Monday, March 31, 2008

Friends in low places...

...lower on the map, that is. Here's a final few pictures from our trip to Georgia last week. Yes, we're already mourning the lack of blossoms, buds, green leaves, blue skies and really warm sunshine now that we're back in good ol' Lee County.'s home sweet home!

We stopped over at Brantley & Michelle Whitley's so the kids could play while we visited. Michelle was my maid of honor almost 8 years ago and now she's the mom of 5 boys! (The two youngest are biological, the three eldest were an added blessing from her marriage to Brantley.) The girls had a ball playing with Morgan & Collin:

When it was time to say good-bye, I (thankfully!) had my camera ready & was able to capture this precious hug from Morgan to Caroline. Seriously...this is super sweet.

Our traditional stop on the way home to Virginia from Georgia is in Marietta (right outside of Atlanta), for the best Mexican food in the wide world...PAPPASITOS!!! There's only 1 Pappasitos located outside of the great state of Texas, and of course it's in Georgia. Their quesadillas, fajitas, salsa, and homemade chips & tortillas are the best. Ever. Trust me on this one.
Joining us this time was one of my friends from high school, Kelly Colson Rutledge, whom I had not seen in over 14 years! Kelly brought along her 17 month old son, Danny...and let me just say that he is Way Adorable. (And he looks just like his grandfather, Bob Colson...but I digress...) Anyway, we had a great time catching up (and chowing down), while Danny & Caroline took turns throwing Goldfish, fried rice, and whatever else was available on the table. Libbey, as per usual, fell in love with Danny...she has a heart for baby boys, probably because she has a baby sister.Although I did not see them in person, I gotta give a shoutout to Jennifer Gill Sanders & Lauren Lauffer Evans (both of whom were bridesmaids in our wedding, too!). I talked to them almost every day while at my parents' but we could never match up our schedules for a face-to-face visit. No worries...that will happen this summer.

And this brings THE END to the Georgia-related posts. Life in chilly Virginia has resumed and I'll be posting about it sometime tomorrow.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Comes as sweet and clear as moonlight through the pines...

...and those pines are dropping a ton of pollen on this town, lemme tell ya. Still, the gloriousness of all these blooming trees, shrubs and flowers keeps me from complaining about the yellow powder.

Random observations from my time spent in the homeland:

*Seeing all the UGA faithful out in full force...nary a University of Tennessee shirt, bumper sticker or flag in sight. It's pure joy, my friends. Go000000000 DAWGS...sic 'em...woof-woof-woof-woof!

Georgia Bulldogs

*The sudden musical urge that strikes the moment my vehicle crosses the state line: REM, Indigo Girls, Widespread Panic, Otis Redding, Ray Charles, Gladys Knight, Drivin' n' Cryin', Trisha Yearwood, The Allman Brothers and The B-52's. Yep, we've produced a lot of fine musical talent from our neck of the woods.

Otis Redding - Love Man 1969

*Reminders that GA is still a Red State...haven't seen the first Obama or Hilary bumper sticker or yard sign all week. I have, however, seen many for Romney, Huckabee and McCain. (Though sadly, some folks must not have caught the press conferences of Rom & Huck bowing out.)
Red States

*Visiting my alma mater, Warner Robins High School, makes me feel rather old. It's changed, and yet it still seems the same. And I'm proud to say that outside of the Class of 1993, (woo-woo!) we have some famous classmates out in the world, including Sonny Perdue, the governor of Georgia! But who's famouser than Vicki,
Tori, or Kelly? (Blogging buds, fellow '93 grads!)

Warner Robins

*I'm 33 years old, a wife and mother, and have lived away from home since 1996, and yet my mother must hold to the belief that I'm 16 and still in need of her parenting skills, aka meddling. Any phone call I take or make is invariably followed by her desire to know, "Who are you talking to?" or "Who called here?" You want the list...let's see...Michelle, Jennifer, Scotty, Shannon, Kim, Lisa, Ann, Scott Sr., Mandy and Lauren. Oh, and only 2 of these people actually live in Warner Robins, although Jennifer is close by in Jackson...and these 3 gals were bridesmaids in my wedding, so they kinda have to call when I'm located at the Briarcliff Road residence! Does this answer your prodding, Mama? I LOVE YOU!

