Wednesday, December 24, 2014

The Normal Kind Of Gift

I'm an unconventional mom. I know this about myself. I just don't parent in a normal way. Well, not in a traditional way. My parenting style is way too relaxed to be main stream. I'm not strict about much. Maybe 3 things total. If my kids text me from school asking for lunch, I take it. 98% of the time. I rarely make my kids do chores and our dinner conversations would make you blush. And that's not an exaggeration.

I just feel like we sway to a different beat over here. If I wanted to, I could try to change that rhythm. I've threatened my kids oodles of times that I'm going to really amp up this mother role and really get to it. Those words are usually met with eye rolls. Because, really? They know me. I know me. This is the way we flow. All wonky and off-kilter.

But I have this deep soul kind of hunger to be normal. At least every now and then. My mind knows its just too much of a stretch, but I wish for it anyway. But then, I stop, just stop, and look around. And I realize that normal is a pipe dream. For anyone. Normal starts and stops within these walls, with these people I adore. Normal takes my unconventional parenting and turns it into enough and just right.

It's the season of Christmas cards. My honest to goodness fave. It's like presents in the mailbox. It's all our friends and family showing their best, normal selves. And all those normals start to pile up until it makes your own family feel a little less than. Because, look at everyone's accomplishments! And their dressed up beauty! And let's not even mention all the Christmas home tours on the web and Pinterest. There's no way my house matches up with any of that. I can't even keep it clean.

I don't know what it is about this time of year. It's a recipe for the good and the ugly all bundled together. There is so much wonder and there are also heaps of stress and guilt. It's like we can't have one without the other. Maybe we're supposed to wade through all the difficult stuff so the important stuff shines that much brighter. It's a weird combination.

So, here's what I have to relearn every year, right around this same time-- We're all normal, and extraordinary, and good. We're just doing it in our own way, in our own time. We are fighting to keep it real and plowing our own path tightly holding hands with these people we love. We're in it together. All the way. For always.

That's what the holidays are all about. That path. The one we're on with our families. The one that looks different for each of us. The one that brings the greatest joy as we build it together. One normal step at a time.

Enjoy it. Take the time to see it. Above the gifts and the cards and the stress, really see it. Take your people close and let them feel your love. That's magic transformed. The kind of magic that a baby in a manger gifted to us all. Let's share it with those that matter most.

Merry Christmas, everyone.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

The Christmas Spirit

First off, there will be no sass coming from anyone when you see the sucky quality of these pictures. You'll just have to deal. OK? One is at night and the other is at 5:30 am, in my kitchen. With my phone. You see? No sass.

Ugly sweater day at school also coincided with their choir tours to the elementary schools. Is it just me, or does Child #1 look like the snowman is coming forth from her stomach? And I can't decide if the sweaters are just ugly-ugly, or ugly-awesome.

Who knows, maybe those elementary school kids got a little frightened during the performance. Because, come on! It's like a Christmas Elf barfed on some shirts and they clothed their bodies with them.

And does anyone else notice that Child #2 is now taller than her sister? Oh boy, that's a deal.

My sister, oh my sister {sigh}...Let my Baby Child stand on top of her car. One twin is buckled properly in her seat and the other is shooting out of the sunroof. Ah, seriously? This is epic trouble. I think. Maybe? She "claims" she didn't know it was all happening. Yah, right.

Live wild and free this weekend.
And if you're feeling especially crazy, hot glue a bunch of Christmas crap to a sweater, and then wear it to church. For. Reals.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

A Burning Question

Before you even ask, yes. Yes, I painted the acorns. And they are so rockin' my world. I can't even tell you how much I love them. A friend brought them to me from her yard. That's love for you, my homies. And let me just say, them tiny, little nuts are a little tricky to coat. Worth. Every. Minute.

But listen, there's a little nugget of questions whirling around in my brain. And I just have to get them out. M'kay?

I went to the mall yesterday.

