Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Bangs vs. Botox

Not too long ago I looked in the mirror and realized that my face was getting . . . well, a little older looking. Which I guess is normal since I am not a Cullen (or in any other vampire family) and aging as all mortals do.

I'm not saying it's time for a face lift or anything, but let's just say I look concerned even when I am not.

So, I marched myself up to Sephora and did what I had managed to put off for a while--I looked into skin care lines that, gulp, dealt with wrinkles (not just large pores and zits, as previously needed).

And after a couple of weeks, I did see some improvement. But I was getting my hair did last week and after sitting in front of the big mirror for an extended period of time getting it colored loved on, I realized it was time to take another step in dealing with the lines. I figured I had 2 options to mask the years of life on my forehead:
     #1- Botox (which Josh balks at because it costs money and squirts poison into my body . . . poison, ha! like Diet Mountain Dew is organic, buddy!)
     #2- Bangs (which were convenient and rolled up into the cost of my appointment and poison free)

I know you are on pins and needles wondering what I choose, so without further delay . . . I went with option #2 (I guess I had a 3rd option . . . ignore them, but that is as unlikely as Josh bringing me a gift certificate home today for Botox). And I would love to show you my bangs (because they are some of my better sets (?) of bangs), but pictures and my blog are in another argument and not speaking.

So the moral of this post is: bangs are cheaper than Botox and hide wrinkles very well.

The end.

Monday, November 28, 2011


Have you ever had something stewing inside of you that you couldn't let go of. Even worse, something that you couldn't let go of but couldn't put your finger on either?

It's torture.

A little over a month ago this happened to me. I read an amazing book. I was doing a great Bible Study and all of the sudden, I couldn't sleep. Something was brewing and I didn't know what. I felt like I was supposed to do something and I couldn't figure out what it was. I would lay awake at night saying, "What, God? What is it?" And eventually, after a few restless nights and days, it was more like, "PLEASE TELL ME!! ANYTHING!! I WILL DO IT!! ANYTHING!!"

And then it happened. No voice from heaven. No divine email. (How cool would those be?) Just a thought that could not have been my own.

An idea.

Which became a dream.

That I decided to go for.

And do you know what followed? Peace. Calm. Quiet in my brain. Sleep.

I had my answer. And it was amazing. And it wasn't packing up to move to Africa with Katie Davis and help her with the orphans (yet, haha). It wasn't anything drastic or hard or terrible.

Actually, it was a wash of relief. A giddy answer--not just to the thing that kept me awake, but to other things that weighed on my mind and heart.

And I'm excited. I have a dream and I might get to realize it.

It could implode on me. It might not work out or last long. But I don't care. Because all that's being asked of me right now is to take one step.

So here it is . . . jump on over (if you are so inclined) Gifts From Granny

And ps, happy birthday, Granny. I miss you and I love you.

Friday, November 25, 2011

woo. pig. sooie. (pleeeeeeeease)

i am as nervous as if i was playing the dadburn game myself.

today the #3 arkansas razorbacks take on the #1 lsu tigers.

i am giddy and nauseous.

never, since the 1969 game between arkansas and texas, has so much been riding on 4 quarters of football for our little piggies.

we plan to watch it with my parents and aunt and uncle and cousins, but we are all sooooo superstitious that if the game seems to head south, we will all run for our respective homes and sit in our usual seats in an effort to help those hogs demolish the tigers.

oh my gosh. i cannot wait for the game, and yet, i fear it's commencement.

can we all pause a moment for a piggie prayer?


Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving

"Thanksgiving is a wonderful holiday to just pay attention on all the things that you have instead of what you want." - Caroline Bass

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

unsolved mysteries

just trying to solve a few mysteries around here, like . . .

* why do i always weigh about 5 pounds more at the doctor's office? i even take off my shoes. my scale at home is the same as the one at the gym, but every doctor's office has me weighing more. and that's the one that gets written down. so i feel like i "officially" weigh what it says. i kid you not, one day i may show up for a 7:30 appointment in spandex shorts and a sports bra to get a better weight written down on my chart.

