Hey, You Guys!



On June 7, 1985, exact­ly 30 years ago today, ‘The Goonies’ was released. At the time, I was six. My broth­ers were four, three and eight weeks. My mom and dad were 33 and 36, respec­tive­ly. Today, I am 36. My sons are sev­en, five and two. I am the exact age that my father was when he and my moth­er decid­ed to head to the movie the­ater with four and three-year-old boys. Four chil­dren under six, includ­ing a new­born who was left with God only knows that day, would make anyone’s judge­ment a bit lax.


The antic­i­pa­tion was incred­i­ble. After what seemed like hours, 15 min­utes real time, we walked in the doors. Can­dy, a huge tub of pop­corn and one soda with four straws lat­er, we were head­ed to the upper bal­cony ready for the Goonies expe­ri­ence.


We were all hooked on the tale of friend­ship packed with action, adven­ture and a real­ly creepy guy chained up in the base­ment. Despite our young ages, we sat pret­ty still while devour­ing snacks and slurp­ing drinks, until we didn’t. There was danc­ing down the aisle. Not tap or sal­sa, this looked a bit more like the hus­tle.


One-eyed Willy’s boat had just been dis­cov­ered when the real per­for­mance start­ed. A poor, Pep­si-filled tod­dler, began the chant famil­iar to all par­ents,


It began soft­ly with a chair squirm. “Um, I have to go. I have to go to the bath­room.” He twist­ed and twirled. “I have to go. I have to go. Dad­dy, I real­ly have to go.”


The Fratelli’s just appeared and now a kid is filled with urine up to his eye­balls. Per­fect. With mere min­utes of the movie left, but not want­i­ng to miss a sec­ond, my dad did what any lov­ing par­ent would do. He made the ulti­mate sac­ri­fice. Even though he was real­ly full, he forced him­self to eat the last of the pop­corn, cre­at­ing a makeshift toi­let and told my broth­er to tin­kle. Right there. In the tub. In the the­atre. And he did.

Goonies nev­er say die……

Who Let the Dogs Out?

Since I scored an amaz­ing Noto­ri­ous B.I.G. shirt at Tar­get last night for a mere $7.48, I was extra moti­vat­ed this morn­ing to get up ear­ly and walk. I hate morn­ings. I hate exer­cise, but I love Big­gie Smalls. So, if I am going to look like one of those rap guy’s girl­friends, I need to get my a$$ mov­ing.


Some­times the sales just hyp­no­tize me

I start­ed my playlist and ven­tured out the door at 5:45. My neigh­bor­hood is friend­ly. Lots of sil­ver cit­i­zens walk­ing their dogs soon after sun­rise because they get up at 3:30 am and by the time the first rays appear in the sky it is near­ly their lunchtime. I wave, smile and get back to singing out loud not giv­ing a darn what any­one thinks.

There is a house in my sub­di­vi­sion that has a secret club in their garage. Except, it’s not a club and there is noth­ing secret about the­se peo­ple because the door is always open so the nosy neigh­bors con­stant­ly rub­ber­neck. They sit there for hours on end smok­ing cig­a­rettes, drink­ing beer, watch­ing TV and prob­a­bly plot­ting to kill all of us.

I had always thought that hap­py hour start­ed about noon because the par­ty is in full swing by the time I get home from work at 5. Appar­ent­ly, I was wrong this place is a 24-hour all ages show. As I approached the club this morn­ing, the door was open and the table was sur­round­ed. Stand­ing near the door was big black dog that I thought had on a leash. After I inad­ver­tent­ly locked eyes with the beast, I real­ized it was just a crap­py piece of ripped fab­ric dan­gling around its neck.

He came toward me, so I walked a lit­tle faster. Then he walked a lit­tle faster. I crossed the street, he crossed the street. All the while the par­ty barn stared as if they were watch­ing some crap­py karaoke, only half pay­ing atten­tion, but sure to laugh at the per­for­mance. Real­iz­ing that this dog wasn’t going away, I yelled out,

Can you please come and get your dog?”

That’s not our dog.”

Holy $h!+. This dog didn’t belong to the­se peo­ple! It was hun­gry and I was on the menu. It is no secret that I am con­vinced that my death will be the result of an ani­mal attack, but I tru­ly thought that a cat would be my demise. As I gath­ered my thoughts, I con­tin­ued to walk slow­ly and the dog fol­lowed me.I start­ed the Hail Mary. If I was going down, I was going down with the Lord on my side.

