Monday, September 29, 2014

The Big Picture

On Friday, I met up with a new friend at a shopping center play place.
She is probably one of the most beautiful people I have seen up close.
I literally just sat there and stared at her as we visited, while frequently interrupting her to tell her, again, you are really pretty.
But on top of probably being very photogenic, she is also very wise.
And she gave me lots of good advice.
The kind where someone tells you exactly what you should do.
Which is perfect because I have been stressing about what to do for eight effing months. 
She really does have the gift of clarity and can see the bigger picture.
So, as Micah perched atop the mall's fake train for tens of minutes at a time, preventing other small children from using it, and yes, making them cry, we chatted (and then I made him get down and he monopolized the slide instead).
She said everything I have been needing to hear.
In fact, I would daresay that a prayer was answered. 
And a crap-load of (self-induced) guilt was lifted.
I have been plodding along with my head down, over-analyzing my every move, self-absorbed and paralyzed with the enormity that is life and she blows in and says, "Just ride the wave. Ride it all the way to the beach. Let all the expectations and stress go and trust that you are slowly moving in the right direction."
We talked for over two hours so she said a lot more than that, but what I took away was that I was on the right path. 
And I was, in fact, already doing something that was helping my family to move forward (being present and involved as a stay-at-home parent and tending to my children's emotional, spiritual, and intellectual needs.)
Everything else will fall into place when the time is right.
No one expects me to have overcome this hurdle in eight short months.
And that the happiest parts of my life are still ahead of me.
"But it is hard to trust and have faith," I whined.
"I know, I know, young padawan, but if you force it, it will fail. It doesn't have to be as hard as you are making it. Do what you love and take care of your kids."
And then my head literally exploded.
And how, you may ask, can one write such an eloquent post sans head?
I do not have an answer to that but I do have a better idea of how I want to spend my time, what goals I have for the immediate future, and why I do not like taking my children to public places where there are people.
On a less forward-looking note, I finally went through/organized/packed away all of Scott's toiletries/personal effects.
Then I tried to think of more like nouns/verbs to string together with the " / " symbol.
All of his little everyday belongings have been sitting in a basket in my room since January.
I poked through them and gently packed them in a small pouch to save — even his used q-tips. 
Is that gross/creepy/pathetic?
I literally can not stop forward slashing.
Well, whether or not it is disturbing, I did it.
And then I cried.
And then I made dinner.
The end.
^^ His razor, cologne, glasses, passport, deodorant, business cards, Pet Shops. ^^ 
^^ And I am very proud of this photo because 1) it is my first real picture playing this crazy sport, 2) it looks as if I am being useful, 3) my legs look smokin'. ^^

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

A post dedicated to my love of FALL

^^ Look at this awkward photo that Ezra took. Ryan's facial expression. ^^
Last night I fell asleep to the sound of rain.
It was like listening to the sweet lullaby of angels sing or Sam Smith ... which is the same thing.
And then I woke up to a torrential downpour and fist pumped the air.
It is FINALLY autumn and I couldn't be more excited.
I know, I know, EVERYONE claims to like the fall.
But really they hate it compared to how much I like it.
You know how I know?
Because I spend the entirety of the summer actively hating the sunshine, the butterflies, the damn sprinklers.
It is, like, my hobby.
Who else do you with that kind of dedication?
I am thinking of starting a club.
A summer-hating club. All the deets TBA.
But now that it turned into fall, yesterday, I can be happy once again.
It is the perfect time for pot roast, and sweater vests, and cold, miserable weather.
^^ My kids clearly inherited their photography skills from me. #inept ^^
^^ Proof that I do, indeed, wear sweater vests.
Maybe that will be a stipulation when joining my club.
and p.s. My kids are really natural in front of the camera. ^^

Monday, September 22, 2014

The only recipe you will ever need ...

That is, if you are lazy, like me, and want to spend 0.4 seconds getting dinner ready.
I promise with all my heart it is so fast and delicious you will want to come to my house and give me your firstborn for sharing it.
The one caveat being that you must own a crock pot.
And if you don't own a crock pot, then WHY?
Why would you chose to live that way?
That and I had an epiphany about my hair.

