Top Ten Momsie Thankfuls

 

Thanksgiving-cat

I am grateful that the interwebs will never run out of pictures of cats dressed like turkeys. The cat looks so grateful too, doesn’t he?

 

Top Ten Reasons I am Thankful Today:

10. Coffee and the Macy’s Day Parade. Lots of coffee. From my father-in-law’s Keurig. You just push a button and WHOOSH coffee. It’s like coffee from gadget heaven.

9. Pink jammies. Why? Because I’m still in mine. They are Tinkerbell jammies, and did I mention, I’M STILL IN THEM.

8. Momsieblog. It has brought me so many blessings this year. Mainly, an audience that will listen to me meander through my thoughts,  for cripes sake. I don’t get a lot of that at home. I wonder why?

7. When I just asked my husband, “Hey! I’m having a brainblock! What’s something you’re grateful for?” and he answered without any hesitation: “You.” Be still my heart.

6. Watching these boys watch the floats go by. They are entranced. “Da Spidermans! And ninja guy! And I don’t know who that is because mom won’t let us watch anything but der PBS!”

photo

5. Paired with the jammies is the simple fact that my darling father-in-law made his traditional pancakes for the boys this morning. I have not moved from the couch. Grandpa Ed is da best! I didn’t have to wipe der syrups offa anyone!

4. My husband, who keeps reading tidbits from the sports section of the paper at me. I am grateful that he still, after all these years, thinks I am interested in this.

3. Our church. Have already answered a plethora of texts and posts from them; so grateful for their friendship and their faith. I always picture my church family as those kids at the end of a Charlie Brown Christmas. We are faithful friends to even the most wishy-washy (me). We are also short and rather strangely dressed.

2. Family. Of course. I know it’s the obligatory answer, but holy cannoli I love them so.

1. Jesus. He loves me so. Proof still that miracles happen here on a daily basis.

 

Happy Thanksgiving!

IMG_3370

 

 

‘Tis the Season for a Book Giveaway!

Petie-with-Kip-and-Haddie-for-turkey-day_with-website

I am grateful for endless pictures of cats in pilgrim hats.

 

Did you know, tomorrow is Thanksgiving?

As is the tradition, tomorrow I will post a list of my Top Ten Things I am Most Grateful For (and yes, I know that ends with a preposition, grammar friends. Don’t hate the player, hate the game).

Phew.

Anyhow. Today I am grateful for this blog, and writing, and fellow writing friends who get this life, and why sitting down with a glowing screen or a pencil and paper is as much a part of our day as flossing (which implicates, then, that we writers have great dental health on top of our ability to alliterate a lot – ’tis true!)

Anyhow. Would you like to get a free book out of all this gratitude? And then you could be grateful, too?

51ozB-EmL8L

Franziska Macur has written a sweet gem of a book about celebrating Advent in a way that is meaningful and magical. Your younguns will love it – each day of advent is a short chapter in the book, with additional discussion questions. It’s  a simple, rich, wonderful way to celebrate Advent.

Before the season starts to rev up, with shopping and decorating and baking and parties, enter below for our giveaway, and perhaps Charlie and Noel can help you keep your center.

Here’s the deal:

1. If you would like to enter – leave a comment below about your favorite tradition that you have as a family at Christmas!

2. For an additional entry, go to Franziska’s blog, Home, Naturally and “like” and comment to enter! Click here!

3. You can also go to my facebook page, Momsieblog, and “like” there for one more chance to win! Click here!

 

Giveaway will go through Thanksgiving Day. A winner will be announced Friday the 28th.

Now, go forth and enter. Happy Thanksgiving to you, my readers.

And remember this: I am forever grateful for YOU.

 

 

 

 

 

Ready, Set, Fooooood.

images

Here’s how Thanksgiving goes down:

We all gather at my mom’s house, and eat way too much of the best meal anyone has ever had, ever in the history of ever.

Like, ever.

I won’t tease you with the details because that would be cruel as you are not invited. But really, my mom could package this stuff up and go on the ROAD with it, ya’ll.

