Thursday, February 23, 2012

TMB-That's My Boyfriend

Hallie made a sign out of used creamsickle sticks (yes, we rock them year 'round) and Eben's picture.

So, Hallie....How are you feeling about Eben making the cut, tonight?

So, my girls (the older two, Hallie and Mills) and I, are totally into American Idol, and we watch it together every Wednesday and Thursday.  Hallie has picked out HER boyfriend of the season, and I have picked out mine.  Hers is the ubiquitous, Justin Beiber look-alike, Eben. No, that is NOT a misspelling. ( I am suspecting that he is Mormon, but nowadays, I think everyone is Mormon.)  MINE is Phillip Phillips.  Yes, that is his name.  Of all of the names in the whole wide World that his parents could have chosen...and they settled on Phillip.  Somebody was smokin' the Salvia, again, peeps.  Oh, don't worry it's totally legal, so it's safe for pregnancy, too, I'm just SURE of it.
Hallie's new crush.  Appropriate, AND attainable, I might add.

I am pleasantly surprised that Hallie has chosen a 15-year-old ingenue as her flavor of the season, as her last "boyfriend" was Victor, of Project Runway, who is an openly homosexual, Puerto Rican male with a long-time partner, with whom he regularly Skyped with on the show.  Hallie seemed to completely glaze over this fact, and would announce to any and all of her classmates that would listen, that she is  "not interested in boys her age, because she is in love with a 33-year-old Puerto Rican Designer," and that they "have a very bright future together. "

Fantasy is a big part of their upbringing, natch.

Here's Victor.  He usually dons a bow tie.  Not that that makes you gay, or anything.

Waaaaiiiittt a minute.

There we go.  Niiicccceeee.

Recently, as I thought I was "breaking the news" to her that Victor does not play for her team, but she shrugged it off, as she said, "Oh, I totally know that he is gay.  It doesn't matter.  I have moved on.  He is soooo last season of a different show."  Wow.  Okay.  I have no response to that.  Except that it was actually Mills, my almost 8-year-old, that enlightened Hallie, my 10 1/2 year-old, as to what homosexuality actually entails.

Here's how that conversation went:

Me:  Mills, what EXACTLY do you think gay means?

Mills:  (giggles)  I don't wanna tell you or you'll get mad at me.

Me:  NO, I won't.  Just be honest.  What kind of barbarian do you think I am?

Mills:  What's a barbarian?

Me:  What's a homosexual?

Mills:  You tell me, and then I'll tell you.

Me:  Mills!  Tell me what you know NOW, or I am taking away your ITouch.

Mills:  See.  I told you, you'd get mad.

Me:  MILLS!!!

Mills:  (giggling) Okaaaayyy.  It's when boys like boys and girls like girls.  THERE.  And Hallie liked Victor and Victor likes his boyfriend.  And that's funny ANY way you look at it.

Me:  Okay.  That's enough.  Now go away and let me watch my stories.


Before Mills came along, Hallie was practically on her path to being Omish.  But, I digress.

Anyway, it is a ritual of ours, when we see our prospective boyfriends on the television, to poke one another in the ribs and say - TYB, as in "that's your boyfriend."  This was coined by my friend, Angela, in Texas, that I just told you about, but she would do it when some homeless person who was talking to himself while he dug through the trashcan at a stoplight.  "TYB," she'd say under her breath as she took a long drink from the straw of her newly acquired Raspberry slushy from The Sonic.

"Daaauummmnnn," I would respond as I turned the corner because she spotted him first.   I always drove.

ANYWAY.  With my children, this tradition has also morphed into "TMB," as our excitement grows with each cut on American Idol.  For instance, I exclaimed, "TMB!" last night after Phil Phillips made the final 24.

Cut to Phil Phillips.  He is FIIINNNEEE, y'all.  Basically, he is a Southern version of Dave Matthews, only better looking.  YOWWZZZA.  Did I say he is from Georgia? And now lives in Nashville?  I know, right?  Oh, and he plays the acoustic guitar.  Perfection.

