Monday, February 19, 2018


I've only worked one day this week, so the cabin fever set in. I convinced the fam to go on a walk behind the house because we all needed fresh air. Plus, it was the perfect overcast, gusty-but-not-cold weather.

Since Mardi Gras came and went too quickly, and since Mississippi doesn't celebrate such fun occasions, I baked a "homemade" king cake out of canned cinnamon rolls. Turned out great, but super rich. I plan to make another for Easter.

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

28 days hath February

Jena stayed with us over the weekend. She brought a king cake and we watched about five seasons of Friends. This year marks 30 years of friendship and we've decided to get symbolic tattoos at some point in the next few months. I've also decided on a tattoo for Emily, and would like to go ahead and get Elias', as well as the Deathly Hallows. Lots of fun inking to procure this year.

The kiddos are about halfway through the school year and I've started pricing next year's curriculum. I'm having a hard time accepting my eldest will be in the 7th grade this year (insert ugly-cry emoji here) and my baby is creeping out from toddlerhood. James and Leah have started reading more in their free time, much to my delight. I've had enough of the video game obsession, which has now been fully embraced by Elias. All day long, "Mayocot!" which roughly translates to Mario Kart. He doesn't exactly play the game, but he'll watch the cars go via automatic acceleration. He likes books, as well, and has started quoting The Gruffalo and Room on the Broom, both of which are his favorites. A while back I purchased some classics from Target's clearance section for about $1 each, so James has already read Anne of Green Gables, The Time Machine, and Treasure Island. Leah has read Legend of Sleepy Hollow, and is working on Little Women. They're broken down so young children can read them and get the plot of the story without getting distracted by too many large words.

Work has been slow, so I've been home more. I finally got around to putting pictures of the kids around the house and getting rid of more stuff. Alex is giving me Emily's car, so I'm going to try to turn in the paperwork early next week, as well as file our taxes. So many adult chores to accomplish. But at least I crocheted a bunch of macarons, right? #productive

Monday, January 22, 2018

Grief vent

I haven't really written much about Emily even though I've wanted to. I am always thinking about her and I go through really difficult days when I want more than anything to call her and hear her voice. I've been sadder this week, which makes it difficult to predict how I'll feel next week. I cry on ocassion, but not for long periods of time. It's lonelier, in spite of having people around me. There was just a different bond we had and I don't have that with anyone else. I talk about her now and then when the opportunity presents itself, but I don't feel like I've got anyone who can relate to me. I've been feeling angry with people for going on with their lives and not caring that my sister died.

I know that's not what they're doing, but it feels like that sometimes.

I had to send messages to people on Facebook in order to get addresses for Christmas cards. I simply wrote, "Hey, can I have your address? We're going to send out cards this year. Thanks!" The response I received in return the most was "Hey, sorry I haven't talked to you. I didn't know what to say." It makes me feel annoyed, but I'm not sure if I shouldn't be. Should I be? I don't always know what to say, but I'd rather say something completely generic and stupid than nothing at all. But then I get annoyed when people who weren't even friends with her or talked to her try to tell me they're so depressed and sad because they miss her so much. It reminds me of when I miscarried and someone offered me words of comfort by telling me she knew how I felt because she had an abortion.

I am fairly certain I create an awkward space around me. The people I talk to know she's gone, yet they don't bring her up because they fear it will upset me. But, so what? If I get upset, doesn't that mean that I am grieving her? Doesn't that mean I still love her and wish so much she was still here and not in a tiny urn on my shelf? It doesn't mean I don't want to ever say her name out loud again. All that bothers me is that I have to say things like "She liked" "She used to" "She would've". 

Grief just sucks and I don't know how to navigate through it because every time I ask for directions, I'm told, "I don't know, ask that guy over there". 

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

More Snow?

We got a bit more snow over the weekend, so Zac was able to come home early. The temperature actually dropped to a whopping 11 degrees, much to the delight of my joints. I hate being cold, even though I love the snow. Well, I love looking at the snow through a frosty window, from beneath the warmth of my heated blanket, over the rim of my hot tea, inside my cozy house. My kids, on the other hand, can't get enough of it.

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

New Year, Who Dis?

I'm getting back into my old routine of making breakfast and dinner, keeping the house cleaned up and enjoying these last few days of no-teaching and being off work for a few days. It's a little relaxing, a little boring, and a little I'm-not-sure-what-to-do-with-myself. Normally, Emily would come over and she would have black coffee and puff on her vape while we talked about life and movies and watched YouTube videos. I miss her the most when my brain doesn't have anything else to think about. I'm going to focus on some hobbies this year and I've deactivated my Facebook account because I can't let my grief consume me. I'm planning to get the kids more involved with their own hobbies and spend more time outside. Not today, though. It's 20 degrees. Eff that.

I baked some Betty Crocker sugar cookies with the kiddos for New Year's. We were supposed to bake them on Christmas Eve, but I ended up working until 10pm, so that was a no-go. They turned out cute and delicious, even though the shapes were eaten too fast to grab a picture first. Either way, they were yum.

Dear, 2018, please don't be a shit like 2016 and 2017. 

Monday, December 25, 2017

Christmas 2017

Happy Holidays! Or mostly happy, at least. I've tried to stay on the jolly side without remembering this time last year when Emily was building gingerbread houses with us. It's a hard holiday without her. I've been sad, really sad, not so sad, and occasionally happy with a hint of sad. Basically, I'll always be sad and I'm just going to have to deal with that.


