Thursday, July 2, 2009

Why We Should ALL Drink the Kool-Aid

Last night, I got a very disturbing phone call. I know when I look at my phone and it says, "Mama's Cell", I better answer (my parents are of the generation that cell phones are only for 'mergencees). My Dad is in the hospital with chest pains. Now, normally, it wouldn't be a big deal, but this summer marks the 10-year anniversary of his first heart attack.

As little girls, we think our Daddies can do anything. They are the strongest, smartest, and most idyllic figures in our little pink fluffy worlds. So, when you see your Daddy lying on a hospital bed connected to wires and monitors, there tends to be a paradigm shift in your mind. Big Time.

The years have gone by and he, for a long time, watched what he ate and paid more attention to exercise. Big Wayne retired, moved to a river, and bought a bigger boat. Now, here we are again, without stress to blame. In a few words, he let himself go. And my heart is broken.

What does this have to do with the Woodstock reference??? Well, I recently returned from a week long stay with one of my best, dearest friends in San Francisco. I fell in love with the city. I had visited years ago, but had only done the tourist things. I hadn't really seen the city. Everywhere we went, the food tasted better, the air was crisp and clean, and you actually wanted to walk everywhere. You were cheating Mother Nature somehow if you were in a car or sitting on a couch re watching the latest episode of Charm School.

I came home and told my lovely husband that we were going green. No more processed foods (his favorite, yech). We were going organic, a decision I had been mulling over for a few months anyway. I had officially drank the California granola-flavored Kool-Aid. Thank you, Dr. Leary. I want to leave the world a better place for Rylee and our future children and I don't ever want them to see me in a hospital bed before my time.

Which brings me back to Big Wayne. Had he heeded the advice of my mom and his doctors, he would still be on his John Deere, making sure each blade of emerald green grass is totally even. However, his Southern Pride gets in the way and he always has to have the "Pork Plate with a Jumbo Sweet Tea" or douse everything in gravy and ketchup (sometimes at the same time). He knows it's bad for him, but as a society, we tend to think if it's healthy, it's weird, strange, new-fangled or not right.

Why do we, as a collective American culture, tend to laugh at people who "Go Green"? Aren't we saving ourselves from ending up gone to soon? I want to know my children as adults, their children and their children's children. I want to make sure everything is a little bit better for them than it was for me. I want to live a long life with my husband.

So, if that makes me a nerd, a dork, whatever. I will lift a great big glass of organic Chardonnay (from Sonoma, of course) and toast your Budweiser. At least when I'm 65, I'll only look 50.

P.S.-Please pray for Big Wayne.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Am I Nuts????

All year long I have complained. I have moaned, groaned and begged Jesus to let me stay in bed for five more minutes. I have gone in early, stayed late, and stood, agape, at the front of my classroom taking in the desks. All 28 of them.

I had almost 30 children in my 4th grade class this year. And we ain't talkin' the suburbs. We have stood toe-to-toe on issues like commas in a series, weekly multiplication tests, and who gets to use the new pencil sharpener.

We have gone round and round on who's turn it is to feed the fish (only 1 out of 4, that's 25%, made it through the year unscathed), who gets to be the energy saver and turn out the light, and whether or not they can be trusted to go run an errand for me by themselves.

I have graded placement tests, mountains of narrative and expository essays, middle of the year diagnostics, science projects, and end of the year exams.

I have waited for parents on parent- teacher conference night that never showed up.

I have prayed that some parents on parent-teacher conference night didn't show up.

I have given out Laffy Taffy for right answers, green "X's" for wrong ones, and crazy looks for strange ones (No, Bobby. Eight times six is not blue).

We have survived field trips, holiday parties, and charter busses (No, Bobby. We don't use the potty on the charter bus. Because I said so. Trust me.).

We learned about Ponce deLeon, adding and subtracting fractions with unlike denominators, and wondered if Desperaux would ever rescue the Princess Pea from the dungeon.

We dotted our "i's", crossed our "t's", played in refrigerator boxes at field day (Bobby, we don't try to implode the boxes. It is dangerous. Because I said so.), and sat through endless assemblies.

We complained when Ms. B. made us write forever...but hugged her tight when we all passed the FCAT Writes.

I have come home ragged, tired, and grouchy. I have said that I can not wait for Summer. 28 kids. I have said I felt like I ran a marathon.

So, why, when the last bus pulled out of the drive, and the last of Bobby's pencil shavings were swept, did I sit at my empty desk, look around at all the boxes packed, and treasures tucked away, and cry like a baby? Relief???? Or will I really miss the little buggers? I had decided on relief.

Fifteen minutes later, one of my students was knocking furiously at my door. I could see her smiling face through the little sliver of a window. I opened the door, and she shoved an envelope in my hand.

