Archives for March 2013

Happy Easter And Also A Question

For some reason I feel the need to tell you that I am typing this post on HIGH ALERT. Alex went to bed about thirty minutes ago, and he wasn’t feeling so hot. His main complaints were a stomachache and “a shaky feeling,” so I feel like we are now on a countdown for Stomach Virus ’13. I’m trying to remember that his late afternoon “snack” of chocolate cake and Sour Patch Kids may very well be the cause of his stomach woes, and as much as I hate to see the little guy not feeling his best, I have to say that I’ll take the fallout from a sugar high over a stomach bug any day of the week. And I’ll take it ALL. DAY. LONG.

Clearly he felt much better earlier.

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(I did something weird when I was making that little collage and now the right side isn’t the same size as the left side.)

(I’m going to go ahead and post it as-is, but if you wake up tomorrow and the whole world has in fact fallen apart as the result of my sloppy collage skills, then please know that I’m just as sorry as I can be.)

So I was going to tell you all about our Saturday in Mississippi at my parents’ house and our very relaxing Easter Sunday here in Birmingham, but David just walked by, saw me writing a blog post, and said, “Can you please see if somebody can help us with our pillow situation?”

And yes. Yes, I can.

Perhaps I should explain.

We have an obnoxious number of pillows on every bed in this house. On our bed we have all the shams and decorative what-nots – and then we have four king-sized pillows that I absolutely despise. They look pretty when the bed is made, but if there’s a way to sleep comfortably on them, I have yet to figure that out. On our guest room bed we also have all the shams and decorative what-nots – and then about six regular bed pillows stacked behind the decorative stuff. We haven’t always had that many pillows in the guest room, but over the holidays we had a ton of company, and I kept moving pillows to that bed so that people would have plenty of pillow options. And since I don’t like the king-sized pillows on our bed, I will occasionally grab one of the standard pillows in the guest room and try to make it work for me.

(Please add the previous paragraph to your file folder that has “Trivial First World Problems” written on the outside of it.)

(Because GAH.)

Anyway, for the last couple of months I’ve been waking up with weird tension headaches. At first I thought it was sinus ish-ahs, but after sleeping on a delightful pillow when I was in Dallas for dotMOM and waking up headache-free, I realized that what I’m dealing with is a pillow problem. Sure enough, the headaches started again when I got home, and I think this is because I either sleep with my head too high when I try to use one of the king-sized pillows, and when I try one of our standard pillows, they are all so BROKE DOWN that I end up stacking a couple of them on top of each other and sleeping with my neck kind of jacked up off the mattress.

Doesn’t that sound comfortable? And also refreshing?

D has also started waking up with pillow-related headaches and neck aches (he had a pillow that he loved, but alas, it is old and tired), and we have come to the conclusion that we are in need of a pillow overhaul in our house (and especially in our room). We don’t like all-feather pillows because they make me sneeze and itch, two conditions that you’d really like to avoid when you’re trying to rest. Honestly, the fact that our pillows have even become an issue makes me feel like we’re 109 – I mean, when I was in college, I could sleep with my head on the arm of a sofa and wake up feeling 72 kinds of refreshed – but I guess pillow problems are one of the unexpected perks of the 40s.

And when I say “perks,” what I really mean is “SWEET MERCY THIS MAKES ME FEEL OLD.”

D and I both want pillows that are supportive – but by the same token they need to have some give (to avoid the aforementioned sensation of feeling like my head is resting six inches above the mattress). Also, we’ve tried those sculpted memory foam pillows that are supposed to be good for neck alignment or whatever, but I found that particular option to be so burning up hot that I wondered OH MY WORD HOW IS IT POSSIBLE FOR A PILLOW TO BE MADE OF FIRE?

So that pillow is probably not the solution.

Do any of you have any standard pillow suggestions? Any brands you’d recommend? If I sound a little desperate, that’s because I am.

Well, as desperate as a person can be about pillows. Which, honestly, is probably fairly low on the desperation scale.

Thanks in advance for your help – and I hope y’all had a wonderful Easter!

So Last Night…

…I hit “publish” before I meant to hit “publish.” Which is why the previous post is composed of three sentence fragments and THE END.

Listen. This blog stuff is tricky. I’ve only been at it 7 1/2 years. Clearly I still haven’t quite made my way around the learning curve.

Anyway, I wanted to post a more, um, comprehensive list of recent favorites, so I think I’ll try again.

– A couple of months ago I started using Pureology Colour Stylist Root Lift, and y’all, it is a wonder. I have such fine hair, and a little bit of this stuff makes a world of difference, especially in the crown area. I’m crazy about this product…I even hauled it to the beach last week, even though we all know that there is no reasoning with beach hair.

