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Wednesday, December 2, 2015


When I wrote yesterday's post, I honestly didn't think there would be any need for a follow up. Ain't nobody wants a "part two" of a lice story, you know what I'm saying?

I guess God knew I've been a little short on material lately, and in His infinite wisdom (and probably stifling a heavenly chuckle) he decided to give me more to write about.

MUCH more, actually. Like, dozens and dozens more.

I woke up this morning and prepared to take my oldest to the lice removal specialists.
AN ASIDE: Did you even know there was such an industry?? I most certainly did not. I've gotta say with some level of pride that today we visited the world's LARGEST and MOST ADVANCED lice eradication facility. Twice. No joke! These people are legit.

I got the boys off to school, packed Em up in the van, and we headed off to Head Hunters (not even kidding - my friend whose husband is looking for a job asked me if she should send him their way - ROTFL!). I was tired, as I didn't sleep well last night because LICE. Obvi.

We showed up at Head Hunters, and, first things first, I've gotta them props. When I pulled up I had to do a double take, because it looked so upscale that I thought I might've made a wrong turn and gone to Spa Sydell. Nope, just a fancy lice eradication place. The facility was beautiful and it really felt like we were at a high end hair salon. Well, except for the extra-large canvases hanging in the front lobby that showed lice in their different stages of growth.


They took us back to the room (insert evil laugh here), and they popped Emerson up into a hair salon chair. The did a quick scalp check to confirm my worst fear (or what I thought was my worst fear): she did, indeed, have lice.

In that moment, I wished the fire of a thousand suns would rain down on Head Hunters (and Emerson's pillow) and annihilate every lice within a 50-mile radius. The fire of a thousand suns did not rain down, but they DID drench her hair in some sort of (probably chemical-filled and harmful) lice repellant solution, then immediately got to work with a lice comb (WHO KNEW??), picking every single nit (egg sac), baby, adolescent, and adult out of her hair (again, WHO KNEW??).

The owner walked in, and I told him I'd been itching since last night. He laughed and told me it was psychopsychotic.

Yeah...something like that.

I told him I felt strongly that I needed a head check, and he obliged. I sat in the other salon chair in the room, and he drenched my hair and brushed and brushed to get my curls untangled enough for the lice comb to slide through.

He began combing. And combing. And combing. He combed and didn't find anything. I began to relax and even chuckled at myself for being so paranoid.

Then, "Uh-oh." -- Head Hunters dude

"What, uh-oh? Huh? No, no uh-oh! What's wrong?? Don't say uh-oh!" -- me

Enter my ACTUAL worst fear.

"No, it's fine...I just found a nit. But I'm sure it's nothing, just due to exposure. We have to find four (YES, FOUR) nits or babies to consider you infested." - Head Hunters dude

I, meanwhile, was still stuck on the uh-oh.

"What do you MEAN you have to find FOUR?? You found ONE? WHAT? Isn't one ENOUGH? Holy mother of all good things, this is NOT happening! You HAVE to treat me! You CAN'T call this 'exposure.' It's a FREAKING LICE!!!" - me, on the verge of a panic attack

Well, turns out that I didn't need to worry about the four-lice-to-be-infested rule.

I had more than four. I'm trying not to vomit as I type this.

That's right, my friends. I. Had. Lice. I say "had" because they're gone now. They BETTER be for $150 (that's what it cost to "eradicate them" from my scalp). Don't judge - if you were me, you'd have paid it, too. Trying to run a comb through this hair is like trying to untangle a Brillo pad. They had their work cut out for them.

The Head Hunters man laughed, I dry heaved, and Emerson watched a movie. All while we had, between the two of us, approximately 50 nits, babies, adolescents, and adults removed.

Britney's approach really was looking more and more appealing.

Two hours later (and with a much lighter wallet), we walked out of Head Hunters, utterly repulsed and smelling like licorice (that's what the spray smelled like...not sure why). I knew that I had to check the boys as soon as they got home from school, and that Brandon would DEFINITELY need a good once over.

Foster came home and I started the process of checking his head. I was quite familiar with how to do it at this point. I wet his hair and went over every strand with a fine-toothed comb. Literally - it looks like this:

He appeared to be okay. *PHEW*

Not long after that, Sutton got home. I met him at the bus stop and walked him home, telling him I needed to check his head immediately.

"Mom, my head doesn't ITCH!" -- Sutton

"Tough luck, big guy - go to my bathroom immediately and wait for me there." -- me

I wet his hair down and brushed the tangles out. I grabbed the lice comb and took a swipe.

Holy. Mother. Of. Pearl.

I seriously might barf right now just thinking about it. I am feeling psychopsychotic.

The comb was covered -- COVERED -- in nits, babies, and even adult lice. I wanted to cry, but you'll be proud to know that I laughed.

