Monday, November 18, 2013

Not a humbug

I'm here to clear up some misconceptions that are floating around about me.

I am not a Christmas hater.

In fact, I love Christmas. I love the music, and the smells and the festivities and the wonder and of course, the baby Jesus.

I love Christmas.

When it's Christmas time.

I do not love Christmas when it's two weeks past Halloween and I'm still trying to enjoy my favorite season, which goes by way too fast in Tennessee as it is. It takes Tennessee a solid month to get its weather sorted out for fall time. There are just too few nip in the air, blue in the sky, color in the leaves days to go giving ANY of them away to Christmas.

I love Fall. I love the month of November. It feels like the deep breath month. After the rush of the start of school, and before the rush of Christmas, November is a chance to take a deep breath and just be for a minute. I am a fan of "just being".

I want to savor every moment of fall leaves and pumpkins and squash and my favorite color palette-orange and brown. It would be inappropriate to be relishing that stuff come December 1, so I have to use up every last drop of November to cherish it.

Therefore, when my grocery store decides they will only stock Christmas patterned paper towels in their store brand? Nope. I bought name brand paper towels for the first time in at least a year. And I didn't buy napkins at all.

So. Here's to the few and the proud, still standing up for their autumn loving rights. Take a breath friends, take a breath.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

The Highly Sensitive Family Goes to the Mall

This is really a weekend update, but this title popped in my head yesterday and made me chuckle.

As per usual, we started our Saturday at Cracker Barrel. I'm so grateful that my children are in a phase where they are really fun to take out to eat. We're lucky in the fact that both of our kids have always been pretty good restaurant kids. But good or not, it requires a special "energy" to take a really little kid to a restaurant. These days, the crayons and kids' menus really do provide entertainment.

We saw some sights at the Crack this week. First of all, the place was super packed. Even more than normal. I witnessed some of the most mean spirited people I have seen in a while. Listen, I need you to know that I did a brief stint as a restaurant hostess. There are few things restaurant hostesses cannot control, no matter how badly you want them to be able to. 1) A restaurant hostess cannot control how long people hang out after they eat. 2) A restaurant hostess cannot control the speed at which a table is bussed. 3) A restaurant hostess cannot control the number of people who come into a restaurant on a given day.

Y'all, there were some ladies who were just being plain ugly. You always have a choice, you know. If the wait is taking too long, you are free to leave at any time. What you shouldn't be free to do is bless out the hostess and then proceed to talk loudly about your dissatisfaction in her general direction. I was just edgy enough that I came thisclose to saying something to two different women. They both needed a spanking!

So then, there was this mom with her little boy. They were having some breakfast. He was standing in his chair most of the time. He was chewing up some bacon and spitting it back on his plate. And then he needed to go to the bathroom. I watched his mom make a comment to one of the workers that she was just going to the bathroom. Because it was just the two of them, there was no one left at the table. You know what's coming, don't you? They totally bussed her table! My heart rate went up by about 100. I was pretty worried about what that mom was going to say when she came back. And yes, I realize it was none of my business, but this is who I am! I watched the manager stop her on her way back to her seat, and apparently they offered her some free food. She got some pancakes for her little boy. He was mostly interested in taking the butter glob from the top and trying to cut it with a knife. While he held it in his hand. I wish I was joking.

After breakfast, we headed to the mall. We went with a singular purpose. Big Dan needed one specific item from the Big & Tall shop at Dillards. I have no idea what possessed us to venture into the mall proper. But we did. Since we were already swept up in the mayhem, I decided to duck into Children's Place to pick up some socks for Emily. Apparently, they were having some sort of open house situation. There were cookies and lemonade. Let me take this opportunity to tell you that I witnessed a little girl DRINK DIRECTLY FROM THE LEMONADE BOTTLE. Beware of free, unmonitored lemonade at the mall. The store was packed and I was in there with my stroller. I'm pretty sure I was already breaking out in hives. And then, I waited in line no less than 15 minutes for four pair of white socks.

While we were in the store, Emily fell madly in love with a really special pink shirt, bedazzled with a peace sign. And by special, I mean terrible. I told her we weren't getting any clothes. But, because Daddy is madly in love with Emily, he told her she could pick out an outfit. I tried with all my heart to steer her towards something other than the peace sign shirt. She just did not feel passionately about anything else.

In the meantime, Drew and Big Dan had finished their shopping. We bumped into them in the corridor. One look at Big Dan and I knew he had met his limit. His eyes were bulging and he was breaking a sweat. He was not happy to know that we were still in progress. The guys would be waiting in the car.

