Sunday, April 30, 2017

stories...

As April comes to a close, as well as a sweet season in my life--living in a great town, in a perfect-for-us-house that we brought our precious Baby Elle home to--I thought this excerpt from one of my most favorite devotionals, Shauna Niequist's "Savor," to be oh-so-appropriate and a welcome reminder to thank God for my "story." For chapters written and unwritten. For adventures. And, most especially, for His grace.

The world is alive, blinking and clicking, winking at us slyly, inviting us to get up and dance to the music that's been playing since the beginning of time, if you bend all the way down and put your ear to the ground to hear it.

You have stories worth telling, memories worth remembering, dreams worth working toward, a body worth feeding, a soul worth tending, and beyond that, the God of the universe dwells within you, the true culmination of super and natural.

You are more than dust and bones.

You are spirit and power and image of God.

May the month of May bless each of you with kindness, excitement and hope.

Happy Sunday, Readers!

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

jailbird...

Saturday afternoon, Little Leighton and I were sitting outside on the glider in our backyard. She started telling me about how the boys at her private church preschool like to play "jail." (Lovely.) I jokingly told her, "I know people that have been in jail before." Little Leighton, without missing a beat, sweetly asks, "Who? Grammy?"

I just about fell right out of that glider, laughing hysterically. Of course, I then immediately had to call and tell ELC what her precious, innocent granddaughter had just said.

LOL. LOL. LOL. LOL. LOL.

P.S. To my knowledge, ELC has NOT been in jail. I made sure Little Leighton understood this so she would not tell her fellow jailbird classmates. HA.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

a place of harmony...


From Prayers with Purpose for Women by Jackie M. Johnson:

 

They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts.

          ACTS 2:46

 

Lord, may our home be a place of harmony. Let gladness and sincerity be hallmarks here as we share meals together, entertain, live, laugh, and play together as a family. I pray against discord and fighting, and I pray for peace. Give each of us an agreeable spirit. When the challenges of life come, help us to love and support each other with empathy, kindness, and love.
In Jesus’ name, I pray.

AMEN.



Thursday, April 20, 2017

mysteries and challenges...


First, some housekeeping (see TLC’s post “movin, shakin’ and organizin’ posted Tuesday night):

Of course, My Sweet Hubby (MSH) and I are beyond excited that TLC and her Crew will be moving 45 minutes-ish/30 miles-ish closer to us! It’s been about nine years since we’ll be this close—in distance. I’ve put so many miles on my past two cars I cannot even imagine what it’ll be like not to have oil changes/checkups every two months! Woo Hoo and Yippee!!! I’ll be rich! Ha.

Next, I feel like I should make a few comments in regard to TLC’s post:

I loved it! Naturally, I would never have recalled that email I sent to her. I’ve also never talked about my own mother on our blog. Her mother, my Nana? Yes. Y’all know I adored her. I’m sure you’re not surprised I have many reasons why I’ve been silent about this "mother" part of my life. Not happy ones. Not easy ones to understand. But she (my mother) can (totally unintentionally) be very funny. My Nana was often like that. My mother would say it was the “English” in Nana.

Also, I might have seemed shallow/negative/rude when telling TLC to be mysterious and challenging to men she was dating. And then to “find a Bob.” Finding a Bob was a joke. The part about being a challenge? Yep. I was serious. I don't like or promote "games." Truly. But if we have to play them, let's at least figure out some of the secrets to winning. Occasionally. It took me fifty years to even begin to believe I had men figured out. (I still haven’t—I am getting close.) I am certain they like challenges. Most of them, anyway. They cannot and will not ever understand us women, right? Most don’t even want to try. But I’ve learned this: We must, as women, wives, girlfriends, mothers, daughters, females, catch them off guard. If they expect you to yell? You need to be quiet. If they expect you to be quiet, well, go ahead and yell. With some restraint. It’s ridiculous. Sadly, in my humble opinion, I'm speaking the truth.

Now to my FABULOUS recommendation!

I’ve had bad/yucky/cracky/awful nails for many, many years. I got “sculptured” nails from Kit when TLC was tiny. Two. My previously healthy nails turned hideous after delivering her to this Earth. The problem with the beauty shop nails? My life revolved around them and I couldn’t handle the stress. My next professional manicure happened at age 37. With my FIRST professional pedicure. Could have cared less about the mani. FELL IN LOVE with the pedi.

