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Friday, November 30, 2007

If I'm not back soon, call Animal Control

Or David Arquette.

Or Jeff Daniels.

Because I need to go up into the attic, and I know with absolute certainty that there is some sort of freaky, giant, woman-eating spider that is going to get me.

And I don't know how to turn the light on up there.

Because we all know that turning the lights on keeps the bad things away.

Just like keeping your arms and legs on the bed and under the covers keeps the monsters that live under your bed from being able to get you.

And yes, I do realize that I'm 30 years old, and not, you know, 8, but I've been sleeping next to a pile of laundry instead of a man for the past five and a half months, so I am understandably twitchy about things that go bump in the night.

And things that build webs in the attic.

However, the man who belongs in my bed will not be back for another two weeks, and my children can not wait that long to decorate for Christmas. We absolutely must decorate thisverysecondrightnowpleasepleaseplease.

And so I am heroically making this sacrifice for my children.

I'm goin' up.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Divine Intervention (part seven)

When I went to college, I was ready for a little partying. My parents were very cruel strict wise and didn't allow us to go to parties in high school.

So once I was beyond their control, I went to Tijuana with a cousin and went bar-hopping. JT had become my standard for morality, having a Bible and knowing how to use it and all.

And he thought it sounded like fun.

I also started checking out the Greek system. I knew my parents couldn't afford for me to join a sorority, but a friend in my dorm did, and once she was in, we started making plans for me to go to a huge party with her.

But as I was walking down the hall to have her check out my wardrobe choice for the party that night, another friend was coming the opposite direction.

Pale, wrapped in a blanket, shivering, and so out of it that she didn't even notice me as she passed by and I called her name.

We ended up having to call emergency services and she and I rode in the back of a police car to the closest emergency room in the middle of the night somewhere in South Central Los Angeles.

You know, where the Rodney King Riots were.

Still, I think I was safer there than I would have been at that party.

And I have no doubt that God intervened to stop me from going down that bright, happy party path.

*This is part seven in a series. The rest is here.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Some bloggity business

I'm changing some categories and titles around to make reading easier, so I apologize if you subscribe in a feedreader and you get a bunch of new posts!

Thank you to everyone who has commented or emailed to say that you are enjoying my series on how I became a Christian. I never intended to stretch it out this long, but I am enjoying looking back at how God worked.

For those of you who miss the lighthearted public humiliation that I usually write about, here is a repost that came before a lot of you started reading.

2am Wake-Up Calls

I'm not a big fan of 2am wake up calls. I really like my sleep.

So I was a bit put out when I woke up at 2:15 hearing Luke calling me.

And I wasn't feeling the love when I stubbed my toe on the laundry basket on my way to his room.

If it hadn't been past 2am, it would have been cute when he said, "My sock fell down!" and held up his sock for me to put back on.

So I sat down in the chair to put his sock back on, because me and balance at 2am? Not friends.

(See the aforementioned stubbed toe)

And then Luke gently stroked my hair and said, "Nice hair, Mommy." And even at 2am that melted my heart.

And then I went back to my room and walked face-first into my bedroom door.

Wordless Wednesday- One Year Old

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

And so it begins (part six)

I went to Sunday School when I was young. Sometime around fifth or sixth grade I stopped.

There was a little fat boy who had a crush on me.

His parents taught the class, and they thought it was cute.

I however, did not. He always sat by me, which is like, so totally the end of the world. So I stopped going to church.

Obviously I had all my priorities straight.

But when JT invited me to go to a welcome party for the Baptist Student Union, I said yes. I considered myself a Christian. I had been to Sunday School.

And after that mall experience with JC, a good Christian boy (read: non-criminal) seemed like just the guy I needed.

Plus, he was the guy every girl in the dorm wanted, so I wasn't about to turn down time with him.

Soon we were unofficially together. We did everything together. He was the son of missionaries, and I thought he was so spiritual. I mean, he owned a Bible and even knew how to read it.

And when he came back from Thanksgiving break, he told me he had made out with an old friend of his.

But it made him realize that I was the only girl he wanted in his life, and he was in love with me.

And I believed him.

*This is part six. Read the rest here.

Monday, November 26, 2007

The worst date. Ever. (part 5)

I'm pretty sure the phone woke me up.

It was probably only 11am or so, what else would a good college student be doing at that time of day?

