Monday, June 30, 2008

...all I ever wanted...

My favorite Blogger feature is the post-delay option, or whatever they call it. I call it post-delay 'cause that's how it works for me. Thank you, Blogger, for this option, as it makes me very happy.

The week before last I sat here at Miss Pretty Pink and wrote about loathing my toes, loving Jason Statham, reading fellow bloggy gals, celebrating my husband's 35th, and Chandler's ode to K.C. and the Sunshine Band. I wrote them over the course of a couple days, then chose a special date for each one and left the land of Lulaville for a whole 8 days. Yes, my dearies...I've been getting my beach on.

What? You wanna see pictures? Well certainly...I'll be happy to oblige, and thanks so much for asking.

Because I'm not about to post a picture of me in a bathing suit.

This is Odessa, our GPS system in the MomVan. I love, love, love all that blue on the right of her screen, 'cause you know what it means!!!!!!!!

I need to get her in bikini bottoms. I need Boudreaux to come along and tug at those bottoms. I need for her to be the new face of Coppertone. But it didn't happen. It won't happen. Boudreaux is gay.

I'd like to introduce y'all to Michael Dutton, one of Myrtle Beach's finest. He told an amazing story of wearing tightie-whities while accidentally sitting in melted Hershey bars. He also offered to let us rub him down in oil after he donned a Speedo. YES! Michael Dutton, here's your 15 seconds of fame, as promised. Now...go change your tightie-whities, dude. (The look on Kristi's face is utterly priceless--it expresses what we were all feeling while talking to this guy!)

It's just fun to be at the beach with Mamaw Pinky. It's also fun to be there without her, but still...we're glad she and Papaw and Uncle Eric came to visit for a few days.

Everyone should spend a week at the beach with three lovely 18 year olds. Yeah, and sit on the beach with them, too. I chose not to post a picture of these girls in their bikinis because they all have amazing boobs. Y'all can surf the net for such as that, but you're not gonna find teenaged boobs in Lulaville. Here's Jessica, Jennifer (they are twins, and I lazily refer to them as "Jessifer") and Kristi...NOT in bikinis. (OK, there is that tiny shot of Kristi with the lifeguard and she is in her bikini--but it doesn't count as she's not the featured subject. Her Dad's gonna kill me.)

I'm not opposed to showing off my own boobs, though...because first of all, Libbey took this shot and I want to applaud her efforts, and second, it's just a mere glimpse. I can hardly stand it, right? But Mariah's loving it! 'Cause she and I have a thing for boobs. Just sayin'.

Our mode of transport for the week! And now the girls want a golf cart of their own. Like our 4-wheeler isn't enough! Here's my lovelies with the McBride sisters--Abby and Bekah--of Clinton, Tennessee.

Napping on the ride home is a trait both girls inherited from their sleep-lovin' Mama. Don't tell her if you see the drool about to fall from her precious little mouth. She was worn out!

After 7 sun-filled days of sand, surf, and seafood it's time to return to real life. Right after a nap, please. Caroline sang herself to sleep, performing her rendition of the Beatles' "Here Comes The Sun." Yes, it was adorable, and also the perfect way to bid adieu to the beach.

We had a blast with our family and friends this past week. I read 5, yes 5 books (only 2 were about vampires, and while both were swell, they weren't Twilight. Not by a long shot!) and you know I was living it up with my beach reads--while on the beach. Hallelujah! Now if I could just capture this same feeling of joy while sitting poolside...

Come back tomorrow and I'll feature THE number 1 product to have in your beach bag. I know, you can hardly stand to wait, huh?

Sunday, June 29, 2008

What Were You Doing Six Years Ago Today?

Do you remember? This is a day forever etched in my mind, as I was performing my duties as matron of honor in the wedding of Robert Christian Sanders, III, and Amanda Mechelle Litton.

Family weddings are an amalgam of love, chaos, excitement and mild frustration, admittedly. Scott was bittersweet over his baby sister moving hours away, yet delighted to have a new brother. My in-laws held up well and I'm certain they both cried many more tears at our wedding two years earlier. We paved the way for Robbie and Mandy, I suppose.

What I remember most about this day is not how beautiful Mandy looked, or how sweetly she said her vows. My main memory is not of Libbey--2 days away from turning 5 months old--resplendent in her ivory, silk Strasburg dress, and how handsome Scott looked in his tuxedo. Nor is it of breastfeeding in my hotel room while Robbie and his fraternity pals got down with their bad selves on the reception's dance floor. And don't even get me started on all the three sheets to the wind folks making fools of themselves...members of the extended Litton family, I'm looking at YOU. (Thankfully Robbie and Mandy's immediate family held themselves together, with mild decency and decorum. I think.)

While this day was full of love and fun and loads of scrapbooking fodder (yes, I made one for the newlyweds!), what I remember most about it was the searing, scorching heat. It was a blazing 98 degrees that day.

Ninety-eight degrees, y'all. 98!

And do not even remind me of the cheesy boy band either. Nick Lachey, you're cool, dude...but your band was nowhere near as hot as the afternoon of June 29, 2002. Now *Nsync...yeah, I would've endured some raging heat for Justin and JC.

But seriously...FOR REAL...who gets married on June 29, OUTSIDE, in the middle of the afternoon? That would be my sister-in-law, thank you very much.

And no, this wedding wasn't on the beach in Hilton Head, or even on the shores of Hawaii...because that would've involved cool, ocean breezes to offset the fiery rays of the sun. And that would've been too easy! No nearby pool for us to cool our heels. Not even a ceiling fan to help move the air. We were in Kingsport, Tennessee, where heat and humidity come together in a union of misery.

So there I was...five months into lactating, sweat pouring down my face, trickles slowly dropping from my thighs, forming puddles around my feet...which my dress concealed, thankfully. And my poor husband? Oh yeesh...he sweats outdoors when the temperature is 65, while garbed in shorts and a t-shirt. Formal wear was almost the death of every photo he is red-faced, soaking wet, and looking happily miserable. We were, in essence, wilting. No, I take that back. We were melting. Meeeeeeeeelting, like a certain green-faced witch in the merry old land of Oz.

I swear, people were checking their reflections in the shiny mirror that was my forehead. My cleavage caught enough water to form a desert oasis. I'm not certain, but I'll bet Libbey was very put-out at her mommy for being served steamed milk at suppertime. "I didn't ask for Starbucks' froth, Mommy...make it lukewarm again, please."

Since this day, exactly 6 years ago, whenever the wedding stories break out at family get-togethers such as Christmas, Thanksgiving, birthdays, and Independence Day, someone usually recalls, "Oh man, remember how hot it was when Robbie and Mandy got married?" (And that someone is not always me, just so you know.) We commence with the commiserating over how miserable we were that day, reminding Mandy for the 300th time that she almost killed us all. Maybe that was her point. Hmmmmmm...

To our credit, it's not just the Litton and Sanders families chiming in on The Day We All Roasted Alive. Many of Robbie and Mandy's friends have regaled crowds with tales of How We Drove 5 Hours To Sit in the Valley of the Shadow of Death. For A Wedding. (There was no shadow.) Outdoors. On June 29th.

The moral of this story? My girls are taking their vows in a cool, comfortable location. They are being indoctrinated now, I assure y'all. Mrs. R., how does Bermuda in the spring sound to you?

Thanks for the memories, Mandy and Robbie. And yes, you know we'll bring this up a few times a year, every year, for hopefully another 60 years. Happy Sixth Anniversary. Now that we have four girls between us, the fun is only beginning. Thank God we're raising them to get married indoors. In October or March. When it's not 98 degrees.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Dear You-Know-Who-You-Are,

While you are comfortly tucked away in the warmth and haze of your drug-induced stupor, let me remind you of one thing: unless you're seeking Tylenol, "Commodium A-D," Benadryl or Ibuprofen, you won't find drugs in the Litton home. No codones of any kind, no sinus meds to assist your meth lab efforts, not even "Robo-Cop" for you to drink away that persistent cough.

We have no need for erectile disfunction pills (oh my head, the traffic I'll get from that term!), so don't even think you'll be finding little blue pills in our cabinets...we refuse to assist you in any black market transactions.

There's nary a trace of anti-anxiety medication within these walls, because while I would most likely benefit from a few months of happy pills, I'm fine and dandy with just blaming it all on month-long PMS. (My dear family, thanks for enduring me.)

This warning is most likely a moot point (or as Joey Tribbiani once said, "A moo point." Thanks, Hot Tub Lizzy for reminding me of his classic quote!), as I'm well aware you've never been to Lulaville. Just in case, the event you and your ilk are viewing internet porn and wind up here, because I know it' s happened before...just in case...I gotta put this out there: You will not get what you're looking for in this house. Stop hanging out in our general vicinity, stop having drunken sex anywhere near our property (what, are you bored with waiting for us to leave?), and for the love of all that's good and holy, stop destroying yourself. Please save the 17 brain cells I'm certain are hanging on for dear life. I mean this in the lovingest way possible. Drugs are ruining the lives of so many in our precious little community. Quit being a freakin' statistic. the lovingest way possible.