You’re not surprised: I don’t get many manis. I'm jealous of pretty nails on my friends' fingers. TLC’s are quite lovely. A LOT of the time. I simply don’t have that commitment built into my DNA. However, I don’t like UGLY nails.

About ten years ago, the young lady that gave TLC and me pedis told us about Nail Tek.


I tried it—and KNEW it was good. Yet, I couldn’t even stay committed to this. Fast forward to two months ago when I was in my favourite Walgreens and had some time to browse. I’d bought a Sally Hansen product a couple of years ago and thought it was fairly effective. Now I see Nail Tek and decide to try it again.

IT WORKS! I’m telling y’all—IT WORKS. It’s not going to be perfect. Trust me. But I swear it has made my nails stronger. Better. A tidbit prettier. (Now if I’d just even break down and put polish on them, I might really be proud. Sigh.)

(Doesn’t this kind of make y’all that have been with us for many years want us to go back to Yummies and Yeehaws??? I miss them both, TLC. Boo to you! Killjoy.)

Hope each of you has a great Friday Eve, Friday and weekend! Paint your nails! Browse a drug store! Look at some treasures you’ve kept! Be safe.

smooches,

ELC

p.s.: I take a Biotin supplement every day and I believe that, too, has helped my nails. And hair! Thought I should also mention that...

little leighton and her guys...

(Once again, I accidentally "updated" this post just now because I noticed a typo. It took it out of date order and moved it to today...CRUD...I think I'm eventually going to figure this blog thing out. Seven years later...SHEESH. This was done almost two weeks ago. For clarification.
ELC)


This is probably not going to be what y’all think. Winky. Wink.

Little Leighton (aka LL aka Biscuit) has no “guys.” Not the male kind, anyway. (Although, I’ve noticed she seems—at nearly five years old—to be quite intrigued by the opposite sex. I’m saying this based on her stories about the boys in her class. And the way she acts when we’re around any male between the age of 4 and 13.)

Her “guys” are all of her stuffed animals and her “baby” dolls. Actually, all dolls. 98% of them are female. But she calls them ALL her “guys.” It makes me giggle. She brings at least nine of these "guys" when she comes to visit.

My Sweet Hubby (aka MSH aka Pa-Pa) and I met TLC and both girls at a mall in Frisco on Friday. For a picnic lunch in the food court and a few rides on the Carousel that LL treasures. This time Baby Belle (aka Belle) got to ride! She wasn’t too sure what was happening—but I believe she enjoyed it.

We said goodbye to TLC and Belle and headed West with LL—to our country casa. We did have to make two unexpected “potty” stops. One happened at a McDonald’s in Euless. Which felt strange, since LL had never been in a McDonald’s. I’m serious. Never. Before her Celiac diagnosis at the age of two, TLC just hadn’t taken her to one. Once she was diagnosed? Bless Biscuit’s SWEET heart…all fast food restaurants became off-limits. We’d tried to locate a decent looking gas station off the highway—with no luck. There didn’t seem to be time to keep looking. So McDonald’s worked. Less than an hour later, we had to make another stop at a gas station right off the Interstate. We were 15 minutes—or less—from our home. LL said she could NOT wait. You do what you gotta do, right? (Sure enough—she was pretty desperate.)

Once home, we had about 46 hours of sheer FUN. There were some tears. Over a bite(s) on her arm. We’d walked over to our Barn Saturday mid-morn and something had caused some unidentifiable bumps. And over some kind of issue on her left knee. When she got in the tub that night, the lukewarm water “burned.” She had a HUGE meltdown.  Extreme drama ensued. Pa-Pa had to carry her to her bedroom. (TLC laughed her you-kn0w-what off at this when I told her about it later that night. I thought that was a bit rude.) LL, MSH and I all had to take deep, deep breaths. We reassured her we didn’t need to race to the ER. (I still have no idea what happened. It was odd looking. Seemed to me like it could be a carpet-type burn. It was—mostly—gone by the time she woke up Sunday morning.)

