to be totally self-focused and start throwing up himself. I hate it when he does that.

So that was Friday. And Saturday morning. And Saturday afternoon.

But its not called the "24 hour stomach bug" for nothing. Because 24 hours later Remi was up and raring to go. She wanted to go to Poppy's, she wanted to ride horses, she wanted to go to a circus and she wanted some pasta. Hmmmm, that doesn't sound like a lot to ask. Let try to make all that happen, shall we?

Except for one small problem.

Apparently at some point in the 8th grade when I tried my very first cigarette and hated it and cried and maybe even threw up a little and then lay down on the ground and begged God to forgive me but knew that some day He was really going to get His punishment in - well apparently, He waited until this weekend.

Because on Saturday night, about 3 hours after my last "hurrah" over the old porcelain throne, I had a kidney stone attack.

There is a God. And He is vengeful, make no mistake.

So for six hours on Saturday night I drank water and prayed that God would flush my system in such a way that not only would my kidney stone pass but so would my desire for anything chocolate or the memories I have of watching General Hospital the summer of my 8th grade year when my mom told me I wasn't allowed to.

And finally He relented. Not the chocolate. That's still there. As are my feelings for Rick Springfield aka Noah Drake.

But the stone? Gone.

I am a pro.

Oh sure there was weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth, but finally I passed the little booger. And saved it. And showed it my family the next day. Because sadly, we are totally into that kind of stuff.

What? What was that? Did someone just ask me to sing I Am Woman Hear Me Roar? Well, alrighty then.

Feb 19, 2010

Cast Your Vote.

I never put up videos. So y'all just hush.

But here is something from The Civil Wars that some of friends of mine were discussing. Some of us loved it, some of us hated it. But it's kind of like Sarah Palin, love her, hate her, she certainly has you talking.

(Please feel free to replace Palin with anything [i.e. Jessica Simpson, Grey's Anatomy, Dear John, Blue Bell, Breastfeeding a 4 year old, etc., etc.]).

So in the comment section leave me your vote. Just one word.


Or Quirky?

Either way, have a cool and quirky weekend my lovelies.

Oh...and no breastfeeding a 4 year old. That's just wrong.

Feb 17, 2010

Pink Eyes and Chocolate Fingers.

Is this rude? But next Valentines I am going to ask that in lieu of any candy you might have wanted to give my children you instead give to The Human Fund. (If you know Seinfeld then you know that reference. If you don't know Seinfeld then stop reading this blog immediately.)

But for pete's sake, just how much Valentine candy can two small people get?

I'm their mother and even I didn't give them that much. In fact, I bought them one of those bags filled with an assortment and then, to help the cause, I ate all the Reese's out of it. So see? I'm trying to do my part.

But they now have so much leftover candy that I have resorted to saying "Yes, you can have a piece of candy if you will ____." That blank is now filled in with the likes of:
"brush your teeth,"
"eat your dinner,"
"clean your room,"
"quit calling me momma,"
"stop trying to light your brother/sister on fire,"
"continue breathing,"
"not stare directly into the sun."

Stuff like that. I'm running out of things to give them candy for. I'm sure some of you are saying "just throw the stuff away - what's your problem?" What's my problem? What's your problem? When there are perfectly good granola-loving-tree-hugging-home-schoolers somewhere right now not getting any candy then how can you suggest we throw it away? We don't eat it for us. We eat it for them.

There's a good chance that my children have eaten so many things with pink wrappers on them that is why Rocco now has the Pink Eye. (Why did I capitalize Pink Eye? Out of reverence?) Anywhoo...I took him to the doctor yesterday because when it comes to vomit, I'm fine...blood, I can take it...diarrhea, I can deal....eyes boogers? I'M OUT!

And sure enough he has Pink Eye and an ear infection. Which just goes to show you when your son is tugging on his ear he is not, in fact, wanting to try on mommies earrings. So you can calm down AG...he wasn't wanting to try on my silver hoops. In fact, as I write these words he is crushing a beer can with his fist and wearing camo. Actually, he's climbing the counter to see if he can unwrap a little pink chocolate heart with a picture of Barbie on it.

Oh wait, that's me.

Feb 16, 2010

The Bachelor: Fantasy? Suh-Weeeet!

Dear Diary,

A lot of men probably don't keep diaries. But I am not like a lot of men. For instance, some men wear undershirts so that you can't see through their dress shirts. Whereas, I choose to let my nipples do the talking.

