Tuesday, October 14, 2014

To Be More Like Her

Last week we went to the fair. Aubrey Jo had the best time. There were lots of little things that made me smile. One thing really stood out to me though compared to our trip last year. She has grown up so much in this one short year. Not only is she now TALL enough to get on a lot of rides by herself, but she is also BRAVE enough to step up to the line and ride by herself. When she got off, she beamed with pride jumping up and down "I did it with nobody!!" Each time we tried to get in line with her, she would say "no! I big girl. You wait here."

So independent. So brave. 


I like to think the last 2.5 years I have had to find some independence and make some hard choices and put on a brave face. But I have to be forced. I have to be shoved into the line, held down while they buckle me in and I'm so angry for having been forced outside my comfort zone that I can't even smile with pride for making it through the whole ride I didn't think I'd survive. 

Put me in a situation with people I don't know, a place I'm not familiar with or an activity I'm not sure I'll be good at and I totally shut down. Sweating, heart racing, tears swelling, full on anxiety panic attack. 

I wish I had my daughter's sense of independence and bravery. I'm going to be making a conscious effort to change that about myself starting now. 

If you could change one thin about yourself what would it be? What are you doing to make those improvements?

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

A Way With Words

The other day I totally unloaded on my boyfriend. I mean, it wasn't his problem, there was nothing he could do, but I just needed to get it out & he happened to be the one there. I felt guilty and added "sorry to always vent to you" because ya know, nobody wants to be the Debbie Downer. I wish I was all positivity all the time. He has his own issues. His response?

"I wish I could I say I understand your frustrations, but I don't. I will, however, always be here for you if you need to vent to someone."

Bless his heart, the man is not a wordsmith. He often misquotes or uses the wrong word and ends up saying the very opposite of what he intended. Especially on text. It sometimes makes me crazy but always makes me laugh.

This time though? Nailed it. That's all I needed. He didn't have to have the answer. He just needed to listen and reassure. That's it. 

I cried a little. He has been such a blessing to my life. 


Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Garth!

Last weekend we went to see Garth in Atlanta. As he announces stops in more cities, I am telling you, GO!! Even if you have to travel a little bit, it's worth it. You don't want to miss it!



I will say though, we were bummed that he didn't perform Rodeo, If Tomorrow Never Comes, or ..... THUNDER ROLLS! On what planet can you go to a Garth Brooks concert and not hear Thunder Rolls? I mean .... Not cool. 

But we all had a blast. My parents and sister went too so it was nice to be able to experience it together. Because, yes, Garth (and Trisha) is an experience!

Friday, September 19, 2014

Go Away

I was actually going to do a "Friday Favorites" post. But the first thing I was going to talk about was this bag then I got pissed off at myself. So instead, "go away" it is!
This damn clutch is filling my Pinterest and Instagram feeds. But, seriously? I cannot do $200+ for a bag WITH NO HANDLES! I am with a toddler 90% of the time and need both hands. Even my "date nights" now, it's been a couple months and I don't mind saying "I don't want to wear real pants, let's order in and get Netflix" haha BUT! That rare occasion where I want to look cute and go out without the kid, I would love this little number. I'm not going to pay that though, so .... Go Away!!

The only thing more annoying than pumpkin spice everything is the ANTI pumpkin spice everything posts. Let those girls enjoy their uggs, yoga pants, top knots, over-priced clutches, and pumpkin spice lattes, cookies, breakfast layer bars and whatever else. Just wait until the red cup selfies start. That's the real fun. 

Ok, Taylor, I see you with your cute short hair. It's hard to keep reminding myself though that MY hair will not look like YOUR hair if I chop it off. The temptation is becoming too much though. I need you to go away & come back with a mess on that head like the good old days. Mk? Thanks. 


The Grande's. Both of them. Enough. Go away. I'm over you. Annoying. 


What else am I forgetting, what do you wish would GO AWAY?

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Favorite Milestones

Yes, smiling, sitting up, crawling & even walking was exciting. Until they smile when you're trying to be stern, sit up all night when you have a 4am alarm everyday, crawl into spots they can't get out of & go from walking into your arms to running from your reach into danger. 

Go back to laying where I put you like a baby blob waiting to be photographed. 



At nearly 4 years old, we have 2 new - and much more beneficial - milestones. Helping load / unload the dishwasher and the quiet game. Sweet heavens, she understands AND LOVES dishes & quiet. What a coincidence, kid, your mom loves help with dishes & quiet!

We spent all day yesterday in the car and after 4 hours of her singing let it go at the top of her lungs on repeat, I nearly peed my pants with excitement when she said "shh game!" 

You've always been my favorite daughter. 





