A machine for everything

My mother in law bought me a sewing machine for Christmas. 


This was an excellent gift, given my penchant for fancying myself a creator of cool things. 

I left it in the box for at least three or four days after Christmas, because to be honest….I was terrified. I didn’t know what to do or how to do it.

I got over that. I am my father’s daughter, after all, and no machine was getting the better of me. 

So I have pieced together a few squares for a quilt, and perhaps one day I’ll finish it – I would love to be able to sleep without being accused of stealing covers (Steen, I’m looking at you).




Random Ramble

Today is Friday the 13th. 


That’s bad luck, right? I’ve never really had much experience with good or bad luck on Friday the 13th, although I do remember that when I was young my dad signed his final hiring papers for a job on such a day –  a job that would end up being pretty much the worst thing ever.

But I think that was just the result of general universal shittiness, not really bad luck or anything.

I used to hear stories about people who stayed in their houses or beds all day on Friday the 13th. My opinion is that it would be a good excuse. Maybe I’ll use it someday.

The Steens are embarking on a journey this weekend. We’re heading over to Tuscaloosa, since I’ve never been there and as a student at the University of Alabama I feel I should at least know what it looks like. Then we’ll either geocache our hearts out or head down to Jackson, to laugh at everyone we escaped.

I hope everyone’s year is starting out well. Mine is – I think this could qualify as the best beginning of a year I’ve had in recent memory.

Oh and guess what, my therapist reads my blog (hi, Angela!). While initially I thought that might squick me out a bit, I’ve found it really doesn’t make a difference.

I suppose it’s true that misery breeds creativity – because honestly, I haven’t had much to write about lately. I’ve just been too damned happy. That sounds contrived – but I swear it’s true.

I vow to take lots of pictures this weekend. I have a kickass camera on my phone and I need to use it more often.

So, I leave you with this:

We MAY have convinced Max that butter was a delicious treat. It didn’t last long. 


We entertain ourselves the best we know how.

Happy weekend. I’ll be back in full rambley force next week. 

Stupid resolutions

I talked last week about the resolutions I’m making. And not making.

I’ve read so many people saying things like “I resolve to lose X pounds,” or “Tomorrow is diet day,” or similar statements about cleaning house or doing…whatever. Quitting smoking or getting divorced or making progress on projects.

And I get it. The fresh start of something…anything…is a stimulant.

It totally is for me too.

But I am conciously choosing not to do that this year, because maybe it’s just me but I get SO upset with myself when I inevitably mess up my goal.

So here’s the secret, kids, aim low!

Not really. I have decided, though, to be a bit more positive when choosing changes for my life.

Like I resolve to not be such a bitch. To be more giving and less selfish.

To make an effort to be happier – not to fix myself. Because I don’t need fixing. I’m ok.

These are all things I’ve said before, but where did it all ever come from? Why do we pick things we think are wrong with us and try to change ourselves?

It’s all very negative if you think on it. It’s stupid to start out a new section of your life by bathing it in things you don’t like about yourself.

Because if anyone is going to like you, shouldn’t it be…well, you?

Forward Ho

I hereby greet the new year.
There are lots of superstitions about bringing in a new year. 
I stayed in one spot for a full extra thirty seconds after Lucy hurled on my shoulder and hair just so I could get my midnight kiss on Saturday night. 
You’re welcome, surrounding partygoers. You’re welcome.
My point is that there are lots of things that tradition dictates one must do or not do to usher in a new year.
Eat certain foods. 
Be loud at midnight to scare away evil spirits.
Refrain from paying bills.
Postpone laundry (something I only found out AFTER I put the puke clothes in to wash).
Along with lots of others…some that make sense and some that simply sound stupid.
But it can’t hurt, right? Like avoiding black cats or throwing salt or not stepping on cracks…why tempt fate?
Except I think sometimes I get so focused on the why-not-it-can’t-hurt-just-do-it mindset of a new calendar that I overlook some things that might actually be useful.
Like starting new. Forgetting things past and having a clean slate, letting go of baggage which serves no purpose besides gall.
So instead of remembering why QR Nobody  annoyed the shit out of me in 1999, or what Sal Asshole did to give him his Asshole name, I’m clearing accounts. 
Starting over.
Cleaning out.
Second (third, fourth) chances all around.
I feel it will help my soul.
Happy new year. Look ahead, not behind.

For 2011

Since this is probably the last post I’ll write this year, there are some things I need to say.


As (what I loosely term) a writer, thank you for reading what I have to say. Even when it’s rambley and pointless, and even when I fail miserably at being entertaining. 


As a mother, thank you for the advice. For looking at pictures of my kids, reading about issues, and enduring things I think are hilarious or great just because I happen to be a mom.


As a student, thank you for your encouragement. 2011 has been a year of decisions, and the decision to go back to school is one I’m particularly proud of. If it hadn’t been for the cheerleading I’ve gotten I don’t know if I’d have made it.


