31 March 2009

to whom it may concern.

I hate exercising. I loathe it. I detest it from the depth of my core with a fiery rage I cannot control. But...

I want my stomach to look like that, up there. I mean, I'm trying to be realistic about this. I know that 150 crunches a couple of nights in a row will not do it, and honestly, that's about all I can give to this whole working-out thing. That is why I need a tummy tuck. Seriously.

Is that too much to ask? I am totally willing to go under the knife. It is very vain (I'm not afraid to admit that) and very extreme, but I want to be as gorge as I can be. What is wrong with that?

I say, not a thing. Not one single thing.

So, to all of the plastic surgeons out there that line up to read this blog on a daily basis (because I know there are ginormous amounts of you), could one of you please, please, please give me a comp? I vow here and now to be forever grateful.
Thank You.

30 March 2009

real quick.

I wanted to show you these great, little letters that I decoupaged today.

I am going to do something neat with them (hopefully) that I will show you later.

But, I thought they were soooo cute, I wanted to share them with you today.

I am really happy with how they turned out, and even happier with how cheap the project was.

Hope you like-sy!

Go play!

28 March 2009

a little birdie told me...

...that spring in St. Louis sucks! One day, 70+. The next, cold with a threat of snow. What the fudge? All I can say is, I feel sorry for my little robin. She has been working so hard, and now, she has to freeze. I keep wondering if her beautiful, little eggs will make it. Natural selection sucks, too. Ugh, don't get me started on that one. Don't even get me started!

Peace out!

27 March 2009

ahhhhhh, help me...

I'm messing around with different ideas for Jake's Communion invitation. I'm not sure what I'm going for, but this is the latest outcome. One version is bright, and one is muted. HELP! I don't know which one I like, or if I like them at all. I am so confused. I know, in the end, no one really cares what the invitation looks like, but I do. It's my thing, man. Let me know what you think or if you have any other ideas!


26 March 2009

peas and eggs?

**WARNING to Mom & Jill: you may not want to read this!***

This is the longest time in almost nine years that I have gone without being pregnant. The longest time I have gone without even trying to get pregnant. The longest time that I have gone without having to prepare for a birth, recover from a birth, or to breastfeed. And, for all intents and purposes, I will never be pregnant again. I did something that I shouldn't have done after Rosie was born. Immediately after. I had my tubes tied. I am now sterile, and unable to bring more life into the world. At least, without serious help from modern science.

I am really very lucky and blessed. I was able to have 4 incredible children. They were all conceived easily and without much effort. We would want a baby, we got pregnant, I gave birth, we brought the baby home. Repeat. Repeat. With the exception of Rosie. There was a bit more effort with her. We tried for about 9 months when I finally conceived, only to miscarry 10 weeks later. Another 6-7 weeks after that, we made our lil' Ro with the help of a low dose of clomid, but still, no biggy. Like I said, blessed!

So, why on God's green Earth would I want to have more? I certainly can't answer that. I wish I could. Jake wants more, too. In fact, he didn't want me to get a tubal. If I remember correctly, his mantra that morning was, "Are you sure? Are you sure? Are you sure?". I often think that if my tubes weren't tied, I would have already been pregnant by now. Who knows?

There are a gagillion reasons why we shouldn't...space, money, stress, etc. But, the way I see it, another little guy or gal cancels all of those stupid reasons out. I will go back to work which helps the money issue. Our house may be small, but we have a few things up our sleeve to help there, including saving for a move in the next several years, and I've always suffered from stress, even sans kids. I can safely say that with each child I learn to balance more, and let go more.

I know this sounds like my case to convince the world, particularly, my parents and my sister, but it's really not. I take care of my own, and in the end, it's really no one's business other than, Jake's and mine. We pay our bills, have nice things, go on vacations, have a nice, clean, warm home, we don't have debt or car payments, we don't go "clubbin'", do drugs, or drink excessively. Our kids are all "normal", relatively speaking, and we've even survived life after Betsy's prognosis.

The thing is, I've always thought that I would have 5-6 kiddos. I just don't feel "done". Which I'm sure is because of my preconceived notion of what my ideal family would be. Darn it! There's that mind over matter crap! But, that little issue of doneness remains. Some people want lots of money, fancy cars and clothes, exotic lifestyles. Me? Call me Octomom 2. (With many stark differences. Priorities being one.) What to do, what to do?!

I don't know how any of this will play out. I'm not sure anything, if at all, will come of it. But, I assure you there is maternal unrest, that I simply cannot shake, brewing in my woman parts.

Sorry you had to suffer through that!

