Not your average suburban mom. I’m more your typical, normal, commonplace, everyday, garden-variety suburban mom. With a thesaurus.

Monday, December 31, 2012

Party Like It's 2012 (but also like you're a 33 year old with four kids)

This is totally what I'm doing tonight.  Except replace all
these hip people with my kiddos and my in-laws.  And then
swap the balloons and streamers and party atmosphere with
the interior of our local Chinese restaurant.  But otherwise
pretty much the exact same thing.
How did it get to be New Year's Eve already?  WTHeck, Time? Slow down you animal; there are children aboard.

I loved this year.  2012 did me good, y'all.  (That sentence was a grammatical mess, and, to be honest, made me wonder if people would deduce I was trying to hint at innuendo but failed miserably because I'm not really a Master of the Sexy.  Which is why it was up to Justin Timberlake to bring sexy back and not me, which is good because apparently he succeeded and sexy is totally back.

2012 was a kinda a big year.  If I had to sum it up in one phrase it would be "The year that Kelly turned into a Bagel BELT and Iced Capp because: you are what you eat."  (Not having Tim Horton's sponsor my blog is one of my major fails in life.)  I may or may not have received four TH gift cards for Christmas.

Um, yeah that's my husband. *Swoon*

Sadly, this is the year that Joe Stillwell left Needtobreathe.  I am still very, very blue about this. If I was a teenybopper, it's Joe's poster that would be on my wall.  Because I maybe have a thing for musicians and he is, after all, a drummer.  But since I'm a grown woman and my husband won't let me I don't have any rock star's picture over our bed. (But I'm just sayin' if I did it would be Joe, which is why I'm so sad about his departure.)

Rock of Ages ... don't hate.
This is what I would be like as a rock star.
Except I'd wear a shirt because I'm a lady.

I did get into some new music this year.  I fully jumped on the Mumford & Sons bandwagon.  I love me some rock and roll banjo.  I also discovered Fun and a bunch of other stuff I never would've given a chance if it weren't for needing a good running playlist.  Neon Trees, Foster the People, 30 Seconds to Mars, and Bon freaking Jovi topped some of my playlists.  In my most awesome moment ever I confessed I really wanted the Rock of Ages soundtrack for Christmas.  In an even more awesome moment that trumped my confession I actually received the CD because my mom loves me.

Her Majesty.

I also had fun on the Internets.  My favorites this year included Honest Toddler -  on Twitter and his blogGhetto Hikes, and of course The Bloggess.  (Jenny Lawson is my Stephenie Meyer.  You know, in the sense that she's an average woman who makes a ton of money writing hilarious nonsense.) I've also been extremely blessed to enter the blogosphere and "meet" some fantastic people. I'm thinking of Katie at Nested and Stephanie at That Loud Redhead.

To finish my 2012 review, here are my Top Five Gamechangers of 2012.  These are the things I never saw coming that changed my life.  All of them.  In one year.  It's been a ride.

1. Sarah - Can you believe that I only met Sarah in February?  We met at a triathlete swimming class offered at my gym.  Sarah was an actual triathlete while I was a wannabe who didn't know if I could do it.  For some reason she still wanted to swim with me after the class ended and she wasn't forced to because she paid to be there.  Our swim times grew to include bike times, practice triathlon times, and finally just hang out and have fun without killing our bodies times.  Our Christmas gift exchange was rad as she spoiled my whole family rotten; she got me because I wanted it so badly Ezra this:

If you listen closely, it's totally a Kris Kross ripoff which I love.  Now I get to hear Tigger rap, "wiggity-wiggity-wiggity-wiggle!"  all day long.  Pooh is so hood.  100 Acre Woods, y'all! (Yeah, I totally just threw up the midwest gang sign.)  I got her some footie pajamas.  And?  They have shark feet.

Sarah's are aqua, and can you ever go wrong with shark feet?  Answer:  NO.

2. Pinterest - Laugh all you want but Pinterest has changed my life mainly because it reminds me that I will never have my act together enough to make miniature sushi shaped like a penguin and that's more than okay.  Pinterest is teaching me how to dress, one accessorized outfit at a time.  It is teaching me how to combine desserts into hybrid dessert recipes that would make Keegan-Michael Key freak the heck out because they are that good.  (Why stop with brownies?  Why don't we make brownies with a pretzel crust and fill them with oreo cookies? They also probably need to be topped with cookie dough.)  It is where I first discovered that some children, whose parents love them, have rock walls in their bedrooms.  Mine have to settle for climbing the fireplace. They are so deprived.

3. Sublurban Mama - I thought about doing this blog for a while.  I started it in June and the response has been overwhelming.  I'm so thankful for each and every one of you who read it. (And comment. I'm a nerd about loving people that comment.)(And all of you that are Sublurbanites and follow me on Google Friend Connect - I might yell "SOMEONE ELSE IS FOLLOWING ME!" to Brian whenever it happens.  It's totally like on It's a Wonderful Life when Zuzu Bailey says, "Teacher says, "Everytime a bell rings, an angel gets his wings." But you following me is the bell, and me screaming in excitement and maybe on accident peeing a little  is like an angel getting wings.  Or something.)(We won't even talk about what happens when another blog links to me.)(Have I mentioned that I can still do the Roger Rabbit and it might be part of my happy dance when those of you that love me refer me to others who then in turn follow me on Google Friend Connect or Facebook?)

So this blog was a bit of a game changer for me.

This is just me.  Being a triathlete.  No biggie.

4. Triathlon - Did I mention I did a triathlon this year?  Oh, I did?  I forgot how many posts I wrote about it but here is the recap.  Triathlon is a monster of a sport.  Can you imagine getting race ready for three different sports?  The equipment needs themselves are staggering.  I was pushed out of my comfort zone every day (for four months!) as I prepared for the big day.  It was one of the proudest moments of my life.

5. Disney World - I feel a titsch silly with this one, but I finally get what the Disney hype is all about and I will totally be going back at some point.  What made this trip so special was that it was thrown together pretty last minute by the in-laws, who are so good to us.  It was to be our last big family time together before Brian's parents move from 3 miles away in our little Michigan town to Malawi for a year. Yep.  Africa's Malawi.  It's gonna be rough. Rough for me because I love them and will miss them.  Rough for them because Malawi doesn't have a Tim Horton's.  I don't know who will have it worse.

Happy New Year everyone!  Stay safe tonight.  I'll see you next year! (I had to do it.  It's a tradition, right?)

