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I write novels, eat dark chocolate, raise three children, love my husband, scrub toilets, ignore the laundry, and love a good story, but hardly ever in that order.



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Thursday, May 30, 2013

Summer, in Theory

Oh, summer. I am so happy it's here. Just when I thought I would lose my ever-lovin' mind, summer arrived. And I am grateful.

But let's just be honest this year, Kim. (Danger! Danger! when I start speaking in the third person!) Summer is full of false promises in the area of fashion. I love summer fashion IN THEORY. But real life is often like a snowball to sunburned cheeks (you pick which set).

In your best interests, I present four fashion items that are awesome in theory alone:

1. Shorts. Aren't these cute?
Yes. Yes, they are cute. And you will not be seeing me in them, likely for the rest of my days. Shorts SEEM like a great idea. They LOOK like a great idea on the pages of magazines. But when a body has birthed many small humans and that body also likes ice cream more than triathlons, well, shorts are NOT a great idea. They are a sad idea. Do not be fooled.

2. Midriffs. Look at this woman.
I have no idea what she's doing but don't get distracted. The point here is her midriff. It is phenomenal. Awe-inspiring. It's the kind of midriff that allows her to skateboard down a sidewalk holding a long black pole and no one will bother her, not even public safety. Because she has the midriff. Do not, under any circumstances, pick up that pole, rip off your shirt, and try the same shenanigan. I, for one, have crossed to a different stage of life for midriffs, which looks more like this.
No to skateboards. Yes to floppy hats and standing still.

3. Camping out. Actually, this sounds horrible to me. But some of you think it's romantic and family-friendly and good for honing survival instincts. Go, girl! Camp like a Sasquatch! And when you can't sleep at 3 am because the ground is not made for sleeping and wolves sound scary in real life, leave your little play stove right where it is and find me at the Westin. 
4. Shiny accessories.
Apparently shiny, sheeny things are the rage this summer, but I don't want to talk about that. I want to talk about my concern for the girl modeling this handcuff purse. Why hasn't anyone given her food? Why haven't they stuffed a couple slices of pizza in that purse to take with her when the photo shoot is over? I have written about fashion hot off the runways, my struggles with remembering to change my children's clothes and the perils of  skinny jeans. But I have never endorsed not giving models pizza. I just want to clarify my stance on that. Models should eat pizza and THEN hold shiny accessories. And then they should eat more pizza.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Much love to you, Moore, Oklahoma.

Tornadoes hold no glamour for me. 
I hated the movie Twister (and only partly because the lame-o script made me whimper). I've had to talk each of my children down from the ledge during tornado warnings. And yellow skies and temperature drops will always make me nervous.

I come by this aversion genetically. When she was nineteen, my grandma's family farm was leveled by a tornado. 
Her family was spared because, by God's grace, they did not go down into the cellar where they usually waited out storms. They got in the car and drove away from the farm. After the storm, they returned to find the house and outbuildings flattened and the cellar collapsed in upon itself, all the canned goods sucked out of their jars.

My grandpa, who was then her college sweetheart, took her to a restaurant in New York where she was visiting him and told her the news. Her love letters from him were strewn across the state. The only clothes she had were the ones in her suitcase. Her family was well, though, and blessing abounded. She tells me now of how God walked alongside them through that time, through the relocation into town, through a new job off the farm for her dad and how that job ended up providing for them after he was gone.

Blessings abound, though the destruction can take your breath away.
Grandma and Grandpa decided to get married shortly after the tornado hit. She says now she had no home to return to, and she was ready to grow a new home with Grandpa. She made a good choice, I'd say. They were married for sixty years. 
We ache for you, Moore, Oklahoma. I can't imagine how overwhelming it must be, how disoriented you feel, how the grief must seep into your body and your thoughts and wear you clean out. May God stitch together all the broken pieces of your hearts and your town. May He give you strength and patience that defy your own understanding. And may you one day tell your granddaughters of the ways God held your hand when all you knew felt so very far away. 

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Read. Repeat.

