10 December 2010

what I need for Christmas

Most days I don't understand more things than I do understand.

I don't understand the failings of this human flesh. This existence. I don't understand how to parent my children. I don't understand how to be the Proverbs 31, virtuous woman kind of wife I'm called to be. I don't understand how those I hold most dear seem to love me in spite of myself. I don't understand how, at 25 years old, I'm still being hurt and allowing myself to be hurt by careless, unthinking people who claim to carry within them the love of a sinless Savior.

There's not much that I do understand. And, honestly, I spend most days in a fog of confusion.

But at the end of the day and with ever increasing awareness, I understand to the extent that my frail mind can manage... that I need Jesus.

I need Him not because that's what I was taught as a child. Not because personal passion is a trendy thing to blog about. Not because I belong to a baptized body of believers who also need Him. And not because I'm feeling particularly small and low today.

I need Him because I am broken and undone. I need Him because without His breath I am just dirt.

And in this special season... as I near the end of my rope and am overwhelmed by the busyness of all the things I've added to my own to-do list... I hear a faint whisper. So quiet that it goes all but unnoticed. A dim star in the distance that's best seen in the peripheral but is lost in the decorations and car lights and crowds and receipts and bank statements.

But day by harried day, night by lonely night... as the state I've gotten myself into becomes more apparent to me... the whisper starts to ring in my ears. The star grows brighter.

Follow me, the star beckons. Come and see the Child.

Come to Bethlehem. Look into His face and calm the storm in your soul.

Rise up out of the angry current and walk on the waves.

Lay your hurt beside His manger and let Him carry it to the cross.

And as I hasten toward His calling and begin my journey to the stable, I'm being show what I most need for Christmas.

In this season... and in every season... I need the simplicity of a manger, the patience of a man who went from door to door seeking a place for his wife to rest, the willingness of a young woman who endured the discomfort of carrying a Baby and travailed with the labor of bringing the Savior into a world which both needed and despised Him...

And most of all, I need the bloodshed of the cross. And the grace to die there each day.

For all these things. For the things I don't even know I need...

He is sufficient.

Merry Christmas, my friends. Won't you meet me at the manger?


08 December 2010

random Christmas-movie-related trivia

Hi guys and dolls...

Having two sick kids in one week has afforded me a lot of time to sit around, hold my babies, and scour the internet for random information such as the following fascinating tidbit.

Anybody know what the three following flashy gals have in common? Other than being animated and sort of vintage-y...

Well... it just so happens that in the 1930s they were all voiced by this vaudeville actress...

Cute, huh? Her name is Mae Questel. Probably doesn't ring any bells, though, right?

What if I called her Aunt Bethany?

Yep... Aunt Bethany did Betty Boop. Interestingly, she also voiced Casper, Felix the Cat, and Little Audrey.

Told ya it was fascinating.

So long, Little Joe.


19 September 2010

5 steps to fancy

This weekend, ye olde hubby and I enjoyed an annual tradition in our town called the Parade of Homes. I don't know if other cities have these or not, but it is just so much fun.

Basically what happens is this:

Some rich people hire rich builders to build big fancy houses for them and then they decorate them real pretty like and clean them up to look like nobody's every actually lived there (which is true in some cases). And then they open them up to the (paying) public and probably go on expensive weekend trips while most of the surrounding area's population tramps through their house in paper booties.

The part about the expensive weekend trips is something totally from my imagination, but it could happen.

Either way, the whole thing really caters to my voyeuristic tendencies. And I mean that in the least creepy way possible.

Anyway, so all of this fanciness has me thinking about fancy things and how I can become more fancy because, as we all know... I am all about velvet ropeyness.

I've done some research and here's what I've come up with so far:

1. Put adhesive plastic on all of my carpet.

Why is this fancy? Well, I'm sure in the big, new, fancy houses, they put down adhesive plastic on the carpet in an attempt to keep hicks like the hubby and myself from tracking stuff all over their carpet (with our paper booties?) while also letting us know in a subtle sort of way where we're allowed to walk.

I should interject here, and please try not to be too impressed, that I do indeed live in a 25+ year old house (paneling and macrame planter hooks included) with original carpet in some areas, so needless to say, I am not overly concerned with keeping said carpets pristine.

No, I have another reason for the adhesive plastic. A much better reason.

Because walking on it feels a lot like walking on bubble wrap.

Totally awesome. And decidedly fancy.

2. Put a faucet over my stove.

Oh, sure there are no water hook-ups there, but who's to know?

3. Rip all the covers off my books or turn them inside out and bind them in stacks with twine or ribbon.

Ok... this one I really don't get. Is this some kind of Martha Stewart/Pottery Barn/uniformity/prettiness factor thing going on here? If anybody knows, please inform me. It was actually sorda cool looking, but hubby won't let me do it. I already asked.