* where do the socks go? i have moved the washer and the dryer and stuck the vacuum attachment down the dryer thing to suck out any that might have gotten sucked in. i cannot figure out how i wash can wash a pair of socks but only dry one.

* why do my kids sleep later than usual on days we have places to go but wake up early on the days when we could all actually sleep in?

* why won't sascha keep her shoes on? (insert arkansas joke here)

* (this one was posed to me yesterday at the salon and i probably won't do anything to actually solve it) what color is my hair really?

Monday, November 21, 2011

Hey, Kroger lady, I'm looking at you!

I wish I had gotten the email or news flash or text message reminder that yesterday was the official shopping day for Thanksgiving at our local Kroger because OH. MY. GOSH. I would NOT have gone had I know that every Tom, Dick, and Harry would be there with their respective spouses and 2 oldest children and at least 1 senior citizen from their family. Good grief the madness--and I was only shopping for the first 3 days of our week. 

(I prefer to do my holiday food shopping closer to the event when I can fully enjoy the panic of not being able to immediately locate all my ingredients and bemoan the idea of driving all over town to find them and then when I stumble across the last can or bag of something saying loudly "OH, THANK YOU, GOD!!" Shopping ahead. Pshaw.)

Anyway, somehow I managed to get almost all of what we needed while only hitting 3 or 4 other carts and only cussing a few times under my breath and only silently judging a handful of my co-shoppers. I was just about to breathe a sigh of relief as the last bag was loaded onto my cart when my checker, the lady who had just touched every piece of food I labored to purchase, announced to the bagger that she would not be going to see her aunt this week because she (the lady who touched my food) was not feeling well and would hate to risk getting her sick.

My family and the other 263 people she checked out, not so much worried about us, I guess. But, Aunt Cleo, no. worries. You will not be exposed to whatever plague she has.

Friday, November 18, 2011

I am TWI-ing hard to stay awake

Well, this may be the end of it for some of you. I am about to share a piece of my life that may send you running, but if this blog is to be a place where I feel free to be me . . .

Yesterday, I hired a babysitter (until Josh could get home around 5) and met 10 friends at the movie theatre.

Hang on. There is SO MUCH MORE.

I met them there a little after 3 in the afternoon.

I ate dinner there with said friends.

I got home from the movie theatre a little before 3 in the morning.

That's right. I spent 12 hours with my darling friends reliving the first 3 Twilight movies and joyfully, perhaps slightly tearfully, reveling in Breaking Dawn (part 1).

And, ya'll, it was the best. night.

Let's just cover the basics:
1) 10 friends (0 children)
3) popcorn, sweedish fish, yogurt covered raisins, and Chik-Fil-A
4) FREE REFILLS OF DIET COKE IN MY SOUVENIR CUP (which became very important about 4 hours into the marathon!!)
5) 10 friends (0 children)
6) 10 hours of Edward, Jacob and Bella
7) 10 hours of the whole Cullen clan and Charlie Swan
8) Twilight
9) New Moon
10) Eclispse

Do I even need to keep on or are you already dying of jealousy?

I have to admit that I am oddly sad that the event is over . . . kind of like the day after prom . . . tired, great memories, but what is there to look forward to now? (I know, I know, Thanksgiving, Christmas, yadda, yadda, yadda.)

I have great pics to show you, but the computer has decided it is not going to let me share them, so check out my facebook page instead to see them.

Ok, I'm going to ingest some more caffeine to try to stay awake after getting 3 1/2 hours of sleep, listen to the song A Thousand Nights (again), check the movie times to see when I can see it again and try to set up a countdown calendar for Breaking Dawn (part 2), due out November 16, 2012.  - sooooo happy

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Meeting Michelle Duggar, aka Caroline dies and goes to heaven!

Caroline cracks me up! She is a LOVER of reality television. We have some shows that we watch together--Say Yes to the Dress, What Not to Wear, and 19 Kids and Counting (soon to be 20 Kids and Counting). We enjoy laughing and commenting and just hanging out together.

