We had a great holiday. Christmas Eve we went to "Aunt" Karen's and "Uncle" Ronnie's around the corner for a lovely dinner and relaxed family time. We know this will probably be our last Christmas as neighbors, since we will be moving sometime in the new year. Dad and Ronnie had their traditional Scrabble match while Karen, Jim and I chatted and watched Little Man play with his gifts from them (a cool mini automatic bumper car and the game "Silly Sentences" which he did great at and really enjoyed, gotta love those educational toys!) Then it was home to bake cookies for Santa and to prep "Christmas casserole" (my vegetarian/fat free version), an egg concoction that you put together in the fridge the night before and then pop in the oven Christmas morning to bake while ya do prezzies. Grandbobby spent the night and we all awoke to "Santa came to my house!" He was so excited! He found a picture of a great play gym and a note saying that a swingset just like that one is waiting for him at his new house. (The one we haven't moved into yet) He read most of the note himself! Elves were there all week putting it together, NOT an easy task! He also got his own boom box for his room, CDS, a "Cars" tent and sleeping bag (which he slept in last night and is back in now!)
and he got various other goodies as well. It is great to see the magic through his five-year-old eyes. On Christmas day we stayed in our jammies all day- what a treat-and had a Tofurky dinner and watched Elf! Today we will actually get dressed and go to the new house to play with the swingset. Lots to be thankful for. :)
"The past is history, the future is a mystery, and this moment is a gift. That is why 'this moment' is called 'the present'."
This phrase keeps going through my mind today. I went to a memorial service for an old friend, Chris Feinstein, who passed away unexpectedly last week in New York. I had not really seen him much in a lot of years except for as a facebook friend, but he was a super talented musician (Ryan Adam's/The Cardinals bassist), a fixture of my youth and the alt-music scene here in Nashville (as someone put it at the memorial, we were all like a graduating class together), and just an absolute sweetheart of a guy and everyone who knew him loved him. He was too young, too full of life, and it "wasn't supposed to happen".
As I looked around the room at all of the people touched by him, people I had known for years, I was reminded again how precious life is and how important it is to cherish every day we are here and to let those we love know that we love them.
As all this was floating through my head I got back into mommy mode and realized that I never put a Christmas card together this year. If you didn't get anything in the mail from me this year it was not really a conscious effort to diminish my environmental footprint, it just got away from me with book promotions, five-year-old birthday parties and closing on a new house. So I decided to take a quick cell phone shot of Little Man by the tree to send out in a little e-greeting. Ironically, look what he chose on his own for his prop ...
It felt like definite synchronicity!
Enjoy your present everyone! It truly is a beautiful gift.
I can't believe it! His birthday came together pretty well. I managed to decorate the firetruck lacerated tendon and all ...
My Mother-in -law and her husband were here for the event and helped a bunch in setting up for the party, which was great. We had firefighter training (obstacle course) until the firetruck got there to give the kids rides. Then they ate pizza and got some firefighter tips (like don't fight fire unless you are truly a fireman!) Then the kids ran around and had a big time (I started to play games, but then just decided to let them go for it) we had cake, opened prezzies and called it a night. It was a smokin' good time! Three generations:
Yesterday marked a milestone. My little boy got his last book from the Imagination Library. (http://www.dollysimaginationlibrary.com/howworks.php) The Imagination Library is a literacy program that Dolly Parton started in Sevier County, Tennessee that has expanded all the way to the UK. A wonderful idea, a book a month from birth to age five for all residents of participating communities, regardless of family income. The first book is The Little Engine That Could and the last is Ready For Kindergarten.
Yesterday, my Little Man recieved Ready For Kindergarten in the mailbox. I opened it up, and on the front page there was a typed note to the Imagination Library Graduate from Dolly herself! It made me feel quite nostalgic and emotional as she wrote about how just it felt like only yesterday when family and friends read him his first book when he was a little baby (sniff, sniff). She touched me when she encouraged them to dream big and asked for a promise to keep up the reading as they venture into school. And then she really got me with the way she signed off, "I will always love you" We love ya too, Dolly. What a beautiful thing to do for kids!
Warning: If you are squeamish you may not want to read this post, there is a pretty gross picture in the text! (Note: I have decided, in the interest of letting friends keep their lunch down, to remove that photo!)