*The availability of good barbeque makes me very happy. For some odd reason I simply do not understand, southwest Virginia (and northeast Tennesse, for that matter) have not received the memo on how to properly cook barbequed pork & beef, or the traditional items that accompany it in a meal. (Beans of any kind, corn, slaw, cornbread, etc.) Here in Middle Georgia the stuff is available en masse, which means goody-goody delight for my mouth & stomach. And before all you Texans or Carolinians go postal on me, I'm not saying Georgian barbeque is the best on earth...I'm merely pointing out the fact that restaurants in my neck of the woods (that are few and far between) have a lot to learn about this delicacy.
Sonny\'s BBQ

*Finally, Thomas Wolfe was way wrong. You can go home again. Yes, my hometown has changed in the 12 years since I've been gone...some of it is for the better...thanks for taking up residence Target, Starbucks, and Books-A-Million! Some change is for the ever-expanding & seemingly daily population growth...Warner Robins natives, remember when we had about 8 primary schools, 4 junior highs and 2 high schools? Now there's a million of each--ok, not really, but I swear there's an elementary school near every major intersection in the Houston County limits! And some change is for the worst...I drove by Commercial Circle today and mourned the loss of the actual circle...most of the buildings are gone, and do I even have to mention that that side of town is almost ghetto-fied? Oh, and they've pimped out the library in an apparent effort to make it all modern and visually appealing. Um...WR failed! And is Donald Walker still mayor?

I love my's my roots, my heritage, my past (insert shudder here!), and still my present. Though Lee County, Virginia is my home, Warner Robins, Georgia will always be my hometown. I'm rather thankful for that, and that I can go home again and again.edimgiafad or, warner robins.

(You get 1000 points if you know what the above letters stand for. Of course, Middle Georgians are excluded from participating in this portion of the blog! No points for cheating!)

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Seriously, I just about wet my pants.

There's a nifty joint in Warner Robins called Monkey Joes and we thought the girls would have a big time wearing themselves out before naptime. For one solid hour they ran, jumped, climbed, bounced and laughed, and I managed to snap a few cute shots of our time there.

One of the hundred times Libbey went flailing in all her glory.

Politely landing on her bottom, Caroline proves that she can be sweet at times.

I saved the best for last:

There are no words. Well, maybe just a few. Mamaw Pinky, aged 61, braved the ginormous slide and lived to tell about it. I, on the other hand, will probably not live to blog another day once she sees this post. But really...who cares? This is the funniest thing I've ever seen in my life and I almost had the pee pants to prove it. (I said almost people!) Rock on, Mamaw!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Still, in peaceful dreams I see...

Way back when (and I mean my way back when) the Indigo Girls recorded a song titled "Southland in the Springtime." Since being in Georgia the past few days, it's been running through the soundtrack of my mind. "Georgia On My Mind," is there too, but that's just my usual anthem. favorite line in the chorus is, "There's no place like home, and none more pleasin' than the southland in the springtime..." So true, Amy and true.

To me there is no place in the world like Georgia in early Spring. Then again, there's actually no place in the world like Georgia, period. Y'all know I am a Peach through and through. This time of year, though, is especially special. (And now my high school AP English teacher is cringing..."especially special?" Sorry, Mrs. Sipe!) My parents' neighborhood is gloriously awash in a Monet-ish display of color. The view from my window:
azalea 2
Cherry Blossoms
cherry blossom tree

Living in the mountains of (cold!) southwest Virginia, I sometimes forget that Spring actually debuts in March down here in the real south. Meanwhile, in Pennington Gap we'll be hoping for true Spring (not the little teases we'll have over the next month) come late April. The blessing in all of this is that I get to experience such gorgeousness twice this season! Yet none is better than my current view of Middle Georgia. Thanks, God...

Sunday, March 23, 2008

We Are Family.

And if you're not in ours, this will probably bore you. No's still my blog and I'll post as I want to. Here's some family love (and a couple of meltdowns!) captured last Sunday, March 16, at Emma's 10th birthday party.
Caroline, Emma, Molly, Libbey, Logan, Cameron and John David. The only missing great grandchild is Liza, while Emma & John are the youngest of the regular grands.

Libbey & great Aunt Elaine, being super sweet and loving...

Caroline not being super sweet and loving! (Minor meltdown!)

My favorite shot of the day was taken of Cameron, by Libbey.

Happy 10th birthday, Miss Emma Katherine Poe! We love you bunches!

