Move Along

I took my son to school for the last time this morning.  I won’t lie, I’m not doing well.  We’ll see if I can write a short post with tears streaming down my face.

There was a very dark period in our lives when Landon was around 8 years old.  He was in and out of the pediatric psych ward, for months.  He was not our child during those times, in that space he was in inside his own brain.  Turned out, it was his seizure meds and all the psychiatric drugs the Doctors put into him just made his madness worse.

Out of desperation, we told the Doctor one pivotal morning in a meeting that we wanted him taken off of everything.  Every single little pill they were making him take, we wanted them gone.  They warned us he would have grand mal seizures.  We said we didn’t care.  They had his syringes for that.  Something wasn’t right.  Our boy wasn’t there anymore and we wanted him back.

You may wonder why I’m spilling this dark stuff right now and I’ll get to that.

I told him right before we walked out the door this morning that this was the last time I’d ever take him to school.  He smiled.  I said, “How many times do you think I’ve taken you to school all these years?”  He laughed and said, “About a hundred billion.”

On the way to school, just a few minutes away, memories flooded back of all the people in our lives who have helped with Landon and still do, all the blessed souls who God himself put in our path all these years.

As much as this week is about Landon, it’s also about all those special people.  I could write about the ones who weren’t so special.  The ones who judged us, their kids who reflected their parents and who were the ugliest inside of all, who wouldn’t play with Landon and made fun of him because he was different.  Those people all happened to be in church with us, by the way.  Yeah, swallow that.  But I won’t dwell on that.  This is about the people who helped two stupid parents who were overwhelmed and tired and in mourning that their son wasn’t well and never really would be after he was diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome.

Thank you to my parents who were there from the beginning of his life and continue to be there now.  Countless nights they stayed with us in the hospital, states away from Texas, to be there for us and our son.  Many nights were spent in tears, not knowing what the next day would bring our way.  They kept Gracie for weeks on end during the “dark days” so we could concentrate on Landon and getting him better.  They have loved Landon like no one else could except for us.  My parents talk to him every day on the phone.  Dad has had a rough couple years but he still makes time to talk to Landon multiple times a day and answers super hero questions as best he can.  And there are a lot of super hero questions.  My Mom has made him countless blankets, the latest being a Harry Potter blanket this past Christmas.  She loves to laugh and tease with him and cook his favorite foods when we’re in Texas.  I love you, Mom and Dad.  Thank you for raising me to be the person I am, and for also loving my son, no matter what.

Thank you to my mother in law, who spends an hour on the phone with Landon each and every night.  He looks forward to those phone calls and teasing with her.  Her patience and love for our son and willingness to listen to him is a blessing I will never forget.

Thank you to the teachers, so many over the years.  You made a difference in his life in so many countless ways.  I can’t count how many teachers have sought me out over the years to tell me how bright Landon makes their days.  I wish I could express to you what a difference we have seen in Landon from being around such caring educators and administrative staff.  You are one of the reasons I’m completing my teaching degree.  I wouldn’t be writing this post without all that you have contributed to his life.

Thank you to our friends who brought meals to us so many times while we were in and out of the hospital.  Thank you for the care packages and the hospital visits, the phone calls, and notes of encouragement.  Thank you for keeping Gracie many times while I was dealing with Landon when E was out of town.  Thank you for coming to the psych hospital when I was admitting Landon by myself because E was out of town and on a plane trying to get back to Texas as fast as he could while I was falling apart right along with Landon.  You are loved and your love for us will never be forgotten.

Thank you to our friends who love him so much today.  Gary and Laurie, who welcomed him to their cabin any time on the cruise this past Spring Break.  I’ll never forget the laughter, hearing how he beat you at Uno.  He loved every minute with you.  Thank you to the Quinn family, who are driving in from Florida right this very minute to be at Landon’s graduation.  You are so very special to our family.  Thank you to Connie and Blake, who took E and I under their wing so many years ago when Blake hired E for his first job out of college.  You were and still are such an example to us.

Thank you to E.  Before we even conceived Landon, we decided that I would be a stay at home Mom.  I have been for the last 18 years.  It was our joint decision but you are the one who has worked all these years, supporting our family.  Yes, staying at home can be hard work all in itself, especially when the kids are smaller, but it’s a tough gig knowing you support three whole other lives and having that immense responsibility.  Thank you for the years you have given me to be with our children.  It has been a priceless, priceless gift and I consider it a privilege.

As my life is music and I have to put a song to everything, as I was driving home this morning from the school, I thought of songs that sum up our life so far with Landon.  The one that popped into my head was a song I listened to over and over during those dark psych ward days.  I listened to it like a mantra on days I was so depressed I could barely drive much less make myself get out of bed.  Thank you to all the people who have helped us move along all these years, to the people who continue to help us move along today.  You have not only made such a difference in Landon’s life, but in ours.

I love you all.

Sweet Tea Is For Pussies Anyway.

I took beer (4 bottles to be exact) into a Baptist church today.

Now, before y’all go cashing in those bets you made about 5 years ago in the “What Year Will Steph Actually Say ‘Fuck It’ And Take Alcohol Into A House Of God” pool, just hold on and let me explain.

It’s been seriously crazy.  Some of you may recall that I started working towards my teaching degree in March.  I’m on my third class, Survey Of U.S. Constitution & Government now.  Yes, I passed my first two classes.  Hold your applause.  Jesus says I don’t deserve any accolades right now.

Good friends of ours are coming all the way to Alabama from Florida this week to see my son graduate from high school.  They informed us they would like to come to this event in January.  I’ve had five fucking months to prepare for this joyous occasion but as usual, I have sat around with my thumb up my ass for almost half a year, doing the one thing I always achieve absolute perfection in:  procrastination.

