Sunday Snapshot: living brave, beautiful lives

wise Gracie

“Dogs die.  But dogs live, too.  Right up until they die, they live.  They live brave, beautiful lives.  They protect their families.  And love us.  And make our lives a little brighter.  And they don’t waste time being afraid of tomorrow.”
– Dan Gemeinhart

SoCS – m.a.r.c.h.

March…march…march…well, this brings to mind a barrage of thoughts.

  • Why is March always so much colder than I expect it to be?  We have these deceptively warm days, but then when you roll out of bed at 7am it’s around 35 degrees outside.  Brrrrr…
  • I never have been able to watch March of the Penguins.  I feel a bit slacker about this since people are all “it’s such an incredible movie,” but when push comes to shove I just can’t seem to click play.
  • My brother-in-law is super into marching bands.  He took us to a competition in the summer of 2015 which was, for lack of a better description, intense.  I wrote a post called So you don’t think marching bands are bad ass… and clicked publish, which is when I learned bad ass marching band participants have a huge contingent on Twitter.  That post got retweeted more than any other I’ve written.  Crazy, right?

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even smart people are dumb bunnies in their own way

Jen Hatmaker is my soul sister, one I admire from afar so I don’t get tagged with stalker status.  Sometimes I feel like we live parallel lives.  Maybe we were separated at birth.  That’s not weird, right?

“I am a smart person.  I was a 4.0 honors student.  I graduated Magna Cum Laude.  I have the capacity to learn new things and retain information.  I love to study and I can make sense of complicated, dense data. 


1.  I cannot ever remember the difference between a walnut and a pecan.  As I sit here thinking about it, I cannot come up with a solid visual of either. 

2.  I cannot, almost ever, spell words correctly that end in -ance or -ence.  Independence, admittance, allegiance, consistence.  I just had to look all those up.  This is why the English language is impossible.  It is also why I lost in the Regional 4th Grade Spelling Bee over “receive” EVEN THOUGH I WAS A BETTER SPELLER THAN JEREMY DOUCET.  IT’S NOT MY FAULT HE GOT AN EASIER WORD AND WENT ON TO DISTRICT. 

How are you dumb (even though you are obviously smart)?”

– Jen Hatmaker, Facebook post, 12-12-16

The comments are just as fabulous.  You should really check them out.

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two, dos, deux…hooray!

Bear was looking over the calendar this month when I heard her exclaim, “Blogiversary?!  Mom, what’s that?”

That, my dear, is the two year mark for Riddle from the Middle.  And yes, it’s definitely calendar worthy.

It’s been a remarkable ride, y’all.  I know I bitch and moan about laundry and all the crazy (Why can’t Gracie eat the cheap pens?!), but even with all the ups and downs I feel more alive than ever.  Answering the call to build RFTM makes my Top Ten Best Life Decisions list.  Here are some of the things I’ve learned during my time with the blog.

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how I’m killing it at this gig

It’s 11:00am, and I’m seriously considering making dinner tonight.

This is significant in a number of ways.  There are more days than I’d like to admit when putting an evening meal together just isn’t top of my list, and the times when I’ve made it a priority I’ve experienced what one might call a notable lack of positive reinforcement.  (Hello there, T-man and Bear.)

If I do manage to think about dinner, it’s usually a semi-panicky revelation right before BrightSide comes home.  As in oh crap, it’s 5:30, what on earth are the kids gonna eat?!

So for me to be thinking about making dinner, and at 11:00 in the morning no less, is a big step in the right direction.  Or it means I’m hungry for lunch.  Either way, I’ve gotten food focused.

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wcw – a song of freedom

I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings

The free bird leaps 
on the back of the wind 
and floats downstream 
till the current ends 
and dips his wings 
in the orange sun rays
and dares to claim the sky.

But a bird that stalks 
down his narrow cage
can seldom see through 
his bars of rage
his wings are clipped and 
his feet are tied
so he opens his throat to sing.

The caged bird sings 
with a fearful trill
of the things unknown 
but longed for still
and his tune is heard 
on the distant hill for the caged bird 
sings of freedom

The free bird thinks of another breeze
and the trade winds soft through the sighing trees
and the fat worms waiting on a dawn-bright lawn 
and he names the sky his own.

But a caged bird stands on the grave of dreams
his shadow shouts on a nightmare scream
his wings are clipped and his feet are tied
so he opens his throat to sing

The caged bird sings 
with a fearful trill 
of things unknown
but longed for still 
and his tune is heard 
on the distant hill
for the caged bird sings 
of freedom. 

- Maya Angelou

gratitude: with a missing button and hole in the hem

There are some things I sigh my way into.  A pair of soft, fleecy sweats…the t-shirt broken in by hundreds of washes…fuzzy socks on a cold, snowy day.  Then there’s that one special blanket I wrap around my shoulders and sink into for a nap.

And I have one of BrightSide’s shirts that always makes me feel like I’m home again.  It’s an old plaid flannel button down, so worn it feels like cotton balls brushing across my cheek, so soft it’s like being wrapped in a warm hug.

At the end of each day I change into my PJs and slide on this shirt, snuggling into it like my favorite pair of slippers.  The comfort of the familiar.  The warmth of a thousand nights spent cuddling with my family on the couch.

It might look like a battered old flannel shirt to some, but it is at once past, present, and future to me.

My post as part of Colline’s Gratitude Project.

today’s Minion mini rant

Somebody who doesn’t like Minions?!  Say what?!?  As someone who lives with young(ish) kids I figured this would be enough to get someone deported.

“As someone who normally routes for the underdog, it isn’t without regret that I confess after trying to give them a chance and pretending to tolerate them for entirely too long, I’m ready to admit that Minions are without exception the most grating, insipid characters ever brought to life in a kid’s movie…

Let me begin with the appearance of Minions.

Bright yellow in color with a body that looks like an antibiotic that’s sure to make you reconsider the importance of health, Minions are the first answer that comes to mind if one were to answer the question, ‘What does it look like when Homer Simpson takes a dump?’ “

I Can’t Pretend Anymore: Minions Are The Absolute Worst — Sass and Balderdash