30 Days of Thanks-Day 4

OK so I’m technically one day behind on this (typical of me) so I’m probably going to post 3 this weekend instead of 2. To make things easier on myself, I’m going to revisit something I wrote a few years ago. Kicking it old school, you might say. Oprah Winfrey asked her viewers to send in their proposal stories for a “Most Romantic Proposal” show. I just HAD to share mine. Here’s what I submitted and this is one of many reasons why I am so thankful for my husband…

My husband Clay blew me away almost 18 years ago when he proposed. My family had planned a Christmas vacation to Jamaica-a first for us. Little did any of us know that Clay was going to show up at our resort! He arrived in Jamaica and took a cab ride from hell to his hotel (during which the cab driver stopped at a house to pick up a “delivery”). Clay had tried to book a room at our resort but was told it was full. So he checked into his hotel, threw his bag down, and then WALKED at night in Jamaica a mile from his hotel to our resort with the ring in his shoe. Oh yeah-he also had a bottle of wine I brought back from France that we said we would have when we got engaged.

Of course, the resort didn’t allow him to come in. They paged my parents, who arrived at the front desk and were shocked! Then the manager of the resort asked how much time Clay needed to propose (he clearly lacked a romantic soul). Since Clay and I first met at the neighborhood swimming pool, my family diverted me to the resort pool. Suddenly, Clay jumped out. My first reaction? “What are you doing here?” After shedding the light on his purpose by asking me to marry him, I squealed yes. While my dad arranged for Clay to get a room at our resort (funny how one came open when he plunked down a credit card), Clay went back to his hotel to get his bag. You won’t believe what was on the floor-animal manure! Gives new meaning to the term “roach motel.” It’s a miracle he made it to our resort safely that night, and his determination and desire to make our proposal so unique is something I will always cherish.

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30 Days of Thanks-Day 3

Today I give thanks for my loving grandmother, Oma. This is the anniversary of her passing 22 years ago. Ordinarily, I would rather celebrate her birthday, but I have been thinking about her all day. It seems fitting to be thankful for the woman who was more generous of heart and spirit than anyone I’ve ever known. She introduced me to Reader’s Digest vocabulary builders and her recipes (like her delicious congealed salad). We performed more song-and-dance numbers in her living room than you see on Glee. (Think the entire Annie musical and songs like Flashdance and Footloose-oh boy!) My memory of her pronunciation of the word “beautiful” (Bee-You-Ti-Ful) spreads a silent smile and simultaneously evokes a small tear. One final story: while vacationing at Lake Lure, our pontoon boat suddenly stopped. While my dad struggled to fix it, another boat approached to help. Seeing that they had a son about my age, my Oma shouts, “Sherry, show yourself!” We all broke down in laughter!

Oma, the personification of grace and poise and true Christian love-I couldn’t have had a better role model. If I could only be a fraction of the woman you were, it would be a life well lived.

30 Days of Thanks-Day 2

Today I am especially thankful for my mom. Maybe it’s because we spent the day together, shopping and having lunch (in between my doctor’s appointment), but it was a perfect reminder how important our moms are in our lives. The photo was taken on our girls’ weekend to Charleston, and we look all smiles here. Who knew that a few short hours later, I would almost faint on the street and get incredibly sick! But I was in great hands-who better to take care of me than the woman who had done it all her life?

Come to think of it, we’ve had some outlandish trips together-I’ll never forget our jaunt to Atlanta to preview colleges where the accelerator started malfunctioning and I had to drive on I-85 into Atlanta with the cruise control set? (Yes, true story). Or the time we traveled with my parents to St. Croix and she lost her brand new Hook bracelet behind the built-in furniture.

St. Croix Hook bracelet

Blame it on the Bushwhackers (yes, that’s the name of a real drink in St. Croix) You can find the recipe here -and you’ll thank me later!

But my favorite was our family Christmas vacation to Jamaica that got crashed by a certain someone who surprised us all by showing up to propose? Now that’s a separate story entirely-and quite elaborate at that, so I’ll save that one for another day 🙂 Needless to say, I am blessed to have her for my mom! Love you, muz!

Wordless Wednesday

Happy 4th, Y’all!

