Friday, April 29, 2011

Wake Up!

“As you’re reading this, your life’s getting shorter. It’s ticking away. I’m not saying this to frighten you. Or even scare you. Though it may. I’m saying this to awaken you. To inspire you. To rise you out of your deep slumber. To really know you won’t live forever. To share your unique gifts. To ignite your great inner fire. To ignite your great inner strength. To ignite your great inner light. To shine. Brightly shine. To awaken your great inner beauty. To motivate. Yourself and others. To love. Yourself and others. To paint. To write. To teach. To innovate. To sing. To dance. To care. To feel. To listen. To learn. To laugh. The clock’s ticking. The world needs you. Make your move.”
~Mike Litman

I forget, sometimes, that life is about so much more than the small frustrations.
Happy Friday, sweetpeas.

Thursday, April 28, 2011


And I'm finally getting my photos up...
Between brunch at Beccah's on Saturday and Latin High Mass + Brunch with the family on Sunday, not to mention a visit from the Easter Bunny bright & early Sunday morning, The Munchkins have enough candy last them through the milennium at least...

You can practically feel the attitude coming off of them in waves, can't you?
It was a whirlwind weekend, but The Munchkins held up surprisingly well throughout. They've never minded dressing to the nines... [see also: Mom! Can we put on our wedding clothes and have a show?] So there was  no cajoling Mr. Man into his three-piece suit or the girls into their twirly fact I very nearly had to bribe them to take them off at bedtime Sunday night with promises they'd get to wear them again soon... Truthbetold, I didn't want to take MY dress off either. I ended up not wearing any of the various outfits I made, which is typical. I think I like creating for the kids much more than for myself. But, if I'm ever going to fit BACK into that lovely little LBD I'd better lay off the Reeses Peanut Butter Eggs... the Mini Marathon is less than two weeks away!

Monday, April 25, 2011


I am trying to stay calm.
I am trying to breathe.
I am trying to keep an open mind in the face of just losing the potential for ever having a social life ever again. I love my children more than I can ever say. But I think we can all agree that a break is a necessary thing for EVERYone's health and sanity. Yes? Yes.

Married couples are able to balance work-loads and late nights and spill-cleanup and bathroom time (because it would be SO nice to pee without getting interrupted occasionally!), and parent-teacher conferences and awards banquets and sports camps and hours upon endless hours of homework time by simply taking turns...or at least just being there to throw each other understanding glances when one or both of you feel the skin tighten around the corners of your mouth...when you're close to losing it...
Divorced couple achieve this same balance, although oftentimes hard won, by trading weekends, or holidays, or the occasional mid-week evening dinner. Yes. primarily these shared times are for the children, but they also provide a NECESSARY buffer for each parent; A period of time for one parent to recharge, so that they, in turn, can be better parents during their "on-time".

At the prospect of losing this time? I'm scrabbling for some sense of calm.
First and foremost, I want to make sure the kids are reassured in a time of transition for them, of course. But I also, as a responsible parent, need to make sure that I have time to recharge my battery as well. Even if it's just for a couple of hours over a beer with a handsome fella... or a dinner out sans Munchkins to Traders Point Creamery with the ladies... or a GNO extravaganza at The Sandpiper... or a Redbox movie and a bottle of cheap wine on my own damn couch to unwind.

I think I've earned it.

*breathe * breathe * breathe*

photo courtesy of habit  which is gorgeous in its simplicity. Something I aspire to in an abstract sort of way.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Outdoor Living

So I've been trolling gardening sites incessantly of late, soaking up inspiration for how I want to redecorate my patio for the Spring/Summer this year.

We've got a teensy weensy little privacy-fenced back patio that's maybe 15'x 30'. I mean it's pretty tiny. And part of it is taken up by an A/C unit in the corner, so there's not a whole lot of room to work with.  I've been stumbling my way through sites like and (godblessherlittleheart)  and of course, the gem of Swedish culture: IKEA, to see if I can't find some way to transform this little bit of greenspace I've got into something semi-fabulous. I'd like to be able to sit out back in the evenings, under a strand of little outdoor lights, with a book and some music, and enjoy my patio...

