Thursday, December 22, 2011

Month 1

My little baby girl is already one month old. I am only in al̶i̶t̶t̶l̶e̶ ̶b̶i̶t̶ a lot of denial about this fact. In order to remember all the little changes as they happen, I decided to keep a month to month record of changes including a picture... or pictures. J-bird keeps me up almost all night long so as punishment, I spend all day taking pictures of her. Too stinkin' bad little girl. Shouldn't be so cute.

Month 1
Joliet Parker Marrow
December 19, 2011
10.15 lbs. 23 3/4 ins.

You are one month old. You get prettier and prettier every day. And everybody falls more in love with you every time they see you.
You and mommy still get up 4 times a night. And feedings generally take 1.5-2 hours due to diaper changes, nursing, burping, and hanging out to let the milk settle. Makes for some long nights. For the past week you've been fussier than usual and I think it may be something in mommy's diet, so mommy has cut out dairy, tomatoes, mexican food, onions, anything spicy, chocolate, basically all the good stuff. .. hoping it will help your stomach settle. You are staying awake more which is a joy because we get to see those big ole beautiful eyes. You have the best time looking at the Christmas tree lights. You stare at them for hours. You've started turning your head to the sound of mommy and daddy's voice when we come in the room. You make the cutest face when you get finished nursing and start your stretching. Your face tightens up and you purse your lips. You usually have milk running down your chin and your face is damp from it, and mommy has to stop herself from squeezing and snuggling you too hard from you being so cute. You haven't had any projectile vomiting in a week or two, but do spit up on occasion a lot. I think you must grow an inch a day because every morning you look noticeably longer than the night before. Your eyes still cross from time to time, but that just means you are learning to control and focus them. Mr. Butler and Tiki-Belle still haven't quite figured you out, and mostly ignore you unless you are crying and then Mr. Butler whines and tries to jump up to get you. Your Mumsy found Crete sleeping in your crib yesterday, but that's pretty much the extent of the cats relationship with you. We haven't taken you out to meet Sweet Pea yet, but she probably won't have anything to do with you either, unless you have food for her. We still haven't quite figured out who you look like. You definitely have your daddy's hair. You even have his power alleys. Mommy doesn't see a whole lot of herself in you yet, except for the forehead. maybe that'll come or maybe you'll always just look like you. A beautiful, big eyed, pouty lipped little munchkin. One month baby girl, and we are loving every minute.

for some reason her headband reminds me of a spider crawling across her head.... eeeekk.

and one more....

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

She Has My Whole Heart...

I love surprises. Birthday parties, Christmas presents, anniversary trips, things like that.... and a good surprise engagement story will melt my heart like butter every time.

Over November 18-19, I received the surprise of my life. Friday the 18th started off like any other (cue the whimsical music, and fade in), Jason happened to have the day off so he went with me to my twice a week Doctors appointment for my blood pressure check and non-stress test for Little Bit. I had been going to these appointments twice a week for the past month. Each time, they checked me and the baby, and determined that although my BP was high, they felt safe enough to let the pregnancy continue until the risk of continuing outweighed the benefits of waiting. However, they told us to be prepared, that at any time they could make the call to induce. Because they had been sending me home each time for the past month, when we went in Friday we assumed that that time would be the same. We went in and the nurse checked my BP and it read 150/90. She then said, Well, we're not going to do the NST today, we'll probably do something else. She then walked us back to the exam room, and told us to sit tight for the Doctor to come in and talk to us. Jason and I just sat there wondering what kind of other test they were going to do since they weren't doing the non-stress test. Well Dr. Little comes through the door and starts talking about the dangers of high blood pressure in pregnancy and all the side effects that it could cause to me and the baby. She then proceeds to say, so I think today is the day we need to make the call to go ahead and make plans to have this baby. Jason and I immediately look at each other, kind of dazed like, and I asked, "so, maybe induce Monday or Tuesday then?", and she said, "Oh no, we need to get this baby out a.s.a.p, we need to do this tonight." Holy Cow, it's kind of funny how surprised we were seeing as we had been told to be prepared for this for a month and half.

So as we are wrapping our heads around the fact that we were going to be parents soon, Jason heads to the house to get his and baby's bag, that had been packed, but not put in the car. I head over to labor and delivery to get started on the paperwork (fun!). I was walking around on a semi-cloud, because even though I knew we were having a baby, I didn't feel like I was having a baby. No contractions, no broken water, none of the stuff to know that I was in labor, and would soon be holding my baby on the outside instead of inside.

Apparently, that weekend was the most popular weekend of the year to have a baby because there was no room at the inn, meaning they didn't have any beds available to put me in, so I had to go sit in the waiting room with all the families who were waiting on their bundles of joy to arrive. Jason finally blew through the doors with all 50 of our bags, and there we sat for about 30 more minutes. A room eventually became available, come to find out we "stole" one from a mom-to-be who was ahead of us, but we were triaged to her room due to my preeclampsia issue. The l&d nurse got me all hooked up to the monitors, and gave me a pill around 8 that was going to "get things started" The plan was to get things rolling, and then they would give me pitocin Saturday morning, and hopefully we would have a baby by Saturday evening.

Once I was given the pill I started having contractions, and although they were uncomfortable, they weren't painful... I was like, man if this is as bad as it gets, "I've got this". I've had two bouts of kidney stones in the past, so I went into the labor thing with this big idea that I'd been through that kind of pain in the past, and the contractions I was feeling weren't that bad, so I had an overinflated sense that "HEY! maybe I can do this without the drugs...." Then, Dr. Little came back in to break my water. At that time she says, "the contractions will get noticeably stronger." That woman is a liar!! Within two minutes it felt like my insides were being turned inside out and I was hollering for the epidural! The anesthesiologist came in and hooked me up to the drugs, the problem was, it only took on my right side. My left side still felt like it was being screwed to a wall. He came back in about 30 minutes later and had to redo it, and the pain finally started to fade on my left side as well, thank you Jesus! Jason was probably pretty thankful too, because although I hate to admit it, I definitely would have been one of those laboring mothers who is jerking her husband by the collar screeching "you did this to me, I hate you!" haha. So again I say, thank you Jesus for modern medicine!

Well, the nurse came back to check me around 5 am, and was shocked to see that I had dilated to an 8 cm, would not be needing the pitocin, and would be pushing within the next hour or two. Jason quickly started calling family to let them know. By 7:30 I was at a 10 and had started pushing. I've always been under the impression that when you are having a baby with an epidural, you just kind of push, and there's the baby. No real work involved. HA! I don't know where I got that idea, but good thing I'm not a betting woman, because I would have lost my shirt on that one. I only pushed for 45 mins, but each time I just knew my head was about to blow off my neck. Thank goodness it didn't because that would have just added a whole other level of mess I wouldn't have been prepared to deal with.

Well, Handsome and my mom coached me to push one more time, and then there she was. SHE. we have a daughter. Since Jason and I didn't find out the gender of the baby, that was the second surprise in 24 hours, and it was the best, most beautiful, heart stopping, life changing surprise. They put her up on my chest, and I got one good look at her before they took her away because she wasn't catching her breath immediately, and they had to work on her for a few minutes. But in that moment, I was forever changed. When I heard that first reedy cry, my breath stopped, and I understood in that moment, what "they" mean when they say, that "deciding to have a child is to decide to forever after have your heart go walking around outside your body." For the rest of my life, my heart belongs to a dark haired beauty with big, bright eyes. I don't know where her life will take her, or what plans God has for her, but I do know that her daddy and I will always be her biggest fans. She will always be the love of our lives, and we will love her with our whole hearts until the end of time.

