Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Walking with Him

Starting this month, our Church began The Story. It's been great, digging in and really exploring the Bible on a different level. It brings up questions and thoughts I wouldn't have had on my own.

In the workbook portion, there was a personal reflection that had me open my eyes a little and I really felt inspired to write about it.

It talks about taking a walk outside to appreciate God's beauty and what He made. Exploring nature, taking time to see the little things that we miss on a normal day, and taking time to just thank God for this moment.

We all have different burdens that we carry. Some burdens may be heavier than others, no one really knows, but either way, we tend to forget God while carrying this burden.

It can be so heavy, that taking one more step, or waking up one more day, is just too exhausting to think of. It feels as if we've been forgotten, that God has left us to carry this burden on our own and it may feel like you're alone. This is when I forget to pray. This is when I make the mistake of trying to take things on by myself, without asking God for his help and guidance.

But God never abandons us.


And, I need to be intentional in my walks with God, so that I don't ever forget that fact.

Why walks?

My favorite way to connect with God, is by taking a walk outside. No matter the weather, no matter the day I've had, I can walk and talk with him during these walks.

It's hard to not feel connected with God when I'm outside appreciating the beauty He created right before me.

I've been having a hard time with my anxiety/depression/OCD lately and it's been difficult to pray about it. The darkness of these struggles, swallow me whole, until I feel alone and forgotten. Anxiety is tricky like that, it has the ability to make me feel like I don't matter. It's hard to just push it aside and talk myself into smiling that day. I have to force myself to be present in the day and not run and hide in a room until I feel better.

That's when I take a walk. I take that time to just be present in this moment, in this very day, and that's all I have to do.

It's during this time that I remember that I don't have to carry all this around with me by myself. I forget that God has been walking right next to me the entire time, with open arms, just waiting for me to pass him my own burdens. He will help me carry them, He will help me along because that's how great God really is.

In this Autumn weather, the leaves are turning their brilliant shades of red, yellow and orange, reminding me that no matter what comes our way, it won't last for long. That this darkness that sometimes fills my head with fear and anxiety, will pass and there will be good days again.

The air, turning chilly, with the reminder of winter mornings not too far ahead, brings us cleansing air that shoots right into my lungs, filling me with hope of a fresh start in this day. That even though I'm having a rough start, or a rough moment, God gave it to me and I always have the opportunity to start over new again.

I feel the sadness of another summer passing, my children getting older and my garden finishing it's time with us. My garden, frozen with the early morning frost, begins to wilt and die, taking those sunny days, spent with my kids in the sprinklers and warm nights, toasting treats over the bonfire, with it.

And then I see it.

A small, leftover promise, still blooming despite the chill of autumn and gloom of cloudy days. A bright white Dinner Plate Dahlia.

White and pure, as if the strength and beauty of God's love is blooming right there for me to see. A reminder from his creation that no matter what comes our way, there's still beauty to be found here. A promise that, despite the darkness that seems to overwhelm us at times, He is still here, waiting for us to see Him. No matter our burdens, He is there waiting for us to lift them up to Him.

He shows us in our everyday, if we chose to see it.

That is why I walk with God. So He can remind me, every single day (if so needed), that He is still here, walking right beside me.

Monday, September 29, 2014

It's Monday. That's all I have. I'm done.

I know I keep promising a post about my recent living room update, but the truth is, it's not done yet.

Patience people.

I will post it by Friday, whether it's done or not. I do love it so far, so that's promising. I needed my dear spouse to hang some stuff for me and apparently he has a life outside this house...how DARE he!

So I have to also be patient and wait for him to put stuff up for me.

Because if I do it on my own, things get out of hand. I drew an example of our "slight" differences when hanging items up on the walls.

This is his version.
To sum it up-uses every tool and takes forever.
Although, things do get put up straight...

