My Dyer-E
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Dishes and Clean Up– Past and Present.

When we eat at home more often, I notice this thing where I feel like I’m constantly loading and unloading our dishwasher. It might be because we have like 4 plates and fewer bowls and less silverware than most people, but still– when you make multiple meals in a day, inevitably dishes are cleaned and put away multiple times.

Which is cool.  And I wear sassy dish gloves to keep my hands dainty and refreshed, so there’s really no major harm done.

But what really gets me about it is that every time I’m cleaning up, I think of my great-grandmother, Me-Me.

She was 94 when she went home to heaven (where she promised us she had more friends there than down here at that point) and even though she was in a season of life when death is not a huge surprise, it still was so hard losing a dear, dear friend that I had in my Me-Me.

Anyway, back to the cleaning.

Me-Me lived in a day and age when she woke up and made my Papa and all of the farm help a hot breakfast BEFORE SHE WENT TO WORK as a teacher.

But not just that.

She also made them a hot lunch that they would come in and warm up while she was at work.

All of this before leaving for work.

She would come home from work to all of the lunch dishes that had to be done before she then started cooking dinner.

After dinner, she would do all of those dishes before later grading papers.


This whole process literally floors me every time I think about it (which is pretty often while I’m doing dishes) and I mean– CAN YOU IMAGINE!?

(If you can imagine–as in you still do all of that– please don’t comment publicly, because I can’t have my Shippmate thinking this is still a thing people do.)

The idea that there was no Sonic to run to for a quick drink and burger or take-out to grab and bring home really is so incredible and foreign to me.

So while I stand at my dishwasher– that does the washing for me– and feel like I’ve spent a good portion of my day loading and unloading and putting dishes away, I always stand so humbled at the incredible women that have gone before me.

But especially my very own Me-Me.

And now because I’m Me (and maybe because I’m pregnant) I’m now crying, because I would love nothing more than to have one more dinner at Countryside with Me-Me.  One more car ride with her and Mom and Atticus.  One more time of hearing her say I was the prettiest baby she’d ever seen.  One more time of visiting her at her duplex.  And oh, the joy it would be for her to know my June!  It means the world to me that Me-Me can forever live in the legacy of June’s name with my Nanny.

I love you so much, Me-Me, and I sure hope someone else is doing the dishes for Papa in heaven!

02.26.15 4 Comments

June Harbor Shippy: 18 Months

Oh Baby June.

It’s been a few months since Mama has written you a letter.  I know my official policy was I was just doing this every month for the first year, but I still think about it nearly every month on the 24th.

This morning I knew I had to write you.

This morning was kind of a big deal in the world of me and you, baby girl.

It only took me 18 months to let you go off to Children’s Church.  As in, you went in this faraway room BY YOURSELF (well, 2 adults and other kids, but really BY YOURSELF) while Mommy and Daddy sat in church without you.

It wasn’t even planned either was the real crazy thing.  We were late to church, so I figured we weren’t going to this Sunday, not to mention it always seems like a likely strong excuse when it’s cold and flu season that we should keep you in our laps instead of sharing memories and germs with other toddlers lol.  But then this morning, we got in church and you weren’t being bad– at all, really– however you were just clearly wanting to play.  To talk.  To move all around.

Actually, the minute we walked into the sanctuary this morning, you took once glance at the worship team singing on stage and said, “Microphone! Junie!”

As in, you wanted us to take you on up there to sing your own song.  You also ACTUALLY said “microphone.”  With the M sound at the beginning and everything.  Your dad and I were quite impressed.  As we are DAILY with how many words you know and use and understand.  You’re seriously such a smart baby.

Okay, but back to this morning.

In the midst of you wiggling and wanting to play, I said to your Dada- “Let’s see if she can go to Children’s Church.”

Your dad was holding you and fully ready to take you by himself, and even thought it was weird I followed him out of the sanctuary but ummm, hello– I didn’t wait 18 months to send you off to your own little class for me not to walk you back there and make sure everyone knew they had to be THE MOST NICE AND CAREFUL WITH YOU.

You literally walked in, looked around at all of the kids and toys and pretty much skipped right into the beat of play time and social hour with your fellow toddlers.

The whole thing was so fast and smooth and really nothing like I pictured it that when I sat back down in the sanctuary, I started feeling very overwhelmed.

As in tears everywhere.

Emotions completely out of control.

My Shippmate (your daddy) was so sweet and assured me you were okay and everything was going to be just fine as he kindly held my hand.

He even said he would go spy on you for me.  (Which he did.)  (And then I did.)  (And then maybe I did again lol.)

As I sat there in this rare moment of freedom of being able to finally LISTEN to a sermon for the first time in 18 months, it was all I could do to think about how the nice Children’s Church workers knew NOTHING about you.

I felt this very intense longing to run back there to explain EVERYTHING to them.

Starting with the fact you were born en caul, which yes, very much makes you more special than most.  IT ONLY HAPPENS TO 1 in 80,000 BABIES FOR PETE’S SAKE.

You slept through the night from very first night in the hospital and have been this dream of a baby that your daddy and I keep looking to Jesus as if we seriously can’t believe He gave you to US.

They needed to know you’ve always been expressive and your vocabulary impresses your pediatrician to the point she says you’re really one-of-a-kind.

I mean I could tell them that myself, but it seems like it should mean more to them coming from a dang professional!

I NEEDED to tell them about November 7th.

