22 aug 2018

If you ask her, Ruthie hates Hobby Lobby. Because one time three years ago she toppled backwards in one of their small carts. She’s sure the same employee is still working there and will recognize her.

We finally convinced her to walk through the doors again and behold, how these aisles must look to a 3ft child. Pretending to be in a jungle ate up a good ten minutes.


It may have even inspired the big eagles nest they made later that day. I have to remind myself that telling them to not come inside unless they’re hurt or needing the bathroom may be a good thing despite their howls at me. They worked on and played in this nest for a good hour.


Ruth’s first day of first grade. She wanted to wear different earrings, and so while I was putting them in she said that last year another girl had these exact ones too but she never told her because she was shy. I asked if she was gonna be different this year and she said, ‘No, I’ll probably still be shy.’ Sweet Ruth.

17 july 2018

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Do you think they’re making cookies? Ruthie hoped Ryan would. She had the idea of making little pizzas with cookie cutters and really thought he wouldn’t notice the sauce, cheese, and pepperoni. Score 300 points for an extra 20 minutes of them playing with dough while I cleaned up though.

This is a weight-watchers recipe: 1 cup greek yogurt, 1.5 cups self rising flour (plus more to knead). It’s so easy and they love it.

And yes, a christmas gown in the middle of July. Why not?

5 apr 2018

Last night was the girls’ little recital where they show off what they learned. They asked a parent to come up and do a dance with them. Part of the dance includes tap and now I’m desperate to find a class for adults. But of course MY recital had to happen on the same day I texted a friend that I needed a personal shopper. So I was feeling a little…. masculine… amongst all these tutus.

Annie, not kidding, talked the whole time, making comments about everyone. I wanted to get her attention and give her the shhhh sign, but Ryan whispered that he liked how into it she was and if the teacher wanted her to stop she’s say something. Ruthie sat next to her, never making a peep, almost to the point of me wanting to get her attention too. They’re at both extremes.

But can you hear Annie in the video when the teacher says, “Point your toes!” Annie: “I am!!” ūüėā let’s just say, we’ve been having our own power struggle in the house too. But that’s for another post… maybe once I survive.

How To Almost Wreck a Bike AND Your Marriage

Once a month, Ryan and I are able to go out on a date thanks to a group of friends who take turn watching everyone else’s kids. If there were ever a time I wish grandparents lived nearby, it’d be now. But they don’t, so we circle the date on the calendar several times with a red marker and stare at it longingly through the mound¬†of poopy diapers and incessant whining.

It finally came around this past weekend and as we all walked to the building, Annie kept asking “Happy? Happy?” Why yes, Annie… You must’ve seen¬†my grin from three blocks down. I swear I love ya, but go on now. Play with your friends for FOUR HOURS. Yes!!!

As soon as neither were looking, we snuck out the door, raced to the van and headed to a nearby town for a little bike ride. A tandem bike ride. And for some reason, my mind immediately went to the word tantric whenever I said tandem. But I justified it and thought, hey if Sting has the stamina for 7 hours surely I can also ride for an hour.

We showed up at the bike shop, cute, in love, smiling as the guy oiled up our bike. He asked us if we needed helmets and we cackled at that silly¬†question. Of course not, can’t you see we’re¬†in love and riding as close to each other as humanly possible on two wheels? Only non in love people wear helmets.¬†So he rolled the bike out and off we went.

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We got this far from the building before our first full-on fight broke out.

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Like growls-from-the-depth-of-your-bowels fight. If you’ve always wondered how low your voice can get while still remaining a woman,¬†sit on the back of a tandem bike. Romance, giggling, and flirting quickly fly¬†out the window when only one person has control of the steering wheel AND brakes. Good God! No literally, good God please save me….and we hadn’t even left the parking lot yet.

We did several circles before venturing out into the downtown area¬†to hit up the trail. Ryan wanted to ride on the sidewalk to I guess make sure that anyone who¬†hadn’t seen us swerve our way¬†out of the parking lot, to have an up close and personal experience with our front wheel. I convinced him to ride on the street though because a) a bike lane is there for a reason and b) I wanted to get hit by a car.

After many hisses and screams¬†later….from the car drivers avoiding our inability to stay within the bike lane, we finally made it to the trail. We’ve walked this trail many times and didn’t think anything of it. Until we approached the¬†first of several hills that we’d conveniently forgotten about. You know when you’re cresting the top of a roller coaster and are powerless to stop it, all the while knowing there’s a 3% chance you’ll be the only person to eject from the seat 90 mph into the funnel cake stand? Yeah.

I took a deep breath and only quietly begged and pleaded to brake more, to not swerve, and to quit leaning so far this way or that. But with each person we passed (somehow we did remember to ring ring our little bell), my begging got louder and louder and reached it’s highest when up ahead we saw a sweet little girl on her pink bike riding towards us…and I knew. I knew¬†she was going to crash. Ryan rang the bell, we zoomed forward like a game of chicken, he rang the bell again, she looked up and crash there she went down in our lane.

To our right was a straight shot down the hill, to our left more walkers. Mr. Oil Luber’s words came back to me “If you need to stop, you better start braking long before you need to. You’re like a semi, it’ll take a while to slow down.” At the time, I was too busy wondering if he was really calling me a semi or not, but now I¬†got it. Holy crap girl, Mooooooooooove!!!! I¬†yelled as Ryan started¬†braking. Somehow, some way we managed to slow down enough to look like we were casually¬†biking along, enough to smile at the girl’s mom and give a jolly hello before picking up too much speed right afterwards.

We swerved around several more groups and Ryan apologized for¬†his insane bell ringing saying “Sorry, we’re barely in control here.” Nervous laughter by everyone.

But I tell you what. This was a great team building exercise, because before we got to our turnaround point, I started closing my trap and trusting that Ryan had control of us. And then I was able to look around and enjoy myself. It wasn’t entirely peaceful, but it became fun and we started laughing instead of barking.

So much so, that I wanted a pic of us on that darn bike. We stopped and waited for the man up head  walking toward us. He seemed nice and I asked if he could take our picture.

He looked straight ahead and kept walking. Sure, he was wearing headphones but I know he could feel us staring at him.

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Don’t worry Orangie McGee, we got that pic. A girl down the way took one. Well not exactly. Her friend said ‘yes’ and then made her take the photo. Why was everyone afraid of taking our picture?! And then we looked at the picture she took and saw the reason.
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Ryan apparently took the whole tantric word misuse a little too far. ¬†He said he’s going to return those jeans, and not because they puff out in the worst places, but because the puff measurement wasn’t doing him any favors.

Later we walked by a wedding and hoped we were in the background of photos.
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After busting our buns to get back before the store closed, I wandered around and saw this upcoming race ad in the window.
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If I weren’t 7 months along by then, I would’ve totally made Ryan do it with me. “Bonus cards for blasting clay pigeons” ….in the middle of a bike ride. So random…Yes, please.

Afterwards we got a bite to eat. Our goal was to take as long as possible at the restaurant since we’re normally rushing and feeding other mouths and not sinking into our chairs. Ever.

Step 1 was to order our drinks without feeling pressured to also order food at the same time in fear of the two little ticking time bombs exploding. In fact, we ordered drinks, she came back with them, and we asked her for another few more minutes to look at the menu. Holla!!!!!!

We placed our order¬†and I didn’t really notice what Ryan got. When he told me, and then said the price:
SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESthe most expensive thing on the menu. Whatever, I know those extra minutes before she came back were spent weighing pros and cons.

I remember when I turned 21 and my sisters came down to celebrate. We all got margaritas, but my oldest sister was pregnant. The bartender put lemonade in a margarita glass and sugar around the rim. So I asked our waitress to do the same. I wanted to feel sassy!!

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Meh. I couldn’t tell which was the water.¬†Sassiness fail. Luckily I had several other drink options to fall back on.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESYikes. We were thirsty after our ride.

It was a fun night for sure. And no joke, I think our marriage got stronger because of that bike. Next¬†date night¬†though, we said we’re going to find a place and just sleep for four hours. We’re exhausted.

Double Decker Weekends

Woah. These introverts had¬†two weekends in a row where (don’t say¬†it too loudly) people stayed over.¬†I guess we’re only semi-introverts, because we sure do¬†love¬†company.

First up was my sister. She¬†arrived Valentines day, just in time for me to receive a chocolate-covered¬†strawberry delivery from Ryan. It was sweet. I think¬†it was a groupon too. He remembers, when we were dating, me saying, $5 LIMIT! Looking back, I should’ve milked that holiday.

In walked Amy and Wiley. Ruth loves dogs.. and took advantage of following Wiley around whenever she could. And both nights Wiley would lay under the table to hide from her.
SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESThat night we celebrated Amy and¬†Des’ birthday. February is the gauntlet of birthdays in our family. Every day from Feb 11 to Feb 15¬†a birthday is had. Apparently May 7 to May 11 is a happening time between lovebirds.

I can see that. The birds are chirping, the breezes are¬†blowing, the¬†kids are still in school for¬†a couple more weeks so let’s get¬†it on before our energy is zapped all summer,¬† yeah… I see the romance.

Anyway, we had the birthday girls over and celebrated with a sundae bar, complete with a bucket of ice cream and a candelabra.
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If you haven’t heard (you must be living in a cave if you haven’t), this is my¬†year for surviving. I was just happy¬†candles were anywhere in the vicinity. I’m scared that Ryan may just get a¬†Bic lighter stuck in a bowl of Frosted Mini Wheats for his birthday coming up. I’ve only got three more months to use the Surviving excuse, so might as well get the most out of it.

