Tuesday, December 6, 2011

You'd Think I Have Too Much Time On My Hands

Sometimes I just look around me. My house, my environment, my life, the challenges we deal with, the blessings we are showered with, everything - it all makes me who I am every day. 

Those who know me closely know exactly how those dots are all connected to make me, well - ME. And ME is one oddly put-together personality. Meet me for the first time and spend 30 minutes with me, and you'll either walk away very uncomfortable not sure how to take most of what I said (was she really serious or just joking?), wonder if I'm really that much of an open book (I will usually tell anyone anything about myself or something that I've been through) or just vow "that's just not for me" as if you just ate Indian food for the first time and decided, right then and right there, that you're really just a burger and fries kinda person.

See? Right there. Am I joking? Am I trying to be funny?

I walked down the stairs on my day off earlier this week, apparently, with someone else's eyes on. Because everything I saw around me hit me like I was walking through a museum of some really odd person's life on display. It hit me that it is all so normal to all of us that we think nothing of it, but most who walk in our house for the first time probably see all these subtly odd things and wonder if we're a bit off our rockers. 

It really is subtle. Upon first glance, we all seem like a perfectly normal suburban family. I think. Maybe I'm even more delusional than I thought. We just make life work for us in a mostly humorous way, and we do what we can to embrace the fact that we have some family-crippling issues to deal with at times.

In a nutshell, we are two best friends raising three boys, two dogs, and one snake who just celebrated our 20th wedding anniversary. We met at 13 and became friends though we were complete opposites in every way, began dating at 16, had a baby in college just before we turned 20, married later that year and the rest is blissful, odd, fun, challenging history. And our life shows it. 

So that morning, I had the entire day off, and it was amusing me to take photos of the things that we live with every day, but were suddenly standing out to me. It was cracking me up and I was having fun. Forget laundry. Laundry doesn't make me chuckle. 

I thought I'd share with y'all. Because remember? I really am such an open book. And if something amuses me - I immediately want to tell someone. My close friends know this well - as they get odd texts at odds times - usually with photos.

This is a photo-heavy post. You may want to stop now. 

No? Okay - here we go.

This was my coffee - notice the hidden Kahlua in the pattern on the cup? Yep. Notice that I am so very adept at the process of making my coffee that I know exactly how much creamer and whipped cream to put in the cup before I brew my Keurig K-cup into that cup that there is not a millimeter to spare at the top? Yep. I'm that good. Yes - I put the creamer and whipped cream in first. It's what I do. Yes. I said whipped cream.

This is Jesus. In a piece of pottery on our kitchen window sill. Christ is the head of our family and always will be. Our faith is deep and it is wide. Don't test it. It will win every time.

But why is Jesus in that?

That piece of pottery has a great story behind it involving my brother and sister-in-law, a great trip to Asheville, NC, an awesome restaurant, and a woman who has a business in her home with a golden doodle dog who acted weird after having surgery.

Don't you wish you knew it?

Back to Jesus. I can prove it's Jesus. And here's how. No one else would have another person's name tattooed on their foot. Tattoos hurt to get. I know. I got one. In Asheville.

It just gets weirder and weirder, doesn't it??

This is our garage fridge.

And That's a Nike shoe box in it. Odd enough. Guess what's in the shoe box? Beer. Story behind that, too. 

When I got the shoes that were in that box when my son's girlfriend and I were shopping on Black Friday, we cracked up and decided that the symbol on the box means that no babies from zero to three months are allowed to be in the box, play with the box, touch the box, or otherwise look at the box. 

After that - you're free and clear. Do you notice how sad this makes the baby?

Moving on to my workroom, which we call "Richard" by the way. Another funny story.

I love pigs - have since I was little. If you really want to know the story, I'll tell it sometime - just ask. But I won't boar everyone else with it right now. See how I did that?

This is a pig that someone sketched, not sure if it was Alexx (my oldest son) or Kat (his lovely, lovely girlfriend), who are both amazing artists. But it's an awesome pig - with wings and a light sabor. It may be the greatest pig of all time. What other pig could top that? Certainly not the "Largest Pig in the World" you can visit at the State Fair. That thing can't even walk, I'm sure. Hold a light sabor? PLEASE.

It happens to be sketched on the inside of a Lipton Onion Soup box.  

I don't even know the background on that one.

But I put it where I can see it every second that I'm working because it makes me happy.

Speaking of what else makes me happy in Richard - the desktop on my computer - a picture of me with Mac Powell, my favorite singer of all time - from Third Day. If you aren't listening to their music, you are not living.

And that Dr. Pepper? I stole that from my boss at work (Club Canine). Now she's going to know it. So I have to buy some Diet Cherry Dr. Pepper to put in her fridge at work so I don't get fired.
My desk coaster, I think, says it all.
This is the crate that we bought for Joshua when he came home a year ago at 11 weeks old. We no longer put him in the crate (though he likes to nap in it), but I made a work surface of it a long time ago with a clearance piece of something-or-other from Ikea that I got for $1, so I'm not willing to take it down.

I love this piece of art. It reminds me daily that I am precious and loved and a child of God, no matter what stupid things I do or say.
When I brought it home, I knew I wanted it in Richard somewhere since I spend so much time in there, but I couldn't decide where to hang it. Fast forward to us having to get a new heating/cooling system, which came with a new thermostat, which was smaller than the old one.

