Wednesday, October 27, 2010

How Red Ribbon Week Drove Mom to Drink

October 24-29! National Red Ribbon Week! Just say no! Say NO to drugs! Make up a slogan (that has little to do with drugs and most of the kids can't remember) for your school for every day this week to show you have school spirit because school spirit helps you say no to drugs! So, that last one is a stretch, but hopefully all of this red ribbon %$*# has been painstakingly researched, so we know it works and really helps keep kids off drugs. AND - sometimes it is a stretch to say no to drugs, right?

Monday - WE ARE 'RED' Y TO SAY NO TO DRUGS! (Wear red to school)

Okay. Perfect. We all have red shirts. Not too obscure. Thank you, Principal and Very Important Team that makes all official Red Ribbon decisions (is that the Department of National Security?)

Tuesday - now here's where it starts to get tricky so pay attention - STAY IN THE GAME - BE DRUG FREE. Okay, no mind that I ABHOR sports of all kinds, and that when I read that all sorts of lewd things come to mind. Need I name a few? Tiger Woods? Brett Fabre? Michael Vick? Most of the Dallas Cowboys? Oh, but wait. They didn't do drugs, right? And, what game are we talking about? Baseball? But, I take the high road (I know you are surprised.) So, okay, you want my kids to STAY IN THE GAME!!! All right. I guess I'm okay with that. WEAR YOUR FAVORITE TEAM SHIRT.

And here's where the whining and fighting begins. We own one team shirt and I am pretty sure someone gave it to us. It belongs to the boy child. So, it follows that he would wear it. Except for the small fact that his younger sister wakes up moaning, whining, kicking and generally complaining that she cannot go to school without a team shirt because they are awarded points if they participate.

WHAT??? And, I will refrain from seriously veering of course here. So, the teachers award points for participating? Am I awarded points in life for not doing drugs? Okay, so maybe I am. So, I will not speak to this issue.

So, I calmly, patiently, and lovingly explain (at 6:15 a.m.) to my sweet girl that it's OKAY. You can not participate for one day because team shirts cost like one million dollars and mommy hates sports and is not going to go out and buy one just so you can NOT DO DRUGS!!!!!!!!!!!! Girl child, "BUT MOMMY EVERYONE WILL MAKE FUN OF ME LIKE THEY MADE FUN OF JORDAN (his name was changed to protect him) WHEN HE DIDN'T WEAR RED YESTERDAY!!!!!!!!!!!"

What followed was too detailed to explain so I will summarize for you: I explained we do not make fun of others, we are strong inside ourselves to withstand teasing, we befriend children who are being ridiculed for not participating, we do not spend money uselessly on stupid T-shirts that we don't even like just to 'fit in,' we do not condone drug use in national sports, and this is supposed to be FUN for Pete's sake, AND EAT YOUR BREAKFAST!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

All the while thinking, "WHAT IS THIS FOR??? So we can NOT DO DRUGS???"

She still did not understand. That is when her dear sweet dad came down from getting ready for work and explained it again. Then she understood. Kind of. They got out the door. Boy child wore his BMX jersey (the only sport we do in this house), girl child wore her brother's team shirt, and the baby girl child wore normal clothes and just tried not to do drugs for this one day.

Are we all still happy and ready NOT TO DO DRUGS?

Wednesday - SAY PEACE OUT TO DRUGS - Wear your tie-dye shirts or peace symbols.

So, there must be some really young teachers because - DO THEY REMEMBER THE 70's??????? But, again, I am being supportive and keep my mouth shut.

Again, what ensued this morning was too detailed to express word for word so here's a synopsis:

S. - I need a tie-dye shirt and something with a peace symbol. Okay, mom? So, can I wear this? But, the shirt is not too tie-dyed and the leggings don't match. So, MOM - WHAT SHOULD I WEAR???

My supportive husband to my son (who has chosen to wear one of his sister's yellow tie-dyed shirts with bright orange shorts) - BOY, you look like a school bus. I thought this was Red Ribbon Week. What the heck are you wearin'? Is that gonna help you not do drugs???

Thank you, supportive husband.

C. (the other school aged girl) - I DON'T HAVE ANY LEGGINGS S. TOOK THEM AWAY FROM ME.

This is all interspersed with random crying, whining, and moaning.

They all finally got out the door...............looking seriously like hippie children who do drugs. And I popped open a beer as soon as they were out the door.

