Thursday, December 29, 2011

On death and dying

I've learned that there are seasons in life. Seasons of contentment and of strife. Some of joy and others of stress. I feel my life approaching a sad season. I can't explain it really, except for the earie notion in my mind that nothing bad has happened in a it must be right around the corner.
I've thought a lot lately about death and circumstances surrounding it. We've had two policement shot to death in the community within the last few months. There's was a quick passing. Unexpected. A suprise to everyone and unknown to them. They didn't get up that morning and think, will I die today? There's is a death that comes easily for the dying, but hardest on the family.
The flipside of that is my dear uncle. He has battled cancer for a long while now. It hurts my heart to see him and the evidence that it is winning. He is so young by any standard to have to face this demon, and yet he has no choice. He knows he is dying. He lives with it every day. He does sit and wonder, is this the day? And yet for his family, his passing will be bittersweet because we know that he will not be in pain anymore. That provides some comfort.
To the dying, they are either confident or scared of what lies ahead. They believe in a God and a heaven...or they believe in nothing. Although, even the most wretched people seem to believe in God when it comes down to the final hours of life.
What comforts the ones left behind? What takes that hollow burning out of your chest? How do you move on?
I have only lost one family member in my life, my Papa. I was younger then and the trauma wasn't so much the loss of him, but the effect it had on my grandmother. I can still hear her wailing cries in my mind. But I am older and more aware now. Now, I can foresee the toll it will have on me...and it's scary.
The only healing I can surmise, comes from the sheer march of time. Luckily it keeps going and the further we get from the incident, the better we feel.

I learned a short but sweet little lesson from my uncle a very long time ago. It's one of my favorite memories of him. We were having a family yard sale. All the aunts and uncles had brought things to sell, but to a child, it was a pure wonderland of toys and books. I loved books and saw a set that I really wanted. I knew we were there to sell our items so I asked my uncle, "How much are those books?" His answer, though obscure to a child, held true meaning that I understood: "Girl, don't you know that blood is thicker than water? You can HAVE those books."
I don't know why I've always remembered that so clearly except for the fact that it defined family to me for the first time.
Family isn't just some people you know....we're connected in the deepest, most intricate of ways. We share a bloodline. And that really matters.
It also may be the reason it hurts so very much to lose family. It is felt to the the blood.

I think about my grandmother. I think about his wife. I think about his children.
I know I will be helpless to help them. There is no help to give. There is just time.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

A day with Addison is Awesome

I have some photos to share. Just random ones of my girl sleeping. There's a special peace you witness when you see a sleeping child. Sometimes, it's a funny thing to see too.

But I also love when she's awake. That's when the amusing statements come out and her personality grows. You can see her personality here.
And that would be nachos you're looking at. Have you ever seen a happier nacho eater?!!??

This is our 2011 Christmas tree. Addison was helpful and hung most of the low ornaments this year.
And this is my little reindeer. We could call her "Smitten". That's what I am at least.
Lastly we have some Christmas photos that I worked very hard to get this year. Three year-olds have Baaaaaaaaad tantrums. Let's leave it at that.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

The language of 3

Addison is coming up with such wonderfully creative little expressions. My continuing favorite: "I wuv you all de much Mommy."
And my newest favorite when asked who her best friend is: "Swoan (Sloan) is the best friend for me. She wuvs me all de much."

Tonight I sat through a 5 minute long oration about the Big Bad Wolf and and how he needed to go to time out and get spankings because he was not being nice. I couldn't agree more.

Lastly, it's Christmas decorating time again. So very soon it seems. While trying to explain to Addison that we had to move all her toys in the Living Room so that we could fit the tree in, I stood where the tree would be going and held out my arms and rotated in a circle. "See baby, the tree will go riiiiiiigggghht here."
Her skeptical response was so matter of fact that I cracked up right then and there.
"I don't think so Mommy."