I realize that this may be considered UNHEALTHY to openly talk about a man other than their father that I am attracted to, but you must forgive me, I grew up in an era where I vividly remember my Aunt and my Mother sobbing when they learned of the death of Elvis.

I also remember my mother squeezing into the black "jumpsuit" trimmed in thick white stitching that she had worn to his concert a few months before, in Memoriam, but I am working on blocking that part of the memory out, because it is obviously very painful.

Seriously, I remember her pulling it up over her hips, as she wriggled back and forth because she had put on a few pounds, and they hadn't yet invented Lycra, just thick polyester, and as she bit her lip and pulled up on the fabric, so as to reach her hands into the armholes, she kept shaking her head saying, "But I just SAW him. He looked FINE."

Okay, I don't know if you have ever seen some of the last footage of Elvis, so I am providing it for you here, but he looked about as far away from FINE, as anyone can get.  In fact, he looked like the antithesis of fine.  What about sweaty, bloated and forgetting lyrics you've sung your entire life says "fine" to you, Mom?

So, anyway, my recommendation today is to get yourself involved in American Idol, if you haven't already and pick yo'self a boyfriend, so you can text TMB or TYB to your friends as you watch it.  Like their mother, my kids are super into television, so we usually shed tears when our favorites are extracted from the program.

Also, check out Phil Phillips and tell me you do not think he is fantastic.  I mean, seriously, I would be all over that if I were still in college, not married, and had no chillens.  I'm afraid that ship has sailed, though, and I am carrying far too much baggage (braces, college, weddings, rehab) for ol' Phil to take on at this point in his career, as tempting as it is, though!

Friday, February 17, 2012

Being on the Periphery

Angie and Todd, her husband, who I equally adore.

I like being on the periphery.  I live in a mid-sized city, in Middle America, in my mid-sized house, driving a mid-sized SUV, in a mid-sized tax bracket, wearing my Medium clothes.  When did I just stop trying to fit into a small?  I don't even try them on anymore.  When I was in my twenties and thirties, my ass was squeezing into xs's when I had no business even looking at the smalls.

I was in my late twenties, and my friend, Angela, and I used to go to Loehmann's, pronounced, "da loehman", oh, I don't know, about once a week.  Did you get that?  ONCE A WEEK.  Insane.  We would go to Estate Sales, in between, and sometimes, Angela would take me on Dallas tours, showing me "the spillway" or some random high rise with "history".  She was all about promoting Dallas to me, because all I saw was a sea of boob jobs and sugar daddies.

I have the Dallas Junior League cookbook (It is a hobby of mine, when I go to a large city, now, to get their Junior League Cookbook), with an inscription from her that says, "As if you needed more Dallas propaganda.  Love, Angela."

We worked together at the Dallas Business Journal, but we really met at a Girls weekend at a Lake House.  It was one of the most bizarre weekends I have ever had.  But, it was also one of the best, because that is where I met one of my best friends, Angela. We bonded over all sorts of random things, and we were continuously amazed, as we poured our hearts out to each other, how many painful memories we had in common.  I may seem like I am speaking in code, but if only Angela gets this post, then it will have been a success.

One of the funniest memories I have about that weekend is that there were all of these gigantic flamingos and zebras and giraffes and shit all around the house.  We were at my co-worker, Leslie's uncle's lake house, and I remember they were so rich that they kept a Mercedes and a Yukon at the house, you know, just in case.

I know it sounds disrespectful that Angela and I kept laughing about the random decor, when we were staying FO' FREE at this amazing Lake House, stocked full of liquor, with a room for each of us, but the random wooden and metal wildlife scattered throughout their home was just too obvious a target for the two of us.  I mean, the animals weren't even indigenous to the region.   It was absurd!

Anyway, the night culminated in Aaaaauuunnnnngggiiiee (she is known as this in her very inner circle) and I arranging all of the animals in this co-worker's bedroom, who we, at the time, thought was passed out, and giggling our asses off when the (psycho) co-worker started freaking out, screaming at us that we were "immature" and "inconsiderate".  AAAuunnnngggiiee then threw up for the next three hours.

Good times.

