Monday, December 29, 2014

msm: the in between

This last Monday of 2014 was a lot of this.

Rain, and fog, and dropping-ever-so-gently temps. 

Morning started off on the warm side but it's feeling appropriately wintry this afternoon.  As it should.

The people who are supposed to know about such things are saying we might get a smidge of snow tomorrow.  I've learned here in Carolina a smidge is all we should dare hope for...

I also have this niggling feeling that the lights should come down from my railing since Christmas has passed, but they've barely been there a week so I'm hanging with them until after New Year's...or maybe February ;)

Y'all stay warm out there! 

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Silly Six on the Last Sunday (2014)

1.  It's been so long since I used my big camera & uploaded to my laptop that I forgot how.  Like I literally...forgot.  I don't even know what to say.

Except this is exactly why for the first couple of years of blogging I was downright militant, MILITANT, I say, in my getting her done every single day.  My kids mocked me but WHO'S LAUGHING NOW??  No one, that's who.

2.  My girls hooked me up with Taylor Swift's new CD for Christmas.  

I know what you're thinking and I couldn't agree with you more.
When am I going to start acting my age?  

Well I'll tell ya.  I don't know.  

However, I am starting to feel a bit concerned.  As I was zipping down the highway earlier today, chowing down on McDonald's french fries and a large Dr. Pepper while simultaneously car-dancing*/singing hollering off key with T-Swift, I was struck with this fundamental truth; I am a terrible excuse for a grownup.

3.  Boo Flu!!  It's been raging through my family (and apparently the world at large) for weeks now & frankly I'm over all the hand-sanitizing & chicken noodle casserole-making.

On top of that, my brother & his hooligans drove up from Tennessee for our annual Christmas gathering/sleepover shenanigans, and our entire North Carolina contingent missed the festivities.  

It's all fun & games until I receive neither a brotherly hug nor my dirty Santa gift.  
(Not to mention Mom's Basket-O-Goodies!)  (Waaaah!!)

4.  In a delightful turn of events, however, I discovered a FIVE-DAY-LONG Marathon of all things Monk.  He's no brotherly hug or cup of Christmas coffee, but spending time with him makes the loss a little more palatable.

5.  My grandchildren have grown approximately 3 feet since I last blogged.  This is both a travesty and a blessing as they're all wonderfully healthy (excepting the aforementioned flu) and happy.  I suppose it's possible I could be biased, but I feel certain they're the funniest, smartest, most beautiful children ever to be.**  

They look a bit peaked in these pics but that's only because did I mention the flu??

6.  Y'all.  So here's the truth and I'm not even kidding - I've really missed you!  Life has been rushing by like a freight train this year & spare time has been at a premium.  Sigh.  But I'm really hoping to carve out some space & regain my momentum over the coming weeks.  So...that being said, see you soon!

Happy Last Sunday of 2014!


*It's my specialty.  It's a thing!  Honest!
**Well, since their mamas, anyway ;)

Sunday, July 6, 2014

road work ahead

So let's pretend we chatted last week and not months ago because I have pressing business
that cannot be ignored.

I have a question.  All are welcome to weigh in on this matter, but if you are intricately familiar with Carolina laws of the road...all the better.

So here's the thing.  Are the posted Road Work Ahead / Reduce-speed-or-pay-a-lot-of-dollars signs merely optional in the great State of North Carolina?  

This might seem random to you, but I assure you it is not to me. 

In the 30-mile stretch between my house & Kari's, I go in and out of construction no fewer than three times each way, and each time I see the typical signs with the big, scary if-you-speed-it's-gonna-cost-ya threats.

However, I find when I drop my speed to oh, let's just hypothetically say 60 in a 55, I find myself in great fear of being, well, squashed like a bug.  

Literally, and by literally I mean literally, everyone zips by me like I'm standing still and this makes me question whether it's me who is The Big Dummy Who Doesn't Know Something That Everyone Else Knows.

(I do hate being The Big Dummy Not In The Know.)

It's quite possible I Googled "everyone speeds through construction on 52" when I arrived home this evening in a last-ditch effort to understand.  Alas, I found nary a word on The Google regarding rampant law-breaking taking place in my own backyard.

It is for this reason I am turning to you, my people-who*-I-have-neglected-since-April, to give me clarity...and if I'm lucky, confirmation of vast moral superiority.  Because everyone knows going 60 in a 55 is practically the law.  Unless, you know, there's any squashing involved.

