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Monday confessional: the riding mower


Once upon a time, last Tuesday to be exact, I decided to do something totally out of the norm, and surprise my husband by mowing our property while he was at work.

Now, this doesn't sound like a big deal, but let me lay out a few facts first:

1. Our lawn is the size of Kansas. Roughly.
2. It hadn't been mown in a month because of a damaged tire on our riding mower and Russ being crazy busy with summer league and play structures, so it was basically a hay field. A hay field the size of Kansas.
3. we had finally bought a new tire ($70 freakin' bucks!) and arranged for our high-school-aged nephew to come mow for us (because Russ's summer league never ever ends), but because of the length of the hay grass, our nephew was going to have to mow twice, going really slow the first time and bagging it the second time, so we knew it would probably take him two days and cost us a pretty penny.

Which all led to my very magnanimous decision to spend a day doing the first mowing, saving us some money and our nephew a day of labor. (And hopefully garnering love and adoration from my soon-to-be-thrilled husband.)

I started bright and early and things went well the first couple of hours.

Then this happened:
So I accidentally broke our gutter drain pipe... a small price to pay for a day of free labor, in my opinion. I honestly didn't even feel that bad. I just kept on mowing. And mowing and mowing, and mowing and mowing some more. Until it looked like this...

Which I am sad to announce was about half way done. At this point I ran out of gas and could have just called it a day (because it had literally been a day). But no, wanting to power on and impress my husband to no end, I found an empty gas can and drove to the gas station to fill it, rushing to get back before Russ arrived home from work.

The real trouble started when I came back and tried to locate the gas tank. You'd think it wouldn't be that difficult. But the heck if I could find it! Finally I lifted the whole top up, found one single cap that could be removed, and pulled out the stick inside - which looked dubiously like an oil stick but clearly stated "FUEL" right on it.
Okay then! In went the handy funnel I found in the shop, followed by the gasoline... until blue fumes started to rise out and I was immediately filled with doubt and regret.

So I took this picture and sent it to my husband with the caption: "Is this NOT where the gas goes in the mower?"
And 1.2 seconds later my phone rang.

Russ: "please tell me you didn't just put gas in there!"
Me: guilty pause
Russ: "PLEEAASE tell me you didn't just put gas in there!"
Me: "I miiiight have put just a little bit in."


Turns out the gas tank lid is hidden under the seat, which lifts up (pure trickery). That would be the oil tank I just poured gas into, and when Russ wiped the oil stick I could clearly see that it read "FULL", not fuel. And I now know how to drain the oil from our mower, in case you are interested, because that's what I watched Russ do next, who, by the way, was extremely gracious and forgiving and even went so far as to say it was helpful that this happened because he needed to change the oil anyway.


This was of course after he shook his head in disbelief at my idiocy.

Not my proudest moment.

But guess who still got credit for mowing in the first place? And was praised and admired for her fine work and hours of sacrifice, not just by her husband but by her grateful nephew who came the next day to finish?

Mission accomplished :)

Four on Friday - short stories with Jodi


(Because "Friday photo dump" sounded boring today.)

1. I spent something upwards of six hours outside doing yard work on Wednesday, with the help of my master-gardener mother, and all that labor was soooo rewarding! I didn't take many pictures yet because I still have to put down bark dust and pick up a few annuals, but trust me, things are looking much better around here, and I think we are finally recovered from SHEEPGATE 2013.

2. During the above mentioned gardening day, I spent a good 45 minutes removing a giant blackberry bush that had grown up in the middle of a photinia hedge lining our driveway and as you can see, I bear the scars from that awful battle. Blackberry bush: zero. Jodi: also zero.

3. Mum and I went grocery shopping last night (something I like to do in the summers so the kids can stay home with Russ) and as always, we had more fun than any two people should have grocery shopping together.
Quote of the night: Mum, after I asked if she wanted a coffee at the drive-thru, "No thanks, I just brushed my teeth. Well... I had a mint."
Compliment of the night: Random stranger in Winco to Mum, "Don't you look great for thirty-five! Oh, I hope that wasn't too awkward!"

4. Sometimes I just tell everyone to go clean their rooms. Sometimes I announce,"10 minute power clean... everyone, GO!" And sometimes I actually come up with a game plan, as seen above, and enlist everyone to work together, one room at a time. Gooooo, teamwork! Today's reward for an excellent job well done is a family swim at the local pool followed by a Sister Act 1 & 2 movie marathon tonight. (Plus, a clean house for the weekend, which is all the reward I need ;)

Hip Hooray for Friday!

What I Wore Wednesday No. 200


Newsflash! This is my first post written on my own laptop (now with a brand new hard-drive), since my daughter accidentally dropped and broke it back in MARCH.

I've been using my mother's laptop for the past three months now and I think it's safe to say I owe her big time. Which is ironic since she's coming over today to help me work in my flower gardens. Bless her.

