Tuesday, December 29, 2009

No Expiration Date.

A few weeks ago Time magazine's cover declared 2000-2009 "The Worst Decade Ever!" Really? Sorry, Time, but this decade was pretty darn special for me. I married my soulmate, became mother to the two most beautiful children on the face of the planet, grew to love my Jesus even more, made wonderful new friends, rekindled old friendships, and nurtured relationships with ladies I've known most of my 35 years.

See? Special. Indeed.

The tunes of these most recent 10 years were pretty hard rockin', as well. There's no way I could list all of my favorite musical offerings of the past 3,650 days...but I will highlight 10* of them. For your listening pleasure. Because I'm cool like that. And because music is my thing, of course.

"Lovestoned/I Think She Knows," by Justin Timberlake
It makes me dance. It's also Tiffany's ringtone. 'Nuff said.
As my husband relates,
"If you say you don't like JT, you're a LIAR!"

"Set the Fire to the Third Bar," by Snow Patrol & Martha Wainwright
Utterly & completely romantic.
"Your words in my memory, are like music to me..."

"Roslyn," by Bon Iver & St. Vincent
My favorite song of this past year...
...brilliantly written, performed, & produced.
It's ethereal.

"My Party," by Kings of Leon
I've loved these guys for years, long before they were uber famous.
It's just good, real, raw rock & roll. Plain and simple.

"Hysteria," by Muse
From one of my favorite bands comes one of my favorite songs.
It's edgy and glamorous, passionate and pleading...
everything I love in angsty rock!
"I want you now...I want you now...I feel my heart implode..."

"Run, " George Strait
There's a reason this is the ringtone for my husband...
"...straight in a straight line, you can't get here fast enough."

Sigh...a song that tells a story...and a heartbreaking one, at that.
Genius, Jeff Tweedy. I applaud you.

"Love, Where Is Your Fire," by Brooke Fraser
2008 (the Live at the Aotea version is my favorite)
The sound of my soul...the desire of my heart...the words of this song.
"Till the time when You come and I'm whole and we are one,
and the fire in me is complete..."

"Ghost In This House," by Alison Krauss & Union Station
It's hauntingly beautiful, and I'm certain Alison's voice
is how angels sound.

"Reckoner," by Radiohead
Never before have the tambourine & cymbals made their presence known
so eloquently in a song.
I'm not ashamed to admit that I've played this song
over 500 times in the past two years.
"Because we separate...it ripples our reflections..."

"Teenage Dirtbag," by Wheatus

*Yes, this makes song #11. But it's a story song--and, as previously mentioned, I love story songs. Plus this one was released when I was a newlywed and I'd drive around Spartanburg, South Carolina, singing it at the top of my lungs. Oh, the memories. Good times.

Honorable mentions:
--"Bounce," by Timbaland, Justin Timberlake, Dr. Dre, and Missy Elliott
Yes, it's dirrty, but it's my jam of the decade, with the best hook ever.

--"Mad World," by Gary Jules.
His cover of Tears for Fears' original is sublime. Still listen to it almost daily.

--"Sweet Sacrifice," by Evanescence
Because when I grow up, I want to sing like (and look like!) Amy Lee.
"It's true...we're all a little insane..."

"Winter White Hymnal," by Fleet Foxes
They're like the 2nd coming of Simon & Garfunkel. Love this band.

--"Say Please," by Monsters of Folk
My 2nd most favorite song of 2009.

Now I wanna know...what songs/albums/artists have you enjoyed this decade? Please share!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

In Which We Keep It Real.

Receiving mail is the highlight of my day during the month of December. I know, it takes so little to keep me happy. Opening Christmas cards from friends near and far is like opening a tiny present from each family the card represents. 80% of the cards we receive are photos, and if we're super lucky, the card will contain a newsy "our year in review" letter.

I love these letters.

