The Life Of The Party

Facebook reminds me of a big, flippin’ party with lots of different guests. I imagine all 600+ of my Facebook friends wandering around a big room holding various drinks in their hands trying to talk above all the noise.

There are those who are party poopers and those who are party animals. Then you have party planners and party crashers. And, as always there is the life of the party. Regardless of which party person you are, you are not alone. Whether you call it The Facebook or just plain Facebook (which is it anyway?) I think most of you would agree that life without Facebook is hard to imagine. 

What better way can you think of to stalk an ex, remember your neighbor’s birthday, invite 50 people to your Pampered Chef party, or find out that your highschool classmate is newly divorced. Myself, I spend a ridiculous amount of time nosing in people’s business and their pictures and sometimes even their friend’s list looking around at all the crazy. Some days, the crazy keeps me busier than a raccoon in a trashpile. On the days I don’t have time to check in (yes, there are days), I spend some time before bed getting caught up on what went down.

The crazy flags? Oh yes indeed, they fly high on The Facebook.

Which explains why I fit in so well over there.

I typically classify my Faceb0ok friends into categories depending on how they like to party. Depending on my mood, I can be the life of the party, or a party pooper, so if you’re reading this thinking she’s talking about me, chances are, you are wrong, because I am, without a doubt, the craziest girl at this party.

The Players– And I don’t mean “playas”. I am speaking of the folks who spend hours planting, plowing and harvesting imaginary crops as if their very lives depend on their timely Facebook farming skills. One statistic says that 53% of Facebook users are gamers, so I realize there are a bunch of y’all. I just don’t get why some gamers find it necessary to let the Facebook population know that their crops are watered. Just think of the food you could actually have at your disposal if you spent that much time on a real live garden.

Oh, and if you happen to be one of those who play Mafia Wars, please don’t hunt me down and shoot me for voicing my opinion.

Now, if Words With Friends ever goes live on Facebook, all bets are off.

Dirty Laundry Dorks- There are at least two people in my long list of Facebook friends who use Facebook to air their personal, dirty laundry. They post about family business that has absolutely NO business being aired in such a public forum. They share freely and frequently and in some cases it is all I can do to NOT respond. If you are one of those people who use your Facebook to share personal family business, you should know that it makes you look like a dork. I never thought I would say this but there IS such a thing as too much information.

Peeping Toms – Of my 600+ friends, there are several [read: A LOT] who I have never heard from. Not a single status update. Not a single comment. When they see you out in public and mention something that lets you know they HAD to read it on your Facebook, you wonder where they’ve been all this time. They hide behind the bushes and come out only to nose around in everyone else’s business. Not that I have a problem with people nosing in someone else’s business, I just feel like you should at least stand up and be heard once in awhile.

Potty Mouths – Oh my word, if there is one thing that aggravates me more than anything it’s those who drop the F-bomb in their status updates. I get that most of us are adults, but I don’t get why people feel it necessary to use that word in their status updates. Seriously, there are so many other words you can use to get your point across. Find one.

Love Birds – Y’all know this type, right? These are the people who display romantic love notes on the front page of their Facebook. They get all lovey-doveyand leave each other affectionate messages as if they are the only two people on the Facebook planet.

 [And just so y’all know, I would definitely be a love bird if McDaddyhad a Facebook.]

Open Books – Don’t you just love it when Facebook friends are open books. You know the ones. They update every single hour with where they are, what they are doing, where they’re going, and where they’ve been. Not that I mind any of these, because hello? Nosey, much? Oh, and they are also the ones who check in. To bed.

Cliff Hangers – This type aggravates the living daylights out of me. They give you just enough information in the status update to make you want to know more. I want to ask when, why, how and how-dare-you- leave us hanging.

And finally,

Sad-Sacks:These folks never have one single good thing to say. They are Negative Nellies and spend their time on Facebook letting the world know how miserable it is to be them. There’s not a person I can think of who actually enjoys reading this mess. Cheer up. It could be a lot worse.

Did you find yourself at the party? Are you a party pooper or a party animal or the life of the party?

X — Marks the Spot

McDaddy is out of town again this week and it is quiet in our house. The boys are asleep and I’m doing my nightly blog post from the couch while watching American Idol.