Candles were blown, ice cream was eaten, and talks¬†of the¬†world;s end commenced. I had just gotten to a peaceful¬†mental place not 2 weeks ago¬†about that stuff. And then they started talking and now I’m¬†trying to widdle every piece of stone I see into an¬†arrowhead so I can “protect my babes.”

At some point we went to sleep and woke up to a cold, frigid day.

Ruthie wouldn’t eat her eggs. It was a stand off and mama always wins.

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Ryan wouldn’t¬†do a dare and eat some of Wiley’s¬†buffalo¬†jerky, so he was made to do three cartwheels in the front yard.
SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESThe mailman didn’t even acknowledge him.

Snow was still on the ground, so we made a mini snowman.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESAnd Ruthie felt compelled to eat the carrot nose.  I was happy she was eating veggies.
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After¬†spending a bit of time outside, we laid around and watched movies, one of which was Watcher in the Woods. If you haven’t watched this gem of a thriller, please go do so now. I’ll wait for you.

Done? I know, wasn’t the main girl so annoying? Anywho…

We literally sat and relaxed until Amy left the next morning. It was a rare (and welcomed!) experience for me, but I needed that rest for the energy that was about to come the following day:

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESMy sister Lisa and her two daughters!

There was a three minute window before toys were played with and coloring began. You know I loved it.

I cut up some oranges for them, but Ruthie¬†hoarded them like it was her job.SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESSAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESThat night we had a very breathy game of “kicking and hitting a balloon in the air without letting it touch the ground.” Welcome to Arkansas, kids, this is your¬†entertainment. It consisted of me and Lisa sitting our lazy bottoms on the couch while the little¬†‘uns ran around hitting the balloons to us. I pulled a muscle reaching my toe out to keep one from touching the ground.¬† It was pathetic.

It’s my year of surviving. Next year I’ll dive for that sucker.SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESThen we asked Uncle Ryan to read a story.

He pulled many accents out of his arsenal for his captive audience.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESSAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESThen Elayna read a book and tried her hand at accents.SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESThis was the result:SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESBefore we went to bed, the girls asked if we could go bowling the next day.¬†I said yes immediately, but then laid in bed wondering how I was going to survive. (It’s all about me this year.) My mind flipped through its mental pinterest and woke up with a suggestion.

Could we make our own bowling alley? It would be top-notch.

I braced myself for looks of disappointment, groans, and maybe an eye-roll, because I was sure they’d read my Mary Poppins crafts post, but¬†apparently they don’t read my blog because they¬†were both so excited! It made my heart happy.

We ate breakfast, cleaned up, and got to it.

Lisa and Kate were in charge of coloring the water bottle¬†pins. Elayna tackled the scoreboard and Ruthie.. I don’t know what Ruth was doing. Just do something and don’t whine. Please!

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESAfter an hour or so of prep work, we were ready to go outside under our carport area. The part of the house that I was actually super excited about when we first viewed the home.

Welcome to Boom Bowling Alley!

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Bowling on a sunny day? Yes, please.SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES
SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESRuthie whined only a little. Nothing a bag of popcorn couldn’t help stop. She robbed the concession stand even though we were all given fake money. Whatever.SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESI was able to not wear make-up and nurse at ease.SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES
Afterwards we ran around, played soccer, and got dirty. It was my favorite kind of day.SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES
The neighbor boy who is Elayna’s age came over to throw a Frisbee and I’ve never seen Elayna run so quickly before. Inside she went, stating that she really just wanted to “finish this page/chapter/series and can’t come back out.” Ah, the flutters of nervousness around boys. Maybe next time.

Ruthie was all sorts of flutters around Lisa’s nail polish. Immediately when she saw them, she said, “I like your nails!” Lisa thanked her and then off Ruthie went to the other room where it became quiet. That’s never a good sign so I checked in on her.

Ruthie!!

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESSAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESSAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESJust wanted to be like her auntie. Can’t blame her.SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES
Ruthie could have slept next to her cousin every night if I let her. And when they had to leave, she pulled out her makeshift violin (out of two sticks) and played a farewell tune.SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES
That tune only had to last a few days though, because we invited a family over that following¬†weekend for dinner.¬†Somewhere along the line, dinner¬†turned into a sleepover. They have six kids and¬†if I were barely¬†surviving with just two, I can’t imagine with six. So instead of making them come over and immediately pack the¬†crew up a¬†few hours later, I suggested they crash so the parents could¬†have alone time longer.

Which ended up being 2:30am and in Carolyn time that was like pulling an all nighter. Whew!

But I was strangely perky the next day even without coffee, because it was the most beautiful day outside, ever. Mid-February and I rocked a tank top and my skin got pink.

More girls = more people for Ruthie to stalk. They dove into the dress up box and came out looking awesome.

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And why shouldn’t they have? We had a picnic to get to people!
SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESTheir dad broke out (our) guitar (that still hasn’t been played by Ryan, ahem) and sang songs¬†for hours while we drank a beer in the sun. Probably the best combo on earth.SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESI heard snapping in a Z-formation behind me and turned around to see Ruth making her entrance. Work it, girl.SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESSAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESMagicians arrived¬†pulling¬†The Never-Ending Scarf out of the Hat trick. SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESAfterwards we tried to strike it rich, but only came up with random pieces of metal.SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESAs we were lounging inside, something caught my eye and I ran to the window.

Nuh uh.

Forts were in the process of being made, supported by sticks and designed around areas of clover “to keep it comfortable.”

But the kicker was the book laying on the ground.

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The Little Prince!

You have got to be kidding me.¬†Does anyone remember when I wrote a whole post on that darn book? Of course you don’t, so let me link it here: The Little Prince post.

Sigh. When I picture Ruthie playing outside by herself, it’s like this. A random book tossed to the side while she climbs a tree wrapped in blankets. You had better be taking notes, young missy.

The family stayed for dinner the next night and then had to leave.

Ruthie never saw them go.

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She was out.

But good thing she got some sleep because more visitors came the next afternoon! Jesyka and David! And even more music was played for us. I love these two!

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And just because I want to brag on him, David is part of a bluegrassy band called Sons of Otis Malone. You can’t not feel good while listening to them. I dare ya to feel bad:

See? Ya can’t.

All of these caring, funny, talented, and interesting people in our life and we so love having each of them in it.

When I had a mullet for a day….

I think it started with a college photo I uploaded to facebook.
MoiThat hair.

Whew!¬†And you know¬†I thought it looked¬†good. It was easy to style too, even when I had to use Carmex after the gel ran out, which was pretty much all of the time. And even though¬†it’s now¬†clear that¬†I was pushing the porcupine-skunk boundary to the¬†max, that hair still resonated with me as I uploaded it.

Get out of your funk it said. Do something!

So when both girls¬†were asleep at the same time, I¬†took a shower, brushed my hair forward into a ponytail¬†on top of my forehead and hacked away. No hesitation, no worries, nothing. I’m a cocky son of a gun during the scariest moments.

And why shouldn’t I’ve been, when I’ve got this before/after photo to gaze into:

(Source)

Yep, no need to worry. And look she even got some new specs that magically appeared after cutting off that tail. This is¬†the gift that just¬†keeps on giving, folks. One cut and you’re a knockout.

And then I looked up.

.

.

.

.

Wait for it….

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.

.

.

What the.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESNailed it.

Look at how that gray hair glistens. You can take the girl out of the skunk, but you can’t take the skunk out of the girl.

I quickly ran back into the bathroom and redid the whole process.¬†You know, because more of something is always a good thing?¬†And as I was leaned over the sink about to take the next cut, I heard Ruthie yell at the top of her lungs “I’ve got to go POOOOOOP“. Oh yeah, we’re on day 9 of potty training. Not even two weeks. My response?

Yeah, go for it Ruth… Your mom’s taking care of an emergency.”

I quickly cut my hair and ran down the hall before even looking in the mirror.¬†She¬†ended up doing¬†everything right, making it into the potty chair, and we had our usual discussion of what animal the poop looks like. She’s the one that started it, I just rolled with the punches. This time it looked like a bunny rabbit. Yeah, cool Ruthie, I gotta go.

I ran back into the bathroom and looked in the mirror.

What the.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESI mean, I guess it did look sleeker.

And look at these layers!

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No comment.

No, literally. No comments were made. Not even from my 2.5 year old, who is now trained under threat of expulsion that she shall scream “I LIKE YOUR HAIR” when mom comes out of the bathroom for an extended period of time. Because we all know I don’t spend the minimum quota of time required with a brush.

But nope, not a word.

I think she would’ve rather been sent packing into the wilderness and find wolves with better manes than this thing that is currently her mom.

So back to the bathroom I went and I just took the rest of my party hair in one hand and hacked away. It was pretty much Les Miserables all over again.

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Though no one paid me for my locks.
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Annie tried her best to photobomb the photo to protect your eyes, but I was too fast.
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And then it really went down hill because I started day dreaming about my life with this haircut.

Do I tilt my head to counter the diagonal line of the cut in the back? But what if my head stays like that? I would forever be in mid-valley girl head toss.

No.

Should I walk with Annie in front of me at all times, blocking the jagged layers?
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But when she’s 16, she’s gonna be heavier, so no that wouldn’t work either.

