Monthly Archives: June 2013

Bittersweet Perspective

It’s been a heckuva week, interwebs. After the loveliness and traveling for the baby shower, I felt like I needed a vaycay to sleep for 26 hours straight. I don’t have that luxury, due to mini Gwinn (and I don’t really want to miss anything he does), and since Captain Laser Pants was kind enough to watch our little duderino so I could party it up in peace, I needed to be present to take care of our baby, because, frankly, husband needed a vaycay after manning the baby for a whole weekend solo.

While I was away, I felt twinges of envy at my dear girlfriend’s success in her home. Her house is beautiful, with amazing decoration (she could be an interior designer), she has flowers all over the outside of her home, and she has matching china. Gratefully, we were too busy over the weekend for me to take much notice of my feelings. But once I was in the comfort of my own crowded bed (three dogs + two adults = bedtime chaos), the envious side of me started whispering in my head. Truly, I am 90% happy for all that she has in her life, but that tiny portion of me wants the same things.

Two weeks ago some trees decided to commit suicide in our backyard during a barrage of heavy storms and a tornado. They’re hanging perilously close to our roof, but our landlord has yet to send anyone out for a tree removal. I’ve been fervently praying for calm weather until they’re removed. Thank God the biggest tree wouldn’t kill us (it’s not that heavy), but it would put a hole in the roof for sure. We would like to move, but we don’t know where work will take CLP in the next few years, so buying a home seems even further out than we originally thought.

This week we received news that my beloved Jeep (yes, the car whose engine my husband replaced) needed a new transmission, which would put us out just under $2k. Around us people were having babies, getting promotions, buying new homes, eating off beautiful china, and we were living under a dead tree and I can’t leave the house. While others around us seemed like they were having success after success, we were faced with uncertainty. Monday night I cried until my eyes were nearly swollen shut. The burden of so much going wrong around us broke my spirit. I prayed, asked why those who were so much more shallow/ cruel/ undeserving around us were given so much, and we were working to make the right decisions and life was crumbling. I didn’t get an answer that night. I cried until CLP came to bed, and he wrapped around me as I blubbered. He paraphrased Frederick Douglass, “Every man does not deserve all he has, but he must certainly work for what he has” (the actual quote: People might not work for all they get in this world, but they must certainly work for all they get.”). He then reminded me of our strong marriage, our beautiful baby, and the strength of character we’re building together as we suffer through our current problems. I fell asleep against his strong arms and muscled through Tuesday morning with a smile, even though my eyes were still good and swollen from the previous night.

Tuesday afternoon I saw a series of amazing quotes from Louis CK (mom, don’t look him up. You’ll be disappointed and offended, most certainly). To give you context, he is talking to his daughter about “fairness” in a sitcom. His younger daughter asks why her sister gets something and she doesn’t, then proclaims it to be unfair. His response, “Listen, the only time you should look in your neighbor’s bowl to see if they have enough. You don’t look in your neighbor’s bowl to see if you have […] as much as them.”

I was humbled by this quote. It’s not my place to decide whose karma is better or worse than mine, who deserves what, or to even give a crap about what someone else has. ¬†Instead of feeling bitter because someone wasn’t building us a mansion on the side of a mountain, I should feel grateful that our roof doesn’t have a hole in it, our son is healthy, our marriage is healthy, and our car will be fixed. Would everyday dinnerware and a dining room table be nice? Yeah. But that’s not really in the cards for us right now. And when it is, I know we’ll appreciate what we have so much more because we had time without matching dishes or nice clothes. I say that facetiously, mostly, because even now I’m reminded that the kind of stuff we have doesn’t matter to the people that do, and the people that do care about what kind of stuff we have don’t matter to me.

The point I’m trying to haphazardly make is that I had a change of heart this week. A year ago I saw something that said (paraphrased) : What if you woke up tomorrow with only the things you gave thanks [to God] for today? I needed that refresher this week. And I’m thanking God for the hot, humid, but not stormy weather we’re having today, among many other people and things in my life.

Hop you all have an awesome 4th of July!


Baby Shower!

This past weekend I had the honor of throwing a shower for one of my closest friends, Terah. In the short years we have been friends, she has become an important figure in my life, and with a baby girl on the way in August, I couldn’t wait to flex my party planning muscles for her (not something I am called to do often). I requested the aid and organizational skills of her best friend, Steph, to assist and plan alongside me (especially since it was out of state!). The result was a beautiful, fun and girly baby shower. You can check out the Pinterest board we shared for inspiration and ideas! It was previously private to keep the guest of honor’s eyes from seeing the ideas, but is now public for idea sharing.

