Friday, August 30, 2013

Bullet Points from my Sister's TV Debut (and then I'm done talking about it, I swear)

My sister and her husband Jeff held a watch party for the debut last night. It was so super fun and high energy to be watching with so many people. My sister looked sooooo pretty and if I heard any resounding comments about her during the show via social media it was that she maintained herself with class and dignity, was kind to the other girls, and was overall just plain fun to watch. (also that was a huge run on sentence, I'm well aware) I could not agree more. Now you all know why I love her SOOOO much? She's amazing.

Many of you asked about watching it online. TLC doesn't air their full episodes online, however in a few days, it should be available for download on iTunes and if you can spare the $2.99 it's worth it to see. It will be episode 15, I believe-something about a phantom in the title. You're welcome.

Here are my summary of thoughts:

  • Right off the bat, my sister's first interview? I died at how gorgeous she looked. Like, WOW. Gorgeous, drop, dead gorgeous. I will take credit for her beautiful hair. I curled it for her that day. Amazing, right? I know, I'm pathetic. Fun fact, that interview was just 2 days before her wedding. Actually, it was the day of her bachelorette party. She had just gotten her spray tan for the wedding, and she was glowwwwing. Literally and figuratively. She was smokin'.
  • Her wedding was actually the first one all the girls attended. So it was in the correct sequential order. They called her ceremony a "methodist ceremony", and that couldn't be further from the truth. They did, however, use a methodist church--but just because it's pretty. They are not Methodist. The announcer dude messed that up. 
  • How beautiful were their vows??? (well, the small clip you saw?)
  • Wished they had explained the foot washing a little bit more or let Susan's interviews of the foot-washing be aired. Hoping it didn't cause confusion. It was such a beautiful part to the service and so, so special. 
  • I was beyonddddd disappointed that they did not show Emeline and all the other little nieces/nephews/kids involved in this wedding at all. My theory is that Susan's ceremony was what they really focused on (the foot washing, the great vows, etc)--and so they spent time on that versus showing bridesmaids and flower-girls walk in. I reeeeeally wanted to catch a glimpse of my kids and was so bummed not to see them. They spent SO MUCH TIME video'ing them and I just am flabbergasted that they didn't end up on here at all. It really seemed like they were going to focus on Susan's wedding being "the family wedding", they had even asked the brides about the kids, and they thought they were so cute, etc. But they didn't end up mentioning it on film at all. 5-7 minutes per wedding is just not enough.
  • Knowing the behind-the-scenes of each wedding (from my sister) is kinda fun. And again, you barely get a glimpse of how the day went through the short clips. But whatever.
  • My sister seemed to get the most air time for the behind the scenes interviews. Or did I just think that?? I think it's because she's so personable, well poised and well spoken. She's clear and concise. Not to mention, adorable. 
  • Since when is Zucchini a fancy vegetable?
  • I had most of the appetizers at the wedding and they were actually really good. The venue was sort of new'ish and there was some issues with the food, which obviously sort of bummed my sister and her husband out. But it's all good.
  • My sister has THE BEST facial expressions. We are a very expressive family, what can I say.
  • One of my favorite lines was when my sister had to school the girls about the band being hipsters. Clearly, they were not dressed 50's. Hilarious.
  • The cherubs? Really?
  • I'm sure everyone was slightly bummed that she didn't win 1st place. A close 2nd never hurts and winning in Best Dress was seriously the thing she wanted---so I am PUMPED she won that. Also, the tiny little clip of her all nerdy and laughing at the end in sheer glee over winning best dress? HANDS DOWN. FAVORITE PART.

What was your favorite part?? Were you bummed not to see Eme? I definitely caught myself in a few little clips here and there this morning. A few of me at the alter, one of me dancing. Nothing too long--which was FINE by me. I think my sister has a future in :)


***I accidentally deleted a handful of these comments by one click of a if you see your comments removed, I AM SO SORRY--complete accident :( ****

Thursday, August 29, 2013

A Preview for FOUR WEDDINGS tonight! EEEEEKKKKK!

I'm annoying, I know it. At least I can admit it. Have you seen the preview for tonights TLC Four Weddings episode? You know, the one my sister is on??? It made me shriek with glee. It's freaking CUTE. My sister is gorgeous.

