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.