I have waited until the last 72 hours before my friend’s arrival to purchase a new sectional sofa, boost our obsolete central air conditioning unit which was installed the year I graduated from high school (I shit you not), clean like the damned Pope is coming over, order graduation party supplies (I would thank the dear Lord for Amazon Prime Shipping but he’s still giving me the evil side eye over bringing booze into his condo earlier today), this list could actually go on and on.  E accepted a new job with his existing employer, with much more responsibility, and he’s been working later hours.  All of this is snowballing – in a really great way but it’s crazy nonetheless.

My son is graduating from high school this week.  I know I’ve already written this but my mind still hasn’t completely wrapped around the fact.  I’m waiting for my mind to get its ass in gear and just let me get the meltdown out of the way.  I’d honestly rather just show you good people a picture of my ample ass than cry.  I rarely cry because:

  1.  I usually choose to not be sad.  At the beginning of both of my children’s lives, I cried enough for a lifetime, as they had numerous tubes running from their bodies for the first few months of their lives, keeping them alive in most instances.  I’m still really tired of crying from those horrible times so I choose not to now.
  2. I hate feeling like a little bitch.  I’m not saying you are a little bitch if you cry, it’s just how I feel when I cry.  I can hug it out with you if you choose to be a little bitch in my presence. It makes me a little uncomfortable and I’d rather hand you hard liquor but I usually pull my shit together enough to be a good friend.  I won’t even mention the fact that you left snot on my shoulder.
  3. Crying ruins my makeup.  I spend too much time and money on that shit to have it running down my face.

Right now, I feel like a dam that’s about to burst.  I don’t know when or where the levy will break but if you’re going to be with me in the next week, this is your heads up.  I promise not to leave too much snot on your shoulder if you promise not to judge the fact that I’m carrying my extra large flask in my purse for the next week.  I’m just a bit overwhelmed with all that’s going on in my life right now.

Which brings us back to discussing the circumstances which led me to smuggling hooch into the Lord’s house.

A good friend of mine was really stressed this week over throwing her daughter a graduation party that was held today.  She beautifully plans every event she throws and works really hard preparing and executing tablescapes you normally envy on Pinterest.  She was texting me earlier today before the party, worried over some issues.

This friend is a lovely Christian lady who rarely drinks and certainly doesn’t keep alcohol on hand at her home that I’m aware of.  She and I are the female equivalent to Oscar and Felix from The Odd Couple.  I had to help this dear friend last month when she kept trying to order a Coors Light at a place that only sells a local brewery’s beers.  Finally, in exasperation, she came to the table empty handed.  I went back to the counter with her, gave her a quick tutorial on all the different brews (which most certainly did not include Coors Light).

Anyway, at the end of her text message, she added a really cute little beer emoji.  This is where I feel she at least needs to take some of the blame, okay?

Sending any kind of alcohol emoji to me when you’re in distress is like the Gotham City Police Department flashing the fucking Bat-Signal in the sky.  It’s like Timmy yelling at Lassie to go get help – except I don’t come back with a long rope in my mouth or wielding a bat shaped boomerang.  I come back with alcohol.  It’s what I KNOW, people.

Right before the kids and I walked out the door to go to the party, I packed up 4 of my beers with ice packs in my little collapsible cooler to take to my friend so she could unwind at home after the party.  As I was packing them, I even thought, “I wonder if it’s against the rules of the civic center to have alcohol on premise even if you’re not drinking it there?”  Because I’m not normally a rule breaker, y’all, believe it or not.  Jesus just raised his perfectly shaped eyebrows at that statement.

What is slightly alarming is I’ve been to this church two other times but only in the fellowship wings, where they hold parties and such.  That’s why my brain thought “civic center” instead of “House of the Lord God Almighty”.  That’s my defense and I’m sticking to it.  When I got to the “civic center” I placed the cooler under the gift table and forgot about it.

As I was  inhaling enjoying my generous sized and delicious piece of party cake, E (who had rode over on his motorcycle earlier) laughed and asked in jest if I’d actually went through with bringing my friend the beer.  It went like this:

E:  Did you bring Melissa (fictional name) some beer?

Me:  Yeah.

E:  You’ll give it to her later?

Me:  No, it’s right over there under the gift table.

E (looked over at the red cooler under the gift table while denial, then incredulity, then fear, and finally acceptance flitted across his face):  You brought BEER into a CHURCH??!!

Me (actually putting my fork down):  Holy crap (no, I didn’t curse because Gracie was sitting beside me and I also figured I was already on Jesus’ shit list by that time).

E and Gracie laughed uncomfortably while slowly moving away from me so as not to get electrocuted when the inevitable lightning from Heaven shot through my ass.

I sent my friend this text after the party.

wp-1463983689733.png

My friend has not responded to the text message so I can only hope she has forgiven me and that she enjoyed the beer I gave her in good faith in response to her distress text.

Also, I’m sorry, Jesus, for bringing alcohol into your house.  I’ll try to never do it again, but honestly, you and I both know that I can’t make any promises.

Lastly, can one of y’all remind me on Thursday to take my extra large flask out of my purse before I attend my son’s commencement ceremony?  Jesus also resides at the place it’s being held and I’m pretty sure I’m on a List now.  Fine, I was already on a List but today I moved way up in the rankings.

Cheers, y’all.

Tits And Bits: What Month Is It?

