Monday, December 20, 2010

Poetry and Pictures

The cards have been mailed, and plenty received. If someone's been missed, we would surely be grieved.


The stockings are hung by the chimney with care. (Along with some fights on whose sock goes where.)


The presents are wrapped, all snug near the tree. It's possible that I even put one down there for me.


The decorations (though scant) have been placed out with care. So far I'm not manic, they might last out the year.


The flower has bloomed, no thanks to my man. He fed it Coke Zero, then quickly he ran.


The plastic nativity changes each day. Sometimes poor Jesus goes very astray.


The good one sits untouched, as per mother's orders. If someone goes touching, they'll be sent 'cross the border.


If only you'd hurry to us, Christmas dear.
We're waiting most anxious for you to be here.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Grandpa's peanut butter fudge

This is my Grandpa Johnson. Isn't he handsome?


He was a big man, about six-foot-two or six-foot-three, with broad shoulders and (when I knew him) a head full of thick, silver hair. He liked to swear and drink coffee (though both were against his religion). He cut off two fingers in a shop accident and liked to do irreverent things with the nubs. He had a passion for his country, having served it honorably during World War II.

He loved to travel and had an unusually large collection of bowling balls in the basement. He made jewelery, and always wore turquoise rings on his fingers.

He was gruff and loving, all at once. He was the type that was embarrassed at affection, but would be thoughtful and generous to others. He liked order and discipline. It used to drive him crazy that I never finished a meal.

Oh, if only he could see me now. Grandpa, don't worry - I finish PLENTY of meals.

He had the best garden. I fell in love with crisp, green vegetables sitting around his table, the multi-colored terrycloth linens underneath the pink desert rose plates.

He loved his grandchildren and was tragically taken from them far too soon.

Here is a picture of Grandpa and Grandma at their wedding. Doesn't it look like he just can't get enough of her?


I love that picture. I think every woman ought to be worshiped and adored by her husband.

This time of year, I think of him fondly when I make his peanut butter fudge. I have no idea of the recipe's true origin, but when I taste it, I am transported back to a warm kitchen in a small, modest home. A bowl of nuts sit on the table next to the large toaster oven. The shiny, textured wallpaper smiles down on my freckled cheeks, pink from climbing a tree in the front yard.

A gruff voice yells as kids run in and out, though he shakes his head in laughter when they can't see. Ice cream is always in the basement freezer, and cookies are always in the bread box.

It's a place that is woven into the fabric of who I am. It's a home where hours of my childhood were spent happily climbing trees, playing the dusty organ in the basement, and hiding in the metal wardrobe. A place where cousins were always laughing and the love and soul of family was so thick you could taste it.

I love you, Grandpa. Miss you terribly, even after all these years. This batch is for you.


[And this, dear internets, is for you:]

You're welcome. Think of him when you make it, will you?

Thursday, December 16, 2010

If a picture is worth a thousand words...

How many of those words came out yelling?


Answer? A lot.

Today was a faow day [pronounced faux, as in fake snow day]. You know, the kind where they keep everyone home for no real reason at all? Normally I am a huge fan of these days, as it means sleeping in, lounging around in PJs, and hanging with cheerful and happy kids all day.

Today it started at six a.m. when the phone rang with the [then] joyous news. I was the only one who went back to sleep.

I was startled awake by the first fight of the morning a mere hour later.

I fed them, showered, and was getting ready when I was interrupted by the second and third fights of the morning.

Apparently, brother one had been throwing ice balls at the sister, resulting in tears, heartache, and tattling galore. Brother two staunchly defended his own innocence. (Though me thinkest thou protesteth a bit too loudly...)

I came downstairs to find three doors flung wide open to the frigid cold outside, soggy piles of melted snow at every turn, and a lonely trail of discarded snow gear leading the way to a large mess in the kitchen.

All before ten-freaking-thirty in the morning.

