Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Christmas Confession

I am so stinkin' excited for this Christmas I can't hardly stand myself.

My whole life I've known that Christmas is the most magical and wonderful time of the year. My Grandaddy loved him some Christmas. He'd start singing carols around Thanksgiving and every time someone would come around, he'd start belting one out. Did I mention he really couldn't sing that well? This time of year, I miss that man more than I can say. He loved giving me and my brother presents at Christmas and Lawd help an old man when the great grand babies came along. He had all his great grand girls before he passed away and he loved for them to sit in his lap and they would let him sing to his heart content. (I still get sad that he never got to see the two boys...he would have been right on over the moon over those two.)

We have that satellite radio up in the truck and I've kept it on the Holiday station since I found it. Now, the kids might be complaining a tad over hearing the same songs over and over, but I love it. When "Rudolph" or "Santa Claus is Coming to Town" or "Frosty" or any of those classics come on...I've found myself getting a tad bit misty. I can hear my Grandaddy singing one of those tunes or whistling one (He was a great whistler!) as he went about his day. I get this little pang that I know means I miss him greatly.....but I also realize that when I hear one of those songs? He's here in spirit with us.

My Daddy loves him some Christmas, too. He has great potential to be grumpy year round (I see those of you who know him nodding your head), but give him December 24th and 25th, and he is the definition of happiness and cheer. Now, Daddy isn't one to go singing like his Dad, but he gets all happy and teases us all about what gifts we might be getting or what Santa might bring. I love seeing my Daddy like this because he just loves the whole entire season. He checks out everything every one gets and has even been known to play with a few toys and know, doing a quality check and all that stuff. Every Christmas Eve before we go crazy opening presents, he does a little speech where he talks about Jesus being born and all that is holy about Christmas. We go around the room and everyone will tell something that they are thankful for from that year or just in general. I admit that I get a little long winded some times and the kids roll their eyes when it's my turn. I always mention my Grandaddy, get choked up, and have to pass my turn on to the next person.

Let's mention my brother, shall we? I love my brother. He can be so stoic and stern acting, but give him Christmas and his eyes light up and he grins constantly because he can't wait for people to open presents from him and his family. He is very kind in that he tries to give my kids stuff that makes noise. Lots of loud noises. When my child opens a gift and it starts screeching, I look at him to see him laughing and giving me a thumbs up. Lord, I do love that brother of mine.

Reading this post, it seems to me that the males in my family have been thoroughly bitten by the Christmas Bug. I love the holiday, too, and gladly tolerate their giddiness and happiness. I realized this week, that it's not just the males who get all out of sorts. I do, too!!! I think the past few years, I've been so focused on making sure gifts are bought and packing up my family to travel six hours one way to really have a chance to get fully immersed in the spirit of the season. I can't believe the stress that has been taken off of me with us deciding to stay in our home this year. I'm not dreading a long drive with over excited children. I'm not dreading sleeping in a bed that is guaranteed to break my back by morning time. I'm not dreading packing ALL the stuff up and bringing it back home, just to have to clean up here.

Don't get me hasn't hit me yet that, for the first time in 39 years, I won't spend those two magical days with my family that I love with all my heart. I hope to stay busy and laughing so I don't get all leaky around the eye area because I miss my Mama and Daddy and brother and sister-in-law and niece and nephew and Grandma and Aunt and all.

I want to fully immerse myself in the magic of the season and the reason for the season. My family best hang on...Mama is on a mission!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Help Me Understand, Please

You know in a previous post, I was talking about helping someone less fortunate this year. I'm so sad because there's so many people who need help because of circumstances going on these days.

I read somewhere (in a submarine wives forum I belong to) that the angel trees they have this time of year, people are quick to grab the young kids, but teenagers get overlooked quite a bit. While I know that things can happen in a child's life that will scar them forever...teenagers can hurt just as badly and maybe even deeper. The more I thought about it, the more I want to help a teenager.

You want to get sad? Let me tell you about Paige's life. She has friends (yes, there is an "s" as in plural on the end of that word.) at her school that have been kicked out of their homes...many for different reasons. Kicked out of their homes. Now, I don't know what happened for their lives to get to that point, but I'm here to tell you that no child of mine is going ANYWHERE until I've got them grown to at least the age 18. Even if I have t'beat their butts on occasion. (For those who don't believe in corporal punishment? Live your way and I'll live mine. Georgia law states I can spank my kids and you can be assured I will do so if the need arises.) I'm not saying these are bad kids. They could have bad parents. Now THAT makes me livid. There is no excuse (in my book) for bad parenting. You can make parenting mistakes and you can wish you handled a situation differently, but live and learn, people. Pick yourself up and go forward, learn from your mistakes, and do your best to raise your kids right. Like I said, I don't know what happened in many of these cases, so judgement is a sketchy thought at this point.

When I hear her tell me tales of the kids she sees on a daily basis, my heart strings get tugged on something fierce. I want to take them all, bring them home with us, feed them, and make sure they know that there are good people out in this cruel world. I met one little gal a week or so ago that goes to school with Paige. She's ended up pregnant and I surely hate that's happened to her. I really hate that her family disowned her and kicked her out. I really hate that she's about to pop and working as a waitress to make money while going to school full-time during the day. (High school, that is.) I love how sweet and polite she is as she comes to our table to meet her eyes sparkle even though they look so tired and older than her seventeen years. She told my daughter that she made a mistake, but she's going to do the absolute best she can with the situation she has.

I am so sad to hear about the boy who lives with his dad and brother and his dad kicked him out. How he makes excellent grades and talks about being a nuclear engineer one day, but needs shoes that doesn't have holes in them. I am warmed by the family that has taken him in, but I wonder what kind of Christmas season he will have in a home that isn't his?

Lord, please help me understand how this happens!! Please. I love my children with every fiber of my being and can't imagine treating them like they're disposable when the feeling strikes.

Lord, please help me find a way to help one of these kids in some way- be it large or small, before or on the 25th of this December month.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Candle Love

One of the things our family is going to do this Christmas is make Jesus a birthday cake. Miss Hope and family are all about some Jesus and The Man and I are wanting to stress that the reason for the season is about the birth of Jesus. Since The Man is the baker in the family*, he thought it a good idea to make Jesus a cake and let the kids help him cook and decorate it to enjoy. The kids seem really excited about this and are gung ho about baking Jesus his own cake for his birthday.

Today, The Man, The Boy, and I were at the commissary shopping. We go on base to the commissary about twice a month for what I call "big groceries". Otherwise, I get my milk, bread, and such from W*lmart down the road.

Anyway, we were in the produce and deli section and about to do some serious food gathering. I was over looking at something while The Man was checking the quality of the oranges. I noticed my son a few feet away looking at the turning rack of birthday accessories (i.e. candles, decorations, and etc.).

All of a sudden, I heard his voice ring out across the produce...

"Hey, Dad? How old is Jesus again?"

I turned to my husband and started laughing. Why? I don't's not a question you hear every day, I suppose.

The wheels started turning in my boy's head. He asked when Jesus was born and my husband told him on December 25, 0000 (zero zero zero zero-that's how he told him.)

Now my kid isn't about those number candles. Oh, no. He likes to blow out the individual candles because number candles are a crock.

Those wheels continued to turn. I immediately told him we simply could not do two thousand and ten candles.

We compromised. He picked out two packs and was satisfied.

Remind me to turn the smoke detector off when we light those bad boys, would you?

* I am not a baker. I am a good cook, but I am not a baker. My family will be quick to tell you that Mama can cook, but she can NOT bake. I accept this and let The Man do that job since he's good at it.

** Another side note of useless information. If you want to hear many different languages spoken? Go to a commissary. I find it just ...I don't know....odd....that in a commissary on an American post/base, you will hear many different languages spoken as you push your buggy through the store getting groceries. I know your local W*lmart may have a Hispanic section of food, but if you have a good sized commissary? You'll get all different kinds of ethnic food sections. I've had a right large time trying some random things out of different sections. Many people from different countries are stationed here and there are also spouses from other countries that make up the wild mix cultures that grace the commissary on any given day.

Christmas Cheer

I promise I've taken a few pictures of my house and its lovely decorations and if I don't put these pictures up? Girlfriend Down the Street will have my head. She's sweet that way, you know.

