Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Oh, just crying on the bathroom floor, typical #momstress

It may have to do with the fact that I'm moving in t-minus 6 days.  I've packed nothing, NOTHING, my garage is so full and disorganized thanks to our garage sale that I literally can't even walk out the door.  I just open it and throw whatever it is I'm trying to get out of the house as far away from the door as possible.  I feel like a real winner.  The kids are out of school in two days which means I'll be in charge of them 100% of the time for the next three months.  Which is a lot of time.  But I'm just so happy that I don't have to wake up at what feels like the crack of dawn to make more peanut butter sandwiches and wrap them in plastic wrap because we are out of baggies, AGAIN.  No more looking for folders, chasing kids down on their way to the bus because they forgot their permission slip, no more school.  I'm pretty happy about it to be honest. 

But moving, you guys, it's a lot of work.  And it's so overwhelming.  So overwhelming that I'm not even starting.  I'm just in that I-know-the-panic-will-hit soon and I'll be borderline insane but right now I just can't even go there.  I'm just sitting back waiting for the storm to hit.  So then, it makes sense that the next best thing to do (with all my free time) is have a birthday party for my 6, going to be 7 year old. I have nothing packed, my garage is bursting with crap I need to donate, my office is so disorganized it's embarrassing, so why don't I throw a party?  That's what #momguilt will do for you. 

Because about 12 months ago I promised to do a party, even bought all the stuff, and then I failed.  I gave up. I wasn't even moving.  I just got too tired and it was the end-of-the-school-year typical overwhelm and I put all the stuff for the party away telling her, we will do the best party ever NEXT year.  Not realizing that next year, in addition to end of school craziness, I'll also take a trip to Pennsylvania, drive to Logan four days a week, spend so much time and energy trying to find a place to live, and be moving in 6 short days. 

So the timing is dreadful but--I promised.  I will not go back on your promise because #momguilt is the worst.  So birthday party, here we come!  PRAY FOR ME.  

My advice to you, when you're on the brink of a breakdown, throw a party.  ;)

Everyone Survived!

Hey everybody,

Guess what?  I survived and so did my kids.  It was awesome, fun, and invigorating to  have some time to myself (and I never even cried and everyone survived) and now I'm pumped and ready to schedule some more time to travel.  I can totally see how once you get out of your house and see how a tiny glimpse of another life, you want to see more.  It's addicting, and I want to share that with my family.  I want THEM to go and see different parts of the country and eventually, other countries too.  
I went to Pennsylvania to visit my Brother, Sister-in-law, and their three kids.  They had just moved into a beautiful, charming home in a gorgeous rolling hills neighborhood.  They had already done a ton of work updating the house with new counter tops, flooring, paint so I got to do the fun part, decorating.  It was so much fun.  I also got to go to a pretzel factory, some fun, unique restaurants, Chocolate World and to Lancaster, the Amish town and go on a buggy ride and find out more about the Amish beliefs.  But the best part was getting to know and bond with my brother and his family more.  I will never forget this trip and all the memories and stories we shared.  And that is what I think is the most important thing in life; enjoying and making time for family. 

I posted several photos from my trip on my instagram @kelliemcclure One of the cutest things was my 12 year old got dressed up in his suit and tie to greet me at the airport with a cardboard sign with my name on it that he had made.  It was so unbelievably adorable.  It was one of my greatest moments; being back home and seeing my beautiful children waiting for me.  I'm one luck mama.  


Monday, May 8, 2017

A Short FICTIONAL Story for You...

All characters and events are fiction.  Any thing that resembles a real life person is pure coincidence.

Once upon a time there was a mom of five who recklessly booked a trip to Pennsylvania to see her brother and sister-in-law.  She was very excited and looking forward to the trip in so many ways but she was also freaking out inside because well, the term attachment parenting, that word was made-up to describe her parenting style.  She's the lady who carries her infant bouncer into the bathroom so she can watch them breath while she brushes her teeth.  She writes down every oz of medicine, the exact time 7:13 and 3 seconds, and will not give the medicine one second before it is due.  She carries cups of water into her kids in bed to make sure they have plenty of fluids in their little bodies.  She locks the doors every night and then wakes up at least once a night to check the doors to make sure they are still locked.  She also walks into every room and checks on her precious sleeping babes, pulling up blankets etc.  She is the epitome of an attached parent.

If she hears any sound that resembles a cry for help she will "shush" the entire house, rush about inside and out to help the poor child in need which usually turns out to be a screaming-for-joy child on the trampoline.

As the trip has neared she has been stressing, and breathing, and "calenderizing", and carpool setting upping, and packing, and note taking, and breathing some more, and pep-talking herself, and asking her husband questions like, "on a scale of 1-10 how worried are you about covering everything while I'm gone?" His calm response,  "I know this is going to annoy you but a 0, I'm not at all worried, everything is going to be great."  "UGH.  you're so unrealistically optimistic and yes, it is annoying that I have to do all the worrying." 

