Quote of the Day.

March 1, 2017

The setting: We’ve entered the land of the Gracie being able to wear some of my shoes and some of my smaller tshirts and cardigans – the kind of clothes you can “cheat” on a little. But mostly shoes. To the point that while the girl has her own everyday shoes, there’s no point in paying for a second set of dressy “church” shoes when I have an entire selection in my closet. And so…

Gracie: Mom, I need a pair of black flats for choir on Thursday night.
Me: Okay, let’s go take a look at what I have.
<We walk into my closet. Gracie starts looking at black shoes.>
Gracie: Hey. Half of these are too big, and half of them are too small, and why do you have so many sizes, and WHAT IS GOING ON HERE?!
Me: Welcome to the rest of your life.

Heh. Women’s sizing. It’s a trip, kiddo.

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!

Because I still can’t believe that happened.

February 15, 2017

Yes, this post is, like, two weeks late, but I still have thoughts. And daydreams, and squeals of joy, and jaw-dropping, gaping, lit-face kind of wonder.

My team, the Patriots, those guys so dear to my heart (even if I broke up with my fantasy husband) – they won the Superbowl. SERIOUSLY. They WON THE SUPERBOWL! I mean – !!!!!!

(And that’s with 10 days to pull myself together. I still just have handfuls of exclamation points. I’m trying.)

Brady (my new Ex), has been demure in his interviews, insisting it wasn’t his best game, and I have to agree – both with his assessment of the quality of play, and also with my loyalty as a fan. Some bad karma’s gonna come of this, and I fully expect it will be doled out in free agency.

We went all out for preparations. I think we bought every type of chip that exists in the world. Gracie made sour cream and onion dip, and Bee arranged everything and made some salsa. The family Superbowl pool was drawn up, squares were picked, and the excitement was through. the. roof.

superbowl

And then: the game started.

It was not the best game.

I couldn’t believe (but kind of) that the dumpster fire of 2016/2017 was consuming my Superbowl. I mean, I knew Julio Jones was going to be a beast, but really? None of the Pats were going to show up?

At halftime, I removed myself from the game as an act of self-care. My anxiety couldn’t be quieted by any of the meds I fed it. I felt like a traitor, but I did it. I had to. I planted myself at my laptop in my room and followed the game on my phone. (Hey, I couldn’t remove myself entirely.) Gracie had abandoned the game, too, fleeing to her room in tears. Apparently, she also started FaceTime-ing with The Boyfriend as her own act of self-care. And this is kind of important to remember for later.

So there was Bee, our anti-football girl, sitting watching the game by herself. She would run in and tell me when something big happened. I explained why I had removed myself and she said she would only come in when we scored…which happened just as soon as I put on my good luck ring that I had worn during the last Superbowl, but forgot this time.

Yes, I am ridiculously superstitious about football. And since we had scored (and then again!) when I walked out of the room, and when I put on my ring…that meant I couldn’t go back. I can’t lie – that second score gave me a glimmer of hope. I started thinking that at least it wouldn’t feel like we got skunked. Every time Bee came tearing into the room with a score update, my heart beat a little faster. And that fourth quarter – !!!! Gracie had drifted back to the living room, and so I was trying to interpret the game from a room away based on my tweenager’s screams. Anyone with a tween knows that screams and squeals could be anything – good or bad. And they were a lot more instant than my twitter updates. “WHAT’S HAPPENING?!” I yelled back more than once. When we made that 2-point conversion, I started hoping way more than was healthy for me. If it didn’t come off, “crushed” wouldn’t begin to describe how hurt I’d feel.

Overtime. Slater won us the coin toss. And I knew. I knew after that 4th quarter momentum that there was no way we’d be denied. I hovered on the threshold of my room, superstitiously refusing to watch from the living room. Our comeback had been staged with me in the other room. I couldn’t jinx anything. But that moment. That moment when White crossed the plane of the endzone and everyone went nuts, HOLY MOTHER the scene at my house! There was jumping, screaming, yelling – it was chaos of the purest joy. I maybe yelled that Goodell could suck it, and then Gracie’s Boyfriend maybe chuckled from her phone where he was still on FaceTime. I was mortified – I haven’t even met the kid! – but went back to partying with a (slightly) cleaner mouth.

superbowlb

I ordered us all Superbowl Champions hoodies and shirts. I read every article I could find online. I made Gracie stay up to watch the post-game coverage with me. I maybe yelled “LET’S GO TO HOUSTON!” A 4-hour drive was totally do-able! Undoubtedly fans would still be partying when we got there. My kids somehow talked me out of that madcap adventure.

It was midnight before I went to sleep. And I still haven’t come down off this high. One day it will feel real. It will feel less like a daydream. But apparently two weeks isn’t nearly enough time. Not now. Not for a good while, I imagine. And I’m glad for it.