Lord, I love them something fierce, but sometimes they make it really, really hard to do so.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

"I'm just walking like it's a park, without a shirt on"

Yesterday afternoon I was folding the laundry. Movement out in the backyard caught my eye, and I looked up in horror at the sight.

My second born son was roaming the backyard in nothing but a pair of shorts and sneakers. Keep in mind that it was LITERALLY FOUR DEGREES OUTSIDE.

That's right, I said four. Not fourteen. Not forty. FOUR FREAKING DEGREES.

He had the Flipshare video camera in his hand, and was talking to it, filming himself as he went.

I knew immediately what he was doing.

He was living out his own version of Survivorman. My boys are both big fans of the show and have watched and re-watched every episode at least a dozen times. Were I to give the approval, they would immediately be off the grid, living off the land -- no food, no shelter (and no fun, if you ask me).

It boggles the mind. Truly.

Here is our very own Survivorman, Chase. Best part about the video is around 0:59 when he says, "Well, I think I'm going back in. Not because I'm cold, but because I think I might be getting yelled at. Better get it over with."

How well this child knows his mother.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

The Tree and me


The weekend of Thanksgiving has become the much-anticipated time when we put up The Tree. It is so sacred and important in my children's lives that, yes, it deserves to be capitalized. If it were within Hannah's power to declare the day a national holiday, rest assured it would happen.

Over the years our tree has evolved from a poor, starving student tree containing only a few ornaments (most of those handmade) to a rich, ornament laden tree that is full of memories. Each ornament tells a story of Christmases past. They've seen the babies come, and looked down each year, watching as we've grown. Each and every one has silently witnessed us rub sleep out of our eyes on Christmas morning, and heard the squeals of joy after wrapping paper is torn.

I cherish all these ornaments with a slightly uncharacteristic attachment.

There are ornaments that I don't remember acquiring, but love nonetheless. Like these chunky, carved wooden candy canes.


There are ornaments that I DO remember getting, like this treasure brought home by my-then little kindergartner:


This year's favorite addition was a set containing all the main characters from Peter Pan, including the notorious Captain Hook:


And my personal favorite (and doppelganger), The Croc:


(Because I frequently walk around the house, eyes bugged, tongue wagging, and toting an alarm clock. What?)

Some of our ornaments really ought to be thrown out (and have actually won Ugliest Ornament Contests in the past. Celia, doing it again this year?). We have the baby Jesus eraser, eternally slumbering with his ball-point pen face:


And probably the truest ugly on the tree is the Star of David made out of straws. Somehow, I am sure this ornament offends Christians and Jews alike, but I can't bring myself to part with it. It makes me laugh too hard each year when it comes out of the box:


Slightly more tolerable (but just as ugly) is our disturbingly vast collection of wood colored nativities from the preschool days:


Yet somewhere in the middle of all the homespun ugly are ornaments that I love. Ornaments that have adorned our tree since our very first Christmas together. Like this one, brought back from Austria by the Husband's parents:


And this hand-carved rendition of that sacred first night:


And this one, hand-stitched by an awesome sister-in-law:


At the end of the day, I think our tree is a lot like me. Fatally flawed, pretty ugly in some spots, but greater than the sum of its parts. When put together properly, with the right lighting, it looks pretty damn good.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Curse those crafty little elves

I am in so much trouble.

Like serious, intervention-required, may-never-wear-anything-but-a-muu-muu-again trouble.

Look what those damn little elves have created:


No, they have not partnered with the devil that is the girl scout cookies.


Available ALL. YEAR. LONG in the store.


It's bad enough that I buy them in the spring, hide them from the kids, and eat myself sick on them every year.

But now to have unfettered access to them anytime I want?

It's like selling meth at the corner gas station. Everything you need in one stop!

Don't they realize there are people like me out there, with no self control whatsoever? People on the verge of food suicide at all times of the day and night?

I am so dead.

