Archive for the ‘Why – yes it *IS* all about me!’ Category

Lookin’ for fun and feelin’ groovy…

May 17, 2017

Aside from my Mother’s Day fiasco (which Gracie and I have discussed and settled, thank you baby jeebus) – oh!, and the world almost ending with the chaos in the White House (c’mon impeachment!) – aside from all of that, I have to say I am feeling more myself these days. I’m enjoying it while I can, and building a good, solid base, just in case that pocket of “okay-ness” pops and strands me here. As long as I like where “here” is, it’s okay. I know I’ll get movin’ again soon. That’s my outlook these days.

It’s a good one.

It means I’m reading more new books, not just re-reads. I tore through the Daughter of Smoke & Bone series, last night I read short book on writing, and also read through a book of Emily Dickinson’s poems because I was feeling nostalgic. (Okay, technically the poems are re-reading!) I have my eye on a few more new books that I might dive into today, depending which the library has on hand. Oh! And I read Shonda’s book about just saying yes. Ironically. So my reading is all good.

I even sat down and wrote a few pages for my book. I know! I’ve read and re-read what I already have, but last night I actually added a few pages. And that’s not the first night lately when that’s happened.

Even the TV is pulling me in – you know things are either really bad or really good when I feel the pull of the couch and TV. Except I’m not just re-watching Bones and Grey’s and Downton ad nauseum. I went back to my “100 Greatest Movies of All Time” list and I’m trying to tick off the one’s I’ve missed (which is nearly all of them). I watched an episode of 13 Reasons Why with the girls the other night, and last night I watched two (three?) more episodes (while furiously reading tweets and breaking news about the current administration falling apart; I was almost afraid of what I’d miss if I stopped watching!). I have Victoria to watch with my Bee-girl. All of the shows again! Okay, maybe not all the shows – the very idea makes me anxious. But some. Some are starting to call to me.

Re-Emerging Katie isn’t perfect. I’m still not me-me. I had to back out of meeting friends for drinks because of a conflict with a school thing and I jumped at it because socially-anxious Katie was mad “normal”Katie tried to make plans. So I know I’m still me, and I still have a lot of work to do on that. But at least I know I’m in there alive and kicking and doing not-so-bad if I want to all of those things.

I’ll be okay. Just please, please, please don’t take that as a challenge, dear Universe.

Five for Friday.

May 12, 2017

Praise the Godstars – it’s Friday! Let’s jump right in, shall we?

1 I am pages – pages – from finishing Laini Taylor’s Daughters of Smoke and Bone trilogy. I haven’t had this much fun getting lost in a series since I don’t know when. The books run about 600 pages each, and were the kind that you wanted to gulp down read savor as you went along, so it’s been a fun two weeks. That being said, I’m ready to start filling my timeline chock-a-block with new titles and reviews! It’s been decadent taking my time, but I’m ready for the next adventure!

2 Gracie-boo is sick, sick, sick with that bronchitis that’s been going around. I’m hoping she makes it all day at school today. Then we have the weekend to rest up. Our “big plans” for tonight were to grab fast food and binge on 13 Reasons Why tonight, so as long as she can hold on, I know we can get her through this.

3 I know many people have many different feelings about 13RW – and every single one of them is valid. We’ve unfortunately experienced a lot of suicide, and so I choose to watch the show with my girls (if they want) and talk about it with them. I’m terrified of not having those lines of communications open, that hand out. Gracie was the first one to inhale the series, and then she accused me of starting it without her (she had offered to rewatch with me), but it was Bee-girl who had played it. So we’ll all watch together.

4 Speaking of Bee’s all-of-a-sudden grown-up tastes, she’s been begging me to read It with her. I had stopped because it was freaking Gracie out (and, well, Gracie just flat out doesn’t want to be read to), but Bee begged me to continue! So I might read that one just the two of us. I wish there was a graphic novel adaptation I could let her read, quasi-unsupervised. (No way I’m handing over the paperback – I’ll wake up in the middle of the night with orange pom poms staring me in the face. Beep-beep, Bee-girl.) Kim suggested I tweet the idea to those who might be able to make it happen. I’m thinking I let Bee illustrate a few panels first. Then send them my rather stupendous idea!