What if I try to be a hipster and act like this was intentional and you’re actually not cool for having a symmetrical hairstyle..
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No. And I think insulted the whole hipster community.

Then I walked through the room and pretended to be a bystander glancing at me.

My raw reaction was the push I needed….
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FINE, I’ll go to an actual hairdresser.

Ryan came home and I scooted out the door faster than you could say “…and maybe you should look into highlights…

I didn’t know where to go, so I drove down the main strip looking for “Walk-ins Welcome” and, aha! I spotted one. Ooooh, and it was so cute too. In an old little home with a handmade “We’re open!” sign in the window. I pulled around the back away from the front windows.

Because… well, because I was driving Ryan’s car. The one he just got in a wreck with. The one with no muffler where it sounds like a freight train bearing down the road. The one where if I pull down the shade thing, all the fluff and dirt from the past 15 years falls on your face.¬†Normally, I’m totally okay with all those quirks, especially if I can hop out with my hair straightened and full-on makeup. But not this night. Nope, I was a ball of self-consciousness. So when I pulled behind the cute little hairdresser house, my stomach sank when a hidden window appeared on the rear wall.

A window where three hairdressers were hanging out.

When I parked, they looked. All of them. And they continued looking. I looked back. We stared at each other for a full minute before I raised my hand in a semi “Yeah… what are you looking at, my HAIR???” move and stuck out my chin. One girl raised her hand back at me and did the same thing.

Oh, man, it is ON, I thought. How dare they laugh at my haircut when I am coming to them for help. Well, they’re not getting my business.

And I reversed out of that parking spot. But because I was driving a stick and because I was a ball of nerves, I stalled. So I had to restart the car and then peel out of the parking lot.

Good riddance, I thought. On down the road I went, refusing to acknowledge that I’d over-reacted. Denial is bliss, especially when truth can be drowned out by a bad muffler.

…and then I saw it. “Hair….And All That Jazz”.

HECK. YEAH. I swerved into the parking lot, but it was Closed.

Dang. It. ¬†I had visions of them putting a sequined cloak around me and quietly singing, “Rat a tat tat, rat a tat tat tat” while snipping away.

Ah well, on I drove and finally came to a no-big-deal salon in a random strip mall. But what drew me in was that no one was seen in the salon itself. Dead is probably not the adjective most people want associated with their hair salon, but for me it’s a perfect one.

I walked in and out came this guy that smelt of a too-short smoke break. But he was soft-spoken as I rambled on about my episode.

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Little did I know that I was about to have the best hair cut experience of my life. Not even joking. He made one gentle comment about the unevenness of the back and then that was all. I think he might be my hairstyling soulmate, because I hate chit-chatting during a hair cut. He let me sit there with my eyes closed as he slowly worked around my head. When his co-worker came back from her smoke break, she asked him several yes/no questions that he must have responded with nodding or shaking his head, because he uttered not a word and my peace was uninterrupted.

I left feeling shaky like I had just gotten a massage. It was wonderful.

And since I still had the keys and time alone, I headed to a store that I always have to rush through with two kids in tow: Hobby Lobby. When I heard a little toddler scream bloody murder and throw a tantrum, I smiled at the frazzled mom and continued on my slow… slow… slow stroll down the aisle.

Hi. This is me without kids staring at crafty things and home decor:
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But let’s take a look at the new do that Smoke Break McGee did for me.
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What a happy accident.

Eyeliner and Cigarettes

See who this is?

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It’s¬†the spokesperson of FWA¬†(Future¬† Weirdos of America). The pink flannel, the wind jacket, the shoes. Oh, the shoes. Black patent leather lace-up boots. It really should be called Future Loners of America, but then I remembered that even Jared Leto had friends while wearing those shoes in My So Called Life.

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So at least there’s that. But all I see is Ruth with¬†raccoon eyes¬†smoking cigarettes behind the school.

And probably still using sidewalk chalk as her drawing medium.
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I’m not taking all the blame either, because she’s the one that pulled those boots out of the basket and asked to wear them.
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Dang, she does make me smile, though, that weirdo of mine. I like weird. And I hope she is.

But at this moment, she’s not weird. She’s sick. Really sick. Like, she lays on the couch while Ryan and I watch back to back episodes of old Arrested Development sick. But she’s not laughing.
See? Weirdo.

It seems like only yesterday that she was reading her books, always stopping on the Bookmobile page.
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And it only seems like yesterday that we rolled her up burrito-style after a long bath. DSC_6882

She laid there for at least three minutes without moving. I can never roll burritos right.¬†Stuff from the middle always blow out the bottom and her legs are no exception. We only kissed that¬†burrito stuffing though. We didn’t wipe¬†it off our sweater and¬† plop¬†it into our mouth like we do at the dinner table.

Yes, that was just a few days ago. But now she’s in day three of an all-day napping marathon. It’s been hard work for me. I’ve had to sit next to her on the couch and read,

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or lay next to her on the bed reading or sleeping. Someone’s gotta do it.

But she has woken up occasionally to moan and call out for us.

Or to puke.

If there were a Mom-olypmics, I’m pretty sure I’d medal in the “Catch The Puke In Your Hand” event. You should see how fast my hand shoots out to catch it. I’d probably only get third place, because the silverist would¬†catch the puke¬†while changing¬†a poopy¬†diaper with her other hand. The gold medalist would catch it, reduce it in a skillet, and turn it into some disease-fighting tonic.

So yeah, just third, but at least I’d make the stand.

I do miss my busy little girl, but I can’t deny that spooning¬†her for 20 hours a day has been¬†a highlight of the season. I sure do love her.

Stalking and White Elephant, a perfect pairing

We had a good visit to Kansas City over Christmas. Ruth was teething, I was prego hormonal, and Ryan drank eggnog and whiskey like it¬†flowed from the fountain of youth. So yeah, we had a good visit. But with that combo, I don’t know¬†if anyone¬†else that saw us had a good one.

After a non-eventful drive up, in which Ruth screamed for twenty minutes, then passed out until ten minutes¬†before arriving to¬†grandma and grandpa’s house¬†during which time¬†we sang christmas carols together. I catch her singing a lot to herself now¬†and the songs,¬†I’m pretty sure, carry notes from Les Mis. The child (and Ryan) have been made to watch clips from the Les Mis 10th anniversary¬†about everyday for the past three months in preparation¬†for the premiere. Ryan has asked Ruth on more than one occasion to try to act interested for the love of gawd because doesn’t she know I’m pregnant and sensitive? But I’ve noticed¬† that he hums and sings it all the time now, so dost thou protest too much methinks?

We sang songs for ten minutes, and arrived happy….. to an empty home. Merry Christmas. My parents were at weekly their bridge club. They have more of a life than me. But that’s good. It makes me¬†glad¬†to know they’re keeping busy. When they got home, Ryan made a round of egg nog drinkie¬†poos¬†(minus me) and we all cheersed to Christmas. Then they breathed fire. By the end of the week, he mastered the ratio.

The next day, Ryan and I braved the mall to pick up some last minute gifts at the American Girl store. The shoppers there freaked me out. An older lady was standing in line behind us with her husband. After seeing the latest snow outfit on a little doll mannequin she squealed and gushed that they needed to get that too. She needs to find a bridge club. Stat.

When we got home, my sister had¬†arrived¬†to spend the night. So we took the opportunity to stalk my parent’s newish neighbor. A single (we think) chiropractor (found out by another neighbor) who lives with his sister (this fact has not been verified.)¬† DSC_6547
He comes out to sit on his porch for a cigarette a couple times¬†a day which lets us peer through the window and analyze the situation. Apparently he breathes in and breathes out, from what we gather. I’ll need to use the binoculars next time to double check that. As we discussed various ways Amy and I could casually approach him (you know: giving a christmas card, Wiley going poo in his yard, asking for a smoke), another neighbor walked up to his door with a package in hand.

Scandal! What did she think this was anyway? Christmas? Whatever.

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That night we played Taboo, girls against boys, and said that the losing team had to introduce themselves to the chiropractor. When we lost, my mom said sternly that she was not going to introduce herself. We suggested that maybe if she did, she’d get cookies every once in a while. This was not well received.

The next day we laid around until the White Elephant party at my aunt and uncle’s house. Don’t let this relaxed face fool you.
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Because this is how Ruth was most of the night:

Every party has one, so Ruth decided to be¬†the pooper that night. Literally. Three times over… because that’s what happens when you only pack one diaper thinking it’ll be plenty, thus causing you to mooch off your cousin’s daughter who is 8 months older than your own.

We took an opportunity to get some group shots. My brother and his wife must not have shown up yet. They were en route from Arkansas. We’re always amazed at how fast they can get there. It’s been a long time since we’ve made a non-stop venture.

And the girls… one of which recently got a new haircut. At a¬†get together¬†not long before, literally no one commented on the cut. Finally someone said, “Carolyn you got your hair cut!” and me, literally unable to not be self-deprecating said, “Yeah, it’s my official mom cut.” And they said, “Yeah….” with voice trailing off and then changing the subject.

What. EVER!!!! It made me laugh.

After Matt and Des¬†did¬†arrive, an interesting thing happened. Des had brought some of her dad’s¬†moonshine, bulgarian-style. That’s cool and all, except when it’s in a Fanta¬†bottle. Except when a niece¬†asks for some soda and pours Fanta¬†for herself then takes a swig. You’d think Ryan had poured it for her because she breathed fire for a bit herself. Merry Christmas Elayna!DSC_6554
Can you find a culprit leaning against the wall? This was after the Fanta label had been peeled off in hopes of less confusion. I’d still think it was coke.