Friday, December 28, 2012

The Grand Finale

Since this is the last rerun, I've decided to title it "The Grand Finale".  Partly because it's the last one, but partly to sucker you into reading yet another reposting.    Thank you, my faithful readers for still showing up and giving me a slight break as I phone it in over Christmas.  You deserve a medal. Or some chocolate.  Or an Iced Capp from Tim Horton's.  I promise I'll be all new on Monday.

For those of you who were around in the very beginning, here is a return to Facebook Friday. Facebook Friday was a day when I looked back at some of my Facebook statuses throughout the years. ("Wait, Kelly.  Are you telling us that not only is this *not* a new post, it's also a reposting of some other reposted crap you posted on Facebook a long time ago?"  Well, Friends, I prefer to think of it as a repost within a repost.  Much like the movie Inception.  Which?  Won a lot of awards. Like - an Academy Award for Best Sound Mixing.  Now, not to get too bragg-y or anything, but this is the caliber of blog I run.  You know, the kind that receives awards for sound mixing.)(Note to self: Post a video of me finally owning the second verse of Eminem's Lose Yourself even when I add in hand motions. Blogging "sound" gold, y'all.)

Facebook Friday:  Sweet Moves

"Don'tcha think?"

I have always been known for my keen fashion sense repertoire of Disney songs extreme gracefulness. It's like there's a ballerina trapped inside my body, stumbling around trying to break free.  It's ironic that even my inner ballerina is stumbling.  Well, maybe in an Alanis kind of way,  in which "ironic" means "a big bummer."  Since it's Facebook Friday (two weeks in a row!) I have collected the Facebook Statuses I have posted about my *sweet moves* (say it like you are Napoleon Dynamite) through the years.

On being awesome at home:

Accidently macing yourself with non-stick cooking spray pretty much sets the tone for the day.

Always wear your glasses (and your shoes) when attempting to show a pine cone your "mad" (i.e. non-existent) soccer skills.  If you don't you might discover that pine cone is really poop.

25,000 Awesome Points for wedging the colander in the sink at the perfect angle so that my freshly cooked pasta could move seamlessly from pot to colander to garbage disposal.

If cleaning the bathroom wasn't fun enough, I just played a quick game of Catch the Brand New Roll of Paper Towel Before it Falls into the Toilet, and lost.

On being awesome in public:

The correct order to exiting the fitting room at JC Penney is: shirt on, coat on, open door.  A slight deviation in that order and you have to add the step: freak out as you make a sound that is a cross between a yelp of horror and the words, "I forgot my shirt!"  P.S. In spite of my peep show, the doorbusters were awesome.

The best way to handle the Crazy Psycho Woman coming straight at you with her cart as you enter Target is to realize she is your reflection in the automatic doors.

In my defense, in the Walmart by my house the WOMEN'S bathroom is on the left.

Don't assume you can bully the automatic door to open faster by charging purposefully toward it. You will end up smashing forcefully chest first and making a cool noise that sounds like, "Ugh-huh," and conceding the automatic door is superior, while glancing around to see how many have witnessed your shame.

You know when it's raining, and you've finally loaded all the groceries into your car, and you just want to get home, but the trunk won't shut because the toilet paper is in the way, so you get all, "Idon'thaveTIMEforthisit'srainingandI'mtired" and you use brute force to close the trunk because YOU are the BOSS of the toilet paper? Yeah, well, it wasn't the toilet paper.  It was the grapes.


"Oh, Kelly.  You are a disaster.  How do you have any friends self-esteem?"
To answer your question, "Um, it's called swag and it's how you remain *flippin' sweet* (say it like you are Napoleon Dynamite) as you pull all this off."

One time I was on the phone with AT&T for eight and a half hours.  Straight.   My internet wasn't working and an awesome computer support person in California was working diligently with me to resolve the issue.  Which meant I had eight and a half hours to be wedged under my computer desk with the phone glued to my ear as I tried to implement the solutions suggested.  My second favorite part of this phone call was when computer support asked me if I had a Mac or a PC.  My answer?  "Um, it's black,"  like she had just asked me what kind of car I drove.  ("Um, it's silver.  And AMERICAN, because I'm from MICHIGAN.  And I DON'T HATE FREEDOM."  For the unions.  You're welcome.  Support my blog.)  My absolute favorite part of this eight and a half hour phone call?  When we exhausted our "fixing it" options and realized it was a billing issue.  So, five minutes later I had the correct credit card on file and my internet was back.  True story. 

Happy Friday!  See y'all Monday.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Oh, the weather outside is frightful

Dear Jesus, if you are going to send a
blizzard, I would prefer mine with
Oreo cookies.  

Well, the good Lord saw fit to dump a bunch of snow on our neck of the woods.


*Searching my brain for a Pollyanna-type comment*

It's really pretty from inside my warm and cozy house.

If I had my choice I would live somewhere warm and sunny all the time.  So today's post is a return to my happy place, when I could ride my bike outside on a wooded trail while wearing a tank top. Bliss.  Here is a day in the life of a hardcore trail-riding cyclist who also won the X-Games.

And THAT'S How I Won the X-Games (posted in June)

Facebook Status: It may be all Zen to you to practice your flute in the middle of the woods at 6:30 on a Saturday morning, but to me, on my first trail ride, coming around a bend and hearing faint strains of Bach's Partita in A minor only reminds me a bit of a whacked out suburban version of Deliverance. And I'm already peddling as fast as I can.

Yep. My first trail ride.

I left the house at around 6:15 a.m. after mapping and remapping my route obsessively via I had 12 miles scheduled and I've been spoiled by Sarah planning our routes. But she couldn't bike that day so I decided to Navy Seal it and do some trail riding. (Because if Navy Seals rode their bikes to train for a sprint triathlon they would totally go trail. Blindfolded.  While being chased by rabid squirrels.) Also, major roads (the kinds my neighborhood is surrounded by) still freak me out (maybe because Brian, in his deep seeded love for cyclists, mentions taking them out with his car how much he hates sharing the road with them whenever cycling enters the conversation).  So hitting up a place that dubbed me the biggest threat had a certain appeal.

I spent most of the ride pretending I was in the X-Games. I made sure I had my hardcore face on, and skidded on the gravel as much as possible because I have poor balance and limited overall control of my ride.  There were a ton of (imaginary and consequently invisible) fans cheering me on, and I mugged for the (again, imaginary and invisible) cameras and enjoyed a few voice-over commentary moments.  Like,

"Kelly, tell us about that last turn, where it looked as if you were going to attempt a full pirouetting dismount."
"Well, John, it got dicey out there.  I was going so fast and misjudged the angle.  (Insert dramatic pause to catch my breath because I had just finished the event and won.)  I thought I was going to have to bail and didn't want to eat it on those tiny bits of gravel huge rocks, but thanks to my extensive ballet training (i.e. my best friend is a ballerina and uses terms like pirouette in casual conversation) I knew it would be the best way to get outta there.  Thankfully I recovered without any dance moves."


