Mamie’s Brownies…A recipe.

I know I have raved about my Mamie’s brownies before, but seriously…they are The Best. You can not mess them up, no matter what you do. Believe me, I have tried. I have added everything out of order. I haven’t beaten the eggs beforehand. I never sift the dry ingredients together. And each batch? Purrrrrrfection.

Lately, I have been doubling the recipe. Let’s face it…one can never have enough brownies. I always say I am going to freeze some. Insert hysterical laughter here.

So here’s the recipe…exactly how My Girl wrote it out for me when she was ten. My original copy, written by me as dictated from my grandmother, Mamie, had met an unfortunate demise involving oil, sugar and the sink.

Love My Girl’s 10 year old handwriting and spelling

I’m so disappointed you can’t see my sweet pink nails

Bake away. And be sure to let me know how much you love them. Cuz you are so gonna! Oh, and for the record…I only use buttah…no margarine for this girl.

A rambling list of new things.

So I gave up on last week’s New Thing and have moved on to a New, New Thing.

Just kidding. But really, I know you want to know how the New Thing is progressing. Fine and dandy, actually. I’m not here to chat about that this morning, however. Today…a list.

Just for you, Di.

1. Beach week is fast approaching and I still have 50 pounds to lose. That would be 25 pounds each day so…I’m guessing this year is a no-go for the big weight-loss bikini reveal at the beach picture. Maybe For sure next year. *I promise…you will not have to see me in a bikini unless it’s that pic I just ran across from when I was 18 and even then…nope*

2. I’ve really, really had to loosen the old control reins/umbilical cord on The Wild Boy since graduation. As he reminded me a zillion few times, he will be doing what he wants in just a month or so anyway so what’s the difference now? Yep…that comment brought loads of comfort to my controlling momma bear personality.

How I long for those days, these days!

3. In other news, I’ve enrolled as a full time student at Radford University and am awaiting my dorm assignment. Already got my roommate lined up and his initials are BJS.

4. My Man and I are seriously ready to be empty-nesters. He keeps putting the ladder up to My Girl’s bedroom window and Her Guy keeps taking it down and putting it back underneath the deck. Clearly The Big Boy is never leaving either. Why would he? He has the dungeon to himself with all the amenities a twenty-something needs…a bed, a fridge a comfy chair, big-screen tv and X-Box Live.

Always a bridesmaid…but a stunning bridesmaid at that. Trav is okay, too, I guess.
We are so ready for this next stage…we adore our Ella Mac! Thankfully, she lives right next door.
5. I’ve hit that really awkward stage. Semi-menopausal with teenager tendencies. You know what I mean…when I can actually remember how old I am I try to forget by cranking up some Oldies (from the 90’s) and pull out my yarn bag to work on my crocheting.

6. I am loving shopping at Costco these days. How did I never really discover this mecca of good stuff until now? We would purchase the occasional cake now and then, but really it is just now that I shop there regularly. My other fave shopping place is Trader Joe’s. Mercy. Every time I shop there two things happen: 1. I find tons of new items to try and 2. I get into an altercation with someone driving the wrong way in the one-way lane in the parking lot. Seriously, why do people do that? And more importantly, why does it infuriate me so? I guess I’ve always been a rule-follower at heart. Except for rules that were clearly made to be suggestions like the speed limit, curfew and the number of items allowed in the express check out. But going the wrong direction in the Trader Joe’s parking lot? Capital Offense, baby, and I am always one four-letter word short of making a citizen’s arrest.

Okay, Di. I hope this satisfies your love of my lists and will hold you over until the next one. I will check in with y’all Beach-side.

A mother-daughter afternoon.

I noticed today that I have been complaining that come August…2014…when we return from Radford University after dropping The Wild Boy off for his first semester of his first year of college…I keep complaining that I won’t be “an empty-nester.”

I will share a secret with you. I don’t want to be an empty-nester. Yet. Maybe some day. But I’m not ready.

Even though I still do mounds of laundry. Every day.
Even though I spend hundreds of dollars on food. Each week.
Even though I stumble over Size 13 and 14 and 7.5 shoes and boots. All over the house.
Even though I have to close bedroom doors because my bp rises a few points each time I walk by and catch a glimpse of the mess. And it’s not just the bedrooms at times.