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Ruth was only happy (and by happy, I mean, not crying. A scowl thrilled me to no end at this point) when she was in one of her grandparent’s arms. Here she is with her grandma,¬†great Aunt Mary, and cousin Kaylee.DSC_6555
…not happy unless¬†in my arms,
or in a cousin’s arms. Or with food.
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Whatever it takes. Just please stop crying and pooping.DSC_6559
So after some chit-chatting and catching up, we dug into the meal. Homemade meatballs and pasta. Mmmm! Aunt Sue is the only real Italian. The rest of us are just wannabes.
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Next up was White Elephant, which is always fun. But there was yet another sad story. First it was Elayna getting chest hair from the Bulgarian moonshine. Then my nephew, Will, during White Elephant.
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It was his first year to participate and was really excited.DSC_6568
He watched us open our gifts, analyzed them, decided not to steal any and so decided to choose a present to unwrap.
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He looked over the presents carefully then chose one.
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What luck! He’d unwrapped an X-box (or something like that)!!!! He’d been wanting one¬† and he looked at his mom¬†with so much¬†happiness.¬† Lisa whispered that he might want to open the box, because things aren’t always what they seem in White Elephant land.

And what did he find inside the box?

A six pack of beer.
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He was sad, but from the looks of it, his dad was happy.
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Maybe next time someone will bring an X-box, Will. Don’t give up.

Next up, Christmas, bad singing, and a Jamaican relative.

A Bookworm Holding Court

I’ve sunk down into the depths of a stomach bug and re-emerged a lighter, more cleansed version of myself. There’s nothing worse than that moment of sickness when you think the rest of your life will be spent laying on the couch, moaning with nausea. I pictured holidays, birthdays, Ruthie’s wedding, with me in the exact same position, the couch being¬†the only thing moved. I’m sure she wouldn’t mind a couch as the first pew with me grabbing my stomach and hurling in between vows.

But then one night you actually have a full night’s sleep, and you start to hope.

Well, it’s over. And I’ve spent the last two days giving make up kisses to Ruthie for the ones I had to sacrifice in the name of hygiene. She’s learned a new tactic for deflecting them though.

It’s the ole “hold a book in front of my face” technique. I’m so happy she’s reading, that it doesn’t dawn on me I just got denied.

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This¬†particular refusal was brought to me by¬†a Mark Twain classic: A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court. I left her to it, which may have been a mistake, because apparently she thinks King Arthur is real and that people still act kingly.

…as demonstrated when her friend Blanche came over one day.

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I saw them talking in front of Ruthie’s new favorite chair… that conveniently looks like a throne.

Awww, I thought, Ruth’s showing her how the fabric on this throne was made by a local weaver.
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And then she had Blanche help her up.

Okay, I thought. She’s showing Blanche how to sit on thrones.

Followed by: Oh. My. Gosh. RUTH. It is NOT a throne. You can’t make people bow down to you. I mean, at least let her be a lady-in-waiting.
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Poor Blanche. If this is a sign of how Ruthie plays with other kids, I’m in for a long, scary road.

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As I discussed with the girls about equal opportunity in the work force, Ruthie gave me the once over.

And I looked down at myself.

Why am I wearing a bright pink satin nightgown?

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While Ruth debated about throwing me in the stocks, I begged for her forgiveness of my garish clothing.

She agreed that I’d be spared if spaghetti were served.

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And so this is how an Arkansas Housewife survived Queen Ruth’s Court.

PS, sorry for the such granulated photos. They were taken on my phone and I apparently don’t know how to let in natural sunlight to help mitigate it.

A Good Saturday

I love me a full day. Granted, ‘full’ could be also construed as watching a Survivor marathon 8 hours straight, so please feel free to define it any way you’d like.

But today I felt productive: both in chores and quality time.

Everyday we officially¬†wake up to this little lady staring at us. I say officially because it’s only the last couple of¬†hours that¬†she’s in bed with us. Yes, I’m still breastfeeding. And yes, I have moments where I want to chop off my breast Amazon woman-style just to be done with it, but most other times I enjoy holding this growing girl in my arms.


So when she wakes up at 5:30 for her early morning feeding, I stumble back into bed with her and we sleep for a couple more hours, if we’re lucky. She wakes up, yells at both of us mamamamamadadadadada, then Boo (minus the K), and I reach down for a couple books for her to read as we close our eyes a little while longer.

Some days we have energy, others we don’t.

This day we did, so Ryan fixed us his homemade sausage, cheese, and egg mcmuffins. Protein points for this pregnant lady.
I literally could eat those all day long, but controlled myself and managed to squeeze a day’s worth into a morning meal. I took over breakfast duty to let Ryan and Ruth watch Saturday morning cartoons, which consisted of (what else?) He-Man & She-Ra the movie.

Ruth just wanted to read. That’s all she wants to do now. She’ll pick a book from the shelf, hand it to you, then scoot backwards into your lap. No matter what I’m doing, I stop to read to her because if there’s one activity I want her to enjoy, it’s reading. No batteries, no electricity, no controllers needed. Just you, the printed page, and preferably something to eat. My mom remembers holing up eating buttered popcorn with a¬†book in hand when she was younger. It will take me less than a nano second to continue that tradition. Because, really, the only qualification needed¬†for a family tradition is buttered popcorn.

So while Ruthie read by the sunshine, I hung out laundry in the sunshine.

To be able to still hang out clothes in mid-November is wonderful.

I had vintage laundry cart that I’d wheel up and down the line. It looked like this:

(source)

But the cloth was coming apart and it was hard to transfer clothes easily from the dryer, across the living room, to the vintage hamper. So I’d have to use a regular platic hamper to make the transition. One thing I hate is having several different things that do the same job. So after searching online, I found this guy:


(Source)

I want it if only to have an excuse to wear a jean on jean ensemble. Whomever has me as a secret santa, this is available for just $40 more than our max budget of ten bucks. Go ahead, splurge.

After I got a little sun on my face, I plopped chicken into the crockpot to cook for the day.

After it’s done, I use the bones and fat along with left over vegetables to make broth overnight. After straining it Sunday morning, I was able to get 10 cups out of the deal. Two birds, one stone. Lovely.

After a morning nap, the family drove to The Dollar Store because we were on a mission. I wanted to start a family tradition each Thanksgiving of volunteering, but Ruth is not old enough to scoop soup out without a baby spoon. And I can’t imagine the agony of being hungry only to have your food ladled 1 teaspoon at a time.

I thought we could do something else in the meantime. We chose to participate in Operation Christmas Child. You fill up a “shoebox” with toys, sanitary items, etc, attach a label with the age and sex of who you are buying for, and drop it off at various locations. The label also has a bar code that the company scans so you can track where your package is going.

Since there were three of us, we had three shoeboxes, one for each of our sexes and for the age range closest to us. 1 male: 10-14 years, 1 female: 10-14 years, and 1 female: 2-4 years.

Ruthie was a blur of excitement as we shopped for her girl.


I had absolutely no idea what to buy the boy. Ryan said, “Don’t worry, I got this.” And promptly came back with an armful of boy games. I nixed the snot rockets, but everything else was solid. Even though Ryan would be a perfect dad for girls, I still hope he gets a little boy someday. He would be so excited to build and destroy with a mini-him.

Ruthie, in the meantime, really only wants a green apple and she’s happy. Not quite into destruction… unless it involves spaghetti.

I’ll give you three seconds to spot my belly button. Go.


We arrived home after buying a ton of items only to have it total to much less than expected. Gotta love the dollar store. And gotta not love walking in and seeing that you never plugged in the crock pot. Ah, the trials of a homemaker.

It almost ruined my day. Almost.

But luckily we headed to the park and that always perks me up.

Ruthie thinks¬†she’s¬†a big girl playing on the slide by herself. Don’t you dare try to help her either. And Lord help us if another kid shows up, because then Little Miss Show Off comes out to play. A boy¬†joined her in the playhouse and she at first stood there, repeating¬†‘Hi’ a thousand times. He didn’t notice. So as he hesitated at the slide entrance, she got a determined look on her face, basically pushed¬†him out of the¬†way, and slid down. ¬†



Do you like how we never take her out of her pj’s?¬† I mean, if we’re all¬†in pj’s¬†then we’re just a really cute mitchy-matchy family, right?

Besides, after our park jaunt, we went home and immediately all took a nap. So basically we’re just¬†super prepared.

When we woke up, dinner was made and kombucha was drunk. By Ryan, at least. It’s not advised to start¬†drinking kombucha¬†regularly if you’re pregnant. It’s really good for your digestive system, but it detoxes your body, so you don’t want the detox to think the foreign entity trying to grow in your uterus is not supposed to be there. If you’d already been drinking it regularly, I guess I’ve read it’s safe.

And since Ryan’s stomach was troubling him the past couple weeks, what better timing to force him to start!

I mean, look at this!! Doesn’t it look yummy???
Mmmmmmmm, pulling out the mother. Tasty!
You don’t eat the mother. Save it for your next batch. With each batch a new mother is grown. You can see in the first picture there are several mothers floating at the bottom. Pretty appetizing.¬†
But for how much they’re going for in health food stores, it’s nice to see I can get a good batch out of only 4 bags of tea, water, and sugar. Amazing.

So after Ryan choked it down (although he did say it tasted like apple juice), we played with Ruthie, hiding Cookie Monster in various places for her to find.
Thankfully she’s a serious child. And finding cookie monster and pulling off his head was serious business indeed.
The day felt long, like mid-summer-it’ll-never-go-dark day. And we needed that, big time.

