Thursday, April 12, 2018

Our Little Simba is All Grown Up!

We took Keaton and Autumn to dinner at a sushi restaurant and then to see the Broadway version of The Lion King on Saturday night.  The animated version was the first movie Keaton saw at a theater when he was three.  He LOVED it and danced in the aisle after the movie while the credits were rolling.  He loved it so much that he wanted a Lion King-themed birthday and he had to be a lion for Halloween that year.  Then he watched it a gazillion times when it came out on video.  (Yes, video back in 1995.)  Both Keaton and Autumn loved the stage version of it...although Keaton didn't dance in the aisle afterwards.  I guess our Little Simba is all grown up!

Friday, April 6, 2018

Another Pinball Machine and How I Gained Five Pounds From It!!!!!

Life with Matt is always full of laughs and adventures! Our most recent adventure involves a pinball machine and a funky smell.

So, last Friday morning, Matt calls me to ask what I had planned for the day.  He tells me he is going to pick up another pinball machine over in the Flint area.  So, I rush and get ready to go out in public without scaring anyone and we head over to Flint.  While we're waiting for the pinball seller to get home from work and call Matt, we visit his dad and my mom.  A couple of hours and a couple of phone calls later, we still don't hear anything from the pinball guy so we drive by his house so we know at least where we have to go.  We wait in a nearby parking lot for a bit longer and then head over to my sister's house to wait for the pinball guy's call.  We were hoping to pick up the machine and get back on the road for home by 4 p.m. so Matt could still go to his fantasy baseball draft that night.  Well, now it's after 4 p.m. and Matt is still optimistic that the pinball guy is going to call.  We wait a few more hours, my mom makes a run for coneys (yum!), Matt keeps calling, and they guy finally answers and gives Matt a story about his wife being in a car accident (she's okay) and they have to get a rental car, blah, blah, blah.  Matt asks if he can come get the machine in the morning, but the guy has to work.  The pinball guy is going to call Matt on Saturday to schedule a pick-up time for  the machine on Sunday.  Blah, blah, blah.  So, Matt finishes his draft via his phone and we finally get back home around midnight.

Matt doesn't hear from the guy on Saturday at all.  But, he's optimistic that he's going to get his pinball machine on Sunday, so we head over to Flint...again.  Matt texts the guy when we're heading out and calls when we're on the road.  Matt leaves a message for the guy when we arrive, telling him we're in Flint to pick up the machine and he's just waiting to hear from him.  We have a nice early Easter dinner with my people and Matt keeps trying to call the pinball guy.  Even Matt's patience is wearing thin (and that's a monumental feat in itself!).  Matt finally says he's just going to drive over to the pinball guy's house.  I tell Matt that NO way am I just going to show up and that this guy is totally NOT selling his machine...he won't return phone calls, he won't reply to his texts, he won't reply to voicemail, he wasn't home when he said he would be home, and have I said that he still won't return phone calls, reply to his text, or return voicemail? Matt says he's still going to get the machine and my brother-in-law goes with him.  (I think Matt may have secret stalker tendencies...or he's just super-determined to never give up on a great deal.)  They're gone for over an hour and I'm very relieved when they get back to my mom's house...intact.  I ask how it went and they said they have the pinball machine in the back of our Durango.  They're smirking and I know there's more to the story...and there was.  This stuff only ever happens to Matt.  They went to the house and there were a couple of cars in the driveway.  They knocked on both doors of the house; they knocked on the shed; and they knocked on the garage.  Matt called the guy again...and lo and behold...the guy answered and asked if they were the ones doing all the knocking.  They totally surprised the pinball guy and he came out of his garage and explained he had some cleaning up to do.  He was flustered and said he forgot Matt was coming over for the machine.  He lets them in the garage...and it's filled with pot plants.  He's growing marijuana.  Legally.  The guy swore he had a license to grow medical marijuana...and Matt said judging by the guy's health, he probably was.  (I think that by the guy's flightiness, he was using quite a bit of it too.)  He apologized profusely for not having the garage cleaned up and explained that his mother was in a car accident.  Blah, blah, blah.  Friday it was his wife.  Sunday it was his mother.  Blah, blah, blah.  (Again, I think he's using imbibing a little too much in his supply.)    Needless to say, the pinball machine was surrounded by dozens of pot plants for who knows how long and REEKS like pot.  So they cleaned it off and loaded it in my Durango.  They took it to my brother-in-law's house and cleaned it up some more but it still REEKS like pot.  So, that means we had a 2+ hour drive home with a pinball machine that REEKS like pot.  We drove home with the windows open and had the cruise set to exactly 70 mph. because we now probably smell like pot.

So, long story short, Matt has another pinball machine to add to his collection.  This makes #18 for those of you keeping count.  The good news is that it has since aired out and doesn't reek like pot anymore.  The bad news is I have probably gained 5 pounds because I had a serious case of the munchies for a few days.  ;-)

Monday, March 19, 2018

Be Our Guest!

