From my Brain Straight to Your Eyes.

Darn life.

It gets in the way of all that is fun and right in the world.

No really. I seem to have lost the time to write. I’m rarely home in the afternoons anymore, and when I am, my children have already fried my brain into oblivion. Which means that I either a) need to learn to wake up at 4am if I intend to continue blogging, or b) get rid of my children.

Both seem equally impractical.

Anyway. I have no truly coherent thoughts for you today, but I thought I’d just tell you random bits of our life. Because no matter how boring it is, at least it’s better than talking about politics, right? And you need SOMEONE in your life that isn’t mentioning those T and C words.


Last night at Cubbies (Awanas, like Scouts but at Church), I noticed that Noah was the first kid to, without asking, pick up his snack trash and throw it in the trash can. LIKE A FREAKING MODEL. This made me think back, and I began realizing that I have observed him doing this every single week at Cubbies, then I would promptly black out the memory because it was too painful to process.

This kid has been my kid for nearly six long years and NEVER ONCE has he cleaned up after himself without being asked. NEVER ONCE has he thrown away his paper plate. NEVER ONCE has he put his cup in the sink. NEVER ONCE has he picked up a single flipping Hot Wheels without me prompting him to do so.


And I still might. Right after I remind him to clean from yesterday’s breakfast.


Raise your hands if you’ve upgraded to iOs 10.

(Sit down if you don’t have an iPhone. Yes I’m discriminating against you.)

If you haven’t realized it, they created iOs 10 for sixth grade girls.

And I am in love with it.

You can send texts with invisible ink! And slam texts! And texts with balloons or confetti or lasers! You can send memes RIGHT FROM THE TEXTING INTERFACE. You can add stickers to your friend’s texts. You can download grammar correction stickers to correct your acquaintance’s texts.

It’s really the best.

But my favorite feature has been, by far, the handwriting feature. (Turn your phone sideways when you’re on the text screen to handwrite your texts.) I have friends with whom we almost exclusively hand-write our texts now, and nothing could look more beautiful than screens and screens of messily handwritten texts back and forth.

It’s like I’m passing notes in class, way back in the elementary school I never went to.

(It has also drastically improved my electronic signature at the grocery store.)

But one of my further goals is to regularly text beautifully(ish) written insults to those I hold dearest. Like this exchange with my precious friend Nikki (and several other friends, because you really should insult fair and wide.)


I have a long way to go on having beautiful cursive (I know, “breath” is barely legible), but I want to promise to you now that I will apply myself tirelessly to achieve my goals.


For my entire adult and adolescent life, I have been on the search for The Perfect Pen. This need is doubly important for left-handers, because we need a pen that won’t smear when the backside of our pinky finger rakes across freshly crafted script. I love a good, bold line which deepens that issue – I want boldness that dries immediately, and I want it to feel good coming out of the pen – none of that scratchy Sharpie crap.

I once found this Perfect Pen and I bought them out. But unfortunately, it didn’t last. They made the pen for about half a second after I discovered it, and then it was gone forever. It could have had something to do with its rather unfortunate naming (Permaball) but other pens with less fortunate names have made it longer (Uniball.)

However. I have once again discovered The Perfect Pen. My adoration for it may very well doom it to an untimely death, but I’ll quickly tell y’all about it while there are still some in stock: The Papermate InkJoy.


Isn’t it LOVELY?

Besides the fact that it comes in fourteen beautiful colors (you must buy the 14-pack to fully appreciate the superiority of this product), it writes boldly, dries quickly, and feels like writing with real creamery butter.

If I were Oprah, I’d be sending you all a pack of these. Just for being here today. But I’m not.


On Sunday, I ran my fifth half marathon on my 35th birthday. Chris and I went to Athens, Georgia for the weekend and enjoyed the college town (I would describe Athens as “adorably quaint and historic with an always-present more-than-faint stale beer odor.”)

As races always do, there were photo ops along the way. I wanted to scream at each and every photographer – “GET OFF THE GROUND!!”

Every one of them were sitting on the pavement, shooting upwards at my lack of thigh gap.

If they want to actually sell these race photos (which, considering I’m still getting emails from the race I did in March trying to get me to buy their blasted upshots), they should learn people’s angles.


Despite my best judgement, I opened the email boasting of my magnificent race photos ready for purchase.

And I wanted to scream at the photographers all over again.


This made me realize, though – I should surround myself by tall people. The taller a person is, the more of a downshot they have on me, and the skinnier I look. Oh – and that means I look EXCEPTIONALLY thicker to my short friends.

I’m taking applicants now to replace them.


Dishwashing pods are the worst invention ever.

“Do not allow moisture in bucket of dishwashing pods.”

“Do not touch with wet hands.”

Guess what I NEVER need when my hands are dry??

