okay. I’m back. I think.

wow. this will be stream of consciousness, so . . . good luck following it. and you know how, when I post, I usually have a point? Yeh. Not today. I also have decided to play a little game with this post. How many bloggers can I link to in one post? Let’s see, shall we?

The last two weeks have been . . . distracting. FirstHusband was on travel Monday through Thursday of this past week and Sunday through Thursday of the week before. (I’m so thankful he was home on the weekends.) This week, there are only two full days (Monday and Tuesday) and two half days (Wednesday and Thursday) of school and then. Summer vacation. (I’m so thankful that I only work part-time, mostly at home and can spend most of the summer doing fun things with my kids.)

I don’t expect to complete a thought until 7:35am on August 13th. (yep. that would be the first day of school.)

I read a blogger recently express how May was NOT her favorite month. (Was it Lisa Writes?) I agree. My body agrees. I put myself in traction this morning and right now, I’m on a muscle relaxant (hence the stream of consciousness). I have arthritis in my neck and I haven’t put myself in traction since I started working out with a personal trainer back in September. I was so cocky. I move up to 12 pound dumbbells for my workout and think I’m all that. So. I carried a couch. Not by myself, mind you. I only carried one side of a couch. A guy carried the other. I know. I’m paying for the stupidity today. (I’m so thankful that FirstHusband is home and I don’t have to work today. It’s a good day to do nothing.)

I carried the couch at a charity garage sale I worked on Thursday and Friday. It took 16 hours on Thursday (I didn’t work all that time) to set it up and there were a LOT of volunteers. Friday morning, I listed the sale on Craigslist and spent the entire day working the sale, stopped a few minutes before 4pm to go watch the “cheer” performance PinkGirl participated in after a week of after school cheer camp. Then PinkGirl was off to her first sleepover and I went back to help pack up the leftover garage sale stuff for the charity truck that was coming Saturday morning. The whole thing was exhausting, but I’m so thankful that we made $3,500 at the sale to benefit PinkGirl’s 1st Grade teacher. In December, this mother of two was diagnosed with Stage IV breast cancer, and I’m so thankful that, in April, she was told her cancer was “RESOLVED!” If you have questions about cancer, go on over to simply a musing blog and learn more about it. Thanks to Chilihead/Melanie over at Don’t Try this at Home for the link!

Going back in time to last Saturday, May 10th, I provided program and music at the Mother’s Day Brunch at my church. I’m so thankful that I didn’t forget any of the lyrics to either song, that people laughed in all the right places during my presentation and that I remembered all the sign language to my second song (Word of God Speak). I hadn’t delivered a full program in over two years and I was so stressed about it. I rehearsed in my solitary time (in the car) for over a month (yes, the sign language too), and was very worried that I would lose my focus, but I’m so thankful that in the end, it was like recess! Saturday afternoon, the family went to help my mother pack for her move to Arkansas. We left to come home at 9:45pm and the packing was still not finished. But I’m so thankful that we didn’t go back over there on Mother’s Day, but rather, spent the day together as a family.

Sunday (Mother’s Day), I sang at church and then came home to spend the afternoon saving hundreds of tiny little lives. See this is what you get when you don’t stock up on pool filters for the winter:

Redneck Pool Full of TadpolesFrog and Tadpole

I spent Mother’s Day afternoon scooping HUNDREDS of tadpoles out of the pool. It was a mindless task, just what I needed that day and I’m so thankful for the opportunity to show my kids the various stages of frog life. Who am I kidding? I thought was cool! I had never seen a tadpole/frog in mid development before. Two legs in front, tail in the back? Weirdly cool. We put some in various stages of development a fish bowl and took them to PinkGirl’s 1st grade classroom for a few days. Then, when it was time for PinkGirl to say goodbye to all her (named) friends, I’m so thankful that BestDaddy was home to go with her down to the edge of the pond behind our backyard. They let the little guys go and had some wonderful Daddy/Little Girl time. Jump to today and BestDaddy and PinkGirl spent the afternoon saving more lives before finally draining the pool all the way. Then another trip to water’s edge and some fun alone time together. So sweet. In a span of one week, we transferred hundreds, if not more than a thousand little frogs to be from our redneck (above ground) swimming pool into a pond behind our house.

It’s going to be a very LOUD summer.

I’m WAY behind on the book study of The Excellent Wife, lead by Leslie over at Lux Venit, but I did ask FirstHusband to read Chapter 6 and the post I wrote after reading it. His words?

“Well, I read it because you asked me to. But . . . I’ve already been through all that and I just don’t want to do it again. I don’t believe that way and I don’t want you to do those things. I like us the way we are.”

