SQT Tablet edition, part Deux

Linking up with Kelly, in lieu of Jen, for the first time in a very long while.

1.  The tablet.  Ugh.  Back story :  I have had computer problems like most people have fruit fly pproblems,  where all seems fine for the longesr time and then BAM!  You find yourself screaming and flailing your arms like a drunk mupppet in the middle of the kitchen trying to adequately express your current state of consternation. I.  Can’t.   Win.  So, “the machine” is currently in the loving hands of the guys at Geek Squad, and I decided that the idea of tediously tapping out a blog post using nothing but the very tips of my fingers and the c3aziest misspellings you’ll ever have the privilege of reading is not going to stop me.

You’re welcome.

2.  Speaking of the Squad of Geeks, they’ve up and changed their uniforms!  Gone are the crisp white shirts and skinny black ties, now they’re sporting golf shirts and are like, “Look, dude, I’m  not a geek, I’m really more of a business-casual nerd.”   At this point, I don’t care if they’re sporting pink tutus with Darth Vader’s masks, as long as they fix my  stinkin’ laptop.

3.  One thing I can’t wait to share with you once I get my puter back is the “Pintrest-worthy, dramatic before and after shots of our family room,” also known as, “I paintted a few things and I’m prerty stoked with how it all turned out.”  Commence breath holding.  (Just be warned, the geeks, ahem, business-casual nerds, said it would take three to five days to get the computer back, so plan your breathing challenge accordingly. )

4.  The Tommy is 5 months old.  Wow.

5.  We’ve been installing locks with reckless abandon around here, only to find some of it to be futile.   There is the age old delemia of “how does one keep children from pilfering through the pantry all the live long day,” which I thought was solved by the installation of a couple of simple babylocks.  Ten minutes after I installed said locks and walked smugly away from the kkitchen, I  overheard the five year old instructing the 7 year old how to open it.  I think I’ll stick with my friend’s recommendation to only buy food they have no desire to sneak, so our diet will soon consist of not much more than wild rice, canned beans and liver.  Yum.

6.  The other locks I mentioned are for all outside doors as it seems we have a sleepwalker on our hands. New parenting territory, same basic idea: how to keep kids alive while they’re still under my roof.

7.  We’re watching Sherlock, true to our “18months behind in all the things” form.  For those who haven’t seen it, its the perfect mix of gasping out loud in astonishment,  laughing out loud at the clever humor and quickly asking, “what did he say?  because although you miss plenty due to the English accents, you don’t  want to miss what they say next.  Sorry Downton, Sherlock is brilliant.  I’m  just sad that I’m running out of episodes.

Have a great weekend!

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When Good is Good Enough—a Series for the Recovering Perfectionist

“If you’re going to make something, use the best materials, put some real time and effort into it, and get it right.”

“If you’re going to put away your clothes, take the time to fold everything properly so that there are no wrinkles.”

“If you’re going to clean the pots, then take a steel wool and scrub the stains off the bottom while you’re at it.”

“If you’re going to do something, do your best at it.”


If, then; if, then; if, then….. Whether these commands come from someone else or just keep swirling in your head while you look at a project, any project, EVERY project that needs to be done, these words can be nothing short of paralyzing for a perfectionist.

“Oh,” you chuckle, looking over your shoulder the mound of laundry that hasn’t been folded and put away for a week, or the windows that are bare because you can’t seem to decide what kind of curtains you want to hang, or your out of date jeans that you really hate but don’t want to replace until you lose some weight first. “Yeah, I’m not a perfectionist. Perfectionists are… perfect! You can tell just by looking at me that I’m not—I’m a mess!”

Well, my friend, it is possible that you just may be a perfectionist. It took me years to realize it, and then a few more to admit it, but I’m willing to say it now:

I am a perfectionist.

I’m a perfectionist of the worst sort, because rather than seeing something that needs to be done and give it a good shot, I see something I feel I can’t do perfectly, so I say, “Why bother?”

