Saturday, May 23, 2009

A Quote To Live By

"There is never a testimony without a test"

can I get an "Amen"?

thank you.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Borrowing a Brilliant Post

Kindness Girl is simply the most inspirational person I've never met. I mean, its not really even normal to house that much inspiration in one person. Its wild. I check her blog once in awhile and am constantly put into motion thinking of something I can DO or something I need to reflect on. And I'm kind of a thinker most of the time she's just really remarkable.

This post of hers is so brilliant, so beautiful. I just gasped and grinned as I read it. And the comments...just as beautiful. So I'm posting this link to it because you need to read this.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Determined to take a deep breath

Well, I have successfully painted every frickin thing in my house.
Ok that's a slight exaggeration. I painted my dining room, my buffet, a hutch, my dining room table, Henry's bathroom walls and cabinets. I had someone do the bathroom walls for me, so that doesn't count. But I was still neck deep in various colors for the last between caring for a sick Amanda, AGAIN.

It turned out pretty nice all told...and considering I hadn't a clue what I was doing. I am really lame though and forgot to take "before" pictures. The buffet and hutch were a honey oak color with flower appliques on a few of the drawers. Here is the part where I confess that my "buffet" is actually my childhood dresser. Its fantastic oak furniture, the likes of which I couldn't really afford these days so I've hung on to it all this time. And despite many perusals of the Pottery Barn catalogs (and a million others) I've never found pieces I quite like. I like the way they fit in the room and I've always like my hutch in the corner (though some object...I don't care as they don't live here or have to hide the giant leaf for the dining table behind it).

We moved into this house on St. Patrick's Day 2001. We rented it from my parents, who inherited it from the previous owner "uncle Chuck". We finally figured out a plan to buy it from my parents in 2006 (I think). Given the nice deal we got, we immediately commenced updates and took out an equity loan to fix the HORRENDOUS kitchen we'd been dealing with for almost 6 years. The kitchen turned out so wonderful and it changed the way we use and love this house.

At that same time, we also updated the front bathroom, which also turned out great and I got the bathtub of my dreams and then some. Its bigger than I originally planned because the more modest size is unavailable.

when I was pregnant with Amanda, I ripped the carpet out of the hallway and the living room. Apparently layoffs aren't the only thing that send me into a manic fit.

Cliff's bedroom was (years ago) converted from an indoor (giant) laundry room to a bedroom (which it was originally was, but Chuck turned it into said laundry/storage room. We just filled it up with crap and unfolded laundry). What is now Amanda's room (was once Cliff's. Are you confused yet?) was also painted after I obsessively decorated it when I was pregnant with her.

Our master bedroom was painted back in around 2006 and while I always liked the dark, romantic colors, it was dreary.

Henry's bathroom (the master, though hardly considered "master" by today's standards) was the last, neglected corner of the house.

So this week I Re-re-painted the dining room a lighter color. I updated the master bedroom with lighter accents, white orchids, silver lamps, a silver mirror etc. It made a huge difference.
And then I painted that ancient bedroom furniture to look more appropriate in the dining room.
Oh and then there are the bookcases in the living room...a project I have been meaning to do for years.

I still have touch ups to do but I am finished with this whirlwind of a manic project. I am SO tired. My arms hurt. My legs hurt. My sciatic hurts. My fingers hurt!!

I really should have taken before pictures. Henry's bathroom was so unworthy of "before" pictures though, its easy to forgive that oversight. Its not spectacular anyway...but muuuuch better than the 70's corner that is was before.

And I may just make a cupcake or 20 this weekend. =D

Seems that my stages of grief following the layoff are as follows:
1) make cupcakes
2) obsess about decor
3) manically paint everything
4) ?

and now...I go to immerse myself in a hot epson salts bath and have a well deserved glass of wine after a bust-ass week!!!

Happy Mother's Day to all my mom friends. You all inspire me and I love you all!!

(various painting projects and pictures of the kids from this last week:)

(these are the OLD kitchen. ugh -right before demolition, hence the boxes)

and...the kitchen AFTER.

Monday, May 4, 2009


I'm having mild anxiety about living on a fixed income (the money that will replace my income in the form of savings and things we scraped together). I know I shouldn't be extrapolating that much information. You know, I don't even know if that's a proper use of that word, but I love that word, so work with me. Anyway, I know I shouldn't try to figure out things a year from now. However, I think anyone would crunch the numbers several (hundred) times. I am very (ridiculously) analytical and I tend to try to comfort myself with numbers. (Remind me to tell you sometime about the graph I made with the 20 pregnancy tests I took with Amanda based on the sensitivity of the various brands of tests and my desire to confirm that my Hcg levels were rising at an appropriate level!!)

I can't change the numbers. I may be able to sustain a normal life (i.e. what we are doing now) for about a year. I don't really have any major objections to having to work, its just that DAMN kindergarten hours thing (insert f word here). That screws up everything!! I will have just under 4 hours without daycare in the morning. What employer will go for that? Well, I guess there is probably one out there and I shouldn't pretend to be psychic. I could happen. Someone could appreciate me for my brilliance and the low-maintenance-employee bonus that comes with me, and allow me to work from my home. Or I guess I could work part time. But I'd have to work from 11am - 3pm (maybe sooner than 3?) but then go get him and take him somewhere else! Which defeats the whooooole purpose, cuz I'd like to be able to be home with them in the afternoons. Part time would be totally cool with me...but those hours? Idanno... Even if Starbucks hired me, wouldn't they want me to start at 5am?!