A week like this one is not rare for us, but it never gets easier. McDaddy is no doubt saving the world one control system at a time. He’s probably working at a power plant, or a paper mill, or a chemical plant but honestly I couldn’t tell you either way. He is a gifted engineer who is pretty much always “on call” and I rarely know where he is working.

I, on the other hand spend my days wiping bottoms mouths, regulating electronic device time, and shuffling kids from one location to another. I am gifted only in the art of conversation and because of that I make lots of calls.

When we were first married, McDaddy and I enjoyed a mostly 8AM-4PM / 40 hour-work-week. Those days are but a distant memory. I usually always arrived home first, changed clothes, started dinner and then enjoyed a relaxing evening with my daily DVR docket or a Tae-Bo extravaganza in the basement. Before long, I was able to actually finish the Tae-bo workout.

These days though, I am a stay-at-home-mom who rarely stays at home and would probably drop dead from a heart attack long before I could finish Billy Blank’s thirty minute workout.

Over the past twelve years, our lives have changed so much. Long gone are the days of hot pockets for dinner, followed by a romantic, leisurely walk around the neighborhood as I would try to sneak a peek into the neighbor’s windows.

Not that I ever really did that.

McDaddy and I had talked about me quitting work long before we ever decided to get pregnant. He wasn’t sure, based on sheer numbers that it would work, but we had both prayed about it and felt like it was exactly what we were supposed to do. After Stevie was born, I hung up my handcuffs and left the workforce to raise our son.

To be honest, there are days when I miss working. I miss having a desk with coordinating Longaberger baskets and a candy dish that screamed, “Sit down, have a piece of chocoate candy and let’s discuss the crazy people!” I also miss having a job that welcomed my OCD tendancies to file every single piece of paper that required my signature in a coordinating file folder, sorted first by date and then by the inmate’s last name.

Make no mistake folks, I am a unique piece of work.

Gone too, are the days of planning for lunch before 9:00 AM because really, what is more important in jail?

These days, McDaddy often leaves before sunrise on a Monday to arrive at a work-site two states away by 10 AM. He chooses to do this in lieu of leaving our home on Sunday night only to spend it in a hotel room hours down the road. A good four hours or so after he is gone, I awaken to the most annoying sound ever (my homemedic alarm clock!) to get the boys up and dressed for school. Then, I dive into my day whether it be volunteering at Stevie’s school, shopping at the Mart of Walls, having breakfast club with my girlfriends, hitting the gym, or returning home to climb Mt. Washmore.

By early afternoon, McDaddy has no doubt skipped breakfast and lunch and has spent hours dealing with the type of people who want everything done yesterday. If the stars align and the parts arrive and the work goes smoothly, he might return home that day. Otherwise, I’ll make another “X” on the calendar indicating that he is spending another night away from home. Away from us.

Often, we say goodnight late Sunday evening, not knowing when we will see each other again. We don’t always know because he has no way of knowing how long a job will take. He learned years ago I’m much easier to deal with if I expect him to be gone for five days and he returns in three. SO. On those days in my calendar, I place a small “X” in the corner to remind me that he will not be in town. The “X’s” frequently outnumber the blank spots in a week.

It’s not always an easy life. And not always fun. But over the years I have come to accept that “X” marks the spot. The blank spot that will be present in our lives that week. I am embarassed to admit that there are weeks when I don’t even know where he is working. Usually, it is Ohio.

Or Kentucky.

And he typically drives the heap, ahem, I mean Jeep.

Other weeks, he boards a company jet to New York, Michigan, or Maine. Only it’s not typically a company jet. The highlight of his week no doubt occurs when he lands at the airport and heads out to the Emerald Isle to choose a rental car for the week.

I kid. You not. He loves to drive rental cars.

All the while, I am at home driving to town in my grocery getter, keeping things afloat and whining because I don’t have a Saturn Sky.

The good news is that some days he gets to work at home.

In our basement.

In the little nook that we call his office.

And on those days I fix pancakes. And send him e-mails requesting his presence upstairs.

On those particular days (if I’m not running the roads) he gets a glimpse into my day. A glimpse that might include dusting the living room during a twenty-three minute call to my friend, Becky about our breakfast plans for the next week. Or the fact that it takes me three days to complete various stages of laundry. Or simply that I spend WAY too much time on my iPhone nosing around on the Facebook.

And he couldn’t care less.

