Where’s my car???

Our car was supposed to come in by July 12th but apparently it’s lost somewhere in the wide world of shipping. It could be sunk to the bottom of the ocean for all we know and I’m not even kidding. The last time we actually got a real human on the phone they said they were confident they would locate it “soon.” I was a little surprised at Jason’s hopeful regurgitation of this news. “Don’t worry babe,” he said, “They said it should be here soon.”

Have I just gotten overly cynical in my 10+ years of working under the federal government, because I kind of laughed at Jason. When the powers that be can’t give you a date and try to band aide the issue with “soon” it’s kind of like the doctor telling you that a bone marrow test might be a little “uncomfortable.” They have no idea where Big Green is. Until he’s located and delivered to Washington state (via Houston) the kids and I are pleasantly stuck here taking advantage of my family and seriously outstaying our welcome. My sister Kerry’s family is headed for sainthood, and I have to say that being here has prompted me to make a few new and improved parenting goals. Thanks to their good example my kids get a time-out if they leave a dish on the table for me to clean up. Why didn’t I think of that before??

Back to the auto zone, we just got a used Jetta wagon for Jason, it’s a TDI which means diesel and 45+ miles to the gallon. Jason dragged me all over the northwest for an entire week hunting for the best bang for his muffler until he finally happened upon some poor Russian dude who had exactly what he wanted (actually this was the fourth Russian dude we’d met selling a TDI). I pitied the fool when Jason started the haggling process. The guy was practically in tears by the time they were done and Jason managed to get a car for $2000 less than we had budgeted. We need to get the windows tinted ASAP so at least there’s a little money for that.

This is the second in our gently used car buying spree. In Germany we bought Big Green, a Ford Excursion we found on the Lemon Lot before we moved. It’s a loaded 2005 and only had 84K miles on it, plus it’s a diesel. The poor guy who took it to Germany didn’t realize that you can’t get very far with them in Europe unless you want to pay the funeral costs for all the innocent old German ladies you’ll kill while driving through the villages. His family is now grown and the car had been sitting still for years.

Talk about a buffalo hunt. The moment Jason got behind the wheel of that massive beast he started to giggle, which kind of ruined the effect. He wanted me to test drive it (since it’s apparently going to be my car) and I will admit there was fear in my eyes when he boosted me into the driver’s seat. I didn’t take it out of the parking lot because it was so out of control massive. We kind of got a disgusting price for it because the man just wanted to get rid of it and no one else would take it. Funny, apparently they have a bit of a cult following here in the states.

Driving Big Green through villages is a panic attack waiting to happen because I swear that car has a mind of it’s own. You want to go one way but the car is already doing something else so you just have to hold on and go with it. Turning? Oh! Yes! Right! Hold on kids it looks like we’re taking the autobahn again. I think that car is smarter than me. But now that I’m back in the states I feel like the roads might be able to contain it. Some.

So now I’m just waiting. Jason took the Jetta and left this weekend for Vegas via Utah to get house keys before he heads back to Germany for a few days. I’m wishing we were all with him. Our fun summer plans that included a week or two in Utah have been completely thwarted and that bugs. But, I’m sure the Lord has us here for a reason so I’m trying to find something useful to do with my time (the kids pray every day that they’ll please find Big Green so we can have our car back).

I need to be better about tracking my time here.

house hunting and fighting makes for a great get-away

I need to write, I want to write, I write in my head all day long but unfortunately my computer is floating around in the middle of the ocean on the way to Las Vegas and I have nothing to write on. It should be there by mid to late August. In the meantime I’m at the whims of people in my family with keyboards and internet.

So we got a house in Las Vegas. Last week Jason and I took five days off from the kids and our wonderful Northwest vacation and actually paid money to spend a week in…the desert. I can think of a lot of words for Las Vegas but I’m going to stick with that one. Let’s just say it was hot. Also, it was really warm outside. Then there was the heat to deal with. And if I hear my husband lecture me one more time about the values of dry heat I might just stick him with a hot poker–aka any pointy metallic item left outside for more than 2 minutes in the pounding Las Vegas sun. And yes, we lived in Maryland so I know what humidity feels like. Still going to complain.

