Friday, December 9, 2011


Six year old boy:

"So now I am big and I can use the computer and dad can type this abc thing into the computer and I can play this game and it has all kinds of words and you have to spell them and add letters to make words and there is this dog...."

And at this point I am surprised, but proud that he is interested in learning games. My heavy reading influence must really be paying off if Boy wants to do spelling games more than motorbike racing. I am really making a difference, really instilling a love of reading....

"...And then if you miss a letter the dog starts bleeding and there is blood everywhere and the he DIES! It is so cool!"

Or maybe not.
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Saturday, November 19, 2011


The setting: Speedy Q, watching gas pump

The characters: Our heroine, nine year old Girl, six year old boy

Girl: Wow, it is almost ten dollars already!

Heroine: Let me know when it gets to fifty - it is expensive to drive. You should plan to get a good job so you can drive someday.

Girl: Oh, I am! I am going to be a doctor...or a lawyer....or a vet....or a singer.....

Boy: I am going to work at the carwash.

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Sunday, October 9, 2011

Perfect Day 2.0~

I know that last fall I wrote a blog entry saying that I had a perfect day. Apparently, I was lying. My apologies. Today's fall day was perfect. Or maybe I am lucky and will have multiple perfect days. Also, apparently fall is a good time of year for me.


Jack and I went to church together, where all three of my baby nephews were present, and so I got to hold babies and put my hand on Jack's leg while recharging my faith batteries for the week.

Then we went to McDonalds (as is our weekly custom in my family) with said nephews and their parents.

Then we went home briefly where I researched a bit of football statistics to further my goal of domination over all men in my fantasy football league. Also, I won my match this week - so yeah me.

Then we met Popeye and Olive and my oldest nephew and went golfing on this gorgeous fall day. My nephew brought his own club and continued to prove to us how smart he is by driving a golf cart by himself. When we weren't looking.

Then Jack took me to dinner at Nino's in Bay City, where I had pizza made from scratch with real mozzarella cheese that was so good that I don't have words for it.

Then on the way home from dinner we stopped at a liquor store and Jack bought us a couple bottles of wine.

And now I am blogging for a brief moment while Jack watches the end of a movie that suckered him in while I was in the shower. I am going to finish this up and then cuddle up for the rest of the night. Absolutely perfect.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

For My Father and All Skeptics~

This is dedicated to my dad, the coupon skeptic, who says to me everytime I bring up couponing:

"You are a sucker, they are just putting coupons out there to get you to buy things you don't need anyway and you fall for it every time."
This proclamation is accompanied by an eye roll usually and he walks away before I can state my case. Actually, this is typical of my relationship with my father who routinely issues proclamations about my life and walks away. Hmmmm...but I digress.. Coupons.

Here is my deal yesterday:

3 Boxes of Cocoa Puffs
1 Box of Lucky Charms
3 Bags of Steamfresh Veggies
7 Bags of Bugles Chips
8 Boxes of Totino Pizza Rolls

Grand Total: 11:43

That is almost 80% off retail value - and everything on the list is something we already buy. Now if my father ever reads my blog he will see that I am right - although he will still probably roll his eyes at the computer and walk away, I have the satisfaction of winning my way. Also, for those of you thinking that we feed the kids way too many Cocoa worries, those are mine.
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Thursday, September 22, 2011

The Mouth Of Babes~

Background: Jack's six year old son is playing a dirt bike game online when a random gaming pop-up opens up advertising a game to kill Bin Ladin - complete with disgusting graphics. This leads to this question:

Boy: Dad, did they really cut off Osama's head?

Jack: (trying to skate over the question) Mmmmm....I don't
really know....

Boy: Oh. That must be why he wears a towel on his head.
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Monday, September 19, 2011


I chopped my hair off, about seven inches anyway. I did it for many reasons - mainly that I was bored and that I was too lazy to do more than pony tail it anymore. I am blessed/cursed with my father's insanely thick hair so when I reached the point of a half an hour blow dry time it was time to amputate. For the record, I loved it when the girl styled it and I still cannot yet dulicate it- so it is beautiful and hip and sexy in this picture but slightly less so right this minute. However, I shall prevail...eventually.

I was slightly concerned about Jack's reaction since on several occaisions he has voiced his approval of my long hair, but he has yet to tell me I am anything less than hot (with the exception of creating a rule about not wearing my unattractive, white tube socks to bed) so I was not seriously worried. Which turned out to be correct. Jack's reaction to my new hair? After saying he loved it, he told me our relationship was going to be so much more work now because he was going to have to fight other men to keep them away from me. Smartest. Man. Ever.
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Sunday, August 28, 2011

Mistaken Identity~

So at the end of the school year Jack's nine year old daughter brings home a cup of dirt. Supposedly this cup of dirt contains a sunflower seed. Daughter forgets about this cup of dirt ten minutes after she excitedly tells us all about and runs away. Jack does not.

Being a good dad, Jack waters it every couple days til it sprouts. After a few weeks he transplants it into a little pot and the sprout now takes up residence on the front porch patio table- the same table where Jack and I sit frequently at night and have a conversation that goes something like this:

Me: I don't think that thing is going to flower.

Jack: Maybe it is a late bloomer.

Me: It looks like a weed.

Jack: No matter, I am going to continue to water it daily until, through sheer will and super dad powers, I transform it from a suspicious looking weed into a beautiful sunflower that my daughter grew from her own hands.

Ok, so he didn't say that last part - I inferred it from the look on his face. And the fact that he did continue to water it daily for the last three months, even though it has become glaringly obvious that this thing is not a flower.

