Thursday, December 31, 2009

BUG in a MUG??

Hey Hussies....not much time to talk. Daddy's out with the kids on the zip-line he installed-complete with sawing limbs from Magnolia trees-honey, Buford T. is getting to be so handy these days....I'm gonna get him a tool belt and call him Schneider....

So. Are you a BUG in a MUg??
This is not a novel question posed by Sam & me. Rather, my friend, Anne, who has children my age, posed this question during a Bible study last year. Anne happens to be a counselor and teaches a women's Christian formation class at St. Peter's (that's Sunday School for the Baptists, God I miss Baptist vernacular). Anyway, the precise question Anne posed to us during one discussion--WHO tips your mug, when you find yourself a bug-in-the-mug?

In my opinion, the classic bug-in-a-mug is, of course, an adolescent. He or she can't "see" beyond the mug, and their reserve of experiece is limited. See them in your mind, crawling around the bottom of the mug. I see myself as an adolescent bug and I'm cute enough but I have on blue eyedshadow--dreadful! The adolescent depends on others to "TIP" their mug. Parents of course tip the mug but relationships with other people--an aunt, a school counselor, a grandparent, and the experience of going to college and travel all contribute to "TIPPING" the mug....

From time-to-time during motherhood....a woman finds herself in the bottom of the mug again. I see myself and while my eye shadow has changed for the better--no longer blue, but a deep rich metallic gold--I am in the bottom of the mug, in a supine bug leg flailing as if I'm contemplating getting up....But to do what? My bug brain quickly asks (honey, this bug may be down but she is not out). To do what? My daily routine again....and why? Do all my efforts matter....really? Crossing the t's and dotting the i' a bug I ask so many questions of myself my bug-brain almost blows up. Whhhhhhhhhoooooooooaaaaaa!
What's happening???!!!! Hoooooooold oooooooon!!!
My MUG is being TIpppppeeed.......... my friend Heather, and she doesn't even know it. I checked out her blog, "Home With Heather" and I was swept away by the pictures of her family and her obvious efforts during the holiday. What a wonderful person she is. I'm so glad I know her. I thought as I scrolled through her recent posts.
This simple connection I made with Heather today, unknown to her, contributed to an improved perspective. Connecting with another woman who mothers young children.....that bug that I saw in my mind, dejected and supine on the bottom of the mug? She is now planted firmly on the handle of the mug, relaxing in the tree position, wearing her deep rich metallic gold eyeshadow, and ready to ring in the NEW YEAR.
Thanks be to God for friends like Heather!!!! Holla Holla Vixens....

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Christmas (and other) Cheer

Ahhhhh. Let's reflect for a moment on Christmas, and other 'cheer.'

Our family enjoys different traditions that we've come to look forward to each year.
Christmas Eve is spent with John's Dad (Boo) and his wife (Cici). There is a long-standing tradition of the Fareses getting together Christmas Eve, and our children expect to go to Boo & Cici's the day before Christmas! My husband grew up going to his Farese grandparents on Christmas Eve--exchanging gifts with cousins and sharing the anticipation of the most cherished day of the year. I included a photo of our girls at the "little table" Cici always provided! The afternoon of Christmas Day is spent with John's sweet mother and her family. The 'Stannard' side of the family gets together at their compound in Holly Springs [side note: YES, I'm aware my side of the family is missing from our Christmas traditions and I'm slightly bitter, but that's another post!] John's mother and her husband have a beautiful home next to her sister, John's aunt Vicki, and her husband. Vivian & Vicki are MommyDivas from way back--honey, they can do it all. Vivian decks her halls beautifully--I have a 'bit' to live up to! In spite of suffering from breast cancer (and her husband recently recovered from lung cancer) my mother-in-law graciously had us to her home Christmas Day. Thanks be to God for traditions that keep all of us motivated during exceedingly difficult times. Vivian and Smitty have been an inspiration--when the worst comes you live each day with resolve, dignity and as much strength as you can muster.
We always get together and exchange gifts with our dear friends the Tannehills. We do this a few days before Christmas and this year we went to their house....we enjoyed a delicious meal and their home was decorated beautifully. As dear friends do, we always feel at ease with the Tannehills. We have loads of fun together--laughing, talking and catching-up.
We also have a tradition of getting together with our friends the Greens and Callicutts--and the children decorate cookies for Santa. This is really one of our favorite activities during the holiday. The iced cookies are delicious--this year Kate made over 60 cookies for the kids to decorate (we are definitely getting her some help next year) and our barn proved to be an easy place for the kids to get reeeeeealy messy while icing and decorating their Christmas-shaped cookies! I'll get the recipe from her and post....MommyDiva you really MUST work this tradition into your holiday next year...or perhaps Valentine's??

Speaking of Valentine's--my Vixen friends will recall a time when we made cookies in college for our significant others--my pre-cooking days--and my cookies were U-G-L-Y....ahhhhh. They laughed at my cookies. It's true. I remember. And I know those hussies do too! Also, I remember Maria--see her blog at left "Life in the Afternoon" was particularly proud of HER cookies....and I vivdly remember Dr. Ash GLOATING about hers! Someone has photos that document my hell-ish confections. Holla Holla Vixens!! your heart out while viewing our cookies for Santa! Maybe I'll send cookies your way for Valentines....while I'm "writing a letter to the Editor." And maybe Gregg Graham is reading THIS post!!!!!!! LOL.....For those of you who don't know Dr. Ash...she is reeeeeally good at--well, many things but I'm thinking right now of her uncanny ability to distract baseball players during their minor league game.....Honey, it was "Sweet Briar night" at the Lynchburg Red Sox game. Of course, WE were the cutest girls there!!! Honey, the cutest in all of Virginia as far as that goes! Dr. Ash, you MUST meet my friend RT--who also had a penchant for baseball players during college....

I don't mind telling you I feel very Blessed by the friendships I have made through the years--these women keep me sane! My girlfriends, my sister, my mother, my Dad's wife and my in-laws--all women I refer to as MommyDivas--help me stay grounded and navigate the rollercoaster ride of motherhood! (And, of course, my beloved Buford T.)
I wish each of you an AUTHENTIC 2010....honey, it ain't gonna be perfect! But life as a mother is rich and full and glorious....most days. There are f-ing sucks.
So....I wish you an AUTHENTIC 2010...'happy' is blase MommyDivas.
YOU deserve more!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Happy Birthday Buford T....You Shoulda Been a Cowboy!

Happy Birthday to you.....happy birthday to you.....happy birthday dear John....
Happy Birthday to you!!!
I would be remiss if I didn't wish my darling husband happy bday.
It goes without saying that my husband is a rare bird. He is rugged yet sophisticated. His values and character were molded and shaped in a rural Southern town--and don't get me started on his use of a saw, fishing pole and his general all-around resourcefulness, contributing to what I call his "Benton County brawn."
The first time I remember seeing my husband, which was in law school, I was struck by his broad shoulders and impressed with the way he carried himself confidently into class. He was dressed in a navy suit and had a Jansport back-pack casually slung over his shoulder. "WHO--is that?" I spun around and asked my new law-school friend, sitting behind me. "Who?" my friend said with furrowed brow. I remember the urgency in my voice. I could see this man was different. "The guy." I whispered--"you know with the suit, the back pack and the longer hair." As my friend casually looked behind him, and looked back at me, he said, gesturing with his hands, "Who? John Farese?"
As my friend told me the mystery man's name it immediately had a ring --well, to me, it sounded like a rock star "John Fa-rese?" I repeated the name to my friend...."Yea. John Farese. I played basketball with him. He's a good player." And the they history!!!
Other posts could include---riding around Jackson in LA's Caddy trying to spot this new Prince Charming.....unbeknownst to us, he lived a hundred feet from me at The Trace apartments. Ha!

And to think--a few days ago, leading up to Christmas I coldly rebuffed this darling man I call my husband. (Honey--I was as cold as Jack Frost....that's what riding the cotton pony through Christmas will getcha.....NOTTA! but this post ain't about me).

My husband is direct and honest. He does not mince words. John is rarely verbose, yet never at a loss for words. He is strong and protective, yet tender and sensitive. He is a wonderful husband and father. A good friend, brother and cousin. On my husband's birthday I want him to know how very, very special he is.
Thanks be to God I found you in Mississippi!!! Happy birthday honey.
p.s. Happy 40th to our dear friend John M....hope you have a special day, old man!!!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Hi-Ho Hi-Ho, It's Off to Work I Go.....

Hey-Ho. Yes, yes, yes of course I have Christmas on my mind like every other stark-raving-mad-MommyDiva this time of year!!! But I wanted to chat with you about something other than the holidays.

I don't know if I've mentioned on the blog that I'm doing legal work again but....I'm doing legal work again. And I'm excited to feel engaged with my career again! The beginning of this road is a little scary but familiar and very satisfying.

Last week I accompanied hubby to court. I wanted to re-acquaint myself with domestic hearings and I wanted to take the opportunity to re-introduce myself to the Judge--who is a lovely woman and excellant Judge, with FIVE children of her own--a true MommyDiva!!! She is an inspiration.

"All Rise" the bailiff announced, in a loud firm voice. As the Judge walked in, the courtroom full of people came to their feet and I felt a strange comfort....this scene was familiar to me...this was not awkward at all (although my heart raced a little for hubby).....

