Just what you always needed to know

Posted by Shelley on Jun 30, 2007 in Real Life Stories

I saw another blogger post her responses to an email survey… you know, the kind of chain email that someone sends you and wants you to send back to them and also to 5 other people (really, it is just like a middle school chain letter)! Generally I never take the time to do this but my dear friend in Valdosta sent it to me and I loved reading her answers. When I realized this might be some material for the weblog I made sure I cut and pasted here. It’s not what you might call inspiring but it is a quick glimpse into what’s on my mind. So, here is just what you always needed to know about me…

1. WERE YOU NAMED AFTER ANYONE? My mother’s name is Laura Jane and I am Laura Michelle. “Laura” was my grandmother’s youngest sibling who died in early childhood so we are both named after her.

2. WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU CRIED? 3 weeks ago, but I wouldn’t call it crying I would call it a bona-fide come apart.

3. DO YOU LIKE YOUR HANDWRITING? Considering no one can read it and it was always my worst grade in school I like it okay.

4. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE LUNCH MEAT? Thinly sliced deli style turkey but leftover roast makes a great sandwich with white bread and mayo!

5. DO YOU HAVE KIDS? 2 precious children, Canon who will be 3 in a few weeks and Melodi who is 8 and going into 3rd grade

6. IF YOU WERE ANOTHER PERSON WOULD YOU BE FRIENDS WITH YOU? Absolutely! I used to sign my own yearbooks like I was friends with myself!

7. DO YOU USE SARCASM ALOT? Some call it sarcasm, others may refer it to as a cynical nature…


9. WOULD YOU BUNGEE JUMP? I’ll do a lot of things once but this one I don’t think I will ever do (maybe if there was money involved?)

10. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE CEREAL? I used to love it, I think I overdosed on it and don’t eat it anymore


12. DO YOU THINK YOU ARE STRONG? I could give a sarcastic (cynical?) answer here but I won’t

13. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE ICE CREAM? Bunny Tracks by Blue Bunny

14. WHAT IS THE FIRST THING YOU NOTICE ABOUT PEOPLE? Their conversation skills, who they know or who they are connected to (i.e. where are you from? oh, you are from south Alabama, do you know… etc., etc.)

15. RED OR PINK? Pink

16. WHAT IS THE LEAST FAVORITE THING ABOUT YOURSELF? This is not a good day to answer this question

17. WHAT COLOR PANTS AND SHOES ARE YOU WEARING? Blue jean shorts and bare feet

18. WHAT WAS THE LAST THING YOU ATE? Hershey’s Dark Chocolate Kisses

19. WHAT ARE YOU LISTENING TO RIGHT NOW? The voices in my head! They won’t shut up!! (ha ha, refer to number 7)

20. IF YOU WERE A CRAYON, WHAT COLOR WOULD YOU BE? Yellow. Actually, I was a yellow crayon once. During my senior year me and my group of friends dressed up as a box of crayons for a Halloween costume contest. We took a lot of time and effort into making our colorful warm-up suits into crayolas (pointed hats made out of poster board completed the look)… Mike and his pals ripped their clothes and mousse-ed their hair right before they came to school. They were New Kids on The Block and they won the contest. BUT I WAS A GREAT YELLOW CRAYON!

22. FAVORITE SMELLS? Stargazer lilies, magnolias, gardenias, honeysuckle, I love the smell of fresh flowers!

23. WHO WAS THE LAST PERSON YOU TALKED TO ON THE PHONE? My sweet Arbonne friend, Rachael from Lawrenceburg, TN

24. DO YOU LIKE THE PERSON WHO SENT THIS TO YOU? I admire my friend Elizabeth so very much! She lives too far away but we are keeping in touch!

25. FAVORITE SPORTS TO WATCH? Football, I will like it better when my son is playing

26. HAIR COLOR? Is this a trick question?

27. EYE COLOR? Blue green with yellow flecks


29. FAVORITE FOOD? Anything that someone else cooks


31. LAST MOVIE YOU WATCHED? The Pursuit of Happyness

32. WHAT COLOR SHIRT ARE YOU WEARING? White t-shirt from Big Spring Jam

33. SUMMER OR WINTER? Summer, but I think I like the dry heat out west instead of the suffocating humidity we’ve had today!