The good news is we finally and accidentally found the best real estate dude who found us the best rental. This took us a few try’s including spending a morning with an old man who didn’t really care about showing us houses but instead wanted to regale us with stories about his childhood investigative exploits. Serious. Burned an entire morning trying to get away from him, bless his heart. (If I sound cranky it’s because heat makes me cranky.)

But the evening of our first day after seeing only 6 houses we drove into our future neighborhood, passed the chapel on the way in, and instinctively knew–before even seeing the home–that It Was The Place. We took one look at the big green cesspool in the backyard and high-fived. Once they get the gators out of it and scrub it up real pretty it’s going to be perfect. The house is smaller than my 6 levels of German tile, only 2 floors and about 2300 square feet, but it’s going to be just right. Huge backyard for Las Vegas and none of the neighbors can see our pool which is important to me. I’m just not comfortable with the fish bowl that makes up most of the suburban areas we saw. But the best part is we found a place in Henderson relatively close to Jason’s work. Hallelujah for a short commute.

It was a good thing we took five days because renting a home is not easy. This is the first time we’ve rented since we were newlyweds and we had no idea it was such a lengthy process. Our lease didn’t finally materialize until our last day there. Hoops, cashier’s checks, stuck at Hash House A Go-Go while we waited…such a tough life.

I don’t think the week would have been complete, however, had we not had a good solid disagreement, also known as a knock-down-drag-out-kick-you-out-of-the-car-and-threaten-to-drive-to-Pensicola fight. Personally, I think Jason and I have been getting along way too well during this move. So well that in hindsight you might even say we were apathetic. Now that would be a tragedy. Thank goodness for miscommunication and hypersensitivity, our marriage is safe again.

For the record, if you happen to have one of those Celestial marriages that never fights or disagrees stop reading about a paragraph ago and go kiss your spouse. Good on you.

My poor husband. Sometimes I think he’s right when he tells me I’m bat crazy and oversensitive. Honestly, when I think of how mad I got about his opinion on end table decor it’s mostly embarrassing and incredibly stupidifeeling, which is a word that describes how stupid you feel when you realize it honestly was ALL YOUR FAULT.

However, it’s a good thing Jason isn’t perfect either or he would have left me a long time ago. In fact, he actually tried to leave by way of the car door and chose to walk the 5 miles back to where we were staying in order to cool off in the 107 degree heat instead of driving in the air conditioned car where we could fight in a climate controlled environment. I might have stealthily parked and watched his pilgrimage in case he calmed down and wanted a ride.

He didn’t.

But the good news is that despite the merry-go-round of apologies–you’re ready to say sorry but they’re not ready to forgive so then you get mad again and then they say sorry but you’re not ready to forgive so they get mad again–and despite the fact that I had a few moments where I considered taking the rental car and leaving him afoot for the rest of the week, by some miracle of dual humility we finally decided to love each other and kept our date night to do a session at the temple (which was probably the reason we got in such a silly fight to begin with, that darn devil).

Making up is the best, most wonderful thing ever. There is nothing better than holding my sweetheart’s hand and knowing that he’s determined to keep me, hypersensitivity and all. Thank goodness for my favorite two phrases, “I’m sorry” and “I’m sorry too.”

So here we are, back in Elma at the farm waiting for my Sister in law Heather to come for a few days before we wrap up our trip and head south. We are constantly drawn out to our little ten acres to swim in the pond or check the fresh cut hay or stand around at twilight looking at the view and getting bitten by mosquitoes. It’s amazing to feel like we have a place in this world.

Can’t wait to someday get home.

Can’t get out of bed…

The closer we come to leaving here the harder it is for me to get out of bed in the morning. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a morning person on a good day but habit/kids/need to pee usually has me up and running by 8 at the latest. Okay 9.

I am having a hard time. Family seems to make me feel better, Jason makes me feel better, but as soon as we start looking at houses in Vegas and talking about the logistics of our life I get panicky. That and the fact that all of our homes are currently up in the air: Trying to sell our Layton house, trying to find another renter for our German house (the guy was a total snarf bag), trying to find a place to live in Las Vegas that doesn’t have a school rating of 2. All of these things chase me under my covers and keep me from putting on a bra, makeup or contacts.

I don’t do well when I feel anxious AND ugly. Part of my anxiety could also be due to the wild diet pills I started taking this week but I’ve got to do something besides yoga. Honestly though, my weight gain and loss is at the bottom of my priority list right now. I just need to get through this summer still smiling.

