No News Is Good News

 We are sooooooo close!  Slowly but surely this bathroom is coming together.  It has been a year in the making and boy what a fantastic Christmas present this will be. 
 I put the old Kitchen Aid mixer to use today and baked some "Snowballs" for the family.  Oh my are they tasty. 

 Jo and Luke thought the "Snowballs" were pretty tasty too.
 Christmas Vacation Is Here! Let The Good Times Roll!  Eat, Drink, And Be Merry!  Tis The Season! etc.

IOU

The weather outside is frightful and so are my tonsils.  I should be at work today, but instead I am home with strep throat.  My tonsils hurt, my neck hurts, my ears hurt, my head hurts, even my teeth hurt.  I've refrained from complaining too much to Matt because he is trying his best to satisfy three very unsatisfiable children.  I don't think he wants to hear about the acorn sized glands in my neck or the stabbing pain I keep getting in my ears.  Being a sick parent comes with a certain amount of guilt.  That guilt is what pushed me to get out of bed this morning to pack three lunches for my children.  I have to say I did it more for Matt than for them.  He handled getting them off to school very well this morning, but I pray that I am well tomorrow because I don't think he could do two days of kid/school duty, but neither could I.   We have grown accustomed to our 50/50 marriage, so when something like strep throat or a migraine throws a wrench in our oh so perfect system, meltdowns undoubtedly follow.  Hopefully my antibiotic will kick in this afternoon so that I can help with homework and bath duty tonight.  If not, sorry Matt.  I'll write you an IOU when I feel better.

Christmas Time

 Yes, it is real, and yes, it smells WONDERFUL.  We don't always buy a live tree, but this year we got a great deal at Home Depot. ($39 for a 7-8 ft tree)
Matt has been learning to play some Christmas songs on the piano. With two hands.  hehehe:) So talented.
We bought this artificial tree a few years ago.  You can't tell from the picture, but I blasted it with fake snow.  I was a tad scared when I started, but it turned out really pretty.  Matt hates fake snow, so we compromised.  He let me spray the tree, and in return I promised that I wouldn't start spraying all the windows. 
Hayden is officially hooked on Potter.  I don't mean to brag, but he is an amazing reader.  He has read the first three Harry Potter books in just ten days.  Potter goes with him everywhere: the grocery store, the bathroom, school, car, kitchen, etc.  I often wonder what kind of person I would be if I had developed a passion for reading as a child.
Matt refuses to let me buy new stockings.  "It's a tradition," he says.  So, 20 years from now I will still be pulling the same candy cane stained stockings from my Rubbermaid container. Traditions- gotta love em:)
The kids have been counting down the days till Christmas.  Opening the door is the first thing they ask to do when they wake up.  This morning Hayden opened it. Then I shut it back so that Josie could open it.  Then I shut it back so that Lucas could open it.  O' the Joys of parenting.

Laundry Marathon

This pile is my dirty little secret.  The "Mound of Shame"  never really goes away.  Like a ketchup bottle at a diner, when it is almost gone, someone comes along and fills it back up. Some items will never be cleaned.  That is just a fact of life here in the Bergen home.  Items are washed on a need to basis. For example, when I hear a child yell across the house, "Mama, I don't have any socks to wear!" I jump into action.  Like an archaeologist, I pick through the "Mound of Shame" until I uncover several pairs of fossilized crew socks and toss them into the washer.  Doing laundry is a tedious chore, and it will be the first thing I hire someone to do for me when I hit the jackpot someday.  I despise cleaning the bathroom too, but at least when it is clean, it stays clean for a day or two.  I just can't seem to get the laundry under control.  Sadly, my dirty little secret isn't much of a secret.  The laundry room is connected to the kitchen, no door, just an opening that leads to the land of dirty socks and wet towels.  Sometimes I try to organize the mound into several smaller mounds complied of similar colored items.  While other times I secretly climb to the top of the mound and pretend like I am planting a flag right into the surface of the moon.  It all really just depends on my mood.  So what is my mood today?  My mood today is to get this crap washed, dried, and put away!  Will I succeed?  Only time will tell, but I am pumped for the challenge.  Let the Laundry Marathon begin!!!!!!!

Giving Thanks

 
The kids spent Sunday playing with a few dozen toys that I found buried at the bottom of their toy box.  I rescued these forgotten toys in hopes of gaining a few moments of peace, and it worked.  Josie and Lucas spent hours lining up cars vertically and horizontally.  The front door remained open throughout the day and the fresh air poured in.  My hopes were that the flu bugs, like moths, would go toward the light.  I didn't see it happen, but my psychic intuition tells me that it did.  My psychic intuition also tells me that I will be forever plagued with dry, cracked heels, but that is a topic for another day.  
I've been seeing many people on Facebook counting down the days to Thanksgiving by stating daily one thing that they are thankful for.  This got me to thinking.  Of course I am thankful for my family, friends, a job, and a cozy place to live, but I feel it is worth while to be more specific, so here I go- in no particular order.
I am Thankful for:
*the extra lubricated foot massages Josie willingly and enthusiastically gives me each week.
*the way Hayden slyly works his head into my lap so that I can rub it.
*Lucas's spontaneous I Love Yous.
*Matt's emotional connection to a song that then makes me emotionally connected to a song.
*mornings when everyone sleeps in till seven.
*moments when I realize that I am completely content.
*my health and my family's health.
*family vacations.
*carefree conversations with my husband.
*parents and in-laws that love my family unconditionally.
*aunts, uncles, cousins, and friends that keep my family smiling.
*a car that doesn't make me feel totally uncool.
*job security. 
*each morning I see the sun rising above the St. Johns River as I drive over the bridge on my way to work.
*giggles and belly laughs.
&
*tight hugs and spooning.

