Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Wrap stars and collard greens.

Well. Merry Christmas, y'all. Hope it's been a grand one for everyone. You can define "grand" however you want. Relatives talking way too close, high school kids looking bored and pleading under their breaths with throaty growls to be released from familial captivity, and grandparents taking an obscene amount of photos all count as parts of a grand ol' holiday. At least that's what I think.

So. Let's just roll real random, shall we? Don't mind if I do.

First, this:

My Small Group Delta med students sent me this sweet gift from Harry and David. I was super touched when I picked the box up from my porch. I received tons of well wishes from students current and former. And that was great. It was.

Yesterday the fun started with JoLai and Poopdeck coming in from L.A. and joining us at my house on Christmas eve. I just realized that the last three Christmases have included Grandpa and Auntie JoLai on Christmas eve. The kids now look for them which is kind of awesome. I'm super glad that they were able to come especially since last year Poopdeck insisted that he wasn't coming at all. This year there were no surprises--I knew my baby sis and Dad would be right here with us.


Wrapping gifts this year was easier than it was in 2012. Most of you know that Deanna was the designated gift wrapper in our family. Her craftiness made her like an expert gunman with a roll of paper and some tape. The edges were always smooth and the tape hidden. And so. I never learned to wrap presents. Why when I had Deanna?

Man. Last year wrapping gifts involved a lot of tears. Not just for me but also for my sister-in-law Francoise. She's wrap star, too, but still. The whole process just reminded us all so much of Deanna. It was hard to do it without her.

My lumpy, fat wrapping paper was hilarious last year. And what made it even better was that JoLai was with me. We cackled at our crappily aligned edges and patchwork saves for too-small pieces of wrapping paper. Lawd. I couldn't wait to pour us some bubbly wine and do it all over again this year. I even made up my mind that we'd wrap the gifts as horribly as possible just to get a good laugh and to prove that we're a hot mess without Deanna to rescue our gifts.

Y'all! You won't believe what happened. I held up my end of the bargain, man. I had the prosecco and the silliness. I made sure to do not one thing to improve in my gift wrapping techniques to add to the experience. Yes. I did my part. But that JoLai. Guess what she did? She shows up acting all regular. And THEN wraps the first gift.

What the . . . ?

Then she does this.

Hold the phone, man. These edges were clean. Rulers were involved to smooth out bumps. Dude. This was a Deanna-level wrap job I was witnessing. 

"What the heck! What's with this legit wrapping?" 

"I decided to step my game up and learn how to wrap gifts like Deanna." 

"Say whaaaat?"


"So does this mean. . . you're the wrap star now? And that you're stepping in for Deanna?"


My eyes widened. "Aww man. Well you know what that means. Ha ha ha ha." 

JoLai did know. She pointed to the couch where I happily leaped. Because when Deanna's legit wrapping operations were underway, I was relegated to labels and that's it. So up until that time I'd just curl up on the couch watching animated Christmas cartoons and sipping bubbly. 

Woo hoo!

And so. Gifts got wrapped perfectly and kids were delighted upon waking. It was all good.

Which reminds me. I am wondering how much longer the Santa dream will last. My explanations are gaining less and less steam.

Case in point:

Isaiah's Christmas list:  1.  WiiU game console. or Xbox One game console.

"You're not going to get either of those since you just got the Wii last year."

"Yes I can. If it's number one on my list I will get it from Santa Claus."

"That's not true. Santa checks with the parents to see if it's okay."


"Yeah. Like what if a kid asks for a grand piano and they live in a studio apartment?"

"What's a studio apartment?"

"Something too small for a big ol' piano. So yeah. Santa checks with the parents to see if the gifts work in the homes. So like Moms and Dads tell Santa, 'Oh, we already have a new Wii. Don't bring another console here.'"

"Well I know a lot of kids who get another game console even though they have one already."

"That's because their moms didn't speak with the North Pole when they called."

"So you told him about the Wii?"

"Yes, sir."

Erases #1 on list and replaces it with something else. And less expensive.

5 points for Gryffyndor, dude.

