‘Good Morning…The Rest of my Life Gon’ Start Today’ – Max Frost

Over here in Schroeder Land music plays a very specific role. We are very sensitive to sound and we need music to add to the serenity instead of creating a chaotic cacophony.   I think I first noticed our sensitivity at the old house when we took out all the carpet and installed tile throughout the whole house….not a single sound wave was absorbed anywhere anymore.

 

Sound just bounced for days. You could hear someone breathing from like a mile away in that place. The easiest place to clean – not a dust mite in sight…but sound reverberated into the depth of your soul.

 

When choosing tile, I never thought of adding that little tidbit to the CON list. Oi.

 

Anyway, back to music.

 

During homework time and on the weekends we listen to classical music. I’ve found that it helps all of us focus and recharge.

 

In the mornings when everyone is getting ready for work and school, we all have our favorite ‘wake up’ songs.  About a year ago I heard part of a song… ‘I thank God every day that I woke up feeling this way’.  And then… I found the video of the song.  Sweet Mamma Jamma.  She is singing into a toothbrush running around in giraffe pajamas.

 

Yes!

 

Maddie, My Sweet Teenager, I’m picking you up from school tomorrow in my giraffe pajamas.  It’s gonna be awesome.

 

Coolest. Mom. Eva.

 

I guess there are only going to be a few more years where I can pull of screaming MT & Justin Timberlake in the carpool line. Pfft – who am I kidding, I’m gonna be belting out JT when I’m picking up grandkids from carpool line…’Sing it with me, Pumpkin…Can’t stop the feelin…!’

 

I was watching my Grey’s the other day, I’m about 3 episodes behind.  Not only does Grey’s still tug at my heartstrings, but every episode name is taken from a title of a song AND I’ve noticed that they have had some absolutely amazing songs.  On this particular episode, I actually stopped the episode *gasp* and the song inspired me to jump up and try to put together a ‘wake up’ playlist.

 

I needed this playlist to start with this new song from Max Frost.  I wrote down about 20 ‘Good Morning’ songs. I found it quite encouraging, this quantity of songs in my mental library that I know and love that are about beginning a new day and breaking open a can of whoop ass. But I only found that 10 fit in this particular playlist that could get us up and moving.  I guess I need another playlist for my Bob Marley, The Rascals and Rascal Flats. Wow, am I really that old?

 

(This is where you say no, that I am just a cornucopia of good music. Dude, say it.)

 

Well, I was just introduced to Andy Grammer a few months ago, I first heard one of his songs by way of an acapella band. Are they called a band if it is acapella? They did his song, Spaceship. Talk about tugging at heartstrings. Crying is an understatement. This song made me need to find more of Andy Grammer’s work, which helped me find song number 3. I’m sure you all know it.

 

I’m disappointed in my weak transition between the 3rd and 4th song, but I’ll get over it. I did get my DJ skill out of a cereal box. It’s cool – you can judge me.

 

Alexa, please share with all my friends our playlist that will hopefully help us all Carpe some Diem and boogie around in our giraffe pjs.

 

wakey wakey eggs and bakey

wakey wakey eggs and bakey

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Yes, we are going to stop the car today. We need this. I need this.

I’ve figured it out. I’ve decided that Darren doesn’t actually go out of town. I would bet the farm that he is just sitting at the fancy hotel down the street, living like a king, ordering room service and lounging by the pool. I swear he does this just to prove a point. Well, a couple points…Point number one, I appreciate everything my husband does for me. Point number two, I can do things…turns out I CAN take out the trash. Worst realization ever.

 
Chaos always ensues while Darren is out of town. Some days I might as well just fall flat on my face straight out of bed, cut out the middleman, save myself some time.

 
It’s time for me to accept this => This is going to be hard. Suck it up buttercup.

 

 

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These ARE the Wings You’re Looking for

A long time ago in a Hot Wing Joint far, far away…after years of having hot wings covered in a greasy hot sauce that burned off every taste bud I had grown to love and then had the power to dye everything this weird orange that even Crayola didn’t want to name, I was finally introduced to the world of Dry Rub.  I cried that day.

just about ready

just about ready

Where had this beautiful world been all my life?  I must find more, I must recreate.

Challenge accepted.

