28 September 2012 | 16 Comments

My brother and I are 19 years apart.

That’s a lot.  Like, a lot, a lot. 

I am old enough to be his mom and not even in like a high school pregnancy sort of way.  I was in college and pretty much out of the house when he was born.  He regularly reminds me that I’m only a few years younger than his girlfriend’s mom.  Which?  Is totally awesome to hear, let me tell ya.

He also introduces me as his sister… the old one.

He’s lucky I love him.

He came over last week after school and I think it was the longest we’ve ever hung out and talked just the two of us since he was Finn’s age.  When he was little, he could talk for hours on end without taking a breath and it just never stopped.  Teenaged boys though?  They don’t talk much to old sisters.  He asked me about the blog and it made me realize that I tell you stories about my sisters all the time and I don’t much talk about the baby of the family. 

Our little Kissy-fer.

Once, he hit Elise in the eye with a baseball bat when he was probably four years old.  It was totally un-funny until he justified it with a “but I hit her with a soft bat!”  And Elise screamed, “It was the hard end!”  He had managed to jab her with the only piece of a foam bat that had a hard edge.  He is no dummy.  I don’t even remember now {and maybe Elise or Lynnie will fill you in with a comment} what she did to get a bat to the eye, but Lyndsey and I still laugh about my dad trying to keep a straight face and yell at him for it.  Anytime someone in our family says, “but it was a soft bat!” we all laugh hysterically. 

When he was ten, Dave asked him if he would like to be in our wedding.  His response was “only if I get to wear a tux and bow tie like James Bond.”  So, even though everyone else in the wedding was in a tie, we totally got him the bow tie.  How could we not?  He took that ring carrying very seriously. 

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Now, he’s a senior in high school and handsome and cool.  He’s looking at colleges.  I just know that I will do the ugly cry when he leaves and he will just make fun of me and things will go on as normal.

He’s sweet and infinitely patient with his niece and nephew, even though I think that little one scares the shit out of him.  Usually she takes one look at him and starts screaming, but they’ve turned a corner… now she just looks at him with contempt, which I think he admires.  Finn pretty much thinks that he is the coolest person in the universe and tries to act like a teenager when he is around.  At his sixteenth birthday, he let Finn hang out with him and his friends.  That is the kind of kid he is.

I might be fucking up his “swag” when I say this, but I actually like who he is as a person.  He still does dumb ass things like throw basketballs at me because he’s seventeen.  Mostly though, he’s really really quick witted and intelligent and funny and even charming when he wants to be.

Just don’t tell him I said that.

Halloweekends at Cedar Point: Frighteningly Awesome Fun.

26 September 2012 | 5 Comments

Cedar Point is just an hour drive for us, an easy day trip, but not one we’ve done with the kids until this summer.  The only thing that really bothered us was that it was super hot the day we went.  Taking the kids was more fun than we had imagined and we all had a great time, it’s something our family is planning to do every summer.  Since ninety degree days are a rarity here in the fall, we decided to give Halloweekends a try for our second visit. 

The first thing we did was hit Planet Spooky for a ride on the Kite Eating Tree.  They worked their way around the park leading up to Iron Dragon, which Finn and Ollie were FINALLY tall enough to ride.  Miss Tate and Myles were too little, but were more than happy to sit with some cookies and hot apple cider while we waited.

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The park is impressive for Halloweekends, everywhere you turn, there are decorations.  Pumpkins hanging in the trees, all of the Peanuts characters in their costumes, and scary music on the sound system.  The midway has spooky decorations like graveyards full of Cedar Point rides of years’ past, gigantic talking ogres, and monsters at every turn.  I can see how it would be eerie in the dark, but in the daylight it isn’t frightening.  The scare zones, awesomely fun scary walkways where roaming Screamsters jump out and scare you, don’t open until 8 pm after the little ones have had their fun.

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Aside from all of the rides being open, there are parades, fortune tellers, and Snoopy and the gang.  We danced along with the Good Time Ghouls, explored the Magical House on Boo Hill, and navigated the Hay Bale Maze.  The kids loved all of the little touches that Cedar Point does to welcome their littlest guests.  From the Halloween candy treats bags to the costume contests, they really go all out to make sure the entire family has a great time.

