Courtney S. Barr

Welcome to My Kingdom!
Join me, the Princess, on my Royal Adventures in the Land of Writing!

Thursday, May 31, 2007


Personal discovery & reflection are dangerous. Allowing others to view those discoveries take the danger to new heights. I realized this when I posted the last entry. Every actor, author, columnist is subject to review, this blog is not exempt: I have a few special people in the world who read my entries, they have the courtesy to be honest about my thoughts, my quirkiness, my heart. Each one remarks on pieces of my entry or on the whole, some make light of my darkest fears, others see through the veil I sometimes create, and some see me differently after each word is read. It is those people who help me to keep moving forward. I thank you all for reading, for caring, for supporting this journey & for letting me be me. I hope that I return the favor.

The last entry focused on this part of me that I felt had been smothered or allowed to sink into a self created abyss. The girl who sees things in nothing, who feels cynics are the enemy and that life is not just an evolution of people but a discovery of self worth. She walks with me each day only I sometimes push her behind me, to walk in shadow.

One extraordinary husband read the last entry and just said: "that is beautiful." He told me that when I speak or write there is something so deep & beyond anything most expect of me. He loves me wholeheartedly for every fear that I expressed, for every disappointment I dredged on about, and for the fact that there is that girl inside me, a girl he has seen so many times in the past 11 years & he says the girl he sees everyday shines just as brightly as the girl that I feel I have lost. His view of me even with arguments, and disagreements has not wavered. He sees me as not just past present or future, but as me. I did not know how to respond. A smile was there in response, but I felt there was so much he could see that I often overlook & he still loves me for me that I just whispered thank you. Needless to say he very sweetly made me cry.

Another friend read the entry and saw so much of who I am as well. Saw that I am someone who struggles internally. That I work hard to just make it, but have allowed a lack of discipline when working at who I WANT to be. He mentioned that we should "be who we want to be and be willing to pay the price." that statement hit me like a brick in the face. I realized that the fleeting glimpses of that girl, the memories of who she is & will forever be showed points in my life where I had temporarily paid the price. Allowed everything else around me to dissipate & just let her be, let her thrive in reality while still holding on to her alternate world, I made a sacrifice to have her here. Most would tell me that holding on to that world is unhealthy. But no, its not. We need that escape into our true selves, that vision of what we want helps us to move forward, to continue the journey. This same friend enlightened me to the fact that he struggles as well; that finding his own peace & balance can be just as difficult. He stated that the process is the prize. He is right. the glimpses along the way of who I want to be bring a notable euphoria unlike any other. That euphoria is what we all search for. The ability to truly enjoy each moment brought to life, even enjoy the moments where sorrow envelopes us, there should still be that glimmer; that fleeting second of learning, of truth. If not just for that fact that we are able to LIVE in that moment. We work to create a lasting impression in our minds & of those around us. That moment is worth it. The search, the persons we discover within our self are worth it. This friend mentioned a noted philospher who "congratulates any person who pursues self while chastising us for thinking we may reach it." That concept made me laugh. I understand that outlook and love being able to think that I am that one who can reach the outcome. Even when I know that if I truly reached my ideal self, I would still be dissatisfied, I would still find fault, there in lies the fact that we are not meant to reach that point, but to partake in this journey of self discovery, improvement & even failures. Again, it is the journey & process that is the prize. I thank him for his view, not only for the surprising revelation that he struggles, humbling me in that there are so many others out there that are searching, no matter how perfect or above the norm their lives are seen. Perception is so deceiving, if we don't take the time to consider each story ourselves, how can we expect them to return the favor? I found that he does not partake in knowing a great deal of things just to know them, that he is not like some people who want to learn all they can about life or any subject just to feel entitled or superior; he educates himself because he too is searching. He too wants to find peace, balance & as he mentioned discipline. I have great faith that he will see glimpses of the person he strives to be, because I have had the pleasure to have seen him already...

Another friend merely read the entry laughed & said: "you always were so wordy. you don't write enough, I remember the stories you used to write for all of us, they were so beyond your years, it was astounding. Teachers were amazed at what you could do, we all know you have it in you, just have more faith in yourself. Don't give up on that. Let that be part of your journey." She is right. She nailed it on the Faith aspect. Maybe I found the next step or at least some sign of direction...