Just kidding.

Almost. ;o) Two more days to go and I will try to stay drug free for them.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

I'll take a slab of meat with that salad, thank you

So, if you know me - you know that I make no bones about not being a good cook. Let it be said loud and clear - "I AM NOT A COOK." A self-professed hopeless foodie - yes. Cook - no. But, like a lot of things I am not good at - I have been forced into the job. It has taken me about............18 years...............to fall into what I will call a "comfortable zone" with cooking. Basically I am married to a man who works full-time and likes to eat and I have four kids who also like to eat (damn them all). So, I have learned over the course of 20 years to cook things that people will eat. About 19 years into my marriage and at least three kids later I had mastered the art of menu planning, shopping for five or six, cooking, and thankfully having most of the people at the table eat and like what they were eating. AND I could vary this up somewhat about 15 times so that we were not eating the same thing every day.

We were rockin' along nicely when my husband wanted me and him to watch this movie. Enter the movie: Food, Inc.

Now, if you have not seen the movie (or you have) - have no fear. This post is not an ad for this movie. Suffice it to say, though, that this movie has changed the way I view food and the way I cook.

So, (or so what? you might be thinking) what happens when you are the cook for six people and you see something that changes the way you view food and cook??? Other people in your house will be forced to change. That's what happens. And sometimes this change will be painful.

I could go on and on with this post and I must admit before I started writing I hadn't given an outline much of a thought - so bear with me - this is probably going to be haphazard and strange - MUCH LIKE WHAT WE'VE BEEN EATING SINCE APRIL.

Since I have so much to say on this subject of - what was the subject? - oh, yeah - food - I have developed what I do best - A LIST!!!

So, here it goes. Here is my Food, List. Get it? Food, Inc.? Food, List. Ha! Hey - I told you there was not a lot of thought put into this. ;o)


FOOD LIST - or RANDOM THOUGHTS ON FOOD

1. Vegetarians are damn skinny because THERE IS NOTHING TO EAT.

2. I can no longer eat fast food. And I mean this quite literally. Before I watched the movie I knew what was in fast food - but still I managed to force it down. Now, not so. I went through the Burger King drive through the other day and I just couldn't purchase anything. So, then I bought a fast food salad and worried for a week that I was going to die of salmonella.

3. My one kid who is a tried and true carnivore hates me.

4. All babies who have started on "food" may be vegetarians. Which has lead me to question many things. Are we born to be vegetarians?

5. I don't have time to research new recipes that don't include meat. So, when I am feeling lazy (that being most of the time) I just make the meat recipes with no meat. This is problematic when the main ingredient of the recipe is...........................MEAT.

6. I have mastered about 5 meatless recipes that my family will eat. So, basically we have no variety. We eat the same things over and over and over. This makes no one happy.

7. Meat that comes from a FARM (imagine that???) and has been environmentally and humanely processed tastes different. I always thought that was hogwash (hehehehehehe), but now I am a believer.

8. My tiny carnivore has taken to researching where we can buy organic meat.

9. I am having trouble with preservatives. When you buy food with no preservatives........................IT GOES BAD.

10. It takes a while to not crave preservatives. Since I have been eating them for about 20 years I sometimes want to eat them again.

There's my list of random food thoughts. But, I would be remiss if I didn't leave you with a recipe. My sister that I love SO MUCH (yes, she reads my blog. no, this is not gratuitous kissing up) because she is so funny and also just because I love her sent me this GEM of a book. I love it so much and I am SOOOOOOOOOOOOO happy she sent it to me. It is called, The All NEW Meatless Diet - copyright 1980 (so, not too new ;o). It was sold for 59 CENTS (how could they sell this for 59 CENTS when it is worth so much more??????????) and it says at the bottom, "Congratulations! On being willing to try an all NEW Diet Program." Gosh, I love that. Not only is it grammatically INCORRECT, how many times are you THANKED for trying a new diet program?????????? It comes complete with information on dieting, a two week diet plan, 32 recipes, weight loss diaries, and a calorie counter. But, wait - - - - IT FITS IN YOUR POCKET!!!!!!!! Okay, so I am going to leave you with a recipe from this little gem of a book that you will want to rush out and make for dinner tonight. AND your family will LOVE you. So, here it goes readers. You can thank me later. ;o) And, sissy - I LOVE YOU!