4. Build a separate wing for my children.

There weren't really any separate wings in the homes we toured this year, but I was surprised at how far away people put the master bedroom from their children's rooms. On different floors even! The humanity! You mean people actually sleep separately from their kids? You mean people actually keep their identities? And their sanity? And any hope of normal life ever again?


I digress.

5. Buy something like this for Le Bebe...

Yes, that's a crib. And for a cool $4, 000... it can be yours.

Yes, $4,000.

No, the horses aren't included.

Nor is the promise that you're daughter will marry into royalty.

And I don't know if it turns into a pumpkin at midnight.

We went for the chic, the simple, the traditional, the hand-me-down 100% totally free style of crib. And considering neither of our children slept a single night EVER in it, I'm really glad we decided against the Cinderella-mobile.

I've totally veered from the home tour, but this looks sorda like something you would see in one of those houses... and let's face it, if people are going to heat and air condition their barn, a $4,000 baby crib wouldn't really surprise me at all.


I'm sure some people would read all of this as sour grapes or some kind of jealousy. Sure, I would love to be able to have all of the pretty things I've ever wanted to look at every day. I'm not ashamed to admit that.

But jealous? Oh, no.

Our house may be small in comparison. It may be older. It may lack all the attention to detail and all of the special touches. It has numerous flaws. It has missing paint and spots on the carpet. It's dusty and cluttered and fingerprint smudged. It doesn't sit on a ridge overlooking hundreds of sprawling acres. It doesn't have a grand staircase or a breathtaking balcony or a theater room. The trashcans and tooth brushes are out in plain sight, for heaven's sake...

But it's home.

And it has some of the best views I've ever seen.

See what I mean?


05 September 2010

the trashcan

I've found, in all my amassed years of experience, that perhaps the most perplexing element of adulthood is taking out the trash.

Of course, pretty much every household chore is a vicious cycle of doing and undoing (e.g., bane of my existence, laundry is thy name), but there is absolutely nothing satisfying about emptying a trashcan. Clean laundry at least smells nice. Clean dishes are sparkly. A made-up bed makes a room look nicer (and we all know it bounces better).

An empty trashcan offers no reward.

Taking the trash out has never made me feel better.

And so I avoid it at all costs for as long as possible.

And here's the conclusion that I've reached about trash removal in general:

Everybody in the world hates taking the trash out. Everybody in the world believes that if they avoid it at all costs for as long as possible that their husband/wife/child/person who cleans out their home following their demise will finally take it out without being prompted to do so. Therefore, everybody in the world continues to cram garbage into the current bag until one of two things happen.

1. They have to throw away an empty milk jug and there's no way it's going to fit no matter how much they deflate, fold, contort, or melt it and are therefore forced to remove the garbage themselves.

2. The bag rips.

Situation #1 usually takes place in a huffy fit of violence since it is obviously the fault of any other adult in the house that the garbage has gotten to such a state. In most cases and with most trashcans, a bag that full is next to impossible to remove and results in sad stories like this one.

If situation #2 occurs... someone is probably going to die.


So what is the solution to this conundrum? There will always be trash. I can't afford a maid and I'm the only adult home for most of the day.

Practice "the three R's" a little bit more often?

Get a bigger trashcan?

Get multiple trashcans?

Leave when the trashcan gets full?

I'm sure practical, no-nonsense people like my grandmother and my father-in-law would tell me to just empty the darn thing before it got so full, but I have a better idea.

No. I have a plan. We'll call it "a plan."

I will ask Ye Olde Hubby very nicely to take the trash out. Then, I will cough and clear my throat loudly to get his attention as I jam trash into my full trashcan. Then, I will open the trashcan and discreetly fan the fumes toward him. As a last result, I will set the trashcan on his nightstand.

I will patiently bide my time.

And then in two or three years, my firstborn will be big enough to take the trash out and my husband and I will begin to reap the rewards of bearing offspring.

A truly joyful little nugget of parenthood second only to when he's big enough to mow the yard.

AdiĆ³s, amigos and amigo-ettes.


04 September 2010


Who knew peeing on a stick could arouse such emotions? I laughed and cried standing at my bathroom window.

Later, I listened to "Fire and Rain" as I waited on hold for that plus sign to be confirmed by my doctor.

Later, I presented my parents with a tiny pair of booties with ducks on them.

A few days after, I boohooed in the car a la Holly Hunter in Raising Arizona... "I luvvv heee-yim sooooo muuucchhhh!"

My 5-month-old fetus... or "Festus," as you were lovingly called by my dear friends.


My minutes-old wonder boy.
Still nameless.
"It's a boy," still sinking into my brain.
But already oh so loved.


Our little family with you around 6 months old


At my graduation with you around 8 months old.


Your 1st birthday.
When you were in love with Blue's Clues and saying "mama" over and over and over just because you liked the sound of it.

And then your world changed when you became a big brother.
And you are indeed one of the best big brothers I've ever known anything about.