"Kelly, on bridge number four you made this fantastic face - tell us what you were thinking."
"Are you referring to when I came out of the saddle, John?  I was thinking, "I'm totally riding out of the saddle.  In the middle of the woods.  And it's gorgeous out. And since I'm standing up I can see the stream raging river below the bridge.  And at the next games I'm going to suggest we ditch the bridges and ride through the rapids.  Because this is the X-Games, not a tea party*."

*not a political statement.  It's simply that I have a gaggle of girlies and have partaken in my fair share of actual tea parties.  And they are nothing like the X-Games.  But now that I'm on a tangent, I remember my children frequently wear their bathing suits and jump off the couch into a blue comforter. They also paddle board, surf, and barefoot ski on the same blue comforter, so, yeah, my house is pretty much like a year round X-Games.

Miles 8-9 took place on a paved trail where I experienced my first X-Games medal ceremony.  And really, it was almost embarrassing to win so many of the gold.  I also saw a group of deer, which was cool but completely unexpected as I was really close to a major highway.  Because I was going so fast (have I mentioned that yet?) I came upon them suddenly, and they were only a few feet away before they took off.

Also?  I've seen a number of sweet neighborhood rabbits on my morning runs.  They generally slowly hop away as I approach.  But I have a different effect on rabbits while on my bike.  They freak the heck out.  I wanted to be all, "Dude, rabbits, I'm cool.  I wouldn't run you over or hunt you.  Even if it was the end of the world.  Or the Hunger Games.  Probably."  But then I thought about it and knew I was lying in my head to those poor rabbits.  But maybe not.  Because although I would totally eat them during the Hunger Games, I would let someone else hunt them.  So, semantics = not a liar. Awesome.

I have another trail ride tomorrow - a scheduled 15 miles.  And in honor of the summer Olympics,  I might take a break from the X-Games, and enter a few cycling events there.  So I'll probably pass Michael Phelps as the most successful athlete in history.  Better call Guinness. (The World Records, not the beer.) (Heathen.)

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Also a jerk? CAFFEINE

Facebook Status: ‎"Mama takes pills EVERYDAY to help her stay awake" -Esther to the lady at the bike shop. I should probably explain the Vitamin B and Iron supplements a bit differently.

I run in circles where kombucha, wheat grass, and Dr. Fuhrman are vocabulary words used in casual conversation.  However, I'm more of a foreign exchange student in these conversations, offering helpful tidbits like, "Dude, Burger King has sweet potato fries!"

Since my diet is the very definition of balanced, imagine my surprise when, after baby #4, I was found to be anemic.  And crabby.  And tired.  And a titsch moody.  My doctor suggested an iron supplement and a supplement of "the B's" for good measure.

I realized I hate supplements.

It was supposed to take a while to feel the desired effects of the supplements.  Unfortunately the undesired effects were felt sooner.  In order to be a good steward to my body I would need to persevere and keep taking the pills ...


There's the crux of the matter.  Butt. Iron quickly works it's charm, and you are left desperately looking for an iron cure.

There is a delicate balance in formulating just how much fiber you need to combat all that supplemental iron.  Benefiber in your apple cider is probably overkill.  But only eating an apple - Mama might be a bit *cranky*.  And quite frankly, I'm not that patient.  Or that skilled at trial and error.  Or that ready to be my own 'finding a good formula for consistent pooping' guinea pig.

After much scientific hypothesizing, testing, and reflecting not thinking about it at all, this is the method for taking supplements I have decided works best.

I take the supplements with renewed commitment for as long as it takes me to become constipated. I stop taking them until Brian says, "Are you taking your supplements?" in response to my completely (un)reasonable tearfulness, incessant need to nap, and endless complaints about brittle fingernails.  So I start taking them again with renewed commitment ... this cycle goes on until the supplements expire, and I throw them away.

So far, this is a stellar plan.  And it doesn't waste money at all.

If all that drama weren't enough reason to personally hate supplements, here's one more you may not have thought about obvious one.
When you completely on accident pee in the group shower at the gym, supplements like Vitamin B and Iron turn what should have been a private faux pas into a literal neon stream trumpeting your blunder to the world.  (Now, I'm not saying this has ever happened to me, because it would be too mortifying to admit.) (Also? Gross and unsanitary.  Probably it's safe to also throw 'inconsiderate' in the mix even if it was completely out of your control.)  But I will say that if it ever happened to anyone else I wouldn't judge her.  Because I have been there, being a mom with incontinence issues, when you have absolutely no control over your bladder.  Especially in a warm shower.  But way to go, Vitamin B, for outing a girl.

So, yeah, in conclusion, Vitamin B is a jerk. 

Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas, Eve!*

*Big ups to me for naming my kid after the night before a special day.  Now everyone on Facebook is wishing my kid a Merry Christmas.  I'm a planner, people.

Merry Christmas all y'all.  

Friday, December 21, 2012

Now Accepting Tim Horton's Gift Cards in lieu of Get Well Cards

June 27th was a good day.  I hope you enjoy it the second time around.  Happy (almost) vacation to most of you  some of you  me!

Here is the reposting of My Siamese Twin and I Have a Special Connection.

Me and Ezra.  If we were elephants.
I'm pretty sure I'm a Siamese Twin.  I know this is the sort of thing you usually discover before you are 33.  It's not like being adopted.  Or a werewolf. Those things can be kept from you your whole life and BAM! the Cullens move to town and your whole identity is different.  I think my Siamese Twinism is like that.  Life was totally cool and BAM! two years ago I gave birth to a little boy who never.detaches.himself. from my body.  The only logical explanation is, of course,  that we are Siamese Twins separated by thirty-one years.

I know what you are thinking, "Why isn't there a made for t.v. movie about your life yet?"  I know. I'm a little disturbed myself.  I guess more people care about the Bachelorette (*spoiler* - they don't stay together - I have this on good authority based solely upon COMMON SENSE) than a modern day medical miracle.

The weird thing?  We are not connected at any specific point.  We don't share any major organs, veins, or appendages.  We often do, however, share my meals.  We have Roving Siamese Twinism, which I just made up and does not exist but I bet I could find on Wikipedia if I put it there.

