Tuesday, November 27, 2012


So this is my semi Thanksgiving post, five days later.  It's not that I have ANYTHING against Thanksgiving.  At all.  In fact, in a NORMAL world, I love love LOVE it and make a huge deal and it's all pinterest and Kelle Hampton and things like that.
These past few years have been less than stellar.  I'm not blaming anyone but myself, considering everything was in my own power, but it is what it is.  Nov 2009 was nice, we were in Connecticut, unsettled, getting mentally prepared for Guam, knowing we were only in CT for six short cold months. Rudy and Erin had us over and it was nice, truly.  But I just didn't take the time to make it anything special because I was overwhelmed with life right then.  Actually, I was in the throes of my first bout of post partum depression and was too consumed with the ONEHUNDREDPERCENTSUREFACT that Warren was dead any time he was out of my sight for more than two straight minutes.
Nov 2010, we were in Guam and Nick was gone for five weeks in and around Thanksgiving.  We had a boat dinner at one of the sweet wive's houses, and it was nice and fun and fancy and elegant, but again, I didn't make ANY effort to make it special or meaningful for us as a family. I was also massively pregnant, overweight, on a pretty strict diet from my OB, and in the throes of antenatal anxiety and depression wherein I was convinced that Daisy had died inside of me if she went more than two straight minutes without kicking.  On a side note, Nick was gone for five months the following summer, and to this day, I say that those five weeks in Nov and Dec of 2010 were ten times harder on me.  Seriously.
Nov 2011, we'd packed out to move to Hawaii a month earlier, so a good friend had us over.  That year was actually special and nice and all that, but once again, I didn't do ANYTHING special.  She did all the cooking and cleaning and I just superglued a bow to my baby's head and showed up to eat.
This view out Jess' window MURDERS me.  This is what she sees when she wakes up EVERY FUCKING DAY.

And Nov 2012.  I didn't do ANYTHING this year again.  This was the worst one.  I don't think I asked a single kid what he or she was thankful for this entire month.  I'm being serious.
I don't know why.  We ARE grateful.  About a LOT of stuff.  So why didn't I make a point to talk about it? Even ONCE?
I have no idea.  I'm stressed, and anxious, and I have senioritis.  Excuses are like assholes, and these are mine.  Basically, as soon as Nick emailed me that we got London Adjacent Baby, I mentally checked out of life and have been on autopilot ever since.
So this year, Jess mentioned having us over in passing, and I held her to it and my family of six busted down the door on Thursday afternoon.
Which brings me to the point of this post.  Friends.  Not just Jess, but all of them.  All of my friends.
Isn't this a cool shot? She's on the bed inside, and Scott is out on the patio with me, that's his reflection on the glass in front of Daisy.

Without friends, I wouldn't have even had a Thanksgiving for the past four years.

When I didn't do a single thing to be joyful and show my kids the meaning of the holidays, my friends stepped in a took care of it for me.

You know what sums up friendship for me? Like, awesome friends friendship?  That scene at the end of one of those Lord of the Rings movies.  Now, I'm not a Lord of the Rings fan.  I almost stopped reading PW when she admitted that she thought one of those movies was the best movie ever, that she thought it should have beaten Forrest Gump.  PUH-LEASE.

But anyway.  Elijah Wood is like carrying this necklace or ring or whatever to throw it into the lava (does that sound at all correct? I did see all three movies, but I can't promise I was awake for the majority.  But I think I have the jist here.  No? And is it gist?)  Anyway, the necklace is making him sick or something.  Maybe even killing him? And Sean Astin from Rudy (and The Goonies!!!) for some reason isn't allowed to just take the necklace and do it himself, since he's healthy and Elijah Wood is in really bad shape by now.  I would go so far as to say maybe Rudy would die or something if he took the necklace.  The ring.  Isn't that it? Won't the ring make him go crazy or something?

ANYWAY.  So Rudy finally says something along the lines of Hey! You know what? I can't take this ring (necklace?) from you and do this for you.  I can't lift your burden and I'm so sorry.  But you know what I CAN do Elijah Wood? I can carry YOU. And then (I think) he like carries Elijah Wood up the mountain to throw it in the lava.  (I might rent this movie.  Any idea which of the three it is?)

And that's friendship.  And you know who you are, and I'm not going to name names and get all emotional and having FEELINGS.  You know who you are and that I can't do this without you and I love you and appreciate everything you do.

And you know what? True, I didn't read the books and I apparently don't remember the movie that well.  But I remember leaving that theater thinking Hey, screw Elijah Wood, whatever, Rudy is the real hero of that story.