You turned 2.
You painted a rocket.
And I marveled at your bigness.


Best buds.
Most of the time.


Easter '09 when you broke my heart with your handsomeness.


Party of 4.


And that brings us to now.
You're 3.
You pretend to be Indiana Jones.
You have an imaginary friend/buffalo named Bernie, who sleeps in our bathtub.

And I'm 100% sure that you're too big.
And that I'm just going to have to put a rock on your head.

It's not living if you don't reach for the sky.
I'll have tears as you take off,
But I'll cheer as you fly

I pray that God would fill your heart with dreams
And that faith gives you the courage
To dare to do great things.
I'm here for you whatever this life brings.
So let my love give you roots
And help you find your wings


28 August 2010

5 months

Five long months since I've updated this sad little blog.

I've neglected it.

I've left it sucking its thumb and whimpering in the corner.

And I feel just rotten about it.

General humanity will feel so much better knowing, though, that I have new material in all my pockets and I have every intention to start updating yet again.

Please, please... hold your feverish applause.

And do try to contain your excitement.


17 March 2010


The following is something I wrote with great difficulty a while back. I've struggled with whether or not to share it, but I feel like it's the right thing to do.

The time during which I wrote this is not a time that I'm proud of and it hurts me to admit that Satan came, with my permission, into my mind with such strength and power.

I learned through this one more time that I am nothing and that it's only through God's daily, hourly, minutely, secondly assistance that I'm able to withstand Satan. I was getting just a little too comfortable. Knowing I had it all figured out a little too often. Maybe even feeling a smug about it. And, since I had been ignoring all of the gentle warnings God was gracious enough to give... He lifted His protecting hand from me for a while and let Satan have his way with me.

It was terrifying. I felt like I was 2 people living in one body. Two people who hated each other fiercely.

I have never before in my life been so aware of the reality of spiritual warfare. And I hope to never be so aware of it ever again.

God is so merciful to shield His children from such things.

My hope in posting this very personal experience is that God will be glorified, someone else will be helped, and I will be further humbled in God's service.

I am forever changed by the second chance God gave me through this experience.



If it hadn't been happening right here inside of me, I wouldn't have believed it.

I, who had so recently been preaching contentment and self-denial, found myself longing.

I, who had so recently cast bitter judgement on those who wanted it all – both the spiritual and the temporal, found myself looking at my lavish blessings through narrowed eyes.

I, who had so recently said that I had nothing of importance to tell except the story of a Savior, ached and yearned to tell a story of my own weaving.

The origins of these desires must have harbored themselves within me so long that I put them to bed there, comfortable with the place they lay. Sleeping. Waiting. Monstrously alert to my building weakness.

A stressful day here, a sleepless night there, the general busyness of life laid open a wound in me and at the smell of fresh blood, the monster stirred and woke. Creeping toward my vulnerability and inviting a bait of new thoughts whispered into my consciousness.

Wouldn't it be easier if...

You wouldn't have any more worries if...

Only my own mind could play such cruel tricks, knowing the only things I've wanted most. And now I would be forced to come to terms with one of the shallower, paler of these.

And so my thoughts began down that path, never making it much farther beyond the surface-level shininess of it all. I could taste the thrill of it every tiny possibility. But mingled somewhere in that thrill was a drop of bitterness, something that made me draw back.

The fact that it took me several days to understand the meaning of that bitterness is sickening in and of itself.

One night as I struggled against the lingering heaviness I felt, wondering why among all the people in the world who seem to have it all I should be the one whose conscience had to be incorrectly wired to make it impossible for me.

Oh, it's not impossible.

The words were nearly audible as I lay in my living room floor wrenching sobs from my core, guilt gnawing at my guts.

You can have it all, child.

My ears perked up. Really? I thought.

But at the expense of your family.

There was no vagueness in that whispered message. If I marched onward to the bright lights of my desires, I would be going alone. No one I loved would come with me.

There. It had been made clear to me. All laid out on the line. I crumpled into a more miserable heap and resolved to make a change now that I could see what I would lose.

The next day was better.

The next day it was back.

Would it really be that bad if...

What harm is there in...

It wouldn't hurt anybody if...

And so the war continued.

Wounded and weakened past the point of rescuing myself, I became prey to the creeping shadows of worry and depression that seem to stalk me, waiting for me to stumble. As my worries escalated, so did my fantasies of a different life – an alternate reality I'd created for myself, a place of escape.

The very things you fear could come to fruition, you know. I could take away this life. These things you vowed to hold dear.

No! That's not what I want... please, no! Please don't take me from the ones I love!

Would it be so very different? Taken away by one thing, taken away by another... it's all the same. Your life would be over and those lives around you would be forever scarred.

To that I had no response. There was no argument to counter that.

Utterly beaten by the workings of my own mind.

Riddled with guilt at the wretch I now saw clearly.

