Sunday, September 14, 2014

Top Ten: Alright with me


I got a little pot in my belly
So now a days my figure ain't so fly
My dress ain't cost nothin' but seven dollars 
But I made it fly
And I'll tell ya why

But I'm clever when I bust a rhyme
I'm cleva. . . always on ya' mind
She's cleva and I really wanna grow
But why come I'm the last to know?

Alright, alright, alright
Alright, alright, alright
Alright, alright, alright
Alright, alright, alright yeah

Alright with me

~ Erykah Badu


In general, I try to focus on the positive aspects of my life. Kind of like that bible verse says--whatever things are of good report, you know? To think on those things. Or something like that. So, yeah. That's essentially what I spend the majority of my time doing and hence, that is what gets the most airplay when I write.

But.

Everyone who is alive and not delusional knows even when we put most of our energy and sharing into the thumbs-up-worthy things, we are mere humans. We are full of shortcomings and screw-ups that don't always make it to the status updates on social media. And honestly? I don't really have a major issue with that. I guess because I recognize that humans are many layered and that, of course, there's some sticky parts that may not be on display. That said, every now and then those warm fuzzies can stack up so much that you start to wonder: Damn. Am I the only one who is screwed up around here?

And to that I say, "No! You are not!"

Matter of fact, I even wrote a little top ten about it. Today I bring you:

THE TOP TEN THINGS THAT I CONSTANTLY VOW TO WORK ON OR THAT I LOOK IN THE MIRROR, POINT AT MYSELF AND SAY, "CHILE, YOU GOTS TO DO BETTER" ABOUT ON A NEAR DAILY BASIS. (NOTE: THIS LIST IS MUCH LONGER THAN TEN ITEMS--CONSIDER THIS THE "HIGHLIGHT" VERSION.)

Like to hear it? Here it go!

#10   I rush my children.

Before I even hear the wrath of the zen, know that I have read the articles, heard the experts, and highlighted the books telling me not to do this. But. I have some serious dawdlers in my house. And the later I am, the more they stop for Lego pitstops. I wish I could say that it's just a simple, "Come on, bud" and that's it. Nope. Sure, it starts there. But then it escalates. Especially now that they are older. It sounds more like:

"Dude. Legos? Now? Really? Get moving! Let's go!"

and then:

"Seriously? If you miss this bus, it's not going to be a pretty sight."

No. I never express what that non pretty sight is exactly. But it gets referred to often.

I know it's not so good to rush my children. And Monday thru Friday, I know that I do. Wait. Sunday, too, because that's when we go to church. Oh well. I got to do better on that one.

#9  I am a laundry misfit.

I do not like laundry. As a matter of fact, if I win the lottery, I will first get a personal driver (I reaaaaaally don't like driving, either) and then a personal laundry person.

Ugggh.

Sure. I DO laundry. But I procrastinate on folding things up. And then I drag my feet on putting things up. And yeah, yeah, yadda, yadda everyone in my house should be doing it and they sort of kind of do. But mostly, I'm the laundry maven. Except I'm not a maven at all when it comes to that.

Oh yeah. Did I mention? At least once per month, I forget to move something from the washer to the dryer. I come down and the soggy load has been there for over 24 hours. At which point I have to rewash the load. Which is really not even environmentally good. I know. So, yeah. I'm trying to do better on that one, too.


#8   I don't get enough sleep. Like, ever.

I had a t-shirt in medical school that read: "Sleep is for wimps."  I have no idea where it is now, but it was a foreshadowing of my future. Somehow I'm wired to do just fine on limited sleep. I know that it isn't good for my health and that I need to try to do better. For some people, exercise is their nemesis. Like they try and try to make it a habit but they just can't. That's how it is for me but instead of exercise, it's sleep.

Here's the problem. I have more than 18 hours worth of stuff I want to do each day. And so. I end up averaging about 6 hours. It's so habitual now that even when I turn in early, I still pop up six hours later. I know it's not the best thing for my health. I have to do better with that.


#7  I over schedule myself. 

