Thursday Ten: Salad Fueled edition

1. In effort to detox from the massive amounts of junk food i ate over the holiday weekend, I’ve eaten so many salads this week. I feel all virtuous and mighty but OH MY GOD DO I WANT A COOKIE.

2. The girls and I spent the holiday weekend with Chris and his family. It was great to get away from home and we had a lot of fun. Also? Got to see the Blue Angels for the first time in YEARS.
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3. Ahhh, the joys of summer and kids who resist going to bed at a decent hour. Sigh. I know, I know, they don’t have school to go to in the mornings, but they still need their sleep and I still need an hour or so of downtime each night before I zonk out. “I’m rolling up my yoga mat,” is the latest excuse for procrastinating bedtime.

4. Took The Princess to a pediatric orthopedic specialist yesterday for an injury she got during gymnastics which turned out to be… no big deal. The verdict was tendinitis and she has instruction to take it easy for awhile to let it heal. I’m relieved it’s nothing major, and am actually pretty impressed with the local medical center for kiddaroonis. It was a good experience (easy for me to say because it turned out to be nothing).

5. As a surprise, my sister cut Pumpkin’s hair a week or so ago and I LOVE IT. The short and sassy style suits my daughter’s face and personality so well – and the upkeep is much much easier for her tangle-prone hair. She may never have long hair again!

6. Every time I watch “House Hunters International” I wonder if the realtors are thinking, “You stupid Americans, didn’t you do ANY research on how much it would cost to rent a flat here before you decided that THIS was where you wanted to move?” Why do they always seem so surprised when it’s expensives?

7. Currently reading: Eleanor & Park. I know it’s a Young Adult book but it’s sweet (so far) reading about a first love.

8. Maybe I should get a hair cut.

9. My next Stitch Fix is due to arrive next week and boy do I need some new clothes. Here’s hoping there’s some good stuff in there.

10. I treated myself to a pedicure after last week’s web launch and you know, I have to do that more often. Not just so I can avoid having janky feet, but because it felt heavenly to pamper myself. I’ve found a great place near by that doesn’t cost a fortune, so maybe I can make it happen at least every other month. It’s a splurge but it’s sure nice for peace of mind.

Thursday Ten: Lack of Depth edition

1. I get a little bit down sometimes that I am not doing any real writing here lately. I hate that I write once a week and it’s just a series of thrown together thoughts and I can’t seem to put anything more together. I HAVE THINGS TO SAY, GOSH DARN IT. I just…don’t.

2. My lack of words here is more about time than it is about self-censorship. The self-censorship affects me everyplace else. My biting my tongue about stuff is how I get to the point where I’m rambling to Chris about Hobby Lobby at midnight on a Tuesday. Poor guy. I HAVE OPINIONS ABOUT STUFF. I am also reasonably certain that no one is looking to be convinced – one way or another, most people have a pretty solid belief base – and I’d either be preaching to the choir or raising someone’s hackles. Either is…unnecessary. So, you know, midnight Hobby Lobby ramblings.

3. Midnight Hobby Lobby Ramblings is my new band name. MHLR, for short.

4. Know what’s super great? People who start their Fourth of July celebration super early. Yeah, fireworks all the time, all week. That’s not annoying.

5. Launched a client’s website at work this week and instead of feeling relieved, instead my brain is awash with things that still need to be done. Oh, goodness. It’s my first huge project and it’s hard to take a sense of joy in the completion when there’s immediately a list of things to fix. I went to work Tuesday preparing for all to fall apart – and dressed up for the occasion: Launch a site, look professional and if the world collapses, at least I’ll look good. Fortunately, that didn’t happen. Yesterday a few things went a little wonky and so while the new site is live (WHOOHOO!), I wish I had just more time to revel in the accomplishment before I had to get right back to work making improvements to it. Sigh.
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6. I’m a little bit in love with Coke’s #ShareACoke campaign. I even bought a diet Coke (which I kind of don’t love) because it had my name on it. What a fun campaign. I love looking for the names of people I love when buying beverages. Yes, I know that soda is bad for me. I also know that I don’t drink much, I don’t smoke, and I don’t do drugs. Coke Zero is my drug of choice. That, and tacos.