This morning I was minding my own business, cleaning the house, when the unexpected happened. The kind of nonsensical thing that can change lives. I opened the door to the entertainment center to put something away and the huge sheet of glass that sits behind the door came off it's hinges and sliced my forearm wide open, the likes of which you have never seen. Home alone and seeing this gaping hole, my first thought was, "Oh my God, what if I hit an artery!" I called Aunt Karen, the family Nurse Nell, who luckily lives around the corner. She took me to a local walk-in clinic where the nurse practitioner took one look at it and was like, "uhhhh, no". (Almost everyone who saw it today got a sick look on their face!) She said it was too close to tendons for her to mess with and directed me to the emergency room. So then Jim sweetly fetched me from there and took me to the nearest ER. The ER doctor looked at it and said "you have severed your tendon, I need to send you to a hand surgeon at Vanderbilt" Oh nooooo, don't you people know that I have a fear of anesthesia?? Hand surgery-really???? So we treked over there and ... a saving grace. A good natured resident explained to me that the the tendon I likely severed is one that is pretty much useless and 30% of people don't even have it to begin with! Once I proved to him that I had full feeling in that hand he agreed to stitch me up and send me home (rather than hand surgery to repair the tendon and six weeks in a cast)Thank goodness!!! The one glimmer of relief I got during all this was ... hmm, I can blog about this! I proceeded to use Jim's cellphone to take a picture of the gaping wound. Here it is guys ... (There it WAS, I am sparing anyone just now checking it out, but as you can see from comments, it was pretty grusome!)
(use imagination to envision what it might have looked like) Purty, huh?
But, the stitches and
are making me feel
I am so, so thankful that that sheet of glass didn't get my main artery and even more thankful that it didn't fall on my little boy!!!! (He has been showing a lot of concern for mommy's "sick arm".) And thanks to Karen and Jim for running me around and talking me down!
I do think that there is one clear moral to this story ... housework is bad for you! ;)
It is Santa phobia I am referring to that my pint-sized neurotic has. Actually, I don't think that it is that unusual. Answer.com gives a name to Santa phobia. Shockingly they call it ... "Santaphobia". And it seems like I saw a little coffee table book once called "Scared of Santa" filled with countless pictures of kids all bawling and "skwalin'"(as my buddy Shane would say) on Santa's lap. eHow.com has a mall Santa giving a video tutorial telling would-be Santa's how to deal with frightened kids. His big advice was "Tell them 'See, Mommy likes Santa', and then she will usually touch your hand or something to make the child feel better" Ha. I'm not so sure he if is not just trying to get a cheap thrill from the mommies. ;) Anyway, anytime we try to go anywhere NEAR the mall Little Man throws a fit! "NO MALL!!! I don't want to see Santa Claus!!!" And keeps it up incessantly until we swear we aren't going anywhere near the platinum bearded, red-velvet clad gift-giving monster. Today, needing a new bedspread, we managed to drag him into Macy's after we swore it was on the OUTSIDE of the mall and we wouldn't go all of the way in. I can't express how much cajoling this took. He admitted after seeing The Polar Express last night that he does indeed like for Santa to bring him presents. He just doesn't want to lay eyes on the fat bastard! (Just having a little fun, folks--Santa-baby, please don't put me on your naughty list!) We also managed to get Little Man to participate in writing a letter to Santa at Macy's. For each letter they receive they give a dollar to the Make-A-Wish foundation which is a great thing. Hopefully writing this letter to Santa was a baby step in getting past Santaphobia!
December is an exciting month for Little Man. Birthday AND Christmas. Mommy is in the mad midst of birthday party planning for the big event December 11. Since his literal birth day was so traumatic (as I write about in the chapter December 11 in A Journey to the Son, www.ajourneytotheson.com) I try extra hard to drive the ol' demons away and make that date just about FUN times now! And, we have had some very fun bdays (I must say I love a party). He has said for months that he wants a "fireman" birthday party, so that is what the prince is getting! Not being a huge baker, I usually buy a cake from Publix, our grocery's deli that makes awesome cakes. But this year I checked it out and they did not have any fireman/truck cakes that seemed very exciting. Sooo, I am going to be brave this year and make it myself. Online I found a super cool firetruck cake with oreo cookies for wheels and gum drops for the lights. I am very excited (i.e terrified) to attempt this confectionary craft, but I am going to do it anyway. And how cool is it you can find a video online with step by step instructions! Will keep you posted on whether this is a smokin' success or if I get too burnt out and just order cupcakes instead!http://www.howdini.com/howdini-video-10462237.html
I just play one on television! I recently compliled an actors "demo reel" for my agent. It is a composite of a lot of projects I have been involved in and I thought I would share it here for fun. I wanted to put dramatic stuff up front, but the first two characters may not be getting any mother-of-the-year awards!! Do ya think? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-J62ClqcdrM
Little Man has started referring to the dark ages of the 1970's (and then 80's) when Mommy and Daddy were growing up as "the old days". The line of questioning got amusing. Did you have a car in the old days?", "You have a house in the old days?" Yes, hunnie, we had those things. But ... NO DVDS and NO COMPUTERS! How did we ever survive???