Just look what happened on the ride home:


I think it's pretty safe to say that the evidence will likely be gone before dinner.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Thanksgiving 2010 (Also known as: Gluttony is Awesome)

Guess what? So it turns out that there is this crazy thing called "The Internet." And on "The Internet" there are these wacky things called "Blogs" where people keep a record of their everyday lives, showcase their family activities, and post for all the world to see on a daily basis.

Did you know that?

Isn't that amazing?

(One would think I'd never heard of it, the way I've been posting around here. Or NOT been posting.)

Well, I am back. I had a most excellent Thanksgiving, and will now proceed to bore you (The Aforementioned Internet) with photos and updates of my goings on. Feel free to click off and hunt for free p@rn unless you are:

a) a relative (and even then I might understand)
b) one of the 16 people featured in the pictures
c) a stalker who can't get enough of me, no matter how boring my posts become

We had quite a crowd here for the holidays, and it made my heart sing with joy. There is nothing more fantastic than sharing the sacred gluttony that is Thanksgiving with people I love. We had two of the Husband's brothers, their families, and the in-laws come to stay (for a total of 16, ranging in age from 64 to 14 months).

There was much eating. A lot of card playing. A couple movie viewings. A little sleeping. And definitely some more eating.

(There was also a computer virus, a flood in the car, and a minor vehicular accident. But who's counting the bad things, anyway?)

The best thing I did all Thanksgiving day (besides eat my weight in coconut cake) was hand my camera off to a brother-in-law. I tend to find myself preoccupied on days like this with the cooking, and do not always remember to do the picture taking. I am so grateful.

What would my crazy stalkers have to look at otherwise?









It was the best weekend, and my house seems far too quiet without all of them here. Anyone ready to come back?

Best. Thanksgiving. Ever.

Thursday, November 18, 2010



Yesterday, I turned 37.

The Husband was out of town, and, knowing this, we had already planned to celebrate over the weekend. I was fine with it; after all, a birthday past the age of 20 is really just another day. But the children could not stand the thought of an actual birthday day passing without fanfare.

So Mack got up and made me french toast and sausage for my breakfast. Of course, he also remembered as he was plating it up that he needed to be at school early, and did I mind finishing cooking my own sausage when I got home from giving him a ride? And, oh, yeah, we need to leave like RIGHT NOW, MOM!

I didn't mind.

And it was still delicious when I got home 20 minutes later.

Hannah had a special card hidden in her room, something she had worked on for days and days. It was beautifully decorated, thoughtfully worded, and still applicable for next year's birthday, as she thought I was turning 38.

I didn't mind. I loved it anyway.

Chase had one of his specialties all ready to go: the birthday hug. And he proceeded to squeeze my soft, squishy middle no less than 13 times before going out the door, and easily that many times when he got home. Of course, he was hoping to schmooze his way into being able to light the match that lit the candles on my cake.

I didn't mind. I'll take a hug from my big, jointy boy anyway.


The birthday dinner was leftover spaghetti, and the birthday cake was made for me by my lovelies. It was topped with neon green frosting, sprinkles, and only three candles, but it was delicious.

And you know what? I wouldn't trade this birthday party for all the glamorous, grown-up parties in the world. THIS is the meat that life is made of. The crooked cake, cold sausage, and leftovers are what make my life greater than the sum of its parts. These are the things I will remember when their babies are making a birthday party for them. This is the story I will laugh about on the phone with the Husband tonight, when he gingerly asks if I had a good day.

This is the good stuff.

A happy birthday, indeed.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010



Hannah came running in, her cheeks flushed and her face set. She sighed, an exasperated release of air coming from her tiny chest.

I waited, stifling a grin.

She sighed again, looked at me and rolled her eyes, just willing me to beg it out of her.

Practiced in the art that is Hannah, again, I waited.

Impatient, she burst out, "Mommmmm! The boys called me a tattle-tale!"

I am not sure which offended her more - the boys' description of her; or me, doubled over with laughter, rolling around on the floor, unable to punish them for their keen ability to hit the nail right on the head.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Trying desperately to turn the glass upside down

I am not a glass half-full kind of girl.

