Currently {Three Things Thursday 4/27/16}


A major goal this year is to engage this wonderful blogging community consistently. What better way than to link up with blog friends! Together, the three of us came up with Three Things Thursday. Just three things to talk or write about. Five seemed like too many and "one thing" was like we weren't even trying! So any three things that are on your mind. Any three pictures from Instagram. Three complaints about your day/week. Three of your favorite treats. Seriously. Any three things! 
So write it. Publish it. Yell it from the mountain tops! 
Just be sure you come back and link it up here!

For some extra fun follow us on Instagram for some three things posts! 
Use the #threethingsthursday, and let's start talking!
Absolute Mommy


There is this great writing prompt called "Currently", you can snag a copy here. I love it because when I'm at a loss as to what to blog about, I turn to the prompt. Instantly I can find a little inspiration, which is just enough to get my creative flow back. Here are three things that are "currently" happening in my life.

Currently:

Reading: Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty. 

HERE

O. M. G. you guys! At first I was a little iffy... Not sure if this was my kind of book. So far it's chapter after chapter of flashbacks and witness statements. Yup. Witness. Statements. We are getting little glimpses of motherhood and marriage and school politics down under (the book is set in Australia). I have to say it all sounds scarily familiar. Here is what I currently think about this book:

JUST TELL ME WHO DIED ALREADY!!!!  

I'm not even kidding... Okay, maybe I am. I can't take it anymore, and I can't read it fast enough to find out!

Watching: Orange is the New Black.
FIND THIS DELIGHT HERE ON ETSY!

I know. I'm seriously late to this party. But I had a feeling when I turned my life over to this show, I would absolutely turn my life over. Because it's on Netflix and I can watch an entire season if I choose. Which right now I can't. I can't even watch it when the kids are home because I can't chance them looking over my shoulder or hearing any of the dialog. I'm not complaining, the show is effing fantastic. Based on a true story which makes me want to read the book as well. Every show completely one ups the one before it, which I really love. It makes me laugh out loud every damn time. It's just, what would the other moms at drop off say? Not that I care, but doesn't some one's favorite show say a lot about them? Insert some laughing emojis here.

Playing: Weezer and The Red Hot Chili Peppers


I've been listening to Weezer's debut over and over in the car lately. My absolute favorite song is number 9. At least two of the songs on this CD have inspired short stories that may become long stories one day.

The Red Hot Chili Peppers have been a choice inspired by Anthony Kiedis's memoir. Despite that the book was published in 2005, I've been a fan since I was fourteen. It's the first CD I ever owned, a gift from my Dad for eighth grade graduation. I can't imagine giving my daughters a CD that included songs like "Breaking the Girl" and "Suck my Kiss" when they are fourteen, but I turned out just fine. The book has been on my list for years, but I finally broke down and bought it, and I'm so glad that I did. I could write an entire post on it, and I might, but I will say that reading it and then listening to their CDs is like hearing them for the first time. The stories and the life that was happening when they made this music is just insane and beautiful and chaotic. All the things I just love about music.


What are you "Currently" doing these days? Linking up with us I hope. 






Happy Birthday {Miss Mac turns six!}





Dear Miss Mac

Today you are six. This is the first year you have really noticed that it's your birthday. It's the first year you have counted down the days. It's the first year you have taken notice that April 26th is all about you.

Can I just tell you how much you have grown in the last year? This time last year you could only write "Mac". You weren't reading yet, and didn't really care for busy work. This year you finish your homework without fuss. You read twelve books this month, on your own, only asking for my signature after filling out your book log. You write at least two pages a night in your learning journal! That's more than mommy is writing right now! I'm so proud of you!

This year you also let your hair grow long. You've lost some teeth. Which I love because it makes your smile even cuter. You have decided that ruffles and sparkles are not for you, and that's fine. You've found yourself in leggings and tee shirts even if mom has to look the other way when you wear the really faded ones.

In the last year you have found your sense of humor and personality. You have finally figured out that we are never laughing at you, just laughing with you. You are sassy and sarcastic. You're a real practical joker. You act so much like me and daddy, which would be fine, but you're six and we're adults. The sarcasm and humor you have are rarely found on little ones your age. I love it though, even when you're so sassy and sharp with me. Even when you need to mind your tone... I love all of it.

Today I find myself wondering where the little four pound baby went. So tiny all bundled up, wearing preemie clothes for months! You are still so petite that I gave away your 3T shorts because they were no longer dress code friendly. That's another thing, thanks for agreeing to Bermuda length shorts this year. It saves us all a lot of trouble with the school principal.

