Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Coping Mechanisms

Can I get a shout out...props...or a "heck ya'" for my favorite drink stop in the whole world-


I am telling you right now that their diet coke with vanilla syrup is a stinking lifesaver when you need a little "pick me up"!

I am facing TWO WEEKS as a single parent (I am so going to get lectured for typing that from my mom and sister who think that some wacko is going to come and get me from the display of my personal information! I say, if some guy from California reads my blog and wants to fly out here and stalk me.."Gitty-up!". I welcome the company-I'll give him some dishes to do.) AND my quick runs through Sonic drive-up will be often!

I was sitting at a meeting tonight with the weight of several worlds on my shoulders and I thought to myself, "I need a drink from Sonic. I could just get up and sneak out the side door and no one will notice. I must have it..."

So I did.

And I felt better.

If that's wrong then I don't want to know about it. It may be a coping mechanism but it's the safest one I've had in a while so lets all just be thankful!

Mmmm....I'm still sipping it hours later and it continues to satisfy...

Festival of Trees

Well, Steph...You asked for it!

It's funny because I'm not a huge holiday person. I used to love Christmas but through the years it has certainly in many ways lost its glamour. I know that most things tend to do that the older you get, but I'm still holding out hope that one day it will return to the "magic" that it used to be.

Meanwhile, I see it as an opportunity for me to splurge in my love for decorating. So, I cannot be content with just ONE tree!...not when there are so many rooms to adorn!

The Living Room Tree

"Every Time a Bell Rings..and Angel Gets His Wings!" Right?

The Kitchen Tree

The Hallway Tree

My Bedroom Tree

Sam and Jo's Tree...You'll notice the new Harry Potter Ornament that Aunt Anne gave Sam that he loves!

You know, the bottom line with Christmas is that it's not about what it means to us personally and what we get out of it....it's about others. Regardless what disappointments we may be experiencing or secret hurts that we carry, we press on through December, motivated by a great love for the people in our lives. As moms, we use grace to get up off the couch and transform the house because there are little boys and girls in our homes that find joy and excitement in what Christmas means to their small worlds.

Fortunately, their "magic" is contagious...trust me.

Friday, November 24, 2006


What do you think?

Today on my walk I passed a house with a man in the front yard and he was collecting up a pile of leaves into small white grocery bags and he had on doctor-like plastic gloves.

Why would one do this?

Upon seeing it, I felt the need to step away from the yard as if something quite precarious had gone on there...

It's a mystery.

Spice or "Spike" up your life...



Being the mother of boys is a real joy. They are easy. Give them a lego (and I mean just one...it's amazing what they can do with JUST ONE lego!) or a car and they are set. Put them in yesterday's underwear and you'll never get a complaint.

Juice box=happy.

There is very little drama. Not much care. Just fun little boy stuff.

So, it was amusing to me when Sam began to realize that there was such things as "cool" hair or fashionable clothes.

(Old Navy stuff is "cool" to him. It must be Old Navy. Shirt tails that hang out of sweatshirts are "way cool" or "rockin'". Rockin'?)

So, Sam has been begging me for short, spikey hair. "Please, Mamma. I want short bangs that I can stick up. It's so cool."

As a rule, I don't care for short boy hair. Across the board, I feel if a boy has nice hair then he should keep it a little longer...comb-able. Bad hair or balding hair...whack it off! I highly suggest this...I'm a hair girl.

But tonight Sam caught me at a weak, alone moment and I took the clippers to his hair. He has long since seen a professional stylist for his haircuts but we are short on cash and I had had enough of that shaggy hair that he's been sporting.

The whole haircut he's begging for spike length and telling me how cool it is and how important it is that it not be able to get tangly and I was remembering being young and really wanting to look good.


(This picture cracks me up because he's doing the cool pose for me!)

You would think that some amazing makeover show had visited our house. He was "sliding" all over the house and doing "cool moves" for me! He began to tell me how he was going to get a basket for his scooter and deliver papers every morning and when he turns 16, he was going to mow lawns for people...the possibilities were endless with this new haircut!