Let's pause here for a sec....because the mall at Christmas is not my fave place.

I'd been putting it off for a while. It was a 'must happen today' moment. I geared up for it. I saved 5 different tasks for this one trip. My arms grew weary from carrying all the bags. Which is totally ridiculous.

So, here's my question that I just have to ask. Ready?

What is it exactly about Christmas that screams Hickory Farms beef log? Really. Why does this little kiosk pop up during this holiday? I mean, come on, beef and cheese that does not require refrigeration? Is that wise? I don't get it. Do people really buy this stuff? And if so, where does one take it? Personal use or party fare? Do you see where I'm going? So many questions.

Oh, and just for giggles, I noticed that they also sell mints. In pastel colors. Say what? Since when do happy holidays start with beef logs? What am I missing?

And on a side note, I've come up with a genius idea. Because, of course.

Every mall shopper needs to be assigned a cheerleader. Bam. Awesome.

Remember when Child #1 used to be a runner? There were times I would jog along side her (Let's be serious, it wasn't very far. I'm allergic to exercise.) and cheer her on. You know, pump her up to keep going. That kind of thing.

Every mother shopping during the Christmas season needs one of those cheerleaders. Someone to walk along side her and stand in the holy mess long lines with her. "You can do this." I'm telling you. We mothers need this. It might be life changing.

But, beef logs?
Not so much.

Happy Holidays.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Gifts All Around

You guys. Listen. There's something wrong with me. And I can't pinpoint what it is. I feel like I'm circling around the answer, but it still eludes me. This happens to me sometimes. Well, lots of times.

I think it's the season. This one we're in. There is no Joy in the World because mothers everywhere are too flippin' busy. Ya know? And that just makes me a little crazy. And impulsive. There's an itch under my skin to just bust out and be a rebel. Like, oh I don't know, buy myself something completely ridiculous that I can no way afford (am I the only one who ever gets that feeling?). Or, not go grocery shopping and let the masses fend for themselves! Oh, that's a good one.

There is a frenzy in the air to get all the gifts and make sure they are the right gifts. And then you've gotta make sure each child's pile of said gifts is "balanced" with all the siblings. And when I buy the one thing I think they'll love, love, love, they decide they no longer want it.

When you break it all down, Christmas is the weirdest holiday. I'm totally not kidding. Because, let's be honest, we don't make it matter in the right ways. We don't. True, we make it matter. Just in some ways. Not always the most important ways. Don't you see?

And all of it, All. Of. It. makes me jumpy. At times, it makes me feel like I'm losing my ever loving mind. And that can't possibly be the point. Not at all. So, what is the point? The real one?

Maybe that's the secret. Maybe, if I could find that, I wouldn't feel so wonky and rebellious. Or maybe, those very things are trying to steer me in the right direction. The one that points more toward Jesus and less towards online shopping. That direction, that path, feels so much more calm than this one we hop along until December 25th.

I think there might just be a way to live on both sides of this season. Because, truth time, I love buying stuff for my family. Seriously, I love it. I go overboard every year, and I don't even feel bad about it. But there's peace buried in there somewhere. It matters the most, that's probably why you have to dig to find it. Maybe that's why it becomes such a gift.

Because gifts are awesome. And so is family, and so is merry and bright. It's all just wrapped up together, looking the same, but not being the same. I guess it's just up to us to make sure we take the time to unwrap ALL the gifts. Not just the ones we worked so hard to buy.

'Tis the season, people. I say we live it up. We give gifts and also take time to receive them. The material kind and the Jesus kind. They both matter. Just in different ways.

May we have the eyes to see and hearts to know the difference.

Let's do something rebellious today :)
Joy to the epic World!

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Random On A Saturday

The tree is empty. The Christmas Tree. I have yet to unpack all the ornaments and I just can bring myself to worry about it. The only thing hanging on the branches are 4 beautiful ornaments colored by one of my favorite 6 year olds.