My version.
Grab whatever tool that looks similar to a hammer, because I misplaced all other hammers in different areas of the house months ago while hanging other items.
Eyeball the measurements like a normal human.
I'm a natural at this eyeball technique. Works almost never.
Slam the tool into my hand, repeatedly, until bleeding profusely and fingers start falling off.
Hang picture and relax, bleeding out, while wondering if anyone will notice that the product is very crooked.
Maybe I can blame it on an earthquake...do those happen in Minnesota?
As you can clearly see, patience is probably the best idea here.
Now I better get going, because important work is waiting for me.
Like laundry. It's piled up so high, the spiders have filed a petition to get their neighborhood back. And my son told me he would help me when he gets home from school...you know it's getting bad when your kids start offering to help you.
And I have a gumball machine to fill. Seriously, important work to be done here. There are so many choices! It has to be delicious but not TOO delicious or I'll just sit here and eat it all. The good thing about locking it into a gumball machine is the fact that we have to pay a quarter to get the treat out. I never have money and the kids don't like me stealing from their piggy banks for my treat fix.
Happy Monday!

Friday, September 26, 2014

Funky Friday

Ouch...typing hurts!

My hands are bleeding all over...well, it feels like it. I just finished painting the living room and it looks awesome!

I will have before and after photos for a blog post next week. I really, really like it and really, really hope Jalon likes it too...although, will it matter? Probably not.

I had to paint fast today, since the twins are only in school for a few hours in the morning, and I didn't want any extra help from them when they arrived home.

Things went perfectly!

Now, we are going to go hunting for a table I want for the living room in hopes that I will find exactly what I need, in the exact size and style I'm looking for.

Yeah, I'm guessing that won't go as perfect...

Here's a quick update on my day yesterday:

Went to a garage sale with the twins.
Walked up (hoping to find that magic table) and noticed there wasn't much I wanted.
However, the older lady noticed I had 2 young kids.
I saw an evil glint set into her eyes as she picked up a giant toy car and handed it to my son.
Apparently, she was using my kids as a way to sell her junk.
I was petrified.
She could smell my fear and smiled in a knowing way.

But then, this happened:
Declan told her, "No thank you." He just walked away and ignored her.

Color me shocked.
The lady looked stunned as well.
She then picked up a toy doll and showed it to Morgan,
"Do you like dolls, sweetie?"
"My Mommy said no toys." Morgan told her.

I think I stood there with my mouth gaping open for a few seconds before recovering.
The lady sat back down, defeated and slightly amazed.

As I glanced at her shocked expression I gave her a look that said, "That's right.
I've trained them well."
Or it might have been the threat of "no treats ever again if you touch anything" beforehand that did it.
I'm going with good parenting.
Gotta take it when I can get it.
After that, I rewarded them both with this rubber ball thing that has a handle to sit on and bounce.
Pretty fun.
Until it smacks the back of your head when your driving...
I was straightening my hair yesterday and didn't notice that my kids left a mess around my sink that morning while getting ready for school.
I really need to pay more attention to certain details.
Like where I put my hair straightener in the morning.
Otherwise I iron toothpaste into my hair.
Smells nice and minty now.
Just what I wanted...

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Thrilling Thursday Adventures. Almost...

I'm redoing my living room at the moment, so this is going to be brief.

I have been pulling out nails, patching up the holes, putting up tape and painted all the edges so far.

But because of all this going on in our main living space, we've had to push all the furniture to the middle of the room.

Not a huge problem in my book, considering it's for maybe 3 days total...however, my husband thinks I'm doing this purely to torture him.

That's just a bonus. Normally I have to go out of my way to make him miserable. I must be getting better at it.

I love the look of it so far and can't wait to be done with it.

Some people are asking us, "Why are you updating your living room?"

I have many reasons. Here are a few:

1. There was once poop smeared on the wall. Washing it off only made it look weird. I could always see that spot out of the corner of my eye. It stood out to me. And knowing there was once poop smeared across there, just made it worse.

2. There was once pen scribbled across another wall. Washing it off turned that part of the wall yellow (instead of the brown it should have been).

3. Everything in the entire room was brown. Slightly different shades/variations of the color brown, but it reminded me of dirty diapers and made me depressed.

4. It's our main area of living and it needed a little cheering up.

5. There were random spots/holes in the wall from previous owners that were driving me crazy! It was time to cover it all up, finally.

So there.

With all of our furniture in the middle of the room, we can't plug in devices and use them at the same time. Not a problem here. That's why I have a television.