YOU GUYS, go watch it. 

and then watch with us live at 10pm EST and tweet with @thelifeofsusan (my sissy) and me @lovesoflife if I can handle it. Use hashtag #divinenuptials to refer to her or #susanfourweddings and #fourweddings. She'll be able to check out your tweets after the show and the next day, too, that way!

This. is. epic.


Also, she is taking questions regarding the process, behind the scenes stuff, etc---so if you are wondering anything about reality TV crap, then ask away on her blog post, here.  She has learned a lot from this process.


This is me doing the MY SISTER IS ON TV dance. Don't picture it. It ain't pretty.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

This and that.

I used to say that you make time for what you love, and writing is a love of mine, for sure. But the truth is I've let other things take the place of that time, I guess--and now, things are squishy. Squishy and tightly packed together and I don't find as much time to write as I used to. The problem with that is my brain still feels a little clogged with words.  So words, words, wordsssss is what I got.


I am seriously hesitant to talk about this, but obviously not hesitant enough to just zip my big, fat mouth so here it goes. We started eating muchhhhh cleaner in the last few days. This was something that I thought about for a long, long time but pushed away the thought because constantly I'd come up with excuse after excuse. But I love pizza. But I can't give up cheese. But I want to eat ____ whenever I want.

I told everyone that they were better, stronger, more disciplined than me but that I just couldn't do it. The truth is, I can do it. Anyone can. It might suck, and I might feel like crap and get headaches for a few days and then dream about brownies, but it can be done. I'm praying to God that I end up loving this lifestyle of food choices versus phoning in a pizza tomorrow (kidding, I won't-swear). Because I am really excited about taking my body to the next step, and having healthy insides and what-not.

The bonus to all this is that my husband is way on board. Like, super on board. I love that about him because he's so self-disciplined. The man has been in the kitchen the last two days prepping meals, making homemade paleo-approved mayonaise, honey mustard, egg muffins for breakfast, and almond powder crusted chicken breasts. It's hilarious, and awesome. Having a spouse on board with you in any health-changes quadruples your success rate. Did you know that? Fun fact of the day as provided by ABC's Extreme Weight Loss show. No, really.

Anyway. Pray for us. If all goes well I will happily update in a few weeks about this more. If all goes down the drain (I hope it doesn't!), then you are welcome to pester me with emails and make me explain why I quit. Because, really. I want to stick with this.


Emeline met her preschool teachers today. They came to the house. Isn't that awesome? They do house-visits before the school year starts. They come out, on your turf, to meet your kid, take their photos (for placemats, their cubbies , etc). I'm super pumped about her teachers this year. They are going to be phenomenal.

So I'm really excited to just get the show on the road (they start in 2 weeks) and get that structure back in our routine again.

When they started to leave, Em got all teary-eyed and "buttt...butttttt, you have to stay and play wif me more." It was the saddest slash sweetest thing ever.


Lucy is in this phase where she is THE CUTEST THING EVER, yet also driving me absolutely batty. I am convinced that children at this age (12-18 months) are THIS DANG CUTE so that they make up for all the constant messes, clinginess, toe-biting, teething-monster'ish stuff they do. 'Cuz omg. This child will keep me on my toes. But gosh, the second she smiles, I'm all mush. What gives, second kid?

 You got me wrapped.


...and I'm spent.

Happy Tuesday.

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Thursday, August 22, 2013

*Not Real Problems

I'm sitting here on my couch as a perfectly timed naptime thunderstorm rolls in. It's so dark that I have my living room light on, and all I hear is the hum of the monitor and the sound of my dog having a nightmare next to me. It sounds kind of like he's hyperventilating. Don't worry, he's fine.

It's peaceful. And yet, it's so not.

I can see approximately 3 plastic kid bowls strewn about the floor and 2 sippy cups filled with various liquid that I hope hasn't morphed into something chunky. I have no idea why they ALWAYS END UP ON THE FLOOR, but I'm certain it's just a cruel joke to irritate their mother. I see one of my earrings on the ground, my headband, one of the girls headbands, a leprechaun beanie baby (WHY????) , baby yogurt melts on the couch next to me, a half eaten peanut butter sandwich sitting on a paper towel in the kitchen, and a bag of presents for birthday parties this weekend slung over the banister. This is all within an eye-glance of where I am. Let's not even TALK about the other random areas. Like that wadded up toilet paper upstairs, because it's still usable, but Lucy insists on unrolling it every chance she gets. I mean--will I ever use that crumpled up wad? Probably not. But it feels wasteful to trash it.