Dishwashing pods.

So I’m destined to an existence of clumped-together dishwashing pods. Then I have to rip them apart (with wet hands) and spray the powder from within all over my kitchen.

This has to be part of The Curse. Thanks, Eve.

Because We Need an Unexpected Presidential Gift.

GUYS. The weekend. AmIRight? It was my birthday weekend and the world had to fall apart. HOW DARE IT.

Anyway. Y’all don’t come to me to hear my political views (I do have them, believe it or not) – y’all come to me for escapism.

I was saddened last night, on my birthday, that I had nary an entertaining thought to offer myself or anyone else about anything because all of the UGH that is blanketing our country. But then I remembered a post I did a while back on Presidential Christmas Gifts, and decided I’d see what Amazon had to offer on our current presidential candidates.

Thankfully, Amazon never disappoints.

Now. There were plenty of disrespectful gifts available, such as toilet paper, dog poop bags, and nutcrackers. But I tried to keep my picks to only the strange – not the hateful. Hateful is easy – bizarre is harder.

Some of these gifts are lovingly available for both candidates, so we shall pit them against each other in a gifting debate and determine the winner, category by category. I am the perfect impartial judge, because I have the exact same feelings for both of them – and will be voting for someone else (who doesn’t have any weird gift items in his likeness – so maybe he wins.)

But feel free to weigh in with your own vote – ON THE GIFTS, not the candidates. (We’ve all had enough of that now, haven’t we?)

Okay. Let’s get started.

1 Trump and Hillary Guitar Picks. Did you know that you can strum a little ditty with Don and the Hill? Of course you can. It’s 2016.

Trump Gifts

Clinton Gifts

On Debate Guitar Pick, I’m going with Trump. At least his mouth is open (but then again isn’t it always) and he looks like he’s singing along. Hillary looks condescendingly bored with your tune.

2. Trump and Hillary Socks. Because your feet are feeling the chill of this election.

Hillary Clinton Gag Gifts

Donald Trump Gag Gifts


In Debate Sock, Hillary wins. Trump’s socks do not feel cozy at all – they’re stressing my feet out. However, Trump does have an alternate option, some fabulously Hairy Socks – so he earns an honorable mention.

Donald Trump Gag Gifts(I mean, whose cat wouldn’t have an absolute FIELD DAY chasing around those Deplorables?!)

3. Hero Shirts.

Hillary gently saves the day as a Fair Maiden on a Unicorn,

Hillary on a Unicorn T-Shirt

And Trump rides in as a crazed lunatic on a tank.

Trump on a Tank T-Shirt

In Debate Hero Shirt, Clinton wins for the dreamlike vision. Although Trump’s is severely more realistic.

4. Trump and Hillary “Herb” Grinders – I guess in case you need a little chill from this election.

Donald Trump Gag GiftsHillary Clinton Gag Gifts

In Debate “Herb” Grinders, Trump wins – because those wrinkles on Hillary’s neck are anything but high.

5. Hillary and Trump Doggie Chew Toys. Or toddler cuddle toys – if your kid enjoys Stephen King bedtime stories.


Hillary Clinton Chew ToyDonald Trump Chew Toy












In Debate Chew Toy, the reward goes to Hillary. Those cheeks are positively irresistible – and Trump’s look more like his buttcheeks moved upward. Also – that hair would be a petri dish for bacteria.

6. Chia Trump and Chia Hillary Classic Presidential Fun right here.

Donald Trump Dirty Santa GiftsHillary Clinton Dirty Santa Gifts










In Debate Chia, Trump wins – the face and hair look significantly more realistic, not to mention the perfect skin tone.

Now let’s move on to the Lightning Round – gifts only available for one candidate or the other.

The Rainbow Pantsuit T-Shirt – for when you’re feeling like a pantsuit but the occasion calls for something a bit more laidback.

Hillary Clinton T-Shirt

The Trumputin shirt – because all true saviors ride in pairs, shirtless, on a pig.

Trump Putin Shirt


The Pantsuit Action Figure – in case your daughter’s Barbies and son’s army men are With Her.

Clinton Action Figure

The Trump Piñata – rumor has it Melania had a party with one of these Friday night. Trump Pinata

The “Make America Great Again” Bucket Hat – because nothing – nothing I say – says greatness like a bucket hat.Trump Bucket Hat

The Trump Knife – perfect for all occasions – cleaning toenails, gutting fish, Trump rallies, and more!

Trump Pocket Knife

A Child’s First Book of Trump – It’s just words, people. Just words.

Trump Book for Children

But really, really good words.

Trump Book for Children

So who wins this debate of gifting?

Dirty Santa, that’s who.

A Meandering Tale of Aliens, Lizards, and Art Appreciation.

