If These Floppy Discs Could Talk

Moving is a beast. And technically, I haven’t even started. Not even the first box.


Next month or so, we’re moving. Not to anyplace radical like the mission field or our own private island. It’s just that after all these many happy years of renting, we are so ridiculously on top of each other and we somehow found a house where we can be a little less so without ending up in debtor’s prison.

The new pad is just down the road, but still, it’s not close enough that we’re be able to just take our current house, turn it upside down, and funnel its contents down through our new kitchen skylight.

There is packing to be done. SO MUCH PACKING.

But first there is purging to be done. SO MUCH PURGING.

The past few weeks have been like an archeological dig through our basement and the scary back corners of closets. Weird treasures have been unearthed, things that made me go, “NOOOOOO. WAYYYYYYY.”


Like these giggly recordings of my friends and I doing a grave injustice to the Georgia Satellites in one of those amusement park sound booths. (I’m looking at YOU, Allison Oliverius and Lynn Lyons.)

Then there have been cringe-worthy discoveries that made me go, “UGH, GO AWAY. (And NEVER EVER EVER EVER come back.)”


Y’all. I found my old BREAST PUMP. This is too ICK for words. Consider that lady business deep-sixed.

There have been more than their share of discoveries that have long outlived their usefulness. But still, somehow, I can’t part with them. I mean, please.


My favorite Umbro’s and (ahem) O’Doul’s cozy from college? Maybe I’ll start wearing these shorts around the new neighborhood and see if they’re impressed by the new gal’s youthful verve and fat knees.

But can we talk about all the cords??? OH. MY. LORD. The cords. They’re like intestines. They go on for MILES.


Nobody has the slightest idea where all these cords lead, but I’m guessing the county dump.

Some of these unearthed relics have been objects of great fascination and endless amusement for my children. Data stored via VHS TAPE or FLOPPY DISC? Tell us more about that abacus, Grandma! Oh, do regale us with tales of butter-churning!


I’m scared to throw these away because there is actually cool stuff on these floppies of yore. So if anyone has an old Commodore 64 or a giant ’80s era War Games computer lying around, let me know. Actually, DON’T. That kind of defeats the whole purpose here.

What’s a little harder to grapple with is all my kids’ stuff.

If I try to inch ONE PRECIOUS THING of Lucy’s toward the Goodwill box (be it oversized stuffed Minnie Mouse or tiny Happy Meal toy), she will surely throw herself in front of the moving van in protest.


This is one of the only things she gave away without drama. Not so long ago, Lucy called this her “American Girl Doll.” Cindy, we hardly knew you. I know I’m a sap, but this one kind of gets to me.

Overall, though, I have been able to part with very little of the girl’s loot (that she knows about anyway…).


Shhhhh. I’m trying to figure out how to sneak these uggo Trash Packs out of here.

Will is the less sentimental of the two. Last weekend, he pored through all his old toy boxes with me and saved almost nothing. If the item was not stamped with the word “Lego,” it pretty much got the axe. That means all the Matchbox cars, all the superhero stuff, all the old construction trucks, all the evidences of a little boy life well lived…well, they’re old news.





Anakin–who we all know struggles with rage issues–won’t look me in the eye.

Something about that makes me very sad. Twenty pounds lighter, yes, but also sad.

Moving is all about transition. A big one and a very literal one. One where we get pulled up by the roots we’ve set down, shake off all those old dirt clumps and the hangers-on, and get plunked–fresh and clean–into a new spot where hopefully those roots grow strong and deep all over again.

This purging part of the process (the “shaking off the clumps” part) is good and healthy and liberating and parts of me love it. Oh, but parts of me fear it.

I’m afraid of cutting too close to the bone and regretting the things I parted with. I’m afraid of admitting that some things from our past are in the past to stay. I’m afraid to close the book on little kid childhood.

And I’m afraid to part with stuff like this:


Will made this “sculpture” in art class out of “found objects” and was really proud of it. Did I mention it’s also really large? I am literally afraid to part with it because I will totally get busted.

Until I figure out what to do with that thing, I’ll keep chipping away at all the remaining mounds upon mounds of crap we’ve amassed over the years — like this.



Among other things, our days of dreaming of being “a recorder star” are far behind us.

That’s one relic of a bygone era that I will not mourn.

“Snow” is a Four-Letter Word

I come to you today in a snow-induced stupor. 

