The very thing I didn’t want is the very thing I now have and has become the very thing I can’t live without.

May 10, 2013 in The Very Few Times I'll Admit to Having a Soul

When I was single, I had a huuuuuge list of ‘gotta haves’ and ‘ain’t no ways’ in a man.

(Ok…things I prayed for.)

The number one thing on my list of ‘gotta haves’?

He’s gotta go to church.  And hold my hand.

(And not just because I ask him to go with me.  Because it’s what he does.  With or without me.)

Yep.  Contrary to popular belief and my sometimes sailor-ishy language, I’m a church girl.  And this church girl wasn’t settling for anything less than a church boy.

(No.  I’m not there every waking minute the doors are open.  But I do like my Sunday mornings.)

The number one thing on my list of ‘ain’t no ways’?

No kids and no ex-wife.  Period.

Or if he does have a kid, they need to be off at college, off in a circus or just anywhere far away.  Just not under my feet.

(And believe me when I say, I DO love kids.  YOUR kids.  I’d steal an oversized turkey leg from a big, hairy hillbilly for my nieces.  But not every single day.)

(And I tried for 3 years to have children of my own in a previous life.  Didn’t happen.  Couldn’t happen.  And I learned to live with that.  Finally.)

And if he has an ex-wife she needs to live on another continent.  Or be dead.

(Sorry.  Harsh, I know.)

(But I had an ex-wife and kids in that previous life.  Not again.  My weekends and money were now mine and I was done dealing with someone who I was kind to and accommodating to, dictating my schedule and life with her hatefulness.)

You see, I was fine being single.  Happy is putting it mildly.  I had no intentions of falling in love.  Much less getting married.  Single life was the life for me.

So, why should I take on things that didn’t make me happy in the past if I was perfectly happy being single without them now?


Then I accepted that invitation to that first date with Keith.  And the feelings were flying all over the place.  He was completely worthy of another date.

And get this:

He already regularly attended church.  (Winning!)


With his daughter.  (Oh.)

She’s 14.  (Crap.)

I liked him enough to be a bit flexible with my number one ‘ain’t no ways’.  Surprisingly, I can be stubborn and stuck in my ways.  My way or no way.

Shocking.  I know.

(Afterall, there’s no mother in the picture {yep, you heard me} which means there’d be no ex-wife if we ever progressed to that point.  That’s a plus.  Big ass plus.  For me.)

(Just looking ahead, my friends…just looking ahead.)

I have now fallen in love.  Twice.

Keith first.  Then Cayla.

From the very first time I met her, we have had some kind of odd bond.  I say odd, because I wasn’t looking for a daughter and she wasn’t looking for a mother.  We were both perfectly fine right where we were in life.

Each time us two girls hung out together, we talked more.  About school.  Boys.  Friends.  Periods.  Sports.  Music.  God.  Life.  Boobs.  Clothes.

(You get it.)

Before I knew it, on Sunday mornings all three of us were sitting in church.  Together.

Keith held my hand.

Then a few weeks later…Cayla held my other.  For every Sunday from there on.

When I prayed to one day find a man who would sit with me in church and hold my hand, I never dreamed I’d also be blessed with a daughter who held my other.

Especially when I didn’t even want kids.

Her room might smell like a teenager.  There may be more clothes on her floor than hanging in her closet.  She might scream and jump out of a closet to scare me.  She might leave crumbs all over the kitchen cabinets.  She might sometimes think I need her unsolicited advice.  She might sometimes (ok…always) be running late.  She might take 20 minutes to try on a pair of jeans.  She might think I’m stupid.


She also makes me laugh.  She makes me think.  She makes me compromise.  She makes me want do without so I can do for her.  She makes me want to see her happy.    She makes me cry.  She makes me want to do better and she makes me want to be better.  She makes me want to negotiate her curfew with her daddy.  She makes me not mind picking her up from a party at 11:30 pm on a Saturday night even though I’d rather be sleeping.  She makes me want to see her fall in love someday.  She makes me so proud when she wears lip gloss and struggles in small heels.  She makes me like me.  She makes me love her daddy even more.

She told me just last night, as I was sitting on the side of her bed, I was all she needed.  And she patted my leg.

I love her.

And although I didn’t have labor pains 14 years ago…I have a little girl today.

The very thing I can’t live without.