Well, this is awkward.  It’s been a while.  You look good, like you’ve lost some weight.  How have you been?  How’s your Mama?  Your significant other?  Your demon spawn kids?  Job going well?  Weather been nice there?  I’m sorry I haven’t written or called in a while.  I’ll do better.  Let’s do lunch soon.  Give my best to your Mama.

I’m glad we got through that weirdness.  I am sorry I haven’t written in a while.  Life has happened and shit has gotten weird the last few months but in a completely good way.

I start school on March 1st, tuition is paid, and I’ve been kind of freaking out over it.  My friend Lulu, in all her wisdom, says to take it a bite at a time, to not look at the whole sandwich.  I get overwhelmed easily and get a bit panicky so this is excellent advice.  It’s just not so easy to follow through with sometimes.

I haven’t wanted to write here on my personal blog because it’s hard to put everything going on into words.  It’s an exciting time.  It’s just exciting times in unfamiliar waters.  I’d like to wade in but I’ll be unceremoniously dumped into the educational pool on March 1st.  I imagine it’ll be much like when my Daddy peeled me off of him when I was 5, fingernails dug into his back, kicking and screaming, and threw me into the pool without a life jacket on because that would trigger my survival instincts and “teach” me to swim.  For the record, that didn’t work out too well for either of us and I’m still not a very good swimmer.

I thought I’d dive back into things with an abbreviated edition of Tits and Bits.  Remember, Tits And Bits is a semi-regular series where I clean out my list of funny and maybe not so funny tidbits (your mileage may vary) one liners and happenings which may or may not deserve a whole blog post or I’m just too damned lazy to write a whole blog post about.  So, let’s get to it.


 

It’s been tough going for music fans in the last several months with the deaths of so many greats.  E took the death of Glenn Frey the hardest.  One night a couple weeks ago, I was happily doing what I do most nights.  After everyone is in bed, I love my alone time.  I either sit on the couch in complete silence and read or I have headphones on, music blaring.  This particular night, I had opted for silence but E had decided to binge listen to the Eagles on his phone in bed.  At full volume.  Without headphones.  On fucking repeat.  What does a rational woman do when she’s a mere two walls away?  Text, of course.

screenshot_2016-02-24-22-50-45-1.png

screenshot_2016-02-24-22-50-51-1.png

R.I.P. Glenn Frey.


 

We’re going on a cruise with our good friends Gary and Laurie at the end of March.  Time is quickly winding down, so we’re trying to take care of last minute details.  E and I smuggle copious amounts of liquor onto the cruises we go on because we’re cheap bastards.  Or we also may or may not need a 12 step program.  You decide.  Anyway, we buy these flasks that look like shampoo and conditioner bottles.  They’ve worked like a charm every single time.  Out of concern for my friends, that they have a good time (and also don’t mooch our smuggled liquor), I sent this text to Laurie earlier.

screenshot_2016-02-24-22-52-39-1-1.png

ShampBooze Deluxescreenshot_2016-02-24-22-52-46-1.png

Don’t worry, my friends.  If our liquor gets confiscated by the cruise line, we’ll blame it on Gracie.


 

My dear friend Lulu was ensnared in some college football this past season.  Her beloved Dad attended Iowa so she was really excited when the Hawkeyes played Michigan State in the Big Ten championship.  The winner would also get into the 4 team playoff.  Lulu is a very smart cookie but she doesn’t usually watch football.  Here’s what happened.

screenshot_2016-02-24-23-12-59-1.png

screenshot_2016-02-24-23-13-06-1.png

screenshot_2016-02-24-23-13-13-1-1.png

I heart you all 3 quarters, Lulu!


 

Speaking of football, my Alabama Crimson Tide won the National Championship!  I won’t name names but you cocky bastards who’ve given me shit one way or another for the last year can shove that up your asses.  16 National Championships.  That’s more National Championships than your team has won total games in the last four seasons.

I do love making wagers with my friends who are fans of lesser teams.  My buddy Gregg is a Michigan State fan and a fellow beer appreciator so we made a friendly wager before our teams played each other in the playoff.  Whoever lost would have to send the other a local brew, something we can’t get in our area.  Gregg was a really good sport, wished me congratulations after the game, and I’m happy to share that I received this in the mail a few weeks later.

fb_img_1456380586643.jpg

I’m a bit suspicious that he chose to send a beer called “Raggedy Ass” to me but I’ll take it.  Roll Tide, Gregg. Roll Tide.


 

I’ve kept very busy lately getting all my school admissions crap completed but I’ve also been writing a lot for the music blog I contribute to.  You can find my latest entries here. Press passes to concerts have been booming and I’ve been inspired to write about music lately.

I will try to write here more often.  I’m not sure if that’s a promise or a warning.  You decide.  But I do miss y’all.  And I mean it – say hello to your Mama for me.

Learnin’ To Walk Again

I’ve been a stay at home Mom for the last 18 years.  E and I made the decision together that I would stay at home as soon as we found out I was pregnant with Landon.  It’s been the most rewarding thing I’ve ever done in my entire life.  I had the blessing of being the one to change my children’s diapers, to feed them, watch them grow, rock them to sleep, hear their first words, encourage them to walk and then watch in delight as they not only walked but eventually ran.  I was there, front row.

I was the one who taught Landon to read when I had to home school him for a few years while we were working out diagnoses.  It’s still hard to wrap my head around that.  I taught him to READ, y’all.  I take great pleasure in sharing his love of everything Super Hero and Harry Potter.  I love our debates over who would win in a fight:  Batman or Superman.  I guess we’ll find out next spring when the movie comes out.