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If I Ever See Another Roll of Deco Mesh it Will be Too Soon…

Well, it took me a year, but I finally finished it. Yes, you heard that right – a whole year. Whoever decided that inventing Deco Mesh was a good idea is a mean, mean person and is laughing all the way to the bank.
It was about this time last year when I was looking for a project to keep my mind and my heart busy. I was having such a hard time with my father’s passing and it was quite easy to buy things to start projects yet the actual doing of anything, let alone finishing anything wasn’t happening.
I can only give myself a free pass for so long.
So there it was, bags and piles of pink Deco Mesh, mocking me. Stupid Deco Mesh. Bring it on.
I put my big girl panties on, rolled up my sleeves, called in some reinforcements and got it done. I’m not gonna lie, I really do love it. It reminds me of a 90’s spiral perm on crack. I watched a bazillion videos and it took forever and it was a pain in the keister. I’ll tell you this though…If you want to strain your marriage a bit…leave piles Deco Mesh around for 2 weeks. That will do the trick. It is guaranteed to piss off just about the kindest of husbands.

almost done

almost done

There are a couple of things I learned from this project:
1. I can ask for help:
Man. I think this will always be hard for me. I’m horrible at asking for help, I feel people judge me as being weak. But strangely I am honored when people ask me to help them. It is so odd. But working on this project with a friend was tons of fun. She kept me focused and we bounced ideas off of each other. AND THEN when Darren started getting frustrated that his dining room table was MIA, he started helping too. Don’t tell him, but it was fun throwing Deco Mesh at each other.

Thanks for helping Babe

Thanks for helping Babe

2. Just because I can – doesn’t mean I should:
Every.Stinkin’.Time. You’d think I’d learn. Just because I CAN do something myself, doesn’t mean I should. Yes, I CAN change my own tire, in sub-freezing temperatures, in the middle of the night, with 3 screaming kiddos in the car, on the side of the highway. Should I? No. No I shouldn’t. I should just call the triple-a. That’s what it’s for. Same goes for Deco Mesh. That’s why God invented Etsy.
3. It isn’t always pretty when you get close, I mean really close:
Seriously. Don’t look too closely at this wreath. It looks fabulous from far away (just like me). But then the closer you get, the more you see of all the frays and imperfections. And boy-oh-boy does this thing have imperfections (just like me).
4. But….I have developed a love/hate relationship with Deco Mesh:
Dude. Not 2 minutes after I finished saying ‘I never want to see Deco Mesh ever again’ was I scrolling the Craft Store sale ad and saw that Deco Mesh was on sale *Yahtzee* I started envisioning a beautiful St. Patrick’s Day wreath. I need to go to the Craft Store, don’t I? Ugh. There is something seriously wrong with me. Don’t tell Darren.

 

Couldn't be happier

Couldn’t be happier

 

 

I Heart Latin

I’ve noticed that learning a foreign language isn’t a high school requirement over here. Interesting since many colleges do require two years of foreign language credit, but I’ll save that rant for a different day. I normally don’t like to do ‘shoulda’s’ but if I could do it all over again, I would have picked Latin instead of French. I know, I know…’But Sar, Latin is a dead language’. Oh, I hear you. But I really think it helps with all the Romance languages – Italian, Spanish, French (what are the other 4 romance languages, I always forget…)

 
Although English is not one of the romance languages, I’d like to believe that learning Latin would have helped me along the way.

 
For example…

 
Long long time ago, I saw a sign in my doctor’s office that mentioned a new service they were offering ‘Complementary Medicine’.

 
Hot Damn. Sign me up. Free health care. It’s finally happened.

 
Little did I know that after an afternoon of guided imagery, aromatherapy, shiatsu, and acupuncture I would still be getting a bill. There was nothing complimentary about it.
Turns out it wasn’t Latin I needed to learn, I was just a dumb ass and didn’t know the difference between complementary and complimentary.

 
Stupid English.

 
Ok, that was a bad example. Hilarious, but bad example.

 
Well, at least learning Latin will help me with my spells at Hogwarts. Expecto Patronum!

 
Maybe I can turn learning Latin into a spellcasting type thing around here. Think anyone will change out the laundry if I just yell ‘Mutatio Lauandi!’?

I Can Have Grace AND be a Neanderthal at the Same Time, Right?

There are a few modern conveniences I only notice when they are gone. Most recently this list consists of closed captioning and my microwave.

 
It’s feeling like 1918 instead of 2018 around here and I don’t seem to be handling it very well.

 
I started using closed captioning when Maddie was learning to read. It also helped me feel less guilty whenever I was letting the kiddos watch something that wasn’t educational. Hey, at least they were learning how to read, right? I’m also able to keep the noise down to a minimum. It’s a beautiful thing.

 
Well, something wonky happened to the TV, I probably sat on the remote, who knows what happened and my precious closed captioning was gone.

 
Dude.

