The One Thing They Never Told Me

On my out and abouts and errand running yesterday, I found myself in the Getting Place looking for a birthday present and picking up some things that we needed around the house.  I was walking past the endcaps in the baby section and I saw these.

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Adorable.  Right?

Yes.  They are too cute.  Robes.  For those little bitty babies with their little bitty toes and precious little smiles and coos.  Robes.

Don’t do it, people.

I can just about guarantee you that every Mama to be with that clicky gun thing in their hands, creating their gift registry for that very first baby shower–she’s clicking on THAT.  Yes, she has to have that little robe.

Oh me.

I remember (over twenty years ago) when Aub was a little bitty 3 week old baby.  We went and stayed with my folks for a few days.  One afternoon while we were there, Daddy noticed that she was still wearing the same thing I’d put on her after her bath the night before.  (One of those rare days when a wardrobe change was not necessary every three or four hours.  Ahem.)  He teased me and pointed out I used to change my baby dolls more often than I changed my live one.

Yessir.  And there’s a reason for that.

All those precious toes?  And fingers?  And hands and arms and feet and legs?
They wiggle.

All.  The. Time.

They make changing clothes and getting dressed after baths a very difficult undertaking.  It’s the epitome of “take two steps forward and twenty-five back…..” or something like that.

So why for the love of everything little and wiggly–why on earth would you want to add in one more change between bath and pajamas?

Trust me on this.  If you are a parent to be, go ahead and click the little clicky gun on the bathrobe.  Open the wrapped present, because people WILL buy it for you and not tell you the truth of it all, and oooh and ahh over it.  Wash it and hang it up in your little bathroom.  But please.  Do not pressure yourself to use it.  You will be functioning on little sleep, you will be so tired that bathing your little one and keeping that slippery little love above water will take all you have within you.  So use the hooded towel, the cute one with the duck face or name embroidered on it–use that to wrap up your little bundle of joy–no arms or legs tucked anywhere required.  Then go straight from A to Z.  Diaper and pajama that wee one and move on to the next thing.  Trust me.  The robe is cute, but making the effort to get it on–and then off again–and then into pajamas?

Ain’t nobody got time for that.

I share this only because I care.  And I wish someone had told me that.

Before the cute little yellow ducky robe that I just had to have.

Learn from my mistakes.  Pick your battles.  And trying to get your little wiggle worm dressed is only the beginning of those.  Don’t make it harder than it has to be.

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And y’all don’t even get me started on this one.  Just NO.  LET THEM BE BABIES FIRST.  PLEASE.

Love and laughter to all.

 

These Are a Few of My Favorite Things

Several years ago Oprah came to town.  She was supposedly going to select her studio audience based on letters written in about why the writer wanted to be there and whom he or she would bring with them.
As we’d been stationed overseas for a while, and because of the timing of the airing of her show (my children were underfoot at that point in the day, and let’s face it, she’s not always family friendly), I hadn’t watched her in years.  Maybe since college.  But I wrote and talked about how I would take my dear friend, who was a huge fan, with me.

Not.  Selected.

Oh well.

When the show aired, I recorded it and watched it later.  And that was the last time I watched her show.
It was her show called “My Favorite Things.”

Just no.

I don’t remember everything she gave out.  Some might say I was jealous because I didn’t get to go, but that is not the case.  I was sick to my stomach after watching.  I remember two things specifically that she gave out to everyone in the audience.  A refrigerator with a TV in the door and six gourmet cupcakes worth $50.

Say what?

I lost a lot of respect for her that day.  Here she is with all of this–power.  She could have bought and given out things that made a difference for the giver and the recipient (and so much more, because you KNOW some folks had to rush out and buy whatever because they saw it on her show).  But it didn’t go that way.  Today her favorite things list might be different.  I wouldn’t know, as I haven’t watched or read her magazine since then.  I do know that I saw this on the cover of her magazine on 14 November 2011, three days before my Daddy died, and it did not sit well with me.  “Things” –“If you’re looking for joy, you’ve come to the right place”.  What in the world?

Cover of O Magazine at the checkout at the grocery store on 14 November 2011.  I don't think she gets it.

Cover of O Magazine at the checkout at the grocery store on 14 November 2011. I don’t think she gets it.

Y’all why would anyone let Oprah “handpick” their gifts for the people they love?