As a potentially crazy person, thank you for making me realize that no matter how strange or off I feel, I can be honest about it and I’ll still have someone(s) on my side.

The day before the upheaval

This weekend Dan is having a New Year’s Eve party.

Which, in a roundabout way, means we’re all having a New Year’s Eve party.

Dan has always been better at having company than I am. When we were married, there was a regular stream of visitors to our house on Farmington Road. Chess and Risk games lasting until the wee hours.

When we divorced, Dan got custody of most of the friends so I haven’t really had a problem with visitors.

We live all together now, though. It happens here in our shared household as well. Where I tend to shy away from company and worry about what the sticky spots on the floor might say about me or what the piles of laundry convey, Dan has, apparently, infinite huge amounts of self confidence and doesn’t bat an eye to have guests whenever.

It’s generally agreed upon, though, that an organized event requires a bit of upkeep. Especially after Christmas and 2+ weeks of people being home a LOT. We are currently serving as host to an over abundance of wrappers, dust, mismatched socks, and unbatteried Wiimotes. Not to mention the deceased tree occupying the open spot of wall and spitting crispy tendrils in every direction.

Is it just me, or does Conway Twitty look like he would smell like a truck stop?

Tomorrow has been designated cleaning day for the indoors. Normally I hate it, but after looking over the guest list on Facebook I have been seized with cleaning juju.

I don’t really expect it to last. I hope it holds on until tomorrow.

Why is cleaning so hard? Why can’t it be fun, like riding a roller coaster or masturbation?

That needs to be looked into.

Obligatory End of Year Post

I know lots of people say this and it’s totally cliche, but where did 2011 go?
Seriously, it’s insane that it’s almost 2012. Forgive me if I wax nostalgic for the next couple of days.
Shouldn’t we all be jetting around in hovercars and jetpacks by now? That’s what the Weekly Reader told me in 1988. 
When I was 8, the year 2000-anything seemed impossible. I suppose it’s true that everything is relative. I certainly would never have put myself where I am, in thinking about the future.
Chalk it up to divine plan or whatever you want, but it’s strange the way things work out…and whether it sounds dorky or not, it’s exciting to see what happens next.
As for resolutions? I make them every year. More often than not I lose steam in a couple of weeks, but I always resolve. This year isn’t any different – well, maybe a little.
This year I’m not resolving to lose weight or keep the house spotless (sorry, family). I’ve done those or some variation thereof every year since I was 15.
But not this year. For 2012 I simply resolve to be diligent about being happy. To do whatever needs to be done in order to make my life good and full. To keep my family happy and whole, to love my life from day to day, and to be able to come back this time next year and say with honesty that I kept my resolutions to the best of my ability and that my life is better for it.
I don’t get many comments…but if you’re reading, tell me what you want out of 2012. Really. I’d love to hear.

From beneath the ruins


Well hello.


In the aftermath of the holiday weekend, I should have lots to say.


Ava and Lucy hijacked my iPad and took some pictures.


In the weekish that I’ve been silent, things have been good. No news is good news, you know.


I’m pretty accustomed to just enduring the holidays. I have just never been a good mingler or family-gathering-goer, which makes me feel bad sometimes because I really do love being around family. I’m just not bubbly or vivacious.


Not that I changed that or anything, because I totally didn’t. 


But from somewhere in the rattling recesses of my soul, some damn happy bug bit me. 


I had so much fun.


Josh cooked (best meal ever), we made cookies, the kids were happy with all their loot. 


I also got those Tunisian crochet needles I’d hinted oh so subtly for, and a sewing machine. This should be interesting. 

Because I’m not a Christmas Card sender

I’ve tried before, a couple of years I even got the cards out in time.

I felt very accomplished those years. But it’s been a long time.

So in light of the fact that I’m not organized or competent enough to send out individual paper cards, here:

Also, in the tradition of those lovely people who do a family update letter every year at Christmas, I will do this.


The year started out like they all tend to do.

Resolutions were pretty much abandoned by week 2.

I turned 31.

The institution of marriage was defined by people in all different ways.

Ava lost her first tooth. Max lost several of his.

Lucy turned one.

Josh and I decided to go back to school, and we had our 5 year anniversary.

Josh was in many plays. I was in none.

Max and Ava and Dan were also in plays.

I started going to a for real shrink.

My sister got married.

Osama Bin Laden was killed.

Occupy Wall Street began.

Josh said goodbye to his grandfather.

I registered my domain name and began to blog with fervor.

Josh and I finished our first semester of school online.

And oddly enough, that seems to be all of note I can really remember.

I am giving myself this week of mostly leisure, so you may not hear from me for a while.

I love you.

We clean up nice

So I told you that my friend Addie took our pictures.  

I expected them to be good, I mean I’ve seen Addie’s work.  

What I did NOT expect was for them to be so breathtaking that I actually cried.  




Never has a photo more completely summed up my life.