About Sunnie Wicker

Sunnie Wicker is a stay at home mom, artist, writer, graphic designer, and hobbyist extraordinaire. She lives in south Louisiana with her husband Jerry, 4 sons, 6 dogs, and two fish, where she writes to keep her sanity in check. Sunnie is the owner/operator of MoonBlossom Art, an online custom art, clothing, and gift shop. As well as a personal blogger, Sunnie also works for Northshore Parent as a writer, vlogger, and graphic designer. In her free time, she paints shoes for Peach's Neet Feet and creates video content for her friends and followers via Facebook.

How this Married Woman got her Boyfriend Back

Last year I posted about how I had a husband but really just wanted a boyfriend. You can read about it here.

Several people asked if we figured out how to fix it to let them know. So here is what I did, we did, to get our girlfriend and boyfriend back.

First, we didn’t sit down and discuss our issues in detail. We didn’t draw up a game plan. We didn’t research ways to spice things up. We didn’t plan regularly scheduled alone time. All the changes that took place over the last 8 months have been completely made by each of us of our own accord. I don’t even know if he intentionally made any of these changes. He may have worked hard to practice them or he may be playing off of my actions.  I don’t care to know. We are both happy and that’s all that matters to me.

  1. Change your definition of a date. EVERY article I stumble upon stresses the importance of date nights in marriage.This idea sounds lovely and I truly wish this was feasible. This hard pressed “fact of a healthy marriage” had me already set up for failure. I knew this wasn’t an option and in fact we haven’t had a single date night since our train wreck of a date back in December. We have had one night alone since then (8 months ago) in which he slept the entire evening and I caught up on work. Now we define a date as leaving the house together, even with kids, to do something out of the ordinary. Movies, restaurant, zoo, the park, even riding around looking for pokemon has become our “dates”. Why do kids have to change that? My kids are seeing their parents in love, holding hands, being affectionate, and doing so while being parents. I can’t think of a better thing to teach our kids than how to treat their partners in marriage. We started killing two birds with one stone when we changed the definition of date night.
  2. Comprehend. Other articles will list this as “listen to one another” but that is such a basic and common sense suggestion. It is easy to listen. I have always listened to him. Now I comprehend. I listen, ask questions,  engage. He does the same which I felt was my biggest complaint with him before. When he talks about a coworker I don’t know, I ask “who is that?”. When he tells me about a job that frustrated him I ask exactly what part of the job was difficult. The vast majority of my friends live behind a computer screen; he knows next to none of those people. When I talk about a friend he doesn’t know he asks “Who is that? What group are they from?”. He now knows my admin team and knows the people I work for. When I prattle on about a difficult customer he offers his input/advice where he use to reply with a “f*** ’em” which is code for “I don’t really care”. This one simple change in conversation turns what use to be passing small talk into full engaging conversations between us.
  3. Stop nagging. This is pretty straight forward. This doesn’t mean let everything slide and never argue; it means change your approach. When he would say “I’m tired of this d*** bathroom counter always being cluttered with your sh**” I immediately didn’t want to clean it. Nobody likes to be forced into anything. He says “I wish you’d clean this mess” but what I hear is, “You don’t care to clean up after yourself. I have to tell you to do everything. You don’t care about my happiness. I must treat you like a child to make you do anything.” Nagging infuriates me to no avail!!! Now, he asks like so, “When you find the time, do you think you could find a home for all your makeup?” This simple change in tone and words changes everything. Now I hear “I know you are busy so may not be able to get to it as fast as I would like, but it will make me happy when you do.” Now I WANT to do it because I want to make him happy, besides it’s such an easy task. Most things people nag about are very utterly basic and simple mundane chores anyway; the approach just makes us want to do it less.
  4. Simply be together. With two kids this is the hardest one for me, but so worth it. Before children we did everything together. Run to get groceries? I’m riding. Run to the corner store? I’m coming. Since kids we find it so much easier to send one while the other stay back with the littles. We still do time to time for very short runs but whenever the trip will take more than 20 minutes, I make the effort to go anyway. That means dressing kids, fixing sippy cups, having diapers and wipes, etc., but we are spending time together. We are spending time together without kids jumping all over us, because they are strapped safely into their carseats behind us.
  5. Support the others decisions. Another common suggestion, I know. When I said “I’m going to spend two months painting these tiny painting for a tiny itty bitty profit that doesn’t even cover my labor because I simply want to do it” his response a year ago would have been “You waste your talent. You will never be able to run a real business” This year he said “Awesome! You got accepted? That’s cool. How does this whole thing work?”. He bought a Chevelle project car, sure the money could have went elsewhere and it’ll take a lot of time and more money to get it in the shape he wants it, but I do not care. He’s happy, ecstatic even, and I couldn’t be happier for him.
  6. Have fun and be youthful. For us this means car karaoke, jamming to the oldies, harassing our friends together on snapchat, playful butt grabs when he walks by, corny jokes, and terrorizing our kids like annoying older siblings. Be playful, be a kid again, life shouldn’t be so serious! Seeing him act silly immediately puts me in a happy mood and my love for him grows every time he makes me laugh.

OH! And sex? Not a priority anymore. It happens when we want and not just when we find the time. Treating it as a want and not a need has improved it by leaps and bounds in both frequency and satisfaction. Yet another How to Save Your Marriage rule debunked!

I know it doesn’t seem like some great epiphany, but y’all asked me to tell y’all when I found what worked. These may not be the answers for everyone, but I have never been happier in love. Corny? I don’t care, I see enough of y’all complaining about marriage on Facebook that I have earned my 5 minutes of happy brag time. Besides, I just realized we haven’t taken a photo together since our date 8 months ago, I’ve so earned this blog post.

