What I really meant to say was...

This morning, both my boys got up with their alarm clocks.

And by alarm clocks, I mean me tramping down the hall and telling them to get up.

They proceeded to cheerfully shower and get ready for school.

And by cheerfully, I mean fight about who had to take a shower first.

After much negotiation, they finally both had showers, and headed downstairs to quietly make themselves some breakfast.

And by quietly, I mean wake-the-dead-loud.

McKay is in a smoothie phase right now, and there's nothing I love more than hearing the blender crunch up ice at six in the morning.

And by love, I mean hate.

I hugged them both, handed out lunches, and waved as they went out the door. Then I promptly began to exercise.

And by exercise, I mean crawl back into bed and fall asleep.

An hour later, it was time to rouse the little Hannah. She woke up in her usual cheerful way.

And by cheerful, I mean hate-the-world-grumpy.

She quietly ate her breakfast while I made her lunch. She then calmly styled her hair and got dressed.

And by calmly, I mean with many tears. Her hair was "too fuzzy" (her words) to do anything with today. There might have been some silent cursing on her part.

And by silent, I mean slamming of doors and loud sighing.

I dried her tears, fixed her hair, and dropped her off at school with a bit of melancholy in my heart for the loss of her company.

And by melancholy, I mean joy.

I then plotted out my day and began my work ahead.

And by work, I do mean climbing back into bed yet again and ignoring it all.

Realizing fully how annoying this post will be to everyone but me

I am desperately trying to get caught up around here. Step one in that process has been uploading the nine million photos I took on our little trip to the west coast. Step two (which seems to take hours) is editing, narrowing down, and posting them here for your my viewing pleasure.

The Husband works for a consulting firm which has a family retreat every year. Though I joke with him that it is ofttimes like The Firm, it truly is a great place to work. The family conferences are held in a different city each year, and the amenities are always ridiculously lavish. This year, the San Diego conference was no different.

Internet, feel very sorry for me.


We stayed in a two-bedroom, two-bath suite that quite literally was on the beach. I fell asleep every night to the sound of the waves lapping up on the sand. I sat on a beach chair every day and watched my babies exhaust themselves with sunshine, laughter, and togetherness.

It was heaven.

And for the sake of grandparents and posterity, I leave you with a few photos of our time there. Keep in mind, that I could have taken these same photos every single day, as our life was on a recurring loop of wake up, play at the beach, fall asleep, repeat.

With maybe a few meals and a sea kayak expedition thrown in between for good measure.






It pained my heart more than a little bit to board the plane and return home to my beach-less existence here in Missouri.

It seems totally unfair to get a taste of paradise, only to have to leave it again.

Probably almost as unfair as, say, posting obnoxiously about your beach vacation to the internet?

(Touche, Stie. Touche.)



Mother's Day for me was one of the best. With church at nine a.m., I woke early to breakfast in bed and four smiling faces. The presents they gave me were much more than I deserved and proved definitively that diamonds really are a girl's best friend.

Leaving for church, I glanced behind me with a smile at the spotless kitchen that I had nothing to do with cleaning.

Lunch and dinner were made while I sat on the couch in my bare feet with the iPad. Diet cokes were topped off and treat samples brought to me for tasting.

I tried not to laugh too hard at the sight of the Husband decorating the coconut cupcakes. Somehow a pastry bag does not look very much at home in his big hands. But they were as delicious as they were beautiful.

I was pampered and loved, and felt utterly appreciated.

These four fantastic people in my life are a miracle. I love them with the whole of my heart.

The greatest idea ever invented. Ever.

Last week, I shared with you the Husband's brilliant idea for spring break. Remember how I told you we handed our kids a pile of cash and told them they were in charge of what we did over spring break, and any remaining money at the end of the week was theirs to split three ways? That idea. [For better details, click over to the link.]

Anyway, I am here to report our success. And what a success it was.

The kids set a goal to only spend half the money, leaving the last day of spring break as a shopping day where we would hit the mall and they could buy whatever their little hearts desired with the rest.

Which, thanks to budgeting and prioritizing on their part, they were able to achieve.

For once, I was not the entertainment committee. And I was not stuck home, listening to whiny kids beg for something to do. In fact, they didn't whine or fight once. NOT ONCE. We ate out several times. We saw a movie. We had friends over. We snuggled up together in my big bed and had movie nights. We went bike riding. We (or I should say they) went fishing. And, at the end of it all, they got to shop for something new.