Then I shouted, "Straight to the car, son - we're going to Head Hunters!" The other two kids threw their shoes on and we jumped in the car, and I was yelling, "Kids, don't TOUCH your brother - he is COVERED in lice!," which prompted him to cry out of fear of dying of lice and the other kids to scream, "EWWWWWW" out of disgust. Nothing like a little family-wide humiliation, right Middle Child? We peeled out of the our neighborhood like we were driving a Maserati.

I called Head Hunters and told them we were on our way, and that my husband would be arriving shortly as well for a head check. They didn't even have to ask who I was - we're close like that now.

When we arrived, we went back to the delousing room (I knew the drill at this point). Sutton climbed up in the chair and they wet him down and went to town combing and cleaning, combing and cleaning. I stood next to the technician and stared at the paper towel they wiped with, knowing I'd never be able to unsee the creatures they were pulling off of my son's scalp, but also unable to look away, like I was staring at the scene of a bad accident.

They finally got his head clean, and then my husband walked in.

"Sit down, Babe. They have GOT to check you. There is NO WAY you don't have lice!" -- me

"Well, thanks for the vote of confidence, Dear." -- Brandon

I'm not gonna lie - I secretly hoped he had lice and that they had migrated to his too-bushy, too-majestic, pubic-hair-looking beard that he's been sporting for the last couple of years, and that he'd have to shave it all off so he didn't have beard lice.

Head lice can't live off beards, in case you were wondering. Another kind of lice can, though...

I digress.

They wet his hair and started combing. Nothing.

Then, something.

"Oooh, this looks like an empty casing." -- lady tech

"What does that mean?" -- me

"Oh, it's probably just exposure." - lady tech

Oh, for the LOVE, here we go again!

After finding one empty casing and one nit, she declared him lice free and said he didn't need a treatment.


Lice FREE? One casing and one nit? That ain't exposure, that's LICE, baby!

She didn't agree and reitterated that finding four warrants a treatment, and no less.

Barf. Gag. Dry Heave. Gross. Me. Out.

But I trusted their expertise, because, after all, they are the largest lice eradication facility in the world. So I guess they should know...right?

This brings me to tonight. I'm currently on my fourth load of laundry (out of six). Sheets, pillow cases, comfortors, towels, coats - they ALL have to be washed and dried using high heat. All stuffed animals must be bagged and put away for a few days to suffocate any remaining lice (hurl). Hair brushes, hair ties, hair accessories must be put in the freezer to kill any nits that might be on them (puke).

The next week will consist of me doing lice checks on my entire family to ensure we have no more activity. Next Monday we will visit Head Hunters for a recheck, and for the next month Emerson has to wear her hair up and tucked away at school, because those of us who had lice (Em, Sutton, and (gulp) me) are more succeptible to getting them again because they leave behind their scent via their saliva (ok, seriously, I'm ill), which attracts other lice.

I don't typically attract a lot of why do I have to attract lice? For the love...

I feel like realistically I'm left with two options. 1) Douse my family's hair in lice-prevention spray every morning before we leave the house for the rest of our lives. 2) Homeschool my children through...forever so we never have to encounter lice ever, ever again.

Ok, I admit, that might be a bit much.

This should work just fine:

Feel free to laugh!

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Holy LICE, Batman - We've Got a Problem! (PART ONE)

That's right friends. We have (excuse me while I throw up in my mouth) a LICE SITUATION in the Watts home.

In the words of Jimmy Fallon, "EW."

Actually, EW doesn't begin to do it justice. Barf, gag, blech, HOLY MOTHER OF ALL GOOD THINGS, maybe, but not a simple EW.

Some of you might feel that I'm overreacting a bit. To you I simply say this: SHUT IT.

My kids getting lice has been the one strange phobia I've battled as a parent. It’s the one non-life-and-death thing I’ve overly worried about, but, 'til now, we've never had it. I think one of my children does have it every few months, which prompts me to go through their hair with a fine-toothed comb (literally). I've done it so many times that I've started to question my sanity, which is why this time (the time when my kid actually DOES have lice), I ignored the telltale symptoms and told my daughter she had dry scalp issues. 

For two weeks.

Yes, this means her lice have gone untreated for two weeks. Two Wednesdays ago she came to me as we were walking out the door for school, and she told me her head itched badly and that she thought she had lice. I quickly parted her hair and glanced at her scalp. I didn't see any lice, so I proclaimed, "NO LICE!" She started crying because her head was so itchy and I told her to quit being so dramatic. #momwin

The scratching continued.

"Of COURSE your head is gonna itch if you keep scratching it, Em," I said, exasperated. "Just stop scratching. It's psychosomatic. That means you’re letting your mind get the best of you.”

Even as I type this I feel incredible horrible and guilty. And itchy.

Then we went to the beach for Thanksgiving. 

“My head still itches, mom,” Emerson said.

“That’s because you have sand in your hair, ding dong,” I said, again #winning.

Well, now we’re home from the beach, and the head is still itching. I finally did what all doctors advise against but I should have done weeks ago and hopped on the ol’ Google to find out what I should be looking for were my child to have lice.