Overheard today:

Zachary:  "Why are the gifts from Mom and Dad wrapped with the same paper as the ones from Santa?"

Isaiah:  "Oh that's because Santa is so busy that a lot of the presents they just leave at your house without even wrapping them. It's up to your Mom and Dad to to decide if they wanna wrap them."

Zachary:  "Oh! So the Santa gifts are getting wrapped with the Mommy and Daddy gifts?"

Isaiah:  "Yep."

Zachary:  "Okay. That makes sense."


Maybe I did or did not say that to Isaiah last year when he asked me. Mmmm hmmm.


Dinner was at my brother's home and that was great. All the cousins. Laughter. Good food. All that.

Oh! And JoLai's new beau joined us. Yes! And he fit right in when Daddy and Harry started trashtalking about basketball. And he also seems really in to my sister in the best way which is really good.


And before you think I'm a complete loser, just know that what I didn't do in wrapping I made up for in other areas. Like making collard greens and macaroni and cheese.

JoLai was happy to pay me back for my lounging the night before. She lounged around and acted silly during my collard picking expedition. And was in her second or third post-breakfast nap by the time I moved on to the mac and cheese. Mmmm hmmm.

Hey! We even had both kinds of cranberry sauce. Ha.

Ha. Writing that just made me think about the top ten post on how my people "do" Christmas. Ha ha ha. If you never read that one, check it out for a chuckle. That was when I learned that a lot of things that I attribute to black culture are just Southern things. But then again, a lot of things are uniquely bits of African-American traditions.

Mmm hmmm.  Read that one.

Yeah. So the day was good. Tounces and Poopdeck did well and had only a few fleeting sunshowers. We welcome those because it keeps Deanna as a forethought and never an afterthought.

It was a happy day. I hope yours was good, too.

 Merry Christmas to all. And to all a good night.

Peace on earth, good will toward all o'y'all.

Monday, December 23, 2013


I was sitting next to my patient on a bedside chair. We were talking about his diagnosis and what would need to happen once he left the hospital. And, mostly, it was fine. He seemed to have good insight and his questions cleaned up any parts that weren't clear.

"What other questions do you have for me?" I asked. I was preparing to leave, actually. He'd already had several questions and I admit that I expected him to shrug and tell me he had none. But instead, he just stared at me like he was thinking. Thinking of an important question. "What is it?" I finally just asked.

"Is your life happy? Are you happy?"

That's what he asked me. And it's weird because my instincts told me immediately that this question had far more to do with him than me. So instead of feeling like his question was intrusive or psychoanalytical, I saw it more as a door to a conversation.

"Why do you ask?"

This was my reply. I needed to confirm my hunch. Perhaps I was wrong, you know? Like maybe my eyes looked sad or my face unknowingly haggard. So I asked to find out.

"Because. . . .you seem. . .like you are maybe. Or like you try to be. And I wonder what that feels like. To be happy."

And what was I supposed to say to that? I just kept my eyes plastered on his and dragged in some air through my nostrils. Hard enough to pull my chest forward yet otherwise subtle.

"I know my life is good," I finally responded. "More good than anything else. So I focus on that. Mostly, I think I'm very happy."

"But what does a person do when their life is more bad than anything else?"

I didn't know that answer. So I stayed quiet.

See, his life was hard. A rough upbringing without the right kind of nurture. Financial strains, health issues and mind struggles from having his innocence robbed from him far, far too early. So now the compass was broken. His heart was confused and for his life he'd been running scared.


"I wish I could be happy. I wish I knew what that was like."

He saw my brow furrow and that excellent insight kicked in again.

"No, I don't want to die or anything. Not like that. But I just wish I wasn't always fighting so hard to just feel okay. I'd like to wake up and just feel happy inside without trying."


"Sorry to be so heavy."

"It's okay."

"Is there anything else I need before they let me go?"

"Just the nurse to come and do the discharge. Otherwise it's fine."


I hated the way the subject had changed. I didn't want to trivialize his feelings, though, by giving some peptalk about how if he'd just rah-rah-rah and sis-boom-bah that his broken pieces would suddenly float into the sky and repair themselves. Even though some part of me hoped that he would think that on his own.

