Congratulations to the class of 2018!
Thing G graduated last night!
We are proud.
We are joyful.
We are exhausted.
Congratulations to the class of 2018!
Thing G graduated last night!
We are proud.
We are joyful.
We are exhausted.
Whenever I would run low on beer, (the yummy Virginia Cream Ale) my precious husband would make sure I had another pretty quickly.
There was a band called Dr Fu playing great covers from Lenny Kravitz and Maroon 5, to Queen and Neon Trees. We sang A LOT!
YBW worked on this tower all night, twice the servers came by and tried to take away the cups and were politely told no. I dig this recyclable tribute of celebrating my birthday.
Y’all, the last ten days have been rough. But I’m feeling the full joy of my birthday and being beautifully celebrated by those who love me. International Week of the Birthday is in full swing around here and I’m loving every moment of it!
I woke to fairly heavy rain Sunday morning. And that means these herbs sitting on the porch for nearly two weeks waiting to be planted will simply have to wait another day. We were at the garden center the day before YBW’s mom went into hospital. Our shift in focus was unexpected but necessary, and I’ve been watering the herbs each day in hopes of keeping them happy until they can move to the big containers.
These plants are lemony scented geraniums, lemon balm, lemon grass, basil, lavender, rosemary, and lemon thyme. Used together, they’re meant to deter mosquitoes.
Now if only there was something to scare off the pollen…
Thing G told me he saw on the news we’re having the worst pollen season in several years.
Y’all, I believe it. I’ve not had allergy symptoms this severe since I moved from Virginia to South Carolina twelve years ago. Even though all the furniture and rugs are set up on the porch, it’s nearly unbearable to go out there for all the oak pollen. So while I’m eager to engage in a little porch life, looks like that will wait a bit longer.
I’m hopeful the rain will take care of that today, and I’ll be able to get out there later on this week to do a little planting.
But not tomorrow, because International Week of the Birthday continues with going to see The Kills at The Lincoln Theatre.
Yesterday on my actual birthday, I had breakfast at my favorite little dump diner.
When we returned home, I put on my tiara.
Spent the day watching baseball, and drinking obscene amounts of champagne with YBW, and Meredith and Beau’s Mommy and Daddy. We ate greek food and angel food cake with berries and homemade whipped cream.
I was truly celebrated!
This Mother’s Day I’ve spoken to Thing 1 and received texts and social media posts from Thing 2. I suspect she’ll call at the end of the day like she did yesterday.
YBW and I were planning to go see Infinity War again, but it turns out I napped and woke hungry. So now, I’m going to find him and make a dinner plan.
This late spring pollen won’t be around forever, and soon I’ll get those herbs planted and be ready to porch life my ass off!
I can hardly wait!
The girls and I have been talking about mother-daughter tattoos.
Thing 1 has two tattoos. Words on her wrist to remind her that she’s perfect just as she is, and an ankh on her back.
Thing 2 has several tattoos. Wings at her elbows, two that represent he love of folk punk music, and the symbol for chaos on the inside of her wrist.
I have one tattoo. I got it in the spring of 1998. It’s a ring of flowers around my left ankle.
I made a promise to myself that I’d only ever have one tattoo.
A promise I’ve kept even though I came up with the idea and have designed the most perfect tattoo. Know where I want it and why.
Inside my right wrist. Maybe three by three inches. A little Earth and a crescent moon and some stars.
When Thing 1 was a tiny girl, I told her I love her more than the whole wide world. But when Thing 2 was coming to join our family, I realized I would have to say something different to her, otherwise negate the first three years of Thing 1’s life. So I have always told Thing 2 that I love her more than the moon and the stars.
I’ve sat on this idea for several years. I even created this stained glass panel to placate myself.
(The solar system is a big deal to me, because when I began to love YBW, it was ‘all the way to Pluto and back’.)
We’ve talked previously of getting tattoos that represent each other, but recently we’ve begun talking about a specific matching mother-daughters tattoo.
Now, we’re probably still going to get our representative tattoos, mine of course will be the Earth, moon and stars.
Thing 2 has always said she wanted to get a little succulent plant to represent her sister. And she wants to have Kanga and Roo’s mailboxes to represent me.
When she was a little girl, she would climb into my lap and get all tiny and say, “You’re Kanga and I’m Roo in your pouch!”
Thing 1 and I haven’t had that specific of a conversation regarding tattoos that represent each other.
In a group text, I put to the girls and idea for our matching mother-daughter tattoos.
I suggested a robin bird, a magpie, and then another (yet to be determined) bird.
Thing 2 shot down the magpie idea straight away. (Turns out she’s the only one that doesn’t remember her Grandmommy calling her that.)
And we talked about other options.
Thing 1 suggested a squirrel and we all loved that idea!
Then Thing 2 suggested a hummingbird for her sister.
