It's all about priorities

Let me paint a picture of loveliness for you.

Imagine, if you can, a tall woman with long, brownish-blondish hair.  Her weight is undetermined at this time, due to her inability to actually face the number on the scale.  She lives a good life, and does not want for food.  While she currently reminds one of a slightly chubbier version of her best self, she manages to still be attractive to her husband.  (Or so he says).

She resembles a fairly functional member of society during the hours of 10 a.m. and 10 p.m.  She showers, suffers under the blow dryer for 20 minutes, wears lipstick, and tries her best to put outfits together that do not include the words "yoga" or "stretchy pants."

But the first time each day that she ventures out of the house is a completely different story.

She. is. one. hot. mess.

Here is an artist's rendering of this anonymous woman:

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She leaves the house each day at 5:40 in the a.m. to drive her son to his early morning religion class.  She literally rolls out of bed at 5:39, slips on her Uggs, grabs a coat and her glasses, and heads out the door.

In her mind, she sort of likes to imagine that she looks a little like these ladies:

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image via

Tragically, in her heart of hearts, she knows that she does not.  She owns this look and is not swayed when her children mock or laugh.  This is a perfectly acceptable look for the unholy crack of dawn, peek-a-boo pudge, notwithstanding.

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She is at peace with her fine self.

The sight that greets this hottie outside of her bedroom door has recently morphed from a tired, grumbly teenager, to this:

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A happy little ball of sunshine and energy that is shaking keys in her face and begging to drive her vehicle.

THAT experience is a whole blog post unto itself.  But let's just say that two words sum up the palpable emotions in the car:  JOY and TERROR.

You can guess who experiences which.

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On a particularly average morning, like today, for instance, this woman finds herself in a wee bit of a predicament. For, when her son exits the vehicle on the driver's side, she is faced with two choices: Get out in the freezing cold air and walk around to the driver's side, or climb over the console in the middle and stay warm.

She opted on this fine morning to choose the latter.  And as she was maneuvering her chubby not-so-slim-self over the console, her boot got caught on something and she tumbled rather quickly, ending with a very ungraceful face plant against the glass of the window.

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Gathering herself together as best she could, the thought crossed her mind that, "Phew.  Thank goodness nobody saw THAT."


Clearly, the universe does have the best sense of humor.  This poor tangle of a mess looked out her window to see the eager, and frighteningly made-up faces of Malibu Barbie and her sister, Skipper, as they were out for their morning run.

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image via

Embarrassed, she waved off their lipsticked offers of help, and pulled herself together as best she could.  And instead of feeling bad about herself for not looking that good, let alone being out jogging at five-freaking-thirty in the morning with full make-up on, she took her bruised face dignifiedly home, and crawled back into bed.

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Like any normal human being should.

The story of the pants

One day a lovely pair of pants was sitting at home over Christmas vacation. Seen here:

Okay. Maybe the pants really looked like this:
This kind-hearted, but rotund pair of pants took her daughter to see a movie. As rotund pants are known to do on occasion, and most certainly over Christmas break, this one indulged in a few movie treats.
While watching the previews, the daughter of the rotund pair of pants remembered that she had to use the restroom. The pair of pantses got up together, leaving their snacks to save their spots.

They returned minutes later, just in time for the movie, and sat down to enjoy the show.
Tragically, what the rotund pair of pants did not know, was that a few junior mints had fallen out of the box and landed onto the seat while she was getting up to walk to the bathroom. When she returned to the dark theater, she sat down, completely unaware of the sinister misfortune that had just befallen her. It looked sort of exactly like this:

The rotund pair of pants and her daughter ran many errands after the movie. They went to the Home Depot. To Sam's Club. Even to the Target. Stores where, to their delight, they ran into no less than FOUR of their acquaintances over the course of the afternoon.
It was not until about ten o'clock that evening that our rotund pair of pants discovered the ill-placed junior mints. Her expression was something like this:
When her sensitive Husband found out about her misfortune, he showed her all the sympathy he was capable of.

Her children found the predicament as funny as did their father.

Naturally, the owner of the rotund (and now very stained) pants found very little humor in the situation.
The moral of the story is this:

No more movie treats.
Check rear end of the pants after every snack
Never run errands without a full body scan and/or spare pants in the car.
Ignore friends at the store in case pants are stained in a poo-like manner

There is no moral. It's just one more Story of Shame to add to my ever-growing collection. Which, sadly, as my friend Kathy asked me the other night, are all true.

Inadvertently working the assets

This morning at the unholy hour of six-forty, the phone rang.

Cursing and stumbling, I answered the call.

It was our [soon to be] new plumber. The one we asked to come give us a bid on some work we're doing on the upstairs of our house. Big work. Messy work. Work that will ultimately result in very good things [eventually].

He was calling to let me know that he was five minutes out. As in, I will be at your front door in five minutes. No matter that you're still in bed, sporting the filth that is morning mouth, and you are not dressed.

I flew out of bed and scrambled to throw some clothes on. Opting to spend my time brushing my teeth in lieu of putting on a bra, I went for the multi-layered/here's hoping it's enough to hide the girls look. My tops felt a little twisted, weird, and out of place, but the doorbell rang, and I had no more time to worry about it.

