The Cool Kids

Friday, November 20, 2015

Fly on the Wall: November 2015 "Everything"

Hello, Friends!  Welcome to the November Fly on the Wall Group Challenge. This month, 11 awesome bloggers and I are describing what it would be like if you were to take a peek inside our homes....

Have a "look" around mine, and then go visit the other blogger's pages. There's always something fun, sentimental, or better yet, embarrassing going on. It's like your house, only we're admitting to the craziness. You have our permission. Buzz on over!

The man
Alex, the eldest 
Micah, Alex's husband 
C., The middle (son, 17)
J., The youngest (son, 11)

I have to be honest. This last month has not been an easy one. While my family has shared some laughs and accomplishments, we have also been torn to the core over personal events. Some stories are not mine to tell, others are just too painful to write about at this time. I keep trying to decide if any of this even needs to be said. Yet, I know I'm not alone. I know others are struggling with their own stories.  For those of you carrying a weight on your shoulders, I say without pity or any condescension, "Fight for and celebrate each smile."

Here are some of mine:

Everything old is new again?

Me: (to no one in particular) "I think I'm ready to paint the fireplace."
The Man: "You always say that. Then you say it's a cardinal sin to paint brick."
Me: "I know, but I think I'm going to paint it."
All three kids and probably everyone else in the world: "Don't paint it!!"
Photos to come.

Alex: (texting me this photo) "Mom, do you remember when you had one of these? We are at the Salvation Army and it's really cheap. Do you want it?"
Me: "NO!!!"
Alex: "Why not? "
Me: "Because your dad and I just dropped it off this weekend."

The boy with many faces:
 J. had a busy month!

"Dress like a NERD day." This would be a funnier photo if I took a picture of J. standing next to the man on any given day.

 J. not moving a muscle. It was "Wax Museum Day"

 Dressed for the school Halloween Party,  because TWO costumes!
(James Bond)

 Evening Costume: "1st Order Storm Trooper" because, MASKS!

Everything is NOT "New Again"?

The man was back east for a week for work. Usually he sends me photos of his cool hotel rooms or awesome food I would never make. (This time it was scallops) Ack. I usually send back pics of PB and Js or Mac and Cheese. You know, something to make him miss home.

On a Tuesday, I receive a text with these photos:

The Man: Yes, I'm booked here for the next three days.  It's an old Farmhouse from the 1700's. Kind of creepy. You would not love it.

Me: "Oh Good Gravy. (not the words I used.) That place looks haunted. Do NOT bring home any evil spirits. I'm definitely painting our fireplace now. 
The Man: "I know. I don't have a car, so I'm kind of stuck here. At least the Internet is good."

I share the photo/text with C.

Me: "Well, you could always sew a flag in the corner rocking chair..."
C.: "Are they going to make you go outside and chop lumber for your room?"
The Man: "No. I already miked the cows, so I did my part."
C.: Of course. How else were you going to get butter for the continental breakfast?"

Everything Great and Mom's not ready!

C. was accepted into the Aerospace Engineering program at Utah State this week. We were thrilled to learn that he also earned a Presidential Scholarship, which pays for his first four years of school. Some call it a "free ride", but we say that he worked for every bit of it.

Everything Comes Down to a Smile:

J. (bringing in the mail) "Well, I guess she found out her secret!"
Me: "Who?"
J.: "Victoria." He looks closely. "There's no secret."
Me: (running toward the door, trying to grab the catalog this 11 year old is probably already gawking at.) "Oh. Ha ha!" 

It's an English magazine I received as a gift.

Buzz around, see what you think, then click on these links for a peek into some other homes:

Baking in a Tornado                         
Spatulas on Parade                         
Follow Me Home                           
Menopausal Mother                          
Never Ever Give Up Hope                                   
The Momisodes                                        
Someone Else's Genius                            
Southern Belle Charm                       
Dinosaur Superhero Mommy                                  
The Angrivated Mom                
Go Mama O            

Happy Friday, Friends,



  1. Hello, Shel... Sorry to hear of your troubles. I'm here if you need a shoulder to cry on or a sympathetic ear to listen. Hang in there, my friend. I loved your stories... they made me smile as always! Yes to painting bricks and sewing flags in haunted hotel rooms. Love how your Salvation Army donation tried to make its way back home, and love J.'s costumes... such a cute fella. Congrat's to C. on his scholarship... job well done, there! And, I didn't know Victoria was being published again, it was cancelled for a while... I'll have to look for it! Hope your holiday season brings you much peace and joy! Love you to the moon and back and once around Target.

