Monday, August 30, 2010

Thinking Aloud

me under our crabapple tree
photocredit goes to Miss Brynlee

First and foremost:  This Tuesday marks the last day of August. Already, sheesh. And with the last day of August comes the last day of Tour de Feet. Although I had a grand time doing Tour de Feet, I feel a bit disappointed in my efforts overall. It could have been a much better outlet to channel my creativity than what I made of it. But life got busy, Project: Master bathroom consumed, and Tour de Feet was what it was. Or was what it wasn't. Sometimes that just happens. 

I'm Feeling: Sore and, oh my goodness, achy. On Saturday we had a little party at my house with some of my old roommates. Spencer and the kids had a party of their own which included a Kid's Meal at McDonalds and $10.00 worth of tokens at Outer Limits. Brynlee insisted that her party needed to be a slumber party so to appease we slept the night on the hide-a-bed. My neck will never forgive me.

Oh, and the roommate reunion: A smashing success, if you ask me. It was so fun to work with the party planner extraordinaire and to glean some of her vast knowledge. It was equally as fun to reunite with old roommates; oh how I adore them. I think roommates can make or break your college experience. My roommates, all ten of them, made mine. And I will forever love them for it.

Excuse me while I get sentimental:  With my class reunion earlier this month, and then a roommate party this weekend it really has me thinking about old friends. It's been said that "The most beautiful discovery true friends make is that they can grow separately without growing apart." How true, and the last month has confirmed it. Life happens, we change: we grow up, get educated, fall in love, get married, have families, buy houses and get real jobs. But somewhere, in all of the change, there's seems to be a connecting constant: friendship. Somehow, even after years and years without talking, a good friendship is able to pick up where it left off. Don't you agree?

My newfound quest: Whenever my neighbors would go out of town we would be asked to feed the pets, water the flowers, scrap the snow or babysit the fish. And in return, she would make us a batch of Chocolate Cookie Bars. They were always warm, straight from the oven; and they were delightful. They have since moved away. I requested the recipe before they left and she delivered. Tonight I wanted to make Nyla's Chocolate Cookie Bars so I dug out my recipe. However, much to my disappointment, the recipe she had written down wasn't complete and now I'm in search for a similar {complete} recipe. I hope I'm successful.

Right now, as I type: The windows are open, the air is crisp, kids are snoozing, the house is clean, toys picked up and the dishes are done. Spence and I are snuggled on the couch eating my first attempt at Nyla's Chocolate Cookie Bars and watching the documentary King Corn. My review so far: fascinating, yet funny.

On my mind:  In a conversation with a friend this weekend I made a blunt statement that was in reference to something that happened previously, and something that we had conversed about prior {are you following me?}. I exclaimed, mid-conversation, something like: "Well, to be honest, I kind of do think my life is perfect. I mean, it's perfect for me." 

And then the conversation continued and the subject was changed and then later on I realized that what I said, didn't match what I meant.

Do you ever do that? I do it a lot. I talk. Then talk. Then breathe. Then think. It's a fault, and I should add that to my big ole list book of things that I should work on.

Anyways, what I meant was that my life is very, very far from perfect. Like the opposite of perfect. Like doesn't even resemble perfection in even the weakest form. Like if perfect was red, my life would be green. Like if perfection was a five star restaurant, I'd be eating corndog from the supermarket deli. Without mustard.

My life, not perfect.

But, hidden in the mayhem and pandemonium of this life of mine, there's perfection. Because I know it's not perfect; and that, somehow, is what makes it so. Because it's my life. And I share it with people I love. And I live it. Happily.

What is perfection anyways? Someday I'm going to write an entire blog post on defining perfection, just you wait and see. But for now I hope that my friend took from that statement what I meant, and not what I said.

On tomorrow's agenda:  Visiting Teaching, a trip to the post office to mail a CD of pictures to a friend, and finding a good mocktail recipe for this week's mutual activity: a flight to paradise. 

Happy Monday!

Friday, August 27, 2010

TDF: When we play a board game in the afternoon sun.

