(awkward and awesome)

(awkward and awesome)
First Wive's Club...one of Ma's favorites

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

In Honor of She Who Bore Me and Continues to Bear With Me

 Yup!  That's right!  My bestest Mamma Llama ever is now 60 years old.  She didn't have a big party mostly because she doesn't like that many people, and she just won't fake it.  Those she loves, however, have a hero and cheerleader for life.  I like how she looks at aging.  The older you get, the more honest you can be because people just think you're old and crazy.  Seriously, how awesome is that.

Now, those of you who know me (you lucky devils you!), have to know that I am my mothers's daughter.  In honor of her fabulous life, I now impart to you some of the wisdom that she's given to me over the years.  It's stuff I live by and teach my own monkeys.

1)  If you do something wrong, just own it.  Just fess up.  If you didn't think it was too wrong to do in the first place, why are you ashamed now?  Why blame others?  Be a grown person and admit it.  If you don't want people to know, then just don't do it.  And if you're going to do regardless, for the love of Pete, don't take pictures!  Why add proof to your burden?

2)  No matter what you're going to do in life, educate yourself so you can be the best.  Mom admits to being an education snob.  Everyone should go to college.  She herself has a Master's degree in Business Administration with straight A's to boot.  If college isn't your thing, then whatever you put your mind to, find out everything you can about it.  Be the master.  Be the expert.  Knowledge is power; give yourself some.  As long as you keep learning, you will keep growing.

3)  Real friends love you even if you pick your nose.  Not that Mom is cool with that activity.  Not. At. All.  Her point is that no one is perfect, and if you have a friend that won't hang out with you because they caught you doing something like picking your nose one time, then maybe they just aren't a good friend.  Everyone picks their nose from time to time.  Just no flicking.

4)  You are what you wear.  I'll never forget when Mom sat us down with one of our yearbooks, and after pointing to some pictures of clothing deprived girls, she asked us what kind of girls they were.  WE didn't know these girls.  So she said, "Well, what have you heard?  You won't get in trouble for calling names in this instance."  So we said what we heard.  Slut.  Trashy and Cheap. B!tchy and always ready to give it up.  Then she dropped the boom.  

"If you don't want people who don't know you to say that about you, then dress like you respect yourself."

Will do, Mamma Llama.

Mom and I are messing with Shaye...because it's fun.
5)  Be kind and take the high road if at all possible.  You will always come out looking like the better more professional person.  Now, this is really hard because sometimes people don't believe that you took the high road if you have a reputation for saying it like it is....which I do.  I do try though, because God knows even if no one else believes it.  He knows.

6)  If you can't take the high road, come up swinging and don't stop hitting until they quit moving.  Let it never be said that my mother is a wussy.  It's a lie.  If you truly mess with her or, even worse, those she truly loves, my mother will end you.  She will chop you up, cook you in Paula Dean recipe and then serve you to your mother if she has to.  She'd just rather not.  Oh, but she will.  She will.

7)  Be loyal to those who have earned your loyalty.  And those who have not, please drop them like a bad habit.  Spend your time with those worthy of you.

8)  How you treat someone's time is truly how you think of them and vice versa.  Time is the one thing we can't get back.  If someone is wasting your time, stop  the madness.  If you're wasting someone else's time, do the right thing and let them go.  Life is too short.  Be on time.  Be present in the moment.  Don't waste time on things that don't move your life forward.

9)  Cruelty is NOT allowed.  Being cruel to one's sibling was the most punished of crimes in my house.  It was simply unacceptable.  We are family like or not, and we are not animals!  Mom would handcuff us together until we got along.  (turns out that illegal, so y'all don't do that)  If you can't be civil, go to your room until you can be.  All acts of violence had to be done while Mom was at work.  Better make that bruise where Mom couldn't see it.  Name calling was punished.  We were expected to treat people, all people, like that's what they were: people.  We were not permitted to be any other way.

10)  If you don't like the way it is, fix it so that you do.  The best and most useful thing my mother taught me was to be resourceful.  Look at it another way.  How can you fix this problem?  How can you help?  How can you change it to be what you want it to be?  Don't like it?  That's your problem.  Decide you do like it, or make it so that you like it.  What do you have on hand?   How can  you make this work?  Who can get to help you?  What can you use to make do?  We are the MacGyvers of world:  we think, and we make it work with what we have available.  By doing so, we leave people in awe.  True story.

