Category - All About Me

A Month of Instagram: January 2015
Full Stop
Loss and Recovery
A Month of Instagram: January 2014
A Month of Instagram: November 2013
A New Start
In Search of the Perfect Planner
I Got Older
Burnt Out

A Month of Instagram: January 2015



1.  My Christmas present fits Pumpkin Girl, not me. She looks super cute, so I might keep it anyway.
2.  Classic California
3.  This here’s the room where we keeps the womens.
4.  Must be time for the Safety Dance!
5.  Standing on a corner in Winslow, Az…
6.  Heading home with an elephant on my lap.
7.  A beautiful day
8.  Nobody is going anywhere today.
9. The perfect mug to accompany a discussion of Hitler’s invasion of Europe.
10.  My kids think my hands are freaky because my thumb bends back but my pinky can’t stand up.
11. Pumpkin Girl and I were wondering which merit badge involves a turkey leg and pencils.
12.  “Whaaat?  I got you present!”
13.  A text from Pumpkin Girl, with a picture of Pipsqueak with a bucket on his head.


How is it that today is the 19th of January already?

I turned 45 today and it doesn’t bother me at all.  I am grateful for all the years that I have lived. I know that many people have a crisis at about this age and that is understandable.  It is hard to think that most of your life is behind you and to look at yourself and wonder if this is all there is.

But I am comfortable with who I am.  I wear sequined Minnie Ears and scream like a loony while riding The Matterhorn at Disneyland.  I make up moves to “Safety Dance” with my kids in the kitchen.  I am learning that I cannot change how people act, but I can change how I react to them.  I am trying to give grace everywhere I can, but to accept that sometimes you need to walk away.  Or run.

I will never win housekeeping awards, but my home is filled with love and laughter.  I know which one I like better.

I cry unashamedly during “Tangled”.  I color my hair. I think Captain Hook in “Once Upon A Time” is dreamy.  But there is nothing better in this whole world than being held by the man who knows why I cry and who would love me no matter what my hair looks like. (He also tolerates my fanmom crush.)

I worry more about my weight than my age, but at the end of the day, neither number matters.

I may die tomorrow or I may have another 45 years left.  Hopefully something in between.  But whatever happens, I hope that people will say that I lived well, laughed often and loved much.

Yes, this is me at 45.


Full Stop

I totally fell off the face of the earth.  What happened to me?  I got bronchitis.  Seriously.


It’s true.  Ain’t NOBODY got time for that. My life ground to a complete and full stop.  I would drive Pumpkin Girl to her summer dance class and that would do me in.  I spent a good 4 weeks lying on my bed, watching movies on YouTube or Netflix. At the end of the day I would be completely exhausted.

And then, just when I was feeling better, I caught a cold which tried to kill me.  I hauled my sad self back to urgent care, where I discovered that I still had bronchitis and also a sinus infection.

In the end, I was sick for 42 days in a row.  I’m not a good patient and I was feeling very sorry for myself.  It wasn’t pretty. And did I mention that both Phil and Boo were gone for a good portion of this time, and Pumpkin Girl was at class all day?  Just me, my phlegm and my little boys.  Worst. Summer. Ever.

But I’m back now, my energy levels have almost returned and I’m not even taking OTC meds anymore.

Loss and Recovery

Seven years later and I think I can talk about this.

One of my very first blog posts was about my favorite bookmark.  I’d had it since I was a little girl.  It was always in my favorite book of the moment.  It had aged over time and gotten wrinkled.  At some point I had gotten an ink mark on it and I tried to cover it with some White-Out.  Unfortunately, I didn’t realize that the paper wasn’t actually white, so my repair probably made it worse. I covered it with Contact Paper to protect it from further assaults.

My bookmark had no real value, other than I loved it.  I actually I have a whole collection of bookmarks from my childhood…somewhere around here.  But this one was special.  Over the years it would sort of float around, get lost and get found again.  But I always found it.

When I was young and would check out 15 or so books from the library at a time, I learned to check each book quickly for bookmarks before returning them.  I have done this faithfully my entire life.  Without fail.  Never.

And then it happened.  My favorite bookmark was being used in a book I was reading to the children.  A highly illustrated, glossy page edition of “Alice in Wonderland”, if I remember correctly. The children went to library with their dad and that particular book needed to be renewed.

It was not checked for bookmarks.