So that's our delivery story, minus a few details that are better left unwritten about. For the record, labor and delivery is not pain free, elegant, and/or a clean event. And whatever modesty you may feel, is soon gone right out the window.

But trust me.... it is also the most awe-inspiring, overwhelmingly beautiful moment that life can offer. Children are a gift from God. A miracle in its purest form.

Joliet Parker Marrow.... our joy, our happiness, our heartbeat, our miracle.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Rock-A-Bye Baby

Well, Tuesday we hit 37 weeks, Full Term!! Whoo Hoo.... we are 3 weeks away from our original D-Day, December 7. But due to my being diagnosed with preeclampsia, the docs say little sweet will definitely be here before then, whether I go into labor on my own, or we induce still waits to be seen. I've been on bed rest since October 24, and for the record, I am slowly.going.insane. Bed rest is no where near as fun as I was expecting it to be. They put me on bedrest on a Monday, by 9 am that Tuesday, I was talking to the dogs and put out that they wouldn't talk back. But as much as I complain about it lately, I know that it has done exactly what it was supposed to do, which was buy more time for the baby to continue to grow strong and healthy, to lessen the chance of underdeveloped lungs, etc... Jason has been so incredibly patient with my mood swings, and the fact that much like the first trimester, where I became a living, breathing bump on a log because of the fatigue, most of the burden falls on him to cook, clean, grocery shop, paint, and put down flooring. This baby is one lucky little bit to have him as a daddy, and I'm incredibly lucky to have him as a husband!

We go tomorrow for another NST, which is a non-stress test they perform on the baby that they've been doing twice a week for the past month. This test is to determine whether or not the baby has been affected by my high blood pressure, which thankfully up til this point, he or she has not. All signs are pointing to an active, healthy, good size baby. So AMEN for that!!! Tomorrow, we will also hopefully set a date for induction. YaY for a plan!!

We still have finishing touches to put on the nursery, so I'm not doing any pictures yet since it's very basic at this point, because I really want to wait til little sweet gets here to finish it up.

I have made some artwork for the nursery.... Nothing is in a frame yet... Still looking for some pretty barnwood frames.

This is a quote I ran across on Pinterest, that makes my heart skip a beat every time I read it.

Jason was born in Texas, and I really wanted to include that somewhere in the nursery, so I made this, and then of course had to represent the great state of Georgia where I was born... so I made this companion piece....
These are a little girly, so if little sweet, is a little sweet boy, I'll probably redo these and use more "manly" colors... and maybe save these and frame them and hang them over the oven in the kitchen.

This is the antique cradle Jason got me for the baby. We've actually had it for well over a year, and I have been in love with it since the moment I first saw it. It's one of the most beautiful things I've ever seen in it's simplicity and what it represents. All it needs now is a baby!!

Friday, September 23, 2011

About the Boy....


is a soon-to-be first time daddy.

is Texas born, and North Georgia raised.

loves the Bulldogs, the Braves, buying American, fly fishing, and spending time in the woods.

loved Pat Green even before he “went Nashville”.

opens car doors, restaurant doors, and always lets the girl walk ahead of him.

brought flowers and a card to his girl's mom for mother's day... and nobody asked him to.

has 535,326 baseball caps (give or take a few).

has just as many t-shirts.

would take a bad day of fishing over a good day at work any day.

is as comfortable in a pearl snap and wranglers as he is in a seersucker suit and bow tie.

looks dang good in both.

is the first to grab hands with his girl when they are walking together.

watches Keeping Up With the Kardashians with his girl, and doesn't complain.

hates gas grilling, only grills with charcoal.

gets frustrated when he spends hours cleaning and washing his girl's car, and then she leaves fingerprints all over the door, junks up the car with stuff from work, and leaves candy wrappers & receipts in the cup holders.... but he keeps doing it anyway.

likes reading crime thrillers.

brought his girl a bouquet of wildflowers, and took her to a haunted corn maze for their first date, and didn't think she was a weirdo for freaking out, and climbing all over him in the corn.

called her for a second date,.... and married her.

has a criminal justice degree from the University of Georgia, but wound up in surveying and spends a lot of his time with a machete in the woods.

is great with kids, and they love him, except when he grows out his beard and then they freak out a little because the wooley-bugger look can be a bit intimidating.

buys Dawn dish soap, "because they donate money to save the whales and stuff."

is a much better cook than his girl.

will eat anything she cooks, sometimes he actually likes it.

is the oldest of four, and fits the "oldest child personality" to a T.

plays baseball with an adult men's league baseball team, and he's pretty good. (+ looks super cute in the uniform).

thinks he is always right. always.

usually is right.

has always wanted a dump truck to drive around "just because".

drinks his coffee strong, and black. you could throw a horseshoe in his cup, and it would stand up straight.

is a natural in a cowboy hat, and saddle.

wants to live in Montana, meet Nolan Ryan, and hike the Appalachian Trail, before he dies.

could have played golf and gone to Reinhardt for college on someone else's dime, but chose UGA and doing it "on his own" instead.

irons his own clothes because she is terrible at it.

rescued a dog off the side of the road, that wound up loving him more than life itself.

is no nonsense, independent, strong willed, and honest.

looked like he was 12 until he was 20.

sings along to lady gaga and britney spears in the car.

is affectionate, patient, thoughtful, and kind hearted.

tolerates his girl's ability to make everything more complicated than it should be.

is a firm believer in picking yourself up by the boot straps, and not relying on others to make your life happen for you.

says he doesn't care if his first baby is a boy or girl, but she knows he really wants a boy so "he can watch over the others", (& so there will be another person in the house who will willing watching espn with him all day long).

is as american and southern as apple pie and cornbread.

is the only boy the girl will love for all her life.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

About the Girl....


loves anything in a mason jar

is a soon-to-be first time mama

loves eating honey off the spoon

loves Dolly Parton's attitude

will risk snake bites, and scratched up arms & legs to eat a fresh blackberry off the vine

loves her rust bucket '89 Ford Bronco, but enjoys the air conditioning & reliability of the Cadillac

loves people who think outside the box

loves flannel, campfires, & roasting marshmallows for s'mores

loves her mr. butler & tiki-belle (dogs), and crete (cat), and sorta likes petra (other cat, who doesn't like her back)

has a pig (sweet pea) that likes being scratched behind the ears, and loves mexican food, sweet potatoes, and twinkies.

will pick the cupcake over the carrot stick every.time.

loves riding horses with her cowboy.

is not a big fan of summer, or sweating, or exercise of any kind.

loves mixing rustic and feminine elements... if she could live in a barn with crystal chandeliers, she would.

loves shoes, but tends to wear flip flops 24/7

loves bluegrass, motown, red dirt/texas country, & beach music

semi-likes growing a garden.... it's hard work.

loves that her man still opens doors for her

loves country gold saturday nights

likes the idea of fairies, but not aliens.

preferably likes to hear "dinner was good" rather than silence when her cowboy eats the food she cooked.

is not a good cook.

can sing every word to ray stevens' "mississippi squirrel revival"

loves when people adopt a dog rather than buy a pure bred.