Since we had months to plan, we divided into stages, first going with theme/ colors, then decorations and event time table (games, presents, etc), and lastly the menu. Breaking up the planning over time really helped, especially since I had time to test most of the menu to ensure I wouldn’t totally flop with the recipes the weekend of the event. Like with mini Gwinn’s birthday, taking on projects a little at a time kept everything from feeling rushed or becoming overwhelming. It helped tremendously that my parents decided to travel that same week by car and drove my boxes of shower items up for free! Thanks, mom and dad!

After perusing the aisles of Target, I came across the shower curtain that would be the catalyst for the entire shower “theme”, if you will. From there I built on the pink birds look, surfed hours and hours on Pinterest, and found some beautiful ideas. Once Steph and I pow wow’ed and combined our ideas, I felt confident that this would be a beautiful event.

For the shower favors (one of my favorite aspects of the whole event), I spray painted mason jars with lace taped to the jar, then sealed the paint to protect it from chipping. The lids have pale pink cardstock decorated with a gold bird stamp and “merci beaucoup!” Inside: ginger lemon sandwich cookies and tea bags. Mint sheer ribbon from the dollar store finished the look, and a rock candy swizzle stick for hot tea finished the gift. They turned out so sweetly!

The menu was pretty easy to plan. Terah loves BBQ, so I made biscuits stuffed with store bought BBQ (for shame, I know)- totally easy and really yummy. We had mini corn dog muffins, another craving during pregnancy, Cheetos, and an obligatory vegetable tray to round out the “savoureaux”(savory) side of things. For the “sucre” (sweet) table, we had a lovely white cake from Target, French macarons, chocolates, marshmallows and homemade birthday cake fudge. The drinks were an aqua lemonade (which unfortunately turned darker because of the frozen blackberries) and a pink raspberry lemonade, topped with lemon slices and frozen raspberries. That table was rounded with a wish tree for guests to write wishes for the family to be.

We played a few games, since we had an intimate group. The first was “my water broke” ice cubes with a tiny plastic baby. Whoever’s ice melted first won (I wish I had gotten pictures of the prizes! Cute mini nail polishes and mini files). We also played “the price is right: baby shower edition” and another shockingly difficult game with dry rice and miniature pins. After cake and presents came the crafting, which was definitely the hit of the party. We had a large- scale headband and onesies decorating station for baby M and the gals were so creative and talented!

Mama to be in the Middle, myself in stripes and Steph in glasses

Mama to be in the Middle, myself in stripes and Steph in glasses

I hope Terah had as much fun at her shower as I did planning it! Congratulations, mama, your little girl is so lucky to have you and your husband as her parents!


Viking Lunch








Note how he is surrounded by beasts. How he holds his fork. Definitely Viking.

I Have a BLOG? What?

My triumphant return to the blogsphere, interwebs, is now (sort of). Srsly, I kinda forgot I had a blog for forevs. So, for those that read this little old thing, I apologize! To those I read religiously, I still read your blog religiously, I’ve just been a silent lurker without comments.

So, quick update: mini Gwinn is hands down WILD now. Like runs through the house full speed with the Swiffer, throws it, and continues running while yelling a Scandinavian battle cry I have yet to decipher but still sends chills down my spine (because, ya know, he’s a terrifying 19 month old. Beautiful, but a little scary). He inherited the Viking business from me, but yeesh. It’s still crazy to see in action. He does a billion other things too, like:

-rubs lotion on his tummy after bath time; asks for “wotion” with his hands outstretched
-feeds the dogs every morning (it’s one of his chores)
-says “thank you” while shaking his head to indicate “no thank you”
-puts his bath toys away between brushing his teeth and the end of the bath  (another chore)
-has figured out how to remove his diaper and proudly pee on the floor (ufta. All boy)
-sits wonderfully for his biweekly hair cut (I regularly cut 1- 1.5 inches off his hair every two weeks)

He’s also going through separation anxiety and growing molars, but the above list is so much cuter than these things.

CLP is still rockin’ in the free world and is still sexy.

There isn’t anything new going on, really, for me. I’m amazed at how much of my everything is absorbed by my toddler. Between trips to the park, meal times, wrestling and our nightly routine, the hours left in the day are dedicated to hurriedly cooking and cleaning before Captain Laser Pants comes home, running to the mirror to make sure I’m some sort of cleaned up for hubs, and hoping he doesn’t notice the major mess of toys I’ve shoved against the wall seconds before he walks through the door. As an aside, yes, I am mostly old fashioned in that regard: I like to have some makeup on, my hair at least semi- fixed, deodorant on, teeth brushed, and not in pajamas when my husband comes home. It’s better for my self esteem and it’s good for him to not see my “strictly utilitarian” side all the time.

On that note, mini Gwinn has awoken from his slumber and demands a sacrifice. Or milk. I’m not really sure, since I don’t know any Scandinavian languages.