The Misadventures of Cheri

Mortifying my kids one swimsuit at a time

Why I haven’t blogged in a week or so

  1. I’m lazy and tired.
  2. I’ve been SO BUSY.  That’s why #1 is true.
  3. I realized my daughter dreams of marrying Justin Beiber.  Nothing zaps the will to live blog like that.
  4. We went to Family Camp and I had to come home to relax and get rested up.
  5. I have a really, really, really bad – if not stunningly awful – case of PMS.  I’m about .0098 seconds from throttling my kids, my dogs, bunnies, kittens, etc. at all times.
  6. I’m depressed because Austin won’t let me post a video of him jumping off the high dive at Family Camp.  It wasn’t pretty, but it sure was funny.  After he slapped the water with his torso, Tyler said, “He better check and see if his nipples are still attached.”
  7. I’m laughing like a lunatic just thinking about #6.
  8. The fact that I got #6 on video is proof that God loves me.  But not a reason I haven’t been blogging.
  9. His nipples remained in place.
  10. The beagle passes audible gas and I momentarily lose all sense of time and space.
  11. I’m pretty sure I suffer from hypengyophobia.
  12. I’ve been preoccupied with figuring out what to get with my 3 Ulta bonus points.
  13. I got mascara.
  14. We’re starting school next week and there’s like 2 feet deep of left over garage sale crappity crap treasures on the school table.
  15. We could only have another garage sale one weekend this summer.
  16. That weekend it was in the 90’s.
  17. People in the Pacific northwest don’t leave their homes when it’s in the 90’s.
  18. Crappity crap.
  19. Ten years ago I had a 2 year old and 4 year old.  I was probably crying myself to sleep.
  20. #19 has nothing to do with why I haven’t been blogging.
  21. I’ve been quite worried about Paris Hilton.
  22. I’ve also undertaken a new project: Life coach for Lindsay Lohan.  I’m doing great, aren’t I?
  23. The less rehab the better, I always say.
  24. I’ve been wrestling with why my son bought a “The Who” t-shirt.  How does he even know who they are?
  25. See #1.

Man Hunt

My son is very good looking.  I get it.  And now that his acne is clearing up . . . . um, yeah.  He’s tall, fit, blonde, blue eyed and has cheek bones I could cry over.  Even though I don’t understand his hairstyle, apparently it’s quite swoon-worthy.  So you see, I know this.  I KNOW IT!!  And all the young ladies can just back off.

Skin tight black tank top with red bra straps showing – back off!

Girl bowling next to us in short shorts – back off!

Girl in line at Silverwood nudging her friend to take a gander – back off!

And this is just in the last couple weeks.

Big sigh.  But by far, the most over the top recent run in happened yesterday at Target.  Austin and I were standing in the greeting card section because it was the day of my anniversary and I still hadn’t gotten Tyler a card and I was laughing about these new cards they have.  They play songs and move!  Check ’em out.  Anyway, I’m standing in there and a female teenage employee who is stocking the beauty aisle must’ve caught a glimpse of my son.  She comes over, all smiles and asks us (really, she wasn’t looking at me) if we needed help finding anything.  What?  When was the last time you were looking at greeting cards and an employee asked if you needed help?  I politely said we were fine and she went back across the aisle.

I then asked Austin what it was like to live with his gorgeousness.

I also added, “She’s probably pee her pants if she realized you were only 14.”


Another Year

It’s been a year since my sweet mom slipped through the bonds of this world and into her blessed eternity.  It’s been an interesting year for me.  Blinding grief . . . . . yet that’s the day one of my friends stops by with flowers (and I had to laugh because her husband stayed in the truck.  Women and their emotions are too much for most men.)  Trying to pick up and carry on and not stay in bed all day.  Being strong so my kids don’t think I got beaten by the crazy stick.

Dreading holidays and birthdays.  Christmas sucked and Mother’s Day was almost unbearable.  Avoiding going to her grave until last month.  Having somewhat of a breakdown in October and going to see my doctor.  The stress I had been under for almost two years did a number to my health.  STILL working on getting some of that straightened out.

Realizing that Mom wasn’t around for me to share the little things with anymore.  A couple of months after she died, Amber got a new, more grown up hair cut.  Mom would have been the first one I would have called and marveled with her about how Amber isn’t a little girl anymore.  Or when Amber started shopping at Aeropostale and I realized she’s turning into a a young woman with a body I would have given my right arm for when I was her age.  And let’s be honest . . . . . I’d give my right arm for it at my current age.

It’s probably also the reason I’ve kind of ignored my yard and let it run somewhat rampant this year.  My mom didn’t have a green thumb, she had an emerald thumb!  Working with all the landscaping I have always reminded me of her.  I’ve just kind of let it go.  I mean, it’s not overgrown, I just haven’t been as persnickety this year about spraying for weeds and keeping things looking beautiful.

