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Saturday, September 27, 2014

Me, too!

I simply had to respond to TLC’s post this past Monday! Y’all knew I couldn’t NOT have some thoughts, right?

TLC's grateful to be back writing? I'm not 100% convinced. Sharing? Yes. Laughing? Yes. But TLC worries about her contributions to our little blog project. To the point where I’m always a tidbit afraid it’s more of a concern to her than a joy. This blog would not be the same without her. Her posts? Priceless to me. Priceless. I couldn’t bear to think of doing this by myself. A couple of months, here and there? I can handle it. Forever without her? Nope. Not possible. Can’t happen. So I’m the one who is GRATEFUL she’s back. Writing. She makes me laugh out loud like no one else on this Earth.

Those of us who live in Texas cherish this time of year—Autumn! I promise you: If I did a survey—on the street—any street in Texas—in a little country town or a big city like Ft. Worth or Dallas—I’m positive 9 out of 10 people—men, women and children—would say they like Fall THE BEST. Well, maybe the kids would say Summer. Or Christmas/Winter. Let me change that: 9 out of 10 Texans—from the ages of 25 to 95—would tell you Fall is their Most Favourite Time of the Year. Our Summers become so dreadfully, horribly hot, we CANNOT wait for cool, crisp days and nights. But I must say that, of all the people I personally know, who love Autumn, including myself, TLC wins the prize for that person who loves Fall more than anyone else. On Earth. Not just Texas. Seriously. Hands down. Period. End of story.

Little Leighton’s (LL) transition to her “Princess” bed—(It’s not really a Princess bed. It’s how TLC sold it to LL when getting her excited about her “Big Girl” bed. The décor on the headboard looks very similar to a tiara! LL bought it. Hook, line and sinker.)—has gone wonderfully. One of LL’s most favourite things to do is spread out a blanket—she has several to pick from as three Dear, DEAR friends of TLC’s each made a “quilt” for LL before she was born and she totally loves all three of them equally—on her bedroom or the den floor and have a “picnic” with her dolls. She sets them up with food, drink, and entertainment. It makes her Mama and her Grammy smile quite BIG. (Yes. We, too, are required to play “picnic.” Duh. Believe me, Grammy is always happy to oblige Princess LL.)

My Sweet Hubby (MSH) and I couldn’t have been more honored to help out during LL’s illness. There has not been one second since she was hospitalized that we haven’t been praying for her and hoping we could, in fact, help. We’ve learned so much about celiac disease we believe we could go on a lecture tour, thoroughly educating anyone interested in this mean, hateful illness. We’ve also become quite fond of gluten-free food. I’m not even kiddin’, Y’all. None of us ever needed gluten. Ever.

When I read what TLC says to LL every night? Tears. Many tears fell down my old, wrinkled face. LL truly is brave. Strong. Smart. Kind. And happy. So is her Mom. TLC couldn’t make me prouder if she tried to try harder. She’s a hundred thousand times better at this Motherhood career than I hoped to be. The only thing, for me, that has been more difficult than seeing LL critically ill—in the hospital—and even once she went home—was seeing my daughter suffer with her. I never want either one of them to go through that heart-wrenching ordeal again.

Please, Dear God Almighty, let there be nothing but healing and good health for both of My Girls—from this day forward! PLEASE. Amen.

So I loudly declare: Me, too! I’m so grateful. For TLC and LL. For MSH. For life. In general!

Smooches and Hugs, Dearest Friends…

Monday, September 22, 2014

so grateful...

It's TLC!

I'm so grateful to be back--writing, sharing, laughing. I'm so grateful Fall begins tonight at 9:29 p.m. CST. I'm so grateful for new "princess beds," picnics with baby dolls and swinging at the park.

I am most grateful tonight for My Sweet ELC taking full responsibility for this blog while I took a little time off to focus on My Sweet Little Leighton (LL). I have loved every post, ELC. We could not have made it through this summer without you and My Sweet Dad (MSD). I know I've told you before but you both are truly and forever my EARTH ANGELS. A simple "thank you" seems so insufficient for all you have done, and continue to do, for us.