"Miss Beardsley!!! I ran all the way home to get your present! I forgot it!"

I opened it up, and inside was a handmade pink bracelet. She put it on my wrist and said, "Thank you, Miss B. I learned a lot this year. I will miss you."

She left and I decided, I am nuts. Because I will miss them, too.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Just Because I Love Them...

My friend, Hollie, does a thing on her blog on Wendesdays, I have noticed, called Wordless Wednesdays. I love it. She just posts a picture. Well, I am always late. So here are mine. For those of you who know me, the first one is Lewis. He is 15!!!!!!!!!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Rookie Mistake

After months of debate, my husband and I finally sat down yesterday and bit the bullet. We planned our summer vacation to Disney World. Let me rephrase that...I planned our summer vacation to Disney World.

Everything turned out so well. We are staying at a fabulous resort...we are there for the perfect amount of time. It all seemed to work out so well. We are even planning on giving the princess her very own princess make-over. Everything was working out, so, well, magically.

That is, until, she heard us discussing the trip. Cue scary horror flick music.

"Disney World? I see Mickey Mouse? Mommy, you come too? Please, Daddy? Mickey Mouse?"

Being the hip, current parents that we are, we wanted to be truthful. Honest. Keep our daughter, how do the kids say? In the know.

Well, ever since she heard our admission of, "Yes, darling. We ARE going to see Mickey. But, it isn't for awhile. You have sixty sleeps until we get there. Let us count to sixty," life turned out to be a little less Tinkerbell and a lot more Captain Hook.

We proceeded to count all of Mommy's fingers, Daddy's fingers, and Rylee's fingers. THEN, we counted Mommy's toes, Daddy's toes, and Rylee's toes. You would think the big picture would sink in. Toes plus fingers equal sixty. Girl, we aren't gracing Disney's doorsteps for quite awhile.

But alas, it didn't. Waking her up this morning was greeted with, "Mommmmmy....where is Mickey??? Mommmmmmmmyyyyyyyyy....I want my Mickey Mouse."

Moral of my blog...keep the magic a secret. Especially when they are three and a half (two at the ticket counter, wink, wink, nudge, nudge).
By the is Rylee and Daddy making use of a Pottery Barn box...coincidentally the one our first wedding gift came in. We reduce, recycle, and REUSE. Take that for imagination, Mr. Toad's Wild Ride.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

A Girl's Gotta Vent

So, here we go. It's time to "get ugly" as my little mother would say. In honor of Mother's Day, for all of those absolutely fabulous mother's out there (my friend Hollie included) I have to get some things off of my chest...

I know that a true lady is not supposed to say anything ugly. We are supposed to smile and later on, "God Bless her heart! I can't believe she went out in that outfit!!" But, today, I am out and out saying it. I have had ENOUGH.

My precious darling, Rylee, is not my biological daughter. I even hate to type that, it just sounds cheap. However, it is the truth. She lives with my husband and I full time and we are her parents. She calls me Mommy. However, another lady and I use the term extremely loosely gave birth to her LONG before I was in the picture. She has had her issues and I have prayed for her and have walked the good walk. I have done everything in my power to remain on that higher road. I can't anymore.

Today, while on a social networking site that shall remain unnamed, she popped up as someone I "may know." Being the person I am, I clicked on her picture, and she had recently updated her status as "Can not give up, a piece of my heart is missing." Her mood was "disappointed." WELL...LA TI DA.

This woman, again, I use the term loosely, has not attempted to call or see her child in TWO WEEKS. She has only seen her daughter THREE times since September. She only calls when she knows my husband is at work. She has no car, no place to live, and a week ago I saw her walking down the road with an undesirable, LAUGHING. Ladies, I know I am supposed to be the classy one. I am thirty, ahem, years old. BUT, I need to get it out. She pays for no doctor's bills, day care bills, food, clothes, toys, etc. She is living it up. Free as a bird. If she was so "disappointed" she would be banging our door down and calling. But, she isn't. I could never imagine not having my girl. I would walk to the ends of the earth to get her back. Another demon has taken hold and the biological revels in the land of no job, no responsibility.

Don't get me wrong. I love this little girl coloring in front of me with all of my heart. She is so wonderful and I could never imagine loving and caring for any little precious thing more than I do for her. She is my sun, moon, and I have never been prouder of anyone. I call everyone in my contacts when she learns a new vocabulary word. So, today, on Mother's Day, let's give credit where credit is due. Not to the people hosting pity parties for themselves because they feel guilty. But to the true, strong women who are in the trenches, doing it on the daily. Time outs, baths, "NO MOMMY's", accidents, messy rooms, baked beans down the front of their new Lilly Pulitzer dresses, and spilled glasses of apple juice. Those are the ladies that deserve own Mama is at the top of the list for putting up with a brat like me all of these years. Especially during college, when I thought I was Paris Hilton.

