Wore {Halloween Party}

What do you do when you see a DIY costume for a pinata on Pinterest?

You make the Hubbs wear his "I'd hit that" shirt with a similar pinata.
Then you DIY your own pinata costume and you go to your neighbors costume party.
Have I mentioned that my neighbors host youth group on Wednesday nights?
Yeah, we are so totally those neighbors.

Look, I bought my Hubbs that shirt years ago, because let's face it, it's so him.
He tried to wear it to the Bon Jovi concert and I stopped him because it's a little faded.
But I'm pretty sure that was fate reminding me he had such a shirt, then God intervened and told the Pinterest Gods to place in my "DIY costume" feed, a DIY Pinata Costume.

Come on.  It was a given, am I correct?

So that's what we wore.
And we got 76 likes on Facebook.
I'm pretty sure that's winning at Halloween Costumes.

This is my "hit me I poop candy" face.

My kids weren't left out either.
This was also a kid party.
Did I forget to mention that?
My kids thought it was hilarious that Daddy was trying to "hit" Mommy.
Thank God, he brought that bat!
Way to turn this into a birds and bees conversation.
Parents of the Year, party of two.

Caitlin was Skelita from Monster High.
I did her make up and hair.
She's pretty adorable anyway, but with some day of the dead make up?
She was just thrilled that she got to wear loads of it.

Why yes, this is my kid not wearing her Minnie Mouse costume.
How on earth did you guess?
We took an old dance recital costume, added "glass" slippers (jellies), one princess hat that for the love of all things holy would not stay on her head, and some Cinderella jewelry.
Awesome, if you consider she had a completely acceptable Minnie Mouse costume in her closet.
But she's cute, and I usually let her get away with everything anyway.

The Crutchfields brought it this year in the costume department.
Oh sure that Up costume trio was great, I mean I'm sure the Dad in that family spent a thousand hours on the cardboard replica of the up house, in the correct colors, with details down to the mail box, that he wore.  And the wife's scouting costume, and the little guys old man sweater and custom made 24 inch walker.  I mean that was awesome, but...

I was a pinata that the Hubbs would totally hit.

Dragging my feet

I seriously did not want to come here tonight.  Like I did everything in my power not to come to this space.  I even put laundry away.  I mean, how sick is that?  It was really freaking hard to stop and pull up the blog.

Life has been so full.  It's been messy and chaotic.  It's been rewarding as well.  But right now I'm a lot burned out.  I haven't done a single thing to decorate my house for Halloween.  And it just occurred to me that Halloween is Thursday.  That doesn't include the fact that there are toys in every room of my house. Dishes stacked.  Room mother and Daisy troop leader duties to do.  Who am I?  How did I get so damn over scheduled?

I guess it's the time of year.  I guess it's what happens when you live a full life.  Really live and let everything else fall by the wayside.  Sometimes that just has to be ok.  And for now it is.

This week, you will see that this space isn't updated as much.  It's not that I don't have anything to share, but I've got a lot of life to pack into the next week.  And when I'm under pressure, my writing sucks.  It's that simple.  Sometimes the words flow, and I can sit at the screen for hours.  But right now it's a struggle, and that means I've got to slow down, and breathe.

I'm also planning on taking a two week break.  I know what you are thinking.  There have been many bloggers stepping away from their blogs lately, and you may be thinking I'm going to do the same.  Yes and no.  Blogging can really take a hold of you.  By the throat.  Many bloggers make daily posting look easy, and seamless.  It's anything but.  However, I'm taking a little break to work on a project that I've been saying I'm going to do for awhile.  And the first two weeks of November seems like the right time.  I may need more time, but for now, that sounds good.  And don't worry, I will be posting more of my short story on Saturdays.  I'll be sure to let you know about those.  

For now, I love you guys, and I never want this place to feel like work.
So until it doesn't feel like work, I'm going to be dragging my feet just a bit.

Short Story Saturday {Part Four}

Looking for the next entry of my short story?
Well I published it but not here in a regular post.
Now you can find it on it's own page.
It will be under The Dinner Party tab, right under my blog header.
That way you can read it all together in one place in case you need a refresher.
Enjoy friends.