5 Mother’s Day, with all of its rather complicated feelings, rushing at us all. Here’s hoping this weekend is not the worst.

So there you go. A quick and dirty list to jump start our Friday! Go forth and make the most of it!

Five for Friday.

May 5, 2017

Friday! I am still terribly sick. My head is pounding, my teeth ache from all the sinus pressure, and my throat hurts. I’m not getting out of bed this weekend unless it’s wicked important. Thankfully, my brain doesn’t have to stretch too far because today is Five for Friday day!

1 Today isn’t the easiest day for Gracie-girl for a couple reasons. We had a long talk last night and while I promised her I wouldn’t get into details, I do know how she loves staring in my blog. So I just want to say: Fries before guys, sweet girl. And I wish you knew how badly I tried to swing it so my lunchtime today coincided with yours, so I could bring you a bouquet of french fries. (Ooooh, or a bucket of Chicken Express mashed potatoes and a bouquet of spoons, so you could share with your friends!)

2 The staying-in bit will be easier because I finished the second book in the Daughter of Smoke & Bone series last night, which means I am ready for Book 3 tonight. I’m cozying up with it and not moving until I finish it. And then I plan to hoover up anything else Laini Taylor has ever written!

3 The not-getting-out-of-bed thing might be complicated by Mayfest. Bee-girl’s AfterCare leader has been asking me since Christmas if Bee was going to be able to make it to Mayfest. Bee’s the captain of the Step Team, and they’re performing (naturally), and since Bee is the captain, she’s the one who leads the steps. She needs to be there. Only her dad and I thought it was next weekend, during my weekend. So we’re scrambling to change plans and figure out how to get her there, and whether we can help her friend out (because her mama can’t take her, so could we?). Which would be fine if it was my weekend and I wasn’t sick and I could just make command decisions with an un-fuzzy brain! We’ll get it sorted out.

4 Bee also has her Big Project due for English and history classes. She’s making a model of Esperanza’s camp from Esperanza Rising, and so she and I were planning all of the things for that. I’m glad she has two weekends to get it done, and her dad was all over it, but these are the projects I love helping with, and I’m stuck batting clean-up. I know Bee is going to get dinged for the 25% that’s graded on neatness, so I’m trying to help her recoup some of that with the 25% graded on creativity. Like, what if in the back of her model, I showed her how to make a moving backdrop out of two pencils and a long piece of white paper, that can be colored in, and spun around the pencils, to change from one scene to the next? I bet she could handle something like that. And it could make her shadow box more dynamic instead of static. We’ll see what Bee-girl thinks!

5 Being sick and on self-imposed bed-rest also means that I won’t be working on my Little Free Library this weekend. Well, maybe if I have a burst of energy I can pull it all out of the box and make sure the “attached to a metal pole” plan is going to work. If it won’t, there’s no point in bribing my big, muscle-y guy friends to come help me dig a post hole. If that will work, I need to figure out my paint scheme and get that going so I can assemble that sucker and get it going. Now that I have a plan in place, it’s hard not to just go do it already!

So that’s my plan for what is – hopefully – a restful weekend! I hope yours is just as relaxing!

Five for Friday.

April 7, 2017

Morning, all! Is it just me, or did this week fly by? Constant crises will do that, I suppose. A lot was going on. Let’s see what’s still sticking around, what things still need to be told so we can get this Friday started…

1 I maybe have a date tonight. One of the women in my department set me up with one of the doctors she knows – and by doctor, I mean psychiatrist, so this is going to be hilarious. We’ve been texting back and forth every day since last Monday when my friend sent us each other’s number. Tonight, we meet. I’m a little nervous, but not really. I’ve done this first date thing so. many. times.

2 Gracie has been MVP of date prep. (And how odd that my girlies are so old that they can even be That Person for me?!) Since Corrie insisted on moving across the city and couldn’t just run across the street for outfit selection, Gracie watched me model outfits and helped me pick one out, and the jewelry. Then Gracie spent an hour straightening my hair for me last night. My hair looks great! I mean, Gracie did an excellent job! She didn’t burn me, never pulled my hair, knew exactly what she was doing, and we had a blast watching Bones while she worked. And my hair looks fantastic! WIN!!