We went to the library today, the kids and I. Do one's library habits reveal deep and dangerous things about one's personality? Say no. Because if my library patronage says anything about me, it's that I love paying late fees, particularly if there is a DVD involved.

I live less than a mile from our library, which means my library habits also point to sloth.

One of the best things about the library is that we can pretend we have real jobs. All of us, even the four-year-old. Here she is learning about bar codes and the outsourcing of human capital to machines. She's all for it. Get rid of the humans, she says, and give me the bar code zapper!
Ana loves the library and wants to live there. She is also speed-challenged when it comes to picking out books. Often, her slothful and fee-paying mother ends up rolling her eyes and hissing in a stage whisper, "Ana. We. Are. Leaving. Catch a ride home with the librarian." Our children's librarian is a total gem, though, so Ana doesn't hurry her pace one bit.

Mitch loves non-fiction and focuses mainly on the giant squid, natural disasters, and the never-gets-old Titantic disaster. Nothing says "pleasure reading" like mass casualties! I have tried without success to interest Mitch in fake people and fake stories, but he wearily shakes his head and with one motion, dismisses his mother's entire career. No biggie. I'm tough. And I can always have my revenge by writing him into a character one day....

Thea thinks the library is delightful because (a) it's so organized and (b) she can read the same stories over and over and over and over. And over. What is with this child? Why must we read the quirky but underwhelming Angela's Airplane 78,697 times when there are so many other choices? And I love Frances, but I think we can branch out and not hurt a hedgehog's feelings. And this book, on a rotating list of favorites, has made me so irritable, I may have been the one to hide it behind the bed so we could have some literary peace. 
I admit that Thea is hitting a nerve here. I do not re-read books unless they are written by God. And I don't want to know very much about the book before I dive in. I NEVER read the back cover and was totally anxious having to read the copy of my own back covers. They all give way too much away!

And you? Are you a re-reader, like Thea? Do you read the back covers of books before you begin? And, in the interests of full disclosure, have you funded entire sections of your local library by paying your late fees? Go ahead and and confess. You'll find no judgment here. 

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Thanks, Mama!

A Happy Mother's Day shout-out to the venerable Patti. I love you, Mom! And many, many blessings on all you mamas out there. Thank you for loving those under your care.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Winner...and Scary Woman

And the winner of the very cute 31 Bits bracelet that I have been tempted to steal is.....
Joanne Schneider Ripple! 

Congrats to Miss Joanne, and may she wear her new bracelet with joy and only a little bit of guilt that she didn't just let me keep it.

I am happy for Joanne. It's good to know there is a winner in my immediate circle because I, for one, feel like a big fat loser. It's freezing here today. FREE-ZING. We're talking snow, people. It's not supposed to stick and the forecast says 70s next week, but still. This weather is not good for self-esteem. Or personal warmth. Or happy thoughts toward our fellow humans.

I am choosing to believe this weather caused the horrifying incident I witnessed yesterday afternoon. The kids and I were stopped at a red light next to an elementary school that had just let out for the afternoon. Children were streaming across the streets, helped by a kindly crossing guard with white hair. Three cheers for kindly crossing guards!
HOWEVER. When the light changed and we were about to pull forward, an angry, bitter woman with an unfortunate perm CHARGED through the intersection, despite her red light, and nearly mowed over five children who were crossing the street. The poor kids screamed and literally jumped out of her way. She braked hard inches in front of them and continued looking irritated. 

I most certainly did feel my blood pressure rise to dangerous heights and I most certainly did call the police and report her license number, which Ana, in her number-savant way, was reciting from the back seat. Thea said she hopes the policeman catches that woman and tells her she was very naughty before locking her in a jail forever and ever.

Ahem. We're working on grace.

Road rage lives on, people. Snow and "ice pellets" (THE ACTUAL WORDS I READ IN TODAY'S FORECAST) do not help. But running over school children seems a bit extreme as a response to the sadness in our lives.

I, for one, feel so much better after hashing this out with you. Anyone else need to vent about drivers who want to kill people? This is a safe place. Much safer, in fact, than the corner of 50th and Woodland Avenue...
My name is Kim and I am a very good tattler. My eye's on you, Scary Perm.