Thursday, June 28, 2012

What Alice Forgot - A Book Review

This month, I had the opportunity to read What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty. I loved this book and have added it to my top 10 list.

Alice is about to turn 40 when she has a terrible accident at the gym that erases the last 10 years of her life from her memory - her kids, her marriage, her friends are all gone. In her mind, she is the about to be 30, expectant mother, and recently married girl that she was and as she starts to explore this "new world" she realizes how much she really has forgotten.

I think for all of us, time, activities, obligations, and kids suck a lot of our memories away from us. We are always so stuck in survivor-mode that we forget how to be us - the people that our spouses loved, the parent that we had wanted to be, had meant to be, and what our initial dreams and aspirations were. For Alice, she has a chance to look back through the eyes of that dreamy 29-year-old with all of those ideas, all of those plans to see the alien world that she has created instead.

To me, it was the 39-year-old Alice that had forgotten the most as she raced from the gym to the coffee place to the school and on and on. She forgot to love, forgot to have patience, forgot to focus on the dreamer inside.

What Alice Forgot reminded me that I need to slow down. I need to take the time and energy to communicate and love the people in my life instead of taking them for granted and rushing through this life from one obligation to the next. I think the 29 year old me would be quite surprised to read my blog and discover who I have become instead.

I HIGHLY recommend What Alice Forgot and am super excited that it is being translated into a movie that is currently in development!

This is a paid review for the BlogHer Book Club. All opinions and statements in this review are my own. 

By the way, anytime you click on one of these Amazon links and make a purchase, I earn a commission. Shop through my blog!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

My Love of Mowing

Sewing dresses, crocheting baby blankets and hats, doing laundry, or dishes all take time, patience, diligence and perseverance to ensure that they are completed the way that they should be.

Mowing is different. It's instant, it's quick. It's exercise with a purpose (God knows how much I hate to exercise). I get a great deal of personal satisfaction from looking back across what I have already mowed and seeing the straight lines and evenly cut blades of grass. 

It makes me happy. It also takes a lot of stress away when I am doing something manual, something physical.

This year, between the two jobs and everything else that has been going on the lawnmower died. Since our old mower died last year, I was determined to not buy a new mower. The grass kept getting higher and higher, and I was beginning to think that it might not even get cut this year. 

Finally, on Father's Day, I diagnosed the problem, went to the auto parts place that I work at and bought everything that it would take to make the mower run again. (The Hubs actually got it running again, because he likes to try to tinker with things like that and I needed to cook lunch.)

After lunch, I was on it. Mowing, swigging my water like a BOSS, throwing branches across the yard like I was some kind of 1980s wrestling champ and getting it DONE. 

I felt the stick poke my leg. Twice. I didn't think anything of it to be honest, it was a random stick.

Or poison ivy disguised to look like a stick!

Apparently, after last year's battle of the itchies, I am REALLY allergic to it now and by this past Sunday, my leg had become infected and I had a rash crawling up both of my legs. I cannot shave, so I am very self-conscious of showing you the grossness of my leg. (I can't shave because my reasoning of last year is so incredibly wrong, shaving will only make poison ivy worse - not better like I may have thought) I sent pictures to Houston, to my mother, who told me to go to Urgent Care. 

The Supergirl and I packed into the car and drove to the Urgent Care clinic that was about to close. The doctor looked at me and said, "You have a husband, maybe you shouldn't mow."

And that made me want to mow my grass more than I have ever wanted to mow in my life. 

Also, I have an infection, 1 antibiotic and 3 steroids and I STILL ITCH - I am not even sure that seeing the doctor was worth it. 

Monday, June 25, 2012

Miracle Grow

When I was a teenager, my parents somehow acquired a banana tree. I am not really certain how this happened or where it came from, but we had a small banana tree sitting next to the floor speakers of the stereo.

The banana tree required a Miracle Grow stick to be placed in its soil once a week. The Miracle Grow sticks were located on top of the floor speaker.

Eventually the sticks fell into the banana tree soil and were not found until the banana tree began to grow at an amazing speed. It was almost as though it was growing before our very eyes!

It grew and grew and bushed out and looked as though it might start to have bananas. And then it turned black and died.

If you know me and my family, you know that our Supergirl is extremely tall for her age. Every morning when I see those long tan legs splayed across the bed, I wonder how on Earth she got SO long.

