Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Nail Biter No More

For as long as I can remember, I've been a nail biter. Bad, bad habit. Years ago I wore acrylic nail tips, but I'd bite those off or pick them off or both. And they really did nothing except weaken my nails even worse than nail biting alone.

I get a manicure every couple of weeks. In between manicures, though, I'd probably pick the polish off and repaint my nails at least six times. My nails were so soft and weak.

Not anymore! Have you tried the new shellac polish?

It is an absolute miracle! Your manicure will last a FULL TWO WEEKS, without so much as a chip in your polish. Your nails stay shiny too! I LOVE IT!!! It takes a little longer to get the shellac manicure, and it cost a little more, but it is so worth it. Especially if you're a nail biter like me.

My weekend was not the best. I had a very bad migraine headache that ruined my day on Saturday. Then on Sunday I was so wrung out and nauseated from the headache medications that I missed my cousins' graduation party. My mom and dad and Suz and her family came over late afternoon to swim. I was trying to lift myself onto the tailgate of Cam's truck to sit and watch the kids hit a few golf balls and my hand slipped, and as my dad would say, down I went. Face down in the dirt. My arm hit the corner of his tailgate and I've got a couple of scratches and bruises. I was really, really lucky I didn't break my arm or my shoulder. I sure have been sore.

Yesterday, we were invited to a low country boil. I still wasn't feeling all that great, but we did go. It was outside under the most beautiful, huge shade tree. After about 30 minutes, I was sizzling hot and miserable. Really miserable. By the time we left, my head had started hurting again and I went to bed praying to wake up this morning without a headache. It was gone when I woke up. Not sure what's going on with the ol' head, but I seem to be going from one minor health problem to another. Very frustrating.

Back to the gym tonight. We worked out only once last week, so I'm ready to go. Maybe. As long as my head doesn't hurt. Or my arm. Or my ankle. Or my stomach. Or my wrist.

Till next time...

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Class of 2011

Last night was Cam's graduation. It was a beautiful night, not too hot, not too windy, no rain. Just perfect in every way.

Earlier in the week, Cam got a crazy idea to shave his head. He started off slowly. At first it wasn't too bad. Then he shaved it smooth as a baby's bottom. That I wasn't too fond of at all. In fact, I cried.

But I'm not one to hold grudges, and I love him so much anyway, that I forgave him.
It's just hair; it'll grow back. Just not soon enough for me.

Union Grove did such a great job with the ceremony. I think they made it special by adding a few extra touches. They released white doves before the ceremony started. It made me tear up.

My boy receiving his diploma.

I love the hat toss.

Fireworks went off as the graduates were exiting the field. Another special touch, I thought.

In 9th grade, each student wrote a letter to themselves to be opened on their graduation night. That was my favorite special thing they did. I think he looked forward to reading what he had written. He didn't even remember writing it.

If you know Cam, then you know that the letter to himself wasn't anything nostalgic or sad, but filled with humor.

So after so many trips back and forth taking and picking him up from school, after many lunches being made, homeschooling him for a year, being his class room mom for six years, volunteering at the middle school, sweating at football practices and games, going to boring meetings at the beginning of each year, checking up on his grades on the computer, and so MANY, MANY other things, our son is a high school graduate. We are very proud.

Now, it's time for college. I've seen a determination in Cam the last couple of years that has set my expectations from him very high. I know college will be the hard. It may even be the hardest thing he's ever done. I hope and pray that he will see it through to its fruition.

My wish for my youngest son is the same as it was for my oldest son; that he live well, love much and laugh often.

Way to go, Cam! Your high school journey is finished.

Till next time... Enjoy your Memorial Day weekend, and don't forget to take a moment to remember the men and women who gave their lives for US!

Friday, May 20, 2011

The First and The Last

First day of first grade.

Last day of 12th grade.

You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes.

You can steer yourself in any direction you choose.

You're on your own. And you know what you know.

You are the guy who'll decide where to go.

~Dr. Seuss

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Gone With the Wind

We had Cam's graduation party last Sunday evening. As soon as I started planning his party, I had envisioned a lovely, sunny, warm afternoon. I imagined setting the tables up in the front yard underneath the shade of the trees. I was prepared for the bugs that would surely swarm the picnic table covered with the contents of the low country boil. I even had a canopy in the ready in case the evening sun was too hot.