Fastforward to present day where I have been walking around with a Kleenex box for the better part of two weeks because of allergies. We are sitting outside at the patio when Jack says, "Look! It flowered!" And indeed it had, except 'flowered' is the wrong word - what it actually was doing was 'seeding'. Daughter's pretty little sunflower is actually.....ragweed. Jack has been harboring and feeding my worst allergin all summer long, right outside the front door. Of course, by this time he has invested way too much time and energy into this devil plant - so even after I showed him identical photos proving it was ragweed.....he continues to water it. While I continue to sneeze. Don't be surprised if Monday while he is at work a huge jungle cat jumps on the porch and eats it - pot and all.

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Saturday, August 20, 2011


Holy cow, August is almost over. And I have times. I am ashamed, I am embarassed, I am mortified, I am......actually just busy. I wish that I could tell you exactly what I am busy doing but no great accomplishments leap to mind. So while you have been hovering over your keyboard refreshing the page to see what I am going to blog, only to be disappointed over and over (you know it) I have been:

Doing laundry.

Cooking at least 42 but not quite 74 grilled cheese sandwiches.

Watched an entire season of Project Runway on On Demand.

Read several no-brainer, beach reads while not on a beach - excluding my actual book club book, which I did not read.

Attended book club - where I covered the essentials of socializing, eating bad-for-me food, drinking beverages that cannot be served in sippy cups, and...this month...bowling.

Completely planned, researched, and sketched out my city garden that I plan on planting year since this year seems to be a check in the 'fail' column.

Planned on celebrating my one year anniversary with Jack by dressing in clothing other than pajama pants, drinking some whiskey and dancing like an idiot to super loud music.

Actually celebrated my one year anniversary with Jack by dressing in clothing that was pajama pants, drinking Sprite because it is caffeine free and doesn't keep me up all night, and eating take out pizza pockets in between demolishing a box of Kleenex due to my hate/hate relationship with ragweed and pretty much Mother Nature in general.

Began a new hobby of bird watching which basically means being able to sit on the porch and appreciate the difference between a sparrow and a chickadee. Which I am doing now, while blogging. I am such a multi-tasker.

So there ya have it. That is what you have been waiting for. I would like to promise you more adventure in the next week or so but to be safe I will just say that I again post a great adventure. Or at least something witty that involves more plot that just bullet pointing my mundane, monthy minutiae. (Notice that I left you with clever alliteration which changes this blog from stolen minute rambling into a literary piece of art. Enjoy)

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Update: Giraffe Butt~

This is a follow up to the previous post about the hazards of being lulled into safety by seemingly kid friendly television shows.

So to avoid explaining the giraffe birth process I channel switched to America's Got Talent - for the most part a family friendly show if the kids don't realize that the acrobat man in high heels and glitter is actually a stripper for gay bars by profession. So tonight we sat down together to problems....commercials begin......and a preview for a fall show comes on that ends with a man in bed yelling, "That's not your sex face! I wish it was!" Ugh.

Maybe we need to switch to mad libs before bed and avoid all parts of prime time.
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Monday, July 25, 2011

Giraffe Butt~

I am fairly vigilant about the tv remote control. Jack has parental control settings on the television and I frequently google different shows that his girls talk about to see if the content is age appropriate. I should have been less worried about ABC Family teen soap operas and paid more attention to the steathily treacherous Animal Planet.

Here is what went down:

I was watching tv with Jack's six year old son, desperately trying to avoid watching any more cartoons. So I started channel surfing and came across an Animal Planet show where they were talking about snakes and crocodiles. Win! Boy is equal parts thrilled and disgusted. I am quietly peaceful that I have dodged an hour of cartoons with characters such as the giant gumball head man. Believing all to be right in the world, I set down the remote and go the kitchen for a drink refill.

When I come back to the living room Boy is sitting wide eyed in front of the screen. He looks up as I enter and says, verbatim,

"Whoa! A big giraffe just pooped a little giraffe out of his butt! How did he do that?!?"

I have no idea.
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Thursday, July 14, 2011

Cupboard Takeover~

I know I haven’t blogged in a while. I am very sorry but I have been busy slowly taking over Jack’s house, one cupboard at a time. I jest….kind of. I have been busy and most of that busy has been at Jack’s house. Also, I am invading all the cupboards. So I guess I don’t jest. It is completely true.

Reorganizing is a compulsion/skill/flaw that I have inherited from my mother and then chose to expand upon. I cannot count the number of times in my childhood that I have seen my dad open a random cupboard looking for a glass for his Coke addiction and instead finding cereal. This was usually followed by a string of yelling along the lines of “where did the damn glasses go THIS time?” I think my mom dreamed this up as payback for all the times when she would come home from grocery shopping to find a wall ripped out or all the cupboards without doors and my dad grinning and covered in sawdust explaining that he just felt the need to start a project. I can just see her brain working… wanna mess with my cupboards without warning? Fine. Good luck finding anything in said cupboards.


I do it, too. Not as form of payback but because I love the way it looks when a cupboard is new and shiny and everything is lined up in a logical order…spices with spices, cereal boxes with cracker boxes, whiskey next to vodka. And I love it when I know exactly what the contents of the cupboards are and exactly where to find them. When you really need a mixed drink the last thing you want to do is shuffle around things hunting for the Jack Daniels. And I love, love, love the entire process of organizing and simplifying.

So slowly I began at Jack’s house. Because of course I have organized my own house so much that I reorganize things that don’t even need it anymore just to see if it is possible that I could invent an even better way to organize the cookbooks. Or the bathroom shelf. Or my closet. I consistently reinvent my systems, always crossing the line between orderly and insane. One of the major perks of a new relationship is a whole new house of unexplored and unorganized territory. Even if something is organized, it hasn’t been organized by me so it is still considered virgin ground. It is like a food addict suddenly moving into a bakery. Pure bliss.

