Friday, January 31, 2014

My First and Last Groundbreaking

Texas Children's invited The Angel Baby to be a part of the groundbreaking for a new hospital. So, of course, we all tagged along. Because Riley has a serious set of groupies. And do you see her pearls? Oh good grief, it's too adorable for words.

I've never been to a groundbreaking before. How about you? Well, let me just tell you that this kind of stuff is way above my pay grade. Like, waayyyyy above. There were financial donors and doctors and women with super nice outfits just milling around the place.

The man sitting next to me has been on the Board of Trustees for 26 years. He turned to me and said, "So, what do you do at the hospital?" To which I so eloquently replied, "Nothing. I'm here to watch the Angel Baby wave at everyone." I was extremely tempted to sing him my college fight song just to prove I actually went to college and therefore have some sort of smarts in my brain.

The CEO was a charming man. He spoke and then the ground was blessed by a Rabbi. And then the Bubble Boy's mom (he was a patient at Texas Children's!) introduced a choir from the school named after her son. It was lovely. Oh, and then the super important hospital-ly people got special shovels decorated with polk-a-dots (note to self-- Even yard tools need to be fancy). They all dug into some beautiful, pristine dirt that in no way, no how came from the real ground.

And then, they brought out a cake. People, it was the model-sized version of the hospital. Goodness gracious, just look at all that beautiful cake. Then they chopped it all up and served it to the really important, beautiful people. We hightailed it outta there. Because, for reals, I'm used to looking at all the people at Walmart. This was a whole other deal.

Today, for about 90 minutes, I got to see how the other half live.
I seriously need to pick up my game.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

The Year Thus Far

We are 30 days into 2014. And I'm already tired. How about you? Well, I was tired in 2013, so I guess it's no surprise that carried over into the new year. Right? I'm starting to think it has something to do with "being of age" after 40. Tired is the new black. Or something like that.

Sitting on the couch has become my new favorite thing to do.
I'm pretty sure that it's an 'after 40' thing as well. Or, maybe I'm just a slow learner.

What I've learned in the last 30 days:

1. Are you taking part of the "Un-Word" craze? Picking the one word you WON'T be this year? I've seen all sorts of things: Un-Frantic, Un-Hurried, Un-Stressed.
I've picked mine. You ready for it? 'Un-Vegetables'. I hate them. I'm going to do my best, my very best, to avoid them this year.

2. I like to watch my kids cry. It brings me a perverse kind of happiness. Yes, I know I'm whacked. This is not news.
Child #1 is full-tilt, maxed-out busy. The musical starts tomorrow and I feel like I haven't seen this daughter of mine for over a week. I get small glimpses of her every now and then.
Solo and Ensemble Contest for choir is coming up and I asked her if she wanted to participate. She nearly died. Well, her exact response was something like, "Nope. Oh, nope. Nada. Can't do it. I'll cry."
And me, being me, said, "Do it. For sure. I like seeing you cry."
She informed me that I am an inspirational mother.
Ah....so sweet.

3. This came in the mail. Again.
Did they not get my note about the last catalog? That this kind of material should not be freely given to the public? I'm telling you, it's scandalous.

And you won't believe what they've done.
I'm serious. You won't believe it.
They took one of my very fave candies and shaped it into a heart!
"Pure joy in every bite"?!!!!!
More like pure candy porn. I'm telling ya.
I've had dreams about the pictures in this catalog. For legit.

4. Teenagers need hearing aids. Why on earth is the hearing aid business not marketing to mothers with teenagers? They could be making millions. Just make those hearing aids look like ear buds, and you're golden. I'd buy dozens.
Because, here's the thing-- They pretend not to hear you. Or, that they "didn't know". It makes a parent want to do something irrational, like shake them. Or choke. Either would work.
Oh, and when you don't agree with a teenager, all of a sudden you're "Yelling" at them. I can show you yelling, my friend. Just you wait.
With a hearing aid, I could turn it up to full volume, get down in my teenager's face and make sure to talk real slow. Then there would be no denying.
I should get a patent on this genius idea.

5. While watching Downtown Abbey last Sunday, I found myself wishing for my own Ladies Maid. You know, someone to make me breakfast. Help me put on my fancy jewels for dinner. That kind of thing.
As I laid in bed that night, thinking about this wish, I realized something. I AM the Ladies Maid. For everyone else.

6. I'm slightly obsessed with collecting Washi Tape.
I don't know why. There is no good reason for me to buy cute, paper tape. But yet, I do. I can't help it.