And you guys. I'm not even a slob. I was thinking today that I really do feel like I can blame so much of it on my kids. I mean, not to be rude, but-----what the heck is with the mess??? I can even blame them for my laundry being strewn about. Because, while my husband may beg to differ, on the off chance my laundry does reach the basket, Lucy just thinks it's a fun game to throw it everywhere anyway. So why bother, right?


I won't mention (okay I will) that I hit somebody's bumper yesterday on the way out of the farm. I haven't hit a car, in, um, EVER. I was kind of in a spazzy state of mind (stop laughing). This goat had just mauled my kid's hand against the fence, pinning his horn (WHAT THE HECK IS THAT THING CALLED???) against her. So I had to get her back to the car, first-aid her all up, and talk her down from the goat-tried-to-hurt-me-ledge. So my brain was all mush I guess, because as I'm reversing---BOOM. Actually. It wasn't even a boom. It was so small of a hit it felt like I hit a rock or something. Okay maybe a BOULDER. It was dumb.

The funny thing is, I got out, checked out their car and there wasn't even a scratch. Nada. STUPIDLY I didn't even check my own car (idiot) and went along my merry way thinking that since my car was the bigger one, surely it had to be fiiiiine. 

So today I'm at the store picking up birthday presents, and I come out to my car, one kid strapped to my chest, the other in the death-grip-hand-hold, and I think, What the frack? Who's car is that with the huge dent in the bumper? Surely it's not mine.




Then I began cry-texting my husband and sending him pictures--while he's all face-palming and rolling his eyes at me, probably semi-mad but totally hiding it.

super fun.

Is it Friday yet? Who am I kidding...every day feels the same to me. 

And to think, I still have a few minutes left of naptime to enjoy* alone. Marvelous.


*clean, cook, prep dinner, login to work email, do work, watch the kardashians (what? leave me alone.)

Fall Bucket List, Updated for 2013

Let me just clarify something for a minute. I DO NOT WANT TO ADMIT FALL IS COMING. I know that everyone else is on the Fall bandwagon, but I just can't seem to believe that summer is yet coming to a close and I don't want to think about pumpkin spice latte's and boots with skinny jeans yet. In fact, my legs are feeling claustrophobic thinking about it. Let me keep my shorts and iced tea, pleaseandthanks. It's still summer in my book.


That being said. Pinterest is a buzz with All Things Fall and the Bucket List has been requested to be updated with "2013", and so I just redid the whole header area--I think it's pretty cute.

The idea behind this is to go to the printable page, download it, print it to your printer (should print as an 8x10), put it behind a glass frame, and then use a dry erase marker to check off the activities as you go.

Old picture of first printable, but you get the idea.
It's not used to MAKE SURE YOU DO EVERY ONE all religious and strict-like. It's more so, a guide. You're thinking, what should we do this weekend? Oh yea, let's put apple picking on the agenda. That'd be a great family memory. You know?

Also. When I made this, I made it for our family. Things like "go on 2 dates" was a goal for my husband and I. Leaf pile photoshoots? Kinda fun. Nature walks. I love. So, I get that it might not be your thing to do all of these, and that's cool. I wasn't really thinking of the general public when I made this thing a few years ago. (sorry, it's true)

But,you can still use it if you want. Find the printable here and enjoy. Do me a favor and if you PIN this one (so people can find the 2013 version), use the top picture in this post? Thanks.


Happy Fall. (Although I'm in complete denial. It's still very much summer to me.)

*2013 Updated Fall Bucket List*

Thursday, August 15, 2013


Alert the media, shout to the rooftop! My sister's episode of Four Weddings will be airing in TWO! WEEKS! people. This is huuuuuuge!

So, go-right now. Set your DVR. Put a reminder on your phone. WATCH WITH US. Thursday August 29th, 10pm on TLC (duh).

