Happy Thanksgiving, y'all! Enjoy these next four days with your family and friends. I pray blessings over each of you!
I'm going to tell a little story...she won't remember it. Because she never remembers anything, and really, I take my job as historian of our high school/early college memories very seriously.
Fifteen years ago I walked into a tattoo parlor with my friend Kelly (and our other friend Kelly--they were the number 3 and 4 graduates in our class, respectively. I threw that out there because I think y'all need to know that I have always made it a point to befriend the brilliant folks...I include each of you in this category, just so you know.) and watched as she inked her ankle with a little infinity symbol. I remember thinking, "Before I die, I will get a tattoo." It didn't happen at that moment because we were eighteen and I feared the wrath of my parents. But I knew...I knew the day of reckoning would eventually arrive and I'd never again be able to say, "I am ink free." It was on my list of life goals.
I achieved that goal. I got my tattoo this past Saturday, in California.
Here's me baring boo-tay for Randy, the tattoo artist:
Tattooed Minivan Mom took the pictures...in fact, Randy is her tattoo artist of choice, so I was in good hands. And he had really good hands because I barely felt a thing. I promise y'all, I kept saying, "Um, when's it gonna hurt?" I'm not a masochist or anything, but I was really wanting to feel some pain. I didn't. Sigh...
I would also like to point out that Randy's hands gave me a little rubdown once he finished the job. I joked, "Dude, should we smoke a cigarette now or something? It seems appropriate." It's a wonder he didn't run screaming from the shop. Instead he gave me a big ol' hug. I guess he figured it was the right thing to do, since he'd seen crack and all.
The entire process took about twenty minutes. Here's the end result:
Oh yes, I named my tat. Because Tiffany usually shortens "Lula" to "Lu," and I just love that. I love her. She unknowingly named my pink-bowed jolly roger. It makes me happy.
Finally, I have to tell y'all the two best comments I've received in regards to my newly tattooed self. My 31 year old brother, Eric, texted, "Dude, now you are a thug!" Yay--that was the goal all along, of course.
And my precious 3 year old Caroline, who squealed upon seeing it, "Mommy--that's a PIRATE!" Yes, my baby love...it is a pirate. Just like your mother.
If you're familiar with even the tiniest bit of the fandom that is Twilight, then you're aware that whenever this handsome man so much as shrugs his shoulders, grown women faint, little girls cry, and even heterosexual men stop and take notice. All he has to utter is a simple, "Um..." and the resulting screams reverberate around the world. Until this past weekend I found this phenomenon rather bewildering. I mean, I love me some Robert Pattinson (he is altogether delicious, but no replacement for my boyfriend, Jason!), but mass hysteria for one man alone? Well, OK. And then I went to SoCal with Heather and Tiffany.
I now understand what Rob must feel when swarmed by fans...demanding pictures, thrusting for autographs, screaming his name. Because seriously...we three girls got this our entire weekend. Kid you not. We felt so famous...all we had to say was, "We are bloggers," and folks lost their minds...demanding pictures, thrusting for autographs, screaming our names. OK, maybe there was no screaming, but there were many requests for our blog addresses...and pictures too numerous to count. For real, y'all. We've decided we roll well in the fast lane of fame. And that's always good to know. In advance. I'm just sayin'.
Here's Tiffany eating the best Mexican food on the planet. She's all, "Wait while I savor this bite..." And scene.
I'm convinced that should Heather ever record a CD of any kind, this right here should be the album cover. It's so blingy...so mysterious...so sexy. It makes me want to kiss her. Again.
Have you ever toured four wineries in one day? Eaten a fabulously prepared picnic lunch on the grounds of a gorgeous vineyard? Consumed two bottles of wine--apiece--in mere hours? If you answer "no" to any of these questions, I highly recommend you take measures to amend this situation. Because it is a good time. Indeed.
And while enjoying the various wineries, you must befriend the coolest gals on the tour bus. Because then you are guaranteed many more laughs than you thought possible...and it's always nice to have new BFFs. Especially when you ask these new BFFs, "Hey, wanna eat Mexican with us tonight?" and they're all, "Word!" Then they show up at Rosa's (the best Mexican food on the planet--did I mention that already?) and see what you've ordered and remark, "Oh, I have died and gone to Heaven. Amen!" If we didn't know it before that moment, we knew it when we supped together. Amy, Tonda, and Sharon...y'all were so fun...when are we planning our next vacation?
My final Heather, Lula, and Tiffany In California installment is tomorrow. Someone got a tattoo on this trip. I'm not saying whom and I'm not saying where the ink was placed. You just gotta come back to find out, is all.
p.s. Yesterday's picture? With the Filipino Fellas? Please...they are totally our new boyfriends. Did you even have to ask?