I got a little something on my mind that I can't just seem to shake.

My family and I are so blessed it's not even funny. Retirement from the military has treated us very well and I thank the Lord above every single day for his continuous showers of blessings on our heads. I'm not saying we're rich, because heaven knows we're not. It's just been alot easier this year not having to struggle to buy groceries or pay for lunch money at school, or put gas in our vehicles. For the first time in my life, I feel like I can breathe better.

Since we got the go ahead that we're staying in our home for Christmas, Santa and I have been much closer contact. I told the big guy that my kids had it kind of tough last year. We didn't get to put our decorations up because of moving during the break. We rushed up I-95 for about 24 hours of Christmas with family, hurried back to pack it all up and move. Poor kids really didn't get a break at all because we were unpacking our new home and they were starting new schools. Do I have to make it up to them? Nah, they're good kids and of course they bounced back quick and promptly forgot about all we had to do in such a short time.

I want to make this year special.

Suffice it to say, Santa and Miss Hope are real tight at this point and I am comfortable believing that next weekend will be AWESOME.

Now that my kids are taken care of....I started thinking about kids who won't be taken care of this Christmas season. I saw an article on yahoo (in the news section- a video clip) of the post offices receiving all these letters to Santa. Kids are asking for clothes, shoes, jobs for a parent. Even parents are writing letters to Santa asking for clothes for their kids, food to eat, a job, maybe a toy if possible. My heart breaks clean in two when I see stuff like this.

See, I've had tough Christmases. I had the personal meltdowns where I sobbed because I had no way of talking to Santa. My children are blessed individuals to have people who love them and will talk to Santa for them. I will forever hold these people extra close to my heart because of what they did. Now, my children have never gone without food, clothes, or shelter. No sir. But, jeesh, I just wanted them to have at least a small Christmas. Oh, how I want to cry now knowing how I felt then and knowing how these parents feel who are writing to Santa for their own children.

I am in the process of finding our family a Christmas Angel. There are so many children in our own area that are in need. I wish I could take care of all the children who need a pair of shoes, a warm coat, a hot meal, or a bed. If I were to ever be rich, I wouldn't be that way for long because I have to take care of bidness, people.

I will not be able to enjoy my Christmas if we don't help at least one person in need this Christmas season. I don't know exactly how that's going to happen at this moment, but believe me, I'm working on it.

Please, if you possibly can, consider helping a child or family this year. Miss Hope is on a mission right now and would love for you to tag along!!

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Decisions Made

I just love when some decisions are made and I don't have to be the one to make the choice.

The Great Christmas Decision has been made.

We are staying in our home for the holiday this year. The Man's father called last week to inform us that he has accepted a job offer here in Georgia and it's only a few hours down the road from our home. You want to talk about a happy man? My husband is so thrilled that his parents are going to be in the same state and only a few hours away from him. This hasn't happened in over twenty years and he is over the moon.

We were at my parent's house for Thanksgiving and the adults were sitting on the front porch rocking and chattting while the kids played in leaf piles under the trees when he said to me, "I want to be selfish this year. I want my Mom and Dad for Christmas." I just love this man. He has been so easy going and if it is in his power to give to me what I want...then he will do his best to make it happen. (Proof- the 12ft. Christmas Tree in my living room right now-saving for a later post.) I felt helpless when he made that statement because it just wasn't in my power to make this one request of his come true.

Mr. C (the dad-in-law) told his son that he will only have one day off for Christmas since he's starting a new job, but he'll drive over Thursday evening and leave out Sunday to head back. Now, we're working on getting Mrs. M. here. She's still in Nebraska recovering from a cruise they took before Thanksgiving. She had herself a large time on that cruise but her health took a little beating. She's working on getting some rest and getting all her levels straightened out and good again. I am praying hard that she will feel better and we can get her here so she and Mr. C won't be separated at Christmastime.

The kid are excited to spend the holiday with their MiMi and Poppies. For eight years now, they've shared Christmas over a speaker phone as we opened gifts and hollered and laughed at each other. It will be something new for them, but I think they're hoping MiMi will make her awesome pancakes Christmas morning. (I admit,too.)

I just have to say, yet again, that my children are so blessed. They have the most amazing grandparents in the entire world. Seriously, they do. I love my mother and father-in-law for so many reasons, but they'll never know how much I love them just because they love my children. When the girls first met them, The Man and I weren't married, but that four year old Makenna jumped up in Mr. C's arms and it was over for that man. Paige took a little while, but she warmed up to her new grandparents and now? She wouldn't trade them for anything. My Daddy has an extra special place in her heart. You know the place in the heart where girls have men who they love wholeheartedly and without reservation? Well, that sister has her Papa and Poppies filling that space to capacity. Don't get me wrong, she loves her Nana and her MiMi, too, but she gets all soft and mushy when she talks about how she loves her Papa and Poppies. How fortunate is she to have two amazing men from different cultures and backgrounds to be wonderful role models in her life? I admit I might be a little jealous.

I am also blessed that my parents and my in-laws get along so well. Mrs. M and Mama have a great time visiting when they get to see each other (which is rarely). My mother was happy to hear she might get to see Mrs. M more often with this move. I know Mrs. M feels the same way and that just makes me get warm fuzzies.

Okay. Okay. Enough with the mushy gushy love stuff. I am now in the process of planning a menu for Christmas weekend. Gah. I've never had to do such a thing because my Mama has ruled that position as long as I've been alive. On our last visit home, I was able to bully the family recipe for Ambrosia out of my Grandma and Aunt. Lawd have mercy, that's some good stuff. I want to take my own turn at making this tasty dish and I believe Christmas will be the perfect time to do this. ** Side story: We were eating some of this delectable dish at Mama's after Thanksgiving dinner when Makenna came up to me and said, "You DO realize that ambrosia is nectar of the gods." To which I replied, "It's okay, I'm a goddess and totally allowed to eat this." ** Don't bother asking for the recipe, I can't share it. It's like a blood oath thing you have to do in order to get the recipe....something to the effect that your hair will fall out and your vacuum will stay broken forever. I KID. A little. But not much. I can't share it, okay?? But if you ever ate a bowl of it? Yeah, it's THAT good.

The Man wants to fry another turkey. That makes me so nervous because youtube is full of videos of how frying a turkey can go bad. Very bad. He did a perfect job last time he attempted this, but dang. That was military housing. This is MY house. I guess I'll do what I did last time and make him go out in the middle of the back yard and then I will watch anxiously from the window and open the back door to holler suggestions from the safety of the house. I'd rather bake a ham and make some biscuits but he is insistent and you know what? This is HIS holiday this year and if he wants to fry a turkey? By golly, have at it Big Boy.

I love time, you know. It has a way of making us better people or worse. Two years ago, I would have shown my ENTIRE butt over not going to my parent's house for Christmas. I am now able to see past my own selfish self to my husband, the one who has loved me in spite of myself. He needs this so badly and it's such a simple thing to give him. Guess it goes to show that you're never too old to grow up, huh?

This is the honest truth, too. I know he may read this sooner or later (when he's bored at work maybe?). If I don't get a single material gift this Christmas.....I'll be the most blessed of all because my husband's happiness will be gift enough for me.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

What to do??

Miss Hope is in a bit of a quandary over here at The Edge.

I'll give you a little bit of back story before presenting my issue.

When The Man and I were dating, where to spend holidays wasn't a big deal. I was going to be at my parent's house and that was that. The first Christmas we were dating, he spent his time with his family since the Navy doesn't recognize holidays and he wanted to be with his own parents for the first time in over, I *believe*, eleven years. The next Christmas wasn't a huge deal, either. He spent Christmas with me and my family and I went with him the week of New Year's to meet his family as we were pretty serious and talking about marriage. The girls stayed back in South Carolina and this girl flew, for the first (and haven't since-long story I'll have to share later) time, to New Mexico to meet my future in-laws.

Before we got married, I told that man I would go anywhere in the world with him 363 days out of the year, but all I ask is to spend Christmas with my parents/family. Christmas is very important deal for my family and my Daddy is guaranteed to be in a festive mood for his favorite holiday. He agreed because his parents had moved to Nebraska and he swore he would not go someplace where there was the possibility of getting snowed in.