Finally...please...go away. We are tired of asking nicely. We are tired of calling the police departement on a regular basis. (But here's a shout-out to the LCSD--y'all are doing a fine job and we love you!) We are tired of coming home late in the evenings, or leaving on an early morning weekend and finding your truck parked not far from where our precious babies sleep.

You're never gonna get it...never ever gonna get it. (EnVogue much?) Not even a baby aspirin or a throat don't even try it. You're never gonna get anything.

Got it?

*And this is where my tag line comes into play: Below the surface lies sweet rebellion. This rebellion ain't quite so sweet, y'all. I am meaning business here. As Heather would (sweetly) say, "Love me through this." Please!

Sic 'em, Barney.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Flashback Friday!

Let's go back over a decade, shall we? The clip below is from that fabulous half-hour of television that was Friends. To this day, Scotty and I quote K.C. and the Sunshine Band in Chandler-fashion. Our favorite part begins at 0:26. This clip is from "The One With the Prom Video" episode, when Rachel discovers Ross had her back the night of her senior prom. Awwwwwwww...

Y'all know you "pretty much wanna get down tonight," don't ya? Have a fabulous weekend!

*Mrs. R, you've got my back if anyone thinks I'm plagarizing, right?

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Summer Reading.

Now that summer is really, truly officially here it's time we all get our beach reads on. One doesn't have to be at a beach to enjoy really good prose, however it does add immensely to the joy of devouring the printed word. My most favorite indulgence is a beach, a book, a wide-brimmed hat, Coppertone SPF 45, a cold drink, and my chair sinking in the sand, just barely in the surf. Sure, I have to move it frequently to match the the tide, but when you're living this dream what's a little shifting between friends?

Please allow me to share with y'all a fabulous summer reading list. With a twist. Everything's better with a twist, y'all...even a mere list! I'm gonna let you in on some of the best reading you'll do all summer long, written by authors not found on the shelf at Barnes and Noble...yet. But they are must-reads, and I think the internets deserve to give these gals a great big sloppy smooch, full on the mouth. Ok, full on your computer screen.

I'm gonna lead y'all out of Lulaville for a while, but you gotta promise to come back soon. Especially to thank me for giving you such fine reading material. You're welcome.


My girl Melissa is super talented, super hilarious, super beautiful, and pretty much just Super Woman. She's very humble and rarely likes to talk about herself. But I love it when she reluctantly opens up and puts her life out there for her fans, because she is flat-out hysterical. One day Melissa is gonna be famous. Like magazine cover famous. While I'm managing her merchandising table at one of her concerts, I'll be able to wipe the sweat off my brow, make small talk with the little people and say, "Yes, I will be sure to pass on your love...but I'm sorry, Mrs. Radke no longer dines at P.F. Chang's...sorry, but thankyousomuch!"

Melissa's posts are all brilliantly humorous, but this one touched my heart in manner that forced me to seek God and His wisdom, while also reminding me to be thankful for His gifts. It also drew me to her side forever. She's still trying to shake me off, but darn it, Melissa Lee...I ain't goin' nowhere. Please pass the Julio's already.


Have you ever met someone new and within a matter of seconds you're slappin' your head, exclaiming, "Where have you been all my life?" If you've never experienced this phenomena, I am truly sorry. Because it's a wonderful thing. I felt this way the second I "met" Heather and began stalking her famous blog. I can't even begin to list her many redeeming qualities, because we all know I tend to ramble on and on anyway. And I'd rather just call her up and say, "What are you doing?" and launch into a 2 hour discussion on Star Trek, urban lingo, tattoos, poopy pants, vampires, raising daughters (and being incubators) and busting a move. Sometimes it's just easier to pick up the phone.

I'll just put this out there: You need to be reading Mindless Junque. Today. This very minute. Go now. Thank you. Here's one of my favorites from Heather. It personifies the chaos that exists in my house, too. But she's a much better storyteller, and I literally had tears in my eyes while reading.


I can't mention Heather without showing love to my separated-at-birth-sister, Mrs. R. I met Mrs. R via Heather and it was another one of those head slappin' moments. Since falling in love with Mrs. R (in a non-lesbian kind of way), not only do I have a serious desire to french her full-on, Hollywood movie style (in a non-lesbian kind of way), but I've also prearranged my eldest daughter's marriage to her son, The Boy. I'm thinking our kiss at the reception will rival any smooching between our children. Mrs. R, my took 33 years but thank God I found you! Would it be cheesy to say we now have the rest of our lives? No? Good. 'Cause I said it.

Have any of you ever had a physician describe your girly region as "great looking?" 'Cause Mrs. R's is fabulous. A hot-to-trot ob/gyn told her so. Take that, ugly tooties.

I have a wonderful reading list over there on the right,--go on, check it out when you have some free time. I love and read each of my blogroll's offerings every day. About half of those people I know in "real life," and some of them were even in my high school graduating class. My friend, Vicki, has always been beautiful, well-spoken, highly intelligent, and completely down-to-earth. But the older we get (sorry, Vicki, but we gotta own up to it!) the more she fascinates me with her talent (check out Sew Petit for all your gift-giving needs!), her widsom, and her humor. It's a blessing for me to spend time with her every day, via this wonderful world of blogging.

Near the beginning of the year (actually on our daughters' birthday--my eldest turned 6, her youngest turned 1!) Vicki surprised her husband by giving him the Jolly Green Giant as a bedmate. For a while I was waiting to receive the news of impending Baby Green Beans...alas, it was not to be. Vicki paints visual pictures better than anyone...


I have to give one more must read shout-out to the woman I refer to as my Fairy Blogmother. I met Debbie during my early blogging days and instantly fell in love with her. With zero shame I begged her to be my friend, because I knew she had to be a part of my life. I say that in a non-Hallmark card kind of way, too. We are now BFFs and she fulfills this title perfectly, offering encouragement, giggles, wisdom and love. She is Genuine with a capital "G." Debbie is the big sister I never had, and I'm so thankful she allows me to pick her brain, ask her the tough questions, and generally pester her to gift me with just a smidgen of her vast knowledge. And we don't have to share a bathroom, clothes, or the car, so it's my dream big sister scenario!

Does anyone else in the world love Captain and Tenille? Debbie and I do...because "love will keep us together." Is anyone else old enough to remember vinyl? We do! And now y'all know why we are BFFs. For real.

How awesome is it to find great reads on the net? Save yourself the trip to Books-A-Million and give these gals a look-see. I promise you won't be disappointed.

Come back again soon, as I have more, more, more good authors to share with y'all. Because that's the kind of person I am. If I could reach through Miss Pretty Pink's screen and hand y'all a big ol' glass of sweet tea and a fried doughnut, we could visit and just have ourselves a good time. Then we'd fall into a sugar coma & sleep for hours, but hey...that could be fun, too!

*And before anyone says, thinks or comments along the lines of, "She totally ripped off the SITS site!" I just want it to be made clear: The SITS founders gave me their permission and blessing to share my love of them with y'all, and I didn't even have to beg. Because that's the kind of people they are. Melissa--pass the mayo--my fries are needin' some lovin'.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

July 15.

OHMYHEAD. Look what's arriving at my house in a few weeks:

For the record, y'all know (or you should realize by now, at least) I will never pass up a chance to spread some Jason love. Because he is the epitome of delicious goodness and that, my friends, is worth spreading.

And for all of you who are still scratching your heads, wondering, "Who is that guy and why does Lula have this thing for him? And why does she mention his name at least once a week?"

Simply put, Jason Statham is the 3 B's: my Boyfriend, Badass, and Beautiful.

Y'all don't act like you don't have a boyfriend. (Or girlfriend--whatever.) In fact, let's have a little fun...comment & share with us whose cheese you're digging. Rant and rave away.

Do you still have a thing for David Cassidy, puka shell necklace and all? The minute New Kids On the Block start wailing, "Please don't go giiiiiirrrrllll..." does that familiar tingling dance up your spine? Kirk Cameron, Zac Efron, Leif Garrett, George Clooney, Lenny Kravitz, Brad Pitt, Andrew McCarthy, The Jonas Brothers? Come on now...claim your heart throb and don't be afraid to praise his name.

Because I don't want any of you stealing mine.

Monday, June 23, 2008

I could've gone to 9343.

Dear Fred,

Today you turn 35 years old and what better way to celebrate than for me to list 35 of our greatest hits/reasons for my eternal love for you? Stroll with me down our lane of memories, please...

