Monday, May 30, 2011


Finally, on Saturday, we decided to put our cat down. After a 24 hour period, where he peed throughout the house 4 times (No, Chili, the door to his potty room was not shut once!)... we realized the problem was not going to get any better. The vet confirmed, once a cat has established this habit, he will not stop.

Coach and I made a deal. He would take the cat to be put down and I would deliver the news to the children. (He had the better end of this deal.)

The Kid was obviously upset. Rigby was 'his pet'. He was sad, mixed with angry... "Why did Rigby have to be SO DUMB! Why wouldn't he stop doing that??" Uhhh, good question.

Surprisingly, Tink was the most heartbroken. Hear me say this... NOTHING is more awful, than watching her itty bitty face, crumble in tears. Would you like to know, my version of torture??? Hours after receiving the news, Tink sat in a bubble filled tub, giant tears dripping down her newly sun burnt face, while sobbing "I want Rigby to come back to mine home! I don't want him to be an angel cat wif wings in heaben! I want him to be wif me, in dis house."
Totally awful.
Her raw heartbreak, made The Kid cry all over again. Which, of course, lead to Coco crying in confused sympathy with her older siblings.

This afternoon, we held a quick but tasteful mini-funeral. I later learned, my dad had once buried his childhood cat only feet away. Leaving me very UNexcited about the knowledge that my corner has been Cuted-Up but the back yard has been secretly turned in a Pet Cemetery.

Rest in Peace, Rigby.
Honestly, I probably would have loved you more, if you had not spent the past year urinating all over our laundry. But you were my children's cat and they will miss you. Tink is convinced you have 'preddy sparkly angel wings' and I very much hope she is right.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Baby, can't you see....

We're callin
A girl like you
should wear a warning
It's dangerous
We're fallin...

For your too cute charms.

There's no escape...
From your bright smile, shy little laugh and award winning dance moves. You totally ruled our Thanksgiving dance party. You were
'..losin your head, spinning 'round and 'round...'

Your Daddy adores you. Your mommy looks into your face, like a beautiful reflection from a mirror. The Kid thinks you are the "most hilarious girl he knows!"
Poor Coach... misses the days he used to be 'in with you'. Because (I have heard) being 'in with you' feels like a membership into a pretty awesome and exclusive club. Mostly, you are just one neat kid.
(With really, really great hair.)
And we like knowing you.

To me, you will always be the 'Most Breath-Taking Girl, To Ever Float in a Dirty Swimming Pool'.
"...and we love what you do..."
Happy 10th Birthday, Five!!

(I am not thrilled with this 10 year old trend, you have started this year. You will be taking 2 more cousins down with you, in the next 6 mos.)

Thursday, May 26, 2011

The Times They are a Changin..

For a Hump Day, yesterday was a pretty amazing Wednesday. Full of monumental moments and a couple cute pictures.

Tink walked down a church aisle in a beautiful dress.
(Wonder how often, I will type that sentence.)
She 'graduated' preschool. And by 'graduated' I mean she finished one year of preschool and still has one more year, in the exact same preschool. Nothing like gathering to celebrate, an occasion which signifies accomplishing not much. But she sure is pretty....

I wish, we could remain blissfully ignorant to the 25 minutes I spent scrubbing her upper chest with rubbing alcohol, scrapping off skin and FINALLY the fake Tinkerbell tattoo Grammy placed on her ten days ago. Safely insuring at least 3-4 future therapy sessions, recalling this Mommy Dearest-like moment.

Next we held a nearly private Birthday Yoga, thanks to Tornado threat. Making Sweetbreads one year older but probably not any wiser.

And last, The Oprah Winfrey show ended. No... I am not falling into a depression, or worked into a tizzy. I am a realistic person. Oprah is not really my friend. I have not religiously followed her every political or personal move/suggestion with baited breath.
The fact was simply this:
Watching most of the shows, over the last 25 years, made me happy. From cute celebrities or informing decisions on my health. For the most part,
I just simply liked to watch her show.

As I watched the final episode, I was definitely melancholy. I was not feeling the Lame-Housewife loss of Oprah. I felt a little sad, thinking of my mom.
We began watching the show in the late afternoons. I was a child and would be wandering in and out of the room. Later, the show was the background to our 'what did I do in school today' talks. More recently, we would chat about the show over the phone... as I moved to an apartment blocks away, or 2 time zones away, or into a home (again just blocks away) and finally to a home an hour away. Yesterday,
I felt the loss of one sentence:
"Did you watch Oprah today??"

As life gave us heartache, joy, children, illness, dramatic ups and downs... Oprah was just something nice to watch. (I will never forget, the VERY long hour of Tink's labor, spent watching Oprah and Gayle's Cross Country Adventure, as the Anesthesiologist finished in surgery before administrating my epidural.)

