House TalkN is a fun lookiloo at houses, houses, houses. It will answer pressing questions like, "When folks build a McMansion on a small lot, what are they compensating for?" or "Was the real estate agent drunk when they staged this house?" or "Why don't the Smiths' ever leave their drapes open when I am on a harmless walk-by?"

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Giving Thanks on Halloween...

No other night makes me more sentimental for my neighborhood than Halloween night.

Each neighbor brings a different kind of excitement for my four kiddos.
"Do you think the Cox's dog, Maggie will wear a costume?"
"Will Donna have a special treat just for us?"
"Can we see the Johnson's baby?"
"No fair! The Kasten boys are allowed to trick or treat on their own!"
"Armory Street gives FULL SIZE candy bars!"

One of my favorite memories of Halloween night is a phone call from a neighbor across the street. It was a short conversation just as trick or treating was beginning. "Go outside and listen."

It was that magical time of a crisp, cool, fall night- when the light is all orange. Not quite light...not quite dark. My neighbor and I stood in our doorways...listening to the sounds of childhood all around us.

Aaah, magic.

As Halloween approaches, I smile to myself. I know what is coming. They will run to our neighbor's houses like an extension of their own home. I will stand on the sidewalk, with a questionable coffee mug of "cider" in my hand, and I will give thanks.

They've spent their lives sitting on Donna's back porch, listening to her colorful stories.
They've spent their lives eating Mrs. Cox's cookies.
They've spent their lives playing under the Kasten's treehouse.
They've spent their lives shooting hoops at the Lehmann's.
They've spent their lives playing football on the Hendren's front lawn.
They've spent their lives romping through the Youse house.

Thanksgiving is a time for counting your blessings. Around these parts, I count mine on Halloween night.

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Monday, October 28, 2013

I Shouldn't Be Allowed To Travel

I'm In The Powder Room today sharing a travel advisory. Meet me there and share your best airport tales. 
If you are a fancy frequent flyer with your shizzle all pulled together, you will want to avoid me in the airport. 
If you are a people watching, neurotic, hot mess of a traveler, I'll save you a seat at GateCrazy.
Why do they laugh at me so?
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Tuesday, October 22, 2013

An Office For Moms- "The Moffice!"

One of the things that I shared in "How To Be A Better Blogger" was that I often blogged in my powder room.
Now that I am a WAHM (fancy talk for "Work At Home Mom"), I need more space. I'm coming out of the powder room!

I whined explained to my neighbor/gal pal how difficult I was finding the whole WAHM gig. 
1. The phone rings 972 times a day.
2. My mister comes home for "lunch."
3. Friends pop by to see "what the heck a WAHM does all day?!?"
4. Guilt prompts me to clean or do laundry or eat bon bon's wash dishes.
5. Working in silence is totally out of my comfort zone. 
6. I began to drink talk to myself and crack jokes to an empty room.
My gal pal, a veteran WAHM, suggested we form a "Moffice"! Get it? A mom office- MOFFICE!
For the past week, we have been sharing an office space. 
I usually stumble into the moffice by 9:30am, coffee in hand, computer under my arm, and bandana on my head. 
It has been a total game changer. My "work time" is clearly defined while I am in the moffice. No guilt, no interruptions, no bon bons. 
Take a lookiloo:



How about you? Are you a WAHM? A SAHM? Are you a "working mom"? (Yes, I know that "working mom" is redundant!) 

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Monday, October 21, 2013

Do Not Fear The Spray Tan!

For my big night, (That's What She Said show) I thought I would jazz myself up with a little spray tan.
I'll admit it- the first time I got a spray tan, I was terrified nervous.
Getting nekkid in front of someone other than my mister gave me heart palpitations. I mean, he is legally obligated but these women are innocent bystanders. 
Add in bright lights and my 36Longs, I was in full freakout mode.
Kristin and Karin at Bodi Bronze Sunless Spa were totally professional, patient, and forgiving kind.
Come along and I'll show you how easy peasy this sunless tan was...

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A Nightmare On Elm Street...

Blogging has wreaked havoc on my running schedule. I used to run in the mornings. Now, I blog in the mornings. The only place that I've been running lately is to the fridge!

I thought that if I did a "Take Two" of my "Run Route Special", I would get motivated to run again. Nothing gets me hopping like stalking admiring beautiful homes.

Sadly, 13 more days passed...still no running. 

Today, however, I did run from my house to my bitchin' minivan with camera in hand. 

My plan had been to start running down one of my favorite streets- ELM STREET!  It is a smorgasbord of beautiful older homes on a brick-lined street with a small park in the middle. Instead, I went creeping down the street, snarfing Halloween candy, windows rolled down, Raffi blaring, snapping pictures of all of my favorite lookiloos. 