Monday, May 28, 2007

Working on the list... "the girl with the nice view of the world"

I wandered this weekend into my mind. Stopping to dredge up memories, ideas, dreams that I seem to have placed in little holes, crevices & niches of my mind's eye. I found that there were numerous areas shoved in between expansive blank & dull landscapes. It seems as though I have allowed a large percentage of myself to become flat. Those areas that I chose to visit have curves, hills, sharp edges, steep declines, impressive degrees of color & activity, yet they are outnumbered & so small by comparison of the flat areas. The flat appears to be what I have let myself become: almost devoid of the imagination & creativity that I used to proudly display to all who were around. Visiting the flat areas made me angry. This is what I let happen. This is what I gave that part of me up for? Flat, robotic, tired, mentally strung because I forgot how to bring her in and let myself find that creative outlet, to let my heart & mind breathe. Stupid, I know.

I mentioned in an entry before that one of the top things to do this summer is to discover the girl in me who used to have a nice view of the world. Well to do that I have to take a look at where I left her, why I left her, and why I want to find her.

Well I left her nowhere in particular, I found she is hidden in every sliver, every canyon, every incline or decline of space negative & positive, every color & activity that is left around, above & beside the flat areas. It is almost like she is afraid to walk that flat expanse. She sees it as a threat, a possibility that she may lose something so precious if she steps onto that dull area. For her there is no blade sharper or more dangerous than bleakness. Well I left her due to what I cowardly called necessity. I convinced myself that she was something that had to be left in order to progress or should only be brought out for the most technical & clinical uses, how stupid was I? Believing that she could not fit in with the flat areas, creating her fear because of my insecurities, pushing her away. Never truly being ashamed, but felt that she was not ready or mature enough for the new areas; again, how stupid was I? I did not have the confidence in that version of me to be able to stand out amongst this new set of peers. People who have not known me my whole life, people who have not known my family, people who have not overlooked the flaws due to knowing me for so long from the beginning to present. These new people would have fresh, harsh opinions, based solely on the products/images I create or just on the outward me. No longer would I have that net of cushioning. I did not have faith in my abilities or even in the search to develop those abilities. How sad I made her; now I began to understand this inward depression that has been taking over me for the last year. She was so excited & bubbly before the wedding, because I let her out. I opened myself back up to that creative outlook that imaginative creature that has been with me since birth. She was there when I would sit in a wheelbarrow outside my bedroom window with a book of Shakespeare or Byron or Dickinson when society says R.L. Stine or Bloom or Alcott should have been my only reading option due to my young age. Oh, Stine was there, to thrill & scare, to get my adrenaline pumping and to begin to respect 'young adult' reading while I was already enjoying the thrills 'adult' literature. Alcott was there, she actually helped this part of me, she made me understand so many of life's complexities with the written word, Alcott made me want to be a writer. Shakespeare & Byron taught me the tragedies of love, of greed, & of want at such a young age. I acted out each with more passion & conviction than I ever should have possessed. I never was prejudiced against any author, playwright, poet, wordsmith of any kind; they all possessed what I worshipped: a separate world, a different view, an escape. Sure I played with the usual toys, only my Barbie's story lines were a bit complex. My outdoor swingset was not just metal, it was stones that protected some precious land that I had been chosen by destiny to save or it was a castle where murder, mystery, & cunning evolved.
This other part of me helped in creating villages & towns in my mind as I sat beneath a huge pecan tree with just a piece of paper, pencils, and a pillow. She made me want to see a picture of something simple like a flower & analyze the complexity of color & hue. As I got older she helped me have the courage to draw things so detailed, to choose subjects way beyond my talents but still to try. She helped me narrate stories about those I loved, those I dreamed of and those I still don't know where they came from. She gave me passion for life. She made me TRULY believe the fairytales: both dark & light. Belief. Hope. Passion. Sensitivity. She envelopes those attributes & brings them full circle on a dull day. She is what had helped me to escape the bleakness, and here I went and let the bleakness smother her. I want her back to bring 'balance back to the force.' Seriously the energy that I found when I took time for her, gave me peace, made me like the world, made me look at things less cynically. I find that cynic is not a vocabulary word that I like. I appreciate its descriptive nature, but on the whole, I don't like it anywhere near a description of myself. Now that I discovered all this...the next steps will be intimidating like never before. Its time I brought her back, let her voice be heard. Scary. She has been silent or at least softspoken for quite sometime now, I hope she has the strength to have the faith.

