I Just Wub You.

My kids. They used to be so cute. Allow me to show you:

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I  mean, that is some good genes right there. They have my looks and also, my adorable ability to make paper Valentines Hearts.

The cleft chins come from their papa.

All in all, my kids’ insane ability to blow the cuteness meter all out of the stratosphere is MOSTLY DUE TO ME. IT’S ALL ME PEOPLE. I MAKETH GOOD BABIES.

Yes. I know. Back away from the coffee, Momsie.

IT’S VALENTINES DAY. DID YOU KNOW? IT’S THE DAY OF LOOOOOOVE.

But, did you know? I used to kinda hate this holiday. As a bit of backstory:

I didn’t get married until I was 36. I know. I was so old I could barely make it down the aisle. They had to set me up with some oxygen and one of those scooter thingies. Also, I don’t think Brian remembers the event at all because HE WAS A WHOLE YEAR OLDER THAN ME AND I WAS ALREADY REALLY OLD so… you know. For him, dementia had set in.

But anyhow. We were married. And it was freaking awesome. Even though we were so old.

Also, though? Kind of not. Kind of not awesome all the time. In fact, today, even, as I tried to make conversation with two wee cherubs at 6:30 in the morning about whether or not they can have chocolate for breakfast… And I’m there in my robe and praying for the coffee to perk faster so it can catch up with the nutball children who TALK SO MUCH IN THE MORNING… I thought, “The awesomeness is not strong today. But hopefully the coffee will be.”

I ask you. How DO they talk so much in the morning? How? It’s a medical mystery.

Here’s my point (The lawyer, who has been absent a lot from my posts lately because of paycuts, gets to finally, FINALLY, add his “WELL IT’S ABOUT TIME.” to this post):

Valentines Day is a day to express love. The apex of love is NOT marriage. It’s not even kids although we all know they can be rather consuming in that department. I mean, did you SEE the picture above? Who could NOT love that? But also, might I add? The blonde one just spent a better part of this morning, walking around the house in aimless circles singing the Star Wars theme but with the word “Poop” interjected as lyrics. So… not so cute, huh? This moment was also accessorized by Red bending over and adding sound effects and you will thank me for not going into any more detail than that.

I’ll just let your imagination fly.

Ok, so back to my point. Valentines Day.

Love is not about sex or making babies (also sex ) or getting married or even, dare I say, the passionate weirdness I feel for my cats that means that every time I pass them I must grab them and hold them close, to check their furry status and all that. This is harder to do with Bob, the small nervous one who tenses up so much when I pick her up that I think she might break into a million tense and furry pieces.

ANYHOW. What I’m TRYING  to say, is that Valentines Day is about recognizing where all that love comes from. God created us to be like Him, after all.Which means…

He loves us like crazy. And, as I had observed this morning with the Poop Musical going on in my foyer, His crazy love is very apt for what He has to deal with on a daily basis.

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Also this: When my boys were little they used to come up and hug me and say, “I just wub you, mommah.” It’s one of those sweet things I remember, as a well-folded, frayed at the edges Valentine that I keep tucked away in my memory. All moms do this. We store them up, a memory box of adorable reminders.

I wanted you to know that I wub you too, my readers. You have been such a blessing to me.

And a tiny extra shout out to:

My dad. Who reads each and every post.

My mom. Who reads each and every one and then writes me letters and comments back. 🙂

Christy. Super Friend. Super Editor. Super Everything.

Julia Putzke. Super Friend Who I Have Not Actually Met Yet But Thank You Internet for Introducing Us.

 

I just wub you!

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This is Marriage. Episode #3446

 

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The other day, I was making dinner, and I remembered a conversation I had with my husband a long time ago, like Pre-Kids. Way back in the day when we actually watched movies past 9 pm without falling asleep.

The recollection forced me to stop chopping vegetables into the size of dust particles so my children would not spot them, and just for a minute I reveled in two things:

  1. My husband is the bees’ knees. I really have no clue what this means but bees are cute,  for the most part, and so is my husband. So there you go.
  2. I am amazed I remember this conversation. I mean, I don’t remember where I leave my cell phone at least once a day. And this is when I am talking on the phone.

Anyhow, since the conversation was so fantastic, I decided to share it with you, my darling readers*. It is just that fabulous. In fact, whenever the husband annoys me because he keeps lecturing me about the way the bowls go in the dishwasher and also likes to bring up filing taxes just as I am slipping off to sleep, I will dial up this moment in life with us. It is just that good.

