I know it’s not cool to boast, but every once in a while it’s ok to be proud of ourselves. Today, I’m feeling like I finally accomplished a dream of mine.
When I was a kid, I was a straight A student. I was a band and debate team nerd. I dreamed of going to college and having an incredible career. My step-dad used to joke that I was going to be a professional student because I excelled in school. I think he imagined me getting degree after degree until I had myself a PhD.
I even thought about going Ivy League. I had the grades. But I didn’t have the money I needed and if I’m being brutally honest with myself, I didn’t have the determination to make my dreams a reality.
The 19 year old me was burned out. I was so tired of trying to be the perfect student and the perfect daughter and the perfect sister and the perfect friend that I beat myself up way too much anytime I made a mistake. Read the rest of this entry
My youngest daughter is almost 10 years old. Today she was helping my grandbaby with her morning routine. I listened as KK assisted Presley with washing her hair and brushing her teeth, and then the amazing part happened.
KK let Presley pick out her best Easter dress to wear for the day. Just a regular day. And why not?
Mornings in my zoo are known to be chaotic. Especially lately. I’ve got one kid with a stomach ulcer who feels icky. I’ve got another kid who thinks the words “get up” don’t apply to him until the 9th time. And then I’ve got another one who prances around pretending I’m going to let her out the door in red high heels.
Last I checked, that’s not really 4th grade appropriate. But, I can usually count on the twins to be easy going in the AM.
They typically get out of bed by the second wake-up call. They get dressed with very little fuss and even brush their teeth the first time I say it. However, this morning all bets were off, and nothing went according to plan.
When I look back over my life there are a lot of things I wish I still had. My vintage Atari, because it would fetch a pretty penny on eBay, all the stuff I had in a storage unit when I first got together with my husband, because it was all my “good stuff”, and the jewelry that once disappeared. I was babysitting one night, left my watch with all my rings at the house where I was sitting, and the next morning they offered to leave it in the mailbox for me. By 7:45am it was gone, never to be seen again. My class ring, a few rings my father gave me, and my great-grandmother’s diamond ring were in that collection. I still close my eyes and wish I could somehow find them again. Mainly because I’m a sentimental fool, and I love to collect things. It’s how I hold on to memories.
My Blondie makes fun of me all the time for my “collections.” There are very few things she is sentimental about. But her grandparents gave her this pair of boots for graduation, and ooooh, they were beautiful.
In fact, she wore them we she took off for Nashville. And she had them on the day she met her beau. And they just sort of morphed into her favorite pair of boots. Read the rest of this entry
If you were still here, we’d certainly have plans today.
You’d be 82 now, so I would drive to you and we’d probably eat Mexican food. And you would make jokes about your health and I’d laugh while secretly hoping things aren’t getting too serious in that department.
You’d listen to me ramble on about the kids and when I listed my failures and insecurities, you’d point out my strengths and successes.
The day would go by way too fast and I would choke back the tears when it came time to drive away, if you were here today.
Some people remember you on Father’s day because you were an amazing Dad and grandpa. Others remember you during the holidays because of the soothing way you always read the Christmas story from the Bible. Some people love to think of you at Halloween because of the amazing haunted house you used to create. But me, I think of you on April the 9th.
I wasn’t supposed to be born until May, but I know exactly WHY God brought me early. I was meant to be born on your birthday.
And we shared 27 wonderful birthdays before you went on… But if I’m being honest, you didn’t go away. You’re still here. And I still think of you all the time. And even though I can’t reach out and touch you, I can feel you all around.
I’m so torn between the laughter and the tears, but I know you’d challenge me to laugh. So maybe I’ll have a sopapilla in the name of Birthday Buddies and I’ll tell myself what you would say if you were sitting there across from me today.
Happy birthday Softy. Our day is the one gift I’ll hold forever.
Somehow this post got stuck in my drafts. I have no idea why it never published, but I owe some of you an update. For those of you who follow my journey from far away, my Tigers won the State Championship! And I’m telling you now, this journey has all the makings of a Hollywood Blockbuster.