Then there are times like these…

When your daughter informs you that she will never have children because she just learned about Meconium.

When a sketchy looking man with a hoodie and scruffy beard tells you to “get the f(#& out of my way” at Trader Joe’s and your daughter wants you to point him out to her so she can take him down, or at least give him a stern talking to for being so rude to her momma.

When your daughter tells you that there is plenty of room in her bed if Dad’s snoring gets to be too much. *she’s a thrasher from day 1 of birth so I have learned to pass on that offer unless I want a bloody nose and multiple leg bruises*

When you and your daughter laugh so hard and loudly at the Starbucks that people stare at you. And they smile.

When your daughter states, out loud, that she has seriously enjoyed the afternoon spent with you and you tell her that since you could die tomorrow you want her last memories of you to be good ones. And you both start laughing. *See the previous paragraph.*

And this:

Empty-nest? I don’t think so.

Love you guys.

My Girl

I have been cleaning out Sarah’s room a bit.

She’s hardly here anymore and rarely stays the night in her room so I’m going to begin taking it over and packing up some of her stuff.

It’s only a matter of time, I feel, before she moves out completely.

Today I found this poem tucked away behind her jewelry box.

My Girl

My girl is the love of my life.
She has eyes of green that defy description.
My girl is strong and proud.
She lives her life with purpose and mission.
My girl is kind and compassionate.
She invokes love and dedication in all that know her.
My girl is bold in her faith and walk.
She carries herself with confidence and courage.
My girl doesn’t give up nor give in.
She encourages others to be just like her.
My girl is so much like her father.
She will be wise in her choice of a mate.
My girl will carry on our traditions.
She will not live her life by fate.
My girl is the love of my life.

I wrote that for Sarah for her 15th birthday. In less than two months, she will turn 19.

Fifteen seems so very far away now.

What Day is it?

After three straight days of volleyball and then three hours shopping for a prom dress (no luck) I don’t even know the date this morning.

I have a lot to say. And I will. Eventually. But first, I need to catch up here. Brett is home sick today. I haven’t been in the office pretty much since Thursday afternoon and the two boys have been home by themselves since Friday. You can see that I’ll be busy.

We arrived home to this picture yesterday. Sarah was asleep when we pulled up. I had to wait about five minutes for her to be awake enough to even notice it.

It’s hard to read but basically it says, “Sorry this is late” (he had already asked her by phone). The beach ball reads, “Prom?” and the other lettering reads, “with Matt?”

I had started a post last week about the break-up between Sarah and PJ. But it just became too much. So, here is the condensed version:

Girl is “unhappy”. Breaks up with Boy.
Girl cries for two days.
Girl gets back together with Boy.
Boy comes by house. Boy ignores parents.
Girl gets butt chewed.
Girl is still “unhappy” with Boy and wants advice from Mom.
Mom not that stupid.
Girl breaks up with Boy. Boy wants Girl to be “happy”.
Girl and Boy decide breakup is “mutual” and “amicable”.
Break-up turns ugly.
Break-up announced on Facebook (aka
Girl’s cell phone rings immediately. And buzzes endlessly.
Girl’s home phone rings immediately. Doesn’t stop.
Girl is (and who knew) hot commodity.
Friend of Girl’s Brother calls and asks Girl to Prom. As “friends”.
Girl says yes, knowing Brother’s Friend has had a crush on her for two years.
Yes…two years.
Boy begins calling and texting and IMing Girl.
Misses Girl. Says, “don’t go to Prom with Brother’s Friend”.
Mom chimes in with, “don’t even think about it”.
Mom now stuck with helping Girl find Prom dress. And shoes.
Stupid Mom.

Post Number Three for the day.

Mini-update on My Girl and HER LIFE.

She’s still not playing much on the volleyball team. She’s quite resigned. I hate that. I’m still talking to God about it. Daily.

The (ex) Boyfriend phones and text-messages still. She’s over it. Yay!

A girl that My Girl knows is in Like with The Homecoming Date. My Girl doesn’t really know what to make of this. The Other Girl did contact My Girl and ask her about it and mentioned that IF My Girl doesn’t REALLY LIKE The Homecoming Date and he’s JUST A DATE, could she have a shot at him?

