May 30, 2011

Kikkers (PRON: Keeeeeeekers)

How is Kiki? How is Kiki?

If I had a buck for every time my lovely bloggers asked about our dog, I swear.

The kitters is beautimus. Perhaps a little portly. This is mainly because she scurries around after we leave the house each morning and so graciously cleans up for us, removing many a spilled cocoa krispie with her sandpaper tongue. Yummers for the kitteh.

She also likes Poptarts.

She greets Bryon every morning at the door. Like, at the exact line in the carpet where the door closes, so that he nearly trips over her fat and furry self on his way to the shower. She then paws at the door repeatedly, if not menacingly, until he opens it or it opens itself. She watches him pee. Every morning. Then he kicks her out and she waits for him to finish his shower. She supervises while he gets dressed, makes coffee, and checks on the kids. Then she joins him as he kisses me awake in the morning, every morning. She stays on the corner of our bed as he leaves, as if to reassure him that she will guard over me while he is gone.

Then I roll over, yank the quilt, and she goes flying through the air with a sideways, "meowwwwww!"

Yes, we love this girl. And she is the only cat I've ever known who thrives on chaos. Believe me when I tell you that Hayley has a lot of work cut out for her these 8 weeks while my 3 are gone. She's going to need a LOT of interaction, this pussel. She does not like quiet.

We are blessed. Even though sometimes, she still poots.

* Judy is doing better for now. She needs prayer to continue on this long, healing journey... and as she realizes she isn't going home again, but to an assisted living facility. We journeyed there and back and it was wonderful to hug her. Thank you all for your prayers!

May 27, 2011

I Love To Make Her Laugh

As it turns out, my mother has always found me to be funny HA HA. I'm witty, is what I am. I can spin a story and tell a tale the likes of which you've never seen. No dishonesty, but you people know that I am colorful. I am proud of that.

Judy laughs at me all the time. With me, mostly. We fart together.

On the night before her surgery she laughed. Laughed so hard she closed her eyes to squeeze tears out.

I love making her laugh. It makes my heart happy to hear joy come from her person.

May 25, 2011

#2 on Most Humiliating Possibilities

Ohmylord. It finally happened. #2 on my list of Most Humiliating Possibilities. I am MORITIFED.

While at work recently, I had to file like, 287 purchase orders into a cabinet. As luck would have it, half of those were for vendors with names beginning with S. That means I needed to use the bottom drawer. I privately congratulated myself on the decision to not wear a dress that day, instead choosing a smart pair of grey slacks and a black Madewell top. It looked great, I felt fantastic, and I wasn’t going to flash my sunshine at the office. So, I crouched down to begin filing the POs.

Within a few moments I privately congratulated myself on still being able to squat like a mother. I trained during my first pregnancy on how to properly squat for natural childbirth (remember Lois’ basement, Lulu?), trained myself to open my pelvis and center my core (this is an important thing for women, pregnant or not) in order to not lose balance for an extended period of time. Even as out of shape as I am, I was squatting correctly and still managing to look ladylike and professional in the workplace. Go, me!

Midway through my filing of S, the gentleman sitting next to me asked me a question about some negotiations I’ve been working on for forklift service. I answered him, handed him a purchase order, and went back to S, all the while maintaining my mother squat.

I finished the S vendors. Got through the T’s, too. I reached my last two, which began with Z, when I felt a cool breeze.

On my back.


I quickly reached behind myself and found exactly what I was afraid I would.

I privately congratulated myself on selecting the cutest, lacy hot pink panties from my drawer that morning. After all, I’d just shown them to my entire office. HOT PINK, People.

#2 can be checked off of the list.

#1, by the way, is sitting down upon the work potty and then leaning down to check for feet… while at the exact same time that someone ELSE leans down to check for feet. What are you supposed to do in that moment? Smile at each other? Wave? Fart in unison? What, I ask you?!?! 


May 24, 2011

Let Me Tell You People A Story

This weekend, Bryon and I had an argument. 

It was stupid. Didn't feel like it inside the rush of words, but it was stupid. But I had to have it, this argument. He knew it and I knew it.

Something small was laying on top of something enormous - my mother. This little, stupid thing was draped over a very big issue: Judy is going to die. Might not be tomorrow, might not be next week. But I guarandamntee you, it will happen. And I am not ready.

So I had to throw this film off in order to address the bigger issue. God love my husband, he was the one home at the time. I had him in the crosshairs. I KNEW I wasn't really upset with him but I have dealt with enough drama in my life to know when you just have to burp something out. I felt it building up inside of me all day; I looked at it abstractly, as if I could see it there, this big boulder of an issue. But instead of talking about the boulder, I nailed my husband about something silly.

All around the yard I followed him, quipping about this and that, lamenting on about how I was hurt by something smallish. He listened and communicated - I mean, it was a real issue, this small and stupid thing. I had to get it out of the way.

And then I wasn't quipping anymore. I was yelling. He was on a ladder and I was turning on the hose for him and I started shouting. Heavens to Betsy it was exactly what I needed to do. It cleared the cobwebs and my head. The little issue slid away (resolved for now) onto an accomplishment checklist for our marriage and my heart moved on to the bigger thing beneath.

