"Be soft. Do not let the world make you hard. Do not let the pain make you hate. Do not let the bitterness steal your sweetness. Take pride that even though the rest of the world may disagree, you still believe it to be a beautiful place."
-- Unknown

Wednesday, April 29, 2009


Weekly writing assignment from Mama Kat: Today I will...

Today I will have a positive attitude. I won’t dwell on the things I cannot change, but rather embrace the things I can.

I will find things to smile about and reasons to laugh.

I will do at least one thing for me.

I will let the people I love know exactly how much they mean to me, for I’ve come to realize that tomorrow is not promised.

Today I will thank God for the many wonderful blessings in my life.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

For you and you and you and you and you...

Okay, I have a confession to make. I’ve been a bit of an award hoarder lately. In fact, I have five that have stacked up over the last month (or longer) that I’ve yet to pass along. So, without further ado, it’s time to spread these around to some deserving bloggers:

First of all, thank you to Missy and Licha for this little blue ribbon:

I’m not sure the word “hottie” really describes me, but I appreciate the gesture! You girls always make me laugh.

Here’s the description of this lovely award:

These blogs are exceedingly charming. These kind bloggers aim to find and be friends. They are not interested in self-aggrandizement. Our hope is that when the ribbons of these prizes are cut, even more friendships are propagated. Please give more attention to these writers. Deliver this award to eight bloggers who must choose eight more and include this cleverly-written text into the body of their award.

Okay, so I’m not going to list eight. I have too many other awards to pass out. But I would like to send this one to:

Kim at The Child: Kim is the beautiful mother of Deaglan. I LOVE reading about her day-to-day life as a mommy. She’s thoughtful, creative and true to herself. Not to mention a wonderfully supportive blog friend.

Next, my cousin Jen honored me with a Say It Forward tribute on her blog. This is supposed to be a shout-out to a fellow blogger who loyally leaves comments on your posts.

I can think of none so loyal as the wonderful Jenners. Not only does she faithfully follow a billion blogs, she leaves thoughtful, often in-depth comments on each one. AND she faithfully responds to the comments you leave her. She’s an honest, hilarious, chocolate-loving, game-playing, not afraid to be who she is kind of woman. And I admire her for it.

This little award was bestowed upon me by the lovely Kim:

It’s supposed to be passed along to a blogger who shows a great attitude on their blog.

Bethany at My Life in Black and White has one of the kindest dispositions of anyone I’ve ever met. She’s sweet, sincere and honestly grateful for all of the blessings she has received in life. She’s currently expecting her first child (a little girl!) and I know she is going to be a wonderful mommy.

Incidentally, Bethany gave me the Kreativ Blogger award last week, prompting me to list seven things I love before I pass the award to another deserving blogger. So, here we go:

Warm, sunshiney days - Thank goodness it’s finally spring in the South! I’m loving the beautiful weather.
Gerber daisies - The bright, happy colors make me smile.
Looking through old photo albums - I love looking back and reminiscing on different times in my life.
Random road trips to the beach - I often get the spontaneous notion to hop in the car and head to Destin for the day. The past several months it’s been too cold to enjoy the beach, so I’ve walked around the shops and indulged in sea food – but now that the weather is nice, I’ll be able to hit the sand and soak up the sun.
My family – I firmly believe that I have the BEST family in the entire world. Sure, we’re often dysfunctional, but we make each other laugh and we support each other though all of life’s trials. To all of you – parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, second cousins, etc… - thank you for making my life a little more interesting and a lot more bearable. I LOVE YOU!

Okay, so that’s only five, but this post is getting ridiculously long and I still have another award to give away. So, for the Kreativ Blogger award, I choose this guy:

Andy at Wild ARS Chase: Andy has to be one of the most creative guys I know. He’s pee-your-pants funny and will blow your mind with some of his regular features. He blogs about everything from infomercials to celebrity gossip and everything in between. And he has mastered the art of using pictures to illustrate a story.