Like, constantly. And yes, I am smart enough to know that there are apps and people and ways to make a schedule less prone to this. But this list isn't about things that I find mysterious. It's quite the contrary. This is yet another thing that I know a few solutions to fixing but just have never quite managed to make happen.

Wait. Where am I supposed to be right now?

#6  I love a good phone conversation. But a lot of times I don't. Like at all.

It means that sometimes my phone goes to voicemail. Have I ever told you about how I'm the world's most extroverted introvert? I haven't? Well. That's a future blog post for sure. It's super weird. Like, I love a good face-to-face conversation. And when I'm in the mood for it, nothing beats a really, really good phone conversation. But a lot of times if I'd rather hold out for the face to face time. Or--dare I admit it--have a text exchange. Yes. A text exchange.

I'm good for a textapalooza sometimes. I can't explain it. It's just another one of those ways that I'm sort of jacked up.

#5   I'm a hit or miss recycler.

It's true. When I'm good I'm very, very good. But when I'm bad? Man. I'm horrid.

#4  I snap my gum.

Badly. In fact, unless I'm alone, I almost always have to just force myself to spit it out unless I'm willing to carefully remind myself over and over and over again from the moment I put the stick in my mouth NOT TO SNAP IT. Secretly, it sort of soothes me. Except it annoys and grosses out every other person within a few feet radius. Kind of like smoking cigarettes except not so hazardous.

Unless you count the person who wants to kick your ass for snapping it near them.



#3  My kids play video games too much.

Okay. Let me first just say that I think it's pretty awesome of me that I don't allow them to touch the television or video games during the school week. We call it "media fasting" and it's just sort of the lay of the land in our home on school days. I'm also proud of the fact that my kids don't get to touch my cell phone or their dad's for games or whatever. Which makes our lives much easier.

But. And there is a but. . . .come Friday? Those kids go hog wild. It's iPad's and Nintendo and Wii games--oh my! Sure, I'll walk in every few hours and yell out, "DEAR TIME!!!" Which means DROP EVERYTHING AND READ. And, okay, they do. That said, when it comes to the American Academy of Pediatrics' recommendations on television and media rationing in our kids? Chile please.

Oh, and when they were toddlers I can't even lie--they had more than 30 minutes per day. Yup.

#2  I have more junk drawers than should be allowable by law. 

I also have a small junk cabinet that found a Candyland game in last week. Which should tell you how often I empty that thing out.

#1  I have a Target addiction. 

Well. Technically, I'm in recovery for that one. Last year I gave up Target for Lent which helped a lot. But seriously? Some folks have a bad day and go order a pizza. Or bust open a bottle of red and drink it in its entirety. Me? I go to Target. Yes I do.

There is something just so soothing about it to me. First, it's just so familiar. The bright lights and red accents lull me. The kids' section, the active wear, the all of it. I literally feel better when I leave.

Yup.

As a part of my recovery, I now go there with a list and clear intentions. This is a far cry from my previous TTRs (therapeutic Target runs) where I'd just show up and wander about aimlessly trying lipsticks on my wrist and smelling bath gels. I'm just saying--you, too, can overcome your Target addiction by just taking it one day at a time.


See? I'm all messed up really. Ha. But hey. . .aren't we all? And since misery loves company, why not share one of your jacked up things with me so that I'll feel better! Yes!

Or you could just laugh at me and not comment at all. I mean, either way, it's cool.

Here's the thing: We are all broken in one way or another. The real keys are self awareness and being alright with who you are. And me? I'm alright with me. And yes, I will keep on working toward more sleep, less junk drawers, strategic Target shopping and answering my phone. But until then, I will focus on being happy and not taking myself too seriously.

Oh yeah--the other thing is this: never miss the chance to inventory your good things, too. It's so easy to pick yourself apart, but why not make mental note of your strengths and unique gifts? Then think on those things, man. Whatever is true and of good report, man. You know?

That said, I can't resist sharing just one more. . . . .

Bonus one:

I often don't finish books. If it isn't a page turner, I often will stop after 75-100 pages. Slow starters? I never get over the hump of the slow start. And if it's a self help-ish kind of book? I just read it until I sort of get the gist of it then I stop. Terrible, right?

