Monday, April 27, 2015

Out of the BOX

Decided to do something out of the ordinary and completely insane for my personality. I prefer to touch things and try them on before I take them home. But I have found more often than not lately that I HATE being in the store trying on clothes that I don't seem to like on me as soon as I get home. I keep thinking "what possessed me to buy that?" only to respond "must have been the lighting." UGH!

So, because a very classy lady I know has done this with success, I figured now was as good a time as any to jump on the "I hate going shopping" bandwagon and hit the STITCH FIX league. So, here's how it went:

First off, the box came Saturday and I was a little too excited. I suppose here would be the time that I mention that I didn't exactly fill my hubby in on the fact that I decided to join the box shopping group. :) Surprise! Oh, and it wasn't actually supposed to show up until Monday. :) Happy surprise!

Got the box, didn't have time to try the stuff on right away. So it was o'dark thirty by the time I got to open the box and dig inside. And of course, I couldn't take pictures with only two of the four bulbs in the light actually working. So, I had to wait, and wait, and wait. But I finally was able to get my budding photographer to snap some pics (he's only 8 years old and has never been allowed to touch Mommy's new camera) gotta give him props on his debut.

Stitch Fix #1
The Mendolan Pintuck Detailed Jersey Tank by Collective Concepts
 - So this top is cute, perfect length (for what I like), and love the color. But alas it is dry clean only. I don't think I'll be paying for the top at over $50 plus the dry cleaning. :( so sad, because it was really cute

Adorra Skinny Jean by Just Black
 - Nice fit. They are actually Navy, and very cute. The are petite, so I didn't feel like I had a mile of pants wrapped at my ankles - which is so very annoying when you are just a little to tall for most petite pants but still way too short for average. Still debating on keeping due to the price being twice what I would normally spend. 


Alannis Crochet Strap Top by 19 Cooper
- This thing is cute and comfortable, but I feel even wider in it than I would like. The top is actually wide, and a little too big for my personal taste. My hubby and oldest daughter think it is cute. I think it is too big and I feel like I have more than just an extra 10 pounds to lose. :( And dry clean only. 
Is it just me, or do I look wider in this?

Palo Collared Blouse by Staccato
 - Ummm...not my favorite. I think the color is pretty, but not sure it looks great on me. And it felt a little tight in the chest and not as loose as I would like around the middle (those lovely extra 10 pounds I aforementioned). Did I mention it is sheer? I don't really care for sheer. It's hand-wash, which is okay but not ideal.

Kolla Mixed Material Cardigan by Olive & Oak
 - Nope. Not liking. The cabling of the cardigan sleeves was a cute design. It did feel a little big, but it was comfortable. I don't mind the cream color, but normally stay away from the lighter cardigans (I spill things often). Oh, and guess what?! The back is sheer. Why? I have NO idea. Hubby said, "Maybe it's for people who sit all day." In a chair? Or maybe their arms get cold but their back is blazing hot? Yeah, not this chica! Another hand-wash piece.

I still haven't decided on the pants. Keep or return? 

Overall, while I am bummed that I didn't score a whole box-load of new clothes, I thought the process was pretty cool. I have to do the "Check Out" process tomorrow, after I finally decide on the pants. But I've already got tons of feedback/ideas for my next fix. I may have to schedule it a little sooner than a month from now. :) 

The thought of having a total stranger shop for me is still a little weird. But the alternative is me going out shopping and doing a "bang-up" job picking clothes that don't look great, I don't really like, or that I hardly wear. So we'll try this again soon, and who knows. I'm optimistic (which is saying A LOT for this realist). 


Thursday, October 16, 2014

Up for HOURS

It's really early in the morning (about the time a dear friend is getting ready to work out) and I am staring at the coffee maker debating on whether or not to just give up and "start" the day. I've been awake since 1am. It's now after 5am. This stinks!

This not sleeping well, getting up for a couple hours in the middle of the night is a new recent addition to my daily life. Not a welcome addition. More like that annoying, gross and somewhat rude anti-friend who mooches that you may or may not have had in high school or college. You know, the one that knocks on the door and you pretend you aren't home. So you lay in bed for an hour "pretending" (hoping, praying) you will fall back asleep soon.