Watching the Macy's Day Thanksgiving Parade with a self-proclaimed "very excited" four year old. Jammie-clad, we practiced our kicks with the Radio City Rockettes and marched around the living room to the marching bands. And, Billy Currington just came by on a float singing a song Grandbobby co-wrote, People Are Crazy, what a fun surprise! We usually do a big company deal at our house but we aren't this year because Aunt Karen and Uncle Ronnie have to be out of town and our house is in disarray because we are getting it ready to put on the market. We just had an inspection on a new (old) house yesterday and are seeing if that all goes through. Jim is cooking a Trader Joe's free range turkey for him, Little Man and Grandbobby and I am doing "Tofurkey" for me. Thanksgiving isn't Thanksgiving to me without a Southern fave my Nana used to make every year, Squash Casserole. Nothing fancy, just delicious. So I made my modified version of that last night (Smart Balance instead of "Oleo" etc). Another Southern treat tradition here, "Tipsy sweet potatoes" with Jack Daniels. (My nana would NOT have made these!) I love the holidays and am embracing all that there is to be thankful for today. The best was little man saying multiple times this week "I thankful for YOU, mommy!" accompanied by a big hug and smile. I am so thankful for that miracle boy, for Jim, my Daddy, wonderful friends and family, this house that has been great for us for eight years and the potential of a new one, good health, kitty cats, and the ability to pursue the arts which I love. And I am thankful for all of my blogger friends and followers and wish you and yours a beautiful day!
Hey guys, here are reviews I just got on the rockin' moms site, one for A Journey to the Son book and one for A Journey to the Son CD.(Both of which are available at www.ajourneytotheson.com). Hope you all have a rockin' holiday!
Rockin' Moms Book Reviews A Journey to the Son by Lauren Braddock Havey
Lauren Braddock Havey’s “Journey to the Son” is the true-life tale of her journey to motherhood. It is unlike any book I have read on the subject. It was delightful, heart-breaking, funny and spiritual all at once.
It reads like “the bad news is…but the good news is…but the bad news is…but the good news is…” and so on and so forth. Abandoned by her mother, loved by her husband, unable to conceive, an IVF success story, a bumpy pregnancy and a miracle birth—it’s quite a ride. Written with great honesty and humor, you can’t help but root for her in her good times and bad.
My favorite chapter was “Angels in the Room”. I like the author have lots of questions about spirituality and the afterworld. Prone to “believe” in ghosts, I loved reading every word of this chapter. Havey’s take on faith, religion, the super natural and miracles is masterful—her writing magical.
I read this book in one sitting—unable to put it down. It’s an optimistic tribute to the power of motherhood.-
Reviewed by: Judy Davids
Author of Rock Star Mommy: My Life as a Rocker Mom is on sale wherever books are sold. Now available on Kindle! www.mydols.com | www.judydavids.com | www.pinkbootwebdesign.com
CD Reviews Artist Name: Lauren Braddock Havey Album Title: A Journey to the Son
Home State: TN Website: A Journey to the Son
Reviewed by Deborah Crooks >twitter.com/deborahcrooks
Given her Nashville roots and songwriting lineage (she’s the daughter of acclaimed country songwriter Bobby Braddock), it was a given that Lauren Braddock Havey would find plenty of material as she and her husband underwent in vitro fertilization treatments to conceive a son. Not only did the process allow the couple to birth a child, the experience inspired Lauren to author a book-length memoir and a full-length CD that share the title A Journey to the Son. Billed as a “folk-rock opera, each song on the Cd has a companion chapter in Lauren’s memoir (Two Harbors Press; ISBN 978-1-935097-71-6; October 2009). Granted with titles such as “Waiting Womb” “Breast Intentions” and “Grounded and Stones” (The Gallstone & Bedrest Song), the average listener might be put off by the graphic honesty and physicality of the lyrics, the songs offer great information to those looking at fertility treatment options.
In vitro fertilization isn’t for the faint of heart and Lauren is unflinching while depicting the hopes, fears and literal trials that accompany the process she underwent on her journey toward parenthood. But the songs serve as a testament to possibility and hope and any expecting parent could probably relate. Despite telling tails of discomfort, the songs are buoyed by Lauren’s bright voice that is strong throughout the disc. She doesn't wallow and is especially effective on the song “Breast Intentions” where she sings in a voice reminiscent of Sheryl Crow. Produced by Don Henry, arrangements vary from acoustic lullabies to rock; others such as “Grounded and Stone” are highlighted by slide guitar while “December 11” carries a rock edge. —
Sorry I have been slacking on my posting. Trying to decide my next steps for book/CD promotion. Travelling for book signings gets expensive so I may hold out on those for a little while, but hope to do a couple of house concerts soon! I am the featured artist/author interview on Rockin' Moms this month if y'all want to check that out https://www.rockinmoms.com/index.phpist, and also got a nice feature in this months Shady Grove Fertility Center's newsletter http://www.shadygrovefertility.com/newsletter/successful-journey-son. Besides for that, we are putting a bid in on a new home (yikes!) and planning a five-year-old fireman birthday party! Love, love love and will post again soon!
