Family Reunion

Oh my goodness! It was so good to take the boys and go see their extended cousins and family, they had so much fun, and so did I.


I just wish that one, I had more time with my amazing family, and two, that I had put sunscreen on.

The boys had a blast playing with cousins, swimming in the lake, jumping off the rope swing, sliding down the slip-n-slide, and just hanging out.

I enjoyed recanting old stories and reminding everyone that I was not always the black sheep of the family.

“Remember when all the boys put Granny in the bull pen when she was nine months pregnant to see if she could escape before a bull got her?”

Cause I remembered that story. No one except my parents and uncle remembered that, probably because their lives were most at stake.

One of my cousins worked for the CIA and one worked for the FBI.

I did not achieve such success. But am happy to attend family reunions at their lake houses.

Years ago, when my cousin was ask what he did for the FBI, his sister quipped, “Oh please, he probably just takes the trash out.”

These are other memories of family reunions past…

Getting on the ski boat and whoever was skiing immediately getting drug over to the side of the lake with tons of tree stumps. This was to “show us what you’re made of.”

I started driving the boat at age 8 and still cannot water ski to this day, for fear of dying. I can, however, hang on to a intertube better than most.

We also use to play spoons, sort of the adult version of musical chairs with cards. I remember lamps getting knocked over and elbows thrown in jaws as my elders would dive for spoons, or pretend they had four of a kind. I can only imagine what would have happened had money been at stake.

I remember telling the story of my grandfather learning to drive at age five, and the eldest generation laughing and recanting the stories of their parents also learning to drive at such a young age.

“I remember Buck steering and Bud pushing the peddle down and them driving to the general store!” One cousin remarked as we laughed and recalled other things they would have been thrown in jail for these days.

Thank the lord iPhones were only recently invented. God bless Texas, and God bless family.

My First College Party

I was probably a little younger than most when I went to my first college party. I was eight, and I guess already trying to act like Drew Barrymore.

I was in Denver with my mom staying with friends. Not so surprisingly, the 16-year-old of the house was grounded. And trying to figure out how to escape.

So Emily walks up to her mom and ask if she can take me to get ice cream at Hagen Daz. Her mom says that’s fine and my mom looks at the clock and shakes her head, but doesn’t say anything. See… Emily was the first person to ever give me sugar when I was five years old. She was babysitting and insisted my Cheerios would  be much better with heaping tablespoons of sugar. I was hooked the moment I took the first bite, and she offered me a coke to go with it. My mother has never forgiven Emily for getting me hooked on the white stuff.

Emily was the best babysitter. She let me microwave marsh mellows, which ended up exploding and catching the microwave on fire. She taught me how to build forts. She even put 210’s {very very long adult skis} on my five year old very short body and tried to teach me to ski in her front yard {I ended up spread eagle around a rose bush, turns out, I needed real lessons, but I digress}… And at the ripe old age of eight, she took me to “get ice cream.”

I found out once we got in the car that apparently “ice cream” was code for college party. She instructed me to get in the back seat and promptly picked up one of her friends from Cherry Creek high school where Emily was a cheer leader. Her  blond friend  bounced out of the house and climbed in the car.

I remember listening to the Door’s LA Woman while the two teen girls in front gossiped about all the cute boys that would be there.

We arrived and Emily and her friend quickly disappeared leaving my eight year old self to my own devices.

A guy came up to me and actually offered be a beer, to which I replied, “Um, I’m only eight.”  To which he replied, “Eh, you can never start too young.” I shrugged, took a sip and spit it out all over him. He laughed and assured me one day I’d like the taste.

Emily apparently saw me drinking beer and decided it was time to call it a night. I’ll always think of Emily as the best babysitter I ever had. And I need to go visit her kids. They are 8 and 5 and have never had sugar, or been to a college party. I think it’s time to continue the cycle.

Blue Sparrow Updates

Whew! It’s hard to believe I posted my first post on April 1st of this year. What a crazy ride it’s already been! I was so honored to be asked by FW Weekly to write a blog for them after Eric Griffey had seen just two of my post. He probably deeply regrets that decision now! To see my latest blog post with the FW Weekly, click here. And thank you so much Eric for putting up with me!

I had a gorgeous logo designed by Marcie Finney Designs, who is also the owner of Mustard Seed Jewelry, which I am also happy to offer on my blog.

And having said that… Josh over at Made In Fort Worth is working diligently at giving The Blue Sparrow Blog a make over, and very soon it will be very easy to purchase Mustard Seed Jewelry from this site!