I didn’t start right away, because that would be just crazy. Hi, how are you, I like you, let me reorganize your bathroom closet because you don’t fold your towels the right way. Not the best idea. So I held it in and just kept reorganizing my desk drawers at home. After a while though, I attacked the bathroom closet. I think Jack was equal parts amazed and terrified at the speed at which I whipped through it and moved everything to a new place. I gave him some down time to make his peace with my crazy before I moved onto new ground. Then I warned him about twenty five times that if he gave me the green light to play with the kitchen I would turn it upside down on a regular basis. He, being the brave or naive man that he is, said to do whatever I wanted. Whatever. I. Wanted. Ahhhhh…..

So I have been gutting the refrigerator, completely rearranging the cupboards, meal planning, and banishing clutter as I basically stamped my name all over his kitchen. I was so satisfied that my smile barely faltered when Jack came home that same night grinning from ear to ear over his ‘finds’ at his parent’s rummage sale – which filled his entire truck and included a full size bowling pin, a stuffed wolf wearing a skirt, and foam fingers. Game on.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011


In an effort to become (slightly) more serious about my blogging I am creating a newsletter that will update readers about new posts and any other fun stuff I deem newsletter worthy. This way all you readers that don't follow me on can still receive semi-regular updates about posts even though you refuse to publicly follow me. (I know you are there, I haven't read my blog 4000 times, someone must be reading.) So please send me an email at and include your email address, the email addresses of anyone you think would like my blog, and also many complimentary, adoring comments about my blog and/or life. Thank you.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Saving My Pride...with Pulled Pork~

I believe that I have mentioned a few times that Jack can cook. I think I have even mentioned that Jack pretty much always cooks for us. I am never in charge of dinner – unless I am picking it up from the pizza place and bringing it over, of course. I offer input on dinner, I make a killer queso dip, and I have been known to rub down a steak or two over the last few months – but the responsibility for dinner has pretty much been on Jack most of our relationship.

I didn’t mean for it to end up that way, it just kinda happened. I am at Jack’s house seven days a week and in the beginning, I just didn’t want to mess around in his kitchen. Then Jack’s work schedule changed up and for the last six months he has had a much more flexible schedule than mine. He can start dinner earlier than I can, so we can eat sooner. Especially on weeks when we have the kids, he can feed them whenever and whatever and they aren’t waiting on me. I don’t think it bothers him that he cooks – having kids pretty much meant he was used to cooking already – but I didn’t realize until the other day that he thought I couldn’t. The conversation went something like this:

Me: So if your work schedule switches back, then I guess I can make dinner instead now.

Jack: You do know that cooking dinner doesn’t involve a drive thru, right?

Burn. And while we laughed about it and I half heartedly protested that I can, in fact, cook – I think he truly does believe that I can’t. Or at least that I can’t cook well, I suppose. Now, he does have good reason to think this. Like I said, he always cooks and I never cook. Any time I have a meal that is not with him, I do usually grab a slice of pizza or hit a drive thru or eat a bowl of Cocoa Puffs. It’s true. But not because I can’t cook – because it is easier. I hate to cook for one. Especially when that one is me, because I am the pickiest adult eater in the state of Michigan. There are only so many ways you can cook ten different ingredients. Also, even if I halve a recipe there are still leftovers for days which mainly get wasted. And why would I go buy all the ingredients to build myself a lonely burger when I can run through the drive thru and get a fully assembled hamburger for 89 cents? It isn’t cost effective. So to recap: Cooking for one is a lot of work, it is expensive, and I am picky. Thus my fast food habit.

However, I love to cook. I love to try new recipes, I love to party plan and feed people, I love creating a menu and cross referencing it with my cupboards to create grocery lists organized by aisle….wow, I do have an organizing problem, don’t I? But I love the whole process of cooking. It is like life applicable math that when done correctly gives me brownies. What is not to love?

So today, to defend my honor, I am cooking. Well, not only to defend my honor but also because today is going to be a long day for Jack and I have a mother hen complex that makes me want to take care of him. And also because I spent much of nap time last week reading through scores of online recipes to find half a dozen to try out over the summer. Did I mention I love to try new recipes? So I have new recipes for pulled pork, for chicken manicotti, and for red wine rosemary steaks. I had to talk myself out of making all three this week. It would be so out of character for me that Jack would laugh at me for days – around all the delicious food I would be making, of course. So I picked one.

Today’s winner? Slow roasted pulled pork. Because Jack loves pulled pork and because it is something I can cook in the slow cooker and just take over to his house already done. Also, because I don’t do things half way – rotini veggie salad and banana nut bread. Both also new recipes (yeah!) that hopefully are both awesome. Of course, I don’t eat either one of those things so if they aren’t awesome all that is hurt is my pride and Jack’s tastebuds. But I have high hopes. I will be sure to let you all know the outcome, but I would just prepare yourself to hear the many accolades now if I were you.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Herb Garden Photo~

My latest venture into thinking I can do anything....the cinder block herb garden. It is by far the coolest thing to even grace my yard.
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Cinder Blocks and June Bugs~

We were being lazy on the couch watching Ty Pennington make over houses when I became obsessed with the idea of a cinder block herb garden. As usual, it didn't begin as an obsession. It began as a background shot of a garden wall leading into the house. It wasn't even a main shot or something that Ty pointed out or something the houseowner gasped was somewhere behind what the camera was actually filming. And I didn't immediately want it, I just immediately liked it and was intrigued by it. I mentioned to Jack how cool it looked and he agreed. Then I went home and began to plan. Did I mention it is the dead of winter?

So when I went home, I began by googling cinder block gardens. As always, I needed all the information that my nerdy little heart could find before I planned my own totally better garden. I hit gardening websites and forums and pictures...and I continued to hit them for hours. By the time I feel asleep with my laptop in my...well, lap...I had plenty of information. The next day I made pen and pencil blueprint drawings of different layouts after researching block dimensions. I redrew them over and over, figuring out the best diagram to use for maximum planting while still being pretty. I researched all the different herbs that I would realistically use and found out which of those would grow best in a container garden. Then I created a corresponding map of planting spots, showing exactly which herb would be in each hole. I finished up by summarizing all my diagrams and maps into a shopping list of plants and block so that I could easily amass all the necessary items. Then I showed it to Jack.