Tidings of Comfort and Joy

How have I never heard of this band before? Acts of Congress.  I 'discovered' them yesterday on the PW website, and granted, these four Christmas songs and the cover of that song from Garden State are the extent of my Acts of Congress exposure, but thus far, I love them.  LOVE LOVE LOVE.  Their O Holy Night isn't the Mariah Carrey experience that we're all used to, but it's still something special.  Amazing even.

Anyway.  It probably won't surprise you to know that I'm wild about Christmas.  As a child, I had to wait until Thanksgiving night to set up the tree and whatnot, but ya'll, being an adult is SOAWESOMESOMETIMESICAN'TEVENBELIEVEIT.  Say I want to put my tree up two weeks BEFORE Thanksgiving.

I CAN!!!

For a few years, I used to sort of look around, sort of over my shoulder, as if some grownup was going to jump out and demand that I undecorate my house.  Then I realize, duh, I'm the grownup!! This is MY house!!!


Seriously, Ava's always whining and crying that it's not fair that I get to eat after bedtime and I get to stay up late and wear yoga pants all day- I could go on and on.  And I always laugh at her and say "just wait dude, being an adult is SO FUN!!!"

So yeah.  When we had our packout, we thought we were leaving on Nov 30, so I didn't set aside a single Christmas decoration.  Nary a stocking to hang on the wall (er, near the chimney? I forget how non-islanders do things), not a single gold bulb, not even a wisp of wine colored tinsel to drape over the nonexistent bannister.  NADA.

It's depressing, to say the very least.  AND, to add insult to injury, we SOLD all the lights and electric outside decorations that we didn't send to England because of the voltage issue.  So we sort of have DOUBLE nothing.

So fearing the wrath of his lunatic wife more than the distinct possibility of living in a shelter and driving her to Shopaholics Anonymous meetings, Nick helped me pick out the world's smallest, yet still oddly elegant, tree, two strings of lights, and a box of gold and burgundy bulbs.  I was so happy I almost cried.

I fluffed that little tree, lovingly placed each bulb, and stepped back to admire my creation of beauty.

Then the kids raided the printer for paper and got to work adding their own decorations.


Let me give you a little tour of the above picture.  That's my Golden Girls aloha chair, part of the matching set that the military loaned us after I shipped our own stuff out.  That's an end table with all the wires under it, the router and the modem and things like that on the floor, then the cable box and dvd player (even though we don't have ANY dvds, but please don't get me started on that) and the TV. The TV is missing its stand (we had it hung on the wall upstairs) so it's really short, and can't peak its little sensor up over the cable box.  So we've got it sitting on...wait for it...a twelve pack of coke zero.  Then there's the tree, with the kids' papers.  I won't even call them decorations, because alls they did was take 8.5x11 papers from the printer and poke holes in it to stab it to the tree.

As I said, classy.

But whatever, I love it.  I love Christmas!!!  Imagine me clapping my hands with glee and even showing the rare smile.  Seriously, I LOVE the holidays.

So obviously, I've been listening to Christmas music nonstop since November 2nd.  Now, there's so many different types and genres and singers and blah blah blah, but here's a few of my personal favorites.

Now.  I am not a Jessica Simpson as an artist fan, or a Jessica Simpson as a role model fan, or even a Jessica Simpson as a member of humanity fan.  But Jessica Simpson as a singer of Christmas songs? Oh HELL yes.

I also LOVE her Little Drummer Boy with Ashley, but that's mainly for the drums, and my point (if I could say that I have one) for this is the lyrics.  Because Hark the Herald Angels Sing is my all time favorite Christmas song.  Yes, I know O Holy Night is supposed to be our favorite, blah blah blah, but what can I say.  I do love O Holy Night, I really do.  I just love Hark the Herald Angels sing a thousand times better.

Here's just a smattering of my favorite lines from this, my favorite Christmas song.

"God and sinners reconciled." Uh, that's pretty awesome.

But here's the kicker.  Just read it, leave out the tune and just read it as words.  Ready?

"Mild, He lays his glory by.  Born that man no more may die.  Born to raise the sons of earth.  Born to give them second birth."

I'm no scholar, but I think that's pretty powerful.  He's laying His glory aside, and being born, cold and wet and small and helpless, unable to walk or talk or feed himself or clean himself up, so that we have a chance at eternity.

Uh, yes please.

This was my favorite song for a while, and I still LOVE this Celine Dion version.  LOVE.  If you're driving down the road and you look over and see a crazy housewife with greasy hair and amazing new Tiffany glasses with her mouth wide open in a screech, pounding the steering wheel...it's probably me, and I'm singing this son.

