May 19, 2015

Lunch with Judy

Throughout my life, I spent lunch with my mom. I’d pack a lunch or pick up carry out for the both of us and we would enjoy my lunch hour talking about everything and nothing.  Those are some of my favorite moments with her, maybe ever. I can remember spots of lunch throughout my life – just after high school when we watched the aftermath of the Oklahoma City bombing one day when I worked at the dentist’s office – a particularly hilarious episode of What Not To Wear over the lunch hour when I worked at the pet store – tons of lunches during my grown up career. Especially on days when I was excited about something or feeling low, my mommy was there. I got to listen to her hopes and dreams and nursing stories, too. Now, even though she’s 840 miles away, I still love my mom over lunch.                             

Recently I was blessed to have a lunch break with her, by phone. She sounded like my favorite sweater and a Golden Girls episode. I talked to her the entire time I was away from work while I drove home to let Bean out. I needed her voice that day.

When I talk to my mother, she has this magic ability to make me feel like I’m very normal just as I am – while also unique and exactly the way she worked to make me. She raised me to have a strong and vocal moral compass, and to be brave and opinionated, honest to a fault truly. She also raised me to follow God’s guidance more than simply blurting that stuff out, to use it as a pressure on my heart to pray for someone or some thing instead.  (It has taken years to hone that skill!) 

It was so nice to hear my mom tell me that she was proud of me and that she knows that no matter what I’m facing, I’ll figure it out. She believes in me fully, just as I am.

She also offered me a very valuable reminder: stop taking things on that aren’t mine.  I.e. stop taking things so personally.  There will simply be people on this earth not designed to appreciate the woman I am and she told me to just leave them be. If the support I’ve been asked to provide a friend is falling on deaf ears, then just pray and let them be for a while.  She reminded me not to work overly hard seeking anyone's approval, but instead to just let the light shine out of me in whatever way feels best. And always, to keep praying.

Exactly what I needed that day.

She’s the best ever. 

May 13, 2015

Thoroughly Soak Your Beans

It was bathtime again for Bean and both Andrew and Mabel asked to help. I loved their willingness to learn about how to CARE for a pet, instead of just playing with it - and so I grabbed towels and gave a quick lesson.

Lukewarm water in ze tub. Check.

Remove collar and plop ze puppy in ze tub. Check.

Swoosh ze water all over ze puppy. Check.

Massage in and rinse out ze gentle Dr. Bronner's castille soap (remember to thoroughly rinse ze pits and under ze tail). Check.

Admire ze rings of fur around ze puppy's legs. SWOON.

Try not to giggle at ze curly queue tail or the muzzle mustache.

Look at ze handsome baby boy waiting politely for exit.

Drip dry. Check.

Squeeze excess water from ze fluff. Check.

Swaddle up ze baby for snuggly wugglies? Check.

Andy was first.

Then Moo.

Oh delicious kisses from ze clean baby!

After that, we blew him dry!

All of this to say: dogs are not as efficient as cats.

Kiki does pride herself in being a self-cleaner that way. Amen to that.

May 7, 2015

Ahhhh Spring

Spring has finally sprung in Da Plains. The grass - and the people - have stopped hibernating.

Trevor has found a defensive partner for football practice in the backyard.

Andrew is very much enjoying practice at becoming the next Michael Jordan.

It's light and warm enough on weekend mornings to go for doughnuts with Daddy.

Warmer weather means yard parties around here, and we had a fine one about a week ago. Uncle Joe came with his smoker and we had smoked salmon and chicken legs, a fried turkey, shrimp boil, and rocky mountain oysters (they were Mabel's FAVORITE). Mabel helped Joe marinate the salmon.

Even the boys helped Uncle Joe get the boil ready.

Mabel thought it was the perfect time to apply her Spring set of press-on nails. They lasted 2 hours.

We love Spring!

May 5, 2015

Bean Schwims

Overall the training is going very well.  Bean has been sleeping through the night. I would say that's pretty smashing for a 4 month old baby dog, right?

A month ago that was not the case.  Our baby was a stress-pooper.  When we left him in the kennel, he responded by dropping his contents. Thankfully, his contents amount to a couple of tootsie-roll knockoffs rolling around in the kennel - but there are days he got a little to steppy and rolled around too vigorously. He pood himself is what I'm saying.

And so I came home from work one day and my baby boy smelled like a pig. He needed a schwim! So I ran him a bathtub full of warm water and got out the castille soap for his delicate skin, and then plopped him in.  He liked it much better than his first sink bath, but was generally disappointed that his short Lhasa legs made him seem deeper in the water. He walked back and forth and back and forth and then decided he wanted to be dry instead.

I marveled at how much of him is actually hair. Shed-free Poodle hair, thank the Lord. I mean, would you look at this little Bean?!