I would like to be, but it is just not in my nature.

For example: A bad haircut can dissolve my seemingly rational self into a puddle of tears that lasts several hours, and continues every morning for oh, say, about six months or so.

Also? I am the person that will always react first, and think later.

I frequently resent the consequences of my own choices.

And I even pout in bad weather and cast blame on the universe for its conspiracy to ruin my life.

(Why, yes, I am a treat to be married to. Thanks for asking.)

In short? I'm a two-year-old temper tantrum in a 36 - almost 37 -year-old body. So naturally, when a minor [albeit highly annoying] medical issue* crops up in my life, I do what every sane, rational, intelligent grown-up would do:

I cry and feel horribly sorry for myself. For weeks at a time.

Turns out? I'm really, really good at that. Might be my best talent even.

Only it doesn't take very long and my kids are affected by it, and in puddles of tears themselves. My husband feels helpless and worried that this beast who has come to visit is his new wife.

And at the end of the day, I still feel angry and sorry for myself with the same problems that I had when I woke up. That isn't exactly the way I want to go through life.

So, I'm doing what most of you probably learned long ago: I'm sucking it up and focusing on the good things in my life. Like the fact that I have this awesome man who loves me (in spite of me) and works very hard to support my ridiculously lavish lifestyle. I have three beautiful, healthy, happy children who just want a mom that doesn't cry all the time. I have a wonderful home with all the comforts anyone could ever ask for (and then some). I have friends who love me and bring me dinner and diet cokes. I have family who call ALL THE TIME to see if I'm okay.

And in spite of the fact that the universe probably still has it in for me weather-wise, I think it's safe to say that I'm doing all right. My life is a good one. And I'm going to be okay.

Just wanted to say it out loud.

[*Yes, I am okay. No, I don't want to talk about it. It's truly not a big deal and I will be fine. Thanks to you sweet internet friends who noticed my absence and checked in on me. You all rock.]

Thursday, November 4, 2010

A word of advice (the re-run)

[Originally posted April 3, 2008. And still hugely embarrassing]

Let's just say you are in your mudroom, putting in a new load of laundry. You have just finished working out, and are still wearing your exercise clothes. You notice they would fit nicely in the load you are putting in the washer. You then realize that you have nothing else to put on at the moment, but figure you can make a mad dash upstairs. After all, your daughter is in the basement happily singing along to Disney's latest brainwashing tool High School Musical, and your boys are at school. Plus, you were just about to jump in the shower anyway.

DO NOT, under any circumstances, listen to the voice in your head that tells you this is a good thing to do.

It's not.

For as your jiggly, white, naked body is sprinting up the stairs, the doorbell will ring. And you will notice the goofy smile of the UPS man, peeking through the glass on the side of your front door.

And he has just seen you in all your naked glory.

I mean this advice generally, of course. It's not as though anything like this has ever happened to me in real life.

Definitely not today.

And definitely not, say, about an hour ago.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Directions to Where I am (the re-run)

[Originally posted June 20, 2007]

Start in Salt Lake City on the very day that Nixon proclaims to the world, "I am not a crook." Have an older brother who keeps waiting for you to go back where you came from. Be adored by your Grandpa and have him set aside special gifts just for you. Find yourself the princess of quite a lot until that red-headed brother is born and steals your thunder. Love him in spite of this. Be immersed through your Mama in classic Broadway shows such as "Seven Brides for Seven Brothers" and "Cats". Learn at an early age that you cannot sing. Sing anyway. Be the only girl in a family of four boys. Realize you can run just as fast as the boys can. Embrace your tomboyishness.