1. Christian
2. Loolie4U and JSL3
3. You waited for us to be officially us and I know God has honored this.
4. Our shared love of old homes, columns, and big porches .
5. Coke in a bottle at Grand's & Hawaiian shaved ice.
6. King George singing "I Cross My Heart" and "Run."
7. Lethal Weapon 3.
8. Thomas Road Baptist Church and Long John Silver's.
9. Lynchburg, Charlottesville, Boiling Springs, Jonesville, Pennington Gap.
10. The Mr. T start-up package.
11. The Match and sigh of relief.
12. Miami.
13. Bob Marley's brother and his reefer offer.
14. Isaiah 43:4
15. "We share a brain."
16. Livin' La Vida Loca.
17. Georgia, Florida, the Bahamas, South Carolina, Virginia, California, Texas, St. Martin, St. Thomas, Indiana, Nevada, Tennessee, Jamaica. (Y'all are still winning, Beckie.)
18. "At Last."
19. "Godsend."
20. Dalehartjunior.
21. A B&B, Mission Impossible and a gay bathrobe.
22. Sutali and his specialty shots.
23. The view from the Strip.
24. Aunt Mitzi, Papaw, Frankie and Aunt Doris.
25. Steel Magnolias tears.
26. Bird poop from the underpass.
27. Mamaw & Papaw's bathroom floor.
28. Skinny dipping in the pool.
29. M.F.E.O.
30. Mary Elizabeth
31. Caroline Raley
32. You chose me.
33. Even after you really knew me.
34. You're still with me.
35. I can't even being to tell you how grateful I am.

Happy 35th Birthday, John Scott Litton, Jr.
Now...let's get on with the good part.
I love you forever,
Maybe one day we'll get a picture of us together...'til then, it's all you and the girls, baby!

Saturday, June 21, 2008

They didn't go to market, stay home, or have roast beef.

Mind if I get a little personal with y'all? Like I've never before, but this happens to be a topic I rarely touch on because, has to do with a part of my anatomy that really grosses me out. we go...deep breaths...and now I'll spill it:

FEET. Footsies, Tootsies, Piggies...whatever you call them.

I hate feet. Not just my own, but feet in general. How one feels called to the profession of podiatry is beyond me. I mean...euuuuuu, that's just gross. I'd rather look in dirty ears or filthy mouths all day than even breathe the same air as a naked foot.

Have you ever noticed Doritos smell like dirty feet? I digress.

My own feet are far from spectacular, so I'm not singling out a random foot population. I am an equal opportunity hater of feet. I have Fred Flintstone arches are high and marred by lots of ugly blue veins, the result of years of dancing in pointe shoes. I have wide feet, which is a polite way of saying "chubby." Even when I wore a size 4 in clothing I had chubby feet. Go figure. Cute, strappy sandals never my feet fit due to their breadth, and it's always a search to find anything that doesn't scream, "INCOMING--'mom' shoes from Walmart!"

Last month I had my very first pedicure. I'm 33. I know! Grieve along with me for just a minute. Being pampered was rather enjoyable, but it's not something I can keep up due to living in the country, constantly gardening & being in the pool, and raising two children. Having those painted toes did make me feel a little better about the state of these pitiful soles. And prove how bad my feet really are I will share this picture taken immediately following their beautification:

Trust me when I tell y'all this is a vast improvement of Biblical proportions. But I am sorry if any of you ran screaming from the room. I do this often when glancing at these lack-of-beauties.

I'm not throwing love to my thighs, stomach, or flabby arms. These can (and will!) be fixed...nothing some diet, exercise, and a knife-wielding surgeon can't handle. But my feet...well...I feel hopeless...

Any suggestions from the blogging world? Favorite polish, foot care product, a plan for further foot beautification? (I do slather on the Vaseline each night, and cover with fluffy socks!) Care to share your least favorite body part with the rest of us? Insane Mama, I said least favorite, not most! We all dig your chest, for sure!

I don't know that I'll ever be able to glance down and think, "Wow--those are some cute feet!" But I would like to make amends and bridge the gap between utter disdain and modest acceptance. So help me, piggies are tired of crying wee-wee-wee all the way home.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Flashback Friday!

Sippy Cups
Crayons and coloring books
Draggy Pull-Ups
"I wanna go outside!"
Chicken nuggets for breakfast
Froot Loops for supper
"Mommy, I need help wiping!"
Dirty fingers
Stinky toes
"She won't play with me!"
"She's getting on my nerves!"
Blankets and Lovies
Sit-and-watch-TV while Mommy cleans time (admit it--you do it, too.)
Blowing bubbles
Riding trikes and bikes
Antibacterial Wipes
Superstar Sunglasses
Catching lightening bugs
Running through the yard
Just a swingin'...

Like all children, I couldn't wait to grow up and be a big girl. Now, though...well...some days I just wanna be a kid again. I want to be 10 years old, just for a day. I wanna swim all morning & afternoon, eat cheese sandwiches by the pool and drink "Co-Colas," (as my Papaw called them, and as all good southerners should) then enjoy an enormous nap before eating supper, watching "The Pirate Movie" and "Grease," (when the sexual innuendo was still way over my head). I wanna collapse into bed at the shocking hour of 10 pm and do it all over again the next day.

Maybe I'd rather be I could go back and watch this:

Yes, I am old enough to have enjoyed The Electric Company, when it was actually on the air. Seriously good programming, y'all. And oh, how I wanted a life-sized lollipop of my own. The dreams of a young girl...sigh...

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

The First Time.

The follwing is a true story. Unlike Geico, though, I cannot find D-list celebrities to act it out for me. Joan Rivers was too busy apologizing for dropping F bombs on live TV in England.

Tonight at the close of VBS (Vacation Bible School) one of Libbey's friends was running around in a pair of neon yellow goggles and flippers...on dry land...and it was pretty hilarious. Jackson, my sweet, please wear this get-up to church on Sunday, as it rocks. I'm standing there, chatting with Jackson's mother about his adorable fish-out-of-water-self, when Mary turns to me and says, "Casey was very upset to learn that Jackson kissed Libbey."

OK. Stop. First of all, Casey is our pastor's daughter. She is 5. Libbey and Jackson are both 6, born just a few weeks apart. But stop again.

Me: Whaaaaaat? WHAT?
Mary: Oh, didn't Scotty tell you?
Me: Whaaaaaat? WHAT?
Mary: son kissed your daughter in your pool last Friday.
Me: NO. Seriously. Wait, he kissed her? In the pool? Where the crap was I?
Mary: I don't know...but it was on the cheek. Everyone saw it. I thought you knew.

I'm all twitterpated and flustered (I KNOW, right? Extremely rare for me!) and going, "My child has been kissed and this is the first I know about it?"

At this, several others start chiming in..."Yeah I heard about that," and "Your husband told me about it on Sunday."

Whaaaaaaaat? WHAT? Scotty knows about the afternoon pool delight?

Because she is godly, a good friend, and loving, Mary (I love you, girl!) comes to my rescue with the real dope deal of how things went down:
Mary: I don't know what got into him. He said he just went over and kissed her on the cheek.
Me: Wait! My child has been kissed--even if only on the cheek--and no one, not even said child or her father bothered to share this news with me?

By this time Mary is feeling really badly for me. But she knows I'm not upset...I'm just stunned.

Then my pastor's wife chimes in that her 5 year old daughter has somehow oveheard the story of Pimp Daddy Jackson laying a good one on my sweet, innocent baby. And Casey is none too pleased, as she loves Jackson and wants those smooches for herself.

Like sands through the hourglass, so are the Days of Our Lives, the Junior Version.

Jackson explained to his mother, "I like Casey. But I love Libbey."

This is why he was overwhelmed with the urgent desire to plant one on her, I suppose.

Later on in the evening I was able to ask Libbey her side of the melodrama. (It's a melodrama in my head, at least.)
Me: So...why didn't you tell me Jackson kissed you last week?
Libbey: I don't know. I told Daddy.
Me: But these are things you tell Mommy about FIRST.
Libbey: Well, OK, but he just walked over and kissed me on the cheek. I said, "Jackson, why did you do that?" He just wanted to, I guess.

With that she returned to eating potato chips, completely nonplussed by the event. Meanwhile I've spent the evening singing Prince's "Kiss," praying to God that antics of a Prince nature will elude my girls for at least 20 more years. Heck on that, there better be NO antics of a Prince nature until they are married. Then they can fly their freak flags all they want, just like their Mama.

And my lingering question is: How am I ever gonna break this to Mrs. R.? Oh, please don't tell The Boy. And keep him away from little southern girls in the swimming pool. Apparently they're irresistible.
Daddy & Libbey, Summer '07, when she was still young, innocent, and required floaties for confidence. Now she swims the length of the pool, goes underwater without holding her nose, and stands calmly while a young boy snogs her precious little face. My, how we've grown. Sigh...

