Give Notice

Posting over at Five Minute Friday.

The word for today:




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!!!


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:


With great power comes great responsibility, Kirkie.

Or maybe it was more like:


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



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.


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


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:


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:



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:











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:


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.”











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.

Veterans’ Day. With a Side of Glitter.

Our neighbors, Gerry and Sue, have been adopted by my sons as our local grandparents. Gerry and Sue really had no choice in this matter; they were stuck living next door to us, and so far have seemed up to the job.

Sue brings by cupcakes for no reason. Just random, fly by cupcakes, all willy nilly, at our door. It’s awesome.

Gerry loaned us a bike for Blonde that has been so well used it is falling apart. Blonde has named it “Rocket” and it will be passed down to Red as soon as he can ride it without training wheels. This might be a while, as when Red does attempt it, the descriptor “careening wildly about all hell-bent for destruction” comes to mind. He is safe on his Diego bike training wheels for now, but Rocket waits patiently.

Gerry is a veteran. This is something I remember about once a year on Veterans’ Day. This seems wrong – it shouldn’t be like that. A soldier’s responsibility to our country is so huge and selfless, it kinda feels like I should be loading Gerry up with  ‘thank yous’ all the time. But perhaps that would get a bit weird.

Me, on front porch: “Hi Gerry! Nice day isn’t it? Thanks for serving our country!”

Gerry: “Yes, er, thank you? You’re welcome?”

Me, at the store: “Well, hi Gerry! There’s a great sale on potatoes. Thanks for fighting for our country. No the other bin – behind the bananas.”

Me, on the phone: “Gerry! Could you take care of our cats while we head out of town? You can? Thank you. I had the cats make a ‘thank you for your sacrifices’ sign and we posted it on the litter box for you. There’s a flag there too. Patriotic kitties.”

Gerry:  “I have no idea how to respond to this.”

Me, later, at their door: “Sue, do you have some flour? I am all out. Oh hi Gerry! Thanks so much for your service! And the flour!”

Sue: “What was that all about?”

Gerry: “She’s weird, that one.”

Like so many things in my life, fraught with good intentions, but yep, still very weird.


Anyhow. On Veterans’ Day this year my sons and I wanted to thank Gerry. And, as my wee ones always tend to ask when a ‘thank you’ is in order – “Canna we do da glitter?” Red had a longing glint in his eye; it had been over three long weeks since his last hit of glitter.  Blonde, even longer. He looked wan and disheveled. Glitter is hard to quit.

I took pity on them and said a prayer.

Because nothing says “Thank you for your service to our country” like der sparkles, ya’ll. At least that’s the way it is in our family.

photo 4

By the end of this craft both of my boys were so shellacked in glitter that I had to take off their shirts and shake them out in the back yard (the shirts, not the boys). Glitter stuck to Blonde and Red’s eyelashes and to their hair. They streaked glitter across their little white chests and it looked like they were going out to a rave later. All they needed was some glow sticks and some techno beat music, and they’d fit right in.

And don’t get me started on the cat.

Glitter Kitty!!

Glitter Kitty!!


We made pretty glittery flags that were nowhere near to actual red, white, and blue colors, so something in me kinda worried that this was breaking some sort of flag rule. I chalked it up to “creative expression” which, heck, we can thank Gerry for.

And as we ate dinner, and the hubs asked, “What’s with the sparkly stuff?” we explained we were thanking our veterans with it. As I picked glitter out of my mashed potatoes I did the same.

And this morning, as I found glitter in my toothbrush, I remembered to thank Gerry.

I have a feeling I will be thanking Gerry all day long.

photo 5

 Thank you to all the veterans. You protect us; you sacrifice for us.  My twinkling babies and I thank you so very much.



A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes


When I was six I lugged my mom’s huge Woodstock typewriter over to the dining room table. I got a pile of paper and neatly set it next to the typewriter. Then, I sat down, looked out the huge picture window to my left to the yard beyond for inspiration, and then began typing.