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An entire day of smiles and laughter and not one mention of watching TV or playing on the computer… and that was just the adults.  If you’re local and you haven’t made the trip, grab some friends, plan it and GO!  Halloweekends are open every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday through October.

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Disclosure: Cedar Point provided the tickets for us to enjoy Halloweekends, all opinions and fun having are my own.


25 September 2012 | 3 Comments

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She walks everywhere with a purpose, that Tate of ours.  Even if that purpose is to destroy her brother’s Lego creations or to bring me Cinder the Dragon to read for the billionth time of the day. 

She is very important you know, so very many things to do.

It’s a Monday.

24 September 2012 | 4 Comments

First, you people make me laugh so hard.  If you haven’t read the comments from Friday, or added your own, go there now.  I was cracking up every time I got a new one.  Except of course when my mother revealed that she kissed a boy in KINDERGARTEN.  Jesus, Janet.  If Finn kisses anyone this year, I’m sending him away to boarding school. 

Mark my words.

I started the morning off with zero coffee in Dave’s fancy pants grinder.  Apparently, he claims, it is better than the grinder that we already own because it grinds each bean evenly.  Uh.  Dave?  I feel like this claim is total bullshit and honestly, it doesn’t really mean anything if you don’t refill the coffee beans.

Enjoy your Keurig at the office, Punk.

I walked around comatose until my {braless} school drop off.  Yes, it’s not pretty.  Did I mention that it was in the thirties this morning?  As in DEGREES of cold.

We had to turn on the heat.

In September.

Dave is thoroughly disgusted.

Tate DID sleep all night, so that was a bonus and now it’s guaranteed not to happen again since I announced it on the internet.  Did you know about this law of parenting?  If you say, oh, my kid did THIS, isn’t she smart and talented and wonderful?  It’s guaranteed never to happen again. 

She’s been teething those dang molars so she’s had a rough go of things lately.  She has also been attached at the hip, which is super fun when you’ve got a to do list a mile long.

Super fun things like making a yearly pap appointment are topping my list today.  Don’t you wish you had this glamorous blogging life?

Our weekend was pretty dang awesome, I’ll talk more about that this week.  For now, tell me about your Monday.  It’s gotta be better than mine.

I’m going to sit here sipping the quad white mocha I drove over to Starbucks for {braless and freezing, remember? Otherwise I would have gone to the local coffee shop around the corner} and try to wake up.

{Disclosure: The link to Dave’s grinder is an affiliate, that means I get PENNIES if you buy it from Amazon... so I can actually buy coffee to put in the grinder.}


21 September 2012 | 40 Comments

Last night, when I was looking for entirely something else, I came across this post from two years ago.  In it, I talk about my imaginary friend Kevin.  It made me realize a couple things, one some of you have been around FOREVER {how do I say thank you enough for that?} and two, I am seriously weird.  I feel better though that you all know that and you’re willing to still hang out with me anyway.

So, in the interest of a fun Friday, I want to hear from you again. 

Even if you never comment, make the exception today.

Tell me something about yourself, your lucky number, your favorite song, where you’re from, how you started hanging out here.  Something.  Anything.  Your dog’s name, your sister’s most embarrassing moment, the first boy you ever kissed.

Spill it.

I’ll start.

I talk too much, but you already know that.  Three is my favorite number.  My favorite song is Over the Hills and Far Away by Led Zepelin but, You and Me by DMB is a very close second.  I’m from O-H-I-O.  Uh, I started the blog because I needed friends in the computer when I started staying home with Finn?  Monty is our dog and I love him to bits, I found his little picture on the internet from a dog rescue and I emailed Dave that I wanted him.  Dave was vehemently anti-poodle but once he saw his shaggy little face, he wanted him too.  Once, my sister Elise got arrested in an attic.  And Larry {last name redacted to protect the innocent} is the first boy I kissed.  I totally looked him up on Facebook and I was going to write a post about that first kiss.  And two seconds later I thought, OMG what if he Googles himself and up pops a post about kissing a sixth grade Michelle and he’s like, who the fuck is Michelle?  

