Friday, January 11, 2019

i blink january's lashes

it has been a rough first week of 2019! thomas tore a hamstring playing flag football. it has been terrible for him.

i can't show you all the bruise pictures because this is a family blog but imagine this initial bruise:
growing bigger and purpler and greener and blacker and scarier, everywhere. EVERY. WHERE. all the leg nooks and crannies. even the front of his leg had significant bruising. it's like a blood dam burst. he got a shot of morphine in the ER and he said it helped, "a little". 

then i set up reagan's new lava lamp in the kitchen to surprise him after school and athena blythe wanted a closer look and this happened:

and then scarlett dropped a brand new bottle of syrup on the floor:
i was unable to salvage it.

this obscure photo is my ceiling after herschel dropped a cup of chocolate milk on the floor and it splashed and covered a six foot area of the kitchen ceiling:

and because of thomas' injury, the kids have been having a heyday playing, "torn hamstring". no one plays it better than thomas, however. 

hopefully that is the end of the broken things and i can do a good job of not breaking my new year's resolutions. thomas started doing monthly resolutions a few years ago. he gave up quik trip food for a whole month(don't laugh, their pizza is pretty darn good). i like the idea of trying something for a month and then reevaulating. it was a highly effective amount of resolution to bite off for him, so i decided to adopt that practice this year.


1. no more library fines. it's not free library with how many fines i've paid in the last few years. i don't mind supporting the community, but our public library doesn't even have that great of a selection! but, like a dog to it's vomit, i've already checked out a boatload of books that athena blythe will devour and then leave behind the basement couch or under a mattress in a room she doesn't even sleep in. 

2. try to adopt kale smoothies into my life. after such high quantities of vegetable consumption over the last year in efforts to be "healthy", i almost hate the thought of cooking and eating vegetables. especially reheated vegetables. i'm hoping that if i can make a remotely palatable kale smoothie, i can get my vegetable servings in one shot during the day and not think about it for a while and repair my emotional response to chopping and roasting vegetables. i don't want to hate vegetables but zoodles are not noodles and i'm tired of lying to myself. vegetables are great and should not be a chore. i want to be friends with them again.

3. avoid going to the store every day. i want to get away from easy access to the store and retrain myself and my family that we don't need to jump in the car the moment we run out of something. there are clear exceptions and emergencies, like deodorant and toilet paper. but for the love of cross stitch, we can handle going a few days without chocolate milk! how about scrambled eggs for breakfast if we are out of my kitchen floor nemesis, cereal? this will require me to fine tune my list making, menu planning product consumption projection along with kitchen and bathroom inventory. plus, i'll save money by not picking up several unplanned extras with each unplanned grocery store trip. i cringe when i think of how susceptible i am to "good deal" impulse purchases that really aren't a good deal if i don't need it. unless it's like that time if found 5 lbs of pepperoni marked down 75%! deal of a lifetime i am STILL reaping the benefits from. 

Wednesday, January 09, 2019

wabi sabi christmas

wabi sabi- the beauty and appreciation of the imperfect, incomplete and impermanent.

a brief snippets post since december's activities make a writing cohesive narrative difficult. 

we had our ward christmas party. it was yet another santa claus free christmas party. it was fine. i love jesus, i also don't think santa claus is the devil. the funeral potatoes were good. i was hoping for baked macaroni and cheese. i made an ugly yet delicious christmas tree cake at the children's behest. scarlett was an angel in the nativity production. reagan was a wise man. somehow at the last minute, athena blythe and her little friend finagled parts as angels too.

 we did a low key christmas fondue.i'm trying to make christmas traditions about fun and togetherness and not necessarily the same traditions each year. some are just not always doable and some traditions need to die.

 herschel had his MUCH anticipated christmas program at his preschool. he practiced his songs for months. nothing invites the spirit of the season like, "all aboard the christmas express, toot toot". that was not me, that's part of the song.

we tried to make gingerbread cookies. no one likes gingerbread cookies that much anyway.

we had friends over to watch the BYU potato bowl game. we ate pulled pork on baked potatoes and played the dreidel game with hershey kisses.

 we also lit a bunch of candles and called it a menorah because athena blythe was really into judaism this year. 