My poor husband, however, realized he couldn't play his game (Clash of Cans? Ha. I know what it's called. But I bet this would be more amusing) while his iPad charged up. So this was his position last night:

I was crocheting and watching Dr. Who.
He was playing his game and fast-forwarding through the commercials for me.
Such a dear.
Although, he was rather inattentive and I had to sit through some scary commercials...
Not a fan of this time of year when all the scary movies start coming out.
Stupid scary doll one is the worst.
Stop it people.
As if I wasn't scared of dolls enough...
One another note, I tried making lemonade today (Crystal light, in case you were wondering), and, as I added water to it, I started to wonder if I picked out tea instead.
This was my water straight from the faucet.
I'm guessing the city is working on the fire hydrants in our area...but a little warning wouldn't hurt.
Brown lemonade is just not appetizing.
That's all I have.
Better get back to work.
The room won't paint itself.
Maybe if I had a creepy possessed doll it would?

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Weekend Update

I need to do a weekend update post! I didn't do it yesterday because I really needed to get that post out of my head.

Ever had moments like that? An idea or thought that made you feel as if your head would explode if you didn't get it out of there? Happens to me a lot.

Time to move on. Weekend update with pictures!

Ah, that's just awesome, isn't it?
Faces full of joy and happiness.
We went out shopping and ran a billion errands.
Drove Jalon up the wall, almost literally, with our chaos.
But what's life without a little chaos?
Those 3 in the backseat are pretty good at it, but I still love them like crazy.
I'm working on a living room update right now, which involves lots of painting.

This about sums up how good it's going...
How hard is it to NOT dump the can of paint on your hand?
At least it was just a wee bit.
Right now I imagine Jalon is probably freaking out due to the amount of very expensive paint I  dumped out.
I wiped it off and tried using what was saved, don't worry.
Then I licked my hand clean.
That way it didn't go to waste.
So there.
This next picture shows you how great I am at washing dishes.
Apparently, not EVERYTHING is dishwasher safe.
Even though it should be.
Or I should pay attention and read the bottom of the item.
Just make everything dishwasher safe, ok?
Thank you.

Although, my son thinks it looks pretty cool.
Accidental artwork.
Find the beauty in everything, right?
It's fundraiser season.
I need to get a job just to cover this portion of life.
I have 3 kids in school and 2 in dance.
The school fundraiser is doing buckets of cookie dough- delicious but we normally wouldn't participate due to the gluten.
BUT NOW, they offer a gluten free chocolate chip!
It's a 2lb tub for $16.
So I decided to order 3- 1 from each kid.
However, due to the fact that there's some sort of "game truck" that my kids really want to participate in and achieve some sort of prize, we would have to sell 10 items per kid.
Darn it.
So much for taking the easy way out.
Our Dance fundraiser is for popcorn to help cover the cost of costumes.
We are going to be spending a total of $260.00 just for costumes alone.
So if we get to eat popcorn, mixed with our tears over the cost of having children, then it's worth it.
Be ready.
If you are physically in my life and have a checkbook/wallet, my children will probably find you.
There's a security camera that my oldest is wanting to protect his room from his brother that lives in the same room.
18 buckets of cookie dough need to be sold for him to get that.
Totally worth it.
You know you need 18 buckets of cookie dough.
Comes with your own spoon and spare pair of elastic pants.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Feet That Move To Bring Good News.

A few years ago, God was leading me down a path that I wasn't sure I was ready for.

And I fought like crazy to keep that path hidden. It was full of strangers, full and open to the world. I preferred to stay still, quiet and uninterrupted. It was safe here.

I'm an introvert and staying at home (or hiding in my safe cave of darkness) has been where I feel the most comfortable. The idea of breaking my habits and getting out of my daily routine was not pleasant nor did I want anything to do with it. In fact, I spent most of my time, convincing the rest of my family that the outside world was unpleasant and harmful. Why go outside when home is right here, warm, familiar and safe?

Making friends has been difficult because that also requires change. I actually have to *gasp* talk to people. It's taken me years to gain enough confidence and bravery to just speak to people I don't know. I prayed to God for a long time for guidance. Why was it so hard for me to do this? Why is it so easy for others? I knew that these feelings weren't normal or right, but I didn't know what to do about them.