And finally… the last member of the team came on today. Kristen Ballard with FWemedia. I am so looking forward to working with her. Please, please PLEASE do me a solid and sign up to receive my blog via email. Simply get on your computer {it won’t work from your phone} and sign up to follow my blog via email. This not only helps me, but it will help you be pre-registered for giveaways, and who doesn’t love FREE, yes I said FREE stuff. You still have time to sign up for tomorrow’s giveaway.

#doitnow #pleaseandthankyou

 

When You’re On a Roll…

Keep rolling, right? In the past week I have managed to piss off, pretty much everyone who is important in my life. I know, I know… I should feel terrible, but it’s my biggest accomplishment lately so I figured I’d brag about it. And tell you why the cops might be called on me tonight by my oldest.

I pick up Luke and we are on our way to get Cole and for some bizarre reason he ask me what he should do if he could not wake me up. Which is a freaky question to randomly be asked by Luke… So I do my parenting best, and tell him to find my phone and dial 911, and then the police will come, but that he needs to make sure he knows the address, does he remember mommy’s new address, and at this point I see Luke get a little stressed out. So I try to reassure him…

“Don’t worry, if that does happen, now you know exactly what to do and the police and firewomen would come and save mommy and you would be a hero, so don’t worry. You’d help mommy and I’d be fine.”

Luke’s facial expression goes from worried too light bulb in point zero one seconds.

“You mean, if I can’t wake you up, and I have to call the police, and they have to come to our house, I will be a hero?!”

Me, making the mistake of thinking I had done a good job, overly reassuringly say, “YES!!!!”

To which Luke says… “So mom, a hero would get a good reward huh?”

My facial expression changes from one of patting myself on the back to one of extreme worry…  “Ummm….. Yes.”

“Especially if that hero were to save your life….?”

I had to cut him off. I knew exactly where this was going.

“Luke, so help me… If you whisper in my ear and I do not wake up in the middle of the night and you call the cops, you do NOT get a reward. Is that clear?”

Luke looks about as freaked out as a kid can look.

“Oh my gosh mom, I was totally not thinking that. I really wasn’t. How did you do that? Can mom’s really read minds? Oh wow.”

I’m now concerned he’s going to test that theory too. And all I want tonight is a decent nights sleep. Is that too much to ask?

To all that I have pissed off in the last week, or hell, if I have ever pissed you off, I would just like you to know… I’m sorry. And by the way that color looks fantastic on you, but any color would probably look good on you since you have lost so much weight, not that you had any to lose. Be careful or someone is going to call you anorexic. And you know, you are just to young and youthful looking to be anorexic. I hope you have a fabulous day.

The End of an Era

I don’t know how I’m going to make it through this post. I am absolutely terrible with change. Even when I know it’s coming. So, when my beloved nanny Thavone, told me when the boys returned to school it would be time for her to move on, I bawled like a baby. For a week.

Realistically I knew she would not be staying with us forever, but I definitely daydreamed that she would be there by my side, waving with me as I sent Luke and then Cole off to college.

When she leaves I know the boys will be fine.  Cole will be more upset than Luke, but I know they will both be okay. It is me that I am worried about.

Thavone has been with me for five years. She started the week after I brought Cole home from the hospital, and she was immediately family. Her family became my family and vice versa. Her daughter Jade helped out with the boys too, and every time I tell them Jade is coming they shriek with joy.

Friday is Thavone’s last day. Tears stream down my face as I think about it. I watched Jade graduate from TCU and move to France. I was excited when she came home. I remember when Thavone’s husband Phillipe got sick. I watched her care for him daily. I remember when Jade called and told her to come to the hospital now, that it was time. I remember watching in awe as Jade and Alex sang at the funeral, wondering where on earth they got their strength from.

Thavone would hold me as I cried in her arms. I cried because I didn’t know how to handle two kids. I cried because I was unhappy. I cried because I didn’t want a divorce. I cried because I did. I would cry and tell her my kids deserved someone else to be their mother. Someone like her. She was my angel when I needed one. But now her time with me is over. Because I have grown and I have changed.

We changed each other.

She showed me how to trust myself. She showed me that I was not only enough, but all my kids needed as a mother. And she assured me that I was the only mother they would ever want. She told me that I had given my children the two best gifts in the world — the gift of love, and the gift of freedom. Freedom to be who they want to be, and to encourage their individual spirits.

I taught her that it was okay to sometimes just throw caution to the wind. To let your hair down and not take yourself so seriously.

And there was so much more! There was such growth. As I struggled with my various situations, through all my tears… I grew. I learned that I was, in fact, stronger than I thought. I learned that because of what I have gone through, I will be able to help my children when they go through difficult situations. I understand their idiosyncrasies better than anyone, so who better are they to chart these crazy waters with? We were definitely meant to go through this together.