At her well-child appointment last week, the doctor was also troubled by her height and it was no longer funny. He had her hand x-rayed for a bone age study, and the study came back indicating that she does have advanced bone age. He wants to wait until her next birthday, to see if she continues to grow at this pace. If she does then she will begin seeing a pediatric endocrinologist, if not, she is just tall and we go on about our merry way.

On Thursday, when I got the news, I was so scared, so worried. I knew that any abnormalities had to be my fault. I knew that I had fed her too much chicken, or at too much cereal when I was pregnant. Maybe it was that late term craving for Green Apple Slushies and Chili Cheese Tots every morning for breakfast. I had to get rid of the guilt, I had to know this (this, this whatever it is) was not my fault.

So I Googled.

I may have even Web M.D'd


But I did it and now I can't unsee it and it makes me a very nervous momma. I also can't but feel like a bad momma when I ask people to pray that she stops growing. She cannot gain another inch this year. And I feel like an ass to say, "Hey, let's pray for my girl to stop growing" like it's some kind of inconvenience  to me. I worry that she hears me on the phone talking about how she is too tall or that the doctor is concerned. I worry that she will start to think that something is really wrong with her. That she will become a hypochondriac like the daughter of a nurse that I once was.

I worry that she lose her self-confidence.

I am going to give that away now as well. I am going to spend the next six months not thinking about the fact that my 4 year old is in a size 13 shoe or size 7 clothing. I am going to try not to feel stabbed a little every time someone sees my daughter and the first thing they exclaim when they see her is "Oh, my goodness, she is SO big (or tall)" I am going to let the worry go and spend the next 6 months enjoying my HEALTHY, HAPPY, BEAUTIFUL little girl.

If something needs to be dealt with later, I will deal with it. Until then, I have a kid to grow.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

The Life and Times of Goldie

We are gathered here to remember the life of Goldie, the goldfish. He passed away suddenly this morning and after a quick sea burial was almost completely forgotten by the kid. It seemed fitting to give him a eulogy here, as he has been a featured guest here on a pretty regular basis over the last year.

Oh, if I could talk to Goldie, one more time, I would apologize that he/she had to live such a hard life. From being born presumably at Wal-Mart, to growing up in a crowded tank, and sometimes having to feed off of his own deceased family members, I am sorry Goldie for the crowds of children that would stop at the tank and bang on the glass. I am sorry that you were sold for such a cheap rate (although to be honest, if you cost anymore than 38 cents, I probably wouldn't have bought you).

I am sorry that there are inconsistent theories relating to your sex. The Hubs and I always considered you a male, Supergirl insists that you were female. Now, we will never know (unless you go all Ponyo on us, but that would be pretty freaky).

The Supergirl LOVES this movie. I liked it the first 50 times we watched it. 
I am sorry that the Supergirl lacked creativity the day that you were named. It was an off day for her as you know, since then she has named a cat Oliver, a chick Mulch, and another chick Gravy. At least she never tried to change your name mid stream. I have been Momma, Mommy, Mom, Heather, and the Fat Chick in the Kitchen. Seriously, Goldie, you should count your blessings. 

I apologize profusely for the Bleach Incident of 2011. I wish that I could have caught that before it happened, and was so relieved that you not only lived through that, but also that you seemed to thrive from it.

I am sorry that you had to live your life in the bathroom. And that the only view that you ever had was that of someone's ass flying towards your bowl. It was not an ideal situation, but after the cat arrived, and your were still living, I had to do the only thing I could to protect you.

I am sorry that some people (yes, Scare Bear, I am talking to you) could never remember to close the door to the bathroom behind themselves so that the cat could not drink from your bowl. I seriously hope that the cat is not carrying some kind of fish killing bacteria in his mouth - especially since Supergirl was so insistent this morning that you must be replaced immediately.

For a 38 cent goldfish, Goldie, you did a really good job of sticking with us. You lasted a whole lot longer than I ever expected you to. Hell, I was amazed that you made it home after the kid shook that bag over and over again in the store. She has seen Nemo, she knows what could happen and DID IT ANYWAY (she may be a psychopath).

Rest (float?) in peace, Goldie (or Goldy) - you were a great fish.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

False Positives

When Supergirl was around 3 months old, she got her very first cold. Since she was running a fever and all of the Baby Tylenol and Baby Advil said that I need to talk to a doctor before administering, we made an appointment for her to go to our HMO's Urgent Care Clinic.

