Thirteen, thirteen, thirteen, thir-teen… please don’t make my little boy a man

Tuesday, June 18th, 2019

Wells turned thirteen at the end of April. I know, I know. I haven’t posted about him here in a while so he’s only like 9 in blog years. Heck, I live with him and it snuck up on me. I wrote the list below and gave him a copy on his birthday. He told me it was his favorite gift. That is not really saying much. The other gift was a monogrammed bag and matching dopp kit. When he opened it he said, “It is just what EVERY thirteen year old boy wants… a duffle bag!” Maybe my next post should be a gift guide.

Thirteen Things You Should Know About Being a Teenager

1. Jesus loves you… and you need to love him back. Read your Bible. Pray… and not just when you need something. Thank God daily for the awesome life he has given you and all your blessings. When you are dancing with a girl, leave space for the Holy Spirit. Make good choices. You can do things the hard way or the easy way. Following Jesus is the easy way.

2. You only have one body and it’s on you to take care of it. Take a shower every day. Brush your teeth and floss the ones you’d like to keep. Always wear deodorant but stay away from Axe body spray. Eat lots of vegetables and drink plenty of water. Don’t forget to wear sunscreen. Always wear your seatbelt, it isn’t optional. Do not speed. Don’t text and drive. Never get into a car driven by someone who is intoxicated.

3. Be kind to other people. Take a stand if you see someone being treated unfairly. Be nice to the person who messes up your order. Put other people’s feelings ahead of your own. One of the greatest joys in life is helping others. Decide what you can do to help and get started now.

4. People will pressure you to do things you know aren’t right. They will say lame things like, “You would if you were my friend.” Or the classic, don’t be such a wimp or baby or whatever else teens call each other to be mean. Please don’t care what other people think. Unless your parents are the “other people,” in which case, care. The opinions of people who don’t love or care for you do not matter. Also, people who pressure others to do bad things usually end up in jail.

5. Vaping is not cool. Vaping is not safe. Inhaling coconut vanilla scented chemicals might seem like a good idea now, but so did frying in a tanning bed in 1995. I won’t even mention smoking or drugs because I know you aren’t stupid.

6. The internet is forever. Don’t send anyone anything you wouldn’t want posted on the front page of the newspaper. But social media seems harmless! And Snapchat filters are fun! Just know, any photo you send can be screenshot and distributed via group text to everyone you know INCLUDING YOUR MAMA.

7. You don’t know everything. Your parents are not dumb. You will miss living here one day.

8. The legal drinking age is 21. The teenage years are one of the most important times for brain development and alcohol consumption can have a damaging impact. Like irreversible damage. TO YOUR BRAIN. Go ahead and decide what to say when someone offers it to you. Because they will.

9. You must work hard for what you want. You don’t just get things because you think you are entitled. You want to go to a good college? Study and make good grades. Want to be great at basketball? Practice. Want to buy your mother an amazing gift? Ask your Daddy for a loan.

10. You will have many different friends, but you only have one family. Spend time with us. Be considerate and respectful. Always be honest with us and know that you can tell us anything. Love us and let us love you… because we do. And we always will. Also, be nice to your brother because he may be bigger than you one day.

11. Just be a good person. Have a good attitude. Do the right thing. Look people in the eye when they are talking to you. Say yes ma’am and no ma’am. Don’t talk during church. Or interrupt when others are talking. Respect your elders. Use your blinkers. Don’t honk at the person in front of you when the light turns green. Don’t think your time is more valuable than others. Return your grocery buggy. DO NOT park in spots reserved for disabled people. Always tip your waiter. Never listen to Nickelback.

12. You need to put the iPhone down. Have actual conversations with people. Go outside. Look at the sunset. Read books. You live in a magical, beautiful world but you will need to look up to enjoy it. You are a smart, handsome, talented and funny guy. Don’t let technology suck the life out of you.

13. There is always hope. People say and do mean things. Life can be disappointing. No matter how upset, sad, alone or depressed you feel, know we are always here for you. Things that are important to you now, won’t be so important when you look back. Trust me, I know. I was thirteen once.

Smoking the pumpkin spice

Friday, September 28th, 2018

My blog password is 27 random characters. The fact that I remember it is the first miracle of this day.

On Monday, it was 94 degrees. Right now, it is 64. That, my friends, is the second miracle. I feel like a switch inside me has been flipped. This is what I plan to do today:

Buy some apples. Lots of apples. I will lie to myself about making an apple pie fully knowing it takes too long and is too much work. I will lie to others about the Sara Lee I serve after Sunday lunch.

