We are little and God is Big.

Sitting at a table right now, selling my book. This is weiiiiirrrrrrd, y’all. Never thought I’d be saying that – “Here I am, all la-dee-da, selling this book I wrote and yep, it’s like got pages, and a cover…”

WOW. Every once in a while I have to shake myself and just go a little Jerry Lee Lewis on all this. I mean…

GREAT BALLS OF FIRE THERES’ A BOOK HERE AND I WRITED IT.

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The above shows you my totally savvy media skills. They are off the HOOK. I mean, lookit:

  1. Picture is so dark it looks like final scene in The Blair Witch Project
  2. Backwards writing b/c well, yes, I dunno how to fix that.
  3. Glowing ac register above me… all “Look into the light, Caroline…” (Poltergeist quote. Cuz, who doesn’t think scary movies when at a women’s conference about addiction and recovery? Har har har).
  4. Deer in the headlights look. Really really really a normal look for me these days.

Ok, this conference ya’ll. I have to tell you. There are these fabulous women here, that I am working with and talking with and, like, riding around with in CARS and GETTING COFFEE and they are LIKE LETTING ME IN THE CAR WITH THEM I AM SO IN SEVENTH GRADE AGAIN!!!

They like me. I think they really like me.

Also this:

I have been listening to women talk about their pain and their stories. So much of our lives are pain, right? And then we need to tell the story.

We all have something. We ALL have something.

Praise God we can talk it through.

Anyhow, just wanted to tell you all how it was going and how I feel like Jesus has been holding my hand the whole time.

At some point I’ll also tell you how I ended up convincing my workshop ladies that we would be doing interpretive dance to work through our troubles…

I so had them at jazz hands, y’all. I did.

Praise God from whom ALL blessings flow. Can I hear an amen?

AMEN. :)

Can you tell I am on a three-hours-of-sleep-women-talking-sharing-hugging-crying kind of high right now? I won’t be able to SPEAK for days when I come home.

For that, I am thinking my husband will be pretty grateful.

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A Favor

Tomorrow, I leave at 4 am for the airport, and then I fly to Maryland.

There, I will be speaking at this conference: W3-Video-Graphic

I have been working on my presentation for days. I keep waking up at around three a.m. with really brilliant ideas… and then I look back at those ideas in the morning light and go, “Wow. Really?” I am not kidding. Last night I had an idea involving my KU snuggie. Like, wearing it. I know. I don’t really know what I was going for on that.

Anyhow. I think I am a bit wonky about all this.

I mean, I have got to go in there, all Sobriety Ninja Woman! and SAVE THE DAY!

It’s not me. It’s God. He has this and He is the one that saves the day. Not me. So, prayerfully working on this workshop and realizing, too, that every time I do one of these things I learn a TON about myself, my teeny tiny faith, God’s huge, omnipotent power, and everything in between.

I ask a favor. If you are the praying sort, would you? Would you pray for this conference? For the broken ones (I am on that list) and the scared ones (yep, on that one too) and the ones in charge of all the details (thanking my lucky stars I am NOT on that one).

Would you pray? For peace and strength and courage. For courage. For all of us. To show up, to be real, to accept healing. To accept God’s love. Would you pray?

The conference is this Friday and Saturday. We (the workshoppers) want to give our presentations, but I know, what we really want? Is to get out of the WAY and let God take us where He wants us to go.

Amen?

Amen.

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Thank you. I love you, my readers. It is such a blessing to have you. You encourage me so much more than you know. And, also, I am pretty sure you would be kind enough to tell me NOT to do a presentation while wearing a Slanket. SO not a good idea.

But… what about my idea about telling my recovery story, using sock puppets? Do you think I should try that? Hmmm?

(Just kidding. This idea had me at hello at four am the night before last. Sanity returned in the morning. Well, as far as sanity can return to me, I guess.)

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I CAN be Wonder Woman. With help from #NetflixKids.

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I think I have convinced my children that I have super powers.

I do think, also, that all mothers actually DO deserve a cape. And maybe a sparkly head band or blingie metallic wrist bracelet thingies. I can rock the boots and big hair, I tell ya.

But along with the cute outfit, comes these wonders:

  1. Ears that can hear Sharpie being applied to a cat from fifty yards.
  2. Eyes in the back of my head. Always thought this was kinda creepy. I get it now.
  3. Ability to discern fake crying from real crying in less than three seconds.
  4. Ability to use the phrase, “Eat some raisins. They’re nature’s candy” with total aplomb.

In fact, I am the bomb at aplomb.

(Sorry, just had to. How often does one get to use ‘aplomb’ in the day to day? I am giving this gift to you.)

Anyhow.

