Saturday, December 31, 2016

well played, december

do you ever listen to neil diamond and wonder if you will be anywhere near his level of genius with words? to be able to use words like "brang" and have it sound delightful and proper? i listen to neil all the time and oftentimes i'll walk back into the kitchen from whatever tasks i've just accomplished to find my laptop shut and a child or spouse looking shame-faced. thomas actually never looks shame-faced. he always say that he was trying to have a deep and meaningful conversation with a child and the music was too loud. likely story. 
another likely story is how this month got away from me again with no posts! 

it's probably because i was so on the ball with my christmas cards this year. i had them ordered and addressed the first week of december. 

i actually felt really on the ball for most of the month but because of my christmas card efficiency, this post will have little pontificating, just photo dumping and captioning.

we met santa! his wife was also posed but she didn't make the cut. if i was mrs. claus i'd be out of the north pole and looking for a new group of magical, imaginary people that actually appreciated me. i hear the scientologists have a few openings.

piano recital. on time and well played. pun! the negotiation for reagan was wearing a tie with jeans. he was the one pushing for jeans in a formal setting. not everyone can pull that look off. the jeans cannot be sloppy. a tie is not all redeeming though it does accomplish much in elevating a more casual outfit. if the jeans or sloppy or the shirt is wrinkled, the outfit just conveys an feeling of grocery store bag boy. i think we excuted well. a very mix and match look with a pop of yellow on the tie. 
as far as scarlett's outfit, i've found that one really lights out piece can make a regular skirt and shirt combo special occasion level of dress. elegant chewbacca vest is what we'll call it.

scarlett has mastered artful layering and mixing leopard and polka dots as a neutral. 

thomas's christmas gift from his mother came and it was fantastic. 

on pizza night i found this ultra thick pepperoni and i ate it. 

we had stake conference and WE WERE ON TIME and very well behaved for the first hour. stake conference should be one hour. 

winter hats

matchy matchy. i feel the key to matching outfits is to make the younger person's outfit resemble the older person's and not the other way around.

bob's burgers is on netflix and perfectly demonstrates my internal monologue and blythe's external monologue.

i tried to participate in the Church's light the world campaign but i wasn't really feeling it as much as i wanted to. one day i really prayed to know how to serve. i discovered that the secret to praying for service opportunities isn't necessarily to find them but to change our heart to be willing to help. the service that i prayed to perform this month was staring me in the face but my attitude and my fear of being taken advantage of kept me from recognizing the need and from stepping up sooner. i'm too quick to assume that someone didn't plan well or whatnot instead of thinking that the Lord has something for me to do whether i think it merits my efforts or not. the test may be my reaction rather than fulfilling the need. and here's the kicker, the service i performed was a minuscule part of my day. next to nothing. i changed the course of my day for about 15 minutes. but i felt better ALL DAY because i had heeded a prompting and humbled myself to follow through. 
i'm  constantly learning how often the Lord has given me so much happiness if i'll just humble myself and do rather than be prideful and not get involved.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

the more you suffer the more it shows you really care

my phone has been talking to my garage door opener and my printer dock, who already hate me and are selective listeners to my demands, and it has decided to stop talking to my computer so i can't download any of the pictures from the last month. no one wants to read a post sans photos and a technological revolt against me is alive and well in georgia.

