Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Affirmation in the Face of Frustration.

Last March People premiered a photo shoot featuring Jennifer Lopez and her newborn twins, Max & Emme. Upon seeing these pictures I felt just a bit put out. Mandy, my sister-in-law, chimed in by asking, "Was that not highly offensive?" Indeed, sister dear, it was. And we say this in a loving way, just so you know. We're not the least bit catty.

But please tell me: who looks like this mere weeks after giving birth?

Don't get me wrong...both mommy and the babies are looking fabulous in their Christian Dior haute couture. Note the perfectly coiffed hair of La Lopez. There are no dark circles under her eyes. She's just hanging out with her kids, wearing silk and diamonds. You know, as do all new mommies, of course!

Obviously her children do not have reflux. I can't even imagine what spit-up does to fine fabrics. I wore a burp cloth with both my girls, for the first three months. In public. I'm not kidding.

These pictures did not impress me. Here's what I really want to see:
Let's just be honest here. This is reminiscent of any fashion statements I made as a brand new mother. My ever-present ponytail, zero make-up, and an old t-shirt...albeit my mammaries would not have been contained had I worn a shirt cut this low. I'm just sayin'.

Here's Uma Thurman, looking real. Maybe one of her children kept her up the night before, puking or with a fever. Maybe she's PMSing. Or maybe this is Uma sans photoshop, airbrushing, and the magic of Hollywood. Regardless, I still love her. Moms do look like this! We've all been there. We've all had these days. I think she looks beautiful...you know, like a mother.

Faith Hill, I love you! This woman makes sweet babies with Tim McGraw and always looks flawless in concert, onscreen, or in print. Yet I love that she's out shopping, doing her thing, wearing jeans and a simple t-shirt. You know...living in real life! I need to be her friend.

My point? I have many friends who are new mothers, or soon-to-be-new-mothers. I want them to know those first few weeks (OK, months!) with a newborn are not glamorous. There are days when you won't shower until 7 pm. And that's if you shower at all! There are days when you'll think to yourself, "I will never leave this house again." And that's OK! Again, we have all been there. Moms out there--please nod your heads with me and affirm: We have all been there!

I'm not saying to let yourself go...to abandon all sense of fashion. Sometimes a little kitten heel, some new mascara, and dangly earrings are a shot of much needed self-esteem during those early days of new motherhood. Especially if you're looking fabulous and have a babysitter on hand for a couple of hours. This is a gift from God--take it and and run out the door! These moments are fleeting, particularly with a small baby.

Someone, somewhere out there in bloggy land needs to be reminded of this. For every Jessica Alba article that shouts, "Svelte & Sexy--6 Weeks After Baby!" there should be the magazine headline which touts, "I Got Off the Couch and Put On Clean Underwear--6 Weeks After Baby!" That is a very big deal.


I can't confirm the status of my underwear, but here I am with two week old Libbey. On the couch. In sweats. With my double chin. And the breast pump in the background. Now this, my friends, is new motherhood in all its glory.

It's what we need to hear and see. We need to be reminded. I do, at least. And I don't even have a newborn. But I have been there.

For the record, I wasn't wearing Dior or dripping with diamonds. Nor was I on the cover of People. That's not the point, now...

Monday, September 29, 2008

Because I Have Your Best Interests At Heart.

Last weekend I read this book:

I finished it in one evening...literally could not put it down. As soon as I read the final page, I ran to Miss Pretty Pink and composed a message to some of my favorite gals-who-read. It went like this: "Go read The Hunger Games. Now. Thank me later."

I then spent the better part of a day mentally casting the movie version of this book. Because it has to be made into a movie. I need it to be made into a feature film, I just don't need it to be screwed up.  (Twilight, can you hear me?  Ew.)

This is my Monday recommendation for y'all...instead of a musical pick, I'm highlighting this particular novel. You need to read it. Trust me. Again I say: Go read The Hunger Games. Now. I'm talking Harry Potter-level awesomeness here, y'all.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Flashback Friday!

Fellow blogger (and very good friend!) Vicki, of Not So SAHM, and I graduated from Warner Robins High School over 15 years ago. Here we are, side-by-side in the yearbook...love the crease from where I just slapped that enormous thing up on the scanner? Let's pause for a moment and cherish the tender memories of early 90's hair, and eyebrows which have yet to discover the art of shaping and waxing. We totally thought we were on 90210, and with good reason...the WRHS Class of 1993 graduated right alongside the West Bev Highers, as well as the Bayside kids from Saved By The Bell. I treasure this bond of pop culture that we share with fictional characters from cheesy, teeny-bop tv shows.

Raise your hand if you're thankful the high school years are a distant memory. I have both hands raised! Vicki and I are older, wiser, happier, beyond blessed, and with much better hair. Because it all comes down to the hair, y'all. And the eyebrows.

But...would you go back and relive a day from your high school years? If so, please tell me all about it. There's not a moment of my time at WRHS that I would willingly suffer again.

OK, that's not true. There's a scene in Peggy Sue Got Married when Peggy looks at a picture of Michael Fitzsimmons at her class reunion and muses, "He's the only guy I wish I'd gone to bed with..." I'm not going to take it that far, but there is one guy I wished I'd kissed. Nothing more than just a good, teenaged make-out session. To this day I'm shocked he and I never did lock lips...'cause I'd kissed half his friends, and he mine. Our lack of snogging is my one regret from my high school days. And no, I'm not telling y'all his name! (Tori, Ric, Kelly, and Vicki--if you guess correctly, I'll come clean. Genie, it wasn't Ric!)