So first thing first:

Crock Pot Cream Cheese Chicken Chili 
(that's a mouthful ... and that's what she said)

2 chicken breasts, still frozen
1 can Rotel tomatoes 
1 can corn kernels, do not drain
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 pkg. ranch dressing mix
1 tablespoon cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 8 oz. pkg. cream cheese

Step 1: Gather all ingredients. 

Step 2: Throw them hastily into crock pot.

Step 3: Turn said crock pot to HIGH.

Step 4: Cackle maniacally and high-five yourself because you are done making dinner in 3 minutes flat.

Step 5: Tell spouse/family/coworkers that you slaved away preparing a healthy homemade chicken chili for dinner and you deserve some dessert/me time/award etc.

Step 6: Come back in 4-6 hours and eat.

Second order of business:
Methinks there is a similarity here.
Same eyebrows, same hair.
Perhaps I should pursue news-anchorhood as my new career.
This is no coincidence.
My life is coming into focus.
^^ I'm Ron Burgundy? ^^

Happy Monday to all.

Thursday, September 18, 2014


It has been a rough week.
At the risk of sounding like a broken record, let's just say that existential meltdowns have been happening all up in here.
But I do have a few random thoughts.
They don't make any sense grouped together but my head is exhausted from self-imposed pressure and wasted energy used worrying about the MEANING OF MY LIFE! (italics added to emphasize my over-dramatized angst)
Anyway, here is a arbitrary list of gibberish:

* My children's bus driver (a very tall, elderly woman named Miss Allison) motioned me over as I waved goodbye to Ryan and Ezra and said, "You are amazing. You really are. You are doing a great job."
Just like that.
And for a second I believed her, and was happier for having walked them out to the bus stop this morning.
What a nice thing to do.
It absolutely made my day.
I vow, here and now, to start handing out more kind and meaningful compliments.
Everyone needs to hear something good about themselves.
Can you imagine if we all just walked around flinging out compliments left and right?
It would be world-changing. Of epic proportions.

* I have now sustained bruises on both sides of my body, from skating at speeds of up to 800 miles an hour.
When one skates as passionately as I do, one tends to wipe out a lot more violently.
These ridiculous injuries make for some very uncomfortable sleeping.
And get me no sympathy when I come limping home.
"Well, you do play a high contact sport, Brianne," my parents say.
Touché parents, touché.

* I bought Ezra a pair of bright green Chucks.
He told me that he ran "way faster" in P.E. today wearing his new Converse.
^^ A self-portrait. ^^
They are so stylish I can barely stand what a hip parent I am.
And I am pretty sure no one hip actually uses the word hip.
So I slapped myself and told myself never to say that again.

* On Tuesday, I started taking some new acne medicine; And much to my chagrin, my skin is not flawless and glowing already.
Heather reminded me that only taking it for two days will not dewy, unblemished skin make.

* My hair-growing-out situation is looking quite haphazard at this point.
I look like one of those baby turkeys that starts off fuzzy and then two weeks later looks wretched as their grownup feathers begin growing in.
I said to my sister, "Look at my ridiculous hair."
To which she said, "We should take a new profile pic and get you started on another dating website."
My life is fun.
And embarrassing.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

This time, it is the story of a beard ...

