feel free to add music and sing along

I have to admit that I have better days than others.  And sometimes I handle it well enough.  But sometimes I don't think what I do would even come close to handling it, or anything.   And yesterday was one of those "seen better days" sort of days where I decided to help the mood with a little personal pampering/beauty treatment.  Which sounds greatly relaxing... until you move on to paragraph #2....

I chose the DIY at home bikini wax kit at Target.  Because, of course.  And basically it turned out to be a most frightful disaster.  Things that I don't even remember touching are sticky, and the waxing instructions lied about every. single. thing.  And truth be told, my right inner thigh looks like it's been in a horrifiic, one thigh accident.  I only share this with you, because you, dear readers,  are my people, and this blog is built on tragedy, truth and the Walters' uncanny ability to get into all sorts of trouble.

And since I was asked recently to quit being so depressed and get back to the business of some good Kristi style story telling, .... what better tale to tell than a true life, one woman show set in my bathroom .....

Because I am nothing if not a lady, I will spare you the exacts, but imagine if you will that you left a big package of bubble gum out in your car in the 105 degree heat of our recent days.  Now go sit on it.  Then try to figure out how to remove the gum from your undercarriage without any help.  Please know that I have never in my life used the word undercarriage until today.  

And I think that had I still been able to use my free 911 hook up and call upon Fireman Dave to assist in said situation, he would've had, very possibly the best laugh I ever gave him in his too short a life.  Though I feel all romance from that point on would've come to a screeching halt and he would've never been able to look me in the eyes ever again.  We shall never know. 

Y'all, how hot wax ended up between my toes is the mystery of the whole thing.  And add in the cost of the destroyed bath mat, two towels, and my dignity  - and lesson learned about budget cuts and beauty.  The end.  And please let's never speak of this aloud.



I also this week made my second trip to the Waxahachie, Texas DMV to return Kid 3 for a second try at passing the eye portion of his learner's permit.  And praise Jesus, he did.  Now if he could just learn to drive.

Y'all, I just finished Season 2 of the Netflix original series, Ozark - short version:  money laundering family for a drug cartel meets backwoods ne'er do well clan in Missouri.  The back woods family has a kid named Three.  Y'all, his name is Three.  And I felt an immediate bond with them as I also have a Kid 3 as well as a 1 and a 2.  Yes, I number my kids, but mostly for the blog and to shield them from the public scrutiny of having a tell-all blogger as a mom. 

And earlier in the week the Walters went on a road trip to Jackson, Mississippi and it went a little something like this:  Feel free to add music and sing along.

We took 2 vehicles - my car and Kid 1's truck  There had been some debate of late about whether to let the kid take the truck to school -  and my executive decision went with yes.  Refer back to a prior post when I mentioned one kid acting the fool.  Now look at Kid 1 and do the math.  But y'all, despite the caring input and advice I receive from various sources, it all comes down to how life changed for us 9 months ago and the fact that I no longer have go-to reinforcements at the ready.  So when a two parent, two kid family handles something one way, it's not really the same as a one woman show vs 3 kids.  I would describe my mothering of late as sort of a Man vs Wild situation on many an occasion, and when that happens, I have learned to just let nature take its course and trust that what Fireman Dave and I already invested in these kids had already crossed them over the line from primitive animals to good humans.  Is it the correct mom move?  Maybe.  Maybe not.  But we'll only actually know if and when we all make it out alive.


But anyway,  word on the Interstate is that Mom is pretty much a bad-ass Nascar driver and when Kid 3 and I were taking this fun picture in front of the Mississippi River, Kids 1 and 2 were still at a Cracker Barrel pit stop somewhere in Louisiana.  Why am I wearing camo in every picture when I'm not even a hunter?  There appears to be a consistent fashion theme.  

