Posts Tagged With: happy

gettin’ in the mood (for Christmas)

Now that Thanksgiving is in my rear view mirror, I can head towards my most favorite holiday of all! (I may have squealed a little when I typed that.)

I potted a tiny spruce tree in the giant pot on my front porch yesterday, going to light and top it today.
All three trees are up. Two are lighted. None are decorated.

Made new bows, one for the tree on the porch, one for the brand new tree downstairs.
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Three of the (I won’t tell you exactly how) many nativities are up.
This is the brand newest one! I found it in this teeny shop, it was hand carved in Ecuador.
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On today’s agenda: Light the big tree and the porch tree. Decorate all three trees. Set up the rest of the nativities. Finish other decorating. Find ornaments for these three boys and Thing 2’s D.
I give each kid an ornament every year for Christmas so that eventually when they have their own tree they’ll have ornaments to put on it.

I just downloaded new Christmas tunes including James Brown’s Funky Christmas! Thing C might be the only other one to appreciate that as much as I do.

It’s “small business Saturday” and we’re going to zip over Old Town to see what we might need…after a bit of breakfast.

Like Brian Setzer I’m Gettin in the Mood (for Christmas) (Yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay!)

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two weeks notice

Two weeks from tomorrow is the Saturday after Thanksgiving.
You know what that means?

Time to get CHRISTMASY up in here!
Trees and ornaments.
All the baby Jesuses.
Wreaths and stars.
Jingle bells. Santa Claus and Ho Ho Ho.
And mistletoe and presents to pretty girls.

I’m SO ready!!
Since I missed Halloween this year, I’ve decide to “emotionally/mentally” skip the giving of thanks and move straight into Christmas.

The boys will be with their mom for Thanksgiving and YBW and I will pick up his mom and go to his brothers. I feel ambivalent about it, but I don’t have to do any prep work so I’m good. I just hope I’ll get the watch the whole parade before we leave home.

YBW won’t put up trees without the boys being here. Luckily they’ll come back here Friday. That means Saturday can be: All Christmas All the Time!
I’m ready to set up nativities.
I’m ready to wrap pressies.
I’m ready to hang stockings.

Two weeks from tomorrow…
Must. Be. Patient.

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love was made for me and you

This is one of my favorite images from our wedding.
maids of honor
Every single photo taken during the ceremony shows my daughters like this.
Thing 2 holding Thing 1’s hand in both of hers. Thing 1 says it’s because she was crying so much and Thing 2 was comforting her.
That sounds about right.

Here’s another one that pleases me. Our first dance.
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L-O-V-E.

It was the very best day I’ve experienced in many years. The absolute joy in the church that day. The love of our closest friends and family surrounding us.
It was the most fun wedding I’ve ever been to. Not because it was ours, but because it was interactive. The congregants participated in our ceremony. We laughed, we cried.
YBW’s nephew read from Song of Solomon. His oldest friend read from 1 John. Girlie Thing read the Recipe of Love. We made each other cry. My beloved friend and mentor prayed beautifully for us. And that fabulous ‘girl in a collar’ blessed us in the most special way.
In the middle of our beautiful Episcopal ceremony there was a moment for YBW and me to share our own vows. I had practiced so much that I’d committed mine to memory.
When I began to speak, YBW said: You’re not going to read them?
I said: I memorized them.
His eyes got very big and there was laughter in the church.
Thing 2 said: She worked so hard, just let her go!
More laughter.
Mine was a short paragraph about trust and experiencing a different love with him.
YBW borrowed heavily from Joss Whedon and did manage to include “corpsified and gross” much to my joy!

At the reception, our Things made speeches, Thing C and Thing G telling funny and inappropriate YBW stories. Thing C said something about how it’s not YBW and Robynbird anymore, it’s YBW and Robynbird together. (this made more sense in the inflection)
Thing 2 wandered off for a moment but came back to where she started and as hard is her precious little heart is she told us we “made a believer” out of her.
Thing 1 broke my heart talking about happiness and love. She acknowledged how happy YBW helps me be. She expressed her love for him, not simply because of that, but because she loves him.
My precious and darling nephew, Boy Thing spoke of how I wasn’t just his aunt, I was his second mom and he is who he is today because I was in his life. (We cried in each other’s arms for a moment after he finished.)

