Thursday, August 28, 2008

Flashback Friday!

Please. Please tell me there are shall I put this? Other freaks out there who loved the eerie brilliance that was Twin Peaks. Any takers? Who's gonna admit it? Who was even old enough in 1990 to appreciate this hour of thrills & chills, immortalized by David Lynch, genius that he was/is.

It's probably no surprise by now that I was a huge fan of Twin Peaks. Because y'all know, I'm a little whacko when it comes to this kind of genre. Twin Peaks truly rocked in so many ways. It fascinated me...who killed Laura Palmer? It frightened word: Bob. It humored me...Agent Cooper & his adoration of cherry pie. It made me covet highly arched eyebrows like Audrey's (Sherilyn Fenn).

I never planned to own up to my love of Peaksmania. But Melissa encouraged me to go public. Really what she said was, "Oh please--we already know you're whacko--this won't shock anyone!" That's one fiery pastor's wife, I tell ya. And just so y'all know--she's a Peakser, too. Yeah girl, I just outed you!

Now you're all gonna get your Netflix queues primed & ready for some Twin Peaks love, right? It was such a good show. Mysterious, wild, scary, fun, quirky, and a rip-roarin' good time. Promise.

Happy weekend, y'all!
Oh, but y'all need to head on over to Land of Bean...Cara has posted a must-see video. Well, must-see if you have small children and need a good laugh today. I'm just sayin'.

"I Don't Know, But Can I Watch Charlie & Lola?"

I asked Libbey to give me a title for today's post. And there you have it.

I wish I had the theme music to Charlie & Lola on today's offering, because that is the single most happiest song on the planet. I'd make it my cell ringtone if my beloved Redcoat Marching Band was not currently belting out University of Georgia's fight song, "Glory, Glory To Ol' Georgia!" Oh how I love living amidst all these University of Tennessee (blech--I spit any residue of those 3 words out of my mouth--patoooie!) fans and the looks of searing hate they bestow in my direction, upon hearing "Glory" when I receive a call. I purposely let it play longer than necessary...for full effect. Yeah, I am real, true, hardcore fan. Just so y'all know.

What was I saying? Oh yes, Charlie & Lola. Don't you just love that song? It's rather happy-go-lucky, no?

OK, OK...I know...the real reason you're here is to see who gets some Vera Bradley love, along with other goodies. Let's allow Random Generator to work its magic, please:

Random Integer Generator
Here are your random numbers:31
Timestamp: 2008-08-28 02:21:12 UTC

Number 31...that's a good number...who left comment number 31?

Did you know Georgia's season opener is this Saturday? They're playing Georgia Southern, another fine institute of higher learning in my beloved state of origin. Of course I want my Bulldogs to win big. My ranked #1 in the nation Bulldogs. Did I mention I'm a bit of a fan?

Oh, stop rolling your eyes. Number 31 is none other than:

Rhea from Texas Word Tangle!!!!

Ain't she all kinds of sassy in that most awesome pink hat?

To those of you who didn't win this go 'round, I offer a consolation prize: You really should be reading Rhea's blog. Go check it out, why don't ya? And come back soon for yet another Lulaville giveaway...I'll be feeling rather Autumnal in a few more weeks and inspiration will flow in the form of free stuff. I love those two words. Who doesn't? Say them with me--"Free Stuff!"

Good times, y'all.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Misguided Direction.

While leaving the studio after registering both girls for dance (oh my head, Caroline's a Lee School of Dance student now!) I reminded Libbey of the 10 years I took ballet, tap, and jazz lessons. Once I got to junior high and became a cheerleader, dancing took a back seat to burgeoning popularity (or so the Sweet Valley High books promised!), pep rallies, and wearing my uniform to school at least once per week. It was one less outfit to stress over. And we all know how important the look is to a thirteen year old, particularly in 1987.

I ceased my lessons at The Academy of Dance, traded in my pointe shoes for pom-poms, leotards for bloomers, the stage for the stadium, and never looked back.

And then tonight I saw this:

I now want to take this moment to thank my parents, Sonny & Pinky, for allowing me to place emphasis on my toe-touches and vocal projection, rather than pirouettes and flap ball changes.

I'll never dance to Leona Lewis with a male partner or shake my groove thang on national television. No get down girl, go 'head, get downing for me. No chance of ever performing with a Cirque du Soleil tour, becoming a Rockette, or even a Vegas showgirl--ostrich plumes, rhinestones, and 4 pounds of make-up, i.e. my dream costume!

Thanks, Mama and Daddy. Look how far cheerleading got me.

Libbey and will take dance lessons 'til you die. The End.

*Of course y'all realize I'm kidding. Right?
Back-to-school giveaway winner announced tomorrow!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

It Vexes.

Let's peek into the chaos that is my mind. Its inner workings astound me, as well as freak me out quite regularly. See that Bible verse over on the right there? Yeah, God knows me, and for this I am eternally grateful. I can't wait to ask Him one day, face to face, "Lord, what were You thinking?" and "How many times in any given day did You chuckle at the mess that was in my noggin?" He'll have an answer. I'm counting on it.