I especially love the letters from Perfect Families.* You know, the ones where we read that Bill received a substantial raise, Mary was named Hottest Housewife in the Tri-County Area, Billy was nominated for the Heisman, and Sally was not only valedictorian, but also prom queen, class president, and 1st runner up to Junior Miss North Carolina. (Hey, can't win 'em all, Sally.)

Every year I ponder sending out a "Litton Family Newsletter 2009" with our Christmas cards. I mean, I'd love to brag share our family's accomplishments:

*Litton Family Medicine was named local business of the year by the Chamber of Commerce, and continues to grow daily.
*Leigh Anne was invited to speak at a blog conference in Las Vegas.
*Libbey made the All-A Honor Roll for the second year in a row.
*Caroline memorized 20 Bible verses this Fall.

How boring! And really...who cares?
Maybe this family cares:
Who can attain such cheesy perfection?

Wouldn't it be far more intriguing if, unlike The Perfect Family, our "Litton Family Newsletter 2009" was brutally honest?

How would it be received if I were to mail the real dope deal to our family and friends? You know, stuff such as...

*Our town's beloved pediatrician relocated to another part of Virginia, hence the reason Litton Family Medicine continues to grow. ("Well, if my kid can't see Dr. Ahsan, might as well go to that Dr. Litton, since I don't wanna drive to Kingsport, TN.")

*Leigh Anne was invited to speak at the blog conference because said event was being run by two of her best friends. Nepotism at its finest, y'all!

*Libbey made her first "B" this year--on a Math test. We fully fussed at her, which, in turn, made her cry for an hour. We make "A's" in this family, ya hear? No "B's" shall be tolerated! (Parents of the year. Yep, that's us. She's 7, by the way. We've since asked her forgiveness.)

*Caroline will only say her Bible verses while in Awana. After being bribed with lollipops and juice boxes. And who can blame her? Reciting God's Word is hard work for a 4 year old.

This is real.
Libbey's 1st Christmas, 2002

I'd also love to include even more personal tidbits such as:

*Scott plays way too much Xbox Live with Robbie, our brother-in-law.

*Leigh Anne gained weight, despite having a home gym equipped with an elliptical machine, treadmill, and Bowflex. Apparently one has to use the gym in order to see results. Gotcha.

*Libbey's Obsessive Compulsive Disorder seems to grow stronger with each passing year. Any hope for her to inherit the laidback "Roth genes" is fading fast. She's pure Litton.

*Caroline's strong-willed nature continues to drive our family closer to Jesus. We pray a lot. So that we don't kill her.


*2009 found the Litton family journeying on fun and educational field trips, to places such as Mt. Airy, NC, (where "Mayberry" is brought to life, because The Andy Griffith Show is beloved by Scott and the girls), and Hilton Head Island, SC, where we taught our daughters to appreciate a sunny day and the She-Crab soup at Charley's Crab.


Even more highlights:

*Allowed the television to babysit our daughters while we cleaned (and by "we," I clearly mean Leigh Anne), or napped (Scott).

*Pawned our children off on Nanna & Poppy or "Papaw" Bill & "Memaw" Kim Cress so that we could have regular date nights. A meal, Starbucks, and frequent trips to Target our vital to our marriage.

*Fed our girls a nutritious supper of Honey Nut Cheerios more than once. Or Twice. A month.

*Took naps, drank peanut butter milkshakes, watched Andy Griffith 9342 times, baked cookies, and listened to Lady Gaga, all with our daughters, in the name of Litton Family Togetherness.

*Oh, and we also traveled to Austin and Las Vegas. Without our children. 'Cause it's not all about them.
I'll say it again...it's not all about our children.

Christmas 2006...we were all over the picture-taking by this point.

We may not be the perfect family, but we follow a perfect Savior. And, as Linus so succinctly put it, "That's what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown." Indeed. Now that's the real dope deal.

Merry Christmas from the imperfect Littons!!!

*If you've sent me a "newsletter" this Christmas, please know I am NOT referencing you with this post. The families of which I speak do not read my blog. And if they do...then...rock on! I'm just keeping it real.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Please Caption This Hilariousness...