    1. Thank you, Stacy. Your words mean so much, as always. I'm so glad to have you stop by and read these words; happy or sad. So happy also that you're pro-brick painting. LOL. It was terribly therapeutic. My beautiful aunt sends me Victoria each year for my birthday. It is a beautiful magazine. Love you right back.

  2. There's such a thing as Wax Museum Day? I'm thinking I should tell my kids that EVERY day is Wax Museum Day!
    A huge congratulations to "C".
    I hope you're OK. Email me if you want to talk. I'm always here for you.

    1. Wax Museum Day was awesome! We were able to visit a lot of "quiet" children and see their presentations.
      C. says, "Thank you." He's very happy about the good news.
      Thank you for that last line. I hope you know that offer goes both ways. Love you.

  3. My love to you all. You've been in my thoughts so much the past few weeks. Congrats again to C! It'll be great to have yet another engineer in the family!

    1. I teared up seeing you in my comments, Nicole. Thank you. I know you have a special connection to much of this, so I especially appreciate your thoughts.
      Another engineer, or another teacher? We just never know in this family :)
      So much love to you.

  4. I'd say I can't wait to see the fireplace pictures but since I've already seen the finished product, I'll instead say that I think it looks great and that once again you've shown your awesome talent for making something look it's best. It is funny how Alex found the old rooster wall cabinet. Some things just don't want to seem to go away. J had quite a month with costumes and looked great in each one, thanks in part to his mom and also his big brother on the Storm Trooper costume. I think I survived the haunted farmhouse room without bringing home any evil spirits so that certainly was an accomplishment. I really can't put into words how proud I am of C. for his scholarship. He has worked hard for it and it was great to see the hard work pay off. I can already see him following the lead of his sister and going out into the world and making a big impact. I'm very proud of all three of our children and what they've accomplished. It has been a challenging month indeed, but among the challenges you have reminded me of the many good things we have and provided multiple smiles for me through your words and pictures. Thanks for sharing!


    1. Glad you survived the haunted house and even more so, that you didn't bring me along. I would have had to FaceTime you from the Marriott down the street :)
      Our kids. And you. You're everything. Thanks for finding your way here each post, and writing something I need to read. You have been a hero this month. I'm amazed and grateful for your strength in holding this family up.

  5. Hello FF!
    Sending my love to you. This month I've had my share of challenges also. I'll be texting soon to share.
    Love the costumes! Halloween/fall is my most favorite time of year. J sure is a cutie!
    Congratulations to C for all his amazing accomplishments! So proud of him!!
    Seriously, I just redid our kitchen in roosters! Tell A to go back and grab that wall cabinet for me!! Ha!!
    Your man is brave! I'd have walked in and turned right back around!! No way, no how!! Yikes!!!
    I miss ya.
    Call. Write. Send a smoke signal. What ever your able to do.
    Love ya.

    1. Nick Nack, I love when you come to visit the blog. Thank you also for your text.
      I have enough rooster stuff to ship over to you to last you a lifetime. For some reason, I tell someone I like roosters, and that's what I get for the next ten years :) I'm grateful, but, man I look like a collector :)Smoke signals coming soon. I'm pretty stoked (get it?) about sending them. Love you, FF

  6. Loved this post along with all of J's awesome costumes. He's such a handsome James Bond! Although it's different from what we are used to, we can all admit that the fireplace/kitchen looks gorgeous! You never cease to amaze us, Martha Stewart. ;) So so proud of C and his major accomplishment. He has such a bright and wonderful future ahead that he has worked so incredibly hard for. I loved the Victoria magazine comment. J will be a standup comedian one day. Love you, love our family. I am completely proud to be a part of it. ❤️


    1. Well, thank you, A. Your opinion on the fireplace is important to me. (even though I know you're lying through your teeth). LOL. Who taught you to be polite like that, anyway?
      C.'s news was great. Just like you, his hard work has paid off. J. is going to be SOMETHING, someday, isn't he? LOL
      Love you and I'm so proud that you're my daughter. You bring true joy to my life.