Okay… last one, I promise! Last week, Jenners deemed me “A Blogger’s Best Friend”

The "A Blogger's Best Friend Award" shall be given to your most loyal blog readers. Thus, the award should be given to a follower of yours who takes the time to comment regularly on many of your posts. In addition his or her blog should be creative, funny and always entertaining. Upon receiving this award, pass it along to two fellow bloggers who fit this criteria. Congratulations!

So, who get’s this one?? Drum roll please……

Lacey at Don’t Make Drugs: Lacey has been one of my favorite bloggers for quite some time. She’s is uber funny and definitely fits the “always entertaining” requirement for this award. She just finished school, is in the process of buying a house and loves animals as much as I do. Not only is Lacey hilarious, she’s a loyal commenter on my posts. She always seems to be able to relate to the things I’m going through. I love it. I makes me feel a little less crazy!

So there you have it. Sorry for the incredibly long post… I guess it would be easier to just pass these along as I get them. I promise a much quicker turn-around next time.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Hello again...

Remember me? It's been awhile. I just want to start by saying that I am so very behind on reading your blogs, and I'm sorry. I'd love to say that I'm going to sit here for the next several hours and play catch up, but I'm not going to lie to you like that.

I got home from Mobile last night. I'd been down since Thursday - spending the majority of my time at the hospital with my family. My grandpa is still very sick and continues to be nonresponsive. The neurologist told us that he has slipped into a deep coma, and he's afraid he won't come out of it. I don't think any of us are ready to deal with that possibility yet. We're trying so hard to hold on to hope. But at the same time, I know we need to be prepared to deal with whatever happens. It's just so hard. I pray we will all have the strength we need to get through this.

I was lucky enough to pull baby duty Friday morning so my aunt could go to the hospital with Mama. Her kids are precious. Blaize, her fiery four year old, is hilarious. He has declared me his new best friend. His favorite questions were, "Hey, what you doin?" and "Where that dog?" I had to keep assuring him that Toby was outside. His sister Calleigh, who is a few months shy of two, proved to be quite the little instigator. She would swipe whatever Blaize happened to be holding (a book, the remote, a pillow) then run off, laughing hysterically. Keeping up with them is a full-time job. I have the utmost respect for my aunt and uncle! They must end each day utterly exhausted.

I wish I had taken some new pictures... the best I have to offer are from last August:

And yes, Blaize is always that excited. About everything. And the fact that both of them have their mouths wide open should be a hint that they love to talk. To everyone. All the time. Even strangers. It must run in the family.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

I'll never forget...

Weekly writing assignment from Mama Kat: Why won't you forget? List six true sentences that begin with the words 'I'll never forget...' Then use all six of your sentences in a paragraph, poem, or longer descriptive piece.

I’ll never forget your hands – rough from years of hard work, stained with grease from working on cars. The smell of Lava soap. Hands that provided for your family. Hands that nurtured, loved and occasionally disciplined. Hands that once held me upside down by the ankles and shook me when you thought I was choking on a peppermint. Hands that I held this weekend as I watched you sleep in your hospital bed.

I’ll never forget your voice – loud and authoritative, yet somehow comforting. A voice that takes me back to childhood. A voice that told some of the best stories I’ve ever heard.

I’ll never forget your bookshelves – lined with classic westerns. Tales of cowboys and Indians, great loves and bar fights. I can see you sitting in your chair, absorbed in a story. Always reading.

I’ll never forget your smell – a mixture of aftershave and peppermint. Warm, inviting, familiar.

I’ll never forget your smile – though often absent in pictures, always present when watching your grandchildren. A smile of true joy, delighting in moments with family.

I’ll never forget you – the strongest man I’ve ever known. A man who would go to the ends of the earth for the people he loves. A man who taught me that families stick together, provide for each other and never give up. A generous, selfless, goodhearted man who will forever hold a very special place in my heart.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Not much to report

Thank you all so much for your kind words and prayers yesterday.

So far, not much has changed. They did a CAT scan yesterday and said it didn't appear as though he'd had a stroke, which is good news. However, he still has not been able to wake up, and his pupils are not responding to light. They're supposed to run an EEG today to monitor his brain activity. Hopefully we'll hear something soon.

