Everyone Needs a Hug, Right?

28 February 2013 | 12 Comments

I come from a long line of huggers.  Everyone in my family… bunch of huggers.  Trees and people alike, we’re non-discriminatory as long as our arms are wrapped around something.

This was a little awkward for the Davester, both the hippie tree hugger stuff and the actual hugging. 

His family? They don’t really do the hug. I think that has softened a lot with grandchildren though, there seem to be a lot of hugs going round lately.

My family? Everyone hugs.  I’m guessing every time I see my mom or dad, I hug them, same with my siblings.  There has been a long standing joke that the Janet gave Dave and my ex-brother in law a hug when we were in St Martin. While wearing a bikini.  Henceforth known as the mother-in-law bikini hug, it still makes all of us laugh.

We’re huggers. 

I’ve had this discussion with my girlfriends, how I find it odd that people don’t hug.  Mostly because Nikki and Noelle are notorious anti-huggers, so is my friend Amy, and I feel compelled to make sure I hug them just for that very reason.  {By the way, Nik, prepare yourself, the hug it is coming.}  For me, it seems like such a natural thing to do.  I think sometimes, it’s just an assumption that, of course everyone behaves in a certain way, because your family does.  Maybe though hugging doesn’t feel like a natural thing to do for you?    

Hugger or non-hugger?  Does your family hug?  Your friends?


26 February 2013 | 4 Comments

Dave: Quit throwing your pliers!

Finn:  It’s like an orangutan.

Dave:  What?

Finn: Ya know.  Like an orangutan.  Wooosh then it comes back.

Dave: I think you mean a boomerang.




Finn:  My dad never lets me eat Jimmy Johns and it’s my favorite.


Finn:  I don’t even want to get married, I just want to stay with you.

{I am guessing I don’t have very long for him to feel this way, but I’ll take it.}


Finn had a conversation with my brother Christopher about the fact that we won’t let him get rollerblades… except he has never even asked either of us for rollerblades.

Finn:  My mom and dad are so mean.  Well, not my mom that much, but my dad is.

This made my brother laugh so hard because he obviously knows that Dave is totally the nice one and I am the mean one.

The Dish.

25 February 2013 | 11 Comments

I have a house ‘to do’ list a mile long.  Please tell me I am not the only one this happens to, you make a list and then life gets in the way and you just stop seeing the glaring mess in front of your eyes.  Desensitized to the fact that you have twelve sippy lids that no longer have cups.  Dave and I are making our way through the list and one particularly nagging item was to re-arrange our everyday dishes cabinet.  Another project I eventually want to tackle is painting the inside of the cabinets like Megan did, though I am definitely not brave enough to take the doors off.

Our kitchen is small and we both love to cook, so that we let this go for so long is absurd because we are aware that space is at a premium.  It had become a catch all for all kinds of miscellaneous items that didn’t belong.  I’m super short so it’s hard for me to reach the things on the top shelf which is exactly where things like Tate’s plastic dishes and the coffee cups are stored.  Things we use daily.  If that wasn’t enough of a reason, do you see those shelves bowing in the middle?  The middle supports had broken off, oh ten years ago?  It was a porcelain accident just waiting to happen.

Worst housekeeper ever.


So Dave and I took everything out and started over.  I lined the back of the cabinet with a thick, matte wrapping paper I bought at Old Navy years and years ago, just because it makes me happy.  It was a good compromise to wanting to paint the cabinets and knowing that wasn’t in the cards at the moment.  Dave replaced the center brackets and we re-configured shelves to be a better fit for smaller items.  We moved everything that we use daily to the lower shelves and all of the less frequently used items to the top.  All of my bigger entertaining pieces, cake stands, platters and such are stored on shelves in the basement.

I keep going in there and taking a peek, wondering why we put this off for so long.



20 February 2013 | 10 Comments

Weird things make me smile.  It is probably why I am friends with all of you.

Our house is filled with quirky little things.  There is art in the bathroom.  We have a real, live, fruit producing lime tree in our kitchen.  For ages, until I let my sister have it, we had an art deco desk serving as our entertainment center.  A sundial side table sits next to a chair in the living room.  And the most hideous plastic beaver you will ever see in your life hangs out in our garden.

Dave doesn’t understand things like sundials in the living room acting as a table.  In his world, a sundial belongs outside in the sun telling time and a table is a table, damn it. So you can understand that when, exactly one year ago today, I purchased this cow that matches nary a dish in this whole house, Dave would be confused.