 And so the season for thanks and giving begins.
Think-Pair-Share
What are you Thankful for?






You Say You Want a Revolution

While I type away on the interweb, Matt is busy building this family a second bathroom.  What can I say, he is a go-getter.  When it comes to tearing down a wall or ripping up a floor, Matt has no fear.  He has what I like to call the "Let's get this **** done" mentality, which I find extremely sexy.  I wonder if he thinks my "This **** can wait" mentality is sexy.  Probably not.  The new bathroom will consist of a toilet and a pedestal sink.  We were hoping that maybe we could squeeze a small shower into the corner, but no luck there.  The space is just too small.  I have been dreaming about an extra bathroom since we moved in 5 years ago.  At the time, creating that space didn't seem so urgent, but now each morning our bathroom becomes an episode of "Survivor."  Those that get voted off have to spit their mouthwash into the kitchen sink, while the winner triumphantly swishes and spits into the bathroom sink and then for spite, swishes and spits one more time.  Okay, I'll admit it, I'm exaggerating slightly.  Although I do occasionally brush my teeth in the kitchen, only so as not to elbow a child in the face.  This half bath could quite possibly revolutionize the morning interactions between the Bergen clan.  No more Hurry Ups and door slamming.  No more shoulder bumping to get a glimpse of yourself in the mirror.  No more on purpose, I mean accidental elbows to the ribs.  I'm talking about a John Lennon sized revolution.  Who knew a half bath could be so life changing?  I guess I'm not even sure yet.  But really people, how could it not?

Kids Sick, Dad Mending, Halloween Ova'

OMG.  All three kids are sick.  Super sick.  Flu sick.  Matt and I haven't slept in two nights, so we are beyond delirious.  On the bright side, at least all three kids are sick at the same time so we can get this done in one big shabang.  Oh, did I forget to mention, my dad is HOME!!!!  He was in ICU for quite some time, but his 13 year old transplanted kidney held up to the strain of bypass heart surgery.  The doctors bypassed two large arteries but left a blockage in a smaller artery.  The risk outweighed the benefit of bypassing it.  I can't say that I wasn't completely freaked by my dad's appearance after the surgery, and I did stress about the complications that followed, but I remained optimistic.  I felt the love that friends and family were sending, so thank you everyone.  The power of kind words is incredible. 

Enough about health problems, let's talk about something else.  Halloween is OVER!!! YEE-HAW!  I know what you are thinking But you were so excited about Halloween, and that is true, but I sort of ruined it for myself by decorating way too early.  The spiderwebs that covered every inch of my living and dining room were removed by 10:00AM on October 31st.  The remaining decor was placed inside a Rubbermaid container by noon.  A few fall leaves still grace the mantel, but the claustrophobic feeling has left the building.  I've come to the conclusion that my house is just too small for so much holiday cheer.  Come December 1st this realization my very well be forgotten or suppressed, so please feel free to remind me Katy, your house is 5 square feet larger than a playhouse, so go easy on the garland.  I promise I won't be offended, and if I am, I won't tell you to your face, I'll just talk about you behind your back and plot your demise during the wee hours of the morning.








Op-ti-mis-tic

I'm sitting here listening to "Airplanes" by Local Natives-thanks Marsha B.- and I am feeling surprisingly RELAXED.  I am fearful of using that word to describe my mood because undoubtedly a child will soon shriek for some unknown reason and the tension that has plagued my body will return and transform me back into a plus sized mannequin. I've been tense people.  My indecisive body doesn't know how it wants to manifest the stress- back acne, bladder infection, yeast infection, migraine, diarrhea?  It has been teasing me for weeks with varying degrees of all the above mentioned symptoms. Kudos to all the optimist in the world. Maybe I'm feeling better today because my face looks less like a slice of pepperoni pizza and more like the crescent-moon shaped corn chip I'm accustomed to seeing.  Maybe I'm feeling better because the family enjoyed a fun evening in the back yard-fire pit, chill in the air, rope swing, light saber battles, and marshmallows.  Or maybe I'm feeling better because I am choosing to feel better.  I often roll my eyes when folks say You are as happy as you choose to be.  Maybe that is true sometimes.  I can't always blame everything on my DNA, except for maybe my impressive abundance of armpit hair.  With my dad's upcoming triple bypass, I have no choice but to be optimistic.  I may have to Google "optimism"  and do a little research on the topic, but I've got time- my dad is worth it:)

Mama Kate's Top 10 Quotes

10.   "Stop wrestling!"