– Emily’s post – for alcoholics and the people who love them: hope on Good Friday – is tender, vulnerable, and hopeful. Such a sweet reminder that things don’t have to be the way they’ve always been.

– I nodded my head all the way through Shaun’s latest post, especially this part: “I tell him he matters. I read him the words. I tell him he’s not defined by opinions or failures, intellect or talent. I tell him Jesus hung on a tree so he doesn’t have to. I tell him about grace. I tell him he’s loved – unshakably unbreakably forever loved.” Some mighty timely words, at least for me…and I’m betting for somebody else, too.

– And speaking of timely words – well, THIS. Such great, healthy perspective, especially if you have a tendency to feel like you should be passionate about the same stuff as everybody else.

(Not that I have any experience with that, of course.)

(Ahem.)

– I love free printables.


This is such a pretty free printable for Easter – or for any time of year, really.

– So I know that the website Parents Shouldn’t Text is a little, um, colorful every once in awhile, but most of the time it’s just plain funny. And this text made me laugh so hard.

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Hope y’all have a wonderful Easter weekend with the people you love most!

Yep.

This post by Angie.

So good. And so wise.

A Bit Of A Breakthrough

I’ve mentioned before that I’m not the biggest fan of Italian food.

Well, that’s not entirely true. I love the pieces that form the Italian food puzzle. Bread? Yep. Tomatoes? Yep. Cheeses? They’re my love language.

But when you start combining the pieces of the puzzle, I’m not always carried away with the end result. I’m not crazy about spaghetti, lasagna, or even pizza. I like brown sauces more than red sauces. I think pasta is fine and good, but if I had to do without it for the rest of my life, I’d be okay with that. Just please don’t take away my bacon.

However, there are two fellas in this house who adore all forms of Italian food. I make spaghetti with meat sauce every couple of weeks just because it’s one of their favorites (that’s usually a night when I’ll eat leftovers or spoon a little bit of the meat sauce over a piece of toast or something like that). I like making lasagna because it lasts for several meals, but it’s never something that I crave. Chicken parmesan is popular with my people, too (this recipe is my go-to), but I usually only make it once every three or four months because of that tomato / noodle combo that I should probably like way more than I do.

So here’s my ongoing dilemma where Italian food is concerned: I absolutely love cooking meals that my family will enjoy (seriously. it’s one of the happiest parts of my day.), but if I’m going to spend a chunk of each afternoon in the kitchen, it’s kind of a nice bonus if I enjoy the meal, too. And I’m certainly not saying that it’s the height of earthly misery if I have to eat spaghetti – that’s not the case at all – but sometimes it’s just not as much fun to prepare a meal when you feel sort of meh about the outcome.

A couple of months ago I tried an Italian soup recipe because it struck me as something that my husband would really like, and much to my surprise, I liked it, too. The recipe called for sausage instead of ground beef, and I am here to tell you that I had no idea what a great combination sausage, tomatoes, and spinach would be (don’t judge me, people of Italian heritage – remember that I grew up in Mississippi, where we eat most of our sausage with biscuits and gravy). I never expected that the tortellini soup would teach me such a handy little lesson, but I’ve been on the look-out for Italian-ish recipes with sausage ever since.

Well.

Yesterday I made Shay‘s recipe for Sausage and Provolone Pasta, and y’all, it is absolutely delicious – one of the happiest mealtime surprises that I’ve had in awhile. In fact, Alex had taken all of two bites before he said, “Mama? I don’t know how you cooked these noodles, but they are delicious.” The recipe makes a ton, and with bread and salad, a family of four could get two meals out of it and still have leftovers. Easy and oh-so-tasty.

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(Clearly I am not a food photographer.)

(However, I try not to let that stop me from taking some shockingly sub-par photos.)

Anyway. I just wanted to pass along the recipe because when you find a good ‘un, it’s fun to share. I will definitely make this dish again – because I don’t know if you noticed, but it’s an Italian-ish combo, and I enjoyed it every bit as much as my fellas did. It’s our own little March Madness miracle.

Wonders never cease.

Our Wild & Crazy Spring Break

When we were packing for the beach late last Saturday, the weekly forecast looked divine: sunny, low 70s, only one day with a chance of showers. But Sunday, something weather-related shifted, and the forecast changed: cloudy, mid-60s, only one day with consistent sun. It was going to be chilly. And maybe even a little bit dreary.

