Sunday, February 28, 2010

I had no idea.......

I had no idea that when the Admissions Director at Auburn told me that we needed to wear our "walking shoes", that what she really meant to say was, "your legs will never be the same again." I'm serious.

I mean....a campus tour, in and of itself, would have been one thing. But in my naivety, I thought that it would be a great idea for us not only do a campus tour, but attend the Engineering Open House as well, AND do two separate housing tours. I mean, after one bothered to TELL me that "The Quad Center" was MILES from "The Village" housing....or that the reason there were so many more openings for the 3pm campus tour was because everyone is DEAD by that time.

Make no mistake....I started out my morning with gusto....taking every flight of stairs with enthusiasm, and thinking, "wow...just think of the calories I'm burning." That was, of course, until the "water I was drinking because I wanted to be good about drinking my water" started kicking in, and I realized that the closest bathroom was up that flight of stairs. No...wait a was DOWN those stairs....or was it? And, oh no.....where did my group go? Let's just say, shall we, that I wasn't quite as enthusiastic about the calorie burning endeavors as the day wore on. And....I would like to say....that Auburn does a good job of maintaining their restrooms. I should know. I visited them all, I think.

And frankly, the only way to truly appreciate my exhaustion at the end of that day, is to look at a picture I took off the top (yes, I said the TOP) of the Haley Center.....which is 9 stories high. Did I mention that I don't like heights? :/

And this is just a small portion of my stomping grounds for the day......I couldn't fit it all in my camera view. Just take this and multiply it by A LOT.....and you'll see why we justified eating dinner here.

And I just want to know one more thing..................

Where have the years gone? It seems like yesterday they were babies. I'm just sayin'.

Monday, February 22, 2010

I Was Determined to Win.....

That's all there was to it.

I'm off today, with plenty of laundry piles calling my name (we have already established that I am an accomplished piler...), but a project that I started weeks ago, was still unfinished thanks to a broken sewing machine, and I was determined to finish that up, so that the pile of material and sewing supplies could be put away.

I suppose a little "rewind" here would be helpful in understanding the story. A few weeks ago, I decided that I would make the boys some curtains for their bedroom. Simple, straight lines.....nothing fancy....out of some camoflauge sheets. Nothing major. However, I got one of the two panels done when my sewing machine broke....after being faithful to me for 27 years. (Yes....I have had it since I was thought it would be a good investment for me, and so she made me save my money and buy one....I wasn't thrilled at the time, but really....are we thrilled about anything our mother says we should do when we're 12???) Moving on.....
And while it has been a good machine, I did not feel like "right in the middle of my project" was a good time for it to decide that it was finished working.

So my father-in-law loaned me one of my mother-in-law's portable machines. And this is where the story gets tricky. Because as you can see.....this is no modern machine. a matter of fact, it's rather old, and not overly cooperative. So suffice it to say that I was rather excited when I found the paperwork underneath of it, to hopefully help me figure out how to use it!! Unfortunately, the mean, the directions that I found were not even for THIS sewing machine. (Are you beginning to feel my frustration?) So I begin applying my limited knowledge of sewing machines and finally get it to begin stitching, and I'm thinking....okay....just a few straight lines and I am done with this. That is, of course, until the bobbin runs out. did. And no....the little do-hicky that helps wind bobbins was not working on this my patience was beginning to run thin. All the while, the box of guessed it....were in my pantry calling my name and promising to make this frustration go far, far away.

But I wouldn't give in. Nope, I just kept pulling and tugging and re-threading, poking myself with pins and cursing under my breath, until finally......I managed to get it to sew a couple of straight lines....well, sort of straight. But who cares? They're curtains, and once they're hanging on a nice rod....who will notice?

And one would think that this was enough frustration for a day, but oh no. Not here at this house. Nope. Gotta' have just a little bit more. You know....opening up the fridge to make a sandwich only to open the jar of mayonnaise and see that it's gone. Gone. Sigh.

Did I mention the fact that there were Girl Scout Cookies in the pantry???? Yep....Thin Mints. But I was determined not to do it. I was not going to blow it, because after all.....tomorrow is weigh in day, and I am 10 pounds closer to my goal.

I think I won today. I'm just sayin'.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

New Olympic Event....

So when I posted my status to my facebook page yesterday, I had no idea that I would receive so many responses to it.

I mean, I thought everyone had (at some point in their life) sprinted down the driveway while screaming at the snaggle toothed (did I just say that?) garbage man to WAAAAIIIITTT!!!!!!!!

