Southern Living

I am white trash and I can’t be burned.

I am white trash.

I have admitted it before.

I teach my kids about it.

I get all giddy inside when I find reasons to think I am not as white trash as I thought.

I have bragged about embracing it.
Thanks to all ya’ll in the South, who helped me get there.

However, being white trash does not make me void of feelings.
It does not make give me permission to not try and be a better wife.
It does not make me NOT want for more out of myself.
It certainly doesn’t make me unloved.

So, if I am white trash, so be it.

But, you, whoever you are, that loves to call me white trash,
because you think it’s the most hurtful thing you can say.

First of all, you have to do better than that.
And second, I just want you to know one thing.

I know that God knows what you do and you will one day have to answer to Him.
Therefore, I don’t have to worry about it.

And do you know what else?
I love it when I have a church sign that is perfect for the moment.
You can’t touch me because I have sonscreen,
therefore I cannot be burned.

When you sit at your computer and spew forth vial insults anonymously, do you know what it says about you? You are a coward and you have issues.
Why are you obsessing over me?
And why do you feel it justified to kick any of God’s children, even if they are Mormon.

I would be white trash any given day over mean and hateful.
White trash people are some of the best people I know.
It’s the people who don’t admit their trashy parts that I worry about.
And the people who go around pointing fingers at other people for being trashy are especially special.
I poke fun. I speak my mind. I have opinions, sometimes they are wrong. Gratefully, there are people out there who have the guts to take it up with me in person because when they correct me in love (often on my blog) I often find myself wanting to change. And I am grateful when I see the error in my ways because this life is really just one big chance to improve really.

Deep inside I love people, I really do.
And that is why people love me in return.
Let me talk to you for 5 minutes,
I will try my darndest to understand you and I will find a reason to love you.
I probably already have.

Sorry for the rant today, my readers who come over for some funny, but it was merited and anonymous put me in bad mood which reflects on my writing.

Go ahead everyone, feel free to stand with me and admit just one part of your trashy selves.
It’s so liberating.

Today’s admission for this not so fun blogger:

My baby is walking around in a onsie that is covered in brown make-up stains.
I put it on her after getting it out of her drawer that way.
Yesterday after Abigail’s load of laundry was covered in ink stains out of the dryer,
I told her to just go ahead and fold her bras and underwear as nobody is gonna see the stains on her underwear.
I hope I will remember to tell her to wear the unstained ones next time she has a doctor’s appointment.

Oh, and if you happened to miss all the excitement and are wondering why the heck I am freaking out, make sure you read each and every comment by anonymous on this popular post.


I’ll Fly Away When I Die

This is a note for funeral planning some day.

I don’t plan to die any time soon,
but like the control freak that I am,
I want to make my wishes known
before it is too late.
Please have someone with a banjo
sing this song.
And have someone else read this verse:
Enos1: 27And I soon go to the place of my arest, which is with my Redeemer; for I know that in him I shall brest. And I rejoice in the day when my cmortal shall put on dimmortality, and shall stand before him; then shall I see his face with pleasure, and he will say unto me: Come unto me, ye blessed, there is a place prepared for you in the emansions of my Father. Amen.
And just for your further assistance.
My favorite hymns are:
If you want to forgo all the amazing accolades
that so many will have prepared
and sing the whole service,
I would love it.
Well, maybe just one speaker.
Whoever would make me
out for the funny, quirky, crazy, loving, and amazing
Saint that I am.
And I like to imagine my spirit
sticking around,
just to hear the compliments
and the truths of who
people knew me to be.
And then I will gladly
walk towards
my Savior
in all His glory
the voices of my loved ones
sing His praises.
Only to meet my other loved ones
on the other side
singing the same hymns.
What a lovely way to go.

Gardens and Guns, Such a Perfect Combination

Happy Saturday to all my friends, but especially those of you in the South.
I sure do miss you all.
Here is a gem that a friend in Nashville caught on camera at her local Publix.
She is about to move back to California and had to document such a random magazine.

