Monday, July 31, 2006

On the day you were born...

This is in honor of one of my favorite little people, Meaghan. Meaghan is the daughter of my bestest friend Kelly. Many of you know Kel from her comments on this blog, and from her own blog. I've known Kel for over 12 years. Kel actually baked Gret a cake for her second birthday. I drove her to and from the airport when she got married the first time (big mistake!). We've been friends through guys and fiances and marriages and divorces (hers and mine), through pregnancies and births and motherhood (I was at 2 of her births, she was at 1 of mine), through parents getting hurt (hers) and parents dying (mine), through sibling marriages (both of ours) and sibling divorces (mine), through crazy mother in laws (again, both of us) to finding peace with the women that birthed our wonderful husbands, through financial distress to being fat cats, through identity crisis and cheating spouses. Yeah, we've both earned the title of "Best Friend", and we work hard at keeping that title. There are people on this earth that I love and would do anything for (like my family), there are friends that I cry with and rejoice with (like Charity and my neighbor Kim). They are wonderful, and they enrich my life in ways that I could never fully explain. I love them more than the stars. But there is only one Kel. And she's mine. And now, so is her oldest daughter...

This weekend, I escaped to Kel's new pad in Jacksonville, NC. She just got her stuff from the movers, and I needed a place to go to escape 'not-lanta envy'. It worked out great. While there, her oldest daughter decided she needed to come home with me. I really don't know why this happened. I've always adored this child. I was there when she made her grand entrance into the world. I've always sorta worried that she wasn't quite as warm to me though. Well, not anymore! She loves me, she really loves me!! Of course, it might have something to do with the fact that she's finally realized just how much I adore her, and she's learning how to use that to her best advantage, but hey, I'll take what I can get!

I promised her the story of the day she was born, and I am trusting that her mom will keep this link and show it to her on days when she's not feelin the love from the people around her. I want her to know how much she is cherished, and that this woman can't imagine the world without her in it. So here it is, Meggers...

On the Day You Were Born...
Your mommy was living with me and my family, because we wanted to be together to share that very special time of waiting for you. I promised her that I would be her birthing coach, because she'd done the same thing for me when Michael was born. She was one hellaciously amazing woman to get through that parade in Puerto Rico to get me to the hospital before his birth. It may have had something to do with not wanting amniotic fluid on the back seat of her classic Chevelle, but I choose to believe she drove like Dale out love for me and my baby, ok? She started nesting pretty seriously the week before, and I knew you were getting close to making an entrance. I wonder if I was more excited that she was sometimes though. Oh, she wanted you, have no doubts about that. But I already had kids, and knew exactly what kind of joy you would bring her. All she really knew was that labor would hurt, you would probably cry a lot, and she had one "fat-ass car seat" for you. I think she may have been a little scared, but you know your mom - she never showed it at all! I was so proud of her!!
Before dawn, she knocked on my door. I was sleeping, and so was Shane. She said "Nise, I think it's time" and I was instantly awake. Shane was not. We waited a bit longer, then headed off to the hospital. They triaged her, then admitted her, and then the fun began.
Your mother was AMAZING, Meg. She really was. I'm getting tears in my eyes right now thinking of how strong and how brave she was. She had to have been scared, and in pain, and wondering what in the hell she was getting herself into, but she never wavered in her determination to bring you into the world healthy. She huffed and puffed with me, she focused through contractions, she squeezed my hand, she did it all, and of course she looked amazing doing it!
Finally, it was time for you to be born, and I think she would have crawled down to the end of the bed to be the first to see you if that would have been possible. It wasn't, so I got to be the lucky one. I felt so blessed. When you came whooshing out of her, I got soaked, and your silly momma started apologizing. Honestly, I barely noticed it, because I couldn't take my eyes off of you. You were one of the most beautiful things I'd ever seen in my entire life. You were the absolute embodiment of adulthood for my very best friend, and I knew that I would love you because of her until I took my last breath on this earth.
I have six kids of my own. I also have a spoiled rotten niece that I adore, and a cute new nephew that I can't wait to spoil. I have two other children of my heart that actually belong to Kel also. I love them because they are hers, but I also love them because they are their own little people. I can't say "I love this one better, or this one less" because that is so very wrong, and I hate it when people do that with my kids. I don't love any of Kel's kids more or less, but I DO love them in very different ways. Meaghan is so much like my Gret that it hurts to watch her sometimes. When she smiles, I swear the angels smile with her. When she cries, my heart breaks. I would do just about any thing in this world to make sure that she was happy. I even told her Grammy this weekend that if anything ever happened to Kel, we'd have to split custody. I'd fight her tooth and nail for Kel's kids, but I know that she loves them as much as I do, but in a very different way. They are her blood, her oldest daughter's children, her legacy. She loves them ferociously. Me, I love them because I can, because I have to, because they are so much a part of the girl that I watched become a woman, and who is now my very best friend. I love them as much, but for very different reasons.