Tuesday, June 17, 2008


My dear Melissa just wrote to inform that the porn-lovers of the world would have a hard time (no pun intended...oh, who am I kidding? Go with it, y'all...) finding Lulaville because I mispelled "Orgasam" in the post below. Well, darn Melissa your heart...I did that on purpose to divert pimpy searchers, ya know? But thanks for letting me know that you caught it--and this didn't surprise me at all, because I know for a fact you are a genius when it comes to matters of a sensitive nature. (Thanks for being my blogging police. I feel blessed to know you have my back when it comes to our issues.)

For the record: I am aware that word has only 1 "a." But it truly deserves at least 10, on merit alone...aaaaaaaaaa. Get it? Please don't tell my Mama.

Mrs. R, I've got one word for you: Twitter.

Moving on...
Melissa's recent e-mail started these wheels of my mind, pondering about all the Google & other internet searches which send unsuspecting folks to Lulaville. I know I'm big on discussing tampons, Jason Statham's boo-tay, the nether regions, and songs about "self love," so why does it even faze me to discover someone Googled Brazil and vagina and wound up here?
Yes, I've mentioned "Brazillian wax," but not va-jay-jay. Yet.

And hello, Kansas-dweller! Sorry your quest for "naked celebritys" lead you here. For starters, if you'd spelled celebrities correctly I'm quite certain Google would've sent you to page after page of Paris' wa-hoo, Britney's lack of appreciation for undergarments, and the infamous Pam & Tommy sex tape. Or at least the latest on John Mayer and Jennifer Aniston. Perhaps the minds at Google thought you were hoping for a glimpse of Jason Statham's rear end.
ME TOO! If you find this image of his cheeky goodness, please leave a comment and let me know. That's one sight I'd pay the big bucks to see, and I'll even remember to wipe the "O" lipgloss off before I suck Miss Pretty Pink's screen. Yeah...I'd so kiss this laptop's monitor and I don't even care for a single second what any of you might feel about my admission of this. And don't y'all love how I take every advantage of posting his gorgeousness?
Jason Statham.

Oh my..."suck" will draw more of y'all in...if I write it, they will come. (NO pun intended there. Mama, please look away. But Carrie, I know you are loving it.)

I'm now afraid of doing my "Ode to Breasts" post because there's just no speaking of the mammaries without mentioning all the terms used to describe them. Even a breastfeeding shout-out (which I've done for a total of 2 years: 2 girls, 1 year each. Simple math is my gift!) will get me all kinds of boobie lovin', I'm certain.

Where's the peeps wanting to know about Scripture? God? Matters of faith? I've written on these many times. Yes, I'm one of those people. But I'm not a holy roller. Have you seen me roll? I shudder to think. To answer any lingering, I don't have big hair; yes, I'm only judgmental about big hair; no, I don't wear only long skirts and yes, I'm a closet Goth. In capris. And high heels. Toting a really cute purse. Thank You, Jesus.
Liberty University
(My alma mater! Surprised? Don't be. It's the world's most exciting Christian university. Well...probably not anymore, since me & my girls--all of whom are on my blogroll--are long gone.)

What about other Mommy bloggers whose children aren't perfect? Who also have sand eaters, Scooby watchers, dance recital performers, mulch/dirt lovers, and children who know the term "dillweed?" We have this AND MORE here in Lulaville. Search and find, y'all!

Where are you music lovers who want to discuss the genius of Nick Drake, Watermark, Rita Springer, Keb' Mo', Miles Davis, Simon and Garfunkel, or the Beatles? I'm here! Come find me!

And I know there are millions of Lost fanatics (we who admit we have a slight obession--in a non-addictive manner, of course) who'd love to rant and rave with me about our favorite show. Where are you Sci-Fi nerds? Battlestar Galactica is seriously the best. You southern gals--DESIGNING WOMEN. Watch with me...I implore you. Vampire lovers...why aren't you digging Buffy and Angel? I mean...come on! We'd have so much to share.
Lost Logo

Book devourers...let's discuss what Mrs. R refers to as "Crackliture," i.e. Stephenie Meyer's Twilight series. BEST BOOKS EVER. Near Lulaville's beginning I did a big post on my all-time favorite book in the world, The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin. Love, love, love it...and reread it every single year.
Westing Game Cover

Google...Yahoo...MSN...why aren't y'all sending these people my way? Are tampons and minty-fresh tooties my only redeeming qualities? Lord, help me!

So to the person in France wanting to know all about "Sugar Walls," I'm sorry all you found here in the 'Ville were musings on Sheena Easton & Prince. And maybe that's what you were looking for anyway. Deep down I know the real deal,'re French, you're searching sugared walls...awwwww, yeah. I know what you're after: Laissez Les Bon Temps Roulez!

*I can now name a number of gals who are snickering, averting their eyes, and silently nodding, "Yes, that is so Leigh Anne." Mama, you don't count, but Kaley--you've been outed! And I love you forever.

On the cusp.

It's almost summer, y'all! The scorching heat and pool water temps of 89 degrees have proved summer doesn't always arrive by calendar, and while it's not really official 'til Friday, I still feel the need to address the joy that is this time of year. Oh bright, warm, shining sun, how I love thee. Please feel welcome, feel at home, and feel free to stick around 'til at October. Again I say please.

My summer love is defined by one scent. One special, particular scent known the world over and cherished by my family. I can't even begin to describe it...
Coppertone just is. It defies description. Yeah, I know Hawaiian Tropic and others smell all coconutty and umbrella drinky. Yet Coppertone has the smell that instantly transports me to childhood and memories of Lake Tobosofkee in Macon, a nose covered in white zinc oxide and a "boom box" tuned to Casey's Top 40. "Number one, for the 8th week in a row...Michael Jackson and 'P.Y.T.' I'm Casey Kasem...keep your feet on the ground, and keep reaching for the stars."

I've mentioned in previous posts that I'm a make-up whore. This is not a derogatory term I use to describe my addiction. Facts are facts, y'all. I will eventually get around to posting more on this subject, but trust me when I say that I have a serious love for the face paint, and it's not monogamous. This time of year I break all the stuffy cosmetic rules. Blue eyeliner? Check. Shimmery bronzer? Done. Gloopy gloss? Always! My favorite lip gloss in the world has a racy fit my racy, rebellious personality.
"Orgasam," by NARS. I love this stuff. And now I fear all the Google searches that will send voyeurs my way. Right Insane Mama? Hello to y'all horndogs looking for naked people--no porn in Lulaville, but read previous posts to find all you ever wanted to know about tampons, suggestive songs and minty-fresh tooties.

Homegrowns. Sigh...
Is there nothing better on earth? No, there's not. I will just go ahead and tell you.

The reason I grow 20+ tomato plants of varying size and variety is because I crave them all summer long. Every day. We pop cherry 'maters like candy, pausing only to rinse with the garden hose. We slice beefstakes and eat 'em on white bread with mayonnaise...heavenly! We pick 'em while green and fry 'em up to snack on before supper...then put out a plate of ripe, salted slices to eat with supper. Or we enjoy them in my favorite summer dish...fresh Heirloom and mozzarella slices, salted, peppered, and drizzled with fresh basil, olive oil and balsamic vinegar. There is nothing finer. Thank You, God, for homegrowns. Thank You, God, for summer, when they're fresh, delicious, and off the CDC's warning list!

We are beach lovers...we love the sand (especially when we find it in the bottom of bags or in the back of the van after returning home--"YES! The beach came home with us!"), the sights, the sounds, the fresh seafood...there's very little about the beach we don't relish. Particularly when the beach is Hilton Head Island, SC, or as we like to call it, "our beach." Because while we are not Hilton family members, nor do we ever aspire to own a beach of our own (or become members of the Hilton family!), in some small way we have assumed possesion of this little island heaven. Just by going there for a week each year. It's our beach. Seriously, folks.

If you aren't near a beach, or within a day's traveling distance, I grieve for you. I mourn for you, literally and truly. Because if you can't spend time there, you can't eat sand...

...or exfoliate your feet with daily shore walks...
Sand eating and feet sloughing are summer essentials. Didn't you know?

Summer is almost here, y'all. Front porch sittin', lightening bug catchin', dandelion blowin', ice cream makin', tomato pickin', sunbathin' (with Coppertone SPF 45, naturally!), swimming pool floatin', sunset watchin', small boat fishin', lemonade sippin', good book readin', moonlight kissin' summertime. And the living is easy...

Monday, June 16, 2008


What a way to start a new week.

Behold! The first completed scene from Twilight. Less than 6 months away, y'all. I can hardly stand it. Or hold it in. Excuse me while I change into one of Caroline's pull-ups, please.