We talked for hours really. On and off all day. The heaviness of the subject matter thudded around us, but we carried it throughout everything we did together. We lugged that rock into the kitchen during dinner. We sat it beside us while we watched Game of Thrones on HBO. We rolled it into the bedroom and talked more as the geese honked outside the open window. He knew. He knew exactly what was coming. He saw the rock.

He told me that at some point during our argument earlier in the day, he had stepped outside of the words. He saw me and saw the emotion underneath, and he knew it was his job to take the hit for the team. I apologized and he stopped me. He wouldn't let me because he signed up to be my person, God love him. Such a good, good man.

We talked about my mom. About the honk of her laugh. About how she always reads a National Geographic magazine from back to front. About how the very animation I have, is because I get it from her. Tears kept filling my eyes as I tried to imagine life without her in it. No phone call on my way to work. No calling to tell her about my hair, or Mabel's booger, or how fantastically awesome my husband is to me. There a million things left to tell her about. I am not ready to let all of that go.

This week brings a lot of chaos with it. We're driving the kids all the way back to be with their dad, trying to orchestrate a visit with Nana (perhaps the last one ever), and then I'm swimming into an ocean to try to save someone who wants to go to sea. Does that make sense? Probably only in my head. How do you begrudge someone wanting to see Jesus? Who can argue with that?!?! Not that this is a certainty, but Judy is very sick. What if she decides she's done fighting complications? What if she gets mad at me for asking her tough questions? All of this dark and twisty thinking is allowing me to brace myself, even just a little.

Lots of growing to do this week and I am so very thankful and blessed and humbled that God has given me my One. He'll be there holding my hand, actively involved. He doesn't hide. He doesn't run off to let me deal with things alone. He says the hard things. He pushes me to think more, love more, and be more.

Prayers would be great, Peeps.

May 23, 2011

Phyllis Funyon

Judy is still not well. Her kidneys quit over the weekend, but have started to make urine again, praise the Lord. Never thought we'd be so joyous to hear about pee. They have upgraded her status now. Bryon, the kids, and I are leaving Da Plains to see her just as soon as we are able to this week (work has been a bitch x2). By Wednesday at the latest. Blog might be quiet for a few days. Or I might write up a bunch of drivel to keep myself occupied and post it while I'm there. Please keep visiting and please keep praying, should you be so inclined. I promise to be back friends. And I will have a WHOLE LOT to say! Until then, something joyous...

Skinnamarinky dinky dink... skinnamarinky doo...

I love you!

I love you in the morning, I love you in the noon, I love you in the evening beneath the silvery moon...

Skinnamarinky dinky dink... skinnamarinky doo...

Oh how I love you, my extra girl. You need me, soft as a puppy lick. Thank you for that!

May 19, 2011

Things I Love Thursday: Embroidery Edition

You all know how I love handstitching, embroidery in particular. I think it's important to work with your hands sometimes. Create. Physically move things around with your fingers and produce something you love. Embroidery makes my heart sing. Peace comes gently as I listen to the needle poke into the fabric and the thread trail behind.

I've recently come across some fantastic tutorials and images that I have to share. All proper credit is available by clicking on any of them.

split stitch

lazy daisy petal chain

chain stitch

braided chain

zigzag chain

basque stitch

stepped running stitch

parallel running stitch

fly stitch

interlaced running stitch

laced running stitch

scroll stitch

french knot

pistil stitch

woven spider wheel

All of which can be used in various ways to make all of these things, which are totally inspiring to me.

Some additional sources:

All pin sources HERE.

I finally started the embroidery on one of the girl's quilts. I used all of what you see above to come up with my design. I drew out the design with pencil first, right on top of the cotton. In my experience, anything left behind or outside of your stitches washes away with regular laundry detergent but I suppose you could use special fabric pen if you want. I'm not that fancy.

So last night I laid down in the bed with my husband asleep beside me, Golden Girls on cable, and produced this:

May 18, 2011


Today there is a mess in my head. Buckle up.

My mom is having surgery again today. In an hour, actually. She continues to have complications from her valve replacement and bypass surgery in March. Things are not going great and she’s been… omitting that from her conversations with me every day. Not willfully, just…stubbornly. I am not happy and am searching for God’s message through all of this. I do not want to be an orphan on this earth.

While I would love to sit and do nothing but think of my mother and be busy with all that is related to that all day long, I cannot. There is a full life to live that includes a full time job, a husband, and four children (not in that order) as well - and a million things junking around in my brain. Plus, it would be quite unhealthy for me because I am a what-iffer. Please don't judge me for continuing to post on light-hearted things while I am digesting Judy's progress, okay? I'm just human.