This is what I love about Jack. Well, part of what I love about Jack. He didn't laugh, he didn't roll his eyes, he didn't mention the fact that it was five months too early or that I am not a very accomplished block layer or that he has seen me cook with fresh herbs roughly zero times since we began dating. He said he thought we could do it. And last week....we did. And it looks absolutely awesome. And that is me being modest. It really looks even better than that. I will post pictures so you can see for yourself. So check them out and brace yourself for gardening adventure blog postings.


Even before I posted this, I had a gardening adventure! Not a great one. Word of advice - when planting an herb garden, do NOT plant directly under a super bright yard light that is activated automatically at dusk and that will attract thousands of June bugs from every direction. If you do...I promise that about twenty of these June bugs a night will commit suicide by flying directly into it, thus leaving gross beetle corpses mingling in your strawberries and rosemary. Yucky.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Blog Refresh~

***UPDATE: After saying what a pain in the ass this was to do, of course I come back a few days later and it is all GONE. UGH. So I will slowly re-tag all this stuff, but I don't have the heart to do it today.

So this title is misleading. I did not change a background or reinvent myself or begin a new season or upload a picture gallery.

I DID however add labels! So exciting! And you better think so because it was very annoying to do, so like it damn it. So now, every character gets tagged if they are mentioned in a blog. This means if you want to read all the mush that is Jack then you click on his name and see everywhere he shows up. Or you can do the same if ya wanna see all my scandal and divorce disaster. I also added just a few labels for the important things in life - my family, my opinions, and of
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Saturday, May 7, 2011

Paper and Pomanders~

So I have several traits that, on the surface look good. In fact, they are good...when used in a productive vein or when viewed on their own. I am very organized, very focused and efficient, and I attack new things with lots of energy and commitment. Sounds very positive. However when you combine all these things - and the power of internet browsing on my phone - and leave it alone on the couch during naptime.....strange things happen. Here is how yesterday went down:

Setting: Our heroine's couch, naptime, traditionally the time when cleaning gets done. Alas, a distraction...

Our (flawed, but amusing) heroine: "Oh look! An article about Kate's bouquet! I need to see that!"

Two minutes later:

"Oh look! A link to someone who made a do-it-yourself bouquet that looks like Kate's! I gotta check it out!"

Two minutes later:

" Oh look! Instructionson how to make paper flowers! I wonder if it really works or if this is just tacky? I need to try it!"

Two minutes later...

I am cutting out typing paper and trying to make paper carnations. Sucess! It could have ended right here, but all those previously mentioned traits? That combined can be used for evil if I don't harness them correctly? They won.

I decided I needed to see the flowers in color so I found scrapbooking paper. I wanted to make different flowers so I googled and researched until I had more designs. I found instructions to make hanging pomander balls that look like the ones I loved at The Wynn in Vegas. So I made my own core with balled up tinfoil and started toothpicking flowers to it and ribboning. When the kids woke up I let them run around like crazy animals - as long as they didn't touch my work station ( the couch) after briefly considering using them like a child sweatshop to churn out mini rosebuds for filler flowers. I seriously thought about telling Jack I would be late for date night so I could finish. Thankfully, a kid got bit which broke my focus and forced me out of my paper flower trance.

So now, I am a paper flower making goddess. And should Jack and I get married one day, we will have the best hanging pomander balls that you have ever seen - way better than the ones I saw online, maybe (definitely) even better than the real Kate bouquet. What a fantastic use of my time, I am genius for spending my free time learning a new, almost-pointless skill. Unfortunately now I still have to do all that cleaning. Maybe I can start selling paper pomander balls and pay someone to do my housework?
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Thursday, April 28, 2011

Happy Birthday Jack~

As you may have surmised from the title, today is Jack's birthday. So in honor of that I will dish a little. (I am sure that is all he really wants for his birthday - for me to talk about him to all my blog readers. Just in case though, I also got him a Keurig) With that said, here are ten random, fairly non-intrusive, fun things about Jack and/or us.

1. When I was a little girl I wanted to be a little boy and my parents refused to humor me. So Jack is the one who taught me how to throw a football.

2. Jack is the best listener I have ever met. Which is great because I am pretty awesome at talking.

3. Jack likes to dance when he drinks.

4. I think Jack is sexiest when he is doing ordinary things like laundry or putting the kids to bed.....or breathing.

5. We have still not had a real fight over anything.

6. Next to me and his kids, the thing he loves most is pulled pork sandwiches. Ok, maybe not exactly in that order.

7. Jack is an awesome cook, with an especially good method for cooking steaks - and six out of seven nights he makes us dinner. The seventh night we eat out.

8. He knows someone every place we go. Literally. And half of them still call him by a nickname he had in school, probably thinking it is his actual name. It always makes me smile.

9. He apparently knows how to fillet and cook squirrel. I told him that is a skill I don't need to witness firsthand.

10. He makes me the very best version of myself and more happy than I have ever been. Unless I mess up and eat his leftovers, I see us very happy for a very long time.
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Tuesday, April 26, 2011

It's A Privilege~

I try hard not to be judgemental. Which, I admit, is hard for me because I am a typical first born child that mostly believes I know all. Therefore, there are many opportunities for me to see people that DON'T know all. I say this tongue-in-cheek....but there is some truth in there. So when I find myself thinking negatively about somebody's ass-backwards...uh, different...ideas or behaviors I try and remind myself that I don't know their story or their background and that I shouldn't judge. However, there are exceptions.