So...Emily found her peace sign shirt by some miracle, and lo and behold it was her size. (Rats!) She was ecstatic. We get so many hand-me-downs that she doesn't get many chances to really pick out clothes. It was SO fun to watch her! I finally gave into the moment and bought her some peace sign leggings to go with her shirt. She was so excited that we had to go straight to the bathroom and put her new outfit on.

And that's when the girls hit their limit.

First of all, we had to take her shoes off. In the public bathroom. GAH. I was trying to have her stand on top of her shoes, but she wasn't getting it. So I was just trying to hurry. Meanwhile, they have those super sonic hand dryers in the bathroom. You know the kind that blow so hard that your skin ripples and threatens to blow off? Yeah. Those. And they are LOUD. Try dressing a four year old who refuses to take her hands off her ears. Now I was sweating.

By the time we were done, I could not get out of there fast enough. When I got in the car Big Dan showed me a video of what he had experienced. It was a kid who would.not.stop.screaming.

Suffice to say, I think the Hulls can check "yearly visit to the mall" off the list for at least 365 more days.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Fan/Not a Fan

You know how sometimes you see something and you think, "Well, I like that, but on the other hand, I hate it."


That's just me?


Well, I was thinking just the other night about this and decided this could be a fun feature. Let's just be honest and say upfront that I'm sure I'm going to offend someone. We are a very easily offended people these days. So, if I offend you? Let's talk, like for real, and fix it.

In the mean time, my very first fan/not a fan.

Fan: I love when kids start grasping important biblical truths. I love it so much that I have spent a great deal of my life teaching kids things about God. I believe deep down in my bones that children are capable of real, vibrant, saving relationships with God. Even little children.

Not a fan: People who brag about how spiritual their children are on Facebook/Twitter/Instagram.  I get it. It's tempting to do this because as a parent, it's super cool to watch this start to happen in your own children's lives. The thing is, there is just no way to post this on social media without it being a giant boast. "Hey, everybody, look at how amazingly spiritual my kid is. This, by deduction, means I'm rocking it as a parent." See what I mean?

You have no idea how tempted I am when I see this to slap a big #humblebrag right in the comment section. Just because it's about Jesus doesn't mean it's not about your ego, too.

It's fun to brag on our kids. That's what grandmas are for. Or friends who adore your kids like grandmas do.

Otherwise, keep all your kids prayers in the prayer closet. I'd hate to have to slap you with a hashtag!

Monday, November 11, 2013

Weekend Update

Well hey there! It's me again.

It's a little dusty around here. October just about killed me. It was filled to the brim with all manner of unbloggable events, so I apologize if you've been waiting for a new post.

I just love writing on this little ol' blog. But, it takes some space and quiet. It also takes me getting some sleep so I can form a coherent sentence.

I was not sad to see October go. Because, honestly? October=Drama. I don't know how well you know me, but I am not a fan of the drama. Particularly when my little family is minding it's own business and some drama gets plopped down in our laps. So you see? You're glad I didn't blog last month. It would've been vague and bitter. No one appreciates vague and bitter. You know those people who post something cryptic on Facebook like, "I just don't know how I'm going to make it..."? Don't you just want to comment to them in all caps and say something like IF YOU'RE GOING TO PUT YOUR BUSINESS OUT THERE, PUT IT ALL OUT THERE. I'M NOSEY AND I DON'T APPRECIATE YOUR ALLUSIONS TO YOUR DRAMA. Am I right? If you're going to broadcast your dysfunction, go ahead and tell me the whole story so I can spend a good chunk of time analyzing the situation. It's like my hobby.

Moving on...

This weekend marked our first weekend without sports in quite some time. I know most parents complain about their kids' activities, but I have just had the best time watching Drew play baseball and football. I'm sure some of the sheen will wear off if he's still playing in 10 more years, but for now it's just so much fun. It also helps that he adores sports. He is not the best player out there, but he gives it everything he's got. It's been so fun to watch him put his mind to something and really get better. Plus, he's so freaking adorable in his little uniforms. I could just about shed a tear every time he goes out there to play.

That said, I was not sad to have the chance to ease into the day on Saturday. When there aren't ballgames to be watched you can usually find the Hulls at Cracker Barrel on a Saturday morning. Or a Saturday afternoon depending on how sluggish the parents are/what time the UT game comes on. The past few Saturdays I have basically come a complete stop. This really comes back to bite me on Sunday, but at the time? It's delightful. I hope you had a restful weekend.

I'm off to try and read my book for book club. We're reading "The Cuckoo's Calling" by Robert Galbreath (aka JK Rowling). Book club is on Thursday. I started reading the book today. Riiiiight.

Also? Blacklist is on the TV tonight. Do you watch this show? Let's discuss shows soon.

Here's to having Monday under our belts!