A Year in Review

This was a year of change for us. Hard, painful, exciting, beautiful growth. Four seasons have passed, three children have grown and a year’s worth of life was lived. This little corner of the web has been a bit of a refuge for me. Scrolling through old posts last night I realized it got a little depressing around here for a time. As we processed the move, I found myself stuck in the contemplative ponderings of change. And so many of you stuck it out as I processed.

Thank you.

I know I’ve already said that, but I need to say it again. I don’t like to get too serious around here. I don’t know why – I guess my ultimate hope is to make you all smile. Life is fun and there is so much joy to be had.

But sometimes life is also hard. Winter settles in and you have to search a bit more for the beauty in the frosty darkness.  A dear friend told me during this more difficult time of transition that she could always tell when things weren’t quite right. “Your writing takes a completely different tone,” said said. “It’s still beautiful, but I just know that your heart is aching a bit more than usual.”

But inevitably winter must thaw and joy breaks through once more. We’re walking toward spring and it’s balmy and sweet. And funny.

So without further ado, I give you 2011 in review:

In January, I laughed until I cried and I beseeched my male readership to please, for the love of all things holy explain to me the obssession with Star Trek. (Best I could tell, Star Trek is to men what Twilight is to women…)

In Feburary, I threw one heck of a pink princess party and lived to tell the tale.

In March I gave you the first sneak peek into my novel (which I will finish in 2012 – hold me to that, internets!).  Oh, and my dorky husband and I made a movie about how hot minivans actually are.

In April my first grader and I debated Creationism and the Big Bang theory. Later Tia and I discussed whether or not she would be able to do handstands in heaven while Landon swore up one side and down the other he saw a kangaroo on the side of the road. My kids are so delightfully weird.

In May I did NOT feel bad about Bin Laden’s death, and I mercilessly mocked my husband’s shoulder shaking dance moves. Oh yeah…and I lost my cool pants. Or maybe I never had them?

In June I gave you all a cavity with the sweetest pictures of childhood ever published.  I also traveled to Montreal and spent the day on a movie set where I interviewed Christine Baransky, died laughing at my husband’s reasoning for why the kids should not touch a bird’s nest and I dug down deep and got more personal than I’ve ever done before.

In July Jennifer Aniston did my hair, we announced our impending move to Florida and my posts got a bit contemplative.

In August people disrespected my smokin’ hot minivan and it was suggested I add ghost flames down the side. I also announced our intention to homeschool and I went to Hollywood and took a million pictures of myself at a movie premiere.

In September I explained why I would not be raising a bimbo of a daughter, then we all rejoiced as she made the most beautiful decision. We also found ourselves finally settling into a home after three months of living like nomads.

In October we worked with our son on toughening up and learning to play with the big boys. Then I humbled myself and admitted to my tendency toward acting like a true blonde.

In November I cried a freakin’ river for a second time, then my daughter and I were scarred for life when we walked in on a man in an airplane bathroom with his pants around his ankles. And I officially coined the phrase “Air Butt.” I also wrote this post, which is another one of my favorites.

Which brings us to December. I found out my eyes have betrayed me this month, I contemplated the value of a man when Albert Pujols left the Cardinals for the Angels, I admitted my aversion to Math (maybe I’m allergic to numbers…) and I died my hair pink.

It’s been quite a year and I couldn’t be more excited to head into 2012. I have big dreams, several goals and a lot of confidence. I think it’s the hair that’s given me a little boost. I hope you’ll join me as we jump into the new year. Perhaps we could all take a lesson from my youngest and leap with reckless abandon and unabashed joy.

Who’s with me? What are you looking forward to and hoping to accomplish this year?

Jennifer Aniston did my hair

It was early morning, the air sticky and hot.  I struggled with my dress, which originally bore the shape of a bad muumuu…made out of curtains.  Unfortunately during the tailoring process, the dress had been altered into a bit of a mini-skirt.  I found myself self consciously tugging at it, all the while singing the song I learned at junior high church camp many moons ago:



Oh you can’t get the heaven (Oh you can’t get to heaven)

In a mini-skirt (In a mini-skirt)

No you can’t get to heaven (No you can’t get to heaven)

In a mini-skiiiiirt.

No you can’t get to heaven in a min-skirt

‘Cause God don’t like no little flirt

All my sins are washed away, I’ve been redeemed

(I’ve been redeemed)


Much emphasis was placed on the need for me not to be late.  It was imperative that I show up on time, which meant I needed to leave extra early because I didn’t know where I was going.  It’s always best to plan a little extra time to get lost.  Especially if you’re me.  I’m fairly certain God forgot to install my inner compass when He put me together.

I ran down the steep hill (mountain?) from the cabin where I and the other participants slept, carrying my flip flops in one hand and holding my shortened dress down with the other.  I finally got to the community bathroom where my friend Melissa met me.  She came out of nowhere – I’m not even sure how she got there….she lives in Louisiana.

“What are you doing with your hair?” she asked as I frantically applied my make up.

“I don’t know!” I lamented.  “My hair looks like a mushroom!”

It really did.  Somehow the humidity had tousled it into a bouffant that resembled a portabella on top of my head.  Making matters worse, I held the hair dryer too close to my head and fried my bangs and they now frizzed out in a bubble of straw right in the middle of my forehead.

As I huffed, I heard laughter from the bathroom stall.  Melissa and I exchanged looks and waited.  The toilet flushed and the stall door opened.

It was Jennifer Aniston!  Perfect hair and all…

Walking up to me, Jennifer studied my hair closely.  “Hmmm…” she said.  “Your hair does need a little TLC.”  She sounded just like Rachel Green.

“Can you help me?” I asked shyly.

“Sure,” she answered with a smile.  She was so nice!  I always knew she and I would make good friends.  Jennifer grabbed a brush and turned me away from the mirror then went to work.  She pulled and tugged and twisted and sprayed my hair with some kind of magic potion from her oversize purse.  A few minutes later she whirled me around and Voila! MY hair was red carpet ready. It was even a little longer.  I’m not sure how she pulled that one off… I felt a surge of confidence and I turned to hug my friend.

“What time are you supposed to be there?” she asked.

“6:45,” I answered.  Her eyes grew wide.

“Kelli!  It’s already 8:21!”

“No!” I kissed her on the cheek and dashed out of the bathroom.  I needed to get back up to the cabin to retrieve my car keys and make my way to the meet up point.  I tore up the steep hill that had somehow  become covered in snow.  As I climbed I found a pair of my sandals buried in the snow and snatched them up.  They would go perfect with my unfortunate dress.

This is when I woke up in a panic and had to tell myself that none of that happened and I didn’t miss the VP Parade, which I am singing in tomorrow morning.  Jennifer Aniston did not do my hair and last I checked there were no snow covered mountains in St. Louis.


If you are in the area and want to come down and watch tomorrow morning, I will be on the Riverboat float singing dixieland.  Look for the girl in a muumuu made out of curtains.  Or in a min-skirt if my dream proves to be at all prophetic.  It starts at 10:00am (and yes, I have to be there no later than 6:45) and heads down 4th and Market.  It ends near Union Station.

Jennifer (can I call you Jen?) if you’re in town, meet me on 4th street at 6:00.  Me and my hair will probably need your help.

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