And so life went on.

When we moved to Southeast Georgia, we would gladly travel back to South Carolina to spend Christmas with my family. We wouldn't have it any other way. For four Christmases, I-95 North bound was our holiday road to happiness and Santa.

Now, here we are. In our "forever" home. That has a lovely stone fireplace in the center of the living room. I am seriously excited over decorating my new home for the the point that I've bought more decorations than gifts and must fix that soon! I want to be in our home for Christmas. I want to wake up in my bed Christmas morning and take pictures of the kids coming down the staircase to see what Santa Claus left them. I want to stay in my pajamas all day sipping coffee, napping, playing with new toys, and just relaxing.

I want to go to my parent's, too. I don't want to miss a Christmas with my parents, my brother and sister in law, my niece and nephew, my Grandma and Aunt.


I'm tired of taking two vehicles because one can't hold us AND the gifts that need to go for the Christmas Visit. I'm tired of turning around and loading up two vehicles to come back home to lonely Christmas decorations that weren't properly enjoyed.

I've talked with our family about staying here for the holiday and they can go either way. The kids are older and staying here in their own home is very appealing. At the supper table one night, I got animated talking about starting our very own new traditions. I wanted input from them as to what we could do just for us! I mentioned getting Nana's breakfast quiche recipe for Christmas morning (that is GOOD stuff), when the girls shot each other a look. Finally, Paige was brave enough to say the quiche is "ok", but they really only eat it because Nana cooks it. I was shocked. They would prefer The Man to make Mimi's (his mom) pancakes because they are amazing. I see.

I was frustrated because I felt our little family didn't have a single solitary tradition of our own for the season.

I was wrong.

When The Man and I were talking about when to start decorating, I said, "I better stock up on the hot chocolate, because when the ornaments come out, Makenna will be heading to the kitchen to make her Holiday Decorating Hot Chocolate."

We have a tradition!!! Of our very own!!

Time is flying by so quickly and I'm going to have to make up my mind very soon as to what we're going to do come December 24. We're heading that way for Thanksgiving next week for a few days and I'm looking forward to the good eating that'll be going on.

I just don't know what to do next month. I want to make every body happy and we all know making every one happy is near impossible.

I really need this decision to be easy. I really do.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Wedding Day Follies

This past weekend my sister, Lu, got married. For the first time. I was honored to stand by her side when she married a really great guy named Chris.

A little background about the two of us. We've been friends since we were seven years old in the second grade. We have more memories than should be legal between our lives. We've shared every up and down and everything else that goes in the middle of those ups and downs. I haven't called her my best friend in years because I believe we're past that point now. They say you can't choose your family. I beg to differ. I wasn't blessed with a blood sister, but I sure enough picked that gal to be my sister. Our children call us "Aunt" and believe themselves to be first cousins. We wouldn't have it any other way.

When I first moved away back in 2006, it was hard on us. We hadn't been separated since we were seven and we just didn't know how we'd manage the 6 hour drive between homes. I should have known we wouldn't let a little distance stop us. Both our families made the drive many times and we made it work. Then, my family moved to upper Georgia and that cut the drive in half. Oh, joy. We weren't moved in good, just partially unpacked, when she loaded up her twins (who are the same age as Makenna) and came for the weekend.

I received a picture text message on my phone showing her hand with a diamond shining brightly on that left hand. Game on. Wedding planning started and I really hated the distance factor because I wanted to be right there with her every single step of the way. Silly me. Technology stepped in yet again and helped the two of us share every single step. Tiffany is Lu's best friend back home. I have sister status, Tiff has best friend status. I adore Tiffany and she was amazing with sending me picture text messages when Lu went to try on wedding dresses. We talked a good bit on the phone and one thing was very clear. We were both thrilled to pieces for our girl and wanted her day to be as perfect as possible. I couldn't have asked for a better fellow bridesmaid to make this party happen.

Many many many nights Lu and I would sit on the computer on Yahoo messenger sharing links and ideas. Her wedding came together piece by piece as we schemed and talked and surfed a never ending Internet land. I was able to get the perfect dress for me in the color she chose here in my town, so my end of the deal came together effortlessly.

I believe I forgot to mention that she planned her wedding around The Man's schedule. He was to finish his class up North on November 12th. She planned her day for November 13th so he could be there to share the day, too. Suffice it to say, this past weekend was just flat out awesome in my personal book. I got my husband back after being gone for nine weeks and my girl got married. I was floating more than I was walking.

Friday found us decorating the church and fellowship hall at the church where the ceremony was to take place. Lu, Tiff, and myself spent more time laughing than we did working. (Thank you Church Ladies for making this happen!) Friday night gave us a hilarious rehearsal that had Lu turning pure white every time she thought about walking down the aisle by herself. I assured her that if I got to the front and she was stuck? I'd walk myself right back down that aisle and get her. My escort was her soon to be stepson...a very handsome 15 year old young man who's personality and sense of humor matched mine perfectly. Of course, that worried everyone else around us quite a bit. We all enjoyed a nice supper afterward and since we agreed we were all too old to handle any type of bachelor or bachelorette parties, we headed back home for the night. I had to get home to wait for my husband to arrive! I almost fell asleep before he rolled in at midnight but I couldn't wait to see his face! It didn't help that my Daddy (we stayed at my parent's house) stayed up with me and all he would watch was old westerns. Ugh. That's a sure fire way to put this girl straight to sleep.

Can I just say I LOVED Saturday? I was able to wake up beside my husband and leave our kids in his care and know I didn't have to worry about getting them to the church. Tiff picked me up bright and early at 8 a.m. so we could head off to get our hair and makeup done for the 3 p.m. wedding. We stopped to get one very anxious and out of sorts Lu. We scooted by to pick up a frappe for me and food for them. Our time at the salon was awesome. I informed the stylist I wanted to channel Marilyn Monroe. I had the short hair to pull off that short teased curled style she was famous for having. I proclaimed I was a large woman who wanted large hair and dramatic makeup! We laughed and took many pictures of going from plain to glamorous. We had to be at the church by 1 p.m. and we were 15 minutes late and had Lu declaring she needed a nerve pill from the back seat.

Time flew by from that point on to walking in the sanctuary. I was teary-eye'd helping her put on her wedding gown and seeing her transform into this beautiful bride. The twins looked like proper young ladies in their dresses and the men were just so handsome our teeth hurt to look at them. I felt like my face was going to break because I was smiling so big from the sheer happiness of the occasion. Tiff and I were scared to death we were going to bawl during the ceremony and ruin our expensive makeup jobs.

My cousin Tripp is a close friend of Lu's also. He and The Man were ushers (not groomsmen) and as we stood in the foyer of the sanctuary, Lu started turning white again at the thought of walking out in front of all those people waiting to see her get married. The Man was already manning the video camera at this point and Tripp was helping the wedding director get every one down the aisle properly. Tiff and I were last and we were about to take our turns walking in when Lu exclaimed, "Wait a minute! Why can't Tripp walk me down the aisle?" The wedding director turned to her and said, "This is your day. He can do whatever you want him to do."

At that moment, my cousin simply walked over and held the crook of his arm out to Lu. Not one word was said. She put her arm in his and I saw complete peace and calmness come over her. It was then my turn to head down the aisle. I was so touched by that one little scene that I almost forget what I was supposed to do when I reached the front of the church!

Lu is a die hard South Carolina Gamecock fan. Chris is a die hard Clemson fan. Uh oh. He jokingly declared that there would be NO red/garnet anywhere in his wedding. Is that right, big boy? Tiff and I conspired beforehand to have a special surprise for Mr. Chris. At our pedicures earlier in the week, we both had "C's" put on our big toes. One orange one for Chris and one red one for Lu. When we reached the alter and walked up, we swung by Chris and with fanfare, pulled up the hems of our gowns to show our toes representing the two of them. He laughed and I feel sure appreciated our sense of humor. (The C's stood for Cocks (pet name for the Gamecocks) and Clemson.)

That wedding march started and I saw that girl come down the aisle looking as fabulous as a person possibly could look. My handsome cousin handed her off to her twins who then walked her up to meet Chris. It was a beautiful ceremony and I kept looking at Tiff and grinning from ear to ear. We had no tears we were so happy for the two of them.

