Normal I Am

I've been called a lot of things in my life, but one that strikes me as kind of funny is when I'm called...


Because I don't tend to view myself as normal. At all.

In fact, I feel a lot of pressure at times because I feel like I'm not living up to what normal should be. Exactly who gets to decided what normal is, I'm not sure. But I've never felt like I quite fit into that mold.

I still don't know if normal is the right word, but I'm beginning to believe that my life is pretty indicative of the truth that lies behind a lot of doors. And I'm coming to realize that the perception of perfection is one that is just that...a perception. That we tend to struggle with putting our best faces forward, with coming off as having it all figured out, and with having life figured out.

I struggled with issues of authenticity a few months ago. Specifically related to the blog world. I'm not going to rehash all I hashed out then, but I did make a promise to myself after that season. I promised that I would keep it real. Because to pretend that I don't have koolaide stains all over my living room carpet is lieing to you. Truth is....not only are there stains, but I haven't even bothered to dig out the Resolve to try and get them out. Just keepin' it real.

So back to normal.

If koolaide stains are normal, then normal I am.

If not really caring about the processed cheese out of a blue box with a big orange dinosaur on the front that I feed my children is normal, then normal I am.

If spending too much money on really cute orange wedgey shoes only for them to rub blisters all over my feet is normal, then normal I am.

If leaving half empty bottles of antibiotic in the fridge because I forget to give the boys their meds once they start "feeling better" is normal, then normal I am.

If digging out the beach towels for the family to use as bath towels because every.single.bath.towel.we.own. is dirty is normal, then normal I am.

If reading blogs instead of washing bath towels is normal, then normal I am.

If feeding the children cereal for dinner because I don't want to stop reading blogs is normal, then normal I am.

If forgetting to reapply sunscreen on the red head at the pool because I'm too busy chatting with my friends is normal, then normal I am.

If I sometimes wish the husband would go fishing with his buddies just so that I can watch what I want to on tv and have some alone time is normal, then normal I am.

If I'm actually looking forward to sending the kids to their grandparents for a few days just so that I can have a break is normal, then normal I am.

If I don't change the sheets on the beds as often as Martha Stewart says I should is normal, then normal I am.

If hating to clean toilets is normal, then normal I am.

If being guilty of hitting the snooze button through my alone time with Jesus is normal, then normal I am.

If knowing that sun is bad for my skin but am vain enough that I tan anyway just for the sake of tanning is normal, then normal I am.

If not answering the phone just because I don't feel like talking is normal, then normal I am.

If not planting flowers in the pots on my sidewalk just because I don't feel like it and know that they will die anyway is normal, then normal I am.

If only buying apples, bananas, and potatoes out of the produce section is normal, then normal I am.

One thing in my quest for authenticity was to stop trying to pretend like I had it altogether. I don't. My house is usually messy. My laundry is usually not caught up. I spend way too much time on the computer. I am an impulse shopper. I hire the television as a babysitter more often than not. I hate to take my kids outside to play because I hate bugs and weeds. I have cellulite. There is garbage in my yard on most days because my dog gets in our trash at least once a week. I run my car out of gas. I bite my nails. And there is a spiderweb in the corner of my dining room that has been there for a month.

I'm happier since I've come to terms with admitting that I don't have it all figured out. I envy those of you that truly do. And pray for those of you that still feel like pretense is key.

And about normal...I guess, the more I think about it...we're all pretty normal.

Because I don't really think normal hinges on whether asparagus bundles or mac-n-cheese is served at dinner. Or whether we homeschool or public school. Or whether we devote our days to mops and brooms or books and blogs.

For I think if loving our Jesus more than anything, adoring our husbands more than life, and holding our children as precious treasures is normal, then normal we are.


Cookin' Schmookin'

I've been rambling on for weeks now about the bliss to behold that is summer. I've chattered about little tan lines on the backsides of the rascals, about sunkissed cheeks, and flip flops out the wazoo.

And today I did something about it.

The rascals and I headed to the water park. And it was summerliscious heaven. And because it was the right thing to do....I took pictures. But, they aren't very good. Because I haven't mastered the art of photog with Rosie.

Aren't they the cutest?

This next picture of me, taken by Sawyer, is not the cutest. By a long shot. But, I'm all about keeping it real....so here is me. In my new swimsuit. Dishing out cash for icees and ice cream sandwiches.

We were there for a couple of hours, and then we packed up our beach towels and goggles and headed for la casa. Because I didn't want Sawyer and me to turn into extra crispy fried chicken on our first day out in the sun.

Providence, I tell ya. Providence.

Because when I opened my front door, I smelled burnt cheese. And instantly remembered that I had set the crockpot before we headed for the pool just 3 hours earlier.

And then I walked to the crockpot and found this.

That would be the remains of this fabulous recipe that looked fool-proof. Obviously not. Me being the fool.

You see, I have all these friends that can cook. They are always raving about their fancy-schmancy new recipes that they have found and going on about their gourmet meals that simmer in their crockpots all ready to eat for when they come home from romps with their children.

So I decided to feed the family something other than mac-n-cheese tonight and branch out. After all, I was romping with the children today, so why not have dinner waiting for us when we returned home. Sounded brilliant.

Tiffani is always going on and on about this website, so since I heart Tiff so much, I thought I'd start there. I found a link for slow cooker recipes and one of the first ones that came up was this recipe for Slow Cooker Dump and Go Cheesy Chicken. The ingredients were family-friendly, and the directions were me-friendly.

So, I dumped in the ingredients, and I went. Just like the name of the dish instructs.

Look at this part:

Cook on High for about 6 hours.

That's right....it says to cook the stuff that I just dumped in the crock pot on HIGH and leave it for 6 HOURS.

So I timed out the whole thing. I turned it on HIGH at around noon, knowing that it SHOULD be ready for us to devour around 6:00. Things were moving along smoothly.

Back to walking in the door from the pool.

After only being gone 3 HOURS.


Wait. Did you forget what it looked like? Here's a refresher:

Yes. It's burnt. It's scorched. And it stinks.

I have no idea what went wrong. Maybe I just have a nuclear powered slow cooker. Who knows? I'm not sure why I even try, because Martha Stewart in no way, shape, or form lives here. But what I do know what the family is eating for dinner tonight.....


And the dog gets the cheesy chicken....maybe that's why they call it "Dump and Go."

UPDATE**So the husband is now playing Fire Marshall Bill and banning me from CrockPot Romping. I'm in turn subjecting him to meals of mac-n-cheese for the next eleventy hundred days. Take that, Bill.**


A Very Short Play In Which The Husband Swallowed His Foot. Written By Me.


  • Amber -- dressed in a ratty teeshirt and lounge-around shorts and wearing no makeup....obviously ready for bed.
  • Husband -- also dressed for bed in teeshirt and shorts. Also no makeup.


  • A bed in a bedroom that is in desperate need of renovation (in which the husband is taking on as his summer project...woo hoo! ahem. sorry. back to play.). The bed is positioned so that it is facing the television set in the room. Playing on the television is TV Guide' Channel's "World's Sexiest TV Women." The room is littered with dirty clothes and a dirty cereal bowl is sitting by the bed spotless.


The curtain opens with Amber and Husband in bed. Husband has tight hold on remote, eyes glued to television spectacle. Amber is propped up with laptop, eyes glued on her computer screen. She barely notices the tv or Husband. A sundry of television's past and present leading ladies parade across the television screen.

HUSBAND: You know who the sexiest woman in the world is?

AMBER: (finishes up what she is typing and then turns to look at him. looks confused.) Huh?

HUSBAND: Do you know who the sexiest woman in the world is?

AMBER: (rolls eyes) Jennifer Love Hewitt? (side note....this is who the husband is crushing on. he apparently has a thing for people who can whisper to ghosts.)

HUSBAND: (long pause. looks as if he is mulling something over. begins to stutter.) Uh. Uh. Uh. Yes.

Amber punches Husband and returns to laptop.


The husband says I talked fancy to him and got him all kinds of confused.

Maybe I should have whispered.

If you are interested....you can find Act I here and Act II here.


Why Do We Still Say "Broken Record"? Why Not "Scratched CD"?

I had a great day with my girlfriends today.

We laughed. We spent money. We ate good food. We spent more money. We learned some things about each other that we didn't know. And we spent even more money.

