Ode to Crap

Ode to Crap

Oh, massive amounts of crap in my house
How you fill my heart with apprehension
You hide my favorite shirts
And yet
I can find my marching band t-shirt again and again
Why do you do this, mess in my house?
Have I wronged you in some fashion?
It must be so
For why else would you
Keep my shoes from finding me
And clutter up my bathroom so
You win this round, crap in my house
But be forewarned:
I will return
With a vacuum

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Spot the Savior

Spot the Savior

My family is not big on traditions (unless you count avoiding Monopoly like the plague), except at Christmas. We have a very specific way of doing things at Christmastime. One such tradition has forever remained a special place in my heart, glowing like a little cartoon flame and filling me with untold joy. That tradition is the one where we sing a song together read the Christmas story tell each other how much we love each other mercilessly mock other people’s Christmas lights. 

There are only a few rules:
1) No blue lights. They are ugly. If you have blue lights and you are reading this… sorry. But heed my words.
2) No big lights and small lights mixed in on the same bush/tree/door. Pick a side, people.
3) All bush lights must cover the visible part of the bush – not just the top, one side, or the bottom.
4) Symmetry is key. If you have one half of the porch lit up but the other half is drooping into the yard because your dog enjoys the thrill of being shocked by Christmas lights, that is major points off.
5) Don’t put too many blow-up creatures in your yard. Especially if they have nothing to do with Christmas. That is my mom’s favorite rule.
The final element of the evening is counting how many Saviors/nativity scenes we can spot. Our record is around 8, I think, and that was after 10 neighborhoods and several crying sessions from everyone.
So last night Daniel and I continued the tradition. The results are below.
We’ll start with the good ones*:
*Some of the good ones may break one of the rules above. This is because Daniel is new to the game and liked some things that I would have burned down. He’ll learn soon.
Okay, enough of that. On to the good stuff:
SANTA IS DOWN! REPEAT, SANTA IS DOWN!

That is a flamingo. Stuffed with lights.

Even with no neck, Rudolph was determined to shine brightly for the kiddies.

Spongebob. Apparently we weren’t the only ones who didn’t care for him.

AHHHH MY EYES

“Gee, Carol, you wanna put all the lights up this year?”
“No, Jim – let’s just shine a big one on the house. That’ll look just as good.”
These people even have blow-up items on their porch. They are very dedicated… to the crap in their yard.

These next few are from the same house. A house that had so many Christmas lights I thought I might spontaneously develop epilepsy and have a seizure if nothing more than for the sake of doing anything but staring at the yard with my mouth open.

And, so, friends, that brings us to the real event of the evening: Spotting the Savior. We spotted two real ones and one Woodstock one from Peanuts, so we’re calling it 2.5.

Woodstock Jesus is a little washed out.

So there you have it. The good, the bad, and the holy. I do hope you enjoyed the tour of Christmas lights this year, and be sure to join us after the new year for a special edition of Christmas Lights: The Post-Christmas Droop.
Merry Christmas!!
Pa-wum pum pum pum

Pa-wum pum pum pum

You may have noticed the color changes to my blog. This is a result of too much free time combined with a spark of creativity one afternoon. I don’t know if I like it… expect to see it change a lot. If you don’t like change… I can’t help you. Now back to your regularly scheduled content:

My little brother was adorable when he was a little boy. He had little chubby legs and little chubby arms and did everything I told him to – who couldn’t love that?

Please, no more pictures. You’re embarrassing me.

He also couldn’t say his Rs until he was about 8 years old. It was the cutest thing you ever heard. He called me Kwisten for years. This was made even cuter by the fact that his last name is Flerl – or, in Steven’s words, Fwuh. When he was in kindergarten, he was given a solo in our church’s Christmas play – The Little Drummer Boy. I promise you have never seen anything as cute as my baby brother, walking down the aisle with a plastic drum and singing “Shawuh I pway fuh you, pa-wum-pum-pum-pum, me and my dwum.” I still think of him when I hear that song on the radio. Usually I text him. He usually ignores me, but I know he’s just embarrassed at his talent.

Seriously, stop texting me every time you hear that song.

So the other day when I heard the song come on, I thought, “YAY – I can text Steven I can sing along!” I was enjoying listening to the drummer boy’s tale when suddenly, out of nowhere – it became a rock song. Whaaaaaaa? What is the electric guitar doing in the middle of the drummer boy’s song? Did I switch stations by accident? WHO AUTHORIZED THIS? But 104.7 either didn’t hear my cries or didn’t care, so I was forced to listen to the fake little drummer boy sing his song. Woe.

I have since heard three different versions of The Little Drummer Boy. None of them are as good as the original. I’ve also heard Silent Night, Hark the Herald Angels Sing, and Joy to the World – none of them close to the original. I’m no musician, but I’m just going to put something out there: You can’t. improve. a Christmas carol. You can’t. It is a Christmas carol. It is by definition already awesome. There is no need for the electric guitar, the crazy drum beat, the sudden key changes (I am talking to YOU, Mac Powell) – it’s already good.

I probably sound like an old lady right now, but seeing as I am almost 25 I’ve decided to take my old-lady stand. Leave the Christmas carols alone. 