I made up a special bedtime song for Gracie when she was a baby that to this day only she and I know.  I took such joy in dressing her up in frilly things and putting bows in her hair.  I take great joy now in sharing my favorite bands with her, taking her to concerts with me, and watching my all time favorite movies together.  It makes me so happy that we have the same sense of humor.  I always look forward to giving her advice (when asked) because she’s usually surprised by what I tell her.

I cherish the time I’ve had with my kids that so many other mothers don’t have the privilege to have.  I’ve been on call 24/7 for the last 18 years.  I’ve been Room Mom, I’ve served on the PTA, I’ve been to every concert, pee wee cheerleading practice and games, parades, just about every Special Olympics event, art show, open house, teacher meetings, school pick up and drop off.  All of it.  And I wouldn’t change a thing.

But I will go back to school in just a few weeks, plowing through as fast as I can to finish my teaching degree.  It’s time.  My kids are growing up and so must I.  It’s time to figure out what I want to be when I grow up and do it.

I’m scared shitless, to be honest.  I’m scared of failure.  I’m scared of the work involved.  I’m scared I won’t be able to have fun for a while.  I’m scared that my schedule will be out of my control.  Mostly, though, I’m scared of the Algebra.  Hopefully, living with an engineer and a National Honor Society student will help in that area.  Fingers crossed.

So as everyone is making New Year’s Resolutions, I again vow not to make any.  I’m sticking to my story from last year and just vowing to do better.

And learn to walk.  For myself this time.

All my love and Happy New Year, y’all.

 

 

Not Your Bitch

I’m my parent’s computer guru.

Let that sink in, y’all.

Me.  I can’t even turn on my TV to watch football without help from Landon.  In my defense, we have way too many damned remotes and I don’t watch TV but still.

Every summer when the kids and I go to Texas to see family, I install new virus software on both of my parent’s computers, run that shit because they won’t do it again until I’m home for Christmas, and clean up everything for them.

I’m also their personal 24/7 computer diagnostician.  They call me whenever they’re having problems with anything online, which includes Ebay and PayPal accounts and all online order making.  Yep.  They CALL me so I can get on my computer and order something online for them.

I know a lot of you can relate to this.  Technology and parents and all that stuff they seem to be so helpless about.  Here’s a great Amy Schumer sketch about that very thing.

I wish I had taped the last phone conversation my Dad and I had, trying to figure out via YouTube how to fix an issue with Mom’s computer.  It went something like this:

Me:  Okay, Dad.  Click on this video link to watch this tutorial showing you how to fix this.

One minute later.

Dad:  Click on that www thing?

Me:  Yes.  Click on that and it will take you right to the video.  The video shows your computer screen and takes you step by step through what you need to do to remove that from Mom’s computer.

One minute later.

Dad:  It opened another screen.

Me:  Yeah, that’s what it’s supposed to do.  Take you to YouTube.

Dad:  Okay.  All I see are two broads yapping their gums at each other.

Me:  Dad, that’s a commercial.  Hold tight and it’ll get to the tutorial, showing you what to do.

Dad:  Why are they making me watch two broads when I didn’t click on that?

Me:  It’s advertising, Dad.  It’s how they make money.  

Dad:  I clicked on it again to get the broads to shut up.

Me:  Dad, it’ll just start all over again.  They’re going to get their ad time.  

Dad:  I have to watch it to get to the video?

Me:  Yes, Dad.

Dad (mumbling very unhappily to himself while watching it):  Two old broads flapping their gums.  Drink your coffee and get on with it.

Now y’all know what’s wrong  awesome about me and where I get it from.

I went along with this line of thinking, that my parents would be lost without my assistance with all things technological until sometime last week.

For the last several years, right after Thanksgiving, my Mom puts money into a PayPal account.  She came up with the idea to do this.  I use that money to buy presents for my kids that are from her and my Dad.  The gifts get shipped straight to my parent’s house, Mom wraps them up in really beautiful paper with handmade bows and puts them around her tree.  She doesn’t have to leave her house, except to pick up the packages off the porch.

It is always a sight to see when we go home for Christmas to see all the presents around her gorgeously decorated tree.  It looks like she has been shopping with tender loving care and a whole shit load of time all year round.  My kids love her and my Dad to death and are always absolutely floored and thankful for all the gifts, having no clue (nor should they) that I did all the legwork.  Okay, finger work because it was online.  Whatever.

I was getting ready for Gracie’s Birthday party at our house last week so I did not have time to online shop.  Mom messaged me a couple more times, gently reminding me the money is in the account and ready to go.

I’ve also settled a recent Ebay dispute Mom had with a return.  It was ugly and the seller was a real douche bag even though the screw up was their fault.  It took several times of going back and forth between Ebay and PayPal, disputing and responding to the seller for a refund.  I did it because she asked me to and, you know, poor helpless Mom and that big, bad, confusing computer thingamajig and mega companies.

And in between the gentle reminders from Mom about the money and the dispute rebuttals, it hit me.

I’m my Mom’s bitch.

Computer illiterate?  Maybe.  Fucking brilliant?  YES!  This is the smartest woman I know.  I’m jealous.  She’s been playing me like Blue Oyster Cult plays the cowbell.

She transfers money to an account, I go online and buy shit with that money, send it straight to their door in Texas, she wraps it all up, and gets all the credit.   Every single damned bit.

You ever had to settle a dispute with an Ebay seller?  It’s a pain in the ass, especially when the seller is a lying sack of shit who sent you the wrong item and then lied about you returning it, even with proof of return from the Post Office.

After the initial realization that my Mom is actually the smartest woman alive and the awe wore off a bit, the feisty side of me fought back.  I think Mary Tyler Moore said it best:

mary

I’d like to continue this newly found streak of parental defiance but I’d better go.  My Mom’s calling and I have to give her UPS tracking numbers and a detailed spreadsheet of how I’ve spent her money.  She’ll also probably need a refill on that coffee, dry cleaning pickup, and I need to get those packages off her porch.