No word on the final decision other than My Girl told her that she THINKS she MIGHT like him, but she’s not really sure. In other words, “back off, girlfriend”.

The joys of raising a teenage daughter. I’m thankful I only have one. I don’t have time for any others. A friend of ours has three girls. 16, 13 and 8.

The Man and I just point and laugh.

In a loving way, of course.

Ups and Downs

Yesterday was back-to-school shopping day with My Girl.

Talk about an emotional rollercoaster!

We started the morning sniping at each other. But we were cheery and chatty once we got into the car. But that quickly turned back to a “discussion” that escalated to her announcing, “I am just NOT going to talk about this anymore.” At which time she promptly turned up the music and turned down the window to drown me out.

Oh. No. You. Di’int.

So I promptly shut off the radio and put her window back up (love those power window controls on the driver’s side) and calmly continued our conversation. And we were back to cheery and chatty by the time we reached the mall.

I really didn’t mind shopping for her. All for her. All about her. We ate at Chick-fil-a…I mean, it doesn’t get any better than that!

She has lots of new clothes, two new pairs of shoes and headbands and earrings (oh my) and even had the cartlidge in her right ear pierced, which we had talked about doing for awhile.

So, why is it that on the way home, I suddenly reailized my voice had risen to the “warning…brain anuerism emminent” level and she was crying and sobbing and yelling back? Ah. The joys of having a teenage girl.

What is the catalyst for all of this, you might be asking? One friend of hers. One single, stinkin’, so-called-friend of hers that she has known for 11 years.

Friend has most definitely gone down the wrong path. Made bad choices. Doing very bad things. My Girl wants to help her. Save her. Influence her. Bring her back from the dark side. She’s always been the champion of the underdog and it is one of the things I absolutely adore about her. But not this time. Friend is in some serious, dark stuff and it is time to let that relationship go. And My Girl actually had. But now Friend has become obsessed with calling My Girl. Texting her. Showing up at her games.

So, after yet another blow up about all of this, we both apologized to each other and were back to cheery and chatty the rest of the day. And, I haven’t forgotten Who is really in charge. I have laid all of this out before Him, repeatedly yesterday and last night, and I know that He has a handle on it and that He is already working on My Girl. And I pray that He is also working on Friend.

Happy Sweet 16 My Girl!!!

Happy Birthday, Goose! I can not believe you are turning 16. Sixteen years…but wasn’t it just yesterday that…

I threw up in the kitchen sink after opening the can of green beans…thus confirming that yes, I was indeed pregnant. Philip was exactly 3 months old at this time. When I got the call from the doc’s office the following day that the test was positive, I cried and cried and cried. A lot.

How was I going to take care of TWO babies? I could barely function taking care of one baby, dealing with postpartum depression, back to work full-time. I was exhausted. My body hadn’t even had time to recuperate from pregnancy and delivery number 1.

Funny thing about God, though. He helps you realize how very much you want something by almost taking it away.

At 24 weeks, while eating at dad’s fave restaurant, I realized my Braxton-Hicks were pretty strong and very regular. Like 7-8 minutes apart regular. A quick drive to Katie & Granddad’s house to drop off Philip, a call to the doc who told us he would leave now and meet us at the hospital immediately and we were off. I wasn’t all that upset at this point. Until we pulled into the emergency room parking lot and saw the doc’s car already there. That scared me. He met us at the elevator and pretty much chewed my butt the entire way to a room (in between barking orders at any and every nurse along the way. Come to find out that long night at the hospital that the nurses hate him, but said I was the luckiest patient there to have him.) That was night one of many visits to the hospital to stop my pre-term labor. Terbutaline became my drug of choice. Drinking tons of fluids day and night was our life. Thankfully, Philip pretty much slept thru the night at four weeks and was just an easy baby. Sonogram after sonogram proved that God was good and you were healthy and growing.

After being put on almost 24/7 bed rest (I could go to work for a couple hours a day, as long as my contractions were under control) and months on meds, I was totally exhausted and at 36 weeks, Doc R told me to stop the meds and let nature takes it’s course. He warned us not to expect you to show up right away as it was quite common to have all of this occur and then the baby not show up for weeks.

Not so you. You had to do it your way. You were born 3 days later.

