Twenty years ago, today, I was 19, engaged, and living with Big D. We were ten days away from our wedding.
Twenty years and two months ago, we had not even started planning our wedding. I had finally had enough of my dad's wife and her shenanigans. I was tired of my dad trying to keep peace. I was tired. Big D was tired of me being upset so for the hundredth time, he suggested I just move out and I could stay with him. That day, I took him up on his offer.
I don't regret that decision. However, I regret rushing. I abruptly decided that we should be married in November. Luckily, my best friend talked me out of that. But she only bought a month. I then decided that we should be married New Year's Day. The preacher couldn't do it that day, so New Year's Eve became the date.
I was the least interested bride there has ever been, I think. I bought my dress out of the JCPenney's catalog. I tried it on once, at home, and determined it fit. I then never tried it on again until the wedding day. Music? I have to pick out music? Whatever the pianist wants to play.
The flowers. Oh, the flowers. I was home for Thanksgiving and went flower shopping with my mom & grandmother. I think they were both pretty fed up with me. We walked into the shop and I noticed these dried roses. For some reason, they spoke to me. So I decided that those are what I wanted.
Yes, my friends, I carried DEAD roses down the aisle. My maid of honor carried dead roses. And the groom & best man had dead roses for their boutonnieres. I laugh at myself now. But, at the time, I thought that was pretty cool. I'm surprised my mom & grandmother didn't say anything. Maybe they were happy I made a decision or that I wasn't being expensive. Who knows?!
The only thing I knew I wanted was a photographer. Of course, we couldn't afford that. My mom's cousin took the pics and he did a good job. My favorite co-worker made my wedding cake and hat.
Nineteen years, eleven months, and twenty-one days ago, somehow, it all came together without any help from me. My dress was a tad big, we didn't know how to secure my hat to my hair. I was married by the man who also baptized me in the church I grew up in. It was three hours away from where I currently lived so mainly the only guests were my grandparents friends. I had some family in attendance. Big D had none. We didn't care.
Oh, and how did the Cinderella fairy tale end? Well, when my dad returned home from the wedding, his wife had moved out. He is much happier now. Has a wonderful wife of 13 years.
Big D & I haven't always lived Happily Ever After but I can't imagine living this life without him. It's been the ride of our lives!
Big D and I received towels as a wedding gift and never bought another one until about a year ago. And then we only bought a couple. We really need some new towels.
So this year as we were shopping on Black Friday, we bought some more. But, here's the deal. I want some that I can wrap around my wet hair. Why do they not make that size anymore? It stinks.
I have to wrap a huge towel around my head. Oh well, I guess it prepares me for that huge, heavy headdress when I'm a Vegas Showgirl.
That's what I'm talking about on 11/28/2009
I have noticed over the past ten years or so that I have started a tradition. It's one that Bear doesn't really care for.
That's about the time when I started cooking Thanksgiving dinner myself. I don't like to cook. And that requires a whole lot of cooking.
So, the few days before the holiday, I cook a meal that can be left-overed (lovely word I just made up) until Thanksgiving. Less cooking for me and it makes the meal that much more yummy when we eat it.
Bear hates it because it usually involves spaghetti or chili. Two meals that he can not stand.
Strange boy. Some may argue that he has a strange mama, too.
That's what I'm talking about on 11/24/2009
My goodness. I've been quiet. I need to do better about that.
Part of the reason has been spent being a chauffeur for my rising star. Lamb performed in her first high school stage production.
And Lamb's BFF came to see her. I think Lamb was happier about that than having her family come watch. Unfortunately, my camera was acting up so my shots aren't clear. :( I think the joy is pretty evident, blurry or not.
All in all, I just can not wait to see Lamb on stage again. I love it so much!
Next up? Seeing her BFF in her stage production of "Metamorphoses" this coming weekend. It's going to be good!
That's what I'm talking about on 11/11/2009
Bear went to his very first official school dance. He just went. He had no idea which of his friend would be there. He just wanted to hang out, mingle, and dance, baby!The boy loves to dance and to pose, so he wanted to let ya'll in on some of his moves.
He wanted to do the Michael Jackson crotch grab, but changed his mind when I told him it'd cost him $50.
That's what I'm talking about on 10/25/2009
I want to talk about this boy. And maybe your boy, too.
I am in the midst of finding a new doctor for Bear. I will never again take him to the one he's had since we've moved here. We all talk about girls' self esteem. But, I think, at times, we forget that boys are just as prone to self doubt as girls.
I am going through that right now. Back to the pediatrician. She messed with my mind. When Bear was a baby, we moved here. We had to leave our beloved pediatrician behind. Try as I might, he just wouldn't move with us. Not knowing anyone, it was luck of the draw.
On our first visit, she mentioned that Bear did not get his height gene from his dad. And she would mention that several times throughout the years. I come from brothers who are well over 6 feet tall. Big D is 6'1". I just assumed Bear would be over six feet. As soon as those words came out of her mouth, I started obsessing. I would compare Bear to other children. I would constantly check his height against that archaic curve chart.
