Wednesday, December 31, 2008

More ways to fail.

I don't do well with the whole "resolution" thing, as I've mentioned before. If you'd read my blog for a while this should come as no surprise to you since
1) I have the attention span of a gnat
2) I am generally very inappropriate and it's hard for me to have do things like "keep a schedule" and "be normal"
3) What?
4) I don't remember but basically it's bad.

Instead? I make goals. Because goals sound nicer and I can write them down and might possibly even remember to read what I wrote down every now and then.

My only goal from last year was to have something published. I've had several things published online and in February my first book will be coming out, so I'm counting that one a victory.

My goal for next year?

To be better.

I told Jason this goal and became keenly aware of how very little he gets me sometimes. Because what he said was, "You're doing okay. You are doing pretty good. We have a house, you have a nice car, you have a degree and a job. Your life is pretty good, right?"

And it's not about that at all. You know? Because a whole lot of people who have nicer homes and cars and fancier degrees than I do? Completely suck at life.

I don't want to suck at life. That's the whole point.

Because it's never been about my bank account for me. Or what kind of car I drive. Or if I have the nicest house in my neighborhood (which I do, but my neighborhood is somewhat a crack den, so that's not saying much). It's about who I am as a person, how I'm raising my children, and frankly, whether I can sleep at night.

I'm not proud of how I've done everything in my life. I've made some decisions which are less than respectable. I've lost my temper when I needed to hold my tongue. Also? I've put up with a lot more crap than I should from people who didn't deserve the time of day, much less my respect and affection.

It's a balance, I guess. One that I clearly do not have.

I want to do better at that.

I have a friend from high school named Kristina who I reconnected with on Facebook.
She is a good person and it seems so effortless for her. Everyone likes her. She likes everyone (okay, maybe not, but you'd never know it). There's a certain kind of goodness and light in her and she's way, way less sarcastic than I am.

I want to be more like her. I want to be good like that.

My Aunt Tracie is a kind-hearted loving person who has dealt with numerous blows in her life that would make me regress to hiding under my bed, sucking my thumb and wimpering. She doesn't do any of that. She's happy and loving and gives so much of herself to everyone she knows. I know it's not effortless for her, but she's genuinely a kind, loving, good person.

I want to be more like her. I want to be a genuine, good person.

I'm grateful for who I am and what I have. I don't know if it's possible to be better, just by virtue of wanting to be better.

I just know I'm going to try. For me and for everyone who knows me.

Because I want to do better.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

People will tell you anything.

I have heard many people say that having a book is like having a baby.

I'm starting to think those people lying liars full of lies.

Exhibit 1:
When people have a baby, they generally gain weight.
I? Am losing weight.

Okay, it's probably due to the fact that I spend like 7-10 hours a week in the gym these days and count Weight Watcher Points until I'm almost mental. But the nausea and diarrhea brought on by stress is helping. I know it is.

Exhibit 2:
When you are pregnant, people don't look at you in disbelief when you tell them the news and say things like, "How did this happen for YOU?"

Okay, maybe people would if *I* got pregnant. But in general, they just know you did it with someone. When someone decides to publish your book, on the other hand, a lot of people act like it's amazing that someone as stupid and devoid of talent as you are can have something like this happen.

Exhibit 3:
There are no drugs.

When I gave birth I was pretty loopy. Having to do all of this while just being high on life or whatever is not the same.

Exhibit 4:
Most people get to be pregnant for nine months.

Okay, so I didn't. And maybe my book is like MY personal pregnancy. But I got the official letter and contract on 11/17/08 and the book is coming out on 2/3/09. I get to gestate for less than three months y'all.

Exhibit 5:
No one, other than your immediate family and friends, cares when you have a baby.

I'm sorry. I know that sounds mean. I'm sure your baby is lovely and I'm sure if I knew you I would love your baby. But if I don't know you? While I don't want anything bad to happen to you or your baby, I don't care about your baby either.

Many, many people care when you have a book. More on that in Exhibit 6.

Exhibit 6:
Unless you are Jon and Kate plus 8 or the Duggar family, having a baby is not a money-making opportunity.

Hence, the caring mentioned in Exhibit 5. My success is other people's success. Or some crap.

Exhibit 7:
No one gives you gifts when you have a book.

No showers in which you have to wear a bouquet of diapers or pacifiers. No sitting in an uncomfortable chair in the church basement when you are eight months pregnant and your husband left you and you can't stop crying.

Oh wait. Let me change that to:

No one gives you a shower when you have a book. Yay!

Exhibit 8:
Other than looking haggard all the time, there are no outward signs that you are having a book.