YBW and I kissed each time the flatware hit the glasses. We laughed as we explained why there was a little black dolly on our wedding cake.
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We danced the night away.
It was the most wonderful day in the history of YBW and Robynbird…so far…

I hadn’t anticipated this post going the way it did when I started. I thought it was going to be about the girls holding hands…turns out I needed to talk about the entire day.
It was a mighty fine shindig.

Categories: love, on being a mom, Uncategorized, wedding | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

music makes the wedding go round

We met with the DJ this evening. He’s going to be perfect for what we have in mind to celebrate with our friends and family.
We talked about special music, those songs that absolutely must be played…

Wedding party introductions he’ll play Willkommen from Cabaret with Alan Cumming as the Emcee.
Willkommen. Bienvenue. Welcome.

First dance:
L-O-V-E ~ Nat King Cole
I introduced this song to YBW and he loved it (no pun intended…well maybe a bit intended)…it was a no brainer to make it our first dance.

YBW’s “dance” with Thing C:
The Pretender ~ Foo Fighters
Thing C played this with his first band at his high school talent show. He’s since moved on to his second band. (they don’t play this song)

YBW’s “dance” with Thing G:
Happy ~ Pharrell Williams
Thing G is the only one of our four who isn’t a music kid…but he LOVES this song! It brings YBW SO MUCH JOY!

My dance with Thing 1:
Raise Your Glass ~ P!nk
What’s the dealio? Thing 1 adores P!nk and we are totally “wrong in all the right ways”.

My dance with Thing 2:
Dancing Queen ~ Meryl Streep, Julie Walters and Christine Baranski (from the movie soundtrack)
We have a whole routine to this song…well part of a routine, anyway…
She just turned eighteen and remarked that she’ll never be the Dancing Queen again because she’s no longer seventeen. I think we’re all a little bit “dancing queen young and sweet only seventeen” no matter how old we are.

Last dance: (save it for me)
Let’s Get it On ~ Jack Black (YEAH! I got it in there after all!!)
Y’all saw this in let’s love…sugar

Whatever gets played in between is fine with me! I’m going to be so busy visiting and hugging my friends and family!

I’m stressed like crazy trying to get the last things finished.
Sundance had the idea we should make the napkins for the reception…Thing 2 and I’ve done literally nothing else for the last two days…Sundance, not so much.
Thing 2 says she’s going to punch her Aunt Sundance in the mouth when she sees her. (I gave her my blessing.)
We decided to take a break tomorrow and just be. (Yay!) Then we’ll get back on it over the weekend.
Thing 1, fiance N and Thing 2’s D will arrive Wednesday. My friend and mentor and her beloved will arrive Friday afternoon. The Arizona contingent won’t arrive till super late Friday (the trouble with flying backwards across the country) so we won’t see them till the wedding Saturday.

My ability to control my anxiety and “freak out mode” is SUPER low…I’ve warned everybody, but at the moment only Thing 2 really understands the magnitude of that.
I was having a total temper fit yesterday and she finally told me: Get your shit together Momma!(The kid doesn’t lie.) I was whining about people volunteering to help but not bothering to show up. My darling (ex) co-teacher is doing all our decorations and has flaked the last two times we were supposed to meet so she could get all the stuff. (I already mentioned the napkin idea girl hasn’t shown up to make any.)

I can’t sleep so I’m writing and drinking wine straight from the bottle. (Classy, I know. But it was only a glassful in the bottom of the bottle so I figured, why dirty a glass.) I might need a Xanax…or two.

I have one more thing to do before I try to close my eyes. Create the special mad libs that YBW and I will write for our guests in the beginning of the response book.
The bride/groom are honored you’re here to celebrate with us and kiss you all!

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on being a mom

I write a goodly bit about being a mom. It’s all I ever wanted to do with my life, be a mom.
That might not sound like I had great aspirations when I was a little girl, but it’s the truth. All I wanted to do was grow up and be a mommy.
I made sure I found someone who would make that happen as soon as I possibly could. I was twenty two when Thing 1 was born and twenty six when Thing 2 was born.
I’ve been a mom half my life…well technically not till March when Thing 1 has her birthday…but speaking strictly mathematically, half of forty four is twenty two.