  7. wow, congrats to C! What an accomplishment and no doubt he will continue working hard.

    Oh no to J finding the secret....

    wax museum day???? lol

    Can't wait to see the fireplace painted

    1. Busy month! If any one was going to find out Victoria's Secret, it was going to be J. LOL
      The fireplace has been a labor of love, but I'm so happy with the change.

  8. What awesome sons! How proud you must be and I appreciated what you said about the "easy ride." He would have had to work hard for what he accomplished. Shout your praises from the roof tops.

    The hotel room was a bit weird -- so....,,,. what happened with the fireplace?

    1. I'm pretty proud of my kids, for sure. They put their hearts into all they do. That's all I ask.
      The hotel was pretty creepy. I'm glad I didn't tag along :)
      The fireplace is painted and I absolutely love it. I just have to finish all of the trim and then I'll post photos!

  9. I think I'd like your magazine.
    LOL the salvation army story was so funny! That would be my luck. My boys would buy something I got rid of thinking I wanted it.

    1. The magazine is really lovely.
      My daughter and I laughed so hard after talking about that cabinet. If she would have purchased it, I don't know how I would have reacted!!

  10. I know we have not met in real life, but if you need anything, I'm an e-mail and a 30 minute drive away, friend.

    I'm so happy there was good things happening during your rough month. The scholarship news is amazing! And I literally LOL'd at Alex finding your rooster cabinet thingy! And J looked fabulous in all this outfits. You're truly blessed.


    1. When I read this comment, I cried. Just putting it out there, you rock. I appreciate your kindness. We WILL meet up one day and it will be FABULOUS!
      The good things happening around here have absolutely been blessings. You writing your comment? Definitely one of them <3

  11. That farmhouse really is creepy. Sorry to hear things have been so stressful at home. I have something similar going on here---some painful, personal things have happened and I'm just trying to keep my head above water. Hubs and I keep wondering when the "golden years" are going to occur----we're both tired of the stressful things life keeps tossing at us.Here's to hoping that you and I have a better month in December. <>

    1. I'm sorry to know that you too have been struggling, Marcia. Sometimes, "Just keep swimming" has to be our theme. Know that I'm way over here in the mountains, sending you love. Hang in there. It helps so much for me to read these comments and remember why I keep writing. It's because of these special relationships.
      Cheers to the best December ever. <3

  12. Yay for scholarships! College is never "easy" no matter what kind of ride gets you through it. My three have run the gamit. One worked her way through what her financial aid didn't cover, the second got a full-ride paid scholarship, (and puts many, many hours back into the foundation that paid for her school), and the third is working and getting a loan or two to help. Congrats to C and to his awesome parents who've supported him!
    Good for you for reaching out when times are tough. For a long time I had myself convinced that reaching out meant I was needy and that no one really wanted to hear "my drama". I've learned to reach out to appropriate people when times are tough and am discovering loads of support.
    You're so often in my thoughts, and not often enough in my actions. I'm sorry. Here's to a great Christmas season to you and your fun family!

    1. I'm glad you understood about the free/full ride. All of the kids work so hard. We are very proud of each of them. Your girls are so grown! I can't believe all three have attended/finished college already! What a whirlwind.
      Reaching out is especially hard for me. I've never known if it's a pride thing or fear of the few cruel people who relish in someone else's pain. For this post, though, I couldn't talk about the happy things genuinely , while my heart was breaking. While I doubted sharing at all, the comments I receive help me to know the depth of people's kindness. I cried reading many of them. Including yours. I too, think of you often. I don't have a FB page anymore, but I am still here.
      Many blessings, and so much love to you and your whole family this Christmas.
      p.s. That support thing goes both ways. I'd love to talk with you again <3


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