Wednesday, December 13, 2017

The Worst Decision I Ever Made.

This morning, I made the worst decision of my life.

Worse than the time I decided it would be okay to walk through the mud in my dress on the way to my junior prom (dumb).

Worse than the time I decided to eat IHOP for breakfast and then Olive Garden for lunch and then attempt to squeeze into my wedding dress. Yes, those are the meals I ate on my wedding day. (duuuuuuuuuuuuumb.)

What's up with me and ruining my dress for formal events? Is that psychological?

You see, this morning I decided to run at 5:00 a.m. when it was 19 degrees outside.

Though it's no secret that I'm not a fan of winter, I do enjoy running in cooler temperatures. Even down to the 30s. After a block or two, my body heats up and I am fine. It's like running in the air conditioning. I'm also motivated to not slow down because I don't want to get cold again.

But this morning, I didn't even check the temp before heading out. The second I stepped out the door, I realized it was cold. Super cold. I maybe could have handled that, but--oh the wind! And I wasn't properly dressed for it.

Nevertheless, I told myself to carry on and I would be fine. But I was not fine.

I did my normal loop and by the time I was on my way back, I started imagining my imminent death and wondered--How is my family going to identify me? I figured that because my face was now permanently disfigured from the wind beating it mercilessly, I would have to rely on the hope that no other girl in her young 30's has an entire Pandora station dedicated to Hall & Oates.

But I persevered and arrived back home and checked the temp. And then I vowed to never exercise again. Not. Worth. It.

In other news, yesterday we made sugar cookies. This was my first time ever doing it with my kids. Of course, June wanted to help with the mixer. She started out doing a great job, but one time pushed the knob just one increment too far, and then . . .

Flour everywhere. Everything was a total mess. I was SO mad. Dan came up the stairs at just that moment and began to laugh uproariously.

May he rest in peace.

Despite the mess and the long time the cookies took, we had a great time and the cookies were yummy too.

We frosted a couple, but then it was time for bed. So we froze the rest and will frost them another day.

This morning, I tried doing some cute girl hair and failed miserably.

First off, this is what the top of June's head looks like now that she's given herself a new cut.

Oh my Billy Ray Cyrus.

But with a lot of water and a lot of hairspray, we managed to get it like this:

Hopefully it stays down.

I also did the most darling thing to Gwen's hair. This style took 4 minutes to do it and then only stayed in 2 minutes. That's a bad return on my hair investment.

I wanted a picture of the front too, but of Gwen objected.

Speaking of Gwen and objections, I've been really trying to figure out how to parent her better. She is a doll, she's fun, she's spunky, and she's going to kill me. She's very stubborn. This morning, she was spitting at the breakfast table. I told her to stop. So she spat. So I told her to stop. So she spat.

So I finally just stared at her. I always hear people say, "When I was a kid, all my mom had to do was give me one look and I stopped doing whatever I was doing." I have not had success with this, but I decided to really try to channel this "look" power this morning.

So there we were at the breakfast table, staring at each other. I wouldn't even allow myself to blink. And Gwen stared straight back, with her tongue close to her lips, ready to spit again.

But I continued to stare. And finally she looked away.

And then she looked back again. But I hadn't stopped staring. I wouldn't stop.

Finally, after maybe 2 to 3 minutes, she started begging, "MOMMY PLEASE STOP LOOKING AT ME."
And then I was satisfied. I won a fight with my three-year old!!!

You can see what these children are doing to me. Recently, I made a pb&j for one of the children, threw the dirty knife in the sink and turned to give the sandwich to the child. But the sandwich was gone. I looked high and low and found it in the sink. Where I had not placed a dirty knife at all.

I'm running in the freezing weather, styling mullets and putting sandwiches in the sink. I'm losing it, people.

The End.

Monday, December 11, 2017


Question: How did we possibly fit in sooooo many things this week?
Answer: December.

Is it just me or does December hold special powers that allows us to somehow cram in an inordinate number of activities into each and every single day? Each one is wonderful and joyful and I don't want to cut them out. I just wish I could wheel my bed to each of them because I'm really tired.