When you have a baby, at some point people are going to figure it out. I mean, there have been a few documented cases of people hiding their pregnancies, but frankly? Those always end really badly. For the most part, people can know and see that a baby is going to eventually come out of you.

I, on the other hand, walk around work and no one other than the people that sit immediately within my office, is aware that I'm having a book. The people sitting immediately beside me know because I lost my shit one day when the publisher called me and after I hung up I started shrieking and bawling things like, "Book Expo America!" and "Oprah girlfriend!" and "That guy who was on Sesame Street!"

But no one else knows.

And frankly? No one here gives two craps about me anyway, so it's probably fine they don't know.

Exhibit 9:
When you have a baby unless you are a crackwhore or in prision you get to take the baby home and raise it.

When you have a book you raise the idea up and then have to send it out into the cruel, cold world of queries and mean rejections and bad reviews on Amazon by men who totally can't take a joke when it reminds them to much of themselves. You have to watch your carefully cultivated dream get smashed a million times and listen to people who say things like, "No one cares about you and your life" or "This is crap".

And most people don't call your child crap. Not to your face anyway.

Exhibit 10:
No one can sell your baby on or eBay if they don't like it.

They just hate on you in private. They can't physically get rid of you and your baby.

So anyway. February 3rd, 2009. I'll have pre-order information for my baby soon.

Monday, December 29, 2008

I'm also bitchier than her mom.

The children are visiting my family in North Carolina. I will join them in a few days. For now, though, it's just the two of us.

Whenever the children are gone the two of us seem to regress into these people that are totally incapable of doing things like having dinner. We just eat two bowls of cereal a day and watch a lot of television and declare it all good.

So we were hungry and also out of cereal and low on milk so we decided to go for a ride to a nearby city and go to a pizza buffet and eat.

As I've mentioned before, I loathe the general public and most pizza buffets.

Plus? I have PMS.

It's a trifecta y'all. For reals.

We decide to sit in one of the rooms that are generally designated for children. They had football playing, which in my world is much, much worse than cartoons, so I thought it would be okay. I had a headache, didn't want to be there really, and have been having some major fiber issues due to the copious amounts of cereal I have consumed recently. So I wanted everything to be okay despite the obvious handicaps of the situation.

And you know? I was going to blog about how rude people are at buffet lines. And how this one guy stood so close to me while I was trying to get a slice of pepperoni that I LITERALLY ran into him when I turned around because he was STANDING ON MY BACK. I was thinking, "Dude. It's not that good. For real".

And that might have been funny.

But instead here's what really happened.

After we were seated and eating a family came into the same room. The family consisted of a lady who was in her 40's, a girl who looked to be about 16 who was carrying a baby, a young man who was of different ethnicity than the ladies (I say this only to prevent the utter shame he would feel if he were biologically related to these women, not that I care what color he was), a little boy of around eleven or twelve, another little boy who was about seven, and a little girl of about five years old.

The little girl? Beautiful. Darling. Spirited. And wearing a shirt that said "Brat" in glitter.

It was an omen. It had to be.

The little girl, we'll just call her Bratgelina, was running amok throughout the room. Shrieking gleefully about what a wonderful life she was having. Her mom? grandma? guardian or whatever was paying her absolutely no mind.

So whatever, you know? She's a kid. Kids don't always act right. I'm sure my own kids have behaved inappropriately in social situations. Of course, never in front of me because frankly? I brought them in this world and if they acted like that I'd also take them out.

But that's just me.

The little girl threw her pizza crusts on the floor. She poured cheese all over the table. She screamed, loudly, "SHAKE YOUR MONEYMAKER! LOOK AT ME MOMMA! MOMMA, I'M SHAKING MY MONEYMAKER! SHAKING AND SHAKING MY MONEYMAKER! MOM! LOOK! I'M SHARPAY MOM!"

And honestly? I sort of snorted behind my hand when she did that. Because while that is wildly inappropriate and all, it's also kind of funny. I can always seem the humor in the wildly inappropriate. It's sort of my thing. And considering my kids say things like, "IT SAYS PENIS IN THIS BOOK MOM!" I guess that's not so bad is it? I mean, granted, they don't do it in public. Not that I know of anyway. Still. She was a kid. She wasn't REALLY going to jump up and start singing songs from High School Musical 3 or something.

Then the little girl, who was running around her table, decided to come to my table and say to my face,


Her mom (maybe?) looked over at me.

She smirked.


I said nothing. You know? Because it's not that child's fault that she is so ill- mannered and it's certainly not my place to "school" her, especially since her mother so clearly does not care that she's not turning out at all. If my own child had said something like that they would still be trying to remove my foot from their backside because they had better understand by now that you don't make fun of someone for what they look like or what they have or don't have.