Note to self: ignore anyone with a PhD. They’re TOO smart. Use common sense and the daggum GOOGLE.

I found, to my amazement, that lice don’t look like large black bugs crawling on the scalp, but that they’re actually tiny and clear-ish and quite hard to spot. I read about the nits (EW), and about the little sacs of eggs lice leave near the base of the hair.

It’s those egg sacks that clued me in.

I called Emerson to my bathroom and started digging through her hair. What I had assumed to be tiny pieces of dandruff from all that dry scalp didn’t move when I flicked at them. They stayed stuck to the hairs…like glue. 

Well, dayyyyuuuuuum!

No thanks, Oprah.

The first thing I had to do was break the news to my sweet eight-year-old daughter that she did, in fact, have lice, and that I had been, in fact, wrong about it for two weeks.

She looked horrified and asked if I’d have to cut off all her hair.


I told her it was no big deal, that we’d take care of it, and that she could go play. As soon as she left my bathroom I started jumping up and down and scratching every square inch of my body. In fact, it's been six hours, and I haven't stopped scratching some part of me for more than five seconds since.

I'm 97% sure I feel like I have lice, and I'm 23% sure I actually have lice. FOR THE LOVE - I USED MY DAUGHTER'S PILLOW IN THE CAR THREE DAYS AGO WHILE WE DROVE HOME FROM THE BEACH! And I know, with my massively curly hair, if lice come to nest, they are getting comfortable and won't want to leave. My curls would provide such nice, cozy little beds for them and their familes.

I might be pulling a Britney tomorrow.

Sorry to make you a scapegoat, Britney. Nobody knew you shaved your head because of lice. And here everyone thought you'd lost your mind...

The crazy part is, I think my "lice" are all in my head. No, not ON my head. IN my in, psychosomatic.

The mind is a peculiar thing. Mine can wander and operate in a haze when I need it functioning at full capacity, and when I need it to calm down and think rationally, it has laser focus on things that aren't even really there. (Please, God, let them not be there!)

I know truth. I can look at scalp and see that there are no signs of lice. But I can't accept the truth, because I FEEL differently about it.

Isn't this the struggle of all struggles? We know the truth, but we don't buy into the truth. We see evidence of what is true all around us, but the lies speak louder than everything else.

One of the biggest lies I buy into is that I am only as good, only as worthy, only as respectable as the condition my physical body is in.


I am overweight. I've never felt so out of control in my life. The enemy, who is as real as you and I are, whispers lies to me all day, every day. He says I'm a disappointment. I'm a failure. I'm an embarrassment. He even goes so far as to tell me that the people who love me are disgusted by me, and that they all pity me behind my back. He tells me that because I'm out of shape, I'm pathetic, and that I deserve to be fat.

And many days, I believe it.

The TRUTH about me is markedly different than the lies Satan taunts me with. And I KNOW what God says about me, the truths He sings over me. I am HIS. I am LOVED. I am VALUABLE. I am MORE THAN MY BODY. I am LOVED BY OTHERS. And so on, and so forth.

I know it, and I see the evidence of His truth in my life. But often I don't buy into it.

I scratch away at my soul, convinced that I'm being eaten alive by failure and shame, sure that I have a parasite that won't relent until it's devoured all of my joy and all of my value.

There's no parasite. I'm clean and I'm free, and I DON'T EVEN KNOW IT. I'm worrying about something that's not even a reality, and it has me so far off focus that I can't see the truth for the lies.

And in those moments, Satan wins. He loves every minutes of it.

Thankfully, there's good news. What's the good news, you ask?

In the end, truth always wins.

I am hidden in Christ, and He is now a part of my DNA. Satan might win for a minute, but Christ wins in the end, and because He is in me and I in Him, His truth WILL win in my heart and in my life.

"Starting from scratch (trying HARD not to laugh at this unintended pun), he made the entire human race and made the earth hospitable, with plenty of time and space for living so we could seek after God, and not just grope around in the dark but actually find him. He doesn’t play hide-and-seek with us. He’s not remote; he’s near. We live and move in him, can’t get away from him!" ACTS 17:26-28

No matter how much my brain might tell me that the lies of the enemy are true, and that they define me, in the end, God wins. He always does. His truth prevails and I am reminded, again, that I am so much more than a body.

And so are you.

For example, right now I am a body that feels like the feet of a thousand spiders are walking up and down my legs, arms, back, neck, and scalp. So much more than just a body.

With that, I say goodnight. I've got nothing else for you.

Until tomorrow, when I will fumigate and annihilate and INFURIATE those little creatures that have made a home on my daughter's scalp. I will also be poor from paying for the treatment and all of the lice prevention spray that I can find in the southeastern United States. If you see us around and wonder why our hair looks wet all the time, it will be because it is, indeed, wet all the time. You see, we will be dunking our heads in a bucket of lice prevention solution multiple times daily. Come getcha some.