During this 'travel' I am discovering that I have let myself do things that take away from her gifts. I have always been told that you must practice your abilities & surround yourself with things that explore them not diminish. I am solely at fault for allowing the outside to corrupt rather than inspire. The flat areas that are here should not be areas to fear but areas to invade. I don't want to fear the bleakness, but mold it, utilize it for the strengths that it possesses. For I have found that in all the terrifying pieces of flat area there can be a calmness, a reserve when she needs one, a brief respite that does not pressure her, but provides a new canvas. THIS part of the bleakness should be welcomed, the flaky, thin bleakness that at a moment's notice can be molded into a hill, a valley or a rushing river searching for the spillway into the expansive ocean where thoughts mingle & meld. It discovers depths, shallows, currents, & calmness with a ferocious growl that smoothes out into another river only to start all over. This journey will not be a quick one, one decision will not bring her back or help me expand her truths immediately, but EACH decision will bring her inches forward, no, yards forward from where she has sat docile & waiting for me to wake up. Maybe this time, her voice will be loud & strong when strength is needed & soft and caressing when desired. No matter what she says, it is always worth listening to the most precious part of my soul.

Thursday, May 24, 2007


Having company is always fun for me. I LOVE being the hostess. Making sure the guest room is clean & put together, that the bathroom has all the amenities & more than a hotel would every supply, seeing someone you may not have seen in a while, yes being the hostess is fun. But for every hostess there are the following possible bumps in the road: entertainment & food. Setting up a stage in your living room to allow your husband to tell jokes or your dog walk on its hind legs is not exactly the best idea, but given your audience it might work for you :). No, for the regular working-day-person scale that idea is just too cheesy. But providing options for your guests when they don't have a set agenda is not, in my opinion, cheesy at all. Recently we have been rampant with company. Most of it spur of the moment which is equivalent to not having a lot of made plans or options. Now if you know me well, even the simplest of plans makes me happy, I love spontaneity, but even with spontaneity there is a little bit of planning. Be it after you 'up & decide to _____________' because once you make the decision to do whatever, you then plan how, when, where or why. So with this current mass visitation that we have had I have found myself so tired that entertainment has definitely slipped purely to TIVO. Marcus & I aren't the only people who miss television shows & would love to see them even while out of town, so TIVO can become a great friend. If you know a show that your guest religiously watches, TIVO it. Have it there, when they come in late & don't want to sleep yet, but you need to & they have nothing else to watch or do, suggest the recording. Maybe a bit too modern for some, but if I were the guest, I would definitely be excited & appreciative.
As for the food aspect of the hostess worries, well that can be tricky. You should always have water. Loads of people like sodas, but if it is someone who is new to visiting you may not know their favorite sodas or have been unable to find out prior to arrival. Water is a great stand in. Some people hate plain water, so the new craze of flavor packets has become an important part of my guest arsenal. Just this week with my sister, she discovered a new flavor that she has never seen in DC at my house. (I ended up sending all my current packets back to DC with her yesterday.) Also, snacks, just random things: cheese, grapes, strawberries, crackers, chex mix, & some chocolate. Nothing too heavy, just hand held basics that most people can eat (some people with allergies do have issues but you should pay close attention to those with allergies so that on their possible return you will remember what NOT to have in the house). As for meals, those I actually plan a little as the visit goes on. if someone has not been to the area before, I always like to take them to a great local place, if they are return visitors they may have a favorites, plus schedules on vacations or business trips can rapidly change so being flexible is the most important attribute a hostess can have.
Lastly, there is the issue of children. We don't have any so most people expect us to have nothing for them. WRONG! We always keep a small assortment of male&female toys, as well as (You all know we are DISNEY fanatics) kids movies. As for entertainment, see the first two sentences of this paragraph; food - popsicles are the only additive we put with the list of snacks from above. Though the allergy area is twice as important. Finding out from the parent or guardian is so important!
Anyway, this installment is a bit different but it has been on my mind since last Friday. I hope any of your visitations go pleasantly and that most importantly you as the hostess, friend or family member take the time to enjoy your guests. Make sure that even though that dinner needs & will be cooked, that you invite them in the kitchen to talk or wander out by the grill, don't just hole up and 'work'. They came to see YOU as well as take some time away from their own home, you never know how often they may get to come again.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Photos of Wild Weekends...

Few pics from the Charlie Daniels & Marshall Tucker Band concert May 18, 2007
Marcus being Sweet!!
Eric & Mindy
Charlie Daniels

Monday, May 21, 2007

Wild Weekends...

