April 22, 2015

Happy Birthday to my friend who DOES like cats.

(I think April is full of lovely birthdays.)

Years ago before my Mom was pregnant for me she worked at a grocery store as a cashier. She worked with a group of other women that I have always knows as "The girls." I remember knowing them throughout my childhood and in to my adult life. She always loved being with them. They came to weddings and graduations. They knew me, my Dad, my brothers... they made my Mom laugh and they loved her and she them.

I am lucky enough to be a part of a couple of groups that I like to call, "The girls." One member of which I'm happy to stand sit alongside is my dear friend, Jenn of Wrestling Kitties. (Let's be honest, we don't stand when we're together.)

While she does like cats and I fear (I'm sorry, Jenn) she won't be my friend after my previous post, I am so lucky to know her. Jenn, have we been friends for 10 years? Has it been longer than 10 years? HOW DID THAT HAPPEN?

Jenn,
You're an inspiration. You're honesty and kindness are so flippin' relatable. (Read her blog.) You ooze empathy and are so wonderfully thoughtful. I will never forget the gift you sent the girls after my Mom passed - the heart boxes... I just love you for you. You're beautiful and have insanely awesome eyes - blah, blah, blah - but you are SO funny and SO witty and I just kind of think you're great.

I wish we lived close to one another again.

I'm so glad you were born. I'm so glad we're friends. So glad. Happy, happy birthday, dear friend.

With love,
Kylee

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April 21, 2015

The anti-bucket list.



I was talking with a co-worker that I think is hovering right on or around 70-years-old. With that [approximate] age comes life experience and perspective, right? He was talking to me about how he recently did something that he had never done before. It was cool.

The conversation then naturally moved toward things he hadn't done.

And then he said, "I still haven't seen a horse race. But then... there's some things I haven't done because I don't care."

And I smiled because I loved that.

It's like the anti-bucket list. (You know, a "bucket list" are the things you'd like to do before you "kick the bucket." For my ESL friends, "kick the bucket" is an American way of saying, "die.")

I liked the idea of having a "Things I haven't done because I just don't care" list.

Nothing like lowering the bar.
Who needs another goal?
Another pinterest idea?
Who needs another "Must Do"?

Let's keep it real.

So here. Here are some things that I don't care if I ever do:

1. Make anything out of the Julia Child Mastering the Art of French Cooking cookbook.
2. Get my palm read / fortune given.
3. Ride in a race car or hot air balloon.
4. Own a cat. [I'm nervous about typing that for fear of nasty comments from pro-cat friends.]
5. Watch Game of Thrones or any sort of vampire/zombie TV show.
6. Read Harry Potter.
7. Go on a cruise.
8. Knit.
9. Eat an olive.
10. Enjoy watching other people's kids extracurricular activities.

In all honesty, there are some things that I would love to do.

1. Use my camera in manual mode.
2. Write a book.
3. See the Northern Lights.
4. Raise empathetic children who are happy adults.
5. Celebrate 50 years of marriage with my everything.
6. Learn to make an angel food cake from scratch; complete with balancing upside down on a coke bottle on my kitchen counter.
7. Live next door to my baby sister.
8. Be a Grandma.
9. Buy a labra or goldendoodle and school it to be a therapy dog and visit hospitals and make not well people happy.
10. Work for me.
*To be continued...

That's all for now.

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Happy Birthday, Anna!

My college experience was about far more than books, curriculum, flare-legged Mudd jeans and grades - it was when I began relationships with a core group of women who to this day I love and trust.  They're my home button.  We have a shared history and also the ability to still connect after years and miles have separated us. Oh man, I celebrate these women. Especially this one:

Today is the day that my friend Anna was born.

Anna is the best listener I know; she actively listens. She asks questions. She tilts her head to the side, in only the way Anna does, and she remembers and retains what you're saying.

She invests her energy and her time and her love in you. And you feel it. And I'll be honest, it feels good.

As the original creator (I THINK?) of what we all call "The Circle Game, "she's not afraid to start it up and ask a question that everyone must answer. (Inclusion is her middle name.)

My friend Anna, oh my sweet dear friend, Anna. It seems like yesterday we were sitting together in the Wit office in Marbeck; I was helping you set up your yahoo email account. :) (Oh, 1997...) I've danced with you, laughed with you, cried with you and loved you all the while. I love you for kind heart, you love of math and numbers and most importantly, your love of eggs.

I couldn't be more happy that you were born. I feel like I should call Ed and Karen today and thank them for having you.

You make the world happier just by being here. I'm so glad you're my friend and I'm so glad you were born.

Happy Birthday!

xo

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April 19, 2015

I love my dog.

So back before I could have a baby, there was Ferg.
Ferg came into our lives and I treated her like a baby.
I took that little 8-pound muffin with me everywhere.

Blurry **blackberry photo** (tee hee) of the first day I got Ferg! 8.19.07. 

She was so cute.

Baby Ferg. She weighed 3 lbs.

Baby Fergie.

April 16, 2015

on grief: And here I stand.

I wrote this on 4-10-2015. I needed a few days to pass before I could post it. I remember doing that in the beginning when I was writing about my Mom's death. I needed for my blog readers & friends to know that I was fine and taking time between writing and posting made me feel like I was ok. That I was doing better. 

So, in true Kylee-style, I wrote this, I waited and I am fine. I am ok. I am doing better than what I was a few nights ago. But, in full disclosure, I own all of this.

::

4.10.2015

I've avoided any books with tragedy in them.
I don't watch movies where I know characters die.
I turn the channel if someone loses someone. Or I look away. Or I get up and "remember" something that I needed to do.

The loss of her, of my Mom, is still 1 year and 7 months later -- bubbling under the surface.

April 15, 2015

Oh, Martha. The life only *one* person was meant to live.

