Sunday, August 31, 2014

Letter to (Three Year Four Month Old) Graves

Dear Graves, 

It's been a great month for you. You've had so much fun in the city. If I had to guess, I'd say your top three adventures have been:
- seeing the suits of armor at The Met
- almost weekly trips to Coney Island for fireworks and food and rides
- discovering some fabulous playgrounds at Brooklyn Bridge Park

We also got your hair cut by the Russian barber again. Ouch. It was a liiiiitle short. Thankfully it's growing. Minnie requested I get you and Papa both haircuts mid July so that you guys would have a solid three months before Cookie's wedding to let their Southern shags grow.

People ask me quite a bit about your clothes- "What do you call those things anyway?" "...When President Kennedy was in the White House and JFK, Jr. was tiny..." If I had a dollar for every time I've had this conversation in the last six months, I'd have...probably a lot more jon jons for you =)

You're such a little boy, but so big. One night at church you sang the hymns (you pointed to the band and said "I'm their big helper") and repeated the creed (the congregation said "on the third day, He rose again" and Graves said "One day, He rose again" in his bitty voice). Then you walked from church to the train and from the train to the apartment. (Obviously that was after Papa joined us.) Some days he seems so little, some days so big.

(BTW, you say that you'll be "Baby Graves" until you're five. THEN we can call you just Graves.)

I was talking to Miss Carrie recently about how you still seem like such a baby. She said she feels the same way about Alaina and it's just because (right now!) you two ARE our babies. I wonder if I'll ever stop. I guess if you end up with a younger brother or sister. We'll have to see :)

You are my funny guy. The other morning I was taking a bath and had you and Annie gated in your room. Annie needed a potty break and then I hear you say "Next monkey coming up!". How fitting! 

Also, apparently spaghetti sauce plus noodle plus milk yields "dragon sauce". You told me it's "pretty messy" and I'd say you're right, as I found some in your EAR.

You love to make up songs. Your best one to date has been a song involving Joseph of The Bible being thrown into a well, then killed, and now living in Harlem. 

You are as sweet as your are funny, though. You love to snuggle, you miss people when they leave, and you feel sad when you see other people hurting (physically or emotionally).

You're such a momma's boy and I wouldn't have it any other way. You had a tiny cut on your hand awhile back and you told me "Sometimes little boys get hurt. And sometimes they need their momma to feed them supper." 

Also, you love this The Very Hungry Caterpillar movie we found on Netflix. In it's there's a "sad cricket" who is noticeably in a bit of emotional pain because he can't make noise. You cry over him every time. Peyton said he's not sure what he'll do if we're three for four in Highly Sensitive People.

A few weeks ago we dropped a stroller off at Papa's store. You were so sad to have to leave HIM there.  "Why Papa stay at work....waaaah?!?" intense sobs on the train. I took a pictures and you seemed so little. Almost worth it for you to look like a one year old again.

Listen, there's some skills we've got to work on, though. It's one thing when you have a hard time not pooping in your britches. It's a complete other when you do an art project in your room with their contents and your momma is still unearthing evidence of it HOURS later.

That's only happened once lately and by and large, you are doing really good with potty training. 
  • You are such a BOY, though. A week or so ago you had a nosebleed because, to quote you, "I picked it WAY too hard". My goodness. 
You've also peeled a few large patches of the (admittedly cheap) paint off the wall. 

Sweetness covers a multitude of mischievous acts, though. I went in your room during naptime to help you with something awhile back and you said:
 "Momma, I'm so happy." 
SD: "That's wonderful why are you so happy, Bud?"
 G: "Because you're in here with me." 
God, in his graciousness, has been so sweet to allow one of the most difficult stages with you to be one of the most tender. Every day I'm reminded what delight is found in being your momma.

One of my favorite things in the world is sending AP to wake you up when your nap is getting too late- "Wake up, little Gravesy Graves" she says to you. I said this in her monthly post, but it is so obvious the love she has for you and you for her. It's truly one of the greatest blessings of my life. 

