We had a family wedding this past weekend in Charleston that was fabulous! For those of you that are not part of the Reeve or Walton family… I’m sorry for you because we are a fun wedding bunch!! Just to give you a taste Go here
Yes, that is my middle son Luke and yes ladies, he is single….
It’s been quite a busy week for us around here. There was a small golf tournament in our city, tons of family and friends came to town and just yesterday Delle Louise Hargather was born becoming the seventeenth great niece/nephew for Tim and I. You guys know that I loved my job at the Masters but I knew when to say when and have loved being home for the last two Masters Weeks. I get to go to the “tunamint” (in the words of Hootie Johnson) and have no stress, visit with much loved friends, shop in the most exclusive shop in the world and see world class golf (yes, it is good to be me sometimes…) But hands down the best part is being able to sit and watch the final round on LIVE TV. I love to see what happens and not just hear about it later. But this year, the very best part was not the “tunamint”. The very best part was getting to visit with our new born great niece Riley Kathryn Wills and anticipate the arrival of her first cousin who was born last night. In the past month my nieces, Molly and Robin Anne (who are sisters), both had babies and both had girls!! Even though they live two hours apart, I have a feeling that these two little girls will spend tons of time together and be the best of friends. I also have a feeling that, like their moms, they will bring lots of joy to this great aunt. Welcome to the world Riley Kate and Delle… and always remember, Aunt Wendy is your favorite, right???
As I was driving over to my niece’s house, I realized it’s almost Masters Week… and truly for the first time in ten years I have no idea the actual dates of the tournament. Even though last year was my first year not working there full time, it was still engrained in my brain because I worked about eighteen months out and it is hard to un-know something. But this year? I couldn’t tell you the actual dates for love nor money. People ask me all the time if I miss working there and I can honestly say yes. Mainly because there are SO MANY people I worked with that I miss seeing on a daily basis and I truly loved what I did for almost all of the nine plus years I worked there. In all truth, there was a time when I could not wait to get in the car and head to work… I just could not believe that I got paid to do what I had so much fun doing with people I loved being with. When that changed, I began to realize that maybe it was time to move on… The day Tim and I decided it was time for me to resign, I felt like a million pound weight had fallen off my shoulders. It was nothing that anyone else had done to me, simply put, I forgot that my job was not supposed to be the most important thing in my life. How in the world could I have gotten so mixed up that I put my job before God, my amazing husband, my three incredible sons and my wonderful family and friends?? Easy, the more attention I got from people because of what I did, the more important I thought I was…and that’s a HUGE problem my friends. Now, I’m still pretty important but to a vastly different group of people. Mainly, my family. As I held my nieces brand new baby girl, I realized that were I still working I would have been far too busy to stop for a few hours and enjoy the newest member of our family. What a shame that would have been because Riley Kate told me that I’m her favorite Aunt Wendy… but let’s keep that between us, I wouldn’t want the her other aunts to be jealous!
I’ll never forget one of the first times Tim called me. No cell phones back in the dark ages, so he called the home phone. I heard the phone ring, then Mom called me to the phone and I said, “Hello?”… “Um, can I speak to Wendy?”… “This is Wendy.”… “OH!! Well who in the world is LOU?? I heard your mom call her to the phone and almost hung up!!” Tim said.
I don’t remember when it started because I am certain I was less than six months old, but my family nicknamed me Lou. Rumor has it, my great grandfather on my Dad’s side, Pap Paw, thought I looked like Lu Lu on Hee Haw. You see I was a very healthy baby and Lu Lu was a healthy woman, therefore since I was not quite a “big” as her I only needed one Lou. It’s funny, my family never called me Wendy Lou but I have a sweet friend who I worked with, Terri, who started calling me Wendy Lou from the get go not having any idea that Lou was my family nickname. So obviously, I look like a “Lou”…. who knew?!?!?
To this day, my family will call me Lou in person, on the phone, in emails, in texts… whenever and where ever. And I automatically answer because it’s always been that way. Now my CRAZY Uncle Tony tried to give me new nickname when I was ten but thankfully “Smelly Booger” only stuck with Tony and my brother Todd. Yep, you can call me Lou… but don’t even think about Smelly Booger.
