snapshots & thoughts

The other evening JD and I were sitting on a bench by the river and I became entranced 
by the fireflies which were flashing on and off all around us.

Seeing fireflies always brings me back to childhood and memories of trying to catch them, 
trying to capture light with my hands. 
It brings me back to innocence and wonder.

As I got up from the bench and pulled out my phone I said,  
"if we can't catch them in jars, let's catch them with our cameras!"

It wasn't easy capturing those little lightning bugs on camera.
I think I caught one there in the photo, maybe two.

We resorted to catching them with our hands.
Even then it was hard to catch them lit up on camera.


I got a new journal.
Not just any kind of journal.

It's a journal that you wreck.
On purpose.

[bonus feature:]

One day when the kids and I were in Kansas/Missouri on our little vacation,
I had lunch with Priscilla and Kenna, a friend of hers.
During the course of the conversation Kenna told me about a journal with prompts to do crazy things like eat colorful candy and paint the page with your tongue.
"Oh! I need that!" I said. "Something to get my creative juices running."
And I made a mental note to maybe see about getting it.

Except that right after our lunch, Priscilla's wonderful friend went to the store and bought it for me.
That blessed me so much, that she would do that for me, who she hardly knows.

So that is the story of how I came to own this journal.
And how I came to spam instafeeds with my journal wrecking shenanigans.

[end bonus feature]

After I showered with the book, I left it hanging on the curtain rod to dry off.
"Mom, why is there a book up there?" Kaitlin asked me.
"Because I brought it into the shower and I'm letting it dry up there."
"Why did you bring it into the shower?!"
"I'm trying to wreck it," I said.
She looked at me like I was crazy, but then I showed her the page, and she was like okay, whatever mom. Except she didn't say it, she just looked at me like whatever.

I had to color the edges.

I had to take a walk, dragging it behind me.

 I had to find a way to wear it.

I came up with some pretty fashionable jewelry.

All in all, I had a pretty productive week of wrecking.


Or, at least that's all I've seemed to take snapshots of.


One of my favorite things:
Sitting outside after a hot, muggy day feeling the cool breeze of an incoming storm and listening to the thunder in the distance as it rolls in.


if dreams are our subconsciousness, should I be worried?

It gives you wings.
We were going downhill - I think we were walking, but we may have been skiing - when we found an amusement ride. I love amusement rides, so of course I wanted to go on it. What the ride was, it didn't matter. I bought the ticket and handed it to the ridemaster.

What is their job title, anyways? I should know this, I worked at an amusement park the summer after high school. Except I worked in the Food Division and my job title was Floater. Which is a little gross, but I digress.

The ridemaster took my ticket and handed me a Red Bull. Apparently the ride wasn't a ride, but a contest. I had to see how many Red Bulls I could drink before my vital signs showed signs of exploding. Always up for a challenge, I chugged two Red Bulls before my vitals went bezerk. I know, I'm a lightweight.

Then they told me to wait in a room for a certain amount of time, after which they'd take my vitals again. I went into the room, which turns out was a bathroom. I spent much of the time trying to figure out how to lock the door. Once locked, I decided - well, it was a bathroom after all. Apparently though earlier in my dream I had been swimming or something. Anyone who has had to pull a wet swimsuit down and up knows how time consuming that can be.

In any case, by the time I exited the room, they'd forgotten I was in there and two other people had started chugging Red Bulls. The ridemaster had mistakenly told one of them that they had won while he was looking at my stats. Once I emerged from the room he realized his mistake and made it right.

With full fanfare, the ridemaster handed me my grand prize: three pounds of sliced bologna, two pounds of sliced pepperoni and a bag of Skittles.

I ran over to Kaitlin and her friends who were waiting for me and a held up the bologna, waving it in the air. "Who wants a bologna sandwich?!" I said. Then feeling silly, or maybe it was the effects of the Red Bull, I added as I waved the pepperoni at them in my best Little Caesar voice, "Pizza, pizza!"

And that was what I was dreaming when my alarm went off this morning.

Before that, I dreamed about being in a play about JFK's inauguration. And renovating an old school building.

Now you have had a look into my subconscious dream state. In the words of Robert De Niro, "analyze that!"


our McKinney vacation

A good friend is 
someone who lets you (and your three kids) 
come into their home 
- into their everyday life -
and you can call it 
a vacation.

I'm so fortunate to have a good friend like that.

On Wednesday morning the kids and I set off for our McKinney vacation.

"And away we go!
Where we stop, nobody knows."

Not even Siri.

While we were driving along highway 66, 
approaching our destination but with no homes in sight, 
Siri instructed me to park on the side of the highway and walk to our destination.
And we were all like 
"WHAT?! But there's nothing here!"


Dear Google Maps Car Driver,

You missed a street.