Whether I dust. Or I blog.

And I’m thankful that he does not require an explanation about my day. Some days I feel guilty that I’m not trying out a new recipe, Martha Stewart style when he walks through the door after a long day or week of engineering business. It is enough for him that I prepare hamburger helper at the last minute while I’m also playing Words With Friends and overseeing homework. I’m thankful that my plight with the insurance company when they won’t pay a medical bill is important to him. As is the fact that I am up at 4 AM administering a breathing treatment. And I know that he appreciates the fact that I am the one taking care of our kids when they are sick or staying at home with them on snow days.

It is enough for him.

Our life would not work for everybody.

When we were first married, we were both home by 5:00 PM every single day. Twelve years later, we are often go-our-separate-ways-on-Monday-I’ll-see-you-on-Friday people.

It’s not always easy and I have not always been cooperative. I am so thankful that he has a job that he enjoys. A job that affords the opportunity for me be a stay-at-home-mom who rarely stays at home. Even when “X” marks the spot, I am thankful.

[NOTE: McDaddy, I composed this post while you were gone but waited until you were home to post it. I know you are not a fan of me sharing our business in real time, especially when I announce that you are not in town. For any of you who might be casing my crib (I sound like a homey, huh?) waiting to rob the joint, you should totally go somewhere else because I am NOT really home alone this week.]

Thursday Thirteen – The Last

While peddling cookie dough on the Facebook tonight for Stevie’s school, I ran across a status update from a friend that said, “WV girls on Toddlers and Tiaras” tonight. 

Oh snap, Ryan Seacrest will have to wait, because ohmyword, the drama?!?! I flipped the buttons on the TiVo remote in a hot minute looking for the show because I could only imagine the crazy that would be on display.

Y’all, it did not disappoint.

As I type this post, I am watching a little beauty queen from Clarksburg, WV, talk about her pet hedgehog.

I am not even kidding.

I used a scientific method to choose today’s Thursday Thirteen post, and by scientific method I totally mean, I’m using the first words that popped into my head.

Here we go, with “the last”.

THE LAST…

1.  Place I went – Church

  • I teach a Pioneer class on Wednesday nights. The seven or eight kids in my class keep me and the other teacher in stitches. You just never know what they might say. As you might guess I fit right in with them.

2.  Cereal I ate – Fruity Pebbles

  • I had some serious heartburn after eating the fruity pebbles. I also discovered they are gluten free, so if you’re in the market for that, you can say you heard it here, first.

3.  Person I called – McDaddy

  • We talk two or three times a day and more often than not it’s because I need him to talk me down from the ledge. The crazy gets the best of me sometimes.

4.  APP I downloaded – Couch to 5K

  • The good news is that I’ve mastered half of the Couch to 5K program. I’ve got THE COUCH part whipped. I completely had every intention on seeing this thing through. And I still intend to. I’ve been so busy with all my other responsibilities  I haven’t been able to make it to the gym this week. My shins hurt for days after completing day one and two. I am anxious to get back to it.

5.  Thing I Cleaned – the kitchen counter

  • It is my goal in life to keep our kitchen counter clear of debris. Unfortunately, I fail miserably. I have come to terms with the fact that my never-ending quest to keep it clear is a big honkin’ waste of time. For that reason, I clean it off daily.

6.  E-mail I received – from my friend, Brenda

  • Ordering cookie dough from Stevie to support the P.T.A. I hate to peddle stuff, but I know it is necessary for meeting the P.T.A. budget. Fund-raising is a double-edged sword.

7.  Word I played on Words With Friends – TRIG

  • For 25 points against my friend, Danielle (aka Bazinga).

8. Song I listened to on my iPod – I’m Yours by Jason Mraz

  • I triple love this song. The song, and the album name – We Sing. We Dance. We Still Things. – make me smile.

9. Thing I purchased – Book Fair books

  • Alex has been asking all week to purchase two books from the Book Fair at Stevie’s school. Both of the books he chose were Toy Story 3 books.

10. Show I watched – (besides Toddlers and Tiaras) – American Idol

  • The Beatles don’t do much for me, but I totally enjoyed Hollywood Week. Oh, AND, when I heard “I Saw Him Standing There” it reminded me of Tiffany. I had no idea Tiffany wasn’t the original writer of that song. (I know, I know, I’m a dork!) Y’all remember Tiffany? Circa 1988? Was she a two-hit wonder? Her other hit, Could’ve Been takes me back to the ninth grade when I dated a red headed boy named Matt. (We are still friends by the way!)