My goal was to raise strong and independent girls. They would be ready to take on the world when the time came.
Of course it all got derailed along the way.
We lost everything in 2008. Our business. Our home. It was the final straw that killed my already broken marriage.
When that happened, there was subterfuge and betrayal. My first daughter was used maliciously as a pawn against me. I wasn’t able to protect her from that. She walked headlong into it. She has since told me: I’m so sorry. I didn’t know how bad it was for you. Daddy brainwashed me and I believed him.
I was able to protect my baby daughter a little better. But only for so long.

We were trapped in a waking nightmare. I was the one who was brave enough to change it by moving out. The plan was to bring Thing 2 with me and leave Thing 1 with her father. She wouldn’t have come with me even under duress. Thing 2 used to worship her big sister and wanted to be just like her and in this case, she temporarily joined the “I hate Momma” team. She chose to stay with her sister instead of coming with me.
This was not my first mistake.

To keep myself sane, I turned my back on Thing 1. She was horrid and my pain and anger made it so simple.
We tried to come back together several times…each time driving ourselves further apart.
Until she tried to take her life. I’m the one she came to with the desperate plea: Please help me.
None of that was in my childhood mommy-ing plan. But I did what was necessary to keep her safe. To keep her alive. Even though I believe she still resents me for it.
It wasn’t better after she came back from the hospital. She didn’t seem changed. She just seemed more angry.

A few months later, we got into a physical brawl, she held me down by my hair and I bit her so hard there was a perfect ring of teeth marks on her arm but she didn’t let go. Thing 2 was screaming and crying and I think that’s what finally made her let go.
Her therapist saw the bite mark and reported me to child protective services. The investigation showed no real abuse and it all went away. That doesn’t change the fact that my baby daughter had to tell a stranger: No, my Momma doesn’t hurt us.

Thing 1 damaged her relationship with Thing 2. They have good moments, but nothing like the way they used to love each other.
I don’t think Thing 1 understands this and Thing 2 won’t ever feel brave enough tell her.

Their father stood back and let it all happen. He watched with twisted joy. I was being punished for my sins and he didn’t have to lift a finger. He just planted the ideas and watched as my first born and I not only ruined our relationship, but she ruined any chance of a real and positive future.

I am not without fault. I didn’t just let her go, I pushed her away. I only loved her because she came out of my body. I didn’t love her for herself. It was easier to not love her than be in that much pain every day.
Shame on me. I should have fought harder. For her.
I was manipulated by the situation just as she was. Only I’m the grown up. I should have worked harder to keep her safe.

Thing 2 and I went through the hell of her not wanting me to be her mom anymore. She was “tired of always being responsible for my happiness”. She’s not entirely wrong. But neither is she right.
She wasn’t responsible for my happiness. She simply brought me joy.
I’ve learned that telling someone: You’re my favorite person in the world. can be too much pressure. However much the truth it is.
When I came here we chose for her to stay there. I wanted her to understand that I respected the life she’d built for herself. School, friends, theater. I knew in my gut she needed to come with me. But I didn’t feel like I could force her.
She accused me of setting her up to fail. That if I hadn’t “protected” her all her childhood she would never have been in that situation.
I never wanted her to see her father for what he really is. I wanted her to simply love her dad.
I also never thought she’d ever be alone with him.

I failed her too. Not because I was the buffer but because I didn’t trust my parenting gut. I didn’t want to make her unhappy so I ignored what I felt was best for her.
She’s lost. She has no support from her father. And I can only do so much from five hundred miles away.
I can’t fix that.

The masochist in me thinks they like it this way. They can always blame everything on somebody else. They can blame me for the way it turned out.
They don’t remember when it was good. When we were safe and sane and actually happy. They only remember how awful it was.
I think Thing 1 blames me for not protecting her from her father and his manipulations.
I blame her for disregarding the first fourteen years of her life.
I know Thing 2 blames me for protecting her from her father and his manipulations.
I did what I thought was best for them. Most of it I would do all over again.