After waiting a very long time, the doctor came into see us, and, being cautious ended up sending us across the hall to have X-Rays done to ensure that a simple cold had not progressed into pneumonia. We had to hold her down very tight so that the tech could get clear pictures of her lungs. The tighter we held her, the more she screamed and tried to wriggle away. I cried so hard, I thought I would never stop crying.

Once we got back home, we realized that there were several messages on the house voicemail (this seems like so long ago!) that we needed to come back, get her X-Rays and go straight over to the Emergency Room. They were certain that she had a hernia. The only instructions we were given were to pick up the X-Rays, get her to the hospital, and whatever you do, do not feed her.

After 6 and half hours, two dead cell phone batteries, explosive poop from the baby (that we were instructed to keep to show the doctor), and rock hard boobs that had become fountains, we were led to an exam room.

The doctor took one look at our worried and tired new parent faces, and our screaming, starving infant and smiled. "Your daughter does not have a hernia."

"What? You haven't even looked at the X-Rays or the poop, we have it right here."

"I don't have to", he responded, gently with a huge smile on his face. "That is a healthy, screaming, hungry baby. Her stomach is not distended. She has been having bowel movements, she is not running a fever. She is fine."

I sighed. I finally let all of the air that I had been holding in for all of those hours out. "Can I please feed her now?" I said meekly.

He looked at me, "If you don't, I am going to get her a bottle."

And then he walked out, handed the clipboard to the nurse and we were checked out. Everything was fine.

Today, I got some news about the Supergirl. News that I am not fully finished processing yet, so I am not going to detail it here, but news that is traumatizing, much like our Saturday afternoon ER visit from so long ago. I am trying to not get ahead of myself, I am trying to not let myself get carried away. I am trying to just focus on today.

I know I have asked you to pray for me a lot the last few weeks - would you mind maybe doing it again today?

"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest." ~Matthew 11:28 

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

This Is The Beginning...

Supergirl is officially 4 and half now (I kinda make a big deal out of that because her birthday is so close to Christmas and Christmas mucks up the whole darn thing - although, thank you, Jesus for being born, you are really important to my whole being, so I really do appreciate you, I just hate that my kid gets kinda shortchanged in this deal). This morning, I took the morning off to take her to the doctor as well as some other important daughter-centered activities.

At the doctor's office, the girl climbed up on the table and down OVER and OVER. For a pediatrician's office, I was rather dismayed at the lack of books, activities or ANYTHING colorful to help distract the girl. We may have the most boring pediatrician on the planet. Also, there are no suckers or lollipops for kids at this doctor's office. They had stickers but that didn't go over very well.

Surprise, surprise - guess who needed shots at way-too-early o'clock this morning?

As I was holding her down on the table and she was screaming in my face, I couldn't help but think that she totally deserves the shots after the attitude that she has been flaunting around the last few weeks.

I forgot how good shots can feel when you are a parent.

She asked for a sucker and they told her they didn't have any, they offered her a sticker and she yelled, "That is not enough for what you have done to ME!" and stormed out of the office.

Then I took her to the preschool she will be starting in the fall to fill out paperwork and let her tour the facility before she headed to camp for the day.

How can it be 4 and half has happened already? Wasn't she just born? Wasn't she just a baby a minute ago? Where did the time go?

August 13, 2012 - My baby will be starting preschool.

This is the beginning, and I am so scared of this new world...

In May of 2008, the beginning of the attitude.

And in March of 2012, she finally grew into those cheeks. 

Monday, June 18, 2012

I Got Conned - Again

I don't know how or when the Supergirl sees infomercials. We have one TV in the whole house. It streams Netflix almost exclusively. We do not have cable or satellite. And yet, if you walk down the "As Seen On TV" aisle at the Walmart or Bed Bath and Beyond - she will know exactly what those products are.

"Momma, the Genie Bra is the most comfortable bra you will ever wear. You will love not having the straps fall off your shoulders and your boobies will be so perky"

"Ooooh Momma, look, it's the Ped-Egg! Wouldn't it be great if your feet were soft again like mine instead of rough and scaly"

"MOMMA! The No-No makes you NEVER have to shave your legs again! This could really work for you, Momma! And if you ever grow a mustache, the No-No will take care of that for you too! We could even use it on Daddy!"

And so began my downfall to the lure of Slushy-Freaking-Magic

You see, the marketers and makers of Slushy Magic, they know what they are doing when they send out these commercials showing children shaking and making their very own slushies quickly and easily.  Since watching this commercial, my daughter has been in hot pursuit of the life changing opportunity that Slushy Magic could obviously provide. 