When they went to light the unity candle, I had to move over behind Tiff and one of the twins. By this point, this large girl was feeling the effects of the cute silver high heel shoes. I made an executive decision to discreetly leave them behind the full fern I was standing beside and take my chances barefoot. I whispered to Tiff that I was leaving my shoes behind and she started looking down!! I was told her, 'DUDE! DON'T LOOK AND DRAW ATTENTION!' No one would have ever known if I hadn't kicked my foot out before taking the first step down off of the alter (pre-planned move between me and my escort). My mother was sitting on the second row and her eyes narrowed when she saw my bare toes come out from under the dress. I shamed her, I do believe with that move....BUT, OMG, THE SHOES WERE MURDERING ME! I told people who commented that I was so glamorous that I had to bring it down a notch.

The rest of the afternoon and evening flew by and was perfect. I was so exhausted by the time we got back to my parent's house. I had to wash my hair three times to get all the hairspray and teasing tamed. I was also reminded as to why I don't wear waterproof mascara. Gah, that stuff has to have illegal ingredients to stay like it does on your lashes. Hate it.

I feel like this huge letdown has come upon me. You know, like after your birthday or Christmas has come and gone? You get so excited and anxious and then it's gone. Over. I'm just so happy the day was perfect and sunny and cool and just flat out enjoyable.

Here's to my girl Lu and her new husband Chris! I pray you have many many years together full of happiness. Chris? Take care of my sister or strange things might happen. I'm just saying. Love you both!

P.S. I don't have any pictures yet, but I may have to post one or two when I get my hands on them!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Let me TELL You!

Holy smokes have I been busy.

My husband and I were really excited about retiring from the Navy last year. I had visions of a nice little civilian life where we lived in a house with a normal life.


My husband's new job requires him to go up North for classes here and there for a while. He's been gone now for seven weeks with two weeks left to go. The company is gracious enough to fly him home on occasion, and while we are ever so grateful for that? Less than 48 hours a visit just isn't enough.

This isn't our first rodeo. We've done this work related separation gig before (and will again), but it's just a pain in the ever-lovin' butt. The kids and I have done really well this time. I have a pretty strict routine going on in the evenings that keeps my boy on the smooth side. The girls have really stepped up and helped out with being easy going and mostly drama free.

I had the bright idea to start dental work a few weeks ago. I was sitting here one day and all of a sudden it hit me....We haven't been to the dentist since last November right before retirement!! Crap. I immediately started setting up appointments for all of us and decided that now was the time to take Paige in to get her started on braces for her teeth. I had a list of providers from our new dental insurance and started at the top of the list and started doing some crude research. I looked up the first doctor and he had an awesome website. Hmmm...if he can afford such a cool website, maybe we need to call and talk to him? I called and got the best receptionist ever. She convinced me that I should take Makenna on in and let him check her out and make sure all is well with her. No problem. I asked her who she used as her personal dentist and she gladly told me. I checked and this dentist was on the list. SCORE. I asked her if she had a pediatric dentist she used. She did and I checked and found out his name was on my list, too. DOUBLE SCORE.

Within two weeks, I had all our teeth nice and clean. Guess who has the cavity that has to be fixed. No, not the six year old I struggle with every morning to brush his teeth more than ten seconds. No, not the tween who digs candy. No, not the teen who ...well, she's a fanatic about being clean and hygiene so we know it's not her. Yeah, it's me. I was shocked. And mad. The dentist said it's a teeny tiny one we need to take care of before it gets bad and I agree. I asked him if he would have to do a shot. He replied yes. I then said, "Well, you suck." He laughed and said he's been told worse. I was able to score my appointment on the day The Man has his cleaning ( he is not used to making his own dental appointments- the military has a way of telling you when to do things). The pediatric dentist thought it a good idea to take Makenna in to the orthodontist so we could know about when to start her on braces...he figured approximately 12-18 months from now.

So, I took my girls to the orthodontist.

When the doctor walked in, I shook his hand and said, "What are you? 12?" He laughed and said right back at me, "No ma'am, I'm 13!" Loved him immediately. (He is a very nice 33 with 3 girls and another on the way.) He examined Paige and was pleased with her mouth. (I laugh to myself as I type that.) He informed her that she would be in braces a MAXIMUM of 18 months because her problems were mostly minor and they would fix her overbite for her. Easy peasy. Nice.

Makenna then jumped up in the chair and got examined. I should have known something was up.

After he finished, I was informed that my child is going to need a Herbst appliance put in her mouth. Her lower jaw isn't acting like it's supposed to and she apparently has TMJ. (This is a link to the appliance. If you ask me? It looks like my baby is in for a miserable time.) (The link is also the orthodontist we're using so look at the younger guy and tell me he doesn't look 12!)

Excuse me?

He then went on to tell me that after wearing this appliance for a year to get her jaw straightened out, she will wear a full set of braces for over another year.


I told him that I didn't bring her in to get braces. I was just letting him check her out so he could tell me to bring her back in 12-18 months for the regular stuff. I think I was in shock.

He was very kind to me and explained it all again very patiently. We need to address this issue now while she's younger and we can manipulate the jaw to do what we need to make it normal.


Two kids in braces. At one time. Holy cow on a stick.

I started texting my husband, who is way up North in a class. He left class to call and tell me to do what we had to in order to get the ball rolling.

This past Tuesday, I took my girls to get metal mouths. Makenna will have four braces across the front top to get her started while she's wearing the appliance. Did I mention that she's missing a permanent molar? Uh huh. My mother missed an incisor and I just found out at the dentist last week that I, too, am missing a molar but my wisdom tooth jumped in and filled the gap. Hold on a second while I sigh yet again.

While all these orthodontist appointments are going on, I decided to postpone my son getting evaluated for speech until next week. He's lost a front top tooth and I could just lick his cute face, but it's going to wreak havoc on the lisp he's already got.

And where is my husband while all of this is going on? Not here. This always happens and I'm not surprised at all. Can I handle it? You bet your fanny I can. I always have. It just wears a sister out, ya know?

Oh, and since my husband has ventured north where he has been able to attend an Indians baseball game (his team!), a Pirates baseball game, visit the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the NFL Hall of Fame and partake in at least two friendly poker tournaments...I have trekked back to South Carolina three times. I had my cousin's wedding to attend and my life friend Lu is getting married in a couple of weeks and yours truly is the matron of honor so, of course, I have to attend a shower in her honor! I am a tad bit worn out because there never seems to be a break in there for me, but it's all good. So much going on equals much fun. I tell my friends and family that if I can make it through Thanksgiving this year, they might not see me for a while. I may just have to take a month off before Santa pays a visit to our new home.

I'll be back in a day or two to fill you in a few more happenings around The Edge. Right now, I have to get that Man of Mine to hang some drapes in our newly painted office before he jets back out of here tomorrow. We might even go hit a local corn maze if we get froggy. Have a good rest of the weekend!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

I Believe

I believe every woman (or man who likes to cook) should know how to make a pot of rice. There's alot you can do with rice. Being from The South dictates that I know how to make rice because there's going to be a church potluck or family dinner that will require this dish. For some people, this is an easy dish. Two cups of water for one cup of rice for twenty minutes covered just doesn't cut some times, Internets. You have to be one with your stove and pots. I have one pot that can cook perfect rice. If I get all wonky acting and grab the wrong pot? My rice isn't up to par. My stove in Saint Marys was older, but it would cook that rice perfect in 18 minutes. My new flat top I now have? Takes 22 minutes to finish it up to perfection. Know how to make rice is good advice.

I believe that everyone should own a nice set of dress clothes. Two sets would be perfect. People die and get married all the time. There's nothing worse than having to attend a wake and funeral and you have nothing to wear. What's worse is if you're the one grieving and having to shop for something appropriate. My family goes to church so I am prepared for such occasions. Little boys need those khaki pants and a button down because tennis shoes at the funeral just aren't right (in my opinion). Black pants and a black skirt are essential to a woman's wardrobe. You can work whatever season is happening if you have those two staples sitting in your closet. Don't forget shoes. If you don't dress up often, you don't have to spend a fortune on dress shoes. Get those cute ballet flats for the ladies and grab a pair of dress shoes for the guys. Having them on hand is really a good thing.