"Hear ye, hear ye" the bailiff continued, and as I scanned the courtroom full of clients, families, court personnel and lawyers I realized there were no female attorneys. Not one. I counted seven or eight attorneys waiting to be heard, sitting with their court files, watching as the female Judge took the bench. In addition, my husband and counsel-opposite sat at their respective tables ready for the hearing, and their presence equaled nine or ten practicing attorneys in the courtroom--all male. I didn't bring this to hubby's attention, and if I had it wouldn't--it couldn't--have meant the same thing to him that it means to me, or to any woman. And I don't put too much emphasis on this fact, really, except to say that I noticed.

And...maybe the next time I'm in that courtroom there willl be at least one practicing female attorney!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Deer In Headlights!?

You are NOT a deer caught in headlights.....

Hear me hussy!!
You are a MOMMYDIVA....
Finish up now, folks are depending on you!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Photos with Santa...

MommyDivas...have your precious little ones been to visit Santa yet? We made the trip, and have the pics to show for it...although, that is the extent of my holiday preparation....lots of shopping still to do, and ONLY 11 DAYS UNTIL CHRISTMAS!! When put like that...the anxiety starts creeping up...I stll have to get calendars designed for the grandparents, purchase gifts, wrap gifts, mail gifts...oh hell, I'm starting to stress myself out. See ladies, this is what happens when I actually sit down for a moment and think about what is left to do...and, to think I started this post thinking I was on top of my "Christmas game" because my kiddies had visited Santa. What kind of Winter Wonderland am I living in??? One full of fabulous pics with Santa...a beautiful tree full of ornaments collected over the years...absolutely adorable handmade stockings (personalized, of course!)...and all of the additional Christmas trimmings throughout the house...ahhh...feeling much better!!

Wishing many blessings to everyone this holiday season...may each of you experience much joy, peace and magic!!

Until later...cheers, my friends!!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

And She's Off....

WOW...has it already been 11 baby girls is almost 1, and throughout the throws of the holiday season she is learning new things every day. The latest...walking! Now my mornings and evenings are spent behind her taking the Christmas tree ornaments out of her hands and trying to put them back on the tree...a very exciting milestone...but one that has also made me have a couple of glasses of wine in the evening to deal with the new level of madness around the house!

Enjoy the video below of our baby girl's first steps...happy holidays to you all...more to come from the MommyDivas as we venture through another season of jolly good fun!!


Tuesday, December 8, 2009

He's Back!!!

Jingle. Santa's elf.
Our Elf on the Shelf.

If you don't have an elf visiting during're missing some fun!
Although, some of my MommyDiva friends scoff at the little goofy elf.
I understand.
But Jingle's arrival has become a tradition in our home.

Sam & I want to hear about other MommyDiva holiday traditions!! Does Jingle have a cuz hanging out down in St. Simons?? Has Elf on the Shelf made it to Kentucky?? It's our turn to create holiday magic MommyDivas!!!

Speaking of magic.....get your a$$ in front of a fire with your hubby or significant other.....preferably have him build you a fire in the bedroom (or, if you're a real woman like one of my friends you'll build the fire!)....certainly the light of a Christmas tree will provide ambience (ok, this makes me slightly cold thinking of being nude in front of the I'm back to the bedroom).
Pah-leez get your children outta the house--the kind of magic I'm talking about is not for children....and MommyDivas let's be honest.....ain't no real 'magic happenin' when a woman is worried about her children seeing Daddy's ass in the air! Honey, you know it's true. Sometime during the holiday season make time for yourself or for you and your man. Enlist the help of family, in-laws or other MommyDivas! Ho Ho Ho!!!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

MUCH ADO About....

the Reading Fair???
You bet your sweet ass there is!
If your child hasn't participated in a reading fair you are missing out....on many levels.
Planning & executing is memorable but displaying the board is humbling!

We were feeling good as we walked into the daughter selected Fancy Nancy, which is a purrrrfect choice (I applauded her selection) because she is 'fancy' after all.
The perfect book, the perfect personality that goes with the book...all the stars are lining up...

As if I didn't realize how lackluster my own craft skills are.....we have a gymnasium full of posters to remind me!
But this is HER project I remind myself. She did it. And she's supposed to.
Damn there are some crafty elementary school children, I think as I survey the gym.

I scan my daughter's tri-fold board....The sequin fabric applied as a dress to the hand-drawn body....
the title traced in glue and appropriately glittered.....
her handwriting visible on the board so it is adequately 'homemade'......
Just right I conclude.....UNTIL....

a GIANT paper-machie lighthouse is placed on the cardtable next to us.
My daughter's eyes get as big as saucers, as if to say "Mama LOOK at that."
"Ok honey," I avert my eyes, putting the final touches on our table--the lighthouse is like kryptonite--my God, that thing is HUGE.
"Stand in front of the table and let's get a picture," I say to my daughter.
"Maaaa-ma." She kinda rolls her eyes.....WE are worthy I'm thinking.....
"Do we haaaaave to?" She asks. And like a punch in the gut, there it is....she is no longer ecstatic about her project. "Damn lighthouse," I think. "Dont you have anything better to do? Who is it" I'm thinking while smiling through my teeth at my loving daughter. "Just one pic, honey." She complies.

I hold out my hand and she grabs it firmly. "Ok, let's go to class," I tell my daughter.
On the way out we smile at familiar faces--other adults and children we know.
"Well maybe she's still in it. It's possible. If judges like the homemade look." I think to myself.
As we make our way through the crowd of parents, cardtables and tri-fold boards we are pushed into a nice-looking family presumably of Middle-Eastern descent--the mother is casually dressed with a stylish scarf covering her hair.
What catches my eye as we pass this family is the beautiful, green-glittered styrofoam frog on the tri-fold board.....and the Dad's big ear-to-ear grin...
"You gotta be kiddin' me" I think--"they're not even American!"
My daughter and I make our way toward her room and I can't get the sparkling styrofoam frog outta my mind. Seriously. We should get bonus points for being natural-born citizens, I think as I smile, hug my daughter and wave goodbye. "Have a great day, honey."

Yes. I realize the pettiness of my redneck cracker thoughts.....No. I don't think any other family is less deserving....I was raised to judge people on their character, not by the color of their skin. Who am I to say....maybe their family has lived in this country for generations. Maybe their grandparents have served in the U.S. military, and if they haven't maybe they appreciate this country even more than me because they've seen and lived in other parts of the world where freedom of religion and speech are not part of daily life.

Well....that last part is just blasphemy--'cause there ain't NO family more patriotic than mine.
But whose to say....

Wednesday, December 2, 2009


I know she's around.....
I saw her last week at her beautiful home....the hostess with the mostess....

Hello?? Where are you bee-yatch?!?

I know, I know--work. Kids. Husband. More work....

So. Forget the "board room" (air quotes) and "closing deals" (air quotes again) and get your ass back on the blog.....MommyDivas need you!!

What ARE you doing in that office of yours?
If I had an office I would lay down--in my wool suit--on the floor and take a meeting with clients.
Yes, I have an entire house where I can do this....but it's not the same.

Sammy--helloooooo? Are you napping??

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Thanks Willie...

As I walked through our bathroom to the laundry room THIS is what I encountered!
No. Growing up in Kentucky we didn't have lizards....or armadillos.
Yes. I jumped outta my skin when I saw him perched on our counter.
Clearly he (or she) are they asexual? Let's call it a 'he'--honey you know Mama lizard back at the ranch holding down the lizard-hole while this dude is runnin' around exploring. So. He is not that big, however, his presence was unexpected and I let out a shrill. Kids run in--"Mama what is it?" "Get me the broom" I say as I march toward the kitchen to the fetch the broom. The kids can't move quickly enough, I think, gotta do it myself--"Mamie can get it," my youngest declares. That's already crossed my mind. Our housekeeper-she picks them up by the tail and casually pitches him-or her-outside. I tried. I walked toward the lizard and took a deep breath.....and even reached for the long tail. Will his tail drop off? Or is that a chameleon? In my mind, I see myself holding the thin tail and the lizard wildly wriggling toward my wrist.....Nope. Can't do it. So I go for the broom. I hold the broom trying to get the small-minded beast to jump on. He races toward the corner of the mirror. I lay the broom out again, hoping he'll race up it and then I'll run outside....
He scoots to the edge of our counter....and then, incredibly, does a 'hail Mary' jump onto the bathroom floor. "Eeeeek" our children scream and run backwards to our closet. "Get in the shower" one of them screams. I'm stunned by the lizard's jump. Damn. Surely he's dead.
He wiggles around....and I begin sweeping him. If I can get him over the threshold and into the hallwayI think, we're almost outside. I give him a firm whack and he rolls into the hallway. As I scoot pass the door and get my broom ready for the next threshold....there stands our faithful dog Willie. Relief! Willie stands firm and looks at me....he senses tension, I see it in his stance.
I give the lizard a tap, "Look Willie," and Willie knows from the tone of my voice he has a treat. Willie braces his legs and eyeballs the little reptile.....before I can speak he pounces the lizard--I see the lizard wriggling--Willie readjusts his mouth and takes the green little varment outside.
Ahhhhh. Willie. Of course. Why didn't I think of him sooner.
I'm slightly embarrassed that I didn't just pick up the lizard.....what would Ma Ingalls have done? She could do it. My Appalachian ancestors could have picked it up--hell, they might have boiled it up for dinner.
I've been thinking lately about how comfortable life is today. I think of the struggles other generations of Americans have faced. I think of the suffering in other parts of the world. As a society and Nation we don't value the Blessings of freedom, of having plenty of food and shelter. When we're too hot we turn up the air conditioning and if we're too cold we turn up the heat. Gotta give a shout-out to hubby Buford T., who builds an exceptional fire and impresses me as a person who could truly live off the land. Me? I'd be fine, as long as I can bring Willie.
Ma Ingalls had a dog, I reassure myself. That's why pioneers had dogs--for protection and help as much as companionship. I'm not advocating we get a covered wagon, move out West and live in a yert, but I do want to be more intentional about counting my Blessings. Like our faithful dog Willie.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Happy Belated Birthday.....