7. To soothe the chaos of a website launch: Margaritas.

8. Sciatic nerve pain is a pain in the …(“There is no butt, there is only the tops of legs.”)


10. coming up with the tenth thing is often harder than it should be. Today my tenth thing is about how difficult the tenth thing is – mainly because if I keep trying to think of a tenth thing, I’ll kick something.


Thursday Ten: Nothin’ Like a Blown Fuse and a Bad Lamp Edition

1. A fuse for my living room tripped the other day and no matter how many times I tried to re-set it, it kept shutting itself back down. Flash forward two days – a friend came by, poked around all the electrical outlets in my house and everything worked fine. Later that night, out it went again. To spare this from becoming a crazy long post about my stupid house, the culprit was a living room lamp that now resides in a pile of trash somewhere in west Michigan. Yes, the lamp kept throwing the power out. And now I need a new lamp.

2. I got a sample of Jamberry nail stickers and loved them. I ordered some and put them on my nails last night. It didn’t go as well. I think my nails may be too short for a Jamicure right now. (If you don’t know what they are – they’re nail decal stickery things. Basically because I can’t paint my nails without messing them up. Apparently I mess up stickers too.)

3. In a mission to take better care of myself, I’m exercising regularly again and (sigh) using the LoseIt app to count calories. I think perhaps it just may work. It’d work easier if people quit bringing yummy food into the office. I resisted both brownies AND doughnuts the other day.

4. I can’t believe it’s Thursday already. Summer makes the weeks fly by so quickly. Sometimes it’s good, sometimes it’s…less good.

5. You can tell the week has been busy by the number of times I take pictures of flowers.
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6. My daughter’s gym emailed the other day to let me know of the price for this year’s competition leotard and apparently there’s been some sort of shortage in lycra trees or the spandex farmers are on strike because the leotard cost 26% more than last year (Oh yes, I did the math). And I’ll buy the damn leotard, but I really get irritated at stuff like this. Says the gym owner, “We try to take the cost into account when we select the suit.” Oh? Because there are gorgeous suits that cost a lot less. Same brand, same quality. Given that they recently hosted a slumber party for the gymnastics team, and then ASKED THEM ALL TO BRING CLEANING SUPPLIES FOR THE GYM, I’m on my guard when it comes to extra expenses.

7. I peeled off my Jamberry stickers while writing this post.

8. My dog has taken to sleeping on the floor at the foot of my bed. He likes me best. Probably because I buy the dog food.

9. After, I think, six beautiful and perfect spring weather days, gross summer weather is here with a vengeance. OH THIS HUMIDITY. The weather is doing not very nice things to my hair.

10. People who share awful news stories on Facebook – Why? I don’t want to see the abused dog. I don’t want to see the gross pictures. I don’t want to see video of people being abused. So… why are they sharing? Less gloom and doom, more pictures of puppies.

Thursday Ten: I Miss My Short People Edition

1. My girls have been with their dad this week – summer schedule has started and while I suppose I’ll say more about that at some point, I’m having to adjust again to having them away from me for so long. It’s a weird feeling. I miss them and their noise. They come home tomorrow. I’ll be glad to have them back.

2. Chris and I were able to leave town this weekend which was lovely and calming and fantastic. We made amazing burgers and potatoes, we sat on the deck reading and drinking wine, and just got to spend some really great time together.

3. Summer storms are a lot better when I don’t have to drive in a torrential down pour. Also, summer storms are better when you can forget about how all that rain is going to make your lawn grow really tall and you’re gonna have to go mow it again.
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4. The girls and I went shopping the other night and I picked up a new book, Eleanor & Park, which is a YA novel and I have no shame about that. It’s gotten great reviews and I needed something I could maybe ease through, but first, I need to finish working my way through Natchez Burning by Greg Iles.It’s a great book, but it’s kind of dismal (euthanasia and racial tension and people getting murdered – all that perky stuff).

5. After a repair a handful of months ago, my 24-70 lens is already acting stupid again. Pfffft. Time to find something new. Something crisp and sharp and NOT WONKY.