I think it’s not totally coincidental.

How did they know that while growing up in Tennessee, one of my husband’s favorite pasttimes was shooting crows that were in the garden?

And they made a whole magazine about it.
And there have been multiple issues.
Only in the South.

Hope you all get some weeding done today.
And then pull out your guns for some real fun.

Oh man, I miss my home in the South.
Except for the bugs, and the humidity, and the lack of sidewalks.

Don’t miss the fireworks.

So, on Saturday night at 10 pm, LG and I were walking out of the temple.
Yes, this temple. How amazing is that?

From our view up on the hill, there were fireworks going off all over the valley. It was absolutely breathtaking.

LG informed me that The Stadium of Fire would be happening any moment. For some reason, in my mind, I thought that it was going to happen on the actual 4th.

I decided we should hurry home and find a spot to watch the fireworks.

To my dismay, when we got home, the kids had no interest whatsoever in breaking away from the TV.

I pried their bodies and eyes from the tube, and made them pile in the car. I was not about to miss the fireworks, especially after this post.

As we drove down State street (Utah Valley’s version of Knoxville’s Kingston Pike) I was overwhelmed by so many US flags lit up along the road. The patriotism of Utahns is not only efficacious but admirable. People either love America here or they display their stars and stripes to compete with all the other businesses. And by all, I mean ALL. Everyone has a flag. Everyone.

The kids were grumbling during the whole drive.
Why do we have to do this?
We don’t want to watch the fireworks.
Let’s just go back home.
wah wah wah.

I told them to keep their eyes on the flags and to sing along.
I started loud and strong:

This land is your land, this land is my land….nothing but my voice.
Oh beautiful, for spacious skies….again, nothing from the back seats.
She’s a grand old flag, she’s a high flying flag….”Shut up, mom.”
God bless America….”Really, Alice, do you have to sing so loud?” said quietly by LG so the kids wouldn’t hear; I’m assuming he didn’t want to totally stomp on my love for country.
I’m proud to be an American….(even louder than before)

By this time the kids were all horrified and hating their mother and her motherland.

And guess what? By the time we got to Provo’s end of State from our northern end of Orem’s State, all we could see was traffic. The traffic was heading towards us, not with us.

Yes, I hate to tell you, Murphy’s Law is still in full effect, and has no respect for a nation’s holiday celebrated two days early or a very loud and song singing patriotic mother. We had missed the fireworks.

More grumbling, complaining, and whining ensued.

LG and I were not about to miss a good opportunity for teaching our kids.

Me: “Knock it off you guys, at least we still live in a country that has firework celebrations.”
LG: “There are a lot of kids in this world that would die to be in this car right now.”
Me: “Or to even have a car.”
LG: “Or to have a mother.”
Abigail: “Not if their mom sang like that.”
Me: “Especially if their mom sang like that.”
LG: “Yeah, think of all the kids out there that don’t live a country where they have mothers.” (O.k. I just made that up.) I think he really said, “You should be grateful for a mother who can sing, and cook, and do laundry.”

Abigail: “At least parents in other countries would be smart enough NOT to drive their family into the middle of the traffic jam, especially when their family missed the show.”
Me: “Well, at least there are other Americans with cars.”
LG: “And at least your mom can see in the dark and drive.”
Bella: “Mom, STOP!” (I admit it I barely missed that car in front of me.)

Anyhow, the conversation went on for a bit. And there was no chance of it stopping.
[In fact, it can still be happening if you want to comment what your best line would have been to the kids.]

Quietly, ever so quietly and with her Gold sense of perfect timing, Sophia chimes in. She must have looked up from reading Harry Potter for long enough to gather her sisters’ desperation for winning at the “Be glad you are American” game.

What does she say?
Brace yourself.

“Man, I wished I lived in Canada.”

