Posts tagged ‘{sigh}’

September 19, 2013

Just call me Noah {part 1}

It’s been a crazy last few months!  On April 19, 2013 a major flood hit our area.  It all started on Friday and the kids were at school.  I knew the river was higher than I’d ever seen it, but never anticipated just how it would affect our family.  While sitting in the living room, I happened to notice my neighbor talking to the mail carrier.  Then the mail truck turned around and headed back the way she came.  Odd.  So I went out to check in with my neighbor.  He said the road was flooded and asked if I needed help getting stuff out of our basement.  I told him the Hubs would be home to help me after work, but thanks.  My concern grew, though, when he insisted, telling me I wouldn’t have time.  Yikes! He and I worked quickly to pull everything from the basement floor up into the living room.  Then I grabbed my camera and assessed the situation. Here’s what I saw.

Um…yeah. I started to freak out a little bit. I called the Hubs and told him he needed to come home right away. In the meantime my sister-in-law offered to let us come spend the weekend with them until the flood waters receded, so I started throwing stuff into bags for the kids and myself.  Since I was getting more and more anxious the longer I waited, I decided to go pick A and M up early from school.  The Hubs stayed back to continue moving stuff up and out of the basement.  By the time I left to head to school, the water on the other street out of the neighborhood was up to the bottom of my van.  I kept telling the Hubs to hurry up or he’d get trapped and not be able to drive out of the neighborhood.  Finally, at about 6:00pm he left {WAY too late in my opinion} and just barely made it out!
We enjoyed our impromptu sleepover with my brother and his family – A and M loved spending time with their cousins 🙂
Saturday morning we heard from one of our neighbors that the water rose a ton overnight and that our barn/garage was under a foot of water.  The roads were impassible without a boat.  The Hubs and my brother went over to the house to continue working on moving stuff and when they got there they realized that our chickens were trapped!  The water was actually waist-deep in the back yard and the door to the chicken coop was completely submerged, trapping the chickens up on their roosting bar.  Poor girls!  Fortunately the Hubs was able to save all 7 of our little ladies and canoe them to safety.
The great chicken rescue!
Sunday was the day the river crested, and our house was surrounded by water and the basement was completely full, 1 stair step away from reaching our first floor.  We never anticipated the water getting so high and we didn’t get anything off of the ledges around the basement walls, so all of my canning jars and a bunch of other stuff was floating in the nasty flood water.  Ugh!
We weren’t sure when we’d be able to get back into our house, so we packed up a bunch more stuff and headed  to the in-laws’ house.  They had just left for Florida for a week, so it was the perfect time for us to move in and settle in for a while.  Little did we know just how long that while would be…
May 29, 2011

A lip smackin’ good time

I found a few recipes online recently for tinted lip balm/gloss.  My absolute “must have” makeup item would have to be, hands down, lip gloss/lipstick.  I’ve already mastered {ha!} chapstick, so tinted lip gloss sounded like a perfect next project!  I tried the gloss recipe first and the results were just right for this blog: {un}perfect.  Since I have a ton of empty chapstick tubes, I poured the gloss into the tubes.  While it holds up decently, as soon as the gloss hits a pair of lips, it melts into super gloss.  A little too much gloss, if you ask me.  So, I tried a tinted lip balm recipe today.  This recipe fared much better, but this time not quite enough gloss for my liking.  Maybe later I’ll try for a happy medium.  Once I get the {in my opinion} perfect recipe, I’ll post.  In the meantime, my friends’ lips will be getting all kinds of glossy, balmy spoiling going on 🙂

March 5, 2011

Tell me what you want, what you really really want…

{That reference to the Spice Girls was for you, CMTS!}

I’m feeling a little blah today–the rain yesterday made me think, “Ooh…maybe spring is coming!” but then there was snow again this morning.  Booo!  Also I’m majorly lacking in the sleep department and I’m congested and sinus-y.  What kinds of things do you all like reading about the most?  Crafts/tutorials, recipes, budget/financial helps, DIY projects, personal stuff about me/The Hubs/the Monkeys {mostly boring!}, something new?  I want to post things that people want to read about, so let me have it!  🙂  Enjoy your Saturday!

