Secrets of an Insomniac

I was wide awake at 3am this morning partly because the down feathers had migrated to the lower half of my body which resulted in a lot of flailing and fanning and tossing the down feather disappointment onto my significant other. But the truth is, I was unable to resume my slumber in the wee hours because I was too busy designing this space in my sleepless head.

This is the sunroom of the house that the Beasley’s will call “home” in just 2 more Saturdays… Moving Day… the same day as my Half-Marathon Race Day, and what is sure to be the day that I suffer Loss-of-Lower-Limb-Use Day. I’ve got that day circled in big, fat, red marker on my calendar as the last day I may ever be able to feel my toes. Anyway, I am so thrilled about this house. As far as blank canvases go, this house already provides so much natural inspiration. Check out those windows, the view of my new FENCED IN YARD, the sunlight… picture me sprawled out making tile-angels in the center of the floor…. that’s how amped I am to be moving into this new space. I have always wanted to have a homeschool/ creative learning space, and this room is going to provide just that. As you can see, it is HUGE. Way more space than little learners need, so I’m thinking of partitioning it off and creating an office/creative lesson planning nook for myself. Do you have any multi-purpose rooms in your house? If so, feel free to pass along any tips. Consider this the “Before” picture. I can’t WAIT to show you the “After”.

{We interrupt this blog post for an emergency Pinterst-perusing session of multi-purpose creative learning spaces.}

April Showers

Ah, the smell of Springtime. It invites itself through the front door, and the Beasley family welcomes it with gratitude… no doubt because Mama Bear has been too busy packing boxes to pause to take a much needed shower. She is still wearing her sweaty clothes from this morning’s recovery run {defined as the short run the day after a not-so-short run that tells your body, “Relax. I meant to do that.”} Mama Bear finally breaks long enough to put a kettle on the stove to enjoy an afternoon cup of tea, and she thinks to herself, “Shower or Blog? Shower or Blog?” Papa Bear is gone for the night, and the Baby Bears have no choice but to stick close, so looks like blogging wins!

I am right on schedule with Martha Stewart’s Moving Checklist, and everything I own that can fit inside an ABC liquor box is now labeled with one of these babies.

Isn’t she beautiful?

I’ve moved {on average} every two years since I was 18, and I have never felt more prepared for Moving Day in my entire life. I even have a master inventory list with box numbers and contents that I am consider framing and putting over the fireplace when this whole ordeal is over. I would love to have you over for afternoon tea so we can sit and admire my master inventory list together.

I promise I will take a shower before you arrive.

Happy Monday, Everyone!

Seranade

Seven years ago this week, I had my first date with the handsome guitar player that is now my sweetheart. Last night, I went to see him play in town, and I realized half way through the first set that I still can’t help but wear a big goofy grin whenever I hear him shred a lead guitar solo. He won my heart back then and he still does now. And from what I can tell, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.

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My girlfriend sent me this photo this morning of Salem serenading her 8 month old. Watch out, little lady. Those guitar players are hard to resist!

Says the Girl

Image via Rock Cakes

I wish I had a bicycle on days like today. The temperature is holding just below stifling outside, and already, I am having to run my training miles for my upcoming half marathon before the sun comes up {says the girl who hates to sweat}. Three weeks and counting until the race and as fate would have it, Race Day and Moving Day have fallen on the Exact Same Day. Although I am well aware that I am risking my sanity, my marriage, and my lower limbs by cramming a marathon and a move into the same day, I am already thinking about getting a bike and training for a triathlon {says the girl who never made any sports team she ever tried out for EVER IN HER WHOLE LIFE.} Thankfully music received me or else I would go through my entire existence an athletically challenged clod with a coordination complex the size of Serena Williams’ Nike sneaker. Yesterday, I messaged my triathlon girlfriend who sweats a lot but still looks magazine perfect to ask her where a newbie-cyclist such as myself would even start to purchase a bike. I assume those pants with the massive padding in the seat are also essential, but I can picture myself going into a cycling shop asking for the pants with the massive padding in the seat and, “By the way, do you have any Schwinn 10-speeds I can test drive?” After the salesman laughs his seat padding off, I’m sure he would see it as the opportunity of a lifetime to sell me loads of “essentials” that I don’t actually need. The stress of it all makes me want to go write a country song for all the other clumsies who always got picked last for kick ball. No, I’m not bitter.

Do you have a bike? If so, can you give me some beginning pointers and spare me from embarrassing myself in front of a retail salesperson {says the girl who walked into a RUNNING shop last week and tripped on the welcome mat and stumbled into the clearance rack.}

It actually happened.

Happy Tuesday, everyone!

Mothers Speak: What’s Your Fantasy?