6. I’m less than 100 days from the end of yet another 365 — and will likely keep rolling through and begin again. Started a second 365 a few weeks ago – nothing but black and white pictures and it’s been an interesting project, but only time will tell if i see it through to the end. Two 365s is kind of a lot to do at once.

7. Sometimes my brain doesn’t want to function and that’s when I get sucked into an Etsy and/or Pinterest rabbit hole.

8. I’ve been trying to eat healthfully for the last two days and I’m sure that has something to do with my brain’s inability to focus. It’s the cookie calories that make your brain work.

9. I let the girls take the pup with them this week – Pumpkin misses him when they’re at their dad’s – and I got my dog back tonight. (Kind of a bummer to have my dog back but not my girls, but I guess I’ll take what I can get) I missed him a lot, but just found myself telling him to get his butt off my arm, and I guess I could have done without that.

10. Chris said I should wrap my post by saying again how much I miss my kids, so there’s unity in my post, that it will tie everything together. But silly boy, there’s no unity in a Thursday Ten. That’s the beauty of it. Absolutely no need for coherent cookie thinking whatsoever. (But I do really miss my girls.)

Thursday Ten: Picking Kernals Until Your Gums Bleed edition

1. I love popcorn. I don’t love when the kernals get stuck in between my teeth. When floss couldn’t reach it, I used my fingernail. Ow. What a gross picture I just painted for y’all. Whatever. Popcorn is good. Bloody gums, less good.

2. LAST DAY OF SCHOOL! It should have been last week, but… you know, a thousand snow days. After today I have a fourth and a seventh grader which means that I’m still as old as dirt.

3. Had a great mother/daughter date with The Princess this weekend and took her to see The Fault in our Stars. We both read, and loved, the book prior. It was good to see the movie together and have the lights come up and see each other’s tear-streaked face. She’s now re-reading the book. I’m waiting for her to hurry up and be done so I can re-read.
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4. I’ve been under a bit of stress lately and I really wish sometimes that people would just do the right thing – ignore pride, ignore the need to “be right” and just do. the. right. thing. This thing where things that should be no-brainers are a battle? It is infuriating. Try harder, people, so I can be less stressed out.

5. A week of stress is a rotten time, by the way, to start using the Lose It app again and try to get a handle on emotional eating. Or perhaps it’s the best time. SIGH.

6. And instead of stress eating, you spend a ridiculous amount of time browsing fun little dresses on Modcloth and buy nothing because like you need one more thing to stress out about.

7. All week long, I’ve thought it was Friday. It’s been very disappointing every time I come to the realization that it’s not.

8. I would love to be able to binge watch season two of Orange is the New Black. Instead, I’ve only seen two episodes. Shhhh. Don’t tell me what happens.

9. With school now about over, I am going to have to get the girls back into the habit of “if you get it out, put it away.” Coming home to a messy house after I’ve been at work all day? Not fun. I’ve still got last week’s urge to just CLEAN all of the things and THROW IT ALL IN A DUMPSTER (I have the desire to clean, without the time to actually do it). Here’s hoping that I can get the kids to weed out some of the things they no longer need.

10. I am in need of a vacation. Stat. My grouchiness is reaching new heights.

Thursday Ten: A Stitch In Time edition

1. Got my first StitchFix delivery yesterday – I had been hoping for some fun, flowy summery dresses, so I was a bit disappointed on that front, but I’m definitely intrigued enough that I’ve already scheduled another “Fix” for July after giving some pretty thorough feedback. I really hate mall shopping, so I want this to be the answer. Time will tell.
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2. The end of the school year is always the worst. Ten thousand activities, things to remember. Gah. It always seems that the schools cram SO MUCH into the last few weeks. Drives me bonkers. And wears me out, too.

3. Also, the girls are so antsy and energized and have short-timer syndrome that getting them to go to bed at night is like pulling teeth. Tuesday, Pumpkin lost a tooth and didn’t fall asleep until 10:30 that night. The “Tooth Fairy” was so worn out by the time Pumpkin finally zonked out that the Tooth Fairy maaaaaay have forgotten to stop by Tuesday night. Good thing she was finishing up her route Wednesday morning. Gah.

