Cheer Up or Dry Up: Hooked on a Feeling

We all know the song, “Hooked on a Feeling”  that begins with a bunch of “ooga” noises and nonsense. Personally, I always preferred BJ Thomas’ version of the song, but I’m a weirdo like that. I was reminded of this song after a recent argument with my husband. Years ago before vows were exchanged and children were born, we were hooked on a feeling. We were consumed by the “honeymoon phase” of our relationship. We had arguments, yes, but we would run back into each other’s arms within a few minutes, giddy and grinning with butterflies fluttering in our bellies and pheromones running rampant. We were “in love”. Over time, like any other relationship, those butterflies flew the coop and the pheromones dialed back a few hundred decibels. But guess what? We are still in love. We aren’t 21 anymore. We aren’t a party of two anymore. We have children, responsibilities, bills to pay … Continue reading

An Open Letter to the Mysterious Stranger Who Loaded the Dishwasher

Dear Mysterious Stranger, When I arrived home from church last night, I was shocked to see that the sink wasn’t cluttered with plates crusted in ketchup or cups stained with sour organic chocolate milk. I began to wonder where the dishes that I had left in the sink only hours before had vanished. Had they been stolen? Had they grown bacteria legs or propped themselves upon forks and run away?  I looked around the kitchen and then cautiously and skeptically opened the dishwasher. Voila! I was so pleasantly surprised to see the dishes there, although plates were haphazardly stacked where the cups should go and Tupperware was on the bottom rack where it would surely melt into the shape of a puzzle piece. But I didn’t complain. Although you didn’t actually wash the crusted ketchup from the plates or rinse the soured hormone-free delicacy from the cups before loading them, you did however, wash most of the larger clumps … Continue reading

Summer of 99: Mama Said Knock You Out

On Friday, August 13, 1999, I was standing beside a swimming pool at a party that was equivalent to awesome parties that you’d see in those nineties flicks starring Jennifer Love Hewitt or Sarah Michelle Geller or Rachael Leigh Cook or one of those other actresses with three names who are now old married mothers with SUVs and coupon binders, just like Susannah Brown Lewis. I was talking with my friends when I noticed that my first love’s present girlfriend, who was also his past girlfriend (and his future wife) had arrived at the party. That was confusing, wasn’t it? Re-read it again if you must and try to stay with me here. Her presence made me nervous because her present boyfriend, who was also her past boyfriend (and her future husband) had been stringing me along on the side for months. And, like the idiot 17-year-old that I was, I believed that one day he would … Continue reading

Cheer Up or Dry Up: Proverbs 17:22

If you’ve read anything I’ve written on this blog or Huffington Post, Hahas for Hoohas, Scary Mommy, etc, then you know that I adore sarcasm and telling it like it is. You also know that I’m a stay-at- home mother of two and wife of one who has a slight obsession with “The Golden Girls”, Dr. Pepper and slathering Nutella on Ritz crackers. But did you know that my faith and relationship with Jesus is the most important aspect of my life? No? Well, that’s my fault. I’ve struggled for a long time about using my gift of writing to glorify God. After all, He gave me the desire to put pen to paper and pour out my thoughts on everything from burning the Toaster Strudels this morning to the bullies that loiter around my kids’ playgrounds. I have known for quite a while that I should broaden my subject matter … Continue reading

A Night with Ray LaMontagne

I’ve been a fan of Ray LaMontagne long before his hit, “Trouble” was featured on an insurance commercial. I played all of his albums on repeat while I worked on my novel last year. Seriously. On repeat. 1-4 hours every day for 6 months. In fact, Ray Lamontagne’s powerful gift of songwriting was such an inspiration for my book that I have every intention of mentioning him on the acknowledgement page once it is published. Then Kathie Lee and Hoda can ask me between wine burps, “Tell us, hiccup, Susannah, just how Ray LaMontagne served as your muse. Hiccup.” My husband, being the awesome life partner that he is, surprised me with RL tickets for my birthday a few weeks ago. Third row, baby. To say I was ecstatic was quite the understatement. And then I heard how Ray went all loco on some fans for talking in the front row at his concert … Continue reading