I lost sight of the fact that he was healthy. That he was growing. That he was happy. As soon as I got over myself, I realized that no matter his size, he has a lot going for him. I started noticing that while he's certainly not taller than anyone, he is not, by any means, abnormally short either.
All was right in my world. Then, it happened. We took Bear to the doctor to have his spine checked out for scoliosis. And I'll be danged if the doctor didn't make a comment about his size IN FRONT OF BEAR.
Bear is smart, clever, handsome, charismatic, charming, and everything good. But, sadly, he's also like me. He's a worrier. He takes things to heart. He obsesses. And this doctor sparked something in him that he really hadn't paid attention to before then.
What I used to do, he started doing. The first week of intermediate was rough because he felt so small. He was unable to see that he is right there in the pack. He focused on praying that he'll at least be 5'10". Silly things. Because, again, size does not matter. But, in our society, a tall man gets noticed. Girls, generally speaking, want a man taller than they are.
Then a God thing happened. And I will forever love God for many reasons, but this is right up there. Bear was measured at school. Right now, at age 12, he's three inches shorter at 4'9" than I am. His growth has yet to even begin. And, the kicker. Big D was looking at his passport he had when he was five. It listed his height as 3'8". A couple of days later, Bear found the baseball card of his first year, age 5, in little league. It also listed his height. 3'7". Oh, the joy on his face when he saw that he was only an inch shorter than his daddy at the same age.
I'm not sure how accurate either height was at the time. But, my lips are firmly sealed. And I keep reiterating all Bear's positive attributes. And, how, even if he's only a little bit taller than me, he'll be perfect in God's eyes and some sweet thang's eyes. He'll grow up to be amazing. And I'm going to make sure he believes it in himself.
Who said it's harder to raise girls???
That's what I'm talking about on 10/12/2009
I love to eat lunch with friends. I used to lament over the fact that by working, I never get to go out to eat with my non-working friends. Then I realized that yeah, I may not be eating yummy food. But, I am eating outside of home and with some ladies who I truly enjoy their company. My partners in crime, my co workers. We vent, we talk, we laugh, and sometimes we cry. It just never lasts nearly long enough!
I do still get together for lunch with the friends I first met when we moved here. Moving to a new place is one of the hardest and scariest things I've done. Once you are an adult, it's hard to make friends. I was a stay at home mom with two very young kids. It was quite lonely. Then Lamb started school.
Her best friend was a demanding sort of girl and she always demanded to her mom that Lamb be invited over. They also used to go to the parks. By these invitations, her mom & I became good friends. Then, the following year, we met another mom.
We would hang out waiting for the bell to let the kids out of school and talk. Then, slowly, the kids started to move on to the next level of their education. First, the twin daughters. Then, Lamb and the daughter of one friend and the son of the other. Bear was next to move on. Now, there is only the youngest son of my friend left.
While one of the ladies and I keep in better contact with each other, the moms have also moved on. The three of us didn't all have kids at the school anymore. I started working full time at the school. One friend started working full time at a library. The kaleidoscope turned.
Even though the three of us don't have that daily connection (& except for Lamb and one of the boys, the kids aren't friends with each other), we try to get together for lunch at least once a season on the weekends. Our families know not to expect us for hours. We met just a couple of weekends ago and sat in the restaurant for 3 hours. We couldn't believe how fast time flew while we sat there and caught up with each other.
I wish we could see each other more often. But, I am thankful that we make time for each other when we can. And I am thankful for the two of them!
That's what I'm talking about on 10/05/2009
And I'm well aware that breast cancer in families has to start with someone and that someone could be me.
October is Breast Cancer Awareness month. Ladies, please check your breasts. Get those annual mammograms if it's time. And click the link to help fund those who can't afford one. It's worth double this month. :)
Images courtesy of Google Images
That's what I'm talking about on 10/04/2009
My zoo consists of Tyler J. Woofington III, Professor Fluffykins, and Mr. Squeakers. It's a fun place to visit filled with lots of crazy antics. Some fun, some not so fun.
However, we received a notice from our vet informing us that since Ty is now a senior canine citizen, he now needs a more specialized visit. What? A senior canine citizen???? Then we started to notice little things. Our protector has slowly turned into an old man. He still has a lot of years left, but it is obvious that he isn't the spry pup he once was. :(
My zoo. I wouldn't trade any of them and would add more if we had the room, money, & time to raise a new baby!
That's what I'm talking about on 10/03/2009
This marked Lamb's first Homecoming Dance and Bear's first baseball game of the season. Lamb did not go with a date, but with a group of friends. We were so proud of her for going. Usually, she only goes places if her bestie is going, too. However, they go to different high schools so that was not an option. It really made us happy that she decided to go. She even went to the movies with one of the girls!
Another thing that pleased us is that she did not require a new dress. Sure, she could have used one. I would have loved to have been able to buy her a new one. But, the timing wasn't right. And she never even asked. She dug in her closet and found a dress she felt would work. Yay, Lamb!