loves sunny sweeney.

will choose to read a good book over watching t.v. any day

loves standing in a meadow at dusk, a slow dance in the backyard, and a painted wooden porch swing.

thinks that renee zellweger is a perfect example that if you make a face long enough, it will in fact get stuck like that.

is not a fan of folding fitted sheets, white laundry, and cleaning out the refrigerator

is a big fan of her husband, her family, and her friends.

found ants in the bronco feasting on a bag of candy corn in the glove box that had been there for years, "for emergencies- cause you just never know" - she doesn't know which one she should be more embarrassed about.... the ants, or keeping candy corn for emergencies

doesn't like fishing, she likes catching.

loves southern colloquialisms including, but not limited to the following... "haven't seen you in a coon's age"... "knee high to a grasshopper"... "he's nuttier than a squirrel turd" et cetera.

will misspell the words "wednesday, misspell, particularly, guarantee, and conscious" the first time, every time.

can't stand when people misuse, "lose & loose, they're, their, there, and your & you're"

loves a good knee slapper

breaks for cats, dogs, squirrels, and box turtles.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Firefly Nights

I've been meaning to blog about this for 2 weeks now, but since I've been expecting, I've been a terrible procrastinator.... actually that's a lie. I've always been a procrastinator, but I like this pregnancy thing, cause I can blame EVERYTHING on it! And people just kind of shake their head and say you poor thing, whether they believe me or not. It's great.

Anyway, last weekend, J planned a date night that was a total surprise, and absolutely perfect. We haven't gotten out much lately, because for one, I'm not a whole lot of fun lately, and two, I'm not a whole lot of fun lately. At this point, you could give me the option to a) Fly to New York and go shopping with unlimited credit or b) take a nap, and I can honestly say, I'd probably take the nap. no lie. All I can say, is this baby better be worth it, cause it sure is sucking the life out me. I mean, who would give up a shopping trip to NY to take a siesta? Exactly. (just kidding little baby, i love you to the moon and back, so you just keep on keeping on kid!)

So, anyway, we got all gussied up, and went to dinner at Appalachian Grill so I could stuff my face with a grilled chicken salad that and listen to the sweet audio flavors of the Appalachia.

J then drove us up to Barnsley Gardens in Adairsville for their summer Firefly Nights in the Ruins Event that they host several times a summer each year. I'd never heard of it before, but can honestly say I'd recommend to anybody. It was especially nice because it's a no charge event. And that's saying something for a resort like Barnsley. They do getcha on the cost of their specialty drinks though. They have a special cocktail called Firefly of course that I obviously couldn't partake in, but it smelled like a jolly rancher and made my mouth water, and it glowed. Pretty nifty. They have the cocktail and wine bar set up inside the ruins along with a live romantic music singing group who sang all the good beach and motown music that I love. And these folks were They made me want to get up and dance, but I didn't cause nobody wants to see a fat girl dancing around looking like a beachball trying to shag. Plus my feet were swollen and about to blow out the sides of my shoes. But, the urge was definitely there!
They have tables and chairs set out inside the ruins and on the lawn, and garden lights strung everywhere. The evening we went was warm and breezy, and there was not a bug in site. We either got very lucky, or they sprayed the heck out of some skeeter repellent before we got there, cause I didn't get not one bite!

I would say it's adults only event, not that children wouldn't be welcome, but they'd probably be as interested in it, as they would going grocery shopping or getting their teeth cleaned.

We actually met a high school friend of J's there who was with her husband and in-laws, and thoroughly enjoyed their company for the evening. There was also some side show entertainment from a small group of 40 somethings acting like they'd never had a liquor drink before, or been out in public for that matter, that got into a heated exchange on whether the candle holder on their table was called a candelabra or a chandelier.... for the record it was a candelabra, but I didn't have the hankering to put my two cents into that particular conversation, so we just listened to them bicker about it every 30 minutes or so, because for some reason it kept coming back up in their conversation.Just in case you were not aware, when you are not drinking, it's almost painful to listen to a group of drunk people try to have a conversation amongst themselves.

All in all it was a fantastic night, and I stayed out way past my 8:15 bedtime, and wound up missing Sunday School the next morning, but it was a perfect evening with my love under the stars.

P.S.- I don't recall seeing any fireflies, but there was one rather large stinkbug that kept crawling around our table, that's kinda the same thing right?

Thursday, July 21, 2011

A Woman Blessed....

Well, I suppose we've kept the secret long enough, and it's time to tell the world, that Baby Marrow is on schedule to introduce him/herself to us on December 7!!

This is a baby that I've dreamed of and hoped for and prayed for my whole life, and we are simply overjoyed at being blessed and called on by the good Lord to be Baby's mama and daddy.

Although we could have found out if we have a he or she several weeks ago, we've decided to be surprised. We want the moment of excitement of the Doctor holding up our butter bean and telling us to buy baseball cleats or ballet shoes.

I've been getting my online updates weekly to see what type/size fruit our baby is compared to weekly. It's always fun to text J and tell him, "today we have a we have a bell pepper" and so on and so forth. For the record, this week we have an... heirloom tomato...? I'm supposing those are bigger than normal tomatoes? When we went Friday, we were told Baby is weighing in at 11 oz., and is measuring in right on schedule.

When the tech took the above picture, she accidentally snapped the image while the forehead was in a shadow, so you can't really see it... which I'm okay with. Jas and I both have rather large foreheads, so I know there is no way I'm getting away with delivering a baby without the family trait. Therefore, I'm totally cool with not picturing it for the next 5 months.

This is the only real good "sweet baby" picture we got on ultrasound day. In the rest of them, Baby is staring straight at us, and looks rather alien like. Cute, but strange. Baby also stuck it's tongue out at us once or twice which was sweet, and made a tear or two run down my face.

For the record, this growing a baby deal is harder than it looks. For nearly 2.5 months I was sick as a dog all day... the nausea and chronic fatigue was indescribable. Unless Jason cooked, he ate sandwiches for dinner for nearly the whole time. Thank goodness the extreme mono like symptoms have abated, and I'm only tired now, most of the time instead of all the time. And I like food again. Love food again. My baby bump is sorta spread out all over. Gonna have to reign in the wild feeding frenzies I've allowed myself over the past several weeks, or they may have to lift the roof off the house like in those Jerry Springer episodes to get me to the hospital to deliver.

So there it is. Our happy, exciting, life changing, no longer "we" but 3 news...

I end this post with some of my hopes, wishes & prayers for our little one...

To Baby,

I hope you learn to..... dance in the rain.
I hope you aren't afraid of... taking chances. Even if you fail or are disappointed... never.stop.taking.chances.
I hope you love.... to read.
I hope you appreciate... your elders... those with "been there, done that" knowledge and experience are indispensable to your life.
I hope you get... your daddy's crooked little grin.
I hope you laugh... at yourself.
I hope you embrace... the differences in people.
I hope you ignore... bullies.
I hope you never... lose the ability to believe in magic, miracles, and yourself.
I hope you become... whatever it is you wish to be.
I hope you respect.... the Earth.
I hope you stand up for... yourself, and for others who are unable to stand up for themselves.
I hope you grow.... in the knowledge that you can change the world.
I hope you always...find a reason to smile.
I hope you have...somebody beside you always that reminds you that you are precious, and loved, and cherished.
I hope you don't...worry, your life and everything in it is going to be amazing.
I hope you never forget... that you were, are, and always will be, God's child.