That pile of laundry? It’s filled with shirts that really should be ironed, and I don’t have the time to iron, so on the couch they’ll stay.

The windows? Well, it’s tough, because I can’t decide if I prefer a warm look or a cool look, and well, I like florals, but I haven’t found one yet that doesn’t look so….. flowery….

Oh, and the jeans? Honestly, I don’t want to spend the money on clothes that I’ll only be wearing for a few weeks anyway because I’ve been meaning to start running, once I finish researching the best running shoes, and besides, should I be doing Weight Watchers, or just do Paleo on my own?

It’s enough to make me want to pull my own hair out when I think of it!

Yes, there are many things in this life that require us to give 100%. The problem is that sometimes you get mired in the idea that everything requires all or nothing. And if you can’t give it your all, you’re likely to give nothing.

Take for instance: vacuuming. At some point, early in my marriage, I heard that in order for a carpet to be truly cleaned, you have to pass over each spot eight times. That’s right, push, pull, push, pull, push, pull, push, pull—okay, that spot is clean, move over 10 inches and, repeat.

Guess how often I vacuumed? Yep. Close to never. Who vacuums like that!?

This was the point when The Hubs said something to me. Something wise beyond his years, summing up the cure for my ineffectual perfectionist living:

“Sometimes, honey, half-assed is better than no-assed.”

Just think of it: if I had but run the vacuum over the carpet every once in a while, I would have had a much cleaner townhouse, and probably a better feeling about myself.

I think that might be the worst result of having a perfectionist attitude: If I can’t do it perfectly, then I shouldn’t bother. Because I can’t do something perfectly, then I’m a failure.

Wow. Sounds pretty heavy. And while those words aren’t necessarily dancing in front of me on a regular basis, their evil twin keeps whispering from the background, a quiet drumbeat:

Don’t bother. Don’t bother. Don’t bother. Don’t bother…..

What do you accomplish then? Nothing.

And when you’re not accomplishing much, it pulls you down.

Well, guess what? It doesn’t have to be so cut and dry. Sometimes, things don’t have to be done perfectly. Sometimes, things just need to be done. As I’ve been told several times by several different people, “Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good.”

Sometimes, good is good enough.

Over the next several weeks, I’m going to take a closer look at some of the places in my life where I’ve allowed perfectionism to take root and crowd out all the good I could have been accomplishing, if only I had not given into the temptation of perfectionism.

I’d love to hear your stories, too, of where you’ve overcome any perfectionist tendencies. Are there any places where you can see that you are going for the perfect, and letting it crowd out the good?

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In Which I prove I am Not Fit For Farm Living

This past weekend was the annual Farm Tour around these here parts.

One thing I love about living in this area is that you go from heavy politics to suburban living to farm life to the deep south in a span of about 20 minutes in any direction.  Apparently, we’re in the South now (excuse me, the “Saaaaauuuuth”) but a mere fifteen minutes gets me to civilization pretty quick, so while I might feel a bit like a fish out of water, this Yankee transplant doesn’t have to feel like a fish gasping for breath on the floor of a fishing boat as it makes its way ashore.

But!  The Farm Tour!  This thing is awesome.  This is where you can get up and personal with some of the craziest animals in the area and still have time to finish your weekly grocery shopping complete with wine and cheese tasting in produce.

I love this area.

S0, my friend and I decided to take our crew out and meet some animals, starting with a horse farm.

Before we started, we got “The Safety Talk” from one of the owners, who greeted everyone in the parking lot.  In short, horses get to know you by smelling your breath, can’t tell the difference between a human hand and a carrot until they taste blood, and think babies are swell, so have a great time!

Um, …. OKAY!

Seriously, it was great.  We met Danny, who is quite the people horse.  The kids were so good about not making any sudden movements and letting him sniff them, resulting in scenes like this:


And true to the safety talk, he was all about the bebe, and would swing his gigantic head towards Tommy and sniff him up something fierce:


(That would be a horse head all up in my Ergo there….)