And in absolute awe that a God whose name is too sweet, too perfect to rest on human tongues, still called to me.

An hour later found me rocking my baby girl and weeping over her as I considered the mercy that was being offered to me once again at the feet of Jesus. I held her warm body close to mine and knew she and her brother and their daddy were what mattered in my life. My tears, I found, had fallen onto her sweet sleeping face, gently reminding me a final time that my mistakes could become her pain.

And I knew I would do anything, give up anything, forfeit all other dreams and desires... just to spare her pain at my faults.

"I hear the Savior say, 'Thy strength indeed is small. Child of weakness, watch and pray. Find in me thine all in all."

Crisis averted.


01 March 2010

My Salvation Experience

I have never posted this, but after writing it for a Facebook group I belong to (Suffering 4 Christ, started by Michael Carter), I decided I wanted to share it with all my friends.

It's long, but it's my story of how I came from nature to grace. I love how each person's salvation experience is similar but how each one is tailor made specifically for them.

I realize I'm nothing special, but Jesus is and I'm sharing this to glorify Him, not myself. I hope that someone out there reading this will get something from it.


Since Michael first asked for salvation experiences I've been debating back and forth internally on whether or not I was going to share mine. My salvation and the story of God's grace and providence in my life is sweet to me, but so many times I feel like nobody else is interested in hearing it.

That's a shame. And I know that it's only Satan hindering me.

I am very fortunate to have parents who taught me to go to church and to make it my top priority. I was never allowed to miss church for any reason unless I was throwing up or had a significant fever. Old Union Missionary Baptist Church was probably one of the first places I was ever taken as an infant and I've been there for most services ever since. I'm very thankful that my parents formed in me the habit of church-going so that I could later learn what a blessed privilege and necessary part of like it is.

I was aware from a very young age that someday I would be held accountable for my sins and separated from God. And I worried about it quite a bit, afraid that I might not recognize it when it came. When I asked all the usual questions about “but how will I know?” my parents gave me the sage advice that I've heard in so many people's testimonies: “You'll just know.”

I was in 6th grade at Old Union School when one of the other 2 girls in my age group told us that she really wanted to tell us something but that it was personal and she didn't know if she should. We assumed she had a crush on someone, so we bugged her about it nonstop the rest of the week. The following Saturday, the school was preparing food for a local auction as a fundraiser and the other 2 girls and I were playing together in a barn loft there on the property. We were, as usual for the past few days, trying to convince our friend to tell us what was going on. Finally, she caved: “I think I'm lost.”

Well, that certainly wasn't nearly as fun as having a crush on somebody and it hit me head-on at 100 mph. She's younger than me and she's lost, I remember thinking.

I went for a couple of months without telling anyone or doing anything except maybe praying on my own. I don't really remember now. It wasn't until Old Union's fall revival that year that I publicly acknowledged my condition. The same girl who told us she was lost in that barn loft went to the altar for the first time that night. And so did I.

It was the first of many times and I wandered around in that dangerous condition for right around 2 years.

Fast forward...

One night a few months before I turned 14, it was late and I was mad and dramatic, storming around my room, angry with my parents over something that I haven't been able to remember since then. That shows how important it was. I remember I was walking from my bathroom back into the my bedroom and had just reached the corner of my bed when I got the most horrible feeling of dread. I knew I had to pray. I stretched out of across my bed and buried my face in a pillow and cried out to God.

This part is something that I've thought about a whole lot. What did I say? What did I do? What was different that night than all the other times I'd tried to pray? What is the magic formula?

The answer is there's not one. Only God knows the sequence of “events” that takes place in the heart of a sinner when he's saved. We hear about faith and repentance and how those things have to be there for a person to be saved, but it can't really be broken down much farther than that.

I cried a lot of tears during the time that I was lost, but the only thing that I've been able to come up with that was different the night I got saved was that for the first time in all those months, I cried in my heart. I don't remember very many actual words coming from my mouth during the 4 or 5 minutes that I prayed that night, but I do remember it felt different than it ever had before.

Faith and repentance. The ability to truly pray. The phenomenon that a sinful human being can actually pour out their heart in such a way that their pleas reach the throne of God. That a mere mortal's cries are heard by the Son of God Himself and He sees fit to plead our case to His Father.

These are precious gifts from God. And without His assistance in our prayers none of these things would ever occur. No matter how earnest and diligent a person is, he can never manufacture these things on his own. I could have never reached God had He not first drawn me to Him.

Such knowledge is too wonderful for me.

One second I was crying, hurting like I'd never hurt before, and the next second the hurt was gone and I was no longer crying. There were no more tears to be shed. There were no fireworks, the lights weren't brighter, I didn't feel like I was floating up off my bed... there was just stillness. Peace with God.