So it all started on Tuesday at WinCo.
I was minding my own business, doing my regular speed shopping (where I frantically tare up and down the store chucking things into my basket as my children scramble to catch up) when I spotted a very handsome man.
He was wearing a baseball hat, t-shirt, jeans that accentuated his ... umm ... shoes, and he had a beard.
After screeching to a halt, I started following this man around, staring at him and his beautiful beard, passing him conspicuously in every aisle, and even bonus! scored a few suspicious sideways glances as he noticed me stalking him.  
Then I lost him in the frozen foods and only saw his back as I shuffled out with my grocery-laden cart, Micah screaming about the lollipop he dropped on the ground.
It was magical.
Anyway, my point is that, clearly, I am awkward, and I am starting to feel desperately lonely.
Like, having had no contact with the opposite sex (outside of my one date) in the last 8 months.
And, yes, that one date did lead to some texting and a discussion about going out again, but the more I got to know him, the more I felt like we were on two different pages and I became disinterested, yadda yadda.
At any rate, later that night I began thinking about this stranger, whom I will most likely never see again, and then I started thinking about Scott.
Then I started to mentally revisit our last night together and how scary, shocking, and devastating it was.
^^ A coincidence that I recently tagged this
image in Pinterest? I don't think so. ^^
Then I began to sob.
And after the sobbing, I began an irrational, emotional conversation with Scott, interrupted intermittently with loud nose-blowing and convulsive gasping.
It was ridiculous.
And to top that off, I had to pause mid-breakdown to go in and soothe Ezra's distraught weeping upon waking from a nightmare.
He began crying about how much he missed Daddy and why did people have to die?
He is having a time with this all-day first grade business and has been quite emotional lately.
I think we all have.
Can you believe that it has been nearly eight months since our world turned upside-down?
That is, like, two-thirds of a year.
And I have, for the most part, become more stable, notwithstanding the twice-weekly hysterics;
And yet I am feeling like I am on the precipice of something different.
How is that for cryptic? And wordy?
Apparently I am full of brilliance tonight.
I cannot explain why I am feeling sad and better and despondent and hopeful all at the same time.
I also cannot explain my attraction to beards.
That is it for a Thursday evening.
Now I am going to dish up some ice cream and watch Safe Haven, while pretending that I am Jullianne Hough being seduced by Josh Duhamel.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

The story of a bruise

I had a really sad post planned for today, buuuuuut ain't nobody got time for that.
We only want positive sentiments on a Tuesday so we will save the somber stuff for next time.
A good mix of fun and depressing is how I roll here.
So for today, I will show you a great photo Heather (my step-mom) took of my a$$ after roller derby one evening.
I am not kidding.
Just picture a camera pressed up to my cheeks, as we both laugh.
But I think these kind of memories are important.
You know ... for my posterity.
^^ I know my Furious butt holes will not be impressed with this bruise (they are much to tough) but it might coax a few dry heaves from my less violent readers. p.s. it looks even more beautiful worse today. ^^ 
And to keep with the light-hearted theme, I have a few new videos to share.
Just in case you are mindlessly trolling the internet and feeling bored with all of your regular haunts.
The first is very funny because IT IS FACTUAL.
And it isn't as graphic as it sounds.
Although I don't have an appropriate picture to include.
But bare in mind, this is a PG blog.
Maybe PG-13.

The second one is cute.
Although if that were my husband, I would probably chicken chop him in the throat.

The third one is just one video of many.
In fact, there is a whole series of helpful programs that are not really helpful at all.

And this last one is also a series (but more of a string of mini-documentaries).
I have always been fascinated with ballet — probably because I could never do it.
I think one has to be graceful in order to dance.
That and be able to touch your own toes.
And it will take you approximately an hour to watch all of the videos in one sitting.
Which I may or may not have done while my kids wrestled and pulled each other's hair.

Well, off to bed, my lovelies.
I am in a weird mood tonight.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Sofa, my sofa

An Ode to my Couch

Oh how I love thee, let me count the ways,
You're tufted, mid-century, sleek, and gray

I found you upon the computer at nightfall
My obsession with Craigslist had finally proved fruitful!

To Junction City I did drive, to retrieve you fair divan
It was a hoarders love at first sight, and into your arms I ran

I creepily stroked you, laid upon your cushy seat
And then I strapped you to a trailer, which was no small feat

I brought you home, admired your shapely figure
Then I searched for an upholsterer to change your color

You went to the seamstress to get a fresh look
Upon thine anticipated return, your picture I took

^^ BEFORE: Woof. It had an awesome shape but was an unfortunate color. ^^
^^ Olive and dismal. But, oh, the potential ...^^
^^ AFTER: Ta-da! It is now a beautiful, simple gray with tight piping and reversible cushions!
The fabric is very durable as well. ^^
^^ A close-up. What the what am I going to do with it? Cover it and put it in storage until I have a home of my own to showcase it in all it's retro glory. ^^

