"I hold on to You for dear life, and you hold me steady as a post..." Psalm 63

Thursday, September 30, 2010

lost little kittens....

It's a monsoon out there today. 
Seriously, I don't think I've ever seen a storm last so long before.  We have a creek behind our house that has rose up into our yard...it's kind of hard to tell from this picture, but it's
probably twenty feet out of its normal boundaries.

  It's crazy...it rained so much that the schools closed early.  And because she was home early, Emma was able to go on a rescue mission.  She followed the sound of a cat in distress...and found that it was stuck under our deck.  After much sweet-talking and cajoling...the little ball of fur appeared...followed by the rest of his litter!

I'm not sure how they got down there, maybe their mom was protecting them from the downpour...maybe she was hoping some sympathetic 13 year old would find them and adopt them. 

or maybe she walked away for a few minutes and found them missing when she returned and panicked.  Which is why these little guys had to go back out under the deck.  They're still down there in a little heap...only this time they're in a Rubbermaid box with a towel to keep them dry.
Their mom should be assured, they're being well taken care of while she's away.  A certain someone has been checking on them every hour or so. 
They even had their first sip of cow's milk...
they prefer their mother's. 

Hopefully she's coming back tonight to take care of them. 
Emma is secretly hoping she's gone for good....
I'm praying for a swift return.

All of this kitten-stuff reminds me of my favorite childhood book,
The Three Little Kittens

I read it over and over...and yet...I'm still not a fan of cats.
Kittens, yes...
but cats, no.

I'm staying strong...not giving in to the four pairs of baby blues that stared up at me.  I'm blocking out the pleads of my daughter and her desire to rescue every stray animal who cries out for help. 
Truly, I am...
but they are cute!

"Before a cat will condescend
To treat you as a trusted friend,
Some little token of esteem
Is needed, like a dish of cream."
~T.S. Eliot

"Are we really sure the purring is coming from the kitty
and not from our very own hearts?"
Terri Guillemets

Monday, September 27, 2010

Ordinary days vs the Extravagant One...

I'm still having trouble viewing my blog...stuck with teeny tiny font too small for any human eyes to decifer.  So, I'm sorry for whatever spelling and format errors that appear as you read.

We had a pretty uneventful weekend around here...somewhat busy, but not all that exciting.  As a matter of fact, this is about as intersting as it got around here:

These annoying guys have taken over our Township.  I understand that they are all over our County, but for whatever reason, have decided that they prefer the country best.  And have proceeded to multiply EVERYwhere...they are not particular where...they'll go anywhere.  So far they've kept to the outside of my house...gathering in clusters on my windows, but always on the outside looking in.  Until the end of last week.  I'm not sure what changed.  The weather?  The time of year?  The length of the days?  I have no idea, but whatever it is, these annoying STINKBUGS have suddenly decided that no one will tell them where they can and cannot go.  My friend told me the other day she found three in her bed. 
On Saturday my nephew was at my house.  It was the first cool day we've had in a while so I decided to open up all the windows in the sunroom to let the fresh air in.  Upon opening the very first window I discovered HUNDREDS of STINKBUGS swarming on the inside tracks of the windows.  After gagging at the sight, I grabbed my vaccum and gave my nephew the privilege of sucking them all up.  {Trust me, this was NOT punishment...not for a 15 year old boy.  He had a great time!}

Here they are clustered together in the cannister of my vaccum...

...and here they are burning to death in my firepit. 
{I warned you...this is not the kind of stuff you mistake for exciting}

Yesterday after church I had to run to Best Buy. 
I always check to see if the spots up front are empty...you know the ones:  

This is what I saw in the OTHER fuel efficient parking spot:
A VERY large van with about 25 people piled inside. 
{Like I said, boring weekends make even the smallest incidents seem funny}

By far the best part of the weekend was seeing this:
 He came to town to watch a show with his girlfriend.  We got to see him for 5 minutes in the Target parking lot...and then for 5 more minutes down the street so we could fill his tank up at Wawa before his drive back to school.  I know he didn't get it...but his mom was excited all day for those ten minutes! 