The phone call I got from your Daddy while you were so bravely riding in the ambulance.

They NEEDED to know you had three seizures that day and that you were postictal in our very own driveway and I thought a piece of my soul was dying forever when I watched you get strapped in to another ambulance.

It seemed obvious I should have told them about Dr. Coffman and the horrible phone call I received on Black Friday 2014 and the way my heart didn’t feel normal again until December 3rd when he called me before we even left St. Luke’s South with the best news I’ve ever received in my entire life.

This all seemed so important for anyone that was caring for you.  Like maybe they couldn’t quite grasp HOW special and miraculous you are without me doing a complete rundown of everything that has happened the last 18 months.

Seriously- I should probably print out all the letters I wrote you monthly for the first year of your life and at the very least have them read those before caring for you next week.

It seemed so suddenly stressful to me that they didn’t know you love bugs and even said your first sentence at but just 13 months young– “Eees a bug.”

I forgot to tell them about your adoration for walks and your dog Tom and books and praying and ice cream.

I just couldn’t believe I dropped you off and skipped back to the sanctuary without making sure I told them everything about you.

Your Mammie and Pa are really the only people that you’ve stayed with and I mean they held you in the delivery room and Pa is pretty much who made sure you were walking on time after I neglected to get you crawling in any hurry, and your Mammie has without a doubt clipped your nails and toenails more than your Daddy and I have combined.  (In fact, just last week when I felt compelled to clip your nails myself, you looked at me and said, “Mammie?” because you were pretty much unsure I knew how lol.)

My heart was racing, tears weren’t stopping, and I knew all of these fears I had were absolutely a little crazy and obviously the nursery workers didn’t get to know everything about you since August 24, 2013 at 2:21 when you were born still in the sac like the most special Baby June you are.

That was not reasonable or fair or even possible, really.

But oh June, the love I have for you goes so far beyond reasonable or fair of possible, even.

It’s bigger than all of that.

So I sat there in my pew, prayed a prayer to Jesus for my sanity to be restored, and then I went all Olivia Pope on the situation and counted the exact steps I was away from you in the nursery.  I figured ten from my pew to the door, a good fifteen down the hallway (I have long legs) and I’d be to your room.

And because I’m crazy and no kind of normal, that 25 step program calmed my heart a little.

As did your dad and I spying on you and you clearly having a great time.

Oh, and it absolutely helped that when we dropped you off you found a friend who had on a Curious George shirt and proceeded to touch the monkey on his shirt and say, “Hi, George!”

So I knew if all else failed in that room, at least you had a familiar face in George.

That comforted me a little more than you might expect actually.

But really, June– you did fabulous.  You were friendly with the other kids.  You had a good time.  You ate a cross cookie and I think convinced them to somehow give you another one when you actually weren’t supposed to get two (I have NO IDEA where you get that kind of persuasion)…

When I picked you up (in tears, yes) I just felt insanely proud.

I think like 75% proud of you and 25% proud of me.

Which feels about right, because oh girl– we’re so in this thing together, me and you.

Happy 18 months to my favorite little lady in all of the world.  It’s my greatest joy that I get to be your mom.

I love you,

PS: Well, of course, I’m going to include the pictures I snuck during one of my trips to spy on you.

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PPS:  Yes, I contemplated tearing down that Toddlers sign the rest of the way, because you are clearly not a toddler, but still my Baby June.  Forever my Baby June, you are.

02.22.15 11 Comments

The Picture of Motherhood That Will Never Make It to Instagram

Oh, today.

I just asked June if she remembered when Mama was sad and she made a sad face and said, “Car?”

Which contrary to my current mood totally made me smile that she remembered the location of me being sad.

You should really only read this post I’m about to write if you totally know me and how much I love motherhood and June and all things surrounding those two.  Like this would potentially be a horrible first entry of mine to read without previous knowledge of the crazy way I adore being a mom to my June.

But some days are just hard.

The funny thing is that it all started per a day that was significantly less hard.

Yesterday I was a part of a panel of judges for a local speech competition.  This involved me getting up early, putting on eyeliner– oh glorious and wonderful eyeliner, waking June up to get her loaded and then driving her to my brother and Bailey’s house where she’d spend the morning.

And then I drove for 35 minutes in a car with no one yelling “MAMA” or “WHEELS” (her request for Wheels On The Bus) or “NO” (her opinion on some of my favorite radio stations) but just me and the morning talk shows I used to listen to on my way to work.

Back when I had a drive to work instead of waking up at the very place I get to call home AND work.

I never had a super long commute, so it was always a time of the day I loved.  Just enough time to think about my day, hear some news (or Teresa’s Tabloid Trash, whatever) and maybe hear a song to pump up my Tuesday, too.

I was in such a good mood when I pulled in the school and then proceeded to have such a great time listening to speeches all morning long.

And intermittently talking to people who spoke in more than two-word sentences back to me.

And people who both made jokes and laughed at mine.

People who dress themselves and don’t have diapers and don’t need me to clean out their noses.

Just real grown up kind of people.

I ate lunch while judging the speeches, but it was still so relaxing.  I didn’t have to cut up food for anyone or think about what to feed them or clean up after them– I just sat there and ate my own sandwich and chips and THOUGHT I WAS IN HEAVEN.

Afterwards, I drove to pick up June and just kind of savored the fact I’d spent a good 4 hours doing something in an environment where other people had noticed my presence and contribution.

