Wednesday, June 27, 2012


After writing my post yesterday, I came to a conclusion about fact, about stuff: I like stuff.  Here is a small sample of some of the stuff I want (for a more comprehensive list, check out my Pinterest page):

I want these knobs on my dresser:

I want flatware that looks like this:

I want this couch:

I want this above my bed:

And I want all my drawers to look like this:

The thing about all this stuff is: it wouldn't improve my quality of life, not even a little bit.  In fact, the couch may decrease my quality of life, because hubs would hate it, and if he's not comfortable while watching Mythbusters, no one is comfortable.

I probably wouldn't even notice my cute flatware or knobs or whatever after a few days, and, most likely, no one else would either.

I guess the moral of the story is, I really need to learn to not want stuff.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Yet another thought about Pinterest

Is is absolutely necessary to have a cute laundry room?

Or a blinged out washer and dryer?

We are talking about a space that, ideally, VERY FEW PEOPLE ever see, and while I want to do laundry in a place that is clean and efficient, I don't much care if it's color coordinated.

There are exceptions, such as in our old house where most people came in through the back door, and the mud room in the back was also the laundry room.  But if your laundry room is not a main traffic area, I think I skip the time, money, and effort it would cost to decal your washer and dryer.  But that's just me.

Imagine this: you spend a week and a bit of money turning your laundry room into the cutest room in your house.  What's the first thing you want to do?  Show it off.  The only way that happens is online, or if you tell your guests, "hey, you wanna see my laundry room?"  I just can't think of a way to make that not awkward.  Plus, you always have to make sure your bras aren't hanging to dry in there.

I know this is true, because I got a cute bedroom set and I always want to show it off to people, but having random people walking though my bedroom is awkward, and inviting people up to see my bedroom is even more awkward.  And the fact that you pretty much need snow shoes or skis to maneuver around the piles of my husband's dirty socks, well, that just makes it even more awkward.

I'm pretty sure he wears at least 4 pairs of socks a day, somehow...I know I wash at least a full load of just his socks every week.

Come to think of it, I think I need a WAY cuter laundry room to make the hours of laundry I do feel less like purgatory.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Father's Day and an Unbirthday Party

 I don't know if everyone knows this about me, but I love to celebrate.  Anything.  Birthdays, weddings, babies, holidays, everything, but when you live in Wyoming and only know the few people in your household, sometimes you have to make do with, and make up, celebrations.  That's what we did this weekend.  I bought the kids a present apiece, and made a chocolate cake, and we partied hardy.

Plus, "yay, it's our unbirthday party, here's chocolate cake!" sounds better than, "yay, mommy is PMSing, here's chocolate cake!"

To be honest, there wasn't a whole lot of enthusiasm, everyone was feeling slightly icky all weekend.  It's hard having a peppy momma forcing you to do stuff when all you want to do is sit around and play Donkey Kong.

Though life did improve with a bellyful of cake and present opening.

Afterwards, Sammy and I had an epic water gun fight.  I won, but don't tell Sam, he thinks he won.

The next day was Father's Day.  We got Cam a Whirley Pop and a new wireless mouse, but I accidentally had them shipped to our old house in MO, so he won't get them for a few weeks yet.  Sorry, honey.

Cam asked for blueberry and bacon pancakes for breakfast.  It was brilliant.

Then, he asked for steak and fettuccine alfredo and roasted asparagus for dinner.  That was pretty amazing, too.  I made the sauce from scratch.  I mean, no biggie, I'm just awesome.

It may have been slightly caloric.  This is actually my seems excessive, but I cut over half of that steak off to feed the kids.  That's my excuse.

This is actually going to be a pretty busy few weeks, it's the last few days of my sister being here, and next week my other sister is visiting with her husband and my perfect niece.

I'm gonna squish her and hug her and let her drink out of my straw cup all day long.

After that, I'm hitching a ride back with them, and finally getting my stuff from MO.  It's going to be nice to have stuff again.  When you live in a place where leavening doesn't work consistently, you gotta start making pies, is all I gotta say.  All my pie plates are in MO, along with my freezer and favorite lamp and bicycles and weed eater and bread box.  It's a wonder I've survived this long, right?

Anyway, long story short, I may be a little inconsistant blogging for the next few weeks.  Don't worry, I still love you.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Friday Awesomeness

I saw this article today:

I just have one thing to say:

Street Sharks! 

Hey, don't judge me, you were thinkin' it, too.

What's next?