Hey, I know, I'll pay her by surprising her with a laptop! It's the least I can do ;)

No. 1
Shade top, Silver jeans, Target shoes, Ross scarf

No. 2 
Old Navy blouse, Maurice's sweater, Big Star jeans, Ross sandals

No. 3
Target top, American Eagle jeans from Plato's Closet, Ross sandals
(this would be the outfit I bought when we went to the beach overnight and accidentally left my bag at home :)

No. 4 
TJ Maxx top, American Eagle jeans, Rue 21 sandals

No. 5 
Target top (yes, again. That's what I do when I get something new... wear the heck out of it), jean cut-offs, Payless sandals

Have a great day!
pleated poppy

The Misadventures of Russell and Jodi - Vol I, Episode 37


Russell and I have this thing about traveling. Some may call it a curse. Some may call it bad luck. Some may call it plain uncanny, the number of times we've broken down, got flat tires, blown tires, had alternators go out, had a transmission go out, been stranded without cell reception, etc. etc. while leaving or coming home from a vacation.

(Russell and I are going with curse. Definitely a curse.)

And so I give you the latest episode: "Russell and Jodi travel to the coast for a little getaway"

Friday June 20th
1:00 pm - leave house at the exact time scheduled... an absolute miracle
1:30 pm - all kids dropped off with respective relatives they are staying with, really leave
1:45 pm - after stopping for coffees, really, really leave
1:50 pm - aaaand we stop. For a yard sale :)
2:50 pm - stop in Salem (an hour from home and 1.5 hours from our destination) for a late lunch at Red Robin
3:45 pm - head to South Salem to see Million Dollar Arm at the movie theaters
4:00 pm - pass theater entrance road 3 times before finding it
4:05 pm - while locking Russ's bag in trunk (due to dubious theater location), discover that Jodi's bag is not in car at all
4:06 pm - brief marital spat over bags absence
4:07 pm - spat over, fault accepted by rightful owner, Jodi graciously forgives Russell
4:10 pm - decide to forge ahead and watch film, and laugh and smile and cry our eyes out. EXCELLENT movie!
6:30 pm - head to Target & Plato's Closet to buy Jodi necessary replacement items for getaway; including toiletries, makeup, sleepwear, and an outfit for Saturday
8:00 pm - leave Salem for Newport, Oregon, a mere 7 HOURS after we left our house.

And from there on out things actually went swimmingly. Very swimmingly :)
the most amazing Irish Pub we ate dinner at in Newport. Russ is already discussing a trip back just for dinner.
my Target/Plato's Closet purchases to avoid a two hour delay if we went back for my bag.
this was Russ's idea and ended up being a pretty fun part of the trip :) (not pictured: sleepwear & clean underwear)
good morning, Newport!
morning coffee on our balcony at the Hallmark Resort. We stayed in the king spa suite and it was abso-freaking amazing.
a late brunch at Cafe Stephanie in Nye Beach
Before finally heading for home at 8:30 pm Saturday night, we managed to wander Newport, shop at the outlets in Lincoln City, eat banana pancakes at Sambo's, stroll on the beach and sit and people watch, search town for a pair of orange Toms (an unsuccessful venture) and watch a second movie; Edge of Tomorrow (another great movie we really enjoyed), even though we didn't leave our hotel room till noon.

Mini-getaways are the bomb. Here's to another successful "misadventure"! 

What My children have done so far this summer


You know those cool families who make fun summer to-do lists?

We are not that family. 

Sure, we have some fun trips planned: Pacific City beach weekend, Sunriver vacation, camping in Florence, and family camp at Foster Lake. But beyond that, I basically like to keep my kids' expectations really low so that a spontaneous trip to the park becomes an exciting adventure.

(And so I don't feel pressure to go, go, go, which is the opposite of summer fun in my books.)

(And aaaallso maybe because I'm trying to avoid commitment?)


We are now two weeks into our summer vacation and this is what my kids have been up to so far:

- rented a movie
- rented video games
- visited the library
- gone overnight backpacking with Grandma

- seen a movie at the theaters
- jumped on the trampoline 20+ times a day, every single day
- made flower headbands
- consumed an unhealthy number of snowies (shaved ice) from Cowboy Coffee
- slept over at a friends
- had friends sleep over
- had their hair cut into mohawks while their unsuspecting mother was taking a nap
- gone swimming
- played summer league basketball (Kendall)
- attended basketball camp (Cooper)
- babysat (Kendall)
- played at the park
- played with cousins
- figured out how to ripstik
- and re-learned how to ride a bike
- taught themselves how to play The Office and Downton Abbey theme songs on the piano (Kendall - much to Mom's delight)
- experimented with hairstyles on Mom (also Kendall)

- learned how to deep clean the bathroom
- deep-cleaned their bedrooms
- gone to the dentist
- been sentenced to play in separate rooms for not getting along
- been sentenced to silence for arguing
- been sentenced to sit on their beds for not obeying instructions
- been sentenced to extra chores for not doing their regular chores completely
- been sentenced to bed early for not getting along. AGAIN.
(Just so you can see it's not all fun and games around here...)

