Archives for August 2006

In Which I Cannot Contain My Excitement

So it’s taken me a little while to get a post done today because I don’t know if you’re aware of this or not but COLLEGE FOOTBALL STARTS TONIGHT with a 7:00 match-up between my beloved Mississippi State Bulldogs and the South Carolina Gamecocks.

Or, as we like to call them in Alabama: chickens.

I am beside myself with joy. Giddy, in fact.

This morning I hopped out of bed, made a pot of coffee, walked to the front closet and engaged in a bit of pre-game ceremony. I awakened our big M-State flag from hibernation and placed it in the flag holder on the front porch (is that what it’s called? a flag holder? flag bracket? why am I struggling to remember this basic fact? am I so excited that basic vocabulary eludes me?).

I have also played the fight song several times, watched the Game Day Cam on the interweb (see that tree on the front right? I’ve eaten many a piece of fried chicken under that tree…it’s where we used to park for games when I was a little girl), and wished with all my might that I could be there in person. Unfortunately, three year olds don’t really enjoy having to sit still on their assigned twelve inches of bleacher space, and since I am a mama who wants to watch the game, NOT chase a toddler up and down section 204 of Davis Wade stadium, we’ll be staying home for this one and counting on ESPN to make us feel like we’re in the middle of the pigskin action.

I could bore y’all to tears with memories of Football Games Past, but suffice it to say that this is my favorite time of year. There’s been a little bit of breeze outside today, and while it’s still so humid that with every two steps you feel like you’re walking into a wall-o-dampness, there’s an undeniable hint of fall in the air. And when the Dogs run out of the tunnel in Starkville tonight – well, I’ll know beyond a shadow of a doubt that the most glorious time of year is here. It makes me smile.

And whether we win or lose, there are a few non-negotiables that go hand-in-hand with football season:

1) My sister and I will talk at least 10 times tonight. Probably more. Pretty much all it takes to prompt one of us to pick up the phone is a decent run, a first down, a solid hit, a touchdown, or an annoying announcer. We give the announcers much grief, especially when they say stuff like, “What he’s hoping to do here, Bill, is score.”

REALLY? PLAYERS WANT TO SCORE? I HAD NO IDEA!

2) Sister and I will also be doing a lot of vacuuming. We both like to clean while we watch the Bulldogs – it’s a way to channel the energy. So when things get tense – 4th downs, drives that make it inside the 10 yard line, clocks getting too close to 0:00 for our comfort – we pull out our vacuums.

I never claimed we were normal, people.

3) We’ll be eating rotel dip in our house. I went to the grocery store this afternoon, and it’ll be Game Day Buffet in our living room tonight, even if there are only three people “tailgating.”

4) I will at some point yell so loudly that I either scare our dogs or wake up our child. I know. I should be more quiet – and I try, y’all. I do. But it is impossible for me to watch State (or any SEC team, for that matter) without getting VERY vocal. Somehow I convince myself that the players can hear me, and it makes me feel better to cheer for them specifically (“Go, Brandon! GOOOOOOO!”).

Now you’re sort of worried about my mental state, aren’t you?

Really, I’m fine. Promise. I’m just a Southern girl who loves me some football.

5) Win or lose, I’ll go to bed happy. I mean, SEC football AND rotel dip? All in one night? I’m golden.

So if you’ll excuse me, I need to fry some hot sausage for that rotel dip. I’m already wearing my State t-shirt, and D. has already programmed my phone to play “Hail State” when it rings, so I think all that’s left is to dig out my cowbell and commence with the ringing.

Did I mention that I’m excited?

I’ll see y’all tomorrow.

Happy Football, everybody.

What (Not) To Wear

So this whole 80’s fashion comeback has had me in a bit of a dither, because in addition to the fact the the clothes were (and are!) ugly, I now have to re-think what I like to call my “mama uniform” – what I wear when I’m out running errands, when I take A. to birthday parties, when I want to convey the message that “I may be a mama, but I’M STILL SASSY!”

The sad part is that when I’m not intentional about being Sassy Mama, I tend to convey the message that “i am a mama, and i have given up completely.” There’s not much of a happy medium with me.