Wear some riding boots. And a cardigan! And a scarf! So what if the high is 78 today? The high I get from layering all that shizz on will be worth it.

(Speaking of clothes, guess what is “in” for fall. Animal print. Just like every other fall for the past twenty years. It’s sort of like saying, “Coats are SO IN for winter.” Or, “bathing suits are a MUST this summer.” Don’t get me wrong, I love it. But, I would like for it to stop being referred to as “this year’s trend.” Also, we need to include all animals because the non-felines are starting to get offended.)

Decorate my house with pumpkins. My entire house. Laundry room? Pumpkin. Back of the toilet? Pumpkin. Kid zoned out playing Fortnight? PUMPKIN. It’s like I’m the freaking Fall Fairy Godmother except these babies will still be here after midnight.

Replace my scorched summer plants with mums that will be dead by next weekend. They will smell funny and look okay for seven whole days!

Kick over any Christmas displays I see while out shopping for animal prints. If I see a giant inflated Santa, his ho ho ho a$$ is getting tackled. Don’t come at me with that until after Thanksgiving.

Make chili. And taco soup. And candy corn trail mix.

Gain approximately four pounds. Who cares! I’ll just throw another layer over my Spanx leather leggings then post a link so you can shop my original look! In case you are wondering (you’re not), they fit true to size… IF you are the size of a toddler. They actually fit like a sausage casing. You will have to ask for help to remove them from your body at the end of the day. I’m breaking a sweat just thinking about it. #swipeup #sponsored #ad

Smoke some pumpkin spice. Because lattes are so last year.

I have missed y’all. Happy fall!

Death and Taxes

Tuesday, April 11th, 2017

One of my resolutions for 2017 was to blog more. I feel really good about it. Unlike my other resolution… to not turn forty. I really didn’t have much choice on forty, as the alternative was a total downer.

(Before you start patting me on the back for my follow through, you should know I’m only blogging now to avoid doing my taxes.)

I started doing reformer Pilates in the last year in an attempt to strengthen my core before the osteoporosis sets in. I really enjoy it. Probably because I am horizontal through most of the class and can pretend I get to nap at the end. A few weeks after my birthday, I noticed my right leg was numb. Completely numb. I told a friend about it and she convinced me it was blood clot. After four doctor visits, blood work and a vigorous round of nerve conduction tests, I was diagnosed with a Pilates injury. I hurt my back trying to strengthen my back. My sister said that’s what I get for working out. She doesn’t, and her legs feel just fine.

Today I attended a CPE seminar at a country club here in town. I must say I got a little jealous of all the fabulous ladies drinking wine spritzers in their tennis outfits. They were probably equally jealous of the accounting and auditing update I received. Probably.

Also me: *wants to feel my leg*

I really don’t think one can be considered a trophy wife at forty. Unless one is married to an eighty year old.

Hey, as long as he can drive at night. And file his own taxes.

before the fall

Monday, September 26th, 2016

I live in Mississippi. I can handle the summer heat. Ninety-eight degrees and 110% humidity in August? Bring it.

Then the first day of fall rolls around and something inside me snaps. I’m happily scrolling through Instagram when I see someone wrapped in a blanket scarf and I spontaneously combust. Dead. It is 100 degrees here. The leaves aren’t turning. They are begging for water and mercy. If there was a “Fall in the South” candle, it would smell like body odor and defeat.

In an effort to embrace the season, I switched out my summer clothes with autumnal hued tank tops. I painted my nails almost as dark as the place I’m in. I thought about making chili but got light-headed and ate a few ice chips instead. I also tried to harvest our decorative gourds from the storage room. After ten minutes in the oppressive heat, I gave up and took another shower. Fire pits are hot. Pit marks are not.

Speaking of, we attended an afternoon SEC football game. I can only describe the experience as a glimpse into what Hell is like. Good times.

If you are experiencing lovely fall weather, you probably can’t identify. Take the lid off your pumpkin spice latte. Dump it over your head. That is how the interior of my car feels after being parked in the shade for 15 minutes. I apologize for telling you to do that. But it’s like my grandmother always said, it is just too hot to be nice. (She didn’t really say that.)

A few nights ago, there was a noise outside that sounded like a 747 landed on our house. A small animal crawled into our air conditioner condenser unit and met its fate with the fan blades. Clearly it was just trying to cool off. Or maybe it couldn’t go on living in a place with no seasons. I’m sorry if things just got real.

And then like a well-delivered punchline from God, a “cold front” is forecasted. That’s right. The highs this week are expected to be in the upper 80s.

Amen, hallelujah and get the crockpot. It’s fall y’all.