While assembling a chicken casserole yesterday afternoon I compiled a list of things that were bugging me, grating on my nerves, and/or creating unwelcome sadness:

*The leaves are turning. Already. It's late August and we've had 3 weeks with no rain. Fall is my favorite season, however I'm not quite ready for it.

*William Petersen is leaving CSI after 9 episodes this season. No Gil Grissom in my life is unfathomable. Replacing him is Laurence Fishburne. That might work...we'll wait & see.

*I'm never going to get my tattoo. I've only wanted one for 10 years. Why do I keep putting it off?

*My People magazine is regularly being delivered 5-7 days after the fact, when everything's old news. What's the point? I'm having to go to Perez Hilton more often than I care to admit. And I've reported this problem to the good folks at People 4 times now. Four. Times. People, can we get with the People?

*Still another 150+ days 'til Lost returns. And won't even divulge when Battlestar Galactica is back on air, for its final season. Who is the final Cylon? I'm rather impatient.

*This week, week, Minnesota. I'm so over all of it. November 4th, please come and go.

*Philosophy has new smelly goods for Fall, particularly Pumpkin Spice Muffin Shower Gel. This speaks to my heart, but obviously not loud enough. It's sold out everywhere. Already.

With my hands still shredding chicken, I also made another list in this brain 'o mine. However this was a glad list. Ever seen Pollyanna? We own everything Hayley Mills has ever done, and Pollyanna rocks. And after feeling somewhat blue over utterly trivial things, I knew I needed to be happy:

*My new BareMinerals Buxom Lips Full Color Gloss in "Vanessa." Autumn, my lips are ready!

*Libbey adores first grade, loves her teacher, enjoys her classmates, and thinks she is Big Stuff now that she's no longer a "little" kid. (Still haven't uploaded the pictures from her first day.)

*Twilight is less than three months away. My birthday & Christmas arrive early this year!

(Working on the convincing here, my friend. He is delicious.)

*Love, love, loving The Cure's new song, "The Perfect Boy." Thanks ever so much, Amy! I am forever in your debt. I'm just not gonna admit how many times the iPod jukebox has played it since last night. It wouldn't embarrass me, but I can't speak for the rest of y'all.

*I'm not in Colorado this week. (Unless Heather calls with a sudden invite.) Nor will I be in Minnesota next week. Remember? I'm over it. Both of 'em.

*Buffalo-flavored Pop'rs enhance chicken casserole. Delish! Thanks, Veggie Mom! Why aren't y'all on Ellen yet?

*I'm wearing a very special, very fabulous, and downright awesome t-shirt. I'll take a picture eventually (when I have a photographer handy!), but you just have to know that the front reads "EAMC, June 20, 1901" and the back has a special quote that includes the word "meadow." And if you don't know what "EAMC" or "the meadow" means, you're not reading. It's The. Best. Shirt. Ever. You totally deserve a public shoutout, Tiffany! Again, a huge thanks to you! I kind of love you just a little.

*I'm seeing Equus on Broadway, with my good friend Lacey. And not just because a certain wizard from Hogwarts is, ahem, naked while performing in it. On stage. Live. Cough-cough. We have zero ulterior motives. Just sayin'.

And right about now there are five ladies listed over on my blogroll who are not the least bit horrified or shocked at any of my admissions. They're simply nodding their heads, gently laughing, slightly rolling their eyes, and saying to themselves, "Yep, that's Leigh Anne." Right, girls? (Love you--K, B, S, and K--miss you all.)

Am I vexing or what? Yeesh, y'all...go with it, work with me, and, as always, please don't flee. Vexed or not, I couldn't bear your absence.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Mad Musical Monday.

I wanna do something a bit different today. It's not anything y'all haven't seen before, I know, but I've read some of your posts on it and wanted to jump on the bandwagon. Heather called it "Doing the iPod Shuffle," and I think that's a pretty fitting description.

Also, I've been working out a lot the past few days (shocking, I know!) and most of the stuff I've been listening to while sweating would really send y'all running. What would y'all think of a post about Kanye West's "Stronger, " or "Crank That" by Soulja Boy (The Travis Barker Remix), and "Bleed It Out," by Linkin Park? Yeah, you'd be running. Most of you, at least. Please keep loving me!

So here we go...let's see what the Pod has to say about me:

1. How would you describe your personality? Burnin' Up (Jonas Brothers)

2. What do you like in a guy/girl? Is You Is Or Is You Ain't My Baby (Louis Jordan)

3. How do you feel today? Dreams (Van Halen)

4. What's your life's purpose? Tow the Line (Nick Drake)

5. What is your motto? Pour Me Out (PFR)

6. What do your friends think of you? Breathe Me (Sia)

7. What do you think of your parents? Security (Otis Redding)

8. What do you think about very often? (How Little It Matters) How Little We Know (Frank Sinatra)

9. What do you think of your best friend? She's Electric (Oasis)

10. What do you think of the person you like? I Love You More Than Words Can Say (Otis Redding)

11. What is your life story? More Than Likely (P.M. Dawn)

12. What do you want to be when you grow up? Thanksgiving (George Winston)

13. What do you think when you see the person you like? Black Velveteen (Lenny Kravitz)

14. What do your parents think of you? Take Me For Longing (Alison Krauss & Union Station)

15. What will be played at your funeral? Bigger Than My Body (John Mayer)

16. What is your hobby/interest? Wild Honey Pie (The Beatles)

17. What is your biggest secret? Daylight (Coldplay)

18. What do you think of your friends? Sing for Absolution (Muse)

19. What should you post this as? Little Earthquakes (Tori Amos)

Numbers 7, 8, 9, and 10 crack me up, because they are pretty spot-on. But number 15...well, I can only say "appropriate."