She also likes to "read" to you. One day at naptime you weren't sleeping so she started reading you a story she wrote, "Annie and Graves's Big Adventure". I heard her say "And every day he'd go outside and look for the magical carpet..."

You are such a wonderful gift and such a joy every day. I know sometimes I take that for granted and I want to focus on how special these days are. 

Momma (and Papa)

P.S. Your little bubble (which is hardly visible) is a 2T. 

Friday, August 29, 2014

What I'm Into: August

This month is sort of like May- I feel like I don't have as much to share as far as what we've been eating, watching, and reading. I realized that, just like in May, we've had two different visitors and so we've just been focused on other things. To our immense delight! I also decided as I was looking through my phone pictures from the past month that I wanted to add a new section to these posts (Around the City). 

On the Nightstand:
Reflections for Ragamuffins: Daily Devotions by Brennan Manning 

As always, it's just so great. It really is hands down my favorite devotion book I've ever done. So often it's just the words I need. 

Immersion Bible Study: Mathew- J. Ellsworth Kallas
Truthfully, I haven't gotten very far in this. One of my goals for this month was for Peyton and I to do our Bible studies together and discuss. That happened more than it has in the past few months that it's been a goal, but truth be told, I didn't really get very far in it myself. 

I've started this and am about halfway finished. It's actually a really fast read (while still being quite powerful) and I've probably only sat down with it three or four times, but I knocked out twenty pages really quickly each of those times. 

On Their Nightstand: 

We made it through our ginormous stack of library books we got towards the end of last month (it's been so busy we haven't been back)!
Our favorites:
- I loved The Chicken-Chasing Queen from Lamar County. It's CLEARLY a book very much inspired by the South. If you can't tell from the cover, you will be able to by the first page. It's a cute story about a little girl who chases chickens and the charm is in how vividly the author writes, her wonderful use of rural Southern dialect and colloquialisms, and the word pictures she paints.
- I got The Monster Who Lost His Mean specifically for Graves and he really enjoyed it. A little monster loses his "m" and can't be mean anymore and he ends up becoming a great friend to human children who celebrate his kindness. It was really clever and sweet at the same time.
- Annie LOVED The Great Big Book of Feelings. It was one of my picks for her because I'm trying to really help her learn to identify and name her emotions in a more grown up way. I had no idea what a hit it would be, though. We read it multiple times.
- She was also a big, big fan of What We Wear: Dressing Up Around the World. It showed children from different cultures all over the world in their different attire. It was really interesting!
- I also picked up this specific Bible for children, because, while we have a plethora of children's Bibles, I was captivated by the illustrations in this one. Every single page was full of people of color. Which is, you know, what first century Jerusalem and ancient Israel were full of. That said, I was a little disappointed by the text. Nothing heretical or anything, but it was choppy and short and didn't flow as well as I would have liked it to. 

On the Shelf:
Speak: How Your Story Can Change the World- Nish Weiseth
I added this to a recent Amazon order, just because I couldn't not. Nish founded A Deeper Story, one of my favorite blogs of all time and she's a pretty great storyteller in her own right. Can't wait for it.

At the Theater (or from the couch):
I only watched one movie this month:

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty- Peyton said it best on Facebook, if you like movies that inspire romance (not romanticism) about life this one is for you. It basically follows a guy who has a pretty boring day to day existence and is constantly living in a fantasy world of what his life COULD be like. He ends up going on a truly epic real life adventure and it's just really captivating. The cinematography and soundtrack are FABULOUS and the plot line is interesting without being too complex. It was also neat in that it's a (secular) movie for adults that is rated PG. Peyton and I don't get too worked up over that, but I know to some people it's an area of conviction. It had VERY little language, no sex, and the only violent scene (I remember) was a fanciful interaction involving a Stretch Armstrong figurine. AND it wasn't remotely corny.