 
I couldn’t understand a word anyone was saying. I was the most ancient old lady in the history of ancient old ladies. Please hold while I call the Smithsonian, historical moment here people.

 
The good news is that the girls couldn’t understand anyone either and that made me feel a little bit better, but pausing the TV every 2 seconds to say ‘wait, what’ gets old. Quick.

 
I need to send the inventor of closed captioning a thank you card. She’s a good egg. Well, it’s a bunch of eggs…Julia Child, Bill Kastner, and the Texas Instruments peeps.

 
Let’s move on to my microwave story before you decide I’m a whack-a-mole, shall we?

 
When we moved into this house a few months ago the microwave seemed to want to be my nemesis. It was loud, obnoxious, and appeared to have a mind of its own. For my birthday last month, we splurged and got a new microwave. Let call her Princess, shall we? Well, Princess decided to stop working 17 days ago.

 
Great.

 
So here I stand, with a cup of cold coffee in one hand and a bag of microwave popcorn in the other, completely dumbfounded.

 
Do you have any idea how long it takes to defrost something in the fridge, or actually BAKE a potato?

 
How in the world am I supposed to soften a rock of brown sugar? WTF universe?

 
I like SERIOUSLY have to wait for butter to soften on the counter. Like a Neanderthal.

 
I can feel my great-grandmother rolling her eyes at me.

 
This entire process is teaching us all patience and grace. If one more microwave helpdesk guy asks me if ‘I’m sure’ I pushed the start button or asks me if I’m using the timer instead of the microwave I might just lose it.

 
*breathe Sar*

 
I’m trying to remind myself of this video. It’s one of my favorites and I hope you have a few minutes to watch it. It reminds me that every thing, every day, and every one is a gift. But here on day 17 of our battle with the microwave peeps it’s difficult to remember. I’m trying.

 
People pay extra for iced coffee, right?

Looking Forward and Backward

I have 2 days to have my resolutions done. So, of course, I’m procrastinating – It’s my thing.

 
One of my resolutions is to start writing again. So here I am, trying to combine the 3: resolutions, procrastinating and writing.

 
Celebrating the New Year is one of my favorite traditions. I love the idea of starting fresh and new – getting a mulligan if you will. It is a breath of fresh air, one I certainly need and enjoy.

 
I’ll go ahead and be honest here, I never make it to midnight. Well, I’m sure its midnight somewhere, but never here.
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There’s an App for THAT but Not…

These last few weeks of summer break I have been trying to fit in as much fun as humanly possible. School starts in a couple days and although I am a crazy lunatic by 5pm from turning off lights and serving ‘snack’ 37 times a day, I’m gonna miss my sweet monkeys.  I mean, who else is going to follow me around for a solid 2 hours with a squeaky rubber ducky?

Side note to My Sweet Lovie: your stamina and dedication to ‘the squeak’ amazes me. Kid, you are going places with that kind of commitment to your cause. You, My Love, are a bad ass.

Fo’ Shizzle.

Side note to self: For the Love of Pete, stop buying squeaky rubber duckies.

Anyway, where was I?

Ah yes, avoiding responsibilities with a bucket full of fun….
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I Like Clean Windows and I Cannot Lie

I think Darren inherited his amazing cleaning abilities from his grandmother. Man, that woman knew clean. I have never seen a more beautiful sliding glass door track in my life. She even had this beautiful doily in her fridge for her orange juice.  A doily.  Genius.   Yup, you heard me.  I’m pro-doily. Say it with me, doily.  Doileeeeee.

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Worry Leads to Pretty Doors, It’s Like a Thing.

I worry. It’s what I do.  I’m like – really REALLY good at it.  I worry that the mole on Emily’s arm looks different.  I worry that Darren is too busy.  I worry that Maddie’s eye prescription has changed since we checked a couple weeks ago. I worry that Jack-Jack is going to grow up.

I worry that there are mercury vapors in the air. I worry about world hunger & people dying.

I know, I know. My dad was always the first to smack me upside the head.

I’ve found that one of the ways I can keep the worries out of my head AND an added bonus of keeping them from turning into anxieties, is to have projects. Lots and lots of projects.

Darren can usually tell worries are on high alert when he comes home to a newly decorated bathroom.  Poor guy.