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.

valentines1

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.

valentines3

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!

valentines4

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

Monday morning hit hard.

February 13, 2017

Whewww, what a morning Casa de Katie experienced! I am thankful that all the childrens are dropped off and I am where I need to be for awhile.

Firstly, I slept last night. After getting maybe two hours of sleep each of the previous two nights, I slept hard. Like, so hard that when my alarm went off, I was still walking into things, trying to get everything done. It was like I was underwater. So that was fun.

I also had set my alarm 20 minutes earlier so I could straighten my (very short) hair that I chopped off. And I mean, chopped. I get 2-3 inches by straightening it, so that’s what I’m going to do. It’s like an adjustment period to the length.

So because I was up early, I walked out to the security alarm, shut it off, let the dog out, got the dog’s breakfast and basically just started the morning at Casa de Katie. I always check the cracks under the girls’ doors to make sure they’re up. Usually they’re both out on the couch by the time I walk out there, but this morning there was only Bee’s light on under her door, and Gracie’s was dark. I thought about waking her up, just to be safe, but she never forgets her alarm, and I had set mine much earlier than usual. Probably her alarm just usually wasn’t going off yet.

You know where this is going.

I got ready and walked out into the kitchen and living room at my usual time. There’s Bee on the couch, playing Minecraft. But no Gracie.

I walked to her room. Darkness in the crack under the door. Ominous confirmation. I fling open the door (sorry, Gracie) and if I can describe my tone, it was gently frantic. “Gracie!! It’s 6:30!!” Really it was 6:24, and yes, those 6 minutes are important. It was a half-hour later than she usually gets up. She didn’t have tennis, so her carpool from her dad’s house was a little later. We had some wiggle room. But I didn’t want to be late either. I urged her to get ready as fast as she could, and hoo boy was she flying around.

Of course, Fenway chose this morning to be one of the mornings she refused to go outside. Thankfully, she happily pranced out the door when Bee put on her shoes and went with her. I hate reinforcing that trick, but I really couldn’t deal with it this morning.

I put some cereal in a baggie for Gracie to wear in the car. She came flying out of her room, hair brushed and all dressed…in shorts and a tshirt. (She did have a sweatshirt that she threw on the couch to bring with her.) I reminded her again that it was supposed to be a lot colder today. High of 54°, not the 80s we had all weekend. She said she had pants on the chair and she would change at her dad’s house. But we’ve been having an issue with all their clothes ending up at their dad’s house and having nothing at ours. (Stepmom just sent back an entire canvas bag filled with Bee’s clothes after she went through her laundry and dresser, bless her heart!) So I made Gracie change right then. No shorts necessary. Especially since her cough is getting less asthma-y and more head-cold-y. (Poor pitiful penguin.) She grumbled and I swear to god actually stomped her foot, but she changed.

Gracie came flying back into the kitchen, four minutes before we were supposed to leave, and started making her lunch. “Shoes first,” I told her. She takes forever with her shoes in the morning. “But I can put them on in the car!” Nope. She was mad, but she can buy lunch at school; she just prefers to take one. Shoes were on in record time, and lunch was assembled. I nixed some of her snacks because three cake-type snack? Nope. I might need to supervise a little better because the rule has always been two healthy snacks and one “good” one. They used to be good about it, but…

And so it came to be that we actually left the house on time. Gracie had her arms crossed in the car, but assured me she wasn’t mad at me, she was mad at her alarm for not going off. She even checked it. I suggested setting her phone for 5 minutes after her alarm tomorrow, just to be sure the alarm clock wasn’t malfunctioning. I mean, it is just a cheapo $5 clock from a box store. It might be the clock’s fault.

But really, I think it’s Monday’s fault. Monday morning – eesh!  Here’s hoping for a better day for all of us. I’m choosing happy. Please comply, Universe.

Oh. Oh my.

February 6, 2017

I am exhausted. I didn’t shut off my light until midnight. I convinced my 12-year-old to stay up with me until 10:30 p.m. watching post-game coverage. I have lost my mind!

That’s okay. I don’t think I’ll be feeling many of the effects today. Just wind me up and point me towards nap time.

I’ll be good.

Five for Friday.

