Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Jude, lately

I frequently ask the males what they're thinking about when they're accidentally quiet. I typically get the same response, and I'm starting to think it may be the truth, "Nothing." How do males simply think about nothing? Like, nothing nothing? Or like not worth mentioning nothing? There is a difference.

Jude caught me staring off into space and asked,

"Whatcha thinkin' about? You thinkin' about me?"

He leaves no room for reply. The question mark between questions was more of a brief pause.


He's the first jealous kid we've ever had. There's one particular little angel face that always falls asleep in my arms at church. He does not like that baby. I don't know if it's because I sniff baby Ji Ji's hair. I don't know if it's because I go all heart eyes when I see this particular baby or what. All I know is that he is incredibly jealous of babies that are smaller than him. Especially if I or Sean or Grandma or Grandpa happen to hold said baby. In an attempt to soften him towards babies in general, I figured Christmas books might help. Tonight it was a simple story about baby Jesus that featured many pictures of sweet baby Jesus lying in a manger.

"Awww, look at the baby. Babies are so sweet. They're small and helpless and we should love and protect babies." On and on and on I went. I looked over to see his brow furrowed and his unblinking stare of disapproval,

"I hate babies. I shouldn't say hate."

Again, the period between the two sentences, a brief pause. He didn't give me time to say that he shouldn't say hate. The fact that he stated on his own that he shouldn't say hate lets me know he's listening. I'm not one of those moms that doesn't allow my kids to use the word "hate." They can use the word. They understand the word, even the three year old. Sometimes the word "hate" is needed. However, they get a talking to if they link hate with people. They can hate the weather. They can hate that we're moving. They can hate a game or a show or a meal. I also let them use the word stupid. Because in this day and age, there's a lot of stupid.


The little two were doing the bedtime stall routine tonight. Jude bribed me to lay with them by offering to brush my hair. As if I'd say no to that deal. 400 questions later, Titus asked, "So when I get married, my wife will get our last name?" I don't know where these questions come from or why they wait until bedtime to ask, but I somehow follow their rabbit trails and end up talking the night away. Jude joins in with,

"When will I get married?"
"When you're old and have met a girl you love. A girl that you want to spend the rest of your life with. The perfect one for you."
"A girl wike you?"

Man, I love him. Just to keep things real, he did sock one of his brothers square in the mouth today. Hard enough to bust a lip and draw blood. He's a puzzle, that one. A rico suave that takes no crap offa his brothers.

Wednesday, January 04, 2017

Ten on Tuesday

because I will do ANYTHING to avoid the tasks at hand.

1Hands down, the greatest thing I managed to keep up with this year is the 1 second every day video. I'm not going to post it here because this is a public blog and there are certain clips I don't want strangers to see. If you want to see it, it's on my Facebook page. :D

2We have a grand total of eight days left in our home.

3We have no renter or buyer, as of yet. Two serious lookers, but nothing has been signed.

4We have three separate moving companies coming on five different dates during our eight days left. One company to pack our household goods. They will be packing over two days and picking up on the third. Household goods for non-military folk is the majority of our stuff. The furniture, mattresses, dishes, toys, etc. A second company will come take anything we can do without while we're in Japan and carry it off to storage. That will be most of the stuff in the garage: grill, my good couch, a few dressers that I don't think will fit, at least half of the pictures hanging on my walls, all of my scrapbooks. The third company will be gathering and shipping unaccompanied baggage. That is all the stuff we'll need until the last minute and will want as quickly as possible but can't fit in our suitcases. The coffee press, towels, sheets, air mattresses, pillows, a pot and pan.

5We have a humongous attic. It spans the entire length and depth of our house. The fun part about all of this is that the movers will not access the attic. It wouldn't be the worst thing in the world except for the fact that with all the showings we've had, I shoved as much stuff as possible in the attic to give the house an uncluttered look. Good times, good times.

6We have been continuously disappointed in humans throughout this process. Not just the regular "cut off in traffic" disappointments. More like the "I see you're desperate and am going to take advantage of you" disappointments. Something along the lines of if I had the nerve to punch someone in the face, I'd break every bone in my hand. Sean and I both swing from super spiritual to Richard Pryor these days. Muchly based on the actions of others. I know, I know...we can choose how we respond, but when someone lowballs an offer for the millionth time(!!!!!) it doesn't necessarily bring out the best in either of us.

7On that note, used cars salesmen are swine. Absolute swine. Locals, don't buy from Auto Haus. They'll screw ya coming and going. They apparently don't care about word of mouth. Or word of social media. Or the word of a service member, medical professional who loves to chat about our experience.

8This guy turned 14 a few weeks ago. I don't even want to talk about it. Just kidding. Birthdays around here have been a tad overshadowed by the move. He did manage to snag a homemade rum cake and a pile of goodies. He's holding his go pro that he saved diligently for. We were going to get it for his birthday, but he was insistent he get it a few weeks before his birthday with his own cash. I didn't want to discourage him from saving, so we let him go for it. He's already recouped all the money he spent. The kid is a machine.

9My sister and her family came up for Christmas. My parents had no idea they were coming, so Simon was able to catch the surprise. I'd come in under the guise of picking up my mom for some last minute shopping. I said, "I forgot my phone in the car," and my sister walked back into their house instead of me. :) It was awesome. I love their reaction. 

