I'm discouraged, y'all

I'm totally proud of my Minnesota-ness. Mostly. I just want to say that.

I've started filling my google reader with strangers' blogs. I'm having a great time. Some laughs, some insight, some tears. Sometimes I nearly pee my pants it's so funny. Sometimes I hope no one calls because I've got a lump in my throat too big to talk. But I'm increasingly discouraged.

I have nothing fun to say, as a Minnesotan. I'm realizing that most of these blogs I read are written by southern belles. And I am DYING to say "y'all." I. Love. It. I want to make it my own, but it's just not practical here. I need to say things like, "So I'll put the hotdish in around 5 then. And make a pan of bars." First of all, without the accent it doesn't make much difference. Second, unless you are a student of Howard Mohr's How to Talk Minnesotan you aren't even going to pick up on the nuances of the "so, then" or the "you bet."

I'm sure I'm not the only one who has longed for a different accent or vernacular. But seriously, do you ever hear how charming a Minnesotan accent is? I mean, a good Southern drawl makes me crave some sweet tea and BBQ. I want to sit on the porch between the Ionic columns and watch the horses.

What do you get with a Minnesotan accent? Besides a Prairie Home Companion and lutefisk? And I'm not about to tell you how far off base Prairie Home Companion is. I LIVE in Lake Wobegon, people. I'm not kidding. We'd lived in the house for a week when a storm knocked a powerline down in the backyard at 3 am. I called 911, and when the fire department came -- I KID YOU NOT -- the fire chief met me at my door and said, "So. I hear you got a fire in your backyard." He probably even added "then" to the end of it, but I was too spastic to remember.

I could go on, but I honestly have to make a hotdish for a potluck tonight. Y'all.


Needing extra hours

I have hobbies. But I also have children, and my own little "business." One thing I like to do is make earrings. I like earrings because they are a small time commitment, and are fun to give as gifts. So if I sit down for a half hour, I can make a few pairs.

But there are other things I'd really like to learn. If I had extra hours in the day, I would LOVE to learn to play guitar. I want to be able to have sing-a-longs with myself in my bedroom (after the extra hours of redoing my bedroom). And ultimately, to be able to accompany myself at church would be awesome.

I would like to sew. I see all these stinky cute things on etsy, and while I know the people there are better than I would be, it would still be fun to try. Natalie is crazy into dresses right now and it would be so very fun to make her some. I saw a cute blog (wish I could link to it but I've forgotten which one it is) where she gave a template for taking your favorite shirts that you can't wear anymore (size, stain, out of date, etc) and make them into easy little dresses. How fun!

I would like to read books. Currently on my nightstand are Velvet Elvis (about halfway done), Atonement (the library probably wants it back and I haven't started) and the Shack.

A month or two ago I bought the paint to clean up our basement closet/bathroom. I haven't painted it yet. Now I think I'll need to take it back to the store so they can shake it up for me again.

But my family thinks they should eat. And they like clean clothes. Or at least, I like them to wear clean clothes. And these pesky customers keep thinking they need the brochures and forms they've requested. Just for fun, I also like to get paid for doing those things, so then I need to sit down and send out invoices.

Maybe if I could stop sleeping til 8 am.

What's something you'd like to do that you just can't find the time for?


Holy Giveaways, Batman!

Giveaway insanity! Bloggy Giveaways. I mean almost 800 people giving things away. Maybe you'll win something, maybe you'll find some new stranger's blog to read (it's a new hobby of mine). Best of luck. I thought about keeping it to myself, but that's just not nice, now is it?


Lather, rinse, repeat

I'm wondering how many times I've double conditioned my hair. It's one of those automatic tasks that I just do, and then can't remember it. I can't tell you how many times I've reached for the conditioner and then had to figure out if I've already used it.

Locking the doors is another one. House, car, etc. The number of times I've gone back to check, only to find it locked -- ridiculous. Or even called someone to go check after we're well on the road for a weekend.

Here's one I hate to admit: driving. On occasion I'll get to singing along, or thinking about something, or talking to someone (in real life, not usually on the cell), and before I know it I have reached my destination. And yet, I don't remember anything of how I got there.

Anything in particular that you can't remember if you've done it or not?

What to Wear

Along with enjoying our summer festival excitement this weekend, I also got caught up on my tivoed What Not to Wear episodes. It's really a favorite of mine. I like when the people at the end suddenly look confident. And, shallow as it may be, I know how a great outfit makes me feel.