The only* area of Wonder Womanness that I am failing at these days is, um, getting my kids to be generally nice and, well, kind and patient with each other. But… So NOT a big deal, right?

Basic kindness is overrated anyway. Just watch reality television for five minutes and you’ll see.

However, as I am aiming for utter perfection in my world at all times, I have found myself rather stuck on this problem with congeniality. They love each other, yes. They are related. Yes. But after school? They come home and just sort of hate on each other’s guts until dinner.

Okay. It’s driving me freaking crazy.

So once again, I have dialed up my favorite parental tool for help:

TELEVISION TO THE RESCUE!!!!

I snark, but I also must explain: my kids do only get to watch an hour (oh how they covet that one hour, my preshus) on the weekdays, and usually it is administered when they slide in the door after school because their little brains are all mushy and they have the social skills of a tired rattlesnake at this time of day. We eat a snack, and then we cuddle, and then they watch this new offering from the Great Netflixes:

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Can you imagine the meeting at Dreamworks for this?

Chris Gall (author of the illustrated children’s book series): Hey. What do kids love to watch?

Dude: Uh… construction trucks. Also, the donuts being glazed at Krispy Kreme.

Gall: Ok! Also, dinosaurs! They like those too, right?

Dude: Yep.

Gall: So…

Dude: Um, so… what you’re saying is…

Gall: Combo package!!

Dude: Dinosaurs Order Krispy Kreme? Co-branding! Brilliant! It’ll be a hit!

Epilogue: Chris Gall is still happily working and successful. Dude is NOT.

Netflix’s new show Dinotrux is set in the Mechazoic period, and it features Ty Rux, part T-Rex and excavator, who has a really, really good grip on how to be KIND.

In fact, Ty Rux WORKS WELL WITH OTHERS!  He SHARES HIS STUFF! ! He remembers that HE IS NOT ONLY FIRST!!!

And so on. You get the point? If I utter all the above phrases… it sounds like this:

“BWA WAH WA WAH HA WAHHH WAHHH I AM MEANEST MOTHERRRR EVERRRR.”

If Dinotrux gets in on the action? It soaks in. A little.

I’m not saying I’m using Ty as a surrogate momma, but these days, I’ll take all the help I can get.

Dinotrux also features this grumpy guy:Screenshot 2015-08-20 09.43.13

Notice his catch phrase. “What’s in it for me?” Now, this is rarely said out LOUD statement at our house. No one would actually have the audacity. But, it’s there.  This whole “ME ME ME ME” thing is pervasive, and, much like my laundry room after things start piling up, a bit rank. When my kids get tired they tend to… put themselves at the front of The Great Big Line of What’s Most Fair in Life, and they don’t understand when someone barks at them: “Hey, NO cutting!”

I am second,” is something my husband and I talk about. And TALK about. And we pray about it. I go in after they’re sleeping and lay hands on them and say, “Lord, PLEASE fix them. Just make them KIND! YES! Be HEALED! Like, now? Thanks! Amen!” **

Also: I subliminally insert “I am second” into their dreams re a hidden tape that plays at night… (Please don’t tell them. I read about this once in the great book, How to Brainwash Your Children, and we’re hoping it works.)

Thank you, Skrap-it for backing me up. Skrap-It is a Back-it, as it were.
(I am so sorry. I know. First the whole ‘aplomb’ cheesiness and now this…)

Your littles will enjoy Dinotrux. And you will enjoy it because it’s all about teamwork, playing fair, and PATIENCE. If we watch a bit more, I might be able to shut off the subliminal message tape.

But, I did notice the other morning that Steve the Cat meowed, “After you, my sweet friend,” to Bob the Cat at breakfast bowl… so perhaps not.

Thank you, Netflix!

As a Netflix Streamteam blogger, Netflix asks me to watch their fabulousness and them chatter about it. It's a great gig.

As a Netflix Streamteam blogger, Netflix asks me to watch their fabulousness and them chatter about it. It’s a great gig.

*Thank you to the lawyer for not making fun of my use of the word “only.” As if.

** So far this type of prayer has worked to make only ME a TEENSY bit more patient. It has not made the children perfect yet. I am thinking Jesus might be holding out on me for that one.

Wanna watch a trailer for Dinotrux? Click here!

First, when there’s nothing but a slow glowing dream.

Warning: Unless you know your 80s music, this post is gonna make about as much sense as listening to five year old try to describe the Super Mario Dragon Ballz video game he played at a friend’s house. Lotta passion. Not a lot of point.

Walking into Zumba class…

Cue the music…

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That your fear seems to hide deep inside your mind

I snap my spandex back into place, check my bangs.

There is music in my soul, but it’s the polka.

