We can do it

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

The Big 2-9

From the time I was in my mid twenties I started joking about my age.  Just to be funny.  And then, I turned 30 and it felt FABULOUS being 30.  There is so much that I had accomplished by that seemingly daunting number.  I had graduated college with 2 separate degrees, had been happily married for over 6 years, I had THREE beautiful children.  It was the life I always imagined and I had arrived.  Thirty is when I started feeling comfy in my own skin.
In the years since turning 30, that other big milestone number started looking down on me menacingly.  So in my mid-thirties I decided to joke some more and just celebrate my 29th birthday every year for all eternity.  And it works for me.  And nobody believes it, and neither do I, but my husband faithfully puts 29 candles on my birthday cake like the amazing man he is.
Lately, I've been pondering about time that's passed since I turned 30.  Has it been scary?  Am I suddenly an old lady?  No.  Actually to be perfectly honest, some very magical  things started happening during those years.  I got to know me.  I spent time in therapy discovering what makes me me.  I learned to do things that scared me.  I revel in being and introvert but decided I was going to force myself into making friends and being in the spotlight sometimes.  I sought God and found healing in many areas of my life.  I finally waged war on my lifelong battle with insecurity and found out that what was in me is stronger.  God says I am fearfully and wonderfully made and I can say now that I truly believe it.  My marriage was challenged, and we came out closer.  During this time I realized that my hubby and I find one another HILARIOUS and DELIGHTFUL and beyond that I don't really need to care anymore - because as long as I have him there is 1 person to laugh at my jokes.
These years were exhausting, sometimes excruciating.  But isn't that really the sign of growth?
I grew up in my 30s.  I guess that what's you could say.
And here I am.  I just had my 29th birthday for the 10th time.  So you know what that means?  That scary number that's been stalking me for the last 9 years?  It's getting close.  And I am going to be...ahem...40.  There, I said it.
I'm going to be 40 and I have finally realized that really....truly...these HAVE to be the best years.  My kids are so much fun.  Their personalities are in full bloom.  Hubby and I CREATED these awesome little hooligans and I get to spend the day with them every day.  And I am starting to realize, in just over 4 years, they could start moving on and moving out and begin dreading turing the big 3-0......many many years away  (of course I tell them that's the age where it really starts getting GOOD)
I guess I'm realizing that turning 40 isn't so bad.  My life is full.  I am accomplished.  I like ME.  I love my family.  What more could I want?  (my body from my 20s?)
But I think....I might really be ready to celebrate my 40th birthday next year.  It's either that or 29 for the 11th time.  I've got time to decide.

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Thinking in Facebook Posts

For many years I enjoyed the creative outlet of having a blog and the satisfying introvert world I was able to engage with while raising little hooligans.  When Facebook hit the scene I realized I could still share with the world my snarky and sarcastic thoughts about parenting, cooking, life in general and without nearly the amount of effort.  A few short lines and my social output was complete for the day.  And I could sit back and let the addictive "likes" and comments roll in in response to my hilarity.  (Ok, so I'm self aggrandizing)
Don't get me wrong, I love face book.  It's an introvert's dream.  I love people, I want to know about their lives and feel connected.  But talk on the phone with them?  Ew.  The photos, the silly jokes, the political rants that turn into all out wars - I love them.  Seriously.  Sometimes Facebook is better than soap opera...not that I've ever watched any.  (I only watch mature things, like anything that the CW produces - Gilmore Girls FOREVER!!)
So now my day revolves around, what is the funniest thing that happened to me or was said to me today that I can post about?  It doesn't take too much thought, not much creativity, and it's usually interacted with.  But even my facebooking behavior is getting lazy.  Why bother to comment on anything when I can just quickly click like and avoid further thinking.  And lately I realized that I use to be a fairly amusing and entertaining person.  (Probably just to myself...and my hubby who finds me to be a delight)  And maybe, just maybe I need a creative outlet again.  So maybe this is it. The last one.  Or maybe I'll start to fill pages again about my random thoughts and observations and my brain will come alive again.  Maybe I'll see you around.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Resurfacing Countertops

Old formica countertops.  They look worse in person

When we bought our current house it was in good shape but needs a lot of updating.  Now that all my kids are in school full time and I don't have a job, it's given me the freedom to try my had at different things.  One thing I have discovered is that I really enjoy home renovating and updating.  My latest venture was to resurface the countertops in my kitchen.  I know that eventually this house is going to be a rental property so I wanted something fairly sturdy and can put up with abuse.  Although I do love my painted bathroom countertop I knew that the daily use in a kitchen might be too much for that process.  I did A LOT of research, as is my obsessive way when I want to do something new.
I looked at Rustoleum Countertop Transformations - this still intrigues me and I might try one day, but not in my kitchen.  I wanted to try it in my bathroom, but it can't be used over corian or cultured marble etc.  I also considered doing a concrete overlay but it was pretty costly for a kit.  I prefer to go with kits, so I am not surprised when I don't have all the materials I need.  It's a good way to get your foot in the door for trying a new home project.  Just when I was about to buy a concrete kit (about $450) I stumbled upon Countertop Epoxy.  You've gotta check out their tutorial video. SO COOL!!

