Archives for August 2012

To be continued

Life is full right now. Full of grand things and the beauty of miracles unfolding.


Life is hard right now. Full of the unknowns that leave you with so many doubts and fears.


Life is fun right now. Full of joy and laughter and a family united.


Life is changing right now.


Life is busy right now.


I’ll be back tomorrow with a fun surprise.

The Tooth Fairy’s a Vampire

Tia lost one of her two front teeth last week. It wasn’t the one I expected her to lose first, which means the looser of the two front teeth was left hanging precariously to the side without a mate to hold it up. In short, it was the epitomy of The Snaggletooth:


Because she outright refused to let us pull it, I tried to come up with as many creative ways to “accidentally” knock the tooth out for her. We went to Busch Gardens twice last week and I purposly put her in front of me on several rides hoping she would slide forward and bump her mouth.

Just a tiny bump, enough to jar it loose is all…

Finally, I caught a break on Sunday when she and her dad were doing some sort of gymnastics/cheerleading move and she bumped her mouth on his knee. Before she even knew what was happening, I had my fingers around the tooth and gave one solid yank.

I figured I only had one chance so I had to make it count, and I succeeded. Then I nearly passed out from all the bleeding. Ugh…mouth bleeding.

Aren’t you glad you stopped by to check in on us today? You aren’t eating are you? Sorry…

I didn't know it was possible for her to get any cuter...

So we had the tooth and Tia had a lisp and all was well in the world again. We spent the night at my parent’s condo last night, which was very exciting, because whenever the Tooth Fairy visits at the condo, she leaves money behind in a shell.

That is, of course, if the blasted Tooth Fairy doesn’t forget and head to bed instead of doing her job.

Tia walked out quite dejected and disappointed this morning. She saw my dad first and I heard the conversation.

Tia: “Boss, the Tooth Fairy didn’t come.” small sniff

Dad (aka ‘Boss’): “Uh-oh. I wonder what happened. You should go see if your Mom knows anything.”

She walked around the corner holding her tooth, her eyes sad and dejected. And I? I thought fast…

“I am so sorry, kiddo. That was Mommy’s fault. You went to sleep last night with your glow sticks by your pillow and the Tooth Fairy is afraid of light so she probably got spooked and left without taking your tooth.”

And then she grinned. At least I think she did. It’s hard to tell if she’s smiling when I can’t see any teeth. A few minutes later, I heard her telling Sloan the reason the Tooth Fairy didn’t leave behind a treat.

“The Tooth Fairy is afraid of the light?” he asked. “Like a vampire?” 


Tonight her tooth is back under her pillow with a very sincere apology note for scaring her off last night. And as soon as the Tooth Fairy gets off her tail and quits blogging, she is going to go deposit a dollar under the patient child’s pillow. The child who insisted there be no light on to scare the Tooth Fairy tonight.

Landon sleeps on the other side of the hallway and just after I put him to bed he called me into his room. “I need light,” he whimpered. “I don’t want the Tooth Fairy to come in here and take my teeth.”

A small note now lays outside his door that reads, Dear Tooth Fairy. Please do not come into Landon’s room. He has not lost any teeth. Thank you so much.

What’s the most creative tale you’ve ever had to tell your children?

PS – I know this business of telling our kids about the Tooth Fairy and Santa Clause and the Easter Bunny can be a hot button topic. We have chosen to allow our children the magic and fun of believing in those things while they are young. We plan on telling them ourselves that those things are just myths when we feel the time is right. We will be letting Sloan in on the secret this year because clearly when you start drawing connections between the Tooth Fairy and vampires it’s time to end the game.

This is what we have chosen to do in our family. I respect completely if you feel differently about the issue.

Old House Help

You know the website Young House Love? You know how cute their house is and how good they are at updating it, changing it, decorating it, loving it on a budget?

Imagine that but the complete opposite and you have my house. Full of potential but unfortunate to have an owner without a decorator’s bone in her body. I am frustrated with the state of my house. I don’t love it and I don’t know how to change it on a budget.

Yes, I know Pinterest could help, but Pinterest also leaves me feeling really overwhelmed and inadequate. I have to look at Pinterest with a paper bag handy for when the hyperventilating begins…

My biggest headache right now are the curtains in our bedroom. I cannot figure out what to do with them. I’ve heard shower curtains are a good idea as well as bed sheets. I wanted to get a large peice of fabric and just buy the rings that clip to it, but those are so expensive and I think I’d have to know how to sew in order to make a slab of fabric work.

Fabric doesn’t come in slabs does it?

Please don’t judge me.

So here’s what has been hanging on our windows since February.