Why all the feet pictures?
More about tour de feet here.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

TDF: When Jace takes a potty break in Lowes.

Do you think that I should take this as an indication that it's time to start potty training my boy? 

Or that my kids might be starting to feel a little too comfortable in the home improvement stores?

Happy, happy birthday do the best mom ever.
Love you mom!

Why all the feet pictures?
More about tour de feet here.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

TDF: When Jace gets lost in Home Depot

Where'd Jace go?

 Oh, there he is. . .

Why all the feet pictures?
More about tour de feet here.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

TDF: When Project Master Bathroom takes command.

I burnt the French bread for last night's dinner.  You know that thin line between toasted perfectly golden brown and unrecognizably broiled crispy black? I crossed it.

And, the day before that I managed to incinerate a bag of microwave popcorn. Seriously, popcorn reduced to smoldering ashes. My house still has a faint 'good crap, who burnt the popcorn' smell. And I don't think my microwave {or my confidence in my ability to microwave popcorn} will ever be the same.

And that, with a huge ole' serving of chaos and lack of sleep, pretty much sums up my life since my last tour de feet post.

My little sister, Katie, moved into our guest bedroom. Which explains all the chaos and neglectful cooking woes.

Oh, I'm just kidding.

Kate's lived with us numerous times before so we've worked out all the kinks and it's always fun to have her around. Plus my kids are about seventy-two levels of excited about our new semi-permanent house guest; specifically a semi-permanent house guest that buys them milkshakes and treats them to the gas station candy aisle upon their request. It's just like the sweet nectar of awesomeness is living in our guest bedroom.

Except for that sweet nectar of awesomeness likes to take an occasional shower. And that's where things get a little problematic.

Because, do you remember how we started Project: Master Bathroom? Like, forever ago. And then, do you remember, how Project: Master Bathroom turned into Project: I'd much rather stay up all night and watch Lost. And then Project: It's kind of nice to only have two toilets to clean, so we will work on the bathroom a little here and a little there but no rush on getting that third toilet back up and running. And then Project: If you close your eyes when you walk into the Master Bedroom it's just like that HUGE UNFINSHED HOLE FORMALLY KNOWN AS THE BATHROOM doesn't even exist.

And that worked. For a while.

And then Kate asked if she could move in.  And so Spence and I decided that it was high time that we took back claim on what remained of our master bedroom and bathroom so our new roommate could actually use the guest bedroom and bathroom. It just made sense.

So with that we blew the sheetrock dust of Project: Master Bathroom and since then we have done nothing else.

Spencer took most of last week off work. We tiled. And designed. And Home Depoted. And sheetrocked. And grouted. And barely slept. And burnt microwave popcorn. And left the house and all of its contents at the children's immediate disposal. It was like the tale of an amateur construction team meets crazy. Sorry you missed it.

And needless to say tour de feet went out the window with my sanity. And the burnt French bread.

And although Project: Master Bathroom is no where near completion we've made progress. We have a toilet, and a floor, and a bathtub, and a shower. And get this . . . the other night I came upstairs to find Spencer cleaning the garage out of our bedroom. There he was, shining like a bright beacon of cleanliness and delight, picking up tools to expose what used to be our bedroom floor. It might have been my favorite part of the entire week. And now we are back to sleeping in our very own bedroom. And earlier this evening the kids took a bath in the new bathtub. And look, I'm even posting tour de feet pictures.

Everything's back to normal. Whatever that is.

No, I don't always where flip-flops when we do construction work.
Sometimes I go barefoot.

Why all the feet pictures?
More about tour de feet here.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Photo Album: The 10 Year Reunion

Ya'll are aware that I take pictures in great quantities, right? You obviously know that I'm not ashamed to take a month worth of pictures of my feet and post them on my blog. And although my photography skills are even worse than the lousiest of photographers I view 30 pictures in 30 days as some sort of creative outlet. You know that my camera is always with me. And that I take pictures of my kids when they are laughing/crying/jumping/sleeping/playing/eating/or doing anything else remotely interesting that children do. And one picture isn't sufficient. ABSOLUTELY NOT! I take oodles of pictures. Of everything.