Can't I just leave the tree as is? Like, bare pine needles and all? And the star topper is sitting somewhere in my bedroom. Because that's totally normal, right? I may just start a new tradition this year. The ornaments-stay-packed-away tradition. I don't even think my kids will notice.


One of my favorite things about Christmas? When my kids start declaring what they want when we're this close to the finish line. Seriously. I'm on the downward slide to the wrap up and they start changing their minds. It's ridiculous.

The Baby Child just told me to "Return a bunch of stuff you already bought because I really, really want a basketball hoop." Ah, no. Santa can't fit that in the sleigh. And Child #2 told me this week that she so super bad wants a pair of new jeans. That only cost $170. Shazaam! When I asked her to stop for just a second and think about how expensive that is, she replied, "Well, can't dad just get a better job?" Well, duh. Of course.


Child #2 also texted me this week asking me to pick her up early from school. Why? Because she had to pee. Way bad. And this girl has a fear of using public restrooms. Well, not so much a fear as a refusal. So clearly, the logical solution is to just leave school early. Right?


I've started talking to myself. A lot. I'm pretty sure that's not good. On so many levels. Oh, and one of my kids pointed out that at times, my hair looks like a lion.


The Husband was using the restroom at work the other day. While washing his hands, he noticed in the mirror that the collar of his dress shirt was completely ripped and he had blood on his face from shaving. As he left the bathroom and started walking down the hall, the heel of his shoe fell off.

We're classy no matter where we are. Fact.


Keep it real this weekend, friends.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Wait For It...

Child #2 hates, and I mean hates, getting her picture taken. I don't know if it's the standing still part or the smiling part. But she loathes them. So of course, that's golden material for me. I make/force/blackmail her into pictures all the time. Her torture is my joy. It's the mothering circle of life. Or maybe just payback.

Last Friday, Daughters #1 and #2 had a dinner theater performance. Renaissance style. The oldest was completely in character, poised and all that good stuff. Child #2 looked like she'd rather be getting her body waxed than standing there. At one point I think I noticed she hadn't even combed her hair. Nice.

Que the picture taking! I warned her before the event that she couldn't change her costume until I had snapped away to my heart's content. My words went something like this, "So help me, you will wait until the show is over and I will take your picture. If you don't cooperate, I'll cut off your hair while you sleep and shape it into woodland creatures." See? I can so totally be motivating.

Against all power of her self control, she took pictures.
First with the Baby Child.

I told her to "Knock it off!" So, she gave me this.

And then this.

And then I whipped out my firm, ugly voice.
And she settled down.

By this point, she is in full melt-down mode because I'm making her wait for her sister. She is literally jumping up and down with a silent scream. She even took the sleeves off her dress in an attempt at disrobing. Oh, and this was after she had hiked up her dress all the way to her bra so she could get her phone that was tucked into the waistband of her yoga pants. Just keepin' it classy.

Really, the whole family knows of her hateful picture taking ways.
And we relish every bit. Especially when her sister kissed her.

But then, oh and then, Child #1 got darn stinkin' irritated.
Can you tell she's yelling at her to "Stop it and smile!!!"?
My entertainment just jumped up 5 levels.
And she's still holding her sleeves.

So, she kinda tried. Just so she could be done with the whole thing.

And once again, I had to use my outside voice to get it done.
Have I ever mentioned this child is exactly like her dad?


May your season be filled with lots of picture taking.
You know ours will.

Thursday, December 4, 2014


Sometimes there are moments where your blessings just stand out, front and center. They stare at you hard. Right in your eyes. Into your soul.

Today is one of those "sometimes".

In the midst of the ordinary, the plain, the every day, there they are. And today I see them. In all their beauty.

May this month gift us with eyes to see our blessings. Not the ones we need. Not even the ones we want. But those that are already there. Right there, at the ready. Covered up by the busyness of life. Those blessings. They're the ones to grab, and hold and cherish.

So do that.


Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Straight Up As Is

I'm giving it to you straight and undiluted today. Christmas, that is. Some years it's fancy and full-blown, other years (well, most always) it's whatever gets put up with the energy available. You know? Yes, I know you do.

If there's anything that I technically "collect", it's nativities. I have several. And they all have a special meaning to me. This year I just couldn't bring myself to unwrap, unbox all the many pieces. So, The Husband hauled those big bins down from the attic and then I let him haul them all right back up. I'm awesome like that.

Most of my Christmas attention got thrown at the mantel. As usual. It's kinda what I do. Here ya go:

And from all angles:

Some stuff I made. Some stuff I had. Other stuff I bought here and there with a coupon. It's like a red and white explosion. In a festive way. No?

And speaking of festive, I'm giving you 2 links to gaze at. OK?

Click here to see the most fun, free advent calendar for your fridge. I printed them up and posted them on my kitchen pantry door.

And click here to read a fresh take on Christmas, from a girl I wish I could meet. She's the real deal when it comes to living your truth. And this season she makes me want to try to be the real deal too. Take a peek.

Happy random Wednesday, friends.
Live it loud and proud with your decor this year.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

An Oompa Loompa In Jammies

Daughter #1 came home several weeks ago with a brand new pair of pajamas. The one zip, feet attached kind. She showed them to me with pride and I told her she was weird. Even better? Her friend bought the matching set.

She wears them everywhere. Literally. She claims it's the greatest $25 she's ever spent. Huh. OK.

And then one random day, while everyone is at school and supposedly working on schoolish stuff, she sends me this:


Let's pause for the awesomeness.

And you know full well that they didn't get this picture on the first try. They worked it. Until magic occurred. Or maybe it's crazy. I can't decide which.

Isn't it so totally obvious that she is ready for college?

Friday, November 28, 2014


She was born on Thanksgiving Day. Our own little turkey, freshly delivered. And right from the start, I knew she was the closing of our story. The caboose at the end of this train. So, I just simply enjoyed her more. I knew she was the last newborn I would bathe, the last baby toes I would kiss. I memorized every moment.

And now she's 12. And that feels so incredibly old for the Baby Child. Somehow that elevates everything into a different season of life. She's the ushering in or the closing up, I guess. Either one, she is there, our constant. The tie that seems to wrap us all up together. She buttoned up our little family and made us whole.

She still does. She's my great reminder to slow it all down and take a look. She's the beauty I get to keep after dealing with too much Real Life. She holds us all steady and balances us all out. We really wouldn't be the same without her. Truly.

She has an unreasonable addiction to Dr. Pepper and she's adopted her dad's fascination with chap stick. She needs everything in order just like her mother and her eye lashes will forever be everyone's envy. She's quirky and beautiful. Stubborn and sweet. And most importantly, she's mine. A gift I'm grateful for every day (mostly). You know how it goes.

Happy Birthday, my Addie Bean.
Always be you. Forever a gift.
Thank you for your joy.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

So It Goes

Days without school are slippery things. They're wonky and messy and just downright crazy. Who ever thought that giving the kids the entire week off was a good idea? How on earth can I count my blessings with the TV on an endless loop?

So, I get strategic. I "casually" suggest they sleep over at my sister's house. And then I just so happen to drop them at their favorite friend's house (the Myer's rock!). I'm so clever when it's needed. And right now? At this very moment? They're at the mall with only a teenager in charge. I've been saying silent prayers for her for the last hour.

But seriously, I swore, I promised these children that we were going to buckle down this week. Rooms to clean, chores to do! I almost drew it out in blood. I was that serious. And guess what? Child #2 lived in her pajamas for 2 days straight while watching at least 53 old episodes of Gray's Anatomy. She ignored my constant demands to work on driver's ed. So I finally told her, and I quote, "I will set your body on fire if you don't get a pep in your step this very minute." She didn't even blink. I need to work on my scary face.

