Get A Proper Bra Fitting (and other wise words).

My Dearest Daughter,

One day you will be old enough to find a computer and Google me or yourself and maybe you’ll find this list of things that I want you to know.

I guess I could write them on a real piece of paper and put it in the top of my closet with your brother’s baby teeth and the shard of glass that I pulled from your other brother’s butt cheek, but I think we both know that it would get forgotten up there. Or lost.

I’m sorry I’m not the normal kind of mother who makes baby books and writes things down on paper, and I hope that when you read this, if ever, you choose to apply it to your life instead of freaking out because OMG MY MOTHER IS SO WEIRD. Please don’t rebel and post half-naked selfies on the internet. That is not advisable.

Just … don’t.


Things I Want My Daughter To Know:

It’s important to act like a lady, but some situations warrant unladylike behavior. If you’re going to act like a crazy bitch, make it count. When the deed is done, fix your hair, reapply your lipstick, and carry on.

You’re beautiful. Make the most of what you’ve got. But also? Your behavior and your words will make or break you. Spend just enough time on your appearance to make you feel confident, and spend the rest of your time being the kind of person that others want to be around.

Be real. I want so much for you to be comfortable enough with who you are to actually be yourself all of the time. That person rocks. Don’t try to hide her.

Other women will try to tear you apart. I want you to carefully select girlfriends who will lift you up and support you. Pick friends who GET YOU. Band together with people who make you laugh so hard you cry happy tears, and who will also cry sad tears with you when appropriate. If you have friends like that, it won’t hurt as much when the haters hate.

Haters are gonna hate. One day you’ll stop caring. Until that day comes, it hurts.

You don’t owe anyone anything. If anyone touches you in a way that you don’t like, don’t just sit there and allow it to happen. This is when unladylike behavior is warranted. Cut ’em.

You’re going to be underestimated. It’s hereditary. I hope that you focus more on the high that comes from surprising people with your intelligence, than the temporary attention you’ll get from being a pretty girl. Anyone can be a pretty girl. No one can be YOU.

Your father and brothers are going to make it very hard for you to date. I’m sorry about that, but hopefully the boy who manages to impress those three will be worthy of your time and affection.

If you find a boy you like, then date him. You don’t have to marry him. Even if he asks you to.


You come from a long line of strong women. I expect you to uphold your heritage by finding yourself, settling in, and being true to yourself no matter what life throws at you.

Don’t have sex until you’re ready to have babies. Don’t have babies until you’re with the man you want to father them. And for the love of all that is holy, don’t stop educating yourself until you’re employable. Yes, I wrote all of in that bold. Take heed.

Even if you’re terrible at it, do something. Eventually you will find the right thing, the thing that makes you happy. The thing you’re not terrible at.

If you don’t like your situation, CHANGE IT.

And finally, go get a proper bra fitting. It’s well worth the extra time and money. And it’s amazing what proper undergarments can do.

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The Phases.

Parenting seems to come in waves of holy shit I think I may die and holy shit I totally have this.

Right now I’m in a holy shit I think I may die phase. I don’t want to bore you with the details … like how my youngest child wants nothing more in this world than to run into the street in front of our house, or how, at the playground, she doesn’t want to play on the equipment because she would much rather wander into the woods.

I just found myself on my knees in the bathroom, trying to talk my middle child through his first poop on the toilet. We did yoga-type breathing. We sang songs. I gave him lots of encouragement. Finally, in an act of desperation, I asked Jesus to help my son poop so I could move on with my day. I was on my knees anyway … I figured it couldn’t hurt.

Now more than ever, I find myself exasperated with my children and my life in general. Nothing is easy. Everything is hard. E-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g.

My days aren’t about me. They’re about them. And as much as I love being a mother, I still struggle with the part where my entire life revolves around these other human beings we’ve created. It’s not easy for me to set my own needs aside for another, 24 hours a day. But I do, because I am a mom.

I saw these two hug for the first time the other day, and that moment made my heart swell and my eyes fill with tears. All of the energy I pour out isn’t for nothing. It’s for everything.


Almost Home.


You know you’re with the right man when you have a text message exchange like this one, and the next morning you have this conversation:

Me: Oh my goodness … I just found the text I sent you last night. What does this even say?!

Robbie: It says “Almost home.”

Me: How do you know?

Robbie: (Gives me a look like that was a stupid question.)

Me: Oh.

The Best Of Me.

Yesterday, during an entirely-too-long road trip to Florence, MS, when Taylor Swift came on the radio and I started belting out the lyrics to “Blank Space,” I realized two things.

