Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Happy Mail


Would you believe it?


We are sick.




I am so over this.



A medical pro asked if maybe that “thing I can’t talk about”… was causing stress to the point of immunosuppression.  I had already suspected, and readily agreed.  We are catching every little bug.


So it was after three days of multitasking - barking like a seal while trying not to blow bubbles out my nose (sorry) , that some happy mail arrived and sent me into a fit of cough-laughter.

Our GunDiva knows all about our squirrelly past.  And her husband had nabbed some amazing swag while they were at the SHOT show.

This… is what I opened to find:



That’s right baby!  Two glossy posters and two packages of peanuts.  With the coolest mascot EVER!


And since Itty Bit already had a major crush on GunDiva, this pretty much cemented his plans to run away to Colorado and spend his days target shooting with her.


Between the mail, emails, Facebook messages, texts, blog comments… you all are such good therapy. 





blog friends that are every bit as real as the ones you can hug.



I hope you have people just as special in your life.


And I hope you aren’t multitasking like I am right now ;)



Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Colorado Part Deux– aww shoot

Part Uno here

(Because I’m too lazy to look up how to say “Part One” in French, though my OCD is killing me to mix French and Spanish in two titles).

So we had that crazy impromptu getaway a few months ago… shame on me for getting so behind in blogging.

The flight was a little disconcerting after seeing a TORNADO SHELTER sign at the airport…

The drive was mesmerizing.  My still broken camera doesn’t do it justice.

Itty Bit made himself right at home at Beel & Juanita’s lodge.
(What is it with males and knee high socks?)

Oh, and he schooled every patient adult in the finer points of Cheskers…

He promptly introduced himself to each of the furry and feathered family members too.  Thankfully there were no injuries to beast or child from the overly-friendly-in-your-face affection that was lavished.



And I realized later that every time I tried to take a picture of Phoenix the dove, Itty Bit was totally photobombing.


Take one look at Itty Bit’s face here and tell me you don’t already know the story:
Heck yeah… he was totally tattling on one of the horses, ha!

Then he got some quality time with Queen Estes and her close ups.IMG_5172

And this dude?  Has a whole sigh-worthy story of his own.

Poor GunDiva & Jay got stuck with entertainment committee duties and we ran them ragged cramming in as much fun as we could into those few days.  First daylight was too bitterly cold and windy for a ride.  Which suited Mr. Daddy just fine because he was pretty darn happy at the thought of some gunpowder therapy.

Seriously… the dude was SMELLING THE SPENT SHELLS.
That just ain’t right.



GunDiva’s shooting husband, Mez was nice enough to bring all kinds of firepower for the shoot-em-up fun.
I was slightly intimidated by the expert marksmen (and marksWOman), and stuck to shooting with my camera mostly.

It wasn’t long before my camera found a target… an entire family of deer were completely unfazed by the BOOM BANG POW business.

Despite my lack of skill, it’s important to me that Itty Bit knows how to handle a gun safely.  We have many hunters and law enforcement officers in our lives.  Knowledge is the best protection I can give him.
Correction: GunDiva can give him.

I never thought I’d say this, but I was seriously choked up at the care she took in ensuring that not only was he SAFE, but that he was LEARNING what HE could do to handle them safely.
The added bonus was that she pretty much made his whole year.




So grateful for the way she patiently taught him at his level.
He kinda sorta has a huge crush on her.

The adults managed to tear up some targets.IMG_1357

And one in particular managed to tear it up to the point of needing repair
Winking smile

(disclaimer… which I really am conflicted about even posting: I realize there are some who are uncomfortable with firearms.  As big and bad as some of them looked, they all operate the same: one squeeze, one shot; just like your granddaddy’s hunting rifle.  While there were plenty of smiles to go around, safety was #1.  Our good friends are responsible gun owners and I wouldn’t hesitate to stand behind one of them if a bad guy was dumb enough to cross them.)

There were more adventures to be had – I am so grateful for friends who showed such hospitality! 

Up next: a zoo like you’ve never seen before, Dr. Doolittle strikes, and Willie Nelson for president.

But really… my kid has pretty much been doing this nonstop for three months now…



Thursday, January 17, 2013




I wanted to write something lighthearted.  You know, appropriate for a YEEHAW IT’S FRIDAY!


I’m just still feeling more than a little sucker-punched.


If you’ve been around for awhile, you’ll know that Itty Bit was a miracle after long years of infertility.



Add a deaf mother to the mix, and you have a recipe for a helicopter parent.  Kinda.  Sometimes.


Mr. Daddy will tell you it has not been an easy road in living with a spouse whose motto is,

“If I wouldn’t leave my car keys with them, I won’t leave my child”.


This was repeated each time we considered a babysitter, walked past the kiddie playland at Krogers, looked at schools.


Seriously, who could have measured up to grandmas like these?