Good times, y'all!

His music made an appearance on the shuffle, so it's only fair his likeness be represented here. Lenny...I'm just sayin'.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Flashback Friday!

Mama and Me, March 1976. She is 29, I am 15 months.

Thirty-two years have passed, but I'm certain she'd cradle me much like this if I asked. And I'm positive I still look at her this way.

Most of the time.

When she's not reading Twilight (that was Tuesday), New Moon (Wednesday), Eclipse (Thursday), and Breaking Dawn (started last night, will finish later today). I mean, I wanted her to read them. I've begged her for a year. But come on, already! She drove over six hours to visit us, and her nose has been buried in these books for three days now. (Meanwhile Dad's been camped out in Scott's office...computers, guitars, XM radio and all.)

Stephenie Meyer, I love you...but I want my Mama back. My girls want Mamaw Pinky to play with them. And if Mamaw Pinky thinks she's tagging along on girls' night out to see my beloved Jason Statham in "Death Wish," then she better get the lead out. After all, he is shirtless in this movie. 'Nuff said.

I love you, Mary Elizabeth Raley Roth. So much that one daughter is named Mary Elizabeth, while the other shares your maiden name as her middle. I've totally secured my position in Heaven because of this. Honoring my father and mother and all.

I jest.

Get to the end, woman. I need my Mama back. Then we can discuss all of it while you entertain the girls. Good times.

Happy weekend, y'all!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

First of First.

Today my eldest is an official first grader, and I'm feeling mushy, gushy, and generous. It's freebie time here at Lulaville--Back to School style!

Here's the goods:

A Vera Bradley medium cosmetic bag in the new Puccini print. Think of it as your new little tote for the essential supplies, whether you're in school, at work, or working in your home.
Smith's Rosebud Salve is the balm for what ails...chapped lips, ragged cuticles, small cuts or burns, diaper rash, windblown's pink-hued wonder in a nifty little tin.

You really need Sephora BODY Nourishing Hand Cream, especially with the cooler months rapidly approaching. I'm obsessed with keeping my hands hydrated, and this stuff is amazing.

I'll also throw in a few surprise goodies, because I'm a lover of "free gift with purchases" myself, and isn't it always a treat to receive something unexpected? I'm so like a 9 year old in this manner. May my inner child never fade!

If ya wanna get the goods, leave a comment. I don't care what you write...feel free to once again spread Twilight love, countdown the days 'til Lost returns (hint--it's on this blog!), suggest a new book for me to devour, tell me what your all-time favorite song is, WHATEVER. Just write me. Let me know my random drivel of yesterday didn't truly send y'all running for the hills.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008


My pal Kat, from Sunshine and Lemonade, is known for being the Queen of Random Drivel. Today I'm going to borrow her crown, with her permission. Wait...maybe I should ask her permission first. Let me just give her a call right quick.

Me: Kat, can I borrow your Random Drivel title for my post?

Katrina: Not only will I freely share it with you, I'll virtually place the jewels upon your head, swath a satin sash across your midsection, and fill your arms with dozens of roses.

Me: Thanks...and then I'll return the glory to you at the end of the day. Or maybe not.

Three hours later (and an interruption for Kat to calmly discuss with her girls the ramifications of not going to bed), after a bunch of really good, random rabbit trails of conversation, Kat's phone--yes, her phone--announced, "You have reached your maximum talk time!" I promise y' happened...she got fussed at by the phone. Ah was after 1 am.

So... I have the crown and will now perform my first duty of the day.

About 7 years ago--OK, OK--7 weeks ago, Swirl Girl tagged me for a meme. She thinks I've forgotten...she also thinks I don't know her real name, but I've got a clue for everyone: Peter Pan. That's all I'm sayin'. I heart her. Not long after this bit o' tagging, Melissa and Veggie Mom also showed me some linky love. I'm either supposed to list random things about myself, answer a bunch of fun, insightful questions, or do the hokey-pokey. 'Cause that's what it's all about. I think.

Let's see...six random things about myself? Ummm...I think I've spoken of these before...I'm a Sci-Fi lover, I'm a not-so-closet Goth, Paula Deen is my close, personal friend (yep, still claiming it!), and I find joy in Playtex Sport tampons because they root for me during that time of the month. That's 4 bits of trivia for ya. Two more...hmmmm...oh, I adore Lawrence Welk. I mean, I really love his show...I could dance amongst the bubbles & bouffants with the best of 'em. Finally, I sleep with a pillow over my head, and have since the age of about two.

Could I be any more boring? Oh, how I wish Chandler could recite that line for me. It sounds so much better coming from him.

And now for my "Semi-Monosyllabic Pronouncements for the Day." (Thanks Veggie Mom!)
Where is your cell phone? Purse

Where is your significant other? Work.