1. That song is not about Starbucks.

2. My children know me better than anyone else.

I’m not a shy person, but I’m admittedly prim and proper. It’s not on purpose, it’s just how I was raised — Southern and conservative. Minus the monogramming, because my mom wasn’t into it. I grew up in a church that frowns upon dancing, which means that as a 30-something adult I look like a complete idiot in my Zumba classes. I still haven’t learned how to shake my upper body, but don’t you worry, I’ll keep plugging away at it.

The side of me that my kids see is the side that belts out “YOU KNOW I LOVE THE PLAYERS, AND YOU LOVE THE GAME!” Yeah, I’m off-key, but who cares?

This is the side that makes ridiculous noises, chases them wildly around the house, hops on one foot through the kitchen and slides in socks down the hallway. Their mother is a non-makeuped, disheveled woman in mismatched lounge wear who is always teetering on the edge of insanity, but in a fun way. Unless she’s mad … which is no fun for anyone, because then she is non-makeuped woman in mismatched lounge wear who is parking asses in time out.

I have always worried that my kids get the worst of me because I seem to bumble through life in perpetual exhaustion. Tiredness is the basic truth of motherhood, right after unconditional love. It sucks the wind and the life right out of me and turns me into an impatient, rough-looking “momster” who sighs a lot.

In my non-mom life, I don’t belt out songs in front of other people unless I’ve been drinking, and I don’t dance unless I’m in Zumba. This realization disappoints me, because the side of me that doesn’t give a rat’s ass — that’s the side of me that comes out in my writing — is my best, most interesting side. That girl is a good time, and even my husband rarely sees her.

So maybe the side of me that the kids see really is my best side, even when I have been in pajamas all day, carrying a mug of cold coffee and yelling “FOR THE MILLIONTH TIME, PLEASE STOP TALKING ABOUT YOUR PENIS!”

Maybe the truth is, they don’t always get the worst of me.

Maybe they get the best of me, too.



wpid-wp-1419472085102.jpegMerry Christmas! I’m invisible! At least … I think I am? Because, camo.

You know what? IT’S BEEN A DAMN GOOD YEAR.

It’s also been incredibly difficult in a lot of different ways that needn’t be rehashed, and I’m not sorry to see it draw to a close. But I feel really optimistic about 2015 …

Because when you’re wearing an adult-sized onesie with antlers and holding a bottle of egg nog, that’s what happens. Optimism.

Biscuits & Gravy.

I spend a lot of time writing about how my kids are driving me to drink.

I have blogged for almost 5 years about all the ways motherhood stresses me out. I’ve talked about the things my children have broken, peed on, or otherwise damaged. I’ve lost kids, locked kids in vehicles and houses, and made a fool of myself at drive thru windows. What makes it all so comical is that I really do consider myself to be a relatively capable and intelligent human being. When I got married in 2005, I was a woman who was always put together, knew what day it was and how much money was in her bank account. That person read magazines and newspapers and knew what was happening in the world. I was going to be somebody. I had plans.

I am now none of those things and I know none of those things. With age, I have realized I AM someone right in this moment. There is no more aspiring to become someone. I made three someones, and my plans now consist of getting those people to adulthood in one piece.

I don’t know the date. I don’t know which bills are due when. I don’t know when I last mopped. I don’t know where several important documents are located, or where the slips are that I signed for Maverick’s school. We do not have a family dentist and that FALLS ON ME. The burden of our oral health is resting on my shoulders. It feels heavy.

Women carry an unbelievable load that often is not recognized or applauded, because no one can see it. We carry emotions and feelings and worries and love. We carry plans, aspirations and schedules and love. We carry lists that are written on a million scraps of paper and love. We carry every sad look from our children, every wrong word spoken in haste, every runny nose and strange-looking dirty diaper and nuance that tells us something might be wrong, and love. We notice smells and changes in behavior before anyone else. We see when things are wrong and when things are right, and we know when the toilet is really, truly, absolutely clean … because we love.

Sometimes that invisible load is just so. damn. heavy. I get bitter and resentful and I take it out on my husband and my children, just because they’re there AND THEY WANT SOMETHING. I feel unhappy and alone and certain I’m the only person ever who has to cart around this kind of load. Does any of this sound familiar?

Today I remembered that as much as my children, with their chaos and incessant demands, add to my load … they can also lessen it if I let them. Because children — messy, sticky, loud children — emote joy over things like tall bar stools with seats that spin. They press their faces to glass cases and peer inside at all the different kinds of cake balls like it is the MOST AMAZING THING EVER.

They touch everything. Because they must.

They wake up excited to see what they new day has in store for them, and at night after they have run us ragged, they snuggle down deep in their beds and whisper “I love you, Mommy.” Children love life, and they breathed life into what would have been my very boring existence of knowing the exact date and time.


