Thursday, December 22, 2011


A few days ago, I had a meltdown of epic proportions.

Tears, crying, and, oh, did I mention the tears?

I was decorating my umpteenth batch of holiday cookies for the neighbors. I was simultaneously also preparing a dish to take to the Husband's holiday work lunch the next day. I had been up really late the night before working on client orders and was exhausted. I had laundry literally exploding out of the mudroom, crawling on its dirty hands and knees towards me, begging to be dealt with. I had kids to shuffle to baptisms at the temple. And there had been workmen in my house all day long.

I was almost at my breaking point.

With the timing of a hurtling bomb, a boy reminded me of something he needed at school the next day. Which meant yet another trip to Hades The Target.

Hiding in the bathroom, I dried my tears and took a deep breath. Gritting my teeth, and stifling every urge of protest my feet made, I grabbed my purse and we headed out.

I glared at everyone in my path. I felt no love for the season and wondered why in heaven's name all these people come out of their holes this time of year. I hurried through the store, grabbed what we needed, and headed to the checkout. Shifting my weight from foot to foot, I sighed with impatience. Mentally counting out all that I still had to do this week, I felt the irritation seep out of my every pore.

Finally it came time to pay, and I gratefully prepared to leave.

As I was digging in my purse for my keys, I glanced up and noticed the girl in line behind me. She was short on money and was having to decide which items to take out of her bag.

Instantly, all my irritation melted away and I actually looked at her with kinder, softer eyes. Instead of seeing her worn coat and thin sweater, nails chewed down to the nub -- I saw something else. I saw a sister, younger than me, struggling to pay for her Christmas gifts. Gifts, it appeared, that were for young children. Having been there once myself, compassion flooded over my body like a warm blanket.

I felt like absolute crap. I had been whining and complaining over what, in the right perspective, are no real problems at all. I had momentarily gotten caught up in the material needs of the season and forgotten the meaning behind it.

With tears in my eyes, I reached into my purse, pulled out all the cash I had, and slid it across the counter towards her.

Merry Christmas, I said, and then walked away.

Much happier and more grateful than when I had come.

[I tell you this story not to brag of my good deeds or seek your praise. I tell you in case you, like me, needed a reminder of the good that can be done if we will just look. Look through different eyes at those around us. There just may be some that we can help. ]

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Playing catch up

It's been a busy month. Didn't mean to take such a long blogging break, but stuff happens. And in case any of you are left to care, the following is a list of reasons why I have not been blogging. In no particular order:

  • My laptop is playing dead right now, and it's at least a 12-second walk to the basement computer, which is just far enough to leave me distracted by the shiny cover of People magazine or to hear the siren song of the refrigerator calling my name. Laptop did this once before and miraculously came back to life a few weeks later. I just keep telling the Husband that it's on vacation and will start working when its good and ready to. (Fingers crossed!)

  • My customers are strangely not like me and actually wait until December to order prints and/or holiday cards. They don't start thinking about it mid-April and have it done, say, by Halloween. Weirdos. Anyway. They're keeping me far too busy and I have packages arriving daily from the print house. Which is nothing to necessarily complain about, I realize. But still.

  • I'm tired from all the not-exercising that I'm doing.

  • I'm worn out from the constant eating that is brought on by the not-exercising.

  • I'm too busy shopping for another pair of diamond shoes. Those orphans in Africa better hurry up and get sewing. Mama needs new sparkly feet for Christmas!

  • I got sucked into watching this and have seriously not showered for two days as a result of it. I blame my friend Mindy. She told me how good it was. She was right. You should log onto Hulu and start watching. But feed your kids first. They might get hungry and be annoying to you later.

  • I've had men in my house nearly every day for the last two months. Sort of hard to put a coherent thought together with constant interruptions and loud banging/pounding/hammering/singing. Thankfully, they are all but done. Which means I get to post after pictures. Try to hold on to your excitement. I, for one, am ecstatic.

Anyhoo. That about sums it up. Here's hoping life slows down a bit so I can get caught up here again. I love this as my family journal and it breaks my heart to think that there are chunks of our life not being recorded for posterity. Or for my kids' therapy later. You know. Important things like that.

Not to mention the three or so of you who actually come here and like what you read. Sorry to have been MIA. I'll try to be better.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Where's a good curse word when I need one?

At the risk of being put on the naughty list, I offer this simple, declarative statement that sums up my feelings today:

I. hate. everything.

I had lovely posts planned this morning that would share our happenings over Thanksgiving, let you see the holiday decor of my home, and entertain you with wit and humorous stories galore.

Instead, I offer this little nugget from my morning.

Imagine, if you will, that it is about 8:30 in the a.m.

I had just taken Hannah to school and was trying to decide if I should start a load of laundry before (miraculously) hopping on the treadmill. My cell phone rings and all hello kitty breaks loose.

The plumber was upstairs installing the boys' bathroom faucets. Apparently, the faucets that I picked out would not fit where the granite guys had drilled the holes. And, lucky for me, the plumber had bent the crap out of the faucets trying to get them in, rendering them likely unreturnable.

Seeing as how our contractor marks up any fixtures that he purchases for us to the tune of about 30 percent, we opted to purchase all those ourselves.

When I first saw these faucets, I fell head-over-heels for them. They were funky and cool, yet totally went with the rest of the bathroom. It had taken me weeks to even convince the boys to let me put them in there in the first place. Now, I was being told that I couldn't have them and would need to pick something else. Oh, and would I hurry and do it right now because the plumber would only wait for a few more minutes before leaving?

Right as I was pondering if I had time to brush my teeth, the electrician informed me that the light fixtures [the ones I had made a special trip to purchase last night!] for the boys' closets were the wrong ones and would not pass inspection.


So, in yesterday's ponytail, my paint-stained sweat pant pajamas, and NO BRA, I headed to Lowes. Not really caring at this point what I got, I searched for faucets that would match the holes already drilled. And, tragically, the only ones that matched the other plumbing fixtures in the bathroom were eleventy kajillion billion dollars.

Grumbling under my breath, I grabbed the fixtures.

Next I stampeded my stinky self over to the light section and (with the help of a probably frightened clerk) found what I needed there.

Remembering the electrician's counsel that I should grab some florescent bulbs for them, as well, I added a few of those to my now-precarious stack.

Here is a visual for your viewing pleasure:


Rounding the corner, boobies jiggling and hair flying, I hurried towards the check out stands. As if in some Murphy's Law super slow-mo, the light bulb on top of the stack went careening off like a suicidal maniac and dove for the floor.

Shown here:






Not having any free hands, I watched it fall like a dummy. It landed with a crash, and shards exploded in a five foot radius around me.

Trying to keep the tears from spilling, I gathered the empty light bulb box and headed back to retrieve another.

Because, hello? Not making another effing trip to this effing store looking like this.

Setting the large pile on the counter, I informed the clerk of the breakage and offered to pay for the light bulb I had broken.

I paid and, to my horror, watched as the genius clerk bagged up the empty box of glass shards for me to take home with the others.

Pretty sure I won't be needing that.


The best part of the day? An hour later, the electrician walks up and asks if I have nine 40-watt light bulbs for the chandelier they are replacing in the foyer.

Frick. Frack. Frock.

Somebody please kill me.