Where you came from.

31 August 2010 | 14 Comments
Finn asked me today where we got him.

Three year olds are a nosey bunch aren't they? 

I explained to him that mommy and daddy made him and he grew in my tummy until he was big enough to come out.

I figure that the nightmare of figuring out it involves a penis and a vagina can be saved for a later date.

Much later.  Like never.  Or whenever his dad feels it necessary to share that information with him.  Because a) dad's should talk to boys about their equipment and how it works and b) it will be hilarious to watch Dave have that talk. 

Then he asked me how I got his bones inside my tummy.

Uh.  Well, you were really tiny and you grew them?

Where the hell do these kids come up with these questions and why do I feel like I have to be a scientist to figure out the answers?

So we pulled out the online album of when I was pregnant and had him.  I showed him the 3d ultrasound pics where he looked a little like himself and less like a blob.  He asked me if that was the food in my belly.  Um, no.  That's your face, see?

I showed him pictures of me when I was pregnant.  Let me tell you, I was not 'cute pregnant' I looked like death warmed over.  I am pretty sure I have mentally blocked that out to protect myself as a coping mechanism.  Which totally sucks because Dave's work wife my friend Jordan just gave birth to the sweetest baby girl in fifteen minutes of pushing and looked cuter than any human being should EVER look after pushing a baby out of her vagina without an epidural.  If she wasn't so awesome I'd probably have to hate her.

Maybe this infertility thing is really the universe saying, "dude, you are not a pretty pregnant and if you have a girl, YOU'RE going to be the one explaining the whole penis/vagina thing, so let's just skip that, ok?"

Don't worry about me. No Siree.

30 August 2010 | 10 Comments
Dave is leaving on a business trip this morning.

We usually do pretty well when he's gone.  Aside from Finn asking me every fifteen minutes where his Daddy is and when he's coming home.  That only gets annoying after the 38,268 th time.

We order pizza for dinner and generally live as if we're in a college frat house, but don't tell Dave.  I like him to think we're toiling away here, cleaning the house, visiting museums, and doing things that upstanding citizens do.

Aunt Lyndsey is coming to stay with us these two nights just because she is the perfect partner in crime for our ill behavior.  We're going to watch chick flicks too and eat chocolate covered oreos.  I'll tell Dave we're eating our bumper crop of green beans, but really we'll just feed them to the neighborhood bunnies.

It's not going to be all fun and games.  Finn's got his first soccer class for the fall session and guess who gets to take Daddy's place?  I know absolutely nil about soccer for two and three year olds, but I'm pretty sure it's going to be scary.  There is a reason that Daddy handles these things.

So what's up with your week?

Happy Birthday Dave.

29 August 2010 | 8 Comments




You're like my bestest most awesome first husband ever. 

I kind of wish though that you had gotten presents for your birthday instead of the flu.  Presents are way better than puke.

I thought you learned that lesson on our first new years together when you puked in my sink and thought I would break up with you and I almost did, but then you brought me flowers because Kerry told you to and I accepted your apology and later your proposal and then we got married and had a baby and lived happily ever after and usually celebrated your birthday with an awesome party every year except the one year that we didn't because you thought you were too old to celebrate your birthday and acted all grown up you got the flu and spent it totally sick. 

Lesson learned?  Being a grown up is bullshit and you're never too old for a party.

Happy Birthday Love.  And many, many more.

Weekend Sister Miscellany

28 August 2010 | 7 Comments
My sister Elise went back to college a few weeks ago.  It’s been lonely around here, even though she’s a big weirdo and she is always stealing Lyndsey’s shit and making her nuts.  Rachael and I are both married and out of the house and even we miss her. 

The hotel is already booked for our trip down there to visit in October.  The four of us girls and Dave and Finn.  Poor Dave.  

She’s living in the sorority house this year.  I love it because her roommate is a neat freak, which means that Elise is actually vacuuming and making her bed.  That means {fingers crossed} we won’t be spending six hours in a hazmat suit cleaning her disgusting room this time.  Maybe we can actually do some fun stuff?  That would be different.

I sent her these pink and green turtle cookies and she called me this morning to say thanks and that she and her roommate had already eaten half of them.  {The turtles and colors are from her sorority… I didn’t just randomly choose to make turtles.}  Then she made fun of me for putting little pink hearts on them.  Then she asked me to make some more so that she could lie and tell her little that she made them.  Next time I’m just skipping her and sending them right to her roommate.

She’s the one who makes her bed willingly.

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My sister Rachael is getting ready to meet her inlaws for the first time.  She’s been married to Sami for four years and this is the first trip she’s making to Israel to meet his family {they are Palestinian} and it’s a three week trip. As if three weeks with your inlaws whom you’ve never met isn’t pressure enough, it’s her first trip out of the country.  Not only that, but she’s been studying Arabic and is still struggling.  She’s a little lot nervous excited. 

The rest of us sisters are anxiously awaiting the stories.

I’m excited for her.  I think it’s going to be a tremendous learning and growing experience for her.  Plus, the shopping.  Dude, the textiles alone are worth the trip.

I really should do a whole post on Rachael, she has a great story, so maybe I will when she gets back.  Until then, I’m going to be holding my breath and hoping she doesn’t make any tremendous faux pas while she’s there.  I’m also going to say an extra prayer for Sami that he doesn’t get totally stir crazy with her on a flight for that long.  That might be intense.

Good luck Sami. 

This is a picture of the four of us this summer.  Lyndsey is the one with the boobs, Elise is the one with the flowers, then me, then Rachael in the grey.

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Summer Guest Blogger Friday! It's Jennifer from Notes From the Burrow!

27 August 2010 | 4 Comments

My mom died on August 4, 1990. It's a painful day for me to get through. I don't know why it is so hard because I think about her on all the other 364 days of the year too. It's not really any different. It just feels different.


I have a good friend who has commemorated her death in some way every year since our friendship started. One year she gave me a lilac bush which is thriving in our yard. She usually gives me flowers. It is very sweet. I have known this friend for only about 8 years which isn't terribly long but she's the kind of friend where it feels like we've been friends forever. I knew I wanted to be her friend when we were rehearsing a skit for our church group in which about ten women sang "I Feel Pretty," in shower caps and bathrobes. She and I laughed and laughed about it. It was really funny. I knew I wanted to be her best friend when we went to see "Anchorman" together and my head almost burst from the pain of laughing so hard with her.

She and I almost share the same brain. We say the same things. We think the same way. We laugh at the same stuff. Sometimes we think we were separated at birth because we are so much alike.

Our friendship struggled several years ago. We had some issues and some fights. I had never fought with a girlfriend except one other time in high school when I yelled at Marybeth Bauer to stop acting like my mom. I don't know how to fight...I don't like conflict especially when I can't see how there can possibly be a comfortable resolution. So I run.

I ran from this friend. I sent her an email the day before her 30th birthday...a week before August 4th. An email that said I couldn't be her friend right now but maybe someday in the future we could be friends again. Goodbye.

And then I cried. She was such an important part of my life and I cut her out just like that.