Hunkering down before the holiday storm. And I couldn’t ask for a better pair to spend it with.

Mary Margaret’s Dress

Ruth’s middle name is Margaret if you didn’t know already. Named after this fine lady right here:

I was piddling around on Ancestry and found this info about her wedding. I love reading details like this. “Her only jewelry was a string of pearls, a gift of the groom.” Ah yes, Mary Margaret, we have simple jewelry tastes in common.

One of the loveliest of early spring weddings occurred this morning at 9:30 o’clock at Sacred Heart church when Miss Mary Margaret XXX,daughter of Mrs. Mayme XXX, and Mr. Walter XXX, son of Mr. and Mrs. James XXX, exchanged their marriage vows. The Rev. Isador Smith.O.S.B., sang the nuptial high mass and officiated at the single ring ceremony. The altar was decorated with hydrangea and other Easter flowers and wedding music was sung by the children of Sacred Heart school. Miss XXX was lovely in her wedding gown of white satin fashioned with a sweetheart neckline and aisle width train. The yoke was outlined in seed pearls and the long sleeves were pointed over the wrist. Her fingertips veil edged with lace, fell from a coronet of seed pearls and she carried an arm bouquet of white roses and white sweet peas. Her only jewelry was a string of pearls, a gift of the groom. Miss Irene XXX, Huron, cousin of the bride, was bridesmaid. She wore a dress of pale pink chiffon styled with a sweetheart neckline and short puff sleeves which were trimmed with lace. She wore a halo of pink flowers and veiling in her hair and her arm bouquet was pink roses and pink sweet peas. Aloysius XXX of Nortonville, was the best man. Following the ceremony a wedding breakfast was held at the home of the bride’s mother for the wedding party and immediate families. The beautifully appointed bridal table was centered with a three tiered wedding cake topped with a miniature bride and groom. Pink candles in crystal holders were placed on either side of the cake. A wedding dance will be held this evening at 9 o’clock at Sacred Heart parish hall for the friends of the couple. After a short wedding trip Mr. and Mrs. XXX will be at home with his parents, route 4. For going away Mrs. XXX will wear a rose colored dress with a blue coat, small black hat, and black accessories. The bride of today is a graduate of the Everest high school and was formerly employed at Dilgert’s. Recently she has been employed at Woolworth’s where she resigned her position. The groom attended Nortonville high school and for the past number of years has been farming with his father.¬†

I like to wonder what the wedding dance was like too. Did my grandpa (infamously a non-dancer) waltz around with her on this special day? Did they do the Chicken Dance? Or form two lines and dance down the middle a la Soul Train? Wish I could have been a fly on the wall.

But we were able to connect with her in one small, special way, thanks to my Aunt M. A gown made for Mary Margaret when she was just a babe was delivered via my parents for Ruth to try on.

This was for her to attend a wedding and I can’t believe it’s almost 100 years old now. I love how Ruth is pulling up the dress to show off her ankle. What a rebel. I’ll have to keep my eye on this one.

I miss my grandparents and envy those that still have them. One time, when I was about 15, I asked my dad’s dad a whole bunch of questions on how they ended up in Kansas City from Arkansas. I remember thinking, you have to remember all of these details, Carrie! But of course, never wrote anything down.

And that’s what I love the most. The details. Was this person loud? Quiet? Obnoxious? Sweet? Sit on people’s heads and fart on them? Hide behind corners to scare their sisters? How did they make it through the Depression? What did they eat? What was dinner-time like?

All of these things. And more. I so wish I knew.

Weekend Recap

We had a whirlwind weekend, with family visiting, reunions to attend, and alma maters losing. I was worn out come Sunday night. But it really doesn’t take much to wear me out anymore. Just getting the mail is cause for a 2 hour nap. And don’t get me started about using the letter opener. Whew!

I did manage to squeeze in a game of scrabble with the parents, though. The weather was beautiful, so we opened up the windows and sipped on coffee. It felt like springtime and after years of denying it, I’ve finally admitted to myself that I am a Spring lover. More energy, more spunk, more liveliness. Can’t get enough.

I think they rigged the letters so that I’d come out with S N O B. Maybe I should quit teasing them about seeing my life flash before my eyes when they forget this or can’t remember that. Naw, I’ve convinced myself it keeps them young. They probably didn’t slip in O B O E, though, because they knew I’d subject them to a rendition of one of my favorite movie lines in Amadeus: And then high above, an oboe…¬†¬†or something like that, I can’t remember. ¬†Go rent it, now.

But don’t watch it with me, I’m warning ya.

I’m the mob boss of movies-that-i’ve-already-seen watching. If you so much as glance at the popcorn bowl and not look at the screen, you best be ready for the array of verbal bullets shot at you. Are you watching? Why aren’t you watching? You’re not watching. You need to see this part for the next part! Fine, hurry and take a sip of your coke, but your eyes better be glued to the screen, so help me.

I’m not proud of it, but can literally not stop myself. My mom likes to remind me of the time when we all watched Inception over Christmas last year. No one understood what was going on, but were afraid to turn to look at me and ask any questions for fear of my wrath. Then, when the movie was over, they did turn around to say something to me and saw I had left the room at some point during the film to go to bed. So the whole movie was them spending inordinate amounts of energy sitting still, facing the screen, and not uttering a sound.

Sorry.

Let’s see… what else did we do. Oh, I know.

We stared at Ruthie’s Chubby McChubberson’s legs.

She knew I was putting her on display for this photo. Lucky for her a circus performer hasn’t travelled through asking for her to join, because I think I could make some big bucks off of those rolls.

Come right up and see the newest attraction ~ The Thigh-Baby! This baby is literally turning into a thigh, folks… Watch the rolls take over her body in front of your very eyes!¬†

Dolla Dolla Bills, yo.

Alrighty, what else.¬†We did a two-stop extravaganza to watch KSU lose to UofA in the Cotton Bowl. Sigh. We do love our Wildcats. First, we popped into R’s brother’s place “Uncle Favorite”, as he calls himself, and listened to Ruth scream bloody murder for 45 minutes. She must have already seen this football game and was mad that I had gone to the bathroom in the middle of it. Just like her mama, I’m so proud.

We quickly bundled her up, stuck a pacifier in her mouth, and drove to my brother’s house. Remember the weather? Yeah, it was taken advantage of as we sat around a fire watching the game outside. I ran into the backyard and stopped short because, I don’t know if M noticed or not, but there was a homeless person that sat down to warm himself. That guy on the right, see him? I guess he wasn’t hungry, just needed a place to watch the game, so I went back inside.

But he followed me! I was about to run to the car for one of the Blessing Bags when I realized it was just my dad… in about every random piece of winter clothing he could find. I must get my style sense from him. Thanks, man.

All in all, a good solid weekend.

We did one more thing over the weekend that excited to talk about… a reunion of blossoming friendships. And blossoming babies. Too fun.

Who let the freak out? (aka, my first night out since Ruth)

Last Friday we went to a masquerade ball. It was our first night out by ourselves since D-Day, or I guess it should be called R-Day.

And actually, it probably really was like D-day for everyone else. No one saw the Carrie-bomb that was about to be dropped on them. It was like I was 16 all over again, attending a senior’s party. Only this time with cleavage. And a boyfriend. And no braces. And a girdle on. And no job. And – okay, I better stop while I’m ahead.

But I’m probably a good 1% cooler now than I was in high school. Thank you milk production. Man, if I had only known then that all I needed was a baby. I could’ve had better fitting tops¬†and my own MTV show.

Ruth was terrified of us. Or she can see into the future.

I literally acted as if I had never been let out of the house before. Letting my mouth, feet, and hands (I’m a gesticulator) run wild.

Couldn’t help it, though. First off the place was fantastic. Above one of our little downtown shops, in a space that was about to be renovated into apartments. The walls were cracked and crumbling, antique-y chairs were used as a lounge, mason jars with lights were used to illuminate. Ah, loved it. The juxtaposition of velvet chairs, wood floors, and crumbling walls? Candy for the eyes.

courtesy of someone on facebook

I forced people to dance with me (The band was awesome. Is there anything better than acoustic versions of Snoop Dog & Violent Femmes?), I about karate chopped a guy’s head off with my excited hand gestures, and completely put my foot in my mouth several times. The scariest moment came when I saw D, my midwife’s assistant, at the party. We hugged and another girl asked how we knew each other.

“How do we know each other? Well, she looked down there for 4 straight hours.”

And I may or may not have used the word hoo-haw.

Just keeping it classy, folks. Keeping. It. Classy. High school Carrie had edged me out at that point.

courtesy of someone on facebook

But, can I raise a glass of vino in my honor for one thing, though? When the time came for the crowd to get into the inevitable large circle, so we can break out in the middle with our favorite early 90s moves, I did not, I repeat, did not do The Carlton. Talk about self-control. Because that had been haunting me since J’s last shindig.

You know The Carlton, don’t you? Everyone knows The Carlton.

It was pretty much my first time meeting everyone, and much to R’s horror, I whipped out The Carlton. In an 80s prom dress. And high freaking heels.

Do you see what’s coming? Literally two arm swings in I landed wrong and had to stumble out of the circle in shame. We quickly left afterwards.

courtesy of someone on facebook

Not this time, though. I held back in spite of the possible redemption and R was proud. So I immediately said or did something to make him shake his head. Can’t let him wonder if I’ve changed for the better for too long.

