Tuesday, November 14, 2017

baby, i was born this way

when i was about 4 years old, i recall visiting a neighbor whose daughter had a sparkly dance costume in their dress up tub. it was orange and white with a sequin trimmed tutu and puffy sequin sleeves. i immediately stripped down and put it on and wore it for the duration of the visit and somehow finagled wearing it home, too. i felt like i had found my true self that day. around the same time i attended a dance class and i was very excited because i was going to finally get a sparkly, sequined costume of my own. it was a yellow and white duck costume, complete with duck bill headband.  days before the big recital, my dance teacher's husband decided to start a polygamous cult and my parents pulled me out of that situation quicker than you can say, "bob's your uncle". rightly so. and bob is my uncle. what a blow that caused to my young psyche. to be so close to costumed glory and to have it ripped out of my pudgy handed grasp. i've never recovered. consequently, i feel the need, the need for costumes. i have gleefully imposed this inescapable desire on my own offspring with smashing results.

"beware; for i am fearless and therefore powerful." frankenstein
or
"i'm herschel and i run this family with an iron fist." herschel simpson


we had a halloween costume dry run at the high school the night before the main event. the national honor society students put on a trunk or treat and advertised at the local elementary schools. 


one particular set of students did a snow white and the seven dwarfs trunk. lucky for them, we were able to provide an evil queen, one who relished in her role. 
plus, i'm pretty sure i donated that mirror to goodwill a few weeks ago. full circle. 



they had face painting and everyone chose their own adventure.
reagan has an unrequited love for cats. cats don't love anyone and we're certainly not getting one any time soon. 


our resident evil queen wanted a christmas tree and a witch. lucky for us, that super smart national honor society student used a temporary tattoo on her face. that witch tattoo lasted for 3 days before i could rub it off with alcohol. athena blythe loved every minute of it. 


a butterfly for the butterfly


herschenstein sat still long enough for a witch to be stenciled to his face.


on the big day, i carved the pumpkins while everyone told me i wasn't doing it right and then we had a big dinner. 


along the way, athena blythe had to be put in time out for some infraction that i cannot recall. she was so mad that she decided she was going to stay in time out an extra 5 minutes just to show me. she sure did. i certainly was shown. 

our spooky menu included garlicky goblin teeth, eyeball gnocchi and pesto slime sauce and the requisite, mummy dogs. 


i also bought some fanta red soda to stand in as poison and everyone except athena blythe acted like they were actually being poisoned. 3/4 of my kids don't like soda. 97 cents down the drain. 




one of the most representative pictures of reagan in recent history. 


also. a rather accurate portrayal by athena blythe.


this is the most fun halloween age. and they don't notice when all the good stuff disappears from their bucket. he was still enamored with dum dums.


we stepped up the butterfly game with a face mask i had picked up that day and some silver hair spray. 


i have failed on the holiday card photo for this year, so this one may just be it! merry christmas from the simpsons.


i really wanted to be Prince this year but,


thomas was going as gaston,


so i went with elvis so that people would not confuse us as two kissing musketeers. you don't realize how much prince resembled a musketeer until you stand him up next to gaston.

some of my best pumpkin work to date.



the moon rising over our house!
not a for sale sign. 


already planning for next year. the day after i went to target and cleaned them out of their over sized skulls.

Monday, November 06, 2017

not so fun run

i am a blogger again! watch out posterity!

last week, i ran my first half marathon in a really long time. like 4 years long time. a half marathon is my yearly goal, so i've attempted training for one each year, but due to moving, having a baby and a traumatic delivery, buying a new house, having a family and life and finding a race that i could run on a saturday, it took 4 years to be ready. the race i finally settled on is the run town usa half marathon in greenville, south carolina. say what? haven't i run that one before? yes! but i don't live in greenville anymore! correct! but, it was the most feasible saturday race. i found another one in october in atlanta, but it was on the other side of the city, and it would have taken an hour and a half to get there. greenville is an hour and a half away from this side of the atlanta, so it made some sense to make a family trip of it and get a hotel in downtown greenville the night before. we love greenville and the excitement and novelty of having the entire family "sleeping" in a hotel room never loses it's luster. 
the night was unusually uneventful. herch fell asleep in the car and stayed asleep during the car to hotel room transfer. to successfully transfer a sleeping toddler is to see the face of God. 
then, about 10 minutes before my alarm was supposed to go off, scarlett woke me up with a, "mom, herschel opened the door and ran down the hall!" though my day included quite a a bit of high intensity cardio, at no point was my heart beating as hard and as fast as that moment then. luckily, he hadn't made it too far. just all the way on the other side of the hallway.
"dad, i know why mom is taking so long in the bathroom this morning. she's looking in the mirror and giving herself a pre-race pep talk."