I hope to God to they don't change the date/time anymore and this is it. It probably will be. I know that 10pm is late for us old folk, but I'm gonna hang in there to watch, because, OBVIOUSLY. I may even mid-day nap. I mean, I'm scared to death to see a bad angle of my body on TV, even just a glimpse, I'll probably die. But, let's not forget this isn't about me. I mean, my sister is like A STAR, dude. I cannot even wait. 

I told her she needs to be live-tweeting during this momentous occasion. You agree, right??? RIGHT? I mean, don't you want to hear what she's really thinking? So let's all beg her to death, ok? :)


Honestly? That's really it, today. I just wanted to tell you about this because I've gotten many questions about the air date and it's finally cominggggg, hoorayyyyyyyyy!!!

I realize I am using an insane amount of exclamation points and exaggerated lettering for this post because, TELEVISION!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! TLC!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! SO FUN!!!!!!!!!!!!

(sorry I can't help it, eek!)

So. Tell me. Who plans to watch?

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Wednesday, August 14, 2013


Ever have a word that just sticks with you, haunting you almost, because you know it's something you need to work on, to be mindful about, to live a happier, fuller life?

Maybe I'm just being all deep, but on Sunday, a particular word hit me over the head like a 10lb brick. It might seem silly, but the word is Delight. Delight: to take pleasure in. A high degree of enjoyment. 

But I'll get back to that.


Emeline and I were playing hello kitty puzzles at the kitchen island yesterday after nap. I had tried to convince her it was something we should do during her Big Girl Time (once Lucy was in bed), since she would certainly be all over us, stealing puzzle pieces galore--but Em insisted we do it right.then. In fact, she insisted so much so that she even made Lucy a pile of "baby toys" so she would mind her business (didn't work, but good effort, kid).

It's a 4-pack. Can you imagine? 4 puzzles of Hello Kitty goodness. I went through all the puzzle logistics to try and get her to the place where she can start doing these on her own more. They're the harder ones. So we began each puzzle by finding the straight edges and completing the outline first, as a guide. After I coached her through how to find the matching pieces, "oh look, this has yellow polka dots, can you find a piece with yellow polka dots to match?"-kinda thing. Then she'd complete the puzzle, feeling all accomplished.

We'd rip it up within minutes, maybe seconds, and then begin the next puzzle. Wham, bam, onto the next.

We were just about finished the 3rd puzzle. Each time she was getting more and more independent of me. So much so that I began to do little bits of dinner prep here and there, amidst the occasional, "look for the other half of the yellow bow" verbal instruction.

When she finished, she gasped with excitement and shrieked I DID IT with victory fists in the air. She was pumped. I praised her. Then without even really realizing it, quickly said, Alright let's break it up and do the last one! 

She stopped me, put her hands guarding her puzzle and said, "But I just wanna take time to look at it, mom....

....look at this bootiful puzzle I did! The flowers are so pretty. Is that snail green? Yes, he's green. There's a yellow snail. And red. And blue. That's so silly. I did it all by myself, it's so bootiful, mom!" 

As she's pouring over her puzzle she's clearly very proud about, I got smacked over the head again by that word.


She just wanted to take a few minutes to delight in her puzzle, the one she took time to accomplish. She didn't want to rush onto the next--she wanted to stop and take pleasure and enjoyment in her work.

(awful iphone photo, ahhh well.)

It reminded me of Sunday, when we talked about how God did this after the massive work of creation, when it says he looked over all he created, delighted in it, and proclaimed that "It was very good" (gen. 1:31). 

I felt a little convicted. Why don't I delight more? It's okay to look back on things you've done, accomplishments, to stop and delight in them. It's okay to lose yourself in time and silliness with your kids and family, to rest and find pleasure in things. I started considering tattoo'ing this word on my arm as a reminder, because, seriously.

But here I was, being challenged by my 3 year old (she had no idea) that I need to just stop and enjoy, to delight in things, to lose myself in a moment and stop worrying about on to the next thing. I know it in my head, I don't see myself necessarily as someone who can't enjoy myself or my kids, but yet I know that often I do feel too busy or too occupied by work or other to-do's.

It's a new challenge for myself. I cannot get this word out of my head and my heart and I know it's for good reason.

I'm gonna delight more today.


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Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Lessons in grief.

