‘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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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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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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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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Making a Choices Circle

I stumbled across a choices circle on Pinterest a while back during one of my many 2am insomnia sessions. I was once again smacking myself upside the head that I hadn’t thought of the idea myself. The idea is that when you are faced with a difficult situation, it helps you figure out an appropriate and constructive solution. I don’t think there is a Schroeder on this planet where this wouldn’t be a useful tool. Present company included.

 

Let’s say, the problem is that Sally keeps taking my red crayon. Although some might thing the appropriate response would be to go for the jugular and scream ‘No’. I’ve learned from experience that this is socially unacceptable and quite frowned upon and maybe a little on the illegal side. Maybe this ‘wheel-o-choices’ can help us brush up on a social skill or two? Is that ever really a bad idea?

 
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A Goose What?

I was first introduced to the world of Goose Eggs when Maddie was 2. She was running on the couch and tripped. Her forehead met the corner of the windowsill, like hard. Dude. Her forehead just popped right out. I proceeded to freak out. I was yelling at Darren to call 911, my poor baby had cracked her scull open and this is obviously what a brain bleed looks like. More screaming at Darren ‘This is not a drill, call 911’.

 
I’m sure in Darren’s version of this story I was calling him all the sweet terms of endearment in my vocabulary, but I will deny it.

 
Darren casually walked over and snorted.

 
Fuming people, I.AM.FUMING. Why the frickin’ frick isn’t Flight for Life already here?!?!

 
‘Sarah, it’s just a Goose Egg’

 
A what? I’m pretty sure that’s not a thing. Shut it Schroeder, I’ll call 911 myself.

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I Love a Good Check Off List

When I crossed the finish line of my first triathlon I was pretty darn proud of myself. I had two goals. One, to not be last and two, to not seek medical attention.

 
I use this same kind of gauge towards parenting. One, did anyone need medical attention today? Two, did anyone catch on fire? If both of those answers are no then I am putting the day in the win column.

 
Do I still get frustrated when I ask my kiddos if they have brushed their teeth and the answer is ‘I forgot’. Jiminy Christmas. Are you kidding me? Every day. Twice a day. I’ll let the flossing slide, but dude…Every day for the last 12 years.

 
Ugh

 
I hear you. I shouldn’t be getting frustrated; this is my job as a mom – right? I know. I would say it’s a fifty-fifty split. Half the time I’m totally cool and all angelic ‘My Sweet Lovie, don’t forget to brush your teeth’. And the other half I’m a grumpy old troll who just can’t say it one more time. Seriously, let’s do the math…I’ll give you a free pass for the first 3 years of your life…leaving the past 9 years at twice a day, every day. Yup, over SIX THOUSAND times. I have said brush your teeth six thousand times. And you forgot. So great.

 
Ok, no more complaining, it’s time to find a solution.

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Dude. He ran over his dog. Twice.

 

A few years back while I was in the middle of making dinner for my three sweet musketeers, somehow the dog got out. I remember hearing my oldest, who was 8 at the time, yell “Momma! I win! The puppy is free’. Mark my words, that kid is going to be an animal activist.

I grab my shoes, some puppy treats and outside I go….

 

I could see the dog on the other side of the cul-de-sac, just frolicking around, enjoying his freedom. As I started calling out to him, my sweet entourage is following me. So as I jog to try to get the dog it starts to sound something more like…..

“Puppy, here puppy. Jack-Jack, can you go put on pants please. Puppy! Maddie Dinky Doo, can you put on some shoes, Sweetheart? Puppy! Em, Sweetie, I know you’re cold Angel, why don’t you go put on a jacket? Puppy! Here Puppy!”

The neighbor lady appeared in her front lawn and seems to be just watching with a smile on her face, like she’s been here and is living vicariously through me and my moment of chaos that I am parading around the cul-de-sac. (In my head she grabbed a drink and pulled up a lawn chair, but I don’t think that REALLY happened, did it?)

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Ah, Sunday Morning….

Here we are My Friends, my favorite time of the week. I’ve snuck out of bed and tiptoed downstairs as quietly as possible. I like this time to myself & I try to savor it as long as I can.

The morning coffee is brewing and wishing me a good morning in its sweet aromatic way. And a fine morning to you too….did I just tip my invisible hat to my coffee maker? Aw yeah, this is going to be a beautiful day.