However, a few years later (after counseling and medication-dealing with anxiety, depression and OCD), I find myself ready to face challenges I couldn't even think of before. God has opened many doors for me and that path, that once seemed so wide open and frightening, now fills me with hope.

Suddenly, my husband and I find ourselves in a church that feels just like home. Filled with people I feel honored to call friends or even family. I wouldn't change it for anything. Although, I've recently discovered that the church can become another safe cave of darkness, if I allow it to be so.

It can be a safe haven, but it can also be a place for me to hide and not meet new people. I feel comfortable there and now that I feel comfortable, I don't want to reach out and invite people in. Things are going so good, I don't want that feeling to change. Once again, I think I'm building walls up and, instead of keeping bad things out, I'm just trapping myself inside and locking out all the good that could be.

Yes, there's lots of evil and bad out there, but locking ourselves away from it, is also locking out all the good that's out there. Instead of hiding, I need to reach out and help the world find more good, by being part of the good. Instead of searching for good out there, I want to be part of the good that's out there.

God keeps pushing us, doesn't he? Before I can even put up my giant, thick walls, I feel myself being guided down another path. Just when I get comfortable, walking down this first path, that took me so long to reach, there's a slightly less worn path that needs to be taken.

It's almost like he's saying, "Don't get too comfortable here. That's not how you build relationships. And I need you to build relationships so that you can lead people to my table."

Change is hard to face at certain times. We get complacent and know that change may bring a disturbance and shift in our daily world. It may bring in people that might not be so friendly, that might not like me or maybe we will face difficult decisions. I cannot live in fear constantly anymore. I know God wants more from me, in my short time here.

I've been praying so much lately for the ability to find where my spiritual gifts are, where I can make a difference. As much as I ask him to, God has yet to come down here and just tell me where I'm supposed to be and how I'm supposed to help. (Although, it would really make things easier...)

And, as much as I hate to admit this, I feel that the only way to find my path, is to get out of my comfort zone. That's the first step. I don't think we can get too far in life without getting out of that safe zone that we build around ourselves. We work so hard to fill our lives with "safety" that we don't realize the effect we could have if we only broke free of that.

It's not going to be easy. In fact, I have been fighting this for a very long time.

However, God keeps pushing me down this path and I need to stop fighting him and just trust in where he's pushing. There's a rhyme and a reason for each thing he has planned and I can either accept it or hide from it, but I want to find my way in this world and serve Him.

I think it's time for me to stop fighting so much and get my feet moving. And because that reminds me of a song, I had to share it with you:


I know that this is a huge change from where I normally head in my posts. But once again, I found another fork in the path and I need to gain enough courage to walk down it. I will still talk about my kids and I still use humor and sarcasm, but every now and again, I might actually need to be serious. Shocking, I know.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Celiac Disease Sucks.

Yes. I've stated the obvious.

It really does suck.

I was diagnosed last year at 32 years old. I spent 32 years eating whatever the heck I wanted and loving every single second of it. Like Pop-Tarts, Fruit Loops, bread, crackers, cookies, and pizza.

I will say, that for the most part, it's not too bad. But some days are MUCH harder than others...

Here are a few examples of why it sucks sometimes (more than other times):