I am also most grateful for my precious LL. Every night, when I tuck her into bed, I tell her this (yes, I clearly drew my inspiration from The Help):

You are Brave.
You are Strong.
You are Smart.
You are Kind.
You are Happy.

She is ALL of these things. And so much more. I am deeply proud of my daughter--my heart--my soul.

Thank you, Readers, for your patience, understanding and prayers.

I have this quote pinned on my "Autumn" Pinterest board. Here's to the FALL!

"Life starts all over again when it gets crisp in the fall."
F. Scott Fitzgerald
The Great Gatsby

Friday, September 19, 2014

Driving Mrs. Leighton

One of my all-time favourite movies? Driving Miss Daisy. In fact, I’d like to watch it. This weekend! Think I have it on VHS. With no VHS player. (Note to self: Order a Blue Ray from Amazon…soon.)

I’ve shared with y’all in the past that if I had my choice between these three services at my home—a full-time chef; a full-time housekeeper; or a chauffeur—I’d choose the chauffeur. No question. No doubt. Every time.

This past Tuesday, my dear, precious friend, Drew, and I drove 150 miles south of my casa to have lunch with two college “sisters.” We had the best time ever! Drew had driven about 60 miles to meet me here at our home. So her round trip for the day? 420 miles. We agreed: It was worth every mile. Every minute.

Yesterday I went to Ft. Worth for lunch with my massage therapist—and friend—Parry. She’s adorable. We laughed and laughed and visited with the cutest little 3-year-old girl named Haven—sitting with her parents in the booth next to us. Then  Parry saved my neck…and back. She’s been doing this for about two years. That was fun and important—to my general well-being. But it was a 130-mile round trip.

Today I head out to see My Girls! I’ll travel 110 miles and it’ll take me…depending on traffic…approximately two hours and fifteen-ish minutes to get to TLC and Little Leighton's front door.

I don’t hate driving. But I don’t love it, either. When I’m going the speed limit and people are passing me—sometimes in a risky/dangerous way—and then making obscene gestures at me? I wish I was in a nice, comfortable limo with a kind, wise, safety-conscious driver getting me where I need to go. I could check Pinterest. Read. Sleep. Talk to friends—actually talk to them!—on the phone. Aahhhhhh…how lovely would that be?

TLC would argue I have a chauffeur about 60% of the time. My Sweet Hubby (MSH). Yes. Yes, that’s true. When we’re together—going where we go—he drives 85% of the time. But he refuses to wear a uniform and hat. And call me M’am. And, frankly, his driving makes me nervous. (I know…I know…that’s a two-way street. My driving makes him nervous, too. It’s an old-married couple “thing.” In fact, it may actually be a rule. In any case, it's quite normal. But I’m the wife who won’t let him get away with anything. I have many friends who suck it up and stay quiet. I guess they spend the time praying. I complain and direct. It’s what I do. He says he never gets used to it and begs me to look out the window or at my cell. Ha. Funny Man.)

This is all just a dream. There will be no full-time chauffeur carting me around in a beautiful, baby-blue Bentley limo. Asking me if I’d like a glass of champagne or Diet Dew. Not minding one bit when I sweetly request that he turn the air conditioner up—because I’m freezing.

Sigh.  I’ve got to get back to reality! I’ve got my bag and car to pack. Time to head East!!!

Hope y’all have a Wonderful Weekend—Wherever in the World Y’all Are!

Friday, September 12, 2014

Flip or Flop

Y’all know I’m not a cook. That’s My Sweet Hubby (MSH). Or My Sweet Daughter (TLC). I also don’t really consider myself a “housewife.” I abhor cleaning. Although I do it and, when I am in the mood, I do it with determination, style and panache. I would never consider myself even slightly okay at interior design. That is, I don’t believe I’m too terribly creative or gifted in that area. No artistic ability in this lady’s body.