Like my car battery, this old brain is cold and sluggish and can only turn over one single, solitary thought:


I mean, I totally get snowbirds now. Those old farts are geniuses

In honor of reaching my annual winter tipping point, here’s a column I wrote about hitting that wall a few winters back (on February 3, 2011 to be exact).

I think we’re all there — and then some. Let’s have a good wintry wallow. You know you want to.


I can still remember a time–and it wasn’t too many moons ago–when nothing could stir my heart with gladness more than two little words:


It was one of childhood’s greatest joys–the out-of-nowhere, mid-winter reprieve from pencils, books, and teacher’s dirty looks.

There would be snow angels. There would be cocoa with faux marshmallow bits. There would be happy snowsuit romping ’til our frostbitten extremities fell off.


This was our first snow this winter — back when grass was still within scraping distance and it was still “fun.”

Like every kid who ever survived those days of unattended downhill sledding too close to car fenders and privet hedges, this was the stuff I lived for in the big boring middle of winter.

Now I’m pretty sure all these blankety-blank snow days are gonna be the slow and painful death of me.


The very sound of my phone ringing at 5 a.m., the very sight of the school on my Caller ID, the very utterance of the words “snow day” makes every part of my face contort–jaws locked, lips pursed, nostrils flared, eyes rolled back in my head.

With this constant “wintry mix” onslaught, my face could literally freeze this way.

Granted, I’m a Southern girl, and we embrace the white stuff in small doses. Like in centimeters.

We think it’s pretty for a while. We think it’s fun to make that first (and hopefully last) snowman. Then we all agree: it needs to go away.


Even beyond my cultural limitations, I’ve got this pesky thing on my desk called a “calendar.” It’s filled with hilarious little words like “plans” and “deadlines” that don’t go away no matter how much precip falls from the sky or how many children are suddenly underfoot.

So as much as I’d love to be that mom who smiles like a lunatic at the words “snow day” and whips out the cookie sheets, I’ll admit it. I’m the grouchy mom who drags around the house in her bathrobe, muttering and shooting my kids the stink eye.

I’m starting to worry that the loony Ally Sheedy character from The Breakfast Club might be right. (Not about making more snow with your own dandruff; we’re all set, thanks). But about that thing she said through tears and layers of heavy black eyeliner.

“When you grow up, your heart dies.”

It seemed a tad melodramatic at the time, but is that what’s happened to me? Am I just a jaded old hag without a drop of childlike wonder left in me?


Because when I look out the window at a winter wonderland, I don’t exactly whoop with joy anymore. I sigh with pained inconvenience.

I don’t dream of catching snowflakes on my tongue; I grouse about wet boots trudging all over my carpet.

I don’t get out there and throw snowballs; I plunk the kids down in front of a screen.


See? Have Wii controllers, will travel.

I’m officially old. And a crank. And my feet are never not cold.

Somebody needs to launch into a pep talk quick–maybe one that says if life gives you lemons, make lemonade…or to be more au courant, if life gives you snow piles taller than your first-born, make snow cream.

That’s what my mom did, and she was probably sick of snow days too.

Sigh. I guess we might as well do something.

We’re stuck here with nothing else to do, and Lord knows we’re stocked up on milk.

Mars, Venus, & Valentines

Entire books have been written about men and women being different. I don’t have much spicy and new to add — except maybe this. I now have photographic evidence.

Pictured below is a GIRL writing her Valentines cards, sitting across from a BOY doing his. Tell me what you see.


(You do NOT see piles of laundry in the background. Those are NOT the droids you’re looking for…)

The careful observer first notes the female child and the studiousness with which she embraces her task. (I believe her tongue might have even been sticking out in concentration.) You see that the female child is laboring over each card with loving attention – even taking time to write sweet words of affirmation on each one, like “You are the best dancer in the world!” or “I think you’re the funniest kid in the class.” Awww, you know that’s tender.

Now please note the male child and the total goofy disinterest with which he embraces his task. Note that the male child’s entire head is located under the table where his task can no longer even remain in eye-shot. Please also note the position of his rump aloft in the air, so that squirming can be accomplished but little else.

This, my friends, encapsulates the difference.

This is what homework looks like at our house every night.

And this is why it’s so exhausting being a female trying to parent one of these male creatures.

I have no idea what’s going on in that crazy little boy head of his. Mainly because that head is mostly under the table and all I see is butt.