Well, that's weird, I thought as I got up and started back toward my bathroom. About the time I reached my bathroom door, I stopped in my tracks. Was that it? I asked myself. But no, Satan was right there waiting for that moment of realization, and so for the first of many times I let him steal away my joy... before I had even really had a chance to feel any joy at all. I knew I didn't feel the same as I did before that night, but I still doubted and questioned.

About 2 weeks later, Old Union started its summer revival. Brother H.C. Vanderpool was the pastor and Brother Paul Bryson was assisting. I went to the altar every night, but was noticeably distracted to the point that more than one person asked me what was up. One night near the end of the revival, I had been to the altar and had already gotten up and was sitting in the back of the church when Brother Bryson came back and asked to talk to me.

He too had noticed my distraction and asked me if I had any reason to think I might have been saved. I told him about what happened a couple weeks earlier. He related his salvation experience to me and talked to me a few minutes about what I was feeling and then told me that if I wanted to go pray again that he and everyone else would pray with me.

I stood in the back of the church for a few more minutes leaning against the door frame and thinking it all over and finally decided that maybe I should go pray again. It was late and the few who were left at church gathered around me and the other boy who was on the altar and we had a fairly short prayer. Somewhere during that prayer, the Lord allowed me to feel that peace again. It still wasn't overwhelming and I honestly can't say that I felt 100% sure even then, but I just felt like I needed to say that I'd been saved.

When the prayer ended, I looked up at my mom and just nodded my head. That was the first time I felt joyful for my salvation. Everyone else was rejoicing and I could finally join them. All of the feelings that I'd heard people describing all my life came rushing in and I knew then that I was saved. We left church that night and went directly to Brother Jerry Reynolds and Ann's house so I could tell them. The next night my cousin was saved and the next night she and I and another girl joined the church. We were baptized that Sunday.

I have a doubter's heart and I've struggled with that several times since then, but God has never failed to take me back and show me the surety of what He's done for me.

I'll never know why, but looking back over my life I can see God's hand in so many situations. I've made a lot of mistakes and stupid decisions, but God has always waited for me and welcomed me back into fellowship with Him when I got willing to get over myself and focus on Him.

I don't know how I could face this life without God. It's the only way to die and I wouldn't want to live any other way.


Away to Pemberley


27 February 2010

my new life goal

I've decided that I want to be a figure skater.

No. No, I need to be a figure skater. It's an irrepressible urge. It's like all of my inner life force is drawing me to the ice. The spandex is crying out to me.

I think I've always felt this draw. I remember one of the first times I ever ice skated... there was just something about the way that ice felt against my hind end. The knock of my tailbone against it. The way the spotlights looked from a prone position on the rink.

It's a calling.

It was just as evident the last time I went ice skating. I could tell by the way people stared that they were impressed by my grip on the handrail.


It's gonna take work. It's gonna take dedication. But I know I can do it.

Not really.

Now we all know that I could never do this.

I couldn't even do this wearing very practical and very stretchy pajamas standing firmly flatfooted on my kitchen floor.

Theoretically speaking...



Now this...

This looks like something I could definitely do.

In my kitchen floor or elsewhere.

My dream may never be realized, but just in case... I've devised a game plan.

1) Learn to skate.
2) Shrink about a half-foot.
3) Saw myself in half lengthwise and then lose another 25 pounds.

Until then... I'll just have to sew sequins on my practical pajamas, shine up my kitchen floor, put on my slippery-est socks, and bruise my behind right here in the comfort of my own home.




17 February 2010

hi, my name is megan... and i'm addicted to nail polish

I've had a startling realization about myself.

First of all, I must make a confession:

I bought 5 bottles of nail polish today.

Yes, 5.

Granted, 4 of them were teeny-tiny and in a box together, but still 5.

I'm just sick about it.

But anyway...

When I got home I got out my day's plunder for a quick survey and was quite alarmed to find that one of the colors from the boxed set was remarkably similar to the singleton I'd bought. I knew I had an affinity for pinkish-orangish colors and ye olde hubby is always chiding me for buying the same color over and over... but these 2 bottles really were practically the same color.

Could it be true?

Do I really buy the same color over and over again?

I decided to take inventory... and...

this is what I found...

One, two, three, four, five, six, seven... SEVEN bottles of pinkish-orangish-practically-the-same-color-pink.

Gulp... here goes...

I buy the same color of nail polish over and over again.

It's a sickness.

And I have to be stopped.

Send help immediately.

Only 11 steps to go.


14 February 2010

another barbie story

After yesterday's angry, frothing-at-the-mouth post about the evils of Mattel, how ironic it was when the Kiddo came to me this afternoon and said, "Can I just play Barbies with Daddy?"

Yes, I have a box of my old Barbies tucked away under my son's bed. I brought them with me when I left home, thank you. It had only been like 2 years since I stopped playing with them, after all.

And yes, my son does drag them out and play with them from time to time. He's secure in his manhood.

The weird part of this whole situation was that from the other room, I could tell by the conversation that his father was indeed taking part in the Barbie playing.