Because it was an event of Biblical proportions, Tiffany, Heather, and I had to be together. Even though I was sick. Even though my plans were changed 67 times. Even though it required a cross-country trip. It meant that much to us. After all, we were brought together earlier in the year by Twilight. Did y'all know that? I'll save that story for another post. It's worthy.
Just as we are worthy...look how fabulous we are:
After consuming large quantities of the best Mexican food I've ever had in my life (Carne Asada Nachos, people...and fresh pico de gallo...Oh. My. Head.), we did a little window shopping. And because we love her, took this homage to our gal Rhea:
(I didn't mean to be all Minnie Pearl with the tag hanging out, but you get the gesture.)
Then it was time to head to the movie. While in line we met the sweetest gals...discovered one of 'em was a blogger...and became BFFs, all before the credits rolled. This, my friends, is the joy of Twilight. It brings people together. Yes, it does.
That's Casey next to Heather...go read her blog. She is awesome, y'all. Plus she deserves mad props and major awards for sitting next to us for two hours.
And then the movie began. It was an emotional roller coaster for us. Did I mention we had Tattooed Minivan Mom with us, too? She declined photographs. And we respect that because we love her.
Back to the movie. For two hours there was much hand holding...seat shifting...sighs of delight...sighs of incredulity...declarations of intent to flee the theater...declarations of lust for Edward's lipstain...declarations of lust for Edward...a few "that's hot!" shoutouts...a few "Oh, dear!" summations...more seat shifting, more hand holding, more sighs, more groans. And then it was over. I also took this picture and endured much scolding from the person on my right. I stand by my decision to preserve this moment for posterity. And for blog fodder.
Seriously, Robert Pattinson has the most gorgeous hands I've ever seen. But I digress...
My dear friend, Kristen, summed up her feelings for the movie when my words failed me: "The first few scenes were so painful, had I remembered to bring my sackcloth I would've donned it right then and there." Oh, Kristen...my love, my hero...you are correct. You hit that nail on the head, precisely. There was much wailing and gnashing of teeth the first half hour of this feature film. But since I'm tired of dwelling on the lows, I'll mention a few highlights...things that did make me happy:
*Carlisle turning Edward? Hot. I said it outloud, too.
*Jasper twirling a baseball bat? Hot. I said it outloud, too.
*The kiss? Hot. I said it outloud, too.
*Edward's ruby red lips? Hot. I must have that shade for my own.
*Emmett? Hot. I may have said it outloud, but I'm not sure. But I am certain of my Team Emmett status. Amen.
*Yes, that was my pole song as the soundtrack to the baseball scene. A big high-five goes out to Jennifer P. for thinking of me during this moment. I love you in ways that are kind of obscene, my friend.
*Pretty much anything from the baseball scene 'til the end was enjoyable for me. Before that? Not so much. I refuse to say more, lest I get all fidgety and flummoxed again. It's taken me a few days to get past my disappointment.
Tomorrow I'll regale y'all with more stories of Tiffany, Heather, and Lula In California, as well as the meaning behind this picture:
These fellas may or may not be our new boyfriends. I'll let you ponder...
15 Long Months.
The wait is over.
I will say no more. Because I might start crying. Yeah...
Go see the movie.
Happy weekend, y'all!
*Edited on November 22 to add:
Saw the movie. All I'm gonna say is, "Eh." Still...go see it, but only if you've read the book. If you haven't...sigh...it's a train wreck. (Rob, I still love you, honey--you did a good job.) Come back on Monday to read about my I'm going to California to see the movie/I'm not going to California to see the movie due to being sick/I was drug to California, still partially sick, to see the movie and ended up having a BLAST while coughing the entire time story. There are other bloggers involved in this tale. I have the pictures to prove it.
You don't get the best of both worlds, Miley Montana. You are 16. He is 36. Even if we ignore the age issue there is the simple fact of the matter that he is my man. M-I-N-E.
I literally had to stop watching.
And then I got all riled up and darn if it didn't make me feel worse. He was my medicine, she was another strain of disease.
It's gonna take a few more days for me to get over this. Bear with me y'all...I'll keep busy by making dust rags out of Libbey's Hannah Blah-bana t-shirts & pajamas. Oh, and that poster hanging on the back of the playroom door? Yeah, we now have a new target for darts. I'm just sayin'.
Please excuse Lula from blogging today. She has been sick all weekend and needs more time to recuperate. Rest assured she misses all of you, and knowing her as I do, she will probably sneak and get on her computer sometime today. Lula can be naughty like that. I oughtta know!