Along with the language, however, has come a torrent of tantrums and excessive disobedience. We had our worst day every last Wednesday when I tried to take Addison to get her pictures taken. She wouldn't smile, wouldn't sit, threw all the stuffed animals on the floor. She started crying and then her pretty red satin dress was covered in tear drop spots. I looked around the room, seeing all the other well-behaved children and felt the most inept I've ever felt as a parent. I took her outside to cool off, but she just pitched an even bigger fit on the sidewalk. Finally, before I beat my child in public, I loaded her up and drove straight home. I was sooo upset that she was so beautifully made up and I got no picture whatsoever. I lost it and was once again thankful that I have a husband to help me raise my child as he took over and sent her to bed while I had a breakdown on the front porch swing. I may never get a picture of her at 3 years old at this rate. We'll just have to wait and see.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Thoughts on becoming a Methodist

Being born and raised Southern Baptist, I have never had to deal with the pomp and circumstance other religions display. In a Baptist church, the preacher would get fired up to the point of spitting on the front row. That is if anyone ever sat on the front row. They had to leave that one open in case the preacher was inspired to jump up in it while preaching.  In a Baptist church we always sang hymns, but only the first and last verses. I guess the middle ones just weren't that important. You could only distinguish our clergy by the guy in the full suit on Sundays. Most every other man would barely wear a tie much less a jacket. "Just as I am" was always the call to the altar and would happen at the end of the service after the message. It was your last chance to repent before walking out the door. We were really good at incorporating a covered dish supper into almost any event and the highlight of Easter Sunday was the yummy breakfast held immediately after the sunrise service. The only ceremonious events took place every blue moon when The Lord's Supper was held or someone was Baptized. Everything else was pretty much, off the cuff.
I have entered a  different world lately attending my new church, Trinity On-the-Hill Methodist. There are robes. You will always know who's in charge by their robe. There are certain songs that we sing after the offering and at the end of the service. The same little five line tune each time. We say the "Apostle's Creed".  I haven't researched it yet, and for the most part, I totally love what it says but I am confused a little about the part that says, "I believe in the holy catholic church." However, the most noticeable thing to me is the fact that they sing every single word in a hymn....every verse...every chorus. For a former Baptist, this is a bit cumbersome since we're used to just skipping to the end and being done with it.
Here's the interesting thing I've found: I like the formalities. I like the reading of the scripture in unison. I like the fact that the pastor always ends each service with a phrase that starts something like, "May peace be with you..." as he makes a symbol of a cross on his body. I like that at any given Sunday, there is a baby being baptized and in the middle of the service, there is a specified time to pray and come to the altar. I love that Communion is with real bread and that we are each given the sacrament personally in front of the church instead of collectively with some crackers and juice in our pew.
I know there's a new movement about worshiping as you are and some churches that never sing a hymn. For new converts, that may be the hook that gets the fish. But for this seasoned Christian, I have found new comfort in old rituals. I have found a renewal of my spirit through 100 year-old hymns. I can hear God speaking through a collective reading by the congregation. And best of all, the pews never need cleaning from a preacher's dirty shoes.
In a Christian age that finds believers trying to make themselves more like to the world in order to attract the world - I have found peace in a bit of pomp and circumstance, in the midst of formalities and all wrapped up in robes.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

An Indian Princess

By the end of the night, my girl was a pro. She would run up to the house and look back for my approval. "Go ahead, ring the doorbell..but just one time," I'd say. So she'd stand on her tippy toes and ring the or eight times. Very nice people would answer the door. She'd stand silent holding her pumpkin bucket. They would ooh and ahh over her costume and tell her how pretty she was while placing a piece or two in her pail. She turned to walk away, but turned back to say, "Thank you." That's my girl. Then she'd run back across the yard shouting, "I got candy! He gave me some candy!"
I tried to get her to say, 'Trick or Treat'.
I'd say, "When they answer the doorbell, you're supposed to say trick or treat. OK?" She'd answer ok but still just stood there when the doors opened. However, when she'd get back to the middle of the street, she'd yell to the top of her lungs....TRICK OR TREEEAAAAT.....for blocks. I guess it was a blanket greeting that she just got out of the way early. I did have to stop her from just entering some people's homes. Not sure why she thought she was supposed to go inside when they opened the door. She even blew a kiss or two in appreciation for their generous sugary donation. In short, she had an amazing night.
Here's a preview, but for more photos, go here.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

night time prayer

We ended our night with a prayer as usual. I had to laugh, however, at how Addison ended it. "And thank you for the big TV. The End."
Hahaha! Don't you mean, "Amen?"

Monday, October 24, 2011


Today we dressed up like princesses with tiaras and all. It was Addison's 3rd birthday. The look on her face as she looked at herself in the mirror was absolutly priceless. We had a leisurely time at home, like most princesses do, and ended our day with a celebration complete with a princess cake. I wish I could convey the excitement she had while shouting to our guests that, "It's my birfday. I'm free! I'm a princess!"