 three cheers for me because i skipped my big workout of the week and took the kids for doughnuts. the fitness industry would have you believe that you can never miss a day or you're a failure, but i'll tell you what, they are wrong. also, can we stop saying, "werk, grind, slay all day, and swaaat". thanks. i don't even like doughnut. i'd like more drive-thru brownie places.

we drove over to bethlehem, georgia to watch their live nativity. this is something that i would like to attempt to do every year. 

a sister from church made this for ME. asian, quilting, wall art. i didn't know she knew me that well. but this is going in a place of honor for the rest of my life. i didn't know i had a thing for handmade gifts until i realized that some of my favorite things are fabric art. a cross stitch made by my sister in law sarah when reagan was born, a quilt made by my dearest friend jessica when athena blythe was born and now this!

christmas eve. it was low key. we read scriptures. we snuggled. i actually had a bunch of wrapping paper this year so there were no panicked last minute drives to the store and i went small on the gift giving this year so there wasn't much wrapping. i like doing it this way. 

we got a new 9 foot tree and i let the kids hang the ornaments however they wanted. note the one lone ribbon hanging off the edge that herschel hadn't finished pulling off yet. that's our look this year. wabi sabi christmas- the beauty and appreciation of the imperfect, incomplete and impermanent. being laid back is a-okay. except for kitchen organization. but now i can say, "remember when i let everyone decorate how they wanted? then put everything away in the kitchen exactly how i like."

 i just love this view. we have no more couch throw pillows because of various spills and illnesses, we have a million toys under the couch, the ceiling fan always has dust but it's almost always on so it's hard to notice, we have a picture of jesus on the table. wabi sabi!

the future of america, ladies and gentlemen:

 note from santa about getting a dog. we already discussed how that went. wah wah. cue the price is right loser music.

reagan always asks for an addition to his puppet collection and this year he wanted a snake puppet. he named him snake claus. 

 i found this 1983 herschel walker sports illustrated magazine at a thrift store for a $1. it's torn so it has no "value" on the antique market but the tear means nothing to me when it can still be displayed as art. i framed it for thomas. thomas and i have bonded over art in our advanced years.

 reagan, wearing a muppet shirt, holding a muppet shirt. best quote of the morning, "i love it when the presents are for me." saying what we're all thinking.

a french beret for our fancy french girl. athena blythe also really wanted some a nutcracker doll for christmas. she's read several versions of the nutcracker this season and wanted one of her own. i bought her 3 small christmas ornament sized nutcrackers. she opened them with glee and exclaimed, "now i can build my army!" which i do not doubt in the least. 

we now have 4 scooters and we can all scooter together. that's the secret to parenting: no sharing.

 after christmas i scrambled to think of fun, outdoorsy, safe for all ages, inexpensive things to do. the first day was a bust because everything was closed at this tiny outdoor shopping and skating area. 

 but this was an unexpected surprise in the middle of rural georgia:
you don't see plaques quoting the book of mormon every day in the bible belt. i bet most people think mosiah is isaiah's younger, more obscure brother. 

again, so cute! so closed!

singing the december 26th blues

the following saturday we all went to monroe, georgia for the day. we ate at chik fil a, by request, but we explored this darling little town. this is our second year coming here at the holiday's and it's a fun tradition. one day i will come alone because it is a treasure trove of antiques and collectibles. good stuff. not just kinda old stuff, roughed up by an amateur to make it look old. someday i want to explore long enough to find a complete 70s china set for every day use. WHY NOT!?

our favorite book shop. the fun parent was there so books were purchased while i stood back and furrowed my brow and thought, "the library is free!" unless you have $40 in fines. stop it. i don't know how it happens. okay i do know. kids lose everything!

i've tried twice now and i cannot get an image that will do justice to this "the lion, the witch and the wardrobe" closet to story time secret passage room. 

hard cider in the hobbit house

athena blythe was done participating and read her new book at every stop from hereon out.

everywhere we went people asked if we were the babysitters! i imagine it's because i was so calm and collected and rested looking the whole time. 
full disclosure in tiny print, i used a filter on this photo.

 we ate ice cream. i trapped thomas in a small art museum for way longer than anyone wanted to be there.
we drove home. i fell asleep watching the college football playoff semi-final. i wish i could have slept through the national championship game and put myself out of my misery but i was wide awake and full of coaching and player critiques like the dedicated, loving super fan that i am. 