Recently, the Duggars (19 Kids and Counting) has been her favorite. She watches them over and over again and knows them all by name. At first, I will admit, I was unsure about this crazy family. Were they giving Arkansans a bad name? Could they really be that nice? Was it any kind of healthy to have a gajillion kids? But, because they spent so much time here when their youngest, Josie, was born 3 months early, we ended up having a few friends/acquaintances in common. These people all went on and on about how normal and kind and fun and sweet and, well, normal the Duggars are. And in the end, unless I want them chiming in on how many kids they think I should have, I guess I should leave it between them and God when they stop reproducing. They are debt free and raising successful and well mannered kids. I think sometimes my disdain for them came more from my insecurities about struggling to raise my four when they seem to embrace and thrive with the chaos of their 19.

Whatever your views, my sweet Caroline looks up to those wholesome girls and given the direction that Miley Cyrus' life is heading, I am happy for some role models and tv shows that I can leave the room while she's watching and not have to worry about her getting sassy or wanting to make out with a boy when she's 9. So when I heard that Michelle (the matriarch of the Duggar family) was going to be speaking to a group of women at our church, I knew that I would have to check Caroline out of school and let her come listen.

She. Was. Thrilled!! We got to meet Janna (oldest girl) and Josie (youngest girl for now) and when the brunch was over . . . .

I mean, could Caroline be smiling any bigger?!

Michelle was every bit as sweet as she seems on TV and there was no entourage with her like Kate Gosselin insisted on. She had some great tips on parenting and not losing your patience. (Too bad Caroline was there and can hold me accountable! Ha!)

Anyway . . . look for us on the next season of 20 Kids and Counting because TLC was there filming and you never know, we might be on!!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Weddings and Whirlwinds

Wow. I. Am. Tired.

And happy.

And really tired.

Let me back up to last Sunday when I flew back from San Jose. Did I mention that I flew back alone? I didn't think so. You know how I am superstitious about stuff like mentioning that we are out of town or that I am here alone with the 4 kids. So, now, let me tell you the real stories of last week and explain why I haven't posted since Tuesday.

Josh had a week's worth of training in San Diego immediately following our weekend jaunt to the Bay Area. So I flew back half way across the country alone to start my week as a temporary single mom of 4. (Can I be honest and say minus the inconvenience it would have caused my parents who were keeping our kids, a missed flight in Phoenix resulting in a night alone there would NOT have hurt my feelings.) But, alas, all flights were made and I got back around 8 pm Sunday night. Thanks to the time change and the time zone change, sleep and I were not friends Sunday night and my week got off to a groggy start.

Groggy this week was no good because, and I will type this in a manner that I hope conveys the madness and non-stopness (yes, I know that is not technically a word) of our week, it consisted of . . .
catch up from weekend, laundry, babysitter, cooking class, luncheon, drop off at dance, thunderstorm that freaks out kids, pick up from dance, Bible Study, find outfit, take Tate to board, dance, golf, and meanwhile PACK, PACK, PACK, CLEAN, CLEAN, CLEAN, make lists, check lists, give Sascha medicine for the cough that will NOT stop and also will NOT let either her or myself sleep, load car, check lists again, shower (I did do that more than once), wake kids up at the crack of dawn, load kids, leave for Nashville at 5:30 in the morning because . . .


As is (apparently) the tradition, Josh's out of town training requires him to fly into whatever city his sibling is getting married in and allows me the opportunity to pack for all of us and get us there.

But I like a challenge. I do. I like looking at a week like last week when there was barely enough time to even make a list, much less accomplish it, and, in the words of Larry the Cable Guy, "get 'er done."

Wednesday morning, with our car loaded up with 2 flower girls, 2 ring bearers, a friend, and enough luggage to make a Kardashian blush, we headed east for the long anticipated wedding of Josh's brother.

Here we are at Chik-Fil-A on the Nashville side of Memphis around 8:30 in the morning.

Let's just say, when we left, everyone at CFA was more awake. (And Sascha was sitting with me.)