I still can't believe I didn't flunk out of my entire freshman year. There were seriously classes that I ditched for months at a time.

To this day I have nightmares about going to class only to realize that the final is that day and I've skipped every single class and have no idea how to answer any of the questions.

It was JC on the phone, and he was going to the mall and wanted me to come.

He had a car, and I had been forced by my parents to leave my car at home for my freshman year.

Ah, the cruelty of parents.

I should probably thank them.

So we went to the mall and when I mentioned wanting to buy something (probably a pair of jeans since I have been on a lifelong quest to find the perfet pair) he made a comment about him not having enough time to shop if I needed to get something too.

And it got worse.

Heading towards checkout, he asked me to hold something for him.

Something that he had not paid for.

His great plan was to pay for a backpack and have me sneak out some clothes for him.

I waited outside instead, and needless to say, that was the last time I went anywhere with him.

But there was still JT.

And, oh, if I had known then how the whims of that boy would rule the next two and a half years of my life, I would not have sat next to him in class.

*This is part 5. To read parts one through four, click here.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

I need opinions on a very serious matter

One of utmost importance.

What to wear when I see Isaac for the first time in six months.

I've lost weight since he's been gone, but I like myself at a size 12- feel really skinny at a size 10- and am currently a size 16. There's a chance I'll be a 14 when he gets back, but I'm not counting on it.

Although I will be a 10 or 12 next year for the Seabee Ball, and then I'll be rockin the heels and formal dress, lemmetellya.

Unless we get surprised with another post-deployment baby.

In which case the only thing I'll be rockin is my poor knocked-up self while I vomit into a toilet.

But until then I have a few more curves than I want, and it's a thin line between looking nice and, Hey ya'll, come check out my boobs!


Here are some options:

black dressred dress

I like the idea of a dress, but who knows what the weather will be like? Plus I'll have all three kids with me, and it is a military flight, so we may get stuck for a few hours waiting, and I don't want to know how many times I'll have to bend over or pick up a child. So it doesn't seem very practical.

sweater coatwrap top

These are both options I could wear with dark jeans and my black boots. I like the style of the wrap shirt, but I'm not loving the pattern, though.

Any opinions? Anyone seen a fabulous outfit while you've been out shopping lately?

Friday, November 23, 2007

All the right reasons (part four)

People in my high school were aghast at the idea of me skipping my senior year.

But really, I had been to three proms already, and what fun are ditch day and other assorted activities when you don't like your friends?

I headed off to college without a single doubt.

Until I got there.

And then I was terrified.

I didn't know a single person, I couldn't find my way across campus, and what the heck was I doing going away to college when I was only 16 years old???

But I went to the dorm meet and greet and got invited to play volleyball. And there I met a boy that we'll call JC. And a boy that we'll call JT. Apparently I had met them both at the orientation during summer, but in the fog of terror and overwhelmedness in which I had gone through that weekend, I had only vague memories of cute college boys.

But now I was actually at college, and living in a dorm with cute college boys, and suddenly college was fun and not scary.

And obviously, I was there for all the right reasons.

You know, boys and fun.

But soon I turned 17 and I matured and added another reason to be at college.


*For parts one through three, click here.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Mommy, may I? (part three)

In one of the boxes full of college recruiting materials, I found the flier for the USC Resident Honors Program.

Complete your senior year of high school and your freshman year of college at the same time!

Your classes earn you double credit!

Scholarships automatically awarded for those accepted!

And I had missed the application deadline.

Being the mature, ready for college 16-year-old that I was, I had my mommy call the head of the program to ask if they accepted late applications.

"What are her SAT scores?" "Why yes, we will be happy to accept her late application."

And so it was that I was accepted to USC, and I decided to leave all my friends and high school behind.

That summer my mom and I went off to the new student orientation weekend, and before long I was 16, living in a dorm, 50 miles away from my parents.

Which in LA is really like 200 miles.


*This is part three of how I became a Christian. Read parts one and two.

Monday, November 19, 2007

They say it's your birthday

What's that?

It's not your birthday?

Well it is mine!

I'm turning 30 today.

And I'm just desperate enough for attention to announce it to anyone who happens to stop by my site.


Bloggity blog

These Q&A questions made me laugh!