3 I have been writing up a storm. At least my insomnia is good for that! I wrote 30 pages of one of my stories this week, during the hours I should have been sleeping but couldn’t. At least that is useful?

4 Part of me really wants to read It out loud to the kids. I could skip over the really gross and unnecessary parts. Gracie saw the trailer and I’m trying to talk her into seeing the movie with us. (Well, the second time. I’m seeing it with the stisters and cousins when I go back home for my cousin’s wedding.) She seems reluctant. I think once she meets the Losers, she’ll be all in. Bee might like it even more that Gracie. The problem is, Gracie refuses to read. She’s sucked into 13 Reasons, but won’t read the book. So there’s no way she’ll read It. Unless I read it to her… What do you think? Too over the top?

5 I’m lost in the Daughter of Smoke and Bone world. It’s been awhile since I’ve read a book that caught me so completely! It’s magical. I feel like I’m standing there, in this world, completely 3D. And not just like I am when I read a book – it’s not just like watching a movie. It’s like I’m there. I can see every building, every strand of fabric, every hair and freckle and crumb of dirt on the background characters. It’s bizarre. And wonderful. I’m kind of mad no one made me read these before.

So there you have it! Today is either going to go by reeeeeealllly slowly or in a blink. To be honest, I’m not sure which I want!

Well…that’s one way to cure it.

March 27, 2017

Have I mentioned? In the midst of everything else going on (or maybe because of it), I’ve had a bit of insomnia. Or, I did…until last night happened.

Yesterday was a bit of a weird day. It was scattered. The girls had church, during which I took the most glorious nap. (Napping hasn’t be a problem for my insomnia. And yes, I can hear you: but not napping has no effect on whether or not I sleep at night) When the girls came home, they had lunch, and worked on a few chores.

Oh, and that’s when I might have mentioned to them that it was supposed to tornado on our heads later. Our tor:con was 5 and, yeah. Not really happy about it, but at least it wasn’t all day? I had things to do!

So the girls looked at the sky and shrugged their shoulders and moved on with their afternoons. Bee worked on laundry, Gracie went to Costco with me [she had requested, by the way, that we now call her The Man Of The House because she is the strongest and could move the giant dog food bag by herself]. Then we went home, unloaded the car and looked at the sky again.

Not much going on.

So I went for a run, spent my energy, showered, sent the girls through their showers early, in case it was storming later, and checked the radar. Yeah, there they were – storms off to our west. Just about the same time that I saw the storms on the radar, my weather radio went off with a tornado watch. And then a severe thunderstorm warning for counties north and south. I couldn’t tell by the radar, but it looked possible that the storms would split and miss us. So just in case…

I took a quick poll and decided to order pizza. The good kind I had to go pick up. Which meant I would just miss the storms coming back. At least, I would if the line held.

Of Bee and I went. We grabbed our goodies and headed back. The wind was up, the clouds were gray, but nothing terrible. We ate our pizza undisturbed.

Well – not really. The NOAA weather alarm went off every few minutes. Everyone else was getting slammed with storms but us! So I read my book and shut off the alarm every time it went off, but those times were slowing down.

And that’s when it happened – I put my head down on my bed for just for a moment. I even left my finger holding my page in my book. I just needed a ten-minute nap.

My “ten minutes” was interrupted some untold time later by the weather radio. Gracie ran in and we listened. I told her I was just resting my eyes. I think she got the message by how sleepy I seemed when I was trying to shut off the beeping.

The alarm went off again, and I honestly couldn’t tell you which girl I talked to.Someone came in. We talked, I shut the alarm off, and I closed my eyes again.

When I opened them the next time, it was dark in my room. I looked at the clock. It was midnight. I got up and went out into the living room – Fenway was asleep, the kitchen was shut down, the locks all on, and the alarm was set. The girls did an awesome job getting the house shut down, even if they didn’t wake me up. Even the alarm clock in Bee’s room was turned on.

Yep, that’s one way to nap.

I must have needed it. I was exhausted. Too many nights where I wasn’t sleeping. Still! I can’t believe the girls had picked up and then shut down the house. They set the alarm and did everyone a grown-up would do. Well – almost. They didn’t turn on the outside light before setting the alarm, but I bet they didn’t even know I did that. I was so proud of them!