Oh wait. Did I not mention that part yesterday in my post? Nope, I didn't. But let me tell you, it was all good until he smiled his big ole' snaggle toothed grin at me. At that point, I was wanting to sprint the OTHER direction, because he seemed WAY too okay with the fact that I was running to him with a flailing trash can behind me.

Which brings up another point. Are those things not impossible? The trash cans.....or dumpsters or "waste containers" or WHATEVER they are that we are paying to rent every month. Oh they're nice and big, and eliminate the need for 14...I mean 4 small trash cans. But DARN those things are hard to maneuver. Especially when they're full of smelly, stinky garbage.

And I guess it doesn't help when you're trying to move it at the speed of sound while trying to yell over the noise of the trash truck compacting trash across the street. I mean, I can never get the darn thing to just ROLL on the wheels it has. Somehow, it's always trying to do a wheelie behind me while I'm trying to drag it down.

I'm just hoping that I don't end up on someone's submitted video to "America's Funniest Home Videos". Unless, of course, they're willing to share their winnings with me. I'm just sayin'.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Habitual Piler.....

Yes, I said Habitual Piler, not Liar. And while it's probably the lesser of the two evils, it lends itself to some pretty nasty findings at times. You know....the paper that you looked all over the house for, didn't find and had to ask for duplicate copies of. The bill that was suppose to have been paid yesterday:/ The shirt that you couldn't wait to wear, until you realized you would look like a used piece of aluminum foil it had so many wrinkles.

They say that admitting that you have a problem is the first step. So, here it is. I am a habitual piler. I have been in denial for many years, and just blamed all sorts of things for my problem. Pregnant....sick didn't feel well, newborn nursing child....tired and exhausted with higher priorities, toddler.....too tired from chasing them around all day. The list goes one and on.

And it's sort of always been one of those things that I thought I could finally conquer. But the truth is....I haven't. Not even close. Nope....all I've done is minimized my piling space. I used to have a very long snack bar that seemed to be the dropping off point for everything...and now it's the corner of my kitchen....but the pile gets higher. And then there's always the bedroom piles. Oh didn't really think that this problem of mine was limited to the kitchen did you? No way. You can do a clean sweep of my room at pretty much any time, and you will see a pile of books, clean laundry waiting to be put away as well as towels in the bathroom that would love to be in the cabinet rather than sitting there in a PILE, paperwork on the computer table, clothes on the chair in the closet.....I am a piler.

And I just don't know what to do about it. It's sort of the mentality that leads to overspending with some people, or overeating. It's the whole, "I'll worry about it later" mode. But later doesn't get here as quickly as it should. Because just one day of letting the piles go, allows them to get out of hand.

The sad part, is that then I feel like I can't "do" anything else. I'm a slave to the piles. I get a day off, and I spend my whole day de-piling. What fun is that? And then I think, "Ta-Daaaaa!" The piles are gone! I have overcome!!!! But it only lasts until the kids get home from school and I have a pesky folder full of papers to look at and not be sure what I should keep or throw away for fear that I will throw away something important, so just to be safe I save it, and thus begins a guessed it.....a PILE.

I wonder if there's such a group as "Pilers Anonymous"....and if there were, would anybody own up to being a "piler" like me. I'm just sayin'.

Saturday, February 13, 2010


So the snow day was......let's just say, it was a bit of a let down. was a big let down.

We spent the morning watching and waiting for the big snowflakes that we were seeing reported from surrounding towns in the area, just hoping that ours would be the next one!!

Yes. There was live news coverage until 9am, just like during a hurricane, because remember.....we don't get snow here.

And yes, it was sleeting and there were some lame flurries flying around outside, but nothing that was going to stick and allow them to make a snowman or anything. (Of course that didn't stop them from making "ice-balls" and pelting each other in the head with) But the meteorologist kept insisting that "we haven't seen the last of the snow", and that our area would likely see an accumulation of 2-4 inches. Yep....he said 2-4 inches.

So what better thing to do then make a big ole' pot of homemade soup, right? I thought the same thing, so while checking out the window every 30 seconds or so (because it's been 20 years since I've seen snow....cut me some slack!), I began the soup making process.

And that's where this story gets a little ugly......because you spite of the fact that the snow was not living up to our expectations, I knew that we had a nice, hot bowl of homemade soup to look forward to for dinner. Or so I thought.

Trying to be a good mom, I went against my better judgement, and drove my stir crazy boys and one of my daughters up to a town that they were claiming was getting a good bit of snow. All the while wondering....."what in the heck am I doing??" See...if you look real close, you can see a few flakes falling around her......I said a with me here.
Meanwhile I left my oldest daughter (who was not interested in seeing the snow) add a few things to the soup and keep an eye on it.