Here's a big one - bad moms. Now I don't mean those who spank their kids or feed them cookies for dinner because they don't want to hear whining after a long day or ones that hit that last nerve and scream 'QUIET!' at the top of their lungs after the fifteenth '...but, MOM..' whine. I mean the women that should never have been allowed to have kids. They are out there. There is no excuse, no background, no story that makes it acceptable to demean, neglect, or mess with your child's head. And there is nothing that makes me sicker than a woman that has blessed with a child and thinks that child is a tool for getting her way or a meal ticket or a weapon to use for power or attention. As a society we should just stitch them all up in uncomfortable places - with blunt instruments and without anesthesia- and give those kids to people that appreciate them for the blessings that they are.

Being able to raise children is a privilege. Even if you didn't expect to be a mom or think you aren't ready to be a mom - if that day comes then you grow the hell up, put your big girl panties on, and get your priorities in order. I think I am sensitive to this issue just because I don't have kids yet at thirty two and I have always wanted them. So it just makes my blood boil that there are these selfish, spoiled, bitchy women that take their kids completely for granted - or worse, use them for their own gain. It feels like the most unfair thing in the world that children aren't always paired with people that love them or treat them the way that they should be. And it sucks that there is so little legally that we can do to change that. How awful is it that one of these moms needs to do something truly atrocious before they lose their rights? Basically, we need them to hurt or endanger a child BEFORE we can step in - instead of stepping in and preventing that hurt. I could vent for days about this topic, but I will spare you all my inner angst and just conclude with....the system sucks and those moms suck...and that is this woman's view~

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Coupon Queen~

It would be fair to say that in life thus far I have not been smart with money. I have never starved or slept without a roof (involuntarily) or gone without any real needs. But sometimes....every once in a while...I have been unable to buy a cute new handbag. Tragic.

Anyway, back when I was young and dumb I thought I was better than coupons. I would look at all the people in the grocery store and think arrogantly of how sad it was that they were chained to that little pile of paper in their hands - while I was free to buy anything in the store regardless of coupon or price....I was ruler of the grocery store. Want it, buy it, self-satisfied smirk out the door. Dumb, dumb, dumb.

Even after I grew up (a little) and began to be (somewhat) responsible with my money, I still thought coupons were more hassle than they were worth - for some reason my brain refused to convert coupons to money in my head while rationalizing it through. However, one of my book club members seduced me with stories of free razors and lots of savings and just like that....hooked.

Did you know that a dollar coupon means I get to keep a whole dollar in my purse AND STILL get what I want?? Except at Kroger, it means I get to keep TWO whole dollars! (God loves us, so he gave us double coupons.) And if I collect ten of those coupons I can keep ten, or maybe even twenty, dollars in my later go spend on something more fun than groceries, like summer handbags or cheesy bread or more organizational tools than any one woman needs.

So now I have a coupon binder, which is the most perfect combination of my new coupon craziness and my old organizational issues. It is like my own little neurotic heaven. And I can't explain the satisfaction I found on my first foray into the grocery stores on a Super Saturday. Three hours, sixty dollars in savings, and a free tube of toothpaste later....I was a tired, but satisfied shopper. I told everyone I knew about my super buys, including under a dollar shampoo and conditioner and rug cleaner. And I immediately began plotting my next attack on the grocery stores. Now it is like a game to see if I can beat my best deal.

The only down side I can see to this is that I am starting to collect things. I used to laugh at my ex-mother-in-law because she literally had a pantry in the basement and anytime she was out of something there was usually one down there. And now it is happening to me. I probably have sixty pounds of dog food, three bags of cat food (my pets are never going to go hungry), and I recently grabbed up four bottles of dish soap at seventy nine cents each. And that isn't even going into my own cupboards yet. I need to be on guard or soon I will end up with random things because they were such a good deal. In the middle of a coupon haze I will be overcome with giddiness that I can save five bucks on a carton of corndogs. When that day comes (and it will) ....I promise to take pictures.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Reluctantly Healthy~

This week I had dinner with Charlotte, who is one of my steady girl dinner date partners. We share a love of red meat, wine, and have a shared intolerance of stupidity. It gives us lots to talk about.

Anyway, during the course of conversation we were talking about the ridiculousness of weight loss and gain. She, being pregant, has an excuse for weight gain. I am simply gestating a twenty pound pizza. And simply writing that sentence makes me want a pepperoni. What on earth is the matter with me???

Absolutely nothing.

Here is my view on weight. Would I like to be 150 pounds and toned and smoking hot and never have to worry about thunder thighs ever again? Of course. Would I like that at the expense of pizza and pop and ice cream and M&M's and all the other completely awful-for-me things that I like? Not a chance.

Genetically, I am not meant to be skinny. Seriously, I researched this and some people's genetic code makes their fat cells more likely to absorb and hang on to fat than other people. It also genetically picks what places on your body that fat clings to. When I told Lola this she didn't feel better. I thought it was reassuring - like....'Hey! Its not us! Its our jeans! Errr....genes!' But she was not reassured. As a matter of fact she went crazy and declared war on our genes, getting all skinny and toned and reinforcing all my bottled up shame from eating more than two doughnuts in one sitting. Ugh.


I saw how much Lola had to do to get skinny and toned - and I watch her beat herself up for gaining a few pounds back or losing tone and getting soft or squishy a bit. And I think about all that work sometimes when I sit on my couch and eat my doughnuts. Poor Lola, missing all this sugary goodness and eating her little portions of low fat, low carb, (blasphemy!) mini meals and snacks.

This is not to say that I just sit around and eat and work on producing fat rolls. I occaisionally declare war on my genes from time to time as well. About two years ago I got on a scale just out of curiosity and almost passed out when it said two hundred pounds. Two hundred pounds? How on earth had I got there? If you are two hundred pounds, this is not an insult to you by the way - but for me, that was the line. I knew where I had been my whole life and for me to cluelessly just climb the scale and hit that point was ridiculous. I was completely motivated to get healthy and wage war on my super-soaking fat cells.

