I Lied…

Sweet Matthew

I’ll never forget the day I heard words coming from the mouth of my son that I would have bet the farm I would NEVER hear. Matt was about four years old at the time and I’m not really sure what was going on, but I’m sure it went something like this.

I said, “Matt, did you do so and so?”

Matt emphatically replied, “No ma’am.”

To which I replied with all the motherly stern I could muster, “Matt, don’t lie to me….”

Matt then looked at me with his sweet little cherub like face and said, “But mommy, I lie to you all the time.”

I don’t even have the words to tell you what went through my mind. And his four year old little self was SO SERIOUS. His expression truly looked like he was thinking “poor woman, she thinks I tell her the truth….tsk, tsk.”

Finally after I gathered my small amount of remaining wits, I did as any good mother would do, I sent him to his room and told him I would be back to talk with him as soon as I stopped laughing.

Apparently, I lie to you guys too. I told you I’d pick my blogging back up and I didn’t. Oops! But I think I’m back now. There will be some breaks now and then. Especially considering the fact that the boy in Memphis is moving in his new house soon. And you know how I love to control help my boys.

Just so I don’t lie again, let’s just take this one blog post at a time, k? K.

Living in Memphis…

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My oldest son is a home owner… what?!?!? Now don’t get your hopes up about it being a grand place that you can go spend the night in just yet. As of right now, it has no bathroom, kitchen or even an attached front door. But what it does have is tons of potential and a pretty fantastic owner.

Will has essentially settled in Memphis Tennessee where he will be teaching the fourth grade in an inner city school starting this August. While I don’t love that he is going to be living nine hours away, I do love that he knows what he wants to do and is not afraid to do it. So now that he has his dream job, he decided the next item on his list was to buy a house. (Obviously, making a list of life goals is a first-born thing… being a youngest child myself, I never made a list of life goals, heck I don’t think I’ve ever made a list of anything other than groceries!!) But my Will is a quintessential oldest child. He makes lists and actually does the things on them… I know! How crazy is that?!?!?! So this amazing child who graduated from Georgia Tech in only four years (even though he changed his major and managed to be on the Dean’s list his last five semesters), got his master’s degree in one year (and somehow got not only the schooling paid for but also got a stipend to live on) now has a fabulous home right near his new school. Y’all, I could not be more proud of this guy. He was truly a joy to raise and even though he was our practice child for all intent and purposes, he turned out AMAZING and I only wish I had two more just like him (I kid, I kid! I’d take three more just like him….)

It came as no surprise to me when I was on the phone with him recently and I was teasing him about not getting to see him more often when his Wendy side came out. He quickly said “I’m just doing what you raised me to do MOM!!” Ahhhh…. How I love that boy!

Don’t You Wish Your Family Was Fun Like Mine?

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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….

I Blame Target

My intended bag and what became my weekend bag...

My intended weekend bag;  what became my weekend bag…

Then there was that really fun weekend trip to Greenville where we got to the hotel and realized that my bag was still at home… in Augusta. It wasn’t like we had anything to do other dinner, an amazing concert, take Matt out for his birthday, see my parents, tour Furman… good times without clean clothes or make-up people, good times!

Now I am one of those people who is ALWAYS up for a road trip and can pack in less than ten minutes while blindfolded. Weekend girls trip- sure! Head up to Nashville to see one of my besties- love too! Atlanta to see my fav niece and son- alright! Carrollton to see the family- bring it on! So I can’t use the excuse that I’m not an experienced traveler and as much as I would like to blame my hubby for not getting my bag, I can’t. The truth of the matter is… it was totally Target’s fault. You see I ordered some new ankle boots (end of season sale!) and wanted to take them to Greenville to wear. Because, hello, nothing says February in Greenville like cute pants and ankle boots, right???? Tim in all of his OCD-ness was packing the car a good five hours before we needed to leave and wanted to take my bag for me but I told him not to because… Target promised my boots would be delivered that day. So as we waited, we ran a couple of errands and when we got back to the house…. NO BOOTS! Well naturally I was so distraught that as we left the house and got into the car I totally walked right… past… my… bag… sitting right by the door. The horror!!

