Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Naming Rights

?!This is an honest-to-goodness conversation between the 13-year-old and me:

E: "Mom, tell me about the conversation you and Dad had when you told each other your middle names."
M: "Uh..."
E: "You know, like, how long had you known him?  Did you tell each other right away? What else were you discussing in that talk?"
M: "Ummm... I don't remember?"
E: "WHAT?! How can you NOT REMEMBER something like that?"
M: "Well, Honey, I mean, we do know each other's middle names... I'm just not sure when or how it happened.  It's not that important."
E: "NOT IMPORTANT?! I can't BELIEVE you! Don't you even LOVE each other?!"

Where did I go wrong?

Monday, February 27, 2017

X Marks the Way Out

When I took Benjamin for a haircut today, he asked to borrow my phone.  I spied over his shoulder as Ben Googled "cool 10 year old boy haircut."  Stifling a giggle, I asked my son whether he was going for a new look.  He proceeded to ask for a mohawk (NO) and a faux-hawk (also, NO) and then swiped through a series of ridiculously grown-up looks.  When I vetoed them all, Ben accused, "Mom, you are always trying to make me into a goody-two-shoes!"  I had some points in reply, including: (1) SO?! and (2) What do you mean by "try" and "make me into?"

We continued the discussion with the stylist and Benjamin left the salon looking perfectly adorable.  (I did not take a picture.)  While waiting, I came across this parenting article and drunk it in.  Now, this does not yet-- I hope-- apply to my goody-two-shoes 10-year-old, because he does not have a phone and does not have access to potentially compromising social situations-- but it sure did make me think about the two older girls.  I plan to instill such a policy immediately... and getting any grandparents and aunties and uncles in on it.  It takes a village and we love ours!

Saturday, February 25, 2017


This girl competed in the the CrossFit Open competition 17.1 today, at our local box. She crushed it! I'm so proud when a kid puts herself out there... and it's so exciting to see her succeed!

Friday, February 17, 2017

Lion King Jr.

This was opening night for the SOAR Academy production of "The Lion King Jr." What fun! The kids loved being on stage with their cousins and performing for so many sweet family members and friends. I cannot wait to see what the rest of the weekend brings. You can see it, too... get tickets here: www.soararts.com.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Thin Ice

30s-40s this week. Weird winter. Told kids to stay off the ice. Didn't even chase the dog today. This is our lake:


Tuesday, February 14, 2017


For messages of LOVE, on Valentine's Day and EVERY day, Blessed Mother Teresa nails it.

Monday, February 13, 2017


I use the Notes app on my phone all the time-- to keep a shopping list, to remember my passwords, to review what a doctor said... I also sometimes begin letters or blog posts to finish at home. Today, while looking for my Target list, I discovered this "note." I did not write it, nor do I know who did, nor do I have any idea what it means. If you think this is a message for you, well, you're welcome:

I went to the bathroom and saw a girl that can make a new phone case you want a relationship is the only thing that would make it so I don't think that I have no idea what I'm saying that it was the best of the day before I get my nails.

I am hiding in the bathroom android phone and it was the best of the year and I don't think that I have a great way of life and the best thing to say I have a great way of the year and I don't think that the best thing to say I have to go back and I don't know how much you love it?

I went to a play and saw a girl that can make a new phone case you want me too I guess I'll be in a while ago but the fact I can get it right away with the new version is better to be the first half of the day before I get a follow back on my way home from work to be the first half of the day before I get a follow back on my way home 

Lion king notes 

Lioness hunt was good 

Sing to the a

My dad went on a trip and brought me a favor for the next few weeks of school tomorrow and I'm still not sure what I was a great way of the year and I don't think that I have a great way of life and the first half of the year and I don't think that I have a great way of life 

Hi Kaz 💩💩💩💩💩💩💩💩💩💩💩💩💩💩💩💩💩💩💩💩💩💩💩💩💩💩💩💩💩



Be less sloppy and a half hour to get the chance to get my hair done and I don't have to go out and about a year earlier and I don't have to go out and about a year earlier and I have no idea how I feel so got

My present for Christmas was in my room for a long way in which a great way to go back in a row in my room for a long way in which a great way to the game with the first place I don't think it's funny because the only way you want a boyfriend is so good I have no clue who I was in my head 

Sunday, February 12, 2017

The Game-Losing Point

Benjamin and I, today, in our spare (haha haha) time, went to watch some of his friends play basketball in a tournament for their traveling team. In the final minute of a very close game, one teammate scored the winning point-- for the opposing team. In a very exciting moment, he stole the ball and broke away for the basket; it all happened so quickly, no one could get his attention to let him know he was aiming for the wrong goal. He was all by himself, at one end of the court, sinking a beautiful shot and then jumping up and down... but no one was cheering with him. The referee called vood the shot, and the player turned to the bench where his father, the coach, stood, quietly shaking his head. Reality hit the boy and he, too, shook his head in ashamed disbelief.

The coach called a timeout and circled the wagons. They had a plan and a play for the final seconds, and it nearly worked, but not quite. The opposing team won by one point, though I cannot imagine it was a win about which anyone felt good. The buzzer sounded, and the boy ran to his coach-father, buried his head in his dad's chest, and sobbed. Many of the boys cried. They are still little boys, after all, and it was such an easy mistake, such a tough loss. But, they pulled themselves together and lined up to congratulate the other team.

