Situation desperate but not serious.

So, it was May Day yesterday.

Which is fitting.

I kind of feel lately that I’m an Ace World War I fighter pilot, and I’m in a plane hiiiiiigh up in the sky, and I’ve been shot down by the Red Baron and WE ARE GOING DOWN. MAY-DAY. MAY-FREAKING-DAY.

Ok, relax, it’s not as serious as it sounds. Desperate, though.

So, a few months back I was all, “Wow, the days pass twenty-four hours at at time and whoa, there goes another one,” and then April came and BOOM time has now decided to fire itself at me and just kind of shut my eyes and try to steer through the shrapnel, all ablaze and screaming a little.

Perhaps I’m exaggerating a little but let me just show you something:

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Ok, when did my son on the left become a middle-aged man in marketing?

Ignore the one on the right. He’s basically been the same since:

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Look. He has my chins.

But wait. No, look at pic above (how can you NOT because holy cuteness. If your ovaries aren’t exploding I don’t know what’s wrong with you. Unless you’re one of my five male readers then, yes, no ovaries. No exploding.)

My goodness people, WHERE, AND I MEAN WHERE EXACTLY, DOES THE TIME GO?

Just last week I was putting away Christmas decor because it was still snowing and now we’re signing them up for summer swim lessons and Blonde, evidently, is now thirty-seven and investing heavily in low-risk stocks (see above pic).

Cue: “Sunrise, Sunset” music.

Also Cue: “Stone Cold Crazy” by Queen. Obviously.

There is something about the month of May that unleashes the hounds of crazy at our house. I mean this is a two-fold way because crazy is nuanced like that and deserves levels.

Crazy, Level One: The calendar is exploding and no one knows how to make it stop.

Between birthdays, my college classes and finals, choir concerts (see above), more birthdays, trying to actually garden something because we are still attempting to keep the whole Martha Stewart vibe/ruse going, feedings, baseball, soccer, baseball AND soccer on the same day, still more feedings, end of the year things for teachers and coaches and my gosh I’m just going to start handing out five dollar bills, and more graduations, and the random “Let’s invite so and so over today!” from the husband, which leads to a bit of muttering on my part but thank YOU frozen Stouffer’s lasagna,(deep breath):

MAY. YOU NEED TO CALM DOWN.

Seriously. Somebody needs to hand May a small snack to try and get its blood sugar under control.

And oh, then there’s also this:

Crazy, Level Two Because This is Me, After All:

My children. They keep doing this thing called growing. And part of me wants it to stop. And then that part realizes what that really would mean, and so we go on and live in reality. But there are times…. when I pass them in the hall and they are so BIG and gangly and when they hug me I don’t even have to bend down at all (which honestly is kind of a bonus) they just fit right in under my chin.

I remember you, sweet older lady in the Walmart line who chirped at me that one time, “Cherish the moments, dearie,” while both boys were whacking each other with some useless artifact that Walmart puts at child eye level just to make them whine and want. I remember you well, sweet lady. At the time I think my eyes kind of shot fire at you while my kids laid on the floor and begggggged for the plastic toy thingie made in China in the Walmart line.

Oh yes, I remember you like it was yesterday. 

I didn’t exactly cherish that moment, sweet lady. But, you meant well. I kind of wished you would get run over by an eighteen-wheeler loaded with plastic toys from China while you were wheeling your cart in the Walmart parking lot, but you know. I got what you were aiming at.

I never cherished the moments enough. But that’s parenting. We do and talk and fix and clean and cook and wipe and wipe again and we forget to stop and LOOK around. Mainly because 50% of the time the wiping involves some sort of bodily fluid and that takes hard core focus, y’all. It takes commitment to clean that stuff up.

And really? Even IF I had stopped and thought, “Right now. I am going to stop and really cherish this moment. LOOK AT ME CHERISHING IT ALL OVER THE PLACE.” I just don’t think I would have done it enough. Because that’s time, for you. And children. Neither of them stand still for very long.