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

First day of school

I am about to share the obligatory first day of school photos because I am a mom and it is something I said I would do when I signed up for this job.
Plus, like every other mother, I am convinced that my children are, in fact, the most beautiful children ever spawned.
So to deny you these photos would be a gross disservice.
By the way, Ezra went to bed last night a total wreck.
He woke up several times in tears about losing lego pieces and his hurt foot.
Poor baby must have been stressed about starting first grade.
Isn't it funny how kids react when they are stressed or upset?
They lash out or sob hysterically, when really they are just nervous and a little unsettled.
However, once he woke up and had his chocolate Rice Krispies, he was excited and eager to go.
Ryan was fairly nonchalant.
Being a second grader is much more grown up and attending school all day is mundane.
Micah wanted to go to school too until I told him he would have to use the potty to do his business.
He decided to stay home.
^^ Ryan (age 7) starting 2nd Grade, and Ezra (6) starting 1st Grade. ^^
^^ Ezzy is my social butterfly. He came home today talking of all the adventures he had with his best friends?! How he had time to not only establish intimate relationships with several members of his class in a single day, but also create memories with said friends is beyond me. ^^  
^^ See what I mean? Second grade has only just begun and we already have swagger. Somewhere between the floral combat boots and the friendship bracelets, my baby turned into a real grown-up girl. ^^ 
On an entirely unrelated note, I was organizing my filing container today and sifting through a lot of random documents when I ran across a receipt.
The paper was creased and tattered, and parts of it where illegible but what I stumbled upon was a bill of sale for the ring Scott gave to me when he proposed.
It was dated: September 3, 2002.
So exactly 12 years ago today, Scott was downtown Seattle buying me an engagement ring.
He was a young man (23) picking out a pretty significant piece of jewelry, everything ahead of him ... all those possibilities and dreams.
Isn't that a weird thought?
It's like you spend so much time, thought, and energy building a life you assume will unfold over a very long period of time, and then 12 years later, it's over.
I started crying and thought of what he looked like back then.
I ached inside while thinking of all the work we had put into our future, into each other, our family.
And I thought about how I missed being able to steal his socks.
They were really soft, stretchy, and much too big.
Now I am stuck wearing mine.
I thought about how we used to snuggle at night ... for about four or five minutes.
Then we would give each other a little pat and stretch out good and far apart in order to really get comfortable.
I thought about how his presence in my life brought meaning or context to my time.
I understood how I spent my days.
I knew that he went to work/school and I stayed at home taking care of our kids.
I am good at cleaning, and coordinating our family's schedule and needs, grocery shopping, and cooking.
I know how to do those things.
When he was a part of my life, I understood what my role was, what my responsibilities were, and didn't constantly dissect my purpose as a mother and wife.
Now all I want is to be those things, but I also think about having to be the breadwinner, the provider too.
And I think about it all day, every day.
It literally eats me up; all my brain power gets sucked into the same endless loop.
I have decided that is what I envy the most when I look around at friends and family.
The surety that comes with knowing what you should be doing with your time in order to move your family and life forward, where you fit in.
Anyway, it's something I am realizing I will have to navigate alone.
No one can decide for me what direction I need to be headed.
No one is going to call me up offering the perfect solution to all my problems.
I realized that I was praying about my situation and then waiting for an answer to appear in my lap.
But the answer is that I have to make a choice and then throw myself into it.
God has given me a brain and a capable body and plenty of blessings.
I don't believe that he would deny me personal promptings when I ask for help.
But he certainly isn't going to do it for me.
That is ass-backwards.
I am responsible for these three Pittlings and they are relying on me to figure it out.
I have also decided that I am still trying, so that counts for something.
I don't know how this novel got so heavy but I have been slowly coming to the realization that my life will only change when I start changing it, no matter how small the shift.
Sometimes I can be really dense.
And sappy.
I blame it on the first day of school.
I guess it isn't just kids that act out when stressed or unsettled.
Sorry for the rant.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Taking Stock Part 2