Oh well. I guess a few piercings and some low wearing, boxer revealing pairs of jeans from now and I'll be one of the many exhausted moms that determine to survive through these years.

For now, short hair makes him happy and I'm okay with that!

Thanksgiving "Friendship Style"

It's in times of your life when your van won't make it 12 hours and your new job won't let you off for two weeks that you find yourself very thankful on Thanksgiving Day that you have good friends that will open their home and their refrigerator...

(this was AFTER we'd eaten half of the food!)

And invite you to dinner.

I have to say though that LONG before life kept us from going home this holiday season, Anne was begging us to join them for the festivities! She cracks me up with her party plans. Regardless, I am grateful. While yesterday seemed very strange to be celebrating without any family, we enjoyed ourselves with those that are "like" family.

Thank you, Anne. I know you have NO idea how to comment on here and you read it about every other month when you check your websites, but I couldn't have felt more like I was celebrating with a sister...Especially when we were arguing about the green beans! I love you very much.

And as for the rest of you back home-You were greatly missed as you are every day. I'm going to have to re-think Christmas, though!

Sunday, November 12, 2006

A Piece of Home

I just found out that my friend Sandy if coming down this week for a visit.

We won't be able to go North for any of the holidays coming up so it's so nice to have a little bit of home to keep me from being too homesick. I may capture her and keep her hostage indefinitely. (...Maybe she wouldn't mind too much?) It's my goal to lure everyone I love to Greenville and then tempt them with unreasonably warm weather and great restaurants! Sam and Jo don't hurt my plan, either!

Hurry up, Paige and Peyton! We can't wait!

Right Before Thanksgiving-It's interesting to find out...

"Charity, I think you should know...If we were Pilgrims, we would've never made it."

That's what my husband said tonight after we spent the better part of the afternoon trying to make some sense out of our backyard.

Have you ever seen the Tom Hanks movie called "Money Pit"? It's a comedy about a couple that buy a home and quickly find that disaster after disaster, they have purchased a house that is endlessly falling apart.

That is our backyard.

I was practically raised in the woods so you'd think that I would have factored in tree issues but I did not...at all. I guess back home, if a tree fell-it fell. No biggie.

Not so the case in city limits.

We did pay to have a huge tree to be cut down when we moved into our home but today's oak (of equal height and volume) came tumbling all on its own...Just a few feet from our house.

The new wheelbarrow Matt just got was not so fortunate...

Nor was the kid's slide...

So, with the hopes of a relaxing Sunday afternoon suddenly squished below a broken tree, we headed off the Lowe's for the official first purchase of the chainsaw. Chainsaws aren't a cheap buy but I guessed that might be the case because it is for our backyard and our backyard is like the movie...

Matt went back and forth from being slightly empowered by the new tool and potential weapon he held in his hands and being a TOTAL FREAK..afraid that he might accidentally cut someone's head off.

In my opinion, He was WAY more scary than the saw or the falling trees!

I followed him around "carefully" and attempted to drag a bunch of brush and limbs to a pile. Occasionally, I would stop to amuse myself by taking self-portraits and thinking optimistically that at least the tree that fell was one that scattered beautiful leaves. (Not my worst self-portrait..Maybe "Shannon" is dead...But I am sad that I cannot eat ANYTHING that is not room temperature because I have been trying to whiten my teeth and they are so sensitive and yet I see my teeth are still as yellow as my freaking hair! I'm giving up on vanity...I am what I am.)

Ironically, the tree that fell landed right in the center of our holly tree and split it down the middle. When the fear of the chainsaw finally got to Matt, he decided to chop the remainder of the holly tree with an axe.


That's when we realized that if we had been one of the unfortunate Pilgrims, the boys and I would be frozen in the cabin without a fire while Matt was collapsed on the ground beside a half of a tree with an axe in his hand.

Even more ironic...We have more firewood than one family would ever need for winter and an excellent wood burning stove in the kitchen and yet, it still takes THREE Harmless boys to try to start a fire and blow it into existence...

You know, most days I walk around feeling like a loser and total dork that can't seem to stay ahead of the game, but it's really special afternoons like this one that life kicks you in the butt and yells, "Right On!" and you know it's true.