For more than a half a mile this dog was with me. I turned around peri­od­i­cal­ly, err every 3 sec­onds, to make sure he wasn’t going to sneak up and maul me right there on the street. I was six hous­es from my own when the beast spot­ted a stop sign and was instant­ly obsessed. This was my shot. If I could get down the hill I could sprint, OK may­be a real­ly fast trot, to my house.

As I made my way to the bot­tom of the hill and spot­ted my front door, I felt a wave of relief come over me. I had made it, unscathed. Sud­den­ly I heard a rustle behind me, fol­lowed by a bark it bark. I sheep­ish­ly peered over my shoul­der and the hound was charg­ing! Holy $h!+!?!?. I stood still sure that if I moved I was dead.

I pre­pared for Heav­en, say­ing good­bye to my chil­dren and hus­band, all sleep­ing sound­ly unaware that I am about to be killed on the front lawn. And then, God him­self appeared on the lawn across the street. Squir­rel! The dog spot­ted it, for­got about me and dis­ap­peared into the com­mon ground. I took off toward my back­yard and slammed the wood­en gate behind me, but not before cry­ing and may­be pee­ing a lit­tle.

My Fit Bit logged 5500 steps before 7am. If the entire neigh­bor­hood could just go ahead and unleash their ani­mals around 6 every morn­ing, I’ll hit my weight loss goals by the end of next week.

I see your Darth Vader and Raise you a Sophia Petrillo

Handsome #1 and Me

Con­stant­ly hav­ing our own lit­tle Clone War

May the force be with you. I know that is from Star Wars. I know that Darth Vader is the father. I can iden­ti­fy Luke, Han, Leia and Yoda and prob­a­bly a Storm Troop­er in a line up, but let’s not push it.

Truth be told, if I didn’t have three sons and a Star Wars Nerd hus­band, I wouldn’t know any of this. Sure, I watched it as a kid, but that too was a result of being the only girl around and some­times you lose.

Hand­some #1 and Hand­some #2 are obsessed with Star Wars. So much so that Hand­some #2 will only wear Star Wars t shirts. He has four and with sev­en days in a week there is a good chance that the one he is wear­ing is on day two or three because I prefer the laun­dry stack to the ceil­ing before I throw a load in.

If they aren’t play­ing the video game, beat­ing one anoth­er up with home­made light sabers or build­ing some kind of weird base that I can’t remem­ber what they call for all of their Lego Star Wars action fig­ures, they are quizzing any­one who wants to lis­ten on Star Wars triv­ia.

Seri­ous­ly, I know noth­ing and don’t real­ly care to learn. But for rea­sons I can­not under­stand, they think that I do. In their minds, I should stay up watch­ing movies or read­ing comic books and fan fic­tion in an effort to learn some­thing before the next quiz. Hand­some #1 in par­tic­u­lar gets extreme­ly agi­tat­ed when I can’t pro­duce an answer. On a recent dri­ve to school, things became par­tic­u­lar­ly heat­ed as we pulled into the park­ing lot.

Hand­some #1: Mom, who is Luke’s father?

Me: Darth Vader.

Hand­some #1: Cor­rect. Now, who is Luke’s sis­ter?

Me: Princess Leia.

Hand­some #1: Exact­ly. What is Jar Jar Binks?

Me: He’s one of the guys they know.
Hand­some #1: No, mom, what is he?

Me: Is he that slug guy?

Hand­some #1: That is Jab­ba the Hut. Come on mom! What is Jar Jar? Is he a Itho­ri­an, Rodi­an, Mon Calarmi­an or a Gun­gun?

Me: I don’t know, let’s lis­ten to the radio.

Hand­some #1: Mom! What is he? This is not that hard!
Me:You tell me, Hand­some #1! Is Rose dumb? Is Dorothy a jerk? What about Blanche, is she a hussy? And what about Sophia? Don’t even get me start­ed on Stan­ley!

Hand­some #1: I have no idea what you are talk­ing about.

Me: Wel­come to my life. Have a nice day, and thank you for being a friend.….

Time is on my side.….maybe.….