Have a good week, y’all.

Yellow

I woke up an hour earlier than E and Landon that Sunday morning.  I felt different, quiet, calm, so unlike myself.

We had been trying to get pregnant with our second child for over a year at that time without success.  I was torn on going another round with fertility drugs.  I was tired.  I was pissed.  At my stupid body.  At every single pregnant lady I knew, which seemed to be everyone at the time.  At God.  Everything.

But at literally the last second, on the last day that I could’ve started another round, something made me change my mind.  I started the cycle all over again.  Pills to force my traitorous female body to do what it should do on its own.  Pills to take on certain days to make myself have a period.  Pills to take on certain days to make myself ovulate.  Detailed basal temperature readings to chart my ovulation and the perfect time to conceive.  Doesn’t sound very romantic, does it?

It wasn’t.

But I did it.  We did it.

I woke up early that spring Sunday morning with a serenity I hadn’t had in a long time and I decided to take the home pregnancy test, even if it technically was early.  I’d tracked my basal temps more carefully than anything I’d ever done in my whole life.  I obsessed all hours of the night over the changes and what they meant.  I did everything exactly right that time.  How could I not be pregnant?

I didn’t tell E what I was doing.  I’m not even sure if he knew I had the test.

I saw the two beautiful lines on that stick I’d just peed on and I just wanted time alone with that precious gift.  I was the only one on earth who knew he/she existed and I just wanted to keep it that way for as long as I could.

For the next hour, I watched the video countdown on VH1 and just breathed and existed and thanked God.

Then a video came on from this new band Coldplay and I cried throughout the entire thing because it summed up my feelings perfectly about this little gift that was still only mine.

I’ve only very recently told Gracie about the significance of this song to me.  She is truly becoming quite the music nut, just like her Mom.  I had noticed that she liked the song and had pinned some of the words on her Pinterest account, which I thought was amazing, that she liked this song so much but didn’t know my story about why I like it so much.   So one day the song was playing, we were alone, and I told her the story I just told you.

It’s one of my most favorite Gracie memories so far, telling her about hearing the song “Yellow” that morning, knowing that every single word of that song was already true, that I would literally bleed myself dry for the gift I’d been given not even an hour before.  I’ll always remember how her 13 year old blue eyes, exactly like my own, melted and got a bit watery when I told her that, and the way her hair smelled as she snuggled up to me.

We’ve heard this song a couple times since then, out and about, and we give each other a smile and a little hug.  We told E the story a few weeks ago when the song came on at the restaurant we were eating at and he wanted to know why we were acting all blubbery.

Gracie turned 14 today (well, yesterday, technically).  She was born two months early and we almost lost her.  Her Doctor said she wouldn’t make it through the weekend.  We wouldn’t even get to take our baby girl home.  But we did.  We almost lost her again due to pneumonia when she was 5 years old.  She’s still here.

God and I don’t talk a lot anymore and that’s my fault.  But I still know that Gracie is a gift from God above and that He continues to cover her in His Grace despite my failings.

Since she was two months early, and I honestly thought she was another boy, her birth kind of snuck up on us.  I was taken by helicopter to Dallas so a high risk pregnancy Doctor could deliver her.  They were wheeling me into surgery to take her by c-section and we still didn’t have a name.  I looked up at E just as we were entering the double doors to the ER and said, “By the Grace of God, we made it.”  And we had our baby girl’s name.

Gracie now wants to be called Grace.  I knew someday she would.  I’m not disappointed that she’s abandoning the Gracie in my Gracie Girl because she is Grace in every definition of the word.  It’s like God ripped every good piece of DNA out of both me and E and put it all in her.  I’m so thankful He did.

I don’t allow my kids to read my blog but I may let Gracie read this one.

Look at the stars, look how they shine for you and everything you do.  For you, I’d bleed myself dry.  For you, I’d bleed myself dry. 

I love you so very much, Gracie Girl.  Happy 14th Birthday.

Mom

Obsanely Thankful

I have a habit of accidentally mixing two words into one.  My brain doesn’t intercept and say “Hey, dipshit, that’s two words.  Separate those fuckers” before it’s too late and out of my mouth.

That happened the other night when I was yapping at E.  My brain thought “obscene” and “insane” at the same time, so from my mouth came “obsane”.  This time, I’m rolling with it because, honestly, that’s a really cool word and I am hereby making it an official word.  It’s my blog.  I can do that.

It’s after midnight, my Thanksgiving baking is done, the house is quiet except for last year’s TCU/Baylor game that Landon left on the television for me, and I’m drinking a White Russian.

I’m drinking a White Russian because when I sent E into the liquor store last weekend, I told him to get Kahlua when I meant Bailey’s Irish Cream.  I’m nothing if not maddeningly stubborn thrifty so it’s been my mission this week to have a White Russian every single damned night in order to finish this shit off.  Success is imminent.

Some friends of mine have been posting daily status updates on Facebook listing all the things they’re grateful for.  I don’t do that kind of thing.  Just don’t.  It doesn’t mean I’m not thankful.  I am.  I’m thankful for a lot of things but some of them just aren’t really printable.  Or should ever, ever be mentioned in decent company.  But since I don’t really keep very decent company, I’ll list here the things I can’t on Facebook.

