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    My Love / Hate Relationship With Christmas Cards

    It’s that time of year again: Time to start thinking about Christmas cards (at least according to Shutterfly, Pinterest and all the other services catering to organized, crafty mothers).

    Few things fill me with as much simultaneous excitement and dread as Christmas cards.

    The ‘excitement’ part goes back to my childhood. My mom used to make a whole day out of preparing her Christmas cards. She would bring out her address book (an actual, padded address book with alphabetical index tabs), flipping through the pages, making edits to entries of those who had moved during the year. She would write a little personal note in each card and address each envelope in her perfect, ‘deserves-her-own-font’, script.
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    Dear Elfy, The Ron Swanson of Elves

    Dear Elfy –

    Next week you’ll be coming back to our house until Christmas, and I’ve got to admit, I’m kind of looking forward to seeing you again.

    Sure, you’re a little creepy: I never walk with my back to you in a dark room, and you remind me of the Fantasy Island episode where the ventriloquist dummy comes to life to kill its owner until it’s burned alive.

    But three years ago you single handedly replaced Santa. As far as our kids are concerned you ARE Christmas.

    I know a lot of people are not looking forward to their Elves coming back: They’re always getting into trouble, making big messes and just causing a lot of extra work for their families.

    That’s why I like you, Elfy: You’re different.
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    The Silent Victims of Our Loud Book Club

    Today marks the two year anniversary of our book club.

    For the past two years, I have had the pleasure of meeting up every month with a group of seven of my favorite women to discuss a wide variety of books that we select as a group.  To give you an idea of the eclectic tastes of our members, here’s the list of the books we have read together:

    The Night Circus
    Tale of Two Cities
    Visit from the Good Squad
    Let the Great World Turn
    The Husband’s Secret
    State of Wonder
    Wind up Bird Chronicles
    The Book Thief
    100 Years of Solitude
    Reconstructing Amelia
    Me Before You
    Rebecca
    Story of O
    Never Let me Go
    Defending Jacob
    Where’d You Go Bernadette
    And the Mountains Echoed
    Forgotten Garden
    The Good Dream
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    ‘Monday Mini’: The 3 Stages of Playing Boardgames with Cats

    Monday mornings are busy.  You’ve got work to do….I’ve got to pretend I’m cleaning the house or something.

    So, in honor of Monday mornings, I am inventing the ‘Monday Mini’: A post that’s basically a glorified ‘Facebook post’ which takes me under 5 minutes to do and you under 5 seconds to read.

    Today:  The 3 Stages of Playing Boardgames with Cats.

    Stage 1:  Awareness

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    Stage 2:  Obesession

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    It’s the Mom that Deserves the Birthday Party

    Last week for Throwback Thursday, I kind of threw my mom under the bus (only metaphorically) with a post highlighting how she had managed to make one little red dress of mine stretch across half my childhood, two states and multiple holiday celebrations.

    This week for Throwback Thursday, I’m cheers’ing to my mom.  Today is my birthday, and as all of us moms know, if anyone deserves a party, it’s the MOTHER of the person who’s having the birthday.

    In honor of my birthday, my mom has been posting these cute pictures today on my Facebook page today.
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    How to Follow the Facebook Pages You’ve Followed

    Stay at home moms do some pretty strange things during the course of a week, (performing emergency Lego minifigure extractions from the bowels of plastic alligators comes to mind).

    But probably the strangest things I do with my week, does not happen ‘at home’.

    It’s happens on Tuesday mornings when I go to my kids’ school and spend 30-40 minutes straightening up the Lost & Found rack and then photographing every single (kid-germed, playground-dust-caked) coat, sweater, hat, shoe (usually singular), water bottle, lunch box, book, dinosaur, tip jar (?), barrette, etc and post the photos to a Facebook page I set up for the school’s Lost & Found.
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    A Tribute to My Amazing Husband (after 2 glasses of wine)

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    My husband’s first book was released today.

    I had planned on making him a special celebratory dinner before he left to New York, but since I couldn’t go to the store after our daughter came home sick yesterday, we ended up having eggs for dinner instead.

    I thought maybe I could squeeze some congratulations in this morning, (not a euphemism), but he got up quietly to take care of our daughter at 5:00 am when she was feeling sick again and had to work some timing miracles to get in to vote in today’s election before his flight left.  Before I could remind the kids to congratulate daddy on his big day, he was already reminding them to be nice to me on my birthday, in a few days.
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    Happy Halloween, 70s Style.

    Gather around, children, while I tell you a little story about Halloweens back when I was your age, waaaayyyy back in the 1970s.

    Ah, those were the days! Children wore costumes their mothers made from scratch and store-bought costumes were much less stripper-like, (and much more flammable.) This period also marked the final years when it was acceptable, nay, encouraged, to raise awareness to the plight of the homeless by dressing up as a Hobo for the night.

    Which brings me to Exhibit A, featuring my brother, the Hobo and me as Raggedy Anne. My mom made the hat and the apron and of course there’s the cute little red dress underneath.  Look how sweet we are posing out in front of our house in Idaho.

    Happy 70's Halloween - TheDustyParachute.com
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    My Sh*tty Morning

    Our sh*tty morning technically started yesterday when we discovered a weird wet spot in the middle of the carpet in our walk in closet. My brain went straight into denial, trying to convince myself that there’s a perfectly good reason that there would be a 5″ wet circle in the middle of the closet. My automatic assumption was that it was cat related (click here for a detailed account of our cat pee issues.) So I gave it a good spritzing of Nature’s Miracle, toweled it up and went on with my day.
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