Thursday, November 22, 2012


There was the Thanksgiving we spent at home. I don't remember who got the knife to cut the pecan pie but it wasn't the correct knife for pie cutting. The consequence was the knife being hurled by my brother's head and into the wall.

I am not sure why I thought of that today. I was trying to think of what to say I was thankful for and that memory popped up. Maybe it is because I can't quite put into words the gratitude I feel for my life.

I am thankful for something that I have always struggled to love about myself. Today I am thankful for that thing about me that may make it hard for you to like me. That may make you think that I am nuts.

I have been asked several times how I got to where I am. I guess if you only know me as my life is now then you probably don't think this glorious life is all that special. But if you knew me back when, then you know that I won the lottery.

I always give credit to all the people who lifted me up, credit to God, credit to church, credit to a good education. I almost never give the credit to the sassy, the spunk, the determination and the perfectionism. To that part of me that goes the extra five minutes on the treadmill or puts back the second chocolate chip cookie because I was always told I would be fat "one day" and I refuse to let them be right.

It is that part of me that in college worked to pay my way, found an internship, had to be president of the club, and find time to volunteer. It is the part of me that knew I had to have a resume to find a job so that I would never have to move back to my hometown. To the place that raised me but also damaged me.

It is the part of me that will argue with you if you say the sky is blue. You know how I always have to point out that it sometimes looks orange when the sun is setting or white on a cloudy day.

You see above all else, I think it is that part that has made this part possible. I think it is why I didn't get stuck. Why I am not celebrating Thanksgiving in a trailer park with a cruel husband and possibly an addiction to a substance that is ruining my children's lives.

That part of myself that I struggle to tame has been my saving grace.

My life is beautiful. I live with a man who I love fully. Who is kind and gentle. A man who I love even more now because he is an amazing dad. A man who loves me even when the sassy is in full force. A love that is so overwhelming that it can be terrifying. Especially to a girl who was always waiting for the other shoe to fall. To allow myself to be vulnerable to love. I am thankful for him and for his love. For the gift of learning that love is good and safe.

I have the sweetest children. They have taught me a love that I did not know I could feel. A love that runs through me. A love that is so full that it can feel suffocating because I take so seriously my responsibility to protect them. I am so deeply blessed by these little loves. They make me better and give me so much more than I could ever hope to give back to them.

I am thankful for every detail of my life. The crunched up goldfish crackers on the floor at the bottom of the stairs. The food, the shelter, the healthcare, the clothing, the towels and sheets and stuff that make our lives comfortable. I am thankful for it all.

But above all I am thankful for a peaceful home. A home full of love. A safe place to raise my family. And I am thankful for that fight inside of me. That thing that brought me to this place. This perfect little life that is so much more than I ever imagined possible.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Open Forum in the Denver Post

Never in my life have a written a letter to the editor. I love current events and politics. I love to read the newspaper in print at my kitchen table with a warm cup of coffee. Information and knowledge make me feel strong and powerful. It gives me confidence that I can use critical thinking, a skill I was blessed to learn beginning in the third grade, to dig into the abundance of information available in our world today.

Last week I read this article in the Denver Post and had to reply. They ran my letter today. I actually wrote a whole lot more but I had to cut it down to the pithy response published in the paper. I thought I would share my full response on my blog. After all, it is my blog. So here is the full response:

After reading Rich Tosches article in the November 11 edition of the Denver Post my initial response was anger and frustration. I wanted to bloviate my outrage with all of my sassy, southern force on his insensitive and false theories. Then I remembered a key principle of southernism, politeness.

Tosches paints a brood brush of Georgia because Honey Boo Boo hails from the state. He ignored the facts that Georgia is home to the Georgia Institute of Technology and Emory University (2 of the top 50 US universities) or that Georgia is also home to 15 Fortune 500 companies including: Home Depot, UPS and Coca-Cola. And if we want to discuss reality television do I need to say more than Jersey Shore? 

You see we live in a world of unending information and yet we fail to employ logic and critical thinking. Another danger of the abundance of data is the misuse of statistics. Statistics can be found to support almost any argument. Let’s look at Tosches’ use of statistics.

He references the Educational Attainment by State report from the 2010 Census. He offered a lot of statistics but what he didn’t say is out of the 11 states with over a 90% high school graduation rate five of the states were red states in the 2012 election. 

When I look at the breakdown of red versus blue states the divide I see isn’t one of smart versus dumb. The divide I see is one of principle. The red states are generous, resourceful and self-reliant folks. 