So, happy kinda-in-a-way-kinda-almost-a-mom Mother’s-Day to me.

Lucky, lucky me.


Cayla 3


Cayla 2


Cayla 1

© 2012 Kellukas Photography


© 2012 Kellukas Photography


© 2012 Kellukas Photography


The last three photos were done by Kellukas Photography.  Kelli Kaczmarek does friggin awesome photos and if you’re in the Austin or surrounding area…you’d be a fool not to contact her for any photography needs!

Barbara May 10, 2013 at 4:43 pm

What a beautiful girl. You are definitely winning. Happy Mother’s Day to you. 🙂
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Carrie May 10, 2013 at 7:51 pm

Yep…definitely winning. Absolutely. =)

Kathy May 10, 2013 at 5:16 pm

Crap Carrie, you almost made me cry. It’s Friday not Monday we are not supposed to cry on the best day of the week. Post the sentimental stuff on Mondays when we get free tissues from the office. Happy Kinda Mother’s Day early. Keep smiling and being happy girl we all deserve happiness.

Carrie May 10, 2013 at 7:51 pm

You’re so sweet, Kathy…thank you!

katie metzroth May 10, 2013 at 5:49 pm

holding hands in church? oh my. where are my smelling salts?………………Happy Mother’s Day to ya! Couldn’t have happened to a nicer lady.
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Carrie May 10, 2013 at 7:52 pm

Aww…that means a lot to me. Thank you, darlin’!

(And I bet Syd has you some pretty cool treats Sunday morning!)

katie metzroth May 15, 2013 at 4:40 pm

She bought me a nice new knitting project bag and her dad made me waffles Saturday morning in the shiny new DOUBLE waffle maker he bought. You heard me. DOUBLE waffle maker. I’m now watching around corners for unicorns.
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Anne May 10, 2013 at 7:05 pm

You almost made me cry! I am so happy for you, and for Cayla. Happy Mother’s Day!
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Carrie May 10, 2013 at 7:55 pm

You’re too kind, Anne…thank you.

And if you ask me, Teddy has a pretty good mom, too. So, back at you! =)

Nancy May 10, 2013 at 9:00 pm

It couldn’t have happened to a more deserving lady.
From one “step” mother to another….

Carrie May 11, 2013 at 6:56 am

It was a long, long wait and you listened for many, many years…thanks for hanging in there with me. You are such love.

Thank you, Nancy.

Poppy May 10, 2013 at 11:32 pm

I have a 14 year old too so I know she has to be a pain in the ass sometimes 🙂 but I am so happy for your new family and happiness. Happy Mothers Day!

Carrie May 11, 2013 at 7:00 am

I sure know I was a pain in the ass from like 12 to…well, today. So, no matter how big of a pain she is…I’ve got her beat.

Thanks, girl. And happy Mother’s Day to you, too!!

Peggy Scarborough May 11, 2013 at 7:42 am

It crossed my mind the other day this will be your first ever Mother’s Day…the first of many. Labor pains do not make you a Mom. Daily labors of love makes you a Mom!
Love you every day…Happy Mother’s Day to my oldest!

BTW, Chicken Gumbo tomorrow anytime after 2:00 PM with Cayla’s potato salad. Lol!

Carrie May 11, 2013 at 9:21 pm

Thank you, Mom. Keith tells me the same thing…says it’s the day to day love that really matters.

Cayla is a joy. But I gotta say, she does remind me a lot of me because I hear myself saying the same things to her I remember you saying to me.

I just haven’t gotten brave enough to snatch her by the ear.

Plus, she’s taller than me. =)

I love you, Mom. Thank you for 44 years of tolerance and love.

HogsAteMySister May 11, 2013 at 9:35 am

That is a stellar Mother’s Day story!

Congrats on your own personal miracle.

And your inflexible flexibility that let it happen.

With grace from above.

Just a lovely story.
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Carrie May 11, 2013 at 9:23 pm

I’m flattered you stopped by! Thank you so much for that and the kind words.

Inflexible flexibility.

I love that. =)

wendy May 11, 2013 at 1:54 pm

happy mother’s day, ms. carrie!
so happy for you and for little ms. cayla. y’all were meant to be a family, you, your keith and cayla. it is deep-down good to read about the adventure the three of you have embarked upon together. cheers!
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Carrie May 11, 2013 at 9:25 pm

That’s the nicest thing to hear…thank you, Wendy. That is just perfect.