This week will come and go. And so will Thavone. Just like that, she’ll be gone. I know in my mind it is time, but my heart hurts just thinking about it. And as I know this week will be very bittersweet, I am reminded of one of my favorite quotes. It’s from Dr. Seuss, who reminds us, “Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.” And today, that is what I will do.

I love you so much Thavone! Thank you for being the sister I never had. I know this transition might be a bit rough, but I know you will always be in our lives. And for that, I am forever grateful. Thank you for everything.


 

End of the Summer

I know a lot of moms are thrilled when school starts and the kids are back at school… Me, not so much. I love the summers with the kids. I mean, I work, so it’s so nice to come home and not have to do homework or rush dinner… To just be able to spend time and cuddle and do nothing but have fun. I love the chaos that summer brings and the lack of routine. I love being able to have an impromptu ‘movie night’ at 9 p.m., and not having to worry about waking everyone up in the morning. But, those days have come and gone. Cole started PreK 4 today. My little cutie…

That’s him eating a sandwich for breakfast as we walk out the door. No, I didn’t make adorable “First Day” signs. I barely got the boy dressed and fed. See his backpack? No? That’s because I didn’t even bother to pack it. It’s half days this week, and he’s four…

All that being said, I wanted to do something special with the boys the last weekend of summer, and I needed it to be super cheap. Like, free. After wracking my brain for awhile, it hit me. The beach at Lake Granbury! I had heard about it, but we had never been. The boys had a blast.

We had so much fun Saturday, we went back Sunday.  And we might go back tonight as well. I am so bummed I didn’t think about this at the beginning of the summer, but there is always next year! The beach is open daily 5 a.m. to 11 p.m. You can check it out here.  It wasn’t crowded, and it was sandy and perfect for wading and swimming in. This may be my new favorite summer spot! And, it’s FREE!!!!

Bad Moms

Bad moms make excellent mom friends. I have yet to meet the perfect mother, and when I do, I’m sure we won’t get along. Lucky for me, I have awesome ‘bad mom’ friends. One of those I admire most is my friend, Katherine.  Katherine has four children all under the age of something. Let’s go with nine.

Katherine and I bonded a few years ago at a football watching party. If I were into sports I might remember who the teams involved were. Texas vs. OU sounds right, but I can’t be sure. I was trying to feed Cole, who was about 14 months at the time, make sure my toddler wasn’t doing anything he wasn’t suppose to be doing, like harming other children, and trying to consume wine at the same time. Katherine was trying to do the same thing I was with her three children. We bonded instantly. I remember I laughed hysterically when she said she wanted another kid. I totally thought she was kidding. Or drunk. Turns out she wasn’t kidding.

Katherine is great. She is warm and open, and loves to include people and throws great parties and events. And she likes to drink wine. I mean, hello, home run.

A few weeks back I got an invite from Katherine letting me know she had rented out a theater at the Movie Tavern for all her friends to have a private showing of Bad Mom.  I wonder what the final count was, I want to say between 40 and 50 girls.

We gathered. We socialized through previews and got our beverages  We all laughed. A lot. I laughed so hard tears were running down my cheeks.

The story is pretty simple. All moms are human. All moms are trying their best. Each of our best is different, and it’s so much nicer to embrace each other and lift each other up instead of try to tear each other down. No one wants to hang out with the bitchy bully mom. I think that mom was popular in the eighties and nineties, but is no longer deemed cool in 2016,

Grab your friends and go see this movie together. Thank you so much Katherine for spoiling us like you did last night. That was so much fun! Thanks for being one of my all time favorite ‘bad moms.’

Stranger Danger, Part 2

I was upstairs when I hear the doorbell ring. Before I can get downstairs, Luke opened the door, and let a strange man into our home. Yeah. He did. I was thrilled that Justin turned out to not be a serial killer. I was even more excited when he told me what he could do for me. My house, is so on its way to being The Jetsons, and it only took a couple of hours.

Now I can open my door with my phone. I can see who rings my doorbell. I can unlock or not unlock that door. I can control the temperature at my house when I am not there. I can check on my house whenever I want with an App. I can give my children and anyone I want a different access code that will time stamp when they come and go, and best of all, it is operated by a SIMS card that checks the line every 3 seconds. Every three seconds y’all, that’s crazy! That means if my phone wires are cut, if my computer isn’t working, no big deal because Vivint will contact me within seconds to find out if something is wrong. If no response is received, the police will be notified within a minute. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg… I will post more, but if you are interested in hearing about this very VERY affordable security system, call Justin (786)423-8567, and tell him you find out about the company from The Blue Sparrow Blog. Now… to go play with my new toy…