Christmas was pretty great. Jena spent the weekend with us and Alex came over Christmas afternoon. We had our Octoberfeast (minus the deviled eggs because they froze overnight), but with a mince meat fruit cake I made from the World of Warcraft cookbook I received this past Mother's Day. My first run of it was actually really good. The candied ginger takes some getting used to, but other than that, the cake itself was great. My second run was just not good. I couldn't even eat an entire slice. I probably put too much brandy and the texture of the orange zest was not good. I felt like Rachel when she made the trifle. However, I've made some notes and plan to make a third run for New Year's. I'll update the results when the time comes. Also, we bought dinner rolls and completely forgot to make them.

We grabbed a pic with Santa earlier in the month, as well as drove around to look at lights. I've been working so much, we've had to squeeze in time to do things together as a family. It's been rough.

This entire year, I've been spring-cleaning. My kids have toys they never play with, clothes they never wear, etc. so I've been going through things and making trips to the consignment shop and the thrift store for the past few months. I did a lot of thinking on what to get the kids so they each had roughly the same amount of gifts to open, but the gifts would actually be used. I normally don't mention the things they get for the holidays (aside from what's shown in pictures) because I find it silly, but seriously, I'm proud of myself this year. EVERYTHING was considered in each purchase. Will they play with it? How long? Is it durable? Will it last a year? Will it get boring? Can it be passed to a younger sibling? Can it be shared?

James is eleven this year, so I took his age into account of what types of things he may like. We don't have cable, so aside from Minecraft, he doesn't have much he's interested in. So, here's the rundown for James:

  • Star Wars socks.
  • Pokemon wallet. His Cars wallet just wasn't screaming Big Kid.
  • R2D2 mug with a pack of hot chocolate.
  • Gingerbread Latte shower gel and body cream. He's got dry skin like Mama and the scent isn't girly.
  • Hand sanitizer.
  • Dog Pile puzzle. It requires logical thinking, so it's a fun workout for the brain.
  • Hooded bath robe.
  • Minecraft Steve playset, which is one of his favorite gifts he's "ever" received.
  • Four-piece snack food erasers. One can never have too many erasers.
  • Pokepark for the Wii from Santa. He's been asking for the game all year.
Leah is eight, so this is her list:
  • Star Wars socks.
  • BB-8 wallet because Frozen just isn't cool anymore.
  • Wide hairbrush. Covers more ground, less time to remove tangles. Also has a fun pattern of rainbows and cupcakes all over it.
  • Sugar Plum Swirl shower gel and body cream. It's fruity and purple, but not too grown-up.
  • Hand sanitizer.
  • Cat Stax puzzle. Also requires logical thinking, but with cats.
  • Hooded bath robe.
  • Minecraft Alex play set. A favorite as well.
  • Cupcake bath bomb because Girlfriend is all about the bath bombs lately.
  • Four-piece dessert food erasers that claim to be scented but smell like erasers.
  • Zoomer Cat, which came from Santa. Said gift was asked for last year, but she got a disappointing Meowzie instead. Zoomer is interactive and pretty awesome. It even rolls on carpet.
Elias is two:
  • Large Magnadoodle with shape magnets.
  • Let's Go Fishing board game, which he loves and can be played with by up to 4 players.
  • Five-pack of Hot Wheels cars because Bun is absolutely bananas for cars or anything with wheels.
  • Mickey Mouse socks.
  • Hooded bath robe.
  • Small wooden puzzle with matching pictures for easy assembly.
  • The Nightmare Before Christmas storybook. Zac was jealous.
  • Bath crayons. A hit. Seriously.
  • Frosted Coconut Snowball shower gel and body cream. He loves "loshie" after baths, so the coconut is a nice scent for him. He says, "Mm, nummy good!"
  • Hand sanitizer. Helpful when potty-training.
  • Two-in-one tricycle from Santa. He LOVES his bike.
The best part about most of the gifts is that they are either to be worn or used up, so they aren't permanent. The socks are needs, and the rest will be played with for quite a while. I'm not sure how I'll top next year, so we may take a trip or they just might get edible gifts.

Friday, December 8, 2017

Snow 2017

Last night, Zac told me we could probably expect snow sometime around 1am. I was wrapped burrito-style in our nine-year-old comforter, wearing Emily's knee-high card suit socks, shivering beside him, reading The Help. In the past, our Southern Snow has been mere icy raindrops, melting upon contact, refusing to stick. The ice that did stick was nothing more than a frosty death trap. I looked out the window at 1am to disappointing darkness. At 6am, Zac's alarm went off. He, like me, gets excited about snow, so I felt him roll away to peek out the window. "Oh, man," he said, "you're going to love this." I'm still picturing the ground covered in melting ice in my head, but took the chance to look anyway. Love it much I did.

I'm not a morning person. Or maybe I like mornings, but don't like getting up early. It's one of those. But, this morning, I was out of bed and in the kitchen to reach outside and feel the snowflakes falling before I even put on pants. By 6:30am, I decided to take the risk of waking the kids so they could see the "fluffy snow". My kids have seen the ice snow, but none have ever seen the fluffy snow. The big kids were asleep, but let me persuade them to "just look outside real quick, then you can go back to sleep." Leah was out the door without a sweater or socks to run around before I could get her back in a bundled up. Then, I woke up Elias, who was not at all happy about that, but let me wrap him up to show him the snow. He asked for "swedder on? shoos on?" and I brought him outside. It's been a magical day. Top it off with having the day off work because it's too icy with the possibility of Zac coming home a bit early this afternoon and we've got ourselves an awesome Friday.

Monday, December 4, 2017

Ice Skating

Zac took the morning off to come with the kids and me to an ice skating rink with the homeschool group. The last time I went ice skating was back in 1999. I wasn't good at it then, nor am I good now, but Leah got the hang of it so quick. She was impressive. James was more timid, but managed to skate a bit without holding the wall. I fell and hurt my bad knee (of course), but we had a fun time. Zac didn't get to skate since he was holding Elias, but he didn't mind having some quality time with his Weirdos on Ice.