When we arrived home, I had but a few minutes before a girl I mentor came over and we discussed all matters of important things like The Explicit Gospel and The Bachelor, because well– yeah, that’s the kind of mentor I am.

After she left, June and I went on a brisk walk all around our neighborhood before coming home and per getting up at SIX AM– an hour I NEVER see anymore– I thought I’d be too tired to fix dinner and we’d have take-out or a frozen pizza, but instead I had this energy per my day of NOT being home and this weird desire to make tacos and quac and a chocolate cake, too.

Dinner was so delicious and so fun to have stories to share with my Shippmate that didn’t just involve things that happened in our living room and kitchen but things that happened in this world OUTSIDE of our home.  The characters of my stories weren’t just June and me, but other people.  Interesting, funny little kid people and some stories that involved grown up people, too.

I just felt alive.  And important.

AND HERE IS THE SCARY THING…. I wasn’t even doing any number of things that I could have been doing that would REALLY give me some kind of “life outside my SAHM world” kind of high.  Lord forbid I would have been actually dressed up and speaking persuasively at some kind of meeting about something really important to me– I can’t even imagine the dangerous high that might have given me.

I text a friend last night my feelings about all of this and how the energy of doing work outside the home somehow gave me more ambition to be productive once I WAS home!?  She made a joke about how productive I’ll be with a toddler AND a newborn soon, which then resulted in the following (I’m the blue):


And I’m not even exactly serious.

I mean, probably not.

But here’s the thing– being a mom is so dang hard sometimes.

And I write about how glorious and amazing and beautiful and precious and all sorts of other annoyingly positive adjectives motherhood is all of the time– AND I MEAN THOSE WORDS…. I really, really do.

But because I preach BEING A MOM IS THE BEST 98% of the time, I get to admit the days it feels like too much to handle.

Today was one of those.

June has a bad cold and was up 4 times last night.  And not just up and back down but up and not feeling great and wanting me and more love and attention than I have at 1:30am, 2:30am, 3:30am and again at 4am.

It just felt like all she wanted was me today.  I LOVE the way she says, “Mama” and yet, I found myself at the longest stoplight ever crying because I just didn’t want to be the one and favorite person she needs ALL OF THE TIME.

We’re still breastfeeding, because some crazy fools at the the World Health Organization say you should until 2 now.   When I told my friend Amy this recently with the confession that as much as I’ve adored breastfeeding, I just feel ready to be done and maybe before “the magical age of 2,” she laughed so hard and said how not even that long ago, she felt like a total champ for making it to 6 months!

If you’re loving breastfeeding a toddler, I’m so happy for you.  SERIOUSLY.  I just have somehow raised this breastfeeding monster because I was told it was best for everyone to “feed on demand,” and I loved that for the first year- as did June, but no one told June to stop wanting to “feed on demand,” so she still wants “ta-tas” about 20 times a day.  That is actually not an exaggeration.

And I just feel tired.  I’m growing a baby and still not over the hard of the first trimester, and just after not sleeping much last night and feeling needed ALL DAY LONG, I just lost it in the car.

Not to mention, my body.  I cried to my mom that it’s “in the worst place ever” (which my post-baby self might want to disagree with come September lol) but I am so far from fitting in these jeans I wore days before finding out I was pregnant:

And the stupid maternity jeans I bought at Gap for WAY more than I will admit publicly are literally SO baggy on me just two hour after pulling them on!  And they’re a size TWO.  And I literally asked the lady if they would stay true to how they fit when I tried them on and she ASSURED me they would.  That’s the last time I trust a 17 year old’s advice on my maternity pants lol.

No, but seriously- I have ONE pair of pants I can currently wear.  ONE.  And this ONE dang pair of pants are sagging on me all day and wearing clothes that don’t fit right annoys me so much.  After crying about this to Ryan, I told him I actually want to go back to The Gap to try to exchange them or something but they’re literally the only pants I own I can wear, so I guess I’ll have to wear them into the store.

And at that point, my tears just turned to laughter.

Because how can you not laugh at that?

Am I still overwhelmed with the thought of figuring out how to wean a Breastfeeding Addict?  Oh yeah.

Does it still scare me how much it felt amazing to be a real person in the outside world last week?  Umm, yes.

Does the idea I’m bringing another life into this world that might come over to me while I’m trying to blog and say, “Mama?  Write?  JUNE- WRITE!  UP!  TA-TAS! PLEASE!” make me a little nervous?  Absolutely.

But something about the irony that I have but one pair of pants– that are so loose on my legs and butt that it’s embarrassing– that I can’t even really exchange them without wearing them to the store… it just sent me over the bad, sad kind of place into the place where it only helps to laugh.

Moms– we’re doing the best we can.  Really.

To the mom that works– I’m proud of you and I seriously envy the part of you that gets to wear eyeliner and come home excited to see your people instead of wanting to hide from them in the bathroom with your laptop.

To the mom that stays home– I’m proud of you and I seriously know the quiet part of your heart that sometimes wonders if you’re losing a part of your former self that once ran business meetings or wrote proposals or taught a classroom.

But here’s what I know, Moms.

I know that I get emails/comments daily from working moms that say, “You’re so lucky to get to be having calendar time with June at home!” or “I so wish I could spend my morning on a walk with my little man!”

And I also know from my recent experience– as well as from the voices of so many fellow SAHMs– there is a part of us that also very much envies aspects of the working mom life.