After dinner I asked Sawyer what that was on his shirt.
His answer was so silly that I pulled out my camera:

We had a good laugh at our kids' guesses about what that thing on his shirt is.


Thursday we just hung around the house.
Well, the kids hung around the house and I hung around Priscilla while she was 
"working her work job" at Little Bird Marketing.
I think there should be and official "Bring a Friend to Work Day."
It's pretty interesting.

[bonus feature:]

It was fascinating for me to see her working her work job
because my background is design and once upon a time
I might have gone the marketing path.

It was also interesting for me, as a manager now, 
to see how she manages people.

Sitting in her office was like sitting in creative heaven.
Sitting in on her meetings was like 
sitting in a cafe in Paris and hearing someone across the room speak English.
They were speaking my language: 
design, branding, layouts, deadlines.
I was drawn to it, 
just like I am drawn to the lone person in the Paris cafe speaking English.

[end bonus feature]

I love having a teenage daughter.
I love it when she wants to get me in on her selfies.
If smart phones existed when I was 13, 
I would have been taking selfies all the time.
I admit it.

That said, now that I'm 42 I don't take many selfies.


I heard Beck practicing his guitar so I went in to the room and sat down to listen.
It was a sweet moment for me when he played and sang Blackbird.

Blackbird singing in the dead of night
Take these broken wings and learn to fly

All your life
You were only waiting for this moment to arise.
Blackbird singing in the dead of night

Take these sunken eyes and learn to see

All your life
You were only waiting for this moment to be free.
Blackbird fly 

Blackbird fly
Into the light of the dark black night.
Blackbird fly 

Blackbird fly
Into the light of the dark black night.
Blackbird singing in the dead of night

Take these broken wings and learn to fly

All your life
You were only waiting for this moment to arise


side note:
Priscilla has a bird theme going on.
All around her home and office are birds and images of birds.
It was meaningful to me because I also have a bird thing
and a butterfly thing going on.
A learning to fly thing.
So that was cool.

Friday we drove to Stockton Lake and took the boat out.

Or, as we Minnesotans say, "the BOH-t."

The first jump!

Priscilla and me.

 I do not love this picture of me.
But I like this picture of us.
We were laughing so hard!
Mostly because of this:
Do you know how hard it is to get a picture of four feet simultaneously out of the water?
It's hard!

Friday night a storm blew in and we were able to experience
keeling and tacking 
and sitting on the side of the boat with feet touching the water.

At first we sailing novices were timid when the boat seemed to capsize,
but by Saturday my Sarah was asking to have the boat go sideways.

Except that storm was the only wind all weekend.
Instead of sailing, we swam and suntanned a lot.

I know, right?

 Steve rigged a swing off of the boom.
The kids had fun swinging off of it.
Sometimes successfully.
I had fun watching from a distance.

The McKinneys like to visit the coves on the lake and give each cove a name.
I'm not sure, but I think this particular cove might have been named
Bickles' Boom Swing Cove.
Or Bickles' Boom Boom Cove.
Or Bickles' Fossil Cove.

We explored each of the coves where we anchored.
(And by we, I mean the kids.)

This cove had so many butterflies.
It was beautiful.

 I loved that her kids loved my kids.
And my kids loved them right back.
Nothing better than that.


And then it was time to go home.
It was a long, long drive, but totally worth it.

A good friend is 
someone who lets you into their everyday life
and you come home refreshed.

Thanks, Priscilla & Steve.


snapshots & thoughts

sharing my snapshots & thoughts, together they make my story which I am collecting here.

I made these jewelry holders. I saw in a Better Homes & Gardens magazine probably, I don't remember where exactly an idea like this. And right away I thought of some pictures that I didn't have use for anymore, but whose frames would work perfect. A little spray paint, burlap, string & - whallah! - my very own BHG worthy jewelry holders.

When I saw Alyson's instagram photo of her jewelry frame in my insta feed I thought for a split second that it was a photo of mine, but then I realized it wasn't. I had to take a pic, though, to show her how similar our tastes are. 

Great minds think alike.

My cousin, Andy, came to visit from Seattle. He and my sister and I hit the town. At this particular stop we could barely hear ourselves talk because we were seated so close to the band in the background. Still, live music is pretty cool. So is spending some quality time with Andy and Bethany.

The sewer at work backed up. Needless to say, it was a pretty crappy day. Literally. But at least Mr. Rooter can smile about it.

It was a short week at work for me because I took Wednesday through Friday off to go down to visit my friend from high school and have a little 5 day vacay with my kids.

It was so much fun! I took way too many snapshots, though, to include in this post. The trip kinda deserves it's own post. Stay tuned.


Even though it's Monday, I'm linking up with @jeannettg for her weekly InstaFriday post.
Better late than never.


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