Well Monday Morning is here. I have had 4.5 hours of sleep last night. I woke up groggy & tired.... wait a minute... I am ahead of myself here... let me recap.

It's Friday evening at 5:30 p.m. the phone rings & Marcus informs me that his work balanced out and he will make it on time to pick me up for the concert in Birmingham with Eric & Mindy. With a smile, I quickly change into a more appropriate 'country' dress for the evening. He swings in and off we go heading to exit 97 to pick up the duo. As we all pile into my car and get on the road the discussion is loose & optimistic to the evenings activities.

We arrive at the ampitheater and find that it will be a beautiful night for an outdoor concert. The opening act "the Outlaws" are playing as we sit down, the men with their beers & us girls just watching the scenery. We quickly notice that the scenery is overcome with figure hugging black tank tops & black hotpant style shorts on some beautiful young girls. It appears that Hooters is a big sponsor for these events. Mindy & I realize they are giving out free paraphernalia, now given we are girls, we like 'stuff' it is easy to assume we want some. They appear to be giving out bead necklace and those glow in the dark neon-scary-weird-flourescent bands that can be a crown, necklace, bracelet, etc. all in one. Now mind you their presence has not been overlooked by Marcus & Eric, though I must say no oggling or any thing like that occurred. With our desire for the free stuff we send Eric to get us whatever they have, yes you read correctly WE SENT ERIC TO CHASE DOWN A HOOTERS GIRL. Crazy, I know, my husband immediately wondered how he got jipped on that transaction (simple, Eric is tall enough to step OVER rows - Marcus isn't therefore, Eric could possibly reach one more quickly & easily :) ). We watched him approach an attractive Brunette. She hands over the items, we notice she speaks to him, it does not appear to just be a "have a good time, your welcome" thing more like a mini-conversation if you will. He returns with our bands & beads laughing.

Mindy & I begin to transform ourselves into super heroes (i.e. the glow in the dark is on our wrists much like She-Ra's wrist protectors). Anyway, the Brunette. When asked by Eric "May I have four of the glow in the dark necklaces? her response: "What do I get?" Well the armbands immediately do not protect the universe they now are to be used to thwart off and disspell all Hooters Girls!!! MINDY & COURTNEY UNITE!!!!

The evening progresses and the concert is very nice - give or take the following: Mindy & I enjoy 'yard' margaritas & daiquiris in huge plastic cup-things, Guy directly beside Marcus scream WOO HOO every 25 seconds (no exaggeration, he did it 136 times within 2 songs!!!!), 3 rows below us a group got busted for drugs, & the WOO HOO guy stepped away from his buddy to go to the bathroom... he never came back.

So what do you do after a concert??? WAFFLE HOUSE. I know, I know, sometimes they are really gross, though for some reason you cannot deny the food is normally very good. (might kill you, but you smile while it does). So here we are looking for a Waffle House that is a bit away from the concert area so that we can actually get in and eat. Mindy & I are still rigged out in our 'Hooters' necklaces & "She-Ra"-esque arm bands. The boys are STARVING!! Amid good conversation and good food we dine. We head home afterwards and truly had an enjoyable evening, not that I expected any less.

Saturday morning, we wake up, the young woman who cleans our house arrives & begins to clean. She does an amazing job. We only have her come every couple of weeks, but it sure does help out during the in between times. She deep cleans so that I can scratch the surface during the week or so I can focus on other household chores during the weeks. We are moving around well Saturday, late showers taken after working outside, we have a reception to go to in town for a sweet girl that works for Marcus. We need a gift though, so I pull up her registries, find she has one at Dillards & now Dillards is on the agenda. Though I must say that there is one other hitch: the night before Rob had called Marcus and told us that Regan had her first dance recital in Calera on Saturday and could we come. Well Marcus told him we were so sorry, we had already committed to the reception; we wish we would have known sooner. With that now said, I stated "why don't we go up to Bham AFTER the reception & meet Rob, Regina, Regan & Riley for dinner after the reception. We agree that would be nice, so now we have a full night's agenda.
The reception goes wonderfully. Everything was perfect for Ashley & Matthew. So afterwards we head to Birmingham. Now mind you we are heading up there at about 7:20 p.m. We get to Calera at 8:30. EVERYONE is there: The Terrys, MaryAnn, James & Kristen. Wow, they have thankfully already eaten, we would have been mortified had they had to wait on us. We order, join the conversations & then head off for ice cream. Marcus invites his niece (Kristen) to spend the night (she is 13 - a lot of fun and the daughter of divorced parents. She definitely gets the shaft every now & then). So we take her to the house & play the Wii until 2:30 in the morning. FUN & CRAZY I know.

