Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Yikes. I'm Kinda Supposed to Be the Grown Up Now?

It didn't really hit me until we were pulling into the parking lot. The bright red sign pointed to Ruby Falls and suddenly the memories came flashing back.

It was 1980 and it was one of those marathon road trips we used to take without DVD players and gameboys and iPods. It was me, my sis, my folks and a whole lotta highway. I'm not sure how she did it, but my Mom had road trippin down to a fine art. We each had a little plastic drink holder thingy that stuck out of the window, a makeshift trashbag in the back, snacks readily available and a host of coloring books, travel games and anything else 2 young girls could need to keep them occupied for hours on end.

She was a magician, really.

During that one particular trip 30+ years ago, Lookout Mountain and Ruby Falls were on the itinerary. And, pulling up today it amazed me that now I am the one making memories for my own boys. (A scary thought, indeed.) Other than a backpack loaded down with snacks and ziplock baggies of wet wipes, my preparation for this last-minute trip was "hey guys! we're gonna go to Chattanooga for a couple days! Put your shoes on and let's go!" I consider it a victory that they both had a clean pair of underwear and a toothbrush to use. Clearly, my expectations are not very high.

Even though I might not have won the prize for The Most Organized and Prepared For Trip of the Century, the overall mission was accomplished. We spent a couple days in the company of family and, well, just having fun. No formal plans, no set agenda, we did as we pleased and took in many of the same sites I did as a young girl.

And, as we reached the end of our half-mile trek through the depths of the cave and reached our final destination--Ruby Falls-- I saw the wonder in my childrens' eyes as they stared at the majesty just like I did way back when. All the "he's touching me!" and the "Mommmm, I'm hungry/thirsty/ needing to go potty" as well as any worry about being "Super Mom" all dissapated as I watched look of sheer awe spread over their faces as they surveyed the brightly colored waterfall before them.

I may not be filling out any applications for Mother of the Millenium just yet... but we made some pretty special memories on this latest journey.

Isn't that what matters?

Tuesday, June 28, 2011


I'm pretty sure I was smack dab in the middle of a good dream when a clap of thunder rocked the foundation of my house around 5 o'clock this morning. I bolted out of the covers, oh so certain a 747 had landed in my bedroom.

After my unexpected wake-up call, I realized it was just a strong thunderstorm and nestled back down under my toasty covers to enjoy the show. My crank-out window had been open all evening and the sound of the rain lulled me in and out of a drowsy sleep. The flashes of lightning were nearly constant--more 80's dance nightclub than peaceful light show but I was entranced nonetheless.

I have written many a time of my love for bad weather. As a young girl I would play the counting game to see if a storm was moving closer... A bolt of lightning would flash and I would start counting 1...2...3...4...5...6... CLAP! The thunder would boom. So, on the next flash of lightning I would begin to count 1...2...3...4..5 CLAP! Oooh! "I only got to five," I would exclaim! It's coming this way! My heart would race anticipating swirling winds and a thunderous invasion which would require me to leap under the nearest blanket for safety. I have no idea if my theory of counting in between thunder and lightning is a true indicator of a storm's position. But it sure did make for some fun childhood memories.

This morning I lay alone in the bed (Keith is in St.Louis) and relished my private light show. My slow inhale/exhale reflected my relaxation and I honestly did not want it to come to an end. I'm thinking a day of nasty weather and absolutely nothing to do sounds like a little piece of heaven to me.

A girl can dream, can't she?

Monday, June 27, 2011

Time Flies....

Time slips by on pitter patter feet
Hours fade into days and then
weeks gone by and suddenly


Seasons fly... first winter, now summer
A scant slice of spring in between
Where Christmas decor once stood, now


My mind is abuzz with to-do lists and wish lists and dreams
Balancing the have-to's from the want-to's or wish-I-could's
Creating memories while always striving to keep it


Cause I am just me

And life is what it is

I'll take






...and make each one as beautiful, meaningful, productive and kick-butt as I can.

Cause time flies.

The least I can do is be a good co-pilot.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Nothing a Little Rain Can't Fix....