Friday is the beginning of things getting crazy in the retail arena.  Actually I’m noticing that more and more stores are opening up tomorrow, Thanksgiving.  This makes me sad.  Are we so desperate for sales or for a bargain that we will forego the needs of folks to be with their families?  To be able to take time to breathe and give thanks, if only in the smallest of things?  I don’t even know.

So before the madness begins, I’m asking y’all to take a minute and browse through a few of The Happy Napper’s favorite things.  A few years ago I was introduced to The Advent Conspiracy by my brother, Rev.  It’s a powerful book to read, and it’s even more powerful as a study for a group of folks to discuss together.  The thing they share which breaks my heart is that the world’s water shortage could be ENDED with the amount of money spent on Christmas in THIS COUNTRY alone.  What?!  That right there.  It is a fact that broke my heart and has changed my way of “doing Christmas” a little more each year.  They break it down simply to–Worship Fully, Spend Less, Give More, Love All.  Amen.

They offer lots of great ideas in the book and DVD.  Ways to give and let folks know you love them here at Christmas AND also how to help the world.  Your community.  Build relationships and make a difference.  Because I think that’s what we really want more than anything–to be loved and known and to make a difference.

I’m happy to share a few of my favorite things.  Thanks to my Aub for creating the links for all of these.  She knows that the gift of her time and expertise is one of my favorite gifts she gives me.  And I love her.  I think she’s getting it too.  One day she saw a purse on-line that was over $10,000.  She showed me and said rather vehemently, “Well that makes me just want to slap somebody.”

She gets it.

So without further ado, here is my list of My Favorite Things.

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Bare Bulb Coffee–If you aren’t local around here, find your own local coffeehouse or locally owned bookstore or such as that and support their missions by supporting them.  If you are local, they have the cutest little fabric coffee sleeves with a pocket for a gift card.  Great gift, great coffee, and you’ll be supporting missions that feed children in need and share great books and time with precious children from low-income families.  They also have art classes on a regular basis.  Make plans to paint with a friend and give that as your gift.  Fun and meaningful. They get to be with you and you with them AND you each take home a painting.  Awesome.

The Open Arms Shop–They make skirts and scarves from recycling t-shirts.  Y’all, they are the cutest.  The people working there are refugees from other countries trying to build a safe life for themselves and their families.  Beautiful.

Stitches & Paint–These folks are some of the best.  A family business, the husband and wife and daughters quilt the fabric–and they have an eye for cute prints–and make all kinds of bags and accessories.  My favorite of the favorites is their clutch wallet.  Mama got me a new print every year for my birthday.  Love this Georgia company.  (And they are fine people–they support missions as well.)  They’ll make you say “Vera who?”

Goodwill–aka The GW Boutique.  Y’all know I love ’em.  Name brand jeans for $5.  Please.  And we have found Legos and all kinds of toys like new there.  It’s gotten so my children beg to go.  We don’t always find something, but it’s always a fun adventure.  Last year we made a rule that all gifts from siblings to each other had to be something picked out at the GW.  They had so much fun!  The focus was on the adventure and finding just the right thing–not on how much money spent.  I think that’s a tradition we are going to keep.

LOVE146–The story behind this organization that works with young women who have been rescued from trafficking is a heartbreaking one.  It all started with one young girl.  In an undercover mission, they saw the young girl with 146 on her tag still had some fire in her.  She hadn’t given up like the others.  When they went back to rescue, she was gone.  But they remember.  The Christmas cards made by the girls in the Round Home are absolutely beautiful.

Living Water International–This is the mission directly supported by the Advent Conspiracy.  They work to get clean water for every person on our planet.  Such a simple thing, but it is so hard to make possible.  They have neat ways you can support them.  Pop over and check it out.  Clean water–hard to believe we live in the age we do, and not everyone has it.

Heifer International–My brother introduced us to them.  He bought a goat in our honor.  Yeah, he gets it.  He has just been waiting for me to catch up.  I’m trying, Rev.  Heifer has a great catalog of things you can buy in honor of someone, and it makes a wonderful gift.  I love it when we get our catalog every year.

St. Jude Gift Shop–They have really great gifts in their shop and sales go to support St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital.  This was one of Daddy’s favorite places to support, so yeah.  Go check them out.

Society of St. Andrew–They  work to put together volunteers to glean from fields and distribute the food to those in need.  A $12 donation will feed 600 servings of nutritious food to hungry families in America.  For your donation, you receive a beautiful Christmas card with unique artwork to give to your recipient.  Feeding someone in need in honor of someone you love–that is a beautiful gift.