Where the hell are my Swatch Watch­es?” I am guess­ing that not a sin­gle one of you spent the bet­ter part of an hour repeat­ing that phrase as you fever­ish­ly tried to find your child­hood stuffed in a box, like me.

Tomor­row, in cel­e­bra­tion of Catholic Schools Week, Hand­some #1 is able to dress out of uni­form in cloth­ing inspired by his favorite decade. Since he is six and hasn’t even been on earth a decade, find­ing a favorite is tough. But, he does have a cou­ple of pastel polos, skin­ny jeans that can be tight rolled and loafers which make him an instant prep­py heart­throb and me a last-min­ute suc­cess. That was, of course, until I had the bril­liant idea to grab a few clas­sic acces­sories to com­plete the look.

I have had a tough time part­ing with many of my child­hood favorites, some call it hoard­ing, I call it, “take my friends away and I will stab you.” I have sev­er­al Rub­ber­maid totes filled with play­bills, book reports, passed notes and cher­ished Bar­bie and Hot Looks dolls. You will also find the occa­sion­al funer­al card from some of grandmother’s friends, who I nev­er met, that I found on the floor as a child and knew that I would be going straight to hell if I tossed them in the trash, so they have found an eter­nal rest­ing place next to my eighth birth­day invi­ta­tions.

I also have my Caboodle, still in tact from 20 years ago, filled with trea­sures from my youth. I ran up the steps to grab my three Swatch Watch­es for Finnegan to wear and was stunned to find that they were not where they should have been. OK, that’s a lie. I wasn’t real­ly stunned. It would be stun­ning that they were lost if I was a metic­u­lous house keep­er and orga­nized my life with the detail of some­one suf­fer­ing from OCD, but that is just a lie that I want to live. Instead, I find great solace in stuff­ing as much %h!+ as I pos­si­bly can into draw­ers, bags and box­es then shut­ting the clos­et door.

Soooo, they should have been in that Caboodle, but they were hid­den some­where else. I began my search in all of the like­ly places. I start­ed in jew­el­ry box­es, no dice. Moved on to mem­o­ry box­es, noth­ing. How about in the boys’ clos­et in the blue con­tain­er with my name and Geese stick­ers that my BFFs mom made me for my birth­day in first grade? Nope! With all of the usu­al sus­pects elim­i­nat­ed, I start­ed to dig deep.

I rifled through beau­ti­ful vel­veteen box­es that look love­ly and orga­nized in my clos­et, but are tru­ly filled with mis­matched socks and unfin­ished needle­point projects. I ven­tured under my bed and found a box con­tain­ing my CT100 final, an envelope of pic­tures from some weird event that I couldn’t iden­ti­fy and my blue Blos­somesque hat, but no watch­es.

I then moved to my dresser and searched among the cos­tume jew­el­ry trays and over­whelm­ing­ly fluffy scarves that filled the top draw­er. Sud­den­ly, my hand felt some­thing plas­tic and my heart skipped. I pulled the trea­sure from the bot­tom of the draw­er and my eyes filled with tears. I held it tight­ly not want­i­ng to let go of the mem­o­ry.

The long white stick with the pink lid had long since lost its two lines. It was utter­ly use­less, even to me, but the feel­ings that it had once given me all came flood­ing back. I was scared, I was excit­ed, I was filled with emo­tions that I had nev­er felt before and I couldn’t bear to toss it then or now. I’ve hid­den that bag from my hus­band, from my kids and from myself. Per­haps it’s gross, per­haps it’s weird, but it’s real and it’s me and it’s what I do and I think more of us than are will­ing to admit it do the­se things too.

I cried a lit­tle, think­ing that I may nev­er see two pink lines again, real­iz­ing that anoth­er stage of my life may be over. God’s plan is always big­ger than mine, so He ulti­mate­ly decides what my fam­i­ly will be, and I’m OK with that. Plus, I am tru­ly excit­ed about first grade, learn­ing more, los­ing teeth and becom­ing inde­pen­dent. I love PreK and those snug­gles and hand holds that come along with that last year of real­ly being lit­tle. Don’t even get my start­ed on not quite two. When some­one runs full speed ahead at your legs, leaps into your arms and cov­ers you with choco­late hugs and kiss­es, life is com­plete.