Mortifying.  In a sixth grade sort of way.


Your turn!  {Yes, even you…}


20 September 2012 | 10 Comments

Dave:  Remember those WOW chips?  It’s like Wow, I just shit my pants.

Me:  What?

Dave:  Those chips that had the warning label “May cause anal leakage.”  I remember kids whispering about it in school.  You were probably old enough to know better and not eat them.

Me:  Um, I was probably old enough???  Thanks a lot.  {For the record, I am only 3.5 years older than Dave.}

Dave:  Well you were probably in high school.

Me:  Well you were probably just an idiot.


So, fess up… were you old enough to know better and not eat the Wow Chips? 


19 September 2012 | 8 Comments

His tooth is loose.  I mean, ok, he’s five and a half, it’s bound to happen, but right after school starts?  It’s like the universe is just pounding it into my head that he’s growing up.

I can’t be the only parent shell shocked by this stuff.  Tell me I’m not the only one!  And maybe by the time it gets around for her to go through it, I’ll have already been there and it won’t seem like such a damn blow. 

For now though, I’m going to wallow that he is growing up.  My baby. 

So, uh, how much do teeth go for these days?

Carnitas With Lime Sour Cream.

18 September 2012 | 6 Comments

Dave has been bugging me to make carnitas for ages.  I’ve avoided it because I was totally intimidated.  Honestly, there aren’t many things in the kitchen that freak me out and I don’t know why {now that I’ve made them} that they had me so nervous.  Maybe it’s just that Dave always picks these things like making our own sushi rice or his crazy forays into smoking things or other highly INVOLVED dishes.  So, I did some reading and looking for an authentic recipe.  In case you didn’t know, authentic carnitas are made by slow cooking pork in a vat of lard for several hours until everything breaks down into a yummy porky goodness.

Totally healthy.

One of these days I’m going to have my friend Carmen teach me the real way to make them.  She tells me that I can just pick up a bucket of lard.  Who knew??  Until then, we found a great recipe from an old Williams-Sonoma cookbook that we received for our wedding.

Do people even use cookbooks anymore?  Apparently, we do.

This recipe does use the rendered pork fat and a tiny bit of oil, but it doesn’t require cooking all day or a vat of lard.  Instead it is boiled first to break down the meat.  The result is a delicious version of carnitas. 


Lime Sour Cream

  • 1 cup sour cream
  • zest of one lime
  • juice of half a lime

Combine all ingredients and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Carnitas {Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Mexican cookbook}

  • 3 lb boneless pork shoulder
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • zest of two oranges
  • 3/4 cup fresh squeezed orange juice
  • 1/4 t onion powder
  • black pepper
  • sea salt
  • beer
  • 2 TB oil

Cut pork into pieces.  Add the pork to a heavy bottomed pan or frying pan, add the garlic, orange zest, orange juice, onion powder, black pepper, and sea salt.  The meat should be in a single layer if possible.  Add the beer to just cover the meat and bring to a boil over medium heat.  Reduce to medium low and partially cover, cook until all of the liquid has evaporated, about one hour.

Uncover the pan and continue cooking the pork until all the fat is rendered and the meat is browning in the melted fat, 10 – 15 minutes.  If necessary {it was necessary when we did it} add the 2 TB of oil.  When the meat is brown and crisp, remove and serve.

Serve on corn or flour tortillas with fresh guacamole, lettuce, fresh salsa and the lime sour cream.


14 September 2012 | 7 Comments

Allow me to set the scene. We are watching this awful annoying chef on PBS, it is like a train wreck. We just can’t stop.

Dave: Finn, that is not nice!

Me: What did he say??

Dave: I asked what he was making and Finn said diarrhea! Wait, look at it…

Me: Finna, that isn’t very nice to say. {While trying to hold back laughing because it DID look like diarrhea.}

Finn: I didn’t say diarrhea! I said, “no idea!”

Dave: {hysterically laughing}

Me: Dave!

Finn: I said it in my Scooby voice!

Dave: Well, surprisingly “no idea” in Scooby voice sounds like “diarrhea.”