Also, Ima need you to quit taking selfies, K?

Feel free to itch laugh!

Saturday, November 14, 2015

For Paris...Because God Always Wins

I was driving down the road last week with my girlfriend's son, Jake (yes, the same Jake from last year's Chick-fil-A post), and my youngest son, whom Jake adorably refers to as "Froster." His name is actually Foster, but Jakey's so dang cute that I can't bring myself to correct him. Also, Foster is known for having a sour attitude and a generally unhappy disposition these days, so "Froster" might not be all that far off base. He tends to give a lot of icy glares and cold shoulders. Basically, what I'm trying to say is that the only reason he's still with us is because he's totes adorbs.

I mean, right?
Anyway, we were driving down the road and Jake started playing a game with Froster - I mean Foster. 

"Froster, if God had a race with a rocket, do you know who would win? GOD! Because God always wins!" 
"Froster, if God was in a battle with Hulk Smash, do you know who would win? GOD! Because God always wins!" 
"Froster, if God and Santa Claus had a race to hand out Christmas presents to the whole world, do you know who'd win? (I'll admit, I got nervous on this one) GOD! Because God always wins!"

And so on and so forth. Froster thought this was a great game, and they played for at least ten minutes, even though they knew what the answer would be to every question. They giggled and screamed and both shouted over and over, "GOD ALWAYS WINS!"

I sat on my bed last night watching the breaking news coverage of the terror attacks in Paris (yes, we have a TV in our bedroom - don't judge; we find that watching Dateline together at night really gets us in the mood...), and the conversation between Jake and Foster came back to my mind.

"Jordan, if God is in a battle against the most ruthless, evil, terroristic enemy imaginable, an enemy who's constantly prowling the earth to steal, kill, and destroy, do you know who'd win?"

I have to admit, for a moment I forgot the answer. 

I watched the news coverage and saw the pictures of the unthinkable carnage and heard the accounts of first-hand witnesses who survived only by hiding themselves beneath the dead, and I felt sure that the enemy had won.

I thought of the mothers and fathers who would be receiving calls that their children would never grace the doorways of their homes again, and of the children who would grow up alone simply because mom and dad went out for a date night to their favorite restaurant, and I felt defeated. Like we had all been defeated.

I worried that the same people who planned coordinated attacks across the beautiful city of Paris would bring their AK-47s to my homeland, to my city, and that none of us would ever be at peace again.

Jakey, Ms. Jordan forgot. 

But not for long.

In the middle of my heartbreak and my horror and my fear, I heard Froster's and Jakey's voices loud and clear in the backseat of my van, giggling with glee and shouting in triumph:


I needed to be reminded of this amazing truth from Revelation 21:

Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, 'Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.'

Again, the question: if God is in a battle against the most ruthless, evil, terroristic enemy imaginable, an enemy who's constantly prowling the earth to steal, kill, and destroy, do you know who'd win?

In that moment, I remembered that I already know the end of the story, and (spoiler alert!), God will, in fact, win. He always does, and He always will. The story just isn't over yet.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Why Children and P.M.S. Don't Mesh

I'm noticing that the older I get, the meaner I am when I'm PMS-ing. I know you know what I mean (or at least just pretend you do, for my sake). The acute crankiness that overtakes me every 27-or-so days is like a people repellant, or it should be. I feel like I should wear this shirt for about three days each month to protect everyone around me:

I was sitting next to my husband the other morning and he cleared his throat three times. Innocently. Unknowingly.

Poor husband.
"Um, can you not DO that?" - me 
"Do what?" - poor husband
 "That annoying thing you're doing with your throat. That loud, coughing, throat-clearing thing. DUH." - me 
"I don't know what you're talking about." - poor husband 
"Mmmmmmmhmmmm. Sure. Whatever, it's fine, keep doing it. I'm just going to gouge my eardrums out, but it's no big deal." - me 
" you need some alone time?" - poor, SMART husband
That was a mild interaction. You should've seen what went down when he touched my leg with his toenail by accident. #NotPretty

Even strangers annoy me when I'm flying the Japanese flag (yes, I'm going to throw in the most obscure references to Aunt Flow I can find - you're welcome). We were headed to a party the other night and when we arrived I saw that we were parked behind two old people who were getting out of their Buick at the same time we were. The lady had a casserole dish, and did I mention that they were old? Of course I did, I said they were driving a Buick. Instantly I was annoyed by the old people and their casserole dish. "If there are going to be geriatrics at this party, we can just pack it right back up and go home, because I do NOT feel like spending my evening socializing with random old strangers," I said to my husband, who stared at me like I was an alien. I might as well have been. I actually uttered that exact sentence. AND MEANT IT. Who am I??? Don't answer that.

I feel like there needs to be a guidebook for the people in my life who have to interact with me every month when there are communists in the funhouse, as the Danes would say. My children especially need a copy of this non-existent book. It would help them understand Mean Mommy a little bit better.  