Sunday, October 16, 2011

A tale of two houses

What do you take for granted?
For the Thurman's this month, we discovered that we really took Michael's back for granted. After having a surgery 4 years ago, we thought he was pretty much cured...until about 3 weeks ago. Out of nowhere, his back goes out, by the next week he's having surgery and by the next week, he is back in the hospital with problems for a 4 day stay.
His back is why we reside in side-by-side houses for the time being. We have a small house next to ours that we converted into a little 2 bedroom guest house. It's cozy and quaint and best of all, it's one story. So to deal with an injured back, we have housed Michael in the single level dwelling for now. Addison and I spend the night over there sometimes, but we are slowly returning to what Addison calls, "the big house" or "Mommy's house." She's gonna be so confused when daddy moves back in.

Ok, more Addisonisms: Whenever you ask her something that she's agreeable with, you will hear a short and simple, "Shore." I'm still trying to discover where she learned this response instead of a simple, "yes", but it cracks me up every time she says it.
Then there's her renditions of at least 2 songs involving monkeys. In one song their in a tree teasing an alligator and in the next, their jumping on the bed and bumping heads. Whatever the monkeys are doing, Addison knows the words and the motions and is just as cute as she wants to be! Last week she came home with another chant about going on a bear hunt. She learns so much in mother's day out. Most impressive is that she will ask me what a color is in Spanish...and then promptly tell me the answer. I know for a fact she's got red and orange down pat. She's a sponge. A 36", 36 lb super absorbent sponge. By the way, I think it's cool that she weighs as much as she is tall...which is very tall by the way. My gigantic toddler rules!

Monday, September 12, 2011

The Last Days of Summer

It's September and there's a hint of fall in the air. Overnight, the roasting temps of the summer came to a halt and the breeze was cooler, the air lighter and the nights a wee bit chilly. Here in Georgia, there is no Spring or Fall. We have 2 seasons, Winter and Summer. Just as soon as one is over, the other begins. It would be nice to have a longer warming up or cooling off period, but you get what you get here.
We were able to take the weekend off and go to the beach for one last summer hurrah. It was so relieving to see that Addison wasn't afraid of the water anymore. She jumped waves, sat in the surf, chased the sea gulls and ran from scary hermit crabs. She played with dogs who could swim and fetch and of course there's the sand. She dripped it on the hermit crabs and all over her legs. She covered mine as well. It's some fun and amazing stuff that drippy beach sand. She had an absolute ball.
Before I post pictures I do have to add an Addisonism that happened during our nightly bedtime routine. The room was dark except for her nightlights. She reached over and turned on her lamp. Then with a surprised look on her face she said..." The dark is not so dark Mommy. Turn the dark on!" So, I switched her lamp off and she rolled over and went to sleep. I don't think I could come up with this stuff if I tried.

Daisy's Friends

I came home the other day to 3 dogs in my back yard. Thing is, I only have one dog. I immediatly called Michael to see why he had brought home two puppies. I was a little irate. He assured me that he did not. So, further investigation revealed that there was a hole in the fence and our backyard neighbor's puppies fit through just perfectly. I was amused today to come home and see that Daisy's visitor's had returned and the three of them were frolicking in the back yard. I keep waiting for the owners to come looking for them, but they never do. Just as quickly as the puppies appear, they disappear. Back through the broken fence board. Soon they will be too big to squeeze through. Soon, their playful visits would have to stop anyways because they are pit-bull puppies. Not exactly the dog of choice to be around my 2 year-old. It's amusing though, to have these magical puppies appear and disappear. The only loss, a little food and water, the happy Daisy.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

She dressed herself

 If you look close, you can tell that she's wearing 1/2 of a Snow White costume.
But the best part....was the HAIR!

Wednesday, August 31, 2011


Look out 3, because we are talking the pants off of everyone at age 2. I love, love, love the words and phrases that a new little person puts together. Addison is very specific about her annunciation. She will get stuck on a work until it comes out of her mouth the correct way that it's supposed to sound. I think that it's just brilliant. That along with her interpretation of words together in a sentence make me smile and melt my heart. For instance, her phrase this week is this: "Mommy, I wuv you all de much."
Melting....melting away.
Now if we can get this bossiness under control, we'll be doing good. I mean, who told her that she could get whatever she wanted, whenever she wanted it?.....oh yeah, that was probably me. Spoils of a spoiled only-child I guess.
Addison is now in mother's day out 5 days a week. She is a class favorite...a teacher favorite...a director favorite...apparently everyone knows my child. It's fun to hear the kids in her class chime in, "Addison's here!" when we arrive. She is a hugger and a kisser - so who can resist cute little toddler hugs? Yes, she's got them all wrapped. My biggest wish at this point in her school career is that I could get her to sing these cute little songs they learn at school, on video. She sings several songs about monkeys in the trees and something about an alligator...then there's the rendition of "Old McDonald" where all I really understand from her version is "and a moo here and a bock dere." She will randomly start singing when we are riding in the car and all is silent. I am so tickled to watch her learn and grow. It's like nothing I've ever experienced before.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Eventful days