So, here you go. *drum roll*

My Husband and I Talk About the Movie Pretty Woman

Me: Ohhhh!! I love this movie!

Him: Uh huh. Can I just-

Me: DON’T. YOU. TOUCH. THAT REMOTE. WE. ARE. WATCHING. THIS.

Him: Dear, when you use your Satan voice like that, but also cuddle up against me I get all confused. WHOA, those are weird boots.

Me: What? You like those? Why? Huh? I tell you what, just don’t watch this part. I’ll let you know when the boots are gone.

Him. Is that Sandra Bullock? Why is she blonde?

Me: Shhhh. This is when he shows up.

Him: Who? Is that Brad Pitt. What? WHAT? Why have I been wrong for the last three exchanges here? Can you please just write about me in your blog with a little more, uh, polish? Ok?

Me: Yes darling.

Him: Hey, it’s the dude from Roadhouse!

Me: You’re not giving me a lot to work with here.

Him: I want popcorn. Do you want popcorn?

Me: Wait! The dental floss scene! This is when he really gets a peek at the real Vivian.

Him: What? What is she gonna do with dental floss?  I thought this was Sandra Bullock? And he already got a peek. She needs to put on a jacket. Maybe a sweater.

Me: Dear. This is like the best love story ever. She wants the fairy tale.

Him: You know, me too. In fact, I wake up every morning with precisely that thought in my head.

Me: I want the fairy tale!

Him: Dear. She’s a prostitute.

Me: But WITH A HEART OF GOLD.

And then he got up and made some popcorn.

 

The End.

* It’s possible Momsie is having a slow day. This is all I could come up with. Pretty-woman-quiz-holding-shot

 

 

Date Night

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Tonight we will be enjoying a lovely 2%, vintage 2016, for your dining pleasure. It pairs well with kids.  Note the tie.

Last Saturday night romance was in the air. It was intense, y’all. It was like we were on the Titanic and I was all Queen of the World, and then I got to make out with Leonardo DiCaprio, not long before I disallowed him room on my totally huge raft in the freezing North Atlantic. Very romantic. And yet, our evening was warmer.

Also, I would never make out with Leo. Nope. I am married, y’all. My husband completes me.

Of course, Leo didn’t grace us with our presence, but we had this blurry pic of another dinner guest:

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I am blurry. And furry. It’s how I roll.

There were roses. There were chocolates. Earlier that day, the husband let me take a nap, which is the universal, married I Hope I Get Lucky Valentine. But that is another post for another day.

There were also two small boys who had reservations with us for a night of fine dining. I  informed them that they had to come to dinner in ties. And they reacted as if I had asked them to lop off both arms, and then try to attach their ties.

They were informed, in a heavy French accent (I had to take on an accent. It freaks them out and I get to pretend I’m Catherine Deneuve.) “No tie? No food. Zees is Chez Momsie. Dress code, mes bebes.” They sighed heavily, with American accents, clipped their ties onto their Star Wars t-shirts, and showed up at 6:30 pm on the dot. Right on time.

We had a very swanky affair at our house on Valentines Day, and a tradition was born. I printed out menus (thank you, bad clip art!) Macaroni and cheese was offered as an appetizer. I poured the sparkling cider into tiny tippy glasses and no one spilled anything.

 

It was a Valentines miracle.

We ate strawberries and whip cream, the really fancy kind that you squirt out of a can. I offered table-side service for this, as I offered a shot of the stuff in the mouth to each patron. This was a real showstopper.

And we talked about why we loved each other.

“I love Blonde because he shows me how to play Legos,” says Red. He’s grinning like a maniac. This is all mushy and stuff, which is kind of right up his alley. His smile nearly lifts him out of the chair. He lifts his fizzy little glass with panache. “AND I LOVE THIS FANCY DRINK!” he yells. Evidently he thinks we are all in the other room when he speaks, because the bubbles in the drink had evidently made him quite giddy.

Blonde, the wisened 7 year old, has a bit of a tougher time with the mushy business. He is, in all walks of life, less forthcoming with the mush.

“I love Red because…” We all lean in a little.

“Because he is my brother.”

And there it is. The greatest law there is. We love because we are family. We love because we simply have no choice. We are for each other.

