Monday, December 31, 2012

The Top Ten Tru Stories Moments from 2012

This past year, produced more medical drama than one family would care to deal with in a decade's worth of living.  Several of families members were checked, screened, hospitalized and sewn back together, with one ailment after another.  A few more serious, than were necessary for Coach's happy face.
I'm for finding the brighter side of the coin... so here are ten great moments from the past 12 months, in no particular order.
1.  My tanned summer-time kiddies... turning into baseball players, swimmers, diving board jumpers...

2. Watching 5 children, whom I love too much, running (racing) towards their very first ocean!  Pure, irreplaceable joy...
Original Blog Date/Title: March 21, 2012. "I Hope You Still Feel Small When you Stand Beside the Ocean." 

3. The Opening of our Dream.  With much help and support from our amazing friends and family, we were able to open our businesses.  We feel very blessed.
Original Blog Date: April 10, 2012 "What is in a Name?"

4. Express Yourself... Madonna concert.
Despite a pretty significant delay (which I didn't love) I'm still a fan. And I would wait HOURS to have been a part of watching Mrs. catch her first peek of Madonna coming from behind the curtain... Mrs reacted with Oprah's Favorite Things worthy enthusiasm.  Jumping, screaming, eyes welled with tears, pulling down my shirt, crazed enthusiasm. Priceless.

5. Our Christmas princess... will forever live in my mind as one of my most precious Christmas memories eva.  Tink was so beautiful, posed and confident.  She sparkled with Christmas magic.
Original Blog Date/Title: December 1, 2012.  "The Christmas Parade."

6. Coco becoming a Rock Star.  I'm sure, sooner than later, we will regret the American Idol Disaster Try-out ego we are installing in our baby.... but as of now, there is nothing more adorable than watching Coco own the stage.
Original Blog Date/Title: August 25, 2012. "Probably... this is how Britney Spears started..."

7. The Re-invention of The Kid. Sometimes the most difficult decisions yield the most amazing results. Plus, it's awesome when I get to say "I told you so.."
Original Blog Date/Title: August 22. "Fresh Start"

8. The afternoon, Flag Girl's aunt, asked her if I was her boyfriend.  I'm not sure it is the 'best' moment of 2012 but I'm fairly certain, it is a moment which will Never Ever be forgotten. Especially not, in this family.
Original Blog: August 7, 2012. "Aunts are Fun"

9. Our Team Skit from the Hollywood Masquerade Dance.  i LOVE this video.  i LOVE these people.  i LOVE everything about it....
Wonder what we'll do on January 12th??:

10.  The Engagement of Sweetbreads and Warhol, via this blog.  I am still so honored, to have played a small role in their love story.  The extreme anxiety attack... totally worth it.
Original Blog Date/Title: August 31, 2012 "And Without ANY Further Adieu"
I like to remind myself of New Orleans...

BONUS Awesome BLOG Moment:
The Butt Face Fairy Comment Section.
Still... Beyond funny stuff.
Original Date/Title: Sept. 5, 2012. "Barbie Fairies"

Thanks for the great times, Tru Stories cast.
Happy New Year. I love you!

Friday, December 28, 2012

Christmas Re-cap, Finally

Blogging Drought, much?
I'll be honest, I was much lacking in the Christmas spirit this holiday.  Something about your brother being committed, just doesn't seem to put a sista in a Holly Jolly good mood.  As a result, my normally contagious Christmas joy didn't come to fruition.
It's sorta difficult to Blog: "Hey everyone!!  Guess what?!! I'm a pissy little Grinch right now and totally not in the mood to document or photograph any evidence of this ridiculous holiday."
I do have 3 beautiful, healthy children.  And several sweet nieces and nephews... and I obviously am very thankful and willing to sponge a little of their spirit.
The show must go on...
For the gabillionth year on a row, I was co-director of the Christmas pageant.  The Kid was mind-blowingly awesome, opening the event in front of the entire congregation... without notes.  Future politician?  Or lawyer, perhaps. 
And there were two SUPER cute lil doves.