9.     "Just eat one more bite."

8.     "Watch out for my dirt pile."

7.     "Did you brush your teeth?"

6.     "Did you brush them GOOD?"

5.     "Chill out!"

4.     "Knock it off!"

3.     "In a little while."

2.     "In a minute."

1.     "I love you."

We gonna light it up like it's dynamite

My children are obsessed with the song "Dynamite" by Taio Cruz.  Hayden was the first to start singing the song 24/7.  Now everyone is singing and/or humming it.  Dang Earworm!  Amazingly, the kids have found a new way to make this song more annoying (can you believe that is even possible?).  They wrinkle up their faces and sing "Dynamite" in the most nasal voice you can imagine.  Here is a quick video of Lucas singing "Dynamite", dancing, and battling Hayden with a lightsaber- He is a TRIPLE THREAT!!!! Justin Bieber better watch out!

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Thank You Tile

I have discovered that when I place the scale on one particular 12 x 12 ceramic tile in my bathroom, I weigh 2-3 pounds less. There will always be a special place in my heart for that tile. 

Mystery Diagnosis

After two trips to the ER and a short ride in an ambulance back in 2006, a neurologist at Shands diagnosed me with migraines.  I was perplexed because the people that I had known with migraines all had terrible head pain, vomited, and had to lie down in a dark quiet room until their migraines passed.  This was not the case with me. I first became plagued with migraines back in September 2006.  While walking around my classroom, the ground would become squishy under my feet.  An arm or leg or maybe just my thigh would go numb.  Sometimes my lips would go numb.  The most troubling symptom was not being able to get my words out.  The strange thing was that 9 times out of 10, my head didn't hurt- just pressure.  The symptoms mimicked a stroke, which was frightening. The doctors gave me an EEG, EKG, and a CAT scan, and all came back clear.  The neurologist prescribed me Topamax, which is an anti-seizure medication, and it worked.  After three months of living in a trance like state and asking myself daily-Are those really my arms?  They look so weird.  Those can't be my arms.- I was feeling like my self again (depressed and anxious, with a dash joyfulness- I'm a real pleasure to live with.). After 8 months of taking Topamax, I stopped abruptly which threw me into a crazy two weeks of putting milk in the pantry and stopping at stop signs for a ridiculously long time.  It was pretty comical but worth the craziness because the medication made me feel terrible.  These days I am not as scared when I feel the migraine trance coming on because I know that the weird sensations will pass.  Each fall the frequency of my migraines increases.  Most everyday from September-November I will experience one or more of my weird sensations and sometimes so much so that it feels like I might pass out from the pressure in my head.  It makes me wonder- are my migraines caused by the stress of a new school year or are they seasonal?  If you have similar type migraines, please leave me a response.  I would love to hear what you have to say on the subject. 

It's just for FUN.



I went back to Dollar Tree today and picked up a few more Halloween decorations.  It is beginning to look like a "for reals" haunted house up in here.  The kids are super psyched about Halloween, as am I.  They haven't decided what they want to be yet, but I'm sure whatever they pick will be awesome.  I made this video today, and to my surprise, it turned out rather spooky.  My voice drags at the end because I set the video to slow motion. It sounds a little creepy but mostly it just sounds silly.  I think it will make you laugh.  When Matt watched it he looked at me like, "This is what you have been doing the last hour and a half?"  I had to laugh because when I watched it with him, I was thinking the same thing.  I apologize for my weirdness beforehand and I do hope you enjoy.  Happy Halloween Everyone!  (I know it is way too early to be saying that but whatever)

The Latest

I put up a few creepy decorations yesterday.  I think we need a few more.
Brotherly Love:)
Scary...?
The kids made these shirts at church camp this summer.  So cute!
This is Baby.  We love her so much.
I painted Josie's dresser yesterday-FINALLY.

Josie is making a heart with her hands.

Autumn Lovin'

Matt is mowing, the kids are watching cartoons, and I am sitting here trying to decide what I want to paint first.  There is Josie's wicker dresser that is in desperate need of a coat of paint, but then there is my fireplace.  I painted the brick a pretty shade of gray-green, but now I want to paint the wall above the mantel the same color.  If I paint the wall above the mantel then I will need to paint the other three walls in the living room a color that compliments the color of the fireplace wall.  Then I will need to paint the dining room because the living room and dining room are only separated by a half-wall.  I can't paint the dining room because the walls need major repair.  We have cracks in the plaster and the walls are covered in a horrible pebbly texture that we ourselves painted onto the walls to try the hide the imperfections.  Really, we need to just remove the plaster walls or dry wall over them.  Too big of a job for today, and too big of a job for me.  What's a girl to do?  I did hit Big Lots this morning for some fall decor.  I thought everything was a little overpriced.  I'm sure next weekend it will all be 50% off.  I probably should have gone to Hobby Lobby.  They have the cutest decorations and there is always a sale.  I know the sale price is actually the real price, but it makes me feel good to see 75% off or buy one get one free.  The weather here in Florida is definitely not fallish and the leaves are still a vibrant green, but I feel it.  If you are a Floridian, you know what I mean.  It's like suddenly the mosquitoes just disappear.  Then one day you realize that you just walked to the mailbox and back without sweating profusely.  The grass starts growing a bit more slowly.  And my favorite clue that fall is near, the sun begins setting during the evening news instead of prime time.  I can't magically make fall happen, just like I can't magically be a size 5, but I can pretend.  So I will dress my house in shades of gold and burgundy and bejewel it with pumpkins large and small.  *Oh I could drink a case of you AUTUMN.  Still I'd be on my feet.  I would still be on my feet.*