 I have a 2 hour and  FIFTEEN minute interlude, Monday thru Thursday, and I still seem to remain at home, most of that time, doing bullshit that I would NEVER normally do, if my kids were with me.

Namely, one, this blog.  I usually am better at writing at night and early morning.  That way you get the ying yang of me fueled by either wine or coffee.  You decide which is which.

God, I miss just running around with a friend during the day.  That is probably one of my favorite pastimes.  No lie.  I hardly ever do it anymore and when I do, sparks fly.

I mean, shit, I did an entire post, almost, on going to a boutique.  It was the highlight of my week.  I cannot tell you what I did the rest of that week, because it is all redundant and slushy, but I can tell you what it felt like, in nauseating detail, to enter that boutique with lipstick on.

I think the winter is getting to me.  It has not been harsh.  It's been the antithesis of harsh, really.  It's just been different, and almost surreal, in a way.

Don't get me wrong.  I love the "holing up" that winter promises. But, in order to do that, I need below freezing temperatures and snow, Goddammit.  I cannot fully justify watching my dog shit in my yard for the umpteenth time, when other people are walking by in light layers with their dogs.  Give it a rest, peeps, just pretend it is winter, for Pete's sake.  I just realized the "Pete" I always refer to is probably a Biblical figure.  Peter was an apostle, I think.  I need to wiki that.

Anyway, I just reconnected with Angela this evening through my post about Whitney Houston, for starters.  I missed her fortieth birthday, due to family commitments and circumstances, and miraculously, we were able to "pick back up where we left off" like we always do, with the magic of text messaging.

Here is why I will always have a thing for her.  Our conversation was as follows:

Angela:  Love the latest post!  I too am mourning Whitney "I believe the children are our future" Houston.  Although I find that when I hear the song, I think of Sexual Chocolate and not Whitney.  Hmmm.  Went estate saling today.  No ninos. (That was the sign that was always prominently displayed on the front door of estate sales in Dallas.  We didn't have any.  So we were ALL GOOD.) Thought of my girl Undawood.  Wanna chat in the morning for cawfee tawk?"  xox

Me:  Miss you so much!  Will come out and celebrate ur burfday later this year.  U have always gotten me.  U know, embraced the dark side.

Auunnngggiiee:  We do embrace da dawwk side, don't we?"  Love you.  Been thinking of you guys.

I, then, sent her this viral pic I got through text.

Whitney Houston's Candlelight Vigil.  I know...inappropriate.  I'm clearly going to hell.

This is what I got back.  Typical AAAUUUNNNGGGIEEE.
Me:  Where yo spoon at?

Auuunnggee: (verbatim, this time.  I have been editing.  I'll admit.)  I shoot dat shit.  Crack is whack!  I got too much class to be burnin.

Me:  Stillllll got it, Aunnnggiieee. 

Anyway, when I met Angie, Brad and I had moved around a lot and I was used to being on the periphery.  Angela was the first new friend I had met since college, and it was not due to proximity or class schedules, or mutual friends, even.  It was not a convenient relationship.  It was one of choice.  What I mean by that is that we had a ton in common and a ton not in common, but we GOT each other and we had an absolute BALL together.  Another thing we always have had is that we can give each other shit, without the other one getting all sensitive - you know, the kind of ribbing when there is some truth to it, so the humor softens the blow. 

It's just like they are always saying on The Bachelor, you either have that connection, or you don't.  I like to quote Chris Harrison, instead of famous thinkers.  It's a downfall of mine. 

Aaauunnggiie, it has been too long.  This is my love letter to you to let you know how important you are to me, even though we are not in constant contact. 

You are the gold standard for meeting new people, in my eyes.  It is a lot to live up to.

If you have someone in your life like Angela, who you haven't spoken to in a while, reach out to her/him.  I like having friends that live out of town, because they tend to give me a fresh perspective on life.  I also am able to spin my side of things here to my advantage, because they don't know any better.  

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Whitney: Saving all of my opinions for Youuuuuuu.

Soooo much more to celebrity, than wearing sunglasses.

