Friday, April 29, 2011

Letters of Intent - Play Ball


Dear Itty Bit,

You knew this was coming…

I mean, after entertaining the soccer team last season, you had to know I was gonna call you out for your t-ball antics?


(oh, and let’s not forget the Chicken Dance)



But this year, you’ve come up with some new material.  Honey… the reason we have to watch the ball, is because that little sucker can bounce into cute little boys.

(ah the joys of indoor practice in the rainy Northwest)


Next time you take a direct hit, please don’t wail to the crowd,

“the ball hit my balls!  THE BALL HIT MY BALLS!”

Because while they surely didn’t mean to, they couldn’t help but laugh.



And once again honey… this is not soccer.



Duuuuude.  Timing is everything.  I love me some fresh dandelions as much as the next momma, but please wait until the seventh inning stretch to deliver your floral gift.





And I don’t have pictures of it because I was too busy wildly gesturing to operate a camera… but I love that you hit the ball, then stood there as everyone screamed at you to run to first base.

I love that you looked confused at the parents and coaches, then trotted off to first base.

Then threw your bat down on the base.

Let’s work on that, mkay?

You’re my favorite slugger.



Your Momma Who Already Knows This Is Gonna Be  a Crazy Ride




Dear Readers,

Quick!  Get thee over to the giveaway!  You can have your own custom camera strap for free – and maybe even in time for Mother’s Day!  Head on over here to enter – lots of bonus entry chances!


The Snap Happy Momma Who Thinks You Should Look Cute Too




Got letters to write?  Link ‘em up with King Julien!


Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Broward Patch Giveaway


Well, it’s about time for some fun… and a giveaway always qualifies, yes?

excited face


It all started when a certain Mister got a wee bit grumpy when his wifey asked him to carry the camera for a few minutes.



It might have had something to do with the loveliness that dear wifey had bestowed on the camera:

carnival bloom


And the man is nothing if not manly, eh?

(elk pee perfume and all)



So I went on the hunt (get it?  HUNT?  I cracketh myself up sometimes) for a less girly camera strap… and stumbled upon some Etsy greatness.

While I pined away for these orange cuties:


Broward Patch had the right combination of fun and (manly) funky.




Seriously… how much cuter could this Happy Camper strap get?


I mean, while being utterly manly, of course…


I was sold!  I bought my two camera straps and she’s holding another one just for you!

(Required disclaimer: I purchased the giveaway strap, but the bonus is from Jen!)


The bonus is that y’all can get your own strap (or keychain, or Baby Bjorn bibs) for 15% off your entire order!  Use ONCEUPON for your discount… it’s like having your own personal sale :)

But one reader gets to pick their own prize from her shop.  But I thought it would be fun to meet the artist behind the creations!

Here’s Jen:

I'm a mom of two little boys-my oldest turned two december 24th and my newest guy was born december 17th. December is going to forever be a wild month for us and I have already realized that I should start buying presents now for both birthdays and christmas:)

I started my shop just over a year ago after much prodding by one of my best friends who is a photographer. I made her several straps and had a very positive response.

I put several on Etsy not expecting much but they sold very I listed several more again thinking it was an accident and sold out again. Very quickly, it went from an occasional strap to me sewing everyday and loving every second of it! I would have never predicted this outcome but its been an awesome ride and I can't wait to see where else it takes me!


How fun is she?  I always love it when Etsy sellers are excited to do custom orders and easy to work with.  She actually ordered the fabric that I’d fallen in love with and bam, those puppies were in the mail before I could have threaded my own sewing machine.

(To be fair, my sewing machine’s 147 page instruction manual is in Japanese, so I haven’t quite figured it out yet).


It kicked the flowerly strap to the curb and is holding up great for daily use!


And onto the rules!  We’ll give you guys a few ways to win:

If you’re a Follower, leave a comment letting us know. (We love you guys bunches :)

Tell us your favorite item from the Broward Patch shop.

Like the Broward Patch Facebook page… leave another comment if so!

Tell me the best or worst Mother’s Day present you ever gave!

Oopsie, almost forgot this one!  Blog about it, send us the link, and leave three comments for three more additional entries!