Enough about me...I'm throwing this one back to y'all. Would you relive any particular day of your high school career? Let's discuss...

Happy weekend, y'all!

*Mama, if the pole didn't kill you, this one surely will! I love you!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

In Which My Mother Negates Her Right To Parental Discretion.

Wednesday, September 24, 9:30 pm.

Me: If I blogged about wanting to pole dance would that freak you out?


Me: I don't mean in public, I mean at home...in private...you know, for exercise. And for Scott.
It's something I've always wanted to try, and a lot of my friends have done it.

Mama: I can't believe you even asked me this. But I don't care if you want to do it in public, that's your business. Did I tell you where our seats are on the plane to Vegas? They're in the very back, nowhere near y'all. Your brother is going to die...

Me: Wait! Mama, I am NOT going to pole dance in public. Have you lost your mind? Could you see me getting up on a pole?

Mama: That's your business I guess. I wouldn't do it.

Me: Well thank God for that! I've heard it's really good exercise, but hard to learn, and fun once you're decent at it.

Mama: Where would you put the pole? In the basement or in the exercise room?

Me: Mama, you are not listening to me. I'm not really going to pole dance...it's just a pipe dream. You know, after I lose more weight...

Mama: What does Scott think about this? Does he know you're wanting a pole in the house?

Me: Are you even hearing me? You are not getting the point--it's just a fantasy--I don't think I'll ever do it. I don't know. Maybe I will. One day.

Mama: I'm watching America's Got Talent. It's getting to the end and most of these people are pretty boring, so I don't even know why I'm watching...

This is how much she cares, y'all. Seriously. She raised me to be a southern lady, to have decency and decorum. I still say "ma'am," and "sir," as do my daughters. I don't leave the house without wearing lipstick. My thank yous are handwritten, on monogrammed stationery. And I wouldn't dream of wearing anything remotely formfitting without first donning the Spanx. Please allow me to quote my beloved Steel Magnolias:

Truvy: I haven't left the house without Lycra on these thighs since I was fourteen!
Clairee: You were brought up right.

Here I am thinking, "Mama will whip me if I go near the words 'pole' and 'dance.'" But darn if she doesn't already have me on some poorly-lit stage in a smoky club, writhing to Motley Crue or Poison, swinging in a G-string while drunk buffoons leer and cheer me on.

I'm thinking maybe she just wants a share of my tips.

And for the record...I would love to try pole dancing...with a group of girls, in a private setting. After years of lessons maybe I'd be decent enough to shimmy and swirl in a hot pink leather catsuit. I already have my song picked out:

"Supermassive Black Hole," by Muse. It's my pole song. Don't go stealing it from me.

Mama, you'll get the first performance. I promise.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008


I had this brilliantly written, fabulously constructed, highly entertaining, and completely hysterical post all ready for the publishing. I had it 2 minutes ago. It is now gone. I cannot get it back. Blogger, you and I are now at odds in a big way.

Please feel my pain. Please tell me this has happened to you before. Please accept the fact that I'm on the cusp of a massive headache and thisclose to a stuffy nose, therefore I'm unable to start all over again. I must convalesce. (Heather, I'm in need of a SS miracle. You know where I'm heading in just a few minutes. It's worked before--I'm holding out hope that it's not a one time deal.)

I'll try again tomorrow. Can you just bear with me 'til then?

Thanks ever so much.

And because I refuse to leave y'all hanging, I offer this...just for now:

An oldie but a goodie. It makes me happy.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Must-See TV.

Yesterday was a good day...I got a new hair "did," laughed so hard I cried off all traces of my make-up while talking on the phone with two of my favorite people, and spent some quality time with Libbey after school. Good times. Good day. Hooray for the first day of fall!

It got better.

The girls and I brought a meal over to their great grandmother's house, as we do every Monday evening, and after we ate and visited for a while, GeGe and I started talking while watching the CBS Evening News. It was during this time that GeGe made my day complete:

GeGe: Boy that Katie Couric...you know she went to UVA.

Me: That's right. Her nephew graduated medical school with Scotty, and I spent most of graduation day searching to see if she attended the ceremonies. Never did find her.

GeGe: Seems like I remember that. Didn't her husband die not long ago?

Me: It's been a while...about 10 years or so, I think.

GeGe: Wonder who he was? How did he die?

Me: Um...well, his name was Jay Monahan and he died of colon cancer. He was pretty young, too...in his 40's, if I'm not mistaken.

GeGe: Leigh Anne, you are really intelligent, you know that? You are smarter than Dr. Phil!

Wow. Smarter than Dr. Phil. Dr. Phil, of all people!

My one hour talk show will debut in early winter. Check your local listings for time and channel.
The two Helens--Helen "GeGe" Litton and Helen Katherine Sanders (our niece)--July 2008.

Monday, September 22, 2008

It's Fall, Y'all!

Today is the Autumnal Equinox. Or, plainly spoken, the first official day of fall, otherwise known as my most very favorite season. For many reasons:

*Georgia Bulldog football (Knowshon Moreno better win the Heisman, is all I'm sayin'!)

*Pumpkins/Pumpkin Spice lattes/Pumpkin Crisp/Pumpkin Cheesecake/Pumpkin Muffins...

