Wednesday, March 28, 2012


It was a beautiful afternoon and my tummy was growling.  I had taken Shayne to see Dr. Steve this morning so I hadn't yet had lunch.  So, a little after 3, I took a break and went searching for food.  I walked several blocks just enjoying the sunshine and chatting with Rex on the phone.

I was looking for something very specific.  Diet Coke, on ice.

I was pretty excited when I found a great new deli that not only had turkey sandwiches, they had Diet Coke- in the fountain.  I was hooked.  And it didn't hurt that the homemade marble cake with the fluffy white icing was calling my name.

After paying for my goodies, I left the deli and I think I got about 5 steps up Campbell Avenue when it happened.
Down like a ton of bricks.
Spread eagle hugging the sidewalk.

Kissing dirt, people, kissing the dirt!

I didn't know what hit me.  I looked around a bit dazed trying to figure out what on earth was going on, and how did I get face down on the sidewalk.

From my horizontal view I began to notice a few things.

I quickly noticed the Styrofoam cup carrying my Diet Coke had exploded and the precious liquid was now modern art on the sidewalk.  I thought for a second about lapping it up, but was distracted by

the people around me.
Oh yes, of course there were witnesses.  Many.
And can you believe not one person offered to help me up.
Ask if I was okay.
It's a good thing I couldn't reach their ankles I'd invited them to join me.  Ok, strike that thought.

I couldn't help but notice my body screaming OUCH.  I noticed my elbow was bleeding, and my knee was throbbing.   I was feeling it "all over" so I was really happy when I checked my face and determined it was intact.

Walking back to the office, I couldn't help but giggle.  This is not the first time I've found myself kissing dirt.  I have a few stories that keeps Teri laughing.  I guess you could say I'm full of grace.  

I got back to the office, and did what any smart can't walk down the street klutz would do.

Eat cake!

Yes, I saved the cake.
It wasn't nearly as pretty since the icing had been separated from the marble but it sure did help this big 'ole girl feel better.

People, I don't know why I fell.
I wasn't in heels and I wasn't dizzy and I wasn't drinking.  Maybe the strangers thought I was and that's why they ignored me.   Anyway, I'm chalking this one up as a real live example to my boys that you can get big boo-boos and still be okay.  And, let's not forget the free entertainment for my friends.

Now, if I can get out of bed in the morning everything will be just fine.

Happy Wednesday y'all!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

"Maybe You Can Be Best Friends"

It's Tuesday- Date Night 'round these parts, but since Shayne is running a fever, we stayed in and decided to share putting the boys to bed tonight.
Sometimes, we have to divide and conquer.  It's survival a sweet thing to do when you're supposed to be on a date.   
The deal was Mommy would read, then Daddy would sing.  
If you know us, you know it's a good plan.  Mommy definitely shouldn't sing (out loud).   

After I read every word, I mean every single little word in the Star Wars book, Rex climbed into bed with Isaiah and I climbed into bed with Elijah. 

Rex began singing "that rock song, Daddy"  you know, Rockin in the Treetops and Elijah and Isaiah chimed in at the "tweet, tweet tweets" just perfectly.
We giggled
they sang.
And while I rubbed his back and kissed his head I started thinking about progress.
Just a few weeks ago bedtime was anything but giggly and fun.  It was painful.  Tearful.  Agonizing as if the night cast a spell over him, trapping him in a place where he couldn't sleep until he wrestled with memories of  Mommy T.  

Just as I was enjoying the baby steps forward, he started to speak... 

"this reminds me of Mommy T."  
he continued,
"Mommy and Mommy T. singing together.  
Maybe you can be best friends.  
Do you want to be best friends?" 

ummmm, think quick.

I remembered a great resource book I had been given, "Twenty Things Adopted Kids Wish Their Adoptive Parents Knew." Since I actually read this one.  Slowly.  OK, reading is a stretch, I skimmed it.  But I still remembered reading how adopted kids will often fantasize about the relationships between their birth mothers and their mommy's.  

In case you're unsure, I am MOMMY!   

So while he did surprise me when Mommy T. came up out of the blue tonight I wasn't offended or threatened by it.
I know that his fantasies aren't bad- it's just another way for him to cope.  He's healing.   