On the Small Screen:
...and hardly any TV. In fact, nothing but my standard Nightly News. 

In My Ears:

My August playlist

Around the House:
Nothing interesting. It got deep cleaned twice for the visitors. That's about it. 

Oh and this:
It took a great deal of strategizing, but I figured out how to get the fancy new double, the faithful old single, the incredibly functional twenty dollar umbrella, our four cleaning tools I pared it down to in February, and the ironing board in our coat closet. Plus, as a bonus, quite a few coats. Pretty sure it's my biggest #tinyspacegiantlove achievement to date! [More on the fancy new dble later.]

In the Kitchen:
Again, not much worth sharing. I've been cooking all our old staples. Both times we had house guests I cooked:
- Italian chicken with roasted broccoli and orzo
- Tacos
- A delicious seasoned roast from Trader Joe's with potatoes (once with cabbage, once with brussel sprouts). Worth noting- it gave directions for the oven and the crock pot. I cooked it in the crock pot and it was falling off our forks to die for. I cooked it in the oven and it was so tough and chewy it was almost inedible. I hate that it turned out great for my mom and awful for our sweet babysitter/friend from home who I would rather impress ;)
- I also cooked spaghetti while Claire was here and we've had fish and BBQ chicken. I've decided I really don't like the fish we get from the fish market here, so we may just take a break from it or try to find it elsewhere.

I can't take any credit for these, but gosh are they good. Peyton likes to bake with the kids. I married a good man, y'all. 

In My Closet:

I love this shirt dress. It's like a very lightweight denim with tiny pinstripes. I seriously probably wear it almost weekly in the Summer. 

While Claire was here, Peyton and I went out on one really nice date. This is one of my favorite dressier dresses. It's SO easy and comfy and it looks dressy, but still fun to me with a silky feel and polka dots and ruffles. 

Again, this dress is so wearable. I've had it forever, but it's so easy. I like that it's a little funky and I usually wear it when I want to be bright (a festival, concert, ect.). I have this awesome jersey knit sweater thing (it's not really a sweater because it feels like a t-shirt) and that worked perfectly over it for one of our trips to Coney Island. 

This was Cookie's old dress and while I love it, I've haven't ever found the right occasion for it. I love a print, but with the puff sleeves and short length, it's a bit much for a lot of almost thirty year old mom occasions. But seeing Rock of Love on Broadway? SUUUUURE. 

Romper room! This was another fabulous investment from the kids' section at Target (mine, AP's came from the toddler section). It's so comfy, but cute. I like it when I'm not in the mood for a dress but want something more than a pair of denim shorts.

In Their Closets:
Annie hasn't worn this dress a lot this Summer and I don't know why. I love it. So simple with just the pink gingham and green seersucker straps. It's a favorite and I've been making up for lost time this month! 

I adore this jon jon! They traced their bodies in children's church and one of the sweet helpers decorated Graves's outfit! 

Can't go wrong with Babar! I'm going to be so sad when he truly outgrows it (soon!).

Superman in his slipper sneaks! 

This is another favorite dress of Annie's that she hasn't worn that much. I guess she's mostly just worn rompers except to church. Anyway, I love the big plaid and rick rack. And I've gotten to where I adore Graves in shorts and a t-shirt like that with his Saltwaters. Good thing because I think we're only doing jon jons for church next year. 

In My Mailbox:
An invite to a shower for my sister that I can't go to, a flyer for a consignment sale in Mississippi...ugh, living the dream can be hard somethings. 

In My Cart:

While Claire was here we went to a street fair and there was a booth with smocked kids' clothes(?!?). Some of the best prices I've seen for new stuff. Annie loved the blue dress on the left and it was so cute how she was "shopping" along with me. I do NOT love it (I don't think it's heinous, but I never would have picked it). But Peyton had just been talking to me about giving her some autonomy in picking out what she wears (like what to buy, not from her closet). So we got it. It was just $10, but it was $10 I really didn't want to spend. But afterwards it felt so good knowing she had picked out her very own dress to buy and take home for the first time.