So decisions about school earned extra soul-searching.

I’m not sure if Mr. Daddy actually agreed with me or simply wanted relief from his worried wife, but we enrolled Itty Bit in an out-of-district school staffed with people I’d known for 20+ years.

People I’d leave my car keys with.


I knew I felt better about where he was… but I still suffered mommy guilt for the extra hours on the road, the early morning dropoffs so I could pick him up right after school, and those days when the poor kid fell asleep in the cafeteria… ouch.






And today… came a sense of horror and relief in the same moment.

In our small community… a teacher from the local elementary school – arrested on charges of child p%rn.


Suddenly the wonky work schedules, outrageous gas budget, the extra time and money… seemed so small and worthwhile because I knew he was as safe as I could make him – surrounded by people who love God and truly live what they teach.


My heart breaks for the children from the other school who may have been hurt or exposed to this evil.  For the parents who are being instructed to contact police if their child has had contact with this teacher.  For the families who thought they were sending their child to a place of safety, and are confronted with a horrible reality.


I wasn’t going anywhere with this post.  Except to ask for prayers for these children and families.  All of these terrible things can be so paralyzing.  I want our home to be a sanctuary.  And to remember that


love wins SeaLilyStudio



Saturday, January 12, 2013

Remember when I said






Well, I kinda got called out for not posting a picture of said font.


But you realize that would be just as bad as farding, right?


You heard me.







(I love that this word is “archaic”.  I also love that I may have just found the one word that Grammar King Brian may not have already known ;)



You know… it’s too dangerous to snap a picture on my phone while I’m applying mascara, eating a Taco Supreme, shaving my legs, rocking out to Toby Keith, blindly batting at the kid in the back to stop kicking my seat, giving the stinkeye to the guy who just cut me off, waving my Taco Supreme at him, merging onto the freeway, accidentally setting off my windshield wipers, and thinking about a blog post.


Seriously, do you think I would Fard in my Ford?


So I was half laughing about this to myself the next day… when the SAME truck pulled in front of me.  My life, people.  Really.


Except… instead of that beautiful hand-lettering on the back, it now had a brand new PLYWOOD rollup door.

font truck2


Really?  Who makes a rollup door out of plywood?  Apparently a local business who suddenly had their pretty font door destroyed after somebody blogged about how cool it was.  Freaky coinkidink.


And umm…. I only got a picture of it because Big Macs are easier to handle than Taco Supremes.




And this is just for the “anonymous” commenter who complained that I didn’t even include a picture of her Angel Boy in the last post.  So *cough* Grandma *cough*, here’s a picture of that “Angel Boy” you referred to – and what he thinks about Mommy blogging random truck pictures.  He’s 3/4 of the way to a teenaged eyeroll – that ‘tude is waaay too big for a first grader.





And would someone please tell me what color his eyes are???




Saturday, January 05, 2013

Part Uno - THE Casa Bonita

I’m royally behind. Like when you get Thank You letters halfway written and then realize four months later that you STILL haven’t sent them.  And then you’re in that awkward stage where you totally appreciate the gift, but sending the card is just going to remind them that you’re a classic Martha failure.


Poor GunDiva and Beel and Juanita have already posted about our little escape up to their lovely stomping grounds last month MONTHS AGO (see how behind I am???).
And I can barely get started with the first part of our trip recap.

Let me assure you… no matter how crazy and improbable it seems in writing here… it was a million zillion times more so in person.  These people seriously know how to have fun.  It might help that none of us really fuss about dignity around eachother… as evidenced within the first 42 seconds of excited hugs and greetings - then turning around to see Jay relieving himself in a restaurant fountain.


Nothing like public urination to break the ice.

Our awesomesauce hosts had been convinced to endure the humiliation of an anniversary dinner at their “favorite” place.  (Ahh yes, the post where GunDiva and her sibs pretty much ensured that Beel could be entitled to a lifetime grudge :)

See how cute they are?


Not telling which somebody had just licked somebody.


Then we dared to pass through those hallowed doors and be transported to a place like no other in the world.


Go back and say that again with a James Earl Jones voice and one eyebrow raised.

There ya go.


I was completely uninitiated on the legend that is Casa Bonita.  As in “the neverending place that seats 1000 people, has a two-story waterfall with dive shows and skits with guys in gorilla suits, comes replete with a haunted cave, mining shaft, massive animated dragon, a wishing well with a crazy guy laughing at the bottom of it, and a million ways to get lost and suddenly find yourself in a giant fairytale ballroom with mirrored ceilings and a stage with velvet curtains.”

It was more than a little awe-inspiring to try to figure out where the restaurant actually ended.

Let’s just say my camera skills pretty much sucked with the dramatic low-light areas.
See what happens when you use flash?


Itty Bit was not excited to run poor Beel ragged all over the restaurant.  Not a bit.