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Matthew 25:40

Watch this--it's what Easter's really all about, and it's not what you think it's gonna be...

"I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for Me."

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Random musings...before 10 am.

*Why is Caroline obsessed with ice? Better yet, whose idea was it to have a free-standing, under-the-counter ice machine that's readily available for a 2 year old? Oh yeah...that was me.

*Toaster Scramblers...Egg, Cheese, and Sausage...cholesterol laden and delightfully delicious. Must. Stop. Eating.

*"There's an animal in trouble somewhere."

*One load down, another to go...then it's happy folding time while Baby Love naps. This is my life. I claim Colossians 3:23. Always. (Look it up, peeps!)

*"Mommy, I watch Mah-ton...come on, Mommy...let's watch Mah-ton." She means Morton, from "Charlie & Lola." And she says it exactly like Lola. My child can fake a British accent! Yes!
charlie and lola :)

*Does that "my vacs don't lose suction" Dyson guy make a dust buster? 'Cause my Black & Decker sure ain't picking up the litter like it used to. I gotta vacuum. Or kill the cat.

*Haven't talked to Mama in 2 days. Thirty years from now, if a day passes without my girls calling, will I freak? Likely. Because I'm neurotic that way.

*How long can I stay in these pajamas before it becomes really pathetic?

*Better yet, how long can Caroline stay in that pull-up before I'm deemed a bad mother?

There's an open issue of TV Guide next to me...the headline is "TV's Hottest Scenes Ever." Number one is the first time Spike & Buffy do the deed...while the building falls around them...without a shred of nudity. Oh, I so agree, TV Guide...HAWT! Maybe I'll write a letter to the editor with my support of this. In the meantime, here's the edited version of said scene:

Yes, censorship folks...afterall, this is a family friendly blog.

*Did I quote Scripture and laud a sex scene in the same post? My LU girls are nodding their heads and saying, "Yep...that's so Leigh Anne."

*And so I've rambled enough for one morning...let's hope I don't get around to posting my thoughts of the afternoon. THE END. (Crowd goes wild...)

Monday, March 17, 2008

Do you know what it feeeeeeeeels like?

Who knew I'd been missing out on really hysterical/trashy/cheesy/good tv? Now, thanks to world famous blogger, Dooce, I've set my DVR to record all episodes of Rob and Big. On MTV. A channel I relinquished years ago, due to maturity, taste, standards, and a modicum of dignity. Ah well...that's all out the window.

A Tale of Two Cities.

July 4, 1997...Cork, Ireland. The Republic's second largest city prepares for a big Fourth of July celebration.
Act One

Leigh Anne: Yeah, so what's the deal with y'all celebrating Independence Day? I mean, it's totally an American holiday, so why do y'all even care?

Arnold: Ever heard of St. Patrick's Day?

And Scene.


March 17, 2008...Pennington Gap, Virginia. Libbey Litton dons her special green shirt, festive with a sequined shamrock, preparing for the school day...
Act One

Mommy: Happy St. Patrick's Day, baby!

Libbey: Now, what is St. Patrick's all about?

Mommy (going for the easy answer): Well, legend has it that Patrick was a Christian man who drove all the snakes out of Ireland.

Libbey: Really? Wow...he must have had a really big truck!

And Scene.

Happy Saint Patrick's Day, y'all!

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Divine Duet.

A Litton Family Favorite. Folks, it doesn't get much better than this.

For the record, the CD from which this most marvelous tune comes from is Livin', Lovin', Losin': Songs of the Louvin Brothers . We Littons give it our highest recommendation...especially Libbey, who says, "I love this CD!" So proud of that child...

Saturday, March 15, 2008

And so betwixt them both, you see...

I don't know about y'all, but the gas situation we've found ourselves in is really crappy. Where I live, the "cheap" gas is now going for $3.17 a gallon. Now I'm gonna sound all old fogeyish when I say this, but I never thought I'd be in my early 30's and see gasoline over the $3 mark. When Scott & I first married in 2000, I remember filling up for $1.12 a gallon and thinking that was just about the most awful price in the world. How naive I was.