Now. If a book is AMAZING? I finish it. But if it's just aiight? No ma'am and no sir. I'm the chick at the book club meeting who keeps talking about the first 4 chapters but who can't comment on anything else.

Ha.

What y'all got?

****
Happy Sunday.

"Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, 
whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, 
whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; 
if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things."

~ Philippians 4:8 KJV


Now playing on my mental iPod. . . . Oh, how I LOVE the message of this song. It is so how I feel on most days.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

The shoulders of giants.



"If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants." 

~ Sir Isaac Newton


On Thursday, I had the opportunity to witness something truly inspiring. I was among the people bearing witness as a woman by the name of Valerie Montgomery-Rice, MD raised her right hand and was sworn in as the first female president of a free-standing medical school. It was amazing.




Dr. Montgomery-Rice was born and raised in Macon, Georgia. The product of public schools, a single mother, and not many resources. But she prevailed--she did. That woman went on to graduate from Georgia Tech and from there went to Harvard Medical School. Next, her path led her to Grady Hospital, where she trained as an Ob/Gyn resident with Emory. Many accomplishments followed, including a Dean position at my alma mater, Meharry, and then the Dean at Morehouse School of Medicine. I should also point out that being a female DEAN at any medical school is also a huge deal.

Let alone an underrepresented minority female. Hello?



And so. Along with the Governor and many other dignitaries, we stood to our feet and applauded her. We listened to the words of the highly accomplished people who made sure that they, too, were there for this momentous occasion. Even the President--and a past President--of our illustrious sorority, Delta Sigma Theta, were among those in attendance. Because clearly this woman is a Delta.

Obvi.

Ha ha. Anyways. It was an amazing morning that I am so, so happy I cleared my clinic schedule to attend. My good friend, med school classmate and fellow Grady doctor Yolanda W. was a key planner in all of the events. I was proud of her, too. Everything turned out perfect. And can I just say that I truly believe that  in the future I will be attending a similar event for Yolanda? I am 100% serious and you heard it here first.




Yep.

How cool was it that this took place in the Martin Luther King Chapel on the campus of Morehouse College? A historic moment in a historic place named for one of history's greats. I could feel him watching over this day. I really could.



One of my favorite moments was when the clergy encircled her in a prayer. This was definitely a unique aspect of the ceremony that I think was culturally fitting. I love that she wasn't too important to do that part. It brought tears to my eyes--truly it did.



The other special moment was when everyone stood and sang "Lift Every Voice and Sing." Those voices rang out over that building so proudly and so full! My chest swelled with every note and every word. I remembered my Zachary learning those words and couldn't wait to tell him about this moment.



I was so happy to see many of my fellow Grady doctors there. Sheryl H., Deb H., Nicole F., and Leon H. were all in the building. Sure, we all represent Emory, but I think that made it all the better. We stood in solidarity for Dr. Montgomery-Rice and gave life to her charge for our institutions to stay connected.



I was also happy to see one of my other favorite Grady doctors, Frank J. He's a Morehouse College and Morehouse School of Medicine alum--and is now on the faculty at Morehouse School of Medicine. His lovely wife is the section chief of my division at Grady and is also one of the best people I know. Oh, and did I mention? His wife, Jada J., is a Delta, too.

Obvi.

Ha ha ha.


To the students, residents, colleagues and everyone else reading this. . . . know that our accomplishments are never, ever just about us. We stand upon the shoulders of giants and, over time, we become the giants for someone else.





Congratulations, Sister President. You make us very, very proud.


"I am proud to stand beneath the shade of a tree that I did not plant." 

~ Dr. Valerie Montgomery-Rice, President, Morehouse School of Medicine

***
Happy Saturday.

Now playing on my mental iPod. . . Thought I'd share this for everyone once more. :)

Zachary's Lift Every Voice and Sing from Kimberly Manning on Vimeo.

Oh, okay. And this, too. I mean, how can I not?

Isaiah as MLK Jr from Kimberly Manning on Vimeo.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Feet of clay.