And The Husband discovered yesterday that the Baby Child decided to sign us up for Hulu. Say to the what? When questioned, she replied, "It said it was free for a month! Geez. I wanted to watch my show at our cousin's house." For the love, you're kidding me. Clearly I need to start unplugging the TV's around here. But then what? They'll just follow me around and talk to me. Oh the humanity.

Child #1 has deemed this week a vacation from everything. I've hardly seen her. Today I stomped my foot and demanded she stay home long enough to clean her bathroom. Guess what? She's just watched TV. Shocker. Although, I did just read through a Thankful List she was asked (forced) to write to her parents. She thanked me for being her 'womb creator' and gifting her with awesome dance skills. Well, there's always that.

Here's to a week where blessings stand front and center. And watch a ridiculous amount of TV. Cheers to you.

Monday, November 24, 2014

A Snowflake Sick Day

The Baby Child woke up Friday morning and proclaimed that she was sick and not going to school. I tried arguing with her for a few milliseconds, but I fizzled out half-way into my argument.

She's the child that you don't want getting sick. Ever. She doesn't handle it well. My other kids lay on the couch and watch TV. Not this girl. She buckles down and gets busy, not matter how much her throat hurts. It's weird. By the time she told me she was too sick for school, she was shoving flour and water into a balloon to make a "stress ball". What?

My To Do list for the day was miles long. And included errands that I couldn't have tag along children. And now I was faced with a Child who can't sit still when she's sick. So, the only thing left to do was craft. It's the logical conclusion. Of course.

I spent a small amount of time really stressed about all the things I wouldn't get done. But at some point, I just let it go. And I was just with her. In the strangest of ways, the day turned into something magical. We ran some errands. I left a few out. And we made snowflakes. Ordinary, gigantic snowflakes.

She had seen them on Pinterest the week before and showed them to me. So we spent the day figuring out how to make them. Then we hung them from the ceiling in the kitchen. Along with a cheap box of ornaments she picked out at Hobby Lobby. A day beautifully spent.

So, the next time you're faced with a sick day, make it your own. Take those hours and make them a gift of time. The ordinary can so easily become the extraordinary. And any time spent crafting (or doing puzzles!) is never wasted :)

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

A Question, An 'I Told You So' and A Confession

Question: Do people, regular people, really spend countless hours creating the Thanksgiving table decor I keep seeing all over the internet? I'm being serious. Like, for reals. Beautiful dishes are one thing. That I can understand. But glittered woodland creatures? Hand-dipped pine cones? I don't get it. And I'm crafty!

But people, it's just a big dinner. With pie at the end. I'm really lost on this one. Pinterest is even sending me table ideas directly into my email. What? You wanna know what I really need? Um, I need ideas on how to get teenagers to speak like they're normal. LOL.

I Told You So: Musical auditions have begun. In our house, that's a crazy big deal. And here's what's so funny-- they have to sing AND dance. This now falls on the shoulders of the child who refused to continue dance lessons when she was younger. Oh, how I begged and pleaded. I even said, "You'll wish you never quit one day." I probably even said it with my outside voice.

And today, as she's practicing these dance moves, I'm right. There are not enough words to describe the joy. It's a scrapbook moment. I've got to start being right more often, because this feels amazing!

A Confession: The other night, I couldn't sleep. Like, Restless Leg, couldn't sleep. Except, it was more of a Restless Body. It was making me crazy. So, I got this idea. "I'll do some jumping jacks."

It's around 3:00 am, my house is pitch dark and I decide to stand in my family room and jump some jacks. Guess what? After 6, I peed my pants.

It doesn't get any truer than that.
Clearly, jazzercise is not in my future.

Happy random Tuesday.
Keep your jumping jacks behind closed doors.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Hang Up Your Thankful

Let's speak truth for a minute, shall we? Here's the thing. I'm a crafty gal. You know this, I know this. But for some reason, (ok, many reasons) I rarely post that part of my life here. First off, I'm always worried about the awesome dude readers. They're my fave. Actually, they are the ones that talk to me most about what they read here. It cracks me up and shocks me. Every single time.