Tim and I raised three boys who graduated from high school, are all in college (one already in grad school… woohoo!) and are pretty amazing men if I do say so myself. I tell you this so that hopefully you will hear what I am about to say. There are some things that you should JUST… LET… GO. Now if you are raising girls, I got nothing. Sorry! (But I have a cool friend, Annie Downs http://www.annieblogs.com/ who has an amazing blog for young women.)
When it comes to the men in your life, there are some things that you should just let go. Like hair length. Our boys could have hair as long as they wanted so long as it was clean. Seriously, if you’re afraid your friends or people at church are going to judge you because your boys have long hair, you REALLY need new friends or a new church (last time I checked, my Bible didn’t mention hair length…just sayin.) Is it going to matter in ten years that your son had long hair when he was a junior in high school? And how awesome is it going to be to show his wife-to-be those embarrassing pics! Why not let your son express some independence in a way that is safe? (I’ve yet to hear of someone getting seriously hurt by the length of his hair.) Same goes for facial hair in my book… LET IT GO!
Only one of my sons was a clothes addict. The other two, blue jeans and a tee made them happy (heck, athletic shorts and a tee made them ecstatic!) but for years I tried to force them into khaki’s and collared shirts causing us all to be unhappy. When one day my husband (who is the farthest thing possible from a clothes horse!) caused me to realize, if others don’t like what my boys have on and judge them as bad kids because of that, then I’m sorry for them because my boys are great students, grounded in their faith and just plain good people. Who cares what they wear? And just FYI, one of those non-dressers now voluntarily wears a shirt and bowtie to work every day.
When my oldest was two, my dad looked at me and said, “Pick your battles. You’ll realize how little of this will matter when he is grown.” It took us some time to grasp this but when we did, it was game on! So the next time we see you and your family, don’t worry about how long your hair is or what you have on… cause we won’t even notice.
You learn something new every day. This past Saturday, Tim and I went to Carrollton and took his mother out for an early birthday lunch. Dana, Ruth’s other daughter-in-law, joined us and even though I’ve known (and loved!) Dana over 25 years, I learned many things…
Tim and I dated at Tee (Tim’s brother) and Dana’s house. We would just go over and hang out with them or babysit their kiddos. (We were poor and they would feed us, so it was a win-win situation people!) We don’t get to Carrollton as often as we like, and we certainly don’t get to see everyone we want when there, so it was great to have some time with Dana. I learned so… very… much…
Being a just few years younger than Dana, I look up to her to keep me on my toes regarding what is hip and current. Lo and behold, box wine is now hip and current… who knew?!?! Well, it may not really be up and coming but I about spewed my drink when Dana told me she switched to box wine because she was getting embarrassed by all the wine bottles she was taking to the recyclers (can you say two bin habit?) Now I promised her I would not mention this to anyone, so y’all keep this on this down-low, K?? Thanks! She also may or may not have mentioned that playing into this decision was the fact that she kept running into a certain member of the clergy who she was certain now thought she supplied her whole neighborhood with wine. We got to laughing so hard and loud that I’m afraid I may never be allowed in Plates again… oops!!
I have said for many years that it was wonderful to have family that are friends… I know it’s rare and I’m grateful every day for all of my in-laws. Besides, Dana will be SO GLAD I didn’t mention the HUGE stack of ones in her purse that she “claimed” she had left over from a mission trip… yeah! That’s a good story… let’s go with that… seriously, where else could someone thin and beautiful get a HUGE stack of ones in the Atlanta area?!?!?!?!? Love you bunches Dana!!
So I’m driving on the interstate and my phone rings. It’s Luke… on FaceTime… from France… and I talked with him for over fifteen minutes as I continued to drive…WHAT?!?!? (good thing Tim bought me a dash mount holder for my phone, thanks again honey!) But seriously, how crazy is the technology in our world today? If you told me 10 years ago that I would be able to video chat with my son while he was in France, I’d have laughed in your face. If you told me I could do that while driving down the road I would have felt sorry for you because you were obviously delusional!!
You guys know how hard it was for me to send this child off on his own half way around the world, but technology has certainly made it easier. Even though his iPhone was stolen the second week (raise your hand if that surprises you… yeah, didn’t surprise me either) we can still iMessage and FaceTime thanks to his Mac. (Yay Apple!) His schedule this semester is really brutal… not! He only has class on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday leaving Thursday to Sunday for him and his friends to travel. He’s gotten in the habit of FaceTiming with us on Sunday afternoons when he gets back form wherever he’s been that week. It has been wonderful to hear the stories and learn about what he experienced while everything is still fresh on his mind. So cool!