Edited to add: They neurologist is doing the EEG this morning, and is also doing a lumbar puncture to check for meningitis. We're in day six - still nonresponsive, although the doctor said there has been a slight improvement in his vitals. Doc said it could be days before there are any more improvements - weeks before he's able to leave.

Monday, April 20, 2009

I need a favor, friends

Happy Monday. I hope you all had a good weekend. Mine? Well, mine was rough. I’m afraid I need your prayers again, dear friends.

Early Friday, my granddad was rushed to the hospital as he gasped for breath and his heart rate skyrocketed. My granddad — the strongest man I’ve ever met. A retired Marine with a booming voice and solid body. My granddad, who I’ve never seen sick a single day in my 24 years.

Grandma said that he’d been fighting a cold for awhile, but refused to go to the doctor. By the time he arrived at the hospital, his “cold” had become full-blown pneumonia. He had a lot of fluid on his lungs, which was putting an enormous strain on his heart. They quickly moved him from the ER to the ICU, where he’s currently still hooked to a ventilator, heavily sedated.

They said he appears to be doing better. His heart rate has dropped from the upper 160s to around 95, and his oxygen saturation is back in the 90s, which the nurse said is a good sign.

They pulled him off of the sedative briefly yesterday to see if he could respond to some simple commands. They asked him to squeeze their hands and open his eyes. He could do neither. They think he might have been consciously trying, though. Each time they’d ask him to do something, his heart rate would increase, but nothing else would happen. Maybe it just takes time.

As worried as I am about him, I know that if anybody can beat this, he can. He’s a fighter. He’s stubborn and hardheaded (in the best way possible) and has never been one to give up. I have faith.

Plus, now he has all of you thinking about him and praying for him, too – right? That’s got to count for something.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

From Cheerios to Chicken Tetrazzini

Hebba (aka: JeepGirl) is a fabulous list-maker. I’m serious. She makes lists for everything. I wish I could be that organized! See, I start making a list and somewhere along the way I lose focus or get sidetracked. Not Hebba. That girl is a list champion. One of my favorites is her periodic list of current addictions — and as I’m strapped for something to write about today, I thought it would be a good time to viciously steal kindly borrow her idea. So, without further ado, here are the things I can't get enough of:

Banana Nut Cheerios – Holy cow. These things are amazing! I’ve always been a Cheerios fan, usually gravitating toward Honey Nut, as I love anything with even a hint honey. But these bad boys are delicious. I pack them in zip lock bags for afternoon snacks at work, or grab a cup to munch on when I’m loungin’ round the house. At 100 calories a serving, I could do a lot worse. Plus, aren’t Cheerios good for your heart? Oh, Cheerios, how I love your banana-ie goodness. (Side note: I actually hate bananas, but love all things banana flavored. Oh, and banana pudding… I love that stuff!)

Gatorade Rain – The really light purple colored one. They say it’s “berry” flavored, but it doesn’t really taste like berries to me. Tastes more like cold, refreshing spring rain, flavored with a hint of heaven and caught in a bottle. Ha! Okay, so maybe it’s not really as delicious as heavenly rain -whatever that tastes like- but it’s pretty dang good, if you ask me. (Which you didn’t, so I’ll move on now….) Burt’s Bees Honey Lip Balm – Perfectly moisturizing, without being sticky. Plus it smells like honey. Need I say more?
Victoria’s Secret Sweet Daydream body fragrance – YUM! This stuff smells delectable. It’s a blend of apple, raspberry and vanilla. I keep a thing of body lotion in my bathroom for after-shower use, a tube of hand and body creme in my purse, in case my hands get dry when I’m out and about, and a tub of the body butter at my desk. Excessive? Probably. But the body butter is great for moisturizing your hands without leaving them all greasy, which is good when you’re typing all day. You don’t want a slippery keyboard! Or at least I don’t.
Cupid – Have any of you watched this new show on ABC? Basically, Cupid (you know, the god of love) gets kicked off of Mt. Olympus for making too many casual matches. So, he’s sent into the real world with the task of matching 100 people so he can return to his godly home – oh, and all of the matches have to be “true love," not just random hook-ups. Sappy? Predictable? Unrealistic beyond belief? Yes. But still charming.

