Posted by The Wizzle | Posted on Thursday, March 29, 2012 at 8:33 PM


My sister has been in town this week (so conveniently, at the same time That Guy I Married has been out of town - which is why you haven't heard me complaining about that more).

She is so incredibly beautiful, and very stylish in her own way - it just happens to be different from mine. We love to shop, talk fashion, and critique each other. So naturally, I was all excited yesterday to show her my latest thrifting find: a denim button-up shirt, to wear with all the fun colored and patterned pants that are all over the place right now. It feels like a fun trend to me - something I haven't done before, but that suits me (which is the only kind of trend to which you should pay any notice).

I had been doing some window shopping to see what was new in the way of denim shirt this time around (because I rocked that 90's grunge look pretty hard for awhile) and found some nice, comfy, versatile specimens, but I was having a hard time finding something that fit my budget and my upper arms (does anyone else have major problems with this? I think my arms are pretty average-sized myself, but apparently sleeve makers do not).

Then I thought to myself, "Self, there are probably hundreds of denim shirts languishing on the racks at thrift stores waiting for their turn in the sun." Now, granted, most of those are probably festooned with embroidered Pooh bears, mistletoe, or bedazzled roses, but I was willing to bet I could find something I can work with.

Sure enough, I could: a nicely worn-in button down from The Gap, at least 20 years old from my research, size children's XXL!

And you know what? It fits way better than anything at Anthropologie. Go figure.

(This pose brought to you by the fact that I spilled sweet-and-sour sauce on my pants while I was cooking 2 minutes before this.)

Earrings: So Good Jewelry (my favorite pair, obviously)
Scarf: Pierre Cardin, thrifted
Denim shirt: The Gap, thrifted
Blouse: Anthropologie
Pants: Anthropologie
Flats: Tory Burch (from Last Chance)

The scarf was another score from this week: beautiful silk in a nice classic geometric print.

The trouble is, my sister says that between my spiky hair and denim shirt, this look says "retro" just a little bit too loudly for her taste. (I think she must be remembering this.)

What do you think?


Posted by The Wizzle | Posted on Tuesday, March 27, 2012 at 7:06 PM


I almost didn't get ready today.

I planned to drop some things by Goodwill, watch my nephew for an hour, do some cooking...not really worth putting on makeup over.

But then I decided to do it anyway, and I ended up spending the whole day out and seeing a bunch of people I haven't seen in a long time. One of them, a hairstylist and all-around Fabulous Lady, said "it's the hair - with very short hair, you've pretty much got to have on lipstick and earrings at a minimum, otherwise you look like a bum. A bum who is a man."

She has the same haircut, and she's totally right.

To counterbalance the punky hair and bold glasses, I picked a nice fresh conservative outfit (and heels - always heels). I am completely all over the scarf-as-necklace thing too: a lot more color and style with a lot less effort, and comfortable too!

New frames: Tom Ford
Glasses: So Good costume jewelry
Shirt: J. Crew (thrifted)
Scarf: vintage (thrifted)
Pants: Anthropologie
Shoes: XChange by Charles David (from Last Chance)
Smile: courtesy of my sister, who was laughing at my total inability to pose gracefully

Double Happiness

Posted by The Wizzle | Posted on Monday, March 26, 2012 at 7:40 PM




It was pretty frightening for a girl with such a splendid imagination, but with a little encouragement from her siblings (and a LOT of wiggling from me) she was victorious! And I am totally stunned at how much bigger she seems, all of a sudden. I miss her perfect row of tiny girl teeth. I'm not thinking I like this giant leap forward very much at all -

- but then she prays at bedtime that next time she has a loose tooth, she can "be brave and trust my mom", and then I know the whole growing-up thing is going to work out just fine.

Sharky sharky

Posted by The Wizzle | Posted on Sunday, March 25, 2012 at 9:00 PM


Eve came home from school on Friday saying that her loose tooth was making it hard for her to eat.

My first thought was to ignore her, because she is a child of many maladies great and small, and she has cried wolf on loose teeth before.

But something told me to take a look anyway, and this is what I found.

Two full-size, all-the-way grown-in permanent teeth just waiting to push those little baby nubs out of their way!