This is my niece, Helen, whom I adore. (And who adores me--seriously--I'm one of her faves. Which I'll continue to brag about until she has nothing to do with me.) Helen is 18 months old, and clearly so ahead of her game:

Boys, schmoys...
That's right, baby...
you just keep that attitude until you're 22.

*Mandy, please let me know whose child this is. His hair is killing me. So is his Adidas. And do we love that Helen is completely nonplussed in his presence? We do. Of course we do.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Hey, Y'all!

Last Friday was my birthday and without going into detail, trust me when I share with y'all that it was not exactly the finest day of my life. In fact, it sucked. Plain and simple.

Thank God for friends like The Sits Girls, also known as Heather and Tiffany, who come to my rescue with encouraging, loving phone calls, and virtual hugs across the miles that separate us. Oh, and fabulous birthday gifts. Really fabulous gifts.

I'd be lost without these girls. Seriously. They have my heart.

They've given me yet another gift today--I'm being featured over on SITS! To Heather and Tiffany I say, "Thank you--I love you--V4&After!!!" To the rest of y'all, I say..."I'm so sorry I had nothing clever/inspiring/heartwarming/salacious to share with y'all today. Please forgive me, and as Heather is famous for saying, 'love me through it!'"

Oh, and welcome to Lulaville! I get kinda crazy up in here...with my love for Lost, angsty rock, all things Sci-Fi, YA novels, Paula Deen, distinguished British actors, and my boyfriend...Jason Statham.* But stick around for a while and become my new BFF. A girl can never have too many BFFs. Amen!

Tiffany, Lula, and Heather.
In Mexico.
Yes, I said Mexico.
We brought the boys to the yard. Clearly.
(Without the aid of a Miracle Bra, for the record. Cough-cough.)

*Please love him with me.
Jason statham Pictures, Images and Photos

Hi, Jason.
You can be my birthday present.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Christmas is December 8.

I'm 35 years old. But right now I feel as if I am 5 years old, as I'm bouncing from one foot to the other...because it's December 8 and I've been anticipating this day for quite some time.

When Scott and I were dating, the fourth movie in the Star Wars franchise was released and we saw The Phantom Menace on opening day. The lights dimmed, the theater became eerily quiet in anticipation...and moments before the film started, some dude ran down the aisle singing, at the top of his lungs, "Star Wars, Star Wars, we've waited a million years for a new Star Wars!" His fellow nerds--me and Scott included--burst into laughter and applause.

I feel exactly the same today. I may or may not be running around the house, singing, "December 8, December 8, I've been waiting so long for December 8!!!"

"Why?" you may be asking. Are you asking? 'Cause...duh, I'm so gonna tell y'all the reason behind my glee...

Speaking of Glee...

The Music of Glee, Volume 2.
It's only my favorite new show of 2009.
Volume 1 is amazing.
Volume 2 releases December 8.
You should really own both.

I saw this with my friend, Lacey, at midnight on July 15, 2009...
I will view it again (and again!) on December 8, 2009,
after it arrives on my doorstep.
Simply brilliant...simply devastating...
(I still love Snape. I don't care what any of you say.)

My love of angsty rock runs deep.
That's what she said.
My love of this band
runs even deeper.
That's what she said.
We 30 Seconds to Mars fans
have been waiting over 4 years for a new album.
Thank you, Jared Leto & company, for finally delivering.
(In other news, I fully believe Jared Leto is a vampire.*)

No words are necessary.
I love you.

My words are not necessary, but the great Entertainment Weekly
just named Lost as the #5 greatest "item" of the decade:
"Plane crash. Smoke monster. Polar bear. Crazy French lady.
The Others. The hatch. The Dharma Initiative. Time-travel flashes.
Name another network drama that can so wondrously
turn a ? into a !"


All this goodness...oh, it's just too to contain. December 8 is a very big deal for me. Clearly.

What are you looking forward to this week? Please share...

*Tell me Jared Leto's not a vampire.