*Scarlett, orange, and gold-hued trees

*Fresh apple cider, served cold or hot

*Lightweight Sweater Weather

*Friday Night Lights at the Lee High 5-Star Stadium (Go Generals!)

*Caroline's birthday, Halloween, Twilight, Thanksgiving, and my 34th birthday!

*The Lee County Tobacco Festival

*Bales of hay, multi-colored mums, gourds, pumpkins, and Indian corn, decorating
our yard.

After chopping off half my hair later on today (and going darker with my color!), the girls and I will haul out the fall decor and officially kick off the season in the Litton home. My latest autumn decorating trick comes from Tiffany. Look what she taught me to make:

Check out at my UGA-ified pumpkin! Or...is it Twilightesque? You decide.

I got all kinds of crazy on this puh-kin...3 ribbons, y'all. I have a thing for green, black and orange. And polka dots. This was supposed to be going to Libbey's teacher, but I don't think I'll part with its adorableness.

Thanks, Tiff, for giving me a project. I dig you lots, as you well know. Even when you request that I stretch deep within to pull out what little craftiness I have lurking amidst my totally uncreative genes. (Click here to see puh-kin creations from other bloggy gals.)

Finally, since I've not done a Mad Musical Monday in several weeks, I just had to share with y'all my two new musical loves:

Boyce Avenue, with their song "Find Me." After hearing just this one song I downloaded their entire "All You're Meant To Be" album off iTunes, and have been listening to it pretty much non-stop for days now.

Grace Potter and the Nocturnals, performing "Apologies," live. Their "This Is Somewhere" album is brilliant...and near-perfect. Grace is my new favorite female vocalist. Go listen. Now. Seriously. Kristen, thank you for keeping me in good music. (And in good Him.)

Happy Fall, Y'all!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Flashback Friday!

It's not a bedroom at Graceland.

It's not the honeymoon suite at one of the Pocono Resorts.

It's not Liberace's guest room.

It's 207 Forest Hill Drive, in September of 1978, exactly thirty years ago. Gold shag carpeting, gold medallion wallpaper, quilted gold bedspread, and a tiny gold "boob" chandelier, dripping with fringe made of crystal.

Dad...Mama...thirty years ago this was super chic, I know. Thank God one of you had the presence of mind to photograph what I'm sure y'all thought was master bedroom decor worthy of Better Homes and Gardens.

Do you have to ask if this makes me happy? Yes. It does. Immensely.

Sometimes I miss the 70's so much that the craving for Tang only dissipates when I eat a cake made in my Easy Bake Oven. Er...that would be Libbey's Easy Bake Oven. Yeah.

Happy weekend, y'all...hope it's fun and funky!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

True Confessions.

In the past week I have had not one, not two, not three, but seven different grown women confide in me their love for a fictional man.

Give y'all three guesses and the first two don't count.

Oh, Stephenie Meyer...look what you have wrought. Happily married women are falling gushily and mushily in love with one Edward Anthony Masen Cullen, and feeling zero guilt about the whole scenario. I don't know what it is about this particular week...budding anticipation for the movie release on November 21? A secret "We Heart EAMC" society I am unaware of, with the sole purpose of spreading the Edward love these past few days? A full moon? The last few days of summer?

I refuse to out each person who has breathed the words, "Can I just say that I'm totally in love with Edward?" OK, so I'll make a few public. Some are family members (ahem--Mandy!), some are bloggy pals who've just discovered the scrumptious goodness that is Twilight, (cough-cough, Stephanie, among many others!), and quite a few are "real life" friends of mine, living here in my little mountain town. My (many) copies of the books have made their rounds in Lee County.

With every confession of undying devotion to one Edward Cullen, the inevitable is always asked of me: "Is it pathetic that I'm in love with a fictional character?"

My answer? Of course not! We all love Edward. We love Bella, too...but Edward is the man. Our man. It makes me happy that so many are passionate about him. Yeah, I said passionate...it is Edward I'm talking about.

I've said it before and I'll say it again...if you haven't devoured the Twilight Saga, what on earth are you waiting for? And Kathy...I'm looking at YOU, my dear.


Edited 9:37 AM, Eastern time:

I have a friend who has been reading my blog for ages. She lives in my town & is one of my closest friends. (Our daughters have been BFFs since they were 2!) I just want to state--for the record--that TODAY is the very first time Lacey Edwards Fischer has ever left a comment on Lulaville.

Thanks, Lacey...and all it took was Edward to draw you out. I'm not the least bit surprised!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

"I laugh in the face of danger...

...then I run and hide until it goes away!"--Xander Harris, of Buffy the Vampire Slayer

True confession time, y'all. I am scared of very few things, most of which I'll never own up to here. I embarrass myself enough without exposing every single one of my idiosyncrasies. Some things are better kept buried within the realms of my head and heart.

But today, one of my deepest fears surfaced in my very own little mountain town: The circus. Yeah, that's right. The big top...the ringmaster...clowns, animals, organ music, stale popcorn, balloons, and hordes of screaming children. That circus.

Had I my druthers, the circus would look like this:

Isn't that so dreamy? Behold that child, that baby, riding atop a crowned lion! Loving the jester juggling plates while pedaling his unicycle...brilliant! And I must have that feathery plume adorning the head of the horse-balancing ballerina. Now this is festive! Part Lewis Carroll, part Tim Burton, part childhood nostalgia, and exactly how a circus would appear in my world.