So here’s a big Happy Valentine’s Day greeting from our house to yours.

I think this goes without saying…but don’t expect a card from Will.

P.S. If you have your own evidence of “la différence,” please share! Consider it your contribution to modern sociological discourse or whatever. 

Help Wanted: Wise-crackin’ Yard Bird Wrangler

We are inspiring our children to greatness around here.


Here’s how I know.

Lucy informed us last night, “I’m going to be a comedian when I grow up.”  (I’ve apparently screwed her up sufficiently.)

“Or….” she hedges… “a chicken hypnotist.

Hmmmmm. Not sure what that is, but I’m thinking those jobs might call for very similar skill sets.

That girl’s going places…the barnyard maybe, but still.

It’s a place.

Rocking the bus stop like Brian Boitano


I just bought new lipstick, which I clearly haven’t bothered to wear in WAY TOO LONG.

I know this because my kid says to me (with something akin to utter shock): “You have on lipstick today! You look like an ice skater!”

Ummmm…not sure what that means. But weirdly enough, after digging a little deeper, I think she meant “glamorous,” like I was some kind of tarted-up Tonya Harding.

I’ve decided my next additions to the bus stop wardrobe must henceforth be (from top to bottom): 1) lacquered bun pulled so tight it provides a free face lift; 2) plunging neckline with skin-toned webbing bedazzled with Swarovski crystals; 3) head to toe body glitter; 4) preternaturally dark suntan hose.

(I will still wear duck boots.)

This could be the start of a whole new “ice skater” me — a transformation of Olympic proportions.

And to think it all began with a little gloss called “Blushing Nude.” I sure hope the Romanian judges approve.

The Time Traveler’s Mom

My daughter may not look it, but she’s a genius. She invented a time machine.


(This Patriots helmet protects her oversized brains.)

She has singlehandedly transformed a cardboard box crammed with pillows and stuffed animals into an intergalactic time traveler, capable of transporting her to other realms and bygone eras (and occasionally Disney World).


In this box, she can go back in time to witness the dinosaurs in mid-death scene (which she tells me she’s already done) or she can just fly wherever she feels like spending the afternoon. She tells me the flying part’s not as exciting since planes already do that, but it’s a nice side benefit.


These photos represent her travels thus far — including the Triassic Era, colonial America, and wherever the penguins live (the Arctic or is it Antarctica? Who can keep it straight?). Now that’s a bucket list.

She has wisely equipped her time machine with a handy carrying case for gum, pencils, and whatnot, fashioned from a discarded box of Klondike bars. You never know what the Dark Ages may lack in the way of snacks.


Don’t be confused by the “No Sugar Added” label. These were purchased for Bill’s diabetic dad. Normally we welcome any and all sugars here.

I wish I had one of these babies. I would be logging some serious Frequent Flier miles right about now.

Because there are just times in this mind-bender of a life when we would give anything to go back in time, even for just one teeny-tiny moment. To change the order of things, to take those words out of the air, to do that thing that never got done, to undo that thing that changed everything, to avoid that unfortunate haircut before it’s too late.

But no matter what my kid and her cardboard box can do, we mere mortals can’t go back. There is no reverse. Only forward.

Personally, I like reverse so much better. I can see those land mines so clearly back there. I can recognize a flaming turd of a mistake before I step in it.

But I have to keep telling myself that our mistakes (how we recover from them, how we keep from making them again, how we try to put distance between us and them) are all paving stones in the crazy, zig-zaggy, imperfect, improbable road that leads us where we’re meant to go.

That road isn’t glittery and shiny and easy to follow like bright yellow brick. (Dorothy had it so easy — except for that wicked witch part).

There will be wrong turns. And there will be no time machine for undoing them.

But on those days when I think I’ve somehow taken a wrong turn at Albuquerque, I have to trust in Someone bigger than me — like my own personal GPS in the sky, standing by with alternate routes and traffic alerts.

It’s not like He didn’t see this coming. He’ll get me there — in spite of my best efforts to screw it all up.

I can just hear that refined British accent emanating from heaven right now.


Champagne Wishes & Motivational Poster Dreams

This was the best New Year’s EVER.

You really have to try this for yourself next year. Here’s what you do:

1) Conspire with friends to pretend it’s midnight at 10:15 p.m.

2) Swig a quick glass of champagne.