My Craigslist score - $20!!  BEFORE

My awesome custom table!

I know that granite is the thing to have these days, but I'm not a huge fan of the upkeep or the $$$.  I like things that are artistic and totally unique.  Countertop Epoxy totally fits the bill.  And their counter kits are only $300.    That was WAY cheaper that even choosing out new Formica countertops!!

Levi, is the most awesome guy - an ex-Marine who totally hooked me up with my kit.  He is incredibly helpful and knowledgeable.  I chose the Copper Patina kit.  Levi suggest that I cover a table first to get the feel of the process.  So I bought a cheap table off of Craigslist.  Found this baby for $20 and it is HEAVY SOLID WOOD.  Score!  I had a pal come over and experience the process with me and it was a lot of fun.

First layer of copper

My countertops scared me a little but I felt more confident after the table.  So I decided to do this alone.  I do not recommend doing it solo.  It is a sticky and time sensitive process.  In the kit you get a gallon of resin and a gallon of hardener.  You mix the 2 for what seems like forever - about 4 minutes and then transfer it into another bucket and add you paint.  Mine was a gorgeous copper color.


I did my first color and was already in love.  (My first attempt at the counter resulted in a bit of a disaster on my part...I forgot to add the hardener - who does that??)  But I called Levi in a panic and he talked me through it very calmly.  And if you know me at all I am quite the spaz.  My second attempt went very smoothly.  FOLLOW THE DIRECTIONS!!  I used a putty knife to spread the epoxy the second time and it was 100% easier.  Like spreading honey.
 Then I mixed more epoxy and added the accent color - forest green.  Sounds weird but man does it make the counters POP!   I poured the accent color on top of the copper in random lines and patterns.  Then I used a paint brush to spread it around a little and get it into the copper.


The next part is the most fun - time to fire it up with a torch!!  I never used a torch before and it made me feel like a badass Rosie the Riveter!  
I would do this again in a heartbeat.  I am sure it will make an appearance in the next house we live in.  This is a fun project and will bring a very unique look to your home.  The best part is, it is VERY heat resistant (up to 500 degrees!) and can withstand over 12000 psi - even stronger than concrete.

Thanks, Levi!  I love it!!

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Giani Granite Countertop Paint Bathroom Remodel

My bathrooms were a nightmare - straight out of the 70s with the original everything.  White cabinets that had layers of paint and chipping away...cultured marble countertops that were chipped and had cigarette stains.   First I repainted the cabinets with Rustoleum Cabinet Transformations.  LOVE this product and have used it in 2 bathrooms and am working on my kitchen. 
BEFORE - do not be fooled.  This was tricky realtor photography and was far dirtier and uglier in person
I considered several options and since we were on a limited budget I decided to jump in and try Giani Countertop Paint.  I think it was great success.  And admittedly I was pretty skeptical.  My artistic skills leave A LOT to be desired.  But when people come over they really have to do a double or triple take to realize it isn't granite. 

I don't think this will be a long term solution, but so far it's holding up really well!

Thursday, March 07, 2013

Luxury Pet Bed

Lately I have been experimenting with several home projects and Pinterest ideas.  My latest venture fell into my lap.  I saw this cabinet on the side of the road, waiting for garbage day!
It was pretty gross, and my daughter was fairly disgusted but I hauled it home.  I saw a recipe for DIY Chalk Paint and jumped right in - after another super fun trip to Home Depot. 
I bought Turquoise and Pink flat interior paint and  Non-Sanded Grout in white.  Away we go!!
Recipe: 1 cup flat paint
2 tbsp Non-sanded grout
Water (to desired consistency)

I followed one blogger's recommendation and I added the grout first and then a little water to get it to dissolve a bit and then added the paint.  Stir stir stir!!!!!!!  An old hand mixer would be great for this.

No sanding or priming needed.  This one was flaking ALOT so I did some sanding but not much.

2 coats, then sanded to make it distressed.   Followed up with Minwax Paste Finishing Wax.   I plan to buy a little cushion instead of the blanket.  But I love how it turned out!

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Backhanded Love

My little Brady has a big heart.  When he feels the love it just oozes out of him as though he will burst if it's not expressed and showered upon those around him.  (this goes for when he is in a bad mood to, mind you)  But it is something I admire about him.

So the other day I could see the delirium of love washing over him as he climbed onto my lap.  He started rubbing my leg with his sweaty little boy hand and gazed into my eyes.  (I'm telling you girls...you're in big trouble...)  He sighed a big sigh and said dreamily...  "Do you know who my favorite mommy is?"

I smiled, recognizing the little game we play.  "Is it me?"

He beamed and hugged me enthusiastically.

Then he leaned back, rubbed my leg again, and gazed into my eyes.  Then paused....looked down...looked back up to me and said.

"Um...I think you need to shave those."

