Tears, Sweat, and a lot of PTO

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Getting Older

Signs of getting older:

1) Monthly meetings with Miss Clairol to wash the grays away.

2) Calling your kids by the wrong name. Bonus points, however, for not calling them by the dogs’ names.

3) Looking into a retirement plan when you’re a stay-at-home mom. I’m seriously tired of cooking, cleaning, and laundry.

4) Walking into a room to either do something or get something, forget why you were there, can’t remember where you started from to try and jog that sluggish brain, but find something else to get / do anyway. Remember 12 hours later what you forgot the first time.

5) Hearing loss. Well, it’s either hearing loss or my family mumbles a lot.

6) Increased gas production and expulsion. No. Explanation. Required.

7) Getting a letter from your doctor alerting you to the need for a mammogram. At least they sweetened the deal by offering a free Vera Bradley Zip ID Case if I go. If only my family offered something like that in exchange for clean clothes and food. Hmmm……



Having to be in the loop all of the time (nature of being the PTO Prez I guess) sometimes leaves me with the feeling that I’m juggling in the middle of a three-ring circus (strangely, our carnival theme this year is “circus”).

I remember when I was younger (“…so much younger than today. I never needed anybody’s help in anyway.”) {Thank me later, Carpenters fans.} Maybe I should admit now that I fear I have Adult ADD. Squirrel!!

Let’s try this again……

I remember when I was younger hula hoops were all the rage. It was nothing to spend hours twisting, twirling, spinning, and swirling them all over the place. I’d go get one right now if I didn’t think that I would totally blow a knee out or have to explain a set back to my back to my chiropractor. Still, you were the coolest if you could get one going on each arm just spinning and spinning, and it was all fun and games until you got tired and knocked yourself with one or both.

Kind of what today felt like. Spinning, spinning, spinning…..then WHAM! Tripping over air (in addition to super-sonic smell) is my super power. I was not meant to successfully juggle. Or twirl. Or balance.

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October Dress Project 2012

Last year was the first year that I had heard about a project that sounded, quite simply, like complete insanity. The object/goal is to wear one dress for the entire month, and in case you’re doing the knuckle counting, there’s 31 whole days in the month of October.

It all started four years ago with a girl named Avery and her grandpa’s off-handed comment that girls in his day has 2 dresses: one for the week and one for Sunday. Thus, the October Dress Project was born. It’s a call to anti-consumerism, pro-simplicity, anti-conformity, and pro-imagination.

After reading through dozens of posts and witnessing hundreds of photos of participants, I knew that I wanted to give it a shot. Finding out about the project in the middle of September 2011, however, left me with little time to find that dress that I could endure for the entire month. Nothing in my wardrobe remotely fit that description. So I spent months searching and searching. And I finally found “the one” only to have it back-ordered for 5 months. I almost cried.

Rest assured it is here! Finally. It’s been hanging in the closet now for just about a month. I’ve resisted temptation to wear it even for just a few hours. And I feel like I’m on the verge of Christmas.

In looking at the calendar today, I realized that I’m a week away from donning the dress. Questions and doubts starting to rise now as to whether I have enough to accessorize. Me (in all of my OCD fashion) will no doubt Garanimal myself a little later this week. I have a few more accessories that need to be finished, as part of my notion was to be able to recycle and/or upcycle as well.

Nope. No pictures just yet. I don’t want to spoil the surprise. But for those of you who know me, I’ll give you a hint: It’s neither black nor brown. (I know, what colors could that possibly leave me with then….A whole rainbow!!)

Check back in and follow me along the throughout the month. I’ll be posting pictures. And if you feel led, join in the fun!!

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The fact that I just “pinned” 22 items in about 10 minutes on Pinterest should be an indicator to myself that I have an addiction. But what happens when an addiction fuels other addictions? This is where I find myself this afternoon. (Actually, I find myself sitting at the computer in the kitchen, windows wide open, fall breezes winding their way through the house, my body reaching for a sweater. But you know what I mean.)

It’s FALL!! Seriously. First. Day. One couldn’t ask for better weather to welcome it in either. It’s crisp. It’s breezy. Just a lingering scent of last night’s rain. It’s sunny. It’s perfect. And it has me longing for pumpkin. I love pumpkin. I love all things pumpkin. And here’s where addictions collide: Pinterest meets Pumpkin. Just reading off my pumpkin recipe pins makes me sound like Bubba rattling off shrimp. I have enough pumpkin recipes to keep me in the pumpkin business for at least a month of pumpkin-a-day. I find myself with neither the time nor the energy to accomplish such a feat, but still, wouldn’t that be the best? Walking into the house to find something scrumptiously made of pumpkin every day? Oh. Boy.