These freaks

These Freaks have my heart.
They are my always and forever.
They are my every day is worth every battle.

We don't get to pick our families.  Somehow the universe just knows exactly what you need.  As if God knew I needed to be challenged daily.  He knew I needed laughter and joy, drama and tears.  He knew I needed to grow into this life to appreciate it for all it's worth.

The days are long, sometimes so very long.  The nights are always too short.  But when I wake every morning I know this is exactly where I need to be.  That this is exactly what I should be doing.  Because every time I second guess, question myself and this path, I remember that it's not the one I chose, it's the one that chose me.

I was supposed to meet that guy, that night, at that party I didn't want to go to.  We were supposed to battle it out on the dating front, to make mistakes and be forgiven for them.  We were supposed to wait until we had grown up a little to get married, and grow a little more before we had a family.  I was always going to get a challenging first baby.  To make sure I could survive almost anything.  To teach me lessons I could never learn in the classroom or in the workforce.  To show me that I had it in me to be a good parent, a good mom, and a good person.  I was supposed to have a second baby, even if I wasn't sure.  It was always in my cards to rediscover motherhood, with different eyes, and a different heart.  I was always going to get here, even if the journey was bumpy, even if I fell into some pot holes, even if I wanted to turn tail a time or two.

For so long, I wanted tomorrow.  Because tomorrow was better and new, tomorrow held better promises.  Now I know that today is what matters.  Squeezing out every single piece of today. Enjoying every small victory, and putting the missteps behind me.  Because this is exactly where I'm supposed to be, with these freaks.

Because these freaks are my always.

Miss Mac {Pumpkin Patch Success}

Last Wednesday we went to the Pumpkin Patch with Mac's Preschool Class.
Of course we started our adventure with a selfie.

After a very bumpy tractor ride with 30ish screaming three year olds, 
we were dropped at a corn maze.  The kids were a little iffy at first, but Mac
and her best buddy Ryan soon got the hang of it.  Ryan's Mommy and I just let them go and we eventually caught up with them.  Here they are proud of their success.

Mac had fun picking out her pumpkin.  She was sure to point out that these were still in the ground, not in a box like at Walmart.  She had a little trouble deciding, but then she found a good one.  I love this picture of her trying to hold it.  It was a little heavy for her little arms.

I think she had a great time because her best buddy Ryan was there.  They go to the same school, but are in different classes.  She tells me every Monday that she waits for Ryan on the playground, but sometimes he wants to go on the big slide, and she doesn't like the big slide.  Ryan and Mac have been friends for over a year, since Ryan lives two doors down.  They love to play together, even if it's usually Mac bossing him around.  A few nights ago Mac asked me if I could talk to Jodi (Ryan's mom) and see if they could have a sleep over party at Ryan's house.  Hold me.  But this has to be the sweetest picture of what it's like to have a best friend.  The one you really like to be around.

All in all we had a wonderful day.  Even if it started out with Mommy getting lost.  Even if it was a little too hot for boots and jeans.  Even if it was the first stop of many on that Wednesday.

The pumpkin patch was a success.
And I'll take successes when I can get them.

Wore: Confession

Last week I posted this outfit of the day.

Long shirts cover up my dark secret...

This outfit was my, "let's pretend it's not going to be 80 degrees at the pumpkin patch today, since this is California and not Wisconsin", outfit.  Experience taught me (from Caitlin's trip just 2 years prior with the same school), that wearing flip flops in the dirt was not a good idea. So boots it was, along with some jeggins, a layering tank, and a nice wine colored top.  All things I've had in my closets since last fall.  All things that have brought me happiness and confidence.  But, if I left this post at that last sentence I'd be a liar.

Here is my confession for the day:

I cut the waistband of those jeggings.

Because they were too damn tight in the waist.
Because I'm a little heftier than I was last year.
Despite working out daily for the last, oh, eight weeks.
Because I didn't have the spare cash to buy some bigger ones.
Because I just can't abide by no bigger ones.

