About Me

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I'm a child of God, wife to Charlie, mom to three beautiful girls, daughter to Dennis and Susan, and friend to as many as I can meet. (In that order.) Welcome to my bloggaroni. :) Follow me on Twitter: thatsmykimjay / Go to my site: www.kimjay.com

Monday, September 28, 2009

Have patience...


Seriously. I - am - not - a - good - patient. And, there is something really achingly ironic that PATIENT and PATIENCE are such similar words. Well, okay, ironic is probably not the best word since they are probably in some way related. But, I am not a patient person, and I'm not a good patient. And, I'm really tired and whiny right now. (Just heard about 100 of you click off this blog.)

This past week...the flu.

It all started with a head ache. Okay, change of weather. 15 out of 22 days in Memphis were rainy. Get it. Head ache. Then, last Sunday morning, I woke up certain I would puke my guts up if someone turned on the lights. Skipped church, layed around on the couch in between Peanut naps, and my sweet girls took care of me.

Okay, gonna will myself to feel better - after all, Charlie comes home from prison tonight! Shower, deo for the B-O, I feel better! Right? Maybe. That was Sunday night. By Monday afternoon, I was OUT OF COMMISSION. Like, involuntarily. There was going to be no more "willing myself to get better." Fever cannot be willed. And, maybe it was just this flu virus, but dang it - I'll be 40 in a couple of months - and fever at 40 is WAY worse than fever at 20.

Now, there was a time in my life where I would have been THRILLED to get sick and miss school, work, whatever! Woo hoo! I got to stay home, watch the Price is Right, eat my Mama's potato soup, sleep all day. Woo hoo! Now, however, not so much.

When you are the mom - all bets are off. All that rest and relaxation goes out the window. Even when you have an amazing husband, who takes your baby to your mom's to live until you get better, you still lie there wondering, Did he remember to take the extra sheet for her school mat? Did Morgan get her permission slip signed? Does Bradyn have on matching clothes? And, on and on and on....

Then, you wait. You watch TLC, Oprah, Dr. Phil, and wait. Alone. The alone part was nice for a day or so. Take it from someone who commented on Twitter:

That alone time was nice. But, the frustration that I could not coordinate the muscles and tendons and blood vessels in such a way as to hoist myself up the stairs to get some work done - was getting to me. The fact that I had SOOOOO much to do BEFORE I got sick, was absolutely making me crazy. I cannot stand to not hold up to my word, make people wait, or sit and do nothing while there is a ton of stuff to be done. Hate it. But, finally I gave into it.

Now, it's the Monday after, and I still have a headache. I have whined and complained on Facebook, Twitter, the phone, email, text. (Told ya - not a good patient.) Everything I hear back? "You just gotta give it time." "It took me two weeks." "Rest and plenty of fluids." Blah, blah, blah. I want a miracle drug! I want a magic potion! I want to be well NOW!

All the while, a song is running through my head. A song from a little musical we put on at church when I was little, Music Machine. I went to YouTube, and found a cute little girl singing the song going through my brain right now..."Have Patience." Enjoy!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Like a baby with my days and nights mixed up...

Frustration. There. That's pretty much the jist of this blog entry. Seriously, I could just leave it there and spare you the whining and complaining and everyone would be much better off. However, for some reason, it just feels good to get it all out. And, for some reason, we women (at least) love to commiserate. So let's get our hands dirty in a little whining shall we?

First off, it's 1:31 AM!!! It is totally 1:31 in the morning and I am wide awake on the couch (so as not to awaken Dancin' Jimmy) typing a blog entry on my iPhone application with my two little thumbs. What is wrong with me? I am totally like a baby who has its days and nights mixed up. I've been in this flu-coma all week and have lost a grip on space and time, it seems. I layed in bed (Is that correct? Layed? Lied? Who even really cares? It's 1:35 AM now and there is not even a baby awake up in here! Up in here, up in here.)