We’re watching How I Met Your Mother, Ted opens the door and Robin kisses him.

Finn: Well, that was fast.


Finn: I know everything about you, Mom.

Me:  Oh, yeah?  What is my name?

Finn: Uh, Michelle Albright-Peters.

Me:  How old am I?

Finn:  Uhhhhh, fifty four maybe?

Me:  Punk.

Finn:  And you like to pay bills on the computer.

Me:  You have clearly mistaken me for someone else.


Finn:  Dad.  You look weird.  Go look in the mirror.

{5 second pause}

Finn:  You look like you work at Sonic.

{5 second pause}

Finn:  Daddy.  Is that a Sonic shirt?  Yeah.  Yeah, it IS a Sonic shirt.

{It was totally a Miller Lite shirt that Dave loves and will probably never wear again.}


Finn:  Mom, how do you spell F-B-I?


Me:  Finn if you want dessert, eat your dinner.   You know what, you don’t even have to finish everything, just finish the peas.

Finn:  I just drank peas and I don’t even chew them.

Me:  Finn!  Chew your food!

Finn:  No, really… me and Oliver do it.

Me:  Well don’t do that.

Finn:  Well how about just eating the pea out of the pea skin?

Me:  Finn, eat AND chew the rest of your peas.  All of them.


Want more Finnisms for your Friday?

June 2010 {he was so little!! I think this was the first Finnisms?}

March 2011 {two hundred million dollars}

November 2011 {Jesus never had a bed}

March 2011 {sorry about the testicles Daddy.}

January 2012 {his foot has sparkles}

Does This Parenting Thing Ever Get Easy?

12 September 2012 | 17 Comments

I mean, I guess if you’re doing it right, it’s probably supposed to be a challenge, right?  You’re not supposed to have all of your shit together all of the time, right?  There are do-overs, right?

Yesterday morning was filled with fucking parenting magic.  Tate slept all night which hasn’t happened since she caught a nasty cold last week.  Finn slept until a reasonable 7:10 AM.  {I can’t wait until he is a surly teenager and we all get to sleep in.}  I got up, we all got dressed in clothes that aren’t yoga pants, my hair wasn’t totally obnoxious, it was a perfect 65 degree morning.  Magic!  I made Finn’s lunch and even cut the sandwich into train shapes with a cutter.  Magic!  We walked to school with friends and I made it to the grocery store to buy stuff for dinner all before 10 am.  Magic!

In case you haven’t met me, this is not a morning that happens often.

It was about then that Tate decided that magic mornings are bullshit.  She proceeded to be attached to my hip AND whining constantly all. day. long.

All day.

Of course, she MUST have an ear infection.  I asked Dave to see if the doctor had any openings while I held her until she was calm enough to go down for a nap.

Then, the real fun began.

I picked Finn up from school, put my foot in my mouth to a friend, and barely made it to the car before sweating through my clothes. 

NOT MAGIC!  It was about then, I’m sure, that Tate filled Finn in on the plan that it is jackass day.

Me:  So, how was school today Finna?  What did you do?

Finn:  *snottiest tone ever*  WHY DO YOU ASK ME THAT EVERY DAY???

Me:  Because I want to know what your day is like when you’re not with me! And I really don’t appreciate you being rude! 

*It was here that I began tearing up.*

Finn:  Fine!  I’ll tell you!

Me:  Forget it.   I.  DON’T.  WANT.  TO.  KNOW.

And then we got to the doctor’s office for Tate’s emergency appointment for that ear infection… that she didn’t have.   The diagnosis?

Fussy Baby.

Well, that seems obvious, but just in case, she wrote it right there on my payment form.

I wonder if that diagnosis comes with a blinking asshole light for flashing over my head?

I looked in Finn’s school folder.  A note that they were happy to have Finn, but if I didn’t turn in his paperwork they would kick him out of school.  Yep.  I just need to make a trip over to the dentist’s office so they can sign his form and I’ve managed to let it escape thought all summer long.  Guess what I’m doing today?

My well planned out dinner was too spicy.


I was tired.

Dave was at his wit’s end with work.


Both kids needed a bath.

By 7:30, I wanted to just crawl into bed.