Nothing like male bonding.

After a few minutes, my husband yelled for help. I believe his exact words were, "YOU DIDN'T TELL ME YOU WERE GONNA KILL IT!" a la Charlie Brown and the Great Pumpkin, speaking to himself or to no one in particular I guess. I hollered from the kitchen to ask what was going on and he informed me that one of the Barbies heads had come off.

"Oh, no! Which one?" I responded.


More silence.


Sigh... bless him.

I walked back to the Kiddo's room to survey the damage only to find that my husband had completely broken the head off what had been of one of my favorite dolls.

"Awww! You broke Tracy's head off!" I exclaimed.

And then he started laughing.

And he continued to laugh every time I referred to her by her name.

Yes, I named all of my Barbies.

Off the top of my head, other than Tracy I can remember Julia, Cindy, Reese, Becky, Todd, Kenneth (because Ken just wasn't good enough), Michael, and Nixon.

That's right. I named one of my Ken dolls Nixon.

My own little Barbie soap opera population.

And now Tracy... the heroine of every plot, the one every Ken doll had a crush on, and every Barbie and Skipper doll admired...

has been reduced to this...

Ye olde hubby's only explanation was that he was trying to put pants on her because he thought she looked distasteful.

These are the kinds of things that can happen to a girl when she goes around in nothing but a pair of pink hot pants.

After considerable searching, I located her head under my bed alongside of misplaced baseball.

All of this is just further proof that it never pays to dress like a floozy.

You can end up decapitated and disgraced, lying in pieces on someone's bedroom floor while creepy little critters like this one...

run around the house saying, "I BROKE TRACY'S NECK! I BROKE TRACY'S NECK!"

Even though he didn't.

Who knows where his creative streak could come from...

The entertaining part of this story is that, by the end of the night, our entire household was referring to a doll by her first name. And talking about her rather like she was an actual person.

Keep smiling, Tracy...

you may be past your prime, but you went down in a blaze of glory. Under my bed with a baseball.

And finally got the recognition you deserved all along.


13 February 2010

I am not ok with this

Let me begin by saying that I've always sort of rolled my eyes at the people who complain about Barbie giving little girls unrealistic expectations about bodily proportions and that she's killing the self esteem of the female youth of America and blah blah blah...

This has nothing to do with that.

It has everything to do with modesty...

orrrrr the lack thereof.

The family made a trip to ye olde Toys 'r' Us today to take advantage of the Big Trade-in event (and got 25% off of a Sit 'n' Stand stroller, I might add).

P.S. What is it with all the apostrophes in the children/baby product industry. Toys 'r' Us, Sit 'n' Stand... would it really be that big of a deal to add 2 more letters? I don't get it. Anyway.

So we got our stroller and did the obligatory walk through the store. I thought Bebe was probably old enough now to enjoy look at some of the girly stuff on the pink aisle.


Or maybe I just wanted to look at it. Sue me.

And so we were just be-bopping along enjoying our mother-daughter Barbie bonding when I saw this...

Monster cleavage.

Maybe I should do a little product explanation here. This busty babe is Desiree. She is part of the Black Label Barbie collection. She enjoys spin class, white water rafting, and midnight walks on the beach.

And exposing herself.

No. No, no... I don't blame Desiree. Desiree is a hunk of plastic with polyester hair. The problem is Mattel.

Now, if I were to sit down with Mattel and discuss the monster cleavage issue with them (not that that would ever happen since Mattel doesn't know or care about my existence or any issues I have with Desiree's bosom), I'm sure they would say, "The Black Label line is a collector line not intended to be used as toys."

To which I would calmly reply, "Well, Mattel, guess where I met Desiree and most of her anatomy? TOYS 'R' US. A place that sells TOYS. A place frequented by children looking to buy TOYS. TOYS ARE THEM! The name says so!"

Deep healing breath.

I have been ignoring the increasingly curvy, navel-bearing, tattoo wearing, pierced, mini-skirted, bodacious babe that Barbie is these days. And it was relatively easy to ignore until I had a daughter of my own and considered the influence even these seemingly small things (bad word choice?) will have on her.

But the monster cleavage was the last straw.

It's amazing what having children does to one's perspective. I have never been what I would call a prude. I've not always been as modest as I've been shown that I should be. But I want better things for my kids. I don't want them to do stupid things that will hurt them in the long run.

Now I know that there are people who would tell me that wearing certain types of clothing isn't going to be hurtful to my kids. But I'm pretty sure I read somewhere that we're supposed to abstain from all appearance of evil. Meaning if it looks like something a hooker would wear, then I should not wear it.

And I sure don't like the idea of my daughter wearing something that advertises her body as a piece of meat and nothing more than a hunk of flesh to be gawked at and drooled over by an evil world.

Furthermore... my body houses something much more precious than flesh and blood and bones. And I pray my daughter's little body will someday be filled with the presence of God's spirit as well. And that she will adorn herself as a sanctuary for that purpose first and foremost.