After making fun of Elfiebellyadablahblah... I stole one of her best ideas.  Sneaking into the girls' room and drawing on their sleeping noses.  TOO CUTE!  We even tried to get The Kid (whom obviously doesn't believe).... he awoke but is under strict instructions to 'play along with Santa' for as long as possible (or he'll really get coal) so he sweetly let me color his nose.
In the morning, the girls realized what had happened and immediately they both blamed their brother!  They ran into his room to yell at him, only to discover he had also received a Rudolph nose! Oh.. the hilarity...

We invited the cousins for our annual cookie decorating evening... except (since I'm Scrooge) I purchased Gingerbread houses 75% off and let them go nuts.

The Gipper joined us for the first time!  And super Aunt straight handed her a spoonful of icing... 2 days later she ran up to me at the next gathering, arms opened... So that icing trick worked.

Christmas Eve, we attended Mass (Flag Girl's gang kept us amused) and returned to our home for our always relaxed evening.

Uncle was a little bit difficult,
but we did get this cute picture.
And isn't it really all about the photo opp, anyhow??

Christmas Day, The Kid proved once more he is a spoiled brat and my mom loves him more than me.
But at least he is totally handsome.

Finally, puffy skirt matching sistas.
THAT has to put a mom in a better mood.

The Blog is becoming light on The Kid pictures but he is becoming an actual basketball player and is gone ALL THE TIME.  And while I am really missing him... is there any better Christmas season gift, then watching a consistently well played and properly executed defense??
Coach's answer?? Best gift Eva!!
(Coach wouldn't really say 'Eva' but he does speak in exclamation marks..)

Friday, December 21, 2012

Dear ElfieBell Snow.. or Whatever the Hell your Name is:

As a seasoned Elf (currently in my 4th year) I feel it is my duty, if not obligation to inform you of a few matters which need your attention:
First: Your name is ReeedickQulous!! 
ElfieBell Spar.Kle Snowflutter Flake or WhatEv?? You need to grow up.  My name is Flash.  Named by The Boy years ago.  Simple.  I'm fast like a Flash of wind in the night.  A real man's name, if you will.
Second: Giiirrrrlll.. You need to Slow Yo Roll.
You're operating at an exhaustingly adorable pace, which you will never be able to manage, without a Mrs. Claus prescribed prescription of blu ice crystal meth. 
I was adopted years ago, by the lamest family Eva.  They live in a Not a Mansion style home, which keeps me pretty confined.  The Parents are totally self-involved.  Once they put those brats to bed, they hurry to 'make-out' or watch totally non-kid (or Elf) friendly shows on FX.  Most nights, they totally forget I exist.  I get mad-dash attention at about 7:13am each morning as the kids chow on frozen waffles.
Surprisingly, they do always remember to bring me out at Thanksgiving.  (probably because I've been lurking in the mom's panty drawer for the past year)  This year, after my exciting return!!  I spent 3 nights plopped on the shelf by the TV.  Because "Gee... I don't know, maybe the weather is too dangerous for Flash to fly?" Uhh.. Seriously?  It was like 60 degrees.
Typically, I hang mostly on the Christmas tree because The Parents lack any originality... 

But then... You showed up.
Your Mother hadn't blogged in like, months.  And now suddenly she's up early every morning, splashing your cuteness all over the Internet.  Putting pressure on The Mom in this house..
Oh... clever, lock me in a bird cage....

Fun!  Dangle me from the ceiling. Like that bleepin Beagle hasn't been eying me as a chew toy.  It's super amusing to fear for my life all day!  You have no idea how many LaLaLoopsies have lost their heads to him.

And then...
She got really Nuts and placed me between two Barbie friends.  Three times the fun... The Dad said some pretty inappropriate things about my hand placement, which made me very uncomfortable...