There are really just no words for how I felt when we got to the hotel and I realized that clean clothes and make-up would not be part of my weekend. I mean we all know that I will win no style awards but every once in a while I come up with a cute outfit for a big event… and people, this weekend was going to be my best style weekend EVER!! It was going to be EPIC!! (ok, maybe that’s just a bit dramatic but it’s still fresh, so can we just go with it?)

This is when I realized that Target is not only fully to blame but may have just planned this because with only thirty minutes in which to get some replacement things… there was only one store close enough to get everything…yes, yes it was, Target was the only option. So seventy dollars later I was equipped with passable make-up but that was it. Did I still have a fun weekend? Yes! Did I win any hair, make-up or style awards? Heavens NO!!! but you know what? We had a great time and laughed over and over and over about my sweet bag sitting home… all alone… bless it…

Where Did the Years Go?

Matt Birthday

It is crazy how I look at this 6’2” man and think of him as my baby! Unfortunately for him, that is how I will always think of him and today is his 19th birthday…. WHAT?!?! No, no, no, shouldn’t he still be 3 years old with his pudgy cheeks and sweet little smile?? What happened to the days when he would climb up in my lap, poke his thumb in his mouth and fall asleep? (Yeah, he may kill me for that!)

We realized about the time Matt was four that he would be our last child, so from them on I looked at everything he did with “last eyes” because I knew whatever it was, this would be the last time anyone in our family did this. Don’t get me wrong, some of those things I was shouting hallelujah that it was the last time!! Other things not so much. Now, Will and Luke will tell you that Matt is spoiled but let’s be honest, they are all three spoiled. (living the truth, people, living the truth!)

I retired right before Matt’s senior year in high school and it was the best decision I’d made in a long time. I enjoyed every second of every day that I go to be home with him. Matt is funny, caring, outgoing, handsome, smart, charismatic and loves Jesus. He is one of the best writers you’ll ever read and as his mom I should know! There is a crazy connection between the two of us that I will always cherish. Plus, he loves his mom as you can tell from the best mother’s day gift ever:

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He’s one of the biggest blessings God has given me and I’ve loved every minute of being his mom. Happy Birthday Matt!!

Bonjour Mon Amie!

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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!

He’s A Lot Like Me… Bless Him!

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As my children grow older, I see more and more of myself and Tim in them every day. My oldest son, Will, is very much like me… poor thing! We share a love for reading, are consummate rule followers and when we are invested in something, we give no less 110%.

I love it when my boys are home, whether together or separately. Will, who is currently in Memphis, Tennessee getting his master’s degree, was home for a bit by himself and I noticed something about myself. I spend far more time reading when Will is home. Maybe it’s because he’s a reader too and will plop down on the sofa across the room from me and crack open a book. Maybe it’s because he is uber low maintenance when it comes to… ummmm… everything. Maybe it’s because he leaves no mess in his wake!!! Whatever it is, I LOVE it! How many women get to discuss book likes/dislikes with their son? How many sons/moms favorite store is a bookstore? How many women share a book collection with their son? Yes people, Will is a lot like me…

The other thing I noticed when Will was home is how dedicated to his craft he is. I had no idea at 22 what I wanted to do for the rest of my life (well other than be married to Tim of course) and here Will is not only knowing what he wants to do, but knowing where he wants to do it! Will’s heart has been stolen by urban education. He wants to make a difference in the lives of inner city kids. As I write that I think “WHO ARE YOU SON AND HOW CAN YOU BE SO SMART????” and then I think, well obviously he’s my son…. I kid! I kid! But seriously, I can hardly believe how amazing he turned out, after all everyone knows the first child is the practice child (I said being the baby in my family!)

What a joy it is being mom to this guy… at least 99% of the time!! I say this often, it is never dull in our life and that’s just the way I like it. Now excuse me while I try to think of something nice to say about the other two…

He’s Leaving On A Jet Plan

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Luke is heading off to France TODAY to study abroad next semester. Yes, this is the child that typically loses his phone once a day. Forgets to charge his phone so that it goes dead making it much harder to find. Leaves his wallet at home when he goes out with friends or on a date. Feeling my pain now?!?! Seriously, I take comfort in the fact that he is heading to Georgia Tech’s Lorraine France campus. Meaning the professors all speak English and his classes are real classes (i.e. they apply to his degree so he is not just wasting time.) Honestly, what is there to worry about? He is a great student and has been on the dean’s list every semester of college… while majoring in engineering at Georgia Tech (not an easy feat people!!) So truthfully I know he will not only have a blast but be diligent about his studies… still it’s so very hard to imagine putting part of my heart on a plane and know that I will not get a hug or see his handsome mug in person for at the least four months.