One time we are consistently separated is when I (think I) sneak out the back door to grill our dinner. I slide closed the glass doorwall, feeling like a stealth ninja, and do my business.  Alone. (Not that business.  I never do that business alone.)

This is incredibly awesome and freeing until I try to reenter the house and realize my Siamese Twin is sitting on the floor behind the now closed and locked doorwall, laughing hysterically because he is 23 and 3/4 months old and knows how to lock and deadbolt Mama outside.

This is when I usually question my life decisions that have brought me to the point where I am saying, "Ha-ha, Dude, you're hysterical.  Now let Mama in.  Ezra, honey, unlock the door.  (Enter logic/reasoning with an almost 2 year old) Dude, your hot dog* is getting cold, Buddy.  (He totally doesn't care.  Hot dog?  He holds the power.)  Let Mama in, Bud.  (Switching tactics)  Go get Eve, Dude. (Because he obviously wants to let me in, he just doesn't remember how locks work and needs help from an older sibling) Bud! Open. the. door. (He is still giggling because maybe he didn't hear me.)  EZRA, DUDE.  UNLOCK THE DOOR AND LET MAMA IN!"

We make awesome neighbors.

*Don't judge me.  I grilled it.  It's practically health food now.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

It's like a gift that keeps on giving

Were you around in July?  Because this happened.  And it still makes me cringe.  Merry Christmas. Here is a reposting of Picture Tutorial: Crap's about to get real.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Because it's *still* stellar advice

In the spirit of being super busy with other things remembering this blog in its infancy, I've decided to repost my favorite posts from the very humble beginnings, namely in July.  It's an end of the year reflection, if you will.  May I present again to you:  Exit Strategy = Stun Guns.

Confession:  I really like meeting new people.  I like chit-chatting in the grocery store over the price of lemons.  I like discussing training plans while on the treadmill at the gym.  I like joking around with moms at the splash park about weird kids' television.  I ask people about their t-shirts.  I comment on their hair.  Anything to get my foot in the door, because I love a good conversation, and a possible new friend.  But ...

...sometimes people are categorically off their rocker.  (They are called "strangers" for a reason.) And I seem to attract the crazies the way Tim Horton's Iced Cappuccino attracts me: all the freaking time.

The earliest I remember this happening was when I was around 16 years old.  I was at the gas station (back when everyone paid cash for gas and you had to go inside the gas station to pay, and yes, we totally had color television then) (but not really the Internet) (But we did have C&C Music Factory and Marky Mark was feelin' the Good Vibrations so don't feel too bad) paying for my gas when the attendant (a gentleman of about 60 years) held out his arm and demanded, "Touch it." (I'm pretty sure that today he could be arrested for that.)  This followed.

Kelly: What?
Attendant:  You want to know what skin cancer feels like?  Touch it.
Kelly: I'm cool, thanks.
Attendant:  Always wear sunscreen.

Oh.  So it was like a live Public Service Announcement.  Totally makes sense.

This happened recently while we were in line at McDonald's.  We just left the zoo.  Logically McDonald's Play Land follows the zoo because I am a generally thirsty person (in a non-diabetes kind of way) and Diet Coke is a $1 at McD's.  Also, ice cream is $1.  Everybody wins.  I am standing in line with the four kiddos, and a sweet 60-ish lady looks at my family.  She makes eye contact. And we are off. (Yes.)

Sweet Lady:  Oh, my.  Are they all yours? (Every.single.time.)
Kelly:  Yep. *nervous giggle as I deliver the standard next line*  They keep me busy.
Sweet Lady:  You are a good mom, I can tell.  (Seems good so far, right?)
Kelly:  Thanks.
Sweet Lady:  You are not anxious and nagging them. (Specific praise, nice.)
Kelly:  Thank you.  I do have my days, though.
Sweet Lady:  I come from a family of six.  I'm number five.
Kelly:  Oh, that's a good sized family.
Sweet Lady:  Yeah, my dad was an alcoholic.  Only one of us isn't an addict.  (Um, what?)
Kelly: I'm sorry to hear that.  That's hard.
Sweet Lady I Met One Minute Ago:  Yeah, I had all my kids taken away from me.  I suffer horrible depression.  Sometimes I don't even get out of bed.
Kelly: ... That's, wow.  I'm sorry.  That's hard.
Sweet Lady: My brother is the most screwed up one.
Kelly: ?
Sweet Lady:  Crack.
(At this point, the conversation is really completely out of my control.  I can now only pray for our ice cream and Diet Coke to be served so we can play in the Play Land where the only crack we are exposed to comes from a sagging diaper.)

Fortunately I am getting better at handling these little exchanges.  Last Thursday, a complete stranger washing her hands next to me in the bathroom of a Red Robin starting talking like we were mid-conversation.  It went like this.

Stranger: I can't go home because channel 7 is at my house because that's where Bobby is recovering from his bullet wound.  But I'm like, I can't sit around here anymore.  Like, I know he got shot and whatever, but I still need to have fun. 

Kelly: Red Robin certainly is fun.  Did you see the airplane fan?

Stranger: He's just such a baby sometimes.  It's a f***ing bullet, and it got removed, and he wasn't even going to die or anything.  Now he's all, "Get my cigarettes, I need the remote" like I don't have stuff to do.

Kelly: Did you know you can use a stun gun to treat scorpion bites?

Stranger:  No sh*t?

Kelly:  Serious.

I haven't tested this theory at all fully but I'm pretty sure the stun gun fact will rescue you from any situation.  It's now my go-to strategy for exiting Crazyville.  If you can't beat 'em, join 'em.  Feel free to use this the next time a Deceptively Normal Woman in the Meijer Pharmacy asks your opinion on different brands of douche. (Totally not a typo.)(But I really think it should have been.)(Because why would Deceptively Normal Woman even heed the advice of a complete stranger?)(Do I really look like a douche expert?)(Also, because I know you are wondering - my favorite douche?  Mike "the Situation" Sorrentino.)

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Merry Christmas Brian!

I totally hope the hubs likes his Christmas present.

I'm know I'm going to be all, "I know, honey, but you have to take it off long enough to let me wash it at least once a week."

Monday, December 17, 2012

Yep. I love you. In a completely unfunny and nerd-like way.

I do not believe a humor blog should be a soapbox.  But sometimes I am a big fat hypocrite, and today is one of those days. You're welcome.