We love you Baby. You have already changed our lives in ways you cannot even imagine.

Love you for always,

p.s.- I hope you aren't a picky eater. Even mommy has food I don't like, but if it's set in front of you, you try it anyway.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Day 16: I'm eating junk and watching rubbish! You better come out and stop me!

Day 16: Something That Stresses You Out

Staying Home Alone.

Okay, to share a bit of an embarrassing side of my personality today, I've finally accepted the fact that the older I get, the more of a scaredy cat I become.

I've always been a bit of a wimp when it comes to staying home alone, but it's gotten progressively worse over the past few years. In college, it didn't bother me much. But it was after I moved back home, met and married Handsome that I have become a full blown, all out pansy when it comes to staying overnight by myself. J tells me about a trip he's going to have to go out of town for, and I turn into a clingy, blubbering, crying, ball of childish emotion. Okay. maybe it's not quite that bad, but it's pretty dern close (J will probably tell you it is that bad.) And then I quickly get on the phone and start calling all my closest family and friends that know I'm a big fat baby, and start scheduling nights that I'm going to borrow their guest room, because I'm a 27 year old, grow woman, who cannot stay home alone without practically peeing in her pants at the thought of it.

We have three dogs, yes. But 2 of them are under 20 pounds, and the big one that's 90 lbs. and would conceivably be the one to "defend our house" is deaf, blind, and dumb and would sooner play handshake with an intruder than bite them in their boy parts and save the day.

We have neighbors, but not the kind that are so close in proximity to us that you could pass a cup of sugar back and forth through the kitchen windows. So there's a good chance, they would be unable to hear me scream.

Plus the house is in the woods. Plus we live right off the highway. Plus we live in America, in the 21st Century, and there are all kind of crazies out there.

We are a household that proudly takes advantage of our Right to Bear Arms. But it's hard to shoot an intruder in the dark. Plus, I'd probably be sleeping when they grab me anyway, so my gun wouldn't be very useful at that point.

I know that this fear is cultivated by the fact that the only shows on t.v. I watch are crime dramas. I'm a big Law & Order (all of them), CSI, and Bones fan. (I also love Jersey Shore... Snookie is a trainwreck, that likes pickles, and bad fake tans, and she

I have tried staying home alone. And in fact, have done it on multiple occasions. But, I.don't.sleep. I sit up in bed, with the door barricaded, boobie traps set up, tiki-belle (my 20 lb. dog who has the most ferocious growl of the 3) in my lap, surrounded by various self-defense paraphernalia, (you know numb-chucks, and throwing stars, and all that good stuff), 911 dialed into the phone just waiting on me to hit "send", listening for any noise that means there must be somebody in the house with me. <----Oh good times.

Yes, I'm a I'm not proud of it you know. Some people just love being home alone. Nobody to tend to, make meals for, clean up after. Peace, quiet, and solitude. I get it. And I like that too, until the sun goes down.

Have you seen the movie The Strangers? No? Well, let me just tell you. The couple in that movie get tortured and left to die, just...because...they...were...home..... I'M HOME ALL THE TIME. OMG. I feel the hair on my skin standing up as we speak.

Anyway. Today's post is about "something that stresses you out"

Something that stresses me out?

Being home alone. Jason just left for a 5 day fishing trip. perfect.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Day 15: Regrets

Day 15: Something You Regret

I believe in having no regrets. One of the single most things I pray for is that at the end of my life, I can look back and honestly say that some days were good, some days were bad, some were perfect, some were heartbreaking, some were just so-so and easily forgettable, but not one of them do I regret, not one thing would I go back and change a choice I made for me and my life.

Okay. Having said that I do have to confess that I have a few things in my past that if I could take back I would.

There are people that have passed through my life, that I don't care to see again. There are events and circumstances that have happened that have been unpleasant and sad. But those are things that I wouldn't necessarily take back because they have helped shaped me to be who I am today. They have been the people I have met, things I have done and experienced, and the roads that I have taken that have put me exactly where I am in this moment.
Of course, having the knowledge I have now, there would be a few things I might have nudged in a different direction. There are people I have lost, and circumstances that have happened to loved ones, that I would without a doubt change for them if I could, but choices that I have made?

Things I do regret?

I didn't go on a family trip to Egypt my senior year of college. My grandmother has always had a love for Egyptian history, archeology, and culture (& alcohol, not just Egyptian alcohol, but alcohol in general). She has made several trips to Egypt over the past decade or so, and this last time she offered to take my family. Of course they went. I mean, duh. Yes, they went. But I didn't. I might have blamed it on studying for finals, and having to wrap up and present my senior history thesis. But the real reason I didn't go was I was terrified to fly. I have flown many times in my life. My aunt and uncle lived in San Francisco for years, and we went out there occasionally to visit. I've flown to Washington State, once for a cousin's graduation, and once for a skiing trip. I've flown places on various family vacations. I've flown to Europe TWICE. I mean, I've done it plenty of times. Yet, I was 24 years old, my grandmother offered to take me on a once in a lifetime trip, and I turned it down because I was completely paralyzed with fear of stepping foot on that airplane. This phobia seemed to develop over time, and several years after 9/11. I've never had a flying experience that would cause this intense fear. (Side note... we did miss our flight from New York to Atlanta due to weather, and had a random layover in St. Louis, the plane we hopped back home was basically a tin can with wings. The toilet didn't flush, and the cockpit door was broken, and we couldn't hear ourselves talk over the noise of the engines, but overall it was an okay flight). I'd even flown cross country since the day I my phobia started. This fear is not so much being terrified that an extremist with an ax to grind and a hatred of my country would choose my plane to fly through a building (I mean, that would be terrible), but rather it's a fear that one of the any million little pieces that keep my plane in the air for the required length of time, (as in, until our chosen destination was in site and the landing gear down, and seat backs and tray tables in their upright and locked positions). I have this recurring nightmare that I look out the window, and the wing of the plane has just fallen off, the oxygen masks have just dropped out of the ceiling, I can't get my seatbelt fastened, and we start the spinning downward decent of death, and can do absolutely nothing about it, but scream and really regret taking that specific flight <---nice huh? It's that thought that makes my heart seize up, and my chest get tight, and it's what makes me tell my grandmother over the phone when she offers me an all expenses paid trip to visit the cradle of civilization, "um, yeah... no thanks, but y'all have fun!" She was tentatively planning another trip towards the end of this year, or the beginning of next, but that may be shot due to the fact that the middle east is in complete turmoil, and can't get their acts together. So yeah, I completely hate and regret that I passed on that experience with my family.