Instead, most Big Top/Three Ring gatherings look like this:

Can you not feel their disdain? Their mortal shame? Imagine being forced to perform in these ridiculous headdresses, while poorly dressed humans snap a stick in your face, upon your legs, against your hide? I just want to hug this pack of pachyderms. But I won't. Because they smell.

Did I mention the other reason I'm scared of the circus? It smells, y'all. Badly. And poop falls in the middle of performances. POOP! Straight-up POOP! That's all I have to say about that.

If I'm paying to see wildlife I'd much prefer it to be on an African safari. Or behind the gates of the zoo. Same premise, I know...same wafting scents, same pitiful animals. Yet zoo animals are not performing in their cages. There's a difference. Really! (Who will be the first to remind me of the boom-chicka-wow-wow meerkats of last May?)

I mean...look at these majestic tigers! Rather, at one point they were most likely majestic...feral...and imposing. Now they are tamed little stunt cats, pimping themselves out for a few treats, easy meals, a place to lay their heads, and a couple of hugs from their trainer, before being herded into a traveling trailer.
Oh tigers--please don't sit up and beg. It's humiliating! Unless you're begging the audience to just go away...then by all means, continue with your pleading efforts.

Yes, folks. I hate the circus. It frightens me. It smells like poop. The animals make me sad. I receive no joy from it. Did my children know a circus came to their town today? Nope. And none of y'all better rat me out. I'll gladly take the Mean Mother Award in exchange for shielding my precious girls from any tented horror such as the likes of a touring, small-town circus.
This is my kind of Big Top...Cirque du Soleil's "LOVE," currently being performed at The Mirage in Las Vegas. We saw it last year. It's The Beatles, y'all. And no smelly animals. 'Nuff said.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

From My Fuschia, Velvet Chaise Lounge.

Sunday, September 14, 2008, 12:17 p.m.

Libbey: Mommy, I am starving. Can I have something to eat?

Me: I'll fix you something as soon as I get Sissy down for her nap.

Libbey: But I'm starving!

Me: Give me 5 minutes. You won't die in 5 minutes I promise. If you start to feel as if you are dying, call Daddy at the hospital first. (We are always overtly dramatic in our family. Work with me, people.)

Five minutes later...
I walk into the kitchen and see this:

There sits my eldest child, dining away while circling every other item in the Kelly's Kids catalogue, 90% of which she won't be getting.

Me: Did you do that all by yourself? (Which was a stupid question because her father was at the hospital, and there are no lunch fairies at our house. Believe me, I've checked. Often.)

Libbey: I just couldn't wait for you, Mommy. Is that OK? I was really hungry. I wasn't dying, but I just couldn't wait. And actually, Daddy's too far away to help.
Good point.
But the best part is that not only did she fix her own lunch, she also completely cleaned up after making it...witness:
She gets the OCD from her Dad. Look at the "Sleeping With the Enemy" manner in which she turned all the labels forward.

She even got the jelly into the top of the fridge door. Who knew she could even reach that high?

Now this little scenario might not be the least bit impressive to any of y'all. But I gotta tell you...it thrilled me from the top of my badly-in-need-of-touching-up roots to the tips of my badly-in-need-of-a-pedicure toes.

This week...a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, followed by a complete clean up & the putting away of items used to assemble said meal. Next week...I'm teaching her to steam crab legs, make clarified butter, cheese grits, and green beans. Followed by a complete clean up & the putting away of items used to assemble my favorite meal. Then she can vacuum the living room, fold a few loads of laundry, and put the clothes in their rightful drawers/closets.
Clearly, this is why I had kids.

Meanwhile I'll be eating bonbons, watching reruns of Designing Women, and pretending to be the Queen of Sheba.

Monday, September 15, 2008

"I Can See Russia From My House!"

It's a rare occurrence for me, but sometimes I'd rather laugh than listen to music. Shocking, I know. I had this week's Mad Musical Monday post all ready to go. And then I saw this:

Keepin' it nonpartisan y'all! I know, I know...the presidential race is serious business and I am not making light of it. This just cracked me up big time, and was a welcome respite from all the negative media surrounding each of the candidates, particularly Governor Palin.


Friday, September 12, 2008

Flashback Friday!

Call me a sentimental fool and I'll answer, "Darn right I am!" I honestly can't watch this without tearing up.

He's right up there with Jim Henson & Charles Schultz, and I don't want to imagine what my childhood (or my "grown up years," for that matter!) would have been like without Mr. Fred Rogers.

It makes me happy, y'all. And I wanted to share it with you. Because it's you I like. Yeah, I said it.

Oh, who am I kidding? I didn't tear up. If you must know, I snotted and blubbered while watching this clip. Now I just wanna go home to Georgia, take a nap with my head in Mama's lap, then wake and drink Coke in a bottle and eat half a box of butter cookies. And how hard rockin' would it be if both He-Man and She-Ra were on for my viewing pleasure? Can I be nine again for just one day?

Happy weekend, everybody!
This is just for Hot Tub Lizzy, solely because of the comment she left this morning. Four years ago we were at the Indianapolis Children's Museum, where they featured a very awesome Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood Exhibit. We were about to leave the museum when one of the employees asked, "Would you like to meet the actual Mr. McFeely?" To say I got excited is putting it mildly. He posed for a picture with Scott & Libbey (who was 2 1/2 at the time), then spent a few minutes talking with us. It made me happy!

