step 1: realizing you have a problem

there is a reason I have not picked up my camera in ages, but that storm cloud that consistently follows me around has taken away all my light.  and then that a-ha hits ... why in the world would I want to document this season of my life?  the IT, the problem, seems to be this certainty of the unexpected, of the stress, of that depressive cloud that I pretend is not there.  I don't have IT all together.

its so ugly.
with a dash of optimism, but little hope.
where my smile is forced because 2 little somebodies are watching.

I'm not in a total slump.  I do smile naturally still.  I have my kids; we have cozy beds & food in the fridge. there are of course many things to be thankful for, and I can name them all.

going through the motions of everyday life, when emotionally you want to cry every last tear and then scream as loud as you possibly can, it a difficult task most days.  do you know this feeling?

having these 2 littles are motivation enough.  they are worth it all, without a doubt.
intellectually I can tell you that that alone is enough to pick up the camera.  my ugliness should not/does not take away from them being the silly & cute kids they are and that I ought to taking pictures of that silliness & cuteness.  right?  right?!
but emotionally, its just plain difficult.  I carry my camera around with me, and usually come home realizing I still didn't take one.  and its a digital!  its not like its a waste of film anymore.

so, it just is what it is right now.  its a bummer, but somehow although I'm the only one to change it, I cannot.  its a strange place to be in.


do you remember your first crush?
I remember thinking Stephen was cute (so cute!) in the 3rd grade, and I was so sad to have to move away at the end of that school year and be away from him ... although I can't ever remember saying 2 words to him.

love is funny that way, right?

my Samuel is in 2nd grade, and has informed me of some rather big news -
"mom, I almost married a girl at school today"
"really?  does she know about this?"
"no.  but she's so beautiful!"
"did you get a name?"
"her name is Faye and she looks like she's from China"

hahahahahahahahaha!  gotta love kids.

"well does she speak Chinese?"
"she is probably just as American as you are."
"she's so beautiful.  she wears these little red heart earrings."
"does she know how much you like her?"
"no, but maybe you could buy some flowers for me to give to her.  what do you say?"
"I say, why don't you draw her a picture of some flowers?"
"mooooooom, no way."
"let's give this some time.  school just started 2 weeks ago."
"I'm gonna try and sit next to her tomorrow."

I totally missed back to school night due to illness, which also means I missed my chance to meet this future daughter-in-law, along with her parents.  I've heard of high school sweethearts, but ... funny to think about Sam growing up, getting married, and making me a grandma.  although I do mention it to him from time to time so he kind of gets it ... but then again, not really.

wish me luck!

$1 store

I have a new love for the $1 store.  When I was in Hawaii last year, there were no $1 stores!!  what is a cheap frugal mom to do?!
The one in my neighborhood is a bigger one.  love that.

here are my usuals - 
1 gal of Crystal Geyser water ... now I have seen this for .88 @ SaveMart BUT its very rare.
SUN powder detergent ... I have seriously gotten 10 loads from 1 box.
Soft Soap ... the individuals, not the refill bottles.  I normally buy this soap at whatever store I'm shopping at; it works the best for my drying hands.
Suave kids shampoo/body wash 2 in 1
raspberry popsicles ... 8 in a box.  yum.
sweet potatoes fries ... I have attempted to make these from scratch and they NEVER turn out right, so I have decided just to buy them from now on!
individual raisins boxes ... perfect for school lunches.
they had great school supplies there too ... notebooks, rulers, pencils, erasers, folders, pens, and lots more. 
a broom!  ... only bought one so far

did you know the $1 store has a CLEARANCE section?!
most of it is returned merchandise without the original packaging.  everything is .25 - .75 in there!!

what do you buy from the $1 store?

2nd grade

school started today.  yes, on a Wednesday.
not sure if its an effort to help everyone get used to the schedule without all 5 days dragging on, or ..... ???

last year we homeschooled.  this year is the exact opposite; off to public school.
he's always asked to go to school, so he was very excited this day has finally come.

he was nervous and practically skipped breakfast, which he NEVER does.  I tried not to make a big deal out that, and just keep him excited about the day.

I took another picture of him next to the school sign out front of the office.
(he's in 2nd grade; next year I might not get so lucky with the pictures! )
but I told him to meet me here - at the sign - after school.  "ok mom."

so 2:10 comes around and I wait.  and wait.  and wait.
there is a large crowd as soon as the bell rings, and soon enough, everyone finds where they need to be.
the after school program in the cafeteria begins.  the buses leave.  teachers are closing their doors.
where is Sam?
not at the sign.  not in his classroom.  not on the playground.  not in the office.  not in the cafeteria.

so I'm doing laps around school property and can't find him anywhere.
my stress has been high lately, and I'm doing my best to stay calm; keeping the tears back.
I decide to get some help at the main office.  I start talking and instantly my voice shakes and the tears roll.  

all along I knew in my gut that wherever Sam was, he wasn't freaking out.  I knew he was not kidnapped or anything ... but don'tcha HATE that little voice that tries to tell you you just might be?

so I get the help of a few staff members.  it took another good 10 minutes, and finally, he appears.
we was (technically) off school property.  waiting in a spot that we never even suggested, but somehow, his brain reasoned this was the spot.

he saw I was/had been crying, and gave me a big hug.  the staff had a few words for him, but really, they handled it all very well.  not sure if because it was the first day of school, or that they are always like that, but I was pleased they didn't assume the role of lecturing parent.

I've been saying to my family, friends, and to myself, that once we get on this new school schedule, a lot of things will work itself out.  that has been my focus for awhile, but I never thought there would be THIS kind of work to get there.


the worst is over.  today is a new day.
and now, Sam definitely knows to meet me at the sign.

name song

I saw this on Pinerest and thought ... YES!  someone, somewhere feels my pain.

is your name in a song?
growing up, I would hear "my song" often.  the people who usually sing it to me are older men.
its cute, but back then, it just wasn't cool ... like I had some kind of reputation to uphold.

I'm from the mid-west, so maybe that has something to do with these old men so willingly start up an acapella in the middle of whatever they are doing when they hear my name.

I would still be embarrassed, but I would smile so big if some old man sang to me like they used to.  of course this song dates back to 1918, so everyone that knows it may be dead.  just sayin'.

here's some HISTORY on k-k-k-katy

in case you're not familiar ... here's "my song"
and THIS GUY ... who must love a Katie