I believe in being nice to your spouse. Some of you may have a raised eyebrow at this, but it's very important. I always try to tell my husband "Thank You" when he does something for matter how small it might be. Fixing my cup of coffee, doing a home project, paying a bill, taking a kid for an appointment all warrant a heartfelt thank you from this gal. I know it sure makes me feel good when my husband tells me thank you for something I've done. This is my second (and last!) marriage...I want to do it as right as I possibly can. Besides, in the long run, it shows our kids that parents who respect each other and use manners is a good thing. Hopefully, they'll grow up and do the same!

I believe in Santa. Oh, yes, I do. That kindly old soul leaves me a little something under my Mama's tree every year because of my belief. To believe in Santa is to believe in magic. (good, not evil) I love the Christmas season because it's Jesus' birthday and giving is just so much fun! Now, when I was kid, the receiving part was my specialty, but as I've gotten older? I love to give. I love to find that perfect present for a friend or family member and when they open it and their eyes light, that's good stuff.

I believe in a can of good hairspray. Yes, I am a child of the 80's and we who grew up then know what a good can of hairspray can do for a head of hair. Alas (and thankfully!) the days of high hair are gone, but there will come an occasion where you need that hair to stay fabulous and nothing helps better than a good can of hairspray. I have a regular every day can that I lightly spray over my head to tame those blasted flyaways, but underneath my bathroom sink is a can of high dollar liquid cement. I love that can of hairspray and secretly get thrilled when I have a reason to use it. I'm 16 again and freezing my hairstyle before hitting the door.

I believe everyone should be good at something. I don't care what it is you do. It can be cooking, cleaning, painting a house, gardening, singing, or dancing. Just find something that you excel at and can be proud of your ability in that area. I'm good at babies. I have been called The Baby Whisperer at times. I love babies and have this knack for figuring out their problems when they're fussy and I have ether in my arms when I hold them. I can lay my hands on a baby's forehead and tell you if they have a temperature and what it is to the degree. (The new digital thermometers throw me but I can usually get it to within a point range. For example, I'll tell you a temp is 99.8 and the digital thermometer will say 99.9 or 99.7.) It's true! I thought I had lost my touch and was tested a couple of weekends ago with a 14 month old. I was barely off from the digital reading. Made me brush my knuckles on my chest and bask in the knowledge that I still got it. I don't know if I'll be able to retain this indefinitely since I don't have access to baby sweetness on a regular basis now. If not? Then it'll be time to find something else I'm good at doing.

I believe raising kids will be the hardest thing I've ever done in my life. I never knew how hard it would be to let my children grow and make their own mistakes. I never knew that I could hurt so badly in my heart when I see my child suffering or hurt (mentally and/or physically). I'm not a violent person, but loving my children as much as I do has shown me that I would hurt anyone in my path if they meant my child harm. I never knew that opening myself to love my children unconditionally would have the power to make me grow as a person, woman, mother, sister, daughter, and friend. I would never ever trade my life with my children. Nothing can compare to the richness of color they've added to my life.

I believe I will go tackle the mountain of laundry I have waiting for me in the hallway. I'm trying to conserve energy and bring my light bill down a little bit by doing larger loads in my front loader. So far? It seems to be working. How about that? Oh, and Wynonna Judd is on Good Morning America and I have loved her since the 80's. She's one of my all time favorites.

Friday, October 15, 2010

What do YOU do?

I must be on some kind of "Love My Country" kick here. Not that there's anything wrong with it, but if something unexpected ever happens to me, at least my kids will know I was a patriotic soul. (Yes, I am grinning as I type that.)

So.....when is the last time you thanked a service member or veteran for their service to your country? Seriously. When is the last time you walked up to someone and just said, "Thank you for your service to the United States (or insert your country's name here)."? I can count at least three times in the past two weeks I've done this.

I love the older veterans. Just love them. They're usually men who wear those ball caps proudly that states they are retired Navy/Army/Air Force/Marine across the top. Some say Korean Veteran, or Vietnam Veteran or something to that effect. Since we live in a military town, I come across alot of them when I'm on post/base or out shopping.

For example, this past summer, I took Paige and her friend Tina to the bus stop in the mornings to catch the bus to summer school. One morning, we took Prissy to the groomer before going to the bus. As Tina and I were waiting for Paige to come back out, I saw this elderly gentleman coming out of the groomer and shuffling to his truck parked on my passenger side. I noticed his hat that boasted he was a Korean Veteran. I rolled down the window as he came around the front of my truck and said, "Sir!?! Excuse me, Sir?" He walked over to the window and I stuck my hand out across the empty passenger seat and said, "Sir, I'd like to thank you for your service to our country! I really appreciate your sacrifice." He was speechless for a second and the biggest smile broke out across his face. He took the next few minutes to tell me a little of his enlistment and some of the things he encountered. I listened with respect, shook his hand again, and wished him a blessed day. He got in his truck and from the back seat behind me, I heard Tina say, "Miss Hope, that was just cool." I shrugged and told her it was the least I could do. (Her dad is active duty Army.)

This past week I was at our local W*lmart when an elderly gentleman, in his snazzy personal scooter, was going by me. He was trying to reach for something on the shelf and I gladly handed it to him. He thanked me profusely and I said, "Oh, Sir, it was my pleasure and I thank you for your service to our country!" (He had one of those cool ball caps on, too.) He grinned so big and said at least three times, "Thank you!" . Now, I ask you, how hard is that to do?

Yesterday, I took the girls to the dentist. As I sat in the waiting room reading a magazine, I saw a lady sit down. I was thrilled to see her wearing blue digi's (that would be blue camouflage battle dress uniform). Yeah, boy, I do love to see a woman in uniform! Girl Power! I saw the anchors on her collar (GO NAVY!) and just couldn't help myself. I said, "I can't see from here... are you a Chief or Senior Chief?" She told she was a Chief and there the conversation started. She just made Chief this past year and was settling into her new job duties. I got to hear how she is a translator who speaks Arabic and how she is a single Mom making it work in the military. We had a great conversation and when it was time for me to go back to get the report on my girls, I shook her hand and told her I surely appreciated all her hard work and her service to our country.

(These are just a few examples. My kids will tell you I do this on a regular basis.)

Just in case you didn't know, being in the military is hard job. I promise the pay isn't that great, but we are fortunate that we have people who love their country. My own husband only joined the Navy to serve one term and utilize the G.I. Bill. Nothing wrong with that, either. Little did he know he would love his job so much that he would stick it out for twenty years!

I'm not saying I approach everyone I see and thank them. I'd never get any shopping done on post/base if I did that! I do try and make the extra effort when I see the older generations. My Daddy served in Vietnam. Those who served there weren't really welcomed back with open arms. People tend to forget that these boys were DRAFTED. They weren't given the choice at that time. Now, he's starting to suffer some repercussions from that experience from his youth. I love that man with all my heart and I hate to see him suffer in any way shape or form. Even though he only served what he was required, I know he loves this country deeply and would do what was required of him all over again.

I know many of you reading this don't see veterans on a regular basis. Maybe you do and you don't know it? Veteran's Day is coming up and many schools recognize this day. Please, if you have family members who have served our country? Thank them! Share with your children or nieces and nephews the great people in their lives.

Thanking someone is an easy and simple thing to do. Who knows? You could make someone's day/week/month by taking just a few minutes to stop or call and just say "Thanks."

Now, I have to go clean some house because The Man, my own personal veteran, will be coming home for the weekend from his class up North. I believe I'll tell him Thank You yet again!

Monday, October 04, 2010


You know what I love about my country? Until things change (and I sure hope they don't!), I am allowed to have my very own personal opinion. How cool is that? Actually, it's a good thing since I am a very opinionated person. I have many many people who can attest to that fact.

Just so we're square with each other, let's please understand that my blog posts consist of MY opinions. If you share my opinions? Awesome! If you don't? I'd love to hear your side, but don't go and get ugly on me now. Respect is a mighty fine word if used correctly!

I support Arizona and what they are trying to do to control the illegal immigrant issues that are happening. I live in Georgia, and that's quite a few miles down the road from Arizona. We have serious illegal immigrant issues going on here. Everywhere I look, I see people who aren't here legally and I get so angry over it. Why? Because they are taking jobs away from American citizens. Our country is struggling and we're giving away jobs to people who are here illegally.