Which frustrated The Mom, causing her to Comment something about "Why don't YOU try it then... stupid #GoTrojans, you're NEVER home!! I'm supposed to spread F-in Christmas Cheer by my D@mn self all the time??"
And then I got stuffed in a stocking.
Where I hung for 3 days...
I'm not sure the dumb kids even noticed.

The Mom regained her composure and tried a Hershey Kiss bath.  Not bad... except The Gross Baby Girl wouldn't stop trying to rub off my magic, by sticking her dirty hands in the candy bowl all day. 
Honestly.. Spend a month trying to watch over that Little Disaster, I don't even bother reporting to Santa on that mess anymore.  #nohopeforher

So then this morning: Back in the Tree.
Fine.  I don't give an F.  Keep me here. 
Only 4 more days and I am back in the panty drawer.

Elfiebellsnowfluttery: We don't all gotta be Pretty Little Show-offs all the time... at least, that's what I've heard The Mom, tell The Dad before...

PS- Your skirt is gay.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Beautiful Christmas Moments.

Coco and I are snuggled on the couch.
The Christmas tree is lit and glowing.
Everything becomes quiet... and she looks up at me, her face beautiful she says: Mom.... I Lobe you...
I am sincerely touched, I look down at her and say, full of honest emotion: ... I Love you, too.
She continues to look at me with earnest compassion and fully serious she responds, with a sigh: Mom... Stop copying me...
And then... She turns back to the TV.
Precious, Precious moments.
Shared with a giant yet mini B word.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Christmas Joy.

1:15pm. Saturday afternoon.
Coach is working a long day.
Alone, I am wrangling three kids, wrapping presents and preparing for Coach's family party this evening.
My kids apparently had a secret meeting this morning and decided to be the worst, non-listening children ever, in the world.  Hitting each other, arguing etc.
Coach calls me: Hey!! (loving life voice) How's it going there?! (he's happy just for the sake of happy)
Me: It's awful here.  I've gotten the presents wrapped but haven't started any of the cookies... the girls were in the shower and I walked in to wash their hair and they were both wearing my bras, in the shower. The Kid won't do any of the chores.
Coach (totally disappointed he called me): Oh. Well I'm killing it here at work.  Taking names and everything.  I'm running ahead of schedule so I just wanted to call and check in. Is everything going to be ready for mom's when I get home?
Me: I have no idea if I am going to get the cookies done in time.  I just put the girls in pajamas, threw them in bed and shut the door.  I told them I was calling Gramma and they weren't going to be allowed to go to Christmas. The Kid won't stop playing games on his cell and I still haven't gotten a shower..
Coach: Uh. ok, well I guess I'll let you go then..
Me: Oh.. I'm sorry, was this not a cheery enough 'Check-in phone call' for you??
Coach: Well, not really..
Me (in a pretend happy person sing-song voice): Thanks for calling, hun!  Everything is perfection here.  The girls just finished braiding each other's hair and tied a bright red bow to the tip!  Now they are dancing together hand and hand.. while singing Christmas carols! It's adorable.
The Kid just finished his chore list... and even asked for more jobs!  And now, he is out back chopping up fire wood, just to make your life easier!
I've just finished baking my 9th batch of your favorite cookies!  I'm wearing that apron you adore, over my beautiful full skirt and red sweater, which is tight over my ample bosoms.  My hair is pinned back and I am smiling because my life is so grand!!
We can't wait for you to return home, love!!
Coach: That's what I'm talkin about... see you later.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Wednesday, December 5, 2012


This afternoon, my brother was once again hospitalized for his schizophrenia.  After another rough road, ending in another bad afternoon...
I'm tired of writing about this.
I'm tired of talking about this.
I'm tired of this being his reality.
I'm so so tired of all of it.

Last year, I created this video in dedication to his ongoing struggle.  To try and honor just a small idea of what he continues to live with.  I'm just so tired for him... for my parents... for myself. 