"Momma, when I get a Slushy Magic, I can make slushies for all of my friends. We could have slushy parties, and I can even make you and daddy slushies for breakfast."

Fortunately, we had not seen a Slushy Magic in a store anywhere and have been able to steer the conversation away from the slushy making possibilities.

Until this weekend.

Supergirl and I were out shopping for the Hubs' Father's Day gift when the display caught her eye. I felt her body shift and in the amount of time it took for me to realize what had drawn her attention, she was gone in a flurry of young couples and moms shopping for kids going away to camp. When she grabbed that box, I knew that there was NO chance that I would be able to wrestle that from her grasp and be able to make our purchases with any semblance of peace.

I had two choices.

Put the box back along with all other purchases and attempt to get her outside before the meltdown began.


Buy the damn thing.

So I bought it. Yes, I am totally ashamed of myself.

When we got home, we opened "the kit" which consists of a cup, 3 silicone bags filled with fluid, a lid with a hole in the top, and a straw with a spoon at the end. We put the silicone bags in the freezer and waited.

5 hours later, they were still not frozen completely solid, but we decided to give a shot. In went the "cubes" (the silicon bags), in when the freshly made pink lemonade.

And shake. Shake, shake, shake.

And shake. Shake, shake, shake.

For over 3 minutes.

Supergirl got some really cold lemonade, but there was nothing "slushy" about it. The cubes had completely defrosted so we couldn't try it on any anything else for the night, since they needed to freeze again.

Yesterday morning, we got up, Supergirl asked for another slushy, so we tried it again. In went the cubes, in went the now cold lemonade and after shaking for nearly two minutes, we had about 4 oz. of slushy.

4 ounces.

Wanna know how fast a 4 and half year old can go through 4 ounces of slushy? Faster than it took to make it, I can tell you that much.

The problem is that after you have made the 4 ounces of slushy, the cubes are completely defrosted and have returned to their liquid state (every time) which means that there are no slushies for anyone else, just one extremely pushy 4 year old. If you have more than one kid, you have to have more than one of these things.

Apparently, Slushy Magic lost it's magic for the Supergirl and she has wanted nothing to do with it since yesterday. That's good since my triceps are still burning for the first two.

I just have to wonder if those two slushies were worth the $7.50 each that they cost me.

By the way, anytime you click on one of these Amazon links and make a purchase, I earn a commission. Shop through my blog!

Friday, June 15, 2012

At Least My Feet Are Young

There are days that you feel young. Days that your adorable child informs you that you are a teenager, even though you insist that you are most sincerely not.

And then there are days where your undeniably old. Like rickety and rusty and creaky and things crack when you move them. Things that are NOT supposed to crack.

Last night, the Supergirl and I had a rare "Girls Night". The Hubs had to close the restaurant (OOOH! Did I remember to let y'all know that he got a JOB? I don't think I have shared that good fortune. Thank you to everyone that has been praying for him to find the right job. he is now in the land of the employed once again, and although there has been a lot of confusion - it's a brand new restaurant and there are still A LOT of kinks to be worked out - he seems to really enjoy it) so she and I got to paint our nails and toenails, she did my makeup (something that she begs to do often that I rarely allow to happen), watched girly movies (Freaky Friday, anyone?) and ate food that the Hubs does not like (re: vegetables).

It's not that I don't trust her to get the makeup ON, it's just the combinations that she uses that gives me pause. 
It was a good night and we were settling in to snuggle on the couch. The Supergirl looked at my toes and then looked up at me, "How can you have such YOUNG feet when you are so, so, SO old?"

I don't know. I really just don't know.

By the way, anytime you click on one of these Amazon links and make a purchase, I earn a commission. Shop through my blog!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

My Artists Way Toolkit - A Review

This month, as part of the BlogHer Book Club, I was given exclusive access to the My Artists Way Toolkit, a website dedicated to bringing out your innermost artist. 

From the website:
The Artist's Way by Julia Cameron has motivated millions of aspiring and professional artists around the world to discover and recover their creative selves. Now some of the most powerful practices from The Artist's Way have been adapted to create MyArtist's Way Toolkit, an interactive experience that will allow you to:

UNBLOCK yourself with powerful Artist's Way exercises
TRACE your creative process in your own personal Artist's Way Creativity Notebook
RECEIVE Daily Inspirations, Affirmations, and Artist's Date ideas from Julia
Includes an Artist's Way App feature so you can take your creativity with you - wherever you go!
Based on the novel of the same title, the My Artist's Way Toolkit is built much like an online private journal.