If you’ve ever wondered why people have children, this is why. If you’ve ever wondered why Robbie and I have three of them … well, there you go. They give us as much as they take and more, in their weird, loud way, and I love them more than biscuits and gravy.

The Day We Stopped Yelling.

I used to talk a lot about my oldest child’s behavior problems, but if you are a long time reader, you have probably noticed that has tapered off some. I still have stories I could share DAILY, but instead of focusing on what my kid is doing that seems sociopathic, I am really trying to focus on the things he’s doing well. Positive parenting and all that. Plus, by the end of the day, I’m just glad it’s over. No need to rehash.  I made it, we’re safe. The end. Well done.

Maverick is an amazing kid, but he has issues with anger and is very (VERY) oppositional by nature. He is a brilliant, demanding, complicated child and he gets every single difficult characteristic from his father … obviously.

Some issues have calmed with age and maturity, but other things seem to be running deeper and becoming more serious. After a few recent events, I realized that we need to make some changes to our parenting style. Things that used to work for us are no longer working, and over time Robbie and I have become … cringe … yellers.

Just admitting that makes me uncomfortable. We were not yellers in the beginning, neither of us came from yelling households, and now we are yellers. There are a million excuses and reasons I could give for why that is, but it doesn’t matter because we are the parents and we set the tone. I don’t want to live in a yelling household, and yet we do. That’s not the tone I want to set.

In the worst moments of my day, generally between 4-6:30 p.m., I have an out-of-body experience where I hear myself screaming at my children like a maniac because no one’s listening and everyone’s throwing food on the floor and acting like hoodlums from SOMEONE ELSE’S HOUSE, CERTAINLY NOT MINE, BECAUSE WHAT KIND OF MOTHER HAS CHILDREN WHO ACT THIS WAY?! The mom I saw, I didn’t like. I didn’t even recognize her. I thought she was better than that. She used to be, when she had one kid. But then she had two and then three and she felt ill-equipped to handle her oldest, complicated child because her life was overwhelming. Sometimes when you’re overwhelmed it’s hard to gain clarity to see how things really are.

Robbie started yelling more when he was home. And then we saw our kids start to model that behavior. Yesterday I had flash-forward of Maverick at 14, towering over me and screaming “You’re an idiot!” refusing to comply with anything I asked of him, and that was it. I was done. No more yelling, and Robbie agreed.

That was last night. This morning, Asher woke up first. He had pooped his pants. I changed him and put the dirty diaper in a shopping bag, tossing it out on the carport to put in the big garbage can later. Robbie woke up with the stomach bug that is traveling from member to member of our household. He dragged himself around, getting ready for work; he was going anyway, even though he felt terrible. So for all the people who are buying a Kia today — stock up on charcoal tablets. You’re going to need them. Wash your hands if you shake hands with Robbie Hobbs.

We reminded each other over breakfast that we were no longer going to yell at the kids. This was going to be The Day We Stopped Yelling.

And then.

Maverick wouldn’t stop picking on Asher. Asher wouldn’t stop screaming like he was being skinned alive. The baby wouldn’t let me put her down. Robbie kept having to run to the bathroom. The chaos escalated. The tension level rose. We took deep breaths. Asher tried to drill the baby with his toy drill. He hit her with a metal toy. We breathed more deeply. We told Maverick he had to run laps in the yard. He crossed his arms and said “I will NOT.”

I took a deep, deep breath, holding the baby while Asher clung to my leg. I would not yell. I would be calm. I can’t do this, I thought. 

And that is when I saw it.


The next door neighbors are doing construction on their house which has prevented Asher from napping for two full weeks. I haven’t mentioned it here, but their damn dog keeps getting out. He’s a friendly dog, and harmless I guess, but he’s huge and hyper and scares the kids because he jumps on them. Last time he got out, I marched next door and asked the construction worker to make sure they don’t let him out because I have little kids and we like to be outside.

Well, this morning I looked out my kitchen window to see that very same dog eating Asher’s poop diaper and strewing it all over our front yard.

And I yelled.

But not at my kids. So does it count? I don’t know.

Here’s what I do know: since this morning, Maverick has acted like a lunatic several times. Normally I would have yelled at him, but because today is The Day We Stopped Yelling, I stopped what I was doing, got down on my knees and looked in his eyes. I took his hands in my hands and quietly asked him to stop doing whatever it was that he was doing, and it worked. Now, do I have time to stop what I’m doing to calmly ask something of my children? No. I also don’t really have time to pee or feed anyone, but it has to be done anyway.

Not yelling is exhausting. But the alternative is unacceptable. Do you yell? Did your parents yell? HELP ME! (I yelled that at you.)