I wish there were some sweet wrap up to insert here, but let’s face facts… some days there just isn’t one. Finn did, however come waltzing through the living room naked as a jay bird wearing nothing but his messenger bag.

So there’s that.


11 September 2012 | 8 Comments

I read a lot as a child.  I always had my nose in a book and I totally had a crush on our children’s librarian, Dave.  Also, Dave is now a branch manager and I still see him from time to time and I’ve always thought one of these days I’m going to say something to him.  But, I think that he would think I was a lunatic, which… duh.  Also, don’t tell him I have outstanding library fines, he’d be highly disappointed.  Or maybe not, since it probably pays his salary.

I read The Secret Garden probably fifty times.  I’ve confessed to you before that I wanted to be one of the Boxcar Children.  I wondered what it would be like to have the Chocolate Touch or have gotten a golden ticket like Charlie?  There were Giant Peaches and Fried Worms.  For me, books were magical and it’s something that I wished to pass on to my kids.  Especially since it would give me an excuse to re-read the entire Harry Potter series.

About a month ago, I took these pictures of how our reading sessions have been going lately.  Just keeping it real, that baby is a menace.

Yesterday, when Megan at Crazy Bananas wrote about reading a few of the classics to her daughter, it reminded me of these and also that I wanted to ask you all about your favorites.  Either your childhood favorites, or books that you loved reading to your own children.  I would love to start reading some chapter books to Finnegan now that he has the attention span to do so.  I think, while it’s nice for us all to listen to a story together, that maybe it’s time to have separate stories for each of them.  

Dave can take Tate.

So, spill it.  What are your favorites?

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{Disclosure: All links on this post are Amazon Affiliate which means I get like a penny if you buy one of the books I linked to.}

Oh, Atlanta. I Hear You Calling.

10 September 2012 | 8 Comments

Dave and I are wondering why we haven’t done this sooner.  The whole weekend was a ridiculous amount of fun.  We had a gorgeous room and a view of the Georgia Dome and all of downtown.  I got to see my cousin Megan’s cute baby bump.  We had dinner with Owen Wilson, well not with Owen Wilson, but he was having dinner at Ecco at the same time we were.  Dave bought me a fancy pants new dress.  We paid $13 for tiny drinks.  Met our friend Doug’s new girl.  {Anyone that can survive an introduction like this weekend is a keeper.}  We danced like nobody’s business.  We stayed out until 2:30 in the morning.  Had hotel sex.  Spent time laughing so much our faces hurt.  Had much needed, in the same city, time with our friends Alli and Mike.  Atlanta treated us well.  And y’all, it was just what we both needed.

A little time being Dave and Michelle.

It was way more important than I thought.

I feel renewed.  And ever so slightly hungover on fun.  Not a bad problem to have.

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Roasted Tomato Sauce.

07 September 2012 | 3 Comments

This year I purposely planted a shitton of Roma tomatoes because I knew if Dave and Finn didn’t eat them, I could make sundried {oven dried} tomatoes or tomato sauce that we could freeze.  It inevitably happens in our house that the first few tomatoes are a huge treat and get eaten up immediately, and then ALL of the rest of them explode at the same time and we can’t eat. one. more. tomato.  Dear God.  The humanity tomatoes.

One little caveat… I have zero experience with sauce.  My Meme makes a mean lasagna, but she uses canned tomatoes.  Please don’t tell the Italians. 

So maybe this tomato planting plan was less than thought out?

Then, I remembered a bajillion years ago… or 6 weeks ago…

Tom-A-Toe. Tom-Ah-Toe.

I pinned this lovely recipe for roasted tomato sauce from Dalai Mama Dishes at Disney Family.

Incidentally, if we are not friends on Pinterest, WHY NOT??  Be my friend!

So, if you are a recipe follower that needs exact instructions, click over.  If you’re more of a wing it kind of girl, I’ll tell you just how I did it.  You truly don’t need a follow it to a T recipe for this one.