There’s no right or wrong here, because at the end of the day I kind of bet we’ve all found ourselves at a forever long red stoplight with a screaming toddler in the backseat and a crying mama in the front seat.

Maybe crying tears of “am I missing things in my baby’s life?” or maybe crying tears of “am I missing things in my own life I’m supposed to be doing?”


No matter the tears, I like to think we’re all in this together.  Baggy maternity jeans and all.

01.31.15 24 Comments

A Sonic Date To Remember

I follow a girl on Instagram that lost her son to a tragic accident last fall. Ryan was just three years old and the cutest little redhead bundle of love you’ve ever seen.IMG_0355
His mom uses her blog and Instagram as a place to celebrate his life and heal from their tremendous loss.  It’s a loss too great for me to be able to type about without tears.  I cannot imagine.  I mean, CANNOT IMAGINE.

Her bravery and honesty and love is inspiring, and I would encourage you to follow her at or on Instagram at babyboybakery.

Anyway, ALL OF THAT (and tears) to say that this morning I saw a post of hers about wishing she could have one more pancake breakfast with her baby boy, and while I actually think I’m someone who naturally celebrates and appreciates the small things in life, her posts always TRIPLE this sentiment for me.

I was reading her post while waiting for a dollar drink from Sonic. (Our Sonic is the only one I know of that does this deal until 11am instead of 10am which delights me to no end– just a sidenote of happy for all Burg residents lol.)

The sun was coming in the car so nicely and the entire place was full of people getting drinks and food, etc., and so I decided instead of rushing back home for our lunch, we’d just chill in the car together for awhile.  The nice Sonic girl even gave me a free water for June, and I brought her to the front with me where we proceeded to drink our drinks, do CHEERS! about a thousand times, talk about the people and dogs around us, wave to everyone, press the credit card buttons many, many times, use several “naa-kins” to “clean,” and just bond.

Mama and June.  Just the two of us doing our thing.

We totally just savored life and each other and the sun… all over the glory of Sonic ice, of course.

I’m actually crying describing what a seriously beautiful hour it was.

Yes, an hour.

We sat there in that stall for an entire hour.

June was never once bored with the novelty of the front seat and so many things to see and discuss and talk about.  We danced to Taylor Swift’s “Shake It Off” and counted to ten and ordered a burger (or maybe two).  We tickled each other and high fived and then did CHEERS with our drinks once more.

When the Sonic girls walked by, June shouted out “GIRL! TRAY! HEY!” and they smiled and waved.

I am so thankful June is healthy.  I’m so thankful I can take an hour out of my day to just savor life with her.

I encourage you to follow Jacqui’s blog.  It’s not easy reading what she’s going through.  It’s actually really, really painful.  It hurts my heart in a way few things can bring me pain, but it also brings about such a reminder of the precious, precious gift I’ve been given to love June Harbor.

Her pictures, her words, her blog…. they remind me how fragile life is and the honest truth that we might not have tomorrow with our babies.

I’ll never regret the hour we spent at Sonic today.  In fact, I hardly doubt it will be the last time we talk and bond and dance to Taylor Swift with Sonic drinks in hand.

It’s my greatest honor to get to be her mom.


01.28.15 11 Comments

The Theft’s Prayer

I’ve been in an especially defeated kind of mood since learning of our theft incident.  Obviously because it’s annoying, but I think also because I’m just so sick of being sick and didn’t feel like I wanted to handle something so annoying on top of it all.

Which made me think I should put a FIRST TRIMESTER bumper sticker on my car to alert thefts it’s really not a good time to mess with me.

Anyway, I was just in an unfortunate and miserable kind of mood… until dinner with my two faves.

June requested we “pray” which wasn’t really the first thing on my mind but who am I to argue with that love bug, and so The Shippmate started this precious prayer with June’s little hands so tightly clasped and he prayed for The Usuals and then totally just killed me with this prayer for the person who stole our stuff!!!!

Which is obviously so adorable and Christ-like and sweet, but for some reason looking at serious Praying June and my favorite Shippmate, it just made me die laughing.

And then Ryan said, “And maybe he will even return our stuff” and as soon as he said “he,” we both exchanged a look since I love to keep things gender neutral around here and so he quickly added- “or she…” and the whole thing just had me crying I was laughing so hard.

Which was about 2 minutes after saying I wanted to physically harm someone.

I truly can’t think of a better summary of living with a first trimester woman.

Which is why I obviously need that dang bumper sticker.

OH and for everyone asking:

Yes, our car doors were unlocked.

Yes, I did take my new $3 chapstick out of my purse last night before leaving the $200+ gift cards because I didn’t want the aforementioned EOS lip balm to get too cold.

No, I’d rather you not point out how much I kind of deserved this.

Yes, we’ve learned our lesson and our car doors will now be locked nightly with no valuables left in the car, and I’m talking to Mrs. McCluskey about a neighborhood watch.

No, I still can’t believe they didn’t steal my Liane Moriarty book.

Yes, Ryan’s keys were in his ignition but according to the cop that I spoke to today “car thefts are trickier than swiping a quick purse.”

And no, we don’t live in Mayberry anymore, Aunt Bee, and I’m going to start trusting the world around me less.

01.5.15 11 Comments

What I Got The Shippmate For Christmas

Pioneer Woman released her very kissable gift she gave to Marlboro Man today over on her blog, so I figured today was the day I should do the same.

Plus, hundreds of you have been messaging me dying to know.