If I had been braver I would have left their father sooner. Maybe I could have protected them better that way. I know I could have protected myself better.

I am trying. Trying to reconnect with these girls of mine. They’re so jaded. They’re so hard. It pains me so to see them this way.
Thing 1 is trying too. I believe we both want more than we have. We want to love each other freely and without fear. It is so hard.

She sent me a message last week about a wedding gift for YBW and me. I told her she didn’t have to give us a gift, that her participating and loving and supporting us was enough.
Then she wrote: I feel like I don’t show you how special you are to me enough and I haven’t for a long time and I want you to know that you are and that I’m happy you’re starting a new life and that’s a special thing and I want to give you something to commemorate that.

I don’t show her how special she is to me enough either.
I don’t remember how to do that. I shut her out for so long to feel safe that I worry I’ve lost my love for her.

All I ever wanted to do was be a mom. I was so damn good at it for so long. And then I failed epically.
I can’t make that go away. For any of us.
All I can do is sort my own shit and then I’ll be ready to move forward with them.
I’ve worked hard to sort mine. I think it’s finally time to help sort theirs.

The love of a mother for her child is easily understood conceptually. The reality of it is indescribable. There are truly no words to express the ferocity of it.
I know they don’t understand. I know they listen and hear. But how can they possibly understand? Perhaps one day when they become mothers they’ll get it.
What they do understand is that nothing they can do will truly make me not love them. Therefore they continue to test that theory.
They don’t do that with their father. They both know intrinsically that to test his love would be to lose it. Perhaps that’s the curse of being their Momma. They’re going to try me to see if I break because they know I won’t.

This is my love letter to them.
Being their mother has been perfect and horrible and the happiest and most painful experience of my life.
My love for Thing 1 is remembering how to be unconditional. My love for Thing 2 is trying not be be too much pressure for her to handle.
Thing 1 was the most perfect human equivalent of all my hopes and dreams. I loved her because she was my wish come true.
Thing 2 was the gift I didn’t even know I wanted. I fell in love with her because she was there.
There’s a difference between loving and being in love. But one does not diminish the other.

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oh happy day

Finally! After a twenty day countdown today is the day!
Thing 2 arrives at Dulles at 11:45 this morning!
I am quite possibly the happiest human being on the entire planet!
I can hardly wait to get my arms around my baby!

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My joy knows no bounds! I wish this level of happiness for absolutely everyone!

Categories: love, on being a mom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

for this is the recipe of love

I found this when I was going through my mother’s things.
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It’s my Grandaddy’s handwriting. I’d recognize it anywhere.
I suspect it’s the toast he made at my parents wedding.
Now, my parents were an ill suited match, but they made me so I’m not going to complain. They were terribly unhappy together, and after my father left us, Mommie remained unhappy deep in her soul. Perhaps that unhappiness came to her when her mother died. I don’t know. I just know that it seemed to me that even though she would express real joy, she was always miserable down in her soul.

Grandaddy didn’t especially like my dad…but that could have been for any number of reasons.
My dad was only likable when he chose to be. Most times he was a right bastard. Of course, a childhood of abuse and a lifetime of hiding his sexual orientation contributed to that.

Grandaddy was a grumpy old thing. But he was helping to raise kids in his sixties and seventies. Oh! How I adored him. He was the first man I ever fell in love with. And quite possibly he was in love with me more than he had ever been with my mom. I think she knew it. I think she was jealous of that love. But, I don’t really care. That love was sacred and nothing will ever change that.

I’m being tangential as all get out…this post started out differently in my head…I’m going to try and make my way back to the reason I’m sharing this photo.

YBW and I have asked my niece, Girlie Thing, to read this at our wedding. Sundance was with me when I found the tiny envelope with Grandaddy’s writing. I knew then I wanted it to be a part of our wedding day.

As I go through the invitation and response lists, I realize my only blood family is Thing 1 and Thing 2. The family I made: Sundance and her babies, my darling friend in Arizona and her family, my friend and mentor, and my former husband’s little sister and her family, will be with me the day I wed the man I waited forty-four years to marry.
I have great sadness that Mommie never even met YBW. That my dad didn’t live long enough to be a part of this day, he adored YBW and our relationship.
My sadness about Grandaddy isn’t so much that he won’t know YBW or be at our wedding, it’s more that everyday missing him that resides deep in my heart.