Shit I’m thankful for, IN NO PARTICULAR ORDER:

  • E.  E likes to say I’m the ride and he’s just holding on.  But I know it’s completely his choice to remain on this ride called Steph and I’m obsanely thankful he does.
  • Landon.  Landon presents his challenges but everyone who meets him loves him, including and especially us.  I wouldn’t trade him for a 5 star football recruit son and if you know anything about me, that says a lot.
  • Gracie.  Where do I start?  I could write volumes about why she’s the greatest girl in this whole world.  She was a miracle from her 2 month premature birth and she continues to be a miracle today, two days from her 14th birthday.
  • The rest of my family.  Yes, even you, you bastard.  You’re still not getting Harry & David’s baklava for Christmas this year, though.
  • My friends.  Mostly the ones who actually fucking read my blog.  Especially the ones who share my blog instead of that shitty click bait you usually share with everyone five times a day that always starts with “Get a tissue.”  Fuck you.  I hate to cry, go out of my way to avoid it,  and I’d like to kick you in the balls for posting that fuckery.  But I digress in typical, passive aggressive Steph style.
  • Football.  Roll Damn Tide!
  • Football friends who respect my football rules and can engage in sane, rational football talk without devolving to “Bama sucks just because and also, my wife’s great, great uncle went to State U so it runs in our family.”  Mother fucker, the only thing that runs in your family is the innate ability to think wearing pajama pants to Walmart is a totally okay thing to do and the belief that taking your cousin to that fancy, authentic Italian restaurant Olive Garden is romantic.    To end this rant on a positive note, I’ve only had to de-friend one douche bag this year and he wasn’t family.  SO FAR.  But the Iron Bowl is this weekend and we’re not even into the Final Four yet.
  • Fall brews.
  • Fireball, which I only drink in the privacy of my own home now and under the supervision of E, for reasons we will not discuss here.
  • Jack Daniels Honey.
  • Really big brown sacks they have to use at the liquor store when I restock.
  • My makeup.  I’m a Sephora VIB Rouge member.  Don’t google that.  You don’t want to know.
  • My dog, Allie.  Yes, she’s named after Alabama football.  My friend Tonya came to see Marilyn Manson with me this past spring.  The first thing she said when she entered my house and saw Allie was, “The last thing I would’ve guessed about you is that you have a dog.”  E was watching me and Allie cuddle the other day and he said, “Why does she love you so much?”  I don’t have an answer for all that but apparently, dogs CANNOT sense evil.  What the hell?  I’m an incredibly loving, giving – never mind, fuck it.  I pretty much only like my own kids and am extremely suspicious of others until they prove they aren’t complete little assholes to me and I’m the same way with dogs.  But once you’re in, you’re in.
  • My small cozy little house that feels like a treehouse to me because it sits down a hill so seems kind of high when you’re in it.  You know what I mean?  Never mind.  I recently shared this with E and the kids and I was immediately snickered at and made to feel like a fool.  It’s my Thankful List.  It’s a fucking treehouse.
  • Texas.  I miss it.
  • Pecan pie.  I’ve recently tried just about every pecan pie in a 20 mile radius.  Sam’s is the best.  Don’t argue with me.
  • Vibrators.  Like I’d leave those off the list.
  • Dildos.
  • Water proof –  never mind.  Let’s just say anything you can find in a store you enter with the fear that the local Southern Baptist church will photograph your license plate outside this fine, upstanding business and send it to your wife.  This actually happened at the sex shop in my neighborhood in Texas.  I was enraged because what the hell?  Who the hell do you think sent E to the damned sex shop?  Deacon’s wives have kinks too, you sexually repressed (and privately jealous) fucks.  This is one of the reasons I don’t go to church anymore.  But I digress yet again.
  • This blog.  I know I don’t write very often but I feel very good when I do.  I especially feel really good when my friends COMMENT ON MY SHIT.
  • Music.  Music is my biggest addiction.  Besides alcohol.  And sex.  And pecan pie.  Hell, is there a way we can just combine all those into one big addiction?  I resolve here and now to not enter the New Year without doing all of these simultaneously.  And reporting back to you good people.  Not while doing it.  I’ll report back after the fact.  Hold me to it.

Baylor is just about to suddenly and mercilessly kick TCU in their collective taint(s) (remember, this is last year’s game so I know how this shit ends) and also, the double White Russian has kicked in.  I’m sure there are things I’m leaving out here on my Thankful List but that’ll do for now.

I’ve been sitting on this meme all year, y’all.  Here you go:

mixer

I hope your holiday baking is done.  I wish you and your family a very Happy Thanksgiving.  I hope there are many, many things on your Thankful List and I hope I’m one of them.

If you’d like to read last year’s Thanksgiving post, click here, awesome reader.

Pants Are Highly Overrated

I was standing in the kitchen last night (early this morning, actually) at 2 a.m., making noodles and fighting a raging case of insomnia.  I was listening to the new music releases on Spotify (which was utterly depressing, don’t do it) with headphones on.  I was wearing nothing but a long sleeved, plaid flannel button up shirt, and my panties.  I had no pockets and needed my hands to make noodles so I put my phone down my panties for safe keeping.  Don’t judge me.

My panties have done a lot of shit over the years but this was a new one.  They started ringing and not a normal ring tone.  It was that weird Facebook Messenger ringtone when someone calls you wifi to wifi that sounds like a woodpecker playing percussion after a really bad trip.  Don’t hold me to that, that’s just my take on it.  I’ve never actually met a woodpecker and I’ve never been on a bad trip.  Bad hangovers but no bad trips.

But I digress yet again.