And then there's the pictures. I don't have a fancy camera. Just my iphone (the only reason I have it). And what if you think it's dumb? Or I'm weird? The list goes on.

But there's this craft that I actually took pics of along the way. And I've had it stored on my phone for some time. Today I'm throwing it up here on a whim. Sorry dude readers. You're still the bomb. If you actually decide to make this craft, hunt me down and tell me. For reals. I'll even use my phone to take your picture.

Here's what you'll need: Material, small embroidery hoops and chipboard letters.

Start by placing the fabric in each hoop. There's no fancy way to do this. Just clip it on. Tight. Then cut around the edges. I picked a fabric that I wouldn't have to worry about straight lines or following a pattern direction.

Turn over each hoop and hot glue the remnant edge inside the hoop.

Hot glue your letters on the hoops.

In order to hang these up, you need to string them together. Any twine or string will work. This white/gold stuff I had on hand. Make sure the length is very long and just start looping around each hoop screw top. Make sure each hoop is placed evenly apart.

I hung mine above my kitchen sink. You could hang them anywhere, really. Just use nails to secure the string. I actually tied the string around the nails. The garland is a little heavy.

Voila! I added spool and pom pom garlands on top, but you could just leave it plain. And you can pick any word to hang up. Your last name? Your favorite word? (by the way, mine is 'kerfuffle').

Now. I command you to craft this weekend. Get to it.
I'll be painting Child #3's bedroom. Pray for patience.

Friday, November 7, 2014

The Worry List

You guys. I'm a worrier. Did you know? An incessant worrier. And I'm married to someone who is of the "just don't think about it" variety. It's irritating. In an adorable, married foreves sort of way.

You wanna know what else? I generally don't ever talk about my worries. To anyone. So, I'm an internal worrier. My sister thinks my internalizing is causing all my pain issues. Every time she brings it up I visualize choking her, and it makes me feel all sorts of better.

I feel like this Friday is a good day to self talk my worries to the internet. How about I give you some of mine, and you can give me some of yours. It will be a Worry Fest. Instead of praying together, we can worry together. There's strength in numbers. For really reals.

1. I cleaned my closet this week. I know that sounds so ordinary. But I'm not kidding when I tell you that I lost part of my soul in the process. It was grueling.

Here's where it gets weird... My dream job is to do this for other people. And to decorate too. So I can't figure out why this whole process nearly sucked the life out of me. Maybe my own crap is just too much to handle. Maybe I only like other people's crap. I think that makes me a head case.

2. Child #1 is working on the college applications. The other day she was showing me the checklist of what she still needs to do. I almost threw up. Honestly. I kept looking at her and thinking, "This time next year you won't be here." And I wanted to weep. Big, huge tears.

Because, here's the thing. They get to this age and you like them. She has become my friend. Why on earth would I want her to leave for college? It's like a cruel trick. I'm trying to get over it. Really, I am.

3. I didn't vote this week. That makes me a terrible citizen. The worst part? I don't even care.

4. My parenting skills are on the down-slide. This is really nothing new, just something that's blaringly apparent at times. Like last night. When I'm having a conversation with one of the teenagers. And I realize that I just want to give in because I know this topic makes her feel bad. I just want to take all the rules and consequences back. But duh, that's not how life works. Even if I want it to.

5. I really don't like daylight savings time. Like, really, really.

6. I miss my dad. Like, so much. I wish I could call him on the phone. Wishing is a really painful endeavor sometimes. If you have a dad that's only a phone call away, call him. Today. And count your blessings.

7. I have an unhealthy obsession with People magazine. My current subscription just ran out and now I feel like there is no reason to keep on living. What could there possibly be to look forward to if that booklet doesn't arrive in the mail every week?