We were on a roll, y’all!
Of course there will need to be discussion of colors and sizing and where on our bodies this ink will go. But we have some time for that. The next time we’ll all be together for sure is in June when Thing G graduates from high school. Though there is talk of being together in March for Thing 1’s birthday.
I know I’ll want mine to be small…and off the top of my head, I’m thinking maybe on my left forearm near my elbow. But who knows? Knowing how different we three girls are, it won’t be three identical tattoos in three identical spots. Only, I do hope the art itself is identical, otherwise it’s not worth having ‘matching tattoos’…
At the moment, we’re just in the planning stages.
Momma got an idea. Girls improved upon it. Art is being created.
More conversations will happen.
It’s curious to me that after nearly twenty years of keeping that one tattoo promise I’m blowing it out of the water with not one but two new tattoos in the works.
I’m ready to fulfill a new promise to myself, ink that represents the two loves of my life that will never change. And ink that we can share as mother and daughters.
If you’ve followed my blog for any length of time, you know I don’t like Thanksgiving.
I’m not really going to get into the whys and wherefores of why Thanksgiving and I don’t quite fit. Just know this, I love the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and that’s about it.
As you may recall, my dear friend and mentor lost her beloved in the spring. Thanksgiving is the first holiday she will face without him. Now, you need to understand she can do it. She can do Thanksgiving alone. She can do anything, and she will do it with a grace that I can only dream of achieving. But she shouldn’t have to.
Her son, daughter-in-law, and grandson are celebrating Thanksgiving with other family. I couldn’t bear the thought of her facing this first holiday alone, so I had an uncomfortable conversation with YBW and came to the conclusion that I would go to her for Thanksgiving. We’ve planned a very Charleston Thanksgiving and I’m actually rather excited about it.
I’ll even get to see my Charleston family while I’m there!
I know it’s hurtful to YBW. I think he takes it personally. I don’t know that I can really do anything about that, but I assured him that it’s not personal. I’ve been close with Jessica for twenty years. Even though she is no real kin of mine, she is my family.
YBW took his mother to the grocery store last week and when they talked Thanksgiving plans, she said to him that she couldn’t understand why I wouldn’t want to be with my family for Thanksgiving.
I’m ashamed to admit I responded like this, but I looked at him and I said, “Because it’s not my family.”
I didn’t mean it the way it may have seemed, only I kind of did mean it too. I knew it wasn’t what I wanted to say, but it was sort of how I felt.
Consider this: I am an orphan who is never around her own children. The only thing I have of my family of origin and the family I created is traditions. But they get lost because one girl isn’t an entire family.
I love the people in his family. And for the most part, they seem to love me. But they’re not terribly adept at seeing past the end of their noses.
I don’t understand why it’s so difficult to grasp the concept of friends as family, especially when I have no family of my own.
I suspect it’s because none of them have ever been in my shoes. They’ve got one living parent, they’re with their children regularly.
My family is my friends. My friends have always been my family, but now that I really have no family of my own, my friends are even more so my family.
That’s just how I am. I know that’s a different concept for YBW’s family.
A few days later, I was alone in the car and had a thought.
It’s not that they’re not my family. It’s that those are not my traditions.
My God, that was the most freeing thought I’d had in ages! And it finally began to make sense to me! And if I could express myself in a way that he could understand, it just might create a truly positive shift in our life.
I came back to YBW and said that what I said surely felt hurtful, and for that I was truly sorry. I didn’t intend hurt him. I told him that I’d been thinking about it and shared what I thought about family and traditions. His family has traditions they’ve been sharing for nearly fifty years. And while they’re extremely important to them, they’re not as important to me.
I told him that it was time for us to create new traditions.
He agreed. He asked good questions. We talked about traditions briefly.
But then nothing more was said about it…
Now is not the time. I’m leaving Tuesday afternoon for Charleston. He’ll be here getting ready to host his family.
When I get home, I’ll be ready to start getting the house ready for Christmas. Perhaps that will be a new way of creating new traditions…with the exception of the “big” tree that goes in the front room. He won’t want to do that without the boys and that makes sense to me. That tree will wait until they come back from their mother’s. But I’m not waiting to make with the Christmas merry. I’ll start the moment I get back into town.
If only there was some way to move straight from Halloween to Christmas and blow right past this obligatory giving of thanks…it just fits me ill.
It’s not that I’m not thankful. It’s that I’m thankful every day.
I’m thankful for the traditions I was given as a child and the ones I created as an adult.
I’m thankful that I have a strong bond with my friends as family people.
I’m thankful I am able to be with someone I love so dearly when she’d otherwise be alone.
I’m thankful that I am strong and have great love in me.
I’m thankful that I am loved greatly.
We met with the DJ this evening. He’s going to be perfect for what we have in mind to celebrate with our friends and family.