(On a side note, can I just say that it's ironic to me that our children annoy us the absolute most when PMS rolls into town, yet the whole entire reason we HAVE PMS is so we can CONCEIVE CHILDREN! #CanIGetAWitness?)

I can think of a million reasons why children and PMS don't mesh; however, for the sake of time, I will just share five. 

When I'm PMS-ing:
  1. My children always talk to me. Like, all the time. "Mom, Mom, Mom, Mommy, Mom, Mother, MOOOOOMMMMMMMMMY." The "moms" are usually followed by one of two things: 1) tattling, or 2) the same question I already gave them an answer to 30 seconds prior. It's cute how they think if they ask 17 times, or rephrase the question, my answer will be different. And by cute, I mean infuriating. Especially three certain days of every month.
  2. My children always touch me, and when I'm PMSy I don't want to be touched. Like, by anyone, ever. Unless (s)he's a masseuse, in which case all the touching should happen all the time. 24/7. My hula-hoop space automatically expands to a keep-your-distance radius of 15 feet when I'm about to join the cast of Pad Men (yes, yes I did), so when my four-year-old decides to come and tackle me from behind while I'm sitting on the ground, ultimately hanging on my neck and yanking my head into baby-bird position, I can't be held liable for the things I say or do. Well, I can, because I'm an adult, but the struggle is real.
  3. My children always need stuff from me, like meals and rides to school, but I don't want to do said stuff because I just want to not do anything I don't feel like doing whenever I feel like it. Make sense?
  4. My children always speak at a level that's 500% louder than normal for three days each month and then I feel like my ear drums are going to burst at any moment, which does not, in fact, happen, but still, it's conceivable. 
  5. My children inevitably poke my tummy because it's extra-fluffy and ask me why it's so "poochy" if there's no baby in there, and then I sit in the corner and suck my thumb and cry, making it apparent that there are already enough babies in our house and that's why there's not one in my poochy, bloated pouch. 
People, this is real life. And as much as I'd like to say that I'm a pure delight the other 27 days a month, that's not necessarily the truth. I am kind of a mess. I hope there are more good days than bad, and I hope that I am selfless more often than I am selfish (people close to me would probably say that's debatable). All of the good and all of the selflessness comes from Jesus. All the other stuff...well, that's me. I'm a selfish, irritable, broken vessel who is somehow supposed to raise three tiny humans into functioning adults. No pressure, right?! Thankfully, He doesn't expect us to have it all together, as 2 Corinthians 4 points out:

"Remember, our Message is not about ourselves; we’re proclaiming Jesus Christ, the Master. All we are is messengers, errand runners from Jesus for you. It started when God said, “Light up the darkness!” and our lives filled up with light as we saw and understood God in the face of Christ, all bright and beautiful.

"If you only look at us, you might well miss the brightness. We carry this precious Message around in the unadorned clay pots of our ordinary lives. That’s to prevent anyone from confusing God’s incomparable power with us. As it is, there’s not much chance of that. You know for yourselves that we’re not much to look at."

He is all that is good and He knows that we're "not much to look at." The great news is that God meets us where we are. When I'm low, God reaches out a little farther and goes more than halfway and finds me where I am. And loves me where I am. Where we're at our worst, He shines most brightly. When we think our kids are never going to remember NICE MOMMY, we have to remember that, because the Spirit of God lives inside those who trust Christ as their Savior, they will still see Jesus in us. 

And when we sin against our kids by allowing our perceived rights or selfishness or hormonal-ness to overtake us as mothers, when we lash out or act huffy and annoyed when they want all the stuff from us all the time, we can STILL show them Jesus and point them to Him by coming to them in humility, no matter their ages. We can apologize and ask for their forgiveness, and then remind them that OUR SIN is a great reminder of why THEY need Jesus. We will NEVER be perfect as their parents, and their only perfect parent will ever be God the Father. It's a great transition into the Gospel.

Which is good, because I sin against my kids a lot. So they see their need for Jesus a LOT. You're welcome, kids.

In my house, Nice Mommy is currently back. Everyone can breathe a sigh of relief. My kids can talk to me without worrying that I'm going to turn on a dime. They can touch me and receive physical affection in return. They can ask me to do basic things like prepare them breakfast and I do it semi-cheerful, or as cheerfully as one can at 6:30am. Things are at peace and will remain this way for approximately 27 days. And then...

Feel free to laugh!

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

How To Be the Most Annoying Person on Social Media

I decided to sum up how to be the most annoying person on social media by writing this letter. Consider it a fabulous litmus test to be used to see how annoying you are (or I am), on a scale of 0 to COMPLETELY, to others on social media. ENJOY!





Worst. Day. Ever. Don’t ask me what happened; I can’t talk about it. But it was awful. Like, horrible. Seriously, you wouldn’t even believe the thing that happened. That I can’t talk about. So don’t ask. (But your jaw would drop!)