Sunday arrives and we expect laziness, Shrek the Third & getting Kristen back to her grandparents & dad. Well.... not so much in "spur of the moment Barr-land". While we are cleaing up the basement we get a phone call around 9 a.m. it is my dad. "have you spoken to your sister?" he asks. My quick no turns into a question "why, what's up?" (BACKGROUND INFO: My sister's husband's company is closing its doors & he has until around the middle of July, they found all this out on the 14th. So he is trying very hard to find a position that is not only worth their while, but quickly. I have sent resumes out to a slew of people & he, of course, is working very hard. While they live in D.C. relocation is at the forefront. We would LOVE to have them in the Southeast again, so of course we are trying to find some interviews in Georgia, Alabama, & Florida. Also on his side of the family an Aunt passed away on Thursday - the Aunt lived outside of Smith Station, Ala.)
Okay, my question came with a response of: " well, I guess you don't know that Nina & Keith will be spending the night with you tonight."-Dad
"Umm NO I did not know that, what happened, did they decide to go ahead and have the funeral?"-Me
"Yep, viewing on Monday, funeral on Tuesday. Nina will fly back to DC on Wed., Anna's (my niece's) birthday is Thursday. Keith does not have a return flight yet, he is trying to get as many interviews as possible while he is down." -Dad
"okay, sounds good, I will give her a call now." - Me

The phone calls flow quickly between me, my sister, my parents (they are of course driving up so they can see Nina & Keith for a few hours), my brother Jeremy (sunday was his birthday), Eric (he & Mindy would be in the area that evening & love to see Nina & Keith once they fly in and get to my house) & MaryAnn (we have to get Kristen back to Camden -Marcus is to meet Mary Ann in Brent to do so). Needless to say, I then quickly switch to make-sure-the-guest-room-is-ready-for-guest-mode. We get the room straightened up, we take Kristen to see Shrek the Third, run by the grocery store, order Dreamland ribs, get home, & sit for about 20 seconds. Marcus leaves to take Kristen, my parents arrive & mom & I start working on side dishes for supper. WHEW!!!

The night wears on & Marcus returns, Nina & Keith arrive, Eric, Mindy, & Hannah (Mindy's little girl) arrive, we eat and talk. The night is actually quite nice. We enjoyed getting to see everyone, I hate that Jeremy & Leann did not drive up as well, but maybe they will sometime soon. Everyone extra leaves late & Keith/Marcus went on to bed. Nina & myself sit up talk, go through my closets for clothes for her, look at some magazines, drank a few martinis, & then went to sleep.

Well that was my weekend.... we will have to see what the upcoming days have scheduled.... you just never know!!

Friday, May 18, 2007

Well, there appears to be a weekend on the horizon....


I am so glad it is Friday. You hate to wish your days away, but by george I love the weekends!!!

This weekend should be a barrel of fun. tonight we head to the ampitheater in Birmingham to see the Marshall Tucker Band & Charlie Daniels in concert. Eric & Mindy are going, it is pretty much his birthday weekend/gift/extravaganza. I cannot wait. I have not been to a concert in quite a while and considering the classics of Southern Rock this one should be good.

Tomorrow we have a wedding reception in Tuscaloosa. A girl Marcus works with Ashley Cole is having a temple marriage in Birmingham and a reception at her home in Tuscaloosa. She is such sweetheart & I know everything will be beautiful. My friend Tracy would love to see it: Ashley's color is purple. :)

Sunday we plan to go see Shrek 3. YIPPEE!!! I really have enjoyed the Shrek franchise and I hope that it is as good as the second one was.

This week has been a pretty good week. I had some weird muscle spasm in my right shoulder, I figure since I just restarted focusing on my pilates it probably pulled a muscle that has been in hibernation :). It did allow the excuse for a massage yesterday evening. Though today it is not nearly in as much pain, the masseuse warned me that the muscles around the sore area would be sore today due to stretching the injured area out. She was right. base of the neck is tender & sore now, but the spot I went for is fine and I have not had a headache today so YIPPEEE!! Marcus claims: You are broken, where do I return you!! He is so silly.