That's crap.

And okay, I'm fatter than her mom. It's not like I woke up this morning and was shocked to discover that I'm not a Supermodel after all. My weight doesn't define me. My hair, maybe. But not my weight. So basically, the child wasn't lying or being inaccurate and how am I going to fault her for that?

So ignoring her seemed like the best option. She left me alone soon enough and went to another table to inform the family there that their baby had a big nose. So I guess I got off easy considering.

Jason was gone from the table when the whole incident went down and when he returned he and I were speaking quietly to one another about how people behave so inappropriately in buffet lines. I said something, I can't even remember what, but I used the word, "stupid".

Bratgelina? Heard me.

And loudly announced to her mom/cokewhore/whatever, "THAT LADY USED A BAD WORD! SHE SAID STUPID!"

I know "stupid" is a bad word in some homes. That's cool with me. We don't say certain things in my house (stop laughing), primarily because certain things are mean. And words can hurt. And I ought to know. Because by God we're the most sarcastic and snarky bunch of people you'll ever meet, but mostly? We aren't mean. Not really.

The mother finally found her ovaries and for the first time decided to comment on the situation.

So she said, looking at me, "Just ignore that lady. Some people don't have ANY MANNERS and are VERY RUDE".

Now, before I tell you the rest of this story, please allow me to say that I'm not proud of how I behaved in this situation. I do, sincerely, try to be the bigger person when things like this happen. This situation included a child and I try not to hold a child's dreadful behavior against them when it's obvious the parent hasn't done his/her job. But, hell, I wasn't in my own city and really? This person is so lucky I didn't react the way I wanted to. Which, in case it isn't obvious, would have landed me in the local jailhouse.

I said, "EXCUSE ME?"

She looked at me. Said nothing.

I said, "Did you just imply to your child that *I* am rude? BITCH, PLEASE".

Yeah. I said it.

About that time the woman's mouth fell open, but alas. It did not deter me.

"Did you notice that your child has insulted everyone in this room and is behaving like a complete tool and disrupting everyone trying to eat a meal? Maybe you should do something about HER AND YOURSELF before you go calling anyone else rude!"

And then I left.

My only regret is that I didn't do my three finger-snaps move at her. Maybe next time.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Seriously. For real.

I've been blogging since November 2006. In 2008? I've blogged every single day.

Every. Single. Day.

In fact? Since like...mid-December of 2007, I've blogged every single day. I missed that one day that Jason and I went to The Biltmore House.

Why did I do this?

Well. I have no idea.

Next year? I don't know. I might be out of town promoting my book and junk and believe it or not, I don't have a laptop. I might be doing interesting, exciting things all the time and need a break.

Or maybe, just maybe, I'll relax a bit and not feel obligated to blog every single day.

We'll see.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Getting all cultured and whatnot!

I'm going to the Symphony! Rock on!

Is it really bad that I am most hoping I get to meet Frank Murphy? He reminds me so much of my own husband it's sometimes frightening. Not that they look anything alike...they don't. They just both tend to be a bit eccentric. In a way that makes me happy, apparently.

If you don't live in Knoxville (and yes, I know most of my readers don't live in Knoxville. Humor me) you can listen to my favorite radio station and the home of Frank online, whenever you'd like.

If you do live in Knoxville, you can go to the Symphony and maybe see Frank too! And me! And Angie! And her very nice husband Mark.

It should be a rocking time. Or a classical time. Or whatever.

I promise I'll act right.

Friday, December 26, 2008

It's over.

I cleared away all the Christmas things today. All that is left is a pile of gifts that I have for my family. My children will go to visit them tomorrow and carry the gifts as they go.

The tree and nativity are under the house, in storage.

I'm ready to get on with it. Next year cannot come soon enough for me.

Next up: Resolutions. Are you making any?

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas- 2008

I have a lot to do. A huge, huge list actually.

I have calls to make, emails to send. I have press releases that need to go out and I need to make a list of bloggers who I'm going to ask to whore my book.

(Is it bad that I used the word whore on Christmas? Sorry)

I have websites to develop. I have people to meet. The book cover will be here within a week.

But not today. None of it today.

Today I will watch my children open their gifts. I'll play hours of video games with the Boy. I'll make a delicious lasagna and we'll light candles on Jesus' birthday cake.

I'll hold Ginger back because the flurry of wrapping paper will cause massive amounts of excitement in El Puppiness. I'll wear my pajamas all day. I'll make phone calls, sure, but to my family and close friends. I'll take this opportunity, this day, to make sure they know that I love them.

I'll find some mistletoe somewhere...and if I can't, I'll kiss him anyway.

