Tuesday, August 25, 2015

He's Cold. Very Cold.

Michael's obsession with James Bond is the reason that he's been cold for three years. 

The Bond film Skyfall came out in 2012. And since then, Michael cannot find a jacket he wants to buy. Because the jacket he wants to buy is worn by James Bond in that movie. And we cannot find a jacket that looks like it. He will not settle on any other jacket because the next jacket he buys has to look exactly like that one.

The dream coat. Good thing Michael's not
looking for the car, too.
Why don’t we just get the actual jacket? Because it costs over $500. So we are on the hunt for one with the same aesthetic. And I cannot count the number of stores we’ve visited, trying to find a coat that resembles the Skyfall coat.

Please understand that I do not have the Shopping Gene. Some people can go from store to store to store, finding joy in the hunt. I am not one of those people. I’m more of the get in, get it, and get out kind of shopper. So this endless search has driven me nuts. And the fact that it's gone on for years is also wearing on me.

The upside is the boy won't spend money on anything he doesn't love. The downside is he still doesn't have a coat.

As we did a little back-to-school shopping this weekend, we once again attempted to find a fall coat that he will agree to wear. In each store, I would ask him, “How about this one?” And each answer was negative. So I began holding up empty hangers asking if this one would work. Then I pretended to drape him in imaginary fabric asking how the fit felt. “Maybe you and the emperor with his new clothes can get together and do some shopping!”

As you can imagine, this did not go over well.

After going through several stores and finding nothing that would work, we landed in our gazillionth outerwear store. And when the sales clerk welcomed us and asked if we were looking for anything in particular, I finally told the truth:

“Yes. We are looking for an imaginary coat. I have no idea if it actually exists outside my son’s mind. If you can find that coat for me, I would be eternally grateful.”

The clerk, as you can imagine, had no idea what to say. Michael acted like he didn't know me. And we didn’t find anything. Again.

I’m beginning to think he’s going to be cold for a long, long time.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Early birthday love

August 21, 1996: life was pretty normal. August 22, 1996: everything changed. Because that was the day Amy Elizabeth entered the world. And nothing has been the same since.

While Amy was by far our best sleeper (eight hours a night at four weeks – no joke), she was also, by far, our loudest baby. She had a wonderful, bold laugh. She also had an incredible scream. When she was unhappy, everyone knew it. Like the whole neighborhood. And surrounding towns. And possibly Alabama.

Our first daughter has taken us on quite a ride these past 19 years. She has brought great joy to our lives. We’ve also cried buckets of tears over her. The move to Michigan was hard on the girl, and the years immediately following our relocation were really, really rough. We prayed more for her then than we ever had before. I am so grateful for the many friends the Lord put in our lives during that time – they prayed for her when we felt prayed out. They loved her and us. And it’s especially sweet that we can look back now and thank the Lord for bringing us all through that difficult time.

Next week we’ll take her back to school for her sophomore year. I didn’t like it when we dropped her off last year and I won’t like it any better this year. But the guy I sleep with keeps telling me that I have to be a Big Girl and do it. Well, he can make me drive her up there and haul all her stuff up four flights of stairs in an un-air-conditioned dormitory, but he can’t make me like it. Because each step up and down those dorm steps is one step closer to the end of a wonderful summer with our sweet first girl. And I’m just not ready for it to end. I never knew how much fun I could have with her – I certainly never dreamed it when she was
yelling at the top of her baby lungs...

Happy, happy birthday, Amy-girl. We love you lots!

Monday, August 03, 2015

Help me, Meg and Katie. You're my only hope!

Thankfully summer is here and Amy is not wearing socks with her sandals. I wrote about her style faux pas back in March. Some tried to convince me that look was in this season - just because some people think socks and sandals are "in" doesn't mean they're right. Because they're not. But true vindication came in comments from Meg and Katie, two of Amy's college friends who loved the post and completely agreed with me. Clearly these two young, stylish ladies' opinions would sway Amy and convince her to quit wearing socks with her Chacos.

Wishful thinking. The girl still thinks the sock/sandal combo is a go-to look for chilly temps. Where did I go wrong?

Meg and Katie, I think we may need to stage an intervention. Somehow, we are not being heard. Amy doesn't seem to understand that socks are for winter and sandals are for summer. And the two should not met.

Surely if the three of us keep working on her she'll come around. Right?

We can hope.

Meg and Katie with Amy this weekend at Meg's final performance of 
Footloose at Grand Rapids Civic. She did a great job as Ariel!

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

I blame Pinterest

I just wanted to re-do the school room. We used to need three desks and we’re down to only needing one. Plus, the room was still builder-beige – it desperately needed some color, something I’d been saying since we moved in ten years ago. I hopped on Pinterest to get some ideas and that’s where the trouble began. 

Quick Pinterest Tip for New UsersThere were lots of cool office ideas, but what really caught my eye was the way many of the rooms in a house were painted the same color throughout. But I was just looking for a color for the the school room…

Needing to focus, I went off to Home Depot with the girls to select the color. First color was a bust, so back to the Depot for Color #2. Again, bust. Back to the store for Color #3, which proved to be the charm: Dolphin Fin.

(Who comes up with the names of paint colors? Seriously. Dolphin Fin? It is incredibly accurate, though. Good thing I like dolphins. I'd never have picked Shark Grey. So I guess those color-namers know what they're doing.) 

I painted the school room and loved the look. Then, remembering what I’d seen online of all those rooms painted the same color, I decided to paint the half bath, and was pleased with the results. Until I got Dolphin Fin on the ceiling. Back to Home Depot for ceiling paint for some touch-up. Which turned out to not be the same color white as the current ceiling, which meant I got to repaint the whole thing instead of just touching it up. And then I got to touch up the wall after I got ceiling paint on it. And then I got Dolphin Fin on the ceiling so I had to touch it up… It was a vicious cycle and not one of my best painting moments.