And I got new flip flops.

Perfect day.

But as thankful as I was for my new dresses and beloved orange wedgey shoes, I was so grateful for just time spent with friends.

Go ahead and dig out your Turtle Wax so that you can rub down this broken record, because I know that I have said this exact same thing no less than eleventy hundred times, but I find myself wholly overwhelmed with the genuineness of God-blessed friendships.

I've had a lot of friends in my life. But I have a very, very short list of good friends that I've had. Friends that have accepted every piece of me. Bad haircuts, sticky kitchen floors, wild kids, bad cooking, ugly shoes, and untanned legs. A very, very short list.

And for the first time in a very long time (more like...EVER) I actually feel surrounded. Surrounded by women that would have my back in a second. That are willing to tell me that I need to get my rear end on a treadmill, that I need to eat artichoke hearts and brussel sprouts for dinner, and that a dress "doesn't do me justice" (which is code for "Not happening, sister. Take it off pronto.").

Sometimes I feel like I don't do my friends justice. That I in no way deserve their time, energy, and love. I can spend hours upon hours second-guessing myself and over-analyzing my flaws. I allow doubt and shame to plague my thoughts and wonder when my oh-so-sweet bubble is going to burst.

And then I remember that my Jesus is the answerer of prayer.

And that He heard me when I was on my knees begging for women like Him to come into my life.

And then I fall on my knees again thanking Him for good gifts.

Gifts totally undeserved.

Here's a huge shout-out to 2 of those gifts, S and J!!! Had a great time today, girls! MUAH! Heart y'all to crazy pieces.


I Am FREE....To Go To the Gym....Uh, Thank You?

Today I wrote a check for $127.

And it wasn't for groceries.

Or for an electric bill.

Today I wrote a check for a 3 month membership to...

...are you ready for this?

No kidding. I put on tennis shoes and everything. My really cute metallic silver tennis shoes that were bought with looks entirely in mind. Bless their Nike hearts, they've never worked as hard as they worked today...

And they didn't even do much. (But, don't tell Mr. and Mrs. Spiffy Nike that...because they are under the impression that they really worked hard today....as are my muscles.)

Here's how it all went down...

It all started with Stephanie. And all my other health-nutty friends. I'm so proud of them, I really am, but I had made a commitment to myself to not join 'em. Because exercise and I just don't get along. And it's mutual. I embarrass exercise by even attempting it, and I don't like to sweat. So we are on much better terms if we leave each other alone.

And then, Stephanie had to go and talk fancy to me.

And before I knew it, I was making a gym date and committing myself to treadmills and weight machines for the summer. I'm still not sure what got into me. A total momentary lapse in sanity, I'm sure of it.

So, this morning, I woke up, pinned my hair up out of my face, laced up the rarely worn Nikes, and headed out on my date. I talked to myself the entire car ride to the gym, asking myself if I really knew what I was getting myself into. Apparently I am not a very good persuader of myself, because I continued on my way, met Steph, and paid the man at the counter. No turning back now. I'm still wondering if Kirk slipped something in my water bottle this morning, because that is another possible explanation for my whacked-out follow-through of this horrendous plan.

First stop....treadmill land.

My experience with treadmills is pretty nil. We don't have one at the house, and I can count the number of times I've been inside a gym in my life on one hand. I've seen them on TV, and I've driven past plenty of them while slurping a milkshake, but darkening the door? Uh. No. In fact, treadmills to me equal laundry racks...because that is how they are used in most people's houses.
Just sayin'.

I gingerly stepped on board of Mr. Treadmill. He had all kinds of fancy buttons, and I kept having visions of me either breaking Mr. Treadmill, or being that goob that gets going too fast and slides off the end banging her chin as she flies half way across the room. Luckily neither happened. Although I came close to the latter scenario a time or two.

I did, however, manage to sweat. A lot. And had to quit after a mile. Because I'm a wuss. And I was beginning to lose all feeling in my legs. Poor Stephanie...she could have kept on walking until next Tuesday, but she got off when I wimped out. Good friend.

After jelly-legging my way off of the treadmill, it was off to the machine weights.

Bless Stephanie's heart. She got more than she bargained for. Because I AM A MORON. And a TERRIBLE STUDENT. She was trying to show me how to do each of the machines, but then I would get all confused, and she'd have to show me all over again. And again. I'm so glad that she loves me....because I'm most definitely the most embarrassing person ever to hang around with.

After working all kinds of muscles that I didn't even know I had, I made a beeline for the exit. And dragged Steph out with me. I think she was still giggling at my moronacy. (Really...it was that pathetic.)

But, I survived.

And I decided to reward myself by getting a new pair of flip flops. And flip flops don't have calories.....so good for me.

After getting back home with new flip flops and bragging to the husband about being a gym rat (and having him giggle hysterically), we headed out for some Memorial Day fun with some really good friends (and lots of dogs! *wink*).

Here is me and Lisa...posing for one of our many paparazzi shots thanks to our 8 year olds.

And here is Kirk helping Wes with his new deck. They are all sweaty and sawdusty and manly. Lisa and I watched. I got sawdust on my feet...which I think totally counts.

And then Lisa and I did what all thoughtful wives do....we took naps, while the husbands slaved over 2x4s.


On a serious note, my heart is so grateful to our veterans who have fought and our soldiers that are currently fighting for our freedom. And to those who have given their lives for the sake of my family's liberties, words are not even enough to express the appreciation that swells my heart. I'm honored to be an American. An American with choices to make that are frivolous like to gym or not to gym and to flip flop or not to flip flop. The freedoms we have are countless, and are so often taken for granted. I'm thankful for sacrifice. And for willingness. And for devotion.

I pray that your holiday was a blessed one spent with the people that matter most to you, and that a few moments were reserved today for remembering those that make this country free.

And munching on a hot dog or burger while doing so ain't too shabby either.

Happy Memorial Day 2009!!


Ask Amber Anything

Ready? Here we go....


"I know you're not big on healthy stuff, but do you like any veggies?"
  • True 'dat on the not being big on healthy stuff. Nothing organic for me. But, as much as I heart pizza, and ice cream, and all things fried and Southerny....I do appreciate some garden goodness. Like Okra....fried. And Corn on the Cob....slathered in butter. And broccoli....smothered in cheese. And green beans....with bacon (which has been fried). And potatoes....anyway they come.
"And what did you think of the bear in your town this week...think he stopped at Sonic for a PDDP?"
  • What Mer is referring to actually happened. There was a for real live black bear who was roaming around one of our college campuses. The animal control folks came and tranquilized him and hauled him back out to the forest. But, not before he was seen hanging around Sonic. Seriously. That bear knew where he could find the good stuff. And, Mer...I'm most positive he ordered a Pineapple Diet Dr. Pepper. Here's a picture of our infamous bear. Isn't his doo-rag groovy? It's in homage of his good buddy Tigger.


"I wonder what your favorite movie is. And your favorite musician. And your favorite food. I just wonder all of your favorites, so would you share a few?"

  • Where to start? Let's see...
  • My favorite movie would have to be Pride and Prejudice (the one with Keira Knightly. People have tried to sway me to the Colin Firth side. No dice. I'm a loyal girl.)
  • I have several favorite bands and musicians. On my iPod you can find everyone from Chris Tomlin to Keith Urban to Beyonce to Lady Gaga to the High School Musical soundtrack. I like to admit versatility; my husband says I have split personality disorder.
  • I could eat Italian food every single day for the rest of my life. I'm positive that there is no limit to the amount of consecutive meals of pasta and sauces that I can consume. I keep trying to convince the husband that this is a reasonable challenge to try my stomach hand at, but he keeps shutting me down. He's a meat and potatoes kind of guy. So we compromise by eating ice cream.
  • And though you didn't ask....I'll give you another favorite for free. My favorite video game to play on Wii? Dance Dance Revolution, baby. I stink at it, but could play it all day. For some reason the husband won't take me out dancing....I think he is afraid that I'll dance like I do while I'm playing that game. I probably would.


"Where did you come up with the Pineapple Diet Dr. Pepper?"

