what's really going on

i thought i might take some time today to let you all in on a lil' secret.  
//my house does not look like my pinboards.//

it's true.
it's true. 

 in the event that you started comparing your behind-the-scenes to my highlight reel, let me show rather than tell you what i mean.... 

my pinterest kitchen goes something like this:
 my actual kitchen looks like this today: 
i dare you to find the countertop.
it's running over with crap that doesn't "live" there.
drawers open, fruit and beverages strewn about all willy-nilly, leftovers from lunch, school books for myself and the kids, large appliances waiting for me to figure out where to put them....

on your right you will find juice and coffee stains (always), sinks overflowing like too much pudding in a too-small bowl, opened cookie packages from a moment of weakness last night (okay, and this morning), dish towels and store bags on the floor, and that ain't all.

a little further in and you'll find our beautiful dinner table sprawling with school supplies and half-eaten lunch bowls; art supplies, toys and paper scraps.  

next up, living room.

pinterest living room:
my actual living room:
a little off the left of the kitchen, our living room is booby trapped with small lego pieces and pet shops.  

in short, the house is filled with ransackery... and these are only the front rooms, minus the laundry room.  i just don't even have the guts to go there.

okay fine, i've come this far. i won't punk out.

(shame spiral kickin' into overdrive)

i swear, the things i do for you people.

pinterest laundry room:
the difference is barely noticeable, right?
it's the same room, just taken from a different angle.
okay, okay.
that's all my pride can handle today.
i'm off to find these girls:

 wish me luck.

(i'm gonna need it.)

Pin It


//pentatonix | somebody that i used to know

pentatonix, if you don't know, is an a cappella group.  
everything that you hear is them vocalizing. 

so good it's bad.

like the kids use it, capeesh?

compare with the original.
there is some bareness in this video. it doesn't actually "show" anything, but there is skin, so.  Now you know.

 this video though, the facial expressions, the body language... it is exceptionally well done.


the sunday six: edition 46 (i went back and did the math)


can you believe it?
i should maybe oughta start thinking about something fun to do for the 50th, since it'll be my GOLDEN anniversary...

please, only monetary gifts.  make all checks payable to cash, and you can rest easy knowing i will very likely spend it all in one place.

probably ross. or maybe hobby lobby.

anyway, let's save that conversation for a later date.  it's a little early to start celebrating.  at my rate it may take 6-10 more weeks to even get there.


we've finally arrived to today's list! 
let's begin.

home schooling
this past week marked the end of our school year, so it may be an odd time to add home schooling to the list, (or maybe not) but this week was just one of those times that i could really see this thing.  granted, it is easier to feel the pleasure of it when i'm not in the trenches.

still, i am so thankful that i am able to be home and spend so much time with my littles, and with 3 years of it now under our belts, i finally feel comfortable doing it.  it's feeling more and more commodious.

that word has nothing to do with toilets,
as you may be presuming.

from the outset, we said we'd take it a year at a time and we have.  it seems though that the years are rolling together more seamlessly and i'm deciding long before june that we're doing it again in august. 

it is not always easy or pretty or fun or enjoyable,
but i can tell you in good faith that i do appreciate it in more ways than one.

i'm telling you, i cannot seem to get my fill of graham cooke this week.  i have listened to podcast after podcast and some more than once!  in my mind, he sounds like ricky gervais (which is a compliment) but the depths he speaks of...

i've had links to his teachings in my inbox for months and hadn't taken the time to listen.  i wish i'd made the time sooner.  i saw this video which kick started my interest again and now i'm like one of those youths with the ear buds in, all anti-social and like "don't talk to me, i'm busy".

what? i'm cornfused.
walking through the grocery store on the canned veggie aisle, my littlest one asked for some corn and i said, "okay, i'll get you some organic corn."

he looks over to the left side and says, "look! there's some gigantic corn right there!"

beauty stuff
i got me one o' these guys this week and man, i like dat. i don't know if it actually does any good, but it feels really nice so i like it just the same.
 asking followed by having
a few days back, i posted this picture on facebook with the caption:
i would like one of these. can i have one of these, please?

indeed, all these years i have "had not" because i had "asked not".
almost immediately, a friend posted driving directions to a spot very much like it not 5 miles from my home.  almost 9 years i've lived in this house and never knew about it!
 not identical, no, but striking enough to both stop my heart and make it race all at once? yes! absolutely.  today was not the last time i visit it.

this little project
it's just a little something i started on instagam,
"...gonna start being on purpose to look out for pretty things near me: up the street, around the corner, next town over... it's all fair game.  join me?"

take a photo, tag it #ilivenearprettythings. it's that easy.

just try not to get arrested for trespassing.  it takes some time for that sort of thing to get expunged.


have yo'self a happy sunday...
maybe find you a wooded lane to mosey down while listening to a bunch of graham cooke on your iPod.  i don't know.  that's what i would do.