Now…. if we could just get a date night do over.

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A Message to the Church

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I am visibly tattooed

Half my head is shaved

I have a piercing through my lip

I wear makeup

I wear pants

Given all these items listed above you are not imagining a Pentecostal woman. I’m here to surprise you though, for at the very soul of my spiritual foundation lies a cornerstone of Pentecostal Apostolic beliefs. Before you run away and think this post wont apply to you or your denomination I assure you, yes, this message applies to all of us. Though your religion may not have the same standard you expect of Pentecost, every religion has it standards.

A few weeks ago I volunteered to help out at a friend’s Pentecostal children’s vacation bible school. I expected I would show up, corral kids from point A to B, maybe serve food, basic parenting volunteer stuff. I bought some skirts merely out of respect for the other ladies, just enough to get me through camp.  I was surprised to receive a text a week before camp was due to start asking if I would come in to help with decorating.

I knew this would mean moving, painting, ladders, and I am so out of practice with skirts I didn’t want to risk a wardrobe malfunction in the presence of complete strangers so chose to wear my pants. My piercing was also fairly new and could not yet be removed temporarily without risk of it closing up.

Day one. I know not a single soul I am meeting with. They know nothing of my pentecostal roots and I am fairly glad at first because the ultimate curse within this denomination is to be considered a backslider. It is the lowest insult you can be called. I DO NOT consider myself one in the least.

The lady I am to be helping is in every way visually “typical” of what you would expect to see on the church pew come Sunday. Each person I met throughout the day continued to reassure me I was out-of-place. I had a feeling after this day I would not be getting called back the next to help. I felt surely they would find somebody to fill in and suddenly not need my services so much. I wasn’t the face you would want attached to your church program.

I have seen a lady pulled out of the middle of praise and worship and asked to remove her earrings in my childhood church. My own mother had her wedding band “rebuked” after forgetting to remove it after work. Mind you, this is all by the elder women of the church who we like to assume have all died out, but do we not learn from our elders? We follow their example right? Would I be treated with distaste for my appearance and not my heart?

Then…. nothing happened. The entire week, nothing. I was treated like any other member of the church. Nobody ever mentioned the blaring piece of metal hanging in my lip. Nobody asked why I had shaved half of my “beautiful head”, as others like to say. Nobody asked I put on a skirt to make them more comfortable. Even the older ladies of the church, who in my experience tend to be the most condemning, never once gave the slightest hint of discomfort. They each looked me in the eye when speaking to me and thanked me with true sincerity for my help.

I sank into myself a little when I was introduced to a member of the pastoral team, he never paused to give me a curious look, he shook my hand, thanked me, and continued about his activities. He made a point to know my name and thank me again later in the week, once again, never even pausing to question “Why does someone who looks like this want to help here?”

Camp started the following week where I continued to volunteer my help. During all this I begin meeting others who did not look “typical” of the church and assumed they were also volunteers like myself. No, they were members, members who had found the spiritual home they needed within this church.

Here is what I find the most amazing part of it all. During all these exchanges that took place over the course of those two weeks, not a single person ended our conversation with “You should join us for a service!” The only time it ever came up is when I, myself, asked about their service schedule.

You may be thinking “That is awful! What a missed opportunity.” No, this was the most beautiful part of the entire thing to me. Had any one person used that line after the kindness they showed I would have immediately disregarded their kindness for the church version of a sales tactic. Had any of them said this it would have also showed that they most likely assumed I didn’t attend church elsewhere, or that I needed God in my life because he was most likely absent.

Truth is I have a personal walk with God. It grew so much stronger after I left my previous small town pentecostal mindset.  A mindset where everyone is bad but those who look, walk, and act like us. I’ve seen it kill churches, kill families, kill relationships, stir hate, things not of the God I serve.

To be a christian means to be like Christ. We hear we must let him shine through us. That means exactly that. It does not mean beat your bible, your pick and choose version of verses, and your standards over the head of those you deem “not christian enough”. It means to serve, love, and treat the prostitute and the politician as complete equals in all aspects of your love and respect.

The congregation at the Pentecostals of Lee Road has shown me that I have to break the stereotype I was taught as a child that pentecost is an exclusive religion. I can not be embarrassed to tell people my religion for fear they would think I believed myself better than them. I CAN still feel welcome in a house of God where you truly feel his presence. I can worship freely without being “attacked” by well-meaning christians seeking to ‘pray me through’ because simply lifting my hands means I suddenly feel the need to change my entire life.

This goes for all of you. Baptist, Catholic, Presbyterian, Pentecostal, Non Denominational. Treat your visitors like your members. Don’t drag them to a service in guilt. You are not better than anyone. Show kindness, show equality, and let God handle the rest. Standard is not what will save your soul. Following your convictions will and God can handle those just fine.  If your church is full of perfect examples of your beliefes then it’s not a place where I want to be. It is obviously not a place of growth, but a place of routine.

I do not currently have a home church, but after the exemplary example set by the people of POLR, me and my boys belive we have found exactly where to start.

I am also happy to hear, that church I grew up in, the one full of backwards looks and “with us or against us” mentality, is learning. I hear it is growing once again after decades of being held together by a thread. People are catching on, love is spreading, and I hope to continue to hear good come from that little Light House on HWY 4.

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Oh No! Not the Transexuals!!!

Let me start by saying, I am in no way a political person. I do not have ties to any one group. I am merely a mother, who cares about her children and practices the use of common sense.