I guess you figure out who your true friends are when things get tough. Life has been hard for me lately, and the people I thought were my friends have shown that they have better stuff (or people) to worry about. You know who you are.  It’s time to go through my friends list on Insta and FB. If you can still see my feeds tomorrow, then it means that I know you’re a true friend.  Or that I am keeping you as a friend for the sole purpose of maintaining the ability to stalk your personal life without you knowing. Also, if you don’t accept my Candy Crush requests, consider yourself out of the inner circle of trust. Any hater of Candy Crush is no friend of mine.

Some of you might remember that I went to the Caribbean recently. I was thinking of hosting a picture party so you could all see what a fabulous time you didn’t have, but instead I’ve decided to fill your entire Insta feed with pictures of turquoise beaches, mixed drinks, and selfies of me in a bikini. Don’t worry, I only have 137 pictures to share, so it shouldn’t take you too long to look through them and hate your own life. And body.

Keep an eye out for a FB invite from me to come to a cleaning supply party at my house. I swore I’d never sell pyramid-scheme crapola, but when I found out about these products I was sold! LADIES, we HAVE to stop cleaning our homes with CHEMICALS! Instead of 409, you should try this special blend of chemical-free home cleaner. It’s made with a special blend of essential oil that is extracted from the Amazon rainforest, Mother Teresa’s saliva (it was bottled before her death and is more precious than gold), and water from the fountain of life. You can get a sample-sized bottle to try for only $99. I know it seems pricey, but maintaining a chemical-free home for your family is priceless. Am I right? We will also be showcasing a radical new dietary supplement called the vegetable, which has the potential to help you lose weight and get healthy if ingested daily. Get excited to learn and improve your health, ladies!

Speaking of health, I’m now vegan. It’s something all of you should consider. I just feel so good and my body is LOVING IT. Good news? I am SO regular and I crave only raw plants, tree bark, and soil. Bad news? I can’t eat anything that tastes good and my molars are ground down to nubs. It’s really super-great. I could go on and on about it, and I probably will. Also, here’s a picture of my lunch:

This morning I went out for a quick run. I love the fresh air and the burst of dopamine I get when I take a few minutes out of my day to take care of myself. Also, I have an app that will post to social media and show you just how far I ran so you can be amazed.

Don’t judge me. My pace was a little slower than normal because I’m nine months pregnant. This baby’s really slowing me down!

I went shopping earlier for something to wear to my friend’s wedding. I found the cutest little black dress. You can never go wrong with a LBD. #LBD #LittleBlackDress #ADressThatIsBlackAndLittle #Dresses #Fashion #OnSale #Shopping #Weddings #Clothes #NotNaked #etc

This afternoon we had a major celebration in our home! Little Timmy did his first #2 on the potty! He’s been going wee-wee without reminders for several weeks, but he just couldn’t seem to make it to the potty without soiling his undies. I’m including a photo of his first pooper in the potty so you can rejoice with us!

Kidding. I just couldn't do that to you all.

Lastly, y’all, I’m just so thankful. I have such an amazing man, such amazing friends (you know who you are, and who you aren’t), and so much to be inspired about. I could’ve been born in some other place or time, but I wasn’t. Other people were. But not me. Because I’m #blessed.

 Feel free to laugh!

Monday, August 17, 2015

When Life Is Hard: That Time My Kid Spilled Nail Polish In His Eye

So, last week, my son spilled this in his eye.

Before you start judging (kidding -- I know you've already started judging, and it's ok), I just want to ask one question: whose kid HASN'T spilled nail polish in their eye?

Ok, I get it. You can put your hands down now. It's just me, as usual. I'm convinced God allows these ridiculous things to happen to me just so YOU get a good laugh. And probably so I learn some stuff. I'm starting to put two and two together and realize that I must be a slow learner, because He feels the need to provide me with ample opportunities for growth and refinement. #ThankYouGod #ButReally

So, last week my youngest spilled nail polish in his eye. Yes, he's ok. He can still see just fine, as was evidenced by the detailed picture he drew on my kitchen floor this morning. #GodBlessHisTeachers

Last Friday I was out for the day while he was at home with a babysitter. I was working and trying to cram a million things into a babysitter-length span of time. It was shortly after lunch, as I was sitting down to have a meeting, that my phone rang. It was my sitter. #OyVey 

I debated answering the call. If I answered, chances were good that I'd be on the receiving end of some sort of bad-news phone call or serious discipline issue. If I ignored the call, chances were good that I'd be distracted by my meeting and would forget about the ensuing drama, putting off an inevitably bad situation for a little while. #Procrastination

Of course I answered the phone. What kind of mother do you take me for???
"Hi, Susan. Is everything ok?"
 I could tell immediately from the screaming in the background that, no, things were not ok.
"Susan, what's wrong? What happened?"
"I don't know what happened. I'm just not sure. I was downstairs doing the dishes and Foster was playing fine. All of a sudden I heard him screaming and he came down the back stairs holding a bottle of nail polish in one hand and covering his eye with the other. I pried his hand back -- I'm not sure how -- he spilled nail polish in his eye. Oh, yeah, and he dropped the bottle and it shattered all over the floor and now there's nail polish on the (newly painted) walls."