Pin It


The Sunday Six: Edition: a few of my (for now) favorite things

//1 my half n' half
not all half n' half is created equal.
 indeed not.
this stuff comes for the cows that God talks about owning, the ones from the "thousand hills". 
it's probably been milked by baby angels.

also, it is a fact universally accepted that coffee tastes better from well-loved, ratty cups.
forever and ever, amen.
 //2 raw sugar
the actual product (like when you buy it in the stores) looks like this:
i don't bother with the packets, though. i'm a heavy user so i buy the 2lb. "bulk" box.  i can't be trifled with opening so many tedious little packets of not enough sugar when i need my coffee now
mine looks like this:
by the way, that is not the glint of the flash off of my shiny gold spoon (which, now that we're on the subject, is another of my favorite things); no, that glint is the approval of heaven.  it assures me that having so much sugar in my coffee is good for me because it is raw.

//3 method madness
 may i introduce you to my new friend? she smells really good, so good in fact that she makes me want to clean.  i am, by nature, a pig.  i can make a mess faster than a toddler, full-tantrum.  everywhere i go, i leave a trail. (and a trial) i am what is commonly known as "a messy".  it's because i'm creative, okay?  my right brain is fully developed (no it's not) and my left brain is gimpy.  

anyway, i've had this bottle for less than a week and it's already at the halfway mark. 
 (i've used more since i snapped this baby.)
in my book, that's half empty so i already done r-u-n-n-o-f-t to buy another one.

 //4 tape!
 i have resisted the whole washi tape craze.
it's been a hard fight, hard won, and only because i am cheap (cheap!) and cannot spend $9 on a roll of tape. that's almost ten dollars.  on a roll of tape. can't do it.
 this, though, is an answered prayer.  i can certainly afford 4 rolls for $4.  that's just good stewardship.  the only thing i can't decide on just yet is what color palette to go with.  i snapped this picture in target the other day, but they also have blue/purple, pink/red and yellow/something and some others.  i think this one is the winner though.  that teal...

honestly, i waited to make the color commitment because i needed to come home and check my craft closet to see which set would match my wrapping paper stash best.  you think i did that?  nope.  the jury's still out because i plum forgot until now that i meant to do that.

and look what i did there! ...number 4 on the list, 4 rolls of tape, four dollars!  and all by accident, too. 

//5 lavender + linen
 i wish i could somehow make this a scratch 'n sniff.  this stuff is not even worth describing, because my skills are far too paltry to do it justice.  you just have to smell it.  go to the store and sniff a box and tell me you can leave the store without it.

if you can, you are a stronger woman than i (me?).

and while i haven't seen it in stores, on their site it says they also have this scent in their line of laundry detergents. sign me up!

go smell it.

//6 making bracelets
here are a few i've done recently.  i get a little carried away and don't quite know when enough is enough.  my other arm is equally bedecked.  

a little fyi for the diy-ers: the bigger bracelet wrapped with tangerine, teal and lime was a natural wood color that didn't thrill me so i covered what was left of it with taupe nail polish. now it's something i'll actually wear. vie-oh-lee! (like scuttle says on The Little Mermaid)
similar techniques shown here and here and here

...and that is all, my lovelies!

happy sunday ~ y'all have a good one!


{april} 10x10

...and i quote: "This is what 10 on 10 is about: Take a photo every hour for ten consecutive hours on the tenth of each month. Document a day of your life and find beauty among the ordinary moments. Then share your beauty with us! "

consecutive.  psh.

before i even set out,  let's let the cat out the bag, shall we?  i did not take photos every hour.  i started at almost 2 in the afternoon so i had to cram.

typically, you're supposed to do this every month.  oh look, do i see another cat wiggling its way out?  i probably won't do this every month.  right now it seems like a good idea and i (sorta) have the time for it.  next month may be another story entire.  (meaning, i will forget about this and therefore be as inconsistent as ever.)

these are snapshots of my day (and night)....  i did not follow the rules (as i am wont to do) so while it is not exhaustive, it is accurate.
 01. banana bread 
...for dessert after bible study for stretch.
it is delicious.
 02. computer time 
...more than is wise because he is ill and i is tired. 
 03. the wild kratt's missing brother
... this boy loves The Nature.  
that is a fake frog in his hand.  he is not drowning The Nature.
 04. i left for the store and forgot my list at home 
instead of turning around, i called home and had stretch dictate it to me.
and then i left that list in the car, but thankfully i'd had the foresight to snap this picture for this post and when i got into the store without the list (how many times can one list be forgotten?), i was all eureka! the picture!  
i are genius.
05. my very own 'deb'

 (napoleon dynamite reference).  she has, much to my liking, learnt herself how to make her own side ponytail.  observe:
06. supper 
because whatwith all the picture taking for this post, i had not the foresight to feed my children before we cleared out for the men's bible study, canes.
(i'm not even sure if that is correct sentax but i like the way it feels so, i approve.)

