I did it!

A triumph, Ms. Pierce. I total triumph!

Wednesday night, I made an audible list of things that needed doing on Thursday. Halfway through the list, I sighed.
“I physically can not DO it all,” I said to my husband, “But it needs done. I just need one extra set of hands -another me -just for a couple of hours.”
“So get one,” my husband shrugged, his eyes intently focused on his video game.
“I can’t do that. I would cost $20.”
“We have $20,” he said.
“No, the two of us can just work a little harder…”
“Just take one thing at a time,” my husband said, giving kindly-meant advice. He doesn’t understand that women aren’t blessed with the gift to take one thing at a time. At least, not when they’re mothering two and a half children.

Then I slept on it. I woke up and texted my cousin, and between the hours of eleven and one I DID IT. I finally hired housekeeping help!
It was liberating, to say the least. While I braided hair, made lunches, marked homework, folded laundry, did dishes and bleached counter tops… my living room floor got vacuumed -and not just vacuumed… it was VACUUMED. Trinkets were unearthed. Nails uncovered. Polly Pockets sucked into the machine!
It was glorious.
Just shy of two hours and my bathrooms were sparkling and my floors were all cleaned.

I never thought I’d actually DO it, but indeed I did.

I had four piano lessons yesterday afternoon… they would take two hours of my time.
Not-a-one student showed, so I felt really silly about hiring help to clean (sorry, cinderDolly!) when apparently I would have had the time to do it myself. But I couldn’t have known that. And I ended up using those two hours cooking.
I would have been too worn out to clean toilets by late afternoon.

Is my house magically transformed into a modern palace? Nope, but at least it’s in order (ish).
And I’m proud of myself for actually doing it.
And I’m thankful for Dolly for being so willing and not minding my hot house (we were both covered in sweat) and the fact that I use mostly homemade cleaning products (vinegar isn’t a cleaner you take to on first use).

I can almost hear the servants singing to me, “Congratulations, Professor Higgins! On your marvelous victory!”
And now I need to go clean my house.

What? Like it really STAYED clean… Anyway, it’s only surface clutter.

“[The house] is really lovely, underneath it all.” ~Gwen Stephani

Poetry -Sheer Poetry!

There’s something about sitting next to the bed of your small children, cracking open a musty-smelling old book, and reading classic poetry to them.
It’s storybookish.

Mary dies.
I had just finished reading the MOST beautiful lullabye poem, gently turned the page, and started reading the very non-biblical story of Mary and Martha. As I read, I had to catch a cough in my throat.
Maybe the kids wouldn’t understand what I was reading. But maybe they would… and they’d be scared in obedience.
I do confess to using the story of “The Boy Who Cried Wolf” to scare my children into honesty, and it worked wonders. I read another beautiful poem about two birds, newly wedded, trying to find a place to build their nest. It was adorable.
And then.

Who knew soap could be so deadly?  I mean: TURTLES FATTENED ON HIS BLOOD!!!

I also read a beautiful poem about Toyland… my daughter’s favorite. And then I read a poem about a little girl named Helen who didn’t wear her galoshes outside in winter and (you guessed it!) died of croup.
Sweet dreams, babies! *yikes*


Progress just sounds so much more awesome when you pronounce it pro-gress. Prawgress just sounds so… uncivilized.
Everyone, raise your tea cups and little finger to pro-gress!

When my alarm went off this morning, I GOT UP. I’ve had my alarm set for the same time every day for the last since-I-can-remember. But for the last few months, I’ve been waking up only long enough to shut it off (snooze button, you say? For weenies, I say). Opening my eyes was seriously difficult, and if I couldn’t open my eyes I wasn’t about to try getting up and walking around.
I’d get out of bed at 8 sometimes. 8:30 sometimes…

The past few days have been ridiculously hard on me. Why is it so hard to control my appetite for sugar? I mean, Little Debbie looks so wholesome on the box! But her food! It’s the most delicious poison on Mother Earth!
Killing me softly with it’s song!

I can say that about her, you know, because we’re such close friends. If we weren’t, she might get offended. But we’re tight. No matter now much sugar I chop out of my diet, there will always be room for her -even if it’s only once a week.