Monday, July 28, 2014

Mommy Monday

There are a few moms I have friended through social media. We interact daily. I brag on their parenting. I wish I parented more like them in certain areas. In my next life, I wouldn't mind coming back as their kid. Recently, someone commented they feel that way about me. It made me laugh ... I mean, thanks! My kid is pretty awesome in my opinion & I do my very best. But sometimes, y'all, it's messy over here. And I don't just mean that war zone bedroom that I can't even remember what the carpet looks like or her face that forever has food, smeared makeup or dirt on it. 


Let's get real ...

Just this morning, she told me she is too cute to clean her room. I should have sat her down & taught her a lesson about beauty from the inside, how a pretty face is fleeting, cleanliness is godliness, remaining humble .... any of the above would have been better than the laughter and shoulder shrug she got as I walked out of her room to get another cup of coffee. 

At dinner on Saturday, I let her sit and spread butter on a roll I knew she wouldn't eat. The whole serving of butter they brought the table. On one roll. She wasted food. Other kids are going hungry. She doesn't know that, I didn't tell her that. I just wanted to take a couple bites uninterrupted. She did offer the doctor MY last Reese's cup the other day though so I'm sure if she knew about those kids, she would have offered them her dinner roll. That counts for something, right?

Sometimes I let her count swimming as a bath because I really just want to crash too & we can wash her AND the sheets tomorrow ....

I recently told her to take something to her room. She said "no" when I asked "what do you mean no?" She simply corrected "no ma'am" ... I could have told her that she doesn't get to tell me no & teach her about manners. Instead, I took it myself and mumbled under my breath the whole time. 

She also told me earlier this month that her hands are tired but her tummy isn't so I need to feed her the rest of her meal. I could have talked to her about princess behavior or laziness or independence. I didn't. I fed her the whole meal ... And a second helping too. 


Saturday, July 12, 2014

Phone Over Baby?

I'm going to punch someone. I'm serious. The next person that posts advice or article links to help me remember my child in the car is going to get throat punched. 


If I will forget MY CHILD in the back seat, you think I would remember my phone? Or wallet? Or crack pipe? Gimme a break. Don't tell me to "put something important in the back seat" so I will be forced to turn around & realize "oh shit, that toddler followed me to Target again!" SHE is the "something important" that forces me to remember to grab my purse sitting at her feet. 

You're probably the same people that argued Casey Anthony's innocence. 

It is awfully sad when I hear about children dying in hot cars each summer. It's reckless and devastating. But at the same time, it's offensive to suggest that I'm capable of leaving my child in the car but wouldn't even consider getting out of my car without my iphone. Like that's the end all be all. Let's also not forget, these aren't always "accidents" that could have been prevented. I realize we moms (and dads) complain about being overwhelmed sometimes. But I swear ... Forgetting our kid in the car isn't nearly as common as forgetting to put on a bra. 

Friday, July 11, 2014

July 4th

I hope everyone had an awesome 4th! I know we did. We spread out the celebration over 3 days! Lots of fireworks, good food, cold beer, mud and quality time.  


It was also the boyfriend's big 3-0 birthday last week. I took the day off from work to spoil him a little and finished the night with a little surprise dinner where his family & friends were all waiting. I love surprises!


All of this is old news though if you're already my Instagram frand... Anyone else feel like Instagram has kinda taken the place of blogging? If you aren't following me over there, why not?! @julianne_turner

Not shared on Instagram - a delicious margarita marinade if you are grilling shrimp this summer. I saw it browsing Pinterest but didn't pin it so I don't have the exact measurements. I didn't use them anyways though. 
Mix tequila, lime juice (+ a little zest) cilantro & sea salt. Toss in shrimp & chill until ready to cook. It was so good! Trust me on this one. 

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Go Away

I feel like this is a topic worth revisiting. 

"Cheeky" wedding photos
Stop it. For the love, please stop. It's not cute. Or funny. Why? Aren't wedding photos supposed to be beautiful timeless treasures you can look back on and one day share with your children (and grandchildren)? Can we please shut this trend down? Shut.it.down!

Couples using Facebook for what should be texted. 
Again I have to ask ... Why? Who are you trying to convince? I just assume your relationship is in trouble. It's unnecessary. 

Ginger. 
Not of the lovely redhead variety. But rather the disgusting destroyer of perfectly good juice. I've been trying to get back in my routine of regular juicing and get SO pissed when I buy a juice & realize later it is laced with ginger. it's so gross. I thought carrots were the worse. Nope. It's ginger. 

What are you wishing would just go away?