So as I stuffed that Ziploc back of ten or so EPTs to the back of the draw­er. Yes, ten. I mean, for real, you didn’t think that if I saved one I didn’t save all of them from all three preg­nan­cies, right? I say, if you’re going to do crazy, go big or go home. I con­tin­ued my quest for my hot Swatch Watch­es, but alas, it was time to get kids ready for din­ner so I called the search par­ty off.

Even if I had found the Swatch­es, I am one hun­dred per­cent cer­tain that time is stand­ing still on the faces. But, had Finnegan put them on his arm, it would still be 2015; there is no mag­ic tak­ing us back to 1992. That’s OK. I like it here, right now with my life filled with boys and lots of love sans Swatch.….

I am also hap­py to leave that white mock turtle­neck under a den­im shirt topped with an icy glare in the past, because, well, damn.…..


Have Yourself a Merry Little.….……

As a res­i­dent of St. Louis, life has been emo­tion­al the­se past few weeks. It’s sad to see heartache, destruc­tion and fear in a time that is sup­posed to be hap­py and filled with love and fam­i­ly. While I can’t fix the prob­lems in our city, cure dis­ease or stop glob­al warm­ing, I can give you the next best thing.

There is no one, not a sin­gle, soli­tary soul who can make me laugh the way that Mau­r­mi can. She is beau­ti­ful, joy­ful, grate­ful and lov­ing. Even in the low­est of lows, the tough­est of times, she finds a rea­son to smile. She nev­er meets a stranger and is a bit of an impromp­tu ther­a­pist. Whether it be in a wait­ing room, a gro­cery store, the line at the bank, peo­ple see her and begin to unload the worst of their prob­lems on her and she lis­tens, smiles and will say a prayer as they walk away always reflect­ing that life could be worse.
Tonight, as she trimmed the tree, she got some sad and clear­ly star­tling news, and yet she was able to keep in the hol­i­day spir­it.….…
I love her, I admire her and I want to be exact­ly like her.…Well, may­be not exact­ly, I’m more of an alto.…..

Watch for Falling Idiots

I have nev­er con­sid­ered myself ter­ri­bly proac­tive. I have been known to wait until there are so few gro­ceries in the house that I make my chil­dren “junk lunch­es” to take to school. They call this an adven­ture, I call it a futile attempt to make string cheese, raisins and a hand­ful of cere­al flakes a bal­anced meal. The laun­dry has piled up to the point of no return and rather than tack­le it, I have bought every­one new out­fits. So when the change bat­tery light came on in my car a few weeks ago, I looked at it for 10 sec­onds and then went about my busi­ness. It popped up again last week and I almost got con­cerned, but then for­got that I didn’t care. But when I saw it today a mid­st the snow flur­ries and tem­per­a­tures that make me want to put on what the hand­somes lov­ing­ly refer to as the cov­er­feets and keep them on for the next sev­er­al months, I real­ized that I bet­ter take action.

It was the end of a long day at work and I fig­ured that super big box store that does and sells just about every­thing was just as good a place as any for a quick bat­tery replace­ment. Evi­dent­ly 1/2 of SoCo agreed because the line was way longer than I antic­i­pat­ed. I arrived at about 5:50 and was greet­ed by a gen­tle­man who said that it would be about an hour and that as soon as my car was fin­ished they would page me. No big deal, I could cer­tain­ly fill my cart with gro­ceries and at least $100 worth of oth­er crap that I didn’t need.

I walked the aisles grab­bing bread, bot­tled water, paja­mas, socks, deodor­ant, you know, the usu­al. I was quite enjoy­ing the stroll alone with­out three lit­tle loves nag­ging, err help­ing me. I got lost in the peace and qui­et and before I knew it, it was 7:15. I hadn’t heard my name called, so I strolled back to auto­mo­tive to see how much longer the wait would be.

As I turned the cor­ner, to say that I was sur­prised was an under­state­ment. The depart­ment was dark as night, the reg­is­ters off, the doors closed, not a sole in site. Cer­tain­ly there must have been a pow­er fail­ure back there caus­ing all of the lights to be off because no way in the world could they be closed, right? Wrong.….