Look, I've decided, I have earned the right to cut the waistband to get my chubbier middle into some jeggings.  Those damn things fit everywhere else.  They fit good in the thigh, they are the perfect length, and guess what, you couldn't tell that the waistband was cut.  Also I eat sticks and fruit.  I mean I don't eat grain, I don't eat dairy, I don't eat sugar or dairy or even caffeine.  There is no joy in my life (just when it comes to food), so by God if I want to cut the waistband, I'm cutting the damn waistband.

Who am I kidding.  I'm writing this to convince myself that it's ok.  I'm writing this to convince myself that cutting the waistband was a better option than crying as I stepped on the scale again.  A better option than binge eating Lara bars and coconut milk ice cream.  A better option than wearing them tight and wondering if people were staring at my obvious belly bulging over the top of my pants.

So I cut the waistband.  I put on that outfit and tried not to think about my dirty little secret.  I posted that picture above on Instagram and you all said such wonderfully nice things about said outfit (which is also great for my ego, thank you very much).  

But I bet not one of you thought, 

That bitch cut her waistband.

Am I right?

Don't forget you can still get this rad shirt while
helping the fight against breast cancer!

Did somebody say Vegas??? {Giveaway}

Yes.  You read that correctly.  That's says Giveaway.  It also says Vegas, as in Las Vegas.  Here is what you need to know:  Mid Week stay before 12/26/13; Justin Timberlake at the MGM Grand 11/29 and 11/30; Nay is the bloggy friend you need to have in your life.  Why Nay?  Because she is giving two of YOU, two nights in Vegas for free.  Don't believe me?  Take it away Nay!

Hey there Loveys!
I get free offers to Las Vegas from time to time and this time.
Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino
gave me an offer to give away to two Absolute Mommy readers.

Two readers would get one free mid-week nights from Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada..  That's any two consecutive hotel night stays for free.  Offer is valid from Sunday-Thursday.

Would you like to go to Las Vegas?
Enter to win!
*This offer is for hotel stay only.

I'd take this one myself, if I was selfish, which usually I am, but I'm still in recovery from my last trip.  You remember my last trip don't you?

I mean unless I cancel Christmas, I don't have the appropriate funds for another Vegas trip.  But I remember many of you commenting on how much fun Vegas looked, and how you wished you could go too.  Well now you can.  Enter this giveaway.  Go to Vegas.  And have some fun!  Don't forget to thank Nay for her generosity!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Spilled Milk

Have you ever cried over spilled milk?  I'm not talking about the kind in the carton.  I'm talking about the little things, that in an already chaotic day (or life as in my case) send you over the edge.  I cried over spilled milk last week.  In this case my spilled milk was a Halloween costume.

We found a Snow White dress in the toddlers department at Target.  It was perfect, knit on top, frilly in the bottom, perfect fit.  Fancy without going overboard.  Perfect for a little three year old who hates anything itchy.  So I bought it, in September when I should have been buying milk and eggs and cheese.  Because that's what you do, you forgo the staples and get the fluff when the bulls eye has you in it's trance.

So for almost three weeks I was set.  Caitlin's costume was bought in August after an Internet search for Skelita/Monster High.  We had it two days into the school year, hanging in her closet, Googling make up and hair tutorials.  Mac was now the proud owner of her own Snow White dress, not a shredded hand me down from her sister.  We were two weeks and counting until Halloween when Mac told her teacher at school:

I'm going to be Minnie Mouse.

Awesome.  So I asked Mac repeatedly for three days, what she wanted to be for Halloween and she repeatedly said, Minnie Mouse.  Back to Target and back to the drawing board.  Thankfully Target still had a good selection of Minnie Mouse costumes, and we picked out a pink one.  They also had a black and red one in the toddlers section with the knit top, that I suggested we buy because it wouldn't be itchy like the pink one.  Because the pink one has sequins and fluff.  But Mac could not get behind the much more subdued black and red Minnie, so we brought home the pink one.

As soon as we tried it on Mac started whining.  It's too itchy.  It's too scratchy.  It's, it's it's...

And I lost myself for a brief moment.

I yelled.   I gave the "I warned you, and you should listen to your mother" speech.