Okay.  I cannot let the Whitney Houston situation pass without commenting.  I tried, because I am very opinionated on the issue of addiction and celebrity, in general, but at the end of the day, I feel that my research on the subject, compiled mostly from the E! Entertainment channel,  GQ, and my social work background, is worthy of, at the very least, joining the conversation.

Look, I loved Michael Jackson, and like everyone my age, I can do the Thriller Video, in its entirety, with my eyes closed, but here's the deal, the Michael Jackson that had little boy sleepovers and needed anesthetic to sleep every night, is NOT the Michael Jackson I fell in love with.

Just like the Whitney Houston who told Diane Sawyer and coincidentally, America that "Crack is WACK," and that she and Bobby are too sophisticated and rich to do crack (after further investigation, Whitney admitted that they smoke pot, laced with cocaine, big dif)  is NOT the same person, in MY mind, as the woman who sang the National Anthem, that makes the hair on my arms stand up.

Okay, that being said, I find celebrity a fascinating subject.  Celebrities are their own minority group, with their own special set of circumstances and issues.  My two older girls have Beiber fever in the worst way.  I keep trying to tell them that because his star shone so bright and rose so quickly, that when it crashes back to Earth, it is going to be a fantastic explosion.

I am already seeing possible evidence of this on Facebook, (Mills made me follow him), where Beiber keeps giving a shout out to his fans while he is in the studio recording his next album, for "ideas." Maybe it's just social networking.  Maybe it's a cry for help. I'm just sayin'.

You see, with very few exceptions (read: Drew Barrymore) child and teen celebs are inundated with attention and praise and used up in their formative years because they have a "gift" that "needs to be shared with the World."  In exchange, that child, trades in a normal upbringing, (normal being the operative word, here) that generally shapes a person, and is integral to their personality and how they will deal with difficult situations in later life.

If, at this point in your developmental timeline, you are surrounded with "yes" people, who stand to make a lot of money off of you, for as long as you can make money, rather than a more average upbringing of say, going to camp in the summer, or playing basketball for your high school team, but instead your youth is hijacked by endless tour dates and movie sets with effed up adult actors, then you stand a very slim chance of being able to "handle it" when you are no longer the center of the universe and everyone has moved on, but you.  Breath.

I mean, I have a hard enough time helping my girls navigate the pitfalls of their little social lives, in modern day suburbia.  I cannot IMAGINE what I would do if, say, Usher's agent, stopped returning their texts. 

Wait.  And another thing...where are these "handlers" when the celebrity derails.  I'll tell you where they are.  NOWHERE TO BE FOUND.  Everyone wants to bask in the glory, until something goes wrong and then they move on, leaving the families to pick up the pieces.  Look, I think the "Crack is wack," and the "Kiss my ass" videos are hilarious.  But, seriously, what soul less person green lighted "Being Bobby Brown"?

Ryan Gosling (I know, right?), had this very interesting interview with GQ, in which his theory for why celebrities go down hill so quickly is that there are very long periods in between being on a very intense movie set where you are working around the clock and living out of a trailer, oftentimes on some strange location, and then you are thrown out in the real world for several months while waiting for the film to complete editing or whatever. From there, you live in some hotel room, where you can have anything you want, whenever you want it, rent free, while you are waiting for your next gig.  He elaborated that this is a recipe for disaster for a young person with a need for structure.  Let's be honest, this is a recipe for disaster for ANYONE.  I don't know about you, just my abuse of room service is unprecedented - just because I can.  Can you imagine if I also had access to anything else I wanted, whenever I wanted it?  Luckily, sleep, unlimited food and wine, and "movies currently in theaters" at my fingertips are enough for me.

But, this is not about me, really, it is about celebrities with gifts, who become addicts, and then the World wants to immortalize them when they overdose, because at one time in their life, they were amazing.  I guess I'm just not pickin' up what everyone is puttin' down.  It's just the SPIN of it that is bugging the shit out of me.