February 20, 2011

Sometimes I forget

This afternoon/evening, the boys are away, so it’s just A and me for dinner.  While at D&W, the cute little sushi rolls were calling to me.  A is such a great eater and will try most anything, so I asked if she was up for trying sushi and egg rolls for dinner.  As usual, she was game.  I bought the smallest “snack pack” I could find.  It had 4 each of avocado, cucumber, carrot and {imitation} crab.  Nothing too scary. 

{cute little snack pack. we'll just ignore the spicy stuff in front there}

Miss A tried the crab roll first and loved it.  She loved the avocado one, too.  Cucumber and carrot not so much.  I’m proud of her for giving it a shot–I even told her about the seaweed! 

{A gives her crab snack roll a thumb's up!}

Enter the {un}perfection… while I think little sushi rolls are super cute, and I love all the ingredients, the seaweed smell really grosses me out.  If I shove the whole thing in my mouth really quickly I’m ok, but if I linger too long or take more lady-like bite, I have to choke it down.  And sometimes I forget that.

February 4, 2011

Scum-sucker: HELP!

Let me just begin by saying: My poor husband!  A good housekeeper I am NOT.  I’m not organized and I don’t like to clean…but I’m learning.  Baby steps.  Lately I’ve been trying to tackle one area each day.  Like my mother-in-law {who’s a professional organizer–yikes!} always says, “How do you eat an elephant?  One bite at a time.”  Monkey M has been potty trained for less than a year and let’s just say, he has yet to perfect his aim.  This face has forced me to take on the bathrooms a little more often than I used to.  Believe it or not having a clean bathroom actually feels pretty good 😉  However, my biggest problem in the bathroom is the shower.  I’ve tried several different products claiming to “tackle soap scum and hard water buildup” to no avail.  We have hard {well} water and I just can’t conquer it on the shower walls!  Do any of you have any tried-and-true products that help power through the scum and minerals?  I  mean, I can get rid of in in small areas if I scrub with everything I’ve got, putting my whole weight into it, but there’s gotta be something easier than that, right?  {feel free to tell me, uh, hello…welcome to the world of cleaning.}  I’m sure The Hubs would be eternally grateful for any tips that would help make cleaning easier for me, therefore improving his chances of me doing it every once in a while 😉

January 18, 2011

A good ol’ American contest of my own

When we were in Chicago for our annual Christmas trip with my family it was taking a bit longer than expected to check into our hotel.  My mom always does the checking in, the kids always throw pennies {from the rolls they get in their stockings} into the fountain with The Hubs.  I was just standing around and noticed a small American Girl display at the end of the counter–it was a contest.  Why not??  I had nothing else going on right then, so I filled out an entry.  I never win things, so I didn’t really even pay attention to what I could win.  We got our room keys and off we went, not giving the contest another thought. 

Cut to a week or two later: I’m hustling to get out the door to bring M to school.  The home phone rings {which is pretty rare in and of itself}.  The caller ID says Embassy Suites.  Huh.  Maybe we left something in our hotel room?  I don’t usually answer unless it’s someone I know {and, truthfully, I don’t always answer even then!  Shhh!} but for some reason I picked up the phone.  The guy asked for me {this is}, then asked if I had recently stayed at their hotel {yes}.  Well, I had been chosen as the winner of their quarterly American Girl drawing!  Me!  I was SO excited that I still didn’t ask what I had won–oops!  I knew the guy said something about a doll coming from the warehouse in a few weeks, but that was about it.  YIPPEE!!  A has two Bitty Babies that she got for her 4th and 5th birthdays, has had lunch at American Girl Place with her doll and looks forward to a trip to AGP each time we’re in Chicago.  Being the eBay queen that I am, I was calculating how much I could make by selling an AG doll, but I knew A would appreciate a “big” doll so much more 🙂 

Cut to today: the FedEx truck pulls up to drop off a package and I was thinking, hmm…can’t remember ordering anything; must be for the Hubs.  I grab it and see that it’s THE DOLL!!  A was THRILLED! 