And wouldn’t you know it, I ended up hobbling my way out to the car anyway.

Girl hasn’t worn heels (let alone dance in them) in what seems like ages. But the blisters were well worth it, my friends. Well worth it.

featherBUNNY

I normally don’t talk about specific companies or products that I purchase, but can I drop a line about¬†featherBUNNY?

Feathers are all the rage now, aren’t they? Well, at least around here they are… so I guess that means they were hot a couple years ago somewhere else. Oh well.

featherBUNNY has great feather-like extensions that are perfect alternatives to the real rooster feathers being sold on the market.

But let’s get serious, the most important part is how they affected me. They changed my attitude & ambiance so completely.

It was nothing short of a miracle, really.

I showed up feeling really drab and dull. No energy, no pizazz. Everyone was annoyed. They yelled, “Hey you! Over there with the obviously padded push-up bra! Quit being a fuddy duddy.” And then I heard them whisper, “Man, all she just needs are some featherBUNNY feathers.”

featherBUNNY feathers? What are — ”

and I was quickly covered with a blanket and drug into the bathroom… same dull expression. The thought that I was being kidnapped couldn’t even change that gloomy face.

And then she whipped out a light brown feather. This person must know me because despite the myriad of colors in her case, she settled on one that would give me a subtle highlighted look.

It was put in my hair…

STEP AWAY FROM THE DANCE FLOOR PEOPLE. I’m ready to party! No RedBull was used during the application of the feather. This was the real deal.

Could the feather really give me this much energy and spirit? Apparently so.

I needed something to balance it out though, and still wanting to go natural, she suggested the gray feather.

Rude. But true… and out came my inner Jessica Rabbit.

Parrrrdon me, boyssss.

Wow, I haven’t felt this sexy since dressing up as a girl from the 18th century.

Seriously, though. If you want an inexpensive way to give your look a little kick without the permanence of actually coloring your hair (don’t forget you’re saving a rooster!), check out featherBUNNY.

Also check her out on Facebook and you could be entered to win free extensions along with feather earrings coming in August.

You won’t be disappointed!

BREAKING NEWS: Baby Bump Sighting Confirmed

Our investigative team has confirmed that Carolyn was spotted openly displaying her baby bump. For the past several weeks we’d heard rumors that she’s been wearing tighter fitting tops, sometimes tied in the back to accentuate said bump.

Yesterday was our first day to catch a glimpse. We had reporters staked out at what she calls The Shack, hiding between cows in the neighboring yard.

Carolyn walked blissfully unaware to The Shack holding letters of some sort. Could these have been from the mailbox? We’ll have our team stay an extra day to confirm that.

Before entering the house structure with a roof, she stopped to check out what we think was a killdeer’s nest. It’s believed that she really liked that darn bird and misses its “broken” wing.

[updated on Thursday 5/19 @ 4:11 pm] Sources have confirmed that the dress worn in yesterday’s sighting was not, I repeat NOT, the dress bought from Target. We’ve been informed that at Target’s dressing room, after trying on a dress, a five-year-old looked at her and said, “That old lady has the same dress as mom!” Carolyn seems to be recovering fine from the shocking news.

We sent our investigative team out to Carolyn’s work today to try and catch more sightings. One managed to hide in the teacher’s lounge.

But was instantly discovered.

Carolyn ran away trying to hide that humongous thing that we shall no longer call a bump. Rather the baby mountain. She seemed to really enjoy the nachos at lunch though.

Stay tuned for more breaking news.

Just in case you were wondering..

Here are some dos and don’ts of ¬†deciding to camp while attending a dance workshop on a blistery cold & windy weekend.

Yeah, go ahead and pack a really yummy healthy lunch. Some no-knead bread, a jar of carrot juice, maybe even some avocados.

And, sure, why not make a cozy fire to sit around.

Yes, of course use your new cast iron skillet skills for supper that night. You know, the ones you learned at this class. Only, try not to get a flat tire.

But do not.

I repeat, Do Not….

only pack skirts to wear, because you want to “look cute”. You will freeze your ass off and you’ll also get such a bad cold that it will threaten your Food Network getaway with a girlfriend the following weekend.

Just in case you were wondering, that is.

“It’s (still not) my birthday” month

This entire month, I’ve been planning (and not planning) things, using my birthday as the excuse. It’s gotten to the point where I don’t think it will ever arrive, it’s taking so long.

It kind of reminds me of a friend, who will remain nameless, that literally told me of the conception of her child the day after said event occurred. It felt like she was carrying that kid for years. Who knows, maybe she did, because he came out as big as a three year old, I swear.

Speaking of which, is it possible to give birth to an 8-yr old? That’s what I would like to do once the C & R family starts growing. I love that age.

But anyway, back to me. (oh Lord, am I now stealing the spotlight back from the twinkle of a twinkle in my eye?) My birthday. I’ve been using it as an excuse for everything.

Like when I forced some friends on a pontoon boat. It’s my birthday.

Or when I reached for that second brownie. It’s my birthday.

Or when tagging along while my bro-in-law was buying his bday gift, I bought the same thing for mine. It’s been a month and I still haven’t worn them. N, on the other hand, wore them out the door and into Starbucks where everyone asked him where he uses them. This is literally an hour after the purchase, so we had the pleasure of watching him lie to the general public on “the best” places to wear them. “Well, I normally use them canoeing, but they’re also very comfortable to work out in as well.” Oh, it was priceless… and it was also my birthday, you know.

Or when unable to find the remote to watch a movie, asked R to please press play because if he hadn’t heard already… it’s my birthday.

Or indulging myself with a 50 cent pair of salt/pepper shakers because they are reminiscent of R and me. It’s MY BIRTHDAY.

Or sleeping in that extra 15 minutes and forgoing the Shaving of the Legs. Leave me alone, it’s my birthday.

Or going to a scotch-tasting with a co-worker and realizing that I really can’t fake making a face when drinking it. I tried to cover it up by smiling extra hard when the guy came by, but it only resulted in him thinking I actually liked it and thus giving me a little bit more the next round. The irony here is that as each round increased in liquid amount, so did my liking of it. My head the next day did not. However, it was my birthday, so I let it slide.

And lastly, having a Wuthering Heights experience on the shoreline of Rhode Island.

Thank you for the birthday surprise trip, R.

And still, it is not my birthday yet. Even I’m annoyed. ¬†I hope we do nothing, because, you guessed it… It’s my birthday (tomorrow).

Back to School Clothes

I have found the jackpot, people.

In the next town over is a newly renovated Goodwill that I happened upon in my adventures of back to school shopping (I go back to work in a week).

Oh my.

Now I’m not one to search out labels, but if I were to choose my two current favorites, they would be Ann Taylor and Eddie Bauer. And this place must have been where the James Deans of those clothes go to heaven. They were gently used and had not a lot of wear.

Score!

I came home with 7 articles of clothing for just over $30. How can you beat that?

Now if I can make a commitment to not count “running fingers through my hair” as brushing it and to not frantically throw war paint on my face in the car ride to work, I may just look somewhat presentable.

Jane Austen Festival, Part Two

On our way to Louisville, mom asked me to try on The Dress. She’s had this puppy since the late 60s when she wore it. So with a groan, I grabbed it from her knowing it would end just like when we tried on The Wedding Dress: A tug here and tug there only to get it over my knees. Man, she was a twig.

So I grabbed the thing, went in the back of the RV and threw it on, all the while trying not to be thrown from one side of the vehicle to the other. Afterwards, I noticed that all of the windows were open to the road.

You’re welcome drivers of Interstate 277.

So you  already know the outcome: Lots of letting out.

Whatever. Women were fuller back then anyway, right. Right?

Once arrived, we suited mom up in her (Bavarian maid?) outfit and headed over to the festival. We didn’t have long to explore the grounds because we’d signed up for a reticule class.

It should’ve been called the ridicule class, because my gawd I have no skills in sewing or embroidery.

At one point, mom asked something to the effect of “Can you not even tie a knot?”. And I replied that she had had almost 30 years to teach me.

But no, I can’t tie a knot with thread, thankyouverymuch, so please just do it for me Bavarian Maid. And after you’re done, go bring me some tea.

After the class, we wandered around the property slowly due to mom’s back. But this gave us ample time to throw myself on unsuspecting people trying to enjoy their day.

Oh, you’re relaxing in the shade and eating lunch? Well let me join you!

Click

Oh, you’re seconds from going on stage to do a runway show? Well let me join you!

Click

Oh, this is an all-male club? Well, then I’m definitely joining you because it will make the boys on my husband’s side annoyed.

Click

Oh, you’re trying to have a pleasant walkabout with your husband? Let me join you!

Click

And it went on and on and on…. No one escaped the tornado that was Carolyn (and her maid).

Later, we toured a refurbished home on Locust Grove.

Mom couldn’t make it to the top floor, and how she would’ve enjoyed this tour guide! She was so serious and engaging. “…oh now this is really interesting!” and so on and so forth.

After the tour was over, mom asked what time our tea was to be served because she was¬†quite hungry. Wondering why I wasn’t on par with her hunger level, I remembered having found her near some peculiar-looking larger than life plants.

So we headed to the tea room for lunch.

On both days we had interesting companions.

On day one, we sat with a quirky lady (and you know how much I love quirkiness) from Chicago as well as her sister.

The next day we found some kindred spirits. A mother and her daughter had come to share the day together.