All alone I have cried, silent tears full of pride
In a world made of steel, made of stone.
Ok, I get it. This is metaphorical city talk.  She’s alone, in a gritty world of welding and tiny, frayed outfits that only fit on one shoulder.
I live in a small town in the Midwest. There is corn.
Also: I cannot take off my bra while my shirt is still on. If I attempted this while my husband was watching he would:
1. Say, “Oh, honey. You poor thing.”
B. Start laughing because you got the clasps stuck in your hair. Again.

Well, I hear the music close my eyes, feel the rhythm

Nope. Nope. Nope. Well, there’s rhythm and yes I can hear it. But as far as feeling goes? I am still a white girl that has switched from the polka to The Muppets Show theme song in her head.
I am trying to shake my booty. I really am. The instructor is shaking hers. Where is mine? I look about as if it is going to come up and tap me on the shoulder and say, “Hi there. I am your booty. Please SHAKE me and get DOWN with your bad self. Ok? If not, let’s just step-ball-change our ways outta here cuz there is Latin music all OVER the place and you are doing your old drill team moves from 1987. It’s embarrassing.

Wrap around, take a hold of my heart

Pretty sure I shouldn’t have worn a thong under my yoga pants. Alas, yes, there is wrapping. The thong has rhythm, y’all. In fact, I think it’s starting to hum along and is gonna dance for its life right out from under the spandex. It’s facing south, southwest. I am sort just facing west… We are not in sync. But at least it’s taking hold of something, just pretty sure it’s not my heart.
What a feeling, being’s believin’*
Well! That’s true! Whatta feeling!
Now if only I could manage to get everything feeling in the same direction!
Oh Lord have mercy now she’s shaking her bosom all over. And this, I guess, means we are to do this as well.
I look like I’m having a seizure. There is nothing there to shake. It’s like trying to get coconuts down from a maple tree.

I can have it all, now I’m dancing for my life

She just did a grapevine! Hello step aerobics from 1995! I can do this! I am music now!

Take your passion and make it happen
Pictures come alive, you can dance right through your life

Well, I don’t know about passion but I just did a booty shake AND a bit of a twerk in the same 8 count and I think I am just the sexiest thing to happen to middle aged white moms since… I don’t know…  There are no television moms that I can relate to anymore!
Well, not since… Samantha from Bewitched? Or maybe what’s her face, the I Dream of Jeannie lady? And I do realize both of these have supernatural powers so I am thinking there is some therapy that need doing in there somewhere…
OH! I know! Lucy! I am Lucy Ricardo! Because also, Latin music! Now let’s go drop it like it’s hot!
Now, I hear the music, close my eyes, I am rhythm
Don’t, whatever you do, close your eyes. This will only cause me to injure to the other poor souls in this class. Except for the blonde chick who is so good at this that I think I might have to try and trip her before the hour is over. She is all about the rump shaking and I don’t think it’s appropriate.
Great thumping bass there she goes with the hip stuff again. I didn’t know this was Bollywood film, people. I just wanted to lose a few calories.
Hmm. I think I am doing what is called, “Sexy Dancing” now.
It is a moment in history.

In a flash it takes hold of my heart 

Not really my heart. I am thinking I have a side stitch, so that’s all.
My booty is on one side of the room, and I am still over here. That’s different.
Helloooooo chest shaking again. Paired with some “Ieeeayyyyyeeeeeee!!!” That sound does make the chest shaking part work better for some reason.
I can have it all
My Lord. Please forgive me.
I just twerked a little. I really can have it all.
Zumba is fun. But not for the faint of heart. If you have no booty? Dust it off and shake it anyway.
Thank you, Irene Cara for your constant input. At one point in the class I finally, FINALLY started to enjoy myself and let’s just say I started to bounce what the good Lord gave me all about, all willy-nilly. When I did look up the entire class had moved on to a softer, gentler step-ball-change, and there I was all Showgirls in the corner. All I needed was some hair glitter.  “I am a DANCER!” I hissed at the others, and sashayed to the front.
And then reality smacked me upside my vibrating bum,  and we took it down a notch. My bum thanked me later, as we both collapsed on the couch and felt a bit sore. “That was really crazy back there,” my bum said. “Thanks for not, you know, overdoing it.”
“Safety first,” I responded grimly. And sat on an ice pack.
But deep down.. I know. I KNOW. I can have it all.
I am dancing for mah life.
And now I must go. It’s time to shake what my momma gave me. Thank you, Zumba.
*Being’s believin? WHAT ON EARTH DOES THAT MEAN?

Learning Curve

Linking up with Five Minute Friday today!

The theme is:

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It’s a teensy weensy bit possible I have an issue with perfectionism.

I know. It’s one of those “okay” issues. Not like some of the other, *cough* BIG ‘isms’ I have problems with…

This is the one that you can tell people about, as your cross to bear, when they interview you and ask for your flaws.