Whether it was true or not.

That was the end of our conversation. It was. I wish I could tell you that some magical thing happened where a perfect, poignant word came to my mind that I shared with him. Instead I just left him alone with those thoughts. And I'm still not sure how I feel about that. Cowardly? Like I missed an opportunity? I'm not sure.


Today I am thinking of him. And I do know that I listened to him better than I would have a few years ago. With more listening comes more learning. I'm realizing that so many people share his melancholia and that for a lot of folks it isn't as simple as it looks. Not for the ones whose compasses are broken and who are running scared. And for the ones who were lucky enough to overcome all of that? I know that wasn't easy either.

My life isn't perfect. But thank God I was given a working compass to guide me to the closest thing to happy that there is.


Happy Monday.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Celebrating the B.H.E.

*Caution: Major gagworthy, nonmedical mushiness ahead. 
Proceed at your own risk. Or have a barf bag handy.

"I don’t think we ask for much 
more than we deserve
for more than we’re worth
People say we’re out of touch 
and that dreamers will always 
crash back to earth
but you plus me
still we dream

Through valley deep and darkness wide 
I’m stronger with you here at my side.
Call us foolish
Call us young
but we’ve pledged our allegiance 
no matter what comes.
You plus me is everything

Yes I believe in love
Yes I believe in love
I looked for a reason 
and you are my reason
Because when I saw you I saw the light 
I’ve been waiting for all my life
Yes I believe in us tonight

I believe in what I feel inside
I believe in this love tonight 

Yes I believe in love
Yes I believe in love
I looked for a reason and I found a reason
Because when I saw you I saw the light 
I’ve been waiting for all my life
Yes I believe in us tonight."

~ David Ryan Harris 


Man, I just love my husband. How many times do you have to hear me say this? Even I don't know that answer. I do, however, give you full permission to roll your eyes and move on to another blog, if necessary. I won't be hurt in the least; mostly because the stars in my eyes and hearts swirling around my head make it hard to notice much else.


Today is December 20. My husband, Harry, was born this day and, as far as I'm concerned, it might as well be a national holiday where they close all the banks. No. He's not famous and he doesn't have a Nobel Prize. But if they had a way to make a man famous just for being a good dude and a fancy medal in Oslo for the man who makes his family feel special then Mr. Manning would damn sure be a front runner.


Okay. So here's the thing I always make sure to say out loud. Before I met Harry, I was not--I repeat--was NOT lucky in love. It was like I always had the wrong porridge. Too hot or too cold. Or mostly no porridge at all. The ones I liked didn't like me in the kind of way that I wanted them to. And the ones that liked me just didn't do anything for me. So mostly, I spent time as a single woman. And while I can't say that I was a miserably unattached person, I would be flat out lying if I said that I didn't spend a significant portion of time longing for someone like Harry and a life like the one we now share.

No. Not the shiny, twinkly parts. The ordinary boring-on-a-weeknight parts. That's what I wanted. I remember when I was a resident in Cleveland, Ohio and one of my best friends, Jada, was living in Columbus with her husband. I visited them often and they always made me feel at home when I was there. That meant card games and dozing off on the couch. It meant picking collard greens and cracking jokes over kitchen table dinners. And you know? It was wonderful that they made me feel so welcomed. But I remember that often I'd cry for the whole drive back. I'd cry because of the sweetness of their ordinary, the tenderness of their mundane. And, you know? The many weddings I attended back then were never what got to me. It was the "pick up some eggs on the way home" and the "thanks for grabbing the dry cleaning." It was always that.

I felt the same way when they had kids. Always happy for them and others at the baby showers and baby dedications. Yet admittedly a bit melancholy after witnessing simple things like bathtime and nursing. The ordinary stuff, you know?

I suppose that's why I was cut out for marriage. I say that because the meat and the potatoes of it doesn't involve people throwing confetti or dressing in black tie. It involves chatting with a mouthful of toothpaste only to find yourself disgusted because your husband has accidentally used your toothbrush. It's taking a deep breath and acting interested in Pawn Stars or Storage Wars. And listening while your wife reads an entire blogpost out loud to you and being sure to keep an engaged look on your face.