3) Go home and get into your best chubby couch-sitting pants.

4) Fall asleep while the ball drops.

Take that, Ryan Seacrest.


Champagne was poured. Glasses were clinked. Count it.

Maybe you whooped it up with the masses and your favorite air horn. Maybe you cozied up by the fire with some lobster tails and that special someone. But as for me and my New Year’s Eve, eh, I’d rather sleep through it.

I mean, really. All those glittery hats? All those Times Square nut jobs? And all the noise?

All the noise, noise, noise, noise!

(Oh. I hear it now.)

Look at me being a New Year’s Grinch, when I long to be Cindy Lou Who.

I honestly wish I was that person who welcomes each new year with bright-eyed wonder, who turned the page on her 2015 calendar of motivational sayings just bursting with hope, daring, and to-do lists.

“Yes!” I would repeat to myself in the mirror. “In the confrontation between the river and the rock, I WILL BE THE RIVER that wins, not by strength but by perseverance!” (You can actually buy that poster at a website actually called www.successories.com. Not even kidding.)


Oh, just drink in that Grand Canyon at sunset. Consider yourself MOTIVATED.

But for me, all the New Year’s hype seems to have the reverse effect.

After the confetti falls, there I stand on the same messy carpet in the same messy house with the same messy family that somehow, some way, needs to clean up its act. Instead of invigorating me, New Year’s gets me all angst-ridden and weary and forces me to vacuum. (This is not my idea of fun.)

New Year’s also weirdly compels me to clean out drawers, where just yesterday I found a long list of my 2011 resolutions. Oh man, I was hard-core that year. Everything was detailed and plotted out to the nth degree in an effort to be über-intentional and not my normal wishy-washy back-sliding self.

Back then, I’d wanted to help the kids be more self-reliant, grow a strong work ethic, be mannerly, be more active and creative and not addled by screen-addiction, to grow in their faith. As for me, I wanted to use wrinkle cream now and then and dress better and eat my veggies and grow professionally.

O-kayyyy. Seems I have all the same resolutions these four years later. I mean, to the T.

Guess that could mean one of two things: I am stuck. I am no better than I was four years ago. Nothing will ever change. I am a failure. (Those messages are playing on a really loud loop on my internal mix tape.)

OR it could mean: Most of those things I’m working toward are hard. They are important. And they take time (sometimes years, sometimes a lifetime) to attain. And I’ll probably need help — from above and from down here, too. I may have to ask.

Just because I haven’t won yet doesn’t necessarily mean I’ve lost. It just means there’s more to do.

Can’t you just see the motivational poster now? Something about life being a journey, not a destination? Picture a canoe on a riverbank. And oh yes, picture a sunset.

And then picture me paddling that infernal canoe until my dying days. That’s how long it’ll probably take me to start eating my veggies.

Wishing and Hoping and Swabbing and Praying

I made this photo my Facebook profile, and my funniest smart-alecky friend said:

“All I thought when I first saw it was…Home Pap Schmear Test.”


Ummmm, no. (Although wouldn’t that be fantastic if such a thing existed??)

Nope, this is one big long Q-tip in a packet of four that did unmentionable things to the inside of my mouth.

Getting screened for the national bone marrow registry is GRUELING, let me just tell y’all. After that 40 seconds of vigorous swabbing, I think I need a carpal tunnel wrist bandage and maybe counseling for PTSD. It is a lot for one lazy middle-aged person to be forced to endure.


I don’t know HOW I got through it.

Seriously, it is the easiest thing ever. The hardest part was filling out the dang paperwork, which required me to somehow recall my work phone number and my next of kin’s address.


It’s possible I made some stuff up.  

After the forms were done, someone chatted with me about what happens if I’m a match. You can read all about it at bethematch.com – but I’d sum it up with two words: NO BIGGIE.

As the gal was explaining the process, I thought, “Man, what a cheese-eating wimp I’d have to be if I couldn’t do that little bit of nothing — especially after all Madeline has gone through.”

Madeline Guarraia is who this whole bone marrow registry shebang was for. She’s pretty much the sweetest little girl on planet Earth (and at my daughter’s school).


As precious as that angel face is, this tough customer has already punched cancer in the throat once before. But the family just found out there’s a whole new type of cancer inside her yet to fight. It’s the most heart-breaking thing, and somehow the most inspiring. Good thing this kid has heart and awesomeness to spare.