These trying petrol times have caused us to reflect on our spending and ways that we can be better stewards of how God has blessed us. Proverbs 3:9 reminds us to "Honor the Lord with your wealth, with the firstfruits of all your crops..." We love finding ways to cut costs, save some dimes, and pinch pennies. However, there are also things that we don't mind paying more for. Scotty has a theory--one should never mess with Corvettes, underwear, or mayonnaise. Meaning, a Corvette is never gonna be cheap (you get what you pay for!), anything other than Brooks Brothers undies are a no-no for him, and don't even think of buying the off-brand mayo...or, even worse, reduced-fat or fat-free versions. Oh, the horror! For the record, we only use my beloved Blue Plate mayonnaise...that I "import" from Georgia, the real south, since I can't find it in my neck of the woods.

Recently I started thinking of ways that we save versus splurges that we enjoy without guilt. Here's a brief list:

A Penny Saved is a Penny Earned (for splurges!)
*Just this week we canceled the movie channels we got via DirecTV. We never watched them, yet were being charged $35 per month. I realized, "Hey--this is good Target money!" and made the call. That's $350 this year. Whoop!

*Magazines are my weakness...I love to read pretty much anything, especially the latest Hollywood gossip, cleaning tips, make-up techniques, and which clothes flatter my body type. (Potato sack, anyone?) But the various issues started piling up...half went unread. Bye-bye Vogue, Real Simple, Better Homes and Gardens, and Creating Keepsakes.

*While I'd love to have a closet full of Chanel, Prada, Armani, and Chloe...or heck, even Talbots and Ann Taylor, my life and job require my wardrobe to be more along the lines of comfort. While I do purchase my "going out" clothes from Lands End, the rest of my staples are found at Target...Old Navy...and Forever 21 if I'm feeling young and sassy. Even if I had millions of fashion dollars at my disposal, I'm quite certain Target would still be at the top of my shopping list. $3000 for a blouse? That might be fine for Suzanne Sugarbaker, but not for this southern belle! And if you don't get the "Designing Women" reference, you need to be watching the reruns on TV Land! My all-time favorite sitcom, ever!
Designing Women

*I used to love shampooing with fabulous Aveda and Bumble & Bumble hair care products. Then I discovered that Dove works just as well...for beyond a fraction of the cost. While I'd never use the absolute cheapest stuff on my locks, I feel better about not using the $25 bottles...because then I can just buy better make-up! (Thank you, Bare Minerals!)

*This used to be my ultimate splurge...Bliss Spa's Vanilla Bergamot Body Butter. If you happen to click on the link, you'll see that it's a whopping $35 per 8.5 ounce tube. Or, the cost of a ton of movie channels on DirecTV for one month. In my defense, I've only purchased this sublime stuff with Sephora gift cards. $35 for body cream? Granted, it is far superior than anything Bath & Body Works ever produced, but still. In its stead, I found a little gem that fits my bill at $6 per jar: Nivea Creme! This stuff is very's been around for years, and is basically whipped vasoline...but it gets the job done and my legs are rather thankful for the moisturization! No, it's not as heavenly smelling as the Bliss stuff...but it's almost $30 cheaper. 'Nuff said.

*Target bags are the greatest things. (Wal-mart will do in a pinch, but they just aren't the quality as the red bullseye ones.) I use them in all our smaller trash cans (and cringe when I see "real," store-bought ones in the homes of others), toss the stinky pull-ups away in them, and grab one each morning when I clean Lewis' shadoobie & pee clumps out of his litter box. You people out there who empty your Target purchases and toss the bags are CRAZY. I will never understand one's lack of useage of this most fine resource.

*Other random ways I'm cheap: Store brands (most, that is--can't mess with Pop Tarts or toilet tissue!), meatless meals, el-cheapo pantyhose (they're gonna run anyway...and they're of the devil, so why buy pricey ones?), and playclothes for my girls. Yes, I love dressing them adorably, and preferably with monograms emblazoned across the chest. However I cannot understand buying jeans, capris, khakis, etc. at places such as Gap or Limited Too. Unless there's an enormous sale, that is. But give me the $4 shorts and $9 jeans at Target anyday--even better when they're on sale or clearance. I have friends who pay--gasp!--$30 per pair of Gymboree jeans. Are you people crazy, or just crazy? Give me the cute Gymboree top, bought on sale and with Gymbucks, and the capris from Target...and there's the look!

When Only the Best Will Do (or the best that I'm willing to pay!)