It's been a little over 3 weeks since Declan's dad passed away. At first you feel like you can't breathe. Then, like everyone told us who's been there-every day the pain softens a little bit. It's not easy, but it softens. His presence is missing, and I know my husband misses his dad desperately. He was truly one of a kind.

It's like any other tragic event, though--that it's hard to put yourself in that place, feel the pain, understand the needs, and truly feel for someone unless you've been there, or in a situation close to it. You see, before I suffered with my miscarriage, I could feel sad for someone who miscarried, but the truth is--I could not truly empathize. I could not put my feet in their shoes and understand. I couldn't really walk that walk with them. Once I experienced that pain myself, even though I wish I hadn't at the time, I could now fully understand.

Having been through something hard like losing a parent, and walking this road with my husband (and he was a father figure to me, too), I now really get it. I understand the needs of someone going through grief of this kind. What they need from others. How to love them well.

It actually made me ache in pain to think about times people around me have lost someone and I've not responded in some way. Maybe we didn't reach out. Even if silently, unobtrusively, really. Because having gone through this as a family, it's so fresh on our mind, and we realized what a blessing it was when people did reach out.

Even in the simplest, most practical ways.

See, no one was looking to hear the perfect words. There are no perfect words to say after such a massive loss. Because obviously nothing can replace that hole. But an I love you and I can't stop praying for you is nice. I will admit that the tangible things are what stuck with us all most. And afterwards, those are the things that made us as a family feel loved in a time that was so hard for us.

A card with a thoughtful note, a memory even, of his dad. Flowers. Fresh cookies or bread. A hot meal (this spoke volumes, actually). Frozen food for later. People who stepped up to watch my children and truly wanted to/insisted. A gift card or something to use for now or later or to help with funeral preparations/costs.

Truthfully, those things felt like getting a giant hug. Those things were tangible reminders that we were cared enough about to go the extra mile for. That even though life is moving on all around us, and your life is too---you know that ours is not. Ours has stood still and life is a blur in those immediate grieving moments.

What I learned from this, having just gone through it, is to be FAST in my response when I learn of someone's loss. That whether you think they need space or not, it's still better to just do something. Because the truth is, when everyone thinks that you need space (which, you may or may not depending on the person/family), then nothing happens for days, and in creep the feelings of rejection and being unloved, and does anyone even care that our world was just turned upside down?

I learned that, while a text or facebook message is nice, it might have jaded our societies way of reaching out a little bit. We now think that's a completely appropriate form of sending our condolences. Don't get me wrong, for some level of friendship/acquaintances, it might be totally appropriate. For others, not as much. I learned that it does take away that human to human touch and connection though, and the extra effort that it takes to mail a card and write a real note.

I learned that in grief, even though you've had 90820938 text messages that say let me know if you need anything, you will not have the emotional capacity TO reach out if you need anything. That for a close relationship, the best thing to just do is just respond, fast. Drop off the meal at their door without asking. Insist on taking the kids. Have food delivered for the family while they're all together grieving. Something.

The truth is, the days or week(s) between the death and the funeral are hard. Life is completely turned upside down. Normal life stuff stops. You're in this weird, awful fog but yet having to think clearly enough to plan a meaningful service. There's no time to grocery shop. You're driving back and forth to be with family multiple times a day. Your house is a complete and utter wreck, your fridge is empty. You're just numbly going through your days trying to wrap your head around what just happened. How to move forward.

I feel bad that I know I've failed when people close to me have lost someone they dearly loved. I KNOW WE HAVE. Declan and I have talked about this multiple times. How we feel like jerks for not realizing the emotional capacity of losing (a parent), and how differently we'll respond now, having been there and knowing the depths of the pain. That little extra touch of we're thinking of you and taking time out of our day to let you know that goes a long way.

I'll also add that for days we discussed the service, who showed up, who we felt were missing, etc. It spoke volumes to us when someone came because they loved us enough to show their support, whether they knew his dad or not.

If anything, I'm grateful we learned how to love others better through such hard loss, to know what spoke to our hearts, what made us truly feel loved and cared about.


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Monday, August 5, 2013

Monday Confess-fest. Super quick.

