What I’m Thinking Right Now

Posted by Shelley on Mar 13, 2010 in Uncensored Shelley

Well you didn’t ask for it, but here it is:

I am so grateful for spring break. My kids work harder than I ever did in 5k or 5th grade. And they need a break. Honestly, I didn’t know what I was signing them up for. But it’s spring break and they can be as lazy as they want to be and I won’t say a word about it. Promise.
I am loving all the old furniture in our house. I am sitting in a chair that is at least 50 years old. Old is good. It means it has what it takes to stick around for a while.
The Time Traveler’s Wife is a great movie. It would be great to have the future Shelley come visit with me right now. Although, sometimes I think she already has. Seriously.
The fact that I can have an incredible chat on Facebook with my husband is intriguing, especially when he is sitting less than 3 feet away from me. How is that? Wait. I won’t question it, I will just enjoy it. So there.
I’m very glad it is now and not then. Or even would have been. Right now is better than yesterday. Or tomorrow. It is crazy to think of where I’ve come from, where I’m going. And who might be sitting in these chairs 50 years from now.


Here’s What I Think

Posted by Shelley on Feb 12, 2010 in Uncensored Shelley

At this VERY moment:

I think the weather forecast is a bunch of bull.

I think it’s absolutely hilarious to watch Elaine dance on Seinfeld. 

I also think it’s interesting that the minute I bring out my laptop Mike puts his away. 

I think I’m rather frustrated that my FB app crashed on my iPhone because I have nearly 4,000 pictures stored on it.  Guess I really do need to off-load those pics.

I think I’m way overdue to cut and color my hair since I saw a recent picture of myself.

I think it sucks that my vasculitis rash is back b/c I started dosing down my prednisone. 

And I think if you’re reading this post and it’s making you uncomfortable then you need to stop reading now.

I think I see my dad driving different cars in Birmingham.  I think I see him lots of times throughout the week, in different places and I realize that, well, that’s not him. 

I think I’m sadder than I’ve ever been.

I think that I want to go to community college since I began watching the show, “Community” on NBC.  Or is it ABC?  who cares, you can DVR and skip the commercials. 

I think that I’ve made some mistakes and I am not going to correct them.

I think that my daughter is the most incredible person in the whole wide world. 

I think it’s amazing what all has happened since October 2008.

I think that 2010 is going to be VERY different than 2009.

I think that skin cancer has really cramped my style here recently.

If you are wondering what I think about anything at this present moment then I hope you have the answer.  If not, feel free to comment and I will give you the low down on what I think. 

I think that paying someone to listen to your problems is well worth the money.

I think I will do everything differently from now on. 

I think it is fascinating that I lose a friend daily, if not weekly on FB.  If you’re not into this kind of uncensored stuff then I guess I see why you wouldn’t want to be my friend on facebook.  Whatever. 

I  think arranging flowers is more fun than painting.  It may be more expensive but as long as you’re paying for therapy who cares how much flowers cost. 

I think I may regret posting all of this by tomorrow morning.  If so, I might delete it.  However, I might keep it.  Because it’s the truth.  And maybe that’s why I posted it.


I have decided…

Posted by Shelley on Feb 10, 2010 in Uncensored Shelley

The shallow is much easier than the deep.


project grow up

Posted by Shelley on Feb 4, 2010 in Uncensored Shelley

The definition of  Project Grow Up:

“The ability to let that which does not matter truly slide.”



Posted by Shelley on Jan 21, 2010 in Uncensored Shelley, poetry


not worry

about this

but instead

said a prayer

and knew

that it was answered.


Once Upon A Time (again)

Posted by Shelley on Jan 7, 2010 in Mental Illness, Uncensored Shelley

There were three bears.  Golden Bear, Rainbow Bear and Aqua Blue Bear.  They were very different bears.

Aqua Blue Bear was just happy to be there.  Or here.  Or wherever.  Being in the midst of things was a good place.  Neutral is good.  Being the mediator is a good thing!  Lucky Aqua Blue Bear!