Well everything except my 10 year class reunion.

Actually I did take pictures. Just not decent pictures.  Because some of them are blurry:

And a few of them look like this:

But most of them look like this:

Or this:

Or this:

Oh well. There's always the twenty year.

{I'm raising my right arm as I type, just trust me.} I solemnly swear to take more {decent} pictures at the twenty year reunion.

Because by the twenty year I'll be all sorts of mature and grown up {probably}.  I mean. . . how could I not be? By then Spencer and I will have been married for seventeen years. Brynlee will be fourteen. Jace, almost twelve. I'll be {ahem} thirty-eight and Spencer will be {almost} forty-two {good crap!}. I'll have been out of high school for twenty years and it will have been thirty-two years since I first attended kindergarten. Nineteen years since I first meet Spence and fifteen years since I first experienced pregnancy. Seventeen years since Spencer and I bought our first little house and twenty-six years since I joined my first volleyball team. And twenty-eight years since I met most of these people:

Now that, my friends, will be something to photograph.

**Erin, I'm especially sad that I didn't get a single picture of us.
At the twenty year, it's you and me.
Just sayin.

TDF: When right hand goes on yellow

Why all the feet pictures?
More about tour de feet here.

Monday, August 16, 2010

TDF: When she rides her bike sans training wheels.

And a few more pictures, because I'm a proud mama.

And can I just add that I'm glad I was on 'push Jace in the stroller slash camera' duty and not 'run around the neighborhood next to a reckless four year old on a two wheeler bike' duty. Because seriously, EXHAUSTING!

Why all the feet pictures?
More about tour de feet here.

TDF: When it’s the weekend.

TDF: When we meet again {10 years later}.

TDF: When we go to grandpa's farm.

TDF: When we take an afternoon walk.

TDF: When mom crosses her arm, her legs, her toes?

TDF: When it's a Sunday afternoon with cousins.

TDF: When we arrive back home and spray each other with water.

Why all the feet pictures?
More about tour de feet here.

Friday, August 13, 2010

TDF: When Carl joins reading hour

And then Carl {the puppet} told Brynlee that she was so good at coloring that she should be an artist when she got bigger.

So Bryn came home and practiced and practiced and practiced.

Because nobody wants to be known as the kid that let Carl down.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

TDF: When I play the catch-up game

Turns out I've fallen a tad behind on posting tour de feet pictures.
It's kinda like laundry.
You rest for only a minute and it's all piled up again. 
But I'm getting caught up riiiggghhhttt now.

Why all the feet pictures?
More about tour de feet here.

TDF: When the toy she wants is on the very, VERY top shelf.

Wednesday, August 11th

Why all the feet pictures?
More about tour de feet here.

TDF: When she joins the construction crew.

Tuesday, August 10th
Spencer is the foreman.
I'm the construction peon.
And Brynlee's on the clean-up crew.
Specifically the removing tile spacers crew.
She thinks it's the best job. Ever. 
And I'm not about to tell her otherwise.

Why all the feet pictures?
More about tour de feet here.

TDF: When we spend the day at Lagoon.

Monday, August 9th
When we are driving in the band.

When we are going around, and around, and around and around.


When we went on Wicked I called dibs on sitting next to Jami.
Because I knew she would swear.
She did.
I would have called dibs on sitting by Jessica.
But she wouldn't even ride it.
But if she had, she would have sworn too.
Or passed out.
Maybe even stopped breathing.
Or died.
She quite possibly would have died.

Why all the feet pictures?
More about tour de feet here.

TDF: When he reads books on the couch.

Sunday, August 8th
A new favorite pastime of my always favorite little boy.

Why all the feet pictures?
More about tour de feet here.

TDF: When it’s the day after the sleepover.

Saturday, August 7th
When the gang plays Wii first thing in the morning.

And then, when we have Elmer's make our breakfast for us.

Why all the feet pictures?
More about tour de feet here.

TDF: When we are entertained by Peter Pan.

