Friday, July 29, 2011

My Someone

When you love someone
you'll do anything
you'll do all the crazy things that you can't explain

you'll shoot the moon
put out the sun
when you love someone

you'll deny the truth
believe a lie
they'll be times that you'll believe you can really fly
when you love someone

when you love someone
you feel it deep inside
and nothing else could ever change your mind

when you want someone
when you need someone
when you love someone

when you love someone
you'll sacrifice
you'd give it everything you got
and you won't think twice
you'd risk it all
no matter what may come

when you love someone
you'll shoot the moon
put out the sun
when you love someone

July 29, 2000
Eleven years ago, I married MY SOMEONE.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Big Red(neck)

So a few posts back, I mentioned that we bought a new truck. Well, new to us. Seth has been wanting a truck for some time now . . . his OWN truck, not one provided for him by Denbury . . . so he can ride the levee, go to the camp during hunting season, pull a boat. Oh. You didn't realize we have a boat?!? We don't!

It only took him two years (I'm so not lying!) to find a truck that met both his (4-wheel drive, low miles, extended cab) and my criteria (paid for!). I have to say that I am so proud of him for being so patient and honoring our family.

He came home one day in May and announced that he'd found a truck he wanted to buy. Very nonchalantly, I asked him where and what. Beaumont. As in Texas? Really? Really. What's up with that anyway? Why can't we purchase a vehicle in the state in which we live? We bought the Tahoe in Baton Rouge, but we were living in Mississippi at the time! Anyway. Okay. Beaumont. Go ahead. So he tells me that it's a 4-wheel drive, low miles, extended cab, older model. Can we pay for it? Yes, we can. So my next question was, "What's wrong with it?" Nothing.

And then I asked him what color it was. Red. Red?!? At that point, I just dismissed the whole idea. Red. That's what's wrong with it. You see, that's a deal breaker. My husband is very much into color. And a red vehicle is just something he's not in to! When we bought our first car, the Honda, it had to be a certain color. The Tahoe had to be a certain color. So I gave him my condolences, thinking he wouldn't pursue this particular truck any further based on the minor technicality of COLOR.

I was wrong. We sort of haggled over it, mostly with me teasing him about driving around in a red truck. And then he proceeds to tell me that I need to "get ready" because this truck is going to take me back to my roots. He asked me if I was ready to be a redneck again. Now. First of all. I have NEVER been a redneck. I might KNOW a few. I might even be RELATED to some. And I could probably even ACT like one. But a redneck I am not! Besides, he doesn't know a thing about a redneck. You see, we don't have rednecks down here in south Louisiana. We have . . . well, I can't say what they're called. But if you really want to know, message me.

Several minutes later, he produced some pictures of said truck that a friend sent him. It was definitely red. Not redneck though. I'm actually not sure how to describe it . . . there are these really . . . TACKY . . . decals on the back windshield. I wasn't too concerned about those because I figured the first thing he would do is remove them. So I agreed, and we bought the truck. That was Mother's Day weekend. And, for the record, the stickers are still there.
I affectionately call him Big Red. I was going to originally call him Fred, but Big Red just seems more appropriate. Big Red has ridden the levee from Ramah to Sorrel (only if you're from these parts do you really understand the magnitude of that statement!). Big Red has taken us to church. Big Red took us for a ride to Morganza to see the "big water" during all the flooding. And since we sold the Honda, Big Red now resides in the garage.

Yeah, there's nothing more redneck than driving over the Atchafalaya Basin listening to Lafayette's Bayou Boys singing Nuttin But a Couillon (pronounced coo-yohn but not really pronouncing the "n" . . . for all you Georgia peaches) . . .

You ain't nuttin but a couillon.
You ain't never got no shoes on.

Take a listen for yourself! Just don't ask me what half those words are because I have no idea! I'm a redneck, not a couillon! I'm sure all ya'll are just dying to come on down to Louisiana after that little ditty!

Oh, and please don't ask me what a couillon is. The nicest, cleanest way I know to put it is . . . idiot . . . cause with this being a family-friendly blog and all . . . maybe you should just Google it.

Now it was somewhere along in here (after Big Red came home and we had that original conversation) when redneck came up again . . . someone posted a comment on a friend's Facebook wall about the Redneck Gourmet. I thought they were either joking or had coined that phrase for a run-down dump in the middle of nowhere and made my own snippy little comment likewise.

And then Memorial Day weekend arrived. I decided very last minute to take the kids to Georgia for the week. After looking at our summer calendar, I knew that week would probably be the only time we could go before school started again. So we went. But not in Big Red.

