Sunday, September 30, 2012

The Super Hero Hidden within Clark.

If I were to plan my perfect birthday, it would go something like this: I would set my alarm for VERY EARLY in the morning.  Dress in warm-ish gym clothes.  Step out into the crisp cool Fall air.  Gather in a crowd of thousands of seriously trained athletes and then... Run more than 13 miles.  (after I was Luc Luc Lucky enough to PAY for the privilege.)  All before 10:00am.
Sounds Puurrrrfect!! Almost Dreamy.
Now seriously, that is not even on the same planet (universe) of my perfect birthday... but it was exactly what Clark wanted for his day.
Clark is a bit of a mystery... sorta un-sunshiney on his crusty outside.  But when you have the opportunity to crack his self-grown shell.. he is actually kinda gooey, sweet and giggly on the inside.  Clark is love-struck, loyal and always up for a great time.  He's an attentive and devoted father, totally livin the dream with his awesomely successful children and beautiful wife. 
Clark- with his SuPer HaPPy SmiLe!!
Happy Birthday, Clark!
Thanks for all the 'Good Times' and many more to come.  For your birthday... I wish you More of The Same.  Your life is already so great, I just want you to have so much more of it!
Despite your gruff exterior: I actually consider you to be one of the happiest men.. because you know exactly what you have. Continue to chase after life... the run looks good on you.
But maybe... read a few less political books this year... maybe try a couple more fictional feel-good books! Just an idea.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Check. I've seen a Cardinal.

My Dad's birthday is coming up and buying gifts for him is notoriously awful.  This afternoon, I Googled "Gift Ideas for Bird Watchers".
I trolled several Bird Watching blogs.
Scanned a few Yahoo question sites for Birders buying for family members. I Amazoned book ideas...
After awhile, I reached this final thought:

Long as I live...
I will Never. Ever.
Get those lost minutes back to myself.

What's the only thing worse than Bird Watching??
Answer: Reading blogs about Bird Watching.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Dear Sons of Anarchy

I think I'm gonna have to quit you.
I'm not sure how.
But you are totally out of control.
I was already on the fence after the first episode of the season. Last night, got ridiculous.
I used to watch television for entertainment.  Now we watch as a couple, taking notes on how to survive an electric blackout, alien invasion or the world falling to zombies. (we are convinced any scenario would beat me and Tink within a week..)
And thanks to Sons (the recent previews for the new American Horror Story) and heck... even Parenthood... I am currently watching TV with covered eyes and a twisted nervous stomach.
I mean, come on Sons!! Draw a line.
Silver Lining:
Do you think Opie's real-life wife, in the real world, was secretly thrilled because now her husband can finally shave his face and cut his nappy hair??
Two questions.
A.) Am I the only person who covered her eyes like a 5 yr old last night, while her husband repeated Don't Look! Then, am I the only person who did not listen and looked just when I should not have??
B.) Are we the only couple watching current TV shows while making survival plans?? ie.. discussing buying a new fireplace and stock piling food/water...

Monday, September 24, 2012

Bondi Beach

If I were to write a travel piece on the beauty of the Australian Bondi Beach... it would be a piece of (birthday) cake. (though... I've never actually visited) but have been blessed enough to bask in the blond sunshine of our personal Bondi Beach.
Description: A bright pop of color, sparkly, full of shine, fresh, pristine, friendly and inviting.
That is our beach Bondi, for sure.
5 years ago, we were lucky enough to spend our Parade Party celebrating your birthday!  How adorable was your sweet little face?
Purple icing and all....
5 years later, you are equally as adorable.  Maybe a little taller... your hair is a little longer and your lip a little less iced.. but just as adorable!
But you are NOT just another pretty face.  One of my sweetest Aunt moments to date??  Receiving my personal copy of your Paris report in the mail because you remembered I've dreamt of traveling to France.  So thoughtful!!  You are equally as kind as your mother.  A tru care-taker.  I could easily see Bondi becoming an exceptional nurse, teacher or doctor.  Making her world a better place.
We love your giggle, your soft smile and good nature. 
What is it about this family??  The little blondies are just too cute and lovable... Happy Birthday Bondi.
As she mentioned SEVERAL times yesterday, 'She is NOT a baby, anymore!'