So this community is going nuts trying to do something, anything, to help. And even amidst all the amazing banners and videos and fundraisers, what she needs most is a match.

So bone marrow registries are cropping up all over. And YOU SHOULD GO.

Here’s a list of some around this neck of the woods:

  • TODAY! 4-7 p.m. at Oswegatchie School in Waterford, CT
  • Dec 22 from 5-7 p.m. Jamestown Rec Center, Jamestown, RI
  • Dec 22 from 2-6 p.m. Voluntown Elementary School, Voluntown, CT
  • Dec 28 from 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. St. George Catholic Church in Guilford, CT

You’ll even have fun and meet nice people like us.


One of the perils of being friends with me — your picture on here. Thanks Judy and Rebecca!

If you can’t get there, oh ye of California or Latin America (two people apparently read my blog in Brazil yesterday!?), click on this link. They’ll drop a packet in your mailbox so you can swab away in the privacy of YOUR OWN HOME. Just stick those nappy q-tips back in the mail with that delinquent stack of Christmas cards and call it a day.

Christmas is a crazy time. We’re all scurrying around with the last-minute shopping and the teacher gifts and the office parties. But if you only cross off one more to-do on your list this Christmas, DO THIS.

If you only give one more gift this year (besides Dr. Dre Beats), GIVE THIS.

You’ll get bumped to the top of the Nice List for sure.

And Madeline might just get what’s topping her list too.


Roar, Little Tiger, Roar

Two Christmases ago, the great big sadness was Newtown. This Christmas, for me and our town, it’s Madeline.

Back in 2012, with the news from Sandy Hook ringing in my ears, I couldn’t hear a Christmas carol or stir cookie batter without breaking down into tears. (Our cookies were extra salty that year.)

What had happened was horrifying enough, but the fact that it happened at Christmastime….well, that made it unbearable somehow.

This Christmas I keep crying into the cookie dough when I think about Madeline.

If you’re local, you know this face and love it already.


Photo credit: Madeline Guarraia’s GoFundMe page

This face breaks my heart into a million pieces every time I see it. Every time. Even as I type right now. Waterworks.

Her name is Madeline Guarraia, a third-grader at my daughter’s school. Just last week, her parents took her to the doctor with headaches and got sucker-punched with the news that she has leukemia.


For four and a half long years of her little life, Madeline had fought cancer like a tenacious ninja warrior princess til she’d finally whipped it into remission in October 2013.

Her life was full of all these wonderfully normal things, like going to school and having best friends and taking dance lessons and drawing animal pictures.



I just found these pictures I’d taken of Madeline’s art class back in 2013. Happy. Normal. Drawing puppies.

Now a new cancer has returned to that little body that’s gone through so much, and “devastating” seems too small a word.

I don’t know this family personally. I just know their faces — especially Madeline’s, because who couldn’t see that smile and not squint from all the sunbeams?

But as part of our little school family, what this family is going through feels very very close. And to have a daughter that age…well, I can’t even let my mind go there.

So I pray a lot. And I wonder, what can I do? Really, actively, do to help. I mean, I’ve been blown away by all the cool things folks around here are dreaming up to do for this family.

There are already three bone marrow drives set up for next week. Two days ago, a $15,000 GoFundMe goal for Madeline was set; $20,000+ is already in the can. Plus, the gym teacher got duct taped to the wall today to raise money. That’s pulling out all the stops.

Ms. Deeb rocks.           Photo credit: Lilllie B. Haynes Parents Facebook page.

I started feeling quite helpless when it dawned on me. I have a blog. It’s not the Huffington Post or anything, but it’s something. And if one person reads this and goes to get that cheek swabbed, and it’s the match for Madeline (or any other sick kid), well, that’s big enough.  So here’s the skinny on the bone marrow drives:
  • 3 to 6:30 pm. Monday, Dec. 15, at the Waterford Town Hall, 15 Rope Ferry Rd.
  • 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 18 at Lillie B Haynes Elementary, 29 Society Rd., Niantic
  • 4 to 7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 19 at Oswegatchie Elementary School, 470 Boston Post Rd., in Waterford

If you can’t be there in person, an online drive has been set up for Madeline at the Rhode island Blood Center’s website. (Just use the code SWAB4MADELINE). Then there’s her GoFundMe page. You can follow her new Mad about Madeline Facebook page. And you can send her mail (P.S. She really likes tigers).

