Posts tagged ‘{un}perfect me’

May 9, 2012

We’re chicken farmers!

So, I’ve been wanting to get chickens for a few years now.  I’ve been buying local fresh, free-range eggs for a while and thought it would be super cool to be able to have our own.  The Hubs wasn’t convinced, but kept an open mind.  Recently, after visiting with a client who he claims is “just like us!” {suburban young family} and keeps chickens, he decided he was ready.  All in.  So I got to checking out Craigslist {really the best resource for getting started}.  I found a cute little A-frame coop about a mile or so away from our home, and Hubs and the Monkeys drove over to pick it up.

{Coop sweet coop}

We had to wait a bit on the chickens since we were leaving for Spring Break, but once we got back it was go-time!  I made almost daily research visits to the Tractor Supply store where “Tim” {the chicken “expert” at the store} started to comment that I was there as much as he was!  Then I finally connected with a few chicken farmers who were selling their chickens and set up times to come get them.  This was really happening!  I couldn’t help but have these provincial Martha Stewart visions of sweetly clucking chickens, gathering heaps of colorful eggs in the perfect wire basket, and a sundrenched field of wildflowers in the background.  My chicken livin’ was going to be perfect!

While the Hubs was working late one evening, our friends came over and helped me set up the temporary fencing around the coop.  {I love having formerly Amish friends!}

{ready to rock and roll}

After preschool, M and I drove to pick up the first 2 – a black and a white “turken”.  Turkens are not an attractive breed.  They look like a cross between a turkey and a chicken and are also called “naked neck” chickens.  On the way home, M named the black one Max {short for Maxine because she’s a girl, of course} and the white one is Ruby.  Can you tell he watches a little Nick Jr.?   I hadn’t had time to pick up any feed yet, so I thought we’d drop the chickens off at home real quick then run to Family Farm & Home for the feed.  No big thing, right?  Wrong.

{this picture does them way more justice than they deserve}

I–very nervously–brought the tote into the chicken yard and gingerly tipped it on it’s side to let the girls out.  They took one step into their new living quarters…two steps and BAM!  Max flew the coop – literally!  Who knew they could fly over fences that high?!  Certainly not this girl.  I freaked out, of course.  I tried chasing her.  She’s fast.  I tried sneaking up on her.  She has great hearing and eyes in the back of her head {ok, actually on the side, but they may as well have been in the back}. I followed her into and through the woods.  She’s much smaller than I am and doesn’t have to duck under branches.  M suggested I lure her with string cheese, which he just happened to be eating at the moment.  It actually worked – sort of.  She ate it, but as soon as we got her close to the pen, I had to open the door and she’d run away again.  I was sweating and thinking of bad words.  I chased after and lured that dumb chicken for over an hour with no luck.  And if I’m being totally honest, I’m not exactly sure what I would’ve done if I’d actually caught up with her.  Pounce on her?  Grab her?  No idea.  Eventually she found something interesting right at the edge of the woods and stayed there for a while.   I was about to go into the woods to try to gently “guide” her out of the woods toward the pen when Monkey A and our neighbor friend, E, got off the school bus.  They were both SO excited to see the chickens that they were literally screaming down the driveway!  Oy!  I quickly ran to them and apprised them of the situation.  I tried to get them to help me trap Max so I could catch her, but somewhere between the yard and the woods {where I was crawling through prickly raspberry bushes and under low-hanging branches}, the girls lost track of Max.  I did too.  I searched and searched and finally gave up.  She was lost.  Some animal was going to have a nice chicken dinner.  In all the excitement, Ruby got flustered and flew out, too.  But at least she was sitting calmly in the corner of the garden.  I called the Hubs and left a tearful message on his voicemail about how I was a total and immediate failure.  Then I called my friend, the formerly Amish one – CY, sat down on the ground and cried while I told her what happened.  Off in the distance, mid-cry, I heard my neighbor calling my name.  Huh.  I headed across the yard and heard my neighbor call my name again, asking if I wanted him to grab my chicken.  Nearly hanging up on CY, I yelled YES!  With a net, he caught Max, brought her back, picked up Ruby and put her in the pen.  Then he helped me zip-tie the heck out of some bird netting over the top of the pen so they wouldn’t fly out anymore.   Thank GOD for great neighbors with nets!

That evening, after the kids and I–very quickly–went out to get feed and some pizza {no way was I cooking after that debacle!}, A & M wanted to eat out by the chickens, so we had a CHICK-NIC 🙂

{a chick-nic dinner}

All I could say after that was, these chickens had better give me an egg after that “welcome home” party.  Guess they agreed.