Just that one little thing.
Lots of people tell me, "But there are gluten free donuts!"
Just. No.
Frozen, boxed donuts, purchased at $8.00 for a box of 6, that you have to heat up and have a slightly similar taste, do NOT count!
I was at the grocery store this morning, and the first thing I noticed was how good the bakery smelled. Full of freshly baked pastries.
I was drooling instantly.
I really wanted to go buy a donut, freshly made that second, and devour it, right there in front of everyone.
I miss chocolate donuts, and those old fashioned blueberry ones and even the simple glazed kind.
I also miss weekend morning trips to the bakery for a breakfast treat with the kids...
Last week, I was out and about, without my kids.
After running errands all morning and into the afternoon, I was starving.
On days like this, I would have made a quick stop at Subway, a special treat for myself.
Stuffing thick, warm bread with meats, cheeses and dressing.
But no.
I have yet to find a gluten free hoagie that tastes REMOTELY like actual bread.
Or even looks like bread.
Once again...not happening.
Nights like tonight, that are full of errands with the family, we would usually be able to pick from numerous restaurants or fight over fast food joints.
Now, our only "safe" options are far away from home, expensive as heck and no one likes to eat there.
We haven't had a meal out in a few weeks.
Celiac Disease, you can kiss my tush.
Although, I will say, my tush is much smaller now that I've run out of food to eat.
Because I'm no longer allowed to cram donuts down my chute at all hours of the day, I lost quite a bit of weight.
Still, not exactly worth it, in my opinion.
I know there are a million substitutes that are entering the world. People are attempting all sorts of scientific experiments to make gluten free food taste like something we would actually want to eat and doesn't smell, or taste, like a foot.
I spend hours, and lots of money, trying my best to re-create my favorites at home.
Not only for me, but for my 7 year old that has been diagnosed with the same thing and wasn't given 32 years to eat and enjoy whatever he wanted.
I found these items on Zulily the other week and went crazy:
This brand is really, really good!
Pretty expensive though, BUT, they are amazing when it comes to the options.
For example-the Pan Bars (the box that's opened in the picture) offered, at least, 8 different recipes on the inside and outside of their box. All of which sounded so delicious. (I did the carrot cake one, and yes, it was sooooo good!)
The biscuit mix does the same thing. I've made cinnamon rolls, biscuits and monkey bread from that one mix. All turned out delicious.
The Better Batter, was a bit expensive. Flour blends usually are. I like it so far.
No, I'm not getting paid to say this.
However, if you also cannot consume gluten and are looking for things that still taste good- these have proven to be worthy.
It's just nice to know that these products are worth the price you have to pay.
Stock up.
If you also cannot have gluten, please be my friend?
Celiac's Unite!
(We could even start a club! A very unpopular club that would revolve around us talking about food we miss the most, lots of tears over cookies that will never be tasted again and how no one understands how hard this is.)

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Epic Nightmares

I'm 33 years old and still have some pretty awesome nightmares.
Sometimes, they involve gore, murder, ghosts, creepy monsters or stalkers. (I happen to have a great imagination.)
Sounds pretty scary right?
Nothing has scared me as much as the ones I've had the past two nights.
It's the same nightmare. On repeat. I think I'm going crazy.
Want me to describe it to you?
*Warning* This is an actual dream scenario I'm describing to you. I'm just giving you a heads up, in case you scare easily.
It's Halloween Night.
We are preparing to go Trick-or-Treating.
When suddenly, I realize, we have NO COSTUMES!!!
I panic, running around the house, screaming at my husband to help me. I NEED to find costumes. How did I forget? How did we get this far in the month already?! Was I in a coma and woke up on Halloween night?
If we don't have costumes, there will be no trick-or-treating. You know what that means?
That's about the time I wake up, sweat soaked, checking my cell phone for the date so I didn't actually miss Halloween.
Yup. That's my nightmare. Weird, huh?
Apparently, Halloween is stressing me out.
I have no idea why.
We already know what we're going as.
That's right- The Avengers!
Evan picked Ironman, Declan wants to be Captain America and Jalon is going, reluctantly, as the Hulk.
My daughter and I are arguing over who gets to be Black Widow.
Seriously, my hair is already red, I should win by default.
And, I have hips.
But my 4 year old is putting up quite the fight.
Maybe I can change her mind by convincing her that Elsa (from Frozen) is temporarily in The Avengers?
Meh. I might just have to settle for being Loki.
(My 4 year old can be quite tough when she wants to be...)

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Random Musings

I couldn't pick just one thing to talk about today. So I'm picking a few minor things to discuss.