When we thanked him and said good-bye, he tipped his hat and exclaimed "Speedy delivery!" I got a bit misty-eyed. My mother did, too...it was a very fine moment in our lives, just so y'all know!

Thursday, September 11, 2008


After viewing this video, Song of Solomon 4:7 came to mind: "All beautiful you are, my darling; there is no flaw in you." I love, love, love this verse. Even if you aren't "religious" or a reader of the Bible, there is comfort, joy, and peace to be found in knowing that this is precisely how God views us. Oh man, that knowledge keeps me warm at night, I gotta tell ya.

Daily I drill into the brain matter of my girls' heads, "You are gorgeous, you are smart, you can do anything your heart desires! And did I mention you are gorgeous?" I don't preach this to Libbey and Caroline in hopes of over-inflating their egos. Their noses aren't in the air. I also frequently remind Libbey (as Caroline's too young) that she better not ever, for one second, think that she's somebody just because of her surname or her father's position as a "leader" in our community. She is beautiful and she is special because she belongs to God, and only for that reason alone. Thinking otherwise will result in a far fall from a high horse.

My heart's desire is for my two daughters to know the clarity of their skin, the luminosity of their eyes, the sheen of their hair, or the amount of weight on their bodies is nothing compared to having a pure and loving heart. Being beautiful on the outside is one thing, but being beautiful on the inside is the true goal, of course. How many times have we been told this? How many times have we believed it?

Let me state here and now: I am not against beautification attempts. Not in the least! Do not think this boo-tay leaves the house in anything remotely snug-fitting without my Spanx Power Panties underneath. And I do not mind any of you knowing that liposuction of my midsection is on the agenda for 2009, after I lose more weight. Yes, I want a tattoo, and will get one very soon. I do color my hair, wear lip gloss 16 hours a day, and walk through a cloud of Marc Jacobs perfume before leaving the house. (Seriously--have you smelled it? It makes me feel like a grown-up!) I'm all girly girl, to put it mildly, and I love it!

If you want bigger boobs, then girl--go get 'em. I'll be cheering you on from Miss Pretty Pink. Want a radical new hair color? Do it, then post about it--'cause I'll want to see! Gonna give Botox a try? Oh, please...I certainly wanna hear about that. Did it hurt? Can you move your eyebrows at all? How much better is it making you appear?

My point in this? Decorate your outer shell. But cultivate the beauty within your inner self. I'd love to have Angelina Jolie's body, admittedly. Yet I never will. And I'm fine with that. I refuse to allow the media to construct and display their opinion of true beauty, molding and shaping this image into a height unattainable for us "everyday" folks. I choose to destruct these make-over myths...and just be me. Wrinkles, zits, under-eye circles, flabby hips...every bit of me.

I sound so confident. I'm not. Just so you know. Wanna see the hair on my legs? I didn't think so.

More than anything I hope my daughters believe that I believe this. That I fully believe in inner beauty trumping the outer shell. Oh, but wouldn't the world be so much lovelier if we all lived in this manner? Let's start now, shall we?

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------*It's been 7 years. I have not forgotten, nor will I ever. I honor the men, women, children, and families whose lives were irrevocably altered on this day in 2001. The passing of these years have not dulled the memory of how I felt on this day. No, I haven't forgotten one bit.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

The Crackling Ignition of Knowledge.

Do you remember when a book changed your life? That "a-ha!" moment when you realized reading was fun? I have distinct memories of dangling half on and half off our Brady Bunchesque couch, fervently devouring Judy Blume's Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret. Upon finishing it I knew I'd be a book lover for the rest of my life.

A few years later I discovered Margaret Mitchell's love song to the south, the glorious Gone With the Wind. Please take me seriously when I express what this book means to me...it was like a whisper beckoning this soul to a home I'd never seen. Margaret Mitchell has always been one of my heroes--and of course, she's from Georgia, so 'nuff said.

Five years ago my dear friend, Suzanne, begged me to read three novels by an author of Christian fiction. Let me stress...I do not do Christian fiction. It's usually trite, poorly written, and frankly, rather boring. (I mean this in the lovingest way possible.) Suzanne knew that I read and enjoyed the works of Frank Peretti (one of my few Christian fiction exceptions to the rule!), so she convinced me to read Francine Rivers' Mark of the Lion trilogy, beginning with A Voice in the Wind. I read it. I read all three in the series. In three days. Half a decade later and I'm still rereading these brilliantly written works. I. Love. Them.

By now we all know how I feel about this book, and its three sequels. And let me take a quick moment to throw love toward all you gals who have trusted me (and Heather, and Tiffany!) enough to give these books a go. I'd link all of your names here, but that would take forever. Just know that I adore all of you and I'm glad you're a part of my Twilight Love Fest! (Obsession, addiction, whatever...)
I love books, obviously. I'd rather read than watch television...unless Lost is on, of course. Reading in the tub is my favorite way to relax, but I'm usually found curled up in bed, surrounded by pillows, using my Itty Bitty Book Light so as not to disturb Scott's slumber. It makes me very happy.

So...here's where I'm going with all this...finally! Amazon's newest techno offering is the Kindle, an e-book reader for electronic books. I can't even begin to explain Kindle fully, so read Wikipedia's take on it here. It's not a cheap start-up system, but once you have the actual handheld device you are then enabled to upload e-books, which are cheaper than what's sold on the shelf in stores. In this age of laptops, iPods, Blackberries, PDAs and the like, Kindle is the new generation of indulging a book lover's passion.