Biscuit enjoyed a second breakfast of Gramcakes and bacon. She watched some Sofia the First while MSH and I got ready to head East. We packed up all of her guys and talked, in the car, about the amazing time the five of us—(Buddy Bear and Hunter always love Biscuit’s visits!)—had had. We met TLC, Her Hubby and Belle for a second picnic lunch at a wonderful park in a little town called Aledo. We’d not done this before and it worked out perfectly! Of course, I had to wipe away tears as we headed back home. I don’t know why I do this at the end of every visit. Every. Single. One. Sigh.

Hope y’all had as happy a weekend as MSH and I did! Please have a safe and productive/great week…wherever in the world y’all are…

Hugs,

ELC

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

movin', shakin' and organizin'...

So, big news from my home front: we are moving this summer! We are headed to a town about an hour from where we currently live and also an hour closer to ELC. Best. News. EVER. I'm equal parts excited, overwhelmed and anxious. What do I do when I feel all shook up? I organize! Everything. I sort. I purge. I rearrange. Because we aren't moving for a few more months, it's the only thing I feel I can do right now to help prep us and our house that we will be selling.

On Saturday, I started with a ginormous plastic tub under our guest room (aka: ELC's room) filled with approximately FIVE THOUSAND cards, emails I had printed out and various sentiments I've collected over roughly 15 years. I literally went through every card and have significantly decreased my little collection. I found some of the most precious treasures. A homemade Valentine's Day card from my nephew who is about to graduate from high school. He was probably seven-ish when he made it and it is priceless to me! I found the ticket stub from an ice skating date my husband took me on for my 27th birthday. I had never been ice skating before and it was a treat! I also found this hysterical email from My Sweet Mom and simply had to share it with y'all. This was sent right after I met my now-husband (almost ten years ago). ELC was encouraging me to be patient. To let him pursue me. She totally and completely believes men love mysteries. Challenges. She shared this tale her mother had shared with her:

Listen to your Monnie's (name for my grandmother) story:

When she was dating four (4) Bobs at the same time, one of them only asked her out on Friday nights. And Nana (my precious great-grandmother we have mentioned many times in the past and for whom we're all named "Leighton") hated that.

At Christmastime, when Monnie was home from Randolph Macon and "pinned" to a West Point guy named Terry, she wore her pin on a date with Friday-Night-Bob. She thinks now that probably wasn't very nice.

Your grandmother says DON'T TEXT OR CALL HIM. I say--go find a Bob.

Every time I read this, I crack up. I reminded ELC of this last night and had her rolling, too!

I will keep this email, ready to share lots of future laughs (and advice from their grandmother, great-grandmother, and great-great-grandmother) with my two girls.

These next few months will be quite an adventure. I'm certain I'll have several other "gems" to pass along to y'all SOON.

In the meantime, go find a Bob! LOL. LOL. LOL.

Friday, April 14, 2017

hallelujah!


He is

not here,

He has

RISEN.

Mark 16:6

 

 

God proved His love on the Cross. When Christ hung, and bled, and died, it was God saying to the world, ‘I love you.’

                                                --Billy Graham

 

On this Good Friday, TLC and I wish each of you a blessed Easter Sunday, weekend, holiday.

Friday, April 7, 2017

posterity...

When TLC and I started this blog in January of 2011, I don’t think we ever thought we’d still be posting—six years later. And we certainly never thought about having it printed. In book form. Somewhere along the way that year, I learned of a company that does this and knew it would be a great idea—for posterity. For Little Leighton (LL) and Baby Elle (Belle).

I just received our sixth copy! Here it is (It’s yellow with a picture of LL and Belle on the cover.)…together with the other five that came before it.
Yes. These “books” look like annuals. But let’s face it—that’s what probably 75% of the blogs out there are, right? Memories. Stories. Pictures. In some sort of chronological order.


I keep these in our Safe Room. (A room that was built to—hopefully—protect us from tornadoes.) Sadly, for me, they won’t fit in our actual safe that’s housed inside our Safe Room. We have shelves all around the room where we store important photos, books, etc. Objects we pray won’t ever blow away! These live on one of those shelves. There's only one copy for each year. Making them priceless to us.

I’m going to believe these “annuals” will be important to LL and Belle at some point in the future.

In the meantime, I’ll take good care of them. I’m not certain how much longer TLC and I will do our blog. For now, we still look forward to finding a few minutes of time—two to three days a week—to put in writing our experiences, thoughts, discoveries. Prayers. And to commemorate milestones in Our Precious Little Girls’ Lives.