See, that's analytical Kelly trying to figure out every possible scenario and every possible answer to every possible problem. I so wish that Kelly would shut the hell up and be an underachiever and subscribe to the philosophy that "everything will work out".

It probably will. But at what point do I look at the bank account and go: "Ummm, Ok only a couple months what?!"


I am getting so far ahead of myself. I know. I haven't even gotten the kids on a part time schedule yet. I am really looking forward to June. I am trying to use May to get a billion projects (minus a thousand others that I can't afford right now) done around the house so I can relax and enjoy our environment a bit more when the kids are home. I re painted the dining room. I am refinishing the dining table and the other dining room furniture. I updated the bedroom and I've tweaked a few things in the living room. I really had the itch for a new sofa and found some on a really hot sale but I kinda like my stupid brown leather sofa. It is a piece of shit. Do not ever buy Ashly least not leather. Long story. But despite its piece-of-shit-edness...I like it. I like how it fits in the room. I like how the dogs can get on it and I don't worry. I like how Cliff daily smears or spills something on it and its fine. I like how I can yell at Cliff about jumping on it and the jumping does no harm. I never want leather again, but its served us really well!! So I did minor things in there.

So I guess I will try to take a chill pill until later this summer and see how things go financially. I need to get him INTO kindergarten and see what happens.

Pray for me...pray that analytical Kelly shuts up. =)

and in totally unrelated news:

wooooohoooooo!!!! love ya, Jay. The trophy is in the mail, girl!!! Sorry my psycyic abilities failed you so miserably throughout this pregnancy. xo!!

and in the TMI category, my daughter was conceived 2 years ago tomorrow. LOL What? why are you surprised that I know? I just told you I made a graph during my pregnancy with her!!
My son was conceived on April Fool's Day, and my daughter on Cinco de Mayo. My ovaries have a thing for the minor holidays. ;)

Sunday, May 3, 2009

God, I love the internet

first of all, I guess I'll have to change the subtitle of my blog...the part about the "working mother".

Secondly, the title of this entry is literal. Dear God, thanks for making Al Gore so he could invent the internet. Ok sorry for the sarcasm. Really...whoever did it, thanks for making them.

I am daily touched and enriched by the connections I make on this abstract concept we call "the web". I learn the stories of people's struggles and joys and...its beautiful. yes that was jaded monkeys!!

And you can get cupcake recipes (and other kinds of recipes I suppose) by the truckload!!

And you can meet your husband.

and make numerous friends named Vicki and Kellie and Rachel and Jay (on message boards during times you need support, and in random chat rooms in 1997.) that you will keep for years.

And you can track your periods and fertility stuff (read: obsess) when you're trying to have a baby.

And you can google questions about breastfeeding.

And then you can google the symptoms of A.D.D once a year for five years, each time deciding that it doesn't quite fit, but!?

And then you can google cocktail recipes.

And then you can google for a counselor/therapist.

and then you can reconnect with friends from for.ev.ah ago like Jenny and Jen and Aimee and Jenn and Jen (man that was a popular name in the 70s!) and Shannon and Dawn (who needs to get on facebook!) Missy and Jamie and I will forget SO many and I'm sorry. (I always imagined that would happen in my academy awards acceptance speech. hmm. life is funny.) and join facebook and become a posting fool.

And you can join blogger and keep an online journal...a concept that would have baffled you in 1997. And you can find other people's online journals (Hi Nikole. in my mind you are forever linked to my Rx foot cream. oh, and the word "courageous") and cry about their journeys, and laugh about the ugly cakes that people make, and snort at 80's hairstyles, and laugh at how funny your own friends are, and somehow be touched enough to cry sometimes and feel SO blessed...and ...well the list goes on and on.

and no one will (is supposed to) care about your (lack of) punctuation and capitalization because its the substance that matters, DAMNIT.

subject change: so I felt the need for a background change. the green was kind of gloomy and moody, which, lets face it...was fitting for the last couple months. Mind you, I fully embrace my moody and gloominess but I was ready to let it go for now (plus I seem to get way more comments when I am fickle readers!!I'm totally going to talk about you at my next counseling appointment in regards to my "performance based acceptance" issues!) (there needs to be a period here, but you know what?! ha. I'm a rebel)

So I commenced a search for a background...but its hard *whine*. It needs to be perky and sassy and cupcake-y and not too serious but just a bit bitchy and oversensitive.

So, voila.

for now.

Friday, May 1, 2009


Well, its official...

wait for it...

I AM enjoying my time "off". Yes. I am. Its great. I have made so much progress around the house and I'm very happy with my nesting productions!

For those of you still wondering if I am enjoying being a stay at home mom...

no. Because my kids are still in school. See post below (FAQs). Stay tuned for more on that.

and maybe pictures of my nesting activities.

and maybe pictures of cupcakes.