We all met up at the hotel where I totally budgeted the situation and only reserved one room so then all three boys fought over who had to share a bed with their mom.  It made me feel very loved and wanted rejected in a mom of three teen boys sort of way.  They also entertained me with stories of a fat, barefoot kid sitting on the toilet at a Wendy's.  Their words, not mine.  I would totally be more politically correct and refer to the child as unfortunately heavy set and then spend a lot of time wondering why he was barefoot and where was his mother. And I laughed like I haven't in a long time.  God bless them, every one.  

Oh, I almost forgot to mention that all 3 kids were sickly the entire trip and whoever stays in room 408 of the downtown Jackson Hilton better hope that the housekeepers actually disinfect.  I did get Kid 1 into an urgent care appointment the morning of dorm move in, as I could see his first week of football camp going up in flames with a feverish sinus infection.  Another crisis averted.

Football report time was 3-5 pm Monday at exactly at 2:45 pm when the truck was all loaded and headed toward campus, this happened:  


So we parked under the carport of a hotel till safe passage was available.  But it messed up my well planned hair that I had fully considered in the event I bumped into that charming, yet distant football coach.  Best laid plans and all.  Anyway, we got the kid all moved in.  The work on my part was to carry a few lighter things in from the car and then step out into the dorm hallway to watch my son take his first steps toward some real growth.  My theory being that I'm not the one living in that room, so I shouldn't be the one setting it up.  



Enter roommate and his parents - who told me how difficult it was to decide what to bring from their 5600 square foot home.  Y'all I held back my commentary on that one - as we all know that one Walters sleeps in the living room and another in the dining room of this old house.  We're not a proud people.  Just functional and hopefully on most occasions, nice.   Roomie's family chose a 50 inch TV, a fridge of his very own, an ergonomically correct desk chair, blender, Keurig coffee maker, XBox gaming system and enough food and supplies for him to live off the grid for 6 months.  Me?  I was totally like, Here's a 3-in-1 body wash, shampoo, dish soap combo.  Make it last, buddy.  


And see his desk chair that came with the room?  I'm really holding out hope that all of that is coffee stains.  But we covered it in a quilt attached with chip bag clips and made ourselves walk away.  

Kid 1 called that night about 10pm to tell me that his roommate's parents were still in the room and that he just wanted to take a shower and get settled.  My advice?  Do what you need to do, sweet angel,  then drop that towel. That'll make 'em leave.  Follow up:  the towel worked, visiting parents gone.  

And I think it all comes down to how we choose to parent our own kids.  I refuse to send a young adult  off to become a better adult then stand there and unpack his clothes for him.  I stopped changing his sheets at the beginning of the summer to get him ready for his own share of dorm chores.  He chose to sleep on the mattress pad the entire summer.  His choice and less laundry for me.  Win. Win.  

And I will share the actual words of wisdom that I gave to Kid 1 when he was crazy nervous on move in day and even before - but another time.  I think the biggest deal of it all was my other 2 boys when we got home.  I'll respect the privacy of  my conversations with those 2 darlings, but know that it is a continual healing process around here.  There is still an open wound that just seems to ache more on some days than others but God gives us the blessing of us not all losing our stuff at the same time.  

Y'all, loss tends to compound loss.  But we did it.  And we're looking forward to our next trip to see brother play football. 


It's definitely been a week.  


see if you can keep up

I actually thought about making this post into a big ol' game of Three Truths and a Lie... but sadly, none of these events are a lie... though I still lie in wait for that day. And time pretty much runs together for me anymore, so my timeline may or may not be 100% correct, but in the past days, week, weeks.... pick your favorite, the following things have occurred:

See if you can keep up:

1. One Kid acted the fool, tried his hand at dishonesty with this Mom and lost his form of transportation for approximately ever.  Plain English?  He messed up and crossed the wrong gal.  

2. My computer broke - though it likes to work fine for the computer repair place as well as the entire Geek Squad at Best Buy.  Hello new computer someday soon for me?  I say this as I sit at Kid 2's desk, using his gaming laptop and staring at a big poster of Spider Man.  