  • Preheat your oven to 375.
  • Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.  {If you want to do a small batch, just do one baking sheet.}  You will want to use the ones with sides because there is quite a bit of liquid.
  • Go out to your garden and pick what feels like a metric ton of tomatoes.  Question your sanity.  Or pick them up at the farmer’s market for super cheap and pat yourself on the back for not having to grow tomatoes.
  • Cut them up into chunks if they are large, halves if they are Romas.  Cut up an onion.  Peel some garlic.  {Maybe 6-8 individual cloves?}
  • Throw the tomatoes, onion and garlic {leave it whole} on the parchment paper.  Pour on a little olive oil.  Sprinkle with sea salt, black pepper, and Italian seasoning.  Roast for 2 hours until the veggies get all caramelized and wilty and delicious.

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  • Allow to mostly cool.
  • Throw the whole lot in a food processor.  {I did two batches.}  You could probably also use a blender here, but you might need to add a little liquid to make it work because the sauce is pretty thick.  {You could use a little red wine or water for the liquid.}
  • Pour into muffin tins for freezing.  {Roughly 1/3 – 1/2 cup per muffin cup, which is perfect for one person.  When you go to serve, pull out one per person to thaw.}
  • Once completely frozen, pull out of the freezer, allow to sit on the counter for 15 – 20 minutes and pop them out of the muffin trays.  They will pop right out at that point, but still will be frozen.  If you try to pop them out right away, you’ll be swearing and taking chunks out with a knife… or something. 
  • Store in a freezer bag.

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Then, pat yourself on the back and feel like a pioneer for making the best pasta sauce ever FROM FREAKING TOMATOES.  Who does that? 

Pioneers, that’s who.

So, you can serve just like that right over pasta or because I always screw with recipes, you can do like I do when you’re ready to eat this masterpiece...

Sautee a couple mild Italian sausages until cooked through.  Remove from the pan.

Dump in a cup of red wine to deglaze the pan.  Dump in three or four tomato sauce muffin cups {they can even still be frozen, they will thaw}  whisk together the wine and tomato sauce.  Let that get warm and bubbly.

Add half a cup of heavy cream, whisking the whole time.

Cut up the Italian sausage and add back to the pan.

Add your cooked pasta and some fresh basil.

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Sigh at the goodness exploding on your tongue and never go back to store bought sauce again.

Then, Obama Drove By Our House.

06 September 2012 | 17 Comments

This week has been a little cray. 

Not going to lie, I think it was the universe’s way of making sure that I was just off kilter enough that I didn’t lose my shit when Finn went off and left me.  I mean, yes, he’s only gone to kindergarten and yes, it’s only six hours a day, but dude the house is so quiet that it freaks me out. 

Oh, and NOT ONE of you told me that taking him on the second day would be WAY harder than taking him on the first day because damn, it really settles in that MY BABY IS GOING TO SCHOOL now.  Wake up Michelle, this is your new normal.  There will be lunch packing and watching your child choosing his uniform and it’s all too much.  I miss Thor and Hawkeye and Iron Man and the daily costume changes.

I had to turn on the TV which I never do during the day.  I didn’t realize how much he talks and that little one, she just screams like the wild banshee that she is when she wants something.  We’re going to need to work on that.  Plus, she’s had a cold, the amount of snot descending from that tiny little nose is unreal.

But anyway, the weirdest start to a week ever...

It started off with President Obama driving past our house. 

On Labor Day no less. 

Which, ok… maybe some of you are Republicans or Libertarians, there may even be a few Green Party peeps in my readership.  I get it, I wouldn’t have been thrilled to bits about seeing Bush either.  But, for a five year old?  Think of yourself as a little kid and the day before school starts for you, the President of the United States AND an entire motorcade of police vehicles and other official cars with lights going drove by your house.  We also spotted a drone and helicopter, dude they aren’t messing on security.  Plus, they block all traffic and then they drive like a bat outta hell.

It was pretty awesome, even Dave said so and he’s obviously not a Barack fan.




05 September 2012 | 10 Comments

The Davester and I are going away together this weekend.  The two of us.

Maybe this doesn’t seem like a big deal.  But, it is. 

It’s the first time we’ve gone away, out of the state, on an airplane, alone, since Finn was born.

Yes, I’m saying it.  We haven’t had a trip together without kids in five years.  Don’t judge. 