So suffice it to say, that when I was nearly back home from our wasted trip in the quest for snow.....and I got her phone call saying, "Mom.....I think the soup is burned.....because I forgot about it", I was not happy.

No. That is an understatement. I was mad. Very mad.

Not only was I frustrated with myself for wasting the gas and time trying to find some darn snow for the boys to play in, but I was calculating how much money I had put into that triple batch of soup I had made, and then trying to figure out what our plan "B" for dinner was going to be.

My day was not going as planned. And I was not behaving like a Proverbs 31 woman. At all.

Which then of course, made me feel guilty....because we have all forgotten things on the stove and burned them. (But this was a $25 pot of soup people!!!!!!!!! And before you preach to me and tell me that it was too much to spend on need to understand that this was no ordinary pot of soup. It was a HUGE big gumbo pot, which holds 80 cups...and I was making enough soup for our family and my father-in-law who just lost his wife and loves to have soup in the freezer.) Whew....I'm really abusing these run on sentences.

I know you think the story is over, already and frankly, I wish that it were, but there's just a little more to my day. The soup? Well, you see, my husband felt sure that it would stop up our garbage disposal in the he felt we needed to dispose of it in the toilet. Mmmhmmm.......I thought the same thing.

So I of course made my daughter (the one responsible for this mess, and gave me permission to blog about it, but wasn't as keen on having her picture taken with the pot of soup), assist me in the flushing of a triple batch of soup. And if you have never done such a thing....I don't recommend it, but if you end up with a burnt batch of soup you have to dispose of...have a plunger handy. I'm just sayin'.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow........

When I was a little girl, growing up in St. Louis, I hated snow. Pretty the first day, but being the "not so outdoorsy" kind of girl that I was, I just didn't love it. And I used to ride the school bus home, looking out the window at the dreary sky, and the black slush on the side of the roads, and think to myself, "When I grow up....I want to live somewhere just like Aunt Ruth." (who lived in West Palm Beach.....a stretch I know, but kids can dream) I just didn't like it.

Well, who knew? I married a Marine, who I met in San Diego, who was from the south, but stationed in Yuma, Arizona, and I ended up in the deep south after he got out of the Marine Corps (That really should be a whole blog post all in itself....and who knows....Valentine's Day is Sunday, and I may feel inspired to share that story, but for now....I'm all off track.)......and I haven't seen a true "snow" in 21 years. I have seen some flurries, and been back home to experience it in St. Louis, but in the 21 years I have been here, I have not seen a real snow.

That's simply doesn't happen here. And that's where the story gets exciting. Because WE, my friends, are under a Winter Storm Warning. There is a possibility of sleet and snow tonight....that will possibly continue and stick to the grass tomorrow morning. And so........all the schools here are CLOSED tomorrow. And the grocery stores are packed with people that act like a category 5 hurricane is impending.

Stop laughing. If you aren't from around here, then you just don't get it. And that's okay. Neither did I when I first moved here. But you see.....we don't have snow plows or salt trucks, and worse yet.........PEOPLE HERE CAN'T DRIVE IN IT!!!!!!!!!! And that could make for some dangerous driving conditions.

And I figure, what a better day than a Friday to have a snow day? I mean, really, who doesn't want to be in the house for three consecutive days with children who have no earthly idea how quickly the snow will lose it's luster? won't be that bad, because you have to youngest children have never even SEEN it should occupy them the better part of the day....until it melts mid afternoon.

I think it's a good excuse to sleep in, take some pictures that will go down in history here, and make a big ole' pot of homemade vegetable soup. I'm just sayin'.

Who's project is it anyway????

So here's what I want to know.

When teachers assign these "projects".....what is their ultimate goal? Is it really to teach the kids something? Or is it that they are in "cahoots" with the local Michael's store, and they're splitting the profits?? No....maybe it's the teachers' way of getting back at the parents.

Whatever the reason, I'm not loving it. I cannot even BEGIN to recall the money and time that we have invested over the years of having four children in school. Oh, we've made 3-D Tasmanian devils and dragonflies, Indian Forts, and candy graphs. But this took the cake.

Our fourth grader (and let me remind you that fourth graders are 9 and 10 years old) was assigned making a float for a book parade. Yep....I said float. The requirements? It had to fit through doorways, had to roll, and had to be a scene from your favorite book....and it had to be accompanied by a two paragraph paper that "can be typed for neatness if they want". (are you kidding me???)

Now what you need to keep in mind, is that my son loves anything that has to do with the military. The Marine Corps especially (my husband is a former Marine), but he'll read anything that has to do with the military....whether it's historical or present day.

