In The Middle

Life, Family, Yoga, Stuff

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Birthday In The Bamboo

Lauren turned 14 on Saturday, January 28th.  I told her no parties this year, but I changed my mind.  I was scheduled to enter into a medical study for some cash for two weekends in a row, so I’d planned on putting her birthday on hold.  But.  The study was moved and canceled for about the 12th time in a row.  I decided to host a party.

My good friend and baker, Kelli, was a great sport with short notice.  Lauren has shifted from Littlest Pet Shops to alternative music, skinny jeans, Hot Topic t-shirts and hair colored in an unnatural way.  Yep.  She’s 14.  One of her favorite bands is Falling In Reverse so I had Kelli put the lead singer on the cake.

This guy is totally covered in tattoos up to his chin and Kelli said it might be a bit much on the cake.  I told her forget the body art.  I guess Lauren is into bad boys, just like I used to be.  God help me, and her.  Several kids showed up.  A couple of them had actually attended WOLF with her and the others are classmates from Jarrett.  I ran to Little Caeser’s and picked up like 6 large pizzas for $40.  I got pop at Deal’s.  Sounds like we’re broke doesn’t it?

The weather has been really crazy warm and I do like it, but my mind is in January mode.  After we all chowed down I suggested that we head outdoors to the bamboo forrest around the corner from our house.  It’s a fun place for a photo shoot, so we all took loads of pictures.  I noticed that the city was down there yesterday sawing and clearing out brush.  I have a feeling that our beautiful bamboo forrest will be gone before too long as the city makes way for the green space on Bennett.  I hope not though, we love the bamboo, but I also realize it is incredibly invasive.

We walked by the creek and then the kids all headed to Phelps Grove Park to enjoy the rest of the day.  At dark they all arrived back at the house and piled in Lauren’s room for a movie.  I am so glad I took the time to redo her space.  Though it’s not large, it has a roomier feel and 7 kids were able to hang out on the floor, the bean bags and the bed playing the Wii and having a great time.

Later that night, we unsafely piled into my small car and I drove all over town dropping each kid off at their home base.  All in all.  Better than any medical study and the compensation I would’ve received.  Great day.  Great weather.  Great party!

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Yogini Sisterhood Birthday Party

I started feeling funky on Friday, so I skipped swimming Friday evening.  I was OK with that since I swam Monday, Wednesday and Thursday too!  I had to teach a class Saturday morning, as it was my turn.  It was cold and rainy and I was feeling spent.  But an hour later, I had to run to the other studio and lead a yoga birthday party.  I love these, they are so fun.  Here’s some pictures from the party.


Most of these girls had never taken a yoga class before.  I so love it when that happens and I love it even more when they love it!

They even brought their own cake, in the shape of a yoga block!  I provided fruit and hot tea.

Thanks guys for a great time!  Hope you all were introduced to something that will stick with you forever today.

Happy Birthday to the three of you that were celebrating.


Let There Be Light

I am so incredibly happy that the days are getting longer.  The sun’s starting to come up at 6:30 a.m. (sort of) and I love that.  I get up so early anyways and always in the dark.  We’ve had a whirlwind of activities here lately and frankly, I’m glad they’re over! 

I took a jaunt to St. Louis with my good friend Joan, February 19-21 for a yoga getaway.  We go up there as often as we can to take classes with teachers that are totally awesome.  This time we attended Rod Stryker.  We’d been to his class before, two years ago for an entire week long deal of teacher training.   It was good, but I thought the last time was better for some reason.  Maybe it was my frame of mind, or maybe I was expecting something different.  I’m not sure what it was and I still don’t know why it didn’t rock my world, so I’m done trying to figure that out.  The hardest part of course is coming home afterwards.  Don’t get me wrong I love my family.  But sometimes I believe I was meant to live alone and have like 6 cats or something.

As soon as I walked in the door Sunday night we had to go out and eat for my husband’s birthday.  Since there are always a bunch of us and my mother-in-law is diabetic (and has to take a shot before she eats) we always go to Ryan’s or the Golden Corral.  Need I say more?  Not exactly what I was wanting after a weekend of yoga, great food and quiet activities.  But I survived.  The next evening, Monday, our niece turned 16 so we headed to her house in Ozark for yet another birthday party.  We had great food.  They’d made veggie lasagna and stuffed mushrooms and we had great wine too.  Here’s some photos from the festivities.

Frank and Kirsten

Our son and his girlfriend are top left.  The two girls on either end are good, family friends.  Our daugter is wearing the hoodie with the green shirt.  The birthday girl is wearing green as well.  Her boyfriend is behind her.  Wow.  Our son has a girlfriend.  We are old.