All this said, I have wonderful people that I love who will celebrate with us on October 24. But with this tiny envelope, a bit of my parents and Grandaddy will be with me too. And that makes my heart happy.

Perhaps that’s the recipe of love…
The family from which you come mixed with the friends who become your family and a dollop of your own babies on top. I’ll mix these with YBW’s family. The one from which he came and his fraternity brothers who became his family and a dollop of his babies.

Whatever the recipe, I am chock-full of love. I’m grateful for those who taught me to love when I was a little girl. For those whom I befriended and taught me how to expand my love. For the man who showed me that love was something I never even imagined. And for the gifts of daughters who taught me new and awe-inspiring ways to love.

Categories: love, wedding | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

14 days!

I never underestimate the importance of a countdown.
I talked about countdowns at they apply to my birthday in counting down.
During the four years that YBW and I dated long distance, we always made a countdown when we knew we would see each other again.
I love counting down to pretty much anything! Right now I’m actually counting down two things simultaneously.
The first is easy: last two weeks at this preschool. The second one is my new favorite: 14 days until Thing 2 arrives!

She and I have been trading texts and emails the last few days:
Me: I’m so excited to see you! I’m going to kiss your face off!!
Thing 2: You know, I have really been needing a good Momma hug this week so all of that love will be hella reciprocated when I get there! I also wanna hug those boys!
Me: It’s gonna be SO great!! Snuggles. Baseball. Tom’s Diner. Snuggles. Lin’s. Hanging out. Snuggles. New do. Girlie stuff. Snuggles. (Y’all notice a pattern? Cause I sure do!)
Thing 2: All those made me really really really excited and smiley!

Me too, girl. Me too!
I’m near bursting with excitement to see my baby girl! We have yet to celebrate her birthday. I can hardly wait for her to open her pressies!
YBW and I scheduled a meeting with the event coordinator at the winery for when Thing 2 is here because we want to share it with her and have her input.

YBW came home today and I said: Want to know something SO exciting?
He said: Sure!
Me: (with a giggle) 14 days!
He giggled and hugged me.
Me: Do you know till what?
YBW: Thing 2 comes!
More giggling.
Me: I’m so excited.
YBW: Me too!
Then I said: I have a little Momma jealousy, I think she’s just as excited to see you as she is to see me.
YBW: REALLY!?!
Me: Yep.
YBW had a GREAT BIG GRIN!

I love a good countdown. It’s a playful way to mark the passing of time between me and something I feel happy about.
I thought, today, of the countdown clock on the wall in Matt Albie’s office on the show Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip.
It’s an old show that only lasted one season. It was a tad left-leaning for me but I loved the characters and the way they related to each other. I adore Matthew Perry, and the natural on screen chemistry between him and Bradley Whitford was a joy to watch! Aaron Sorkin’s rat-a-tat-tat dialogue suited these actors.
One of my favorite scenes happens during the second episode: The Cold Open.
Danny Tripp, played by Bradley Whitford turns on the clock.

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Matthew Perry’s character, Matt Albie reacts:
Matt: How did it know?
Danny: How did it know what?
Matt: Exactly how much time was left in the week?
Danny: Yeah, it’s a miracle of technology that we’ve invented, an electronic device that can count backwards from seven.
Matt: But it was off.
Danny: It has a battery.
Matt: [in horror] So it always knows?
Danny: Don’t endow the thing with special powers, Matt – it’s a clock.

I disagree, Danny. I’m all about endowing the clock with special powers! But only if you’re counting down to something good.
Matt is counting down until the next show…and he has to write it.
Isn’t that every writer’s nightmare? The deadline.
My deadline is picking up my child at the airport on time. I’ll countdown to that ANY day, thanks!

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imagination spools

Two of my little students came to me this morning: Miss Robynbird! Come see what we built! Hurry! You have to see!
(Kinda hard to say no to that!)
Two little blonde heads bouncing with excitement as we walk to the back of the classroom together. And then I see what they built!