Leave separate comments for each so all your entries get counted.  Can’t wait to hear your stories!

We’ll close down the entries and announce the winner with the next True Story Tuesday!

Monday, April 25, 2011

True Story Tuesday - But I HAVE to



GAH, what a week it’s been!

Mom was taken to the ER, transferred to another medical facility, had an emergency operation, and was released from the ICU yesterday.

And watching a central line be removed… I suddenly remembered that I usually have sudden bouts of vertigo when witnessing medical stuff like that.  How embarrassing if I were to hit the floor as a visitor to the ICU?  Would all you nursing friends please tell me how to quit that?

I realize that it’s time for some funny.  And the blog has been sorely neglected and deserving of funny.  But do y’all realize that someone unfollowed me during this crazy time?  I’d call you out, except that, obviously, you’re not around to be scolded, hee hee :)  For shame, for shame.


(And yup, I’m just as confused as you… never thought Bieber would be on the blog.)


Thanks for sticking around.  Chemo and radiation start this week – those prayers, we could really use them.  Thank you for the amazing support.  My email has been overflowing with kind words of encouragement that make me cry.

And now for the short and sweet funny for this week’s True Story Tuesday.  Brought to you by none other than the barely-still-four-year-old.


You know, sometimes there is just no preface for some of the things kids say.  They just jump right in and blurt out whatever randomosity is on their mind.

For some reason, bathtime seems a most perfect time for the things that qualify as “I’m so glad you didn’t say that in public, honey!”

And the other night was no different.  Sitting in his tub full o’ suds, Itty Bit looked thoughtfully my feet as I sat by the door tinkering with my phone (turning the blasted auto-correct off, thankyouverymuch).



Yes honey?


(very seriously, vewwwwy seeeweeouswy)


I can’t stop eating my boogers.




What did you just say?


I can’t stop eating my boogers, Mama.




(Aint gonna lie - my mind totally went back to this)



Honey, yes you can.

No I can’t!

Honey, just don’t pick your nose.  And don’t put them in your mouth.


But…Mama, I have to!  I HAVE to!


And finally, the guffaw I was choking on made good its escape and I heartily laughed at him.

Actually, I really and truly laughed with him.


Love that kid!

Got an amazing, hilarious, miraculous, outrageous, and true tale?  We love your stories!  Just grab the True Story Tuesday button from the sidebar, paste it into your post somewhere, and come back to link up below for some comment love!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

On being lost


Remember this?


And my secret wish for an iPhone after I texted the letters clean off of my ancient flip phone?

And how appalled I was that Verizon wanted me to sell a kidney to pay the monthly fee?  (Yeah, 700 minutes of talk time for a DEAF customer…)

Well, sometimes you just get backed into a corner when life throws up on you…


In the week that my Mother-in-Love was diagnosed, I walked around in a fog.  A weepy, snot-nosed one, but a fog nonetheless.


(Grandmas fighting over Itty Bit)

I promise to share with you someday, why she is so special to me and why I feel so lost.


And “lost” would be a good word.

For in a period of 24 hours, I lost:

my phone

my car keys

and my ever loving mind.


I literally walked into a grocery store with a list of three items and walked out with two.

I shaved one leg twice and who knows if I shaved the other one (sorry Mr. Daddy).

And I probably stopped midsentence 100 times, unable to talk about something as ordinary as oatmeal.


But the kicker with the phone?  Seems someone found it.

With their tires.


So my sad little basic phone was now a sad little non-functioning basic phone.


Cost to replace sad phone?  $189

Cost of a new iPhone?  $199


Except… I can’t seem to get the darn thing away from the 4-year old.

Who is absolutely convinced that Momma bought him a handheld video game…

angry birds rio



And us?  We’re hanging in there.  Trying to figure out “normal” things like Easter dinners, and dentist appointments – all through the haze of desperate prayer and spending each spare minute with our loved ones.