Sweet Sixteen

It’s our sixteenth wedding anniversary…wow, where did the time go? As the slogan goes, we’ve come a long way, baby! (And added a few babies along the way). Our wedding certainly wasn’t orthodox in that we traveled to St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands to say “I do.” But it has to be one of the best decisions we’ve ever made. Low stress, high relaxation. And getting to our honeymoon destination from there was a breeze!

Today I reminisce on all that was good about that day. Being outdoors on the beach it was truly “God’s great cathedral” as our minister said. Starting the wedding on Caribbean time (in other words, 4:00 means around 4:15). The steel drum music. Anthuriums in my bouquet (now one of my favorite flowers). Strolling down the sandy “aisle” barefoot toward my best friend. I tried to put his wedding band on the right hand instead (in my defense, he GAVE me the wrong hand) and wondered why it wouldn’t fit. We stumbled over the vow “for richer or poorer” replacing poorer with something akin to “pooh-er” (perhaps a Disney freudian slip–or just not wanting to say we would be poor). My dad claiming he had sand in his eye to explain his tears. Telling Clay to “be nice” before he fed me wedding cake. (For the record, he was). And our favorite photo, taken not by the wedding photographer but by a family friend. One of the best days of my life in postcard memories that I pray will last a lifetime.

Happy Anniversary, honey!

Double Digits Birthday!

Hi, I’m Sherry and I’m officially the mom of a ten year old. Yes, it’s an admission I’m coming to terms with. (You can post stunned comments on how that is possible since I’m so young. Please.) In all seriousness, I’m glad we were at the beach for Taylor’s birthday. I’ve always felt so at peace near the ocean, and it was the perfect place to come to terms with my oldest child getting older. Where had my little curly haired sweetheart who used to say “papasicle” (popsicle) and “hamburg-gurger” (hamburger) go? Gone are the chubby legs and kissable chunky cheeks. Now, she’s almost as tall as me as she can wear my shoes.

But maybe my nostalgia for her younger years is all wrong. Because it keeps me from savoring the here and now. For the awesome young lady she is becoming. And Lord knows I better live in the moment because those teen years are just around the corner! After all, the point is to give her air under her wings so she can fly. She’s not supposed to stay. Maybe THAT is my big hangup-learning how to let go. Giving her room to find herself and gain independence. I’m headed in the right direction: she’s at camp for the week for her fourth year in a row! But of course, I’m missing her like crazy.

Elizabeth Stone sums it up best:”Making the decision to have a child is momentous.  It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body.” That is so poignant and true and bittersweet at the same time. And I can’t seem to get the song “Find Your Wings” by Mark Harris out of my head. I’ll share the lyrics and you’ll understand why:

It’s only for a moment you are mine to hold
The plans that heaven has for you
Will all too soon unfold
So many different prayers I’ll pray
For all that you might do
But most of all I’ll want to know
You’re walking in the truth
And If I never told you
I want you to know
As I watch you grow

Chorus:
I pray that God would fill your heart with dreams
And that faith gives you the courage
To dare to do great things
I’m here for you whatever this life brings
So let my love give you roots
And help you find your wings

May passion be the wind
That leads you through your days
And may conviction keep you strong
Guide you on your way
May there be many moments
That make your life so sweet
Oh, but more than memories

CHORUS

It’s not living if you don’t reach for the sky
I’ll have tears as you take off
But I’ll cheer as you fly

CHORUS
******

It’s a really good song that obviously yanks on the heartstrings hard. And for my little butterfly at camp who’s now 10, it’s EXACTLY what I wish for her.

Sherry

Happy Mother’s Day!

Given the fact that I’ve lost over 5 pounds this week (yeah!) due to stomach thing (boo), and because of that I’m feeling a little funky still, I’m going to borrow from something I wrote for my mom a few years ago. We jokingly refer to these as epic poems (a la Homer) because for those listening to them, they seem to last forever! Anyway, my mom has always been blessed with the gift of writing these poems for friends and family, so I decided to give it a go myself. It’s not Hallmark, but it makes it more special because we penned the words ourselves.