I’ve never actually followed through with one of those Messenger calls because it’s usually a butt dial.  But I retrieved my phone from the nether regions of my panties and saw it was my good friend “Lulu”.  Lulu and I message every single day but have never actually talked to each other on the phone or met in person.  It’s kind of weird that a chick I’ve never met before knows that I can’t put buttercream frosting anywhere near my vagina without followup medical intervention but I wouldn’t change it for the world.

Lulu and I had been messaging each other earlier, commiserating over our mutual elusive Sand Mans.  She was cooking, I was starving and sleepless in bed.  A coughing fit overtook me (I’m still sick) and I finally said to hell with it and got up when E threatened to (and I’m quoting) kick my coughy-y ass out of bed.

I answered my phone and said, “Did you ass dial me?”  Turned out, she kind of neck/boob called me.  She stressed no nipple was involved but I told her we could save that for the next time.  We have to have something to look forward to.

I sounded like a Southern trucker due to my scratchy voice (Lulu said I didn’t but I think she was just being kind) but we were on the phone for a whole two hours, finally ending the call and going to bed at 4 a.m.

I’m kind of a loner.  I know most of you won’t believe that but it’s true.  I’d rather be home watching a movie with my kids any given night.  I’d rather not get involved in the sticky details of someone else’s life because I have enough sticky details of my own.  Issues?  Oh, I’ve got ’em.  Plus I’ve gotten back on another reading binge, which I always seem to do during the winter and I’ve learned over the years that people generally get offended when you bring a book to a get together.  Going out or inviting someone over is just too much to ask at times plus I have to put clothes on.  You know, normally.

But I’ve been trying these past several months to make myself break out of my comfort zone.  Instead of replying to a friend’s stressed, cry for help Facebook post “Hey, let me know if you need anything”, I’ve made myself type “Do you need dinner tonight or tomorrow night?” or “‘What can I buy for us to drink together and when?”

This has resulted in sitting outside on my deck for so long with a girlfriend, drinking and talking, that we were able to get drunk and then sober up in the same night/morning.  It’s led to me agreeing to be a substitute for a friend’s Bunco group, which I swore to never do again (that’s a Texas story I need to tell y’all sometime) and actually having a lovely time last week.  It’s led to counseling a good friend from high school (or attempting to) about a troubled marriage and actually being there for him via messages when he finally had to make the gut wrenching choice to leave.  It’s led to a 4 hour coffee date with a friend, holding her hand while she cried in Dunkin’ Donuts several weeks ago, confessing dark things we’d all rather keep to ourselves but just have to be admitted before it keeps us hostage in that dark place.  It’s led to having coffee with another friend in a different coffee shop, laughing and crying over much more serious things than Bunco.  Life altering things, big girl panties kind of things.  It’s led to agreeing to go with a friend’s family this Thanksgiving Day to buy dessert for and help serve the homeless in downtown Birmingham a holiday meal.

It’s made me a better person.

Don’t get me wrong.  A friend turning up on my doorstep unannounced is still kind of as perplexing to me as opening the door to a bag of flaming shit.  But I’m getting better.

ahole

Call someone you haven’t called in a while today.  Or better yet, call someone you’ve never called.  Worst case scenario is awkward silence.  Just blame it on this crazy red headed chick you know, say you accidentally ass dialed them, hang up, then put your phone back in your panties.

Have a good week, y’all.

Halloween 2015: Living Dead Girl

Halloween is 11 days away!  What the hell happened to September and October?  Ready or not, we leave for our annual Halloween trip to Orlando in 3 days, maybe 4 if we decide to put together some extra costume props.  Between costume anxiety, travel prep, a flu shot today, and a busy local Homecoming week for Landon, I feel like Rob Zombie’s “Living Dead Girl”.  So this will kind of be a Halloween free for all.  My brain is like a bag of crazy cats right now.  Or bag of crazy dicks.  Or whatever that saying is.  One of my three regular readers can let me know.

The kids and E revolted on me this year and said no makeup, they wanted “easy” costumes to wear to Disney World’s Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party, which we’ll attend the night of October 29th.  I don’t know what they all were bitching about because last year’s costumes were about as no fuss as you can get.

wpid-20141030_184951.jpg

Okay, 4 hours total of makeup and 7 inch monster boots might have been a bit much.  It still made the most epic Christmas card photo ever.

A few people know what we are dressing up as this year, most people don’t.  I’ll post a picture on Facebook and Twitter (again on October 29th), so be on the lookout for it.

I have extreme anxiety about this year’s costumes because I have gained some weight in the past year but it is what it is.  If you’re watching CNN late next week and hear about an arrest made at Walt Disney World, though, that will be me because if one little snot nosed Cheerio muncher asks “Mommy, why is (insert character name here) fat?”, I’m going to lose my shit.

I had to take my very form fitting costume into the Vietnamese tailors for a little fix last week.  You may recall how that went last year.  It went really well this year, meaning I didn’t get laughed at in a different language.  I guess “normal” costumes give you a lot more leeway with Vietnamese tailors than star spangled rock leotards do.

I’m trying to look past all the costume anxiety, frantic packing, and lack of sleep to just look forward to the events we’ll be attending.  This will be our 6th year attending both Universal Orlando’s Halloween Horror Nights (and it’s the 25th Anniversary, which will make it even more epic) and Disney World’s Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party.

Halloween in Orlando is like nothing else and I’m not the only one who thinks so.  Horror Nights Orlando has been named the best Halloween event in the world the past 7 years by the people over at The Golden Ticket Awards.  Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party is the perfect place to go if you have younger children.  It is also the only amusement park which allows costumes and that’s one of the reasons this party has become a tradition for us.  Here’s a little inside look at both of this year’s events.