I stood up, grabbed my laptop bag and purse, announced that, unfortunately, I was unable to have a meeting because my kid SPILLED NAIL POLISH IN HIS EYE, got in the car, and started driving home.

My emotions? Well, if I'm being honest, they were a mixture of fear (that my son would lose his vision or see through rose-colored retinas for the rest of his life) and rage (that my son was playing in nail polish to begin with), with an eerie dose of calm in there, too (after all, what's done is done).

I pulled up the driveway, threw the van in park, and ran into the house, looking for my son and prepared to head straight to the ER. I expected hysteria. Instead, I found him sitting at the kitchen table, calmly eating a snack, perfectly content and in zero pain.

I immediately envisioned myself on a deserted island, sipping a mojito and nonchalantly lounging my size-four body next to the lapping waves, in order that I might not blow a size-fourteen gasket.

Thankfully, my superhero sitter had the sense to flush his eye out with lots of water, and also to give him food (in that order). His eye wasn't even red, and he said it didn't hurt "even a nothing bit." 

When I asked him what he had been thinking doing, he told me he'd been exploring his sister's room upstairs and had happened upon this bottle of nail polish in one of her zillion pouches of useless crap.  He then thought it would be fun to use it "like makeup." He wanted to have the face of a Cover Girl beauty, I suppose, and let me say, he didn't miss a spot. He painted his entire (ENTIRE) face in nail polish. Including his eyelids. He filled the brush with paint and dripped it onto his eyelid (translation: into his eye) to become "bootiful." 

Once I was certain he was okay (and after I had called the pediatrician and been told that I could just keep an EYE -- couldn't resist -- on it instead of taking him to the ER, as they had initially counseled me to do), we had yet another conversation that I had never foreseen myself having before I had children. It was the whole, "we don't paint our faces with nail polish" convo. You know, you've had it, too. Or not.

I ended up going back to my meeting. Later that evening I made it home just in time for him to stand on the sofa (which is forbidden in our home) and topple over, puncturing his scalp on the corner of a toy organizer next to the couch and bleeding all over our cream-colored carpet in our new (to us) home. And you know what I mean when I say that head wounds bleed PROFUSELY. 

Nail polish on the freshly painted walls. Check. Blood spattered all over the white carpet. Check, check. Frustration threatening to spill over into tears and "I quit's." Check, check, check.

There's no doubt about it: life is hard. It's full of unexpected emergencies and "I-never-saw-that-coming's" and "is-this-really-my-life's??"

And what's more, I know that my bad days are nothing compared to the experiences of many others. I read an online journal update written by a mom whose newborn baby who simply wasn't feeling well now is fighting for his life while undergoing the most intense chemotherapy his tiny body can withstand. I cry for a friend whose marriage is in serious distress and is facing some difficult, painful decisions. I watch parents care for their child, a sweet boy who was born with severe disabilities and will never function without round-the-clock care, day after day after day after day after day. I read of the mom of two precious children who mysteriously took ill and died weeks later, leaving behind a devastated husband and two girls who will grow up without their mom.

THAT is hard.

However, if I can, I'd like to say this (hopefully without sounding like I believe myself to be the authority on all things hard and spiritual, and without sounding insensitive or like I'm spouting off just another "church-y" response):

Hard is where HE is.

It's easy to feel like, in the middle of crappy days and seasons and years and decades, HE is light years away. I don't blame you if you feel that way, because I have felt it, too. However, our feelings don't always (or usually) dictate what is true, and what's true is what God's Word says. Read what Paul wrote (inspired fully by God) in his second letter to the church at Corinth:

"All praise to the God and Father of our Master, Jesus the Messiah! Father of all mercy! God of all healing counsel! He comes alongside us when we go through hard times, and before you know it, he brings us alongside someone else who is going through hard times so that we can be there for that person just as God was there for us. We have plenty of hard times that come from following the Messiah, but no more so than the good times of his healing comfort—we get a full measure of that, too."

2 Corinthians 1:3-5

Don't you just adore the end of that section of Scripture? We have PLENTY of hard times, but they will NEVER surpass the good times of His healing comfort. "We get a full measure of that, too."

Hard is where His HEALING is.

It's tempting to run from hard. Who wants to embrace the moments when life feels like it might crush us under the heaviness of our situations? I'll be the first to admit that I often want to cut and run and breeze over hard. But I don't want to run enough to miss out on where HE is, and where His HEALING is.

Sometimes, God calls us to hard stuff. To walk through painful situations. To embrace agony. 

Sometimes, God calls us to heart stuff. To walk with Him, no matter how hard. To embrace His sufficiency for us.

