Monday, May 16, 2011

Bringin' Back Optimism

Sheesh, it's been a drag around here lately.

No more! I'm bringin' back optimism. I'm bringin' back chipper.

I mean, c'mon, it's May! You know, springtime! Birds chirping, flowers blooming, puffy white clouds in a bright blue sky, and me, twirling around in a springy full skirt!

Except that reality is it's really, really cold! And the sky is filled with rain clouds! And it's supposed to pour tomorrow! And Wednesday!

What is with this weather? This is not the global warming people keep warning me about.

None of this matters. Why? Because tomorrow I'm taking my mom to tea to celebrate Mother's Day. There have been a lot of postponements for various crazy reasons but tomorrow we are doing it! We are celebrating my mom being a wonderful mom!

Woohoo, Mom!

Unless there is hail. Or sleet. Or maybe even snow. I don't think there will be snow but it's really, really cold!

But, no! I'm bringin' back optimism! It will not hail, sleet, or snow! We will have tea! It's gonna be great, I tell you, great! I AM optimistic!

If it snows, we're postponing.

If it's just hail, well, then, we'll see....

Monday, May 9, 2011

Mother's Day

I survived it.

That's really all I've got.

At some point, I do have to get over feeling like an infertile failure on Mother's Day. It's not all about me. Well, technically, since I'm not a mother it's not even kind of about me.

Moving on.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

National Scrapbooking Day

Yep, there's a holiday for scrapbooking. And, in honor of NSD, here's a recent page.

Can't the 70s get a little love?

Top pic: me and my kid sis. I was off to K, so I don't know why she had my lunch box. But, whatever. Bottom pic: me and my kid sis and our cousins in front of Grandma's house. So much 70s awesomeness in that shot: Ann and me in matching velour shirts, Bobby and Danny in matching striped shirts, Steven in knee socks (heh, heh, heh, knee socks). And the little cutie on the right? That would be Jon's K pic. Even back then, he was the most adorable guy around.

Saturday, April 30, 2011


It's the last day of April and I'm glad to see April go. See you, April 2011. Glad you won't be coming 'round again.

I had high hopes for April. Jon would go on Easter Break and then, a couple weeks later, I would go on Easter Break. We would celebrate Palm Sunday, Good Friday, and Easter. The weather should start becoming less wintery and more spring-like. Maybe we would get outside for a hike or a day-trip, or visit friends at the beach, or spend some extra time with the nephews.

But on April 2nd, we were blindsided: Beasley died.

And that pretty much finished April for me.

Sure, we went on Easter Breaks but we were both so lonely during our respective times off. Yes, we celebrated Palm Sunday, Good Friday, and Easter but we were still sad. Got to spend time with the nephews, too, but even those sweet little boys couldn't fill the hole in our hearts.

We just really, really, really miss our dog.

Love you, Mr. B. Thanks for twelve great years. See you in heaven.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

A Spring Haiku

Spring is on its way!
No, it's not; oh, yes, it is!
No, it's really not.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Stay-At-Home Housewife

I've been at home for an entire work-week, due to the school break known as "Presidents Week" in my district. I love Presidents Week; it is my kind of week. No presents to buy or wrap. No decorations to put up. No special treats to bake. Just an excuse to stay home.

And to wish I were a full-time stay-at-home housewife.

Here's my week in review:

Monday: Honestly, I can't remember what I did on Monday but it doesn't really count because Jon was home, too. His district takes two Presidents Day holidays instead of Presidents Week, like my district. There is much bitterness in our home over this simple fact but he's trying to rise above it and I love him for that.

Tuesday: I weeded! Like a fiend! So satisfying to get all those disgusting weeds pulled up. So discouraging to realize that, with the advent of spring, they will all just grow back. After Jon got off work, we met with our realtor and put an offer on a house. It's the back-up offer, so we have no hope that it will actually go through, but, still.

Wednesday: Lazy day. Didn't do much. Watched flaky tv. Hung out on the computer. Should've worked out but didn't. I did go to AWANA that night and taught the 3rd through 6th grade crew. A bitter crew, because they had had to go to school that day (no Presidents Week in their district).

Thursday: Baked cookies for Bible Study before 8AM. Drove to award-winning cupcakerie in Riverside to pick up cupcakes and drive them to my sister's house in La Mirada. Not that my sister was there, she was at work (more bitterness over the fact that my district has Presidents Week and hers, like Jon's, has two Presidents Days). But her husband was there and her baby Zac was there (big brother was at kindergarten, again with the bitterness) and my parents were there. I left her three of the cupcakes and brought one home to Jon so they can't stay mad at me. I got to play with Zac-Attack (yes, that's what I like to call him), have lunch with Kurt, Mom & Dad, and Zac, and then I drove home. No traffic on a work day, coming or going, because my leave times were so luxe! As soon as I got home, I cleaned the bathrooms. That night, we went to Bible Study, with the aforementioned cookies.

Friday: Did all the laundry. All. Vacuumed and mopped. Now I'm killing time before I dust.

I soooooooo want to be a stay-at-home housewife!