And it hit me this morning like this:
I'm doing a Bible Study on Thursdays and one of our goals this week is to intentionally recognize ways God loves us extravagantly.  Seeing my firstborn son last night reminded me of God.  I imagine Him anticipating the few minutes each day I spend with Him.  One on one, face to face.  I imagine an occasional glance at His eternal watch...waiting...anticipating my arrival.  I imagine His disappointment on those days that I neglect to show up....and His delight on the days that I find it in my power to forsake all else in order to meet him alone in a deserted parking lot.  I imagine the joy on His face as He embraces me at last...revelling in those few moments we have alone.  Of His offer to bless me with a "full tank of gas"...and the pleasure He takes in watching me be blessed by it.

Yeah...His love is EXTRAVAGANT towards me. 
And apparently I'm learning by His example to love my own children like He does.  I am understanding what He must feel like on the days I "forget" to pick up the phone and say hello.  Understanding the joy He feels when I pull up a chair to sit and stay a while...just to chat and catch up.  It's kicked me in the behind a little today...that picture of the GOD of the universe loving on me the way I love on my children.  Disappointed when I neglect to pick up the phone to say hello...waiting in anticipation of my arrival... 

"Watch what God does, and then you do it, like children who learn proper behavior from their parents. Mostly what God does is love you. Keep company with him and learn a life of love. Observe how Christ loved us. His love was not cautious but extravagant. He didn't love in order to get something from us but to give everything of himself to us.
Love like that."
Ephesians 5:1

Friday, September 24, 2010

it's the strangest thing...

I'm totally baffled by my blog today.  No matter how many times I refresh it, I can't seem to get it to refresh back to it's original font size w/background and music!  As far as I know I haven't changed any settings, and yet it refuses to cooperate and gives me eyestrain just trying to figure it out!  Anyone out there have any suggestions???  Or maybe it's just me..maybe it can be seen perfectly clearly from your end???  Strangely my other blog, which uses the same settings, is working perfectly fine! 

Technology baffles me...I can't quite figure out why it suddenly stops working the way I have become accustomed it working.  Makes me think I might be alot more impatient and spoiled than I thought I was.  It reminds me of a youtube video I watched yesterday that really made me laugh...it's so true, but for today I just want my computer to cooperate...and tomorrow I'll agree with this guy's point of view.

If anyone has any suggestions for me...I'm all ears.  On the other hand, possibly no one can even read this, in which case I'll just have to leave it as it is and ask my grandmother if I can borrow her magnifying glass.

Thursday, September 23, 2010


So I'm sitting at Panera Bread with my partner in crime, Amber Jacoby.
 {by the way she is a FABULOUS photographer, and if you need portraits done you should definitely contact that girl HERE
Anyway, we have this big problem, and I think I'm finally willing to talk about it.  We're stalkers.  We meet here often.  Sometimes just to hang out and talk...sometimes because she needs to edit photos {and I look over her shoulder and cheer her on}...and SOMEtimes it doesn't matter why we meet here because we get totally distracted and before we know it we have started stalking some of the coolest blogs in cyberspace. 

Let me clarify...we have our own definition of "stalking"...and it does not sound like the Wikipedia definition that goes something like this:
"Stalking is a term commonly used to refer to unwanted, obsessive attention by individuals (and sometimes groups of people) to others. Stalking behaviors are related to harassment and intimidation..."
{cause that would be creepy...}

Our definition of stalking goes more like this:
"Two women living vicariously off of other people's talents and gifts...hoping that some of it will rub off on them.  These particular stalking behaviors are totally controllable and can be stopped at anytime."
{ Really.  They can.  If you want to.}

Today we both had a list of things to accomplish on our own computers...we skimmed the top of those lists but got stuck here:
and here:
and here:
and here:
and maybe a few more places...
And nothing else on our lists got done. 
Nothing but alot of stalking...good, clean controllable stalking.