Rainbow Bear was wondering, always wondering.  Or maybe it was wandering?  Rainbow Bear was not stable in any way, shape or form.  That’s a rough place to be!  But at the same time, being unsure and unstable can be a good thing.  Right?  There is always medication for that kind of thing.  Lucky Rainbow Bear!

And Golden Bear had it all figured out.  Lucky Golden Bear!  What a great place to be!  All knowing, all omniscient Golden Bear!   Law-abiding Golden Bear was judgmental and smart.  What could be better than that?  That was EXACTLY the place to be!

Rainbow Bear needed reassurance.  Aqua Blue Bear was all about encouragement and gave it freely.  Golden Bear had nothing to offer.  Except judgment and well, truth.  Thus, Golden Bear earned the name Truth Bear.   Rainbow Bear didn’t hear much from Golden Bear.  But Aqua Blue Bear was right there!  And Aqua Blue Bear didn’t even realize it!  Aqua Blue Bear was just happy to be there!

Rainbow Bear had been on both sides of the rainbow.  And earned the name, Grace Bear.  However, Rainbow Bear needed some judgment.  Some truth.  Otherwise, grace meant nothing.  Grace without Truth is not acceptable.  Instead of wandering (or wondering) Grace Bear needed both the other bears to figure things out.

Aqua Blue Bear decided to speak up.  Aqua Blue became bluer than the sky.  The name Clarity was given to Aqua Blue Bear.  Being bold and speaking freely was a good gift and Clarity Bear used it at the most appropriate time.

Truth Bear, Grace Bear and Clarity Bear made a good combination.  It is amazing but all of a sudden the three bears became one bear.  Truth combined with Grace gave Clarity.

This is just a story.  A short story.  NOTHING about this story is really “real.”.  At least the fact that this story is about bears.

But wouldn’t it be great if it were?  Real?  Real.  Really?  Really.

I mean, really.


WDW, Then and Now

Posted by Shelley on Dec 28, 2009 in Real Life Stories, Uncensored Shelley

Mike’s parents gave the gift of Walt Disney World for Christmas!  Except we are here for New Years 2010!  ¡Felíz año nuevo!

The first time I EVER came to Disney World was in a modified “woody” buick station wagon that we bought at the square Don Drennen dealership, which will only mean something to you B’ham folks.  I think it was 1982.  That might have been the 10 year WDW anniversary?

We stayed in the Contemporary, got our picture made at the Old Timey Photography Studio on Main Street…. and here’s the best part, I brought a friend with me!  Leah and I slept in the back of the station wagon, this was long before the police actually stopped you because no one was wearing a seatbelt and the kids roamed free in the floorboard, backseat and frontseat of the car.  Yes, that was LOOOOONNNNNNGGGGGGG time ago.

Mom and Dad planned several trips to Disney when I was growing up.  I am too tired to remember them all, but I can think  of the trip with Leah, the trip with Stacey when she came for the first time and the trip with Kelsey when she came for the first time.  We have incredibly cute pictures from the trip with Stacey, she was such a doll, with all her curls and around 3 years old too.  Kelsey came when she was 5 too.  I loved every minute of that trip, watching here take it all in.  Which means those magical ages of 3-5 years old, when you *believe* everything about WDW, are truly priceless.  I am noticing on this trip that you totally outgrow that by the age of 10.

I have great memories of highschool band trips to WDW, marching and performing in both Epcot and the Magic Kingdom.  Not to mention the first trip I took with Mike, a couple of years after we got married and Canon’s first trip in 2006.  I think we certainly have paid someone’s salary at Disney, throughout the course of these trips.

We started our week yesterday, with the 10 hour (12 hour with stops) drive from the ‘ham to the most magical place on earth.  I remember flying a couple of times, once on Eastern Airlines (am I dating myself or what?) and again when we brought Melodi for the first time in 2004.  We flew the straight shot flight out of B’ham and stayed at the Port Orleans Resort.  8 full days and Mike documented it very well in iPhoto.  She was 4 years old and I was 12 weeks PG with Canon.