Monday, December 31, 2018

the 2018 christmas letter that time forgot

i didn't do a christmas card or letter this year, despite it being one of my all time favorite traditions. i'm sad about it but glad i'm am learning at my ripe old age of 38 to make executive decisions to benefit my sanity. 

here's a rundown of the simpson family highlights:

herschel is now potty trained! it's nearly impossible to potty train an uninterested party but we were under a time crunch as he had to be diaper-free to attend pre-school and the deposit had already been paid. if necessity is the mother of invention then frugality is the sister of potty training motivation. herschel loves pre-school and running in a pack of kids and calling it soccer. his favorite activity is playing with trucks in the mud in the backyard. 

athena blythe is a prolific reader and mastermind of numerous self-promoting schemes. she read the assigned 100 books for school in her sleep. i've received more than a few calls from the school asking about her various nefarious plots. recently she forged notes so that instead of riding the bus home she can get on the gymnastics school van. her future is so bright! she can often be found writing and illustrating short story books about her fascination of the week.

scarlett is a delight and a certifiable wit. she started middle school this year and it's been a challenge but i'm very impressed with her hard work to bring home good grades and make new friends. she is still involved in her drama class(even though i think she should be teacher the class because of her innate comedic timing) and did swim team for the first time this year. she loved it. i loved her loving it. her highlight of the year was going with thomas to panama city to help with disaster relief clean up. 

reagan brings happiness with him wherever he goes unless you deviate from the schedule or there is a dog not on a leash. however, he has gotten brave enough to do the whole 2 mile trail loop at the park on his scooter. he also has made great strides in passing the sacrament at church. i still have a mini heart attack when he decides to get selective and go out of order and pass to his favorite people first, but those occurrences are becoming more rare. everyone is better for knowing reagan.

as for myself, i have many considerable contributions to society: i excel at getting athena blythe to the 7:14am bus stop on time. my eyelashes are really long. i don't sleep much unless i'm trying to read a book or watch a movie and then i tend to sleep a lot. i've perfected my vomit clean up techniques. i like lifting weights. i watch episodes of jeopardy while i cook uninspiring meals. scarlett and i watched titanic together recently and i still think rose could have made room for jack on that door.

thomas is only better with age and the only person worth following for sports commentary on the facebook. he does a lot of legal work for edible arrangements for which i am grateful but i also find ironic because i think chocolate covered strawberries are gross. we did a lot of weightlifting together this year and i consider him a most knowledgeable coach. he's my spotter in and out of the gym, always encouraging and supporting my heavy load. 

for the third year in a row we completed reading the Book of Mormon as a family. it's our quest and biggest accomplishment of the year. we're grateful for the peace it brings to our home. we love our Savior, Jesus Christ. we know He loves you, too. we wish you a wonderful 2019. 

roll tide

Friday, December 28, 2018

dog people

want to feel like the best mom? get your kids a dog!
want to feel like the worst mom ever? take the dog back an hour later because it won't stop biting the kids!

athena blythe has been researching chihuahuas for months, complete with watching youtube dog training videos and writing and sending multiple letters to "mexico's pet shop", since chihuahuas are from mexico. thomas and i agreed to make athena blythe's dreams come true for christmas. we've had a dog in the past and we do feel it's important for our family to have a dog to teach responsibility and to help some of our more special kids learn to adapt to unpredictable circumstances. we found a 3 year old chihuahua from the local prison rescue program, (inmates training dogs as part of their own personal rehabilitation program. brilliant. everyone gets saved.) and contacted the officer in charge. he approved our application and we went to meet paco! paco was a delight! well mannered! darling! low energy! loved all of us! we paid the fee and took paco with us! everything was going great! 