I made my way to the ser­vice desk and very calm­ly, even laugh­ing, explained my predica­ment. I mean, real­ly, who comes in to the store in a car, asks to have ser­vice on that car, and doesn’t expect to leave in that car? I might as well have said that I mur­dered a fam­i­ly of pup­pies because the look of hor­ror on their faces was intense. They had no idea what to do. Again, I was calm. They called a super­vi­sor, who sug­gest­ed they call a man­ager. Hmm, no $h!+?!?!? The man­ager then said to call a super­vi­sor. The­se poor wom­en were play­ing a game of who’s on first and I was start­ing to come unhinged.

I could feel myself  ready to explode. I called my hus­band and while mani­a­cal­ly laugh­ing told him what was hap­pen­ing. He wasn’t sure whether to call the man­ager or the police, but ulti­mate­ly laughed and gave me a, “Good luck. Let me know how is works out.” A man­ager final­ly showed up and when I, once again, explained what had hap­pened, I was greet­ed with the look of, “I have no f@#^ing idea how to do my job,” on her face. She dis­ap­peared in to the night, leav­ing me with a cart full of a crap and an old man behind me offer­ing to dri­ve me home in a kind of nice, but I could total­ly be a preda­tor way.

I was final­ly greet­ed by a man who seemed even more con­fused than every­one else in the store because he said that he was back there the whole time and that no one came to get him. At this point, I couldn’t have cared less, I just want­ed to get the hell out of there and home to my babies. A cool $110 for the bat­tery lat­er, I was out the door. I had just dis­cov­ered on my way home from work that Hol­ly was back on satel­lite radio an I was ready to rock the hell out of some Karen Car­pen­ter.

I turned the car on, all sys­tems go. Well, all except the nav­i­ga­tion and sound sys­tems. If there is one thing that is absolute­ly essen­tial in a mini­van to a wom­an like myself who wants noth­ing more than to bless the world with her musi­cal styling,it is a ful­ly-func­tion­ing stereo sys­tem. When I got in the car tonight, instead of see­ing my nav­i­ga­tion and audio menu, I saw this mid­dle fin­ger right in my face.

Ha, Ha, Ha, Idiot…We win, we always win!

Not.a.clue. Not a f%^&!”! clue.….You might as well ask me to pre­dict the Power­ball num­bers because there was just as much of a chance that I would get those cor­rect as my know­ing what the hell this PIN is. I tried every­thing, every com­bi­na­tion of every sig­nif­i­cant and insignif­i­cant num­bers, noth­ing. So instead of singing Christ­mas tunes on the way home, I screamed, cried and beat the steer­ing wheel. Dra­mat­ic? Per­haps, but this on top of the news of Richard Simmon’s depres­sion today. I just can’t even.….If you need me, I’ll be singing along to Sweat­in’ to the Oldies 2 while eat­ing a bowl of Cook­ies n Cream.….

Liar, liar pants on Fire!

Tonight, I, err, Hand­some #1 and I, fin­ished our first real deal school project. He is next week’s star stu­dent and along with oth­er priv­i­leges comes a chance to let the class learn a bit more about you. There was cut­ting, past­ing, col­or­ing and my all-time favorite activ­i­ty to do with a child, hand­writ­ing. To be fair, he has come a long way from the hiero­glyph­ics that he was turn­ing out in kinder­garten, but holy Moses, it is a strug­gle! The pro­fes­sor, as he is most lov­ing­ly referred to by his Mau­r­mi, can tell you any­thing in the world that you would ever like to know about rep­tiles, insects, Sponge Bob or Woody Wood­peck­er. He would love to recount the times that his father has allowed him to flip his steaks on the grill, or the time that I called a wom­an a b!+ch at the mall, which by the way, she ABSOLUTELY deserved. Just don’t, under any cir­cum­stance, ask him to write it down. You might as well be ask­ing for a kid­ney, as his reac­tion is just about the same. He will do what­ev­er he can to get out of it. He is shrewd, once telling me that he will nev­er need to learn to write because every­one just has com­put­ers and texts each oth­er any­way. He is six.…. And yes, I real­ized about a mon­th after he was born and he start­ed talk­ing that we were like­ly in trou­ble.