You were so easy to deliver. Labor was pretty quick (dad still doesn’t understand why with all three of you we had to go to the hospital around 1:00 am. Why can’t you babies get serious about being born during the middle of the day?) The epidural did basically nothing and in fact, contrary to what the anesthesiologist kept saying, they DO fall out! He had never in all of his 30 years of doing this…blah…blah. Low intolerance to pain, my foot! I was 9 cm dilated and in quite a bit of pain. At 10 cm and ready to push the nurse screamed, “DON’T PUSH!!!!!” and ran out of the room. Totally freaked your dad out! There was a whole lot yelling and a few cuss words (dad) (apparently he was concerned he was going to have to deliver you himself.)

Two pushes (I’m so sorry for all of you who pushed for hours and hours, really I am, I just grow em’ small but have “hips that were made for birthin'”) and out you came. All 19 inches, 5 pounds 11 oz of you. We instantly named you “chicken legs”…there wasn’t the tiniest bit of meat on you at all. But you pinked right up and gave out a lusty holler. We got a quick glimpse of your huge blue eyes and off they whisked you to NICU for a thorough check over. They all assured us, though, that you were perfect and would be right back with us, by the look (and sounds) of things. And you were back with us pretty quickly. Pronounced healthy as a horse, if a bit on the thin side. And we took you home right on schedule, two days later. My first thought when walking in the door of our house?


But we managed just fine, didn’t we?

Sixteen years…

My Girl
My clone
Lover of Jesus
Green Eyes
Blonde Moments
Daddy’s Girl
Really Mom’s Girl
True Friend
Totally God’s Girl
Smart, smart, smart
Rock Hard Abs
Too Good for that Boy (any boy)
Volleyball Beast
My Girl

And he was like…and she was like…and then I did this dance…

Living with a teenage daughter is SO VERY different from living with a teenage son, although they both crack me up on a continuous basis.

My Girl is so different from what I was like one month shy of my 16th birthday. She is totally irresponsible when it comes to school and studying (it’s all about the social, ya know). Although she is very capable of being a great student, it just requires more studying and effort than she thinks school is worthy of. Her “time is too important to waste” on school. Oy. As you can imagine, this causes great consternation for her mother (to whom school came easy) and much sympathy from her father (from whom she gets her “requires more studying and effort” gene). Add in an older brother (by 11 months and 1 day, thank you very much) who is more like his mother…well, let’s just say that the topic of school is a hot button topic, on many levels, in our household.

My Girl is, however, an exceptional athlete (which for some reason she has decided will see her through the near future…and school won’t). She’s focused on volleyball now although it appears she may not even reach my height of almost 5’9″. Baby brother is almost as tall as she is at age 11, another source of irritation on My Girl’s part…none of the “good height” genes.

My Girl came flying up the stairs after vb practice last night and was speaking so quickly and about so many different things that I quickly lost focus and started humming a little tune to stop myself from going INSANE. (Oh yes…she did pick up a small attention issue from her mother.) I picked up the following from the 5 minute long, quick-fire, one-sided conversation:

“And she was like…I can’t believe it!”

“And he was like…doing cartwheels in the hall!”

“Why is it that I can’t even get A NERD to like me?”

“And then right there I did the dance that Cameron Diaz does with her butt in all of her movies…”

THAT jerked my attention right back because sweet little My Girl started doing the booty dance right there in the home office, belting out a melody that sounded remarkably like something from a strip tease movie. My jaw dropped open…

“And then Erik was like…”

“And Amy was like Julie told Ryan that this girl, Amanda, said that she heard Kelly say…”

Right back to zone out land.

Today, we’re in “Arctic Mode”…all I receive is

an icy stare

a cold shoulder

frost-laden one-word answers

I was coldly informed that, “today was the WORST. DAY. EVER!!!!!” “What does that mean?” I ask. “Never. Mind.”

How do we so quickly go from booty dancin’ to Ice Princess? I’m absolutely positive (and my sister will attest to this) that I was NEVER like that. (Thankfully, my sister hasn’t started contributing to my blog so hopefully y’all will never find out that I’m tellin’ a whopper on that one.) BF from high school swears that My Girl is, well, My Clone. That bodes nothin’ but trouble for HRH and myself!