Where was I? Oh yeah, I layed in bed for over an hour hoping to fall asleep with my husband who is finally home - braving the posibility that he might catch something from me.

But, to no avail. Still awake. Got up, prayed, journalled. Still, awake. Went back to bed in hopes of slumber. Nothing. Got up, felt my way into the bathroom closet (dang, I'd be an awesome blind person) and found the Nyquil in the pitch black. Now, I'm here on the couch waiting for the sweet sleepiness it promises. You know, "Coughing, aching...blah...blah...blah...so you can rest...medicine." My mind going a million to nothing.

What about you ask? Oh, wouldn't you like to know! Wouldn't you like to know that I have sooooo much catch-up to do at work...all the while, knowing that it will be competing with Peanut and the laundry and the girls tomorrow? Wouldn't you like to know that I am the most insecure person on the planet and am up at now, 1:45 AM wondering why so-and-so doesn't like me? Wouldn't you like to know that I am worried about my sweet husband who has juggled everything this week to take care us? That I still feel like puking? That I am thinking about just letting myself go? Oh, wouldn't you just like to know!!!!

Whew! That felt good. Like, seriously good. And, I didn't even scratch the surface. I'm going to try to keep my head about me and not go into a sort of "drunk blogging" on cold meds. (Yes, iPhone, I meant "meds" not to be confused or auto-corrected with "mess"!) You know, like that "drunk texting" thing Hoda and Kathie Lee did a spot on. Yep. Better stop there. Here's hoping I don't get up tomorrow and feel the urge to DELETE this entry. Maybe, just maybe, that yawn will be followed with another and another...and...zzzzzzz.


Sunday, September 20, 2009

Getting your bluff in...

Had to get my bluff in the other day. "Huh?" you say? Yep. Had to get my bluff in.

"Getting your bluff in," is a parenting technique taught to me by my mother, probably passed on and on and on through the generations. It is OH SO IMPORTANT. What it means, is simply - letting "them" (those little darlings) know that you ain't gonna take no crap - and you'll put your money where your mouth is. The key is, getting a REALLY good one in, so they know you have NO PROBLEM with the small stuff.

The first time I had to "get my bluff in" was in 1997 with sweet Moey-Moey-Moey-Pamoey (my 15 year old.) We were in the grocery store, you know, that wonderful place we mothers LOVE to take our toddlers. Because, they NEVER act up in there! Oh, no! There's NOTHING for them to grab, throw, or beg-whine-cry for! Well, there we were. Last aisle. Almost done. Basket is FULL. I mean, I'm leaning-in to the basket to get it to turn the corners. Morgan is sitting in the little kid spot of the basket. And, it starts.

The whining, the begging, the temper after being told "no." And then I said it, "If you do not stop, and start behaving like a big girl, Mama is going to take you to the car, and spank your bottom. Then, we will go home and you will not have treats the rest of the day." GULP. What did I just say???? Crap! Now I've got to do it! And, of course Morgan looked at me like "Oh yeah? Seriously, mom. You're gonna stand there and tell me that YOU, are going to leave a full basket of groceries in the store?" And there it was. The line drawn in the sand by my 3 year old. I could hear my mom's voice in my ear, "You have to get your bluff in!"

So, I did it. This story brings back so many conflicting feelings. Do you know how hard it was for me to pick her up out of that basket and just LEAVE IT THERE?!?!? Right smack in the middle of the freezer section? In hind sight, I totally wish I had at least taken it to the front and given it to a store clerk. But, at the time, I was horrified enough for leaving it at all - I just wanted to get out of there.

I calmly (at least outwardly) walked to the car, Morgan squirming and whining and begging for mercy the entire way. When I got to the car, I opened the front passenger door, and sat her there facing me. Morgan was shocked speechless at this point (a miracle if you know her) and I had her full attention.

The speech went something like this:
"Morgan, I love you with all of my heart. God gave you to me to teach you how to love Him, and how to be a young woman who can control herself no matter how hard it is. The way you were behaving in that store did not make me proud. I told you that if you continued, I would do this, even though I really-REALLY do not want to, I must, because I keep my promises."