*I mentioned my love of magazines...while I still receive my favorites, the pile is much smaller. I love my People and Entertainment Weekly, because by now it's apparent I rather enjoy all things pop culture. And no southern belle is living her best life without the monthly Bible of the south...yes, I'm speaking of Southern Living. I look forward to my monthly fix of gardening/decorating/cooking tips, and SL delivers the goods every time. Since we live in the middle of nowhere, I rely on InStyle to keep abreast of all the latest fashion do's and don'ts. Of course I don't buy the ultra-chic clothing lables featured in this mag, but I can dream...and stay current, at least. These are the magazines I my own home, without guilt.

*I've blogged before about my obsession with scent...and it goes beyond candles. We have Glade and Air Wick plug-ins all over our house. I replace them every 6 weeks, and they're not the cheapest items to buy in bulk. I do use coupons when available, and at times Wal-mart puts the Air Wick brand on sale...when that happens, I buy up big time. So I consider these little gems to be a splurge. And my house always smells fresh and clean, even when it's not...and that's worth its weight in gold! Plus Libbey says that our house always smells "really good"--and I love that she notices such as that. But the best compliment came from a friend who recently told me, "I can't believe you have a cat--it doesn't smell like it." YES! Mission accomplished!

*I've never understood the faux cola option offered at every store in the country. Give me the more expensive real Coke, or give me nothing. We don't drink a ton of it anyway, so if we're gonna induldge it's not gonna be with Sam's Choice Cola. Uh-uh. This Georgian is going for the Real Thing--Coke in a can! (Right Sarah?) And Dr. Lightning for Dr. Pepper? Whatevs, people.

*Vacations--this is a big one for us. While we save in practically every other area of our life (and not just the few I've mentioned here), when we vaca, we vaca to the hilt. We plan our getaways in advance, sussing out the best restaurants, booking guided tours, and purchasing seats for concerts and shows. In our everyday lives, we work one is a more committed physician than my Scotty and he puts in the hours every week to prove this. (Plus his patients adore him--and that says more than anything in my book!) Meanwhile, I clean my admittedly large house every day, teach Caroline, shuffle Libbey to various lessons and such, cook, manage the laundry, work in the yard, etc., etc., etc., and keep the Litton household running, just as most wives. So while we work hard, we also play hard. In fact, that's our vacation motto! When we make a break for the beach,the Caribbean, Las Vegas, or wherever, we go all out, and don't mind to drop coin while we're at it. Last year in Vegas we saw Celine Dion in concert, comedian Danny Gans, and a performance of LOVE, a Cirque du Soleil show centered around the music of the Beatles. These were not cheap events by any means...but we thoroughly enjoyed each one and wouldn't have done Vegas any differently. I know you can do Vegas on the cheap, but really...what's the fun in that? Now, I'm not saying we fly first class or stay in the penthouse suite when we have our time off, but we do take advantage of certain perks...such as breakfast in bed via room service (my absolute fave, mostly because it was always forbidden on Roth family vacations--due to the expense, of course!), or a late-night meal at a 5-star restaurant that's mostly empty...and then we receive fabulous, more personable service. Again, without guilt...because we've earned the break from the "real world."

And there you have it...Lula's thoughts on scrimping, saving, and splurging. I could go on and on (haven't I already?), but these were the first things that came to mind. My uber-cheap and wonderfully dear friend, Beckie , has all kinds of frugal ideas and sites listed on her blog. We all need to go to the "School of Beckie," a phrase Sarah coined last year while we were in Gatlinburg. She's one of those women you read about that buy $300 worth of groceries for $30. Rock on, Beck...

Musing over my cheapness made the ever-rising gas predicament seem a tiny bit less miserable. And I still enjoy my splurges--but I love my thriftiness, too!

Friday, March 14, 2008

Beckie, I had to do it.


Oceanic Airlines

4 8 15 16 23 42

not pennys boat

DriveSHAFT 4Ever



When I get over it, I'll stop blogging about my show. But that ain't gonna happen for a long while ('til this season ends in June), so deal with it, my dear!!! For the rest of you...a real post is coming soon. Promise!

Thursday, March 13, 2008


I'm sobbing and wailing. Can' Traumatized. Still crying. Guess I need more "Perspective."
Daniel Dae Kim
Jin, how we loved ye. RIP--whenever it actually happens, that is.

Blame Vicki.