Adam Lambert – Look, I know there are a lot of people bad mouthing this guy right now. Saying he’s weird or criticizing his sexual preference. But you know what? The bottom line is that this boy can sing. And not only can he sing, he can put on one heck of a show. He delivers week after week. And if he happens to like boys, well, that’s none of our business. What about Freddie Mercury, from a little band called Queen? Or Elton John? Or Boy George? Or Lance Bass? Or Clay Aiken? Leave him alone and let him entertain us, because he’s doing an amazing job. I’ve watched his last few performances more times than I can count. Love him.

Cooking – I’ve actually cooked two meals this week. That’s a record for me. At my house, leftovers last forever because it’s usually just me. And Toby totally doesn’t appreciate my chicken tetrazzini. Unlike Paul, who recently appeared on the Maury show. He apparently loved someone's chicken tetrazzini. Too bad that someone was his girlfriend's best friend.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

I accept cash, checks and money orders...

Weekly writing assignment from Mama Kat: If I sent you four hundred dollars today what is ONE thing you would spend it on and why? P.S. I want my change.

With the wonderfully warm, beautiful days of summer just around the corner, I can think of one thing in particular that would make my backyard absolutely divine:

What’s that you say? $400 won’t buy me Matthew McConaughey? Not even for a few hours? Well, fine.

I’ll settle for a hammock:

This little piece of pillow-top heaven would make the perfect weekend retreat. I can see myself curled up with my Kindle, soaking up the sun as I read. Or I could put it in the shade and let the warm summer breeze gently rock me into a relaxing, afternoon nap.

And Kat, this comfortable little gem is only $359, so you’ll be getting back a little bit of change, just as you requested. Now, if you’d be so kind as to send me my money.

I’ll be waiting…

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

I have a new friend...

He’s tall, dark and handsome. He has big, soulful eyes. And he’s oh so lovable as he freely passes out big, wet kisses.

Want to know his name?

Well, so do I. Unfortunately he’s been hanging around my yard for a few days without a collar, so I don’t know what to call him, or who he belongs to.

Yes, my new friend is a dog. A beautiful black lab, to be specific – who showed up out of the blue and doesn’t seem to want to leave. And honestly, I’m okay with that.

He first showed up Sunday afternoon – wagging his tail with a big puppy-dog grin on his face. He played with Toby for awhile, then stood on his hind legs, with his front paws resting on my shoulders and proceeded to lick my face. I doubled over laughing, which only brought me down closer to his level – an open invitation for more puppy love.

A little while later, a little boy rode by on a bike with a yellow lab walking beside him, and my friend ran to join them. I assumed he belonged with them.

But when I went to get Toby from the yard last night, I was nearly knocked over as my new friend happily jumped up to greet me. He tried to follow us into the house, and I sadly told him he had to stay outside. Toby walked from the bedroom to the carport door whining for thirty minutes. He’d only pause long enough to look at me expectantly, as though I’d change my mind and let our new friend in.

He doesn’t look to be more than a year old, and he’s been neutered. As far as I can tell, he’s full-blooded lab, which means someone, somewhere has to be missing him.

When I took Toby out this morning, our friend walked lazily from my back yard, where he apparently spent the entire night. That’s when I noticed how hungry he looked. I began wondering if he’d been fed recently. So, of course I promptly went inside, fetched the biggest bowl I could find and filled it with Toby’s small-breed dog food. I wasn’t sure he’d like it, but he gobbled it up in a few, short minutes. I put some water out for him, too. When I left to come to work, my new friend curled up on the carport floor and watched me drive away. I have a feeling he’ll still be there when I get home.

I guess I need to start looking for his owner. He’s far too sweet and beautiful to not have a home. And if I can’t find his home… well, I have been wanting another dog. In fact, I’ve been wanting a lab. And this one just showed up on my doorstep.

In the meantime, any suggestions on how to handle the situation? I feel like I need to put him in my back yard and shut the gate so he doesn’t get hit by a car. We live near a fairly busy highway and I’d hate for something to happen to him. But I don’t want his owners to start looking for him, see him shut up in my yard and think I'm trying to steal him. They’d understand that I was trying to keep him safe, right?