What is your hair color? Processed.

Your mother? Reading to my girls.

Your father? Requesting breakfast.

Your favorite thing? Family.

Your dream last night? Hawt!

Your dream/goal? Beach house.

The room you're in? Kitchen.

Your hobby? Reading.

Your fear? Loss.

Where do you want to be in 6 years? The Ellen Show.

Where were you last night? Home...being scolded by Kat's phone.

What you're not? Prejudiced.

One of your wish-list items? Liposuction.

Where you grew up? GEORGIA!

The last thing you did? Took a sip of coffee.

What are you wearing? Grey wife beater & gym shorts.

Your TV? Several.

Your pet? Lewis-the-Cat.

Your computer? Miss Pretty Pink (Dell laptop).

Your mood? Tired.

Missing someone? Yes.

Your car? MomVan.

Something you're not wearing? Make-up.

Favorite store? Target.

Your summer? Still going strong.

Love someone? Yes. Many. Fervently.

Favorite color? "Pink is my signature color..." --Steel Magnolias

When is the last time you laughed? Last night. 'Til the phone interrupted.

Last time you cried? Few days ago...after finishing Breaking Dawn again.

Seriously, y'all...if you're still reading this far I must reward you with a bit of news. But first, thanks for all the tagging love, girls...I pray you haven't been sufficiently bored. My life is indeed random, but also pretty lackluster. I'm sorry I can't even attempt to make this clever!

Onto to the news: NEW GIVEAWAY TOMORROW! Or, FREE STUFF FROM ME! Come back tomorrow, please. If you dare!
Now you know I'm not giving him away...I just thought this post needed a bit of oomph, and who's more qualified to provide than my boyfriend? Exactly.

Is It Vintage or Retro?

I am a stay-at-home Mama+I drive a minivan+I live in a teeny, tiny mountain town=the vital importance of my subscription to InStyle magazine.

After a full day of swimming and hanging out with my friends Lacey & Erica (while reading Star and OK! magazines--we had to get the latest scoop on Britney, you know), I threw on a grey cotton skirt, a blue t-shirt from Target and my ever-present, always-on-my-feet Reefs. Not exactly frumpy, but certainly not style worthy. In fact, I'd likely end up in the back of Glamour, with a big, black bar across my eyes. That's their polite manner of assessing, "Oh no, honey...don't!" But my clothes were easy and simple, and I was only going out to bring supper to my grandmother-in-law. There was no need for catwalk status. Writing this "out loud" makes me feel better.

So I sit here, listening to Depeche Mode (how "emo" can you get?), thinking that I need a wardrobe makeover. I'd love a closet full of designer threads (BCBG or Calvin Klein, anyone?), or at least a bunch of stuff from Ann Taylor, True Religion, or Anthropologie. But that would require a lot of thought, a ton of new shoes and accessories, and more weight loss. Oh yeah, and a ton of cash. Too much work!

I think I wanna become Winona Ryder, cicra 1989. A new pixie cut for my hair, lots of dark eyeliner in the daytime, and Chuck Taylors in every color imaginable. And maybe Johnny Depp on my arm. I'm just sayin'. Because then I could wear retro t-shirts the likes of these:

I'd dare not sport this around my would just put me one step closer to someone's conviction that one day I'll wind up in Playboy. Ahem.

Admit it. You're now singing the song, and longing to roll in a 5.0, with the ragtop down so your hair can blow.

I love mullets. They are a part of everyday life in these parts, on both women and men. Kid you not! I would rock this shirt with jeans and a black Member's Only jacket. With my pixie haircut.

Alas, I dare not alter my fashion stance too radically. My children wouldn't recognize me without my faithful standards (Reefs and capris in the summer, fleece and boots in the winter), and my husband would complain that my new Winona-look is too boyish. He's all about tight-fittin' shirts and high heels. And let's not even delve into the impression I'd leave on the PTA...or the fine ladies at my bank...or that guy who fills my gas tank while questioning my musical preferences. "That there what they call 'alternative'?" Um no,'s Linkin Park...and they're fabulous. See my mullet t-shirt? Word.

I suppose Winona will have to wait. There will be no mommy make-over for this girl. It was fun to imagine, though. But next time I'm going to vary the scenario...add about 5 inches to my height, subtract more pounds from my person, and take my shopping spree on over to Frederick's of Hollywood. Yeah, I could do the whole blonde bombshell look.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Mad Musical Monday.

I'm feeling full of girl power today (and yes--I loved the Spice Girls--no hating on me, please!), so it's quite necessary to share with y'all some of my favorite female artists. I adore musicians such as Alison Krauss, Patsy Cline and Ann Wilson (of Heart). Their voices are some of my most favorite in the world of music. And if I could sing like Amy Lee (of Evanescence), you'd never be able to cease my lyrical stylings.

Today, though, I wanted to mention a few of my favorites that are lesser-known. Maybe the fact that these gals aren't touring 50,000 seat venues is what lends to their charm. Be they famous, though wildly or mildly, I care less. I just wanna hear good music, y'all.

"Sway," by Bic Runga
I first heard "Sway" in the movie American Pie (cringe--I know!), and immediately grabbed (stole?) the song off Napster. Remember Napster? That time seems like ages ago. I've been a fan of Bic Runga's ever since...her voice is mesmerizing.

