Lessons from a staycation through my iphone...

We bought a little local getaway via LivingSocial (a Groupon type site) and the big girls had a day off so we ditched town.

If ditching town means driving a few minutes on the freeway...

We stayed in a "newly remodeled boutique hotel", which is apparently code for trendy paint, funky art, ikea furniture and hiring a photographer with magican-esque skills to make it look way better than it really is.  Good, good thing that we are fairly simple and flexible.

Because we were in it to win it.   Weird hotel motel and all.

A bean and potato burrito with ten packets of taco sauce is on my list of desert island foods.
Never ever gets old.
Especially if it is paired with a fountain diet poison.  Sometimes a girl has just got to be bad.

Best eaten on the pier.  Sandy burritos = no bueno.
Rebecca and Kanani joined us of course.  They always do.

I love little restaurants that have mismatched random dishes.
I do not love when the coffee cup that arrives at my seat is taunting me with unobtainable beignets.
I want to make them at home.  Has anyone sucessfully tried the mix?

It was chilly all weekend.  We lived in hoodies.   A cozy lazy hoodie day?  Love.

My girls love the beach.
Love it.
They do not love the water.
This is both a yay and a boo.  We get some good beach chair time, but I really wish they wanted to swim.  Swimming in the ocean as a kid is one of my best memories.  Their current beach memories involve watching surfers, looking for shells, heart shaped rocks and crab skeletons.

Staying until the sun went down, heading back to the weird room to eat ice cream and watch Star Wars... that is vacation.

Waking up, checking out, eating a huge yummy breakfast before heading back to normal life?  So perfect.  Uncomfortable Ikea bed and all.

How was your week?
Link up your random cammy phone adventures at
life rearranged

Out of all the questions that I get asked, the most frequent one, and the one most difficult to answer is:
"My friend just lost a baby.  What can I do to help?"

I love this question and I hate this question.

I love it because of the heart behind it.  The willingness to help.  The wanting to do and say the right thing.

I hate this question because it stems from such loss.  From helplessness.  But most of all, because often I don't know how to answer it.

I feel like I should know the answers.  That I should have the perfect three step plan to fix everything.  But even being through what I have been through, helping friends and strangers through similar situations, I often feel helpless too.

I could write a big old book about what not to say.
Because believe you me, I have heard some crazy out of the mouths of people trying to bring comfort.

The worst part about it, is that I remember the awful words often more than the truly good ones.

Want to know the one that tops them all?  The one that nearly got my friend a punch in the face?  The one that still haunts me?

The one that I want to make sure that nobody ever, ever, ever says to anyone?  Ever?

Let me preface this by stating that I truly believe that she thought she was being comforting.  That somehow her words would help me in my grief and questioning.  I also don't think she thought through what she was about to say before the words came rushing out of her mouth.
She should have.  But she didn't.  Haven't we all done that?  Said incredibly ignorant and stupid things without thinking?  I know that I am guilty.  Multiple times.

Here it goes.  Brace yourself.

"Maybe God doesn't think you and Jason are ready to be parents yet."

Say it with me.... OH NO SHE DIDN'T!!!!!!!!!!!!!

She did.  She said that.  As she held her newborn.  To me.  In an attempt to care for my broken heart.  Unless God personally calls you on the phone and commands you to tell those words to another person.  YOU DON'T.  Ever.  Ever.  Ever.  Did I take those words to therapy?  Heck yes.  Lots of therapy.  I am all for therapy.  Therapy and filters.

But I remember so much good too.
The friends who didn't try to answer questions.  Who didn't try to fix us.  Who prayed.  Who called.  Who brought us meals.  Cupcakes.  Sent us away for the weekend.  Who weren't afraid to stick around when things didn't go back to normal after a couple of weeks.   Friends who still remember Joy's birthday after all of these years.

That is the kind of person that I want to be when people in my life are hurting.  I want to walk into the difficult places with them and bring comfort.  Not pain.  Strength.  Not solutions.

My friend Jeannett is hosting a beautiful series on her blog Life: Rearranged that has been quite soothing to my heart.  I offered to write a post about the do's and don'ts of helping a friend dealing with pregnancy and infant loss.  But I need your help.  Please let me know things that you have done for friends, or that friends have done for you that helped through your dark seasons.  Healing words.  Helpful actions.  I have just as much to learn as any of you do.   