I stood her up, spanked her little bottom, and then hugged her while we both cried. We got her up into her carseat and went home to an empty pantry and a few hours of book-reading in my lap.

That was one of the hardest days of my life. But, it was sooooo fruitful. After that day, when I told Morgan the consequences, she KNEW I had the cohonies to follow through (even when I wasn't sure I had them myself.)

I've had to get my bluff in with Bradyn and Anna (yep even Anna has seen it already), but, luckily for Bradyn, she was able to witness me "putting my money where my mouth is" with Morgan, making her a believer without too much first-hand experience. Although, adolescence is a whole new ballgame for my Sweet Little Brady Lady.

Anna, well, Anna has a lot of her big sister Morgan in her. (I have no idea WHERE they get it???) :) One day about a month ago, she was throwing a temper tantrum over something as important as say, Mama not letting her throw away the remote control. I know, I'm so mean! With our hardwood floors on top of slab, I'm so worried she's gonna knock herself out cold in her temper-thrashing and head-banging anger. So, when she revved up a tantrum, I just moved her to the rug in the den and walked away so she couldn't see me.

That little rascal! I heard silence and thought, "Yay, that was quick." Then, she comes back into the kitchen, lies down on the floor and starts the tantrum back up for my viewing pleasure. Only his time she is MAD! She can't give it her full effort because she knows it will hurt. She stopped. Looked at me (as I used every bit of resolve I had - not to smile at her little show), and then came over and hugged my legs crying. Sooooo precious!

So, I guess this blog is a reminder to myself of the task at hand. Tools, lessons, techinques...things I had forgotten with the ten-year gap between my two youngest. It truly is like starting over. You really do forget a lot. And, I wonder EVERYDAY if I am still up to the task. Thank God for my Mom, my friends, and my Twitter mom-friends for moral support! Fist-bumps for everyone!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

A cry for help...

So, I was perusing my old family photos recently and made a realization that I am shocked - slash - ashamed - slash - reluctant to reveal...


Now, I know - harsh language - but this is really serious. I am a Southern Woman for Heaven's sakes! For the love of all that is classy and fashionable, I NEED HELP! So, today's blog is a cry for someone to PLEASE, I beg you - TURN ME IN TO WHAT NOT TO WEAR!

{Send this link (http://kimjayeveryday.blogspot.com/2009/09/cry-for-help.html) to whatnottowear@discovery.com}

I submit to you, Exhibits A-K - A THROUGH K, PEOPLE!

Exhibit A, Charlie and I on our honeymoon in Maui, June 2007.

Exhibit B, Me and Anna two weeks after she was born, May 2008.

Exhibit C, Me and Mama, Lucy and Anna June 2008.

Exhibit D, Me and Anna in new house in Memphis, July 2008.

Exhibit E, Me and Anna after her one-year birthday party, May 2009.

Exhibit F, Me and Mama at Lucy's birthday party, February 2009.

Exhibit G, Me and my nephew, Justin - our first Christmas in Richmond, December 2007.

Exhibit H, Me and Charlie four months after we met - at Lakehouse, June 2006.

Exhibit I, Me, Bradyn, Anna, Charlie, and Morgan last Sunday at Memaw's 80th Birthday Party, September 2009.
Exhibit J, Me and Anna and Moey at a party, July 2009.

Exhibit K, Me and my sister-in-law, Christina at poker night in Richmond, August 2007.

This is my "uniform" as my mom calls it. Black Old Navy, v-neck t-shirt (from 1999, because all the new shirts these days are SO THIN!), jeans (in varying sizes over the years), and my favorite black flip-flops. Those flip-flops have traveled the world! (Maui, Cancun, Jamaica, Grand Cayman, Bahamas, Bonaire) I seriously want to be buried in this. It is so comfortable. Sure, I "dress it up" with a change of earrings (See Exhibit E) or in the winter, I'll wear a sweater over it (See Exhibit F), but it's the same. It's an easy outfit I don't have to think about. What's wrong with me?