Happy Mother's Day are beautiful.
PS-Here is an image that I love...she learned to love her Louis from the master...

Monday, March 23, 2009

My Life is Officially A Julia Roberts Movie or...My Signature Colors are Blush and Bashful

Well, it's here. My wedding is officially 12 days away and I have been ENGROSSED in preparations. I think that I have an ulcer. However, an ulcer might aid me in not having to wear Spanx under my dress. I'm just sayin'. Girdles aren't attractive on anyone. But I digress.

I knew the preparations would be hectic. However, it just seems so surreal. All of these rites of passage are passing me by and I feel like I am watching from a movie theater audience. Sittin' there munching on popcorn.

Let's dress fittings, check. Complete with red face and all because I didn't have time to make-up. PS-I didn't know people took pictures of that. My halter dress was so big it looked like I had wings.

First Spray Tan Experience, check. I really thought it was eerie that a lady from the heavens was espousing directions to me while I stood in a spaceship, making poses like the family on the "School Crossing" sign. AND I STILL ended up with a line down my side. I was told to, "just, um, like, put make-up on it." Yes, dear. Make-up. If I had make-up that color, I wouldn't have needed a melted Crayola shower to begin with. I am also a firm believer that there are some areas that God didn't mean to be tan.

Bridal shower, check. Who invented this anyway? It sounds so great...mimosas, presents, women only, Ya-Ya! However, tipsy from the mimosas, trying to introduce your mother to your friends with similar names and occupations makes for some awkward silences. Also, while it was beautiful, fabulous, and completely generous, sitting in front of everyone opening presents...well, my teacher side wanted to tell everyone to stop talking, sit up straight, and put there eyes on me. It took everything I had not to snap at my bridesmaids when they got too giggly. Holding up hot pink lingere in front of your mother? Not so much fun, I discovered.

Bachelorette Party, check. Definitely fun, but have you all ever noticed that organized fun that involves head gear usually doesn't turn out that way? I'm just sayin'....

Waiting on passports to come in with baited breath...lets just not go there.

Don't get me wrong. I have THE BEST friends in the world. Who else would throw you the bridal shower of your dreams or wander around downtown Orlando with you for 30 minutes at 2AM completely lost? My little bridesmaid soldiers, that's who. But through all of these experiences, I've felt like I'm watching them happen to someone else. Except for the presents that come every day and are waiting in my car port when I get home. Those definitley feel like they are happening to me. Haha.

Anyway, I love my fiance' so much and I can't wait to be his wife, but no matter how much I thought I would love this, wedding planning is totally for the birds. Maybe that is a good sign. Maybe that means I'm in love with the person, not the wedding. Which will be Key West fabulous. After all, my signature colors are blush and lime green, darling.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

I Am Officially a Big Girl.

I traded my Mercedes for an SUV this week. I did it. I hate to sound shallow, but it tugged at me a little bit. But I put the safety of my family before looking cool while crawling through the line at Starbucks. As heart-wrenching as it was, it made me think of all the things that define you as an adult. Is it the music you listen to? But I still crank my Jay-Z and Rhi-Rhi and sing at strangers on mature people do that? Is it the political and current events journals you subscribe to? Cuz I still get hypnotized in the grocery line by a glossy US Weekly cover...who doesn't? Is it the conversations you have with your adult friends? Because my friends and I straight up talk about Britney's weight fluctuations. Is it the books you read? Are you there Vodka? It's Me...Chelsea is currently on my nightstand. Discuss. Is it the furniture you have? Brian soooo has a foosball table where our formal dining area should be.

So, how do you know? Do you wake up one day and have it all click? I think that it's in the choices you make. No, work friend, I will not go have margaritas after school, Day Care closes at 6.

All kidding aside, I think when I realized I had become an adult was when I realized myself and Brian were currently all she had. We were the ones making the decisions. We were the ones shaping how her life would be. Scary, yes. But, so much fun.

We went pumpkin hunting last Sunday; ironically, just like my friend Hollie did recently. I looked at her pictures and there is one of her beautiful girl that looks almost identical to one we took of Rylee. It made me think back to the silly girls Hollie and I were in college. We ran around without a care in the world, I'm sure, praying to never get old. Now, looking at those girls, it actually feels good. We have come a long way from calling HSN late into the night, demanding diamondique bracelets. We are now ahem...mature.

So, in that vain, here is my most recent favorite picture of the precious doll that is Rylee. We almost needed pull-ups ourselves when she walked too close to the TV. Much better than a C-Class...but still one day...

She's phoning back to the mother ship.

Ugh. I am SO over pumpkins.