So, here are some common sense point I think many people are missing with this whole “Transgenders are in my bathroom!” media blow up.

  1. The new bill every one is referring to will NOT allow them to use the bathroom they see fit. It will STOP them from using the bathrooms they have deemed fit for themselves and have used all the years they have identified with their sex. This means you, yes you, have BEEN sharing a restroom with transgender people. Did it hurt you? No. Did you know? Not unless you are some form of pervert yourself. kevin-moore-bathroom-cartoo
  2. “Allowing them to use our bathrooms will open the door to predators”. This is my favorite point. Let’s elaborate on this. Predators are arrested in public restroom, they are caught dressed and acting exactly the sex they are, no lies, no costumes, no charade. No law is stopping them. “…but this will open the door!” Let me explain how this is not true. You believe that a man can dress like a woman and just walk in the ladies room. Ok, yes he can, but anybody dumb enough to fall for it needs more common sense. Any man going that far anyway, will do it regardless of law. That same man can walk into the mens room without playing pretend and feed on your son. This law if anything will increase the ease of entry for sexual predators… please read below…                  michael-cf791fc5b240877af0847a83a9b68a14
  3. This bill will make you MORE vulnerable to predators. The man you see above was born a woman. This law would require him to use the ladies room. Do you want that? NOT ME! My point however is, you see how much he looks like a man? With this new law any man, born man, looks man, acts man, can now enter the ladies room by claiming “I am a trans man, I was born a female. Law states I must use this facility” Ok he is doing EXACTLY what you’re asking. Only now you can’t argue without asking to see his genitals. You see how this makes it so much EASIER for predators?
  4. “…but men will dress like women now that they are aware they can to enter my bathroom!” There is a broad difference in a gay man, a transgender woman, and a cross dresser (there are many more in between also). A Trans woman lives her life as a women, she isn’t a guy who woke up one day and said “Today I want wear a dress and makeup”. It is a lifestyle change. It does not take science to figure out the real from the fake. After all, like I said, they have been doing it all this time without you realizing.
  5. You already share your dressing room openly with the opposite sex. While some stores do have separate dressing rooms, many do not. Wal-Mart, Target, Burlington, many major retailers (varies by location) do not have separate dressing room facilities. While some do have a clerk working them, many also do not. So the dressing room, the room in which you go to completely undress, is shared openly by the opposite sex. Where are your posters and pitch forks?27A3DBA700000578-3042240-image-m-80_1429207860484
  6. Trans women, and men, will be hurt and suffer. I don’t just mean “Oh, I’m so offended” I mean physically assaulted. See the lovely ladies in the photo above? They are born male. They are in a men’s restroom to show a point. Imagine one of these attractive ladies is forced to use the mens room. She stumbles into a bar bathroom where drunken men are now taking it, she is in pursuit of something more, or she is so drunk she doesn’t know the difference. This is a hot bed of sexual assault waiting to happen. Say this trans lady walks into a room of close minded homophobes and now they are faced with a room, where cameras are not permitted, with people looking to hurt them. Hate crime just waiting to happen. All these things are MUCH more likely to happen and WILL happen in much higher number than your whole “Men will will pretend to get into the ladies room” theory. (IMO)
  7. We are worried for our children. Yes I AM worried for my children. As stated above in #3, this law will put my children in MORE danger if it is passed in my state. Not so much as children because I will always escort them to the restroom until they are of an appropriate age to escort themselves, but as young men being followed by women, yes women are pedophiles and perverts too, into public restrooms under the facade that they were born male. I do not want my children to have to question the gender next to them. “If she wants to be a lady you treat her as such and you don’t pull your penis out at the urinal when she walks in. Why doest she use my bathroom? Well honey, because it makes other ladies uncomfortable. Crazy? Yes son, I know” This isn’t something I should have to explain to my boys.
  8. I can not support this bill because I am Christian. Jesus addressed the woman at the well, a public facility, and asked water of her. She was a loose woman of low morals. He did not agree with her life. He did not support her life decisions. He did not ask she take her unclean immoral bucket and hands to another well. He asked her for a drink, from her very own pail. Even when she asked him why he, somebody not like her, would want to share with her, he showed love, and in this, he showed her God’s divine plan. My God has plans for me. My life should be an example of what trust in him does. That stranger needing that ladies bathroom pep talk to boost her spirits (ya’ll know what I’m talking about) isn’t going to get it in the other bathroom.
  9. I just want to pee. They just want to pee. Let’s all pee. The average bathroom trip takes less than 2 minutes. Seems like a lot of noise about something so small. And like I’ve said several times already, WE HAVE BEEN DOING JUST FINE WITHOUT THIS NEW BILL.Screen Shot 2016-04-21 at 8.42.07 PM
  10. The one upside to this new bill? NEW JOBS!!! Every public restroom will require genital checkers. Not everyone has an i.d. and even so you can change your gender. So how do we stop them? A genital checker. Can’t wait for that job opening, bet you can’t wait to be required to prove your sex every time you go pee either huh? There goes all our dignity.

P.S. If you want to boycott Target you might as well boycott every public store, because as of right now, in my state and still in most, they are all still letting ’em choose wherever they want.

Honestly though, even if this does pass, it wont affect the true trans-population. They will continue to use the bathroom they identify with, you won’t know the difference, and life will go on just as it has before.

I’m Sorry Morning Child

I’m sorry little lover of the sun.

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When you were created God looked down and said “Let’s throw this mother a curve ball”. First he sent me a lover of the night, fueled by the moon, sparked by the stars, and inspired by the silence of the dark. A more perfect rhythmic match could not have been created for me, than that of your brother.

