Here are the boys getting hair cuts. The BHE believes in teaching boys how to become men who care about the impressions they make. That means staying groomed and neat, that is, to whatever degree is possible at this age. I love that he does that.
I don't love what plays on the televisions in there. But I do like the way Harry has taught them to look their barbers in the eye, hand them the money and shake their hands. I never go with them but on this day Harry had a conflict. The whole thing was on autopilot. Those boys knew what to do because their daddy taught them.
Isaiah's Native American project. He chose to study the Creek (Muscogee) Nation. Grandma Shug came over and literally saved the day. She had every craft material you could imagine. She even helped Isaiah make that lake by heating up glue sticks on the stove top and adding blue food coloring to them. He was so, so proud of that project. It's a blessing to have a mom (and grandmother) who has a knack for helping kids do amazing things without completely usurping the process. He was proud because HE did it. I was proud, too.
Zachary went rock wall climbing with his Jack and Jill grade group recently. Those kids were fearless. I even climbed a few times, too. It was great exercise and a lot of fun.
This is my hairstylist Sakinah and me poking fun at her crack-tacular iPhone. She dropped it over a year ago and every week I tease her about it not being replaced or fixed. It's now such a part of our routine. "I just don't care about it enough to pay all that money," she says. "And it doesn't stop anyone from calling me and begging me to fit them in." She's right about that.
Speaking of Sakinah. . .we celebrated her birthday last week. A bunch of us from the salon who have been coming to her for ten plus years. It's funny how we are all like a family in that place now. The woman beside her in the image above is Yandi, her best friend and co-owner. It's hard for me to believe that I've known these girls since they'd just finished cosmetology school and become of legal drinking age. I am so glad to know them.
I was just thinking of something. In the nearly thirteen years that Sakinah has been cutting my hair, I have never once been disappointed. Not once. In fact, I usually sleep while she snips because I trust her so much. She intuitively knows what to do. Like, when I need to be fancy or when I just want the basics. She was the one who nudged me to stop coloring and allow my grey hair to come in. And the one who helps me decide on "a little shorter" or "a little more bangs" or "a little bit messy-chic" or "just neat." Our dialogue is rarely about my hair. She just knows. That's a blessing.
Here's a picture from the Sundresses and Seersuckers party Harry's fraternity sponsors every year. It was unseasonably cool but I am a big believer in suffering for fashion. My girlfriend Akima said I looked "Gone with the Wind fabulous" on this picture. And my other girlfriend said it was "Marilyn Monroe but without the panties showing." Ha.
Zachary picked out my earrings. You can see from the prior photos that I liked them. He was the one who suggested a "whole 'nother color" with my dress. He is his father's child for sure.
I had applied some strip eyelashes all by myself. You can't all the way see them here, but it was a pop of fun for sure.
Here I am with my girls doing a "sultry squint." I am not sure how sultry we look. That's Akima with the red lip. She was pretty damn "Gone with the Wind" fab herself.
He won. But only by one point.
I had to schlep the boys with me to a recent meeting at the Medical School. They were thrilled to be there. Can't you tell?
An outfit so nice. . .I wore it twice. Ha. Um yes. This was an entirely different event.
The man next to the BHE in this photo is Shannon J. He's been Harry's best friend for what feels like ever. They went to the same high school in Cleveland, Ohio, then to the same college in Virginia, then pledged Omega Psi Phi Fraternity together in the same pledge class. If that weren't enough, they both went to the Army, both attained qualification as Rangers, and both were pretty much bad ass stand outs in every assignment they had.
At the ten year mark, Harry chose to honorably leave and join civilian life. Shannon stayed on as a career military officer. Last weekend we shot up to the Nation's capitol and celebrated Shannon as he eases into the non-military world. He has officially retired and, if you know anything about the military, this is a huge deal. That meant a party.
As for my dress repeat, for the most part, nobody at the other party was at this one. Well. Except for the one couple (also our good friends) who came to both events in Atlanta and Washington D.C. And wouldn't you know that they were the first ones I ran into when we walked in? Ha. How funny the way things like that can be.
Oh well. How can a sister not rewear an outfit dubbed as "Gone with the Wind fabulous?" I'm just saying. Besides, I did add in Michelle's funky turquoise bracelets this time around. They looked so awesome on her at our tenth anniversary party that I figured we'd just keep them in rotation.
Yup. I ain't 'shamed.
Speaking of Michelle. . . . man. It's a huge blessing to have become such close friends with the wife of my husband's very best friend. Michelle J. is an awesome confidant, a ton of fun, a superb mommy/wife role model and a person who loves my family just as much as I do. It also doesn't hurt that she's a Delta girl and a Jack and Jill mom to boot. These sorts of things don't always line up this perfectly. But this time, it did.
We had some fun Delta versus AKA banter. . . .
And what a treat--my sweet Davina (C.J.'s mommy) was there, too along with her hubby Ced.
So yeah. That weekend was super fun across the board. And despite my fab dress repeat, Michelle was definitely the belle of that ball in her ultra fierce slip dress. No question. Gone with the Wind fabulous even.
This woman is Sonya M. She reads this blog and, as a result, suggested my name as a speaker for a medical symposium at University of Tennessee Medical Center where she works. The talk went great and the audience was amazing. (The honorarium wasn't too bad, either.) I love how this blog has blurred into my professional life and has led to such great opportunities on that front. But at it's core, it's still about relationships. So meeting her was my favorite part.
Well this right here? Ultra cool. Okay, so this book is an anthology that The Annals of Internal Medicine and The American College of Physicians puts out periodically. They take some selected narratives published in the journal over a five year period and compile them in a "best of" volume. A few months ago, I received the exciting news that one of my narratives was chosen to be included in the 4th edition.
So it came in the mail on Tuesday. I quickly opened it and was surprised to find this narrative in there--a different title than the one I'd been notified about. I shrugged and assumed it was an error. And it was fine because, actually, I loved this narrative about my late colleague Ildefonso T. who'd passed away a few years back.
Imagine my shock when I perused the table of contents and found not one. . .not two. . .but THREE of my essays listed there! I'd only been notified of the one. And no other author in the book had that distinction.
Now. I will go on record saying that I do believe that I'm a good writer. I work at it and I think it has improved into something I can be proud of. And I don't mean to say that in a snotty or self important way. I just believe that we should all try to find our gifts and use them. Deanna always told me that writing and speaking and encouraging people were mine. So I believe her and try to use them and not lose them.
That said. . . .this kind of affirmation of my writing caused me to break down crying. I'm not kidding. I saw the second one and pumped my fist. But when I saw my name a third time? I just couldn't believe it. I cried and cried. Partly because I wanted to tell Deanna but mostly because I felt really happy.
That book is filled with pages and pages of brilliant writing. I mean it. To be among them is a dream come true. You can order the book here if you're interested. My mom has already read the whole book and said she could barely put it down. As soon as she gives it back to me, I'm going to read the whole thing, too. :)
My boys swimming with their godbrother, Colin while we were up in D.C. Those kids have so much fun together. As you can see, summer has officially entered the building.
Isaiah was "friend of the week" this month in school. As a part of it, the class makes a life sized picture of you and everyone writes kind affirmations about why you're a great friend around it. I love this and especially loved how happy it made my son.
I moved him to that school this year--away from the one he was formerly in with Zachary. It was hard decision. Something about this picture let me know that this was the right thing. It was.
Zachary and his sister Fiona lighting sparklers. Yes, they are still siblings.
My boys after a run with me. They wanted to do the "jump picture." This was the result.
And lastly, this. A date night with the BHE who I love more than ever.
That's all I've got for now.