Monday was hard. Tuesday was a little better. Wednesday my alarm went off, and I popped out of bed. I went for a 20 minute walk! I visited with a neighbor, gave her some veggies from our garden and came home with four freshly picked JUICY peaches (you should see my pregnant belly, all covered in peach juice) and a bag of garden-grown red potatoes.
My kitchen runneth over.

On Sunday, I taught sharing time. We talked about Moses delivering the slaves out of Egypt. One 11 year old boy asked (snarkily) from the back of the room, “Why is Egypt all cool when we’re in school and then we get to church and it’s all evil.”
I looked him directly in the eye and seriously said in my best churchy voice, “Pray about it.”
And then I laughed and said, “Because in school you learn about the kings! In church we learn about the slaves! Would Egypt be cool if you were a king? Heck yes! What about if you were a slave? Yeah, not so much…”

We talked about how if the freed slaves (Israelites) did what the Lord asked them to do, he would always take care of them. He sent them manna, telling them to gather only what they needed for one day. If they gathered more, the manna would become worm-infested. Yum.

via susanbailey.org

But the manna that came before the Sabbath was different -it was still manna, but it would not become infested with worms. They could gather enough for two days so as to rest sufficiently (sans wormy manna) on the Sabbath.
They obeyed and followed Him -He took care of them. That promise is still rampantly in place today!

I prayed for help to eat better, and like manna from heaven so has healthy food been plopped on my door step -no foolin’. I’m out of food budget money, but I am not hungry. I have cantaloupe from the neighbor’s garden in my fridge (it is to DIE for -seriously, it could start it’s own religion and have a roaring following). I have peach juice on my shirt. I have potatoes.
The Lord wants us to take care of our bodies, and I’ve had to make silly, stupid sacrifices to follow and obey His instructions. So I didn’t eat a lick of cookie dough while I baked cookies for Show and Tell. So I only ate one cookie. So I didn’t take the frosting can from the cupboard, douse my finger and then lick it all off in one cavity inducing motion.
Dumb stuff. Kid’s stuff.
But guess who noticed? Heavenly Father noticed! He saw my little sacrifices, understood how BIG they actually are to me, and He’s blessed me with all kinds of health-related blessings.

Yesterday I went to my Father in Heaven with a problem, apologizing before I could even get out what the problem was because the problem was so small -so dumb -and sososo STUPID. I poured my heart out. I opened my scriptures, and throughout the rest of the day ending ONLY minutes before I closed my eyes to sleep, I was flooded with answers.
Specific answers.
Answers SO SPECIFIC to what I was dealing with that I was again completely humbled and floored… like, “Even I know in my head how ridiculous this whole ‘problem’ is… but Heavenly Father really doesn’t? There’s a hurricane blasting a multitude of his children in the South. There’s an AIDS epidemic. There’s children out there being starved and beaten. There’s wars. There’s corruption. And you mean to tell me that Heavenly Father can STILL manage to put answers into my lap about things that I WOULDN’T BOTHER MUCH WITH IF IT WERE MY CHILD AND MY OTHER CHILDREN WERE OUT STARVING AND DYING!?”

God is in the details.

I don’t pretend to be perfect. I will never be perfect on this earth. I don’t bother trying to put off that I AM perfect, that I have a perfect marriage or perfect children or a perfect home… I believe strongly that perfectionism is the shallowest plague that’s ever touched American soil.
More importantly: God doesn’t want me to wait to perfect myself before I come to Him. BECAUSE I CAN’T PERFECT MYSELF. Only He can perfect me and save me.

So instead of not bothering him with my stupid issue (because bothering him would mean I wasn’t perfect and couldn’t handle it on my own -for shame!), I bothered Him. And He wasn’t bothered a bit. He showed me two specific articles, a few specific scriptures passages, and even wrapped my day up with a phone call from a friend that began with her simply saying, “I know it’s late and I’m sorry… but are you okay?”
Not to mention the handful of texts I received at random from friends that read something like, “I like you.”