"I'm just saying, you could do better."

~ Drake


I was a few steps behind her as she climbed up the three or four stairs leading into Grady Hospital. In her hand I saw that she was carrying one of those venti sized coffee milkshake drinks complete with whipped cream and what looked like chocolate syrup on top. She wrapped her lips around the unusually large-diametered straw and slurped hard. My pace was faster than hers. It didn't take very long for me to catch up with her.

"G'morning," I said in what was likely the most mundane way ever. She pulled the straw from her mouth, nodded at me and returned the gesture.

By my estimation, she was definitely younger than me. That said, her face lacked the mischief or innocence of youth so I'd say that she was definitely "grown" and maybe even somebody's mother. Her skin was of a deep pecan color with eyes peeking from above her ample cheeks like two tiny slits. The sides of her face looked to be almost painted with this darker brown hyper pigmentation and, in that moment, the doctor in me sifted through my brain for the mechanism behind when such a thing happens when people carry lots of extra weight.

Hmmm. Acanthosis nigricans, maybe? Or even kind of like melasma or "the mask of pregnancy," I thought to myself. Except this she didn't appear to be pregnant at all. Just obese.

Very, very obese, to be clear.

example of facial acanthosis, from this source (not the person)


Even without trying I could hear her laborious breaths as I walked along side her. She was mouth breathing, yet balancing it with savoring deep swallows of what was surely a beverage well over her daily allowance of calories. Without even stopping myself, I made an unfair inventory of what I imagined to be her morning diet--some unrestricted three thousand calories, most likely. She pulled back on the straw once more, her cheeks hollowing at the sides followed by more panting.

Ugggh.

Confession: I could already feel my insides cringing, my nose metaphorically wrinkling with disdain. With each slurp, I noticed more things about her. The ill-fitting stretch pants that did little to hide the amorphous lumps that made up her buttocks and thighs, the wide feet folding over her distressed flip flops, the rippled upper arms that easily exceeded the size of my thighs--or likely even both of them.

Now she knows that she doesn't need to be drinking that. Words I mostly thought, but that I probably would have uttered to Harry under my breath had he been beside me at the time.

Just then, I caught a glimpse of the crumpled McDonald's bag in her other hand and immediately formed more unsolicited opinions about that choice as well. Judging. Disapproving. And almost--dare I say it? Disgusted to some degree. And you know? I'd be lying if I said that wasn't  true of what went on in my head. I'm also ashamed to say that such thoughts have probably entered my mind countless times before. Even though they were fleeting--seconds at most--they were there. They were.

Yeah.

It was in the morning at Grady Hospital so there were many other passersby with me. They cast their glances in her direction as she shuffled up through the lobby. I could tell that many of them had those same thoughts yet the vast majority did little if anything to mask them. And so I let myself see what was happening--around me, in me--as it related to this innocent woman. The more I watched, the more I could see them; adjectives swirling all around her, pasting themselves to her swarthy cheekbones, her gelatinous arms, her abundant abdominal folds.

Fat. Lazy. Shiftless. Disgusting. Morbid. Invisible.

Her eyes kept shifting downward and away from those she encountered. It was automatic, a part of a shield of armor that immediately formed around her in such situations. The more I watched the more I saw. Person after person grimacing their faces or even shaking their heads--right out in the open where she could see, feel, and be stung by it all.

Yes.

Of course, many of those who tsk-tsked her could stand to shed a few of their own pounds. But now she was in a different realm. She had the kind of body habitus that had crossed over into the kind that drew stares and widened eyes from little children who don't know any better and adults who should. The kind that made single seats on commercial airplanes out of the question and even seatbelt restraints in a car a gamble. So yes, she'd moved into that public spectacle kind of obesity, making her a target for all of the stares, yes. But none of the pity.

Wow.