We got to Nashvegas around 11:30 and I showed the kids some of my favorite spots on the way to meet Maggie's grandparents at Belmont. After we successfully passed her off to Mama Gail and Daddy Ron, I continued my little tour of Nashville with commentary and memories and excitement until a chorus of little voices in the backseat begged for food. So I did what any tired mom with 4 kids would do in a city full of delicious and unique lunch spots . . . I drove through Sonic.

We headed out to our hotel to unload our stuff and as we pulled into the little drive through, I remembered that I had a CAR FULL OF KIDS AND LUGGAGE AND NO OTHER ADULT.

So I checked in, grabbed a luggage cart, and sang my usual girl power song . . . "I'm Every Woman"

And somehow, thank the Lord, all our stuff made it on one cart, nothing fell, and no children were lost in the process.

Now the fun could begin. We saw my cousins in Franklin and their 3 kids and then headed downtown to eat some dinner at The Wildhorse Salon

Here's the groom with a cute little guy I may or may have not mentioned being absolutely gaga for . . . my sweet wittle nephew John Tyler.

The rest of the weekend was fast and furious and fun! (Except poor Josh flying all night--literally--to get to Nashville at 8:30 in the morning and then being on a conference call til 3) I saw a college friend, Jill, for exactly 8 minutes and we concluded that we look exactly like we did 16 years ago (I would add that I have fewer eyebrows . . . I went through a muppet stage my freshman year). We rehearsed, we ate, we teared up, we laughed and before we knew it, it was time for the real deal Saturday morning.

The wedding was so sweet and beautiful. I decided Rustic Elegance best summed it up. It was outside at a farm and the views were amazing. Her colors were purple with splashes of orange and green and it was all gorgeous and fall themed.

Of course, I was overcome by the cuteness of our 4 little wedding partiers, but also I was terrified that Sascha might ruin the whole event. She sort-of refused to rehearse Friday night and may or may not have wailed for a while afterwards. To say she was a diva is to put it mildly, but prayer works and with the help of Map and Backpack from Dora, our little flower girl went to find Aunt Megan. We actually did our own mini-episode of Dora right there at Legacy Farms . . . fountains, aisle, Aunt Megan (all while looking at the map that came with her backpack), say it with me, "fountains, aisle, Aunt Megan!" And holy smokes, it worked! She walked past the fountain, down the aisle, and ran to Aunt Megan.

(Then she threw her basket at Aunt Megan and ran to Grandpa. But that is neither here nor there.)

Sara and Jase, congratulations! We love you both and hope you have a very long, very happy marriage! Welcome to the Bass fam, Sara, we are a crazy bunch, but we laugh a lot.

Adorable and well-behaved ring bearers

 the beautiful (non-diva) flower girl

The boys with their new AUNT SARA!

 Dora/Sascha checking out her pack-pack

 Aunt Megan and Sascha

 I just love this pic. The grounds were beautiful and Sascha ran all over them during the reception.

Until she collapsed from exhaustion on the floor

Did I mention the cutest baby in the world was there? He yuvs his Aunt Rachel.

We zoomed home yesterday so Caroline could make it to ballet and I could make it to my girls' study. The weekend was a whirlwind, but it was great to see family, especially some of Josh's aunts and uncles and cousins that we don't see enough. My parents were amazingly kind and helpful and drove down Friday to attend the festivities and be our backup for Bo and Sascha. I am so thankful for that. Today, I am washing load upon load of laundry and thankful that Josh is home and that Grandpa solved Sashca's sleeping dilemma (apparently, it helps if the cough medicine you give her at bedtime is NOT a stimulant!).

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Things observed from the air

I don't fly much. (Unless you count what I do going down Rahling or Dorado Beach when we are running late.)

Anyway, I don't fly much, so I was struck by several things on the 6 flights I was on this weekend.