(By hundreds I-of course- mean tens of you, but who is really counting anyway?)

Okay, and seriously I was dying to tell you all when I posted on Facebook how I was so excited about this gift a couple of weeks ago, and I should have written it all out that very same day because well, Christmas happened and after many, many dinners in my very, very first trimester state I’m just now barely breathing again.

And to be quite honest, my participation in Ryan’s gift is partially to blame for starting my Christmas fatigue, but I’m getting ahead of myself.

Let me start at the very beginning.

As in some time earlier this year when The Shippmate was so very excited to hear The Black Keys would be back in Kansas City on December 21st.  He told me as soon as he heard about the show that he had to go and asked me to ask around to my awesome cousins that often get us in free to such cool events.

So sometime last fall I asked, but these tickets weren’t quite in their realm of reach.

Then I kind of forgot about all of this until a couple of weeks before Christmas.

The Shippmate had been saying for at least a month before Christmas that what he got me was so awesome and how much I would love it so much, and so I knew the pressure was on.

Just about two weeks before Christmas, I re-remembered Ryan wanting to go to Black Keys and I also realized he’d been so busy lately and distracted with work and all of June’s hospital visits that he had completely forgotten about the show himself, so it would work so beautifully to surprise him with tickets!

This was going to be a great gift.

I thought of this while driving and when I got home I went to order the tickets from the very few tickets that were left to be found, and I realized I had somehow lost my credit card at Crown Center!  I was so frustrated because I didn’t want to risk losing the tickets that were left, and I couldn’t really use Ryan’s card because he would see what I used it for!  I even contemplated asking my brother and Bailey to borrow their card to order the tickets but I figured surely the tickets would still be there in the 24 hours the Citi Cards people assured me my new card would be delivered.

I went to bed so giddy about getting to surprise my Shippmate with something I KNEW he would love.

However, when I went to bed I was greeted by a stressed out Shippmate.  While I had been dancing around at Crown Center all day with the fam seeing Santa and enjoying the train at Fritz’s, Ryan had came home from work to more hospital bills from June’s multiple tests, overnight stay, two ER visits, two different ambulance rides… and a partridge in a pear tree.  Truly, those dang hospital bills still haven’t quit coming and throughout all of December they began to steal some of the joy of what normally is so fun to go to the mailbox to find Christmas cheer.

I could see the weight of it all on Ryan’s face and he was crunching numbers away on some new budgeting app he discovered and declared, “Okay- we can’t spend any more money this month, so seriously do NOT buy me anything. I don’t want anything– just don’t spend anything.”

And then it led to A Money Talk.

I trust we’re not the only people in world that have ever had one of these.  They’re normally at about 11pm when we’re both tired and prompted by something awesome like a million hospital bills and end in me Googling “ways to save money” and then telling Ryan I found the answer to all stressors per an actual article that suggested when eating out to just take a few extra ketchup packets and use it to replenish your own ketchup bottle at home!


I don’t get how anyone could ever have money stress with that kind of solid advice.

No, but the talk actually went well in terms of we weren’t arguing but just discussing it all and in the scope of Money Talks, it was actually quite a great one, but it was NOT what one wants to hear on the eve of purchasing $200 tickets the next day!

On the one hand- I could still buy the tickets, because I KNEW Ryan really wanted to go and we technically had the money to do it.

But I felt like so much of the excitement of the gift would be lost on the fact Ryan is so selfless and hates spending money on himself EVER so he especially would be stressed to spend that much right now with everything going on.

And thus, I decided to get creative.

The Olivia Pope in me saw a problem and knew I needed to fix it.

Because I don’t have some secret off-shore account of secret cash to tap into for moments like this, I utilized what I do have at my disposal.


I did a little online research to find an email address to reach 96.5 The Buzz’s Lazlo.  Lazlo is an afternoon DJ on the station hosting the concert, as well as The Shippmate’s favorite station.

Because The Shippmate and I often share a car, I’ve got to know Lazlo from his show over the past few years.

I actually feel like I know him pretty well, and I especially know enough about him to know that him and I?  Oh, we’re about as opposite as they come.  In many ways.

So I knew emailing him would be a challenge.  This wasn’t my BFF Karen Kingsbury that I was emailing asking to be my MOH.

This was Lazlo.

I hope someone that is reading this knows him and his show to know just how awesome this all is lol.

As soon as I got June down for a nap that day, I went straight to my computer and started typing away.  I was so careful and intentional with every aspect of the email, because honestly– I knew this was not going to be easy.

I really thought there was such a slim (like Slimfast– hahahaha, Buzz humor, I’m so cool) chance this would even work– likely he’d given all his tickets away or just wasn’t interested in some wife trying to get her husband stress-free tickets.

I did feel very proud of my email though– it was well-crafted to both speak to him in a way he’d listen while also not completely selling my soul.  There’s a fine line between being persuasive and being manipulating and it’s one I have to be so careful not to flirt with, so I really wanted to know I was staying true to me with this request.

I’m kind of guessing you know how this story ends.

Not even two hours later, I have an email in my inbox saying Lazlo wants to help me make Ryan’s Christmas with two sweet tickets to the show!

The tears in my eyes wouldn’t stop.

The fact I got to sign a Christmas card– with Black Keys tickets in it–

Wifey, June, and Lazlo, too…

Oh, it delighted me to no end.

And all differences Lazlo and I might have aside, it seriously warmed my heart so much that he cared enough to make my Shippmate’s Christmas when he just as easily could have deleted that email and gone about his Church of Lazlo way.

