1. When the judges were still in judging mode in Hollywood, I saw Crystal Bowersox sing and told Drew Jones, she is going to win it all. This was before I knew she was from Toledo even!
2. 2 months ago Drew Jones and I were in the car on the way somewhere and we started talking about what songs we would pick for contestants to sing. I picked "Up to the Mountain" for Crystal by Patty Griffin. So last night when her last song and potential single was "Up to the Mountain" I WENT CRAZY! I couldn't believe it! I felt like the Idol whisperer. I honestly felt so strongly about it that I thought about finding a way to email the suggestion to her. Haha. Looks like I didn't have to!It was such a neat moment since I had thought about what she would sound like singing that song...and then to actually hear her sing it! And, she rocked it out, just like I knew she would.
So, my vote is and has been for Crystal Bowersox. You with me?
Set my alarm for 3 a.m. so I can get her up and out before she pottys in her crate.
Drew Jones is up at 6:00 a.m. and let's Scout out again.
Then she comes into bed with me, kisses me, bites my nose and falls asleep on her back.
I am up at 8:30 to feed her breakfast and take another trip into the yard for potty time. She isn't a big breakfast eater, and neither am I. So I give her a small cup a food (which she never finishes) And I pour myself a small bowl of cereal. (that I never finish)
So I've been giving her that block of attention that usually goes to blogging. As well as a fair share of Drew Jones attention and the house is messier then ever too because the homemaking attention is slim to none.
I'll get it all down though. Just have to learn how to balance it all now that the little miss is here to teach and love.
Which is not surprising since the two of them are fabulous.
I didn't take any photos at the wedding because I wanted to be fully present and sometimes the camera can pull my attention away. BUT if I find any goodies on family facebook pages I'll be sure to share.
My 3 favorite moments of the wedding are as follows:
1. Watching Lauren look at Brant as she said her vows. Her face was transparently, beautifully serene. It gave me goosebumps.
2. The look of Drew Jones' face when he saw me for the first time that day. I was all dressed up for the wedding and he told me later he felt like he was getting married that day I looked so beautiful.
3. When the 16-piece band Lauren's Dad surprised her with played "Sing,Sing,Sing" and everyone was on the dance floor. It was incredible.
Sometimes I indulge at the grocery store while I'm checking out and buy "O" magazine.
This month is particularly good because it is the 10th anniversary special. Oprah is all glittery in a pink sequined gown standing next to a fairytale cake dripping in sugar flowers. It really made it impossible to resist plucking it off the newsstand and throwing it on the grocery conveyor belt.
Anyway Martha Beck wrote an article about "10 Rules I've Unlearned" on page 70.
A few of the bullet pointed rules she unlearned were really good.
Here is one that I think is worth sharing:
"If all my wishes came true right now life would be perfect.
Check it out: People who have what you want are all over rehab clinics, divorce courts, and jails. That's because good fortune has side effects, just like medications advertised on TV. Basically, any external thing we depend on to make us feel good has the power to make us feel bad. Weirdly, when you've stopped depending on the tangible rewards, they often materialize. To attract something you want, become as joyful as you think that thing would make you. The joy, not the thing, is the point."
About a year ago Drew Jones was asked to come to a men's retreat called Edgeventure.
Men we trust and respect had gone before him and their lives had been deeply impacted. We heard it was something that every man should do before they die.
I know what you are thinking. It's one weekend. How much can happen in one weekend on a men's retreat?
Well, I'm a lady, so I haven't been. But what I can say in all seriousness is that Drew Jones went to that retreat and came back different.
You know when you see glimpses of the men in your life? I mean you see them everyday, but what I am talking about is when you have those bright glittering glimpses into more of them. Into their true hearts. When they look you square in the eyes and without any pretense or fear give you who they are.
I knew when I married Drew Jones that I had gotten a special man full of kindness, empathy and integrity. But I knew there was more to him. I knew there was more buried there underneath insecurity and fear and unnameable things that only God knows. I knew because I am like that too. We all are. We all cope and hide and squelch.
The weekend he spent at Edgeventure turned the glimpses I had into full blown uninhibited freedom pouring out onto me in the form of selfless love and intimacy.
I am telling you, if there is a man that you love in your life. Whether it be your dad, boyfriend, uncle, co-worker, husband, cousin...send him to this weekend. I promise you (and I don't take promises lightly) that it will have a deep impact on him that will last through his life.
Here is a video with some men that have gone. Drew Jones is in it looking handsome as ever. It also includes an all star roundup of men I love. Including Chris Keels, Rusty Weir, Phil Couch and Peter DeWitt.
(if you can't see the whole screen you can also click here)
There is a weekend coming up June 4-6 near Columbus. And two more after that on the schedule in Michigan.
They fill up quickly, so if you heart is beating faster then normal and your spirit is telling you to go, or to tell a man you love that it would mean alot to you if they went...don't delay.
Yesterday Drew Jones went to Little Red (his Mom and Dad's new homestead in the country) and I hopped in our Honda and drove to Toledo to see my family.
It was a great time.