The other day, The Man, The Boy, and myself went on post/base (I say it like that because apparently the Navy and Army call their homes different terms) to run some errands. Do you know what I have to do to drive my vehicle past the armed gate? I have to have a certain sticker on my car (that states it is registered with government and approved to drive on base/post.), I have to show a military I.D. to the guard and it has to be current. I have to PROVE that I am allowed to go past that gate. As I drove to the commissary, I quietly fumed over the fact that I have to prove on a regular basis that I have the legal right to be in this country when I was born on American soil.

If a member of law enforcement were to approach me and ask to see my identification, I would have to prove that I am who I am. I have a driver's license that proves I have complied with the LAW and went through proper channels so I can drive a vehicle in this country. I have proof of insurance and a registration that also shows my willingness to comply with the law governing vehicles on our roads.

If I am away from my home, I can guarantee you I will have at LEAST two forms of a picture I.D. with me. I am perfectly okay with this. You want me to prove I am who I am? Hold on a second and let me get my wallet. I'll be GLAD to show you my identification.

Now, before you go and get upset with me, let me tell you this. I have a Hispanic last name. Oh, yes, I do. My handsome husband is either 3rd or 4th generation (on both sides) Mexican and Czechoslovakian. What a combination that man of mine has flowing through his veins! He has his mother's anglo features and his father's coloring. Many people think he's Italian when they first meet him. My son has my chin, but he looks like his Poppies (my father-in-law) spit him out. When I see the two of them together or pictures of my FIL when he was a young child, I am amazed that this kid who is 75% Caucasian, 12.5% Mexican, and 12.5% Mayan Indian looks as Hispanic as he does. Why, his last name is more Hispanic than him!

My favorite recent moment was at open house for 1st grade this year. His teacher asked us if The Boy spoke Spanish. I stopped. Blinked. And looked at her. I said, "Why?". Her eyes got real big and she stuttered as she said, "Well, his last name is Hispanic.....?" I looked at myself and back at her and said, "I am the original white girl, and you ask me that?" She looked as if she had put her foot on a land mine and was deathly afraid to move. My husband went on to explain to her that we don't do the African American, Hispanic American, Asian American, Native American terms in our home. We are all Americans and we speak the language of our constitution-English. (Personally, I wish we did speak Spanish some at home, but the only person who knows any is Paige and she's only in Spanish II in high school.) Let the record show that when I have to fill out forms for anything, such as school, or doctors, I never check the ethnicity box. I always check "Other" and fill in the blank with "United States of America natural born citizen". The color of skin shouldn't matter.

*I know I'm rambling and I'm pretty sure there's a point in here somewhere, so hang with me until I find it, please.*

A few weeks ago, my next door neighbor decided to build a retaining wall between his house and ours. The houses are built on hills here with each house a few feet higher than the previous one. Erosion dictated that he needed to shore up his side. I was excited that he was doing this because we also need to build one on the other side between us and the next neighbors. I told him to bring the crew in and if they did a good job? Then we'd get them next! I ran an errand a few days later to come home and find two guys in his yard making plans on how to build this wall. I walked over, stuck out my hand, introduced myself, and expressed my excitement and hopes of getting my own wall. They were very friendly and outgoing...picking up Prissy and chatting. I left them to make plans and went about my business. The next week a work crew shows up and get busy quick. I took Prissy outside for her personal business and strolled over to the edge of my patio. I spoke to the crew working. A simple "Hello"..not expecting great conversation. The one white guy in the group laughed and hollered back all good boy sounding and said, "They don't none of them speak no English." This was one of the guys I had spoken to earlier. I said, "Really?" He replied with a "No ma'am." I then said..."So, none of them are here legally." Didn't ask, simply stated. He froze and I just turned and walked back inside. I was so livid and angry. I so need that stupid retaining wall but it will be a cold day in Hades before I'd use this company.

I have a brother-in-law who was laid off from work. He is a very talented carpenter(journeyman). He has put in resumes all over the flippin' country but is too qualified to get hired or won't work for $25.00 a day because he has a family to provide for and raise. He WANTS to work. Therefore, he is having to take simple handyman jobs to make some money when he should be working 5 days a week with some occasional over time thrown in.

I get so put out with the whole issue. By the way, if you think I'M opinionated on this subject? Please, please, PLEASE, don't open this subject with my conservative, originally from Arizona, of Hispanic heritage husband. I love visiting Arizona (that state is so beautiful), but I don't think we need to go until things settle down some. I can see my husband opening his mouth at the wrong time in the wrong place it getting ugly quicker than you can blink.

So, I believe that if American citizens have to comply with American laws, then those who are here legally and/or visiting should also. I believe if you are here illegally? Go home. Come back the right way. I would never leave the USA without an American issued passport and there are very few countries I would even visit to need one. If you disagree with me? I'd love to hear your opinion!

p.s. Please, don't tell my husband about this post.

Friday, October 01, 2010

Your Face

WARNING: Total Girly Post...and it's a long one, too!

Let's talk about our faces for a minute, shall we? How many of you older gals had you some acne growing up? I was one of the lucky ones and only suffered from the occasional breakout when I enjoyed too much chocolate or was dealing with that time of the month. I had peaches and cream complexion that I miss and wish I could see on my personal being one more time. Now? I found at around age 35, my facial skin started hating me in a bad way.

My Paige hasn't been so lucky. When she hit that puberty era wide open, acne attacked her skin and showed no mercy. I was so terrified and scared because there were times I was sure she was going to have bad scars that would haunt her the rest of her life. I bought every single thing I could think of that might would help her. When I say everything? I mean everything. That cost mucho money. I hit up the department stores that boast those swanky makeup counters and started buying. I hit up those ladies who sell makeup and such from their home and tried whatever they had going on. Many times I stared at her face wondering what could we try that would bring out the beautiful skin I knew was there.

Carla Girl had some skin issues going on and had to go to the dermatologist. He flat out told her to get rid of all that expensive stuff and bring it back to basics. Noxema. No kidding. He told her that's all she needed and his own teenage daughters used it. When she told me this, I paused and thought maybe he was onto something.

For those of you who were teenagers 15 plus years ago, do you remember those big blue tubs of Noxema we had to dig into? That thick heavy cream that could clear your sinuses? That's what I envisioned and looked for. Lo and behold! It comes in a pump bottle now! I bought two bottles. One for me and one for the teenager. When I used it the first time, I was taken back to the 80's where it took ALOT of that stuff to get that blue eyeshadow off my eyes. Well, guess what I found out? I love it. It has done wonders for my skin and I don't know why on earth I gave it up. No more swanky expensive stuff for this girl. No sir. I'm keeping it simple and clean.

(I am not being paid to endorse Noxema. I don't have some giveaway from them for you to grab. I love the product and just want to share with you what is working for us.)

I have a wonderful friend who has been extolling the virtues of vitamins for many years. I admit that it went in one ear and out the other. (You know..the eyeroll and "whatever" attitude that adults can do as well as any teenager?) My Makenna decided to hit a growth spurt and grow 6 inches in less than 6 months. I'm telling you, a garden grows slower than she does. I started thinking that maybe it would be a good idea to get a multi-vitamin for the girls. When you're young, you don't really care about taking care of your insides (i.e. the female reproductive organs and bones!). Well, I care! I don't want to ever give birth again with this tired old body, but I surely want some sweet beautiful grandchildren one day! I bought a bottle of teen multi-vitamins and decided to grab one of the generic kind geared for women for myself.

And so it began.