  • I have been drinking that luscious piece of tropical paradise since high school. My friends and I were Happy Hour junkies, and most everyday after school was spent chatting up the carhops and ordering crazy drink concoctions. I don't remember now who initiated the PDDP, but they deserve a pineapple shaped medal. Because it is heavenly. I've been drinking them ever since!


"Do you have a fave kids SHOW to watch (um, ya'know you DID mention Hannah Montana) with your boys?"

  • I do love Hannah Montana. And Suite Life With Zach and Cody. And Drake and Josh. Goofy tween humor appeals to me....

CATHY asks:

"If and when we meet next month (that is, if I haven't scared you off by then.) where should we meet, what should we talk about?" and then she follows up with this comment... "I'm thinking some place noisy, as to drown out the laughter, and some place with a wide open space so we can practice our HSM dance moves..."

  • I'm so excited because next month I'm heading out on this fabulous trip with the husband, and we are going to be super close to two of my most favorite blog friends. And Cathy is one of them!! We are shooting for an In Real Life meeting, and I can hardly stand it!! Cathy, I'll have to dig out my map and you'll have to help me figure out a good meeting spot, because I KNOW NOTHING OF THE WEST COAST. As far as what we'll talk about...oh, girl. You and I are peas in a pod. I have a feeling conversation isn't going to be a problem with the two of us. I predict that within the first 5 minutes we'll have each other's life stories already memorized, and in the next 5 minutes we'll be pushing the chairs and tables back and bustin' a move to "All In This Together." I'll even let you be Gabriella.


"Two piece or one? On the swimsuit thing."

  • BWAHAHAHAHA....I'm sorry. The suggestion that I might possibly don a 2-piece in public caused me a slight moment of hilarity. That is the itsy bitsy teeny weeny yellow polka-dot bikini type 2-piece. Those are reserved for my backyard tanning purposes only...and even then I hide all the cameras so that there is NO chance of blackmail material surfacing one day when I am the parent of 3 moody teenage boys. I do, however, favor the 2-piece skirtini. (That word always makes me giggle, because it sounds like I'm a wearing a fancy girly drink.) I prefer to keep all of my baby-bearing remnants under wraps....because just from being a people-watcher by nature....I know, for fact, that stretch marks and mama tummies are not what people want to see when they are trying to relax.


"Do you mind if I add ya to my blog roll?"

  • Not at all. The more the merrier.


"Do you have a fun hangout or go-to evening plan when you get a date night? A favorite restaurant, perhaps?"

  • The husband and I don't go out nearly as often as we should. But when we do....my most favorite place to eat in the world is a little restaurant called Bella Arti. Oh my goodness. It is located in the next town over (where we have to go to do any shopping or eating other than McDonalds), and it is amazing. It is no bigger than my pinky, but the atmosphere is incredible. There is a guy who plays the piano while you eat, and the food is to die for. Seriously the best Italian I've ever had. It is one of those places that you kind of get dressed up to eat at, because it just makes you feel grown-up. I always find myself dabbing the corners of my mouth with my napkin and pretending like I speak Italian when I order off the menu. Fancy schmancy, I tell ya....and the rascals are not allowed. It's sacred.

"And, in your opinion, what is the ideal number of swimsuits one should own in her summer wardrobe?"

  • I've already mentioned my affection for the skirtini. *giggle* I usually try to keep at least 2 suits, but last year I bought a black skirt and 3 tops that could all be worn with that skirt, in addition to another suit that just matched itself. Mix-and-match works for me. That's my plan for this summer again. I'm going swimsuit shopping on Tuesday...I'll let you know how it goes.

LORI asks:

"Where's your favorite place to get flip-flops?"

  • As I said before, I'm loyal. And Old Navy is my go to shop for flip flop goodness. That they only cost $2.50 isn't too shabby either. I also have a couple of pairs from Target that are pretty footaliscious, too.

"What is your boys' go-to summer movie?"

  • The rascals are aching to see Night At the Museum 2. And Transformers 2. Me, however, want to see The Proposal. And, of course, as usual, it's all about me.

MIMI asks:

"What's your favorite shampoo?"

  • I've bragged about my loyalty all through this post, and now it is shot to pot. Because one thing that I don't remain loyal to are my hair products. I'm totally commercial-influenced when it comes to hairapy. I've used Sunsilk (because I like the word "hairapy," and thought that anyone ingenious enough to have a marketing strategy like that deserved to be bought). I've used Pantene (because I am still under the impression that those celebrities who flip their silky hair around my television screen actually do use $4.50 shampoo and not the $600 shampoo from their stylist named Jacques or Pierre). I've used Herbal Essences (because there is a false sense of security when you believe that your hair might actually waft scent waves of mango and tangerine). I've also used the expensive stuff from my salon (although my stylist's name is Meredith...not Pierre), but decided that I'd rather buy ice cream with my $50 a month than pay for hair product that's ingredients are IDENTICAL to the drug store brand. Because I checked. So, Mimi, to answer your question...I don't really have a favorite. Right now Herbal Essences is in my shower, but that doesn't mean that next week it won't be something else.


"Have you done that thing that I told you to do?"

  • No fair. Steph, you asked this question last week, too. And, no, I haven't done it yet. But I will...I promise.

JIM-DAD asks:

"Do you have another ANSWER for me - I'm still at a loss for a question?"

  • Alright, Jim-Dad... take a stab at this one..

Sixty-seven polka-dotted cows chewing their cud in a field of bluebonnets with a hint of Chanel No. 5 in the air.

Thanks for playing, blogeeps. There is no doubt that y'all are my favorite!!!

In Bed Thinking About the Bliss of Cricket Juice

I have found one position that I can rest in. Luckily that one position supports longterm laptop usage, so I'm good to go.

I have some whacko thing going on in the lower right side of my abdomen. According to the husband (and WebMD), I could have appendicitis or a pulled muscle. Since we all know that I do nothing in the form of anything that would even cause a pulled muscle, I'm beginning to think I may have appendicitis.

I tend to be a bit of a hypochondriac, so I'm trying to keep that in mind, but even the husband was questioning me about what hospital I wanted him to drive me to in case I reach in-so-much-pain-I-can't-talk status.

I guess we shall wait and see. I'm highly irritated at the possibility of even thinking that some form of surgery might be in my future, because it's summer. And I've waited a long time for my summer. And I'm going to be highly ticked off if anything gets in the way of my summer plans. Not to mention that there is no need for flip flops if you are laid up in bed. Although I do think that popsicle and ice cream consumption is encouraged, so that might be the only silver lining.

Enough of my whining....

Yesterday was my first official day of summer, and it was fabulous. Perfectly summerish. The only thing missing was sun-kissed cheeks...only because the sun spent its time hiding out with the clouds.

Kirk had volunteered to help some of our friends move into their new house, so he headed out around 9:00 yesterday morning. I was still in the bed when he left and didn't roll out until around noon. I napped a little, but did a lot of snuggling and cuddling with the boys while we watched cartoons. Blissful.

As if it couldn't get better than being totally and completely lazy, Kirk brought home a bucket of crickets! And those crickets made my heart sing, because they only mean one thing....


Let me tell you....I love fishing. Like crazy love fishing. It really is one of my most favorite things to do. And luckily all my men love it as much as I do! The husband speaks my love language when he brings home crickets!! (and when he takes me out for ice cream!!)

And just look how much fun we had!!!

That's me....with my first fish of the day and, yes, that is my pink fishing pole....of course.

So much fun!!!

After we got home, Kirk and the boys cleaned up the fish that we decided to keep. We caught a TON, but only kept enough for dinner! While they were male-bonding over fish guts, I hit the shower. Because as much as I love fishing, I can only stand to be covered in cricket juice and fish slobber for so long.

First day of summer? WONDERFUL. LAZY. FISHTACULAR.


I think I'll wear my flip flops in bed anyway....just because it's summer, dad gum it. And someone get me a popsicle.


Alice Cooper Has a Tail...But I Cushioned The Madness With a Little Zac Efron Love

High School Musical is one of my most favorite movies ever. I love all 3 of them. I know all the songs by heart and am not the least bit bashful to admit that I might even know all the choreography to the dances. Because I like to dip into my inner 13 year old like that. And also because Troy Bolton is cute. Really. No shame here.

So, when I was staring the clock face in his eye today watching the seconds tick down to summer...this is precisely what I thought of...

...and I may or may not have sang this all day long.