Its actually a slight bit disconcerting having a horse head the size of a side table swing itself in your baby’s direction and sniff him so much that not only are his nostrils flaring, but he seems to be moving his mouth in a “mmmm mmm mmmmmmm……” fashion.

Yes, I know my little guy is delicious, but he’s not horse food.

So we moved on to the goats and the chickens.

It was pretty straightforward.  The rooster was noisy, the hens were running around like, well…. chickens…. and the goats feasted on cheerios straight from our hands.


And so did Lilly.  We’d give her cheerios to feed the goats and after dropping them juuuust before they could lick them off her hand, she finally decided this was for the birds and ate a helping herself.

If she was my first I’d be convinced she’d catch mad goat disease.  Or something.

After enjoying a free lunch provided by a local Baptist church, we set off to visit the alpacas.

Folks.  I love alpacas.

You want proof that God has a sense of humor?  Visit an alpaca farm.


These things are a panic.  They sneer at you, walk very slowly in groups, and make this, “eeeeehhhh” sound, like they’re whining.  Or zombies.

It was here that someone asked us if we were a homeschool group.   Nope.  Just two women and only twelve of their collective children, because two were elsewhere at the time.  We should have brought along a third friend and brought our number up to 20 or so.

Sometimes, I really feel for the Duggars.

So, its  Monday morning and I’ve got bunches to do today to finish up odds and ends from the old house to we can close on this thing, so I’m going to run before my minions are awake.  And by run I mean finish my coffee and shower.

You didn’t really think I mean “run” as in “Run” did you?

You did?  That was so sweet of you.

But no.

If you see me running, you should, too, because something is coming after me.

Like a baby eating horse.


Have you met any interesting animals lately?

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From the Mouths of Babes, Vol. 1


(Overheard from the back of my van.  I couldn’t help laughing when I heard the serious tone in this ten-year old’s voice)

“Maybe its not meatloaf itself you don’t like, but just they way you’ve had it.  Because, really, lots of people make meatloaf different ways.  Some make it with crackers and other breadcrumbs, some use ketchup and others use barbecue sauce…”


Will:  If a limb is cut off, does it grow back?

Me:  No, honey, it doesn’t.

Will: WHAT?!?!  What if your foot is cut off?

Me:  Nope.

Will:  WHAT?!?!  What if your leg is cut off?

Me:  Nope.

Will:  WHAT?!?!  What if your arm is cut off?

Me:  Nope.

Will:  WHAT?!?!  What if your hand is cut off?

Me:  Nope.

Will:  WHAT?!?!

You can imagine where this conversation went for the next five minutes.


Katie:  What is china?  Like, the stuff you eat off of?

James:  Its made of material that’s only used by fancy people who do things like eat with their pinkies up and who know what fork is used for what food.

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Getting there…..

38 hours until closing.

Not like I’m counting or anything.

I’ve wanted to blog about moving but I’ve hesitated about blogging about moving because I was quite certain that I was going to bore everyone to tears by blogging about moving.

Then, I remembered that one of the awesome things about having a blog is calling the shots about what goes on the blog.

So. Moving.

We can see the light at the end of the painting tunnel, but dang it all, there is so much more to do still. The kids’ bedrooms, the kids’ bath, all the downstairs, all the basement—all painted. I still need to finish the office and touch up the powder room, though, then we have to finish ALL the trim in the house and touch up a bunch of ceilings and paint the kitchen ceiling…


In the meantime, however, we’ve been planning out exactly what we want to do in the kitchen, and I’ve been dreaming about the rest of the house, so keeping an eye on the prize has been helpful.

Yes, we’re setting a lot of projects ahead of ourselves at the new place, but I don’t want to find myself ten years in one house again saying, “Huh. This room looks soooo much better now that it’s painted.”

And now I know just how doable it is.

Myquillin Smith, aka “The Nester”, wrote an awesome book earlier this year that has really helped me get my decorating perspective and I’m stoked to put these ideas into use. We’re not talking anything to revolutionary, just stop overthinking things and take a risk.