Though, the interesting thing to note was how much less willing they were to buy things when the money was their own. When it's me shopping at the mall with the Husband's my money? They want everything in sight. When the cash has to part out of their own grubby little hands? Not so much.

Here are some highlights of the week --

At the zoo with their BFFs where, clearly, they did not have any fun:




The photographer's son taking approximately 900 pictures in three hours, and all of them animals:


Don't you want to come over and look at slides from his vacations?

We had three days of near 80 degree weather, so we took advantage of that and went on several bike rides (as my very sore heinie can attest to. Yikes. How do people ride bikes? Tour de France? I am thinking Tour de Pain in Your Pants):


Even the Husband got in on the fun with a little basketball at the park:


It was seriously such a great week. So great, in fact, that we are planning on implementing this new idea over summer vacation and on any future trips we take.

I highly recommend it. It just might change your life the way it has changed mine. My children's travel agency is officially closed. Yay!

Snow day

The call comes in early this morning, the one we were waiting for. I listen to the recording with a smile on my face, and hear two sets of feet immediately climb out of their beds and pad softly down the hall to my door.

Even in the darkness, I can see their anxious looks. A nod of my head, cheers from their lips, and a stern shhhh, lest they wake up their sister. I pull the warm blankets up and feel the pull of sleep. I give into it with a grin on my face.

A couple of hours later, I stretch and yawn, relishing in my laziness. I ignore the scale, for surely today it shouldn't count, and slide my feet into the worn, fuzzy slippers. I shuffle downstairs, rubbing the sleep from my eyes, and pull my hair into a ponytail.

I bypass the sugar cereal with a sigh, and reach instead for the heart-healthy fiber one. I sit and read a few blogs, relishing the unhurried feel of the day. Downstairs, the sounds of Bear Grylls float up from the tv, and I smile, thinking that they likely will reenact later whatever insanity shown them. I laugh thinking that maybe even they'll film it.

Next on the schedule is a very clumsy, short-winded run on the treadmill. I think of this newly returned pleasure in my life with a deep sense of gratitude, for the healing that has taken place in my body. I have desperately missed the one thing in my day that makes me feel like me. I am not whole unless I can sweat and strain, working this gloriously imperfect body, pushing it to the limits.

What also tells me that I am, and forever will be, me is the mental note I make WHILE on the treadmill to whip up a batch of chocolate chip cookies.

I finish the run, and look in on my babies. They are snuggled up under a warm blanket, laughing together over a Calvin and Hobbs. The phone rings, and it is the Husband, calling to be a part of it all. I regale him with the exciting stories from our short morning. He chuckles and sighs, wishing he were in town to share it with us.

I take a deep breath, as the tears threaten to spill over, and I thank God for the blessing of this beautiful, imperfect, amazing life he saw fit to trust me with.

I have everything I ever wanted.

And I never want to take it for granted again.

Thanksgiving 2010 (Also known as: Gluttony is Awesome)

Guess what? So it turns out that there is this crazy thing called "The Internet." And on "The Internet" there are these wacky things called "Blogs" where people keep a record of their everyday lives, showcase their family activities, and post for all the world to see on a daily basis.

Did you know that?

Isn't that amazing?

(One would think I'd never heard of it, the way I've been posting around here. Or NOT been posting.)

Well, I am back. I had a most excellent Thanksgiving, and will now proceed to bore you (The Aforementioned Internet) with photos and updates of my goings on. Feel free to click off and hunt for free p@rn unless you are:

a) a relative (and even then I might understand)
b) one of the 16 people featured in the pictures
c) a stalker who can't get enough of me, no matter how boring my posts become

We had quite a crowd here for the holidays, and it made my heart sing with joy. There is nothing more fantastic than sharing the sacred gluttony that is Thanksgiving with people I love. We had two of the Husband's brothers, their families, and the in-laws come to stay (for a total of 16, ranging in age from 64 to 14 months).

There was much eating. A lot of card playing. A couple movie viewings. A little sleeping. And definitely some more eating.

(There was also a computer virus, a flood in the car, and a minor vehicular accident. But who's counting the bad things, anyway?)

The best thing I did all Thanksgiving day (besides eat my weight in coconut cake) was hand my camera off to a brother-in-law. I tend to find myself preoccupied on days like this with the cooking, and do not always remember to do the picture taking. I am so grateful.

What would my crazy stalkers have to look at otherwise?









It was the best weekend, and my house seems far too quiet without all of them here. Anyone ready to come back?

Best. Thanksgiving. Ever.