If you're walking through a storm, a "nail-polish-in-the-eye" kind of day (or worse), know that I'm praying for you even as I type these words. He is good. He is near. He is all about your healing and restoration. He is about your HEART.

I, on the other hand, am all about the 409. Spray, that is. 409 spray on the floors of my kitchen, on the walls, on the freshly-painted cabinets. On the cream-colored carpet in my bonus room. 

Yes, I'm all about the 409. And Him. And Healing. But especially the 409.

Feel free to laugh!

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Dependence Day

Today is the 4th of July, which, here in Georgia, means several things:
  1. Tens of thousands of people who haven't exercised since January 6 all got together this morning in downtown Atlanta to run the world's most popular 10k, the Peachtree Road Race. My social media platforms explode every year on 7/4 with pics of friends at the starting and then the finish line. I like to look at the afore-mentioned pictures while I lounge in my bed, not running. The one I saw today of my eight-month pregnant friend at the finish line who'd barely broken out in a sweat was especially guilt-inducing for me (you know who you are, Lisa Adams).

  2. Everyone and their brother piles into their family sedan and drives toward Lenox Mall or Stone Mountain Park in an attempt to secure front-row seats to the biggest fireworks shows in town. This brings the already awful Atlanta-area traffic to a complete standstill, resulting in things like babies being birthed on the sides of highways and other thrilling things of that nature.

  3. More grills are fired up and working at one time in the southern US than they are any other day of the year (I might or might not have completely made this stat up, but I have a gut feeling I'm right, so go with it). Independence Day is a Big Green Egg owner's Christmas (except for the actual Christmas when they get the latest Big Green Egg accessories they've been drooling over). Men all over Georgia are geeking out and going all Alton Brown on us as they attempt marvelous meat concoctions never before tasted by mankind.

  4. Someone, somewhere, at some parade or fireworks extravaganza, feels the need to take our nation's anthem and sing it loud and proud Whitney-Houston style, but Whitney they are not. We've all heard it being butchered by the most well-meaning and patriotic citizens you'll ever meet. Their patriotism, however, doesn't generally compensate for their lack of skill, know what I mean?
Basically, to sum up Independence Day here in the south, just see below:

Good ol' Independence Day.

We are a people and a country who pride ourselves on our independent spirit, aren't we? We celebrate our freedom to be whatever and whoever we want. Businesses and organizations use "independent" as a buzz word to signify a lack of bias or governemnt control. Schools use "independent" to describe a method of study in which students are responsible for their own learning. Women's rights groups use "independent" to signify that women don't need a man to function in life or to achieve happiness (cue Beyonce).

The dictionary defines INDEPENDENCE: freedom from the support, control, influence, aid, or the like, of others.

Our society champions the cause of independence. And while that's often well and good, the concept of independence is often a hard one for me to swallow, mainly because the message of the Gospel of Christ, which is a message I wholeheartedly believe, teaches quite the opposite.

Where the world teaches a person to stand on her own two feet to get by, the Word teaches that she must fall broken before the Lord, fully aware of her own neediness and inability to function apart from her Heavenly Father. (Psalm 51) (John 15:1-10)

Where the world teaches a person to carve her own path and create her own destiny, the Word teaches that one's life is part of a Master's plan. (Proverbs 16:1, 9)

Where the world teaches a person that she's smart and savvy and can trust her own intuition, the Word teaches that true wisdom can't be found apart from God and His Word, and that we can't trust our own sinfully-bent minds. (James 1:5-8) (1 Corinthians 3:18-20) (1 Corinthians 1:25) (1 Corinthians 2)

The entire message of Jesus Christ can be summed up in one word: DEPENDENCE.

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding..." (Proverbs 3:5) 
"There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death..." (Proverbs 14:12) 
"I lift up my eyes to the hills. From where does my help come? My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth..." (Psalm 121:1-2) 
"I say to the Lord, 'You are my Lord; I have no good apart from you...'" (Psalm 16:2)

God has always worked from his own unique operating system. He sent His only Son, the King of all mankind, to be born to human flesh without fanfare in a tiny, stinky barn filled with field animals. The world opts to welcome royalty with glitz and glamour and worldwide celebration. And He still operates this way, and the followers of Jesus Christ are still called to live a lifestyle that is contrary to everything this broken world beckons us toward.

To get ahead we must consider ourselves last.

To gain wealth we must give generously.

To lead others we must serve them.

To truly live we must die to ourselves.

To gain true freedom we must become completely dependent.

Each year, on July 4, we celebrate our country's freedom from the rule of Britain.

Each minute of each hour of each day of each year, those who follow Christ must celebrate Dependence Day.

Lord, that we would walk in dependence on You, and You alone, today and every day.

And when we are faced with images like the following and find that we do, in fact, share our  American citizenship with this guy, remind us that this is not our home and that, in heaven, people won't stick fireworks in their butt cracks (or at least I assume they won't, but I guess we won't know for sure until we get there).

Feel free to laugh!