Drama

Inhale-1, 2, 3. Exhale- 1, 2, 3.  This has been my mantra for the last 3 weeks.  I'm teaching a new grade this year (3rd) in a new classroom with new standards and my husband is the new assistant principal of my school.  That is a whole lotta new.  I'm adjusting, although I did call Matt "Babe" in front of my students the other day-Oops.  Hayden and Josie love having their daddy at school with them.  Some afternoons they stay late with Matt and hang out in his office.  All 5 Bergens are at Browning Pearce this year.  It is comforting knowing that we are all so close.  I like it.  I like it a lot.  Josie is having attachment issues this year.  She has cried several times at school because she misses me.  She did this a few times last year when she had a substitute teacher.  I try to remind her of how lucky she is to have both her mommy and daddy right down the hall, but I think that might actually be why she is feeling so sad. She knows that we are only steps away, but yet she can't be with us.  It is hard to see her so upset, but I know she will get through all this just fine.  Lucas is loving the nursery, and he was glad to be back with all his friends from last year.  Hayden has been picking him up for me in the afternoons which has been an enormous help.  I can't believe Hayden is old enough to perform such an important task.  Before I know it, I'll be sending him to the store to pick up some milk.  I love my innocent little Hay Man.  I wish sometimes I could just put him in a bubble and protect him from all the nonsense that he will encounter over the next few years.  What am I talking about FEW.  Third grade is the just the beginning of the social gymnastics he will participate in for the rest of his life.  Luckily, he is not as introverted as I am, but he has an extremely tender heart.  The other morning he cried about going to school because some kids were saying that he had buck teeth, which he doesn't.  I wanted to cry when he told me,  but I didn't want him to see me so affected.  I fought back tears as I squeezed him tight and reassured him that his teeth do not stick out.  I tried to give him the "Those kids are jerks, don't listen to them!" speech, but I don't know how effective it was.  Everyone wants to feel accepted and at that age no one wants to feel different.  I wanted to tell him to sock the next kid in the jaw that says he has buck teeth, but I don't promote violence, so instead I equipped him with a few lines to use in case those kids make any more remarks.  I thought about teaching him a few "Your Mama" comebacks, but I think I'll save those for when he is in fourth grade.  Kid drama is tough.  It is hard to know when we as parents should intervene, and I know that it is only going to get more difficult from this point on.  One day I will be living in a house with three teenagers.  I can only imagine the drama that will unfold daily beneath our roof.  It shall be interesting...

Summer in Review

I made this movie to remind myself of all the fun things we did together as a family this summer. It is too easy to forget all the good times, so I gathered up all the photos and put them to music. Movie by Me. Music by Matt.

"Such Great Heights" by Iron & Wine; Wine -covered by Matt
"re-stacks" by Bon Iver -covered by Matt
"Revelry" by Kings of Leon -covered by Matt

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Going Green-ish

When it comes to going GREEN, I'm beginning to feel a bit like those ousted smokers who now hesitate before lighting up in public. God forbid anyone sees me drinking from this Styrofoam cup- I’ll just die! I'm more ashamed of my carbon footprint than my weight. Now that's saying something! It seems everyone these days is eating organic food, wearing organic clothing, and using only organic products. And if you are not living an earth friendly existence, like me, you feel EMBARRASSED and STUPID and LAZY. I believe I've taken the first step to going Green; I have acknowledged that I am not doing my part in making this planet a healthy place to live for future generations. It's not like I throw trash out of my car window as I'm driving down the highway or pollute the air with toxic fumes from my 1977 Chevy pickup truck. I'm just lazy and being Green takes work. I sometimes daydream about what my life might be like after the kids are all grown up. Here is what I imagine- Matt and I will travel the country in our hybrid RV, entering every Bar-B-Q competition from coast to coast. When we are home, we will tend to our food forest and help our neighbors install solar panels because we have them and LOVE them! It will be awesome. I will feel awesome. Earth will love me. And we will be one. As you can see, I am really looking forward to living a more earth friendly lifestyle. I am also excited about winning some prize money for Matt’s award winning ribs, but I’ve got a while. So in the meantime, I really need to start making some changes. Change #1- Recycle. I know what you are thinking; I can’t believe you don’t recycle. Everyone recycles. Yeah, well, we don’t. We’ve tried, many times I might add. We even bought two garbage cans for the kitchen, one for trash and one for recycling. As some of you may know, practically everything is recyclable. Every 3 hours the garbage can used for recycling would need to be emptied. This meant we had to take it outside to the blue recycling bin. Not an easy task, and if you knew the hoops and hurdles we had to go through just to get out of the side door and down the steps to our blue recycling box, you might be a little bit more sympathetic. Change #2- Conserve water. I am a water waster. When I am loading the dishwasher, I let the faucet run the entire time so that I can rinse off each dish. I let the water run when I brush my teeth. I take really long showers. Multiply all that wasting by 5 because that is how many people are in this family and there you go; a household of water wasters. Change #3- Use eco-friendly products. Under my kitchen sink is a smorgasbord of cleaning products, all of which are hazardous to the human body as well as to the environment. I don’t purchase these products with the intent of harming earth and all its inhabitants, it’s just that they are cheap and I’m a bargain shopper.  The reality is that going Green is not an easy process.  Just like anything worth while, it takes work.  But I think that we can all agree that Mother Earth is worth the effort.  I don't want her to think of me as her unappreciative daughter, so I better get busy doing my part.  *Every day is Earth day *Plant a tree *Reduce, Reuse, Recycle *Go Green

