I am in the most beautiful place ever. My kids are in heaven. Andy told me yesterday we should tell all the humans about this place.
I'm leaving today, for a two week maple style party in the naked countryside. I will try and post along the way, but the boonies don't welcome high-speed internet, so it may take a while. Quite literally.
However, I have some bags to post for the next three days or so. Starting with this non-bag goodie. I had my airplane bag all packed, but my diaper pocket was just too big and bulky for the streamlined simplicity organizational look I was going for. So I found a scrappy strap in my box of delights, sewed on some velcro and a little button, and there you have it. Cinched up all nice and simple like. I love it.
I'll think of you while I sit on my chesterfield, sipping my Nanton Root Beer, and chewin' on some MacIntosh Toffee. While staring at the galaxies in the cold Canadian evenings. The stars are amazing in those skies.
And we're off...to my home and native land.
Oh, major sidetrack. My apologies.
So I'm at Sam's Club the other day. The trip was going well. As I'm contemplating the stores unfortunate shortage of samples, I turn the corner. What's this? A fancy schmancy confectionary display I have not seen on this corner before. As I steer my cart of squealin' maniacs in front of this enormous eye candy sample stand, I see the words Fudgie Wudgie. And a million golden boxes of deliciousness guarded by an adolescent sample giver.
Suddenly everyone in the meat section was moving in slow motion with their hair blowing romantically in the pretend wind. Birds began to chirp sweet songs of amore, from somewhere. So this is love.
Jake decided to spend the $10 he earned pulling weeds (10 cents a weed. Yeah, so what. We got a lotta weeds) to buy his siblings a box of the Orange Creamsicle. I decided to buy Conan a box of the Praline Penuche for our anniversary, pretending to forget he doesn't like fudge.
My shiny box of culinary sin has a special place in my fridge, where I greet it ocassionally with a small fork and tall glass of milk. I want to make the affair last. Hold on, to what we've got. It doesn't make a difference if we make it or not. We've got eachother, and that's all right for love. We'll give it a shot. Whoa....we're half way there. Whoa....livin' on a prayer. Um...I do that sometimes. Bon Jovi has nothing to do with my Fudgie Wudgie, but it's a good song.
The Fudgie Wudgie stand was only there for the weekend. A teaser. The sample boy said Hershey voted them the best fudge. Of...all, I guess. And they're based in Philadelphia. And it's not a chain.
BUT...You can order some here. If you want.
(feel the beat on this one) Oh yeah --- uh huh --- I'm doin the roger rabbit.
I got an official super duper honorable mention in the July Scribbit Write Away Contest for the bit about my lack of super-hero tendancies. I win a cool label to display proudly on my sidebar. And a little boost of confidence. How sweet it is.
and the best part...Alice did too.
It's nice to share a personal pat on the back with a good friend. I think Ali is an awesome writer, and mom, so that makes this award even sweeter.
Yowza...It's in my blood now...this award thing. I. need. another. one. What's something award worthy I could do for a quick fix...
How 'bout dinner.
check out the judges blog growing a life. i like it.
So I fake it. Here it is...
Oh, and I did win the Paula Abdul award at Girl's Camp one year. I'm, uh, not sure what they were implying. I'm short, I dance, and I don't make much sense. Okay. She was cool back then, though. So it was cool.
Not nearly as cool as a blog award. I mean really.
What a great summer.
Then we started out the summer with the Book Fair. Mo Willems was there signing books; we caught a very entertaining question & answer session with him. I was fascinated. He is incredibly talented.
Andy has loved his Pigeon books, so we bought one of those to get signed, and we bought this one for Joey.
I am IN LOVE with the Elephant & Piggie series after getting this book. It's illustrations are adorable sketches of characters you'll like right away. You understand each of their personalities and their hilarious relationship as you follow their fun & follies. We laugh out loud when we read this book, and I can't wait to buy more.