Monday, June 23, 2014

Rest

Pat Benatar said "Love is a Battlefield". Y'all, I have been through that war and just barely made it back. I told myself marriage is supposed to be hard, love is supposed to be challenging, nothing that comes easy is worth fighting for ... you know, all those things we are told. If there was a check list of a battlefield kind of love, all my boxes were marked off. And I have the scars to prove it.

If that is in fact what love and marriage is, then count me out. I am not re-enlisting. You can keep my benefits, you can keep the uniform, you can keep the titles and the jewelry. I want none of it. I'm tired. I'm so tired. I can't tell you how many times I've muttered those words: "I'm just so tired" ...


This morning, I read this during my time in She Reads Truth- "Naomi wants to find a husband for Ruth; she wants Ruth to be at rest. And with the right partner, marriage is rest!" Rest. Marriage is rest. With the right partner, marriage is rest!
I had to take a minute after that line because I wasn't even following the rest, that just hit me so hard. Some people say they have "aha" moments. Not me, I had a "duh" moment. Of course ...

I have a tendency of looking around me and saying "this relationship is too easy" and convincing myself it's "too good to be true" and walking away. (Something about a wise girl leaving before she's left?) I'm promising myself right now though that I'm not going to do that anymore. Right now in my life, I am beginning to feel rested and the people around me are easy. I'm going to hold on to that instead of questioning that ...

Monday, June 9, 2014

Biloxi

Last weekend, I had to deliver a dog to Biloxi, MS. From where I live, that's like a 7 hour drive so I decided to grab the guy and make a quick vaca out of it. 

I had been once but it was just a quick round trip (it was a much shorter drive when I lived in FL) for a show. 

I was super disappointed by the beach though. If you're looking for a beach trip, go just a couple hours east and hit Destin. Growing up there, I am spoiled by the white sand and emerald waters. No other beach will do. 


But if you're looking for casinos, good food, and a waterfront VIEW, then you are good. We had a really great time!


We had lunch at Bubba Gump and I literally didn't want to leave. We spread out over a 3 hour "lunch"! The weather was perfect, the food was delicious, and our waitress was sweet as could be. 



Thursday, June 5, 2014

Hello, Sunshine!

I have been a pretty slack blogger lately. I jot down topics during work and tell myself I will post when I get home. Then by the time I actually sit down to post (usually not that same day) I get distracted catching up on other blogs or change my mind about the post or get annoyed with the spotty internet we have been suffering lately.

When Jessica nominated me over on her blog for the Sunshine Award, I thought well here we go. A nice and easy one to get me back at the keyboard. So here we go ....

11 Random Facts About Myself

  1. Sometimes I realize I am scrolling through IG thinking how much I like pics but don't actually double tap or comment. Then I feel like a bad IG friend and start over so I can. I annoy myself to death with this.
  2. I'm a lover of all things sweet. I didn't used to be, I actually hated sweets ... until the last couple years. I wish I was still able to pass up donuts and cake, but I just can't. Physically impossible.
  3. My friend and I write letters back and forth and our kids color each other pictures. She lives a few hours away so we don't get to see each other often enough. I miss her like crazy so we snap chat non-stop and "Hunt mail" days are our favorite days around here!
  4. I love surprises. And I love surprising people. Doesn't have to be anything big ... I just like to let people know I am thinking of them.
  5. Back to #2 and food habits changing ... Taco Bell used to be my absolute faaavorite. When I was pregnant though, it made me sick every.single.time. I swore Aubrey Jo must not be my child because no way would a child of mine not love TB. Well, she still hates it ... and so do I. Same goes for pork loins.
  6. White chocolate Reese's. Because ... well, duh.
  7. I fall asleep before Aubrey Jo most nights. Which means most nights I fall asleep with Frozen playing and usually wake up a couple hours later to turn it off once she is out too.
  8. I'm dating again. So there's that ... yeah ... we will chat more later ;)
  9. I am a creature of habit and hate change. Hate all change.
  10. I also am really not a fan of strangers and crowds. I'm such an introvert it's scary.
  11. I am way more invested in the lives of my reality TV "friends" than I maybe should be. When cast members leave the Real Housewives, I obsessively search the internet for updates on what they are doing.
The 11 Questions

1) If you could go anywhere in the world, all expenses paid for one week, where would you go?
I actually wouldn't need to go far. If I could just have 1 week off work, away from worries, responsibilities, and unplug, I would be happy just about anywhere...
 
2) Tea or coffee?
Coffee. I'm such a terrible southerner, I hate tea.
 
3) What is your favorite childhood memory?
Summers at my granny's with my sister
 
4) What would you do if you won the lottery?
That's actually 1 secret I would totally keep! Nobody would know
 
5) If you could change anything about yourself, what would it be?
I do wish I was more trusting ... and had the bod Jessica Simpson did in her Dukes of Hazzard days. Hello?!
 