I refuse to do a post before I wish my older daughter happy belated birthday!!!
This precious girl made me a Mama....and Sammy an An-tie!!

The BLessing of motherhood arrived for me 10 years ago...thanks be to God for our first-born! And thank God Buford T. is considerate and did NOT eat a double cheeseburger in front of his laboring wife who feasted on ice chips.....

Baby girl weighed in at a healthy 8lbs 3oz...and was a textbook delivery.....
She was in no rush to get here (always content with her surroundings!) and arrived precisely 1 week to the day after her due date.

We celebrated her 10th with a birthday tea party last Sunday.....
TWENTY TWEENS joined us to celebrate!!!!

I have my own favorite birthday memories, including:
all-night slumber parties in our recreation room...
seeing Raiders of the Lost Ark on the big screen....
and of course, my 8th birthday when Aunt Paula gave me the Shawn Cassidy 33 and a yellow plastic turntable....also loved the Donna Summer 33 "Last Dance"
thanks to my Mom for plannig and executing these parties and for my Dad who paid for them!!!

Friday, November 13, 2009

She what?!?

Hello MommyDivas...I know it has been a while, and though I have not written in some time...all MommyDivas have been on my mind. In fact, when dealing with each and every "situation" in life, I always tell myself..."I am not alone, my dear MommyDiva friends experience this too!"...and, my friends, that does help get me through the day.

So, as most of you know I have 2 fabulous children...a 5 year old little guy, and a glorious little 10 month old daughter. And, for the past 10 months I have blamed absolutely every single part of my unorganized life to my baby girl not sleeping all night. I hear myself constantly say..."when Anna Grace starts sleeping all night I will ________________ (fill in the blank - start exercising, clean out closets, organize the kids playroom, finish my scrapbooking, keep laundry caught up, make the kids follow a nightly bedtime routine - you name it, I've said it)!! Well folks...she has done it...for almost 3 weeks now...the little one is sleeping all night.

Funny thing is...this is a good thing, I want her to sleep all night...I want to sleep all night for goodness sake. BUT, with her sleeping all night comes the reality of me REALLY following through on all of those things I said I would start doing..."when Anna Grace starts sleeping all night".

OK...well, in 3 weeks I have exercised once...I have only moved piles of paper...I have done better about supper and bedtime rituals...just not to the extent I had thought. What is going to be my excuse now...time?...hell, that is always going to be an excuse. So, I think I am making a, Friday the 13th...I am going to take 1 of the tasks I have "said" I was going to start doing and be committed...what is it, 2 weeks to create a habit?? Therefore, if I stay committed to 1 task for 2 weeks...that should create a habit, and then I can move on to the next task of priority.

This is all great in theory...I just don't know about execution. But, in all honesty, I am a much happier and healthier person when I exercise on a regular basis. So, I think exercise is going to be my first task to attempt to get back on track. Screw routines, laundry, clean closets...Mama wants to look good and feel good...exercise & sweat rolling down my I come!

(FYI...since Anna Grace was not sleeping all night at the time of decorating for fall...I did not get the wonderful Indian corn garland completed like my fabulous sister did, and I have yet to clean out my closet as she, I am throwing in the towel on those challenges that I openly started win sis!)

AND...for those who would like to check out this adorable baby girl that is finally sleeping all night...below is the link to her latest photo session...enjoy!

Until later my dear MommyDiva & hugs!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

God Bless the USA

Jar your brain hussies and rehearse the lyrics:

from the lakes of Minnesota, to the hills of Tennessee [Southerners let out a "Wha-hoooo"]
Across the plains of Texas, from sea to shining sea
From Detroit down to Houston
And New York to L.A.
Well there's pride in every American heart,
and its time we stand to say.
That I'm proud to be an American,
where at least I know I'm free
And I won't forget the men who died
who gave that right to me.

Surely you know the rest. Today, on Veteran's Day, belt it out hussies.
In carpool, at the dinner table at bedtime discuss the importance of this day with your children.
I've been thinking this morning about Roy, Earl, John B. and Bill. Our grandfathers who served in WWII and faced the world's biggest challenge--who gave the ultimate sacrifice and never, ever thought their actions were extraordinary. Their wives, our grandmothers, married, delivered babies, and cared for families all under the threat and cloud of war.
The servicemen and women of our military, and their families, confront different dangers and extremism today but face them with the same unparalleled courage and unwavering resolve as generations prior.
We thank them.
We honor all those who serve and we remember all those who died serving.
Let's talk with our children about the importance of these men and women who serve in the military, and their families who continue to live life in their absence.

Sam and I want to give a special shout out to our James stepbrothers who served in the military, and especially to John who packed a gun on the streets of Baghdad, and his wife Tisha who also served in Iraq.

We want to give another special shout to our dear friends the Tannehills, whose Daddy, Rhea, has been serving in Afghanistan for 11 can go up to our 'Soul Sisters' list and click on thetannehillfamily and check out Robyn and Rhea's website. Robyn is one of my very best friends and I am so proud of the way she held up her precious family while Rhea has been serving in Afghanistan. And of course to Jack Rhea himself--a true patriot. Thanks be to God for men and women like you Rhea!

We also want to give a shout out to the ROTC chapter at Ole Miss. Our brother, Will, serves in the Army ROTC. He and his friends give us faith that the next generation of soldiers will protect and defend this great country with the same honor and courage as those who served before them.

We can't change the world Mommy Divas.
But we can educate & inform our children on meaningful topics like Veteran's Day.

Monday, November 9, 2009

7:00 a.m.

The digital clock in my husband's car (that I loathe) says 8:13. In fact, it reads 9:13 but I know it's actually 8:13 because of the time change, and of course I have no f-ing clue and no interest in changing the time.

So. I really don't even know where to start. But something tells me the beginning.
I'll start at the beginning but first you should know this is unchartered territory for me.
Writing on the computer, that is.

I pulled into my drive...
(side note: my mother just called my home number, "I'm writing my novella, can't talk." I tell her. "Whaaaat??! Mom says in her best that-sounds-like-a-waste-of-time-and-something-your-father would-be-doing voice. I laugh. "Call you back" I say hurriedly. I'm thinking gotta get this down--get 'it' out of my mind to go on with my day. "Byeee." Mom says and I hear the doubt and sarcasm in her voice.)

So. Unchartered territory. Not the writing but actually sitting down at the computer.

I pulled into my drive awhile ago, and I immediately began looking for a pen. I now keep paper in my car so I can record my thoughts. No pen. I look in console--ahhh, the broken $5 Book Fair purple pen....maybe I can put the pen part....and here's the top with all the fun big use. My purse. I pull the top of a pen.....and it's broken too. Fuck. I'm gonna have to walk IN the house. Fine.

I walk in the house and grab a pen. No messages, I glance at our machine. I walk outside and get back into the car.
Ahhhhh. My office. My make-shift office. My 'rolling' office--hah!

My favorite hobby is to sit in my car (or my husband's shitty Lexus) and write. I like sitting in my drive-in this office I have a panaromic view of my yard. Which calms me. Depending on the season, I see shades of green, or even vibrant purple when the red-bud trees are blooming. Today there are piles and piles of brown and gold crunchy leaves.

I'm in the car. Comfortable.
The anticipation of writing--uninterrupted is very satisfying.
I'm relaxed--finally! I reach for my notebook. Open it.....flip thru my recent writings to a blank page..... and at the top of the page write 8:13 a.m.

Hold on hussy, I tell myself. This is 'beautiful mind' style writing.....again. You told yourself NO more. I mean, I know this is heaven--just sitting and recording your thoughts. And you've worked through a ton of smuck but come on.....the blog? Instead of writing this shit in another notebook.....just document it on the computer. That's why you agreed to do the blog. So you'd have an avenue to share and record your thoughts, impressions and all the crazy shit going thru your fucked-up mind.

All true.
Do you know yourself well. Do you listen to yourself, even when you don't want to??
Sometimes I do. And sometimes I don't. This morning I do.

The beginning.
7:00 a.m.
"Can you take them to school?" John asks. Damn, I think. "Sure." I say. I need to get to the office also and finish discovery for his Dad but.....John does a lot and yes, of course I can.

"Get your clothes girls. You're both old enough to pick out your own outfits."
We should be picking them out the night before. I know this. My fault.
"Girls this is why we pick them out the night before," I tell them.
They're not even listening, or maybe they are.