Check it out:

Maybe I could start driving to this boulevard and run sprints up and down their street. That wouldn't be creepy at all. Right?

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Monday, October 14, 2013

Fall Color...ish.

I'm struggling to get my fall on, y'all. Meet me In The Powder Room today to hear the things that make me twitchy about fall.

Five million white mums. CHECK!
Cream cable knit pillows to the adirondack chairs. CHECK!
White pumpkins lined up. CHECK!

That's when I remembered my resolution - "TRY NEW THINGS!" Adding color to my my white, white, and white pallet is part of this challenge!

Back to the garden center I went.  

I planned on nabbing a few colorful mums and calling it a day.  

Red mums, CHECK!
Orange mums. CHECK!

Then- Shut the front door.  Back the truck up.  

My eyes told me that I was looking at BLACK petunias, but my mind went all Scooby Doo-"Huhwha?"
The tag informed me that I was holding a "Black Velvet Petunia".  

I had actually exclaimed "Holy Petunia" to the woman next to me.  She filled me in, explaining that these were leftovers from summer.  

I'm pretty sure that the check-out girl shared in my excitement as she stopped chewing her gum and made a "mmhhm" noise and answered my "THANK YOU!" with a "Not a problem." It was the most animated I've ever seen her.

So...lot's of cutting edge things going on around here.  Pumpkins of color, a rainbow of mums and black velvet petunias.  That's right.  I'm wild.

Check it.

Black Velvet Petunia

Just look at all that color!  

I went wild and added a PATTERNED ribbon.

Ok, so there's still an overall "whiteness" but between the red mums and the patterned ribbon,  I'm feeling as proud as Nancy Grace on Dancing With The Stars.  (I'll spare you the nipple shot and tooting)

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Friday, October 11, 2013

That's What She Said...That's A Wrap!

As always, I am grateful for the power of a camera. Saturday night was our That's What She Said show. 
It feels like a dream. As I am folding laundry or checking homework, I keep thinking, "Did that really happen?"
Darrell Hoemann of the News-Gazette gave the gift of his art- photography. I have looked at them no less than 8,342 times. 
It really happened. 
My cup runneth over. 
Thank you to Krannert Center and Christie Clinic for believing in three soccer moms with a dream.
Thank you to all of the sponsors who said, "How can we help?" (They gave us cars, lodging, bling, shoes and the stage chairs!)
Thank you to the women that came by planes, trains and automobiles to be part of the show.
Thank you to the people who filled the seats and laughed, cried and guffawed with us.
Thank you to all of the behind the scenes (stay tuned for a behind the scenes post!) folks that worked tirelessly.
Thank you to our families for being our biggest cheerleaders and for not complaining about pizza night...every night.
Thank YOU.
My words can never do justice. Darrell's pictures can give you a glimpse into our dream. Here you go.
We stood backstage- dancing, laughing and peeking at the crowd. There  may or may not have been some butt slapping. Sandwiched between my show conspirators, Jill Youse and Casey Wakefield, we danced onto the stage. 
Dr. Love kicked off the show with "I AM ENOUGH!" 
That's right. I flew my (nervous and nauseous) freak flag all over that stage. Making my friends laugh? Heaven.
Casey inspired all of us by stepping out of her comfort zone and sharing a story of loss and surrender.
Keesha Beckford of Mom's New Stage reminded us to dance like a 3 year old. 
Karyl Wackerlin shared her mission trip photographs and challenged us to be "ambushed by joy!" The big surprise of the night was her announcement of our trip to Haiti and...
...someone in the audience is going with us! Backstage, Karyl had said to me, "I was so excited to see Mary White!" Guess whose name she drew out of the bucket? MARY WHITE! I almost fell out of my seat.
Erin Donovan of I'm Gonna Kill Him sent us into fits of snort laughing with "Dead Vagina Walking!"
7 Questions with Peyton Stewart melted my heart. Peyton is talented, beautiful, funny and smart as a whip. Watching Peyton shine, we remembered her mother and our friend, Irina Stewart. 
Nicole Knepper of Moms Who Drink And Swear has the gift of story telling. From ADD to parenting to losing a parent, she shared the "me, too" moments of life.
Nicole Leigh Shaw of Ninja Mom Blog painted a beautiful picture of her stepfather. 
No one can talk about trauma and make you belly laugh at the same time like Angela Shelton Kail
With grace and beauty, Vennie Ewing read "Everybody's Free" by Baz Luhrmann. 
The She Said Choir rocked my socks to close the show. These women had never performed together. They were many different women, coming together to sing one song. 
I thought my heart would explode. I love these women. 
Now, get out there and shine! Write that book, run that marathon, get that degree, stand on that stage, or whatever is calling to you! DO IT!
*You can watch the videos HERE!

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