Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Things I learned this holiday weekend

#1- Sascha says she is not interested in going swimming because she doesn't want to be a mermaid. That is pretty much a direct quote.

#2- Shade does not equal no sun . . . just ask my shoulders who thought they were protected by the overhang of trees at our cookout.

#3- Our neighborhood is hilly. I guess I have known that for a while, but Mandy and I went for a walk this weekend and oh. my. gosh. Our neighborhood is hilly.

#4- Bathing suit season is upon us--a moment of silence please as we mourn the ability to hide the majority of our body under clothes and face the need to shave daily.

#5- If you have a secret you want to keep to yourself, do not say it out loud in a public place. (I actually relearned this one just now while watching a little bit of Days of Our Lives as I type this. You would think Nicole would know this by now.)

#6- Perhaps next year, the organizers of Riverfest should use the theme "Cover Up" because this year's theme was "Let Yourself Go" and some of the people Josh and I saw there took that a little too literally.

#7- Sascha and late naps do NOT get along. She wakes up grumpy and difficult. Unfortunately, it took me 2 days to figure that out.

#8- Going to school after Memorial Day just feels wrong. This weekend was full of friends and fun and 90 degree weather. Getting up for school this morning was a bummer.

#9- If you make a large pan of cinnamon rolls in a house with a Josh and 6 kids, you better grab one quick or you will want to cry when you unselfishly let everyone else go first and find the pan EMPTY.

#10- When you confront said cinnamon roll eaters, they will ALL tell you that someone else got the last one. I kid you not. There was more finger pointin' than finger lickin'.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Live like sparrows

I have always loved the verse about how God cares for the sparrows and if He cares for them, how much more must He love and care for us . . . there's a great song that was inspired by the Matthew 10:29-31 passage. (I am ashamed to admit, I fell in love with the song when that girl sang it on Sister Act 2 . . . oh well. This is a transparent blog and a safe place.)

Anyway . . . last week I was struck my a misconception I have always had about that verse. It has always seemed like a very passive and protective verse. And I pictured these sweet little birds chirping in their nest while God lovingly looked down on them. Then last week I saw a hawk circling our neighborhood (or wildlife preserve as it has felt like lately). This big, majestic looking bird swooping and coasting with its large, gracious wings. The next thing I knew, a smaller bird (maybe not a sparrow, let's be honest it was FAR away and I am no ornithologist, but it was small and sparrow like) was attacking the hawk. It would dive and peck and fly up and dive and peck until, finally, the hawk flew off. I was amazed. This little bird felt her home or her life or her babies (most likely) were in danger and UNAWARE or UNPHASED by the size of her opponent, she literally swooped in to protect them . . . and won.

I had a whole new respect for the sparrow. No longer was it this helpless bird in a nest comfortable to just be known by God, instead, the sparrow was an active participant in its own life CONFIDENT because it was known by God.

There's such a difference. Comfortable and passive or confident and active? Life happens to us, y'all. And a lot of times, pardon my french, it SUCKS. And there are times when we are called to rest in God's love and just wait and then there are times when we have to take down the hawks in our lives.

I have a sweet friend who is in a sparrow vs hawk situation. And that girl is not sitting in her nest sighing and hoping God really cares. NO! Because she knows He cares, she is CONFIDENTLY attacking the hawks in her life and we are all watching them fly away.

I'm so proud of my little sparrow. And so inspired by her. And so confident in our God and in her. I want to live like a sparrow too.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Oh yeah!

I think I fixed it. We'll see tomorrow, but until then . . . check out my glamour girls . . .

 Notice the diamond bracelets . . . a girl must always be accessorized 

They call themselves the Sensations

Technical difficulties

I am writing this from my phone because my computer and my blog are not getting along. Hopefully I will figure it out soon, but until then, please forgive my unintended absence. I am sure that I will have lots of time to play with it tonight while we camp out in Joshs office and wait out the storms. Yuck.

Monday, May 23, 2011

LOVED the weekend!

