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Friday, September 28, 2012

My Boy, His Blankie

"Nothing but heaven itself is better than a friend who is really a friend."

Do you have a best friend?  Someone who inspires you with their undeviating goodness?  Someone who knocks your socks off with their wit and charm?  Someone who bolsters you up when life is crummy and seeking to push you down?  Do you have a best friend who would never leave your side--a constant, a rock, in the world's shifting sands?  Do you have a best friend who is a tremendous source of comfort to you?  Who brings you joy, exponentially?

And is this best friend......A BLANKET?!!?!

My "Little Man of the House" has a best friend, a most loyal companion, a beloved pal he calls, "B," or "Blanket," or "My Blankie."  They are the dearest of buddies; an inseparable pair, as one is rarely seen without the other.  

They go everywhere together.  Like:

The farm!  (Yes, he and his best friend are SITTING in the DIRT beside the rabbit pen.)

Bear Lake!  (For sand and sun and swimming and fun and....blankie.)

In-N-Out Burger!  ( I will meet up with you for an "animal style" cheeseburger ANYTIME!  Cam will come too.  He will bring his blanket.)

Even the pediatrician's office!  Oye!

Other places the Cam Man has gone with his best friend?  Target, Wal-Mart, church, the elementary school, Home Depot, the DMV (to renew my license that had expired TEN MONTHS prior, and unbeknownst to me...whoopsie!), the park, the playground, Chick-Fil-A, Hobby Lobby, a wedding, the state fair, and on and on.  That blanket has been dragged through malls, hotels, parking lots, and muddy puddles.  I have lost track of the number of times I have washed it.  (Did I mention that if Cam and his "best buddy" momentarily separate, he bawls inconsolably?!  That makes for a VERY long wash cycle.)

But no matter the extent of his attachment, no matter the hassle and inconvenience to his mama, one simple and sweet fact remains constant:  That piece of blue, silky, worn-around-the edges blanket makes my buck-toothed dreamboat happy.  Which, ultimately, makes me happy!

Now, if he's sixteen and still carrying that thing around...we've got a problem!!


Wednesday, September 26, 2012


A face is just a face without a mustache!

Sorry this one is so short and sweet, but now I really mustache... 

(Question:  Do you think I should talk to my girl who waxes my brows, 
and ask her what can be done about my upper lip?!)

Have a happy and not-so-hairy Wednesday!

*Thank you, Highlite Photography at Gardner Village, for the photo that is too fabulous for words.
*I love you, Cobi @, and Megan @, and Aly @! 

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Millions Of Peaches, Peaches For Me

I learned how to can my own peaches!

That magnificent, earth-shattering thought sends tingles up and down my spine!  I catch myself--at random moments during the day--repeating it over and over in my head:  I canned peaches.  I used a water bath canner to can peaches.  By canning peaches, I obtained a higher and more glorious level of domesticity.  I am a goddess.  I did it!  I canned my own peaches!

Canning is a frequently misunderstood skill, as well as a dying art form.  (Which is tragic.)  I don't know many women who take the time to do it.  And truthfully, it is something I never thought I could learn.  (Remember how when it comes to "mad skillz" in the kitchen, I am a doofus?)

But here's something you probably don't know about me:  Learning to can my own peaches has always occupied a spot on my beloved bucket list.  Really!  Right up there with "see the Sistine Chapel" and "learn to play the banjo" and "publish a book" is "learn to can peaches" before I die!

This week, I happily checked the "learn to can peaches" item off my list.  (Yaaaayyyyy!!!!)  My ultra talented and amazing friend, Denise, brought her canning equipment to my house and set me to work learning the ins and outs of preserves.  It was a riot!  A messy, hot, sticky, busy, steamy, peachy riot!

Denise was an excellent (and patient) teacher.  As we worked together in my small kitchen, I thought about how terrific it is to have caring friends who are not only happy to serve, but who are willing to share their talents with me.  What a blessing!  (THANK YOU, Denise!)

Upon completion of our crazy-fun, canning session, I asked Denise what her primo canning tips would be.  She graciously gave me permission to share her insight with my dear friends and readers.  Ready?!

Mama Denise's Tips for Canning

1.)  If you are a beginner and would like to give canning a try, or if you are already a pro but would like a point of reference, you need the "Ball Blue Book Guide to Preserving."  It is the canning Bible...and an all-around neat book!

2.)  When canning, you always want to use fresh produce.  Beware of using produce that is overly ripe.  If something is moldy, questionable, wormy, or icky, toss it!  You don't want one bad fruit or veggie to ruin your whole batch.  While you are sealing the good produce in, you want to be careful you aren't sealing in the bad bacteria too.

3.)  Be sure to have lots of Diet Coke on hand throughout the process.  It's long and it's hot, and having a refreshing "DC-On-The-Rocks" within reach will help!

When the dishes had been cleaned, and the kids had been tucked into their beds for the night, I tip-toed downstairs to the kitchen to take a peek at my jars on the counter.  I pulled out one of my ginormous craft totes and got busy decorating some of my jars with scrap material.  When McHubby asked, "Why bother?," and "Who are you doing that for?," I answered, "Me.  I am doing it for me.  Because I'm very proud of what I accomplished."