So here's this past week:

I know I said we were done with adding things to the yard, but Dan's mom caught the spirit and sent us a "Santa's bag" for the sleigh. For FHE last week, the girls had a friend over and we crumpled up old newspapers and stuffed the bag so that it would appear full. And then it rained and snowed and we realized that we probably should have stuffed the bag with old plastic bags instead of newsprint. I still haven't gone out to check how the inside of that bag fared, and as per usual, I am enjoying my blissful ignorance.

Dan is still pushing for a spotlight and a few other yard things but I'm holding strong that this is my absolute limit for this year. I know that people probably don't think I'm the type of person to have limits on my yard decor, but I'm actually a pretty classy broad.

Disney Day at school:

There's a special holiday in the Jolley home after Thanksgiving and before Christmas. It doesn't have an official name, but after consulting with my sister, we've decided "Turkey Dan Day" suits it perfectly.

You see, about a week or 10 days after Thanksgiving is over, Dan gets really sad that Thanksgiving is over. His favorite leftovers--turkey, mashed potatoes and stuffing--are all gone. And turkeys are really cheap at the store at this time.

So Dan always buys a turkey (or asks me to) and makes an entire second Thanksgiving dinner. This year, he cooked the turkey Wednesday after work, and he was up until midnight.

I do most of the cooking, but Dan loves to get involved around the holidays because, unfortunately, I am a very functional cook. I cut corners and leave things out to make my life easier. Dan is a much better cook than I am.

Thursday, he threw together his famous mashed potatoes and some stuffing, and we have been feasting on Thanksgiving food ever since.

We also wrote letters to Santa this week. I enjoyed playing scribe as Gwen and June dictated the following thoughts:

 And a pic of June's latest obsession--Frosty--on the back:

And then a quick trip to the community center to mail everything off!

I hate to bring it up, but June's bumcrack is like another member of our family--always present.

Early Saturday morning, June made an announcement: MOM, IT'S MY FAVORITE SEASON AND ALSO THE SEASON YOU HATE.

She was watching it snow outside.

'Tis true. I do not love winter. I do not love snow.

Correction: I do love snow when I'm inside and everything is canceled and we are watching movies and drinking hot cocoa.

Mostly, I just really love when things are canceled. I should never be on a committee that has to make the call whether to cancel events based on weather conditions because my answer is always YESSSSSSSS LET'S CANCEL AND NEVER GO ANYWHERE.

But I'm outnumbered. Everyone else in this crew loves snow and wants to marry it.

So we bundled up the kids.

And Dan took them sledding and they also built a snowman.

 And I stayed inside with Harris and made hot chocolate and listened to Christmas music.

They played for a long time until they were soaked-through and miserable and all came in screaming and bawled their faces off while I peeled frozen wet clothes from their bright red frozen skin.

Ahh winter. I can see why everyone loves you.

Really though--I do hope we have a white Christmas. I do think the snow is beautiful. I'm just more of a one-month-of-snow-gee-that-was-fun-and-now-it's-over kinda gal. By February, I feel like winter has sucked my soul out.

Saturday night was our Christmas party at church, and I tried to pull out all the stops and do something festive with the girls' hair.

On the way to the party, June asked me "Where are we going again?"

To which I replied, "A Christmas party at church?"

To which she replied, "Mom, are we really invited?"

And Sunday after church, we took everyone caroling. This is a Beck family tradition that we have chosen to carry on. I think we've done it every year except one since June was born.

Ready to sing our selected song of the year (and every year for three years now. If you keep moving, you don't have to learn new material!), Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer:

And then this morning, as I took out June's bun from last night and brushed through her hair, all of this fell out:

I started screaming for Dan to come quick. I started freaking out that by leaving her hair in an elastic overnight I must have let her hair break. But that didn't quite make sense.

At which point, I asked June a question. 

"June, did you cut your hair?"



"When you were sleeping!!"

That child.

Dan could see I was fuming and jumped in. "June, we are SO PROUD of you for telling us the truth."

I just looked at him like he was the mayor of Crazytown.

That's going to be fun to grow out.

When she could see I was upset, June attempted to fix the situation.


Anyway, we shall carry on in the December craziness and try to catch a nap here and then. I even found Gwen taking a nap in a December-y position this week. We'll call this one "Snow Angel Nap."

The End.