Second thing I regret? my tattoo. eeeekkkkk!!! I forget I have it most of the time. Usually, until I see one on somebody else, and I roll my eyes until I remember and think, "who are you to judge? you have the most obvious tattoo, in the most obvious place that any teenage girl, drunk out of her mind, at Panama City Beach has" Yes folks, that's right. I (me!), has a tattoo of a butterfly on my lower back. *hangs my head* I'm so ashamed! Haha. I was young, and dumb, and apparently bored. And for some reason what little bit of creativity (and good judgement) I have was taking a day off, when I looked at my best friend, and said "ya wanna go with me to get a tattoo?" of course she said yes. And so we drove down to Marietta, I walked into the shop and up to the biggest, burliest, tattoo covered man there and said "I want a tattoo, but I don't want it to show, and I want it to be different" <---- butterfly on my lower back. Reeeally unique. Anyway, it's not that I hate tattoos. I'm just not a permanent ink drawing, faddish kind of girl, and yet here I am with one and it's forever....Oh the irony! The thing is, I don't even regret getting it. I just really regret where it is, and what it is. If I was going to get one, it should have meant something. It should have been personal. And it wasn't/isn't. Oh well, not much to be done about it now. At least, it may help me relate to my future kids better if one of them goes off their rocker a little bit. Never tried drugs, never been a boozer, don't listen to grudge metal bands, don't wear emo clothing, don't cheat or steel, but hey! mommy's got a tattoo, so she is totally relate-able! *wink*

Thirdly? I totally regret eating those two rows of samoas girl scout cookies I just scarfed down.


Monday, March 7, 2011

Day 14: The Saddest Place on Earth

Day 14: A Place You've Traveled To

The summer between my junior and senior year of high school, I was fortunate enough to be able to go to Europe for a second time. This time, we traveled to Italy (my favorite), Austria, and Germany. The first time I went to Italy, our travels included Rome and it's surrounding suburbs, Florence, and up into the Tuscan countryside... on a side was there in the little town of Montecatini, that I had my first taste of socialized medicine, when I developed a horrible skin rash due to a knee brace I had been wearing over my linen pants (the knee brace was from a 4 wheeling accident I had been involved in 2 weeks before my Europe trip!). And I had to go into the city to the local hospital, have x-rays, antibiotics, blood cultures (the doctor was worried I had developed a blood infection), and then sent to the local spa for a short round of physical and warm water therapy. The spa trip was quite the foray. There I was sitting in a hot tub wearing a swim cap (it was required, trust me, I wasn't wearing that sucker for it's stylish charm ), surrounded by pleasantly plump, older Italian women. Who chattered non-stop, and kept looking at me, to see if I agreed with whatever they were talking about. Thankfully, smiling and nodding in feigned agreement is generally, universally understood regardless of one's mother tongue. Anyway, it was quite the experience. One of which my parents paid less than $50 for, in the form of a new leg brace that could be worn under my linen pants, and a tube of cream, whose name, ingredients, and instructions were in Italian, and therefore I had no idea what it's purpose was. But the pharmacist made a rubbing motion with his hand hovered over my knee, so I got the point of what I was to do with it. These were purchased over the county at a small pharmacy. Everything else was..."free." I didn't have a long wait, the doctors I saw were very thorough. They called my parents to update them, and check on me. All in all, a much more pleasant experience than I have ever received at any hospital here in the States. I'm not saying socialized medicine is perfect or the answer to the problems in today's US healthcare crisis. I'm not educated enough on the subject to have a very valid opinion, but I will say the experience was very interesting.
Wow. I got a little off topic here. So, where were we? My first trip to
Europe was amazing, and fun (this was the trip that included the gypsies). But it was the second trip where we visited Venice, that I lost my heart to. I'll talk more about Venice later.

The point of this blog is to tell about the place I visited on that trip, that invaded my soul, and has lingered ever since.

Auschwitz II-Birkenau

It is entirely strange that the two words that I would use to describe the atmosphere at that Holocaust death camp on that day, would be, both peaceful, and haunting. It is estimated that anywhere from 700,000 to 1 million, men, women, and children walked through the gates of that camp, to their ultimate deaths. My mind cannot comprehend that. I can sit here and type out those numbers, and not truly understand what that means. My husband. My mother. My father. My brother. My friends. Everybody I love. Myself. If we had happened to have been there, under those circumstances. The odds are, we would be dead. We would be there as each of us were divided into categories, and separated. More than likely, my parents at the age they are would have been sent straight to the gas chambers. My husband and my brother would be sent to work digging ditches for their bodies, or for their ashes. And me? what would I be doing? Would I have been worth anything to keep alive for a bit longer, to waste away until I was nothing but skin and bones, or would I have been taken to the "showers" and done away with as well?
In the cruelest sense that is hard to write, it's hard to read, it's hard to think of. So, we don't think of it. And maybe it's because we can't, maybe we can't think of and reflect on things like genocide because it's simply too hard to comprehend without going a little insane at the basic, primordial evilness of it. But it is important to remember. It's important to reflect on what damage and devastation, pure hatred, nonacceptance, and corrupt and evil power can do. Because it could happen again. It does happen.
That was somebody's husband, somebody's parents, somebody's brother... and friends and loved ones. Somebody's.

Peace. That's a hippie word right? Tree huggers, and vegans, and liberals, and people who home school their kids, and push coexistence, peace is their word right? wrong. peace is something that every human being on every inch of this Earth should strive for, and be accountable for. Don't get me wrong. I'm a big believer in the Second Amendment. I support our troops. I sing the national anthem with abandon. I'm conservative in many of my beliefs. But I also pray from the bottom of my heart that my children would be able to grow up in the world where madness, and violence, and hate, and dominating power were not the driving forces of so much in this world. The Holocaust is the prime example of what can happen when these things are left unchecked, and when peace is not looked to as the answer.

We walked around the grounds that day for hours taking pictures, and reading plaques and monuments. We went into the memorial museum, and looked at the pictures that were blown up to poster size so the viewer could see the look of desperation on the faces of the men and women standing behind the razor wire fences... there were no children....But more times than not, it wasn't desperation in their faces, it was a vacancy. A total lack of life and energy. And doesn't that make perfect sense?

There was a reverent quite there that day. There were little groups of tourist here and there, from every walk of life, from every different country, speaking different languages, and yet we all wore the same mantel of grief for those who did not get to get back on a bus at the end of the day, and drive back out of the gate, and continue on with their lives. There were birds chirping, and singing, and squirrels that ran this way and that, and there was a peaceful calm that seemed somewhat ironic and out of sorts for the magnitude of what took place there 60 some odd years ago. Yes, it was peaceful. And calm, and haunting, and breathtakingly sad.

Well, now I'm depressed. Sorry if you are too. I didn't intend this post to be so dark and gloomy, but once I started thinking about it, and remembering. It just naturally took me there.

Are people really good at heart? I'd like to think so. I hope so. I pray it's so.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Day ? : I Believe

I have absolutely no idea what day this is....

I believe in God, in Jesus. I believe that there is no more special and magnificent gift than the gift of forgiveness and eternal life. And if you don’t know Him yet, just know that He is waiting for you. He is right beside you. You are n.e.v.e.r. alone. He was, He is, He always will be.

I believe in sunrises and sunsets.

I believe that you can always spot a person who likes to drama and gossip because they will always be the first to say how much they hate drama and gossip. I believe the truth is, they only hate it when people talk about them, but they love talking about other people.

I believe the world has enough hate, but not enough love.

I believe that we are only given one life... and if you don't live it to the best of your ability than you have no one to blame but yourself.

I believe that people can want to change for the good, but sometimes they just choose not to. I believe that is unfortunate.

I believe that being angry at somebody only hurts your own heart.

I believe in happy endings.

I believe there is nothing sweeter than a baby's smile.

I believe that no matter where you are, just before the sun goes down, the world is never more beautiful.

I believe sometimes you have to call a spade a spade, (quit trying to make it more than it is.)