*Who/Whom?  Who really  knows?  Who really cares?  This is why I haven't blogged in a sweet forever...I get ridiculous about the who's, and then I find myself yet again at The Google trying to decide.  And then I still don't know for sure.  And then I get cranky & eat a cookie.

I blame it all on the cookies.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

it was totally worth it, probably...I think.

In retrospect, I suppose we should have seen it coming.

The alleged culprit on the day in question

It's not like we didn't notice her little runny nose and those sweet puffy baby eyes.
We saw 'em, and promptly blamed every bit of it on the pollen swirling around.

It was a convenient reaction as we trekked downtown to the Food Truck Festival(!) amid the swirling masses of humanity.  A perfectly logical conclusion to hold onto as she and I pretend-danced and she played with my eyes & nose & mouth with her sticky little fingers.

However, it has become clear to all who were with her on that fateful Saturday evening, that we were just fooling ourselves.

And now I'm sorry to report that I am, in fact, back on the DayQuil/Nyquil combo that I know so well.

...So here's where I'd like to say that I'm super thankful for quiet apartments and lots of tissues.

And DayQuil/NyQuil combos.

And precious baby girls with sticky fingers :)


Monday, April 14, 2014

the one with too many blurry cell phone pictures because I can't decide and also a tree

So Audrey's been telling me for quite a while that she's very good at climbing trees.

As it turns out, she wasn't kidding even at all.


Owen proved to be quite the climber himself for his advanced years of three.

When all was said and done, Noodle conquered three separate trees, Owen two, and my heart only stopped five or six times.

(Also, I only thought of little Lauren stuck at the very top of a similar tree, and my accompanying heart palpitations, all those years ago, half a dozen times.)

Great job, Audrey Faith!  Your Naynay is super-proud of you :)

Sunday, April 13, 2014

sunday six, weekend recap edition

(Editor's Note:  Should I acknowledge my lackadaisical approach to this blog in recent months? Do I apologize for my apparent slothfulness? Do I pretend we visited just yesterday? Do I go on and on, ad nauseum, trying to excuse myself while simultaneously convincing us both that I'll do better hereafter?  Sigh.  
I vote no - let's just jump back in & call it a win!)

Pure swoonylicious, is what he is

1.  It hit 80 degrees on both Saturday and Sunday.  Also, the sun was shining, it was breezy, and no humidity.  I do love me some spring.

However, all the warm did remind me of a couple of things:  First, a warm sunny day heats up the inside of an un-air-conditioned car considerably.  Second, little rids the neck of kinks and the stomach of knots like a ride down the highway with the windows down & the radio up.

...aaaand thirdly, riding down the highway with the windows down and the radio up renders one's hair a "little crazy," which was the assessment of the five-year-old.

2.  You just know it's going to be a good spring when you kick it off by attending a Food Truck Festival(!) downtown with the littles in tow.  That's right... food trucks stretched out over a city block (or more, who really knows) (it's not like I got past the designated littles area to actually measure) (it seemed like more).  Frankly, it was too crowded for me to delight in the actual dining possibilities because I'm immediately rendered non-hungry when lines wrap around for a sweet forever.  No lie, I ate nothing at said Festival, save the Pepsi we picked up on the way downtown.  However, it was still Big Fun for perhaps no reason other than it was clearly supposed to be.  As I told Kate, any time music is blasted through very loud speakers on a 79-degree evening it's an instant party.

I might have awkwardly pretend-danced a little with Norah while not one person paid me any mind at all.  Owo happily demonstrated his award-winning (not even kidding, he's a bonafide winner)  (I'll tell you sometime) booty-shaking skills for me, and I giggled more than once from the sheer happy of warm spring & crazy surroundings.

3.  Ironically, after eating absolutely nothing shifty and/or shady at the Food Truck Festival(!) I awoke with a stomach bug.  Seriously.  You can't make this stuff up.  

4.  Speaking of Owen, it's possible that I allegedly taught, encouraged him to engage in some problem-solving behavior that turned out to be new to him.

It took him approximately 30 minutes to get me into all kinds of trouble.

Which led me to shamelessly beg the little mister to please forget all he'd learned from me that day, before it was no longer funny & I landed in BIG TROUBLE with his mama.  He found the whole situation delightful and that's all I'm going to say about that.

5.  Audrey and Owen belting out "Let it Go" with no theatrics whatsoever (ha!) with Norah occasionally adding her two-cents.