Just that morning, I'd turned the radio station away from NPR because I was just too tired of hearing about all of these unfortunate examples of discrimination against black people making the headlines. Black boys gunned down in Missouri, the President of the free world who gets openly dissed day after day, and yet another NBA franchise owner spitting out venomous words about the fans who look like me or even having those same ideas discovered via email. Ugggh. Too much. Next my mind wandered to the op-ed pieces I've read on these same subjects, my eyes scrolling down to those nasty, racial slurs in the comment section from those internet trolls, all crouching tigers and hidden dragons in their anonymous virtual worlds.

But this? This, that I was not only seeing but even participating in, was as messed up and discriminatory as anything. And worse--none of it was even hidden from sight. Blatant, open, egregious prejudices not because of race or sexual orientation or identity. . . . but because of something universally affecting someone in every one of every group you can think of: weight.

Yep. And here I was, no less guilty than the rest of making her a pariah. Yes. That. A pariah.

Terrible.

Movies have won awards for complex tales of interracial loves fighting for familial acceptance. And, it seems, that the world has gotten or at least is getting the memo that it isn't cool to just outwardly let the world know that NO your child can't marry some black person or HELL NO you aren't interested in meeting the man your boy has fallen in love with and now calls his "soul mate." I mean, not publicly it isn't. Your job is to bury it under concerns like "cultural difficulties" or "religious beliefs" -- because everybody knows that you can't just come right on out and say, "I just don't approve because I think black people are gross and have tails" or "I'm glad to watch them, the gays, on TV but beyond that I want them no where near me and my family" And sure, okay, people still do it but when they do, the backlash is swift and mighty. Those are the ones that lead to "closed comments" on the NYTimes from all of the folks marching on Washington in those free-text boxes.

Yes.

Yet somehow with obesity it's different. Socially acceptable to shudder where others can see you or text some hurtful observation to a friend. No one is super pissed, or rather, as pissed off as they would be about such open discrimination in any other group. And even worse, with obesity, the good guys are often in cahoots with the bad guys making it all exponentially worse.

So here's what I am trying to work through: I'm trying to rage against my own machine--the imperfect human being with not nice thoughts. I am thinking of the hurt I have felt when watching the news or listening to news radio about my own people being mistreated and how important it is for me to push myself to see my own shortcomings toward others. My hope is that it will give me more empathy toward those who think negatively of me just from looking in my direction.

Whew. I just sort of need to unpack on this today. This idea that Michael Jackson had about starting with the man--or rather woman--in the mirror.

Oh. And let me be clear: I get it. Obese people were not brought here against their will on slave ships, oppressed for hundreds of years and horrifically disadvantaged historically. But I guess my point is that I don't think there needs to be a pissing contest to see who has been treated the worst. Instead, as we all fight for equality for the groups closest to our hearts, families and identities, that can't ever happen if we aren't willing to self reflect on what we are doing, feeling and thinking about the ones that aren't.

Does that even make sense?

Here's the truth:

I didn't even know that woman. I don't know her life story, her trials, her upbringing, her resources, her support, or any such thing about her. I don't. And while I think it is perfectly okay for me to want a healthier life for her (and myself, too) I know it's not okay for me to make up my mind that all of this represents laziness and self-loathing. I know as well as anyone that obesity isn't that simple and can't just be chalked up to being unmotivated. And you know? Even if it were, is it kind of me to focus just on that part without considering all of the things that may have led to that point? Hell no it isn't.

In my opinion, society graduates discrimination, you know? Like . . . for example. . . . .the most obese people have it the worst but even still those who are still heavy but haven't quite reached a pariah-status body mass index still have it tough. Surely the most effeminate gay man or the most masculine lesbian woman or the transgender individual has a harder row to hoe than the queer-ish person with a  phenotypically vanilla identity. And last, I am keenly aware that the darkest of my brothers and sisters with the most afrocentric features, particularly when combined with the most limitations on socioeconomic status, struggle more than perhaps I do with my smattering of freckles and more delicate facial features. It's just the truth. But even still, the discrimination is there and it hurts that it is.

Try compounding a few of these things together--particularly with obesity or even some mental or physical disability. Very, very obese and black. BMI over 40 and transgender. Or all of these things plus a cerebral palsy or a cognitive disability? Better yet, don't. It will only depress you.