Sunday, June 15, 2008


Me: Libbey, what do you think Father's Day is all about?
Libbey: What do you want me to say? Something nice?
Me: Yeah, that would be nice, since we love your father and all. What should we do for Daddy since it's Father's day?
Libbey: Well, I would like to give Daddy a cake and a brand new watch, and I would like for him to spend time playing with me and Sister.
Me: But what does Daddy usually do on Sunday afternoons?
Libbey: He takes a nap.
Me: Should we let him take a nap instead of play with you two?
Libbey: Well, I'm sure I'll just take one with him. But not Sister. She has to sleep in her own bed.
Me: What do you love about your Daddy the most?
Libbey: Well...just that he's my Daddy.
Me: But can you elaborate?
Libbey: You mean like say more?
Me: Yes, and you are a genius.
Libbey: He plays with us, he watches Scooby with us, he lets us help wash the cars, and he gives us baths. Can I go finish watching Scooby?
Me: Yes, but first can you wish Daddy a Happy Father's Day?
Libbey: Thank you for being our Daddy. I love you. OK, can I type something now?
Me: Didn't you want to finish Scooby?
Libbey: Yes ma'am, but I want to write "I love you Daddy. Love, Libbey and Caroline."
Me: Done.
Libbey: OK, that's all. I really don't have much left to say.
Me: Believe it or not, sometimes Mommy doesn't have much left to say.
Libbey: (heaving a huge sigh) No, I don't believe that one bit.
Me: Caroline, do you have something special to say to Daddy?
Caroline: I got sand in the bath and it's shoooo nasty.
Me: You're correct. Tell Daddy "Happy Father's Day!"
Caroline: (laughing) You so silly. I am all better.
Me: Say, "I love you, Daddy!"
Caroline: Daddy give me an' Sissy a bath. I got sand in the bath.
Me: OK, well...I love you and we love Daddy, right?
Caroline: I go watch Scooby.
Me: Yes, you are very good at that.

Because I didn't get you a card, I hope this post is a sufficient alternative.

Happy Father's Day to my best friend in the wide world. And thanks for bathing Caroline twice in one day. That alone makes you the best father ever. Because, you know, she got sand in the bath. Now...let's all go watch Scooby and celebrate. I love you forever.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Bet on it.

When I was much younger and spent my summers visiting family in Mississippi, I used to wish and dream that I'd marry a handsome prince with an enormous royal family. My own family was very small, and I use the term "was," as almost all of them are long departed. So I'd wish and hope for a big brood of my own one day, specifically a daughter or two with whom I could pass down my love of all things girly. God made this come true (except the royalty part!), and living in my husband's hometown, surrounded by most of his immediate family, has been such a blessing. Libbey in particular looks up to her "big girl" cousin, Emma, who is 10 years old.

I first met Emma when she was a baby and her cousin Scotty and I were dating. When we married she was only 2 years old and unable to make the trip to Georgia, so I missed her presence enormously. (Big brother, John David, was our ring bearer, though!)

Libbey first met her "big girl" cousin when she was a mere 4 weeks old, and I still remember this bit of preciousness as if it were yesterday.

The follwing year we'd returned to southwest Virgina and I decided Libbey would be socuteIcouldjusteatherup as a lil' leopard for her second Halloween. We met at GeGe's house that evening, and to our surprise Emma was dressed as a feisty cat, too! (Libbey, age 21 months, Emma, 5 1/2)

Independence Day 2004 found us swimming the afternoon away in Pat and Stephanie's pool. (Stephanie is yet another "big girl" cousin--she's Daddy's age, though!) We arrived at the Potter home and discovered Emma & Libbey had the exact same swimsuits from Gymboree. All this really means is that Aunt Lisa and I have fabulous taste!

I have no idea why, but we never thought to photograph the girls together during Libbey's first two dance recitals. Last year I found a clue (rare for me, I know!) and snapped away. Those Litton girls are certainly photogenic.

This year I held onto the clue discovered last year and took several shots of the girls together. Watching them grow, in age, stature, and in their friendship, has been sheer joy. Emma performed in her 7th recital, while Libbey reached "pro" status with her 4th.

Last night we embarked on a new journey...Emma slept over for the very first time. What do a 6 year old and a 10 year old "big girl" do on their late night together? Seriously? Do you have to ask? They watched High School Musical 2. And sang along to every word of every song, while munching on two bowls of popcorn. Following the movie they had big plans, because who wants to go to bed early? They painted suncatchers, comparing each other's artistic abilities. What's a little arts and crafts at 11 pm, I ask you? When it came time for eventual sleep, The Child With Minor Bedtime Anxiety tells her father, "We can put ourselves to bed, Daddy." Oh...I see...all it takes to avoid 20 questions and repeated requests to "check on me in 10 minutes, please!" is her "big girl" cousin's presence on the other side of the bed. Emma--please spend every night with us, honey.

I am taking pictures with my heart of this special time, because I know in the near future Emma will truly be a "big girl," and their common bond of Justice clothing, American Girl dolls, Vera Bradley bags, HSM 2 & Hannah Montana, and just playting together will come to an end. Emma will be a teenager in a few years, and while I know without a doubt in my heart she will always make a point to spend time with Libbey (and Caroline, of course!), she will also start living life as a young adult . And Libbey will still be a little girl for a few more years. Libbey's 6th birthday--the bowling twosome!

So for now, I will let them have sleepovers whenever they want. They can paint suncatchers 'til the sun comes up and this Mama will forgo sleep in order to make that happen. They can turn into mermaids in the pool, play with each other's hair, and Emma can allow Libbey to talk her head off, as per usual. I'm thankful for our Miss Emma Katherine. I'm grateful we live less than 5 minutes from her front door. I know her "little girl" cousins, especially Libbey, feel the same. (Emma's 10th birthday, with Caroline.) Can't you feel this love?

Friday, June 13, 2008

Of Your Utmost Importance.

July's question of the month in Real Simple magazine is:
"What are the top-three things on your lifelong to-do list?"

Since I am a rebel and never could follow the rules, here's my response:

1. Hold, enjoy, and love on my grandchildren. (Mrs. R, are you getting this?)
2. Finally work up enough courage to get a tattoo just above my boo-tay.
3. Go to Fiji and Hawaii.
4. Sit front row at a Simon and Garfunkel concert. (Oh please, please Art & Simon--reunite!)
5. Live long enough to see a cure for all forms of cancer. I hate cancer.
6. Go to Fiji and Hawaii.
7. Own a house on Hilton Head Island, SC.
8. Return to Ireland.
9. Go to Fiji and Hawaii with my husband/best friend, children and grandchildren.
10. Hear "Well done, thy good and faithful servant" the second my life on earth ends.
And that's the mainest thing, as my husband's late, "3rd" grandmother, Esther, would say.

OK y'all...sharing time. What are the top-three things on your lifelong to-do list? Let's talk amongst ourselves. I've given you the topic.

jason statham 3
OK, OK...I'll give you #11: Squeeze Jason Statham's boo-tay and declare my undying love (obsession) for him.

Scotty says the same--but not for Jason, duh--Katherine Heigl's his girl. Whatever.

Thursday, June 12, 2008


Oh, yes. This is where I live. Andrea Mitchell, with a sly hint of humor and I do believe a bit of disdain, uttering the words "southwest Virginia" and "redneck."

Told y'all.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008


***Welcome to all you fabulous folk who've wandered here by way of SITS. I am loving your comments, I am reading every word of your comments, and when my two small children start college I will have time to respond to your comments. Isn't SITS a wonderful thing? The girl power I'm feeling (hello, TentCamper and Greg!) today is so overwhelming that not only will I be breaking out my Spice Girls CD, I'll also don my red wig, platform boots and Union Jack tank top so I can get my Ginger Spice on. Because really, who can aspire to Posh-ness?***

Place: Woodway Water Authority, Lee County, Virginia
Time: Yesterday, Tuesday, June 10, 11:43 a.m.
Why: Had to pay the water bill.

As I'm glancing down while stubbing my checkbook (in which my awesome University of Georgia checks reside) I hear the receptionist say to the man who just entered, "Hey there--whatcha been up to lately?" The fellow replies, "Not much. Just dropping off my bill here and then I'm on my way to a job interview at 12:00." I still have not looked up, but hear the obvious incredulity in the young lady's voice..."Really? Well, good luck!"

With that, I turn to walk out door, and see He Who Has A Job Interview In 15 Minutes. The man is resplendent in faded, plaid cut-off shorts and a white wife beater (muscle shirt or tank top for those of you unschooled in all that is redneck). Written upon said wife beater is, "My Man Hambino is #1!"

I don't know who Hambino is. Maybe a pork product got jiggy with an albino, thereby creating the perfect specimen now known as a Hambino? Is there more than one Hambino? How does Water Bill Guy know this particular Hambino is #1? These are the questions that plague my day.
You know without a doubt the person interviewing Hambino-guy is gonna totally see his champion worthiness and hire him on the spot, no questions asked. Because I left out the part where he tells the receptionist that this interview is for a position at Walmart. Long may it reign! And may it reign alongside Hambino. Those two are made for each other. And I mean this in the lovingest way possible.