You’re a doll.

Jef May 11, 2013 at 2:10 pm

I was beginning to fear that the art of holding hands had been lost; I’m so glad to hear that the three of you are keeping it alive.

I’m going to use the word “sailorly” three times today. Love it. Thanks so much.
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Carrie May 11, 2013 at 9:27 pm

We’re big on holding hands. Took her a while…but she came around.

You, my friend, are free to use any word you ever read here. I am beyond flattered that the very man who has the bestest of the bestest words on his blog would even consider any word I use worth repeating!!

Yay me!!

L.Hewitt May 11, 2013 at 2:20 pm

Oh my Gawd y’all are beautiful! Happy Mothers Day! (you made me weep!-that’s hard to do) – So… I’m going to go tell my hubs he looks sailorly-just to see what happens.

Carrie May 11, 2013 at 9:29 pm

HAHAHA!!! You gotta let me know how he reacts to that, too!!

And thank you for the nice compliment…she’s a beauty and it’s been fun to see her taste and ideas change since we met. I am learning to never attempt to understand a teenager though.


Maggie S. May 11, 2013 at 4:18 pm

Anyone who jumps out of a closet to scare me, has taken their life in there own stupid, freaking,”’bout-to-get-kicked-in-the-chest” hands. They only do it one time.

You are a very lucky girl. So is she. You are so beautiful together.
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Carrie May 11, 2013 at 9:30 pm

Thank you, Maggie. And you know I love your girls. Talk about beautiful…those two are something else.

Happy Mother’s Day, my sweet, sweet friend. =)

Jennifer May 11, 2013 at 5:10 pm

Oh that is so sweet! Happy Mother’s Day, Carrie! And I am glad to see you back blogging! Also- did your mom mention chicken gumbo and potato salad?
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Carrie May 11, 2013 at 9:34 pm

You’re too sweet, Jennifer…thank you.

And Happy Mother’s Day to you. I can’t wait to see what Noah and Zoe do for you and especially hear Zoe’s comments on the day!!

Love that little redhead!!

Mamarific May 11, 2013 at 8:14 pm

She is precious, and congrats to you for all these happy things happening for you! So glad you are back blogging, because I have missed your posts!!
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Carrie May 11, 2013 at 9:16 pm

Thank you so much…she is pretty special to me.

It’s great to be back. I missed it way more than I realized!

Kika May 12, 2013 at 8:19 am

Carrie! I leave your blog alone for a while and I come back to this?! CONGRATULATIONS! everyone deserves this kind of happiness! I am so happy for you! and YOU my dear, deserve it! I smiled the whole way through this beautiful post. Happy Mother’s day to you my dear! and many more! Much loves to you!
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Carrie May 12, 2013 at 8:42 pm

HEY!! So thrilled to hear from you!!

And yep, quite a few changes for me. All good though…all good.

And thank you so much for those super sweet words. I really appreciate that!

Carrie's Experimental Kitchen May 13, 2013 at 9:32 am

Sometimes things happen when we least expect them to and they come into our lives for a reason. She’s a beautiful young lady and I’m sure you’re a fantastic mother. Hope you had a great day yesterday.
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Carrie May 14, 2013 at 8:51 am

You’re exactly right. Things never go on “my” time. And thank goodness they don’t…I ususally don’t have a clue.

Thank you, Carrie….and I hope you had a fabulous day, too!

Jennifer May 13, 2013 at 4:00 pm

I have big, BIG smiles. Big ones.
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Carrie May 14, 2013 at 8:51 am

I do, too.

Life is so much sweeter around big smiles. =)

Adelyn May 14, 2013 at 5:58 am

She is absolutely gorgeous…as are you. That is what I hope every mother would say about their daughter…no matter how they became a “mother”. Can you imagine how every girl would look at themselves if they knew this is how they were looked at? Priceless.
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Carrie May 14, 2013 at 8:53 am

I like your way of looking at it. I never thought of it that way…but you’re right.

I hope I can help Keith raise her as good as I was.

You’re a gem, Adelyn. Thank you.

Kim June 12, 2013 at 8:33 am

Carrie, this was lovely. I agree with your Mom, labor pains do not make a mother. The things that you said about Cayla, the wants, dreams and obvious love that you have for her, that makes a mother.

Happy belated Mother’s Day 🙂
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