that i was, among other pre-race rituals. some involving boudreaux's butt paste. 

the beautiful greenville drive stadium at sunrise. i once read a quote about running and i can't remember the exact words, but the message was along the lines of running as the sun rises allows you to be able to experience dreams that sleep won't allow. 



one of my favorite simpsonvillains, holly, also ran. she ran amazing and PRed. i felt like i had ERed at the end of my race. as in, take me to the ER, my head needs to be examined.

in short, it was beautiful run(i ran past my dream house and i almost completed stopped to stare at it. black on black with shingles and black shutters and a huge porch and lots and lots of huge palmettos and evergreens and regular trees changing purple, red and orange. it was my design aesthetic heaven). the weather was perfect. mid 50s. one of my feet  and my sciatic nerve had been hurting a bit in the weeks leading up to the race but i wasn't too worried. for 3 weeks before the race, i didn't squat anything too heavy and babied my feet with comfortable, unattractive shoes. one of the comfortable shoes gave me a blister a few days before the race. i started off the race okay and had a great time at 3 miles and a really great 6 mile time. i was feeling positive. then about mile 7, i could feel a blister right on the ball of my foot starting to rub. i tried changing my gait, but short of only hopping on one leg, there was no way to avoid that blister.  one dumb blister and i let my brain believe i couldn't do it. i kept going, but i was doubting myself the whole time. everything "they" say about running being a mental exercise is true. i believed i was struggling and so i did. the course wasn't nearly as hard as some of my practice runs, just unfamiliar, so i wasn't running confidently. i was about 15 minutes slower than i anticipated being and it was my slowest time ever. it's fine. i finished. i didn't cry about it. i wore my medal and i ate mexican food with the family on the way home and we all enjoyed each other's company. we arrived back home just in time to watch georgia stomp their way to victory all over florida. i ate so many sour patch watermelons. i really love sour, sugary candy. 

i'm not hanging up my sneaks yet. i'm going to train harder and smarter. i'm going to feel great about my next race's finish. 
 believe it or not, i thought my muscles would be more impressive in this photo. years of lifting and i'm still wowing just my mom. 



Sunday, July 02, 2017

scarlett in real life

scarlett, the wackiest, funniest, loudest introvert i know, turned 10 this week. when we get to public social settings, she's rather quiet but when you get her home, it's like a verbal damn has burst. 
scarlett received the "promise of gwinnett" award twice this year because she "is a hardworker and a friend to all". if sandy beck taught me anything and i want to instill anything in my own kids, it is to be a hardworker and a friend to all. scarlett was born at just the right time in our family. she is so capable and helpful. she's sandwiched between two loose cannons and she is the calming force. she has always been reagan's closest friend and champion. she is not afraid to defend him and explain autism to those who may not understand his behaviors. it's not easy for her, so we've had many chats about her important role in our family. her closeness to reagan is a blessing and a burden. she is wise beyond her years and possesses a deep seated empathy for others. i find that i try to compensate for disappointment and lost opportunity via gifts and surprises more readily for her than the other children. plus, she has similar tastes to me and i love dressing her in things i like. she never met and mismatched pattern that she didn't love, like me.

scarlett loves science, greek myths, historical books, saying, "did you know..." commentary all day long, and silly barbie and project mc2 shows on netflix. i wish i knew more about technology because i would love to help her learn to code a website or build more things out of spare parts like she learned about at invention camp or develop a machine that can find the remote when the babies have lost it again. i feel most 6th graders have more technological knowledge than i do. scarlett loves all the star wars movies, even the terrible ones and just completed all the the lord of the rings movies with thomas. she has developed a crush on legolas(who hasn't?) and asks really great mythological questions. she is a nerd. 

my favorite thing about her is her sense of humor. she has mastered comedic timing and sarcasm. she gets wit. i couldn't be prouder. 

her hair is all the way down to her waist but she still cries each time i brush it out for her. she has the world's most sensitive head. she just started the braces process and it's included and lot of excessive saliva slurpy talking, food stuck in weird places that requires me to poke it out with a toothpick and questionable breath. i keep trying to convince her this will all be worth it.

we had a big party for her at the local bowling alley/laser tag/bumper car/arcade place. everyone had a great time but the food was terrible. i'll let you know when i find a venue that pleases kid's and mom's palate. the jury is out on that one.







that's not me, that my friend lindsay.