Peanut Butter Surprise (anything in italics - I have taken the liberty to add ;o)

4 cups shredded cabbage, cooked (wow, is that the surprise, because I am SURPRISED)
1/2 cup cottage cheese (whoa, another surprise - I would have never seen that coming)
1 tablespoon chunky-style peanut butter
2 tablespoons raisins (now, who would eat this, again?)
1 tablespoon parsley flakes (because everything is better with parsley)
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon (WOW - a creative pairing of spices, there)
1 tablespoon of lemon juice optional (well, thank goodness that's optional)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees (or more because you might want to burn the kitchen down after making this).
Place hot, steamed cabbage in a bowl and mix together with remaining ingredients. Spread in a baby loaf pan (believe me there is not a baby alive that will eat this - - even if they were born vegetarians) and bake for 15 minutes, or until firm.

This dish is on the dinner menus of pages 12 and 17. (SAY WHAT? There's a dinner to go with this??? For 59 CENTS???)

As my mother would say, "Bon appetite!"

Monday, October 25, 2010

Three kids and a two-year old

Well, apparently I was in some sort of lack-of-sleep induced haze when my older three went through the terrible-twos. Either that or we were so busy they didn't have time to wreak havoc. OR I had enough energy to beat the terrible-twos out of 'em. After giving this considerable thought, I think it was a combination of all three.

Now that I am virtually alone with this last two-year old, I am older than God, and I am pretty tired most of the time - we IS GOING THROUGH HELL. It happened about a week ago and apparently the terrible twos come on very similar to a hurricane. It is somewhat forecast (because they are one and then they are TWO), but then it is here and the weather people are telling you what to expect on a scale of 1-5, but they are somewhat unsure until it starts raining whether it's going to be a complete disaster, or just a little heavy rain.

From what we have now - baby L. is going to be a 5 on the going to hell in a hand basket scale (five being complete demise and destruction - "one" being just a little bad weather).

A week ago I could tell baby L. to "Go play with your toys," or "Put that there," or "Oh, you need - fill in the blank - okay wait one second and we'll get it." And she was FINE. Now, half my time is spent saying, "Do you need a time-out?" and the other half is spent assessing the damages, and the other half is spent (yes, I know) wondering how the hell this happened and just wanting to take a nap (away from her)?????

L. has adopted these unpleasant behaviors: working herself up into a frenzy over the craziest things (like wanting to eat when it is in fact dinner time and she's been told to 'get in her chair,' or wanting to go to school when it's not a school day, or someone actually wanting to play with her, or someone not wanting to play with her) and then lying down wherever she is (yesterday it was the Halloween Store) and kicking and screaming for anywhere from 1 to 20 minutes, throwing toys or books or her pacifier (yes, she uses one now), or her food, or her plate, talking gibberish (more than the usual), climbing on any furniture, screaming for no reason or any reason, and basically doing anything she can to get attention.

Now, frankly, I cannot remember what the parenting books say about this and I am not sure I care anymore. I have gotten rid of all the parenting books (being that I am an expert now - HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!! no because seriously sometimes they are just annoying) and I don't have the energy to do much about it. So, I am now wondering two things - what does this mean for now, and more importantly - what does this mean for later?????????????????

And in my usual vein of answering my own questions (with more questions) I have deduced the following: I was the last of 10 (yes, you read that right), my mom had me when she was 45 (she's passed on now and I am not telling you how old she was when she passed on, so don't even think about figuring out how old I am) and she must have been plumb exhausted raising me, and (here's the critical part) - I turned out mostly normal. I usually refrain from throwing fits (in public anyway), I don't throw things anymore (except when I am really, really mad), and for the most part I do what is expected of me.

So, my basic parenting strategy till baby L. is three? Do nothing and hope for the best, when there is damage, fix it, and try to keep the hurricane on the coast. Again, wish me luck, say a prayer, send those good vibes my way, and I will let you know how this is working later. Right now I need to scoop her up off the floor from where she is screaming and put her in her room. ;o) Tally-ho and have a great Monday.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