She still sent me flowers on that August 4th. She remembered that it's the hardest day for me.

And then life started to go on. I would think about her all the time and wonder how she was and if she made new friends. I looked for her everywhere...the spray park, Kroger, Target, Maya's. She was never there. I had a new baby and hoped and prayed that she would walk through the hospital door with a hug for me and my new little one. I dreamt about her all the time. I would wake up so disappointed because we weren't friends in my real life.

August 4th approached again. The hardest day for me of the year. And in the afternoon, the doorbell rang. It was the flowers from my friend. She signed the wrong name on the card because she wasn't sure I would want flowers from her but I knew the handwriting. The flowers were yellow because she knows it's my favorite color. My heart was bursting with sadness at missing my mom and yet this gesture from this friend at this moment had a great healing effect. The pain I felt was diminished that day.

I went to my computer almost immediately and sent her an email thanking her for the flowers and telling her how much I missed her. She sent one back and pretty much said the same things. She missed me too! She didn't hate me. I had been afraid that she did.

We continued to email for a few weeks and finally I got some courage. I dressed Lizzie in the outfit that my friend had given her before she was born and we headed to her house. I pulled in the driveway and my hands were shaking and my heart was pounding. I rang her bell and I heard her voice say, "Who is it?" I heard her son say, "It's Jennifer." I saw her come down the stairs and I could not contain the tears. She opened the door and opened her arms and I fell into them whispering, "I'm sorry, I'm sorry." I cried and then we sat on her porch and talked for a bit. She had to leave to go somewhere, but in those few moments we were together again, I knew it was going to be ok. I knew our friendship could be repaired and ultimately overcome our year of silence.

It took some time to iron out the issues that had led to me withdrawing my friendship. We worked through it and I am happy to say that she is my best friend again.

This year on August 4th, she gave me flowers. Yellow and white. She remembers that day and how painful it is for me.

This year on August 4th, I gave her flowers. I remember her gift of flowers a year ago that were the catalyst for bringing her back to me. It is our friendship anniversary of sorts.

I love that I have something joyful now to share on that day.

Jennifer Vos at Notes From the Burrow

Crepes.

26 August 2010 | 8 Comments

Pretty much the easiest and most interactive dessert you can serve on a week night.  It takes just a second or two to throw it all together and filling them with your own favorites is half the fun.  If you’ve never done it, it takes just a little practice, but once you master it, you’ll never forget how to do it.

Crepes

  • 1 cup of whole milk or half & half
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 cup of flour
  • 2-3 Tb sugar {depends on how sweet you like them}
  • 3 Tb melted butter

Throw everything in a blender and pulse until fully incorporated, make sure you scrape down the sides of the blender to be sure.  Then, let it sit on the counter for one hour. 

When you’re ready to cook the crepes, heat an 8” pan to medium high heat.  Add in a small pat of butter and about 1/4 cup of batter, swirling the pan so that the entire bottom is covered with a thin layer.  This is the part that takes some practice, you want them pretty thin and the swirling and coating the pan has to be done quickly.  Allow it to cook for a minute or two on the first side, then gently shake the pan to loosen the crepe from the pan.  Slide a spatula under the crepe and flip, cooking on the second side for another minute.  Slide them onto a plate and continue with the same process until all the batter is used.

You can keep these in the oven on warm or you can have people fill and eat as you’re making them.  You can also make them a day ahead and store them between sheets of waxed paper in the fridge, though I much prefer to have them right out of the pan.

For the filling, gather things like canned cherries, jams, Nutella, or vanilla sugar.  You can even use pie fillings, peanut butter, or puddings.  Spread a thin layer on the crepe, roll and enjoy!

making crepes

  making crepes

making crepes

crepe fillings

Or if you’re Finn, you can fill them with a mixture of Nutella and peanut butter and eat it right there in the kitchen without a fork.  I swear that baby owns clothes, but keeping him in them is another story.

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Girlfriends.

25 August 2010 | 12 Comments
They are important.

Husbands and boyfriends and children and family and parents, they are important too.

But girlfriends?  They're the ones that keep you sane.  Those people up there?  They're usually the source of the crazy.  Girlfriends are the solution.

They lift you during the rough days.


They tell you that you're too good for him and they mean it. Because you are.

They laugh their asses off when you send hilariously inappropriate texts to your sister who is away at college about her hottie boyfriend friend who is at the bar with you.  Cheers Mrs Robinson.

They hold your hand and tell you life sometimes sucks, but I am here.  Right here.  Anytime you need me.

They oooh and ahhh and gush about your cute new apartment.  They mean every single word when they say, they are endlessly proud of how much you have picked yourself up and done what is good for you.  Because you deserve happiness.

They love your bangs.

They watch your dad's band and cheer him on like he's a rockstar.  Because he's your daddy.

They love that your husband watches your munchkin and sends you out to the bar to have some fun.

They laugh with you.  They cry with you.  They pretend they don't know you when you decide to go postal, but they're secretly cheering you on.

My girlfriends?  They're amazing and gorgeous and funny and talented.  I'll bet yours are too. 

Take just a minute today to tell them.

Cleaning.

23 August 2010 | 7 Comments

I am pretty sure I’m doing this cleaning thing wrong.  You’re supposed to lift up the couch to sweep under it?  WHO does that?

Just when I thought I was doing a decent job superman comes along and blows that right out of the water.

I am pretty sure that if I attempted to lift the couch with one hand while sweeping with the other, he would come home to find me on the ground right there in the living room with a herniated everything rendering me horribly immobile for the next month and a half.

What did you accomplish this weekend?  I took pictures of my husband doing housework and went to a movie. 

The Switch?  Totally cute.

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Monty.

22 August 2010 | 4 Comments

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Please just be 3 forever.

21 August 2010 | 12 Comments
On Thursday, Finn wrote his name. 

By himself.

Thursday morning he didn’t even know how to make a lowercase N.

Or spell his name.

At least I don’t think he did.  Maybe he’s been secretly learning it behind my back like a spy.

He does know how to spell O-H-I-O, he learned to spell that just about when he started talking.  That right there is the beauty of being a Buckeye.

He told me today that his favorite color is red and his favorite shape is a hexagon.  Really?  Can’t we just stick with the easies like a triangle?  What kind of rhombus polygon {thanks Nikki} loving old man is trapped in the body of my little Finna?

He is three years and four months and I am thinking, this is a good age for him to just stop. 
No more getting bigger.  No more new pairs of jeans.  No more smelling your sweaty boy smell instead of like a baby.  No more of this sponge like learning that knocks me flat on my ass every single day. 

And for sure no more with the Ticonderoga #2.

If you see me carted off to the looney bin, you’ll know it’s the day when the  post-nap cuddles finally stopped. 

Right now, I get the unprompted, “I love you Mommy.”  When do the fights between us start, because I’d really like to skip that.  I want him to always give me hugs and eskimo kisses and run for me when something hurts.

His lanky legs are already too big to fold up like he used to, froggy style so he could lay his head on my chest when I rocked him before bed.  Gone away is the rocking.  Pretty soon, he’ll be reading his own bedtime stories.