Okay, so I think it is more than apparent that I need PROFESSIONAL HELP! Right? Who agrees? I mean, I know there is probably a large majority of those of you who know me personally, who have actually had these thoughts before - about my limited apparel choices. So, what can you do to help?


{Send this link (http://kimjayeveryday.blogspot.com/2009/09/cry-for-help.html) to whatnottowear@discovery.com}

Email the link to this blog, RE-TWEET like crazy, tell your friends, buy a billboard - MAMA NEEDS A NEW SET OF CLOTHES! If we all pull together, I think we can make a difference!

Your unfashionable friend,


Tuesday, September 15, 2009

It's tough being a woman...

Sigh. So much in my brain right now. Let's see if I can pull off this blog without an inordinate amount of rambling. Tell me if you begin to squirm. :)

Just got home from the very first session of our women's Bible study at church. My Sweet Little Brady Lady is going to do the study with me! I absolutely cannot tell you how happy I am that she is. I just about have the absolutely most wonderful daughters on the planet. I asked Morgan to, but she just finished this same study in her small group and didn't want to do it again. Plus, she is cranked at school. But, Bradyn accepted my offer - and I think - no, I KNOW it is God-ordained.

We are doing the Beth Moore study, Esther, It's Tough Being a Woman. (How appropriate is THAT in MY stage of life!?!?!?!?!?) We sat there together, listening to the introductory video, laughing at Beth Moore. I was so proud of my little girl, filling in all the blanks - the youngest member of our Bible study group. I scribbled in the cover of the workbook, "Let's do our study everyday - and talk about each day's homework before bed. Wanna?" To which she scribbled, "Sure!"

Now, don't go thinking that is a normal thing. That, from birth I've had these kids on their knees and at the kitchen table doing their Bible lessons every day. Not even close. Even in the times of my life that I actually stuck with a priority time each day, it was while they were at school - not when they were home to see that mom spends time in the Word. I wish I had been a better example of a godly woman who teaches her girls to crave the Word of God. But, now we will begin again.

So, to the main point of this blog. Something Beth Moore said in the video last night, "It's tough being a woman, but I am so glad that I am!" To which, what seemed like a katrillion Houstonite women in attendance, followed with enormous applause. Me, my eyes welled up with tears and I frantically wiped them dry before anybody (especially Bradyn) could see. Why? I just didn't get it. What is so good about being a woman for goodness sakes!?!?!? I was so downtrodden (how do you like that Bible word?) with the guilt and envy I feel because I'm not just overflowing with happiness about being a woman.

I'm so worn down with all the inequalities between men and women. I'm not talking about fair pay, fair treatment, etc... I'm talking about the day-to-day normal stuff. I've even blogged about it all before. The shaving, the "chocolate time of the month", the responsibilities, the hormones...all of it. I drove home, listening to my precious daughter talking about how God had prepared her ahead of time for this lesson - because they are studying King Xerxes and the Persian Empire at school (public schools are okay by me!) Then, dang it....it occurred to me...this is not a conversation she might have with her dad. I'm special. We get to share girl stuff.

So, today, I'm going to make a list for ME. A list of the cool things about being a woman. So, that I will maybe understand those crazy women clapping for Beth Moore:
  • Women get to cry for no reason. And, it usually works things out for them.
  • Women get to talk to each other - about more than work or sports.
  • Women get to be moms, which includes: REAL baby's breath on your face in the morning, endless cuddling, fixing your daughters' hair for the prom, playing dolls, being favored over anyone else on the planet for at least two years.
  • Women don't get hairy ears.
  • Women don't have to look any direction and cough at the same time.
  • Women get to smell their husband's necks when they hug.
  • Women get to hold their Daddy's hand even when they are 39.
  • This is a new one for me - women are protected by their husbands. (Charlie won't let me go to prison this weekend because he doesn't want me to be the only woman these guys have seen in months. I adore him for that.)
  • Women can hold her baby in the middle of the night, and everything is suddenly okay for them, no matter how old they are.
  • Women are beautiful!
But, make no mistake, no matter if this works or not...no matter if I become the biggest fan of womanhood in the world...my hair will never be as big as that sweet Beth Moore! J/K Seriously, every time we start a Bible study like this, we always seem to begin with the question, "What do I want to get out of this?" My answer? I want God to change my heart and give me a passionate love for being what He created me as: a woman.