Then he sent you. You await the sun’s grand entrance every morning like a long lost friend. I believe you mourn his departure each night by the sounds of  your troubled sleep. As he slowly lowers himself below the backyard tree line, you began to lose your sense of joy. I have considered moving us to a flattened desert wasteland to give you the absolute longest possible view of your precious sun. You gather your happiness from his rays and energize your body with his warmth.

Every night, after your life source has eased down and left us in darkness, you begin your transformation. Once night falls, you began to whine, cry, fight, rage. You become a hairless werewolf child no matter the phase of moon. While you cry yourself to sleep and await your precious sun, me and your brother come alive.

We dance around the kitchen. We become inspired to create art, tell stories, invent games. Magic comes to life once the dark falls and all things are possible. We soak up these fleeting moments of life, for after dark the most illogical of ideas become an attainable quest that must begin immediately. We stumble to bed when we have begun to run dry of inspiration. The soft blue glow though the windows tells us the hours of the inspired is over. We are eased into restful sleep and comfort in knowing we wasted no moonlight. The now brightening sky sedates us in a way no man made drug could imitate.

The sun creeps under the curtain, streams across the piles of laundry and toys, ascends the rungs of your crib waking you as quickly as it soothed us to sleep. You are up and my day must start. I am now a zombie, cursing the sun, cursing mornings, fumbling around for coffee, grumpy, resentful, drained. I am exhausted. I watch the clock for nap time counting minutes like a prisoner counting down the days of his sentence.

We repeat this every day. You awake full of joy; your brother and I shoot you daggers from red burning eyes. You are ready to play games, eat, function, live. We are missing our sun soaked bed. I tell you I’ll go to bed with you tonight, but I lie. I may try to follow your routine, but I lie awake in the dark while the moon continues to feed my mind lists of projects, chores, ideas, and questions until once again, the sun is rising.

I am sorry. I am sorry I will never know the joy of a good nights rest. I am sorry I will never awake and dive straight into games with you.  I am sorry you are alone in the elation that is sunrise. I am sorry I can not share in this joy with you. I am sorry you seem to miss all the excitement that takes place when the rest of the world is sleeping. I am sorry.

3-6pm…. That I can handle. Let’s make the most of it tomorrow. kastoneyes2

Kaston

I’m Married, but I Want a Boyfriend

Say you have a dress. You love this dress. you wear this dress as much as possible. You feel sexy, confident, happy, or maybe even just content in this dress. One day you notice a stain on the back. Now you only worry about this stain. How long has it been there unnoticed? You suddenly feel self conscious. You are no longer confident when you wear it because all you think about is that stain. It is amazing how when unnoticed, it was the best thing in your closet and now today you just let it stay on the hanger.

This just happened to my marriage.

My wonderful husband and I, after 3 LONG years without one, went on a date. For the first time since April of 2013 we went without kids to do something together. We are a very happy couple. I do not mean it in a cliche way when I say we truly are best friends. I think we are a perfect partnership. We argue very little, we laugh very often, and we have a healthy sex life, which is the key to a healthy marriage right? …Wrong.

Very shortly into this date, stains began to uncover themselves on the fabric of our marriage. We sat in silence for an awkwardly good bit of the hour drive. When we did speak, what did we talk about? Kids and bills. We discussed disciplinary areas that needed work, the current insurance claim on my totaled car, how we felt bad leaving his parents to handle our rambunctious little crew.

Once arriving at the the theatre (we saw Broadway’s Beauty and the Beast) the situation became even more obviously apparent. Our discussion once again fell to kids, how I couldn’t wait till the boys were big enough to appreciate the theatre. We even found ourselves looking for the best Belle inspired princess dress on one of the many little girls running around. Kids, kids, kids.

While standing in this exquisite and almost surreal theatre lobby the answer hit me hard. I watched two other couples near us, one stood very close, leaned into one another while talking to friends, another couple holding hands and snapping selfies, both with those ridiculously adorable puppy dog grins. The answer was right there; my husband was no longer my boyfriend.

That is not to say he is at any fault, as I am no longer his girlfriend either. I found myself standing next to a very attractive partner and friend. We are a team, Mommy and Daddy. We are business partners running a home for the Wicker bunch. We are friends who share interests and can keep the other one entertained and out of trouble. (Seriously, the only thing keeping us from being the perfect bro-mance couple is my lack of a penis.)

The stain was suddenly so vivid it could not be ignored. When I started the day I felt totally confident in my wonderful marriage, by the end I was completely taken aback by how we could let this “stain” go so long unnoticed.

On the ride home I tried to think of ways to act like a girlfriend but I was stumped. In the early years my girlfriend behavior was all just my reactions and responses to his boyfriend behavior, which I’m sure he feels the same about on his side. Luckily, on the ride, a friend had added us to a new very risqué Facebook group. We spent the ride checking out photos and laughing with one another, but before we knew it, we were back in the friend zone, laughing, discussing other people’s lives, being…. well… bros.

How did this go this long unnoticed?

Sex, that is how. Sex had become the big bow trying to cover the stain on our marriage. Of course the kids do occasionally nap, though its never for a very long period. In those rare short moments of being alone together we do one of two thing. 1. Sleep 2. Have sex.

Sex after kids is always rushed or extra quite and sneaky.  It is almost job like, not to say it isn’t a pleasant experience, it’s just less build up. There is no time for playful banter, flirting, build up. It is “take it while you can!”. Because every second we were ever alone was spent trying to fill it with physical pleasure, once we were alone and sex was no longer an option, we didn’t know what to do.