"He wanted to wear his Halloween shirt." John tells me as I survey the shitty outfit he put on our youngest. I kinda roll my eyes. "What?" John takes issue with my eye-roll. "Hell, he wanted to get himself dressed, it's not a big deal." John is making his case. That's the only thing about 2 lawyers....."Whatever." I say shortly.
I'm thinking of all the cute outfits in his drawers. Fuck it. No time. Not this morning.

Just 30 minutes agoI was sitting blissfully in my den--cup of coffee. It was 6:39 am.
Talking with John."This is one of my favorite things to do--have coffee in the morning with you."

And 7:07 am I'm in the middle of a shit-storm.

"I want pancakes." My youngest says. "Mama, you said we would have pancakes."
No time. I think. Hell, I blew that off at 6:36--I had a choice. Get my ass up to make the cakes, or sit for a minute with John.
"Honey, we'll have them tomorrow." I tell him.
"Mama will make them tomorrow, son." John backs me up.

"Come on girls. Frosted Flakes ok?" I hurry them up. They are dressed.
Not a typical outfit. Cute though. My girls usually don't go for the pants with matching top.
Ahhhh, hell no. We gotta mix it up. They both look darling.
Something tells me I have played subtle role in this---after all, their Mama isn't a matchy, simple person either.
Hmmmm. Sorry 'bout your luck girls, I think.
I'm just complicated, I think. Sometimes.

"NO. I not wearin' those." My 3 year old defiantly tells his Daddy.
"Oh yes you are son. You are gonna wear the green ones." Tennis shoes, that is.
My youngest is in the middle of a full-blown meltdown.
My middle child goes over to console him.
"I want the BLUE ones....." he cries.
Our Daddy is being pushed. "Nope. You're wearing these." John slams his foot into the shoe.
More tears.
The girls finished with cereal have moved on. My middle child playing her Nintendo.
"Get off the Nintendo." John says. She doesn't move.
Ahhhh, hell. I think, listening in the kitchen.
He grabs the game, "You are grounded for a week from that thing."
A week? Hell, that's too long, I think. Mama doesn't say a word. Even I know now isn't the time.

7:17 am
Youngest still crying. I walk to car and find his blue tennis shoes.
"Girls, brush your teeth." I tell them.
"Are we gonna be late?" My middle child asks.
"YES!" John responds....."NO" I respond, at the same time.
"You should be leaving now," John says with full authority--like he's the gestapo.
"We're fine." I say.

We have moved onto the BLUE tennis shoes. John has put one shoe on.
"That NOT the right foot......" my son screams. "It hurts me...." More tears.
I walk over with the other BLUE shoe--"honey, yes it is." "NO," he screams.
A boot is laying nearby. "What about the boots?" Anything--for God's sake shut him up.
I know where the other boot is--I found it and washed it. The mat. Also don't forget the sleeping mat in the dryer. And his sleep friend. Kinda wet--the boot. I get the hair dryer.....

"Alright, y'all gotta go. I'm done....just take him. I'm not doing this anymore." John declares.
The boots don't fit. Damn, these kids have the biggest feet I've ever seen.
John's family. They get that from John's family.
"Girls go ahead and get in the car, please." I say.
My youngest in the floor crying. No shoes.
I scoop him up.....take him to the car and put on our seat belts.
Throw his shoes in the floorboard.
Ahhhh. Somehow Mama is the good witch this am. Ahhhhhh. I like it.

My oldest is dropped off without incident. "Do I have soccer tonight?" she asks. "Yes." I say.
Plenty of time, I think. On schedule.
"Honey, have a great day."
Can't do the spanish I think. It's just too much. No spanish lessons after school. But another language is important, I think. I dunno. But her regular schoolwork....and doing the 'select' soccer team. Just can't do it all.

I turn left to take my middle child to school.
"Mama, I have no breakfast." My youngest says from the backseat "Mama I hungry."
Oh shit. He's right. He never ate. GREat. "Ok honey, we'll get you something," I say.

Look at that beautiful yellow tree." I point, as we are stopped to turn down the street.
"When you were 4, you would've said, 'that tree lost its chlorophyll.' " I remind my middle child, who enjoys these stories. She smiles a big toothless grin.

"And," I continue,
(my daughter loves this, and I must rehearse these stories so I don't forget them!)
"you were 4 when you recited the entire Thanksgiving story." "I know Mama."
"In 1620 the Pilgrims left England for a new home" I continue in my best 'drama' voice.
And I'm thinking, this is MY favorite story about her and generally I love the Pilgrims....
"Ohhhh no. Did I just pass your school?!"
Damn. I did.
"Mama, yes you did. You passed my school. What are you gonna do?"
My middle child is distraught.
7:44 am
No way I can circle back around.
"NO ENTRY...." I see the sign as I turn right into the bus-only entrance.
I follow a white jolopy who is pulling up to the sidewalk.
Here come the teachers---waving wildly at us not to stop at the sidewalk.
My children are mortified. "Daddy never does this," she says.
Daddy doesn't give a shit about the Pilgrims either, I think.
I roll down the window. "You gotta park." The woman yells at me. Her face full of disgust.
I pull into a shaded no-parking spot....."Honey, I can't walk you all the way."
"Mama, just walk up here, you HAVE to." I hold her hand tight. We stomp up the sidewalk to the corner of the school...."Bye Mama" she says lovingly. "Bye honey."
Oh God. I see the bus pull up. I see John's Lexus and driver door open....surely he won't get out.
Surely. He's buckled in the car. He wouldn't get out to follow us.

Ok. "Let's go get you a biscuit." I reassure my son.
7:53 TExt from John Door locked. Love you.
My youngest quietly eats the sausage from his biscuit--not great for his tummy, I think. Oh well.
And drinks his milk. "Ahhh. All gone." He says. Damn, he was thirsty.
"I not go to school." he threatens. "Oh. Ms. Anne Fairley has so many fun things planned."
Still hasn't put on his shoes.

We drive up to the school. Ok. He's eaten.
The mat. Fuck. Later, I'll bring the mat later.
I look around for his shoes. The teacher has opened the car door.
"See his shoes, they are..." I'm straining to reach behind me.
"Wait!"- the teacher yells, "You're movin'...."
I look at the dash "R".....
I quickly reach for the gear and attempt to move the gear--my Iphone is stuck behind it....
I push the phone....I feel us rolling backward--I look in the rear-view mirror, shit!
Get the MFer in park, I think---the P, look for "P."
" foot was.....I thought I had put it in park but...." I try and explain.
"No problem," the college-age girl smiles.
Hm-hum. She thinks I'm crazy.
Soooo f-ing cute, well just wait until YOU have kids, a husband and a mortgage, I think.
As I drive off I notice 2 ladies laughing--I know them. I like them both a lot.
They saw me. I've become one of 'those Moms.' The bat-shit crazy ones??
Maybe they are laughing at me. Shit. I'd laugh at me.
I was inches from a full-blown catastrophe.....
What if I'd hit the accelerator on accident when in "R" and smashed the Director who was behind us......
Dear Lord.
I wouldn't of. I didn't. Everything's fine.

Change this Radio Disney shit.
Ahhhhh. Peace. Enjoying the ubiqutous coffee (got me a decaf at Mickey D's).
As I drive home. I smile. I kinda laugh.
I review our crazy morning in my mind. Just life.
My life isn't perfect. God knows I'm not perfect. Sometimes it's just crazy and mixed-up. Life.
You can't even make-up this stuff.....
BLack Eyed Peas come on.... I turn it up....loud. I'm singing, loudly. Snapping my fingers.
Get out of the way!! I almost run over an elderly woman turning into the animal clinic.

I'm so thankful. And grateful. To be at this point in my life. To feel settled.
I'm now on our road.
My neighbor lost her dog a few days ago.
"Dog Found. Thanks, everyone." The sign in her yard reads.
I'm more than comfortable in our community. I'm home.
I pull up our driveway. There are piles and piles of brown and gold leaves.
I think about our community.
My husband. My church friends. My Mom-friends. My girlfriends. My in-laws.
They've given me more than they will ever know.
Freedom to define myself.
Freedom from the control of my parents bitter separation and divorce.
I want to share my experience. I look for a pen. The purple Book Fair pen, it's broken.
I walk into the house to get a pen.
I walk back to the car.
I sit. Looking out the windows of my rolling-office-hah!
There must be others who could benefit from my experiences.
Other people--women--who sometimes feel alone and isolated even in the midst of family and friends. Not all the time but occassionally.
People who carry the burden of grief, loss, rage or bitterness.....whatever the cause.
My heart is so full, I think.
My husband, my family and my friends gave me the love, strength and courage to let go of the bitterness and sadness. And of course, my God.
The day in the courtyard at Everyday Sisters.
I want the world to know 'the peace that passeth all understanding' is available to everyone.
To anyone.
I reach for my notebook.
I write at the top of the page 8:13 am.
Wait. No more 'beautiful mind' writing. I tell myself.
Today, I listened.
Thanks be to God!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Mistletoe Madness...

Are you familiar with Mistletoe Marketplace??
The annual holiday extravaganza
put on by the Junior League of Jackson, Mississippi.

My soul sister, Robyn, and I have a tradition of attending every year. We normally bunk-up with my darling cousin-in-law, Christie Farese, but this year sick kiddies prompted a change of plans. Do you have a tradition where you 'get away' even for a night with a friend?
Mistletoe is the purrrrfect opportunity!

From the fabulously decorated booths...
to the funky & unique clothing, art and gifts available from vendors across the South...