Try this verse on for size.  "Yea Lord, we greet thee, born this happy morning. Oh, Jesus, for evermore thy name be adored.  Word of the Father, now in flesh appearing."

Ya'll.  That's some powerful stuff.  For those of you reading this who aren't my sisters in Christ, as Christians, we oftentimes refer to Christ as the Word.  As in, the Bible.  I get a little hazy on the details, but I do know that it's something like that, and there's a Bible verse to go with it that I've always loved. It's John 1:1 (I think) and it goes "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was WITH God, and the Word WAS God." The emphasis on the capitalized words is mine there.

I can't wrap my mind around the Trinity and all that philosophy stuff, but this is what I know.  From the beginning of time, God had something with him, some part of himself.  And then, he sent it to earth to save us.

The Word of the Father became flesh.  Just like us.  One of us.

So yeah, pretty powerful.

And of course, what's Christmas without Bandaid?

While this song doesn't have any mention of Christ, the lyrics are still pretty powerful. Again, try to just read it, without the melody.  I find that when I read it in a sing song voice, I have a harder time paying attention to the meaning. 

But say a prayerPray for the other onesAt Christmas time, it's hardBut when you're having fun
There's a world outside your windowAnd it's a world of dreaded fearWhere the only water flowingIs a bitter sting of tears
And the Christmas bells that ring thereAre the clanging chimes of doomWe'll, tonight, thank God, it's themInstead of you
Ouch.  "Thank God it's them, instead of you." Makes me feel a little selfish, but it's true.  How grateful are we that it's NOT us? I don't think we should be ashamed of feeling that way, but obviously we need to realize that there ARE so many people out there who don't even have clean water.

Clean water ya'll.  Seriously.

And lastly, because I have to go watch another Criminal Intent if I'm going to finish all ten seasons before we move to the hotel (in twenty one days!!!)

This is another one that makes me think.  "You made my girlfriend THINK!!!"

"Do you wonder, as you watch my face, if a wiser one should have had my place?"

How AWFUL!!! Poor Mary.  I mean, of COURSE she was insecure.  Being pregnant...ugh.  It's beautiful and all that blah blah, but hormones suck at the BEST of times, let alone knowing that you're carrying Christ.  I'm sure every single time she groaned about her back hurting or her ankles being swollen or just being fat in general, she panicked and convinced herself that God would think she was ungrateful.

This is not a load I would have wanted to bear.  Or is it bare? 

Anyway.  Christmas is awesome.  Try to remember that Jesus is the Reason for the Season.  

Engelbrecht out.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Still Can't Ever Think of Post Titles

This is the first time I've approached a second birthday without being uncomfortably pregnant.
Well that's not entirely true.  When I approached Ava's second birthday, I had a six month old.  So there's that.

I go back and forth about it.  Sometimes, I'm super sad and lay my hand on my swollen lower belly (still eating too much and when I get constipated, it looks like I'm about five months pregnant) and ache for the feeling of creating a life that grows and moves and stretches and rolls within me.

But then I remember having to lay (lie?) back on a table in an ice cold room full of people not talking to me (except for anesthesia- man I loved every single CRNA from each and every one of my deliveries, but there's a special place in my heart for the dude from Guam, and I don't even remember his name!!) while they slice me open and pull that tiny life out.

And I remember that panicked feeling at two in the morning, the sobs and the shaking and screaming at Nick "what if I NEVER sleep again EVER?!?!?" In the best of times, I'm fairly melodramatic.  Add the hormonies and subtract my typical ten hours of sleep, and it's not pretty.

God bless Nick.

I also remember the uncomfortable feeling, the last three times I packed up to leave the hospital, that when I got home, my relationship with my older children was forever changed.  When I was pregnant with Scott, I worried that I wouldn't love him like I loved Ava, and while everyone else gave the standard "you'll see, it'll be fine" there was this one patient, a woman in her mid forties, who told me the truth.  She said I wouldn't love Scott the same way.  It was going to be different.  Nothing can compare with having your first child, there's nothing else like it in the entire world. And maybe that's not how it was for everyone else, and maybe I'm yet again admitting to something that makes me a less than perfect mother, but that's how it was for me.  I love Scott, and I love Warren, and even though Daisy just threw a cup of milk at me, I love her too.  I'd die for any of them.  But I love each of them differently, and I never had that same feeling that I had when they put Ava in my arms for the very first time.
Why, yes, I am on a secret spy mission.  Why do you ask?