On the home front, we've been drinking alot of THIS...
I've bought more Walmart brand lemonade mix this summer than ever.  On any given day there are teenagers coming or going around here, and I think I finally found an inexpensive way to keep them all hydrated. {because although just plain water is free, it doesn't mean it's fun to drink...and this stuff is sugar-free. Bonus!}  By this time of year, I'm tired of all the fresh fruit in my fridge and have decided it goes down just as well in the lemonade. 
About the third day of having it sit in the fridge it starts to take on an entirely new color {reminiscent of specimen cups, as Alex recently pointed out on his last visit}....but the flavors all mix together and it's downright addicting.  {I'm sure Nutrition Specialists all over the world would have a thing or two to say about the amount of fake sugar we've consumed this summer, but whatever...it tastes DElish.}

Emma insisted she get in on the pictures.  But, I promise, the straw didn't really reach into the jar- no worries, if you stop by anytime soon you won't be drinking backwash.

Nothing else very interesting happening around here.  It's "Fair Week" in our township.  Not my personal favorite week, but my kids have always loved it.  The mixture of farm animals, mud and manure do very little to excite me, but I usually break down for one evening just for an excuse to have some good food. 

I believe tonight is the greased-kid race. {Not to be confused with the greased PIG race which it used to be called before PETA or someone decided it was "in-humane" to grease the pig...thereby nominating the kids to be greased instead.  Not sure why that doesn't sound funny to anyone else...}

Very tempting...but think I'll pass.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

To Nick...

Not sure how it happened, but another year has gone by already and you're having a birthday...again.  Seems like just a few days ago I was looking through old pictures and posting THIS.
I remember the doctor telling me that the first year is always the slowest year of your child's life.  He was right.  I didn't believe him, because at the time you were still pooping in your pants and most of my day was spent chasing after your needs with barely a moment to myself.  But he really was right...and now I kind of hate him for being right!

I'm guessing that since this last year went by so quickly, the coming year will as well...
in which case I've made a plan:

I'm locking you in the house all year long, taking away the keys and your phone and staring at you every minute of every day.  It'll be like trying to watch water boil and it will be the longest year EVER.  And I'll be happy about that, OK?

I've told you before, but I'll tell you again that I'm proud to be your mom, Nick.  I'm proud of the young man you are becoming and the heart that is developing for Jesus.  I anticipate that there are some pretty awesome things planned for your future.  My prayer is that you live every day of life with your eyes wide open so that you don't miss a beat of what God's got planned out for you.  Find joy in every day...even when it seems impossible, and look for Him around every corner. 

Happy 17th Birthday, Nick...
I love you,

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Playing favorites...

One of my very favorite bloggers is a woman I have never met, but visit often. I feel like I know her..like she's one of my personal friends. She amazes and inspires me. Her life is full of trials and physical pain...but her outlook on life far exceeds human ability.  Her name is Stephanie and I've noted her here before, but wanted to share a piece that featured her home and parts of her family's story. 
 I think you'll like her as much as i do.

One of my favorite moments yesterday came while serving a meal alongside our church's youth at a city rec center.  The center is open during the day so that the kids have a place to play, learn and interact.  Each night a meal is served to whoever shows up.  No reservations necessary, just show up and grab a plate.  That alone blows my mind.  There is no way to know how many people will push up to the table on any given night.  I have no idea how you plan for a meal like that, but somehow they do it.  The favorite moment came while i was eating a plate of ziti and salad next to a young man named "J".  After engaging the two young girls sitting across from me in conversation I could feel the stare of anticipation from J, who was waiting, I think to see if I'd talk with him, too.  "J" is not the type of young man I run into on a typical day in my life. After assessing his willingness to converse with a white woman a decade older than him and finding him very open to share a little about himself, I hesitantly asked him about the tatooes on his arms. 
It went something like this:
ME: "Tell me the story of the maps on your arms...I know there's a story behind every one of them"

J: "Yes, ma'am, there is...this one is from when I served time, and came home with a promise to never return...this one is the name of my first love...this one represents the church my mom took me to growing up...this one symbolizes Jesus dying to take away my sins."