I wrote and wrote. The story was some horrible mess about cats and some girl named Cindy. But on I clattered.

I had the idea that I wanted to be a writer.

I wrote stories, poems, even play scripts that my sister and I would act out in our basement. Our plays even included commercial breaks, because we know where the money is coming from. We were savvy. Ask us one day about the commercial we made for Pepto Bismol. It included special effects and a soundtrack, and I have to say it was brilliant.

I wrote for my high school’s newspaper. I lived for Fridays when the Harbinger would come out, and all would read my column (I had my own column! This was the big time.)

I wrote and wrote and wrote  in journals and journals. It was in these Lisa Frank spiral bound beauties that I learned to hone my skills and banish things like repetitive word choice, and overuse of sweeping adjectives and cliches. They were all so very beautifully written, like wonderful and beautiful flowers of beautiful writing detailing my life’s most wonderful moments like sands in the hourglass or the winds of time or oh God please make it stop.

And then… I started teaching. And teaching is simply divine.  I had a knack for it. It filled me up and some days drove me kinda crazy (the lawyer would add it’s not a long drive) and fed me and kept me sane and made me even crazier. And for some umpteen years it was all I really had time for.

And then… well, I started having children. And then I didn’t even have time for teaching, ya’ll. Or for children. I had no time. Time just up and flounced off in a huff with me on that one.

But this of course is when I decided to start a writing career. Because:

1.  I’m a little bit nutball.  We don’t need to debate this. My entire family can phone in a long lecture, with numerous subpoints and illustrations provided in the appendix, to elaborate if needed. But I’m pretty sure ya’ll have already figured there’s a decided nutball factor here.

2. I have a daily dose of material from Thing One and Thing Two that if I don’t record somewhere there will be some sort of crack in the universe and God will smite me. He gave me this talent, so if I don’t capitalize on it now, to the major future embarrassment of my children, I KNOW we will have a discussion when I kick it one day that will go like this:

“Hi God! I am so happy to be here! I mean, I’m dead and all, but there’s no place I’d rather be for all eternity!”

“Pleasure is all mine. But remember that time that I prodded at you and said something like ‘Lo, go forth and write about your childreneth, and you shall blesseth the momsies all about?’ You didn’t do that. What’s up with that?”

“Oh snap, God. I am sorry. I just got so caught up in cleaning and folding laundry and somewhere along the way I forgot how to do anything creative except make homemade napkins out of old t-shirts.”

“Really. REALLY?”

“Please don’t smite me. I mean, I’m already here. I think you have a no return policy, right? And…I’ll write Your tell-all if You’d like.”

“We have that already. Revelations, remember? It’s in the bible…”

“Well, surely someone could benefit from a humorous interpretation of it, right? I mean… I hate to break it to You, but nobody completely GETS the book of Revelation.”

          “THAT’S THE POINT. JOB 36:26. Or did you not read that book, either?”


3. There’s that whole recovery thing. It’s kind of important that I write about that. You know why.


I am pleased, no, thrilled, NO, just plain gobsmacked to tell you this:

I signed a contract today for a book deal.

I signed a contract today for a book deal!

A book.

By ME.


Central Recovery Press, a publishing company that focuses on recovery and behavioral health,  searched me out after my article ran at Huff Post… And the acquisitions editor, a charming woman named Eliza, then asked me a rather weird question:  “Would you want to write a book about moms in recovery. But, make it funny?”

Hmmm.  Alcoholism and humor. A rather strange mix, in a way. But then,  if I can end up in the same boat as Russel Brand, then yes, anything is possible. Humor it is!!


He’s weird, famous, very funny, and in the same special club as me. And, evidently, he really loves his dog. KINDRED SPIRIT, YA’LL.

CRP requested a book proposal, which I did. The proposal alone was a ton of work. I slaved over it.

And then, they accepted it.

And then, I did this:



For reals, ya’ll.
I am writing a book.


Bottled: How to Survive Early Recovery With Kids


It is Possible to Have Children and Not Drink Yourself Under the Crib

by:  Dana Bowman (squeeeeeee!!!!!!!)