25 March 2009

24 March 2009


I am constantly finding inspiration everywhere. Clothes, food, photography, art, nature. You name it. I will find something inspiring about it. A stand mixer can be beautiful, an egg in a nest, a bowl of peppermint ice cream. I am not quite sure what I am being inspired to do, yet. Inspired to live a better life, learn to notice the small things and to appreciate them with a full heart, and to know that God is behind it all. All of this leads me to think of how much beauty there is all around us everyday. Beauty we don't always choose to see. Beauty that we most certainly take for granted. A child's smile, a handshake, all the green popping out of the ground. All inspiring, all beautiful, all happiness. And, let's face it...we are all only as inspired, beautiful, and happy as we decide to be.

Choose inspiration, beauty, & happiness!

23 March 2009

Say what? Where?

Juicy Couture.

Are you kidding me?

I don't like anything referred to as "juicy" aside from ripe fruit and certain cuts of meat.

So, it seems only natural that I am not a big supporter of Juicy Couture. Tweens with a word sprawled across their rear that should only be used to describe a fresh plucked plum or succulent roast chicken is inappropriate, to say the least.

But, I am hopelessly in love with the swimsuit above. It would be flattering on just about anyone (shirring, skirt, need I say more). It is also classic, timeless, and just so darn cute. It comes in five super fabulous colors (my favorite is above), and best of all, it doesn't claim to be "juicy" anywhere but on the tag inside.

Now, that's "j-j-j-juicy".
take your time swimsuit season!


I am one of those kind of people that goes nuts when she finds out that some woman had her baby in a toilet because she didn't know she was pregnant. Or, the person who gets super pis**ed when she hears of someone who didn't realize they were pregnant until 3-4 months later. Uh, hello, what the h-e-double-hockey-sticks?!

Recently, I started watching the program "I Didn't Know I Was Pregnant" on Discovery Health Channel. This may be the first and last time you will EVER hear me say this, but I was completely wrong in thinking it is impossible to not know. That being said, let me just clarify, that it seems to me that the majority of the women are overweight, at a menopausal age, or have significantly irregular periods (like, a period 1-4 times a year).

Now, I gotta tell you that, personally, I think it would be fantastic to be told, "Honey, your about 39 weeks pregnant, and those stomach cramps you've been having are really contractions. So, let's have a baby!" I mean, seriously, you get to skip all that anticipation and the physical symptoms that are sometimes worsened by our psyche (nausea, fatigue, back and pelvic pain). That would be sweet. Just about the only thing I would miss would be the big, round belly, and feeling all those amazing kicks.

Incidentally, I think that I am watching waaaaaay too much of this show, because the other night I had a very vivid dream that I started feeling fetal movement. The kind that is so intense you can, literally, distinguish what body part it must have been that skimmed the whole of your abdomen. So, I told Jake, and we went to the doctor. They told me I was between 22-24 weeks pregnant.

Yeah, I think I need to cool it with Discovery Health for awhile.
Happy Monday!

22 March 2009

6 pieces of pretty.

Since having four children that are all able to feed themselves, I have come to loathe my kitchen chairs because the seats are upholstered. This means spills stain, and even after you clean them, there is a big crusty spot left.


I would dream at night about 6 beautiful Kartell La Marie, Victoria Ghost, or Emeco navy chairs.

Uh, but I am so sorry...I don't have about $2500 for a butt pedestal, and even if I did, that's not how I role.

Alternatively, I have long admired the scoop back chair from West Elm.

Enter, my sister, Jill.

She calls a couple of weeks ago to tell me that they are on super sale.

"Super sale?", I say. (By the way, super sale equal $79 apiece.)

Well, the rest is history.

They arrived last week and it has been love and happiness ever since.

Here's to happy bottoms!

20 March 2009

Who can take a sunrise...

Sprinkle it with dew
Cover it in chocolate
and a miracle or two?

The Sugar Shack
The Sugar Shack can
The Sugar Shack can, and they mix it all with love
and make the world taste good.

The Sugar Shack is a charming little candy shop in downtown Kirkwood. It is conveniently located right across from the train station (get a sack of candy and watch the trains roll in and roll out). It is pretty cheap, and just magical. I, seriously, thought I was in Bill's Candy Shop getting excited over a Wonka Bar or a Slugworth Sizzler. It was all very exciting. And, I ended up only spending $5 on four kids and myself. How's that for great?

Have a 'sweet' weekend!


Happy Spring!

I am sorry, but this is possibly one of the cutest prints I've seen on etsy. You can purchase it here from badbird's etsy shop. (Check out 'Snow White and the Usual Suspects', too.)