It appears to be a very "me" type thing. Hundreds of books stored on one little device, at my disposal? A dream come true! Kindle, I must have you.

But...what if I dropped it in the bathtub bubbles? What if Kindle didn't feel warm and cozy while snuggling with me in my bed cocoon each night? What if I couldn't use my little custom-made name stamp in which I ink my identity into each novel I own?

Kindle...maybe we weren't meant to be. Or maybe I should give you a chance. Would you enhance my fervor for reading, or hinder it? Do I need yet another electronic doodad in my life? Will actual books go the way of the dinosaur? I shudder to think!

Many questions, yet no answers. Help me, y'all. Do any of you have an Amazon Kindle? How's it working out for ya? Please lead me in the direction of blessed assurance...I want to do the proper thing when it comes to making a decision. As of now, I'm utterly clueless.


I need to go read now...

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Currently Forefront.

Let's have some fun with yet more randomness from Lula, shall we? This one's a bit different...

Obsessed With...

Ginormous, gunmetal grey hoop earrings. Purple, dark teal, and all shades of grey for fall. The song, "She's My Ride Home," by Blue October.

Happy I Bought...

Cargo's "Louisiana" blush, a fabulous $5.05 shirt at New York & Co., and a pumpkin spice latte...all this past weekend.

Necessary Extravagance...

The perfect haircut, brow waxing, and Prevage Eye Cream.

Dreaming Of...
A National Championship Title for my Bulldogs!

And finally getting a tattoo. You & You, are ya hearing me?

Listening To...
At this very moment? Paramore. Right before that, Blue October. Up next is Gomez ("Notice" is a very swell song, just so y'all know).

Dropping By...

The bank tomorrow, to clean out our safety deposit box, its contents to be immediately placed in a new storage system. Boring, I know.

Wishing For...
These shoes by Kate Spade:
Also wishing big for a serious, base-booming sound system for my MomVan, so I can blare Trick Daddy's "Let's Go" whilst driving past cows, corn, and tobacco. (It's crunk rap with a sample of Ozzy's "Crazy Train." Seriously awesome, y'all..it makes me very happy.)
Myself crazy, trying to accomplish a hundred things in a mere 16 hours. I think I need wine.

Speed Dialing...
Sunshine, so we can finish our conversation from this afternoon, sans children, necessary errands, and the pressing demands of so on and so forth.

Addicted To...
Pop culture and other such nonsense, Sausage, Egg, & Cheese Toaster Scramblers, Peanut M&Ms, journaling, my iPod playlists, back porch dates with my husband, and learning.
Nothing currently. But when I leave the house, a teal bag that contains my wallet, cell, planning calendar, antibacterial wipes, gum, Aveda hand cream, and about 9 different lipsticks/glosses. (Yes, I need that many in one purse, before anyone says anything.)
Can't Stop Watching...
Um...nothing as of now. I'll answer this again when Lost returns to fill my life with joy, in early 2009. I am excited about Fringe, which airs tonight on Fox. Y'all know me and Sci-Fi deliciousness. And my DVR is taking care of the first seasons of 90210 and True Blood. But none of these are Lost. Nope. Sigh...

OK, your turn...share a bit...what are you obsessed with? Dreaming of? Listening to? Wishing for? Can't stop watching?

Monday, September 8, 2008

Mad Musical Monday--2008 VMAs Edition.

Oh, MTV...25 years of the Video Music Awards and it seems y'all still have a lot to learn. I refuse to comment on the show's host, as doing so would require a string of profanities to issue forth from my lips, and my Mama reads my blog. Let my silence speak volumes, peeps.

Moving on...I love me some Christina Aguilera, but I'd rather hear her sing live. Cough-cough. And the audience? I've never seen a more blase' group of industry types/artists/fans in my life. Most of them barely had the energy required to perform the perfunctory courtesy known as applause. Clearly the VMA attendees were rather unimpressed. Kinda like me.

There were many highlights of this year's show for me:

Pink rocked it out...loved the song, loved her sound, loved her look...L-O-V-E-D her.

Kid Rock announced, "No dancing, no lip-syncing!" before singing. And then he did his thing...live...for real. And I love him for it. By the way, this clip is of horrible quality--it was the best I could find on You Tube.
I've gotta hand it to Ms. Britney, too...last night was the best she's looked in years. Plus she won 3 awards, so someone's got a comeback on the horizon.

Kevin, Joe, and Nick had their VMA debut, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Young lads who write their own music, play their own instruments, vocalize well, and give a darn fine performance to boot are just fine and dandy with me. Yeah, I am a Jonas Brothers fan. What of it?

Two words: Jordin Sparks. That's one classy lady, y'all. Again, refusing to acknowledge the atrocity that was the VMA's host...or his utterly tactless, tasteless, and unnecessary comments directed toward the three fine young men mentioned above. But thank you, Jordan Sparks, for being brave, classy, and sassy.

My final highlight of the evening coincides with one of my "low"lights:
The VMAs had some Twilight love, y'all! Robert Pattinson (Edward) and Kristen Stewart (Bella) were on hand to present during the ceremonies (along with two other actors from the movie). And they did attempt to introduce the group Paramore, however that thing-they-called-a-host rudely interrupted the Twilight gang's little tele-prompted speech and made the lot of 'em look rather perplexed and ridiculous. I was more than a little miffed. Don't be messin' with my Twilight peeps, MTV. For I will take you down. Down, I say.