3. My dryer went crazy and may or may not have been a tremendous fire hazard for longer than it should've been.  

4. Got fired and re-hired as contract labor in the name of budget cuts.  Stupid budget cuts.  

5. Drove to an out of town DMV with Kid 3 to save time instead of waiting for 6 hours at the big city office like I did, me myself and I,  in March - only to have him fail the eye exam portion of the Learners Permit Test and now I get to get him to an eye doctor and return him to the DMV on another, hopefully better attitude day.  

6. And hooray!! I am getting a new roof.  My excitement in the prior sentence is totally fake as I actually had no idea that I even needed a new roof. Kind of like earlier in the year when I had to get an entirely new shower to keep me from falling through the decomposing floor of the existing one and into the underbelly of an old 1956 ranch style house.  I would totally rather have a vacation or a year's worth of beautiful hair highlights. 

And basically the last 8 months have shown me that not only can I not take care of the yard, the housekeeping, the laundry folding plus hold down a job and try to keep 3 teen boys fed and out of jail, I really need a person to just pop over on occasion and do a random safety check on the Walters.  I have a friend that believes that Fireman Dave can and will show himself to me in interesting ways - the smell of his cologne?  His flip flops appearing out of nowhere next to our bed this morning?  Yep - Weird.  But to that I simply say, if that man decides to make a surprise visit, he needs to stay long enough to mow the yard and fix the hot water heater that sounds like a bowling team in my hallway.



But for the Walters, this weekend is bringing a mix of emotions yet again as we take off to move Kid 1 into his college dorm in Mississippi.  And the way things have been going for said kid and I of late, I know and understand that it is truly God's plan that children grow up and fly away - so that the mom doesn't have to kill them.  But when that day comes, especially when it comes to a family that still feels the sting of loss and change, the going off to college experience gets mixed reviews.

We've done all the shopping, gotten the bedding and storage and all the things - thanks to a wonderful friend who contributed greatly to his dorm needs - you know who you are and it is not said enough how special you are to the Walters.  But what I've learned so far - as of this writing underneath my motivational Spider Man poster - y'all, I think we could prepare all the live long day, and still not be fully prepared for the the missing piece of Fireman Dave in this experience.  

I go back again and again to something a lady said to me shortly after we lost him - when she said she had no idea how I was even putting one foot in front of the other.  And I think at the time, and maybe even on occasion now, that I'm not 100% sure of that either.  But my answer to her was this - because I have 3 boys watching to see if their mom can put one foot in front of the other.  And more than anything - more than dorm supplies and any and all best laid plans that we try to make for ourselves - it all comes down to a giant leap of faith.  And today seeing that I am a bit on the tearful side of life, I am resting in what is left of mine.




And I am trusting that David and I poured into these kids enough of us to keep them within our gentle reach and out of the million other possibilities waiting for them out in the world.  And yet again, as my email sent me more years gone by Shutterfly photo memories this week, I found a few that made me remember exactly when and why I knew Fireman Dave would be the one I would spend my life with.  Take that, college boyfriend who probably became rich.  And it's old news that I already loved him - we were childhood friends, proverbial partners in crime from early on.... but I knew I loved the man he had become the day I saw him with his young niece who had gotten a little scrape, bump or bruise while playing outside.  And as I watched him kneel down to her eye level, kiss her little invisible to the eye wound, and wipe away a tear - my heart and mind knew right then what love looked like.  If you remember, I didn't have the best example of any of that set for me growing up, so when I went looking for love - and too many times to count -  and in all the wrong places ..... I didn't even understand what it was that I was looking for.  But suddenly I did.  And this week I saw some old pictures of the father that my husband was to our boys.



About a month ago at college orientation, I struggled a bit with watching the 2 parent families handling all the things together.  So I skipped out on a few of the meetings and sat in a rocking chair under a giant tree on a college campus in Mississippi and tried to pray my way out of ruining my mascara with an ugly cry.  And as I try to get through the next few days of another change, I just may need that chair and shade tree again.  And I just may need some reminders that I am strong enough to put one foot in front of the other.  I feel sure that God will provide some lessons for me on that subject.
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