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February 2008
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April 2008

still a liar. that's me.

but come on ... how do i not post about minnesota FINALLY getting snow?!


granted, it came on the first full day of spring, but ... really ... that's just a detail.

there was a winter storm watch for thursday night into friday morning, and my boyfriend weather guy said the cities would get 2-3" of snow ... but there was a chance that the southern metro could get more if the storm shifted north. hallelujah - it shifted north!!! we got 9"!!! count 'em, suckas!! and it's still snowing today - we picked up another inch or more overnight! you can't even imagine how thrilled my poor snow-deprived children were yesterday. and it was just gorgeous to watch!

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and the view from our deck ... i love it when the view from our deck is just like this.


the best part? my parents decided to make it as far north as they could on thursday night, so they had no trouble getting here on friday. the roads only got bad once they hit our 'burb. so now it's grandma & grandpa time ... and i'm off to take a shower that involves actually shaving my legs, too! heaven!!


i lied.

i'm back. but only for a moment.

have you heard that polaroid is going to stop producing film? quelle horreur!! if you need some polaroid inspiration, look no further than here, then go get your instant photo funkiness on toot-sweet before it's too late!!

and to inspire you, watch this video. the first time i heard the song i thought, "too bad she can't put a little more air into it and actually SING versus CROAK." but the more i heard it, the more it grew on me. then i saw the video and was sold. it's brilliant. as is the whole cd. because yes, i had to have it once i couldn't get this sing out of my head.

okay. polaroids. sia. shake it till you make it. go.

bad. bad, bad, bad.

bad me.

i have nothing interesting to say. i don't feel like taking photos of anything. i'm not being creative. and right now, all i can do is get through the day. marc finally gets home from chicago sometime tomorrow, and he's had the week from hell so it should be real nice to have him home. my parents arrive friday after lunch, which i'm actually so grateful for, because it means maybe they'll take the kids to breakfast on saturday and marc and i can just sleep. and then we leave monday for disney. land. as in california.

i get butterflies just thinking about the looks on the kids' faces when they go in an airport for the first time ... sit on a plane for the first time ... see palm trees for the first time ... see disneyland and all that goes with it ... set foot on a real beach on a real ocean for the first time. i know i'll cry, like, a hundred times next week.

but for this week, i think i might just say i'm done and leave it at that. and i'll catch you all when i return.

happy easter.

oh - and we haven't heard anything from my sister, which, i guess, means she's staying. which is good.

and oh - if you really want something fun to read, check this out: my stepmom now blogs for truck camper magazine. which cracks me up. you can read her posts here and here.

for the sake of praise and prayers

it's nearly midnight and i really need to be heading to bed, but i wanted to get to this first because who knows what tomorrow will bring.

Img_6709 harper's birthday was great. our weekend was ... meh. i have no idea what was so off ... my mother-in-law was sick, harper was getting some nose gunk thing, we were all exhausted - i was literally working my butt off to get the house ready up until 10 minutes AFTER everyone arrived friday. and then stayed up until 12:30 to get the cake frosted. and the presents wrapped. marc got home around midnight, so at least i had company for awhile.

the party was good - just family and our friends ted, heather, and their little girly girl, kate. the girls did a project, the big people ate lots of fruit and dip and cheese & crackers and veggies with dip. there was lots of talking and fun, then we moved on to the cake and presents. i've never seen so much pink, princessy stuff in one room before!! but of course, harper was thrilled beyond measure. those ultrasonic-register squeals from christmas returned with a vengeance. (pix here)

after the party, the kids got to hang out with grandma and grandpa, while marc and i took his sister to ikea. she's getting ready to move into an apartment and needed new essentials ... i was shocked at the amount of good stuff she got for under $200! yay, ikea!! marc and i are so proud of laura as she starts over again. we are praying that life brings her many good and happy things from here on out!