It's Christmas.

I'll take a moment to myself somehow, to thank God for my family. For Jason. For the Boy and the Girl. For the puppy. For our home. For my parents, my sisters, and my brother.

For his family, whether they'd do the same for me or not.

For our health and our jobs.

For all the good, beautiful things that somehow we've ended up with...this ridiculously wonderful marriage, a freaking book deal, two healthy, beautiful kids.

And for our friends. Our huge amount of friends who pray for us, laugh with us, weep with us, and most of all, love us.

We are truly blessed.

The world can wait until tomorrow. Tomorrow I'll make the calls and write the lists.

It's Christmas.

Have a merry one.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas is love.

I asked Jason not get me anything for Christmas.

I deem his listening skills as "needs improvement".

He did not buy any wrapping paper, however, but he did find some other wrapping paper to wrap the other gift in.

It's someone's birthday, anyway.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

As fast as you can.

So I guess I'm starting to run now. For the love of God.

And really? Run is probably a strong word for what I actually get out there and do. In order to run it's probably necessary that one goes faster than an arthritic turtle. My good friend Dawn uses the word "wog", a mixture of walking and jogging, and that's probably way more appropriate for me.

The point is, I'm trying.

So I always take the Boy Child with me when I'm doing any type of outdoor exercise. He's motivating (which he thinks means he talks a lot...and he does that as well) and also if I fall and injure myself, as I am prone to do in every day life even when there is no exercise involved, he's old enough to call 9-11 and give pretty detailed instructions as to our location. I put a lot of burdens on that kid, but he handles them all pretty well.

We're running. Or wogging or whatever.

Or rather, I'm wogging. He's leaping about, jumping over puddles wider than my considerable ass. He's saying things like, "I've drastically slowed my pace so you and I can run together mom!" He's saying, "Watch this!" and then running around the track so fast that he practically laps me. He thoughtfully and helpfully says, "Ma! Your face is red! Are you having a heart attack?"

I'm not. I feel like it sometimes. But I'm not.

My knees are sore, but my heart is warm.

I'm learning to run.

I suppose there is some metaphor for life in there somewhere, but frankly? I'm to tired to even be bothered with finding it.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Chasing pavements.

I'm spending a lot of time lately worrying about things that either aren't going to happen or are so unlikely to happen that there is no use worrying about them.

I do this. It's sort of my thing.

But really, I've been busy. I made a pretty backsplash for my kitchen and got that up on Saturday proving to myself, maybe for one of the first times and maybe again, that I actually CAN do some stuff. I went to see The Miracle on Saturday night and yes, I cried. My house is clean, my kitchen is stocked, and I am ready.

Ready for what, I don't know. But I'm ready.

On the drive home Friday night the children and I were talking about the gym that we had just left and how important it is to exercise. I said something about how I still had a long way to go, but I was going to get there.

The girl child smiled her dimpled smile and said, "That's what I love about you mom. You never give up!"

And how could I? If you had that in your life would you give up on anything ever?

MotherTalk review:

Girl Child? Is a reader.

Much like her mother she devours everything she can get her hands on...comic books, novels, the newspaper. She's constantly looking for the next thing. She literally stands over me, waiting for me to finish things so she can have a turn.

Boy Child? Not so much.

That's why I was so pleased to find out about, James Patterson's website resource for finding fabulous books for kids of all ages. There is even a special section specifically for boys! Rock on!

I really like the website. It's extremely easy to use. It is broken down in categories based on age and then further into categories...Action Adventure, Just the Facts, Fantasy, and so on. I found several books on the listing that I think both of my children would be interested in.

From the "About" page on the website: Patterson is a champion of reading and for several years sponsored the James Patterson Pageturner awards, which rewarded people and organizations that spread the excitement and joy of books and reading. Through this and other efforts he has given millions of dollars to people and causes that are working to spread the joy and excitement of reading. READKIDDOREAD—which helps parents and educators connect their children with the books that will turn them into lifelong readers—is his latest innovation in this area.

I'm always excited by things that will help the children read and I think this website is a great resource for any parent, grandparents, aunt or uncle, or just anyone who loves a child. Be sure to check it out.

And be sure to see what other moms are saying at MotherTalk.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

*Insert Gleeful expression here*

I just figured out that since I moved to Tennessee in 2004? I've lost sixty pounds.


That? Is the sound of my head exploding from GOODNESS.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

That's Amore! Or some crap!

My book is now coming out in February! Just in time for Valentine's day you will all get to read what a pathetic loser I was and probably currently am!

Rock on! I can't wait!

Friday, December 19, 2008

In my house.

I walk by Boy Child's room and he is on his bed, reading a booklet intently.