Sad­ly for him, the rest of the first grade won’t be allowed to use their iPhones in class, so he had to do things the old fash­ioned way. His teacher pro­vid­ed us with six stars that had to be incor­po­rat­ed into the project, things like his birth­day, favorite school sub­ject, his favorite book etc. The answers to the ques­tions had to be writ­ten inside of the stars which were then put on the poster board and dec­o­rat­ed. We sailed through. Life was great! Things were going well and then.…
Me: Hand­some #1 what do you want to be when you grow up?
Hand­some #1: Mom! You know what I want to be, a her­petol­o­gist.
Me: Oh, yeah, right. Of course, the lizards. Go ahead and write that in the box.
Hand­some #1: OK. H.e.r.p.…H.e.r.p…H.e.r.p..H.e.…..ugh, for­get it! I am just going to be a fire­fight­er! At least I know how to spell that!

D is for really big idiot

I was sim­ply hor­ri­fied today when I saw that a local gro­cery store, my gro­cery store, my neigh­bor­hood loca­tion was the scene of a rob­bery. Actu­al­ly, it was a bank satel­lite office inside of the bank. Per­haps the rob­ber was look­ing to cash in on Mr. Big Shot $24,000 ATM Slip? I was deter­mined to get to the bot­tom of it, so I threw on my Nan­cy Drew hat and head­ed to the super­mar­ket to sniff out some clues.

OK, so that is a bunch of crap. I was head­ed home from an event at Finnegan’s school and had to stop  to grab a few things for an event at work tomor­row. I gath­ered my items and made my way to the front of the store and head­ed to the only open lane, which hap­pened to be right next to the bank. I con­sid­er myself to be a friend­ly, out­go­ing gal (I hate the word gal, but in the fol­low­ing exchange, it seemed an appro­pri­ate name). Per my ususal, I whipped up the fol­low­ing con­vo with the 17ish male check­er and his trusty side­kick, the bag­ger.

Me: Wow, I can’t believe that some­one would real­ly rob a bank, in a gro­cery store, with all of the­se peo­ple around.
Check­er: Yeah, it was pret­ty dumb.
Me: I know. Who does that and thinks that they can get away with it with all of the­se secu­ri­ty cam­eras?
Check­er: Peo­ple do dumb things all the time.
Me: Walk­ing in here, to the front of the store past all of the cam­eras is like walk­ing in with a big sign around your neck say­ing, remem­ber my face, I am about to rob the place.They are just ask­ing to be picked out of a line­up.
Check­er: Yeah, peo­ple are dumb. They do all kinds of stuff that makes them stick out and makes them mem­o­rable. Some are just like hard to for­get.
Me: I know, peo­ple are just dumb. It’s like they want to get caught. Thanks so much for your help. Have a great night.
Check­er: You too, Mrs. Thomas.

Huh? Did he just call me Mrs. Thomas? I don’t write checks. He didn’t ask for my ID for the Diet Coke and water that I just pur­chased. I guess that I have shopped at this store so many times through­out the last decade that they have come to know me. What a nice young man. Wow, they real­ly are the friend­liest stores in town.

Or.…I am the biggest idiot in town.…you decide.….

Upon get­ting into my mini­van I real­ized that right above my heart was this God­for­sak­en name tag.….I was just ask­ing to be picked out in a line up.….idiot.….

Tell me lies, tell me sweet little lies.…

There is one house­hold chore that I hate. No, not like I hate to do the dish­es, or I hate to pay my bills, or I hate to make din­ner for the­se kids that will like­ly look at it and say, “I HATE this!” No, I would glad­ly do any of those things before I have to change the sea­sons in my children’s clos­ets. I would rather clip their toe­nails with my teeth than take their itty bit­ty shirts, off of itty bit­ty hang­ers and put them in giant rub­ber tubs and then unpack oth­er giant rub­ber tubs filled with things that make me won­der why I ever saved this $h!+ in the first place. How many moms have pulled out one­sies from baby 1, 2, 3 etc. to use on the new child and found them rid­dled with holes and poop stains?  I look at this crap and think, “You are a moron. You would nev­er put this on your sweet baby? Why did you save it?” But as I am fever­ish­ly throw­ing dozens of shirts, shorts, pants and mis­matched socks into a new bin, it is very clear why. If it is locked away in an opaque bin, it is out of my face and I can for­get about it for a num­ber of years. I can stuff it fast, put a lid on it and Scott will glad­ly take it down the steps and hide it so that I quit cry­ing. Yes, there is cry­ing and scream­ing, but no one puts me in time­out for the after­noon and lets me fall asleep just to make me shut up. Oh no, I have to keep work­ing.