 07. library fail 
i (finally) returned a handful of things to the library.  this is the back of one of the books... put me in mind of my whole library experience.  maybe i should flush my card (and the kids' cards too, while i'm at it).  #latefees #slackattack #procrastination #williteverend?

 08. meet sammy
he gets us through many a bout of wheezing and many a sleepless night.
isn't he cute?  he is a traveling seal; he goes from one end of the house to the other, following the sick child and offering his services.  we would be lost without him.
whenever the little guy is ill, he'll cry between coughs, "i need sammy". 
a friend in need is a friend indeed.  
sammy is that friend.
 09.  see this bed?
it's mine.  mine. (well, and stretch's)
my littlest man-cub doesn't know what to call this bed.  whenever he references it, he calls it "our" bed.  see that blanket?  that's "lightning mcqueen".  it's not mine, nor is it stretches, yet it spends most nights in my bed, so i understand the boy's delusions.

let me ask you another question.
does that bed look "well rested", blankets tossed all hither and yon?
it is NOT well rested.  that bed is tired.
 10. wild thing, i think i love you
 does this picture make you think "max! (where the wild things are)?
because that's exactly what it makes me think.
...and even though he makes me and my bed so tired, i love him so much, i might eat him all up.

ten on ten button small

Pin It


The Sunday Six: Edition: who-even-knows-anymore

whaaaat?! is this for real?

yes. yes it is.

it may be here today, gone tomorrow, but it is here today.

when dead things live again
happy resurrection sunday.

my new iPhone
i, of course, am tardy for the party.  as per The Usual. 

before i had one, i was all meh.  but then i got one and bam! it's my new boyfriend.  i lurve it hard.

the particular refreshment of sweet tea + lemonade
 arnold palmer would be proud.  

or maybe he would feel robbed that i stole his idea but didn't buy his product.  

getting my wordsmith email, 
particularly the A.Word.A.Day portion. here's a little gem i just learned:


1. A fancy dish; delicacy.
2. A trinket.

"I assume it's a gloriously handsome affair ... slices of homemade seed cake and other toothsome kickshaws." 

isn't that dandy? you'll be seeing that one again.

have y'all seen this?  probably so. 

it's new to me.  [see exhibit 2]

my friend, robyn, introduced me.  she knows about all the cool stuff.

if you haven't seen this and you are a fan of The Internet and finding cool things on it, you should look into stumbleupon.  you sign up, personalize it with your own interests and bam! it finds things you like for you.  it's like a personal web crawler, and it does all of this for freeeee.  

you guys
  no really, i do. i love you, man.

happy sunday, happy easter!


for less


i've recently introduced my children to the glories and wonders of The Discount Store (not to be confused with The Dollar Store... they've known that place for ages).  they're always on the hunt for some way to spend their money and for a while, the big chain stores had their hearts.

i was failing them as a mother.

if i'm being honest, the reason i went in the first place to The Discount Store was so that i would have fun things to peruse while they took a painfully long time deciding on what they wanted... choosing this store made is less painful for me.

one day though, as luck would have it, after walking out with a Legos Hero Factory Dude Thing (yes, that's what they're called)(no, not really) for half off the retail price, my eldest man cub realized he could get what he wants without blowing the whole wallet.  the same toy, still just as cool, for half the price!

i heard a bell ring from his belfry.

'mama', he says, 'i don't understand... why does anybody pay full price for anything?!'

waves of accomplishment washed over his bargain lovin' mama. i gave him a nod, my silent assent, and thought, that's my boy.

economics... boom, graduated.

Pin It



when we first became parents (God help us) we were like something akin to the taliban.  it's true.  we were fairly fresh from the new christian oven and we had some ideals, you hear me.

i bet you knew people like us.  or maybe you know them now.  or maybe you were them.  or are them.  

there were ways for things to be done and by george we were not gonna veer from that path.  we were gonna do things right.