It’s a cow.  A cow creamer.  Get it??  Milk.  Out of a cow.  I mean, it’s her mouth, but Dave, it is magnificent.  Don’t you love it?


Davester? Wasn’t so enamored with the cow.  As with most things that make me ecstatically happy for no reason whatsoever, he smiled, shook his head, muttered under his breath, and the cow came to live at our house.  He even puts up with the fact that every time we open our cabinet, that cow is staring him right in the face.


I for one, love this cow.  She is a such a jaunty little fellow.  Isn’t she?

So obviously, you will be on my side when a poor cow-matching-rooster was sitting all alone on a shelf just waiting for his forever home a year later and made his way into my cart?

I’m thinking of having a whole menagerie.  Look.  They are friends already.  Don’t tell Dave.


You would totally come to my house for coffee, wouldn’t you?


19 February 2013 | 5 Comments

I am pretty sure there should be an addiction group for Draw Something.  It’s the funnest.

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Basket Case.

18 February 2013 | 2 Comments

Empty laundry baskets are apparently the most fun in our house.  Finn is always hiding under one turned upside down or using one for a boat or a car.   Tate decided to get in on the action while Dave and I were having a marathon folding session.  WHERE do all of those clothes come from?? I feel like we do enough laundry for twelve people.

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Happy Monday.  How was your weekend?

Tuesday Flowers and Hotel Sex.

14 February 2013 | 11 Comments

Want to know a little secret? 

Dave and I don’t really do Valentine’s Day. 

*Audible gasp!*  Dun. Dun. Duuuun.

Not for any, “OH MY GOD, IT’S SUCH A HALLMARK HOLIDAY,” righteous indignation, it’s probably just laziness.  We do get each other cards most years, sometimes not.  A few years, we have actually purchased cards and not even signed them.  It wasn’t always this way.  Our first Valentine’s Day, we went away for the weekend and got each other all kinds of cute little presents and had hot hotel sex.  But now?  Eh, that sounds like a lot of work.  I didn’t poop the whole weekend because it was our first trip away together and I didn’t want him to know I had bodily functions.

It’s not that we take each other for granted.  I mean, sometimes we do I’m sure, because we’re normal.  It happens, we just attempt to be mindful of it when it does.  That can be very hard to do when you are raising children and you have 943 things on your to do list, but we try.  There are still moments of whispering sweet nothings and flowers and hot hotel sex and there are thoughtful little presents, we just do those things for each other whenever we feel like it rather than saving it all up for the grandiose expectations of Valentine’s Day.

You know how I know he loves me?  He spends an hour vacuuming out my car.  He believes in me.  He tells me to take a nap.  He challenges me.  He makes me laugh.  He tells me I’m fancy.  He pulls me tight and kisses me.  He encourages me to grow as a person.  He holds my hand.  He brings me flowers on a Tuesday. 

Right after grilling him about why his guilty conscience would lead him to get me Tuesday flowers, I realize that maybe he really does just like me.  Almost as much as I like him.

And after ten Valentine’s Days, that right there is better than a card.


13 February 2013 | 6 Comments


I totally aspire to be one of those bento box lunch making moms, don’t believe me?  I have a Pinterest board called Freakish Bento Love

Enough said.

Unfortunately for me, carving a complete replica of a Transformer out of freaking cheese takes time that I don’t have.  What with mainlining coffee, getting any kind of answer out of Finnegan about whether he will be joining his friend at the peanut free table or not, and helping Tate suck down three yogurts, my mornings are slightly full.  Full enough that I don’t wear a bra to school drop off, that’s my excuse anyway. 

Night time won’t do either, that is when I am busy watching Scandal and writing and mostly catching up on Draw Something, if you must know.  Plus, who wants to eat food that has been carved into tiny Phineus and Ferbs twelve hours previously?  Certainly not Finn, my ‘I’d like havarti and honey mustard’ persnickety eater.  {Blame the Davester for that one, Peeps.} 

I do also wonder if the lucky recipients of these fancy lunches go to friends’ houses and turn their noses at plain carrots, the kind not carved into totem poles or reliefs of the war of 1812?

I’ll go on looking at my Pinterest board, tucking a note in his lunch box {occasionally with fancy doodles} and letting him carry a sweet ass Star Wars lunch pail instead.