Mostly, I will never forget The Oprah Show, gifted my mom and I, our Ultimate Mother/Daughter Surprise Chicago Adventure of a Lifetime.
Do you remember that time, we breathed the same air, as Julia Roberts, Tom Hanks and Oprah??
That, really did happen! It's still "Unbelievable!"

So.... thanks busy Wednesday.
My full life, absolutely satisfies.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

I've never seen you (or him) Shine so bright....

I've never seen you looking so gorgeous,
as you did that night

(Nothing new. You are dressed painfully cuter than I, most nights we are out.)

I've never seen you shine so bright,
you were amazing,

(It may also have been the shine coming off the fake satin material of your dress.)

I've never seen so many people want to be there by your side.....
(Truthfully, it appears you have LOTS of friends, who want to be by your side. What's that feel like?)

And when you turned to me and smiled,
it took my breath away,

(I was actually more breathless from the Big Dance. But it's nice when you smile, too.)

And I have never had such a feeling,
Such a feeling of complete and utter love,
as I did that night....

(Ummmm... if I am being totally real... I sorta got more of an 'annoyed feeling' rather than 'utter love' because your creepy old boyfriend, would NOT stop going ON AND ON about how barfy pretty you were. Totally making me feel like a GIANT NOTHING but I guess that's still great news for you. Puke.)

Happy Birthday, Sweetbreads.
I wish you many more!
(Really, I wish you MANY more... and a few less for me and maybe several less for Warhol.)

Thanks for joining the show.
You are One seriously Cool Chick.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Much Too Busy...

to be sitting at a computer.
We have been Cute-ing up Our Corner hard-core. It's been ridiculous. Staining decks, chopping down trees, hanging awesome signs, building window boxes, digging up bushes, laying stepping stones and planting, planting, planting. My back is aching and if I see Coach, in his Ugly Outside Man Jeans ONE MORE TIME... I may lose my (normally SO reserved) pleasant demeanor.
Per usual, our rule-following children, have been perfect angels, throughout the process.
Not to mention, a tremendous help.
They have gotten So Bored, they carried chairs outside, just to pretend to care.

Coco, is a buzzing worker bee... happily tasting the flowers and randomly smearing dirt on her face.
Being filthy, is so very exhausting.

Even so, the yard seems to be slowly turning, the Cute Corner. Pat on the back to Coach and I.
We are officially 'this close' to not being the trashiest house on the block. High Five!

Monday, May 23, 2011

People should be warned, if they email me funny stuff....

The letter below, was actually written by a friend of mine and then emailed to the particular Fast-Food establishment. (I have sorta changed the names, to protect the innocent.)

Dear Sir,

After a recent excursion at the local McDooDaa’s, a colleague and I have formulated a few questions surrounding your strategic intent. Below is an account of the events as we entered the local establishment.

Upon entering, we immediately notice a whirlwind of staring, nodding, and false starts as it relates to who is next to order a meal or pick up their food. To emphasize this point imagine a room full of customers and the attendant calling out…FISH Sandwich… to the group on a Friday during lent.

With the above mentioned experience we have formulated a few opinions on why this process is in place.

Theory #1 – This is a social experiment measuring the time and amount of frustration it takes before customers decide to go elsewhere.

Theory #2 – This is a strategic business decision enabling McDooDaa’s to be recession proof…meaning if the customer can navigate thru the above confusion then you are more likely to be of a strategic nature and keep employment in a time of job loss – thus McDooDaa’s customers and business is sustainable.

Theory #3 – A tangent of theory #2 focused on natural selection… if you can’t survive the fight, you don’t eat, thus the strong survive boosting business and lifespan of customers and making an inclusive environment that thrives on the competitive nature of people.

Thank you,
Mr. Man

Not only, is this letter amusing....
It proves:
I am not the lone person in my inner circle, lacking a filter.... with too much free time, an overload of sarcasm and access to a computer.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Show and Tell.

This afternoon, Coco was taken in as Show and Tell. Requested by her big cousin, Nine. I remembered my camera (of course) but really needed video. It played out, a little something like this:

Teacher: What or who did you bring for Show and Tell?
Nine: My cousin.
Teacher: How nice! What makes your cousin so special?
Nine: She likes to eat stuff. Like deodorant and markers. (Nine turns towards me) What other things does she eat??
Me (feeling less proud but keepin it real): Crayons, dirt, necklaces...etc.
Kids in classroom: Hysterical laughing and pointing. (Nine smiles because she is KILLING Show and Tell.)
Teacher: And is this other little girl, your cousin?
Nine: Yes. (Tink hides behind me, after glaring at the crowd. She's nobody's puppet.)
Nine: Their older brother is (insert real name. Followed by EVERY child in the class raising their hands because they know The Kid).
Some Boy: 'The Kid' called my Dad an idiot.
Me (inside my head): Then he probably IS an idiot.