BeadforLife–Make a difference in the life of a woman in Uganda, who is trying to create a better life for her and her family.  Our sisters there cut and roll beads from recycled magazines and newspapers, and oh–the beautiful jewelry they create!  If you are local, I have lots of their crafts I can show you–just let me know.  From bracelets to necklaces to jewelry bags, soap, and lip balm.  The person you give something from BeadforLife to will love the gift as much as the story.

ABAN–This is a beautiful story of young people making a difference.  Callie and Rebecca were college students who came up with an idea to help the young women living on the streets of Accra, Ghana and help rid the streets of the water sachets that littered them in bulk.  Thus, ABAN was born.  They have created some fabulous bags and accessories from the recycled water sachet bags.  The young women who are a part of the program are learning to dream, and they are gaining the skills to make those dreams come true.  Again, a gift with a  story that will make a difference.

Mossy Creek Soap–I love her soaps.  The different “flavors” are delightful and there is a scent for everyone, including her “naked” unscented soaps.  I recently visited with her and picked up a tin of the most amazing stuff  that works naturally on aching muscles.  If you know of someone who would love to make their own soaps, she has soapmaking classes on a regular basis.  Give them as a gift, or better yet, give it as a gift and join the recipient.  The gift of time with them and soapmaking. Win.  Win. Win.

Which brings us to another point of the Advent Conspiracy.  All gifts do not have to be wrapped in a box and paper. A gift described by one of the authors was a gift given to his wife.  One of her friends put together a book of notes from many people who loved her.  She had the gift of spending Christmas day reading all of the wonderful thoughts written just for her.  Beautiful.  We adapted this idea and put together a Hope Book for my Daddy one Christmas after his fight with Goliath began in earnest.  It had notes and stories and jokes and pictures that people who loved him wanted to share with him.  I cried putting it all together.

Other gift ideas that are outside the box are also relational.  Tie an invitation to have a cup of coffee out with you to a teaspoon or special coffee mug.  Give a bottle of nail polish with a note to have pedicures together to your sister.  A card with a note with a “gift card” for a picnic together or a walk in the woods is perfect for just the right person.  The point is to make the emphasis on the relationship and time together rather than the “thing.”

Over the next few weeks things are going to get hectic and crazy.  Don’t get caught up in the commercialism that takes away from the beauty of the Light of the season.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m not anti-shopping.  As a matter of fact, the places that give me my purchases in a paper bag with handles just turns my head.  But don’t let it run your life and take over your schedule.  Because it can.

I started off small the first year.  I picked one gift to change it up on.  Since that time several years ago, I find it easier and easier to step outside the box although some gifts are still bought at the store in a box or on-line.  It’s about trying to be more intentional and making the season more about time together than anything else.  Letting go of the stress and making more time for what is most important.

I’ve only included a few of my favorite things.  Please feel free to share yours with me.  I’d love to hear your gift ideas or what your most favorite and special gifts have been.

Wishing you all a day of great memory-making and joy!  Happy Thanksgiving.

The Paparazzi and Imperfect Moments

Tonight I’m sharing something I wrote back in 2009.  Before Daddy got sick, the crew and I used to crash Mama and Daddy’s Monday lunches at Stevi B’s on a regular basis.  After our lunch, our Princess would ask to go home with them.  Which she did just about every week, with a trip to the library and the grocery store along the way.  She loved it.   And it gave me time to run errands with just my little guy.  This was written after just such a day, very possibly the last time I set foot in a mall.

I took my little guy, Cooter, shopping with me several months ago.  As I was leaving the Galleria Mall, I had one of those postcard moments that I can recall easier than I can recall what I had for supper last night.  I was carrying a shopping bag (paper with handles–my absolute favorites!) in one hand and Cooter was on my other hip.  He was being his precious two-year-old self, and I thought–Where is the paparazzi?  I was having a feel good day, Cooter was being adorable, and I had had a successful trip.  I thought to myself, this moment is exactly like the ones you look at in magazines at the doctor’s office or on the web where the paparazzi have captured Someone on film with their child out in the Real World.  So where was the paparazzi, capturing me and My Moment?

Have you ever wished for your own paparazzi to permanently document your good days?

Have you ever wished for your own paparazzi to permanently document your good days?