6) Who would you want to play you in a movie of your life?
Oh no. Not sure I would want to see my life play out in a movie. Can you imagine how annoying that would be? I can barely stand to see pics of myself or hear my recorded voice. Having all my up's down's and mistakes on film? No thanks!
 
7) What's the most unusual conversation you've ever had?
I don't know about "ever" but last week at speech, one of the mom's commented that Aubrey Jo is always dressed and wears shoes. Umm .. yes, yes she does. Do not give me that stink eye lady who has a 3 year old that apparently hates bathing running around the office in a diaper and t-shirt. I can handle a lot of mom judgement but not from you and not on that subject.
 
8) If you could ask your future self one question, what would it be?
Which steps can I skip?
 
9) If you could go back in time, what historical period would you like to live in?
The 80's! Love looking through my mom's old yearbooks and albums.
 
10) What is the scariest thing you've ever done?
Leave my husband
 
11) What's the best piece of advice anyone has ever given you?
Unhappy people can't raise happy children.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

20 Days


It's been 20 days since my divorce. I thought I would be sitting here dwelling on the end. I thought that having it be final would make everything surface like I was back at the beginning where I was 2 years ago. 

And maybe I would have. EXCEPT! God came through for me. In less than an hour of walking out of the courthouse, I got the very exciting news that I am an auntie again!

My first niece, Parker Joelle, was born May 9th. I forgot I was having a bad day as I fell in love with her. Completely totally in love. 

Less than a year ago, we didn't know if my mama would be here the next day, much less to meet her 3rd grandchild. This picture is so special. I pray she is still around to hold each of my children as well. 



Prissy is pretty smitten with her too and loved to play / sing her to sleep. 




And just like that, the one that made me an Auntie, sweet baby Anderson as we call him, is a big brother and looks so much older!


My heart is so full and happy. I have no time to linger on all the bad when I have so.much.good!

Saturday, May 10, 2014

The End


Yesterday, I made the trip back to Panama City, a trip I haven't made since I packed our things 2 years ago. Right there, on the 3rd floor, I sat across the table from my husband and ended a marriage I thought would last forever. There wasn't much talking, we didn't fight, it was almost too simple. 

Is your marriage irretrievably broken?
Yes. 
Is there anything this court can do to save your marriage?
No. 

And just like that, next thing I know I will be mailed a final divorce decree. 

Later that day I glanced at my timehop app and saw this:
4 years ago at that very moment we were just a few blocks away from that courthouse celebrating my first Mother's (to be) Day. So happy and unsuspecting. We had no idea what was to become of our little family. No idea ...

Speaking of our little family... Walking in the door to Miss Priss after our hearing was a very strange feeling. She saw me, smiled real big & came running to me arms wide open yelling "da da da da!" (Her speech disorder is to blame. I swear I don't want to be called dada. She says her M's like D's) I just fell to my knees and hugged her tight. She had no idea what a big deal that morning was in her little life. I'm so thankful she is young enough to not fully grasp what is going on, but I felt a need to tell her something. I felt like she deserved a conversation. I spent all day trying to think what I say to a 3 year old. At the end of the night, when we laid in bed all I could come up with was "Today was a big day. Your mama loves you so very much & is here to answer questions when you're ready" to which of course she responded with the same question she always has "can we go swing & get donuts tomorrow?"

And so life goes on as normal. 

My friend sent this text and I thought it was perfect to what I was feeling. She is always spot on:

WOO HOOOOOOO!!! Gosh I bet you are having one big deep breath for a sigh of relief. 

"I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith." -2Tim 4:7

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

May: Brain Cancer Awareness Month

You all know my mom has brain cancer. Right now, there is no cure, she is treating it but we know that we will not get to use words like "healed, remission, cured". She is strong, stronger than I am.

I will be honest, before her diagnosis, we knew very little about the type of tumor she has. In fact, I still find myself overhwhelmed with information. There are so many variables and different types that it really is hard to put it in a nice little bow and "sum it up" in simple terms.

I encourage you to educate yourself though. Pay attention to your body, don't waste time, don't hesitate to call a doctor, or even 9-1-1 if something feels "off".

Photo: Did you know May is Brain Cancer Awareness month? My mom is still fighting the fight & we are selling these bracelets for $3 (shipped) in her honor. All $$ will go towards her bill at Emory. If you would like one, Email Facebook Twitter or comment here with your paypal email. It's a simple gray band with her name & ribbon on it.

To donate to my mom directly-
PayPal
or Email Me

During treatments, my mom stayed at the Winn Dixie Hope Lodge in Atlanta. This facility runs solely on donations and is a literal life saver to so many people from all over the WORLD! This is where we are directing our donations from now on.