Since that didn't happen, decided to get up and get some stuff done. A few things I have realized in the past few hours:

1. I am not very productive on only 4 hours of sleep.
2. Every noise (ones commonly made at all hours of the DAY) seem amplified by 100 at 3am.
3. Lights are very bright, and dark hallways are very dark right after working on the bright computer.
4. There is a little boy that likes to sleep on the couch, and he breathes very noisily. 
5. There is a not so little man in my bed that breathes even louder at 2am, and tends to flop around.
6. I am tired. 
7. Other people in my house prefer to sleep at 5am. :)

Well, now that I have made coffee, and am sitting in the dark kitchen with my big cup of joe..I guess I'll just get some stuff done. I apologize in advance to anyone who may receive any type of message from me today.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012


It is the end of Day 2 of the Flybaby challenge.  Since I have done the Shiny Sink Challenge before (I wasn't ready to be a full fledged flybaby yet), Day 1 wasn't so super rough.  I must admit that I am doing more than just shining a sink though.  See, Day 1 was a day without kids for the morning since they were all in school.  So I had me some three full hours to tackle the beast of CHAOS downstairs.  By the time Day 1 was over, worked on some laundry, moved a desk into the west side of the living room, moved the computer out, moved the filing cabinet out, cleaned through all the mess of toys and junk that formerly resided on the west side of the living room, and made my sink shiny.  Just a note, the directions of only doing one side at a time are highly recommended.  Because if you are like me, you are annoyed at how slow the scalding hot water is filling the sink, so you walk away and remember something you wanted to grab from downstairs and bring upstairs...and lets just say the floor in front of the sink is nice and clean, as well as inside the cabinet. :)
I do have to admit I did go a little "crazy" after the sink was all shiny and I had some dishes to put in the dishwasher.  See, I found a glass in another room, and realizing that I was going to have to pour it into my nice, clean, shiny, beautiful sink...I headed to the bathroom and dumped it in the sink then went to the kitchen and put it in the dishwasher.  Oh, gets better.  See, I am not usually the last one to bed.  So the dear, sweet hubby was still up and decided to indulge in his favorite nighttime snack of a large glass of chocolate milk.  He came to tell me how nice the sink looked, and how much he loved me.  He thanked me for all my hard work.  I told him I would kill him if he dared to pour his glass into my beautiful sink.  He laughed.  He thought I was joking.
I was greeted by this wonderful sight the morning of Day 2:
oh, and two empty glasses with chocolate syrup residue on the bottom and spoons stuck inside.  Yes, he is still alive.

The sink has remained empty and shiny pretty much all day.  It helped that I was the only one here this morning, and we only spent a total of two hours at home before 8pm tonight.  There really wasn't much for dishes, which makes getting into the habit of using them then sticking them in the dishwasher much easier. Training the others should be this easy!

I kept my sink shiny today, plus tackled a few more piles in the abyss.  I threw away 3 grocery bags of garbage yesterday and another two today. 

Now, to wander around the house to find all the dishes, rinse and store in the dishwasher, wipe out my sink, grab a good book, take a relaxing bath, and do it all again tomorrow.  I will be starting my Control Journal tomorrow.  And I'm looking forward to it!

PS...Did I mention Thanksgiving is not at my house?!  THANK GOD!!

Have a happy and safe Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 19, 2012

What WILL tomorrow bring

Yeah, so I've pretty much had enough.  I'm tired. I'm frustrated.  I'm throwing in the towel. Yep, you heard me.  Done!

I'm tired of my house being in CHAOS mode.  I'm frustrated that there is always so much to do and never a clue where to begin.  I'm throwing in the the washer of course, because there is always so much laundry to do!  I'm done...waiting for the house to clean itself. 

So I jumped on the FLYlady bandwagon.  I'm going to become a FLYbaby tomorrow.  There has got to be something to this...though the whole shiny sink think is kind of crazy. I've tried that one before, and did pretty good for a couple weeks or so.  The hardest part was that was actually the one job that the hubby gladly took made more work for me.  He loved it of course, but I wasn't so crazy about it around day 3. I liked waking up to no dishes on the counter or in the sink.  That was all nice and dandy.  But I was too stinkin' tired of all the cleaning.  I really don't like to clean.

But the paperwork is taking over.  There's always a pile of stuff here, or there, or several here and there and over there and right there and....well, enough with the mental picture.  It's a mess.

I kind of already started with my cleaning phase.  This weekend, I finally went through all my clothes in my room and took the "summer" stuff out and all those "yeah, I gained another 5 pounds and now can't fit into that" clothes, put them in the tote or in the "Outta here" pile, and straightened up the master bedroom.  I kind of like my blue carpet.  Just a few minor touches, then to the grind of making a habit out of making the bed.  This piece will prove most difficult with the added confusion of how to make the bed when the hubby is still in it. I'm open to suggestions!

My mission for this week...shiny sink, made bed, and a "Control Journal." :)  Wish me luck!  Or just pray, that will be SOOOO much better.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

A Simple Thought

I know it has been a little while, and any day seems a good day to sit down and throw thoughts randomly onto a piece of paper.  Life rarely seems to allow it though, and even when I feel the urge many times a pile of papers or clothes or kids tend to distract me.  But a quiet moment surfing the social media sites and seeing all the well wishes to all the wonderful dads out there left me suddenly aware of something very important.  Something missing.  Something that I did not feel the absence of until it is time to put the kids to bed.