My bookmark did not return.

It seems silly, doesn’t it, to grieve over something like that.  I could delve deeply into my mind and explain it all to you, but I won’t.  I will sum it up, though.  It has to do not only with the memories of a lifetime of wonderful books but with the way I take care of the people and things that I love. Or fail to take care of them, through no fault of my own.

Pumpkin Girl says I have a wonderfully tragic back-story.  She’s right. Losing the bookmark symbolized so many other things, which is why it has taken me this long to talk about it.

My bookmark is gone.  There, I’ve said it.

The one saving grace was that I had scanned it for this blog which meant that I still have the little illustration.  I tried printing it off, but it came out fuzzy so I gave up and put it out of my mind.

A few years later I tried again but it was still fuzzy, even with my mad Photoshop skillz.

And now I’ve figured it out.  I recreated it.  It’s not the same, but it is close. I can put that particular loss behind me.  And I can make Pumpkin Girl her own copy.


A Month of Instagram: January 2014

It was a cold month.

A Month of Instagram1.  New Year’s morning tradition: Eggnog Puffed Pancake
2.  I hung Becca’s rainbow fairy mobile in my new craft room
3.  70 degree difference between us and Disneyland
4.  Dinner is happy to see us (pancakes made on Phil’s new griddle)
5.  Someone made off with my new Ikea trash baskets
6.  LTC Freeze (front and center with the green scarf) has amassed his army.
7.  Asleep with his weapon – a Marine in the making?
8.  I don’t know how his hair does this. My grandpa would have said he has wavy hair…because it stands up and waves.
9.  Forecast high of 61…my boys wear shorts.
10.  Furby play date on my bed.
11.  Boo built me this chair for my craft room. I heart him.
12.  Building lockets with my daughter.
13.  Not quite “light snow”. #ilovewinter #ilovecolorado
14.  Malibu light wishing it was in Malibu.

A Month of Instagram: November 2013

Yeah, I’m a little behind.


1.  Because nothing says “Birth of Christ” like a sparkly, light up pig.  In a Santa hat.
2.  20 years of service will tire a guy out.
3.  We’re getting close! (at the time)
4.  Two of my favorite men.
5. Starter kit!
6.  There was a ghost in my pork chop.
7.  Getting Five Guys after a long rehearsal.
8.  Out for a lunch date?  I found these two about a block from my house.
9.  Asleep standing up.
10.  Bliss
11.  What can I say? I love this girl!  (text says Follow Your Heart)
12. Just a few more days! (at the time).  (text says This Is the Year)
13.  Rainbow plates ready to serve pumpkin pie.

A New Start

Are you excited for a new year? Each December I come up with the usual good intentions of being more organized in the house, with homeschooling and life in general.  This year it’s happening!  No really, it is!

100DaysI found an ebook called “100 Days of a New Year” which is getting me really motivated! I like that each day’s assignment is actually something attainable, rather than telling you to clean out the garage in a single day.  You can get a copy of “100 Days of a New Year” here: ListPlanIt.  (disclaimer: it’s an affiliate link) Take a look around the rest of the site, too.  She’s got a lot of good stuff there.


And don’t forget Pumpkin Girl Designs 2014 Planner Pages!  We’ve got weekly and monthly printable calendars in full page, half page and Filofax personal size.  I also added menu planning pages and an add-on set that includes daily pages, contacts page, year at a glance and dates to remember.

Add-Ons Overview 2014

I’ve been using my own planner for about 5 months now and it’s made a huge difference in my life.  Just having a single To Do list in one place keeps me from going off the deep end. I also added a section where I kept notes on all our holiday preparations.  Over the next few days I’m taking those notes and turning them into the beginnings of my holiday planner for next Christmas.  That’s my plan, at least.  I’m hoping for the calmest, lowest key holiday season yet.

In Search of the Perfect Planner

It’s the time of year where I go in search of the perfect planner. I feel like Lancelot searching for the Holy Grail – I know it’s out there, I just can’t find it. I’m a fan of the academic year calendars so I can write in an entire school year’s worth of activities at once. Those calendars and planners come out in July or August, so it is time to mount up and seek glory, er, go shopping.

My favorite format so far has been Amy Knapp’s Family Organizer. It has one week at a time on the right side of the planner, with a to-do list on the left hand side. Each day has enough space to write what I need and I love keeping a running to-do list on the other side. This is by far my most favorite ever layout. It has a spiral binding so it lays flat. Honestly, without some sort of lay flat binding, I won’t even look at a planner.