6.  Kari sent me the above sweet picture of Peyton at the Easter egg hunt after church today...You know, the Big Fun I missed because of stupid aforementioned stomach issue.  A big shout-out to my girl...receiving the pictures helped just the littlest tiny :)

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

keep on the sunny side

So here's the thing.  Falling asleep at 4ish in the morning  apparently leaves me a bit...emotional.  Today I find myself doing things like you-tubing sweet little videos about daddies & Facebook postings by the siblings, which naturally(?) leads me to old Twila Paris videos and an ill-advised stroll down memory lane...leaving me somewhat verklempt.  I should get more sleep.  And eschew chips & salsa at 2:30 in the morn.

As if that weren't enough, it seemed only right to keep All the Feelings going by catching up on a little bloggy reading, rendering me a weepy mess.

(Work should be a blast tonight!)

Anyhoo, in light of all the very many feelings, I thought I'd lighten things up a bit
and share some of the happy.

Well.  There's this, of course

1.  Yesterday I ran some errands and met up for an impromptu lunch with Katie & Audrey.  I was particularly delighted out of my mind while driving with the windows wide open and the sky all blue and the radio loud.   Life, just the way I like it.

2.  I had a few minutes to kill so I wandered through Bath & Body Works.  I haven't been there since a quick trip the week before Christmas (!) and let's just say this was better.  I sniffed at least 42 candles and looked at a fair amount of random.  And! Not one overtly perky, subtly intrusive, sweet little thing asked me what I needed, and by the time I inhaled the honeysuckle candle for the fourth time I was longing, LONGING I tell you, for spring.  I would not be exaggerating one bit to say that store was spring in a jar.
3.  Noodle was beside herself with happy during our little excursion.  She was all girly, skipping along and giggly, and just thrilled to be with us.  She kept clasping my hand on her right & her mama's on the left, and swinging them together.  She was so happy! just to be with us.  If that's not swoony I don't know what is.

4.  I scored a bag of M&Ms on the 50% off-aisle at Target.   I went with the peanut butter variety this time. 
I know it's a stretch, but it seemed right.

5.  Today I read this.  Oh y'all...

Right now someone is (very loudly) working on a neighbor's car outside my window and people are shouting over the racing motor and I might have heard a bad word, and the feelings I'm current feeling are of a whole different variety.  See how that works?  Life.  What a blast :)

Y'all have a great Wednesday!

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

when all else fails make some chili

Here's the thing, I work in 24 minutes, so we'll have to make this quick.  Hmmm... 

I know!  How about a recipe?

I made this chicken chili a while ago and it knocked my socks off.
Seriously, I was downright prideful of the results.  I love it when a new recipe gives a big payoff! 

This isn't a "white chicken chili" with a creamy base, but a more traditional, tomato-based chili
with shredded chicken, and at the risk of being redundant, all I can say about it is YUM.

I did tinker with the ingredients just a little bit.  I upped the spices some to taste (it seemed a little bland at first),  added some cooking wine to the veggies (maybe 1/4 cup...maybe a little more?  who remembers?), and I think this was the best part - I added a couple of cups of pinto beans that I had cooked previously, complete with the bean-y broth.  It added a richness that made me several different kinds of happy.

Oh yeah!  Be sure to cut the veggies chunky.  Trust me, is all I'm sayin.'

Gotta scoot - Happy Wednesday :)

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

ripple effects

So I'm just going through my day today, minding my own business and blowing my nose, and Bam! I realize that once again a marriage has crumbled and people are left scrambling to pick up the pieces.

This comes after recent months, when marital breakdown has once again hit hard and personally within my own family, and y'all I'm not going to lie.  I am so, so, very tired of it.

I remember years ago, as I was beginning to heal from my own divorce, and she sat in my kitchen in the middle of a party and casually said " yeah, my dad moved out today," and the room was spinning and I couldn't even make sense of her words.  And my heart broke right in two there at the kitchen counter.

And then, y'all, I was fired up!  I felt a personal mission to stop the certain disaster to come and I begged and pleaded and warned and wept on their behalf, all to no avail.

Sadly, many other families that I love followed.  Over and over I've seen spouses just give up and walk away, with little understanding of the decisions they're making and the ramifications certain to follow.

(Oh y'all, it is a hard, hard thing to know deep in your bones that a person is throwing away everything good, and they flat out will not, or cannot, believe you.)