Bear had a great game. The thing I like about Fall Ball is that Bear is able to shine. I'm not sure why it doesn't happen in the Spring. Maybe it's because there aren't as many boys playing in the fall so the competition isn't as intense? Who knows... He is the lead off batter which is great for his self confidence! He's used to being on the bottom of the rotation. He made contact with the ball every at bat. Unfortunately, he got left on base. But, hey! At least he was on base. He even got to play his old position of 2nd base. Hello, my friend, it's been awhile. :)
May I just say it was miserably hot? I really didn't enjoy sitting out there. And, how bad a mama am I for being ecstatic that practice got rained out today?
Yeah, that's what I thought.
That's what I'm talking about on 9/28/2009
It's funny how life works out. It was so important a few months ago for Big D to have a position with daytime hours. We thought it would make him so much happier and make our family a better well-oiled machine.
So, if you remember, Big D took a position he didn't really want. The thought being it would lead to the position he really wanted. Then the recession hit.
Big D works for a national company. They have never been in danger of bankruptcy, but they also wanted to make sure they would never come close. Every one in the company had to take a pay cut. Raises, bonuses and extra benefits were gone. And the position Big D sought was cut (no one lost their job, just no one was hired to replace or new hire).
Here Big D is stuck in a job he hates. A job with daytime hours that doesn't really help. He works 45 miles from home. And if you know anything about Houston traffic, you know to double & sometimes triple that for travel time. He leaves the house at 6am and gets home, if he's lucky, at 6pm. In bed by 9pm.
In short, it's not all it was hoped to be.
But now he has the opportunity to go back to his original position. A job he truly enjoyed but couldn't stand the hours. However, this position is under a different company umbrella. They have their raises and 401k back. Right now, struggling with his pay cut, that sounds pretty sweet.
Not to mention the fact that he'd be available to transport Bear to school and Lamb home from school, and all those pesky appointments that crop up with kids.
Yeah, Big D is going back to nights. Sigh.
That's what I'm talking about on 9/22/2009
The news of his being came on the heels of a miscarriage. When I was 12 weeks along, I was in a car accident. And he has brought drama to my life ever since. His birth was even filled with drama. I didn't think I was truly in labor when I went to the hospital. Imagine my surprise to find out I was already 9½cms along. He was ready to be born. Big D calls him his little football because the doctor literally caught him like a football. Drama and more drama.
He came into the world with an oral fixation. He needed his pacifier. And, as we forced him to outgrow it, he replaced his need with words and noises.
Even though I "complain" about his loudness, I wouldn't trade those words and noises for anything in this world. Because some of those words and noises are the sweetest, most caring, and thought provoking sounds to my ears.
He is 12 years old today. My how the years have flown by. Years where he has taught me patience, the glory in getting things done today rather than tomorrow, and the capacity to love another human being as much as I love his sister.
I didn't think that was possible. And it wasn't, at first. But, as Bear lived day by day, he captured my heart. He is a persistent creature! A demanding creature! ;)
So much drama in the last 12 years. And they have been the best 12 years of my life! I am so lucky to get to be with him and his sister every single day.
Happy Birthday to my Bear!
That's what I'm talking about on 9/18/2009
In the past few months, we have lost someone iconic from my childhood, Farrah Fawcett, my teenhood, Michael Jackson, and now my young adulthood. RIP Patrick Swayze. He fought a long, hard battle but is at peace now.
I look forward to the day I can introduce Dirty Dancing, Ghost, and some other movies to Lamb.
That's what I'm talking about on 9/14/2009
Neither hurricanes-that-weren't nor hurricanes-that-were got in the way of Bear's birthday baseball game. For that, we are very thankful.
It was a great day for a baseball game. My mom generously purchased field level seats right on the 1st base line. Awesome!
For Bear's special dinner, we had Extreme Hot Dogs. Bear is eating a Texas Most Wanted dog. It comes with barbeque brisket, onion, and pickles. He opted to forgo the onions and pickles. I had the Cincinnati dog with chili, cheese, and onions. Big D had a Coney Island dog with chili, onions, and mustard. Chili and mustard? Lamb and my mom also had the Texas one.
So when my mom found out it was coming to Houston, she knew that the three of us would have to go. I must say, that this was probably the most interesting one so far. Before the show "Vince Fontaine" came out and sang, danced, and did some audience interaction. Fun!
When we saw Grease in NYC, Taylor Hicks had to leave before the show was over. He pre-autographed a bunch of playbills and the security passed them out at the stage door while we waited for the performers.
This time, he hung around for a few minutes and autographed live. Lamb was able to get one. He wasn't taking any pictures or really talking much. As a matter of fact, he seemed like he was in a big hurry. He wasn't rude tho! Just hungry, I'm sure. But it was still a cool experience for Lamb. She didn't like him on American Idol but she appreciated the opportunity to see him.
Now why can't she just have a magic wand and make it Friday night again?
That's what I'm talking about on 9/13/2009