I was so happy to look at the calendar this morning and see “No events scheduled” because we crammed a lot into the last three days and I’d like to use today as a do-over.
JJ was home “sick” Friday morning and it was the kind of sick where he probably could have gone to school but he was hacking up a lung and the nurse probably would have called me to take him home for fear he spreading SARS, MERS, or whatever we’re calling the latest contagion. So I hauled him all over Wake County because if he was sick he wasn’t going to stay home and play Minecraft so we went to church to pick up VBS material, to SportsClips for a trim (I told him it would make him feel better to have a new haircut – somehow that didn’t work for him as much as it does for me), and then to Crazy Fire for lunch because he and I are the only ones that like it so we have to sneak in those moments when we can.
While we were eating, Heather texted to say her kids wanted to go to AgFest and did I want to come along and JJ was sufficiently perked up by his third helping of beef noodles to agree that it sounded like a wonderful idea. So we went and walked around in the blazing hot sun and looked at some tractors, wandered the petting zoo, picked through the flea market junk, and giggled a little in the exhibitor’s hall.
I have no words.
Saturday was a blur of birthday parties, shopping for birthday parties fifteen minutes before they started, dropping off and picking up from birthday parties, and cleaning house to prepare for overnight guests. We’d volunteered to be an overnight host home for two members of Azusa Pacific University’s choir and orchestra who were in town to perform at our church’s Sunday morning services. The two girls who stayed with us were just adorable. They were incredibly polite, engaging, gracious, and stellar representatives of their university and I wished I had half their poise and confidence at that age.
And their junior-sized jeans.
I went into “mom mode” when I found out they’d already been on the road for two weeks and told them to bring their laundry downstairs for washing. I didn’t know they made clothes that tiny.
Also? Didn’t know that you can do three loads of laundry in two hours.
Don’t tell my husband. He thinks it takes a week.
They had to be at church at the crack of dawn Sunday morning for sound check and you might think we would have taken advantage of getting up so early and attended the early service but, no, even with the extra hour and a half, we still arrived late. The concert was beautiful and their rendition of Unto the Lamb is still ringing in my heart a day later and since I couldn’t find a video of an APU performance with good sound quality, I’ve had this version from Prestonwood on repeat for the last twenty-four hours. Take five minutes and have your devotions done for the day.
And try not be alarmed at the, um, colorful clothing, big Texas hair, and Baptists raising their hands in church.
Have a nice day.
It has been a quiet week around the house. I spent some time poking around the library, the grocery store, the pharmacy, and also poking pills down the gullets of Travis and JJ who caught Tommy’s cold. In between deciding dinner, who was sick enough to stay home from school, and if tan flip-flops matched a gray maxi skirt, I also settled on these five items:
1. Decided to eat a salad every day this week. And by Thursday also decided the carne asada tacos at Los Cuates qualify as a salad because they have onions and cilantro.
To be on the safe side, I added jalapenos and ate the salsa with corn chips because corn is a vegetable
2. Decided it was time to get out of the house and had a BYOL (Bring Your Own Lunch) at Heather’s house. We were joined by Squishy Baby who is now neither squishy nor a baby but she’s still adorable. She entertained us by running around with her frying pan, doing her best Rapunzel impression.
Decidedly jealous of all friends with daughters.
3. Decided there’s no way to make a scratching post match the living room décor.
4. Decided the reason Max is getting bigger is probably because Craig introduced him to Blue Bell.
Clearly, I don’t have a lock on spoiling.
5. Decided that Travis doesn’t like school but really, really, really likes spaghetti.
Have a nice day, cha cha cha!
What a nice Mother’s Day weekend. Usually the kids or Craig have Saturday plans lined up but, for once, the social plans belonged to me. I attended a baby shower for one of Craig’s co-workers and it was a beautiful affair, even nicer than my own wedding reception.
I got married before Pinterest.
Thank the Lord.
The mom-to-be is known for her fashion sense and the party reflected it. The details were incredible – an artfully arranged buffet, a fabulous mimosa bar, hydrangeas gathered in mason jars gracing the dessert table, and color-coordinated everything.
I left with tons of decorating ideas and a to-do list that including plans for throwing a party just so I could have an excuse to buy a tiered cupcake stand like this one.