34. HUGS OR KISSES? Kisses

35. FAVORITE DESSERT? Anything with chocolate

36. WHAT BOOK ARE YOU READING NOW? Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World, 21 Most Powerful Minutes in a Leader’s Day

37. WHAT IS ON YOUR MOUSE PAD? No mouse pad here, I use the touch pad on the Mac

38. WHAT DID YOU WATCH ON T. V. LAST NIGHT? Whatever was on VH1

39. FAVORITE SOUND? You know, I really like the sound of quiet


41. WHAT IS THE FARTHEST YOU HAVE BEEN FROM HOME? I guess going out of the country to Jamaica on our honeymoon but I did a cruise to the Bahamas in February that might be farther? It felt farther because I missed my man so much!

42. DO YOU HAVE A SPECIAL TALENT? Complicating the obvious, I seem to really be good at that

43. WHERE WERE YOU BORN? Opelika, Alabama


Hold Your Horses!

Posted by Shelley on Jun 17, 2007 in Real Life Stories, kids

We’ve been experiencing drought conditions here in Alabama for weeks now. In the last two days I have finally seen some much needed downpours. We got in the middle of one at the stables yesterday. Yesterday’s horseback riding lesson was of utmost importance because Melodi fell off the horse last week. I don’t ride and can’t seem to understand what happened. All I know is there was crucial window of opportunity for her to get back on the horse and move on, pressing forward in her goal of learning how to become an equestrian. Luckily, the incident happened toward the end of the lesson and my son Canon has taught me to respond to such mishaps with the “shake it off mentality.” He is a cannonball on two legs. Although my stomach stays in a constant knot I can now stay composed in most any situation. So much so that the instructor told me how much she appreciated my response and wished other parents could do the same.

Having said that still didn’t make it any easier for me to get her to the lesson yesterday. I was nervous, so was she but it was not our desire to let the horse get the best of both of us. A torrential downpour began and I was grateful, how we have so needed the rain. Driving up to the farm I notice there are currents of water running everywhere. After finding a like new umbrella, I hand it off to Melodi and off she goes. Looking for the umbrella took me into the rear of the SUV which meant I had to scramble my way back to the front seat. I look at my toddler son and confide to him, “I’m so stressed out…” and as I look out the front window I see Melodi absolutely drenched. She has fallen into a puddle that is the size of a small lake.

The rain had slowed before I let her out of the car; I never dreamed she would wind up in the water. I missed the whole thing… she was wet, all the way down to the her bones. Leaving Canon in the car I run out to see the most pitiful site I’ve ever seen in her life. There we were, very willing but our spirit was becoming weaker by the second. We find the instructor in the indoor arena, with her horse ready to begin. Melodi is re-thinking this whole thing and I’m wondering where the heck I am going to find a change of clothes. I’m also hoping Canon doesn’t drive off in the car.

Going back to the car to retrieve my son, I happen to locate a shirt. Our instructor comes up with pants and although her shoes were filled with water we dried her off enough to start the lesson. 15 minutes late. Did I mention we had actually been on time? The ran has tapered off and I notice how incredibly dirty we all are… Canon plays fetch with the yellow labrador out at the barn and Melodi begins gracefully “posting”, which was a first in the last 7 months of lessons.

I can’t decide if it was the wet undergarments, the squishy shoes or the fact that once she got all dressed she looked at me and said, “We are so going to laugh at this at tomorrow.” All I know is I’ve got one heck of a daughter! She gives grace and composure an entirely new definition. I am so proud to be her mom!


Some Free Advice

Posted by Shelley on Jun 13, 2007 in bible study

This person didn’t ask for my help but I gave it to him anyway.

A couple of years ago I was at home, doing whatever I do at home. The doorbell rang. A modern day traveling salesperson was there at my door washing the glass door with some extraordinary cleaner that he just knew I needed. He was young, well dressed and absolutely working his hiney off.

He was excited as he cleaned my glass door for free. Giving me the salespitch and absolutely throwing himself into his work it was hard to say no. But I did.