"Breathe Me," by Sia.
Ever heard the fabulous song "In the Waiting Line" by Zero 7? It's on my list of most favorites. Sia Furler used to be a member of Zero 7, before going out on her own. To my ears, her magical voice sounds rather celestial.

"Your Song," by Kate Walsh.
Oh, how I adore Kate Walsh. A British export, her album "Tim's House" is usually played in Lula's house at least twice a week. Why she isn't a household name is beyond me.

Finally, I'm unable to post a video (darn those artists' licensing rights!), but this voice is so amazing it's worth a listen. Click here, and enjoy the perfection that was October Project. They've been disbanded for years, but I've remained a fan. Mary Fahl is brilliant...I would listen to her sing the phone book if she offered.

Spread some girl power! And aren't y'all glad I didn't link the Spice Girls here? As always, I try to take care of my peeps!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Almost Wet My Pants.

This afternoon I received an e-mail from Summit Entertainment. As in Summit Entertainment, the producers of the Twilight movie.

Basically the e-mail went like this:

Dear Leigh Anne,

Because you are such a true and devoted fan of the Twilight Saga, we here at Summit Entertainment wanted you to be among the first to know some very brilliant news. Happy early birthday, dear Leigh Anne: Twilight is being released three weeks early, on November 21, 2008, instead of December 12, as previously scheduled! We wanted to give you this information as soon as possible, in hopes that you will be able to join us for the film's red carpet premiere, including a special meeting with author, Stephenie Meyer, and the cast of the movie, all of whom are dying to meet you in person.

Thanks for being such a fan,
Summit Entertainment Group

p.s. Rob's cell number is 310-xxx-xxxx.

OK, OK...y'all have to remember that when I dream, I dream BIG!
Here's the actual e-mail:

That's right, y'all...under 100 days 'til the book is revealed on the big screen. Please commence with the squealing now. Especially after you see this:

Oh, and this:

Indeed, it does make me so happy!

Friday, August 15, 2008

Flashback Friday!

Anyone wanna take a stab at guessing the number one children's television program exactly 20 years ago? My brother and I loved this one:

"Come on in, and pull yourself up a chair!" Yes, it's Pee-Wee's Playhouse!

It was campy, trippy, wacky, wonky, nutty, and barrels of fun. Plus, it had one of the best theme songs ever--I love me some Cyndi Lauper! Oh, and let's not forget Laurence Fishburne as "Cowboy Curtis." Did y'all know Laurence wasn't always a bada$$?

And before anyone brings it up, let's keep the perspective, people. Nineteen eighty-eight was before Pee-Wee became a household joke for "feeding the ducks" in public. If you have to ask, you obviously don't know. I'll not clue you in. And yeah, I said, wrote that.

Happy weekend, y'all! Or, as is sung in Pee-Wee's theme, "Let the fun begin, it's time to let down your hair..." Woo-woo!
Oh, this makes me so happy--my truly fabulous friend, Debbie, has made it possible for bloggers to do some world travelling, virtually speaking. Check out her new site, Blog Around The World. It's great fun. And, oh yeah...she also asked me to be a guest poster today at her new little corner of the blogosphere. What an honor! And also, how terrifying! Thanks for trusting me, remain my Fairy Blogmother, as always.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

University of Incisor.

Tuesday was a very big day for our family. It was also a sad day. Our girls' much-loved, "adopted big sister," Kristi, left our little mountain town for the bright lights of Lynchburg, Virginia! Kristi is now a new Freshman at my Alma mater, Liberty University, and while it makes me so happy to know she's going to have the time of her life while at LU, it grieved our family to lose such a close friend. (OK, she'll be four hours away--we're not really losing her, but still...) Oh, and did I mention she's our #1 babysitter? What will we do without her? Dang it, Kristi, come back! Just kidding.

Kristi gave the girls a good-bye hug, after which Libbey exclaimed, "Do you see how loose my tooth is, Kristi? I'm gonna lose my first tooth really soon, you know?!?"
That was all Kristi needed to hear. Her life's mission, before officially leaving for college, was to see Libbey get that tooth out. The first baby tooth lost--it's a big deal, of course, and our Miss LU had to be a part of it. And so Kristi proceeded to delay her departure by cajoling Libbey into pulling that tooth.

This went on for about 15 minutes. There were many laughs (none offered by Libbey, though) and many tears (all freely given by Libbey), and a lot of cheering: "Come on, Libbey, you can do it--let's get it out--go-go-go!" I mean, the things we do to spur a child on...

Finally Kristi tells Libbey that it's time for her to leave. Pitifully sobbing, Libbey looks up at one of her most favorite people in the world and asks, "Will you pull it for me before you go?" The child is not opposed to prolonging Kristi's presence, but she is very much against self-inflicted pain, no matter how minor the sting.


Kristi will now most likely change her major from early childhood education to dental hygiene. Or Tooth Fairy-In-Training.

We bid farewell to Kristi and said adieu to the first baby tooth...we will miss them both. Thankfully Kristi will be back, and often. As for the tooth, it has been whisked away by some midnight sprite, who left in its place a bit of money and a package of Trident.

