The One Where My Baby Turns 18.

My first words to him were, “There are two before you. But you are the Prince. For one year. Then you are on your own.”
He interpreted that as, “I rule. All bow down to my wishes.”
He was right

.

He didn’t sleep for the first three years he was on this Earth. Just as we were ready to turn him back in for a new model, My Man headed off to the War College, The Wild Boy and I came to an understanding. Sleep returned to our household and he was content to sleep back in his own bed when dad came home for visits.
He wanted to play football and bugged me until I relented because I was convinced that he would get hit once and never want to play football again.
Hitting was his favorite part of the game and he complained until the last day of his Senior year of football that he should have been a defensive player so he could block instead of a wide receiver.
He is a true Wheeler/Smith in that he loves animals; has a wicked, sarcastic streak; when he loves, he loves big. And when he is hurt, he is hurt big.
He was putting words into sentences at age 1.
He was running around the house at age 1.
His mother was one exhausted 30-something.
He was the funniest kid. I hear rumors that he he still is, but for the last 4 years or so, his interaction with his father and I has been pretty much grunts and stares from his side.
He was born on January 30. 
His mother was born on January 31.
He was the best birthday present I have ever had.

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Dreaming of working out.

This is my current workout playlist. I’m currently into JT. Now, back in my day, JT was James Taylor. For My Girl, it is Justin Timberlake. There is no James Taylor on my playlist, I assure you, although I do still like the original (and only) JT.
One day, I will share with y’all stuff from when I was That Girl. And I’m not talking Marlo Thomas. For now, though, I will share two things:
1. That Girl was more fit. She had to workout or she would kill someone.
2. I didn’t like That Girl very much. Okay, I didn’t like her at all.
I am still working on loving This Girl. I am still trying to figure out who This Girl is. Seems like just when I start to get comfy with her, life changes. And so does she. Maybe that is who This Girl really is. Ever-Changing This Girl. 
I will share two things about This Girl that I do know:
1. This Girl is better when she is taking a mild chill pill.
2. This Girl still needs to workout.
And please, although I love y’all so very much, please don’t email me, text me, comment on all of the things YOU like about This Girl. I appreciate it. And you. I do. That’s not my point here. If you want to, however, I will take your encouragement and butt-kickin’ on needing to workout. 
That’s all I have for you today. I’m still trying to figure out the blogging schedule/subjects/do I even need to blog stuff. 
And, because I am all about keeping it realz…yes, I have ordered and just received a book. One book, 17 days into January. Not bad for This Girl. Funny, isn’t it? This is the book I ordered and received today:

http://rcm-na.amazon-adsystem.com/e/cm?lt1=_blank&bc1=000000&IS2=1&bg1=FFFFFF&fc1=000000&lc1=0000FF&t=ntgtg-20&o=1&p=8&l=as4&m=amazon&f=ifr&ref=ss_til&asins=0310328357

Love you guys.

A cold January morning brings many…

thankfuls…

…my warm home…full of sleeping, grown-up children
…Venti bold coffee…procured by my husband while I was still asleep
…a gas fireplace…one click and instant warmth
…amazing young women who greet me with hugs and laughter…
…moon-gazing
…over-exuberant puppies in the morning
…girlfriends to share life with…the good, the bad and the pain
…and the men who love them
…second chances…and third…and tenth
…soft yarn…especially of a purple hue
…the rhythmic ticking of a beloved vintage clock

Almost a week into January and here I sit…

Some things that are on my mind lately.

Yesterday at church, a sweet friend walked up to me and told me she loved my hair cut. I immediately started in with, “oh, I’ve already had to color it since I got it cut (and colored) three weeks ago!” and “it already needs a trim.” And blahblahblah. The more I brushed it off (no pun intended), the more she just looked at me. *you know who you are and I am so sorry I blabbered on like such an idiot! Thank you, C, for the comment about my hair!*

So here’s the thing. Why can’t we (I?) just accept a complement and say, “thank you!” Am I the only woman who does this? I do it all. the. time. Is it embarrassment? It just seems flat out rude to me not to say thank you and move on. Weigh on in here, ladies.