I asked them this morning if they really went to bed at 9pm (normal bedtime) and they swore they did. I asked them why they didn’t wake me up and reassured them that they are allowed to wake me. Bee says she opened the door at bedtime and said “Mom?” once. I didn’t move. So she shrugged her shoulders (again) and just went to bed.

After checking on the house at midnight, I went back to bed and slept until 5a. Not bad. I went to bed three hours earlier than I would have, and only got up one hour earlier. And all of those hours were filled with sleep!

The other funny bit is that after an entire day of staring at the sky and being “excited” (uh, “anxious”, Katie – get it right), I slept through the whole thing! Bee said it never stormed, and Gracie said it was just windy (which explained why the extra security pole was wedged under the back door). I missed the wind and the storms missed us. But not everyone – my phone was lit up with messages and tweets about hail storms and thunderstorms and everything else. Uhhh…glad I’m not northeast? Because it sounded unfun. You know – as I WAS SLEEPING!

I shouldn’t brag too loud about that, or this sleep thing will disappear!

Five for Friday.

March 10, 2017

I can get through this day. I can. And you can, too. C’mon, one foot in front of the other. And one bullet point in front of the other, too. C’mon, Katie…

1 The tree in my front yard is beginning to bud. Just teeny, tiny little green buds right now, so small you can only see them if you unfocus your eyes. But the buds are coming, and then there will be leaves. And even though I know allergies will kick it up a notch at Casa de Katie, it still fills me with hope and happy every time I see my tree come to life once again.

2 My mom’s birthday was this week, and I got to talk to her a little bit after the girls took turns. It wasn’t for very long because she was tired, and I could only make out a few words, but my mom rallied at the end long enough to yell at me to make everyone call more often. I sighed (to myself) and promised I would, but really I was thinking that my mom was going to garble the story with my aunts and you just know I was going to get yelled at for not calling my mom on her birthday.

3 I stopped at my favorite local Lebanese place for take-out last night. Um…again. The girls and I stopped on Wednesday, too. Yes, that’s two dinners in a row <insert Count von Count cackling muppetly over some thunder>. I walked in the door and stopped short when I saw it was the same waitress as the night before, but that’s okay because she did the same thing, too. We averted our eyes. She didn’t say anything about me being in two nights in a row for the same exact meal, and I didn’t mention that she was wearing the same clothes as the day before. Win-win!

4 I’m trying on a different outfit today, one that requires skinny jeans, Barbie sandals, a blousy shirt, and a fancypants spring-weight scarf. The scarf is killing me. I feel like I’m choking! I have to remind myself not to disassemble the scarf (who knows how twisted on it is at this point) and tear it from the outfit; that it’s the one piece tying everything else together. This is why we can’t have nice things. Friday is for comfort dressing. Not fancy dressing.

5 Here’s hoping I can bust through a few books from my backlist this weekend. I’m feeling like shaking off the cobwebs and curling up with allllll the books. Maybe I’ll treat myself to a coffee or four from my local bookstore and curl up on a chair there. It’s a good way to try the books on for size (and read an expensive hardcover or two).

There we go! Not a very glamorous list, but it got me through. It’s been that kind of week. The only excitement was when my brother turned the corner last night to find the house surrounded by fire trucks and ambulances. My mom fell – not seriously, she’s okay. They just needed help getting her up and my dad is nearly as bad off as my mom. I told my brother to tease my mom that there are easier ways to get our attention during the first day of free agency. And so she whacked him, which was my whole point. Heh.

Hope your weekends are the same: full of jusssst enough content that you keep from pulling crazy stunts to get attention. (But if you have a really good diversion tactic planned, let me know!)

Five for Friday.

March 3, 2017

Of course today would be Friday, the easiest day to blog, when I actually feel like myself and want to blog about something. Okay, let’s go with it and hopefully this Can-Do Katie is still here on Monday. (Or, you know, I write a coupla drafts in a few minutes…)

So what do we have shakin’ today? A few things! (Five, in fact, Sarcastic Katie would like you to know.) Ahem.