(and please don’t let me seem so opposite of him that I don’t find things he say WAY FREAKING HILARIOUS, because I do)

When Ryan opened the card and saw the tickets, it was perfect–  his face was first excited, then stressed as he said, “Erica- I didn’t want to spend…. wait, wait- why does this say ‘complimentary tickets’ … and from Lazlo!??!??”

And then his face was such a mixture of excited, impressed, amused, and so very merry about his gift!

photo 2 unnamed photo 3
PS:  Stay tuned for what The Shippmate got ME because it’s truly even more special than what Lazlo and I did for him!

12.29.14 26 Comments

Confession Time


This is a beautiful, beautiful sight for a first trimester mama’s very, very tired eyes.

So as much as I’ve tried to ignore it, find another reason, and pretend it’s not so- this pregnancy is kicking my butt.

Like WOW.

I’m so elated to be pregnant that it’s my honor to feel this miserable which is why I think I’ve tried to ignore it, but dang– I can only pretend so long, people.

I hate not being 100% and especially with so much to do and enjoy during this time of year, but making a baby is THE. REAL. DEAL.

My list of things I’ve wanted to accomplish this holiday season is so far from complete… I’ve wanted to have people over.  I’ve wanted to make some Christmas deliveries.  I’ve tried three different times to go shopping for a few last things and keep not making it.  I have three different blogs I’m dying to write.  I want to take June to see the Santa at Bass Pro and lights in Lee’s Summit.  I think I mentioned this in a recent blog, but getting June and I ready and loaded in the car literally has me so exhausted I almost want to unload us and just go back inside to go to bed.  Except that would be more work, so I trek on and drive us to our destination singing millions of verses I make up to The Wheels On The Bus because June prefers me singing that song over anything we can find on the radio.

And don’t even get me started on our laundry piles.  Or the lack of quality happening in the food department around here.

As I’m lying here on the couch feeling so far from wonderful, I still can’t help but look at these two working away in the kitchen and recognize what a very wonderful life it is…

I’m so thankful for this baby (or two or maybe even ten) growing inside of me and for my Baby June that makes my day everyday.

My parents are unreal in their help and love– as in they hosted a sleepover for June last night that involved a bath, breakfast, and lots of books between the hours of 2 and 5am, and they acted like it was the best thing ever! They are amazing.

But my Shippmate. He’s seriously been everything lately and I can’t even begin to explain how well he loves me.  Like I don’t have enough words nor the energy to list out everything he has done for me lately.  He works so hard all day to only come home and work some more, and I am in pregnant lady hormonal tears over how lucky I really am.

I’m so tired, my back is killing me, I have acne that won’t quit, I think I’m experiencing “morning sickness” all day long, our house is a disaster and yet– I am sincerely so grateful.

June’s a few stories and a feeding away from bed, and I think I might just have to pop in “It’s A Wonderful Life” before an early bedtime.  Because no one knows better than George that sometimes you have to look past the mess to not miss the wonderful.


12.22.14 13 Comments

A Happy and A Crappy (from Truman)

It’s always fun to share a happy and a crappy from the day, so here’s mine.

But first– this game is exponentially more fun when there is participation, so please– share your own happy/crappy in the comments.

Okay, so my happy started super early in the day.

And by “super early,” I of course mean at the crack of 10:10am when June and I woke up.  Moms of babies everywhere:  DO NOT HATE ME.  I have a baby in my belly that will SURELY not be a miracle baby like June and sleep basically whatever hours I would always want her to.

The only problem with June waking up after 10am would be the fact we have no groceries.

Honestly, this week has been so crazy (I feel like it’s only Tuesday) and we’ve barely been home and when I do get home, I am so exhausted that the single last thing I can fathom doing is getting in my cold car to go to the store to get the groceries we need, so it’s been a rather free for all in terms of food here in our kitchen this week.  (read:  pretty sure The Shippmate had peanut butter and crackers one night when we were gone, bless his soul)

On a slight anemic side note, it took me until tonight as I was sitting in the DQ drive thru ordering only a large cup of ice to realize that:

*MAJOR intense fatigue (like I get June and I dressed and ready to go somewhere and loaded in the car and just want to unload us and go back in and go to sleep but that would be more work that driving to our said destination lol)
*super chapped lips
*pale skin/lips

AND THEN the ice craving that made me go all Olivia Pope to put it together to say:  ANEMIC SWEET ANEMIC, Mama.

So that’s not the happy lol.  Or the crappy.

Just an anemic side note that you were surely dying to know.


Continuing on…

So June waking up at 10:10 meant that if we wanted to get McDonald’s breakfast (for yes, the second time this week- don’t mock me!  I actually never eat McDonald’s FOOD – just their drinks- but I had a gift card earlier this week and decided to try their breakfast and thus when I woke up starving this morning decided we should try that again lol) … but to get their breakfast we have to be in that drive-thru and ordering before 10:30am.  So Anemic Me and Baby June rush around, get enough dressed to be decent, load up in the new car seat, speed through town, and make it to the drive thru to order our Breakfast Platter at 10:29am!!!!!!

I was so excited.

I seriously thought THAT was The Happy of my day!!!!

The worker even said, “You made it just before we switched the menu!”

And June and I cheered.

In our pajamas, boots, and with very wild hair.

But the happy was still yet to come.