Me: Boy Child? Whatcha reading honey?

Boy Child: I'm reading about nocturnal emissions!

Me: Oh. Well then. Carry on.

Jason, from the hall: What are they TEACHING at that school! JESUS!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Fat ass in the middle! Thank you!

So I had lunch yesterday at a restaurant with some of my co-workers and my very good friend and former co-worker Dawn.

We had lunch at Applebee's and I was glad. Because they have the Weight Watchers menu. And I'm all about the Weight Watchers and also all about making my life easier. Calculating Points makes me cranky sometimes.

What I was NOT all about was the fact that the waitress brought out our big tray of food and said, loudly, "WHO HAD THE WEIGHT WATCHERS SALAD?"

I do not delude myself into thinking I am not overweight. Yes, I'm losing weight, but I'm still overweight. It's not a secret. I don't look in the mirror in the morning and go, "What the hell? How did THAT happen?" I know. Believe me. I know.

But still. Is it cool for her to announce it to the room like that? I don't think so.

Maybe I'm oversensitive. Or cranky. Or just hungry or something, I don't know.

It just didn't seem nice. She didn't announce, "VERY FATTENING ONION RINGS!" when she gave another one of the people her food.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008


Today at school? Boy and Girl Child have a lesson on "Your Changing Bodies".

For real. It's called that. I had to sign a permission slip.

Since we have absolutely no boundaries in our lives or home, we've already discussed this at length. This is pretty much how it went:

Boy Child: Mom? What's this program about my body?

Me: You know. It's about puberty.

Boy Child: Oh. Like getting hair on my cubes?

Me: Right.

Boy Child: And under my arms?

Me: Yes.

Boy Child: And on my legs?

Girl Child: Brother! You already HAVE hair on your legs!

Boy Child: Not like daddy!

Me: True dat.

Boy Child: Mom? Can I ask you a question?

Me: Sure.

Boy Child: Does puberty hurt?

Me: Not really. It doesn't hurt to grow hair. It might hurt a little if your body grows very quickly. And you might be more emotional.

Boy Child: You mean like crying?

Me: Maybe.

Boy Child: I only cry at sad things. Hair isn't sad mom.

Me: Some people have sad hair. But in general, you are right.

Girl Child: Three girls in my class have got their period mom.

Me: Well that's okay. Some girls get it when they are younger and some get it when they are older.

Boy Child: How old were you when you got it mom?

Me: Well, I was a little older. I don't remember exactly.

Boy Child: Mom! MOM! My friend at school? FriendChild? He said he was going to sit next to me during the presentation because he was scared.

Me, laughing: Friendchild is really funny.

Boy Child: I don't know why he's scared mom. He's already really tall. He probably has hair on his cubes already.

Me: Don't ask him.

Boy Child: Gross mom!

We drive for a few moments and Boy Child says:
Mom? Why would my friend really be afraid?

Me: I think he was kidding.

Boy Child: He doesn't know anything about it mom. I think he's really afraid. Like actually. Not just pretending.

Me: Well, that's why they have the presentation. So you'll understand.

Boy Child: Why didn't his mom just tell him?

Me: I don't know honey. I don't know his mom.

Boy Child, after a few minutes:
Thanks for telling us about it mom.

Me: You're welcome honey.

Girl Child, snorting: Hair on your cubes isn't scary anyway.

True dat, Girl Child. True dat.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

I'll add you to my list.

Seriously. Is it just the time of year?

Why in the heck is everyone so...testy?

I'm pointing the finger at myself also, mind you. I'm SO not in the mood for the bucketfuls of crap that have been flung my way lately. So much so, in fact, that someone stopped me in the hall today to inform me that a document has a funked up table (and I care about this why?) and I politely informed him that I would take down his name and pray for him because that's about all I can do at this point.

I'm snippy myself because of various things, none of which are very important, but all of which seem to be bothering me. I'm annoyed that my mother-in-law never responded to my very heartfelt card. Not that I thought she would, necessarily, but then again, maybe I had a small amount of hope that she would. I'm sad because I would really like to go home and go directly to bed without passing go or collecting $200 because, once again, insomnia has become my bff and I can't get that bitch to go away. But I can't. My children, bless them, are getting their brown belts in Taekwondo tonight and Lord knows I can't miss that. And speaking of $200? Looking at our budget for next year is depressing me to the point that I feel like I can't breathe. I guess the fact that my husband made $27000 less this year than last year has something to do with that.

But what can I do about any of that? Nothing.

And really. REALLY. There are so many other things going on. Real, important things that actually matter. Like the craptacular economy and those poor people who are losing their jobs. Like the freaking never-ending war. The little children who will go to bed hungry tonight. The women dying of breast cancer.