I want to be a better friend to those hurting.  Share your heart, your knowledge, your experience.

I honestly believe that none of our tears are ever wasted.

Thank you friends.

(a quote from How I Met Your Mother, 
where I swapped the word sad for mad.)

Sometimes I let myself wallow for a bit in sadness, but anger?
For the most part I fight it.
Especially when there is not a thing in the world that I can do to change the situation.

Don't get me wrong, there has been a time or a dozen where I have thought "I so want to punch them in the face right now."

Because once in a while face punching sounds really fun.
Seriously fun.
Having this little notebook would be fun too.

But I have yet to find out for sure if it is in fact fun...
I think it might actually hurt,  or land me in jail which would be awkward, and it's mostly pretty wrong.

Would a mean email, some hurtful words, or other forms or revenge make me less mad?  Maybe.  For a second.  But then the regret would set in.  This verse would convict my heart.  It's not worth it.

Being mad is lame.
Be awesome instead.

On a Saturday.  Because I am a total rebel rule breaker.
Who had a crazy crazy crazy full week.
(And who is a professional procrastinator and put all of the crazy and busy on myself due to lack of planning.  One day I will learn.  When I am 103.)

We had the privlege of taking the big girls to see a local production of Beauty & the Beast, in which one of our students was a dancer.
It was magic.  Total magic.  Costumes were involved.  How could it not be a glorious night?

Perhaps I should start a blog about fruit.
Because really, is there nothing better about summer?
The heat can go.  But the fruit must stay.
Lucky me, I am the only person who likes cherries in this house.
Mine all mine.
Try them after soaking them in a bowl of ice water.  You can thank me later.

So I tried that whole "Do one load of laundry a day and you will never fall behind" nonsense.
For a day.
Thing is, I could totally get a gold medal in washing and drying clothes.
My issue is more of the putting away part.
I'm trying.  Failing.  But trying.
Who wants to keep me accountable on the one load a day plan?

A sweet blog reader sent me this fabric all the way from gorgeous Austrailia over two years ago.  I finally found a project worthy of cutting into it.  Aloha to a seven year old and her luau pool party.

I love bacon.  But only really crispy bacon.  Not slimy bacon.  Not floppy bacon.  There is this very fine line between raw and burnt.  I am a master of that line.  I love these ironic pig tongs that help me make my version of perfect bacon.

I hung up the happy banners on my stairs to keep them from getting wrinkled, but quickly realized that my stairs need a daily party.  Walk in, see this?  Troubles melt like lemon drops.  Looks like some more pennant cutting is in my future.

Are you having a crazy week?  Need to bring five dozen cookies to a school bake sale? (Five was not a typo.)  Make Lazy Cookies.  They are even more delicious than they are easy.

 Cupcakes for the girl who helped us to sing hallelujah again seven sweet years ago.

I have so much to say about my sweet, sweet Halley.
But our day at the American Girl store was nothing short of magical.  She shines.  She is depth and beauty and grace.  She is more than I ever deserved as a mom.  She is truly an extravagant gift.

Link up your random with me over at Life Rearranged.

Do you ever get tired of yourself?
Or is that just me?

Last week during the great Blogger Catastrophe of 2011, I looked at it as a huge break.
I don't have to talk about myself for two days.
Blogger is broken?  Cool.  Free pass from posting.

But apparently it was much different for most people.
It just took one peek at my Twitter stream to see the hordes of despondent and disgruntled bloggers whose LIVES WERE RUINED BEYOND REPAIR because they couldn't publish their posts.

Like sharpening their pitchforks and lighting their torches, in preparation to storm the offices of Blogger, ruined.

Really?  Is this what it has come to?  Really?

I was over it.  A little sassy even.  Sassy enough to tweet this:

I lost a post.
One single post.
Out of the nearly one thousand that I have written.
Ironically it was the NBD post.


Because it was really, truly NBD.

So enough about me.  Tell me about you.  What is the latest and greatest in your life?

Can you believe that you lived through the Blogger catastrophe?  What stories will you tell your grandchildren about where you were when it happened?

P.S.  If Blogger could break at least a few days each week I wouldn't be mad.  Just saying...

For the longest time I have been trying to think of one thing, anything, that as girls, we have better than guys.
Because lets be honest... guys have it good.
Really good.

But they don't know how to throw parties.
Happy, girlie parties.
Best friends.
Gorgeous home.
Delicious food.
Happy favors.
A private concert.