8. I discovered last week that Child #1 doesn't know how to make scrambled eggs. What?! How have I not taught her this skill? She's going to starve in college.

That's it. Just for today. Maybe.
Lay your worries on me. Come on, we're in this together.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

What She Does At Church

Child #1 is gifted.


Do I have it professionally framed?

Monday, November 3, 2014

October 8

I have 2 favorite writers that I stalk. I mean, "follow". And one of them always hosts one of those link-up kind of parties at the end of every month. You're supposed to list all that you've learned in the last 30 days. The quirky and the serious. But here's what's so funny-- I'm old enough that I'm starting to forget what I learned during the month. Ya? Who's with me?

As of this morning, here's what I can remember. Get ready, good stuff (not really):

1. The Husband is officially disgusted with my inability to use my iphone to it's maximum potential. He has gone so far as to stamp his foot like a girl and claim, "That's it! I'm getting you a Motorola flip phone." Ouch.

So, this is the deal. I have 3 apps on my phone. Oh yes, just 3. I use them sparingly. Basically my iphone is used to text my kids, my sister, and the 3 friends I have. And to store my pictures. I loooovvveeee me some pictures. As proof, I just checked and I have 2,275 currently. Right now, on my phone. I'm pretty sure all my gigs/storage/spacey stuff is used just for that.

And don't you dare bring up the Cloud! I have issues. Deep issues. I am NOT uploading all my pictures to The Cloud!!!!!! I've decided it's not even real. A hoax. It's just sending all your personal information into thin air. Geez, that's so dumb.

2. Just in case you're wondering, because now you know my picture total status. I just checked my kindle (the one I "borrowed" from my mom 4 years ago) and I have 412 books downloaded onto that baby. Good heavens, that just gives me goose bumps. I am a rock star! Who reads a lot. Oh, and takes pictures.

3. Speaking of pictures, here's one:
Every Sunday before church, The Husband gathers wintergreen life savers and puts them in his suit coat pocket. So he can have a snack during worship services. It's totally adorable in a little boy sort of way.

4. You know I heart Pinterest. Like, bunches. But, did you know that I have never opened an account? I don't even know if that's the right word. I have a snarky, obsessive personality and I just know that all my focus would drain into pinning and categories and more pinning.

5. Speaking of Pinterest. I have an issue. Take a deep breath. Let's discuss.
I'm getting irritated with the need to post exercise motivation quotes. Come on people, it's weird. Be honest. Sure, exercise is a good thing. But, seriously? It's reached the same annoying scale of the "stand-in-a-wheat-field-and-photograph-my-pregnant-belly".

Just think if we could channel that motivation into something, oh I don't know, more real life? What about parenting? Or grocery shopping? What about quotes to help me get through homework battles with my teenager? Pah-Leaze! There just has to be more to life than working on your desire to go running. I'm sure of it.

6. Speaking of real life. You won't, simply won't, believe what happened just last week. Shield your heart and eyes:
I got a new batch of acorns delivered to me by the hands of a beautiful 6 year old. So I placed them with my other collected acorns. And after a few days, a creature hatched. Do you see it down there at the bottom of the picture? Oh, glory heavens. I started screaming. For reals. My acorns had been defiled!!

I spread them all onto a tray and cleaned them. And threw out the offending acorns. Trust me, this is serious business. Clearly I think exercise motivation is just foo-foo stuff. But acorns? Serious, serious, stop the world stuff. I am so on top of my priorities. I'm not even going to tell you that I have spent hours hot gluing the tops onto the bottoms, just so they don't lose one another. I think it's a sickness.

7. And just for fun, this is what the Baby Child does when she's bored. Total adorb-zies:

8. And let it be written, that this month, I no longer feel 43. I feel like I'm 80. Is that normal? Maybe I'll ask Pinterest.

Welcome to November.
The month where mothers everywhere realize they have to start Christmas shopping. Holy heavens, that's depressing. No wonder I feel like I'm 80.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

A First

Back in the day, there was a Cheetah, a Spy and a Butterfly.