Dr. Litton, also known as "Mr. Lula"
Today I was ironing pillowcases and thinking about the time years ago when Oprah casually mentioned on her show, "There is nothing better than freshly ironed pillowcases..." And at that moment I said to myself, "Are you kidding me? Oh wait, you're Oprah." Or Oprahdiculous, as I've renamed the woman.
Now stop for a minute. Before y'all utter "Why is Lula ironing pillowcases?" I will confess to leaving the sheets in the dryer for 2 days. They crumpled in the claustrophobia. My parents are coming soon and the guest bed needs clean sheets. These were rendered withered beyond repair and I didn't want my folks getting huge creases on their faces. I'm a good daughter.
Anyway, I'm standing there pressing pillowcases, thinking of Oprah and her starched and creased 25,000 thread count beauties, and dreaming of living so lavishly that I could have freshly laundered sheets. Every day. Every single day. Of my life.
Then I started imagining what it'd be like if every day were clean sheet day! I mean every day, not just Sunday. And if I had a housekeeper putting new linens on our beds each day, why couldn't she also shampoo my hair every morning? Complete with a 10 minute scalp massage, please. And while she's at it, freshly brewed coffee, my morning paper, and my slippers would be truly appreciated immediately following the lathering of my locks. I wouldn't have to lift a finger.
Can you imagine?
I cannot. I can dream. But I can't think of what it would be like to have a full-time maid or personal assistant. Or a towel warmer. Is that not dreamy? Tell me it's not. A big, fluffy, warm towel at your fingertips, seconds after exiting the shower? Have mercy.
So there I am, still ironing sheets for my folks, while the girls are watching Little Bill. At that moment I experienced a toe-curling revelation: I'm lusting over laundry. I used to fawn over such as this:
Oh River, how I loved you, how I longed to smoke with you. Sigh...
This, however, gives me much greater pleasure:
I was meant for this...to hop in, read, eat, and dream amidst clouds of luxurious Italian threads. Seriously, this is my version of Disney World. And if I'm dreaming at full potential, I might as well have a catheter--'cause why get out of the clouds for an act so inane it's been nicknamed and numbered 1 and 2?
Immediately following this revelation I knew in my head what my heart has been trying to tell me all along. I am middle aged. Just turn the television to Wheel of Fortune, hand me a bag of Nutter Butters, and ask for regular updates from the Weather Channel. Amen.
Sometimes Sunday mornings are eventful around this place:
Me: Oooooooooohhhhhh...hmmmmmmm...Scotty, Scotty, Scotty!
Scott: OK, baby...
Me: Oh God! Please, Oh God!
Scott: Honey, just let it happen.
Me: (screaming) ARRRRUUUUGGGGGHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!
Scott: I'm pushing as hard as I can, baby...
Me: (pitifully) Harder! Oh my head, I am going to die...
Scott: I feel it...I feel it...it's going down. I feel it going down.
Me: Oh yes...that's better...I'm feeling it, too...sigh. Thank you. And I love you.
It wasn't one of the worst charlie horses I've ever had, but it seemed to last forever. And my right calf is still sore. But thanks, Scott...God knew what He was doing when he sent you to my bed over eight years ago. You're the best charlie horse-worker-outer in the world. Thanks to your technique, I'll be doing this in no time, while wearing these:
I'm sorry, but the words "action" and "jeans" used together? Smokin' hot. That's all I'm sayin'.
p.s. Yeah, this happened while Heather and Michelle were visting--so glad they were able to experience this with us.
You were my Uncle Everett, but to the Air Force you were a valued presence during the Korean Conflict. I miss you every day, and I'm proud of your love and loyalty to this country.
Everett L. Raley, my mother's older brother
I still call you "Daddy," though the Air Force called you to Okinawa to serve the United States long before my time. Thank you for your efforts during the Vietnam War. I'm beyond proud to have you as my father and as my soldier.
I'm so proud of my family's military heritage. My husband's grandfather and uncle also served in the armed forces, and we are thankful for each of them, not only on Veterans Day but every day.
Please allow me to make a suggestion...if you see a veteran today, shake their hand...offer a big hug...let them know how blessed our nation is for their service. I don't care what your political party preference may be, we are all still a part of this nation, under God. The reason we have liberty and justice is because of the freedoms given to us by the men and women who labor in the many branches of the world's finest military. I do not take it for granted.
We are blessed, y'all. Yes, we are.
Happy Veterans Day!
So last week I was thrilled to meet some of my favorite bloggy peeps and hug their necks. It was a very big deal and a very good time.
