Archive for the 'Random Thoughts' Category

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The Pothole Saga

Photo from 4.22.16

Photo from 4.22.16

“Hey, we gotta do somethin’ about the pothole at the Post Office.”
“Nah, there’s no rush. It’s been handled.”

Photo from 5.20.16

Photo from 5.20.16

“It’s been a few weeks. Have you done anything with that pothole at the Post Office?”
“Yep. The flag in the pylon kept falling over, so we taped it.”
“Good work!”

Edited to add: They fixed the pothole at the end of May! Now where are we going to go swimming?! 😉

Spring Selfie

April is almost over, and May is just around the corner! This is a busy time at school, etc., so, posting will be light!

Selfies 4.22.16

Stay tuned for more adventures!

From Shoe Chef to Sous Chef

When Claire was really little (3, I think?) she’d get so excited to help Daddy in the kitchen. (I do the cooking during the week, and he loves to cook on the weekends.) One time, she said, “Momma! Daddy said I get to be the SHOE CHEF!” I’ll never forget that moment. Tonight, the Sous Chef and Chef were hard at work for tonight’s meal. To her, this is just the way things are supposed to be. I love it.

She doesn't even need to stand on a chair to cut things anymore! *sniffle*

She doesn’t even need to stand on a chair to cut things anymore! *sniffle*

…OSHA is happy about that. 😀

The Yoda Approach to New Year Resolutions

I’ve always taken the Yoda approach to “New Year Resolutions,” in that I don’t make them. I either do something, or I don’t. (“Do or do not; there is no try.”) I don’t make a list of ways to improve, and I certainly don’t just think about it on the 1st of the calendar year.

I love my life. I’m content, and despite what the salespeople of the world are telling you, that is great! That is okay! THAT IS ENOUGH. Contentment doesn’t equate to laziness. (I have a To Do List, not a To Be List, and there’s a major difference!)

I have all I need, right here.
I am all I need, right here.
I am enough. I have enough.

I’m thankful every day for the life we’ve built. It took hard work, planning, and premeditation to get here, and I plan on being happy every day. THAT is the “happily ever after” we’re seeking. It DOES exist. (The key is that “happily” is an adverb, the WAY to live, not that everything is perfect. It means you can live happily every single day, and I truly believe that. I’ve done it, so I know it’s possible.)

That said, I wouldn’t turn down a duffel bag of unmarked bills, but that’s another story. 😀

The Day We Battled Old Mother Iowa

January 1, 1999: We were stuck in Iowa. Quite literally. The UHaul with all our worldly belongings was parked in a the apartment parking lot, freezing into a solid block of ice as the minutes grew, and all major interstates were closed. Travel was not advised. The city was shut down, due to a blizzard. The car trailer for my car was stuck in southern Iowa. (Again, quite literally.)

“Move to Colorado on January 1st?! Bah-hahaha! THINK AGAIN!” Old Mother Iowa screamed.

“YOU’LL NEVER LEAVE!” she screeched and the piles of snow grew and the temperature shrank. By evening it was clear we weren’t headed to Colorado on January 1st.

Rather than wallow in dismay, we kicked things into gear. I called the only friend I had who had a “real house.” I knew this friend was in Eastern Iowa for the holidays, but I had her mother’s landline phone number. (Actually, it was just “a phone number,” because “landline” wasn’t a necessary descriptor.)

“Do you have an outlet on the side of your house?” I asked. “Would it be okay if we plugged our UHaul into it? We can stay a few extra days in the apartment, but the complex has no outlet for us to use, and the truck will freeze solid.”

We were granted permission with a hearty “Of course! You didn’t even have to ask!” followed by a “How are you going to get over there with all the snow?”

We’re make-a-way, find-a-way kind of people, so that wasn’t even an obstacle.
How will we get there? I have no idea other than I KNOW we will. 🙂

My partner in crime drove the UHaul, and I followed in his car. (The plan was to leave the UHaul at our friend’s house and use his car back and forth. To those reading, this was The Hoopty. Oh yeah. You remember that car! You think it’s a boat on a good day, imagine it in the snow! Woooo!)

We’d both logged HOURS of blizzard driving at that point, and with no one else on the roads, it wasn’t that bad. *cough*

Once we made it to the house, my job was to direct him in backing up the UHaul to the garage so we could get it off the street and get it close to the outlet. Keep going…keep going…keep going…keep going…STOP. Perfect!