then sunday arrived, and with it a lot of ... well ... i'm not quite sure what happened. it occurred to me that i don't have a single space in this universe that is just my own. i share a bedroom. i share a workspace. i share a closet. i share the food off my plate. i created my own little stack of sunday papers to read, then had to leave to wipe a bottom, and when i returned my stack was gone. and that was it. i was pushed over the edge. there is nothing in my life that i can truly call my own, and i suddenly felt suffocated and invisible. after that, nothing seemed right. the final straw came when i was again trying to read the paper, and the kids were squabbling at my feet about something. i tried to tell them to knock it off, but the squabbling intensified. i kept having to raise my voice to get their attention, but nothing worked. i finally had to scream - and they finally stopped to look at me. and i could just see my father-in-law's crazy-psycho-who-on-earth-did-my-perfect-son-marry-?! radar go up. so i got up, walked to our room, laid down on the bed for 10 minutes of peace ... and woke up four hours later.

things were then fine for about, oh, 20 minutes ... until i apparently screwed up again. and lost it again. the day was interminably horrible.

trying to shake it off, i joined everyone for dinner ... only to have my meal come out completely wrong. at that point i decided to say screw it and ignore the issue. i truly WAS invisible to the universe that day and realized it was pointless to try and raise my voice. i'd just be screaming into a void and doing myself no good anyway.

do you ever work so, so hard for so, so long, and the reward at the end of it is more work, no help, no appreciation, no peace, and then starting all over again a day later? how on earth is one supposed to cope with that?? vodka before bed helped a little, but that can't always be my answer, right?

a possible answer to prayers for strength and a light at the end of the tunnel may be in the works. it has to do with marc's job, losing chicago in favor of covering two reps here in minnesota, and no more weekly travel. who knows if or when this could become a possibility, and i hope that the dangling carrot isn't snatched away ... but that's a possibility, so i won't get my hopes up just yet ... but things could change for the better by summer's end. here's to hoping.

on an entirely unrelated note, my sister could use some prayers right now too, if you feel so inclined to help out. she left on saturday for a second round of boot camp as she trains for her new job with the air national guard. she was so stressed out by an assorted variety of things before she left, and by the time she arrived at the camp she was a ball of nerves. today, on her first day, she passed out twice. now her status at camp and whether she'll even be able to stay is in jeopardy, and this would adversely affect her - and her husband's - foreseeable future. she needs some calming and strengthening prayers, and the brass at the camp need the inspiration to let her stay and gut it out.

and i thought i had one more thing, but now i have no idea. so i guess i'll stop. and maybe tomorrow i can find something a little more uplifting and happy to write about ... or i'll switch to bourbon.



harper turned three.
we had a party.
my in-laws are here.
along with marc's sister and her little girl, who is harper's age.
lots of sickness and mucus.
lots of crazy children.
not a lot of sleep.
no more pull-ups for going #2 = cranky, crabby harper who really, really needs to poop.
starting the week tomorrow with a bang ... everyone leaving, henry to school, marc BACK to the airport (even though he literally JUST got home at 11 p.m. friday).
have promised harper that it's just her and me tomorrow, playing with new toys and being quiet and happy.
might also have to go to the scrapbook store.
just maybe.
had a meltdown today because my life and parenting skills have been sucking.
took a four hour nap.
drank some vodka.
things will get better, but i can't blog any more than this right now.
maybe tomorrow.
after the scrapbook store.


so it's 10 p.m., and i'm sitting on the couch surrounded by stack after stack of magazines and notes and coupons and catalogs and school papers and other flotsam from the past six months of our lives that have just gotten shoved out of the way until i could deal with it.

well, i have to deal with it now because marc's family arrives friday for harper's birthday.

the phone rings and it's marc. in orlando.

we have the general conversation ... he had a nice dinner with the sales architects, i made dinner for the kids, cleaned the kitchen, gave them baths, put them to bed, put harper to bed again, and again. he's surrounded by laughing and talk of "how many beers you had?" and i'm surrounded by the aforementioned stacks. then he mentions he's off to a tattoo parlor with some guys because one of them decided to get a red hat tattoo.