then we arrived at home. we let paco take his time to get acclimated. he ran around a bit, marked his territory, and then we all went inside. i told all the kids to give him all the space he needed. he trotted about a bit and laid down on the couch. i'm the best mom! even reagan was acting a little interested, if from a good distance. after a few minutes, paco decided he didn't want anyone near him but me. he followed me around the kitchen and that was a fine development too. then i went and sat on the couch with him. he jumped right on my lap. the kids joined us. again, very low key. none of our regular unruliness. herschel reached to pet paco and paco lunged at him and snapped at his hand. herschel was frightened but everything was still okay. new dog, new surroundings. we were being calm and patient. we went back to just quietly sitting. i pet paco. other attempts were made by the kids to pet paco. he growled and bared his teeth at everyone but me. several more attempts by paco were made to bite the children. everyone ran screaming from the room. this is not my first foray into pet owning. i'm not a dog person anymore, but i have enough know how to know when a dog is very anxious and uncomfortable to be displaying such strong aggressive behavior toward children. this dog was not going to be a dog we could handle. at this point, everyone is cowering and crying because of this tiny dog. we had finally worked with reagan long enough that he didn't run screaming from dogs on leashes at the park. all this progress this was being undone in one hour. this dog clearly needed further obedience training that we could not provide. 

i called the officer in charge of the program and left a message on his voicemail about paco. i'm pretty sure he loved deciphering that bawling message from me. he called me back and said he was very surprised at this change in paco behavior from the dog he knew and to immediately bring him back to him. 

of course, this is when further crying ensued from herschel and athena blythe as they begged me to let us keep paco even though they were both terrified. 

i made the drive back with the sweet and cuddly version of paco on my lap, since all the kids stayed home, and surrendered him back to the jail dogs program. the officer was so understanding and even refunded my non-refundable adoption fee. i cried some more. 

thomas my hero called as i was driving home to help me feel better. which is ironic, because i didn't even WANT A DOG. at home i discovered this fresh new trauma:

someone had eaten my secret stash of peanut butter m&ms and scribbled all over my pillowcase with a pen. the culprit left behind his special blankie. 
that's white nail polish on my bedspread from a previous misadventure.

so famous amos had to rescue me again, like he did all those times during pregnancy when i need to eat a lot of something fast to feel better. 

and that's the terrible true story of how we had a dog for an hour.

Sunday, December 09, 2018

odds and ends in fall

as we head into the holiday season, i wanted to make a note of odds and ends from the last few months. memories and instances that did not garner their own post but require recognition nonetheless.

can you find the exposed underwear, the cat ears, and dragon boots?

herschel was slow to warm to soccer but once he finally came around he really liked it. there was plenty of running around and shrieking. after one game herschel earned the "best listener" award. the award does not apply to at home behavior. 

season finale game complete with trophy and cheetos.

lots of intense games full of strategy and skill. run! kick! fall down! kick! do it again!

action shot:

there were three kids wearing the number 4 jersey on his team.

bunny whisperer

i love with athena blythe rebels against my normal outfit selections and adds her own additions. she was mad that i braided her hair and put out shorts and a t shirt for her to wear so she added the chef hat  and the extra dress to make her point. to everyone else she looked like she had escaped from an orphanage and was going through some sort of treatments.

scarlett and i had the women's broadcast. because of my calling i was in charge of the dessert and hors d'ouevres beforehand. i brought my pumpkin decorations for the food tables but i did manage to sneak in one skull just for fun. unfortunately, i had to do all the cleanup by myself. sisters, if you are at an activity, before you leave, please look around for what you can do to help clean up so that one person isn't stuck doing all of it and they miss half the broadcast. it was frustrating for me. i'm trying to think of the spiritual lesson but i think i just need to learn patience. again. 

scarlett had her choir concert. they did it in 30 minute increments by grade so that not all the parents had to sit through all the classes. brilliant. 

cute herschel-a-saurus

hersch in time out

pre-church herschel

athena blythe made halloween masks for everyone in the family. they were delightfully creepy.

i found a doll cake pan for cheap so i made a creep red velvet cake.

we also made a really dry eyeball cake. very disappointing.

this keeps happening. we were late for school one morning because i couldn't find herschel because he had hidden inside this pillow.

this was on the side of the road. it made me sad. 

athena blythe and herschel spending extended amounts of time in the backyard building squirrel tunnels and cages. 
the end.