I love that you love books, even the ones that sissy reads without pictures. That you still need my ear to play with when you fall asleep. That you love trucks and cars as much as Barbie and Elsa. That your favorite cartoon is Teen Titians Go.

Precious girl, I'm so very lucky that you picked me. When I chose your middle name I had no idea just how much grace you would give me. Thank you for re-teaching me the lessons of motherhood. You and your sister continue to school me every day. But with your grace, I'm better able to handle it. I'm better able to be myself.

Happy Birthday Mackenzie Grace. Every year is such a grand adventure with you. May every birthday wish come true.

Mommy loves you. So very much.


*********************************************************************************
Mackenzie Grace, minutes old.

Mackenzie turns six today and this day is one of the best days that ever happened. It was also one of the scariest. I had a postpartum hemorrhage after Mackenzie was born, and had an emergency DNC the day she was born. I lost almost two pints of blood. It is still one of the scariest things that's has ever happened to me. Because of all the events of that day, there are very few hospital pictures of us. Above is one of the rare ones. Every year on Mackenzie's birthday I celebrate and reminisce on all the blessings I have and have had since that day. Every year I am so thankful for this life and all those I share it with. 

It truly is a "birth" day for the both of us.

Last Week {Three Things Thursday 4/21}


A major goal this year is to engage this wonderful blogging community consistently. What better way than to link up with blog friends! Together, the three of us came up with Three Things Thursday. Just three things to talk or write about. Five seemed like too many and "one thing" was like we weren't even trying! So any three things that are on your mind. Any three pictures from Instagram. Three complaints about your day/week. Three of your favorite treats. Seriously. Any three things! 
So write it. Publish it. Yell it from the mountain tops! 
Just be sure you come back and link it up here!

For some extra fun follow us on Instagram for some three things posts! 
Use the #threethingsthursday, and let's start talking!

I'll be honest and tell you that this week my attention has been elsewhere. I swore to myself I was going to come here and tap on these keys and give you something fantastic... Then I picked up Anthony Kiedis' biography and life stopped. I'm not even joking. More on his book later, but I took out my highlighter again. It's that serious.

Back to the point, I find myself here, when I should be in bed, struggling for a story to tell. Well why not just tell you the truth, life has been busier than usual. And I'm not glorifying that I'm just putting it out there. I've also indulged in other loves like reading and watching some great TV. All day I've been pressed to think of what to post for my three things. Then as I'm saving my Instagram pictures, I'm overwhelmed by the inspiration. Pictures I had forgotten I took. Pictures that tell a larger story. Sometimes the inspiration is there, waiting for me to return. I'm okay with that.

Here are three things that happened last week, that I kind of loved.

ONE: Throw Back Thursday
I'm an only child so there are about a trillion pictures of me floating around my parents house. Little squares and rectangles that show me at all ages of my life. Some awkward. Some not as awkward as I thought they were. Last week my Dad decided to clean out the garage, and while doing so found a box that held some of my Mom's old work stuff. Mixed in with some outdated HR paperwork and pens and old birthday cards was this picture of my Mom and I. I'm five. I can see that we are at Fisherman's Wharf in Monterey, and I'm with my best buddy, Mom. I know that my Dad took the picture with his old 35mm that he wore around his neck everywhere. Mom filled in the blanks for me. It was the weekend that we came back from a trip to Southern California, my first trip to Disneyland. My Dad took us both out for a movie, Mr. Mom, and then to the wharf for lunch. That was pretty normal for us back in those days. Sundays were spent driving around Monterey or Carmel, and having lunch whenever the mood struck. While I don't remember any specifics of that day, I feel those types of memories. I know that I was happy and content. I know that the smile is genuine. That is why I felt so compelled to share the picture. It was such a distinct glimpse into the life of five year old me.


TWO: This face
This face. I tried for a solid five minutes to get a perfectly posed shot out of this one. Nah. That's not her style. From day one life has been on her terms, with me fighting every step of the way. Why? I have no idea. Except that we both want to be right, all the time. I see that. I accept that. Even when I'm yelling. But on this day, this face, I knew she was happy. She received an academic award at school, she had a cheering section at awards, that included some neighbors, and she got fro-yo to celebrate. This face makes me happy. It tells me that her personality is coming through. It tells me that, as always, there is no such thing as perfection with her. It reminds me that it's okay. It's okay to make this face. It's okay to cry those tears. It's okay that sometimes we yell and cry and fight and make a mess. This face. I work every day to make sure this face, continues to make this face.