Mistletoe Marketplace
is a fine example that Mississippi women just know how to throw a party.
These girls are NOT messin' around!!

Once you see, you'll agree Mississippi women take CUTE to a new level.
It's just true.
Give Mississippi #1 in putting-on-a-party....
They are inventive and original with decorating, design, advertising & events.

Beware, it's not simply the party atmosphere that's impressive.
The entire 4-day extravaganza is organized & planned with a corporate precision and effectiveness that would make any CEO green with envy.
The League's primary goal of raising funds for charity is accomplished within the confines of a true holiday wonderland....all executed by a group of dedicated Mommy Divas!!!

The girls at Monogram Magic have a booth that looks like my room in heaven! You can find them online at Pop Fizz, a children's store in Jackson is a must-visit.

You never know when traditions will present themselves on this journey of life
but when they do make a committment to keep them....
Robyn & I have, and we both look forward to our annual Mistletoe trip....

Also--try the recently opened restaurant MINT, in Ridgeland's Regency Center.
Any Mommy Diva will LUV the atmosphere-it's moody & hip.
Executive Chef David Farris is a family friend.
You must have the Appalachicola oysters w/bacon & cheese. And the redfish is fab!
We stayed at the Embassy Suites in Ridgeland and it was v. nice (the Hyatt Place at Regency was booked). In addition to our annual TJMax & Marshall's run (Dr. Ash, the ultimate bargain-finder, I thought of you and Leslie) we hit Anthropologie & JCrew at Regency. Whew.

Wanna give a shout out to Buford T. who held down the fort while we were gone!!!
3 kids, carpool, homework and tests, while getting to court & managing his domestic relations clients all by his lonesome....

Buford T. you may qualify as a Mommy Diva....
nah, I like you better as a hot Daddy!!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Birthday Boy....

Happy Birthday to our nephew!!! Today--the 25th-- is his special day.

Our nephew who lives in Nashville--Sammy's little boy. (side note--we have another nephew who has a birthday coming up soon!)

We had a pre-birthday slumber party at Nana's (always fun!)
And birthday breakfast at Nana's.....with his cousins!
In fact, we got to spend the entire weekend with Aunt Sammy and her family. What a treat!
Nana & Big Woo are worn-ass out...but we all LOVED it....

I told our nephew how five years ago, when I got 'the call' from FL that he was on the way, my older daughter and I flew down to meet him. In fact, he'd heard this story before--"Aunt Muffin, YOU came down to see me." Yes we did.

My older daughter, who I took with me (she was just shy of 5 herself!), remembers only that Mama got pulled over on the way to the airport.
"Don't you remember how the beach was covered in shells?" I prod my oldest daughter, as I tell my version of our nephew's birth story. "Papa & Gigi were there, and we met them at the hospital. And stayed in the room next to them in the hotel. And he was such a big, pretty boy." I smile and tell my nephew and his cousins.
"Nahh." My oldest daughter responds matter-of-factly. "Mama, I just remember that police man pulling you over for speeding..... And also, Mama remember you hit that thing in the airport--our car hit that thing...." as she motions over-head.
"Yea." Of course I remember, I think.
I barrelled into one of those "clearance" bars. Obviously, the Birmingham airport was in dire need of renovation at the time--you never actually expect to hit one of those things....

Aside from cherishing the memory of being with my sister to welcome her first-born, and holding my precious nephew when he was just a day-old, want to know my other favorite part of Jonathan's birth story??

When I made the mad-dash to FL Buford T. graciously, and lovingly stayed with our second daughter, who was 2 yrs. 3 mos., at the time.

Upon my return from FL, 3 days and 2 nights later, Buford T. had single-handedly undone months of work and attention.
My second daughter was NO LONGER POTTY-TRAINED and she stuttered.
It's true.

Further, Buford T. suffers from selective memory loss. He can remember the down and yardage in a 1988 football game against rival Magnolia Heights, but honey, don't expect him to remember the scenario I'm describing to you now.
In fact, it's likely that he will vehemently deny the aformentioned predicament.

MommyDivas you know the truth. That's why I love chatting with you.
In fact, you may have had a similar experience.
Mother knows best.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

OMG...I am one speechless MommyDiva!!!

Words cannot even begin to express the variety of emotions I experienced when I saw this video...and, the only words I can possibly come up with right now is...Holy Shit!! Sorry ladies...there isn't anything "pretty" about this...but, if you do not laugh your absolute entire ass off at this then I don't know what kind of MommyDiva you are! Until later...cheers my friends!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Running "Ninety-to-Nothin"

I first heard this particular phrase when I began practicing law.
My divorce client said, "Weez runnin' ninety-to-nothin."
What he meant to convey was that he was in a real hurry.
That he was running crazy.

The same client had a penchant for Southern slang.
To convey his deep and abiding love for another he would say, "I love her to the tenth power." Hmm. Well. We're good at math. You know, Southerners are reeeeealy good at math and some of us like to use our mathematics terminology in other situations.

So. Like my former client, I was runnin' ninety-to-nothin' last week.
(And, I love Buford T. to the tenth power!)

Between football, pumpkin-patch field trips, planning for supper club and general all-Hallow's-eve preperation, I expect to be runnin' ninety-to-nothin' for the next TWO weeks.

In fact, MommyDivas we'll be runnin' ninety-to-nothin' the REST OF THE YEAR!!!
It's true. You know it. I know it. We all know it. Let's make the best of it. Really.

I have NO choice but to put on a happy face....

If I stop to consider that all (let's be fair to Buford T) ok, not all but much of the magic to be made throughout the holiday season, including my precious daughter's 10th birthday tea party, falls squarely on my shoulders....well, when I think of creating all this 'magic' I want to run straight up I-65 to Franklin, KY, and let MY Mama handle all these events.
But I can't.....
Of course, I won't.
That doesn't mean I'm not tempted.
It doesn't mean my own Mama won't have a hand in some of the 'magic' that happens here.
After all, grandparents and family are part of the magic!

No hussies....I'm not Pollyanna.
I know the stresses and pressures motherhood places on us--especially this time of year.
But what other choice do we have? Give up? Hell f-ing no.

Happy faces girls.
We're goin' ninety-to-nothin' --fulfilling all the wonderful, joyful and sometimes painful roles that motherhood presents us.
It's our turn.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Let Them Eat Cake...

This isn't Ms. Ellis' World History class. And I'm not Marie Antoinette.
I could try her "up-do." Would seriously be better than the frizzy, singed-out do I'm sporting these days. (Bangs cut. Sad wave in them. Threw away cheap Conair straightening-iron. And, I need a hot oil treatment--pronto.)

This post isn't about world history.....rather, it's about my failings as a parent.
Yes. I let them eat birthday cake for breakfast.

Listen hussies, I told you I'm worn-out from making decisions for FOUR people everyday.
Thinking, anticipating, planning for FOUR people....Buford T. is on his own. Except when he has to microwave a hot dog--make that thinking and reasoning for FIVE people on a daily basis.

Yes.....I'm aware that my children are young.
Yes.....I'm aware that it takes stamina to raise children.
No. I'm NOT giving up or throwing in the towel......
I simply let them eat cake for breakfast.

We're all out-of-sorts this morning.

Fall break is today. No school. We made plans to go to the zoo and its raining--AGAIN!!!
You people in Seattle (one of my James step-brothers & his wife) get the prize for mental toughness. I didn't mind the first TEN days.....we were very dry. No kidding. Since we have a yard to maintain I now appreciate the benefit of a good soaking rain. HOWEVER. That's been many rainy days and nights ago.

Not to mention our wood steps are slick-as-snot. Sorry. It's true.
I fell last week. With heels on. My son witnessed it. I laid there trying to get attention from my daughters, who were waiting for me in the car. No luck. Typical. Little hussies. "Mama, you ok?" The steps are steep enough to warrant a sympathetic initial reaction. "Yes." I respond meekly. Secretly, I'm hoping they tell their Daddy....that's who I really want the sympathy from.
You know, just a little extra attention for Mama......

"Well, if you're ok... come on." My oldest says impatiently, "We're gonna be late!"
My boy is worried sick about me for the next week. Every time I get near the steps he warns me, "Mama BE careful." "Mama they wet." "Hold my hand Mama...I hep you."

Sorry. I digressed.
In lieu of the zoo we're going skating. I hope. If it's open.......if not, we'll be at Wal-Mart buying all kinds of worthless shi!......

My new trump card is threatening to embarrass them.
I tell my daughters that I might even roller-skate. (Think Y.M.C.A.--honey, this Mama logged many hours skating in the basement under the glow of a disco ball).

"If either of you throw a fit when it's time to leave, I'll embarrass you like you've never seen."I say curtly.
I can't handle a hissy-fit episode by them today. I think. Not with my shitty bangs, dry hair and our foiled plan to the zoo. "Maaaa-ma." They giggle. "What will you do?" I've stumbled upon an effective game. Now that my oldest is old enough to voice, "Don't embarrass me Mama." I reciprocate. "I'll skate backward," I declare. "Caroline can skate backward," my oldest announces. Huh. Not enough, I think. I won't have a scene.
"Well. I'll drop-down and" [**visual--hands in the air, squat, one-leg out, knee bent, and wobble**] "Nooooo. NO." They wave me off, mid-squat. "Maa-ma. No way."
Success. I'm slightly concerned with their over-reaction--did I look THat bad? Probably.
This is why MommyDivas leave the 'skating' to their all costs you must avoid a wipe-out. Permissible to have on skates to help young children but skating backwards, or otherwise, 'performing' is a complete and total embarrassment to yourself and motherhood. Honey, surely you've 'been-there-done-that!"
Mama, you only have permission to engage in such conduct IF you are retaliating.
And then, you better be certain your body will now move in the same way it did when YOU were in the fourth grade. Doubtful.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Where is my "easy" button...??