Please send the TLC truck away, this is not Hoard­ers. This is just and episode of ” Hey Guys, noth­ing to see here. I just wan­na kill some­one and am cry­ing in the cor­ner.”

While work­ing on my kids’ room this past week­end, I had my iTunes on ran­dom and “A Spoon­ful of Sug­ar” came on. This is quite a change from my nor­mal house-clean­ing sound­track, but the iPad was too far away to press next, so I fig­ured I would give Julie Andrews a shot. As the upbeat tune blared through the speak­er. I was sud­den­ly a bit more cheery and trans­port­ed back to being a kid. As chil­dren, we were all mem­o­rized by Mary Pop­pins. Her sweet smile, beau­ti­ful voice and quick-snap­ping fin­gers made clean­ing your room a game. Remem­ber how the toy sol­diers walked right into the toy box and the blan­kets flew up in the air and land­ed per­fect­ly fold­ed on the bed? Why, just a spoon­ful of sug­ar will make it all bet­ter, right Mary? Wrong! You lied Mary Pop­pins, not a damn thing was going to make this job a game! I could have downed a 5 pound bag of sug­ar this week­end and still need­ed a half a dozen Zoloft to take the edge off. The more I lis­tened the more infu­ri­at­ed I became. No mag­i­cal bird was appear­ing on my finger.No cute lit­tle boys is short sets were there to help? I would have set­tled for filthy Bert com­ing in and toss­ing crap in a bin with soot-cov­ered hands. But, nope, no one came to the res­cue. Sure, peri­od­i­cal­ly I would hear Scott down the hall warn­ing the boys not to come near the bed­room or they may not be seen again…ever.….But that was as much human inter­ac­tion as I saw for days.

It took me what felt like 72 hours to com­plete this one god­for­sak­en room, but when it was fin­ished, I had made a large pile of clothes to give to char­i­ty. But as I was on my way to the Good­will bin, I had the bril­liant idea to take the clothes to a children’s resale shop to see what I could get for them. Most were is good con­di­tion, but old­er styles that I like­ly won’t put on Hand­some #3, and I was tired of stor­ing them. I went to the store and was offered $43 for the haul, which seemed fair. I head­ed to the ATM at Schnucks to make my deposit, feel­ing like a big shot with a cou­ple of Andrew Jack­sons for my trou­bles. I made my deposit and grabbed what I thought was my receipt, but sud­den­ly my big score at the resale shop didn’t seem so great when I saw that the per­son who had vis­it­ed the ATM before me, and left their receipt,  had a mere $24,000 in their check­ing account.

Well look at you Mr. Big Shot! $24,000 in the check­ing, huh? I bet you can hire Mary and her team of snap­ping clowns to come over and clean your house every week can’t you? You think you are so great with your pin­striped suit and mono­grammed cuffs, don’t you? Your fan­cy spec­ta­tor shoes that you wipe off on your wel­come mat before you walk on your fresh­ly-shined wood floors that glow just like that bald head of yours? I quick­ly real­ized that this pompous jerk, who I made up com­plete­ly in my mind and was hat­ing because of his ATM slip, was built in the image of my own hus­band, right down to the lack of hair on his head. Well, except for the actu­al ATM slip and hoard­ing of $24,000. That and the shined floors. That doesn’t hap­pen unless he shi­nes them him­self, I am not a floor per­son. And he does that…pretty much every time that I ask him to. So in actu­al­i­ty, he is a fair, good guy, who I real­ly love, but some­times I need to direct my frus­tra­tion and he is an easy tar­get. Per­haps I had some deep-seed­ed resent­ment for the fact that I cleaned the room alone, and the remark, “You did this to your­self, quit buy­ing them all of this crap.” Some­how in my rage I had made my way through the store and picked up a gal­lon of milk, bananas, a pack­age of tor­tilla wraps, two cans of black beans, an avo­cado and a half gal­lon of ice cream. Whether or not I had a full-on con­ver­sa­tion with myself about the a$$hole who left the ATM receipt or just thought it is unknown.….I did how­ev­er pol­ish off half of the half gal­lon when I got home.….but that can be our lit­tle secret.…..