Yes, you are seeing that correctly. It is plastic, room darkening shades that have been crudely cut and rehung on broken, plastic curtain hanger thingies. There used to be fabric hanging over them, but I didn’t like it, plus the people before us had a cat and the dander in the shades was leaving me sniffly and swollen, so I cut the fabric away, gave it to my friend Bethany and promised myself I’d figure out something else soon.

That was six months ago.

These are the colors of my bedding. Most of my house is muted browns and greens, which the owner before us apparently loved. I prefer much more color and since I can’t afford to remake the whole house, I figure I can at least incorporate the colors I love into my own space. So I want curtains with color.

But which color?

More of the colors I love. With new curtains and some neautral paint on the walls, I think I could actually enjoy walking into my bedroom, rather than wanting to cry each time I go in there. Yesterday I saw a link to these rockin’ painted curtain rods, but again I’m left feeling entirely discouraged because I DON’T KNOW HOW TO DO THIS!

I adore these. How do I get them?!

Photo from Selina Lake – if you like this photo, click the link and Pin it from the original source. Then come back here and tell me how to do this…

As you can see from the photos I have already purchased curtain rods. They’ve been leaning against the wall for about four months. Every time I go to the store I browse the fabric, the shower curtains, the regular curtains and the sheets and I always walk away empty handed and teary eyed because I just don’t know.

If you have suggestions, I am all ears. Or, well, since I’ll be reading it, I’m all eyes. Feel free to leave a Pinterest link if you think it would be helpful. I’ve got my paper bag ready and waiting…

Poor, sweet, pitiful curtains...

Updated to add a picture of the curtains open for Amy. One side is a sliding glass door, the other a large window.

Watch your back, Peyton Manning

Dear Peyton Manning,

I think you’re great. I mean…well, truthfully, had I not married into a family full of sports nuts, I probably wouldn’t know who you were. I’d likely have only a passing awareness of your name, but I would not be intimately aware of the details of your life, your big moves (Go Denver! Okay, I totally had to pause to go look that fact up and make sure I was right before hitting publish…) and your familial affinity for the game of football.

But my life involves a whole lot of Sports Center, so I do know these things. I know you’re considered one of the greatest Quarterbacks of all time (at least, I think you are. Actually, I don’t really know all that much at all…) Anyway, my point is this – you’re really good. I know you are. But you might want to watch out, because this kid?

He just could de-throne you.

What’s that?

Who am I?

Oh…I’m just this kid’s Mom.

Note to self - We need to invest in one of those giant tents because the Florida sun is intense.

Yes…I know that makes me partial and that my opinion is completely biased and I seem to have very little true knowledge of the ins and outs of your sport but…

What? Why do I think he’s out to take your spot as one of the greats?

Also need one of those water packs. Brilliant!

Oh, you know…only because he threw four perfectly spiraled passes for four touchdowns in his first football game ever after only three practices, one of which he did mere seconds before being sacked.

Watch your back, Peyton. There’s a new kid in town and he’s got quite the swagger.

Oh and by the way…he also has a little brother who happens to be a sports prodigy so you might want to tell Eli to watch out, too. Today it’s the Manning Brothers but give it twenty years…it just might become the Stuart Brothers.

In my totally and completely biased opinion…

PS – I used to think there was nothing cuter than a little boy in a baseball uniform. I was wrong. Little boys in football uniforms take the cake.

Do you have any budding little athletes in your house?


I took the boys with me, a Mama and son date. Tia spent the weekend having her girly tank filled with her cousins. They did hair and played dolls and giggled and laughed. And so it was that I was alone with the boys for three days and errands were an unwanted necessity.

The kid’s school requires uniforms so I’ve been on a quest for the cheapest shirts possible however, the color shirt they’re required to wear is not very common, which lead us to the uniform shop in a rougher part of town to pick up several shirts specific to their school.

We rolled to a stop after exiting the highway and Sloan saw him first. He was standing back from the road a bit, his thin slice of carboard offering a two word plea.



Had I been alone, shamefully, I would have ignored him. I would have stared straight ahead so as not to make eye contact and avoid the awkward. I would have said no to the least of these.

But I wasn’t alone. I was in the car with a nine year old who is determined to change the world – a nine year old who just might do that someday if I don’t mess him up.

“Mom, give him some money! He needs help!” He said this as he rooted for loose change and reached for my purse. But I didn’t have any money. I never have cash on me. Cash means Starbucks to me so I rarely carry it to avoid the temptation.

“I don’t have money, babe,” I said, regret lacing my words.

“Yes you do,” he cried, holding up a handful of coins triumphantly. One quarter, one dime, one nickel and one penny. Every coin represented.

“Honey, that’s not really much money. It won’t help him. You can’t do anything with .41¢.”