I love before-and-after renovation reveals.  Here's the before-and-after reveal of our guest room.  Before, it was pretty ugly...stained cream carpet and wallpaper with ugly bows.  Lots of wallpaper.  Even wallpaper inside the closet!  Old crank-out windows with rotting frames.  Dust-collecting louver closet doors.  Just ugly.  UGLY!!!!!  Matt ripped out the carpet and radiators.  He installed new wood flooring.  (I helped by putting my Tetris-playing skills to work and picked out each board to minimize cutting for him.)  We removed all the wallpaper.  We were thrilled to find two layers inside the closet.  We were even more thrilled to find wallpaper on the ceiling inside the closet.  (Insert sarcasm here.)  We had new windows installed.  Matt hung new, modern closet doors...three times.  (That's another story and just part of the joys of remodeling an older home.)  He changed some outlets and installed a new ceiling fan.  We painted and I refinished furniture we found at thrift stores and the antique market.  (I can't find my before-picture of my $5 headboard.  Ugh!  Trust me, the updated version is much cuter!!)  And...voila...a guest room where we're happy to have people be our guest!

Now...onto the bathroom!

Friday, February 23, 2018

Life Lessons

Holy cow...I haven't been on here in a year! Where did the year go? We've had lots of changes in the past year. We lost Matt's mom and have been steamrolling along working on our house. I've been dealing with family dynamics and some drama. We've also been trying to take some time to have some fun. I have done a lot of soul searching over the past year and have found the following to be true:

Deb's Life Lessons

  1. Life is short; eat dessert. Every. Single. Day. Hell, eat two if the Zombie Apocalypse is looming.
  2. Don't waste time on someone who doesn't care about you. If people don't include you in the events of their life, you'll probably be hurt. That's understandable...especially if they're family. I think that hurts the most. They're missing out on a loving relationship with you and all you have to offer. It's truly their loss. On the bright side, you'll have more time to go shopping. Retail therapy really does work.
  3. Do what makes you happy. Unless it's something don't want to serve time. (Unless you're happy being incarcerated.)
  4. Reflect on all the good in your life before you go to sleep each night. Be grateful you made it through another day. Be grateful you didn't have to punch anyone in the throat.
  5. Love your family. Your family will make you laugh. Your family will make you cry. Your family will drive you crazy. Love them anyway. We're all crazy in our own way and it's nice to have a bunch of crazy people surround you. It makes life more interesting...and gives you lots of stuff to put on a blog or share with your therapist.
  6. Take time to just stop and enjoy the moment. Savor all the blessings you've been given each day. Unless you're in the passing lane...then please get out of my way.
  7. Accept the fact that the world is full of idiots. Just think of dealing with them as a test. You get an A+ if you don't punch one of them in the throat.
  8. Spend time with your children. No phone. No tablet. No Netflix. Just talk to them. You'll be amazed by their view on the world. They grow up sooooo incredibly fast. 
  9. Laugh. A lot. Every. Single. Day. It's even better if you can laugh at yourself. Having a clumsy husband helps too.
  10. Surround yourself with people you actually enjoy being with. Life is too short to waste time trying to fit in with people who don't appreciate you. Make your own entourage of those who cherish you. My entourage is encouraged to wear pink. They get bonus points if they wear something sparkly.
  11. Let go of anger. Let go of resentment. Karma has a mysterious way of making you smile that sly, knowing smile when people who are not nice get a slap from the universe. It's just not worth the worry lines. But karma really does come around. I've seen it. She's beautiful.
  12. Be kind. Every. Single. Day. I truly think that if everyone would just do one nice thing a day for someone else, we'd have a totally different that is pink and sparkly.
  13. Don't be a perfectionist. Trust me, it doesn't work. Be happy with your accomplishments. Be grateful for what you've done...many people don't even get that far. Nothing is perfect. Nobody is perfect. Love the imperfections...they're more interesting anyway. They also give you something to blog about.
  14. Learn to love yourself. Again, nobody is perfect. Don't worry about your "size" long as you're healthy, "size" doesn't matter. A woman's body is supposed to be curvy. If we were supposed to be straight and stick-thin, we'd be men. Don't compare yourself to anyone else. We're all unique and our bodies are all unique. Do NOT get on a scale every're just setting yourself up for disappointment...and an excuse to just give up and eat ice cream at every meal. Unless that's what makes you happy.
  15. Learn to not care what anyone else says or thinks about you. That's a hard one. I've found it helpful to wear earplugs. Nobody knows your struggle except you. Brush off the haters...or give them a firm shove out of your entourage. I also find mental eye rolls and curse words oddly soothing.
  16. Love your spouse. Truly. Madly. Deeply. Unless he/she is getting on your nerves...then read one of the Fifty Shades of Grey books and he/she will probably not be on your nerves as much.
  17. Respect other people's political views. Unless they voted for Trump.
  18. Don't judge. You don't know what that person is going through or has been through. Life can be hard and some people don't make the best choices. Learn to cut them some slack...unless they pick up a pacifier from a dirty floor and pop it into a baby's mouth. Yuck. That's just gross.
  19. Try everything once. Who cares if you look silly or old or fat or uncoordinated or dumb? Besides, it will give you great stories to put on your blog...and stuff for your kids to bring up in therapy.
  20. Know that not everyone in the world will like you. That's fine. Just know that they're missing out on someone who is fabulous and it's their loss. I like to give them mental eye rolls and call them names in my head.
  21. Say please and thank you. Every. Single. Day. It's so simple and can truly make someone feel appreciated. Besides, if you don't have good manners, it makes your mother look bad.
  22. Chew with your mouth closed. Again, if you don't have good manners, it makes your mother look bad.  Unless she also chews with her mouth open. Then, you may may need therapy.
  23. Be considerate. It sounds like such a simple thing to do, but so many people don't do it. Please do NOT bring a baby to a movie. Please do NOT bring a six-year old to see The Exorcist at a movie theater. Please do NOT sit directly in front of me at the movie theater when there are only TWO other people in the ENTIRE theater. Please do NOT sit next to me in the movie theater when there are only TWO other people in the ENTIRE theater. Please BATHE before going to a movie. Please BATHE before going to a movie...especially if you're going to sit NEXT to me. Please do NOT talk during a movie. Please do NOT check your texts during a movie. (Can you tell I find many movie-goers inconsiderate?)
  24. Don't be afraid of bad people or the world. Don't be a hostage to terror. Don't worry about what could happen. I'd much rather worry about if anyone is going to post what I just did on YouTube.
  25. Hug and kiss people. Tell people you love them. Every. Single. Day. If you're married, it's probably better if you do and say this to your spouse.