1. Poor pitiful penguin (that would be Gracie) is home with the stomach bug. It hit her like a truck last night – fine one minute at choir rehearsal, then halfway home she slumped against the door. I thought maybe she was tired from a long day, long week, but she said she didn’t feel good. She helped me move the trash bins back behind the house and then bolted for the bathroom, and that was pretty much the last time I saw her all night. She was still pukey this morning, and I’ve told her I trust her judgement when it comes to school or no school, so my penguin is home, making out with the toilet from the looks of things. [Side note: bet she doesn’t argue with me about cleaning the bathroom next time. Hmph.]

2. Before Gracie got all pukey, she was quite adorable. Yesterday she had a full-scale choir rehearsal for their competition that’s coming up. It’s like nerd Olympics, but for middle school choirs. They’re judged on a song they’ve rehearsed, a song they’re given, and a short bit of sight reading. And it’s all done full tilt – which is why Gracie needed black flats and why she was so adorable making all the arrangements like a little grown-up. First she arranged it so that she and a few friends were walking the two blocks to the high school (it really isn’t far and is a good [though busy] neighborhood, so as long as there’s a herd of them, I don’t mind a middle-of-the-day romp – they have to grow up some time), and then one of her bestie’s mom was going to drive them all (because she did mind about them walking alone), and so all I had to do was pick Gracie up at 6p because her dad was busy. She did that all on her own, made sure she had the shoes, and made sure she brought the shoes to school early enough so her choir teacher could hem her formal black choir smock dress.

3. The dress! It was the dress that killed me, because Gracie hated it. As all choir members do, I believe. I told her how Kim and her choir friends (the Altos, natch) from college had dubbed the dresses the Black Frocks of Doom. Even Pukey Gracie collapsed in appreciative giggles at that. I offered to help her take off the BFOD because it still had pins in it (I had offered to help hem all the dresses when Gracie told me on Tuesday that her choir teacher was doing them all; because hemming sucks, I have a sewing machine, I know what I’m doing, and did I mention I know how much hemming sucks?), but Gracie said her teacher was tape-hemming. So I was a little surprised to see the dress was still pinned, but meh. Whatever. Gracie didn’t want my help anyway – the BFOD was off before I finished offering even. And when I asked her why she did it so fast and casually when there were pins in it!!!, she looked at me like I was nuts. She looked down at it and so I did too and then I noticed the pins were SAFETY PINS. Safety pins!!! What the man! Mum never used safety pins! We got straight pins and you learned pretty dang fast to stand still when Mum was pulling the dress over your head because pins hurt. Safety pins. Pfft. Those kids don’t even know.

4. So with Gracie running between the bathroom and sleep, glorious sleep!, in her bed, I was experiencing some major role reversal at my house last night. Usually Bee is in bed way early, gripping her emergency bucket (Bee’s migraines make her pukey), and Gracie is in the living room, chatting with me and playing Rummy 5000 (we have a constant tally going) while we watch TV and talk about our day. Last night, Bee was my companion, as she sat on the lounge chair, playing a game on her computer, while I ate a late dinner. We were chatting and watching TV and having a good time while she did whatever she was doing with her game, when suddenly I heard: “Sugarfingers!!” I about died laughing. It’s the cutest like fake bad word and Imma steal it.

5. It’s cold! [Here is where my sisters in Connecticut where it’s negative degrees reach through the screen and murder me.] I mean, not freezing, because 39°, but my point is that it was cold enough for me to wear my scarf! I’ve worn it a time or two, but this has been a pretty mild winter, so even though February is usually when we get our ice storms, I haven’t had a chance. This morning? Totally needed it. I thought about changing my shirt so I would match, but I decided I still wanted my orange stripes because they made me happy. And so matchy-people can bite me – it makes me happy, damnit. And it’s gonna be 70° later, so the scarf is temporary anyway.

scarf2

 

I hope you all get to do something today that makes YOU happy!

Five for Friday.

February 24, 2017

This week – it’s been a blur, sir. But a few people have threatened me with pitchforks if I didn’t muster up a list of bullet points for today. Let’s see how I fare…

1 The extremes of not-sleeping, all-the-sleeping, not-sleeping are killing me. I wasn’t sleeping, wasn’t sleeping, wasn’t sleeping, then I had the tummy bug on Wednesday and spent it sleeping. I’m not kidding – I went to bed by 11/11:30a, was up for an hour in the afternoon, then for an hour at dinner to get Bee, and then for an hour that night to run an errand. And slept until 4a. That’s a lot of sleeping to catch up on. Naturally I was up until 3a this morning. Too much sleep. (Sigh.)