I haven't started reading a real book yet. I've got A Wrinkle in Time on my nightstand, but I choose to sleep instead. I promise I'll read, soon. My brain needs some grown up thought processes to chew on.
So she prayed every 30 minutes.
I got myself a timer. It's on my fridge, where most of the chaos takes place, but I can take it with me if I want. On a quiet day, I let it sit on my fridge and just partake of the stillness. But on a regular work day it's scheduled for every 50 minutes.
When I hear it's bell, I pray, whatever I'm doing, however mad or tired I am. I thank Him for my children; I ask for patience & humility; and invite Him again to be my companion in that moment. And other stuff.
Sometimes, instead of praying, I take a minute to tell a child something wonderful I've noticed about them, or just to reconfirm how much I love them. I can see a difference in their behavior and in their treatment towards one another when I do this; and definitely a difference in my own behavior and attitude. Tantrums seem more tolerable. Messes more managable. My job enjoyable.
These frequent petitions remodel my view, and sharpen my focus. A brief snap back to understanding who my children are, and what I am to them. They have become an acute reminder of where my mind should be. Frustration and exhaustion lift.
And I can see. Clearly. For a moment.
Then of course the distractions come. I wanna's and I don't wanna's get the attention. Fear sneaks some control. And I forget a little.
Until the bell rings again.
However...I finally gave up the piano room idea when I found this beautifully distressed REAL LIVE piece of solid furniture I plan to keep forever. I like to look at it.
Our table has stood alone for a while now, because real live chairs cost as much as childbirth. I'm lucky to have become the grateful recipient of Chairs With Character, and a bench, from generous donors. I now have a full fledged adult table with places to sit. I feel so grown up.
My favorite are the chairs I didn't have enough fabric to recover the entire pad of , so I improvised. I really like how they turned out. They add a little whimsy so it's not a "stuffy" space.
Normally I'm too lazy for tags, but Andrea's intrigued me. I was interested to know what my kids think of me. I picked Andy, because he is painfully honest.
1. What is something mom always says to you? Please don't. And clean up the bonus room. It's my turn to do computer.
2. What makes mom happy? Of cleanin' up the bonus room.
3. What makes mom sad? Of not cleanin' up the bonus room.
4. How does mom make you laugh? Of sayin funny things. And doing funny things.
5. What was mom like as a child? I don't know!
6. How old is mom? I don't know!
7. How tall is mom? I still don't know! I still don't know, mommy!
8. What is mom's favorite thing to do? Sorry mom. But I don't know. Darn. Another one.
9. What does mom do when you're not around? Look for me.
10. If mom becomes famous, what will it be for? A hundred thousand dollars. Is that a real number?
11. What is mom really good at? Anything. And taking care of our sleeping stuff.
12. What is mom not good at? TV Games. (i always kill mario)
13. What is mom's job? Of making stuff.
14. What is mom's favorite food? Rice. And chicken. And meatloaf. (um. no)
15. What makes you proud of mom? Of doin' what I say.
16. What do you and mom do together? Play. And do stuff, and build.
17. How are you and mom the same? When I'm old like you.
18. How are you and mom different? Of when I'm smaller than you.
19. How do you know mom loves you? Because, I hear you say that. Am I right?
I tag Katie, because Calvin is hilariously candid.
way to go, LeGrand. woo capital hoo. you win a bag of fritos.
new rule. no way smart lawyers are allowed to play.
my next clue was really good. but that's okay. i'm happy for you and your fritos.
BTW...Conan was just being nice to me by not guessing it.
Thank you gorgeous mommas, for saving me.
I want to run through these flowers with the wind blowing my hair in slow motion, and as I look back with that flirty sophistication, I fall ever so gracefully ('cause it's in the script). Conan lands next to me and we lay there in a blanket of bliss (oooh, that's cheesy good) and talk about our future together, and our fields of gorgeous. (as Sandi so appropriately named this photo)
Because that's what they do in Oregon.