To donate to the NBTS in a fight for a cure. Go here.

Friday, May 2, 2014

Go Away

It has to be said. Go away ... 

Pom Poms are great. Everyone loves florals. I have no problem with shorts. But seriously? These are awful. So very bad. Y'all, stop wearing these. The cut is an awful vagina frame. Who wants that much attention on your business? It's not cute. Go away!

Even if you wear the stupid vagina shorts, I think we are all on the same page about this. Pooping toys? No. Dogs, babies, chickens and pigs on keychains- they all poop. I'm sick to death of poop. Go away!

I know I'm just being moody now. But come on. I grew up on the world's most beautiful beaches. Sand happens. This is just 1 more annoying thing to keep up with. Also? The "keep calm" thing... Can we be done with it too? Go away!

Let's talk about it. I know I'm forgetting a million things that need to go away. What else are you so not in the mood for?

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Confessions

I have done these almost-ex-wife confessions before. It's been a while though. And some of my new confessions are kinda fun!

I have my own phone. My own plan. My own account. My very own. I've never had my own phone before. I went from my parents', to my husband's, back to my parents' line. A couple months ago though I established my very own. Nobody else monitoring my usage, reminding me about a balance, or being able to get pissed off at me & threaten to shut it off. So nice!

On that same subject, I BOUGHT A BED! I have never bought any piece of furniture that was bought & paid for BY me, FOR me. It wasn't gifted, it wasn't for "us" and I didn't have to ask anyone else's permission or opinion. (I mean, I did ask my good friend with a great eye for style, but you know what I mean) I can't wait now to buy every single table, picture frame, trash can and all the furnishings -big and small! Bring it on, it feels good. 

I'm really excited about this opportunity. I never thought I would be leading by example in some of the things I am now. I don't just have to tell my daughter about dating and standards, I get to show her. It's a lot of pressure but I'm ready! I get to show her about loving yourself, about taking care of yourself, about taking accountability & not having someone else to blame. I get to show her what a woman on her own looks like. I get to show her that while having THE RIGHT man is great, you don't have to settle for ANY man just because life is easier with someone else to take out the trash. 

I'm a liar. I say all of that and I'm keeping one confession to myself: I'M TERRIFIED TO BE ALONE! Not like relationship alone, but physically alone. I have never lived by myself - again, from my parents to my grandparents to roommates to my husband. Robbers, rapists, murderers, cult leaders, psychos, and general hoodlums. I'm. So. Scared. I used to just stay up scared to fall asleep, and kept a bat at the door when my husband worked night shifts. Lord help me, I don't know what I'm going to do now. Lose sleep, I imagine. Coffee dates, anyone?

Monday, April 7, 2014

Big Block Pride

One thing Prissy loves to do is build princess castles with her blocks. It's one of her favorite things to do & she will sit for forever. (which, I realize a toddler forever isn't THAT long, but gives me enough time to put away laundry or unload a dishwasher by myself) Each time she completes her masterpiece, she comes to get me. I have to close my eyes and she holds my hand to walk me into her room. When we get there, she says "taa-daaaa" with her arms wide open! Of course I ohh and ahh and say "who did this?" Y'all, her face lights up when she says "me" and adds "all by myself". I tell her how proud I am and give lots of hugs bragging about how good she did.

Her smile in these moments is different than other smiles. She loves the praise but I tell her constantly how much I love her and how special she is. This smile is a smile of pride, she takes pride in her creation and simply finds joy in sharing it with other people who also are proud of her work. 

The other day I told her how proud I was of what she made. And, like us mothers do, I reminded her that I am proud of her everyday like she is of her castle. We like to remind our kids that we made them (and as they get older, perhaps that is delivered as a reminder "I brought you in this world, I'll take you out). 

I was halfway through this conversation about how I made her and take pride in all the things she does & love her so very much when I saw an opportunity. I took the opportunity to share something with her even bigger than my role in her creation and my pride and my unconditional love for her. 

I'm simply a vessel here on Earth for God who gets the real credit as The Creator. God, who loves her so much more perfectly than even her mama. 

It is a big message for a 3-year-old and I know she doesn't "get it" fully, but I am thankful for opportunities like this to put it on a level she can understand now. I read (most of) a parenting book about "dazzling" my child with His love. I found it to be so negative though. I don't want my child to think she was created flawed & is naturally bad but Jesus loves her anyways and "makes" her be good. I want her to know she was "fearfully & wonderfully made" in His perfect image and she is perfectly loved all the time. She is a unique creation He takes great pride in showing off, much like she does her Big Block castles. 