I post early in the morning, so my Fitness Friday post was published before the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting occurred.  I didn't know about the tragedy until I hopped on Facebook late that afternoon and news about the event was everywhere.

Without the kiddos around, I turned on the television and was just sickened.  Like most people, I immediately thought of my own children, one of whom is five years old and is in kindergarten.  I thought of my mom, a resource room teacher in an elementary school, and my niece and nephew - a first grader and a kindergartner, in the same school with my mom. I thought of Lauren, a second grade teacher with a class full of seven year olds.  These people I love deeply, due to the massacre at Sandy Hook, became potential victims in my mind.

Brian came home early from work, and I met him outside and just cried.  All I could say was, "They were the same age as Esther."

I am heartbroken.

I am terrified.

I am not alone.

The details of this tragedy will unfold over time.  We will learn about the shooter, the victims, the timeline of the events, and amidst all this there will be much speculation.  So much speculation.   Why? How?  What if ... ? There will be blame.  People are scared.  People need a scapegoat.  They need to believe that this will not happen again.  And that's all okay.

And thus begins the process of processing.  Processing our grief, our fear, and our anger.  It is messy.  It can be hurtful.  It can feel like a personal attack.  The temptation to jump into an issues war is great.  But today let us just process, so we can grieve, and ultimately, heal.

Today we show people grace.  We love as Jesus loves.  We let them rant about gun control, mental health, safety in schools, and cast blame wherever they feel best and we forgive them as they process their anger, fear, and grief.  Because there will be a time to address all these things.  There will be a time that we need to come together and find reasonable, non-reactionary solutions to very real problems.  But today is not that day.  Not when our grief is so raw, our fear so heightened, and our anger myopic.

Today I want you all to know what Kaitlin Roig, a first grade teacher and survivor of the Sandy Hook shooting, came to know as the most important need of the human condition.  As she hid her students from the gunman in the hallway she told each of her kids that she loved them.  If these children were to die, she wanted the last thing they heard to be that they are loved.

And so, my dear friends, family, and readers of this silly little blog of mine, please know that you are loved.  I love you. (Even if I don't know you and if we never meet, know that you make my life better because you read my blog, and that matters to me.)(Partly because I'm super prideful and the number of people that read this are important to me, but also because I spend my free time doing this and it blesses me that you spend your free time reading it.)(So yeah, you, you from some town I've never heard of, I love you.)

More importantly, Jesus loves you.  Jesus, who does know what town you are from and also every hair on your head (even the grey ones; your beauty shop tricks ain't foolin' the Lord, y'all) - He loves you, too.

As I do my own processing, I am choosing to love.  (And if this "Jesus loves you" stuff isn't your thing, I pray you will choose love too, because I need some in return.)  God bless you all.

Friday, December 14, 2012

The Most INSPIRATIONAL Fitness Friday in the History of the World. Officially.

I'm not gonna lie.  I weighed in at 156 today.  That is a turr-ble number, which causes a turr-ble feeling, because my goal is 148 by Christmas and that ain't gonna happen unless I get the stomach flu.  (Also, I totally don't want the stomach flu, Jesus.  Please and thank you.)(And Santa, if you are thinking of bringing it to my house, well, our chimney has wasps.  Go ahead and try.) 

Honestly, I'm happy I've maintained my three pound Disney World loss, because Christmas time food opportunities are no joke.  It's not even that we have that much crap around our house (we don't; I caught Brian eating marshmallows the other day because we have nothing good lying around, poor husband of a Wife who Needs to be Careful All the Time), it's simply that we have so many extra "food" events that I have not been handling responsibly.  I'm not bingeing, but I am not restraining myself, either.*  But I am maintaining in the month of December, and I'm going to focus on that.

*Wednesday was one of the most delicious days of my life.  I took the kiddos to the mall during the day.  (It's sad to me when Santa needs a sponsor, but apparently the Ice Age movie franchise is paying him well enough to include it's movie themed interactive wait in line and continually falling rice paper snow before you even see Santa.  Which guarantees my  kiddos will want to see Ice Age ASAP.  Jokes on you, Ice Age, I got it at the library for free.  Snap. However, they are not paying him so much that he thinks it's wrong to forbid you to take your own picture but charge you a price-gouging $21 for a 4x6 print. Whatever, Santa.  Thanks for the Ice Age notebook give-away.)  We ate Sbarro for lunch (admittedly, horrible food) but I had some of the white pizza with broccoli and red pepper and it was really good.  Or I was really hungry.  Probably both.

That night Brian and I went on a real date with Other Adults.  These Other Adults have grown children, which made it so we didn't even talk about potty-training once. We ate at an Italian restaurant that Jerry and Nancy picked out, and since they are Really Italian I figured it would be good.  Brace yourselves; I had calamari. (Seriously I did, Mom.) I never, ever eat seafood.  Like, ever.  I've been trying to challenge myself and nothing says "outside my comfort zone" quite like tentacles.  I also had Linguine Carbonara and it was (in your best sing-song falsetto) *ah-may-zing*. My mouth is watering in memory.  Because I totally finished it for breakfast lunch. 

In other news, my calf is still healing.  I've been swimming and doing the elliptical, but each time my calf reacts the next day.  I'm going to try to ride the most boring contraption known to man stationary bike at my next workout to see how that goes.  I've been doing a lot of lifting and also the Plank Challenge. Today's time:  

Just in case you missed it, that's TWO MINUTES AND FORTY-ONE SECONDS in plank position.
I found this video on the internets and it makes me cry every. single. time. y'all.  Watch it.  This man ... I dare you to tell me you can't after you've seen this.

(And my personal addendum: I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. - Philippians 4:13.)

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Liebster Blog Award OR This is just like winning an Oscar

Thanks so much to Katie from Nested who nominated me for the Liebster Blog Award.

"The Liebster Blog Award is an award given from bloggers to bloggers that are small to medium in size or up and coming in the blogsphere. Liebster is German for "favorite." The award is a way to give beginning bloggers some worthy attention, make connections and let readers learn a little more about you. "

I am cuh-razy silly happy that someone other than my beloved family reads this blog and actually likes it.  Part of receiving this award is to answer 11 questions from the nominator, but since it's taking me forever to get this out, I'm going to hurry up and just post the ones I have answered so I can be timely already. (Ezra escaping from his crib and running amok during my prime blogging time has thrown a monkey wrench in my daily plans of late.)

What did you want to be when you "grew up"?