I said this post was for Meaghan, and part of it is. But really, I guess it is just as much for Kel and me. When you have a friend like Kel, when you've gone through the stuff that we have and can still pick up the phone to share the joys and the sorrows, when your friendship lasts longer than your marriages, you know what I mean. We've had our ups and downs, but we're still together. I never thought I'd have a friend like that, and I certainly never thought it would be a cute blonde chick. But it is, and I do. And I couldn't be more blessed.

I love you Meaghan.

I love you Kel.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Four things...and you gotta do it too!!

I got this from an e-mail that my friend Anna sent me. I thought it was kinda cute, so I decided to play along. As most of you know, I don't usually do the 'forward this e-mail' thing, but I have NO PROBLEM turning those things into blog entries... So here goes. And feel free to do this one on your own blog so we can all get to know you a little better!

Things you may not have known about me.....

A) Four jobs I have had in my life:
1. Adoption agent at an animal pound
2. Ice cream scooper at Baskin Robbins
3. Magician's Assistant
4. Retail Sales (Broadway Southwest, Macy's, The Gap, The Disney Store)

B) Four movies I would watch over and over:

1. Princess Bride (I gotta go with Anna on this one!)
2. The Breakfast Club
3. Breakfast at Tiffany's

4. Love Actually

C) Four places I have lived:
1. Las Vegas, NV
2. Panama Canal Zone
3. Puerto Rico
4. Riverside, CA
(PS It was really hard to choose just FOUR, since I've lived so many places.)

D) Four TV shows I love to watch:
1. CSI (the original)
2. West Wing
3. Dirty Jobs
4. Charmed (yes, I'm an addict now, and in re-runs even)

E) Four places I have been on vacation:
1. Florence, Italy
2. Paris, France
3. Solvang, CA
4. Virginia Beach, VA (yeah, I lived here too, but vacation is FUN there!!)

F) Four Web sites I visit daily:
1. (Charity's blog)
2. (Joshilyn Jackson's 'Faster Than Kudzu' blog)
3. (He Wrote/She Wrote Crusie/Mayer blog)
4. (gotta check that mail, you know)
geez, I just realized that I am a total blog-ho! Can you believe it? And there are at least 10 other blogs that I check on a daily basis, too!

G) Four of my favorite foods:
1. Steak, prepared by my husband
2. Chocolate in any form
3. Chicken Marsala
4. Blue tortilla enchiladas from Lupi's in Puerto Rico!!!

H) Four places I would like to be right now:
1. In bed with Shane (and I will be in about 5 minutes!!)
2. at the beach
3. anywhere with Kelly and Kim
4. right where I am, sitting at my desk touching my keyboard

I) 4 friends I think might do this:
1. Charity
2. Kelly
3. Sheri
4. Penny

Have fun, people. I can't wait to read Four Things about you!!

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Aaaaahhhhhh, young love... and that means I AM OLD!!

Tonight, at VBS, I had one of those really awkward moments. I was approached by another lady at our church with "So, I hear our kids are an item now". Wow! News to me. Not to be outdone though, I just smiled and replied, "Oh, so you heard, huh?"

What this boils down to is lovely young daughter Gret, the one that you see above, has her very first boyfriend. This young man asked her to "go out" with him on Sunday, and she said "yes". Now, "going out" doesn't mean that they're actually allowed to "Go" anyplace. She knows how we feel about dating, and she is, after all, only 14. However, this is the first time that she's ever had a "boyfriend". She's had crushes, lots of them. She's liked a few boys, and MANY have liked her. I'm one of those moms that really keeps up with that stuff, even down to knowing which of her girlfriends are "going out" with which boys, just so I know what's going on. This is also very helpful when she gets a crush, because we can discuss how the boy treated her friend(s), and why he would or would not be a good choice for her.

She was asked out a few months back by another young man in church. She told that one "no". When I asked her why, she explained that he was her best friend's older brother, and she thinks of him as an older brother also. Plus, he's one of her very best friends, and she doesn't want to mess that up by having him as her boyfriend at this age. It was, perhaps, one of the most mature decisions that she's ever made. I was more impressed than I can say, especially since she made that decision all on her own. It also made me feel pretty un-needed, if you know what I mean. He took it pretty well though, and told her he totally understood, which I also thought was very mature. My gosh, these kids are growing up fast! He's now "going out" with one of her other close friends. Gret is fine with that, and very happy for them, and her and the young man are even closer now. I won't even pretend that it would bother me if she eventually got together with the first boy that asked her out, as I really adore that boy. But right now, we're concentrating on the current guy.