I am back from my jaunt to Tampa where I appeared on the syndicated morning TV show, "Daytime!". I was a big girl and boarded the plane on my own leaving the guys for, egads, 28 hours. It was fun! I read magazines. I jotted down blog ideas. I shuttled from the airport to the The Sheraton Riverwalk hotel. I got the whole deal, plane tix and the room, for 300 bucks via Southwest travel specials online. The hotel was nice. I enjoyed using their workout room and computer center. The bed was cushy plush and I could see the studio where I had to be at the next morning, across the river from my hotel room balcony. That was good for a little peace o' mind; I could swim there if I had to! I was on the sandy soil of my ancestors (The Braddocks, I am told, were among the first hundred non-Spanish white settlers in Florida). My cousin Carol and her husband Larry live about 45 minutes away, in the same town where my dad grew up, and were kind enough to come meet me. We went to the famed Columbia restaurant in Tampa's old Latin-quarter, Ybor city, The Columbia is famous for Old-World Spanish and New-World Cuban cuisine, and has been there since 1905. Our grandparents actually courted there in the late 1920's and early 1930's- yikes! I had an amazing seafood paella and just one little sangria (yum) and plantains. We stayed for the flamenco dancer show and had a really nice time. I went back to the hotel to get to bed early for the show. No insomnia haunted me, thank goodness. After a little room service breakfast I went to the studio and hung out in the green room where the super sweet producer, Maureen, came and met me and explained that it was a 4 1/2 minute interview (live to tape)which would go fast. She told me she really enjoyed the book and I was impressed that she had read it. I hung out in the greenroom to wait until it was my time to go on. I met the hostess, Cyndi, who would be interviewing me. She was funny, telling me she was liking my book, but that it made her want to keep her legs crossed! (She later repeated that line on camera) For our actual interview, she asked a couple of unexpected questions. She asked me right away about my mother (who I haven't seen since I was 14) and questioned whose issue our infertility was. Wha' is she, Barbara Walters?! She asked probing questions which I am sure makes for more interesting TV and hopefully I rolled with it ok. I felt like we had a nice rapport and I felt relaxed, so that was all good. And then ... it was over! It was a fun little adventure, but it is also nice to be home and hear the sweet words "I missed you mommy!"
The day before Halloween, I had an appointment to get Little Man the coveted, hard to come by, H1N1 vaccine. That same day he woke up, after throwing up in the night, with a fever. It was a moderate fever though and he didn't throw up again all day so I wasn't too concerned. I was bummed to have to cancel the vaccination, though. Halloween day he was still fevered. I called and they said to bring him in. Suspecting a virus, I was almost more afraid of bringing him in around the germs than I was of his bug, since he had been doing pretty good so far. So, my brilliant idea (ha)was to put him in his doctor shirt and let him wear the mask that goes with it into the waiting room. Appropriate for Halloween, but sheilding him from germs, and others from his germs, as well! By the time we got to the doctors office though the little doctor was lying down in the waiting room. His temp (100.5 at home) had risen to 103 at the Dr's office. The doctor examined him and said "this may be the flu" (meaning THE flu). I couldn't believe it! For the eight minutes it took to get his test results I was pretty nervous. I was quite relieved when they came back normal. When I let out a "thank God!" the doc told me not to get too excited that they get a lot of false negatives. (When I asked him how accurate the test is he said it depends on whose hands it's in, but anywhere between 10-70% for negatives!) Oh well, what are you going to do? I will just watch him (like a hawk) and make sure that he progresses. A little motrin brought the fever down and the boy was ready to rock-n-roll. Obviously we weren't going to take him out, but he did want to get into his Peter Pan costume. We stayed home and Grandbobby came over in his Cap'n Hook costume and we had a nice mellow visit. Finger's crossed this ickiness goes away as fast as it came on! But, I am glad he was able to rally enough to escape to Neverland for a brief minute! He woke up this morning (Sunday Nov 1) with no fever. Fingers crossed that the sickness goes away with the pixie dust!
Ok, I am into my Target dollar bin, Pillsbury Halloween fun booklet. Why? Because I am a cheeseball. When I came across the name of this bevie I couldn't resist.