4. Is there anything more annoying than trying to figure out which smoke detector is chirping in a house with over a dozen smoke detectors?

5. I helped The Princess with her homework last night. I did algebra AND: I GOT THE RIGHT ANSWER. While I couldn’t describe it to her in words, I was able to explain the steps I did after I had done it — I spend so much of my time most days with words! Good to know I can still number.

6. The kids aren’t the only ones not getting enough sleep. I’m pretty sure that I’m not either. A lot of stress and a lot on my mind. I wish for a bit of calm. Maybe once school gets out.

7. Went to Chicago the other day to watch Debbie and Barbara cross the finish line for the Chicago Avon Walk – felt weird to not be walking with them, but the plan is still to walk in NYC this October. I don’t know how that will go without Debbie and Barbara – I’ve never done a walk without them, but I love New York and I can’t wait to see what I see during 40 miles on foot around the city.
dear chicago you'll never guess

8. The So You Think You Can Dance audition rounds are on and there was a performance last night that made me cry – sometimes I just don’t *get* dancing, and sometimes it kicks you in the brain.

9. Woke up yesterday with the urge to rent a dumpster and just CLEAN. HOUSE. So much clutter and junk we don’t need anymore. We start today. The girls are going to go through their playroom and get rid of the stuff they don’t need. Next week, we tackle dressers and closets. I’m just tired of so much useless STUFF.

10. I think I know what smoke detector is chirping. Thank god.

Thursday Ten: Post Birthday Indigestion edition

1. Well The Princess is now twelve. We celebrated with family and it was low key and lovely and she’ll have her birthday party with friends at her dad’s house this weekend. I’m kind of bummed, in a way, that I’m missing her friends party, but then again – perhaps I’m not. I’m only bummed because I’m missing seeing my girls have fun. Beyond that? I remember one of her birthday parties – a friend pulled a cd off the shelf: “Is this what they used before iPods?” And then my head exploded. Anyway. Maybe I don’t mind missing that. But we had a good evening and my Princess was totally loved and showered with thoughtful gifts and kindnesses.

2. And it was in the low-70s yesterday! WHOOOOO! I’ve been struggling with this whole skipping-over of spring that we’d done. The 80 degree weather has been killing me. Yesterday, despite the threats of rain, it was actually pretty darn nice. Jeans and tee weather which is PERFECT.

3. Birthday celebrations with cake, three kinds of ice cream and pizza with “12″ spelled out in pepperoni leads to antacid at midnight. Too much. All good, but all too much.

4. It appears I have a day in front of me on Saturday with not a single thing to do — so my plan? A two hour workout. My schedule has not been my own lately. Looking forward to sweat, good scenery and moving at my own pace.

5. That may or may not have been in part triggered by the pizza/cake/ice cream birthday binge. Gah.

6. When your daughter takes your camera (your backup!) and a rarely used lens to school for a presentation and then calls you sobbing because the lens is NO LONGER IN THE CAMERA BAG, you get bonus mom points if you can keep yourself together, not get upset and do what needs to be done. The good news? It wasn’t a lens that I use at all anyway. The even better news? Someone found the lens and turned it into the office. It’s funny, because y’all know me – I stress and wig out over the littlest things – but, it didn’t even phase me. Was more important to not have her crying on her birthday.

7. Pumpkin is coming down with a bug and she’s got a nasty cough and she’s losing her voice. I’m not entirely sure if it’s really a bug or if it’s allergies, but I feel so badly for her. Her poor little voice sounds so froggy.

8. Chris and I spent last weekend making a lot of really amazing meals. This weekend? I’m probably going to live off Golden Grahams and coffee. No plans to cook. None, whatsoever.

9. Last weekend we saw a bumper sticker. It said, simply: “OPINIONS.” It was probably the best bumper sticker ever. I wish I had taken a picture.