Our team retreated to a far corner of the tournament area. I don't know what Daddy Coach said to his boy, to all the boys, but they seemed to recover and even rally. During a bit of down time before the next matchup, Ben ran around with his baller friends. They just once approached us mommies and simply asked, "Could you believe when that happened? He felt SO BAD, and we all felt bad for him." We mommies agreed, and the boys, steadfast and accepting, hopped off.

That same team, with that same boy playing and that same dad coaching, went on to handily win their next game, along with the third and final of the day. I couldn't help reflect back on and soak up game one's fatherly image and see within a powerful Fatherly image.

How often do I err? Does it take me a while to figure out I screwed up? Do I then stand in stunned disbelief? How fast do I run, seeking consolation and forgiveness? Do the people around me grimly accept my mistake, though it's clear they were wronged by it? Does God wrap me in arms of love, never excusing, but always accepting, soothing, readying me for change, wiping clean the slate? And then it is forgotten... over... gone... I am renewed. Victory is mine.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017


Amanda and Elisabeth love to unwind with old episodes-- entire seasons-- of syndicated sitcoms. Todd and I saw them the first time around... but that doesn't make them any less wrong (or hilarious) on repeat:

Monday, February 6, 2017

What's Up, Doc?

Loading my groceries into the back end of the car this evening, I noticed something out of place: There was a bundle of carrots in one of the bags, but I DID NOT BUY CARROTS. I know I did not buy carrots because I do not buy actual carrots. What I mean by this is I only buy those peeled, precut baby carrots. I buy them even though they are more expensive than "real" carrots, even though my BIL says they don't have good flavor, and even though one of Todd's nutty relatives once warned me the genetic mutants are harmful to my health. I buy the ready-to-eat baby carrots because I am lazy. So, I know these long, dirty roots were not put on my grocery pile by me.

Now, it would be difficult to determine which quality is strongest in me: laziness, frugality, or honesty. I was compelled to go back into the store and "return" the alien vegetables. The cashier was sweet and seemed competent... and she was sure these were my carrots. I started sensing an ulterior motive-- after all, the carrots were placed in the bag alongside two boxes of ice cream sandwiches. (I KNOW I bought those.) Maybe the clerk wasn't as nice as I thought. Maybe she was on a nutrition mission.

It was a weird and uncomfortable scene, and I needed to pick up my kids, so I left with the carrots.

Saturday, February 4, 2017


(Little One passed a competitor in a video game.) "Would you like some apples?"
"Madeline, the expression is, 'How do you like them apples?'"

"I got to play point guard again, right at the end of the game, so, we crushed 'em."

"Well, I just figured out that I have an addiction to Cuties (clementines, the fruit.)"
"How many did you eat?"
"I think about six."
"Hmmm... I guess you'll see how that comes out."

"I didn't exactly get asked on a date-- he just said, 'I think we should be more than friends.'"
"What did you say?"
"Well, I asked him, 'You mean, like, frenemies?' But he said, 'No, like boyfriend-girlfriend.' So, I said, 'Um, NO. I am really sorry but that is not happening.'"

Thursday, February 2, 2017

The Decade That Was

The younger kids are celebrating Catholic Schools Week-- that really fun time of year when no actual learning happens, but the week is charged with interesting speakers and exciting activities and treats and, of course, dress-up days. I dread them and the kids love them... Each day of the week has a different theme, giving students the opportunity to temporarily lose their uniforms and moms the opportunity to temporarily lose their minds.

My kids already knew-- and knew well-- going into this week that they were on their own. I have no creativity, no extra time or cash, and no desire to win that coveted Best Mom Ever award by losing sleep and brain cells trying to make amazing theme outfits. For Hero Day, one wore a Denver Broncos cap and put black smudges under his eyes to become Peyton Manning; the other wore exercise clothes and a cap with the gym logo transforming herself into her hero Daddy.

So, we came to today: Decade Day. No greaser jackets or poodle skirts magically jumped out of the dress-up box. Madeline informed me she was going as a "'90s girl." She dug out every article of clothing she owned in either an animal print or the color neon pink, and then asked me to put her hair in a high, side pony. (Well, first she was a bit disappointed that I didn't have a wig for her after I repeatedly used the phrase "big hair," but she got over it.)

Benjamin first seemed to me less clear in his direction, but, boy, was I wrong. The boy told me he planned to take literally Decade Day. He was going to school exactly as Ben would have been 10 years ago. What's not to love about that kid?!

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

To Pacify Him

Benjamin dug out a pacifier to use as part of a costume for a dress-up day at school, and was walking around the house chewing on it. "Keep that thing out of your mouth or I am taking it away," I warned. "Why?" Ben asked. "Because it's gross, and it will wreck your teeth." Ben then asked, "Well, then why would parents give this to their baby?" I answered, "For starters, babies don't have teeth." Then, Ben surmised, "Oh, so does the pacifier help the baby's teeth grow in?" I said, "No, the pacifier helps the baby be quiet." The boy chuckled and said, "Maybe they should call it a 'plug.'" We always did, Baby.