I'm proud of this one. Knowing you guys, you'll guess it before I can pat myself on the back. But Conan didn't get it, so I have a sense of accomplishment already.
Here's it is...
Oooh. It's a goodie.
So leave your guesses in the comments. If nobody gets it right by Friday, I'll give you another clue. Three clues in all. First one to guess it right wins a prize.
"Uh...what? Where's your counterpart?!"
I found him in my closet, hiding behind my deodorant.
There are 50 million creams and pastes squeegied ALL OVER my bathroom. He has learned harsh pronunciation of the phrase "Big Trouble" today.
You don't get a picture of the mess because I'm still mad at it.
I'm not sure how many scrubs Kacie ingested this morning, but there are a lot of empty bottles with no sign of their contents.
I left my boots in the Batmobile.
How will this super-momma ever rid the world of all that's evil and unfair without her sexy red boots?
After whining about the impending doom and destruction, the chocolate syrup serenade on my clean kitchen floor snapped me back. The art of saving humanity must go on. With or without the hot outfit. Bruce will bring my boots home with the milk.
Silly. Silly Super Hero. You're only as good as your costume.
The sharp realization is, I'm not Wonder Woman, like the underoos had convinced me so long ago. Uh...duh.
As validating as it would be, Super Hero status doesn't come in the can with Motherhood.
My Lasso of Truth is...I'm only as beautiful as the day I get to shower with shampoo and wear a shirt with buttons; only as wise as the great idea I stole from the perfect mom I found during a good link session, who I just assume is awesome because she only posts the awesome stuff, as it should be; I'm only as swift as the diaper-of-nastiness being unlawfully tossed onto the tropical popsicle stained carpet; and I'm only as strong as the double ply Bounty I keep in my fanny pack. I really can be rinsed and re-used.
I yell. I don't do it right, according to whoever gets to decide that. I change my mind mid-consequence. My super kicks are about as high as your shin splints. I don't even have the nutrition triangle hanging on my fridge. In fact, I've added a level for vanilla wafers right between the cheesesticks and the canned peaches.
And the bad guys make me cry.
I realize Lex Luthor is just a sad bitter man because his mom made him eat sweet potatoes. His buddies, Dr. Doubt and Captain Comparison have issues, too. Probably with broccoli. But they put up a good fight.
How am I supposed to kick evil's rear without the fancy magic bracelets? Do I scold or re-direct? Why doesn't my anti-frizz mousse anti-frizz? Does the 30 cents I save not buying the fancy tinfoil really matter in the realm of Budgetdom? What exactly does High Fructose do to your guts?
Then there's that villanous marvel shot at the super mom down the street...How does she do it? The answer is, she doesn't. She just wears the sexy red boots.
It's only a costume.
Like these. LindsayJane Photography.
I knew Lindsay before she moved out to Utah forever ago. She is now a super-duper successful real life photographer. And a darn good one. I haven't seen her forever, and just found her blog after a good linkin' session. I linked right to her. Surprise.
Her photos make me want to do two things. Okay three things. Buy an expensive camera and pretend I can do that. Get married again so I can have pictures like that. And spend lots of money for pictures of my family, like that.
And then there are these by my cousin's wife, Becky.
I'd like to have the sunset photo blown up in my bedroom. Of me and Conan, of course. Romantic, eh?
Gee whiz. Photo Envy.
Stopped in Clanton to buy a basket of peaches;
We were right on the lake, swimming with the alligators;
two minutes from a good day with white sand, waves,
and the Gulf lovin' jellyfish.
We played on the beach for two days.
Peaches and sand don't like eachother.
Drove around and looked at fancy pants beach houses
& picked the ones we wouldn't stay in.
And taught the kids to play Settler's of Catan. Dani won.
Friday night we spent the evening on the shore and watched the sun go down.
Then when it was black, we watched fireworks off the coast.
Andy, Joey, and Kacie slept through it.
Then we drove home.