Mainly it’s her gravy and oyster dressing that I long for. I dream about it. The crusty, buttery dressing (NOT from a box – BE GONE BOXED STUFFING! You are evil!) lovingly made with her own bread, and sage from HER OWN GARDEN, MARTHA STEWART ARE YOU GETTING THIS? (I would like to point out that only the sage is from her garden. It kinda sounds like she has a bread garden. Oh my goodness that would be awesome.)

Well, then, there is the GRAVY.

Mom in the queen of gravy.

In fact, she could just make her own food truck, call it GRAVY TRAIN, and just pass the stuff out in paper cups.

OH! and there’s the mashed potatoes. My sister is in charge of those. I think every full fat dairy item possible is smushed in those things. Cream, butter, cream cheese, more butter… The mashed potatoes are just a vehicle for the dairy aisle, ya’ll. She could market them too. Make her own little mashed potato cups up, and load them up on the truck.  WE WOULD BE RICH.

But also, we would look like this:funny-picture-cat-fat-not-cold

For the sake of my arteries and my stressed out skinny jeans, my mom only has this meal but once a year.

As for the rest of the year? I now have THIS:

Chopped

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wooo hoooo!  There is nothing like watching a bunch of expert chefs thrown together with a timer, a cute host, and three completely wacko ingredients to really get me salivating. Or at least wishing I could cook like that. I mean, if I could come up with something that looks like THIS:

FN_Chopped-Key-Lime-Lamb-Chop-with-Carrots_s4x3.jpg.rend.sni18col

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ya’ll, the only ingredients they had to make this dish was old bologna, a turnip, and some chewing gum. BOOM, YA’LL.

I have recently found Chopped on Netflix, and I have been binge watching it now for weeks (see what I did there?? do you?? DO YOU?). It makes me hungry, but also, I just love to watch those chefs run about creating perfection from some chicken livers, half a cup of quinoa, and blueberry jam. It makes me wonder… how would my mom fare under these conditions?

Hmmm….

Next Thanksgiving, I’ll show up with the famed Chopped basket of goodies, and watch the Mommagic.

0226094

“Here Ma! Whip up some Thanksgiving goodness out of THIS:”

  • Totinos Pizza Rolls
  • peanut M and M’s
  • one live, and rather angry, chicken

She could do it. I know she could. I might never be able to return to her house, but I know she could do it.

For now, I’ll just watch the show.

 

Disclosure: I’m a member of the Netflix #StreamTeam.  Netflix comped the service we were previously paying for in exchange for my monthly posts and ramblings about movies and family viewing.  I love this.  I watch movies and cooking shows, and then chatter about them.

Netflix_StreamTeam_Badge

 

 

Give Notice

Posting over at Five Minute Friday.

The word for today:

FMF-Notice-600x600

 

 

My son is cross. He’s so cross he barely can walk, the crossness has traveled down from his brain to his legs, it seems.

As it goes, the cat is now cross, and I am considering crossness too, as I eye my firstborn over my second cup of coffee (microwaved three times).

We stare each other down, Clint Eastwood and That Other Dude, in that movie where Clint chews on his cigarette, and the scenery, and tells the Other Dude,

“Go ahead, punk. Make. My. Day.”

Only, both me and my son vie for the Clint roll in this little drama – we don’t want to be the Other Dude because we all know what happened to him.

My son will not put on his shoes. He cannot walk, you see, and it is just impossible, the shoes, the backpack, the hattttt, it’s all so harrrd.

I have now taken over as Clint because Clint is no whiner, and my son, well, is.

And I chew up the living room with my withering stare.

And the cat slowly backs out of the room. He knows what happens to the Other Dude. He is out of here.

“Son,” I glower with my Clinty best, “You are snotting all over your hoodie. Get. A. Kleenex.”

Other Dude/son stares at me for a moment, not realizing, I guess, how short his scene in this movie is going to be. He then says,
“I have tears. Dats why.”

I blink. I imagine Clint would blink too. His Other Guy just turned the script on him. I look at my son and really look.

“I hava tears. You hurt my feelings.”

“When? When did I hurt your feelings? I made you breakfast; you ate it, and now we’re trying to get  ready for school?”

He looked down at his shoes and started putting them on. Snot and all.

“You were loud at me yesterday.”