I'm too lazy (or too busy) to sand the area and fix it with the new paint on the walls, so I found the perfect place to hang my picture:

This is Pedro - see him peeking his head up in the back? We love Pedro. We adopted him from our Jr. High Pastor at church (WRCC - check us out!) We previously kept Seth's (8-year-old) class snake for the summer and had a ball with him, so this is our 2nd snake to love. (Hey - all boys, remember?) And you know what? They have totally different personalities! Who knew?

Pedro just shed, and so I need to hang a housekeeping tag outside his door for service. Totally cool when they shed.

Pedro eats live mice - and I have a funny story about when one of the mice we bought for his meal chewed its way out of its box before we got it out to feed him ... good times.

This sleeping bag was dragged out of storage for the fall Scout campout that Sean, Seth (the Scout) and Joel (13-year-old) went on in October. It has become a favorite cover-up around the house. Should we put it back in storage or just leave it out? You know what the laziness devil on my right shoulder is whispering in my ear.

These are tile coasters I made a few Christmases ago for fun. They were never packed away - so we have Christmas spirit all year long. In theory.

I brought this basket home from one of my trips to Asheville, NC. It was handmade in India (if I recall correctly). I just fell in love with the colors and the shape - just all of it! I haven't yet decided what will be perfect to store in it.

Joel and Seth tell me that they put Victor (the previous class snake we were caring for) in it once last summer to see if they could get him to come out the top by playing music.

I kind of really am a crazy dog chick, as they call me. And I'm cool with that. I have always been the crazy dog girl. Just ask my parents. Big, long stories there, too.

So this is reflected in every part of my life:

This one offended Seth when I hung it up. Seriously. He was mad.

I have my live Christmas wreath up! It smells so good. Nothing odd about that.

But I left the magnet on the door that is there all the time above the "Pets welcome" bone sign:

Here's the back of the door. 

Just a reminder for the boys that we aren't takin' any of their crap, 

that they need to clean up their own crap, and more dog stuff, of course.

 In our downstairs half-bath, I got so tired of cleaning pee off of every surface *around* the toilet, that I took an oil paint pen and drew a smiley face inside the toilet bowl and told the boys to "AIM TO HIT THE GUY IN THE TOILET, for crying out loud."

When that one faded, I had to draw another one. Seth asked if he could help me. Sure! Why not?

That is a stupid question, by the way, that will be answered in 1,000 different, bad ways if you ask it as the mother of all boys. It was answered in this way this particular time:

That's the faded remnant of Seth's rendition of the guy with the smiley face 
with "hair that's on fire." 


But, by the way, the smiley face worked. To a degree.
I now clean up considerably less pee in places that it does not belong.

I am known for writing notes to my people on the mirrors in our house with either dry-erase markers or lip stick that I've gotten for free and will never-in-this-lifetime wear (have you met met?). 

So Seth, following my actions (great parenting), didn't write the rest of us a note,

but drew a dinosaur in bad need of orthodontic work. 

And just a glimpse of our reading material in said bathroom. 

A nice variety, yes? 

That says it all. I live the boys' life, try to do it simply, but FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, I'M STILL A GIRL, someone please talk to me about make-up, clothes, 
and famous people that none of us know.

That morning, my wonderful, awesome, superdupergoodsmellin' husband let me 
sleep in until just before he left for work. When I came downstairs, this is what I found that the 8-year-old had eaten for breakfast.

Hey - nobody's died yet. Don't judge.

Just to show you that we aren't all odd and different, a few vastly normal qualities about us:

When you walk in our door, in the foyer is what we affectionately call "The Grandma Chest." My great-grandad made this chest as part of his and his wife's "setting up house" furniture when they were married.

When I was little, I was completely enamored with this piece of furniture, which was by then in my grandma's house. I *loved* it for some reason.
When Sean and I were married and we moved into our first apartment, Grandma gave it to us. It means the world to me, because it represents Grandma's love for me and my family and our history.

On the Grandma Chest are two photos that also mean the world to us. The one on the left is Sean's grandfather, whom he was very close with until his death when we were 21.

The one on the right is my great-grandad (who made the chest), my great-grandma, my grandad, and two great aunts. Grandad died when I was just two, but I grew up with my Aunt Sarah (until I was 8 or so) and my Aunt "Ita" (Juanita - who died in my early 20's).  Also nothing odd about these things - I just wanted to share - along with a few other things:

We love to take photos - not staged photos, but "I gotta get my camera!" photos. Or sneaky, no-one-knew-I-had-my-camera photos. Or just we-have-GOT-to-capture-this-fun photos.

This wall is from the foyer to our kitchen,

and some of my favorites are:

These are photos I took of Seth sleeping one day at around 6 months old. He still looks just like that when he's asleep.

This is Alexx (12) and Joel (almost 5) meeting Seth the day he was born.

Papa (my dad) loves these boys enough to do everything from engage in water gun wars . . . 


to quiet walks to settle down little Seth during a particularly difficult "autisic moment."

One of my favorite pictures of Alexx (now nearly 21 yrs. old).

And in case you were unclear, these are the loves of my life right after my human family.

Joshua (1)

Heidi (6)


  1. I truly admire your writing! Love what you wrote and you're not that odd at all... Loved reading about YOU and your Family... beautiful people and btw, Your dogs are CUTE!!! =) Have a wonderful day! Would definitely keep up on your writing. I enjoyed it very much...

  2. your writing is really good... envy your writing skill... I wish I could write as good as you :) Photos are nice and writing are warming.

    See your coffee machine make me wanna get a cup of it :)