ME "So, is that it?  Or are you planning more in the future...I know how it is, once you start, you're addicted!"  {a fact I have learned because I am Alex's mom}

J: {large toothy grin} Yeah...I promised my mom I wouldn't get more....but the next one will be an angel on my chest with open wings." 

Sorry to tell you, J's mom, but your son is about to break his promise...you should just prepare yourself now.

I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know this young man.  His life is unique and probably dangerous, but from the sounds of his words, I think He knows Jesus personally.  I reminded myself that I am one judgemental woman.  If I saw J walking up to me on the street I'd probably reach for my cell phone and start dialing 911.  But, J loves Jesus and I would be shallow and unfair to assume he would cause me trouble.  I should not be so quick to judge people by their harsh appearances and the location of their nightly meal. 

I met a boy named Dexter too.  His name totally suited him...he was trying to make a sandwich with one piece of french bread and his baked ziti.  He was quiet, but grinned widely when I suggested I should get him a second piece so he could make it a proper sandwhich.
It was gone in seconds.
I hope he has a mom who loves him...and tucked him into bed when he got home.

Today's favorite is captured in the video below.  I've heard it many times in the past...but today I heard it like it was the first time.

Hoping for you a life that can't get Him out of your mind
or off of your hands...
And look around - all around you are simple things just waiting to be your new daily favorite

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Random things that made me smile today...


Muhammad Ali had just won another boxing title. On the airplane the stewardess politely said to him, "You need to fasten your seat belt." Ali replied, "Superman doesn't need a seat belt." To which the stewardess politely responded, "And Superman doesn‟t need an airplane either; please fasten your seat belt."

Even tough guys need seat belts.


Sitting for a few hours at my favorite cafe...
first w/a cup of coffee...then with a bowl of soup!
Way back in the corner where the comfy seats are it's ALMOST like I'm there alone.
{Except for the clanking of dishes, Beethoven playing on the sound system and the woman and young man who came in to chat about the relationship between the woman's son and the young man. She fished for information I didn't want to hear...TMI!}


Her- singing again...after several rough days of not hearing her sing or giggle.
Him- looking so cute in the sweater I found him at Goodwill the other day.

If you bungle raising your children, I don't think whatever else you do
matters very much.

 Jackie Kennedy Onassis

Thinking about him coming home for the weekend...

A child enters your home and for the next twenty years makes so much noise you can hardly stand it. The child departs, leaving the house so silent you think you are going mad. ~John Andrew Holmes

Humans are the only animals that have children on purpose
with the exception of guppies, who like to eat theirs.
~P.J. O'Rourke

Hope your day finds you smiling, too...

Sunday, September 12, 2010

The hunt is on...

Summer has officially ended for us around here.  School has started and taken with it our carefree way of life.  The day now starts at 6:00am instead of whenever I feel like it.  As much as I am a morning rebel, I kind of like that we've been forced back onto a seemingly normal schedule.  We've had a strange summer of painting, packing and moving....and then again paperwork, packing and moving of my college-bound son.  All of which has been well-worth the effort, but makes me even more blissfully aware of the new-found quiet that greets me the moment the bus takes off with my kids each morning.  It won't always be this way...I'm on a job hunt...but for now, it's affording me the time to catch up on things like bills and undone projects leftover from our move. 

One of the things I've put in the back of my mind all summer is the search for cushions for my kitchen island stools.  While the chairs are terribly uncomfortable right now, it just hasn't been a priority to sit online for hours and search for the ones I've dreamed up in my head. I did find a website, though, that has me curious. 
Check it out.  If I can't find exactly what I'm looking for here, with all of the styles and variety, then I'm not sure I'll find them elsewhere.
Here's a few that caught my eye:
I like the stripe ok, even though I'm really looking for a floral.  But priced at $14.99 each...I might be persuaded to become a striped fan.

This floral is a little closer to what I'm looking for and only $19.99 each, but still, not the right pattern.
This is the closest to what I'm looking for on the Bed Bath Store website.  The price of $27.99 each is NOT going to happen, but I'm getting closer.  I like how they're made- with the tufting and the piping.  But I'm afraid that my biggest hindrance is the fact that I've got fabric sitting next to my sewing machine that I'm really sold on using. 