Go to kindergarten proudly with a plaid lobster on the front of your jumper. Love your bearded kindergarten teacher who makes his own banjos and guitars. Laugh a lot. Talk so much that they stick you in a special class to help less "social" kids acclimate. Fly from the swings on the playground into salty, coarse gravel. Feel the freeing wind in your hair as you run. Fall off a skateboard and scratch up your face. Run through the sprinklers in your front yard. Try not to cry when your dad goes hunting and comes home with a deer. Go camping with your family at Trial Lake. Be given a box of chocolates in fourth grade by a boy. Have sleepovers with girlfriends and spend hours whispering and giggling. Grow tall early on, and find (to your dismay), that you are taller than all the boys most of your life.

Fall down while roller skating and severely break your arm. Have the first of six surgeries on this arm. Discover how grueling physical pain can be. Spend hours climbing the tree in your Grandma's front yard, collecting the "witch nose" pods that grow there. Pick fresh vegetables from her garden and listen to her Jazz Singer record over and over. Cry the first time you hear this record after your Grandpa dies. Sleep over at the cabin with all your cousins. Dance your heart out to the Footloose soundtrack. Savor the juicy sweetness of ripe peaches. Eat hamburgers at Hires. Go home and cry when boys begin flipping back bra straps and you are caught without one. Feel very womanly the next day when you arrive at school wearing your first bra. Be a little disappointed that no one ever tries to flip yours again. Never really make peace with your many freckles. Discover your love of literature.

Go through the awful stage where your body gets ahead of the rest of you. Be called ugly and fat by mean boys, and believe it for many years. Stuff your bra. Kiss a few very awkward boys. Fight with your parents. A LOT. Slam doors. Cry more than you want to. Pour your feelings into a journal. Feel so unsure of yourself that you wonder how you'll survive. Get on an airplane for the first time right after high school. Go to Chicago and win nationals in FHA. Go to college. Like a lot of boys. Learn to begin liking yourself. Send several boys off on missions, proclaiming your devoted and undying love for each one. Live with six girls and be glad you never had any sisters. Discover that you are a runner.

Meet a smart, cute gymnast quite by accident. Date him for only six weeks before getting engaged. Find that no one around you is shocked or even surprised at the shortness of time - because it just feels so right. Marry this man early one morning, surrounded by all your friends and family. Decide you are finally old enough to no longer pretend to like roller coasters. Move for the first time in your life to Minneapolis so your husband can attend graduate school. Make new friends.

Wonder if it will ever be your turn to be a mother, and blink your eyes to find that you are one. Cherish your babies, each in their turn. Sing each one to sleep with show tunes and John Denver songs. Make chocolate chip cookies and lots of peanut butter sandwiches. Kiss them every night before you go to bed. Wish it wasn't going so fast.

Move from Minneapolis to Seattle to Boston to San Diego. Be thankful for good friends all over the country. Be preparing to move to Missouri for the man you love. Look around and realize that you lead a charmed life. Spend as many days as you can at the beach. Re-learn the painful lesson of what happens when you don't wear sunscreen. Relish the sound of your kids playing so well with each other. Know that you are loved. Take a sip of diet coke. Over the phone, tell your husband just how great your day was. Miss him a lot. Blog. Write this. Wait anxiously to read other posts like this one. You're here.

This post was inspired by my friend, Annie, and her own life roadmap. I was fortunate enough to meet Annie while we lived in Boston, and my life has been richer ever since. Now it's your turn - how do we get to you?

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

I know, I hate re-runs, too

I'm taking a much-needed blog break. Life has not been on my side lately, and it's time to regroup and find my center.

But I'm not leaving you empty-worded here at Stie's Thoughts. I'm going to pull a few oldies (but goodies) out of the archives and re-post them.

Never thought I'd be one of THOSE bloggers, but such is life right now.

I'll be back next week to regale you with all the boring details of my life.

I know. Try to contain your excitement.


Today I was strolling up and down the aisles of my local grocery store. I kept meeting the same person in the middle of each aisle. Every time I passed this man, he smiled up and me and said, "Hello, pretty lady."

Which, thanks to my most thoughtful son telling me all that is wrong with my fine self, I was needing today.

