Tuesday, May 19, 2015

A Questionnaire

I rarely go upstairs. I usually wait until there's a dire need that can't be avoided. Because the offspring live up there. And by "live", I mean "burrow in and hibernate". I fear some form of Hepatitis every time I venture up the stairs.

So, imagine my surprise when I walked into Child #1's room and found this:

What on earth is she doing with the empty water bottles? Is she creating a recycling center? Right there on her dresser? Maybe a landfill? What is this situation? Because that deflated helium balloon at the top of the picture, has been there for 3 years. Literally. 3 years. Oh, and you can barely see the bottom drawer. It stays open. Like, always. I don't even think it's capable of closing. And snuggled in between this mess is a Febreeze bottle. Because, duh?

I asked this Child about the bottle-gate. Her reply? "I empty one and get a new one." That's it. There is no more. Believe me, I waited for it. So, I explained, in my slow voice, that she's clearly missing a step. After you finish a bottle, YOU THROW IT AWAY, before getting another one. I don't even think she heard me. I might as well talk to myself. Oh wait, I already do.

If you're in need to some empty water bottles, just holler. I've got you covered. And you haven't even seen the floor of Child #2's room. Covered. That's all I'm gonna say.

Sunday, May 17, 2015


Growing up, I had a dad that traveled. A lot. That meant my mom drove back and forth to the airport. A lot. Once I became a legal driver, I was roped into the mix and started the trek to the airport some weekends. But, more often than I'd like to admit, I got lost. Or took the wrong exit. Google Maps would have been so helpful then.

My mom had a genius solution to this problem. She sent my sister with me. To tell me how to get there and back. She was 10 years old. And yes, she was way smarter than me.

Yesterday was that sister's birthday. All she asked for was a reprieve from her mom life. She's a single parent, so she never gets a break. Ever. So I kept two 6 year olds for 9 hours. Let me tell you, my sister makes her life look so easy. And it's anything but. I speak from experience.

I had brief moments yesterday where no one was singing "Let It Go", and I started to think about all the ways my sister is still leading me. Showing me where to go and how to live. She's been doing it since she was 10.

She is my greatest example of all that is good. Her insides are made of pure gold and little crazy. Which makes her all kinds of perfect. She's my Northern Star that guides me in all that I do. She continually shows me what love looks like in action. She is the greatest sister God could have ever given me. Truly.

Sisters are rare and special friends. It's a bond you really can't put into words. Instead, you entertain two 6 years olds and let them rearrange the contents of your house. Love at it's finest.

Happy Birthday to my greatest friend.

And if you have a sister. Hug her today. And let her show you the way.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

The Sweet Spot

I sat next to her on the church pew. We sang the opening hymn, just like we always do. And I noticed that this song was in the perfect range for her voice. So I stopped singing. Because I wanted to hear just her. Soak in her sound. Knowing that my times of sitting next to her are quickly diminishing.

But her voice. Gah. It gets to me. I could listen to it for hours. So I stole this time to memorize her sound and the way she moves me with her talent.

And it made me wonder. About the "sweet spot" of her voice. That's when she sounds the most extraordinary. Truly. But don't we all have our own "sweet spot"? Mine definitely isn't singing, I'm guessing yours isn't either. Or, maybe it is. Regardless, we all shine in our own way. We all have a place where our pitch is perfect. We really do.

So, let's celebrate our uniqueness. Mine definitely doesn't look or sound like yours. It's not supposed to. We were meant to be different. Combined all together, that's where miracles happen. And just the goodness of regular life. You be you and I'll be me. In all the notes that we hit or miss, our rhythm is our own. On purpose.

I don't ever want to miss you when you're singing your best. And really, best is right where you are today. In all the ways you're getting it wrong and also doing it right. That's your best. Mine, too. So let's be sure to hear one another. To soak in each others sounds and memorize the beat. Once we do that, we just might make the world a little brighter.

Find your "sweet spot" and sing it. No matter what anyone else thinks or feels. Sing it loud and sing it proud. We were meant for glorious performance. May we always have the courage to offer it.

Friday, May 8, 2015


It was my birthday yesterday. And guess what? I'm back to being even. You know how I feel about the even numbers. I heart them. So much. And this year? It's like epically even. A 4 and another 4. Together! I'm telling you, it's gonna be a good year. I can feel it.

I did something rather genius this year. Honestly, I don't know why I haven't done it before. I bought my own birthday gifts. And gave them to The Husband to wrap. The. Best. Ever.

And I worked on a new puzzle. Because, duh. I'm me.
And I hung out with my favorite people on the planet. They even agreed to family selfies in the parking lot of the restaurant. Man, I love these humans.

Some days I just feel like the luckiest girl ever.

Here's to a year full of even-ness (with a bunch of frosting thrown in)!

Tuesday, May 5, 2015


She's fully teenager. All in, all the time. Most mornings she responds with an eye roll to my questions. Rarely does she like to admit that I exist. I know the drill. But I still hate it anyway.