Big, fat, wet, sloppy kiss to all my girlfriends! We rock!


Saturday, September 12, 2009

In the category of Best Ex-Wife of the Year, the award goes to...

So, I get an email the other day:
Hey Kimberley -
Was wondering if you'd be available to shoot us (the girls, Andrea and me) the weekend we come into Memphis? I know you're schedule is nuts, so if you can't I completely understand.



Of course I had to say it, "With a gun or a camera?"

"Randy," for those of you who do not know, is my EX-husband (married 14 years.) We have been divorced since January of 2006. One month and twelve days before I met the amazing Dancin' Jimmy. (Still smile and get all happy when I think about meeting Charlie.)

Hmmmmm......what to do? My first thought is, "Ugh. THAT won't be awkward AT ALL!" Then, I'm all, "So, I have to hang out with my ex-husband and his wife while they are here?" Then, I talk to Charlie and ask him if I should beg-out or not. He encouraged me to do it...for the girls. Now, don't get me wrong. It's not like we hate each other, or that I don't like the new Mrs. Randy, it's just something that you don't exactly get pumped about.

The thing is, and I know I'm like a freak of nature, but I actually enjoy and am heartened by the fact that my children have a good family with both parents. It was weird the first time Bradyn told someone that she had "two moms." You can imagine, that is not something you really ever get used to - having pushed that sweet girl out of my body. Is it fair that the new Mrs. Randy would get the same title? She barely ever gets to spend time with them. She doesn't have to get her to doctor's appointments, or take care of her when she is sick, or pick her up from an endless string of sleep-overs with her girlfriends.

But, I get a feeling by watching them all together, that Mrs. Randy II does indeed love our Sweet Little Brady Lady. And, you know what? I'm okay with that. Even, I'm really happy about that. I guess that is what true love is. When you want what's best for someone despite your own feelings. The fact that Morgan and Bradyn have a whole boat-load of Italians in Philadelphia that love my children, is okay by me. More people in this world to help me love those wonderful girls - who deserve every bit of it!

So, off I went, with my little camera bag. It was a little strange at first being the outsider, the odd one out in a family picture that included my girls, but not me. But, we made it work. At one point, I asked Randy and Mrs. Randy II if they wanted a pic of just them two. I'm all, "Put your arm around her...act like you love each other." You know, what I tell all my clients. Then, I realized how weird that was. I stopped, put my camera down, and said, "So, do I like win best ex-wife of the year, or WHAT?!?!?!" They both laughed and she said that definitely I do. I jumped up ready to head to the next spot and said, "You can totally have him!" Lots of laughing and everything was fine.

When I was about 11 (I think), my best friend's parents divorced. It was devastating. They seemed like the absolute perfect family in every way. All I could think about at the time was, If THEY could get a divorce, MY parents certainly were vulnerable. I cried and cried and cried. Several years later, as adults, we attended a party for the mother's birthday. I was so shocked and weirded-out by my friend's father being there with his new wife. The mother's new husband also there. They were all carrying on like they were one big happy family. Although weird to ME, later - as I was dealing with MY divorce - I realized what was going on.

See, even though this couple couldn't make it work together, they had one crucial thing in common...they loved their children enormously. I was keenly aware when Randy and I were splitting - that my actions didn't hurt Randy as much as they would hurt my kids. And, it would definitely make them come down on HIS side if I showed my tail. I just love them too much to disparage their DNA-donor in any way. They are a part of him.