Friday, March 3, 2017

February Update

We spent a romantic Valentine's Day together by making a trip to Menards. That wasn't all we did...we also went out to dinner.  ;-)

A couple of weeks ago, Matt told me to come check out the sunrise when he left for work.  I grabbed the camera and ran out to the driveway to get these spectacular shots of a gorgeous sunrise right in our side yard!

Keaton has hockey fever.  He's always liked hockey, but decided he wanted to try playing.  So, he put his name on a list to be added to a league in Kalamazoo...and he's been in love with the game ever since!  He's been going to open skates and taking skating lessons to help become a better player.  He finally let us come watch him play on Saturday night.  He played center and took a lot of face-offs.  He just might be the tallest player in the league.  I think he definitely has the longest hair!

December/January Update

Yay!  I finally have my old stuff transferred to the "new" computer!!  I'm so thankful our son has a degree in computer science and he has all sorts of cords and cables to make our technical life easier!!!

So, let's get updated from where I left off back in December.  Matt spread Christmas joy at work by making people smile and laugh when he wore the bunny suit from "A Christmas Story" to work.

We had our usual last-minute frantic scramble to create our annual family Christmas card. Every year I say I'm going to make our card at Thanksgiving...and every year I don't.  ;-)

We enjoyed Christmas at home with Keaton and Autumn...relaxed and comfortable in sweats.  After presents, we enjoyed a S'mores martini and a seafood dinner with crab legs and coconut shrimp.  Keaton and Autumn enjoyed a little nap.  (I just may have made the martinis a little too strong.)

On New Year's Eve, we rented a car and began our trek to Texas to watch Matt's beloved WMU Broncos play in the Cotton Bowl in Texas.

Our first stop was in Memphis to ring in the New Year with the guitar drop on Beale Street!

Before we made the drive over to Dallas the next day, we drove around Memphis to take in some sights.  We had to swing by Graceland, of course!  (We didn't have time to take a tour, but we definitely will tour it the next time we're in town.)

 Then we watched the duck parade into the lobby fountain at The Peabody Hotel.  It was soooo cute!!

We drove by St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.  (Keaton and Autumn both have toured it before, so that helped with our time management.)

 We drove by the Lorraine Motel...the sight of the tragic assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Keaton and Autumn took a lot of naps and had fun with their cell phones during the car ride.  I think they may be almost ready to get a dog.

Game Day!  We arrived at the stadium early to have fun tailgating before the game.  The weather was PERFECT...sunny and 80!  There were a TON of fellow Broncos!  While the victory didn't go to Matt's beloved Broncos, it was a great experience to sit in AT&T Stadium and see the 60 yd. TV screen!  WOW!!

Right after the game, we hit the road to start our drive back to Michigan.  We swung through St. Louis so Autumn could see the famous arch.  (We reminisced about the musical bridge I discovered in St. Louis years before. The story is that as we were sitting on a bridge stuck in traffic, I hung out the window snapping pictures of the St. Louis Arch.  I told Matt that I thought it was really neat to have a bridge that played music.  He looked at me with a weird expression on his face and told me that was because I was wearing headphones.  It was one of my finer blond moments.  We still laugh about it to this day!)

After we unpacked and took a breath, we celebrated my birthday at a tapas restaurant with good friends!  It was a great start to 2017!