Baby #3 turns 3!!!!

My baby is 3 years old today.  I'm not sure who pushed fast forward but here we are 3 years later with a toddler who runs like an Olympian, fights like a beast, and hugs like a grizzly.  And when did he get a neck?  It's like one day he had a ring of chub where his neck should be and the next day, bam, there it was- a long lean neck!  Luke was so small when he was born.  His features seemed so petite.  Now my little man is strong and quick, an athlete in the making.  Lucas can worm himself out of most sticky situations just by showing his cheeky little grin.  He is charming, sly, and a force to be reckoned with.  Something you may not know about Lucas is that he has an extra front tooth.  We've considered having it removed, but why?  The extra front tooth and his freakishly rock hard calves make for excellent conversation starters. "Wow, your son has amazingly muscular gams!" says stranger. "I know.  He has his father's physique," I reply.  This conversation has never actually taken place, but it could have.  If you have children, then you know that 2 is really as bad as "they" say it is.  Lucas is never satisfied and he means the exact opposite of everything he says.  I don't have to go to the bathroom means I have to go to the bathroom.  I want milk in my cereal means I don't want milk in my cereal.  The list could go on and on, but I think you get what I'm saying.  I sometimes get frustrated and rub my temples in a rhythmic motion for hours on end, but in between each exasperated exhale is an "I'm glad you choose me to be your momma" inhale.  And I mean that with every ounce of my being. Namaste, Lucas Wayne Bergen and Happy 3rd Birthday! 

"Time flies when you are having fun"

I Swear To You


Matt and I celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary in Savannah, GA.  I really wanted to look cute in Savannah, so I went to Walmart to purchase my "Savannah outfit."  Due to ROLLBACKS, I was actually able to purchase two "Savannah outfits" and still be under budget.  We arrived at The Marshall House around 2ish. By 2:30 we were on a trolley seeing the sights.  I am so happy we did the trolley tour because there is no way we would have seen everything otherwise.  The Oglethorpe Trolley Tour was cheap, $15 per person, and they came and picked us up from The Marshall House.  The tour lasted about 90 minutes, and then we hopped off the trolley on Bay Street.  Before the trip, Matt did a little restaurant research and found this place called B. Matthews.  The menu looked delicious and the reviews were all positive.When we got to B. Matthews a sign on the door said that they would reopen at 5:00, luckily there was an empty table outside, so we took a seat.  At this point I was cussing my "Savannah outfit" because it was not conducive to sweating and walking.  I originally thought that a long black flowing skirt would allow me to receive a nice summer breeze.  Not so.  The rubbing together of my inner thighs made me wish I had stashed a tube of Lanacane anti chafing gel in my purse.  We waited about thirty minutes for B. Matthews to open, and when we finally made it into that air conditioned building I smiled a goofy kind of smile.  B. Matthews was worth waiting for.  Matt started out with a Stella and me,  a Key lime Martini. As we sipped on our fancy drinks and listened to Joni Mitchell and devoured the appetizer with a name neither of us could pronounce, we felt secretly hip.  How could we not.  The setting was old, dark, rustic, and yet modern.  The waitresses radiated coolness and the cuisine was  worthy of its mention in Food Network Magazine.  We were wannabe hipsters living it up for one night in steamy Savannah. It was fun!   After dinner we walked back to the hotel to rinse off and rest our feet.  Due to dehydration, my fingers and toes looked like breakfast sausages, but after several bottles of water, we were ready for round 2.  We decided to head towards the river, and boy were we surprised.  Hundreds, maybe thousands, of people lined the streets.  Matt and I had to walk single file to snake through the crowds.  At this point I wasn't feeling so hip.  It was neat to see such an eclectic mix of people out and about, but we just aren't bar hopping folks.  We decided to leave being hip to the hipsters and head back to The Marshall House where we slipped into our complimentary robes, flipped on the boob tube, and wondered if the kids were sleeping soundly at Grandma's.  Ten years later and "I DO" means as much now as it did then.  Matt and I have this silly little phrase that we use to keep each other honest- I swear to you. It is absolutely forbidden to break an I swear to you.  So, Matt, if you are reading this, I swear to you that our trip to Savannah was wonderful and although we may no longer be hip(slang) as defined by Wiki, we are still pretty dang cool.  Can I get an AMEN?!