I blink again. And then I remember. Yesterday, around four o’clock, my son wouldn’t take his medicine for the lingering bronchial cold he has. I lost my temper. I yelled at him. I did. The day had just come up and swatted me and I was so tired, so tired, of saying everything twice…

So, I yelled. And we all know how well that works.

My son fiddled with his shoes and then stood up, pulled on his hat. I stood before him. And then I said,
“I am so sorry. Please forgive me.”

He sighed. “I do,  mommah.”

We hugged. I looked to the ceiling. My Lord, please help me.

My son notices a lot of things. With noticing comes remembering, it seems.

And I need to notice him. Even in the small moments, or the sour ones.

And I also need to give notice to Mom guilt and sadness today.

Because, Lamentations 3:22-23.

Take notice.

 

Set Phasers to Shop.

Screenshot 2014-11-16 15.53.03

I am linking up with Williams-Sonoma today to talk about love and marriage, and this little bonus:

The Wedding Registry!! Yippeeeeeee!!!

Or:

How to Sign up for Some Serious Loot for Your Registry While Not Wanting to Taze Your Sweet  Husband-to-Be In the Process

The hubster and I have been married now some six years* or so. We still like to think of ourselves as newlyweds. He still searches me out across a crowded room. I still blush when he looks my way.

Of course, most of the searching is because he wants help with taking our two boys to the potty. Often I am blushing because I feel premenstrual and my hormones are on attack mode.

But, you know, the magic is there. It is. It’s just buried under two loads of laundry and the cat. But I swear, it’s THERE SOMEWHERE.

Those many years ago, when I had ambushed him, and we were heading towards wedded bliss, we ventured out together for a one of the most momentous events in our lives as a couple:

Gun zap wedding registration!

You know the drill, you married folk. You get together and walk into the store, all giggly and hand-holdy, and some poor store clerk tries to explain how to work the registration gun of bliss, and you don’t really listen, because your sweetie is holding your hand, and sometimes you just like standing next to him because he smells so goooooood, and this is going to be fun fun FUN!

And it is. For about ten minutes.

And then, if you’re like me (bless your heart if you are) you get bored. And also, you realize you don’t really need a crossbow and target (because you decided to start in the back of the store and work to the front). In fact, you don’t really need anything in the Sports and Outdoors section of this large store, but that’s when you hear these fated words from the increasingly annoying husband-to-be:

“We have a gun that ZAPS things! Honey! Lookit! I. Must. ZAP IT ALLLLLL!!”

I was trying to sneak a plastic mallard decoy back to the shelf, and I glared at him. He looked kinda like this:

star_trek_tos_kirk_phaser

With great power comes great responsibility, Kirkie.

Or maybe it was more like:

PHASR-phaser-rifle

Lookit! My zapper is bigger than your zapper!

I do see the irony now, that we started in the Weapons of Mass Destruction section of the store, because the man was on a serious mission now to dispatch the entire store into our registry. ALL of it. From bicycle pumps to WD-40.

And who doesn’t need a little extra WD-40 around the house? Why NOT register for it?

Here’s why:

IT’S JUST WRONG, that’s why.  That’s all I am going to say about that.

Except, that day, in that store, while I watched my fine-analysis future husband as he was reading the ingredient listing on TRAIL MIX, I did NOT stop at “This is just wrong.”  My hubs-to-be got a full view of how his wife-to-be reacts when I don’t agree with something.  I must explain, in full detail and with subheadings and some black and white illustrations, how I am always right.

I know. Who wouldn’t want to marry that?

Don’t worry. It all turned out OK. We went ahead with the marriage because, well, I still thought he was cute and all.

And we loved each other like crazy.

If you would like to survive the registry without a meltdown in the automotive aisle (and yes, you can put Pennzoil on the list, if you like, but only if you want me to follow you around in your head with a lecture), follow this simple list.

Here’s how to Keep the Romance in the Registry:

1. Take a minute and look over your stuff. Take an informal survey. Does your betrothed have a toaster? Do you own a great coffee maker? Do you really need to register, then, for a coffee maker that also makes toast and sings the “Good Morning” song from Singin’ in the Rain? Probably not. (Although, seriously? This item does sound kinda awesome.)

2. Go ahead and register for a toaster, however, if the betrothed has not ever cleaned his, and the last time he used it was to kill a cockroach. In it. Don’t ask.