*And this is the part where I cover my bases so that fellow Lee Countians (or as I call them, ALL YOU PEOPLE WHO CLAIM TO LOVE AND ADORE LULAVILLE BUT REFUSE TO LEAVE COMMENTS!) do not hunt me down like a dog in the night for poking fun at the peeps in this area. Lee County is like a family member, in that it's fine and dandy for me to take a few pot shots at this land I love, but outsiders beware--you talk smack about my mountain town and I'll take you down! Most southwesternest corner of Virginia...I love times you grate on my nerves, but 90% of the time you and I are thicker than thieves. If I poke fun, it's always with the gentle nudging of love.

I feel the exact same about my brother. Love you, Eric.

This is Stone Face Rock! I passed this everyday growning up!
Pennington Gap, Virginia's very own famous landmark--the Stone Face! Our mountains are rather impressive, no? Lee County Chamber of Commerce, I am sitting by the phone, awaiting your inevitable call.

Monday, June 9, 2008

People let me tell ya 'bout my best friend...

Are y'all humming the theme to Rob & Big now? Good. Mission accomplished.

Today my separated-at-birth sister, Heather, posted about her love of a certain famous southern personality who happens to be the greatest cook this side of Heaven. Reading of her affection for this bright shining star was no surprise to me, because as I just said...Heather and I (and Mrs. R.--can't leave her out) were quite obviously born of the same woman and then cruelly ripped from this precious being's arms and given over to the fine women we now call "mother." We will be reunited one day. And it will feel so good. (Thank you, Peaches and Herb.)

But I harbor a secret that only very few know. Those in my small, inner circle are aware of this secret. (Vicki--feel the love, my friend!) It has to do with a very famous southerner who has several shows on Food Network. She counts butter, mayonnaise and cream cheese as her three favorite ingredients. (She is dead correct on this matter, too.) She has two sons who are easy on the eyes and also enormous Georgia Bulldog fans, thereby making them extremely brilliant in my opinion. I own all her cookbooks, some of her merchandise, and subscribe to her magazine. Martha and Rachael are mere wannabes. The Real Big Deal is the particular lady I'm referring to.

I know there's zero need for an introduction, but for you Yankees (bless your hearts) and Under-a-Rock Dwellers, I'll spell it out for you. Delicious goodness, thy name is Paula Deen.

Lemme tell y'all all about my relationship with the one and only Paula. But first, a preface...

In my 33.5 year existence I have had a few brushes with fame. At the age of 18, while in New York City, I stood thisclose to Flava Flav in Planet Hollywood. He was drunk. He stunk. I was unimpressed. Not too long after this experience I met Steven Curtis Chapman backstage after a concert. He signed an autograph, posed for a picture with me and my best friend, and I decided then and there that Mr. Chapman was way more impressive than some clock-wearing rapper from Public Enemy in need of some serious Sure. Please don't raise your hand, Mr. Flav--'cause you ain't Sure.

When I was 23 and dining at the Olive Garden in Macon, Georgia, a beautiful woman walked by and my father exclaimed, "Hey--that's Trisha Yearwood." Well, of course it was--she's from a little town not far from my neck of the woods. So what did I do? Being all fangirl I marched right up to her table and said, "HEYILOVEYOU!" She was gracious and surprisingly talkative, two words sometimes used to describe me! (Talkative more than gracious, of course.) She asked my name, introduced me to her then-husband and the rest of her family and told me they'd been watching Georgia football all day. She had on the UGA sweatshirt to prove it. Now I was a big fan of hers before this, but seeing her in person and with a Bulldog sweatshirt on? How I didn't faint is beyond me. And thank God she didn't catch me wiping drool on my sleeve. I LOVE TRISHA FOREVER. Plus, "Perfect Love" is one song I want to live in, all comfy-cozy and tucked in tight. Good, good stuff. I love you, husband of mine.

For your listening pleasure, if you can bear to pause in this suspenseful tale.

I've posted before about my late, famous cousin, Paul Davis. Yes, the Raley genes run deep and wide, and I'm convinced one of my girls will inherit Paul's gift of song and/or songwriting and become the next Alison Krauss. Or not. Either way it's OK. But I'm sad he won't be singing at Libbey and Mrs. R's son's wedding. Sigh...RIP.

Here's Paul's biggest hit. Still rocks. In a mellow kind of way.

Moving on...see? Talkative. Or verbose, as an unnamed friend recently outed me. I happen to love you, unnamed friend who lives in Georgia and knows me from way back when.

These brushes with fame (family members notwithstanding) have been little highlights of my life. Yet none compare to the story of how I met my close, personal friend, Paula Deen.

On August 1 of last year, Scott and I were in the Atlanta airport waiting on a connecting flight to Austin, where we go each year for a boring medical convention. We always make a stop at the airport's Budweiser Brew Pub because they have really cheap appetizers. We fill up before boarding the flight and receiving the obligatory bottle of room temperature Dasani and Eagle Brand Pretzels. YUM--flight fuel!

There we are, noshing away on whatever grease was being fried up at that time and in walks Paula Deen and her husband, Michael. They sit RIGHT NEXT to us. Here's the play-by-play recap of what followed:

Lula: SCOTTY! That's PAULA DEEN. PAULA DEEN! OHMYHEAD, should we say something? OHMYHEAD they are RIGHT THERE. Get her attention...I HAVE GOT TO CALL MAMA, LIBBEY, ROBBIE AND THAT GIRL I ROOMED WITH AT 4-H CAMP IN 6th GRADE! (Yes, I was squealing...but in a whisper.)

Scotty: Stop. Kicking. Me.

Lula: What should we do? OHMYHEAD. I'VE GOT TO CALL MAMA.

Scotty: Stop. Hitting. Me.

Because he loves me so, or because he was fearful of being all black and blue for his big speech at the boring medical convention, Scotty leans over and asks, "Mrs. Paula? I'm sorry to bother you, but my wife and little girl are big fans of yours."

And the our world is rocked because she and her husband are all, "Visit with us, why don't y'all?"

Um, OK. And can we fawn and stutter and babble and dissolve into a huge gooey mess because we worship and adore all that is holy within you?

First things first: Since I'm introducing my close, personal friend to you fabulous readers, I'll share the pertinents. Yes, her eyes are really that blue in person, yes, she had some serious rocks on her fingers, yes, her accent is really that thick and yes, she smokes like a freight train. I so love her realness. And I so love her for telling me that I "still sound like Georgia." Praise be to God.

She asks me about Libbey, because that's what close, personal friends do when they visit, ya know? I tell her every time we're in Walmart, Libbey points her out on those overhead TV monitors. Mrs. Paula goes, "You know, you are the second person this week to mention I'm on in Walmart. Michael--did you hear this? I'm in Walmart, baby!" She asks our names and where we're from. Of course Scotty is all polite and professional and replies, "We're Scott & Leigh Anne Litton, from southwest Virginia." Faster than a speeding bullet I interject, "BUT I'M FROM GEORGIA!" Because, you know...common ground...she's my kinsman and all. Or kinswoman. Whatever.

We had stopped our eating and drinking by this point because really, who wants to eat airport food in front of THE Paula Deen? But the waitress brings Mrs. Paula and Captain Michael plates full of chili cheese dogs, mozzarella sticks and cheddar fries. I tell her, "The world would love to know that Paula Deen eats like this." Her reply was tremendous: "Honey, I crave this grease and get it every time we're at this airport! This is the highlight of my trip, darlin'." She is a soul sister. Thank You, Jesus. Amen.

By this time other people (hangers on--sigh--so annoying) in the Brew Pub are starting to figure out that Someone Special is gracing their presence. Autograph requests commence and Scotty and I continue talking with Capt. Michael. He had an iPhone (still the new, hot commodity at that time) and when Scotty (my techno-gadget-geek husband...did I mention the boring medical convention we were heading to was for electronic medical records? I rest my case.) inquired about it, Capt. Michael proceeds to not only show Scotty how it works, but also gave him a peek at his very long list of contacts. I attempted a surreptitious glance, but didn't see Emeril or Giada DeLaurentis' names.

Toward the end of our visit with our new best friends forever, I ask Mrs. Paula if they are returning home to Savannah. She tells us yes, and that they'd been in D.C. to be interviewed by Larry King. She asks us if we've ever been to our nation's capital and we confirm. Then she shocks us by asking, "But do y'all like it there? I was really underwhelmed. Weren't you, Michael?" We all laugh and Scotty mentions that we have to get ready to head to our departure gate. Capt. Michael asks where we're heading and Scotty tells him, "A boring medical convention in Austin." And this is where Scotty falls in love with Mrs. Paula:

"Please tell me you are a plastic surgeon! I am in need of help, don't you think?"