THREE: Found on Caitlin's Phone
Caitlin doesn't actually have a real iPhone. I mean it's a phone, but it's just for games and, oh lookey there, pictures. This is one of the many I found on her phone, including #ootds. Yup. My eight year old is taking #ootds. This sort of sent the Hubbs into a tizzy, until I reminded him that she can't actually post them.
Back to the point: I love this picture of my two girls. They took it together in a quiet moment when they weren't fighting or screaming over who got to play Chewbacca. I'm not even kidding, that's actually happening on the daily. I love that they are just hamming it up, enjoying life, and most likely using their amazing imaginations. Pretending they are rock stars or movie stars, or maybe just a couple of gals taking selfies. Whatever. I don't care. The picture speaks volumes and I think I'll just put it on a shirt and wear it.


That's it for this week. Have a happy Thursday and maybe do these three things: 1- Link up with us! 2- Visit some of the blogs that linked up. 3- Leave some comments because bloggers love comments. 





What I Read {Three Things Thursday}


A major goal this year is to engage this wonderful blogging community consistently. What better way than to link up with blog friends! Together, the three of us came up with Three Things Thursday. Just three things to talk or write about. Five seemed like too many and "one thing" was like we weren't even trying! So any three things that are on your mind. Any three pictures from Instagram. Three complaints about your day/week. Three of your favorite treats. Seriously. Any three things! 
So write it. Publish it. Yell it from the mountain tops! 
Just be sure you come back and link it up here!

For some extra fun follow us on Instagram for some three things posts! 
Use the #threethingsthursday, and let's start talking!




Reading is one of my favorite things to do. I have books stashed all over the house, much to the Hubbs dismay. They tend to get a little messy, even when stacked. Last year I read thirty five books. No joke! To keep track I write down the titles in the margins of my planner. The more I read, the more I feel like I need to share those titles with you. Here are three books I have read that I really love, and will now recommend to you. 
                      
Life and Other Near Death Experiences - Camille Pagan


The story of Libby Miller could be seen as utterly tragic. The day she finds out she has cancer, she also finds out a major secret about her husband. Instead of doing what is expected of her, she kind of goes off the deep end. Which is kind of amazing. Libby takes an emotional and physical journey into the unknown. Of course she meets people along the way that help her decide if she wants to live or die. This is not a book about cancer, it's a book about living on your own terms. Libby Miller has stayed with me. It's one of the best books I have read in a long time.

The Ruins of California - Martha Sherrill



I loved this book because it's told in the style of a memoir. It's like reading the history of someones beautiful life. Inez Ruin grows up before your very eyes starting at the end of the sixties in Southern California. As she travels up and down the California coast during the 70s and 80s, she finds family, love, friendship, and herself. Her family is totally dysfunctional, sometimes she doesn't emote in the right ways, but Inez Ruin is now one of my favorite characters. I actually read this book years ago, I found it in the discount section at Barnes and Noble. I fell in love with the story and Inez Ruin, I like that she felt familiar to me, but the descriptions of California and life in the seventies were what made me fall harder for this story. A big thanks to my mom for finding the book on Amazon and buying it for me for my birthday.

If You Only Knew - Kristan Higgins


I cut my teeth on Harlequin Romance novels. I'm not even kidding, my Mom had them peppered all over the house. I haven't read many Harlequins since high school, but this one popped up in my Facebook feed (thanks to their nifty ads). Most times I ignore them, but I read the synopsis, and for $3.99 took a chance. I didn't expect to like this book or the main character Jenny Tate as much as I did. Jenny is a bridal dress designer for the rich, getting stepped on by her ex-husband, and trying to be the perfect daughter. Total recipe for disaster, but it works. Of course there is a man that she is interested in, and a sidebar story includes the break down of her sister's marriage. Which also seems like it would be disastrous, but I promise it's not. It really helps the story along. I wasn't even jaded that the book ended happily wrapped up with a pretty bow.

These are just three of the books I've read so far this year. I still have a few more stacked an waiting for me. Any suggestions on what I need to read this year? Leave those in the comments. And if you get the chance link up with us today!









Turning 38 {Three Things Thursday 4/7}


A major goal this year is to engage this wonderful blogging community consistently. What better way than to link up with blog friends! Together, the three of us came up with Three Things Thursday. Just three things to talk or write about. Five seemed like too many and "one thing" was like we weren't even trying! So any three things that are on your mind. Any three pictures from Instagram. Three complaints about your day/week. Three of your favorite treats. Seriously. Any three things! 
So write it. Publish it. Yell it from the mountain tops! 
Just be sure you come back and link it up here!