This past weekend at the Flea, I wandered over to a booth I like and had bought a few things for the kids from last August on our trip. I checked tags and was SO excited to see "made in the USA". I called Peyton (he had taken the kids home to potty) and he said be sure to ask about the actual fabric. I was a little discouraged but did and the lady working told me "Yes, we care a lot about fair trade practices, too". I visited with her some and found out that she designs the patterns and that this is basically their "outlet" store at the flea ($56 knit dresses marked down to $25). Annie arrived back at the flea and I shared with her what I had found, held them up to her, and started eliminated. She had a favorite "Cinderella" dress that wasn't necessarily my favorite. Anyway, the lady said "I'll give you a good deal". She ended up just giving me a knit top and the dress she saw Annie admiring. Then she totaled it up to be $150 and said "we'll do $120". So we have part of the kids fair trade duds for Fall and I'm even more of a lifelong fan of Winter Water Factory!

Peyton bought me these great old lady glasses at the Brooklyn Flea and I was ecstatic! 

This is the BIG one and it wasn't even in any "cart" (of ours)! Peyton got home from a Trader Joe's trip last week and he had a four hundred dollar stroller he found on the sidewalk with a "please take me sign". We washed the cloth parts, Lysoled, and (because he's paranoid) sprayed for mites. The seat in the back is really for a little baby but Peyton (who is the primary double stroller pusher) thinks it's SO smooth and easy to push. Also: (this is so Peyton) he told Annie "I would have never spent that much money on you and Bud, but this thing is great". SweetieMcFrugal.

Around the City:
This has been such a fun month! I'm really sad to see Summer go! Some of our favorites this month: 

We love this place. The kids are OBSESSED and it just feels like such a quintessential New York Summer activity. They do a (really awesome) free firework show every Friday in the Summer and we pretty much go weekly for it. Since we're there EVERY week we let the kids pick one ride each time. When Claire was here, I did the huge orange roller coaster. When Minnie was here I showed her and she screamed hysterically and said "Oh my Lord! You are a MOTHER." Hahaha. 

There's just so much to explore! Annie and Graves look like a little country boy and girl to me in this picture, but they are right in the middle of Manhattan. The park is so pretty and I don't think we'll ever find all it's treasures! 

This place has some amazing themed playgrounds (Slide Mountain and Sandbox Village pictured below). It's also got some great eats, a beautiful view of the bridge and the Manhattan skyline, a pop up pool (which we never did take advantage of) and a roller skating rink (didn't get to that either). 

So another thing that the piers offer is a two dollar round trip ferry ride on weekend to Govenors Island. Another really cool place! There are TONS of food trucks with really eclectic artisan treats, a mini goof course, tons of green space, different historical demonstrations, and a "hammock cove". Plus this mindblowing treehouse! 

The Cloisters are part of The Met. It's way, way up in Manhattan but it's worth the trip. The grounds themselves are just lovely and it's all art from the Medieval period brought to America years ago. There are also gardens that are replicas of those from that time in Europe. Really beautiful and interesting. It was sort of a bucket list item for Minnie so Annie and I took her up there. Notice the unicorn slaying tapestry.

The Brooklyn Children's Museum is currently featuring a "block lab" exhibit. There are so many different kinds of blocks of all different sizes. Annie has loved it even more than Graves, who is an avid block builder. It's a nice air-conditioned (unlike our apartment) venue. 

A little al fresco dining in Brooklyn at Habana Outpost. Seriuosly. So cute. So good. So kid-friendly. And beautiful sunshine. Nothing not to love. [Really good guac and fish tacos, truly amazing roasted corn.]

Peyton and I also walked around our block while Minnie was here and stumbled into Maggie Brown. We sat in the "yard" which was pretty perfect. It's not exactly Southern food, but it's good "home cooking". I got a fish sandwich, which I shouldn't have done, but it sounded interesting. And the fried pickles were a little spicy but good. Overall, I just loved the atmosphere. 