11 And speaking of ex-boyfriends – the last one I talked to – Hank

  • Twenty years later. Thanks to the wonders of Facebook.

12. Project I completed – Clothes washed, hung, and tagged for Lil Lambs

  • A consignment sale for children’s clothing and much to Alex’s dismay, shoes. Our boy LOVES shoes and he can barely stand the thought of his shoes being sold even though they are two sizes too small for his sweet feet.

13. Shampoo I used – BED HEAD dumb blonde shampoo for after highlights (damaged and chemically treated hair).

  • Sheesh. That’s a mouth full. What can I say, I’m a sucker for a pretty purple bottle with a pump. Seriously.

Enjoy your Thursday internets. Me and my sweet boys are headed to see that little rat, Chuck E. Cheese after school.

Pray for me.

Y’all know I’ve had more than my share of drama with a particular rodent lately.

You Capture – The Letter L

It’s another one of those weeks where I’m living by a list, which translates into I’M SLAMMED THIS WEEK.

The PTA is kicking off a cookie-dough fundraiser today. The book-fair is this week. There are popcorn popping duties on Thursday. The laundry overfloweth. I am hoping to travel with McDaddy next week on business, which requires me to pack a bag or twelve, plus I must write out daily instructions for my dad who will be staying here with the kids. AND on top of all of that, I’m preparing the boys’ clothes for a consignment sale that will happen the day we get back which means I must have them ready before we leave so that my dad can drop them off while we’re gone.

Clearly, I have lost my mind.

In between all of that stuff, I’ve been wandering aimlessly around the house looking for items that begin with the letter “L” for this week’s You Capture challenge.

I made the mistake of mentioning the challenge to Stevie and he began calling out “L” words like, Luke Skywalker, lamp, laptop, Lightning McQueen and loft.

He meant business.

I smiled and then I took a picture of our loft.

And then I headed back to his room because he has an impressive collection of lego creations on his dresser which drives me insane if I’m being honest.

As I headed out of Stevie’s room, McDaddy stopped me in the hallway and asked what I was taking pictures of. I explained the challenge for this week – the letter “L” – and he immediately chimed in with, l-o—v—e. I grabbed him around the neck and snapped a picture of us because I like taking pictures of myself. After seeing the picture, I opted not to display the picture here in this post because for some unknown reason, the camera focused on a huge zit on my cheek and it is nine kinds of scary. The fact that McDaddy tried to lick my cheek in the picture didn’t help matters. You know, because “L” is for lick.

I mentioned I wouldn’t be using that particular picture opting for this one instead.

The ladder that leads to our loft.

And because my life is not nearly exciting enough, I wrapped my camera around my wrist and started up the ladder to get a picture of our Living room

because HEY LOOK! it’s my lucky chair, new curtains, and a bright blue door,

AND my kitchen counter is clear of debris. QUICK, take a picture!

But no post of things beginning with the letter “L” would be complete without a picture of at least one beloved Longabeger basket,

Or two.

Not to mention, one LOUD, LOVELY, Saturn Sky.

Y’all knew I’d work that in, right?

What I Learned This Week

Guess what?

The mousetraps are still sitting empty.

AND, we have not seen a trace of the little sucker since that fateful night. But I’m not here to talk about that. Instead, I’m here to share what I’ve learned this week.

In no particular order, may I present what I learned this week:

1. If you have the nagging feeling that you are forgetting something, you probably are.

2. The song, “I wanna be a billionaire so freakin’ bad” is one of those songs that sticks in your head hours after hearing it.

3. When accessing Facebook from a strange computer or device, you will receive an e-mail asking if you were the one accessing your Facebook from that device?

4. National popcorn day is January 19th.

5. If you happen to be shopping at Bed, Bath and Beyond and run across a metal head messager thing ($3.99), you should TOTALLY spend the four bucks because it is the bomb diggity. (Am I too old to say “bomb diggity?”)

6. When placing a 31 order, you should insure that you have at least an hour to devote to the process. Especially if you are a crazy person for fonts and fabrics.