^^ Random shot of two babies sleeping together in undies. Don't get any misconceptions that Micah is potty trained. I assure you, he isn't. ^^
Remember this fun little game? 
It is an excuse to talk shamelessly about myself while claiming to be taking inventory of "where I am " in my life.
As if it is a huge departure from all my other posts.
"Exactly. She rattles on and on about herself all the time."
"I know, she is annoying and so self-centered." 
"Agreed. She belongs in a psych ward where she can talk to a professional."
"And she is unnaturally sweaty."
"Why is she always droning on and on about her lame life? She could just go to clown college for all I care."
"Or maybe to a nerd organizing convention, where people sit around smelling their own farts and talking about establishing order."
Annnnnnnnnnnyway ...
This is what I am ...
Making: duvet covers for my boys. I hand-stamped plain, white bedspreads with a cool, tribal print; which my boys didn't even notice. It was really satisfying. 
Cooking: baked blueberry french toast. It is delish, and so simple a pea-brain could make it.
Drinking: tons and tons of water. So refreshing. (And that factoid about the human body being 95% water is totally false. FYI.)
Reading: Heaven is Here by Stephanie Nielson. It's the true story about a woman who survived a plane crash but was burned on over 80% of her body. 
Wanting: a really good head scratch. Not a head massage, but a really vigorous itch. 
Looking: for dining chairs. Do I have a dining room? No. But I will someday, and right now that future dining room is chairless.

Playing: roller derby! I am legit! Like on a real team and everything. The Flat Track Furies are super fierce. They also use the term "butt hole" a lot, which is endearing. 
Liking: my newest edition of Glamour magazine. I am an avid reader. I have been a subscriber for, like, 13 years. How else would I learn how to remix my fall wardrobe? Or what the most frequently asked sex questions of 2014 are? These are important issues that I take very seriously.
Wasting: time reading about what the most frequently asked sex questions of 2014 are. I am not even having sex. Lame. 
Sewing: nothing. Anytime I need something mended, I beg my sister to fix it because I am an angry seamstress and I get frustrated every time I have to THREAD THE DAMN BOBBIN!  
Wishing: I could give my life a shake-up. I am ready to start my new course, but lack any concrete direction.

Enjoying: Outshine fruit bars at night in place of my normal dish of ice cream. I am sure it will pass. 
Waiting: on the list of a very fancy dermatologist. For an appointment. To meet with him. 
Wondering: if said dermatologist will be able to tell me when puberty will in fact be at an end and I can blossom into a real woman and have pimple-free skin and no mustache skin discoloration.
^^ There she is. ^^
Loving: my new car. I got a Volvo. It is a very sophisticated car and I feel like I should wear an ascot and have my monogram sewn onto all my linens. 
Hoping: Micah will wake up tomorrow and decide that it is time to poop in the toilet. And not in his underpants. Three times a day. (For the last month).
Marveling: at the jellyfish and octupi (octopuses?) at the Seattle Aquarium. My father-in-law treated us to a day in the city and the kids had so much fun!
Smelling: Scotty's cologne. Ryan sleeps with his sweatshirt every night and asks me to spritz some of his cologne on it again after it comes out of the wash.  
Wearing: vintage rocker tees with pleated skirts. To my very conservative church. I don't think people understand me there. 
Following: Instagram. Why the H wasn't I doing this all my life? It is so fun. And I look busy on my phone when waiting in line at the post office like everyone else. Except I am not checking texts or missed calls. 'Cause I gots no friends.
Noticing: how many things in my room need to be organized ... once it is 12:30 a.m.

Thinking: about too many responsibilities. I am on the fast-track to an ulcer. 
Knowing: that everything is going to be all right. I can feel it. In my ulcer.
Needing: my hair to grow FASTER. The awkward phase was so three months ago.
^^ Do you see my tiny piggies? Yeah, me either. ^^
Bookmarking: a random assortment of job listings. In my opinion, I would be an amazing event-planner/administrative assistant/legal secretary.  
Opening: all the back-to-school paraphernalia that arrives prior to the big send-off. T-minus two days! 
Giggling: as I listen to my kids laugh and talk in their sleep. Micah is literally chuckling all night in his bed.

Feeling: blessed. I have a healthy body and three awesome kids. Lucky me!
^^ Why did we discover legos on the last day of summer? They have been quiet for HOURS! *forehead smack* ^^