Jason informed me that he’s scheduled to leave for training on Aug 17th and our household goods will arrive on August 22nd. I don’t know who is going to move boxes for me or help me hang things or figure out how to shift the couches around. Everything about Las Vegas makes me upset. I keep telling myself that I can do this, it’s not going to be as hard as our shift to Germany was. I can think of a few friends who live there and will probably be willing to come help me but even that feels distant and hypothetical.

I’m not the only one struggling in my family. Little Rex’s food anxiety is at an all time high. He’s going to be 9 this month and I’ve got to say, I’m about done with his finicky eating. Last night we made bean burritos for all the grandkids. Bean burritos, people. Beans, cheese, tortilla. Can I hear a Taco Bell? Rex has eaten bean burritos hundreds of times, it’s supposed to be on the short list of “food Rex will eat.” The night before we had a big episode over his unwillingness to try the stroganoff and he missed out on dinner and ice cream because he wouldn’t even take one tiny bite. The kid was practically curled up in the fetal position by the time dinner was over. What the heck?

Last night he did the exact same thing. It might have brought out the Ms. Hannigan in me and I might have seriously threatened to take his birthday away. I told him that if he couldn’t eat that burrito then he wasn’t ready to turn 9. Birthdays are a really big deal to Rex. But even that pressure didn’t pry his mouth open long enough to even taste his plain old burrito. So I did what any good parent would do and revoked all birthday privileges and told him to go sit in the car until it was time to leave. Cause that’s obviously the best way to handle a kid who’s having an anxiety attack.

Twenty minutes later Jason and the boys came into the kitchen with Rex flanked by his dad and brother who were both holding his hands. Poor Rexy, his face was puffy from tears and I could see that they’d been working with him. Is it bad to say I didn’t feel bad for him? I crossed my arms and moved out of the way. Jason quickly made him a new burrito and cut it in thirds while I watched. They sat down like some kind of support group and Harrison put his hand on Rex’s shoulder.

“Trust your heart,” he whispered to Rex, patting his shoulder and cheering him on. Don’t ask me what the heart had to do with eating a bean burrito but I stood to the side and watched my sons make it through this trial with love and teamwork and random heart logic, something I hadn’t been willing to think of. By the time Rex was done the burrito wedge had been eaten and my boys were fist bumping and hugging like Rex had just walked a tight rope over a ravine.

Maybe that’s all I need to do right now. Trust my heart and let my little family support me through this trial. I do feel better just sitting and writing it out. I might be able to go put some lipstick on after all.

Home.

We have been home for two weeks now and I’ve come to the conclusion that I spent the first week in hiding. I’ve spent three years being mostly untouchable and unreachable to family and friends stateside and now that I’m home the thought of anyone and everyone being able to get a hold of me during regular daylight hours makes me claustrophobic. I’m having a bit of a readjustment and that’s okay.

I cried the morning I left Germany. I sobbed my way to the airport and the kids and I sang out goodbyes to every landmark we passed. I didn’t know how we were going to handle this transition.

But the instant we hit the ground in Seattle Germany was history.

Friends, we are home and America is incredible. It’s been two weeks and the only thing I’ve missed about Germany is Jason. He flew in last night and my family is finally together again. I drive down the road and cry while I listen to country music, I hug my Daddy every single day and laugh when my kids come in from the creek covered in mud because they’ve been trying to float a log.

We’re spending most of our summer limbo time in Elma, WA where my family lives. They’re spread around the area on a collection of hobby farms. My parents live in a farmhouse on 100 acres with cows that like to chase small children. This time home we opted to stay out at my sister Kerry’s apartment. It’s been…dream like. We have cousins all over town, up the hill and down the road and out the back and just about any direction you can point a mopey child.

Harrison has suddenly developed a love for football courtesy of his 6 boy cousins who dragged him outside our first day here and made him learn to catch and throw. I watched my girls playing up at Aunt Sara’s with five of their little girl cousins on Saturday and could hardly stand how happy little girls in swim suits running through the sprinkler made me feel. Or maybe it’s the hours of long conversation I’ve logged with my sisters and my suddenly older nieces, Megan and Diana and Allison who went and grew up while I was gone. We have all these generations of girls and I have missed this so much.