And make a kiwi and blackberry salad.
Sunday we went to church and afterward, at my request, went downtown for the Raleigh Food Truck Rodeo street festival for lunch.
The kids were a little miffed that I didn’t choose IHOP but after seeing five blocks of food trucks from which to choose, they changed their mind. Making a decision was oh, so hard. Pizza? Korean? Low-country? After wandering for half an hour, Tommy, Travis and I decided that Only Burger was a good place to start. Craig headed over to sample Stoke and Smoke, a frequent competitor on the BBQ circuit, and JJ thought the bratwurst from Baguetteaboutit was too good to pass.
We saved room for dessert and hit up LocoPops for a chocolate brownie popsicle and then the kettle corn place for what we thought was a bag to share but Travis had other ideas.
And then Craig mentioned that Krispy Kreme was conveniently on the way home.
And the box was conveniently in my lap.
I’ll never tell how many went missing before we pulled into the driveway because every woman has her secrets but I will say this: All’s fair in love and doughnuts.
Have a nice day.
And I’m over the moon.
He has the most beautiful blue eyes you’ve ever seen and the squeakiest tiny meow and he’s wrapped all of us around his pinky pad paws. Today’s Five is All About Max.
1. He hails from the mountains of Western North Carolina and is just over 5 weeks old. My friend Amy brought him to me (he was born to her grandmother’s cat) Wednesday afternoon and I had a few hours to play with him before the boys came home.
I introduced him to his food and his litter box and was not at all obsessed with making sure he could chew and swallow the kitten chow.
2. The boys were excited to meet him. They’ve been begging for a replacement pet since the day Cosmo met
his untimely end the fox and the second they walked through the door we made introductions.
The kids aren’t too keen about holding him yet since his claws are razor sharp but that doesn’t mean they haven’t been loving on him. They’re all constantly taking pictures of him and Tommy has decided Max needs to learn to play DS.
Please excuse the assault rifle on the chair.
I have squirrel issues.
3. Since he’s a little young, we’re having to teach him a few things. He doesn’t know that he can eat by himself so, for now, I’m having to accompany him into the laundry room for feeding time and I’m also having to teach him that kitty litter is meant for disposal, not consumption.
4. He loves to climb (mainly my leg) and explore and pounce and skitter across the floor, but mainly, he enjoys sleeping. A boy after his mama’s heart.
5. No, I haven’t done a single thing since he got here other than this.
Welcome to the family, Max. We’re all a little crazy about you.
Have a nice day.
I’m sitting in the car typing this with thumbs while I wait between appointments, so please ignore typos and weird alignment. Today is See A Medical Professional Day. I just dropped JJ off at school from the dentist and have a few minutes to kill before signing Tommy out to see the doctor. And then it’ll be time to meet the bus and take Travis to therapy.
Death by a thousand co-pays.
I ran errands yesterday after my hair appointment and successfully erased signs of 43. I didn’t make any style adjustments which should come as no surprise to anyone. My hair has been basically the same since the 5th grade, varying only in length and sometimes in curl depending on whether or not perms were the rage.
Ranger Rick Beauty Tip: Women with unusually thick hair should avoid the spiral perm. I have the picture from a 1988 student ID card to prove it.
Then I went to Pottery Barn Kids to buy a gift off the registry for a baby shower I’m attending this weekend. And then I went to the bank to take out a second mortgage. It’s a good thing we are out of the baby business because I could do some serious damage in that store. The baby-to-be-born is a girl so I had a legitimate excuse to wander the pink side and even though I found the gift quickly, I spent a few minutes exploring and mentally outfitting my future granddaughter’s room.
Let’s hope she likes pink.
Grandma’s gonna’ have some pent up spending to do.
After the baby store, I drove to Petco to pick up some food, a bed, and toys for Max (today!today!) and discovered that I’m not the only one with a lock on crazy. Did you know they make mood enhancers, poop deodorizer, and anxiety wear for cats? Me, neither.
I spent more time figuring out what kind of food would make Kitty happy than I spent meal planning for the teenaged two-legged children, ultimately coming away with the one that sounded the most nutritious thereby ensuring that he’ll turn his nose up at the bowl, fitting right in with the rest of the crew.