With each passing aisle, and each passing compliment, my self-esteem soared. See, McKay, SEE? Strangers tell me I'm pretty. I can't be ALL THAT bad.

But our little game ended when I heard him say the exact same thing to another store patron. Sadly, it was not a trim, cute soccer mom that drew his attentions away from me. It was a balding, elderly man wearing a pink shirt.

Next time our carts passed, I eyed him more carefully.

He is mentally challenged.

And I, unfortunately, am still ugly.

[Originally posted October 3, 2007]

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Sharing my mad skillz

Internets, we are full in the swing of the ONE TIME each year when I go off my rigid, healthy, vegetable-laden diet and indulge in sugar-filled sweeties like these:


What? French fries are a vegetable, are they not?

Oh, shut up.

Well, I do make these gorgeous cookies every year for Halloween, and as part of blog tradition, I share them here with you, too. After all, you really should benefit from the awesomeness that is my dessert recipe book. As should your heinie.

I start with the top-secret family sugar cookie recipe, shown here:


Do not mock. EVERYONE always asks me for the recipe when I show up with a batch of Betty's. They are moist, soft, and just the right amount of sweet. I swear by them and make nothing else anymore. It has nothing whatsoever to do with the extreme laziness of my nature and my inability to wait while dough chills. Ahem.

Mix according to the package directions, and drop by spoonfuls onto cookie sheets. Bake as directed on the bag. (See, you're liking this, aren't you? No rolling out dough. No cookie cutters. No counters covered in flour. Yeah, you're welcome.)

While cookies are baking, combine all ingredients for the glaze and beat well:

2 3/4 cup powdered sugar
2 tsp. shortening
3 Tbsp. water
1 Tbsp. corn syrup
1/4 tsp. vanilla

Glaze should be fairly liquid. You don't want it solid like frosting, but it should be slightly thicker than the white glue the children use at school. Add water or powdered sugar to reach the perfect consistency. (Helpful, aren't I?)

Dye 1/4 of the glaze black and put it in a pastry bag with a small writing tip. Leave the remaining glaze white.

These cookies work best when frosted warm, so I recommend baking and frosting just a pan at a time. When the cookies are a minute or two out of the oven, begin to frost with white glaze.


Pipe a bulls eye onto each cookie with your black glaze:


Taking a toothpick, start at the center, and gently draw lines going toward the outside edge of the cookie. Repeat around the entire bulls eye until your spiderweb is complete.


Top with a plastic spider, and voila! Look who gets to one-up all the other mothers at the school party. (Don't even pretend you don't want to. We ALL want to one-up the other mothers. Shameful, but true.)


I did let the minions help this time, though that generally goes against my inner Martha. It is very hard for me to let go of the control and allow little hands to smudge and smear. But since they were for the primary kids at church, I figured it'd be all right.

[Disclaimer: I never let the minions touch things that will be fed to adults. That's just gross. So, friends who have eaten my creations, rest easy.]


See what I mean? You can't see it, but there is almost as much frosting on the boy's fingers as there are on the cookies. Gross.

Hurry now. There's still time to make these and show off your awesome skills. I promise you, they will help you win friends and influence people.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Monday confessional

In honor of the fact that today is Monday (and Mondays really are the black sheep of the Day family), I feel the need to share some of the dark thoughts that are lurking in my soul.

The soul that is particularly dark and cranky on this Monday. For several reasons.

First, having just spent a small fortune to have all the trees in my yard pruned and trimmed, plus a dead one removed, it is most disheartening to have a large branch break off during a freak thunderstorm yesterday. Because really? I just love spending money on stuff like dead trees. It's way more fun than on, say, furniture and clothes. Both of which could be purchased for the same price of stupid dead trees.

Second, is it just me or does anyone else find it annoying to log onto reader and see that the Pioneer Woman (though my hero she will always be) has written like four posts by eight a.m.? I swear. I can barely crank out two or three a week. That woman writes like eight posts a day. It's driving me batty. And not because I don't enjoy reading them. But because I feel the need to compete with everyone and every thing around me.