Anyway.  It's weird, knowing my family is complete, not weird bad or weird good, just weird.  I think a sense of finality is always weird.  I don't regret having my tubes tied, I seriously don't know how I could handle a fifth c section.  But I sometimes regret the fantasy of having another baby.  If that makes any sense.  It seems like every other blogger and istagrammer out there just delivered a baby and I'm sitting here all fat and sweaty and with thin hair and flaky fingernails and no soft rolling in my belly.

Then again, I'm so excited about getting to explore Europe without being pregnant or dragging around an infant that I just might pee my pants.

I can't believe Thanksgiving is in two days.  A friend graciously invited us over, so I'm not doing anything this year.  I'm normally big on Thanksgiving, it's probably my favorite holiday (it's pretty much my favorite animal- name that movie) but for the second year in a row, my house is packed out and I'm in the middle of a cross-globe move.  So there's that.

Friday we're going to see Wicked.  I'm pretty stoked.  I've heard this company is pretty amazeballs.  And it's a night out, without my kids, so even if it's the most God-awful production in the history of ever, I'll still be a happy camper.  
The ONLY shot I got of Warren during this impromptu photoshoot yesterday.

And then, Christmas!! And who doesn't love Christmas? Even though I'm thirty and don't usually get surprise gifts for the holidays, I still spend a lot of time online picking out the things that would be the PERFECT surprises.  Nick and I usually just pick what we want and either very specifically tell the other exactly what we want, or we just throw in the towel and get it for ourselves.  Not very romantic or exciting, but we have four children.  Cut us some slack.

So Nick, if you're reading this, this is NOT a list of things I want.  I just want to put some ideas out there because that's what all the cool bloggers are doing and I'm nothing if not a bandwagon jumper onner.  Yes, that's a word.

-This is something I actually do want.  It's a tamron 28-70 f2.8 'walkaround' lens.  At first, I wanted the $1800 24-70, until I came to my senses and realized that I'm not a professional photographer and I'd be too scared to use an $1800 lens anyway, so this makes SOO much more sense.  It's expensive (I had a hard time spending the two for the 50mm) but I figure these next two years in Europe is a once in a lifetime opportunity and I need this lens take pics of my kids at Downton and the hills from the Sound of Music.

-I've also been eying this, but it's probably going to have to wait till my birthday, especially if I bite the bullet and shell out for the lens.

Do any of ya'll have one? Is it really that amazing? How do you pick between the models?

-Last year, I got all ten seasons of Friends.  Yes.  It really is as amazing as it sounds.  Although I have a confession: they were running all the Thanksgiving episodes on TBS the other day and I tivo'd them!!! What?!?! Even though alls I have to do is pull up the apple tv and click which ones I want, I went through the pain of setting the dvr and taping them.  I'm such a dork.

So this year, I wouldn't mind the entire Sex and the City series.  But not the movies.  Well, I already have the first movie (five bucks) but I hated the second movie so much that it makes me want to cry to even think about it.
I wasn't wild about this show when it was on (mainly because we never had HBO) and I was DEFINITELY more into Friends, but I really like it now.  No, I can't relate to any of those rich, thin, city women, but there's something about it now that speaks to me.

And just so you know, I hate Aidan and every time someone whines about how Carrie should have ended up with him, I want to punch her in the throat.  Aidan was NOT a good fit!!! They had NOTHING in common!! I'm all for the ole opposites attract (hello Nick and Jenn) but Aidan wanted her to change, and that's NOT okay.  He was just icky.  Even when he tried to act like he didn't care and he didn't want her to change, he was just trying to make her feel guilty.  Ew.  I can't stand him!!

Although I wouldn't say no if he made me a chair and gave it to me for free.  You know, if he was real and really made real furniture.  I'd take it.  For free.

-Since we're moving to England, I want a tea set.  A tea service, if you will.  Yes, I know this is for Asian tea, not English tea, but since I don't drink tea, I don't know if that's okay, so I'm just going to go for it.

-I also need another pair of go-to earrings. I really like these, and I hope my baby sister is reading this and just makes me a pair.

But really, if you're stumped and can't figure out what to send me, you can't go wrong with iTunes cards, amazon cards, target cards, or even just cash.  I'm not picky.

Friday, November 16, 2012


I have a tummy ache.  I had some time to kill before I had to pass out snacks at Warren's preschool (what?!?!) so I was driving through the shopping center to get a fountain diet coke for a dollar from McDonalds.  And then the FIRST FRONT spot opening up in front of Starbucks, right when I was pulling up.  It felt rude not to take it, so I pulled in and got a peppermint mocha frappe thing and guzzled it down.  So, currently, I feel like I'm going to vomit from all the sugar.  But man, it was good going down.