I guess a big part of me always embracing members of, for example,  the LGBTQ community has been about this shared understanding of how it feels to be prejudged and mistreated as a group and how vital it is to us all to just be seen, man. But I wonder sometimes if part of it is just because it is socially acceptable for me to do so? I mean, I hope not. Either way, today I am working to expand my views to include more than just what is "sexy."

You know what? I'm a work in progress, man. And I'm going to work as hard as I can to "see" even more people than I ever have before. . . .but to especially keep self reflecting enough to see--and deal with--my own feet of clay in the process.

Yeah.

31 “Your Majesty looked, and there before you stood a large statue—an enormous, dazzling statue, awesome in appearance. 32 The head of the statue was made of pure gold, its chest and arms of silver, its belly and thighs of bronze, 33 its legs of iron, its feet partly of iron and partly of baked clay. 34 While you were watching, a rock was cut out, but not by human hands. It struck the statue on its feet of iron and clay and smashed them."

- Daniel 2:31-34 


***
Happy Wednesday. And I'm just saying, we can do better. Me included.

 Oh, and if you haven't seen this? Watch it and be intrigued. It's complicated, man.

                                                                    

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Images and Moments from a birthday weekend in This American Life.



Living to be another year older is something to jump about. Here are some epic pieces of the weekend commemorating my 44th birthday. Got your seatbelt fastened?

Let's go!



Knew I wanted to run a race for my 44th birthday. There is significance in that because, one, I am just glad to be here. But also I realize that Deanna was 44 when she departed. I wanted to enter that year with my heart feeling physically and emotionally strong.



There was one race that actually fell on September 7 (today) that I almost signed up to do. It was a 15K and sounded like a really high energy race. But a race on Sunday meant going to bed early on Saturday. Though I was probably better trained for the 9-ish miles of a 15K, I opted for a cool half marathon scheduled the day before. Yes, it would be 4 extra miles, but . . . I just wanted the option of a fun Saturday!

My friend Jill J. did the 5K and was gracious enough to carpool us to the expo in Peachtree City--nearly an hour south of Atlanta. Thanks Jill!



It was a downright YUCKY weather week in Atlanta--and the forecast was for thunderstorms on Saturday. Of course, we woke up to clear skies with only a few scattered clouds. That meant that those 4 additional miles would have to get sucked up whether I liked it or not.

Got to do this with my dear friend and former Grady doctor/chief resident Frieda M-J. You might remember her from our fantastically cougarific and epic Justin Timberlake concert experience.

Yeah. So you KNOW we were having an automatic good time.

Did I mention? This would be my 4th half marathon in less than a year. This was also Frieda's fourth half marathon which kind of made the whole 44 thing seem even cooler.

Enter "The Beastie Girls."



We decided that the fact that each of us being 40-something mothers of two school-aged kids and loving wives and women who take care of patients, teach learners how to take care of patients, regularly do stuff in our communities AND maintain our womanfriend friendships--yet still figure out how to carve out time to train for races makes us officially BEAST MODE.

That's when we named ourselves "The Beastie Girls."



Yup.


The Beastie Girls not only survived--we thrived, baby. No, it wasn't a personal record (PR) for either of us, but it certainly wasn't a personal worst, either. As a matter of fact, we were beast mode for the first 8 miles but with that 100% humidity (combined with my sketchy training) we majorly slowed it down for those last five. Thank goodness we did because there were lots of people getting medical attention along the way.

How funny are these split paces? Notice a bit of a trend with every two miles? That's what you call a car overheating. Ha ha ha ha ha. . .hilarious, man.



Despite our crazy splits, we made it over the finish line hand in hand and still smiling. We hydrated like crazy, listened to our bodies, and saved up enough energy to do the obligatory Kim-Manning-jump-picture.

Ha.



Some part of me wanted to ask everyone I knew to send me a jump photo on my birthday. Kind of like, "Jump if you have a beating heart and you just did something to keep it healthy!" Then I hoped it would go viral. Sort of like a jumping version of the ice bucket challenge. But better because no one would get annoyed and the real challenge would be to GET UP OFFA DAT THANG and get your heart rate up. Or make some great food choices. I'm just saying. I think it could catch on, man. With a donation to The American Heart Association, too? Maaaaan, please. That would be hot. You heard it hear first.