This is the fifth year that I have not called my dad to wish him a Happy Father’s Day. 

You may ask why.  Who wouldn’t call their dad on Father’s Day, or send a card? What kind of horrible daughter am I?

Well, I could sit here all night listing my failures as a daughter (or maybe all week), rattle off the pains my father and I have caused each other, the multitude of barriers in our lives to a strong, healthy relationship.  But none of them would be the reason I did not call today…or last year.  But unlike last year, I was not saddened by this absence earlier in my day. 

I spent the day yesterday with my husband’s family, even getting involved in a very spirited game of soccer.  I married into a very competitive family and had lots of competitive offspring.  Who knew soccer could be a contact sport?  It was the most fun I think I have had with my father-in-law in the last twelve years of marriage.  The laughs, the sweat, the jokes…none of them stirred the yearning for contact with my father or any memories of fun times we had. 

At church, the kids made goodie bags for their dads.  We headed home to make the hubby breakfast for lunch, including not so over-easy eggs, toast, pancakes, bacon and American fries.  And he only got up once to “help” check the thick bacon.  A quick shopping trip with my mom (and two crazy kids who I SHOULD have left home no matter what they said), a few shows on Netflix with the kids, fend for yourself dinner, and just lazing around.  Nothing big, hubby at work.  But most of all, no thoughts of connecting with my dad.

No, I am not some insensitive whelp of a child.  I love my father.  And I have tons of great memories of growing up.  Yes, there are bad ones too.  But those I choose not to dwell on.  I have so many more good memories.  Building wooden cars in the garage for my cousins for Christmas.  Catching a tarantula in a glass mason jar.  Listening to him play his guitar.  Driving somewhere, anywhere, and turning off the radio to hear my parents sing a song together.  Watching my dad play soccer, teach me how to be the goalie.  Cheering on my dad when he played softball.  Helping him mow the lawn.  Rooting for the Wildcats together. 

Why don’t I just pick up the phone?  Simply because there is no one on the other end. 

My father passed away five years ago in February.  Brain tumors.  He was not expected to live another six months.  We were hopeful, but a part of me knew.  I think I knew in my heart that he would not make it to Father’s Day, or even to the birth of my son.  I didn’t want to believe it.  I wanted so badly to see him hold my son.  But the fact remained that he was gone. 

There would be no more cards, no more phone calls, no more emails or IMs, no more texts, no facebook.  There would be no more visits to grandpas. 

I sit here and wonder.  I can’t call my dad to wish him a Happy Father’s Day and I am not sad.  Is it because my dad and I weren’t terribly close, in relationship or in distance?  That he wasn’t that huge of a part of my life that his absence isn’t felt so strongly?  Does that make me a bad person because I didn’t have a closer connection to my father?  Is that wrong?

Honestly, I don’t think so.  I do not ache, because it serves no purpose in my life.  I will not be a better person for weeping daily over the loss of my father.  I will not build strong relationships with my children by mourning.  I can not bring my father back with any of my tears.  Instead, I hear him in my laugh.  I see him in the eyes of my mischievous son.  I feel him in the strum of my guitar.  I smell him in the stands of the baseball diamond. 

And I remember.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Days Full of Memories

So, I've been on this cleaning rampage lately. In an attempt to get some stuff out of my house for a garage sale, I figured why not look through this area and that area to see what we really don't need anymore. This turned into a large scale reorganization project as well. Every item came out of the understairs storage, was looked through and inspected for its worthiness to remain in our abode, then either replacee in it's new home or placed on the unending heap of garage sale treasures. The office closet got a good looksie too, and many of my beloved craft items that have been sitting around waiting for me to get another wild hair to finally work on them...not gonna happen, folks. Items are in the process of getting rearranged in that abyss. We cleaned out the toy area (just couldn't talk Ethyn into getting rid of his beloved train table-oh, and how I have tried NUMEROUS times). Many of my knicknacks are going to find themselves without a home this coming weekend for sure. But one of my last projects was to clean out that ever increasing game closet.

Now, you must understand...I am a gamer. I don't mean those electronic headphone with mic kind of computer gamers. I am one of those board game and card game collectors. I LOVE playing games with the kids. We used to do family fun night every Friday where we would pull out a board game after some crazy fun supper (usually pizza picnic in front of a movie) or we'd play a game on the PS3. I preferred the board and card games. So, I found myself removing all the games that we have had tons of fun with and struggled to which ones would remain in our home. It was like parting with those really cute baby clothes when you weren't really sure if you really wanted to be done having a baby (or for guys, those beloved tools). But you know someone else would probably get better use out of them, so you just have to wrench your heart right out...well, you get the point. It was agonizing. I did managed to get to the way top shelf in that closet and remove a few things we just don't need to keep, like a light cover that we took off 8 years ago, a candle stand (that I still don't know why I bought in the first place), and a sink drain handle. And then there was this odd box, that I figured must be my wonderful husband's.