This morning my father-in-law phoned early to ask if he could take Libbey to school. Since Poppy is one of her most favorite folks in the world and his offer enabled me to stay in my pajamas for a while (and savor another cup o' joe!), we happily accepted! Now that I don't have to wake Caroline as we walk out the door for Elk Knob Elementary, she'll most likely sleep 'til 8:30 or so. Given this half hour I normally don't have to myself, I figured it was time for a new, newsy post. Then I checked e-mail.

My friend, Vicki, sent a link to yet another blog that heralds the praises of my show, Lost. This one is a bit different,'s from a Christian perspective. Seriously? Are you kidding? For real? Uh-uh. That's like the best of both worlds for me...and now I'll be singing Van Halen all day long! This warrants a big, resounding, "YES!" from Lula.

The blog is called "The A-Team Blog*," and their tag line is, "Take a stand for truth, but do it in LOVE, fool!" If that's not the coolest, I don't know what is. (And an aside...I really wish more Christians would do this...stand up for Truth, but please...don't give the lot of us a bad it in Love. And that is Love with a capital "L," of course. I digress.)

Anyway...check out this particular post on Lost. Once I started reading, I realized any downtime I have today (yeah, right--downtime with a 2 year old!) will be spent perusing the rest of this site, and not just the Lost links. I love this stuff!

So readers, you can thank Vicki for my lack of a new, newsy post today. More A-Team Blog is on my immediate agenda, so I might get around to a "real" Lulaville post later on. Check back this evening. And I personally want to thank Vicki for sending this link to're awesome, girl. I could post a picture of your fabulous new dress (that she sewed herself--she's very talented!), however I decided to go with an oldie but goodie instead...

This is Vicki with her then 13 month old daughter, Reagan, along with a 13.5 month old Libbey...March 2003. Aren't they adorable? I include Vicki in the adorable category, too!

Now, go read the A-Team Blog*, peeps!!!!
*Disclaimer: Upon further reading of this particular blog, I've discovered many links/references to Calvinism. Emphatically I state: I am not a Calvinist in any way, shape or form. However I do recognize that many members of my family in Christ hold to these theories...and I do not immediately write them off, nor do I consider them to be inferior because of their beliefs. Remember what I quoted in a previous post? "Everyone's entitled to their own's just that yours is stupid." I say this in love, and with the caution to tread lightly, and not to view The A-Team Blog* as my support of Calvinistic beliefs. Because I know I have friends here in Lee County who will read this and say, "Uh-oh, where is she going with this?" and fear that I've lost my mind, not to mention my strongly held convictions! It's the same as saying John MacArthur & the late Dr. D. James Kennedy are/were awesome preachers...even though I disagreed with some of their theological beliefs, and that's OK.

Oh, yeesh...this is a whole other post I'm getting into...just wanted to clairfy my feelings on this highly controversial subject! And I still maintain the A-Team peeps are rad--Lost from a Christian perspective. Pretty cool.
p.s. Do I have to remind anyone that a new eppy of my show airs tonight? Nine o'clock, ABC...I'll be there, and my DVR will be recording away!

Monday, March 10, 2008

Made For Me.

Watch. Laugh. Learn. It's a serious matter.

This is absolutely hilarious. I gotta find the strength that's right for me...I'm thinking 100 mg, twice per day. Rhett and Link, are the creators of Perspective...check out their site!

Our three daughters.

Cue theme song to "My Three Sons."

We had a fun weekend with our family! The equation works out like this: Aunt Mandy+Eliza=My Girls Live at Nanna's All Weekend.
The adult version of this equation goes: Robbie+June+Lula=Rock Band 'til All Hours. Robbie's band used to be called "Man Boobs in Full Effect," but since I joined as lead singer, we changed the name to "Band Lula." Because while I certainly have them, they aren't mannish, thank you very much!
Here's a few from our togetherness:
The Daddies and their daughters...with another Sanders version coming in June!
Uncle June taught Lizee the valuable skill of running, leaping into waiting arms, and being tickled to death. She did it about 100 times, and laughed as if each were the first.
Next summer we'll have a 7, 3, 2, and 1 year old...and then the fun really begins!

We had a fun time with the Sanders Four (!) of Mechanicsville...thanks for coming to see us. We love y'all!
p.s. Your nieces have a request: Please give our cousin a name already!!!

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Best. Show. Ever.

lost season 4 poster
And that's not hyperbole either! 'Tis fact, my friends. If y'all aren't watching this most fine & fabulous show, why the heck not?

