blogging about daily life from Griffin, Georgia

Category: Personal | Comments (0) | Valerie @ April 3rd, 2009   

I’ve been trying to think of some creative way to “unveil” this blog and the opportunity presented itself tonight in a funny way, so I’m going with it.

All of you know my mom…or “Mimi” as she is referred to here. But do you know that she’s a writer? And by writer, I mean she’s the ACTUAL writer in the family. The one who encouraged us to go after our dreams and be the best while she let her talents go by the wayside.

When we were thinking of gift ideas for Mama’s last birthday, giving her her own blog seemed the most obvious choice. Fortunately for me, I know right where to go to find someone to develop a custom blog for one of the most special people in my life. That’s right, the good people at the company I work for, Stone Soup Technology, developed this blog for my mom. Was she excited about it? Oh yes, she was…and it only took her about 3 months to actually write her first post.


Because we are Too Much Sugar for a Dime. Doot started calling us that a while back and there’s never a situation where that phrase doesn’t apply. It pretty much applies to every situation in our lives. In fact, the blog? Yep, I realized it was “too much sugar for a dime” when it took mama 3 days to post one single post because she was determined that she was going to “justify the margins.” And 3 days later? She ended up with a messed up post because she made it much more difficult than it should have been. But, you know what? Unfortunately, I think that’s us. We make things much more difficult than they should be. Hence, It’s just too perfect when it comes to describing us.

Mama and I suddenly feel like we’re racing to the finish line when it comes to posting something. Now that we both have blogs, we both want to write about the same things, and this past weekend visiting Cecilia was one of them. I went over to my parents house tonight, and Mama forced me to sit and read what she had written. Then, just a few minutes ago, I texted her and told her that she BETTER sit down and read mine now. And you know what? She did. And this is what she texted me back in response:

“valerie this is fabulous. i don’t really think mine is good enough…i hope people don’t compare them. i can’t believe you surpassed me! but i am happy bout it since i thought after high school u would be illiterate. LOL. I need to change something. i didn’t tell enuf of the weekend and we r both telling some of same stuff. i’ll figure it out. yours is great.”

Wow…so how thankful am I that I turned out okay? Because boy would I be embarrassed right now.

To all my previous teachers who might be reading this, please accept my deepest apologies that my mom assisted, and occasionally completely wrote some of my papers. Of course, this should be a real tribute to your ability to teach in the classroom because apparently that’s all I really needed.

Seriously, you should check it out. She’s funny. And, the cartoon? Yeah, that’s me, Cecilia and Mama. That’s what I look like, right?

dance it out

Category: Personal | Comments (1) | Valerie @ April 2nd, 2009   

A portion of this past Thursday afternoon’s conversation with Cecilia:

Cecilia: Matt had to go to Naples this weekend for work, so I’ve got the condo to myself. Do you and Brittain want to come down?

Valerie: Um…well, I guess we better not.

(12.5 seconds later)

Valerie: What the hell? Yeah, we’ll be there tonight.

Two hours later, Brittain and I were in the car, leaving the Georgia storms behind, and heading to sunny Florida. We were even able to talk Mimi into taking the last-minute trip with us, which I was beyond thankful for when Brittain woke up from a nap in the car at 11:30 pm saying that she had to tee-tee REALLY BAD and the next exit that had civilization was still 13 miles away.

Despite the near disaster potty experience, and Brittain saying, “I can’t wait to go to the beach” 140,000 times, we arrived right at midnight to start the party. And by party, I mean, since Brittain was already awake when we got there, we decided to let her “tire out” before making her go to bed so that maybe we could all sleep in the next morning. The end result? Very short snippets of conversation consisting of, “You look so good…no YOU look so good, Your condo looks great with the new stuff you’ve added, You’re so tan and I’m not;” Brittain and Cec playing with the hula hoops that Aunt CC bought for the two of them, and some celebratory drinking.

After all of that, the bedtimes went as followed:

Mama: 2:00 a.m. when she passed out from one tequila shot
Cecilia: 4:00 a.m. (in the bed, but pretending to be asleep so that Brittain would hopefully realize that the night’s party was over and it was time to sleep)
Brittain: 4:45 a.m. when she finally just gave it up (Cec went to sleep as well)
me: 6:30 a.m. because I didn’t escape Georgia before allergy season hit me so I had it in full form and couldn’t sleep

Wake up time? 9 o’freaking clock.

Friday morning we woke up laughing at everyone in Griffin dealing with torrential downpours as the four of us put on our swimsuits, fixed margaritas to sip on, and headed down to the beach for some fun in the sun. However, we were quickly humbled when the 67 degree temperature became what seemed like a 55 degree windchill once we arrived at the beach and felt the cold wind without the help of any sun at all. We toughed it out for about an hour so that Brittain could play, but by the time we headed back to the condo for good, Cecilia was wrapped from head to toe with the 3 towels, and I was sporting jeans and a hooded sweatshirt. Go figure.