The other stuff is just minor.


I wish someone would put me on their prayer list.

It couldn't hurt.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Cause I ain't been nothin' but bad.

I'm not getting anything for Christmas this year.

Not just because every single year my husband waits until the last minute either(Yesterday he says, "Hey babe? What day is Christmas again?" Yeah). I did ask Jason to see if he could find a Wii Fit for me and for some reason they are just so hard to find this year, and well, I joined a gym anyway so it doesn't even seem to matter.

There is just nothing I want.

It's so strange. It's a mix of utter contentment with my life and absolute repulsion at the amount of stuff I have already accumulated.

I'm tired of everything in my house. Except the husband, the kids, and the dog. Everything else? I wish I could just kind of start over with a clean slate.

I get this way almost every December. I start looking forward to January and having a fresh start. I'm not big on resolutions really, but I like to think about goals. I like to think about where I'm going to be.

And to be honest? This year? Had a really extreme mixture of good and bad.

My only goal for this year was to be published somewhere with something. Somehow I managed to achieve that goal, I'm happy to say and next year? It's going to be even better. I've started on my next book. The city book is coming along. Things are happening.

I like when things happen.

I don't like clutter though. Not in my house, on my desk, or in my life. This past year I've done really well at eliminating clutter in my personal life. I've cut off some "friendships" that needed cutting off. I've stopped feeling guilty about not giving my time to people who don't appreciate it. I've even managed to carve a little time out, nearly every week, that's just for me. By myself. No guilt and no regret.

I've started getting the clutter out of my life too. I've seen my children's baby toys walk out the door in bags. Clothes that no longer fit are given away to someone who can put them to use or sold on eBay for a little bit of money. Moving out with the old and never looking back.

I can do better. But I'm getting there.

Mostly, I suppose it's about the incredible amount of peace in my life right now. I'm so content with my family, our church, the work we are all doing. I'm changing my life and while it's scary and hard and sometimes extremely sucky, it's also motivating. I feel really good and really strong these days. I feel like I'm making a difference in my husband's life and my children's lives, but also my own life. Which has always, up until now, taken a backseat to everyone else's lives.

It's pretty cool.

So I guess there is nothing I really want for Christmas.

Except for morons to stop speeding through the drop-off lane at the Elementary school before they kill somebody. That would be cool.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

This is me. Unconcerned.

Today all fifty-nine pounds of Boy Child banged into the wall in the hall because, shockingly, he has the grace of a plane crash.

"Mom!" he said, concerned. "I think I damaged the wall!"

I bit my lip while he checked it. I really did.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Here we are.

Sometimes I feel weird about Jason.

Not like, "Oh EWW. It's HIM" or anything. He's nice and cute and heck, I've known him for nine years now (as of tomorrow! Actually!) so I'm used to pretty much everything he does at this point.

It's different.

Like...take Thanksgiving for example. The four of us were sitting around the table and I thought, "Holy Hell. He's here voluntarily".

I know that sounds weird. But you know, the kids were born to me and they can't drive yet or anything so they are pretty much stuck as being part of my family.

He's not. He picked this.

He fits in so naturally. He actually fits in much better than I do as evidenced by the fact that I nearly racked him last night while we were at a super fancy party and he was trying to be a gentleman and help me remove my coat. What can I say? I'm not fancy. After that I managed to act right the entire evening, even though it was an ultra-fancy place with all these fancy people. My co-workers even commented that I acted better than anyone else. But still. In general? So not fancy.

Sometimes, I guess, I'm just amazed. That someone would choose to stumble into this craziness, look around, and decide to stay.

I'm so glad he did.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Oddest thing I said this evening:

"No Boy Child, you can't do a tuck and roll down the hill".

All in a days work for the mother of two 10 year old's. Right?

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Christmas concert!

Come on weather man give us a forecast snowy white
Can't you hear the prayers of every childlike heart tonight
Rockies are callin', Denver snow fallin'
Somebody said it's four feet deep, but it doesn't matter
Give me the laughter, I'm gonna choose to keep

Another tender Tennessee Christmas, the only Christmas for me
Where the love circles around us like the gifts around our tree
Well I know there's more snow up in Colorado than my roof will ever see
But a tender Tennessee Christmas is the only Christmas for me

Every now and then I get a wanderin' urge to see
Maybe California, maybe Tinsel Town's for me
There's a parade there, we'd have it made there
Bring home a tan for New Year's Eve
Sure sounds exciting, awfully inviting, still I think I'm gonna keep

Another tender Tennessee Christmas, the only Christmas for me
Where the love circles around us like the gifts around our tree
Well they say in L.A. it's a warm holiday, it's the only place to be
A tender Tennessee Christmas, is the only Christmas for me

Well I know there's more snow up in Colorado than my roof will ever see
But a tender Tennessee Christmas is the only Christmas for me
A tender Tennessee Christmas is the only Christmas for me

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Guess what I had proven to me again?