Thursday, March 27, 2014

Thankful Thursday

I was a little snarky yesterday so let's turn up the positivity today. (#turndownforwhat)

Four years ago TODAY I got my positive at home pregnancy test. I can't help but look around me and think about how different my life is from that day. I knew then my life would change, but I sure didn't picture myself here. I am so so thankful every single day though to be a mom. To be HER mom. It's not easy, it's not always fun. It's not "puppies and rainbows" all the time as her cousin would say. BUT it is the reason I put one foot in front of the other and keep going. In a lot of ways I'm a lot better now. But in some ways, I'm just barely keeping my head above water & she's what keeps me fighting. I love her so!

I've recently changed my schedule at work. The hours each day aren't ideal, but I no longer have those long 10 day weeks. I'm so thankful for my shorter weeks and the flexibility my job has allowed me with trying to balance all the balls I have in the air right now. 

Today is cold. Yesterday was cold. BUT we have been getting the tease of summer here in Muddle GA. I am always thankful for some sunshine and warmer temps. I'm also thankful for the smart ads that will surely be reminding me of this post in a couple months when I'm complaining about the crazy heat & begging for "fall". (We don't get fall. And I hate pumpkin everything. I don't know why I always jump on that band wagon.)

We are slowly but surely preparing for our move from my parents'. I am so very thankful for online shopping & apartments that offer virtual tours. Because really- going in and having to do everything in person and buy everything in stores? Ain't nobody got time for that. 

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Sincerely, Me

Dear "Shaggy",
The "wasn't me" line is so 2001. Step it up & take some accountability. You lie. Your lies affect people. Your lies have hurt people around you. Continuing to lie makes it worse. You're a coward. 
With *no* love,
The Girl That Caught You

Dear Left Lane Drivers,
G O ! ! !
Seriously. Press the gas pedal or move to the right lane. This is basic interstate driving courtesies. 
Never a Fan,
The Girl Stuck Behind You

Dear Toddlers,
You're (mostly) cute but you aren't our bosses. Stop that. Mommy rules. Even if we laugh at your 'tude, that doesn't mean you won. 
Forever Yours,
The Women Who Birthed You

Dear Lunch... If that's Your Real Name,
It's not. It's not your real name. You're a banana and watermelon gum. Get out of here. And tell your friend sunshine to come out so I can walk & get something better. Or your friend lunchbox to make itself more visible so I will quit forgetting to bring a "lunch" from home. 
Longingly,
The Girl That Forgets You Everyday

Dear Body,
We are too young to quit now. No, seriously, let's pull it together. 
Sincerely,
The Girl Carrying You Around 

Friday, March 14, 2014

I Missed It

I had the opportunity to meet my (almost ex) SIL's new twin baby girls. They're precious. All babies are, but they come in double. Holding them, inhaling their sweet smell, my ovaries were hysterical. 

One of them remind me so much of a certain prissy girl I used to cradle each day. Even her yawn. She yawned & stretched and reminded me of one of my favorite things about infants: the stretch. You know the one- pouted lips, squinted eyes, arched back & stretched arms. Little bitty fists that just barely reach higher than their ears. Remember that stretch? Oh, I do. 

When I got home that night, my toddler came running to greet me. She nearly knocked me down when she crashed into me with kisses. 

Then it happened. 
I lost it. 

When I stood up, she stood in front of me and hugged me. Hugged me. Like, wrapped her arms around me. Those same arms that used to barely stretch up beyond her ears? Now they wrap all the way around her mama. And when I try to break free, she grabs her hands and holds tight. 

Y'all. Her arms are long enough now to wrap around my waist and touch behind my back. 

When did this happen? I didn't even notice. I missed it. 

I'm taking a few extra minutes to memorize every single thing about her. It all changes so fast...


Sunday, March 9, 2014

A Proper Goodbye

In my family, there are hugs & kisses for every hello, goodnight & good-bye. Sometimes we get busy though, our arms are full, we are running late, or frankly, we are just annoyed. 

I remember an interview Jaycee Dugard's mom gave after she was found. She said she went in & kissed her kids goodbye every morning before work. That day though, life got in the way & she rushed out the door without proper goodbyes. She never imagined it would be EIGHTEEN YEARS before she saw her sweet girl again. Can you imagine? She said she had been late to work too many times & was just in a rush. I would bet she would be willing to have lost that job 10 times over to be able to go back & give Jaycee a hug and kiss that morning. 

It stuck with me. I think about it EVERY TIME I leave Aubrey Jo. 

Loving your child & wanting to give them extra hugs & kisses isn't the hard part though. The lesson I have to learn is one of patience. I'm like a broken record sometimes, "hurry up. We're going to be late. Let's go. What are you doing? Put your shoes on... now! Get in the car." I hate to be late. I hate to repeat myself. 