1. Who is your pretend bloggy BFF?

Ree, from Confessions of a Pioneer Woman! Because she makes ranch life seem so romantic, and I'm sure if we were BFF's she would invite us to go stay at her ranch and teach me how to take wonderful pictures of cows. And I'd finally know, why, WHY did Marlboro Man wait so long to call her?

2. Which blogger would you most like to go shopping with?

Melanie, from Big Mama. Because she has somehow retained all this fashion knowledge even in the midst of motherhood, and when you are shopping you really need that person who will encourage you to buy the expensive designer jeans because they look so much better than the cheap Wal-Mart ones you are currently wearing. And because she shares my feelings about Wal-Mart- that I always feel like I need a shower and a gallon of Purel after being in one.

3. Which blogger would you most like to have a cup of coffee with?

Kate, from Small Scribbles. She seems like such a fun, relaxed mom. All her kids seem so talented and because she's the only homeschooler I've ever heard of who doesn't get up at the crack of dawn and start school at O'dark thirty, but instead they wander around in their pajamas for a while and do chores and cook healthy food, and start school around 11 or 12. I can homeschool like that!

If you want to answer these questions on your blog, leave me a comment so I can read your responses!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

The thing I didn't do

*Thanks to Jen, who asked about my scrapbooking in my Q&A!

When my husband deployed for six months, I had all kinds of ideas about how I was going to fill up my time.

After all, I don't have a whole lot to do after the kids go to bed.


So my plan was to catch up on scrapbooking. With moving from Japan to Maryland to California to Maryland to Mississippi with a deployment to Afghanistan, an eye surgery, a baby, a broken ankle, and buying our first house all in the last two years, I had understandably fallen a bit behind.

I think Luke has about 4 pages.

And he just turned three.

Oh, ok, I'm exaggerating. I'm sure he has at least 6.

So I was going to use my evenings to catch up AND I was going to learn digital scrapbooking in Photoshop Elements. I love paper scrapbooking, but I can see the benefit of being able to make one layout and just changing the colors digitally for the different kids.

So do you want to see what I've done in the last 5 months?

This isn't a page, it's wooden letters on my mantle, in case you're wondering.


This is the only layout I've done.

I've done it here:
Not exactly the most inspiring space, but I just haven't had time to organize it better or spruce it up.

Which is probably part of the reason I haven't done much scrapping!

Both of those projects used various papers by Basic Grey, which is my all-time favorite paper line. I always go to them first when I want patterns. My other favorite is Bazzill cardstock. It's rare that I do anything without some Bazzill paper somewhere. I also love rub-ons of all types and one of these days I'm going to get myself a Cricut machine.

But first I have to start scrapping again before I spend money like that.

I make an effort not to spend hundreds of dollars on things that just sit around.

Unless I buy it with a Michaels coupon.

Because then it's a bargain.

Even if it just sits around.

At least I can look at it and feel all righteous about the money I saved on it.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

An unexpected direction (part two)

My junior year of high school found me 16 and unhappy.

I had a boyfriend I didn't really want, but who was madly in love with me.

I had friends I didn't really like, but didn't know how to change the situation without causing the kind of back-stabbing, rumor-mongering war that only adolescent girls are capable of.

Well, adolescent girls and some of my grown relatives, but that's a post that will never get written. Because this web, it is world wide.

I had scored well on my PSAT's and the early SAT that I had taken for practice, and so I had two full boxes of fliers and recruitment info from various colleges in the garage.

And one day, it occured to me, "Didn't USC have some sort of early entry program..."

I figured I had thrown that flier away. I mean, who in their right mind would skip their senior year of high school? Isn't that the year that we all work toward and dream about? Senior prom? Ditch day? Getting to park in the school parking lot instead of fighting for a space on the road?

Could I really give that all up and start college at 16 years old?

Should I?

Would it matter if I couldn't find that stinking flier among the rest of the junk that I shoved into the boxes?

*This is part two of how I became a Christian. Read part 1 here.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Literally Speaking (Q&A 1)

My mom tells me that I was a very literal child.

In preschool we were told that we weren't allowed to go play until we had finished our lunch. I can remember sitting there watching the other kids run and play while I tried to finish my food.

When I asked my mom to please not give me so much food she rushed down to the school to complain about their rule only to be told that I didn't have to eat all my food, I just had to be done eating.

Obviously, not only was I literal, I was also naturally obedient.

At some point when I was very little my mom taught me to pray every night before bed.

She told me that I should ask Jesus to come into my heart and forgive me for my sins and be my Savior.