Just like a child who can't help but splash in a puddle....I couldn't resist. It had been raining all day and as my entire family napped in various locations around the house the urge overcame me. I ran into the garage, grabbed a couple old comforters and ran out to the trampoline. My strides were that of a little girl dancing between raindrops as I rounded the corner of the house.

The rain was steady and cool on my shoulders as I climbed through the net and slid onto the now-wet surface of the trampoline. I laid one comforter down hopped on and covered with the other--giggling to myself at how silly I would appear to anyone watching.

Strange how hard it rains now
Rows and rows of big dark clouds
When I'm holding on underneath this shroud

I lay there in my temporary cocoon watching the raindrops kerplunk! on the surface of the trampoline. The soothing rhythm of the rainfall beat lightly on my back as drops of water tickled any toes that might have snuck out of the bottom of my makeshift cover. I felt giddy and relaxed and rebellious--even protected-- as I lay there taking it all in.

Without doubt, I have had my fair share of challenges over the past few months. Stress has stolen from me the ability to find my inner "Katie-ness"...that part of me that delights in the simple, everyday pleasures of life. I have trusted others and been let down. I have given my all in certain situations only to find that the end result was not worth the sacrifices along the way. But all of those stresses and swirling thoughts of doubt fade away when raindrops are keeping you company.

Cause tomorrow's another day
And I'm thirsty anyway
So bring on the rain....

I found a little piece of myself today. I felt spontaneous and young and alive. All with the help of a rain shower, a trampoline and a couple of old blankets. I liked the Katie I spent time with today. I think I'll see if she wants to hang out more often.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

All in a Day's Work

I had been watching the forecast all week...eyeing the 10-day weather tracker for Brentwood, Tennessee like a hawk and praying that the Isolated Thunderstorms icon would magically disappear. Having been an event planner for 16 years, I know my track record: If I plan it outside, it will rain. Period. So when the Wascom family hired me to plan an after rehearsal dinner for their son's wedding in an outdoor setting, the prayers for no rain began to fly.

June 24 arrived and I kicked it into gear. The day started with a few last minute errands and plans to be at the house by 11:30 to get set-up. Walking out of Kroger with The World's Officially Most Ginormous Fruit Tray Ever I felt confident and excited about the day ahead. I placed the tray on the front seat and cranked my car. Or, TRIED to crank my car but it was dead. D-E-A-D. No sign of life. 10 minutes later the hood is up and I am surrounded by four employees of that store assisting in the jumping off of my battery. Engine now purring, I thank them wholeheartedly and race to the venue to get things rolling.

And so the fun began.

Tables that were delivered the day before were rolled into the back yard. A call is placed to the rental company to tell them the chairs are not the ones I ordered. They dispatch another set to be delivered. I hold off on tablecloths in case the passing afternoon thunderstorm comes our way. Centerpieces I had made the night before were unloaded and supplies were brought in from the host's car. Plates and utensils were unwrapped, a candy/dessert bar was assembled, furniture rearranged, punch made, lighting set and placecards for the food and beverage were written and... my phone rings.

"Ms. Bodiford. We are here to deliver the chairs but no one is home."

No one is home because they have delivered the chairs to the billing address (MY house) instead of the delivery address (the venue). SIGH. Chairs are on the way, I leave instructions for chair placement with the homeowner and I race home to change and pick up a few more items I'll need for that evening.

As I pull in my driveway, the phone rings. "Katie, um, the new chairs they delivered are the same dark brown as the ones we have." Seriously rental company? A call is placed telling them we will use the darker brown but asking that they credit us for the cost of the chairs for the trouble. A quick 10 minute change and I am back on the road.

Arriving at the venue, I decide that we are past the threat of a rain shower so tablecloths are added, centerpieces and candles set, the caterer drops off food, food is arranged, candles are lit, beverages are iced, desserts are plated, guitarist arrives, music begins...

...and the guests arrive.

This is the moment I dread the most as an event planner. How will it flow? Do we have enough food? Will the guests have what they need? Will there be a comfortable vibe? Will it all go off smoothly?