Teacher (bringing the subject back around): What else can 'Coco' do?
Nine: She wears her sunglasses upside down, she made-up her name, she thinks she is a Tiger and she growls at people.
Coco: I'n a Tiger... groooowlll.
Kids in Class: She's Awesome!!
Me (inside my head):
My baby is coming off like a moron.

Teacher: I'll bet she really loves you for being her big cousin. Do you ever babysit her?
Nine: Yep. Sometimes when our parents are.... um....
Me (inside my thoughts): Don't say drinking!! Please don't say drinking!!
Nine:... when they are hanging out, I watch her. Or when we are at The Kid's baseball games, I watch....
Boy in Class: One time, 'The Kid' told me I was dumb like a baby and I probably wear diapers...'
Me (inside me head): ARE you dumb?? Gosh, my eldest sounds like a real jerk. My middle looks like a snotty brat. And the youngest, is a dirt eating puppet.

Coco pulls on Nine's shirt and does this:

Ok. That helped.
Then we handed out 100% Real Fruit Juice fruit snacks.

Mild-Stay at home Mom-Redemption.
Still, cousins are cute.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Cute Up Your Corner... Again!

My parents, grew-up in 'Our Small Town', married and moved to the City. As a child, I fell in love with this town, while visiting my extended family. I spent 5 days (always 5 days) Summering here. I felt safe and completely enthralled with small town life.
My cousins, were allowed to ride their bikes several blocks from home! They walked alone to Grandma's, went to Bible school with friends and seemed to eat Fried Cinnamon's for breakfast every morning.
Several years after I began raising my children here, my Pleasantville Love Affair, continues to thrive.
I love to walk uptown or to the Ballfield.
I love attending my nieces and nephews events, dining at Turtles and having our children's Doctor nearby.
I love our weekly stop at The Dairy Queen. (occasionally, twice weekly.) We had a Dairy Queen in my town but weirdly, it was not nearly as magical!
Sadly, as with many small towns around this country, our Quaint Oasis, is threatened. As small businesses close, the shine of our downtown is fading, our Park and Recs program has been dramatically slashed and our baseball complex has been left tattered by age plus a pretty angry tornado.
Our community needs an IMPACT.
Several dedicated volunteers including The Commissioner and Grammy, have devoted hours searching their creative core while simultaneously learning a little about politics. They plan to put the Skip back in Our Town's step. If it 'Takes a Village' to bring Our Town back to it's former glory, I am grateful to have them as my fellow residents.

I would like to reintroduce our plan to...
'Cute Up Your Corner'.

There are several towns across America, who have chosen a 'theme'. A nearby town adopted Pink Petunias. Washington State and Michigan are famous for tulips, Washington D.C. for Cherry Blossoms...etc.
I encourage this community to pump a cheerful shot of Yellow into our neighborhoods. Put a smile, back into your evening stroll and declare to visitors
'living in Our Town Equals seriously happy people'.
Please, find a small space in your yard (or maybe even your grandparents!). Your corner, around a tree, your front porch or even a small window box.
Splash yellow all up, down and around it.
Yellow Tulips or daffodils, in the Spring.
Yellow Day Lilies/Bright annuals in the Summer
and Big, bushy yellow Mums in the Fall.
Obviously, all participants are not required to follow our flower suggestions. Certainly, inject your color of choice across your curb. Not all of us have the skin tone to pull off yellow! Though, I am positive your yard has the perfect complexion for cheerful.
Picture if you please... driving to work each morning, greeted by hundreds of bright yellow Tulips, waving hello. Strolling in the evening, admiring the warm glow of Day Lilies.
And yellow Mums gracing each corner, screams 'Fall Festivals are Awesome'!
Why stop with your yard? Impact received the City Council's approval for citizens to 'Adopt' public locations to "Cute Up!"
Please contact us, to become the proud adoptive parent of your very own City Corner. Park Entrances, Schools, Nursing Homes, The Pool Entrance, Churches, the Town Welcome signs. The more interest generated, the more locations we will foster to your family or organization.
Real-Life Pleasantville, can be a dream realized.
I believe, flowers can make any ol' Grump smile,
a burst of color can inspire a child's creativity and one person can beautify a community with their simple idea and a 'Grass roots' campaign.
Change can begin, at your front porch.

Cute Up Your Corner,
officially Re-implemented.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Isn't She lovely....

"Isn’t she wonderful? Isn’t she precious?"

To Coco, on her Second Birthday:

To say, you have stolen hearts, is an understatement. You have a secret little envelope, with a full dance card of unwavering devotion. You are the essence of happy, the purest form of childhood spirit. You have made the most serious adults, spontaneously burst into smile, to spite themselves.