So Lola and I and Leah and Olive and a few others all joined a local body challenge and vowed to be in bikinis by summer. Lola kicked all our asses and still today makes me look like her chunky version, but I lost thirty pounds and I felt better than I had in years. At 170, I went out and bought bikinis and lived in them all summer long. I was happy. I was healthy. And I was shameless. And according to medical professionals...I was still twenty pounds overweight.

I am never going to be at my doctor recommended weight. I haven't seen 150 pounds on a scale since I was in high school and I have zero plans that involve ever seeing it again. I know that Americans are overweight and that we all should be health conscious, but at what point do we say enough? People are made in all shapes and sizes and we should embrace that. Especially us women. Let's stop beating ourselves up and find that things that are beautiful about us - whether they jiggle or not. Because let's be real you really want to live a long healthy life....without donuts?

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Angry Sunflowers~

So I told Jack the next project was at his house. I even specified that it should be his bedroom. We vaguely discussed colors and ideas and then a few days later......WHAM! A gallon of paint, a new border, and a package of rollers are there. Already. Jack is very project focused. I should keep this in mind for the future and make sure to only mention something if I want to spend my next weekend actually doing it. Lesson learned.

In all actuality, I don't mind the bedroom project. One - because it is a relatively easy project and Two - the sunflowers were out to get me. Let me explain.

Jack has done some type of work to almost every room in his house. His bedroom is the glaring omission. I don't know if it is a boy thing and he doesn't appreciate the wonder of a bedroom sanctuary or if it is just that no one sees it so why bother, but the bedroom was just left to its own devices. Which meant that about three quarters of it was bordered with these very aggressive sunflowers. Now I have nothing against actual sunflowers, but these ones are big and bright and angry looking. I know that sounds weird- but these sunflowers are right in your face with all their ugliness, daring you to say something. They are rogue, bully sunflowers that have been around since 1982 silently glaring off that wall in mute protest of the endof Milli Vanilli. They need to die. So I will happily be digging out my painting clothes again today and murdering sunflowers.

They will be replaced by pinecones that at first glance appear much more peaceful. I take no responsibility for the pinecones, Jack picked them out all on his own. Because he deprived me of shopping for borders with him and just did the boy thing and went out and bought one at the first store he went to, I am withholding judgement and/or approval until I see it on the wall. I can't endorse something I did not specifically organize or pick out. It is against control freak dogma. So if you thought the home repair blogging was at an end because my floor was fear, there is lots more to come.
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Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Floor Plans: The Last Frontier

The final floor pictures. At last. And as we entered the home stretch Jack and I were cuddling at the end of the night and he what is our next project? I said I didn't care as long as it was at HIS house.
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Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Floor Plan Pictures~

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Floor Plans 3

The saga continues....

So once I had established that my floor was more work than one woman could handle, I did the sensible thing and appealed to my handy boyfriend to help bail me out. He was glad to help (I think he is secretly thrilled to have a project to play with, but that could be my imagination) and has vast more amounts of knowledge in this arena than I do. Here is the only thing...

When you ask someone to help you that actually knows the right way to do something - all of a sudden there are many more steps to a project. And by many more steps, I obviously mean more work. Doh. Unexpected physical labor. Oops.

So what I thought was a quick sand 'em up, slap on a coat of poly job now has evolved. Jack convinced me I needed to pull off baseboards, then I had to repaint them - which meant unearthing old cans of dusty paint. Which then lead to painting the bottom edge of the wall where it wasn't painted. Now I feel like since I have the room empty and the paint out I might as well fix the stripes on wall that have needed touch ups since right after I moved in, so I spent my morning taping off stripes. This afternoon I will be filling in cracks with wood putty and hopefully rocking out one of the stripe colors on the wall. Tonight after Jack joins me we have an hour of sanding to do and a coat of stain. Tomorrow another coat of stain, more stripe painting, and reapplying baseboards. I would like to believe that is it, but I am not getting my hopes up. Hopefully I can have furniture back in there by the weekend. Pray for me.

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Monday, February 14, 2011

My Valentine~

I don't do mush well. So it goes without saying that Valentine's Day is not really my best holiday. Not that I don't like it, but the overwhelming mush of it all sometimes makes me feel like a Valentine Scrooge. (Especially last night when I had to fight through the mob of wild eyed, crazed looking moms fighting for the valentine packages just so I could get a heart shaped peanut butter egg.) Don't get me wrong- I love romance and flowers and Kenny G playlists as much as the next girl. But after a decade of dating in the real world, I am way too much of a realist to suspend belief for the day and believe in fat, winged babies shooting people in the ass to make the world a happier place. However...

This Valentine's Day is not only mushy, cupid day- it also marks six months of dating for Jack and I. Sometimes I find it impossible to believe we have been dating that long already - and other times it feels like we have been together forever. So I am feeling not exactly more mushy, but maybe more sentimental than normal. That does not mean I believe in fat, winged babies, but it may inspire me to find racy lingerie and wear it to Jack's with a trenchcoat and hooker boots. Of course, that is really just standard Monday night entertainment....

All kidding aside, (and me putting on hooker boots on a weeknight after being with kid since six a.m. is definitely a joke - so you can breathe again Mom) Jack and I will be spending our Valentine's Day barricaded together in his house with steaks and red wine and pajama pants and probably large amounts of pink and red peanut M&M's. It should come as no surprise that I love the parts of Valentine's Day that are comfortable....or edible. It is a testament to how much I love Jack that I am even willing to share~
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Sunday, February 6, 2011

Timeline of a Relationship~

In the beginning, we try hard. We exfoliate, we curl, we lipstick and whiten and pluck. We clean our cars and our houses and our lawns. We do our nails – hands and toes. We curl up on the couch in the most flattering position – the one that hides our extra love handles and pushes out our cleavage. We stock up our purses with lip gloss and breath mints and other emergency supplies. We try to put our best foot forward, say the right things, dress to impress.