He's a sweetie. And he has NO IDEA what he's gotten himself into with MY daughter. As much as I love my child, I have to admit that she is more than a handful, and it's all my fault, thankyouverymuch. She is what one might call "high maintenance", with very good reason. This is the child that could perfectly enunciate "Don't antagonize me" at age 2, drank Perrier at age 3, rolled her eyes at age 5, totally understood sarcasm and cynicism at age 7, ate grilled honey salmon and asparagus by choice instead of anything off the kids menu at age 9, has worn nothing but Clinique makeup since age 12, and now thinks that the perfect food to pack for camping is steak and shrimp. She also loves to shop, never has enough shoes, prefers a good book to a boring movie, can't live without music, has her own laptop and cell phone, and thinks that every woman deserves to be treated as well as her dad treats me. (Yeah, on that last one, she's in for a rude awakening one day, but I hope that day isn't for a very long time, and I hope the boy can run faster than Shane can shoot, or there will be MUCH blood!)

She wants to invite his whole family over for dinner next weekend, so it won't be awkward. She also knows that she's not allowed to be anywhere alone with him. At all. Ever. Or at least until she's 18. I am very thankful that we're homeschooling, or I wouldn't be able to keep an eye on things as well as I can now. I also like that she is willing to share with me. I think about her friends, and their parents, and I want to cry. Out of her 5 closest friends, one of them has a GREAT relationship with her mom. She's the oldest of her firends, and my favorite. The next oldest one has a decent relationship with her parents, but they don't know that she is "going out" with someone right now (my girl's boyfriends best friend). The other 3 like to hide things from their parents, and that really disturbs me. Two of them currently have boyfriends, and neither their parents, nor the parents of the boys in question have a clue. (And I am supposedly sworn to secrecy.)

All 3 of them also lie to their folks on a fairly regular basis, about things like the music that they have, the movies that they watch, the people they talk to, etc. I get a lot of snubbing from those 3 moms, because they think that I am too liberal with Gret. She's allowed to watch movies that are "R" rated, even ones with yexxy stuff, as long as I watch it with her. She's allowed to read pretty much anything, as long as I read it first (there are a few books that I've asked her to wait to read, and when I explained how sexually graphic they were, she agreed to wait without any arguments). She can listen to just about any music, as long as Shane or I check the lyrics first (I can only remember one time that we've said "no", and she understood why after we explained to her what we found in the lyrics). Basically, she has a LOT of freedom, but it is a very controlled freedom, if that makes any sense. That makes some of those moms very uncomfortable. Personally, I happen to trust her (within limits) and I want her to trust me. I want her to be able to tell me when she likes a guy without being afraid that I'll go all "mom" on her. I want her to feel free to talk to me about things without worrying that I'll ground her for liking somebody or forbid her to talk to someone.

After all is said and done though, I'm left sitting here in my chair, after midnight, thinking about the gorgeous young woman that is sleeping in her bed one floor above me. She makes me smile. She warms my heart. I see a sparkle in her eyes that steals my breath. I sense that precipice that she is dancing near, the one that will plunge her headlong into womanhood, and I tremble with both fear and excitement for her. She is my future. She is ME.

And I am suddenly feeling very, very old.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

So there I was... a bookstore, a bacon cheeseburger, and Joshilyn Jackson!

Below left, you will see The Hot Chicks. On the right, you see one of The Hot Chicks with me! Yeah, that's totally me, STANDING RIGHT NEXT TO JOSHILYN JACKSON!!!

Ok, I know I look pretty goofy, and she looks more like Veronica than Betty, but still, that is totally me standing right next to her. I mean, can you tell that our shoulders are touching? So you see how close we are? I mean, I'm totally framing this picture and writing BFF all over it! (Yeah, I took that idea right from Joshilyn's very own blog, but really, isn't that the greatest form of flattery? Oh shut up! It is so NOT like I stole her exact words or anything and claimed they were my own. I mean, I'm telling you right here, I just borrowed them from her blog. I'm giving her ALL of the credit, so just get over it, ok?) <----------yeah, I know, calm down, but I'm still a little bit hyped about today. I had the coolest day, and I have to gush about it. So if gushing makes you sick, then just get off the blog for a while and go read something FUN and INTERESTING. Notice that there are NO LINKS for those big-lettered words? That's because I can't think of a single thing that could be more fun or interesting than the day I had today. My friend Charity has a link on her blog called "Faster Than Kudzu". Since I loves Char, and I think she's really smart, and I respect her tons, I like to check her links. Well, I stumbled into FTK a while back, and I never wanted to leave. I mean, the chick that wrote it was Funny. Really Freakin' Funny. I'd never heard of her before, and as I was reading, I was thinking, "She should totally be a writer, because people would sooo pay money to read this stuff!" Yeah, sometimes I'm a little slow on the uptake. I know. Because the person that blogs FTK is Joshilyn Jackson. I'd never heard of her, but couldn't stay away from her blog. Blah blah blah, fast forward a few months, and I've devoured BOTH Between, Georgia and gods in Alabama in less than 2 days, and almost regret reading them because I can't seem to enjoy anything else as much right now, so I've re-read them quite a bit. All of my friends have patiently sat through hearing me read the scene in gIA about the Baptist Youth Minister's wife's story, and all have laughed at the right places... Oh hell, I'm rambling again. Sorry.