Perhaps the greatest part of “vacationing” with close family is that there’s no pressure to do anything. Especially when it comes to the three of us, we know there’s never going to be wasted time as we discuss where we’re going to eat, what we’re going to eat, what time we’re going to eat and blah, blah, blah. We know that when we get together we are all on pretty much the same wavelength. “I’m not getting dressed up or putting makeup on, so let’s just do what we want to.” It works out quite perfectly for us.

Of course that’s not to say that this necessarily makes it any easier for us. In fact, for Friday night we decided to pick up Japanese food and eat it at Cecilia’s. That was an easy enough decision. I think that only took about 30 minutes. It was deciding what we were going to eat there that became a little more difficult. As Cecilia and I were in the living room discussing what to get, we would yell to Mama in the other room:

Then, I knew we were in even more trouble when Cecilia called the restaurant and the first thing I hear her say is, “I’ve got some questions. Are you in a hurry?” About an hour and a half later we enjoyed some delicious japanese food.

When 11:30 rolled around and we saw that Brittain was still not in the mood for a good night’s sleep, we decided to have a “dance party.” And for me, this was probably the highlight of the weekend. If you watch Grey’s Anatomy, you’re familiar with Meredith’s and Cristiana’s way of coping with a bad day. They “dance it out”. Even though I was tired and sick, and didn’t much feel like getting off the sofa, we turned up the music and spent the next hour “dancing it out.” You couldn’t help but smile and laugh outloud. This was one of those slow motion moments for me as I looked at my mom, my sister and my child, realizing how fortunate we are to have opportunities such as this, and knowing that these are the moments I will treasure forever.

We were lucky to see the weather do a complete turn-around on Saturday and Sunday, so we took advantage of it and spent a good bit of the time playing in the sand, flying a kite, and making a fool of ourselves hula-hooping.

Because we are gluttons for punishment, on the day we were leaving we decided to try and fit everything in that we wanted to do, but didn’t do on any other day. After spending a little time on the beach that morning, Mom, Cec and Brittain went antique shopping, and I headed across the street to Marshall’s. (WHY we didn’t do this on the day it was cloudy and freezing cold, I don’t know). Reality set in when I saw that it was 5:30 and we were still in Jacksonville. I suddenly began having flashbacks of our arrival night on Thursday and the 4:00 a.m. bedtime. A bad mood began to set in.

But really and truly, I tried to suppress the bad mood. There was going to be sadness anyway. There’s always sadness when it comes time to leave. So, I drove back over to the condo, talking myself into keeping a good attitude. I was doing good until I opened my car door (Cec and Mom had taken my car antique shopping since Brittain went with them) and saw 2 huge shutter doors taking up the entire length of my car. Before I could even get a word out, Mama said, “Valerie, just shut up. I’m about to figure out a way to put these in here so that it doesn’t effect anyone.” It was at this point that she moved them from their current position of taking up half the backseat and jutting into half the driver’s seat. Her new and improved placement? She stacked one on top of the other and had them resting on top of the passenger’s side front seat and backseat headrests. If you are picturing this correctly, this means that the shutters were going completely over the top of the carseat (but wouldn’t actually come in contact with Brittain). She then said to me, “Ok, look, we present this to her like this is her ‘tent’, okay?” I gave her a brief, “You are a crazy biatch look” and then informed her that if the shutters remained there for the duration of the trip home, I would have a wreck each and every time I had to change from the left to the right lane. After that we argued about whether or not JUST the middle section of the backseat would lay down (I told her it wouldn’t and she continued to say, “But it LOOKS like it would.”) and then finally decided to lay down the other half of the backseat so that the shutters wouldn’t prevent us from making it home alive. Despite Mama’s getting mad at me because I was getting mad at her, I knew she obviously felt some kind of remorse when she offered to spend the entire 5 hour ride sitting on the folded down side of the backseat and not wear her seatbelt. (This is the woman who will sit in the driveway for as long as she needs to so that everyone is seatbelted in before pulling out.)

After getting past the shutter fiasco, we spent the rest of the trip home listening to Brittain say, “Mommy, bember (her version of ‘remember’) when we had a sleepover with Aunt CC?” and “Mommy, bember when Aunt CC had some juice boxes for me at her house?” and “Mommy, can we have a sleepover with Aunt CC again?”

We made it home in one piece at midnight. We fell into bed and woke up the next morning feeling like we had been run over by a bus, feeling a little sunburned, and knowing that we started 100 conversations but never actually finished one.

It was a good weekend. A good weekend, indeed.

mommy, whatchoo wanna do today?

Category: Personal | Comments (0) | Valerie @ April 2nd, 2009   

As crazy as it may sound, weekends are sometimes hard. After going strong all week without a moment to spare, the weekend arrives and sometimes we find ourselves saying, “Well…what do we do now?” All I have to say is ‘yay for family’ because during those days when I feel like I’m out of fun things to do, someone will show up and get us going in another direction. And you know what’s better than naptime? Playgrounds and picnics!

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