Armed and dangerous with a wealth of knowledge, I answered his question - 

No, I don't think we'll be best friends. 
"but she's nice" 
I know honey.  I know. 

Now,  I"m bracing myself for what I thought would come next.
The melt-down.
It didn't come.
Instead, he went right back to the "tweet, tweet, tweeting" and giggling at his brother.

wow.  woa.  WOW! 

In a desperate attempt to calm the monkey jumping in bed with Rex he switched gears and started singing "Lord, I just want to Thank You" and I caught myself tearing up.
Happy tears.
Elijah didn't know- he was peaceful, snuggled up next to me and dozing off.    

As I quietly sang along with my husband, my mind took me back.  Not just a few weeks, but a few years. When instead of climbing into his bed next to him, I sat in the rocking chair beside his crib and cried, and sang, and prayed.  No clue what the days would bring, only knowing I wanted the chance to walk them with these boys.

Oh yes, Lord I do want to thank you.

For the giggles and the noise.
For the small steps of healing we can see-  
-- in the yellow sticky notes left for me.  

Happy Tuesday y'all!

Monday, March 26, 2012

Quick Trips to the Duck Pond and Kissing Me Some Babies.

1000 Gifts #719 - 732

Brenda & Steve's birthday's and dinner together
Mrs. Flora's letter of forgiveness on a 5 yr old's level
the invite to the duck pond
chubby Owen legs in overalls
cousins busy fishing and feeding
snuggling Peyton
Audrey hugs
watching little girls grown up and momma their own
only one wet shoe
shoe's that don't sink
beautiful brown toes
graduation announcements arriving in the mail
and, pictures shared! 

What 'ya thankful for?

Friday, March 23, 2012

Five Minute Friday: LOUD!

It's Loud Friday. It's another five minutes with Gypsy Mama.

It's not for everybody.  The dainty sneeze- uh, chew... won't find that at our house.

It's what we do. 

And we're pretty good at it. 
TV- it's supposed to be on "22" yet it mysteriously ends up on 47.
I tell my boys, about forty eleven seven hundred times a day--- Inside voice, too loud. 
no matter. 

And, we don't even have to be at home to be Loud.  We can take it with us everywhere we go.  Talented, don't you think.

The whole whisper theory- bahaa haa aha haa - oh sorry. I tried it, it seems so peaceful. The boys couldn't hear me, too loud.

The dog is Loud.
Our laughter is Loud. 
The yelling from one room to the next, Loud.
The kids playing. LOUUUUUD!
We sing. Loud.
The washing machine. Loud.
The tantrums.  LOUD!
The lawnmower, yep you guessed it, Loud.

Sometimes, on really good days, we have it all- TV on 86, washer and drying spinning along, Dishwasher swirling, lawn mower humming, and children, living.  Loud.

But in the Loud we can still hear the whispers of God.  I'm so glad it works for Him, because He whispers to me and around me sweet reminders in the midst of our Loud, that He loves us and He is with us, and that Loud is His plan for us. 
Loud.  It's what we do. 
Loud.  It's how we love.
Yeah, we've got that.

Happy LOUD Friday y'all!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Finally meeting Grandma, sort of.

Back in September I shared that my once-lost-now-found grandmother had already died when my  mother confirmed where she was and was able to contact her family members.  And, as promised, my mom's newly found step-sister delivered - and sent my mom some pretty special things.  Included with many photo's were my grandmother's wedding rings, a hat she often wore, a bracelet, a pin and a few other items. 

I had never seen my grandmother's face until I went over to my momma's the night the package arrived.  That night, I finally met my grandmother.  Sort of.  I looked through the pictures with my mom.  I smelled the hat.  I wore her rings.  I tried to connect to this once imaginary woman who was now real. 

I've been pondering how to put into words how I felt that night.  To be honest, it's three months later and I'm still working through the emotions.  But as I process all of this, I am also really happy. 

Happy the rumors of her being murdered by my grandfather are false.  Who wants that skeleton hanging in your family tree?  
Happy to see the joy on my momma's face as she tells me all she is learning about her mom. 
Happy to know that my grandmother loved my momma.   