You can click on the Creative Affirmation card and read an inspirational quote. I really liked doing the affirmations first thing in the morning, when I was still trying to get my juices flowing. The creative Soundbites were a little touchy, feely for me, but I could think of quite a few people that would really enjoy them - they just weren't my particular style.

I like the idea that you can create a creative cluster (under the Community header), with other like minded artists, although I was not sure if that was a free feature for  everyone in the group, or if it was something that each member would have to pay for.

I loved to do the various exercises that you can see on the second and third tabs. They really gave me inspiration to write and dig deeper into why I write.

Admittedly, I was aware of of Julia Cameron's recommendations that you should write 3 handwritten journal pages every morning to get your juices flowing before you do anything else with your day. Unfortunately, mornings are not good for me (and I am sure every other mother on the planet). Once I switched my morning pages to the after-lunch pages, I did much better and have really been able to see a difference in my writing over the last few weeks.

I have enjoyed using the My Artist's Way Toolkit and will continue to use it over the next few weeks. I am not certain that I will purchase an extension to the membership however, as it is a bit pricey and I feel that I have gotten all of the use out of it that I can.

I’ll be discussing this book with the BlogHer Book Club over the next four weeks. Come join me.

This is a paid review for the BlogHer Book Club, as always the opinions expressed are my own.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

An Oriental Obsession

I have mentioned before that the Supergirl would like to have a Chinese sibling because she would like to learn how to speak Chinese.

What I haven't mentioned is that she has a strange fascination with all Asian people. Actually,this obsession is almost to the point of being racist. And I am not really sure where it has come from.

It's been going on for awhile now.

Case #1 - When she was 2 and half she noticed that the produce manager of the local grocery store was "Chinese" (he may be from somewhere else, he is definitively Asian). I am so, so glad we were in a store when she called out to him and said, "I really like your food..." I am also glad that that was the only part of what she said that he heard and it seemed to be in context, because the next part, rumbled and slurred in 2 year old speak was along the lines of, "...Sesame Chicken, Egg Rolls, Dumplings."

I rushed her out of there.

Case #2 - Displaying to my friend that she can now count to 3 in Spanish, my friend asks her, "Where did you learn Spanish?" Supergirl replied, "I learned it at a Chinese restaurant, they were speaking Spanish." 

Case #3 - The Supergirl just started camp this week. The only person that she will talk about is her new friend "Robin". When I asked her about Robin, the Supergirl looked at me as though she was very upset. "She looks Chinese, but she doesn't speak Chinese and she has never been to China. She might just be wearing a mask."

I don't know what I am going to do with her. She told me last night that she keeps getting browner because the sun won't stop kissing her and then she said, "People are going to think that I am Spanish." I don't think there is a chance of that.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

If Only I Had Known...

In light of the incredible vision that motherhood has given me, I would like to address this post to my mother.

Dear Mommy,

I am SO, SO, SO very sorry. I am sorry for every whine when you would try to brush my hair. I am sorry for every time I spit out something that you had made for me to eat. I am sorry for any public meltdowns that you may have had to endure (although, obviously, I DO not remember EVER acting that way, really, that could totally have been my sister, your memory might be slipping...)

I am sorry for every time I ever said that I didn't love you, I know now how heart-turning and gut-wrenching it is to hear your child say these words. I am so sorry. I am sorry for that time in Kindergarten that I told my friends that my mother had popcorn teeth. I really had no idea what I was saying then.

I am sorry for all of the slammed doors and sass. I am sorry if I ever physically hurt you. (Again, I don't think that that could have been me, but, just in case).

I am sorry that I was not more appreciative of your "squishy belly", gray hairs,  and stretch marks. I am sorry for every time that I tried to point them out (to friends and strangers). 

I know now. Oh, boy, do I know. And I could never be anymore sorry.  

Love you,

The mother of your 4-year-old granddaughter

So much attitude in such a little package

Monday, June 11, 2012

Authenticity vs. Verbal Diarrhea

I like to think that I am an authentic person. And in most ways, in most situations, that is accurate. I am the same person when I am being a secretary as I am when I am working in a parts house as I am when I am being a wife and a mother. With me, what you see is what you get. For better or worse.

The problem is that I have a hard time quantifying that authenticity with the lack of filter that I seem to have on my mouth. It's not that I am walking around cussing people out, or being loud for no reason - but, given the opportunity to actual speak about myself or my family, I find that I tend to release a whole lot of information all at once on rather unsuspecting people that are obviously, almost painfully, trying to find a way to escape my verbal diarrhea.