BTW: I also want to point out that every single morning, I got up at least fifteen minutes before Jon (so, 4:45AM or 5:15AM), made his lunch, started the kettle for his cocoa, and got the paper for his reading pleasure. I do that every single morning, whether I'm on Presidents Week or not. I'm not always the sweet, loving non-stay-at-home housewife I'd like to be but I do try to throw the poor guy a bone.

Sister and I are pretty serious about our cupcakes! And, yes, I've heard that pie is the new cupcakes. But I have room in my heart for both.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Freaking Out

This afternoon we will be meeting with our realtor to make offers on two houses. Two! Not that we are buying two houses but we found two houses we love for different reasons at different price points and we're offering on both and seeing where our offers go.

I am totally and completely freaking out. Like, sick-to-my-stomach freaking out.

I will deal with the freaking out and the sick-to-my-stomach feeling in my usual fashion: completely ignore the whole thing and pretend that nothing unusual is happening.

Yes, I am an ostrich.

And, please, in this market? Both houses could easily get away from us! So, really, what's the point in freaking out anyway? Today really isn't that big a deal.

Except that it is. And I am freaking out!
This is our current house. There is nothing wrong with it except that we have outgrown it. We have lived in our starter house for twelve years. I think it's safe to say that "starting" is behind us. We're looking to move on to "establishing."

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Casual Chic

Can I just say that Brian Andreas over at Story People has a quote for everything? And I mean everything. This just about sums up my approach to getting dressed for 355 out of 365 days of the year: "Ready for just about anything in a casual chic sort of way." Uh, huh, that's what I'm going for (allowing for ten days on which I might be sick and not get out of my pajamas or I might have to get all gussied up in a dressy chic sort of way). I don't always hit it, but I give it a go.

So, we're heading into a transitional season and I hate transitional seasons. Hate them. With a fierce and abiding passion. Fall to winter? What? I don't need a coat, or wait, I do need a coat; no, no, I don't need a coat. Bummer, I needed a coat. Winter to spring? Yes! It's the perfect day for a light jacket! Oh, no, the clouds are rolling in; where's my coat? Nope, they're rolling back out again! Rats, now it's raining.

I do not know how to hit the "casual chic" mark in a transitional season! I know, I know, light layers. Look, I'm short. Too many light layers and I start to look kind of puffy. Like a snowman. And, let me tell you, during these transitional seasons? A snowman could melt. Easily.

I've been looking at my closet and it is not helping me. In passing, is it wrong that, while we're house-hunting, my primary fixation is the size and layout of the master bedroom closet? It's not like a have a humongous wardrobe. And I cull it regularly. But it has reached capacity and it's driving me a little crazy. Anyway, the closet is not helping. Lots of pants, not enough tops. Lots of skirts but it's still too cold for skirts. Lots of solids, not enough patterns. But I don't really like patterns. But lately I'm kind of craving patterns.

Casual chic, maybe it's all just too much work. Maybe what I really need is a uniform.

Nope. I'm bored just thinking about a uniform.

Maybe I should just go shopping!

Or maybe I shouldn't. Maybe I should put all the shopping money into our savings account toward a bigger and better closet. I mean house. A house built around a bigger and better closet.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

As of lately....

We are:
  • looking at houses.

  • trying to decide if we can afford the houses we like.

  • pretty sure we can't yet afford the houses we like.

  • saving.

  • watching a lot of NetFlix.

  • loving having friends over for dinner and games.

  • still using the car as our "talking place".

  • consistent at Thursday night Bible study.

  • seeing the occasional in-theater movie.

  • eating out on Friday night, sometimes followed by an in-theater movie.

  • working and trying to pretend that we like it.

  • reminding ourselves that we should be grateful that we have jobs.

  • ambivalent on the baby-issue.

  • loving our church.

  • getting a kick out of our fourth-grade Sunday school crew.

  • trying to figure out what's next in our life.

  • loving each other. No matter what's going on; always, always loving each other.

Friday, January 14, 2011

The Best Gift of All

Christmas is long behind me and now it's just January.

Not that there's anything wrong with January, but there's nothing all that right about it either. It's cold. It's gloomy. I'm back at work.

Not that I hate my job but I'd always rather be not working. Because, well, I'd always rather be playing.

The other problem with January is that all the cheerful Christmas decorations are put away and my house looks a little bereft. Clean and tidy, but bereft.

I finally completed a Christmas layout and, in passing, I tried out the new collage photo feature from Walmart and I'm a fan. I don't think it would work when ordering a bunch of random photos from different occasions but if you're ordering prints from one event, the collage is pretty cool!

I was looking at my completed layout, when I realized what the best Christmas gift of all had been: Mom didn't wear a wig, cap, or scarf for the entire evening.

Her hair's not growing back as quickly as she'd like and I know this is a source of frustration for her but I think she looks beautiful. And so very, very valuable, in the literal sense of the word, meaning "of value." We came so close to losing her. She had a fairly aggressive form of breast cancer and it was scary. But she's here, she's with us, she's in remission, she's healthy, and I will always be grateful.

And I'm so glad that she felt confident enough to be in photos without a head-covering. The hair that is slowly growing back on her precious head is prettier than any wig, cap, or scarf could ever be.