The goals have changed through the years.
Elementary School - an architect.  Then I learned there was math involved in that profession.
Junior High School - a rock star.
High School - Initially I wanted to go to West Point but heard there might be a pull-up requirement,  so I decided to become a music teacher/rock star.
College - After a year of ear training and music theory I revamped my career trajectory and decided I wanted to be barefoot and pregnant.  And a rock star.
Adulthood - a rock star.
I'll totally figure it out by the time I've grown up.

Would you rather have a human head and intelligence with a velociraptor's body or a parrot that sat on your shoulder and broadcast your every thought?

I would think this question is pretty much a no-brainer (much like my parrot would be)(*vocal rimshot*).  Um, obviously I'd want a human head with a velocirapter's body because I could get away with wearing anything and no one would judge me. In fact, they'd be all impressed at the way I pulled off skinny jeans as a velociraptor.  Like, "My body may be prehistoric but I look fabulous in these pants."  And I could bling out my claws, which I've never had the desire to do, but if they're there ... why deny a rhinestone it's rightful place?  Plus I'd have a tail.* So there's that. Also, this blog is kind of my parrot already.

What's your guilty pleasure?

One word = Hoarders.
We actually live on the same street as a real life hoarder. Sometimes at night I stroll slooooooowly by their house to gaze in through the windows at the mountains of mess inside. (Me doing this is not creeper-like at all.) Brian has forbidden me from offering my professional caliber organizational skills to these people that I've never met.  Or from trying to meet them just so that it's now okay that I offer to clean their home.  I have faith that someday it will happen.  I mean, I have been to Disney World, and I know that if I wish hard enough, Tinkerbell will come and sprinkle fairy dust and it will totally happen. Because that's how stuff gets done.

If you could have dinner with one person, dead or alive, who would it be?

I know haters gone hate, but Betty White optional.
It would be Jesus, so all the divisive church issues could finally be laid to rest and we could go on our merry ways serving God.

But if it were a dinner party, I would have to include Jimmy Fallon and Steve Higgins as well, because I know Jesus appreciates humor.  And thankfulness.  And Jimmy Fallon is one of the most thankful people I know.  I mean, he is a published author on the subject.

How do you take your coffee?

Sadly, I don't.  Take my coffee, I mean.  Because of this.  But if I had my choice it would be cold, and 50% cream, 30% sugar, 20% coffee.  Roughly.  I'm not too picky.

Do you believe in ghosts?

No, but I do believe in demons which is much more terrifying.

If you could accomplish only one thing in 2013, what would it be?

What happens in Frankenmuth stays in Frankenmuth.
I want to run a half-marathon.  I was aiming for spring of 2013, but with my pulled muscle horrific calf injury it may need to wait until the fall.  I did find a fantastic half marathon to run in October in a fun little Michigan town called Frankenmuth.  Frankenmuth is Michigan's very own Bavaria, because, honestly, every state needs their own slice of Germanic heaven and chicken dinners that are ah-may-zing. (Frankenmuth is one of my favorite places in the world, and one time we went there with the in-laws and the kiddos and we all ordered the family style chicken dinner and it was torturous because I was on some weird diet I'm pretty sure I invented due to self-loathing and all I could eat there was chicken broth.)(Worst.memory.ever.)(Which is why I squeezed it into one sentence.)(Frankenmuth is also really close to Bronner's, which you owe yourself to visit before you die.)(Seriously. I might take the kids this week just because I'm thinking of it now.)(Don't get too jealous.)

Cats or dogs?

Neither.  I have four kids and they shed enough.

What animal best represents your personality and why?

I have no idea, and now I'm having a personal crisis of identity because I should know this by the age of 33.  What kind of animal really likes to organize, is a rock-n-roll drummer in their head, and loves to laugh except when they are premenstrual and then will yell at the driver who cut them off while The Little Drummer Boy plays on the radio in the background and then the animal feels ashamed that all the Little Drummer Boy had to offer Jesus was his drumming so he drummed, and can't I at least offer him my silence when I want to rant at the confused person who doesn't understand lane lines?

What is that animal?  Because that's totally me.

Are you afraid of the dark?

Only when I'm getting into bed at night and I'm pretty sure Fred Savage and Howie Mandel are lurking underneath, ready to grab my ankles and kidnap me to the land under the bed where all the monsters live.  This has helped me develop really excellent form for what I call the "Crossfit Jump."  I have no idea if this is anything they actually do at Crossfit, but standing at the side of my bed, jumping with feet together and saying, "CROSSFIT JUMP!" as I leap into bed makes me feel really athletic. And safe from monsters.  Win.

Paper or plastic?

When I remember I have a million (probably a bit of an exaggeration) of those canvas-y bags that I use to bring home the groceries.  But sometimes because I care about the environment, I will use the plastic bags I have to wrap stinky disposable diapers, effectively adding 130 years to their decomposition time, but making my home smell less like a 'Rhea Factory.  I also use the paper ones from Whole Foods and Trader Joes as book covers and Native American vests (because have I mentioned I have four kids?)

(Also, if you were counting, I answered all 11 questions while trying to post this, so that ups my overall average, right?)

The next part of the award is to write 11 facts about myself, but the fact remains that that isn't going to happen today.  And here are some blogs you should check out. (Again, I'd pass on the award but I'm totally not going to have any questions prepared, so I know I'm breaking the chain and will probably die a thousand horrible deaths this week, but in the spirit of this award check out these blogs anyway.)

For Weight Loss/ Maintenance - That Loud Redhead, Runs for Cookies

For Humor - Nested, Filing Jointly

For a Hodge-Podge of stuff - Miss Madison's Charmed Life

*My tail.  Brian told the children I have a tail.  They believe him.  I may encourage this story with mysterious comments that back him up.
**Also, a story just for fun:  Ezra has a hooded monkey towel complete with a fabric tail on the back.  One night after his bath, I made a comment on him sitting on his tail, and at the word "tail", he grabbed his penis.  He totally thinks his penis is a tail. That kind of thing never happened when I had all girls.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Ain't nobody got time for that

So, Ezra learned to climb out of his crib.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Are You A Vegetarian?

If Brian doesn't bald naturally
I may Nair his head while he
sleeps simply so he can do this
when he is old.
Let me preface this whole post with the disclaimer that all this happened when I was eighteen. Freshly eighteen.  Newly eighteen.  The eighteen where you're all, "Of course I should get a tattoo with no prior planning or thought for future life."

So I'm pretty sure I win the contest for the world's best decisions for tattoo design and placement.