1) The mountains are as amazingly beautiful and majestic when you are looking down on them as seeing them from ground level. They kind of took my breath away. And I love the desert mountains--so different from the tree covered ones I'm used to. Here is a shot I took from the window of the plane. I was such a nerd oohing and ahhing and snapping pics with my phone. You would think I don't get out much . . . oh yeah, I don't

2) I believe that flight attendants have very different personalities than those we used to ascribe to them. At least the 12 I had over the course of my flying did. Most seemed to be a cross between a strict librarian and aspiring stand-up comic. (Not that they were all able to pull off the latter.) One of them had me sweating. Another 2 reminded me of my kids because they would race through their stuff to try and be the first one making announcements. And not like they were being silly about it, they really and truly were trying to beat each other to the old fashioned phone to talk first. That amused me.

3) TSA agents enjoy their power. I think day one of training is all about maintaining the scowl while you scan the license and boarding pass and then compare the ticket holder's face to his/her ID. It was almost comical . . . like they were hoping to be promoted to Buckingham Palace Guard. I'm all for being thorough, but seriously, a smile isn't going to soften our national security.

4) There is a series of emotions that I observed passengers going through from check-in to boarding and it goes something like this:
     - excitement- we're here! it's trip time!!
     - mild anxiety- will we get checked in on time? do they have our reservations? do i have my id? does my bag weigh too much?
     - relief and impending dread- (sigh) got our boarding passes, got our luggage in (hope it makes it), now I have to pump myself up to quickly undress and hope all my liquids are in the right containers and pray that there is no overly friendly patter-downer working today
     - panic- shoes off, cell phone in, jacket off, belt off, laptop out, purse sideways, bag on, lipstick out, jewelry off, walk through, don't hold up the line, don't make it beep, get redressed in .4 seconds
     - irritation/relief- finally through security, but where the heck is my gate and do I have time for a snack and a magazine? and will I ever cool off from that safety routine/fiasco? and I cannot wait to take a nap on the plane, that was like a marathon
     - restlessness and fear/hope- wait, wait, wait, wait, line up, wait (Dear Lord, please don't make me sit next to that person . . . or that one) wait, board, find seat, find place for overhead storage, try to gracefully sit down, covert observation of neighbors, get over disappointment/start practicing holding your breath, try and get comfortable

5) For all the work and stuffed fears of crashing, it is SO WORTH getting to go places. And so fun to people watch. (And so interesting to wonder if you are being people watched. Josh pointed that out.)

Monday, November 7, 2011

Do you know the way to San Jose (lalalalalalala)

Can you name that movie? My Best Friends Wedding . . . the two "classy" cousins from Nashville sing that line?

I was singing it off and on all weekend because . . . Josh and I enjoyed a WONDERFUL weekend in the Bay Area of California. (I also serenaded him with other Bay related songs all weekend. I'm not sure he enjoyed it as much as I did, but they made me giggle.)

Here we are our first night there

I wish we looked like we were having fun . . . hahaha

We were a bit on the frigid side; one, because it was cold and the wind coming off the bay made it really cold, and two, because we were watching these jokers surf in the FREEZING COLD Pacific Ocean and just the thought of it made us shudder

The waves were INCREDIBLE! Seriously. That man in the picture is standing up and the wave is TOWERING over him as he surfs. It's crazy and beautiful and exciting and, well, mainly it's crazy!

Before dinner (yummy, healthy, delicious, fresh seafood dinner), we got to see these cute little buddies.

In actuality, they are neither cute or little, but they are so ugly and loud and smelly that they manage to pull off adorable. I am in love with sea lions. They heft themselves up onto the docks and snuggle up to each other to stay warm and sleep. They fuss at each other, too. And they reminded me a little bit of my own crew of wild animals when they have croup with their barky yelps.

We hit some San Fran hot spots on Saturday

 Alcatraz and China Town (not pictured)

The Golden Gate Bridge (a major accomplishment for a bridge-a-phobic)

The Full House house (hey, I'm a child of the 80's, it's a hotspot)

But, the REAL highlight of the trip was getting to hang out with our very missed friends, the Lundys

We got to spend Friday night as couples and caught up on life and laughed a lot. Like, my stomach hurt and I almost spit my drink out twice kind of laughing. Tim and Lea are dear friends that we met almost 10 years ago. We have walked through so much together and have birthed a small litter of kids between the 2 couples. They are precious people who mean so much to Josh and I. In August, they loaded their family up and moved to California to bless a whole 'nother slew of people. We are all very jealous and sad that they aren't here, but so proud of them. It was such a treat to be with them for an entire weekend and so bittersweet to spend all of Saturday with their kids as well. 3 sets of our kids are very close in age, especially Kent and Tru, who are just a few days apart and the best of friends. I felt guilty getting to see him without Tru.