You know what else? It's realizing that in the middle of a sucky recession that losing a few points on your credit score or even something more extreme like losing your home is not more important than things like mental, physical and emotional health. And having a great spouse is -- I swear -- like having a built in very-best-friend who happens to be your lover and co-pilot living right in the same house. And like any good co-pilot, there are just days where one has to take over for the other. And that's just fine. That's what we do.

It is.

I will never, ever take that man for granted. Not a single second of a single day. I know what it felt like to long for him and I try my best to love him with the same zeal with which I fervently prayed that he'd enter my life. I look at him and touch his face with both hands. I put my cheek against his and laugh out loud with him as often as I can. And when we disagree? It's always clean. We say our pieces and then squash it. Five minutes later it's a request for me to see what the Swamper dudes are saying on A&E. Or the Oregon Gold Rush dudes. Hmm. Or Man vs Wild. 

As Ms. Moon would say: "Ah lah."

Ah lah. The sound of ordinary bliss and not sweating the small stuff. Ah lah. The sound I made this morning when I realized that the bottoms of the biscuits were overdone and that my Christmas cards still hadn't come from Shutterfly. Ah lah.

Today is December 20, 2013. And on this day more than ever, I believe in the us called Team Manning. I'm not afraid to say it. I don't fear that he will turn out to be a mere mortal, either. Because I already know that. And fortunately, he accepts the same about me. Which is really, really cool.

Yeah, it is.

Oh. And before I forget: This song. This perfect, beautiful song that I've been obsessed with for weeks. Yes, it was shared with me by a fellow Grady doctor-friend named Francois R. The artist, David Ryan Harris, is his good friend and a pretty damn awesome singer-songwriter. Admittedly, I'd never even heard of this song or of Harris in my life. But after a simple text message sent on an ordinary weekday I became an immediate fan. I've downloaded several of David Ryan Harris' songs and haven't found one that didn't move me in my soul somehow.


So. Since I can't get this song off of my mental iPod or the B.H.E. off of my mind, I pulled together some glimpses of our ordinary yet groovy kind of love. . . .and let this treasure of a love song serve as the soundtrack.

Oh yeah. One more thing. 33. That's how old I was when we married. But now that I know what I know, I would have rather waited for him specifically than get the chance to wear a frilly dress and twirl around a fancy ballroom with the wrong person sooner. Meaning, yes. If I had to wait five more years for him versus some other dude who didn't treat me as kindly, I say give me the five years. And the ones want some parts but not the full package including my ordinary? I now know that it's better to tell them to kick rocks as SOON as POSSIBLE. So what if you have crows' feet when that special one comes along. The better to SEE you with, my dear. Hell, that's what I say about it.

Mmm hmmm.

I keep saying one more thing but having one more thing. Ah lah. Look. There's definitely not any real secret to any of it except, I think, one. Keep the slate clean. Don't allow your heart to be confused and cluttered by . . . well. . .porridge that is clearly cold. Or that is overly hot. Or better yet--let me be even more concrete about this: Don't let anyone come tipping in and out of your intimate life just because you're bored. Because that's just enough to create a blind spot that causes you to miss your BHE or BWE or BPE when they come along.

Oh, and this. Harry told a friend who was trying to figure out a relationship these wise words:

"Look, bruh. When you wake up in the morning, you pull back the curtains and you know? It's either sunshine or it's not. Then you step out on the porch and it's either warm or it's cold. It doesn't take long to figure it out. And the minute you figure it out, stop standing there waiting for it to be what it's not."

Say word.  The man doesn't say a lot. But what he says? I'm saying. It's worth listening to, for reals. Mmm hmmm.

I have rambled for the seven trillionth time about the BHE. I know, I know. But it's meant to be more than just indulgent and giddy. It's meant to be hopeful for someone who is confused by the hand they've been dealt. And a real true testimony for somebody to read that if it happened to me--the one who was always the third place setting--it can damn sure happen to anybody.