I am still reading Pillars of the Earth.  Still. I haven't actually touched it since the last time I talked about it, but it's still on my shelf, and I plan to finish it next week.

This little gem came out last week and currently, it's one of the best books I've ever read. And I haven't wanted to read anything since.  Does anyone else do that? Every time I really a truly WONDERFUL book, I like don't want to read anything else for a while.  It's sort of like I want to keep these words fresh in my mind or something.  So stupid, I know.  I didn't read for about four months after HP7 if that helps paint a picture of how deep my crazy really goes.

If you haven't read The Passage yet, I don't know if we can stay friends.  THAT book is honestly the best non SK book I've ever read.  I loved it SO MUCH. You can read about how much I loved it here.
Now, I'm not one of those people who automatically thinks sequels are lame.  I thought Catching Fire was better than The Hunger Games, and I thought all the HP books got better and better.  Although five is my personal favorite, just so you know.  Or six.  It's a close call.  But I love three as well.  Oh hell, I love them all.  And in the Dark Tower series, even though One is sort of the best, Three was my favorite.  And four.

I can't really do this, so let's just stop.  I think we all know I can't pick a favorite book.

ANYWAY.  I didn't go into this thinking it wasn't going to live up to the first, because that's just not how I see books.  Each one is its own thang.  And while I was reading this, I kept thinking it was better than the first.  In hindsight, it wasn't, but I think it says a lot that I kept thinking that.

It goes waaay back to the beginning of the virus, which I loved, because that's one of the things I hated about the first one. I thought it was so ingenious how he jumps ahead a hundred years, but it left me longing to read about WHAT happened those first few years.  How it spread, how the government collapsed, all that apocalypse gore that I love.

Then it goes way ahead, but still behind The Passage so we can see some of the other civilizations that were around when The Colony was doin its thing, thinking they were the last of the human race.

Which, as a side note, I thought would have been a cool way to go.  Maybe not the LAST people, but just a few scattered people in the wilderness besides them.  I was a little bummed to discover the governments and stuff in Texas.

But it's his story, not mine.

I thought the way he wrapped it up was a little tacky, but just a little.  A little too convenient, a little too easy.  Sort of like the end of Under the Dome.  But the way they got there was more important to me anyway, so it was still amazeballs.  The journey is more important than the destination and all that.

PS I love Michael.  I need to reread the first one because I barely remember him, but he was so great in this one. I also say Cronin ripped off Barbie from Under the Dome and used him to create the Last Stand in Denver, but that's okay with me.

My prediction for the third one is that we'll find out what happened to April and Danny and everyone on the bus and hopefully we'll get a lot more of Carter.  And I'm certainly not all about the romance, but I sort of hope things work out for Amy and Peter, you know? I realize Amy will have to undergo some SERIOUS changes...but whatever. I think she deserves it.

I also read this real quick.

It's an actual sequel to the Giver, my Absolute Number One Favorite Book in the History of Ever, unlike Gathering Blue and...the other one. Messenger? This follows Gabe's mama as Jonas is being chosen as the Receiver and then bolts with the baby before his dad has to kill him, and then follows the mama (Claire) as she leaves the community and tries to find her son.

Again, I thought the ending was a little tacky and convenient, but the part where Claire is in the seaside town was so beautiful and touching, it made me cry on more than one occasion.

If you haven't read the Giver yet, you're missing out.  I might reread the other two because I don't even remember what they're about, but since they only vaguely tie in to the Giver, alls you need to do is quick read the Giver, then dive in to Son.  Then, if you're hungry for more, try the other two.

Currently, I sort of feel like I was slapped in the face.  I realized yesterday, as my world apparently crumbled around my feet, that I haven't been in the Word for weeks.  WEEKS. I have no excuse, other than laziness.  But yesterday, that refreshing slap? It was like a light went on.  Of COURSE my life feels hectic and crazy and hopeless.  Life without the Word IS hectic and crazy and hopeless.

So, like an old friend, I immediately flipped to my most comforting verses.
This is not actually my own Bible, I found this on the internet and I love it.

I'm normally a stickler for the 'traditional' translations of the Bible, but I found this on Pinterest and I think it does an amazing job of rephrasing it in a great way.

It's from the Message version, and to me, it's perfect.  So perfect, in fact, that I want to ask LB, if you're reading this, if you know anything about The Message and if you think it's a good idea for me to get one.  I currently only have a traditional NIV and a study edition NIV, that's it. I love the New King James, and sometimes, for my favorite verses, I like to read the good ole original King James.  I've always stayed away from any newer translations because I'm crazy and they worry me (like, don't mess with the Word or something) but now I think maybe I was over reacting?