7. I'm a bad parent.
Well, we already knew this. But this fact has just been refreshed for me.
Child #2 loves, loves, loves The Bachelor. Yes, I know it's weird. And yes, I know she's 14 and shouldn't watch it. Bad parent, remember?
But it is kinda funny. She watches the show and the entire time she makes fun of the girls. Lots of eye rolls. Lot of "oh please!" coming from her mouth. And she also claims the Bachelor isn't even very cute. I have no idea why she watches it. Guess what else she loves to watch on TV? Home remodeling shows. I know, it makes no sense.
But here's the bad parent part...The 11 year old has started watching The Bachelor too. When the show first started I stomped my foot and put my hands on my hips and demanded that The Favorite Baby Child would not, absolutely not!, watch this show. I made Child #2 pinky promise not to watch it when her little sister was around.
Well, guess what? The Favorite is totally into the show and which girls are dumb and which girls should get a rose. For the love.
I shouldn't be allowed to be a parent.

8. Tomorrow is an anniversary. 19 years ago, an Idaho-farmer-turned-style-conscious-pretty-boy asked me to marry him. And my life has never been the same. In all the fantastic ways. I adore that farmer. Maybe he'll scour that candy porn catalog and buy me some heart shaped chocolates. Or maybe, he'll just come home. Because, let's be honest, would you come back here every night? The fact that he does kinda makes him a knight in shining armor (that was made by Banana Republic).

Enjoy your Thursday my friends.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

The Snow Day. Real and Otherwise.

They canceled school.
You know, because the snow is dangerous.

This is what a "Snow Day" looks like in Texas:
No coats.
No "snow" (that's just gathered up frozen ice).
Oh, and you can listen to music with your ear buds in while you chip icicles off the back of the car. Apparently, this can make a 14 year old giddy.

Here are the same children, 7 years ago. In Utah:
Real snow.
And school was in full swing.

I have nothing more to say.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

For Saturday

A joke for you. From Teenager #1:

What do you call a cow standing in tall grass?

Udderly Tickled

Yes. I know. It's hilarious.
You're welcome.

And because you're smiling, I give you my girls. They're all in one place, at the same time, and in the same breathing space as one another.

OK. I kinda, maybe sorta, forced (with some yelling) them to stand close together and smile. This came at the end of a long, bad day and I don't think they dared to defy me.

I hope your weekend is filled with a little humor and maybe some sorta forced (with righteous yelling) family time.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Wait For It...

Daughter #1 needed 'special theater makeup'. Supposedly, they only sell 'special theater makeup' at 'really special stores'. I keep forgetting the name of the store, so I just continue to call it Kitty Kat's Closet. It's far from correct, but whatever.

While The Daughter is purchasing her 'super-special-theater-makeup-that-looks-like-I-could-buy-at-Dollar-General', she and her friend decided to peruse the store. And low and behold, guess what she found?

She sends me this picture claiming it's perfect for me. For Halloween. Oh, and my sister can wear the matching one. Ya'll, these are too awesome for words. Except for these--I have the Best. Daughter. Ever.

But wait, it gets even sweeter.
Just in case your teeny eyes can't read the packaging, guess what these beauties are called......Liquid Metal TankTards.

Say what?

Let me just repeat for fun. Liquid Metal TankTards.

For heaven's sakes, I'm actually trying to imagine where I would wear this. To surprise my teenagers by showing up to the high school? What about a PTO meeting? Oh, I know, how about church? Although, I would need to make it a little fancier for that. So, I'd wear a belt. And some heels.

It looks like there are several packages available of the TankTards. I'm thinking this should be a group effort. Let me know if you want in.

Monday, January 20, 2014


Art created by Child #2

It's a holiday. And it's actually one I like. Why? Because The Husband has the day off as well. He gets the privilege of running interference with the offspring.

I woke up thinking about Martin Luther King having a Dream. It was a lovely one. Big and bold. So, I've decided to dream today too. Also big and bold. Go big or go home, and all that stuff.

My Top 10 World-Changing Dreams:

1. Congress should ban the wearing of leggings on anyone over the age of 6.
And jeggings? Oh, for the love. They shouldn't even exist.

2. Anyone wanting to use glitter has to take a course and get certified. All glitter needs to be kept 'behind the counter' and you must show your 'concealed glitter license' in order to purchase and carry glitter on your person.

3. The food pyramid needs to be tipped upside down.
Vegetables are stupid. Sugar is supreme. Enough said.

4. School should be all year. No breaks. Ever. Well, 3 days for Christmas. That's it.
It will be like having your kids at boarding school. Just cheaper because they "board" at your own house. This is a seriously genius idea.