For some extra fun follow us on Instagram for some three things posts! 
Use the #threethingsthursday, and let's start talking!


I turned 38 last month. Thirty eight. I just need to keep typing that out in words because it's still sinking in. I've celebrated five birthdays on this blog, and I'm always surprised to find that I've aged another year. I don't feel any older since I've started this blog. Maybe my bones are a little stiffer, maybe I have a few more wrinkles. Still most days I'm surprised that I'm no longer in my mid thirties.

#selfies at 38

I learned three things over the weekend when I turned thirty eight. Good solid lessons about life and family. Lessons on motherhood and friendship. I learned that life is the ultimate gift giver, always giving me exactly what I need on my birthday.

Lesson 1: Life happens. Deal with it anyway.
My birthday fell over spring break. This meant the kiddos were home... And sick. Fevers. Sinus infections. I was really upset by this because it was my birthday and while I knew I wasn't going to be partying, I did want to go out and shop, have dinner, not have to play nurse. It was pretty tame by sickness standards, but I knew that my birthday plans may be scrapped. Caitlin was well enough on Friday for mani-pedis with my mom, which was great. By Friday afternoon I was pretty sure we could all do lunch the next day and hang out with friends and family at our house. Then on Friday night, just hours before I was to turn thirty eight, Mac started running a fever. Great. I scrapped all birthday plans. Threw myself a pity party and watched old Grey's Anatomy reruns until I fell asleep, with both kids in bed with me. As if there is any other way (sarcasm). The next morning Mac was fever free, Caitlin was feeling like a human again, and I was nervous about planning anything. As luck would have it, the birthday God's prevailed and we were able to have a late lunch at one of my favorite restaurants.

Me and my peeps at my birthday lunch/dinner.

The lesson here was this: Life happens. Life is always happening. Sometimes in this family it feels like every chaotic or effed up situation imaginable will happen. Like, if you worry about it, it will come. Even though I threw a fit like a small child, (it was my birthday) it all worked itself out in the end. I'm not a very optimistic person, but I should remind myself that it usually does work out in the end. I'm not so bold as to say always, but usually. Friday night I thought all celebrating would cease to exist. Saturday night I went to bed having celebrated my birthday in the best way I know how. Unplanned. Unexpected. And sort of perfect.

Lesson 2: Family shows up always.
I expect my parents to be excited for my birthday. Duh, I'm their only child. I expect The Hubbs to be excited for my birthday because, again duh, I'm his lovely wife. I didn't expect my in-laws to inquire about my birthday. They came over anyway, even after scrapping plans for sick kids, and even when we made plans last minute they joined us too. Dinner with what has become my entire immediate family was the perfect way to celebrate my birthday. For years it was just the three of us, my parents and I, celebrating here in Fresno when we first put down roots. Now we have to make reservations for nine. I loved that even though it was completely unplanned, I had a fantastic time, surrounded by the best people.

The lesson: Family doesn't care. They are going to show up anyway.

Ran to the store for some ice cream, took a detour.

Lesson 3: Some of the best gifts are free.
I woke up to 35 messages on Facebook the morning of my birthday. My phone dinged with text after text. By the time I went to bed that night over 100 people had posted to my Facebook wall. I know social media can be a drag on most days. Especially now that we are in an election season, but birthday wishes on Facebook are some of my favorite gifts. Sometimes a memory will be attached. Sometimes it's a quick "HBD" from a friend from high school. It doesn't matter to me. I read them all and tried to reply to all of them. I especially liked the one from a friend that said, "Happy birthday you little burrito". That one made me laugh out loud literally.

My two neighbors bought me a gift, surprised me with it really. I expected nothing but their company, but here they came with a gift card to the Motherland, Target. Insert emoji hands for days. They gave it to me in the middle of my tantrum about having to cancel my birthday (see lesson 1 about life giving you what you need). I love them, and they love me, which is really saying something. I'm a hard person to love sometimes, and I'm so thankful they continue to do it.

Lesson: Like the menu at McDonald's used to say "Smiles are Free". Smiles and little messages from friends near and far. They cost nothing but can make some one's day. They sure made mine!

 I realize that birthdays are a blessing. They mean you are alive and living, quite possibly thriving. I still find myself wondering how I am this age. Wasn't I just eighteen ten years ago? No. Actually it was twenty years ago. That piece of information blows my mind daily. These days when I hear a song, one that I loved when I was seventeen, twenty one, thirty one, they take me back and make me wonder how on earth I got here. How did I get so old?

By living and learning, one birthday at a time.



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