 I have been saving this Cath Kidston fabric for just the right project, and I think this is the one.  I love all the quality and the styles of the ones I saw on the Bed Bath Store site, but I'm not sure I want to attempt making them...So I guess I'll wait a little longer and keep hunting for a solution to the dilemma.

I got distracted on the Bed Bath website, because the store is so big.  I hopped around from Chair pads, to furniture, to bedding, to rugs, to storage solutions, to the Clearance section and still didn't see the whole website!  Although I won't be purchasing chair pads from them, I've added them to my favorites for the future.  It will probably come in handy once I start working on all my unfinished projects.
{I'm starting to think about enjoying my fireplace in a few months...maybe by then this little beauty will have found its' way to the Clearance section!}
 With the free shipping offer {on purchases over $89} I'm sure I'll be returning!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Looking back...

Nine years ago our country found itself in the midst of a visible fight for life. 

We became dependant on each other as a nation.  People turned their trust towards firefighters, and policemen, and politicians, and in a very broad sense, to a convenient "God". 

Suddenly everyone got all religious and turned to a "higher power" who could bless our nation again.  But, as always happens after a tragedy, days go by, "normal" returns- albeight a new normal- and life resumes where it left off.  A need for that "higher power" subsided.  Every year there is a sense of quiet remembrance of the tragedy, a short return to the honoring of that "higher power"..and then back to resuming normal life.  In between those yearly remembrances we play the blame-game...trying to figure out which responsible party the finger should be pointed at.  And we debate the ways in which we will be most protected as a country...to war or not to war, etc.

I'm certainly no expert in politics or the running of any government.  I know only this...we can spend all our days sweating and arguing over which way is right, which side is living in denial, and who should be in charge of our security...but even the best laid plans and the most well developed technology will not ensure our protection.  We have this strange notion that WE decide our fate and WE are in charge of our ultimate protection.  But, as long as we continue to acknowledge a "higher power" only in moments of tragedy and refuse to believe that that Higher Power is actually the One, True God, then we can be most assured that we are not as a nation under True Protection.  We spend so much time teaching the next generation that they get to decide their own truth and they are in charge of their destiny...

But what if...what if we've gone about it all in the wrong ways....
Were we to acknowledge our collective ignorance in thinking that we have anything to do with security, anything to do with Truth, and anything to do with our futures and lay our puny attempts of control at the feet of THE Higher Power...quite possibly then we would understand that control and security is out of our grasp.  We would not, then, be promised a tragedy-free existence...but we would be promised eternal Protection over that existence.  We would be wise enough to do all that we can to set the right people in charge, but our striving and bickering would cease, we would run back to the original Source of Truth and we would know that our best interest is in mind because we live under the only Ruler who makes all things come together for good.    

In a perfect world....

"I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have [perfect] peace and confidence.
 In the world you have tribulation and trials and distress and frustration; but be of good cheer
 [take courage; be confident, certain, undaunted]! For I have overcome the world.
 [I have deprived it of power to harm you and have conquered it for you.]" 
 John 16:33

*To those who have our back, who fight the hard fight because we've turned our backs on Truth...
THANK YOU...your sacrifice does not go unnoticed.

Monday, September 6, 2010

A look at the birds...

This is where you'll find me on any given morning.  It's where I have my quiet time of reading in the morning, where I do most of my blogging, and where you would have found me all afternoon yesterday reading a book.  The last few days I've had to grab a blanket to sit out here in my pjs.

If I look off to my left, this is what I see. 
And if I turn completely to the left, this is what I see....

The other day I decided it was time to feed all the birds I spend so much time listening to out here.  My mom always had a bird feeder on this window and we were always fascinated by them.  I sort of thought it's something that older women do when they have an empty-nest...maybe a replacement of the children that have grown and gone.  {sorry, mom!}  So, either I was wrong or I've now become one of those older women...even though my kids are still here and need me.  Whatever the reason, I hung a feeder in the same spot since it seemed to work in the past.  In a few hours one bird discovered it and told the rest of the birds in Lancaster County to come too.  Mom warned me that it would be a fulltime job keeping them fed! 