I’m ready to be home. I want to be in Elma and I never want to leave. When I think of all the years that I swore I’d never come back because a small town could never make me happy…what a dummy I was. It’s not places it’s people, specifically MY people. We drive out to our farm every few days and walk around the field planning our house and our barn and our horse pasture and where we’ll put the well and the sewer.

I spent so many years suffering from extreme wanderlust. It was a painful thing, a weight in my chest, a dog that chased me everywhere I went. Germany was the first place we’ve ever lived that I felt comfortable and happy and I was so afraid that when we left I’d lose that peace.

But here, waking up with my sister Kerry letting the dog out and listening to my girls follow her to go feed the cows and chickens, watching Harrison and Uncle Mathew during lawn mowing lessons, sitting in my mom’s kitchen and remembering that I can go hug my Dad whenever I want…

This is life. This is the life I want. This is where I want to be.

I am home and it’s amazing.

 

Changed for good.

I have 10 bags to pack, 6 loads of laundry to do, toy sorting, medicine sorting, swim sorting, crayon sorting, brain sorting…so obviously I decided the best place to start would be here, blogging. It was either sink into a facebook void or document this new and slightly disturbing level of procrastination that I have achieved. It’s time for the ball, Christy, and I haven’t even washed my hair…

Yesterday Jason and I kind of freaked out and went on a fleamarket shopping spree. We might have purchased two CooCoo clocks (one for my sister Barbie), 6 old light fixtures, decorative plates, gifts for my parents, and oh yes, AN ENTIRE BEDROOM SET FOR THE GIRLS. Complete with matching twin beds, armoire, vanity, nightstands, circa 1910, mint condition. Cuz we’re crazy.

It’s probably a good thing that we’re leaving before we’re completely broke. As it is I’ll likely have to get myself a job as a gas station attendant so I can save money for that house we’re planning to build around our 27 old light fixtures and 18000 pounds of antique European furniture.

Jason took the kids to church so I could have a few hours to blow through the house and get the bulk of our packing done yet I find myself feeling incredibly wistful and my heart feels swollen every time I think about what we’re about to do. On Friday I went to the world’s most wonderful birthday party for one of my girlfriends where we danced for hours then sat at a table and talked about life and love and children and how much we’re going to miss each other. It’s a shake down summer here for my circle of girls, so many of us are being thrown to the wind.

I have never, ever in my life met a group of women like this bunch in Germany, and not just my church girlfriends. There aren’t words to describe the love and strength and guts I’ve seen over here these last three years.  Never have I known more willing friendships or faster hugs, women who crack open their experience and let everyone in. My dining room runneth over with families and friends we’ve had in our home, many have claimed an almost-family place in our lives and I know, I know know know we will see so many again for  pass throughs.

On this gorgeous last Sabbath here in Germany my heart is pretty ready to explode with gratitude to Heavenly Father. Yes, I’m skipping church to pack which is slightly hypocritical and a teensy bit evil, but I feel like singing praises to God for the coolest three years of my life. You can’t tell me there isn’t power in faithful goal setting especially when you’re trying to keep it in line with what the Big Man knows is best for you. I decided when I was in 7th grade during Mr. Roberts world history class that I wanted to see the world for myself. Flipping back through my many journals I have to laugh at all the country lists and must-see’s I came up with.

I did it. It happened. We have visited 26 countries in the last three years and most of them weren’t even on my radar when I was 13. That’s just a quick count and I’ve probably forgotten at least one or two. This journey has been epic.

I know what the next five weeks will look like but after that it gets really hazy, kind of like heat wave in the desert hazy. Don’t know what my house will look like, don’t know what my neighborhood will look like, don’t know if there will be willing friends or not. But I do know that there’s an awesome place in Las Vegas just waiting for us to find it. I feel it in my bones under all the croissant butterfat that I’m taking home around my waist line. In fact, I can’t wait to get to Vegas where that glorious devil sun will melt away all my troubles so I can wear my clothes again. Vanity first, friends, vanity first.

So off we go into the wild blue yonder once again. Farewell Germany, farewell my sweet German neighbors who after three years I finally found out your first name yesterday (she told me the first time I met her and I couldn’t remember it until Jason told me yesterday). I’m going home such a different girl then the one who came here.

To all my dear friends here in Germany, I love you. Thank you. God speed us all in our travels and trials, and I will take a quote from my two favorite witches in parting:

“Who can say if I’ve been changed for the better…I do believe I have been changed for the better…but…because I knew you, because I knew you, I have been changed for good.”