11)  You are you're own best advertising.  If you don't like you, why should anyone else?  You have to sell what you've got on the shelves.  Make it happen.  I've been told that sometimes I come off a bit cocky.  Possibly.  I'm usually just trying out a new slogan, and I'm buying into the advertising.  I am freakin' awesome sauce!  I'm a good friend.  I'm helpful and funny.  I'm not afraid of getting my hands dirty, and I even clean up pretty good.  You want people to like you?  Check out how you're marketing yourself.  You might need some new copy.  If you don't believe it, no one else will.
Mamma, Jennie, Shaye and me at the Diva race in St. Augustine.

I hope you get me a little more.  My mother is truly a wonderful mother and a really great person.  I'm more like my dad in personality, but there is a lot of my mom running around this head of mine...  
"Get off the cross; someone else needs the wood."
"Do it right the first time...like I showed you."
"Put it in another gear!"
"If you really want it, then the work won't stop you."
"I should've raised dogs."
"Good job; we're proud of you."
"You're my favorite blonde haired daughter."
"I love you."

Friday, January 9, 2015

I Remember This One...

It's that time of the year.  That time when festive decorations are now in the way, and it's starts to not be so festive.  And if we're honest, too much Santa in January is kinda sad.  I thought as I take down the tree for another year, I'd share with you some of my favorite ornaments...actually memories.  That's what the best ornaments, aren't they?

This little angel has been on the tree for as long as I can remember.  My sis has a purple one.  I don't know when I got it, where we lived or who gave her to me, but I do know my Christmas tree isn't complete without her.

 This isn't my childhood memory; it's Bear's.  His family  made a bunch of wooden ornaments when he was 3 which, it so happens, was in 1977, the year of my birth.  Coincidence?  Probably...totally.
I have a mad love of Barbie.  This is one of my favorite non-doll ornaments.  Gotta love the shoes.
This is one of my center piece doll ornaments.  I simply love the elegance and the colors.  She has a show stopping place on my tree.
 This was the ornament Bear and I bought on our honeymoon to Orlando 15 years ago.  We bought it in Disney Village.  We were going to get it personalized but decided against it because the line was way too long for what it was, and it cost as much as the ornament  itself.  I bought a sharpie and did  the deed myself.  I'm so MacGuyver.
I lied not when I spoke of my love for Barbie.  My ma gave me almost all the ornament available during the years they were sold at Hallmark.  She didn't buy the ugly ones she said.  I saw them at after Christmas sales, and I found not fault in her logic.  They were ugly.  It was like, who approved this?  Anyways...

 I hold the First Christmas ornaments of my baby angels.  They were all so squishy and more happy to eat the wrapping paper than play with the toys.  I'm so blessed to be their  mom.  Most days.  Every day to be honest, I just don't feel every day.  I know you know what I mean.
 I got this in the middle of the night at a Kohl's in Mississippi.  I was Black Friday shopping with my cousin-in-law Kayse and her sisters.  Those girls are no joke.  They will shop until death, and then put your corpse into a cart so they can get their deals.  Go big or go to bed. At any rate, I had a blast and saved a bunch of money.
 This was a gift from my pre-school teaching days.  A little pretty named Elizabeth gave this to me.  You can change out the potpourri in the middle.  Love it!  So Christmasy!
 My Barbie angel...how cool would it have been to be a shepherd that night?
 This was made by my good friend and local artist Vicky.  I stalked it at a gift exchange.  I make no apologies for what I did to have it. If you're not willing to cry, you're not willing to play. All's fair in love, war, and ornament exchange parties.  
Once upon a time, Eric and I were the middle school ministers at our church.  The group was called Planet Next.  The ornaments were meant to look like little planets.  We made these at a Christmas party for the kids to take with them.  Victoria made ours.  Those kids are grown up now and having babies.  I'm so proud of each one of them.  They are still my little 11, 12 and 13 year olds in my heart... which means they are still my babies and if you were to ever mess with them, I will hunt you down though I can't say what I'd do for deniable plausibility reasons.
This one was "stolen" from a Christmas dinner the church had.  I got permission to take it, but it still felt a bit naughty putting in my purse.  I love my  church family.  They are dear, funny and they are so cool about letting people be themselves.  They bless me, and I hope I bless them.

So these are just a few of my favorites.  I just love Christmas.  It blesses me every year to celebrate the birth of my Savior.  Happy memories are a part of that.  Tell me some of your happy memories of Christmas in the comments below.  I can't want to hear them.  Until next Christmas my old friends...until next Christmas..