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 position....my 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's....as 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..........

Today....by 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!!
And...eat 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 moments...it 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 rest....as they say...is 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!?


TEN DAYS.
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 months...my 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!!

Cheers!

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 Christmas...you'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 tree....so 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 school....my 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

WHERE in the WORLD is SAMMY??

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....
WE MISS YOU. I MISS YOUR VOICE Sammy.

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 nap.....in-between 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??