Thursday, May 31, 2012

things that make me laugh when I'm having an otherwise crappy day

Rich's Instagram feed (follow him @richphee if you need some great pics and funny captions) -

raise your hand

[Rich's caption] Raise your hand if you just pissed in the neighbor's bushes's "Stuff I found while looking around" posts. She compiles her favorite tweets from the week and they are always THE BEST -

Dooce, I love you and your posts

Check out Dooce's original post here.

And last, definitely least but still funny, is my Spam mailbox in Gmail -

Sugar Daddy

I'm feeling happier already.

while I'm at work . . .

this is going on at home.

Or watch the video here.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Etsy geekery

If you know me personally, you know about my love of Etsy.

I love this site. It's in a close running behind my love of coffee. So really, Etsy and I should get married.

I just realized I could curate my own list of favorite items on the site, create a theme and publish for the world to see. And maybe just maybe (please God PLEASE), the Etsy team will feature it on the homepage. A girl can dream.

If you feel like taking a break from reality and cruising my treasury list, please see below. If not, now you are educated on my deep love of Etsy. If you don't know what Etsy is, we can't be friends anymore.


Rich's iPhone drop

I snagged Rich's May iPhone photos and put them here.

I hope you love them as much as I do.

Rich's iphone, May 2012

1. playing at the park, 2. tail end, 3. baby Alice and her Sophie, 4. laundry, 5. new ride, 6. she likes the iPad, too, 7. not a baby anymore, 8. Mama + Alice, 9. Eddy & Charlie, 10. fun on the jumper, 11. BBQ contest, Long Beach, 12. BBQ contest, Long Beach, 13. she has a thing for tattoos and piercings, 14. parenting fail, 15. Super Man, 16. men at work, 17. men at work, 18. shadow, 19. dreamin', 20. awww yeah, 21. B to the ob, 22. bike ride, 23. Charlie, self portrait

there goes trouble

At Charlie's strawberry farm field trip, I took this photo of a Dad and his kids that go to Charlie's school because the Dad asked me to. This means I asked the teacher to keep an eye on Charlie while I snapped the photo. She said "sure".

As I was snapping the photo, I vaguely remember Charlie climbing on something he wasn't supposed to. And I remember hearing "Char-lie. Put your listening ears on".

Apparently he didn't put those ears on and needed a firm assist in moving to the line-up.

there goes trouble

Tuesday, May 22, 2012


I walked into my bedroom that summer night and she was stripping my pastel, butterfly patterned wallpaper from my walls, making room for the much more grown-up striped wallpaper we had chosen together. It was almost dark out, she had one of those work lamps from the garage pointing to the area she was stripping. I sat on my bed and babbled on to my Mom about this boy I liked. How tall and cute he was. What she didn't know is that was the first night I had kissed Rich. But she certainly knew how heart-sick ushy gushy teenage in-love I was with him. She quietly listened, nodding her head and putting strips of my little girl wallpaper into a garbage bin.

I wish I would have thanked her for working her hands to the bone to make my room beautiful. For taking the time to shop for new wallpaper and bedding and make sure everything was exactly as I wanted it. For listening to my boy stories. But at 15, you don't see much past boys and kisses. She knew that. It made her happy.

My Mom was always like that with us kids, with me. She did quiet and thoughtful things for us and didn't ask much of us in return. Just that we be happy and move forward in our lives.

I was reading a book recently and in it was a quote about one of the main characters. I read it over and over. I cried. This quote embodied my Mom:
“. . . a woman who will make small demands on life, who will never burden others, who will never let on that she too had sorrows, disappointments, dreams that have been ridiculed. A woman who will be like a rock in a riverbed, enduring without complaint, her grace not sullied but shaped by the turbulence that washes over her."
- A Thousand Splendid Suns, Khaled Hosseini

Today is 3 years since she passed away very quietly in the middle of night. We had all said our goodbyes, laid next to her in her Hospice bed, paced the hall. All of her children by blood and marriage and her grandchildren lay sleeping in the waiting room of that Hospice House when she took her last breath. My Dad was in and out of sleep in the chair next to her, his feet propped up on the bed, ankles crossed as if it were an ordinary couch nap. But it wasn't. And he had said his goodbyes, too. Laid next to her. Quietly, enduring without complaint and never burdening any of us is how she lived her life. And how her life ended.