Monday mornings are kind of rush-rush for me since I go into work, but have to get the kids fed and to my parents first, blah blah (I know, most of you do this every day--props. I suck at this). So I was feeling pretty good about how well I was doing on time this morning. I was dressed. One kid was up eating. I had ingested half my coffee. Then I turned around and stepped in DOG VOMIT. Nothing like that realization to bring you right back down from feeling decent to feeling like eff-you Monday. Just saying.

I completely and totally forgot (or didn't feel like I had) to write a post about our sixth anniversary yesterday. But, look! I'm talking about it now. Everyone knows I'm totally in love with my husband and toot his horn all the time because he's just that awesome. I often wonder why he chose me since he's so much nicer than I--but whatever. I just thank God that he had a lapse of judgement and I made out in the deal, truth be told. Anyway--yesterday didn't really feel like much of an anniversary. We had a very normal morning. Church stuff and I taught Sunday School, even. The girls napped. Then we did get to go out for dinner (thanks to Declan's mom watching the girls), but I kind of want an entire day (or heck, an overnight) to celebrate an anniversary. So we may reschedule for next weekend? Can I do that? :)

Lucy's been sleeping through the night for the last 5-6 days. But she isn't really sleeping through the night. I mean, I usually hear her at least one time and I am finally just sucking it up and letting her cry a little. She goes back to sleep shortly and then my feet never hit the floor till morning. (Unless of course your 3 year old gets up to use the bathroom, ahem--if it's not one it's the other.) The truth is, once she hit a year I just knew it was time to be a little more rigid in the sleep department. We're all a little bit happier.

I am dyinggggg for new ink and Declan and I have plans for something special coming soon. I want it like YESTERDAY. I am getting impatient, but I also don't want to be the people who have to bring their kids to the tattoo parlor. I'm afraid I'll scar Em's eyes forever with all the posters and craziness on the walls. So we wait.

I totally mess up and move and wake up my kids nap to accommodate my gym schedule. I mean, they still always get a nap (or two), but I just realized that they're pretty go-with-the-flow and I could use that to my advantage. Plus, the only way I can really workout well is when I do a group fitness class. When I workout alone there is zero motivation, it's true.

Speaking of which, I went for my first run in a month on Saturday night. I felt awesome, and could tell I was going fast (for me)...and I had told myself that I would NOT look at my phone so I wouldn't know distance or pace, and that I'd just stop when my body told me I was done. Well that plan backfired when I just had this funny feeling something was off, I finally looked and realized it stopped calculating and paused itself at 0.06 miles in. I.was.ticked. So I basically had to calculate based on the time I started my run to when I decided to stop (I wasn't tired, more so annoyed). I'm guessing I ran about 2.5 miles, which honestly, is pretty good for having not ran in a month. Cross training helps, I'm telling you.

I hate Mondays--have I ever told you that? I live for Tuesdays. I know, that's weird.


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Friday, August 2, 2013

The day a stranger told me I didn't know how to parent my 1 year old.

You all know my brother was in town last week. If you're wondering how body pump went, the answer is, it kicked his butt, he was sore for days, and he will never underestimate BP again. In fact, he may even look for a gym that does it near where he lives. So there's that. I am vindicated.


One night he was over hanging out at our house, it was getting to dinner hour and I'd yet to even think about making it because ha-ha yea right and it was a Friday night. So Declan suggested we go next door to the neighborhood restaurant. It's literally a hot-dog place. Of course, it sells nicer food, too. But it's known for it's hot-dogs. The sign calls it the "neighborhood place" and it boasts being a family friendly restaurant. We go there all the time.

We wanted to eat on the patio, that was our plan actually. But we remembered that two weeks ago when we were there, we tried that. Except that Emeline is hyper sensitive to bees or anything buzzing around her head right now. She freaks. So a few scream-fests the last time sent off a red flag in our heads--so we opted to sit inside instead.

They sat us right behind (in front? next to?) a table of elderly people. Two couples, on a little double date, I guess. If I had to guess I'd say they were in their 70's or so.

Truthfully, when I walked in and realized they were sitting us right there, I had a moment where I scanned to see how far they were in their meal. They were just about to order dessert, and so I mentally took note that, at least they were almost done.

My kids were actually being pretty decent. There were no tears. Everyone was happy. There was the occasional 3 year old redirection, Honey, sit on your bottom, it's time to eat- type thing. But that's normal. Lucy was in her highchair at the end of the table, happy as a clam. In fact, she was so happy that every few minutes she'd make a few baby shrieking/happy squealing sounds. She was being fed (it was my full time job...keeping food in front of her), she had a drink, she was just taking it all in and being a (not even at the time) 1 year old.