And I just want to freeze time, right here.  Right now.

It’s going too fast and I feel like I blink and more of it disappears. 

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Summer Guest Blogger Friday! It’s Stacy from An American Girl in Canada!

20 August 2010 | 2 Comments

Well, when Michelle was first putting out the call for guest bloggers for the summer I thought that it would be fun.  Little did I know how many witty, intelligent bloggers she knew!  Now I’m a little intimidated, but ready to give it a try.

I’m Stacy, of An American Girl in Canada.  I moved to Canada in 2003…for a man.  That’s it, plain and simple.  He’s a great man, one of the main loves of my life…the others are my faith, my son, and the relationships I have with people that I love.  Those are the things that I usually blog about.  I wish I were a funny blogger, or a creative woman that can create a castle out of egg cartons and my own spit…but I am neither, so you get simply me.  I thought and thought about what to write in this post, and after a long conversation by a campfire with some of our best friends-my cousins who we were vacationing with-last night this topic came to mind.  Fertility.  Or infertility…or all of the things surrounding both of those big words.  I know, it seems like a pretty big topic for a summer guest post, right?  Maybe I should have blogged about my vacation, the things we are doing, the people we are seeing, but I think this is what I need to say today.  If you don’t want to hear it, stop reading!  (I know, I have you hooked, right?) 

I am surrounded by friends and family that haven’t had the easiest time on the road to having children.  It’s interesting.  When you decide to have a baby you think that it’s going to be so easy.  You will try and voila…that very first month you will get pregnant!  For some people, this is the case.  In fact, it is for my own sisters!  Although I sometimes envy them, I do not wish them harm or wish for them to have a long and difficult road.  I would never wish that upon someone else.  For us, it has been a long road.  I have learned a lot along the way, and although it hasn’t been easy, I am thankful for the way it has molded me and even for the kind of mother it has turned me into.  If you want to details, you can read up on them in my blog, but let’s just say, it’s not always easy.  After having these experiences and going through hard times with some of my dearest friends, I decided to compile a TO DO/NOT TO DO list for helping friends with fertility issues.  It is tough to know what to do or say for someone going through this.  And it is even harder for the person on the other end, trust me.  In that light, here goes:  in random order, my top ten dos and don’ts when dealing with friends with fertility issues list.

 

1.  If you have a friend that has just had a miscarriage, I know that it is extremely tempting to tell them the story about your aunt’s sister’s niece that had two or three miscarriages and went on to have five perfectly healthy children, but please, please refrain.  Despite what you may think, this is NOT going to make them feel better.  Especially if they currently have no children.  You could tell your dear friend 100 stories like this, and although she may smile politely and thank you for the piece of wisdom, inside her head she is probably screaming.  So, just don’t.

2.  What IS the appropriate response then, you ask?  Well, that’s a tough one.  You’ll have to think about your friend.  When we had our first miscarriage, we had a variety of responses.  Some friends invited us over for pizza that very night.  Although I didn’t feel much like eating, the idea of getting out of our own house and our own sorrow for an hour or two sounded really normal and nice.  We went over, they ordered delicious food and then they made us laugh.  Seriously. They told us funny stories about their relationship and marriage, stories we had never heard.  It was probably my emotions running high, or the crazed hormones raging through my body, but I laughed until I cried that night, and then I was really crying, and my friend Tara was holding me and saying it was going to be ok, some way, some how. 

Another response that totally touched my heart in a different way came from my friend, Jen.  When I called to tell her she simply broke down into tears, total and complete sobs.  They were sobs that I hadn’t even expressed myself yet.  Hearing her cry with such abandon allowed me to do the same.  We didn’t even say much at all, we just cried together there on the phone, and with each tear I shed, a little part of my heart was healed.  With our third miscarriage, a group of my girlfriends came over.  They brought all of the crappy foods that we never allow ourselves to eat and we gorged ourselves and watched the Super Bowl-without really paying attention-and just laughed.  None of them, not a single one, MADE me talk about it, unless I wanted to.  We just ate, talked, and laughed. 

In short, who knows what the appropriate response is!  Just think about your friend.  Maybe she’s the kind of girl that would love to get all dressed up, go out for drinks, and just be away from thinking about it for a moment.  Maybe she wants you to meet up with her at the mall and shop.  Maybe she wants you to come over, make her tea, hug her and cry with her.  Whatever it is, please don’t tell the story about the woman who had three miscarriages and then five kids.  I know, it will be hard.  You will feel it coming to your lips but seal them.  Stop it in its tracks and instead, give her a big hug.

3.  If your friend that is going through fertility problems-be it a miscarriage, not producing enough eggs, whatever-already has a child, please don’t say to her that at least she has one baby and she should feel blessed.  Trust me, she has already told herself that very same thing a million and one times.  She knows that.  She thinks that every single day.  She looks at her little munchkin and thanks the Lord that she has that baby or toddler or whatever.  It doesn’t mean that what she is going through doesn’t hurt.  It doesn’t mean that she doesn’t want that child to be a sibling.  Even if that thought crosses your mind, or you think she is being ungrateful…she isn’t.  She is saying everything that you could ever think to say to her to herself every day, just to try to get through it.

4.  Here’s a do.  DO let her be mad if she wants to!  Maybe your friend has been trying for a year to have a baby, and according to doctors nothing is wrong and she is perfectly fine, yet, she’s mad.  Let her be mad!  Tell her that yeah, it totally sucks!  Yeah, it isn’t fair…let the woman rant, come on.  And when she sees that pregnant lady smoking in the parking lot of the donut shop and wants to go over and beat her up because she has a baby and she is filling that baby with smoke, well, don’t let her beat the woman up, because hey, she would regret it, but let her be mad!  Let her rant!  Say how unfair it is with her!

5.  If you have a close friend that is having trouble having children and you suddenly find yourself pregnant, don’t hold it back from her.  I can’t promise you that a little part of her won’t hurt and be jealous, but I do promise you that she will be more hurt if she finds out from someone else, or from facebook or from meeting up with you for coffee one day and wondering why you are suddenly ordering decaf and have a wee bump.  Yeah, that hurts.  So, even though it feels awkward for you and you feel sad for her, tell her.  One other thing…be understanding if maybe she pulls away from you for a bit.  It’s nothing personal, she is probably just trying to process everything in her mind. 