This weekend was WONDERFUL! It was one of those fun, special, memorable ones filled with friends and laughter.

Friday, Caroline and Sascha and I loaded up with the Hutchinson 4 for a ROAD TRIP! We piled in the Bass Burb and headed to Fayetteville for the day because Steph and her kids had some details to take care of for their impending move. (And I am personally sorry to say, that all went smoothly, so the move is still on. In the words of Swiper the Fox, "Awwww maaan!")

We had a blast and ate our way up and down the Natural State. Chik-fil-A . . . Market Place . . . Maggie Moo's . . . Mellow Mushroom. I could hardly button my pants on Saturday! Once in Fayetteville, we met up with the Blake family and the 8 kids present laughed and ran and splashed and pretty much wore themselves out playing and hanging out. You would never have known that they met only hours before. I love how kids just jump in and bond. Sweet Allison and Larry had us over after dinner and I think it is safe to say that the Blakes, Hutchinsons, and Basses will be hanging out again and again and again . . . at least I plan to annoy them all until it happens another time!

Here are the big girls waiting for our table at Mellow Mushroom . . . this is not long before I chased Sascha down . . . in the kitchen of the restaurant . . . all the way at the back by the big walk in freezer. Yeah. That wasn't embarrassing at all.

We headed back towards Little Rock that night and I got to come home to the amazing Clark family from Kansas City! We love Uncle Ben, Aunt Allie, Joe and Elizabeth. Josh and Ben met in pharmaceutical sales training in 2003 . . . back then the Bass family consisted of Josh, Rachel, Caroline and Tru and Ben and Allie were only dating. How far we all have come. It is a rare and special thing that Ben and Josh hit it off and maintained their friendship, that Allie and I click like we do, and that our kids all love each other. They are gifts to us and we love growing up together. Sascha and their oldest son, Joe, are just a couple of weeks apart and love each other. All day Thursday Sascha would say, "I wanna see Joe! I wanna hug him and say hi him. He be so happy to see me!"

We enjoyed laughter, great conversation, great barbeque, fun times outside, and endured our traditional photo shoot. Here are some shots of the kids over the years . . . 

In the last picture, Bo took out his gun and was ready to bust a cap in us for taking 178 pictures. The theme of the pictures is that there is always someone trying to escape. 

The weekend ended on a bittersweet and grateful note. It poured down rain and stormed here all morning. Ben, Allie and the kids loaded up and left around 1:00 in the afternoon. To get to KC from Little Rock, you head north through Fayetteville and then Joplin . . . they got to Joplin just as the tornado did. We are praising God for His protection over them. They realized how dire their situation was and that their options for safety were limited. Ben pulled their car under an overpass and Allie laid on top of the kids while Ben laid on top of her. For what must have felt like forever they waited for the storm to pass while a tree slammed into their car and the windows blew out and hail blew in. When it was all over, their car was totaled, the semi that had pulled under the overpass as well was turned over and a man attempting to run to safety did not survive. Thank the Lord they are all okay . . . very shaken and a little bruised and bloody, but alive and not seriously injured. Ben said that the weather was decent and then all of the sudden it wasn't. Life can change in the blink of an eye and I am just overwhelmed with gratitude and relief that they are ok. So many people there were not and our prayers are frequent for them and our hearts heavy.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Our little wilderness

I am going to try to type this without dry heaving.

This morning as I drug myself out of the house to go to the gym, I noticed a NASTY little present on our sidewalk--right by our front porch.

Some animal had mistaken our walkway for a restroom.


I have spent the last 10 minutes researching animal scat (a much nicer word for animal poop that I learned from a wildlife studies major in college). It is hard to say for sure, but just as Josh suggested it really does resemble black bear scat more so than coyote.

Suddenly the snake seems a little less daunting and I am considering moving to an apartment on the top floor of the building.

Coyotes have been rampant around these parts lately . . . one of them took a little dog last week right out of its yard in the middle of the day. We see them running across the road into the woods from time to time and on a couple of occasions, Josh has seen them across the street from our house staring with their creepy, glowing eyes at night. (Insert shudder.)