One of the highlights of my life is catching up on The Martha Stewart Blog.



Oh, Martha.

It's educational.
It's entertaining.
And there's no arguing that it's beautifully done.
Her propensity towards the more formal vernacular delights my soul. Her voice is so recognizable. I adore her.

While the most recent posts have included a collection of photos regarding the very exciting removal of the burlap from her shrubbery after the winter months have ended, there are still a series of noteworthy posts as of late. One must appreciate her photo captions and photos.

The Martha is a national treasure.

Here are my highlights from the past while:

1. This.

Because obviously.

Shaq, some guy, Martha and Snoop.

"Joining me in this photo are Shaquille O'Neal, director Joel Gallen, and Snoop Dogg."

From here.

2. Next, I love that Martha recently welcomed a ten-year-old shetland pony to her farm. He was pre-named Harrison Ford (which is great), but I don't think Martha loved it because she refers to him throughout the post only as "Ford." (Appreciate here.) This may also be because she's no nonsense and she's not going to call him Harrison until she decides to keep him.

My favorite photo from this post was:

"Billie, Rufus and Clive are in the stall right next door to Ford. They were very interested in the new pony, and very curious, as you can see by their forward facing ears."

Stop it.
"Bille, Rufus and Clive"?
"Their forward facing ears."

Oh, Martha.

3. Next, I was [naturally] anxiously awaiting her "Peafowl Update."

And I, for one, am thrilled that her peafowl are out and "having lots of fun."

I wish that for everyone's peafowl.


So much joy.

This blog brings.me.so.much.joy.

www.themarthablog.com

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April 12, 2015

Honest parenting.

Around 3 p.m. today I sent a text to the husband and proceeded to list all of the things that were wrong with my day, our life and our children.

[insert smile]

Lucky guy.

He's been away from Cabo since last Tuesday so I've been doing the full-time working mom/solo-parenting thing (HOW DO SINGLE PARENTS DO IT? HOW DID MY MOM do this? HOW DO SO MANY OF YOU DO THIS?) and I haven't slept well since Monday night. (I cannot sleep without that man.) Last night I finally fell asleep at 2:30 a.m. only to be awoken by crazy winds (PTSD, anyone?) and my four-year-old who was standing in the middle of the stairs up to our bedroom screaming my name.

After my rapid heart beat slowed I laid in bed listening to the palm trees roar and squeak against the glass of the window in the front of the house, trying to remember why in the world I moved to a tropical climate wherein we experienced a category 4 hurricane last September.

You can imagine how happily I awoke.

Bad mood.
Ready to move from Cabo.
Ready for adult interaction.
Ready to tell my children to JUST GO AWAY.

At one point today I set the timer on my phone for 10 minutes and told both of my ladies that they could not speak to me or to one another for TEN MINUTES. "YOU MAY NOT SPEAK UNTIL THE TIMER GOES OFF."

The.constant.talking.
The.constant: Mom. Mommy. Mom. Mom. Mommy? Mom. Mommy. Mom. Mama. Mom.

[breathe in. breathe out.]

The husband reminded me, via text, that one day I'd miss the constant chatter; the constant need for me.

And then I felt that familiar feeling: guilt.

I know.

I know that they're growing older.
I know that this is the "glory" time.
I know that this is the incredible time where they think I'm wonderful and beautiful.
I know that in a few short years I am going to be wishing they'd be standing in the middle of the stairwell crying for me.
I know that in a few short years I'm going to be begging them to say my name.

I know all of that.

::

Today, right as Vivi was refusing to please, please, please take a nap because Mommy is just.so.tired she looked over at me and said, "Mommy. I love you. If I could do it again, I would choose you to be my Mommy."

[heart broke wide open.]

But do you want to hear how I, an exhausted Mom, responded?

"I love you too, Vivi. Now close your eyes and go to sleep."

(She never napped.)

::

Heartless?

Potentially.

At the end of my rope?

Also potentially.

::

But here I sit, in my favorite chair, with my doors wide open at 8:18 p.m. (no wind blowing) in a quiet, still home. Millie the dog is sitting on my left foot and all I can hear is the tick, tock of the clock that used to belong to my Mom... and now, I'm better.

But you guys, there are days like this.

There are days when it's all just too much. When having kids a year and a half apart seems like it was perhaps only slightly more sane than jumping off of a bridge.

There are days when my brain starts to add up all of the "injustices" of my life (#firstworldproblems) and I get swept away in the melodrama that I've created.

We all do this, right?

I was literally READY TO MOVE from Cabo today.
I was ready to sell my children. (To a low bidder.)

Now I'm better.

::

Blogging seems to show the best of our worlds, doesn't it? We chose to carefully position our best moments and share those on our blogs, on our instagram accounts and in our facebook world. I think maybe it's worth sharing that we aren't perfect.

I still haven't showered.
My hair is just as it was this morning when I woke up; sort of hanging off of the top of my head in a half bun/half pony tail thing.
I'm wearing the world's most hideous nude-colored comfortable bra.
My children ate donuts and grilled cheese today - however I did throw in at one point carrots and applesauce (no sugar added.)
I had a glass of wine -- my first in over a week -- at exactly 5:42 p.m.
And my go at giving organic deodorant with no anti-perspirant in it has failed miserably today.

Today was a dud.

Which means tomorrow will be better.

::

While the girls and I were cleaning out their toys and doing our every-few-months organization, I ran across this cake set.

Ah. There it was. The perspective I had been searching for all day.

This, my friends, this is the toy that best represents parenting:



It's missing a piece.
The end of a candle is chewed.

It's not perfect.

But it's sweet.

::

Parenting ain't easy.

Thank God for God.
Thank God for today.
Thank God there's a tomorrow.

I'm out.

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