Ali drew a picture of an alien.

It was a quite nice alien – friendly, geometric, and with wildly fascinating fingers.


Yes, a perfectly fine alien.

She showed it to me that morning. I praised her delightful drawing and we moved on.

It became a long day, much in thanks to her little brother. Whining, arguing – the works. Thankfully, Ali was quite agreeable and obedient, as is her usual state, but Noah more than made up for that. By that afternoon, I needed a moment.

By myself.

With no little people anywhere nearby.

So I purposefully marched out to the front porch swing – my favorite place these days.

Two seconds later, two little people followed me out. I quickly shut that mess down.

“I need a 15 minute break. I need to be alone, I need it to be quiet, and I need you guys to go inside and let me have my break. I’ll be back inside in 15 minutes.”

“So I can’t stay out here?”, Noah asked in a whine.

“Definitely not.”

They both turned and went inside.

I breathed a long sigh and leaned my head back, enjoying the first calm moment of the day. Which lasted exactly five seconds. Until I heard the screaming from inside. And then crying. And then a lovely duet of crying.

My Mommy Justice Meter bubbled over.

Fifteen minutes! That’s all I asked for – FIFTEEN MINUTES. How hard is this?!

I stomped inside, where they were both standing, crying, barely in the door because that’s as far as they’d made it before everything went to handbasket.

“WHAT happened? WHY are you crying? WHY couldn’t you give me my fifteen minutes?!”

Noah: “She punched me right in the chest!!!”

Ali: “I’m so sorry! I don’t know what happened – I just lost my mind for a minute!!”

Well THIS is a turn of events.

Immediately I knew that something had precluded this rare mauling of her little brother, so my first response, biased though it may seem, was to ask Noah,

“What did you do to her??”

Noah: “I told her that her alien picture was dumb.”

Me, still in the selfish state of mind: “So now I have to think of consequences for two kids instead of my fifteen minute break. Go to your rooms.”

Ali, ever the people pleaser, felt terrible. “I’m so sorry for ruining your Mommy break!”

Poor kid.

It’s really one of those moments where you feel like the justified thing to do would be to praise her for all the times she actually didn’t punch her brother in the chest when he very much deserved it. I mean, if you don’t lose your cool and punch your little brother until the 4,001st time that you could have lost your cool and punched your little brother, shouldn’t you get a prize rather than a punishment?

But alas. That’s not the way the world works. And even if you’re 99.99% responsible, that .01% can be a booger.

So her consequences had to do with not getting to play with a friend later that evening, and she readily accepted it, her guilty conscience starved for something to assuage her self-loathing. We had our usual talk about forgiving yourself, and moved on.

The next day, I had a lunch date with a friend. Since the day before had been fairly rough, I extended my lunch date into a run by myself afterward. I needed quite a few moments of silence, after all – my 15 minutes of porch time had accrued interest. On my run, I spotted the most peaceful looking lizard, lying on his back as if she were sunning herself. Were it not for the puncture on the left side of her abdomen, I might’ve thought she really was just taking a beautiful day’s nap.

IMG_5767 2

I knew she deserved some major props for her pose. I kept running, but began thinking about what would fit her situation. I decided on one of those 1950’s sun-reflector things.


So I re-routed, ran to Rite Aid, bought a pack of Juicy Fruit, and began my run back.

Except that when I got back to her location and opened my pack of gum, I discovered something horrendous: gum manufacturers have quit making silver wrappers! I hate gum so I had no idea they’d gone all paper – and this deception did not make me hate gum any less.

This ruined my entire plan. What could I do with paper wrappers?? Nothing!

I confessed my sad, sad failure via text to my roadkill friend, Tanya. I had failed. I had lost a point in our game. I was the worst.

But she wasn’t going to let me give up that easily. No, she exhorted me to use my brain. Take a minute and figure out what I could do with what I had, even though I’d been thwarted.

Her pushing me to strive forward kicked my brain into motion and I came up with a plan. I ran back to my car and grabbed a pen, then made a book out of the actual gum. Because why not.

I got her all set up just so, then took her picture.


This work of art was titled “When the Reading gets Too Steamy.”

I ran off and left her, as an art installation, where I’d found her – in the entrance of the Birmingham Botanical Gardens. We don’t know how many patrons got to appreciate her beauty before she was scraped up and disposed of – or better yet until a predator enjoyed eating her and then having a refreshing Juicy Fruit chew afterward – but I do hope she was appreciated for the beauty that she was.

Of course, Tanya appreciated the work of art very much. But I also sent her to Chris,

Who, in a rare out-of-character move, criticized my art.


But we quickly got things worked out between us and found out it was a text misunderstanding.



But at least he acknowledged that he was no better than his son, and totally deserved a hard punch in the chest.