We also have deer. One morning, I saw 6 in our neighbors driveway just hanging out. And a doe was munching on our bushes another time and looked quite annoyed at us for interrupting her when we pulled in the driveway.

But bears?! Seriously?!

I have always loved living near the woods . . . it feels like we are in the middle of nowhere, when in actuality, we are in the middle of everything. But all this wildlife is making me nervous and queasy. If I wanted to see a bear, I would go to the zoo, not out my front door.

Meanwhile, this whole post reminds me of the age old question, if a bear poops in the woods . . .

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Redo Bug

I have a MAJOR case of the redecorating bug.

I also have a MAJOR need to stay within my budget.

They are NOT compatible.

First of all, I am ready to repaint our kitchen/breakfast nook area and cabinets, but Josh wants to hold off painting things until Sascha is totally out of her Picaso phase (he has a point).

And I have never gotten our bedroom just the way I want it . . . not for lack of trying, mind you.  I like to browse the internet and magazines looking for inspiration. I really like this this room, although I am becoming a big fan of grey tones and getting tired of all the shades of khaki I have had for the last 10 years. Since I can't scrap it all right now . . . this mixture of gold and grey is feasible for me (though the entire room is not totally my style).

A college friend of mine, Shelli, is an AMAZING decorator and I would love, love, love for her to get a hold of my house.

Check out her blog and you will agree with me that she has a talent for all things pretty and bargains.

Ok . . . I'm off to clean the house while I dream of redecorating it.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Another Letter

Dear Motivation,

What happened? Remember when we were together and it felt like it would last forever? I thought that we would never be apart--that each morning you would be the first thing on my mind and what lulled me to sleep at night.

But you're gone . . . and along with you have gone progress and productiveness.

How can I get you back? Just say the word and I will do it. I miss you. I miss your many qualities. I miss the me I am around you.

Please come back. Please.


Thursday, May 12, 2011

Shocking news . . .

And it is . . . that I have nothing to say today. I know, I know, who am I?

But come back tomorrow and I hope to have saved enough words for you!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011


First of all, thanks for your encouragement and prayers . . . hope I didn't sound like Wendy Whiner, I am thankful that even when I don't feel great, I am definitely functioning fine.

Today I thought I would dedicate the post to the little nugget we call Sassy Sissy. Sascha is a little mess. She is NOTHING like Josh or I and we spend equal amounts of time amused and befuddled by her. I probably say, "I have no idea what to do with her!" at least 4 times a day. She is spunky and sweet. She is mean and cuddly. She adores the big kids and loves to annoy and hit them. She is dramatic about consequences yet undeterred by discipline. I am always on the edge of my seat with her . . . she creates suspense, leaves me humble and melts my heart.

God love whoever she marries.

Today I had her repeat this after me (yes, already today we have had this conversation, because she wakes up in all her Sascha glory EVERY day) . . . "God made me JUST the way I am . . . now we have to use it for good!"

Sunday, while we were trying to enjoy our Mother's Day lunch, she was being a real toot. I quietly whispered to her that I was going to pinch her leg (our in public form of discipline) and she stood up and stomped her feet in the booth and said, "NO! YOU GO HOME AND GET MY PANKIN' POON!"

If I say walk, she runs. If I say stop, she goes. If I say don't hit, she pummels.

But--oh. my. gosh. NO ONE cuddles like her. And she is a mommy's girl . . . the first of our kids (the only of our kids) to so openly prefer me. If I'm home, only I can change her or put her to bed or get her milk (unless we are snuggled on the couch, then daddy can get the milk). And she has the sweetest voice when she says, "I lub you."

And y'all. The girl has 3 different runs that are hilarious. She gallops or she runs like she has a beach ball between her knees or she runs on her tippie toes like a ballerina.

She can talk like she's 12. (Not sure if that is good or bad.) She is quick to correct you if you call her baby or darlin or sugar lover . . . "NO! I Sassa Bass!" And sometimes she calls me Racial instead of Mommy.