And thank him for our food.

And so I did.

In those exact words, every night of my life up until my freshman year of college...

*thanks to Leah for asking me how I became a Christian in my recent Q&A post. I'll be back soon to add another part to the story!

Friday, November 9, 2007

Pity Me

For I fell behind on the laundry.

This is just the clean stuff to be put away.

I still have more I need to wash.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

I'm feeling it in my very bones

I was all set to start a series from some of the questions ya'll asked for my bloggy Q&A. I've been pondering it, and had a vision for what I wanted to say.

And then I received a letter from that satellite company that is league with the devil.

And then I spent hours on the phone with them, and am waiting for a call back to spend some more hours on the phone with them.

And I have reached the point with them of threatening to go to the FCC and media outlets.

Not that I want to go to the media, and probably won't truth be told, because it's just too much work.

But I could.

And I think they would listen.

And now the only thing I am pondering is my deep and abiding bitterness towards this company.

Hopefully tomorrow I'll start answering questions, so if you have any more, email or post them!

I Love You More- A Review

When I was contacted to receive a free copy of the new book "I Love You More" for review, I immediately jumped at the chance.

After two hours of googling and following links on the chance that it was a psycho stalker just trying to get my address.

I was really suprised by the book. We already have several books about love, one with the same name. But my kids adored this book.

I think most of the reason is that it is two stories in one. The book has no front or back, but flips over and the two stories meet in the middle. My daughter loves the side from the mom's perspective, "I love you prettier than the prettiest flower ever found." My son loves the little boy's perspective, "I love you taller than the tallest giraffe ever grown."

And all week I have been treated to the poetic stylings of "Mommy I love you bigger than the biggest toad." And "Mommy, I love you tinier than the tiniest ant."

They try.

If you want to check it out, you can visit the author's website

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

I'll let you figure it out

Luke, tonight at bedtime:

Mommy, my peanut isn't pointing down.

Monday, November 5, 2007

And so I turn to you

You may have noticed that I haven't been posting much lately.

It's not writer's block exactly.

More like mind-numbing exhaustion.

It's hard to compose a blog post in your head while you're doing dishes if you're so tired that you're falling asleep standing up.

And so I turn to that last refuge of blocked bloggers in search of bloggy fodder.

The bloggy Q&A.

Ask me a question.

Any question, about homeschooling, Navy life, life in Japan, mild or bold coffee...anything!

And I will try to get a little more sleep so that when I look back on the day's events, I can think of more than, "Well, I obviously got dressed at some point, but I'm not sure what I did besides that."

Post it in the comments or email it to me at afteracupofcoffee(at)gmail(dot)com.

Maybe next week I'll be able to post more than, "Me tired. Need coffee."

Friday, November 2, 2007

We're done with Halloween

And no, I don't mean for the year.

I mean period.

It's hard enough corralling two kids and a baby in a stroller without my husband to help, but add in tons of sugar? Insanity.

We went trick-or-treating with several other families. About six houses into it, a teenage boy in a very spooky mask leaned down into Chloe and Luke's faces and growled and boo'd at them.

I mean, it seriously would have been enough to make even me scream.

It scared them so much that they both ran crying back to me at the end of the driveway! Luke was ok after several minutes, but Chloe just kept getting more and more scared.

She refused to go to any more doors and was huddled by my side.


And any time anyone in a remotely scary costume came near, she started whimpering and hiding behing the stroller. After a few minutes of this, she was in a ball crying and begging to go home. She was so scared that she couldn't even get up to walk back to the car.

Luke, of course, then had a tantrum that we were stopping early and had to go home, and I had to chase him down the street.

Good times.

After all that drama I then had a horde of teenagers with absolutely no costumes come to my door to get candy, and steal the "good stuff" from the one child with them who was young enough to actually be trick-or-treating.

The whole night frustrated me so much (actually is still frustrating me, since Chloe is still asking me several times a day Why, Mommy? WHY would that big boy want to scare me? Why? WHY?) that we are just done. Next year we're going to Chuck E Cheese.

They'll still get to dress up, though. Because the excess sugar and the nightmares I can do without.

But this?

I wouldn't miss for anything.

The winners are...

For the frame...windycindy...but I don't see an email anywhere on your link! Contact me with your address.

For the Starbucks...Gibee! I sent you an email already.

Congratulations to both of you!