Third, I don't know what it is about the last few months, but I CANNOT. STOP. THE. EATING. It's getting way out of control and I need help. Please. Someone at church grab me by the extra-thick arms next week and tell me you are noticing how chubby I am getting and you wish I would stop. This gravy train has bought a one-way ticket to the next size up, and I am not sure how to stop it.

Fourth, I love the fall, but I really hate raking the leaves. And since we live in Del Boca Vista, every single one of our retired neighbors is out there, morning, noon and night. Raking, trimming, weeding, mulching. And, undoubtedly, pointing at our house and cursing. Not that I blame them - the leaves are piling up. But sheesh. How can one get in all the eating if one is supposed to be outside raking?

And, last, but not least, I am sick of my hair and need a hair suicide hotline that I can call. Remember two years ago what happened when I got sick of it? Please. Someone stop me before I do something drastic, like run into the salon, a Twinkee in each hand, and beg to get the Bruce Jenner.

Yeah. It's that bad.

Happy Effing Monday.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Home sweet home

When I saw this post over at the Nester, I knew I had to have one of my very own.

Only, I didn't want to pay big bucks for something I could create myself.

Because I'm crazy and controlling frugal and independent like that.

And since we've moved more times than most people in our 17 years together, this was the perfect accessory for our home. It took some time finding the old street names, but was a nostalgic walk down memory lane in the process.

Oh, the stories each street could tell you about me.

[Yeah. Me and my wild self. NOT.]


I mixed them all up order-wise and the kids had fun trying to assign each street name to its matching city and state.

I also put a photo of our current home behind the text and reduced the opacity, but it doesn't show up very well in the photos. I had the print mounted on a 3/4" standout with black edging, knowing that I wasn't going to put it in a frame. I wanted to hang the print in the basement, and that is a glass-free zone, so it works well as-is. Plus, I like the simplicity of the print all by itself.

I'm pretty happy with how it turned out.

And it seals the deal: We can't ever move again.

There's no room on there for any more street names.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Staging my own intervention


[the shameful evidence of my addiction]

I have always had a hard and fast rule in place for myself:

If I drink 48 ounces of water before noon, I allow myself the treat of a diet coke with my lunch. If I do not get that amount of water in before lunch, I have to drink water with lunch instead. And then I have to drink another 48 ounces of water throughout the rest of the day. (And pee every five minutes until bedtime).

It has worked very well for me, and has been something I've done for years. I feel great, love that I get so much water in, and really enjoy having the treat of a DC with lunch. I seldom have one at any other time during the day, and this has been a great system for me.

Lately, though, I've found myself changing that routine up a bit.

Instead of 48 ounces of water in the morning, I gulp a hurried 20 ounces down after a workout, jump in the shower, and head out to run errands. I might have accidentally, a time or two, purposefully gone out of my way swung by the drive-thru and snagged a diet coke on my way out.

What was accidentally a time or two has now become a full-blown craving, addictive appetite for diet coke. And not just ANY diet coke. McDonald's.

I don't know what it is about their brown, cancer-laden, calorie-free soda, but it is different than everywhere else. It is downright delicious. Even the Husband, who loathes diet coke, admits to the deliciousness that is the Mickey Dees. It is not the same - they do something different to theirs. And judging by the way it affects me, I seriously wonder if they are lacing it with crack cocaine.

Because now? I find that I want it ALL. THE. TIME.

I know I have to get off the juice and cut myself back down to one a day, but, really? I kind of don't care. I don't drink, smoke, do drugs, or dance naked anywhere for money. If this is my vice, how bad can it be?

What say you, internet? Are you addicted to anything? Do you share my passion for the brown ambrosia at the golden arches? Should I cut it down to one cup a day? Or should I just go for it and indulge in my delicious addiction?