Friday, August 6th
Sarah and Bryn joined Brynlee and I for the Peter Pan play. 
While Spencer and the boys played Wii and went to ice-cream. 
And then we vowed to do things like this together more often.
And we will.

 Bryn & Brynlee at Peter Pan

Why all the feet pictures?
More about tour de feet here.

Monday, August 9, 2010

But in all honesty, the last ten years have been something to brag about.

This coming weekend is my 10 year class reunion. Gasp, I know. I don't look a day over twenty-one twenty-eight {and a half} and there is absolutely no possible way that I'm old enough to be celebrating such a milestone.

I thank you for your concern; you're all so very sweet and lovely.

But after a complicated and intricate math equation which involved me finding the square root of the squint wrinkles that are starting to develop between my eyes, divided by the size of my high-waisted, mommy-gut covering jeans, multiplied by the amount of times that it takes me to send a text message {with proper punctuation, mind you}. Add that to the fact that the highlight of my day is driving a minivan to library reading hour, followed by a stop at the park and then, if I'm feeling extra adventurous, pushing a racecar shopping cart filled to the brim with goldfish crackers, Bug Juice and wailing children. . . the answers proves to be nothing but true. I have indeed been graduated from High School for TEN WHOLE YEARS! And I'm afraid I'm just on the cusp of aging, things are destined to get worse. {Don't image. It's not a pretty sight.}

I've been on the class reunion frontier for a while now. At the first of the year, Breah and I were summoned to gather contact information for our classmates that don't facebook. Go figure! Just for the record, there's a few reason people don't facebook: a) they're lame {obviously} b) they don't want to be found, or c) they're in prison. At one point I suggested to Breah that we hold our class reunion at the county jail. "I think we'd have a good turn-out," I argued "half the class is already there and the rest are familiar with its location. Plus, I'd bet we'd qualify for the friends and family rate."

But 10 year class reunions can't be held at the local jail. A twenty year reunion? Possibly. A thirty year reunion. Absolutely. Because by that age people don't care. They're comfortable with who they have become and they have nothing worth proving. But at a 10 year class reunion, it's different. 10 year class reunions are to whine, dine and act refined. Right?

And I'm not so certain that I'm up to spending an entire day with people that are all dressed to impress and all that fancy shmancy trying to prove yourself and be cultured junk. It all seems too counterfeit, too staged. I mean, I went to highschool with these people. I know things. Instead, I would like to have my entire senior class over to my house for a weenie roast, followed by some serious Wii competitions. Now that's more my style {insert a Larry the Cable Guy git-r-done redneck joke here}.

Now don't get me wrong. I LIKED high school. I got high school.  High school was MY WHOLE THING. TEN YEARS AGO. I have fond memories of my high school years and I adore the people that I went to school with. However, I feel ill-prepared for such an event. I just don't have anything to offer for the upcoming reunion. Nothing to prove. No gossip factor, you know. I haven't had an affair. I haven't changed my sexual preference. I haven't been born-again after a short prison break. I haven't married a man twice my age or one made of ridiculous amount of shimmering gold and sparkling diamonds (no offense, honey). I haven't even had a boob job for crying out loud.

"Maybe we should go incognito to my class reunion." I mentioned to Spence one night after a you-will-go-to-the-class-reunion-and-you-will-like-it telephone conversation with Breah.

"Alright," Spence answered without even looking up from the project he was working on.

"I'll go as that one lady with the big lips. Um, shoot, what's her name? Oh yeah. . . Octomom. I'll go as Octomom. Who you going as?"

"Octomom's husband, I guess," he responded, unfazed.

See, 10 year class reunions need Octomom's. And Octomom's need 10 year class reunions. They have some major proving to do. But me, I still same ole', plain ole' Kim B. from 1st hour math class.

Although. Although. I have gained a baby pouch big enough to house a nursery of newborn kangaroos (it's true, and I know that because I have consulted with experts). And I bet if we did a cost analysis we'd find that the initial cost of that bad boy outweighs the cost of that fancy black car you're braggin' about. Plus, the maintenance on this thing, out-freakin-rageous! You should see my grocery bill.