Alas, though, a warm, sunny afternoon was not to be. Instead it was a cold, windy one. I didn't have to worry about the bugs. Even they couldn't brave that wind. Didn't need the canopy either. In fact, a fireplace would've been nice to back up to.

I chased down napkins that blew off the tables. Even the salt and pepper shakers weren't safe. I ran those down, too. My 2011 confetti that I had ordered lasted on the table for about one second. Then it, too, went with the wind.

Admittedly, I was disappointed. It turned out nice, but I was upset that it was cold and windy. Just didn't seem the right weather for a low country boil. I had worked so hard on the planning and decorating, it was a little upsetting.

Crystal came over early in the day to help me put the tablecloths on each table. The wind was so awful that even using an entire roll of packing tape to tape them down, the cloths were still blowing away. We ended up having to tie the tablecloths down with ribbon, which required me to lie on the ground underneath the table to tie them. I pulled a tick off my back yesterday. I'm guessing it's from rolling around in the grass tying tablecloths.

But despite the adverse weather, it was a great party. I think he'll remember it forever. He better anyway.

Here are a few pictures of the day. Also, I have learned that whenever you have an event such as a graduation party where you're going to be busy chasing paper plates and greeting guests, it would've been SO nice to have a photographer. Suz and Alayna made the pictures that I did get. They did a good job, but in hindsight, there are so many pictures I would liked to have had taken, but just didn't think about it.

I had this banner made for him. I thought it turned out so nice. If you ever need to order party supplies, visit Shindigz.com. They have EVERYTHING and you can custom order most of it to suit the color scheme of your party.

These are the tables. Each table had a little Mason jar with a hydrangea for a centerpiece. But I didn't get a picture of those. Chances are, I was picking them up off the ground instead of snapping pictures.

I made Cam this photo board with lots of pictures from his childhood all the way up till now. I had every first day of school picture on it. We had to nail it to a tree to keep it from blowing away.

Me and my sweet boy.

Jeff, Joseph and Ross were the boilmasters. They did an awesome job, especially for a first time.

When everything had been added to the pot and cooked till it was done, they scooped it out and dumped it on the picnic table.

It was a lovely sight. The shrimp were hard to peel, but once you got into them, they were delicious. The crawfish, not so much. I won't be trying those again. Yuck. The sausage was great, as were the potatoes and corn. A low country boil really is a good idea to serve to large crowd. So easy.

There are a couple of nice bakeries around my area, but when it comes to cakes, unless it's baked by one of my aunts or cousins or my mom, I like Publix cakes the best. So naturally, that's who I chose to make the cake for the party. Boo. It was dry and not nearly up to my expectations. It was pretty though.

After everyone ate, we went inside the garage to let Cam open his cards. That and to warm up.

He had lots of family and friends there and to all who came, it meant a lot to him. And to me.

He is blessed to be loved by so many people. He got so many nice cards and notes. Despite the wind and cold, despite the dry cake, despite the shrimp that didn't want to come out of their shells, it was after all a lovely party.

I got bruised, scraped and a big, fat tick bite getting ready for it, but it was worth it. Thank goodness it's over!

Next up. A beach getaway for me. I think I definitely deserve it.

Till next time...

Thursday, May 5, 2011

There's Always Something to Be Thankful For

There's always something to be thankful for if you just look. I had loaded my pictures, then went to get a cup of coffee. Used the last paper towel, so took out a new roll. Pretty butterflies and that little saying were the design on my new roll of paper towels. Coincidence? I think not. Isn't it wonderful that we Christians go through life seeing things not as coincidences, but as messages from our Lord? Sometimes I'm just amazed by the "coincidences."

Oddly enough, my blog title was going to be Thanks. This time of year is really my very favorite around my yard. My flowers love springtime in Georgia. So does my lawn. Even though it begs to be watered and wants trimming every week, which my husband lovingly obliges.

Today I wanted to say THANK YOU to special people who shared their flowers with me over the years. They now make my yard so pretty, which makes me so very, very happy and always bring back wonderful memories.