But I digress.

I was preparing for our trip over the weekend, 24 hours after Christmas day, washing clothes and packing…making very last minute reservations for our early arrival since our resort reservations don’t happen til Wednesday and we got here Sunday night.  I don’t recommend this btw.  At least the part about last minute reservations.  After traveling 12 hours by car and then having some serious issues upon check-in due to…whatever you want to call it…not good.  But nothing really prepared for the emotional toll this would take on my brain.

I’ve mentioned several “firsts” here, my “first” trip, my sisters “first” trips, Melodi’s “first trip.”  This is my “first” trip to Disney World with my Dad being gone.  And that is a lot to process.

So, here is what I have thought about:

1)  Dad and Mom brought me here as a child.  And my “last” offiicial family (of origin) trip with them was to WDW in 1994.  I remember that week well b/c  I had just graduated from college.  I got a phone call the week we were here for an official job offer at WBRC.  I think the first person I told when I got the call was my Dad.  I took the job!

2)  They spent a heck of alot of money at the  Contemporary, the luau at the Polynesian, the downtown disney resorts, getting us here when Epcot first opened, and many, many other things I totally took forgranted.

3)  Pretty much everywhere I go in the Magic Kingdom or Epcot will hold a memory of my Dad.  Dang it, that just makes me want to cry.

He loved to bring us here.

Now I’m here with my kids and there are not enough electric outlets in this hotel room to re-charge all the electronic devices we brought on this trip.  A major criteria for choosing our hotel was if there was free (in room) internet connection.  And the Wal-Mart down the road is the exact equivalent to a 3rd world country (I know this because I lived in Guadalajara).  There are millions of people here and most of their currency is worth more than my American dollar.

So, that is, in a nutshell, the difference between then and now.  But in my heart there is so much more than that.


A Decade of Swapping Some Christmas Cookies

Posted by Shelley on Dec 23, 2009 in Real Life Stories, Uncensored Shelley, kids

Christmas Cookie Swap #10 happened at approximately 14:00 hours today.  From here on out we’ll take it up a notch around here and there will be more excitement than usual!  Our cookie swap means Christmas Eve is usually within 24-48 hours of the event.  Here we are!

When Melodi was born I wanted to have a tradition with her that would last longer than I would.  I mean, eventually I won’t be here anymore but she will and will hopefully carry on some of the things we did while she was growing up.  Up until recently I never really grasped that fact as the truth.  I’m here to tell you, it is the truth with a capital “T”.  We don’t live forever but our memories and traditions can.

So, my aunt gives me a Christmas book, a journal which records Christmas for the next 10 years.  This was in 1999.  We are 10 years later and it’s 2009 and this will be the last entry in this little book.  Where, oh where, does the time go?  Oh, I know.  It’s really not that fast.  In fact, it’s a long, slow process but that’s another post.

It’s so funny to look at this family Christmas book  b/c 1)  you can’t read my handwriting and 2)  I stopped journaling in it about  half way through.  That would be when Canon was born.  But I always recorded our cookie swaps and now have 10 years worth of them chronicled in the book.

Every year for our cookie swap I mailed out an invitation, created a “menu”, created fun cookies and anitcipated the day of the party.  Each year Melodi has taken on more responsiblity for the party, by addressing the envelopes, cleaning the bathroom, sweeping off the front porch and finally, baking the cookies.  This year she did all of that except address the envelopes.  Why not the envevlopes?  B/C there were no invitations.  This year you got an email.

She loves this tradition!  And I want her to have it long after I’m gone.  Which means Melodi, if you ever read this, please have the cookie party.  No matter what.  Life will change and be a little different, year after year.  But make room in your heart for our cookie swap.  And when I’m too old to participate, bring it to me at the old folks home.

And for those of you who know my incredible, has her act together daughter, know that she will.


