Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Six Years Ago

3:00 AM
I wake with a start. I am 9 months and 1 week pregnant with our second child, feeling big, bloated, and tired all of the time and wishing I would just have this baby already! And to make matters worse I think I may have just peed the bed!

3:10 AM
Wait. That’s not pee.

3:15 AM
I wake Pat to tell him I think my water broke.
Pat: (sleepily) Huh? Why don’t you wait a little while to make sure.

His head hits the pillow and he resumes snoring.

3:20 AM
I lie on the couch holding the phone and timing the contractions while I watch crappy television turned down low. 

5:15 AM
I finally call the doctor, who laughs when I tell him how long I let him sleep.

6:00 AM
Pat and I pull into my sister’s drive way.  He escorts a sleepy 8-year old Savannah through the rain inside the house.

6:20 AM
We arrive at the hospital.

11:56 AM
Sarah arrives.

Six years later we have our fairy princess.


Happy birthday, Sarah! 

Monday, September 9, 2013

101 in 1001: #69

As I’ve gotten older I’ve been trying to avoid the camera. Hence why my current Facebook profile pic is of my son and why all the photos of me on this sidebar are very old!

I don’t like the way I look on film – sometimes pasty, sometimes dull, sometimes frizzy-haired, and a lot of the time kinda bloated. It doesn’t make for a pretty picture.

But what I hate more than an unflattering picture are the disappointed looks and words from Savannah and my husband while I try to block the camera.  And even more than that, I hate not having pictures of myself with my husband and kids during this time. I’d like to be present in the scrapbook when I look back years down the line. I don’t want to be the one behind the lens, or worse, that person hiding behind a hand or a book or someone’s shoulder.

To cure this I wrote #69: “Take a self portrait once per month for 1001 days.“

Sounds easy enough.

I took my first pics sitting here in my office so I could check off my first month.  I felt silly, but it was painless.
But then I had to be a real go-getter (or smart ass if you prefer) and add another goal on my list:
“Post these pictures publically.”
Oh crap!

So here goes. The first photo for #69, taken in August 2013. Yes, it took me 3 weeks to get around to posting it publically. I’m cringing while I do this, but I’m determined to make it through this list.


What will be cool to watch (I hope) is seeing changes in these photos as I try to reach #27 (Getting down to my “happy weight” – if there is such a thing!), and #63 (Give myself a complete makeover.)

This should be interesting.

(Read more about the 101 in 1001 project here.)

Wednesday, August 28, 2013


Since March 2011 I’ve been on a journey of sorts and ended up not quite where I thought I would.  I quit my job as a conference manager for a large nonprofit organization.  I was totally burnt out, stressed, and snapping at everyone at home and sometimes at work. It was time to decompress. 

(If you want a little history, you can read about my decision to leave here.)
Over the next 2 1/2 years I went from being a stay-at-home mom to a part-time church secretary, then a full-time volunteer manager and now I’m back to managing conferences.
Did I want to end where I started? Not exactly. I was expecting to make a pretty big change, and I obviously failed there. I do this conference planning thing well, though, and I’m getting paid for my knowledge and experience, which is nice. What’s not nice is having a boss that stays late often and comes in on her vacation days (as she did yesterday - all day), and this is after we talked about wanting to be with our kids more.  I thought we had the same priorities, but apparently not. 
But this time around I’ve decided to do something different.  Typically I focus on the vast amount of work I have or that this work doesn’t fire me up, and complain about the time my work takes away from my family. All of this is such an energy waster and I end up feeling tired most of the time, which doesn’t make me the greatest mom or wife. So I’ve started a project that I’ve seen around the web and decided to jump in.
I have made a list of 101 things I want to accomplish in 1001 days.  That’s 2 years and 9 months. I’ve included things that involve my kids and my husband and things for myself that I’ve been wishing I had the time to do. My hope is this project or challenge will turn my focus on things other than work and put my energy back where it belongs…actually living life instead of complaining.
Many other blogs have published their entire lists. I’m not completely comfortable with that.  I’ve included some pretty personal things, so I’ve decided to share one at a time as I make my way through it. So stay tuned for some posts about my 101 list. 
#57 (hence the title of this post) is to blog more regularly - and I plan to accomplish that!
It occurred to me while writing this post that I could have gone through the bulk of a 101 list in the time since I left that original job. Who knows where I'd be!
Join me! Click the link above or just Google "101 in 1001" and get some ideas for your own list. I have one friend doing this with me. I'd love to have more come along and share your experiences!
By the way, I just heard author Jack Canfield say, “101 is the spiritual number of completion.”
Very interesting.

Monday, August 26, 2013

The Start of a New Era

This morning was exciting in our home!

Savannah started high school....

with a smile!  I've never seen her smile like this on a school morning.

And Sarah started kindergarten....

with some nerves, understandably.  But still smiling as always.

Pace thinks he's in the clear....

but his time comes next week. 

I hope his teacher is ready for what's coming her way!


Monday, December 31, 2012

2013, The Year of. . .

As 2012 has approached it’s end, I’ve been reading some of my past journal entries. Not just from this year, but 2011, 2010, 2009…. all the way back to 2006, which isn’t hard since the current journal I use (you can take the word “use” very lightly), started in 2006.  As with so many aspects of my life, I started a journal (once again) and never truly committed to the process.