But despite the bad, there’s been good.  Realizing I could go on was something very good.  It’s amazing, after you go through something like this, it seems like it’s all around you.  Being able to help and encourage two women in particular who lost their dads this year has been a blessing.  Also learning that the only thing that truly makes me feel better is my relationship with Christ and my husband and kids.  Just simply being in the presence of Christ and my family has helped more than anything.  I am so thankful for them.

And having a husband who puts aside his own grief to help me with mine.  I know he misses Mom, too, but he’s always there for me.  Not comparing miseries, not trying to shift the focus away from my healing, dropping anything and everything if I need him.  Our anniversary is in two days.  Last year he realized there was no way I was in the mood for celebrating anything.  He didn’t gripe or complain . . . . he just loved me.  And has been the best support anyone could hope for.

I also realized that the ONLY thing that satisfies is Christ.  Years ago, I used to shop to feel better.  The old voices tried to come back and tell me that I’d feel better if I just had a new shirt.  This situation has made me see that nothing external is going to really help for more than 30 seconds.  And since I hate the mall so much, it worked out for the best.

It’s been a great year, too.  Austin got his braces off and was asked to be on a summer leadership team at church . . . . Amber is growing into a beautiful young woman – on the inside and out . . . . . . my dogs drive me crazy as much as they make me smile . . . . . and Tyler and I will actually go out and celebrate our 18th anniversary on Sunday.  Overall, I’m doing fabulous.  God is great, life is good and we all not only survived, but we have thrived this last year.  And God gets all the credit for that one.

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A little project

First off, forgive the unedited photos.

Second, here’s a little project I did recently. I was inspired by a gal from church who is constantly recreating clothes to make them look new. And I got inspired from a shirt in “Ramona and Beezus.” AND I got additional inspiration from Craftster.  So with all that inspiration under my belt, here’s what I started out with:

It’s a linen shirt that I absolutely adore, but the collar is a tad out of style.  It ranked high in the “old lady” category and I’m just not ready to go there yet.  I wanted to chop off the collar and replace it with a nice, rounded and much more simple neckline.  I had another shirt that has a neckline I do like, so in all my inspired brilliancy, this is how I decided to mark it for destruction reconstruction:

The yellow thing is a chalk marker I used to mark where I needed to cut.   Very professional . . . just mark, hack away and hope for the best.  It didn’t matter if I ruined it, I wasn’t wearing it anyway.

Here it is after the hacking.  Don’t you love the jagged edges?  Very professional, I assure you.

At this point, I had already tried to gather the top in much smaller gathers than this.  I reduced the neck to roughly the diameter of a saucer.  Not a good look.  Being the professional that I am, I ripped the stitches out and tried to come up with another plan of attack.  I finally decided on much larger gathers.  Above is my second attempt.

Below is the finished product.  The neckline is actually very smooth, rounded and even!  After I gathered it, I folded it under along the seam – it worked perfectly.  Who knew??

And the back:

I am thrilled with the results!  The shirt is updated and super cute.  I have a few other things in my closet that I’m eying . . . nothing may ever be safe again.

After all of this, my daughter got in on it by making a couple of her jeans into shorts.  Man she can cut a straight line.  Maybe I should take some lessons from her.


Idaho is my happy place

I was born, and spent the majority of my life, in Alaska.  However, for about seven years (with a couple of back and forth moves to Alaska in between), my family lived in Boise, Idaho.  I was there from ages 4 – 7 and I have to say they were idyllic.  Boise was very good to me and I had a great – but not perfect – childhood.

For years, Idaho was just the place I lived when I was a kid.  It was fine and all, but I never really had any feelings about the place.   That was until I went back with  my kids in 2006.  I left in 1981 and when I saw the old sights, I got 100% sentimental about the Potato State.  Boise is radically different now than it was in ’81, but I did manage to see a lot of the city of my childhood.

Fast forward to this past week.  My mother in law treated the four of us and two of the other grandkids to a trip to Coeur d’Alene, Idaho and Silverwood.  And I really did ride After Shock . . . may my equilibrium rest in peace.  It was strange, the closer we got to Idaho, the more giddy and happy I got.  I’ve always wanted to go to CDA, so I can mark it off my list, but that really wasn’t why I was so excited.  I was just excited to get back to the state that treated me so well as a child.

Truthfully, I should thank my parents for the fantastic childhood I had in Idaho.  And I am very thankful.  I’d probably have the same feelings about any place we lived during that time because of my parents.  It just happens that we were in Idaho.