It’s why my phone is full of pictures like this:

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If you look closely, you can see the eye. Just like in Jaws. Only less scary.

And here’s the magic of all of this: The other day, I was in the store, and a tired momma was ahead of me, putting her Gogurts and her GoGo Squeez and her Cuties and all her other kiddie-named food on the grocery treadmill thingie (yes, there’s a term for it but I’m tired and my children make my vocabulary smaller) and she had about four sticky children all smushed up next to her and around her (ok, maybe it was two but they seem to multiply, like rabbits who constantly ask for things) and she just looked so exhausted and I wanted to encourage her. I wanted to tell her to hold onto this time, and just savor it. To really just BE in the moment, you know? So, I smiled at her and said,

“Girl. You really are rocking the top bun today.”

And I left it at that.

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Why do beer commercials get to have all the fun?

You guys. I just watched a beer commercial that made me all emotional.

I mean, I watched it? And it’s possible there was a bit of moisture around the eyes.

A BEER commercial.

You had me at slow-motion prancing, Budweiser Clydesdale.

The people in that commercial were all, “I’m having this really important, bonding, full of love moment with you other actors, out here on this hipster porch. And I have a beard. And look! There goes the Clydesdale again! And this is all so very very real and awesome and good. We are really talking and bonding and great gin and tonics, this commercial is a Norman Rockwell with BEER. And horses.”

What’s the deal, beer? You got to have Spuds McKenszie. He wore sunglasses, y’all.

Hamm’s had a bear, I think.

Dad, did Hamm’s have a bear? I know you’re reading this and you would know. Because, you were around then. 

And then, there was this commercial.

Watch, if you dare:

 

I know. I’ll wait. You go get your tissue box. Sad Doggie Waiting Face will wait too. JUST MAKE SURE YOU DON’T DRINK AND CRASH SOMEHOW BEFORE YOU COME BACK BECAUSE YOU’RE RESPONSIBLE FOR THE DOGGIE FACE.

THAT DOG IS SAD AND I CAN’T HANDLE SAD DOGS. HELP.

But anyhow.

I think it’s high time I get an animal. I mean, I already have four, but where is the payout, little furry ones? Why does beer get to have all the fun?

I have these two:IMG_7932.JPGIMG_7929.JPG

Surely, there’s some way we could make some money off of them, right?

I mean, omg. Look. At. That. Butt.

If beer gets to inflict us with a puppy’s need for therapy after a life story that could be its own Lifetime movie, then I get my own animal.

And he is THRILLED BEYOND BELIEF.

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Steve refused. He was my first choice. We had a very short casting call where I grabbed him and clutched him to my chest and rocked back and forth and said, “I love youuuuuu my preshusssss” but he said he is not selling out. His butt is his own.

Hosmer had no issues with any of this because he never understands much anyway.

And also this post is not making much sense at all, so he’s on board with that.

I haven’t really figured out how to do any of this, but if a duck can sell insurance, then I can make it happen.

 

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Steve’s behind is so large it is its own “Insert Ad Here” space, with fur. I couldn’t resist.

He informed me that he felt cheap, and used. I offered to pay him with Whisker Lickins, tuna flavor, to which he blinked, and said,

“If we downsize the font, there’s also room to put a link to your book on the Amazon.”

 

The end.

 

This post was sponsored by:

Nobody. I really need to up my game.

 

The animals have turned against me.

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Ok, in this post she’s going to try and convince you that I am a weird cat. Just look at me, folks. I’m as right as furry rain. Whatever that means. And, I am cute, no?

 

So, I don’t pay much attention to the trash cans in this house. The reason for this is twofold:

  1. My children are in charge of taking out the trash. We really have a lead on something exciting here, folks. Our children can do the chores that we once had to do! It’s like free labor, if you discount all the whining and really crap jobs they do at any sort of cleaning, but I’ll take it.
  2. Who really wants to ponder a trash can? What? You don’t have enough stimulation from the Netflixes?