People? Really suck.

The good thing about it, if you want to find a good thing about it, is that I'm growing an incredibly thick skin.

But actually? I don't want to find a good thing about it.

I just want people to stop being huge jerks. That would be cool.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Anyone else?

Have a husband who walks into the room, forty-five minutes into a one hour television program and says,

"So. What did I miss?"


Monday, December 08, 2008

Mary, did you know?

Before yesterday, I had seriously never given Mary a lot of thought.

I mean sure, I knew that she was Jesus' mother and she was a virgin and cattle were lowing and all that stuff. But about her? Not really.

Yesterday at church we had a Christmas concert. Our church is small and our singers all have such a joy in what they do that I always feel uplifted when they are done.

A soloist sang a song from Mary's perspective. I wish I could remember the lyrics or even what the song was called (and if someone could help me out that would be awesome), but I can't because I was crying so hard.

I cry in church. It's sort of my thing.

Something about how he just had one night to be her baby and he has his whole life to be our savior? I can't remember. All I remember is that I bawled like an infant and my little son and little daughter, on either side of me, held onto me to comfort me, so I wouldn't cry anymore.

Later at the grocery store, I encountered two little children with their mother. The children looked to be about three years old. Maybe they were twins, I'm not sure. But everyone they came upon they would say, "EXCUSE ME!", even if the person they were excusing themself from was absolutely nowhere near them.

I thought they were fabulous.

I said to the little girl, "You have very nice manners".

The little boy then said, "EXCUSE ME!"

I told him, "You have very nice manners too!"

The mother scowled at me.

I just can't leave well enough alone so I said, "You know, they are so sweet. They have such good manners and they are so adorable".

And do you know what she said to me?

"You want 'em? You can have 'em."

I was shocked. I mean, completely stunned.

Later I thought about that lady. Maybe she was the nanny or a really mean aunt. And if she was the mother? I tried to tell myself that she was just having a bad day. We all have bad days sometimes and when you are a mother of two really small children sometimes those bad days seem to hit really, really hard. I know. I understand. We've all had those moments.

But I just wish. I just wish she could understand.

The days are long but the years are short.

Give them just a little time. Let them be who they are. You only get them for such a short, short while.

You may not be like Mary and know that your child had a greater purpose. You may just be trying to get through the day, like I am most of the time. One day your kid will probably decide that he wants his milk in his cereal to be brown and pour a huge bunch of chocolate milk mix into his cereal bowl and get it all over your white table and your white wall and your white floor while you are upstairs getting ready for work. And you'll cry and you'll be frustrated and you'll be having a horrible day.

But the next day? It will be okay.
The next week? It will all be clean and you won't even think about it.
The next month? There won't be any evidence to remind you.
The next year? You'll laugh about it when you think about it.

You don't know how long you'll get to have them. They are more important than the crap they leave on the walls or if they don't push their chair up when they leave the table or if they forget to flush.

They are so much more.

Cherish them.

You just never know.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

She's super freaky.

Some days I feel like I'm the only person on the planet (except, you know, men) who is not pregnant.

I know I'm not. But at last count? Twenty-nine of my friends and acquaintances are.

Twenty. Nine.

Seriously. Everyone from my sister, who I've pretty much ascertained getting pregnant merely by her husband entering the room, to friends of mine who have been trying for literally YEARS and it finally worked for them.

And thank God for that, really. For all of them. I love my sister so much that I think it would kill me if she had crap for ovaries like I do. I love my friends and I'm so happy that finally they don't have to go through all this anymore. That they can finally realize their dreams of having a child.

I don't resent them. I don't even feel sad.

I just feel like a freak.

I hate feeling like a freak.

Saturday, December 06, 2008

I'm the momma.

So I joined a gym. For the love of God.

The thing is, it's getting kind of dangerous for me to walk outside. In addition to being an enormous klutz with the grace of a small plane crash? It's cold. And dark when I get home. And icy. And you know I fell and hurt my knee when it was TOTALLY LIGHT and TOTALLY DRY outside. And I can't risk another knee and/or ankle injury.

Thus, I hauled my rear down to the gym, haggled a good deal, refused personal training by telling the guy I hate everyone, and now have a little membership card on my keys.

This gym offers free childcare and so I took the Boy and Girl Child over and filled out the requisite paperwork for them to be "watched" while I work out.