Saturday, My Man and I attended a wedding. As a rule, I am not a huge fan of weddings since Andy died. They remind me now of what will never be for him and for the rest of our family. Especially since he was shopping for rings with Megs a couple days before he died. Wedding. Saturday. My Man was in the sound booth for the wedding and I sat with a couple of friends. Now, I know my bff’s pretty well and as soon as the music started and we stood up I looked over at one to make sure she was already crying. She was. Made my heart so happy to see the tears streaming down her face already. It is one of the things I absolutely love about her. As we settled into the wedding, for the first time in two plus years, I was able to relax a little and just be happy for the bride and groom. Our new Pastor did an awesome job. And I really listened to everything he said and (does anyone else do this?) with each charge he made to them and they to each other, I thought about my own marriage and how I was doing in each area. Not how Russell was doing, but how I was doing. It was quite the eye-opener. I realized I should be doing a lot better. I looked up to the sound booth a few times and caught his eye a time or two. We haven’t discussed it. But I am thinking he was probably thinking the same thing. You know…how I could be doing better. But really, it did speak to my heart.

Anyone else finding it difficult to get back in the swing of things after the Holidays? All of the (trillions) of things I want to get started on? Meh. Sitting here in front of the fireplace typing this up and looking around at my Christmas-bare living room and just don’t know what to do first. Have y’all found it easy to jump back in and get going on things? Or are you sitting on your couch wondering where in the world to begin (like me)?

Stay safe and warm…the Arctic Vortex is apparently upon us.

A mother-daughter afternoon.

I noticed today that I have been complaining that come August…2014…when we return from Radford University after dropping The Wild Boy off for his first semester of his first year of college…I keep complaining that I won’t be “an empty-nester.”

I will share a secret with you. I don’t want to be an empty-nester. Yet. Maybe some day. But I’m not ready.

Even though I still do mounds of laundry. Every day.
Even though I spend hundreds of dollars on food. Each week.
Even though I stumble over Size 13 and 14 and 7.5 shoes and boots. All over the house.
Even though I have to close bedroom doors because my bp rises a few points each time I walk by and catch a glimpse of the mess. And it’s not just the bedrooms at times.

Then there are times like these…

When your daughter informs you that she will never have children because she just learned about Meconium.

When a sketchy looking man with a hoodie and scruffy beard tells you to “get the f(#& out of my way” at Trader Joe’s and your daughter wants you to point him out to her so she can take him down, or at least give him a stern talking to for being so rude to her momma.

When your daughter tells you that there is plenty of room in her bed if Dad’s snoring gets to be too much. *she’s a thrasher from day 1 of birth so I have learned to pass on that offer unless I want a bloody nose and multiple leg bruises*

When you and your daughter laugh so hard and loudly at the Starbucks that people stare at you. And they smile.

When your daughter states, out loud, that she has seriously enjoyed the afternoon spent with you and you tell her that since you could die tomorrow you want her last memories of you to be good ones. And you both start laughing. *See the previous paragraph.*

And this:

Empty-nest? I don’t think so.

Love you guys.

Part 2…2014

Today was a really. long. day. After a really. long. night. Very little sleep until about 5:00 am, which coincidentally happened to be when my *could-very-soon-be-ex* husband finally left for work. I feel bad for him…he has a cold and he coughed and snored all night long. He also kept his wife awake. All. Night. Long. Three hours of sleeping like the dead is better than nothing, I suppose.

So my entire day was thrown off from the get-go. I managed to salvage it and get a lot done at the office. Had planned a stroll or 20 around the parking lot as my workout today but I neglected *in my sleepy stupor* to grab a hat, gloves or jacket when I headed out the door this morning.

So far, this post is a whole buncha whining.

Moving on. Now. To some fun randomness. Or as Mrs. Lady D likes to call it: “a list without numbers.”

Tomorrow is Day 3 of the New Year. Already, time is flying by! There are exactly 28 days until my Wild Boy turns 18 and 172 days until he graduates from High School. Stop the craziness!