- Aaaannnddd... spent a lot of lazy mornings on the couch :)
^^that would be a giant teddy bear rump you see in the foreground^^
I guess we've filled up our time okay, summer list or not.

Onwards, summer!

What I Wore Wednesday


Our first full week of summer break and I'm already down to only two outfit pictures to share.

(This may actually have less to do with being on break and more to do with The Office marathon I've been having on Netflix.)

(In the past week and a half I've plowed through the first six seasons. LIKE A BOSS.)

So yeah, my WIWW post is a wee bit lame this week.

No. 1
Maurice's top, Silver jeans, American Eagle sandals, Old Navy necklace

No. 2 
Maurice's top (clothes swap), Target jeans, Converse "Shorelines"

Yeppp, that's it! Happy Wednesday, guys :)

pleated poppy

Monday Confessional: you may want to ignore my kind offers


About a month ago I offered to pick up a prenatal prescription in town for my sister since I was headed there for doctor appointments for my sons. We both have Kaiser insurance and can only use Kaiser pharmacies (the closest one being 35 minutes away), so Kelly was happy to take me up on my offer.

Which I unfortunately forgot. Even though I ended up having to pick up a prescription for one of my boys and so was physically at the pharmacy and everything.

Super embarrassing. I was so mortified I drove all the way back into town that evening to get it.

Fast forward to last Thursday. I'm in town grocery shopping and am headed to Costco, where once again I have offered to pick something up for my sister while I'm there; pictures for Father's Day. Kelly, who wised up after the Kaiser debacle, even sent me a text message reminder.

So I'm about to arrive at Costco when Kelly calls. Her prenatal doctor just called her and she needs another prescription, and since Kaiser is only 1/2 mile from Costco, would I be soooo kind as to pick it up for her again?

Yes, yes I can do that. My sister is pregnant and working and I am neither so I'm happy to help.

And I actually do it this time! Driving straight there and everything.  

But then I go to Costco and forget the pictures.


(Actually, MEMORY FAIL)

Sometimes it's embarrassing being me.



first glance
Fifteen years means 5,475 days of hearing, "I love you". 
It means a home built together and three children who are priceless gifts. 
It means happiness and security, intimacy and respect. 
Fifteen years means no regrets, no hidden secrets, no brick walls. 
Fifteen years means something.

Happy fifteenth, my husband, my love.

What I Wore Wednesday


No. 1
Ross top, Kenneth Cole pants, Target jewelry, old black wedges (hidden by pants)

This top is cool. It's plain black on the back and has an exposed zipper that goes halfway down.

No. 2
clothes swap top, Silver jeans, Rue 21 sandals, Plato's Closet necklace

No. 3
Target dress, thrifted leather belt, Walmart leggings, Rue 21 sandals

No. 4 & 5

My casual go-to lately is denim cutoffs paired with a cute top & sandals or a tee and tennies - works either way!

Happy Wednesday!

pleated poppy

Monday Confessional: one lace dress


Sooooooo... this one time, a long time ago (in February maybe?), I was sent this beautiful dress from eShakti and I fell in love with it. I tried it on immediately, snapped these two shots with my cell phone to send to my sister, and decided it was just a tad bit snug, but would work perfectly for Easter if I could just manage to lose 5-7 pounds or so.

I had a good two months to go, no problem right?


Easter morning came and that beautiful dress still fit as snugly as before. DANG IT ALL.

And honestly, I'm still working on it. And the bummer thing is the whole point of being sent a free dress is showing it here in case someone else might want to purchase it, and it's not even available any more! SAD DAYS.

But oh, are there ever some pretty dresses to pick from. eShakti specializes in customized clothing, which means every single item on their site can be made longer or shorter, with sleeves added, lengthened or removed, and the neckline changed. No extra charge. Pretty cool.

Here are my faves:
The Blouson knit dress
I think this would look so cute with a long pendant necklace and strappy sandals and be perfect for a casual day of errands or shopping.

Cotton crinkle cutout dress
Also cute with a long gold necklace and sandals (or turquoise!) I would wear it with skinny jeans and wedges too.

Striped poplin dress
Now if this dress doesn't scream "Jodi", I don't know what does. I want it.

Waverley dress
Just beautiful. Would look pretty with gold accessories and sandals or nude heels and would be perfect to wear to a summer wedding.

So there you have it, my non-review review. Of sorts.

I swear I'm going to wear that dress though! And when I do, I'll be taking better pictures of it.