We first toasted to Jane Austen, clinked our glasses, and then cried. No seriously. We teared up. It started when J asked if we watched the series Cranford. Not two seconds after she got the word out, mom and I squealed. And then promptly teared up.

It’s hard to explain. But when you meet people who have the same exact interests as you and love it to the same degree as you, it just makes you feel connected to them.

After tea, we had another class to attend. But the sunny skies and green grass called out to me. So I parted ways with mom and set off on my own. I could’ve walked those grounds all day long, it was so relaxing.

And then I stumbled upon a firearms display: shooting several different styles from that era. Very interesting!

I got up in this presenter’s face for a photo, but I’ll save that for a later time. It has something to do with a husband of mine.

Anyway, all-in-all we had a good time. The weather was perfect (considering it rained all the way up and all the way back from KY) and there were interesting presenters. I wish mom’s back had been better and we’d done a couple things differently, but like I said, it was fun.

It’s even spurred me to find other regency-era events in my area, possibly to partake in? We’ll see. And then so will you.

Dancing Wedding

Dancing Weddiiiiing – Young and Sweet only seventeeeen. You can dance, you can jive, having the time of your li-i-ife.

Wow, this was a fun one. I’ve been to some where I stay for the meal and slip out the door; others where I sit at the table all night talking with friends without even so much as a glance to the dance floor; and still others where I play whiffle ball and serve guests bbq from a gas station.

Okay that last one  was my own wedding. Yikes.

But this one. This one will be the dancing wedding.

We all knew K & D loved to dance, for them to see this all night:

It must’ve just made their day.

It made mine too, because I’m re-entering the world of dancing without caring.

R thinks he’s been duped. You see, in college our circle of friends would go to a place with a dinky dance floor. And while everyone else was bumping to the music, R and I would stand flat against a wall getting to know each other all the while avoiding drinks getting sloshed into our face by someone’s bad dance move. It was fun. Kind of like dodgeball meets dating. So, he thought I didn’t like to dance, which meant that there was no pressure on his end. And there wasn’t. Truly!

Until recently. If there is a packed floor and good music on, then I’m psyching myself up to get out there if I’m in the mood.

And I don’t care if I dance a little Elaine Benes-esque with my one-handed train conductor move, because if you can’t hear… Journey’s playing and it’s time to move.

So when R went MIA after seeing a good dance crowd, I turned around to find my good ole standby. Mom.

Whaaaaat? What is she doing all. by. herSELF?

Something drastic needed to be done.

So I ran to the DJ and requested Backstreet Boys, stat. HURRY. This is an emergency, my mom is sitting all by herself because she’s not really into House of Pain.

He gave me a sidelong glance and hesitated in the B section. “Are you sure it will go over well with this crowd?” I didn’t care, we had to pump some dancing blood back into Momma Pat and this was the ticket.

As the song started, I ran away from him so no one would know who requested the song. No offense, mom. But could you believe that people gave a loud whoop and clapped?

I grabbed mom and drug her out with me.

She was only a little excited.

By the way, nice bra, Carolyn. Jeez. I’m the classy cousin at the wedding with my unmentionables hanging out in every photo. Sigh.

We slow danced… Still couldn’t seem to find R, so had to make-do with taking photos of my sister and her husband.

And then there were dance-offs:

My nephew, W, partook in one and apparently won?

But grandma was cheering a bit too hard for little W, because the dance-off moved onto her:

And she was booty-ed off the dance floor. No one is safe during a dance off, my friends.

But not to be outdone, my brother-in-law (aka “roommate”) had one out with a groomsmen.

I don’t think anyone can compete with suspenders. Sorry N.

Oh, K & D. What a great wedding! I don’t know who this girl is nor why I took the photo, but I think it had to do with the drawing. Does it seem familiar to this old blog post? Click here.

Discuss.

And Dance. Discuss and dance. That’s pretty much how life goes anyway.

J and T’s 30th Birthday Party

I don’t know where the nickname Juice came from, nor did I invent it for her. But I was introduced to her in college with that name and it’s still stuck in my head. She and I ran around in the same group our last year at KSU and she was also living with a group of R’s friends. The first night¬†I met her, I stayed up all night dancing watching people from the wallflower section of the dancefloor. The next morning I woke up next to people I only vaguely knew and she immediately made plans with me to eat breakfast where R was waiting tables.

Just like that. She’s just a tad friendly.

But little did I know how creative she was until we slowly became better friends.

She’s quirky and in my world, quirky = cool.

You know, people who aren’t concerned with what others think of them. I’m still trying to get there, but I have come long strides since my early 20s. This blog has helped.

So, she and her husband T (who both also did the Adventure Race with us back in November – click link here), both turned 30 recently and wanted to celebrate. They invited their friends and paid their way for a night of 80s Roller Rink Fun-o-rama.

And we made it just in time for the Limbo. whew!

Each of us took our turns getting reaccustomed to roller skating. I don’t think any of us had skated within the past 10 years, so the whole “balance” thing was a foreign idea.

Well, except for Juice.

She’s been practicing to join the local Roller Derby Team.

Anyway, some of us pushed off the wall and hoped to slow down at the Limbo line.

While others had to be helped by an outstretched hand. Eventually we all made it. It took an hour.

Now, this first experience on wheels really tested you. The length from the line to the actual limbo pole is, oh, about 20 miles. No, seriously.

I wanted to cry, it was so scary.

It was like your first jump off the high-dive. Once you started, there was no turning back.

So instead of actually skating, I did one little push and then bent over. I don’t think my head even cleared it.

The failure was promptly blamed on my high ponytail.

Then it was R’s turn.

Oh, R.

He started off with feet parallel to each other and then somehow one foot started to split off and he couldn’t pull them back together. So the only option was to go with it.

Hopefully he can still sire children after that. It was painful to watch.

After our first run on the rink we were already sore.

R and N stretched it out for a bit….

While I chomped on Pop Rocks, provided by the hostess, and watched the show on the rink.

Every two seconds you heard someone scream and then bones breaking.

Like these three. I hope the horizontal guy is okay.

R stayed near anyone with a helmet thinking he could just fall on them and avoid the cement. Good thing this guy had one too. Man, he wiped out hard several times, causing the ‘referee’ (what are those guys called – bouncer? chaperone?) to blow his whistle and check on him.

It was awesome.

Others just breezed on by without a care in the world. Juice called ahead to ask if she could wear those fast special skates. They said yes.

What a show off.

We were jealous of her skills.

But I bet you’re jealous of my mad braking skills. That’s right ya’all. I could eat your brake for brakefest.

…and with that pun I bid you good night.

Later on, we skated the birthday girl into the bathroom (appropriately decked out in daisies) for a birthday toast. There’s something so liberating about having skates on while going pee. I’m not going to delve into that thought process, but I felt liberated.

We hung out for awhile until we were busted by the rink patrol. They were cool, thank goodness, and tsk-tsked us back to the rest of the group.

It was no use explaining to them that the bathroom break was necessary to..

do this.

Yikes. This should’ve been a recipe for disaster, but we both held on strong and whirled around. That was the thing I was most looking forward doing…. Spinning in the middle of the floor.

This had to be on of the most fun parties I’ve been to. We even broke out our Thriller dance when the song came on.

On SKATES, people.

And now I also want to take up skating as exercise… Forget running, people, skating will kill your thighs.

But it won’t kill your fond childhood memories. It only enhances them.

We used to do the Hokey Pokey, the coin toss, races and a bunch of other things. But I bet you all have some memories of your own.

Share if you’d like, I’m all ears.

Put Baby back in the corner.

This is what happens when your husband and you scoff at paying $15 for a haircut and decide to do it on your own.

You ask for a simple bob…

…and get this. Are you supposed to see every layer?

R said he just picked a layer and went with it. Guess I should have clarified to not pick the shortest one. My bad. And now it’s everyone who has to stand behind me in line’s bad too.

Go back to your corner, Baby.

A Day to Myself.

R is out of town for a few days, so guess what that means? Girly time … with myself!

Hello, my name is Carolyn and I’m an introvert.

There, I said it.

R and I had gone to some friends’ (T’s blog is here) house last weekend. We were sitting around talking about, well what else..ourselves, and T mentioned that his wife had said “Oh good! She’s an extrovert for me and you’re an introvert for R.” Immediately, my palms got sweaty and I started to tremble. Extrovert, extrovert… oh lord, does that mean I have to talk to people? After smelling salt was waved under my nose, I woke up to declare that R was more of an extrovert and to please not give me a debutante ball into extroversion society because I’ll be expected to reenact a scene from the Crucible where they pretend to see birds and my part is one of the girls that screams and cries and, really, I am just not prepared nor do I have the lines memorized even though it’s mostly screaming nor do I like to have people’s eyes on me and no one will clap and everyone will laugh even though it’s a drama and not a comedy, so please.. please!

[silence]

Anyway, by the end of the discussion, it was decided that T and I were functioning introverts. I like to write, I observe and absorb, I don’t mind giving up the spotlight, I can interact with people despite my sometimes clumsy conversation, and maybe when I get comfortable with you, just maybe, you’ll mistake me for one of those extroverts.

So I took myself to a museum in the next town over. They were having a “Cabin Fever Reliever”, complete with three speakers and they’re normal museumy stuff. The presentations were of the historical trails that went through NW Arkansas: Trail of Tears, Butterfield Stagecoach Route, and a Civil War Troup. It was nice. So were the free cookies and cider.