The dull ache of missing her is gone. I don't feel it every moment like I used to. Mostly, I can think of her or talk of her easily, with a smile or laugh and I feel grateful for the Mom I had and the childhood she created for me.

But sometimes, my mind wanders to The Last Few Days. And that is not a dull ache. It feels like (what I imagine) a heart attack. Like someone has reached into my chest and is squeezing my heart with both hands, pushing down on my lungs. For my own good, I usually force my thoughts elsewhere, leaving The Last Few Days alone to someday calm itself into an ache. Because remembering everyone's pain, remembering her confusion, her frail body, her bald head, her inability to communicate well, the dementia, the overwhelming worry that she had regrets and sorrows and fear . . . well, that serves no purpose for me. It can't ever bring a smile or gratitude like the wallpaper memory can.

I want to write down so many memories. I don't want to forget them. I want her legacy to be passed down to my children and my niece. I want them to know how much she loved iced tea (unsweetened), how she looked when she sat in a lounge chair with her freckled legs crossed, reading one of her many books. How she always had mascara smudged on her bottom lashes. Her penmanship. What a horrible driver she was. That she loved prints of flowers, mauve colors, historical cities and Lifetime movies. That she never traveled farther than Canada or the Caribbean. Her picky eating habits (plain chicken, no barbecue sauce). She didn't wear much jewelry, just her wedding ring and maybe a delicate necklace or earrings for a special occasion. How she celebrated our high school and college graduations with such fanfare. That she made the best pumpkin rolls known to man and was a night owl and a late sleeper. That she called Kayle and Charlie "pun-kin" when they were babies.

I have so many memories. It's a good thing I have an ability to write them down and share them with my world. That would make her happy, too.

She is missed as much today as she was 3 years ago.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Alice, 5 months old

Well, she's only 5 months old for a few more days so I figured I better hustle on this one.

Alice, 5 months old, Chair Series

I plan to take a photo of Alice wearing a similar outfit every month in this chair. It was Grandma Gert's Lazy-boy. And the sock monkey was a gift from Misty to Charlie 3 years ago.

Alice, 5 months old, Chair Series

Alice, 5 months old, Chair Series

Baby girl doesn't really roll over. She kind of flips onto her side then scootches her way around. She is definitely grabby, especially when we're trying to eat. She likes to chew on her toes. A lot. And her Sophie Giraffe. (If you don't know what that is, Google this overpriced phenomenon.) Fruit & rice every morning, veggie/fruit/rice every night. She's a great eater like her brother but the difference is, she MUST have a bottle to fall asleep. And she doesn't care a thing about pacifiers.

She's learning she has a voice. She squeals and laughs and kind of hollers to see how loud she can get. I hope she always remembers she has a voice. A big one.

Just days away from 6 months. Growing girl.

See past Chair Series photos here: 
1 month
2 months
3 months
4 months

Friday, May 18, 2012

Bits & Pieces

Monday morning

As I'm walking out of Starbucks Monday morning, an older gentlemen (whom I firmly believe was on shrooms) touched my arm and said "The end of your rainbow is here. Go out and grab that unicorn by the horn." If commuting on the 405 and heading into an early morning meeting to share client updates and financials is considered "grabbing that unicorn by the horn", then I did just that, sir.

Not that going to work is a bad thing. This was my view as I parked my car, grabbed my stuff and locked up.



Book Club

I'm reading 50 Shades of Grey. I wish I loved it like most of America does. I just don't.

50 Shades of Grey


Scared Sh*tless

Doesn't Alice look scared that Charlie is going to eat her fingers? She's actually freaked out by the giant flash on top of my camera.

kids on the bed



This is the view from my front yard. Laying on my back with my camera like a crazy lady. The neighbors are used to it.

Spring Trees, May 2012



A friend shared this article on Facebook. It perfectly sums up what we want for our children in our little family of 4.

An excerpt: "I hope I raise a child who doesn’t need to affirm his self-worth through bigotry, snobbery, materialism, or violence."


Oh, Come ON.