I have decided that Idaho is my happy place.  And even if it is six hours away, I can’t wait to get back.

Here are a few pictures of the fun we had:

My niece trying to get everyone gathered up to celebrate my birthday.  As you can see, Tyler was just chomping at the bit to get his party on.

Heading into Silverwood.

Waiting in line for After Shock.  The niecling ended up being too short . . . and one of them didn’t want to ride.  I should have gone with that one.

After one of the roller coasters.  I’m not skilled enough to edit out the fanny pack of shame.

After Shock

I felt it was a little unfair of Tyler to dominate the shooting games like he did . . . .


Update on something

Miracles obviously still occur because the something from yesterday’s post was able to be fixed and we didn’t have to replace it.  When I called the something office this morning to make an appointment, she informed me that the #1 destroyer of somethings are dogs.  More than anything else they see.

I felt slightly better.

When something’s owner came out after the appointment, the owner looked very relieved.  The something fixer told me we were very lucky that the dog didn’t destroy it . . . . or eat it altogether.  The fixer said they’d never really seen a something that could be fixed after a dog got to it.

So I told Tyler when he gets home tonight that he has to hug the beagle.  I’m still not over being angry at her to do it myself.



I was going to post about our trip to Idaho, but I’m mad at the moment.  Not mad as in “I could punch someone in the face right now.”  Mad as in I’m sick to my stomach.  Someone (who shall remain nameless) put a very expensive something where the dog could get it.  Someone has been reminded over and over not to do this.  Someone has already suffered consequences from the dog getting it the first time.  Someone promises up and down that something was where the dog couldn’t get it.  Hmmmm . . . . magical flying beagle, anyone?

I found the something outside because obviously the beagle was feeling guilty and dropped it on the porch instead of devouring/maiming it beyond recognition.  Something might need to get fixed or replaced altogether.  We’ll find out soon enough.

I have shown Someone a great amount of grace today.  I haven’t complained about things I had to do for Someone.  Someone has irritated me over and over and I’ve managed to stay calm.  I guess I feel like I’ve given Someone 110% already today and then something ended up maybe ruined due to simple carelessness.

And this is where I must choose.  Do I heap shame on Someone by saying things like, “You never take care of anything!” (Which isn’t remotely true.)  Do I explode and yell, “Do you know how much this is going to cost us if they can’t fix it?”  Do I lecture endlessly about where something should have been?  Or, in the midst of laundry, running errands, shopping for soccer gear, and late night kitchen duties, do I somehow find it within myself to forgive?  Do I calmly explain why I’m disappointed and that I honestly can’t believe the magical flying beagle scenario?

I chose the latter . . . forgiving and reacting calmly.  It was hard.  I wanted to react the other way so badly that I nearly cried.  Sometimes overcoming ourselves is downright hard.  And that’s what I’m feeling tonight.

Just when I thought it couldn’t get worse, you’ll have to excuse me.  I need to go beat attend to the beagle who is laying ON A TABLE as if that’s normal behavior.  Not a coffee table.  Not an end table.  But a real table.


Izzzzz ma birfday!

Yes, today I am officially 41.  My daughter is shocked that I can be this old and still function.  Whatever.  When she turns 41 I’m going to call her and laugh and laugh and laugh.

Since it’s my birthday, I’m going to post some pictures of one of my favorite things – hydrangeas.  When I moved from Alaska, I vowed that the only flowers I would plant in my yards are flowers that cannont survive in Alaska.  My first purchase was two mophead hydrangeas.  These hydrangeas have suffered a lot.  One year I pruned them back too far and then accidentally spilled too much fertilizer the next spring.  I thought I killed them and was lamenting the fact because hydrangeas aren’t cheap.  They somehow pulled through that summer and have only gotten bigger and better in the last 5 years.

So here are my three of my four girls . . . .

I snapped these pictures last night.  I was trying to capture the way the evening sun was lighting up the flowers.  It was such a gorgeous night.

My pink girls are so vibrant this year.  I haven’t fertilized them in the last 5 years since I over did it.

A blue one that has faded to a gorgeous lavender.

Microphylia . . . . I can’t remember the name of this one, but it has to do with French and Luna.

I am right now on a lovely little getaway provided my mother in law.  I’m sure I’ll have lots of embarrassing stories to share when I return.

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Dance Revolution

I just found this picture today and can you guess which one is me?  If you’ve known me for more than about 15 minutes, you won’t have a hard time figuring it out.  I can make a few assumptions from this picture, even though I honestly don’t remember it.  Or the dance we showcased.  Or who the girl in the middle of the back row is.