So now we are calling her a shark, and she loves it, and we will continue to call her a shark until those teeth fall out, which may never happen because it might hurt a very tiny bit and she is Very Afraid.

Little Lady

Posted by The Wizzle | Posted on Thursday, March 22, 2012 at 9:44 PM


(I styled her hair. That is all. I swear everything else is entirely her doing.)

Eve emerges dramatically from her boudoir, prepared to attend the Pinewood Derby in high style.

Me: Eve, you look very chic.

Eve: What's "chic"?

M: It's sort of like elegant.

E: What's "elegant"?

M: It means extra pretty, but in a very grown-up way.

E: Ooooooohhhhhhhhh. I feel very elegant!

When all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.

Posted by The Wizzle | Posted on Wednesday, March 21, 2012 at 7:34 PM


Iris knows all her letters, but she doesn't understand the sounds they make, or how to put them all together.

She definitely has some favorites combinations, though. The ones she sees most often, the ones she knows what to do with.

The ones close to home.

I. R. I. S.


But only one family member's name is a common word, so E.V.E. definitely gets the most press time.

And because her understanding is so limited, and she desires so fiercely to grasp what this world is all about, she sees those letters everywhere she looks.

We don't see them, because they are hidden within other words.

Words we know, familiar words.

Because everyone else in our family can read, we see the letters arranged as they were intended to be: broken into syllables in our minds, then ordered into sentences, paragraphs. Pronounced a certain way - the right way - and we flash through them lightning fast.

Like microfiche machines my children will never use.

But Iris, lacking the big picture, can turn her laser beam mind in any direction and find exactly what she is looking for, hidden in plain sight.

Because when we are really looking for something, it turns out that it is all around us.

Prepare for battle

Posted by The Wizzle | Posted on at 7:48 AM


Eve learned how to ride without training wheels this week, but she's still working on starting and stopping safely. It's a lot for her brain to process all at once: steering, pedaling, balancing, looking.

Not a lot of room for zoning out and developing an elaborate mental storyline about an undercover ninja princess in all that.

There have been a lot of minor spills, so yesterday when she went out to have another crack at it, she thought she would dress in all her best protective gear - which apparently means this.

(She has jeans on under the skirt, but shoes? Optional.)

(Not a whole) day in the life

Posted by The Wizzle | Posted on Monday, March 19, 2012 at 7:53 PM


Before I knew what happened, today turned into Awesome.

I managed to catch a few lovely little moments in the wild:

Iris plays "find the Buddha":

and "scale the pole like Mulan", at which she was fortunately very unsuccessful:

and "dance like a wild dervish baby", which is her very favorite game:

The big kids are back at school today - and after much hesitation, deliberation, and thoughtful preparation (including bringing her trusty boots along in her backpack, just in case), Eve successfully wears her new-to-her purple clogs all day long with no rubbing, stubbing, itching, tickling, or other intolerable sensation:

There is much amusement provided by the fuse beads, which I hate a little bit but mostly really, really love:

I realize my outfit almost *exactly* matches my dining chairs. I think I must love blue and green:

Devlin and That Guy I Married put the finishing touches on their Pinewood Derby car, which will be making its maiden voyage later this week:

Safety first:

And Eve finds her wings!

Rainy Sunday

Posted by The Wizzle | Posted on Sunday, March 18, 2012 at 11:13 AM


Well, I'm still sick, so I'm home sneezing and sniffling.

But the kids all have their new Easter clothes and their Daddy took them to church, so I have a picture.

Could you die?

My favorite things:

How I finally found Devlin a shirt that FITS - for $1.99 at Goodwill.

How his dad ties his tie so lovingly, making sure that it's not too long, and not too short, with the knot just so.

How Eve's legs look like toothpicks, and Iris's look like tree trunks, and it's amazing.

How the ONLY shoes I could find to fit Iris were Converse. Maybe someday she can have dainty sparkly shoes like her sister...but it's not looking good right now.

Eve's yellow dress and golden shoes, and perma-misty-smile.

How everyone's hair looks good at the same time! That happens a lot more since I stopped cutting Devlin's hair.

(And I'm not going to lie: when I'm not blowing my nose, it's actually very lovely and quiet around here...)