And the result of a week of bussing between hospital visits and t-ball practices… was a much needed and rare moment of a slumbering child who had gone non-stop from 6am until his 10pm dinner of a peanut butter sandwich.  Within seconds of that last bite…



I’m grateful for those memories.  Especially on Good Friday.  Knowing that the bad stuff is temporary, and Heaven is forever.  And thanking God for the beautiful moments in between.

Monday, April 18, 2011

True Story Tuesday - The Clean Plate Club revisited


Balance.  We’re trying to find it.

And in all the official terminology overload and medication schedules that require a college degree, I’ve realized that the whole point of all of this… is lost if we don’t LIVE each day.

So this week, I wanted to rerun one of my favorite childhood tales from Mr. Daddy’s family.  Remember, you can’tbe excused until you’ve cleaned your plate :)


The Clean Plate Club

While reading Julie's Letter Of Intent last Friday, what she said about eating everything on your plate, and all the comments that followed sparked an ancient memory.

What she said about the Clean Plate Club, which we will refer to as the CPC for the rest of this story, is not how I remember it from my youth.

Now we must remember that my youth was a couple of decades ago. Wellllllllllll maybe a few more than a couple, but not many.

(Rach In: Honey, you are just TEMPTING PamD now, aren't ya?)

Now my parents being old school, as in being raised in the era of the Great Depression, had cause to be a fan of the CPC. In fact, the stories that they tell it is pretty much a given that you were just plain old thankful to have anything on your plate at all at times....

The purpose of my saying this is not to debate any theological, or social, or moral issues about whether or not you should or should not make your child eat all on their plate or not.

(Rach In: Haha, that was just to try to avoid the wrath of Julie...)

I am not qualified to say that if you make them eat everything they will be obese. Or if you let them leave whatever they want to they will be unthankful...

It is just plain fact that when I was growing up, if it was put on your plate, you ate it... Now in their defense it was always nutritional and balanced meals, with all the food groups represented in tasty and appealing ways (think Leave it to Beaver here and you will get the picture).

(Rach in: Sorry, I am having fits of giggles about that Leave It To Beaver thing... his mom IRONS their jeans, and uses bleach in the carwash soap. I am such an unfit housekeeper next to this family :)


The proportions were never huge unless we wanted more, and God help us if our eyes were bigger than our stomachs. Cause if you didn't finish it for dinner it would probably be served cold for breakfast....

Don't judge them, they are the best parents that I could of ever asked for. They raised three of their own and a hatful of other people's children to adulthood, and for the most part we are all pretty much normal.... normal (twitch) normal (twitch) normal (twitch, twitch)

Another thing I remember was you didn't talk back or sass, and you ALWAYS respected your elders, always....

R.E.S.P.E.C.T. was ALWAYS enforced.

Well we were having oysters for dinner, fried. Now I know that you can have them on the half shell, you can have them sauteed, you can have them grilled, or in soup... My Dad liked them fried. Dip them in flour and seasoning salt and fry them puppies to a golden brown and they are just nummy, now....Back then....Not so much...

If you are to get adventuresome and cut them open (like I did back then) you will even find a little nugget of green seaweed like stuff in the middle that will just gross you out.

Just saying......

So there I was bout an hour and a half past the time every one else had been excused from the table. Pushing my little pieces of oyster around on my plate, and eyeing that little green morsel of goop that was lurking on the edge of my plate...

(Rach In: OhMyLord, every one of us has been there, right?)

Now I'm guessing that my Dad had had just about enough of my postponing the inevitable.... And was going to assert his parental legislative authority, with full enforcement rights. And as the child protective services was just a gleam in some politician’s mind.. I am thinking with no restraints....

So the conversation was probably something like this...


but dad it doesn't taste good.


but dad it is cold.


but da---


Now I know that I am pushing the envelope here. My Dad is one of the nicest people I know now.

Back then a very strict disciplinarian...

dad it's gross


I was pushed past the limits of my 6-year old restraint. Throwing caution to the wind and daring the wrath of my Father. I sat up straight, crossed my arms and with the most petulant bravado that I could muster, I firmly stated....



staring straight ahead I awaited the full fury of my Dad....


I waited some more......

still nothing....

I dared a sideways peek,

no movement at all, just a ramrod stiff stance with a far away look on his face.

another peek.

just a slight twitching of his jaw...

