Warm weather means the pools are open, families are cooking out, and, for me, it's time to start drinking more water. If you live in Atlanta, this also means the festivals are coming to town.

Atlanta loves festivals.

  • Sweet Auburn Fest
  • Dogwood Festival
  • Film Festival 365
  • Renaissance Festival
  • Sweetwater Fest
  • Virginia Highland SummerFest
And the list goes on... and on...
Happy Momma's Day
After reading this morning's Mother's-Day-themed article at the Frisky, I started thinking about how often my mother has gotten it right over the years.

I'm already losing count.

Seriously, this woman came from humble beginnings; even though she doesn't have an MBA, a Ph.D. or any other special certification, I value her opinion over the highest paid professionals any day of the week.

The sad part is how long it's taken me so long to realize the extent of her wisdom. We all go through that phase, usually as a teenager (sometimes younger), where we think we know more than our parents. We start delving into some nitty gritty courses at school, and suddenly, there's nothing mom or dad can say that we don't already know!

We blossom into experts on politics, religions, relationships, money, sex (for those of who started early), sports, the environment, and everything in-between. If you were like me at that stage, you didn't dare challenge your mother. Instead, all her advice went in one ear and right back out the other.

Some things ended up sticking, and even though I didn't always understand or agree with her stance, I had no other choice but to adhere, grin, and bear it - thank GOD I did! Had I been one of those back-talking, rebellious, disrespectful youngin's you see on TV, my life would be upside down right now, and even though I'm not thoroughly happy with said life, I don't have much to complain about.

But enough of my jabbering... here are some things I'm thanking my mother for now, that I didn't fully understand in my youth.

1). Not letting me wear makeup

As soon as I started menstruating hit my teens, I was a woman - or so I thought. Part of being a woman is wearing makeup - or so the media led me to believe. While it seemed like every other girl in school was hiding her awkward adolescent phase behind layers of glittery eyeshadow and bold lipsticks, I was stuck looking like a plain Jane. My mother wouldn't have it; the most I could wear was lip gloss, and if it had the slightest tint to it, I could only wear it around the house. A few times I tried putting makeup on once I got to school each morning, but it was too much work to wipe it off each afternoon, before I got home.

I gave up. By the time I was actually old enough to wear the stuff, I didn't want to. I still don't care for it much, even on special occasions. I've come to love my face the way it is, and Mom's voice saying "you don't need to wear makeup" still rings in my head as I get ready every day.

Meanwhile, most of the girls who started wearing makeup in grade school wouldn't dare go without it now. I guess the proverb is true: train a child up in the way she should go: and when she is old, she will not depart from it [Proverbs 22:6].

Thanks, Mom, for coyly teaching me to love my unaltered, unedited, un-airbrushed face.

2). Not letting me date

This was a rough one. Everyone dates in school, and that's no exaggeration. Even if you can't get a boyfriend/girlfriend, you're still on the look-out for one!

I couldn't even go to a school dance with a boy, unless it was in a group setting, and don't even think about going somewhere after the dance. On prom night, I even wasn't allowed to play a few late games of bowling with my friends - BOWLING! (I still think that was ridiculous, Mom). There was no dating what.so.everrr.

So, I did what any desperate, hormone-driven, budding young heroine would do: I went behind her back! She held a pretty tight leash, so there wasn't much I could do, but not being allowed to date didn't stop me from having a boyfriend. However, it did stop any relationship I had from sprouting into something serious, and in the end, I never got my heart broken, I never got attached to someone who was no good for me, I never got pregnant or caught a bad rep for my promiscuity, and I always had the utmost respect from the guys in my class (even the bad boys). To this day, I still command that respect without even trying.

On another note, I now pick my relationships very carefully. Not dating as a teen helped teach me the value of a relationship. In school, girls went from one boyfriend to the next - vice versa with the boys. Sure, you had the few token couples that stayed together through the years, but for the most part, nobody truly cherished the attachments they were forming. When I attach to someone, I mean reaaaaaally attach to them, I hold on tight!

Thanks, Mom, for showing me I can't throw people away or pass them like hand-me-downs.

3). Not letting me sleep over everyone's house

A sleepover is a serious event for a young girl, but I missed out on quite a few in my day. The ones I did attend were epic, and those memories will stay with me til' I'm old & gray, but that'll be easy since there aren't that many memories for my brain to hold on to.

I only had about 3-4 friends that my mother would let me stay with, and these girls are still some of my closest pals. Even now I stay at their apartments sometimes, and outside of a select few people, I don't like staying with anyone else - stranger danger! That's right, folks, you'll never ever ever ever catch me doing the early-morning walk of shame, in my dress and heels from last night.

Thanks, Mom, for always reminding me there's no place like my own bed.

I could definitely keep this list going, but let it be with the top three.

I know it's not Mother's Day yet, but I'll be busy tending to Mom on Sunday, so I decided to post this now.

If you're reading this, and you're able to contact you Mom, tell her you love her!

This post could also be titled "Asheville - Day Three," but I decided to dedicate it to the sinfully delicious barbecue we had at 12 Bones!

We originally rode past this lil' shack on day one, and we noticed the line was outside the door. Of course, we had to see what the hype was all about, so we worked it into our itinerary and went for lunch. As you can see, the line always stretches into the parking lot, but that's because they're only open Monday through Friday, from 11am until the kitchen is dry. That's right folks, if you want a rack of ribs on the weekend, you'll have to look elsewhere! Thank God we were in town on a Tuesday.

The ribs come in four flavors: Brown Sugar Dry Rub, Nekkid Dry Rub, Blueberry Chipotle, Cheerwine, and Strawberry Jalapeno.

 I ordered a half-rack of the Brown Sugar Baby Backs, with Collards, Mashed Sweet Potatoes, and Baked Beans... It was the first time I've had pork in years, and it was like a dream.

Make sure to check em' out if you're ever in town!

I know it's only the 3rd day of May, but it's shaping out to be a beautiful month already. I never want my lunch breaks to end!

God as my witness, I will dedicate myself to at least 3 posts a week. Even if they're just to say 'hey.'

x's & o's

© the active spirit. +