Ms. Jackson is currently on tour. She's blogged about it. I wanted to have her sign a book or 5, so I checked her tour stops. To say that she would be nowhere within 5 hours of me is not a lie. The closest she would be is CHARLOTTE, freakin-North Carolina. That is one full state away, which roughly translates to 7 hours on the road. But hey, I really wanted to see if she was half as funny in person, and I did make the trek to Baltimore to see another certain two authors, so what's 7 hours on the road, one way? SHANE, stop reading now. Well, besides $90 in gas, but we're NOT mentioning that, ok?

Oh people, it was so very much worth any amount of time, energy, loss of sleep, and standing on my feet for 18 hours serving biscuits and gravy!! I can't even do the play by play, because I know I wouldn't do it justice. But get this, I MET HER. And she knew who I was. And I didn't get tooooo very freaky-stalker-fanish, because she was so gracious as to invite me to have lunch! YES!! SHE DID!!! I actually got to sit at the same table and eat bacon cheeseburgers with her.

Ok, I got that out of my system. Now I have to tell you The Big Thing. She is a real person. I mean, a REAL person. I don't know what I thought she'd be, but she was MORE, and BETTER, because she doesn't come across as thinking that she is either more or better than anyone else. As we were all getting ready to leave, I realized something else. She's MORE and BETTER because she's just like everyone else. She wanted to get the hell out of the place and get home to her husband. Yet, she sat there and talked to me and my new pal Elizabeth like we were her friends. I felt IMPORTANT. I don't mean the whole "Oh, I'm sitting her having lunch with a famous author" kind of important. I mean the "You are a unique individual, and you deserve my time and attention" kind of important, the kind that you get from your friends. She didn't play up the fact that she's published, unless it was to give us pointers that would help. She didn't brag about her stories, she totally talked up K's WIP, and actually listened to Autumn, Elizabeth and I when we talked about our own WIPs.

What did we talk about? Well, we got tips and insider info on the publishing biz, which is a LOT different than just writing. We talked about agents and editors and family, and lighting up talking about a story, and whores, and bacon, and Snakes on Planes, and toxic algae. Really, I can't tell you all of it, because it is MINE, and I don't really want to share all of that. I'm not trying to be selfish or anything, but remember your first REAL kiss? Remember how your best friend asked you all about it, and part of you wanted to spill the beans, but part of you was afraid that if you let one little bit seep out then the perfection of that moment would be forever lost to you? Well, it was JUST LIKE THAT, but totally without all of the lips and tongues and slobber. Get it?

Anyhow, I want you to check out her tour dates and to encourage any of you that have the chance to go and see Joshilyn if she ever gets anywhere close to you. By anywhere close, I mean that if you say "She's not coming anywhere near me" then you better mean she's at least a 10 hour drive, or you better keep your mouth shut about it. Elizabeth drove 4 hours, I drove 7, and I can honestly say that I doubt either of us regretted a single second that we spent on the road, or a single penny that we spent on gas. The only thing that I would possibly change is that I would have had Charity with me. She is, after all, how I found Joshilyn in the first place.

Thank you, Joshilyn Jackson, for one of the most fun and interesting afternoons I've had in a long time. And that whole crazed-stalker-fan thing? Yeah, just chalk it up to "batshitty". I hear that's what all of the really cool writers are these days...

Monday, July 17, 2006

Famous Last Words...

I really need to do this post, so please just bear with me. Before I begin though, I want ALL of you to click right on over to Charity's blog and give her some (((((hugs))))) in her comments. She's having a really rough time right now, and she needs to know how much we all love and support her. Even if you're not a regular reader of my blog, PLEASE click over there and let her know that you were thinking of her. If you ARE a regular deeceetalks reader, then you already know how much I adore Char, and you also know that she's a Cherry, so share that Cherry love, ok?

Char is preparing for the death of her grandmother. She knows that it's going to happen very soon. She had to go say goodbye today. If you've lost someone close, and you knew in advance that the end was near, then you know the pain that Charity is feeling today. I think that losing someone this way is very hard, but I also think that you are very fortunate if you fall into this category. I know that sometimes people end up having long, drawn out, deaths, and it is incredibly painful to watch a loved one go through so much suffering. However, you have the chance to say goodbye. You get to go tell that person how much you love them, you can hug them one last time, you can look into their eyes and see their soul. There has to be a certain amount of closure that goes with this type of death. I'm not trying to trivialize this at all, so please don't think that. I just think that those of you that have the opportunity to say goodbye are very fortunate, and I hope that you take that chance if you ever have it.