Thinking of you, Joel.
Wishing you were not alone, scared and hurting.
Wishing you could be released from your nightmare.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

The Christmas Parade

Some of you may have heard ... I'm the proud mother of a Snow Princess. I honestly could not believe how brave she was.  Her wave was perfection. 
I chased the parade all over town.  I could not stop watching her.  Despite my manic chasing, I never snapped a great picture of the wave... Maybe it was the running or the spastic smiling through tears, that impaired my photography skills.

Her Prince, was her neighbor for years.  They still carry a mini-crush for each other which made the entire show even that much more adorable. 

Let me put this in perspective: This Princess was soooo cute: Poppop actually RAN to the other side of Downtown to see her wave one more time... Poppop. Ran.  That's how unbelievably sweet our Princess was, She had the ability to make Hell freeze ober.

Any good princess will return to her balcony (yoga studio steps) to continue waving to her royal subjects. (I'm not sure anyone was actually walking by.)

 Dora came into the Studio to hug Coco.

 And then Eme...

And then Grandpa  (This man is no dummy, he knows photo opps get him prime-time blog coverage.)

Coco was totally ready for Santa.  She even PUT HERSELF TO BED after school and PURPOSELY took a nap, to be rested for Santa.  Only 3 yrs old and she already knows how to play the game.

Just because she is able to wave to fans from on top of a float, does NOT mean she wants people touching her.. No Danks.  Not even Santa.
Tink agreed to 'stand next too'  the Big Man but she refused to actually touch him.  At the last moment, Santa tried for a hug... notice Tink maintained a semi-smile while frantically reaching for me.

I always love the Christmas Parade. It is the culmination of small town living. A scene cut from the most adorable Christmas movie.  Last night, will live forever as one of my favorite Christmas memories of all time.

*The most annoying part of last night??
As I ran behind the parade crowds, I repeatedly heard comments such as "I think that is Coach's (insert real name) daughter!"  "Oh... That's Coach's girl!"   and even one "Hey... Aint that Coach's kid?!"

Ummm Yes she is technically Coach's daughter... but do we think Coach had anything to do with the adorableness of that hair, outfit, wave or frankly the actual growing of her entire existence?!  She is MY daughter, people!! Dang, by the time the parade was turning the last corner, Coach was already at the Varsity Basketball game.
End Mommy Rant.
I mean, just cuz the man has an awesome 3 pt shot and a charming disposition... does not mean he is magically able to produce life, completely on his own.
Ok.  Now, I'm done.

Friday, November 30, 2012

A Christmas Princess

Yesterday, we received exciting news, when our little Tink was asked to be the Princess in our town's Christmas Parade (this evening). 
* Side Note: Tink was asked after the girl's name drawn was unable to perform her royal duties. We'll happily take Back-Up Princess!  We're not too proud!
While Tink is certainly adorable enough to be a princess... we are very aware that if we expected any daughter to be crowned atop a float... it would have been Jazz Hands Coco, for sure.  And when Coco received the news, her face instantly registered Jealousy, Anger, Unfairness and then... Smiley Joy for her Tink.  Coco is now 'So Proud'.  Not since Tink's one evening cheer leading performance, has Coco had a worthy reason to respect her Big Sista. (opinion of respect, based strictly on Coco's shallow scale.)
After receiving the news, it was clear to me that Tink lacked the appropriate snow princess attire.  Grammy immediately rushed to Macy's for a more fluffy snow white coat.  And maybe... just maybe... I'm shopping this afternoon for more accessories.
I realize, we sound a little drama.
But who expected this little baby below...
to actually gleefully remove her teeny bottom from her couch spot and command a parade float??  Not only is Tink willing to participate... but the girl was actually practicing her princess parade wave, with her Poppop!! Wha the..??!
So if my Tiny Tinkerbell attitude is gonna ditch her DS and both smile AND wave, at the same time???  By golly... I'm gonna treat her like a Princess, all day.
This must be what Gramma G, felt like...
To be a mother of Royalty.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Cyber Self-Promotion Wednesday.