I like to give myself around 20 minutes to get to dance class. Last week, at 15 minutes til, I was still frantically ordering her to find her shoes. By 10 til, we are getting in the car. I get her buckled, get myself in, and shift into reverse... About that time, she remembers she didn't give Mimi & Papa a goodbye kiss. She reminds me they will cry if they don't kiss her. 

I have a choice. Tell her she can kiss them when we get back & haul butt to dance, sneaking in before she misses too much OR put it back in park, go around, unload her, let her go back inside, give proper goodbyes, then load her back in again, missing more than just a little.

I'd like to say the choice was easy... It was not. 

What would the other moms think? "That Aubrey Jo's mom can't get it together & make it to class on time like the rest of us. She must be irresponsible/ unorganized. What a terrible example she's setting." What would her coach think? "Aubrey Jo's mom doesn't respect me and my time. She thinks she doesn't have to follow the rules. She doesn't appreciate the work I am doing with her child."

I ended up putting it back in park and waiting "patiently" while she said her goodbyes- goodbyes that seemed to take muuuuch longer than absolutely necessary. Because as much as I hate the thought of teaching her it's OK to be late, I hate even more the thought of teaching her it's OK to skip a proper goodbye. 


Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Childhood Memories

What is your favorite childhood memory? Quick. Don't think too long or hard, just the 1st thing that pops in your head. No pressure, just what stood out for you?

I will share a couple of mine.

My granny spinning us around and around on an inner tube in her pool. She would sing "She'll be coming 'round the mountain when she comes..." and it seems like she just sang it without stopping. I'm sure, looking back, she really would have liked to sit in a chair by the pool silently while we entertained ourselves. But she didn't.

Another one with my granny was that, as a treat, she would let my sister and I eat cereal (the smacks one with the frog on the box) in the living room. We had to lay on the floor over a towel, but it was the highlight of our days.

My sister and I used to come home and stay by ourselves until our parents got home. I won't share our age because Lord knows you would all have a stroke and die before finishing this post. We got home just in time to make ourselves a snack, throw down our back packs & turn the TV on to Are You Afraid of The Dark. Remember that one? It scared us out of our skin. My mom ALWAYS timed her call right at the end of that show. She would call on her break from work to make sure we made it home. We weren't allowed to answer the phone so we had to run to the other side of the house and listen to the answering machine for her to say "girls, it's mama, pick up" and then we could answer and tell her we are home, being good, cleaning up, doing homework, whatever... we weren't, we were watching scary ass shows. She didn't know then, and maybe I didn't get it either, but now I know, we needed to hear her voice.

We used to live next door to my granny and grandpa. But the driveways are long out in the country, so we made a hole in the fence so there were no delays getting back and forth. Can you imagine how pissed my grandpa must have been when he discovered what we did?

We went on big expensive vacations every single year. We got a new outfit for every day of the 1st month of school each year (and sometimes again for 2nd semester). We were allowed to join every club, or sport we wanted.. my mom spent the extra money for private lessons so we were the best. My dad worked, at one point, 3 jobs so that we could go on every single field trip, write a check instead of sell chocolate door to door, get those French mani and pedis that all our friends had, and even highlight (and, Lord help me, perm) our hair way too young. They spent money, honey. And trust me, we appreciate it, especially now that we understand the value of that mighty dollar... especially now that we understand after a full day of work, all you want to do is come home and relax, not rush off to play taxi, or even go to 2 more jobs.

Do you notice something about the 1st 3 memories that came to my mind though? They didn't cost a thing. They weren't set in Cinderella's Castle, they didn't happen when we were dressed perfectly or in front of a camera lens. They happened on normal days. They happened every day.

You know what else stands out about those memories? I can't remember if there were dishes in the sink, laundry on the couch waiting to be folded, or how pinterest-worthy our snacks were (except the cereal in the floor thing... I am fully aware how NON-pinteresty that meal was).

As parents, we have this huge burden of responsibility. We are in charge, we have absolute control, over our children's childhood memories. It's a lot to take on... but what an honor it is! I try to focus on the excitement than the pressure. I try, too, to remind myself that I don't get to pick and choose which days stand out to her in 20 years. I don't get to save up all year and cram her memories into 1 long weekend on vacation. It doesn't work like that. We are making memories this very second. Right now, she is napping, and I am rushing to push out this post. It is weighing heavy on my mind today, for some reason. So I decided to sit down while she was sleeping, bang it out, and then put away the computer for the rest of the night.