I’m humbled. I’m completely humbled. What a great lesson I’ve been taught.
My little problems really ARE little now.
As little as the brand new baby calf that greeted me on my morning walk.

Thanks to my walk, today has been thought out.
My great-great grandfather, Joseph Christian Hansen, used to sit each morning on what he called a “calculating couch.” His coined phrase was, “A day well thought out is a day half done.”

Well, I don’t have a calculating couch. I have a functional futon. That’s worth something, right? Instead, I calculated while I walked (women always were the multi-taskers), and my day is officially half done.
Here’s to a day of laundry, deep cleaning what I missed on Monday, and chopping up jalapenoes for my yearly stash of candied jalapenoes.
I’m so grateful today. My kitchen AND my heart runneth over.
Let me leave you with just one more Hansen coined phrase:

Say Hi to Grandpa on the left, and then enjoy your Wednesday.
And don’t forget to bother Heavenly Father with your stupid problems. You might just be overwhelmed with how stupid they really aren’t.


So I have an addiction.

I’ve known about it for years, but it didn’t seem like a big -or even uncommon -addiction, so I’ve let it slide.
It’s sugar.
My body needs it… which is to say: I NEED IT.

A few months before getting pregnant, I was doing really good about watching it. After pregnancy and morning sickness hit, it was a sort of free for all. If it tasted good, I ate it. Did I eat Fruit Loops? Yes. Even though I knew it would send my body into a weird blood sugar place that left me in a fog, exhausted, and on the couch for the rest of the day? Yes.
I am sad.

After my birthday came and went, I realized with a little gentle help from my husband that I need to get a grip. Saturday I did better. Sunday I did better.
Smack dab in the middle of church -minutes before I was supposed to present Sharing Time -I was hit with a wave of cold sweat and shaking. I had no choice but to get home and eat something (which ended up being a PB and J with a side of cookie dough. Fail!).
Don’t you hate that phrase? “I had no choice.”
It’s the phrase of damnation, I tell you.
I want to have a choice, so I kept trying. After Sunday came Monday. I did well Monday. Was it easy? NO! I had the hardest day! I struggled to get my house clean because my body was lagging -withdrawing! It wanted sugar. I gave it a peach (or two). I spent a full hour in the early afternoon on my couch, a bundle of nausea.
My cleaning day was labored, at best. I only got it half done (but you should see my fridge!) and today I’ve got my work cut out for me.
BUT. I only had one sugar cookie topped with a little frosting (FHE treat, we also used it as part of our lesson on gender).


“I’m tired of people acting like they’re better than McDonalds. It’s like… you may have never set foot in a McDonalds, but you have your own McDonalds. Maybe instead of buying a Big Mac you read US weekly. Hey, that’s still McDonalds. It’s just served up a little different. Maybe your McDonalds is telling yourself that Starbucks Frappuccino is not a milkshake. Or maybe you watch Glee. It’s all McDonalds. McDonalds of the soul. Momentary pleasure followed by incredible guilt eventually leading to cancer… I’m lovin’ it!”
~Jim Gaffigan, comedian

Sugar is my McDonalds.

In an effort to ditch my McDonalds, I’m using a combination of prayer, yoga, reading, recipes, productivity, and yes -even elements of the 12-steps.
Extreme? Not really. The 12-steps were recommended to me by a friend, and they are -without a doubt -mind blowingly awesome. Game changing. Life changing. As in: everyone should use them to conquer their McDonalds.

Speaking of productivity: I deactivated my facebook again.
I’m lovin’ it.

Week End

One of my favorite Downton Abbey episodes is the one where Maggie Smith asks, “What is a Week-End?”

It rolls off her tongue so unfamiliar. I love it.