When I’m Sassy Mama, I have streaky highlights in my hair – with maybe a little red thrown in on top of the blonde. I have a fun haircut with what I like to call “lots of piece-y thingies.” I (try to) coordinate my clothes so that I look a little funky – yet modest and age appropriate – and I put on make-up before I leave the house. MASCARA, even.

I know!

But when I’m i’ve-given-up mama, I have roots that are two inches long. I begin to use my sunglasses like a headband (on a good day – mostly I just surrender to the clippy). I throw on one of D.’s long sleeve shirts over a pair of stretchy capri pants, and nary a trace of make-up touches my face.

SO not sassy. But SO much easier.

And therein lies my dilemma.

Sassy Mama can usually put on a pair of boot cut pants, some fun shoes, a white t-shirt and a denim jacket and look presentable. My other favorite option is a knee-length skirt and some form of cotton shirt (don’t all mamas have about 15 cotton shirts? isn’t that some sort of requirement for motherhood? don’t they, like, take your babies away if you can’t produce evidence of your cotton shirt collection?) with some fun, chunky sandals. As I told Big Mama earlier this week, flats will never, ever do. I NEED a chunky sandal to balance out my calves.

(Why, you might ask? Well, I’ll tell you: because my calves are enormous. I can do four calf extensions and my calf muscles will practically ricochet out of the back of my legs. It’s so bad that I can’t wear boots unless there’s stretchy fabric involved, and even then the boots are so tight around my calves that I lose a great deal of the circulation in my feet. Which is a problem when, you know, walking. And please understand that the substantial calf muscles have absolutely nothing to do with actual physical effort and everything to do with genetics. My daddy is 74, and his calves are RIPPED. And now this sidenote has taken on a slightly disturbing tone and I will cease with the talk of the calves.)

So anyhoo.

I was talking about what, exactly?

Oh yes. Clothes. And my dilemma.

Now that the 80’s stuff is in style again, what in the world will Sassy Mama wear?

Because I can guarantee you that it won’t be skinny jeans. No ma’am.

LEGGINGS? I don’t think so. I mean, if I’m going to have to wear leggings and flats again, I’d just as soon resign myself to i’ve-given-up mode and call it a fashion-challenged day.

I guess I could start working out so that I can run around in my workout clothes and do the whole Busy-Mama-Who-Just-Left-The-Gym look.

Or! Maybe I should just BUY the workout clothes and PRETEND I’ve just left the gym so that I don’t have to deal with putting together an 80’s ensemble (or, you know, actually exercising).

Which brings me to my question (and praise the Lord for that, you’re thinking): what do you wear when you’re running your errands? Do you sass it up? Or do you dress it down? Or do you have the whole Busy-Mama-Who-Just-Left-The-Gym thing down pat?

And if you tell me that you’re running around town in a pair of skinny jeans, my calves and I are going to be very distressed indeed.

WFMW – Recipe Swap

Okay, I confess: I’m totally stealing this idea from my friend Traci.

She had a recipe swap at her house last week, and it was so much fun – and so simple. If you like to cook and would love a fun night with “the girls,” this is perfect.

Here’s what she did.

She invited 12 people, and each person brought five recipes (with copies of each for everyone). Some people copied their recipe cards, some people typed all five recipes on one sheet of paper, some people printed each recipe on a separate sheet of paper (in other words, the format of the recipe is up to you) – and then Traci provided us with folders so we’d have a way to keep all the recipes organized until we got home.

But before we swapped recipes, we had dinner. We each made one of our recipes beforehand, took it to Traci’s, and shared it with the group – which means we had 12 wonderful dishes to sample. Traci set up three tables – with china and crystal and placemats and flowers and everything – and the 12 of us fixed our plates, sat down, ate wonderful food, and TALKED WITHOUT BEING INTERRUPTED BY CHILDREN.

Maybe you didn’t catch that last part: WE TALKED WITHOUT BEING INTERRUPTED BY CHILDREN. That alone was a little slice of heaven.

And in addition to some relaxing time with friends, I came home with fifty-five new recipes. FIFTY-FIVE!

That most definitely works for me.

For more great WFMW ideas, go see Shannon at Rocks In My Dryer.