See, I've been thinking about Charity and her Grandma all day long. I thought about her this morning on my drive in to work. I thought about her all day, while I was delivering food to tables and trying to keep a smile on my face. I thought about her while I was grocery shopping, and on the drive home. And I've been thinking about her most of the evening. I wish I could take away her pain, because I know how much she is hurting right now. But also, I envy her a little. Yes, I envy her.

I lost my mom a few days after Christmas, back in 2001. She lived in Texas with my Grams, and she was doing this huge multi-state visit over the Christmas holidays. She went to see my brother and niece first. Then she came to my house. She left my house on the 27th. We got into a HUGE fight on the 26th, and were still sort of in an argument on the 27th. Basically, I told her never to come back to my house. I was just so angry with her, because she'd been horrible to one of my kids, and I found it inexcusable. I mean, this kid was just a kid, and she's supposed to be an adult. Right? She should be above being mean, especially to one of her grandchildren. Well, my mom took everything personally, and she felt like this child had slighted her, and she went off on this child. And she may have been my mom, but we're talking about one of my babies. And frankly, NOBODY gets away with talking to ANY of my children the way that she talked to this child. So I let loose. With both barels. And took time to re-load. At least 4 times. Yeah, it was bad. We're talking almost bloody, ok? And it ended with me telling my mom that if she couldn't act like a grown-up and treat ALL of my children with love and respect, then I didn't ever want to see her at my house again, and NONE of the kids were allowed to be around her. She played favorites pretty bad sometimes, and that was another really big part of our fight.

Anyhow, on the morning that she left, we barely spoke. It was really tense, to say the least. I tried to be civil, but she didn't put in the same effort. Basically, she was leaving, and I didn't know when I'd see her again. You have to understand, this type of thing happened with my mom fairly regularly, so I wasn't even thinking that I'd never see her again. I mean, she got offended at people easily and often. The list of people that she wasn't speaking to was an ever-growing, constantly changing list. I knew that at the moment that she left, my name was at the top of that list, in BIG BOLD letters. It was a place on the list that I seemed to end up at least once every few months, and I knew I'd have to kiss some ass at some point in the future, but I also knew that I would stick to my guns on most of the issues. I just could not allow her to get away with being mean or petty to one of my babies, nor could I allow her to keep playing favorites. Some things I would give on, but not those two things. If you have kids, you know what I mean.

She packed up her car and said goodbye to most of the kids. I made the one in question go out and give her a hug. Then, before she drove away, I had this crushing weight on my chest. This thought kept flashing in my mind, like one of those flashing amber alert highway signs..."This could be the last time you ever see her. Go tell her you love her." Of couse, I pushed the thought away quite a few times, but then, something made me just run right out of the house and jerk her car door open. I grabbed her and hugged her, and told her that I loved her. Then I stood there in my driveway and watched her drive away, feeling like a fool for my last minute hug. She hadn't hugged me back, or returned my sentiments. The next time I saw her, she was lying in a casket.

Shane had that Friday off from work, and we'd spent the morning in town doing errands. When we got home, there were 13 messages on the answering machine. I just looked at the number and felt my pulse start to race. I knew that something horrible had happened to someone that I loved, because we NEVER get that many messages. Shane asked if I wanted him to play them, and I said "Not yet". I waited a few minutes, I'm not sure why, then I walked over and hit Play. Six were from my step-father and 7 were from my brother. I called my step-father first, because I really wasn't ready to talk to my brother yet. My step-father told me that my "mama" was dead. I honestly thought he meant my grandmother, because that's what I've always called her. I only started calling her Grams recently, because of my kids. When he mentioned my "grandma" being stuck in Little Rock, I just dropped the phone. Shane looked at me, then at the phone on the floor, and asked what was wrong. I can remember telling him that I thought that Paul just told me that my mom was dead, but I wasn't sure, and telling Shane to call my brother right away. I don't know what my husband said to my step-father because I couldn't hear anything above the roar of grief that my soul was making. The next thing I knew, I was talking to my brother, and crying, and trying to figure out who had died, and what the hell had happened to my family. Mom passed away in a hotel in Little Rock. She'd died in her sleep. She had a morphine pump that was implanted in her hip, for back pain. She was on her way back to Texas to have back surgery so she could have the pain medication pump removed. Her official cause of death was morphine overdose, although they couldn't determine if the pump had actually malfunctioned or not.

Over the next few days, as we told the kids about Mom's death and prepared to make the trip to Oklahoma and Texas for the funeral and all of the million things that you have to do when someone dies, all I could think about was that last morning. Something made me run out of my house, go out on a limb, and tell my mom that I loved her. Something made me wrap my arms around her, and bury my head in her neck and whisper those words one last time. I had no idea that it would be the last time, or I would have said so very much more. But you know what? I said the most important thing I could have said. I didn't know that they would be my famous last words to my mom, all I knew was that I didn't want her driving away with my last words to her being words of anger.