And while we are on the subject, wanna know what else? My upcoming class reunion makes me hungry. Don't laugh, it's not a joke! I have gained 7 (seven!) pounds since my last weigh in. Now that, my friends, takes hardcore talent. I bet Miss trying to impress fake-boobs-tanning-bed-tan couldn't beat that. I'm a rockstar just waiting for my big break. But until that happens, I'm going to be preparing for the upcoming reunion. It involves chocolate chip cookies, ice-cream and a spoon.

And possibly a black wig, eight newborns and a tube of lipstick.

Tour de feet pictures from the weekend to come.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

TDF: When we all scream for ice-cream.

Today we celebrated Aunt Elizabeth, Aunt Emily, Maddie, one-year old Zayne, and my Grandpa B's birthday with a huge scoop of Farr's Playdough ice-cream on a cone.

And even though none of the birthday guests were actually in attendance, or even knew we were celebrating, the grass was green, the sun was shining and the ice-cream drippies were bountiful.

And then, to top it off, my mom and little sis gifted me a bag of dried mangos and berries for watching their kiddos while they spent the day shopping.

Ice-cream and dried fruit.  That's what great days are made of.

Three cheers for the August 4th and 5th Birthday clan
{and my, there's a whole lot of you}.
Birthday wishes from us to you!

Why all the feet pictures?
More about tour de feet here.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

TDF: When we dine on lunch in the park.

Why all the feet pictures? 
More about tour de feet here.

P.S. Sometimes I pay people large sums of hard earned cash if they will, in turn, write nice things about me on their blog. It does wonders for the self-esteem and makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. I budget it under money that would otherwise be spent on therapy. The checks in the mail, Miranda. Thanks for upholding your side of the bargain.

And just for the record, the two of us are planning a reunion of sorts for some of my absolute favorite people. And I'm so excited to reunion with them. LIKE REALLY EXCITED. I'll be posting more about it later. Or niner. Or, you know, whenever I get around to it.

{Did I just catch a niner in there?}

Happy Thursday, my friends.  Hope it's smashing.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

TDF: When she takes lessons of the swimming sort.

Swimming Lessons.
Session Two. Day Two.
Blows bubbles. Goes under water.
And get this, no tears.
She's practically Michael Phelps.

TDF: When we whip up a batch of play-doh.

We're using a play-doh recipe that came courtesy of Miss Karalynn. She gave it to me back when I called for assistance on aisle number play-doh, and I have used it faithfully ever sense.

Homemade Play-Doh
2 c flour
1/2 c salt
1 tablespoon cream of tartar
1 teaspoon oil
2 c boiling water
food coloring

Mix the food coloring in with the water then pour over remaining ingredients.

And because I love my daughter, per Karalynn's suggestion, I occasionally add glitter. You should too.

Oh, and see Brynlee's shoelaces in the tour de feet picture. She picked those neon baby's out yesterday at the dollar store.

{If I were to write a book on parenting there would be a chapter completely devoted to dollar store bribery. It would follow the chapter about spelling words mid conversation to keep the dialogue private and how to properly skip 4 pages at a time when your child picks out THE LONGEST BOOK EVER before bedtime}.

Anyway, she saw them and was overcome with all the hot pink and neon yellow excitement.


And since I'm almost positive that I had some shoes laces (pronounced: shoe slices) almost exactly like that weaved in my LA Gears when I was growing up, I agreed.  But only after I made her picky swear that she would NOT use a blow dryer, a curling iron and an entire bottle of Rave hairspray to wing out the side of her hair when we got home. 

And she was like, "Okay awesome dude, thanks for being so gnarly.  My shoes are totally going to be killer to the max." 

And I was like, "What-EVER!  Take a chill pill, darling." 

And she's worn them proudly ever sense.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

TDF: When he was flying helicopters in his diaper.

a little bit about the tour de feet here.
and a little disclaimer about my photography skills here
and can you believe its already August.  Geez.
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