Mud Sodas: 4 cups chocolate milk, chilled 4 cups root beer 1 pint (2 cups)chocolate ice cream. 1) In each of 8 tall glasses, place 1/2 cup milk and 1/2 cup root beer, stir to mix. 2) top w/ 1/4 cup ice cream. serve with swirly straws if handy. sllllllurrrrrp! I had mine with just fat free vanilla iced cream, in other words, a diet root beer float. But the guys seemed to dig the muddiness of theirs!(And I enjoyed the sips I snuck!)
Hey y'all! Sunday night I wanted to go for a good mommy/wife/daughter/domestic Goddess moment. My dad was coming over, my husband was just getting back in town and my vision was to have everything together, house cleaned, fire in the fireplace, pumpkin soup simmering on the stove. But, single parenting for the day, I took Little Man to his soccer game, rushed to the grocery store to get all the necessary ingredients, stopped for an emergency potty break (his, people!) and by the time I got home it was time for everyone to get there. The house was not yet straightened, groceries still had to be put away and the dinner still needed to be cooked. Sigh! Ah well, we do the best we can! But, I did try a fun new festive recipe I would like to share. Now, I generally prefer to feed him a bit healthier than this, whole grains, etc., but this was fun! I got the recipe from a Pillsbury sponsored Halloween idea book in the dollar bin at Target. Corny Sloppy Joe Pizzas that look like Jack-O-Lanterns. All ya do is get some buttermilk bisquits (something I don't usually eat!) and flatten them into little rounds (like pizza shaped) and bake according to the instructions. In the meantime brown whatever you eat (the recipe calls for beef, but if you are a veggie or semi vegetarian you can opt for turkey or soy product) add corn and a can of Sloppy Joe sauce. Then, cut a slice of American cheese into a round and cut a face into it. Cut a little piece of green bell pepper to look like a stem. Spoon the meat or meatlike mixture onto the bisquit and put the cheese face on top, place your stem and, voila, a sloppy sensation! Sometimes a little messiness is okay!
Ok, I am lifting this title from my dad's old album "Hard Pore Cornography"! Not an appropriate title for a post about a trip with kids to the pumpkin patch you might say? Hey, (or "hay!"), there is nothing wrong with a little corn! This post is all about "corniness". Yesterday, I did indeed get Little Man to accompany me to the farm. Keller's Corny Country to be exact. (http://kellerscornycountry.com/index.html) One of the perks of Tennessee livin', some gorgeous farms for bumpkin' pumpkin patch trips in the fall. This is the kind of Hee-Haw stereotype that when I was a little younger I might have shied from. But now, I love it! So cute and fun. It was a gorgeous day for it, too. Crisp, but not at all cold, and sunny. Here is Little Man in a corn pit---a little slide goes into a pit of corn kernels that the kids could scoop into toy tractors, buckets, etc. Okay, this is fun in the country for sure. A monster slide made from piping. Little man got to sit on a real tractor And get his picture taken on a fake one. His favorite activity was going on a hay ride with friends. There was also a petting zoo where we petted a burro, a llama, a goat and then promptly purelled our hands. There was also a little corn field maze and a bigger one too that we did not feel like carrying tired kids through, or getting lost in! Another highlight was the "little nibblets barrel train". There were barrels cut into little train cars pulled around a pond by a four wheeler! We sat up front and got a nice whiff of the exhaust fumes, but it was still fun! A great way to spend an autumn afternoon.
Awww, and I just found out that I got a "Cool Site of the Day" award from Michele at Finding Trinity. Thanks, babe! I am honored and glad to know you agree that corny can sometimes be cool ;)
Ah, one week from Halloween! We like to be festive for it around here. Last year, Little Man cast the whole family. Himself as the Cowardly Lion, me as Dorothy, Dad as the Scarecrow and Grandbobby as the Tin Man. We had a bigtime trick-or-treating in a local neighborhood that really gets into the spirit, as you can tell from the stilted skeleton man in the pic with us ...scary! This year Little Man has again cast us all as Peter Pan characters. So far I only have his costume. I had better get busy or let him know that it is okay for him to be Peter Pan and let mommy dress as something really exotic like ... a mommy!