Most days, though, I’m glad that they’re not around.  Like when I’m at the grocery store with a half-full cart and our Princess needs to go to the bathroom.  (Lesson learned–no more Horizon chocolate milk while we are shopping!)  Or when we are at WalMart and Aub and I get into it, and we stop in the middle of the aisle to “discuss” the situation.  Thank goodness for no paparazzi then.  But really, do the Someones not have moments like this?  Do they pay some kind of “dues” or insurance so they don’t have those kind of shots permanently archived away?  Why aren’t there shots of one of the many children of a famous couple reaching out to scratch or punch a sibling because he/she said something they didn’t like…..IN PUBLIC.  Why don’t they have pictures on file of two-year-old superstar baby pitching one more fit because Mommy said only one doll and not two?  Seriously it’s rather intimidating for the rest of us…..are we the only ones having these imperfect moments?

Then I’ll be in the store and overhear from the next aisle over a mom chastising a child or the screams of a three-year-old who wants a cookie…..and I think, oh yes.  We’re all real.  It’s the Someones who are not.

But I would still like to see an agent about that insurance…..

Miscellaneous Meanderings

So it’s Saturday.  And maybe it’s because it’s a new month or I’m tired or allergies or I’m just getting old, I cannot focus today.  So here’s a peek at what I’ve thought about or done today.

Our princess had an extra ballet and tap practice today.  It’s recital season and we are so close, so the class needed an extra practice.  Their sweet teacher made time in her day to meet with them for this special practice, so it was the least we could do to make time in ours.

Last year our girl made it through the recital with her same old tap and ballet shoes.  Then when fall rolled around, I went to get her new ones.  And her feet had grown.  THREE.  WHOLE.  SIZES.  Oh my land.  Now you know that didn’t all happen in the two months she was off.  Just write “Bad Mama” on my forehead with a Sharpie and feed me to those other dance Mamas who make sure their ballerina’s hair is just perfect and that their leotard and skirts match and that there are no runs in their tights.  Every single week.  For ten months.  *sigh*  I have asked her recently if her shoes fit, and she says yes.  I’m taking her word for it at this point.  I just don’t have it in me to schedule a trip to buy new shoes and rough up the bottoms before the recital.  One day she can tell her therapist all about this.  Or her podiatrist.  I’m sorry, baby girl.

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So one of my oldest and dearest posted this on my page today.  I cannot tell you in words how great it is to have friends who knows me so well, and who will love me through the dark times, but do not hesitate to call me on my junk too.  Mama was good at that.  I’m glad I have friends and family who are looking out.  Love you girl.  And yeah, today was one of those days.  When just the idea that you need to actually go and find and put on a pair of pants and shirt exhausts you, well, yeah.  Where I am today.  (I know, I know, shine don’t whine.)

Nevertheless I took our princess to find a bathing suit that isn’t gaping or revealing or you know, whatever.  She is very tall for her age, with a long torso. So trying to find a one-piece that is long enough but doesn’t gape all over is a hard task.  We were in the dressing room and we found one that seemed okay.  It was not her traditional pink choice, rather it was orange and grey, but she seemed to like it.  She twisted her sweet eight year old face up as she looked in the three way mirror and said, “Well, it’s okay, but I need to ask the fashion expert.”  I said, “Who?” She replied, turning this way and that, hands on and off hips, “You know, Baba (her big sister).  She does her hair every. single. day.  She’s the fashion EXPERT.”  So she asked me to take a picture of her and text it to her sister to ask her if it was okay.  When Aub found out about it, she was genuinely pleased and all smiles.  “Wow,” she said.  Wow, indeed.  Siblings getting along at any given moment–parenting win.

Right now the princess is in the tub.  She has somehow gotten the idea that she should leave the shampoo in her hair for three minutes.  I figured this out because she will randomly call out, loudly, “Has it been three minutes?” (Whaaaat?) In the beginning she would call out, “Tell me when it’s been three minutes,” but either I’m losing my hearing (a possibility), my selective hearing has kicked in (a greater possibility), or she’s just not calling that out anymore (?????).  Still I hear her holler, “Has it been THREE MINUTES?”  And one of us, usually me or Aub, will shrug and holler back, “Yes.”  Don’t judge people.  It’s shampoo, it’s not that serious.  A better Mama would put a clock in there or set the timer or maybe explain that the three minutes are not necessary (though she’d probably argue with me on that point).  Some days you just have to pick the mountains you’re gonna climb.  This ain’t one of them.