Have I mentioned that Mac is three?

That all speeches that begin with I warned you, or you should listen to your mother are absolutely lost on her?

And while she cried big tears and apologized to me, (believe me the guilt was actually pouring out of me as I went into cold sweaty panic that I had just ruined Halloween and Minnie Mouse) I realized exactly what I was doing:

Crying over spilled milk.

I was crying over a Halloween costume.  One that was the second try in what I feared was going to be a long line of exchanges.  Then I remembered that I was the Mom, the adult, the decision maker.  I didn't have to take back that costume.  I didn't even need to take back Snow White.  I could just make her wear the one she had, because there are orphans out there that have to wear sheets and in my day we got what we got...

And then I remembered that I can't make my kids do a damn thing.  No one wears sheets anymore, and in my day, I got whatever I wanted because my mom is a saint.

So yes, from time to time I cry over spilled milk.  Sometimes spilled milk is in the form of kids who don't eat their veggies.  Sometimes it's kids who don't want to do their homework, or get in the bath, or refuse to stop jumping on the couch.  Sometimes spilled milk is toys all over the house, clothes on the floor, burned dinner, and realizing there is no bread the night before the school is serving whatever your child would refuse even in a zombie apocalypse.   

Last week I cried over a Halloween costume.

This week I'll cry over something else, because there is no shortage of milk to spill in motherhood.


Naps happen in the car.
In the three minute drive to pick up big sister.
And then I have to wake her and she is cranky for the rest of the day.

I've been cleaning out my scrap fabric and making garland.
And it's sort of addicting because ripping fabric is a really great release.
Rip some fabric, then tie it to some ribbon.

We've been cheering our butts off.
And we love it.
We are already planning on doing it again next year.

This girl has been dressing herself.
And I have to say she's pretty good.
She has also been pretty cooperative for pictures.

Date nights have been football games.
Selfies are a must.
Even when they involve tongue.

The tailgating doesn't stop even for away games.
Tailgating at home means getting to show off our cheer uniform.
Go Dogs.

We had a house guest for the week.
This is Jenny and she had her own hashtag on Instagram.
We had a lot of fun playing and hanging out with Jenny.
Caitlin was sad to see her go.

We've been trying new things.
Like Cup o' Noodles from Snack Shack.
Caitlin had never had them before.
She approves.

Miss Mac has been shopping at Whole Foods.
These little carts are not only cute, but functional.
Just be warned that Mac may not approve what you are buying,
so you may have to get your own cart.

I've been dressing outside of my comfort zone.
These trouser jeans have been sitting in my closet for years.
I pulled them out to celebrate date night at the Bon Jovi concert.
Speaking of Bon Jovi, that guy puts on a great show.

I've been slowly accepting the fact that my hair is more grey than brown.
I finally made it to the salon after 2 months to get my roots professionally done.
It's amazing what a few hours of the salon can do for your soul.

I've been participating in some adoption exchanges for this gal.
Her new one goes live on Monday.
They are so much fun, and look at what I got.
Is it too early to hang it up?

We've been thinking that school is not so bad.
In fact we aren't crying as much on school days.
But from what Miss Mac says, she would rather be at home 
playing with Barbies.

We've accepted Hostess cupcakes into our hearts.
This was Caitlin's first one, which is surprising since we do not discriminate
when it comes to junk food in our house.

I've been reminiscing about motherhood, and found one of my favorite pictures.
This was about the time I got my smile back.
Look at Caitlin, she's like 18 months old.

I've been obsessing about my weight.
And not in a good way.
It's sick, but I'm not the only woman who does that.
Laura took my picture on Saturday, and I'm surprised at how I look.
Sometimes the mirror can be a liar.
Or maybe I'm the liar.

We've been taking our Sundays nice and slow.
I snapped this picture right before I took a nap.
Looks like the Hubbs needs a snuggy for Christmas.
Also he likes to remind me that I'm number one...

We've been mixing prints, rocking our new hair cut, and 
smiling big for the camera.  
Even when it takes mom 5 pictures to get a good one.