Sex was not an option on this date night for reasons of a personal nature, so even the flirting and little innuendos of “I can’t wait to get you home”, were taken off the table. That left us naked and exposed to only each other’s company. Since this date night last week it has been a festering stain. What was once my favorite “dress” turned out to be my comfiest pajamas in disguise.

Yes, I am comfortable. Yes, we have fun. Yes, I am happy. Am I satisfied? Not even close. I want a boyfriend. I want to be a girlfriend. I have the perfect man for the job, but how do you date somebody you already know everything about? How do you rekindle the spark in what has become your dearest friendship? How do you step out of Mommy and Daddy an into lovers again? More importantly, how do you do this with kids always present?

I just want to be his girlfriend again….. and I will be.

***UPDATE*** How this Married Woman got her Boyfriend Back

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My Best Friend, husband, partner, and soon-to-be boyfriend.

 

 

DIY Phone Case (Under $3)

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Step 1. Purchase a clear case to fit your phone model. They are available for $2 all over Amazon.com. Can’t beat that. One case will work for multiple designs though, so you only need one.

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Step 2. Find an image you like and print. Here, you can use trial and error to print the size you like or to save ink I opened the image I wanted in adobe reader as a pdf. There you can see the image in the exact size on screen as it will print on paper. I held my clear case to the screen until the size was what I wanted.

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Step 3: Lay case over the image, as you want it to look on the phone and trace around it. Cut the image out by cutting ever so slightly INSIDE the trace line.

Step 4: Carefully put image into case. You may have to cut away very small edges at a time to adjust to case. You do want some of the paper to fold over the phone edge though so precision isn’t a big deal. Once on, use a box cutter or x-acto knife to cut out the camera slot. (Do this with the paper side up. It is much easier that way)

Step 5: Put it on your phone! Voila! You can change it as often as you want. Use photos of family, let your kids draw on pre-cut phone templates, use a pic from a magazine, anything paper!

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(((I made two thus the difference in finished product and tutorial pics. I decided I wanted more Belle and more colors after I finished the first one.)))

Mama’s Hands

Never underestimate the small moments and simple touches.

My mama’s hands are one of my fondest memories. We attended church 4 times a week. As a child sermons are naturally a bore. I would fight with my siblings to get the seat next to Mama just so I could occupy myself, holding her hand. These moments to her were probably seen as nothing more than a clingy child pulling and tugging in impatience of dismissal. As a mom I often feel these small gestures to also be a nuisance at times. What she couldn’t have know was the memories these long sermons of studying her hands meant to me.

I can recall every nook and cranny. Her fingers, long and lean, her knuckles rather large for her rather tiny framed hands, giving her an almost skeletal appearance. Her nails were filed to a oblong curve, making her slender fingers seem even longer. I would use my own nails to push back her cuticle beds and wonder why the ridges across her nails were do much deeper than my own. You could tell when it was cotton season. She didn’t make it to church as often then, but her hands much dryer than usual. They would catch as they ran across the fabric pew. She would apply more lotion during this time of year; she always had lotion in church. She would let me apply it for her. I remember every bump of the knuckle, every dry patch, the wart right by her nail bed that she didn’t like me picking at.

I would sit in service and wonder if palm reading was real. I would imagine what each line could possibly mean. Does this freckle mean she is happy? Does this line mean she will live a very long time? I would often find myself transfixed with the meaning of each line on her palm before realizing it wasn’t an appropriate thought to be entertaining within our Pentecostal church. 20150626_185947

These memories are so minute in the grand scale of things. However, they are more vivid that any birthday party, Christmas gathering, school event, or game night. These are the memories that I cling to because they do not fit the cookie cutter idea of childhood memory.
I wonder everyday. Will my boys remember my hands? Will they looks back and remember Mama always had paint up her wrists and thumbs. Mama always had fabric dye in her nail beds. Mama always had uneven jagged nails. Mama’s wedding ring was always sideways with chew marks on the bottom. Mama had scars on the backs of her hands. Mama had a faded out tattoo on her wrist.

So while we tend to focus on things like providing our children with the nicest clothes, newest toys, cleanest house, biggest parties, let’s stop and think, “Is this what they will really remember?” Maybe it’s our hands, our face, our hair, even our feet, but the best memories are the ones they create on their own.

The greatest memories come from the small moments and the simple touches.

Dirty little little chubby fingers are the sweetest!
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I’m Never Leaving the House Again… with Kids

I go to the post office at least once a week. I do not like it. I do not look forward to it. My printer is broken so I have no option to ship from home, plus some things I would have to lug into there anyway. My husband, and even friends, never seem to understand the disdain in my voice when I say “Post office” so let me elaborate.

Here is the events of today’s “quick run” to our local post office.

Get up round 9, remember I HAVE to get some things shipped TODAY. Start dressing myself and kids.

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I finally have tire aired up, bottle washed, kids in clothes and shoes, packages together, dogs taken out, carseats put back in the car,  and I at least have a bra on so I can say I’m dressed.

Kaston screams for the majority of our 7 minute drive.

We arrive. Paxton decides he is “stuck” to his carseat. I have to pry him out with magic while holding fatty Kaston. He has to wait for the “magic” automated doors to close so he can open them himself “magically”

Line is backed up, no problem, I need to grab a shipping envelope and label some stuff anyway. Grab what I need, no pen. No pen in the entire post office other than the ones at each teller station which are ALL full. Lord forbid you dare try to fill out anything that close next to someone checking out. People don’t want you to see them shipping socks to their grandmother or returning their overpriced shoes to the seller.