So it won’t surprise y’all to know I’m not super crazy about watching cooking shows. I do, however, like to watch the competition shows like Master Chef, Top Chef, Chopped. Etc. I love these shows. MSH likes them, too. We look forward to watching them together. (We have so few other television shows that we both enjoy, don’tchaknow.)

At TLC’s casa, HGTV is on A LOT. Not 24/7. But I’d say 12/7. Especially on the weekends and/or holidays. MSH is not at all interested in HGTV. The Food Network? Check. The History Channel? Check. The Discovery Channel? NatGeo Channel? The Military Channel? Check, check and check. But not HGTV.

Consequently, at our casa, HGTV has been routinely passed by for other networks over the past two to three years. That changed about four months ago. I’m 90% certain I found these two HGTV shows I’m currently OBSESSED with and over on my own. I don’t think TLC told me about either one of them. (It’s possible she told me about the second one. Perhaps. She’ll probably say she did.) She also craves both of these fabulous shows. Immensely.

Flip or Flop!

From the HGTV website:

“Tarek is a self-proclaimed real estate genius with determination and drive. Christina is Tarek’s picture-perfect wife, who Tarek’s friends still can’t believe he landed. In each episode of Flip or Flop, Tarek and Christina flip a new property. From the nail-biting purchase at auction, to the frustrating renovations and maddening showings, to the giddy acceptance of an offer, we’ll follow along as these two relatively novice flippers try their hand at the toughest game in town.”

I had six of these FUN shows on my DVR Tuesday evening. I stayed up until midnight watching five of them. I simply cannot use good judgment when I know I have an episode to see. This couple is adorable. Their little girl, Taylor, is adorable. Their home is adorable. I heart this show!!!

My other favourite—and I truly am equally obsessed—in fact, I found this one (or TLC found it…again, not 100% certain) before Flip or Flop—is…drum roll

Fixer Upper!

From the HGTV website:

Fixer Upper pairs renovation, design and real estate pros Chip and Joanna Gaines with Waco/Dallas, Texas—area buyers to renovate the wrong house that’s in the right location.”

Key words: Waco/Dallas, Texas. They’re our peeps, y’all! Waco is about an hour and a half from our country casa. Maybe a teensy-bit farther from TLC’s home. The very first episode I watched was about a woman from a small town that one of my best friends calls home. As I watched this interesting and touching show, I texted Autumn to see if she knew the lady Joanna and Chip were helping. Duh. Of course, she did. That made the show even more intriguing. (By the way: I've currently seen all of the Fixer Upper shows. I've actually watched one or two more than twice. I'm sooo ready for a new season. Yes, please, HGTV.)

Christina and Tarek have one precious little girl. Joanna and Chip have four kids—two precious little girls and two delightful boys. Christina and Tarek live in California (Howdy, Piggy Pajamas’ Gals—we love y’all!). Joanna and Chip, as I’ve mentioned, reside and work in Texas. Flip or Flop is a 30-minute show (20 if you’ve DVRed and can pass the commercials). Fixer Upper is an hour-long show(about 45ish without said commercials).

This post is a BIG TEXAS HAIR nod to both of these fascinating shows. Watch one—or two—or ten—sometime soon!

Gotta scoot—I have ONE Flip or Flop left on my DVR…

p.s.: It's TGIF—Woo Hoo and YIPPEE! Have a Wonderful Weekend…Wherever in the World Y’all Are! 

Monday, September 8, 2014

The Leighton ...

As y’all know, Little Leighton (LL) had a rough, ROUGH summer. Her diagnosis of celiac disease came as a shock to all of us. Gluten-free for her has meant gluten-free for her Mom, Dad and any and everyone who is lucky enough to dine with her. It’s a huge, complicated, critical and quite expensive challenge that has consumed TLC for almost two months. My Sweet Hubby (MSH) and I have been learning where all the gluten-free products are in the grocery stores within a 100-mile radius of our country casa. Although I reassured TLC weeks ago that I could handle getting our posts done, this “research” on our part has taken alot more effort than I anticipated.