We’ve both gone out of the country separately while the other has stayed home.  And plenty of vacations with the kids.  And plenty of nights without kids, but still in the same city.

But this is the first big one without them.

I’m ecstatic.  And if we’re being honest here, a little nervous. 

Finn is five now and clearly that means he doesn’t need us or so he says, because he’s “almost a grown up kid and has stayed nights without us.”  Plus, Aunt Punka is coming to stay with them and she lets them do anything they want which if we’re being honest here, scares me a little bit, but makes him delirious with excitement.   That little one though, she’s attached.  The attachment is mostly to my boobs, but I like to think my sparkling personality has a little something to do with it.  She loves her Punka, but Punka is not Mama. 

But, you guys… we can stay out as late as we want.

We can go to dinner at 9 pm like we used to.

Don’t even get me started on hotel room sex, someone to make my bed every morning, AND sleeping in.

I might not ever come home.

This Boy.

04 September 2012 | 8 Comments

He is ready.  He is ready.  He is ready.  I keep whispering this to myself.

Even though, I clearly am not.

My Finn.  My Baby.

He waffles between telling me that he is a grown up kid and telling me he’d like to just stay home and skip all of this kindergarten nonsense.  He also explained how to get onto his ‘phone’ because he made a video, just in case I miss him too much.  {It is certain, I will.}  In it, he tells me who he is and all of his favorite things.

As if I don’t have every piece of his being committed unfailingly to memory.

As if I won’t think all day about what he would be doing if he was by my side like he has been since forever.

Instead, Tate and I will adjust to a new normal.  I will get to do the things with her, that I did with him.  Story time at the library.  Gymnastics and swimming and walks at the park.  Just us two.

And we will wait patiently.  Patiently.  For him to grow and learn and have a whole day completely separate from us. 

His own thing. 




{Not with me, that is really what I mean.}

My hope is that he will come home and share every bit of it with excitement for all.  the.  new.  things.  That he will treat his teacher with the respect he treats his Mama, that he will show kindness to his peers, and that he will do his best.

He is sweet, this boy.  He is ridiculously brilliant and funny and just a lovely human being, even when he is being as stubborn as an ox.  That happens more than you’d think.

I couldn’t be happier to be his Mama, however bittersweet it is to have to walk him to his classroom, let go of his little hand, and share him with others.

Michelle Phone Camera 785

Guiness Cupcakes

02 September 2012 | 1 Comments

A bajillion years ago I made the mini form of these for Dave’s 30th Beer Tasting Birthday

Guiness Cupcakes

  • 12 oz. Guiness
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1 TB of vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract
  • 3 large eggs
  • dash cinnamon
  • pinch of salt {I used vanilla salt, but any would do.}
  • 3/4 cup sour cream
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder {use a good quality here, it makes a difference}
  • 2 cups of sugar
  • 2 1/2 cups of flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees

- Combine Guiness, milk, oil, & vanilla in the bowl of your mixer.  Beat in the eggs one at a time until well incorporated.  Then, mix in sour cream.

- Whisk together in a large bowl all dry ingredients.  Gradually mix into the wet ingredients.

- Use baking spray or line muffin tins & add batter.  To make this super easy, you can fill a gallon size Ziploc with the batter and cut the corner off to fill the muffin tins.  I find this is much easier to control than trying to fill with a spoon.

- Bake 25-30 minutes.  Cool before turning out onto wire racks.


Guiness Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 16 ounces of cream cheese, softened
  • 1 stick butter
  • 1 tablespoon of vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract
  • 2-3 tablespoons of Guiness
  • 1-2 tablespoons of milk if needed
  • 1 pound of confectioners sugar

- Allow the cream cheese to sit out for at least 30 minutes to soften.  Do not microwave!

- Whip the cream cheese + butter together.

- Beat in the vanilla and Guiness. 

- Slowly add the confectioners sugar and add the milk if needed for consistency.  It should be in between a stiff frosting and a thick glaze.  It should ooze a little to spread, but not drip down the cupcakes. Fill into a pastry bag fitted with a large round tip & pipe on top of each cupcake.

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