She didn't warn me that it would be a fulltime job watching them.  They are totally distracting to me!  Their little chirping and singing sounds distract me from everything I do out here....making me take twice as long to finish up!  But, I love it.  They just keep coming back for more and bringing more friends.  This morning I had to do a google search to try to identify one particular bird that keeps coming back. {See...I've totally bought into the old lady thing} 

 I still haven't figured out what it is...

She's small like the chickadees that come, but much more timid.  Her head and breast are much redder than the picture shows-her back and feathers are brown. I watched her for a long time as she hid in the branches of the tree until a chickadee started feeding...then it was safe for her to hop on too. 
Anyone recognize her?  Mom?

Anyway, like I said...this birdfeeder is totally distracting to me.  I try to entice the kids to come out with me and watch them, but apparently it's not cool to sit out here in the quiet and watch.

Amidst the distraction is a verse that plays over and over in my head like music...

"That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life— Look at the birds.
They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them.
And aren’t you far more valuable to him than they are?" 
 Matthew 6

I keep thinking about the birds...they just keep coming back, trusting that there will be more....and it's been a reminder to me that this is how I am to live also.  Instead of worrying about how we will pay the bills or what direction I should be looking for a job...I need to just keep coming back to the source of my nourishment.  Worrying about all the "what-ifs" does not give the answers.  Resting in what I do know, will. 

So maybe that's why I keep coming back to this same spot day after day.  It represents my place of nourishment...the place where contentment is found.  The place that never goes empty or forgotten. 
The place where I "Look at the birds" and find my heart's rest....

Saturday, September 4, 2010


I'm not a fan of them.  Never have been and I will probably never be.  Some smart-alec {wow, I never actually wrote that...don't even know if there is a proper spelling} decided to call "a night that you invite all your friends over to stay up all night and giggle over silly nothings" a SLEEPover.  Whoever it was, was most definitely under the age of 18 and probably thought that if they give it this name then children all over the world will pull the wool over their parents eyes.  Somehow we adults have been hoodwinked.  We bought the lie and have continued to pass the lie down with each new generation.
 Someone should put a stop to this and give it a new name. 


All good names I would vote for.

Ok, just because if you've read my last post and have gotten this far on this one and have decided I am the most negative, pinched lipped mother you know...I will change the subject and get to the point.

Here's the thing I just realized.  While the night of a sleepover is loathesome to me, the next morning- after the crowd has stayed awake for a marathon amount of time-they actually sleep in.  If you draw the curtains in the room and turn on a noisy fan, then parents all over the world can secretly take their revenge and none of the "party members" will be the wiser.  Such is the state of this house this morning...

9:57am and not a peep...
Giving me time to sleep in a little, shower, dress, and have a cup of coffee and some quiet time on my porch.

{By the way, here in Eastern PA the weather is the kind you dream of after days of 90 degree heat.}

I'm still reading "The Pursuit of God" by AW Tozer...it's the kind of book I read in chunks...and the name of today's chapter was "The Gaze of the Soul".  If you could see my book, you'd see that it is one of my favorite chapters, based on the fact that just about every page has something underlined or starred. 

The theme is Faith.
"The gaze of a soul upon a saving God"

The challenge is the keeping of our eyes on the Father.
The "continuous look at God".

"While we are looking at God we do not see ourselves - blessed riddance.  The man who has struggled to purify himself and has had nothing but repeated failures will experience real relief when he stops tinkering with his soul and looks away to the perfect One.  While he looks at Christ, the very things he has so long been trying to do will be getting done within him..."