I've invented the best device ever.
I will be a hero for coming up with this.
Get my autograph while you can, because I'm about to be famous.
It all started this morning when I bent my Swiffer Sweeper.
Almost broke it in half.
You might be wondering how the heck I managed to do that.
Well, I can tell you that it wasn't from my vigorous cleaning efforts.
(HAHA, so funny!)
I had a spider to kill and that was the nearest item I could find that would allow me to keep my distance and still kill the ferocious beast.
It worked well, minus the bent portion.
BUT, because my Swiffer is now bent, I had to come up with a solution that would allow this device to assist in the killing of insects AND still allow me to sweep the kitchen, when there are approximately 6 meals coating my floor:
Allow me to introduce the Swiffer Spider Killer:
(And yes, in case you were wondering, I was the original artist of this drawing.)
A. Comes with a poison sprayer to "stun" the spider into submission. Always start with this.
B. The Flat squisher, to destroy all movement of spider. Permanently. Run it over, repeatedly, until it's in pieces all over the floor.
C. The Vacuum/Incinerator chamber. I wanted to rid my house of the bug, without ever having to come in contact with it's many legs. This device, will not only suck it up, but burn it as well.
D. The magic button that will set the bugs on fire. Just in case they weren't "dead" enough.
Don't want any zombie bugs coming back to life...
Now, tell me, doesn't that sound like a household necessity?
I thought so.
I went to Kohl's today.
(Sorry Jalon...let me explain first!)
I received a 30% off in the mail and, by LAW*, I am required to use it.
It was going to expire today so I thought I should make sure there was nothing I needed.
Well, it's a good thing I went!
I found a new pair of shoes for HALF OFF.
And, because I wouldn't be me without impulse purchases, I bought this:
He's stationed on our toilet.
He has a motion sensor that knows when you sit down to "go".
Then he either loudly talks or breaks out in song, thus scaring the actual poo out of the person.
And he has a clever way of using potty humor.
Who doesn't like potty humor?
Insane people, that's who.
I'm in love with him.
I'm slowly introducing Jalon to Halloween this year, by making super tiny purchases here and there.
He hasn't said much so far, but I'm willing to bet he won't be able to ignore this one.
Every single person in this house will hear when you sit down on the toilet.
I've gone 6 times in the past hour, just to hear him crack bathroom jokes.
Totally worth it.
I can't wait until Evan decides to pee in the middle of the night...
*insert evil mom laugh here*
*LAW- which is actually just the law I made up in my head to justify going shopping because I had a coupon and having a coupon makes it worth it, even though my husband tells me it's never worth it, unless it's free. Pretty sure he's joking. (Right?)

Friday, September 12, 2014

The Great Bake-Off

Every year, our Women's Group at church kicks off a year of meetings with a bake-off. I've always wanted to win. Well, who doesn't do something like this with the hopes of actually winning?

Some, go all out. Some of us, strive to just finish something that's edible.

I fall into both categories.

I practiced a special treat last week.

Hours of patience, practice and dedication went into this process. I even had taste testers determine the winner.

So professional looking, right?

We determined which one was the winner and I was ready to kick some bake-off butt!

Until I wasn't so ready...

Those are pumpkin donuts. I doubled the recipe, so that I would have enough.

Turns out, when you forget to add sugar, things taste nasty. But since I doubled the recipe, I should have had plenty, just add sugar to the rest and move on, right?

Soooooo wrong.

They look ok, right?
See that half eaten one?
This whole batch went into the trash once I realized it was really gross without sugar.
The other ones didn't set once I added sugar. Like pumpkin mush. Who knew? (If you knew, shut up. Seriously. That was rhetorical. Such a know-it-all...)
I ruined it. I had no more pumpkin in the house. 3 hours to bake up something wonderful, fast. I had no mixes, no secrets, just a bunch of gluten free flours and a few eggs.
So I had to invent a recipe on the go, while making dinner for my family at the same time. I started running around with my head cut off, screaming at the kids to keep their hands out of the sugar-free donuts, and telling my husband to help me make dinner. Jalon started getting mad at me for stressing out and waiting until the last minute to do this, BUT I DIDN'T WAIT, I JUST FAILED THE FIRST TIME!!
Here we go. Time to make something edible now. Competition over...just make something that tastes similar to food. I made a simple vanilla base cupcake, added a few spices in, similar to a Chai Tea.
Then for the frosting I went with browned butter, powered sugar, and cardamom spiced glaze. But it didn't look pretty enough, so I ground up pecans and rolled the cupcake in it for a nice topping.
They tasted good. I ate WAY too many and couldn't even look at them after that point, but at least I was able to bring something.
Turns out, I won 3rd place.
My kitchen, however, won't be winning awards ANY time soon.
Unless it's for the "Kitchen most likely to be infested with rats" award.
Don't judge me.
I'll get to it.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Time Not Well Spent

I recently discovered something interesting about myself.

