Monday, June 25, 2012

for the love of MJC

This weekend, I traveled with two friends to good old Ft Wayne, Indiana. Home of Matilda Jane clothing. I am a little skeptical of sharing any information about MJ because I prefer they live in anonymity. They aren't sold in stores, you can't buy them online and its not mainstream. It's hard to get, I don't like that but the more people that know about it, the harder time I'm going to have..

But man do I love this little/big company that started six years ago in a town an hour away from where I grew up. In the last two years, I really haven't purchased anything else. In the beginning it was because it resells well. Now it is because, well, it's just close to my heart. It is close to my girls heart.

I worked in retail for several years before Jason and I got married. I was a store manager and always had an opinion on what little girls should dress like. Now, today, I think that image has gone down hill drastically. I don't know much but I can tell you my kids aren't wearing booty shorts and my washing machine isn't going to be coated in glitter. My girls, thanks to small miracles, have avoided knowing who Justin Beiber really is. But they can tell you who Miss Mimi is and where to get Matilda Jane. I know my days are numbered with it but I'm going to ride this wagon as long as I can. I'm going to buy from a company that gives back to the community. That builds houses for people that lost them. That periodically sends clothing, entire boxes of clothing to people "just to spread the love". I triple heart love this company and it's clothing.

So much love, that I drove 9 hours to Indiana, went to party and camped out in an alley for 11 hours, guarding the front of the line like we were holding down the Alamo, to be 3rd in line to purchase some clothing. Yes, I said purchase the clothing. They weren't giving the clothing away. I was buying it. But ohhh, it is beautiful and my girls love it. And I laughed all night and who cares if I slept 3 of 36 hours and had a perfectly good bed at a Hilton hotel? It was worth it and I will totally do it again next year with the rest of the people that completely think this is acceptable behavior like me.

My favorite part of the entire trip? I spoke to Denise several times, the first time introducing myself. I said, there are literally thousands of people here and you don't know me. Her response - to look at my name tag and say HI ERIN"
and I continued on, I live in Alabama and last year we were hit with tornados...
And she said "I remember you!! You wrote me a letter! About your friend! How is she? How is her house?"

I triple heart love this company and it's founder with the heart of gold and the friends I've made along the way. There's no one else I'd rather camp in an alley for ellie's with.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Ten on Tuesday

1. We celebrated Fathers Day with Poppy at the swimming pool Sunday. He still does the best cannon ball around.

2. So good that he tipped Drew out of the floatie he was in. I laughed so hard I cried just watching. I wish I caught it on film but I did not. It was priceless and Drew laughed the entire time.

3. The best watermelon is closest to the rhine, so says my mom. Ummm what?

No, no, NO.

I consider myself a bit of a watermelon aficionado. Taught by the world champion aficionado Marky B.. When this statement was made, immediate eye contact was made and disagreement was made all but quietly.

The best watermelon does not come closest to the rhine. It comes straight from the middle!!

4. My mom can judge a good brownie, we'll leave that to her. Bella as well. We have had brownie's twice this week and neither have come close to "the brownie's as big as your head".

5. Drew has terrible eczema behind his knees and now on the back of his neck. I mean if its not one thing its another with this poor kid :( I've tried everything and now ordered some organic goat milk lotion (I'm serious) that a friend of mine tried. Here's hoping it works.

6. Jason is building some good sandcastles and loving the 120 degree heat. What can I say he missed the camels.

7. Three weeks with no diet soda and I'm still alive. I hope to kick it for good this time people. I think I can, I think I can..

8. The real test will be when school starts back..

9. I need to do a good sugar detox in general (as do the kids) I just don't have it in me right now. That's when the whining and headaches will really start. Lead by the mama of the house for sure.

10. And probably against my better judgement I agreed to running with Sammy outside in the heat. I keep telling myself that Jason is surviving in 120 degrees, I can run in 90 degrees. But man it is hot outside. She'll eventually get too fast for me or I'll decide I really don't want to run cross country at 33 :)

because I've had enough..

So we have a neighborhood pool. A neighborhood pool that I pay $350 a year to use for three months. Not a bad price and not a price I mind paying. It was a one of my requirements when we moved actually - select a neighborhood with a pool.

And we chose this neighborhood. Because of the awesome school and the wonderful teachers and well, we liked the pool too. We had swam in it years before. But whatever...

So I come to this pool almost every day. We are water people and since there isn't a beach within driving distance every day, the pool it is. So we go. Always have. I took the kids every single day when I nannied and I take my own kids now. I don't care that there are four of them and that they were once babies, you go to the pool. If I gave birth to you, you learn to love the heat, the sun and the water. It's a right of passage and you're just lucky enough to do it in Alabama where it's 99 degrees and 75% humidity. Awesome.

Let me just say I love our neighborhood pool. It is not enormous but it gives me a chance to see people that I only see in the summer. It also gives us the opportunity to see others that, well, maybe we don't want to see. There's a certain behavior that's accepted and understood at the pool and certain behavior that, well, is not. If you're there frequently you understand.