Wednesday, September 19, 2012

L-U-V Madonna!!

Tonight we are off to Madonna's concert!
To exceptional seats (at least they'd better be...) And I am totally psyched.  With the exception of the part of me, which wishes I owned cuter shoes... in addition to cuter jeans and a belt. (I'm nervous the gay man, I will hopefully make my new concert dance party bestie, will judge my boring mom clothes.)
A special note to Clark, Warhol (and countless others) whom are eye-rolling themselves into a headache over my Madonna excitement: Do I believe Madonna is the greatest artist/song writer of all times?? Duh, no. The Beatles (specifically Paul) obviously is...
but is she the background-music party anthem to most of the best nights of my life?? Fo sho.  Does she consistently make me happy?  Has she ever failed to lighten my mood? Has she made every single pre-night-out ritual more awesomer?? Fact. Never. And Fact.
Therefore, I will ALWAYS...  L-U-V Madonna

Y-O-U you wanna
I see you coming
and I don’t wanna know your name
L-U-V Madonna
I see you coming
and you’re gonna have to change the game
Y-O-U you wanna
Would you like to try?
Give me a reason why
Give me all that you got
Maybe you’ll do fine
As long as you don’t lie to me
And pretend to be what you’re not

Don’t play the stupid game
Cause I’m a different kind of girl
Every record sounds the same
You’ve got to step into my world
Give me all your love and give me your love
Give me all your love today
Give me all your love and give me your love
Let’s forget about time
And dance our lives away!!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Raising Arizona

A while ago, my friend Arizona wrote me this email:
"Any tips on bringing home 2nd baby for Reid?
I’m nervous he will get jealous or sad and that it will really change him personally."

Obviously, she contacted me because my children are the picture of obedience, cleanliness and emotional perfection.  I'm practically Mother of The Year... 4 years running.
My deep insight:
Things to remember, at the hospital...
#1. Have Baby buy Reid a present.  Have it wrapped and ready when he arrives at the hospital.  We told The Kid, we raced Tink over the Walmart and the model car she first pointed too... we bought him.  He believed that to be tru for years.
#2. We tried to make sure The Kid was one of the first people to hold the baby sistas.  And we did our best to have him enter the room, while it was quiet (and cleaned!) with only a few people.  Then he really felt like the babies were his first. 

#3. Most of our family members were very sweet and purchased The Kid presents, as well.  Which helps him not feel like "yesterday's news"
#4. He came with Coach to 'pick the ladies up' from the hospital.  Allowing The Kid to feel special, for bringing Tink home.
#5. Let Reid help. Let him give a bottle, find the pacifier or grab the blanket. Let him hold the baby when he wants... it will become annoying because it will only last 35 secs but it lets him feel like a Big Brother.
Mostly, YOU will be the problem.  Reid will adjust... kids just do.  YOU will have a more difficult time. You have to give up power.  For the first few weeks, Reid will be having fun.  Grandmas will take him to lunch, Daddy will take him to run errands, friends will offer to take him for a walk.... While you have to stay home with the dumb ol' baby who can't even talk and always wants to nurse!!  You will feel more replaced than Reid will. You'll resent missing Reid.  You'll hate burping the baby, while Daddy reads books and cuddles Reid to sleep. Reid will hardly seem to miss you.  That will be the biggest adjustment... realizing Reid is Big. 
This is my best advice: While you are jealous and bummed you are not getting Reid... Remember once upon a time, Reid was your only little baby and he got ALL of Mommy's uninterrupted attention.  Try your best to give New Baby a little slice of that focus.  Because one day, Second Baby may have to welcome Third Baby.  In the middle of THAT chaos you won't know what happened... suddenly she is starting all day Kindergarten. And you'll hardly remember what her tiny baby snuggle felt like.
Only a few more days, Arizona! Enjoy every amazingly exhausting blissful moment.  There is no greater miracle than welcoming your small gift into the world. Smell the top of that tiny little head, like you have it on a very limited loan... because you unfortunately do. You're an amazing mother and your little people are blessed to arrive into your heart. 
Congratulations on your mini family,
becoming a Four Family.