6.  Don’t give your friend advice/articles/tell stories about how she can become pregnant or why she probably lost the baby.  I had someone give me an article about how working out can cause miscarriages about a week after we lost our first baby.  I almost lost it I tell you.  The woman is probably already blaming herself, don’t add to it!  Also, if your friend seems unable to conceive,   don’t tell her about the experimental hormone therapy that your cousin’s brother’s wife tried and it allowed her to have triplets after ten years of trying.  She’s probably already heard about it, read about it, or had her doctor tell her about it.  She doesn’t really need you to tell her.  Plus, she also doesn’t really need to know how your mom’s best friend’s daughter tried for seven years and finally had a baby.  Even though you look at that as a success story, to her she is hearing the phrase seven years and thinking REALLY?  SEVEN YEARS???  Yeah…to you it seems ok, but when you are in the middle of trying, seven years seems like F-O-R-E-V-E-R.  Think about it.  I’m serious, take a minute to really think about it.  Think about trying every single month for even a year, and every single month having that test say negative.  Talk about heartbreak.  Think about the way your heart would feel.  Think about how similar pregnancy symptoms are to PMS symptoms and how they can wreak havoc with your mind.  Imagine experiencing that chaos every single month for not only one year, but maybe even SEVEN!  Think about how it could take the joy out of something that should be fun for you and your husband.  Think about all of these things, and then keep them all in.  Don’t give the advice.   Don’t pass on the article.  She has probably visited that website, read that book, gone to that doctor.  When she wants your advice about these things she will probably ask.  If she isn’t asking it doesn’t mean you aren’t her friend.  It means she just wants to keep it to herself.  Okay?

7.  Try really, really, really hard not to say, “Well, there is always adoption, right?”  Now, let me precursor this.  I have an adopted brother.  He is one of the lights of my life.  He brought incredible, amazing joy into our family.  I can’t imagine our lives without him in it.  I thank his mother in my own head for giving him up so he could be a part of our family.  I think of him not as my adopted brother, but as my own brother, so much so that when people say, “Hey, who is that Korean guy in your family photo?” I have to stop and think about whom they are talking about.  I truly hope to have a chance to adopt someday, and if Kevin and I had not been able to have our own babies, we would have made that our first option, but saying that to someone in the middle of fertility difficulties?  It doesn’t make it easier.  They know that it’s an option.  They know that there are lots of babies out there that need homes.  They know it is a wonderful thing.  Does that mean it hurts any less to think you may never feel the amazing wonder of your own child moving within you?  That your husband won’t miss out on putting his hand on your belly and feeling your baby kick or seeing that hand morph out and move back in as the baby moves across the womb?  What about seeing your husband’s silly squinchy face in your son’s face as he concentrates?  Or talking about how tall you bet your little boy will be because both you and your husband have height in your family?  Or saying, “Yep, he gets his blue eyes from his grandma, that’s for sure!”  It’s not that you can’t still revel at the wonder of your adopted baby, and trust me you will, but first you have to say goodbye to those other thoughts and feelings and that is a tough thing to do. 

8.  This one goes for ANYONE.  The next time you are tempted to go up to that young couple you know and ask them when they are going to get on board and have kids, think about the fact that maybe they are already trying.  Maybe they have been trying for a few years.  Maybe they have already lost a baby.  If you are close friends with someone, you might know what they are going through, and try hard not to ask how things are going.  They will tell you if they want to.  Don’t assume that just because a couple has been married for ten years and has no children that they must not want them.  Maybe they do, and they can’t have them.  Or if they don’t want them, people, it’s not a crime.  It is hard for some of us to understand, because we love our kids and can’t imagine somebody else not wanting a child, it doesn’t mean it is wrong.  So, maybe just avoid that question all together.  My cousin last night was talking about an experience where he said he felt like a total heel.  He was ribbing someone about the fact that he and his wife didn’t yet have kids, and he later found out that this person had been trying for almost two years.  Ouch.  He felt really bad, even though he hadn’t been too hard on the guy and knew him pretty well.  He said he has never done that again.

9.  Don’t be offended if you find out from someone else that your friend is having fertility difficulties and didn’t share it with you.  It’s a tough thing to go through.  Everyone reacts differently.  Some people put it out there for the world to see, because ranting about it or talking to a lot of people is their mode for getting through it.  Some people tell no one, and suffer in private pain, because that is the easiest way for them to cope.  Some people tell just a few people, and even though you might think you should be one of those people they share with, don’t be offended if you aren’t.  Just let them get through it however they can.  Don’t make them feel even worse by somehow implying that they should have told you or by harboring resentful feelings when you find out that they had a miscarriage a few months back and they never shared that with you.  Maybe they just needed to keep it inside.  Telling them that it hurt you will only make them feel worse and hurt even more.

10.  Finally, #10!  DO BE THERE.  Be there in any way that your friend needs.  If you think she is doing great and she randomly calls you up one day sobbing, be the shoulder to cry on.  If she has a miscarriage and asks you to take her out for drinks because gosh darnit, she’s going to drink if she wants to, then take her!  If she wants to keep it all inside, be waiting on the wings for that day that maybe, just maybe she just wants to talk about it, and don’t ask her to tell you more than she wants to. 

 

That’s it, that’s my advice.  You might not agree, but isn’t that the beauty of a blog?  If you don’t, just quit reading!  Not witty, not creative, but I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t keep it real.  Trust me, not all of my blogs are this deep…but a lot of them are!  Stop on by if you want more of it! 

P.S.  Happy Summer!  I had a great vacation by the way.  We went and got old time photos done yesterday and my little monkey?  He is an ADORABLE cowboy.  If you stop by my blog you might get to see the picture!  AND vacation updates!  Cheers!

Courtney.

19 August 2010 | 7 Comments

I have this reader friend, her name is Courtney.

And I like her.

Not only because she is one third of the force behind Meylah.  {Incidentally, if you’re crafty or artistic, this community rocks and so does the blog.  There are tons of tutorials called Byte-Syze Tutorials and normally I don’t trust anything that is spelled in a cutesy way, but dude.  You will be overwhelmed at the awesomeness over there.  You want to know how to edit pics in Picnik, make earrings, sell your stuff, or even how to brand your twitter profile?  Go to Meylah.}

Or because she is the fancy pants designer behind Courtney Rian Designs.

Or that she’s a reader because duh, you know I love my readers.

It’s mostly because she is a kind, sweet, generous, wonderful friend that decided when I was having a shitty day, to send me some incredible earrings that I can wear for THE Ohio State Buckeye football season.

Just to make me smile.

She’s totally cool like that.

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Wedding Gift Basket

18 August 2010 | 6 Comments
Last summer when Dave’s sister got married, we decided we wanted to do something special for them.  They spent the weekend at the hotel where the wedding reception was held, so we wanted to give them something they could use on their mini honeymoon.  We put together this basket and dropped it off at the hotel front desk, they made sure to get it to their room so it was waiting for them.    
Meg & Nick Wedding 026
We wanted to go all out and had a great time choosing the items.  The basket included everything one might need for a weekend in, but you could do this on any scale that you want.  Maybe just a midnight snack?  Or a basket of breakfast items like gourmet jams, croissants, baguette, and orange juice?
We included funny double entendre items like whoopie pies, Simply Naked pita chips, Lay's potato chips, beef stick & passion fruit tea. Plus, we put in Intercourses {an aphrodisiac cookbook}, candles, a cd of love songs {Dave's part of the gift!}, and various and sundry other items. I loved the little bags of candy that had "Mego + Nick sitting in a tree K-I-S-S-I-N-G" labels on them. 
We also included lots of other goodies like fresh fruit, olive oil & dipping spices, cheese twists, a baguette, and sweets like mini apple pies, biscotti, and two bite brownies .  We made sure to include napkins, disposable plates, a cutting board & knife.  There were a few specialty beers for Nick, mini Asti bottles for Meg & plenty of non-alcoholic stuff too. 
The wedding color was pool blue, so we picked up a big plastic beverage tub and kept all of the accessories, napkins, ribbon, and paper products in that color family.
Meg & Nick Wedding 027

Linked to:  504 Main Tickled Pink

Weird.