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Late Sunday afternoon, after we’d unpacked and unloaded and started the process of unwinding just a little bit, A. and I walked down to the beach to see exactly how long we could stick our toes in the Gulf without lapsing into hypothermia. The boy declared that the water wasn’t that cold if you just took some time to get used to it, but as best I could tell, there wasn’t a chance that I’d be able to get used to it before my toes turned blue. That is why I opted to perch myself on the edge of a beach chair while A. stood on the edge of the shore and tried to convince himself that the water was totally warm.

Monday and Tuesday we managed to find some pockets of sunshine that made it comfortable to hang out on the beach and chase the waves for a little while. D. had to drive back to Birmingham for work stuff on Tuesday afternoon, and since I had a touch of a headache (just a touch), A. and I enjoyed a perfectly adequate frozen pizza for supper before we fired up our respective electronic book devices and read and read and read and read and read. It was 62 and cloudy on Wednesday – not exactly beach weather – so we stayed inside all day and watched movies and IT. WAS. GLORIOUS. I haven’t done anything like that in forever, but I highly recommend it.

Thursday we drove to Mississippi so that the little guy (who turned ten a couple of weeks ago – can you believe that?!?!) could play golf with my daddy, but then it rained and stormed and rained some more, so we ended up just hanging out with our people for a couple of days and eating way too much fried chicken. We also continued the week’s trend of acting like somebody was paying us the big bucks to sleep upwards of 9 hours a night. Because if I remember any one thing about Spring Break ’13, it will be that we took our sleep all kinds of seriously.

Amen.

We drove home late Friday afternoon, and we have had the easiest, calmest weekend. Granted, A. has a horrible cold (he’s not running a lick of fever, but between his husky voice and his incessant cough, he sounds a little bit like a cross between Wolfman Jack and Hazel) and I’m trying to pretend that I don’t have a sinus infection, but all three of us have enjoyed being at home and reacquainting ourselves with Chuy’s and soaking up these last couple of days when we are not beholden to alarms and schedules and whathaveyou.

So if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to try to finish catching up on Revenge before the day is done. And that reminds me: does anyone else feel like they do a whole lot of whispering on that show? Because earlier today I was trying to watch for a few minutes while I was cooking lunch, and I honest-to-goodness said, “Oh my word – SPEAK UP” right to the TV – just like the characters could hear me. It just seems like the dialog is very covert and secretive and hushed, and before I know it I’ve cranked the volume up to stun and still might benefit from the use of closed captioning.

As you can tell, I’m a bit consumed by non-issues at the moment. If you stick around long enough, I’m sure to tell you about the horrible misfortune that befell me when the Walgreens did not have a single bottle of Essie’s Turquoise and Caicos nail polish yesterday.

(I’m kidding, by the way.)

(And also: I just re-read this post to proof it, and oh my goodness, I’m just as sorry as I can be about all the boring.)

(Seriously. It’s just a hair shy of saying something like, “And then I cooked some peas.”)

(I will try to do better.)

(But I still think the Revenge people need to speak up.)

(You can always count on me to address society’s most important issues.)

Los Links (And March Madness Bracket Info)

– March Madness is upon us again – which means that it’s time for our annual NCAA Tournament Challenge group. If you’d like to join, just click on over and join the BooMama group. We’d love to have you (but please don’t mock me – I am TERRIBLE at the whole bracket thing). As always, there will be a prize for the person who has the winningest bracket at the end of the tourney. WE’RE SO OFFICIAL-ESQUE.

– Emma Kate always finds the cutest tote bags, and this past fall she gave me one of these Scout bags for my birthday.

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I can’t even tell you how handy it is. We’re at the beach this week, and it’s been so nice to have separate compartments for sunscreen, lip stuff, phone, headphones, etc. This morning I even though about using one of those pockets to carry a packet of hand warmers (it’s a little chilly down here today).

– Last week I was surprised to read that Google Reader is going away in July. And by that I mean that Google is phasing out the service, not that Google Reader will be spending a couple of weeks in Tahiti.

Anyway, since Google Reader is something that I use every single day, I immediately started looking for a feed reader replacement. And this past Saturday morning, I switched to feedly. It took all of about two seconds to set up my new account, and it was as seamless as you would hope these kinds of things would be. This post has some helpful information if you’re considering making the switch.

– There’s a Nissan plant in Canton, Mississippi, and in addition to making cars, the workers there have a gospel choir.

Yep. A gospel choir.

This post by Jen Hatmaker has made me think. And think. And think. By the way, there aren’t many people who can write about tricky topics with as much grace as Jen can. I appreciate that so much.

– Matthew Crawley now has dark hair. My whole world is turned upside down.