You are not the typical little girlie-girl. You are an adventurous clown who may try anything once. Maybe even twice. You are a firework of energy. From the moment you wake, to the VERY late minute you fall to sleep. You are convinced there is no need to brush your hair, but will apply sparkle lip-gloss often throughout the day. Your laughter is a squeal, your walk has a skip and you have even graced yourself with a Stage Name... Jazz hands and all.

Your most enduring character trait, was gifted from your father (inherited from HIS father.) You have taken this envy worthy talent and made it Even More special. Being near you, in the sparkly bubble of your engaging personality, makes people 'just feel happy'. People are drawn into you. They want your attention and feel better, after their Cup of Coco.
With the flirtatious tilt of your head, your curve of a smile and your large, direct pool of eye contact... you easily own their loyalty. Bought, bagged and paid for.
I hate to divulge your secret but you have quietly convinced many adults, they are your most favorite. You remember people, make them feel seen by you and leave them positively warmed, within your ray of light. You intuitively sense their moods and snuggle or laugh, accordingly.

I am not a mother, with rose-colored glasses and therefore, can admit... you are a wee bit gross. While living life in the fast lane, there is hardly time to pit-stop for face cleaning, diaper changing or even a common-sense think break. For example:
"Should I try eating deodorant?? Why not!"
"Does this outfit match? Who cares!"
"Does peanut butter mix well with ranch dressing, ketchup and chicken nuggets?? It does today!"
"And sure I'll hug you tight and kiss you hard but I'm not afraid to Smack a Ho.edown, if required."

"Isn’t she pretty? Tru-ly the angel’s best."

You have an indescribably, words are not worthy, blend of sometimes unconventional and mysterious allure. Your eyes, too defiant to pick a color, are the captivating mood-ring of your face. You remind me of a well painted work of art. Very pretty at first glance, sometimes messy at a particular angle and then... when the admirer pauses... takes a breath... and really studies your full Snow-white lips, your long gentle eyelashes and perfectly rounded cheeks... they are stunned by your heart-stopping beauty. And if you light up our world with your sun-shiny gladness and occasionally mischievous smile.... Forget about it!

"Boy, I’m so happy.
We have been heaven blessed.
I can’t believe what God has done,
Through us he’s given life to one.
But isn’t she lovely... made from love."

Two years ago, you took our roller coaster and added a few more twists and a pretty dramatic turn. You simultaneously gave our family a bright shot of adrenaline, with a calming drink from your green-tea of love. We were all waiting for you. To be gifted to this family, at this very moment.
I am honored to be within your magical, floating bubble. You lift me up and carefully keep me floating, warm in your sunshine. You, Just Make Me Feel Happy.
You really are... so very lovely.
And were undoubtedly... made from love.

Happy Second Birthday, Coco.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Bye-Bye Baby....

Two years ago today, we were at Ella Bella's 2nd Birthday party. I was hugely pregnant, exhausted from 3 nights of fake-out labor and sorta confused by EB's mother, who repeatedly and sadly deep-sighed for her last baby's second birthday. I clearly remember, thinking that was so odd. Most people, would be sad for the First Birthday but NOT the Second Bday!?
I do not believe in the Terrible Two's. I Heart the Bojangles out of Coco's developing personality (mostly). I love hearing her talk, watching her little legs learn to run and seeing her make friends.
Who would ever get sad, over a Second Birthday??
Ummm... Me. That's who.

Five months into the pregnancy, we knew (were told) Coco would be our last baby. I made a promise to 'Be Present' in all her baby moments and I have done my best. I over-snuggled Coco's baby-ness to the point of smothering. I bought a Pregnancy Baby Book in addition to a regular. I have tried to remember video, blogged about her, made Shutterfly books of her adorableness. I allowed her to sleep with us, have shared nearly every waking moment of her life. When she was not with her parents, she has had a limited sitter list of Grandparents, Aunts and a couple cousins.
I have undeniably enjoyed her baby-ness. I celebrated her First Birthday, with only a mild new-baby ache.
Then... a couple weeks ago, I remembered Ella's melancholy mother, on her daughter's Second Birthday. And I finally, really 'Got it!'.
Tomorrow, my VERY last baby, will turn Two.
No more warm baby naps, no more cute little baby onesies. No more babies to name or soft baby heads to smell (though I huffed a pretty hard-core fix off the Peters baby recently.) No more baby coos. And now, Coach refuses to cooperate in my plan to kidnap baby Asher. (Stupid Coach and his following the law-ness.)
Therefore: No More Babies, Period.
Tomorrow, Coco will be a 'big girl like her sista'.
I click 'Dislike' to this post.
Except....she is getting pretty funny... and her hair is growing in very cute... and her smile shines even more beautiful... so maybe Two isn't THAT bad.

Ella Bella is the last of her girls, to turn 4.
Happy Fourth Birthday, EB!!