Last night I was walking through our front yard and our neighbor was out wrapping up his yardwork.  His son just graduated as well.  I asked him when his son heads out for college.  Turns out, it will be around the same time that my girl goes.  I said, “It will be mighty quiet around here.”  He nodded.  “Yeah.”  He paused.  And then laughed.  “I’m looking forward to it.”  I laughed too, pointed at this yard, and said, “You’re not kidding me.  I’ve seen him out here working and pushing that mower.  It’s about to be all yours to do.  Just like I’m losing my babysitter.”   He nodded and said, “Yeah, I think I’m gonna get me a riding lawn mower.”  That really cracked me up.  How many of us moved away from home and returned to find the ‘rents had upgraded?  Yeah, me too.

When I returned home today from ballet practice and errands, I found the stack of mail had been brought in.  Bills–check.  Junk mail–check.  College brochure for Aub–check.  (Side note:  I’m really quite sad that all these colleges think she’s a rising senior–I’ve got another year of weeding through their sales pitches.)  Package from Amazon–ch–wait.  I am pretty good at remembering when I’ve ordered something from them.  I know my memory is suffering, but books I KNOW.  I opened it up, and much to my surprise, it was a book that my cousin had mentioned to me.  Whoo hoo.  She is a love.  What a treat!  I look forward to reading this one.  Oh y’all, my stack of books to read!  In my dreams I hire a housekeeper and a cook and somehow still educate the littles and find time to curl up with my favorite blanket du jour and read, read, read.  This one’s going to the top of the list.  Thank you and much love.

My surprise in the mail from my sweet cousin

My surprise in the mail from my sweet cousin

Whenever I have stepped outside today I’ve been greeted by the sweet smell of gardenia.  It was sent to me by a dear friend who is overseas to remember my Mama.  After a few days its leaves started turning colors.  I panicked.  Another good friend who is a Master Gardener told me to call the company.  They promptly sent me another one.  And the same thing happened.  Y’all, I’m not like my Master Gardener friend, but I don’t usually kill every plant I get.  She took them under her loving care and just look.  Gorgeous.  The first one has recuperated from a bad case of being rootbound, and the second one is on its way back. (for the record, rootbound–not my fault)  Aren’t they beautiful?  They just fill me with peace.  And that smell…..second only to a tea olive.  I am thankful for my friend who sent them, and for my friend who used her gifts and talents (she is THE Mrs. Greenthumb) generously and rescued these babies.  And this is not the first time she has saved the day–and a plant or two.  Thank y’all–I think of you both everytime I see those beautiful blooms and green leaves.

These fill me with such a peace

These fill me with such a peace

So it’s Saturday.  Another week is about to begin, as well as another month.  The longest day of the year will be upon us before we know it.  Time passes so much more quickly than it did when I was small.  I just want to reach out and stop the hourglass, turn it on its side and balance it where it is for just a few minutes, and take a moment to breathe.  And think.  And dream.  And yes, read.

But I’m not in charge and that’s not how life goes.  So for now, I’ll say goodnight and Happy Weekend.  I’m off to hug the children and find myself a quiet corner and open a book.  Tonight I’m thankful for the extraordinary ordinary of my everyday.  As my friend Baddest Mother Ever would reframe it–tomorrow I GET to do it all again.  And that’ll do for a Saturday.

Prom Night

My girl.  Her Junior/Senior.  No, really, it’s her first and last prom.  It’s a long story but this is her junior and senior year, so this is it.  THE PROM.

She hemmed and hawed as we do about whether she would go or not.  In the end, she wrote her own check and bought her ticket.  Let me just tell you this is HUGE.  I am so proud of her.  She was intent on going and having a great time.  With friends.  I love that.  I didn’t have her courage or grace when I was her age.  The jury is still out on whether I have as much as she does now.

So we went shopping.  In the end she chose a beautiful dress that was just perfect.  From the GW Boutique.  I’m telling you, we love shopping there and can get the best bargains ever.  I was proud of her choosing to shop there and then so thrilled that she found THE DRESS.  (Aub, are you saying yes to the dress?  Why yes, yes I am.)

THE prom dress.....Take 1

THE prom dress…..Take 1

She then planned out her shoes, found them at a different location of the GW Boutique.  Yesterday she got some inexpensive stuff to do her nails and today she did them herself.  I am telling you, this girl can make a party out of nothing.  She just has that gift.