Thank you, MaMa Kimball, for this beautiful lamb's ear. I can see them growing all over your yard. Wherever the wind blew a seed, the next year a sweet lamb's ear would be growing. Thank you for showing me that a "lady" can get her hands dirty digging in the dirt. What would I give to sit on your porch or walk around your yard with you, you carrying your "grubbing hoe." I miss you. Thank you for sharing your lamb's ear with me. They're beautiful this spring.
Thank you MaMa Howell. These hen and chicks came from her plant, through my Aunt Theresa. They grow where nothing else will grow and require very little attention. And to me, that's kinda the way MaMa Howell was. She shared and gave, and asked very little in return. I'd sure love to sit on your front porch with you again, you in your rocker, rocking the special way that I remember. Thanks for my hen and chicks. As you can see, MaMa, they're doing so well. I've planted them in a strawberry pot and placed it in my rock garden. That's the hottest, dryest place in my yard. They thrive there.
Thanks, mom, for the pot of ivy. It has completely taken over the area around our swing. It's lovely and so cottagey. The ivy, too, likes to be left alone. Doesn't ask for much attention, but spreads and shares its beauty. To me, ivy is a little comforting. I think that's why it's so cottagey-feeling. And what's more comforting than your mom? Thank you, mama, for giving me the everlasting gift of comfort. In winter, spring, summer and fall, the ivy grows.

A few years ago, Jean gave me a few hostas. She hates waste and wanted to share the glory of these sweet plants. Thank you, Jean. They have multiplied and multiplied and multiplied. I have worked in them some this year and prettied up the spot they're in. If the deer and rabbits don't eat them, they'll be very pretty. I guess the deer and rabbits know you don't like waste. They figure a green, tender hosta would be a terrible thing to waste.

Thanks, sweet Auntie Theresa, for this little flower. Theresa gave me several different kinds of plants a couple of years ago. This one and the hen and chicks are the only ones to have survived. This plant is just like Theresa. Always there. Winter, summer, spring and fall. Always. There. Thank you, Theresa. I planted some begonias and some other things along with it to keep this little cutie company.

Thanks great-Aunt Louise, for my prized hydrangea bush. She shared with me a cutting and I brought it home and planted it. I didn't really know if it would grow and I certainly didn't know how big it would grow. It grew huge. I separated it and planted another cutting and it, too, is growing huge. And beautiful. I love my hydrangeas very much.

My sweet neighbor growing up, Ms. Roberts, who passed away a short while back, always had the yard of my dreams. Flowers, ivy, a small fish pond, lovely pavers for her little patio, an outdoor brick grill, pretty wrought iron benches inviting you to sit in the shade. It looked like a yard from an English cottage. Several years ago, she gave me a cutting of this oak leaf hydrangea. I planted it alongside our swing. It grows with the ivy and looks so nice. Thank you, Ms. Roberts. It's got lots of blooms on it and they stand so majestic and strong. They make nice arrangements to take inside.

Coincidence that these plants have a likeness to the sweet women who gave them to me? Coincidence that this blog came to my mind just days before Mother's Day? I think not. What do you think?

Till next time...

Monday, May 2, 2011

Please Pray for Ketren

I am a believer in the power of prayer. I'm also a believer in the power of spreading the need for prayer, especially throughout blogland. I've seen it work. I know that there is power in number, so I'm asking you to pray for a very special little boy.

His name is Ketren. He is 22 months old. His mom is one of my class instructors at the gym.

So many times I've seen him running across the gym, sippy cup underarm, big smile on his face.

Just last week he was diagnosed with leukemia. He's at one of the local children's hospitals in Atlanta receiving treatment. In one day alone, this precious baby went through THREE surgical procedures.

To say that his mom, and indeed his entire family, are brokenhearted would be a ginormous understatement. I don't think there are words to express how much their hearts are breaking. They need prayer in a big, big way. Prayer for healing, complete and full, for their sweet little boy. Prayer for strength to get through the long days and even longer nights that lie ahead for them.

I have linked Ketren's Caringbridge page with his button on my sidebar. Please take a moment and read his story. Unfortunately, I don't know how to make HTML code for you to grab a button, but I know you all know how to add his button and link. Will you please do that for me? But more than that, please, please pray for Ketren and his family. God hears our prayers.

Till next time... If any of you know how to make buttons to make it easy for my readers to grab, would you fill me in? I'd love to get this spread throughout the blog world. Thanks!