My mother is wonderful. This we know. You would think that with ALL that wonderful gathered up in one peck of a person, she’d be bursting with advice for other -How To Be Wonderful, a book by Anna. But she’s not. In fact, she is the very opposite! If you want advice from my mother, you have to sneakily pry it out of her.
On Friday, I went up to Mom’s to pick some of her Crab Apples. Her Crab Apple tree has gone fairly mad with apples, and I thought the boy and I could snag a few.
Minutes before arriving at Mom’s, I’d had a little upset over the bus schedule. Because I’m pregnant, a little upset felt like a BIG upset and I huffed and puffed all the way to Mom’s house where I blew out my steam. She listened and smiled and didn’t offer advice, but sat down and visited with me for a bit. After I’d calmed down and Mom and I had shared a few laughs, Mom said something to me.
It sounded like advice, though it was given so gently that I didn’t even realize it WAS advice until I got home and repeated it to my husband who stopped what he was doing, looked up at me, and said, “Wow. That’s… profound. You should write it down.”
I should.
And so I am.
Mom asked me if I remembered telling her (or did I blog it?) that I felt like less of a mother because I didn’t do any big Back to School kind of things. I didn’t do a feast with coordinating place mats. I didn’t plan a party. I didn’t do anything, really. Except the girl and I sat for an hour or two and made hair bows together the day before.
“Things like that are good, but they’re only good once in a while and as a surprise. If you do it all of the time, you raise entitled children. Children aren’t entitled to things like that. Things like that don’t bring them happiness. If you want to be a good mother, teach them how to be productive. You’ve never seen a productive person that wasn’t happy. We’re put on this earth to be productive. I’m happiest when I’m producing something, anyway.”
And then the conversation went on, as conversations normally do when I’m involved.

But it really stuck with me, what she said. I thought about it while I picked apples. I thought about it when I got home, and I thought about it Saturday morning. I had just finished getting dressed for the day. I looked out my window and saw my Dad. He was working. It was Saturday morning, and he was working because he WANTED to (“What’s a Week End?”). He was out on his farm doing I don’t know what all, and between hearing my mom’s words in my head and watching my dad from the window, I was suddenly uprooted from where I sat.
“Okay, kids!” I said, pulling their eyes away from the TV screen with my loud voice, “Turn it off. Lace, you pick up the shoes. Trent, you pick up the toys…”
and then it was, “Trent you do the trash. Lace, you vacuum up the mess around the birds’ cage.”
(Did I mention that we have TWO birds now? Blu, the blue one and Green Lantern, the green one.)
And they did.
While they worked, I did the dishes. Once the kitchen was cleaned, I set up a juicer and we juiced apples.
There’s so many things I love about this picture. I made his shirt. She’s wearing her Dad’s socks under her awful, worn pants…

“This is how apple juice is made,” I told them. They took turn washing apples and juicing apples. The “stomper” was all too fascinating to them (think it will still be fascinating in 10 years?) and they got the biggest kick out of the apple poop (pulp) that came from the end of the juicer.

Don’t mind the bubbles in the apple water… we remedied that situation.

The kids had to push REALLY hard to get the apples through. Watching my son was the BEST.

They were so satisfied with their job well done. After the pulp was taken to compost, my daughter managed a costume change and then they sat together at the very dirty table to sample their juice.

They were beyond thrilled. I used the juice to make a batch of crab apple jelly, and then I straight up bottled the rest on account of how delicious it was. I heated up a bit, added a dash of cinnamon and 2 Tablespoons of maple syrup and WOW.
I want more of THAT later on this year.
I’ll be gathering up more apples from wherever I can scrounge them up around town and bottling more and more juice. My great grandmother used to freeze it, and I think I’ll go that route.
And I’d better make more jelly because it was delicious as well. Why is it when you make something from what you’ve grown, it always tastes SO. MUCH. BETTER?  I didn’t grow the apples, but Mom did.  And Mom grew me.  So it all works out somehow, right?
I just love Saturdays. And I love that my daughter finds time to break the school dress code and just be her fun self at home. Before school started, I used to let her wear whatever, whenever. My husband was a little perplexed by it all (“doesn’t she look like a rag child?”) but I knew what was coming… a childhood of dressing for the school code -no tutus, no fairy dresses, no fun.
That’s why I love Saturdays.

The only thing better than Saturdays is Sundays. Rest, rejuvenate, and rest.
And there’s nothing like waking up to your house on Monday morning to realize that YOU DO MATTER because without YOU (Alicia) the house would look like this every day.