All that being said... bear with me as I pen (er, type) a letter to my daughter:

Dear Bebe,

It is not ok to have monster cleavage.

Let me rephrase... it is ok to have monster cleavage, but it should remain under you shirt. Your shirt should have a neck line that in no way approaches your navel. When in doubt, wear a turtle neck.

In the event that you're built like your mother... cleavage may be a word you've heard but don't fully understand. Again with the turtleneck.

I hope you always feel beautiful, but I'm much more interested in your inward purity than in your self esteem.

There will be a man who loves you for your modesty and purity. Not in spite of it.

Be beautiful to God first and He will show your beauty to others.

And please forgive your psychotic mother for using the phrase "monster cleavage" so many times in this blog post and for never buying you another Barbie.

At least until I get over this.


In conclusion, boo, Mattel. Big time boo.


06 February 2010

a list - bridal version (except number 10)

My day consisted of a Bridal Fair with 6 other chicks, lunch with 6 other chicks, and wedding dress shopping with 7 other chicks... we picked up a straggler.

It has left me feeling not only estrogenically charged, but also maybe a tiny bit wiser. Here are some things I learned:

1. How to drive a car with the gauges in the middle of the dashboard. It felt very European. I was tempted to drive on the wrong side of the road, but I thought better of it since I was in someone else's car and there was a pregnant lady riding shotgun.

2. Starbucks 3 times within a 36-hour period is a totally safe thing to do. Except for my waistline and my bank account.

3. Raspberry suckers make your lips blue.

4. The statute of limitations on giftcards intended for other people is apparently right around 2 years. I totally agree with that rule. We should legislate it.

5. If you're the middle person sitting in a group of 5 people, conversation takes extra effort. I was up for it, though, because of all the Starbucks.

6. I've either truly reached adulthood or I just don't have the time/mental capacity to be a jealous chick. Or maybe I just don't care. I'm leaning toward that option.

7. The whole bridal industry has an alarming amount of lingo with which I am not at all familiar and which seems to be 90% French. I'm sure everyone was impressed with my input of things like, "Ooooh, I really like that one with the little bead-y things down on the floofy part and the bunched up stuff up on the boob-ish part!"

8. Lingerie portraiture just seems like a bad idea to me. It's just one feather boa away from being skanky.

9. One word: Elope.

10. Lotion may or may not affect the proper working order of a laptop's touchpad.

Signing off.
So long, Little Joe...


04 February 2010

Written 2 April 2009

I was sifting through my old un-published drafts and happened upon this. Written when I was dangerously pregnant with Le Bebe and none too thrilled about it. I had titled it on making out in public and other things. It's long and rambling and, being unfinished, end abruptly... but maybe it's funny anyway.

I thought it was, at least.


I ventured out to the grocery this afternoon since we were running dangerously low on grape jelly and PB&Js are one of few things that bring me true joy these days. Fortunately for me and due to the intelligence of shopping center builders of yore, Kroger is right next door to K-Mart and I was able waddle on over there to pick up a couple of things for less than the take-out-a-loan prices I'd pay at Kroger.

I should take this opportunity to say that I am not fond of K-Mart. I hear that some towns have really nice and even Target-esque K-Marts, but our town is not so fortunate. Our K-Mart is cluttered and dirty and has hideously dim and most of the time blinking overhead fluorescent lighting. Oh, an the general population of folks who shop at our K-Mart have mullets and beer guts... and the men are worse. I really like some of their bedding and housewares and they have great deals on play clothes and baby supplies, but a trip there leaves me feeling, for lack of a better word, icky. And like I need a couple good doses of Zoloft. So, I don't go there too often.

I'm sad to say that I fit in at K-Mart today. It was going to be a quick trip for a few necessities so I opted out of makeup. I picked out one of 4 things that still fit and are reasonably comfortable but decided against the Bella Band since any additional undergarment was only going to multiply my general irritableness, so yeah, the bellybutton was very presently protruding through the t-shirt. I also donned a cap in hopes of concealing my identity to some extent and a pair of years-old brown flip flops since they matched my shorts and showed off my sexy chipping toenail polish. I was already icky, so I figured K-Mart wasn't going to bring me much lower.

So, I hauled myself out of the car and proceeded to weave my way through the other parked cars. Not an easy task when you yourself are the size of a Smart Car. Which may seem like an okay thing since those little guys are so cute, but, believe me, I left the realm of "cute" back in second-trimester land. Or maybe even first-trimester land. It's all a fog at this point...

But I digress...