Madeline’s mom says there will be round after round of intensive chemo until it’s in remission. They’ll be in that hospital room ’til that happens. (For anyone who’s spent more than five minutes in a hospital room, that sounds horrendous – especially at Christmas. So they could definitely use some good cheer.)


Lucy made a tiger picture (Madeline’s favorite animal). You can send mail to plaster the walls of Madeline’s hospital room to: Yale New Haven Hospital, 20 York Street, New Haven, CT 06511 — 73 Hem-Oncology Unit

And of course, they can use all the prayers we can muster.

All I know is this: God is good. All the time.

Madeline must know that too, because despite her heartbreaking circumstances, she asked to be baptized in her hospital room yesterday.

What a precious girl. I don’t even know her, but I feel like I’d give her my right arm if she needed it.


Photo credit: Guarraia family from the Mad about Madeline Facebook page

At Christmastime, news like this can sure take the wind out of our sails — and the Fa La La La La out of our hall decking.

But then again, Christmas is a time of miracles– like that humdinger of a miracle that lit up the whole world 2,000 years ago.

I’m praying for another one this Christmas.

And this one’s got Madeline’s name all over it.

Roar, Madeline. ROAR.


I Can’t Spell Good – and Other Christmas Card Confessions

File this one under: EPIC CHRISTMAS CARD FAIL.

I just took a closer look at our family Christmas card, and (deep sighhhhh), I spelled our own bleepity-bleeping last name wrong.


Shut up. You don’t know how to spell it either. (I have since learned it’s “Filiatreault.”)

I am a writer by trade. I mock bad spellers for sport. I am a cotton headed ninny muggins.

Maybe this is Christmas Card Karma (if I believed in such a thing). Because over the years, trust me, I’ve cared a little toooo much about pursuing the perfect Christmas card — especially the picture part. I deserve my comeuppance.

Every year without fail, I would designate one dreaded perfect fall afternoon as PICTURE DAY. I would scout a quintessential New England spot — preferably a beach or a Currier-and-Ives-ish tree farm. I would cue the sun to bathe us in a golden glow of afternoon light.

And, with lots of Yosemite Sam mutterings, I would commence to hen-pecking and cattle-proding the brood — all to get its collective act together long enough to simultaneously look cute. And color-coordinated. And to smile naturally without that weird straining. And to not look pouty or blink or squint or have chapped lips that take over an entire facial quadrant.

As God is my witness, I would have my perfect Christmas card photo. And I didn’t care who suffered PTSD in the process.

holiday mini sessions 2012 332

One year a friend took our pictures at a local mansion, which was quite lovely. But I couldn’t help wondering if I looked like a Real Housewife of Suburban Connecticut. Not near enough silicone, but still…

holiday mini sessions 2012 297

This one didn’t make the cut. Check out the randy pair in the back.

Oh, there have been tripods and there have been tears.

Some years I pulled it off. Some years I hired it out (which went way better – see above). And some years I just flubbed it royally.


Here’s the year we were all weirdly blurry.  I was hoping people would think I was being “artsy.” I was not.

And finally, I just decided — to heck with it. I am so done.

I am done forcing the issue. I am done caring so much about something that really doesn’t matter. I am done turning a perfectly lovely fall day into a forced march of grumpy dwarves. I am done being all phony baloney.

Now I just do a collage card of some nice pics from the year (that did not require bloodshed) and call it a day.

I mean, really. Our family has never once lounged in khaki by sand dunes or walked hand-in-hand on train tracks (that is seriously ill-advised). Our family does not smile all the time or like each other all the time or dress presentably even a fraction of the time.

But we do love each other…most of the time. And we do sit together on the couch in our PJs more of the time than any board of pediatrics would recommend.

So here’s a real Merry Christmas photo (or three) from the FILIATREAULTS (see how I did that? I can spell occasionally).


The doll is the best dressed of the lot by a country mile. (And don’t tell, but I cheated and covered our fraying couch arm with a blanket coated in dog hair. Because THAT’s better.) This is how we roll.


Will has been throwing up all day. How’s that for reality?


My feet look enormous enough to smote a small village. They are usually not pictured. Just keepin’ it real.

Merry Christmas from “the real us.” From the heart and from the couch.

(Now it’s your turn. Tell me — or better yet, show me — one of your Christmas card fails so I can feel better about myself.)