When Charlie tells a story (and he does often), he puts his hand in his pocket. I don't know why but I find this endearing. Also, when he's digging for toys in his toybox and can't find a specific superhero, he says "Oh, come ONNNNNN." I laugh every single time.

Charlie and the cart, storytelling


Happy, happy, joy, joy

Alice does this thing when she's happy (and laying in her crib or our bed). She raises both feet up at the same time and bangs them down onto the mattress really hard. Over and over. This strange little kicking exercise plus a wide smile let's us know she's happy with her life at that moment.

lovin' on her feet

We're happy with our life at this moment, too.

Happy Friday everyone.

The Phees

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Superman and the little lady

Mother's Day letter (post) to my kids


Dear Superman,



You rock my world. Sometimes that's a good thing, other times it's "challenging". Like yesterday, when you were mad that I made you take a nap. So you crapped your pants, smeared it all over your dresser and carpet and wiped it down your legs. That was a different kind of rocking my world.

But those moments have been few and far between. You are mostly positive energy, hugs, gratitude and goofiness.



Please, let us not forget your goofiness.

You are sweet and loving to your baby sister. I hope the two of you always remain this way. I know how much I love my brothers and I'm sure she'll feel the same.

kids, poolside

Charlie, you are "my best fend", too. I love you.


Dear little lady,

Alice, 5 months old

Today your Daddy gave me a Mother's Day card from you. It read "from your daughter". I cried. You are a dream come true. You carry a strong and important middle name. Your mellow temperament and little smiles are just what this family need.

I cannot wait to see the woman you grow into.

Alice's little baby legs

Alice, 5 months old

Alice Linda, you completed our family. I love you.


Mother's Day, 2012

My Mother's Day started with mimosas, fort building in the living room and Rich making breakfast.

fort building

Mother's Day

We had planned a poolside day. And so we did.

Charlie and Marci by the pool

Alice, ready for swimming

Alice, ready for swimming

Rich filled our patio cooler (very nice anniversary gift from Tom & Elaine) with Crush and Pacifico. Exactly what we needed to sip while floating around.

Mother's Day

Mother's Day

After a long day outside, we threw on some non-bathing suit clothes and Rich snapped some photos on the front porch, which has become a Mother's Day tradition.

Mother's Day, 2012

There are many, many shots to get just the right one. It's tough with 2 kids but I wouldn't have it any other way.

Mother's Day, 2012

Mother's Day, 2012

Monday, May 7, 2012

I found a new hobby

Creating ecards on

You can create your own card, with your own funny saying. Now I'll never get anything done. - My husband's # 1 rule in our marriage: don't @ reference him in my Instagram photos.

Friday, May 4, 2012


I am a little surprised by how sweet and affectionate Charlie is with Alice. Not that I expected him to be horrible, but I did expect a little aggression, some fits of jealousy. So far, nothing but help and hugs and lots of kisses.

Both kids hang out in our bed while we get ready in the morning. And some mornings, I just have to capture these moments. Because when they are 10 and 7 and screaming that they hate each other and breaking each other's toys, I can pull this up and say, "See?! See?! You liked each other once."

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is it tutu much?

What does a $6 skirt from Target and some good light in your living room get you?


tutu much

tutu much

tutu much

tutu much

and then it was over. 
tutu much

hippity hoppity

I don't have any photos of Charlie with his Easter Basket. Parenting fail.

But I do have photos of Charlie in a tie and Alice wearing the cutest madras dress you've ever seen. Throw in a few pics of the Godparents and it's an Easter miracle.

All cleaned up and ready for some ham.


I realize the sun flare is out of control on these but they are the best I could get that afternoon. And I love them anyway. (The photos and the people.) 
Easter with the Godparents

Easter with the Godparents

Godfather. And someone I've known since 5th grade, Mr. Metzler's class. Oh yeah, way back. 
Easter Tom and Mish_April 2012_04082012 (17)

A little then and now for Charlie. 
easter collage
Baby girl's first Easter. I spared her the embarrassing bunny ears that I made Charlie wear 3 years ago
Easter, 2012

She's still little enough to cooperate for photos. 
Easter, 2012

This is typically what Charlie does when I ask him to get in front of the camera. He can be a bit defiant.  
Easter, 2012