Mom, Taylor and me in Charleston

What does mother really mean?
Mere words cannot describe
How much love, energy and support
That’s all wrapped up inside

Selflessness, total devotion
The center of the family
Giving, helping, teaching, guiding
You molded and shaped me

And now that I’m a mother, too
It brings a new perspective
A sense of what you’ve accomplished
A deeper appreciation than I expected

In the process of becoming a mother
Taylor and Jared have changed me
And it also changes you
Because now you are a Mimi!

And now the bond between us
Has matured from mother-daughter to friends
I cannot thank you enough
Where would I even begin?

For all you’ve done and still do
I love you from the bottom of my heart
So Happy Mother’s Day
From your daughter whom you’ve loved from the start!

***
So Happy Mother’s Day to you all! Be sure to tell your moms how much you love them if they are still here, and take the time to honor their memories today if they have passed away.

-Sherry

My Saturday

Have you ever had that moment where you thought-hey, I can go run this errand with my kids and I’m in control? I can accomplish what I want quickly and bribe reward them with ice cream and get home with my purchases in hand and my sanity intact! Heehee you know where this is going….So me and the kiddos set out for Greenville (30 minutes) so I could find some Easter bling. My kids were patient, well behaved, things were going great. I couldn’t find the necklace I loved, so we left and grabbed some Cold Stone ice cream. Then I ran back in the jewelry store and picked up a necklace and earrings with my Groupon ($ 30 worth for $ 15) and left feeling satisfied. What a bargain! My kids were so good! Smug and self-congratulatory, I climbed in the minivan, kids in tow, and drove 30 minutes home. Ahhh-ready to chill out, grill out and prop my feet up. And then my son walks up to me with a puzzled look on his face, holding the pewter Swiss army knife from said jewelry store. I immediately flash back to our conversation in the jewelry store:

Son: Mom, can we buy this?

Me: No, sweetheart. Put it back.

Son: Pleeeeeaaase?

Me: NO.

Son: But it’s soooo coooool.

Me: I know. But you need to listen to me or you won’t get any ice cream.

Son: Okay….(walks away to stealthily stash in pocket in defiance of Mommy).

So, my precious six year old, clasping the clandestine, ill-gotten gain in his red hands, looks at me with tearswollen eyes, as if to say: what do I do now? Gotta love those teachable moments, they always seem to come at not-so-convenient times.  The only choice: get back in the van and drive another hour to return the pilfered pocketknife. So much for my quickie errand 😦 But now, every time I wear my Easter jewelry, I will remember this eventful shoplifting excursion as a moment my son learned not to steal. And chose his punishment (no Wii or DS for 2 weeks). And went to his room to “make things right with God.” In the process, he grew into a bigger boy right before my eyes.

Hello again…miss me?

After an unintentional hiatus, I am back to blogging and (coincidentally) just in time for Lent. Most people choose to give something up for Lent but I’ve never been into that. Kinda like my outlook on resolutions. Rather, I like the idea of taking on something new for Lent. Not that blogging is new to me, but instead I can take on the task of blogging more regularly. Even if I am afraid the mundane, everyday trials of a full time mom and part-time lawyer might be less than scintillating reading. But if you wanted that, you’d be following Charlie Sheen’s tweets (seriously, didn’t expect I would mention that freakshow but it fits).

So last week my baby boy turned 6 (sniff). Yes, I did shed a tear or two because 1) that’s how I roll and 2) there seems to be a big maturity difference between 5 and 6. Imagine how I’ll be this summer when Taylor turns 10! Anyway, we decided to do a birthday party at home. What was I thinking, you might ask? Well, apparently I wasn’t. Because cleaning your house for a birthday party only to see your work undone in minutes is SOOO much fun! But we couldn’t decide on a venue for the festivities, and since he has become an Indiana Jones addict, I thought we could do an Indiana Jones-inspired scavenger hunt. Which requires being outdoors. And, you guessed it, despite being sunny all week, Saturday arrived with clouds and rain. (Should have known better when on one of his previous birthdays, it snowed!) Amazingly, it didn’t deter the under-10 set from the snake pit, archaeological dig, and mummy wrap. And it didn’t hurt that my daughter became the party planner and took charge! Overall, you can say it is a success when your kid says “best day ever” at the end of the day.

Happy Birthday, Jarbear!

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