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That makes me feel WEIRD

Because I'm an introvert, weirdness is an emotion I feel on a daily basis. I remember as a kid thinking that my family was the only normal family in the entire world.  Sleepovers were the worst.  For many years I would call my parents to come and pick me up in the middle of the night.  The car ride home would consist of my repeating the word weird multiple times.  "Mom, they don't watch television after eight o'clock.  Isn't that weird?" or "Her mom makes all the kids drink milk with their dinner.  That is so weird." and "I don't like how loud her family talks.  They are just so weird.  I'm so glad we are normal."  My parents would nod their heads in agreement because deep down they felt the same way.  We all do.  Our own friends and family are the best and most normal people.  End of story.  But it is not just people that make me get that weird feeling, it is also places.  Example #1- Driving through the potato fields of Hastings, at sunset, listening to "Fields of Gold".  Example #2-Walmart on a Friday night.  Need I say more.  Probably not, but I will.  The florescent lights, strangely dressed people, strangely shaped people, barefoot toddlers, and the abundance of yellow smiley faces sends my weirdometer spinning, at which point I have to exit the building.  Example #3- Traveling should be fun.  And it is fun, that is until we drive through one of those dumpy towns that is overflowing with dilapidated motels and a Dairy Queen that has seen its better days.  Towns like that give me the worst weird feeling, like I am about to become part of a scenario similar to that of "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre."  Movies give me weird feeling too.  Example #4- The movie "Gummo" is the all time make you feel weird movie.  Only watch this movie if you are not easily offended and if you are looking to have that icky weird feeling for a week.  A steamy 45 minute shower won't wash the weird off you after watching this movie.  On a day to day basis, I get my weird feelings from ordinary situations.#5- Awkward silences. #6- When someone near me passes gas, and I don't know the person well enough to make a joke like, "Whoa, someone is bleeding the lines!" #7-Riding in the passenger seat of someone's car that I don't know very well.  #8- Greetings and Salutations (to hug or not to hug?) #9- When someone walks into the room right after I was talking about him or her. And #10- Waving to someone who didn't actually wave at me but waved to the person behind me.
If you would like to have a taste of what makes me feel weird.  Click play.


Future B-Boys

Hayden and Lucas took turns dancing this morning.  Lucas got a little ticked when Hayden interrupted his performance, but Hayden was so feeling the groove, he didn't pay any mind to his grumpy brother.  Hayden is a surprisingly good dancer. He is especially good at the "Robot".  It is his favorite move, and he is getting better at it all the time.  Luke's not too bad himself.  He mimics Hayden's moves, and creates a few of his own. 

video

Song Lyric Project #2

After much practice, "Stayin' Alive" can now be added to my musical repertoire.  I found the phrasing to be the most difficult part of learning the song.  I still probably couldn't sing it without the music, but if I ever find myself in a Karaoke situation, "Stayin' Alive" will be my first choice.  That song has soul.  Moving on- I have decided on a second song to conquer.  It is a song from a great musician (Eddie Vedder) and a great movie (Into the Wild).  Matt has played this song on his guitar countless times, and even though I love the song, I have never taken the time to learn the lyrics.  I think my disinterest in learning lyrics is a combination of several things- 1. my darling children only leave me alone long enough to brush my four front teeth and 2. not knowing the words to a song has kept me from having to sing in front of Matt.  I occasionally hum along with him as he plays his guitar, and sometimes I will throw out a harmony or two, and when I do, oh boy, you would think I had just served him warm pumpkin pie in bed.   Let's just say that if Karen Carpenter was still alive and she was our neighbor, I might be a little worried.  Now, for your viewing pleasure- "Guaranteed" by Eddie Vedder.

Here are the lyrics:

On bended knee is no way to be free


Lifting up an empty cup I ask silently

That all my destinations will accept the one thats me

So I can breathe



Circles they grow & they swallow people whole

Half their lives they say goodnight to wives they'll never know

Got a mind full of questions and a teacher in my soul

And so it goes



Don't come closer or I'll have to go

Owning me like gravity are places that pull

If ever there was someone to keep me at home

It would be you



Everyone I come across in cages they bought

They think of me & my wandering but I'm never what they thought

Got my indignation but I'm pure in all my thoughts

I'm alive



Wind in my hair I feel part of everywhere

Underneath my being is a road that disappeared

Late at night I hear the trees, they're singing with the dead

Overhead



Leave it to me as I find a way to be

Consider me a satellite forever orbitting

I know all the rules but the rules did not know me

Guaranteed

I've been making stuff and now I'm gonna learn a song

My Sunday Flowers


Little Wooden Dolls


  1. Wooden dolls can be purchased at Michael's


  2. Use clay to make hair- bake at 250 for 15 minutes


  3. Remove the clay baked hair and paint doll to your liking


  4. Use Tacky Glue to attach the hair


  5. Ribbon or fabric can be used for clothing


  6. Let dry

Super fun, Super easy, Super cute!