This weekend I beyond excited to meet two more of my favorite bloggy peeps. Again, a very big deal and a very good time. Y'all are jealous. I know, right? Of course I hugged their necks, too.
Heather of This is The Day... and her sister, Michelle (a brand new blogger--go read Tales from the Lunchroom), left the comforts of Ohio for my little Virginian mountain town. I now have blogger proof that (a) I live in a very rural town, (b) in the middle of nowhere, and (c) there is not much here outside of tobacco, cattle, mountains, a bit of fast food, and really absurd street signs. Both Michelle and Heather now know why I am the way I am. I hope.
These sisters arrived bearing gifts...and clearly they speak my love language because these gals presented me with a basket of native-Ohioan food. (Is that a word? Ohioan? Just roll with it, y'all.) Why yes, thank you--we are big fans of food in this house. Y'all are in, now. IN!
Of course about five seconds after the girls arrived to my house, we were eating and drinking and laughing and carrying on like thirteen year olds. I expected nothing less from these two and was not disappointed. I love people who get me. And these two get me. Thankfully.
My daughters were of the opinion that Heather and Michelle came to be their personal playmates. And play they did! There's little more special than friends who take time to meet your children on their level...my girls fell in love with the Ohio gals, and I have to give both Michelle and Heather a big shout-out for being so good with my daughters. Both Caroline and Libbey are now asking, "When are they coming back to visit?" Awwww.
(Yeah, sometimes Caroline is not keen on the picture-taking. We just go with it.)
On Saturday night we took our act on the road. And it was an act, I tell you...because people were flocking just to be near us. Or maybe they merely wanted to hear all the jokes and stories we were sharing? Regardless...we ate, drank, and made merry. Lots of merry. Here's Michelle and I attempting a My Space photoshoot. You know, like teenyboppers? Fo' Shizzle.
Moving on...Heather has a passion for gourds. She poses with them. Contemplates thievery. Probably gives 'em little kisses when she thinks no one is looking. I do not find any of this strange...actually, it's kind of hot and I love her a little more because of it. Go gourds!
I refuse to tell y'all how late we stayed up playing Rock Band, or how may drinks were consumed (and spilled!) during that bit of revelry. Nor will I tell y'all about how we watched way too much Katt Williams on You Tube, while almost peeing ourselves in fits of giggles. What I will share is that while I have dreams of being Muse's next drummer, Heather has a better chance of living out that one for me. That girl played percussion on Rock Band for the very first time and rocked it out. (Scott and I were all, "Dude--you're so hardcore!") I hope Michelle's thirteen year old son realizes how smokin' his Mom was on the guitar. I think we have a future as a trio...we can be the OhVa Chicks. Get it? Ohio? Virginia? Sigh...never said I wasn't lame.
Look at her--that's pure mastery behind those hands!
I said it last week and I'm here to reiterate: If you have a chance to pal around with some well-loved bloggy peeps and they've sailed through their criminal background checks (no axe murders yet--wooooooo!), go for it! Seriously. Good times, y'all.
Michelle and Heather...thanks for making the trip to hang out with us. We had a ball and you're now official members of the Litton family. Whether you wanted that status or not. You have no choice. Please...do not fear us.
I have been a bit under the weather the past couple of days. Therefore I've been rather unpleasant to my family. The best way to describe my ire of late is with this 20 second clip from one of my all-time favorite movies:
No, I've not killed anyone, nor do I hate anyone in my family...let me just clear that up. But I have walked around with flames...flames on the side of my face. Pouring from my eyes...steaming out of my ears...flickering through my hair. I've pretty much been a walking zombie of fiery putrescence. Ewww.
It has not been pretty.
In other news, I highly recommend you all watch Clue. Tim Curry's presence alone warrants an hour and a half of your life. It's so campy and classic, and for twenty years I've longed to wear the teal masterpiece Miss Scarlett has been seemingly poured into. I'm thinking my 87th viewing is just what the doctor ordered. Good times, y'all.
Happy weekend...I'll be back to my usual self by Monday. And that may or may not frighten y'all, but I'll take my chances!
*Scargosun, you know how this clip makes me happy. I know you know!
I have a secret desire that I'm going to share with y'all. It has nothing to do with Twilight...or Lost...or Jason Statham. (The crowd goes wild! Yeah, I hear your cheering.) But now that I mention him, it's been a few weeks since we've seen my fella in Lulaville. Why yes, I'll happily oblige:
Where was I? Oh yes, my secret desire.