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Tell me about it. I say to them.
He says: J and I built it together!
She says: We used all the spools.
I see that. Can you tell me more about it?
She says: They’re all in a line.
He hugs me with joy: We did it!


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I know nothing of their intent.
I don’t know what they think it was.
All I know is that they did it together and their pride was BIG!

You know, when it comes right down to it, I don’t really need to know any more than that.

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sassy birthday love

I write a great deal about my love for my daughter, Thing 2. Partly that’s because I’ve honestly never loved another human being the way I love her, and partly because she (frustrating as she is) has become one of my favorite people. She’s become a bit of an acquired taste, but if you can get through her thick hide of protective armor she’s rather spectacular!

The kind parts of her personality are truly something to behold. The unkind parts are somewhat amusing, she can sarcasm and sass like nobody’s business, but sometimes it can cross that line between amusing and cruelty. I don’t believe that’s her intent. She just calls it like she sees it.
She’s quite like me in so many ways. Perhaps years of life have helped my sass remain more so on the amusing side of the line with occasional jaunts over to cruelty. I’d like to think so anyway. My sass intentions are never cruel and, surely that counts for something.
Thing 2 is still in that ‘figuring it out’ phase. That wretched place in life we all have to wade through to get to the place where our actions more and more reflect our intentions.
We do think very similarly about things and have those moments when we call each other and report some event of the day when she had a “Momma moment” or I had a “Thing 2” moment. We laugh about them and I tell her I’m so glad she’s a good sport about being so like me.

There is trouble in her heart. A wound that she simply hasn’t figured out how to let heal. I’m hopeful that with time and hard work she’ll realize that it doesn’t have to define her. But I have great concern she may not ever know how to come to that place. I’ve offered every kind of help I can think of. She’s becoming more open to help…perhaps that’s a good sign.

She celebrated the eighteenth anniversary of her birth last week. Eighteen years of Thing 2. With all honesty, I can hardly believe it! It seems only a moment. Only a moment since she was a teeny little think in the NICU. Since she was fitted for her first pair of glasses (at sixteen months). Since she put on her first black leotard and pink shoes. Since she got on the school bus the very first day of kindergarten holding her big sisters hand and smiling from ear to ear. Since she stood on the stage for the first time as a young princess in disguise.
Since the terrible moment she told me she didn’t want me to be her mom anymore. And the beautiful moment we found our way back to each other.

Eighteen years of love and laughter and sadness and tears. Eighteen years of silliness and snuggles and sassiness to spare.
One of the best gifts I’ve ever received! And so many more to come!

I wasn’t with her on her birthday, that was hard for me. But I’ve come to terms with it. She was with her friends and her big sister even came to town to celebrate with her. She and I decided to celebrate later on, when she’s here for a while. I didn’t even send her gifts (some she even knows about). Because I found what I hope will be the coolest gift and I selfishly want to be with her when she opens it. I can’t yet share the secret because she sometimes reads these words. I can say the item is celebrating it’s centennial this year, that it was involved in an important historical situation, and that it is meaningful to our family.

Interestingly enough, it was YBW who came up with the idea that sparked my search for this perfect item. I love that he gets us, even though he sometimes doesn’t understand us.

I have this item for her and wanted a special way to present it to her and nothing felt quite right. So I made a trip to the craft store and found the thing that sparked my idea for the way to present Thing 2’s special gift. A janky little balsa wood suitcase that with a bit of stain, antique travel and map stickers, and some mod podge became the perfect box for her gift!
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Thing 2 loves antique suitcases and bags, I hope she loves this one too!

The inside had to be as perfect as the outside.
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How precious is this little case?
I’m so excited to celebrate my baby’s birthday!

Categories: love, on being a mom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

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History, technology, and probably some other stuff

Tales from the mind of Kristian

Visit the darkest crevices of my mind, dare to tread where many fear to go. You may find something interesting or you may find a mirror to your soul.

walkingtheclouds

where the clouds may lead

Meditations in Motion

Running and life: thoughts from a runner who has been around the block

Bitchin’ in the Kitchen

..because the thoughts that fall, kicking and screaming from my head need a safe place to land..

Finding French Charming

Finding True Love.. Even After Forty

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