We talked about special music, those songs that absolutely must be played…
Wedding party introductions he’ll play Willkommen from Cabaret with Alan Cumming as the Emcee.
Willkommen. Bienvenue. Welcome.
L-O-V-E ~ Nat King Cole
I introduced this song to YBW and he loved it (no pun intended…well maybe a bit intended)…it was a no brainer to make it our first dance.
YBW’s “dance” with Thing C:
The Pretender ~ Foo Fighters
Thing C played this with his first band at his high school talent show. He’s since moved on to his second band. (they don’t play this song)
YBW’s “dance” with Thing G:
Happy ~ Pharrell Williams
Thing G is the only one of our four who isn’t a music kid…but he LOVES this song! It brings YBW SO MUCH JOY!
My dance with Thing 1:
Raise Your Glass ~ P!nk
What’s the dealio? Thing 1 adores P!nk and we are totally “wrong in all the right ways”.
My dance with Thing 2:
Dancing Queen ~ Meryl Streep, Julie Walters and Christine Baranski (from the movie soundtrack)
We have a whole routine to this song…well part of a routine, anyway…
She just turned eighteen and remarked that she’ll never be the Dancing Queen again because she’s no longer seventeen. I think we’re all a little bit “dancing queen young and sweet only seventeen” no matter how old we are.
Last dance: (save it for me)
Let’s Get it On ~ Jack Black (YEAH! I got it in there after all!!)
Y’all saw this in let’s love…sugar
Whatever gets played in between is fine with me! I’m going to be so busy visiting and hugging my friends and family!
I’m stressed like crazy trying to get the last things finished.
Sundance had the idea we should make the napkins for the reception…Thing 2 and I’ve done literally nothing else for the last two days…Sundance, not so much.
Thing 2 says she’s going to punch her Aunt Sundance in the mouth when she sees her. (I gave her my blessing.)
We decided to take a break tomorrow and just be. (Yay!) Then we’ll get back on it over the weekend.
Thing 1, fiance N and Thing 2’s D will arrive Wednesday. My friend and mentor and her beloved will arrive Friday afternoon. The Arizona contingent won’t arrive till super late Friday (the trouble with flying backwards across the country) so we won’t see them till the wedding Saturday.
My ability to control my anxiety and “freak out mode” is SUPER low…I’ve warned everybody, but at the moment only Thing 2 really understands the magnitude of that.
I was having a total temper fit yesterday and she finally told me: Get your shit together Momma!(The kid doesn’t lie.) I was whining about people volunteering to help but not bothering to show up. My darling (ex) co-teacher is doing all our decorations and has flaked the last two times we were supposed to meet so she could get all the stuff. (I already mentioned the napkin idea girl hasn’t shown up to make any.)
I can’t sleep so I’m writing and drinking wine straight from the bottle. (Classy, I know. But it was only a glassful in the bottom of the bottle so I figured, why dirty a glass.) I might need a Xanax…or two.
I have one more thing to do before I try to close my eyes. Create the special mad libs that YBW and I will write for our guests in the beginning of the response book.
The bride/groom are honored you’re here to celebrate with us and kiss you all!
I found the most wonderful shop on Etsy that makes paper flowers. They are absolutely beautiful and the more I thought about them the more I loved the idea of paper flowers for our wedding.
YBW got quickly on board once he saw them.
All four of our Things did too! Especially the three older kids, Thing G isn’t as big a book worm as Thing C, Thing 1 and Thing 2. Which brings me to the fact that they’ll be made from book pages. I had this idea that we should each choose our favorite book to be used to create our flowers. We all spent a bit of time deciding which book was important enough to use for the wedding and finally came up with these.
YBW and I each chose a book significant to our childhoods. Our four Things chose books their favorites. What an interesting combination of personalities we are, no? My book should be easy to guess…after that, well…y’all are on your own. I love this representation of my precious family and can hardly wait to hold these flowers!
The boys will have single flower boutonnieres.
YBW will have a three flower boutonniere.
The girls will have corsages on ribbons, Thing 1 around her wrist and Thing 2 around her neck.
I’ll will carry a pomander.
Extra flowers will be created for use as decorations.
The remaining book pages will be donated to the flower makers.
Please check out all the beautiful designs at: http://danaspaperflowers.com/
(paper flower images courtesy of Dana’s Paper Flowers)
My birthday is in seventeen days. This may be the first year in my life history I’ve not “counted down” those days. The only other person who loved the “Birthday Birthday Countdown” as much as me was my dad. And without him to be silly about it with…well I’m just not feeling it.
This is not to say I’m not excited about my birthday, because I always am!