Wednesday evening we had a small family only party for Frank.  We made panko shrimp and I made a chocolate cake.  I tried to swim prior to this little party, but as I was waiting for the swim lessons to end a kid hurled in the pool.  It wasn’t even bad, like not really even there.  Like he just coughed up or something.  But no.  They had to close the pool for one hour to “shock it”, so that was a wasted trip to the Y.  Someone actually decided to purchase our fish tank that I’d had on Craig’s List a thousand times on this day as well.  So I spent a couple of hours draining and getting that sucker ready and out of here. 

Thursday evening I had to take our daughter shopping for a birthday gift for a sleepover/birthday party that was happening on Friday.  I’ve gotten to where I totally hate shopping for anything really.  I hate stores.  I totally dislike grocery shopping too.  Guess I should be thankful I don’t like shopping much because we’re broke most of the time anyways.  And god knows we don’t need anymore clutter around here that’s for sure.

Friday night I played taxi driver and got laundry done (that’s an understatement) as it’s never done, it’s an ongoing project.  Another task that I really don’t like very much.  And it’s only going to get worse.  Track practice starts today, not just today, but every single day, after school.  So Jordan will have two sets of clothes to wash.  I usually have two sets per day too, because of yoga.  Frank usually has two sets of clothes per day as well as he wears a uniform at work. 

Saturday morning, I taught a yoga class, ran errands and tried to relax.  Emphasis on the tried to relax.

Sunday morning I took a 3 hour class with a master teacher that was here in town from Chicago.  I still had my props in my trunk from St. Louis and Joan’s were still packed in her suitcase as well, so what the heck?  We went.  It was good.  It was all inversions, all of it.  Until the end.  I hadn’t done a handstand in quite some time, but I did three on Sunday!  I also stood on my head three times, did an arm balance inversion and a shoulder stand as well.  It was great.  I left feeling awesome and I was so not sore today.  We drove off and made jokes about where were we going to go for yoga this coming weekend.  I said no place, I’m having a weekend of zero traveling, a weekend of having to actually BE no place.  So don’t invite me to do anything this coming Saturday.  I want to stay home and be a total hermit.

Guess what I’m going to do tonight?  SWIM.  It’s been way too long!

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Party Girls

What a party!  We celebrated Lauren turning 11 today complete with a build it yourself taco bar, seven layer dip and a dog cake.  Unfortunately, the entire face and the front (begging) paws, slid off the cake as my friend pulled into the driveway!  But she had her emergency kit of frosting (it took a lot) but we fixed it!  We had a couple kids from WOLF school, a few from her home elementary and one that we met from kid’s yoga.  A good time was had by all.  My house is full of snow/ice/mud and I don’t really care. 

We’re also enjoying a small indoor water feature, cause we have a stupid flat roof above part of our living room.  I want that upstairs built sooner than later, for sure.  Hate to waste money mopping tar on the rooftop, we’ve fixed it ourselves several times!

This is where the margaritas come in with the leftover Mexican food from earlier!

Here’s some shots from today.





The Energy of 11 Year Olds



Lauren will be 11 on January 28th, to be exact. 

Last year for her birthday, I went temporarily insane and let her have 7 girls spend the night.  We don’t have a huge place, no basement, one living area, 3 bedrooms and an office.  We had kids camped out in her bedroom and some on the front room floor.  It was wild  (putting it mildly) and I will never, ever do that again!  So of course this year, she wanted to have another sleep over.  No way.  In lieu of that, we had one of her best friends from her home elementary school spend the night last night.  It’s amazing, how well they play and how quiet they were, until ELEVEN at night!  What’s with that?  So until around 1:30 a.m. we had quiet shrieks, giggles and footsteps up and down the hall.  Exhausting.  I’m old.  Word to those who don’t have kids yet.  Do it when you’re in your twenties.

The weekend after next, she will have one girl from WOLF School spend the night.  Then we’ll have a few girls from her home school, over for lunch and cake.  Growing up, we always had birthday parties.  It seems now, people just don’t do it.  I’ve talked to so many parents who just give me a weird look when you say “birthday party” I don’t know why.  Maybe it’s old school and not cool anymore.  Maybe kids just stay home with their parents and have dinner or something, I don’t really know.  We’ve even asked kids to come “gift free” or make a donation to the Humane Society ’cause we sure don’t need anymore crap around here.  Don’t get me wrong.  Kids always come to the birthday party when we have one, it’s just that not many other kids have one theirsevles.  I’m thinking next year, we won’t have a party, but will do something as she is getting older.  Like have a friend spend the night, go to the movies,  or go to the pottery place and make some cool stuff.

