You’re Only As Old as You Feel. Or something.

Linking up with my happy place today over at Five Minute Friday!

The theme?

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It’s my birthday today. I’m forty eight. Which is impossible. I kinda feel like that “Sunrise, Sunset” song, only all that sweet nostalgia is not about my children growing up. I’m all… “Is this the little girl I carried… Is this the little boy at play?”

NO. NOT IT’S NOT. IT’S ABOUT ME AND I AM REALLY OLD AND I CAN’T CARRY ANYTHING IT’S MY BIRTHDAY.

I walked to class this morning and the sun was all crisp and cut, coming through the trees, and it was so cold. It was the perfect winter day. And THEN a small deer came out of the woods and waved and a bird came and alighted on my shoulder and sang to me. A chipmunk handed me a gift card.

Not doing drugs on my birthday, I promise. This really is just how I am.

I arrived at my classroom, and one of my friends came in, singing happy birthday to me. (No, she really did. She was real.) And then, she told me this:

“You know you’re only as old as you feel.”

“But, what if you feel sixty-seven? Like… I have things on my body heading south. Things on my body are traveling to places where they are not supposed to go. There is sagging. Sagging is not good.”

“Well. Just keep looking up. That’s all that matters.”

(This was not the exact conversation. I don’t remember it exactly because I’m too old, and your memory’s the first thing to go.)

Here are my top ten reasons why it is a happy birthday:

I REALLY NEED TO EMPHASIZE THESE ARE IN NO PARTICULAR ORDER.

1. Larry, Moe, and… Bob.

Note: The image of Bob in this picture is not actual. I didn’t want to go search her paranoid little furry self out, and so there you go. Also, I would like to note that Steve and Vader are giving kisses in this pic because they are preshus woodum coodums.

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2. This morning, Red greeted me with one open eye from his top bunk, and said: ‘Happy birthday mommah” then rolled deeper into his blankie.

3. From the bottom bunk, Blonde swung his hand out and hit me right in the crotch, meaning to spank me, I guess? So, you know. Love is painful. But I thank you for Blonde, and, I thank you that my crotch is still ok.

4. Did you know, if you write “crotch” more than once in a few sentences, you start to get really obsessed with that word and it starts to sound all weird? And it’s just an awful word anyway? So from hereon, I will now refer to it as The Honorable Lady Fagina.

5. Don’t really know what #4 was all about but let’s keep moving. I am ALSO grateful for the fact that I woke up this morning. Boom.

6. My book. The second one. I am editing it right now which is kinda like having a hang nail and then pulling it off so your finger starts weeping blood all over and then you try to put a bandaid on it but that just gets soggy and then you accidentally spill a bottle of lemon juice on your hand and you get the idea.

I realize that doesn’t sound very grateful. But, it’s always darkest before the dawn. And what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. Also, when God shuts a door somewhere he opens a window?

Cannot you just SEE how I got a book deal in the first place?

Anyhow, the book is all about perfectionism and so of course editing it is going REALLY well. Irony is just coming up and bludgeoning me over the head with this whole thing. “HA!” says Irony. “You gotta perfect a book about being PERFECT!” *SMACK!*

And then Irony snaps and sashays away. Such a jerk.

7. My husband. I was gonna post his as #5 but that seemed weird. I love it that he gets me. That I can bed-shame him (no, it’s not what you think).

This morning, I came upon the bed looking like this, and so I did what I had to do. I texted him about it:

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And then, later we had this conversation:

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He gets me. Which is so very necessary because otherwise I don’t think we woulda made it past date #1. And then, there would be NO Blonde, or Red… and I would probably be living in a van down by the river.

Whoa. This is so very It’s a Wonderful Life. This will be a future post, I promise. I bet you can’t wait.

8. A Muppet Christmas Carol

Although, the first time I tried to watch this movie with the boys Red was about three and he took one look at the opening number and ran, kind of bleating, from the room. I never really got it out of him, what terrified him so. I think somehow he still thinks that this whole real people/ muppet people universe is really out there, just waiting for him to happen upon it, and he is so creeped out. I have tried for FIVE years straight to watch it with him, and each time he sort of shudders and avoids looking at the dvd, like its a portal to the netherworld. Who knew that Fozzie could cause such stress?

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9. I forgot the rest. I feel the need to go lie down and watch Golden Girls for a few hours. Maybe drink some Ensure.

10. You guys. I just love you.

In the span of I don’t know how many years now, I have gained so many readers, written for all sorts of magazines, published a book, am working on a second one, and a partridge in a pear tree. None of this (maybe excepting the partridge – debatable) would have been remotely possible without you.

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Here’s why I intensely dislike* my husband:

 

You're invited to an*Well, I was gonna say “hate.” But, hate’s such a strong word.

“Intensely dislike” doesn’t have quite the same ooomph, though.

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But, I shall continue.

HERE’S A BIG FAT LIST:

  1. Watching Brian eat chicken wings is the kind of experience that will put you off chicken, and their wings, forever. You know those scavenger ants that crawl all over a big cow corpse and leave it picked clean in ten minutes? Think that, but more gross.
  2. The other day I sat down next to him on the couch and said, “Guess what time I started writing today. Go ahead, guess.” And he didn’t respond so I said, “NEVER O’CLCOCK. THAT’S WHEN.” And then he said, “Why?”
  3. Whenever he goes anywhere, in any car, and it comes to a stop, it takes him like forty minutes to actually exit the car. I don’t know what he does in there, because I usually just leave. Perhaps he’s a top secret spy and whenever the car shuts off he has to reconfig his gps for the spy people. That doesn’t really make any sense. But it’s so annoying.
  4. He walks really slow. Unless I’m walking beside him. Then I can’t seem to keep up with his long footsteps. So, maybe it’s an optical illusion. Or, that he doesn’t want to walk with me. We’ll say option one.
  5. I once was having an existential laundry breakdown and flopped down next to him in bed and said, “Do you ever feel like the days are all just the same thing, over and over, and we’re all on this turning planet just milling about and doing the same thing, over and over, and it will just be like that until we die? Because I just folded and put away laundry and now that’s how I feel.”  And he said, “Yes.”

These are hateful, awful things. Deplorable.

But, that’s marriage.

Here’s my point (which I know is kinda full of snark today but it’s Wednesday, and that’s my snark day. Thursday is for serenity. Friday is for super-spiritual… I have it all written down in my bullet journal).

MY POINT:

My husband is so annoying. Like, sometimes? Just watching him eat makes me want to stab him with a fork. Marriage is like that. It’s like a long overdue pot of rice on the stove that just BOOM bubbles over in seconds and creates a God awful mess. Simply because the rice was rice.

Here’s another metaphor for you. Marriage is like, a petri dish. Here we are, stuck together in all this goo (children), watching each other, and other things (children) and just floating about and sometimes behaving like one-celled organisms.

And it’s so annoying.

But, even with the chicken wings and the melodious sounds of snoring at night that keeps the whole neighborhood in sync- even with that. AND his weird love of Quick Trip hot dogs. AND that if he says, “I’m going to the store for some milk,” I can expect him back sometime before sundown.

EVEN WITH ALL THOSE THINGS:

I will always and forever love him. Forever and forever. Like, forever.

More today than yesterday, in fact.

Because, that’s marriage.

 

Happy anniversary, my sweet love. Every day’s a new day.

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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.