Then we get comfortable.

We start shaving every other day instead of every day – you can barely feel it anyway.

We resume using ponytail holders and ditch the more intensive make up. Goodbye eyeliner.

We have the break through night in where we trot out the pajama pant look, ruining the fantasy that we really sleep all the time in sexy nighties and thigh highs.

We talk about our periods.

We admit we don’t like their crazy friend.

We begin to roll our eyes when they find yet another sporting event on tv.

We stop wearing the heeled boots that make our ass look good and yank back out our comfy tennis shoes.

We break out all our favorite foods that make our breath stink – for me, sour cream and onion stax. Yummy. But smelly.

Men should take all this slacking off as a compliment actually. I don’t feel the need to impress you anymore, I feel comfortable enough in our relationship to know you aren’t in it for the sexy clothes or perfectly curled hair. I feel safe enough with you to be myself, the way I am at home on the days I am not with you. There is no longer days where I have to ‘pretty up’ because I am going to see you – which means that you see me an hour earlier than before. Not that I won’t pretty up from time to time, but I no longer feel the need to do it all the time. I am secure enough in us to believe you are going to stick around when you see my hair without styling products. So here is the message men should take from this : the worse I look when I come see you, the more I love you. Enjoy the extra hour of me in my sweatpants.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Snow day~

Ok -technically this is several days post-snow day, but this is my favorite moment of my lazy Saturday afternoon:

Jack's six year old son runs into the house where his sisters and I are relaxing on the couch and yells, "Stephanie! We are building the coolest snow tunnel ever! (Insert more gushing over snow forts/fights/tunnnels here)" And then he runs back outside. I laugh and doze back off.

Fifteen minutes later....

Jack walks in the house, grinning like a little kid. "We are building snow tunnels! (Insert more restrained gushing here) We may be out playing all night!" And then he is gone.

This is exactly how I have always wanted my Saturday afternoons to be. Thank God for Jack.
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Thursday, February 3, 2011

Bikinis in Winter~

If there was ever a time where it was glaringly obvious to me that men simply do not think like women, it would when Jack asked me to go swimming. In January. Granted, it was an inside pool with a hot tub and I like water. But I am willing to bet that if you asked any woman to go find a bathing suit to go swimming with twenty four hour notice in the middle of winter….she would react the same way I did in my head where Jack couldn’t see or hear. WHAT?!?!?!?

My brain frantically began cataloguing all the reasons this was a bad idea. One, I am almost albino white by the middle of January once my summer tan is completely dead. Two, my skin is super dry on a normal day – and this bitter cold day that was probably the driest of the entire year had leached whatever little moisture I had left. So I am white, flaky, and dry. Three, winter shaving. Any woman that tells you she shaves the same way in the winter as she does in bathing suit season is either lying or has waaaaay too much time on her hands. Or she is truly Superwoman. So now I piss off my super dry, super white skin by trying to super shave like I haven’t in months – which naturally results in angry red razor bumps that show up beautifully against all the albino that is my skin. Perfect. And I am not done yet.

How about the fact that even though my elliptical machine is in my living room I haven’t used it in probably two weeks? Or that I have ate fat-sucking carbs day in and day out all week in the form of pizza and breadsticks? Or that I recently discovered how much I miss full caffeine, non-diet Coke? Or that Jack and I have been dating almost six months so I was lulled into that comfortable stage where you don’t worry so much over dimples that no one can see anyway? Or that I hadn’t looked at any of my bathing suits in months, much or less looked at myself in one. Bathing suits never look the same from season to season – how in the world am I supposed to have one magically ready in twenty four hours that will instantly transform me from a water-retaining, carb bloated, flaky dry, red bumped, dimpled albino into anything resembling sexy and attractive???

Of course I said none of this to Jack, because that would make me look like the insecure, typical, body conscious woman that I am, but try not to be. Instead I said – sounds like fun! And I pulled out my drawer of bathing suits, braved the mirror in a bikini, breathed a sigh of relief that I could actually wear it in public without feeling like I need a mask to disguise my identity, and I went swimming. And it was fun. And I forgot all about everything that I had obsessed about for the past twenty four hours and enjoyed myself. And later that evening, Jack gave me one more example of how men and women think differently when the only comment he had about the way I looked in my bathing suit was …

Wednesday, January 26, 2011


Hap-py Birth-day to meeeeee! Today is my actual birthday, as opposed to all those other times where I have extended my birthday. I like to think I am charmingly obnoxious about celebrating my birthday but I may just be plain ole obnoxious. No matter. Now that I am officially 32 I am too old to change.

Being a Tuesday and being that I love sleep more than anything, except Jack and pizza, celebrating this year will be less rockstar party and more slumber party. Donuts in my pjs with my Mom and my toddler friends. Pizza for lunch with Olive and my adorable nephews - still in my pjs. Dinner out with Jack -although probably not in pjs. Followed by presents and adoration til bed. Lovely.
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Saturday, January 15, 2011

Floor Plans 2~

Lucky for all of you I am a waaaay better blogger than handyman. Also lucky for you....I am completely willing to make fun of myself and share my mistakes.