Anyhow. As I was upstairs today, making the beds, I did notice the trash can. I noticed that it was looking rather… shredded?

And then, I noticed our cat, Vader, (also referred to as Willie, Sir William, Vader-Tator, and Grandmaster Cat in previous posts. Keep up, y’all. In our house we like to make sure everyone is on rotation with their naming) as he sidled over to the trash can.

And then, he proceeded to START EATING IT.

That’s right. He was eating the trash can.

HE WAS EATING THE TRASH CAN.

What, wee grey cat? What is your problem? Do I not go to the Petco and buy you large crinkly expensive bags of super-healthy food pebbles? Ever since the gigantic white cat had his brush with death we have gone totally upscale on our food options here. Basically, it’s “So long college fund, kids! Gotta feed the kitties!” That sort of thing.

Vader, do you suddenly need more fiber in your diet?

Is it a “My Weird Addiction” kind of thing? Do you need Dr. Phil?

I can’t imagine a trash can tastes good. Perhaps, however, it’s a step up from the mortgage-breaker brown stuff that I feed you every morning.

And then, Vader made eye contact with me. His mouth was still sort of attached to the trashcan. It’s just like that time my husband caught me gnawing on his precious super sharp cheddar that he tries to hide from me. I hadn’t even bothered to slice off a piece of cheese. I was gnawing on it like an angry hamster, and I froze as his eyes locked onto mine. We then argued about sharp cheddar and how it should not be gnawed.

It had been a long day.

Anyhow, back to the cat/trash can thing. Vader stopped, mid chew. And then, he extracted himself from trash can, and sauntered off. All casual, like, “Well, that was a great trash can snack. Thanks Byeeeee!”

So, that’s it then. This little bit of daily weirdness was brought to you by an ungrateful furball and my inability to get it on film.

EXCEPT IT WAS SO NOT OVER.

BECAUSE THEN STEVE, THE WHITE WHALE CAT, THEN WALKED OVER AND STARTED TO EAT THE TRASH CAN TOO.

What is wrong with everyone? I don’t understand out world at all.

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Dog: Can you not?

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 Dog: And I get yelled at for the licking.

 

 

Intentional

Linking up with my Friday peeps today at Five Minute Friday.

The theme?

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This should be a post about how every day I am practicing intentionality in my parenting.

But instead I would rather talk about my cats.

For the past few days, I have been under the weather.

Note: This phrase bothers me. What does it mean? Is the weather a big blanket? Is it the boss of me? Do I need to ask it to move over?

Anyhow. I have had this weird sickness that keeps rotating slowly through all of my body systems like a wrecking ball. And whoa, now I’ve got Miley Cyrus in this post which really proves the point that I am a bit woozy.

 

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I have had a lot of time to ponder things.

In my job, couches, and blankets, and weather-related idioms are common. I write, and therefore sitting down is kind of part of the deal.

But, the trouble here is that my brain has been wrapped in the funk of sickness, and my writing has been sort of like this:

Article 1 on my desktop:

Children hard and parents don’t like them.

Different article:

Once there was a woman. And.

Another attempt at any other article, take your pick:

It was a dark and stormy night. And?

 

And so on. When I am well, and all bright-eyed and bushy-tailed*, writing from home still doesn’t have a solid structure to it. Most days I get up, work out, read a little bible because I need the Lord after working out, drink forty cups of coffee, and then boom, I sit and write. And write some more. Plus, more writing. Then, I really mix it up and I re-read what I wrote, hate it, edit, and then write some more.

Mix this all up with fun household chores and me saying, “Do you need to go outside?” to my dog about five million times, and you get the idea.

The past few days? With the sickness? I get up.

Yes, that’s all. Sometimes I drink one cup of coffee, but since one of those systems that has been affected by this horrible bug is my digestive one… coffee tends to bounce around in there and cause problems.