A week from Saturday the kids leave to spend 8 weeks with their dad. Bryon and I will drive them halfway, we will meet in a parking lot, and then they will go with him for two months. I am a mix of terrified and excited. He has complied with court orders and I believe they will be safe, so that is not an issue. He has promised to take them, so that is not an issue either. However. They are still mine and it’s akin to handing over 3 of your hearts (go with me here) to someone you no longer trust, and allowing them to just you know, squeeze on those hearts for two months without you there. Perhaps not the best analogy, but whatever. I’m also excited to have the alone time with Bryon – and Hayley part time. I suppose if you have to find a positive in a whole long distance divorce circumstance, this time would be it. We’re determined to make it count.

I want desperately to kick the basement into high gear. We still have to pick a fireplace layout (seriously, what is this, the 8th week I’ve mentioned this?) and then the drywall can begin. I very much want the kids to come home to finished bedrooms. It will be brand new for us – them having their own space. They haven’t had their own spaces since our first townhouse here in Da Plains. It will be loverly, come bedtime.

I still send the kids to bed between 7:30 and 8:00pm on school nights. That does not make me a bad mother. I do it for multiple reasons, the most important of which is their overall health and school/behavioral performance the next day. But I also do it because after they are in bed, I can be an adult. I can breathe. I can focus on the parts of my life that do not circulate around the kids. I do not apologize for that. As the boys get older and their behavior proves it, their bedtimes can be pushed to 8:30 perhaps. And summer is slightly different but not a lot. 9pm. Apparently there are folks that criticize me specifically for this in town. Whatevs.

I have spent a remarkable amount of time this past week sewing. Yes, you heard me correctly. I finished ALL FOUR QUILT TOPS this past weekend. I am very proud of myself for making time to do this. I plan to drop off the boys’ quilts with my topquilter. She can work on those two as her schedule allows, and I will start embroidering on the girls’. I have such an itch to handstitch (and don’t want to handquilt) that really there was no other choice. Embroidery just simply must be done on their quilt tops. It’s going to be darling. It was a lot of fun to add embroidery to this quilt, so I can’t wait to do it again for the girls.

I hope to be able to get their quilts to the topquilter by July.

Last night after the kids were asleep, Bryon and I had a fire outside. We made s’mores and just talked and talked and talked. Then we went inside and did not talk.

Last night when I laid the embroidery floss out on the countertop to assign to the girls’ quilts, I got all woozy. No lie, Peeps. It made me all swirly and happy. I love that about-to-create feeling. Can’t wait to start on this soon. I’ll be packing this for the drive next Saturday!

My fingernails need a new coat of paint. I was all thrilled to get something funky like yellow. Maybe I’ll do my favorite graphite grey again. Hardly care with my mom on the operating table and all.

I feel dark and twisty today. Like, Meredith Grey dark and twisty – know how I mean? I really, really dislike human mortality because it forces us into being selfish. We don’t mean to be. I mean, who wouldn’t want to go home and see Jesus? But I really want my mom to stay here on earth. Find joy in her daughter, son-in-law, and grandkids. She has relationships to grow still. She’s not finished yet. See? All selfish and I should pray about that some more.

My Lulu is my other person. She was THE person until I vowed to take someone to eternity with me. Now she is the other person. All of which to say, I would not be who I am without her. She picked me up this morning, dusted me off, and knocked me into reality. I needed that smack. It was gentle, her hand, but still – I needed it. My mom will not live forever. I need to be okay with that. Seems so elemental and obvious, but try telling that to someone who’s already lost one parent. Sucks ass, is what it does.

I am still in love with Pinterest, even though they don’t have an android application that is user-friendly. Yet. I do wish I could find a way to install the toolbar onto my home laptop. The laptop is ready to die, so I guess I shouldn’t blame it on Pinterest. All the more reason to need an iPad. Maybe one day. We have a basement to finish first. In the meantime, I’ll keep pinning what I love and then looking it up on my phone from home. I fully plan to do this when embroidering flowers on the quilts next Saturday. I cannot tell you how psyched I am to have 12 hours in the car to do that. And I can do it while talking! Perfect!

I still need to read the other half of Pioneer Woman’s Black Heels book. The first half was ready during Judy’s first surgery. Maybe today’s the day to finish the other half. Blech.

I finally ordered our home garment steamer today. I’ve been reading consumer reviews for months and finally selected the Jiffy 2000. I’ll let you know if I hate it. Anything to lighten the ironing load for Bryon, poor guy. I cannot and will not iron. It is just simply not a skill of mine. However, I feel the need to help him out when half of the pile is mine.

I would love your prayers for Judy. She needs them. 

May 17, 2011

As Told By Scott

She is nothing if not expressive, my Moo. I can't decide what I love best... the crumbs and dirt flecked all on her person or how UNBASHFUL she is.

I am a lucky mama. Scott is COOL!

May 16, 2011


Oh my yes... the spring in Da Plains is precarious. One day, 50 degrees. The next, 85 and 40mph winds.

Bryon and I are going to build a bricked firepit off of the patio when the deck and the pergola are built, but we wanted something portable in the meantime. It had to be heavy (or it would blow away) and it had to have an open top for roasting marshmallows!  

So on this Mother’s Day eve we did just that.

The kids played outside after dinner and Bryon built the fire. I watched and had my camera glued to my face. It was a great finish to a lovely day (one over 75 degrees!

Dear family of mine, I love you so.