Id' like to interrupt your program, to bring you this Commercial, for some local awesome talent. All prepared to help make your holidays more personal and enjoyable.
1.) Why not order your very own Conman work of art??  Suggest an idea or theme and sit back as our Elf creates a gift for a loved one... or yourself. He is extremely talented, totally under-rated (especially by himself) and uniquely original. 

2.) How about gifting your wife a new and better husband?? Coach actually can not make you a better man... but he can make you a better-lookin man!  Clean up your line for all those Christmas parties and remember... Gift Certificates are available.

3. After your fresh new hair-cut... take you favorite gal to a musical extravaganza!  Check out Chili D and The Teacher, at several local locations.  Singing all of your favorites, not to mention cool mind-blowing remixes and during the Second Hour: some pretty amusing commentary. forshizzle..

4. If you enjoy the musical stylins of our above favorite group... then you'd certainly love an entire evening devoted to Rock n Roll.  Not to mention, totally Hearting Healthy Kidneys, while celebrating our Kahuna.  Saturday, January 12th 2013.
Tickets on sale in December...

5. If all the excitement from attending Rock Concerts and dancing your night away... leaves you tired and sore (not to mention, just surviving the holidays, in general) start your New Year with a New You!! 
Visit our BlacKbird yoga sTudio..
First class is always FREE!  Gift Certificates are available, to purchase your friends and family a little health and relaxation.

All 5 Options, have Facebook pages with more details and information, to help with your holiday shopping.  And all 5 Options are owned, operated and organized by people would honestly really LOVE what they do... We aim to please!
Happy Self-Promotion Wednesday, to one and all!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Brothers and Sisters.

We were honored to have Thanksgiving at our home, again this year.  Continuing with our Annual Thanksgiving Evening Ping Pong Tournament.  Often, our life is full of Coach Style Traditions... which is not necessarily a complaint, more of a 'that's just the way our cookie has crumbled'.  Ping Pong is a tradition from my family.  In our home, we kept a Ping Pong table up in the basement for months at a time.  We would have friends over for all night tournaments or just played us four.  Everyone could usually beat mom.  No one could EVER beat dad (which was par for the course with any game we ever played, ever.)
For the second year in a row, my brother did not attend Thanksgiving.  He was having a bad day.  Unfortunately, he seems to have many bad days. I'm sure... at this point, his absence at events goes largely unnoticed.  People are aware, he is uncomfortable with crowds... and honestly, our big amazing extended family is always a crowd. 
This year, his absence was not unnoticed by me.  After all this time, I should be used too my brother's illness.  But this Thanksgiving, the void of him, felt glaring. 
I often watch Coach and his siblings, with pure awe.  They are incredibly blessed to have each other.  To have five brothers and sisters, be so in-tune with each other is a gift.  Being within their presence, is almost like a television show.  They are honestly, each other's best friends.  They are Tru-ly as amusing, as they seem.  They sparkle around each other.
The loss of my brother, to schizophrenia, is an amputation to my family.  We are still technically a functioning unit but we have lost a limb.  We can still feel the phantom pains, of it's presence... but we are completely unable to walk through life, without a significant (if not totally debilitating) limp.
I missed my brother, all day on Thursday.
I missed him, celebrating his god-son's birthday.
I missed his old humour.
I missed whispering to him, about our parents.
More than anything, I missed him at the Ping Pong table... he most certainly would have taken The Golden Paddle Crown, from Coach.   

I hope my three children, grow to be like Coach and his siblings.  I hope they become tru friends.  I hope they annoy/seriously amuse each other with daily mass test messages.  I pray they consider vacationing together fun and not a chore.  When they leave the house for a drink, or run out of gas, or need help carrying something heavy... I hope they are each other's first phone call.