Coco: don't even think of turning Four.
You'd better back that bus up.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Fun (not) Run.

Per The Mrs's suggestion, we entered a charitable Fun (not) Run, this morning. It began with a 1 Mile Run for children, followed by a 5K for children and adults.
Tink was psyched ALL WEEK, about entering her first Big Race. She ran the 1 Mile with her girlfriends. She did not fair as well as she had hoped (apparently there were some bottle necking issues and little Tinkerbells, sometimes get pushed around.) The Kid and I entered the 5K together. As a FUN bonding experience.
Turns out, not so much.
We woke this morning, to dark skies, heavy rain clouds and temps hovering around 47 1/2 degrees. Not exactly my ideal running conditions.
(Honestly, I do not have an 'ideal running condition')

(Tink and Flower. Rain can't cloud their spirits.)

(The Mrs's girls)

(Tink's Daddy-like determination, captured on the last leg of her big race.)

(Her big Finish. AdoRaBle!!)

(She was convinced she had 'won'.)

(It took a minute, to catch her breath. Still with more dignity than her mother post-race.)

(Lil Sista was VERY proud.)

During a much-too long break between races, the rain and cold began to hinder, my already Not-lovin races kind-of mood. Not too mention, The Kid was nervously/enthusiastically chatting, faster than Coach runs. After the two mile mark, I fervently urged The Kid to run ahead of me. Actual words: "Run faster and don't look back at me... finish strong."
Now... most adults would feel embarrassed to admit, they could not run with their 9 yr old son. Not me. That boy is fast and maybe I have mentioned: I HATE RUNNING!! Therefore, my pride is still perfectly in tact.

This was the only picture of The Kid.
I left the camera with Grammy, while we were running.

I couldn't have snapped a picture anyway, from 4 distant blocks behind him.

On the last block, I grabbed Coco, to let her Finish a race. (again, totally not ashamed I Hard-core finished with an almost 2 yr old.) I really don't give a bleep.

(The Mrs and her girls nearing the Finish. They look much more cheerful, than the negativity spewing from their mother's mouth.)

So that's THAT.
My official Kick-Off, to my Summer Race Training.
Obviously, not a very impressive start, given a 3rd grader left me in his dust. I guess, it's sorta sad... my children can not respect me.

Friday, May 13, 2011

What the F#*% is This....????

I have found a few of these in our bathroom.
We have no idea, what they are.
And they freak us, the bleep out.
We want the name/species/dinosaur era...etc.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Who would you Jack??

Grammy purchased these little black books on Etsy, for Munchkin and I. They will be very convenient while playing a game I created years ago, entitled...
"Who would You Jack??"

Here are the rules:

1. Pick a person, for example...
your 4th grade teacher or your sister.

2. Premise:
You march up to this person, pause and then Jack them in the face. They will retain this information for approximately 9 seconds (long enough to react with an expression of recognition but not hit you back) and then their mind goes blank, never to be the wiser. Said person, would be completely unaffected, not even a bruise. You, however, would have a victorious skip in your step and sly smile across your face.
All the while, Karma, God and/or your Grandmother, looks in the other direction.

3. So... Who would you Jack?

Now, maybe your first reaction may be:
The horror! She's a terrible person!
Who would invent such an awful game!!?

After you get past all that.... Think on this for a minute or two. Let it soak in.
Is their someone who has offended you?
Made your child cry? Or rubbed you the wrong way?
Prances about, owning the world, as if they couldn't use a good smacking?
Stole your boyfriend in the 7th grade?

Now, make your list.
Safely in your mind, or share with a VERY close friend, not prone to blabber mouth syndrome.

Therefore... Who would you Jack?

1. I have NEVER and do not plan on EVER punching a person, in my lifetime. Please, do not stop reading my blog, out of moral protest.

2. You are not allowed anyone under the age of 17 on your list. Unless you are a parent of a teenager...then do what you need to do. No judgement.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Did I REALLY forget, you???

Do we think, I really forgot my Number One Nephew's birthday post on Saturday? Am I that kind of aunt?

I mean, it's not as if you have ever forgotten, to watch my kids? Or have forgotten to wake-up on time. Or have forgotten, to maybe check your sugars, or mind your mother, or follow just about every rule, ever established. That certainly, doesn't sound like you?
So of course,
I wouldn't possibly forget something for you? Right??

I would hate to forget, to use my blog as a forum to remind (again) you are special. That you have talents, you can not see. Or a strength, you have not realized. I would never want to forget an opportunity, to lecture (again) how you could be so much more.
You could be just about anything.

I would never forget, to use this chance, to ask you.... Why??? You appear to have forgotten, how to shine. How to light up a room, with your charm.
Why you seem to have forgotten, where you left your 'A Game'. Or when exactly, you misplaced that future that was so bright (just one year ago) you had to wear shades??