I have never felt the sting of wasted time more acutely than when I started writing “for real” with my first book, Bottled. Every day was in my head, just me and my words, and found out something rather daunting: I am totally lazy. I am just not very good at a structured schedule.

This is fine and all, because I allowed inspiration to drive me, so writing at 11 pm while both boys are smushed up against me, mouth-breathing, in one bed because they had a bad dream, together, simultanously, and I have no boundaries? That was a writing thing.

Also, writing a blog post while I cook dinner that is brilliant and funny and is all just in my head? Also a thing. And I mean the blog post, not the dinner. The dinner was mediocre at best.

Writing an article that is due tomorrow, tomorrow? Totally a thing.

When I got sick, the deadlines didn’t offer me some Tylenol and left me totally alone. Also, I had no inspiration because I am sick, dude. My inspiration was shoved up under the weather, along with most of my excretory system. This was unpleasant.

And so, I give you this:cute-melted-animals-9-58beb620da23d__700.jpg

This is not actually my cat. This is some preshus cuddums I found on the internets. I wasn’t able to use a picture of any of my cats being totally lazy. They’re all sleeping upstairs and I’m too tired to walk up there.

So, did you know? Cats embrace laziness.

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They don’t care. If they need a nap – they find an impossible location and it’s ON.

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What have I learned from this? What is the furry take-away?

Dude. If you are sick, be sick. Rest. Email your editors ask for an extra day. Drink hot tea and sleep in cute, furry poses that make people squeal, “Ohhh! Preshus!” and lunge for their cameras so they can post you on the instagrams.

No. No, I don’t suggest the pictures part. Me and my wack-job bodily functions have not been all that photogenic lately.

Intentionality is intentionality, even when your intention is to do absolutely nothing but drink clear fluids for three days. It’s ok.

But.

This illness has made me miss the days when I actually had the brain capacity to write.I won’t waste that. My intention is to make those days count. It’s a great reminder.  Perhaps that’s why we get the flu – to remind us about how, once, we were well, and how grateful we were for those days, when we could walk down the hall in a straight line without feeling like we’re floating, in a dead fish kind of way.

So I woke up this morning and I felt… better. Like, not totally over the weather, but just…next to it. Like, the weather and I were giving a side hug. And thus, this post. It’s not a Pulitzer, but I’ll take it. A woman who writes about cats on a regular basis is not a Pulitzer woman. She’s just funny, sometimes, and writes things that hopefully make people smile.

And that has always been my intention.

Oh, and also this. The best explanation of intention that I know.

Quotes-to-Help-Overcome-Addiction-Intention-POSTER.png*Note: this phrase also bothers me. What does it mean? 

I Tweet, Therefore I am.

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Y’all. I’m supposed to be fasting from social media right now.

See? See how well that’s going? This is me… fasting.

Allow me to explain:

When I started the Congo fast because my evil friend Kate suckered me into it without my full knowledge, comprehension, or understanding, and I did it out of the goodness of my heart and because I am totally spiritual and my goodness this is all a load of hooey.

ANYHOW. When I started the Congo fast w/ Kate for our Sunday school class… I thought… Well. Food. I have to fast from food for 40 days. That’s nearly impossible and as we all know I have caved like a Neanderthal about twenty times in the 40 days, but who’s counting?

As God is my witness, I thought the tortillas were going to be it.

But, as Kate has so patiently reminded me, also about twenty times, the Sunday school class does exceed 40 days. So, what are we gonna do for the other portion? Just sit around and talk about how fabulous we were for fasting?

Ok, so along with Chris Seay’s A Place at the Table, we read this gem:

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I use the word “gem” because I have so few of them now, BECAUSE JEN KEEPS TELLING ME TO GIVE STUFF AWAY.

Ok, seriously. Here’s more explaining: We decided to also tackle, along with food the other items that Jen mutinies against. There right there on the cover for you: clothes, spending, waste, stress (har har har), waste, and MEDIA.