"O" lord I was in for it now.

A little longer glance, A twitch with a slight upturning at the corner of his mouth...

I was outright gawking at him now; and to my amazement he was snickering, which quickly turned to a belly laugh...

And that my friends, is the only time in my youth that I can recall dodging the CPC.


(Rach In:  Aaaaand the irony: we have a 3-year old who would eat nothing but strawberries and peanut butter all day every day if we let him.  No oyster poop for this kid).



Loved it just as much as the first time I heard it.  And unfortunately I’ve been the recipient of that now-infamous quote many a time as I brought a home-cooked meal to the table, “If you like poop, YOU eat it…” *sigh*


True Story Tuesdays are all about those honest-to-goodness tales that get told every holiday – those family legends that just won’t die.  Got any?  We’d love to come around for some comment love!  Link ‘em up below and we’ll be by!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

I Heart Faces - Wind


It’s been a heartbreakingly difficult past week.  But also a beautiful one.

Funny how your priorities get an automatic realignment when cancer enters your world.


And even though I don’t feel lighthearted, I know that this blog keeps me sane at times and we all need some moments to smile.

So along with my assorted kitchen and laundry tasks, my husband has sweet talked me into an additional wifely duty.

(no worries, the blog is still PG rated)

He took a silly photo of me that totally qualifies for this week’s I Heart Faces theme, but the man just won’t write his own intro (“would be tooting my own horn”)

So in a far MORE awkward scenario… I get to talk about a picture he took of me…




Do you see it?

The theme is WIND.  And I am one of those girls who thinks that the ensuing mass of tangles is utterly worth standing in the path of a great gust of wind.

(I was lifted off the ground by the wind in my umbrella in Seattle one day – true story.)


This picture perfectly captures living in the Pacific Northwest.

The amazing GREEN everywhere.

The gorgeous lakes.

The prerequisite cup of Starbucks.

The moody storm clouds behind me.

And of course,

that delightful wind coming off the water that was totally destroying my hair.


Bonus points for finding that one gray hair that my husband managed to capture.

Extra bonus points for not mentioning the eleven more I found since I typed that.


Gust on over to I Heart Faces for more windy entries!



And please keep Mr. Daddy’s mom in your prayers… we still believe in miracles.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

The Lasts


The waiting room was packed.

Family members filled the chairs, lined the walls, and paced the hall.


And that phone call… the one that changes your life forever -

it brought a silence to the room as it rang.





I understand.




We waited for the other end of the conversation.

The one we desperately needed to hear, but desperately feared.


And in one small sentence, the oxygen was sucked from the room and only a painful silence remained.


In a single moment, I saw my father-in-law’s face crumple as he took in the news.

I saw his son slide off his hat and reach for him.

Four of her siblings were there; family resemblance made bittersweet by their matching tearstained cheeks.



Sixty-two years.

Far more of their lifetime spent together than apart.


Seeing the profound shock and sudden grief spread through the room, it was easy to recognize the shared love we have for this woman.

But I realized anew why even breathing enough to speak was hard for this man.




While they are so intertwined as to be a unit that can survive surgery, chemotherapy, radiation, and all the ugliness and suffering that comes with them… you cannot possibly remove one vine without causing terrible damage to the other.

And this is the way it should be.


Doesn’t make it any easier.


And I hate thinking of these next months in terms of Lasts.




camping trips



A new year


But really, shouldn’t each day be lived as a Last?



Please don’t stop praying.  Please call your mom and tell her you love her.  Please hug your kids another fourteen times.  Please marvel at your blessings and thank the One who gave them to you.


The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit .

~Psalm 34:18

Tuesday, April 12, 2011



I’m reminded once again

that you, me, anyone

we’re just a phone call away from having our lives changed forever.


We are in the countdown.

To the hospital before the sun is up.

Praying for good news by time it lights our sky.


Because I can’t imagine otherwise.





I rise before dawn and cry for help; I have put my hope in your word.

~Psalm 119:147

Monday, April 11, 2011

The Waiting

Mother Teresa once said,

"I know God will not give me anything I can't handle.