Look, I feel bad for Houston's family.  Bobbi Christina basically doesn't have a prayer of turning out even remotely normal.  But, I think instead of romanticizing Houston, or Jackson, or any other of the long list of celebrities who have taken the wrong path, we should use them as examples for ourselves and our children, to demonstrate what can happen when a perfect storm takes the life of not just a celebrity, but a person -  because that is what all of these celebrities that are dropping like flies are - just people with extraordinary gifts, but people just the same.  

Case in point,  when Len Bias died on the basketball floor after using cocaine "for the first time", (this was back when they used to air the video of something like this on all four stations during the 6  and 11 newscasts) I vividly remember my Dad turning to me and saying, "you see, he had his whole life ahead of him....a career as a big, promising basketball star, first round pick in the draft, and because he wanted to be cool and try cocaine for the first time, his heart when you are presented with doing a drug for the first time, you just need to ask yourself, am I willing to die to get high?"  Then, I looked back at the TV as they played the footage, again, of Bias convulsing on the basketball floor and that was it for me.

My point is, that instead of talking about how awesome Whitney Houston was, and how powerful her voice was, and showing our children footage of her "I wanna dance with somebody" video (never could get over how gurlfriend can't dance, singin' 'bout how she wants to dance with somebody), we need to show them the video where she goes to the bathroom on national television on her award-winning show, "Being Bobby Brown."

At the very least, I can teach Mills never to go to the bathroom on national television.  You know, when she does The Bachelor, and then the eventual The Bachelorette, after she is jilted at the alter.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Trending locally...Thread, Gallos, and Marmon Valley

Brad and I at Gallo's.  Our fav neighborhood hangout.  Check it out!!!

A few weeks ago, I went to the boutique, Thread (  I am a little late to the game, I know, because Arlington is discovering it, but I just wanted to make my friends, say, in Australia (G'day, Mates!) aware of what a refreshing experience it was for me.

I had just finished gettin' my hurr did, and I looked like I look for about six hours, every 8-10 weeks, which is different than I look the rest of the time, because I do not make the effort my hair colourist does.  (Yes, that is the way she spells it on her card 'cause she's a Brit, don't worry, y'all, farn removed, she totally speaks American).  It was flat-ironed, and sprayed which is new to me, I mean completely flat ironed, like even the layers underneath, with a little swoosh action at the sides, that only Michelle at Stephanie's Salon can master, and I put on some bright red lipstick, I recently discovered in my make-up drawer that was a sample of MAC, I got at Nordy's about four years ago, for my Halloween MIME costume (spoiler alert: white face makes your teeth look yellow, even with red lipstick on) and I sauntered into the Grandview boutique with my dark red rain coat, (it had been raining cats and dogs) with my defective black Hunter rain boots on, and let me tell you I FELT FABULOUS.

Soooo, I burst through the door and gave a hearty "Hello" to everyone, even though I only knew ONE of them (Hi, Amber), and they greeted me as though I was not a crazy person with  discontinued red lipstick on, but as their sista', who had just joined the party.

Now, I like that.  I was excited to check out the place and in a great mood, and I was full to the brim from my Fillet of Fish combo meal (the new Mickey's on 33 has caffeine free Diet Coke, y'all.  Holla!)  and I was ready to shop.

So, I saw a friend of mine shopping with her chillen and she was getting ready to go on this fabulous trip and had just scooped up this awesome vintage inspired maxi dress (fav!) and I was positively giddy for her.

I just LOVE a new woman-owned boutique that is local and COOL.  It was eclectic, but also seemed to have  a certain vibe, if you know what I mean.  Everything in there was something I would wear.  Of course, some things caught my eye, more than others, but for the most part, I could easily see myself wearing anything in there, but you can't have THAT, because it would cost a fortune (not that the prices were unGodly, because they weren't, they just had pieces that were unique, and what I would consider, GO TO pieces, when you don't know what to wear, so you throw on something from Thread, with either leggings or a pair of jeans and some cool accessories and you don't look as if you tried too hard.  It is a fine line between looking like you made an effort, and looking self-absorbed.  Like the famous Coco Chanel always said, "Take one thing off, Beeeaaatttcccheees."  Okay, I'm paraphrasing.