MEDIA.

YES IN ALL CAPS.

Guys. You can take my clothes and help me recycle and give me a budget and make me eat corn tortillas ’till the cows come home (that we can’t eat)

BUT YOU WILL HAVE TO PRY MY MEDIA FROM MY COLD, DEAD HANDS.

Here is the very real conversation I had with Kate about this whole media thing, yesterday:

Kate: I’m fasting from media and it’s going okay. How about you?
Me: *leans forward to the microphone* I cannot recall.

That’s a pretty fabulous Ollie North, right? And for those of you who are too young to understand my cheap mimicry of the general and his memory recall issues, what I REALLY said is something like this:

Me: NOOOOOOO. This is so HARRRRRRD. I’m eating rice and beans – you can’t make me NOT watch Netflix TOOOOOOOOOOO.

The wailing, I tell you, was heard one county over.

I ask you, what about all my quips? Where will the quipping go, if I cannot post about it? It will be like I don’t even exist.

Really. How can I live without the tweetings?

What if my children do something adorable? (rare, granted). Or the cat? What if the CAT does something adorable (hourly). How will I live without talking about it?

So, here is my announcement: Our Congo fast and its 40 days is over this Sunday. After that, I will be walking away from my computer for a week.

I will miss you *she waves weakly* Don’t you worry about me… *fading away* I’m sure I’ll be… just… fine *drops to the floor in a heap and makes sure her pose is flattering for a selfie*

Social media, y’all. It’s addictive stuff. I mean, really. If a tree falls in the forest and no one takes a picture of it for Instagram, does an angel lose his wings?

Or something like that.

Now, the only people I have yet to tell are the children. They’ll be joining me in this fast. No Netflixes. No Wii Rockband.

The cries will be heard from two counties over.

Pray for us.

Save

Women Who Move Mountains

I ask you, do you have any mountains you’d like moved?

I have a few.

Last month I kept a manila file in the office for far too long. It sat there and sat there, sullen and unopened, for far, far too long.

I’d really like to provide a gut-wrenching suspenseful scene here with something fascinating IN the folder, but well, it was our taxes. Receipts, forms, all sorts of paperwork, signifying money.

I let that file sit there because I was afraid of dealing with money. I cannot help but feel that as I file through all the papers and forms… that somewhere, a paper will flitter out, fall to the ground, and on it a statement:

“This is your bank statement. You are totally out of money. This means you will end up in a van down by the river and all is doomed.”

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Ok, I realize there are a few flaws in my thinking. Let me provide a short list:

  1. We have money.
  2. If we didn’t have as much money we’d still be okay.

This money thing is because money = stability. And, did you know? Stability means that

Everything Must Be All Right All of the Time No Matter What.

Catchy, right? I’m going to needlepoint that on a pillow.

Making sure that Everything Must Be All Right All of the Time No Matter What is rather tiring, did you know? Also? It’s impossible, so there’s that.

I recently had the honor of reviewing this book, and I would like to recommend it to you here:

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You guys. This book is super. There are so many things I like about it, but to be brief:

IT IS JUST WHAT I NEEDED.

Ok, the book addresses the issue of prayer – something I have always struggled with and for good reason. By this, I mean I tend to pray a lot like this:

Dear God – WHYYYYYYYYY CANNNNN’T YOUUUUUUUUU…. (fill in the blank) AND ANOTHERRR THING….

And so on.

Now, this is NOT bad. Praying + whining is acceptable to God. God knows. He made us after all, and if he made some of us, ahem, a bit more pessimistic and screechy than others? So be it. But when I whine/pray (Prine? Whray??) it just ends up with me feeling sad and twisty when I hang up with Him.

Detweiler’s book offers clear, practical advice on how to pray in solid, joyful FAITH. Yep. FAITH with BIG CAPITAL LETTERS. The kind of faith, that, well,  you know.

It moves mountains.