Scotty picks himself up off the floor (with no help from me because I'm involved in my own conversation with Capt. Michael about how he's lusting for an eye lift) and tells her, "First of all, I'm a family physician, and second of all, you do not need any work done, Mrs. Paula." She gets all gushy over this and I begin to wonder if the Queen of Southern Cooking is going to run off with the Hottest Nerdy Doctor in the World. OK, Paula...I love you, but no making eyes at my man, please.

Scotty asks her if she'd mind signing an autograph for Libbey, which she graciously does...and I turn to her adorable husband and say, "Libbey would love to have yours, too!" And this is where Capt. Michael falls in love with me, 'cause he's all, "Awwww, yeah--it ain't just the wife getting the fame lovin' here." She signs, "Libbey--Best Dishes! Love, Paula!" He draws a little picture of a face with a hat and "Captain Michael." Adorable.

Finally, Scotty asks if he can take a picture with his cell phone and Mrs. Paula says, "Come over here, Leigh Anne...(sigh... she said my name...). You get between me and Michael. You can be the cheese in the sandwich!" I obliged, quite happily. And because I love my readers, I will now share this bit of wondrous love with y'all, previously unseen by anyone not in the Roth or Litton lineage:

Check it out. You know Capt. Michael is seriously about to give me some sugar. I'm just sayin'.

And what's with that flat, lifeless hair o' mine? Oh yeah...Atlanta+humidity=the reason my hair is now short. Even though I don't live in Atlanta.

There y'all have it. My brush with fame. The story of my close, personal friend, Paula Deen, as I've now referred to her ever since our intimate encounter. BFFs forever. As far as I'm concerned, at least. The next time you see her on a magazine cover, or in the movie Elizabethtown (I love you, Cameron Crowe, but Mrs. Paula outshone even Orlando and Kirsten in this mess of a flick!), or whipping up a casserole or pie on one of her shows, you can think to yourselves, "There's Lula's BFF." And you know, six degrees of separation makes y'all her close, personal friend now, too!

Please hold the applause. But do not for one second hold the mayo, butter or cream cheese. That's just sacrilege, y'all.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

A Big Ol' Weepy Mess.

For all my rants regarding suggestive songs, tampons and minty fresh tooties, I am admittedly the biggest sap around. When it comes to my husband or children it takes very little to start my waterworks flowing. But come on...I'd wager at least 95% of you moms are wired the exact same way. Oh, you may put on a tough show and guard your emotions, but when it really comes down to the nitty gritty, you're snotting and sobbing the second your child does or says something remotely precious. (Like 2 days ago, when I put a red and white polka dotted bathing suit on Caroline--she looked at herself and announced, "Oooh--I'm beautiful!" My mother and I just about fell off the bed.)

Last night was my eldest's 4th recital with Lee School of Dance. The theme for the ballet portion of the show was Disney Princesses. Dressed as Snow White, Libbey took to the stage and danced to "Any Girl Can Be A Princess." As soon as the music started and her little precious arms and legs began to work their magic, I felt the tears welling. That's my baby. But she's not a baby anymore. (Libbey is the 2nd Snow White in the front--her best friend, Bronwen, is to her right.)

Maybe I have fresh perspective due to the new little 4 day old girl in our family...because believe me, it seems like only minutes ago I was holding a brand new Miss Mary Elizabeth Litton. And now she's almost 6 & a half and becoming a little lady so fast I can't take pictures with my heart fast enough.

Today Scotty pleaded to Libbey, "Please don't get any older...stay the age you are right now." Oh honey, I totally agree.

I love you, Libbey. You are more than a princess. You are a daughter of the King!

Friday, June 6, 2008

Flashback Friday!

A couple of weeks ago I posted about the rockin' 80's tunes I'd been listening to on a particular morning. And since I got so many comments (OK, like 9...whatever) from people who enjoyed that trip down memory lane, I decided to do Flashback Fridays each week. I've only mentioned this about 17 times, but just in case you're a new reader: I LOVE MUSIC. All kinds. Anyway, back to Flashback Friday and my intent to commit to a weekly music post. But then life got in the way, in the form of school ending, Lost finales, a new obsession with Battlestar Galactica, graduation, parties, picnics, and now a baby being born into our family. Look up overextended in the dictionary & you will totally find a picture of Lula & her family.

Today, my dear Mrs. R did a Fab Five Friday post where her fans (stalkers) were to list their all-time favorite tunes. There is no way I could list 5, so I cheated and took up space to list 10 out of about 32. Because I'm sure y'all are dying to know, here's a few of my faves:
"Last Goodbye"--Jeff Buckley
"Consume Me"--DC Talk
"Martha, My Dear"--The Beatles
"If You Leave"--OMD
"In Your Eyes"--Peter Gabriel
"River Deep Mountain High"--Tina Turner
"Song For the Asking"--Simon & Garfunkel
"Bye-Bye Blackbird"--Joe Cocker
"Into the Mystic"--Van Morrison
"Watershed"--Indigo Girls
"Captivate Us"--Watermark
"In Christ Alone" & "Jesus, Lover of My Soul"--performed by various artists & worship bands
'Big Man on Mulberry Street"--Billy Joel

OK, so I listed even more here than I did on Mrs. R's site, but brevity has never been my strong suit. (Right, Kelly?) Stay with me here, y'all.

Every summer we have particular CDs in constant rotation...pool music, grilling music, beach songs...anything that adds to our outdoor enjoyment. For me, it's not truly summer 'til I've heard The Temptations' "Just My Imagination." Scott longs to hear The Beach Boys Greatest Hits. Libbey asks us to break out "Livin', Lovin', Losin'; Songs of the Louvin Brothers", seriously one of the best compilation CDs in country music. You haven't lived 'til you've heard James Taylor and Alison Krauss perform "How's the World Treating You." Trust me on this one. And Caroline? Well, she's content to sing along to anything from Miley Cyrus to Coldplay--and she can belt out"Don't Panic" almost as well as Chris Martin. Kid you not.

I actually posted this video once before--but it was months ago and the song is truly worthy of a listen. So listen. Please.

Today I sat down to create a Summer of '08 playlist and stared at my iTunes account for 5 minutes. I am coming up blank, y'all. And then I got all nervous and fidgety 'cause being stymied by musical choices has never happened to me. Other than Madonna's new album, Hard Candy, I came up with nothing. (And M's new work is fabulous--love, love, love it--best stuff she's done since the mid-80's.) The new Coldplay album comes out in a couple of weeks, and we are already wearing out "Violet Hill" & "Viva La Vida," which we purchased early on iTunes. Other than these two I've mentioned, I am at a loss for a good, be-boppin', toe-tapin', get your sun on playlist.

This is where I'm assigning homework, dear readers. Please look through the catalogue of your internal jukebox and share a few good ditties that sound "summery" to you. Don't be afraid of throwing out all kinds o' music, 'cause when I say I dig it all, that ain't no lie. (Except speed/death metal--just can't deal with it. Sorry.) If you're all, "Well, I love 50 Cent but she might be offended." NO WAY--I still listen to "Disco Inferno" on a weekly basis. Maybe you're a lover of golden oldies. Oooooh, me too! Tonight I was playing Rosemary Clooney ("Come on-a my house, my house, I'm gonna give you candy"--she sang it before it was Hefner's gals' tv theme!) and Perry Como ("Find a wheel, and it goes round, round, round...") while fixing supper. Seriously hot, y'all...they were some fine crooners. Makes me crave a martini. I don't like martinis. I digress...

Rock, pop, jazz, soul, contemporary Christian, big band, decades (40's through 90's), country...I truly love it all. And if you include some Whitesnake, Van Halen, Winger or Night Ranger then I'll faint dead away, 'cause I love me some 80's hair bands. I heart Kip Winger. Sigh... "She's only seventeen..." Well I was. Once. A long time ago.

Though I specifically mentioned the latest by Madonna & Coldplay, I'm not just looking for new stuff...span the decades & genres and recommend away. If enough of y'all play along I will be certain to have a fabulous new playlist to wear out in these sweltering months to come. We will ALL benefit from this. (See how I love and appreciate each of you? Feel it, embrace it, cherish it...LOVE.) And really...sweltering's not so bad when you're kicking back with a cold drink & some darn fine music. In the pool, of course.

I'll close with this:

As I told Mrs. R earlier, it's THE anthem of southern summers, regardless of whether you're in Alabama, Georgia, Virginia, Colorado or California. And it's no secret...I would've loved to sing back up for the original Lynyrd Skynyrd...complete with long, straight, parted-down-the-middle hair, flowy dress, oodles of blue eyeshadow and boodles of chunky bracelets and rings. And now I've decided on my costume for Halloween.