On My Heart:
- Minnie left this week and having her hear made me miss her (and home!) so much. I've been thinking about October and how emotional I know our visit home will be. 
- Peyton and I have been talking a lot about the future- if/when we'll have more children, schooling for the two we do have, career possibilities for Peyton, the prospect of moving out of the suburbs and into the city once we get back in Mississippi, and a few other things. It's a lot to think about!  

In My Prayers:
- I'm praying about October. That the trip won't be super stressful and that we can make the most of our time in Mississippi. 
- I'm praying over Cookie's upcoming wedding, and (much!) more importantly, marriage.  
- Honestly, I've been praying over silly things that have me worried (not even in an fear/anxiety way but more in a just stressed out way)- "Lord, if this (seemingly silly, inconsequential thing) happens, please help me to let it go and not focus too much energy on it". 
- Henri (Nouwen) is talking a lot about "peace" in his book and I've been thinking about peace- peace abroad the every day tragedy involving ISIS and Israel/Palestine, but also on American soil in regards to Ferguson. I want my heart geared toward peace in every way possible and the only way that will happen is by prayer. 
On the Calendar: 

It looks like September is going to be supper low key, which is great because October will be busy with a big trip home! 

As always, I'm linking up with Leigh. Go check out some other What I'm Into posts!

What I'm Into

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Tunes for the Month: August

Another big mix of stuff- some new songs I found recently, some from my kid days, a good many from the eighties and a few from some random guy's Spotify playlist!

1. Stokholm- Jason Isbell
I've heard love songs make a Georgia man cry

On the shoulder of somebody's Saturday night

Read the good book, studied it too

But nothing prepared me for living with you

Lock me up tight in these shackles I wear

Tied up the keys in the folds of your hair

And the difference with me is I used to not care

Stockholm let me go home
Once a wise man to the ways of the world

Now I've traded those lessons for faith in a girl

Crossed the ocean, thousand years from my home

In this frozen old city of silver and stone

So, Peyton discovered this one somehow. He literally thought he knew the guy or something. Anyway, I like it. I love love the sound of it and the lyrics seem deep and reflective even though the music doesn't initially seem to have that feel. It's a good combo. 

2. Sweet Annie- Zac Brown Band
I been burning bright
So long I cant remember
Pretty girls and late night bars
Seem to be my line of work
Believe me when I say
I cant stay this high forever
This mans had all he can stand,
Time to lay this body down
Sweet Annie
Can I stay with you a while
Cause this roads been putting miles
On my heart, Sweetheart,
Ive been livin in a fantasy
But one day Lightning will strike
And my bark will lose its bite
But dont give up on me
Sweet Annie.

You know the gig. An old country rocker/boozer finally finds a girl to settle down with....if, of course, she'll have him. I like it. It feels sweet and sincere. And the girl? Her name is Annie. It skeeves Peyton a little becuase you know it's an intimate relationship and he's thinking of our BABY. But I love it a lot. I saw someone mention it on IG and simply because of the name, I had to check it out. Glad I did. 

3. Colder Weather- Zac Brown Band
She'd take Colorado if he'd take her with him
Closes the door before the winter lets the cold in,
And wonders if her love is strong enough to make him stay,
She's answered by the tail lights
Shining through the window pane
He said I wanna see you again
But I'm stuck in colder weather
Maybe tomorrow will be better
Can I call you then
She said you're ramblin' man
You ain't ever gonna change
You gotta gypsy soul to blame
And you were born for leavin', born for leavin'

So here's the thing- I used to like (love) country music, but then it got to where it was all too much pop and too little country. Someone on the YouTube video I watched of this pointed out that these guys still feel a little "old school country" or something like that. Now, they are a WAYS away from Alabama, and Johnny Cash, and Garth Brooks. But it's a lot better than most of today's country, which, in my opinion, leaves something to be desired. 