3. Actually make a list of needs and wants beforehand. If you’re all, “But, that’s not fun! That’s not romantic! We just need to be relaxed about this! Lists are for people who have given up on spontaneity!” Just stop it. Lists are helpful. They are not the Ten Commandments, people. You can still STRAY from the list, but think of it as a way to not try hitting your sweet fiance over the head with a large pack of M and M’s (“But honey! They are so good! And healthy! There’s peanuts in there! Someone is sure to get them for us!” Someone did.)

4. Allow for silliness. Go ahead and allow the goofy for a few items. Register for a game of Operation, and let him register for the M and M’s. Think this ratio:  60% needed, 30% wanted, 12% weirdness.

Allow yourself a moment to realize that this ratio also works a lot for marriage in general.

5. Consider your match. Test him. Use the following terms in casual conversation: “duvet covers,” and “full place setting with charger.” If your spousal-other only blinks rapidly in consternation, you have some work to do. Start slow. Discuss matching towels and go from there. Whatever you do, DON’T bring up “monogrammed linens.” and “bamboo salt cellars.” It might make his head explode.

If you are both a bit lost, look up stores that you love, and peruse their goods for places to start.

Wander over to Williams-Sonoma wedding registry site for some great ideas and inspiration.

Screenshot 2014-11-18 14.26.34
Williams-Sonoma has a great registry favorites page! And I so wish I had registered for that mixer. Anyone feeling like sending a very late wedding gift?

And remember: Relax and consider that monogrammed linens are not the end result here. They are just frosting on the glorious, yummy marriage cake!

A cozy, happy, loving home for two is the main idea. But the registry is a great place to start frosting your future cake of love, people.

Happy registering!

* Incidentally, my sweet prince just interrupted to let me know that we have been married eight years. Not six. Yep. The romance is clearly still alive. Just not my long-term memory.

Charlie and Noel

images

 

Christmas time is my favorite time of year. I love the music, the decorations, I would put my tree up if I could on November 1, but the husband is weird and told me I have to wait until the day after Thanksgiving.

I can sneak Christmas in. I have slowwwly started putting up a few garlands here and there, and some lights, hoping he won’t notice. Since he is an engineer which means he never notices anything unless there’s some type of spreadsheet attached, we’re probably good. If he asks, I just tell them the garland is cat toys.

Anyhow.

I do have a thing about this season that I don’t like:

RAMPANT CRAZY BUYING OF ALL THE THINGS FOR OUR LOVED ONES. MUST HAVE ALL THE TOYS!

It’s called Black Friday for a reason, ya’ll. Hmmmm, what else is black? Coal. Darth Vader. And, I can’t even say it. This stuff:

black_licorice_jelly_beans_313_Shudder.

Do you see what I’m getting at here?

I can’t help but wonder, if we took all that money, all those Furbies and slippers and gadgets, and we piled ‘em all up somewhere, maybe we could give a whole lot of that to kids who are hungry?  Or people who don’t know Jesus? Or maybe, someone who is stuck in a hospital room Christmas Eve???

I know, I sound very Mother Teresa-ish here. That was the aim. Mother Teresa and I are tight, ya’ll. We get each other.

Ok, ok, I’m not telling you to go all Bob Cratchitt and just figgy pudding it for Christmas and that’s it. You can get a few things, yes. But, do we have to get ALL the things?

It just kind of bugs me.

So, here’s my antidote. I bought a book. And here it is:

51ozB-EmL8L

 

Yes, I know. I’m telling you to buy something when I just told you not to. It is always possible that Momsie has an issue with contradicting herself, but this book is well worth it. Charlie and Noel tells an endearing story about how to talk and teach our littles about Advent. It is a sweet, spiritual, slow down, a let’s sit down and read together kind of book, and I love it. The main character, Charlie, has a rather antsy view of Christmas – he just wants Christmas to get here, already, mainly because of the presents!  Even his chocolate Advent calendar doesn’t really appease him, and Charlie cannot really help but just want the Great Day of Opening All the Gifties to be here.

“On Christmas,” he thought, “There will be much more chocolate!”