“Well, he can save it, then, until he gets a little more,” Sloan replied and really, how could I say no? My child was asking me to do good. Like I said, here’s to hoping I don’t mess him up…

I rolled down the window and motioned the man near. He walked with a limp to the car window. “I’m sorry it’s not more,” I said, my face flushing a bit. Why was I embarrassed? Why do I still feel like I must do something big for it to hold any lasting impact? “It’s all we had and we wanted to help.”

The man took the four coins with dusty hands and his eyes filled with tears. “Ma’am,” he said as he separated the penny from the rest of the group and held it up in the sunlight. “If you had just given me this one penny, it would have been enough but you chose to give more. I can’t tell you what this means to me.”

I smiled and blinked back my own tears. The stoplight was soon to change, I knew this, so I turned quickly and pointed to my freckle-faced boy. “It was his big heart who wanted you to know that we see you and we love you and we will be praying for you.”

Sloan leaned forward so he could see out the window and the man looked at him deep. “You’re a good young man,” he said. “Listen to your Mama and stay in school, you hear me? And don’t ever let anyone tell you you’re not good enough, because you are.”

Sloan nodded and then spoke, his words filled with a grace beyond his years. “Thank you, sir,” he said. “I will be praying for you every day.”

The light turned green and we moved forward. The man stepped back from the road and as we made our left turn, I looked back to see his face buried in his hands, his shoulders heaving. In his clutched fist, he held tight to .41¢.

We pulled into the uniform store a few minutes later and Sloan looked at me with heavy eyes. “We should do more for him,” he said and I nodded. I felt it, too. “Like, can we buy him a house or something?” he asked. Just like his Mama, he thinks big.

I smiled and ruffled his thick hair. “We can’t buy him a house, but we could buy him a meal,” I said and he smiled. So that’s exactly what we did. After picking up shirts for the next school year, we swung through a local restaurant and ordered a meal and a bottle of water then rushed back around to the spot where we first met him.

He was gone.

Sloan’s face fell as he clutched the bag of fries and burgers. “Where did he go?” he asked, his face scanning left and right. “Oh I see him!” Landon screeched from the back seat, excited to be a part of this moment with his brother. Our friend sat under a bridge with another man. He was smoking and speaking animatedly.

“How are we going to get to him, Mom?” Sloan asked and just then the man stood up and started walking back toward our corner. We didn’t have long. I grabbed the food, jumped out of the car and waved at him, setting the food on the curb then rushing back to the car. He hurried over, his face registering shock.

“I was just telling my friend Peter about how much you blessed me and now this?” He looked genuinely surprised. The light turned green and I pulled forward. “God Bless you!” he called as we rounded the corner and he disappeared. A few minutes later, as we merged on the highway, Sloan spoke up again. “Will we see him again, Mom?” he asked.

“Probably not,” I said.

“Can I pray for him now?” Sloan asked and I nodded my head yes. And with eyes swimming, I drove us home while my nine year old demonstrated a faith that moves mountains. The faith of a child.

Did you know that .41¢ could change the world?

Yeah, I didn’t realize it either…

Ready, Break!

I like to call this Portrait of an iPad.

I am on technology overload this week and I’ve hit the burn out zone, which can only mean it’s time for a much needed break.

Sometimes the constant noise leaves me feeling emotional, unsure of myself and altogether irritable so I’m just going to take a few days off to collect my thoughts, get a little rest, clean that mystery stain on the couch and try to solve the issue of the ants in the bathroom.


In the meantime, I’ve seen some really amazing posts online this week. I will leave you with the words of those who are wiser than I am and will hopefully come back next week a little more rested and a little less grouchy.

Shaun’s post on why bigger crowds are less compassionate rumbled through my head all week and gave me much pause for reflection.

He also launched the new and improved Compassion Bloggers site and it’s clap your hands awesome. You should check it out!

Becke’ strung together words in the most beautiful way yesterday nearly leaving me breathless. She is ridiculously talented.

Sophie made me laugh out loud (LOL? No…) with her exciting new heights of under-acheivement.

McKayla Maroney rocked her vault leaving me a little stumped as to how on Earth the judges could have given her any less than a perfect score. Perhaps they are robots, incapable of emotion? Her post vault reaction also made me wish I could bring her home with me and put her in my pocket just so I could pull her out and have her jump up and down and say “Yay,” every time I needed a little cheering up.

Angie Smith wrote about her table and managed to make me cry in the process.

The Olympic Swimming Team’s cover of Call Me Maybe makes me so very happy. It will make you happy, too. How cute is Missy Franklin?!

That’s it for me this week. I’m off to take the kids to the park, buy some school supplies, hopefully take a nap and spend a little time just being quiet today. You know, I remember a time when the internet wasn’t around, when there weren’t 52,000 TV stations to watch and when the only thing that tweeted were birds.

Because I’m that old.

Does anyone else ever feel like they’re on sensory overload? No? Just me?