It's taken me until age 35 to have my first official wreck. Thankfully no one but the car was injured. Turns out to be about $5800.00 worth of damage according to the adjuster. I don't think that's too terrible. I was happy to find out that my Pilot has side air bags. I think that's just one of those features my brain just skimmed over during the purchase. But on Friday the 19th, I was glad I had them for my baby girl's sake. They deployed when we were hit in the passenger-side rear wheel. The only complaint was from my 2 year-old. "The bawoon, it hit me in the head. It hit me wight dere. Tiss it!" Personally, I think she's milking
But in all seriousness, it was a nice feature to find out I needed but already had.
Then on Saturday, Michael planned a surprise outing for me. Now, this is a rare occasion so the mere fact that I was getting a surprise was phenomenal. After a few scares about skydiving, Michael revealed that we were going to canoe the Savannah River! Wow he did good. We are not the usual outdoorsy type by any stretch of the imagination. We don't camp...we'd rather get a hotel any day. We don't bike or hike. It's vehicles all the way. So for us to do something totally out of the ordinary was an extreme treat for me. I didn't realize the physical taxation it would involve by any means. Thanks to the Core of Engineers who control the river levels, there were low low rapids almost the entire way meaning...we got stuck several times. The trip ended up being 4 hours long. We fell out in the rapids twice...both my fault. I call the rear next time, maybe there's less responsibility there. On more than one occasion, we chased our Ziplocs downstream. We were bruised and cut and at one point thought there was a broken toe, but in the end we made it safe and sound. I had a great time. And I am sooo happy that my hubby thought enough of me to give me such a wonderful experience and to surprise me to boot.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

tippy toes

It's official. I have the tallest two year-old EVER. She can now reach the light switch to turn the lights off on me while I'm in the bathroom. That, she totally got from her dad.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

It's silent...

It's 6 o'clock. Everyone has gone home from work and the office is quiet. Even the phones have stopped ringing. All I can hear is the whirring of the A/C. It's nice. Baby is off at grandma's house. Hubby is at home. I'm still at the office just soaking in a few moments of silence.
What did we ever do before cell phones? I can't even remember. There's not a minute in my daily life nowadays that is not inundated with a ding, a chirp, a buzz or a ring. I've got 3 email accounts going to my phone, the actual phone itself and of course...Facebook. Luckily I'm not a tweeter or I'd have that to contend with as well.
I wonder if it's all necessary. Would it really kill my hubby if he couldn't get in touch with me for 2 hours? These days it would because we're so used to being at every beckon call of ...everyone.
As a realtor I brag that, "You can reach me anytime on my cell!" Why do I really want that?
I should change it to, "You can reach me from 9a.m. - 4p.m. on my cell!"
We give up living these days for a phone...for latent information....for common occurrences that everyone feels necessary to share...for a call from practically anyone.
And then I turn around at the end of the day and wonder where it went and if I remember an "event" at all.
Mostly, it's just information streaming through the air to my eyes and ears, blocking what is all around me.
But, I can't boycott the phone. I won't shut down my fun apps. I will choose to try and do 3 things at once - all the time.
There are times however, like today, when I picture my younger years: Family sitting on the porch. Kid's playing "colored eggs" in the yard till nightfall. No TV. No phones. No ipods or video games or computers. Just people....and I kinda miss that simple time all the while wondering if it doesn't miss me back.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

I want to be Simon Templar

Michael loves retro TV. He's currently watching every episode they air of a show called "The Saint"
It basically follows the journeys of a wealthy man as he travels around the world righting wrongs that he encounters. The shows are always based in places like France or Greece. Mr. Templar played by Roger Moore is always dashing with his hair perfectly in place. There is always the presence of a beautiful woman and every wrong is solved by Simon's unmatchable wit and counter scheming.
So, that's what I want to do when I become rich. Travel the world with nothing better to do than see the world and help an occasional misfortunate person.
I'll let you know how it goes.