People who know the story are still asking me how I feel about her and why I have avoided putting it into words, since that's what I do.  I still don't know how to fully answer that. 

For my entire life she was a fantasy- now all of a sudden she is real. 

Initially there were doubts that she is the right Lucille, but they were gone the first time I saw her.  In looking at her, I see my mom.  I see my Aunt Linda and Aunt Mary.  I see me.   As the pictures continue to arrive a little more of the missing puzzle of my family tree is fitting together in front of me.  It feels good to say my grandmother and know she in fact lived.  

Since meeting Rex for the first time, I've heard many conversations about his grandmother. I have been privileged to pilfer through some of her things too.  I'm pretty sure I would like her.  And even tho' I've never met her either, I feel like I know her because I know her family.  I know Iris.  I know Rex.  They are part of her, and she is part of them.   I can know my grandmother because of knowing my momma. 

And, in all the finding,  we're finding out the why.  Why she disappeared all those years ago.  And lest I judge her, which would be really easy to do I have to remind myself that things were very different then.  There was no support for a woman to leave an abusive husband to venture out on her own with small kids. 

And so it seems, my grandmother loved her girls enough to leave them.  

And, she kept loving them, and telling her new family that she loved "her girls" until she died.  She loved them enough to look for them.  Unfortunately, her search was years before cell phones and face book and twitter.  Before you could google whatever or whoever you wanted to find.   

So, with all we still don't know, we do know a little more than before.  We know  
she lived.
she loved.
she laughed.
she cared.
she danced.
she never bore any more children.
she looked for us.
she died, surrounded by people who loved her.
we'll meet her in heaven one day.

People often ask, if you could have lunch with anybody dead or living, who'd it be? 

I used to try and think of really cool people.  People like Billy Graham, Ronald Reagan, Lucille Ball. (don't mock me) Now, without hesitation I'd be having lunch the grandmother's.  

I imagine I'd sit in awe as they reminisced about their lives.  I'd explain what on earth I was wearing. I imagine we'd laugh so hard we'd wet our pants and not even care.  Oh, what I would give to hug them, and smell them, and touch their wrinkled hands.  To learn from them the lessons grandmother's are supposed to teach their girls. 

The hardest part of not knowing her, was not knowing her.  Growing up without caring grandparents is tough.  So, for all you grannies and paw paw's out there- get busy and get involved with those youngins.  They really do need you.  You can't get the lost time back.   

So, without further delay, I'd like to introduce you to my grandmother, Lucille.  
I like to call her Grandma Lucy. 

Grandma Lucy.
My momma's hands look just like hers.

hmmm, quite the little black dress. 

my rings, her rings.
Grandma Lucy on the left.
You can't tell here, but when you see the picture up close, my mom really favors her. 
Grandma Lucy and my step-grandfather.  In this picture, I can really see my Aunt Linda. 

She was very involved in the VFW- red was her favorite color.

Momma with Grandma Lucy's VFW hat/pins.

I'd planned to go with Momma to the Bolton family reunion in Alabama in a couple of months.  I wanted to document the first meeting, put faces to names and enjoy my family. 
But we just learned it conflicts with the Powell reunion in Roanoke. 
So, I'm not sure how that's all going to work out, or when I'll get to meet my uncles and aunts and cousins. 
But I can be sure there is more to this story coming soon. 

Happy Wednesday y'all.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Or so I thought.

My God Daddy must've thought I needed to learn some patience today.  I already learned all of that I needed.  Or so I thought.

It started early.  Really early when not one but two little brown boys climbed into my bed, fully awake and rarin' to go for the day- around 5:30 am- payback I'm sure for letting us sleep until 10:30 am on Sunday.  They were arguing about how Daddy smelled- Elijah was convinced he smells like the beach, Isaiah argued he smelled like an old dog.  Or so I thought.  Seems Isaiah was actually smelling our old dog- who was laying on Daddy's pillow. 

Anyhoo, after the early risers totally shot my morning routine chaos I still managed to get us out the door on time.  Or so I thought. 

