Jun 29, 2010

Special Days.

Well, for all my fussin' and complainin', I would just like to go on record as saying:

Four is mucho better than three.

(Now, someone, please! Hurry! Knock on wood.)

My plan for this summer consisted of this: Send Remi to camp every day, all week. For eight weeks. Never look back. And never give her the chance to talk me out of it. That was the plan.

I never, ever, stick with the plan.

How could I? She went to camp for two weeks and then told me that she just "wanted to hang out" with me for a while. So that's what we did last week, we hung out. Oh sure, Monday, Wednesday, and Friday weren't that fun because we had Rocco with us and that kid can really bring down a girls outing, what with all his "ball" and "toot" and "poopoo stinky" stuff he goes on and on about.

But Tuesday and Thursday? That was all about us.

We took in a movie. Shared a popcorn and Dr. Pepper. Got pedicures. Ate fresh guacamole. And topped off the day with a rainbow snow cone. (Rainbow for her, I'm a Bahama Mama myself.) And what a difference a little hang time will do. I found that when you give a four year old girl your undivided attention - and you throw in a pedicure for good measure - she will tell you anything.

I know how much she adores her daddy. But I also know that she is "four years old now and daddy needs to change. his. attitude."

I know she secretly wants Gabriel to be her boyfriend.

I know she loves pink nail polish but when she is "old as momma" she wants red.

I know she loves Target but only if we are shopping for her.

I know that she loves her church and her friend Victoria.

I know that when I leave her with Nonie and Poppy that Poppy is the only one who spanks. Nonie just tells her "tell your momma I spanked you so she won't get mad at Nonie, okay?"

Two and three was incredibly hard for me with Remi. I'm not imagining four is going to be a cake-walk, but there is a light at the end of the tunnel, I can almost see it. And being with her these last two weeks has been special; a real mother/daughter kind of special.

I haven't lost my cool or overreacted (okay, maybe once or twice). I haven't worked up a sweat or downed Rapid Release Tylenol. I've just enjoyed her.

And when you enjoy someone - they enjoy you back.

Remi: Momma, you're my best friend.
Me: And you're mine, too, Remi Hope.
Remi: Remember that. Even if I'm not saying that tomorrow.

Okay, I will.

Jun 27, 2010

My Thoughts.

Why won't He just let me be?
Why won't He leave me alone?

Why must He be so persistant? So relentless?

Why won't He stop pursuing me?
Stop prodding me?
Stop asking of me?

Of course I say that. But what if He did?

What if one day He really did stop?

What then?

I say I'm unhappy here, where I am, this place.
But where would I be then?

I say I'm miserable with the way I am.
But what I would be like then?

I say "I can't live like this another day!"
But what if I had to?

What if nothing ever changed
or grew
or increased
or matured
or thrived
or flourished
or flew
or bloomed
or blossomed
or lived....
because He went away.

All because I asked Him to.

What then?

So how much do I want Him?

Enough to do something?
Enough to listen when He speaks?
Enough to move when He prods?
Enough to grow when He waters?

Enough to fly when He pushes?

I say I want Him to leave me alone.

But I don't.

Jun 24, 2010

Tis The Season.

It's NCAA College World Series time around here.

Big surprise: I careth not.

But they do!

Yeah, they really, really do.

But her? Well, she careths even less than me.

And that's my girl.

Jun 23, 2010

I Regret To Inform You...

So my Bachelorette posts have been few and far between this season. And by "few" I mean none. And by "far between" I mean months and months since my last one. In fact, I haven't written one at all on this new season.

But I am finding it hard to care about this season. And I wanted to, I really did. I wanted to care whether or not Ali ever found love after losing out on Jake last season, but I don't root for Ali the same way I was rooting for Jillian. Maybe because Ali is so cute and so tan. Her hair extensions actually look real and her smile lights up a room. You're telling me this girl couldn't get a date?


Doesn't ABC get it? I don't want to see a show about a girl who just hadn't found the right guy even though she had a different one approaching her any given Saturday night. I want to see a show about a girl who was just down. on. her. luck. Maybe that's why I kinda liked Jillian. She was cute as could be - but she put off this vibe; this "uh, oh, I'm getting older and most of the guys my age are married and I'm not and I'm starting to freak a little" kind of vibe.

Oh, and Turkey and Iceland? Romantic? What are they thinking? You can find more romance on the first Saturday of the month at the 75904 trade days (a.k.a. giant flea market). I know, I've seen people falling in love over mismatched china and Daniel Boone hats.