This usually happens with strangers. At first I come off as witty and smart (maybe?), but give me the 5 minutes too long that I need to muck it up and I will.

Friday, June 8, 2012

A Tale of Long Ago

Gather 'round kiddies, it's story time.

A long, long time ago, there was a moderately attractive naive young girl named Heather. *

*This was a really long time ago, like 1996. Back then, you could fill up a gas tank for less than 20 dollars. In fact, according to the journal that she kept from back then, $20 was her allowance after bills each week for food, sodas, gas - everything. For a week. One whole week. 7 friggin' days. 

It's amazing I know.

Now, this girl had a very cute car for a 19 year old in 1996. While most of her friends had beat up hand-me-downs from siblings, or cars that their parents had given them, Heather's parents made her save up enough money for a down payment and her own insurance before she even had a driver's license. (And, honestly, I appreciate that and will be doing it to my own child one day. It taught the value of working hard, saving up for the things that I want, and not being a burden on your parents already tight budget.)

When she signed the deal for 5 years, 2001 seemed so far away, so distant. The payments were less than $200 a month, the insurance was around $60. Gas was 84 cents a gallon. When someone would tell you that they would give you 5 dollars for gas, it felt as though you were stealing from them.*

*People still offer $5 for gas for you to drive them somewhere. How can everything else go up, but that is still the going rate for being a makeshift taxi service? I don't understand.  

It was pink. Really pink. Maybe fuschia. The dealership called it Sunrise Red which is not exactly accurate, but the girl would defend it whenever anyone would criticize her "Hot Pink" car. It was a two door hatchback and was only intended to seat 4 people, but somehow she and her friends could squeeze in 8 people for trips to the beach.*

As I wrote this, it seemed so much cooler, so much less boxy.
The mind is a funny thing. I would not buy this car now, but I loved it then. 
*The car did have seat belts, but as they were not required by law back then, they never really used them. Oh, the idiocy of youth. 

Not that anyone could have been ejected, they were sandwiched in so tight that no one was moving. 

That car went everywhere. Up the east coast to faraway, distant lands like Norfolk, Virginia. Across the interstate to foreign countries like Vidalia, Louisiana and Natchez, Mississippi. And down the scary terrain to Miami and Fort Lauderdale. It drove over every dirt and gravel road in the county.*

*There are places both at home and far away that my father told me never to go to. Miami was on that list. In fact, I am pretty sure that anything south of Orlando was on that list, but we just never talked about it. 

It had over 200 thousand miles on it before 4 years were even up and it had been hit so many times that it could no longer be repaired.*

*People LOVED to hit that car. I have never been in as many accidents in any other car in my life. It was t-boned TWICE, rear-ended FOUR times, and hit head on once. It had been keyed by jealous girls in the parking lot of the bar I had worked in. It had had the tires flattened by the same jealous girls on numerous occasions. It had been thrown up in (that smell NEVER comes out by the way).

We played the music loud (even when all of the speakers started to blow) and would rewind the same cassette tape over and over for some songs ("I Got Five On It", "Killing Me Softly"). The first time that I heard "You Oughtta Know" I was in that car.

It was the car that she rescued friends from grown up situations (like being too drunk to drive and escaping a crazy boyfriend) in. It was the car that she realized that she might just love that boy in. It was the car that she talked on her very first cell phone in. It was the car that she killed her first armadillo and first possum and first squirrel in. *

*She does not make it a practice to go around killing animals on back country roads late at night. It's just that it was dark, she was driving really fast, and they darted out in front of her before she had a chance to stop. I cried for two days over that flippin' armadillo until I found out that I had cracked my oil pan when I ran it over. Then I was just angry. 

But the girl loved that car. It was her first, her baby. Thinking back on it, I think that the love, the longing that all of us have for that car is not just about the car, it's about youth, and fun, and not caring about tomorrow. It's about how cheap life was back then (less than 20 years ago), how easy everything seemed.

I miss that car, but I think I miss those times a lot more.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

The Dowry

Does anyone know how many chickens and goats are involved with marrying off your daughter these days?

I mean the Supergirl is only 4, but I feel like if I am gonna have enough livestock to truly do her would-be suitor justice someday, I am going to need a pretty handsome flock.

Currently, we have one cat, one fish, and 6 chickens. I think that I should wait on the goats for the time being as I am certain that the Land Baron would not truly appreciate the necessity of the collection of livestock.