Ever seen this fabulous red button...ever feel like you need to have one handy to help get from one task to the next?

Hell, I'm thinking I need one attached to my hip to get from one day to the next...from home in the mornings, to dropping off the kids at daycare, to the office, to dealing with office responsibilities (another post within itself), to picking the kids up from daycare, to home for a brief bite to eat (no gourmet meals these days...lucky to get chili and a pb&j), then to the ballpark, back home to get kids in the bed, do some laundry, dishes and finally get in bed yourself only to wake-up and start all over again...seriously?? Yes...seriously!

Well, my friends, that is where I am...actually, that is where I have been for the past couple of weeks...and, I have yet to see the light at the end of the tunnel (not even a glimpse!!), scarce I have been on the blog...and, fortunately sis has kept the posts rolling...this MommyDiva shall return soon with posts and laughs...until then...

Where is my "easy" button??

MommyDiva is Born...or Buh-Bye Soccer Mom, Hello MommyDiva!

No. No. No.
It's not 1971.....
And no, I'm not doing a post on birth stories (later).....
Yet, I'm quite sure a MommyDiva was 'born' today-- a stellar woman having given birth to a precious child!

So. Having given birth to 3 precious children and having exited the legal profession--for a variety of reasons (later)--I was impatient about staying home exclusively and not doing any 'paid work.' Our youngest was 7 months. I had a housekeeper 2 days a week, I think. My oldest in school full-time and the middle at pre-school half-day. I give you this information because it is pertinent to my situation at the time. Until all 3 of my children were in school full-time (8-3) I would not pursue my legal career again.

I decided to pursue something completely different than what I was trained to do.

Hosting trunk shows and selling women's clothing would be exciting and fun. A challenge. I would also get a discount on the clothing. Perfect. I could be at home full-time but be involved in a business venture.

I had to name the new agency. Hmmmmm.

I envisioned my girlfriends (those who live here and those out-of-town), and other women in town who I thought might be interested in the clothes.
Some of these women work. Some stay-home. Some of them have part-time work.
Most of them have children.
They are professionals. They are artists. They are innovators.

"Girls playing dress-up" kept coming to mind. Every woman I know is a 'girl' at heart.
Don't the boys know this? Just like every man is a 'boy' at heart. We are no different.
It's just a matter of peeling back the layers of responsibility and anxiety we face, daily, as mothers.

Somehow 'girls' didn't do my friends and acquaintances justice.
We like to be 'girly.' But we have also faced and survived....lived to tell about and share meaningful life experiences. These women deserve more, I thought. "Girls" isn't enough.

And, it's not about whether you work or stay-home, I concluded.
(MommyWars are OUT!)
It's about mothering our children.
It's about being the very best mother we can be.
It's about maintaining our individuality as women, while mothering. We must.

Soooooooo. MommyDiva.

MommyDiva??? Is that gay sounding?? Who the fu$! cares-I like it.
Mamadiva? No--too southern.
mommydiva? That shi! reminds me of ee cummings.....
Huh. I love it, I thought. Yea. MommyDiva. That's it. That's the name I'll give my new agency.

My friends...childhood, college, law-school, and adult--these women in my life are MommyDivas.
My mother...who continues to mother even though her 2 daughters have children of their own!
My sister...who has children AND is bringing home the bacon AND frying it up in the pan....

There are MommyDivas everywhere.
Single MommyDivas. Married MommyDivas.
MommyDivas of all racial and ethnic backgrounds.

We don't cease to be women with wants, desires and needs when we become mothers.
On the contrary, we should view our individuality as a responsibility to our family and children.
Honey, if Mama ain't happy, nobody is happy.

It's ok to say that mothering is one aspect of my life. Not my entire life.
Do you hear me hussy? It's ok. Do something for yourself. Do something aside from kids.
Claim your individuality MommyDiva!

I remember both parents telling me, you can never know how much a parent loves a child until you have your own. And I understand now. There is no greater reward than motherhood.
And no bigger challenge.....except being a wife.
I don't remember anyone telling me--ever-- how essential maintaing my individuality as a woman is to being an emotionally healthy, effective mother.

WE are the women who now carry the torch of motherhood.....

Buh-by 'soocer Mom.'

Hellooooooooo Mommy Diva!!!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

MommyDiva Goes NUTS.....

This MommyDiva went NUTS yesterday......And I just had to tell you about it!

My little boyfriend was home sick from pre-school.

So. I'm home-again-for the day with my 3 year old son.

Like any good romance my son and I had an extraordinary honeymoon. In fact, the honeymoon with my litle boyfriend, who IS a "mini-me" of my darling hubby, lasted.....gosh, a good 2 1/2 years! Quite a romance. I fell HARD for this little man. You know, the last child (**crossing myself, thank you God for our Blessings but my heart is full**) and after 2 girls--a baby boy. Ahhhhhhh.

I would not have believed, nor would I have wanted to hear, or listen, when girlfriends said "a boy is just different." Alas, they are. But just like any good romance, our 'honeymoon' came to an end. It's bound to happen. The euphoria--the incredible, sensational overwhelming joy, and thrill, that flows from a new romance. So, when he received his first spank-down I declared the honeymoon over and I mourned, a little.

As relationships do, we have entered a bit of a 'dysfunctional stage.'
You know.....I frequently ask my little boyfriend, "Why are you yelling at me?"
Or, I find myself telling my little boyfriend, "You're just rude to me. Ask nicely."
Finally, my daughters will say to me, "Do something Mama. Aren't you going to spank him?"
Normally, yes. But MommyDivas.....I'm tired. And well he's only 39 months old. I mean he's been on this Earth....not very long. So, I give him some breaks.

Yesterday he and I had a fight. Over Lincoln Logs. I was helping him build a house.
"Play wif me Mama," he asks sweetly. Ok. Ok. So we're on the floor and I'm building a stellar cabin. When the devil appears. "NO!" "Not like that Mama." As 3 yr. olds do, he is trying to put the shorter log on the side.....and it doesn't fit......and I try and correct him.....and it just goes down him from there. I get pissed at me--and him--because I'm on the floor 'playing' after all.

Neither of us wants to be home.
He's better. And I want to be in a nice office practicing law somewhere, checking email and drinking coffee.

So. We venture OUTSIDE and go NUTS!!!

Truly. Walking around my yard always calms me down.
My son hops in his miniature Gator.....and collects sticks (doing man's work) "I workin' Mama."
And as we're collecting sticks, he spots an acorn. He laughs a big laugh at the little nut, holding it in his pudgy hand.
"His hat come off, Mama." Yes, it did I think. And I start collecting acorns with him. This collecting becomes a game. "Let's get a bag," I tell him. "Yea." He says excitedly.

And, as we gather acorns I am struck at the beauty and variety of their colors. Ranging from deep a limey green. My favorites are the 'double acorns' and the ones that have a little stem.

I begin to have grandiose ideas......I can make wreaths for all of my windows.
I am Martha--I can do it.

The nuts are still in a pile. I doubt I'll take the time to hot-glue them to anything.
Of course, I'll have to buy a hot-glue gun first.

But getting outside. Collecting acorns.
Just being present in this wide-open world God made.
Prevented this MommyDiva from going NUTS......

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Company's Comin'--MommyDiva Decorating

As I write this the Rebels and Vandy are still playing. While most Rebel fans are focused on the game at-hand, this MommyDiva can't help but plan and think about our company comin' into town for the next 3 home football games! I do love hosting friends and family......

Next week is Alabama and my father (Papa) and his wife (Gigi) are coming in from AZ. The following week is Homecoming--and we have a tradition of attending the parade and visiting with Tupelo friends, and their 3 girls, who are the same ages as our children. The next weekend is the Arkansas game , I think, and my 2 Allen step-brothers are coming to visit my brother Will--and staying in our recently renovated 'barn.'

Soooooooooooo. Let's decorate hussies. Not everyone will have home-grown Native-American Indian corn (courtesy of my step-Dad, who my children affectionately call 'Big Woo') to fashion as garland, but I have faith in you girls that you will indulge in nature's bounty! No kidding. Don't let this glorious season pass without adequately adorning your home with pumpkins, gourds and the like. You're creating memories MommyDiva.....

My sister will be jealous of the corn garland and corn bundles that will welcome Papa & Gigi back East from Arizona. A big thank you to my mother for helping tie the garland....and to my little boyfriend for helping also. No thanks to Buford T. who has little appreciation for corn bundles and garland!!!

Coming soon............pumpkin cheese ball!!!!!!!
Yes, Mississippi has a corner on cute.....

Honey, stop lookin' around, we're the cutest girls here!!!

Holla Holla to my Vixen friends!!!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Dear Lord Baby Jesus

When I am at my wit's end.....
thinking of this "prayer" makes me LAUGH OUT LOUD!!!