I've never really blogged about Lost in depth--Beckie will disagree, though--however tonight's episode left me with no alternative. There's so much crap on TV in this day and age that when a truly excellent show exists, I have to give it mad props. The past 6 episodes have been makes me happy, happy, happy!

I have a list (y'all know me & lists) of favorite actors/actresses in the world of film and televison--both past and present gems--and much of my TV list is comprised by the people who populate the Island. Before getting ahead of myself, I also have to mention that the writers on Lost are pretty much the finest in the industry....such as Drew Goddard, a former writer on another of my fave shoes, "Buffy the Vampire Slayer." An actor can only do so much--it takes a great script, too...duh!

So anyway, the last two episodes of Lost have been among the best of the past 4 years, in my opinion. We are getting to the meat of all these mysteries and I am loving it! The acting talents also seem to have stepped up a it possible for any of them to get any better? (Evangeline Lily--I'll leave you alone, honey.)
Ben Linus [Michael Emerson] Eyes
Michael Emerson (Ben) is scarily enjoyable. Typically thought of as THE villian, I'm now thinking his "we're the good guys" proclamation in Season 2 (while he was held prisioner in the hatch) might actually be true. Emerson is a brilliant actor...he's a joy to watch. He needs an Emmy.

Elizabeth Mitchell (Juliet) is so fabulous it's hard to believe she's only been on the show since last season. And who can forget that incredible season 3 premiere, with the shot of the plane breaking in two and the reveal of where "The Others" reside, just as her book club was getting into a heated discusson of Stephen King's "Carrie?" My favorite episodes of the series thus far have been Juliet & Desmond-centric...two fine actors, indeed. Which leads me to
Henry Ian Cusick (Desmond) is Scottish and has gorgeous hair. And if that's not enough (it is for me), he's a fierce actor...yeah, fierce is a good word to describe his talent. I'm thinking/hoping/predicting he'll be an even Bigger Deal outside of the Lost world, once the show ends in 2010. He's a pretty Big Deal now, yet I'm sensing even Bigger things for him. Spielberg, are you paying attention?

And then there's the rest of the cast, most of whom are pictured above...Terry O'Quinn (Locke) justly deserved his Emmy win last year, Jorge Garcia (Hurley) is just enjoyable...and even the newbies this season--the Freighter Folk--are proving to be solid additions to the show. The ABC casting big-wigs are putting in some serious overtime...having so much talent on one show is really satisfying as a viewer.

Of course there can't be a write-up about Lost without showing love to my man Sawyer, portrayed by Josh Holloway...he of the delicious dimples and southern accent. (Yeah--he's from GEORGIA! I like to think of him as my kinsman. Wait, did I just drool?)
I love the character's one-liners, nicknames, and passion for reading. All in all, a swell guy, even though he killed Locke's father last season. Which, on island time, was actually about a week or two ago. Did I mention he's awfully pretty, too?

So this serves as my love letter to "my" show, Lost. Thanks for keeping me obsessed since September of 2004. I've logged way too many internet hours doing research on Widmore/Hanso/Dharma Initiative et. al, spent more money than I care to admit purchasing the past 3 seasons on DVD, watched every single episode at least twice, and even splurged on "I love Sawyer" t-shirts for Lacey and I to wear without a shread of embarrassment. (Happy Birthday, Lacey--we love our Sawyer, huh?) It's very rare for an hour of mere television to capture my interest and imagination as Lost has. Only a few have done so before..."Moonlighting" (oh, the great days of David Addison & Maddie Hayes!), the previously mentioned "Buffy," (Joss Wheadon ROCKS! I'm waiting for his latest, "The Dollhouse," to premiere, hopefully next fall), and of course, "Designing Women." It was only a half hour show, but all-time favorite sitcom.

I must watch Lost. Just a little passionate about it, I know...but I'll stop now. Check out the Lost links on the left, too...only the finest recommendations on the web for my readers. See how I take care of y'all?

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

It's still your birthday.

For Favorite Aunt's been about 15 months, but it feels as if only 15 minutes have passed. We miss you, we love you, we talk about you (and laugh!) all the time...and while we're grateful for your ultimate healing, we're still longing for the day we'll see you again. Happy birthday, Doris Jean Vincent Raley! You were the best of all of us. (Libbey and her great aunt, February 2002.)
(Caroline and her great aunt, July 2006.)