Intertwined with this song....

(I will say that I chose this version of the song because it was slightly more G rated than the other choices I had....even though Alice Cooper's tail and the eyeliner that reminded me of Adam was slightly disturbing.)

So all this singing helped pass the time to when the clock ticked 3:15, and summer officially started!!!

That's right!


Flip flops. Sunshine. Tan lines. Clean laundry. Cooked dinners. And I'm so ding dang happy about this whole thing, that I'm not even dreading swim suit shopping on Tuesday!

We have tons of things to do on our summer list, and though it seems really busy, it is just a different kind of busy for me. Because summer busy means spending long lazy days at the lake. And peanut butter and honey sandwiches at the park. And nursing sunburns while slurping popsicles. And finding new freckles that have popped out on Sawyer's nose. And washing beach towels and swim trunks more often than any other load of laundry. And fighting the dog for the burgers that just came off the grill. And smelling like coconut.

Summer...I'm so glad you are here.


On a totally different note....it is time for ASK AMBER ANYTHING!!! Last week's edition was lots of fun, and you guys had some really good questions! Looking forward to seeing what you have up your sleeves for me this week. If you missed the first installment, you can check it out here. Leave me a question (remember...it can be anything...but please keep in mind this is a G Rated show), and I'll give you an answer. It may not be the right answer, but it will definitely be an answer.

I'll take questions until Sunday afternoon. So hit me with your best shot!

Looking forward to it....


Hay Is For Horses

Hey, Amber, did you enjoy being quiet yesterday?

I did, thank you....until I was tar and feathered for it. Who knew that some people (ahem, Jim-Dad!) hold such high expectations for me to be Miss Chatty Cathy.

Note to self: Talk more. It humors your father.

Hey, Amber, what'd you think about Idol last night?

It was blissfully amazing. And wonderfully shocking. And fabulously entertaining. My favorite moment was when Kris hugged his cute-as-a-bug's-ear wife after he won. And the bug's ear's dress....so cute.

Note to self: Try to find cute dress in case Kirk ever wins American Idol. Or in case he does something like mow the lawn...because you'll need a cute dress to congratulate him in.

Hey, Amber, what'd you think about Keith Urban and Kris singing together last night?

Plop. Plop. Plop.
Oh sorry. That was the drool puddle forming under my chin.

What? You want to watch it again, too? Oh...okay. I'm here to please.

Note to self: Remember to pat yourself on the back for DVRing Idol, so that you can rewatch that piece of music magic over. and over. and over. and over. and over. and over.....

Hey, Amber, what'd you think about Adam last night on Idol?

Weird wire shoulder pads. Weird hugacious platforms. Awesome graceful loser.

Note to self: Remember to never wear clothing with extra shoulders.

Hey, Amber, what'd you think of Queen Latifah on Idol?

Say what? Queen Latifah was on Idol? Is that who was singing with Lil? Oh. Whoops. I was munching on a Wheat Thin when they announced her, and I sure didn't recognize her. I did recognize Rod Stewart, however. And my prom date my senior year wore a tux jacket just like his. Black plaid. Awesome.

Note to self: Black spandex is never okay. Nor are black plaid dinner jackets.

Hey, Amber, why were you crying today?

No reason. Just that TATE GRADUATED FROM PRESCHOOL TODAY. I'm not sure my heart has ever broken like it did today. THE baby transitioned today. And I didn't like it. Not one bit.

Note to self: Stay away from transition. Or at least bring Kleenex.

Hey, Amber, did you take any pictures of Tate's preschool shindig?

Well. Of course. What kind of mom do you think I am? The kind that forgets birthdays and makes her son wear girl pants?

Note to self: Remember to kiss that sweet face a bazillion times a day. And don't ever put that sweet face in girl pants again.

Hey, Amber, what'd you do tonight?

I ate ice cream. And went to a baseball game. Shocking.

Note to self: Eat more ice cream.

Hey, Amber, whatcha doing tomorrow?

I'm going to school. For the last time until fall. I'm going to shove my khakis to the back of my closet, and I'm going to dig out my swimsuit cover up. I'm going to hide my loafers in the back of my closet, and I'm going to inventory my flip flops. I might even make a spreadsheet. And I'll probably eat ice cream. To celebrate summer. And my spreadsheet.

Note to self: Eat ice cream tomorrow. To celebrate.

Hey, Amber, do you wanna leave us with one more picture of Tate...since he is a big boy now and all?

Oh, alright. You twisted my arm.

Note to self: Stop crying, and don't wipe your nose on your sleeve.

Oh....and watch that Urban and Allen video again....


300 and Quiet

Tonight is ye ole' blogs birthday.

And I'm celebrating my 300th post by having nothing.to.say.

I've started this post no less than 9 times. And each time I start over....because it is nothing but mindless chatter. Just trying to take up white space.

So for this 300th post, I'm just going to be quiet.

And thank my Jesus for you, my blogeeps. And for all the giggles. And for all the guffaws. And for all the tears. And for all the "you can do it"s. And for all the "snap out of it"s.


For being my ears.

I heart ya.


All In a Day's Work

5:30 a.m......alarm goes off. slap snooze button.

5:40 a.m.....slap snooze.

5:50 a.m.....slap snooze.

6:00 a.m.....slap snooze.

6:10 a.m.....slap snooze.

6:20 a.m.....slap snooze.

6:30 a.m.....turn alarm off. roll out of bed. finally.

6:32 a.m.....lie back down in bed. still sleepy.

6:45 a.m.....force self into shower. water cold. forgot to wait for it to heat up. burr.

6:55 a.m.....stare into closet. nothing to wear. make mental note to do laundry.

7:05 a.m.....still staring into closet.

7:10 a.m.....throw on any.old.thing. who cares.

7:11 a.m.....dry hair.

7:15 a.m.....pack lunchboxes x 3. cafeteria is cleaning out refrigerator since it is last week of school. pat self on back for loving kids enough to not subject them to the leftover mystery meat from last September.

7:20 a.m.....dig clothes out of closets for boys.

7:21 a.m.....fuss at boys because they aren't dressed yet. realize that you are still holding their clothes in your hands.

7:30 a.m.....change clothes. put on another any.old.thing. try to pretend like you don't care, but you really do.

7:35 a.m.....dig flip flops out from under the couch.

7:40 a.m.....shuttle kids to van.

7:41 a.m.....head out of drive way.

7:45 a.m.....remember that you didn't put on your makeup. do u-turn in road.

7:49 a.m.....back home. get makeup.

7:50 a.m....pull out. again.

7:51 a.m.....back in driveway. redhead forgot his poptart.

7:52 a.m.....on road headed to school. 20 minute drive. school starts in 5 minutes. nothing like punctuality.

7:55 a.m.....begin to apply makeup in car. almost hit dog that Barney Fife warned you about.

8:12 a.m....dump kids off at elementary school. smile sweetly at their principal. tardy? who's tardy?

8:15 a.m.....roll into high school. tardy? who's tardy?

8:15 a.m - 3:15 p.m.....do your school thing. wish that you had worn first any.old.thing. also wish that you hadn't done makeup in car. you have mascara smudged down to your belly button. your rearview mirror deceived you.

3:20 p.m.....load boys in car. head to skating rink for compensation party for making the redhead miss his first grade swim party. remember that even though he is mad as fire slightly disappointed, it is not your fault that they aren't allowing siblings to go, but are requiring a parent to attend. also remember that the idea of 40 first graders in a pool doesn't sound fun in any way.

3:22 p.m.....promise redhead that he can get nachos, a soda, candy, and a glow stick at the skating rink because you are so sorry that he didn't get to go swimming today. with 39 other kids. in one teensy pool.

3:23 p.m.....also promise redhead ice cream.

3:24 p.m.....and another glow stick.

3:35 p.m....pull into skating rink parking lot. notice that it is empty. gasp.

3:35:30 p.m......redhead notices that parking lot is empty. no gasp from the redhead. but a yelp exits his mouth.

3:36 p.m.....read sign on door. discover that they are closed. kick self in rear end for not calling ahead of time. wonder why skating rink owners didn't read your mind.

3:37 p.m.....beg redhead's forgiveness.

3:38 p.m - 3:50 p.m....sit in van trying to reason with a highly irritated redheaded first grader.