Coming out in September!!!!!!!!!!  (and I do realize, my students, that I am overusing the ! here and breaking my own rule of NO YELLING in writing unless someone is getting chased by a bear, but heck, THIS IS TOO AWESOME!!!!!!!!!)


AND: I am so grateful to all of you, my readers, who made this happen. YOU are the reason I am living my dream, because without Momsie, none of this would have happened.


And thank you, Christy for your edits and your friendship.  You are my best cheerleader ever.


A dream is a wish your heart makes. Keep believing. Psalm 37:4.

Let’s Grade Halloween on a Curve



It’s best to remember here that most of the time, we live in la-la land.

What I mean is, we are always expecting things to go a certain way. And by “we” I think it’s best to just get it out of the way and say, “me.”

Like, I expect to go to the store. Simple enough. It should go like this:

1. Get money.

2. Go to store.

3. Buy stuff.

4. Come home.


But INSTEAD, this is what occurs:

1. Money not available because lost wallet.

2. Lost wallet because children. Children move things. However, when “helping look” they move one pillow. One.

3. Um, yelling.

4. Eat popcorn and pickles for lunch because no other food here.

5. Children thrilled. Back to moving all things in the house to wrong places.

6.  Lots of muttering and looking under things for the rest of the afternoon.

7. Wallet found under cat. Must check later if he went online shopping with my Visa again.


Googling: “World dominashun”










I would like to state for the record that I had the best of intentions with Red’s costume. After much deliberation on his part he final decision for this year was a spider. A SUPER spider. I accepted without hesitation because for two weeks I had to field possibilities such as:

The human heart. With da bentricles!

Maybe a Batman guy? but a BAD one? (Possible, if you counted the costume as poorly made. That’s do-able.)



We then had to go over this yearly gem of a tedious and horrible rule at our house:  We don’t do spooky. We are unspooky Halloweeners. Life is spooky enough without us putting some fake blood and a machete in the hands of a six year old. We just don’t go there.

This, of course, always merits a fun game of


Wee innocent babies: Der zombies? Spooky?

Momsie: Spooky.

Wee ones: Frankenswine!

Momsie: Spooky! but that’s cute!



Da werenwolves?


Dose things on TV? All the time?

Political candidates?




You get the idea. Once Red finally offered his spider idea, and then followed it up with a full five minute description as how “da spiders? Dey are our FRIENDS! Eating insects, spinning all those webs, dey hardly ever, EVER come outta nowhere and attack, suck the blood right outta you and KILL you!” Very convincing argument.

But then I realized – spiders have, like, a bunch of legs and stuff.  I realized I was once again perilously close to the land of Overzealous Mom Fail. This is a scary place that I tend to visit at least once a month or so, usually around the time of the school fun fair (“Sure! I’ll decorate a cake for the cake walk! No problem!) or for a Mom’s Day Out (“I would LOVE to make four pans of something casseroley and delicious and not at all gluey or seasoned with despair and lack of confidence!”)

The Land of Overzealous Mom Failures is littered with sad Halloween costumes from those of us who know how to use a needle and thread, we just don’t really know how to use them effectively.  And we like shortcuts.

So I have a spider now, with duct-taped legs that thwack limply against my poor son’s “spider adobem” and even the fangs I drew on him are lopsided. If this spider could talk, he would lisp. But who’s to say, spiders don’t lisp? Maybe they do. Or some do. Poor things.  Maybe… I’m the spider whisperer for all spiders with speech impediments. Yea me!



photo 4

*No spiders were harmed in the making of this post. In fact, I would like to go one step further and suggest that I am now the protector of all spiders who are “special.” And my spider is adorable. AND VERY DARN SPECIAL!

** Couldn’t tell you why Blonde wanted one leg up, one down on his alien costume. It’s one of his pieces of flare, I guess.


Happy Belated Halloween, ya’ll.

I will make homemade Halloween costumes until they rip the glittered rik-rak and googley eyes out of my cold, tired hands.