Christina, I love you. I've been a fan since the days of "MMC." I adored the "Genie in a Bottle" redux and your new song, "Keeps Gettin' Better." But girl, you've got the pipes...why, oh why couldn't you perform live? Lip-synching is so Britney VMAs Circa 2007! I do love you...I just love you more when you keep it real.
More "low"lights: the aforementioned apathetic audience (let's say that one three times fast!), the fact that I had no clue what Lil' Wayne was singing about(I liked it, though), and the final performance of the evening...Kanye West...dude you're "stronger" than that grand finale. I'm just sayin'. Oh, and did I mention the host for this particular awards ceremony? He sucked. The end.

My advice? Skip the reruns of this year's MTV Video Music Awards. It's not worth the two hours of your life that you'll lose. Oh, Pink, The Jonas Brothers, and Kid Rock were well worth my viewing efforts. The rest of the program? Not so much.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Flashback Friday!

Can you believe it's been 20 years? Truly I've never felt old until now.

Watch it, people...it's less than 20 seconds.

Mushy, gushy, cheesy, schmaltzy, and oh so glorious in every weekly hour of Days of Our Lives. Steve "Patch" Johnson & Kayla Brady, the soap opera supercouple of the 80's. They brought joy to my early teen years and I had to give them Lulaville shoutout 'cause of it.

I also acknowledge other great DAYS couples: Bo & Hope, Shane & Kimberly, Roman/John & Marlena, and my other all-time favorite, Jack & Jennifer. Sigh...

I'm also fully aware of other sudsy greats: Erica Kane & the 27 men she's married, Frisco & Felicia, Luke & Laura, Holden & Lily, Victor & Nikki, Josh & Reba, Cruz & Eden, Ridge & Brooke and Brooke & Thorne, etc. Obviously I was a big daytime drama fan back in the day. Every now and then I check in on DAYS, to make sure my peeps are still up to no good...yep, there's Sami and Lucas (gross!), and Bo and Hope, and son-of-a-gun...Steve & Kayla are back! Twenty years now seems like yesterday...

Bear with me people...just go with it...work with me!

Happy weekend, y'all!
Tonight at 7 pm the three major networks will join together for one hour of commercial-free television. Stand Up To Cancer is a prime-time effort to raise funds for the fight against the disease that affects the lives of nearly every single American. There are few things in this world I hate, but cancer is near the top of my list. I. Hate. Cancer. With a passion, y'all. And I support any effort to kick this disease in the boo-tay!

Thursday, September 4, 2008


Dear, Sweet Caroline, your mommy just has to say a few things about yesterday. How I acted...and how you acted. How I responded...and how you responded. And how I begged Daddy to bring home a few (or twenty) Valium.

Because of all that Vaseline...
which led to a bath...
that made us late for the library...
where you then acted less than well-behaved...
and resulted in our fleeing public eye.

Because I said some not-so-nice things to you...
and caused you to really cry...
which prompted me to pray...
while tears streamed down my face.

Because it was 1 minute away from lunch time
and McDonald's said we couldn't order nuggets yet...
which turned into a trip to KFC/Taco Bell...
where you requested chicken and "taters... "
but begged for a taco upon arriving home...
then ended up eating yogurt instead.

Because of a hundred tiny things that happened before noon...
that rapidly grew into a very big deal...
where I lost my cool more than once...
and took it out on you.

Because you deserve a better mother...
and I need to learn new ways of discipline...
Because you are not your sister,
and I need to remember this each and every day...
Because you are fearfully and wonderfully made,
I will try harder every day...
it's the very least I can do as your mother.

Because of all this and more, I ask your forgiveness. I accept the love that you freely and fully give, regardless of my behavior when I have a bad mommy day.

I love you forever...whenever, wherever, whatever.

And now that we both know better...Vaseline is strictly off limits, my dear!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Lofty Aspirations.

So all this Twilight fervor is rapidly growing and spreading across the net, and I, for one, am a big champion of anything related to my books. "Crackliture," y'all, as Tiffany so brilliantly coined the phrase. In case you're new to Lulaville, I happen to love me some Stephenie Meyer, with good reason. The other night I stumbled across a blog written by a teenage girl who appeared to be a little more than obsessed with Edward & Bella...as in she stated in a post, "If I could have one wish it would be that I could turn into Bella, so that Edward would be mine..."

Say what? And why aren't you reading Animal Farm, working on your Trig homework, and finishing that report on The Emancipation Proclamation? Let me address this precious and slightly clueless young lady for a minute, please...

Girl, I agree that Edward is the prime and perfect specimen of masculinity and all that is delicious and fabulous in the male species (human or vampire). I am totally in love with him, too. Aren't we all? (Come on Twilighters--admit it!) But sweetie, he's fictional. In plain English, he's not real. Let's keep this in perspective, shall we? How 'bout throwing some affection towards an actual person walking on this earth...say...any of the fellas in the High School Musical series? One of the Jonas three (not four--little brother is, well, little)? The British lads in the Harry Potter flicks? These guys are all crushworthy. As well as living & breathing. I'm just sayin'.

And then I started thinking about my high school loves, and how personally I took the death of River Phoenix. Oh, he did it for me. Yes he did. Sigh...what a brilliant talent...what a brilliant face. Rest in peace, River.
And while I certainly enjoyed Mr. Phoenix, I can't say that I ever wished to be one of his female leading ladies, on-screen or off. Real life is much more interesting...hello, I get to be Mrs. Scott Litton, Jr. That's much more swoon-worthy to me. (Love you, honey!)