And, I wouldn't be properly documenting our lives if I didn't make mention of Little Man and his Daddy's favorite game to play together, "Halloween store". At different times of the year it turns into different kind of stores, but this one is the fave. It basically consists of Little Man saying "ring ring" and Jim answering the pretend phone in a funny, kind of New York accented voice, "Boo! Little Man's (insert name here) Halloween store" while Little Man reminds him to say, "can I help you", "what's your name" and "what do you want to be for Halloween?" as Jim (posing as "Harry") calls "Joe" in the back to see what costumes are available as the boy giggles, thouroughly amused. Jim had to go out of town on business this morning. Little Man, after saying he missed his dad, sulkily proclaimed "My Halloween store is closed!" (Adding, "that's why I don't have my nametag on") I will save that game for him and his Daddy and maybe, while he has some time off from "work" he can accompany his Mama to a pumpkin patch!
Ok, I am a bit of a spaz and I know it. Plus, I have been a little preoccupied with my book/CD release. (We interrupt this broadcast for a commercial break, A Journey to the Son, the book and CD, are now available at www.ajourneytotheson.com. We will now return to our normally scheduled programming) Anywho, I have gotten a bit behind on some bloggy business. I have come into contact with some great mommy bloggers out there. Several bestowed me the honor of blog awards in the past few weeks and I am just now getting around to them. My fabulous blog designer, Thais over at olivinadesignhouse, has been so kind as to help me put the actual awards on the sidebar. (I know how to find my way around facebook and writing a blog and that is about it!)
Here they are ...
Nancy at ifevolutionworks, a blog I really enjoy, gave me a "Great Sunday Reading" award.
A woman after my own heart, she basically said there are no rules, if you want to pass this along, great, if not, great. (I will get around to paying it forward eventually, but... maybe not right now!) She gave the award along with these kind words about the blog.
"Mud Mama: I enjoy Lauren’s style of writing, that her posts aren’t too long for my very brief attention span.. I love the refreshing look of her blog. I love her talent."
So sweet! I love your blog as well! Muah!
Lovely blogger Tami at http://www.heartsmakefamilies.com/ and also the tres chic onechicmommy, Alicia, honored me with One Lovely Blog Award.
Thank you so much! Here are the rules for this one. Accept the award, post it on your blog together with the name of the person who has granted the award, and his or her blog link. Pass the award to 15 other blogs that you’ve newly discovered. Remember to contact the bloggers to let them know they have been chosen for this award. (I will eventually get around to that, too!)AND I am going to do somewhere between 15 and 30, since I got the award twice :) Sorry if I am accidentally leaving anyone out. Take this award if ya wanna, or if you can't get around to it that is fine, too. Some lovely bloggers IMHO are (please play the Miss America theme song now! Or Miss Canada as the case may be) ...
1)Xenia, Thanks Mail Carrier 2)Jamie, BlondeMomBlog 3)Amanda, Brilliant Sulk 4)Thais, Love and Olive 5)Michele, Finding Trinity 6)Thetamom.com 7)Nancy, Ifevolutionworks 8)Lesia A. Hammett 9)Brigidday.com 10)Carrie-in-TN, Bilingual in the Boonies 11)Amo, Where a Woman Shakes Her Tablecloth 12)Areeba, All That and a Box of Rocks 13)Pilarina's Workshop 14)Brown eyes sweetheart 15)Fastlass73 16) Aham Prema 17) fabulousillustrator 18) The writers block 19) Yonca's Cooking 20) toothwhale 21) Blue Violet 22) Milk Breath and Margaritas
We had a great time going to Atlanta for the booksigning there. It was at Charis Bookstore, the feminist bookstore in the tres hip Little Five Points area.I think they said that Charis is only one of a dozen feminist bookstores in the country now. Our nearby hotel, the Highland Inn, built in the 1920's, was definitely funky. It was a European style hotel reminding me of something out of Greenwich Village. The "suite" was only $125.00 a night. There were artsy prints on the walls, a shower only (not the shiniest one in the world, but passable) and a sink in the bedroom. Funky for sure. But I liked it because it was not your basic (reliable but predictable) hotel, motel, Holiday-Inn that you can find anywhere. They had a black mascot kitty there named Jack who they said eats better than anyone in Atlanta, eating the guests' and staff's leftover food from the fine area restaurants all within walking distance. Little Five points, where the bookstore is located, is super cool. The bookstore itself was purple, my fave. They were very hospitable. Charis has a 35-year birthday party coming up with Alice Walker, Gloria Steinham and the Indigo Girls. What a line-up! Anyway, we had some great people come out. Some wonderful Georgia cousins and friends' of my dad's came. It was great to see them. Also, my ol' childhood buddy, Sandie, who I hadn't seen since we were teenagers. It was a little emotional because she had a hard time getting her baby, too- two failed IVF's and now an adoption to an adorable toddler who was with her. We all have our own stories! Great to see her after all these years. Also, Amy De Simone, another AFE survivor and board member of the newly launched AFE Foundation came and I got to meet her for the first time. She was able to give some valuable information to the group about amniotic fluid embolism (AFE) and I learned a couple of things that I did not know (and I did research for the book). One is that it is not uncommon for amniotic fluid to get in the mother's bloodstream. What is so rare and uncommon is the allergic reaction some women (like us) have to it which is usually fatal. The AFE foundation is going to fund the first known study of survivors to see if they can find a common thread. However, we are such an exclusive group- that there are only 35 survivors that they have found worldwide so far to participate in