Then I went home and spent the afternoon worrying about him getting lost in the house and missing his mother.
Maybe they have that anxiety shirt in extra small.
And Xanax in extra large.
Have a nice day.
1. The house was unusually clean Friday morning and I didn’t want to waste it so instead of blogging I issued an all-call on Facebook to local friends who didn’t have lunch plans to come eat with me and then spent the morning preparing a gourmet meal of chicken salad from the gas station served on croissants from my friendly neighborhood grocer.
I went all out, is what I’m saying.
(Okay, so it’s not from a gas station, just from the restaurant attached to the gas station which hopefully makes enough of a difference to keep you from declining any future lunch invitations from Sus.)
Three people accepted the offer, two didn’t know each other, and one even brought dessert and we had a great time visiting, eating cookies, and starting the weekend on a happy note.
2. I’ve been reading a lot the last few weeks, mostly whatever Amy recommends. I finished Sparkly Green Earrings (BigMama’s book, loved it), started and ditched a book on confidence after the first chapter (life’s too short to read something poorly written; of that, I’m confident), The Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert (Rosaria Butterfield) and am still thinking about Love Does (Bob Goff), which is rattling around in my head three days after I closed the back cover and I might have to go back and read it again.
Next on the list is Why Priests? A Failed Tradition by Garry Wills and What’s it like to be Married to Me? (Linda Dillow) which Craig said he’s not going to touch with a 10 foot pole because he’s smart enough to know that marriages last longer when you don’t go answering loaded questions like that.
3. Breakfast is the most boring meal of the day so I’ve tried to jazz it up. I found this recipe for swiss chard eggs and made it with spinach instead. It was delicious even if only for Mom, party of one.
My people don’t do green for breakfast unless it’s a St. Patrick’s Day Krispy Kreme.
4. It’s getting close to canning season. We went to the Farmer’s Market this weekend to see what was available and came home with a flat of strawberries. I spent most of Sunday afternoon slinging hot, red, sticky syrup all over the kitchen but it was worth it to have a year’s supply of jam in the pantry.
I see a lot of peanut butter sandwiches in my future.
5. Craig started to fear for my mental health when he discovered I follow Emergency Kittens on Twitter. I think that’s what it took to finally convince him I really, really wanted another cat so this Wednesday our house will be a little cheerier when we add the newest member of the family, a little orange kitty from this litter named Max.
I can’t wait for him to get here.
Prepare yourself for an overload of pictures until the new wears off.
Have a nice day.
The Breakfast Fairy informed me yesterday that we were out of eggs, bacon, sausage, biscuits, milk, orange juice, and bananas and that he would need some grocery store help before he could be expected to work his magic in the morning for the kiddos so yesterday was a shopping day. For once I decided to shower, fix my hair, and throw on something other than shorts and a logo t-shirt before heading out and I’m glad I did because I ran into four friends at BJ’s and it would have been awkward trying to avoid them for 47 aisles so they wouldn’t see a serious case of bedhead.
I once had to slink through Food Lion for half an hour trying to avoid an old hairdresser who I’d cheated on with my current hairdresser. Talk about stressful.
Craig’s office is close by the store so I decided to stop in and drop off some brownie bites I’d picked up (don’t judge – it takes an act of Congress to get me to bake) and it was conveniently lunch time and I talked him into grabbing a salad with me at Chick-fil-A. (By the way, the new salads are delish and, no, they didn’t pay me to say that.) Then I came home, threw everything on the counter and ran over to the regular grocery store to buy normal-people-sized-quantities of vegetables (I mean, really, who has a crisper drawer that can hold a 25 lb. bag of carrots?) and the minute I walked in the store I realized that it was Tuesday which means it was Senior Citizen Day and there I was without my shin guards.
These people are feisty and will mow you down with their shopping carts to get the last of the fiber bars.
They do not mess around.
There are a couple of retirement villages in the area and they bring shoppers by the busload on Tuesdays for the 5% discount and they all stop their carts in the middle of the aisle to visit with each other and socialize and do all those things that the rest of us have forgotten how to do which is sweet and all but it does make for slow-going but while I was waiting to find a clear path out of produce, the store manager mentioned to me that sunflowers were on sale for a $1 a bunch and it was totally worth the delay for a vase full of sunshine on the kitchen counter.