My New Food Processor and General Happiness

Does anyone remember this post in which I discussed my Amazon gift card and what I wanted to spend it on?  Well, I finally decided that, practically, waiting to get the rest of the money for a Kitchenaid Stand Mixer probably wasn't going to happen anytime soon since we're still in the process of moving and buying furniture, so I bought one of these instead:

I've been saying for years that I didn't need one, but last time I made falafel it took, literally, 3 hours.  And I REALLY wanted to make gyros this week, because we got a bunch of cucumbers and spinach in our co-op basket this week, and lamb was on sale at Safeway...and because I have a whole jar of marjoram I never use for anything else.  So this is what I got.

Okay, so it's amazing.  Magical, even.  It weighs a bunch, and is going to make life so much stinkin' better.  I wanted to test it out after UPS delivered it last night, so I froze some bananas for the one ingredient banana ice cream recipe that's been going around pinterest.

I'm not the biggest banana fan in the world, so I gotta say it wasn't my favorite thing ever (despite the cocoa powder and honey and vanilla I added), but my food processor worked like a dream.

Sometimes I wonder if I just lead a very charmed life, or if the things that make me stupid-happy just aren't that big of a deal.  I mean, should my heart be overflowing with happiness because I now have a decent food processor, my kids haven't pooped in their pants yet today, and because I'm sipping coffee out of a big white and yellow mug?  It seems like a disproportionate emotion.

When I see "inspirational quotes" online like this...


...I think, "jeez, if you have to be reminded, you're probably not going to cut it." I mean, seriously, how often do people think, "oh, I should smile here, because pinterest told me to."

I think I'm basically a happy person (except for those 2-3 days a month), my baseline is probably 25% happier than most people I see.  I was teased in high school for "smiling too much" and let's just say there wasn't much to be smiling about in high school, it's just a default position for me.  

I used to judge other women for being so "down" all the time, before I realized that they don't have any more control over their emotional baseline than I do.  In fact, most women can deal with "down" times better than I can, because they happen so rarely to me it's pretty much like the end of the world.  Yeah, moving here to Laramie was pretty much the zombie apocalypse.

Anyway, as someone who is basically happy, whether by temperament or circumstance (though I vote temperament) most of the time, I say honestly say I don't think "happiness" is something that can be worked up by enough inspirational quotes and pictures (besides, the fonts on most of those make me more depressed than anything), or blogs about how we should be happier, or whatever.  

Really, I think the most we can hope for and work on is contentment which eventually gives way to happiness, in theory.  So, don't be sad if you can't work yourself up into a frenzy of gladness, it's not a failure, it's a process.  "The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control." Fruit doesn't just happen, it's grown; it doesn't need pressure and inspiration, all it needs is fertile ground, some watering, and time.

You know what's not my default position?  Self-control.  I need to work on that.  Is that a Snickers?

P.S. While I say that I think my general happiness is mostly based on temperament, but I did find $20 on the ground at the co-op pick up last Saturday...if there was ever evidence for a charmed life that's it, right?

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

A Bear Hunt

Did you guys hear about this?  "The governor of Wyoming wants the feds to take grizzly bears off their endangered list, a move that could open the door to hunting the fearsome animals, which have been blamed for at least four fatal attacks in the last two years in and around Yellowstone National Park."

In light of this news, yesterday we did what any self-respecting omnivore family would do...we went on a bear hunt.

This is my sister Ruthie, looking around for the bear:

These are my kids, trying to be quick but stealthy:

This is picnic time on the rocks, because bear hunting is exhausting work.  See, I told you were were omnivores, we may be hunting bears but we are eating apricots and plums:

This is the kids interrogating a "cap-a-pee-yer:"  He didn't know anything.

This is Ruthie and Sam trying to decide if they could climb that rock, you know, for a better vantage point:

We weren't finding any bears, so we stopped to take pictures.  This is me with the kids:

This is a little Sam on some big rocks:

This is Ruthie with the kids:

This is the sky (thanks, Captain Obvious):

It wasn't until we got home and a few hours later (after nap time) we finally got the bear.  But we got 'im.  Phew, what a relief.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Siblings and Other Things That Go Bump in the Night

I'm trying to institute a "no waking up before 6:30 am" policy at my house, but I guess the kids didn't get the memo this morning.  Oh well.

Do you want to hear something funny?  I was at the park a few weeks ago, and there was this pregnant lady there with one very small toddler.  She asked how far apart mine were, and I told her, 14 months.  She said hers were going to be 18 months apart.  Then she remarked that my kids got along rather well, and how did I make that happen?

Pause for a momentary laugh riot.

Anyone who knows me in real life knows that my kids DON'T get along.  They occasionally stop fighting, but that's the exception rather than the rule.  They yell and scream at one another, they get into occasional fist fights.  They cause damage, to body and property.  I'm not really exaggerating.

