Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Skillz. Or Lack Thereof.

A couple of months ago, Maddie came to us and said something that made a smile come to Justin's face and dread settle into my heart.

"I want to play basketball."

"Why dread?", you might be asking yourself.

Let me take you back to 5th and 6th grade. The 2 worst years of my life.

I went to a small school. And in 5th and 6th grade, you could sign up to play Pee-Wee basketball.

I didn't really want to play. I had already had years and years of being picked last for everything in P.E., and I was fully aware of how bad at sports I was.

There were less than 10 girls in my class. Only one other girl was as bad as I was. Joyce. She had the common sense to not even attempt the team. But, in my skewed mind, it was social suicide to not play. Because then, I would be grouped with her. The girl that had to walk around the gym while the others practiced.

I tended to miss practice. I knew that one of the consequences of not getting a test signed was not getting to practice. Believe me- I didn't get a lot of tests signed until I couldn't fake it any more. I had a lot of headaches that I was sure basketball practice would make worse. And looking back, I realise that it was probably the stress of practice that brought on the headaches in the first place.

And because I missed a lot of practices, my game didn't improve. I wasn't just bad. I was terrible.

The coach even talked about how bad I was to my sister. My sister. Every practice that I did attend felt like it was a lesson in humiliation.

My teammates' shoulders slumped every time I was put in the game. I was terrified to shoot the ball. What if I missed? Everyone will laugh. Please don't pass me the ball. Please don't foul me- I can't hit a free throw for anything. Take me out of the game, please. Please. Please. Joyce can't be that bad. Maybe I'll just quit this stupid game and we can become friends.

All of these memories flooded me when Maddie told me she wanted to play. And I pretended to be excited about it. After all, her dad was great at basketball- maybe she inherited that gene.

She's had a few practices and a scrimmage. She's not nearly as bad as I was. In fact, she's pretty good at defense.

But after the first scrimmage, she said some all too familiar words, "I'm not going to shoot the ball at all. I'm not good at it. I'll just guard everyone."


She's more like me than I thought.

I know she's only in first grade. But it terrifies me that she already has it in her mind that if she can't do something well, she shouldn't even try.

We're probably getting her a basketball goal for her birthday, so she can practice and gain more confidence in shooting.

And I'm praying that she finds a "Joyce" to be her friend if it turns out she's got my skillz. Or lack of.

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Monday, January 10, 2011


Justin and I have been married for a little over 8 years. And over those 8 years, there is one thing that is blatantly clear.

I'm the favorite daughter in law.

And I like my position at the top.

I know that she only has 2 sons, and you are either first or last, but I'll take what I can get.

Her oldest son was, until recently, might as well have been married to the anti-Christ. And I kinda ate it up.

Family functions were always entertaining. Particularly when I was left alone with Justin's mom. "Did you hear what she said?" "Why is she so loud?" "I can't believe how much gravy she poured over her turkey."

Once we got word that she is no longer part of the Burns family, I assumed I was safe in my numero uno spot.

Until. . .

Justin's brother got a girlfriend. That he knew a long time ago. Before I was around. Meaning- Justin's mom has known her longer than she's known me.

I wasn't worried at first.

But lately, every time I talk to Bettye, it's all: "Katrina said that she loves my horses." "Katrina is coming to visit us." "Katrina is not loud or boisterous like some people." "Katrina sings. In church."

DID YOU HEAR THAT PEOPLE?!?!? She sings. In. Church.

Where the previous wife was the Anti-Christ, Katrina is a freakin' angel.

A few days ago, we were joking around with Bettye, telling her that we'll make sure the nursing home we choose will take good care of her. And that we'll label all of her clothes. We joke around with her like this all the time. No big deal. Or so I thought. But when she said, "Well, I'm sure my new daughter in law will take care of me."

My heart sank. Crap. Did we go too far? Surely she knows we were joking. She can absolutely live with us. In fact, she can move in tomorrow.

I'll admit, I'm pretty worried.

However, every time I get concerned about my standings, I remember one important fact.

She will be his FOURTH wife.

And that has to count for something, right?

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Thursday, January 6, 2011

It's A Strange World

I'll admit that in the past year, I've found myself caught up in the vampire stuff. And by being "caught up in . . . " I don't mean that I don fangs and drink blood. I just mean I like to be entertained by them.

Once a year, I find myself, along with my best friend (who I completely blame for this fascination), anxiously awaiting the new Twilight movie- even thought the books were much better. On any given Monday morning, I'll discuss in great detail what happened on True Blood the night before with work buddies. Bella and Edward or Jacob, Sookie and Bill or Eric. I like them

And I can't help but let my imagination run wild. Are there really vampires? I doubt it. Do regular people have certain powers and can read my mind? I'm not sure, but I try to not think bad things, just in case.

A few days ago, I think I may have had some answers.

I was at work and a man walked by me. He was well over 6 feet and skinny as a rail. Paler than me in March. His hair was silver with a black pattern of some sort in it. It may have been a map to his cave- I don't know.

I looked up at him and smiled. He smiled back. He. Had. Fangs. And I think they may have grown when we made eye contact. But I'm not sure.

It was an unseasonably cloudy day.

I pretty sure I saw a vampire.

I didn't want him to glamour me, so I was careful to not make eye contact with him. I kept my thoughts clear, just in case he could hear my thoughts.

He ate his food. Or maybe he pretended to eat. I didn't watch him that closely, just in case he remembered his preferences and that he prefers blonds. He left without incidence. But I counted my co-workers, just to make sure.

Later that night, Justin began telling me about his drive into work that night. It was around 3 a.m. and he was alone on the road. He looked out the window and saw a massive being running beside his truck. He said it was huge. And furry. And fast. And he didn't know what it was.

One word. Werewolf.

As I thought about the fact that Justin and I possibly saw evidence of vampires and werewolves in one day, I discovered that I'm not really that freaked out by it.

Or, at least, not nearly as freaked out as I am by the 5500 birds that fell out of the sky in Arkansas and Louisiana.

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Wednesday, January 5, 2011

I'm Back

Yesterday, I was thinking to myself about this blog and how I haven't written in a couple of months and that I miss it. So, I pulled it up and HOLY CRAP- it's been over a year since I've written. How did that happen? Why did I let that happen?

I. Don't. Know.

But, as I read some of my past posts, I remembered how much I loved sharing my stories and thoughts with you.

So. . . along with training for a half marathon, eating better, drinking more water, and trying to not be a total embarassment to Maddie- I made the resolution to write. And I'm sticking to it.

See you tomorrow- we've got a lot of catching up to do.

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