They have really cool home accessories that caught my eye, as well.  But, what I really appreciated was their jewelry, which varied in price points.  Guys, this shop is a great place to pick up a gift for your wife's birthday (like, say if it's March 3rd, you still have plenty of time to get something), or if you are last minute Valentine's shopper, and your wife is more into accessorizing herself, than getting flowers or candy, this is a fantastic resource for you. 

My friend, Megan, can put an outfit together. Why, just last night she was expressing how sometimes the "Fashion Police" pages at the back of US Magazine are too harsh on a sista.  I agreed, except when it comes to Rihanna.  She is a hot mess. (Update:  Rihanna looked amazing at the Grammys.  Gurlfriend, got herself a stylist, finally.)

Look, I worship at the alters of T.J. Maxx and Marshall's, but sometimes I feel like I end up buying a bunch of crap from there that I am not sure I would wear, but the label is awesome and the price is enveloped in red.

The thing about boutiques that I like, is that they only have a certain number of a particular item and then they do not restock it.  Therefore, you are guaranteed that not everyone in your area has it, and you can always wear it your way, with a scarf or some cool jewelry that makes it your own.

What I am saying is, that they are unique staples.  Anyway, I got two things, one of which I gave to my best friend this weekend because she looked better in it (she actually has boobs) and I traded her for this stuffed animal fur vest that looked better on ME. 

Moving on, my favorite local restaurant and bar is Gallo's  .  It is owned and run by Tommy Gallo, who is as colorful and original as his dishes.  They are Naluns-inspired, (New Orleans, for you laymen, who have not been there, like my Mother, who pronounces it that way since her visit there a decade ago, which coincidentally is like nails on a chalkboard for me, but I digress), who also owns Gallo's Bar.  It is Brad's and my go to place, when we have a sitter and have no idea where we should go.  This happens a lot to us, does it to you?  It is bizarre.  You would think that if you have the opportunity to go out, you would have, like, one thousand places that have been on your mind to visit, if given the chance to escape, yet EVERY TIME Brad and I are presented with a get out of jail free card, we are at a complete and total loss as to where to go.

Anyway, go to Gallo's on 33.  The food is amazing and the bar atmosphere is really good.  They've got a good Malbec and he has these specials that he runs, where you can get an appetizer, a main course, and a dessert for a reasonable price.  Let's let this local business owner know how talented he is by keeping him in business.  You just can't beat a neighborhood restaurant, either.

Finally, Mills' birthday is coming up and I just booked a Mother-Daughter sleepover at Marmon Valley Ranch (, because she loves horseback riding so much.  I read some article somewhere that Angelina and Brad's (the obvious gold standard for child rearing.  Not.) family therapist encouraged them to spend individual time with their children because they have so many.  It's probably complete bullshit, but I try to do that now and again, if the situation arises.  I feel like we spend so much money and effort on our childrens' birthday parties, and then they get all stressed out during them because they are so overwhelming, when we should just spend half that money on something they love to do and then do it with them.

At my girls' ages, which are 5, 8, and 10, I need to take full advantage of the fact that they are still vying for my attention and create memories with them.  You know, other than the memories they now have ingrained in their little minds, of me freaking out on them because they keep getting out of bed at night.  Gawd, that makes me crazy.  I swan (think The Help), when they get married one day, they are going to have to have their husbands scream at them, "Go to bed! I am exhausted!"  every night or they will not be able to get to sleep.

Anywho,  Let me leave you with FOUR recommendations for the price of one, today.  Michelle, at Stephanie's Salon ( in the Arlington Mallway.  Brad goes to Stephanie and she single-handedly brought Brad's hairstyle into this decade.  Thread ( - 'nuf said.  Best boutique I've been to in a long time.  Gallo's - my "go to" date place.  And finally, Marmon Valley (  I cannot really give a critique of it, yet, since, we are set to go in April, but I love the idea of it, so clearly I am setting myself up.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

The days are long and the years are short

Oh, I like my highlights in that picture.  I need to get my hair did.
A sitter let her sleep on the dog bed.  Yes, we got the sitter again.
Modern Day Eves.