Time to click my heels

Oh my gosh I think my brain is going to explode. This is either due to the weight of 148 things I have to do in the next four hours or the four diet coke’s I chugged in the last two hours.

I walk around my house frantically painting white on white and monologuing all the things I need to blog about in my head. I tried to get on earlier this week to write something but I forgot my password and after three attempts got locked out. That’s a sign.

So here’s what is happening in my life and my brain in no particular order. Also I’m typing really fast so forgive the grammatical errors, I think my fingers might start shooting sparks from all this caffeine.

1. I got kicked out of Harrison’s principal’s office for telling her her skirts are too short and she dresses too immodestly. I wasn’t trying to be mean or rude, but if all the moms were secretly taking snapshots of my outfits and talking about me behind my back I think I’d want to know. Apparently she didn’t feel the same way. Whoops.

2. I’m having Target anxiety. Here’s the thing about Germany. Say your kid is having a birthday party and you want to buy cute straws but you’ve only got four days until the party so there isn’t time to order them off Amazon. You then have to comb the countryside for a store that sells party supplies only to come home strawless at the end of the day and decide the kids can just tip the stupid cups if they’re thirsty. This scenario happens all. The. Time. With everything. I don’t even want to talk about trying to find a wreath. That was a two week shopping trip I never want to take again.

But in the states all you have to do is fall out your front door to collect the mail and you come back inside with $150 worth of pointless crap from Walmart. It’s terrifying. Shopping over here isn’t fun. Spending money in euro and trying to convert everything to dollars hurts my brain. Thinking you’re getting a good price until you see the exchange rate is exhausting. Germany has lots of things to buy and I know it’s all here somewhere, but half the time you go into a warehouse and try to tell someone what you need only to come out with a shower curtain instead of a shovel because things got lost in translation and it was just easier to buy the darn thing.

I’m afraid to go home. I’m afraid of the commercialism. I don’t like the way America makes me feel like I should be constantly redecorating my house and my children and my makeup counter and my life.

3. I’ve been stuck in the German countryside for three years. I remember when I first came we spent a year and a half without television. I’ve filled my days with things like sewing doll clothes and quilts and cleaning cleaning cleaning my big jolly house. We eat dinner at the table at least four times a week, the kids and I have the best and the worst discussions during our 30 minute car rides into base where we talk about school and God and animals and fights and singing. Sometimes they argue during the trip in. Sometimes we just listen to the South Pacific soundtrack. But the point is I have this guaranteed time where my kids have no distractions and they’re locked in the car with me to talk about whatever we want to talk about. I’m going to miss this. Germany has taught me how to be a stay at home mom with no one to yammer on the phone to during the day. My cell phone is frequently ignored on a pile of laundry for hours at a time, there is no daytime talk show routine or play date routine or Michaels runs. It’s just me and my kids and our big German haus.

4. I have like four vacations I need to blog about so we won’t forget them. Later. Please, later. If my brain can just hold on to those memories a little bit longer…

5. We’re currently trying to paint and fix and move out of our Germany house, sell our Utah house, pack for our gap summer in Washington, and find a Las Vegas house. Brain explosion right there.

6. I’m leaving my girlfriends. I’m leaving my favorite three years. I’m leaving my pastries and flohmarkts and Mediterranean cruises and long drives through the German countryside. I hate leaving.

7. I’m coming home to my family. I’m coming home to wide open highways and Costco and oh my goodness, the English language!! Give me a country filled with people who speak American English and I’ll give you a happy girl. I love coming home. I don’t know. After 3 years I’m just really excited to take my puppies back home to frosty’s and dollar drinks at McDonalds. Do they even still have those??

5 days left…there’s no place like home…there’s no place like home…there’s no place like home…

 

 

 

Finding America and Shemballah

As of last night we are officially flying home to America on June 9th, 2014. This is thrilling and exciting and coming super fast which I’m really happy about.

So happy that all I want to do is lie in bed and eat cookies. It’s not as comfortable as it sounds.

I’ve got this huge house and I swear I’ve been trying to my darndest to wade through the flotsam and get the jetsam ready to ship. My garage is a living flohmarkt (garage sale) and I keep leaving the doors open in hopes that people will just come steal stuff. It would be so nice if I could simply drop it off any old time at the Good Will but that kind of doesn’t happen here. The Airman’s attic loves used stuff…when they’re open. That is usually the fourth full moon of every leap year when the lilly blooms hot pink and Rex eats green beans with a smile.