A lot of men find love at their office, maybe doing local charity work or maybe in church. Not me! I go on television to find my mate. That way, I have actual footage of my many make-out sessions. But, it's like I always say, "to each his own."

But Diary, this past week has really gotten me confused. Would you help me sort out my feelings? Maybe if I write down all the things I am thinking right here on paper then my heart will be able to make the clear cut decisions it needs to.

Here goes...

This week I went on three fantasy dream dates with three beautiful women. Okay, okay, one really beautiful woman. One woman with a really great set of....morals. And another woman with, well, a really great set.

The dates were beyond anything I could have imagined. There were sunsets and rain forests. There were beaches and pirate ships. There were candle lit dinners and picnics. Helicopter rides and did I mention, pirate ships? I know what you're thinking Diary, and I agree: It was so real life. I mean, it just doesn't get any more real than this, ya know what I mean? Once I went on a date with a woman and we spent two hours at a grocery store and then fixed spaghetti while watching Jeopardy. And I remembered thinking, "Really? Who does this? Not real couples. Real couples dive into Caribbean waters and walk into hotel rooms filled with rose petals and pre-drawn bubble baths. I can't be with someone who eats spaghetti!"

We broke it off shortly after. It never would have worked.

I'll be honest Diary, it just wasn't working with Gia. She's beautiful and all. She's also kind and sweet. But I just didn't see her as my wife. I mean, look at her. She doesn't have an eye that wanders to the left every time light hits it like Vienna, so how can I love her? I knew I had to call it off with her and so I did.

But now Diary, its really gotten difficult. I have trouble even explaining what I mean. But I will try.

Do you know those little cartoon illustrations where there is a guy standing there with a devil on one shoulder and an angel on the other?

I'm that guy.

I mean, here I stand. In my pilots uniform (because as I once said, "My office is at 30,000 feet" - women love it when I talk like that). And I have an angel with a Betty Boop voice on one side and a she-devil with Paris Hilton's stylist on the other. And I don't know what to do!

Do I choose the woman who agreed to go to the fantasy suite with me even though she never promised anything would happen and told me that she was really uncomfortable in these kinds of situations and she seems to have really great morals?

Or do I choose the woman who walked in, changed into a negligee and closed the bedroom door in my producers face?

Do I choose the woman who told me how excited she was to have a picnic with me because it was the simple things that mean the most?

Or do I choose the woman who made out with me on a pirate ship while 15 crew members looked on from 10 feet away?

Do I choose the woman who makes me think with my head?

Or the one who makes me think not with my head?

Do I choose the woman it would be easy to take home to momma?

Or the one I could use the world "easy" with in almost any sentence?

See my problem Diary?
I don't know whether to choose Laura Ingalls or Paris Hilton.
Sleeping Beauty or Jessica Rabbit.
Any Hilary Duff movie or The House Bunny.

Suffice it to say: my head says one thing, my Dockers say another.

Oh, Diary. You are no help to me at all. What to do, what to do, what to do. Some days I wish I could just run away from this drama and do something less difficult, less stressful, less nerve-wracking; like pay bills, fix a flat tire, drop three kids off a three different activities that begin at exactly the same time, or spend an entire afternoon with in-laws. Ya know? Something less realistic and more "dream like."

I've had enough of these real life situations. I'm headed back to my pirate ship.

See you at 30,000!

Feb 15, 2010

When Your Heart Lives In Two Places.

Sunday. On the way home from church.


Remi: Dad, I think I have fever.

AG: You do?

Remi: Yes, Texas is giving me fever.

AG: Texas is?

Remi: Yes, it is giving me fever. So maybe we shouldn't stay here anymore.

AG: Well, where would we go?

Remi: Maybe we could go back to Tennessee.

Poppy: Remi, why would you want to go back to Tennessee?

Remi: Because I miss my room. And my house. And my toys. And Toby.

Poppy: But if you left Texas I would be so sad.



Sometimes I wonder if Tennessee misses us as much as we miss Tennessee.

Here's hoping that our room and our toys and our Toby don't forget about us. Just in case our fever gets too high and we have to come back.