So he knew immediately, what his favorite book was. 'A Boy at War, A Novel of Pearl Harbor'. Yes....I said Pearl Harbor. And go ahead and use your imagination and just guess what his favorite scene guessed it.....when the Japanese attacked.

Are you feeling sorry for us yet? Because let me just tell should be.

And can I just get a shout out right now for my husband? Because I cannot even imagine what this would have turned out like had I been left to my own devices.

So our weekend was consumed with trying to resurrect our 17 year old wagon that has gone from having four red detachable sides, to being a flatbed without a handle, into something our son could pull around the school. And while my husband is extremely capable of cutting plywood and drilling it to the wagon, let me take this moment to remind you that this is our son's project.....not ours.....or at least it's suppose to be. But what 10 year old do YOU know that has access to power saws and drills???

Ahem. Sorry....I get fired up just thinking about it.

So $12 later (and that's only because we had the extra plywood laying around in the garage, and the popsicle sticks and paint readily available from the last project), Destin was sitting at the kitchen table, assembling & painting wooden ships, and transforming dollar store airplanes into Japanese fighter planes....while his Daddy painstakingly attached the platform to the dilapidated wagon.

Let's not forget the navy bed sheet that I have had tucked away in a drawer that came in handy as the water for this rig.....and a gracious Paw-Paw who could see that I was struggling with trying not to hurt somebody with a staple gun (those things are dangerous!!!), when he walked in the house for a dinner invitation, but instead got to help with "THE FLOAT". Oh yes....even Paw -Paw got to help, and did a mighty fine job draping and stapling the sheet.

Did I mention that this was my son's project?

And thank God for Cricut machines that cut lettering much faster than 10 year old hands, because the other requirement was that it had to have the title and author displayed on it.

I'm sure hoping we all get an "A" on it. I wasn't aware that having kids meant that we got to go back through school again.

I'm just sayin'.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Two-fer One....

Well...adding insult to injury to my heart's already fragile state (read yesterday's post), Jack came to me as we were walking out the door to the dreaded Mardi Gras Parade (ok....not dreaded for him, but I could do without the holiday), and informs me that the front tooth that was still intact, had gotten a little crooked throughout the day.

And he was had. It was loose. Very loose.

And now, he has NO front teeth. But he is $3 richer. I'm thinking the tooth fairy thought that losing two teeth in one day deserved a bonus. I'm just sayin'.

Saturday, February 6, 2010


So I'm not perfect.

Really. I'm not. In any sense of the word.

And apparently, my imperfections led to my child feeling as though I expect him to be perfect....which makes me sad. Which got me to thinking....and that's never a good thing. (Well, okay, sometimes it is, but on days like today? It's not. Because then I beat myself up for the next few hours, and come out pretty bruised and battered.)

You see....I KNOW that we as humans cannot be perfect. And....I know that it is only God's grace that allows me to be forgiven and precious to Him. Yet there's just that constant drive, that push that causes me to try, and yet I constantly fail.

Now, try to tell my husband that I am a perfectionist, and he would laugh your socks off.....because as we have all seen in the "reality" picture, my house does not reflect the characteristics of one belonging to a perfectionist. But you see.....I am a "frustrated perfectionist"....or so that's what someone once told me.

I look around, see the mounds of laundry, the piles of papers from school, the clutter, and I feel defeated in my attempts to somehow get it all done....and have it look nice all the time. Or I hear myself yelling at one of my kids, or I look in the mirror and see my very imperfect body, and I crucify my head. I think, "WHY for the love of God, can you not just lose this weight, or why can't you just speak in a nice, calm, loving tone to your children instead of sounding like a drill instructor?"

I see the things that need to be done, or changed, but yet I feel overwhelmed, and can't seem to do any of them completely, so therefore sometimes it takes me a while to even get started because I don't want it to be done if I can't do it just right.

The demands of being a mom and wife are so much more involved then what people can see on the surface. Sure....there's the obvious. They all need clean clothes, food, clean dishes, help with homework. But what about what goes on in our minds? I feel like an octopus......trying to take care of things, and keep it all straight....

Then you factor in your heart, and it just all gets crazy. So proud of the young woman that I see my oldest daughter becoming, yet in disbelief that it's really time to make decisions about college and her future.

I'm hoping for a better "rest of the day". I'm hoping that God will continue to remind me of His grace so that I can extend it to my children.

And....oh great. Youngest child just came running in the door with the older one right behind him yelling, "it was an accident!!". Football in the front yard, just resulted in a lost tooth for Jack. And while he is so proud to finally have lost it, his mama is sitting here in a puddle of tears, because today was suppose to get better, and instead I have been reminded that my "baby" is not really a baby at all.

Being a mom is really hard sometimes. I'm just sayin'.