17 August 2010 | 5 Comments

I've been feeling weird lately.  And it’s weird that I’m feeling weird because things have been good lately, like really good.  Dave is back to working 50ish hours a week rather than 60-70 or more.  I can’t believe how much good it does for your marriage to have that extra time together, we’re sneaking kisses in the kitchen and holding hands.  We’re planning a little getaway for the fall.  We have exciting things to look forward to like spending time with friends, seeing one of my besties, secret projects, a wedding for some friends, it’s been cool enough to have the windows open, and the best… Miss Annabelle is getting her port out AND has been chemo free now for a year!

So things should feel GREAT right now, but they just feel kind of weird.  Just a little off.

I've not been sleeping well, I’m sure that’s part of it.

We have a cricket in the basement.  It selectively chooses to start its crickety noises when I go to bed.  Highly annoying.  Dave has searched for it, but that little sucker is illusive.  Dave thinks he’s camped out under a huge heavy shelving unit.  Just how long can Jiminy live in our basement without cricket food?  What do crickets even eat?  Never mind, I do not really want to know.  I’ve been having dreams that it’s right there in the room and have been startling myself awake several times a night.

I’ve been also having vivid weird dreams.  Like two nights ago, I had an awful dream that I was in a room with some people {I have no idea who} and I could clearly see the metal lock on the door and there were two wide windows on either side of the door.  The whole room, walls and door were this really pretty turquoise blue, but just outside that lock was a scary ass bear that wanted nothing more than to eat my face off if I opened that metal lock.  So he starts to walk away and I open the door and he turns around to come after us, but I luckily get it locked again in the nick of time.

I also have heartburn for some reason.  I wish it were pregnancy heartburn, but I’m pretty sure it’s just the random run of the mill, “Michelle you’re getting old quit eating red sauce and hot sauce” type of heartburn.  It also makes the sleeping not fun because as soon as I lay down it ups the uncomfortable factor a few notches.

Speaking of lack of pregnancy, I’m guest posting today over at Ashlee’s blog, My Spoiled Eggs about my infertility journey.  Stop over and say hello, won’t you?  She also has a great giveaway going as well this week, including a $50 Anthro card.

I’ve been doing a lot of extra projects lately {some I will share with you soon} so I don’t know if it’s all of the extra work going on or what.  I was also photographing one of said projects and stupidly decided to stand on one of our (pub height) dining room chairs and then proceeded to fall right on my ass.  Thirty-four year old fat girls should likely not try to stand on chairs when there are ladders literally 16 feet away from you.   Go on then, laugh.  It’s ok.  Really.  I’m ok, but my butt hurts like a mother and there isn’t even a bruise to make it worth it.

It’s busy.  It’s the end of summer.  Time to recharge for the fall.  I may take a day {or a few} off these next couple weeks.

Thank You, Dave’s Parents Have Sex + How to Subscribe

16 August 2010 | 6 Comments

I wanted to say thank you to those of you who filled out my little survey about how to improve So Wonderful, So Marvelous.  {If you missed it and you’re interested, you can still participate.}  I have to say, I was a little surprised at some of the responses.  You want more pictures, you had sweet words for me, you overwhelmingly don’t want a set posting schedule, and I *may* have been threatened if I ever decide to participate in Wordless Wednesday.  Half of you are bloggers and half of you aren’t.  One of you, my asshole cousin John, wanted me to add stuff about Fantasy Football… I’m guessing that probably wouldn’t be a good fit, but it did make me laugh.    I figured for sure the favorite category would be the parties or the recipes, but it turns out you all just like hearing me ramble on and on like a blathering idiot.

I am sure that Dave will attest, I never do keep my mouth shut.  Even when I should.

Like this little gem in front of my inlaws, “Dave looked like SUCH a dork.  He showed up to my fertility doc appointment in pleated pants, short sleeved lime green button down shirt, cell phone clipped to his belt, and his work id dangling from his waist.  At least he remembered to take the international cell phone off and leave it in the car.  All he needed was a pocket protector.” 

Um.  Just take a guess what my father in law was wearing.  Oh yeah. 

And then right there over ice cream cake…

I might have alluded to the fact that in addition to Dave’s Dad sweetly making Sue dinner for her birthday, hot sex might have also been on the menu. 

What? 

They sure didn’t deny it.  I’m pretty sure with her beet red face and hysterical laughter I was on the right track.  That’s all I’m sayin’.

Who wouldn’t want me for a daughter in law?

Excuse me for just one moment please.

Dear Sue,

Please do not try to oust me from the family after reading about your hot birthday sex on my blog.  And if you do, at least blame it on the fact that I can’t sew, I’m a democrat, or I swear like a sailor.  Any of those things are better than kicking me out for writing about your sex life on the blog. 

Love, Your favorite {and only} daughter in law. 

PS.  Wait… ummm... am I just your favorite because I’m your only daughter in law?

Another shocker for me was that a bunch of you didn’t know you could subscribe and wanted more info, so here is the quick tutorial on that:

  • If you have a feed reader such as Google Reader or Bloglines, you can click right over there to the right in my sidebar the little RSS button, or subscribe in a reader text link. I love this option and I have talked a bunch about my mad love for Google Reader.
  • If you have no idea what a Google Reader is but still want to subscribe, you can get all of the So Wonderful, So Marvelous posts in your email.  To do this, just enter your email address in the box over there to the right.

And for you visual learners like me…

Subscribe

The option is there and it couldn’t be easier.  Of course, you can also just say screw the subscription and visit me right here. 

So, thank you.  Thank you for reading daily.  Thank you for commenting.  Thank you for participating, for using my projects with your own twists, for taking fabulous parties of your own to the next level, and for inspiring ME daily with your ideas.  Thank you for making me laugh and sending me lovely emails and for strangers becoming friends.  I’m looking at you Ash and Meg and Jess and Becki and Courtney and Lisa and on and on and on…

Thank you.

Stuff I Love Lately.

15 August 2010 | 9 Comments

Bob’s Sweet Stripes.

New adventures.

Pinot Noir.

Rimmel London Lasting Finish Pro in Steel Grey. 

Sweet Cherries.

Secret parties.

Finn’s view on life.

Old friends.

Dave.

 

What are you loving lately?

 

Disclosure, none of the items mentioned are paying me for this post.  Except Dave.  Because we’re married, not because I wrote this post.  Unless he wants to pay me for this post.  Dave?

Summer Guest Blogger Friday!! It’s Bunny from 86’n It!

