Monday, March 18, 2013

Just for Fun and Sparkley Green Earrings

I read the funniest book ever this weekend...otherwise known as the funniest book I've read in recent memory. The last "funniest book I ever read" had a title that had something to do with an Olive Tree, but I can't exactly remember what, and man I wish I could because you would LOVE it.

Hate that for you.

Anyway, the book I read this weekend was called Sparkley Green Earrings by Melanie Shankle...otherwise known as Big Mama from The Big Mama Blog.

I haven't had time to forget that!  Holla.

Anyway (again), I have heard of Big Mama in the past because she writes blog postings for The Pioneer Woman from time to time, and I basically read everything on The Pioneer Woman's blog.  I have never wanted to be a pioneer woman more.  Well, I have never wanted to be a pioneer woman, period, but she makes it look like a ton of fun and even a little glamorous which, considering she lives on a cattle ranch, takes considerable talent.  Now, I'm not saying that I am obsessed with The Pioneer Woman, aka Ree Drummond, but what I am saying is that if you asked Jason if I was obsessed with The Pioneer Woman, he might have a different answer.

Big Mama (and by the by there is nothing big about her) wrote this book, Sparkley Green Earrings, on motherhood...and, since I have no children nor immediate plans for children, it's safe to say that I knew nothing about the subject of said book when I bought it.  I just wanted to read Big Mama's book.  Although, now that I'm typing that out, the fact that she is called Big Mama at all probably should have clued me in to what the book was about.

I'm sad to did not.


Anyway (AGAIN), the fact that I have no children nor immediate plans for children did absolutely nothing to damper the delightfulness of this book.  It was LOL funny, people.  Laugh out loud.  I mean laugh out loud in such a way that your significant other might begin to give you dirty looks because he's getting sick of not being in on all the laughing out loud.  So whether you have kids, want kids, don't want kids, don't want kids but will probably have a slew of them, love kids, hate kids, feel altogether indifferent towards the book.  It's a winner.

Now, you may be thinking that this entry has absolutely nothing to do with Ephraim, but I beg to differ.  Laughter has everything to do with fruitfulness, and fruitfulness can be birthed right out of suffering according to Ephraim, so basic Algebra (be impressed. If a=b and b=c...well then a=c, folks) tells me that laughter and Ephraim go hand in hand.  And in the words of Truvey from Steel Magnolias (yes, I do in fact have a Steel Magnolias quote for every moment in life), "Laughter through tears in my favorite emotion." (please read with deep Southern twang for full effect.)

Yes, I passed Algebra.  Don't sound so surprised   It only took two times and I still say 8th grade is too young for letters in math.

Oh, your kid passed Algebra in the 6th grade?  Bully for you.

Actually, that is impressive.

And, yes, I do have a degree in Finance.  That actually is a little surprising...and  perhaps sad...and a little frightening...

You can judge me if you want, but my mom says I have personality for days...and wouldn't you rather be around a kinda slow person with tons of personality that a smart person who is sort of a jerk?

That's what I thought!  Game, set, match.

I was pretty bad at tennis, too.  But it did provide an opportunity for me to wear the skirt since I was NOT coordinated enough to be a cheerleader.  True confessions.

Ephraim, y'all.  Keep laughing!  Even through the tears if you have to...  ;)

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Ephraim Keeps on Giving

One of my most favorite things happened this morning.

Someone found me.

Don't you love it when a blast from the past blows in?

I moved to Mayfield, KY just before I turned 5 years old...and I mean JUST before.  My mother has always told me that at my party, just after they sang to me and right before I dove into that chocolate on chocolate Duncan Hines cake tradition (help me, Rhonda), I looked around at my family and said to her, "But, where are all the children?"

Talk about breaking a momma's heart.  She's still not over it.

I, of course, made friends quickly as I was never lacking in the outgoing personality department.  My parents had us in church before the moving van left town, so my first friends came from First Baptist Church of Mayfield...where many many precious childhood memories were made.

Enter:  Sarah Lampkins

Sarah was a year older then me, which translates to ultra-cool when you're 5 years old.  She was also an only child, which was fascinating to me.  When I went to her house, it was so all about us and I was so all about that.  My mom was busy growing an 11 pound baby in her womb shortly after we moved and she was...well, let's just say she was happy to send me to the Lampkins' Home as that baby grew.  At Sarah's house, there was no big brother to antagonize and torture me, and no baby brother to tend to.  Don't get me wrong, I loved my family...but a break is nice even for a kid.  On the flip-side, Sarah loved my house.  She loved the noise and the people and even the mess (no offense to my mom, she loves a tidy house, but a mother of 3 has an uphill battle in regards to home-cleanliness).  She loved being tortured by the big brother and and wagging around the baby brother.  We had a friendship that worked for both of us.  We had mountains of fun and made mountains of drama..and we loved every second of it.  She was my favorite "play and pretend" friend, and I smile every time I think of us in that bathtub protecting our children/stuffed animals from the "impending doom of an F-5 tornado just outside our window."  The "storm" passed, and then we just hung out in there and ate Better Cheddars.

Those things were awesome.

Do they even make those things anymore?  They were delicious.  And my mom wouldn't buy them.  But Sarah's mom did...along with nacho cheese in a can and cinnamon rolls (of which Sarah always gave me the center portion because it is completely the best, and that right there should prove to you her precious and giving heart.)

We were kindred spirits in regards to food.  Meaning, we loved and lived for it.

I moved away when I was 11, and have been a Carolina girl ever since...that is, in regards to geography.
(Make no mistake about it, I will be a Kentucky Wildcat until the day I die.)  Sarah and I have done a pretty decent job of keeping up periodically through high school and college, and even some in our 20's.  She knew Chad was sick, prayed fervently, and kept up with us.  I even visited her family after he died and had such a great time.  The last 5 or so years though, we've been silent, lost touch.  But, I knew I was on her mind just as she was on mine, and that we would find one another eventually.  Friends like us don't die.

And find me she

Sarah had looked me up on a friend's FB account (she doesn't have FB, I'd long looked for her there), and she found me there...and she found Ephraim.  There, on the blog, she found out why God had laid me heavy on her heart these past several weeks, why she was compelled to pray for me and reach out to me...she learned about PJ.  What a beautiful thing, to know God honors those old friends in such a way.

Then, she found Ephraim. She read it, and she loved it.  I can't tell you in words what that means to me, how important it is to hear...and you know why?  Because Sarah Lampkins was there in my family's Wonder Years.  She was there.  She saw it.  She knows my loss as few of my friends do, and she celebrates Ephraim with me...

Welcome back, Sarah Lampkins Todd.  You've been missed, old friend.

Ephraim.  It keeps on giving.

Thank you, Lord...