10. How is it Thursday already? Anyone else totally messed up from that three day weekend?

To My Daughter on her 12th Birthday

Dear Princess,

Last week your language arts teacher sent an email assigning your family and people who love you to write you a letter that will go in a time capsule for you to open up in six years, during your senior year of high school. I knew, when I saw that, that I’d be writing your birthday letter soon so admittedly for the past several days I have had versions of both letters tumbling through my head – and I’m not sure what I want to say for either, only that thinking of these letters makes me want to cry.


How are you 12?

There’s something about having a middle school kid who is wearing size 9 Chucks and who is becoming more responsible every minute… it’s making me feel a) old and b) that this is all going so fast and that I’m going to blink and you’re going to be opening up that letter your senior year before I have had a chance to process the years between now and then. And I don’t wish them away, not at all. I never want to hold you back, but I like that you’re still my kid and I’m still your momma and that I’ve still got some years with you under my roof before you fly.

And fly you will.

You are, in a word: Amazing.

You are funny, responsible, intelligent, talented, creative, kind-hearted, and beautiful. You are an old soul and you are sassy. You are sarcastic and you are gracious. In short, you are everything I could have ever dared ask for and so much more I couldn’t have dreamed of, and yet you are.

You are fierce and tender and loyal and lovely and there are times when I catch a glimpse of who you will be when you’re older and it’s good. I’m so proud of you.

I’m proud of you when I see you compete at a gymnastics competition. I’m proud when your teachers tell me how much they enjoy having you around. I’m proud of you when you thank me for doing something special for you. I’m proud when I see you with my friends and how you are entertaining and witty and you light up a room. I am proud when you bake your crazy awesome cookies that everyone loves so much. And I’m proud when you do nothing at all, when you just are. Because it’s not all about big moments – you bring light into my life in small ways too.

You still like gymnastics, reading, baking. You are going to do a presentation on photography soon and that makes me smile, that my hobby is yours. You help me pick my pictures of the day, sometimes, and you are so exacting as you look over the images for clarity and point of view.

Your room is usually a mess and you nag at your sister sometimes as if you were the mom. You are prone to bouts of “hanger” and at times you can be easy to upset.You believe in fairness. You believe in vanilla ice cream cones with sprinkles. Your cousins adore you and actually, most kids adore you, even toddlers you’ve just met climb into your arms like you’re family.

And twelve years ago, I held you in my arms for the first time and now I am thinking of today and this year and six years from now and how you’re not a baby, not even close, you’re right smack in the middle of this growing up thing and I think you’re turning out pretty okay, and I am so happy about that.

I have no idea what this year will bring – seventh grade, yes. More gymnastics, probably. I try to think back on what I was doing in seventh grade and I can’t remember much beyond a crush on New Kids on the Block (which is not altogether unlike your crush on One Direction). This is our last year before the teen years, and I always hope that you are not one of those girls who will end up hating her mother as I’ve been warned can happen. I think I’d be devastated if it did.

I am, as I am every year, excited to see what this year holds.

I wish I had something profound to say to you this year, but I am also trying to think of something profound to say to Future Six Years From Now You and I find that that causes me a great deal of feelings because I don’t want to think yet of that and what your future holds.

For now, though, you’re here and I’m glad and there will be no flying out of the nest today, only excessive amounts of pizza and mint cookie ice cream. We’ll sing happy birthday and you’ll blow out the candles and I’ll take lots of pictures of you, my beautiful daughter and I’ll wonder where the time went and how are you twelve and look how blessed I am to get to be your momma.

Happy birthday, kiddo. I love you with my whole heart, Princess. I’m so lucky to be your mom.

<3 Mom

Thursday Ten: Yes I’m Keeping Track edition

1. We’ve had two gorgeous days in Michigan in 2014, yes I’m keeping track. Yesterday, was 80 and humid. Too hot. It’s like we entirely bypass spring here in Michigan and skip right to Circle of Hell. Pfffft.

2. Really amazing bread toasted and slathered with real butter and a cup of coffee. Perfect breakfast? Hmmm. Pretty close to it.
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3. So I watched a 16 minute YouTube video on how we’re all wearing the wrong size bra and how to properly measure and can I just say while I’m curious to see if they’re right, I don’t believe I’ve ever seen a bra with a 30″ band in a store and I don’t especially feel like paying shipping charges to test the theory. But…I am curious.