Monday, July 25, 2011

My sweet girl

We are getting to the point where Addison is inventing words. She's sooo funny. Her latest creation almost landed me on the floor. "Addison, what's that? (pointing to her bottom)." She answered, "That's my boonyhynie."
HA! I love it. So now when she's poking about I get to tell her, "Move your bootyhynie, we have to go."
And she knows exactly what I mean.
We received a letter in the mail last week from our fertility doctor. He has discounted IVF $4000. That is a great amount of savings bringing the price down to about $10,000 to try again. Unfortunately, we are still paying off Addison's conception and will be for many years to come. My husband is getting the baby itch. He is convinced he's supposed to have more than one kid in this life.
I am torn. Very torn. I don't even have to go back to the beginning of this blog to remember the torture I put my body through, the get to where we are today, to be parents.
Realistically, I don't think I could go through all that again. Not to mention, I have a child now to take care of while I would be in that state.
Oh the dilemma.
In May, I joined Jenny Craig. My hopes are that drastic weight loss will trigger my fertility and maybe, just maybe, we'd get pregnant naturally. I'm minus 23 pounds into my journey. Not too bad for 3 months time I think. It's been steady loss through birthdays and vacations.
Instead of setting one big goal, I've decided to do several small goals. I'm halfway to my first goal.
We'll see if it works, the skinnier I get.
In the meantime, I enjoy every moment that my little chatterbox babbles away. I cherish every night she still asks me to rock her. I play along as I help her diaper her baby dolls and answer the same questions over and over. I hope I can give her a real baby to play with soon. We'll see.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

A Landlord's Woes

Today we had two evictions and a section 8 inspection. None of which are the finer moments of being a landlord. I often wish that I actually could receive all of the money back that people steal from me. From the 2 evictions today, I lost nearly $4000 in rent not paid. Another $160 in manual labor and at least $2000 in painting, repairs and basic roach removal. Yes, it was a depressing day to be landlord. It's a constant search or a person who isn't lying about their reliability. It's a persistent gamble to find qualified individuals that will not only take care of, but appreciate all the hard work you've put into a home. This business is not for the faint of heart....or for anyone who has a fear of roaches. The biggest irony of the day was a sign we discovered in one of our 2 bedroom,  100-year old, beautiful Victorian apartments. You know, the ones with the hardwood floors and the claw foot tubs. It was severely trashed and infested with roaches. We had to get shovels to scrape up the carpet  in the hall laden with so much dog urine that it was literally glued to the floor, all the while dodging dog poo balls and piles around on the hardwoods. Yet amongst the piles of trash and yuck was a pretty little sign that read, "Don't forget to pick up after your pet!" Yes, irony at it's very best. Clearly, these people could not read.
But probably the most important piece of advice I can give anyone doing an eviction also came i to play today. Rule #1: You never..ever...under any circumstance, open the fridge when the power has been turned off for a week. It's just a fact. Cold rot is much more tolerable than hot. These are the precious lessons of a landlord. For whatever it's worth.

Friday, July 1, 2011

We finally got to go on vacation!!

Denver, Colorado
Home of hairy female armpits and people au naturale, beautiful snow-capped mountains, ice cold rivers, a Chipoltle on every corner, a wide array of free-form art and some of the most gorgeous God-made scenery I've ever seen. We drove up 14000+ feet to the top of Mt. Evans and met some mountain goats on the way back down. We visited Golden, Colorado where they claim to be "Where the west lives."  They were big on bronze statues that documented tons of things from gold strikes to mountain bears. This town had a lot of neat stories to tell all over the plaques around town. It's hard to imagine how the west was won those many years ago...dealing with Indians and trying to stake out a claim in hopes that they would strike it rich and find gold.
We also visited Colorado Springs, CO, home to the Air Force Academy. They have a cathedral there that is made of airplane parts. It's pretty impressive. After watching the video and touring the campus..even I wanted to join the Air Force.
Boulder, CO was just plain cute. What  a great little downtown with all the restaurants you could want and the most amazing historic district. A wonderland for a turn-of-the-century housing enthusiast.
Then there was Water World. My pick for destinations because it's on the travel channel's top 10 water parks. Although I don't think the park utilizes all of the 64 acres that it claims to have, I was really impressed with the rides. It was a combo of "Monster Plantation" meets "White Water" If you're from Georgia, you get my drift. They have animatronics on some of their rides. I liked it a lot, but quickly learned that I may be getting too old for water parks. This was the first one I've gone to in over 15 years and I was pretty sure that my heart actually stopped on that first flume. At least the onlookers got a kick out of it as they laughed at my screaming.

Like I said, we had a really great time. Don't know if I'll ever go back, but we can mark this one down in the history books as total SUCCESS.