Lately we have been living and laughing.  This week we have been so busy we can't breathe.
Lately we've been enjoying cool mornings and warm afternoons.  We've been reading books for school and doing homework for hours.  We've been watching Austin and Ally, we've been listening to Lady Gaga and Katy Perry, we've been singing Roar at the top of our lungs.  We've been cheering and dancing.  Celebrating birthdays and taking family pictures.  We've been trying our best, never giving up, and dreaming of nights where we all get at least eight hours of sleep.

It's been a pretty good life, lately.

A snapshot

On Sunday I posted this picture to Instagram with the following comment about the picture:

Sleeping baby in my lap.  Waiting for The Hubbs and Caitlin while they get hair cuts.  Car wash check. Grocery next and Panda Express for dinner.  Breathe in that air, it's Sunday.  #itshappyhere  #momstaysinthepicture #evenwithoutmakeup

Sunday was one of those days that make you forget the hard stuff.  We slept in.  I cooked breakfast.  I took a nap (a real one for like an hour!).  Then we, all four of us, piled in the car, to run errands.  The boring stuff.  The stuff that you put off until the last minute.  Car wash. Grocery store.  Hair cuts. Yet, we had fun.  We were together.  We were enjoying each others company.

So I took that photo in a quiet moment in a walk in hair salon.  With Mac sleeping in my lap, and let's face it, that rarely happens anymore.  Which is funny since I used to think that a baby sleeping on my chest was such a drag.  I could be doing so many other things, but alas it was the only way my kid would nap.  Now I long for those days.  I never thought I would feel that way.  But now I know just how precious that time is.  

I look at that picture above and I realize I'm really happy.  That's not to brag, or to boast about how incredibly awesome my life is.  My life is very similar to yours I'm sure.  It's hard. It's messy and chaotic.  It's so far from perfect it's laughable.  Yet, I'm happy.  For the first time in my life I don't want to be someone else.  That's a big deal for me.  I spent the better part of my teens and twenties playing the comparison game.  Always thinking my life would be better if I was blond like so and so. If I was skinny like whats her face.  If I was popular like that girl over there.  It was sad and now I realize a complete waste of time.  I've been me, for all these years, for a reason.  And finally I can understand and appreciate that.

Sunday was a really good day.  I didn't cook.  I didn't clean.  I napped but didn't shower.  I still had raccoon eyes from wearing makeup the day before.  But none of that really matters. What matters is that it was a good day.  A day where I was present, and in the moment.  A day where I said yes, more than I said no.  A day where I turned off my computer, put down the Sunday paper, and read a book to Mac, without hesitation.  A good day, with a quiet moment, and a single picture.  A picture that told me all I needed to know, all I needed to remember, and all I needed to appreciate.  

They say a picture is worth a thousand words, but I disagree.
A picture can speak volumes.
For more about the Mom Stays In the Picture movement,
click HERE.

Don't forget your Breast Friends {Fundraiser}

Let's keep this short and sweet.

These shirts are for SALE:

You can buy them

It's a busy hump day, so I'll be back to my regularly scheduled programming tomorrow.


Life won't wait

I wish I had a good excuse, but I don't.  I had to drag myself to the keyboard tonight.  Life has been happening all around me.  In a good way.  In the best way.  

I've been writing.  I've been reading.  I've been loving, and living, and breathing.

What more can a person ask for?

Not much really.

But if I could, I'd ask for more time.  But I don't want more time for the mundane.  I don't want more hours in the day for chores, for dishes, for laundry.  I don't want more time for phone calls and emails, or Target trips.

I want more time for kisses before bed.  I want more time for after dinner ice cream sandwiches.  I want more time for late night giggles, while watching that hilarious movie with the one you love, while the kids sleep soundly.  I want more time to breathe, to think, to feel.

But I since I can't squeeze any more hours out of a day, I'll stop and enjoy those hours instead.  Away from the keyboard, away from the sink, away from the washing machine.  And I won't apologize.

Because the mundane can wait.

Life won't.