But what this post is really about.............Jake and Vienna. Its over. Why? What happened? I never saw it coming. Ever. Or did I? I did. I totally did.

Do you realize that is one season I will never, ever get back?


Jun 21, 2010

Ten Reasons Why I Haven't Been Around.

1. Whenever I am away from the blog for a while you can chalk it up to two things: I am working on my writing for something else and it hurts my brain to do two things in one day...or...I have nothing to say.

2. Both would have been true in this instance.

3. But also, its summertime and there is so much sweating going on.

4. Also, I have these two kids...

5. Unlike TN where there is a Borders or Marshall's on every corner, here in the 75904 there is a sno-cone stand on every corner (cuz we're just really cool and fancy down here). I kid you not. It is heaven. And so I've been hanging out a lot at the Frigid Frog and Shiver Shack. Don't be hatin'.

6. It was Father's Day which meant I spent the entire week trying desperately to one-up him in the gift department. Which cannot, ever, be done. He bought me a Flip video camera for Mother's Day, I bought him a case of olives. Long story. Just suffice it to say that my Love Language is gifts - and his isn't. So I only pretend to feel really bad about it.

7. This past week was our family reunion. I have not been present for the family reunion in over five years. How do I know this? Because I was reminded of it every fifteen minutes leading up to said reunion. Therefore my list for the reunion? "Melissa, we need you to make your corn casserole." "Could you come up with a game or two?" "Melissa, make your baked beans." "Melissa, are you going to make the chocolate chip cookies or are we just going to have to go without this year?" "Melissa, why don't you also do a rendition of the Newlywed game? That would be fun!" "Melissa, can you help us set up on Friday?" "Melissa, make sure to be here early on Saturday." "Oh, and Melissa, dress the kids really cute. No one has ever seen them since you haven't been to a reunion in over five years."

8. Yesterday the heat index in the 75904 was 107 degrees. There is nothing - nothing - that should be written in that kind of heat. Nothing.

9. The Bachelorette has me so bumfuzzled that I can't decide whether to post on it or throw a rock at my T.V. Why do magazines and Internet sites like to ruin the thrill that is The Bachelorette?? Now I know some of the major things that are going to happen this season, and I'll honest, I never figured for a second there would be any drama or guys with lying tongues. I mean, who would've guessed? Thanks for blowing it, America. Or in the words of my cousin Bubba, "thanks a lot, Bin Laden."

10. We are now working on our third installment of the Ear Ache Saga of 2010. Looks like it might be the good ol' tubes in the ears for us. We'll see. I don't know what the problem is, I've been giving the kid a sno-cone every day so far and it doesn't seem to be helping him. Are sno-cones supposed to solve everything?? They always have with me.

Jun 9, 2010

A Dry, Dry Season.

As I write this post my thoughts are consumed with the things of summer.

There's the camp I have to get Remi to early in the morning and the preschool "water" day that Rocco needs to be dressed and ready for. I am taking care of my 13 year old sister while my parents are out of town and so that requires an extra dose of patience and the ability to find a Chik-fil-A at a moment's notice. There's the swimming pool out back that keeps calling to me, "come, join me, relax" and the bathing suit that keeps hollering back, "stop, put me down, moooove away."

But tonight my mind is also filled with this notion: What if we become so busy with the summer that we completely forget the season?

And by "season" I mean the season that you find yourself in. Believe it or not my life is not just camps and bathing suits, watermelon and grilled corn.

I'm in a real season, here. A real one. And a hard one.

This season...

I am learning that marriage is hard. Its hard and then it gets harder. And just when you think you've figured it out and you know it so well that you can do it with your hands tied behind your back and your eyes closed, it gets really really hard; and therefore I'm learning that some things are not an option and covenants are forever.

I am learning that some day my children are going to look up at me - and whether they ask me aloud or not will not matter - they will look at me and wonder if I did what I was called / created to do...and did I do it with all my might. What will my answer be?

I am learning that making new friends in new places is hard (even when you're super talkative and have a really kick*&% blog). And so you have to go back to the drawing board. What kind of friends do I need? And what kind of friend will I be? And you hope that this time you succeed because other times you have failed. Miserably.

I am learning that the greatest position of power you can ever be in is one of submission.