11 February 2013 | 1 Comments

Finn:  Dad.  Do you think Uncle Chris is the best basketball player?

Dave:  What do you mean Buddy?

Finn:   I mean, I’m a really good basketball player, but Uncle Chris, I think he could beat me.


*watching the evening news*

Finn:  Do they just make these stories up?

Dave:  Sometimes.

Me:  Dave!  Don’t tell him that!

Dave:  What?  You don’t know!

Me:  Finna, they report things that are actually going on.


Finn:  Speaking of Queen Elizabeth…

*At this point Dave and I exchange looks because we’re pretty sure this is going somewhere weird and that Finn has no clue who Queen Elizabeth is.*

Finn:  Someone brought {school friend} a present from London!

Dave:  Oh, you really ARE speaking of Queen Elizabeth.

Finn:  Yeah, that’s what I said.  It was money with Queen Elizabeth’s picture on it from London.


Finn:  I always thought it was twenty minutes.

Me:  What?  What was twenty minutes?

Finn:  The show.  It’s sixty minutes, but I always thought it was twenty minutes.  Twenty minutes is what my teacher says.


08 February 2013 | 17 Comments

Today we’re talking you.  That’s right.  YOU. 

If you’re new here, or old here, today is the day that you suck it up, say hello and leave a comment.  Even if you never leave a comment, even if you like to hide out behind your RSS reader.  These posts are some of my favorites {here and here} because it’s like peeking behind the curtain at the great and powerful Oz. 

I get to be Dorothy.

Lemme just grab my ruby slippers and let’s get started, shall we?  Maybe you’ll tell me what you secretly want to be when you grow up, your must have beauty product, your favorite guilty pleasure, or about the time you drove up the steps of the Holiday Inn when you were fifteen and didn’t have a license… or something… allegedly. 

I can not wait to see what you’ve got for me today.


07 February 2013 | 5 Comments

Hi, my name is Michelle and I have a hard time saying no.

Everybody now, “hiiiiii Michelle!

I don’t think I’m alone in this.  I can’t be the only one.  It is excruciating for me.  I’m kind of a tough cookie, so you would think that saying no would be easy.  I have zero problem opening my mouth and telling you how it is, so why does that one little word always gets stuck?

Because I don’t want to disappoint someone?  Because I don’t want to hurt your feelings?  Because I’ve always been there in the past?  Because it’s expected?  Because there is a need, a want, an obligation?  Because there is an opportunity?  Because someone else wants me to say yes?

I say yes even when I shouldn’t.  And then I feel angry.  I feel depleted.  When an opportunity arises that I truly want, I have to pass because all of these other things are filling that space.   It isn’t just the time either, it’s the space in my head that doesn’t let me fall asleep at night because I’m already working on the next thing or worrying about someone or wondering why things can’t be different.  I feel emotionally and physically exhausted.  It hurts my relationship with Dave.  My children don’t have my full attention.  The three most important things in this world shouldn’t be set aside. 

You know who is absolutely last on the list?  Me. 

As much as I would love to be everything to everyone and seize every opportunity set in front of me, it’s not realistic.  I don’t enjoy the people and the experiences I’m in this very moment if my head is elsewhere.

I’m practicing my no.

Earlier this week, I read a great post by Alexandra Franzen about how to say no to everything ever.  If you’re a person who has a hard time saying no also, I highly suggest you give it a read.   


06 February 2013 | 5 Comments

I want to be Snow White all singing with birds fluttering around in the morning.  I want to be a morning girl, but who am I kidding, birds freak me out and I’m up far too late for that.  One in the morning is my prime time. 

But this isn’t about you night, it’s about morning.  Where ARE YOU snooze button?

I’d certainly be ok with a large coffee and no whining.  Tate is mad that someone touched her and she didn’t get the yogurt that she wanted.  Finn is mad because he IS a morning person and he still doesn’t get to play before school.  If we make it out of the house with lunch for Finn, a bra for me, and clothing other than pajamas for all of us it’s a good day.  Those don’t happen every day, you know.  Not even close. 

Somehow, we still manage a snuggle and a ‘have a great day’ before he jumps out of the car with a wave.  I’ll call that a win.

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My Favorite Stuff On TV.