I certainly, would never want to use this very public forum, to ask you to 'Forget Them'. Those who have doubted you. Those who never gave you the credit you deserved. Those who tried to break you.
God knows, I wouldn't want you to forget, those who probably didn't deserve you, in the first place.

I guess, I'll plead with you (just once more, because I GUESS you have forgotten)... for Bleeps Sake boy!
God reached down and blessed you, with so much of the "It Factor" you could pass your pretty sparkle Rainbow Fish Scales, out to the entire sea and
Still. Oooze. 'It'. For. Days. So... enough already. Get out there and Announce Yourself, to the world. And if you ever Forget again... you have a big ol' family ready to cheer you back into the race.

Awwww Shucks, One.
I guess maybe, I didn't forget you.
Just seems, You have forgotten You.
And I am happy to remind.
Happy Birthday One.... With all our Love.

Happy Mother's Day!

To my mother-in-law
Who we are especially grateful for this week. You are a much needed, part of this family.

To our Grandmothers.
Those I carry in my heart and to Lil GG, who we could probably carry in our hand. She's cute!

To the god-mothers of my children.
Who take special care to love my babies.

To the many women, in my life.
Who are a crucial part of my sanity, my extra reason to smile and a positive, loving presence for myself and my children.

And Last:
To my very own mother.
Who gave me life. Cared for me, through childhood AND adulthood. Taught me how to love, how to parent and how to laugh through tears. And who also, drove me to the Oprah Show, this week.
Do you remember that time, we went to Oprah?

Love to you all.

Friday, May 6, 2011

So maybe you've Heard.....

I went to the Oprah Winfrey Show on Wednesday.
Starring the beautiful Julia Roberts, the hilarious Tom Hanks and hosted by OPRAH WINFREY!! It was indescribably amazing. I can hardly put the dream-like experience into words... but I am sure gonna try.
We arrived to the studio, around 6:30am. We spent the next 2 hrs in lines, while our bags and coats were checked. Time, simultaneously stood still and flew by in a blur. We were buzzing with the excitement, of momentarily sharing the same air-space with my three Most Fav celebrities EvA.

It would be impossible, to properly describe how badly I wanted to attend the Oprah show. (...maybe, you had noticed from previous posts) Or to express, how much I Heart the Heck out of Julia Roberts. Finally, how Tom Hanks has delighted me since 'Splash'.
(as a young girl with long hair, a pool and a love for swimming... I was convinced, I was a mermaid.)

The Hour and 30 minutes, spent within the Studio, was beyond explanation. I tried to calmly absorb everything... mentally locking the moment in my mind, with video-like detail. Except... I was smiling and smiling and more smiling. I tried to behave calmly but imagined my appearance resembling a teenage girl meeting Justin Beiber. This is what I remember:

1. The studio, is actually very small. It feels intimate. The set was bright and the energy electric.
2. I saw several employees from Oprah Behind the Scenes. I may have waved at one as she passed... and she may have looked confused, as if expecting she must know me, since I had waved like an idiot.
3. Oprah: Is beautiful. Much thinner in person. Her dress was lovely. She walked on stage barefoot. Andre (her hairdresser, for those unaware) was nearby to primp. She seems very real and relaxed. She was kind and gracious to the audience. Speaking to us (Me... I felt like maybe she was talking to me...) several times.
4. Julia: She is everything you imagine. Tall, thin, perfectly dressed. Her hair was shinetastic. She laughed, her amazing laugh, several times. During commercial break, I almost blurted "Julia!! Be my Friend!!" I could feel the outburst, nearly escape my throat but was too nervous to rock the dream-boat, I was floating on.
5. Tom Hanks: He is attractive and SO VERY witty.
All three were exactly as I had hoped and more.
6. As you now know, Julia presented the crowd, with her Favorite Things. What you have witnessed on the Christmas show or even on Saturday Night Live, is EXACTLY how it played out. People lose their minds!! (Especially, my mother. I had to unlock her pit-bull grip, from my arm.) The anticipation, of what may be hiding under those presents, was more mind-numbing than unveiling the gender of your new baby!
7. Behind the Scenes/Commercial Breaks: Amazing!! Chatting together, getting stage directions, interacting with the crowd. It is the icing on the too-rich cake!

Final Assessment, On a Scale of One to Ten:

* Going to the Oprah Show: A Ten (right out the gate)
* Being invited to the Private Night-Before Screening (which I have ALWAYS been envious of...): A Fourteen
* Having Julia Roberts as the Guest: A Twenty-Four
* ALSO having Tom Hanks: A Thirty-Two
* Having Julia gift her Favorite Things: A Thirty-Nine
* Having the taping, be one of the last six shows, ever taped in the Harpo Studio: A Forty-Three

Conclusion: Attending this show, with all of it's perks and fireworks, was easily a 43 out of 10. An even better experience, than I could have imagined.