Feb 11, 2010


There is a rule for blogging. It isn't a widely known rule, its more like one I made up myself. In some ways its my Mission Statement for my blog. Here it is:

The Stretch Marks blog will be dedicated to real life. Yada, yada, yada and blah, blah, blah. But it will primarily focus on the pain and embarrassment of others. Let it be known that if I know you, your predicament is my amusement.

See? Its easy.

The only problem with a Mission Statement like this is that it lends itself to people hating me. Or people not wanting to get too close to me. Or people avoiding me altogether. But I've always been a loner so to each his own. Pointing out the pains of those closest to me is something I find endearing in my personality. Its kind of like the way I snort when I start laughing really hard. Or the way my fingers dig into your side until you bleed when I try to tickle someone. See? I'm endearing.

But today, my lovelies, I have chosen to turn over a new leaf. Today I will share a tale with you that, well, happened to me. Today I share with you - my pain.

It is what we in the literary world call "a bloggable moment." I didn't personally refer to this story as a bloggable moment, that would have been my mom, who after hearing the story wiped the tears from her eyes and said, "oh yeah...this is going on the blog. This is what obnoxious people like you call a 'bloggable moment.' "

If you were to come out to our compound on any given day you would meet Mr. Patrick. Mr. Patrick has worked out here "the hill" for many years now. He is a little bit of a Renaissance Man. If it needs mowing or moving or painting or plumbing, if it needs to be hauled or built or burnt or chopped, if someone needs something pushed, pulled, plowed or picked up - he's your man.

He hung up the Christmas lights on my house. And then he took them down. It was the only time all season that I saw The AG wipe tears from his eyes. We love Mr. Patrick.

But unfortunately Mr. Patrick will never be the same.

As I do every morning of my natural life I got up, took a shower and proceeded to style my hair as if God were coming back and I needed to look the part. I don't believe one can have a fair shake at a day if they're hair isn't in top form. But I digress...

So on this particular morning, like most mornings, I am standing in the bathroom drying my hair when Remi comes to the door and begins wailing about something I can make no sense of. I hear things like "SCHOOL" and "DOOR" and "ROCCO" and I think I heard something like "SCURVY" but I had the blow dryer in my ear so I can't be sure. But as usual, I replied with a "Remi, I'll be done in just a minute - go play."

And as usual, she doesn't go far. Instead, her and Rocco begin to fight over something just outside my bathroom door. Or at least I think they're fighting. They are both standing there. And there bodies are in motion. So I'm assuming they are fighting over something. So I lean out to tell them to "STOP! I'LL BE DONE IN A MINUTE!" When I see what it is they are fighting over.

Mr. Patrick has come into the house. He has a question to ask and Remi assured him it would be just fine to go see momma blow drying her hair.

And here is the part where I forgot to mention: Every day of my life I blow dry my hair.......................................................................................naked.

Naked. Okay? There. I said it. Naked. I'll say it again. Naked.

I can't help it. I get really really hot and the lights in there are scorching down on me. And the dryer only adds to the hotness. And whenever I sweat my make-up off it just makes me so mad. And plus I live in East Texas and so even the coldest day is pretty hot. And you know what? I don't have to explain myself. I don't. I have every right to blow dry naked. Every right. Naked. Naked. Blow dry naked.

I am not ashamed.

So there I was. In all my glory. When I leaned out of the bathroom door to check on my kids and saw Mr. Patrick face to face. Well, it wasn't so much face to face as it was face to Laverne and Shirley.

"Laverne, Shirley, this is Mr. Patrick. Mr. Patrick, meet Laverne and Shirley. I would wave but I don't find it necessary." (I didn't actually say this, mind you, I only imagined I did. Actually what I did was scream like Jamie Lee Curtis ala Halloween 1.)

To make matters worse - it that's even possible - is that my daughter found this whole exchange to be one of the most joyful moments of her short existance. Suddenly, it was as if she were 16 years old and knew exactly what had happened, she literally doubled over laughing and continued repeating "...oobies, oobies. Mr. Patrick and your oobies." And so I responded to her as if she was 16 by stating, "Remi Hope, I'm fixing to ball up my fist and punch you in the nose if you don't hush." But she couldn't - she was a goner. And after I swallowed a good heavy chunk of my pride I laughed too. Becuase in all honesty it was just like something I would have - and probably have - done to my mother.

The saddest part to this whole thing is that moments later Mr. Patrick lost his sight.

He also lost the ability to ever look at another woman the same way again. I mean honestly, who can measure up?