Mighty Fine Reading

Really interesting post at The Big Trade-Off about the tendency to get a little preoccupied with what the Joneses are doing. Loved it.

Link via Heth.

And while you’re clicking around, check out another great post at Mississippi Girl’s. Today is the one year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, and Jennifer, who lives on the MS Gulf Coast, has written a beautiful tribute to my beloved home state.

Link via Big Mama.

Enjoy the bloggity goodness.

Grumpy McCryerson

A. woke up from his nap yesterday in such a foul mood that eventually it just got comical.

Well, to me, at least.

And I felt it my duty to take pictures.

By the way, I believe that taking photos while your child is crying makes you a finalist for Mother of the Year.

Check the rules! It’s true!



(Does anyone else think that his post-nap hair looks like the lead singer from A Flock of Seagulls? I think it’s a striking resemblance.)

Anyway, since hugs and kisses couldn’t soothe the sleepy beast, I figured I might as well capture the misery for posterity.

And in case you’re keeping score at home? That last sentence? About capturing my child’s misery?

TOTALLY sealed the Mother of the Year 2006 title. Totally.

I’ll just be putting on my crown and sash now….

Then Sings My Soul

One day last week I was emailing with a friend who’s on the worship staff at our church, and she mentioned, sort of off-handedly, that the praise team wouldn’t be singing in church Sunday because we were having a “spoken word” service.

“Spoken word” service?

I’m sorry?

Um, NO MUSIC?

Because I know I’ve only mentioned it, like, 74 times, but I’m a person who totally worships through music. It gets to me, way down deep, in the places that words alone have a hard time reaching.

So while I should probably be embarrassed to tell you this, I’ll just go ahead and confess: I wasn’t looking forward to church yesterday. I was dreading not being able to sing. I was concerned that our time in “big church,” which typically runs about an hour and a half, was going to creeeeeeep by. That I would look down at my watch, convinced that we’d been there for two hours, and find that it had been more like fifteen minutes.

I was apprehensive, is what I’m sayin’.

When church started at nine, there was a bit of instrumental music. No singing. I’m pretty sure that I was jiggling my leg out of sheer discomfort. Two people walked out on the stage, and they took turns reciting – from memory – a passage from Pslams. They were followed by three more people. Who were followed by three more people. The Speakers ranged in age from about eight to about eighty – and while it took me a little while to get past being nervous for them as they recited Scripture and occasionally struggled with a word or phrase, I eventually started to soak up the Message instead of being worried for the messengers.

But I was still a little squirmy – couldn’t we sing, you know, just a little bit? Just a smidge?

About that time, eight people walked down the steps at the front of the stage, and they began to recite a passage from Proverbs – only not in English. We heard part of the passage in Spanish, part in German, then Russian, French, Filipino, Swahili, Hebrew and Thai. And while I would love to be able to explain what happened in my heart during those three or four minutes – I just can’t do it. Words fail me. It was an unbelievably moving reminder of the power of God’s Word.

Color me surprised. :-)

Because here’s the deal. I do a pretty good job of keeping God’s Word hidden in my heart. I think, over the last six or seven years, I’ve developed an understanding of why that’s so essential. I believe Him, I trust Him, I love Him, and I need His Word – all the time.

But sometimes, in worship, I get it backwards. Sometimes, in worship, I get it all wrong. Maybe it’s because I find myself more interested in what we’re singing than what God’s saying. Maybe it’s because I respond more to my emotion than I do to His Truth. Maybe it’s because, in a way, I worship a god I’ve created instead of The God who created the universe, The God who created me.

But I’ll tell you: listening to God’s Word for an hour and a half has a way of snapping all that stuff right back into perspective.

So while my mouth didn’t get to do any singing yesterday, my spirit did. And next week, when we sing again, I pray my focus won’t be on how we worship – I pray it’ll be on Who we worship. I pray that when I start to fall back into my “OH I LOVE THIS SONG” tendency, that the Holy Spirit would prick my heart and remind me that without the One who first loved us, there would be no song to sing.

And I missed the music yesterday. I really did.

But, in this particular instance, taking away the music enabled me to hear the message – and The Message – loud and clear.