I skipped the Civil War talk to look around the museum with no one else around (Introvert Alert!!). I wanted to shoot everything. Everything. But was worried I’d do a repeat of my trip to San Juan Capistrano, in which I took about 300 photos of various chairs and pottery. So I made an effort to include myself in photos, if only to make it more interesting to look back on.

My parents are recovering non-self-includers. Now, every time they come back from a trip, they like to point out to me where they are in each photo.

Hang on though, I’m not saying I don’t enjoy interesting pictures from a trip without people I know in them. But that’s the key word: Interesting. I mean, look at this: I could never do this.

Could you? You probably could, huh. Well, I can’t. So I might as well throw me in the scenery mix. What has it got to hurt? (I heard that.)

After gazing at my future dining room table, I turned the corner to a dress-up area and squeezed into a 12-year old’s hat….

…looked at old 3-D photos.

And then I saw it. An entire area devoted to cleanliness in the olden days, which included a replica of an outhouse, of course.

So I tried it out. What you don’t see is the lady standing behind the camera pretending not to watch me set the self-timer and run into the outhouse. Apparently this is the face I make when someone walks in unannounced and stands there staring at me. I mean, hello lady, I’m having a private moment with me and my 1905 Sears catalogue and you are breaking my concentration.

In the end, I outran her to the real deal outside, after which I took a tour of a small cabin and barn.

After a quick stop at a thrift store, I drove home, changed into pajamas, fixed myself a nice cocktail as well as a plate of cheese and crackers (Do you see any green on that plate? I was getting wild and crazy last night, people), and plopped down to my netflix account.

A good, quiet, introverted day.

Christmas – Snippits of My Side

{Watching my mom’s expression as she tries to organize a group photo. It’s hard work herding us in from the eggnog.}
{Waiting for someone to step up and be Santa. We were all too comfy with our coffees. I think my 3 year old niece ended up having to be him…which explains what happened later.}
 
{Congratulating my mom on giving us clothing that will not be returned. Her secret, she said, was not caring what we thought.}
 
{Seething with jealousy over my nieces’ new tu-tus.}
 
{When finding out that they are very, and I mean very, expandable, snatching it from E and forcing her to wear another skirt during our recital. Aren’t I nice? Don’t try to get in between me and a tutu.}
{More on the recital later}
 
{After getting fed up with being Santa, K grabbed her new luggage and tried to flee the scene. We sat there not knowing how to proceed with the presents}
 
{Nephew W becoming less and less impressed with his uncles’ ability to put together literally three pieces of plastic. It was unbearable to watch.}

{Getting a fresh ‘do, cut lovingly by my cousin Katie. If you want a hairdresser that hands you a glass of wine along with the expectation that you don’t have to talk, go to her. And isn’t that what we all want out of a hairdresser? She could’ve given me a bee-hive and I would’ve been happy that no silly chat-chat was needed. She works at Rio Salon in Parkville and is classy classy classy. Tell her that Carrie sent ya. It won’t get you any discounts, but you can still tell her — you know, right before you down that glass of wine and close your eyes.}

{On a side note, if you click on the photo, you can start to see my gray coming through. When my sister saw the cut, she said, “You look ten years younger. So you finally look 29.”}

 

How Not to Watch a Meteor Shower

Well, there’s a couple things you’d want to do in order to NOT watch a meteor shower.
First, (and this is an important one, folks) you’ll want to misread the time suggested for watching the shower. Disregard “EST” next to the time. It is extremely unimportant.
Then, convince your husband that staying up until after midnight (on a school night – gasp!) will be a bonding experience.
Next, proceed to wear cut off pajamas with wool socks and tevas. (Fellas, don’t be jealous of R.)
After you’re done dressing inappropriately for the weather, ask your hubby to set up the lawn chairs outside.
Nevermind that it’s pitch black and the neighbor arriving home in 15 minutes will freak out when he finds two people sitting in the middle of the sidewalk staring at him as he turns the corner. ¬†This will be a good ice breaker.
Lastly, go ahead and sit out for 30 minutes thinking that maybe the newspaper was wrong and the show will start later than expected.
Only get up when your emotions are frozen solid. Apologize once they’ve thawed and go to bed.

Merry Christmas..

to ourselves. R and I spent Sunday christmas shopping. We ended up buying more things for ourselves than for anyone else it seemed like. Mama’s got a brand new pair of shoes and a book for starters. I talked myself out of a second book, but don’t breathe a sigh of relief. You just don’t see my hand hovering over the “Buy” button on the keyboard. It’ll come soon.
But this one! Oh, this one.
Fashion: A History from the 18th to the 20th Century.
Yum! I love the poses of the mannequins along with actual paintings of the clothing in question.

Eyes in the Back of My Head

During one of our many excursions to a local restaurant over the summer (and judging from my outfit, we apparently were rewarding ourselves for exercising by eating back all the calories we burned off), I happened to lean a bit to my left.

…Probably reaching for more salt.

At about the same time, I saw R jump a bit. And for him to jump meant he was seriously startled. This guy never flinches. It’s especially annoying when I wait behind closed doors for hours on end to scare him and then don’t get a reaction. I’ll never learn.

He thought this guy was just sitting there calmly watching R eat.

Don’t you love looking back on those moments? Where you all sorts of things run through your mind.

Is he staring at me? Why is he staring at me. Oh my god, he’s actually just staring at me!!
(As you can tell, the thoughts that run through my mind don’t vary much.)

I couldn’t stop laughing.
Eventually I did.

Because they brought out the cheese dip… and then things started to get very serious, my friends.

From Dirndl to Zombie…

in less than 6 hours. Ah, I love days like these. Although, if I’m completely honest with myself, that’s pretty much how every day ends up: pale faced and half dead.
We piled onto the bus that would take us to the much touted “second largest oktoberfest in the nation”. Hmmm… Not sure about that one. But it did have the second largest number of people chewing tobacco and wearing beer slogan t-shirts.

Can I describe how nice the day was? R and I had just come off of almost two straight weeks of rain and to walk outside into that sunshine? Divine. It was like heaven opened up to my cute dirndl dress and said, “Go on, my little bavarian child and bask in the fruits (or hops?) of the german microbreweries.”
Okay. I will, I said.

But our first stop was food: brauts, potato cakes, and onion blossoms. Life was good… my cinched waist was not.

We wandered aorund the grounds, until our exhausted feet found some tables in the open air. I mean, yes we were tired. We had just spent the entire morning eating breakfast burritos, drinking blackberry fermented “juice” and watching a marathon of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. Wouldn’t you be tired too?


This is me midway through a lager and conversation. If you’ve spent any amount of time with me on a beautiful day sipping some spirits, you know my thought process. Unfortunately, this thought process usually turns into a vocal adaptation. Here it is in a nutshell:
  1. I really like hanging out with you guys
  2. Isn’t it beautiful out?
  3. Yes, pour me a little.
  4. Okay, a bit more.
  5. Shouldn’t we go on a trip together?
  6. My parents are going to pass away someday. (This sounds like a horrible statement. But it’s not intended to be. I’m only consoled when someone reminds me that 63 is the new 53.)
  7. Wait, I’m going to pass away some day.
  8. Are you guys going to miss me?
  9. What would you say about me at the funeral?
  10. Is anyone listening?
  11. So back to that trip…
  12. What. You don’t want to go on one now? It’s okay, I’m over our mortality. I promise.
  13. So what have you been up– wait. Back to me. What have I been up to? Well … [insert 30 minutes of non-stop talking*]
  14. Cackling laughter
  15. Did I tell you how much I like hanging out with you?

*This is actually a false statement. Ever since starting this blog, I now have nothing to talk about in person (re: myself)

 


After a few hours, I started to notice a decline in our host T. To the point where he grabbed hold of a turkey leg and pounded his phone with one digit. Next he would be dragging a woman along the ground by her hair.

Luckily we had to leave for our Thriller debut before seeing that caveman spectacle.

But I did get to see (and experience) a Big Lebowski scene with R while getting ready for Thriller. Except this time it was baby powder and not ashes.


Friends, there is absolutely one vital thing to bring along to a 12-yr old’s Thriller competition. Good sports of husbands. Man, they didn’t complain once. They made fun of it all (and us), but never complained. Even when we asked them to do their best zombie stance.

Awesome.

This isn’t the last you’ll see of J & T. They’re coming down for the Adventure Race next weekend. I’ll probably look like a zombie in those photos as well. Need to start exercising. Stat.

1987 – A remake

R’s co-workers threw an 80s prom party this weekend. So I tried my darndest to bring out my inner Kelly LeBrock from Weird Science and ended up feeling more like Bill Paxton as the blob. R doned his real prescription Ray-Ban sunglasses that I did not help him pick out. That is a whole ‘nother story.

It was a fun night.

We chatted with people while I tried to divert their attention from R’s insistance on wearing both his regular glasses and sunglasses all night.

We slow-danced. And don’t worry, mom..

I made sure there was room for the Holy Spirit.

We stood in a circle and danced. After R did his thang, I threw off my shoes and broke out the Carlton dance from Fresh Prince. This was my debut in front of his co-workers. Here is a video if you haven’t ever seen it: watch this move!

Except I didn’t even make it two swings before twisting my ankle and stumbling out of the circle. I definitely broke under pressure.
Nice to meet everyone, my name is Carolyn.

But then! Then, we watched a video tutorial on how to perform the thriller dance.

And we all broke it out. I was a little ahead of the rest of the group, I think.

Great night!

P.S. We are still having some internet troubles, thus the infrequent posts this week. More coming soon!