I guess doggie dilemmas are going around these days, huh Diane?

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

100 for my 100th

The wonderful Kim, over at The Child, tagged me to share a little list of things about myself. I think she's getting more than she bargained for! Since today is my 100th post (seriously?!) I decided to shoot for 100 interesting random facts. Brace yourself. We could be here for quite some time.

1) I desperately wish I could sing.
2) You don’t want to hear my try.
3) But I am learning to play the guitar.
4) I’m not doing a very good job.
5) I blame my teacher.
6) And the fact that I haven’t had a lesson in three weeks.
7) I haven’t practiced, either.
8) I’ve always wanted to go sky diving.
9) I’m an adrenaline junkie.
10) But I don’t want to bungee jump.
11) I’m afraid the bungee will break.
12) Or be too long and I’ll splat on the ground.
13) Strangely, I have no problem with parachutes.
14) I believe in coffee.
15) And Dr Pepper.
16) And sweet tea.
17) From the neck up, I look like my daddy.
18) Well, except for the long hair and make-up.
19) Neck down, I’m all Mama.
20) I’m not sure how that combination works for me.
21) Me and my ex are taking things slow, but trying to work things out.
22) I guess you could say we’re back together.
23) I snuck that in as nonchalantly as possible.
24) (I really missed him.)
25) When I was little, I had a Cabbage Patch doll named Ravioli.
26) My pasta obsession is still intact.
27) I really want to go to Italy.
28) Especially Tuscany.
29) I’d probably gain 20 pounds.
30) I actually used my treadmill yesterday.
31) Then I got off and ate chips and salsa.
32) That might be counterproductive.
33) My dog is an idiot.
34) But I love him with all my heart.
35) Even when he eats my socks and throws up on my bed.
36) If I ate my socks, I’d probably throw up, too.
37) I talk to strangers at the grocery store.
38) And pretty much everywhere else I go.
39) Basically, I talk all the time.
40) Mama said one of my first words was “French fry”.
41) And I wonder why I’m not skinny.
42) My backyard currently looks like a jungle.
43) There are random flowers weeds growing everywhere.
44) They’re taller than Toby.
45) My neighbors probably hate me.
46) I plan on doing something about it this weekend.
47) And by “I”, I mean “Kevin.”
48) I don’t own any lawn equipment.
49) I thought that was what landlords were for.
50) I just realized I’m only halfway to 100.
51) I don’t think I’ll make it.
52) Let’s see…
53) My favorite movie is Boondock Saints.
54) Don’t watch it if you’re easily offended by violence or bad language.
55) Do watch it if you have a penchant for hot Irish guys.
56) I want to go to Ireland.
57) But not for the guys.
58) The landscapes look incredible.
59) I’m a self-proclaimed nerd.
60) I’m not that smart, I just like to read.
61) I got an Amazon Kindle for Christmas.
62) I love it so much.
63) I can’t believe they killed off Kutner on House this week.
64) I read that Kal Penn, the actor that played Kutner, quit the show to go work at the White House as a public liaison for Asian-Americans.
65) Ha. From House to the White House…
66) Do any of you watch House?
67) It’s pretty much my favorite show.
68) I watch way too much TV.
69) This list is getting ridiculously long.
70) And I’m bored.
71) So I’m quitting now.
72) Oh, I just remembered….
73) Don’t you hate it when people do that?
74) Like when you try to get off the phone, but the other person just keeps “remembering” something else to say?
75) I do that a lot.
76) Refer to number 39.
77) But seriously…
78) I forgot to tell you something.
79) I’m a huge Alabama football fan.
80) But I’ll watch any sport that’s on TV.
81) I’ve never been a girly girl.
82) The only thing I can do with my hair is “up” or “down.”
83) A full face of makeup takes me about five minutes.
84) I haven’t worn a dress in over two years.
85) And that was to my grandparents’ 50th anniversary party.
86) I’m severely clumsy.
87) I run into door frames on a daily basis.
88) I like to claim I have inner-ear problems that throw off my sense of balance.
89) Honestly, I think I’m just a klutz.
90) I once saw a sticker that said, “Don’t follow in my footsteps – I run into walls.”
91) I should have bought it.
92) I also have a habit of falling down stairs.
93) I broke my tailbone that way.
94) The pain pills they gave me made me loopy.
95) While I was on them, I tripped walking up the steps to my porch.
96) My knees hit the concrete and got all scraped up.
97) My head hit a step and I wound up looking like a unicorn (from the huge knot that formed on my forehead.)
98) I took another pain pill and went to sleep.
99) This has been the most random list of junk.
100) But now it’s over! (Aren’t you glad?)