338 Days

At first I am not sure if I am awake or asleep. I know that I have been lying in bed for quite some time. I am overwhelmed with at first what feels like questioning and doubt. I am questioning everything from the most trivial - what I have been told by a pediatrician, to the most important - the root of existence. This questioning continues so that I am sure I am awake and I am not sure I will ever be able to get back to sleep. Suddenly and powerfully, I miss mom. I want to talk to her to ask her these questions that I have. I know that she will not know the answers, but I know that she will quell my fears. She will calm me down. Just hearing her voice would make me no longer care about questioning or doubting. This longing to speak to my mom turns my doubt into deep sadness that seems to touch my soul and not have an end. Just as suddenly as I am missing mom, I am sobbing uncontrollably. My pillow is wet and I am unable to catch my breath. I try to picture my mom's face in the darkness of my room. But it is just out of reach. For some reason my thought is of my dad. It is his face I see with my eyes open and closed. And then as powerfully as I miss my mom I think of my dad and how much he must miss her. I am concentrating now on my dad and trying not to think of my mom. At first I am thinking of him and my mom. I find this so painful that it pierces my heart. So, I try to recall things we have shared together. I have many memories and I reach back into my childhood. This is neither comforting, nor uncomfortable. It just is. After what seems like only seconds, my thoughts come back to my mom and how much I miss her and need to talk to her about all of this. It occurs to me there in my bed that there are times when I just need my mom. No one else will do. No one else will be. So, strangely I call out her name in the night in the darkness of my room. But, it is not strange.

A few seconds pass in which I am not sure I am thinking anything. I roll over and thoughts come into my mind. Thoughts like what I will do tomorrow. Thoughts of my kids. Thoughts of waking up and it being a new day.

I do not realize until a few minutes later that this was my mom. Then it occurs to me. I called out her name and she answered me. A few more minutes pass and I am asleep dreaming of a new day. A day when there will be no more questions. No more need to talk to mom.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Thank you, American Girl

And thank you, companies that sell information to other companies so that they can market products to young children during the Christmas season.

This is the dialogue (actually - not dialogue - more like commentary with me barely being able to mumble a few words of explanation) of my sweet little S. going through the American Girl catalog - which for some reason made it into our mailbox with my name on it.

Wow, mom these dolls are SOOOOOOOO cute. Where did you get this catalog, mom? Why did they put this in our mailbox? Do you think they wanted us to buy it? So, can we buy it? It's $95.00. Look, mom they even have GLASSES. Isn't that so cute? Can you believe it, mom? One has FRECKLES. One has a brush. You know the clippies they put in your hair at the barber? One has those. There are SKIS, mom. ARE YOU LISTENING??? I love this stuff. The outfit and charm are $28.00. Let me see how much these accessories are.......................looks like $35? So, I guess I want the ski stuff. But, I don't ski. There's even a spa day. Such cute things, mom. There's even a barber chair. Oh, wait is that a toilet or a barber chair? Oh MY GOSH?????!!!! Look at the kitchen!!!!!!!!! Look! There's even a Husky (I'm thinking - oh, that's diverse - a husky girl.). Do you know what a Husky is, mom? It's a PET!!! There's even a MINI-DOLL!!!!!! There's even a wheel chair and CRUTCHES. That's the Feel Better Kit, mom. There are earrings, mom. See, see?? This is the Freckle Girl, mom. See? She has a bed. Just her dog is $18. The quilt is $80. The nightgown is $25. There's even a MEXICAN girl, mom. Her name is Josephina. Even an INDIAN. I mean Native American. There's a BOY????????? Okay. I'm all done. I'm getting one..........and accessories. I'm totally asking Santa for this.

Again, thank you, American Girl. Santa: Start saving your money.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Hmm. Is that puberty I smell?

My kids do not yet read my blog therefore they are still fair game in the topic category. This year, much to my shock and dismay, I have a child going through the early stages of puberty, which apparently happens much earlier than I remember it happening when I was a child (get that smirk off yer face - it wasn't THAT long ago - and no, there were not dinosaurs then).


It was about four weeks ago that I smelled a peculiar odor emanating from my son's dirty clothes. And, thank God, it did not smell like Mary Jane (and if you are wondering, who is Mary Jane? - count your lucky stars and read on). It smelled like boy funk. Yes, if you have a weak stomach you may want to stop reading now because I did not say this would be a pleasant post. Read the title. Puberty is never pleasant.


I thought, "Wow. Does this boy need deodorant already? He's only nine." Now, there is no book (as far as I know) that gives you an honest look at what to expect during the pre-ten (and yes, I did spell that right - Pre-TEN totally different than Pre-TEEN -which there are several books about that) year old years. So, you must kind of 'smell your way' through it so to speak. I have taught fourth grade and I distinctly remember spraying room freshener in the room everyday after recess, so I have a teensy bit of experience in this department. Also, we have two adults in our home that use deodorant, so I guess you could say I have personal experience. And, yet this whole thing has caught me quite off guard.