My family was all abuzz at this story. Not because I told them - I didn't. But because my mother called each one of them and told them, in detail, about my pain. She's kind like that. They are all hoping Mr. Patrick doesn't quit out of pure shock. (Shock and AWE more like it!) The Attorney General didn't find it one bit funny, however.

I asked him, "Aren't you the least bit mad that a grown man walked into our house because a three year old told him it was fine?"
To which he replied, "No. I'm just worried that there's a good chance he'll be asking for a significant raise. For both you and him."

Why do I stay with these people?

Feb 10, 2010

Senior Road Trip.

This blog post either
a.) needs much explanation or
b.) needs none.

I am not sure which.

So I am going to go with the "less is more" approach. I am simply going to tell you that yesterday I traveled out of town with my Uncle Dave, my Granny, my aunt Melba and my mom. They went in order to spend time with some family that lives out of town. I went because I needed material for my blog.

And boy, did I get it.

The following is a list of things you might have heard had you been stuck sitting in a van with Angelina counties finest senior citizens. God help you.

"Now that's a good little place to get an onion."

"She bought you a vibrator. Did you already lose it?" (This was in reference to a back massager that they still refer to as anything but a back massager.)

"She wears so much perfume it makes daddy want to choke. Every time he was around her he wanted to choke. "

"Hey! My phones ringin'! How do I answer it? How do I answer it?" (After answering it...) "Hello, there! You're my first customer."

"I'm not supposed to tell you this. But if we promise to 'pray about it' I don't really see anything wrong with telling you."

"You can't stake out a church, can you? Can you stake out a church?"

"People in Hollywood are midgets."

"He says he's going down there to fish but he just sleeps. And he's too dumb to know there's MOCCASINS!"

"Sometimes God blesses you with free bras."

"Are they cute?"
"They are not cute."
"They're not cute?"
"Well, they tried to fix themselves up..."
"Mother, they are not cute. So just turn around."

"Uncle Dave, on a scale of 1 to 10 how much fun are you having?"
"He's not getting anything he wasn't expecting!"

Sign up now to reserve your spot for the next outing.

Feb 9, 2010

The Bachelor: Hometown Homies.

Tonight Jake went on the four hometown dates. Oh, and there was drama.

I know, right?
On The Bachelor?
But yeah...there was.


Hometown Date #1: New York

With: Gia

Best part of the date: When Gia and Jake were on a boat touring the city of New York and Gia points and says "...that is the Statue of Liberty." It was then that I knew one of those two people should be pushed over board. If, in fact, he did not know the Statue of Liberty when he saw it -then it should be him.

Most cringe inducing part of the date: When Gia's brother Erick told Jake that if he hurt his sister he would track him down and break a few bones. This appeared odd to me because Erick looked like he might weight 82 pounds soaking wet and Jake could easily take him in a bar fight or even a game of ping pong.

One Reason Why I know Gia Is The Next To Go Home: Because her mom...
a.) told Gia that her "intuition" and her "gut" was that this thing with Jake was going to work out and therefore IT WON'T!!
b.) Because her mom tried to read Jake's cards. And men are scared off by anything they can't explain. And when a woman with a Jersey accent begins to read your cards and claims "you're at a crossroads and you're having trouble making up your mind" and she knows you are currently starring on The Bachelor, well, I mean, c'mon, who can explain that?


Hometown Date #2: Somewhere in Massachusetts, I think. Somewhere in New England. The trees were orange, that's all I know.

With: Ali

Best part of the date: When Ali took Jake to her deceased grandmother's house and when they walked inside the grandmother's picture was propped up on the fireplace even though the house was empty. I know that was probably just staging, but still, that was weird. (Oh, and also because I could have almost sworn that I saw that very same woman in an episode of Law and Order:SVU not three weeks ago. I'm just sayin' Ali, you're grandma is alive and well and starring as a repeat offender on SVU.)

Most cringe inducing part of the date: See above description of staging.

One reason why I know Ali is the next to go home: Because Ali was the next to go home. This will be explained in detail below. I know, you're holding you're breath aren't you?


Hometown Date #3: Oregon

With: Tenley

Best part of the date: Tenley's dad. Her sweet dad. Her sweet sweet dad. Who must be wondering how his baby girl ended up on a game show for love and was still sweet enough and man enough to be both gentle and kind, firm and authoritative. That's good folk.