3:51 p.m....give up reasoning. resort to Plan B.

3:52 p.m.....pull out and head to ice cream shop. pretend like ice cream will make up for a missing a swimming party and a skating party. after all....it is ice cream. right?

4:15 p.m.....arrive at ice cream shop.

4:16 p.m.....make redhead feel like a big shot by announcing that he can order a double scoop whilst his brothers may only have a single.

4:17 p.m....redhead smiles. other two cry.

4:17 p.m.....present yourself with the Mother of the Year Award. because you deserve it.

4:20 p.m.....herd beaming/screaming kids into ice cream shop.

4:25 p.m....order ice cream. redhead orders double scoop of rainbow sherbet with sprinkles. he now approves of you being his mother figure.

4:25 p.m....other two try to order double scoops. you say no. they order singles, but disown you as their mother.

4:26 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.....drown parenting sorrows in a huge bowl of Chocolate Mintster (mint chocolate chip/Oreo/chocolate syrup all fantabulously mixed together on a cold stone).

5:01 p.m.....head to baseball field.

5:15 p.m - 5:30 p.m....boys change into baseball uniforms in car. you look for sunglasses to hide mascara raccoon eyes.

5:31 p.m.....stub toe on dern rocks that litter the field parking lot.

5:32 p.m. - 6:30 p.m.....watch Tate's T-ball game. visit with other moms. make another desperate attempt to appease the redhead by giving him your Diet Dr. Pepper. what were you thinking?

6:35 p.m....find out that older 2 boys have been placed on a baseball tournament team. realize that most of your summer has just been sucked up into a giant pitching machine vortex.

6:36 p.m.....accept that you can get a pretty good tan at the ball fields.

6:37 p.m....realize that you could get a better one at the pool.

6:40 p.m.....head to car. need to get home for Idol.

7:00 p.m.....still driving. hope you set the DVR. because you FORGOT last night and missed The Bachelorette. scandalous.

7:10 p.m.....home. carry Tate in house. realize that he wet his pants while he was napping in the car.

7:20 p.m....finally turn on tv. phew. remembered DVR.

7:20 p.m - 8:00 p.m....watch Idol. love on Kris. get frustrated with Adam. he once again applied his eyeliner better than you. not saying much today, what with the whole rearview mirror thing.

7:20 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.....get highly annoyed with Simon Cowell. he knoweth notteth of whateth he speaketh.

8:01 p.m....feel butterflies for Kris. wonder if you can make it until tomorrow night's AI finale. make a mental note to IM Tiff and talk some smack.

8:02 p.m.....watch the season premiere of Glee.

8:02 p.m. - right this second.....decide that you are going to like Glee. they sing. they dance. and there is drama. perfect.

right this second....decide it is time for bed. maybe tomorrow you won't make one of your kids want to find new parents. and then bribe him with ice cream to make him take you back.


Gladitude Monday

Gladitude Monday (hosted by my good buddy, Gretchen, or as I like to call her, Jewels) couldn't have come along at a better time. This weekend was a bit of a tough one for me, so it is refreshing to shift gears and focus on all the gladdiness.

10. I'm so glad that it's Monday. Not often a sentence that erupts from my I-forgot-to-wear-lipstick-to-church-yesterday lips. But this Monday happens to be the LAST Monday of the 2008-2009 school year for me! Can I hear a big Woot Woot?! Five more days, and I'll be putting the khakis away, folks. I'll be gearing up for sun kissed cheeks, weeks spent with nothing but pulled-back hair, and tan lines on my feet from entirely WAY too much flip-flop usage. Oh, and there is that other part about getting to spend day-in and day-out with my three most favorite best friendsy rascals in the world....I heart those boys. And I think I heart them just a little bit more when we are in the sunshine, and they have those adorable tan lines on their backsides.

9. I'm so glad that the husband dragged me by my hair kicking and screaming cave man style and forced me to do P90X with him last night. Oh, how that over-zealous man (the P90X dude, not Kirk) peels the paint from the walls of my brain. But, none-the-less, my muscles ache. I wanted to throw up the 13 Airheads I had consumed for my dessert. And I sweated like a pig at a luau. But...wait for it....I actually enjoyed myself. And I may (or may not) feel better for having exercised. Oh, hush. Save all of your "I told you so"s. I've just decided that now I really want that trip to Mexico.

8. I'm glad that I have cute new glasses. Because not only do the make me very Danny Gokey-ish, but....well....I can't think of anything else. They're just cute. And I like them.

7. I'm glad that Arkansas has received four hundred and eleventy thousand feet of rain in the last few weeks. Really, I am. Aside from needing a boat to float to town, my laundry is done and my house is clean. All thanks to baseball fields being turned into ponds. No baseball = Life back.

6. I'm glad that I am now Twittering....or Tweeting...or Twitting. Or whatever it is. Because it is just one more way for me to be all up in everyone else's business. And I felt like I was missing out on a good party. And I don't like to miss a party.

5. I'm glad that things are better at work with that person. Turns out they have had some things happen in their personal life, and they just tend to be the kind of personality that can't multitask their emotions.

4. I'm glad that it is summer at my church. That sounds weird, but our church actually has summer. Our schedule shifts gears, everything slows down, and a lot of focus is put on fellowship. With two universities in our town, our community shrinks drastically come summer. And with a huge portion of our church made up of students, summers allow the core body of the church to spend some quality time building relationships. I love it. And I also love that our church recognizes the need for family time. And encourages spending time with your family as a way to worship the One who created family. Last night our church had no scheduled services or activities, so the rascals, the husband, and I just got to enjoy eachother. With no where to be. And no where to dress up for. Just do what we do best....be together.

3. I'm glad for summer tv scheduling. Although it makes me sad to say goodbye to McDreamy and Idol and Dancing With the Stars until next year....I'm glad that my evenings are going to be freed up. I have DVR...but, I also have issues with all of you people telling me what happened before I get a chance to see for myself. So...I felt tremendous amounts of pressure to watch all my shows in real time. My summer tv will be sitting pretty with only The Bachelorette on the docket...and all of those trashy vH1 reality shows that lure me in like cake...nice.

2. I'm glad for a fixed air-conditioner. Luckily our AC decided to go out when it was still Springtime and relatively cool. Open windows have actually been nice for the past few weeks, but I will say...there is nothing like being chilled as a cucumber while you sleep at night with fresh sell-your-left-kidney-to-pay-for-it freon blowing atcha.

1. I'm so very glad for good friends. Compassionate friends. Beautiful friends. Funny friends. I feel like a broken record, but the girls in my life are amazing women. And I love them. My heart cries for them when I know that they are hurting. And my heart floods with joy when I know that they are happy. Blessings truly undeserved.

Go out and make it a great gladdie glad Monday.

Because just know....I'm oh so glad for you.


Ask Amber Anything

Isn't my new button the cutest?! My great buddy, Jackie, over at Our Moments, Our Memories made it for me! And I love it! Jackie is getting ready to open up her own blog design business, and I'm so in love with her style. She is my girl for life! Thanks, Jackie!!!

Okay...so new button and all...

Are you ready!? I got all kinds of great, fantastic, and slightly bizarre questions, so hang on to your hats...here we go...

LISA asks:

"Why are you afraid of frogs?" (and then she notes that she is sure there is some frightfully hilarious story behind my phobia)

  • Frightful...yes. Hilarious...only if you were there that day watching. Hilarious for me...uh, no. It all started about 10 years ago. In my in-laws' pool. I was lounging comfortably on a raft floating my way to a golden tan. My brand new husband was playing Chicken and Marco Polo with our nieces and nephew, and my brother-in-law was sunning himself beside the pool (because he does stuff like that...he also eats granola and wears Speedos -- don't worry, I'm not being ugly...just speaking truth that EVERYONE in the family knows is accurate!). I must have fallen asleep on my rafty raft of goodness, because I was totally unaware of the conspiracy conspiring against me. Because the next thing I knew, hundreds (Kirk says 30 or 40...but he was one of the conspirators, so trusting him is not an option) of slimy, gooey, ribbiting frogs were dumped on my belly. No joke. They came raining down on me Plague-style. From the 5-gallon bucket that was housing all the hundreds of frogs that had been dipped out of the pool that day. Ick. Gross. Nasty. And totally horrifyingly phobia-inducing. And if you tell any of the jr. high boys that I see everyday about this little frog thing of mine, I'm firing you as a friend.