I shove my unpackaged stuff into the shipping envelope and wait. Kaston decides he needs to grab every pile of forms off the counter. 15 minutes of fighting him later Paxton decides he HAS to pee. I try in vain to get a tellers attention, I finally shout out to nearest worker “I need a potty! Kid has to go now!” She then tells me “No, sorry, we can’t let you go here” before scurrying off to the back again

What did she just say to me? MY 4 year old can’t go HERE? I have seen people allowed to use the restroom multiple times. Do they not realize I’m here all the time. I yell back to her across the room of people, “That’s fine, he’d rather pee in your parking lot anyway”

So I leave my packages on the counter and escort him outside. Once situated between my 2 open car doors he decides he doesn’t have to pee after all. False alarm.

I’m irritated to say the least. I go back in expecting the people within to have the common courtesy to let me back in my place in line, if not that then at least take pity on me. It is beyond obvious I have my hands full. Keep in mind I have Kaston’s hefty butt on my hip this entire time.

What sorcery is this? It is literally an entirely different line of people!? What happened in the 5 minutes that I was gone to move the line ahead by 10 freaking people? I waited 15 minutes and only 4 people went through!? Of course nobody cares whether they may have seen me ahead of them earlier, so it’s to the back I go…again.

At this point, Kaston, who hasn’t had spit up issues in weeks, begins spurting spit up like a garden hose. It’s all over him, me, and the counter. I find ONE single wipe in my purse and clean him and the counter best I can. I have’t even shoved the sopping cloth back into my purse before he lets out another wave, This time I manage to catch two heaping handfuls in both hands. I am looking around frantic for any sign of a paper towel. Nothing. I know I can’t even walk to the counter and ask without spilling this everywhere. I am precariously balancing him on my hip and it just won’t work. I have no choice but to say “screw it” and rub what looks like over a cup of warm spit up all down my shirt and pants legs.

During this battle, Paxton has disappeared from my side. I see him attempting to hide behind the card rack. This can only mean one thing; he is about to crap himself. I hurry him back to my side in hopes he can make it just a little longer. We wait another 20 minutes.

The teller finally calls us up, at the precise moment Kaston decided he doesn’t want to be held anymore. Crazy considering he NEVER wants to be put down when we are at home. He has started to go into that wild buck kids do. I’m flipping and switching him every which away while trying to fill out my labels, since I finally have the privilege of a pen. I attempt to sit him on the counter while I dig out my wallet, he wildly grabs at everything. knocking things over in the process. I put him back on my hip. Teller hands me ANOTHER form to fill out and asks me to fill it out to the side. This means I will have to wait AGAIN.

All the while I am trying to keep my eye on Paxton, who is pouting that I made him stand beside me. I notice he has stopped whining which means he is probably trying to poop again. Yep, pretty sure I smell it.

We finally make our exit nearly 40 minutes after arriving. I rush to the nearest drive thru to feed Paxton and pray they have coffee. Taco Bell is the closest thing. No kids menu so of course he is now crying because he didn’t get a toy with his food. My coffee tastes like the beans went through a donkey’s lower intestine before they made it into my cup. $1.79 wasted.

Kaston screams, yet again because he is strapped into his torture device of safety. He manages to fall asleep in the last 30 seconds of our ride home.

I wake him to unload, so he is screaming again. I throw Paxton on the potty to finish his crap. He is now crying and whining because he hates it. I grab Kaston back up and try to calm him back to sleep. He isn’t having it. It takes every song I know and 15 minutes of rocking to get him to stop crying. At the precise moment he stops crying, Paxton yells that he is finished.

Great…. I can’t leave him just sitting on the toilet 15-20 minutes with a crappy butt while I get this one to sleep, but if I put this one down he will start to cry again and I will have to calm him all over again. I choose the latter. No sooner has his butt hit the crib mattress, he is in tears again. I rush to wipe butt as fast as humanly possible and try not to cry.

It isn’t even 1:00 yet. Can I go back to bed.

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Yes I am aware of the atrocious grammatical and punctual errors…. my kids are yelling again… “Ain’t nobody got time for dat proofreading!”

Our Extremely Unromantic “How We Met” Story

Disclaimer: This post may contain adult content.

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Today makes 7 years since I met my amazing husband in the most unromantic way imaginable. I truly thank the Lord that I do not have daughters who will someday, with doe eyes and visions of romance and fantasy, ask “How did you and Daddy meet?”.

I would be forced to lie through my teeth, telling her about candles, flowers, fate, timing, and all that love at first sight bull. That is not even close. This is how it happened.

On Feb. 23rd, 2008 me and my two best friends decided to stray from the city club scene to meet up with one of their moms and visit a hole in wall bar in a tiny interstate town an hour away.

I was 17, a senior in high school. Yes, that is under the legal age but it was high school, a time to be dangerous and have fun. I went out every weekend with my friends to the clubs, but we NEVER drank and we most certainly NEVER went home with guys or brought them home with us. We sincerely loved to dance and be together, just us girls.

Me and my two friends get all dolled up for our night out, not really knowing where we were going. Her mom had arranged to meet us at her boyfriends house near the bar. I have to admit I did not notice Jerry at that time. He jokingly offered me a seat saying “I don’t bite” to which I replied “I do.” And there it was, our first exchange of words.

We all headed to the bar minutes later. I insisted on taking my own car so we could make a swift get away from what I assumed would be a uneventful wasted night. We arrived early to avoid being carded when the crowds hit. Success! I don’t think it would have mattered anyway. It was one of those towns where everybody knows everybody and we were with the regulars.