Carrie, if you use the term "geriatric globes" and "Rick Springfield & Peter Frampton" in your comment, you WIN! I don't know the prize yet, but you'll still win. 'Cause that's just smokin' hot. For real.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Once, twice, three times an Auntie!

I am a new aunt! For the third time, that is. It gives me immense pleasure & joy to announce the birth of our newest family member, Miss Helen Katherine Sanders. (Baby Helen's named after her great-grandmother, whom our girls affectionately call "GeGe.")

June 5, 2008, 1:03 pm, 6 lbs, 1 oz, 18 3/4 inches!

Here's the Sanders family (minus Big Sister Eliza--the OR is no place for a 19 month old, y'all!) looking amazingly well considering Mandy's innards are still hanging out on the other side of the drape. Robbie sent a picture of Helen actually being taken from her mommy's stomach, and I want everyone to know here and now: Helen's Uncle June refused to look! Yes, the doctor averted his eyes, oh Lord. Libbey and I got a good look, proclaimed it "awesome," and then patted ourselves on the back for remaining completely nonplussed about the entire thing. Obviously she gets her stoicism from me.

Mandy, Helen (sopreciousIjustwannakissherallover), and Robbie.

When Caroline woke from her nap at 3:00 I said to her, "Guess what? Baby Helen's here--Lizee is a big sister now! Whaddya think?" Her reply, I swear, was, "Ooooooh, that's good. I wanna see her. We go to Liza's house?" ADORABLE. With a spoon.

Sweet Helen, I want you to know we are so excited you're here (and a girl, and early, just as Aunt Lula predicted--we start playing the lottery today!) and can't wait to see you, hold you, and smother you with kisses. And because I love you bunches, I'll refrain from posting that particular picture in which your brand new tootie & all its glory can be easily seen. I have zero desire for any of our 4 girls to begin a career in internet porn, at any age. Just so you know.

We love you, sweet girl! Welcome to our world! Call us soon so we can chat and stuff...we know you'll have lots to say.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

It's 1/2 Full, Said the Optimist.

Do y'all love the Disney cartoon Alice in Wonderland? I totally dig it...a singing walrus, a hookah pipe-smoking catepillar, playing cards painting the roses red, and the eerily exciting Tulgey Wood. What's not to love? One of the more famed scenes from this adaptation of Lewis Caroll's original story is the unbirthday party thrown by the Mad Hatter, the March Hare and the Dormouse.

Today is my unbirthday, to be precise (and Alice was always precise!), but it is also a day of minor significance. June 4 is my 1/2 birthday. 33.5 cheers for Lula, please! I did say it was a minor day, peeps.

While driving home from Libbey's dance recital dress rehearsal (say that one 3 times fast) I starting thinking about Debbie and how she blogs constantly, in her mind, all day long. Thoughts on blogging seem to come to me most often while driving the MomVan. And thus my latest post--some of the "half" stuff in my life:

*All those half-read books piled on hearth of our bedroom fireplace. As a lover of the printed word and always wanting to know how the story ends, I never leave a book unfinished, even if it turns out to be a not-so-great read. But since discovering the wonder that is great Sci-Fi television, also known as Battlestar Galactica, I have used every minute of spare time (read: when my girls are in bed) to watch an episode or two before calling it a night. And this is why I haven't finished The Host yet. (Love you, Tiffany.) Even though I've promised it to Kat. I have started and paused about 5 novels in the past month. I'll get to them. Just as soon as I finsh Season 3 of Galactica.

*Speaking of books, to be fair and to help me feel better about my very rare and recent bout of lack o' reading, I am saving half a dozen "beach reads" for our trip to Myrtle Beach in a couple of weeks. My most favorite not-at-all guilty pleasure in the entire world is to plop my beach chair down in the surf and read for hours upon hours at a time. Half the time I don't get to do this--being the mother of small children and all--or rather, I don't get to do it as long as I'd like. God has blessed me, though, with an older child happily occupied by her father and uncle in the pool, while the younger naps her regular 3-hour stretch (God is good). During these golden hours last summer, I could be found on the beach in Hilton Head Island, SC, chair sinking in the sand, head covered by a fabulously wide-brimmed hat, reading the entire Twilight series in less than a week. Perfection! If I get to do this even half the time we're in Myrtle Beach I'll be a happy gal...and I'll be devouring all these books I've saved.

*I have a growing pile of socks without mates. (There's a mysterious force living inside my washer that eats socks. For real!) I'm certain these socks won't intermingle and mate with other loners, thereby producing the perfect match to complete the pair. Therefore I am stuck with all these half pairs of socks. Or is there such a thing as a "half pair?" Oh, I can't even go head's still recovering from almost-pneumonia.

*When it comes to tunes, I have MADD. That's Musical Attention Defecit Disorder. Yeah, I made it up. Stick with me here, y'all. I just checked my iTunes account and as of now there are 5623 songs in this virtual jukebox that is cleverly disguised as my Miss Pretty Pink laptop. I have playlists for working out, fine dining, favorite songs of praise, 80's hair bands, and yes,"mood music." Even though I hand-pick each song I can never make it through even half a playlist without skipping, stopping and/or starting over with something new. A while back though, while making my blog rounds and cooking supper, I realized there are a few albums on iTunes that I'll enjoy from start to finish, each and every time. The soundtracks to "The Last Kiss" and "Gardenstate." (Zach Braff--I adore you!) A Pottery Barn compilation entitled "RSVP," full of jazz and smooth classics. Coldplay's "A Rush of Blood to the Head." Simon & Garfunkel's Greatest Hits. And "The Purest Place" by Watermark--the most brilliant offering of praise ever put to music, I'm convinced. (Listening to it even now..."Be blessed, be loved, be lifted high, be treasured here, be glorified...I owe my life to You, oh Lord..." They're singing my life here.) None of these albums can be done halfway, I'm telling you.

*Because I'm a make-up/smelly goods whore, I have half full bottles and pots and tubes and jars of varying creams, lotions, potions and colors guaranteed to make this pasty face & body over. My true struggle is with smelly goods of the body cream type. Like a fickle child with an abundance of birthday money in FAO Schwartz, I can't make up my mind! Lately Ginger-Mint has been showing the love (read post below), but there's always my fallback choice, Nivea. Or do I want to use that new Dove creamy body oil-type stuff I found at Target last month? And there sits the 4 tubes of heavily-scented creams of the Bath & Body Works variety, given as birthday (the real one, not the un or 1/2 one!) and Christmas gifts last December. To quote Natalie Sands, in one of the greatest films of all time, Girls Just Want To Have Fun, "Decisions are the worst!" If any of y'all are in the southwesternest (is that even a word?) corner of Virgina, come on by for some free smelly goods...half-used. I have plenty to share. If you just want half, that is.

*At any given time of any given day in any given room of this house you will find half-filled water bottles. Yes, I buy water--the Sam's Choice kind, aka cheap--because we drink it constantly and are more apt to reach for H2O instead of a Coke, especially when it's presented chilled and in its very own container. For some reason none of us have ascertained, we never seem to finish an entire bottle. And since I'm paying precious gas money for a mostly free element, I preserve each and every drop. There's half a bottle on my nightstand...always. I see one on the coffee table in the living room--that one belongs to my Dad. Oh, Scott's left one on his desk...wait, it's half-filled with dip spit. (Yes--he's a redneck--he chews and spits, y'all.) And here, next to my laptop, is the one from which Libbey drank half while playing video games with Mamaw Pinky. This house is a breeding ground for unfinished bottles of water. Hey...maybe I can put them together with the socks and get something special going. Lemme find my mood music playlist...

I could go on, but half of you are probably already asleep due to my mindless ramblings. This is the way my mind works, people. It's my half birthday. I'll ramble if I want to.

And to my dear husband, who is presently reading over my shoulder, still encouraging me to write "the next great American novel," (um, thanks for the enormous vote of confidence, but unless it's tampons, tingly tooties or endless rambling, I don't have it in me!) I make this vow: I promise to take ALL the antibiotic you prescribed for my almost-pneumonia. The container won't remain half full, as per usual. Physicians the world over are now rejoicing.

Sister love--nothing "half" about it.

*THIS JUST IN: Today, June 5, at 12:30 pm (east coast time), our newest family member will be making her appearance. My sister-in-law is being prepped for surgery now, to deliver her 2nd daughter. We are so stinkin' excited. Being in this house is like the frenzy of mating meerkats at the zoo, I tell y'all. In a few hours there will be FOUR Litton grandgirls. And then the fun really begins. But the one thing that bothers me about baby Helen arriving today is that it's now June 5. Not June 4th. Not my 1/2 birthday. Like the good Aunt Lula I am, I will hold this over the child's head until I'm old and feeble. She will never live it down. Poor thing...just over an hour from being born and she already has a a burden to carry. World's Best Aunt--that's ME! Pictures will be posted later this evening, so check back & let me brag on her, please.