“Well…” you say, eyes downcast, with humility blaring out of every pore, “I tend to have a bit of a problem with perfectionism…”

And then, WHAMMO, you get the job! Because, you KNOW, and they KNOW that this is GREAT! Who wouldn’t want someone working for them that is willing to wear themselves down to bloody nub to make sure everything is Just. Exactly. Right!??

Unless, of course, you work for these bozos:

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This is their normal attire. The dress code around here is INTENSE.

Anyhow. I think it’s about time to lay down the perfectionism and give it up to God. Really. REALLY. For once and for all – I gotta let it GO.

But.

My main problem with that is, well, I tend to be rather all-or-nothing on life skills. (I do realize too that this directly stems from, um, OTHER ‘isms’ in life… like, yes, I’ll say it, the alcoholism…

Not to mention the:

blamingeveryoneelseformyproblemism

freakingoutaboutsmallstuffism

totallyoverexaggeratingism

grumpyatfiveocklockism (ooo that’s a bad one)

and…

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But, I’m just gonna go for one thing at a time!

So, today? I will accept that my five year old has his underpants on backwards. It’s his second day of kindergarten. Small potatoes.

Also, that the haircut I gave my six year old kinda makes him look like the guy from Dumb and Dumber.

That the lunch I packed for Blonde does not look like something from Pinterest. Nor will it ever. EVER.

That I cannot, for the life of me, keep this house in the pristine condition that I see in my MIND all the time (darn you, Pinterest!)

That I overuse garlic and underuse basic common sense in cooking.

That I refuse to get in shape because it might hurt.

That… oh heckfire. The list goes ON and ON. You know the list. We all have them.

I think today is a good day to write them down and burn them. *shakes fist with fervor* BURRRRRRN themmmmm I say!!!!!

But, while I’m doing so? I try no tot notice the jungle-length grass and that my backyard looks like a Toys ‘R Us  Graveyard for Old and Broken Things. (I do suggest burning list OUTSIDE, ok? At least I have that much sense. Burning the house down in an effort to vanquish perfectionism kinda works against itself.)

When the perfectionist fairy comes flying by and sweetly reminds you that your life is rather nutty? Just swat her away and repeat after me: “Coffee and Jesus. Coffee and Jesus… That’s all I need.” I am learning, with His help to let go.

Tomorrow? I’m gonna work on the grumpyism one. Wish me luck. You know what I am learning? That there’s a steep learning curve in this house, and for that I am VERY GRATEFUL.

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But, I’m trying! Progress, not perfection ya’ll. Thank goodness.

What I learned this summer. Again.

Throw Back Thursday, y’all. Isn’t it funny how time just keeps marching on by?

Maybe not so funny. But life. Just life, afterall.

Soon I will post about my baby going to kindergarten. But, not today. Today I am just gonna look at old posts and pictures and glory in God’s blessings. And perhaps, feel a little heartbroken.

And take a very long nap.

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What I Learned This Summer

By: Momsie

Posted originally: July 31, 2014

1.  Do not fear The Big House Project.  Put on your Lord of the Rings soundtrack, bolster your Frodo resolve and hobbit courage, and begin your quest to vanquish the disgusting carpet in your living room.  You may be small, and the carpet may be evil, but fear not.  Goodness will prevail.

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That flying object above my head? It’s a sander. I don’t really know how it got up there, but no Momsies were injured during the Battle of the Shag Carpet.

2.  Sparklers still kinda scare me.  I have three boys (hubs included in this number, as always.)  I am out numbered on this notion.

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3.  Riding a carousel at the Royals game tends to make Red rather thinky.  After the ride was over, he looked up at me and said, “I wanna ride it again.  But a different horse this time.  So we can go farther.”  Poor dear.  Physics and all.

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4.  There will be shenanigans. Lots of them.  However: in this case, the wee ones were contained.

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5.  On a hot day, Momsie’s all “Let’s put out the sprinkler!  Now run through it, dear ones! Frolic!  Frolic about!”

The boys (aka savages) are all:

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Good heavens.

I just went inside to get some lemonade.  I returned to this.  What happened to the frolicking?

6.  My son got to be catcher.  IMG_2866

Which really just made me think this:

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6.  There will be actual naps.  Like, for real.  IMG_2914

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7.  Popsicles are a must.  Every day.  They cover a multitude of sins – even bad haircuts because sitting?  Very still?  Dis is hard.

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And, when you take your five year old to ENROLL FOR KINDERGARTEN this morning, you bow down low and thank Summer.

Thank you, just for the sweet, sweet blessing of time.

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summer, 2012

Time is a game played beautifully by children. ~

Heraclitus