I don't really know why they love each other one minute, and the next decide they want the same stuffed doggie and fisticuffs ensue.  I suspect it's sort of like being married, the person you are with all the time and love the most is also the person that drives you the most crazy.

I had two siblings growing up (I have three total, but I didn't really grow up with the last one, she was born when I was 15).  My brother and I, two years apart, spent a lot of time together and fought a lot, but also spent a lot of good time together.  Honestly, he was (is) too cute to fight with much.  See?

On the other hand, my sister and I, 4 years apart, didn't relate much, as far as I can remember.  She remembers me being really mean to her, and I barely remember talking and being dismissive to her, which probably amounts to the same thing.  We didn't start getting along until maybe 10 years ago.  Better late then never, though, since now she's pretty much my BFF.  We are forever connected by a love of babies and coffee.

Here's her with my baby:

And me with hers:

We should've been politicians, we have that baby-kissing thing down.

I guess what I'm trying to say is, I'd rather have two kids that run the gamut of emotions towards one another than otherwise.  There's enough love there that they'll learn to work it out without too much blood.  That's my hope anyway.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Super Cheesy Sunset Pictures

So, we went for a drive this weekend to Cheyenne, me, Cam, the kids, and my sister Ruthie.  It was a beautiful day for a drive, what with the spacious skies, the amber waves of grain, the purple mountain majesties and fruited plains.  Well, I guess there wasn't a lot of grain or fruit, but everything else was there.

Sammy said, "my turn, my turn, SAMUEL'S TURN!" so I let him take a picture, too.   I think he has a knack for it.

And then we saw this:

You may not see the forest for the lack of trees, but that's a forest fire.

 On the way back from Cheyenne, I took a myriad of cheesy sunset picks.

And the kids poked and tickled and tortured Ruthie squished in the backseat between the two car seats.  Super fun time.

There's that quote, "Focus on the journey, not the destination. Joy is found not in finishing an activity but in doing it."  I don't think this is necessarily always true but is doubly true when driving to Cheyenne, because, basically, there's nothing there but a Target.  But, sometimes Target can be a destination in and of itself.

Friday, June 8, 2012

The Park

So, yesterday, as part of an experiment, we tried to walk to the closest park.  It was a bit further than I anticipated, so about a mile into the walk, a half mile from our destination, Jubee started to complain of dehydration.  Well, not in so many words, what she actually said was, "Mom, I thirsty.  Mom, I NEED water."  We were so close to playground, my sister decided to take them on to the park, and I walked back to get water cups.  I also got the car, since the kids were obviously too tired to walk back.

When it was finally time to leave the playground, we realized that I had forgotten Jubee's car seat.  I had taken it out the day before after our Ikea trip to clean it, and forgotten about it.  Sam was already strapped into his booster seat, so we headed home to grab Jubee's car seat while my sister Ruth and Jubee stayed at the playground for a few more minutes.

So, I wasn't there, obviously, but this is what Ruth told me happened.  As soon as Sam and I drove off, Jubee started to cry.  She was unconsolable for the 5 minutes we were gone, sitting in the grass, sobbing:
"Mommy, I miss you!  I'm Jubee, your baby!"  

As if I could forget. Actually, it sort of reminded me of Isaiah 49:15, "Can a woman forget her nursing child, And not have compassion on the son of her womb? Surely they may forget, Yet I will not forget you."  It would've been incredibly heartbreaking, if she didn't act totally indifferent as soon as I got back.  I guess that's kind of a Biblical metaphor, too.

Anyway, in other news, I, in desperation, took down the greasy, ugly light fixture, and replaced it with this super sweet Ikea shade.  I'm pretty proud of my handiwork.  We were sitting around to dinner last night after Cam got home from work, and I asked him what he thought of it.  He looked up, shocked...apparently, he hadn't noticed the light fixture was two feet lower and white canvas with pink and green and grey instead of bug-crusted glass.

I think it's that pop of purple color under the table that really makes this photo.  And, yes, I know I need something on the walls.  I'm willing to take suggestions.

So, two days ago when we drove to Denver, the kids had McDonald's cheeseburgers twice.  I'm not normally into feeding them fast food, but, hey, you gotta do whatcha gotta do, and once (or twice) won't kill them.  It did make their room smell, though.  Seriously, the smell oozed out of their pores, I'm pretty sure, it was one of the worst smells ever.  So, here's a parenting tip: Don't put two sweaty kids in the same room to sleep after McDonalds without cracking a window.

I'm pretty sure I need to wipe the grease off their walls.