And I want to sit down and write but every time I do all I can think about is my red hair. It’s a farce. I’m not a red head. I was loving it so much the first six weeks that this last time I went hard core red. I really liked it…until I saw pictures from our Ireland vacation. All I could do was stare at that strange woman standing next to Jason and wonder how I missed such a great vacation.

Then it struck me; what if I die with red hair? What if they bury me as A REDHEAD?? I can’t stand it, it would be such a lie. If my body ever got exumed my family would say, “Nope, not her. She was a blonde.” And what about getting resurrected? Would I come out a red head forever? No. No way, this has to go. Call it part of my pre-move identity crisis, I need blond and I need it badly. I’m such a fraud.

With so much to think about and worry about (hair, house, hair, move, hair, cookies) I did what any sane person would do and downloaded a book today. Not just any book, my sister Jenny’s new book Finding Shemballah. It’s the sequal to her first book, Laryn Rising and might be my favorite sequal ever and that includes Scarlett.

Okay, it’s a toss up with Scarlett. Especially now that I’ve ridden horses on the coast of Ireland like a true wild Irish lass (which I’m not but kind of am in my unofficially Irish heart). Have I  mentioned that yet? Seriously, flew across the beach on my beautiful big Gypsy Cob Hugo with my red hair stuffed in my helmet feeling not a little like Merida. And when that lovely cob opened up and really pounded sand I might have howled like a celtic banshee.

But back to the book, the link is HERE and it is such a wonderful finish to a cool story. I like the first book ____________this much and the second book _______________________this much because it ties them together so perfectly.

finding shemballah

Also my sister isn’t giving me anything or being particularly nice just because I’m putting this out there, I just think she’s an amazing writer.

So go and procrastinate and check out her fantastic books. They’re incredible.

I’ll go not pack my house.

 

Things to weep about

We had a moment in England that I almost forgot about.

We spent the last four days of our trip in London. On the final day of sight seeing we decided to bite the tube and take the kids on the downtown stroll past all the biggies.

London isn’t my city. I didn’t enjoy the hustle and bustle, I didn’t find it charming and mostly, it wasn’t Paris. But I respect it and I was willing to take my very tired feet on one more little trek. We did the bridge, listened to the clock chime 3 o’clock and obediently followed Rick Steves’ suggested walking trail.

It was too warm for my coat and the kids wanted second lunch. I was nearly out of pounds (the money kind) and we were all pretty much done with each other. Jason was on one side of the four kids and I was on the other, if that tells you anything. I wanted to get back to the tube and back to our shabby dorm style room for a nap–hahahahaha. Right.

I stopped paying attention to not stepping on the cracks (seriously, does that game ever get old?) in time to look up and see an older woman about 10 yards ahead of me standing against a building with her shoulders shaking with what seemed to be sobs. It really startled me. The parade was wide however so we passed her without the children noticing.

But I couldn’t help it, I had to turn around. I know, nosy Americans can’t keep theirselves to theirselves. I walked up and just…hugged her.

And she cried.

And I cried.

Then I gently asked if she was ok to see what we were crying about.

“I just…really miss my husband,” she said. “We always traveled together.”

Then we cried a little harder and hugged a little more and spoke for another minute before I moved on.

I held Jason’s hand the rest of the afternoon. It was one of those moments when you think, “I should pray for that person,” but instead of just thinking of it I really did go right on ahead and pray. I’m lucky to have someone to travel with, it would be a lonely world without him.

 

50 shades of RED

I am blond. I don’t mean I’m stupid blond or I’m vain blond or I only wear high heels because I’m blond…

Oh wait.

Anyway, there are levels of blondness that have nothing to do with hair color. There are plenty of heads out there who purchase their blond from a salon or a drug store. It’s like a virus. Sometimes it’s just seasonal, a few highlights for summer, but sometimes it’s bacterial and those are really hard to get rid of. And rightfully, in some cases heads are adopted in because they have been blond for so long hey no longer know the real color of their hair. That’s legit. True blond right there.