Plumber came and went. Gave me just the news I was hoping to hear: Yes, what you're planning here will be fine. I can totally do that.

[Still waiting on the news I don't want to hear: The cost.]

But a few minutes later when I happened to walk by a mirror, I nearly died at the sight.

Apparently, as I was hurriedly dressing, I missed the sleeve hole on one of my layers, resulting in a tangled mess of shirts on my torso.

Aaaaaaand it was configured in such a way so that the only thing standing between the plumber and one of my bosoms was a thin layer of cotton.

A very see-through layer of cotton.

[Apparently, I have the subconscious desire to show off my bits and pieces. Remember the horror?]

Do you think it will be enough to at least get us a discount on the plumbing?

Why he'll never win an academy award

This past weekend, we decided to celebrate the start of spring break with a little stay-cation and booked a few nights in a hotel downtown.

Pretty much the Husband's dream come true.

Who wouldn't love getting home from an exhausting week-long business trip to stay in a hotel in their own hometown, then leave again Monday morning for another hotel out of town?

What can I say? I married a good man.

We ended up having a fantastic time. We toured around St. Louis, visiting restaurants and sites we've never been to before. The weather was beautiful - we walked all over our fair city with sunshine on our shoulders and smiles on our faces. We slept in. We swam in the hotel pool. We had adjoining suites overlooking the polluted beautiful Mississippi River. We watched movies and ate fabulous food.

And last night, as I was sleeping peacefully, I awoke to the sound of coughing from the kids' room. Only, it didn't sound quite right.

Mama-sense tingling, I tiptoed into their room and was assaulted by the unmistakable smell mothers everywhere fear with dread. Someone had thrown up.

And most definitely not in the bathroom.

I stepped gingerly towards the foul stench and tripped over a body on the floor. Cursing and grumbling, I found that Chase had climbed out of his bed and was asleep in a nest on the floor. I made my way to the bedside lamp and switched it on.

The light revealed poor Hannah, asleep, and lying in a pool of vomit. Completely unaware of the evil she had just done, she was soundly sleeping. Horrified, I wondered for a moment what to do.

Realizing there was no way to avoid the embarrassment, I made the call of shame down to housekeeping. I snapped into mom mode and put Hannah into the bathtub. I pulled the soiled bedding and bundled it up. I started wiping down the walls and the carpet (because, yes, it was one of THOSE times where it went everywhere). I met the poor soul from housekeeping at the door and apologized profusely. He smiled and said they just been through mardi gras. They were used to this.

A hefty tip for housekeeping, clean sheets on the bed, and a bottle of air deodorizer later, I was ready to fall back asleep. As I climbed wearily into bed, the Husband rolled over and in a voice so fakely groggy it was pathetic, he said, "Hey, what's going on? Did something happen?"

Um, yeah. Not fooling anyone here, Husband. There is no way on earth you slept through the vomiting, cursing, bed changing, bath taking, and room spraying.

Not even if you were dead.

Which for pretending to sleep until it was all cleaned up last night, you just might be.

J. Golden Stie?

Yesterday I gave a talk in church on personal revelation.

I think it went rather well.

Except for the part where I accidentally and inadvertently said crap from the pulpit.

And, no, not proverbial crap.

I said the actual word crap.

My oldest son told me he immediately looked around the room to see if his teachers were hanging their head in shame and disgust.

My daughter told me she felt I would have to give a quarter to the swear jar.

My middle son was too busy reading Calvin & Hobbs to notice.

Do you think it means they won't be asking me to talk again for a while?

I do hope so.

P.S. Those of you confused by the title, see this article. J. Golden Kimball was a prominent leader in the early days of our church who liked to swear from the pulpit. He's a legend of sorts and it took all my power to convince the husband NOT to name any of our children after him.

One more story of shame to add to my life's work

I had a lovely little lunch date with the Husband today. He happens to be in town this week, and I most decidedly took advantage of that rare treat.

We finished eating, and I got up to go use the, um, facilities.

After inquiring with our waiter, I was pointed towards the back of the restaurant. I pushed open the door to what I thought was a multi-stall restroom.

And what to my wondering eyes should appear?

Some poor woman, pants down around her ankles, her big white cheeks planted on the single toilet in the room. She looked up at me and shrieked, "Oh sh#@! I thought I locked it!"

I ran as fast as I could to our table, told the Husband that we had to leave, LIKE. RIGHT. NOW. Good man that he is, he didn't question me. Just grabbed his coat and we vacated the premises faster than if we'd robbed the place.

As we booked it down the block and I told the Husband what had happened, he roared his head back in laughter.

Somehow, I didn't quite see the humor.

I mean, if I had known it was a single, of course I would have knocked. But we were in a restaurant, and I figured there would be more than one. There's always more than one. And since the door was not locked, and there was no knob, I pushed the door open and marched myself right in.

And so today, somewhere out there in St. Louis, a woman sits on her couch probably feeling very, very embarrassed. And maybe just a teensy bit angry with the chubby girl who walked in on her while she sat on the toilet.

And also today in St. Louis, a woman sits on her couch and vows NEVER to make an assumption in a restaurant again.

[Tell me I'm not the only one this has happened to. Lie to me, if you must. I need some commiserating.]