4. Do You Believe in Magic?- The Lovin' Spoonful
Do you believe in magic, in a young girl's heart?
How the music can free her, whenever it starts
And it's magic, if the music is groovy
It makes you feel happy like an old-time movie
I'll tell you about the magic and it'll free your soul
But it's like tryin' to tell a stranger 'bout rock and roll

If you believe in magic, come along with me
We'll dance until mornin' 'til there's just you and me
And maybe, if the music is right
I'll meet you tomorrow, sort of late at night
And we'll go dancing, baby, then you'll see
How the magic's in the music and the music's in me.

I wanted to included a few more favorites that feel like "Summer" to me. I've thrown it back to songs from junior high and some from my childhood in recent playlists. These next few are more childhood favorites, originally introduced to me by my 60s era music aficionado rents (and also movies like My Girl and Now and Then). I love this song and while it's nothing super deep I used to just love the way the lyrics spoke of music being magical and soul-freeing, because that's all I ever knew it to be but I didn't yet have the words to say exactly that. 

5. I'm a Believer- The Monkees
I thought love was only true in fairytales
Meant for someone else but not for me
Love was out to get me
That's the way it seemed
Disappointment haunted all my dreams
Then I saw her face, now I'm a believer
Not a trace of doubt in my mind
I'm in love, I'm a believer
I couldn't leave her if I tried

The Monkees! This was another huge favorite in my young life. At seven and eight and nine and ten, I looked so forward to the fireworks experience of falling in love. And then I had it...several times. Turns out it hurts to fall, a lot sometimes. Of course, I found the one that couldn't leave (even if he did try once or twice in college) and I still love it so much. 

6. Daydream Believer- The Monkees
Oh, I could hide 'neath the wings of the bluebird as she sings
The six o'clock alarm would never ring
But it rings and I rise wipe the sleep out of my eyes
The shavin' razor's cold, and it stings
Cheer up, sleepy Jean, oh what can it mean
To a daydream believer and a homecoming queen?

I love this one because the lyrics and the music literally feel like a daydream to me. I don't know that there's a word for that. But the mood of the music plus the whimsical imagery just really captures the theme. It's been one of my favorites for probably oh...twenty years.

7. Do Wah Diddy Diddy- Manfred Mann
There she was just walkin' down the street
Singin', "Do wah diddy, diddy, dum diddy do"
Snappin' her fingers and shufflin' her feet
Singin', "Do wah diddy diddy, dum diddy do"
She looked good, she looked fine
(Looked good, looked fine)
She looked good, she looked fine
And I nearly lost my mind
Before I knew it she was walkin' next to me
Singin', "Do wah diddy diddy, dum diddy do"
Holdin' my hand just as natural as can be
Singin', "Do wah diddy diddy, dum diddy do"

This was one of the VERY first songs I heard Mickey ever sing to me. Like almost THIRTY years ago. Like when I was a toddler. I think I was sassy even then and I think it was one of his favorite songs. This is sort of embarrassing, but I didn't realize it was a real song until I was probably ten or eleven. I thought it was a song he made up for/about me!

8. Escape (The Pina Colada Song)-
I was tired of my lady, we'd been together too long
Like a worn-out recording of a favorite song
So while she lay there sleepin', I read the paper in bed
And in the personal columns there was this letter I read
'If you like Pina Coladas, getting caught in the rain
If you're not into yoga, if you have half a brain
If you like making love at midnight in the dunes on the cape
I'm the love that you've looked for write to me and escape'

This one wasn't part of Mickey's collection, so I don't think I discovered it until later, when I really started watching movies on my own. The subject matter is a little risque (Imma take out an ad looking for a romantic partner even though I'm supposedly in a monogamous relationship and oh wait! same lady...well, guess maybe we can work this out after all) but I'v loved it for forever. It's a good beach song and I'll probably always enjoy it.

