Housekeeping, Stories, Some Photos, News About Jeans, A Skin Tag Named Harold, And Let’s Hang Out in Person

I feel a little bad titling this post “Housekeeping” because I’m afraid it might give the false impression it’s about keeping house, a subject I’m patently unqualified to discuss since I’m exceedingly pathetic at the whole lot of it. However, if you clicked on the title hoping for some advice (or, more accurately, some quick ways to feel way, WAY better about your housekeeping by laughing at mine), you can disregard the rest of this and go to one of the following links, instead:

Alright, that said, let’s proceed with some housekeeping for the blog. Small updates on what’s been happening. Some updates on what’s to come.

  1. A Story: Why Twin Brothers Suck

    Today is January 5th; also known as The Day the Kids Went Back to School.

    At this point, I’d normally say, OH MY WORD, PRAISE JESUS AND ALL THE SAINTS… and GOD BLESS TEACHERS… and WOO to the HOO, YEEHAW, and PARTY ON, DUDES… except I had one little 2nd grade boy in tears this morning, not sure he was ready to return.

    He wasn’t recalcitrant or disobedient or obstinate, or even whiny and complaining. Instead, he was just quietly brokenhearted with tears slipping down his soft cheeks, hugging his teddy bear, Beary, whom he wasn’t sure he could leave behind. My mama heart
    sunk which is another way of saying he totally ruined all my plans to rejoice and skip away from the school and dance a jig in the parking lot. Ruined them completely, since now I’m left wondering whether he’s OK. 

    The only way I got Cael to school sans break-down, in fact, was by telling him he could take Beary along. “There’s no reason you can’t just put Beary in your backpack, Man. Would it make you feel better to bring him with you?”

    Cael sniffled and said that would help, which is when his pesky twin brother said, righteously, “Except we’re not allowed to bring toys from home.”

    “I’m sure it’s fine to bring Beary just for today,” I said.

    And Cai said, “Nope. No toys from home. It’s the rule.”

    And I said, “Well, then; good thing Cael’s leaving Beary in his backpack ’cause then no one will know.”

    And Cai said, “And that would be a good solution except we’re supposed to follow the rules even when no one’s looking, MOM.” Which is a GREAT thing for a kid to know and it’s AWESOME that he has convictions, and, of course, we want to honor that kind of thinking because it’ll totally keep him off of drugs and from robbing the liquor store one day, but GEEZ, kid; give your brother a break.

    So, when Cai wasn’t looking, I smuggled Beary into Cael’s backpack, winked at Cael and said, “I won’t tell if you won’t.” And he winked back and said, “DEAL.” 

    All of which is to say, having a twin brother sometimes sucks, and if Cael grows up to rob the liquor store, now you’ll know where it all began. 

  2. A Photo: A Dog and Her Boy

    I told you just before Christmas about our oldest boy’s new service dog, Zoey. I’m trying not to totally overreact, but she’s perfect, and I love this pair so much I can’t stand it.


  3. A Photo: Diversion

    This is a picture of Greg and me last week. I have the least number of double chins in this photo than of any other recently taken.

    Also, this one nicely cuts off my butt so I’m using this to distract you from the next photo. Let me know if it works.

  4. An Update: On Jeans

    ButtNoSpeaking of butts, yes I DID get the jeans I special ordered from the made-to-fit company following the Great Pants Splitting Episode of 2014, and I DO like them, but I keep delaying updating you because it means more butt pics, and I’m having to gear up for that.

    It’s not the posting of the pictures that’s so awful. I’ll get there; I promise. (I PROMISE to show you more pictures of my rear, Internets, because mine is totes the kind of rear one looks up online.) It’s the fact that I have to find a human being and ask him or her to take photos of my butt.

    I mean, it’s one thing to discover your pants have split and have likely been split for hours while you run errands around town, and then, while still in shock, shove a phone in your husband’s hands to snap a pic.

    It’s an entirely different mental process, I assure you, to plan a Butt Photo Shoot, so you’ll have to wait a tad longer.

    In the meantime, it’s important to know a) works as advertised, b) you shouldn’t cheat on your thigh size or the thigh parts of your jeans might end up snug, c) the fabric and construction are extremely high quality, d) it takes longer to get them (5-6 weeks with back pocket embroidery which adds time) than I would like, and e) I’ve ordered a second pair with *ahem* bigger thighs.