Well said, Charlie. And true, yes.  But really, we all know there’s a LOT more to it than that.

Franziska Macur has written a charming little book of twenty-five chapters, one chapter for each day in December, that helps Charlie see the point much more clearly.

My boys loved taking the time to read a chapter a day last December. We would sit at the base of our Christmas tree after dinner and read and talk. Red would lay on his back and look up at the lights twining through the branches and listen. Blonde would help read a bit and ask his usual six majillion questions. We would talk over the discussion points at the end of each chapter and I would realize that we are building traditions as we speak.

And here’s another Christmas miracle: To do all this I would have to actually stop cleaning/wiping/planning/organizing/cooking/doing for a few minutes to sit down and read with my boys.   So, Charlie is teaching me a few things too.

 

If you’d like to know more or order the book, click here to visit Home, Naturally, Franziska’s blog.

Or go here to order via Amazon.

Don’t be like this guy:

grumpy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Embrace this season in all its glory. Merry Christmas (before Thanksgiving, even!) to you.

I’m still here

Linking up with Heading Home today for Five Minute Friday.

Today’s word is:

FMF-Still-600x600

I see you, momma with your jammies on and crooked glasses and hair in an even more crooked ponytail. I see you. You’re talking to your younger son who is pulling on your sleeve, trying to show you his ouchie, and your daughter is shouting and running ahead because it is COLD, and you, I notice, have no coat. Just a hoodie two sizes too small. The hoodie, it looks like, also is a bed for something furry. Very furry.

On the other hand, or paw, your kids have coats and hats and gloves and scarves and backpacks and lunchboxes, and just all of it is so MUCH for three little kids.

I see you. I see that you look pale and I wonder what you had for breakfast and if it was a big hot plate of nothing like me, and maybe later around eleven or so you will have time to stop and stand over your sink and drink some coffee that hasn’t been microwaved three times already. You will stare out the window to the cold and a leaf swirling yard and just breathe for a minute.

This morning we all smushed into the car with all our hats and gloves and scarves and lunches and coats and squirming, and we attempted to leave for school three times before we actually succeeded. Each time, I would start the car, and we would shout, “And AWAY WE GOOOO!” and then I would see that our beloved cat got out. Or that we left a library book inside. Or that I forgot my glasses and great glaucoma we can’t have that. I might drive into a tree.

And away we go. After three attempts and some fussing about lunch boxes being filled with oranges because”I don’t LIKE oranges, mom! Canna I have pudding? Please?” and a quick discussion of scurvy pirates and how oranges keep us from being them, and then realizing my argument was all wrong because the boys are all ABOUT scurvy pirates, we finally left and drove the three whole blocks to get to the school.  I sat in the drop off line longer than it would have taken to just walk.

And then I came home and washed up, cleaned, wiped, rinsed, fixed and folded for a few minutes before I had time to even realize my coffee was in the microwave again – somehow it had traveled there, like it had missed its home or something.

Oh, and I read the bible. Did I mention that? It was Psalms. It was about praising the Lord, but honestly I don’t remember much else, just the praising part because I didn’t get much sleep last night, so I slapped “snooze” one too many times, and then my reading felt rushed. I am sorry, Lord. I should have… oh, many things,  I know.

I should have: gotten up earlier, read and prayed for a long time, had spiritual insight, prayed for peace for all mankind, contemplated Your goodness, spoke quietly and melodically to my children, kept my sense of humor.

But all I could do instead was get breakfast on the table and get to school and rescue the cat from the Polar Vortex.

That last one was debatable for a minute. In my opinion, Steve McQueen the Escape Cat might just deserve a dose of Polar Vortex this morning, but the big brown eyes and furrowed toddler brows in the back seat said “No. Way.”

funny-cat-in-snow-honey-let-in-night

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So. Now, I am at the library. I have coffee and a to-do list as long as Oklahoma is wide, and I don’t care. It’s quiet. My coffee is hot, all on its own. And I want to write.

I am going to make sure and smile at the jammies lady next time I see her. And we will smile at each other even as our own Toddler Vortex is swirling around us.

We are still here.

Thank You, sweet Jesus, for brief, brilliant stillness.

If it was all day I would long for crazy.

 

mysoulsoup.com

mysoulsoup.com