First off, I generally remember myself as a quiet, shy, mellow girl.  Apparently, I was so excited about the Patricia Harris School of Dance’s spring recital that I couldn’t contain myself.   I was selling “Before the Parade Passes By.”  Selling it!  Look at those outstretched arms!  Look at those eyebrows (that surprisingly didn’t need waxed)!  The only reason I know the name of the number we did is because I wrote it – in BIG letters – on the back of the picture.

Let’s look at the costumes, if we must.  Hmmmmm . . . . I have a sneaking suspicion that my mom made these.  Please tell me they weren’t in a catalog and mass marketed.  Those white bows. I don’t have words.  I do remember being so jealous of the girl on the right hand side with the tap shoes that had heels.  Maybe I was overexcited at the fact that I would be able to get those very same heels the next year.  But then we moved.  And I had to quit dance because the Christian school I went to thought dancing was sinful. Don’t get me started on that one.

I also remember hating tap dance class.  I loved ballet, but for some reason, my mother forced me to take tap as well.  Either I didn’t hate it as much as I thought I did or I was high.  High on life.  Or high on the sugar rush from the piles of cookies they had backstage.

It appears that I have a bun in my hair.  I remember one of the older ballet girls telling us that we should dilute Elmer’s glue with water and it would make our hair stay in place and our bun not fall out.  My mom wouldn’t let me do it.   Of course the only other option back then was my dad’s jar of  “Dippity Do” hair gel.  Or six layers of Aqua Net.  I’m thinking we went with the Aqua Net.

Maybe I was high on the fumes from the Aqua Net.  Either way, I was one excited little chickadee in the upper left hand corner.  And while this picture really did surprise me, I’m guessing none of my friends are all that surprised.  Or my poor husband who has had to deal with all that exuberance for the last 18 years.


Camp Surf Memories

I got back in one piece from Camp Surf in Long Beach, WA.  I spent 5-ish days cooking for 350-ish people.  Yes.  You read that right.  So while I can only remember bits and pieces of things that happened that weren’t in the kitchen, I’ll put most of my memories in short, easy to read blurbs.

  • My typical day consisted of getting up at 6am, and working like a fool until 10:30pm.
  • They wonder why I’m not going back next year.
  • The taco meat we served was unforgivable.  UN-FOR-GIV-ABLE.
  • The morning after taco night, three toilets got clogged up.
  • I thought we should have written an apology to the bathrooms.
  • For one lunch, we made 400 grilled cheese sandwiches.  I was so filthy when that was over that I looked homeless.
  • By Thursday, my feet hurt so badly that even the skin on the bottom of my feet hurt.
  • Sleeping in a tent for five nights in a row isn’t as hellish as I thought it would be.
  • Being by myself for five nights in a row was heavenly.
  • My daughter spent far too much time talking to one boy in particular.
  • I may or may not have asked for the bullhorn so I could yell, “Amber, step away from the boy.”
  • I may or may not have said to no one in particular, “You can pry my daughter out of my cold, dead hands.”
  • I overheard a boy say, “McDonald’s should make a big, brown dessert and call it the ‘McTurd.'”
  • I told a group of people that I knew all the words to the theme song of Canada.
  • Apparently after hours and hours of slave-like labor, I forget that the correct term is “national anthem.”
  • Watching a boy puke all over the church after he tried (and failed) to drink two Sprites in under two minutes was not as shocking as you’d think it would be.
  • Cleaning up puke because a girl decided to skip lunch and dinner and instead feast on Pringles, gummy worms and Amp IS as shocking as you’d think it would be.
  • Trying to get another girl an icepack because she ran into a pole is hard to do without laughing.
  • This was in downtown Long Beach.  I may never be able to sleep without nightmares again.  And I’ll certainly never be able to think of mermaids and have happy thoughts.
  • I bought the cutest pink hoodie that proudly states “Long Beach, Washington.”
  • I have never been a fan of hoodies.  I am now.
  • I wore a big pin on my apron all week that said, “Don’t make me poison your food.”
  • Seeing a lot of 8th graders that I taught as 4th & 5th graders gave me more than one lump in my throat.
  • I told them that it was unfair that they are getting taller and better looking while I’m just getting more wrinkles and more gray hair.
  • I did not miss my dogs.
  • I did miss my husband and son.
  • My daughter virtually ignored me the whole week.  It was quite strange to be so close to her, yet not talk to her very often.
  • But I guess being seen as the girl who runs to mommy 24/7 would be pretty bad for her rep.

And that’s about it.  As I’ll remember more, I’ll post it.  It was a pretty funny week all in all.  And a very rewarding week.  I never thought I’d get to the point that I enjoyed being around middle schoolers.  But ya know what?  God must still be in the business of miracles because I loved every second of being around those kids.

I just wish they didn’t need to eat so much.