February 3, 2017

Morning everyone! It’s been a crazy week here – at least half of the time I thought it was Thursday (how can we have so many Thursdays in one week – seriously!) and today doesn’t seem like a Friday. I have no idea what threw me off, but I’m anxious to get everything back on track. Which means I’m not allowed to skip this morning’s all important blog post, or I’ll still feel unmoored. Let’s get it started…

1 I have the girls this weekend, which means all Valentine’s purchases and preparations have to happen. This could very likely be my last year going all out – Bee’s in pseudo junior high next year (stand-alone sixth), and I’m never sure if they do classroom parties or not. I know the kids always enjoy the parties, but getting them to sit down and fill out Valentines for everyone in their class always felt like a bit of a beating, so I’m not even sad about the tradition coming to a screeching halt. While Bee is figuring that out, Gracie-girl needs to figure out what she’s doing for The Boyfriend for Valentine’s Day. What do you do for a tween-age boy? A stuffed animal? A…um…uh… I got nothing. No idea. So please give me some ideas!

2 This past week the girls joined me in my room while I crafted and we all rewatched first Anne of Green Gables and then the second one, too. It was squishy, with us all set up with chairs and TV trays for them, and everything being passed back and forth, but it was fun! I like being able to spend time with the girlies doing something different, and I like pulling them further into the fun of crafting.

3 My Free Little Library arrived! I haven’t pulled the pieces out of the box yet – it was so heavy, it was all I could do to get it over the threshold and into the house! I’ll need to research whether I need a permit and figure out how I’m going to get it into the ground. Maybe if it rains this weekend, I can get John to help me dig a hole in the ground and cement it in. There’s a neighborhood park entrance on the other side of our neighborhood – I’ll probably put it there. Or, if restrictions prevent it from being on “city” land, I’ll put it up in front of the U-bend of our streets, on my lawn. Everyone slows down and stops to talk to my neighbor, so I’m sure it will get enough traffic. And now I can start picking up books in earnest. So many fun things to plan!

4 My partner-in-crime will no longer live across the street. They’ve bought a house all the way across the city. And I’m so heartbroken that I can’t say more than that.

patsscarf5 And then there is the Superbowl. I’ve been good not stressing about it – usually by pretending it’s not happening at all. But it’s starting to feel real! I’ll have to plan out what snacks and dinner we’ll have Sunday night, with the girls, and then get our pool ready. My bestie Kathy was nice enough to knit me a Patriots scarf as a talisman, which is good because my mental health is maxed out worrying over politics – I really cannot take a Patriots loss. Even though I’ve broken up with Brady for siding with President Cheeto, I can’t excise him from the team. I can’t root against everyone else just because of him. The team is more than him. If any team in the NFL is about Team First, ego last, it’s the Patriots. So. Go Pats! One more. One more win. And then I can use that success to help soothe me through the insanity for a few months, at least. I think. I hope.

Alright, peoples! Friday, Friday, Friday! Let’s get ready to weekend!

Book Reviews: The ones with all the comfort and cheese.

February 2, 2017

It hasn’t been the red-letteringest day in reading for me. I’ve only puttered through a few books, and those I did get through haven’t been what I’d consider top shelf reads. Still, some weeks are like that, I suppose. Especially when current events are what they are and you feel like you need a lot of comfort food just to make it through. I’ve been going through this phase where I can’t read enough romance novels. Bodice-ripping, dumb-as-dirt romances. Talk about hiding in the middle of a world where you can forget all your worries!

One for the Money, by Janet Evanovich (1994, 320 pages, ebook). Don’t you hate when books were published so long ago that you have a hard time turning up any decent publishing information? I mean, am I missing the obvious? Was I absent the day they taught that real-world know-how in school? In any case, yes, I’ve finally joined the Evanovich picnic. I made a trade with a new friend, in which I promised to read this in exchange for her reading the Flavia de Luce mystery. I have to say, my lollipop seems a bit fuzzy – the writing wasn’t that crisp, the plot a bit stale, and the characters a bit muddled. Much more of a book I would have preferred to borrow, rather than buy, except for promises made. I suppose when you’re raised on Miss Marple and Hercule Poirot, every other mystery seems a bit lacking, but this one went out of its way to be average. It’s like the Bridget Jones of the mystery world. Plain, ordinary, and appeals to everyone else a lot more than it does me. Lord, how I’ve spoiled myself. 2 1/2 of 5 stars.

Hardworking Man, by Gina Ferris (1993, Silhouette, 283 pages, paperback). Here’s where I’m going to contradict myself, because even though the writing left a lot to be desired in this book, I still enjoyed it far more than I maybe should have. It’s the second in the “Family Found” series – seven brothers and sisters who were separated as children, and reconnected one book at a time. This isn’t the strongest of the series, and the heroine – detective Cassie Browning – was far too quick to cry and weep when being touted as strong and tough. But even a neat-and-tidy romance with character flaws is better than real-world politics right now, so it was a winner for me. 3 of 5 stars.