{A with her new "big sister" doll. Excited??}

{a "mama" with her girls...which--she often reminds me--makes me "grandma". Booo!}

I’m not gonna lie, I checked eBay now that I knew exactly what we were looking for and other similar new-in-box AG dolls had sold for…$139.99!!!  {sigh}  I asked if she wanted me to sell it so we could find one {used, perhaps??} that looks like her {brown hair/eyes}.  At first she said yes {yessss!}, but then she changed her mind.  Bummer.  Oh well, she loves her new doll “Eliana” and I look forward to the fun trips we’ll take to AGP with her in the future 🙂

January 10, 2011

Guitar Hero I am not {continued failure on my unofficial quest for perfection}

Last night was another one of those sigh-inducing scenarios for me.  Monkey M’s 4th birthday is tomorrow and today was his day to bring his birthday treat to school.  He LOVES cake pops {thank you, BAKERELLA!} so I decided to make some for his treat.  He’ll be having a rock-n-roll studio recording party this Saturday {he loves drums even more than cake pops}, so I got the bright idea to make little tiny guitars and drums out of fondant to stick on the cake pops.  {sigh}  Why do I make my life so difficult?  The pops aren’t that big to begin with, so I can’t use a cookie cutter…so how to make the tiny {approximately 1″} guitars/drums?

FONDANT: M’s favorite color is green & I had bought white fondant.  I used food coloring to get the right hue.

GUITARS: I bought a tiny wooden guitar from Micheal’s, put it on top of the rolled out fondant and traced it with an exact-o knife.  After the guitars hardened a bit, I dipped a toothpick in sparkly black decorating gel to “draw” the strings and other details of the guitars.  {Seriously?!  What was I thinking?!}  After the gel dried a little bit I brushed on a coat of metallic green {leaf green pearl dust mixed with a drop of lemon juice and a drop of water to make a “paint”}.

DRUMS: There were no tiny wooden drums to trace, so I free-handed them all before cutting them out with the exact-o knife.  I then drew on the details with the black sparkly decorating gel.  After attaching the fondant to the pop, I used the gel to draw drum sticks.

While the itty-bitty instruments were hardening off the side I got everything else ready.  {I had already prepared the cake balls and they were chilling in the freezer}  I dipped the pops in the melted chocolate and, while it was still wet I stuck the fondant shapes to the side.  Easier said than done, trust me.  I was NOT happy with how they turned out, but I reminded myself that I was making these for a class full of 3- and 4-year-olds.  Are they really going to care if the strings aren’t straight?  Or if the drum sticks are crossed or not?  Nope, I think they’re going to look at them and see a ball of chocolate on a lollipop stick and think–YUM!  Sugar!  Once I got past my penchant for perfection {and, let’s face it, I love the reaction I get for my crafty creativity} I moved on to the cake pop holder I found.  Cardboard, made by Wilton, cheap {$5.99 and then an additional 40% off w/ coupon}, reusable, way cuter than the chocolate-dropping-covered disc of styrofoam I usually use for letting my cake pops dry…how could I go wrong?  Assembling that thing should NOT have been as difficult as it was!  {sigh}  Oh well, I eventually got it put together, wrapped some green ribbon around the “plates” and it turned out pretty cute.  So…what do you think?

{tiny guitars and tiny drums on yummy little cake pops}

Here’s where more went wrong…the pops started to crack.  Guess I should’ve listened to the cake pop master when Bakerella said don’t freeze them, just chill them.  They expand as they warm back up–duh!

