My Dreaded Trip To the DMV

I knew that this was the year I was going to have to renew my driver's license.  I knew it every time I took my license out when I wrote a check.  I knew this!  However, yesterday...the day before my birthday when I took that license out again I realized that tomorrow was the day that I had to have it renewed (ugh...).  And that meant making a dreaded trip to the DMV.

Reluctantly I pulled into the parking lot of the DMV and looked around at the hundreds of cars parked in the lot. wasn't actually hundreds.  But it might as well have been.  I got out of my car and went into the building and looked through the glass window and saw...LOTS of people sitting in there waiting with numbers in their hands.  And I stood there for, oh, less than a minute and then decided to leave.  Yes, I realized that I would eventually have to go back and get a license but it wouldn't be that day.  It would have to be that next day (sigh...).  My birthday.

Why, you may ask yourself, do I hate going to the DMV so much?  Well, let me enumerate the reasons for you:
1.  It is always crowded.  I mean ALWAYS.  Which means one has to wait a LONG time to get
     waited on.  I mean, when you have to take a number to be waited on it is never good.
2.  Lots of people in the waiting room mean lots of germs.  And not only do I not like germs and
     find that there is not nearly enough sanitizer to clean every surface I could possibly touch in
     there but technically it is still flu season and have you seen all the snotty noses in there and
     coughs?  OK...I think you get the point.
3.  Why do so many people in there have on their slippers and pajama pants?  Why??  And when
      did it become OK to go out in public with those things on?  Seriously, am I just getting old or
      would it be OK for me to come in my nightie and robe too?!
4.  I'm not judging now, but there are some pretty unsavory characters lurking in the parking lot at
     the DMV.  Not that I think they might be dangerous or anything.  But maybe they are.  Or just
     look like it.  Anyway, you have to sometimes make your way through these people to get inside
     the building.
5.  Then there is the fear of not having everything you need and getting sent to the end of the line        
      after you have been waiting FOREVER for your number to be called.  I get confused as to what
      exactly to have in my hand when they call my name.  Old license, insurance card, vehicle
      registration, voter registration, social calendar, grocery list??  So confused...
6.  The employees scare me.  They absolutely do NOT smile, are not lighthearted and have no time
     for foolishness.  They remind me of Nurse Ratched on "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest".
7.  And then comes the time for the photo.  The little old lady working the camera says something to
     you that you cannot understand and just as you say, "What?" she snaps your picture.  And never...
     I mean NEVER ask her if you can have a do-over.  It's not gonna happen.

OK, So CLEARLY I have some serious issues and I could go on and on as to why I HATE going to the DMV but it still doesn't change the fact that I had to return to get that darn license.  And so, while explaining my plight to Hubby and Justin, they both had a great idea.  Just get up EARLY and be there before they open the doors at 8 a.m. (WHAT?!) and then you won't have to wait.  Hmmm...not a bad idea.  EXCEPT for the fact that I also HATE to get up that early (I know...Hubby says I think I'm a princess.  WHAT?!  I'm not??)  Especially on my birthday.  I know, I's my own fault that I waited until the last minute to get my license renewed.  AND I would have to get up even earlier to put make-up on and fix my hair (sigh...).  I give up.  Some things in life trump others and not having to wait at the DMV trumps the hair and make-up.  I will just have to live with a driver's license photo that looks like a mug shot for the next 4 years.


I got up before the sun poked its head out.  On my birthday.  Happy Birthday, to me.  All I could think about was getting to the DMV before it opened and get a jump on everybody.  I threw a cup of coffee down my throat and raced out the door and down the road.  As I drove into the parking lot I saw that a line had already formed outside the office (UGH!).  I shoved my car in park and ran to take my place in that line...I was number 12.  And it was chilly.  Wish I had thought to bring a jacket but I was NOT abandoning my place in line because there were also quite a few people behind me now.

As soon as the doors opened we filed in like a herd of cattle, taking our numbers and seats.  And waiting to be called.  When it was all said and done it took me 33 minutes after I entered the building to get my license and get back into my car to leave.  And by the way I DID get up early enough to put my make-up on.  I couldn't live with a bad picture for 4 years.  I know; call me vain. So...Here it is; my new license!
When I got ready to leave the guy asked me if I would like to keep my old license for a souvenir.  A SOUVENIR??  What kinda freak do you think I am?!  UGH...


And Then There Were 7...Welcome to the World, Harper Grayson!