And. If you DO have someone special? Don't take that for granted. Even if you aren't a Bible reader or follower of Christian faith or any other for that matter, consider this Psalm:

Teach us to number our days,
    that we may gain a heart of wisdom.

~ Psalm 90:12

In other words, live and love like you mean it. With intention. Savor the days and people before you. Elevate them and fall asleep each night knowing that they know for certain where they stand in your heart.

And no, it doesn't have to be a full on blog post or some expensive gift or any such thing. Sometimes it's as simple as sitting quietly next to him on the sofa and smiling while he rewinds American Pickers or Diners, Dives and Drive-ins for the seven trillionth time.

Ah lah.


Happy Friday, y'all. May it be ordinary and full of the things that amalgamate to create a true happiness that you never take for granted.

Now playing . . . .this one's for you, Mr. Manning. Oh, and shout out to the production team: The Brothers Manning, Inc. They're a full service team -- complete with calypso singing and impersonations, too. Oh YEAH!

Happy Birthday 2013 from Kimberly Manning on Vimeo.

And for those who are new and/or who have nothing better to do but read random things, peep this oldie but goodie post about When Harry Met Kimberly. One of my favorites to reread--the story of the night we met. Yes, people. He had me at "Ohio." 

And one more thing. . .ha ha ha ha. .  . seriously--this clip of David Ryan Harris playing live and singing a song he wrote about the bond between a mother and her son.  *sniffle* Feeling. This. Song.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Team S.J.G.R. Thursday Huddle: Mindful Eating.

This? This right here? This is the way to manage weight. Remember: Diet is "Die" with a "T."

Get with the mindful movement--for life. Stop dieting. Start thinking. Holiday eating (and drinking) isn't so hard when we think this way.  On Tuesday, I had a juicy rib-eye. It was cooked to my preference, full of marbling, and absolutely delicious. But you know what? A lusciously, marbly rib-eye is extraordinarily fattening. That I know for certain. I still ate it, fully aware of that.

Sure did.

So dessert? No, thank you. The following day? Salad, please. I'll pass on the bread. More water than usual and plenty of fiber. And exercise, yes, but not to counter the rib-eye. Of course, not--because we KNOW that the run doesn't counter the rib-eye--the next meal does. And the next meal after that.

My point? Every meal can't be the rib-eye. But every meal doesn't have to be raw crudite either. Here's just one more reminder that balance is everything. Extreme deprivation isn't sustainable so don't bother. Awareness of what is going into your mouth is what's up.

That's all I got.

Happy Thursday.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Life in the Key of J.T.

Right there, right there, let the groove get in!
Right there, right there, are you comfortable?

~ Justin Timberlake

In my quest for work-life balance, I often strive to do some things that push beyond the everyday fun-o-meter. Not every single day. But just sometimes I do. Because I deserve it, man. I do. The kinds of things that require a little sacrifice of either time or scheduling or those things that you often say to other people "Oh man! I would have loved to have done that!"

Especially when you're somebody's mama.

And so. Several months ago I was talking on the phone to one of my Ruths named Frieda (aka Free Free) and despite our many years of friendship, a striking realization occurred during that conversation.

"I love Drake," Frieda said.

I remember it like it was yesterday. I was putting the dinner pots away and wiping down the stove. I had my wireless earbud in and my phone in my pocket so I could have full use of my hands.

"Drake who? The music artist Drake?"

"Girl, yes. Love me some Drake."

"Ick. Not even feeling him. You can have him," I replied. I was now on to filling the dishwasher and was trying not to make too much noise. Then I added, "But girlfriend, I might have to cut you if you start trying to push up on my main man Justin Timberlake."

That's when the epiphany happened. Frieda kept trying to start her reply but kept stopping on the first syllable. She was just too excited.

"Gir-! Wha-? Ju-?! Gir-!" And then she just let out a big long, "Giiiiirrrrrrrrrrrl, please. I will fight you over some JT."

And that's when the plot started. Free Free and I learned that we had more in common than just being nerdy internists with connections to Grady and two school aged children a piece. We discovered that we had the Justin Timberlake connection. Yes, baby! Which took us to a whole 'nother level of friendship.