My boys are growing older and finding their own friends, their own ways they want to spend an afternoon. They are, however, still pretty inseparable. And what I have told them, almost weekly, is that they, as brothers, must have each other’s backs. They are the ones going to be left when the friends leave, when the family goes, when we get dementia and go into the home, your brother will be the only one left.

(I didn’t really go into the last part with them as I didn’t really want to stop and have to explain ‘dementia’ because depressing. Also, the one other time I sprang this word on them they kept thinking that I was saying, ‘Philadelphia.” Confusing.)

(As a side note to the side note: This whole dementia thing? Really possible because we had kids late in life and when they graduate from high school I’ll be using a walker and won’t be able to see or hear the thing because I will be OLD, y’all. I WAS AROUND BEFORE EMAIL. That old.)

But I digress.

We spent the rest of the evening looking up the bible verses that the husband had put on their Star Wars Valentines. The husband is super spiritual that way. I just shot whip cream at ’em. But he wins in the Jesus department.

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And then we all tried to massacre each other with a really cut throat game of Go Fish.

And that, my friends, is what I call the most romantic evening I have had in a long time.

I am wondering if it competes with Leo’s?

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First born.

Linking up with my beloved Five Minute Friday today.

The theme?

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This morning I prayed for my boy, my first born.

This is because I am super spiritual.

Most days I am so spiritual, if I was a baseball team, I would be in the World Series of Spiritual. #TeamJesus! All the way!

Ok… Um. This is not the truth.

#TeamJesus has it in His contract that we are to attempt honesty in all our affairs, but most of you know me enough to realize… I am being a bit sarcastic. Just a bit.

Sarcasm helps me process. It is my way to butter the dry toast of life.

Anyhow, here was my prayer:

“Lord. I cannot. I just don’t know. I am at a total loss. My kid. We are not WORKING. Help me. Please.”

Ok, I am on a slippery slope here. I love to write about my boys, my family, but also: one day, you know? He’s gonna read this post and just sigh at me. “MOM, cut that out.”

So, I’m just gonna say this: I  think this parenting thing is too hard. And I can’t do it very well. And I am confused, and I feel like I have to go to the library and check out a bunch of parenting books. Like, ALL of them. Books like: “So,  Your Children, Huh? Driving You Nuts?” And, “What To Expect When They Are Nuts,” And, “Kids: No Matter What You Try They Will Make You Nuts.”

I know. After I carry all these books (Keyword: “nuts”), so many that the librarian will look at me with pity,  I’ll read them all and take notes, use post its, maybe fill up a notebook or two, and still, STILL not do it right.

Nuts.

My first born. He came into my life right on time, right on his due date. He slams up against my personality lately. He does so because, well…

He is exactly like me. We are nuts.

And first thing, in the morning, I pray: “Don’t let me screw this up. He is precious. He is driving me crazy. I have to get this right.

But you know? I don’t think that’s a #TeamJesus prayer, really.  It’s more like terrified scatter shot, all panicked and hoping  for a direct hit. These are more like a prayers… to me. To take this all over. And fix it. Because that’s how we operate, my first born and me. We are in control.

Except when we’re not.

My prayers, first thing, need to life my hands up to the One who has got this all. He is my Father, after all. He knows best. I can go ahead and read the fifteen parenting books next to my bed, but at the end of the day, I need to read the bible too. And realize who the Great Author is, recognize that He wants us to parent as He does. And go from there.

By the way, ask a  seven year old to give up control, and watch his little brain start shooting out sparks.

Ask a 40 something year old momma to do the same? She should NOT be sparking. She has age on her side. A lot of age. If she starts sparking she might just set herself on fire, and she’s too old for that nonsense.

I got a lot to learn. I love my boy. But my prayers should be this:

“Lord, change me. Use me. And, I give you ME. Also, I give you my boy. My first born. He is precious to me. And he is Yours.”

“Help. Please. And thank You.”

Can I hear an amen?

Parenting is so hard. It is SO hard. And control freaks find it so mind boggling that often times? We rev up to nutball to FIX it all. Today? I’m going to fix my heart on Jesus, who is my first love.

And I’m gonna love on the idea that in my weakness, my LACK of “firstness” I make more room for His strength.

Oh, thank You. team-jesus

 

‘Tis the Season for a Giveaway!

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Hey! You!

Are you worn out from all the Christmas shopping and shindigs and endless holiday cookie swaps?