While I was watching the women boutique hop with their $5,000 cards, I started wondering where I'd go if I had it to spend. Part of me thinks I'd stretch that baby at New York & Co. and Old Navy, and then pepper it with a little Ann Taylor Loft. Or maybe I'd just head to Macy's or somewhere and set up camp. Even with a 3 & 5 yr old, I just don't think I'd be comfortable with a $300 top. One greasy fingerprint and it's lost. And oh the DSW Warehouse!

Honestly, I can't tell you how much I'd love to do this show. Now I'm sure the secret footage is awful. And watching the clothes you've come to know so well get taken away would be rough. But two days of shopping & dressing rooms with enough money to cover my mortgage for months? Sign me up. And then a day with Nick and Carmindy? I'll take it. Although I never understand why Carmindy doesn't seem to shop by the rules.

I'm not sure where I'd wear the clothes, since I'm always home. Going to Target is sort of an occasion for me. But I swear, if I ever get stopped to be interviewed for "market research," I'd probably respond with, "and Stacy & Clinton, I'll see you in two weeks." Which will be sort of embarrassing, since it would probably really be market research.

Oh, all that to say, where would you spend your What Not to Wear $5,000?


And the Emmy goes to...

Natalie. I'd say she's more of a TV actress than movies. And maybe daytime TV at that.

Warning: Potty story to follow.

So Natalie's on the potty yesterday morning.
N: "Ok, Mom, I'm done."
M: "That's great, honey, go ahead and wipe."
N: "I want a wet wipe."
M: "You don't really need one, you can just use toilet paper."
N: "Then I'm not wiping."
M: "If you want a wet one that badly, fine."
N: "I want you to wipe."
M: "Natalie, you're 3, you can handle it."
N: "I want YOU to wipe."
M: "No, you can wipe, now hurry up."
N: "Then I don't want to wear underwear, I want a diaper."
(silence while I weigh my options with a freshly potty training child)
M: "Ok, fine, Mommy will wipe."

That was either a draw (she stayed in the underwear, afterall), or Natalie won. I'm still not sure. It wasn't really whining, it sounded more like a threat. Took me off guard. I really took Ella's firstborn-ness for granted. She just said "okay" to anything. I mean, maybe she tried to negotiate within reason, but she'll cave. Ella's negotiating is pretty sophisticated in that she's got an answer for anything. She's prepared with her argument, but in the end she will accept and move on. Natalie's negotiations take on a certain hostage situation feel. I'm sure Natalie's just testing me on follow through, but I sort of hoped she'd be more like Ella on that one. Maybe she'd take my word for it. Don't question the establishment and all that.

Must learn to harness this trait for good and not evil.

Now accepting copies of "The New Strong-Willed Child". Email me for mailing address.


Another almost post

I read this over at BooMama, and thought it would contribute to my attempt at more frequent posting.

What were you doing 10 years ago?
I was living in Duluth, and just deciding to get married at the end of August instead of November. I was going into my last year of school, and I think I was just about to get a job at a newspaper in Hermantown. And I'm sure I came to Glenwood for Waterama.

Favorite Snacks
Jelly Bellys
Diet Dr. Pepper
Salty things

To Do List
No thanks. I mean, I think they're great, but once it's written down I will lose it. Or at the very least, not look at it. I like to blame this on the "artist" in me.

Jobs I Have Had:
Newspaper (you name it)
Retail clerk
Freelance graphics chick

Places I Have Lived
Glenwood & Duluth

Bad Habits
Not planning
Over shopping
Snacking out of boredom
Talking to fill silence
Chasing wascaly intewnet wabbits

5 Random Things People May Not Know
1. I like live entertainment -- I'd go and enjoy most any sporting event or concert.
2. When I went to college I thought I'd be an English teacher.
3. I like hugs.
4. The more I list foods I don't like, the more I think I might be a picky eater.
5. My "happy place" is Sea Island, Georgia.

CDs I would want if stranded on an island:
John Mayer, Jars of Clay, Sara Groves, Dave Matthews Band (I'll limit myself to 4, but I'd prefer to just take my ipod. I realize that's cheating)

What I'd Do if I Were a Billionaire:
Pay off our house, buy a different house, save for college & weddings, treat myself to a What Not to Wear-like experience, and give to church, local charities and some great causes (Compassion, Blood:Water Mission, etc). When out shopping, and I see something that someone would like, I'd just buy it for them. And I'd love to pay for people to go to things, without them knowing it (missions trips, conferences, concerts, etc).


I'm psychotic

Or at least that's what I told Sara Groves when I met her on Saturday at a Beth Moore conference. Seriously. "I'm psychotic." Nice.

I really enjoyed the Beth Moore conference. She was talking about being between a rock & a hard place. I learned a lot, and it was nice to crack open the Bible at something like that. And really, she just made my desire to incorporate "y'all" into my daily lexicon that much more intense.