I passed in front of a little pick-up truck and for whatever reason glanced up into the cab and there was a couple in there who either really liked each other or were attempting to count one another's fillings. Now, since I've unfortunately taken part in my fair share of public displays of affection, I do not feel like a little church lady shaking my head in true "kids these days" fashion when I say JUST DON'T, OK? I'm not one to tell people to 86 the making out altogether (although it probably isn't the best idea for non-married folk who wish to remain pure), but perhaps K-Mart's parking lot is not an ideal place for it to happen. I fought the urge to stop in front of their truck and draw as much attention to my pregnant belly as possible just to show them what can happen if you don't watch it.

In the end, their display made me pretty uncomfortable (yes, it was that grotesque), so I waddled all the faster on into K-Mart.

Onto other things...

I feel that I have reached that point where pregnancy is turning me into a generally unpleasant person. As I said earlier, I've completely passed the point of cuteness and have entered the realm of scary. I can't even imagine that people are looking at me because they're pondering all the magical-ness of pregnancy and new motherhood. I can only assume they're looking at me and wondering where the nearest heat source is for fear that I could pop. Meanwhile, I find myself having all measures of unpleasant thoughts toward non-pregnant women as well as unnatural urges to run up to other pregnant women, hug them, and weep with reckless abandon. Meanwhile, none of my maternity clothes fit the same as they did when I was pregnant the first time around and quite a few of them don't fit at all... leaving me with the same 4 frumpy, tent-like options each and every time I leave the house. I've also found that I feel very self-conscious in the grocery because I feel like if I even pause in front of anything doughnut or ice cream related that anyone nearby is sniggering at me.


03 February 2010

James 4

My heart is heavy tonight and I can't put my finger on any one reason. It's one of those all-too-common nights where I find myself questioning my own thoughts and words and feelings again and again... and feeling overall like a great big failure.

But still God calls me.

I feel that oh-so-familiar tug at my heart that is equal parts comforting and terrifying.

My immediate response is to pray.

God's calling me to my closet, I thought... but no, I found no comfort there as I often do.

God's calling me to action, I thought... but no, the time is wrong for the things I've had on my heart.

Finally, it hits me... God's calling me to His Word.

This is something that's always troubled me, Bible reading... because of the hugeness of it.

Where do I start? I should have a plan first. I should buy some kind of guided, day-by-day Bible or something...

Interestingly enough, this is the same problem that has plagued my prayer life until recently. I always felt I needed a list, an order of operations, a formula in order to pray. When I finally, at long last, allowed myself to be shown that God will (and does!) indeed teach me to pray each time I approach Him, my prayer life became much less stressful and much more productive (and beautiful and amazing and a host of other positive descriptors).

And so, as I was putting dishes into the dishwasher tonight, my last chore of the day, I contemplated what exactly I would read. My control-freak tendencies taking over as always.

Might as well read up for Wednesday night's service, I decided.

James 4.

That brings me to now.

I sat down on the bed (after scooting Le Bebe over), labeled a page in my steno pad, turned to James 4, and read the section title:

Draw Near to God

And then I proceeded to write all of this because I just had to document it.

It truly is as if the Lord is showing me every day here lately that HE WANTS ME!

I can't understand that part of it, but I'm not about to complain.

Because I want Him, too.

(Written 2 February 2010)


"Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you."


07 January 2010

spring-action things are the devil

Is there some secret alliance that I'm not aware of between toy manufacturers and hair stylists?

Because when something like this...

is supposed to fit into something like this...

...it makes my hair turn gray.

And there must also be a secret alliance between toy manufacturers and defense attorneys.

Because directions like these...

...make me want to commit a violent act against humanity.

This guy in particular:

I hate you, little single-dimensional diagram man.

I really hate you.


05 January 2010

oh the half has never yet been toe-d

Please hold to a minimum any and all comments pertaining to the freakish nature of my toes and/or the fact that I could, if I wanted to, swing from or climb trees. It hurts my feelings.

This was the highlight of my day today.

And when I say highlight, I mean the thing that happened which most made me want to commit some illegal action requiring time served in a penal establishment.

It all started with the trash can. Or, no... wait. It all started with the amount of trash in the trash can. But my family's excessive-trash disorder is another post altogether.

So, the first problem was too much trash in one bag. The second problem was the el cheapo con economisto a la carte trash bags which create an UNREAL, I mean like space capsule to shuttle level suction, amount of suction with the sides of the trash can.

Does NASA use suction to hold those two things together? Are capsule and shuttle even the right words? I have no idea. Space lingo isn't really my thing.

Anyway, after breaking a sweat and attempting to create some amount of leverage with my knee, I went back to a very delicate strategy which I've formulated after many years of research.

I pulled it really, really hard.

Long story short, I pulled, the bag might have budged a little, the trash can came up with it, I got mad and slammed it back down.


...and this is what I got.

It hurts. But I'll be ok. I only considered calling ye olde hubby and telling him off for 5, maybe 10, minutes. Not that it was his fault. Verbal violence just seemed to be a better option.

It's fortunate for the UPS guy that he didn't stop by until later.

I fixed my toe, by the way.

It feels much happier now. Thanks for asking.