I was telling E and Gracie that in the second room in the HHN 25 Years Of Mayhem And Monsters House, if you enter chanting “Bear! Bear! Bear!”, the infamous HHN bear would make an appearance.  Gracie thought for a moment and then said, “Like… a real bear?”  This is my National Honor Society student, y’all.  I told her, “Yeah, Universal got sick of crap being said about the house not being scary enough so they said ‘Oh, it isn’t scary enough?  Screw you, we’ll put a live bear in there.  See how you like that, suckers!’  Yes, I really said it like that because Gracie was in the room but y’all know what I really said in my head.

I hope your week is going well!  I’ll leave you with “Living Dead Girl”, which also happens to be one of my most favorite Halloween songs.

Tits And Bits

I was checking something on my blog for a friend and realized I haven’t posted anything since September 9th.  I figure that’s way too long to not punish y’all write a post, so here I am.

How’s my decrepit, traitorous back?  Thank you for asking.  I can now bend over without using every curse word I know (and that’s a lot) and I’ve put the heating pad away for future old lady ailments.  I’m not googling “How many damned Motrin can I take before I overdose my lame ass?” everyday just to make sure the answer hasn’t changed.  My deep tissue massage went well.  It made me more sore (sorer?) for a couple days but I think it helped.  I have another one scheduled for next month because I’m a masochist like that.  We are planning on going back to Six Flags over Georgia in a few weeks for Fright Fest and I plan to give the Mind Bender a lot of side eyes and shade for screwing me up.  Bitch.

Let’s get on with the August/September issue of Tits and Bits, where I clean out my list of funny and maybe not so funny tidbits (your mileage may vary) one liners and happenings which may or may not deserve a whole blog post or I’m just too damned lazy to write a whole blog post about.


Me:  I had a nightmare.  I had another baby.

E:  Was it mine?

Back off.  He’s taken, ladies.


My friend Lulu was dealing with some hair in a spot she’d never dealt with being hairy before and asked for my advice.  Well, I actually don’t remember if she specifically asked for my advice but as I do in all situations like that, I gave it to her anyway.  My response was “Shave everything that doesn’t move and if it does move, you chase that shit down and shave it anyway.”


When I was in Texas this past July, my besties and I went to my brother’s bar for another wonderful drag show.  Yes, I still owe you a post on that.  I’ve been busy doing old lady shit like lounging on heating pads and cursing Time.  Anyway, Fantasia somehow talked me into agreeing to get our nipples pierced that night as soon as the bar closed.  I agreed because I was drunk and apparently I’m a pussy and can’t say “Hell no” to friends.  Luckily, the tattoo shop was closed by the time the bar closed.  Fantasia still won’t let it go, though.

wpid-screenshot_2015-09-25-09-13-49-1.png

Fantasia, I’m making it official.  I do not want to have big ass stainless steel needles inserted into my precious, tender nipples.  They have never done me wrong and you’re asking me to subject them to this treachery?  I don’t know what your nipples ever did to you but they seriously need to sit your ass down and have a heart to heart.  Y’all need to hug this shit out.  I guess I could possibly turn on my own nipples under certain circumstances but you’re probably going to have to roofie me.  Like more than usual.

And I’ll get that Girl’s Night At The Drag Show wrap-up post written soon, y’all.  I promise.  I mean it this time.  Don’t leave me, baby.  I’ll do you right from now on.


We were in Daytona Beach this past summer and that place is chock-full of alligators.  E and I started talking about how to successfully wrestle a full grown gator.  You know, because we’re experts on that being Texas natives and now living for the past several years in central Alabama, where the closest I’ve gotten to a free range gator is the deep fried variety when we eat at Pappadeaux’s.  Anyway, I said “To capture a gator, you just use the same technique I used to capture you, baby – blind them and sit on them”.  You’re welcome for that advice, single ladies.  Be sure to send me an invite to the wedding.


I was recently caught in a web surfing worm hole and came across an article titled “30 Reasons You Need A Pair Of Leather Pants”.  Here’s 30 reasons I don’t:  The 29 pounds I’ve packed back on and all of the deep South for 10 months out of the year.  I swear, these bitches.


I’m married to an engineer so I can’t avoid being ensnared in some scientific mumbo jumbo talk every now and then, despite my wailing and gnashing of teeth.  During one of these discussions, E condescendingly asked, “You know what an EMP is, don’t you?”  After I flipped him off, I said indignantly, “Yes, I do.  I saw Godzilla, thank you very much!”

On a side note, “Let them fight” is one of my favorite movie quotes of all time.


On a final, sad note, Alabama lost against Ole Miss last Saturday night.  Someone didn’t read my Primer To Being Friends With Me During College Football Season or my Amendment To My Primer To Being Friends With Me During College Football Season.  I know that’s a lot of reading but my friendship is usually worth it.  Okay, not really.  I wouldn’t go to the trouble, either.  Anyway, I had my own little meltdown and this was the product of that.

wpid-screenshot_2015-09-25-10-43-03-1.png

As soon as I think I have all my Alabama football bases covered, some Einstein gets a football hard on and thinks they found a loop hole to my football rules.  New amendment.  And seriously, this shit is getting old.  I can’t keep track of all this fuckery.  Watch your own damned shitty football team and worry about your own damned dogs in the fight.  Anyway, back to the Amendment to the Amendment to my Football Primer Guide To Staying Friends With Me During Football Season:  Texts to E will NOT be read to me, motherfuckers.  Also, I’m not sending your ass that delicious Harry & David’s Baklava this Christmas.  That’s right.  You done shit your bed.

Roll Tide, anyway, y’all.


Thanks for reading, as always, even you motherfuckers.  Have a good weekend, y’all!