I am in that rare group of Dark Blond with White eyebrows. This has allowed me to take certain bleaching liberties with my hair color that, due to the colorless shade of my unruly eyebrows, has meant I can legally sport all sorts of shockingly blond shades.

In the past I’ve been known to have PTSD if a stylist accidentally takes me too dark. I’m that kind of blond.

Until now.

Something has come over me. I woke up a few months ago, looked in the mirror and decided that the blond needed to go. Then I slapped myself and took a Prosaic because, come on. Who doesn’t want to be blond? It’s obviously the most superior shade in the universe and is known to bring wealth and happiness to all who come in contact with it. Ask Marilyn and her long list of scantily clad derivatives.

But this feeling wouldn’t let me go. It was time to do something different so I…

Went dark blond.

Big step. Kind of freaked me out a little.

I lived with my new dark blond locks for about two months before I finally decided to make a pinterest board and clear some of those unwanted red thoughts from my head.

Of course it just made me want it more.

So I did it. I went to my amazing hair girl Bree, who just happens to be brilliant with red and has turned half the girls at church into flame heads, and gave her the go to color me red. I’ve been living with it for 6 weeks now and I think that despite it’s rapidly fading qualities (happens when blonds go red) I kind of love it.

I went in this weekend and she recolored me red. This time I had her go a bit darker and ditched the blond highlighs so I could hold color longer. When I got  home my kids wanted to know who I was and when their blond mother was coming back. I’m rocking the Rasberry for at least 7 more washes.

Sadly, one of my sisters did not believe that it was real, Jenny in particular needed something more than a measly snap shot. So at 11:30 pm I made a little video to prove that yes, it’s red and yes, it’s real. If you are doubtful of my redness, check out the link.

Okay, I just checked the link. It’s really stupid so please don’t feel the need to watch it. Seriously. I made it for my sister when I was tired and silly and it should never be posted public anywhere.

 

When Dad is gone

You know, four years ago Jason was gone for work all the time. I can vividly remember sobbing against the garage wall with four screaming kids in the car and nights where I wanted to give myself an emotional epidural because it was all so exhausting.

But now that they’re all older it’s usually so much better. We pull together (kind of) and attempt to foster a togetherness-rocks kind of attitude. This method works at least 7% of the time so I can’t say it’s a complete waste of time.

I especially like our Family Circle of Love where we all stand and hold hands together for family prayer. Jason hates this and thinks it’s hoaky and refuses to participate when he’s home. I save it for his TDY’s.

After listening to General Conference I’m trying really hard to implement a few more Get The Kids To Heaven If I Have To Drag Them There Myself routines in hopes of giving them habits that might, if they’re lucky, help them through all this frequently difficult Earthly crap. Yes, there are moments of loveliness but really? Lots of dog poo to pick up and plenty of time warming the Repentance Bench.

Tonight I was attempting to study the scriptures with Harrison who was being totally sweet and receptive when June decided to Strike. This means her father has been gone for more than 72 hours and she misses him. It usually presents itself with some sort of destructive, disobedient act that brings out my inner Mother Monster.

I asked her three times to go up and put on jammies and get into bed so I could come snuggle. The third time I warned that if she did not obey, there would be NO snuggling. She came downstairs five minutes later with a paper mustache and little pointy devil beard taped to her face. I am not even kidding.

I might have screamed her up three flights of stairs before reverently returning to read the Bible with my OTHER child.

Three stories below her I could hear the damage in her room. I gave her ten minutes to calm down before I started hearing unsettling noises in her bathroom and had to take action.

She had ripped all the pictures off her walls and was tearing our bathroom apart in a completely wild way, having a full-blown meltdown.

She’s six and honestly, I wanted to kill her. No really, it’s a good thing I had just come from reading the scriptures or I might have tossed her out the top story window I was so angry.

Instead I calmly moved her back to her bed and informed her that if she got off again I was taking her to stay with someone else. And I totally meant it. Almost instantly I thought of how nice it would be to farm her out while Jason was gone. Kind of horrible of me isn’t it?

We calmed down and prayed together and she apologized a lot for her behavior. I went and got some of our snake oils to rub on her feet and we talked post-bad behavior talk.

I guess sometimes this whole mommy thing is really hard. Right when I think we’ve totally got this under control with Jason being gone she reminds me that, um, not really. Jason will be gone for four months this fall, slated to go right after we move our family halfway around the world.

Not looking forward to it.