The dude scored mega points when he took him BEHIND the waterfall. 

GunDiva did NOT score mega points when she took me through a “it’s only scary for kids” tunnel, then totally laughed when I screamyelped at a freaky monster thing moving toward me.

Seriously y’all… I thought I was going to wet myself, then I looked at GunDiva and realized that SHE was just as likely to wet herself laughing.


So we couldn’t pass up pictures in front of the waterfall.  Which you clearly cannot even see in these pics.


And I am dying y’all.  (You can tell, because I can’t stop using “y’all”).  Beel and Mr. Daddy are pulling their “normal” act, and Jay is totally gangsta after marking the fountain outside earlier, and Itty Bit?  Well Itty Bit looks like he’s having some sort of sign language Tourettes.  That’s my boy.

And you don’t have to biggerfy the picture below… I’m doing that thing where I’m so happy I oversmile and give myself a couple of extra chins.  Look how ridiculously cute Jay and GunDiva are!


Really… Beel and Itty Bit just pretty much walked around looking like photo ops waiting to happen.

Now read that sign again.  See what I mean about GunDiva’s bladder challenge?  Tsk tsk.


So after we survived the interior, we headed back out to the fountain of urination and attempted a photo shoot.

First it was insanely windy, so pardon the fact that I’m eating my hair in three out of four shots.

Oh look, how sweet!  Beel is giving Itty Bit a coin to toss into the fountain… such a nice guy.



Seriously?  Did he just!?!


I can’t see anything.

BOOGIE!  You can’t do that!


And this is what he had to say about that.  Can you SEE why I had no pictures to use for Christmas cards this year???


Now that I think about it… I’m not sure which was crazier: Casa Bonita or US?

Anyone else sneak away for a weekend and live to blog about it?


Tuesday, January 01, 2013

vs. fear



It’s been a month.


The stats don’t lie.

I wrote 168 posts the year before.

And I only managed to hit publish 71 times in 2012.


A graph chart of that would look pretty pathetic.  And it would closely mirror any type of calculation of peace in the circumstances of my life.

The plague of “that thing I can’t talk about” that touches every area of our lives… it instilled a fear of writing about even anything at all.


A government entity demanding your entire online profile will do that.


Ironically, because I spoke up.




So 2013?  Is not going to be about resolutions.

It’s going to be about not living in fear.





And if I needed to worry that my completely amazing readers would be joined by unfriendlies looking to dig up dirt here… then I’d rather address them head-on:

I write.

About my life.

About my family.

About my friends.

About my faith in Someone who makes it all worth it.

There is plenty of dirt in my life.  It’s not hidden.  It’s in painfully honest words all over my blog.  I am insecure, burn dinner often, have 20 pounds to lose, am graying faster than I can dye, and I

Instead of fixing the situation like we trust authorities to, “damage control” has been to undermine the words and experiences of an overwhelming majority of those who have witnessed my story.

In refusing to live in fear, this is as clearly as I can put it to you:

The best risk mitigation is to ensure that this never ever happens again.



(p.s… those aforementioned amazing readers and friends will be happy to share their thoughts once information reaches public domain.  I hereby give fair warning of squirrels and elbutts and people who have their own pens and readerships and inability to ignore wrongs).



Thank you for sticking with us through a difficult 2012.


And for a real part of the writing I miss?  It took weeks to filter and process.  And I still feel pieces of Newtown every day.

That Friday, I was at work when the news rolled in.  And each wave brought more horrifying details.  I felt the overwhelming need to drive to Itty Bit’s school and just hold my not-so-itty boy.


When I arrived, he spotted me from across the gym and ran full force with a scream that lasted the entire way.



He’s done this as long as he’s been uprightly mobile.  Open mouth scream-smiling as he races into a jump-hug with wild arms that swing to find eachother and squeeze the oxygen from me.  At two years old it was devastatingly charming.




And at six years old, it was painfully healing to my grieving heart.


It was a wordless gratitude that the sweet first-grader in my arms… his mind had not been touched by the unspeakable horror of the day.

As I stood there surrounded by a room of running jumping laughing arguing skipping noisy children, a staff member approached me.


“I wish all kids were that happy to see their parents”.


I nodded, unable to speak as the tears spilled and I squeezed the boy whose sneakers now dangled almost to my ankles.

The nearby shooting and Itty Bit’s school lockdown several months ago were fresh in my mind.  He’d walked away unharmed.  And in that incredibly busily normal gym full of crazy kids… I hugged and hugged my son and ached for the parents who were being utterly broken.


I’ve spent the last few weeks trying to be more intentional.  Grateful.  And I have 216 Lego injuries to prove it.  Life is so incredibly short – and each of you readers have been a huge part of the good in mine.


2013 is going to be good.  Awesomesauce even. 





What does your 2013 hold?