Seven words. That’s all it takes to make a total complete disaster of an evening all worth it.
Good one Phia. Good one.
Average Americans should really consider more than 2.5 kids; they make everything more fun.

I told the kids that if they would sing their favorite patriotic song at the top of their lungs, then I would indeed STOP.

Abigail was loud and proud. I wonder where she gets that from?
“I’m a yankee doodle dandy. A yankee doodle, do or die.”

I am sure that all that traffic surrounding us was so grateful that they didn’t miss the real entertainment of the evening as I rolled all windows down.

And If I do say so myself those frostys from Wendy’s were the perfect consolation prize for everyone involved. Nothing like good old American food.

And when the song Firework came on the radio. I promise you, not just momma was singing. Even dad got in on the falsetto. Perfection, pure perfection.

We didn’t miss a thing. The fireworks had been going off in our car all night long.

And guess what? Utah loosened their firework laws this year. We can now shoot off 150 foot rockets from our very own neighborhoods. And on the real 4th of July, the sky was lit up in every direction we could turn. Our culdesac of fire was a billion times better than their Stadium of Fire. Fireworks in the sky on all four sides, coming from everywhere.

God bless America.

Family Photos in Beautiful Knoxville

Please excuse the post full of pictures of my beautiful family. It may not be that funny. But it will sure be some eye candy.
We’ve been married almost 14 years.
We’ve had 4 kids.
We’ve only had our photos taken at JC Pennies.
Do you spell JC Penny plural
JC Pennies or JC Penny’s?
You get the point.
This is a confession that tells you two things about our family.
1 – We’ve been poor.
2- We didn’t value a good photographer near enough.
Our friend Jessie was a Saint.
She was in the middle of moving
and we were leaving the State of Tennessee
the very next day.
I had to have some pictures with
my precious dogwoods.
She not only obliged.
But, rocked the house.
Thank you Jessie.
I will love you forever.
Jessie is about to have her first baby any day, so she will probably take a little time off. Or she will be shoving her camera in the face of her best subject ever. She also happens to be a perfectionist. As evidenced by the photos. She doesn’t have a site yet, but if you want to be put in touch with her, just let me know. She will be in the Knoxville area for a little while longer.
I literally cried my eyes out while looking at these photos tonight.
How I miss my Tennessee.
We took these photos at the Knoxville Botanical Garden and Arboretum.
It’s a beautiful place, much like all of East Tennessee.
Lucky for us we got to enjoy it on a perfect Spring day.
It was raining.
Did I mention it was a perfect way to say goodbye.

 This is where I wanted the photo, but Jessie being the professional that she is said that we couldn’t set it up right. But, thank you Jessie for sending me this one shot of THE spot. It’s just beautiful. And so fitting of TN. From my favorite trees, to the old rock structure, all the way to the rusted old metal.

Our Sweet Caroline.

Her nicknames are Curls, Boots, and Shirley Temple.

She looks just like her daddy.
Even their smiles are identical.

Our not so sweet Caroline.

Beautiful Bella.

Sweet Sophia.

Adorable Abigail.

The whole family.
The whole family with the dogwoods.

The only picture LG and I have of us kissing since we got married.

You would never know that we were in a fight that day.

Thank you to Jessie for solving all of our 8 years of marital issues that played out during our time in Tennessee in one final moment.

It’s hard to be mad at someone when the photographer requests a kiss.

My favorite picture of all time.
Does it not just scream Tennessee?

I really do love this man so much.

Even more than I love his wife.

Oh no!

I have been getting all kinds of updates from Knoxville.
Friends without power for days.
And just when they were almost in the clear,
another round of 
tornadoes came causing  more chaos!
Of all the updates I have received, Amanda’s post on Facebook has been the most entertaining of all, by far.

Her caption:
Oh, no! What do I do?
There is always humor.
Even in the midst of suffering.
I prefer the laughter
over the pain.
It’s soothing to my soul.
I am so grateful for friends that 

always make me laugh.