To that end, I've purchased a little two-person glider from WalMart and assembled it my ownself (thank you very much!) AND a lovely little bitty patio table from Ikea that still sits in all its flat-packed glory, as yet unassembled.  I'm hunting for some cute/cheap-ish wrought iron chairs, and spied a pair at Meijer's garden shop for $15 ea. that well yet be mine this year...

And then, just as I'm getting all stoked about container gardens and outdoor chair cushions and miniature Pottery Barn-esque porch gardens, I find THIS photo...and want to start alllll over:

Isn't it gorgeous? All that dark flooring...those bright pops of color...that outdoor bed?! I want to LIVE on this patio.  It's from Elle Decor's LookBook this year. And I swooned. Nearly right out of my chair.

Anywho. Planning, in my opinion, is half the fun anyway... so I'll continue doodling my patio designs on napkin backs and along the edges of my notepads. And I'll continue purchasing things one piece at a time, on clearance, because that's how I roll. And perhaps, just perhaps by the time the June Birthdays roll around I'll be ready to host a little birthday party shindig in style.

p.s. When my back patio IS open for will totally completely and absolutely forsure be featuring one or two of THESE beauties I found on etsy.  Awesome.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Lions & Tigers & Bears! Oh My!

Some days you're the witch.

And some days you're the house.

And some days you're just the squinty midget in the corner with a giant fake lollipop that you can't even eat.

I'm not sure which I am today, but it's been a real humdinger, folks.

Fortunately. I had an amazing weekend prior to today.
It didn't go as planned. But sometimes those are the best kind. It was no beach vacation in Orlando with Leeeetle Broooooother (you owe me one! BIG time!)... but I did get to travel quite a bit this weekend. And I got some QT with Mr. Handsome in his hometown of beautiful, snowy Lansing. I got to exercise my trapezius muscles while painting his living room (a badass shade of gray thanyouverymuch). And we found a new TV-series-on-DVD to chill with (that includes partial nudity! wheee!)...which I'm always fond of with that guy.
So... all in all...the good FAR outweighs the bad here.
I've gotta remember that.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Compartmentalized Awesomeness

The Munchkins are a little quirky.
I know. Shocker, right?
So lately they've been big into packing their own lunch, which rather puts me in the mood to hyperventilate, because last week Mr. Man tried to slip out of the door with one package of pudding and a plastic spoon and a can of coke...which is a fantastic lunch in my book, but not so much in the IPS & State Board of Health's book.

The funny thing about the Munchkin's lunches is they all have a variety of requirements...
Baz has to have at least two kinds of chips & one kind of fruit, but nothing can touch
Isabelle has to have a sandwich every day, but doesn't want it to touch her chips or her dessert
Sophie just begs to pack one, so I usually end up packing her a "snack" to eat in the care on the way to school so she doesn't feel completely left out.
But the time these requirements have all been met, I've usually forgotten to pack MY lunch.
So to say we're all struggling  in this particular department is pretty much the understatement of the year.

And then [drum roll please] I found THESE
These babies are awesome.

I ordered them Friday. They came in the mail Tuesday. I unpacked them Wednesay and by Thursday morning Baz was dancing around the room with his, isabelle had packed her own and one for me (hence the 1st grade lunch photo above...because it totally is...) and sophie was. well. she was drumming on hers. But Still! Harmony in lunch-packing has been ACHIEVED! I feel like I should hear a barrage of digital coins or discover I've unlocked a new level or something...
Check 'em out. They're sturdy plastic with interchanging lids. They're not totally leak proof, but hey! That's what Glad Press'nSeal was made for, right?!
Best of all? Everything COMPARTMENTALIZED! Just like a Lunchable...only reusable...and with brighter colors...and healthier food...and pretty much more all around awesomeness.
I'm trying my best not to sound like an infomercial here, but I seriously want to kiss the feet of the women who designed there. And you all KNOW how I feel about feet.
So there you go. There's my two cents.
If your kids are quirky [read slightly OCD about their food touching] you need to pick up a couple of these. They're worth their weight in gold.