After a few minutes of schwimming, castille soaping, and rinsing with lullabies, it was time to cave to the puppy dog eyes and get him out.

How could you not?

Daddy joined me in the bathroom and we towel-dried him and then blow-dried him as well, worried he'd get too cold outside. I mean, Da Plains wasn't warm yet.

Uh huh. We already know it; save your comments. This boy is spoiled rotten.

After his bath he was a cheerful puffy fluff again and excited to play with his favorite squeaky bear, Little Bean.

And if you would excuse me, I must now go pass out from cute overload.

April 29, 2015


Our friendly lhasapoo is mostly called Beaner. Bean-Bean. The Beanerpottamus.

He likes socks and flappy pantlegs in his mouth.

Gets the eye boogers sometimes.

Bean likes beer and sneaks it when you aren't paying attention. *lick, lick, lick*

Bean also likes to eat bunny and goose poops (makes me glad I don’t drink beer).

He is polite and proud (that’s the lhasa), as well as smart and protective (that’s the poodle).  

Bean Bean likes to play chase when it’s time to go inside. Mommy likes to make sure he has his training color on whilst outside. Ahem. BEEP.

Birthday is January 15.

Most of the time, he sleeps all night long. In the bed.

Bean and Daddy enjoy looking at the stars on the nights he doesn’t sleep all night long.  

Our boy embraces messy hair. This is great because his hair grows so fast!  

He wants to join Mama and Daddy in the shower and is alllllmost big enough to jump in. Can’t wait for that (sarcasm).

Loves to play football with Trevor in the back yard.

Short legs on Beaner. Can't quite make the jump up to the couch unless the ottoman is there for his pinky toe to grip against.

Enjoys baby carrots for snack. 

Rides on Daddy’s lap in the truck.

Sleeps on mommy's neck or hands in the bed.

Has doubled in weight in one month (a whopping 6 lbs now).

Dog love is like a drug, People. Get you some. 

April 28, 2015

How To Make New Friends

Only days before I chopped 7 inches of my hair off, I texted my Lulu and told her that I’d finally uncovered the holy grail of hair processes. It took five products and approximately 25 minutes on washing day to achieve the natural, bedhead waves that I like. Even longer if I used different products to straighten it.  And a funny thing happened after I texted with her about it.  While I was happy that I finally had found a system that worked for the texture of my long hair, I became thoroughly displeased with the quantity of products required and the amount of time it was taking just to look effortless.  I also found myself pulling my bra-length hair up, a lot. Getting frustrated with it, a lot. Not feeling that sexy hair feeling anymore. Sigh. And then I felt it coming, the imminent change I needed. Suddenly all I could think was: I MUST CHOP.  Luckily for me, I keep a very nicely stockpiled group of Pins for just such an imminency (yes, I just made that word up). I knew the chop would be a lob, and so I put together a Power Point to show my stylist (don’t judge, yo).

I will save you all the very long story of how I started with my usual stylist, who was distracted and gave me a grossly uneven lob with an undercut so that I left looking like a [very pissed off] lopsided newscaster – and tell you that I called a brand new stylist whose name had been given to me months ago. Out of the blue, I called her up and out of the blue, she was AMAZING. God sent her into my life. She’s as neurotic as I am and asked me to promise to always bring Power Points. For serious. KLOVE blasted on the radio in her studio and we did. not. stop. talking.  For over two hours.  She toned my balayage, which had gone brassy. She trimmed up the lob and fixed the angle so that I no longer looked like I work for CNN.  We talked about boobs and kids and Jesus and made plans to meet for drinks in the future. Then she styled my hair 3 ways, just to show me some ideas for my new length – straight, swingy lob, beachy waves (to die!), and a bun.  People – a BUN. Seriously, what freaking stylist does that? MY NEW ONE, THAT’S WHO.  I seriously love her as a human.  And I think it was mutual because when she delivered her baby girl a week after my appointment, she sent me photos an hour after the birth. I mean, I think she likes me back, is what I’m saying.  Squee!!!

I have a new friend and I could not be more excited. Also, hair score.

My jedi even commented on Facebook at how snarfly and sexy my new hair is. Boom. There it is.

April 27, 2015

March Went Something Like This

In an effort to improve blogging (yes, really), I do continue to write and queue up posts. I found this one this morning, buried from March.  Considering it's almost May, I should probably publish it.

March basically went something like this:

Still Frick and Frack.

Glory be, a finished bathroom!

We see Allie in every purple sky, even six months later.

Hayley is overhand serving.

Peeps are still gluten free. Damn it.

Our chili Bean gives free cuddles daily...

...but he's not a fan of car rides yet. We're practicing.

I love my new haircut.