The counter looks neat in this picture because all of a sudden the paper clutter got to me and I cleared off every scrap on both counters and stacked it on the couch and had every intention of dealing with it before dinner but I got distracted by rearranging the K-cups in a visually pleasing manner and didn’t get to it.
So this is what I’m doing today.
Unless I see something shiny in which case all bets are off.
Have a nice day.
It’s a cool, gray, rainy day in Raleigh. My parents left this morning at the crack of dawn to begin their journey back to Oklahoma. What is it with parents who leave in a rush first thing in the morning? They were out the door at 7:06 which was six minutes past their stated departure time so I’m sure Dad was getting twitchy. Is there something written in the parent manual that says you have to leave before the brew cycle has finished on the morning pot of coffee? My parents aren’t the only ones that do it (I’m looking at you, in-laws) because from what I hear from friends, their parents do the exact same thing.
Dear Parents Everywhere,
You are welcome in our home. Please don’t rush off early in the morning. We haven’t had our morning cup of coffee yet and can’t even formulate a proper goodbye. Take your time. We aren’t anxious for you to leave, you aren’t in our way as we get ready for school and work, and when you bolt out the door before the sun is even up, we might even think you can’t wait to get away from us. Sit a spell. Have another cup of coffee. Heck, have even ONE cup. Let rush hour die down. There’s plenty of daylight left and we’d love to spend a minute or two of it with you.
Your Adult Children
It promises to be a restful day. Mom helped me get completely caught up on the laundry and since she forced me, FORCED ME, I tell you, to put it away, there’s very little to do this morning other than pick up the kitchen and straighten the den and living room from a weekend’s worth of lounging. At some point I’ll have to think about feeding my people. We ate out a little more than usual this past week because I was too busy shopping and gabbing with Mom and Dad to be bothered with cooking. We took them out to Mellow Mushroom and the little Salvadoran place and Five Guys and what little I did feed them at home was really just a prelude for the star dessert that Mom made.
In addition to chocolate pie she made two huge pans of her famous banana pudding while she was here and forever ruined the boys for the easy version I usually slap together when they beg.
Mom’s recipe requires using the Kitchen-Aide mixer.
You know, labor intensive.
I wish I could say we went sight-seeing and gallivanting all over town but we didn’t do that this trip. We mainly spent our time doing the little things around the house that need to be done: folding, washing, loading and unloading the dishwasher, and hammering a nail here and there.
Oh, and making my bed. Yes, my mother told me to make my bed and then checked up on me to see if I did it.
Because I’m still a toddler.
But having them here to talk to and visit with over coffee and laundered towels was what I needed more than seeing flowers blooming at Duke Gardens or wandering the shops at City Market. They are two of my favorite people on this planet and such a delight to have around. My heart is happy for our time together and sad that they’re gone. I will miss them until we can see each other again this summer.
I hope your weekend was equally delightful and productive.
Have a nice day.
Excuse the absence; Mom and Dad are visiting this week. We’ve been running errands, making and eating chocolate pie, planning the appropriate meal to showcase Nana’s famous banana pudding which the kids requested about six seconds after they saw her, and spending all our time talking, talking, talking.
And then collapsing in a joyful heap at the end of the day, grateful for more time to do it again.
We’ve been in project mode. Travis’ room still looks like it did when we moved in almost two years ago, boxes stacked in the corner, walls blank, and no real closet strategy to speak of. He wanted a travel theme so we’re going with a navy and grassy green color scheme and using some mementos from our trips over the years for decorations. We found new bedding, framed a poster from our St. Louis trip, and Mom helped me make a French memo board to put above his bed where we’ll pin post cards and pictures of famous landmarks around the world. (I’ll show pictures later – super happy with how it turned out.)
Today, Dad and I are putting in some shelving in T’s closet to better manage his clothes and Mom and I are making curtains for his room using the leftover fabric from the memo board we made. (Scored three yards of beautiful navy twill at the Methodist thrift shop for $4. Sweet!) Then if we get all that done, Mom and I are treating ourselves to a little trip to Ulta to play with the makeup.
The day is busy but my heart is full.
Have a nice day.