It was an AMAZING weekend and with each flight closer to home, I grieved the loss of them a little more. I guess we will just have to go back and visit again soon. Darn.

My sweet parents kept our kids all weekend. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!!!!! When I got home, I was bombarded by hugs and a welcome home sign, clean clothes and bathed kids. Not a bad way to end a great weekend.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011


Let's face it, 35 is young. I mean, maybe to someone who is 16 it sounds ancient, but really, 35 is young. Not even mid-life (Lord willing). It is older than 30 and 25 though, and while we are facing things, I might as well own up to a few things that being older brings . . . a few lines on my face, a slower metabolism, less energy (really, how did any of us survive college on that little sleep and awful food?), phrases that I never thought I would use ("I can't understand that music and it is too loud!"), no one asks for my driver's license anymore (excuse me, you should!), kids that I babysat from birth are getting married, I know someone who knows someone who is a grandma at my age (do the math, it's possible), and I could go on and on.

I feel so grateful, though, for the 35 years I have had, for the blessings I am overwhelmed with, for the support and love I receive when the blessings are struggles. So, here, in NO PARTICULAR ORDER, are 35 things I am thankful for.

1. Josh
2. My kids (I did debate cheating and using 4 spots.)
3. My parents
4. Josh's parents
5. The rest of our family . . . siblings, grandparents, cousins, aunts, uncles, the whole kit and kaboodle
6. Our home--when it's messy, when it's clean, when it's loud, when we are sleeping
7. A hot shower or warm bath
8. Diet Dr. Pepper
9. God's grace
10. A new awareness of how freakin' good we have it
11. Sleep (any amount of it I can get)
12. Reading
13. Writing
14. 'Rithmetic . . . ok, I'm not really thankful for arithmetic, but it reminded me of a song growing up
15. My AMAZING FRIENDS . . . all specific answers to prayers and fun, fun gifts
16. Getting to watch my kids grow up into the humans God created them to be
17. America--c'mon y'all, no place is perfect, but we have it pretty dang good here
18. Our church
19. Traveling
20. Thyroid medicine
21. Diet Coke
22. The fact that Josh and I like the same shows and movie and aren't ashamed to plant ourselves on the couch and enjoy them
23. Exercise
24. The smell of coffee (even though I don't like the taste of it)
25. Jesus
26. Laughter
27. Memories
28. 33 years with Granny
29. Tater-tot (our somewhat neglected, but totally adored dog)
30. Purses and shoes
31. The beach
32. Feeling God's pleasure
33. Faith
34. Hope
35. Love

There are so many more, but for now, I think 35 is a pretty good number.

(Sidebar, I am not thankful that while I was typing this, Bo found my leftover birthday cake and raked his precious little hand through the icing. UGH.)

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Just a quick one

I'll be back soon with a birthday and halloween recap. (hopefully with pics since Josh has cleared up some space on our computer!!)

but for today, i have two quick things for you . . .

first of all . . . jessica simpson and kim kardashian leave me speechless. according to one website, jessica has been "hiding" her pregnancy while waiting for some magazine or entertainment source to pay her to announce that she is prego. that poor baby. looks like jess is taking a play from the joe simpson parenting book on how to make money off your kid. and then 72 days?! let's break that down monetarily . . . $10 million wedding divided by 72 days = $138,888.89/day. who knew anything could be more outlandish than that wedding?!?!?!?!

and in the REAL world, please click this link and vote for Josh's elementary school. his mom is still a teacher there and it would be so cool if they won the Glee save the music contest. voting ends on november 7th!