Within minutes of arriving we started to plan our escape to go somewhere else. Then I saw him, saw him, SAW him. It still wasn’t love, even sexual attraction. He was just cute.

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He approached our table and began asking the ice breaker questions. “How old are y’all?” …”Uh oh, Here we go!” I thought. I was NOT in the mood to be hit on. Wasn’t my thing. When I dropped the “I’m 17” bomb, I figured he would laugh and high tail it out of there and save me the trouble of having to be rude to him later.

When he announced he was 30 I was shocked yet confident I wouldn’t be seeing him again that night. He did disappear temporarily. I later learned he was off downing enough alcohol to justify himself hitting on a 17 year old. Nice… what a keeper. He and his cousins occasional stopped by our table to offer to buy us drinks. My companions were more than eager to take them up on their offer, but I was always the mother figure in the bunch, feeling the need to keep a level head and look out for their best interests. Boring, I know, but I take some pride in knowing I was somewhat of a responsible teen, even when doing illegal things. *cough* sneaking into a bar *cough*.

After about an hour the DJ had already started playing and my friends had decided to stay, with the pleading of Jerry and his cousins. They had spotted guys of their own and they were going in for the kill. I eventually agreed to have one drink, all the while Jerry was charming the hell out of me. He was funny. Funny is my weakness. His smile, why didn’t I notice that earlier? The way his eyes scrunch up, it’s sweet. The drunker he got the funnier he was. No matter how much he laid it on me I was very suspicious. I was NEVER the one to get hit on when my girls where with me. I knew there had to be a catch.

Let me stop here to point out, he was not a sloppy drunk. It was not until later I realized the true level of FUBAR he was.

Things had stayed at innocent flirting until we began talking tattoos… I know, even classier huh? He and a friend pulled off their hoodies to show one another their ink, and there it was. Oh my! Why did he ever have these things hid under his shirt? Arms… ooh sweet 19″, pick me up, carry me home, throw me around, squeezed me tightly arms. Before I realized it, I had my hand clamped down on a bicep..

It had happened. I had crossed that boundary between words and looks to physical touch. Y’all know the one I mean. Where it becomes obviously clear you’re interested. Up until this point I wasn’t aware I even was. As my friends started to migrate to the dance floor for a slow dance with their new found interest, he asked me to dance.

I don’t slow dance with dudes in bars!” I thought self righteously. My friends had abandoned me at the table, he was so sweet and funny, I wanted to get a better feel on those arms, oh what the heck. Why not?

Jerry is short. It’s no secret. After standing from my bar stool I really realized that. I motioned him to wait and removed my 6″ heels then followed him onto the dance floor barefoot. This was the first, last, and only romantic part of this entire night. Being face to face with this man, trying so hard to get my attention, I caved. Maybe it was the lights, the music, the overwhelming amount of tobacco in the air, but something made us kiss. It was wonderful. As somebody who does NOT like to kiss (I know, I’m weird) it was that perfect movie moment.

I, slightly embarrassed, returned to my table with my girls as the song ended, while he ventured off grinning like the cheshire cat to make sure his boys “saw that right there, son!”. Then my girls started in on me.

“You should keep it going”

“We can stay here in town tonight”

“Come on, lived a little”

“Just try it, one time”

My friends where actually suggesting I, me, designated driver, hair holding, mama bear, have a one night stand?! WHAT!? No way! This wasn’t my thing. My thing was to make sure nobody ran off with them and if they did end up in somebody’s truck, I find them and get them home slightly hung over the next day. That was my job.

The night moved on. We had a blast. My girls and I tore up the dance floor, dancing to every song like nobody was watching. Jerry continued to make his advances and by the end of the night he was glued to my side. My girls constant encouragement led me to start thinking really hard about the offer to stay the night. Peer pressure, what can I say?

By time we left the bar he ended up in the car with us. In true small town tradition, we headed over to the only 24 hour food joint open for late night grubbage, where Jerry managed to show off his artistic skills by drawing a rat holding a huge veiny penis on a napkin. His level of drunk was becoming very very very apparent. But hey, I love the arts. Can’t knock him for some artistic expression huh?

The details after this get a little blurry. I’ve read that the brain likes to shut out bad memories so I can only assume that’s what was happening. We all ended up back at the house we had started at. I will save you the gritty details and say this. What followed was most awkward uncomfortable 10 minutes of sexual engagement I have ever experienced. He was three sheets to the wind and I was a nervous wreck. That is the extent of my memory, thankfully.

This is fun? Really? Women do this? Every weekend?” I thought laying in a twin size bed with a man 13 years my senior. I was exhausted from a long strange bizarre day, so I passed out like a light.

Early the next morning I felt him stirring.

He’s leaving. ok. I did it. First, hopefully last and only one night stand is done.”

I mean that’s what is suppose to happen right? They leave, then you avoid the awkwardness of daylight. I waited until I heard my friends stirring in the living room before getting up. Much to my surprise, HE WAS STILL THERE! What the hell man! You’re making this even weirder. It was slightly obvious he may be feeling just as awkward as myself. I assumed in his sober state, in the light of morning, he would revert to being a courteous stranger. That’s how it’s suppose to happen right? Hollywood said so!

No. He ended up pulling me down into his lap.

This guy really likes me? Sober?

I was soooo confused. I was relieved to see he was just as funny and charming sober as he was drunk. Maybe I didn’t do so bad for myself?

