Friday, May 10, 2013

Bring It

The countdown is ON! Five more days of school!! Woop woop!!! We pick Little Man up after school and the children pile out of the car and grab their bikes and scooters and spend a chunk of the afternoon going ninety to nothing! And it makes me look out the kitchen window and see them flying around, chasing one another, making up games. Childhood. It's sweet. Summer...we are ready! Come on!!!

The Engineer and Little Man met a few other daddies and their sons for breakfast a few weekends ago...Steak and Shake was the restaurant of choice. That night Little Man treated us all to dinner at his diner. He went by the name, "Ed." Hee hee. I'm sure that had nothing to do with the fact that someone he greatly admires goes by the name Ed.

We dined in style. He was hilarious. He'd stick his head behind the door and holler back to the "kitchen," "I need a number sixteen burger!" (We don't know what a number sixteen burger is, that was just his recommendation.)

Dinner was followed with dancing.

Dips and was super fun!

Our nearly eleven year old iron died a few days ago. Is that a sign? Not to iron ever again? Bummer. I didn't think so.

I bought the exact same iron because it was that rad. Get one here. And use a 20% off coupon. You can thank me later. It's that good.

The Engineer has been wearing the same four "no iron" shirts for the last several months...two of which are "fishing" shirts. The guys at work have asked if he's super into fishing. He's not. He just looks really good in them and they save me ironing time. Suffice it to's time to bite the bullet and iron.

I've been a mean mom lately. Just tired. Worn out. I get to the end of many days and feel like if one more person calls my name to complain or ask me for something I just might scream. And please, no whining before breakfast. I don't want to live like that. And I really want to blame it on the hormones from baby. But I mean, let's face it, I've got to take responsibility. A harsh answer is a harsh answer. Regardless.

And I've felt a bit overwhelmed. These feelings ebb and flow. You know the routine - clean up, they mess it up, wash it, they wear it, cook it - they eat it. Again and again and again. The cleaning up part is the hardest for me. So I've made a few changes. We're trying something new...because we all live here. And we all play here. And this is NOT a hotel. And we are family. So we are going to work together like a family. I'm trying to figure out the difference in serving my family and being their maid. When is it showing grace and when is it being a doormat? Does that make sense? We'll see how my new plan goes...yesterday it was met with tears by two out of three children. I'm not giving up.

One of the difficulties of having one child homeschooling and others private schooling is needing to be in two places at one time (at home teaching vs on a field trip/school activity, etc.). Typically Sister goes with me and it's not a big deal. She is helpful and seeks to be a blessing. But last week...she couldn't come with me. It was clearly a "no siblings" kind of event. Poor Sister. The only solution I could find was for her to accompany a sweet friend for... a pedicure. Now, when my friend offered to take her I felt quite divided - a pedicure?! For an eight year old?! I'm thirty-two and I've had one pedicure in my entire life. This is over the top!

You know what? I think it was just what Sister needed. A little TLC away from mama and with a "cool" young mama. Sister came back beaming and promptly hid away in her bathroom for a self imposed manicure. She gave me a play by play of EVERYTHING that happened. Glitter neon toes! How cool is that on an eight year old!?

I think it's finally really happening. I think.

We had a small dinner party here last weekend. It's the first time we've entertained in the brick house in such fashion. We broke out all the fine china. I polished silver and cleaned and prepped all week. The Engineer even stepped in and polished late one night!

I found this "live tile" (above) which made a PERFECT centerpiece! Throw in some moss and candles...wha-la! I was thrilled!

I neglected to take A SINGLE PICTURE of the set up with my big camera!!! Boo-hoo! But yay for the cellular!

The dinner party was in honor of a precious friend. It was her birthday. Too bad I didn't get a better shot of her hubs.

So that thing that I think is happening...we prepped for the party. We put drinks out on the screened porch. We gathered chairs around the fire pit. We set the dining room table. We scrubbed the little guest bath. We turned on the big lights in the tree on the back porch. We lit candles. The sun began to tuck herself in and dusk enveloped the brick house and she began glowing. Friends trickled in the back door...the flicker of candles, the reflections in glass and mirrors, the smiles on faces, the smell of good food. The guys gathering around a platter of cheese and children running in for "one more bite" before they were whisked upstairs with a sitter. The iPod, playing softly. The ladies...following me into our tiny kitchen and jumping in to help serve plates. Dimming the dining room chandelier...good conversation. Laughter. It was a sweet night.

The Engineer and I washed dishes until close to 1am. We laughed and talked and I think we said a million times, "that was SO much fun!"

The next morning we finished putting everything away...and we said a million more times, "that was SO MUCH fun!"

And I think it's happening. I felt a little smitten with our house. She held our guests so well. Things flowed so smoothly. Our tiny kitchen served beautifully! It was precious to get to host a small sit around the table until the candles had flickered and burned out...and then to move outside to the patio. I loved it. We loved it.

Dear Brick House, you were such a blessing to us last weekend. I'd never seen you glow like you did. I'm beginning to fall for you, hard.  Like I fell for our old home. And that is saying a lot.

Saturday night we tucked the children into bed and broke out the last two creme brûlées and made iced coffee to accompany. It was a sweet reward.