Daddy's little helper.

Mills isn't quite sure if she is ready to share the spotlight.
Eves at the Lake.  Love.

So "clute".  How Eves pronounces "cute".
Always "helping" her Mom Mom.
Gawd.  I LOVE my hair color there.  I need to get my bangs trimmed, too.  Oh, this pic's not about me?  Sorry.
First dentist appt.

My baby, Eva, is turning 5 years-old today.  I cannot believe that it has been five years since I had my last child.  For a while, there, I felt like I would just be having children forever, like it was some purgatory I had been sentenced to, for all that Miller Lite I consumed in high school. 

Anyway, we have several nicknames for Eva - Eves, Eaver Beaver, which became Beaver (I know what you all are thinking), and then that incarnation just became "The Beav," which is a reference only I get because I am old.  She drops her S's, and pronounces her R's as W's, as in "Today is 'pecial, because today is my Biwfday.  I hope I get that 'tuffed aminal tewwiew dog at dat one 'towe we went to."

She loves her Momma ALL DAY LONG, and she drives her crazy by asking for snacks that are not found in the refrigerator or pantry.  She will ask for watermelon or raspberries in the dead of winter several times a day.  She watches Mickey Mouse Clubhouse in between asking for snacks, and she "helps her Mom with EVERYTHING, especially the laundry and the swiffer wet jet.  She can drain that bitch by cleaning a three foot square area in minutes. 

She likes to swing on the swing out in the front yard that hangs off of this big old tree, and she always looks back at me on that first swing with the biggest smile you have ever seen.  It melts my heart every time.  I just know her tummy is doing a little flip flop, because I remember what that felt like, even today.

I am having one of those moments where I feel like life goes really fast and slow at the same time.  I will never forget one time when I was in the grocery line with all three kids and they were all acting like heathens, and I was beginning to get tears in my eyes because the people behind me were opting for other lines that were even longer than mine, and an older woman who had been watching the whole thing from the line next to me, tapped me on the arm and said, "Honey, the days are long and the years are short."

One of my favorite quotes....EVER.  I think that prophecy can be applied to just life, in general - high school, college, marriage - why, it seems like just yesterday that I was gazing into my blushing (really, he looked kinda washed out and scared on our wedding day, but whatever) groom's eyes at the alter,  but is especially poignant when it comes to raising your children. 

I mean, you hit milestones, and you're all "Where did the time go?" and all those sappy, predictable bullshit cliche's, but if you had asked me four and a half years ago, when I had a 6-month old, a 3-year-old, and a 5-year-old, I was watching the clock, quite a bit (mostly waiting for 5 o'clock, ya' dig?).

Which brings me to my "Live in the Moment" monologue I keep pushin' on y'all.  You may as well, because memory is fuzzy.  That is why we have more than one child - we forget the misery.  But, once you are finished with high school, or college, or child-rearing, or your partner for life dies - all you can do is romanticize your memories.

I guess that is why God invented the camera.
I was torturing my baby at bedtime, trying to get a Christmas photo and SHE WOULD NOT COOPERATE.  Looking back on it, it does look like her headband is tight.
I guess what I am trying to say here, and what that woman in line beside me was trying to say, is that you may as well romanticize your memories while you are living them, so that you enjoy your life, while that life is happening. Listen, I am not talking about the winter watermelon, here, those are the memories I like to conveniently forget because those are the memories where I lose my cool.  I am talking about playing the "selective memory" game, where you live in the moment when they are looking back at you from high up in the treetops with a smile on their face, not the memory where you are yelling at them because they "know good and well that there is no freaking watermelon in the refrigerator in mid-January!  Now, go watch your Mickey Mouse!"

Seriously, Eves, you are the light of my life and I hope you have the best biwfday EVER.  Now, lets go get some overpriced, mealy watermelon at the Giant Eagle Supasto' and then have them fry up that rice and veggie stir fry you like so much, and then we can pick out your birthday cookies for your school party - you know, the heart ones, that have the red and pink icing - because I, of all people know that you only turn FIVE once!