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Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Dear Me,

A sweet blogger and instagram friend, Casey, who I had the privilege to meet  in person asked me if I would like to join her, along with a few other friends, as she writes a letter to her 16 year old self.  I was so blessed by the invitation.  Here is my letter...

Dear 16 year old Me,

Wow....this is going to be a big year for you.  You are dating the cutest boy at Covington High. You get your first car, a 1979 royal blue Toyota Corolla...aka, the Blue Hornet.  You make the homecoming court.  You get to sing the National Anthem  in the New Orleans Superdome when CHS plays for the state championship.  You get to go to your first fancy schmancy Ball in New Orleans (actually this will be your one and only so really enjoy it OK?)   You and Nick both get chosen for The Sweetheart Court for your Junior Class.    And you are going to get some news that is gonna alter the course of your life.

You are going to find out that you are pregnant.  

You are going to feel like your world has ended.  You and Nickie are gonna carry this secret for a long time on your own trying to figure things out.  There is a lot at stake....y'all know when the football scouts find out, there goes his chances for playing ball somewhere... and you can't even imagine facing your mom to tell her.  She has barely gotten over the heartbreak of your dad dying three years earlier.  And now you have to break her heart again and face the disappointment in her eyes.  You will be given advice from "friends" at school who encourage you to just end the problem and get an abortion without having to tell anyone...even a couple of teachers are going to suggest the same thing.   And in your desperation... for a fleeting second.... you even think about that possibility....that it could all just "go away".  But you know in your heart that isn't true....that it would never go away.  That you couldn't live with knowing you had ended a life to make your own life "easier".

When you and Nick finally do tell his parents and your mom, they are gonna be there for y'all. Your mom will be disappointed and she is gonna have to work through some of it but she is gonna be  there for you 100%.  Just give her a little time Ok?   She has been through a lot.  I know at 16, you can't fully realize or  grasp what all she has gone through already in her life...the hard things the Lord has called her to endure...losing the love of her life at the age of 39...dealing with two rebellious sons and one with a drug addiction...having to deal with running her own business by herself....the burden of having to make every decision all on her own... At 16 you didn't "get" that.  You won't understand and you will take it personal when she doesn't embrace shopping for baby bedding right away.  But I promise, she comes around and she becomes your best friend in life.  You will learn so much in the days ahead from her example of trusting God no matter what you are faced with.  She will always be there for you.

And listen, when word gets out that you are pregnant you are gonna feel like you are wearing a scarlet letter....and that it is gonna feel this way for the rest of your life....that you will always be thought of as that girl that Nickie Holden got pregnant.  Or that girl who messed up Nickie's  plans for a chance to play ball somewhere..  That is not true.  You eventually see how God is going to use all of this for His glory. And girl...your future is a gooood one. 

And y'all are going to decide to get married about three weeks before the baby is born.  People are gonna think that y'all have made another mistake...Nick will start back his senior year as a husband and daddy.  Don't you worry what people say.  Y'all not only make it...y'all fall more and more in love with each other with every year.    You're gonna have a little girl!  And you name her Elizabeth and she is going to change your world.  From the moment you hold her, everything you worried about...what people thought....the shame you carried...the "mistake" you made....all that is no longer important to you.  Oh, it will still be there and you will still have to deal with the consequences  but when they put your daughter in your arms, this fierce kind of love is going to overcome you that never goes away.  In fact, it only grows stronger.  

You and Nickie are going to have two more daughters and they all three are gonna make you so proud.  You are gonna love "your girls" and have so much fun with them.  Y'all will have some rough times like every parent but they are going to become your best friends when they grow are gonna do everything together and you are gonna pinch yourself on a regular basis that these amazing women are your daughters.

Another biggie I'm gonna let you in on....but I think you already know this deep down.  In spite of what every one thinks, you  really don't have a personal relationship with Jesus yet.  But He gloriously  interrupts your life when you're 26 and this is another "game changer".  Nickie gets saved and the Lord calls him to preach and ...get ready for are gonna be a pastor's wife! Crazy stuff I know.  But let me tell, the life the Lord has prepared for you is better than anything you have dreamed about.  Better than any Molly Ringwald movie you've watched.   Better than any fairytale you've read. It's goood girl.