I pulled right up in front of the school to drop the "baby" (who's always right) off at the front door, at precisely 7:48 am.  The same time I drop him off everyday. The same time that my watch and clock radio agreed upon.   Or so I thought.  I wondered why the new armed security guard just stood there next to the car, and didn't open my baby's door.  I also wondered why the cars in front of me were pulling to the side, and walking their kids in.  The bell rings at 7:50 am.  Or so I thought.

You have to sign him in.  The guard snapped. 
But it's only 7:48 I replied, a little confused.  Elijah was mortified.  "Mommy, you can't argue with the guard.. you'll get in trouble."  But I wasn't late, and he isn't a real guard.  Or so I thought. 

I parked the car- at the very end of the lot, and hiked the mile (or so it seemed) to the school, where I had to wait in line to sign in my tardy little baby.  A line had formed, there were lots of frustrated mommas and daddies in front of us.  I signed him in, and felt compelled to include in the "reason for tardy" field that we weren't really tardy, my watch and clock clearly showed 7:48.
So, after baby got his official "sticker" so he could now get passed the guard and go to his class, they announced the time was now 7:53am.  The exact same time that was now showing on my watch, and the clock on my car! 

Oh well.  I gathered my attitude and delivered another child to his learning institution and proceeded to work. 

After settling down and being really productive at work today, I took my lunch at 4:28pm and headed to the DMV, for a quick end of day visit.  Or so I thought.

I got my golden ticket B104, and it became clear I should settle in for a wait.  It was fine, really, cause I didn't have anything else to do- unless you count my new girl Kayla was waiting at my house for me to cook her some steak and taters on her last night of leave.  It was fine, really since the entertainment at the DMV is so refreshing  educational gross, I was happy to do nothing but sit and wait, wait and sit, sit and wait.  And watch.  Oh, the sights to see.  I especially enjoyed the fashion show.  Forget people of Wal-mart, I should start a people of the DMV.  And, not just that, but while I waited I had yet another unexpected surprise---- the opportunity to learn a couple different foreign languages.     

Anyhoo, this quick trip was to renew my license, which I was assured just a few weeks ago, when I was already there, that it wouldn't cost me anything since they (DMV) was requiring I actually come into their nice place of business again, after February 26 and not be allowed to renew on-line. And, since I was already there, it made sense to go ahead and renew our registration.  Or so I thought. 

I was very clear that I wasn't expecting to pay a fee, and the sweet lady who gave me my golden B104 you'll be the last person called never told me otherwise.  I was set.  Or so I thought. 

Anyhoo, about 45 minutes later I was summoned to window 20. 
Picture time.
Finally a better DMV picture.  Or so I thought.   

When she told me I could smile (but not show any teeth) I knew I was toast.  Yep, can't wait to see that one.  Well, actually I can.  Did you know the licenses now have to be mailed?  Yes sirree, I have to go to their nice place of business but they can't print the license on-site.  After I inquired argued a bit about the ridiculous fee for doing as I was told and bringing my smiling no teeth showing face in - I gave up.  How could I not?  When the poor tired ready to go home representative explained but "I don't have a code for that override." As I cheerfully handed her my debit card, I might have mumbled something about the lack of customer service from the golden ticket giver and how this felt like a trick to get more money.  I didn't want to say it too loudly, since the not one but two security guards were now focused in on my end of the counter.  Was it my mumbling, or the X-rated public display of affection at the counter next to me that caught their eye.  hmmmm.

If Elijah had been with me, he would most certainly have reminded me not to argue.  
Or so I thought.

Happy Tuesday y'all!

Monday, March 19, 2012

I do's, expectations and new promises.

Life is loud and beautiful and busy. 
Sometimes, when I'm so tired I think I wish for peace and quiet. 
For a minute.
And then, I think about what a quiet life would mean.
And I give thanks for the blessing of being trusted with the loud and busy.
We're celebrating big things these days.
I'm thankful to be part of the expectations, new promises and witnessing of the I do's. 

and for...