*** UPDATE***
Arizona delivered a beautiful baby boy on Thursday!


Friday, September 14, 2012

Faith, Hope and Pink Pixie Dust

Our Family has suffered an unfortunate week.
Actually, it was just plan crappy.
-Monday our Sweetbreads had a minor car accident (not to worry... she's still pretty.)
-This morning, our Lil GG had surgery after suffering fractures in her back. (can you even imagine her teeny tiny body on a surgical table??)
-I have been dealing with poor health and have taken 3 shots in 7 days. (Yuck. Dislike. Hate.)
Above all...
Our dear Grandpa Art, had unexpected and not particularly enjoyable open heart surgery at 8:00am Saturday morning.  Shaking our family to the core.  Smiley Happy Coach's family... DOES NOT like their Smiley Happy King.. to  be UN-Smiley and Happy. 
This morning, Coco just happened to be next to me as a random advertisement popped up on the side of my email site... she pointed and said "Ohhh.. see... dat's Grandpa's broken heart..."
Ummmm.... that is enough of that!!
So I figured, this family could use a smile.
We need pink puffy dresses, sparkle bracelets.
Beautiful shiny young healthy happy faces.
And lots of extra Faith, Hope and Pixie Dust.
 (Amber Brown Photography)
And when the night is cloudy,
there is still a light that shines on me
Shine until tomorrow, Let it be
I wake up to the sound of music,
Mother Mary comes to me
Speaking words of wisdom,
Let it be....
Grandpa Art-
So glad you are home.
So glad you are well.
I pray, that freshly tuned heart... has just bought us an extra 30 years of Grandpa. Smiley Happy People are better with their King.

PS- I'm glad this week is almost over...

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Act as if what you do makes a difference. Because It Does.

Our Town holds a Fall Festival every September.  I have attended, nearly every year of my life.  (Dedication, as I mostly lived out of town.)  The Kid refers to Harvest Days as The Greatest Weekend on Earth. 
Harvest Days is not organized by a board hired and paid well for their MANY hours.  The organizers of Harvest Days, devote their time, simply to bring a smile to my children's faces.  If that were the only scale to judge their performance... job VERY well done.
Unfortunately, this festival, this town and this country are slowly dying.  Festivals HAVE to make money to continue. Town's HAVE to earn money to survive.  Both, are starting to fail, like the country around us.
Monday evening, the President of our Harvest Days committee took a progressive idea to the Town Board meeting, in an attempt to bring new life to our festival.  An idea which has been proven extremely effective in many towns in our state. 
Frankly SOMETHING has to be done to help our community.  Did I attend the meeting in support of my friend and the festival committee?? No. We had an awful weekend, I was exhausted, I have children etc.. I had legitimate excuses.
Bottom line?? I was wrong and lazy.
Honestly, I am OVER meetings.  I am completely frustrated by members of our town.  To read a history of this blog: I have spent 3 years actively exhausting myself and my efforts.  I have planned large scale Relay events, to low attendance.  I have encouraged and promoted beautification projects, I have attended countless planning meetings for events, athletic fundraisers, new festivals, fresh ideas yada.  And repeatedly, I have witnessed The Commish, Sara H, Jerry B and more, be dismissed by older generations uncomfortable with change.
(To clarify, there is a 'retired clan' whom are faithful volunteers to this community and awesome little yogis, which we are grateful for!!)
But there are countless others, unwilling to compromise.  I am personally tired.  Monday, I did not want to waste my time because I knew the idea would be denied.
Again, that was wrong of me.
I do not deny the older members of this town, faithfully built a community which I adore. Our Pleasantville, enraptured me years ago. Still.. eventually, one generation must hand their town to the younger community members.  And if we want Our Town to remain special, we must be willing to accept the burden/privilege.  The Thirty Somethings need to involve themselves.  WE are the parents of the young children, which will attend the schools, which are currently in jeopardy.  WE are the new business owners.  WE are the new homeowners... with mortgages.  OUR new families need a school, a grocery store, even a pizza joint.  The Thirty Somethings can not stay home because we just don't 'feel' like saving our dying town tonight.
This is what I propose:
If you would like our Festival to survive.
If you would like our street to look more...
 like this full and busy street....
(Festival Rockford, IL)
Or if you would simply like your town, your board and especially your Mayor to listen to the ideas of your peers.  I urge you to make your voice heard. 
Others are requesting calls to your Mayor's home... except honestly, does he really HAVE to tell anyone he received a phone call??
I would like you to copy/paste and print the following form letter. Simply sign your name. You are welcome to add your flair. (one copy for you and one for your spouse... because you are BOTH voters.) Then, mail the letter to the town hall.  Specifically to your Chief of Police or the secretary.  They will not deny the existence of a printed/stamped and mailed letter from a crowd of voters.
The letter:
Dwight Village Hall
209 S Prairie Ave