Would you like to just get in some sweats and huddle up to House episodes (my recent binge) while eating the weight of a small child in snickerdoodles?

Well, have I got a deal for you!

Free Netflix for 6 months! YEAAAA!

If you would like to be entered in the drawing, comment below, and I will announce the winner TONIGHT!!!

No one can ever have too many House episodes. Hugh Laurie’s character is an angry, angry man, and thus, I love him.

Also: You can watch these fabulous holiday wonders:

 

Ok, Momsie’s favorite parts of all the above, in no particular order:

Scrooged: attaching the antlers to the mouse. You’ll see.

While You Were Sleeping: the dinner conversation. You’ll see.

Love Actually: Bill Nighy’s character’s very candid opinion about his song. Oh and the Mr. Bean cameo. You’ll see.

A Muppet Christmas Carol: “This is my island in dee sun…” You’ll see.

 

Comment below to enter. And then, you can decide how you want to tackle the whole  “Netflix and chill” thing. You can imagine my surprise on how this phrase seems to be a bit more complex than I realized. I would explain further, but it’s not that kinda blog. 🙂

Merry Christmas and a Happy Netflix!

 

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As a Netflix Stream Team blogger, I get to watch the awesomeness that is Netflix, and chatter about it on my blog. It’s a great gig.

 

 

 

 

Royals, We are Watching You.

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Famous moments in sports history:

  • The USA believes in miracles and beats the Russians in the Olympics.
  • We totally tick off Hitler with Jesse Owens.
  • Lou Gehrig brings us to tears with his “Luckiest Man” speech.
  • Pretty much anything that Michael Jordan on the court.  Also: Space Jam.
  • I am completely addicted to Royals baseball.

For those of you who know me, you are aware of a few things about how sports and I get along:

In the past, I only participated in track. Why? Track has very little equipment. Equipment meant falling over or getting hit by things. I don’t like that. I’ve never really been the same since the killer tether ball incident of 1977.

But lately, I have fallen rather in love with this little team of ours, The Kansas City Royals. Surely, you have heard of them?

Ok, Boys in Blue, here’s the thing:

I have watched you, surrounded by two small squirmy boys, for at least six years now. I got roped into this action because I married a total sports nutball. This is the beauty of marriage.

My boys have grown up with you, and they watch your behavior. Your passion. They watch how much fun you are having.

They are learning from you.

I thank you for bringing my family together and making us a team, watching your team. It is magical. Win or lose, we are yours. I don’t care if you go into the next game and lose all feeling in your extremities and thus play like my boys’ tball team circa 2014.

(Ok, that’s not true. I care. Just a little bit. A skotch. A teensy bit.)

Oh, and Eric, did you know? We named our dog after you. He’s scruffy, the great and mighty Hoz. The name fits him. He plays outfield rather well, but we’re still trying to teach him about not peeing on the bases. This seems to not a problem for your team. Yet another reason why we love you guys!

You just go ahead and do what you do best: play your heart out, and we will watch with glee. We’ll holler for Hosmer’s starter-mullet, and that every pitcher on the planet wants to try and walk Lo Cain. They can’t help it – he’s scary that way. We will soak up the relentless artistry that is Cueto’s pitching. Oh, and we will wait with Julianna Zobrist and plan baby names (Homer, of course).

And we will pray for Volquez. We are all praying for Volquez.

Thank you.

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We are Forever Royal.

Wrapper’s Delight. Plus a whole lot of pictures and not much train of thought.

Brace yourselves. This is a long post about wrapping paper. I know, right? This blog, y’all. It’s on FIRE.

Long ago, like a long, LONG time ago, like back before cell phones*, I had a job as a bookseller at Border’s Books.

You remember Borders, right?

Coffee shop. Angst-filled workers, classical music. I do believe there was a guy at my Borders whose name was Indiana. Or, was it Idaho? NO. Illinois! That’s IT! He was so cool. His name preceded him. In fact, it’s entirely possible that Illinois is now living in his parents’ basement, playing online chess and working at Quickiemart, but STILL, his name will make it work.

Also: I worked with a guy who used the word “shedule” in his daily vernacular. As in, “I don’t know if I can work for you Thursday night, let me check my SHEDULE.”

“Shedule.” Not, “SCHEDULE” LIKE EVERYONE ELSE SAYS IT.  And yes, he was from Overland Park, Kansas. NOT over the pond with Big Ben and a lot of tea and cool accents! Nope. KANSASS.