I highly recommend this book if your prayer life needs a little sprucing up. If you’re feeling like every prayer is uttered with all the verve of Eeyore. If maybe, just maybe, you have some mountains to attend to.

If you’d like to know more, or take a closer look at Sue Detweiler’s book click here, and get moving. 17903556_10155247020512206_6837944691568322308_n.jpg

 

 

Embrace the addict

Linking up with my favorite people again today for Five Minute Friday. The theme?

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I know. Writing about addiction again today.

Where, Momsie? Where is your funny self? Where are the cat pictures and endless throwing of children under the proverbial bus because they are maddening and adorable? Where ARE you?

Oh, don’t worry. I’m here. Hanging out with my inner addict.

We all have one. We do. You can argue with me all you want, but then I might say, very annoyingly, “Well, perhaps your addiction is control. Or being right. Or, God help you, some combination of both which we all know WORKS SO WELL.”

I wouldn’t say that to you because it would be rather self-righteous and, as I said, annoying, and we are friends. But you better believe I’d be thinking it.

I have an inner addict. I named her Esmerelda, and she likes to speak up at times when I am Hungry. Or Angry. Or Lonely. Or Tired.*

Sadly, I am any combination of these at about forty majillion times a day because life is not fair. Life is hard. Sing it with me folks. Oh blah dee, oh blah da… life goes on.

Yesterday Red had a total conniption because Blonde did not help him clean up EXACTLY EQUAL TO HIS CLEANING UP after lunch. If you have kids, you know. Anyhow, if I could have split the dirt and crumbs and smears of peanut butter down the middle with yellow crimezone tape, it would have helped, but … dare we go back to that wonderfulness that is:

LIFE IS NOT FAIR.

It was day four of our spring break together. Red was underslept and oversugared and basically? He lost his sh%T. Sorry. It’s a bad word but in this case – nothing else really suffices. I, as Mother In Charge of All the Things, had a few choices on how to deal:

  1. Smiting
  2. Timeouts with the Smiting
  3. #2 paired with a lecture, possibly a powerpoint presentation on Life Really is So Unfair.
  4. Run away.

I did none of these. I don’t know why. I was just… tired myself. So, I sat down on the floor, dusted away some crumbs to make room, and patted the floor for Red to come sit with me.

He eyed me, suspiciously. This was a different tactic. Perhaps I was gonna hog tie him when he approached and take him away to Military Unfairness School?

Nope. I just patted the floor, and when he came over, I grabbed him and held on. Then, I smushed his little fact in my hands (not too hard, but the good, Mom smushing) and I looked in his eyes and said, “Breathe. Just breathe in. Breathe out. I love you. It’s ok.”

The kid slowed down and looked at me, and remembered who he was.

And stopped freaking out.

I know. Perhaps he needed a timeout or some sort of discipline, but right then? I needed to hug him.

We behave badly sometimes. We grip onto things that are wrong. We rail and rant. We do things that are awful and unfair and shameful.

We want and want and want some more.

And… repeat.

It’s the whole bashing up against our sinfulness that is life, and did I mention? Not very fair.

But He is fair. And right then, He told me to hug my boy. Amidst his mess.

I guess what I’m trying to say, is be kind to the one who grips onto something too hard. He might just be falling apart with all the unfairness of it. Embrace him. Embrace yourself, if that’s who we’re talking about here. You better believe, I’m who we’re talking about here. (It’s my favorite topic, you know. Me.)

Embrace the addict. She knows it’s not fair. She needs a lot of love.

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*HALT. One of those acronym thingies I learned in recovery. If you start to fizzle out on your day? Are you HALT-ing? Or, if you’re me, are you SHALT-ing (sarcastic, hungry angry… etc)

Recovery has all sorts of those thingies. Like, One Day at a Time. And …Keep it Simple.

And, Be still and know that you are so not God.

I kinda made that last one up. But I did kinda steal it from a higher authority.