We thank each of you who have been with us from the beginning! It means everything that you’d hang in there and share our (often silly and ridiculous) journeys. Thank you, also, to new readers who have found us. We’re truly grateful for your time and interest!

Here’s to a Weekend Full of (Safe) Shenanigans!

Love and BIG HUGS

ELC

p.s.: My Sweet Hubby and I are going to have Little Leighton spend two nights with us this weekend! It’s been too long and we’re all three (five—counting Buddy Boo Bear and Hunter the Cat) looking forward to every second...You might be forced to hear all about it at a later date...winky wink.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

wrinkles...crushed violets...BIG adventures...


I wanted to tell y’all about my birthday celebration! Humour me, okay? I'm old. Ish.

63. I cannot believe that. But apparently it’s correct. Honestly? I don’t really care how old I am. I care not one teeny tidbit that I have wrinkles. Grey hair. Some extra poundage in many places on my body. I only want to be able to walk! Move! Grammy Nanny my Grands! So far—so good.

I don’t need gifts—not at this point in my life. What I’d rather have are experiences! Lunch. Dinner. A card. A text. A phone call. A movie. Time with family and friends. (PLEASE DON’T GET ME WRONG: I’m deeply and truly grateful for every thoughtful gift I receive! They’re just never necessary. I’m fairly certain most women my age would say the same thing. And yet I also buy gifts for family and friends. You hate not to. I realize this.) But let me try to tell TLC not to get me a gift. That does not go over well. She is, IMHO, Queen of Etsy/Nordstrom/IG. She deals in “DEALS!” She is, without one doubt, a Shopper Extraordinaire. (She needs to make a living with this talent…I’ve never been more serious. She also wraps gifts beautifully!) She’s ALWAYS going to buy me a gift whether I want one or not. Same goes for My Sweet Hubby. Therefore, I’ve learned to be proactive and, well, frankly, instructive. One might say BOSSY. Oh, well. I am who I am.

In February-ish, I told TLC I would love a Mark Twain saying I cherish to be printed and/or framed.

Here it is: (It’s placed, in our bedroom, near my great-grandmother’s rocker—which was brought to Texas from England in the early 1900s. Her daughter, my grandmother, Nana? If y’all have been reading our blog very long, you might remember how important she was to me.)




And…up close:




My Nana loved African violets, violets and pansies. This beautiful saying is especially significant to me because of the violet reference. But also because I’ve had problems with forgiveness in my past. Well, maybe still. Up to this moment. As I type.  I feel I can, and do, forgive. Eventually. I struggle with forgetting what someone has done—or not done—to or for me. Basically, I suppose, to sum this up: I hold grudges. I’m not proud of this. I’m only wanting to be completely honest. And to change.

To forgive someone the very SECOND they hurt me? (The moment the violet is crushed it forgives the person that crushed it…the MOMENT.) Like Jesus Christ, Our Savior. Right? Hmmm…I’m not good at that whatsoever. I must start to improve. Soon.

Now I look at this beautiful "art" every day—morning, noon and night. And I think about it. I let it challenge me. I treasure it and could not love TLC more for finding the perfect person to make it for me! Thank you, Daughter. You ROCK.

MSH did two WONDERFUL things for my birthday:

First, he (through TLC, His Personal Shopper) bought me a pair of Kendra Scott earrings I’ve coveted. I’m not obsessed with Kendra—not as much as TLC. I’m more of a Brighton Kind-O-Gal. These are positively LOVELY. Turquiose. Not too big—not too little. (Yes. He gave me some small Kendra turquoise earrings Christmas before last. I determined I needed these, too. Winky. Wink.)

THEN—sort of last minute-ish: He took me to Fredericksburg, Texas! Y’all know how much all three of us—me, TLC and MSH—ADORE Fredericksburg. None of us had ever been there—in all of the many, many trips we’ve made over the years—during “Bluebonnet/Indian Paint” season!