Anyhow. It’s a bit evident that this guy really ticked me off. It’s been twenty years and every time I hear “shedule” when watching my beloved Masterpiece Theatre (pronounced ‘Theatah’ because they CAN, they’re BRITISH) I cringe. He ruined shedules for me. Or schedules. Or both.

ANYHOW, I digress! I will get to my point! Maybe! Soon!

Back when I worked at Borders, I had (still do – she’s a keeper) a best best friend there who was the Jedi master book seller of all, and she could Christmas wrap a book in like ten seconds. Bethany would SLAP the book down and then SLAP the paper around it, ZIP the tape on, THWACK it over.. and VOILA! Done.

Evidently, wrapping books is a rather violent event for my friend. But she was FAST, I tell you. And good. The book, all gleaming, with perfectly crisp papered corners, was a one holly sprig shy of Christmas wrapping perfection. Or, maybe I should say, “Happy Holidays” wrapping perfection.

Sigh.

ANYHOW. My wrapping skills… were not quite at Bethany’s level. If Bethany was in the Olympics of present wrapping, she would have ended up on the podium. I would be watching from home. On my couch. Shoveling popcorn and, thus, getting the metaphorical paper all greasy. You get the point.

Sooooo, fast forward a jillion years (cell phones!) and my living room floor looks like… THIS:

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Wrapping paper. Wrapping paper everywhere.

And, I just noticed… what looks like a picture of a devil with a pitchfork**… Whaaaaaat? I have no idea how that go there. But it’s fitting, because:

I HATE ALL THE WRAPPING OF THINGS! HELP! HELLLLLLP! Crying and gnashing of teeth!!!!!!

Ok, I do realize that comparing wrapping a few books to frying up in the fiery pits of hell is a bit of an overstatement, but I never promised you that I’d take it easy on the hyperbole, people. Hyperbole is MY LIFE.

I have been wrapping up a few extra books from the book signing and sending them away to lucky ducks (suckers) who wanted an actual signature on the book. Why? I am not sure. My signature (and sweet sentiment too) looks like THIS:

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And… my wrapping tends to look like THIS:

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So… all these folks are gonna get a package in the mail from a Real, Official, Semi-famous Author! … and it looks like a chimpanzee had a crack at it.

And that, I realize, kind of is an insult to the primate family. Sorry.

In fact… at one point I thought I might just attach a note that says: “Wrapped with love by my sons!”

Because, desperate times! It’s okay to throw your children under the bus to save ones pride, right? Right?

(NO. NO, it’s NOT, says EVERYONE. And I might add that the whole “under the bus” idiom is awful. So I am doubly wrong. Oh, this post is just a mess.)

Well, I got the packages mailed. If you are one of the lucky recipients – I WRAPPED ‘EM. Not a five year old cherub of sweetness and light. Nope. All me.

But, they are filled with lots of love, so there’s that.

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And all the while, as I was muttering under my breath and tackling all that difficult brown paper with venom, Hoz the Great looked on like THIS:

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Be afraid. Be very, very afraid.

I find it troubling that even the smallest tasks can sometimes make me feel like I’ve been in the bouncy castle of life just a tad too long… but if you don’t realize:

I HAVE been in the bouncy castle of life a tad too long. THAT’S WHY I WROTE THE BOOK.

This is literature at its best, people! #Pulitzer.

You’re welcome.

The end.

 

 

*Yes, children. There was a time, back long ago, when cell phones did not exist. We barely survived. It was rough. Most of the time we communicated by setting things on fire (like brown paper!) and signaling, or just thumping the ground real hard to let our family know when predators were close. It’s quite a story.

Maybe I should write a book about it. I will call it:

The Eighties. I Drank Because of Them.

Kidding! Just kidding.

Thank you, my readers, for getting through the squirelliest post ever. Also: THANK YOU for making my book such a hit. I am so very grateful!  If you are interested, you can click here to take a look at Bottled: A Mom’s Guide to Early Recovery.

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** I REMEMBER! It’s an OWL. Not Satan! With the word “W-I-S-E next to it. Of course it is! Some leftover handout from Sunday school. I dunno why it made it into the shot, but, as always, I am gonna take it as a sign from God. Life is so much more exciting that way.

Bonus:

“Would you like it.. gift wrapped?”