The current state of the school room.
Finally finished with the half bath, I kept thinking the color would look good in the kitchen. So I painted the kitchen. And then I realized the curtains didn’t match, so I had to take them down, fill and patch all the holes from the curtain rods. And then that meant we had to get something new to cover the windows. Yep: back to Home Depot.

I was starting to feel like I was living in a new children’s book: If You Give a Mom a Paintbrush.

I finished the kitchen, did the small hallway to the garage and the small hallway outside the half bath – and stopped. After two weeks of nearly non-stop painting, I was just done. I still need to finish the family room and piano room but I am done for now. Because what got this whole thing started was redoing the school room and that room is now a full-on mess. Because I moved on to painting without finishing it. So we’re off to Ikea this Saturday to solve our school room woes.

And then, back to painting.

FYI: If I’m still painting in September, I hope someone will come pry the brush out of my Dolphin Fin-stained hand. And log me out of Pinterest.
First coat of Dolphin Fin - before I realized the curtain rods had to come down and I needed to fill the holes...

Finished! At least in the kitchen.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Sean and the (yummy) Minions

Pretty sure the target age for the new Minions movie is around 10 years old, which is probably why this box of Twinkies is branded with the little yellow guys. When I saw the box in the grocery store this morning, I knew I had to bring it home, even though I don't currently have any 10 year olds living under my roof. But I do have an almost 50-year-old in my house who really loves Kevin, Stuart and Bob, the Three Stooges of the cartoon world.
The bonus in this box of creme-filled sponge cakes is edible stickers in the shapes of eyes, mouths, and clothes that you can use to dress up your Twinkie to look like your favorite Minion. Dessert was clearly decided.

Sean took this job very seriously. He had to pick just the right stickers:

He was very pleased with his finished Twinkie Minion:
(See the little Minions on the table? Amy and Rebecca went to McDonald's to get them for him. What good daughters.)

He's seriously a little crazy about these guys.

But not crazy enough not to eat the Twinkie: 

People, I'm aware this is about as low-brow as you can get: Minions and Twinkies. And yet, during the dinner conversation, our Minion-lover talked about Bach and classical music.

He is quite the Renaissance Man.

Now we just have to find a time we can call get to the theater together because the kids can't wait to watch Sean watch the movie.

Wednesday, July 08, 2015

Weather and Shark Week Random Thoughts

June was not my favorite month this year. And considering there was no snow, that’s saying something.

There wasn’t snow but the temps were and continue to be very low. I am NOT complaining! This Southern girl does not like hot summers and the mild summer temperatures here in the Mitten make up for the lousy winter weather.

Also, just because people are born and raised in the South does not mean the heat doesn’t bother them. It bothers me greatly. Greatly.

I got that disposition from my father, who walks around with a kitchen towel on his shoulder all summer long. To wipe up the sweat. No lie.

We also have this nifty facial feature in the heat – we turn bright red. Picture Rudolph, but instead of just our noses being red our whole face glows crimson. It’s special.

I spoke to a friend from here who’s going to Florida in August. She said the heat doesn’t bother her family. I could not comprehend that statement. I also could not fathom going to Florida in August. I’d be a big pool of sweat.

So to sum up, I don’t like heat and I don’t like snow. I’m more of a 68 – 75 degrees kind of girl. This summer has been perfect for me so far.

I’m sure you’re all glad to know that.

On another summer-related note, it’s Shark Week. Otherwise known as The Week Christy Does Not Turn on the Television.

Seriously, why would people watch those shows? Aside from the frighteningly scary animals, there’s all that creepy music.

If nature people really want folks to like sharks, they should film those shows with kids’ music in the background. It’s pretty hard to be scared while singing, “The wheels on the bus go round and round…”

The music wouldn’t help me, though. It’s too late for me. I am completely paranoid about those swimming man-eaters. I’m honest about this horribly irrational fear, made obvious this week when a friend posted this on my Facebook wall:

I had a strong reaction: "There is no way in a million bazillion years I would ever do that. Ever. Ever. Ever. My skin is crawling just thinking about this!!"

Two other friends commented that there are no sharks in ponds. REALLY?? Are you sure? There are fresh-water sharks you know! I am not taking that chance.

I’ll stick to pools, thank you very much. But just to be safe, I’ll stay away from the drains…

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Random Thoughts

My baby boy went on a business trip this week. He flew from Detroit to Charlotte, then on to Asheville. He rented a car. He had his own hotel room. He used the company credit card. HOW IS THIS POSSIBLE? He is not old enough for all that.

I am not old enough for all that…

Amy started her job at a local coffee place. I am trying really hard not to mention how sad I am that they don’t serve Coke products.

Rebecca is at bike camp this week where she is learning how to take care of the mechanics of a bike. On Friday she gets to bring home the bike she’s been working on. Next week she’s going to a birding camp. I sincerely hope there is not a bird coming home with her at the end of that camp.

Rebecca mowed the lawn this week for the first time all by herself. Michael is hoping he’s out of that job. Rebecca, not so much.

Been reading about all those shark attacks? Two kids lost limbs and others had the snot bitten out of other parts of their bodies. People, I am not crazy for not going in the ocean. Not. Crazy.

You know who’s crazy? The people who keep going in the ocean!

There’s a popular shirt in Michigan that says, “Great Lakes: Unsalted and Shark Free.” I LOVE that! 

Of course, when I tout the greatness of the Great Lakes for not having sharks, Michael and Amy remind me that there are lampreys in Lake Michigan. They’re gross, but they won’t take off your leg.

If they will, please don’t tell me. I need one beach to go to without panicking.