I believe that dogs really are man's best friend.

I believe that more people should quit complaining, and actually do.

I believe that being politically correct is overrated.
That being said, I believe more people need to open their hearts and quit being so judgmental.

I believe in Karma. What you do, will come back on you. Good or bad.

I believe people don't give more, because they think "well, what can my dollar do?" If we all just gave anyway, what couldn't it do?

I believe in the power and majesty of the Great Outdoors. get out in it.

I believe I live in the greatest country in the world. I also believe that that goes to "our" heads sometimes.

I believe you have to stand for something, or you will be led around and told what to do your whole life.

I believe that people who abuse animals, children, and the elderly should be taken out back with a shotgun and a shovel, and done away with. (I don't know if I mean that literally, but maybe I do)

I believe good health is worth more than wealth.

I believe reducing, reusing, and recycling is way underrated.

I believe social networking is just another way for nosy people to be nosier. (myself included).

I believe God gave us the ability to laugh and the ability to cry, for the same reason. Release. And to laugh so hard you cry is the best feeling in the world.

I believe in make-believe.

I believe in having no regrets.

I believe that when life throws a stick in the spokes, the only thing you can do is abandon the bicycle, and keep moving forward on your own two feet.

I believe that caring too much about what other people think of you will only hold you back.

I believe in the question "Why?"

I believe that regardless of how much you love, marriage takes work.

I believe in naps. (like, big time believe)

I believe in the power of words and positive thinking.

I believe in taking responsibility for your own actions, and teaching your children to do the same.

I believe in Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.

I believe in saying you're sorry...and meaning it.

I believe in self-confidence, but more in humility.

I believe in peace, tolerance, and turning the other cheek.

I believe in the restorative nature of a hot bath and good book.

I believe in seizing the day.


Friday, February 18, 2011

Day 12: "Two Thumbs Up!"

Day 12: Favorite Movies

Australia- There was so much going on for the first 5 minutes of the movie it made my head spin, but once it settled in, and the story started to unfold, I was captivated. I love the Australian slang/colloquialism that peppers the movie. Also, I want to take Nullah home with me.

Legends of the Fall
- I love the cinematography of this movie, the setting (Montana has my heart, it just doesn't know it yet), and the plot. If Gone With the Wind was a Western, this would be it.

August Rush-
A movie about an elf-like orphan musical prodigy "calling" to his birth parents with his guitar? um, yes please. Heartwarming and sappy. I love it.

The Sandlot
- Nostalgic. Host to one of the greatest movie quotes of all time, "you're killing me smalls"

Practical Magic
- that house.

Son In Law- One of the only movies I will watch when it plays on cable.

8 Seconds
- I have a thing for cowboys, and wranglers, and good manners.

Cold Mountain
- another epic, drama filled movie that I am in love with. However. Renee Zellweger. I cringed every time she opened her mouth. A British native (Jude Law) pulled off a stronger and more believable southern accent than Texas born and bred Renee did. Love the soundtrack.

The Goonies-
because Goonies never say die! Duh.

Fried Green Tomatoes-
Female empowerment without all the bra burning. Thelma & Louise set in the Depression era south without the ultimate plunge over the ravine. Feel good with a gritty edge. Southern. Honey bees. Kathy Bates. BBQ.

Steel Magnolias- I've heard the dialogue in this movie described as "each of the women talk like they're reading a bumper sticker."...I'll take one of each. I laugh and cry every.time. I watch this movie.

Little Women- It brought Louisa May Alcott's story to life for me. Beautiful film-making.

The Shawshank Redemption- Morality. Camaraderie. Redemption. Morgan. Freeman.

Forest Gump- There's a reason this is one of the most successful movies ever made. As "comforting as an afternoon nap, but also as refreshing."

Pretty Woman- A modern day Cinderella? He pays her $3000 and they fall in love... Hollywood. But I still love it. Her laugh when Richard Gere closes the jewel box on her hand, makes me giggle every time. And when she tells the snotty sales lady she "has to go shopping now".... favorite part.

Almost Famous- anybody with a love affair with music gets.this. movie.

Amelia- adorable. charming. french.

The Sound of Music- it's a musical. meaning they sing their dialogue. I think we should do this in real life. I think somebody telling you ...♫ you're a jerk, and your feet smell♪..., set to a tune is easier to take than somebody just saying it out right. anyway. I can quote every line and every song of this movie. It's the one musical that I can honestly say I love. I loved it so much that I went on a Sound of Music tour in Austria, and liked it.

Love Actually- romantic. entertaining. fun. british accents. Only problem? I could never watch it with my parents. if you've seen it, you know what I'm talking about.

Pride & Prejudice- lovely. in every sense of the word.

The Boondock Saints- a moral black hole, but it definitely taps into a secret desire for vigilantism.

Superbad- another one I can't watch with my parents. but.i.crack.up.

Euro Trip- funnier than it should be.

The Holiday- a little predictable, but overall one of my favorites.

Beauty and the Beast- talking/singing/dancing household wares. princess dresses. happy ending. classic Disney. favorite.

Chocolat- fabulous. teaches about tolerance and forgiveness. and how chocolate can cure all ills <---- I get it.

I'm sure there are more, but that's all I can come up with at the moment.

What are some of your favorites?

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Day 11: Bag Lady

Day 11: What's In Your Purse

The more appropriate question here would be what's not?
I think I might have been a squirrel in my past life, because I don't like to throw anything away. I'm not a hoarder.....yet. Handsome says I'm toeing the line. BUT I hereby solemnly swear you will never find any dead cats that are so paper thin they make a crinkling noise and you can see through them, in my purse, or my possession for that matter (poor kitties).

This is not my purse. I wish it was though.

I'd also like to call this little sweet gem mine as well....

and, this one....

okay, I could do this all day. moving on.

I just dumped my purse out on my desk.... Good.Lord. I was even a little bit taken back by the amount of stuff in there... and that's hard to do.

*3 tubes of lip gloss....all pink
*86¢ (that's enough to make a phone call right?)
*2 Matchbooks from Canoe (where we went to eat for Valentine's Day)
*1 Comb
*1 Makeup bag (with it's own set of clutter problems)
*4 Packets of Twinings of London English Breakfast Tea (I love my hot tea!)
*1 Set of Keys... ah! that makes me feel better, at least I didn't lock them in the car. I was a little worried about that.
*1 Wallet with 500 receipts sticking out of either side.
*1 Small bottle of hand lotion in my signature scent...BVLGARI Eau Parfumée au thé blanc
*Enough paint swatches, in a multitude of colors, to tape over all the yellow in my kitchen.
*A print out of the haircut that I want (that I still have not made an appointment for)
*17 Napkins (if you feel the need to wipe your hands or blow your nose throughout the day, feel free to ask for one... I obviously have plenty)
*1 News bulletin from the church we visited this past Sunday... actually I have 2 of these. Must have grabbed J's and stuffed his in there too.
*1 Mini Snickers wrapper sans the Snickers
*1 Bottle of hand sanitizer
*3 paper clips
*All 3 of my dogs rabies tags that I keep meaning to put on their collars... I honestly don't have a clue why or how they wound up in my bag, but it totally explains the jingling noise I've heard emanating from my purse every time I pick it up lately.
*1 sticky note with the word call underlined and exclamated, but no further information than that. It's in my handwriting so it had to have been me who wrote it. Preetty sure whoever I was supposed to call never heard from me... hope they're not mad!
*1 USB cord for my camera

It seems my memory is going, since a lot of this stuff is not ringing any bells on how it actually wound up in my bag... rabies tags, sticky note, cord.... no clue.