Hope this helps YOU avoid a Mommy melt-down.

So Excited I Could Wet My Pants!

I'm so excited I could wet my pants and if I were more computer literate I would share photos, but that will have to wait.


The precipitous for this event was that my mother has been in town.
FYI, the best thing about my family is...we always know where we stand with one another.
The worst thing about my family is...we always know where we stand with one another.
So. The combination of comments by my mother about the state of my inner-most sanctum (i.e. my closet), and the fact that I've been increasingly putting together outfits that are boring and un-original have driven me to ACTION!

My closet has been in shambles. And I've been relying on the same conservative, safe outfit that I wore to host our church newcomer's reception. You know, Worth jeans, Worth v-neck tee and long camel cardigan. Really nice clothes in autumnal colors but I've been feeling drab, kinda like I'm dressed like my mother. Dressing like my mother isn't bad-- she's always had a great sense of style, and a love of clothes and fashion. All the women in my family have a distinct, wonderful sense of style--I'm thinking of my Aunt Paula, my grandmothers and my Dad's wife, Judy. My grandmother Dran gave me a beautiful hand-woven cardigan that she bought in Lisbon in the 70's. I also vividly remember a red plaid pantsuit Dran wore when she worked in my grandfather's law firm. Every time Judy comes to visit us from Scottsdale she looks youthful and stylish. And her hair.....God, her hair looks great. She has a great haircut. Even my in-laws dress with style and flair....honey, you ain't seen nothing till you've walked up on hubby's Aunt Kay standing on the sidewalk in Oxford in what must've been a Chanel suit--big black glasses and cigarette in hand. That girl is hot! And hubby's Granny Farese who, to this day at age 93, shops only at Joseph's in Memphis for her shoes--honey she has no choice, she's a AA for goodness sake.

Lately, I've been stymied by my wreck of a closet!!!

So, I took action. For once in my life I executed. Instead of groping and moaning and talking about what I needed to do, I did it. And honey, it feels great!!!

You'll be happy to know that I was smiling--and about to wet my pants--as I gazed over the rainbow of colors that is my closet.......

Wednesday, September 30, 2009


Some things NEVER change! Like my baby sister acting like a BABY!
For as long as I can remember Sammy has gotten 'her way' by whining, complaining, pouting, fussing, or otherwise playing up her role as 'the baby.'

"Maaaaa-maaaa"-- she would screech.
Muffin did this. Muffin won't let me do this.....Muffin said this......
And my mother, like many mothers, always addressed the oldest child first.
"Muffin, what did you do?" "Muffin, what did you say?" "Muffin, just let her play too."
That Sammy--she always gets her way, I would fume.
They are harder on me, I used to think.

Fast forward 20--okay, 30 years. I now have 2 girls of my own. I see and understand very clearly that Mom wasn't always "taking up for Sam" like I used to think. Rather, Mom expected something different from her older child. I know this because I live this phenomenon everyday. These roles of 'the baby' and 'the boss' are even more exaggerated, I think, when 2 children are the same gender.

"Maaaaaaa-maaaaa." My younger daughter screams.
"She's being mean." "She hit me."
My typical response is directed to my older daughter, "What in the hell are you doin' to her?" "Can't I have a moment of peace in my own house?" I have even uttered the birth order mantra---"Honey, YOU are the oldest. You are supposed to be more mature. Just ignore her."
I tell my older daughter, not hiding or couching the expectation we have of her.

To which my older daughter typically responds, "You always take up for her." Hmmmmmm.
Or, my daughter responds, "You're always on her side." Hmmmmmm.
I know that feeling. I've lived that feeling.

As a parent, I don't intend to 'take up for' either child but sometimes--often--the birth order makes a difference in the expectation we have of our children. I see and understand family dynamics in a new way, as I watch them play-out in our household.

Hell, by the time my third-child gets to elementary school we'll have ZERO expectation--which, of course, is another post!

GYBGPO (get-your-big-girl-panties-on) Sammy!!! LOL.

Wednesday is church-night. No more posts at this time.......tune-in late-night!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

A new "Soul Sister"...

MommyDiva friends...let me introduce you to Anna Grace, my now almost 9 month old baby girl. A dear friend of mine, Amanda Smith, did this video for us...and I thought I would share with everyone. You will also get a small dose of my oldest, Jonathan (a/k/a JP)...his expressions are simply priceless!

I absolutely loved the outcome...Amanda's blog is now listed under our "soul sisters"...feel free to check out more of her work...and, congrats to her on just welcoming a new baby girl to her family in August of this year!

Thanks again Amanda for the fabulous video...I will cherish always!


Saturday, September 26, 2009

Some things NEVER change...take 2 (didn't like the 1st post, came across all wrong after a re-read)!!!

There is something about having a big sister that will absolutely NEVER change...her liking to take control of situations. To this day my big sis "enjoys" advising me on how to handle situations at home, at work, with my kids, and now with the blog. I love her dearly, but from my earliest memories she has always taken control of things we do together...from selling lemonade behind our house during the golf tournament, to the neighborhood olympics, to now with MommyDiva Interchange. Don't get me wrong...I absolutely LOVE the things she has done with the blog...she is very creative and more makes me laugh every time I'm thinking of putting a post out here, she is one step ahead of me...posting again, adding pics again, or editing, in my most loving, sisterly way...I must say, Muffin this isn't the "Muffin show"...and I am now issuing your 2nd nice or your PRIVILEGES WILL BE REVOKED...LOL!!

Something else, a little more personal & frustrating, that still hasn't fat tail...every time I look in the mirror I hope to see one less dice. Maybe this is why I am wanting fall to get her so quickly...fall clothes cover the flaws so much better than spring/summer items. I get so tired of hearing..."but you just had a baby" what...that was almost 9 months ago. What really pisses me off is that my "weight" is a little lower than pre-pregnancy...but my butt is bigger...I know, I know..."things shift with each pregnancy"...that is for the hell with the "shifting". Maybe the root of all this is that I am pissed because I haven't adjusted near as quickly to life with 2 as I did with life with 1...I haven't been able to work out regularly (if hardly at all)...very frustrating!! I keep telling myself..."when the baby starts sleeping all night I'll start working out in the mornings again"...but, will I?? Who knows? That is obviously still to be determined since little bit still isn't sleeping all night...this too shall pass???

Time to get ready for the BBQ...gotta find an outfit to hide the big butt, looks cute and I won't burn up in...the daily dilemmas...until later...cheers!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Sally Foster is a Bitch!!!

You know she is. Just say it. Bless her heart.
We LOVE her but everyone in town knows Sally Foster is a bitch!!!

The fundraising. The Sally Foster fundraising for my children's schools.

Okay, okay. It's not even the fundraising that's difficult. It's beautiful paper to benefit our wonderful public schools, where my children attend. The difficulty is getting 3 children out the door, looking neat & clean, having studied and completed homework the night-before, having fed them breakfast, fed the dog and now the fish, and on this particular morning doing all of this without the help of Buford T. --who is happily playing golf in SC. I'm not even bitter about Buford T's whereabouts-- honey, I worked that out a looooong time ago!

This morning was deadline for oldest daughter's fundraising packet. "Mama, just write the check. I've only sold 11 items." Dam-nation, I think. Surely we've sold more than that--but we haven't and I know it. Ugh. "Ok, ok, whatever." Originally, I told my daughters not to expect their father and me to write a check for the fundraising--they could make the effort to sell this stuff. Except now, I'm re-considering. As I evaluate my next move--I'm getting everyone loaded in the car (including my mother who is in town for a weekend-visit). I'm thinking:

Okay. 7 items sucks, I think. That won't even get her a pen-light. It's MY fault. I never even registered her on-line. But is that MY responsibility for a 4th grader? She's just like her Daddy, she's not going to be aggressive in her sales of this fabulous wrapping paper. It's just not important to her but the PARTY is important. So. Do I hold firm? Not today. Not on this issue.....she's already upset because the skirt she wanted to wear this am wasn't ironed and cleaned. My fault. And, we go to public school, I think. We don't pay tuition so what's the big deal with writing a check and just making a donation. I don't want to punish her for my lack of organization. Her friends are important to her. Being included is important to her. I don't want her to feel left-out because I didn't do my part in helping her reach the goal. So I write the check.
And, HAND MY MOTHER A MINT--she has been incessantly coughing since we got in the car. I can barely think because of her coughing. Good grief. "I didn't take my medicine," she says. Hmmm. Our parents are not old. We seem to be entering a new phase, however, where our parents are having 'health issues.' "Are you disgusted with my coughing?" she asks. I must look impatient. "No, Mom. Is it the COPD?" I ask, as patiently as I can. "Yes," she kinda heaves, "don't smoke." Hell--I'd smoke like a steam-engine if it didn't make me feel so bad, I think.
"Yea Mom, I know." She now pulls out her more coughing.

"By the way honey," I say to my oldest, glancing back at her, almost to her school. "If I'm so mean.....I wouldn't be writing this check. But I love you very much. And I'm feeling like I didn't adequately help you achieve the goal for selling wrapping paper, so I'm making a donation." Silence. She told me earler in the morning I was mean--because I disagreed with her about which skirt to wear.