7. Warren Harding wore a size 14 shoe. Strange, but true.

Go ahead, Google it.

8. A bowl of fruity pebbles at 11:00 PM is never a good idea.

9. When you see – with your own eyes  – a mouse walking very casually across your living room floor, the scene will replay in your head at least 4,719 times over the next week as you continually watch your step looking for the little sucker.

That’s what I learned this week?

What did YOU learn?

———

You can read the long detailed version of rules here, or follow these easy steps.

1. Any time this week, publish your What I Learned This Week post on your blog. and spread the news to your bloggy friends so more people will join in on the fun.

2. Within that post, please mention the What I Learned This Week carnival and link to this post here at From Inmates To Playdates.

3. Then link up with Mr. Linky down below.

4. Visit the other participants and see what they learned this week. Then leave a comment because comments are fun!

Welcoming Visitors

I am a huge fan of the Google. In fact, I most recently consulted Google regarding the best way to catch a mouse, and then again just a few days later when researching pinewood derby cars. Even at eight and five, our boys will tell you that Google is a trusted name in our home.

Google is also a great source for finding crazy blogs. And I should know. The feedjit widget in my sidebar allows me to know where my visitors come from, what time they arrived, what operating system they use, and even the browser they use. The most enjoyable part of that, is knowing the crazy things that people search for when they end up here at my place.

I smile thinking of all the crazy.

Crazy people.

Crazy places.

Crazy searches.

1. De Kalb, Texas arrived from google.com on “Thursday Thirteen – Thirteen Things In My Purse” by searching for applying hand sanitizer on fever blisters.

  • Hello, DeKalb. Um, I have no idea why anyone would even think about applying hand sanitizer to a fever blister but, I have to ask, ARE YOU CRAZY? The first thing that came to mind when I read about your search was BURN BABY BURN. Might I suggest you try abreva? Or vitamin E? In fact, I might try anything except the hand sanitizer. Good luck to you. I’d love it if you’d pop in and let me know how that worked for you.

2. Ashland, Kentucky arrived from google.com on “Thursday Thirteen – The Letter “K” by searching for Hamor Street Townhouse Flatwoods KY.

  • Ashland, Kentucky, how are you? I am pleased to tell you that McDaddy and I spent our first year of marriage in the Hamor Street Townhomes. We lived in number six and when we lived there (1998) HamorStreet was peaceful andperfect for us. I would highly recommend the Hamor Street Townhomes if you are looking for a great place to live, however, you should know that the key to the back door of townhouse six will also work in the back door lock of townhouse five. One evening after a run, McDaddy walked up onto the deck of what he thought was our townhouse. Seeing our grill on our deck, he thought it was odd that our neighbor had the exact same grill as we did. Only it was OUR grill because he didn’t realize at the time that he was at the wrong back door. He placed his key in the door and opened the door and  for three seconds he stood in the doorway of our neighbor’s kitchen. And all I’m saying is that our neighbor should be thankful it wasn’t me who accidentally unlocked the back door because me and my nosey would of had a quick look around before leaving. So, you might want to check that out before signing a lease. Say hi to neighbor #5, would ya?

3. Perth, Western Australia arrived from google.com.au on “One Of Those Dreaded Christmas Letters” by searching for FREE Happy chirstmas letters.

  • Good Day, mate! There are at least three Christmas letters hanging out around here at From Inmates To Playdates. They are happy. And free. And crazy.  So, take all you want.

4. San Diego, California arrived from google.com on “Broken Jaws” by searching for in embalming does the jaw get broken?.

  • Hi San Diego!  I have only seen one embalming, so I am certainly not an expert in the field, but as far as I know, the jaw is not broken during an embalming. Using a small metal pointy tip gun, a needle with an attached wire is shot into the upper and lower gums. The wires arethen twisted together with pliers pulling the upper and lower jaws together. As I stood watching the embalming, I made my funeral-director friend, Bryan promise that on the off chance I ever ended up on his embalming table, that he would not wire my jaws completely closed for all of an eternity. Instead, I’d like for him to leave me about an eighth of an inch and suck out some extra flab with that trocar thing before displaying me in all my glory. So, to answer your question, no, the jaws are not broken in embalming.

5. West Monroe, Louisiana arrived from search.mywebsearch.com on Letters To Crazy People – From Inmates to Playdates by searching for letters people have wrote to their ex dealing with his new wife.