*1 Roll of tape in it's dispenser. We're talking the large, office desktop size dispenser. I was posting up Missing Dog fliers in my neighborhood, and obviously thought my bag was the perfect place to put the tape when I was finished with it.
*3 Missing Dog fliers. I ran out of signs in the neighborhood to post them to. (These are not for me, all our dogs are present and accounted for... a lady in the neighborhood down the road from us is missing her pup)
*And last but not least, a pair of pearl earrings that I thought I had lost.... so that's where they've been this whole time!

Moral of this story? If I have misplaced something, the first place I should look is inside my purse.


Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Day 10: Bee Charmer

Day 10: Goals

I'm glad nobody is holding me to this "30 Days" thing, cause I'd be in some kind of trouble if they were.

This is going to be more like a bucket list rather than simply goals....

I have a ton of things I want to accomplish in my life before the good Lord calls me home.
As a Christian, my greatest wish should be to be sitting at the feet of our everlasting Father, surrounded by His heavenly saints and angels.... and that is of course, my ultimate "goal," but I'm just selfish, and human enough to want to be there, after a full, happy, life well-lived. But who knows really what that means anyway? If I am called home today, I would be okay with that too.... I believe the choices I have made for my life have put me right where I'm meant to be... and knowing and accepting that, is a life well lived in my book.


1. Become a mother... and watch my children grow, prosper, be happy, accept & know our God all their lives. This is a two birds with one stone kinda thing, because I want to give my husband children and my parents grandchildren!

2. A friend recently told me that one of the prayers for her life would be to have a glimpse of Heaven, but without all the scary stuff that usually accompanies those types of experiences. I feel that some days, I have seen glimpses of Heaven. When I see striking, color filled sunset, or sunrise. When I have had a good, long, soul cleansing cry and prayer time and my soul just feels so fresh and so clean... but I know what she means. A truly awe-inspiring, miraculous glimpse of where God lives outside my heart. Paradise. Yeah, I'd like to see that too.... ("glimpse" is the key word here... for those of you not listening! ;-)

3. I'd love to find my true niche in life. What am I supposed to be doing?? Am I doing it, but don't even realize it? I am thankful for each and every blessing in my life. Again, I believe that any choice I have made in the past has been utilized by God to put me right where I am supposed to be, and even if I am discontented in a current position, I am there for.a.reason. But I'd love to wake up one morning, and just have the satisfaction of loving where I am in my life. This really pertains to my job folks, I am truly happy in every other aspect.

3. That being said... I would love to be a children's photographer... But I am having to teach myself everything... and it can be overwhelming and daunting, most of the time. Also, everybody out there with a digital camera is a "photographer" these days, and that is intimidating also. How do I break through that and establish myself in a flooded market when I'm not all that much better (yet!!!) than the competition? It's nerve wracking sometimes.

4. Also, I've always had an obsession with pretty papers... stationary, note cards, sticky note pads... If it's pretty, i love it. I have kept literally every card, invitation, and thank you note I have ever received. I would love to design a set of paper products fashioned with vintage and eclectic graphics. I have several that I have put together... but am really too nervous to show anybody. Also, I don't know where to start finding a printing source in order to produce my products that is not so expensive I price myself out of the market I'm going for. The goal here? Design, produce, and effectively market a suit of paper products that reflect my love of color and vintage design.

5. Carry my dog Mr. Butler around in my purse on Rodeo Dr. like I'm somebody (and have him Not poop in it)

6. GET OUR HOUSE TO REFLECT WHO WE ARE AS A COUPLE. Before I'm dead or so old and crotchety I can no longer hold a paint brush. This is a biggie, and probably the easiest of my goals in terms of labor and actual method. However, I cannot seem to pin down the exact look I am going for in terms of color. Some days I'd love to paint everything turquoise and chartreuse, and other days I want everything white and creams... finding a balance between these, and making sure Handsome can live there happily too? That is a biggie.

7. A garden. I want one. Why? “Because that's what Southern women do – we wear funny looking hats and grow things in the dirt" Favorite move line e.v.e.r I also love the idea of producing and eating my own food. I think this day in age, people depend too much on things other than themselves... And while I don't plan on making my own clothes, and start walking everywhere, gardening is great way to really take pride in the accomplishment of something you've done. I'd love to eventually have a green house, but I'll settle for a patch of earth that will grow tomatoes, squash, and beans. I'm starting my seedlings tomorrow, and hopefully this weekend, Handsome and I can get outside with the tractor and start tilling up our packed down red, Georgia clay, and start preparing the ground for growth. Will definitely be blogging about that adventure!

8. Become a Bee Charmer. I have had a private, life long obsession with bees, Honeybees to be exact. Although I don't like when they fly so close to my face that I can see my reflection their eyeballs, I'm not one to freak out and start swatting at them when they buzz by for a closer look. I would love to have a set of hives and cultivate the honey. Besides Ouiser Boudreaux in Steel Magnolias, one of my other favorite characters is Idgie Threadgoode the tom boy, free-spiritited, bee charmer in Fried Green Tomatoes.

9. Travel. I want to travel with my husband, and experience worlds outside our own existence. I am incredibly lucky to have been able to travel way past the county line before I was 20 years old. I've been all over the United States, and have been to the Bahamas, France, Spain, Italy, Austria, and Germany. I've seen other cultures, ways of life, ideas, values, and customs. I've seen sunrises and sunsets over places other than Emerson, Georgia. I have breathed in the air, swam in the waters, eaten and drunk things that are different from what I've always known. I haven't stayed at these places long, but long enough to see and appreciate that there is a great wide world out there... and I want more of it.

10. Lead at least one person to Christ. I don't necessarily feel that entails knocking on people's doors, or "preaching" to people about how they are not living a Godly life and are bound for Hell... I mean, maybe that's what it takes sometimes, but that has often turned me off in the past. I want to live a life that is for Christ, that is open to Him, and one where He can use me so that others may know of His goodness and glory. I want to be a light in the world.

11. I want to learn how to sew. Although I don't have the time it takes to sew my own clothes, I'd love to know how to do it. Sometimes I go shopping with a particular clothing item in mind, I can either a) never find anything close to it or b) it never look exactly like what I want it to. It'd would be so awesome if I could just go home and "whip a little something together." So when people ask about it, I could say, "what? this old thing?" haha. just kidding... maybe.

12. Learn to dance. Not the stuff people call "dancing" these days. That stuff is generally vulgar and disgusting. And if you turned the music off, you would really look extremely ridiculous. I want to learn how to ballroom dance, and salsa dance. Those types of dancing are beautiful. You could turn the music off, and still be moved by it.

13. Take up a ballet class as a form of exercise, poise, agility, and strength training. Somebody in C'ville should start an exercise ballet class.

14. Learn to speak another language fluently. I was almost there in college... had I pursued it and used it a bit more, I could probably be pretty dern good at Italian by now. But you don't use it, you lose it, and that's the case with
il mio utilizzo italiana (my Italian usage). Would love to get it back.

15. Recycle more. We only have one life to live. And until they set up condos on Mars, we also have only one Place to live. Gotta take care of what we have been entrusted with.