I often think about those last few days, and especially those last few minutes, that I had with my mom. It hurts to know that I won't see her again here on earth. After almost 5 years, I still have times when I pick up the phone to call her and then remember that she's gone. It took me almost 3 years to erase my last phone message from her, just because I wanted to be able to hear her voice. There is still a Diet Dr. Pepper in my fridge from hr alst visit, and there probably always will be. But I have peace.

I said those last words to her. I told her the big stuff, even if that only consisted of three very small, but hugely important, words. Please remember this story when dealing with the ones that you love. Don't ever give up the chance to say those words. Don't ever let someone leave you, or you leave them, without telling them you love them. Even if you're mad, even if you're hurting, even if you feel they may not deserve to hear those words, SAY THEM. Don't let your famous last words be words that you will forever regret.

And please go on over and give Char some love. She really needs it. She's saying her last words today, and it's tougher than you can probably imagine.


Music Meme answers

Ok, KEL got six of these, Charity got five of them, Lori got three, and JJen got one. You guys did pretty good. Nobody got number 6, and that's kinda sad. Maybe if I would have used "Same auld lang syne" isntead? I mean, how many people would have guessed "Met my old lover in the grocery store, snow was falling Christmas eve..."

1) Lost man, turned 98 he won the lottery and died the next day - Ironic, Alanis (Charity)

2) I saw you standing hand in hand, and now you come to me the solitary man - The Smile Has Left Your Eyes, Asia (Kel)

3) If it seems like I've been lost in let's remember, you think I'm feeling older and missing my younger days - Keepin' The Faith, Billy Joel (Kel)

4) 18 years had come and gone, for momma they flew by but for me they drug on and on - Don't Forget To Remember Me, Carrie Underwood (JJen)

5) I've been looking so long at these pictures of you, that I almost believe that they're real - Pictures Of You, The Cure (Kel)

6) Now that we love, now that the lonely nights are over - MAKE LOVE STAY, DAN FOGELBERG

7) We were born before the wind, oh so younger than the sun - Into The Mystic, VAN MORRISON (Charity)

8) Beautiful day, lights up the shore for me - High, James Blunt (Lori)

9) She was aware of her insecurities as she took the stage, she was convinced that if she got up there that she'd be discovered some day - Big Star, Kenny Chesney (Charity)

10) You say I only hear what I want to, and you say I talk so all the time, so - Stay, Lisa Loeb (Lori)

11) You say you want diamonds in a ring of gold, you say you want your story to remain untold - All I Want Is You, U2 (Kel, who was gonna be in BIG trouble if she didn't get this one!)

12) Give me something that I can believe in, and then I'll share it with the world for everyone to see- I BELIEVE, THIRD DAY

13) All work no play may have made Jack a dull boy, but all work no God has left Jack with a lost soul - American Dream, Casting Crowns (Lori)

14) I've waited hours for this, I've made myself so sick - Close To Me, The Cure (Kel)

15) The sun was shining, the sky was crying - DAYS LIKE THESE, ASIA

16) Father hear my prayer, I need the perfect words, words that he will hear and know they're straight from you - HERE I GO AGAIN, CASTING CROWNS

17) Some people live their dreams, some people close their eyes, some people's destiny passes by - I'll BE OVER YOU, TOTO

18) She was drivin last Friday on her way to cincinati on a snow white Christmas eve - Jesus, Take the Wheel, Carrie Underwood (Charity)

19) Whenever I'm alone with you, you make me feel like I am home again - LoveSong, The Cure (Kel)

20) He said I was in my early 40's with a lot of life before me, when a moment came that stopped me on a dime - Live Like You Were Dyin', Tim McGraw (Charity)

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Oooooohhhh, new baby!

Ok, this is gonna be really short, because I am totally beat down. And even though I am supposed to be working on my WIP, I just don't have the energy to sit here and type. How patheric is that?

But I did want to share the new pic I got of my gorgeous nephew today. My husband's brother's wife gave birth back in April. This is a picture of their almost 3 month old son, Colin. Is he not the most darling child you've ever seen? Well, besides my own, of course. And Kel's. And Char's. Ok, maybe not THE most darling, but let's face it- he's pretty darn close.

I'm not all that close with his parents. Part of this is because we live in Virginia and they live in Ohio. Part of it is because I was never the ideal DIL, nor was I in any way the person that any of them envisioned for Shane. Part of it is because my family has a VERY different way of doing things than theirs, and we don't quite understand each other. And part of it is because I have a very hard time doing the forgive and forget thing when I feel like someone has wronged my kids.