Love you Amanda.

Sure Signs of Summer

It’s officially summer!

Here is a haiku poem a wrote and memorized 
in the 5th grade.
School is out today.
Here the children scream
yeah yeah.
School must start again.

Pretty deep if you ask me.

I wonder if the kids want me to surprise them with an after-school slurpee again?
I think Caroline is a true Southern girl.
Slurpees are too sour for her tastes.
I think she might prefer icees.

I think we need this oversize chair for all the camping we plan to do.
Or I could just watch slip and slide time out my kitchen window.
Either way, it’s definitely summer.
School is out today.
Hear the mother scream
yeah yeah.
Lazy days I love.

For the Moms

I was asked to write a poem about mothers. I am not sure what is going to be done with the poem. It’s not my greatest work. It’s for my church back in Tennessee. I didn’t have a lot of time, and I really have to be in the mood for poetry. I hope that somehow my main feeling is communicated: I have been mothered by many many women. Some are really my moms and some were friends and some were total strangers.

I will never forget the day that I left the local library bawling. That morning I had just received some shocking and awful news. I decided to take the kids to the library to get my mind off of things. Of course, my two children had other ideas. My baby was a monster that day. They say that our small children respond to our emotions, and I think she was responding perfectly. A man came across the library and pretty much told me I was an awful mother. It was the straw that broke the momma’s back. I gathered the monster, her sister, and tried my best to keep it together until I got outside. I broke halfway to the door.

Another mother had seen the whole thing go down. She ran out to greet me at my car. I had locked the kids in their seats and sat at my steering wheel bawling uncontrollably. I couldn’t even muster the strength to drive back home and even if I could, I couldn’t see well enough to drive. She had the audacity to knock on my window. I sheepishly rolled my window down, and explained that I was having an awful day. She asked me if she could pray for me, and I said, “Oh, that is so sweet, please do.” As a Mormon, I thought that meant she would go back to her car, bow her head and say a silent prayer, but as a relatively new Southerner, I had a lesson comin’ to me. She stood in place and started pleading with the Lord on my behalf. I don’t remember most of what she said except for one line, “Jesus, this woman is obviously having a really hard time, and she has children to take care of, please comfort her so she can do whatever it is that she needs to.”

Do you know that it is six years later and I am still dealing with this major trial in my life. And often, very often I hear the words to that prayer and feel at peace. I wish I could somehow tell that mother, wherever she is, that she has been an angel in my life. But really, aren’t all mothers angels? I think God gets so much of his work done through women with mother hearts. How grateful I am to be one who can succor and to also be one who is succored.

They give birth to babies.
Cradle, not just their own.
A woman’s heart is so large
It’s too big to be alone.
Sometimes are single.
Or have never housed a full womb.
But they still hold hands and hug,
And cry over grave and tomb.
Love and teach.
To everyone they know.
Their children, or mine,
They can’t help but help them grow.
Don’t exclude.
They love one and all.
Because they can’t help it.
They know peace is their call.
I have many.
Lots are far away,
Yet I carry them in my heart,
To get me through each day.
I hear them.
Encouraging my frown.
They laugh with me a lot
And cure me when I’m down.
They are also known as
Sister, daughter, friend.
They are women who I love.
God, to me, did send.
They are busy
Righting the world’s wrongs.
I will, with them, in awe,
Kneel in His eternal throngs.
Work miracles.
In lives old and new.
Because they know how to love.
And succor me and you.
They inspire.
Each person on the earth.
All good things start with them.
Without them, where’s our worth?

Still open

Oh how I am going to miss the good church signs of Knoxville.

Chantay has promised me to e-mail the good ones to me. I thought that was so sweet. It made me cry.

I think I will cry every time I get an e-mail.

For now, I stocked up on some before we left K-town, so stay tuned.

I thought this one pretty funny.