Most cringe inducing part of the date: When Tenley decided to dance for Jake and did so to Pachelbels Canon in D, which a lot of brides walk down the aisle to. Why she didn't just go ahead and bust a move to The Wedding March or the theme from Ice Castles, I don't know.

One reason why I know Tenley will be the next to go home: Hmmm...I don't know that she will. He and Tenley have a sweet thing going, if she would just eat a big bowl of shutty stew about her ex-husband. Sheesh, woman. Drop it already. I realize its a big part of her past, but at some point I expect her to go ahead and ask, "Do you pee with the seat up or down? Because my ex-husband always had it down...and he was mean to me!!!!!!"


Hometown Date #3: Florida

With: Vienna

Best part of the date: I think the best part of this date was when Jake told Vienna's entire family that not any of the women in the house liked Vienna. And not one person at the table looked one bit surprised. This was the best (and worst) part of the date, to me. I mean, seriously, do you want to be married to the woman that makes enemies everywhere she goes? The woman that when you tell her whole family NO ONE in the house liked her - they shake their head up and down while saying, "that doesn't surprise us." Really??

Most cringe inducing part of the date: Hmmm...where do I begin. Maybe it was when Vienna's little dog licked her in the face. Or when Vienna told us her daddy bought her the rock on her finger as a "please don't go off and elope again" ring. Maybe it was when Vienna's dad walked in on Vienna and Jake laying across her bed kissing. Or maybe it was just every single time Vienna's dad talked to Jake while looking through what can only be described as coke bottle glasses (dear Lord, those things were huge.)

One reason why I know Vienna will be the next to go home: I don't think she will. Trust me. She won't. She will be there at the end. And she will still be wearing something low cut. And her hair extensions will still be blowing in the wind. And she will still have that one cross eye and the producers will be like, "Vienna, look over here. No, over here. No, this way Vienna. Look this way. Ahhhhh, never mind."


Most dramatic thing to happen on last nights episode: Ali chooses to go home in fear of losing her job.

Which brings me to the question I asked ever since Ed did the same thing to Jillian the season before...........DID NO ONE GET PERMISSION FROM THEIR BOSS BEFORE SIGNING UP FOR THIS GIG? Or did they just take a long weekend? Is somewhere Ali's boss sitting there going, "I thought Ali was running to Starbucks. Where the heck is she?" I mean, if you signed up for The Bachelor and all you have are three weeks left....then stick. it. out. I mean, for pete's sake, even if you don't get chosen in the end you still signed up for this. AND you get to go to St. Lucia next week. I mean, honestly, isn't that enough? I quit working the accessories counter at Dillard's in 1995 when I found out my girlfriends were going to Tyler shopping for the weekend.

But I don't know that you should ever take work experience from me.

I'm just sayin'.

Feb 8, 2010

This Will Take All of Two Minutes.

Thank you all for giving me the week off last week. See, blogging is a lot like a job. Granted, you don't have to apply for it. And no one can really "fire" you from it. But in some way or another people expect you to at least show up for it. (Okay, maybe just my Granny expects me to show up...but nonetheless, she's counting on me, people.)

Blogging is kind of like the summer I worked for my dad. Except that when I'm blogging I'm not falling asleep under the desk. And you guys are not firing me like my dad did.

Okay, so its nothing like that.

But I digress.

Last week was quite an emotional week. In the span of seven days I had to attend a funeral of an uncle I adored and I had the flu. Let me just tell ya, when you bury someone you love the flu seems like rainbows and ice cream. But still, this flu hit me hard and fast. Kind of like that truck load full of Mexicans I hit on my first day of 10th grade in my new car. I hit 'em hard and I hit 'em fast. I tried to apologize but they fled the scene.


I would love to catch you up about an exciting week and weekend, but it was anything but. I think the most exciting aspect of my weekend came when...

I would like to go on record as saying that I have finished the above sentence four different times but keep deleting what I type out. Mainly because once I write it, I read it and realize how pitiful my weekend was and how embarrassing it would be for you all to find out what little life I actually have. So I am not going to finish the sentence, for, in fact, nothing exciting happened over my weekend.

Though I hear there was some kind of game on. So I made this for our big Super Bowl shin-dig. And it was a winner.