And Nickie is gonna get this gray beard that you are gonna be crazy over. I know that is a hard one for you to believe at 16 but it is so true.  You can't quit looking at him even after being his bride for 24 years now.  And Oh...and sit down for this one... I can already hear you giggling when I tell you, but you are gonna be a MAW MAW!  Actually they are gonna call you Honey but still!!  A Maw Maw!  And sweet that is.  As of now you have three little darlings but I feel certain that's not gonna be all of them. :)

So. There you have it. You have a lot to look forward to.  A lot of it is tough when it's happening  but all of it, through God's grace, is wonderful.  Even the hard stuff.

A couple of tips though before I go....
1. Don't let Ms Dianne perm your hair the week of Homecoming.  It doesn't go well for you.  Like, your hair turns orange and you have to cut it off and dye it three different times to get it somewhat "normal".  
2. Hang on to your moms yellow glider under the porch.  You're gonna really wish you had it one day.
3. Call your brother Greg more often than you do.  Let him squeeze you with those big bear hugs of his.  Soak up the sound of his laughter and his infectious grin.  Overlook his imperfections and extend grace to him.  Your time with him isn't as long as you planned and you don't want to live with regret. Just love on him a little more.
4. Enjoy those french fries and Dr. Peppers while you can.  Sadly, your metabolism is gonna slow waaay down and you will gain weight just by looking at them.  So eat, drink and be skinny while you can.  
5. Don't think that people in their 40's are old. Cuz they are sooo not.

Yourself....twenty-five years from now.

Now remember my sweet friend Casey I mentioned?
Well go read her sweet letter now.
She has an amazing story to tell.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Friday's Letters

 Dear Ashley Parker,
  You are the big winner of The Honey Pot Giveaway!  Congratulations sweet girl.  It is fitting that you won since you and your sweet family helped me reach that 400 sales!  I appreciate you! Woo Hoo!

 Dear Nate,
  You are the cutest little boy I know.  I love you to the moon and back. Your Paw Paw and I will buy you a LSU Tiger hoodie soon so you can represent the other side of your heritage.  ;) 

Dear Alison, 
Thank you for making such cute things in your shop.  I could eat this scarf I love the colors so much!

Dear New York City,
 I'm still as in love with you as ever...trying to figure out a way back to you.

 Dear Oscar,
  Finding you this week while cleaning out the laundry room made me sad.  I can still see our Ace man carrying you around everywhere.  You were his best bud....I think it was cuz y'all were almost the same size.  We miss his tiny little self.  Sigh.

Dear Plastic Bowl that I have had for 24 years,
   Who knew all the controversy we would stir up when I shared on Instagram how good you've been to our family through the years?!  I mean, I thought everyone had a throw up bowl / popcorn bowl / brownie bowl in their family!  You are one of our most cherished family heirlooms and it was a tough call but I think the people have spoken and voted that you should be handed down to Lydia....since she threw up in you the most.

Dear Rosalyn,
  You made your Honey tickled when the word factory came up and you asked your momma what that was and she told it was a place where they make lots of stuff.  And then you said ..."Honey has a factory!"  Yep!! Your Honey kind of does!  lol.   The Honey Pot is moving on up now that is has become a factory and all!  I love you and can't wait to squeeze you soon.

Dear Back Porch,
  I will miss sitting outside on you for a month or so.  You have been taken over by hunting gear and paraphernalia.  I would be really sad about it if I didn't appreciate all the meat in the freezer that will come as a result.  See you in the spring.

Dear Natalie,
  Thank you for inviting us to your home.  I loved catching up with you and all the girls who were there.  It seems like just  yesterday y'all were all giggling and cutting up during the fun we would have at our summer bible y'all are still giggling but all grown up and married!!  Wow!  Love it! ....and y'all.

Dear Sherri,
  So glad you were there too.  We always take waaaay too long in-between visits.  I miss you and am so blessed we were able to catch up!  So...have I convinced you yet that you NEED to go to NYC?!  ;)

Dear Winn Dixie,
  Thank you for putting this on sale!  Woo Hoo.  I feel prepared to tackle the world now!