{cracking up}


{Such a bummer! Probably the best guitar...and the pop cracks.}


{cake pop counter chaos!}


{couldn't send the cake pop holder to school with an empty top tier and I just didn't have any more instrument-making in me...}


{some with sprinkles, some with pearl dust}

{my birthday boy with his special birthday treat. Can you tell he's excited??}

Despite my {un}perfect results, when M came downstairs this morning and saw them all, the look on his face was pure perfection in my book!

January 6, 2011

Just one of those {un} days…

The Hubs was gone for a few days recently {at the Passion conference in Atlanta working the booth for CURE} and got home late Tuesday night. Things without him went relatively well, but I didn’t realize how exhausted I was until he got home…and then we did something just DUMB. We started watching Inception at 12:30am. Yup. DUMB. Great movie, but if I was tired before, I was just plain stupid-tired Wednesday morning. And it continues today. Fortunately my hubby is the best–after I got up, got Monkey A ready for school and on the bus, then got Monkey M up/ready for school, dropped him off and came back home, I crashed. Hard. I slept from 9:45 until 1:30! The Hubs went to pick Monkey M up from school, fed him lunch and sat on the couch {catching a few Zs himself–he stayed up just as late as I did!} while M played and watched DVDs. He even took both kids to church with him that night for dinner and to have them hang out while he had band rehearsal/meeting. Is he awesome or what?!

Anyway…back to today. Even with my fabulous nap yesterday, I’m still tired. I’m a girl who requires a whole bunch of sleep. When I get tired a lot of {un}perfect things start to happen: I get irritable, become “Mean Mom”, yell way more than I ever want to, am totally {un}productive…and that’s just the emotional stuff! Physically I get a slowly-building tightness in my chest and difficulty breathing. The emotional part is disappointing, but these physical reactions are scary for me. I’ve had these breathing issues since junior high and I’ve had just about every respiratory test available run on me. I’ve not gotten any kind of definitive “diagnosis”, but from bits and pieces I’ve learned along the way I think that I get anxiety-related {and tiredness-related, but I suspect that one begets the other} asthma symptoms. The worst part of it is that once I realize this, it starts to freak me out, which just makes it worse, creating a very breathless cycle. It can last days and I have to consciously take steps to relax and de-stress {which, let’s face it, is tough to do with young kids!}. One time I ended up in the ER with a numb arm and face–mini anxiety attack. Fabulous.

I’m currently sitting here having to stop every few sentences to catch my breath. So…what to do? At times I think I need to revisit the anti-anxiety med conversation with my doctor, but is that really the answer? It might be a quick fix, but what’s the root cause? I’m not one of those people who thinks that you never need any kind of medical intervention–prayer can solve all your problems. But…what if I took my worries/anxieties/{un}perfections/tiredness/etc. to God every day? What if I took 1 Peter 5:7 {Cast all your anxieties on Him for He cares for you} and Matthew 6:34 {Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own} to heart? I know that part of giving it all over to Him includes being diligent to do the things that I know are right for my health–get enough sleep {but I love to stay up watching DVR and getting stuff done!}, eat right {I always seem to eat terribly when The Hubs gone–too much pizza and drive-thru}, and get my booty to the gym {not only am I being physically irresponsible, but I’m also being financially irresponsible when I let my membership go to waste}. My body is a temple and I know I need to care for it like it’s a temple and not a garbage can. I don’t know, sometimes I just get into these bad cycles where I eat junk, sit around and stay up too late doing nothing. And the more junk I eat and the more tired I get, the less energy I have to do anything about it! ARGH! Starting tonight I’m going to break the cycle. You heard it first here, folks. Tonight I will be in bed by 10:00 {believe it or not, that’s EARLY for me!} so that I have time to read and it won’t be super late when I turn my phone off {…because I read on my phone–Kindle for Droid. LOVE it!}. And {here goes…} I’m going to plan to go to the gym tomorrow morning. Will someone out there reading this please hold me accountable?? Ok, thanks.

