The Cool Kids

Thursday, April 28, 2011

I hear there's a wedding tomorrow...

I don't know if you've heard, but there is a certain prince getting married tomorrow. It hasn't been covered much in the news, so I thought I'd mention it. I won't be watching of course. I'll be sleeping. I have a feeling I may catch a replay or two of the nuptials during the day...

It's not that I'm not romantic... I remember sleeping over at my friend's house and watching the wedding of Charles and Diana. I thought, like any 11 year old girl would, that it was the most beautiful, elaborate, fairy-tale wedding ever. Diana, who was gorgeous in her own right, came to the wedding a pre-school teacher and left a princess. We all wanted to be her. Yet, the perfect marriage we all dreamed of and expected from them, would eventually turn out wrinkled and in disarray; not unlike the taffeta gown she wore while climbing out of that amazing carriage...

Even though my own wedding paled in pageantry to any 4 hour royal ceremony, my marriage is what I'm most proud of. I think many young girls dream of the perfect wedding; the perfect dress and the perfect hair, with sixteen bridesmaids, two adorably perfect flower girls and an audience who wished they would have thought of such a ceremony..........without really thinking past cutting the 8-tiered cake.

 Let's face it. Marriage behind the scenes is hard. It has its wonderful moments, yes. But mostly, during the mundane dealings of the day, you're lucky to catch a romantic glance. Maybe a hug if you're not holding laundry or dirty dishes.. Sometimes, there are even moments when you know in the core of your heart, you will never put this much effort into ANYTHING ever, again. At least that's what I've heard the man mumbling before...

So, because I'm sure they care, I'm leaving a few pieces of advice for the new bride and groom. Well, mostly for the bride. I sincerely wish any new couple love, happiness and a very large learning curve.


1. Tell each other you love them. Every day. And mean it. There is something truly powerful in those words. They stick with you when you trip over his dirty laundry on the floor or he steps on one of your 10 thousand sewing needles....

2. Stay united. This is especially important when dealing with family; mostly children who question your every move.

3. Respect your in-laws. They may be completely different than your own family, but always try to remind yourself that they created the love of your life. You may get lucky and gain a second family to love and who love you. At the very least, you can blame them for all of the love-of-your-life's shortcomings....

4. Always say, "Thank You." It's amazing what you'll be able to do and keep doing after hearing those words.


5. Never go to bed angry. First, sit in a chair very close to his side of the bed while he's trying to sleep. This way, he has to ponder what you're thinking and whether or not he should apologize; or you know, fear for his life. That alone will help you sleep like a baby.

Cheers, friends :)

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Quote of the day...

"I wouldn't have made such a mess with my friends if I knew I had to pick it all up.." said the youngest, after a fun-filled day spent trashing the playroom.

Could it really have taken six years for that lesson to sink in?

The "aha moments" at this house never end...

Happy Wednesday, friends :)

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

My Schizophrenic Cupboards..

Remember these?

And this try at organizing?

It didn't last long at all. I'm not kidding. They both filled right back up with junk. During a quick look for food coloring a month ago, I  accidentally knocked over a shelf and dropped/ broke a boxful of various jars of red hots, hard candies and a few thousand sprinkles. I completely lost it. It doesn't take much these days...

Let's say that any attempt to catch 50 things falling simultaneously from high shelves failed miserably.  I  remembered other things that had been bothering me during that day and decided to channel my inner-child, and throw a mini fit screaming, unnecessary tantrum. Yes, nothing is quite as soul-cleansing as picking up millions of cookie decorations while yelling words that could make a sailor call for his mommy. It was not one of my shining moments as a mom. Or a grown-up.

While it seems silly to throw such a fit over a baking cupboard, please know that there are many serious things our family has had to deal with over the last few weeks. I just happen to be the type of person who has to find control and order SOMEWHERE. If it has to be keeping up an unorganized piece of kitchen furniture, then so be it.

The man and I walked off some of my steam that afternoon at Lowe's -or as my older children like to call it, "The most boring store put upon the face of the earth."

I found these cute curtain rod finials-

and got an idea. I didn't share my plan with the man because he was quite finished at the moment with me and home know, with our kitchen still looking like the Keebler Elves met Mrs. Fields and Betty Crocker, had a drunken party and left all the evidence on my floor.... Oh, did I not mention the man rescued me mid-tantrum/cleaning? He's very brave when he needs to be...

I picked the finials up with my idea filed away. They had two black and two white ones in stock. I needed all white, but knew I could spray paint the black ones. For heaven's sake. We were at LOWE's- One has a right to think of home improvement. Correct? .

Anywhoo, I've always wanted glass on those cupboard doors. What better way to HAVE to keep the cupboards organized? We had talked about the idea many times before. Truth be told, I talked about them many times. The man would just nod, praying I would think of something else. We I had even considered cutting out the centers of the doors  and replacing them with glass. For five minutes. Neither of us have that much patience nor DIY talent. That's okay, because IKEA had beautiful glass doors that were pretty inexpensive and just the right size. We thought it over and when the man's mom called us last week from IKEA (angels singing,) we decided to go for it and have her pick up the doors.

Those cute finials? They made perfect little feet for the bottom cupboards. We spray painted two of them and had to add about an inch of wood to each one before screwing them into the cabinet base. I absolutely love that they match the feet on my island. I'd show you my island, but it is full of junk right now, so just go with it ....