I'm a smitten kitten. Just absolutely adore her in all her sassiness. I apologize if she has hit your child, kicked your child, snatched a toy from him/her, talked back to you, run away from you . . . we are trying, really, really trying to channel the energy and attitude towards good things. But I promise, if you spend time with that love, you will find yourself head over heels with her. (Right, Ms Tepahnee?)

(Oh, and if you were on the patio with us at Palio's Friday night, I am REALLY sorry. That reminded me why we don't go out to eat as much anymore. I probably should have bought your dinners, or at the least a few drinks!)

Tuesday, May 10, 2011


 . . . is such a lonely word, everyone is so untrue . . .

Sorry . . . when I typed out the word honesty, Billy Joel started singing in my head.

I am ALL over the place today. Really. So get ready to enter crazy.

First of all, I am so excited that baby Brooke is going to be here TODAY!!!!!!!! Sweet Julie, who a lot of you know, is laboring as we speak and I am itching to get up there and love on her and, soon, Brooke. I love baby day. I am just giddy and over the moon about her!

It's weird how you can feel such drastic and polar opposite things at the exact same time. As silly happy as I am about Brooke, we also have 2 families of precious friends who will be moving soon and my heart is so sad. I want to cross my arms and stomp my feet and refuse their moves. (Like that would matter in the long run, can you imagine? Oh, Rachel is going to throw a fit, we better not go.) But my heart, aching as it may be, knows that they are both doing exactly what God has called them to. So, sweet friends, please know that I would like to slash all the tires on your moving vans but I won't because I am proud of you and excited for what God has in store for you all.

Personally, if I am being honest, as my title suggests, I have not been feeling well lately. My hormones are all over the place (sorry, Tracy and Josh) and my thyroid is off. When I say hormones, I don't mean I sit around crying and throwing things all the time (although there are days . . . ).  I mean, literally, my lab worked showed that my hormone levels are NOT ideal. I'm having physical symptoms (I'll spare you) and fatigue. So, I have started taking some medication to try and level them off, and y'all . . . have you ever listened to the disclaimers at the end of pharmaceutical commercials and thought, "The symptoms CAN'T be worse than the side effects!!" Umm, yeah, I am so there. The hormone creams make me feel like I am having morning sickness . . . ugh . . . so I have been taking the anti-nausea medicine I took when I was pregnant. Anyway, I can't remember where I was going with this . . . maybe it was just to complain.

OH! No, I remember now! So, I, of course, have been wondering if there is some bigger problem going on . . . and at times, to be honest, I worry that it is something really bad and the symptoms I am having are masking a bigger, scarier problem. I must have gone to bed thinking about that because a couple of nights ago I had a dream that I tried out for American Idol and made it to Hollywood (haha, not possible) and they did blood work when I got there (what?) and told me I had cancer. Interpret that, someone.

Anyway . . . there is no good way to wrap this all up . . . so . . . I am just going to post one of my favorite pictures of Sassy Sissy and then go munch on her sweet cheeks! Have a great day!

Monday, May 9, 2011


Well, happy belated Mother's Day! I hope yours was as sweet and special as ours! My babies all made me a homemade card. You cannot beat that. Sorry, Hallmark, but I never want a generic store bought card again!

So . . . today, I am going to give a shout out to 4 moms who I am privileged to know and love and deserve a little attention!

First of all, my mom - she has always sacrificed and put everyone else's needs above her own . . not in a martyr way, but genuinely been glad to give to others. Mom, thanks for the example that you have set . . . thanks for loving me and believing in me . . . I am proud to be your daughter and so glad that you are my kids' Nana!! I love you!

Next, my mother-in-law - she raised the man who loves me and loves my kids and she loves me and my kids. I have been most impressed with her as a daughter recently, though. Her dad's health is deteriorating and she has had to move into that extremely difficult role of caregiver for him. She has always been a daddy's girl and she is loving him so well and preserving his dignity. I am so proud of her. I love you, Mimi.