And I know that even though I feel like my moods and energy levels are insignificant in the grand scheme, God cares! What a super cool notion!

Sorry this post has been so rambling…I started it at 5:45pm and, because of many varied interruptions, I’m just now finishing it, 3 hours later. Here’s hoping praying tomorrow is a more patient and anxiety-reduced day!

August 8, 2010

How does my garden grow?

…with some success and a lot of mess and green beans all in a row.

Some of the vegetables in my garden have run their course for the season.  The zucchini and peas are pretty much done.  I planted a second crop of peas, but unfortunately I’ve got mutant ninja watermelon vines taking over my pea trellis!   Tonight as I went out to the garden to take stock of what can be harvested, what can be composted {yep, we’re composting now}, and what’s dead, I spotted the black bean plants.

Now, I love black beans and had such high hopes for growing my own.  Unfortunately these plants had been a bit of a disappointment from the beginning.  When they started to grow they looked just like the green beans.  What?!  I asked around to see if this was normal {not sure what I was expecting them to look like?}, but nobody here in Michigan seems to be growing black beans.  My other frustration was that when the rabbits would get into the garden {and that’s a whole ‘nother story}, they’d make a beeline for the black bean leaves.  Nevermind the fact that the green bean plants were right next to the black beans and {to me, anyway} they looked just alike.  The rabbits never touched the green bean leaves.  Umm…ok.  So I just sort of left the plants alone.  Stopped caring that there were no leaves left on the plants and the beans were brown/drying up.

{Sad, sad black bean plants}

{Little brown bean}

Ok, back to tonight.  For some reason I decided to split open one of these dried up ol’ beans and {gasp} inside were black beans!  I’d checked a few weeks ago and there were white beans inside, so I wasn’t hopeful.  I excitedly grabbed a bowl and started harvesting my precious black bean pods.  After my “shelling” I ended up with a whopping 2.57oz {yes, ounces} of black beans.  Not much, but you’d better believe I’ve got them soaking in the kitchen right now!

{YAY for little black beans!}

Another disappointment is the carrots in my garden.  I suspect my soil isn’t loose enough, so I’ll give them one more shot next year when we bring new soil in and do a better job tilling.  Anyway… I felt like my carrots had “cooked” long enough  and I decided to pull them all.  Bummer, bummer, bummer.  I got three that even resembled carrots.  Even through my disappointment I was proud enough of my three baby carrots to throw them into my chopped salad 🙂

{silly little carrots}

So there’s the skinny on my latest {un}perfect gardening goings-on.  In the next week or so our watermelons should be ready to harvest–yum!

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July 29, 2010

The Best Laid Plans…

…would actually require plans to begin with.  At least one would think.

{A porch no more}

The Hubs and I are Monkey-free this week and decided to re-do our front porch.  It’s a project I’ve been wanting to take on for a few years now.  So…The Hubs had a couple friends come over to help demo the existing porch.  Of course nothing goes exactly as planned, right?  The demolition went fine, but then came time to jackhammer the cement steps.  Apparently cement never stops curing and these steps have been here for a L-O-N-G time, so they’re super hard.  The jackhammer was struggling to touch the doggone things.  My poor neighbors and, more importantly {ha!}, I had to listen to this darn jackhammer until almost 10:30pm!  I could hardly hear my TV shows {pout}.  Now the porch and steps are completely gone {a day behind schedule}.

{Oh the jackhammer}

This morning Margaret, our mail carrier, came to deliver a few packages and remarked, “Getting a new porch, huh?  What are you going to do?”  Hmm…good question Margaret.  She chuckled at my response, but the sad part is that The Hubs and I are still {and I mean this quite literally–he just interrupted my typing to show me another plan drawing} trying to make the final decisions!  Hopefully we’ll get it all figured out and mostly completed by Friday when the Monkeys come back home.  I’ll let you know!

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