We swapped numbers.  I assumed it was the courteous thing to do. As we gathered our things he asked what we had planned. “Heading home I guess“I told him. “you?”

Going to get my kids.” He replied.

SHUT THE FRONT DOOR! KIDS! Eeeeew! I slept with a dad! Gross! Not one, not two, but he had 3 kids!

He overheard my friends and I discussing gas funds as we got ready to head out, he then reached in his pocket and handed me a bill. I didn’t think to even look until I got to the car. I then thought, “Holy crap. I just became a prostitute. I just got paid for sex!” What have I done!? My price?…… $10…. Yes whole damn $10.

He still gets an earful about that one. He swears it was the only bill he had in his pocket that wasn’t a $100 and he was just trying to help us with gas. I should have gotten a few $100 for the awful performance I suffered!

Half way home, through all the “omg“s and “I can’t believe you did that“s I hung my head in shame and exclaimed, for clarity to myself, “I just slept with a 30 year old dad.”

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A DAD!!!

He was so charming though. I truly liked this man. I could imagine how much fun he would be and I could even forgive how awful our night together was, just to hang out with him. But Mama didn’t raise no fool. I knew I wouldn’t be hearing from that guy again. He was probably beating himself up knowing out there, somewhere,  was a girl who would always remember his sloppy drunken attempt at a good time.

Before I could make it home my phone rang. He was calling me!? This is NOT how it’s suppose to happen! Even if he was interested, he is suppose to wait 3 days while I sit on edge awaiting his call. I immediately thought, “Aaah, he knows how bad he was. He’s trying to leave a better last impression with his actions this morning

He started to call me every day, multiple times a day. Our conversations would go on and on about everything. I never thought in a million years we would have so much to talk about, being at such different stages of our lives. We NEVER mentioned the events of our night together. It was a short period of time we both wanted to forget as soon as possible. After 2 weeks of continuous contact he picked me up to stay the weekend with him. That sealed it. It was the best weekend of my life until that point.

Sober…. sober was amazing. Totally, completely, overwhelmingly, made up for every horrid second spent in the tiny twin bed at his cousins. I wanted to be with him every second after that. I became physically sick when he would have to leave for work hours away.

In a very short period we became so determined to be with one another, he was driving 4 hours home every chance he got so we could be together. I was skipping classes to squeeze in every precious moment with him I could. It was quite a thing to have my 30 year old boyfriend in the stands at my high school graduation a few months later.

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Graduation 2008

Less than 3 months from that night in the bar, I moved in with him. It was the same night I graduated high school. I packed my bags and haven’t looked back. A month after moving in, he proposed to me. 3 days shy of a year since that night in the bar, I became his wife.

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The rest is history.

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Why You Shouldn’t Expect Me to Visit.

I often feel incredibly guilty about not visiting my friends more. They often make the long trek south to visit us which makes the guilt even worse. So I feel I should explain, to my friends without children or friends with older children who may have forgotten, why it is that you should not expect to see me anytime soon on your door step. I promise it’s not you.

  1. I don’t have the time. Remember prom? We spent hours upon hours getting ready and wished we could do it everyday? Lucky me, I do get to do that everyday! I spend hours upon hours getting my little bunch ready to leave. Only now I look more like the hungover morning after prom when I finally get out the door. Only took 4 hours, but you can bet I have enough gear to survive in the wild a few days!
  2. You live too far away. I use to measure distance in things like miles, minutes, songs, or cigarettes. I now measure distance in bottles. If you live more than one bottle away, I am NOT coming. Here’s what will happen. My toddler will be lulled to sleep by the gentle hum of the car. My youngest will finish his bottle in roughly 10-15 minutes. He will then realize he has been swallowed by a loud roaring robot monster, he can’t see mom from his rear facing seat which means she is gone forever, and he’s strapped down in an obvious torture device. I will have sung every lullaby in the English language and be on the verge of tears when I arrive. Now I will have to wake my sleeping toddler. I love you, but no friend is worth what is about to go down right here in this driveway.
  3. Your house isn’t kid safe. I’m flattered that you lit all your lovely scented candles in preparation for my arrival. Your home truly smells like a majestic unicorn fart, but did I mention my 3 year old caught my table on fire last month? I would love to drink coffee on your lovely deck, but that wood doesn’t look treated and is a splinter catastrophe waiting to happen. My, what a lovely pool! Can we go in now? I’ll just lock every door and window, and block them all with furniture now.
  4. Your house isn’t kid/mom accessible. My youngest can not sit unassisted, which means I will be holding him this ENTIRE visit. You have no bumbo, swing, bouncer, play saucer, or even a high chair. You know what you have? A blanket in the floor. Let’s just hope he developed a sudden love of tummy time on the ride over here. The toddler can’t work your remote, but he is trying. I hope you have your rentals locked because I’m sure he just ordered pay-per-view.
  5. I’m not going to have fun. Believe me, you won’t either. While you are telling me about the fun weekend away you had and the interesting people you have met, I am only thinking about how much I am dreading that drive home. It will be very obvious to you that I am only half listening to what you say. I am constantly interrupting you mid sentence to calm a crying baby or get my toddler out of your refrigerator. By time we say good bye I am both mentally and physically exhausted. I am going to ride home worried about how badly I must look to you with my dirty hair, spit up on my clothes, no makeup on my face, chasing tiny people around your house.

So no, it is not you. I love you. I miss you. If you expect me to visit though, you have lost your mind. Let’s give it a few years. Then I’ll be there, watching you wrestle your kids. Don’t worry; I won’t expect you to come to me, I’ll give you home field advantage.