Chile please.

Two weeks later Frieda calls me in between her patients on a week day. She's talking fast like a crazy woman and quickly saying in my voice mail that "our man" was coming to Atlanta in December. And that we were going. Period. End of story.

Now. Here's one of the things I love about being friends with Frieda. She does a good job of just stepping on out and planning to do those things that normally I'd say, "Awww! I wish I had gone to that!" She does it. Plans it. Or at least tries.  My friend and fellow Grady doctor Stacy H. is super good about things like that, too. As a matter of fact, she was the one who nudged me to buy a ticket to do the most fun thing I did in 2010.

But I digress.

So as the story goes, Frieda got the tickets and being Frieda, she didn't get us nosebleed seats. No ma'am, no sir. Free Free got us tickets on the floor, baby. VIP, no less. Close enough to rub Justin's suit and yank his tie. 

Gi-!! Wha-?! Gir-?! Yes, ma'am.

So last night, I met Frieda at Emory Hospital Midtown and she jumped into the passenger seat of my car. And the rest? All I can say is that some parental guidance should have been suggested. Me and Free Free? We took back the night, baby!

Let me get you in the mood with this. . . .

Sorry, I had to dance with that. Whew. I'm back. Had to nurse this blister on my finger from all that finger snapping. Ha ha ha.

Okay. So before we go any further, I am sure some of you are wondering what's up with the JT fascination? I mean, other than him being super talented and all? Well. It's simple. The man can dance. And he dresses well. And he's cool about the way he dances. That? That does it for me every time.

Mmmm hmmm.

Gir-! Wha-?! Jus-! Gir-!

That man moves in a way that clearly intrigues more than just me. 'Cause the VIP section y'all? It should have been called:

Bwwwaaah ha ha ha ha.

Yeah, it should have. I figured out that the people with resources to actually be able to get those tickets were all over 40. But let me tell you something: The cougars know how to TURN UP!

Ha ha ha ha.

So before all that? A delicious steak dinner at a delicious steak house walking distance from the arena. Nice and medium rare with the perfect wine pairing. Because we are grown-ass women, remember? See? There are perks to being over 40. Over 40 is the point where you actually consider buying a bottle of wine versus just asking for 8 tastes until you feel tipsy.

Oh. Y'all didn't used to do that in your twenties? Ha ha ha. My bad.

Yeah, so in full grown-mom splendor that wine meant red, red, wine. Yeah baby. I'm not sure if you knew or not but red wine is the official beverage of moms over 40 that still have kids under ten. Or at least it is when those moms have girls' night kid-free days. In moderation, of course!

Mmmm hmmmm.

Now. The older you get the lower your tolerance is, so we decided to forgo the full bottle. But that doesn't mean that we didn't fully enjoy our lush reds by the glass. You bet we did. And we were even careful not to get those creepy burgundy leprechaun teeth, too. (Why I call them leprechaun teeth I do not know.) Ha ha ha.

Bellies full complete with perfect wine pairings, we booked it out toward the arena for some J.T. time! Woooo hooooo!

Gir-! Wha-? Gir-! 

 Now, seeing as we're GROWN WOMEN and all, our VIP floor seat tickets had to be picked up in the special red carpeted trap door on the side. Mmmm hmmm. You know how WE do it. 

We got bags and shirts and all kinds of goodies. Here's our buddy from the VIP who gave us a good laugh. She said, "You two are up to no good--I can tell!"

And we told her she was absolutely correct in that assumption.

And I am serious about it being cougar town. Here's a few women we met on the way in. Everyone had left the kids at home and were having inappropriate thoughts about this former boyband member turned GROWN ASS man with gyrating hips.

Okay, and maybe some of them weren't full on cougar-age, but if two or more are, by default you all are cougars. Ha ha ha ha. And honestly? Any woman old enough to be your older sister's BFF and who has left her kids to come and see the ex lead singer of N*SYNC technically meets cougar criteria if you ask me. Plus we were all on the prowl, man. Which cougars usually are.

I mean, I'm just saying.