Now that her flight is hours away she is in panic mode.  Thinking of frightening scenarios that she is going to be needed to save the day for.  She is racked with worry and wondering if maybe she should cancel the flight and just eat the loss.  She thinks of all her instagram friends who seem to constantly be on exotic vacations sans kiddos and seem to be having the time of their lives and wonders, "Who is taking care of their kids folder signing and breakfast getting?  Who is driving them to dance/baseball/soccer/cheer?  How are they so care free? Posting captions like, 'Never coming home' "  Her picture is going to be a red and swollen eyed lady at the airline ticket counter saying, "It's not too late fam, should I just come back home? " 

It's funny because her kids know her so well.  They are making her promise not to text constantly to check in on them.  They are setting phone reminders to check the locked doors, and give the baby plenty of drinks, (dehydration is a serious threat) And they are promising to help curl hair, and keep everyone alive while she's gone.

She in turn promises to TRY to relax (is it really relaxing if you have to try?) and actually get on the airplane.


Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Kell's Spring Favorites

Movie:  LION 

Image result for lion movie
You guys!  I cannot recommend this movie enough.  I'm basically the least emotional person there is.  And I cried several times.  It was JUST SO SO GOOD.  I literally loved it.  The way the story is told, the actors, the moral of the film, the cinematography, there are so many beautiful moments that you need to experience.  My kids and husband loved it too.  Dan is probably the pickiest movie goer EVER.  He basically likes romantic comedies and that's it.  He said, "I don't normally like movies like this, but this was really good!"  If that's not a raving review from the toughest movie critic, I don't know what is.  And the little boy who plays Suroo.  I swear he is the most lovable face ever to act in the history of movies.  He was brilliant!

Snow Cone Machine
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We bought this two years ago for my son's birthday and let me just say it probably saved Crew's life.  Ok, that could be a slight exaggeration but in truth it is the only thing I can get Crew to drink when he is sick.  It helps keep him hydrated.  I also mixed Crew's medicine into a tiny little snow cone because I found it is THE only way to get him to take his medicine.

Another thing I love about it is I don't have to get the kids a snow cone every time we drive by one of those super expensive snow cone shacks.  And anytime they come in and ask "Can we go get snow cones?"  I cheerfully yell "YES!" and whip this baby out. #MomOfTheYear  I keep snow cone flavors on hand year round because I'm awesome like that and they are super cheap/basically have an eternal shelf life.  Get yourself one of these.  It is well worth it.

Also, on a selfish level, if you LOVE pebble ice in your beverage.  Now you have your own mini ice making machine.  Think Dr. Pepper, with tons of tiny ice chunks, a dribble of heavy cream and a spritz of lime.  I'm speaking your language now aren't I?

Image result for tim ferriss

THE best podcast I listen to.  I will warn you, he isn't a Mormon, and he does swear, and so do his guests.  So if that's a deal breaker for you...don't listen.  Honestly though, he has the most interesting guests, asks them powerful and life changing questions, is quite entertaining and very well spoken.  No annoying over use of words such as "like" "uh" etc.  He's good at what he does and I frequently am finding myself jotting down notes as quickly as possible.  So many good nuggets of wisdom in this podcast.  I always get so many ideas of helping to make my life more enjoyable and purposeful from listening to Tim Ferriss.     


Hanging On By a Thread

It's that time of year Mums.  The school days are coming to an end and I'm feeling it.  The importance of reading has dwindled, signing school papers is exhausting, finding backpacks is sapping all my energy, I'm too sick and tired of making home lunch so I sent a ginormous check to cover school lunch for the rest of the school year all of 4 days because I need a reprieve.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not excited about being 100% in charge of entertainment for the next 3 months, driving them to swim lessons, setting up play dates, packing for 3 hours so we can go to the pool for 1 hour, you know...all the summer stuff.  I'm just ready to be done with all the school stuff.  I'm over it.  I know the kids are too because when I wake them up for school I'm met with tears, and fake coughs, and some legitimate excuses.

To be honest, I think the teachers are feeling it too...they are sending hostile notes about IF YOU DON'T RETURN IT BY.....THEN YOU WILL BE PUT IN PRISON.  And they are starting to watch more  movies.  I absolutely hate when this happens.  It makes me all TEAM HOMESCHOOL when my kids come home and say, "Today we watched An American Tale, and then went to recess, and then cleaned our desks, and then went to lunch and then recess again, and then we did a color by number worksheet and then came home".  UGH!  So boring.  So pointless.  Go ahead and stay home if that's what you're going to do.  But then if they aren't watching movies all day and they are awesome teachers who are making them do book reports, and other "Mom, I need help!" projects, I'm thinking, "Come on Teach, I'm exhausted here, I can no longer do school stuff. Please just turn on An American Tale and call it a day."  Apparently I can't be pleased.

Are you feeling the drag too?

Don't worry, I'm already buying absurdly thick next grade curriculum books to keep my children's minds bright through the summer months because I have nothing but good intentions of being the best summer mom EVER!

If you don't remember my last summer time Mom survival guide you should read it here!

If you want to read a hysterical essay you should read Jen Hatmaker's Worst End Of School Year Mom Ever. It is amazing!

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Because I Want to Whine for a Minute

I shouldn't write when I'm in a rant and rave mood.  It's the sort of frame of mind that makes me want to write more than any other.