Sunday, December 3, 2017

How We Became the People with Tons of Stuff in our Yard

We've had a  kind of unwritten goal (does that make it only a wish?!?!) to expand our Christmas decorating each year with one or two things. Last year, we thought we had made the big time by buying a reindeer that lights up for the front yard. I think we also put a strand of lights on one bush. 

June came to me very upset this year that she was worried that our poor reindeer was so lonely. This is something June worries about all of the time--anyone being lonely. I reassured her that this inanimate object was totally not lonely, but she couldn't get over it. I saw a light-up fawn on super sale at Target, so I rationalized that I could buy it to soothe June.

I sent my landlord a text to ask him some questions about the outside outlets before we started plugging everything in. He responded by telling me that he also has four reindeer and a sleigh that he used to use and  wouldn't we want to add them to our display?

This is when things started getting crazy.

Of course, the kids (including Dan) were thrilled to have this stuff. I think it's pretty fun too. In fact, while we were setting it all up, I commented, "Wow, these kids have really changed us. We were never the type of people to do this." To which Dan responded, "Correction. You were never the type to do something like this. You changed."

So my grinchy heart may be melting a little bit. But not too much because more suggestions have been submitted by the peanut gallery about adding additional lawn ornaments and they have been vetoed by the Christmas Decorating Committee, of which I am chair. I can only handle so much stuff in my yard, and we are definitely there.

Finished product. A terrible picture by me (shocker) so you can't really see how Dan lined the sleigh with lights. It's much better in person.

We also finally bought a real tree. Not a real "real tree", mind you. But rather an artificial that is actually taller than the people in this family. We've had a Charlie Brown tree for years, and we decided to upgrade.

I need to buy a topper though.

This morning, I noticed an addition to our tree had been made by the girls.

That is an ornament hook holding up a bunch of other ornament hooks with a piece of tape across the front. So beautiful. Ha.

We kept the Charlie Brown tree and let the girls decorate it with their ornaments.

And the Christmas traditions have begun. Dan and I watched It's a Wonderful Life, and I choked up at the same part I do every year--the scene where George saves Mr. Gower from making a terrible pharmaceutical mistake. And as I do every year, I looked over at Dan. While I was choking back a few tears, he was weeping. It's one of my favorite things about that man. He is tender.

Good thing he doesn't read my blog or he would be mad I wrote that.

The LDS congregations of Morristown put on a fabulous Creche display every year, and thousands of people come to see the 300+ nativity sets. I was asked to play some background music for it this year. Or I thought it was background music. Imagine my surprise when I showed up and there was a poster with my face on it.

I was pretty nervous, but it was fine. But what was more than fine were the creches themselves. I was so overwhelmed by how beautiful they were.

I love seeing all of the depictions of the birth of our Savior. What a blessing.

And here are some pictures of those darn kids.

I'm still trying to do their hair every day, and I still can't make a straight part.

What a doll.

The end.

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Western Day and Cast-offs

June had Western Day at school this week. I should have been deterred from dressing her up, given our last experience with her being the sole dresser-upper for Mismatch Day. But we forged ahead, mostly because I actually had a couple of pieces that would work for the day.


I couldn't quite get her sleeve over her cast.

I tried taking some pics of Gwen so that she wouldn't be left out. But I forgot that Gwen wants to be left out.

Daylight Savings is pretty much a bad word around here. Everyone is still adjusting. Gwen goes to bed later and wakes up earlier than the other kids and refused to nap. But luckily, she has been caving on the naps the past few days.

And we got the cast off yesterday!! When we arrived at the doc's office and were sitting in a full waiting room, June loudly asked if she was going to have the girl doctor again. I reminded her that she didn't have a girl doctor last time. And then she shouted, "OH NO, DID THE GIRL DOCTOR DIE?" That got everyone's attention.

She then informed the entire waiting room that she had poop in her underwear.

I was grateful that Gwen had woken with pink eye that morning because Dan came home to be with Gwen and Harris while I took June to the appointment. So at least I didn't have to worry about them as I rushed June off to the bathroom to take care of her little issue.

Grateful for pink eye--that's where I am these days.

She did have a female nurse and was very comforted that she didn't die in the past three weeks.

All done. She had been dreading the removal of the cast--she loves it so much. I was glad she woke up Wednesday ready to have it taken off. Because that thing is a pain!