  • What’s up, Louisiana? First of all I must tell you that I have never been an ex-wife. At this point, McDaddy would tell you that “It’s cheaper to keep her.” However. I can tell you with 100% certainty that if  McDaddy ever did take another wife, I wouldn’t want any part of a letter about her. I’m wondering what kind of letter you are referring to. I’d love to talk further with you about this because if there’s one thing I love, it’s a good drama-filled story. Stop by any old time. Kinda sounds like you and your crazy (and the new wife, or the ex wife even) would fit in perfectly around here.

6. Florence, Kentucky arrived from bing.com on A Little Bit of Gross! – From Inmates to Playdates by searching for how to get my wife to get a little bit nasty but not gross nasty.

  • Ahem. Florence, Kentucky. Really? I MEAN REALLY? A little bit nasty, but not gross nasty? I might be crazy, but I’m not crazy nasty.What does that mean exactly? Or do I even want to know? Nah. I don’t think I do. But thanks for stopping by.

7. Espoo, Southern Finland arrived from google.de on Kinky In Helsinki by searching for kinky in helsinki.

  • Sup Finland? How in the heck are ya? I appreciate you stopping by my humble abode and I love the nailcolor kinky in Helsinki! I think of y’all everytime I’m wearing it! Stop by often for a shot of crazy with a side of kinky. Oh I kid. It’s all about the crazy around here.

8. Flowery Branch, Georgia arrived from google.com on “Christmas Cards – From Inmates to Playdates” by searching for are all inmates nutcases?

  • Hey Flowery Branch, I’m so glad you stopped by. While not all inmates are nutcases, I can vouch that there are quite of few of them around these parts. Straight. Up. Nutcases. Which is why I fit in there. Appreciate you stopping by.

Thank you Google for sending business my way!

Have a great Monday, y’all!

The Maker

He is the Maker of heaven and earth, the sea, and everything in them— he remains faithful forever. Psalm 146:6

The Way I See It

Back in 2006, I had my eyes lasered. Eighteen days after surgery I had better than perfect vision. It was, and remains, the best money I ever spent. Five years later, I still see very clearly, though if I’m being honest I’d have to say the thirty and seven years I have working against me have probably had a slight effect on my eyesight.

And other things.

Seeing as how I’ve always wanted to be perfect at something, I suppose vision is as close as it gets. And so I’ll take it. 

If I could hear as well as I can see, I would be dangerous and you better believe I’d be all up in your business in a quick minute. So, for the sake of your privacy, you better hope they don’t come up with a way to laser my ears.

Ahem!

If you are a loyal fan of FITP, Inc., you already know that I have a truck-load of quirks. It is no secret that I also have some pretty serious opinions about stuff. All kinds of stuff.

Here’s the way I see things:

The grass is always greener on the other side. – Maybe so, but it still has to be mowed. And chances are, it’s not nearly as green as it looks from where you’re standing.

Anything that angers you… controls you. – THIS is so true. Recently, a nosey neighbor stopped in front of our house to inquire about some work we are having done in our yard and to rattle off some code or state law or something about right-of-ways. Many [read: most] of our neighbors have stopped by to inquire about the work, which is fine because they are nice and we like them. This particular neighbor carries the nick-name Smiley because she never smiles. She didn’t have the nerve to speak to McDaddy or I, she spoke only with the contractor even after the contractor insisted she speak with McDaddy.

I was angry and ready to unload nine kinds of crazy on her when I decided she wasn’t worth it.

If you have nothing nice to say, you REALLY should say nothing. – Thirty-seven years later and I am still learning…. Sweet Moses, I remind myself daily.

Even though it may seem like it… everyone is not out to get you. – Sometimes my head is so full of nonsense, I lose track of reality. (Happens a lot more than you would think!) I have full conversations in my head and often they don’t end favorably. (Why do I do this?)

There are some people who will never, ever, be likable. – Believe it or not, there are some people who are not likable. The quicker you accept it and move on, the better. It’s not necessary to like everybody. Besides, who has time for that?

Prayer really changes things. – While in the midst of a very difficult struggle, I called out earnestly and sincerely to hear from God and He spoke in a mighty way. I wonder how many times I’ve missed what God was saying to me simply because I was not listening for His voice.