That week was the perfect beginning to our summer! I didn't even realize at the time that we were in the midst of record-breaking heat all across the southeast. The thermometer registered over 100 degrees, but I thought it was a mistake. Mason and Hannah Kate spent hours, yes HOURS, everyday on Mimi's waterslide. I'm telling you . . . after this trip, I was so tempted to buy one myself because it's endless fun for the children, and all I had to do was sit under the car port and watch.Rob, Kristi and Jones came over for a Memorial Day cook-out. There's nothing like firing up the grill during summertime.The rest of the week was just as fun. No matter how long we go and stay, there is never enough time to spend with everyone, and we don't always get to visit with everyone we want to visit with. So we usually have to take a trip spending time with folks north of Atlanta and then take the next trip to spend time with folks south of Atlanta. We stayed south this time. I was so very excited to meet up with a dear friend from my college days and her three boys. The oldest is a year older than Mason, and the middle is a year younger than Mason. The youngest is just a few months younger than Hannah Kate. I knew they would enjoy playing together, and I would enjoy adult conversation with my friend.

They live in Fayetteville so I was a little shocked when she asked us to meet them at the park in Senoia.She also mentioned that we'd eat lunch in Senoia afterwards. Again, really? Senoia is maybe 10 minutes from my house, and I passed through there everytime I made the drive back and forth from West Georgia when I was going to college. It's a poke 'n' plum town. You know . . . you poke your head out the window, blink and you'll plum miss it! Besides, I couldn't imagine what in the world there would be to eat in Senoia. I remembered Crooks Grocery, but that was about it.

So we went to Senoia. The children finally warmed up to one another and enjoyed playing together. And then I followed Elaine into "downtown" Senoia. Little did I know that it had been transformed into a quaint little town with lots of charming little shops and antique finds along Main Street. There are even offices and restaurants.A lot of the town has been placed on the National Register of Historic Places. Since 2006, the Historic Senoia Project has been responsible for the renovation and rejuvenation of downtown Senoia. The goal is to maintain the city's early 1900s architectural style. The 2010 Southern Living Idea House was even located in Senoia, and several movies have been filmed in the town, thanks to Riverwood Studios located just outside city limits. And . . . the old Crooks Grocery even got a make-over, too! I just fell in love with the Queen Anne-style United Methodist Church. I would love to see the inside of it one day.

I mentioned that there are several restaurants along Main Street, one of which is . . . you guessed it . . . The Redneck Gourmet! And this is where my sweet friend took us for lunch. You know I had to get some pictures.I even bought a t-shirt, too! Actually, I bought two of them . . . one for Seth! I enjoyed my avocado BLT so much that I even took my Mama back two days later. After all, she'd never experienced the new Senoia either, and did I mention it's only, like, 10 minutes from my house?!? We had time to visit only one of the cute little shops (I came out with a garden bench for my friends' entry porch and a black toile tea set for my music room!), but I'm going to make time during my next trip to Georgia to visit more of the little shops.So if you haven't been to Senoia, you should go!

We invited the Connell cousins over one day for more waterslide fun and a cook-out. There are 16 grands now with another on the way. Here are most of them.We enjoyed visiting with Grandmother . . . . . . and MeMama. MeMama celebrated her 94th birthday in March! I always tell her that she's going to live to be 100. And she always tells me back that she hopes not. And then I tell her that I hope I live as long as she does. And she'll tell me back that she hopes I don't! So that was the beginning of our not-so-redneck summer.

Then again. You might be a redneck if you wear rubber boots with your swimsuit while you're playing in the kiddie pool underneath the back porch. 'Cause around here . . . that's how we roll some days!

Monday, July 25, 2011


I can not believe it has been two months. Two months since Mason graduated Kindergarten. Two months since we stood on the brink of summertime looking forward to the weeks and months ahead. And now here we are . . . a trip to Georgia later, two weeks of VBS later (yes, you read that correctly . . . no, I didn't mean one week . . . TWO weeks of VBS), Mason's birthday later, a week at the beach later . . . and first grade is now less than three weeks away. Summertime is almost over. Well, I guess I now define "summertime" as the time during the summer when Mason doesn't have to go to school. The calendar says summer won't be over until the end of September. And, of course, the sultry summer days in south Louisiana really won't come to an end until October or so. But for me, summertime is almost over.

We went shopping for school supplies and uniforms today. I only pretended to be happy. The truth is I am not. I am not looking forward to first grade. But Mason is. He's just glad he doesn't have to take a nap in first grade!