- Pool toys that are on lawn chairs and are in bags are not free game. You have to ask the owner to use the toy. You also do not ever get into the bag of someone you don't know to get their toys out. No, no, no.

- If a toy is in the pool and the owner, even if she's 4 asks for her toy back, you give it to them. You don't act like throw mama from the train and say "my kid is playing with that fish right now. I promise we won't take it back to Cleveland with us."
You didn't bring the fish from Cleveland with you, give the fish back to Sally.

- smoking is gross. there is nothing i hate more than smoking, except poop, but I'll get to the poop. If you want to sit in a cloud of smoke great. The rest of us don't I like my kids lungs nice and pink without the risk of lung cancer while they are swimming.

- Just a reminder of where you are - you came to the pool. With water. Kids jump into the pool. Of water. You might get wet. If you don't want to get wet go sit by an empty pool. Without water.

- Same applies to squirt guns. You might occasionally get sprayed in the face. Its okay. Just water.

- iPhones are not for swimming pools. Don't yell at the kids because you're an idiot with your six hundred dollar phone in the pool. I sit with my iPhone in a plastic zippercase 6 feet away from water. Someone would have to require be rescued with an iCloud in the water.

- Dumpsters are for Trash. Every person has two hands and two feet and can make it to the dumpsters. No garbage collectors here.

- it is not so hot outside that you need to put the lawn chair in the pool.

- Swim diapers. I can't comprehend what is so hard about swim diapers. Some people do not wear swim diapers and we shut down the pool because regular diapers break the filters. Awesome. Other people to not wear swim diapers at all and there kids poop in the pool so the pool is shut down. Awesome. SWIM DIAPERS. $9.99 for a pack people. No one wants to swim in your poop. Not awesome.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Ten on Tuesday

1. We are officially two weeks into summer and I might be the only person looking forward to school starting back in the third week of August. Thank you Alabama legislature for the extra two weeks of summer.. my kids love school, I say that honestly, crave a set schedule and will literally be spinning there wheels at "home schooling" by the time this is all said and done.

2. I can honestly say I will never home school my kids. Bella asked me about it once and I laughed. I love teaching other peoples kids but I'm not teaching my own. No way, no how. In the words of their dad, You go to school.

3. Amelia is in a lovely phase where her clothes can't be tight enough. She's tying them off with rubber bands and showing her belly if I don't catch her. I feel like she's a walking advertisement for Jimmy's some days.

4. We are still recovering from VBS. My kids love a schedule and now that it is clear we're in a bit of a free fall.

5. Tomorrow begins summer Wednesdays at church. I LOVE summer Wednesdays at church and am so thankful for this program. It lets the kids think for four hours, they get to go back to "school" once a week.

6. Hmmm..no one is sleeping in their beds here. I am so tired that some mornings I wake up to run and there is someone sleeping beside me. I then have to wait until the escapee wakes up to complete my run. Over and over again. Its an every night thing. Most mornings I feel like Frank Jr Jr, I'm at 8 years now though.

7. I am searching for another cowboy and new keys. If you know us you know why.

8. Bella has decided we do not have enough children and would love a new baby. Because four isn't enough and ours are too old. Ummm-hmmm.

9. Tricare.. oh Tricare.. I didn't plan on spending my entire summer talking to you on the telephone. When I say I'm free for the summer it's not to work in your billing department pro-bono.

10. The girls are getting their haircuts today. It will be Amelia's first since her Locks of Love donation. She want's to try and grow it out again but I'm not sure that I have the patience for that again!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Ten on Tuesday - VBS edition

1. I love that my kids memorized the music CD start to finish in two days.

2. I love that we get to the same part of our drive each morning around 7AM and the kids, turn it up. "It" is our favorite song, three years running. "Say Yes to VBS" even Drew sings along now. And turn it up means, crank it. Loud. If you're behind us sorry. That truck is loud when it pulls into the church. Yea, I know.

3. I love that my kids come home every single day singing and talking about Jesus. Their hearts are filled with His love for them and they can't hear enough about Him.

4. I love seeing the light in the eyes of all the children walking through the church halls. The smiles on their faces and the laughter.

5. The workers that sacrifice and give so much to be here. So many have been out of school only days and I know that they are tired. Yet they come.. true servant hearts. I am so, so thankful for the workers.

6. I am so thankful for our ministers. This is a huge undertaking and a huge team effort. Everyone is involved and I am so thankful for their love of VBS.

7. I love the snacks. Where else can you get a brownie as big as your head? Or a graham cracker covered in icing?

8. I love that our pastor asked for a pair of goggles and wore them into the worship rally every day.

9. I love that the kids are excited about raising money for the downtown rescue mission and race to bring it to the front of church every day.

10. I love seeing the youth of our church interact with the children. These are wonderful examples for our children to look up to and they did an amazing job all week!