“You are absolutely one of the best people to stop by my door and try to sell me something. I understand, I have been in sales, too and I appreciate what you are doing. YOU ARE DOING A GREAT JOB! I don’t need your product right now but I PROMISE if you keep doing what you are doing up the hill and down the street YOU ARE GOING TO MAKE SALE. Just not to me.”

Was that mean? I don’t think so. He really was doing a good job. I told him so. But I really didn’t have time or interest in his product. I knew, however, that in order for him to keep going he needed to know that he was doing a bang up job and his next sale was right around the corner. I sure hope he kept going. He probably owns the traveling glass cleaner store by now.

Why do I share this with you? Because if someone is trying to sell you something and you don’t want it please tell them no. If they are really cut out for the job, they can SO take it. If they can’t take it they either need to personally develop into the the kind of salesperson who can accept a “no” or find a new job.

And you can have that advice for FREE!


Thompson Reynolds Stadium

Posted by Shelley on Jun 5, 2007 in Real Life Stories

It could be renamed Mitchell Shaw Stadium. It was there that I started falling in love with my man, Mike. He marched the bass drum our senior year in highschool. If the grass had not been recently covered in astroturf what might it tell us this many years later?

It was there that I also graduated from highschool. We were told to keep our dresses shorter than the graduation gown and if it fell below the hem we must tape it up. I purposely wore a hot pink dress and it hung very low beneath the hem of my gown. I also wore black patent shoes with bright pink flowers on them (remember it was 1990). I was determined that my parents would find me among the sea of 293 royal blue caps and gowns.

I also ate some humble pie at that stadium. I ran track in 9th grade. I received a complement one day as I ran around that field… “If you just spread your arms like this wide I bet you would fly”… that same week I fell during the 440 relay race. I was the third leg on that team and as I passed off to the final leg my spikes didn’t work… I basically “ate the track” as another friend put it. How did I possilby go from flying to planting my face in the track? Not a good memory.

I also proved myself in the field of battle at that stadium. Twenty years ago I traded the spikes for a sequined uniform. I received an alternate spot on the majorette line… there were 8 places on the field and two alternates. One of the gals decided to move on and did not serve another marching season; we were down one person and the band directors simply couldn’t work with 7 spots. It had to be an even number, so 6 were written into the drill. The assistant band director brought me into his office.

Here is the visual: I would be singing the words to the song we’d march to rather than counting. I had terrible rhythm and just stayed confused most of the time. The other alternate was a year older, had some rhythm, was skinnier and prettier and well, let’s just say if this was American Idol I knew I was getting voted off. What happened next shaped my life forever.

“The reason you are in here today is because you have a fair shot at this spot. It can only go to one of you and the group thinks you have potential. I know what I am looking for and I am going to decide in a few weeks… are you willing to work hard and give this your best shot even if that means you aren’t chosen anyway?”

I said what any southern born and bred 14 year old girl would say to their elders, “Yes sir.” I realize now I had already passed the first test. Commiting and going head to head with the older alternate carried with it some high stakes that I had to live with until she graduated. I knew what I wanted, the spot on the field was my desired result. With a smaller skill set but a determined result in place I knew I would figure out the way to get there. I managed to figure this out: Commitment + mechanism = results. I’m glad I did it anyway.

He later chose me for the spot and it came down to one thing… attitude. Here’s what I will always remember, what he shared with me back then on that football field:

People are illogical, unreasonable, and self-centered.
Love them anyway.

If you do good, people will accuse you of selfish ulterior motives.
Do good anyway.

If you are successful, you win false friends and true enemies.
Succeed anyway.

The good you do today will be forgotten tomorrow.
Do good anyway.

Honesty and frankness make you vulnerable.
Be honest and frank anyway.

The biggest men and women with the biggest ideas can be shot down by the smallest men and women with the smallest minds.
Think big anyway.

People favor underdogs but follow only top dogs.
Fight for a few underdogs anyway.

What you spend years building may be destroyed overnight.
Build anyway.

People really need help but may attack you if you do help them.
Help people anyway.

Give the world the best you have and you’ll get kicked in the teeth.
Give the world the best you have anyway.

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