I am learning that sometimes just when you think you have let something go, let something slide, let something slip beneath the surface, and it is good and tucked away, the Lord says, "Hey, remember this? Let's learn from it, shall we?" And you just wanna puke.

And lastly, I am learning that for everything there is a season. A time to swim. A time to grill. A time to cry. A time to fast. A time to grieve. A time to lighten up. A time for a late night game of water volleyball. And a time to listen, because you know He is about to speak. A time to move. A time to freeze. A time to re-learn the hard stuff. And a time to just sit back and eat a snow cone.

So tell me, what season are you in? And may I give you a friendly reminder that in whatever season you find yourself in - walk it out. Finish it. Because trust me, He believes in summer school. And if you don't get it the first time, there will be a re-peat.

Take it from me.

Jun 7, 2010

Mom was going to type this blog post but I asked to. And I won. Which is rare....I hardly ever win.

Okay, I could barely type that last sentence without laughing. Could you tell?

So here I am the night of my big dance recital. Mom asked dad if it was okay to put make-up on me and he said "no." But then I asked him. And I wo....well, I think you know.
So here I am in a little blush, a little mascara, some really ridiculous pink and green eye shadow that my mom bought and what dance recital would be complete without some brush on body glitter? I think I look great but I overheard my mom say, "She looks adorable but it looks like Jezebel herself made that outfit."

I don't know who Jezebel is, but I totally dig her.

This was the moment my mom was dreading. At this point in the song some guy named Will.i.Am is singing "Shake it like a Polaroid picture." Which I do. Greatly. And usually I shake my clothes completely off and then mom screams at me, "Don't do that, Remi! Ladies don't take their clothes off. Well, some ladies do, but that's because they are trying to work their way through medical school or so they say." I don't know what she's talking about. So I decided that on my recital night I would not shake my clothes off. But I would shake it nonetheless.

This is my mom's friend Isaiah. He is my spotter. A spotter is someone that is there to catch you were you to slip and fall while doing your flip. I use Isaiah in a completely different way. I walk over to him, verrrrry slowly, turn around to him and say "flip me." And then he does. And its worked out perfectly. I think I'll keep him.

This is my class. I'm the cute one on the end. I have to stand on the end in every dance because I'm the smallest one in the class. Mom says that will be helpful someday when they need me to be on top of the pyramid. Then she mumbles, "unlike myself who once had to support three girls and I have lower back problems to this day to prove it....and that was at FAT CAMP."

This is the outfit I wear for my tap number. I have to hold my breath just right in it or mom says the entire thing will fall apart. She says the outfits I wear have "sweat shop" written allllllllll over them. Whatever that means.

Well, its the end of the night now and I'm tired. I've done three dances, two tumbling routines, changed clothes three times and eaten half my body weight in fruit snacks. Dad told me he would take me to eat anywhere I want to go. I chose shushi. I always choose shushi.

On my way to the car one of my fans surprised me with some flowers. "Thank you, Poppy." Poppy gave me flowers, daddy's buying me shushi...boy, I told mom that men sure do have a thing for girls in babydoll outfits that dance. She just rolled her eyes and shook her head and mumbled, "You have noooooooooo idea."

Jun 3, 2010

If They Could See Me Now.

We are wrapping up Remi's first year of dance.

Praise Jesus in the Heavens!!

I have never been so out of my element. In one years time I have purchased FOUR pairs of tights (though only two were needed), TWO pairs of ballet shoes (though only one was needed) and today - with only 24 hours before the recital - I will purchase my SECOND pair of tap shoes (only one was needed).

Why? You ask. Because I lost all the others. I know, I know, in reality she lost them. But she's four and I hate blaming things on a four year old. But c'mon people, how does she lose tights when tights are to remain on at all times. How?

Yesterday as the Dance Academy lined up across the stage for their opening number in rehearsal you could have heard a pin drop in that auditorium. The room was filled with moms who were dripping sweat from getting their little bundle of joy into a hot pink leopard outfit and matching leotard that was apparently made by a group of women in a foreign country who must have decided "hey, let's make this one with one thread, that way if it breaks the entire thing collapses."

So there we sat, wiping our foreheads and looking sheepishly around the room wondering if our child would be the only one with her hair hanging in her face, flip-flops on instead of tap shoes and her costume on inside out.

At least that's what I was thinking.

And to answer my own question, YES. I was the only mother there who forgot to pull her daughters hair out of her face, let her wear flip-flops instead of those lost tap shoes and apparently had put her outfit on inside out.

