A few days ago, I had a meltdown of epic proportions.

Tears, crying, and, oh, did I mention the tears?

I was decorating my umpteenth batch of holiday cookies for the neighbors. I was simultaneously also preparing a dish to take to the Husband's holiday work lunch the next day. I had been up really late the night before working on client orders and was exhausted. I had laundry literally exploding out of the mudroom, crawling on its dirty hands and knees towards me, begging to be dealt with. I had kids to shuffle to baptisms at the temple. And there had been workmen in my house all day long.

I was almost at my breaking point.

With the timing of a hurtling bomb, a boy reminded me of something he needed at school the next day. Which meant yet another trip to Hades The Target.

Hiding in the bathroom, I dried my tears and took a deep breath. Gritting my teeth, and stifling every urge of protest my feet made, I grabbed my purse and we headed out.

I glared at everyone in my path. I felt no love for the season and wondered why in heaven's name all these people come out of their holes this time of year. I hurried through the store, grabbed what we needed, and headed to the checkout. Shifting my weight from foot to foot, I sighed with impatience. Mentally counting out all that I still had to do this week, I felt the irritation seep out of my every pore.

Finally it came time to pay, and I gratefully prepared to leave.

As I was digging in my purse for my keys, I glanced up and noticed the girl in line behind me. She was short on money and was having to decide which items to take out of her bag.

Instantly, all my irritation melted away and I actually looked at her with kinder, softer eyes. Instead of seeing her worn coat and thin sweater, nails chewed down to the nub -- I saw something else. I saw a sister, younger than me, struggling to pay for her Christmas gifts. Gifts, it appeared, that were for young children. Having been there once myself, compassion flooded over my body like a warm blanket.

I felt like absolute crap. I had been whining and complaining over what, in the right perspective, are no real problems at all. I had momentarily gotten caught up in the material needs of the season and forgotten the meaning behind it.

With tears in my eyes, I reached into my purse, pulled out all the cash I had, and slid it across the counter towards her.

Merry Christmas, I said, and then walked away.

Much happier and more grateful than when I had come.

[I tell you this story not to brag of my good deeds or seek your praise. I tell you in case you, like me, needed a reminder of the good that can be done if we will just look. Look through different eyes at those around us. There just may be some that we can help. ]

My after dinner snack? Tums.

Tonight is the night mothers everywhere look forward to with dread. Not only do you have to try to keep yourself out of the chocolate, but you have to police your children lest they consume too much and find themselves home from school tomorrow with a belly ache and a bag full of candy.

Which, really, is a never ending cycle of misery for all that plays on repeat for days and days.

Plus, you have to parade your children around the neighborhood, frozen hands shoved in your jacket pockets, and beg the neighbors for yet more candy.

It's my least favorite holiday.

I will be glad once again when it's behind us and I can look forward to the real reason to gorge yourself sick: Thanksgiving.

But my scrooginess won't bring the party down -- we'll celebrate in the usual way: A pumpkin-shaped pizza, chocolate for dessert, and maybe I'll even find the energy to whip up a batch of these.

And, since I'm mean beyond belief, we'll also be taking the oldest boy for an after school appointment to get his braces tightened. Because nothing says I love you more than a Halloween orthodontic visit.

But, today, we wish you a very happy Halloween anyway. From a very cute cowgirl:


And two of the cast members from the television show Psyche.

Can you guess who this one is?


No? A cop with a gun, name tag, and handcuffs doesn't give it away? Combine a surly attitude with this, and maybe you'll have it figured out:


That's right, he's our favorite, Carlton Lassiter. Some of the boys' friends decided to band together and dress up as all the Psyche characters. It was an easy sell. Guns? Handcuffs? Bad attitudes?

Done and done.

Chase was assigned a critical, but lesser known, role. Any guesses?


He's the one cop on the Psyche police force who actually dresses like a cop. (And, yes, he wears shoes. As Chase sometimes does.) Give up?

It's McNabb, whose job is usually to bring in a bag of evidence or stand there looking pretty while holding a gun. Chase is quite thrilled to be him.

Happy Halloween, peeps! Raise your bottle of Tums high tonight!

[And last, but certainly not least, courtesy of our friends at Random dot org, the winner of the Son of a Gun giveaway is Amanda D. Email me your address, sister, and a copy is headed your way.]

Poetry and Pictures

The cards have been mailed, and plenty received. If someone's been missed, we would surely be grieved.


The stockings are hung by the chimney with care. (Along with some fights on whose sock goes where.)


The presents are wrapped, all snug near the tree. It's possible that I even put one down there for me.


The decorations (though scant) have been placed out with care. So far I'm not manic, they might last out the year.


The flower has bloomed, no thanks to my man. He fed it Coke Zero, then quickly he ran.


The plastic nativity changes each day. Sometimes poor Jesus goes very astray.


The good one sits untouched, as per mother's orders. If someone goes touching, they'll be sent 'cross the border.


If only you'd hurry to us, Christmas dear.
We're waiting most anxious for you to be here.

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.