2 Gracie took her turn with the germs last weekend. Her cough has been pretty bad for a few weeks. I took her to the doctor’s Sunday morning because she was complaining of severe chest/rib pain along with it. They thought it was bronchitis, not pneumonia, but her rib was certainly bruised. We got lots of meds (though I had to pester them for some cough syrup that works) and is doing much better. It was touch and go for awhile – you know it’s bad when your tween follows you around asking you to holllllllllld her. Geez.

3 My semi reading slump continues. I’m reading – just not often, and not very quickly. It’s oomphless reading. Right now it’s a re-read of the third Harry Potter, a 4 1/2 star-er Daredevils, and the next book in the Charlotte Holmes series, Last Days of August. I’ll tell you about them one of these Thursdays, I suppose.

4 You guys: we’re not even out of FEBRUARY yet. 3 and 10/12 more years. Great googly moogly.

5 My jeans were falling off at the store last weekend to the point that Gracie even started yelling at me for pulling them up so often. (Or, um, maybe it was the fact that I kept teasing her that I was going to let them fall down?) Either way, I knew it was way more than just having been awhile since they were washed; they weren’t just stretched out. I was curious to see, though, whether they were my Terribly Big pants, or just my One Size Up pants. Because if they were Terribly Big pants, it just meant that I had lost some weight – enough to pack away the “fat” pants – and keep up the progress. But One Size Up pants, that meant I had whittled myself back down to a size 8, at least in jeans. PRAISE THE BABY JEEBUS!! IT’S A 2017 MIRACLE! They were 10s, which were falling off of me, and even my tall and skinny 8s fit. I wasn’t even focusing too much of what I was eating. I’ve been running again, and I’ve been not-drinking, and I know I haven’t been eating a lot of junk food – but not just healthy food, either. I was surprised by the weight loss. But I’ll take it!

Looks like I had five bullets rattling around after all. Some days I just never know if they’ll find their way onto the paper or not. Now I’m going to go brew some more coffee in search of some oomph.

Five for Friday.

February 17, 2017

In which we investigate this thing called the weekend.

1. Downton fans will have sussed out the quote, now here’s the connection: in order to get a friend to watch Stranger Things, I’ve agreed to watch beyond season 3 of Downton. You know – when everything starts turning up roses and simplicity itself. I’ve been watching an episode or two after work this week, and maybe a half hour (or full hour) whenever my insomnia hit at night. I bet I get at least all caught up to where I was this weekend.

2. Yes, the insomnia has reached critical mass – I’ve started watching television. (I was reading, but for some reason, whenever I pick up a book to read when I’m trying to unwind before bed – BOOM! Instant out. Whenever I pick up at book at 2a.m. to get tired again, OH HEY IT’S TIME TO GET UP FOR WORK, WOULDJA LOOKIT THAT.) The past few nights it’s worked within a single episode of whatever I put on, but I really need to look into this Lunesta. I’ll deal with that monkey when I need to, I suppose? It’s been my only concern.

3. Okay, folks – I think I’m going curly this weekend. The plans are for me to go see Corrie’s new house tomorrow and assess all the projects at some point tomorrow. (Our kids are all fantastically too busy for us to plan anything as grand as a meal somewhere in the fray.) After Corrie’s seen me with my hair all fancy and salon-straight, Imma see how short-short it is when it’s curly. And yes, I’ll post pictures. Probably. It helps that my Instyler panic-purchase showed up yesterday. I’m excited-nervous!

4. We should place a bet on how long it’ll be before I lose the Instyler to the tween. I’m losing shoes now that we’re the same size. I haven’t seen half my Patriots gear since our win – my closet is slowly being weeded out. I’d worry less if I was a little more confident that clean clothes were actually put away in the tween’s room.

5. OHMYGAWD. I know I put sugar in that coffee. I know I did. But you wouldn’t know it to taste it. Blech. Okay – I’m off on a mission, a little earlier than I thought. If only that meant the weekend would follow that much sooner…

Enjoy your weekend!