The problem with the Family organizer is…well, it’s kind of plain. I’m all for a clean, uncluttered look, but this one needs some oomph. So I went in search of something pretty. And pink. Pumpkin Girl says pink is my signature color.

I didn’t find pink, but I did find Sandra Boynton’s Mom’s Family Desk Planner . (Link goes to, but I don’t get compensated at all.) The right side has the week’s calendar, the left side has a full color Sandra Boynton cartoon. It really doesn’t get more fun than that. I wanted to fall in love, but I could only get as far as “really like.” Even though the included stickers are the cutest ones out there, I missed the to-do list every week. I wish Sandra Boynton would sell the calendar stickers separately and more of them. The set with the calendar only came with 5 “dance class” stickers. Really? Who only takes 5 dance classes? Pumpkin Girl takes 5 classes a week.


If only I could get the cute and fun design Sandra Boynton’s planner with the functional layout of Amy Knapp’s organizer, my quest would be complete and I could die happy.

I have scoured the Internet looking for my perfect planner. Only Moleskine has the week plus to-do list layout that I like. But not spiral bound and sort of plain. Lots of pretty planner pages are available to purchase and download on etsy, but none had the layout I wanted.

What’s a girl do to? I’ll show you next time. Until then, do you have a favorite planner or calendar?

I Got Older

I had a birthday last weekend, as I do this time of year. And because I’m so special, Monday was a holiday, too. You’re welcome.

I bought myself a cake from the local Danish bakery. I think they’re Danish. They have some long name with lots of letters and a pronunciation that has little to do with all those letters. Normally that would have annoyed me – buying my own cake, not trying to pronounce the name – but I am trying to grow in this area. I’ve probably reached the halfway point in my life, so I’m just going to buy whatever cake I want and get over myself.

With some well placed, if not subtle, hints and an Amazon wish list, I received some very nice gifts from my family. My kids replaced the cookbook they carelessly and unknowingly got computer ink all over. How did they do this? I know not. But now I have a new one, so it’s all good. A friend left some See’s lollipops on my front door.  How did she know these were a staple of my childhood? Hubby bought me the 25th anniversary Phantom of the Opera production DVD. It’s fabulous! Have you seen it? If not, go right this moment and put it in your Netflix queue. You can stream it tonight! I’ve totally hooked Pumpkin Girl on it. Now when I break into song, she’s likely to join me. “I gave you my music, made your song take wing…”

Oh, and Philip brought me roses, too!

Then Red Robin (the restaurant) totally tried to ruin my day. We decided to go there for dinner. They gave us a 10-15 minute wait time. We probably only go there once a year and they are always busy, but we never have to wait all that long. This time, however, we waited 35 minutes to be seated. They kept telling us we were next for a big table. I was super annoyed, but willing to give them a chance, but I was standing up and getting ready to leave when I could hear they were getting ready to call us. So we got to our table and placed an order for appetizers and drinks. Another group was seated next to us shortly after we were seated and they placed their order, too. Fifteen minutes later, we had no drinks and no food and had not placed our main order. Then the table next to us got their appetizers, which happened to be the same one we ordered. That was the final straw. We ended up walking out before anything came to our table. By this time it was nearly 7 PM, we were all very hungry and I was pretty angry.

We salvaged our evening with food from Sonic (great service there!), lots of laughter and my chocolate raspberry cake.

Burnt Out

I’ll admit it, I’m burnt out.  This homeschooling gig has finally gotten to me and for the first time since we started,  we are taking the whole summer off and I’m looking forward to it.

I’m so tired.  I’m going through the motions.  There are so many other things I need to be doing – admittedly, none are as important – and they nag at me daily.

I’m an introvert and I need time alone every single day for my mental health.  I’m not getting it and I can feel the affects.

And sometimes this blog feels like a burden, like it is something I have to be doing.  Just one more thing on the never-ending list.  I don’t want it to be like that.

I will trudge along with the schooling until we get to the point where we can stop for the summer.  A couple of more weeks.  I can manage that.

Then I will focus on my list, take care of those things that have languished over the last several months. Get some rest, take care of me for awhile.  See if my blogging mojo comes back.  I bet it does.

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