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows (2008, Dial Press, 274 pages, ebook). I accidentally read this. Yes, okay, how does that happen, you ask? Because it was the Deal of the Day and so I bought it in case I needed it as an option, and then I read just the “first few” letters, and, well…I couldn’t stop. So I did a quick re-read and I loved it just as much as I ever have. Sad things that happen still almost move me to tears, and I still remember when one particularly frustrating plot point made me beat my book against the steering wheel of the car the first time I read the book over several lunch breaks. Juliet Ashton – writer and war correspondent who enjoys a bit of fame from covering World War II adventures in London – happens into post-war correspondence of a different nature with Guernsey neighbors who happen to make up the titular society. Her unfolding friendships with the Potato Peel Pie Society still delight me, and none more than Kit. How is it that we’re made to care so much for a child who never gets to utter a single sentence? I try to puzzle it out every single time. Maybe that’s why I end up “accidentally” re-reading it so many times. I think I’m pushing 20 by now… 5 of 5 stars.

Moonglow, by Michael Chabon (2016, Harper, 430 pages, eloan). I read this for the Tournament of Books, against my will. I’m not a Chabon fan. His style doesn’t offend, I don’t get worked up and advocate against any of his books; I just don’t care for them. And there are so many stories to read, I just can’t see taking up any time with ones we know aren’t going to move us. Obviously, an exception was made so I could follow along with the TOB debate with a fully informed opinion. And I have to say – of all the Chabons I’ve read, this one might be my favorite. It helps that the premise itself is charming: Chabon traveled to visit his dying grandfather and heard so many stories never before been told. His life boiled down to these tales, a life collapsed into one week, that’s what we got here, albeit wildly fictionalized. And it worked. Not enough to make me a convert, but enough for me to be pleasantly surprised. This year’s TOB pile is overrun by horrible sports novels and monkey tales, so were Moonglow to win, I can’t say I’d be disappointed. I’ll take wartime shenanigans almost every time. Especially the ones suddenly confessed on one’s deathbed. 3 of 5 stars.

That’s it for me! I’m finishing up The Nix (so I can get it to Care as part of our book swap), and then I get to start Version Control (her part of said swap). Hopefully this book rut will be long gone in the rearview mirror come this time next week.

This is getting to be a Sunday night ritual.

January 30, 2017

Last night was a good, good night. I made my Twice-Stolen Peruvian Roast Chicken for dinner, and the girls didn’t even complain. I warned them we’d be having more family dinners, and they said they didn’t mind – even though they preferred “easy” dinners where they could have waffles or heat up leftovers. They don’t even like chicken right now, but they didn’t complain. And don’t say anything, but I think Gracie liked the Peruvian flavor. It does make a difference when you cook your chicken skin-on.

After our sit-down dinner, Gracie sat down to watch the SAG Award show. I offered up the big TV, and asked Bee if she wanted to come craft in my bedroom with me. It’s what we did the last time there was an awards show, and we had a lot of fun. Bless that girl, she did want to hang out with her mama. So she grabbed a sew-your-own pillow kit she got for Christmas, and I grabbed some scrapbooking supplies, and off we went.

sundaynight

Here’s my partner-in-crime. You can see the friendship character on the pillow kit. Bee looks all serious because she’s trying not to knot her string because it was awfully tangly.

We watched the rest of Anne of Green Gables and the Bee-girl really got into it (and my heart rejoiced!). I answered her questions best I could as I worked on my own projects:

And then there was this one, which kinda encapsulated all the scrapbooking I had gotten done this weekend:

The journaling reads:

This is the first I’ve scrapbooked in a long time. More than a year. And there are… There are pictures I’m not using. Pages I’m not creating. It’s a choice. A conscious choice. It hurts to think about Jeff and X-man. It hurts to even write their names. Trying to recreate 2016 – with them or without them – is painful. The absences and gaping holes are painful. The pictures that include them, even if I leave them out of my running commentary – those are painful. I have no way of knowing, right now, what is more painful or less painful. It’s all painful. All of it.

So.

So my choice is to not include them in as many things as I can. My energy in faking happiness in the journalism prompts is low. I save it for hte few I feel I can’t skip.

So.

So there are gaping holes. So what. And I’ll keep pushing through. Because at least I’m scrapbooking at all. At least I’m me again.

I find it’s much easier to be Brave when I have my Bee-girl around. She and I had fun. I like hanging out with her and seeing how her mind turns. It’s an important year – she’s right on the brink of growing up and becoming a tween. And besides that – she’s Bee! She’s sneaky and devious and hilarious and she has this way of unsettling you any time you feel like you have the least bit of balance. You never know what you’re going to talk about. And she has a terrible poker face, so you can always see what’s behind all the machinations of her thinking. It’s like playing in a giant funhouse, these nights full of conversation.

The fact that it’s all happening during a night of crafting? That’s just icing on the cake. Mmmm….cake.