It’s the ultimate small town triumph. There’s the plant, closing down, leaving all the families uncertain about the future. And there are the players bound for college ball. One who learned humility and God’s grace. Another came back to Texas to lead the team to victory. His father was quarterback for the Tigers when they won the state championship game in 1976, the last time the Tigers went to state. Then there is the senior who’s father died right before practice was set to begin. His dad was the ultimate athletic booster and so the town raised money in his honor to put up the big VICTORY light at the stadium. Of course, that created our motto for the season- Keep It Lit. And yes, the is proof that a V was painted in the clouds as the Tigers rolled into AT&T Stadium.
Then there’s the coach’s son, who missed being quarterback for his father’s team because of a rare diagnosis of cancer. That’s what inspired our Gold Out games where towns all across Texas joined us in the fight against childhood cancer wearing T’shirts sold to raise money. And in the final play of the game, that boy got to suit up and take the snap in the victory formation. Yes, it’s a Kleenex grabber.
I’m not gonna lie to you. The game got off to a rough start. We were down 21 to 0 when the Tigers decided they’d come way to far to go home without that trophy. I wish I could tell you I was there watching it all unfold. But the game was in Dallas and I didn’t have the money to drive there, pay for parking, and buy enough tickets for all my kids.
A few people offered to take me with them to the game, but as much as I wanted to go, I wasn’t going without my kids. So, we had our own little party. Chips, queso, and Fox Sports.
We clapped and yelled and jumped out of our seats from the comfort of our own living room. We got to see the playbacks and hear the commentary, but we missed out on being part of the crowd.
I was pretty bummed about that, but there was a silver lining. My husband, well, he’s not the football fan I am. He blames it on being a hyperactive little boy who was forced to sit still and watch games with his dad. Maybe it left a bad taste in his mouth. Yet, my husband knows I spend my Friday nights and Saturday mornings watching my boys play ball. And even when it’s not really MY boy, I’m still watching the Tigers play ball. Because that’s me. I love those Friday Night Lights and I think half this kids in this town somehow belong to me. I’m a sucker for rivalry games and Pep Rally bonfires. So when the busses rolled back into town in the middle of the night, my husband drove me to the field to honk and holler and congratulate the kids who played a monumental game. That V is still lit, and despite the hardships going on all around us, Tiger Nation is a good place to be.
I raised my kids on Remember the Titans, Friday Night Lights, and Varsity Blues.
Are you seeing a theme here? Yep, I’m a sucker for those stories where everyone comes together and the town roots the team to VICTORY.
I went to a 5A high school in Houston. I think there were 203 kids in marching band, if I’m remembering correctly. (There are only 400 kids all together at Rockdale High School.) Some of my best memories happened at playoff games with pocket warmers stuffed in my uniform. Cheese fries + hot chocolate + school spirit = me smiling.
I thought I’d grow up to be a calloused corporate lawyer with Corvettes instead of children. At least that’s what my senior yearbook alluded to. Instead, I ended up in a small town, with 7 kids, and a die-hard love of the Rockdale Tigers. Read the rest of this entry
I’m not sure if there’s anything more special than a Christmas baby. I’ll never forget the first year I spent Christmas with a baby in my arms. Suddenly, every story I’d ever known took on a whole new meaning.
I grew up with a Drill Sergeant. He ran a tight ship. There were no pink stripes or purple hair when I was a kid. But it was the 80s, so I did the big hair and tried my best to She-bop my style.
I remember an issue of Seventeen Magazine. The model had bright pink eyeshadow with teal blue stripes. I loved it. It spoke to me. I tried to copy it and my mother immediately nixed the stripes. So, like a typical 8th grader, I went to school with the pink eyeshadow and quickly disappeared into the bathroom. I penciled on my stripes with my metallic teal eyeliner and emerged with a whole different attitude.
Somehow that makeup made me feel powerful, like I was completely in control of how the world saw me.