5. If we have the technology to put a human in space, then we definitely have the means of creating a "Sass Zapper". Anytime your teenager rolls their eyes or gives you sass, they get a little jolt of electricity. Kinda like a taser. Holy moly, mothers everywhere would snatch these up speedy quick.

6. All cars should have limousine windows installed. All of them. Then, when you don't want to listen to the crazy going on behind you, the window goes up. And let's be real here, the window would pretty much always be up.

7. All ugly or stupid t-shirts should be banned (unless you wear them to do yard work). I'm thinking that a national committee could be formed to decide which ones should become extinct.

8. All texting needs to use proper grammer. I'm seriously concerned that teenagers everywhere are growing up not knowing how to spell. I'm not even going to mention how I feel about acronyms being used when you're speaking out loud. Actually saying "LOL" is so very, very not cool. It needs to stop.

9. Every Friday should be Craft Day.
Maybe the work week should only be 4 days. That way everyone could Craft.
Well, except the children. They have to go to school. No exceptions.

10. Wives and Moms are always right.
Congress needs to pass this law. Can't you see how much easier everyone's lives would be if this one teny-tiny law was put in place?
I think this one deserves a t-shirt.

I hope you do your own dreaming today....

Saturday, January 18, 2014

A Bathroom With Sass

I forgot how much I hate painting. I used to do it all the time. But now, when I'm only half way into painting a room, I just want to toss it all. I don't have the patience for it anymore. Or the energy.

And bathrooms are the worst. The. Worst. All those nooks and crannys. It makes me want to scream. But the 'Buttercup Barf' color made me want to scream even more. It had to go.

Here's a little golden nugget of knowledge-- covering any color with white takes at least 3 coats of paint. Who knew yellow was potent enough to need that much coverage. Last night I could hardly lift my arm.

This morning, in the light of day, I stand back and survey my new, white bathroom. It's now back to the same color as the day we moved in. {sigh} And when I squint my eyes to make them beady-small, I pretend that the pink-like-hue I see underneath the white is totally supposed to be there. I did that on purpose. As if.

But, here's my vision. Because, you know, all bathrooms need a vision. Right?
The Nester's House
See them there dots? I heart them soooo much. They're vinyl stickers. I ordered them for myself for Christmas. They's is goin' in the bathroom. Don't it now make sense why I painted the walls white (with a totally-on-purpose pink hue)?

And then I'm going to try my gosh darn hardest to create this watercolor art:
Click here for instructions
It just might turn out all ugly and stupid, but I'm going for it anyway.
Just thought all ya'll would want to know.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Sisters and Wishes

Parents make lots of wishes.

Lots and lots.

We usually back them up with a whole lot of prayer.

Different seasons of life bring different wishes.

But in our house, one wish stays true and constant:

Sisters Are More Important Than Friends

I rarely see any kind of undercurrent to this wish. Actually, it's usually the opposite. All bickering, annoying, mean-ish comments thrown out in quiet words. That's more of the every day.

But then.


One daughter takes notice that her sister is struggling with mid-terms.

And so, she secretly creates an uplifting art-note.

And when her sister isn't looking, she tucks it into her computer.

And just like that.

Wishes come true.

And sisters feel like the greatest gift ever given.


Tuesday, January 14, 2014

I'm Writing Down My 7

I'm a realist. I think. Maybe I'm a realist who leans towards pessimism. Maybe? All I know, is I call it like I see it. And then I say it out loud. Without reservation. I think it throws people.

My favorite it when women say, "Motherhood is the greatest thing that's ever happened to me." Ah, really? Seriously. Reeeaallllyyy? Because, don't get me wrong, I love being a mom. I adore my kids. But, the greatest thing to ever happen to you? Be real.

These women obviously haven't been to Target and found those little red clearance stickers. When I find one of those, and it reads $4.98, I want to weep with reverence. Motherhood can't compare to that kind of joy. Sure, it has it's own kind of fantastic-ness, but not the clearance sticker kind. And don't even get me started on marshmallow Peeps. That, my friends, might be one of the greatest things to happen in the whole wide world. For reals.

My realistic wired brain tends to shun making goals. I'm just not a fan of them. I feel like they just set you up for failure. So I never make them. Well, that's not true. I have the same goal every year. Here it is: Floss more than I did last year. To be a success in 2014, I need to floss 3 times. I think I see a gold star in my future.