Ha.

The one at the very beginning of the post was an epic fail taken by a stranger who obvi wanted to see us decapitated seeing as she took no less than twelve headless jumping photos of us. Oh. Did I neglect to mention that almost always getting these shots involves asking an innocent passerby to keep taking these until finally we get one?





Um, yeah.



Speaking of which: OMG--how happy was I to receive a birthday text message this morning from my line sister Falona G. with this awesome picture attached? Her two school-aged daughters giving me an early morning Kim-Manning-jump-pic all the way from Denver, Co.!

Best. Gift. Ever.



Yeah. So the Beastie Girls beasted it out and even made a few friends along the way. The finish line included a tiara, a boa and some champagne, y'all. I ain't even lying.




Oh and the heaviest, most big-time blinged out medal I've received to date.



We are going to run the Miami Half in January together so stay tuned for our super obnoxious "Beastie Girls" #beastmode attire. Consider yourself warned.



Ha.

Now. Please don't gag when I tell you this next part.

Ha ha ha. . . . by the time we waited for the shuttles and drove the hour back to Atlanta, I was already past the time of Zachary's kick off for his football game when Frieda dropped me off. So in true Beastie Girl fashion, I literally unlocked the door, ran into my house, peeled off my running capris, threw on some clean shorts (and undies), grabbed a bottle of water and some ibuprofen and was pulling out of my garage less than 7 minutes later. Yes, you read that right. I had not showered. After a 13.1 mile run in 100% humidity.

Did I mention his game was 50 minutes away?

Talk about BEASTIE GIRL. Eeeeewwww.



But I wasn't missing my baby's game if I could help it. Nope. Plus it was sure to be hot as fish grease there any way so what difference would it make? (Don't answer that.) AND I already had on my Tucker green. Toes included, BAY-BEEEEE!



Thank goodness the BHE loves me. He didn't even rope me off as a hazardous material when I sat beside him. I got to snuggle him and everything. That man loves me.


I don't think I look too bad considering the circumstances.

Can't you tell I'm crushing on him this week? I look like a teenager scooted all next to him, don't I? I love when he's all football daddyish. Gets me every time.

Lawd.




And can I say that as sweaty and icky and gross as I felt, I knew I'd done the right thing when my son looked over his shoulder during that game and saw his mama cheering on the sidelines at the end of that second quarter. His shoulders pulled back and his three point stance was just a little more . . .three point stance-y. 

Plus he knew I was running a big race that morning and that there was a chance I couldn't get there in time. I like being the mom that does get there, though. Whenever it is possible, of course.

So since I went ahead and decided to be a Beastie Girl, it was indeed possible. And you better believe that boy came and sat down right next to his mama on the ground as soon as that game was over. Sure did.



This was when I asked Isaiah if this was his first snow cone-slushie-thingie of the day. Ha.



Still letting the Beastie Girl sit this close. This is real love, y'all.

Ha.

Oh. Have I told you of my obsession with Alex and Ani bangle bracelets? They're these awesome collectible, stackable bangles that you've probably seen around before. Or may even own already.


Anywho. My line sister Glencia (my Chicago Rock and Roll Half Marathon partner in crime) turned me on to them. I love the positive messages on them and the timelessness of how they look.


Guess what? Glen sent me this in the mail for my birthday. An elephant charm bangle from my Delta line sister. Perfect, right? Love this and am already wearing it.

Speaking of Delta girls from Tuskegee. . . . .



Next up was a date night with the BHE to celebrate the fabulous 40th birthday of Tamika W., another of my Tuskegee sorority sisters. She pledged a few years after me, but we are a close knit chapter. Tamika and I are also running buddies and she's always hugely supportive of all that I do.




Tamika was also the first person who ever agreed to put up with the very first post-race jump photo with me. Yes! The tradition started with her at the Atlanta 10-miler last year. Ha! She's a great sport, man. She has a very special place in my heart so I knew I couldn't miss her big day.