Tuesday, September 20, 2011


I had an epiphany this week.  About parenthood.  It seems in our society today we have a certain level of expectations for children.  Particularly in Christian circles, but you can see it in all kinds of groups.  How well do you "control" your children?  If you have wild, woolly and free spirits like I do - you know what I am talking about.  We are judged as parents by how well our kids listen, behave and respond to our directions.

As parents we have a job to do.  To raise up our kids with boundaries, love, consequences and rewards and to guide them in the direction we want them to go.  So if you want to define THAT as controlling your kids - I'm all for it.  But it seems to me that many people have this expectation that our kids should be robots.  Following our directions without deviation, compliant and quiet and doing so happily.

But I had a thought about God.  And how all our relationships on this earth are a reflection of something He wants us to learn about Him.  We are His kids, right?  And He gave us the gift of free will.  He loves us, guides and instructs us and allows consequences to come our way.  And yet he does not "control" us - even though He is capable.

What this tells me is that I should NOT control my kids.  I should love them and instruct them and allow consequences to come their way.  I'm not capable  of  controlling their behavior and it seems to me that God doesn't want me to do that either. 

Kids are born with a temperament.  Parents of strong willed kids again, know what I am talking about.  The kids that inevitably break out in a brawl in the middle of the grocery store...every time no matter the consequences.  The kids who poke and prod and poke and prod until an unwitting sibling returns with a full blown assault - in front of your pastor.    Certain things cannot be disciplined out of them -it's the way God designed them and WANTED them to be.  Although it should be guided and nurtured  and "bridled" -  it is who they are.  Some kids are compliant and happily go along the easy path.  Others live to fight another day, and inevitably end up grounded...again.  I'm not saying that discipline is useless - heck, it sometimes is the only tool we got!   But it won't change certain natural, inborn tendencies, like temperament.

I've been judged and pegged as a bad parent alot.  It is refreshing to believe that I can do the best that I can - seeking guidance from God in raising my kids and at the end of the day, I'm not responsible to CONTROL my kids.  They make their choices.  My job as mom is to respond to those choices. 

I know this may seem like a shocking and lackadaisical point of view of parenting.  But it is far from that.  It's a realization that I am the perfect parent to my child in all my imperfections because God chose me to be their mom.  And I don't have to answer to all their behaviors, but to love and encourage and discipline and guide them to the best of my abilities.  God gave us the freedom to make our own choices and to be us and our kids deserve the same considerations.

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Sarcasm 101

Red:  Mommy, why don't you like peace symbols?

GingersMom:  Because they don't represent peace, the represent socialism

Red:  What's socialism?

GM:  People who believe in things we don't believe in.

Red:  You mean like unicorns?

GM:  Yes.  Exactly like unicorns

Thursday, August 04, 2011

You. Are. SOOOOOOOOOOO. Embarrassing.

I knew this day was coming.  One day my little girl who used to look up at me with such admiration and awe would see me an roll her eyes and be mortified.  What I DIDN'T know was that I would become this giant loser by the time she was only 8. 
Lucky for me there are still glimmers of her being impressed by me.  Like when the girls in her 3rd grade class begged her to have me (ME!!) be a chaperone on a field trip because I look like a COOL mom and have pink hair.  (I'm COOL, people!)

But then the next day as I pull up to the curb in front of the school with the radio blasting and I'm belting out the lyrics enthusiastically she suddenly finds me horrifyingly embarrassing.  I totally don't get it.  Maybe it was the bright yellow and green St. Patricks Day pajamas I was still sporting? 

So I am resigned to the idea that I have entered full time dorkdome in the eyes of my pre-pre-teen.  So I might as well embrace it.  My ideas include but are not limited to:

1.  Dancing disco as I blare Justin Bieber in my car when I pick her up from school and shouting - "I've got the Bieber Fever!"  Maybe I can get a bumper sticker too....

2.  As she leaves for school I can ask her, loudly, if she remembered to put on clean underwear?

3.  While talking with her friends I can play with her hair and ask her if she'd like pigtails again like she wore on Saturday and I can put big pink bows in it too!

4.  Wear nothing but bunny slippers and duckie pajamas whenever her friends are around.

Hmmmm...any other juicy ideas out there?

Now take a look at these...really...embarrassing is in the genes.

Ok, so maybe it's a little more obvious in me.  Poor girl.

Monday, July 25, 2011


This year is a year full of changes.  We moved from Hawaii to San Diego.  We bought a house.  My husband will be deploying this year.  My youngest child will be starting Kindergarten.  I'll be a Stay at Home Mom with no kids at home during the day. 

Too much change!

So while I am in the throws of a serious identity crisis I have come up with a lot of different ideas for filling my time this coming fall while I am all on my lonesome.

1.  Go back to school for:  Masters in social work, fashion design, photography
2.  Learn how to knit, pottery, sew (for those of you who know me you realize how preposterous this is)
3.  Get a part time job
4.  Eat every cupcake I can possibly find and become the greatest cupcake critic of all time.

And although some of these seem totally reasonable (especially the cupcakes)  I seem to be at a crossroads where none of them seem to be panning out. 

6 weeks people and my life is going to be so strange!  What to do, what to do....