I spend a LOT of time trying to find ways to spend less time on activities, rather than spend my time doing the actual activity.

Does that make sense?

I mean the sentence, not the action...

There are to-do lists all over my desk and calendars placed all over my house. I spend more time on creating those, perfecting them and making them work, rather than just doing the tasks I'm filling all these lists up with.

Like my to-do list to clean the house. Apparently, I need to find the best way to make a list on HOW I should clean, rather than just using that time to just DO the cleaning.

Here are some examples:

1. I made a dry erase board for cleaning the house. Took me a day to buy/create/hang. Did no actual cleaning that day. The dry erase board lasted a whole week and is now gone.

2. Purchased a wonderful daily cleaning chart online. Printed it out. Spent an afternoon at Target trying to find the perfect 3-ring binder for it. Never looked at it again. Pretty sure I still have it though, should I ever have enough interest to find it again.

3. There are several notebooks scattered around my house, full of Pinterest inspired cleaning charts, to-do lists and helpful hints...can't find one of these in the mess I've made.

On that note, now that all 3 of my children are in school, I have from 8:30-11:30, to do whatever I want.

Seriously, that's a looooooong time! I haven't been given a large amount of "free" time like that in awhile. Apparently I don't know how to use it properly.

There's so much I should be doing. Like, I should wash the dishes so that I can bake this afternoon. Or I should be doing the laundry, because my kids are complaining about wearing pajamas to school. And I should be working on this darn book so I can actually accomplish a major life goal of mine.

I have some good intentions at the start of the day. Like how I'm going to sit down, TV off, work on editing the book I wrote, catching up on email and maybe do some cleaning.

Instead, what happens is this:

1. Drop kids off at school. (10 mins)
2. Walk into nice quiet house. (2 seconds)
3. Shut door. (1 second)
4. Look around and marvel at how quiet it is. (2 entire minutes- just to be sure no one else is here.)
5. Squeal loudly and do happy dance in kitchen. (a full 5 minutes-I have great dance moves)
6. Grab coffee and sit at computer. (5 minutes.)
7. Find Facebook, Netflix and a random book I left on my desk. Easily distracted. Forget why I sat down here in the first place. (2 hours later....)
8. Crap! I wanted to clean! I had things to do! Nooooooo! (5 minutes)
9. Well, too late now...might as well finish this book...( last half hour of freedom)
10. Pick up kids and regret my morning decisions. (rest of the day)

I have issues.

But I'm great at making lists.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Fall Bomber's Moon Dance


Bomber's Moon is a term from WW2 that was used to define a very bright moon. Aircraft didn't have the equipment for precise targeting and would use the unusually bright moon to help guide them for night bombing raids.

The Fall Bomber's Moon Dance, didn't require the dropping of bombs, unless we're talking about the ones I made on the dance floor.

This is probably my husbands reaction to that statement...so sorry.

The event that we attend takes place at the Commemorative Air Force and they throw the most amazing swing dances! They throw a few of these a year and it's our new goal to attend all of them.
The best part is dressing up. Since it's a hanger dance, the have an authentic big band playing music, they give swing dance lessons and there's a costume contest...(which I have yet to win!).

This was us in the spring. It was so much fun!

Posing near the plane.
I found my first dress in an antique store for $18 and had my Mom modify it a wee bit to fit over my giant rib cage. It barely made it though the night. It's made of silk and slightly ancient, so there are now holes all over...probably from my ferocious dance moves.

I made a short film when we were there as well, feel free to watch it. But don't, unless you really like watching planes.


For the Fall Bomber's Moon Dance, I had a little more experience with doing my hair, makeup and even had some more clothes that we found on ebay. I was more than prepared this time...at least I thought I was.

This time around, I thought I was ready. I had remembered swing dance moves, I drank an Angry Orchard, knew which songs I wanted to dance to and even told Jalon that he only had to dance to 3 with me.

The first one, Moon River, is a waltz. For those of us that grew up in the Midwest, where it snows, we did dance in gym class during school. The waltz was one of the first dances I learned and never forgot. However, Jalon did not know how to waltz and even made fun of me for learning how to dance in gym class...as if I had an option. I spent that song teaching him how to waltz.