I could get the goats and put them at Aunt JoDene's house because I am mostly certain that she would not realize that they were there until they ate the fence and she saw her dogs standing in the driveway.

I could also just wait for the Farmer Brown to get goats, not take care of them and then adopt them when they move to our house, much like the chickens, but there is not really a guarantee that he will ever get goats and then I am kind of screwed.

Maybe, I will need to come up with other offerings. Something cooler, like a motorcycle or more handy, like a proven divining rod (since water will most likely be hard to come by given the almost 10 year drought that we have had around here) or a bunker for the eventuality of the Zombie-pocalypse that my friend Fonso assures me is coming, but that I have yet to buy into.*

*By the way, about the Zombie-pocalypse, is anyone else concerned that the only people willing to fight against the Zombies are all techno-geeks that play a lot of video games? What are they going to do "systems" the Zombies to death?  Where are all the manly men that build things and shoot things? Cause those are the guys that I think I would rather have near me when it all comes down. Not just because they would probably be a more appealing snack, but also because they could be useful until they get eaten.

If you have any expertise in marrying off your daughter (or are interested in getting your son in on this sweet dowry deal) let me know and we can work out some arrangements.

Just know though, if it comes down to your son or my daughter against Zombies, I am probably gonna pick her.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Marriage and Babies - A Kid's Eye View

We make a cute baby, though.
The Hubs cousin, Shaun, recently got married. While his parents were out of town for the wedding, Supergirl kept asking me what we were going to buy for the baby. "What baby, is Shaun having a baby?" I looked at the Hubs who shrugged while the Supergirl nodded her head.

"She's getting married, she's getting a baby."
Snuggling with the Supergirl on the couch after a long day, she places her order.

"Momma, I would like a baby sister." 

"I'll see what I can do about that." 

"Can I be your flowergirl?" She asks excitedly, sitting back to look at my face.

"Uh, um, I'm already married. To daddy. Remember?"

She rolls her eyes and looks at me with exasperation. "You have to get married EVERY time you get a baby. That's how it works."
She prays upon the penny before she throws it into the fountain. "Dear God, I would really like a baby sister. I think she should be Chinese. I have always wanted to learn to speak Chinese."

Later, in the Chinese restaurant picking up dinner: "This is my momma. Her name is Heather. She likes eggrolls and babies."

I leave wondering if I have just been part of a failed setup.
Leaving from the babysitter's house last night, she tells my friend, "You have 3 husbands and your husband has two wives."

My friend quickly replies, "Oh no, I don't.", to which the Supergirl replies, "How else do you explain all of these children?"
Coming home from the Marriage Retreat this weekend, I announce to Supergirl that her Daddy and I are freshly remarried (we renewed our vows at the retreat).

"I don't care what you do, I am not sharing my room and my stuff. You can put that baby in the closet or something."

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

After the Passion...

The thunder jolted the little girl from her sleep.

She lay in her bed, slightly disoriented by the stillness and darkness of her room. She listened for the telltale signs of home – the tinkle of the cat’s bell, the sound of dogs barking in the distance.


Her voice crackled with a dry stickiness as she cried out a soft, “Momma?”

She waited for a response, her slight curiosity at the stillness all around her beginning to morph into a prodding feeling of fear. When her mother did not answer, she climbed from her bed onto the floor and began to stumble towards her parent’s room.

Their bedroom door was closed, which added to her fears, as she had never seen it closed before. 


Thunder shook the entire house as she stood staring at the light coming from under her parent’s door.

She could hear her mother’s muffled voice behind the door. “Please, Lord, I know what I am asking, I know what I am sacrificing – but I will do it, if it means that her soul can be saved. I will do it for her. Please, God. Leave me behind, so that we can both join You.”

Her mother’s words made her skin tingle as the light flashed and disappeared.

The door swung open as she cried out, louder this time, “Momma?”

Her mother reached out for her and held her tightly. “Hurry, hurry. We have to go.”

“Go where, Momma? Where’s Daddy? What’s happening?”


This weeks's assignment comes from The Lightning and the Lightning Bug:

Here's your chance, your once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. A literary agent has discovered your blog. She's captivated by your writing. She wants to sign you. But first, you have to prove yourself. She wants to hear the pitch for your book. You have 250 words to captivate her, capture her imagination, convince her of your amazing talent and that your book is going to be THE book that sells millions. 