Good times, y'all.


Melissa from Another Day in Paradise is so super fun! Check out her beautiful kids and their message for Libbey here. Until today we had no idea that the Tooth Fairy lived in Florida...but she does. Oh yes, she does!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Because Location is Everything.

At times I miss the south so much it makes me wanna crawl into my bed with a big bowl of mac & cheese and an ice cold Co-Cola (that's the way it's really pronounced, y'all!) in a bottle. Yes, I live in Virginia, and while it's technically below the Mason Dixon line, it's not Georgia. Or Mississippi, which I lovingly claim as the soil where my roots run deepest. Yes, the Roth and Raley lineage is firmly planted in the beauty that is 'Sippy and I thank God for such a heritage. I could spread my 'Sippy love all day long, like butter on warm toast, which is pretty special in its own right. My's full of the blues, belles, and black-eyed peas. It makes my southern blood ooze with pride.

But here's the real deal...

I have to tell y'all about this little town in the northwestern corner of the state. A Delta town...a town where some of the great blues artists were born. A town with absolutely the neatest name in the world. Ladies and Gentlemen (that would be Greg and Dad), I now present to y'all:

Lula, Mississippi!

Oh, this makes me happy. Can y'all hear me squealing? 'Cause I am! Woo-woooooooo!

I learned about this most fabulously named little corner of the world from none other than the ultra-cool AFRo, a Mississippi lady of the highest caliber. And because she is ultra-cool, she was fun enough to send me several pictures from the sweet little land of Lula. I so want to visit there.

Livin' at's legendary, says the sign. Somewhere in the land of Lula, MS, is a woman who can fry chicken (only in cast iron, of course!), bake up melt-in-your-mouth biscuits, and pile a plate full of butter beans, mashed taters, and sliced tomatoes. The requisite Mason jar glass of sweet tea is on the side, of course. This, my dears, is a meal meant for legends. I know she's there. After all, it is Lula.

How hard rockin' would it be to drive a squad car with the word "Lula" imprinted upon its back? I need this car. It would up my cool quotient exponentially. And it needs to be upped, I must admit.

If this were my fuel center, y'all know I'd give my peeps old school gasoline. The gas from way back--when it was $1.05 per gallon and it was fun to fill your Chevy pick-up with a full tank and spend the evening mud bogging. Or cow tipping. 'Cause that's what we'd do in Lula. Good times, y'all. I'm not even kidding. It's how I was raised.

My darling Debbie, this gives new meaning to your "name cemetery," huh? I now have photographic, factual evidence that when God calls me to Glory, the resting place for these bag of bones will include my very nickname on a sign, in a cursive font. It's the next best thing to monogramming...and y'all know how I feel about some personalization. Scott, Dad, know where I want to be buried. AFRo, can you suss out a plot for me, please?

To the town of Lula, Mississippi...I love y'all. I really do. My Meridian roots are now extending to your soil, embracing more of this state that I love and claim as my own. This Lula is officially inviting herself for a visit. I must get a picture next to the cemetary sign. It's my new life's mission. Oh, but it is.

Thanks, have effectually made this the happiest day of my week. And I always knew I liked you. I'm waiting to return the favor.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Mad Musical Monday.

Are y'all ready for an admission? Promise you won't think I'm super-psycho? (Kelly, I know you will...just go with it and still be my friend.) I'm going public with some musical appreciation that I've selected for a very special playlist on my Pod. Only a select few are aware of its existence. Internets, feel the love...get your groove's time for songs from my Vampire Soliloquy.

Yes, I said it. I have a "vampire playlist" on my iPod.

It's been there for a long while, with songs coming & going wherever my whims take me on a particular day. Many of you who are reading or have read the Twilight Saga are aware of Stephenie Meyer's musical playlists for each book, posted on her website. Some of her choices are on my Vampire Soliloquy, because she has fantastic taste in music and I dig the same stuff. And then I have songs I've loved for years, new stuff I've just discovered, and recommendations from fellow friends.

This music makes for great reading, y'all. And pool lounging. And blogging. And late-night drives. Good music. Good times. And part of the soundtrack of my life.
Allow me to share, please:

"Your Guardian Angel" by Red Jumpsuit Apparatus. It's sweet. Touching. Tender. Very Edward and Bellaesque. Teenage love and angst. I'll say no more.

"For Me This is Heaven" by Jimmy Eat World. One of the most underrated love songs. Ever. Almost too sweet to be vampy, but it's on the list anyway.

The Fray's Look After You. The newest addition to my playlist, thanks to a song-savvy pal. There is no video for this song, however some genius fan uploaded pictures of the band, as well as the song's lyrics on You Tube. Go if you don't get all mushy-gushy inside. The lyrics in Look After You just slay me. Yes, they do.

Other tunes on my Soliloquy include:
"On Your Side"--Luna Halo
"Learning to Breathe"--Switchfoot
"Stolen"--Dashboard Confessional
"Blackout," "Hysteria," and "Falling Away With You"--Muse
"The Scientist"--Coldplay
"Letting the Cables Sleep" and "Out of This World"--Bush
"The Kill"--30 Seconds to Mars
"Mad World"--Gary Jules
"Bring Me to Life"--Evanescence
"6 Underground"--Sneaker Pimps
"So Alive"--Love & Rockets

Just to name a few. Are y'all getting the gist of my love of music? Yeah, it's a very big deal to me.