My brother and Declan were in deep conversation about something or other. But I could tell by my brothers face (who was facing the old people table) that they were reacting anytime Lucy made a squeak. One time I asked him if they were reacting to her, he just sort of laughed/shrugged it off, saying it was funny and don't worry about them.

Here is a visual for your reference. You're welcome for the awful drawing.

I started to sense that every few minutes these people were huffing and puffing behind me anytime they heard a chatter out of Lucy's mouth. Usually? This kind of stuff would bother me hardcore, especially if I know my kid is being awful. But the truth is, she was happy. She wasn't screaming bloody murder. She wasn't tired. She wasn't hungry. She was happy and squawking here and there. So I was more annoyed that I could sense them being outwardly irritated by a baby more than anything. 

I never turned around once. I never made a face. They could see that I wasn't ignoring my kid. That she was happy and fed and had all her needs met. 

It felt like it took them an eternity to finish their dessert and leave. As they were getting up to leave, the two men walked out first, then the two women closely behind. I could sense their disgust and joy in leaving the restaurant. They were getting all loud about it. So I leaned over to Declan and said something like, "I wonder if they had kids"--because, surely anyone with children before would know that this is normal

When Woman B (the one in the back) leans in between Declan and I (she's standing up, mind you--we are seated), and says in a loud, hasty voice---"HONEY, I HAD 5 CHILDREN AND I WOULDN'T DARE BRING THEM TO A RESTAURANT LIKE THIS."

It took me so off guard, A) because I really didn't realize she had heard me (I'm assuming she did--but I also think if she didn't, she still would have said something) B) it was aggressive, and loud, and right behind our heads and C) was this really happening? 

Please note: This is all kind of a blur. Even in hindsight, it's hard to recall every little thing. Our 2 minute encounter felt like an eternity. Also, my husband was interjecting too--it's just, I wasn't paying attention to remember what he said. My head was in a fog and like, IS THIS REALLY HAPPENING like I said above. 

She started walking away and I turned around in shock to look at her, and usually I'd whimper and cower in the corner (not quite), but instead I said, "Oh really? You wouldn't bring your children to the NEIGHBORHOOD, FAMILY restaurant? That's a shame!" Stressing on those two words hardcore.

She got wide eyed and fierce, teeth-gritting, and said, "NO. Actually I wouldn't take them out until they were old enough to behave properly in a restaurant."  Then she pointed at Lucy, made a face, and said something to the effect of, "You should learn how to parent this one".

LIVID. Fumes. Declan was also spewing off things here and there but he was behind me and I just couldn't take it all in. He did not sit quiet. My brother? Was probably in shock, just sitting there. He hates conflict. 

I remember saying, "Ma'am, you are offensive. She's not even 1 yet, and you'd like me to reason with her to stop making noises? She's happy!" She repeated again that I needed to teach her how to behave properly. Again, and again I told her that she was being offensive and to please stop. 

The woman just kept telling me that she would never dare dream of bringing her children to a restaurant "like this". I laughed again, reminding her this place sells hot dogs and is no 5 star place. Meanwhile, her husband, now embarrassed (as he should be), was dragging her by the arm out the door.

More words were exchanged that I know I missed, and I honestly don't remember them all. Blurry. It's all a blur. It was my first negative encounter with a stranger regarding my children, and with a direct slam to my parenting. 

The second she left, I grabbed my napkin and began to cry into it like a moron. I let this lady get to me, to my core. It made me mad. I was fuming inside, but I was mortified and sad that this happened. In complete shock, actually. 

Immediately two servers came up to me and told me what jerks they were. That they had been jerks the whole night to them, and to not let them upset me. That they were glad we were there, and my children are welcome there anytime. That they could tell Lucy was happy and not upset, and they enjoyed hearing her happy sounds. 

There was a table with a Dad and his older son in front of us. They heard the whole thing. They had just paid their check and as he was walking out, he leaned down to me and said--"hey, how are kids supposed to learn how to behave in restaurants if we don't take them to 'em?" It was nice. I knew he was just giving me that reaffirming pat on the back. 