How many of you get fever blisters? DON'T YOU JUST HATE THEM?!?! Oh. My. Lawd. I loathe the fever blister and if I run any teeny tiny fever or get super stressed, I wake up with this huge hocking sore up on my top lip. I had this suspicion that I got this dormant virus (yes, I know it's a form of herpes) back in high school. See, there was this boy that I just adored with every fiber of my being. If I had a chance to smooch him? You know I took it. I know he got them occasionally and I feel pretty sure I threw caution to the wind and smooched him when he had one. Shoot, I probably would have kissed him if he had a mouth full of mud. It was worth it then, not so worth it now. My Makenna has been cursed because of this, I believe. She has the dormant virus but when it flares? It comes out in her eye. IN the eye. To where it can destroy her cornea if left untreated. Maybe I had a flare up on my lip when she was little and I kissed her near her eye and she got it. I don't know and will probably never know. All I know is that she has this and I live in fear of her having flare ups in her eye. She has had a total of four flare ups since she was first diagnosed at age 5 and each one sends me into a massive tizzy getting her to an eye doctor to get treated. We're talking drops in her eyes up to ten times a day for a long time. Four to six weeks worth. No kidding. When she gets sick? I panic and watch her eyes like a hawk. When she had her two surgeries, I frantically told the doctors we had to be prepared for this to happen since her immune system would be compromised. I saw the picture the doctors took of the inside of her eye from the first flare up. It was scary as all get out. I never want to see that again on my child.

That's why we take L-lysine. I've had many people swear by this and I keep this huge bottle in the cabinet because when I would get a fever blister? I'd start taking them like crazy. Popping them like a pregnant woman pops Tums. It would help, but that sucker would still sit on my lip like leprosy.

L-lysine (great link to read about it-just click here!) is something I decided might would be great to take on a daily basis along with the multi-vitamin. Makenna and I now take one a day to keep the flare ups away. I believe it may be beneficial in other areas, too. Take a look see at the link I provided and see what you think. Makenna hates taking it with a passion as it's big and chalky and nasty. I'm not too happy with it, but when we were on vacation, we were on the way home and I was worn out. I had a blister pop up on my lip but it was barely there. BARELY THERE! It was gone way sooner than usual and I fully believe it was because I take this every day. Paige did her own research on L-lysine (thank goodness she doesn't get fever blisters!) and decided she wanted to take it, too.

B-12 was another vitamin I wanted to check out. (another great link to look at!) Paige and I seemed to struggle for energy and I wanted to see what I could do to amp it up naturally. B-12 seemed to be a good option. This has been another vitamin we've added to our daily intake and walk to being more healthy individuals.

Vitamin E is a vitamin I like, too. (See what you think by clicking here!) This article I'm sharing doesn't fully endorse using Vitamin E for scars, but I, personally, have had good experience with using it for this purpose. I bought a bottle of gel caps and when I have a place that looks like it will be a scar? I open one up and rub it into the place in question and put a band-aid over it. In fact, I have one now on the back of my hand that is MUCH better because of doing this. You can judge for yourself. Needless to say, a gel cap of vitamin E is one we take.

You're probably thinking by now "Dang, Miss Hope, that's ALOT of things to be taking at one time!" And I agree. Paige's medication holder looks like it belongs to an old lady because she takes allergy medication, too. Yet, every single morning, she takes her allergy meds, vitamins, and nerve pill (poor soul has very high anxiety). Let me tell you this.....HER FACE IS CLEAR. Beautifully clear. Amazingly clear. My baby wouldn't even leave the house without foundation because her acne was so bad. Now? It's an OPTION. She doesn't have to wear it! Now, she only battles a small monthly breakout and it is nowhere near as bad as it was before. I marvel at her clear skin and am so glad she didn't have to take acne medication to clear it up. That stuff scared me silly. I was so afraid that if I put her on acne medication that it could harm her in some future having babies. Call me paranoid, but it's my job to take care of my kids and I'm doing the absolute best I can.

Makenna is still a work in progress. I would LOVE for her to willingly take the teen multi-vitamin, L-lysine, and Vitamin E daily. I keep the bottles on the table and make her take them at supper. I hope she'll finally snap out of her sassy stage and realize they will help her more than she realizes. She's starting to get that forehead and nose breakout areas because puberty is visiting her with fanfare and meanness.

I finally broke down and purchased my own medication holder for the days of the week. It has helped me so much to make sure I take these much needed vitamins and medications (singulair and nexium and half of a nerve pill). I really urge and encourage all you women out there to check these vitamins out and if you have teenage girls? PLEASE, consider yet again the benefits of giving those fast developing bodies a little extra help.

I'm not leaving the guys out now. My husband now takes a multi-vitamin for men daily, but I have yet to find one that my son will take without being put in a choke hold. Teenage boys need vitamins just as much as teenage girls. Have you seen one lately? They're thin as broom sticks and eat like crazy people!

Let's just say this a subject near and dear to me and I wanted to share how we cleared up one teenager's face that was full of bad acne. In searching for a solution for her, I discovered that this body of mine has given birth three times and might need a little extra help, too. I admit I feel better and my skin looks better than it has in years. YaY Vitamins!

You go on and have yourselves a wonderful weekend. The air a tiny bit cooler here and I need to start Christmas shopping!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Just Another Date

This past Saturday was a tough anniversary for our country. September 11 has so much power over those of us who love this country.

Usually, when Saturday rolls around, we're doing work around the house. This past Saturday was no different. We're not constantly going and going on a normal basis. We tend to sit down and play a game or two on the computer before moving on to the next chore on the list. The Man and The Boy were out doing a little Build and Grow at our local Lowe's with a hair cut to follow. I knew they were going to be gone for a while, so the girls and I weren't running ninety miles an hour to get things done. I decided to put the channel on the television to shows dedicated to remembering that fateful day.

I listened to the stories of survival while I play a few games of Bejeweled Blitz until I had to stop and just watch. The tears kept leaking out of my eyes as I watched grown men talk of the horror and devastation they witnessed that day with their own tears rolling down their cheeks. I found myself getting a tad bit irritated at Makenna because she was reading one of her stories online and was totally ignoring what was being said on the television.

Finally, I couldn't take it anymore and I initiated conversation with her about September 11. She was two years old when this occurred so I knew she was unable to recall any emotion from that particular time period. I told her how I watched the twin towers fall right before my very eyes on the television. I told her how I saw people running for their lives, not knowing what was going on...just knowing they had to flee. I needed her to ...I don't know...UNDERSTAND just how awful it was. I needed her to know how I cried that whole day because I was scared.

Things happen in our lives that we have no control over. I wasn't here for that fateful day in December when Pearl Harbor was viciously attacked. I can't even begin to imagine the fear our country felt in the face of that particular uncertainty. I know I sat in my living room that day with the children I kept playing on the floor and I couldn't take my eyes off of that television. I had recently met The Man and all I knew was he was active duty military and I just knew he was going to be heading that way immediately. Thankfully, he was on a shore duty rotation and not up to be sent over. (I was right ignorant of how the military works then.) All I could think of were the old movies I had watched my whole life with my Daddy. The war movies. Where cities were destroyed by enemy fire. Was this going to happen to us? Were we going to become one of those war movies where nowhere is safe? Were our borders going to become our prison bars? Was there anywhere safe in this world anymore??? It was a hard day as I looked at my child and wondered if I needed to go to the school to get my oldest and bring her home with me so if we had to do something, we were together. Looking back now, it might have seemed crazy. Crazy, huh? All I knew was that if they could do this to buildings in New York....there was no telling what could happen to the rest of the country. (That was before learning the fate of the other planes involved.)

I was blown away by the high security that I encountered the next time I visited The Man on the base where he was stationed. I appreciated it even though the long lines for car passes moved slowly. I still appreciate the security the I encounter when I approach any military base/post.

I can only hope and pray that I never have to experience another tragedy like this in my lifetime. I am scared that I probably will.

All I know is that I don't want September 11 to be just another date in history. For me. I want to cry every single year as I remember that day. I want to cry for those who lost their lives. I want to cry for those who lost a family member and had to carry on after that day. I want to cry for the military members who continue to fight the good fight to defend this country from another senseless tragedy because they're making supreme sacrifices day in and day out for the citizens of the United States of America.

As long as I am alive, this will never be just another date in a history book. It was real. It was hard. It was life changing. God Bless America......please.

Tuesday, September 07, 2010


I am obviously aging at an alarming rate, Internets. Time is starting to fly by me rather quickly and I fear it won't be long before it hits warp speed and I wake up one morning dead. I'd like to think that if a person has a good life, then it will fly by. Think about it, would you? People who are depressed and such moan and groan about how slow life is. Like they can't get through it fast enough to be done with the whole deal. I feel like it's flying by and I'm not catching every single detail like I would like to.