I think my mom instilled that in me. I grew up rather poor, like the food drive at church would feed my mom, brother and me, kind of poor. (Though I didn’t know that bit of information till I was a grown-up.) Anyway, since we didn’t have much, and there weren’t always loads of pressies or big birthday parties, my mom was very particular about our birthdays. She made such a big deal about celebrating the day we came into this world. It was the most special of all the days. There would always be cake and our favorite dinner…which most times included colored mashed potatoes. I’m not actually sure why, perhaps because they were cheap? I don’t know, but mine were always purple because that was my favorite color when I was a little girl. When I tell people about the colored mashed potatoes they look at me like I’m crazy, but it seems so normal to me…It’s all about how you’re raised I guess.
Colored mashed potatoes aside, celebrating birthdays was of paramount importance and something that has stuck with me my entire life.
I love to celebrate the birthdays of the people in my life! I love to celebrate my own birthday! Not in a way that’s ridiculously “look at me” but more along the lines of I’m special and I choose to honor that for myself.
I absolutely adore birthdays!
YBW asked me what I wanted for my birthday…I told him I want the girls here. That precious man got on the phone with Thing 2 and sorted it. Then Thing 2 got on the phone with me and YBW bought plane tickets for those girls and Thing 2’s boyfriend, D to come for Mother’s Day and my birthday!
I’m so excited! YBW is so excited! Thing 1 and Thing 2 are so excited! D is excited too, he’s not yet met YBW or his two Things! Thing C and Thing G don’t know yet, but they’re going to be excited too!
I called Sundance to see if she, her husband, and Girlie Thing and Boy Thing would come celebrate too. Waiting to hear back from her…oh that would be absolutely the BEST!
I’m going to reach out to Thing 2’s Godfather who works at National’s Park to see if I can get tickets for a game Mother’s Day weekend! YBW, Thing 2 and I would be “pants peeing” excited, not so sure about the rest of them…but it’ll be fun cause we’ll be all together!
I’m so happy!
Birthday Birthday, Thing 1 and Thing 2, YBW, Thing C and Thing G, and Boyfriend D, and my Washington Nationals!
Turning forty-four is going to be SPECTACULAR!
I completed my second decade of motherhood today.
Thing 1 is twenty, but not until 7:21 this evening to be precise. This is the first year I will not be with her on the anniversary of her birth, I thought it would make me feel more sad, but I guess I’m growing too, accepting that she is a pseudo-adult and her birthdays are no longer about her family of origin, but the new family she is beginning to create for herself with friends and fiancee. (That word still gives me pause.)
I was up very late editing the book and slept until 9:00 waking in a momentary panic that I hadn’t yet called her. In addition to not being with her on this day, this year marks the first time I was not the first person to tell her, Happy Birthday. That fell to N this year, as I suspect it will for years to come.
It doesn’t matter though, for she will always be my baby…my very first girl, the one who was given to me to challenge me to be the best possible me. She and I have had some dark times, but the light was always lit just waiting for it’s time to shine again.
N entered her into a contest in which she won tickets to a bridal show in Savannah…so that is how she’ll spend her 20th birthday…how precious, and how appropriate for her.
My sweet girl is no longer stubbornly fighting her Aunt Sundance and me to wear too small shoes. She is no longer swimming in the pool when the water is 50 degrees simply so she could be the first one in and the last one out at the start and close of our pool season. She is no longer that lost girl trying to understand what to make of her world when I changed it by leaving her dad. She is no longer the girl who hurt herself and came to me desperately begging for help. She’s not even the girl we dropped off at college with her most precious lovey, the little pink doll, Emily who had seen her through all her scariest moments.
She is a woman, one who is beginning to make a real plan for her life, to go back to school and study something she is passionate about, to find a job and make a home, and plan a wedding. She is able to open up and be honest with me about who she is and what she thinks and feels.
She sparkles once again, the way she did when she was small.
Sometimes I worry that she is too jaded, so quick to assess and pass judgment because it can come across as unkind…she’s going to have to learn to temper this, perhaps time and maturity will aid in that. I believe she feels safe enough to be who she really thinks she is, even if she’s a bit brash because I trusted her to make her own opinions and express her creativity…it is very hard to have a strong mother, I suspect she felt she had to fight to be heard instead of trusting in me to hear. Perhaps that is why she is quick to express her opinion without thought of how it might make those around her feel.
She is so bright, and interested in things that boggle my mind, she loves science and math, even though she wasn’t terribly successful in those courses. She is truly an artist who has yet to find her medium.
She has made me so proud, not simply because I’m her mom, but because I know her. Yes, I raised her, I did my best to give her a solid foundation upon which to build her life, but I am savvy enough to know that she has impacted her own character and destiny, and I can honestly say, I am proud to be her mom and proud to know her as a person.
Today is bittersweet for me, that little girl is still inside the interesting woman she’s become, but those times are gone, nothing but nuggets of precious memory, old photographs and an indelible imprint upon my heart.
I accomplished and survived her.
My love for her is knows no bounds.
I am still her “Mommy” but I am also something new.
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