What I wish I would have said

I'm walking across the grocery store parking lot on my way to the car. Magnolia is in her car seat atop the cart, and Cora is holding my hand.

I'm blindsided by a man hanging out next to his car.

"Now that's a sexy mama."

I didn't even turn my head to show my look of disgust. I didn't want to acknowledge what he said. It's not the first time I've heard something of the sort. It's not the first time I've been irked, but this the time I'm tired of just letting it go - a "boys will be boys" sentiment. I used to carry rocks with me when I ran in high school to toss them at the guys who couldn't resist yelling something at me when they drove past.

Really? Sexy mama? Dude, I haven't taken a shower today. My two-month-old spit up down my shirt not long before I left the house. That's right, between those luscious bosoms is remnant spit up. Women were not created to be the object of your sexual desires.

And how dare you reduce me to "sexy mama" in front of my girls.

If e'er I'm trying to be sexy, it's not for you or anyone else for that matter. I know there are women who don't help our cause. They've fallen victim to the idea that such attention from men is a good thing. Well, Women, we were not created to be the object of a man's sexual desires. We're more than our reproductive organs and clusters of mammary glands. Sure, I like to look good, but again not for any one else. I don't turn into a recluse if my hair isn't done and my face isn't "dolled" up with makeup.

So back to the fella in the parking lot, if you think a woman looks nice, and you feel the need to make a public comment to her, don't make it in reference to penises and vaginas. Any woman should be able to go anywhere at any time without having to worry about being the object of someone's unwanted affection - in whatever way it comes across. You yucky schmuck.

Dear Kiersty

There was a happy package sitting on my front porch today. I was on hold with insurance people trying to change my address when I spotted it. And I opened a Chicago utility bill before the box because there wasn't anything nearby that I could find to easily cut through the tape. The bill was a disaster, and waiting on hold for 30 minutes didn't help. Cora woke up from her nap just in time to help with the opening. I went for a knife while she sat looking at the "present." Boxes are always presents to her, and presents always mean birthdays.

Your thoughtfulness turned my world right side up in about 2 seconds flat. First I saw all of the hair accessories. Magnolia was sleeping, so I tried most of them on her. And they are so cute. Then I saw the bag. "Now that was unexpected!" Did you really make that? Because WOW! It's beautiful. Every fabric is perfect. I've even been admiring the stitches. And those pleats. And the internal pockets. They're orange. Orange! Orange is the happiest color. And last but not least, I saw the Boppy cover. I told Jake I was going to take my Boppy everywhere just so I could admire it. My old cover was not very exciting anymore. I hope you had as much fun making everything as I did discovering it all.

A little while after the excitement was over, Cora came up to me with the box and said "Happy Birthday!" She had placed my running shoes inside. What a special treat.

Thank you, Kierst.

I love you.

Deco Delights

Oklahoma City is home to some fabulous examples of Art Deco architecture. If you've been downtown, you can't miss the art museum, courthouse, civic center, and municipal building. I love them. The clean lines of the buildings mixed with geometric details is just about the perfect combination to my aesthetic senses. It's no wonder I love Frank Lloyd Wright, as he used this same combination.

What really makes my heart sing are the gems tucked away various neighborhoods throughout the city. Yes, there are beautiful homes that are perfect examples of Art Deco style. And I've been taking note. I'd like to document these homes and get as much of their history as possible. I'm so curious about who the builder was. Did a single architect design all of them? I can't wait to find out. I hope everyone else can appreciate them as much as I do.

I took a picture of one last summer for my "Oklahoma Favorites" album. This particular home is on the corner of 40th and Shartel.

A well-designed home does not need gables.

A Walk Through

Tonight we went to a picnic at OCU. We walked through several buildings that have been renovated in the 3 years since we graduated. Every time I walk through the Tom and Brenda McDaniel University Center, I am thrown for a loop. It's infinitely cooler now. Even though I thought the crazy fireplace lounge area was beyond cool back in the day.

I love the bookstore, even if it did replace the former bowling alley where all of Alvin's movie posters once hung. My favorite part of the evening was walking through the rows of books and breathing them in. It's such a comforting smell, one that is tied to memories from my early days on Earth. I'm always drawn to the ENG[lish] section. I enjoyed seeing the books my old professors were assigning. The most interesting class was in the REL[igion] section. It's a course being taught by Dan May. The title of the course wasn't listed, but based on the reading list, I would love to be in it.

Random words walk through my mind every once in a while. One of the more common ones is archipelago [n. a large group or chain of islands]. It's been wearing a path through my brain matter all night long. islands]. It's been wearing a path ng. a large group or chain of island

Batten Down the Hatches

This post is for my posterity. Maybe not that far ahead. Maybe it's just for me to breathe a sigh of relief when I look back on it in a few months. A victory moment for sure.

The things that went awry with our move also took away our financial cushion, about $1,000. We've tightened our belts so that when September 1st rolls around we'll have about $50 after we cover our financial obligations.

But that $50 has to last us all through September because Jake doesn't get paid until the end of it.

That's right, almost October.

And by tightening our belts, I mean not spending anything at all. And by $50, I mean to our name(s) (yes, checking and savings combine). It's a little scary, and I try not to think about it. I don't even want to drive anywhere because gas takes that much more out of our little net worth, but we have people to see and things to celebrate, and I wouldn't miss them. I've been distracting myself with thinking about/researching MFA programs, and putting books/cds/movies on reserve at the library. I'm totally trying out Jillian Michaels's 30 Day Shred - when it's my turn to pick it up from the library of course. I could potentially have a hotter body before we get paid. Holy Smokes! And I'm looking forward to it, considering I weigh as much as I did the day I had Cora.