I’m so thankful for this man. And for his momma. When we first began dating, he often told me that he was drawn to me because I was “different” than the other girls in Baptist Campus Ministry. Over the last 18 years, he’s convinced me that “different” was a compliment. When I studied communication in college, I learned about a phenomenon called Groupthink. In a (tiny, little) nutshell, Groupthink refers to the idea that absolute consensus is a bad thing. It produces poor decisions. Well, in our marriage, Groupthink isn’t part of our relationship. We challenge each other. We tell each other the truth, but always in love. If one of us is wrong, we want to know about it BEFORE we make a fool of ourselves or lose the respect of other people. We both want to see ourselves from the other’s perspective as well as from our own. It’s a truer, more honest and well-rounded reflection. As far as The Excellent Wife book study goes? I’m still reading the book, but as I continue to ask FirstHusband what he thinks of what I’m reading, I can tell you, the content of the book isn’t motivating life/marriage changes for us.

I LOVE the “momku” written by Jesus and Dark Chocolate! I think I need a grown-up slumber party like Domestic Accident. I definitely need to find out what Alyson is talking about. What is this “PedEgg” thing she’s talking about? And Rebekah? I’m right there with you when you say, “I’ve β€˜met’ many people through blogging who I really wish I could live next door to and sit on the front porch with a cup of tea and chat.” And a big thanks to Mir for giving me a heads up on the next book I want: “Sleep is for the Weak.” And now Jane at What about Mom? has given yet another nudge to read “Atlas Shrugged” boost since I read that Shannon at Rocks in My Dryer had “Atlas Shrugged” on her reading list this year – but now it’s not on her list anymore. hmmm. I LOVE the photographs Chris posts over at Notes from the Trenches. Really, make the time to look. Wonderful! Also, check out the “Dadsense” song from Anita Renfroe over at Mommy Needs Coffee. It’s her follow-up to the Mom Overture I posted a while back.

And now for a walk down Memarie Lane, where the recipes are cheap, easy and delicious, the google search strings are weirder than mine and where Atreyu is still alive and well (btw, it’s Bastian who has to call out your new name). She’s brave enough to post a full-length photo of herself 20 weeks pregnant, helpful enough to share tips for talking to pregnant women and has posted – by far the BEST Lunch idea in the blogosphere.

So. My mother left. As I mentioned, we started packing her on Saturday, May 10th. On Tuesday, around 4:30pm, MiddleSister (mine) called from the Walmart parking lot while she was waiting for my mom to pick up prescriptions. MiddleSister drove the truck to Arkansas, following my mom, who drove her car. It took from Saturday till Tuesday to pack the truck. Monday I went over to my Dad’s house (sounds weird – “Dad’s House”) to help. I’m not even going to go there, but suffice it to say, at the end of the day, FavoriteSon asked:

“Mom? Can I ask you a question? Did I do anything right today?”


I immediately apologized to him and told him it wasn’t his fault. I was taking out my stress on him and I was SO sorry. I HATE that I did that.

Anyway. My mom is gone. She left Tuesday and my sister flew home yesterday. She and my dad came to see me at the local bowling alley where I was at a birthday party with PinkGirl. I appreciate my sister for driving the truck to Arkansas. So much. If she didn’t do it, I’m afraid my dad would have. He is such a gracious man. I bought him a computer at the garage sale and spent Saturday morning cleaning it up, installing software and getting it set up for him.

Hey! I just realized something! I lifted the couch on Friday. My neck only hurt a little on Saturday and I had full range of motion. I bowled on Saturday. Today, I have limited motion and much more pain. So. I decree it was the bowling and NOT the lifting of the couch. Until I want to bowl again. Then, it was the lifting of the couch. Yep. That works for me.

I thought I was doing okay with the stress of all this stuff with my mom, but it turns out that my body is giving me away. I had a dental cleaning and the dentist says:

“You’ve been clenching. Does your jaw hurt?”


“You’ve cracked a filling. Do you have any pain?”


“Your temporalis muscle is about 4 times larger than normal.”

Then realization. “Could this be why I can’t open my mouth all the way? I’m a vocalist and I can’t seem to get a full voice sound because I can’t get my mouth open all the way.”

“Yes. Definitely.”

Well. crud.

Long story short? I need to relax my jaw. I cannot count how many times I caught myself clenching on Tuesday and consciously stopped. I’ve also been tapping out rhythms with my jaw. The dentist has instructed me to transfer the tapping to my fingers, so I’m going to intentionally give myself a new tic. While suggesting a mouth guard, the dentist also suggested I massage my jaw, use warm compresses, take ibuprofen and try to consciously STOP doing this. We both feel like I may be able to stop it, since it is a fairly recent development. It’s been 6 days and I can honestly say my jaw doesn’t hurt so much. I still can’t get my mouth open all the way. But it’s only been six days. I’m so thankful that I have a GREAT dentist! I didn’t always.