Monday, April 6, 2009

With age comes... crispy skin and a short attention span

Several things have recently become painfully obvious.

First of all (and most literally painful), my skin is not the same as it used to be. I didn’t realize that it changed as you got older. In my mind, I still have the golden tan skin of my childhood and adolescence. The skin that never burned, but instead continued to grow darker and darker all summer long. In fact, check out this picture of me and my old roommate from last spring:

Notice the tan? That’s after being in the sun one or two times – I think it was April.

Now check out a picture from today – one year later:

See the difference? Notice the pasty-white face and the ridiculously red chest? Ouch. This was after being in the sun for two hours on Saturday at my brother’s baseball game. TWO HOURS people. Not all day. Not even half a day. Two stinkin’ hours and I get THIS. What the heck is going on?! I don’t get it!!

Secondly, I have got to get a hold of my inability to focus on simple tasks. This, too, is getting progressively worse with age. It leaves me scatter-brained and daydreaming when I’m supposed to be diligently working. I’ll sit down to write an article and stare at a blank page for ages. I find myself zoning out when people are talking to me – when I finally snap to, I realize I haven’t heard the last several sentences. I lose stuff all the time. I misplace keys or papers. I walk into rooms and forget what I’ve gone in there for. And it’s not just every now and then. It’s ALL the time. I took an online ADD assessment last week and it told me to seek medical help for my strong ADD tendencies. I don’t know if it’s a serious problem, or if I just need to clear my head and get on the ball, but it seems like the harder I try, the worse the problem becomes. It’s starting to be a pretty significant hindrance at work. I feel like I’m constantly behind.

Next on my list of realizations – I’ve got to start actually using the treadmill that sitting in my guest bedroom. My clothes are getting too tight for comfort. Plus, it’s almost summer, and as of right now, this girl is NOT putting on a swimsuit. If I’m going to be red this summer, I need to at least be skinny and red. As of right now, I’d just look like a big ‘ole tomato. Nobody wants to see that.

Also, I need to figure out where I’m going to live in a couple months. My lease will be up the 1st of July and I haven’t decided what to do. Renew and throw away another year’s worth of rent money? Or try to find a house of my very own? I like that idea, but then there’s the issue of repairs (landlords are handy that way) or trying to sell if I eventually decide to move (there are houses on my street that have been for sell since last summer when I moved here.) I don’t know what to do…

But I’ll have to think about it later. Right now I’m going to go try to focus… wish me luck.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Do yourself a favor...

Okay, I know I've made several references to Sister Hazel over the life of this blog - either through song quotes or while raving about my favorite music... but trust me when I say they deserve every kind word ever written.

I have been so impressed with lead singer Ken Block's dedication to their fans. Several weeks ago, he responded to one of my music posts and today he showed me some love on the Sister Hazel message board by linking my blog post from yesterday. How cool is that? Very cool, my friends. Very cool, indeed.

If you've never listened to their music, do yourself a favor and check 'em out. They're kind of an eclectic blend of alternative, folk and southern rock. Ken's voice is refreshingly unique - it will pull you in and make you crave more. I can literally go days without listening to anything but Sister Hazel or Ken's solo album (which is also fantastic, by the way.) And the lyrics... don't get me started on the lyrics - we'd be here all day! Let me just say I know that there's at least one song you can relate to. The words speak timeless truths, offer bits of inspiration and often tell magnificent stories. You know you're a fan when you can find a song lyric to fit nearly every situation. Or when you find yourself saying, "Oh... that reminds me of this Sister Hazel song..."
So, stop putting it off. Start your Sister Hazel education today. Seriously - start here. Then come back and tell me how much you loved it.

