Da 'hoe

Last Monday I woke up to this sweet bitch outside my house...

...(the Tahoe, not my daughter) with strict instructions to hit the town and unlock the keys to St. Louis for a week. 

Don't mind if I do!

Reluctantly, I said goodbye to my righteous mini van

cranked the tunes

and saddled up. 

First we went in search of the lone elk at Lone Elk Park

When we found him I was slightly afraid but he turned out to be ever the gentleman.

We also ran into a gang of bison. 

And made a Ted Drewes stop on the way home.

Later that week it was on to Grant's Farm, which I think permanently scarred my kids for life.  I wasn't about to abandon ship because... well... free beer. 

And finally, we ended our week at the Purina Farms haunted hayloft. 

I think the man who modeled for this statue was the first and only date I've ever had on Match.com, by the way.

You know how you go shoe shopping and you try on all those shiny new shoes, then you put your old tennis shoes back on and they suddenly seem a lot more disgusting and smelly and you notice there are dried boogers on the back of your headrest?

Yeah, that. 

The Progressive Dinner

Nick and I decided that it is high time for us to start going to church on a regular basis.  Because, well, only a sucker would pass up wine, crackers and free babysitting while they can zone out for an hour and a half. 

As part of our church's 100 year anniversary celebration, there was a progressive dinner on Saturday night.  The invitation encouraged guests to "dress up in clothing from their favorite decade." 

Pay close attention to that last part.  It's key to the story later. 

Anyhoo, for obvious reasons, Nick and I chose the '90s.  Because they were awesome.  And easiest to find costume material.  We spent the better part of Saturday afternoon combing thrift stores for the perfect shoulder padded silk shirt and Mom jeans.  Once we found it we moved on to searching for my costume. 

"How do you know when you've put on enough hair spray?"  Nick asked later as my hair fused to the sizzling curling iron. 

"Once your forehead makes a sound like crinkling paper when you wrinkle it you know you're off to a good start."

I'm pretty sure I'm personally responsible for destroying at least part of the ozone layer.  To this day there's a spot in mid-Missouri where, if you stand in just the right spot on a clear night, you can see straight up into God's bathroom. 

Classical music floated down the hallway and greeted us as we opened the heavy church door.  As we walked toward the fellowship hall, the music and conversation became louder, and my excitement grew as I thought about how awesome our costumes were.

I patted my bangs and gave them an extra spray.  

My first clue something was wrong was the look on the cleaning lady's face as we passed her in the hallway.  It was the same look that my kids give me when I step out of the shower. 

We rounded the corner and my jaw dropped as we stood in the doorway of the fellowship hall. 

Before me stood a sea of dinner jackets and nice dresses.  And gray hair.  Probably a hundred people - OLD people - there and not one dressed up.  NOT ONE.  It looked like we were crashing Betty White's wedding reception. 

I made eye contact with the pianist and it felt like the notes coming from the piano were choking me as Nick and I both stood there, staring silently at the room full of well dressed, well groomed, old people. 

He slowly leaned over to me, and, barely moving his lips to as not to attract attention, whispered one word.


We slowly, !EVER SO SLOWLY!, took a few steps backward and then turned and sprinted away, past the confused cleaning lady, down the stairs, to a back door in the basement. 

Which was locked. 

"NO!"  Screamed Nick, rearing back to kick it down. 

"We have to go back upstairs,"  I said. 

The longer we waited the worse it was going to get.  Like a band aid.  Just get out quick.  Don't make eye contact.  If anyone sees us we just pretend like we're deaf.  And blind.  And then punch them in the throat. 

We ran up the stairs two at a time, again past the cleaning lady, out the door, past three people all looking like they were in an ad for Coldwater Creek, to the safety of Nick's car.

It was difficult to run due to the wind resistance against my bangs.  But I looked to the east and created a sail, allowing the jet stream to do the work for me. 

We just sat in silence for a moment and caught our breath. 

"You think anyone saw us?"  I said.

"I don't care,"  He said, starting the car and peeling away. 

"We have to make a promise to each other here and now.  We will never, NEVER go to one of these things unless we know at least five other people who are going."

"Promise,"  I said.  "Now let's go hit the town.  I don't want to waste this hair."   

Rags to britches


I'm going to just come out and say it. 
I'm cheap. 
Not cheap in a maybe I shouldn't buy that expensive bottle of wine cheap, or I'm not sure if I should indulge in a day at the spa cheap, but more in a hey why would someone leave a perfectly good pacifier on the bathroom floor of Six Flags oh bonus it matches Lila's outfit cheap.  
Basically the kind of cheap that involves spending money on other people that are not me.  Namely my kids.  Hey, those little suckers are a major drain on my beauty resources!  And they burn through clothes so fast... I look at duck taping beer boxes around their feet as a practical yet stylish solution to shoes.
When Ellie was born someone gave me the advice, "Take care of yourself and everything else will fall into place."  Don't mind if I do!
Last week I received an invitation to attend the grand opening of the Hanna Andersson store in the Galleria.  What?  You sell new clothes for kids?  Like, Goodwill new or box of outgrown clothes from the neighbors new? 
I could invite a few friends. 
"Hey, want to come with me to the grand opening of a kids clothes store at the mall?"
"What store is it?"
"Umm, it's called Hanna something."
(silence, then slowly whispered)"... Andersson?"
"Yeah I think..."
*friend's head explodes*
Next friend:
"Hey, want to come with me to the grand opening of a kids clothes store?"
"Not really."
"It's supposed to be good.  Like, head exploding good."
"Wait wait wait." (pause)  "What store are we talking about here?"
"Hanna Ander..."
*friends head explodes*
And so it went until every one of my Mom friends was completely headless, sketching erratic pictures of pajamas and leggings and dresses on their kitchen counters.

I was intrigued.
Finally Thursday came.  I barely had a chance to stop the car before my friends made a mad dash for the store, where we weren't the only ones who had been looking forward to this night.
And OMG... the cuteness was overwhelming.  Three little girls... this is going to be dangerous for me. 
Thank you Hanna Andersson - for the first time in her life Ellie has a new coat:
And I went ahead and got her a dress while I was at it:
She better not get used to this... the beer box shoes have AT LEAST another two weeks of life left in them.
DISCLOSURE:  I received promotional products and/or services from Hanna Andersson; opinions expressed are my own.