this study (I am one of the 35)! They would like to study 100 people for their stats. I hope to meet the founder, Miranda, soon too! (For more info visit www.afesupport.org) Anyway, it was great to meet Amy, and it definitely made singing the song, December 11, about my complication that much more intense knowing she was there and had gone through the same thing. It was a great group of folks though, and I so appreciated them coming out! Thanks to my husband Jim for his roadie work and little man wrangling during the reading, and thanks to Don Henry for making the trek to play with me! We went to dinner afterwards but little man was so spent after a long night that he, um, let me know it was time to go. He is usually good in restaurants, but he was just done. The next day we stopped in Chattanooga on the way home and visited the Tennessee Aquarium there which was very impressive. I think a highlight for our guy was seeing the deep sea divers in the tank swimming with fish and waving to him. Also the sharks were quite the sight. After going all the way through one of the two buildings he was tired and ready to leave. We came home and lit a fire to offest the cold that has set in and cuddled up with our kitties who were glad to see us. There's no place like home!
It was a nice fall day, one that will never again fall quite this way. Little man had a playdate with neighborhood friends, trying on costumes, romping the yard. Getting to be a four-year-old kid. This is our last year of not having to be in school every day and I am cherishing it. Home to clean the trainwreck of a house since we have been so busy lately (which has nothing to do with my general housekeeping skills, haha). It helps me with cleaning to put on music, light candles, get festive. Knowing that "company's comin'" helps motivate me, too. I got inspired to replicate two recipes from a new blogger friend, Leisa, who had these at her luncheon I went to a couple of days ago. I won't go into detail on 'em, because they are her special things, but it was a fruity witches brewy kind of delicious thing in the crockpot and a yummy soup. I felt quite domestic by the time my dad ("Grandbobby") and our dear family friend Kathy came by for a visit bearing pumpkins for little man to paint. He had a big time, but was so crashed out from the day that he almost fell asleep, paint brush in hand!
Hey guys, I just got my first mommy blogger swag! How fun! Actually, I wrote them and told them I was available and voila, a nice little package showed up. It was a three-pack of high quality boy's briefs. Little man put them on and said "I am grown-up, I a grown-up!" because they are of the tighty whitey variety. However, they are the softest cotton, in an earth friendly fabric, with an elastic band, quality stitching and a nice designer label saying "Little Loungers". My husband said that if they made them in big boy sizes, he'd be sporting a pair! They are sold for $13.95 for three. For more info or to get yours visit http://www.littleloungers.com
Yesterday we were at the Southern Festival of Books. I was very honored to have award-winning Southern author John Egerton introduce me. My labor doula, (Beulah the doula!), was onhand and that was a bit emotional as she witnessed first hand all of the drama of my birth/complication. It was the only major complication she has had in her many years as a labor doula. Jim pointed out during the presentation what a great support she had been to him that day. Then, after the signing, Dr. Growdon, the OB who saved my life, popped in from the hospital just in time to get a copy of the book and the CD. I am glad that Jim asked for the four of us to pose for a picture together. A happy ending after a very scary day four years ago!
Hey y'all, I survived my first booksigning!! My background is in performing and I don't usually get very nervous for things like this, but last night I WAS nervous and was seriously doubting my sanity beforehand for putting myself in the position of purging my soul in front of a crowd of people! But, as I got into it I relaxed a bit and it was a fun night! Don Henry was wonderful to have there doing the songs with me that we wrote together for the project. I credit the title of this post to my buddy Margaret's husband, Doug Holt. (A book singing, rather than a book signing, because of the musical element) Clever! My hubby Jim was awesome, helping me carry all our gear in and out and being a great support in general. I am so thankful to all of my friends, old and new, who came out. I wanna name 'em all because it was so awesome to see them but I won't!Though I will thank my photographer buddy CJ Hicks for the opening pics. We had a great turn out of about 75 or so peeps. Just a great mix of tons of people that I love! And some acclaimed authors, musicians, songwriters and film-makers to boot! My dad gets the prize for the funniest question, he asked "As your co-writer, how likely do you think it is that we will hear Don Henry performing "Breast Intentions" on his own(I said that he is in touch with his feminine side, so ya never know!) I hired a babysitter to be there with little man. I had originally thought he should stay in the kids area of the bookstore during the performance, partially so it wouldn't be distracting and partially because i didn't know if any of the subject matter (his traumatic birth) would be disturbing. He wanted to see it though and sat nice and quietly on the sweet babysitter (Anna)'s lap. I called him out in the end and had him take a bow after which he gave me the puckered up bottom lip (that breaks my heart)like he was going to cry. (When I asked him why later he said because he was sad it was over) Back home last night when I put him to bed (late) I said, "Honey, do you have any questions about anything you heard in the booksigning tonight?" He said (in his play-actor voice, like he was mimicking people in the Q and A section of the evening) "I have question!" "What's your question?" He put his little thumb up and said "Good job!" That had to be my biggest payoff of all!