Santa Claus, bless his heart, was not on the right path.

being the fascists that we were, we wouldn't even entertain the idea because we couldn't enter the world of all the lying parents who lied to their children about Santa (liars!) (and if they lie about that then who knows where the lying ends! First Santa then tax fraud?)

it was a slippery slope, so we decided that no, we would stay on the straight and narrow.

so naturally, we told 'em from Jump Street that there was no Santa... that all of their gifts came from people who love them. 

after all, we didn't want them to learn later on that we had lied (like the serpent!) to them about Santa and then set them on the path of questioning every other thing we'd ever told them was true.

i just knew it would end like this:

because that's what would happen.  right?

of course we hadn't exaggerated the situation at all.


this year though, our 8 year old decided we were wrong.  he has a friend who told him he's seen Santa Claus and well, that was all the proof his little heart needed.

Santa was (is) real.


the reason for the change of heart?


it's because i believe in unicorns.

he can't trust my judgment anymore. he questions my good sense.

he'd sooner believe in a man who can eat and drink more milk and cookies in one night than all the kids in day cares across america could eat in a week, than to believe in a horse (found in nature) with a horn (like a narwhal, also found in nature).

at least his friend has seen Santa, which is more than i can say to back up my claims.

wish me luck with the rest of parenting, y'all.
seems i'm in over my head here.

i should note, since there was some confusion with a friend about this post, that my belief in unicorns is that they existed in nature in the past... not the present.  i just argue that they were real, not mythical.  the end.


the year of do-overs

last year i began the practice of naming my year. 

this year, with january approaching too quickly (and now here) i just felt heavy with what was still left undone.  or done poorly.  i felt dissatisfied.

i felt very strongly what geneen roth (you're gonna see that name alot today) calls "the inclination to bolt".

i didn't (don't) want the pressure of new resolutions.

i've never liked them.

they feel like another way to feel badly about myself.

i am well practiced at regret, judging myself, at self-inflicted violence for things done. or not done.  that is a well-worn groove.

so i came across a few words over the past few weeks that struck my heart and felt like, "this is the way, walk in it".

i'm naming this year the year of do-overs.  i will add nothing new to my plate.  i will take on no new goals. i will not keep things that imply "previous conditioning or beliefs or shoulds or have to's". the game of my life is not about "people pleasing, needing to be liked, loved, accepted, or trying to belong or fit in. That game will not get [me] where [i] want to go..."*

the thing i'm most purposing to do this year is to inhabit my life.  i leave myself hundreds of times every day.  thousands maybe.

 surfing the net
pinning things to my ever-growing pin boards
talking on the phone
checking facebook
reading blogs

all of those things are inherently harmless, but not when my motive it to disappear...

to leave myself when life gets too hard, because i don't have a solution to a problem i'm facing with my kids or my marriage

to find comfort because life feels too hard and i don't want to notice what's going on

to distance myself from the way things are when they are not what i wish they would be

to quiet the voice in my head that says i'll never be better than i am... that i cannot change

my inclination to bolt is so strong, so fierce, so bossy --- and i usually answer that call with a hearty yes.

'thank you for calling! i'll be right there!'

meanwhile, i am missing the life that happens
'in the middle zone - 
between now and what i think my life should be like. 
and when i miss those moments 
because i'd rather be doing something else, 
i am missing my own life.'  
(geneen roth, women food and god)

this year though, i will keep coming back to myself.  i will notice and return.  i've been practicing it for a little while now, but only not so purposeful.  i've seen it, but i've not faced it.

this year, this is the year i really focus on waking up, to stay in the present moment.  to find my breath and to stay with it.

in geneen roth's book, women food and god, she says, 'either you want to wake up or you want to go to sleep. you either want to live or you want to die.'  

for so long, i've just wanted to sleep, to not wake up: to myself, to my life, because it just seemed 
too hard.  
too much.  
too scary.

i was afraid that what i awoke to would destroy me.  at least in my slumber i couldn't really face the fact that sleep was destruction too, and more so.

so my do-over represents that... another chance to wake up, again and again and again.

to come back to myself, over and over and over.

another chance to live in my body, to inhabit my life, the life i've chosen.

another chance to look behind the doors of what's 'not working' with curiosity instead of judgement.

to not miss what mary oliver calls this 'one wild and precious life'.  

"you already have everything you need to be content.  
your real work is to do whatever it takes to realize that."  
geneen roth

all of the ways i run from myself, and go to sleep, and disappear, they are robbing me.

and denying that fact does not make it less so.

so, i'm not taking on a new health goal, or a new spiritual goal, or a new financial goal or any of that.  

i'm not making a to-do list except for this one thing: 

to not limit myself by thinking i'm not ready for my life. 

*excerpted from empowering potential