The things we do for love.

February 14, 2017

It’s Valentine’s Day and love is in the air at Casa de Katie.

Bee-girl is, of course, excited for the party at school…but mostly about the chocolate. Because – Bee. She asked if she could pick out a special (but small) chocolate-something for her best friends. She sees her big sister doing that and would never allow herself to be left behind. I cautiously asked how many “best” friends (my Bee is something of a social butterfly) and was surprised to only hear the names of the three girls she has honestly been good friends with since kindergarten. So even though our budget is tighter, I approved the expenditure of a whopping dollar-apiece chocolate roses and Bee was happy as can be.

Because it’s elementary school, there was also the Making Of The Valentines Box. We prepped for Valentine’s Day two weekends ago, the last time I had the girls for the weekend. We purchased valentines, bought things for all the friends, and I asked if that was all we needed to do. When Bee got her class list from her teacher and spent a night writing out her valentines, I asked again if there was anything else we needed to do. Nevertheless, I wasn’t surprised when Bee asked me last night when I picked her up from After School if we had an empty shoebox. She asked, but it wasn’t really a question. I could hear the confidence in her voice; she fully expected my answer to be “yes”. And it was, for we are a crafting house where nothing gets thrown away because who knows if you might need it. But still – I should have known she wasn’t finished with all of her preparations. So we spent the night making a box. I helped cover it in pink paper, and Bee did the rest of the decorating after we raided my crafting supplies. It was a thing of beauty! And Bee was quite pleased with herself.

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So that was one kiddo all squared away. The other one, Gracie-girl, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. Seventh grade is junior high, and I wasn’t expecting Gracie to ask to buy valentines. But she did – she insisted they passed them out in between classes ironically. I shrugged my shoulders and let her do her thing. She bought a small box of chocolates for her two best friends, and then there was the matter of her boyfriend. Gracie settled on getting him a card, a nicer box of chocolates, and a stuffed dog with a heart who looked rather like The Boyfriend’s pet. Gracie was happy, and I was glad her side of Valentine’s was pretty easy. Except…

There was the matter of the Valentine’s dance at her school last Friday night. It was the first dance Gracie officially went with The Boyfriend, and she asked if they could go to dinner afterwards. Her, The Boyfriend, and maybe her two besties. (Poor Boyfriend, always getting stuck with a gaggle of girls! But he seems to be a good sport about it all.) It was her dad’s weekend with the girls, but he wasn’t going to drive them. I told Gracie I could drive them one way, if she could please get someone else’s parent(s) to drive the other way. The dance was immediately after school, so driving from school to the dance was already solved. We just had to get them from the dance, take them to dinner, and then from dinner to home. But no one else could fill in. I’d have to drive both ways. I knew how much it meant to Gracie-girl, and I remembered allllllll the times my mom drove me and my boyfriend to and from the movies or the mall or other places when we were dating pre-license. It was time to pay it forward. So I said yes. In the name of love – mine for my daughter, for my mum, and for Gracie’s and The Boyfriend’s adorable tween love. Also, it meant I got to meet The Boyfriend. I gotta say – between the best friends and now The Boyfriend, Gracie is a good judge of character! I dropped the kids off at Potbellies, and took my book next door to Starbucks. But The Boyfriend’s grandma (who had been saving a table for them at The Boyfriend’s request, in case it was buys. It was dead quiet there. But so cute!) joined me shortly thereafter. She had been planning to eat with the group, since it was a group, but The Boyfriend politely kicked her out and told her I was next door. She was a doll, only I think I scared her with all my talking.

You’d think that would be enough, all of the driving and crafting and buying of things, but this morning I set my alarm for way-too-early, and got up and made cinnamon rolls for the girls for breakfast.

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It’s the little things we do that show everyone how much we love them. Including self-care – I ditched, last minute, the blue, white, and gray outfit I had picked out as anti-Valentine’s. I swapped in a red button-down and picked out some bling and wore my sexy black boots. I might be single again, but that doesn’t mean I can’t look good!

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Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone! I hope you’re dusted with happy adventures in whatever shape you need today, big or small.