Tonight, I am making memories with my daughter. Memories that don't include being told "go play in your room" or "mama is busy right now" or sitting next to mama while she types or checks social media. Tonight, I am remembering how quickly these first 3 years went... I am determined not to let the next 3 go by as fast. Not to let them slip by telling myself- and my precious daughter- that we will make those precious memories "later" you know... when life is settled, when the laundry is done, dishes are put away, my bank account isn't in the red, I lose a couple pounds, she gets dressed...
Those things will still be waiting for me tomorrow. But my chance to impact her today? I will never again get this day back.

So that's what I'm doing tonight... what are you doing?

 

Friday, February 21, 2014

My Favorite Birthday Tradition

My grandpa and I were born 50 years and 1 week apart. Every year, without fail, we have a joint cake and celebrate together. It is always low key (this year in our pajamas even) just dinner and cake. It's my favorite tradition. No pressure, no stress, just us eating cake and demanding everyone serve our every whim enjoying the company of our family.

Granny & Grandpa were in town this week anyways for my mom's 4-week scans so after her appointment, we stopped at Longhorn for dinner then came home to eat our cake.


We have this same photo together every year for, now, 26 years together. My actual birthday is Sunday, but with this dinner, I feel like it's official... I can say I'm 26!

 
I'm not sure anyone appreciates this tradition as much as this girl though. She was pretty sure it was all for her.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

You're a Bad Friend



I admit... I relate to Porsha, I've been a bad friend. The last couple years I have not been as good of a friend as I want to be. I have been very focused on taking care of myself and my daughter. I make no apologies for it. Even before the actual separation, I was so much in survival mode that I couldn't be a friend to someone else.

I have some pretty amazing people in my life though. People that stuck around, have been good friends to me even when it wasn't reciprocated, have just totally been there for me - and Aubrey Jo - through it all. They have been much better to me than I deserved. But I love them for it.

The last few months, I have been trying to make efforts to reach out and be a more proactive friend. I try to be the one to initiate a lunch or mani/pedi, I try to be the one to send the first "how are you" text, I try to send a "just because" happy mail surprise. I'm still not as good of a friend as I wish I could be. The chaos in my life still sometimes wins. But I'm trying.

Yesterday, I picked up the phone and called one of my very best friends that I haven't really talked to in months. I hate talking on the phone, I'm a texter, but it was so nice to actually hear her voice and her laugh instead of reading an "lol". It was so nice! Something so simple, talking instead of texting or emailing, made such a big difference and really made me smile. I will not say I am going to start calling friends all the time. I'm still a texter as a general rule, as impersonal as it may be. But I'm going to make an effort to pick it up now and then.

What are some of your favorite ways to be a friend? What do your friends do for you that makes you feel most loved? Do you have a friend that you haven't reached out to lately?

Friday, February 7, 2014

Five on Friday



.one.
My phone decided to go for a swim yesterday. The rice trick didn't work. It was kind of a final straw and I may or may not have lost it a little bit. I guess that's what I get for saying how much I loved my iPhone 4 and had no need to upgrade... wah wah wah

.two.
This? Yep... it needs to be in my closet. These too. Instagram is the devil to my will power. I can't log on without being reminded of all the things I need want... no, need. (ha) I guess it's a saving grace to be without my phone for a while (sarcasm font)


.three.
Parenting aint easy yall. I wish I was better sometimes, I wish I was more prepared sometimes, and I wish I had the answer ALL the time. I seriously reminded Aubrey Jo yesterday that Santa was watching and I was going to be telling him exactly what happened. You guys... it's February, we have 10 months until that threat should work.. but it did. Miss thang got herself in line real quick and in a hurry. Today she asked me if I could call Santa and tell him she's a good girl. Haha you got it, babe.

.four.
We met friends for dinner last week. Three year olds are hard to wrangle into a pretty posed photo. This one though cracked me up. Girlfriend better get used to that look from men ;)


.five.
Aubrey Jo picked out some Valentines the other day at Target. Since she isn't in school, we decided to mail them to some of her friends. I've loved seeing the reactions from them & it makes Aubrey Jo so happy to send things and get the happy videos/pics later. I love that little things like that make her smile so big. Yall watch those mail boxes because she is on a roll ;)

Friday, January 31, 2014

Snow Day!




Spare me the comments about the chaos in Georgia when we get flurries. What's more important than our roads not being prepared? Our closets! Aubrey Jo and I seriously need some winter updating in our closets. But that didn't slow us down.. we threw on a couple layers and went outside to take advantage.

 

When we woke up, the ground was white. I immediately threw on Aubrey Jo's jacket and boots and we ran outside. Umm, yeah, these girls were NOT prepared for that. We snapped a quick photo and ran back inside to the heater. After breakfast though, we decided to give it another go. Mama still wasn't in love but Priss and the dogs were in HEAVEN!

 





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