then he asks casually ... "so, what are you doing tonight?"

um ... cleaning the HOUSE (please tell me he's not this clueless) because in the next two days i have to chip away at six months' worth of neglect because i was writing a freaking book and raising children all by myself while my husband traveled every week to some other state, and now i have to try to get the dust and grime and staph infections (well, maybe not, but you get the point) out of here before HIS parents arrive. five hours before he does. in less than two days. oh, and then it's our daughter's birthday, and heaven help me find time to get ready for THAT.

that's what i'm doing.

have fun at the tattoo parlor.

even though as you left for the airport you said you had SOOOO much work to do on and you'd be back in your room after dinner to fire up the laptop.

and i'm the one who wants a frackin' tattoo.


where's my nightcap?

on carl spackler, vacuuming fairies, and being tagged.

we have squirrels. again. in our attic.
and it's pissing me off.
where do they come from? why won't they leave? why do they come back every year, no matter what we do to keep them away??
i'm ready to go caddyshack on them. i asked marc months ago when i heard the first telltale scratchings to please go up there and set traps. well, that didn't happen. so i asked again. and again. but no. so tonight we were in the kitchen, heard the scratching, then heard what sounded like a couple of wildebeasts running the length of the house and brawling. there was thumping, banging, and what sounded like screams of terror. please god let it have not been squirrel breeding. so help me i'll take out the entire freaking family. happily. i want them OUT.
and told marc so.
so he went to our neighbor's, borrowed the big ladder ... again, got up there and set the live traps ... again. and offered up an appetizer of rat poison. if that doesn't work, i'll be cooking up some squirrel justice of my own.

just watch.

and for fun, here's how harper chose to help with our cleaning on saturday ... mrs cleaver, she's not, but it was a nice attempt.

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notice mario huddling next to the vent? yeah. it was cold this weekend, and poor mario still doesn't have hair.

and now to get to being tagged by my sweetie-pie nicole, who thinks i'm mad at her because i haven't returned her email yet (yes ... i'm soooo mad at nik!! she got another foot of snow and minnesota has had ZILCH all stinkin' winter!!! i'm furious!! ;o) ), i give you:

7 random/crazy/strange facts about me:

1. i don't like ketchup except on scrambled eggs. and i won't eat scrambled eggs unless they have ketchup. or salsa, but that doesn't go with the ketchup thing.
2. jobs i dreamed of having when i was growing up: artist, fashion designer, dolphin trainer, researcher at wood's hole, journalist for greenpeace, tornado chaser, pr exec, writer.
3. DISCLAIMER: dad ... don't read this one!! (i have to eat cheese after, um, "playing chess." yeah, we'll say chess.)
4. when i watch a "based on a true story" movie, i become obsessed and spend days researching the topic to make sure i got the full story in the movie.
5. i desperately want a tattoo. and to pierce my eyebrow.
6. i desperately want to learn to play the guitar.
7. my brain freezes when i have to fill out things like this, but an hour from now i'll think of a million quirks that were infinitely more interesting than anything i just wrote.

and now i'll tag ... heck ... whoever wants to play! just comment here and let me know if you did so i can come check it out!!

now i have caddyshack stuck in my head, so i'm off to troll youtube.

hi. remember me?

well, that pesky little untitled michele skinner project is DONE. DONE. wait ... let me say that again ... DONE.


and it has a title: your words, your story ... the process of finding your words, your voice, and getting them down on paper so you don't have to struggle with or be scared of journaling anymore.

really. that's what i was doing.

it's for memory makers books and publish date is november 24th. happy thanksgiving to ME!!! and included in the 120 layouts are beautiful words/works by nicole harper, sandra stephens, sue thomas, nisa fiin, catherine feegel-erhardt, crystal jeffrey-reiger, and katrina simeck. all wonderful artists, writers, life-documenters, and friends.

and, speaking of life, mine is now my own again.

sigh of relief ....

and becca ... photo of the day returns tomorrow. ok? chill, sprout. ;o)