The statistics I actually want to focus on are philanthropy by state according to The nine states with the highest percentage of givers are red states: Utah, Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee, South Carolina, Idaho, Arkansas, Georgia and North Carolina. With only two blue states in the top 15: Maryland and Virginia. The six worst givers are all blue states: New Hampshire, Maine, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut. 

There are trailer parks and poor people everywhere. It is not unique to the red states. I find it disheartening that Tosches would make fun and ridicule our nation’s disadvantaged. I don’t know if Tosches has ever actually been to the south but I grew up there in a low income, strongly Democratic family.

The principles the Democratic party embrace are helping the underdog, making the wealthy pay “their fair share” and creating a stronger working class. Isn’t it interesting that the places that voted for those principles don’t actually seem to practice them? Maybe they like the idea of the government fitting the bill to lift up the lower class while keeping their money tucked safely in their wallet.

My southern upbringing instilled in me a belief that we are morally responsible for helping our neighbor. I don’t see this as a government responsibility but a personal one. I remember many times when my family had financial difficulty and our friends showed up with groceries, and Christmases where Santa arrived in the form of generous family members. 

You can spin some statistics to make the red states look dumb but I will take the good-hearted generous spirit any day.

I understand he was trying to be satirical, but the key word is trying. Maybe his article would have been funny if the red states had actually won. As it stands, it just comes across as hateful. The only thing worse than being a sore loser is being a sore winner. 

Friday, November 16, 2012

Collard Green Juice

If I were a real blogger this post would be complete with amazing photos to go along with my little story. But, instead you just have words because this was a real life moment and I didn't plan it for blogging.

A few weeks back I came across the blog It is basically a blog promoting healthy eating and providing family friendly recipes. I tried the beef stew recipe and it was wonderful. However, she described it as an indulgence which should have tipped me off because at our house beef stew is just dinner not an indulgence.

So flying high on the success of the beef stew I decided to make the Weelicious Super Juice. It is collard greens, honey, lemon juice and water. Simple, easy, healthy food for my sweet babies. Now before I tell you how it turned out. Let me say that my kids drink green smoothies at least a few times a week. I put spinach or kale in with fruit and yogurt and they love it. They think it is a treat.

So I get the Super Juice going in the blender and the kids are stoked. It is bright green and looking fun. I let the kids choose their smoothie cups and straws and poured the concoction in. I should say that I did not taste this first but the smell was not good.

First Jack took a sip. "I don't really like it momma," said my sweet boy. A little sidebar: when Jack first started preschool some of the boys were hitting and his teacher told me that Jack would respond to the hits by saying "no thank you". He is such a kind soul. So sweet Jack didn't spit it out or fall down in horror, he just didn't want to have to drink anymore.

Next was Grace who took a sip, made a face like I had poisoned her and said "NO!"I tried to get her to take another sip just for fun and she ran away screaming.

Finally I tasted the stuff. Oh my goodness it was awful. It was pulpy and bitter. Yuck!

I apologized to my children and let them choose a lollipop from the Halloween stash. Not only did getting collard greens into their diet fail; they also got extra sugar with the lollipops. Oh well, just an average day on the job.

So from now on I will stick to Southern collard green juice. You know? After you cook a mess of greens with a ham hock for about two days. Then dish them out with a big helping of chow chow on top. Proper collard green juice is the stuff left on your plate that you sop up with cast iron skillet corn bread. Yum! Sweet, salty, tangy goodness!

Friday, November 9, 2012


Gosh y'all, I haven't blogged lately. I've been busy. For starters I launched my new business, Driver Marketing. We (and I mean just me) specialize in copywriting and providing affordable marketing solutions for small businesses. If you know anyone in need of these services, they can reach me at

Second, I am just soaking up the joy of raising Jack and Grace. If you only know me from this blog then you may think I hate motherhood and just whine about its challenges. But if you actually know me then you understand that I am just keeping it real while blogging. But that I LOVE motherhood. These babies are my world and I adore them. I love that it is 9:31 on a Friday morning and Grace is sitting at my feet building a lego tower in her footie pajamas. And Jack is hopping around the living room asking me to do to flips with him. I just told him that I was going to write something on the computer while I let my back rest a minute (I just did kid flipping for half and hour and I need to catch my breath).

Things to come...hopefully finding a way to get paid to write; working on a new blog that I will post the link to once I am ready to launch; making my new business a success so that I don't have to go back to the corporate world when Grace starts school; and living life to the fullest with my sweet family.

Here are a few beautiful family photos thanks to Christian's stepdad Chip. He is awesome y'all!