So in a way, that mess is… comforting?
Cleaning day, here we come!

What, Again?

At the end of every day when our family gathers around the dinner table, I ask everyone what their favorite part of the day was.
“Morning school,” my daughter said.
“Doing da apples,” my son said.

(best apple picking partner EVER)
“Coming home,” my husband said.
We were all chowing down on the dinner my husband had made. I marinated the steak meat on Thursday, he grilled it on Friday. He picked the first batch of corn from our little garden (we planted late), and BOY was it amazing! We opened a few cans of green beans and BAM!
Best dinner ever!
“What was your favorite, mom?” my daughter asked. I didn’t know how to reply.
“Getting the mail,” I started, “I had my first REAL letters from Ju from Tanjay.”

“And I had a little package from Tia with a homemade necklace…”

“…and the most hilariously awful children’s book I’ve ever read.”

I’m so grateful for friends who send me things like awful children’s books. Parked in the Post Office parking lot, I read that little book and laughed so hard I cried. If that isn’t one of the greatest gifts you can give to someone else, I don’t know what is.
I don’t want to spoil the ending, but here it is.

And here’s something: the ending has nothing to do with the beginning of the book. or the middle of the book.
Also: my nails were painted by my son while we watched Rocky II. I should also mention that Baby Girl was kicking me so hard during that flick that I nearly cried. Strongest baby ever.
Anyway, going back…
“I also loved picking apples with Trenton.”

“And getting a late surprise birthday card from Lacy.”

“And I loved when Beki brought by 7-layer dip and chips, and I loved visiting with Steven this afternoon and enjoying the present he gave me.”

This morning, I ate THE MOST delicious breakfast of bacon, eggs, green apples, and toast topped with homemade crab apple jelly, given to me by a dear friend, and I’m just overcome.
I’m overcome at how giving everyone can be… my daughter who made a birthday card in a panic when she realized a week later that she’d forgotten to make me one on my birthday (I didn’t remind her at all… she just came bursting into the bathroom in the middle of the bath, horrified that she’d forgotten).
My husband who came home from a day of work to do half of the dishes, take out the trash, and crank out the best dinner ever.
My son who so willingly lended an apple-picking hand and who spends most of his day trying to make everyone around him laugh.
My friends, who, when I try to help them always turn the tables. And I find myself entering their houses fully determined to serve and leave having been served. Mind boggling.
My sister, who took time to write me a letter that came a full month after she wrote it, but AT JUST THE RIGHT TIME. It sent me into tears, reading what she had to say.
My brother, for being who he is and always seeming to know what the perfect gift is. “He’s always good for a laugh.”
My Tia, for being the best gall darn person on the face of the earth. I’m seriously afraid she’ll die soon. People like her just don’t last for long here on earth. God wants them back too badly. What a great example she is to me!
My baby, for being strong in every way… so strong I can feel her in every way… so strong even my husband can feel her in every way. She’s inspiring us and motivating us to REALLY step it up before her grand arrival. Bucket, Mop, Broom? Baby says, clean up the room!
(Gosh, how many Disney quotes can I fit into one post?)
My life, for being so ripe with blessings, for being lived. I am lucky. How many girls get a rad birthday and then a birthday aftershock a week later?
And now I’m off to clean up the house and make some applesauce. Canning always makes me feel super human.


Confessing things is good for me. Shoving things I try to hide from world out into the open is… embarrassing, but it helps. Tonight I have to confess something because I’m hoping in doing so, I’ll get the heck over it.
#1) I swig. From my milk jug. My husband doesn’t even know I do this, and I used to never, EVER. I can’t even tell you when it all started, but I have a notion it started somewhere between 9 pm and 5 am on any given day… when I was too tired to dirty another dish. I’m awful and gross, I know. And I don’t do it EVERY time I need a drink -I promise, mom.

#2) I eat cookies for breakfast. In very fact, if I’m having a hard time getting up and I remember that there’s cookies on the counter, I will spring right outta bed. It’s really sad, and I think it stems from my loving being a grown-up. No mom to tell me not to! But really… I AM the mom. I AM the mom. I need to chant this to myself before I eat the cookie dough in the fridge.