1000 Gifts #694 - 718

girlfriends who love Jesus and
promise rings
and the smile on their faces
blinding sunshine on the hill
power naps in the tanning bed
mornings without meltdowns
exercise trampolines
the mom talks he wants frequently these days
alarm clocks that don't work and a full 8 hrs of sleep
Sunday night cooking for my guys
coffee made by teenage son, and him wanting to share a cup with conversation  
anticipation of baby's safe arrivals
little boys in pj's and robes, and boots and jeans, and belts and swords all at once
5 generations in one spot
I do's at sunset
praise songs sung from the flat screen TV
my daddy's 67th birthday
my other daddy's heart beating fine

Daniel & Whitney- parents to baby girl Kirchner

Jill, Julio & Allie, Keith

what 'ya thankful for?

Friday, March 16, 2012

Five Minute Friday: Brave

It's Friday. It's another five minutes with Gypsy Mama.

Brave feels strong, bold, confident.  But most Brave I know, is afraid and quiet being thrust into a situation where if choices were possible, Brave would run.  
I've seen Brave. 
I've seen it kiss her husband one last time before the casket closed.  I've seen it prepare to wed again, in God's timing.
I've seen it stand before hundreds and confess God's goodness and mercy and strength, as her knees were knocking together behind the podium.
I've seen it squeeze my hand so tight I thought a finger might break- when the nurse put the IV in the tiny little hand.
I've seen it nervously talk about the girl who has stolen his heart.
I've seen it enter a courtroom with a pit in the stomach, and sit with anticipation of the judge's ruling.   I've seen it leave the same courtroom looking very different for each person affected by his words. 
I've seen it look me in the eyes with tears and ask, can we do this another day?
Brave is like a chameleon, taking on the color of the situation.  But no matter how scary or difficult the color change, Brave always moves forward. 

Happy Friday y'all!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Looking for a Replacement.

Should easily adapt to frequent change.
Dependability is a must.
Should work well with little supervision.
Long term commitment requested.
Doesn't have to be very bright.
Can't be tempermental or refuse to work if neglected.

Recent failure after springing forward has left me no choice.

Hope the time change has been kinder to you, than it has to me.

Happy Thursday y'all!

Friday, March 9, 2012

Five Minute Friday: Empty

It's Friday. It's another five minutes with Gypsy Mama.

I have felt empty. 
The 8 years of my empty womb that cried out to God to be filled before Shayne.
The 8 years after. 
The emptiness of my heart before my God Daddy filled it.
The empty of not getting to be Mommy to Baby Bob.  The empty feeling of grief when Hersey died.  The empty of the early morning hours after my mastectomies, wondering if I'd ever feel whole, full again.


Empty and full seems to come in waves.

These days, empty is mostly about trivial things.
Things like rooms emptied to make ready for new carpet.
Milk bottles emptied and put back in the fridge- why do our kids big and small do this?
Empty lotion bottles to save my son's from the ashy elephant knees they are prone to. 
My empty tummy- "I do not like these lifestyle changes," it grumbles.
And all of these are easily filled, and if it takes a while, I can deal with that. 

But one empty I will not wait to fill.

Trivial I say.

May your Friday be full of the things you love.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Simple Things.

Elijah recently made me this necklace. 
He explained that he carefully chose these particular beads because I love the beach so much. 
 Isaiah piped up and said, "you should make me one with girls on it"

1000 Gifts #672-691

Thankful for the laughter. 
and brother's job security
and new dryer belts that turn the drum
and stepping on my lost earring
and the sweet chat with Betty, the coffee hostess @ Sheetz (because when God told me to, I did)
and meeting Emmie and her sure encouragement
and prayers of friends I love
and Jill's early Thursday call just to say "love ya"
and my car not moving even when I left in in drive, on a hill, during a sister chat
and the new green coffee mug
and watching my kids watch the snow
and that I don't have to buckle kids into car seats, anymore
and the unplanned IHOP breakfast with Katie and cousins and Elijah and Nae
and Coach Carolyn
and watching a lot of Kindergartners at lunch - and my owns detailing of the scene
and the unexpected Impact bonus at work
and surviving The Lorax without adult back-up 
and God's hug- His sun shining through the snow showers
and help flipping the "pig" and the "turkey" bacon
and watching a movie with Shayne and his daddy
and the peacefulness of a house when all sleep but me
and my friend vertigo having left me alone for a few months now.

What 'ya thankful for?

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