And, what better way to welcome the first day of the spring equinox than with a picture of a bunny with an alter ego?

See ya!

19 March 2009

Wii are fit.

What do you do with a bunch of kids when it's spring break and it's absolutely lovely outside?
You stay in and go nuts with the WiiFit.
That's what you do!
Good times!

...and, you can also do some other goofy stuff.

Now, I HAVE to have one!

18 March 2009


My new obsession comes in a round container. It is ooey-gooey, and yummy, and only 3 grams of fat and 35 calories per serving. Paired with fat-free saltines it is like a masterpiece made especially for your taste buds. When I see that cow looking at me with that perfect, coy grin, it's as if, his big bovine eyes are piercing right into the core of my being. That silly cow draws me in like a moth to a flame. It is a yearning that is more than a yearning, it seems to have become a need. Something that if left undone will surely mean the end to my existence as I know it. I rue the day that they stop making this pasteurized goodness. I pray that day never comes. Until then, I am trying with all of my might to limit my intake to one container a week. But, that darn, Laughing Cow seems to get me every time.

Merci, France!

17 March 2009

She's a winner!

Although, I did not need someone to tell me Miss Betsy is a winner, it is official that, now, she is one. Awhile back, I posted here about Betsy being a nominee for the St.Louis County Special School District's highest honor for students, the Rosemary Zander Award. And, a few days ago we received word in the mail that she was chosen as a recipient. Woo-woo!

She had a professional photo shoot last Thursday for Special School District's and our home district's publications, and in April their is a huge sit-down dinner banquet. (I posted about the outfit Betsy will wear here.) It is quite a big deal.

So, because of the enormity of the event, we will be honoring her with a candy and dessert buffet at Jakey's communion luncheon. In my vision, I see it as beautiful as one that Martha would whip up. But, alas, I do not think I have it in my budget for such an extravagance. The hunt for the right candy and goodies at the right price has officially begun.

ps I would appreciate any hints as to how I can do this as fabulous as possible on the cheap.


16 March 2009

Spring Break.


Today marks the first official day of my kids' Spring Break. I tend to have mixed feelings about Spring Break. So, let me explain. Spring Break used to symbolize a break from educational endeavors. Freedom. A detachment from responsibility and conscience. It was a time to let your hair down and gather with friends, ideally in a tropical environment. Beer was aplenty, and so was inappropriate swim wear. It was a time to shed your better judgement and dance on a table in a seedy bar topless.

Okay, so I never did that. In fact, my freshman year at the University of Kansas, I went on a service trip to Colorado with Habitat for Humanity. But, whatev, you get my point.

Now, spring break means something much different. I have to think of activities to keep my litter busy. Things like, crafts, lawn games, zoo outings, the St.Louis Children's' Museum. You see the paradox here? What Spring Break used to embody, and what it means today? It most certainly is no "break" for me. But, when you have children, what is really about YOU anymore? Children are quite the blow to the self-possessed ego. Are they not?

Please don't misunderstand me...
I LOVE my children. I would throw myself in front of a taxi in Cancun, or anywhere for that matter, for them in an instant. I am simply pondering how different life is with them. And, rightly so. When you choose to have kids, there is suddenly something much more important to worry about than yourself.

That is how it's supposed to be.

So, I say bring on Spring Break '09. I, for one, am going to print up some tacky t-shirts, and possibly teach the kiddos to bong some Kool-Aid. Okay, so maybe that is taking it a bit too far. Either way, we are going to enjoy the warmer temperatures and have a great time!

It's just really unfortunate that my white string bikini doesn't have a place in a St.Louis "mommy & kid" Spring Break week. It is with a heavy heart that I will shove it back in a drawer.

Totally kidding! (I hope that I didn't make you throw-up in your mouth a little!)


Have a GREAT Spring Break!

15 March 2009

St.Patty's Day in St.Lou.

St.Patrick's Day is an institution in St.Louis. Even if you're not Irish. Which, neither Jake or I, are. It is the one day that it is okay to have one too many (only if you're not driving, of course), the one day in which you instantly become "family" with someone just because you have green hair, the one day that it is perfectly alright to kiss strangers because the shirt says to, the one day that it is just about good times.

This year we met up with a REAL Irish family at the festivities. Our dear friend's momma is an Irish girl (Casey's mom, Peggy). A Sheahan before marriage (oooo, just the sound of it has Ireland written all over it). What fun it was! And, what a GREAT spot that Miss Peggy stakes out waaaaaaaay before the parade starts. The kids had a blast, we had a blast. It was pretty much a blast!