#3) I am terrified of Microsoft Word.
That was my big confession. Here’s the deal: I’m writing the story of my mom’s accident. Only I’m not WRITING writing it. Not yet. I’m interviewing people and stuff. I have a title in my head. I even know how I’m going to start and finish, and I WANT to open a word document and start writing, but every time I sit down to start I just… don’t. I find ways to distract myself. I’m afraid of messing it all up -of making it into something it isn’t -of missing something -of adding too much. I’m afraid it won’t be great because it deserves, really, to be GREAT. In short, I am afraid of failing.
Despite every poster every made and tacked to the walls of my beloved high school… I’m still afraid of failing. It isn’t as if my mom’s story is being sent off to a publisher to be accepted or declined. It’s going into my mother’s hands and my grandmother’s hands and my siblings hands. And they all love me enough to let me mess up.
But do I love me enough?

I deserve to though.

SEE?! I knew you would make it all better. I’m going to open that document now. And the minute I’m done, I’m going to pour myself a glass of milk and then go to bed, no added sugar involved.
You’re the best cheerleader/mentor/listener ever. Have I ever told you that?

Failure? What failure?

What Is Love

I can’t tell whether I’ve just sung the opening to Haddaway’s “What Is Love” or if I’ve answered a question on Jeopardy.
“What is love?”
“Correct, for 500.”

I’m just… I’m disturbed a little. I love my pinterest account. It’s so great. I use it every day. There’s a lifetime of knowledge waiting to be clicked on, searched, conquered, and repinned!
And then there’s love pins.

Have you ever watched a scene in a movie that went ALL wrong and then yelled at the TV?
“NO! NO! She’s not supposed to walk away! GO BACK! GO BACK!”
When I see pins like this, I want to scream at my computer.
The reason I want to scream at the screen has nothing to do with my correcting nature; rather, it has to do with my concern for the rising generation.
There seems to be some sort of general confusion about love… about what love means and where we get it and what we get from it and how we get it from whom and when and where and what. and why.


False. FALSE!
The other night, I was lying in bed falling asleep next to my husband (nothing mad and passionate about that, and yet…) and I asked, “Do you think if we ever fell out of love, we could stay together?”
“No,” he said, “I couldn’t live like that.”
“I think we could,” I said, “I think we have enough respect for each other and we’re such close friends that if we were ever to lose that spark of love, we could live together very well and nurture it until it came back again.”
“Well when you put it like that…” he said, “I thought you meant if we hated each other.”
Silly boy. Love is for real people.

The world I see around me glamorizes FINDING what WE NEED in OTHERS.
Bella and Edward, your fake story makes me oodles of sad. There’s so many girls (and let’s be honest: married women) out there who harbor disdain for their husbands because they lack a certain Edwardiness.
I’m only going to say this a million times, so listen closely: In the fake story that is not real, Edward had lived for HUNDREDS of years and he didn’t sleep. OF COURSE he understood women! He lived hundreds of years, didn’t sleep, and studied life around him. Can you expect THAT of your beloved? No! No more than you can expect his skin to glisten with glitter.
And before I move on… girls, having a man watch you while you sleep is a crime punishable by jail time. It is NOT dreamy.

The best kind of love is found when you first give yourself what you need.
Whether in a relationship or not, ask yourself this: are you whole?
If you are not, whose job is it to make you that way?
It is yours. It is your job to find a way to be whole.
Now let me ask you this: do you love someone who isn’t whole?
If so, is it YOUR job to make them whole?
Of course not. You can not shoulder that responsibility… and you should not expect someone to shoulder that responsibility for you.