"God can dream a bigger dream for you, then you could ever dream for yourself." -An Oprah Quote

The only 3 things, I would have changed/included:

1. A hug from Oprah.
2. A hug from Julia.
3. There was an enveloped hidden under our seats (with a beautiful note to commemorate Julia's Favorite Things). I wish, the envelope included tickets for the 'United Center Spectacular'.(not because I greedily need more Oprah) but because I would have LOVED to share this experience with more of my ladies. (whatdoya say Oprah, now that we are Buds? A few more tix, for old times sake? I have very Oprah-enthusiastic girlfriends!)

It was a day I will NEVER forget.
Thank-you, Oprah Winfrey Show and
especially, the staff member who chose me.
I am forever grateful.

Our Wedding Anniversary.

To my husband.
Several Chapters of my life, were written before I found you. Now, they feel like the character creating back story, which lead to the unveiling of my plot. I have NEVER believed, Two people become One, on their wedding day. A marriage, where you lose your own self, within their story... is not the connection, I had imagined for myself.
When I married you, our stories became intertwined. Into a beautifully written and complicated 'series' of shared experiences.
Today, I dedicate this song, to you...

The Story... by Brandi Carlile

All of these lines across my face
Tell you the story of who I am
So many stories of where I've been
And how I got to where I am
But these stories don't mean anything
When you've got no one to tell them to
It's true... I was made for you

I climbed across the mountain tops
Swam all across the ocean blue
I crossed all the lines and I broke all the rules
But baby I broke them all for you
Because even when I was flat broke
You made me feel like a million bucks
Like, You do...
I was made for you

You see the smile that's on my mouth
It's hiding the words that don't come out
And all of my friends who think that I'm blessed
They don't know my head is a mess
No, they don't know who I really am
And they don't know what
I've been through like you do
And I was made for you...

All of these lines across my face
Tell you the story of who I am
So many stories of where I've been
And how I got to where I am
But these stories don't mean anything
When you've got no one to tell them to
It's true... I was made for you

So often, you are the main character of our story, as you shine much brighter than I. Except, the trait which has always made you unique, is the joy you find in other peoples happiness. Thank-you, for always trying to help me, feel like more.
I look forward, to reading the rest of us....
Happy Anniversary, Coach.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Rt 66 Spring BBQ Festival

This Saturday (May 7th) our Small Town, will host a
Route 66 Spring Festival. Many activities, organizations and music have been arranged to celebrate everything great about Our Town. Including select children's Carnival rides, a large Bounce House, The Baptist Food Booth, a Bean Bag Tournament, Select Booths, Children's Activities, Live Music and a Beer Garden.

The Schedule for our Fantastic Spring Festival:

10:00am Kick-off!
With Music spun by The Big Kahuna

The Livingston Leapers Jump Rope Club performing.
With adorable talent such as our very own Nine,
Ditta's girl, EL and (very new to the club) Tink.

A Church Preschool will perform cute songs and fun skits, geared towards Mother's Day. Including Eleven, CT's boy, lil' EL and Tink.

Noon- 1:00pm
Judging for the BBQ Contest will begin.
Live Music by Marcos Mendez and 2 Dollar Ransom
Youth/Teen DQ Ice Cream Sandwich Eating Contest

Live Music by FUBAR
(Drumming talent by DD-husband to The Bride/Cousin to Coach/Brother to The General and Munchkin.)

What a wonderful way to spend your Spring Saturday. Drive down Ol' scenic Rt 66, Grab chairs and blankets, relax with a cool drink, while your children play. The entire event, held in a VERY large fenced area. Located across from 'Our Warhol Painted' Java Stop.
We have rolled out the Red Carpet, to welcome you.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Unbelievable! (Part One...)

1:59pm Tuesday, May 3rd:
I am comfy in sweats, preparing to take a short quiet nap. The phone rings. I'm annoyed. I grab the phone and check Caller ID. It reads 'Harpo Inc.' Almost immediately, my hands begin to shake and I answer the phone, as calmly as possible.

Me: Hello?

Harpo: Hi, this is 'someone' at The Oprah Winfrey Show. Is this 'insert my name'?

Me (calm): Umm, yeeessss.

Harpo: Hi. How are you this afternoon?

Me: I think, I am about to throw up.

Harpo: No! Don't throw up! I am calling because I read your link, how Julia Roberts would be your Dream Guest for Oprah. (Blog Link Dtd. March 29th) It just so happens, we are having Julia on our show tomorrow and would like to offer you a last minute ticket.
Are you available?

Me: Yes. Absolutely!

Harpo: Great! I have sent you an email with the details. We are also holding a private screening this evening, for her new movie with Tom Hanks called 'Larry Crowne' and Tom Hanks will be on the show as well, tomorrow. I know this is last minute but can you make it for the screening this evening?