13 August 2010 | 8 Comments

I am proud to call this guest blogger my friend.  Bunny is, in real life, exactly as she is on her blog, hilarious, honest, and absolutely fucking fabulous.  She is talented, she wields a mean sledge hammer, and she is so nice that you don’t even hate her for her fabulous shoe collection.  Don't believe me?  Read this post.  Happy Weekend! 


My Glamorous Life as an Architect
 
Hi y'all. My name is Nikki, but you can call me Bunny Mendelbaum (don't ask). I'm an e-friend of Michelle's and have been for what? like 6 years? That's forever online. I'm most famous on the interwebs for having a house renovation blog that mostly spotlights work we do not do, as well as finding dead animals under our house. Yeah Us!


So I was throwing around a bunch of ideas on what to do with this guest post. I asked my husband to help me brainstorm some great stories I tell, and all we came up with were two that involve me peeing my pants?? Anywho, I wasn't so happy with my options, but then the internet gods (i.e. Al Gore) had pity on me and gave me the BEST/WORST day ever today. So that is what we are going with. Hope you enjoy.

I am an architect. Please, please, before you tell me how you/your sister/nephew/priest wanted to become an architect but "didn't like math", let me say this. The only math I ever use is that one formula that goes: this over that = this over the thing I want to know. That is it. And I don't even know that one's name. So stop using that excuse. Just tell me you didn't want to waste your time going to school for 6 years. Ok, phew. Onward.

Mostly I wanted to give that disclaimer because everyone seems to think that the life of an architect is some glamorous affair where we walk around in our blue button down shirts and hardhat with rolls of drawings under our arms, pointing at shit. For real. Look at what happens when you type "architect" into a stockphoto website:

guestblog-architect[1]

Dude. That never happens. None of it. (And what the hell are we pointing at?)

So I'm making it my sole duty to inform you what the real life of a "glamorous architect" is like. THIS is what happens:

So this morning, I got to work at 8:20am. I had to hurry and get some images out because the client, who is so important and secretive that we can't even say his name in the office, was expecting them. Except we didn't even know we were supposed to make them until 4:45pm yesterday. Nice. This all sounds really fancy and glamorous until you find out that the images involve toilets and lots of electrical wires. Seriously. If I'm not drawing toilets lately, I'm drawing sanitary napkin dispensers. Who did you think figures out where those go? We do.

This all had to be done in a rush because at 10:30am I had to leave in order to drive two hours to meet a bunch of roofing guys on top of a building in Murphy, North Carolina. That is two hours ONE WAY, and two hours back. Ugh. And Murphy? The tagline for the city is "Two Hours from Nowhere". Seriously. I've had 3 people tell me that joke.

I hop in the car and realize that I need gas. Of course. Last site visit I went on, I had to beg the maintenance guy to siphon me some gas so that I wouldn't run out going down the mountain. That's how low I was. I didn't think my car could make it DOWN a mountain.

Despite this, I decide to drive about 30 miles and then get gas. Just to live life dangerously. So I stop at a gas station and decide to get out my pump parts and put it all together. Oh yeah, forgot to tell you that I have a 5 month old baby! Whoopsa. So I do. And I breastfeed, which for a working glamorous architect means pumping. Usually in the parking garage where I pretend that everyone can't see me. Anyway, I'm putting my pump together while the gas is being dispensed and oh shit... I forgot the shields. I can't pump without shields. 27mm ones to be exact. I yell fuck twice out loud, and let me tell you, I live in God's country, you don't just yell the f-word at the gas station unless they are out of beernuts or cigarellos.

I can't go home and get them because I won't make the meeting. This is an official, mandatory meeting. I cannot be late. I also CANNOT go 11 hours without pumping. #1 because the baby won't have food for tomorrow and #2 because my boobs will be leaking like crazy. I'm wearing a very thin white shirt. I'm about to meet 11 burly guys on a rooftop in the middle of nowhere. Not exactly the perfect place to have your boobs sporadically spraying like fire hoses. Shit. Fuck.

And in waltzes the iPhone. Now, most architects are too nerdy to have an iPhone. They cling to their Androids and Blackberry Storms and talk about reception and compatibility. Luckily for me and my boobs, I am not one of them. I could film an iPhone commercial: "Get an iPhone or your boobs might EXPLODE!" I whip out my iPhone and try to find the nearest Walmart. Surely they sell Medela shields there right? They have them at Target. This is how in the middle of nowhere I had to drive. I would only be passing ONE WALMART in the entire 2 hour trip. Dude. This is America. We need Walmarts at LEAST every 30 miles, right?? (Did you see how far of a drive this is? There are 4 states in this map and ONE Walmart.)


I head to said Walmart. I navigate all the scary backwoods people and find the baby feeding section. The breastfeeding supply section is embarrassing. They do not have my the Medela shields. They don't have any shields. I swear, they have two aisles of formula (did I just see strawberry flavored?), but nothing to help me out of my predicament. Crap. I end up grabbing a manual pump (what is this 1962?) and checkout. I'll figure something out.

I get back to the car and realise that not only do I not have time (nor the willpower) to use the manual pump. So I get all MacGuyver on this shit and rig it up so that the manual pump will work on my electric pump sans shields while I drive. If I had a piece of gum, I would have used it, but I ended up going with a rubber band and a piece of plastic ripped from the walmart bag. And you just know that bag is made of pure BPA. Great, my baby is going to grow a second row of teeth and start her period when she is 6.

I am amazed by my inginuity (and see - NO MATH!) and hit the road. All is going well pumping and driving, except when I notice that every time I pass a semi-truck driver he picks up his radio surely to alert the next truck driver. "Hey, Butch, louk outta yer winder, dare's a lady comin' up yer way wit her boob justa hangin' out!"

I get to my meeting. It basically consists of me reading two pages of semi-legal speak to the 11 roofing guys and then heading up to the roof where I point at stuff and say, "Yeah, tear off that gross stuff.", "Ok, then put down some of that hard insulation stuff and then three coats of that sticky stuff on top.", and "Of course there is asbestos. Just double-bag it and throw it in the dumpster. Just don't crumble it up and inhale it." Wow.

It was all going splendid, except toward the end when they all decide to gather around my car to ask me questions about the project. Based on the puzzled look on several faces, I'm pretty sure they got a look at FrankenPump. Glam-or-ous life, I tell you!

I jump back in the car for the return trip and about an hour in, it is time to pump again. I'm like a pro at this now. Bam. Bam. 7oz. Except that one maroon SUV that passes me three times. It is a dad and ~7 year old daughter. I'm pretty sure he passed me on purpose, and he was lecturing her: "THAT is why you never mess around with boys! You'll end up pregnant and then forced to drive around with a make-shift machine sucking milk out of you!!" She was crying by the second drive-by. I'm pretty sure that she is busy at home tonight fashioning a homemade chastity belt. Can that count towards my community service continuing ed?

I make it back to Asheville, grateful that my architect workday is over. I step out of the car, and then I happen to look down.

White shirt. Ketchup. How long has this been here?


I lied. We totally do point at stuff.