And now? Now there's just a lovely Minnie Mouse.

The others are too cool to change out of their pajamas. Which is like the signature look for teenagers. So, at least I have the beautiful Baby Child who is willing to dress up. But she is definitely too old to trick or treat with her parents. It was her and a friend and Halloween was their Boss!

This is the first year in EVER that the Hubs and I didn't tag along after children as they ran house to house. We stayed home. Alone. And passed out candy while we watched TV. It was epic. And a little weird, all at the same time. I think this is our new phase of life. Sitting at home while the offspring jaunts away. I like it and I don't like it. Make sense?

Children #1 and #2 went to a party. I believe the goal was to watch a "scary" movie. I texted them at 10:00 pm and asked for a picture so I could have proof of what they looked like for Halloween. They sent back a picture of black air. You know, because they were watching a movie. Duh. If I scrapbooked, I be puzzled by that one.

This morning, the day after, I look around and it feels like Halloween barfed all over my house. There's a sunken pumpkin, candy, wrappers and costume parts. Do you think there's such a thing as a candy hangover? If there is, you'd think I would have had one by now. But I'm pretty sure my sugar tolerance is pretty high. Hey! Maybe they have a Candy Breath-alizer test. You know, and you can't drive if you've eaten more that 2 pounds of candy. I better look into that.

Happy November, friends.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

She Keeps Me Young-ish

There are just certain things that I forget to do with the Baby Child. Like, pumpkin carving. She's been begging for a week. And I keep thinking to myself, "Haven't we done this a bunch of times already? I thought we were over it." And then I remember that she is Child #3. The first 2 are over it, but she's not.

I don't ever want her to feel like she missed out, just because she showed up at the end of the family. Most of the time I think she's pretty lucky. The other 2 burned me straight out. So I let her get away with pretty much everything. A few days ago she said to me, "Stop talking to me because you're really getting on my nerves." So, I did just that. I stopped talking to her and walked away. She ain't my first teenager to tackle.

But this year, pumpkin carving didn't even enter my mind. I just assumed all the children were too old for it. Apparently not. So I scooped up a pumpkin at the Walmart and the Baby Child was ridiculously excited. She washed and carved it. But she wouldn't stick her hands inside to pull out the guts. Turns out that moms are good for something after all.

And now I'm left wondering what else I've missed with her. Did we go to the park enough? What about Happy Meals and the McDonalds playland? Poor girl probably needs a new mom with more energy. Or she can make do with the one that lets her eat Red Hots for breakfast. With chocolate milk, of course.

Monday, October 27, 2014

The Pics

Family pictures. Is there anyone in the history of ever that enjoys this event? It's like a slow kind of torture. Just figuring out what everyone needs to wear is it's own burden to tackle. Getting ready? The worst. The actual taking of the pictures? The worstest. Right?

I don't think my people have ever liked the clothes I force them to wear. And they're pretty vocal about it. There's yelling. Lots of yelling. From me. This is the one day of the year I try super hard to keep my frustrations on lock down. I mean, I really, really try. But then, Child #2 is still watching TV in a tank top and shorts 20 minutes before we need to leave. And her hair isn't done. So, I yell. I can't help it. My whole family hates me on picture day. I think even I hate me.

But then I get to sneak in some pictures of my own with my phone. And now that I'm days separated from the actual event, I can look at them and smile. Don't you just want to stare and say, "Aw, so adorb-zies!"

45 minutes into picture taking and this is where I found her. Laying on the grass. She said, "No more. I'm done." Two seconds later a bug flew into her eye and she jumped around and flailed her arms like she was having a seizure. It was so hysterical I almost started crying. But I didn't, because duh! Always stay camera-ready.

Now, just this morning, I realized that this is the last family picture we will take where everyone is still living at home. Long sigh.....

Happy Monday, friends.