Four containers of AWESOMENESS!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011


Today is a day for appreciating intangible things...

“I think she was afraid to love sometimes. I think it scared her.
She was the type to like things that were concrete, like the ocean.
Something you could point to and know what it is. I think that’s
why she always struggled with God. And I think that’s why she
also struggled with love. She couldn’t touch it. She couldn’t
hold on to it and make sure it never changed. But sometimes
it’s those things you can’t touch that you need to hold on to the most.”
~Carrie Ryan

via Soda O

“Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it.”
~Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Will Do - TV on the Radio

An Easy Life - Broken Bells

Monday, April 11, 2011

blast from the past

In keeping with the somewhat nostalgic kick I'm on this afternoon...

Look how pregnant I am in this picture!
About 8 or 8 1/2 months by my rough guesstimate.
That seems like a LIFETIME ago.
That's Isabelle on the step in front of me. And Mr. Man in utero.
 It looks like I freaking swallowed a basketball.


i found the prayer card from grandma rossi's funeral in my purse yesterday. corners worn, patina dulled over the virgin's face from where i thumbed it throughout the funeral, and occassionally, from the confines of my change purse, when i was nervous throughout the work weeks to follow. soft shush of the paper against my calluses as i palmed the reminder stung the corners of my eyes as it hadn't since the burial. brought to mind spumoni in fluted glass dishes, stacking magazines under shoot-the-moon when my brothers weren't looking, threadbare dancing elves hiding behind the ornaments at the holidays. biting the side of my tongue sharply brought a small jolting cleansing pain and i replaced the card again again between layers of receipts and business cards and folded envelopes with shopping lists hastily scrawled on them.

The more I seek the more I'm sought...

I know that it's been said here before, but I marvel so often at the way that the right song can come along at just the right time... The way one can mirror the words my fingers itch to write, and that my lips long to form but worriedly swallow back.

"...I’ve come here to get high,  To do more than just get by. I've come to test the timbre of my Heart..."
what a gorgeous phrase.

Hymn #101
Yea I’ve come to know the wish list of my father
I’ve come to know the shipwrecks where he wished
I’ve come to wish aloud among the over dressed crowd
Come to witness now the sinking of the ship
Throwing pennies from the sea top next to it
And I’ve come to roam the forest past the village
With a dozen lazy horses in my cart
I’ve come here to get high,
To do more than just get by.
I’ve come to test the timber of my heart
Oh, I’ve come to test the timber of my heart
And I’ve come to be untroubled in my seeking
And I’ve come to see that nothing is for naught
I’ve come to reach out blind
to reach forward and behind
For the more I seek the more I’m sought
Yea, the more I seek the more I’m sought.

And I’ve come to meet the sheriff and his posse
To offer him the broadside of my jaw
I’ve come here to get broke
Then maybe bum a smoke
We’ll go drinking two towns over after all
Oh, we’ll go drinking two towns over after all.

And I’ve come to meet the legendary takers
I’ve only come to ask them for a lot
Oh they say I come with less
than I should rightfully posses
I say the more I buy the more I’m bought
And the more I’m bought the less I cost
And I’ve come to take their servants and their surplus
And I’ve come to take their raincoats and their speed
I’ve come to get my fill
To ransack and spill
I’ve come to take the harvest for the seed
I’ve come to take the harvest for the seed

And I’ve come to know the manger that you sleep in
I’ve come to be the stranger that you keep
I’ve come from down the road
And my footsteps never slowed
Before we met, I knew we’d meet
Before we met, I knew we’d meet

And I’ve come here to ignore your cries and heartaches
I’ve come to closely listen to you sing
I’ve come here to insist
That I leave here with a kiss
I've come to say exactly what I mean
and I mean so many things.