I mean, listen to this again.  Before you know it, a sense of God's wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and SETTLE YOU DOWN.  It's wonderful what happens when Christ displaces the worry at THE CENTER of your life.

Message received Lord.  Haha, pun.  See what happened there?

Anyway, I usually stop with 6&7, but today, 8 is speaking to me as well.

Here's my NIV version:

Philippians 4:8

New International Version (NIV)
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.

The King James and New King James are pretty similar, but again, the Message says it just a tad different.  Differently?

Philippians 4:8

The Message (MSG)
8-9 Summing it all up, friends, I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse. Put into practice what you learned from me, what you heard and saw and realized. Do that, and God, who makes everything work together, will work you into his most excellent harmonies.

I'm a worrier.  And a pessimist.  And a bitch.  But maybe I need to spend more time focusing on the best, not the worst.  The beautiful, instead of the ugly.  Things to praise, not things to curse.

And the stake in my heart? The slap on my already red, slapped face? "Put into practice what you learned from me, what you heard and saw and REALIZED."  Who on this earth would look at ME, and think 'oh, she learned that from Jesus?"

Uh, lately? No one.

Worse even than that is the risk that people will look at me and say "Oh!! She learned THAT from Jesus.  That's why I hate Jesus."

So there's that.

And that's about all I have to say about my current state of mind.

We're gearing up for our weekend, we've only got five left and Nick will be gone for at least two of them, so really, we've only got three.  Three weekends left in paradise.  Any suggestions on things we should do?

Also, this is what happened while I was typing this out.  Poor thing.  She's had a hard time converting to one nap a day, and on days when Warren has school and she has to stay awake till one? Forget it.
How do you like that swanky couch? I told you, it's patio furniture from the Golden Girls!!!

Engelbrecht out.

Thursday, November 15, 2012


I got confused yesterday.

Surprising, I know. First, the holiday for Monday threw me off because Nick was home, so we went to the beach, so it felt like a Saturday.  Then, he had duty the next day, Tuesday, even though he typically has duty on a Wednesday.  So all day yesterday, I thought it was Wednesday.

7:55- turned right after I dropped the big kids off at school to take Warren to preschool.

Warren doesn't go to school on Tuesdays.

8:05- finally get the car turned around and headed away from preschool and I realize I'm driving towards the Air Force base, where I teach in the toddler room for Bible study.

On Wednesdays.

I could go on and on.  But basically, I thought it was Wednesday all day.  That's really all there is to it.

So Thursday mornings is Trash Day, so last night, I emptied all the garbage cans and raked up all the tiny shreds of paper in the playroom and took them out, and emptied all the leftovers out of the fridge, and dragged the big smelly centipede hiding trash can down to the curb.
It's the only can out there (obviously) because it's Wednesday, not Thursday, but for some reason I refuse to drag it back up.  I don't know if it's a pride thing or a lazy thing or what, but when I pulled up to my house today I thought I should pull that in, everyone is going to think I'm so dumb for putting it out a day early.

Then I thought No way, I'm not dragging that all the way back up.  That's at least eleven feet!! Besides, if they think I'm dumb for bringing it out a day early, how dumb am I gonna look when I drag it back UP now, and then back DOWN again after dinner?

So now I'm sitting on the couch telling you all about my trash can saga.
Guess what else I've decided? Everyone is dumb.  All my life, people have told me what a bitch I am.  It's never really bothered me because, let's face it, I'm a bitch.  But I always thought it was a little odd that people thought of ME as a bitch, but all these other bitches I know? No one thought anything about them!!

But I figured it out!! All these other bitches ONLY say bitchy things to a select few people!!! THAT'S the difference!!!

If I'm with Patty and Patty is icky and gross and mean and I hate her...Patty knows.  I like to think I don't TELL Patty all these things, but if I truly don't like someone, she knows.  I would feel bad to discover that Patty was SURPRISED to hear that I don't like her, because I feel like I owe it to Patty to be honest and not pretend that she's awesome when she really sucks.

But, for example, if I'm with Patty and Beth, and Beth is super sweet and nice and she and Patty are getting along swimmingly and everything is roses and everyone loves Beth because she's JUST SO NICE and then we get home and Beth spends twenty minutes telling me how much she hates Patty and she wishes Patty would step out in front of a mass transit bus and do us all a favor...then I'm the only one who thinks Beth is a bitch like me!!!