Romance is more than candy. And flowers. – As I get older I realize romance is so much more than flowers that will wilt and candy that will spoil. I’ll take emptying a dishwasher or starting the laundry over candy and flowers any day. But make no mistake, a big bunch of  beautiful gerbera daisies can sure make a girl smile.

There are little things that others couldn’t care less about. For some reason those things drive me crazy crazier. – In my world, little things matter. Even the dumbest of little things.

It matters to me:

  • that stamps are straight on envelopes
  • that the letters R.S.V.P. really stand for something and you should honor them
  • that being habitually late is a character flaw, not to mention rude.
  • that pictures, of anything, are too special to be thrown away.
  • that hand-written thank-you cards matter. 
  • a nice front door can make a huge difference on a house.

Obviously, I see things quite differently than others. I suspect though, that there are just as many who are right there with me.. seeing things just the way I do.

How do you see things?

Thursday Thirteen – Random Road

Back when McDaddy was deployed, I made the decision to use Thursday Thirteen as a way to count down the weeks. He was gone for 26 weeks and so it made sense to use the 26 letters in the alphabet to work my way through the alphabet. Every week closer to “Z” also meant another week closer to McDaddy being home.

I had thought about making my way back through the alphabet because having a planned event every Thursday makes it so simple to sit down and write a post. The next deployment is now on our radar (with lots of variables included), so I thought I should hold off on that for awhile. I was thinking that some of you might have some exciting ideas for Thursday Thirteen posts, so feel free to share them in the comment sections if you have any. 

Today, I’ll focus on one of my favorite things.

Random thoughts.

Oh, dear bloggy people, you have no idea about the number of ridiculous random thoughts that run through my head everyday. They are plentiful. And they are crazy.

1. Tissues– If I were a bettin’ woman, which I am not (unless I’m in the casino and then all bets are off because I’m a sucker for the nickel machines), I would bet that I use more tissues than any three of you out there combined. It is the first thing I do in the morning and the very last thing I do at night. And at least once every waking hour. Gross, I know. Even though I prefer Kleenex tissues, I’ve been using a fresh supply my dad stumbled upon at a yard sale from a drug rep. I think they manufacture those things at a sand paper factory.

2. Tom & Jerry – Our boys watch Tom & Jerry. And that used to be fine until, UNTIL, the three hour standoff McDaddy and I had on Saturday night with a real, live, conniving, dirty, sneaky, rotten, patient mouse. And now, when I see Tom and Jerry, it serves as a reminder to me that there is a very good chance THAT SAME MOUSE (and maybe more according to the commenters on that post) and others are living here among us.

I shudder at the thought.

3. The Simple Wife – Several weeks ago, my blog traffic spiked. With all of the blog analytics programs available to bloggers, it is easy for me to see who’s been here, how many have been here, where they live, what type of operating system they use, and how they got here. On that particular day, I noticed more than thirty visitors from a site called The Simple Wife. Typically, a spike in traffic means that someone has linked to me on their blog. I clicked on The Simple Wife’s link and began to read her story. On January 11, 2011, 38-year old Joanne (The Simple Wife) suffered a major stroke and was discovered in her basement by her young daughter while having a seizure. Since reading about Joanne’s stroke I have continued to follow her blog as her husband, Toben is sharing her journey as she recovers. As it turns out, The Simple Wife and From Inmates To Playdates are on the same Blogher circuit (advertising  you see over in  my sidebar) and when one of my blog posts are featured, they show up on her feed and vice versa.

Are your eyes crossing yet?

I guess what I’m trying to say is, you should head over to The Simple Wife and read about Joanne’s journey and recovery. I felt an immediate connection to her because we are almost the same age and because her two girls are about the same age as our boys.

4.  Proloquo2go– Joanne’s husband Toben mentioned an iCult APP that is helpful for stroke victims (and others with speech difficulties) and I thought I would share it on the off chance any of you know someone who could benefit from it AND have an extra $189.99 lying around your house.

Yes, you read that right.