This week your Flicker of Inspiration prompt is to give us a pitch. A perfect pitch. Think of the description on the back of your favorite novel, the words that make you buy that book for your Kindle, the short paragraphs that let you know you MUST read that book. 

Monday, June 4, 2012

The Weekend That Turned It All Around

The last four months have been a disaster to our marriage and what you may not have realized is that by Friday of last week, I was done. I was ready to throw in the towel, admit defeat, and walk away from 18 years of my life. I could not take another moment of this marriage, of this husband, of life the way that it was.

And, even as the husband and I packed up the car to attend the Family Life Weekend to Remember marriage retreat in St. Augustine that a couple at church had gifted us with, I was doubtful that we could ever be a we again, that fixing us was even a remote possibility.

We dropped off the Supergirl with hugs and kisses and drove east in relative silence. He slept half of the way there, which is customary.

I am still struggling to find the words to describe the intensity of the event, for both of us. I don't think either of us have ever cried or laughed so much in a 48 hour period. I don't know that in the 18 years that we have been together that we have felt as closely connected as we did when we were leaving there.

We learned so much. We have shifted our view from the smaller picture that our culture encourages us to see (me, mine, I, etc) to the larger picture that GOD wants us to be a part of (we, us, our, one). We are tired, exhausted really but so, so, so much better than we were.

I have also realized some things about our marriage and myself.

  1. While I could point the finger at the Hubs and say, "Look, here, here is this evidence of all of the sin that he has committed against me and our marriage. I never did anything wrong, it is all his fault that our marriage is crumbling." In actuality, I was just a big of a sinner, maybe even more. I was a community group leader, I was proud and boastful of this "relationship" that I had with God, but a lot of the time, I was just walking the walk and talking the talk and NOT really in relationship with him at all. I was not reading the Bible, or praying, or submitting to my spouse or my marriage. 
  2. I never let myself submit to God, the Hubs, or marriage because I was prideful of my independent nature, my I-can-do-it-all-by-myself attitude. I think the last four months have blown that pride, that attitude completely out of the window. Practicing humility is hard, and for me, it will be a daily struggle. 
  3. I never let myself believe that I was good enough for the Hubs. This is leftover crap from my childhood, but I have been saying it out loud to him for so long, that he really started to believe it too. Refocusing on each other as unique gifts that God has given us to spend our lifetimes with, has changed both of our perspectives on our marriage.
  4. Once the Supergirl came along, I completely shifted my focus off of my husband and placed all of my focus on her. In the first two years of our marriage, I brought him dinner to work every night, I left him notes almost every day declaring my love, my affection for him. And then we had a baby, and he lost me somewhere between the diaper changes and the breastfeeding. Our children are second to our marriage, they will leave us and have their own family one day. We should focus on the one that we have been gifted to create our family with. 
  5. Finally, and most importantly, I am his cheerleader, his encourager, his shelter in the storm. I have to let him know every day that I believe in him, that I trust in him, that I have faith in him. Otherwise, he will lose faith and trust in himself and we will be right back in the same spot we started in - broken. 
I am amazed and reeling from all of the emotion, information, and work that happened in such a short amount of time, but I am eternally grateful and overwhelmed that people would gift this to us. 

This, this is what it is to love and be loved. 

Friday, June 1, 2012

Winter or Summer - It Still Sucks

I have a summer cold.


I could do without it. It makes my brain feel like it is encased in a thick cement block of snot. I cannot focus on anything. *

* Except for the mouth breathing, because when I forget for a moment and try to breathe through my nose I feel like I am suffocating, drowning. And then the coughing starts. 

I don't like the coughing.

I have been like this since Tuesday.

Let me show you this week's weather.

Okay, so I am not really an artist. I think it adds the right mix of F'ed up to make it believable.
The humidity in North Florida is unrivaled, so I have been trying to come up with ways to describe it so that every one can feel what I am feeling. 
  • Take your dog into the shower with you. Sit on the floor of the shower next to the dog with the water turned only to HOT. Make sure the dog is breathing directly up your nose. 
  • Place a package of hotdogs in a pot of water. When the start boiling, put a towel over your head and the pot. 
  • Sit in an air-conditioned room, like super air-conditioned to 62 degrees but wrap an electric blanket around your neck and shoulders. Just your neck and shoulders. While wearing a clothespin on your nose and spraying pepper spray into your eyeballs. 
That should cover it. 

I have off for the next 3 days. The kid will be with Grandma. I will either get better or die trying. 

You'll know for sure on Monday. 
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