I’m pretty lucky that over here in New House Land, I have projects coming out of my whozits. One of the projects I am working on now is the entry from the garage.  I don’t like how neglected this area is and I would like to turn this into a welcoming, warm and functioning space.

before

before

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My Love for Kolaches Runs Deep

One of my most vivid memories is of Cuba, Kansas on a hot summer night jumping around, catching fireflies. Strange that a town less than half a square mile in its entirety, can manage to have such a big and important place in my heart. My Dad’s parents would spend their summers out in Cuba and Dad would bring all us kids out for some family time.  I think Grandma liked their winters in California a million times better than she enjoyed summers out in Kansas, but you would never hear her complain.  Grandpa was a Cuba man; he loved the slowness of the town. He always wore blue and white striped overalls and had such a strong presence about him, except when Grandma would give him the stink eye.  I got my linebacker shoulders from Grandpa and my stink eye skills from Grandma.

Every trip we always ended up doing 3 things. Hunting for lightning bugs, fighting off the chigger bugs and eating kolaches (pronounced ko-LAH-chee). Man, Cuba women sure did know how to make kolaches, I think it’s the strong Czech influence that just oozes the streets of Cuba. Kolaches remind me of a danish, visually.  But don’t let their appearance fool you & don’t you dare ever say the D word out loud, those ladies will bury you alive in their stink eyes.

Kolaches are sweet pillows from heaven that just beg to be served with a hot cup of coffee. My favorite is lemon or cream cheese but I hear that the traditional poppy, apricot or blueberry are delish.
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I Love Photo Books, Especially FREE Photo Books

When Maddie was born 13 years ago, we had a fancy digital camera. And by fancy, I mean that it was like 1 pixel and the zoom was horrible.  I don’t even think I knew that spatial resolution was a thing. I was filling up the memory card every day BEFORE Darren would get home from work and the poor guy would have to load everything to the computer the second he walked in the door. I had jpegs coming out of my whozits.

It was so great; I was going to make scrapbooks and document everything and be the most amazing mom in the history of ever.

Pfft – that’s funny.

I took a couple pictures when Emily was born and I don’t think I could even find a camera or my phone that first year after Jack-Jack was born.

The good news is that all 3 of them were identical when they were babies. When they ask who is in a picture, I always tell them it’s them (what?  Come on, don’t judge.  Next you’re gonna tell me the smoke detectors in every room aren’t really Santa cams…Dude, you’re mean)

Fast forward a couple years of zero documenting & zero scrapbooking. That (air quote) Most-Amazing-Mom thing isn’t working out so well. I know, I’m shocked too.

Then came Shutterfly and the angels sang down to me.

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Ten things I’ve learned from being an Amazon shopper

They say to continue to grow, I need to step out of my comfort zone and start writing differently, the term ‘Flash Fiction’ keeps popping up as something I ‘need’ to do – even learning how to ‘vlog’ should be on my to-do list. I don’t know if I will ever be able to vlog, even pod-casting freaks me out. Could you imagine how incoherent that would be? I ramble enough in print AFTER editing it down. Sharing my thoughts here seems to be ‘raw’ enough. So for now, I’m taking it nice and slow out of my comfort zone and doing a top 10 list.

 

I asked Darren the other day what type of top 10 he thought I would be able to do, ‘what topic do I even know 10 things?’

 

1. 10 ways to be driven crazy by your husband before 8am
2. 10 steps to the perfect Full Body Eye Roll
3. 10 euphemisms for Sweet Husband when you really want to call him something else
4. 10 ways to tell your husband he is not funny and to seriously brain storm with you

 

Dude, I would rock those lists – but how embarrassing that there are only 4, not even 10. I can’t even do 10 hilarious sarcasm lists. *ugh*

 

And then it hit us both. My Amazon shopping addiction.

 
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Mulligan? Is that a Michigan soccer team?

I don’t know sports. Like REALLY don’t know sports.

 

One of the first dates Darren took me on was an evening of Putt-Putt. There was this kid in front of us…he was maybe 10 years old and kept saying ‘I hit that outta here like Larry Walker’ and would then look at me, as if he was looking for a ‘wow’ or a ‘good job, Buddy’. Anyway, by like the 10th time he tells me his phrase ‘blah blah blah…Larry Walker..blah blah blah’ I finally say to the kiddo, ‘I’m sorry Buddy, I don’t know golf.’ This kid (and Darren) look at me like I had a second nose, his jaw drops to the floor and he doesn’t speak to me again. My 10 year old entourage was gone. Darren had to explain to me that Larry Walker was baseball and the goal in golf WAS NOT to hit the ball like that. Oh.

 
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One of Darren’s favorites – Marinated Flank Steak

Happy Father’s Day to all the Dads I know. I truly think they all RAISE THE BAR of that DAD GIG and I am amazed. Especially that husband of mine.  Don’t get me wrong,  I tried to convince Darren that they cancelled Father’s Day this year, but he didn’t fall for it (again).  The kids and I are going to be celebrating Darren today and one thing we ALWAYS include in a celebration is food, lots and lots of food.