I will definitely have to put bi weekly massage on my upcoming summer wish list. I have decided to create a wish list for the summer. Some things to accomplish, some items I would love to buy, some activities I want to do. Here is a rundown of the things I have come up with so far: (these are in no order of importance)

20. Put more emphasis on my pilates.
19. Work on adjusting to the new discovery of hypoglycemia & making sure I eat like I am supposed to.
18. Read 25 books. Focusing on 5 genres: Romance, Mystery, History, Youth, Region.
17. Volunteer somewhere: currently I plan to volunteer at Literacy Plus to help teach someone to read.
16. Explore a new store, that I normally pass thinking there would be nothing for me in it. One that I have never been to, either in Ttown, Vance, Northport, or Birmingham.
15. Really focus on taking care of my flower beds. I have worked so hard & spent a great deal of money to enjoy these flowers, and they have bloomed beautifully, I owe it to them to make sure they are happy & bright.
14. Spend as much QUALITY time with Marcus that I can. I read yesterday on a blog that one woman only sees her husband a few times a week due to his demanding job, but she makes sure that the few hours she spends are of the best quality. They work hard to not fight or if they fight make sure it isn't something stupid or silly. She stated that quantity of time is great, but nothing beats good quality time with her husband & family.
13. Spend some lazy days around a pool or waterpark & get a good natural tan.
12. Visit mom & dad and just relax, enjoying their company. No rushing to weddings, or events, just being home.
11. Grab dinner with someone I have not seen in a while or never get to.
10. Beach VACATION with the fam!!
9. Bi- weekly Massage & pedicure!
8. Get a new purse, surprisingly I have not purchased one in a while, I know faint, I almost did. I would really like to get a new Coach or something substantial.
7. Become an even worse magazine junkie :)
6. Spend a lot of time with Bubbles, just let her be her and be near her.
5. Help out a loved one any way that I can...
4. Work on the basement, the yard, and everything in between in the house.
3. Watch a bunch of movies at the theater. Nothing beats the big screen.
2. Find my sanctuary again - remember the girl who used to paint, draw, & take photographs. I gotta find her again, her view on the world was very nice.
1. Cook something new as often as I can.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Hot & Dry...

Hot & Dry... sounds like some weird Chinese soup or something. But it really describes how the Spring is acting this year. I mean Missouri is getting flooded, wildfires in Cali & Georgia, Alabama = Hot & Dry. So of the options ours isn't so bad, but geez my flower beds are thirsty!! We water them every day, but that does not really substitute for natural rain. Funny how things like that are. I mean I prefer real flavorings over artificial in my cooking; it just tastes better, though the item does still taste good the substitute does not make it perfect. My flowers still survive with the water hose, but there is something about rain water that really makes them flourish. But on the other hand, the swimming pools are very inviting and it almost makes you relax due to the heat makes you faint if you work too hard!! I may have found the silver lining :)

I am so excited about Summer! Don't exactly know why, it is not like I get a huge vacation or something, I am just excited. Lots of Summer movies to see, swimming to do, I just love Summer! Silly I know. Maybe we will go see Shrek 3 this weekend, looks cute. Also we are thinking about getting season passes to Alabama Adventure. We don't have a pool nearby, (the country club in our area is new & only has the golf course & club house so far - wish they would hurry up with tennis courts & pools) and we are about 18 minutes from the water park so we figure we could use it as our pool!!! Not a bad idea, huh?

I will have to go the website today and look at the pricing, think they are having a sale or something...hmmm.

Anyway, I plan to post some photos of my flowers that I have worked so diligently with, I figure if they die due to lack of rain, at least they are preserved in photos. :)

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

A week later....

Well here I am. One week after Bear's passing. We are making it. Bubbles is slowly beginning to go back to normal. Her tail started wagging on Saturday & she is ALMOST sleeping through the night. She misses him terribly. It is heartbreaking. She is definitely lost at times without him. We catch ourselves saying his name when dinner time comes around. Marcus is doing well, much better than I expected.

Thankfully God took him at a week where we had so much going on that it helped with the pain. God definitely knows timing.