To Mayor Wilkey,
The Dwight Village Board
and whomever else this may concern:

I am writing to request you reconsider the idea presented to you by Jerry Beier and the Harvest Days committee members.  I would like for you to work with the committee to find a thoughtful compromise to their suggestion, which will benefit everyone involved.  Ensuring the safety and the prosperity of Harvest Days.  I believe, our fall festival needs fresh and progressive ideas to keep our town relevant.

Admittedly, our town is slowly entering financial crisis. We need to encourage new or unique ideas, to increase our exposure and desire to remain a strong and prosperous community.

Furthermore, it is my feeling as a voter, Mayor Wilkey and The Dwight Board need to make a more conscience effort to consider the suggestions, which have/are being presented by younger members of our town.  Not only are they the future of Dwight but they are personally invested in the future successes of our schools and businesses. 

Please honor their efforts, with respect and careful consideration.
I would like this letter, to be shown to the Mayor and the Board, as a written declaration of my support for Jerry Beier and The Harvest Days Committee.

Tru Stories
Address: 222nd Floor
Phone Number: 888-8888

Again, easily click print and sign your name.  Or add personal touches.  There is meeting early next week, please mail your letters soon.  If you are a parent or a homeowner, it is irresponsible not to be involved.

"Nobody made a greater mistake, than he who did nothing because he could only do a little." ~Edmund Burke

“You are not here merely to make a living. You are here in order to enable the world to live more amply, with greater vision, with a finer spirit of hope and achievement. You are here to enrich the world and you impoverish yourself, if you forget.”
-Pres. Woodrow Wilson

Sunday, September 9, 2012


So I totally detest (maybe a strong word) your school... but a few weeks ago, we planned our evening around 1 Raider Baseball game and 1 Raider Softball game.  Fine, enough.  Except it was RAINING, cold, windy and muddy.  We were dressed in summer clothes, unprepared for the drastic weather change. 
I was not amused. Not even a bit.
Except, dang if we don't love you two.
Problem: Coach was in charge of your field.
Coach does not remember to take pictures.
So let's pretend... a super cute boy, dressed in an adorable purple uniform ('adorable' in a man-ish tough guy sorta way) is inserted into this pic of the field. That boy is dressed in catcher's gear and kinda tired from catching one foul ball after another.  Popping-up quick like a Pro.
In the background, insert a pic of his parents, beaming at him as if he is God's gift. (well... because he is...)
Happy 13th Birthday, Glen Allen.
You are a TEENAGER!!
You are an awesome kid.  Smart, special, athletic and awesome (did I mention that?) Your parents have done an amazing job with you. 
And I'll probably make a few more baseball games... but Raider football?? You're gonna need to let me think about that one. Thankfully, I have a couple years.
Happy Birthday!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Barbie Fairies.

I have a Barbie Fairy App on my new iPhone... downloaded in an attempt to keep Coco from totally mauling Sweetbreads Mama.
The other morning, I was trying to research yoga info.. Coco was next to me, playing with the App.  Repeatedly, she would snap her picture and then snap my picture... shake the phone and turn us both into fairies. Over and over and over...

After maybe 20 minutes, Coco apparently grew bored of turning us into fairies and decided to find a new subject matter...

Introducing Butt Face Fairy.
Obviously, hers... not mine.
Immediately after Butt Face Fairy was born,
Coco lost her iPhone privileges for the day.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

What I Learned During the Engagement Story..