I was so bummed out about it the entire night. More so, it made me realize that I so badly want to be the older person one day who doesn't forget what it's like to have small children. That gives that young mom a pat on the back and a "I saw how well you tended to your baby tonight, honey, you did great--she's obviously a happy girl".

It made me hope and pray that I am not bitter and nasty one day--making young moms cry and question
themselves because I was slightly inconvenienced by a few baby squawks and squeals during dessert. I want to remember what it's like. How hard it is to even get out the door to the family restaurant at all. How much of a sacrifice it is to sit there and feed her non-stop, play peek-a-boo a million times, tickle her toes, keep her happy, and be lucky enough to get a bite of my food before it gets cold.

I mostly want to remember and encourage that mom that she's doing great, and not be an old hag that gets blogged about. 

Let's make it happen.


Please note: I do not believe all elderly people aren't kind. I have relationships with many older people who are loving and so great with my children, or ones I have ran into at the mall, restaurant, store that stop and smile and talk to my girls, telling me how lovely and sweet they are. We just happened to be sitting near a few bad eggs, I guess. Lucky for me. ((eye roll))

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Thursday, August 1, 2013

Dad's the cool one and Mom is full of bad ideas {a park/exploring night}

I blinked and it's August.

I wait and wait and wait for spring and summer through the longest winter months of the year, and then I freaking blink and it's August.

I have to admit I haven't been taking full advantage of summer or the summer things. Taking the kids to a pool, or lake, or park, or farm or whatever just sometimes sounds like too much work alone (and all the mothers who take 4+ kids to outings alone laugh....go ahead, it's cool). The thing is, I'd rather just wait and do it all together when Declan is home. Sue me.

But I'm in this phase where I feel guilty-non-stop about where we live. Don't laugh. I know that having a warm, nice home is a blessing. It's just---I grew up with a yard to explore and neighborhood to play in. We spent endless hours outdoors, and the truth is, we have no yard here with townhomes and it's not ideal for kid-exploring. I want that for Emeline. Like, I feel that somehow I'm majorly gypping her childhood years and I feel guilty about it. Yet, we're in no place to move for a good long time, and that sort of bums me out. ANYWAY.

This wasn't about being all boo-hoo'ey, because we're blessed with a home and we know that. It's just--we have to really take advantage of exploring other places, and getting her outdoor fix from parks and playgrounds and ponds and other things.

So last night we did just that.

To say Em was excited was understatement of the year.

Lucy was indifferent.

Where you takin' me, woman?

Oh, I get to roam free? This is awesome now. Peace out, peeps.

I seriously cannot get over the fact that I have this kid who can climb around on a playground now, go down slides, and freaks-out if you try to remove her from said playground, even if she's heading toward The Drop Off of Death. What is UP with playgrounds and those lethal 2 story openings? Omg. They are there solely to make moms have panic attacks, I am sure. 

My husband is the best playground Dad ever. He has the perfect balance of don't-hover-too-much, but always-be-aware-of-your-kid. He's there in case Em gets stuck on that god-forsaken rock wall mid-way, and needs some foot-guidance. He's there to spot her on the monkey bars. He's good for a cheer when she's looking for a "great job!" when she tried something new. He maintains his distance when she needs space. He's there when the 1 year old insists on climbing up the slide (I hate when kids do that), and falls backwards 293023908 times. He's good for a kiss-tickling session which he knows will evoke laughter and smiles. Even when he has no idea I've caught it on camera. Sigh.

But mom? 

She's good for bad ideas. Hey, you should slide with your sister on your lap! Yes! That'd be so cute and awesome! 

And then they were pissed at me. Just notice how Lucy's foot is all caught behind her. She's all NOT COOL MOM. Sorry, children.

Now that playground time was over, it was pond explorin' time. 

She was super pumped about that, too.

While in the woods around the pond she whispered, "I just love this magical forest explorin'!" 

Well, kid. I just freaking adore YOU. So there's that. 

Lucy and her pointer finger. I'm lookin' at YOU, ma
Sigh. Love my people.

And below is a true look at what it takes to get a photo around here. 


At the end, Lucy is ticked. No, I'm not smiling for your stupid picture, mom. She said it. I heard her. 

It was a good night. 



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