My husband is ridiculously good looking.
I knew that when I first saw him. He thought I was pretty. We made out a lot. Madly. Passionately.
BUT there was something more… there was something beyond the kisses and the flutters and the madlies and the passionatelies.
And honestly: thanks goodness. On several occasions, both of us took steps back and said, “This is nuts. We are all over each other. This can’t be real.”
And something from deep within us would well up -something that can only be described and spiritual -and we would come back together and try not kissing as much.
It never worked.
A few weeks ago, I looked at my husband and asked him in all cheesy seriousness, “I wonder where I met you.”
And he knew exactly what I meant… because I’ve KNOWN him longer than I’ve known him. I knew him when I met him. I didn’t know it the first moment I saw him… I knew it the first night we stayed up until 4 AM talking.
We had to stay up late talking because getting to know someone you’ve known before requires a great deal of talking.

I respect the person my husband is. I love him. I truly love him.
To truly love is to truly enjoy and not truly EXPECT my needs to be met by him. When he does meet them, it’s nice. It’s REALLY nice. It’s BLISS!
But is it his job to make me happy? No. It’s my job to make me happy.
Before you go and get all depressed: is it always your job to make your beloved happy all of the time?
Holy exhaustion, no! It isn’t! They can make themselves happy! If they don’t know how to do this, they are not ready for a relationship.

love quotes | Tumblr

The best part about all of this? You’re free! You’re independent! You get to pry yourself up OFF the couch, away from Edward and The Notebook, and FIND YOURSELF! What makes YOU tick?
Hint: It isn’t NOT someone else.
You get to go on a journey of self-discovery and adventure!
A wise woman once asked, “When you walk into a library, which section do you go first to?”
For me, it’s classic literature. It combines my two passions: the past and words. The past makes me tick. Antique stores, the smell of mustiness, black and white photographs! I love it all! They make me happy for a reason. And words? Writing! I love to write! I love to write the stories of the past -both real and the ones that bounce around in my head all dang day.
My husband doesn’t fill these needs for me.
I can do my own puzzles, thankyouverymuch. I don’t need him to hunt around every nook and cranny for my missing pieces. That’s MY job, and I WANT to do it. It’s more fun to present the one I love with a finished puzzle rather than a woman sitting at a table, weeping, wondering WHERE her missing pieces could be… waiting, waiting, waiting for someone else to come and find them for her.

wise musings from katharine hepburn


I know all of this to be true because I’ve lived both sides. A few years ago, I was The Weeping Puzzle Woman. I was the victim. I was waiting for someone to fix me.

As nice as that sounds, the road to hell on earth is trying to fix someone other than yourself.
Fix yourself, love. Fix only yourself. And when you’re whole, you will be so much more! You will be ready to get out of yourself and GIVE to people who need what you have to offer!
Maybe you’ll discover that baking, cooking, and kitchening is what really makes you truly happy… and I guarantee there’s someone out there who would benefit from what you have to offer! It’s the woman with a new baby. It’s the lonely man in the home care center down the road who would love nothing more than a smile and a homemade cupcake. It’s the neighbors. It’s the kids in your neighborhood. It’s your sister. It’s your child.

Maybe you’ll discover that what makes you happy is making something clean, beautifying a space. So many people can benefit from that! There’s a bulletin board somewhere out there just waiting for you! There’s a woman who can not physically get up who would love your magic touch of cleanliness and beauty.

Maybe you’ll discover your green thumb. Use it! Use it at the park. Use it outside! Use it inside. Gift your products!

Maybe you’ll discover that you make people smile, and that’s what makes YOU smile. So DO it!
Maybe you’ll find that you have healing hands, and I happen to know of a back that needs you right now (mine).
Maybe you’ll discover your imagination again. Maybe you’ll find a love for numbers, for children, for puppies, for paint, for music (even if you can’t sing or play)…
No matter WHAT, if you will embark on this journey, you will find joy.
If you have been depending on someone else for your happiness, this journey will NOT be an easy one. It will get harder before it gets easier, but the liberation you will feel -the awakening of your soul -it is worth all of the energies you possess.
Is this what you want?