Sunday, June 25, 2017

just imagine how much cooler i'll be in summer!

a quick remainder of may/most of june breakdown breakdown:

on memorial day, i ran the local 5k. i ordered this tank for special running occasions. people either had no idea what it meant or high fived me and quoted rocky 4. it wasn't terribly warm, but it was super humid. like running in a dorm group shower. i ran alone, but i saw a person who i hardly know at all but always gives me the stink eye. she may just have stinky eyes, but i feel disapproval. she must somehow detect that i was a junior high nerd who wore clothes from wal-mart, which always makes you a target for stink eyes. perhaps i'm reading too much into it, but i channeled that anxiety into speed and i made sure that i finished 35 seconds ahead of her. childhood baggage for the win.

after the race, i met up with the family and some fun families from our church at the city memorial day parade. 




poor athena blythe was under the weather.

i did not practice safe skin practices and got sunburned.


most of june has been rainy, but we've hit up the pool as much as we can.

post pool-itis. hersch has given up naps and bedtime is now a fight so i do welcome his post pool drop anywhere nap. i just need the space from him. he's cute but difficult when he's over tired. 

this photo our bucolic surroundings is part of our local trail that we've been visiting 3 times a week. it's lovely and if' we go around 9am, not too terriblly hot and humid. a good portion of the trail is shaded, and there are plenty of dogs to shout at and turtles basking in the sun.
hersch insists on sitting in his stroller like this and often wears his paw patrol pajamas for a 24 hour bender. fleece jammies in june is heaven, i always say. 

some native georgia woodland creature:


thomas and i are still doing our best to have regular-ish date nights. when we moved to atlanta almost 3 years ago, i was angry at the universe and miserably pregnant. every time i turned on the radio, it was either tom petty, REM or drivin' and cryin'. now that i'm happy again, i'm attempting to be a drivin' and cryin' fan since they are a local phenomenon. there was a local, outdoor free show and they advertised multiple food trucks! i was sold on trying out this event! we arrived and the food truck lines were ridiculously long and several had already shut down because they had run out of food. we waited forever in the final food line and got 4 overpriced miniature doughnuts. i do not favor doughnuts but i was so hungry i shoveled them in my mouth. by then the concert was nearly over and we were able to listen to only a few songs. we were so hungry that after the show we drove around until we could find another open restaurant. the only thing available was a terrible frontera tex-mex and choked down subpar food late at night. eating terrible food late at night was much more fun when i was a teenager. i enjoyed thomas' company, nonetheless.

my hair looks amazing in this girls picture. take note, posterity. i fail at so many things, but when my hair looks like a lion's mane, i know i can go on to the next day. 

i have attempted several low-key summer crafts. first was melted crayon crayons. other unphotographed projects include, terrible marshmallow and toothpick creations, painted paper mache animals, pipe cleaner and beads jewelry. easy easy.

the only picture i got of the paper mache animals. athena blythe and her blue dinosaur, chewdo. 

scarlett attended invention camp. they made all sorts of cool things out of garbage and machine parts. my favorite thing she made was an electric circuit made out of old clock parts. 


 hersch is messy and gross every day. he's ruined all his clothes and looks like an unloved ragamuffin most days. today at church he had a MAJOR blow out while i was holding him. it was during the passing of the sacrament and i had real live POOP on my hands. gives new meaning to taking the sacrament with unclean hands. i made a mad dash out of the chapel and gave him a quick scrub down with a million baby wipes. luckily, in my bag, i had some dirty clothes that i had neglected to remove from my bag from a previous messy encounter this week. tender mercies indeed. 

we took a family trip to the movies to see cars 3. i hear it was great. i could only hear it from the hallway. hersch loved that water fountain though.


 scarlett just started the long and winding road to straight teeth. this is the aftermath of a recent appliance check up. 

this is how herschel will die. pushing chairs around to various high surfaces searching for candy.

the end