I want to be friends with Dominic Howard...Travis Barker...and Tommy Lee. Because once I'm big buddies with these chaps, they will willingly school me in the art of percussion. That's right, y'all...I want to be a drummer. The drums fascinate me...they're the total backbone of any rocking song. Don't get me wrong, I appreciate some fine guitar licks, keyboard plucking, and good vocals. But the drums just do it for me.
And really...I just wanna bang away, hit 'em hard, and thump some bass. (Please keep the dirty jokes to yourselves...I know what you're thinking.) The drums are all about some acceptable aggression. That's a cause I can truly get behind.
This Christmas I'm asking for a set of drums. Whether I receive them or not remains to be seen. But I really want 'em. I'll practice every day, clean the litterbox, do my homework early, and go to bed on time. Puh-lease can I have some drums?
I know I'll not be as skilled as Travis Barker (formerly of Blink-182)...or goodness knows, Mr. Tommy Lee. (Do I even have to mention his band? I think not!) Let's recognize the man for his brilliant percussion abilities, shall we? Not for his Pammy Past. But one day, one very fine day I have high hopes that I'll be able to perform Muse's "Stockholm Syndrome" as well as their drummer, Dominic Howard. Oh my head, he plows through this song with such ferocity that I just know those drumsticks have to be smokin'...
Today is too big of a deal to outright ignore. But I abhor controversy and the stirring of strife. Therefore I choose to share my heart. The following lyrics are from a song by one of my favorite bands, Addison Road. I've been singing it a lot these past few days. Truly, these words express what I'm feeling at this exact moment. On this day. Regardless of the election results.
If everything comes down to love
Then just what am I afraid of
When I call out Your Name
Something inside awakes in my soul
How quickly I forget I'm Yours
I'm not my own
I've been carried by You
All my life
Everything rides on hope now
Everything rides on faith somehow
When the world has broken me down
Your love sets me free
When my life is like a storm
Rising waters, all I want is the shore
You say I'll be ok and
Make it through the rain
You are my shelter from the storm
Everything rides on hope now
Everything rides on faith somehow
When the world has broken me down
Your love sets me free
You've become my heart's desire
I will sing Your praises higher
Cause Your love sets me free
Your love sets me free
Your love sets me free
~Lyrics by Ryan Gregg
I'm thankful, proud, and blessed to be an American. But more than anything, I'm thankful for the Love that sets me free. On Election Day and always.
A little over a week ago I mentioned to Kat my plans to head down to Georgia on November 1, to visit my parents and just soak up some Georgia goodness. Libbey would be out of school until the 5th, so it seemed an appropriate time for heading to the real south. And Kat was all, "Hey--Shannon & Angie are coming to Atlanta that weekend--you should meet up with us for lunch!" And I was all, "DUDE!" (Could I sound anymore like a wannabe teenager?)
Next thing I know Kat's telling me that Kori will be joining us, too. And Lizzy. It was like my birthday and Christmas all rolled into one. My excitement level rose exponentially as I counted the days 'til our bloggy get-together.
I refuse to tell y'all how long these fabulous ladies had to wait for me (darn I-75 traffic!), or how they had to change our reservation at the restaurant because of this wait. I'll refrain from regaling y'all with the story of how I accidentally elbowed our waiter's "family jewels." (Seriously--I'm certain it was the best bit of "lovin'" he got that day. Angie, back me up.) Nor will I tell y'all about Kori's hilariously endearing issues with germs and the perils of dining off restaurant dishes that have not been hand washed. Oh, and I'll not mention Lizzy and the hand gesture she lovingly bestowed upon me, because she's running a campaign and I have to maintain her image for another 2 days.
What I will tell y'all is this: Oh my head, it was so completely awesome meeting these wonderful ladies in person. What I loved best is that they are who they are on their blogs...not an ounce of pretension, not one bit of an act. I dig genuine women. And these gals are the real deal. It makes me happy.
If you've ever wondered what it would be like to meet up with fellow bloggers, let me tell you my experience. It's awesome. It rocks. It's a good time. Amen.
Oh, did y'all want to see pictures? But of course...I'll not leave you hanging.
Nope, I'm not leaving y'all hanging...just as Kori is not attempting to hang this chocolate cake-covered serving spoon from her nose. She has mad skills. How could you not love this woman? (By the way--Kori, you have now learned to never ask, "Can you say that any louder?" Because yes, I can. And that woman did look like Michelle Obama. Admit it.)
Here's Shannon & Angie, whom I'm certain are convinced I am the biggest nutjob around. Girls, your fears have been confirmed. They're so sweet & true that I was sitting there thinking, "They are never going to read my blog again--they're too good for me." Oh, dear. I heart you girls!