Anonymous shout out #1 - to my friend who spent all of Mother's Day at the hospital only to be sent home because baby Brooke wasn't quite ready to come out. You showed her amazing love and selflessness not to throw a big fit and demand that someone make it happen! You are a rock star! It's almost over! Enjoy your mom and your sisters (and call me if y'all do anything fun . . . seriously)!

Anonymous shout out #2 - to my friend who just celebrated her first (Single) Mother's Day . . . ummm . . . can I be like you when I grow up? I am sooo amazed by what a rock you are--firm in your faith and in your decisions to do what is BEST for your kids, even if it is not what is easiest for you. Just when I think you can't blow me away anymore, you do . . . so proud of how you put your kids first yesterday! "No power of hell, no scheme of man, can ever pluck [you] from His hand!"

I could go on and on . . . my friends are incredible moms who make sacrifices and choices that challenge and inspire me. Thanks for helping me be a mom and encouraging me to love my kids well.

Happy Mother's Day!

Thursday, May 5, 2011


I think my brain shorted out over the weekend. I cannot complete a sentence this week--I am totally worthless.

I have learned a few things about myself (more like, reaffirmed things about myself) . . .

#1- working out in the morning is VERY IMPORTANT to my productivity the rest of the day--while logic would suggest that sleeping an extra hour and a half would make me less tired, I have discovered this week that exercising actually jump starts my day and I have more energy.

#2- I am currently unable to motivate myself to get up and go work out alone . . . please come home, Mom! I need a ride to the gym!

#3- I do not need to make oatmeal raisin cookies unless I am immediately sending them out of my house! This realization came after I ate a dozen all by myself. I tried to make myself feel better by reasoning it was really similar to a very healthy breakfast--eggs, oatmeal, raisins . . . . yeah, I didn't really go for it either.

#4- It doesn't matter how long I have been exercising . . . the month before swimsuit season creates a panicky feeling in me.

#5- I love a good chick flick and don't care what the reviews say, I can't wait to see "Something Borrowed"

Well, it's really quiet around here and that worries me because I can't see Sascha anymore--I'm going to go find out what she has colored on now . . .

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Funny things

here are a few Bass family funnies . . .

* the school called today and when I answered, the Assistant Principal asked if I was Tru's mom . . . I said yes (trying not to panic . . . why was she calling?! had he gone Yoda on someone? what was broken?). She started telling me a story about him running on the playground and it felt like a sweet forever for her to get to the reason she called . . . he accidently kicked his shoe off and it went down a drainage ditch. I was so relieved.

* Sascha went to see Mrs. Tepahnee (that would be Stephanie to the rest of us) today and when she got in her car, Stephanie said, "Hey, Sascha." and Sascha replied, "Hey, beautiful." Who wouldn't want to spend time with her?

* I took Bo out to lunch and to Target to pick out a Batman toy . . . he asked if he could get it for Christmas. He thinks every time you get a toy, it's Christmas . . . love it!

I will get back on my creative game tomorrow . . . my brain is still fried from the weekend!

Monday, May 2, 2011

So much to celebrate

Thanks for the sweet comments about Granny here and on facebook. She was one in a million and touched so many lives. The fact that so many people called her Granny and loved her like their own has always made me proud and so happy.

In light of the sadness we feel, there is SO much this weekend that we have had to celebrate and enjoy . . .

Friday, the Mother/Son Olympics was a success and Tru and I had a GREAT time . . .

Then, Josh and I dashed over to Verizon Arena for our Valentine's Day, Mother's Day, and Father's Day gift from my parents . . .

 . . . an evening with James. Sigh. James Taylor--he makes me so happy. I started listening to his James Taylor: Greatest Hits cd my junior year. It put me to sleep every night . . . his music calms me and soothes me when I am stressed and I LOVE his concerts. This was the greatest gift and could not have come at a better time.