4. My first StitchFix is due the week after next and I’m very excited and nervous about it. Was hoping to avoid shopping for clothes before then but this 8000 degree weather dictates I buy some short sleeve tops, pronto.

5. Spend time ironing Girl Scout patches on to a sash only to have them almost immediately fall off? But of course.

6. I really miss writing. I think of when the last time I’ve really had to just sit and write and the thing is… I don’t know. My house is cluttered and I haven’t written and I have three baskets of laundry to fold and I wonder where that time is going to come from.

7. Next week my daughter will be twelve. And I will be ancient. How do I have a nearly twelve year old?

8. I cannot believe the school year is over. Also, I cannot believe all of the things that the schools try to cram into the last few weeks of school. Really? Y’all needed to save all of that until NOW? Shoot, we weren’t doing anything in February. Why couldn’t we have done some of this stuff then?

9. This weather, while too humid and too hot, calls for margaritas sipped outside as the sun sets.

10. I am coming up on three months at my job. I cannot believe it’s only been three months and I cannot believe it’s already been three months. I think that it’s sometimes easy for them to forget that I’m still so new – sometimes because I’m on a roll and I’m getting things done and sometimes it’s because I still have a lot of questions because IT’S ONLY BEEN THREE MONTHS. I have a project from hell that should be wrapping in the next month or so and I am so ready to wash my hands of it. It’s making me crazy. Too many cooks in that project kitchen.

Thursday Ten: On the Mend. No Wait. Nevermind. edition

1. After EIGHT DAYS STRAIGHT of having a fever, I was relieved on Tuesday to be fever free finally. And then yesterday, it came back. Day by day, I’m taking it. Even without any of the gruesome symptoms of illness (like vomit), just having a fever day after day AFTER FREAKING DAY has been exhausting. There have been days where I’d have rather gotten this bug as The Princess did – hardcore illness for 24 hours and then DONE. Sigh.

2. With the weather warming up, I’ve been thinking of painting my front door. Of course, with the weather warming up, it’s done nothing but rain here, so….

3. While I’ve always been prone to stress and overthinking, I got hit hard with a particularly rough bout of it the other night – a stressful whirlwind that had my mind spinning while my mind should have been SLEEPING. I’m going to have to not do this because it’s really not healthy for me. “Stop worrying, Sarah!” Oh, if only it were that easy. I know it’s not. But somehow I am going to have to learn how to not freak out about every little thing because…Sleep.
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4. We went from gross winter to a sweltering hell pit of humidity. I’m glad that the temperature has leveled off a bit because dang Michigan, why you gotta be like that? But you know. Now it’s raining.

5. Yes. I mentioned the rain twice. Three times.

6. I have half a carton of heavy cream in my fridge and I want so badly to make butter with it. I don’t know why. I don’t really put butter on stuff. I just… want to make butter.

7. The Target Cartwheel app rocks my world. Well, mildly rocks anyway. I find that it has pretty decent deals on things that I actually buy, and for that, I love it. Apparently Meijer has a similar app, so I downloaded it and then it malfunctioned in the account set up phase so boo on you Meijer. I guess I’ll keep grocery shopping at Target. {Oh, this is what it’s come to. Rain Rain Rain Grocery Shopping.}

8. The kids have less than a month of school left. Where the hell did this school year go? I cannot believe that it’s nearly done – and it hit me the other day that if all the years fly by like this, I’m going to blink and The Princess is going to be graduating high school. Eeps.

9. I’m starting to get eager and nervous for my first Stitch Fix shipment. It should be here in just a few weeks. My worst fear is that nothing will fit. My second worst fear is that I’ll love everything and it will cost a fortune. I guess we’ll see. (Do you StitchFix? How’s it going for you?)

10. Life rule number one: Be nice. Life rule number two: If life rule number one is too difficult for you, try harder. Also? Why is it so hard for you to be nice? HUH? Snap out of it. No one likes a meanie.