I found these fabrics on Etsy the other day and had to have them.
My mom helped me use the fabric to make pillows for my bed.

Thanks Mom.


Orange-cranberry scone from Publix- Yummo!
Homemade (by me) Apple Crisp- Only slightly yummy.

My next project is to learn the lyrics to an entire song.  It has been years since I've known more than just the chorus to my favorite songs.  In fact, it has been years since I've had a "favorite song".  Speaking of songs and lyrics, I heard "Stayin' Alive" the other day and realized I only knew like four words, and it is a song that I've listened to a zillion times before.  Therefore, I will attempt to learn each and every word to "Stayin' Alive" as my first Song Lyric Project.


I'm such a dork!
If you are like me, and don't know the lyrics to this classic Bee Gees song, here they are:

Well, you can tell by the way I use my walk,


I'm a woman's man, no time to talk.

Music loud and women warm.

I've been kicked around since I was born.

And now it's all right, it's O.K.

And you may look the other way.

We can try to understand

The New York Times' effect on man.

Whether you're a brother

Or whether you're a mother,

You're stayin' alive, stayin' alive.

Feel the city breakin'

And ev'rybody shakin'

And we're stayin' alive, stayin' alive.

Ah, ha, ha, ha,

Stayin' alive.

Stayin' alive.

Ah, ha, ha, ha,

Stayin' alive.

Well now, I get low and I get high

And if I can't get either I really try.

Got the wings of heaven on my shoes

I'm a dancin' man and I just can't lose.

You know it's all right, it's O.K.

I'll live to see another day.

We can try to understand

The New York Times' effect on man.

Whether you're a brother

Or whether you're a mother,

You're stayin' alive, stayin' alive.

Feel the city breakin'

And ev'rybody shakin'

And we're stayin' alive, stayin' alive.

Ah, ha, ha, ha,

Stayin' alive.

Stayin' alive.

Ah, ha, ha, ha,

Stayin' alive.

Life goin' nowhere.

Somebody help me.

Somebody help me, yeah.

Life goin' nowhere.

Somebody help me, yeah.

Stayin' alive

Well, you can tell by the way I use my walk,

I'm a woman's man, no time to talk.

Music loud and women warm.

I've been kicked around since I was born.

And now it's all right, it's O.K.

And you may look the other way.

We can try to understand

The New York Times' effect on man.

Whether you're a brother

Or whether you're a mother,

You're stayin' alive, stayin' alive.

Feel the city breakin'

And ev'rybody shakin'

And we're stayin' alive, stayin' alive.

Ah, ha, ha, ha,

Stayin' alive.

Stayin' alive.

Ah, ha, ha, ha,

Stayin' alive.

Life goin' nowhere.

Somebody help me.

Somebody help me, yeah.

Life goin' nowhere.

Somebody help me, yeah.

Stayin' alive

Life goin' nowhere.

Somebody help me.

Somebody help me, yeah.

Life goin' nowhere.

Somebody help me, yeah.

Stayin' alive

So Scone Me

Hi.  My name is Katy, and I am not a runner. 

I have not been running for a month now.  To be honest, I think my brain is too small for running.  The way it bounces around in my skull leads me to believe that serious head trauma could result should I decide to continue running.  But it's not just the head trauma that is stopping me from accomplishing my goal of becoming a life-long runner, it is also my hypochondria/paranoia.  For most folks, hitting the pavement is how they clear their heads.  Make plans for the future.  Write their first screen-plays.  Not so with me.  The moment my pace increases, my mind starts racing.  "Is that my heart beat I hear?  Why is my heart beating in my forehead?  Let me check my pulse.  1,2,3...  OMG, is my pulse rate supposed to be that high. 725 beats per minute seems high.  I better walk.  I think I might be having a stroke.  No.  Don't you dare walk.  Don't be quitter."   So after a few more minutes of berating myself, I settle into the fact that I might actually not be dying and then my thoughts take an even darker dive.  Suddenly, every man I see is a sexual predator.  If a car starts slowing down as it approaches me, I begin planning my escape route.  My jog turns into a waiting game of- is this going to be the sicko that drags me into his car and takes me away from my family forever.  Then the car passes and I breathe a sigh of relief.  Matt thinks I would feel better if I just carried around a bottle of mace.  I think I would feel better if cellulite lotion really worked; then none of this would even be an issue.  But lotion doesn't work, the jarring of my tiny brain against my skull causes migraines, and creepy men in El Caminos scare me.  Running sucks! At this point I am beginning to lose hope, and guess what I do when I lose hope?  I go to Publix and buy two orange-cranberry scones from the bakery.  I eat one as soon as I get home and save one for breakfast.  This makes me feel better about how disappointing cellulite creams are.  It also allows me to forget about head trauma and elevated heart rates.  Most of all, an orange-cranberry scone from Publix could almost make me believe that a 48 year old man, with a sleeve of rebel flag tattoos, wearing a wife beater, and driving an El Camino is harmless.  I know.  Crazy.  It must be the antioxidants.  So much for running; now on to my next ill-fated attempt at completing something meaningful.  Until then, ta-ta!