Thursday I had to go to Birmingham for a huge Cookoff that the National Chicken Council was hosting. My company was one of the main supporters and we had some serious work ahead of us with Media & the contestants. Food Network filmed the event and my small claim to fame should show myself on television when it airs this July or August. Thursday night I had dinner plans free and called an old friend, Jamie, up to meet to eat. She is doing very well in Birmingham and I was so glad to have been able to catch up with her. We are so close geographically yet don't see each other hardly at all. After dinner she dropped me off at my hotel & I met some coworkers for drinks. Boy did we go out for drinks! It was a lot of fun, I even ran into two people from high school that I have not seen in a while. Rolling into my hotel room at almost 2 a.m. wasn't the brightest of choices considering my wake up call was for 5:30 a.m., but hey you just roll with it when you are having fun.

Friday's events were so much fun, hectic, and tiring all at the same time. The contestants were so nervous and excited. 51 from all states and DC. Cooking chicken to win $100,000.00. the second largest purse (Pilsbury is the largest with $200,000.00) and I cannot blame them for being ecstatic about the possibility of one dish to win that much money. Everything went well. I seriously got to be on camera quite a bit (unless editing comes into play) it was nerve racking but actually quite fun.

Friday evening I came home and at first wanted to crash, but had a second wind and wanted to head out! We went to dinner, had a few cocktails to soothe my nerves and then headed home where I DID crash :)

Saturday was blissfully boring & relaxing. Marcus had taken Friday off and done all the yard work so we watched movies did some laundry and just chilled. Bubbles played outside, we just relaxed, enjoyed the beautiful weather. (hot, but pretty :) )

Now on Sunday, well, it was fun. Eric called me at like 8 am waking me up and telling me him & Mindy wondered whether or not we could get together. Well of course we could! I cooked some of my famous chicken fingers & vegetables, we watched a DVD then got up and saw SpiderMan 3! Busy SUNDAY!!! at 11 pm we crashed. Busy weekend.

Well that is more of a rundown of days rather than a normal blog, but oh well! Anyway, hope everyone out there is good, enjoying Spring and just relaxing every now & then!

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Defining Moments....

Well yesterday was one of the most heart breaking, gut wrenching days so far in my life. I got home around 6 p.m. and found our Bear Bear. He had passed quietly and without pain while we were at work. Laying in his favorite spot in the living room. I have never known such pain. I have lost pets before but always I was young, my parents were the ones to tend to their little bodies and I just dealt with the pain. This time, I sat beside a loved one and petted him for the last time. As I cried I knew it was better this way, that God had granted my prayers, he had listened. Bear felt no pain, we did not have to choose, and he went out with flying colors. This past weekend he knew, he acted like he hasn't in a month. He got on the couch, he played hide & go seek for the last time, he barked, he ran around outside, ate jello in bed (along with some smores) and he gave me 'hugs' (sometimes when I would sit in a chair he would come over stand there and just push his head against my stomach and lay it there, we called them 'Bear hugs'.) He had not been so active so 'normal' in weeks. Marcus & I had just discussed Sunday night how great his weekend had been & that we really did not want to have to think about making a decision. God really heard us. We did the right thing. For that I have peace, but it will take so long to not cry when I see a photo or when I don't hear those clod hopping big feet running through the house. We drove last night to Camden and buried Bear beside Biscuit. It was his last ride. He LOVED to go for a ride. He is home.

Tracy posted the most wonderful words on this blog when I first posted of his illness..."Just remember that he had a great life with AMAZING "parents" and that he'll be waiting for you up there just like he was waiting for you everyday when you came home, ready to play and love you" Those words have comforted me since I read them. I memorized them and just think that the truth in them is so perfect. I hope we were amazing parents, but I know he is waiting, loving, and playing.
We now are 3. Bubbles made me cry this morning when we got back to our house in Tuscaloosa. She stood and stared at the living room and then just curled up right where I found Bear. It broke my heart. She got up a little while later and I noticed she went from room to room. Her baby brother is gone and I know she grieves as we do. Please pray for us. Marcus loves that dog more than anything. To see him hurt is so hard for me. I know it will take time, but the silence in the house is not comforting, it is disturbing, knowing my protector is no longer here hurts so badly. I pray that God will help me find peace and I do believe dogs go to heaven, they are so perfect, they do not judge us, they love us no matter what we do, even in anger they hesitate, but in love they are full force. If only we could some times find that part of the animal instinct. That unrelentless protection, love, and understanding.

Marcus spoke on the long drive to Camden last night about defining moments. When I gave Bear to him 8 1/2 years ago for his birthday it was a defining moment: he was old enough to love Bear as more than a pet and to want the responsibility. Yesterday was another defining moment: Taking that 'child' and accepting that he is in a better place is much harder than the first responsibility, but both must be done...