Fast forward 30 minutes and it sinks in why I love what I do. The weather is gorgeous, the music being played by friends Dillon and Elise provides the perfect backdrop, candles are flickering, food has been devoured and there is plenty remaining, hugs are being shared, photos are being taken and there is laughter all around. Laughter and smiles and kudos are delivered to the host for the perfect evening. A smile stretches across my face as I take it all in.

You see, all the little behind the scenes glitches are invisible at this moment. The darker chairs do not matter because everyone sitting in them is laughing and sharing stories. The pecan pie that didn't plate perfectly is being declared by all as the best pecan pie they've ever eaten. The tight flow inside I worried about is a non-issue because everyone is hanging by the pool outside where I was certain it would rain...

What matters the most is a young couple and their families got to meet and mingle, laugh and create memories on this the eve of a very special day in their lives. Grandmothers meeting for the first time, babies cooing and nervous inlaws getting to know more about each other all made for an unforgettable evening. And as the sun went down and the guests slowly departed a barefoot and utterly relaxed hostess came up and gave me a big hug.

That's when I realized why I love my job so much. I may not spend my days saving lives, but I help people live them. And you know what? That is good enough for me.

Saturday, June 18, 2011


I debated about whether or not to say anything.

Martina McBride and I were the only customers in Party City this evening--she with her daughter and I with Jacob--and I couldn't resist sharing what one of her songs meant to me. As she looked my way, I said "well, Martina, I promised I would never do this but since my son is with me I cannot resist..."

I went on to explain about the day we got the call about meeting Jacob's birth parents and how petrified I was of the whole situation. I shared how scared I was to open my heart to let him in knowing his birth mother could change her mind and take him away from us. And that, as I was driving down the interstate, her song "Anyway" came on and how it instantly changed my perspective. I will never forget the feeling that swelled in my chest as she sang...

"You can spend your whole life building, something from nothing, one storm can come and blow it all away... build it anyway..."

Suddenly the haze lifted and my mind cleared. Yes, we are taking a risk by trusting this young woman. Yes, there is a chance we could have everything ready including our hearts and we could end up devastated. But the lyrics of the song gave me strength...

"God is great and sometimes life ain't good. And when I pray, it doesn't always turn out like I think it should... but I do it anyway......"

That was all I needed. I sat up straight, tears streaming down my cheeks and at that moment I made a commitment in my heart to love an unborn child that very well could not turn out to be ours. I chose to believe that all things happen for a reason and that the reward of loving and preparing for this new addition to our family outweighed the risk of a broken heart if she indeed changed her mind.

As I shared that with Martina, a smile slowly crawled across her face. She asked Jacob what his name was and he, of course, converted into Shy Mode and buried his face into my leg. She thanked me and I was ecstatic inside having gotten to share how much that song meant to me personally. It truly was the anthem of that entire adoption process.

"I sing......I dream.........I love............anyway........."

Thanks, Martina.

A Certain Madness

I love to write. I love putting into words even the most mundane things that occur throughout my day. Sometimes, truthfully, I love to write so that I am not the only one that knows what's going on in this crazy, mixed-up head of mine. And yet, I find myself going weeks, sometimes months, without logging a single word.


I hate to say it but I think I'm a lazy perfectionist. Is that possible? Every day, the perfect blog swirls in my head yet I never commit pen to paper--or finger to keyboard--to get it recorded before moving on to my next idea or the next thing on my to-do list. Sometimes it is just a lack of motivation but other times I'm afraid it's because I fear it's not "perfect." That it won't be worthy of someone's time and that is equally frustrating. I am as far from perfect as a person can be...why do I expect my writing to be? It's a madness I tell ya.

I am not going to make some big spectacle here and recommit to blogging something EVERY DAY. Instead, I'm going to give myself a break. I'm dealing with a lot of challenges right now...some I can write about and some I can't. But, what I can do is give myself a little grace and simply write when I can.

And maybe, just maybe, little bits of Katie will start pouring out again.

I guess if you're reading this, it's already working. :)