This week I'll catch you up on our not-so-lazy-days of summertime. I have to be honest. Last year at this time, I over-committed myself, and I was staring up the side of a mountain with what felt like the weight of the world on my shoulders. I knew it. I knew I was responding within God's PERMISSIVE will and not necessarily His perfect will. But instead of acting in obedience, I trudged forward. And only by His grace and His mercy and His forgiveness did I make it through this past year, especially the past three months or so.

About a month ago, I wrote three verses on the memo board in my kitchen.

I've spent so many days feeling like the task is too big . . . feeling like I can't do it . . . feeling like I don't have anymore strength and energy left in my body. And that's when I'm constantly reminded that IT'S NOT ABOUT ME. It's about the ONE WHO IS IN ME. So day by day as I was washing dishes, coming in the door from another day of errands, preparing a meal, carrying a load of laundry to be washed and dried and folded, I would stop and read these verses. It's when I am oh so weak that HE is strong.

So now I'm on the other side of it all. I released the things that were weighing me down, the commitments that God never intended for me to do. I don't necessarily like giving things up, but I've never been more excited about giving some things in particular up that were never meant for me to begin with. After two awfully busy weeks of VBS, Seth, Mason, Hannah Kate and I spent a week at the beach. To be honest, I didn't really want to come back. I wanted to stay. But we're back now, and life has resumed as usual. Seth left this morning and won't be back until Friday. I'm caught up on laundry, and everything is unpacked and in its place, but I still have some major cleaning to do tomorrow. The kids have dentist appointments on Wednesday. Our anniversary is Friday (ELEVEN YEARS!), but Seth will come home and spend the evening with Mason and Hannah Kate while I attend a rehearsal for a wedding I'm playing in on Saturday. Life. As usual.

Last night I was sitting in church as the sermon began. I picked up my Bible and it fell open to a place marked with one of Hannah Kate's ponytail holders. I had obviously put it there for some reason and forgot about it. But I noticed that particular page was marked up quite a bit so I started reading the words I'd underlined no telling how long ago. Nothing with the Lord is ever a coincidence or a mistake. Can I just tell you how these verses were water to my sun-parched, thirsty soul . . .

"Blessed be the LORD, who has given rest to His people Israel, according to all that He promised. There has not failed one word of all His good promise, which He promised through His servant Moses. May the Lord our God be with us, as He was with our fathers. May He not leave us nor forsake us, that He may incline our hearts to Himself, to walk in all His ways, and to keep His commandments and His statutes and His judgments, which He commanded our fathers. And may thse words of mine, with which I have made supplication before the LORD, be near the LORD our God day and night, that He may maintain the cause of His servant and the cause of His people Israel, as each day may require, that all the peoples of the earth may know that the LORD is God; there is no other. Let your heart therefore be loyal to the LORD our God, to walk in His statutes and keep His commandments, as at this day." ~1 Kings 8:56-61

I am so thankful for God's gift of REST.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Happy Birthday, Mason!

Happy Birthday to my most favorite boy in the whole wide world! Mason, you are SIX years old today! Ever since I woke up this morning, I've been thinking about the day you were born. It took 14 hours to get you here, and then my whole life changed.

If I could go back to any time in my life, I would most definitely choose your first year with us. The very idea that we had a son, a baby born from my womb . . . was really beyond my comprehension. I must've been in a daze that first year. The older you get, the farther away we get from the first year of your life, I feel like I remember less and less. Everyday we wake up is another wonderful day with you, and I'm so thankful for the privilege of being your Mommy. While I cherish everyday, sometimes I just want to go back to the days when you fit snugly in my arms, slept in your crib and needed your diaper changed! You are growing up too fast, and it isn't always easy to "let go." I'm very proud of the big boy you have become, and I absolutely can not wait to see what the Lord has planned for your life.

Your favorite subjects in school are science and math. As of right now, you want to be a dentist when you grow up. You've told us that several times during the past year. Your favorite color is blue. You love to play video games, especially the Wii and the DSi you got for your birthday. You are still such a picky eater, but some of your favorite foods are chicken nuggets, oatmeal, quesadillas, hamburgers and turkey and cheese wraps. You just recently started eating pizza, but only cheese pizza without sauce. You still love superheroes. Your favorite place must be at the beach because you ask all the time to go there. You are a home-body, too, and don't care much for shopping and errands and such. You haven't lost any teeth yet, and you are getting quite impatient and keep asking me when you're going to lose a tooth. You love rhyming words and often make up words so they will rhyme.

You are such a good big brother. You call your sister Hannah . . . her name is Hannah KATE. But that's okay. She loves you, and she looks up to you a lot. I'm so proud of the way you take care of her and the way you play so sweetly together. Most of the time. Always remember that she is your best friend!

I love you!