After he got back from a meeting, I thrust the box at him with a "this junk is yours, look through and get rid of it" look. After careful examination, though, it appeared to not be junk. At some point in our attempt to organize, we figured we'd put these music cassettes, VHS videos, and some old C and 8mm video camera tapes together in a box and stick up somewhere "safe." Well, we junked the music, and some of the videos, but had no clue what was on the video camera tapes. I pulled out the C-tape cassette and headed upstairs to the only working VCR we own.

So, I put in the first tape and pushed play. Moments later, I was watching a video of my husband and I dancing at our wedding reception. We rewinded it to see more, like the little chubby cheeked girl climbing up her daddy to be held, another chubby cheeked little girl carrying around a toy guitar while she jammed around, lots of family and friends who came to wish us well, toasts...and then the dances. A skinnier version of me and my husband all gussied up, swaying to our song. Then, as my father and I took the dance floor, the tears started to flow.

My dad has been gone for almost 4 1/2 years now. But even shortly after his death, my life was business as usual. He lived far away that we hardly ever saw each other, and my life wasn't filled with daily conversations or emails with him until his last three months. Being diagnosed with stage 4 brain cancer that was terminal, with 6 months to live, I had a few trips to see him and much more regular conversations with him. Over 10 years, our relationship was pretty strained. The distance between us had nothing to do with miles but instead everything to do with heartache. I loved my father, but there was much about him that I didn't like. We had our disagreements, even our all out arguments, and at one point it was more of the "let's be done with this and move on" rather than express our true feelings. That was not easy to do...for either of us. I was the boy he never had, a tomboy true to my core.

Near the end though, my father and I made peace. He was able to tell me how proud he was of me, of how great a mother I was. He confessed the hardship in his life, the choices he regretted. So though that was not the same man who danced me around the floor at my reception, the man I stared at through a shean of tears, the memory of the man who held me before his brain surgery and told me he loved me was what I really saw.

We also got to see Mark and his late mom dance on that tape. Kayla cried. We miss her so much, though you'll never see my husband blogging about it. Oh, the tea parties she used to have with Mrs. Johnson and Mrs. Smith (aka the two oldest girls). Tyler wasn't much into tea parties, more just destruction of grandma's house.

We even got a chuckle out of our wedding party dance when Kayla and Caitlyn both joined us, and Ethyn piped in "when am I going to be in the movie." Um...not so much kid. Not even a twinkle.

We watched a few other tapes too. Got to see my brother in law Scott singing our beautiful song. Oh, what an amazing voice he has. Thank you, Scott, for singing. We didn't watch too much, as I knew I would break down again when my mom sang. So off to see what else was on the tapes only to find Caitlyn's happy mug on a few. Oh, yeah, you know those are playing at her grad party. Bwahahahah.

We ended our week with a family fun night of making homemade pizza...which wasn't too bad mind you, and some games on the living room floor. At one point, the four kids and I were playing Ruckus together. Sheyann asked if dad wanted to join us (he was reading the newspaper on the couch above us when Ethyn replied "he's in his news." We all busted out laughing. We played some Blokus, and then the kids played a bunch of games of Ruckus before we sent them all to bed at 11pm.

What a great bunch of memories!

Friday, July 8, 2011

One Year

Yesterday was the one year anniversary of my grandmother's passing. It's hard to believe it has been a year, though I know we went through so many holidays without her. After 52 years of marriage, Grandpa celebrated his first Thanksgiving, first Christmas, first New Years, first Valentine's, her birthday and their anniversary without her. Some were harder than others, and of course tears were shed.

I stopped and gave him a call last night after all the kids were in bed (so the house was quite and I could actually hear). It was great talking to him, remembering Grandma and all the wonderful things she used to do, or say. She used to take my sister and I to the mall and out to eat when we were kids. She loved doing that. I didn't care about the shopping...I loved just sitting on a bench (preferably with an ice cream cone) and watching the people pass. Grandma and I were both people watchers (I am convinced I got this gene from my grandmother, as neither my mom or dad seemed to possess it). We would sit, not really saying much, just licking our ice creams and watching as people pass by. Sometimes we would make up stories, or laugh about something silly.

One of my grandma's favorite things to do was count ribs. It didn't seem to matter how old you were, grandma never passed up the opportunity. Last year in April was my youngest son's first time meeting Grandma and Grandpa Stephens. We went out to eat on his 3rd birthday. He had a blast while we were visiting, and loved the rib counting immensely.

Grandma, We love you and miss you.