5. New Facebook Picture Viewer and Facebook in general- I am generally not one to complain a great deal, (ha!)  but I am powerless to stop it when I feel really, really strongly about something. This new picture viewer thing just may be THE DUMBEST THING I’ve seen Mark Zuckerberg and his peeps do on the Facebook. The black screen is distracting and the pictures (at least on my page) are not clear. In addition to that the picture comments rarely show up. WHY? Why would the FB peeps make such a dumb change? And, while on this little tangent, my Facebook is performing at about 72% these days. Just a few of the problems are:

  • notifications not updating
  • profile picture not changing once it has been changed
  • messages not showing up for hours, and in some cases days after they are sent
  • did I mention THE STUPID PICTURE THING

6. McDaddy –I was gone most of the weekend with some girlfriends returning late Saturday night. And we all know by now that those few hours before bed WERE SPENT PLAYING STANDOFF WITH A MOUSE which means there wasn’t a lot of communicating going on unless you count the moments I was sharing my panic, fear and irrational thoughts. On Sunday, McDaddy was gone all day visiting family in Kentucky and he didn’t return home until just before our boys went to bed. On Monday morning, he was gone before I ever even rolled over on his way to New York for business. Because of our various travels, it seems like forever since we’ve sat down to really talk. For that reason, I am preparing this blog post early in the day so that I can spend the evening with him.

7. Valentine’s Day – Late Sunday evening, our little family had an early Valentine’s celebration. McDaddy and the boys gave me a gift card to Kohl’s. For months, I have been watching a bedding set, waiting for it to come on sale. And by sale, I mean more than 20% because even at 20% off it was outrageous. I had mentioned my plight to McDaddy one or twelve times, so he knew it was something I would love. I went to Kohls yesterday and got the bedding and can I just say, “You made a great choice, girl!” It is absolutely beautiful!

8. And speaking of Kohls – When I was there to purchase the bedding, I noticed the memory foam mattress pads were BOGO free. I didn’t purchase one then because I didn’t have a need for two of them. The next day I updated my status on Facebook asking if any of my 638 friends wanted to go half on the deal. Almost immediately my hair dresser responded that he’d do the deal also. So, you can imagine my surprise when I arrived at Kohls to discover that the memory foam mattresses were no longer BOGO. They were now 50% off, HOWEVER, the prices had been raised. Not cool, Kohls. Not cool at all.

9. Fresh Air – It was so warm yesterday I was able to OPEN THE WINDOWS. When we arrived home from church hours after the windows had been closed, you could still smell the fresh air in the house. It was glorious and I wish Spring would hurry the heck up.

10. New York – There is a chance that I will be accompanying McDaddy on a business trip to New York in the next few weeks. I love being at home with our boys, but I love, love, love spending time alone with my hubby, my friend. And if I’m being honest, a wee little part of me is looking forward to some time off from mommy duty for a few days, too.

11. Giveaways – I am currently hosting a review/giveaway over on my review page for a beautiful unique piece of jewelry with a wonderful meaning. Go over there right now and get entered.

Go ahead, I’ll wait.

12. Whoopee Cushion – If you are looking for a great way to entertain two little boys, give them a whoopee cushion. Unlike the whoopee cushions from my day (the one you had to blow up time and time again), the new fangled whoopee cushion of 2011 is self-inflating. Unless of course, your five year old chooses to run and jump on the thing five-billion time as if  he’s a whoopee cushion Olympic medalist and busts the thing.

13.  Mouse – If you’ve been keeping up with the crazy this week, you know we had an unwelcome visitor here at the McResidence Saturday night. As of this writing, I am sorry to report that all eight traps are sitting empty and the mouse has not been spotted since 2:15 AM EST.

*Oh, and just so you know I wrote this post in two installments and had forgotten that I had already written about the mouse earlier in the post.

Happy Thursday, y’all!

God’s Heart For Me

Several weeks ago I had the opportunity to review an item from (in)courage and Dayspring. I received a beautiful piece of jewelry and I just knew I was going to love it. The necklace – a beautiful unique conversation piece – is called “God’s Heart For You” and I love the message behind it.

Engraved on the four sides of the long pendant are the words: cherished; created; celebrated and chosen. As in, I AM cherished, created, celebrated and chosen BY GOD.

That means, I am cherished even though I am flawed. I am created by God, big mouth and all. I am celebrated by God though I fail him daily. And I am chosen by God even though there are so many others far better suited than I.

What a great reminder this necklace is for me.

Head over to my review page for your chance to win a $20 gift code to be used on anything in the Dayspring store.