That’s when I realized I’d been looking at the bottom bumper of the truck and not the top of the truck, which I’d SOMEHOW got him to stop within TWO MILLIMETERS of their gutter! *Eeeeep!* *WHEW!*

Part 1 of the Plan to Escape Iowa’s Clutches was in effect.

Thankful I didn’t have to figure out how to tell them I’d broken their house, we hopped back in The Hoopty and made it back to the apartment.

…where we partied like it was 1999…because it was! There was nothing in the apartment except a table we’d made out of a moving box, where we ate our pizza.

Over the next couple of days, the blizzard raged on. As it waned, the car trailer was delivered, the UHaul was unplugged, and we set off to Omaha, the first stop on the Escape Route. (Where we got the UHaul utterly and thoroughly stuck on the street in front of his parents’ house.) His brother joined the caravan as a driver, and we arranged for a friend in Colorado to pick up our apartment keys, since we were delayed, and the office would be closed for the weekend when we arrived.

Colorado welcomed us with open arms and this strange glowing ball in the sky, which the natives called “the sun” and temperatures that were above freezing…which was odd for it being “winter.” In fact, we stopped for fuel out on the Eastern Plains and peeled off our coats.

“What’s the temperature?” I asked the lady at the check-out.
“Oh, it’s COLD today. I think it’s 35!”
“Wait…ABOVE ZERO?” I asked.

Coloradans still think they know what winter is…but we know the truth. (They have no idea!)

I can’t believe it’s been 17 years now.
What an adventure!

Colorado, thanks for taking us in and becoming our home.

The Force is Strong With These Two

Merlin likes Claire's new Chewbacca Backpack.

Merlin likes Claire’s new Chewbacca Backpack.


For once our School District called a SNOW DAY! Yeah!

For once our School District called a SNOW DAY! Yeah!

Heritage & Culture

Heritage and CultureI love Claire’s school!
She’s working on her Heritage & Culture.
Here are some things we put on the whiteboard in my office.
(No, I don’t have a yellow dry-erase marker. Yes, that bothers me.) 🙂
I love the ideas she had for describing our family’s culture. ♥

Teeth! Hair! Shoes!

In less than 2-weeks, Claire will be 10. She gets ready, gets her breakfast, and makes her lunch & school snack all by herself in the mornings. I’m slowly being worked out of a job, and that’s okay. Every now and then, I do yell, “Teeth! Hair! Shoes!” just to feel important in the process. 🙂

An Experiment in Positivity

I decided to try an experiment. I realized that a big part of happiness is how much of an actor you can be. Pretend to be happy, and soon you forget that you’re pretending. Way back when, I was the most enthusiastic Chutes & Ladders Participant you’d find playing with my daughter. The truth? I LOATHE that game. It’s infuriating for no good reason at all…but I pretended to enjoy it, and my daughter had the best time. Another example: Mornings. I’d just as soon get up at the Crack of Noon. Seriously. But guess what? Mornings happen every day (weird, I know!), and on the mornings when we have to be places, I get to suck it up and pretend to be okay with it all.

A lot of things with parenthood are like that. Do I love every aspect of it? No. Do you hear me complaining about things? Not usually. Why put that energy out there?

Well, as I awoke to a white blanket of snow on the ground and more falling, I decided to have an attitude shift. I used to love snow (no, really), and over the last few years, my patience for it waned. Well, NO MORE. My daughter loves snow, and why should MY attitude dampen her fun??

I ran into her room and said, “Good morning, Claire! LOOK OUTSIDE! LOOK AT THE SNOW! Isn’t it beautiful??”

She groggily replied, “Mom, are you feeling okay?”

And I said, “YES! Yes, I am. I’ve decided to like snow, and it’s so beautiful outside.”

“Really?” she asked tentatively…and that broke into pure joyous screams of “SNOW! SNOW! FINALLY SNOW!” She was up in a flash and so excited to start the day.

So far I’ve had a fantastic morning. I’m happy. I’m upbeat. Yes, I shoveled, and yes, it’s the fun heavy snow on top of a layer that is slicker than snot (as Grandpa says). Yes, I tweaked my knee and my back isn’t sure what happened, but you know what? The sun is shining. It’s all melting, and it’s GORGEOUS right now.

I’ve decided to embrace whatever is outside my window. The fact that it kills spiders is purely bonus material.