Are y'all still my friends, or have I completely scared you off?

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Flashback Friday!

Sunshine (yes, that's her real name!) and I have been friends for 10 years. We've had some good times in those years, and since Sun and her family have been here playing with us for a few days, I decided to go back and share shots from our decade of friendship. It was a good idea, in theory...and then we realized that while we are both fabulously beautiful women, (Sunshine, especially--she's a supermodel!) we cannot seem to take a decent photograph together. Witness:

December 2001--Me at 7 months, Sunshine 2 weeks away from delivering her 1st son.
Me: What should we say about this picture?
Sun: Big girls don't cry.
Me: Well, duh--but we're laughing. We were having our first babies. The crying came later.
Sun: We cried 'cause our noses were huge.
Me: That ain't all that was huge. Or is still huge. On me. Moving on...

Me: Thank God Killian and Libbey are looking cute here, 'cause we weren't getting it done.
Sun: I am looking "tow" up here.
Me: And what's with my hair? We have had some hai-ruh dids over the past 10 years.
Sun: Oooooh, this is bad. Hideous. We can do better than this. Move on, please.

Me: Were we trying to be the Double-Mint twins or this picture truly as bad as it looks?
Sun: We were laughing so hard we look Chinese. We are so not Chinese. Uh-uh.
Me: We need Glamour Shots.
Sun: Because we are glamorous rock stars. Aw yeah, we are. Really, we are. You just can't tell it here.

Me: So this was taken last night. After lots of swimming, sweating, cooking, rocking, and other "ings" that I just won't go into here.

Sun: Yes, let's keep all that on the downlow. But we need some Botox on our necks!

Me: I think I've proven our point here, Botox notwithstanding.

Sun: Let's make it our goal--in the next 10 years, we will take a decent picture together.

Me: It's my new life's challenge. Well...that, and getting the song on the "Twilight" soundtrack!


I can't believe I'm posting this. What a big ol' pregnant belly, bad hair, Chinese eyes and all. I'd only do this for Sunshine Barlowe Lewis, though. I love her immensely. And to prove that I love her, I'll share with y'all a picture of her gloriousness...


Thanks for being my friend, Sun. So glad you are capable of being photogenic...when I'm not in the picture, that is.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Welcome to the Jungle.

Last week I watched Regis & Kelly for the first time in months, and Joan Allen was there chatting them up, discussing her new movie, Death Race. Because this movie stars my boyfriend, and because I haven't posted about him in over 3 weeks (I know, right?), I had to take a moment to share this little bit of deliciousness with all of you. Here's how it played out:

Kelly: And Jason Statham is in this movie with you, right?
Joan: Yes, and he is just really lovely. Just perfect to work with.

[Lula: Oh, speak so kindly of him. I now love you even more!]

Kelly: I just love him!
Regis: He is quite the action star, isn't he?

[Lula: Yes, Reege...he is MY action star. Let's keep this straight, shall we?]

Kelly: But Joan, you know what I love about him?
Joan: (Not caring a bit that her interview is being upstaged by my boyfriend) Aside from his looks?
Kelly: (laughing) Well that, but does he not smell so good? I mean, that is one good-smelling man!

[Lula: OF COURSE he smells good, Kelly. And get your bony little nose away from my man, or I will take you. I will take you down, woman.]

If Joan responded, I certainly didn't hear it. I was too busy trying to imagine his yummy-smelling self.

There you have it. Like my husband, my boyfriend is an incredible olfactory experience. I will smell him one day. Oh yes, it will happen.

Y'all know where I'll be on August 22.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

The End.

*Absolutely no spoilers! You have my word.

An ending is not always a terrible thing. Sometimes it leads to a new beginning. Sometimes finality signals a door to slam shut, instead of softly closing, so that one knows it's an entryway best kept sealed. And sometimes an ending is necessary, no matter how painful it is to bid farewell to something so well-loved.

Saturday afternoon I read the words, "The End." The final page of Stephenie Meyer's brilliant and breathtaking Twilight saga closed with these two words, and with it the love story of Bella and Edward. I closed my copy of Breaking Dawn, completely spent, emotional, and thankful. I cried. I cried in front of 50+ unknown souls, all sitting in lounge chairs or swimming in the pool of the Hilton Austin. I wasn't embarrassed. I didn't object to my tears mixing with the SPF 30 I'd slathered on my face, nor did I wince when my eyes began to blur. Sitting there, in a veritable lap of luxury (read: my kids safely at home in Virginia, my husband ensconced in boring medical meetings, a day of sun and dips in the pool, cold beverages, and complete alone-time, i.e. HEAVEN!), I cried while bidding farewell to the characters I've loved so deeply this past year. This Edward, this Bella, this Jacob, this Alice, Jasper, Carlisle, Esme, Rosalie, and Emmett...their story reached closure, and I found completion right along with these fictional beings.

"The End." Yes, it was the end. Yet I was happy, and that surprised me most of all. I've never been good with the farewells.