On Saturday Beth (I sat about 4 rows from the stage, so I think we're probably on first name basis now) announced that Sara Groves had come for the conference as an every day girl like myself. Not to sing, just to be there. And as we were leaving we walked past her. I told my sister I couldn't go meet her. Mostly because those women's conferences get a girl all weepy, and I thought I might be a mess. I envisioned myself being all, "Hi, I'm a totally psychotic fan of yours." But in an effort to live in the moment, we went over. I think my sister said something like, "This is my sister Sarah, she's a psychotic fan of yours and sings all your songs." At which point I added, "I am, I'm psychotic." Nice. What was that about? What do I say now? Apparently this: "No... really... *sniff*...I can't even... *hiccup*...begin to... *sniff*...tell you how much...*sob*... your music means to... *sniff*... me." Ah yes, that was brilliant. So well spoken. Between heaving sobs. So we asked if I could get a picture with her, and she said she was all cried out, but sure.

She was so sweet. And I think I got a great picture. Also, now I have a lovely memory of me making an idiot of myself. And I'd be kicking myself like crazy if we hadn't gone over.


The power to be thankful

That's right kids, it's VBS week. I return this year as my sister's sidekick/helper for the opening & closing, only this year that makes me Professor Sarah. Rock on. We're doing Power Lab, which apparently makes us all crazy scientists. Not my forte, but I can adapt to an elementary level.

Today I learned that Jesus gave us the power to be thankful (AHA!). So here's my list of what I'm thankful for, here on a Monday afternoon (aside from the obvious like my family, etc):

• A fabulous InterVarsity reunion! It was really, really great to see everybody. I hope it becomes an annual get together, because it seems a shame to let it go longer.
• Going to the Game Stop at just the right time to score a Wii Fit. (2 had just arrived, and he had to unpack it for me)
• Working from home so I can be a VBS helper.
• Having children old enough to both be in VBS.
Velvet Elvis by Rob Bell
• The blogs of strangers (I am so hooked).
• Summer clearance clothing and shoes, now that summer is here.
• 5 p.m.

What are you thankful for right now?


Ugh. *moan* *sniff* I love summer.

I don't know what happened. Last week I got up and went on a couple mile walk everyday. I felt great. Yesterday I did the same. Feeling good! Did some gardening last night. Maybe that was the problem. I'm a sensitive girl.

Last night post-gardening I had the sneaking suspicion I could use a little Claritan. And I felt like I couldn't drink enough water to make my throat feel good (rare for me to want water). Overnight it got ugly. U-G-L-Y, people. By morning my whole face and teeth hurt with sinus pain. My throat is so sore from whatever that I drank an entire pot (3 cups) of my fancy tea this morning before I could even attempt swallowing the Sudafed.

I think I have brought myself up to functional. But just barely. And I'm going to make another pot of tea. Maybe read some more stranger's blogs.

Stupid summer and your moldy pollen. I'll miss you when you're gone...


I am: Tagged.

Aimee over at Libbyland tagged me on this one:



I am: loved.
I think: I am very blessed.
I know: God is my alpha and omega.
I want: progress.
I have: a beautiful family.
I wish: I took more time to play.
I hate: baked beans.
I miss: friends from college!
I fear: heights.
I feel: pretty good.
I hear: my girls watching a movie.
I smell: lotion.
I search: maybe not as often as I should.
I wonder: what God's plan for us is.
I regret: not much -- it's all made me who I am. Although I do wish I would have taken a couple weeks off between college and working full-time :)
I ache: a little -- I've actually exercised 3 days in a row.
I care: about a lot of things.
I always: procrastinate.
I am not: the same.
I believe: in Jesus Christ.
I dance: with the girls in the kitchen. Maybe a little faux swing with the hubby (we should really take a class).
I sing: whenever I can. On a Sunday at church. In the car. Shower. At the computer. I make a conscious effort not to sing while on my walks.
I cry: a lot more now that I'm a mom -- doesn't even have to be a Hallmark commercial.
I don’t always: prioritize well.
I fight: fire with fire. Ok, maybe not.
I write: less often than I should.
I win: sometimes.
I lose: sometimes.
I never: meet up with friends as often as I'd like.
I confuse: people.
I listen: pretty well but not perfectly.
I can usually be found: on the computer.
I am afraid of: heights -- did I not mention that?
I need: a pedicure.
I am happy about: the way life has unfolded thus far.

Thanks Aimee! Not going to tag anyone, but if you're looking for a blog topic do this one. Post a link in the comments that you did it, because I'd love to read it.