Click to play this Smilebox slideshow: The Parade-3.14.2009
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Erin Go Bragh!

13 March 2009


Couldn't have said THIS any better!

Invisible mom.

disclaimer: I DID NOT WRITE THIS...Actually, it is an excerpt from the novel, The Invisible Woman, by Nicole Johnson (Thomas Nelson Inc., Nashville, TN, 2005). I really like it. I hope you do too.

It all began to make sense, the blank stares, the lack of response, the way one of the kids will walk into the room while I'm on the phone and ask to be taken to the store.

Inside, I'm thinking, "Can't you see I'm on the phone?"

Obviously, not.

No one can see if I'm on the phone, or cooking, or sweeping the floor, or even standing on my head in the corner, because no one can see me at all.

I'm invisible. The invisible Mom. Some days I am only a pair of hands, nothing more: Can you fix this? Can you tie this? Can you open this?

Some days I'm not a pair of hands; I'm not even a human being. I'm a clock to ask, "What time is it?" I'm a satellite guide to answer, "What number is the Disney Channel?" I'm a car to order, "Right around 5:30, please."

I was certain that these were the hands that once held books and the eyes that studied history and the mind that graduated sum a cum laude - but now they had disappeared in to peanut butter, never to be seen again. She's going; she's going; she is gone!

One night, a group of us were having dinner, celebrating the return of a friend from England...

Janice had just gotten back from a fabulous trip, and she was going on and on about the hotel she stayed in.

I was sitting there, looking around at the others all put together so well. It was hard not to compare and feel sorry for myself.

I was feeling pretty pathetic, when Janice turned to me with a beautifully wrapped package, and said, "I brought you this."

It was a book on the great cathedrals of Europe...

I wasn't exactly sure why she'd given it to me until I read her inscription:

"To My Dear Friend, with admiration for the greatness of what you are building when no one sees."

In the days ahead I would read - no, devour - the book. And I would discover what would become for me, four life-changing truths, after which I could pattern my work:

No one can say who built the great cathedrals - we have no record of their names.

These builders gave their whole lives for a work they would never see finished.

They made great sacrifices and expected no credit.

The passion of their building was fueled by their faith that the eyes of God saw everything.

A legendary story in the book told of a rich man who came to visit the cathedral while it was being built, and he saw a workman carving a tiny bird on the inside of a beam. He was puzzled and asked the man, "Why are you spending so much time carving that bird into a beam that will be covered by the roof? No one will ever see it." And the workman replied, "Because God sees."

I closed the book, feeling the missing piece fall into place.

It was almost as if I heard God whispering to me, "I see you. I see the sacrifices you make every day, even when no one around you does. No act of kindness you've done, no sequin you've sewn on, no cupcake you've baked, is too small for me to notice and smile over. You are building a great cathedral, but you can't see right now what will become."

At times, my invisibility feels like an affliction. But it is not a disease that is erasing my life.

It is the cure for the disease of my own self-centeredness. It is the antidote to my strong, stubborn pride.

I keep the right perspective when I see myself as a great builder. As one of the people who show up at a job that they will never see finished, to work on something that their name will never be on.

The writer of a book went so far as to say that no cathedrals could ever be built in our lifetime because there are so few people willing to sacrifice to that degree.

When I really think about it, I don't want my son to tell the friend he's bringing home from college for Thanksgiving, "My mom gets up at 4 in the morning and bakes homemade pies, and then she hand bastes a turkey for three hours and presses all the linens for the table." That would mean I'd built a shrine or a monument to myself. I just want him to want to come home. And then, if there is anything more to say to his friend, to add, "You're going to love it there."

As mothers, we are building great cathedrals. We cannot be seen if we're doing it right.

And one day, it is very possible that the world will marvel, not only at what we have built, but at the beauty that has been added to the world by the sacrifices of invisible women.


I know some terrific moms. And, I hope that I have a little bit of each of them in me. It's a tough job, ladies, but someone's gotta do it!

Keep up the good work!

12 March 2009

Spring has sprung.

Although the weather in St. Louis is eternally unpredictable, spring is coming. Last week, we had a string of 75+ degree days. It was wonderful. And, as we all know, with warmer breezes comes wound-up kiddies. They would live outside if they could. Friday, it was so warm, Betsy decided to enjoy the fresh air in a Tinkerbell costume, while playing in the dirt with her cousin Kate. And, the boys could have played their mean game of "Horse" in shorts. It was a great day!

Ahhhhh, to be young again.

Go Play!