Within the first five minutes of the rehearsal I had heard
"Can Remi's mommy..."
"Someone help Remi
"Remi is not in the 15 year old dance troupe, someone get her to the right line..."
"Remi, please watch your teacher..."
"Does anyone know if Remi's mommy..."
"Hello! Remi's mommy! Are you here?"

Of course I was there. But I was sitting so still no one noticed me. Which is how I like it. Until they turned the lights on and several of them pointed me out.


I hate snitches. I'm gonna turn them in the next time I see them doing something wrong, I can tell you that. Of course I don't know what that will be - they all seem pretty put together and not at all dripping sweat like a South Carolina prison guard (unlike myself.)

So today is another rehearsal. Please pray it goes better than yesterday. For me. Not Remi. She never knew there was a problem in the world. She thought she was tremendous.

And then pray for the actual recital on Friday night. Pray that when it comes time for her to do a cartwheel she does one better than her mother, because of right now? Let's just say adopted or not - she is bone of my bone, flesh of my flesh. Her cartwheel looks more a slight limp and half a twirl. And you had also better pray that if they turn on the lights to see who in the world's daughter turns a cartwheel like that, that I can remain completely still.

Jun 1, 2010

Memorial Day the East Texas Way.

When I think about the men who fight for our country I am proud, of course, but I'm also fearful. I fear that somewhere there are a group of WWII veterans sitting around saying, "Did we really throw our bodies into that foxhole so her and her friends could drink Dr. Pepper from a can and lay in the sun without any regard for SPF protection?"

Chances are they have more to think about than me, but ya know, in my mind, they don't.

I find it interesting that every Memorial Day I have lived in Tennessee I have cried. Memorial Day has always been one of those days you gather with family and friends, jump in the pool, throw dogs on the grill and relax. And yet I was always so far from family. And then yesterday.

Yesterday morning as I was loading up the car to head to the lake I realized that finally - finally - I was home for Memorial Day. And yet there I was loading up floats and noodles and ten ears of corn to head to the lake and spend the day with a bunch of people who aren't my family.

Maybe I was making a mistake.
Maybe I should stay.
Wasn't this what I always wanted?
Why was I leaving?

But then my dad walked out into the driveway and yelled, "I'll be so glad when y'all are finally gone!"

And I remembered why I was leaving in the first place: TO GET AWAY FROM FAMILY!

So the AG and I (and the kids, they followed us) drove to the lake to meet up with a few other couples from church. I'm not gonna lie, nor am I saying this to make you jealous, it was a high society kind of day. One you may have found to be a little uncomfortable if you aren't quite as high-falootin' as we all are.

For instance:

1. You may have found yourself not able to hang with us where you one of those redneck types who like your SPF over the legal drinking age. Not us. We are classy. At one point Nicolle wondered aloud why she hadn't just "brought my baby oil and iodine" and when Melinda offered me some sunscreen I asked what the SPF was. "30" she said, "30??? How am I supposed to get tan with 30?"

Somewhere in the world an American Cancer Society building fell to dust, I'm sure.

2. You are probably of the mind that one should eat hot dogs or hamburgers on Memorial Day. See? You're a hillbilly. We, on the other hand, think alligator and duck sausage thrown on the grill make for a tasty appetizer just before Bratwurst, grilled peppers and Boudain. We wash it down with cold Dr. Pepper and we don't apologize for eating entire ears of corn for dessert. Try to keep up.

3. You probably sat around on Memorial Day talking about your summer vacation plans or how you want to choke that CEO from BP they keep putting on the news. But again, you're an amateur. We discussed how to plant vegetables if you live in Kennard. How Wal-Mart makes you sign a disclaimer if you slip on a tomato on Aisle 4. And how you need to make sure your daughter keeps her braid away from the pea shucker. See? You probably wouldn't have fit in.

But that's okay. I don't want to make you feel bad. I'm just giving you the chance to brush up on high society livin' before this time next year so you can go with us. The way you do that is to:
a. Promise yourself you'll be fine with eating animals that aren't commonly put on a plate but rather, are wrangled at carnivals.
b. That you will be fine with having your skin burn to a crisp and then looking in a mirror and saying "oooh, yeah, I got some sun!"
c. And last but not least, be willing to lay in lake water surrounded by 4700 children who never once allllllll day said the words, "I have to go to the bathroom."

Then, and only then, can you celebrate Memorial Day the East Texas way.