 

We don’t eat very much red meat over here. Unless you count the ground beef we use for Taco Tuesday. Darren has 2 favorite red meat recipes, well…3 actually.  The first one is a Beef Wellington that I haven’t made in a million years. The second is a grilled steak with a gorgeous chimichurri sauce, I think Darren wept the first time he tried it. The third is a Marinated Flank Steak, today for Father’s Day we are making the Marinated Flank Steak.

 
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Not My Circus

Ok, ok, ok. Just listen for a second….don’t freak out…stay with me…

 

I like being old. (gasp)

 

Yes, sometimes I do miss 20 something me. She was adorable. She had great skin, the metabolism of whatever has great metabolism, and this naturally highlighted hair that I would pay money for.  Scratch that, I do pay money for.  But dude, she worried so much about what other people thought of her.  I wish I could go see her & slap her upside the head.  Tell her to snap out of it.  I remember this one woman, she gave me the stink eye…or maybe the sun was in her eyes?  I just lost it.  I made this woman my life.  Showing her that I was cool, there must have been some misunderstanding.  You must like me, why wouldn’t someone like me?  Is there something wrong with me?  Why? Why? Why? And then I would end up in the fetal position crying in my closet because this lady now thinks I’m totally off my meds and a wack-a-doodle.

 

*sigh* rinse and repeat.

 
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How Do You Pick a Favorite Mascara?

One of the questions I ask myself when trying to figure out what I want to write about is ‘what has been going on in Schroeder Land this week’…

 

There are a million projects I need to get done, so that’s out.

 

I’m only one week into Summer Break with 500 Schroeder kids, so talking about following everyone around turning off lights and saying NO to having ice cream for the 7th snack today is totally out.

 

Wait, there are only 3 Schroeder kiddos running around this place – I guess anything involving math is out.

 

I have no idea what to make for dinner, so that’s out too.

 

What I do know this week, probably the only thing I’m sure of…

 

My new mascara.

 

(Yeah, I didn’t see that coming either)

 

It is said that in ancient Egyptian times darkening the eyelashes was believed to ward off evil spirits and protect the soul.  I do love a protected soul and we all know evil spirits are Lame-o, capital L.  They might be the stinkers taking all the socks.  Jerks.

 
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NOT Waldorf salad

I spent a few summers in Tulsa, Oklahoma with my Grandparents when I was a kid. I spent most of the time in the kitchen with my Nana. I learned how to make quite a few family dishes out there in good ‘ole Tulsa when I was 8…Tuna Casserole, Goulash, Apple Crisp, and what I was told was Waldorf Salad.

 
Turns out what I was told is Waldorf Salad is NOTHING like real Waldorf Salad.
Well, the apples and walnuts are the same, but other than that NOT EVEN CLOSE.

 
Lies

 
I think I cried the day I ordered a Waldorf Salad from a restaurant. There is a huge difference between a whip cream dressing and a mayonnaise dressing.

 
Huge difference. What the heck Nana?

 
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A Little Sportsmanship Goes a Long Way

Way back in the day, I used to watch the news while getting ready to go to work. My favorite was the first few minutes of the Today Show I would get to watch. One morning there was a CRAZY talented soccer player on and she was talking about sportsmanship. She mentioned that when she was a kid and playing Pee Wee Soccer, her Grandfather would give her 25 cents for a goal and a dollar for an assist.

Dude.

That might be one of the most amazing things I’ve heard in the history of ever.

 
Putting more emphasis in helping rather than doing and the notion that it is not always about you, it just oozes of humility and grace.

Wow.

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The Ants are INSIDE the house?!?

I love nature. Really I do. Nature is amazing and gives me a plethora of inspiration. My soul just feels content when I can hear the ocean or the wind in the trees. My entire body decompresses the second my feet touch a warm sandy beach. Nature is a muse unlike any other.

 

But the second that nature enters my home my stress level rises just the teensiest bit.

 

Our first story starts with the adorableness that is Darren and my first apartment. I was a huge fan of the buy 10 get 1 free deals at the grocery store and he was a huge fan of leaving open soda cans on any flat surface he could find. Darren had tossed a kitchen towel towards the sink and it knocked over a full can of soda all over the counter and the floor. As I was cleaning it up I noticed these little black specks. They made me wonder when was the last time I had used pepper and how in the world did I get pepper way over here. Until the pepper moved.

 

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