Technology can be a nightmare but it can also be a Mom’s best friend. I love hearing about his adventures… especially AFTER he is back safe and sound!
What a difference a day makes… Monday they claimed the storm of the century was on its way and would hit Augusta hard early Tuesday. Well it didn’t…. hit early that is! It finally got to Augusta close to 10:00pm. Now the other side of the state is a whole nother story but we’ll not get into that! (reason #4,269 why I’m glad we live here.)
Snow always brings back fond memories of when the boys were little and at the slightest mention of flurries, they began to pray for a snow day. Even if there wasn’t enough snow to play in for more than ten minutes they longed for just enough snow to close school. We’d get up bright and early (please explain to me WHY they could get up at the crack of dawn on days they DIDN’T have school??) and dig out all of the jackets, hats, gloves and boots we could find, then begin to layer the kids up until they could hardly move. (How many of you just flashed back to the scene in The Christmas Story where the little brother is so bundled up that he can barely walk much less play?) Naturally they would head out to play with guns a blazing and gradually shed the layers as they warmed up. When they came back in Tim and I would then have to head back out with them for project winter clothes retrieval. (which by the way was rarely successful…)
This year there are no boys at home to play in the snow. So poor Tim is out wandering the neighborhood in the snow… all by himself… looking for adventure. If he’s gone for more than a couple of hours I guess I’ll go check on him. Well, maybe I’ll only give him an hour before I head out… it is pretty cold out there. And he better still have all his winter clothes on!!
The Kitchen is closed… at least for a couple of days. Don’t get me wrong, it was WONDERFUL having all three of the boys home for the holidays but I have to admit, I’d forgotten how much of my time is spent in the kitchen while they are here. The best thing about the empty nest has been how easy it is to prepare food for two people neither of whom is a teenage male. I mean, when it is just the two of us we never run out of milk or bread but the boys had not been home for a day before I realized we were three sips away from a milk catastrophe!
Extra mouths also seemed to be more prevalent this holiday. My boys love their friends as do I, but not when they forget to tell me that they are all staying for dinner. Multiple times over the break, I’d realize about five minutes before meal time that there were anywhere from one to five extra guys in the house… oops! Hard to stretch seven corn muffins for ten people. Oh some of the time it was my own fault, I simply forgot there were extra people there but in my defense, a few times I didn’t even know there was one non-family member in the house much less four!
Yes, it was a wonderful holiday with some great memories made and stories that we’ll tell for years to come. Sure right now the house seems pretty quiet, and truthfully I really do miss the chaos of having them all here. But just between me and you, my grocery bill and kitchen are glad for the break. Now, where did I put the book I was reading before they got home…
Not sure where I first heard this phrase but boy did is it spot on! The boys were coming in for winter break, all of us headed to a holiday family wedding in Athens, then on to visit family in Carrollton, Christmas was only days away, lastly sending Luke off to France for four months. (We all see where this is headed don’t we?!?!) I don’t even remember where in midst of all this it happened but at some point I… just… lost… it. You know the kind of losing it where you are staring at yourself from outside your body thinking “whoa… that chick is INSANE!” and then you suddenly realize that chick is you… it’s not pretty people, not pretty at all.
You should know that while I’m not a type A personality who has to pack six weeks in advance, I do think if you are leaving the country for four months it is important to begin thinking about what to pack at least five days out. Now hubby would say you need to be packed at least ten days out… this may or may not have contributed to the basket drop. Just sayin. Anyway, Luke really did think it would be fine to wait until the day before he left to begin organizing his stuff. I mean it will wash and pack itself and it’s not like airlines have a weight or bag limit, right?!? (yes that was my sarcasm font right there!) So between all the disorganization, travel woes, holiday preparations and the emotions of sending off part of my heart to France, I had my basket dropping moment. BAM!! It was on the floor and everything was just rolling all over the place.
But the good news is I think when my head spun around for the third time, Luke realized that maybe we were serious about getting things done ASAP. After that I was fine… poor Tim may never be the same again but hey, we all have our moments… sometimes I just can’t hide my crazy. Living the truth people, just living the truth.