One of the sad – no, make that frustrating – realizations I had was that sooo many of my posts are basically the same reflections, desires, and goals.

I want to lose weight.

I want to become a freelance writer.

I want to organize my home more thoroughly.

I want, I want, I want and not much doing.

Somewhere around the 2009 entries I started to sigh….a lot.  I even rolled my eyes at myself somewhere in the 2011 section.

Many of us know the famous quote by the amazing writer Annie Dillard:

Right on, Annie. 

It’s the reason why I keep writing down the same goals year after year.  My days are spent procrastinating. 

I have one friend who has lit a fire in me, though.  Crystal and I have spent years’ worth of lunches at Corner Bakery sharing our grievances and wishes with each other, along with a pecan tart or a slice of cinnamon coffee cake, and we’ve both noted that we always say the same things.  This year, however, Crystal has taken that first step and is actually making one of her long-time dreams a reality.  She’s started a non-profit organization, Our Hair.

She hasn’t just taken the first step, she’s started climbing the staircase, step after step after step.  

I am so proud of her and inspired by her.  You can check out her Facebook page and learn more about Our Hair here.  They provide African American kids in foster care with hair and skin care products and also education on how to care for their hair and skin.  I can tell you working at a children’s shelter, we never get products that are geared directly toward the needs of African American children. This is a sorely needed organization.

So yesterday I began throwing out old notes, plans, and self-help books.  I know what to do, I just need to push myself and start walking up that staircase. I’m determined not to read the same journal entries again the next year. 

And with friends like Crystal, I think it’s a big possibility I could reach my goals or at least be on my way.  I just need to be more attentive to how I spend my days.

Maybe we should call this the year of being mindful.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

The Bad Parenting Continues

Pat and I work really hard to be good role models for our kids.

Yes, we’re both struggling with weight issues right now, and we watch a little too much TV, and sit at the computer more than we should, and sometimes have silly spats in front of the young’uns.

Well, at least we watch what we say in front of them….


Okay, we slip….frequently. I’ve written about that before, in the days before I took my long sabbatical from writing.

A couple of the highlights:
At a very young age, Savannah said the infamous “F” word when she dropped a crayon during a Christmas Eve service.

Sarah sweetly said “shit” a few times while walking around the living room. I guess she thought that’s what you do when you take a stroll.

And recently:
Pace’s vocabulary is quickly expanding after a late start, which has us relieved, excited, and a little ashamed.

One of his new phrases is “kicking ass!”

That’s. Great. Pace.

Did I mention he’s two?


There’s one incident that popped in my head today that gave me a really good laugh and prompted the writing of this post.

A little background - Pat isn’t too fond of other drivers on the road. When I say he’s not too fond, I mean there’s quite a bit of name calling and dirty looks being thrown around, and me holding down his arm before he teaches our kids what the middle finger can be used for. His favorite reaction is, “What a douchebag.”

I apologize now if I’ve offended anyone with that term.

And now on with the story…

So a couple weeks ago Pat was leaving the house and like a good family, we were all saying good-bye to him at the door. As he walked to the car, Savannah called out to him (with neighbors outside, I might add), “Watch out for the douchebags, Dad!” And shut the door. Pat said he could hear me inside saying,

“Savannah! Don’t say that!”

And her responding,

“What?? What did I say??”

Yes, Pat and I try really hard to be good role models.

We just forget sometimes.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

High School Days

Last night I went to the open house for the local Arts Magnet High School with my oldest daughter Savannah.


High School….already.

It’s happening too fast.

But before I sink into a my baby’s growing up depression, I want to talk about how freaking cool this school is!

This is actually my alma mater. I graduated from there in 1988 and it was a cool school waaayyyy back then.  You know, in the old days.

May I name drop for a moment? I walked the halls with Erykah Badu, hung out between classes with jazz great Roy Hargrove, and did a few plays and parties with Elizabeth Mitchell who was in the TV series “Lost.”  Edie Brickell graduated the year before I arrived. Norah Jones came in a few years after me and her phenomenal success made the school close to impossible to get into.

Back in my day it was just a 2-story brick building with an addition in the back that included a state-of-the-art (for the 80’s) music department.

The school is on the same spot, but it’s now a 4-story modern, talent molding facility.

I seriously want to go back to high school. I’ll take on all the awkwardness and fear to be able to hang out here 5 days a week.

My favorite class, Playwriting, was tucked into a small, dark room in the back of the Auditorium. I filled several spirals for 4 years in that space. That class is now in a huge computer lab where each student has their own computer to type out the next Broadway play, or at least a 10-minute play to have produced in Showcase Theater on a cold Thursday night.

Honestly, I would go back for my teaching certificate if I was guaranteed a position at this specific school...but quite frankly I don't think I have enough talent and experience to teach these kids. They are exceptional.

And my girl is exceptional.  Make a note, Arts. 
(I'm showing my age.  I keep calling it "Arts" instead of "Booker T" as it's now known.)

Savannah was so excited. She kept looking all around her with this smile on her face. That smile I love so much.

Every once in a while she would look at me and whisper, “I really want to go here, Mom.”

Every time we turned a corner her smile would get brighter and I would think

Please let her go here.

Like mother, like daughter.