My first tattoo started off as an ancient Greek hieroglyphic (current research* indicates that it's totally not Greek and actually Germanic, which, because of the hidden word "manic" I am inclined to believe, seeing as the tattoo getting was during a particularly high point of life.)(High on emotion, not crack.) that I spontaneously decided I needed tattooed on my body forever, and promptly forgot why it was so meaningful within a month of having it inked. After some more research* I was reminded of the rune's meaning.  I probably embraced the secondary meaning of "protection" and glossed over the primary meaning of "ELK".  Awesome.) I got it tattooed smack in the middle of my upper back.  It looked like this:

It was like a bird walked in blue paint and stepped on my back.

After about six months I decided I needed that changed into something that truly embodied "me".  I thought (for about an hour) of what that rune could successfully morph into, eliminating ideas that were too big and settling on a tree.

I like to know people like this.
This is a "glass half full" outlook.
I quickly went to the first available tattoo artist (those that are free at a moments notice are usually free for a reason, FYI) and declared, "I'd like this turned into a tree."  Since she answered, "We can make the roots exposed, that'd be cool,"  I was all, Yes!  This woman totally gets me.

While me and Tattoo Lady may have connected on some mental/emotional level, we missed the connection where she is a decent artist that I pay good money to use my body as a permanent canvas. What I ended up with is some weird looking hybrid of an African baobab tree and a smushy bonsai.  With exposed roots. So yeah, it's totally international.

"Kel, why couldn't Brian help you take a picture of your back tattoo?"
Good question.  He was busy practicing music for the band I'm not allowed in.
Also, this font is huge, which makes this statement seem way more passive aggressive than it is.

One time I went swimming with Sarah's boss, Dr. S.  (Sarah was totally there as well.  It wasn't like I was just hanging out with Sarah's boss.)(I mean, I'm not against that or anything; he's a cool dude.)(But this was the first time I'd met him, so it was really appropriate Sarah was there as well is all I'm saying.)

We were completing our laps at that homewrecker Lifetime Fitness when Dr. S stopped me and asked, "Are you a vegetarian?"  I must have looked really confused but quickly said, "No.  I'm totally all about meat." (Of course I did; and I meant it completely innocently, as well.)

He explained, "I just wondered because of your tattoo."

He continued, "If you're not a vegetarian, then why do you have a tattoo of broccoli?"


(You don't even want to see the angel that graces my lower abdomen.  Poor thing has survived four pregnancies and the resulting C-sections.  Now it's more like a cherub.)

I'm all about pretty tattoos.  Just Think before you Ink, my friends.

*research = Google.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Long Live the Queen

Kelly:  Esther!  It's time to come out of your room and do some math!

Just an average Monday.  This is her "Flashcard Face."
(If you are not familiar with Esther, take some time to read about her in my Super Nanny post.  Or check out the Facebook Friday post staring my little Drama Queen.) 

Friday, December 7, 2012


Confession:  When I'm in Ab Lab and everyone is in side plank position I get an overwhelming urge to jump up and kick out everyone's arms just so I can watch them fall like dominoes.  This is not a very nice thought but the visual makes me smile and distracts me from being in side plank position myself.

Happy Fitness Friday!


This month I'm linking up with Fat Chick 2 Fit Chick to participate in the December plank challenge. Simply put, do a plank a day, everyday, for the whole month.  Each day try to beat the previous days time.  So far, my time to beat is 2:34.  Yes, you read that correctly.  TWO MINUTES and THIRTY-FOUR shaky SECONDS held in plank position.

The beauty of this challenge is that it is against yourself.  Everyday a mere second could give you a new personal record.  And, if you needed more encouragement to plank it up this month, here are two words: Christmas cookies.  (You know those peanut butter cookies with the Hershey kiss in the middle?  Totally my kryptonite.  Like, I have never made them myself because I know without a doubt I would eat them until I throw up.)(Literally.  I would literally eat that pb and chocolate deliciousness until I got sick.)(But my awesome friend Sue occasionally brings them to Bible study where the peer pressure of it being "good manners" to share with others guarantees that I only eat two and maybe a third if I can sneak it into my coat pocket.)(Because nothing says "Christian" quite like stealing at Bible study.)

So, get down in plank position (read my post about plank position here) and hold it for all you got. (I was using my ghetto tough girl voice there.)  Today all you got might only be 7 seconds.  Revel in it, because it's 7 seconds more than yesterday.  Tomorrow try for 8.  (Just remember to keep your booty down.)

Have a wonderful weekend.  I'll see y'all Monday!

*Totally the name of my first club hit. is going to say "Abdomimama" in a monotone over some fresh beets* while I sing some Sublurban Mama lullabies over top.  It will be magic.  And platinum.


Thursday, December 6, 2012

And *that's* how we ended up pooping by the campfire.

I have three awesome children that mostly expel waste without any involvement from me.  I do hear the occasional plea for toilet paper sounding desperately from behind closed doors, and, more often than not, I remind a certain child in a patient and loving tone that she needs to flush the freaking toilet every time she uses it.  (Even during nap time.)(And yes, I *know* Ezra is sleeping in the other room.)(But if he can sleep through the "I CAN'T FIND MY CINDERELLA BALL GOWN" Meltdown of Summer 2012, he can survive a deuce flush.) Mainly the bathroom part of my job is over until puberty and we are expelling something else entirely (help me Jesus and thank you for three girls in a row).

However, I'm really, really bad at potty training.  Like, "Don't they have a professional service for that?" bad. Because I would pay big money for someone else to suffer through the accidents and resulting messes that occur when one is transitioning from the comfort of going at will in their pants to learning you have to control that mess. I even told Jesus I would be in labor with #4 for a full month if the baby would come out potty trained.  Jesus did not take that deal.

I know.  So many moms have praised the 3 Day method, where pretzels and goldfish take on a medicinal-like quality and a mere 72 hours locked in a tiny enclosed space with the trainee produces a potty trained little person. (Little person = a 2-3 year old, not little person like Little People, Big World.) Unfortunately, it would also produce schizophrenia as my mind would figuratively split in two were I forced to endure that kind of confinement with a toddler.

Other moms have said, "No one goes to kindergarten in diapers; just relax. It will happen when the child is ready."  And I'm all, "Have you paid for diapers lately?" Plus? Toddlers poop a lot bigger than babies.  Sometimes Ezra even has Man Poop, the kind where I actually feel a bit impressed at the advanced state of his digestive system.

I had such an ordeal potty training Eve (I finally told her at age 3 that she couldn't go to Bible study if she didn't wear Big Girl Underpants.  She totally started using the potty immediately.)(Which sort of proves that her lack of toilet usage was a personal war waged solely against me.) that I told Brian he was in charge of potty training Hosanna. He rose to the occasion, and decided that when we were on vacation with my parents he would do it.  She would be trained in less than a week.