Here are the moments on this trip that I will not soon forget:
• Sitting in a little soup cafe for hours chatting easily with my Mom and sister.
• Pushing a red cart around Target with them perusing the sale racks and throwing item after item in the cart for dressing room approval.
• How my mom got tears in her eyes when she opened her personalized gift from The Vintage Pearl.
I stopped at my Dad's place before making the trip home.
• He showed me how his Oscar fish jump out of the water when he feeds them.
• We stood out on his balcony and talked about hanging baskets.
• We went out to the pond and threw the baby ducks some bread. Then were shocked as we watched the Coi fish dart at the babies and nibble their toes. The babies would jump out of the water and quickly paddle away.
Then I got in the car and drove home listening to "Two Princes" by Spin Doctors on repeat, singing at the top of my lungs.
The Student Art Show was last night at Drew Jones school. It is up to him to put it together and pull it off so I came in yesterday to lend a hand.
We labeled artwork and found places for hundreds of pieces. Drew Jones has 400 students and put two pieces of artwork per student in the show, so it was quite a job. But all worth it. The kids were so proud and happy to show their families what they had created.
And these kids are sweet. Whenever I want to feel better about myself I need to remember to make a trip to his school. They say things like "you're pretty!" and "Mr. Jones is lucky to be married to you!" I mean, are you kidding me? Little girls run up and hug you like your a Disney Princess. It's amazing.
This year we wanted to spice things up a bit, so Drew Jones did a live painting and auctioned it off to raise money for the student art fund. It was a big hit.
This kids made little totes out of burlap from coffee beans. Drew Jones taught them about Fair Trade and why it is important as well as showed a lot of students how to sew for the first time.
From the first month we moved to our current neighborhood and started frequenting the local Kroger I knew I loved it here.
People talk to you. They make contact. They smile. They say things like, "Ohhh looks like spaghetti tonight!" When they see you pulling some Prego off the shelf.
I live in a blue collar neighborhood, and I must say, it's warmer here.
A couple weeks ago I was in a more affluent neighborhood and needed to pick up some cough medicine for Drew Jones, so I stopped at the Kroger there.
No one said hello. No eye contact. No smiles or comments on what I must be doing with my items. Everyone seemed busy and rushed and annoyed. It wasn't bad, just felt a bit...bland.
It's just so real here. There is not even a speck of snobbishness going on in my Kroger. You can go there unshowered with blue plaid pajamas pants and snow boots on and people would still smile at you and kindly say "excuse me dear" when moving their cart around you in the bread aisle.
Today an old woman peered into my cart and asked, "What are you cooking up tonight?" We made small talk for awhile and she ended up sharing that she can't taste anymore because she had an aneurysm 8 years ago. "I'm blessed though" she said "most people don't make it. But I'm not worried I know where I am going. When it happened I saw my Mom, Dad and brother on a long country road, they told me is wasn't my time yet. So here I am"
She told me about her grumpy husband who doesn't like cheese and explained how her Dad was an angry drunk who called on Jesus at the very last hour of his life. She said seeing him in heaven when she almost died gives her peace.
There are only three men in my life who I say I love you to before I hang up the phone.
Saxon is my cousin. He is 4 years younger then me and from the moment I laid eyes on that little dark haired bright eyed baby I loved him.
As we grew up together I viewed him more as a little brother then a cousin. He would pull my hair, I would convince him that nickles are worth more then dimes because nickles are bigger so he would trade them with me.
At one point we went to the same elementary school. I was in 6th grade, which would make him in what...3rd? Anyway, I was an upstanding cross-walk guard and would get to leave class early with my orange sash to guard the sidewalks and make sure the little kids made it to the bus safely.
One day I got wind that there was a boy bullying Saxon. I quickly decided that I must use my cross-walk power to teach this bully a lesson.
So I left class early, adjusting my orange sash took my post and I waited for the bully outside. There I stood at the side door entrance, smiling at the teachers...nodding at the little kids. When the kid came out I made sure the coast was clear and body slammed him into a pile of leaves. I told him he better not even THINK about messing with my cousin Saxon again or else. I also explained that no one would believe him if he told on me. The kid may or may not have peed in his husky jeans.
This sort of physical threat is way out of my character. I mean can you really see me body slamming anyone? But, it was Saxon. And, like I said I love him.
Nowadays I don't think anyone would bully Saxon. He is tall and strong and could be a really successful ultimate fighter if he wanted. (Don't get any ideas Saxon...that stuff is brutal. Not Candis approved.) Saxon is also kind and personable and loving. One time he came to visit for a week when I was living at my Michigan Avenue bachelorette pad. I got up for work one day and he was still sleeping on the couch. But he had left a note on the coffee table for me. Using Post-It's he had written one letter on each Post-It to spell out "U A-R-E B-E-U-A-T-I-F-U-L!" I mean, that's the kinda little brother every girl needs.
All of this talk about my dear cousin Saxon is to let ya'll know that he is moving into the Jones' Cottage!
We have cleaned out his room and cleared out a shelf in the bathroom just for him.
We love you Saxon. We're looking forward to your arrival and your regular presence in our everyday lives :)