LISA also asked for me to discuss:

"...marking-to-market a derivatives position."

  • First of all...this question came from my smart friend. Second of all...I actually think Lisa might have made a typo. Because every time I look at that phrase, it just doesn't even seem right to me. Anyway...I googled it. If you really want to know something about this smart person question go here. But I know that you are waiting for me to explain this Rascal-Style. So here goes. The key word in that phrase is MARKET. And I heart a good market. Especially a flip-flop market. Or a market that promotes jellybean consumption. As far as marking-to-a-market, I'm thinking that would involve someone with a pink (of course!) Sharpie creating mah-va-lus Elle Woods-esque graffiti masterpieces all over said flip-flop market. And then when they are arrested for charges including Pinktabulous Destruction of Property, they are hauled off to the flip-flop slammer where they must assume the derivatives' position.


"What apps have you downloaded for Rosie?"

  • To be honest, Rosie and I haven't spent just a hugacious amount of time app shopping. We spend most of our time on FaceBook (an app, BTW!) and emailing our peeps. But, I do have a few apps....all of which are free....so far. As Rosie and I become better acquainted, then maybe I will trust her to house my $4.99 game of Tetris, but for now...free it is. So, like I said, I have FACEBOOK. And I also have THE WEATHER CHANNEL, because I'm dorky like that. And I have a SHOPPING LIST, a TO-DO LIST, and a TIP CALCULATOR. How boring is this....geez. I also have a nifty app that turns Rosie into a LIGHTSABER which is just good rascally fun, and I also have PAC MAN. Because I heart PAC MAN...even though I stink at it. SUDOKU is sitting pretty on Rosie, as is FLUID. And then there is TEXAS HOLD 'EM POKER...for the husband. Oh...and then I have PANDORA...my radio-like Google. I punch in Lady Gaga, and Rosie finds "Pokerface." Even if "Pokerface" is playing in Florida. I know. Awesome.


"What do you want for your birthday?" and "What can I get Tate?"

  • (This is how my sister and I do business. We give each other our gifts at least 6 months later than our actual birthdays. So, her asking about gifts to purchase for May birthdays in the month of MAY is an actual miracle. So...woo hoo, Mich!) Let's see...what do I want for my birthday?! Jewelry is good. That cute shirt from Old Navy that I've had my eye on is good. A date to see a girl movie with my favorite sister would be the best!

  • As far as Tate goes....Handy Manny is king. We're all about some talking wrenches and hammers around our house.

BECCA asks:

"Do you get your zany sense of humor from your mom or your dad?"

  • My mom, bless her heart, is funny. She just doesn't know she's funny. She's not funny-ha-ha, but she is funny-sweet-and-cute. Not so much my style. My dad is pun-larious. Or at least he thinks so. I've been elbow-jabbed by him so many times in my life while he is saying, "Didjagetit?" that my ribs are permanently bruised. I love him to death, so when I say my dad's sense of humor is just corny and goofy...then I mean it with all kinds of good stuff floating his way. I'm probably a lot corny, but I think I'm a little more sarcastic. And end the day with a good dose of sass. And, really, I don't think I'm funny. When you guys say that about me, honestly, I don't get it. Because I was never the class clown, and I'm not the life of a party. I just tend to call things as I see 'em. And I just happen to always be right.


"Are you done with Rascals or could there be more in the future?"

  • Oh, dear Tiff. The husband is leering over my shoulder practically writing this answer for me. His answer, "DONE. FINISHED. CAPUT. NO MORE RASCALS FOR YOU." And he so thoughtfully sealed the deal when he underwent a traumatic male procedure when our Tater Tot was a mere 6 weeks old.

"How long did you live in Asia with your family, and do you speak another language?"

  • Our family moved to Bangladesh when I was 5 years old, in 1982. Totally falling into that whole kids-can-learn-a-language-better-than-grownups thing, I soon became fluent in Bangla. My parents say that I even helped them get through language school. Now...I look all kinds of confused when my dad starts speaking Bengali to me. Don't remember any of it....except how to say "Hello." And "Peace." Because Shanti ("peace") was the name of our mangey mutt that eventually was sent to live in a village. Because he wasn't Shanti-ish...at all. In 1986, we moved to Bangkok, Thailand, and stayed there until 1991. I went to an English speaking school, and my dad pastored an English speaking church. The only Thai I had to know was enough to order chicken fried rice from a street vendor or to give my address to a taxi driver. So, now...the only other language I speak is Arkanese... because we got a whole other thing going on down here.

"Who is the best, funniest, sweetest, Adam-lovin'est blogger friend you have????"

  • My heart cries for you, my dear Tiffani. Because you are still under the influence of Glambert. But, I still heart you. Oh so very mucho much.

LORI asks:

"What do you teach at the ol' high school?"

  • I work in the Special Ed. department at ye ol' high school. I have the pleasure of hanging out with some really, really cool kids all day. And then there is lunch duty. Where I spend the longest 30 minutes of my day pondering what exactly Whatchamacallit eating me would really do if two 170 pound Mayberry boys decided to thrust their fists in each other's faces. Good times.

"If you could be an ice cream sundae topping, what would you be and why?"

  • Nuts. 'Nuff said.


"How much moola did you make at your recent garage sale?"

  • Enough to buy several dinners out for the rascals (cole slaw dinner being one of them!). A cute pair of shoes. A cute pair of jeans. And a thing of deodorant. Oh...and I paid the cafeteria lady for several fish sticks and some sloppy joes...because I was a teensy bit late on the ole lunch bill.

"Who ya votin' for on Idol next week?"

  • Much to Tiffani's chagrin, my devotion to Danny has been hardcore right up until that dreadful moment last Wednesday night when Ryan Secreast, with his perky hair, crushed America's dreams of their Idol being the one who wears awesome glasses. So now my attention is on Kris. And that song he did by Kanye...oh my stars. All the love floating straight his way now, baby. I still find Adam entirely annoying, and I've decided that what might just frustrate me more than anything is that he applies his eyeliner better than I do.


"Which do you do first: wake up or open your eyes?"

  • Hard core stuff, right there, Sprocket. And I'll have you know that I've pondered this long and hard. I even have tried to make a mental note to remember which I do first in the mornings. But, zombie-mush-for-brain wouldn't allow it. So frankly, my dear...I have no ever-lovin' idea. I'll say that I open my eyes first, because I'm pretty sure that waking up doesn't occur until after my third cup of coffee.

GRETCHEN wants to know:

"Do you watch any daytime dramas?"

  • I used to watch Days of Our Lives, but then they got all ghosty and weird. So then I changed to Guiding Light...mainly because I got super-absorbed in the love triangle of Josh, Reba, and Reba's sister, Cassie. But, then the writers forgot to ask my opinion on the way the storyline should go, so I am now boycotting. And I just heard that they are taking that show off the air. Serves 'em right. They should have asked me. So, now the only daytime drama I watch are the people who cry on their video diaries about how terrible it is to spend $5000 of someone else's money to buy an entirely new wardrobe in New York City.


"Does Kirk have a sense of humor like you, and have any of the rascals developed that sense of humor yet?"

  • I'm actually surprised that Kirk and I have any friends.

  • As for the rascals...jury is still out. Their humor still revolves around bodily functions and chickens crossing highways....which I actually find terribly funny. Sad. So sad.

GLO asks:

"What is your favorite food to eat?"

  • If it involves a bread, a noodle, a cheese, or a potato...I'm all over it. Or chocolate. Or jellybeans. Or ice cream. Or anything else that is referred to as "garbage" by my now-health-conscious circle of friends.

MIMI wants to know:

"Have you ever lived on the East Coast?"

  • Other than that 10 year stint in Asia, I'm a Southern girl. Arkansas and southern Missouri for me...but, New York City is #1 on my list of places I want to visit....does that count?!


"You do know that swimsuit season is coming up don't you!?!?"

  • I'm known as the "Enabler" to all my now-carrot-stick-eating-friends. Steph is referring to my addiction to eating bowls of Reese's Pieces for dinner. In answer to her question....yes, I know it is swimsuit season. And yes, I've decided that I'm secure enough in our friendship, Stephanie, to know that you won't fire me just because I have a muffin top. Ooooh...muffins! Sounds yummy.