I get to the window to pay and the girl says, “You’re not going to believe this, but not only did you make it just in time, but the guy in front of you wanted to buy your breakfast!  He said to tell you Merry Christmas!”


Honest to blog, I had to text a friend and say:  SHOOT STRAIGHT WITH ME– AM I OR AM I NOT ON THE TRUMAN SHOW AND I AM TRUMAN!??!

Who does this happen to THIS often if they’re not Truman on The Truman Show!?!


So yeah, that was my happy.

Now for my crappy.

Which I feel like also fits very eerily into the idea I’m on The Truman Show.

Because what would the writers of the show do if Truman started to suspect something weird was going on….

They’d throw him a curveball that proved everyone wasn’t out to make life nice and neat and free for him.

You know like when you go to get your eyebrows waxed and your favorite esthetician accidentally drops hot wax on your eyelid.

And then tries to get it out by getting it all up in your eyelashes.

And then in trying to fix it all, uses a cotton ball that leaves cotton in your eyelashes for the remainder of the evening.

Yeah, so that was my crappy.

But really it wasn’t even that bad, because I left with a non-unibrow, so a little hot wax to the right eyelid was surely worth it.

So there you have it.  My happy and my crappy with an anemic side story.

And I managed to successfully throw in an Olivia Pope reference because OH MY OLIVIA– getting sick earlier this week led to a complete Scandal binge and I don’t even know why I like that show because it scares me to death, it’s a little promiscuous, and the camera fluttering gets on my nerves, but I’m such a sucker for a strong female lead and political stuff, and I may or may not have pretended to be Olivia Pope telling her people what to do during an hour and a half drive I had in the car today.

All I was missing was a classy white suit.

Okay, me and my anemic ice eating self really need to get to bed and/or watch one quick Scandal now.

Do share your happy/crappy in the comments.  I love a good distraction during the scary scenes of my show, so I’ll be checking in.

Good night, and in case I don’t see ya– good morning, good afternoon, good evening, and good night!

(You had to know I was going to end with that.)

12.19.14 6 Comments

When Eggs Are Tricky

So I am good at my fair share of things in life.

But in 30 years of time on this planet, I’ve noticed a pattern.  Things that are supposed to be easy are NOT EASY for me!!?!???!?

Mostly things in one certain room of our home that I like to call THE KILL ME KITCHEN.

Like I can fail at things no one else in the world can.

It’s so bad that it’s almost impressive.

For example- EGGS.

I’m trying to eat two of them every morning because I’m pregnant and wanting to give this babe the best start to life before she’s 15 months and eating a forever old tater tot she found in her carseat and ravished like it was the best thing ever.

But I cannot figure them out.

And it’s so embarrassing.

Out of the last 9 mornings, only a couple of times have they been perfect.

This morning was not one of those lucky mornings.

First, I crack one open to find it’s still running or in my mind ALIVE AND I WANT TO NOW THROW UP AND NEVER EAT EGGS AGAIN.

Sick. Sick. Sick.

photo 1

Yes, I threw it in the sink, but please don’t tell my Shippmate about those matches that he keeps saying I shouldn’t put in there.

So yeah, that is one extreme of my egg dilemma.

And then here’s what happens when I try to “fix” the issue:

photo 2

Yes, overcorrecting is always bad, I know.


Trying to give your poppyseed size of a baby the best start to life is so dang tricky.

Because now instead of eating an awesome Bradley approved breakfast of hardboiled eggs, I’m eating a sugar cookie for breakfast.

If Santa was real there is nothing I would love more than an in-home chef to make me healthy and awesome food.You know, like hardboiled eggs.

PS:  Please don’t waste anyone’s time by sending me a link to that blog about “how to make the perfect hardboiled egg” BECAUSE THAT HAS BEEN MY ROADMAP TO NOWHERE!

12.13.14 13 Comments

My Favorite Things: Stocking Stuffer Edition

I started brainstorming for this Stocking Stuffer Edition somewhere between the good news of June’s EEG and the bad news of Black Friday.  I even started this post and had high hopes to publish it in time for Cyber Monday, but well– life happened, and my mind was needed elsewhere.

And then tonight, I kind of wanted to write about all of the sweetness and crazy and details of OH MY GOSH I AM PREGNANT and everything that happened the day we found out, but I felt like shopping days aren’t getting any more abundant (16 days left!) so this post should take precedent.  (But blog DEFINITELY coming soon about all things pregnancy and us finding out on the best day ever in our December 3rd!)

My initial thought was to only include items under $10 or so, but I snuck a few in that I either just absolutely love or that I thought might be close enough to the price of a work or friend actual gift exchange rather than just a stocking stuffer item.

1.  The Wet Brush.

So, I hadn’t used a brush on my hair since middle school maybe?  I only used a wide tooth pick and thought I was a hair superstar of a rule follower for doing so.

And then my favorite stylist told me about this Wet Brush.

A brush that would work on my masses of thick and curly hair when it’s wet?!?

Uhhhh, I was not buying it.

But then I did buy it, and I LOVE IT.  It’s absolutely fabulous, and I’ve had the best hair days following this purchase, and I really think this brush is partially responsible.

I didn’t know this at the time, but they come in such fun colors, which I think would make it an even sweeter stocking stuffer, too!