i'll just tell you about two weeks ago. it was "colonial day" at scarlett's school and i signed up to help minimally but it still consumed me. in a nutshell, i'm terrible at managing my life even with simple tasks. i don't struggle with anxiety like i used to but i still have brief moments of panic when despite all my best efforts and extensive planning, i can't make things happen. it started with corn husks for a pilgrim doll craft. i couldn't find any and they were due monday and it was tuesday. every other week of the year, i can walk straight to the corn husks at walmart or kroger, but the week of the project, none were to be found. each employee that i inquired of at the three grocery stores i went to looked at me blankly, as if i asked for gold bullion at the grocery store. i finally had a wonderful friend rescue me from my plight by offering the ones she had on hand. 
then friday's dilemma involved heavy cream for butter churning. i bought my contribution a week in advance so that i'd have it ready, but the morning of was a whirlwind of pilgrim costume styling  and i was up extra late baking a few dozen cookies for all the teacher to take home for thanksgiving (which frankly, irks me. isn't a week off from school treat enough? and i think supporting teachers in practical ways is essential. i digress.) and scarlett walked out the door without it. i went to the gym and i was KILLING it on the treadmill. making great time and feeling fantastic. then it popped in my head that the heavy cream was still in the refrigerator. GASP! i'm determined to not be the deadbeat mom of this generation of children! i'd already turned in the corn husks late! earlier in the year a bunch of my forms had been misplaced so i had to fill everything else again and of course everyone made it sound like i had not turned them in. i was FRAMED. i feel extra pressure to perform when i've under-performed previously. i know how some other mom's talk! i remember how alana wieczorek from high school got all the good parts in the school musicals, even though she was a dreadful singer and actress,  because her mom made all the costumes. i know how things work! i will write secret checks to certain organizations if that's what it takes. but, of course, i'll probably forget to send my bribe check in on time because i'm scatterbrained! 
anywho, i'm trying to figure out the best way to get the heavy cream to the elementary school on the other side of town from my gym. i wish i could have just said screw it because i want to get 5 miles in today! but, duty prevails and i jump off the tread, grab hersch and drive like a maniac to my house to get the cream. no point in stopping at the store for more because my house is by the school. of course, 85 is a mess and i didn't cool down at all so i am drenched with sweat in my sweatshirt. i finally get to the school and drag hersch in, because this was a good time to throw a fit about being dragged around town by his merciless mother. i take the cream inside, looking like a drowned rat, and ask the receptionist to allow me to take the cream to the classroom. take note, this is when you should straight up lie to a bedraggled mom. the receptionist sniffs and looks at me, "they've already finished the butter. you're too late." if i'm ever a receptionist, i'm going to tell lies. i'm going to tell moms who are killing themselves to get stuff done that i'll gladly take their contribution right away, they don't need to know whether it's used. they just need to know that their effort was noted. lie to me! tell me sweet little lies!
so, i'm just mad at everyone at this point. and crazy sweaty. i get in my car after another brief tussle with hersch and start driving down the road. i pull off my sweatshirt at the light and start driving, not realizing that i've also pulled off my running tank. i'm driving around town in just my sports bra for about 20 minutes because i magically got green on every light or only sat at red lights long enough to wrestle with my shirt, but not get it back on. at least i was finally cooling off. 
later that day when i picked up athena blythe, she came out wearing a shirt i did not recognize. according to her teacher, athena blythe had fallen into the toilet at school and drenched her shirt. 
i know the feeling. 
the end. 

Thursday, October 20, 2016

walmart grocery pick up makes me a better person

apparently something really unbelievably amazing is just around the corner because the past two weeks were as hard as trying to retrieve your chapstick from between the seats in your car. it's a seemingly menial task that can leave your sweaty and exhausted. but life is still really good. we haven't had to flee our homeland and we have plenty of food in our pantry. i am not yet as job. but some days i'd love to have a paying job so that i can specifically hire someone to do the household tasks i loathe and despise. which is pretty much everything. pioneer spirit!

the highlights-

walmart grocery pick up. i plan my menu, i place my order the night before. i choose a pick up time. i drive to walmart at the appointed time and collect my groceries without ever stepping foot in hell, or the store. it's the greatest thing that's ever happened. AND IT'S FREE! not even "free" but free. no fee or price change and they honor the price of the item you chose when they have to give you a substitution. talk about making america great again! i save at least 3 hours a week and i actually follow my menu plan because i'm not burned out simply by the task of acquiring food. imagine if i had to skin a deer or shoot a duck? or if had to debone a chicken? how did we live before boneless skinless chicken breasts? HOW? look in my eyes and tell me how? 

reagan had his run-a-thon at school. he walked every single lap and did his absolute best to avoid having his laps marked off on the back of his shirt. he's kind of an anarchist like that. but he loved high-fiving all the lookers on. 

i also received a phone call from a secretary at reagan's school telling me that reagan had done something so outstanding that he was being honored on the principal's wall of fame. she didn't want to divulge to me what the noble act was so that reagan could share it with me. the problem with that is reagan does not like praise and he also doesn't notice when he is doing a good deed. it wouldn't even register to him, and not that he's always going out of his way doing good deeds, but more from a completely oblivious of other people standpoint. when i asked him about it, he couldn't remember what he had done to be recognized, but he was willing to pose with his name on the wall of fame. autism!