You know, like, paint the room. Pick a color and just do it. I might find myself as pleasantly surprised as I did this week.

I did tell The Hubs tonight that the absolute first project I want to do is painting the kids’ rooms. They’ve been so patient with our projects around here, especially because they all want to help, and we just need to get it done without having to clean up mistakes. Once we are in their rooms, we can give them more freedom with these projects.

They’ve all got plans, and I’m doing my best to give them carte blanche. We’re talking a blue underwater theme for one, multicolored stripes in another, and the third request was deep green, like a forest, with trees. I’m going to have to think about the third one a bit and see if I can come up with some suggestions on how to do it, other than painting the room a dark green as was requested. I’ll keep you posted.

Well, it looks like they’re all asleep, finally, and we’ve got one more full day before we move out. Lots to do, but it will get done. It always does. Then, carpets come in, we give the place a final cleaning, the realtor stages the place and takes pictures, and we go on the market on Friday.

And pray for a quick sale.

(sorry about the lack of pictures.  I got nuthin’.)

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It’s one of those days….



…. where you have to call the pediatrician’s office to ask them, in response to their confirmation call yesterday, just who you should bring with you to the appointment today.  Because you never put it on the calender.

…where you you practically kiss your friend’s feet through the phone after she mentions that she needs to drop off her AHG paperwork for her daughter today, which prompts the question, “um, what paperwork?” which leads to her walking you through your backlog of emails and points out all the forms you need to fill out.  All. The. Forms.

…where you add items to your to-do list just so you can cross SOMETHING off.

…where you let little people fall asleep wherever their bones hit the floor (or in this case, all in my bed, apparently) because you just don’t feel like going through “the routine” tonight.


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A Very Quick Monday Daybook

Around the House: 

The move. Two weeks from today, we’ll be closing on our new house, and I. Am. STOKED!  And its crazy around here.  We’ve been making some serious progress around here, packing, having the outside landscaping cleaned up (trees cleaned up by a friend of the Hubs and we called in some outside help to clean up the flower beds and mulch everything), and painting, painting, painting.  Yesterday, The Hubs leaned out a few upstairs windows to paint shutters, and our “curb appeal” is getting better little by little.

We also took down the playset (something about missing boards and exposed screws just doesn’t say “child-friendly play” to me).  I think its safe to say, demolition is fun.

**Speaking of painting, I still have a ton more to do.  Like, the entire downstairs.  At least, once I get going I get on a roll, but its still challenging with a baby who likes to be held.

The Kids:

And speaking of babies who like to be held– look at this kid!


Two months on Wednesday.  Yikes.  He just started smiling for real yesterday, and I love to sit in front of him and beg for smiles.  He doesn’t disappoint. 🙂

Alex has expanded his BSA membership and started Sea Scouts.  Why the sudden interest?  Two words:  underwater robotics.  Our ship (think “troop”) just started the program, and Alex cam home from his first meeting as the leader on his team.  He’s so excited, and I think it will be great for him.

From the kitchen: 

Besides a simple meal plan that revolves around two pans, a  knife, and one spoon?  Not much.  How about a peek at my “pinspiration” for the next kitchen?

From: Dear Lilly the Blog

The layout of this kitchen is pretty much exactly like our new one, except the stove is off to the right, not on the island, the glass doors are a bay window and that wall on the left will be the entrance to our family room.  Basically, this house hasn’t been updated since the day it was built, though its in great shape.  While we’re not planning major renovations anytime soon, I figure a little paint will take us far.  We’ll paint the cabinets and walls, and do something about the counter tops (and the very first thing to go in the house will be the florescent light over the island).  But this gives you an idea of what we’ll be doing.  Something tells me this blog will be turning into a DIY house blog…..

Well, off to keep cleaning and packing feeding my peoples. Aaaand, it sounds like a diaper change is in order.  Have a great day!

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