And you’ve come to know me stubborn as a butcher
and you’ve come to know me thankless as a guest
will you recognize my face when gods awful grace
strips me of my jacket and my vest
and reveals all the treasure in my chest

...makes me wonder if perhaps falling isn't so bad if it comes with such exquisite aching in the general vicinity of my chest...

Friday, April 8, 2011

The Plates they are a-Spinnin'

It's Friday and I have so much crafting goodness to wrap up this weekend that I can hardly stand it.

I've been hard at work, kitties. Hard. At. Work.

And some of this goodness I'll be able to show you Monday, but a lot of it I'll have to dole out, bit-by-bit, as baby showers & such arrive on the horizon.

Boy, I'll tell ya'...some days I feel as if I've got just a million plates spinning all at once.
And I'm starting to loose faith in my ability to keep them all at cruising speed.

My crafting plates are going full-speed-ahead the past week.
All 15 of 'em. Yep. 15 in mid-air right now.

The sleep plates came crashing down in a clatter of shattered china and burnt melamine Monday and I haven't quite gotten them back up just yet.

The people plates are wobbling, due to my own insecurities, but I've managed to keep them up and moving through sheer dint of will.

I gave the gifting plate a good hard whirl...only to see that one come crashing down last night because I expected too much of it. I got overzealous on the spinning, I think, and forgot to take into account other people's plates in my orbit.

The Munchkin plates will be whirling dhirvishes this weekend...which means I probably won't get the sleep plates back into rotation any time soon, but I hold out hope for them nonetheless.

Have I confused you yet? Good. Welcome to My World.

T.G.I.F. gang.  T.G.I.F.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Working Mother Guilt

As a full-time Working Mom, I feel a lot of guilt.

I mean A LOT of guilt.


There are the days where I'm ecstatic to drop the Munchkins off at the YMCA in the mornings, a full hour before their day actually should have started, so I can make it to work in time to fix a pot of coffee before answering the first phone call. Those are the days I feel guilt about leaving them after I drop them off...when I'm settling in to my morning routine of five cups of coffee and two fistfuls of pretzel M&Ms while fielding calls from cranky clients at 8:05am

Then, there are the days where the Munchkins have been so sweet and cuddly and helpful and loving that I'm loathe to drop them off at all. Those are the days I give them embarrassingly long double hugs at the door to the YMCA in the mornings and feel the sharp stab of mom-guilt pricking me immediately...before I can even leave them.

And then? There are days like today.
Days where we only had four or so major meltdown in the mornings, and where we were all glad to see the backs of each others heads at 7:55am as we're dashing in four different directions. These days it's not until around 11:50am, when I finally get to take my first glance at the NY Times for the day and see a sweet, sad, depressing photo of a six-year-old Palestinian girl clutching her baby brother in her arms, that the momguilt sets in. And suddenly, out of nowhere, I am stabbed with the force of a thousand guilt-knives all at once.

I want my babies. There is such tragedy and sadness in the world, and today I have been selfish enough to wish for " morning! just one morning! is that too much to ask you three?!" of peace and quiet. And the guilt is almost suffocating. 

Not only can I not stay home and spend every precious minute of my time with these little humans that I've created... Not only am I missing them developing each facet of their personality every day, but when I AM home, I'm doing it while cranky at least  50% of the time. And that's being generous, I think. Because I'm so completely and absolutely exhausted 24 hours a day, 7 days a week that I can barely see straight, let alone happily raise three children, guilt-free.

And, at the heart of things I know that parenthood, much like any road in life, is comprised out of necessity of a lesser-of-two-evils sort of approach to the day-to-day. I know that if I was home with the kids I'd have mom-guilt, same as I do away from them. I know that by 8:05 of these mornings I'd already be separating two of them for fighting and trying to fish some awkward Playskool toy out of the toilet, begging to go back to work just one day a week... 

I know this, intellectually. But it makes my heart ache no less to know that I'm missing out.
No matter how you slice it, life's a trade off.

And a very large chunk of me will wonder, every day, for the rest of their lives, if I'm doing things the wrong way.

And I'm not sure how to make peace with that.
Not yet anyway.


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