our neighborhood can be kind of snobby. it's a nice neighborhood that i am grateful to live in, but there appear to be a few too many people in our 'hood who think they are pretty hot snot just because of where we live. on our neighborhood website a few of these nouveau riche snoots were complaining about a local gardening store that lives in the place of an old gas station. they think it's an eyesore and that it devalues our property and want to see them run out of town simply because their wares include multiple 9+ foot carved bear statues and a plethora of football team oriented statuary. because i loathe snobby people more than almost anything, and being the social vulgarians that we are, we took a family trip to look at the pumpkins at the gas station garden store. if i have zero friends in my snob neighborhood, i'll know i'm doing something right. fight the power! 

scarlett wanted a few shots of her in front of this classy table display.

scarlett gave a talk in primary. i wrote said talk for her during sacrament meeting. though i am in the primary presidency, i still like to live on the edge with remembering who has talks. if i'm not related to the kid, i can tell you when they are speaking in primary but something about sharing DNA makes it pretty hard for me to remember their assignments. familial amnesia. thomas was recently called to teach a class in primary and he's finally going to learn all the words to the primary songs. this will serve him well while working in law and he will need pleasant gospel song reminders to sing to help get him through his day. lawyers love to say the F word at any chance they can. 

athena blythe had a field trip to a christmas tree farm. she tolerated it well enough. they had some goats and she told anyone who would listen that all your need to do to milk a goat was to, "squeak their bottom."

they had scottish cows, which is the closest i'll ever get to my motherland of scotland. 

the less bright lights(low lights):

we took a trip to the park and athena blythe went face first down the skate board half pipe. 

nothing was broken. not even her spirit.

and piece de resistance of annoying things, having our master bathroom and laundry room torn apart because of water damage from a leaky toilet. delicious.

so far, we've had 100 degree fans and humidifiers set up for the past 6 days to dry out saturated tile but it looks like we're going to have to re tile parts of the master bath floor anyway. hurray
when this is over, i'll be a happy woman. but i can easily claim that i am a happy woman now, because i don't live in aleppo and my DVR works all the time. 
the end.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

i'm not afraid anymore!

you know that part in home alone when kevin realizes that he's not afraid of harry and marv anymore?
Image result for home alone i'm not afraid anymore
that's kind of what watching general conference does to me. i feel empowered and then i start collecting supplies to booby trap my house so that the bad guys can't get in, or if they do, they'll be mega hurt in a delightfully comical way. 

i realize now that i've accidentally thrown out my conference notes from the first weekend in october. i can't be trusted with anything anymore. conference was such an uplifting experience. the answers are there if you're ready to listen. i've found that several of my friends from different portions of my life have fallen away from the church. i find that each time i hear about someone deciding to not be a member of the church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, it affects me. it jars me. it makes me question things i already know to be true all over again. i struggle to accept the news and move on. but this conference was full of so many wonderful reassurances of the promises of the gospel of Jesus Christ if we remain faithful, that it keeps me going. which i need in this absolute debacle of an election season. if i was forced to pick my favorites, i'd have to say, uchtdorf, ballard, natress, and bednar. i'll need to plan a reread of their messages soon. but i'm recalling a lot of encouragement about faith? and scripture reading? and going to church? 

here's a recap of this last week:
eating news-now that it's october, we are finally being able to eat outside. still in the 80s most days but delightful. everyone north of the mason dixon line has been enjoying eating outside for the last 4 months. we just got that opportunity, which will last until december and then march and april. so there's georgia's 4 months of al fresco dining. 

this is the remnant of our conference sunday dessert. brownies, ice cream, and fruits in fondue. i just discovered a new apple type that i'd never had before, sweetango! i've only found them at kroger but they are fantastic. sweet and tangy tango in your mouth. appropriately named.

fitness news- our family weight lifting program is plodding along. i'm actually rather impressed at how well reagan and scarlett are picking up correct form. i'm a mirror hog at the gym so that i can always check form because it's not inherent for me. it's not their favorite activity but i hated pulling weeds with the family growing up and now i'm not afraid of yard work. the kids complaining is annoying, but i'm hoping that being strong will help them have a better perspective of the value of their own body. 

embarrassing news-i tried to save money by touching up reagan's haircut myself. it's okay to laugh. i have laughed about this many times. i figure there are much worse things in this world to experience than a really terrible haircut at the hands of your mother. 

baby talk-herschel the adorable has maintained his love for dogs and poses appropriately as to get out of trouble after i've found more grapes and broccoli spit out on the floor. that's his thing. eat all his food and then hide it to spit out in high traffic areas of the house when he's done sucking out the flavor. 

 tomfoolery is at an all time high. 

the end. 