Bean loves The Golden Girls while we're gone during the day (I did have to promise Daddy to leave ESPN on sometimes as well.)

Date nights and things.

Andy's love of chicken pot pies give me reassurance that he will survive college.

And, Trevor learned how to change spark plugs.

Time for April!

April 23, 2015

Uno Fuego

One Sunday night, we were in a mood for some fuego and Jesus. The littles were already in bed, so we took Bean outside for the first fire of the year.

Burning trimmings from the yard, mostly, but it was a fire nonetheless!

Bean wasn't the least bit scared of the fire. Bean's not really the least bit scared of anything. Except the geese in the lake out back!

I want you all to know that this man's heart has longed for a doggy for a very long time and he is completely in love with Bean. There are big plans for Bean to go fishing with Daddy, hunting with Daddy, and everything with Daddy. Bean LOVES Daddy, so this will work out nicely.

They selected old Tesla and Styx songs to listen to together. They stared at the stars overhead and talked to Jesus.

Beaner also loves the mommy.

April 22, 2015

And So, Last Week

Lots going on. Readying for summer at home, even though the weather is still flip flopping like crazy. 70 some days and then 40 the next. The 40 mph winds still suck. Bean, in particular, does not like them. Can't hardly stand in one spot long enough to pee, see.

We have done loads of spring cleaning lately. Bags upon bags for donation. The kids keep growing, no matter how many bricks I put on their heads. Trevor's inseam is almost 34". Wow.

There was yoga last week, thankfully - and a new tank top that made the Heavens open up and the angels cry out AMEN.

And the cemented post was finally dry enough for full basketball hoop installation. Followed by hours of playing in the rain. I'm not sure which dude in my house loves it more.

Hayley finished another round of rec volleyball.

The boys had a science fair on Bryon's birthday.  [Hello, Trevor's hair!]

And we hosted Plowman and IT Jesus for dinner on Saturday night! It was like chicken soup for our souls to hug on them. LOVE.

God is so good.

April 20, 2015

Bean Got His Wig Clipped

So the Beaner needed a haircut. Badly. Neighbor Dave with the schnauzers told us to be ready. "Puppy hair grows fast," he said. We underestimated, totally.

His first haircut was last week.


The groomer posted his 'after' photo on Facebook. She did a great job.

Hi, baby boy!

It's been 5 days since Bean's haircut. And he needs another one.

April 10, 2015

Judy Bovine is Swell

Over Easter this year, we drove back East and spent the weekend with Nana Judy.

It was very special and full of sticky memories.

The drive was long - like, 13 hours long - but everyone made it in one piece.

Nana was having brunch when we saw her. She invited all of us to sit with her lady friends in the dining room - and then she promptly ordered birthday cake ice cream for all of the kids. It was a riot. The ladies LOVED the kids and we all loved the ladies. And Nana is definitely their entertainment.

Within minutes, she asked my husband if he had bunions on his... well, she commented about how long he'd been driving is what she did.  And then tricked him into turning around so she could check out his butt.  That's my Judy. What a tremendous compliment!

My mama heart swelled with pride at how amazingly polite and courteous the kids were as we sat there. They waited their turns, they didn't poke each other, and each one of them engaged the elderly in conversation.

Favorite part of the weekend was definitely hearing my mother's laugh in person. She has the BEST laughing face EVER. So, so beautiful.

There is always time for butterfly kisses. And Andrew asked Nana ahead of time to pretty please shower him with some. She was happy to oblige.

Nana had a list of visits she wanted to make around town, since we had wheels. So we stopped a few places, took her to the mall, and then to the grocery store.

Where she had to buy an Enquirer. Because she's Judy and Judy has always, always read the Enquirer.

We hit up the Irish pub the next day and Nana had a glass of pinot grigio with me. Well, she had 4 sips and got silly so I had to finish the rest for her.

We made arrangements for the kids to spend Easter with their dad's family, and reservations for us to take Nana to brunch.  When we got to her apartment to pick her up, we had to wait until a commercial to leave. The Golden Girls were on. Duh!

Bryon, the horticulturalist, trimmed up all of Nana's planters for her. They are gorgeous. She has quite a green thumb!

There is no doubt about it. Nana has shrunk.

There was lots of couch snuggling all weekend. And because Nana Judy = watching movies, she put in Cocoon and Cocoon 2 - and the kids loved it.

I adore that my kids are still immediately at home with Nana. Her smell, her stuff - it is HOME to them, too. We cherish the years that we lived with my mother and I am so grateful each one of the kids has a close and personal relationship with her, even still.

We got out her dulcimer for a while.

And before we said goodbye for this time, we snapped my favorite picture:  three generations of mouth. Strong, brave, and entertaining ladies right here.

God is so good.