I asked Luke, “How am I going to put you on a plane and send you off to France for four months?” In true Luke fashion he said, “You’re going to hug and kiss me first.”

For him it is a BIG adventure. For me? An exercise in letting go, putting my words into action, allowing my son to grow up. Heart wrenching.

Today is the day. Wish me luck…..

Oh That Man of Mine!

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If there were an elected position for Mayor of the World my husband would win HANDS DOWN!! From the time we started dating until now, whenever (and wherever) we go out to eat Tim always winds up doing what I call “politicking.” Others may call it working the room or meet & greet but no matter what you call it, it is something he had always done. Usually when we enter the restaurant, he’ll tell me what to order him to drink because he realizes that I’m going to make it to the table WAY before him.

Don’t get me wrong, this does not bother me, it simply fascinates me. How does one man know so many people? No lie, we have traveled all around the world and no matter where we go, he runs into someone he knows. We’re not just talking Alabama and South Carolina here but Israel, Greece and Mexico just to name a few. It is really funny when you are walking around thousands of miles from home, and hear someone yell your husband’s name as they run up to hug him. Sometimes I know them but most times I’ve never even heard their name before.

My theory is that Tim is simply what you call a people person and to him life is all about relationships. Much like his mother whose hobby is socializing! Now after 24 years of wedded bliss, I find myself becoming more like him. My youngest and I headed out to eat at our favorite Mexican restaurant during Thanksgiving break and I’m sure he thought we were never going to get to our table simply because I kept running into people I hadn’t seen in a while…oops!! They say the longer you are married the more alike you become and frankly I’d consider myself lucky to be like him… well except for the lack of hair and goatee!

Dear All

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As I opened our first card of the Christmas season, I was reminded of my mother-in-law who is truly one of a kind. At the wonderful age of 91, she still has more life in her than some twenty year olds I know. When looking back on what makes her so full of life, I have come to the conclusion that it’s because she truly LOVES people. Some people read, others paint, still others love working with flowers but Mema, she socializes.

She spent many years writing what we call her “Dear All” letter every Thursday as she sat under the dryer at the beauty shop. No matter what was going on in her life (or the world for that matter) Thursday mornings at 9:00am Mema was at the beauty shop getting her hair done. I get the feeling that had any of her children tried to come into this world on a Thursday morning, she would have politely told them to wait… and I’m also quite certain they would have obeyed!!

But I digress, Mema’s “Dear All” letter went out to an untold number of people. One lucky recipient would get the original each week, while all the others would get a mimeograph copy. (I have to mention at this point that her handwriting, while a lovely script, was challenging to say the least and there was an innate sense of pride whenever I was able to decode an entire letter…yay me!) As technology advanced, she migrated to a “Dear All” email that while not written under the dryer was still sent out to scores of people (most I knew but some… still no clue) I loved the fact that she signed her letters “Ruth, Grandma, Mema, Ruppie” denoting the various names she was called by the multitudes in her life.

Yes, one thing Tim inherited from his mother is her love of people. If Ruth Reeve became your friend, she was your friend for life. She kept up with you and your children and your children’s children. Whenever we visited her in Carrollton, there was always time in the study for her to catch me up on all the goings on of the people in her life. In fact, Christmas was my favorite time to visit because I got to look at the hundreds of photo Christmas cards she and Papa received every year. (Not even exaggerating here people, HUNDREDS!!) So every year as Christmas cards begin to arrive, I am taken back to the kitchen in her house and all the time I spent over the years looking at all of the Christmas cards taped up on display. And Mema would not only take the time to tell me the names of every person on every card, she would also tell me about their relatives not on the card.

So I guess in my own way, this is my daily Dear All letter. Here’s hoping I can make half the friends in my lifetime that Mema made in hers.