See what I mean?!?! Now poor Patty thinks everything is just fine and dandy, but really Beth is talking about her behind her back and she has no idea!!!

Obviously, I'm not saying that everyone should be a bitch like me.  Being honest and abrupt is difficult, and it makes for a somewhat lonely life, and I totally understand that most people aren't interested in living like this.  HOWEVER.

If you have a problem with Patty that Patty doesn't know about it, for the love of God, don't come over to my house and tell me about it.  Because even though I think Patty is lamesauce, I get VERY uncomfortable when Beth wants to talk about her behind her back.  Just because I'm a bitch to her face does NOT mean that I want to talk about her behind her back so that Beth can still feel like a nice person.

Ava got stung by a man o' war at the beach Monday and (big surprise) this really pisses me off.  The sign saying they were out was REALLY small, and I didn't even notice it until AFTER she got stung.  Those things can kill people!! I got stung by a jelly fish in Virginia, but it was NOTHING like this, so I googled it, and man o' wars are TOTALLY different and deadly and her leg is all red and gross and welted and hurts and just breaks my heart.
She's fine, other than being extremely uncomfortable, but it makes me think nonstop of this article I read in Real Simple a few years ago.  This lady went to like Fiji or Tahiti or Thailand or something on her honeymoon and her husband got stung by some sort of seriously deadly jellyfish and he died right there in the water.  Can you IMAGINE?!?! Becoming a widow on your honeymoon? It was awful, I was angry for weeks after I read it because it affected (effected?) me so much.  Good writing always does that to me, sneaks up on me forever after, often when I least expect it.

Bet this post isn't that sort of writing ;)

That stupid Hocus Pocus that my dad made me read is like that, I think about that story at LEAST once a week, usually more like once a day.  Ugh.

That reminds me, I should let ya'll know what I've been reading lately.  I'm sure you won't be able to sleep tonight, what with the suspense and all...

Friday, November 9, 2012

Stream of Consciousness. But in Bullet Format, Because I Can't Handle Run On Paragraph Form

-Have ya'll seen this app?
It's called Lickety Split or something along those lines and it is AMAZEBALLS.  I'm sure you're no stranger to the fact that sometimes, using a timer makes things with kids run a little more smoothly.  But MY kids are afraid of the loud DING at the end of the egg timer.  And of cats.  And of plastic walmart bags blowing through the yard that LOOK like cats.  But anyway.  You tell this thing two minutes, and it plays neat music, getting louder and faster as it counts down.  We haven't missed a time yet, so I don't know what happens if you run out of time before you finish, but I bet it's cool, and I bet it's not as terrifying as the DING of the egg timer.  You can use preset things like brush teeth or get ready, or just tell it two minutes, or use it to time how long it takes to clean up, then remember it and see if they can beat that time next time.

Sounds confusing, but trust me, it's cool.  And it's free, so what's the big deal?

-I gained seven pounds when Jane was here and now none of my pants fit.  It's so embarrassing.  I'm doing the dandelion root tea cleanse to try to flush out some of the water weight, but my hopes are NOT high.  Mainly because this isn't water weight, it's Snickers and alcohol and cheese and Ritz weight.  And no amount of any sort of tea can flush that out.

Can it? Because if you know of one that can, I'm open to suggestions.

-Life without my Mac Mac is getting ridiculous.  My Christmas CDs are gone, I put them in iTunes and tossed them years ago.  And I have a TON, all the good Very Special albums from when it was good instead of stupid, plus basically every Time Life Christmas album ever created.  But my iTunes is on the Mac Mac, and I never did the Cloud thing, and since I didn't BUY these CDs, I just imported them into my library, I can't download them from the magical internet.  I just have to NOT have them.  It sucks!! I love Pandora as much as the next stay at home mom, but I want my own Christmas music!!!

And also, we're having our pictures done, and part of her program is coming over and showing you the proofs in your own house, on your own monitor.  My Mac Mac is PERFECTLY calibrated, and I'm sure the baby Mac is too, but come on, a fifteen inch laptop screen versus my glorious twenty seven inches of crystal clear beauty? Gimme a break.  And before you suggest doing it on our TV, our TV is older than our children and routinely has squiggly orange digitized lines running over the display.

First world problems, I know.  But that's what's on my mind!

-And if you're interested in how awesome our pictures might be, even if I can't view them properly after the fact, here's the link that sold me on this particular photographer. I just know that having her take my picture is going to render me slender and muscular, with long hair and awesome hobbies and cute little obedient children and basically I'll just be awesome.  Even more awesome that I already am, which, let's face it, is pretty awesome.