Me: I can't breathe.

Harpo (laughing at what a ridiculous idiot I am):
You have to breathe!

Me: Yes. I can make that.

Harpo: And.... would you like to bring a guest?

Me: Yes. My mom.....

And then it began. We spoke for another 5 minutes, though I couldn't tell you what was said. When we hung up, I checked the detailed notes I had taken, while she was giving me the life-changing information....

(Seriously. That's all I wrote down.)

I check my email. Re-check my caller ID. Confirm, I had not been dreaming the past 7 minutes and quickly type up the previous blog entry. I then dial my mom at work. Tell her to check the blog because 'I had just posted the CUTEST pics of the girls" I wait, until she quietly said "Are you serious?" and at that moment:
I totally lost my $hit.

The next 17 hours, were a blur.
I call people. I walk in confused circles. I need a shower but can't find my bathroom. I think, Gramma stopped by. Flag girl was there. Someone took my kids, I really have no idea. I cry. I curse my closet (WHY didn't I shop, JUST IN CASE!) I cry. I yanked a suitcase and randomly throw mismatched clothes inside. I grab phone chargers, earrings, camera, my kids' ultrasound pics, maybe baseballs... I don't KNOW WHAT IS HAPPENING!! My limbs feel disconnected from my body. I'm dizzy. Coach kept calling. I cry again.

4:20pm: Grammy and I jump into the car.

We are compulsively talking. I easily screeched "This is UNBELIEVABLE" a minimum 374 times. I called the Mrs and left the following on her voicemail:
"Hi. I just wanted to let you know, this is what my voice sounds like as I am driving to the Oprah Show." We realized we had nowhere to sleep. I text Chili, he traveling-agents it, like a pro. Grammy almost runs a car off the highway. We call more people. We get to Chicago. We are sorta lost, as we look for the theatre (you know... for the PRIVATE screening, of a movie NOT released nationwide until July 1st!!) Grammy may have driven the wrong way, down a MAJOR one way street. Then we find the theatre.
Snotty rich people waiting in our movie line, are bored with the Regularness of attending Oprah. I am shaking and smiling like a stoned-lunatic. The Oprah Show provides free Soda and Popcorn. The movie is cute. Next, to the hotel, for barely 4 hrs of sleep. Alarm is off at 4:50am. Rush to get ready. In Taxi by 6:20am.
Harpo Studios, minutes later.

I will save Part 2 for Friday afternoon.
I WILL say....
Oprah, Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts.... "My Australia".
It was amazing. I did not meet or become besties with anyone. But there were GREAT surprises.
(No trips or cars.)
Check back Friday afternoon. For my final recap.
(The Show airs on Friday, May 6th.)

For now, exactly 24 hours later, I am crashing off a high, as extreme as (ummm... maybe heroin??? Idk..I'm not actually an experienced drug user.) Honestly, one of the VERY best days of my life.
Happy Mother's Day, Mom.

And Dear Bucket List-
You are officially, one HUGE spot EMPTY!!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

This is NOT a Joke....

Dear Mom-

If you are not too busy....

The Oprah Winfrey Show just called me.
They have awarded me TWO tickets for tomorrow's show, after reading my letter.

The Show is starring Julia Roberts and Tom Hanks.
We can leave tonight, to privately view their brand new movie and then we need to be at the Harpo Studio by 7:00am tomorrow morning, for the taping.

Wanna go???

Show and Tell... My girls:

Example Number One,
my daughters are inspirational.

Friday evening, Nine says to me:

Nine: I want to take Coco to my school for Show and Tell but Dad said she couldn't.

Me: She can go to your Show and Tell. If you pick a day with your teacher, I will take her there.

Warhol: Seriously?

Me: Sure. It's not like I'm doing anything.
(certainly not like I'll be at Oprah....sad face.)
If she clears a day with her teacher, I'll take her in.

Nine (smiling and bouncing happily):
You will!! I'll ask on Monday!!!

Me (overwhelming with joyful pride for my baby and her big cousin, whom obviously loves her):
So... what do you want Coco to wear? Do you want her to bring something or do something special?

Nine: Yeah. I want to show everyone how she likes to eat stuff like deodorant and markers and stuff!!

Me (pride crashing with a deafening thud): Oh.


Example Number Two:

Me: Tomorrow is Dress up Like for when you Grow Up Day, at school. What do you want to be?

Tink: Nofing.

Me: What job do you want to have? School Teacher. Fire Man. Nurse. Yoga Teacher. Painter. Baseball player? What do you want to be when you are big?

Tink: I just want to be NOFING!!!

Me: Ok. Aim High.

(Just maaaaaybe... the inspirational 'problem' is coming from their central female role model?)