This morning she had an early doctors appointment. That put us together. Just the two of us. And I bought her favorite fluffy drink. All because I adore her. No matter what attitude she throws out.

And for a short while, she shines. And she's silly with the whip cream. I just stand and stare and remember all the ways I love her. All of her.

One ordinary Tuesday morning turned extraordinary.

Monday, May 4, 2015

Learnings on a Monday

I feel like I'm on a learning curve lately. I'm not sure what it is. But my life feels like it's pointing things out to me. And some of it I don't like. But the other stuff is kinda cool. Here's what I've learned:

1. Flowers make me happy. This flower in particular. Why? Because I bought this plant for The Husband last year for his birthday. And let me tell you, that man is a toughie to buy for. But this plant? He loves it. So every time I look at it, which is every day, I feel like I nailed it. Somehow this hydrangea makes me feel like a rock star. For all of 4.3 seconds until one of my teenagers opens her mouth. And then I'm reminded that I'm a loser.

2. Speaking of being a loser. I stumbled onto one of those "Top 7 Things You Shouldn't Be Doing As A Parent" articles. And guess what? I'm doing 5 out of the 7. I told The Husband that I don't do anything half way. If I'm going to fail as a parent, at least I git r' done at full speed.

3. Child #2 might be a little deranged. Well, more than I initially suspected. Because it's Love Bug season here in Texas. And these pesky fly like creatures are everywhere. And there's always 2 stuck together. You know, because they're married. Well, Child #2 informed us over the weekend that she likes to pull the Love Bugs apart. "So they can't love each other anymore." And then she giggled.

4. I'm a cookie snob. Truly. I have a recipe that is divine. I can make it with my eyes closed. And the cookies? I've never tasted better. Ever. But lately I've seen "Monster Cookies" all over internet land. So, I picked a random recipe and made them. Ya'll, you better sit down for this. They're tasty. Peanut butter, chocolate chips and M&Ms? Yes please. I may have found a new addiction.

5. My sister-in-law called me to ask my advice on medicating her child with a migraine. Listen up, Homies. I know my pills. I really do. I know what to take when and with or without food. I know how to fix every ailment you've got. I'm so serious. I should have been a pharmacist instead of a stay-at-home mom. I bet my kids would have turned out way better if they had gone to daycare. But really. Nothing gives me a better rush than when someone asks me what pills to take. It's like my full brain turns on and gets really happy. So, basically, call me when you're sick. I won't even charge you.

6. Have I ever mentioned that one of my life's dreams is to drive a race car? It's true. And guess what I've discovered? There's a certain section of freeway by my house that is rarely populated at 10:30 am. And if one so chooses, she can drive really, really, and another really, fast. And she almost feels like she's in a race car. Almost. Don't mention this to Todd.

Peace Out on a Monday, friends.

Thursday, April 30, 2015

One Morning Hour

Yesterday morning, I got an idea. It spoke to my brain. "I bet that wire garden trellis thingy you stole out of your neighbor's garbage will stand up nicely inside the puzzle cabinet." So, I took an hour and put together this:

You'll have to just deal with the dark and shadowed pictures. It's a deep cabinet, this is as good as it gets, people.

This giant cabinet has always remained closed. In our old house it was the TV palace. In this house, it has been storage. My beloved puzzle storage, to be exact. Here's how it's looked for the last 3 years:

Nice, right? I pulled each puzzle out tenderly and hugged it. Oh, and I counted up my puzzle obsession. Guess how many? 37. 37! What a joy. My goal is 100.

First off, I cleaned it out.

Because this cabinet is so dark, I wanted to lighten it up. On the cheap. So I covered the back with wrapping paper I picked up on clearance at Target.

No fancy skills needed. I just measured and cut. I didn't even care if it fit perfectly. Getting the paper onto the cabinet by myself was a little tricky, but doable. At first, I started with double sided tape. But it wasn't strong enough. So I switched to these scrapbook stickers.

It took 2 sheets to cover the wall. By the second sheet, I discovered that it was easier to put the stickers on the wall first and then lay the paper over the top and smooth it all down.

It's a simple gray and white checked pattern.
Some of the edges had a little trouble sticking, so I just put some of that sticky tak stuff that teachers use, behind those edges.

Then I dusted and decorated.
Everything I had on hand. Because I hoard all things decorating (you should see my closet!).
And yes, I stole this trellis out of my neighbor's garbage after they went to work.

I placed an old window and an empty frame that I painted in the back. The pom poms are just trim from Hobby Lobby. I made the strands of black and white circles that I just draped on the trellis.

The basket is from Goodwill (my fave store evah!) And the feather board I made off an idea I saw somewhere on Pinterest. Child #1 made the sign and I put it in a Goodwill frame. Maybe I should start hiring out to make stuff for other people's homes. Mine is getting mighty full.

One hour and some wrapping paper.
Now I just have to figure out where to store 37 puzzles!