I've been trying to look at the positives (you know, without thinking about it too much), like I'm glad we won't be $50 in the red, hopefully. And how things like this make one industrious. We played in mud all morning. Mud is fun. And I'm glad it's Way Back Wednesday at the Zoo, so we can have a family fun day for $2. And glad that it's a bit cooler out, so fun and outside can go together. And air is free, except that while Jake attempted to fill up his bike tires, our air pump broke, but not before Josephine's tires were fully inflated. I've missed that girl. I wasn't going to ride her in Winter in Chicago, and when it warmed up, I was about to burst with baby. It had been a while, but she forgave me.

And glad that everyday Magnolia is getting chunkier and Cora is getting smarter. And Jake is getting sweeter. And our home is getting cozier, and our front porch is getting more use. And we're meeting neighbors who are inviting us to things and bringing us cookies. And I saw one of my old students (a favorite for sure) drive past today. He's a senior this year. I hope he's thinking about college.

It's hard to start somewhere without a cushion, but at least it's a place we know. And we know that this is a temporary predicament, as uncomfortable as it may be. So here's to the end of September getting here soon, and to not being so worried about our bank account that we forget about the business of living until it arrives.

And so it goes

We recently moved from Chicago to Oklahoma City. (Didn't we just move to Chicago? Yes.) And this move has made me, the girl who doesn't mind moving, realize why so many people hate moving - because I am joining the ranks.

It all started on Wednesday when we called to confirm our reservation with Budget. Reservation canceled. No trucks available for at least two days after we need to move. We realize Budget customer service is horrific. This is the last day in their "72 hours to return a call." I'm anticipating filing a complaint with the Better Business Bureau as I'm sure my call will not be returned after our experience thus far.

We called and called...and called every self-move company. We found ONE truck in all of the Chicago area that would hold all of our stuff. Rather than $950 for the truck and car dolly (still totally outrageous), we got our ONE truck for $1,700. Yes, you read that right. $1,700.00. (oh, and if we wanted something to pull our car, an extra $500.) The extra money is totally my Chariot Cougar II money (jogging stroller/biking trailer).

We could have hired a moving company! And not worried about a thing (except that they may have canceled our reservation as well). This was Thursday. I'm still thanking God for friends to help Jake load the truck and drive our car to Oklahoma.

Jake and Andrew drive for 14 hours on Friday and get to Oklahoma City around 8:30 PM. I went to make sure our house would be ready for our Saturday move-in. It is except for new carpet in two of the bedrooms. That was anticipated because the carpet layers were going to be there first thing Saturday morning. We got to the house at 9:30. No carpet layers. The house seems a little warm, but the windows had been open all night to help with the fresh coat of polyurethane on the wood floors (totally gorgeous, by the way). Meemaw and Peepaw were there to help us move in along with the Roses. The truck is unloaded fairly quick. Meemaw brought a huge bowl of veggies from the garden, and homemade bread. A few hours go by, no carpet, house is still warm.

I walked out to inspect the a/c, not having a clue what to look for, but it was obvious. It's a chunk of ice. We turn it off, call a/c people. We were done doing all we could do around 1:30 (we couldn't move into our bedrooms. Jake waited ALL DAY for carpet layers and a/c repair man.

Carpet layers arrive. Things are looking up. They take one look at the carpet that is already at the house to install and say: "It won't work." Great. A/C guy gets there - an easy fix. Jake gets home sweaty and gross.

Sunday: Our morning starts at 4 AM with Magnolia. Around 5:30, Cora rolls off of her air mattress and wakes up. I realize her diaper has failed. And we're out of diapers. I've never been so grateful for 24 hour Wal-marts. Vaughn and Tracey get there at 10:15. Vaughn brings yard stuff. The yard is looking infinitely better. We picked up glass from the yard from a broken window, television and large fish tank. The previous occupants left a mess. It is currently sitting on the side of the front lawn waiting for big trash pick up day. I can handle it because I know it is temporary. We strategically moved boxes around from room to room to get what we could set up. Dining room: check. Even though it has all of our mattresses and some boxes around. Den/study/the room for all of our books: check, with the same exception of being full of bedroom boxes and furniture. Same story in the living room. But it felt so nice to get some things done.

The highlight: Unpacking my dishes. It was better than Christmas, and maybe my birthday - combined. Oh Fiesta, you make my heart happy. And happier that all were intact. Oh, and we moved in Winston and Lucille (our washer and dryer).

We went to Holdenville to spend the night. I think I pulled 3-4 hours of interrupted sleep. After about hour 2, I realized I was getting a migraine (they happen when I don't get enough sleep). My saintly husband went and got the only medicine that helps my migraines go away, and the good news is that it is, in fact, feeling better. Jake just called the carpet people, still no crew available. So it has been 2 days, and we've not really been able to move into and live in our house. At any rate, the last four days have been a nightmare. Nothing has gone the way it was supposed to.

It's not all bad though. Our house is really cute, has a fenced backyard (that will be getting new sod on Saturday). Oh, and there are poles for a clothes line, I am going to cloth diaper Magnolia, and I think it will be fabulous to hang them out in the sun. Corner lot, cute neighborhood. We'll be able to move into our bedrooms eventually, right? We were able to stay with our friends, Ashleigh and Andrew. Ashleigh kept us fed and comfy. Vaughn made us some kick booty pancakes for dinner last night. My headache isn't making tears leak out of my eyes anymore. Good, good.

I'm missing two particular friends in Chicago. I'm pretty certain moving to Oklahoma was the right thing right now, but it doesn't make leaving friends any easier, especially ones that I don't think we had enough time with.


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