Those cupboards have a new identity; a little hutch that finally looks like it was meant to be there.  All I have to do now, is figure out what color it wants to be...(quietly though, lest the man consider moving out.)  One thing for sure. It will NOT house anything that has sprinkles. Ever. I think...

Oh, I know. This is a super long story that really could have been told in a picture or two. But just like the doors on that now-organized hutch, transparency is best. Thanks for reading about the crazy things that go on both in this house and in my head :)

Happy Tuesday, friends.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Grandparents Rock..

My parents were extremely young when I was born. I don't need to mention how old they were or how many people have mistaken my mother for my sister; only that there's not a ton of years between the three of us.

Many people might see things wrong with that situation. Young adults don't really know what they want; they don't always get a choice in the way things fall into place. People grow up and move on. We all deal with our faults and try to improve the only way we can. Slowly stumbling, back-tracking, tripping; all the-while trying to not look back. It literally is a life-long battle for everyone involved.

But for all of the things that were hard growing up, there were many positives. My parents were both the eldest of multiple children in their families. This gave me seven, count 'em seven aunts and uncles who were practically my brothers and sisters. We were close growing up. Time passed. They got married, I got cousins, and we all felt like as long as we had each other, we were never alone. My still-strong connections with many family members help my life feel more rich and less lonely. The ripples keep growing...cousins are married and having children of their own. One look at my Facebook page and you can see the plethora of love that surrounds me whenever I need it. That's what family is, right?

All of these fantastic family members, all these precious connections, are rooted from the most wonderful people in all the land. I'm sure everyone can say something similar, but with my soul I have to say that the leaders of the two sides of my families are my favorite people in the world. I grew up surrounded by grandparents and great-grandparents; each respected and loved for their place in the hierarchy of our huge family. For this reason, I'm thrilled that my parents were so young. I have been loved 10 times over. Bliss.

They're not all here anymore. The loss of such close family members is heart wrenching. What do you do when the strongest people with all the love and all the answers are gone?  Believe me when I say that their passings were some of the hardest things I've ever dealt with...

I am now 40 and still have grandparents! I know how lucky I am. I also know they are not young anymore. They are not well. They will not live forever and losing them is going to kill me. I try to balance the impending losses with logic. I tell myself how blessed I've been to have them all this time, to be treated with the love only grandparents can provide. It is impossible to grasp. For now, I try to remember how special each one made me feel and that no one in the world can smile or hug or love like the beautiful parents of my parents. I will forever be grateful and reverent for the countless opportunities I had to be loved by each of them.

Happy Wednesday, friends :)

Dad, Mom and me -1972

My mom's mom and me -1970

my mom's mom and me 2011

my mom's dad and me- 1972

My mom's dad and me 1988

My dad's mom and me-1970
My dad's dad and me -1973

my dad's mom and dad and me 2009

My dad's mom and dad and me 2010

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

IKEA love...

BTW, there aren't any photos of the "building process". Have you ever put anything by IKEA together? It requires a prenuptial agreement....

Happy Wednesday, friends :)

Friday, April 1, 2011


The eldest wants to be a dentist. It has been her life-long dream and she hasn't wavered from it. To prepare, she has taken more college level classes than I ever could have handled at her age. She is also taking advantage of a Certified Nurse's Assistant program that is offered as an elective.  Her first CNA clinicals started today. They were held at a nursing home and she was mortified that she would make a mistake. Though I told her not to worry, I could see that she was looking past my words; keys in hand, trying to memorize in her head all the rules that were given to her.

"Is my hair right?"
"Is my name tag on the right side?"
"Are my nails a pale enough color?"
"Does my watch have a second hand?"
"Will I get yelled at?
"What if I don't know how to do the tasks people ask of me?, What if we haven't covered it yet?"

All of these questions and situations were floating in her head. Mixed with anxiety, I could see it weighing her down.

"You look great. You'll do fine. I'm so proud of you." were the only words I could find.

I too, was looking past her, trying to remember where my little girl went. The one who would ask me what dress would give the best "twirl" when she spun around. The one who waved to me while she wobbled on roller blades, then ice skates. The one who sang Brittany Spear's songs at the top of her lungs in the shower. The one who played barbies and laughed with her friends in the yard. What happened to the little girl who grabbed my hand when we walked into stores and school?

I was nervous for her when she left.
I was relieved when she pulled in the drive-way 6 hours later.
I was thankful she felt comfortable enough to sit down and share the going-ons of her shift.

"Was your hair all right? Were your nails acceptable? Were you nervous?" Those were my questions.

"Everything was fine, mom. When I got there, I did my job. The people were nice, the time passed quickly...I kind of liked it."

"What was your favorite part?" I asked, wondering if it was that she knew some of the other CNAs, or that maybe some funny scenario occurred.

"You know, they were sweet, kind people. They seemed so happy to see me, even though they didn't know me. I think what they liked best was that there was just someone there to listen to them, to be in the same room as them, to hear what they had to say..."

I had to look away for a minute. She understood what it takes others a lifetime to get. People just want to be heard. They want to be smiled at genuinely. They want to matter. None of those patients cared what she looked like, but instead appreciated how she treated them.

That little girl who laughed and twirled until she fell down from dizziness is all grown up. I am beyond proud.

Happy Saturday, friends :)
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