  5. Facebook and a Skin Tag Named Harold

    I updated you on the Five Kids Facebook page about Harold, my armpit skin tag. It’s important you join our Facebook community or you won’t get useless, gross and somewhat disturbing updates like these. Just thought you should know. Because I love you.

  6. NEWS: I Might Be Coming to a City Near You in 2015 (California and Australia in January!)

    I might be coming to a city near you sometime this year, and I would LOVE, love, LOVE to meet you in person. Thanks to my parents, whom I love and with whom I’m well pleased, I get to TRAVEL this year. I’m not traveling for anything writing or book-related; just traveling to see what we can see, and would love to see YOU. I’m positively GIDDY with excitement, and I’ll give you updates on locations as I know more. 

    THIS Friday, January 9th, I’ll be in the Fullerton area of Southern California. If you want to meet for a bring-your-own lunch in a park nearby, please email me at with “SoCal Meet-Up” in the subject line so we can work out details. 

    On Monday, January 19th, I’ll be in Sydney, Australia along with my daughter, Abby. (I KNOW – I can’t believe it, either!) If you’d like to hang out for the day, please email me at with “Sydney Meet-Up” in the subject line. We have a hang-out plan I’d love to send you.

Those are my updates! It’s been a LONG few weeks of Winter Break full of glorious, grimy, grouchy, messy, mucky, magnificent time focused on my family, and I’m as sad as I am eager to move on to the mundane and magical days ahead. How are YOU? What are YOUR updates?


Don’t miss a post. Subscribe here

13 responses to “Housekeeping, Stories, Some Photos, News About Jeans, A Skin Tag Named Harold, And Let’s Hang Out in Person”

  1. Beth, thank you for your forwardness and honesty. Your ability to be open and tell it like it is is so encouraging.
    I have five children as well, two with special needs, the two that are still at home.
    Life happens and to be able laugh and go one is the best way.

  2. First, you and your husband are adorable. Great pic! Second, you have a great ass. Third, thighs are deceiving jerks meant to impose shame and delusion. What I’m saying is, it isn’t your fault. How am I? Great, now that you are posting again! 🙂 Happy new year.

  3. I’m holding my one month old son who had open heart surgery when he was 5 days old. Yeah. He’s kind of a badass baby. I also am envisioning that the milkshake I am drinking is going from the cup, up the straw, down my throat and out my breast. I might be slightly sleep deprived.

    • Yay for badass babies!! My youngest ended up with a bilateral pneumothorax (chest tubes on both sides until his lungs would finally work on their own) so I can somewhat relate to the emotional turmoil. He is now 18 months old and still giving me heart-attacks, but in the more classic adventurous healthy little-boy ways now. We keep trying to tell him he’s already used up his hospital credits, but he just flashes his dimples and toddles off to more mayhem. Best wishes to a future of good health and happiness to your son (and you! and your family!!)

    • Congratulations on the birth of your son, Charla! And I’m so glad he’s on the other side of surgery and doing well. Sending you and your rad, badass babe lots of love and prays for healing and SLEEP. Love to you.

  4. I survived influenza–I thought it was a sinus infection.

    My kids went back to school today. Hooray for routine! Boo for having to get out of my pajamas!

    Come visit West Michigan! But not in January. It’s 7 degrees right now.

    • We were just in West Michigan–Kalamazoo, in fact–but we missed the cold weather (it was a balmy 24°) and the snow. But coincidentally half of the extended family had flu or sinus infection.

      I really miss the midwest sometimes….

    • I agree, Beth and crew should visit w. Michigan, but not now, I’m snowed in right now. It can be a grand place April(ish) through October though!

  5. I’m glad to hear the jeans worked out. I may have to check in to that site and pass it along to other jean -shopping-impaired friends.
    Re: Skin tags – a few years ago I had one removed from the back of my neck, with my 1 & 3 year old children watching because it was the 3 year olds fault that she picked and rubbed at an ingrown hair for a year until it turned into a skin tag. ( well actually, I just didn’t bother to get a babysitter) but they both sat quietly and patiently while I lay on the exam table being sliced or burned or something. Sorry old news, but tangentially related to your post

  6. I loved the picture of your boy and his dog. I have a student who should be getting a service dog this spring. I am so excited for her family (and I get to be the teacher with a dog in my classroom)!

Leave a Reply to Jennifer Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.