"Have you done that thing that I told you to do?"

  • No. I haven't. But I think you have cute shoes....does that make it better, Steph?

MANDY asks:

"You once told me you named your Sawyer after a character in a book you were reading. What was the book?"

  • Oh, how I wish it could have been after some hunky Civil War soldier, or even better...a vampire!! But, alas, Sawyer's name was found on page 286 of The Baby Name Book.

And then, last but certainly not least, there is JIM-DAD who says:

"I don't really have a question - why don't you give me an ANSWER, AND I'LL GIVE YOU A QUESTION FOR IT?"

  • Okay, Jim-Dad..........twelvity hundred Siamese cats wearing lavender tutus in a bucket of coal tar with the smell of lemons in the air.

Thanks for playing ASK AMBER ANYTHING! Be thinking of your next questions, because with such a cute button, there will most certainly have to be another installment!!

Oh...and my sincerest apologies for the hijacking of the blog by a boy yesterday. Don't worry. I Lysoled the place really well before you came over...just to make sure that all the cooties were out of the air.


I've Been Hijacked

OK. Here's the deal.

For all of you blogstalkers, BFFs, blog buddies, genetically linked peeps, and the poor unfortunate sucker who was deceived by a Google, Yahoo, or some other search engine with an "oo" in it, I, the poor neglected significant other, have hijacked the blogspot today. There will be no plays, giveaways (still not quite sure why we are giving away things!!), pictures of candy bar consumption, makeup instruction brochures, or rants about her annoying Pineapple Diet Dr Pepper! Give it a rest!!!

You are all part of a serious problem that needs to be corrected. By problem I mean the endless hours spent voyeuristically (that may have suckered the poor guy typing on the yoogly search engine) peering into your lives and shamelessly plastering our dysfunctional, rascally, and down right weird lives on this WORLD WIDE WEB . . . . . WORLD WIDE!!!

Yah. Yah. Yah. I may be slightly (by slightly, I mean not at all!!) responsible by purchasing this:
and this:
But let me explain the situation from my point of view. There have been countless nights where I selflessly rub her feet, brush her hair, and massage her shoulders, and all I hear is the relentless tapping of those stupid keys. Oh, those stupid, stupid keys!!! The tapping is usually only interrupted by an occasional "Shush! I'm concentrating!" or "What laundry?" or my personal favorite . . . . "Fruity Pebbles are in the cabinet."

So that being said, next time you post a comment, blog a spot, or what ever else it is that you people do in the world on the other side of a computer screen, remember this. There is a perfect husband (that's me) climbing Mt. Laundry trying to make it to the cabinet for Fruity Pebbles who could use your support. Please don't send a jock strap it's not that funny, really ("PG13 comment! But I hijacked it, so I can say what I want!!" says the neglected husband as his adoring wife rolls her eyes at him).

Oh, forget it. I know you all are going to encourage this behavior without any thought of me. But I just have to say that I am still the luckiest goob in the world, even if all I get is Flintstone endorsed breakfast cereal for dinner, and I am forced (because men can't do laundry) to wear the same pair of pants for weeks.

Mostly because not everyone gets to come home to this everyday.

But seriously, I heart this girl. Who couldn't? She's a rockstar in our rascally world.

You can all breathe a sigh of relief because tomorrow your blog world will be "Normal" again.

Our boy crazy world wouldn't be the same without this girl, even if I never get the cole slaw I love so much.

Love You, Amb.


I Apologize In Advance For This Post

What's a girl to do when she is 6 (count 'em...6) days away from sunshiney summer? [I am going to use the word "sunshiney" loosely here, since apparently Arkansas has transplanted itself to the rainforest in the last month...but whatever....summer is summer.]

So...what's she to do?

She goes and gets a candy bar! That's what! And throws her hands up at the idea of eating healthy to jump on her friends' bandwagon. And then she decides that she is going to try and use Rosie to document the experience.

Ready for this...

Brace yourself. It's fantastic.

(I'm inserting another warning to new readers....between this post and yesterday's, I'm airing all kinds of dirty laundry...i.e. icky faces...so please don't hold it against me. I have apparently thrown all caution to the wind and am now completely fine with showing the entire world unflattering pictures of myself....but, again, I say "Whatever.")

Back to the candy bar-umentary....

Here is the candy bar I chose.

You may also have noticed the seatbelt light that is on, signaling that my seatbelt is not buckled. But it is because I was parked when I took the picture. It most certainly was not taken while I was driving while juggling a candy bar and Rosie without being buckled up. Seriously, it wasn't.

These next series of pictures were taken by me. Trying to hold Rosie backwards, while looking somewhat cool (ahem!) eating my Whatchamacallit. The result....me.looking.very not cool.

Finally I gave up. Rosie and my Whatchamacallit were totally uncooperative. As was I, apparently. So, I gave Rosie to the oldest kid and told him to take a picture of me eating my candy bar. To which he replied, "Why are you doing this? It's weird."

Hush, Kid. Just humor your mother.

Well....candy bars make me thirsty. And I decided that nothing would quench Whatchamacallit thirst like a...you guessed it....a big slurping Pineapple Diet Dr. Pepper from Sonic!!

I attempted a slurp-umentary at this stop...but Rosie had decided that she was all tuckered out with all my shenanigans and this is all she gave me.

That would be my Sonic cup.

Seeing that the slurp-umentary was going nowhere good, I just snapped this picture of my pineappley goodness. (Although this picture is deceiving...because they jipped me today. Usually the pineapple is so thick it is floating all over the place. So it just looks like a regular DP...but trust me...the good stuff is in there!)

And then "This is weird, Mom" took this picture of me enjoying my slurptastic goodness. Much to his chagrin. Because now he has decided that I'm not cool and he is. (Excuse me, Mr. Wants To Have the World's Largest Pez Dispenser Collection.....oh, so very cool. Ahem.)

If you have hung through that mess of nothingness this long, then you are my true friend. I know for a fact that I have already lost the poor man that found this post by googling "Pez Dispenser Collections." Pez his heart!

Since and because there is obviously NOTHING to comment about on this post, and because you are my true friend for hangin' this long....here's your project for today:


*Drum Roll*


That's right.


Put your question in the comments, and tomorrow I'll answer 'em. It can be anything. Really. From "Why are you scared of frogs?" to "Do you believe that determinism will be revitalized by the unified field theory?" (I googled "Smart People Questions" for that last one. Good, huh?)

So...go ahead. Lay 'em on me.

This should be fun. Me being so smart and all.


Extreme Mom Makeover

(WARNING...if you are new around these parts, proceed with caution. And then promise me that you'll come back on a "normal" day...Pinky promise. Just trust me.)

I turned 32 yesterday, y'all.


(Go on with all your "You're a baby!" and "You don't know what old is!" mumbo jumbo. I can take it.)

I have been thoroughly spoiled by all my men this birthday round. You all know about Rosie. Here's another picture. Just because she is just that beautiful. And amazing. And pinktastic.

Then the men had to go and make a total mess of my kitchen to produce these....the 3 most mahvalus birthday cakes ever created.

The husband then took one for the princess and let me have my birthday dinner with my bestie, Steph, as he munched on left over fried chicken (yes...the same fried chicken from the cole slaw showdown.)

And then the husband sneaked this onto my nightstand.

Bless his husband heart...he suffered through all my blog reading late last night just waiting for me to set the alarm and hit the sack. Just so that I could discover my new toy. Isn't he the bestest?! And now Rosie has a home. Bless her pink, precious heart.

I'm telling ya....my crown is sitting pretty.

I thought I was done with being doted over. After all...the day after your birthday usually just means back to laundry and dirty dishes.

But, oh no. My men weren't finished.

At least the youngest two men.

Because they treated me to a makeover tonight. They know their mama likes to be pampered.

A makeover that would make a Merle Norman girl envious. I even had my hair done. And eleven types of lotion rubbed all over my legs and arms. Not only do I now look amazing...I smell like a Bath & Body Works threw up on me....twice.

Ready for the big reveal?!

Those are the two makeup artists. Very talented. Especially with their fantastic eye for lipstick application. (Which, by the way, I'm trying to figure out why exactly I have that shade of lipstick in my makeup bag anyway....sceery.)