10If everyone who is praying will keep it up, we will be so grateful. It helps. We've reached some pretty low lows over the last few weeks. The stress is...it's intense. It hasn't necessarily brought out the best in us, but we're getting there. Together. I don't know what the list of top stresses on a marriage are, but I have to think moving is way up there and we've got this nasty habit of moving ALL THE TIME. As do most military families. Geez Louise, though, I'm ready for a break. The smell of cardboard makes me break out in cold sweats. 

That is all. I must go pack or sort or throw away something. 

Monday, January 02, 2017

Hoof Hearted

I had to post these. 
 I almost didn't take these as the offender had my eyes watering from behind the camera. 
 But I needed to make sure everybody was in the frame anyway. 
 I snatched a couple of hilarious shots. Can you tell who did it?

 I got one decent picture of everybody. My family. I love them all. Even the stinky ones. We're missing a few, but this is representative of what our family looks like these days. We don't all head to Florence anymore. There are no more babies. We are all spread out and circumstances don't allow for what we once had. I'll take it though. It makes it that much more special when we are together. 
 I am so thankful for these people. 

Monday, December 12, 2016

Oh, Christmas tree

Last year, I had it in my head that we were going to find a Christmas tree farm and cut down our own tree. As it turns out, there aren't a lot of tree farms on the coast of Virginia. So we went with the lame option of picking the least dead looking tree that Lowes had to offer. As we were hoisting it on the roof and shedding 75% of the needles in the process, a kindly fella said, "You'da been better off to getcha one of 'em trees from the lot in Mathews." Sean couldn't shut him up fast enough and my plan was devised to get me one of 'em trees in Mathews this year. Sean agreed as that crappy Lowe's tree didn't make it to Christmas last year. 
This year, I found the place. I schemed and I plotted and I planned out all the Norman Rockwell-esque photographs I would take as the sun set behind the tree farm giving us all rosy cheeks and flattering, soft lit faces. I created a wonderful brunch menu in my head. The whole family would come feast on homemade cinnamon rolls and then we would head out into the wilderness and find our tree. It didn't work out as planned, but we still had a jam up brunch. The cinnamon rolls turned out better than ever, nomnomnom.
The freakin' tree farm was only open from 2-5. Do you know what happens from 2-5? Harsh sunlight, shadows, shadows, shadows and if you're really lucky you maaaaay get five minutes of perfect lighting. Unless of course you have four boys. Then they decide to flee during those five minutes, only allowing for a few blurry shots that only lead to frustration. 
So we went at two. I took the bright sun and the whining men folk and the uncooperative children and we made the best of it. The males in the group all had a tree picked within three minutes. The drive to the tree farm took 40 minutes. You'd think they'd give me at least that long to take pictures. You'd think they'd cooperate somewhat since I wasn't asking for a ton of pose-y shots. It's not as if we go galavanting through forests of perfectly shaped and perfectly spaced trees every day. 

Titus was mad because Jude took his stick. The small people have fights over sticks on a more frequent basis than one would guess given the fact that we LIVE IN THE WOODS.
 This would've made a perfect Christmas card picture. :/ I'm kicking myself for not even trying to get one together this year. 

 Neither my father nor my husband wanted to give me a grin while sawing down the tree. Hmph. 

 Felix gave me a grin! 
 And I even got to jump into a few shots.
 Felix was my face maker. I caught on to his games and I know to watch for his faces. I didn't realize Titus had taken over. I can't wait for the day that they pay some high priced wedding photographer to document their special day. I plan to mimic his exact face in at least a dozen pictures. 
 Titus found another stick as we were leaving. :)

 I love that my parents live just down the road. I love that we get to make these memories together. They went out of town this weekend and after hanging up with my dad at some point yesterday, Jude said, "I NEED dem. Why did they leave me?!" He may have a rough transition here in a few weeks. 
Sidenote: I love Lularoe leggings. My BFF brought me a pair when she came to visit. I'm not insane, I've only bought one pair. Sean saw a girl wearing a pair of really obnoxious ones yesterday. He asked, "Are those the stretchy pants--(I love that he called them stretchy pants)--you've been talking about? The really expensive ones? Don't you dare!" I promised no super obnoxious ones, but maaaaaan are they comfy. :)

Friday, December 02, 2016

Hot pink

I'm not sure if it's the fun colors and accessories.
Or the fact that girls are so much different.
Or that she's just Charlotte.
But I have SO MUCH FUN taking pictures of this kid. 
She is such a firecracker and she listens and poses and has as much fun being a model as I do taking her pictures. 

The coordinating mom is just icing on the cake. I didn't realize how bland I and the boys dress until we visited this family and their wardrobe. Holy smokes, neon pink boots? There is nothing pink nor neon in any of the closets in my house. I'm going to work on upping my hat game and the pops of color are fantastic.

They just moved into their new, old house. It's an absolutely amazing old farmhouse. It has teal doors! Teal!! There were so many nooks and crannies I wanted to tuck into with my camera. Unfortunately, most of the time we were there it was freezing or raining or freezing and raining.

We managed to get a few shots in. 

I love it when dogs smile.  

I love how quickly Emily went from being somewhat bashful to twirling and giggling. 

And the picture proof that she is the girl equivalent to my Felix. 

I think this one might be my favorite. 

I think this one might be my favorite. 

I think this one might be my favorite. 

Mike's mug in these had me cracking up. Why can't men ever see the photographic vision of their wives? It's like the male universal language of photography resistance. It's hilarious and all I could hear was Sean saying everything Mike was saying during these. 

Aw, see? Now wasn't that worth it?

And some of just the mama, because mama's are never in the picture.