I think I could have loved this man, AW, that is. Granted, to do so I would have had to be in my prime in the 1950's and I'm not sure I want to give up my laptop or my ipod...but I love his heart and his passion for Jesus.  His use of words and his blunt way of saying it like it is.  He hurts me and steps on my toes sometimes...but he does it for my own good.  That's a good man.  I don't know very many of them.  And maybe that's the point...for him to show me the blessed walk of knowing the One and Only who is the epitome of a Good Man.  Though my human nature may tell me I need otherwise, this continual gaze upon the Lord brings with it confirmation that it is Him that I need. 

Thanks, A.W.,  I needed that.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Friday night football...

It's Friday night-and it happens to be the first football game at the local high school.  As my dad would be quick to agree, I have absolutely no football genes in me.  {Much to his dismay, as the youngest of two girls, I think he held out hope that I might be his last great chance to have a child who will watch sports with him...I failed him.}  It's not that I detest sports...I'm really just indifferent to them.  Which is why, for years, when my kids looked upon Friday night football season with anticipation I cringed.  Ok, maybe it's not even about the game itself.  Maybe it's more about the fact that once I hand over the two dollars entry fee they ditch me to find their friends...which, is as it SHOULD be...how weird would it be to have a middle schooler and high schooler actually WANT to sit with mom at a school function.  Unthinkable. Anyway...so, to be fair, it's not really the game that I loathe...maybe it's more about being somewhere I care little about...alone.  Not completely alone, because there are other fans there too...and I do have other couple friends who enjoy going...but for some reason that I can't quite conclude, the football games are one of those places that make me feel alone in a crowd.  I don't know, it sounds weird even to me as I type it..but really, that's not even what this post is about, so I'll spare you the need to analyze my life.

In the past, Football Friday has gone something like this:
ME: "Hey, you guys need to be ready to leave for the game in 15 minutes
 or we'll be standing on that long line."
KIDS: "Ok...let me finish checking facebook"
"Let me comb my hair"
"I'm in the bathroom!"
ME: "Ok, I want to stop for coffee first so you better hurry."

But, in the past, I've not had an almost 14 year old daughter who has invited her friends to drive to the game with her.  So tonight went something like this:

ME: "You guys better get ready to go, it's 6:30"
NICK:  {no comment.  rolls eyes.}
ME: "Actually, you should really leave at 6:45 so that you don't get stuck in that long line. 
 That's 15 minutes from now."
GIRLS: {very loud audible scream}
"Can I use your straightener?"
"Can I borrow your belt?"

"Can you do my makeup?"

"I'm so hot, I have pit stains!"
"Are you taking a sweatshirt?"
"Should I wear my hair up or down?"

ME:  "You guys do realize that you're only going to see the same people that you've
been in school with all week, right?"
GIRLS:  {eye rolls}
NICK: "See, this is what I hate about middle schoolers, they act like they have to impress everyone. 
I'm going to the car."
ME: "Nick, you know how you've been trying to get me to let you do more things and have more responsibility?  Well, guess what?  I've decided not to go to the game because 5 hours alone in a silent house sounds like Paradise to me...so you're taking the girls."

NICK:  "Just so you know, we're not listening to your Hip-Hop crap music"
GIRLS:  {giggle}
ME:  "Relax, it's only a mile...You can do anything for a mile.
 Smile so I can take your picture..."


This is what you find in the wake of  four teenage girls when they're rushed out the door in a flurry:

...a heap of brushes and straighteners, makeup boxes {yes, BOXES}...not to mention the piles of rejected clothes around the corner in the bedroom.... 

{Wait...let's talk about what's in those makeup BOXES.  Those girls have more makeup than I do- AND all of mine combined probably cost less than one of those little containers in there!}

If I listen really closely at Halftime I'll be able to hear the band playing...so, really, it's almost like I'm there.  But not. 

I'm sure this Friday night is a rarity...chances are it won't happen again.  I like to put up a fuss, but when my friends entice me with a tailgate party or two I'm sure I'll break down and join the "FUN".

 But i wonder, does it say too much about me if this...
{Better Homes & Gardens Mulled Cider candle from Walmart- smells edible}
burning around the corner from this...
while watching this...
and eating this...
actually EXCITES me on a Friday night?

Paradise, I tell you!
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