Dudes have nothing on us.
It's not so bad to be a girl after all.

Brunch for our mamas.
Held at the home of (needs a blog) Richelle.
Hosted by my Aqua Apron Sisters.
Recipes can be found here.
Coconut cake in a jar favors by Kindyl (who will take over the world with her cupcakes one day.)
Music by Chasing Paris (I am so proud of those girls.)

Happy Friday friends.
How was your week?
Things were quiet and crazy and lazy and busy all at once over here.
Here are some highlights of the week's adventures via Instagram.

A stick of butter and a cup of brown sugar.
Are there two lovelier ingredients?
This happy pan was the beginning of Whatever's Baked French Toast.   Make it now.  Right now.

This ain't your grandma's venti cold cup.
It is the mythical TRENTA (which should not even exist in stores yet).
More elusive than an sparkly aqua polka dotted unicorn, yet the mister went on a seemingly impossible quest and surprised me for mother's day.
I am one happy lady.

All I wanted for mother's day dinner was a peace.  Hauling the littles to a busy restaurant does not fall in to that category.  However, add curbside pickup of yummy food to a picnic at a park and I got just what I needed.

I like being their mom.
A lot a lot a lot.

A destination wedding?
In my second favorite state?
I can't stinking wait!!!

 For the first time, my desk is safe from icy water rings thanks to my adorable new rug mug from Knitty Bitties.  Sooooooo perfect.

Yogurt date.
Happy kids.

Trying to find a color for the UPS truck has proven to be more difficult than I ever imagined.  Thank goodness for the little trial size paints!  Five of them so far...  But I don't think I'm settled on one yet.  Soon, maybe.  But then there is the pesky having to paint part.

I ditched the laundry and household chores to snuggle into a comfortable chair and devour this Summer magazine. Dreamy.
I was inspired each and every page.  It's more like a book than a magazine and will not be seeing my recycle bin anytime soon.  Or ever.

There are some places that I don't mind taking my kids to birthday parties at.
Then there is this place...

I do have one mason jar that has escaped the spray paint can.  Cinnamon sugar is a staple in this house.  This jar makes quite a few appearances, and makes each day a little sweeter.

Here's to a happy weekend...
Document your mundane with your camera phone and link up with me here:

What have my iPhone and I been up to this week?
Are you dying to know, or what?

My uniform?
Wife beaters, ribbed tanks.
Not a day goes by that I don't wear at least one.  A cardigan and dress is usually involved too, but the tanks and I are never apart.
Formerly my love was from Old Navy, but this year they made them a little shorter and a lot weirder.  So we broke up and I found a new love in the Target tanks.  I loooove them.  Love.  They treat me so much better than Old Navy's new version.  Plus they are sooooo soft.  Adios Old Navy.

You know when you hear so much hype about a place, that you are skeptical?  Then such place comes to your town but it has an ugly font for a logo and is in a super creepy shopping plaza?  Even more reasons to not like it, right?
But then your friend Mique promises, promises, promises that you will not only like it but love it.  You hesitantly agree to meet her there to test it for yourself.
She was right.  I liked it.  A lot a lot a lot a lot.  Since that day, I can't count the number of frequent diner cards that I have filled up.
Darn you Cafe Rio and your lame font and strange real estate choice.  I love you.  Your pellet ice, your really good iced tea and your addictive barbacoa salad.  Which I wish I was eating right this very second.

Any other family go through four pounds of strawberries in two days?  I can't stop eating them.  I can't resist the low seasonal prices.  Especially if Nutella is involved.

 I have been too lazy to change the dumb yellow nail polish, but thanks to these sunshiny (HIDEOUSLY UNCOMFORTABLE) Target shoes, for one day I didn't completely hate it.  But I still think aqua would be cuter.

Napping kids + mason jars + Rustoleum spray paint.
It's on.

 Mother's day tea party at school.  Tears were involved.  Happy tears.  So happy.

 My salsa loving, chip devouring, taco hating, senorita pequena, hopes you had a fun Cinco de Mayo.

 The rainbow results of my date with spray paint.  All ready to go for tomorrow's brunch.  I'm in love.

I have been so, so, so, so good on adhering to my no Diet Poison boycott.  So good.  But this goateed southerner lured me in with his fountain of icy goodness.  Jerk.

Enough about me.  What have you been up to this week?  Every camera phone has a story to tell.