If you want to improve something, how about figuring out how to get rid of that girl who announces each and every song after it’s played. You’re bopping along, thinking about the great song you just heard, when suddenly you hear “Casting Crowns – While You Were Sleeping.” Thanks, Voice on 104.7. Is this really what you wanted to be when you grew up? The Voice on the Fish who states the obvious? If that was indeed your goal, then congratulations. If not, stop interrupting Christmas music to inform me that I am listening to Christmas music.

Ahem. So. My brother couldn’t say his Rs. The next time you hear The Little Drummer Boy (the REAL version), be sure to sing it the right way: Pa-wum-pum-pum-pum.

D-D-D-Daniel!

D-D-D-Daniel!

As most of you know, I am married to the one and only Daniel. He’s a swell guy. In marrying him I went against the rules: I married an outsider. Yes, it’s true. He’s from Michigan. What can I say, he’s really handsome.

Plus, being from Michigan gives me such gems as “laig” and “flegg.” What, you might wonder, are those words? Guess. Go on. Yep – it’s “leg” and “flag”!! He says them all crazy! I love it. My favorite is when he is playing a video game and says, “Oh, crap,” except it comes out as “Ooh, cray-ap” with the accent. I. Love. It. One of the first times we were talking he mentioned the cuch. Due to my complete lack of tact I asked what in the world he was talking about. He said, “You know – the cuch. It sits in your living room… often next to a chair.” Ohhhhhhhhhhh – COUCH. See? It’s fabulous. The next time you see him ask him to say flag. You will be glad you did.

Speaking of the first time we met, I was thinking earlier about how it was only by the grace of God that we ever progressed past our first meeting. Immediately upon meeting Daniel, my mother determined he was The One for me (she’s psychic!), and told me I just had to meet him. I came up with a plan: Look awesome, act awesome, basically just be awesome. Of course, anyone who knows of me and my imminent awkwardness is already seeing trouble on the horizon.

Anyone who knows me also knows I am always, always, aaaalways running late for church. It’s my superpower. So I spent that Sunday morning getting dressed up in my finest, trying to tame the beast that is my hair and wearing my fancy deodorant, and pulled into church right on time. A miracle, right? Except I was supposed to teach Sunday School that morning, meaning that I needed to be there early… so I was STILL late. Dang it. My plans were being foiled. But I still had time to casually stop by the Sunday School classroom and act totally surprised to find Daniel there, introduce myself, and be on my merry way.

I was walking very quickly – okay, I was running. Sorry, church folk – through the atrium to get to the Sunday School classroom when who did appear in my path but… Daniel. Ooh, cray-ap. I was still running when we locked eyes. And then whatever shred of coolness I had left me. I could feel my hair getting frizzy from the heat. I was panting from the sprint into the church. I was running out of time: I just had to go for it. I proceeded to take a deep breath and say/yell, “Hi-my-name-is-Kristen-my-parents-teach-our-Sunday-School-class-I-wanted-to-say-hi-but-I’m-running-late-I-have-to-go-bye,” as fast as humanly possible, and then turned around and ran up the stairs. Smooth.

But miraculously (and I do mean miraculously, because if I’m awkward alone, you should see our powers combined), we managed to actually talk for real, this time at a normal pace and with no hair-splosions, and you know the rest of that story. (We got married and are living happily ever after, in case you don’t know.) I’m super-duper glad I met Daniel, and that he didn’t call the crazy police after I shouted at him in a hallway. He is the love of my life and I’d marry him again any time, anywhere!

As long as he keeps saying “flegg,” that is.

Our first picture!!!
How to not be successful

How to not be successful

There are a lot of books out there on how to be successful, how to move up in the world, how to make sure you’re the awesomest, blah blah blah. But there isn’t very much on how to not be successful. This may not seem like something you would want to research, but think again: If your goal is to be unsuccessful, and you achieve that, then are you not in fact successful? I know that probably just blew your mind so take a moment and ponder it. I’ll wait.

Welcome back. Yes, it’s true: By purposely being unsuccessful, you can be both unsuccessful and successful at the same time. So here are some tips on how to achieve this goal. You’re welcome.

1) Never shower. Ever. This one is not for sissies – you can’t shower like once a week. You have to stop cold-turkey. This will ensure that no one will want to get within four feet of you and therefore you will have no friends or life skills. You can Febreze once a month if you must.

2) Develop an obnoxious laugh. I don’t mean like an annoying giggle. I mean full-out, AHHHH MY EARS, please make it stop, even The Nanny is better than this laugh. I would recommend changing pitches frequently and without warning for the ultimate obnoxious laugh. You may also want to throw in some snorting to really seal the deal.

3) Only wear yellow. No one looks good enough in yellow to wear it all the time. And make sure each article of clothing is a different shade of yellow, like one got washed too many times or left in your car. Also consider purchasing yellow sunglasses.

4) Carry a spray bottle with you everywhere you go. Spray people with it as you please. The more important the person the better. Bonus points if you spray a celebrity.

5) Point out flaws in children, especially babies. “Aww, Susie is so cute. Except for her nose – that is just horrifying. Pretty eyes, though. If you like green.” This is really important if you hang out with a lot of mothers.

So there you have it. How to not be successful – a gift from me to you. You might be thinking to yourself, “This isn’t Kristen’s strongest post.” And you’re right. Because I EXCEL at being unsuccessful. Boo-yah.