Oh there were a few cougar-husbands who were there taking one for the team like this guy. 


Free Free was feeling the rhythm of the pre-concert DJ from the minute we walked in. This picture doesn't capture how hard she was grooving. It put me in the perfect, perfect state of mind!

That and the AMAZING seats Frieda snagged us. OMG. Can I just say that Frieda got these tickets as a gift to me after winning a big teaching award last year? And man. What a gift it was!

More of our cougar brigade met up with us on the floor and it was ON!

Tanya and Heather (pictured above) work together. Heather is a former Grady doctor and an absolutely KICK ASS breast surgeon. But on top of that, the woman has some serious dance moves to boot. No wonder she's such a great surgeon. Ha ha ha ha. 

The DJ was so awesome that we just danced and danced. Especially me. I was out in the aisle getting my GROOVE on and waiting for Justin T. to take the stage.  I think I burned about a thousand calories in that thirty minutes!

Oh! And funniest thing EVER. Why was I dancing so hard in the aisle that the security officer had to come over to tell me to move over toward my seat?

But the really funny part was that she kind of secretly reminded me of one of Martin Lawrence's characters on the Martin show.  

Just a little bit. I mean, she was nice though! And ended up dancing a little bit with us so it was cool.

Ha ha ha ha *cough* ha ha ha ha

And then. . . . .sigh. Maaaan, them cougars went crazy when that child took the stage. I'm talking full on bananas, man. Think Beatle-mania but with the people from the carpool lane. Ha ha ha.

Gir-! What-? Gir-!

Bwaah ha ha ha. It was so much fun. And technically I think there were a lot of younger peeps there, too, but they were so far up in the nosebleed that we couldn't see them from Cougar town.


Can I just say that this dude sang his FACE off and danced his BUTT off? And he sounded just like the albums which was awesome. We sang right along on every song and the Martin-show security lady didn't even hit me with that billy club when I started dancing in the aisle again on "Bringing Sexy Back." 

Chile please.

But like all great things, this night eventually had to come to a (late) end. We had the most amazing time together. Not just because we both love Justin Timberlake but because there is just nothing like a really good time with your really good woman friends. There just isn't. 

I was also glad that I'd gone ahead and planned to allow myself this time, you know? Long before I knew it was a gift, either.  I'm especially glad for a friend like Frieda that gave me that nudge to do something a little indulgent like this. It's just so easy to keep denying yourself and coming up with excuses why you can't do things. But even something like buying some pricey tickets to a concert that you really, really want to attend are doable when it's six months in advance. You just have to decide that you deserve to go, you know?

And I have to say that Frieda teaches me how to do this more. My sister JoLai does, too, and so do my friends Stacy H. and Julie J-M. They're all planners that allow themselves and their loved ones magical experiences. The kinds that make people say, "Oh man! I would've LOVED to do that!" Except they aren't saying that because they're the ones DOING IT.


So Justin Timberlake had on his suit and tie and the cougars left it all on the floor last night. And you know what else?  We showed ol' Justin a few thangs. . . . .

Mmmm hmmmm. Yeah, we did.  (But shhhhhh, don't tell nobody.)

Happy HUMP DAY! Shout out to the daddies--Harry and Terrance--for giving the mommies a fun break and license to ILL!

Image totally jacked from Facebook! Ha!

Here's a picture of my BFF Lisa and one of her good Ruths from last weekend--she's also a mama and an internist but she carved out time to go to Chicago to see BEYONCE (!) at what I am sure was great sacrifice. So inspired by this, too. We all deserve a little fun. But when your plate is full it has to be planned. When it is, though? Man. Good times.

Students. Residents. Parents. Grown folks. Take heed! Take some time for you. To do some things that involve nothing but having fun without any excuses and that DON'T center around your children. Yeah, I said it. Fun things. Silly things. Memorable things. For YOU things.  Like hurting your left knee from attempting to "drop it like it's hot" only to learn that at this point it has to be warmed up before it can be dropped like it's hot.


Take back the night, y'all!! Woot!

Now playing on my mental iPod. . . of course. . . 

and my number one JT jam. . . .