The thing is, I've been house hunting for about a year now.  It's no bueno.  And by no bueno I really mean it.  There is, according to our realtor, the least amount of inventory EVER. No inventory means steep prices on a tiny piece of junk, built in 1910 houses that include mold, lead paint, 1 bedroom, 1200 square feet, a weed ridden yard and a huge mortgage.  Can you tell I'm completely sold? 

I'm a teensy bit sensitive about this situation because we had a poopy deal about 8 years back when we bought a house for $143.900.  It was a high market and it was the nicest, least expensive house we could find.  We gussied the place up with concrete counter tops, a new roof, a white vinyl fence, opened up the space by taking out a huge wall, all new tile etc. The whole time we were watching the sweat equity pile up, or so we thought.  Cue market crash.  Since my husband got a new, better job out of state we had no other option but to sell.  After living with family for 4 years, getting the world's WORST renters in the history of renters (a story that needs it own post) we finally went on to sell for $100,000.  You don't have to be a math genius to figure out the level of poop going on there. 

Since I'm a pro MLS searcher these days I decided to look up the old Idaho, nearly killed me, house and see if it's been sold since.  It was recently listed for $160,000. 

It's just so crazy how hard it is to find a decent house that doesn't cost at least $1600.00 a month right now.  It truly makes me wonder how so many other people have 2 legit vehicles ($500.00/month), a posh palace, and take exotic vacations every 3 months.  I'm starting to re-think my life plan at this point. #isittoolatetostartdentalschool? 

How do you power through your down times?  I'm just feeling downtrodden about moving.  I used to think our budget was quite sufficient for a nice place but in this market it's not near enough.  My biggest fear is repeating our Idaho situation.  #rentingforlife

Right now I just want to go into a coma and wake up after Dan has dealt with all the stress and chaos of up-rooting a family of 7.  Somebody send help soon. Or somebody cue another market crash because I need to buy low,  not high.

Friday, March 10, 2017

On The Verge

For several months now I've been reading all the emails/blog posts from Allie Casazza from The Purposeful Housewife and I just subscribed to her podcast, The Purposeful Home, and I can't wait to get listening.  But for now I'm waiting for a big enough time-chunk to open up so I can get started.  At least that's what I keep telling myself.  :)  I actually have a lot of fear.  Somewhere along the way I've gotten real attached to my stuff.  Or in the very least I've felt like my stuff is truly needed. I know part of that has to do with my business.  Owning a custom design company where I design and create custom pieces for dancers, children, and brides requires a lot of stuff.  And it's not always organized.  Sometimes it's so disorganized that I end up buying stuff I already have because I simply can't find it.  I'm not proud of this.  But it's the truth.

I'm really not exactly happy with my life right now.  When someone comes over and I know they are coming I spend hours faking that we indeed are super clean people.  I scrub and stuff and vow to NEVER do this again!  And, now don't take this personally family and friends, but I kind of get peeved about it.  It's so annoying to have people over because I'm never "ready".  And quite frankly, I don't have TIME to even get READY because I have too much crap to do.  So it's such an imposition that I always curse myself for inviting people over and hence, I've stopped inviting people over.

When having people over is required, I'm bugged.  Like when clients have to come pick up their dance pieces I'm always rushing around trying to clean, and look presentable.  It's never convenient because I'm always so behind!  And I become a resentful, ornery person.  UGH!  I hate it.  I am so ashamed that I don't even want to tell you all.  Because it's not other people's fault that I'm letting all my stuff ruin my life.  It's my fault.  And I want to change.

The main reason why I'm ready to change my life is because of my kids and husband.  Our life has become a whirlwind of messes, clutter, practices, yelling, stress, and cleaning, cleaning, cleaning.  We hardly have any fun any more.  Every single Martin Luther King day, or President's Day, or Memorial day guess what we do?  Clean.  We organize our closets, we clean our garage, we clean my office, we clean and organize the toy room.  And guess what?  It never lasts.  So we do it again and again and again.  It's not very fun.  And it's not creating fun memories.  It's just not the way I want to live and not at all how I want my kids to remember their childhood. I'm so sick of cleaning!  But I want to be clean.

Not only can we never go and do anything fun as a family because we have too many chores to do at home; but my kids can rarely invite friends over either.  When they do, either we've just spent the last few hours cleaning or most likely I have to apologize for some mess or other.  It's embarrassing.  So "no, kids, you CANNOT have friends over until we clean the entire house!" Its just a vicious cycle of messes, begging them to help, or giving up and embracing our life, as messy as it is at times.

I can go ahead and blame some of this on my upbringing.  I grew up in a mess.  Or I can go ahead and accept responsibility for continuing to share the messy love.  But I want to be clean. I want to have people over, and I want to have fun with my kids.  I would love to not spend every waking minute tidying, and organizing.  Just to wake up and do it all over again.

This is where Allie and all her ideas and testimonials are stepping in.  I am so hopeful that this is going to be a game changer!  Are you down and out about cleaning non-stop?  You should check her philosophies out! we come!  I hope...I'm still kind of scared.