There you go. I took my ex-husband's family pics today. And, I hope they turn out okay. I hope my kids know how much I love them. How I want so badly for them to be happy in every way and will do EVERYTHING to make sure they are.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

To my dear, sweet, babies...

I have been increasingly aware of the short amount of Morgan's time left with me as her "mom." She will be leaving for college in less than three years! All three of my daughters are growing at warp-speed up in here. Most days are absolutely chaotic, stressful, and ridiculously wonderful. Some days, your heart is breaking. Some days you want to lock them all in the closet and protect them from the world. Somedays, you feel like sending them off into the world will protect them from YOU.

So, I have been accused (probably rightfully so) of being the strictest mom ever - a lot lately. But, in all fairness, I have a really good excuse. You see, girls, mommy is neurotic. Which, basically means that I feel like everything that goes wrong in everyone's life around me is my fault. In the deepest darkest corners of my heart, I worry that if you do not have the most wonderful, fulfilled, godly life....then, it is somehow a result of something I did or did not do for you. This doesn't help:

"Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it." (Proverbs 22:6-NIV)

Oh man. That's a LOT of pressure, cause...what if I do it wrong? What if my child grows up and TURNS FROM IT? It's all too much. So, I try. I have been trying my best, definitely not THE best, but MY best - since you were born to teach you everything you should know and do to be who God wants you to be, and to be a happy person. Just in case I have forgotten some stuff, here's a basic list of the "biggies":

  1. "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind; and, Love your neighbor as yourself." (Luke 10:27) - okay, so I KNOW one of the three of you just rolled your eyes and it WASN'T the baby because she cannot read! It's true, though. Not just the weekly Bible verse. If I had held onto and obeyed this one verse just 50% more in my life, I could have avoided probably 100% of my problems today. It's not just enough to go to church, youth trips, know the Bible...you gotta love the MAN. Jesus, specifically. It makes all the difference. If you never did anything else in your life but got this one - you're gold. And, if you make loving others a lifestyle, so many hurt feelings can be avoided. Okay, done preaching on that one.
  2. Once you're down with number 1, then you've got this one. Don't worry about what other people think. Period. You can waste a terrible amount of time in your life worrying about why this person likes you, that person hates you. What did I say wrong? What did I do wrong? Not just the bad stuff. When others complement you, hold it up against the measuring stick of Christ. Accept complements on God's behalf, cause you wouldn't have done or been ANYTHING without Him.
  3. Represent. Seriously. A lot of grief in my teenage/college years was spared because I didn't want to let Dennis or Susan Roaten down. Not to mention, Hillie or Irma Roaten, or Lee or Ruth Jerkins. The times I did screw up, well, it broke my heart to have to come to my parents and tell them what I had done. In all the world, I never wanted to let them down. Making them proud is just about what I live for. I mean, come on! What girl can bear to see her Daddy sad because of her!?!?!?!? Well, my hope is that you love and respect me, your dad, and Charlie, just enough to think about the consequences to those around you, for the things you do. You'll want the same from your kids one day, promise.
  4. Finally, be yourself. Please...please don't ever try to be something you're not. Honesty and integrity are everything. Be honest in everything you do, and everything you are. What do you have, if you have a ton of friends because of someone they only THINK that you are? There are plenty of people on this planet to love you for the amazing people you really are...and you are!
  5. Find a man who loves Jesus, and he will love you almost as much. If you find a man who rocks your world, marry him - and always put him first. If the boy you're considering for marriage doesn't rock your world - go on to the next one. 'Nuff said.
I love you more than you can ever imagine...that is, until one day when you have a son or daughter of your own. And, as my mother always told me, "You're gonna love me so much more after you have children!" (That is so true. That's why Nana gets flowers on MY birthday!) You can talk to me about anything, and I promise to try to listen without judgement. You are my joy, and my life.