My frustration isn't about the wrapping paper. In fact, I LOVE the stuff--wrap me up and bury me in all those glitzy supplies! Rather, I envision my children's drawers neat and tidy--but they're not. I envision the fundraising packet at the table on the back door, ready for delivery to school, and it wasn't. I see in my mind the home I desire (all the papers from school and artwork neatly filed away) and I even know the calm voices I want to project in the morning. I will do better. I will make a concerted effort not to procrastinate and put-off the small things. I must.

Wait. And give up blogging with you hussies???!!! Doubtful......

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Tribute to FSHS Class of '89

since graduating from High School......

I've been holding on to these prom photos, just knowing there would be a perfect opportunity to share we are at our Jr. Prom, 1988 and Sr. Prom, 1989. There are notables among us. Mrs. Barfield, who commented on this blog's previous post, was 1989 FSHS Prom Queen.
She is wearing her crown in the photo. BTW, the roses were Stephanie's idea!!

I would be remiss if I didn't point out what a FAB back-drop we provided as Juniors for the 1988 prom. I vividly remember spray painting the silver stars and painstakingly glittering each of them. I remember us getting the ladder and being very precise about placement of the stars so they would hang varying lengths and 'frame' the couple in the photo.
Ahhhhhhhhhh. The perfect Prom back-drop.......

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

"Why me, Lord???"

CAUTION: Tired MommyDiva makes for a rambling post that may not make much at your own risk!!

I don't even know where to begin with this post...the past 48 hours are nothing but an absolute blur...starting with a wonderful "why me, Lord" moment late Sunday night early Monday morning. Anna Grace was up all, and I mean all, night I am walking the floor...we are bouncing, we are rocking, I am humming, I am praying, I am name it, I said it (or at least thought it). I'm thinking... this baby girl is 8 1/2 months old...why in the hell isn't she sleeping all night, what in the world have I done to deserve 8 1/2 months of interrupted sleep? Yep, started given God a lecture...telling Him...I try to live a good life, and this is the thanks I get?...a baby that wakes up every night, multiple times...I can count on 1 hand the number of nights she has slept all night...why am I receiving this "punishment" of sleepless nights?? Then, at 4:30 I decided to just lay in the guest bed and let her crawl all over me...but then it was like a guardian angel was Scott...he must have heard my constant up & down and realized that I needed some, he graciously took the baby girl so I could sleep until 6:15...amazing what an hour & 45 minutes of sleep will do for you!

Actually, it's just enough sleep to function...not necessarily deal with the ongoing corporate BS I walked in on Monday morning! The office...sometimes I just have to say "whatever" when I think about that need for details...just know that in a world where women are climbing the corporate ladder there are individuals...mainly men...that cannot stomach the idea of a female being in a position with more influence than them...much less receive instruction from one (i.e., me)!! And, if they think walking around the office all puffed up like a big ol' bull frog is going to change my, or anyone elses, opinion of them...then, come on now...they are a dumbass!

So...Monday afternoon rolls around...Anna Grace goes to the doctor...she has a sinus infection and a double ear infection. Now, who feels like the ass for getting so frustrated & being impatient with the little one when not sleeping the night before?? That would be me...BUT, with this new diagnosed illness do we really think it is a good time to try to get her to start crying herself to sleep at night...well, my wonderful husband that just rescued me earlier that morning thought this was perfect timing. Seriously, are you kidding me? At 11:30 at night, after the Tylenol has worn off, we are going to start this process of making her cry for "x" amount of minutes to see if she will get herself back to sleep...please, tell me you are joking...please tell me that while I slipped away to use the bathroom you didn't just implement this theory??? You got it...he did...granted, she did go back to sleep after 10 minutes which isn't that long (book says wait 15 minutes before going back in the room) was more of the my mind, starting this process should be done with a healthy child...not one that has a sinus infection and a double ear infection...but, who am I...just her mother?!?

Little sleep last night...same corporate BS today...but, you know everything came full circle while sitting at the doctor's office...I was called in to talk with the doc had been called away b/c a patient had lost her baby at 18 weeks, had to deliver, then had complications after the about an absolutely sobering about wanting to take back all of the shit things I said, and thought, while dealing with the past 48 hours of Anna Grace being reality check...I am so thankful to have these precious children to take care, grumpy I may be, frustrated a bit, but thankful I will always be!

Until later...cheers my friends!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

A-team Van & Game Day in the Grove

Isn't it fun getting a night-out!!! Beware of the danger to over-indulge, I'm familiar with this scenario. So exciting to be with friends and adults, to NOT be barking orders, to be relaxed and remember the woman we were before kiddies.

I love that feeling when you're anticipating a night-out...

Getting dressed, looking forward to being with hubby and friends. I vividly remember getting ready with college friends --the Vixens- for a night-out. Much has changed in my life but the woman inside is still the same. She needs to be fed with friendships and fun. She needs to stop and remember what really makes her laugh--what makes her heart go pitter-pat....and what sets her on fire.

Went out with hubby & friends last night.......and took a new car service in town (highly recommend!) Have a choice of presidential limo, pimp mobile and the A-team van.
This was a no-brainer, we chose the van...

"I'm not sure I ever saw an entire episode of the A-team." I innocently declared to hubby and our friends. "I remember my father loving the show but...."
"What?" My husband interrupted, his face contorted like he was in pain....... "Are you shit!ing me??" I wasn't offended. He and I talk like we're friends......well, we are friends. "While all y'alls favorites were Love Boat and Dallas and whatever else...." Big swig of beer--for effect-- he continues, "Mine was the A-team." Others said A-team was their favorite. One girlfriend concurred with John, and said she and her brother would tune in. Then we talked about Simon & Simon. And somebody said Gerald McRaney could be a real a$$--they'd met him on the coast, and then we referenced Delta Burke, who starred in Designing Women with Franklin, Kentucky's, own Annie Potts!!!

We remembered another show we loved......I've never heard of a person that didn't love this show. And when I watched this video--well, my heart went pitter-pat....!!!

GAME DAY at our house. This means hubby has a one-track mind. Run an errand for me? Depends. If the errand, or success of the errand, is tangentially related to the football game then no prob. Otherwise, hubby--will NOT be going out of his way.....whatever else there is, can wait!! One-track. Focus. I said focus. in--zone in hussies......Are you ready?? Are you ready for football season?

Hubby's one-track mind....all things fall to Mama.....blah blah blah..... And like hunting, golf, or fishing your man, like my man, is bound to submerge himself over the next 4 months. You and your family's emotional well-being are in the hands of 100 20 year-old males. This seems reasonable.

So we have the testosterone-driven football obsessions but leave it to the women of Mississippi to make tail-gating something special. An event. The biggest and best dispaly of Southern hospitality you will find. In fact, Mississippians will agree there have been too many years recently where football was the sideshow--tailgating in The Grove took precedence over the football. Picture this. An ocean of red, white & blue tents. Tents with Ole Miss banners. Tents with the "name" of your tailgating group. The Grove has gone from being a wooded green-spot in the middle of the University of Mississippi campus to a full-blown part of the vernacular-Who do you Grove with? Where do y'all Grove.

When you visit you'll admire the beautifully decorated tables. Topped first with a white tablecloth , or the more informal burlap we use in our tent--which falls to the ground (please hide your cooler underneath, it just ain't fittin to have all that showin')-- and then the red, white & blue toppers. Get out your Hotty Toddy styrofoam cups for the drinks and your blue and red napkins. Don't forget your mum--no table is complete without a centerpiece--paaaa-leez.

It doesn't stop there. I could handle that. Oh no, there's more. Homemade goodies. Yep. Finger foods. Tenderloin and biscuits (you're allowed to use Sister Schubert's). Dips. Crescent rolls stuffed with all manner of goodness, and of course homemade desserts. This is more than one bitch can take. AND, don't forget Mississippi is a land of beauty queens........that's another post.

Enjoy a few photos from our day......and a recipe for lemon squares (from friend Liza M).
Hotty Toddy!!!

Lemon Bars Deluxe:
2 c flour
1/2 c powdered sugar
1 c butter, softened
4 eggs, beaten
2 c sugar
1/2 c lemon juice(can substitute w/lime, I did!)
1/4 c flour
1/2 t banking powder
stir flour and powdered sugar together. cut in butter. press dough into greased 9x13.
Bake 350 for 25-30 min.
combine eggs, sugar, and lemon juice. stir flour and baking powder into egg mixture. pour over baked crust. bake 350 for 25-30 minutes. cool. sprinkle with powdered sugar. cut into bars.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

My Perfect I thought!!

OK...while fumbling around on YouTube I found something that made me laugh my tail off...and, honestly, made me a little envious that I didn't think of this over 10 years ago when planning my "dream wedding"! Don't get me wrong...when Scott & I got engaged in November 1998 I had the or wedding...and, are you was never an option in my mind...I had to have my "dream wedding". So, after 13 months of planning, 8 bridesmaids/groomsmen, all black attire, fresh flowers & greenery (I couldn't imagine having fake flowers at my wedding!!), the handbells, the soloist, limos, dinner, handmade Christmas ornaments as favors, live band, etc...I felt like I had planned and participated in the most perfect Christmas wedding...of course, it was my wedding...there was nothing out there any better...nothing could have made the evening any better...UNTIL I came across these 2 videos. And, my friends...I think these are absolutely fabulous...and, these videos probably provide some insight to all of you reading this as to what "Sam" of these 2 "MommyDivas" is all about...


Until later...cheers!