First of all, third grade??? I don't even want to think this could have something to do with all the preservatives I have been feeding this boy since he was born (that, by the way, is working itself into a whole blog post of its own). Nor do I want to think that funk could possibly be hereditary???? But, yes, it seems to be he does need a little "freshening."


So, I had to rummage up some deodorant that would be manly and yet boyish at the same time. Again, as far as I can tell, they do not sell a brand marketed for this. So, I think we went with "What Was In the Medicine Cabinet and No One Else Was Using," or "What Was Free." I had to explain (with the help of the other male that lives in this house) how to use deodorant, what it is for, and a little basic Personal Hygiene 101. My boy-child was happy and proud of himself in a strange, nine year old boy sort of way and we went on our merry little way.


Until the next morning.


He came downstairs with his face covered, screaming, and with a look of pure terror on his face (what I could see of it). I said, "WHAT IS WRONG FOR THE LOVE OF PETE??? Do you have a nose bleed??????"


He uncovered his face and there on his nose he had what appeared to be a pimple. He screamed, "There is something on my face. It looks like a bite or something and I don't like it. Give me some medicine."


I had to chuckle just for a moment. Then I gathered my composure and said calmly, "That would be a pimple. There is nothing for it but soap and water." I smiled because I seem to remember my own mother speaking those very words.

Of course, he promptly touched it and examined it every second until it went away a few days later.

So, the plunge into the dangerous murky waters of puberty seems to have happened. He is terrified and just a little proud and I must say - I feel quite the same.

Wish me luck and stay tuned.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

"I'm not a hater. I'm a lover."

This is the true (well, most of it) story of what I was doing the month of September that prevented me from blogging. I have tried to be concise, but this story just deserves some space. So, bear with me.

I started having trouble with my Internet service with AT&T back in APRIL of 2010. I rode it out. Because, I'm not a hater. I had numerous conversations with techies (and I will resist the temptation to SERIOUSLY veer off course and talk about techies) lasting oh, about a total of 40 HOURS in order to try and fix this problem. And, just suffice it to say, that you gotta just laugh at techies...............to avoid taking a life (quite possibly your own). Right? I mean when else am I spoken to like a TWO YEAR OLD..........in a language that I am not really sure is English?????? So, I will just sum up these numerous conversations like this:

Techie: Are you sure the device is plugged in?
Me: And by 'the device' are you talking about the actual laptop?
Techie: Well, are you sure that the blah, blah, blah (insert any technical/computer language that I don't understand) is inserted in the blah, blah, blah?
Me: Ah, yes.
Techie: Okay. Then let's check the blah, blah, blah.
Me: Okay.
Techie: Now, there is a tiny number printed on the bottom. Can you read me that number?
Me: (Trying to hear over the two year old screaming in my house and fumbling to find my reading glasses and run up the stairs to the modem without breaking my neck). Yes, it is 57WHT9948FGM3498578997773TRYNMEO9906784637.
Techie: I'm sorry. Did you say "WHT68030382671903274701TJKLSDFHGDMESLEKLSLKEJFL?"
Me: No.
Techie: Well, let's try that again.

Just repeat those lines over and over and over and over and over and over and you have a synopsis of my communication with AT&T from April to August.

Finally in August I talked briefly to Mike. He was from Idaho and the weather they were having there was great (I told you - I am not a hater). He hooked me up with a live and actual technician here in San Antonio, TX who would come to my house between the hours of 9 a.m. and 9 p.m. (and, no, they can't be more specific) and replace my MODEM because that was the result of hours of conversations with techies about what color my wires were. I needed a new MODEM. Well, hallelujah and praise God!!!!!!!!! Thank you, Mike.

So, August 8th sometime between 9 and 9 a live techie came and replaced my modem. And, the computer worked!!!!

For about a week.

And I was going to be charged $99.00 for the new modem.

Did I say I was not a hater? Because it was now September, school had started (and we all know that story because I have blogged about it), and I have four kids, and I work from home, and I don't have 20 hours to spend on the phone with techies trying to fix my computer problems AGAIN. So, maybe I was starting to hate - but just a LITTLE.