I'm not sure what brought on this parade of dressing up...

I think she may have had a tiny, little something to do with it?

All I know is that some old woman showed up and the girls were calling him - I mean her, "Grandma."

Grandma was pretty spry. And hip. She was all about playing the part until The Engineer said he would not take, ahem, "Grandma" to soccer practice in a dress. Three seconds later I found all "Grandma's" clothes, inside out, on the hall floor.

Scary. Great blackmail material. Rehearsal dinner? Oh yeah.

Little Bit woke on the morning of her program quite early. She stood on the top step and cried. LOUD. I retrieved her and asked what was wrong? "I'm ner-bus!"She almost didn't go up there with her class. Once on stage, she yawned. And yawned. And yawned.

Little Man, on the other hand, was very pleased with himself and fully participated. I couldn't help but smile and giggle a bit watching both of them up there. The Engineer got to take the afternoon off and joined me and Sister in the crowd.

Post program, we headed downtown for lunch at our fav Mexican restaurant. The children found a shop selling glass marbles from a gum ball machine and loaded up. We hit a few antique stores in search of hand planes for The one such store, the clerk - an older lady - took me and the children back into the recesses of the store and showed us a very, very old elevator...operated by hand by pulling ropes. She let the children help her lower the elevator a good eighteen inches and they were THRILLED.  I mean, it's a big deal to be taken behind the big double doors that clearly communicate KEEP OUT. It's a big deal to have another set of double doors opened to you while a little old lady clings tightly to your shirt for fear you might fall down the elevator shaft. And it's an even bigger deal to hang all your weight, along with your siblings and that little old lady's, on a giant rope. It was all a really big deal. And made for a sweet afternoon.

We have a big weekend ahead! We're borrowing a pressure washer first thing tomorrow morning...I cannot wait!!! I LOVE to pressure wash. (Seriously.) Woop woop! Bring it!

And before I leave sister and I finished lunch this afternoon, I became keenly aware of a certain blurriness in one eye. I reached up to rub it and my hand came away with goop. I have pink eye. No doubt thanks to Little Man and Little Bit's generosity. I'll spare you the details...suffice it to say...the goop is prolific. And if you look down long pools in the center of your eye. I am amazed. And thankful for modern meds!!!

Ok...happy weekend, y'all!


  1. You have a great way of looking at life. It inspires me! Love ya,

  2. Oh my goodness...your table is gorgeous and Little Man as Grandma is absolutely HILARIOUS!

    Hope your pink eye resolves quickly. That's a miserable little illness!

  3. Love you so much, and love how your blog posts give me another little window into sharing life together, especially all the photos of your precious little ones. ;) Thank you again for my surprise birthday shindig - you are truly the greatest hostess ever. I need lessons on how to prepare everything so well ahead of time!

    OH, and we have the same iron! Or at least a pretty similar one, ours was yikes-pricey at Target 9 years ago. I bought it with wedding gift cards and Hubby couldn't believe I spent that much on an iron, but that thing is still kicking, and gets his white coats Westpoint-worthy crisp. Love it. :)

  4. :) Oh Jen, how I adore your sweetness!

    I am smitten with my house too, but daily...hourly..I have to remind myself that the only thing I can't do after raising my children is raise my children. As I climb my unfinished stairs, I grumble in my heart so often. I see what this house will be but I really do envy those who have finished, pretty, decorated houses that needed no vision to live in everyday.

    I had a talk with God...a long one about the servant/maid role and it's still being worked out in me. I feel like God impressed upon my heart that I was looking at the issue all wrong. Yes, I should love serving my family and should do so with love, however, those things I do are skills my children need. I clearly heard "Melissa, you already know HOW to do these your children?" So it wasn't about doing FOR them in the manner of serving them, but I really needed to pass that baton to them so they could feel they, too, were needed. We go by the phrase "Everyone should bring a stick to the fire." We put on music, work together and rest together. Anyone old enough to make a mess is old enough to clean up a mess (even if they are in Momma's arm while she picks it up and talks about it!)

    And now I am blessed beyond measure. My 6 year old made me eggs the other day and I was in awe. My 9 year old regularly cooks dinner all by himself, not because he has to, but because he wants to (yes, there is supervision, but he is surprisingly diligent about safety!)

    Your dinner party looked wonderful ;) You are an amazing hostess!! I have a lot of learning to do in that area! I'm always a nervous wreck!

  5. I love your blog, and we really had a wonderful time too! Thank you for serving Lauren and all of us so well:) I am taking lessons from you, God has given you many great gifts!!!

  6. I want to come to a party at your house! :) I LOVE that centerpiece and how lovely your china looks with it! Beautiful!

    The kids are precious, and I am thankful that you and your growing little one are doing well! So excited for your family--and thankful that God has heard all of our prayers.

    I had pink eye recently and it really stinks! Hope you get clear of goop soon. :) Have a great weekend pressure washing!

    ~Abby Hutto

  7. Super photos my sweet friend. Precious memories you are making! So sorry about the pink it all better now? And...I *love* the results of pressure washing...but, I am happy for Howie to do the work. :)

    Love you!

  8. I hopped on over here from Cammille's Flower In His Garden. And I will be back when I have the chance to read...