But all of this got me a-thinkin'. No, not about handsome men, but the whole "if you could be anyone--real or fictional--for a day/week/month, however long--who would you choose?" scenario. Not who would you be with--because mine are already on the right side of this blog, of course. Just not going there with this post. No, who would you be? It's a fun question, with answers often being both insightful and hilarious. Thus, an unknown teenager's "Edward rant" has led me down a rabbit trail of confession to y'all, the fabulous readers of my little Lulaville corner of the world.

Because he's whom I would choose, every single time, when asked this question:

Shaggy, baby! Have you seen how much this man eats in any given episode of Scooby-Doo? Look how skinny he is! Tell me that's not a dream come true, y'all. I want to eat hogies and ice cream and pie and hot dog links and pizza, and burgers, and milkshakes, and, and, and...and stay as reed thin as Shaggy. You know those bootcut jeans of his are a size 24. I'll even take his knobby knees.

Please...no munchie jokes, people. We have zero proof that Shaggy & "Mary Jane" were close, personal friends. Within my heart I coddle the knowledge of what is obviously Shaggy's mega-metabolism. Well that, of course, and the physical workout he and Scooby recieve while running from the Creeper, the Mano-Tiki-Tia, et. al.

Yes, I'd want to be Shaggy. Just putting it out there, y'all. Aren't you glad I shared? It's your turn now...

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

"Painfully Polite & Hilariously Hostile"

I stumbled upon the most addictive website the other day and since we all need more time wasters, I felt behooved to share my new found fun with y'all. Passive-Aggressive Notes is the place for "painfully polite and hilariously hostile writings from shared spaces the world over." That's a mouthful, but it can be broken down like this: folks get mad, folks leave angry notes & feel better after getting said anger off their chest. Or so they hope.

Here's some of my favorite examples:

"NO TRASH IN FEMININE HYGIENE BINS" I just have to ask...why? And, why? Pads and tampons are trash, no? Does it really matter if tissue, an empty Coke can, or a gum wrapper mix in with menstrual refuse? Furthermore, who is going to be monitoring these "feminine hygiene" bins anyway? The Period Protector? The Tampax Terminator? The Always Avenger? Can't you just hear this being reported to management: Mr. Watson, I regret to inform you that an empty Altoid tin was found atop these Kotex wrappers. We must take offensive action now!

I think the latest issue of Glamour or InStyle, stating trimmed, oval shaped nails as the current height of fashion, would have been much more subtle. Or how about approaching the situation with a bit more decency and decorum? "Hey, let's grab a manicure on our lunch break! We could both use a new look!" Personally I'd be rather impressed if Miss Talon Tips was able to effectively use the keyboard with such long extensions on her digits. I'd probably ask her to type while being accompanied by The Beatles' "Ob-La-Di Ob-La-Da," because that song was made for fingertip tapping. But that's just me.

Hey kids, it's the winning flavor in "Name The Next Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream" contest! OK, so this is totally a scare tactic that will most likely confound the biggest doofus in any given group of teenagers. That's right folks, stealing ice cream will inflict you with a sexually transmitted disease so seething that no amount of cool creaminess will quench the flames. Take that, sex ed! Who knew it could be as simple as a pint of frozen deliciousness? Ad-Council, are you taking notice?

This is good, but I would've used the mustard for additional highlighting purposes, such as a meanie face inside the zero in "30." An arrow pointing to the message would also be effective, just in case the waitstaff didn't catch the permeating scent of tabletop ketchup. But what I really want to know from these fine diners is why did you wait a full 30 minutes? Yeesh, ya dorks! After waiting 5 or 10 minutes I would have very sweetly and politely (hush up, Beckie, and tell no differently!) stopped any nearby server, asking, "Hey--I know y'all are super busy but would it be possible for someone to just get our drink order? Thanks!" Haven't we all learned a little kindness and a brilliantly-flashed smile go a long way in these type of situations?

Then again, some condiment art looks like a lot of fun. But not at the expense of whomever had to clean this mess. At least the counter top wasn't decorated with syrup...ugh, the sticky mess!

I am loving the Passive-Aggressive Notes site...truly humorous stuff, y'all. If I were brave enough I'd create my own note & hang it in the parking lot of Libbey's school. It would read, "While I appreciate you standing here every morning and afternoon, chatting with the retired men, and nodding your approval at specific families, I'd much rather you actually do something, such as direct traffic, ensure the safety of our children, and put effort into at least pretending you have a purpose in law enforcement."

Yeah, I said it. I went there. I'm totally not taking it back, either.

And now, somewhere within the realms of Lee County proper, a rent-a-cop is howling in anger...he thinks I think I'm sassy. Oh, but I am, Deputy Why-Are-You-Here? I'll face his wrath for the rest of the week, and most likely, the rest of the year. With a smile. Just call me a cheeky monkey!

Monday, September 1, 2008

Parental Guidance Suggested.

Happy Labor Day, Y'all! We Littons are all enjoying a day at home together, so I decided to reach back into the blog archives and dredge up my offering from March 2, 2008. It's still a Mad Musical Monday post, in essence, but rather than highlighting a specific style or type of music or artist, I'm sinking to new levels. Suggestive song lyrics, y'all. Don't you love 'em? Read on...

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

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

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

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

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

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