A lot of years have passed.  My daughters are all grown up, and all around me people are still throwing in the towel, looking for something better, and destroying their beautiful, messy, precious lives.

Y'all, I know that marriage is a hard thing, and I know it can seem like anything would be better that what is right now, and calling a do-over can seem to be a best-case solution to a miserable set of circumstances, but if you want to avoid a world of hurt, and I mean a rest-of-your-life kind of hurt, please hear me...

Just... Get Over Yourself.

Because, quite frankly, the rippling effect of our decisions is much, much  bigger than one unhappy person who has decided that their happiness is more important than everyone else.

(And here's a little secret, when you walk away from your spouse,
you are throwing away a life you likely value far more than you realize right now.)

I assure you, you are trashing a lot more than a series of arguments and mounting frustration.  You don't know it yet, but you're throwing away your children's trust and sense of security (young or old), and you're trashing the future you all would have had if only you'd seen things through.

Unless you've been married for 10 minutes, you're turning away from parents-in-law and siblings and brothers and sisters and nieces and nephews, and a myriad of other relationships that inevitably die when there is a marital fracture.

This is so much bigger than rejecting your partner.  You are rejecting nearly all you had before
...and I've yet to meet anyone after the dust settles who feels the end result is worth the price you pay.

I'm not saying to live your life in defeat and misery - of course not!  That's not what God wants for any of us.  If you are truly unhappy, if your spouse is driving you nuts, or you feel stuck, do something about it, STAT!  It is very dangerous to pretend and simmer for a sweet forever until you blow sky high.  Find some help for the legitimate problems going on in your home and proactively fight for the health of your family.

For the sake of everyone you have ever loved...Keep your promises, work hard on the life you chose,
and by all means, get over yourself.


*This message brought to you today spur-of-the-moment and mostly unedited.

*If you need to talk, give me a call or email me...

Monday, January 13, 2014

card shark

So it looks like Owo has a new hobby.


He takes it very, very seriously.

Is there a problem?

We dump 'em out.  (All 104 of them...)

And then we name them one. by one.  It's practically like preschool except not so much.

I suppose we could call it educational.

In a weak moment we might call it super messy. 

Personally...I just call it Big Fun.

Friday, January 10, 2014

sweeter than the sweetest tea

Norah likes her mama!

Wednesday Katie & Kari brought all the littles by for the afternoon.  I like to think they just love to spend time with me, but truth be told they were in it for the poppy seed chicken.

I'm not proud...I'll take what I can get :)

Noodle likes her Doc McStuffins!

It was a really nice day.  The kids were all overtired and overdone what with their holiday hangovers, miscellaneous maladies, and the previous night's sleepover with Kate.  Kari kept apologizing for the mayhem but honestly I just laughed my way through it. 

What else is one to do when you have toddlers marching around announcing to anyone who will listen that there will be NO HUGS - or manners (ha!), naptime accidents in Naynay's bed, multiple episodes of spitting up coupled with at least one wretchedly foul-smelling diaper situation, in the course of one innocent afternoon?

They ALL really like making messes!

Well.  I say you too would laugh your way through the madness, you know you would.

Peyton likes...everything!
Sadie likes her paci!

And if you ever doubted the day was a success,
when your daughter tells your grandchild that it's time to go home, you might just overhear her say, ever so wistfully, "I just wish we could stay here forever and ever and ever."

Audrey likes making eggs!  After rejecting lunch!

 ....and then, just for sheer fun & comic relief, a few hours later it's possible you'll receive an urgent Facetime invite from the nearly-two-year old, who is tragically and hilariously calling Naynay to tattle mightily on his mama, who has made an unacceptable pronouncement of no sweet tea before bed. (The horror!)

Apparently Norah now likes falling asleep in the middle of bedlam!

...and as you fall asleep that night, you'll thank God for every minute of this life that is oh. so. sweet.


Thursday, January 9, 2014

i wish to slow down all the days

Sadie-Pie at about 2-1/2 months.  She's 3 months old today!  (Photo taken by Kari)

I know I should be using more than a few words to try to catch up on...well, everything, but mostly I just want to take my now-routine dose of the NyQuil and sleep the sleep of the oldish. 

(I fear for all of us once I find the time to actually sit down and start with all the updating of all the things)

(But that's for another day.)

For now, let's all just take a moment to enjoy these current-ish pictures of our two littlest littles ;)

Norah is already six months old! (Photo taken by Katie)


It's hard to handle all this yummy, but I do the best I can ;)