For me, Twilight was akin to falling in love with my husband. Remember the rush of blossoming first love? The late night talks, about everything and nothing...looking for any excuse to be with each other...swapping stories, sharing secrets...the first embrace...and--BLISS!--the first kiss. It makes me all tingly from my head to my toes. Identifying first love through Bella's eyes was a joy ride for me. Mid-way through the first book, Edward muses:

"Isn't it supposed to be like this? The glory of first love, and
all that. It's incredible, isn't it, the difference between reading about
something, seeing it in the pictures, and experiencing it..." Twilight,
Chapter 14.

By this point in the first book I was in deep...and I only swam out two days ago. Honestly, I'm diving in again very soon. And very often.

Incidentally, this simple little quote summarizes my love for Twilight...I had to experience it to fully to appreciate the story that was born in the dream of Stephenie Meyer, a Midwestern wife and mother. When I say Bella and Edward are the most romantic couple in the history of fiction, I pray Margaret Mitchell isn't turning in her grave. Shakespeare wishes he created these two lovers. Yes, I said that. And Jane Austen? She comes mightily close, (both Austen and Meyer are kindreds when it comes to chaste, pure, and preserved love. I love that.) however I'm sticking with the more modern lovebirds. Mr. Darcy, I still heart you.

And so, without a single spoiler, I share with all of you now: I adored Breaking Dawn. It was beautiful, it was different, it was exciting, it was a whirlwind, and I was completely caught up in it. Over the past couple of days I've read many negative reviews on this final chapter of the Twilight Saga, mostly from younger girls. To these gals I say, "Read it again when you're older...then you'll get it...and only then will you understand fully."

Thank you, Stephenie Meyer. Countless dreams I've had of wild tales, mysterious settings, and burgeoning romance...and not one time have I ever thought to put pen to paper and preserve these little gems from slumber. But I'm glad you did. I have enjoyed every minute of your dream, and I thank you for sharing it with me and millions of others. We are all the better for it.

p.s. I'm sure you've noticed the countdown over on my side bar--yes, the movie version of Twilight is being released 11-21-08. To say I'm excited is putting it mildly. Very.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

La-La Land.

I'm sorry, Lula is unavailable at this time. She is busy reading that book. You all know the one of which I speak. She will be back on Monday, and loving her as I do, I'm positive she'll have a lot to say. I think she's only a few chapters into it, but so far I've heard squeals, several sighs, and even seen some tears in her eyes. She is ridiculous. But I love her. I'm happy for her. She's waited almost a year for this. I wouldn't dare spoil it by even so much as breathing in her general direction.

Thanks for stopping by. She'll see y'all in a couple of days.
Scott, also known as Mr. Lula

Friday, August 1, 2008

Flashback Friday!

I'd like to take y'all back one year ago, to August of 2007. I want to share a few pictures, a bit of a story (not a long one, Cara!), and then a not-so-secret declaration, all for today's edition of Flashback Friday.

Last August we spent our annual week at a beach house in Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, or as we refer to it, "our beach." No, we're not Hiltons, but we claim this island for our own enjoyment, as it were. Here's some pictures from that trip:

Libbey's gettin' her drink on. Uncle Robbie is famous for his banana/strawberry smoothies, and Libbey thinks she's Big Stuff drinking out of a "big girl glass." I'm not in this picture, obviously.

Here's Scott and Caroline, resplendent (that's for you!) in their beach attire. I'm not in this photo, either. In case you didn't catch that.

And now we have Mandy, my sister-in-law, pretending to be a rock star. We played a lot of Guitar Hero last year, before trading up for the bigger and better Rock Band. Again, I'm not pictured in this shot.
Each year we do a beach photo-shoot with the girls and their cousin, Eliza. (Baby Helen's turn will come soon.) Aren't they just delicious? With a spoon. And, as per usual, I am nowhere to be seen in this photograph.

The lack of visual proof of my existence during last year's beach trip stems from one reason, and one reason only. I discovered Twilight on this trip, and read all three books in the series in rapid succession. Then I reread them. Do not act surprised--y'all should know me by now.

At 12:01 am tonight (OK, technically Saturday morning) the final chapter of the Twilight Saga will be released. Eleven months is a long time to wait, y'all...but I've endured, and my reward will be the glory that is Breaking Dawn. Unless Meyer chooses to end the tale in a way I don't agree with, and then I shall be forced to hunt her down like a dog in the night, forcing her to rewrite it to suit my expectations. Cough-cough.

Post after post of Twilight shout-outs, have I finally convinced y'all to read the greatest love story since Rhett and Scarlett? Don't take my word for Mrs. R's take on it here, as well as Heather's here.

I'm not alone in my fervor and devotion. We want y'all to love it just as much. Yes, we do. That's just the kind of people I am, so naturally I surround myself with like-minded women who share my, I mean devotion.
p.s. As if it's not enough that I'll be reading THE book later on tonight, I just read the best news ever. I have to share it with y'all because I. Just. Can't. Keep. It. In. Guess who made the cover of USA Today? Guess who's the number 1 team in college football?

Thank You, God. I refuse to ask You for the National Championship this season, but I know You know me...and You love me. In Jesus' Name, Amen.