This past Friday, I went to visit TLC and LL at their home in North Dallas. TLC’s husband was spending the weekend bird hunting at his family’s ranch southwest of Dallas. I was invited to a “Girls Only!” escape—and was (as I know you understand) thrilled to drive east for this lovely invitation.

LL’s diagnosis has changed not only all of our “diets,” but also our entertainment habits. We can no longer just go out to eat. We have to make sure the restaurant/café has a gluten-free menu and prepares it without “cross contamination.” At this point, we’re actually finding it’s easier to stay home and cook!

The Three Leighton Gals had a FUN visit with our Dearest Lauren (who joined us for lunch Saturday). LL’s new “big girl bed” arrived as we finished, so Lauren got to see what TLC calls the “Princess” bed. It’s not really a “Princess” bed—but TLC has convinced LL the headboard looks like a “tiara.” (It kind of does...) After LL’s nap on said new “Princess” bed, the three of us made a trip to The Mall. LL has become quite a Carousel aficionado—needing to ride the “purple horse” that has lots of sparkly bling on it. (Sadly, a little boy beat LL and I to that pretty horse. LL showed her Grammy how sweet she truly is and graciously let me find her one that had some “purple” on it!) 

Grammy also treated LL to a pair of “light up” tennis shoes! Today was her first day of pre-school (And the longest five hours of TLC's and my life...truly...). I knew she was going to need some extra fun shoes for this Big Day! (I’ll try to have TLC post a picture of them soon.) LL couldn’t take them off the rest of the weekend. She wanted to sleep in them. We convinced her that wasn’t a great idea. Sunday we played, read books, watched Disney Junior—all the things we love to do!

This was the conversation TLC and I shared while having Sunday lunch:

ELC: Listen, I know you thought you’d be able to do the next post, but let me do it this evening when I get home. Or tomorrow. I don’t mind.

TLC: Oh, Mom. I completely forgot. I’m so sorry. I’ve been useless to you and the blog. I feel awful. We should change the name to “lolwiththeleighton”—just take the “s” off and be done with it.

ELC: (as I giggled and laughed until I snorted): Stop. The past few months have been brutal. You’ve had so much to contend with…Little Leighton’s hospitalization, doctor appointments, lab visits, phone calls, shopping for gluten-free everything, cooking even more than you already do, helping Little Leighton cope with this huge change in her little life. I think the least I can do is a few more posts to our blog. So done. And done.

My intentions are to do a teensy bit better about posting than last month. TLC has taught LL to say “Patience is a virtue.” I hope y’all will be virtuous! I also hope everyone had a wonderful weekend…May this new week be full of fabulousness—sheer and utter fabulousness—for each and everyone one of y’all!

smooches and hugs from,

The Leighton

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Sensational September!

This is a small-ish version of a post we did on September 2, 2012. It was originally called:

Seriously? September?

TLC and I would like to SUGGEST that, as you START this new month, you be:

Sociable; self-assured; SPIFFY; saint-like; SYMPATHETIC; skillful; SIGNIFICANT; spunky; SELECTIVE; sagacious (yep—look it up!); SILLY (why not?); SASSY; sophisticated; SCRUPULOUS; scholarly; SERENE; and self-confident.

PLEASE DON’T BE: scruffy; SHADY; a scaredy-cat; SCANDALOUS; sloppy; SAUCY; sinister; SLOSHED; sarcastic; SMELLY; showoffy; SELFISH; sedentary; SCORNFUL; salacious (another one to look up?); SHIFTY; a scamp; a SKEPTIC; sour; or STERN.

Don’t run with SCISSORS. Don’t be a SLUG. Go to a SYMPHONY! SHUT the Front Door! Visit with a SAGITTARIUS. Learn the SAMBA or the saxophone. Don’t schlepp (but you can SCHMOOZE) or SCOFF or secondguess or SCREAM or scribble.


p.s.: To read the entire past post, click here…