Then Pinterest meets Crafting……and there’s even more ideas on there about the things that you can do to pumpkins. Decorate them. Decorate your house. Decorate your yard. Decorate, craft, glue, glitter, mod podge…… The list is endless.

I’ve decided, though, to keep things in check. I can do pumpkins outside and decorate (within reason) beginning in October. After all, I’d like them to last through as much of the fall as possible. So that leaves me with one more week to get a plan in place.

I say, “Bring it, Fall.” I’m at my best when you are around. Well, then and when it snows. My health may fail more during Fall and Winter, but my spirits don’t. My house and my heart are warmer. I’m more at peace with myself. Maybe it’s just because I get to express a full range of creative outlets. Either way I’m all good.Image


My Buddy James

Today was a day of reflection. Okay, let’s be completely honest, it was also about getting some cleaning done, some items/areas better organized, and getting a layer of chalkboard paint on several surfaces. However, in the quiet and the still of these individualistic, monotonous tasks, I felt God reaching out to me, the Holy Spirit nudging my heart.

To simply say that I’ve had a rough start to the school year just doesn’t seem enough…..at least from my perspective. I’ve been overwhelmed, over-tired, over-stimulated, and overtly plagued with a season of chronic migraines. I’ve also been short, testy, whiny, and absorbed with murmurings and disputings. In places that I love with people that I adore, I have been less of the person I wish to be. And it makes me sad.

Today, James 1:12 (NIV) was brought to mind. It reads, “Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.” Now, while I’m not big on jewelry, a crown sounds kind of nice. But really isn’t simply being blessed enough? My heart longs to be in several places. My mind, however, spends far too many minutes pondering all of the reasons to not be there….or there….or even there.

Maybe I’m reading into it more than I should, but at the base-level, I read this as “Happy is the person who keeps on going even when things get bad.” And yes, I do find myself happier when I’m doing what I’ve been called to do rather than giving into excuse after excuse as to why I should be allowed to give up.

Thanks, God, for the quietness and clarity You afforded me today.

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Tiny Messes

So, the spouse has been away on a fishing trip for the past 4 days, eager to return to the home front tonight. I, anticipating the arrival, think that welcoming him home to a house that isn’t in complete disarray would be a nice change of pace. Well, it’s not that the house is truly messy on any given occasion, but it doesn’t sparkle. In fact, I think that the last time my house did sparkle, it was the year 2000, and my firstborn had yet to grace this earth. We currently reside at 112 Presentable.

With that being said, I believe that children are born with some sick sixth-sense that thwarts even the most ambitious of plans. After the last Thing was tucked away neatly at school, I was able to load the dishwasher, pick up some clutter in the kitchen area, and wipe down the counters. After Thing 1 arrives home, it looks like the Battle of the Bulge took place due to the path of carnage. Thing 2 only adds to that.

I’m to the point of knowing better than ask for ideas. Ideas come (in my opinion) from people who say things like, “I read this….”, “I would do this….”, “Someone said that this would work….”. Really? Sounds like you’re just about as lost as I am because I’ve read that too, and I’ve often thought about what I would do if given the opportunity, the means, and the trainable children to effect that perfect solution.

I’ve asked. I’ve begged. I’ve pleaded. I’ve yelled. I’ve silently fumed. And really…..I’d just be happy if they could remember that trash goes in the trashcan and dirty clothes go in the hamper. I don’t think that I’m being unreasonable.


The Beginning of the New Year

No. Yeah. I totally get that it’s September and not January; however, when children are present in the home, it seems that the time – space continuum takes over, shifting the calendar into a September – August reality (or maybe an August – July calendar depending on school start dates). And the middle of September has us a month already into the school year. 

This year is the beginning of my second year as P.T.O. president of the elementary school where my youngest is in the fourth grade. My oldest is navigating the sixth grade and middle school, and after this month I think we’ll be able to remove the water-wings.

I’ve drained two ink pens just getting information into the calendar, signing permission slips, writing a few checks, and checking some assignment notebooks. I’ve depleted three printer ink cartridges. I’ve used no less than a ream of paper at home, and I’ve copied probably some five cases worth of paper at school. I’m on a first name basis with the copier repairmen. The teachers’ workroom and my kitchen are both going to send me over the edge. The next person to tell me that Fall makes them want to buy school supplies will receive the list of supplies needed as well as the book fee invoice.

We’re only four weeks into school year and already I’m wondering how much longer until Fall Break. (Forty-two more sleeps to be exact.) Four weeks into the new school year, and it’s already there’s been tears, sweat, and *a lot* of P.T.O.


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