The plan had merit.  It was summertime and we were staying at the cottages, so Hosanna would be free to wear a dress and run diaperless through the grass during the day.  Brian would take her to the bathroom all the time, and if she had an accident she was just giving the lawn a nitrogen boost. Because that's how we give back on vacation.

What actually happened is that Hosanna completely shunned the actual toilet and discovered the joy of free-balling.  She also thought that peeing outside was the best plan ever and that the campfire was the perfect spot for doing her business.  Her "thinking/take a magazine or maybe even a book because this is a big job" business.  Right by the fire where we cooked our food.

It was awesome.

The one part of potty training I am really good at?  Buying cute underwear.  My children have the most awesome trainer underpants around.  Urine soaked, but adorbs.

So, to summarize:  Somehow I have three toilet trained offspring, and I still don't know how it happened.  And the boy is of age.  Now potty training has the added element of aim.  We are so done.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Zoology 101

This is why we rule at Family Dinner.

Scene:  We are all noshing on penne with spinach, tomatoes, and bacon.  Broccoli is served as a side dish.  The adults in the room have had trying days and are being overly bright to compensate out of consideration of everyone else in the room.  Whom they love dearly. The children are all, "Mmmm, bacon."  Then, this:

Hosanna:  What's the name of that animal?

Brian:  What animal?

Hosanna:  You know, it's erectile.

Kelly: *snorts Diet Coke out her nose*

Brian: (eyes twinkling) Like it's dysfunctional?

Kelly: STAHP.

Hosanna: The one where in the water it looks like a log floating.

Kelly: *giggles like a teenage boy*

Brian: What did you call it, Nan?

Hosanna:  The erectile.  Why is mom laughing so hard?

Eve:  Oh, I get it.  It's a wrecked tile.  *laughs uncontrollably* AWRECKTILE   AWRECKTILE  AWREEEEEEECKTILE!

Kelly:  Dude.  Stop.  Nan, do you mean a crocodile?

Hosanna:  The tail whips back and forth.  Erectile.

Kelly: *tears coming down her cheeks*  Do you mean reptile?

Hosanna: Um, yeah. A reptile.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Mission Accomplished: Part Two

"I pray it doesn't come to hand-to-hand
combat.  But that sock monkey jack in
the box is mine."
Welcome to the conclusion of the Operation: Black Friday super secret (civilian) military report.

Yesterday you left me at my Black Friday breakfast, happily ingesting carbs and sugar as I read celebrity gossip with my feet on the opposite bench of my booth.  (It was a good place to leave me, no?)

My next stop was Meijer.  (Yes, for the second time.) For those that live outside the vicinity of the Michigan region of the Midwest, Meijer is a 24 hour one stop shopping experience.  You can buy groceries, furniture, clothes, fine jewelry*, small kitchen appliances, toys, pets, and crafting items all in the same store.  It's a wonderland.

The Meijer BF sale did not start until 6:00 a.m., but since the store is open 24 hours I was free to fill my cart and be ready to check out exactly when the sale started.  Time is money, Dude.

I bought a bulk variety pack of Play-doh for $7, $3 My Little Pony, 50% off slippers (for me), and also most of Hosanna's Christmas toys.  This is probably because the week earlier I brought Hosanna with me on an errand to Meijer and we walked up and down the toy aisle.  I took note of what she got excited about.  It was like a stealth spy mission.  I was gathering intelligence y'all.

I didn't even take this picture.  Someone
out in the internets went to Meijer, took
this picture, and posted it simply because
they knew I would use it for this blog.
Meijer also had New Balance trail runners for $36.  My running shoes are pretty pricey, so I wanted a shoe for when I went to the gym for classes, lifting, or non-running cardio. I've been most thankful for these since they've been my go-to shoe since I suffered that traumatic leg injury pulled my calf muscle sprinting like an Olympian.  I also bought all the food Christmas stocking items here.  (Because The Clipboard was itemized down to finite details like "Milky Way x2" - for both Eve and Esther, and "Coke in a glass bottle" - for Brian who never reads this blog even though he says he does.)

Family Christian is a local Christian shop where I got Eve some books and some really cheap videos as stocking stuffers.  I also bought cards in which to place gift cards for my favorite cashiers at Meijers (where I do all my grocery shopping).  For eleven years these women have been consistently cheerful and have incredible spacial skills (which I really appreciate if one is bagging my groceries).

JCP is a loser.
JC Penney was the last big store before I hit the "onesies".  (Those are the stores you run in for one or two items.)  I was really disappointed in JCP this year.  The deals weren't that great.  They had really misleading signage, as well.  "30% Off Entire Store!" and then in teensy letters "select items only".  The problem was they never indicated exactly what was on sale.  (I hate their new "no sale" system anyway.)  I bought a few gifts, and also some really comfy yoga pants.  JCP = Meh.

After JCP I sneaked home to shower and unload the first round of shopping.  It was around 8:00 a.m. Then it was back to the battlefield for the onesies.

Pop goes the weasel, Playa.

Here are the onesies in no particular order:
Payless - low ankle boots and moccasins for under $30 total.
Hobby Lobby - sparkle scissors.
Plato's Closet - two shirts, a purse, and a necklace - $17
Dollar Store - home decorations, candy for Hosanna's stocking (b/c she is allergic to corn syrup - whaaaa?)
Fast Food - I went to two places for Christmas stocking gift cards
Radio Shack - sport ear buds for $15

Honestly, I'm getting tired just writing this.

After the onesies I met Sarah for lunch at Panera.  It was 11:00 a.m. so we beat the lunch rush.  I had a delightful bowl of black bean soup and half of a panini.  (Also filled with black beans.)(I would be the most gastronomically fun person later that day.)

I had one simple stop left after lunch - a second trip to Target to finalize all gifts.  I probably bought Ezra a bow tie.  A navy blue and lime green bow tie.  And that alone was worth the second trip.

I got home (for good) at around 1:45.  I was tired.  Really tired.  But I was finished.  Here is me appreciating our new Christmas tree on Black Friday evening. (I might be completely cashed out in my new jammies and wrapped in not one but two cozy quilts.)

Brian took this picture probably planning to use it as blackmail.  Good thing I have no shame.
There you have it, folks.  Operation: Black Friday.  I'm thankful I can say, "Mission: Accomplished."

*fine jewelry = their description.
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