Jingle Bell, Jingle Bells, Stumble all the Way

Posted by Shelley on Dec 16, 2009 in Uncensored Shelley

So here I am stumbling through Christmas.

It’s not all bad, but I’m here to tell you the Shaw family doesn’t have our Christmas cards in the mail yet.  Melodi is planning the cookie swap this year and I’m hoping Santa is real b/c I can’t find the children’s stockings and I’m not quite sure what thy are getting for Christmas.

As much as I want to “check out” it’s just not gonna happen.  For one thing, the kids only have one Christmas in which they are 5 and 10.  That is this year.  I can’t get it back.  So I will be engaged, realizing that these days are a gift and I don’t deserve them.  But in God’s grace he’s given them to me.  And I am obedient to enjoy them.

Secondly, I’m living and breathing and if Dad were here and in his right mind he’d say, “have Christmas!  be merry!” or something like that.

And thirdly, not that I need a third reason or anything, but I’ve been living my life like I’m going to have another Christmas.  And another.  And another.  But the reality is, I’m only promised this very moment I’ve been given.  Anything 60 seconds from now is a God thing.   So I had better stumble or whatever you want to call it through the next week.  Because it’s not guaranteed that I am going to have it again.  I’m just speaking the truth.  Ya’ll know I’m right.

In an effort to engage myself in the season I am going through old Christmas pictures.  I am scanning a few of them and putting them in an album on my facebook page.  Facebook gives me a place to compile some thoughts and ideas and pictures, that otherwise I may not ever get around to doing.  Some folks do this by scrapbooking or creating a Flicker account or blogging or by any other creative means the 21st century has given to us.  We do have many ways to store our memories now-a-days.  Makes me remember alot of things I thought I had forgot.

Oh what fun it is to ride… in a moment suspended in time… hey!


Eat, Drink and Be Merry!

Posted by Shelley on Nov 30, 2009 in Uncensored Shelley

I just found the biggest coffee mug I could in the house and I can’t believe I’m sitting here drinking it by myself in front of our newly decorated Christmas tree!  We got a tremendous fresh cut frasier fur and it smells wonderful.  A very beautiful beginning to the holiday season indeed.

We had a very lazy Thanksgiving break and in light of everything else we’ve been through that was exactly what we needed!  We slept a little later each day of the 5 day break, which means Canon slept later.  He is the one to get us up and moving and it’s a good thing.  Otherwise the rest of us might continue having visions of sugarplums dancing in our heads until noon.  The break ended when we all had to face Monday morning running late in the rain today.  But I will admit that hearing the rain, drinking my coffee and sitting in front of the tree make for a much needed time of reflection for myself.

I ate and drank and was merry through the long weekend, watching football and spending time with my family.  The first quarter of the Auburn/Alabama game was unreal.  After AU’s second touchdown we were hooping and hollering and Canon walked over and said, “I wish Deeda was here to see this…”  and I said, “yes, I wish he were here too…”

I won’t write but a brief paragraph or two about our Thanksgiving without Dad.  His absence was present.

A very deep sadness, one that I really haven’t known before has taken up residence in my heart.  It is heavy, it is real.  The feeling can begin at almost anytime and it always gets interrupted.  It doesn’t just “go away”.  Instead, the weight of loss makes it’s presence known and in a matter of seconds I am immediately distracted and the emotion gets put off until the next time.  Maybe it’s due to the season of my life right now.  Grieving just really isn’t in the schedule.  There is far too much living to be done around my house.  So I’m guessing the one hour weekly therapy session might be in order.

I miss him.  But more than that I want to know “why”… why it all went down the way it did.  I want to understand his mental state and how real his reality was to him.  I want to know how a human being can put up such a front.  I want to really know the moments he loved us.  And I want to know the last time that he was in his right mind.

So now I’ve got 24 days to get ready for Christmas.  Better get busy!  But I am most definitely going to finish this cup of coffee first.

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