The books are here, the books are here. Horray!!! After the nail-biter of being worried about whether or not they would get here in time, I can have my booksigning tomorrow afterall, ha!
Therefore the books are now available on www.ajourneytotheson.com, and I am happy and honored to say that the first one just sold.
I went to Davis-Kidd (the bookstore where I will be) yesterday to see best-selling Nashville author Alice Randall read from her new book Rebel Yell. Sounded amazing! Looking forward to reading it. While I was there I saw a pedestal for "upcoming events" with my book cover on it, so it is a good thing I actually have the books.
Now the big decision for the event tomorrow (besides what to wear, what to wear ...) is whether or not to bring little man. One one hand, it would be nice for friends, etc, to see him- on the other hand, knowing him, he'll try to rush the stage! We'll see. If anyone has any opinions, bring 'em on!
Anyway, I am looking forward to seeing some great Nashville peeps tomorrow!
My book release is finally just around the corner. Here is the info, would love to see all of your beautiful faces there!!! (I know if you are in, say, Canada, it might be a little tricky!)
Nashville: Davis-Kidd Bookstore Thursday, October 8th at 7 PM.
Southern Festival of Books Nashville, War Memorial Plaza, Room 29 Sunday, October 11 at 1 PM.
I have been stressing out because my books got held up at the printers. Years of work and here at the last minute, not knowing for sure that they would be at the bookstore in time for the release!!! They finally went out ... TODAY! Thank God! I was stressed, but now at least I know now that they are on the way and should be here just in a knick of time. To literally SAVE the date! :)
After our grown up night out last night (a drink at the fairly new and fabulous Hutton hotel, and a dinner at the quirky Green Hills restaurant Firefly...grown up mac-n-cheese app. was yummy) we spent the night "in town" at my dads. We got up this morning and went to a fun and family friendly spot in Nashville's Berry Hill called The Pfunky Griddle. It has a grill on every table and they bring you organic whole grain pancake mix and unbleached flour pancake mix with a topping included, or french toast, eggs, potatoes, whatever is your pleasure, to grill yourself at the table. I liked that they had veggie sausage (or soy-sage) It is a fun place to take the kids, but just watch out for little fingers on the hot griddles!!! http://www.thepfunkygriddle.com/ Now I need to go walk it off!
Today Jim and I are celebrating our eleventh wedding anniversary. We are so busy with life that we almost forgot about it this year. We decided not to worry about gifts and just to sneak out for a nice dinner somewhere. I googled 11th anniversary and the traditional gifts are steel. Well, our gift will be "steeling" a moment to ourselves. Ar ar ar.
Not every year can be a ten year anni. Last year we had a whirlwind Viva Las Vegas weekend complete with a visit to an Elvis Chapel to have "Elvis" renew our vows. He (The "El" man) walked me down the aisle in his lamay singing "Love Her Tender" and we laughed the whole time. I highly recommend it! http://www.elvischapel.com/index.html The next night we saw The Beatles LOVE show by Cirque du Soleil at The Mirage and it was absolutely amazing!! I mean stunning. Please go if you get a chance. It was also that weekend in Vegas that we decided to move forward with an adoption. (Well, it didn't hurt that I just happened to bring along the adoption papers for him to sign, and an agenda!) That was one year ago that we decided to move forward with a China adoption. Then we learned that the wait was moving upwards of three years and we ain't getting any younger. So, now we are waiting for a domestic infant and our little boy is getting close to five years old and we are about to release a book/CD about our highly dramatic experience of becoming parents the first time. Shew! Life is wild.
But tonight, we will steal a moment to relax and think about the day at Union Station that started it all eleven years ago.
Watered-down earth mother, singer/songwriter and actress, Lauren Braddock Havey has penned a parenting memoir, A Journey to the Son, being released October 2009 by Two Harbors Press. She is also concurrently releasing a companion CD, a “folk-rock opera” of the same name. For more info, please visit www.ajourneytotheson.com