I just wish that He didn't trust me so much."

Right now Rach and I pretty much know what she means.

The hard time that she spoke of in her last post have pretty much been the focus of our lives the last few days.

My Mom is a cancer survivor.

Bob & Eleanor 9_48 Puyallup Fair

A few weeks back there were some signs.... There has been the usual range of emotions, from denial to anger but no real answers...


Then the MRI!!! A shadow on the brain.

The usual questions, the anguish while we awaited answers.

A day spent at the hospital...Tests, consultations... More tests and yet more consultations....


The good news: no signs of more cancer anywhere in her body... The bad news: a 4 centimeter tumor on the left rear side of her brain...

Her surgeons? you know those angels that the Bible speaks about that we entertain unaware?????
Yeah, I think I spotted a couple today.


We have surgery scheduled for O-dark-thirty on Wednesday...
There are still a few questions. And life is nothing if not filled with uncertainties..

So for now I will adhere to that Unknown Authors quote:

"We have no right to ask when sorrow comes, "Why did this happen to me?" unless we ask the same question for every moment of happiness that comes our way."


So I guess I will be busy asking some questions, because my life has been filled with happy moments because of that woman...


Thank you all for your prayers and thoughts on Rach's last post, not even knowing what was going on...



Mr. Daddy

Sunday, April 10, 2011

The Gong Show


Life is hard right now.  I so want to write a lighthearted post.


This makes me smile.


How could it not?









IMG_9551 (2)



I think Grandma’s homeowner’s association might have something to say about that…

Monday, April 04, 2011

True Story Tuesday - Timing is Everything


It never fails.

If I start to wonder what on earth I’m going to post for True Story Tuesday this week… it’s like inviting the universe to play Candid Camera with me.

And it cracks me up that an entire series of minor details can combine perfectly to create the ultimate embarrassing moment.




There’s a cute little fair that arrives every year during spring break.  It is insanely overpriced and you have to catch the rides in between rain showers.

(cue photo of happy kiddo badly in need of a haircut)

carnival copy


We were having a blast.


Two of us were having a blast.

Mr. Daddy was just along for the “you can’t make me go on any” ride.

But he forgot one thing about me:



And after he adamantly refused for the 243rd time…


They pushed off, and then things went suddenly wrong.

Somehow Itty Bit’s burlap sack stayed behind, while his little butt took to the road.

Mr. Daddy lost his grip on the poor kid, who slid sideways, then finally righted himself.


Mr. Daddy tried valiantly to slow himself, but poor Itty Bit had come nearly to a stop on the slide.  His little tush was warming up without a cushion, and he paddled to try to finish his ride down.







Ohmygosh I love that kid.

And this has very little to do with the story except that his was rubbing his poor little warm tush for several minutes afterward.

Which was then promptly dunked into a seat full of rainwater on the bumper cars.

He protested mightily and I nearly hauled him off the ride when he refused to sit.



After making sure to aim for the people who cut in front of us in line (poetic justic, no?) I realized that Itty Bit had been doing a bit of trash talking facing.  Seriously kid?



We got off the ride and wound up with this.  Thank you very much Mr. Daddy for ensuring that this was captured for posterity.  Nothing if not helpful.



I know, I know… where’s the REAL embarrassing part, right?

Oh trust me, this was all just setting the scene.


The rains hit and we headed home to dry out.

I busied myself with some laundry and my father-in-law stopped by for a bit.

Remember them?  The original  Leave It to Beaver family?


The closest he has ever come to cussing was to say MOPHER when he started to say mole and gopher at the same time  And she irons her jeans (and I suspect her kitchen towels).  They are the classic good couple and I love ‘em to pieces.

And on this particular day?  Being able to hear would have come in handy.


See, I was completely unaware that Dear Father-In-Law was standing in my kitchen.

Completely unaware as I did the laundry, passing back and forth at the doorway.



With my pants in the dryer.


(he hasn’t stopped by since)




We can’t be the only one with these kind of crazy moments?  Link up your amazing, hilarious, miraculous, outrageous, and true story below and well be around for some comment love!