It is currently snowing outside. I love snow. We have four “man vehicles” aka four-wheel-drive so if y’all need anything…give a shout out. As I have been sitting here, in the living room with the fireplace going, a plow truck has gone by four times. We have exactly 3 cm of snow on the ground. Where was this guy when when we Snowmageddon? We NEVER had a snow plow on our street, except for the one that got stuck at the top of the street and My Man and Boys helped pull him out. At which time he promptly drove away without ever plowing our street.

We pay off our two car loans between now and August of this year. Already, My Man is on the new-to-us car hunt. Or, new-to-me car hunt, rather. Apparently my back and forth mile to the office every day is racking up too many miles on the truck. So we are going to park it and buy something for me to drive. Call me confused, but why can’t I just drive the truck? It won’t matter come mid-August anyway as I will have the Red Jeep back as my very own since the Wild Boy is heading off to college. *did anyone laugh out loud with me when they read that?* We all know how that’s going to play out.

Last night My Man and I stood out in our front yard watching a bunch of those candle balloon luminary thingies launch from somewhere on the other side of Etta. I was wondering if it was the Steven’s family who released them. Does anyone in the OH ‘Hood know? We tried making our own whilst at the beach last summer. Also known as the OBX Fire of 2013. Just kidding…they dropped straight to the ground like a flaming rock.I just googled them and discovered they are officially called, “Sky Lanterns.” Fancy.

I’ve been fighting this whole writing thing. You know I have aspirations to be a “serious writer.” Apparently, it’s just not my thing. God has been talking to me about being who He created me to be…there goes the snow plow again, fyi…and that I need to stop being someone/something I am not. So it’s taken 52 a few years to figure that one out. You can teach a new dog…yadda yadda.

Tonight I began the big office clean-out. My goal is to go through and purge pictures this Winter. Every single time we went to the zoo, My Man took several rolls of film. How many pics of the two zebras and 1 camel at the National Zoo do we need? Also, tons of blurry, light back in your face shots of snakes through the glass? All of them are headed straight for the dumpster.

Stay safe and warm tonight. 

Part 1…2014.

I wrote a post this morning. I hated it. It was my typical yakkity-yak, blippity blah, frou-frou crap. *Sorry for using “Crap”…you know I like to use it now and then. A lot. Today is that day.* So anyway. I scrapped the crap post this morning and went on my merry way taking down the Christmas Tree, packing stuff up, cutting heads of hair (My Man and The Wild Boy), then headed out for some shopping. I bought this awesome Columbia red hibiscus (more orange-y) hat for my Winter walks. I’m seriously in love with this hat.


The day included a last hurrah meal at Coastal Flats…Lobster Bisque (please make sure there are lots and lots of chunks of lobster meat) and Lobster Roll. Oh. So. Yummy. A nice long grocery store run, stocking up on healthy, whole fruits and veggies and seafood.

But the crap post kept creeping into my thoughts. What was I supposed to do with it? I hadn’t a clue.

I was checking my email and saw a New Year’s Day post from Beth Moore. The more I read, the more I realized what I was supposed to do. I had to be honest with y’all.

I try to pick a word each year that describes my thoughts and goals and plans for the upcoming year. After a few days of thinking and planning one word kept coming back to me:

Revive.

Merriam-Webster online dictionary lays out these awesome definitions:

: to make (someone or something) strong, healthy, or active again
: to become strong, healthy, or active again
: to bring (something) back into use…
: to restore to consciousness or life

: to restore from a depressed, inactive, or unused state :  bring back
: to renew in the mind or memory
Yes. All of these.

You see, God and I have had this on-going discussion for the last year or so. There is some stuff I need to do in order for Him to allow some other stuff to happen. Thus far, He has held up His part and I have been a real slacker. Oh, I’ve made a few changes here and there and He has been extremely generous and merciful. My fibromyalgia has been pretty quiet. That right there is a TGF (Total God Thing). And now, it is time for me to jump in, fully obedient. It is some pretty scary stuff. But y’all have my back, right? Keep me accountable. Keep me honest. Keep me open and vulnerable. See?

Scary. Stuff.

Also, here is My Man and I last night before we headed out to have a New Year’s Eve Dinner with three of the four women (and their spouses) who keep me in line and accountable. This is definitely a new fave pic of us that I guess I will be printing and framing. Seriously…this Man gets more and more handsome as he ages, agreed?

Love you guys.