That being said, I'm going to change the subject some what. Let's chat about personality flaws, shall we? I am 100% human, so I am full to the brim with character and physical flaws. I know this and pretty much embrace it because...ha ha...I don't have a choice, now do I?

Are you judgemental? I am. I have tried and tried so hard not to be. All my life I have heard that sweet little passage stating "Judge not, lest ye be judged." I know it's wrong and I will end up repenting for my transgressions, but it's like an addiction at times. You've done it before you realize and you sigh, slump your shoulders, and realize you've gone and done it again.

I'll give you a few examples of what I'm talking about:

  • I judge ladies who wear white shoes after Labor Day and before Easter (at the earliest). I watch you walk by with this superior Southern Bell attitude and believe you to be a natural born Yankee. If you are Southern and making this major fashion faux paus, then I assume you are rebelling against your Mama and your Grandmama will have the vapors if she sees such a thing from HER flesh and blood.

  • I judge ladies who wear extremely tight clothing out in public. Dear Girl, wearing tight clothing does not make you sexy. It makes you look like you gained weight and are trying very desperately to make everyone think you truly meant to look like a sausage with a busted casing. We, the public , would applaud you for just giving up and buying decent clothes that fit.

  • I judge older ladies who wear mini skirts. I don't care if you're single again and in a cougar state of mind. Be a LADY first and foremost, please. Show the younger generations that it's okay to have a hem flirt with your knees instead of your crotch. Have you seen your legs crossed in a mini skirt? I have and I would state matter of factly that 4.9 out of 5 of you have veins and loose skin that I could have gone to my grave not ever seeing and be happy about it.

  • I judge young men and older men who wear hats in a building. Just don't. It's improper and on the redneck side. I don't care if you're going bald. I really and truly don't. I don't care if your hair is all messed up. My husband has had some wild hair going on, but that hat comes off upon entering a building. Yes, I know this has been ingrained in him because of the military, but come one! Use manners!

  • I judge parents if their children don't use manners. We all know Miss Hope is 100% Southern and is all about some manners. We are supporters of the "yes ma'am" and "no sir" protocol. I don't expect this from everyone because, obviously, our society is diverse and not all regions require such strict requirements. I do NOT, however, tolerate a lazy "yeah" from a young person. If you are meaning to say "yes"? Then say YES. Be precise and polite in your answer or I will call you on it. Yes, I surely will. Just ask my teenager's friends. Miss Hope is all fun and cool (ish), but if you don't act respectfully? She will immediately correct you. It's the price you pay to visit her daughter. Thing is? All the kids who visit now use manners. How about that?

  • I judge people who have massive amounts of brake dust on their front tires. I know this sounds crazy, but if your vehicle has an inch of brake dust on the wheels? You can't drive. You drive too fast and ride the brakes. That's not good for anyone on the road. I tend to avoid you on the interstate because I just don't care to mess with a foolish driver. If the brake dust isn't an indicator of your driving? Then you have something wrong with your vehicle and might need to get it fixed. That Man of Mine tends to hit the brakes with more force than I prefer at times. At that point, I will throw myself forward and grab for handles like we're getting ready to flip at least 10 times. He rolls his eyes and ignores me. I have informed him that brake dust accumulates on my wheels? I will have issues.

There you have it. A few examples of what Miss Hope is thinking about at times. I know. I know. It's shameful and wrong of me to be this way, but what can I say? I need to work on being nicer, if only in my mind. And I will. Because life is too short to worry about things or raise my eyebrow as you walk or drive by me.

Okay...I just went and re-read what I've written. I just don't think there's going to be much help for me in these areas. This list of grievances are my addiction, I do believe.


Just dress decently, don't wear white shoes at the wrong time, clean your tires, and speak nicely and I promise, from the bottom of my heart, we'll be the best of friends!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Eleven Year Old Logic

I believe it was last week when my middle kid came up to me and The Man with her simple request.

M: Hey, Mama and Man? Can you put me in some kind of medically induced coma or sleep for the five years that I'm going to be a teenager?

Me: What?

M: repeats request

Me: Why on earth would you want to do that, Sweetheart?? The teenage years can be some of the best years of your life!

M: Because if it's anything like Sissy makes it out to be? I don't want no part of it.

Me: Look here. You can't set any standards by your sister. She's is a one of kind original.

M: But, she makes it seem so hard and dramatic. I figure if I could just sleep through all of that? Then I wouldn't have to deal with it.

Poor kid. She's serious as she can be. This is where you have to dig deep and try not to fall on the floor laughing and very seriously explain that everyone is different and handle things in unique ways. That, and her sister is plain crazy.

I have a feeling she intends to get lost in her golf game. She has big plans.

And I'm perfectly okay with that.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010


Hi. It's me again. I think I've been avoiding this page for a while now. Nothing against any of you out there. I'm still having my moment.

I like for my blog to be fun and funny. I like to share humor because, God knows, there's enough crap out in the world like it is that's depressing if you listen long enough. I haven't felt so fun and funny lately.

I don't think I'm depressed. Not really. I think I'm still adjusting to this new chapter in my life I got going on. I haven't quite snapped out of my "Dangit, I had to move AGAIN funk". Intellectually, I know this wasn't a bad thing for our family. We live in a great neighborhood, in a great little town, with decent schools, in a beautiful home. I told The Man that I was just having a hard time adjusting to the weather and just finding my way around in a new place. Now, I am Southern born and raised, to set the record straight. I've never been more than 35-ish miles from the ocean. I didn't go to the beach all the time, but I had comfort in knowing it was less than an hour away should I need to go see some big water. Now? I live in a hilly area that's inland where I almost wreck on a constant basis because of looking at the hills and the neighborhoods on the side of hills. It is so miserably hot here. I know it's just as hot at the coast but it's almost like you could excuse it because you knew that's the coast rolls. I know, it probably doesn't make sense to anyone else but me.

Now, don't go getting worried that I've holed up in the house and lay on the couch watching soap operas in a couch potato haze. 1. I don't watch soap operas. Haven't seen the first one in almost ten years. 2. I got a new chair that is all mine and that's my seat cushion of choice. I've been up and out quite a bit. We went on vacation this summer to Nebraska to see my most favorite Mom and Pop-in-law. We had a wonderful visit that went by too fast with lots of laughs and games of Boggle. My FIL cooked every night and I thoroughly enjoyed the break from cooking. Paige kept me busy all summer because of her doing summer school and driving school. We've had quite a few visitors that I've loved having here and hated to see leave.

I've just got to find my niche is all. I want to wake up and say out loud, "I'm going to finish a project in this house today and make it more our home!" I'm tired of mostly bare walls and no curtains. I want some color and pizazz (am SO tired and over the word "pop" in relation to decorating...someone needs to teach the designers on HGTV new words when they paint a wall a bright color or put a snappy pillow on a couch.). I've been window shopping online and came across a test that said something like "See what your design style is!!" Did you know you can fail one of those? Honest to goodness, I failed the stupid thing. I like so many different things that the final test result was, "unable to determine a design style." ~sigh~ I'm undetermined and design-less. Woe is me. That zapped my decorating confidence straight down the toilet right there.

I know I missed the whole month of July and I still haven't finished that flower bed post. Speaking of the flower bed. It is my nemesis. All that fabric we put down before the mulch and I STILL have to go weed the stupid thing. It has been so hot here that almost all the plants we planted with high hopes and sparkles in our eyes......they died. I told The Man to just not worry about it. We'll maintain the integrity of the overall bed itself and figure something out come Fall or next Spring. (Yeah, I basically said "Screw it.")

My children started back to school yesterday and I think I'm a little bit lonely today. Oh, I know that feeling won't last but a day or two. I enjoy time alone. Wait, there's Prissy, who is my partner in crime. She keeps me company and stays under my feet. She's on point to guard when I go to the bathroom and to do laundry. If I'm working anywhere else in the house, she lays right there within a 5 foot radius and watches my every move. She's always on standby to lick whoever comes in the house within an inch of their lives.

It's just a Hope Thang, I suppose. I never claimed to be normal or perfect. I'm not a fast mover (unless a kid is in danger) and I will eventually find the right pace and path that works best for me. If you are so inclined? Find a little patience and bear with me until I do. Thanks.