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I became a mother when I was 28 years old. Still a baby myself in so many ways, I used to fantasize about things like traveling to exotic destinations, gracing international platforms, and being a background dancer in a Chris Brown music video. (You are entitled to your fantasies. I am entitled to mine.) Now that I have experienced that great feminine right of passage into motherhood, I fantasize about things like sleeping in until 830am, hiring a weekly housekeeper, and taking a shower without plastic bath toys swirling around my ankles. The breaking news ribbon scrolling through my head yesterday would have read, “unsupervised toddler takes red crayon to mother’s tread mill belt. Some disturbing images. News at 11.” This occurred to me last night in the middle of a quiet Thai dinner with some girlfriends which begged the appropriate adult response of, “… and another thing, I haven’t left the house all day”… whine whine whine… “and I haven’t showered since Tuesday”… whine whine whine. All the while I am stuffing my face with a Naan loaf and washing it down with yet another glass of Two Buck Chuck. The point is, the further I get into this Mom routine, the easier it is for me to lose sight of a great big world out there that has absolutely nothing to do with bathtub clutter and Crayola graffiti. Someone sent me this video two weeks ago, and I’ll admit, I just now found the 27 consecutive minutes to watch it from start to finish. You’ve probably already seen it, and if you have, you’ve probably taken more than one shower already this week too… just a wild guess. If you’ve followed this blog for more than 5 minutes you would know that I would never use this particular cyber platform to push any sort of political or religious agenda. My posts are generally an attempt to add a splash of humor and/or inspiration to the day and are meant to be enjoyed over cup of cold coffee in between diaper changes. But when I saw this today, it was the cold-water-to-the-face moment where I realized I had better wake up and rejoin the human race, or at least the part of it that was making a actual difference in the world. The film maker features his adorable All-American son as part of his attempt to explain the injustice in the world and his plans to stop it. I can especially appreciate this since these days I’m lucky to use words in conversation that contain more than two syllables. He breaks it down plain and simple so that those of us with an anemic intellect are able to understand. The film is artful and informative. The plan is brilliant. The cause is worthy. But the “Ah ha” moment for me came at the end of the film when the little boy says, “Dad, I want to be just like you when I grow up, and I want to go to Africa and fight bad guys.” Apart from making sure that my kids are fed, clothed, and sheltered from one day to the next, I hope to somehow inspire them to one day do something that matters in this world. I can’t picture my son saying, “Mom, when I grow up, I want to hit up Super Double Coupons Week at Harris Teeter just like you”… or Mia saying, “Mom, can you teach me how to accomplish the impossible at Angry Birds?” Seriously, I hold nothing against bargain shopping and brain cell shrinking entertainment, but it would behoove me every once in a while to take a bird’s eye look at the landscape of my priorities and consider where I ought to place a little more thought and effort toward that which is truly worthwhile.

Watch the Kony 2012 film. Comment. For crying out loud, get involved somehow ’cause this one’s a no-brainer. But beyond that, the next time I threaten to spill my Mommy woes to Charles Shaw at Thai Thursday, I give you full license to remind me that there are more important things that require my attention and my voice… even if it is a little whiny.

Drinking Problem

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It is a bit of a “chicken-or-the-egg” scenario. Without all of these liquor boxes, one might never be able to create such a moving display. And yet Moving Day is the only reasonable excuse one might have for consuming this much alcohol.

Discuss.

Spring Forward Bliss

It is 7:57am and my entire household is still asleep. I assure you, this NEVER happens. But Spring has nearly arrived in all it’s forward-ness affording me nearly TWO HOURS to enjoy a quiet early morning to myself with not one but TWO cups of HOT coffee. If you’re a mom, you know that drinking and enjoying a cup of coffee are two entirely different things. I usually guzzle my first cup of the day, and I would inject the caffeine if I thought it might work its magic any sooner. Unfortunately without it I’ve been known to put a diaper on Mia over her clothing and give my cell phone a new home in the freezer. But not this morning. While I could have used the time to fold a load of laundry or pack a few boxes for our upcoming move, I have taken this rare and precious moment for myself. And what better way to do it than to drool scroll through Elle Decor’s Look Book? I went to sleep last night thinking about our new house and how I want to design the space. As you know, Clark and I are songwriters. Therefore the muse must be given a proper space to inspire, right? Lately, we try to catch our ideas as they come in our family room, but the site of Raggedy Anne hanging out of the toy box with her skirt pulled over her head doesn’t exactly scream Top 40. We need a room to read, to write, to enjoy adult conversation and a hot cup of coffee more often than just once a year when the blessed time changes. Although it may be the caffeine jitters, here are a few living rooms that made my heart go pitter-patter.

Which room would you cozy up to with a good read and a hot cup of Joe?

Spring Forward, to you I raise my empty mug and credit the stylings of my future living room and the royalty points
it will surely inspire.

Happy Tuesday!