Thirty-Three is Alright By Me

I celebrated my 33rd birthday today. I baked at 93 degrees for 6.5 hours. I killed 12 wasps and one very confused bee in a nest under the diving board. I listened to the “Flock of Seagulls” channel on Pandora. I felt warmth, literal warmth, on my face when I bent over to blow out the candles on the homemade Mississippi Mud cake that my mother so lovingly made for me. I got dressed up and wore liquid foundation under my powder. I opened a beautiful typewriter necklace that my daughter purchased off Etsy (all by herself). I ate Fettuccini Alfredo until I appeared to be 42 weeks pregnant with a food baby. My husband and I sang duets in his truck with the windows rolled down, and then in true cheesy romantic comedy fashion, we held hands. We went on a family walk around our neighborhood as the sun … Continue reading

Summer of 99: You Can Leave Your Clothes On (Revised)

After graduation, a fellow classmate announced that she was going to marry her high-school sweetheart. When a mutual friend of ours decided to throw a huge bachelorette party for her and invite half of the girls from our graduating class, well, I was all about it (1999 lingo). When I walked into my friend’s beautiful country home that summer evening to see it riddled with “raunchy” decorations, I was a little taken aback. See, I was only 17-years-old (almost 18) and this was my first bachelorette party. I was also a prude, so I had no idea that a person could legally purchase straws and headbands in the shape of men’s unmentionables. As I put on a feather boa that wasn’t made of feathers (and my innocence rapidly deteriorated), the guests started to arrive and beverages purchased with fake IDs began to fill the fridge. Then I heard words that I hope to never hear again. … Continue reading

Summer of 99: Snake on a Porch

I have a ton of stories to tell. I’m still sort of young, but I’m also like an old wrinkled woman who spends her days sitting in a rocking chair shelling peas and spitting tobacco off the porch while she tells great-grandchildren and curious neighbor kids tales about trekking across the nation in search of California gold and hitching rides with hippies with scorching cases of B.O. so she could see Jimi Hendrix play Woodstock. I’m not sure how one person could witness both the Gold Rush and Woodstock, but that’s not the point. The point is that I am a storyteller. This entire blog is nothing but stories- my stories. Some are better and funnier than others, but they are all mine. And here’s another one. I could write a compilation of short stories about the summer after I graduated high school. Remember the one about the drug dealer … Continue reading

I Can Breathe Clearly Now the Carbon Monoxide Is Gone…

My dear friends, I have a horrible, shameful, putrid and embarrassing secret. It’s a secret that many of my real-life friends and acquaintances don’t even know. I’m a smoker. Like an idiot, I’ve choked down Marlboro Lights 100′s nearly every day since 1998. I’ve hidden behind garages, slumped down in car seats, stood in the rain, snuck out early from work, weddings, movies, baby showers, etc. just to hotbox a filthy and vile stick of cancer. I’ve even waterskied while smoking (very unsuccessfully). I’ve believed that smoking was my friend, my confidant, my crutch and my boost for 16 years. I was looking through an old album to find a photo to include with this post- a photo that depicted my addiction to nicotine at the young age of 17. I didn’t find one photo. I found COUNTLESS photos. Pictures of me, young and able to run without gasping for air, … Continue reading

Running Out of Steam

Writing can be a real pain in the butt cheeks. It really can. I started writing a new book last night. This idea came to me, and before I knew it, I’d written two chapters of what I believe to be an absolutely hilarious and profound work of literary genius. Yes, I said a work of literary genius. And then, as I so often do, I ran out of steam. I put my computer away and said I would come back to it tonight. I went back to it tonight, and my mind was closed up tighter than a fireworks stand on the 5th of July. It was void. My mind was void of what to type next. Two chapters and the book is done. Done. I searched through my documents folder and found 10, no 11, books that I started and then stopped. A couple of them are really good. There is potential … Continue reading