I got an Award this month! Mocha with Linda gave me a “You Make My Day” Award along with some wonderful, edifying comments in her post! Thanks, fellow freak!

Debbie over at Midnight Musings nominated me for another award! The Arte Y Pico award for blog creativity, design, interesting material, and contributions to the blogging community, no matter what the language. Wow. little me? cool! Thanks Debbie!

Okay, I’ll admit, I took a nap in the middle of all that. FirstHusband said I was “loopy” from the muscle relaxant and sent me off to bed.

Just before bed, PinkGirl climbed up next to me on the couch and said,

“Mom, who’s your favorite character in ‘Annie’?”

hmmm. “I would have to say, Miss. Hannagin”

“ME TOO! I like that song, ‘Little Girls’ that she sings.”


Carol Burnette is so GREAT in this movie. (PinkGirl doesn’t really get why she’s drinking so much water. She thinks all the little girls just make Miss Hannagin crazy.)

We need a vacation. We’re going to spend a few days on the boat. DAYS, mind you. You know, drive over to the coast from our house (45 minutes away), spend the day on the boat and have it back to the marina before our storage facility closes up at 4:30pm. We may drive a little north and rent a day slip at another marina, but we would get a hotel room. LOVE LOVE LOVE the ocean. And the poem The Queen B wrote about vacation in Florida!

Still thinking about the question over at Mel’s World: If you had all the TIME in the world, and all the MONEY in the world, what would you do? Go on over and answer!

Like Lysa over at Proverbs 31 Ministries, I’ve been motivated to transition my bedroom from the “catch all” space to a relaxing haven. I’ll post photos soon.

Finally. Thanks Amy for so eloquently explaining one of the guiding philosophies in my life. Check out my post over at Pragmatic Communion entitled “builder unknown.”

8 thoughts on “okay. I’m back. I think.

  1. Wow. This was the most thorough post I think I’ve ever read! And that doesn’t surprise me a bit! πŸ™‚

    I love Annie! And yep, that song is a classic, as is Carol Burnett’s performance.

    Surprise, surprise, I clench my jaw and grind my teeth too….

    Yours is the only district I’ve heard of that gets out before us. Someone commented on a blog that they don’t get out ’til June 26. Yuck. We are done next Friday 5/30, but this is the last week of May-hem, because next week is finals, so no more extracurricular frenzy. (Which also means my boy will only go part days because he’ll be exempt from some.)

    Have a good day, my friend!

    Linda – We’re in private school, so we often get out before the local counties. We also go back later than public school too, but we don’t take as much time off during the year. It’s really great when we vacation locally (Disney) because we go either the first week of summer vacation or the week before school starts. We miss all the local crowds. (by JSM)

  2. Yes, I know the looping stream of consciousness particular to being on muscle relaxants. I would not have been good hippie–I detest that feeling. Do hope though that your crick in the neck becomes un-cricked, and that all things begin to fill back into sense and space. June cometh!

    Elle – I used to do this 3 and 4 times a year, so this was a great feat – almost a year without hurting myself by doing something stupid. My home traction device and my dry sauna both help, but I’m going to my chiropractor on Thursday. The last week of school schedule is just too busy to get there before then. I used to go for weeks in pain and not turning my neck until I found this guy. After one adjustment, I usually have full mobility. Still some pain, but at least I can move again. Can’t wait. (by JSM)

  3. What? No stroll down Memarie Lane? πŸ˜‰

    Memarie Lane – Who we talking about? That baby holding it’s hands in front of your eyes? There’s an entire paragraph dedicated just to you! It was there the whole time. How could you miss it? Lurker. (by JSM)

  4. LOL thanks, I must have been suffering from Brain Cloud.

    BTW I am a jaw clencher too, I’m constantly having to get my molars filled because of all the pressure I put on them.

    Marie – grin. Seriously. I added that paragraph after I read your first comment. You crack me up. I LOVE your fast paced wit. You could write with Aaron Sorkin.(by JSM)

  5. Wow. Great post. I found you though my technorati links…thanks so much for sending folks my way regarding the Cancer Q & A – I will be posting the ANSWERS to those questions Friday 5/23 (that’s tomorrow!) – so be sure to come back or send your readers back over there to see what the Docs said! πŸ™‚

  6. Wow that post was like one stop shopping. You got it all here! :)Another teacher I work with brought in a bunch of tadpole she caught from her pool. We are now watching them grow in my classroom. Although I am not sure what to feed them???
    BTW,we need a vacation also. School is out in 9 more days…can’t wait.

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