Five.

12 August 2010 | 11 Comments

Forty five years from now, when the internet is soooo passee and everyone but me has forgotten about {So Wonderful, So Marvelous} we will be sitting at our lake house, watching our grandchildren run around playing freeze tag and kick the can.  Because even though we're old, we will have taught them these things.  Childhood needs these things, fresh air and games where you run around until you're sweaty.

Our friends and children will have gathered to celebrate our golden anniversary and my sister Lyndsey will be bitching because once again, she is helping throw a party.

We'll laugh and remember people at our wedding who stuck their head in our martini luge, the dancing, the celebration of it all.  They will pass around our wedding photos and laugh at the old fashioned clothes and smile when they see us dancing. 

"Look how YOUNG you were Grandpa!" will be exclaimed. 

And we'll speak nostalgically about the last fifty years because when you're old, you've earned that right.  You can wax all kinds of philosophical and no one can say shit.  I’m going to love that part.

Our children and their spouses will say things like, "What is the secret?"  But we'll just smile knowingly that there isn't a magic formula for making a marriage work.  It takes patience, laughter, kindness, sex, love, liking the person you married, and knowing that it will last.  And lots of hard work.

This marriage thing?  Not for the faint of heart.I_0305

Tomorrow, we are celebrating the first five years with a fabulous dinner out, just the two of us and a bottle of wine. 

Happy Anniversary Love, there is just no one else in this world I'd rather make out with.  I hope that the next forty-five years bring as much laughter and compromise and love as the first five.

Take this job and shove it.

11 August 2010 | 11 Comments

By now {unless you live in a cave} you have heard of Steven Slater, the JetBlue employee that swore like a sailor to everyone on board his flight, grabbed a couple beers from the beverage cart, popped the emergency door and slid on down to Freeeeeedom!  That is until he was arrested at his home a few hours later.

Epic.

But just when you think you’ve seen the best way to stick it to the man and quit your job in style, enter Jenny.

This woman deserves the award.  Go on click over, it’s that good.

I am thinking about quitting my own job in the same way, but I’m pretty sure that Finn doesn’t read and Dave might not find it funny.

Half way through the work week peeps, half way.

One of these days I’m going to know what I’m doing.

10 August 2010 | 4 Comments

I read this fab post from Amy at Bitchin Wives Club and decided I had to try Live Writer.  So, I say to Dave, ummm can you help me with installing this thingy on the laptop.  After I properly named said “thingy” he informed me that not only did I already have it, but that he knew what it was and that they use it for their blogs at work.  Um. 

That Dave, he’s a freaking computer genius. 

Now if I could only get him to share that genius with me rather than not telling me about cool Microsoft shit that I should be using.

zoo   4th of July 059

And this picture has absolutely nada to do with Live Writer or my complete and utter lack of computer intelligence.  It does illustrate beautifully though the fact that I make cute babies… oh and I can now add watermarks to my photos without it being a total pain in the ass.

Oh, and I can write my posts offline? Next, you’re going to be telling me that you’ll write the posts for me so I can drink wine and eat bonbons all day.  Um, do you have that feature yet?

Dude.  Amy and Microsoft People, you seriously rocked my socks off with this. 

Kahlua Fruit Dip

This has been in my recipe arsenal since I can remember and I am not sure who gave it to me originally but, I do know it was back when you had to look up recipes in an actual cookbook.  I was probably in high school when I started making this.  Recipes that stick with me, the ones I make over and over again have two things in common... delicious and easy to remember.  This fits perfectly and I get asked for the recipe every time I make it.

Kahlua Fruit Dip

Kahlua Fruit Dip


Single Batch:

  • 1 small container of marshmallow fluff
  • 1 8 oz brick of cream cheese
  • 1 T Kahlua (or flavored liqueur of your choosing)

Double Batch:

  • 1 large container marshmallow fluff
  • 2 8 oz bricks cream cheese
  • 2 T Kahlua

Allow the cream cheese to soften for 10-15 minutes.  Start by whipping cream cheese in a mixer, then add the marshmallow fluff.  Mix the marshmallow + cream cheese on medium until combined, about 2 minutes.  Add Kahlua and whip another minute.  Serve alongside fruit skewers or a dollop on top of fresh fruit salad.  It is wonderful with strawberries, melon, and especially tart cherries.

I have also used Baileys, Amaretto, Grand Marnier, & Creme de Cassis in this recipe with great results.  Experiment with your own favorites.

Drive Me Crazy

09 August 2010 | 17 Comments
Soon, we'll be in the market for a new car.  I feel like even writing this post is going to jinx it and that will piss me off.  We drive our cars until they die and have been car payment free for over five years.  We aren't in a hurry and we want to make the right decison.  Presently, we have an old clunker that Dave drives to and from work and I drive the Chrysler 300.  We also drive the 300 for most things we do together, though Finn loves the novelty of riding in Daddy's Work Car.

I have to tell you that the 300 was Dave's car, it was his choice completely before we got married.  I have a bit of an issue with the blind spots for short peeps like myself and the rear wheel drive really super sucks for the winter months.  It was only after I was far along in my pregnancy that we switched cars... I do not mind driving the old clunker at all, but Dave somehow feels like, especially since Finn is almost always with me, that I should drive the nicer car. 

The master plan for the new car is that it will be my primary vehicle, the one we will take on trips, and Dave can have his car back.  I hope he doesn't mind the few cheerios he'll find in the back seat.

I test drove several crossovers and SUVs last summer when we started to look {we were going to take advantage of the Cash for Clunkers, but turns out our clunker didn't qualify} I liked a few, one in particular stood out as the front runner.  The only problem with that one?  The dealer in our area behaved less than honestly and I am not giving them a dime of our money.  It went beyond sleezy car salesman to blatently trying to fuck us.  We also, because of Dave's job, qualify for special pricing for very many of the car manufacturers out there. 

Honda and Toyota/Lexus are not on the list if we buy new.  Pretty much everything else is fair game.

Here is what we are looking for...
  • above average safety ratings
  • under $30k
  • comfortable for backseat passengers {ideally we will have this car until Finn is a teenager}
  • front or all wheel drive
  • not. a. minivan.
I want to know your thoughts.  I have zero issues with it being a few years old, Dave would prefer new.  What do you drive?  Do you like it?  Would you recommend it to your best friend?  How about your favorite blog writer?

Summer Guest Blogger Friday! It's Sherry Stanfa-Stanley!

06 August 2010 | 5 Comments
Brotherly Love


When I was pregnant (nearly a lifetime ago), my vision of motherhood was that of my happy brood sitting around the kitchen table playing board games. Afterward, we’d cuddle together reading bedtime stories before they’d drop off into a peaceful slumber, their arms around each other, their tiny hands grasping mine. I’d adore my perfect children, they’d adore me and of course, they’d adore each other.

To further ensure that our children became Best Friends Forever, their father and I elected to space them closely together. Somehow, as planned, my two sons were born exactly two years apart.

As far as my other envisioned plans for our happy little family? Well, if you ever want to make God laugh, just tell Him you have a plan.