9. Love Will Turn You Around- Kenny Rogers
You can run, you can hide never let it inside
Keep livin' your life in the dark
But sooner or later that gentle persuader
Is gonna catch up with your heart
Make you a dreamer
Believer, believin' in love

Okay, so a weird thing happened. I typed in Pina Colada Song into Spotify and I came up with a guy's playlist (in addition to the song). He had some good stuff on there, so I ended up using that instead of pilfering Peyton's iTunes library. A little Kenny Rogers never hurt anybody, right?

10. Cracklin' Rosie- Neil Diamond
What happened to the girl I used to know?
You let your mind out somewhere down the road
Don't bring me down, no, no, no, no, no
I'll tell you once more before I get off the floor
Don't bring me down
You're always talkin' 'bout your crazy nights
One of these days you're gonna get it right
Don't bring me down, no, no, no, no, no
I'll tell you once more before I get off the floor
Don't bring me down

 It's been forever since I've heard this song. I'm not even sure where I've heard it before. But I like it. Sooooo old school.

11. Arthur's Theme (Best That You Can Do)- Christopher Cross
When you get caught between the Moon and New York City
I know it's crazy but it's true
If you get caught between the Moon and New York City
The best that you can do
The best that you can do is fall in love.

Well, it talks about New York City =) Another one I've heard before, but wasn't super familiar with but I knew I had heard before. And I liked the idea of falling in love "between the moon and New York City". 

12. Copacabana- Barry Manilow
Her name was Lola, she was a showgirl
With yellow feathers in her hair and a dress cut down to there
She would meringue and do the Cha-Cha
And while she tried to be a star, Tony always tended bar
Across the crowded floor, they worked from eight till four
They were young and they had each other who could ask for more?
At the Copa, Copacabana
The hottest spot north of Havana
At the Copa, Copacabana
Music and passion were always the fashion
At the Copa
They fell in love

Okay, yeah, it's Barry Manilow. So...sort of lame even for me and I can really indulge in some cheese sauce. But I thought it was another good fun Summer song. 

13. Red Red Wine- UB40
Red, red wine
Stay close to me
Don't let me be alone
It's tearing blue heart.

This is from random guy's playlist, too, but it's another old favorite of mine. There's not much worthwhile about it lyrically. I mean the guy is serenading his wine. But I still LOVE it and have for years. 

14. Too Much Time on My Hands- Styx
Too much time on my hands,
It's ticking away with my sanity
I've got too much time on my hands,
it's hard to believe such a calamity
I've got too much time on my hands
and it's ticking away,
ticking away from me
(Too much time on my hands)
It's tick tick tick tick ticking away
(Too much time on my hands)
And I don't know what to do with myself
(Too much time on my hands)

This is probably the most random addition for me (even including the Barry Manilow and upcoming Culture Club features). It's just not totally my style. But I listened and enjoyed it, so I added it. It could be that I've been on a real '80s kick (more on that later).

15. I'll Tumble For Ya- Culture Club
I get a crazy feeling
That chases in my head
It's nothing that you do to me
It's nothing that you said
It's love in stereo
And when I can't let go I say
I'll be your baby
I'll be your score
I'll run the gun for you
And so much more
I'll tumble for ya

Yes, I know, there is nothing stranger than Culture Club. But this song is fun. And I like it. So it made the cut. Also? The intro....I'm trying to figure out where I know it from (other than the song). Maybe a part of a drill team mix at high school football games? Not sure. 

16. To Be With You- Mr. Big

When it's through, it's through
Fate will twist the both of you
So come on baby, come on over
Let me be the one to show you
I'm the one who wants to be with you
Deep inside I hope you feel it too
Waited on a line of greens and blues
Just to be the next to be with you

Okay, this was legitimately my FAVORITE song in seventh grade. As I've mentioned on here before, I had a cassette tape of "Monster Ballads" and this was the one I was always manually rewinding (and occasionally calling in to Y101) for. I don't know why I was so obsessed with it. But I would think about my seventh grade crush (the one who is, to this day, my best friend and now Annie's godfather) and just weep. It was super intense. Oh, I should mention, the rest of the list is power ballads because I saw Rock of Ages on Broadway and got on a kick. 