love quotes
Or is your REAL fairy tale something more like this:

l   o   v   e
Do you REALLY want mad and passionate and all that jazz? Of course you do. But do you want it forever?
Or do you want to laugh? Do you want mornings where he kisses you even when your hair is all a mess and there’s a funky smell coming from the general direction of the fridge?
Do you want a kind of love that only lasts as long as perky boobs and firm thighs? Or do you want the kind of love that is so strong you can taste it in the air of your 50th anniversary celebration?
THAT kind of love involves respect, friendship, tolerance, a LOT of laughter, teasing, vacations, heartbreaks, bad news, good news, pet graves, late night movies, late night barf clean-up sessions, wall painting, porch swinging, hot chocolate drinking, tears on your pillow, tears on his shoulder, happy laughter, cookies, diets, failures, successes, reading, learning, and RICH FULL THICK LIFE!
Mad passion optional.
Or occasional. Whatever.

true love

And I can tell you this: I would much rather have a man who respects me than a man who pines for me at all times, in all things and in all places.
I mean really. Who would want THAT guy? Puppy of a man.
I want my man to be a man -the kind that holds open doors, grows hair on his chest, and refuses to wear any kind of skinny jean.
If he watches me sleep, I’ll poor laxatives in his porridge. I just can’t take the pressure of having to look stunning while I’m snoring, ladies.
Most of all: I want to offer my WHOLE self to my baggy-jeaned hairy man.
Who wouldn’t respect that?


I was sick Monday night. Apparently, baby hates spaghetti.
I was sick Tuesday day. Apparently, baby feels she really needs to make a point about how much she hates spaghetti.

Today is Wednesday, and I have no food.
Today is Wednesday, and I’m going shopping.
Today is Wednesday, and I have no money.
Today is Wednesday, and I definitely will be spending what money I don’t have NOT buying spaghetti.

Did ya get that?

I’ll be back once I’ve got some food in me.
The world just isn’t right when there’s no cheese in the fridge.

Day Byoo

I took pictures at a reception. That makes me a photographer (hair flip). I should probably name my business.
How about O Snap Point N Shoot Mommy Blog “Photography”?
My cousin just had his reception in my grandma’s backyard. I like to call it The Eden of Joseph City.

Hmmm… Eden Photography?

I wish I was much much better at photography, and after I came home from the reception I hunkered down on my bed and combed through the pictures. I should have liked to weep with shame. Once I lost the natural lighting, I could not get the pictures to turn out right. But I did figure out that if I cropped some of the pictures way down and cut all the people out except one… they didn’t look half bad.
Check this out… aren’t my cousins beautiful? Isn’t my Granny pretty? And isn’t my husband scary? Look at the bad influence he’s having on my cousin, Justin:

Sugar and Spice Meets Thug Life Photography?
Here’s my girl and my niece, who I want to take a bite out of every time I see her:

My niece looks like my oldest brother when he was a little guy. He’s not a little guy anymore, but he HAS a little guy:

You can’t tell from this picture, but my brother is one good looking man. My aunt Lelia and I discussed it at length over pulled pork.

I took that picture of my cousin’s pulled pork. He was holding it with two hands, but I asked him to please put one down… his thumbs were getting in the way.
“Are my thumbs not good enough for you?” He joked.
“They’re just… fat.” I joked back.
Hey! Fat Thumb Photography!
I think we have a winner!

I wish I could have snapped more pictures of the Bride y Groom. Like I said: I’m ripping my hair out with shame, shame, shame.

I was just testing out a new setting on my camera when I captured that gem (Test Test Photography?)… see Aunt Lelia? She Aunt Lelia with the groom? See the bride pop up in the background and pull off a simultaneous nose pick on her new husband AND a silly face?
She will do great things, folks.
You can tell by her shoes.

True story: the only pictures we got of our Joseph City Reception were the ones my best friend Tia took, and they are SO precious to us! They aren’t professional, but they’re all we have and we love them.
My pictures are not professional. They’re not awesome and amazing and supa cool, but ANY pictures are better than no pictures -this I know for certain.
But I bet they still wish the person taking pictures wasn’t going around, pointing a camera in their face and asking them to say, “The first year is the haaaaardesstttt!” instead of “Cheese”:

Whoops Photography.

Arm Flab Photography?
Random Cousin in the Background Photography?
The possibilities are endless…