So what do you think?

You're speechless aren't you?

Me, too.


A Play. Not About Cole Slaw. But Equally Redneck. Written By Me.


  • AMBER – not wearing cute jeans as in previous Act, but wearing equally cute flip flops
  • BARNEY FIFE – small town -- very small town -- police officer who most certainly carries his only bullet in his front pocket
  • 3 RASCALS – tousled hair, sleepers in eyes, and remnants of chocolate poptarts smeared from chin to forehead (the remains of a rushed morning and excellent parenting)
  • 1 RASCALETTE – very beautiful teenage girl who belongs to one of AMBER’S BFFs
  • RED BOMB – minivan that adorns herself frequently in rancid chicken nuggets and sticky bubble gum wrappers under her seats.


  • Mayberry, Arkansas. A town with more cows than people and where the new pizza in the ONE gas station is the talk of fence gossipers.

Act II. Scene I.

The curtain opens with AMBER (don’t forget the flip flops), 3 RASCALS, and the RASCALETTE on their way to school in the RED BOMB. Spotlight shines on exaggerated speedometer which is registering just a “teensy” bit over the speed limit through Mayberry. The RASCALS are giggling and chatting. RASCAL #2 hurls a ball across the van. RASCAL #3 hurls a pencil and almost hits the RASCALETTE, who is putting on her makeup, in the head. AMBER is concentrating on driving extra cautiously. She is most certainly NOT texting on Rosie while driving.

Suddenly blue lights flash on a very conspicuous police car parked on Mayberry’s one road.

AMBER: You have got to be kidding me.

RASCAL #1: Not again.
(Note of Interest: Rascal #1 is delusional. He knows not of what he speaks.)

RASCALETTE: (giggling) It’s okay. It happens to my mom, too.
(Note of Interest: Thank, Jesus.)

AMBER pulls over on the side of the road and begins to retrieve her licence, and then looks through the glove box for assundry paper work.

BARNEY FIFE steps majestically out of his squad car. Struts to the RED BOMB.

BARNEY FIFE: (with chest puffed out and voice much deeper than is obviously his own) Ma’am. I’m assuming that you know why I pulled you over to chat today.

AMBER: I’m sure I was speeding.

BARNEY FIFE: You were, Ma’am. You were going 45 miles per hour in a 30. That’s fast, Ma’am.

AMBER: Yes, Sir.

BARNEY FIFE: Where you headed?

AMBER: School, Sir. I work at the high school.

BARNEY FIFE: Oh my. I just pulled over a school teacher.

AMBER: Yes, Sir.

BARNEY FIFE: And I’m assuming your kids are going to school, too. They aren’t gonna tell on ya, are they?

AMBER: Oh, I’m sure they will, Sir.

RASCALS grin at BARNEY FIFE from back seat. RASCAL #2 is now unbuckled, as if daring OFFICER FIFE to not only ticket his mother, but also haul her off to jail for child endangerment.
(Note of Interest: Thanks, Kid.)

BARNEY FIFE: Licence, registration, and insurance.

AMBER hands licence to BARNEY FIFE, but grabs entire handful of papers in glove box because she can't find her registration and insurance.
(Note of Interest: Awesome.)

BARNEY FIFE takes expired paperwork to squad car. AMBER pounds her hands on steering wheel, but does NOT begin to whine.
(Note of Interest: Because I would never whine.)

Time passes with RASCALETTE snickering and 3 RASCALS discussing squad car lights and sirens.

A school bus drives by full of students WAVING and POINTING.
(Note of Interest: Double Awesome.)

BARNEY FIFE comes back, still struttin'. Voice still weirdly deep. Gives back papers.

BARNEY FIFE: Ma’am, I’m gonna let ya go today. No citation. But, Ma’am, please slow down. We’ve had a lot of complaints about people driving too fast through here.
(Note of Interest: Here’s the best part…) I wouldn’t want you to hit a dog.

AMBER: (tries not to laugh at OFFICER FIFE as she musters up a very somber expression)
Yes, Sir.

BARNEY FIFE: Have a good day, Ma'am.

AMBER: You too, Sir. And thank you very much.

BARNEY FIFE struts his stuff back to the Fife-Mobile and pulls out….looking for dogs as he pulls into the NO traffic of Mayberry.

AMBER rolls up window and then
laughs. She proceeds to school, waving to BARNEY FIFE as she drives by his squad car.

And she very CAUTIOUSLY watches for dogs the rest of the way to school.


Only in Arkansas, I tell ya. Only in Arkansas are our very thorough law enforcement officers more concerned with canine citizens than homo sapian ones.



I'm at a loss for words tonight. No funny anecdote. No crazy story.

I'm just in a state of overwhelmedness. And gratefulness. And happiness.

I'm overwhelmed with the blessings and gifts that have been lavished upon me. My Jesus has found me somehow worthy enough to be placed in charge of 3 of His most precious possessions. I will never understand His reasoning, because I find faults in myself that run deep and wide. But I choose to just be thankful. And grateful. And overwhelmed at His grace. Because these 3 babies are just that.


I'm also overcome with awe that this guy is mine.

It's been a lot of years. A lot of years that have felt like minutes on one hand and millenniums on the other. We've gone through seasons where we couldn't stand to even be in the same room as each other, and we've gone through seasons where we couldn't get enough of each other. Marriage, for sure, isn't a cake walk. But it's great. And through all the frog-kissing and garbage I've walked through, my Jesus gave me a prince. Overwhelmed, I tell ya.


I also stand in amazement of my extended family.

I have caused my parents some serious heartache and crazy pain through the years, but, oh, how I thank my Jesus for giving me to them. He knew how much I needed them. I can't even begin to describe my parents to you. They are just that amazing.

And then there are the in-laws. I have terrific in-laws. Another set of parents that love me just as their own. They are genuine. And real. And just really, really good people. They are kinda quirky, but that works for me. Because quirky is where I fit in best.

I have a sister that has walked a lot of miles with me. Mich and I just get each other. A lot goes unsaid between us, because it can. Because we just know. There is seven years difference between us, but I swear we're twins. We get on each other's nerves like crazy, but are each other's loudest cheerleader and biggest fan. I heart her something fierce.

I have nieces and nephews that make my heart smile. These girls and boys are like water to me. I love their smiles. I love their personalities. They just make my world sweeter. And better. And I would do anything for them. I heart them like crazy.

I have friends that are nothing short of angels.

Stephanie...she inspires me. To be better. I've never met someone as genuinely concerned with the well being of others as this girl. She is the hostess with the mostess. And she makes me laugh. I'm tempted to say that I've never had a friend like Steph. She knows me....and she still wants to hang around. If that ain't love and friendship...I don't know what is! Love ya, Steph.

There's Leanne. You want to talk about a Proverbs 31 woman....you need to meet this girl. I want to be like her when I grow up. 'Nuff said. I love her down to my toes.

And Lisa. My smart-friend. One day she is going to get tired of my calling her that, but until then, her pet name will remain. This girl is incredible. She's funny. And crazy. And daring. And willing to take a chance. She'd dance in the rain with me if I asked her to, and she'd explain the newest taxation plans to me if I asked her to. Who knew we'd end up so close (if you know our story, you are grinning right now), but I love how God works. And how he fits people together. Because my Jesus is just that cool.

And there's all the other women in my life that have walked this crazy road with me. They've made me better, because they have taken the time to love me and my family. I'd be here until Thursday telling you all about each one of them. But my Jesus has worked drops of perfection into my life with these friendships, and I'm so grateful. Awestruck grateful.

And then there are all my friends in this crazy blogosphere. I never ever ever in a million years imagined the friendships and kindred spirits that I would discover behind the wall of this computer screen. People can scoff at us all they want, but our stuff is real. I may never have met some of you face to face, but I feel like I've known you for ages. You are now my family. And I heart you. Oh so very very much.


I'm happy.

Truly happy. I've smiled all day. And I've laughed some.

But today wasn't about being funny. Or witty. Or wearing sass on my sleeve and sarcasm in my flip flops.

It's just about being grateful.

Because sometimes it is just time to fall down at the foot of the throne of my Jesus and thank Him for gifts undeserved, and praise Him for loving me enough to bless me in spite of myself.