P.S. If you live down here in lower Alabama like me, they're going to be performing at Huntingdon College in Montgomery tomorrow night. I won't be able to make it, but you should definitely go support them. I saw them last year in Troy and they were amazing. :)

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Spinach, anyone?

"By simple definition I'd be scattered. Oh where do I begin? Well I'm stuck within the mortal framework of having to use words... In some regards I'd use the term eclectic -the merging of experience and different points of view. Well I think, I learn, I listen and I sift my way right through. And I'm always the one with fascination." ---Sister Hazel, Sometimes

I've always loved the idea behind this song. It's like someone has asked you who you are and given you a limited amount of space to answer. How would you do it? Where would you begin? What could you possibly say to give someone who's never met you a vague idea of what you're like?

For instance, I could say:

I'm five feet, three inches of music-loving, book-reading, fierce independence.
I call it like I see it, then worry that I've hurt your feelings.
I'm trusting enough to want to believe you, yet jaded enough to have my doubts.
I hold tight to what I believe, but remain fascinated by new ideas.
I'm a firm believer in a soft couch, a warm blanket and a good book.
I'm irrational, impulsive, impatient, and otherwise imperfect in every way. And I'm okay with that.

But no matter how many ways I try to say it, the chorus of the song says it best:
"Mostly I'm just me! "

Or, to steal a line from my favorite sailor, "I yam what I yam, and that's all that I yam."

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Dyslexia of the mouth and other charming traits

This week's writing assignment from Mama Kat: In what ways are you turning into your mother?

Oh. Dear. Lord. To say that Mama and I had a rocky relationship for the majority of my adolescence would be putting it mildly. We screamed, argued, slammed doors and called names. I was sassy, hard-headed, trying and disrespectful. Plus, she was "like, totally overreacting" about everything, right? I didn't understand why she'd get so mad at me for leaving towels on the floor. Or for letting my laundry pile up for a week before taking it all down to the laundry room. Or why it was such a big deal to leave a glass sitting on the table for hours after I was done with it. I mean, she would eventually pick it up anyway. No biggie.

Had you told me that one day I would be just like her, I probably would've rolled my eyes and said, "Uh, whatever." (I was a charming teenager.) Little did I know...

The first time I heard her words fall from my lips, I nearly passed out. I FINALLY got it. I was living with a slob of a roommate and it was wearing on my patience. It seemed like every time I cleaned the house, she'd come through and mess it up. I'd wash dishes, and she'd leave five dirty ones on the counter with food stuck on them. We had a dishwasher. What was the problem?! She'd leave clean dishes in the dishwasher for DAYS if I didn't unload them. It was driving me mad. One day I snapped. I said, "Do you think that this thing just unloads itself?! NO. I do it! Every time!" Then I froze in terror and had a small panic attack when I realized that, not only did I speak my mother's words, but they came out in the exact same tone of voice that she always used when she was frustrated with me. Whoa! When did that happen?

Since then (after five years of various roommates with various degrees of nastiness), I've really come to understand her years of frustration with me. It's exhausting to spend so much time and energy cleaning, then have someone come through and mess it all up in a matter of minutes.

And it's not just the cleaning thing. Oh, no. Our similarities run much deeper. For instance, I also inherited her totally inappropriate sense of humor, which leaves me giggling uncontrollably when I see someone fall down. And her dyslexia of the mouth that makes me say things like "trow slucks" when I really mean "slow trucks." Oh, or what about the ability to invent all new words, like "expressionful," when I really mean "expressive." Yep. I got that too. The goods just keep coming.

But you know what? I've come to realize that being like Mama isn't such a bad thing. In fact, I'd be pretty proud if someone compared me to her. Know why? Because, despite all of our past bickering, I've discovered that Mama is a pretty cool person. She's strong and funny and completely unafraid to say what she thinks. She stands up for what she thinks is right and does things her own way. And she's not afraid to laugh at herself. I like that.

So all in all, I might be turning into my mom in some ways - but that's okay. Things could be worse. I could still be a moody teenager who rolls her eyes and says, "Whatever."