So I guess the question is, what’s up with the birthday party banning?  Anyone?


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Post Halloween Gore

Halloween was pretty uneventful.  We walked into the beautiful night and loaded up on candy with a good friend and neighbor.  We’re trying hard to stay connected to my daughter’s previous elementary school.  We’re still in the district, but over at the WOLF school, so everyone is making an extra effort to include her in school functions and play together.  It’s really neat.

This is her second year of dressing up in the scary phase.  When she was washing off all that make up at midnight last night, she made the decision of no more scary!  Please ignore any Halloween wreck behind her.  We did the decorating on Thursday evening!  Didn’t have time this year, first year ever to really NOT get cool with it.  We basically threw it on top of the entertainment center, what a mess.  I feel like this would make a great page for one of those “I Spy” books, ya think?  Also, doesn’t everyone keep a small cooler a box full of chalk and a whiffle bat in this location?  I no longer live in a “magazine shoot ready” home and sometimes I do grieve over it, but it’s OK! 








 Lauren and her good buddy Madie, who was dressed as a diva!  No red eye correction here! 







Across the globe, my niece, who just visited and who will turn 4 next week, strutted the Halloween path in a handmade costume.  She was wearing a Williams Design, by my sister, the fashionista, the interior designer, seamstress and creative soul.  She was Little Miss Sunshine.  No, not the movie.  But yes, the 70’s cartoon character.  It’s the Mister Men Show people, where have you been?  I didn’t know either, but she’s adorable, in or out of costume!  Just out picking flowers on Halloween she was…….and downing M & M’s!

After trick or treating, we did enjoy some cocktails (the mom’s in case there’s any question).  Conversation quickly turned to politics.  Way to ruine my birthday.  There was ranting and raving and some fist pounding on the table.  It’s not that I don’t like talking about political stuff, I’m just tired of it.  As I’ve said before, it’s exhausting to me.  I don’t keep up with it like some.  I’m not quick and smart about it, and I don’t have views I feel the need to share.  What kept me in check was this.  Just knowing the other people in the room were just like me.  I’m not separate from them.  I did a LOT of listening.  I don’t like the arguments that come into play when the “you’re not like me” starts to happen.  It’s too bad.  I drank more wine, I nodded my head and smiled.  Freedom of speech.  Glad we have it……sometimes……!  Just kidding.  Good-bye intense evening, hello mellow Saturday!


Where Did 14 Days Go?

My sister and her daughter, Ava flew home last night.  It was her longest stay ever, 14 days.  It went by so quickly!  Of course, I still had my normal schedule of yoga.  On top of that there were added appointments.  The doctor, orthodontist, a cross country track meet, homecoming a birthday party and the craft fair!  In between all of that “stuff” we managed to have some fun, and get pedicures.

We hit 3 parks in town!  Fassnight, Phelps Grove and Meador.  Here’s the girls collecting leaves.  Lauren was teaching Ava about trees.  They were really studying some tree sap mighty hard!  Part of what Lauren is doing at school.  They’re into forest ecosystems now!

Jordan looked great in his rented attire.  His date wore a short, light tan dress with pink edging.  I ordered her a pretty light pink wrist bouquet!  He got home a tad after midnight.  We all went right to bed.  He had to run at Springfield Lake at 8:30 a.m. the next morning, Cross Country meet!  I was dead, so was he.  I didn’t have to run a 5K, I’m just old.

He took advantage of Saturday afternoon and slept.  Us chicks headed out to a wild birthday party for a 10 year old.


 My good friend the baker, even made a belated birthday cake for my sister.  Party Pizazz!

We also hit Rutledge Wilson Farm after school one day.  Lauren spent a week out there for Farm Camp and knows the names of all the animals.  She wanted to show them to Ava.  Plus, we planned on picking a pumpkin, but the patch didn’t open for picking until 5:00, but we could walk inside and take photos.

On their last day, Sunday, we checked out our sweet potatoes.  Not big enough yet, letting them go a bit longer.  We also took Ava to Bradford Park.  She’s sporting her duck Webkinz and is in her bird phase.  Not only can she identify several types of birds, she can also identify a wide variety of plants. Simply amazing!  

After the duck pond, we hopped in the car for our road trip.  Back to the airport in Bentonville.  A first for us.  Highly recommended.  Small airport, easy drive and less hassle than KC or STL.  That is, if you can’t fly from Springfield.  I captured this sunset from a convenience store on a hill at Sedalia.  It was nice, driving home by myself.  I enjoy my alone time. 

Now they’re back home in Florida, where she can finish painting her cute little house.  Thanks for a great visit guys and come back soon!!