Brass Knuckles

Matt calls me "The Trash Maker."  And he's right.  It seems as soon as Matt gives me the warning, "The garbage can outside is overflowing, so pleeeeeeeaaaasssseee don't make any more trash," I get the inexplicable urge to edit my wardrobe, clean out the two junk drawers in the kitchen, and empty the waste basket from the bathroom.   I'm not sure, but I think it might have something to do with control.  I mean really, who does he think he is, telling me I can't make trash in my own house?  I'll show him. But that is just me being immature because deep down I know he is right.  I shouldn't cram the garbage can so full that the lid won't close, just like I shouldn't use a metal fork to scramble eggs in our non-stick pan.  But if I listened to his advice, he would win, and I just can't have that.  Our most memorable fights all include my shouting something about him not being my daddy.   What can I say, I don't like being told what to do.  I don't even like suggestions.  I don't even care if the word pleeeeeaaaassseee is used.  And when I feel like I'm being "bossed", teenage rebellion begins pumping through my veins and I get all mouthy and say things like, "Whatever.  You're not my dad," or I question him, "Why are you trying to act like you're my dad?"   I'll admit it, "You're not my daddy" has become my brass knuckles in our marital disputes.  I keep it in my back pocket for easy access.  But Matt has brass knuckles of his own.  He keeps "If it wasn't for me, nothing would get done around here," safely tucked away in his invisible lapel pocket.  So we are even.  We take turns having the upper hand, but we always go to bed holding hands, no brass knuckles, just forgiveness.

A Love Story

On July 28th Matt and I will celebrate our 10th wedding anniversary. This is big. This is real big. A DECADE big. In ten years we have graduated college, lived in three different houses, had three children, worked full time, owned 10 different cars, 6 dogs, and 2 cats. Financially, things were difficult in the beginning- WIC checks, Save-A-Lot, chicken thighs, and Ramen noodles. Our house was a joke- drums in the living room, a leopard print covered couch, a white vinyl chair, green linoleum, white metal kitchen cabinets. Of course we now look back at those difficult times and get a little nostalgic. If you don't mind, I would like to journey back in time.
The year- 1995
"I don't want to be a cheerleader. I quit. I want to be alternative. Let's go to the thrift store and pick out some really ugly shirts. Then we will look so grunge."
Okay, so I set the scene. I was in the "I want to be different" phase, when along came Matt. He was so grunge. And all his friends were grunge. And they had piercings and blue hair and listened to Smashing Pumpkins and Nirvana. You get the picture. Then somehow, one day, Matt came over to my house. I guess you could call it our first date. We sat on my bedroom floor and watched a marathon of "My So Called Life." We connected. I don't know how many weeks we dated, but then I did him wrong, and his "band" went on to sing about what a "bleep" I was at the Battle of the Bands. I was there. In the crowd. Wearing the Hershey Kiss shirt he bought me from the thrift store. That was the end of us. Four years later, we reconnected.
The year- 1998-1999I don't know if you know this, but St. Johns River Community College is actually just a place where you pay money to smoke cigarettes and sit on benches. At least that's what is was for most of us. During my first semester at Smokers Community College, Matt and I started hanging out with some of the same people. Yep. There was definitely still a connection. Googly eyes, sitting too close, bumping shoulders. After a camping trip with friends, we couldn't hide our affection for each other any longer. Despite being burned by me in the past, Matt swallowed his pride, and decided to give us another chance.
The year- 2000Even though we had two more years of college to complete, we decided to get married. My mom will deny this now, but my curfew was 11:00 pm on school nights. I found this curfew to be ridiculous. I was a college student, not a sophomore in high school. I'm not saying that my early curfew was the reason we got married so young, but I will say it didn't help. Matt and I were inseparable, and we could not think of any reason why we shouldn't just tie the knot. So we did. Karl Flagg led the ceremony which was held in the Ravine Gardens. A family of raccoons watched on from a nearby oak tree, as our guests cursed under their breath for having to endure such extreme heat. I'm sorry by the way. The reception was held at the Golf Course. There was live music and dancing and drinking. A perfect night!
The year- 2002-2007Kids, kids, and more kids. I lost my mind a little bit. Sorry, babe. Hormones and all, not to mention, genetics. I got through it, thanks to him. We took vacations, we took pictures- lots of them, we bought stuff, we made stuff, we loved the kids, we loved each other.
The year- 2008-2010
Things got easier. Not so many crises. The kids became more self-sufficient. Matt got more chill. I got more stable. Money, not so tight. We smiled more, we laughed more, we did more.
Present Day
Today is just another day in our marriage. I am home with Josie and Lucas. Matt is out fishing on the kayak with Hayden. When he gets home, we will have lunch and talk about things. I'll ask him to build me something or sign something and he will give me that annoyed look, and I'll laugh because I know that I'm being annoying. But that is marriage. It is about annoyances. Like hearing your partner slurp his/her coffee. But it is more about love. Like saving enough coffee for your partner to have a second cup. And that is Matt. He loves me and saves me coffee and slurps his own. And I love him, more than butterflies:)