Monday, December 15, 2014

One Day

One day you will feel defeated. You will feel as though someone deflated the balloon you've been floating in for years. You will feel like beat up concrete with a pot hole and you may even pop a few tires just to make yourself feel better. You'll feel this way one day, I promise.

And when you do, think about matchbox cars on a Friday night. Think about your dad and I sitting on the tired carpet in our living room night racing matchbox cars through the tiny dining room.

"Again!" you scream.

We gather all the mismatched cars and we race again. Your dad reassures you even when your car barely moves 3 inches.

"Good job," he says. "You're doing great."

Think about matchbox cars on a Friday night. Think about ducks and the way your face used to light up every time you saw them. Go see the ducks. Think about your cousins and the undivided attention they gave you.

"Chase me!" you would scream. And they would chase you through the house giggling and screaming even when their legs were tired and their eyes were sleepy.

Think about ice cream on a hot summer day and hot chocolate on a snow covered night. Think about the basic simplicities that used to fulfill your happiness because that is all you really needed...your family. That is all you really ever needed.

And then stand up...brush the dust off your shoulder, wake up and own the next day. That's the beauty...the sun will always rise and you will always have a choice.

Friday, December 5, 2014

The Cheapest and Most Profitable Craft You'll Ever Do With Your Kids

My company sponsors a family every year at Christmas. It's just one of the many things I love about going to work. First on the list this year, the most basic life necessity: Toilet Paper. 

Here is a craft to inspire kids to give back.

Step One: Collect or purchase 3 Ball Jars-I'm guessing they are already in your cabinet.
Step Two: Create Tags with craft paper, chalkboard paint, cardboard, sticker paper, whatever you have on hand. Write Give, Save, Spend with white paint pen. 
Step Three: Attach tags to jar with hot glue gun.
Step Four: Share the life lesson...give a penny, save a penny, spend a penny. 

Monday, December 1, 2014

The Sand Monster and the Coffee Cup

We're sitting by the ocean. The air is crisp. Not too hot, not too cold. You are chasing birds and moving at rapid toddler speeds. You always move at this speed. We turn disposable coffee cups into sandcastle builders.

"Play with me!" you scream.

We oblige. How could we not? We build towers. You knock them down every single time. We call you the sand monster as you are starting to identify the good guys from the bad guys.

"Rarrrr! I'm the sand monster. I will eat you," you say with delight. You're the cutest little sand monster I ever laid eyes on. We continue these games until your eyelids look droopy and you are covered in sand. Heck, we're all covered in sand thanks to the sand monster.

This is it. This is the place I go in my mind on a day I've identified as stressful. This is it. This is the place I escape on a Monday morning over hot coffee cuddled up in my office.

This is it. My favorite family sand monster memory.  

Monday, November 24, 2014

You're Starting Not to Need Me

You're starting to not need me like you once did. You still NEED me, but in a different way. You're wiping my kisses, pushing away my hugs, covering my mouth when I sing, shoving my hand away when you walk down the stairs. 

You're starting not to need me.

And that's ok. This is how it's supposed to be: you growing independent from me while I cry in a corner. This is how it's supposed to be: you becoming you.

My sweet boy, I want you to know, no matter who you become, no matter where you land, I am always here when you're feeling like you need me. 

No matter what it is, I won't judge you. I'll listen. 

No matter how big the problem in your head, I will be present to hear you with an open mind.

No matter who you become, I'll be here when you need me and when you don't.  

You're starting not to need me and that's ok.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

This One is For The Dads

This one is for the dads who show up.

They are everywhere: on your soccer fields, at your PTA meetings, Dr’s offices, in aisle 9 at the grocery store. They show up to wash, cuddle, bandaid, clothe, love and hug their children…to teach them they matter.

This one is for the dads who show up for the moments spent screaming on the floor due to the inability to find the right words. They show up, they calmly comfort, they scoop up, they hug, they soothe.

They wake up at 1 and 3 and 5 and 7 and they still find the energy, the strength to smile the next day.

They roll on the floor, climb the playgrounds, beat the drums, stomp in the mud, turn on a washing machine, fix a broken pipe, diaper a newborn and repair the heating unit in the dead of winter.

They are super heros, full time employees, extraordinary husbands and friends. 

This one is for the dads because all too often moms get all the credit mainly because we're stuck in the 60s when moms deserved all the credit. 

This one is for the dads...especially you, honey. 

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Kids Say the Darndest Things

I've been writing down your funny statements lately.

"Mama, I just need some time to be sad. No singing, no tickling. I just want to be sad for a little bit."

"Whachya got there? Is it tasty?"

"Sharks are bad. They bite people and it makes them cry. I don't wanna be a shark, Mama." (said 3 days prior to Halloween after costume was purchased)

"I'm POOPY! I'm POOPY! I'm POOPY!" (shouted loudly in a public restaurant while people were eating)

"I do not like singing with you. I like to sing alone."

"Who is that scary man over there?" (he was standing 2 feet ahead of us)

"I DO NOT WANT TO GET IN THAT CAR WITH YOU. I DO NOT!" (said just prior to slamming a sippy cup into my left ear. I couldn't hear for 2 hours)

"Daddy carried me in his belly. Not you." 

"Mama, I just love your face so much. SO MUCH!"

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Office Makeover

We have a dog. He looks like a white seal. He is the sweetest, laziest, most awesome dog you'll ever meet. His name is the jazz musician.

Myles recently started peeing inside. It quickly became clear that carpet and and old dog do not mix. 

We decided to gut the only remaining carpeted room: the office/sunroom. Total project was $150 mainly for supplies. We got the cabinets for free and painted them gray to match bookshelves in our living room.  And when I say we, I really mean HE. This project was 100% my husband (minus the peeing dog who inspired it).

Here are a few before pictures:
And the renovation begins:

We chose a dark chocolate brown paint for the floor.
Here is the custom stained top:

 These pieces were free. With a new paint job and a quick spray of the hardware, they look great.
What a great place to work, pay bills, watch the seasons change and let guests stay (when we run out of room upstairs).