This afternoon she visited our sweet neighbor friend and talented hair stylist, and she got her hair did.  It was beautiful.  So we had all the puzzle pieces together, time to put them in place.  She started getting dressed and came to me to help her zip up.  Oh y’all.  I just about cry when I think back on it. Just a few hours ago.  My girl.  Beautiful.  I tried to zip but I didn’t have my hands in the right place.  So yeah.  This happened today.

This zipper is broke.....and so was my heart.

This zipper is broke…..and so was my heart.

I just pulled wrong and too hard.  I tried y’all.  Really I did.  We got out the needle nose pliers and I opened up the zipper to slide the other side back in.  Oh what a mess.  My heart sank as each minute ticked by.  She was about to miss her prom.  Because I.  Messed.  Up.  If I had been my Granny or my Aunt or my cousin even, I would have ripped that zipper out, HAD the right one here to replace it, and stitched it back in, and she still would have been on time.  Ahem.  No.  I heard my girl say, “It’s okay.  I just won’t go.  It will be all right.”

Not.  On.  My. Watch.

I love this child.  I try not to spoil her.  But I’ll be a monkey’s uncle if I’m going to let her miss her prom, after she made the decision to go and got her outfit together with such a good attitude and open heart.

I started barking orders.  Rare for me.  (Never mind, I can’t even type that with a straight face.)  So I said, “Get your dress shoes, take your boots just in case, throw on clothes, we’re going to a store, and this is GOING TO HAPPEN.”

And you know what?  It did.

We had a twenty minute ride to the closest store that might possibly maybe have a dress in stock.  She had called them, and we were hopeful.  In the meantime she was texting our other dear and treasured neighbor friend who was pulling dresses from her closet and texting pictures in case the shopping trip was for naught.  Have I mentioned I have great folks all around me?  Love my neighbors.  Yeah, these folks make that an easy commandment to follow.

We laughed as we made a game plan for our dash-in-try-on-buy-and-dash-out mission.  Failure was not an option.  Despite the rain, she kept her cool and her hair in place.  We walked in and saw a beautiful selection of dresses right away.  My eyes went to the chartreuse immediately (yeah, it’s kinda my thing) and Aub’s went to a cute black and white number with BLING. (And she can pull off some bling!)  She did indulge me and try on the chartreuse.  She thought she looked eight years old.  I thought she looked like Tinkerbell, and it was very cute.  But the black and white one…..her eyes lit up.  The price was right, and the pashmina wrap was on sale (needed–the rain had dropped the temp to 55 already!) and there was a cute pair of earrings to match.  And with that we were at checkout right on time.  We asked the cashier for a pair of scissors to snip the tags off.  (Remember my broken filter? Yeah, I told her about the zipper.)  “Oh when is your Prom?” she asked.   I checked the time.  “Ummm, now.”  Sweet young woman.  Headed to the same college as Aub next year–for nursing school.  She’ll make it.  I saw it in her eyes.

Aub changed in the car–avert your eyes people.  She kept it decent, and we were on our way.  She was only fashionably late, thank goodness.  And all was well.  I am so proud of her for turning her back on a bit of a rough start and setting off for an evening of fun with friends.  I love this girl.

My girl, turning her back on the past, and headed for the future.  You go girl!

My girl, turning her back on the past, and headed for the future. You go girl!

After seeing her off, I called my cousin.  I shared with him the evening’s events.  I told him how bad I had felt about not being able to fix the zipper.  “Eh, it’s good to know what you can and can’t do.”  And he is right.  I could have tried.  But many broken relationships and a month later, Aub might have had some semblance of a dress left.  When it comes to stitching and sewing up something that delicate when it’s that important with serious time constraints…..”ain’t nobody got time for that.”

Tonight I am thankful for a girl who dreams big, who is strong and wise and beautiful inside and out.  I am thankful that we were able to go to a store and get a backup dress.  I am thankful for our conversation and laughter and meeting a new person and hearing her story.  I am thankful for kind and gracious neighbors who are a part of the village helping me raise my children.  I am very thankful for great hair spray that withstands major humidity and many dress changes and tremendous stress.  Finally I’m thankful for the words of wisdom from my cousin–trying to make myself into something or someone I’m not…..yeah, FOR SURE ain’t nobody got time for that.

And just for fun, and with much appreciation, the original “Ain’t nobody got time for that.”