Nope.

Sure it was my birthday, too-- but what could be better than celebrating a milestone year with a good friend?


I'll tell you what. Celebrating a milestone year for a good friend with THIS man right here. Lawd. I was crushing on him so, so bad. Even more than when he was all football daddyish.

Funny sidebar:  After I un-Beastie-girled myself with a much needed shower post football game, I literally face planted. I got IN THE BED and UNDER THE COVERS. Sure did. Guess what woke me up? Our sitter pulling into our driveway! Harry was knocked out on the couch, too!

RUT ROH!

We were both TOTALLY not even CLOSE to being ready to go anywhere. Fortunately, our "sitter" was one of my awesome SG advisees, Amaka (from SG Delta.) She was so gracious and awesome. I really appreciated her looking out for us so that we could get out that night. (And get ready to get out. Ha.)


So the Gamma Tau Delta girls and many more celebrated the 40 year-old birthday girl in fine fashion. Even though my legs and hip muscles were KILLING ME, I shook a tail feather with my man and did Delta party strolls with my sorors.




So yeah, that was fun. Tamika looked amazing in her sparkly Diana Ross dress and the DJ was the same one from our wedding reception! We danced until we could barely stand any more. It was meant to be.



After a pit stop at Mardi Gras Cafe for some late night grub (bad, I know) we both passed out just seconds after showing Amaka our appreciation for giving us a wonderful date night.

Took our time and woke up late today. Hit the 11 o'clock church service as a family, heard a good word and then hustled back home. Harry nearly fainted when I told him he could watch the Falcons game in peace while we headed up to see Grandma and Auntie JoLai (who was in town this weekend--woo hoooooo!)

Did y'all know that today was also Grandparents' Day? Well, it is. So we went to Shugsie's and initially planned to just chill up there and watch the game. That is, until JoLai pulled me away so that we could go watch the Falcons vs. Saints game at Rivals on Five, the sports pub Will part-owns.




Man. Now that I fully understand football? It's SO much more fun to watch. We had an absolute blast. My other big sis Frannie braved the rain to join us, too. She and Will just celebrated their 21st wedding anniversary this week so everyone was feeling super festive. We even had the "Auntie Deanna's Lemon Drop" drink that's on the menu--named for our favorite angel.



The Atlanta Falcons/New Orleans Saints rivalry is something horrible. Oh GAWD. The trash talking is on a whole 'nother level. So this was a major nail biter that even went into overtime. . . .


Field goal! And the Falcons WIN!!



New Orleans Saints? More like the New Orleans AIN'TS today. Ha! Let the front door hit you where the dog shoulda bit you! Let the front door hit you where the good Lord split you! Take yo' beignets and BEAT IT! OUR WORK HERE IS DONE!!

 (See? Told you there is trash talking.)

And lastly, this:


This is when I was leaving to head home and JoLai was walking me to the car. She always cries when we leave each other now. Ever since Deanna left us she has. So I hug her and kiss her and then I say something really, really ridiculous so that she'll laugh.

Today that was a really, really, really bad a capella version of "Go Outside In the Rain." It did the trick.

"I thank I wanna go out-siiiiiiiiiide. . . .in the raaaaaaaain. . . . it may sound craaaaaaazy but I. . . ..think I wanna go out-siiiiiiiiide. . . . ."

Bwah ha ha ha. No sad tears after that, baby. Ha!

After that, I headed on home to find the BHE knee deep into another game. We all snuggled into the ordinary of our family evening lazy time--me on my laptop, the kids playing together, and Harry clapping at the television. . . . occasionally being interrupted by his wife pouncing on him and stealing kisses since she's crushing on him so badly these days.

It was a wonderful birthday weekend. Super exhaustingly, full and wonderful.

Glad you could join me!

***
Happy Sunday.

This one is for you, JoLai! Ha ha ha. Picture me singing this at the top of my lungs--exactly this version but 100 times louder and horrible-er. So gonna sing this every single time you get ready to leave me from now on. . . . .