-Speaking of awesome, we have our plane tickets, our London car rented, our hotel booked in Northwood, our passports (both sets) in hand, and our visas applied for.  I'm finally starting to feel like this really might happen!!! On that note, here's the forecast for the week in Northwood.

Compared to what my four children and I have been dealing with for the past three years straight...

So that's gonna take a little getting used to.  Nick and I are having a few 'strongly oppiniotated discussions' about the amount of winter clothes we're going to need (long sleeves, pants, socks, undershirts, sweaters, gloves, scarves, hats, coats, boots, HOLYSHIT!!!) and how much these things tend to cost, but we're working through it.  From here on out, Daddy is in charge of this, so if you see me posting pictures of blue toes in flip flop feet at Stonehenge...you'll know why.

-I'm up to my eyeballs in photo editing.  And I'm just a mama, taking pictures of her kids.  I can't imagine what photographers must feel like.  I'm getting into the awful habit of wanting to edit EVERY SINGLE SHOT, instead of just the good ones I want to post.  I'm trying to cut back, but it's so fun!! With all my new actions, I can literally spend four hours editing one crappy picture!!! It's got to stop.  Especially because the battery on the baby mac is lacking and I can only run PSE for about ninety minutes straight before it conks out on me.

-Ben and Kate.  If you're not watching, you're looney tunes.  I laughed for thirty minutes straight during the Halloween episode.  I don't normally watch such dumb shows, but there's just something about Ben and Kate and Raising Hope that I just can't get enough of.  I love every single character and just about every single line.

Continuing on the TV newsfront, Up All Night isn't as funny this year.  At all.  I love the dude playing her brother, but you can't just throw a new character in and act like he's been there all along.  It's weird.

I erased all the new episodes of New Girl without watching a single one.  I don't even know why!!! I loved it last year, but I just can't get excited about it this year.  For me, she went from being cute and awkward to being obnoxious and too cool.  I think it was that Siri commercial she did.  SOOOOO annoying.  We get it, you're so uncool that you're cool.  Message received, now quit trying so hard.

I watched the first two Go Ons with Chandler, but deleted the rest.  Not sure how that show is still on.  It was lame!! And not funny!! Although it did make me absolutely one hundred percent quit texting while I drive.  So that's good.

I'm not a huge fan of The New Normal, but I do watch it.  I love Goldie.  I love them all, it's just not that interesting to me. I usually have it on in the background while I'm doing something else.  I don't like shows that border on the realm of fantasy, unless they're a ridiculous show (like Raising Hope.) Don't try to be a real life show and then throw an elaborate wedding for an eight year old.  That doesn't happen in real life, that belongs with the mama serial killer who got executed but not really and gets custody of her baby anyway and then gets hit by a bus sort of show.  Does that make sense?

Also not a huge fan of Modern Family this year because I think it's dumb that Gloria is pregnant.  And gross.  And I don't like how Claire is okay with Haley drinking at prom and being hungover in college. Yes, I understand that kids drink, and I understand that it's cool to be cool with it.  But as the daughter of an alcoholic, I'd rather Claire condone smoking weed than being drunk.  Drinking hurts people!!! Also, drinking hurts, people!! See how much grammar can change your life?  Have a plan.  Ava will always know that she can call me NO MATTER WHAT, but I never want her to think that I think it's cool that she's hungover.


I have all the episodes of Nashville on, but haven't started watching them yet.  I have high hopes.  I'm a few weeks behind on The Good Wife, and I think the whole Kalinda and her husband story is dumb.  No way would a girl like THAT be under the spell of that dude.  No way jose.  I hope there's a lot more Abbey from ER and Nathan Lane on the episodes I've got on the DVR.

Person of Interest is still my favorite show.  Absolutely.  CSI is still the dumbest thing I watch, but I watch it faithfully, every Saturday afternoon.  Elementary is my favorite new show of the season, and that threw me for a loop.  I wasn't expecting to like it, because I didn't think I liked Lucy Lui, but apparently actors do this thing where, if they're not playing that annoying character in Charlie's Angels, they act differently.  It's weird.  I love her, and I LOOOOOVVVEEE Sherlock, and I think it's awesome that instead of throwing the Sherlock Holmes ideas onto new characters, they're actually Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson.  Very cool.

If they hook up, however, I'm out.

So that's an embarrassing glimpse into how much TV I watch.  Wow.  Sort of eye opening.  I actually erased a few paragraphs because I don't want you to know how much I really do watch.  But trust me, it's a lot.