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Parental Guidance Suggested.

One night last week I was doing dishes after supper while listening to one of my playlists on Fine Tune. (And y'all need to check out Fine Tune--it's the coolest, especially if you're a music fanatic like me.) The song "Sugar Walls" by Sheena Easton came on (and you don't have to be a genius to guess what particular playlist that song is on!), so I'm standing at the sink, washing away, singing out loud, "Come spend the night inside my sugar walls...lemme take ya somewhere you've never been..." Mid-sentence it hit me...WHAT THE CRAP??? I totally listened to this song all the time as a child. A child,, at the age of 9 or so. These lyrics are seriously dirty, but to my young, unaffected ears, I probably just figured Sugar Walls to be a dessert place of some sort. Or, ooooooh--remember the lickable wallpaper scene in "Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory?" Yeah, those were sugar walls, right? But the song...well...listen for yourself. And do I have to remind anyone that Prince (Mr. Sex-You-Up Himself) actually wrote & produced this little ditty?

This realization hit me like the proverbial ton of bricks. What were my parents thinking? I mean, Eric and I used to watch "Grease 2" (everybody sing with me now, "RE-PRO-DUC-TION, reproduction, put your pollen tubes to work...") and "The Pirate Movie" ("Keep pumpin', blowin'...") 24/7...we had these movies memorized. And not embarrassingly enough, we still can still quote them verbatim. It's a gift...we probably inherited it from the Roth side. Anyway, the sex stuff was way over our head. Still...where was our parental advisory board? Mama? Dad? Your kids were being poisoned by sexual innuendo of a musical nature! Call Tipper Gore!

While still standing at the sink, I started thinking about other songs of questionable nature that I used to sing cluelessly. Immediately "Like A Virgin" by Madonna (she of chaste goodness, of course!) popped into my head. Russell Elementary, 4th grade, recess time, on the monkey friends and I (come on Tori, chime in here!) would sing this song at the top of our lungs. Where were Mrs. Couey, Mrs. Rountree, and Mrs...what was the other one's name? Was our P.E. teacher, Mrs. Sutton, too busy with the daily game of kickball to notice a bunch of 10 year old girls harmonizing about making it "through the wilderness" and being "touched for the very first time?" Y'all better believe if I heard the term "like a virgin" come out of Libbey's mouth that this Mama would go beyond berserk. B-E-R-S-E-R-K! I'm for real.

Then I thought of "She-Bop," by Cyndi Lauper. If y'all don't know what this song is really about, look it up on the 'net. Wikipedia has a good take on it. But I ain't gonna school you...I was embarrassed enough as an adult to realize what I'd been singing along to in 1984, as a 10 year old. Here I thought the She-Bop was a dance. Weeeeeeeellll...I guess to some it may be. And that's all I'm gonna say about that.

Pretty soon my brain was flooded with memories of songs I now realize were rather risque. At that time, though, my preteen mid-80's self was more concerned with having jelly shoes & bracelets in every color possible, getting my bangs cut into "wings," and trying to make certain that Jerry Livingston noticed the new Hawaiian-print Jamms I was sportin'. (Ah, Jerry...the "Kirk Cameron" of Russell Elementary...whatever happened to him? I haven't seen him since the day we graduated high school--wonder if he's still dreamy? I digress...) Still...I think of tunes such as "Obsession" by Animotion, "Leather and Lace" by Don Henley & Stevie Nicks, "Hungry Like the Wolf" by Duran Duran, "Hurts So Good" by John "Cougar" Mellencamp and "Hot Blooded," by Foreigner. And don't even get me started on the entire Prince canon. Or "Blister in the Sun" by the Violent Femmes. (See "She-Bop" reference above.)

I hope y'all are now picturing me as an innocent 10 year old, ignorantly humming along to Sheena Easton as she pleads, "Your body's on fire--admit it--come inside!" And I also hope this has sparked your (dirty) minds...let me know what tunes you performed in front of the mirror, hairbrush in hand, never realizing the seediness lurking beneath seemingly innocent lyrics. Come on! Let's make a list. Call it the "Dude, I sang about fornication as an 8 year old and didn't even know it!" list. Or come up with a better name...whatever...just feel free to share. I know we'll have some head smacking moments of in, "Oh yeah--I totally get what Elton John meant when he sang "rollin' like thunder under the covers!'" And this was before he was out! Seriously!