We left our casa a week ago this past Monday. Dropped Buddy Boo Bear off at our Vet’s clinic for boarding. Arrived in Fredericksburg by noon and loved every single second of our adventure for the next 48 hours! I got to see Sunny’s Sweet Sister, Gunny, at a store on Main Street called “All Gussied Up!” Is that the most precious name EVER? It’s got GREAT clothes, jewelry, etc. A must if you’re in Fredericksburg! Lucky TLC received two beautiful tops from there. Because I am the BEST Mom. It’s early Mother’s Day, TLC. Remember that, please. Gunny and Sunny could be twins. I kid you not. It was MAJOR fun visiting with her and one of her co-workers. Sweet, SWEET, funny, charming women!

Here’s the best part: I gained no weight! Not even an ounce! In fact, I actually lost a couple of ounces. Woo Hoo and Yippee! I haven’t been able to go to a Weight Watchers meeting in three weeks. Tomorrow morning I’ll find out how much I’ve officially lost in that amount of time. I have high hopes it’ll be at least three pounds. Pretty much devastated if it's less. I shall, however, trudge through the trauma and move on.

I’ll pray each of you gets to have A Magical Adventure soon! We all need them. No matter how old we are, right?

Smooches and BIG HUGS,

ELC

Saturday, April 1, 2017

one more shot...


I went East Thursday morn to see My Three Girls. Always fun, memorable times for this Grammy Nanny.

Little Leighton (aka LL aka Biscuit) never ceases to amaze me. This trip she was perfect—in every single way. (And this just ain’t a proud Grammy braggin’…it’s the TRUTH. Winky. Wink.) Baby Elle (aka Belle) started pushing a little toy around their playroom that helps babies/toddlers learn to walk! I was trying to show her on Thursday afternoon how to do it. Yesterday afternoon, as the three of us played, LL, Belle and moi, Belle crawled over to it, pulled herself up on it and AWAY SHE WENT! She couldn’t steer it. She’d run into something that would stop her—a wall, the couch, another toy. I’d get her going again and off she’d go! She would have done it forever if we hadn’t had to stop for her early dinner. I feel like she’s very, VERY close to walking on her own. Get ready, TLC!

Got home at 8:40ish last night. Pooped. In a great way. (My Sweet Hubby had finished many little projects while I was gone, including vacuuming our entire casa. I'm beyond lucky.) This morning, I had to go to town for a few errands. On my way home, the Alabama song “Give Me One More Shot” came on my radio.

I love country music. Y’all have learned this over the years. The fiddles. Steel guitars. Pianos. Drums. Lyrics. Emotions. Background voices. It all speaks to my heart and soul or makes me joyful. I love Alabama! And I TRULY LOVE this song! In my humble opinion, it could almost be considered a prayer. A poetic, sweet, down home prayer to Our Lord God, Almighty.

Here are the words (This was written by Ronnie Rogers, Teddy Gentry and Randy Owen.):

GIVE ME ONE MORE SHOT

(Sorry about the spacing on this. I can't figure out how to fix it. Dagnabbit.)

Life ain’t all that easy I can testify to that

It’s been up and down and round and round to get to where I’m at

If you could see how I’m living in this old car I drive
Well you’d probably wonder and even ponder why I even want to stay alive


So give me one more shot I’ll give it all I’ve got

Let me open my eyes to a new sunrise I pray

Give me one more chance I’ll learn to dance the dance

Well I’m satisfied just being alive give me one more day


Well I could complain about taxes or the weather we’re having today

Go on and on about things that are wrong from New York to L.A.

Well that’s just not my nature to sit around feeling sad

We’re only here for awhile so why not smile hey living ain’t all that bad


So give me one more shot I’ll give it all I’ve got

Let me open my eyes to a new sunrise I pray

Give me one more chance I’ll learn to dance the dance

Well I’m satisfied just being alive give me one more day


When I look around there’s lots of folks worse off than me

So I just thank the good Lord and ask him please


So give me one more shot I’ll give it all I’ve got

Let me open my eyes to a new sunrise I pray

Give me one more chance I’ll learn to dance the dance

Well I’m satisfied just being alive give me one more day


Well I’m satisfied just being alive give me one more day

Give me one more shot I’ll give it all I’ve got

Give me one more day

Show me the way and give me one more day

Give me one more shot

As we begin a new month in 2017, I pray each of you will keep your eyes open to the magic of life. The beauty of our world. The hope we can all have in Jesus Christ Our Lord and Savior.

smooches and hugs…