I grab everything and head on over to my favorite spot at the kitchen table. I need my calendar, my laptop, my stickies, my coffee, my favorite pen and my beautiful daily log.

I’m working on finding an electronic calendar that fits our needs & I’m still pretty frightened by them. I’ve just started defining what I’m looking for and researching online calendars that fit the bill, so for now the paper version stays. But I do see the possibility of this being the last year.

What I really want to talk to you about is my log. This bad boy has saved me on many occasions and I don’t know where I would be without it.

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I Always Wear the Same Jewelry

I always wear the same jewelry….One pair of earrings that I never like to forget as I think they pull the attention away from my huge nose. One ring in the top of my left ear (I guess it is called a Helix). I tried to do a Tragus piercing but I looked like an idiot – I totally can’t pull that look off. (we’ll talk more about that beautiful experience later)

 
I wear one necklace. Usually it is this one a dear sweet friend made for me. I love it. Two weeks before one of the kids’ birthdays I start wearing a necklace with their names on it. Right now I am wearing Jack-Jacks. Makes him smile – which in turn makes me smile – which in turn makes Darren smile…its one big smile-fest over here.

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That Darn Laundry

If asked what anyone in my family is wearing today, I wouldn’t have a clue. Do I scan everyone’s outfit when they leave to make sure I won’t be getting another phone call like the one I got a few years ago from my daughters teacher asking me to bring her pants since there seemed to be confusion on the different between leggings and tights and how her teacher could see her Holly Hobbie underpants? You better believe it. But I am willing to bet it wasn’t the John Deere Trucker hat, volleyball knee pads from 1st grade, a purple tutu, the belt from your robe, and Kermit the Frog t-shirt ‘it’s not easy being green’ that I found in their laundry hampers this morning? I think that’s a safe bet & I would take those odds.

I mean, really? I’m pretty sure you’ve worn that hoodie for the last 4 days. It’s stinky. Seriously Dude. 4 days. How in the heck is your laundry basket full? Ugh.

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What to do with all the ‘stuff’?

Organization is tricky around here. It seems like there is always something to put away. I’m embarrassed to say that finding a ‘home’ for our stuff isn’t always easy. But I am excited to find just the right home for our things in this new house.

 

One thing we did figure out how to organize is the kids ‘stuff’…class pictures, art work, yearbooks, report cards and a movie stub or two.

 

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The Bluebird of Happiness

Many, many moons ago there were two kiddos that were heartbreakingly miserable. They were incredibly deflated and forlorn. Down comes the Good Fairy and she says, ‘You know what you need? You need to find the Bluebird of Happiness.’ The children agree & off they go on their adventure to find this Bluebird of Happiness. Their quest was a treacherous one filled with danger around every corner. Days turn into nights and nights into days and the children become so disheveled that they start their way home, even more miserable than when they started, so troubled and racked with despair. As they look up to see the front porch of their home, there it is, right there in front of them, the Bluebird of Happiness, just waiting there for them the whole time.

Or so that’s how I heard the story goes.

Good golly this story touches my heart.

I heard about the Bluebird of Happiness existing from the book The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin. I highly recommend this book.  Like seriously, this woman is a genius.

This story is how I turned into a tchotchke person. Well, a bluebird person. This is also why I give bluebirds as gifts every chance I get. That and bubbles, bubbles make everything better.

The Bluebird of Happiness

The Bluebird of Happiness

‘But it’s tradition!’

After mom passed away I started thinking about traditions and documenting our history. Part of this thinking is what has brought me to the writing world. Another part took me down the path of ‘what does tradition mean to us’. First I had to start with asking myself ‘what is the difference between tradition and routine?’ Routine feels like chores, doesn’t it? And traditions, well…they feel like hot chocolate. With marshmallows. They warm my soul and make me smile.

 
We celebrate (with cake) the first day of school

 
The birthday fairy comes every year and gives you a dozen balloons

 
Planting jellybeans the night before Easter

 
On Mother’s Day, we pick out our oodles of flowers to plant

 
We have a backyard campout every year

 
Adding leaves to our ‘Thankful Tree’ during the month of November

 
Good luck meal on New Year’s Day

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