Just when you think you've got everything figured out and planned..along come babies.  And babies don't care about YOUR plans because they are coming when they are ready.  And our 7th Grand,  and 3rd grandson, decided to arrive 2 weeks early last week!

You see, the plan was that Caitlin, Kevin and the kids would come in on the 19th, them along with the rest of our kids would attend a Winter Ball on the 20th and then we would all get up on the 21st and head to New Orleans for a few days of fun...and a baby...that was supposed to arrive on the 22nd.  HOWEVER...I got a call on the 9th (Fat Tuesday) that Codi was beginning to have a few pains.  They had actually cancelled their doctor's appointment that week because of Fat Tuesday.  Because the traffic by the hospital would be TERRIBLE due to the big parade that day.  And so when I got the call they told me they were just "waiting and seeing"...

After a long day and taking my mother to lunch and out shopping and then back home I got another call around 7 p.m.  "Mom, I think we're going to go to the hospital because the pains haven't stopped".  OK, I should also mention that Hubby had returned home from an out of town meeting, jumped in a truck with two other guys and headed south to fish overnight.  Yep.  So, I told them to keep me informed and I would pack a suitcase.

At 8 p.m. I received another call where I learned that Codi was on a monitor and most likely would be kept overnight.  I asked if I needed to come because it was going to take me 3 hours to get there.  And I would have to call someone to ride with me.  "Just hold on for a little while and I'll call you back", I was told.  Did I mention that I was beginning to really get tired?  I decided to finish watching the final season of "Lost" while I waited...(By the way, I'm so sad it's over)

By 10 p.m. I called David back and asked for an update.  It was decided that I would wait until the next morning and head that way.  I called my in-laws and they agreed to pack a bag and travel to New Orleans with me the next day.  Needless to say, I didn't sleep well that night anyway.  Every time I stirred, I looked at my phone and sent a text message to see how things were going.

Tanked up on coffee the next morning, we headed out early, hoping to make it there in time for the birth.  When we were about 30 minutes out, I called and learned that things were progressing pretty quickly and I said, "Just hang on...I'll come straight to the hospital!"  It wasn't 5 minutes after I hung up that I heard my text message go off with this...
Mr. Grayson decided to deliver himself before the doctor even arrived!  2 weeks early, weighing in at 6 lbs., 3 and 18 inches long.

                                                                  Daddy and Grayson

YaYa with Number 7.  It's amazing how much love can fill one heart.  Just as much love for Number 7 as for 1-6...and any future Grands.
 Poppy finally made it in at 11 p.m. and got to meet his newest grandson the next morning.
                   And big brother, Beckett, is obviously in love with his baby brother.
                                               Mommy and Grayson settled in at home.
Welcome to the world, little Grayson.  We are so in love with you and so happy that you are part of our BIG, FAT SOUTHERN FAMILY!

Build a Child's Library With BOOKROO! (Coupon Included in Post!)

As I was scrolling through twitter the other day I came across an account that I was interested in.  They were asking bloggers to take a look at their product in exchange for a coupon to offer my readers.  Well, it was actually a little more than that which caught my eye.  It was the fact that the products were children's books!

Now, everyone who has read my blog for any amount of time knows that I am a book lover and would rather be reading books than doing almost anything.  This most likely stems from my childhood where I was given books quite a lot to read since I was the only child at home.  Books became a comfort for me because I could escape into other worlds that only one could dream existed.

When I was in elementary school, my mother enrolled me in a book club where books would arrive in the mail once a month and I would immediately devour those couple of books over and over until the next shipment arrived.  Today I have those same books on my bookshelf and merely looking at them brings me back to that time in my life where I could escape for an afternoon to an imaginary world.

As a mother, I nourished my children's minds with books as well, taking them to the library to get lost in the shelves for hours.  I loved watching them carry their treasures out to the car, heads already buried in one, immersed in another world.

I then took my love of reading into my second grade classroom.  At some point I read a study about listening to soft classical music while reading for pleasure and how it enhanced test scores.  That was all I needed to implement this type of reading program into my own classroom.  After the last recess of the day I would have soft music playing as the children filed in, grabbed a book and enjoyed 15 minutes of pure reading for pleasure.  And the tests scores?  They went out the roof!