Dollar Day

Posted by The Wizzle | Posted on Thursday, March 15, 2012 at 8:54 PM


You guys, it's so super classy - my kids know when we go into "treasure hunting" to be on the lookout for the special colored tag of the day. We walk in Goodwill and Iris shouts at the top of her lungs "PURPLE!" or whatever.

Today was dollar day, and I wanted to go badly enough that I brought all my kids who are on Spring Break - and that is Really, Really Bad.

Orange tags. I snagged me this amazing t-shirt (the tags says "Heritage 1981", the year I was born!) for only a buck - but then I had a 20% off coupon, so technically it was 80 cents.

That's right.

Now, if only I was actually *in* London right now, and my sinus headache was still in Arizona. That would be even better.

P.S. If you've never seen one in the wild - yes, that is really what redheads look like with no makeup on. It is absolutely hilarious the comments I get if I ever choose not to wear mascara that day.

Happy happy happy happy!

Posted by The Wizzle | Posted on Tuesday, March 13, 2012 at 9:58 PM


These lucky kids got to have a sleepover at Granny's tonight.

Too bad this mom got to spend the evening working, and That Guy I Married got to spend it at school!

But seriously - is this not the picture of a carefree, blessed childhood?

See you tomorrow, kids!


Posted by The Wizzle | Posted on Monday, March 12, 2012 at 8:01 PM


Today was the first day of Spring Break.

We had a nice lazy morning, and when we got around to breakfast, it was Blue Bell Strawberry and Homemade Vanilla ice cream, in honor of this brave man, who passed on this afternoon, and his sweet family.

I am feeling very raw, but very alive, having just blown out the candle that we lit last night to light Bruce's way to the next stop on his journey.

Planning to take it slow this week: eating lots of ice cream, spending as many hours as possible reading in my new hammock chair, napping in the beautiful March sunshine, holding my family close, and - again - feeling so amazingly, stupidly, stunningly blessed to have them around me, safe and sound.

Vocabulary Test

Posted by The Wizzle | Posted on Wednesday, March 7, 2012 at 7:00 PM


Words that are useless if you trying to describe a given flower pot to a Tuesday Morning employee over the phone: terracotta, cylinder, patina, and circumference. I would maybe stick with "orange", "shaped like a soup can", "old-looking", and...I gave up trying to explain "circumference" to Bonnie. Old dog, new tricks, etc.

(I apologize if anyone reading this has ever worked there. I'm sure you are smarter than 100% of the workers I have encountered this week.)


I have my pots, all is well! I also have a new, working garbage disposal and a package of Newman O's, which are better than Oreos but not as good as JoJo's.

I'll have a cookie for you too. You're welcome.


Posted by The Wizzle | Posted on Tuesday, March 6, 2012 at 6:40 PM


Ugh. Today began with such promise!

I have, as of this writing, been to four Tuesday Morning stores in search of two matching pots to hold my new Italian Cypress trees for my front porch, surely entirely negating the amazing price tag in $4/gallon gas consumption. And I still only have one stinking pot!

Kindly note two different pot sizes. Same item number. Clearly not same item. Get it in gear, Tuesday! Aren't the trees amazing, though?

While I rather like my new glasses, either the frames are crooked, or my face is. I'm really hoping it's the former.

Don't see it?

What about now?

I know it's minor, but it's my FACE, people. My face, every single day, all the time, cannot wear contacts, kind of a huge deal.

Then, the garbage disposal went from making an alarming noise to making no noise at all, because it won't turn on. I foresee a lot of stinky, soggy, partially ground-up food scraps in my future.

And my new Easter dress, for which I have been waiting so eagerly, and for which I have no backup plan, arrived today and is about 4 inches too short. Apparently none of the models, or other reviewers, have long legs. I am now taking recommendations for a cute, good quality, natural-fiber only dress that will not require me to wear a camisole, cardigan, and leggings - for less than $100.

I'll wait right over here.


On the plus side, the weather today was criminally beautiful, my dinner was a home run:

and today is Oreo's official birthday - so I know what I'm doing tonight!

If I still have an appetite after the garbage disposal, that is.

All the Things

Posted by The Wizzle | Posted on Monday, March 5, 2012 at 6:55 PM


I sometimes have so many things to write about that whole, major events just get completely skipped over as I choose to focus on small, simple events or thoughts that can be summed up in one paragraph, or two lines - which is often all I have the time or energy to compose.