Sunday, September 25, 2016

september morn, and lots of hot september days, in run on sentences.

it has been 90+ degrees all september long. i want to like september. there is plenty to like about september. i just struggle with liking september because it's still so hot. i'm always sweaty. i'm unpleasantly sweaty. but i carry on. 

everything that happened in september in single sentences:

halloween decor made it's first appearance and athena blythe loves it. 

hersch just knows to smile during pictures now.

friday football dress code has resumed:

athena blythe finagled a jewelry counter worker to let her try on a $1500 diamond necklace.

half-marathon training is in full force.

indoor camping to appease athena blythe's relentless requests for real outside camping.

athena blythes first day of school, but not really because i can't read a calendar and school really started the next day, but i took pictures and she insisted on smiling like this and saying, "awwwww" over and over. 

 real first day of school.

 my lunchbox napkins are some of my best work:

 athena blythe's school has a pretty cool library that i had to drag two screaming kids out of. 

i'm trying to be a fun mom and taking all the kids to the park on thursday evenings to eat taco bell and chik fil a and play the night away but it's still so hot that i'm cranky after 20 minutes. 

herschel is my darling baby who takes too few naps because of his siblings busy school schedules.

thomas and i went to the temple and it was manna to my soul.

since we have 1230 to 330 church, we eat two huge, carby meals on sunday and i've really perfected my chicken parmesan as a result.

the scarlett modeling sessions continue and i don't mind.

scarlett and i went to the women's broadcast at church, i think she even did a pretty good job paying attention. 

i curled her long locks for church today. 

i looked best in this picture and everyone else looked typical but there was nothing typical about our great primary program today at church. 

goodbye, sweaty september!

2 weeks notice

end of september sounds like a great time for a end of summer recap. the last two weeks of summer i feel like i tried to jam in as much "fun" as possible. it was exhausting.
  highlight 1- a visit from my dear friend julie from simpsonville and her kids. we swam at our pool and then hit up the mayfield dairy tour. disclaimer, the tour does not include any real cows. it's more of a milk bottling and distribution center with a tour. no milking on site. no cows on site! ice cream was "included" with your $4 tour ticket. i feel like adding "unnecessary" quotation marks to things to convey my "true" "feelings". any chance to wear hairnets is worth it to me though. 

reagan still does not like ice cream.

more modeling portfolio shots:

hersch did not take a nap that day. the tour guide was more worried about his "hair" contaminating the milk. i would be more worried about diapers and irritability.

reagan wore his hair net for the rest of the day.

"two thumbs up for the ice cream!" - anonymous unofficially lactose intolerant mother of 4 who ate 2 servings since her oldest does not like ice cream and ice cream cannot be wasted, even at the expense of driving home like a maniac during rush hour in order to get to a bathroom in time.

reagan wore his hair net for the rest of the day.
so full points for this excursion. 

highlight2- if i'm being honest, taking my kids shopping is a struggle. at the beginning of summer, any day that we had an outing, which was most days, i would have to lay down on the couch just to recover. i don't consider myself faint of heart, but my kid's age spread, and one boy's disability, for the LOVE, it was the only way.
we decided to make our back to school shopping a family affair. it sound risky but so does shopping for clothes for numerous children by myself.

 thomas took the kids and ran interference while i waited in line to make purchases. from start to finish, our shopping trip took 2 hours, including the mall and target. we're ready for anything after that. 

athena blythe tricked us into buying this jacket for her, even though end of september is still 90 degrees. 

scarlett is at that delightful 9 year old age where she absolutely talks me ear off all day long. i love her. she's funny and creative, but the  20 minute commentary on all the reasons she chose this pencil bag was even too much for me. she has so much to say. 

highlight 3- the end of summer birthday pool party. since we had no parties for the kid's birthday parties i said we could do a party at the pool. i planned as little as possible, i scrounged together a bunch of old napkins and water bottles and i picked up a costco cake. party heidi style.

pool parties are the easiest parties. any mess can be hosed off. someday i'd like to have a kitchen with a stamped concrete floor. 

minor highlights- i organized my closet. no more shoe pile. my goal by winter is to half my wardrobe in order to only own what i love. lofty goal. who wants an early 2000s wedding dress?

this kid doing what this kid does:

meet the teacher at scarlett's new school. we met her and all our kids acted normalish. people fight to be room mother at this school so i pretty much found my dream setting and i don't have to do a thing but send in treats and supplies, which i'll gladly do.

our harry potter birthday dinner. naturally. 

the end. hurray.