Daddy on Demand

It is Friday…. Mom’s day out. Day to run, read, shop, eat lunch with friends, or sit at the bar of my favorite coffee shop and stare out the window until I lose track of time. I look forward to these days, but I always feel strange waving goodbye to breakfast dishes and jelly toast smeared faces. I feels as though I am somehow neglecting my responsibilities as a mother. But Clark insists that I get out once a week at least for a few consecutive hours. He says it keeps me balanced. Yes, he is more wonderful than I could have ever hoped for or imagined. Still, it takes me a good hour to settle into the luxury of having an entire morning to do whatever the heck I want. Just when I was starting to get cozy with my second cup of Snickerdoodle dark roast, I get the following text. (Disregard the obnoxious ringer stamp. I woke up to the IPhone in a pool of water next to the kitchen sink and now I can’t get rid of the ringer bar thing-y. TGI-“upgrade Friday”).

…a glimpse into our blessed madness

Have a wonderful (and safe) weekend, Everyone!

To Grandmother’s House We Go

I envy my mother for being able to sustain green life in the form of a patio garden. The first plant I ever tried to raise was a live Christmas tree that died after two days of leaning against the living room wall in my first apartment. I thought that if raising children was anything like caring for plant life, then I should rethink the whole idea of reproducing human life. Nevertheless, I’ve just stepped out for a moment of peace onto my mother’s patio garden where I am surrounded by plants that I can’t actually pronounce the name of, but I know for a fact that one of them is a potted pineapple. I didn’t know you could grow a pineapple in a pot. Next to the exceptionally large budding fruit is a wall sconce carved in the shape of dancing fish that spits water into a pool at the base of it producing a sound that makes me suddenly have the urge to use the toilet. All that and yet I simply can’t help but marvel at the brick floor. See, it’s not really brick. On her hands and knees in the Florida heat, Mom sponge painted a brick pattern on the concrete floor turning a boring old screened in porch into a garden oasis complete with exotic fruit and talented sea life. Her domestic creativity knows no bounds really, and because of her I can enjoy a quiet albeit brief period of silence. The “Mommy” record is skipping today after Salem recently decided that nap time must be some sort of insult to his intelligence. Lately, the very word “nap” results in a string of incomprehensible words at a decibel level only clearly understood by dogs. He hates nap time, or quiet rest, or whatever serene term I use to convince him that everyone, especially mommies, need a break. Today I called it a “siesta” which was a huge let down because for a moment I had him convinced we were about to have a party. Then I had to explain the difference between a “siesta” and a “fiesta” and how I actually took French in high school therefore I am not the most reliable Spanish tutor. He got me back by refusing to nap. Since we are at Nona’s house in Mickey-land and out of our normal routine, we moved the non-siesta to the couch for a Disney movie. That lasted for about a nanosecond, and thus began the inevitable downward slope toward cranky naplessness once the clock strikes tea time. Around 4pm, I could sense my sanity hanging by a thread as Salem had resorted to banging out the rhythm of Coldplay’s Paradise on Nona’s bannister for the 900th time, and I began wishing and praying my Mother, the Greenhouse Goddess, would offer to entertain the children while I escaped for an hour or so. She read my mind, or perhaps just saw the look of desperation on my face, and banished me from the villa for an hour of solitude. And so, I’ve decided to dedicate this blog post to the World’s Greatest Grandmother. Not only has she treated my children to their very first Disney adventure (photos to come), but she thinks it is adorable when they hide the plastic fruit from the bowl on her coffee table in the laundry basket, when they reassign the location of the doggie’s pee pad, and when the delirium sets in because their mère confused two extremely critical words in the Spanish vocabulary. Faux brick, potted fruit, Disney vaca, salvaged sanity… all that and she is my mother.

Thanks Mom. I owe you a plant.

Welcome to the Jungle

We made it to Orlando! The Beasley clan is headed to Disney World tomorrow. Having grown up in Orlando, I’ve been to Mickey’s playground loads of times, but I am beside myself to rediscover the Magic Kingdom through my children’s eyes. It has been a wild ride already. On the way to the Charlotte airport, Salem entertained the airport shuttle driver with quotes from the Oscar winning Elmo’s Potty Time.

“You put your pee pee and your poo poo in the potty every time.”

“Some call it ‘#1’ or ‘#2’. Or in Spanish ‘número uno’ or ‘número dos’!”

Needless to say, Mr. Shuttle Driver wasn’t impressed with my son’s vast Spanish vocabulary.

The kids were complete champs on the flight. Our Scare-Tran entertainment was limited to an 8-pack of Crayola crayons and a barf bag. After an hour and a half, I had exhausted my knowledge of numbers, shapes and colors. Luckily it was a short flight. As soon as we arrived in Orlando Salem welcomed the entire business class cabin by saying, “Alright Everybody, welcome to the jungle!” No idea which Curious George episode he got that from, but the good news is we got here safely and we are ready for our first family Disney adventure.

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