Yeah, lots of parts to that family drama. And most of them are not pretty. Well, to be honest, most of them are just plain ugly. And a lot of the blame lies with me, because I'm not the type of person to forget things, UNLESS someone admits their mistakes and asks for forgiveness. I am a firm believer in owning up to your mistakes, and taking responsibility for your actions. It's a hard thing to do, especially for me. But I just feel like if people really want to move forward, they have to reconcile the past first. Part of that is admitting fault, and asking forgiveness. I can do this, and have in the past. If others don't, I tend to not lean towards the whole be-the-bigger-person thing, but go in the opposite direction. More towards I-know-you-probably-don't-give-a-rat's-ass-but-I'm-not-forgiving-you-until-you- admit-you-were-wrong-and-apologize.
Yeah, real big of me, huh? So now you know how petty I can be. Still like me?

Anyhow, despite not being close to Colin's parents for reasons that are probably fuzzy to you, I really can't wait to meet this child. My own brother has a daughter, and I adore the snot that comes out of her nose, if you know what I mean. I couldn't imagine feeling that way about Colin though. But guess what? I am all-over excited about being an aunt to him.

So join me in welcoming the little bugger to the family, won't you? Go ahead, you can oooh and aaah now. He deserves it!

Monday, July 10, 2006

Music Meme hints...UPDATED!!!

Just a few clues for the music meme.
Can't help myself, I have to give hints...

4 is by the same artist as one of the ones that have already been guessed.

5 and 19 are by the same group. There is another one in the list also by this same group.

12, 13, & 16 are the same genre.

2 & 15 are by the same group.

10 & 11 were both on the same soundtrack (from a movie that was popular in the 90s, with Ben Stiller).

Ok, let's see if that helps anyone out there. These ones really aren't that tough.

For the ones that are left...
12 is Christian Rock.
15 is by a group already mentioned.
16 is by a group already mentioned.
17 is by an 80's band that also sang a song about a continent.
And you'll get no help from me at all on #6, except that the artist is one of my all time faves, but he's not listed anywhere on my blog.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

New post...

...over on the book blog.
Go check it out.
Charity has outdone herself yet again!

Ok, I'm gonna do it too...

Yeah, everyone else has done the music meme thing, and I've been a slacker. Thanks to Kel's visit, I've been into music today. So I decided to do one too. Many thanks go to my darling husband, Shane, who sat patiently across the room from me while my iPod randomized my music, and put up with the first 2 lines of each song over and over while I typed. His only comment was "Geez, you listen to music like I watch tv." Yeah, I know. It made me laugh too!

So here you go... Dee's Twenty random iPod songs... you know the rules. Make a comment if you know the song and artist.

1) Lost man, turned 98 he won the lottery and died the next day - Ironic, Alanis (Charity)

2) I saw you standing hand in hand, and now you come to me the solitary man - The Smile Has Left Your Eyes, Asia (Kel)

3) If it seems like I've been lost in let's remember, you think I'm feeling older and missing my younger days - Keepin' The Faith, Billy Joel (Kel)

4) 18 years had come and gone, for momma they flew by but for me they drug on and on - Don't Forget To Remember Me, Carrie Underwood (JJen)

5) I've been looking so long at these pictures of you, that I almost believe that they're real - Pictures Of You, The Cure (Kel)

6) Now that we love, now that the lonely nights are over

7) We were born before the wind, oh so younger than the sun - Into The Mystic, VAN MORRISON (Charity)

8) Beautiful day, lights up the shore for me - High, James Blunt (Lori)

9) She was aware of her insecurities as she took the stage, she was convinced that if she got up there that she'd be discovered some day - Big Star, Kenny Chesney (Charity)

10) You say I only hear what I want to, and you say I talk so all the time, so - Stay, Lisa Loeb (Lori)

11) You say you want diamonds in a ring of gold, you say you want your story to remain untold - All I Want Is You, U2 (Kel, who was gonna be in BIG trouble if she didn't get this one!)

12) Give me something that I can believe in, and then I'll share it with the world for everyone to see

13) All work no play may have made Jack a dull boy, but all work no God has left Jack with a lost soul - American Dream, Casting Crowns (Lori)

14) I've waited hours for this, I've made myself so sick - Close To Me, The Cure (Kel)

15) The sun was shining, the sky was crying

16) Father hear my prayer, I need the perfect words, words that he will hear and know they're straight from you,

17) Some people live their dreams, some people close their eyes, some people's destiny passes by

18) She was drivin last Friday on her way to cincinati on a snow white Christmas eve - Jesus, Take the Wheel, Carrie Underwood (Charity)

19) Whenever I'm alone with you, you make me feel like I am home again - LoveSong, The Cure (Kel)

20) He said I was in my early 40's with a lot of life before me, when a moment came that stopped me on a dime - Live Like You Were Dyin', Tim McGraw (Charity)

Ok, if you get these, you will know my very bizarre taste in music. You'll also get a glimpse inside my head, which is often a scary place to be. And ExtraExtra points to anyone that gets 12, 13 or 16!

Saturday, July 08, 2006

You say it's your birthday...

It's my birthday too!!!!

Hey there, friends! It's been a few days, and I don't have a lot of time, but I wanted to let you know a few things...