I do NOT handle the pressure of other people's Big Events well. I would not call myself controlling, necessarily... but in my world of uncertainties (specifically health related) I am more comfortable when I feel in control of my emotions or schedules. 
As a result, when I'm prepared, I'm never nervous.
Team dances... no prob (and NOT because I consider myself a great dancer). Speeches in large crowds, interviews??  Doesn't faze me. But I've noticed events which happen to those I care about... get me belly aching nervous.  Friday, was no exception.
I've known Warhol was thinking of using the blog to help propose (and I was VERY flattered). I even tried to increase my post frequency, to see if anyone was still reading this thing.  The plan was this:
Warhol delivered The Written Proposal to me. I typed it and saved the draft by 9:00am.  He would contact me by 5:00pm to click 'Publish'.  He'd casually lounge next to Sweetbreads... randomly click on the blog and then No Big Deal mention "Hey... Tru Stories wrote about Sweetbreads today... weird."  As she read the blog, he would flash the ring.. etc. Tears, hugs, smiles "I love you .. nooo I love you"... Nothing to it.
I had no plans, whatsoever on Friday.  Except to sit with this.  It played a little less casually on my end:
By 10:00am: I had re-read and proofed the post a minimum of 67 times.  Give or take a thousand. Each time I altered a font or spell checked, I would click the 'Save Button' .. which is located DIRECTLY next to the 'Publish Button'. My hand shook uncontrollably.
11:00am: The post was saved correctly, calmly waiting.. except I became convinced my laptop would be infected with a Terminator movie-like virus, would come to life and immediately publish the post, without my knowledge.. Sweetbreads would check the blog, Warhol would be at work, entire proposal destroyed by The Terminator Virus.
I texted as much to Flag Girl.
She responded "Do it... I'm bored."
3:00pm: My stomach began to ache.  Coach's family are infamously unable to keep excited surprises.  I was certain Warhol would text AT ANY MOMENT for me to click Publish.  I became anxious.  Afraid to be more than 2 ft away from my laptop.
4:00pm: Enter Flag Girl.  'Excited Surprises.. etc'. Flag Girl began texting "Just do it!"  ... "How much longer??" ... "Does your phone read the same time as my phone??"
4:55pm: Warhol finally texts he's almost ready.  He instructs me to click Publish at 5:10pm exactly. Over the next 15 minutes, Flag Girl, Coach, The Teacher and even The Kid (I HAD to tell someone!) were texting/calling me at a frenzied pace.  "It's 5:04pm... now it's 5:06pm...etc." My hands were shaking, my adrenaline was peaked.
Warhol texted "I'm getting nervous"
I texted "My stomach has hurt for 2 hours."
5:10pm: The Kid screeches It's Time!!! I click Publish.  A wash of nervous energy waves over me.  I began to pace the house. No response from newly engaged couple for LIKE EVER!! Again, the above parties continually texted "Heard anything yet??" "Do we have an answer" SOMEONE  texted she was "Balling" as she read the post. My mom is now texting.
FiNaLee!!  Sweetbreads sent out "I said YES!"
Whew... by then, I was ready for a nap.
They are engaged.  We are thrilled!  The blog seriously appreciated the shout-out. Biggest Blog news in 3 years (except: probably Oprah... sorry Warhol.)
Now... we need a wedding date.
And don't feed us that cutsie Hollywood "We're just enjoying being engaged.." garbage.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Friday, May 21st 2010

We were in Willy's (the setting for many intimate occasions) Sweetbreads had just delivered a snarky comment... amused, I paused and with all seriousness my gut urged me to blurt "Will you marry us!!?" (Yes... with exclamation points.) 
That evening, I knew without hesitation that Sweetbreads, Just Fit.  I wanted her in.  Flag Girl cutely and enthusiastically nodded in agreement.  Sweetbreads, was Golden.
On Friday, Warhol FiNaLee made it official.
And I could not be more thrilled.
Welcome to the cast, the crew, the good times and bad (they are definitely mostly good!). Welcome to our world, our show.... our Family. 
You have become my yogi, my buddy, my friend and now... my sister. (well... sister-to-be)
Thanks for FiNaLee... makin this official.
You're a pretty Cool Cat. 
My sincere and heartfelt Congratulations to the both of you.  We have enjoyed countless hilarious memories over the last couple years.  I can NOT wait to create countless more.
Not since Coach and I... have I witnessed two people, use two such twisty and rocky paths... to lead each other to love.  Also just like me and Coach, I am certain the journey will make your love more cherished.  (It's possible... I'm about to break into a Firehouse song '...found the love of a lifetime..'
I'll try not to bring a snake to your wedding. But if I find one lying around... I can't make any promises.
All my love,