My dreams of evenings playing Battleship and reading “If You Give a Mouse a Cookie” soon made way for nights of drawing battle lines and screaming, “If you gave your brother a concussion…!”

By the time they were two and four, it was clear my dreams were just delusions. The only thing my two boys shared was a gene pool and a desire to irritate each other. Different interests, different personalities, different world views altogether. Blood may be thicker than water, but it doesn’t dictate that two siblings must like each other. Blood, in our house, only made the carpet impossible to clean.

My dreams became nightmares, especially as the two boys grew into teenagers. As much as I dreaded the daily antagonizing and bickering, the physical fights rendered me most hapless. As the youngest of three girls, I had little experience with testosterone-fueled brawls, except for all those boys fighting over me in junior high. (Oh, wait, that was just another unfulfilled fantasy.)

Extended family dinners were particularly horrific. Sure, when my mother and sisters began heading to Florida for Easter, they SAID they needed a break from Ohio’s slow-to-vanish winter. I knew what they truly hoped to escape.

I’m not sure when my sons finally called a truce. The transition was imperceptible, and the signs were bewildering. Somewhere around the time my oldest graduated from high school and the youngest turned sixteen, they began talking casually about sports. They started exchanging political views (similar ones, and my OWN, thank God). They began asking each other, “How’s school going?”

They started shaking hands instead of making fists.

Now, at nineteen and twenty-one, they suddenly and incomprehensibly are friends.

As their mother, I am warmed and heartened by this unexpected turn of events. My God, the days when they hated and fought and hated some more seemed to never, ever end. But the years? The years rushed by so quickly.

I only wish they were both here tonight, for the three of us to cuddle together in bed. I’d squeeze their hands and I’d read them “If You Give a Mouse a Cookie.”

That one always made us smile.

And I’m such a sucker for a happy ending.


Sherry Stanfa-Stanley is a communication director by day, a fiction writer and blogger by night. She is a new empty-nester, whose two sons somehow survived their sketchy upbringing. With both her boy animals grown, Sherry now tends a menagerie of cats, dogs and fish. She offers a weekly fare of insights and insanity at http://www.sherrystanfa-stanley.com/.

Dresser Before & After

05 August 2010 | 8 Comments
I wanted a tall dresser to replace Finn's changing table in his room and to give him more storage as he starts growing.  Specifically, I wanted this awesome Edland dresser from IKEA.  I love the gray color, the white porcelin drawer pulls, the legs.  What I didn't like?  The $299 price tag for a three year old {who could potentially have an incident with metallic permanent marker on a wood dresser like his mother did...} and the fact that in reality the dresser wouldn't hold much more than what he had in his changing table.

Enter this lovely piece from Craigslist for a whopping $35.  Isn't it a beauty with it's hideous blackish paint faux finish that did nothing but make it look like it was covered in a layer of filth distressed finish, three missing handles, & beautiful yellowy white paint job that was poorly applied?


Yes people... this was painted to look like this.  I am pretty sure that when Dave's friend Doug helped him move this, he was sure that I had lost my mind completely.  It was NOT a pretty sight.



But now?




How we did it {aka: the wholly amature way to refinish furniture}:

1.  Sanded everything completely with an orbital sander, then hand sanded the detail work.
2.  Two coats of gray primer spray paint.
3.  Allow to dry for 24 hours.
4.  One coat of Rustoleum Granite spray paint.**
5.  Allow to dry for 24 hours.
6.  Two coats of Rustoleum Granite spray paint.
7.  Allow to dry for 48 hours.
8.  Add drawer pulls*  


*We may have also run around like idiots looking everywhere for drawer pulls that we liked. 

**Oh and possibly there may have been a dripping incident with my sprayer so I might have had to re-sand the top of the dresser and start over.  Just saying that my impatience sometimes gets the best of me.

Angry.

04 August 2010 | 16 Comments
There are days that I am just pissed.

Angry.

Mad at life.

Why?  No reason really and usually going to bed usually resets my internal bitch back to normal.

It's like magic really.

Last night it didn't work.  I'm hoping that another night's sleep will bring the magic.

I don't like feeling like I want to beat someone up, but it's even more annoying when there isn't a real reason behind it.  It's just a bunch of little stuff all piled up. 

As of Tuesday night my husband had already worked 44 hours this week.  Yes.  You read that correctly.  It sucks having to comfort a three year old that would only like to have his daddy around, doing daddy things.  I want him around doing husband things, like making out with me and grilling burgers with a beer in his hand. 

I have a few people in my life right now that are very skilled at not reciprocating the 'being there' portion of our relationship.  Guess what?  I think you're an asshole.  Guess what else?  I'd still be there if you needed me because I am not an asshole. 

My sister is going back to college on Sunday.  I can't tell you how much I will miss her.  I'm pretty sure she doesn't want help moving this year since last year I started the ugly cry right there in front of her dorm.     

Everytime I go to Walmart I see pregnant teenagers and it makes me cry like an idiot.  It sucks to want and be ready for a baby and not be able to have one. 

My house is pretty much one big "to do" list right now, I blame the adult ADD {that I have self diagnosed and probably don't really have} it is more like I don't know where to start some days.  I'm not sure where all of this stuff came from.  People, please quit buying us stuff I don't want to clean it up.

Finn is sick and I feel badly that on top of missing his daddy, there is nothing I can do to make him feel better. 

Whiny bitchy miserable people annoy me. 

The irony?  Not lost on me.

I have it good.  I know this.  But there are days that suck that come with the good. 

Just keeping it real.

Silhouette Tutorial.

03 August 2010 | 2 Comments
I knew when I did the big re-do of Finnegan's room I wanted to include a silhouette, mostly for me to remember he really was little at one time.

I'm terrible at Photoshop {see? #14}, so most of the tutorials that I found were too complicated for me.  Instead, I went old school. 

I made Finn sit on the table with the window behind him {I shot into the light so he would appear darker} and took a series of photos.  He sat perfectly still for about two and then notsomuch.



Then, using Microsoft Word, I pasted the picture into a document and made it as big as the page. 

Then, I made it into greyscale, reversed the image, and printed it onto bright orange paper.



Then I cut it out carefully & pasted it onto grey scrapbook paper.  You could even use a fun pattern if you'd like.

It took all of 10 minutes from start to finish and it looks super cute.  I may even do one of Monty if I can get him to sit still for a minute.


How can I make So Wonderful, So Marvelous better for you?

02 August 2010 | 0 Comments
Today I have a little project for you if you'd like to participate.  {If you read via email or RSS, pretty please click over to visit the blog today.}  I would like your input on So Wonderful, So Marvelous.  Would you take just a minute to fill out a short survey?  It's completely anonymous and should take about 2 minutes.

I promise, the rest of the week I'll make it easy on you... we have a cute tutorial on how to do a cheater {because I suck at photoshop} silhouette, the before + after pics of Finn's dresser, & a great guest post for Summer Guest Post Friday!

I hope you had a fantastic weekend.  We are still recovering from ours.

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