First of all, CHARITY did this totally amazing book review for me, and I posted it over on the DeeCeeTalksAboutBooks blog. Please go on over there and check it out. She did such a great job on this review that I want to go out and buy this book. Leave her some love in the comments!

Kel is currently off in North Carolina, getting her new place and meeting a chick that her hubby used to be "friends" with. I haven't heard from her in a few days. I'm hoping it's because she's busy and/or having fun, and not because she had to use her ONE PHONE CALL to call her mom or anything.

I saw two movies yesterday. I took the kids to see Pirates II yesterday morning. When the first one came out, we went to the first show on the first day. We tried that again this time, but the 10am show was SOLD OUT. So we went to the second show. It was really great, but totally set it up for a third. Still though, I thought it had a lot more character development in this one, and the outdoor scenes were just amazing. It made me miss Puerto Rico.

Shane took me to see The Lake House last night. Trying to make sense of that movie gave me a headache, it really did. I tried explaining it to Gret this morning, and she got a headache as well. Still though, if you just watch the movie, and don't sit there trying to make sense of how little sense it makes, it's not too bad. It had a sweet love story, and that was nice. It was cool to see Keanu and Sandra out of a bus. It had NO sex and NO violence, so it gets a HUGE thumbs up for me there. You just have to suspend reality, and try NOT to wrap your mind around the fact that it just couldn't happen, and you'll be fine. ***TINY SPOILER****I have no problem with the magical mailbox that allows these two people to correspond two years apart (he in 2004, she in 2006). I had a major problem with a plot point in which she tells him to NOT be at a place, but if he isn't at that place, then the movie just can't happen. It's just weird when you think about it, so if you go see the movie, DON'T THINK ABOUT IT. Ok?

I'm totally bummin' about not getting tickets to King's Fest. They sold out weeks ago, but I didn't know. Now I can't take Gret, and we're both a LOT bummed. So I'm taking her and her friends to The Melting Pot next weekend instead. I figure I would have spent at least that much on tickets and junk, so it all evens out, right?

Ok, now I have to get going. Our friend Kerri is taking the girls to a movie today, Shane is taking Mathew on a motorcycle ride, and I'm going fishing with Michael. If we catch anything, I'll post some pics. I should be on here later tonight, because I have some stuff that I really want to blog about. Hope you'll keep checking back in with me!

Monday, July 03, 2006


I'm not gonna be around here much the next few weeks. Just wanted to let you guys know that in advance.

I've got a birthday coming up on Saturday, and Gretchen turns 14 on Sunday. I'll be working LOTS of extra hours the next few days to save some cash for her IPOD. Also, we have King's Fest this weekend at King's Dominion.

In addition to that, I just got put in the "training" program at the restaurant. I'm going to be picking up lots of extra shifts because I want to be a trainer. My manager has agreed to help me out, but that means that I've got to spend a lot of extra time up there learning all sorts of thing for a while.

The upside is that I will be BUSY. I'll be working a lot, and making some cash, and cash is always nice in the summer. By August, I should have a bit saved for the NJ conference, and that's always good. Plus, I'll be learning more about a job that I really am starting to enjoy.

The down side is that I will be BUSY. That means that I will be reading less, so my new book blog site will be pretty lame for a while. I'm hoping that Charity will take pity on me and start posting some of her book reviews over there too. Also, I won't have much free time for spending all of the money that I make. This is good, actually!

I want to promise you guys that my writing is not going to suffer for this though. I promise to spend at least a little while each day in front of my computer with my WIP. I'm still in the DLD phase with the beach story, and it's going great. I really enjoy writing at night, but more work means more early mornings, which means less late nights, so I'll have to adjust.

Just send up some prayers for me, and I'll try to post a line or two every few days to let you know I'm still alive.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Wake up, Maggie, I think I got something to say!

This is another short one, but I really had to share.

Above, you will hopefully see a picture of a beautiful young miss. That is my Maggie. She turned 6 in February. She's my Sunshine and the light of my heart. This is the child that tells me all the time how much she loves me, is the first to say "Thank you" for every little kindness, and just generally re-affirms my thrill at being a momma. Now you know that I don't love her more, I just love her different. Just like the rest of them.

Today, we were on our way to town to pick up Shane from the train. I was telling Gret about this blog that I'd read. This author blogged about attending an event with a few "famous people", including one of her own favorite authors. She described the butterflies she felt upon meeting this man, how she kept babbling, and her general state of stalker-fanity. I thought it was hysterical at first, because this woman knows how to write, and is critically acclaimed in her own right. But she was nervous. She said something about feeling like a dork.

So I said something along the lines of: "Geez, if she's written those bestselling books, and people know who she is, and they love her writing and all, and SHE's a dork, then just what exactly does that make me?'

Maggie, with utter sincerity and without missing a single beat, said the absolute sweetest thing...


Now tell me, with fans like that around, how could you not just love them?