But I think Eve's 6th birthday deserves a little air time and a few photos, don't you?

I floated the idea of a "super fun family dinner!!" more than once, but she really, really wanted a party with friends, at the park, so she could feed the ducks.

I'm sure I've mentioned before that I hate throwing kid birthday parties. If I haven't, allow me to take this opportunity: on the record, on the rocks, put it on my gravestone, I hate throwing kid birthday parties. There are so at them. Very troublesome.

But because I love her very much, I gathered my special tablecloths, reserved a ramada, delivered invitations, divided birdseed into 12 individual baggies, made a million fancy little sandwiches, blew up balloons in every color of the rainbow, stuffed goody bags, skewered 7 different kinds of fruit in Roy G. Biv formation (x 36), sucked it up, and threw a frickin' party.

I don't have pictures of all my crafty little endeavors, because - as with basically all my crafty endeavors - they were way cuter on my screen and in my head than out in real life. The point is, no children were hurt or lost during the party, and no one cried or fell asleep, so I'm satisfied.

The only minor snags were that the ducks didn't eat, and that our (paid for, reserved) ramada was occupied when we arrived with, as usual, not a lot of time to spare. Luckily, the kids seemed to like throwing the birdseed in the water quite well enough even if no one ate it, and the squatters at our party location were persuaded to pack up their dinner and move without anyone discharging a firearm.

I bought a cake, because I am even less skilled at cake-making than I am at cute party decorating. (I put the jimmies on all by myself, though.) It was $7.99, it was delicious, and there were no leftovers. I give myself a perfect 10.

Eve certainly had no complaints:

Eve's friend Ben was the winner of the "guess how many pieces of salt water taffy are in this here fancy bottle" game, as well as the winner of the unofficial "most creative party hat placement" contest.

Party hats for everyone, because party hats are awesome!

I think when my children are old enough that they cease to be amused for long periods of time by Duck Duck Goose, I will cease to throw them birthday parties:

Iris found the very large field to be quite satisfactory for twirling purposes:

On Sunday, Eve's actual birthday, my parents hosted a luncheon party with the theme bring Eve's favorite color: yellow, of course. The food was yellow, the decorations were yellow, it was just marvelous - and a very, very welcome change of pace from the chaos of 12 children, sand, and 5 pounds of salt water taffy.

It was all worth it when Eve brought home her schoolwork from today. Translation provided below, if you are not fortunate enough to be able to view her actual handwriting:

"I feel lucky when I get tow birth day party's in a row becaus my mom let me have one at the park. It was a ranbow party. I had a yollow party at my nana's house."

Well, Eve, as it happens, I feel newly lucky every time I realize that the smart, determined, articulate, beautiful, affectionate girl in this photograph is my very own daughter. I have thoroughly enjoyed at least half of the 6 years that you have been in our lives...

...and all the other parts, too, have been part of our journey, and worth every tear.

It hasn't always been easy, but it has been full of wonder, and beauty, and hard work, and joy of the fullest kind.

The very essence of life.

I feel lucky.


Posted by The Wizzle | Posted on Friday, March 2, 2012 at 7:08 PM


Well, all I have to say about tonight is that, while attending the elementary school carnival with three children and no backup went surprisingly well, the part where I had to run a game booth for an hour at the carnival (with three children and no backup) was definitely reaching too far.

I will never, ever do that again.

We are all home, all safe, thank goodness.

Sweet dreams!


Posted by The Wizzle | Posted on Thursday, March 1, 2012 at 6:05 PM


I submit that until she a) ceases to suck her thumb, and b) pronounces "big girl" as two separate and distinct words, she will not, in fact, be one.

I'm in no rush.

And when she reaches those milestones, I am sure I can think of some new goalpost to erect, in order to put the time when my last baby isn't a baby anymore just a little farther off into the future.

* * * * *

Iris, from the back seat of the car on our way out to a midday date with That Guy: "Daddy, where do you usually like to eat for lunch?"

*thoughtful pause*

"I usually like to eat at Taco Bell".

And after lunch, crossing Mill Avenue and admiring the pigeons: "LOOK! Two little fat birdies!!!"