As if sitting on the 17th row listening to him live wasn't enough . . . look what else I got to do

 . . . I got to be a big ole' nerdy fan and get his autograph. Such a great night!

Saturday, Caroline had a dance competition in Little Rock and RCDC rocked the weekend taking first in every category all 4 days except 1, where they took 2nd! So proud of our dance company and so excited for Caroline's group for taking 1st again! They added a solo for her and she absolutely owned it! LOVE seeing her excel and enjoy it!

Today, we celebrate Josh . . . it's his birthday and we have already had cinnamon rolls and sausage rolls and opened presents and taken him lunch! Tonight we will go out and celebrate him with my parents. He is like a kid at Christmas on his birthday--absolutely giddy and all smiles.

Happy birthday, Josh! You are adored by your family and we are so thankful for how hard you work for us!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

52 weeks

As I lay in bed with Bo last night, I was overcome by the irony that he was running fever this same weekend last year, and before I knew it, I was weeping. (The quiet one we moms do so as not to scare our kids.)

This weekend last year, where after some heavy days and stormy weather, the sun had broken through the clouds and the mood felt lighter.

Even though Bo was sick, we were all enjoying the day . . . I had gotten donuts for us and Josh had opened his birthday presents. I can see myself leaning on the back of the chair when it went from sunny birthday to fulfillment of dread in just the amount of time it took me to press answer on my cell phone.

Unshowered and unable to believe what was happening, I packed a bag and tried to process that we were very likely about to go say goodbye to Granny. Somewhere on Dorado Beach, my need to be practical and protect the kids subsided and I gave in to the emotions I had been fighting off. Alone with my parents as we drove to Hot Springs, I had a sliver of hope that this would be another notch in her belt, another time where she beat the odds, but deep down I knew that this trip to the hospital was going to be different than the ones we had made before.

When we arrived at the ER, the attending met us and his face confirmed our fears . . . when her medflight landed, they knew that there was nothing more they could do. A nurse tenderly led us to Granny's room where the three of us surrounded her bed and through our tears and deep sadness, told her how much we loved her, how thankful we were for her, how proud she made us, how blessed we had been to have her, and that we knew she had fought hard all her life and it was okay to rest and go home. We kissed her and we held her hands and stroked her face and watched her take her last breath.

How surreal it was to watch her go from this life to the next . . . to know that she was no longer in our presence, but instead was in the presence of Jesus . . . to imagine my grandfather greeting her after their 15 year separation.

Since that day, we have faced many firsts without her, but somehow, this week as I realized all the firsts were coming to an end, I was overwhelmed with fresh sadness. After spending some time reflecting on why, I realized that as we move out of the phase of firsts, we move into life without her becoming "normal" or "usual." We have experienced a Christmas without her and a Mother's Day without her. Her absence being normal feels wrong.

Even though I am sad, so sad, and miss her desperately at times, I have no anger towards God, no whys . . . Granny was 87 and lived an amazingly full life. She gave and gave and never missed an opportunity to show us love. She was preceded in death by her husband and by her best friend, yet she never let that stop her from living and enjoying life here. She loved her heavenly Father and was a follower of Jesus, so I know that she lives on with Him in heaven and that I will see her again, but the ache of our separation is very real at times.

Granny was more than a grandmother, she was a friend and a confident. She was someone who helped me keep perspective and taught me to find humor in situations. And, even though I don't really believe that this is possible, I would almost swear that she has taken over Sascha's personality. They are so much alike which makes me laugh and cry all the time. Those two would have been the best of friends . . . always answering no first out of principal and then maybe rethinking and answering yes, mischievous smiles and dispositions . . . no doubt they would have gotten into some trouble together.

I am thankful for the 33 years I had with her and wish I could have had 33 more. I don't know for sure how to mark this occasion . . . I am trying to live my life since her death in a way that would honor her and I know that sitting around moping and crying would probably kind of irritate her. So, while I am doing some of that as well, Granny, I will try to do something selfless, something fun, and something a little impish in your memory (just in case you can read blogs in heaven). I love you, Granny.