And because I bedazzle EVERYTHING!

Friday, September 14, 2012

Heaven Help Me!

My "End Of The Week" Checklist

*Daughter is still weepy when I drop her off at school in the morning.  Check.
*Daughter informs me that school is "just not her thing."  Check.
*Daughter proves her independence and new-found bravery by riding the bus by herself...
for the very first time.  Check.
*Daughter exhibits odd behavior on the bus, warranting disciplinary action from the bus driver.  Check.
*Daughter incessantly mentions that school is "seriously lacking" in toys.  Check.
*Daughter makes a new friend in her class.  Check.
*The new BFF is a boy!?!  Check.
*Daughter whispers a secret in my ear, telling me she is engaged and is going to marry BFF.  Check.

*I am losing my mind.  Check.
*I am stressed out, beat down, and tired.  Check, check, check.   
*I am coping with exorbitant amounts of "Grandma's Chocolate Brownie" cookies and Diet Coke.  And trips to Target for nail polish and sparkly lip gloss.  CHECK, CHECK, CHECK, CHECK! 

*I am a mother.  Check.
*It is HARD.  Check.
*It is great...


Monday, September 10, 2012

The Secret Of Life

Yesterday, my dear friend shared "the secret of life" with me. 

I know, I know!  A BIG deal, right?  It was very gracious and kind of her to impart her wisdom on me.

This tidbit of information has changed my life.  Well...for the last twenty-four hours, anyway.  I am not talking about "the fountain of youth," people!  (Though, finding an exceptional eye serum would be nice.)  I believe it is more grand than that.  It is not the secret to financial success.  (Though, I kind of wish it was.  I have my eye on a pair of plum-purple boots.)  No, it is small.  It is simple.  Upon introduction it may seem insignificant and underwhelming.  I am here to tell you that it is not!

I am here to tell you EXACTLY what this sassy mama told me.


First, you take a regular, chocolate Tootsie Roll.  (Yes, I wear hot pink, polka dot pajamas.) 

Unwrap that little darling.

Next, you take an orange flavored Tootsie Roll.

You guessed it!  Unwrap that little darling.

Lastly, the part that will make your heart stop and your head explode.  The part that will change the way you think about Tootsie Rolls.  The part where you will want to pull out your "Thank You" cards and write one to me, PRONTO!  The part that, as I said earlier, has changed my life...


Ahhh-mazing!!!  Oh my goodness, it is DELICIOUS!  I just can't seem to get enough of this delightful little treat.  Who needs eye serums and plum-purple boots when you've got Tootsie Rolls?!  Not me!

Maybe I need the boots...


Wednesday, September 5, 2012

First Day; A Letter

My dearest Lilly,

Today was your first day of kindergarten, and I would bet I was more terrified than you were!

You looked so grown up in your spankin' new Skechers, toting your purple, kitty cat backpack.  My breath caught in my chest as I took your picture and thought, "I can't believe you're almost six and a kindergartener!  How did that happen?"  Time passes quickly when you least expect it to.

We drove to your school and talked about all the marvelous adventures you will have this year.  I felt a lump rise in my throat when we pulled into the elementary school's parking lot.  You probably don't know this, but I took a couple of deep breaths before opening your car door.

And the first thing you did, my darling girl, was reach for my hand as you slid out of your seat.

We made our way to the east doors, to congregate with the other anxious kindergarteners (and their anxious parents) before going into the school.  With each step across that dark pavement, you moved closer to me, tucking your shoulder behind my hip.  I knew you were scared when you held my hand tighter.  I held on tighter too.

Your teacher greeted us with a radiant smile; her face as bright as sunshine.  She welcomed you to class with absolute sincerity, and quickly saw you were worried about your first day.  I watched her reach for (and hold) your hand as you walked into the classroom.   And I knew then--from that small gesture of love--that you were going to be okay.

Sometimes--in life--we have to do things that are hard; things that are foreign or uncomfortable to us.  Often we are faced with frightening tasks; bravery seems fleeting when we must stare down our fears.  We wonder how we'll find strength in the middle of the tumult, when our hardships cease to abate.  Sadly (but naturally), we cower and quake when we feel our faith start to fade.

But I want you to remember this important thing, Lilly:  There will always be a hand for you to hold.  A hand to help you through it.

You are surrounded by loved ones; the members of your family.  They will strive to be there for you, to champion you through rough patches and to celebrate your triumphs.  You have a good heart and loving spirit, and will make friends wherever you go.  They will be there for you, too.  Your friends will show their love through Coke slurpees and Popcorners.  They will send you text messages and emails when YOUR son or daughter goes to kindergarten.  They will call you to make sure you are okay.  They will leave Diet Coke on your doorstep (and a mark on your heart)!  These are the ways they will "hold your hand"--to offer you solace and support.

Then there's me, Lilly.  Don't forget you have me.  My hand will be a constant; continually outstretched to you.  All you have to do is take it.

My best to you this school year,
and with love,
Your Mama