17. Every Rose Has Its Thorn- Bret Michaels
We both stand silently still in the dead of the night
Although we both stand close together, we are miles apart inside
Was it something they said or something I they did? Did your words not come out right?
Though I tried hard to hurt you, though they tried but I guess that's why they say
Every rose has its thorn
Just like every night has its dawn
Just like every cowboy sings his sad, sad song
Every rose has its thorn, yeah it does

This is probably runner up to Mr. Big. I think it's just a beautiful melody but the words ring true as well. I mean, not the part about finding somebody new. But the part where you stand (or lie) right next to someone you love and you feel miles apart. I've been there. And it sucks. But every night has it's dawn. 

18. Take My Breath Away- Berlin
Watchin' every motion in this foolish lover's game
Haunted by the notion, somewhere there's a love in flames
Turnin' every turn to some secret place inside
Watchin' in slow motion as you turn my way and say
Take my breath away
My love, take my breath away
My love, take my breath away

Strangely, this is one that Peyton and I liked when we were first dating. No fear, we both realized how amazingly corny it was. But such are the two of us. I don't know, I think I'm incapable of falling in love and it not being super corny. If we're honest, though, it does take our breath away, yes?

19. Sister Christian- Night Ranger
Where you goin' what you lookin' for
You know those boys
Don't want to play no more with you
It's true
You're motorin'
What's your price for flight?
In finding Mister Right
You'll be alright tonight
Babe you know you're growin' up so fast
And mama's worryin' that you won't last
To say let's play
Sister Christian there's so much in life
Don't you give it up before your time is due
I think it's true and I know it's true yeah

No paticular reason, but another eighties hit that I love.

20. Heaven- Warrant
I don't need to be the king of the world
As long as, I'm the hero of this little girl
Heaven, isn't too far away
Closer to it every day
No matter what your friends might say
How I love the way you move
And the sparkle in your eyes
There's a color deep inside them
Like a blue suburban sky
When I come home late at night
And you're in bed asleep
I wrap my arms around you
So I can feel you breathe
I don't need to be a superman
As long as, you will always be my biggest fan
Heaven, isn't too far away

These next two are probably my least favorite eighties songs on the list. But I still loved them in the day of my old Monster Ballads cassette tape and I still love them to this day. 

21. Something to Believe In- Poison
Well I see him on the TV
Preachin' 'bout the promised land
He tells me to believe in Jesus
And steals the money from my hand
Some say he was a good man
But Lord I think he sinned, yeah
Twenty-two years of mental tears
Cries a suicidal Vietnam vet
Who fought a losing war on a foreign shore
To find his country didn't want him back
Their bullets took his best friend in Saigon
Our lawyers took his wife and kids, no regrets
In a time I don't remember
In a war he can't forget
He cried Forgive me for what I've done there
Cause I never meant the things I did...
I drive by the homeless sleeping on a cold dark street
Like bodies in an open grave
Underneath the broken old neon sign
That used to read Jesus saves
A mile away live the rich folks
And I see how they're living it up
While the poor they eat from hand to mouth
The rich is drinkin' from a golden cup
And it just makes me wonder
Why so many lose, so few win
And give me something to believe in
If there's a Lord above
And give me something to believe in
Oh, Lord arise

I didn't even really notice until I gave it a re-listen, but this one actually goes beyond the typical message. It's a little existential. I don't know if you can get past the glam band image and Bret Michel's big persona, it can feel truly spiritual.

And with that, you have my last playlist for the Summer of 2014. I'm sad to see it go, but I'm looking forward to Fall. Can't wait to see what I can mix up to go on September's playlist.