Above all...
I hope they always have each other.
It is much to painful, to not have.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Double Ones.

In the past 12 months...
You have: traveled to at least 5-6 new States, in 3 separate road trips. Visiting museums, historical landmarks, 1 new Ocean and countless water slides.
You have: purchased (well, we did) and managed new contact lenses, lost a handful of teeth, grown 2 more shoe sizes and at least 4 inches.
You have: started a new school.  Joined the Speech team (and won!). Began accelerated projects, earned High Honor Roll, mastered First Base and joined the 6th Grade Basketball Team.
You have: met several new friends.  Flown out the door to events, parties, dances and sleepovers. Had 'girlfriends-ish' and joined the Jr high Youth Group.
We have: remodeled your bedroom into a 'big kid room'. Bought you a phone (Ugh! Yuck!) And replaced your jean size twice.
You are becoming all I've ever dreamt for you.  And all the while, I have become more of a spectator and less of a participant, in your life. Which I realize is exactly as it is meant to be... but it all happened so quickly.

You've experienced so much growth, this year.  Emotionally and physically.  Shedding all of your toddlerness, each and every day.  Marching towards your teenage years, in warp speed.  I can still see the fullness in your cheeks.  You occasionally allow for a quick couch cuddle (barely) and a kiss goodnite.  You have a few baby teeth left, before braces.  And your voice is still sweetly my little boy's... but I can see you starting to round the turn.

You are so worldly.  A trait, I am proud to have passed to you. You have such a zest for travel.  If I ever 'won great riches' I would immediately use my wealth to take you all over the world.  To teach you new languages.  To frequent the most amazing museums and historical monuments. I would love to experience different cultures and people, through your wonderment.  So often your (many many) questions, are left unanswered during my busy day.... I would love for the opportunity to feed your mind knowledge directly from the Rues of Paris, or the shores of exotic beaches. You literally, Deserve the World.

Thankfully, you are still adorably naive on occasion. Though, I am unsure how... as you have been forced too often to understand the heart-ache of the adult world. You have done an amazing job, loving and tolerating your Uncle. I am proud you have been raised to care unconditionally and without prejudice. Undoubtedly, your Uncle is helping to make you a better man. Your loyalty and devotion, are unmatched.  Unfortunately, often leaving you disappointed and confused by those less kind. I pray your heart remains as pure as the world will allow.

Obviously, your mind is the most amazing thing I have ever helped to create.  Yes, I am proud of your untarnished run on the High Honor Roll... but I am speaking of more than grades.
Each day, you are excited to learn something new.  You are a sponge for information.  You absorb every detail, from the world around you.  You pore over travel maps, museum pamphlets, biographies, informational packets.  Wikepedia was created specifically for you.  Undoubtedly, Siri will become your new best friend.
More than any thing I wish that you never lose this trait. Center on my Vision Board, is a picture of you proudly walking with friends across an Ivy League campus (after you've earned a scholarship, of course.)

I hope one day you realize, each step Dad and I have taken, has been to lay your path. Your joy, your smile, your feeling of comfort and safety is our greatest accomplishment.  We would literally, give up our every thing... to make you some thing.  Parenting is without question, the most excruciatingly difficult job any person can accept.  But your small successes, are our biggest rewards.
Don't you know yet, Kid??
You are the best thing that ever happened to me.
Happy Birthday, my Thanksgiving baby.
I am forever Thankful, you have flipped my world upside down.  You are my purpose.  It is my honor, to be Your Biggest Fan.

Out on the ocean sailing away
I can hardly wait
To see you come of age
But I guess we'll both just have to be patient
'Cause it's a long way to go
A hard row to hoe
Yes it's a long way to go
But in the meantime

Before you cross the street
Take my hand
Life is what happens to you
While you're busy making other plans

Before you go to sleep
Say a little prayer
Every day in every way
It's getting better and better

Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful
Beautiful boy

-John Lennon