Friday Photo of the Week

Avery "On Top of the World" in Utah

For this week’s “Photo” I pulled out a previously unseen (by me, that is) picture obviously taken without my permission, approval or consent. This photo must have been snapped while I was throwing back a Xanax because there is no way on God’s green earth I would have EVER allowed my precious, innocent, fragile baby girl to perch atop a gargantuous mountain of rock without wearing some sort of harness, protective head gear or at the very least without a giant mattress securely placed below said rock foundation to cushion any potential fall.

Gorgeous picture? Yes. Maternally vomit-inducing? You betcha.

Happy Friday!

Mindy

A Little Much Needed R&R…

Happy Friday friends! It has been quite a week around here and I couldn’t be any more ready for the weekend. Being a stay-at-home mom, often the end of the week merely blends right in with the working days andall a Friday, Saturday and Sunday mean to me is no guilt when I send the kids to their dad for snacks.

But this weekend is a little bit different. This weekend, I am heading to the beach with my girlfriends. Oh, yes. Watch out little beach town becausefour thirty-something tired moms are hittin’ you up for a little Rest and Relaxation.

Thank the Lord.

And we have quite the agenda. First up, dinner. Because what road trip would be complete without the requisite 1000-calorie meal under the justification that “Hey, we’re on vacation so let’s get the mozzarella sticks and the fried zucchini!”?

Second plan on the agenda…check-in to the hotel. I’m super-excited because this time around we actually meet the room requirements for inhabitants so there will be no sneaking through any backdoors or hiding under garment bags on the luggage trolley. I hate deceit. Except when it costs me an extra $15 per person. In that situation, I handle it.

Third up (and claiming most potential for major excitement)…gambling at the local casino. Yes, folks. We are planning on trying our hand at the tables. A couple of big spendersthrowing the dice on chance. Okay, that’s a lie. We’re definitely more of the penny machine types. Or, if we’re feeling super lucky we hit upthe nickel machines. A person can learn a lot about their fellow members of the human race sidled up to a slot machine, sucking up second-hand smoke and sipping on a free Pepsi. I can’t wait.

Fourth plan on the agenda…back to the hotel for a swim in the pool. This part, not so exciting. Why? Because my winter white legs protest being thrust into a lycra/spandex bodysuit, exposed to the harsh chlorine and then subjected to unflattering pool lighting. My legs’ owner isn’t all that excited about it either. But…where there’s a pool there will be swimming. It’s the law of nature.If not nature, thenmy sister-in-law who I’m convinced was a mermaid in her past life.

Fifth plan…sleep. Ah, blessed Tylenol PM-induced sleep. Need I say more?

Sixth plan on the agenda…free breakfast. There’s nothing better than a complimentary morning meal! And we’ve had somereally filling ones. Others, not so complete. I am reminded of a hotel stay years ago during a trip to Yellowstone. The hotel marquis advertised “complimentary breakfast” (one of the benefits compelling us to choose said hotel.) We all headed down to the so-called breakfast suite early so as not to miss the meal. We shouldn’t have hurried. The toaster oven and loaf of white bread were in no danger of going anywhere.

Seventh plan…shopping in Old Town and a walk on the beach. I’m looking forward to the shopping as I’m plum out of decorative clam shells and personalized mini license plates and have been craving cinnamon salt-water taffy. And I find nothing more therapeutic to the soul than watching the ocean ebb and flow.

Final plan on the agenda…driving home to the family. I always look foward to my trips away from home because they are far and few between. Like an elbow to a rib, the kids seem to know how to rub me the wrong way when I am at my most vulnerable and insupreme need of alone time.These short vacations serve as a salve to my overly expended spirit. I will rest and relax and then go home to my family totally renewed. And honestly, that’s my favorite part of the trip.

Happy Friday,

Mindy

I love vacations, but…

First of all, let me say a big “Thank You” to all of you for allowing me to whine relentlessly on Friday about being all uninspired. I’m over it. You were there. Thanky. Moving on…

We just got back froma wonderful weekend in Washington State visiting family and celebrating a veryearly Christmas before parts ofthe family hightail it for warmer weather and drier climate.It was a very full, fun weekend but vacations, even mini ones, always end with the requisite clean-up.And here’s where the true purpose of my post comes into play. Allow me to explain…

Picture it -

We’re pulling into the driveway after a long drive home. The kids have gotten a couple of good naps and are already quivering in their seats in anticipation of bursting through the front door to see their dog, Lewis, andto make sure that all their cool stuff is still where they not-so-neatly keep it.

I say, “Now, remembersomething family.Everyone needs to help puteverything away. Okay?”

Family in unison: “Sure! We’ll help.” I’m so lucky to have such a lovely considerate family. Smiles all aroundlike a Norman Rockwell painting come alive in a 2000 Ford Expedition.

Oh, we all packed it inside, alright. But that’swhere it all ended. Exit Norman Rockwell, enter my worst frickin’nightmare. I kneeled down to tie my shoe, just for a nanosecond, and as I stand backup, this is what I see.

Vacation

It was just like an old Friday the 13th horror movie. You know, where the young, nubile co-ed innocently stops to tie her shoe while hiking withfriends and then stands back up only to become aware that everyone has gone missing? And she’s alone, left to contend with the sudden appearance of a stranger in a hockey mask. It was just like that. Except I’m not really a young coed. Or nubile. And, I don’t really hike.And instead of Jason Vorhees to contend with I had a gigantic mess of tangled shopping bags and luggage. (Personally, I think Jason Vorhees would have been easier.)

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My family was nowhere to be found. And they left all of their stuff. Right in the middle of the floor. For me.

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Oh, and that’s my stuff. You got it. Neatly set upon the couch.

After coping with the realization that my family is selfish and meanI got to thinking about all the stuff. Why in the heck is there so much to put away? We were gone for one night. We have luggage, cows, Care Bears, shopping bags, coats…

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…a Spongebob balloon. Hold the phone, people. Why in the heck did we even bring a Spongebob balloon with us?

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Well, it took awhile but I was able to get everything put away. Solo mia. All by myself. AndI still haven’t located my family. I have this vision of them in the garage hiding underneath the workbench stocked with pringles, mallomars, juice boxes and the portable DVD player.

I’ve learned some valuable lessons from this mini-vacay.

1) I should utilize alittle more scrutiny during thepacking process. I’m pretty sure the Spongebob balloon was an unnecessary addition to my stress level.

2) I should devise a plan which disables my familyfrom avoiding me like the plague when we are in the midst of unpacking. I’m thinking I should be the one hiding under the workbench with pringles, mallomars, a juice box and the DVD player. Nah. I’d wriggle out from underneath the bench 10 pounds heavier from salt and hydrogenated oils only to find all the crap still sitting there. New plan.

3) I should drink more wine. Lots more.

Mindy