This last week, all my anti-goal-making thoughts have started to dissolve. I have no idea why. I've felt this need to write down some things that I really HOPE to accomplish this year. Maybe they aren't so much goals as they are a list of all the stuff I've put off for so long. Or, maybe I'm just getting old and tired and I need this list to give me some point of direction.

Here we go:

1. Paint my kitchen table and chairs.
I've wanted to do this for the last 5 years. This table is the first piece of furniture The Husband and I bought after we got married. It has fork jabs all over it, nail polish and paint stains. The varnish has worn off in some places and Child #2 has written her name in several locations on the under sides.
It needs a make-over. And it needs to happen this year.

2. Clean all the blinds and windows in my house.
I've lived here for 6 years. I've never, not once, cleaned the blinds. I hate it and just can't bring myself to do it. The dust covering them is like a second skin by now. It's just ridiculous.

3. Buy a pair of yoga pants. And actually wear them.
Yoga pants are lounge-wear. I don't lounge. Ever.
This year I might give it a try.

4. Re-organize my closet.
This task is huge. And it needs to happen. It makes me tired just thinking about it.

5. Own a full set of dinner plates.
When Child #3 was born, I simplified my life by using paper plates for all meals. That child is now 11. We still use paper plates. We own no others. Well, that's not entirely true. A couple of years ago, Child #3 asked if we could buy "some of those round, hard things people eat on". My cousin bought her 4 green plates from IKEA. Those are the only plates I own. Truly.
I need to be more of a grown up and own some dishes. Maybe.

6. Convince my children they like me.
Bribery and physical force may be used.
This one is more of a dream, really. But, I figure I might as well give it a try.

7. Get a job doing something I love.
Decorating and writing. How on earth do you find a job doing that?
This one feels near impossible.

This list feels long and hard. Especially to a realistic, non-goal-setting girl. I don't even have a plan in place to accomplish any of it. That just feels like too much work. I may just need to stick with the flossing.

Thursday, January 9, 2014


Why does January always feel like a fresh start? It comes with a rush to make changes and set goals. But, why January? Why not April? It doesn't make much sense, really. New year, new plans? Maybe it's something like that.

I'm not a 'Resolutions' type of person. I think they just set you up to feel like a failure. I already have enough of that in my life, thank you very much. So, I've become more of a 'Focus for the year' type person. Something to nudge me in the right direction.

Around the web-world, 'Word of the Year' is all the rage. I'm actually quite a fan of the One Word. I've just never officially picked one to focus on for 365 days. But this year, I'm going to live on the edge and declare a word. For me, it feels rather bold.

Not very fancy, right? I actually just stood in my kitchen and drew this on a piece of paper. Then I stared at it for a couple of days. Just to make sure this was the word I need. Not the word I want. Not the word that impresses anyone. Just the word I need.

I'm a Type A, 5-steps-ahead thinker. I tend to rush, to schedule, to hurry. I am rarely Here. Present. In the moment. Even when I'm sitting, I'm worried about something else that isn't getting done. I load myself down with guilt over all I should be doing.

At this stage in my life, I have a daughter who is a year and a half away from leaving home for college. One in the midst of high school and another that is about to step away from elementary school. Time is passing.

I want to be Here. Not just physically, but with my whole soul. I want to find a way to be Still. A whole-heart kind of Still. To slow it all down and breath in this moment. To look, right here, right now and truly See the blessings standing before me. Big and small. Trials and joy. I want to be Here.

I think I'm in for a bit of a struggle. An internal one.
The best kinds of changes always are.

What about you?
Do you have a word?

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Hop, Skip and Jump

7 Days
2,752 miles

Let's just pause here for a second and feel exhausted. M'kay?

Leaving Houston.
See those smiles? They wore off after 3 hours.

Somewhere in Alabama.
Eating out lost it's charm after the 3rd meal.

Charlotte, North Carolina.
We honored a sweet uncle and cried with even sweeter cousins.
In this picture, at this exact moment, we are having a family discussion about butt cracks. I'm not kidding. The Husband and I were laughing so hard, we almost pulled the car over so we could get it together.

Louisville, Kentucky.
With wonderful friends.

17 hour car trip back home.
All in one day.
No pictures of that. I'm sure "all-in-one-day" pretty much spells it out.

Home. Houston.
Where I force them to put away all the tree ornaments.
Their suffering brought me endless entertainment.
Child #2 started throwing boxes near the end. I wouldn't be surprised if she even threw a few ornaments away.

And now Teenager #1's car needs a new transmission.
I'm thinking a Razor scooter might be cheaper.