So, I ignored the problems. I worked with them. The Internet is down? Fine. I will wait five minutes and finish my paperwork later. The Internet is down again? No problem, AT&T. I will just check my work email later. Like midnight when it is up and running beautifully.

Fast forward to September 8th when I get my bill for my service and a $99.00 fee for my new modem.

Enter Sara (her name has been changed to protect her identity). And, I just wish that Sara had taken a little lesson in customer satisfaction before she answered my call and spun my world OUT. It was 1:30 p.m. and I thought I would just call, politely explain my situation, get the $99.00 modem charge taken off my bill and go on my merry way. And I FOOLISHLY and NAIVELY thought this could be done in 20 minutes. AN HOUR AND A HALF LATER I was talking on a cell phone in a school zone and canceling my service with AT&T. Sara refused to let me speak with a supervisor and she refused to take the charge off my bill because I had never called AT&T before that (but AFTER August 8th) to report the problems. SAY WHAT???? BUT, SARA - I DIDN'T CALL BECAUSE I WAS GIVING YOU GUYS A BREAK!!!!!!!!!!!! I WAS NOT BEING A HATER!!!!!!!

Well, sadly, time to start a little hate. I know, "Hold the cell phone!!!!!" Right? How did this go so terribly wrong??? I am still asking myself that question.

In the weeks between September 8th and one week ago I spoke with exactly FOUR executives from AT&T. The most important of these being Reggie. After I cancelled my service, I wrote a scathing email in response to a "customer survey" begging me to rate my customer service with AT&T because they could see that I had called them recently on a service call. he-he-he-he. I was drinking coffee and getting ready to take my baby to the doctor when Reggie phoned and said he was calling from the Executive offices in response to my email.

I promptly spit out my coffee and eeked out an, "Oh, yes."

Reggie did something that is so important and I so think we can all take a lesson from him. HE LISTENED TO ME. He let me tell him about my life since April. And how my Internet was driving me to the brink of insanity. He promised to resolve my problem to my satisfaction and he told me he was disappointed that I had cancelled my service. THANK YOU REGGIE! Is he a rock star, or what???? Now why aren't' the people on the bottom who answer all the miserable calls trained like him??? And, yes, I think I asked him that because we talked for about two hours.

It took some patience and a whole lot of going back and forth with all these suits. But, was it worth it? Yes, I think it was. I cancelled my cancellation of service. Yes, that is confusing. Yes, I had to go through the executives' secretary to do that. Yes, I had AT&T suits call me while I was in a seminar and in a job interview. Yes, I had to explain my situation over and over again. But, finally people were listening. People were believing that I was not a hater.

So, want to know what happened yesterday? I got my bill. With FOUR credits. Jeesh. I am not even sure what the credits are for (and this after documenting the color of my underwear every time I talked to the suits). Does this story end happily? Well, yes it does. But, is there a lesson to be learned? Yes.

Please, please AT&T. Train your people. Pay your suits to do something other than try to get a hold of a mom of four in order to give her a meesly $99.00 back and tell you her sob story.

That's my story and I'm sticking to it. Thanks for the read. Thank you for sticking with me after all this time. Hope you enjoyed it, learned a lesson, and go on being lovers, not haters. :o)

From,

the little person (you can pay me for the exec's personal phone numbers................it'll cost ya $99.00)

Monday, October 18, 2010

October? Say what?

Hello, friends. Long time no write. Sad, sad, sad. My blog is suffering from a serious case of lack of attention. :o( It's not because I haven't been thinking of my blog. I just am a little short on time right now. But, I have had such write worthy occurrences. I so need to write about customer service and how it really, really almost drove me insane. I need to write about Reggie from AT&T and how he deserves a fist bump in a big way. I wish I knew him so I could bake him a cake or something. I need to write about how I have almost gone 365 days without being able to hold a real conversation with my mom. And how it has changed me. And how I still miss her. I need to write about life with four kids who are growing up way too fast and how I am not sure sometimes where we are going or where we have come from. I need to write about fall and how I love it and how it smells good (before it isn't fall anymore). I need to write about sisters. I need to write about the great books I have read and how I have thought about them so much. Ah, but there are a million prints on my desk and they are calling my name. So, for right now I will just have thoughts running around in my head and hope that soon I will have a little more time to write. But, just know that I am missing you sweet blog. I will get back to you soon and hopefully it will be great. :o)

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