Buffalo Chicken Dip

1 package of cream cheese, softened
2 cans of white meat chicken
Franks hot wing sauce, to taste
1/2 cup of blue cheese salad dressing
1/2 cup of Blue cheese crumbles

Blend well. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes or until bubbly. Serve warm.

Yep, that was the extent of my weekend. I made dip.

How was yours?

Feb 3, 2010

Central Park.

When you close your eyes, how do you picture perfection?

When I close my eyes I picture several things: a lush, green pasture, with wildflowers and cows. I think of a cabin in the Rockies, so encased with snow that the front door won't open for days. And I think of my family, around a table, with tons of catfish in front of us and starry spring night hanging over us.

You may think of Rome.

My "UnkaDonald" thought of Central Park.

Who knows why. Maybe he had been there before. Maybe he had just seen it in a movie. Or maybe when the beauty and glory of heaven invades our mere mortal mind, words must give way to images that we've never seen before, and that words cannot capture. So we try our best to put words to what we're seeing. Water.........Green...........Beautiful..........Lush...........Central Park.

And so it was Central Park that my Uncle Donald traveled to. Four days before he passed away. At least that's what he told us.........


For almost a week my Uncle Donald (Meridith and Bubba's father) had been on a breathing tube. It was doing more than keeping him alive, it was driving him up a wall. He wanted to talk, yet couldn't. He wanted to drink, but wasn't allowed to. He wanted to smile, but even found that hard.

So four days before my uncle died his family made the decision to remove that tube, that darn tube that made him itch and scratch and mad as heck, and on the day they removed it, he continued to breathe. And then, suddenly and surprisingly, he began to talk. It had been days since they had heard him utter a single sound but then there he was propped up in bed and motioning for them to come over.

"I'm sorry I've been away for so long."

They assured him it was okay.

"I went on a trip."

"Really? Where did you go daddy?"

"I went to Central Park."

And it was then that they saw the payoff to all the pain medication the doctors had him on. Hmmmmm...Central Park. Interesting. Did you go there on a spaceship daddy? Inside they began to laugh. But he continued...

"I wasn't by myself. I saw Roy. He was over by the water watching the kids play."

Roy was my Pawpaw. He died a few years ago. Their ears began to perk up.

"I sat around and had espresso..."

A Starbucks in Heaven? Meridith was suddenly completely fixated on his every word.

"...with Charles and Joe and Mike."

Charles, Joe, Mike. Three of Donald's best friends who died suddenly, tragically and way too early. But who served God faithfully alongside Donald for many many years. But this couldn't be. Maybe he was just thinking of these men, dreaming of them. Let's test him.

"Daddy, was Bubba there?"


"Daddy, was Uncle Gene there?"


They knew then that no one who was still alive was there with him. Just him and Joe and Charles and Mike.

"It was just us and Jesus."

"Jesus was there?"

"Yes, he stopped by twice. The first time He just wanted to hang out with us and talk. The second time he came by and just told us how much He loved us."

And their testing ended. What was left to say? To ask? Why put to the test what their earthly mind could never comprehend? Oh, wait, there is one question...

"Daddy, why did you leave?"

"I didn't want to. But I couldn't keep up. I hurt too much. So I told them I would be back later and I'd catch up with them."

And four short days later, he did.

Oh sure, there were moments that still lay us out on the floor with laughter due to some over medicated babblings. And to this moment we aren't sure why he felt the need to fill up propane tanks or bake a cake. But for a moment, a small window of time, he was as clear and concise as he had ever been. About anything. Ever.


To this day we don't know if Donald had ever been to Central Park, ever seen it as a child or just witnessed it in You've Got Mail, One Fine Day or half a million other movies (or Law and Order episodes, but usually there's a murder victim there so I'm choosing not to go with this notion). But what we do know - what we choose to believe - is that in that final moment, between the here and the there, he caught a glimpse of something that we cannot explain. Something beyond green, something beyond beautiful, something beyond lush, something beyond pleasant...something like home.

So. What will your heaven look like?

And may we, like Donald, make it there in a worn out body, from doing all the work he could for the sake of the Kingdom. And may we find ourselves such good servants of Christ, that even Jesus stops by for espresso and to shoot the breeze.

Now, that really would be heaven.

Feb 1, 2010

She Is Her Daddy's Girl.

And she always will be.

Meridith and my "UnkaDonald" (1960-2010)

Who went to be with Jesus on Friday night...

And now resides in Central Park.