As I was filling out the forms the girl behind the counter looked at them and said, "I have to ask you a question. Are you their mom?"

I was surprised. "Yes, I'm their mom".

"Well I had to ask," she told me. "You have different last names".

We have different last names.

And probably like, 1/2 the kids in America have a different last name than their parents. Right?

So why was she looking at me like I was a freak?

I stared at her.
The kids stared at her.

She was in no way, not even remotely, embarrassed by this.

And you know? Neither am I. Not really.

Because yes, I had a marriage that failed. I was really young when it failed. For a very long time I felt like a failure because of it.

But I don't now.

Now I have a husband who not only loves me, but is good and decent and kind and loves my kids. We have a pretty good thing going on here. Even if we have different names.

We left the gym and as we were walking to the car I heard Boy Child say to Girl Child, "Why was that girl acting like it was weird we have different names?"

"I don't know," she responded.

"She's a douchebag," he said.

"Agreed," said she.

So. You know. If there's any doubt. They are totally, totally my kids.

Friday, December 05, 2008

My Shape magazine promises...


Bull. Crap.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

No rest for the wicked. Or Stephanie.

It's official. I'm an ass.

I got three hours of sleep last night. Not because I was dreaming that someone was trying to kill me. That was the night before last. Not because I was dreaming that I was having an art show for my book (the hell?) and my mother was there and insisted that I take my book down so my brother's art could be displayed instead. That was last week.

I couldn't sleep last night because:
1) My husband was snoring. And not just light snoring. The whole mouth open SNAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARK snoring.
2) At one point my husband decided that my HEAD was his pillow. Not my pillow. MY ACTUAL HEAD.
3) My husband? The one that I love and all that? Rolls his entire body, burrito-style, into the covers and yanks every single bit of said covers off of me.
4) Same husband also periodically shrieks things. Like, "HI!" and "How are you today!" and "Welcome to Sunbelt Loans, may I help you?".

When he said the Sunbelt loans thing? I rolled over, got in his face and said, "IF YOU DON'T SHUT UP I'M GOING TO WELCOME YOU TO MY FIST".

And he smiled and snuggled down into the covers.

Jesus. God.

5)The husband? Gas problem last night.

So this morning? I was in no mood for, well, anything and he very sweetly said "Good morning" to me and I darn near took his head off.

And he had no idea why.

I finally had to say, "You know, I'm not mad at you. I'm mad because I'M TIRED".

But it's really not his fault, right? What you do in your sleep is involuntary and I really should not be so mean to him. As I was leaving this morning he said, "I love you" and he sounded so forlorn and sad.

But tonight? If he starts the snoring again? He and his beard brush are going on the couch. For reals. There is only so much a girl can take.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

First Christmas card of 2008!

Courtesy of my friend Kate:

I love her with all my soul. For reals.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Book Review: Houston We Have a Problema

Several years ago, back when I was a single, dating mom, I was looking in the Sunday newspaper at the wedding and engagement announcements. Someone in my family was looking with me and this person made a comment about a couple whose picture was shown.

The groom-to-be was black and the bride-to-be was white.

The relative of mine had a problem with that. I did not.

Another couple in the paper was a cute Hispanic guy and a white girl. The relative of mine commented on what a cute, sweet couple they were and when I pointed out that, um HELLO? You have a problem with a black and white couple but not a Hispanic and white couple, the relative said,

"Well, he looks white, so it's okay".

That has stuck with me for years.

Why am I mentioning this? Because I just read the fabulous book Houston, We Have a Problema by the amazing Gwendolyn Zepeda. In this book the main character, Jessica Luna, confronts issues of race, family, and taking control of your own life.

As it has been frequently documented on this blog, I have a bit of a friend crush on Gwen (which she is aware of and, thankfully, tolerates). I wasn't sure what to think about this book when I first received it, because I am more familiar with Gwen's writing style on her blog, which is snappy and conversational.

Gwen is one hell of a fiction writer though, and I ended up reading the book in two days. Then I read it again, and again, because I liked it so much.

The novel centers about Jessica Luna, a twenty-six year old woman who is trying to change her life. She relies on a psychic to give her advice and the results are often hilarious. As Jessica comes to terms with her love life, her work life, and her parents relationship, we get to know the real her. And? We fall in love with her. By the end of the book I was rooting for her and was surprised at some of the twists and turns that the story eventually took.

More than being just chick-lit, this book made me think about and question my own ideas on race and family. I love a book that not only makes me laugh but also makes me think.

This book rocks, and you can pre-order it at Amazon. And be sure to visit Gwen at her website. But don't tell her I sent you, okay? She'll think I'm a stalker.