Now that I am a grandmother, I am no less interested in reading material for my grandchildren.  As a matter of fact I have already made trips to the library with the older ones.  I have my own little children's library in my playroom and we have so much fun reading together!  Whenever holidays roll around I'm sure to include a book with their other goodies from YaYa, therefore ALL of this is why I would like to introduce you to BOOKROO.

Bookroo is a children's book club.  You can either purchase the books for your child or give a book subscription as a gift.  Each subscription will come with your choice of either 3 board books or 2 picture books.  The price is $15.99, which is much less than their value.  These book arrive at your home monthly and you can choose from these plans:  1 month, 3 months, 6 months or 12 months.  I asked the representative to send me the 1 month box containing 2 picture books and this is what I found upon its arrival...
                                         Now, I'm an adult and this got me excited already!
The books come beautifully wrapped.  How cool is that and what kid (or grown-up) wouldn't love getting the "gift" of reading in the mail each month?!
Once the packaging was opened here is what I found inside; two beautifully illustrated picture books that anyone would be proud to have in their children's library.

Reading is not only an investment in your child's education but also in their imagination.  To be able to read is one of the most empowering skills a person can possess.  I'm SO on board with this book club that I want everybody to be able to experience it too.  That's why I am offering a coupon for $5 OFF your purchase (To be applied at checkout when you click on the following  link)!  So why wait another minute, open the world of reading and unlock your child's imagination TODAY with BOOKROO!

Standing in the Patience Line

When it came time to check out in the grocery store the other day, I began perusing the lines to see how many items each person ahead of me had in their baskets.  Choosing the shortest line, which by the way is absolutely no indication that it will be the "quickest" one, I found myself in what I like to refer to as "The Patience Line".

For a while I didn't even know that it was the "Patience Line" because I was fiddling with my phone and looking at the covers of those celebrity magazines and wishing that it was a perfect world and I could purchase one of those yummy chocolate bars instead of the package of sugar free mints I had thrown into my basket.  After my attention span was exhausted, I began to notice the little old lady in front of me...and the quickly forming line behind me.  That's when I do what I do best; I listen carefully to someone else's conversation (don't judge me...I'm sure you do it too!) and began daydreaming about how to turn this into a blog post.

First, I must tell you that I immediately noticed this little white haired lady at the register who was not only sporting a velour sweat suit, tennis shoes, dangly earrings but also the thickest southern drawl I had ever heard.   While I would normally be the one tapping my toe and looking at the time on my watch,  between the outfit and the drawl, I was TOTALLY drawn into the conversation between her and the checker.  And making a mental note that I would definitely not be the little old lady wearing a velour sweat suit one day...

It seems that there was some sort of dispute about an LSU license plate that she had found on the 75% off table and was adamantly telling the checker the price.  To his credit, he very calmly stated that it was going to cost her only $2 and then asked how much would she "like" to spend on it.  Hmmm...I thought, what if she says nothing?!  His kindness settled her down a bit as she explained she thought he said he was only giving her $2 off.  WHEW...battle over.  I thought.  Next on the agenda were coupons.  I watched as she peeled a wallet of coupons from her purse and seriously thought he might be giving her money back for her purchases!  I don't coupon.  Apparently I should.  There were a couple that he could not accept and after a complete explanation as to why, her transaction was finished and I was up next!

As I glanced behind me I saw that the line had become even longer but no one seemed to care.  People were on their phones or talking to young children in their buggies and I though about the true meaning of patience as I had experienced it that day.  We have become a society so used to convenience and quickness that we often times forget how to wait.  Or better yet, we don't like to wait.  I mean, who does?  However, I have found the "waiting times"  are where the deepest life lessons are learned.  The "Patience Lines" of our lives, if you will.  Have you ever had to wait for something?  Anticipate it?  Good or bad...the wait breeds patience.  A new mother expecting a baby, starting a new job, graduating school, a new house or car, a health report.  Things that do not come quickly or easily.  These are all "Patience Line" moments.  And in these moments we respond in one of two ways:  1.  We impatiently tap our toe or try to push through the moment to achieve what we want in a quicker manner whether it puts us in financial or emotion stress OR 2.  We wait.  We draw near to God and those around us.  And while we wait, we learn important life lessons.  We learn that waiting is not such a bad thing.  Waiting grows us and allows us to truly appreciate not only the little things in life but life itself.  So...the next time you find yourself standing in a "Patience Line" try something different instead of tapping your toe impatiently.  Stop.  Take a deep breath.  And enjoy the moment...

" Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love." (Ephesians 4:2)