05 February 2013 | 5 Comments

We haven’t had cable for probably 10-ish or so years.  I would rather drop $100 at Target a month than to pay for cable, it’s just not our thing.  I do miss HGTV and the Food Network though.  We have Netflix through the wii and we just got Hulu Plus as well.  The rest we just watch network shows when they are actually on.  {You can get Roku if you want to digitally stream your shows, but I’ve never had a problem just watching when they are on.}  Luckily, each local station has a ‘weather’ type channel, PBS offers Create TV which is a good mix of HGTV and Food Network, and PBS also has a dedicated Kids channel.  Honestly, it has been so long that we don’t even miss it… plus, we avoid crap like Honey Boo Boo.  I’d call that a win.

Without further ado… here are some of my favorites.

Castle:  Famous, rich, mystery writer has connections and gets put on a homicide team to model his next book series on the female detective he’s assigned to.  Murder solving has never been so hilarious.

New Girl:  Quirky girl moves into a loft with three guys.  Hilariousness and sexual tension ensues.  This show makes Dave and I laugh out loud every single week.  Schmidt, one of the roommates, is ridiculous.

Mindy Project:  Doctor Mindy has a practice with two other guys… more about Mindy’s life and dating mis-adventures than the practice.

Scandal:  Political fixer Olivia Pope has her own problems since she’s been having an affair with the very married President of the United States.  There is all kinds of intrigue and mystery involved in her daily work and her past.

Honorable Mentions:  The Good Wife, Happy Endings, Nashville, and the Big Bang Theory


04 February 2013 | 15 Comments

I had a list of things I wanted in the perfect partner. 

A physical handwritten reminder of “THE GUY”, that I wrote before I knew Dave existed. I firmly believe that there is something about putting things out to the universe.  Without getting too spiritual mumbo jumbo about it, I’ll just say that I’ve had good luck with the list.

I met Dave a few months later. 

My list contained things like must own a suit, impresses my Meme, makes my sisters laugh, loves my family, opens my car door, great sex, intelligent, and makes me laugh.  It was a ridiculous amount of really specific, quirky little things that I wanted.  After Dave and I were engaged, I randomly came across the list, long since forgotten about.  I realized that he met every single one of those weird, quirky items. 

I mean really, who do you know that still opens car doors in this day and age?  Certainly not 20-something college age dudes.  Unless your name is Dave.

So you don’t have to believe in things like this, I’m ok with that. 

My girlfriend Ann Marie always makes fun of the fact that I had this list.  She makes fun of me for a lot, she’s lucky I still love her to bits.  The list has been a huge topic though and we laugh about it all the time. 

Dave does something stupid. 

“Hey Michelle, was that on the list?  I’ll bet it was.” 

Back in 2008, she was really exasperated about dating and I told her to make one for herself.   “Make the list Ann Marie,” I said.  And she ignored me for years.  I know it was years because I did an email search talking about the list when I decided to write this post and couldn’t believe how far back it went ignored.  I would say, “Ann Marie make the damn list,” and she would just ignore me some more. 

And then in 2011, after a particularly heinous love disaster, she wrote me an email saying she finally did it. 

She made the list. 

A few months later, she met her Dave.

And I asked her, for the purposes of this post if she still had the list. {She does.} And just how closely he matched the list. {Dead on.}

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Fess up.  Did you have a list?

Can We Talk About The Fact That I didn’t Shower Yesterday?

01 February 2013 | 6 Comments

Dave worked from home yesterday because he didn’t want to pass along the crud that has been infecting our house for the last two weeks.  Why is it that my day feels so weird when there is another person here?  Every hour or so, Dave would get exasperated and mention something Tate did.  This was followed closely by my blank stare that he didn’t realize that THIS IS EVERY SINGLE DAY.  He gets it, I just don’t think he gets it.  How could he unless he experienced it himself? 

I had constant interruptions from the ding… the Twitter ding, the Facebook ding, the email ding, the text ding.  Ding.  Ding.  Ding.  Ding. DING.  Opportunities for fun things landed square in my lap.  Ding.  Pep talks for friends.  Ding.  Can you…? Ding.  Do you want to…? Ding.  Return messages from moms saying, “yes I can help with the class Valentine party.” Ding.   A fun project for a friend. Ding.  Do you want it like….?  Ding.  How about we…?  Ding. 

I realized that when I finally climbed into bed last night… this morning… at 3 am, that I hadn’t even taken a shower yesterday or gotten out of my yoga pants and t-shirt.  

And this morning we’re out of coffee.

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