{our first beautiful egg!}

{so proud}

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 15, 2011

A different kind of love affair…

I have something to get off my chest.  I have mixed feelings about this, but the heart wants what the heart wants.  Well {whisper} I’m cheating on my ol’ faithful! {gasp!}  While shopping at Michael’s yesterday I fell in love.  I was powerless to stop the feelings that overcame me.  I don’t think The Hubs will be all too thrilled with me, but I just couldn’t help it.  I had to do it.  There’s nothing necessarily wrong with my old one, but the new one is just so much more exciting, ya know?

I just HAD to buy this a-DOR-able little glue gun!

{my new love}

Ain’t it cute?!?!

If you recall, I married into my other glue gun, but at just $4.99 I just couldn’t leave this one at the store 🙂

February 9, 2011

Oh happy day!

Today was my birthday and it was such a fun one!  In the past I’ve had super high expectations for this once-a-year celebration.  You know what happens when you have really high expectations?  They almost never get met, then you’re left with disappointment.  Not fun.  This year I collaborated a bunch with God to lower my expectations and truly appreciate every little thing that came my way.  And you know what?  It was an incredible birthday!  Seriously, the best.  I started out last night enjoying some trash TV {The Bachelor} with my girlfriends.  We had wine, fun and a lot of laughs.  I even got an early gift of…comfort food!  My girl C.Y. brought me a box of Wheat Thins {HA!} and another fave–a Starbucks gift card.  Yum.  I just love Monday nights with the girls.  We “partied” until it was officially my birthday, then we went home to crash.

{with my friend/neighbor J.J.--showing off my rosette necklace}

This morning I got to sleep in a bit, then went downstairs to gifts from my fam.  Monkey A was more than happy to give me her sweet card {one that plays a song…which will inevitably become HER card to listen to over and over} that included a gift card to one of my favorite cheap/trendy stores: Charlotte Russe 🙂  The Hubs had made me a card with a poem he had written about our last year {love his poems!} and another CR gift card.  Yes!  A informed me {stage whisper} that M’s card contained a 3rd CR gift card.  WOOHOO!  However, M was insistent that I not open his card until I was eating birthday cake.  That’s what you’re supposed to do; that’s what he did.  🙂 

After breakfast we got in the car and headed west a bit {but not before using part of my Starbucks card, of course} to join my mom, my friend A.M. and her kids for our “usual”.  Our “usual” is most parents’ nightmare.  But we love it: Chuck E. Cheese’s!  Honestly, where else can you go and, for under $25, enjoy lunch and 3-4 hours of adult conversation while your kids run around FULLY entertained?  Ok, maybe there are a few other places, but we seriously love our regular CEC “dates”.  We have found that Tuesday mornings are usually pretty dead around there.  And we’ve been there so many times over the last 2 years that the manages know us by name.  They now help us find the best coupon codes, sneak our kids extra tokens and tickets {M calls one manager “Sneaky Tony”}, bring special treats for them…it’s our own personal kid-friendly Cheers!  And ok, I have to admit that A.M. and I have a favorite game we like to play as well 😉  No cake was consumed {I’m trying to actually complement my working out by sort of watching what I eat}, but M agreed to let me open my card {another musical one, of course} over my birthday pizza {I said “sort of” watching what I eat…}, especially since I was opening my gifts from A.M. 🙂

{A.W. and A.M. at C.E.C.}

After a fun and full day at CEC, the kids and I headed back home just in time to pick up the house a bit before the babysitters came over.  Warning: you’re about to be totally jealous.  Our two neighbor girls {ages 12 and 14}, who our kids adore, babysit FOR POINTS!  Yep, for about half the year they don’t accept money for babysitting.  Their church has a point program where the kids earn points by doing things like shoveling {yes, we’ve been on the receiving end of that one too!}, babysitting, and other forms of helping.  If the kids earn a certain number of points, the church will pay their way to summer camp in full.  It’s awesome!  So…after our super-sitters arrived, another friend dropped over to bring me yet another of my comfort food staples: Diet Dr. Pepper!  Not only that, but a new tube of lip gloss.  I’m a little more than slightly obsessed with lip gloss and I LOVE trying new stuff.  Perfect little birthday surprises!  The Hubs and I headed to the mall to do a little bit of shopping before our dinner reservation.  Once at the restaurant, we ran into not one, not two but THREE sets of friends!  Two sets were celebrating birthdays today as well.  The Hubs and I enjoyed a delicious dinner, I had some incredible wine and a cute little complimentary dessert.  And even better–we used our GROUPON {if you haven’t checked it out yet, you need to!  Click here}, so it was half price!  Oh, how I love saving money 🙂

{The Hubs and me}

{random run-in with J.S. and K.S.}

{fun birthday treat}

{isn't it cute??}

Now here I sit, so grateful, a heart full of love and toasty warm in my University of Michigan Snuggie… Amazing how when we lower our expectations, they’re almost always exceeded!  As my mom says, We need to raise our expectations of God and lower our expectations of people. People will let you down, but God never will.  Right on, Mama; right on…

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 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!

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