Today was the first serious day of floor work after my evening of demo. I built up my motivation, which took awhile, changed into destroyable clothes and stepped into the room. Then.....I immediately injured myself. I was using these scrubber things (the official term) to clean up all the crap on the surface if the floor and immediately shoved a sliver the size of a ballpoint pen into my finger. It hurt. I screamed. I pulled it out, sucked it up, and perservered. Unfortunately, I didn't learn anything and ten minutes later I put another sliver in - except this time I put it in so far that there wasn't an end left so I could pull it out. And it bled, and I cried, and I bandaided it up while whimpering like a baby....and then I sucked it up and perservered. Again. Despite my non-life-threatening injuries I managed to successfully clean all the guck (another official term) off the floor so it is smooth and clean - and I used my uninjured hand to pull up all the inside carpet staples. And that is all I got I got done. I still have crazy stains and spots everywhere BUT....I am making progress. This promises to be a lenghty project. Doh.

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Thursday, January 13, 2011

Floor Plans~

So from time to time my brain snaps and I believe that I am adept at all things construction. Never mind that I have zero experience in anything that requires manual labor or that my avorite kind of project is one that is neatly wrapped up in four hours or less. However impractical, I have random moments of grandiose dreaming where I believe I know all.

Prime example. When Leah and I first moved in together we were sitting around - at like six o'clock in the evening mind you - when we decided we should paint our bedrooms. Not one of them, but both. Painting party! So we got on painting clothes, headed up the road to Menards where we spent at least an hour debating colors, came home and moved all the furniture and started eight o'clock at night. And not just plain painting - we got creative. One whole wall in my room is striped four different shades of blue - which looks really cool if you stand far away and ignore the fact that I freehanded it so I could do it all in one night instead off taping it off and being patient like a normal person. Leah painted her room green with drawn on circles and stencils. We were up for a very long time.

We get this trait from our dad. The entire time I was growing up my dad was always into some kind of project. These projects almost always were a surprise to my mom, who would come to find a random wall demolished or her cupboards all ripped out, the dreaded drop clothes spread out. However, my dad probably knew what he was doing most of the time - where I just think I do.

What prompted this blog? I ripped out my bedroom carpet last night at around seven o'clock. I was certain there was beautiful hard wood floor underneath so for three hours I moved furniture, yanked up carpet pulled upholstery nails, tore up padding, and generally made a mess. Underneath was a beautiful, old wood floor.....littered with spots and stains. Perhaps it was overly optimistic of me to assume a gorgeous floor was just sitting there waiting to be revealed, but now I have no carpet and a wood floor that requires more loving care than I think I am qualified to give. So I am going to give it my best shot - possibly rent a sander and play with it over the weekend. Perhaps try and shanghai Jack into helping me by offering up my body for the good of my floor. And if all else fails....I will shopping for area rugs Sunday night.
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Monday, January 10, 2011


This year my family is unwittingly helping me extend my birthday celebration even longer. Just when I thought I had gotten as much mileage as possible out of my birth, I was once again shown that more is possible. The universe WANTS to celebrate my birthday in a spectacular way! Who am I to refuse?

Actually, the blame for my super early pre-birthday celebration falls on Lola's mother-in-law. We will affectionately dub her 'Stewie' in this blog for two reasons. One, she is a kick ass Martha Stewart kinda mom. Two, the character Stewie is the exact opposite of everything about her - which makes it a hilarious alias. I am going to laugh every time I see it. And that is what the blog is mainly about....amusing me.

Ok, I am slightly off topic....

So Stewie's family has a monthly family dinner where they celebrate everything for that month - and Lola loved the idea so much that we stole it. (Thievery runs in my family apparently) Because we decided to do ours the second Sunday of the month, my Jan 18 birthday began yesterday on the 10th....a full eight days early. Genius.

As if the eight day pre-birthday were not enough, I have guilted several of my sisters and friends into a girls night out on the 22nd....four days after my birthday. In between those twelve days I plan on talking Jack into drinking with me one night this weekend and having pizza and cake and drinks on my actual birthday. So I am getting in lots of celebration as well as gifting myself with a Nook, a pedicure, and a massage. I love January.
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Tuesday, January 4, 2011

2011~ very, very busy time in the life of this blogger. So much happened - with me and my family. New spouses, new babies, new relationships. It was a very full, very exciting, and very packed year. And I am sure that 2011 will not be any different. Here's hoping anyway~

I only have two resolutions for the new year. Because my life is pretty much perfect of course. Kidding. Kinda. But this is the year of simplifying so I am going to start that off right by keeping my resolutions simple. Last year I had many resolutions and did fairly well on all of them...this year I have few resolutions and I am going to rock them.

Resolution One:

Get my financial life organized and put some cash in my travel fund. That travel fund is my reward for getting organized. If I follow my budget the way I should then I should be able to go cruising around the Caymans next winter guilt free. If I don't follow it, then I will probably cruise around the Caymans with the guilt. Which is a prime example of why I am bad with money. I have zero self control. Wait...I HAD zero self control! This is a new year, new start. Now I magically have self control and am a budget queen. I forgot.

Resolution Two:

Get in shape enough to run the Warrior Dash without embarrassing myself or looking scary in stretchy workout gear. This is a 5k race with a dozen obstacles stretched throughout - things like jumping floating logs, climbing rope walls, and belly crawling in mud. And we get Viking helmets! Doesn't it sound like fun?? I think it sounds WAY cooler than a plain, boring, all running 5K. Also, it means I don't need to run straight for three miles - which I can't do anyway. My training plan is extremely flexible. Sometime during the week I will run on my elliptical and lift some arm weights. Notice there is no mention of how long or how many days or if I need to do this while eating an ice cream sandwich or not. In my new simple plan for 2011, I find it easier to set goals I know I can manage. Don't wanna stress myself out just to become a Viking Warrior for July. Because let's be really honest here...I am not going to get super buff and get recruited for someone's Viking team once they see my fantastic rope climbing skills. My goal is simply not to drown in the mud slide.

So there ya have it. Goodbye 2010 - thanks for the insanity and the fun and the new blessings. Welcome to 2011 - year of simplification, organization, and mediocre fitness.