A brief interlude about my husband: He does not dance. He does not like to dance. He does not have the feet for dancing. At all. Combine all those and you have something like this:

I felt bad.

I didn't want to force him into doing something he didn't really want to do.

But there was one last song, my favorite one, I had been waiting for all night.

And when it finally came on, I bolted to the dance floor as fast as I could, turned around to look for my husband, (who I had thought was right behind me, excited to dance as well), but I could not see him. All of a sudden, a handsome stranger appeared in front of me.

He asked, "Would you like to dance?"

A small part of me (deep down inside) said "you shouldn't, your husband will be here in a second."

The bigger, more meaty part of me, said, "Dude...this is your favorite song, your husband is being slow so you will miss it and he won't have to dance. Plus, remember all those high school dances where you were never, EVER asked to dance? DO IT!!!"

I grabbed his hands, with a giant smile, and we hit the dance floor. On the way there, I warned him that I really had no idea what I was doing, but he just smiled and whipped me around that floor like I was a doll. It was awesome. Suddenly, I had moves I didn't know existed. Also, I had lots of sweat. All over.

I was so happy! I got to dance to my favorite song, the guy I was dancing with had some serious moves and didn't mind that I ruined them! This has never happened to me before. I love my husband, more than anything, but it was a nice little treat to feel special for those 2 minutes from some random stranger.

After the song ended and I headed back to my husband, where he was so patiently waiting for me, I apologized for doing that to him.

He sat there, holding a new beer, smiling at me. He told me it didn't really matter and he was glad I had fun.

You know why it didn't matter to him? Why he wasn't all jealous and upset that I ditched him to dance with some random guy?

Because he knew that random guy was HIRED to that. He was seeking out a girl to dance with, and found my pathetic, lonely butt and thought he scored big.


And my husband still owes me a dance.


Tuesday, September 9, 2014

These Crazy, Lazy Days of September

It's been awhile.

Like a full year.

What have I been doing this whole time?

Well, let's play a quick game of catch up. I wrote a book. A crappy one. But it's over 50,000 words I created from my own head. That should really tell you something about how crappy it is.

My 3 kids still drive me insane on a daily basis. Although, I get more time to myself now that they have school everyday. More time to do useful things...like binge on Netflix and iced coffee. Totally important keys to maintaining my sanity.

We have a guinea pig, named gus-gus, that is getting neglected about as much as the kids do. Fair is fair, after all.

I didn't really realize how much time children really consume during the week. With school, baths, homework, feeding schedules (yes, apparently, they do eat. Constantly.), dance classes, swim lessons, pioneer club, church and time for fun things*.

Our week is jam packed full of crap I really don't want to do. But I know if I don't do these things, my kids will run me into the ground with their constant whining about how "bored" they are. (Try the word "bored" on my parents, see where it gets you. Within seconds of saying that word, you will have a to-do list as long as your arm of all the cleaning/horrible chores you will need to do.) The more I can wear them out during the day, the better my chances are for some peace and quiet at night.

Is it worth it?

No clue yet. It all starts tonight. I'll let you know.

When I was on break from writing, I decided to try a video blog on Youtube. Yeah...that didn't last long. Turns out, no one likes to be on camera. Except for my 7 year old, who used the opportunity to showcase his many talents, like break dancing. Feel free to check out that video here:


I took a minor detour in my normal Mom life to have an adventure in pin-up modeling. I had so much fun. Will continue to do it, just for fun...but it's not something I want to really do long term or as an actual job. Turns out pin-up models that like to keep their clothes fully on aren't in high demand. Shucks.

Yeah, that's my flat bottom. God made me that way.
I think he misheard me when I asked for a flat stomach...
I really just like to play dress-up and pin-up modeling gives me an actual reason to do so. Although, you should really see the looks I get going grocery shopping with the hair-do.
I do believe that's all I have. It's a crazy life, but it's mine and I'm trying to love all aspects of it.
The book I finished last November/December, is the same book I'm working on editing now. I'm trying to make it go from complete total crap to totally awesome in just a few months. I really have my work cut out for me...
I am also going to try to do more on here. Wish me luck. I'm going to need it all.