2.  EOS–Coconut-Milk/dp/B00LZXM8XS/ref=sr_1_7?ie=UTF8&qid=1418091424&sr=8-7&keywords=EOS

I was a bit behind the rest of the world on this Evolution of Smooth goodness, but I caught up quickly because I love mine so much.  I linked the exact one that is my favorite.  Coconut Milk— come to mama!  I actually seriously had to go find mine in my purse to apply just from writing about this, because I love this little EOS ball of sweetness so much.

Added bonus for moms with toddlers:  June loves that the ball shape and pretty much everything about it really, and we might have played a game of catch with it in a church pew one Sunday.  Hey– you do what you’ve gotta do.

3. Love Story Scentsy

I feel like buying someone else a scent related item is always tricky, but I cannot imagine a single soul that wouldn’t adore this smell.  It’s not overpowering, and it’s just so so so good. Anytime I have this plugged in, people ALWAYS have to know what it is, because it’s that fabulous. I recently did a major Shippmate bedroom makeover, and after transforming our bedroom into a place of calm and romance and amazing (from what was more like a college dorm room– a guys’ one, at that) I decided to use my plug-in in our room, and this scent is absolutely bedroom perfection.  It really might be my favorite love story.

4.  My absolute favorite bronzer that isn’t bronze but rose-gold.

Okay, so I wanted everything on this list to stay under $10-ish, but I had to break my own policy for this, because I love it so much, and I’m sure there are people who spend more than $10 on stocking stuffers or just an actual gift idea for a friend.  Or shoot– forget Christmas– buy this for yourself, because it’s fabulous.  I got this when I was newly pregnant in January of 2013 (I remember this because it says it gives you a “glow” which I found fitting for that “pregnant glow” you’re also supposed to have lol) and I STILL have it, and I wear it everyday.  Well, okay– everyday that I wear where makeup which is nowhere near everyday, but still– I’m impressed it is still kicking out powder for me!  It’s less harsh than previous bronzers I’ve used and really does just give this rose-gold glow that I find absolutely perfect.  On the rare occasion I’m in a hurry and forget to powder it on real quick, I always find myself thinking something looks “off” and then realize I forgot my glow!

OH- and June loves it, too lol.  That’s probably because she loves the big fluffy brush I use to put it on and then tickle her nose with, but in case you were leery of my recommendation, take hers!

5.  Make-up remover cloths

I’m so lazy at washing my face before bed (I know, I know– I’m aging my poor face 7 years overnight because of this or something that still isn’t convincing enough to make me do it everynight lol) but these fabulous guys greatly help motivate me!  So really, if you’re giving someone like me this gift, you’re not just giving them the gift of make-up remover wipes, but also the gift of youth.  That’s a stocking stuffer even Santa can’t deliver.

6.  This awesome hand creme.

My mom gives me these from time to time, and they are the absolute best for keeping your hands unaware of the winter and frigid around them.  This would be a fabulous stocking stuffer for anyone living in winter climates.

7.  Pillow Stress-Relief Spray

A most thoughtful friend gifted this to me after I was fired, and oh my goodness, it was the best.  And it’s still the best.  I save it for special nights, and I just love the relaxing scent as I fall asleep.  (The Shippmate is quite a bit less enthused by this pillow spraying excitement, so maybe save this one for the girls on your list only lol.)

8.  My favorite mascara.

I go in spurts of loving and hating mascaras and this has been my go-to for quite some time.  Thankyouverymuch, PT Twin, Eliza Payne!  You’re the best.

9.   Any of these little word blocks with special words from someone.

photo(2)This is one Ryan gave me on June’s birthday, and it literally makes me smile every single day.  I love that he picked that little thing out that means so much to me.  If this is for a co-worker or a BFF, maybe pick words that are a bit more appropriate lol, which will not be hard because these things are everywhere and there are so many good ones.  Every time I’m in Francesca’s or Gordman’s or anywhere with these, I could buy 13 for various different people I love.

10.  A simple letter necklace

I think there is something so timeless and classic about these little necklaces.  I like the idea of having a J for June, but if you’re buying for a friend with no kiddos, I think their first initial is also perfect.

11.  Gift card for popcorn at the movie

I love a gift that is something I would not buy myself, and crazy overpriced movie popcorn is something that makes me cringe to buy, but I also so enjoy!  So I think a gift card for the popcorn or even a popcorn/snack/drink combo if you’re really feeling generous would be such a fun gift.

12.  Sonic gift card for guiltless Happy Hour bliss

This is pretty much self-explanatory.  I adore a $5 gift card to Sonic, because that is 5 free trips to America’s favorite drive-in, baby!  SCORE.

13. Last, but not least, is this little spoon holder guy that I find quite precious:

So this is the only item on the list that I don’t have and love, but I always think I need one when I’m making soup and fumbling around with where to put my spoon.  I feel like this is great for someone who cooks and/or who is germ conscious, because I never know quite how I feel about just setting the spoon on the counter lol.  And it’s cheap and fun and something most people probably wouldn’t buy on their own, and thus it screams STOCKING STUFFER PERFECTION!

That’s where I’m going to wrap this up.

Because well– you know I love the number 13, but also because it’s December and there is nothing I love more than some couch cuddling with my favorite Shippmate by Christmas tree light.  Ah, it’s the best.

Happy Stocking Stuffing, friends!

All of this talk of stockings, and I just had to include a picture of ours– they’re from Pottery Barn and they’re from my Bobby.  I love them so much, and I’m nearly in giddy disbelief that next year I’ll be sharing my middle spot with Baby June!

photo(4) photo(3)

12.8.14 13 Comments

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