Dear Lauren,
  I'm so glad you had a wonderful birthday.  You are beautiful inside and out.  Me and your daddy could not be any prouder than we are of you.  We love you!

Dear Gabulous and the Amazing KK,
   Your birthday video for Lauren was THE HIT of the night.  I am so thankful that I am your Aunt so that when you get famous and make a bunch of money you will take your momma and me to New York City all the time!  AND your momma won't have to ride the subway cuz we'll be riding around in limousines everywhere! .   AND.....I can't wait for the concert you promised me this week while y'all are here.  

Dear favorite mug,
  I have missed you.  I keep you in the back of the cabinet until it gets cold again so it's like you are a brand new gift to me each winter.  I was tickled to death the morning I woke up and it was freezing in the house!  I knew we would be reunited that day.

Dear Nick,
  I am so glad that when the dust settles and all that is left is me and you...I'm glad it's you who I get to share the rest of my life with just the two of us. I am loving growing old with you.

Dear Blake,
  You did really good.  You did really really good.  We are so blessed you asked our daughter to marry her last night.  We couldn't ask for a better man to love and lead our daughter for the rest of her life.  I'm so thankful you are my third son who has made our family complete.   We love you and look forward to the future.

Stephanie :)


Thursday, November 15, 2012

That day our daughter had us over for dinner....

It is such a wonderful and strange feeling when you get invited over to your daughter's new home for the very first time to eat supper.  
It's wonderful because  this is what you have raised her up to be... 
a keeper of her home, with a heart for hospitality to use her home to be a blessing to others.

Yet is strange because here is your little girl all grown up.
She's no longer playing house.
This is her house.
She no longer lives with you and her daddy.
She lives here with her husband.

All of the giggling and dreaming and designing and planning that she has done through the years with her sisters has finally come to pass.  
It's no longer a dream but a reality.
And now she has invited me and her daddy over to eat a meal that she has prepared for the first time.
She is nervous and excited and proud all at the same time....wanting it all to be perfect.

And it was. Absolutely perfect.
Here is a glimpse of that night..

The beautiful hostess.
Mrs. Linton

Her happy front porch.

Her serene and cozy living room.

Mr. Linton 

 Enjoying the fellowship that night with my big brother.

About to ask the blessing and thank God for all He has done and provided.

The Meal:
Crawfish chowder,
Boiled shrimp, sausage and mushrooms
Salad and bread

She did an amazing job.
We felt so spoiled and pampered.

I'm so proud of her homemaking skills.
She has created an environment that is inviting and lovely.

There will be plenty of fellowships and meals at her house together but there is only one first time.
Mrs. Linton your first time was magical!

Yes....all this is strange and wonderful to have two of my daughters all grown up and living in their own homes and their little sister standing in line ready for her turn to become a Mrs.  
As I stood there watching Mrs. Linton in her apron, smiling and enjoying her self,
I had a full heart of gratitude.  Thankful for God allowing me the privilege of being their momma.

Stephanie :)

ps.  We've been invited to supper tonight!  Gonna be heading that way in a couple of hours.
Aghh... Life is grand.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

For Sale- My Beloved Jo Totes

***She has already sold***

It's true! I'm selling this beauty!
She is brand new and in perfect condition.
She is only 6 months old.
I paid $103 total with shipping.
I will let her go for $75 and that includes shipping her to you!
That's right at a $30 savings!

Now I know I am when I am buying something used....
(and when I say used here , I mean very gently used.)
Well, I like to see lots of pics.
Here ya go...

See...not a scuff mark on her!
Even on the bottom!

The inside is clean as can be.
And you can change up the inside and make the sizes of the openings to your likings and preferences.

I bet you are wondering why I am wanting to sell her if I love her so much huh?
Well from the get go I always wanted the exact bag but in mustard, but my daughter AND my sis in law both have that one  ... so I got the teal/turquoise  instead.
I kind of settled.  
So now I'm gonna take the plunge and get the one that makes my heart go pitter patter because I plan on having her for a looong time. :)

If you want her just let me know!  
First come first serve!
Just send me your paypal address and I'll have her on the way to her new home!!

Stephanie :)

ps.  don't forget to enter The Honey Pot giveaway!!
click {here} if you haven't already.

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