The Gift {Short Story Part Three}

I'm still having fun writing this.  I hope you still enjoy reading.  As with every part of this short story, stop me at any time.  Be my editor and my critic.  I can take it.  Give me pointers on how to write dialogue.  Tell me when I'm spending too much on something and not enough on another.  If you are just joining the story, you can read part one and part two, before continuing on to part three.  It all started with a simple prompt and has taken on a life of it's own.

The Gift

A rosy and rambunctious Ed answered the door with a grand slosh of his highball glass.  Whiskey I assumed, and it wasn’t his first.

“Well it’s about damn time Witter, where they hell have you been?”, Ed boomed, and slapped Caleb on the back, knocking a bit of air out of him.

“Sorry, sorry”, I apologized as I walked in behind them, and stopping as I came into the living room.  Tara and Mike, sat side by side, like matched set.  Nina was on the chaise, with Peter at her feet.  They all looked up, and smiled.  We hadn’t been together like this in months.

“Don’t you apologize.  We thought you’d changed your mind”, Nina said, waving her hand as if she owned the place.  That was the thing about Nina, she always owned the place, whether it was her’s to own or not.

“That’s a great dress”, Tara said from her place beside Mike.  They looked blissful sitting next to each other.  They were holding hands, like newlyweds, even though they had been married for close to six years.

“Thanks, it’s…”, but before I could finish I heard her voice.

“Well I hope you brought me one hell of a gift to make up for being so late”, she too was booming tonight.  I suspected there was wine behind this cheerful taunt, yet I could feel a darker tone in her voice.

“Oh shit”, I said as I started to blush.  “It’s…” on the kitchen counter.

“In the car.  I’ll get it”, and with that Caleb was out the door.  I almost cried with relief that he had remembered to grab it.

As we waited for Caleb to retrieve the gift, I sat next to the matched set of Parkers (Tara and Mike), while Ed, poured me a glass of something red.  I didn’t have the heart to tell him red wine wasn’t my favorite, but I took a sip and smiled anyway.  Melissa just stood there, expectantly.

Oh, right, it’s her birthday.

I stood up and made my way across the room.

“Happy Birthday Mel, you look amazing tonight”, and with that I hugged her.

“Well Thank you Jenn, you look pretty good yourself.  New dress?”

“Yes, I was just telling Tara...”

“Finally’, she said, but then I realized she was talking about Caleb's return.

Melissa took the bag from Caleb and set it on the coffee table with the other gifts.  Caleb joined me and the Parkers on the couch.  Melissa and Ed stood in front of their fireplace.  

“Let’s have a toast to the birthday girl, my beautiful wife, Mel.  Mel, happy 2nd 29th birthday”, Ed bellowed as he raised his glass.

“Cheers”, we replied in unison.

“Are we doing gifts now?”, Nina asked.

“Yes, because you have to see what Ed got me before we get too drunk”, Melissa replied.

We watched as Melissa made her way through tissue paper and custom gift wrap.  A spa gift certificate, from the Parkers.  A pound of gourmet coffee and a French press from Nina and Pete.  Did Mel even know what to do with a French Press?  

Mel came to my gift.  I held my breath.  It wasn’t extravagant, but it was thoughtful.  She carefully opened the pink zebra stripped bag that I bought at the store along with formula, diapers, and a People magazine.  It paled in comparison to the fancy wrapping of the other gifts.  This was my life now I thought.  Drugstore gift wrap.

Mel lifted the bottle of wine out of the bag.  She looked at me in confusion, and then at the label.

“Four Corners Vineyard.  2000”, she whispered.

“The one and only”, I said.

“Where we met those Canadians and we got in a fight about California wines versus French wines?”

“Yes, but that was all you.  I still don’t know anything about wine”.

“Four Corners.  That was a trip”, Mel said, placing the bottle on the table.  “It feels like a hundred years ago”.  It was actually twelve.  To celebrate college graduation.  I bought that bottle of wine back then.  I still had yet to find an occasion to open it.  It seemed too special. But now, with no money for a proper gift, I gave the only one I knew I could afford.  A happy memory.

“Those were the days”, I replied back.  Because they were.  Before careers, before husbands, before babies.  Before the two of us had to grow up.  Before the two of us became strangers.