16. Learn to be more forgiving and less sensitive.

17. Take a survival course that teaches you how to live off the land, (with the less is more approach), and be more aware of your surroundings. At some point in my life, I would like to take this a step further, and "live off the grid" for a time. The wilds of Montana has been calling our names for awhile now...

18. I know that true peace will never happen on Earth. The majority of humans don't truly understand or accept the concept of peace... they (we?) are too selfish for that... but I would love to live long enough to see some sort of peace in the world.

19. Be involved in a mission. I would love to bring the Gospel to a foreign soil, but hope to be at peace with it, if God decides to use me in my own community.

20. Dry our sheets and clothes on a clothesline in my backyard. Silly? maybe. Something I've always wanted to do? yes. May have to get Jason to string that line up this weekend....

21. Buy some Tom's Shoes. I think they are pretty much ugly as a mud fence, but I get a new pair of footwear, and so does someone else in the world. Win!

22. Be debt free at an early age. J and I are pretty economical with our money. We still enjoy our lives and doing things, but we aren't a slave to our possessions. We don't have credit card debt, we are making plans to lower our car payment, and we are putting more than the average into our 401k. Would love to be able to buy/pay off the house, and become truly debt free before age 40.... we'll see.

23. Get a new hair cut. This seems like a silly goal, but I have been growing my hair out for about 2 years now. Always with the intention of cutting and donating it in honor of my mom's battle with cancer. I just haven't done it yet. And although I'm grateful for my hair.... it is driving me crazy. It's everywhere. It gets wrapped around my face when I sleep;
It gets wrapped around J's face when he sleeps. I wake up half suffocated with it tied around my neck. I.can' Making that appointment today....

24. Learn to cook... and like it. I am not a cook. It doesn't come naturally at all. And when I've tried to "wing it" in the past, and just throw in a dash of this and that, it came off completely inedible. On a good day, I'll only scrape half the food off of J's plate.... on the bad days, the dogs won't even eat it.

25. Become less of a homebody. I like being at home. I really and truly do. I like moving from my bed, to the couch, to the chair on the deck, back to the couch, to my bed. I'm the friend my friends always rolled their eyes at, and complained I was such a bore. Don't get me wrong, I love to go out with friends, and have drinks, and a good time, but I also like to be at home in my pj's by 10:30... I would like to do less of that, maybe... and enjoy being OUT more.

26. Go on a cross country road trip. I did this once with my best friend. It was the summer between 7th and 8th grade. We road out with her dad, and sister and her friend to California to pick up a horse. We spent the majority of the road trip hanging out in the living quarters of the horse trailer, which was probably illegal, and more than slightly dangerous, but I think her dad could only take so much of "are we there yet" from 4 tweens. Watching the world go by from the bunkhouse of the trailer, we saw way more of where we had been than where we were going. Would love to do that again. But not in a horse trailer, but definitely with my best friend!

27. Make my mark on the world. This is a biggie, and I have absolutely no idea how I will accomplish this one. Or even if I will. I think people's obsession with the rich, and famous, is not so much the rich part, but the famous part. And what that really means. It means they won't be forgotten. It means they made a mark. However good or infamous one is, if they are known throughout the world, they will continue to be known throughout the world. I think I have a fear of being forgotten when I am gone. That's a big thing for me to admit. But there it is.

28. Help the homeless in my community. Every time I see somebody wrapped up in crusty, dirty, old blankets under random bridges, my eyes well up with tears and I feel incredibly guilty about my life. I will almost always give extra cash or change I have to a begger on the street. I don't have any problems with that. Some people say I shouldn't do that because they will just go buy drugs or booze with it, but my thinking is, I give with an open heart, what they do with the money is between them and God. I heard from a friend about a woman who puts together little "hygiene pack" for the homeless and she carries a few with them in her car all the time. They contain socks, a toothbrush, toothpaste, a bottle of water, travel aspirin, washcloth, bar of soap, vitamin c tablets, hand sanitizer, comb, rubber bands, high protein bars, a pack of cards, a few pieces of paper for letters, and stamped envelopes, and a $5 bill. These would cost a little bit of money to get together, but I could only imagine how grateful I would be if I received one of these little packs if I had nowhere to go, and most people passed me on by without so much as a second glance, much less a little bit of help, and room in their prayers at night.

29. Surprise my parents with a ____? I have no idea. Something fun and unexpected. Gotta think about that one!

30. Surprise my Husband with a bright red Dump truck with chrome side panels. On our first day and from time to time in between, he's told me he's always wanted a dump truck to drive around... must be the little kid in him? I'd like to get him one.

31. Become an aunt to my brother's kids. He's 21, not married, no girlfriend, and totally living the life of a 21 year old boy. That's okay. I want him to. But I also want him to marry a nice, sweet girl, who adores and loves him, from a good family, who will give me nieces and nephew to love and spoil.

32. Have a small retreat somewhere in the mountains. (Must include a bubbling brook.)

33. See in concert, the following, not necessarily together (but that would be so cool), Bob Seger, Elton John, and Van Morrison, before they die.

34. Be a grandma... so I can love 'em up, feed them tons of crap that's bad for their teeth and their energy level, and then send them home to their parents.

35. Stand inside of a Redwood tree before they are gone. I'm pretty sure I've done this with my parents when I was a kid, but I'd like to do it again, and remember it.

36. Buy back the family property in Brunswick that has our Family cemetery on it, then rebuild the house for reunions and getaways.

37. Learn about my dad's family. We have literally overload information on my mom's side, but I know very little about my dad's people. Knowing "where" and "who" I came from is very important to me.

38. Get our sailboat Cirrus in the water, and sail her to Margaritaville.

39. Do something completely out of character, and maybe even illegal (eeek!!), like I don't know... wipe my muddy feet on the carpet in the oval office, spitting out my gum to where Queen Elizabeth walks on it and it gets stuck to her shoe, cheat on my taxes (but not get caught!), You know... stick it to tha' man! actually... I'm feel a panic attack coming on just thinking about these things... nevermind.

40. Go camping in every State park in Georgia, and then move on from there...

41. Raise our children in the same house and on the same land where my brother and I were raised. It's perfect for children. It's safe, secluded, and full of sweet memories. Memories from my childhood, and memories that my husband and I are creating there now. I hope and PRAY that it's in God's plans for us.

42. Eat more fiber.

43. Learn to be happy in the moment. I love plans. I love planning things, and the excitement that builds up to the next occasion. I often find myself saying, "I can't wait till Saturday" or "I can't wait till 5 o'clock" (okay, I will probably always want it to be 5 o'clock!), or "I can't wait till _____" <--- fill in the blank with any of the possible millions of things that I find myself wishing away time for. I want to learn to revel in the moment, to leave the excitement of tomorrow in tomorrow... and be excited for the today. To not wish my time away to hurry up to the next big event in my life, but to really and truly love the here and now. Okay, I could go on and on, but my eyes are starting to cross, and I'm getting a headache from thinking about this. In case you didn't deduce this for yourself, I have A LOT I want to do in my life, with my life. But I am grateful for each and every breath I have been given, and will count myself extremely lucky and blessed for each and every breath I will be given.


ps- If you hear of some tour where Van, Elton, & Bob are going to be performing live, in concert, & together! buy me a ticket... I'll pay you back. fo' rillz.