Peek-A-Boo.…thank God no one saw you.…..

I believe that God gives every per­son unique and spe­cial gifts and that He wants us to use those gifts to help oth­ers and to make the world a bet­ter place. My gifts don’t come in the form that most peo­ple would like­ly con­sid­er spe­cial. For exam­ple, God made Mozart an incred­i­ble musi­cian. I quit tick­ling the ivories after a not-so-unfor­tu­nate fin­ger break in fourth grade. I hat­ed piano lessons and want­ed to die every time I had to go because my teacher, a nun, would drink soda from a can with a straw and burp the entire time. Instead of play­ing my songs in the prac­tice room before my lesson, I would punc­ture the leaves of the aloe plant and watch the clear ooze drip to the floor. The day that my fin­gers bent back was God telling me straight out to quit wast­ing my par­ents mon­ey. I would nev­er ever make it to play­ing “The Enter­tain­er.”

My gift didn’t come in the form of an ath­let­ic abil­i­ty either. No, I was much more con­cerned with hav­ing blue and gold bows in my hair than I was break­ing a sweat. To this day, I day­dream about run­ning a marathon, OK, a 5K. But instead of train­ing, I eat Peanut But­ter M&Ms in bed while sip­ping a Diet Coke and watch­ing a doc­u­men­tary about a run­ner with one leg over­com­ing the odds and I just won­der if I can walk to the kitchen to get more can­dy with one foot asleep.

God didn’t give me those kind of gifts. Nope, it would take me much longer to under­stand what my gifts are and how to best uti­lize them. You see, God made me a sto­ry­teller. He gives me such incred­i­ble mate­ri­al, it is hard not to spin amaz­ing yarns. He fills my days with wacky inspi­ra­tion that he just doesn’t seem to give to oth­er peo­ple. For exam­ple, how many of you have gone for a quick eye exam and left look­ing like Mr. Pota­to Head? Or may­be, you used your Siri text to talk fea­ture when you had a cold and end­ed up with this?

I just don’t think that He gives every­one so much mate­ri­al to work with. Like just last week. I was work­ing, mind­ing my own busi­ness, leav­ing my third appoint­ment, when I felt a lit­tle some­thing on the back of my ankle. It was a brisk fall day and there were beau­ti­ful leaves of crim­son, amber and gold lying on the ground and peri­od­i­cal­ly danc­ing  across the earth with a quick gust of wind. I thought noth­ing of the feel­ing on my leg and got in the car. What began as a slight rub­bing sen­sa­tion began to slip down my leg quick­ly and caused a bit of alarm. I didn’t want to look down because I was sure that some sort of spi­der, or armadil­lo, was crawl­ing down my leg. It was bulky and uncom­fort­able and ter­ri­fy­ing.

When I final­ly got up the nerve to look, I was shocked. I was embar­rassed. I was appalled. I was like WTF? How in the world does this hap­pen? How do you go 3/4 of a work day with no one men­tion­ing it? Who in the hell put him there?

Do you see some­one play­ing peek-a-boo. .

At this point, you are like­ly think­ing that I have lost my mind and you are won­der­ing what it is that you are look­ing at. Kind­ly resist the temp­ta­tion to make the pho­to big­ger. You will be instant­ly offend­ed by the con­di­tion of my heels. Instead, just pull your com­put­er closer to your face. Those lit­tle green spots belong to Per­cy good friend of my good friend, Hand­some #2. Now before you get all, WTF is going on and why in the world would she have those in her pants? Let’s be fair and hon­est. As much as we would all like to pre­tend that we do 86 loads of laun­dry a week sep­a­rat­ed by col­or, fab­ric, tem­per­a­ture set­ting and fam­i­ly mem­ber, any mom with kids knows, you throw as many things into that machine as will fit and press go. Some­times that method caus­es things to get crum­pled up and stuck where they shouldn’t be. And if those crum­ples break free and appear in a pub­lic place where they shouldn’t, then some­times peo­ple get strange looks…or arrested.…Lucky for you, this hap­pened in the car and I lived to tell the tale. Thank­ful­ly, I was able to return them to their right­ful own­er before he noticed they were miss­ing and had an all out hor­ri­fy­ing stage three melt­down.……

I am so much more of a #1 Engine kind of girl, but what­evs.….

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