Over the years I have learned a few things about parenting from my sister...
 (don't worry, it's not another one of those posts)

I have learned that taking a nap is just fine, as a matter of fact...it's a right.
I have learned that "creative consequences" like wearing church clothes to school is sometimes punishment enough.

And I have learned that it's just fine and dandy to STALK your children,
especially your teenagers.

One time Brooke called from the parking lot of her kids' school telling me she was watching the recess showdown between her son Danny and some other kids.

I have since adopted her affection for stalking the kids.

I have an easy time 'stalking' my littles
With them I feel more like the paparazzi.
All I have to do is yell out their names
and they turn in my direction and wave and smile for my camera.

Also, they freely share the lengthy details of their life whether I want to hear it or not.

River was practically begging me to take pictures of her second grade class at the end of school.

Lauren and her bff Taylor rode their bikes to school 
and knew to pause for pictures just like good girls.

As most kids these days, mine understand that a mom's job is to take pictures.
That and laundry.

The problem (as usual) is with my big kids. 

(Lauren posing for a picture just before saying 
"OK mom, but promise you wont get out of the car")

So they force my hand.     They force me to stalk them.

Brett is the worst.

At home or with the family he is very willing to let me take his picture.

But at school or around his friends, it's a whole different story.

(I called his name five times and he still wouldn't look at me.)

School is his turf, his friends are off limits. Who's life does he think he's living?

So imagine my delight as I was coming home from the Junior High one morning, 
driving past the High School just as Brett was arriving at school. 

I happened to have my camera with the zoom lens so I parked across the street, 
rolled down the window and seized my opportunity.   
"hey ladies"

"blah blah blah I'm so cool" 
 "...and funny too"
"shall I walk you to school?"
(wait, who's that? mom?) 

caught! gulp. 
Brett just shook his head, pretended he didn't see me and walked away.

we never talked about it since.

To my surprise a while back, Brett hesitantly asked me to take pictures 
of he and his friends at the Prom.

I started shrieking with delight! 

He said "I have a feeling I'm going to regret this..."

I was very well-behaved though.

 I didn't even put chocolate on my teeth. 

I took several hundred pictures and was enjoying myself too much 
when Dean finally said;
"Hil, no more pictures...they are going to be late for dinner" 

I looked at the time and sure enough I had made them late for their dinner reservations. 
I felt really bad, but ushered the kids on their way with calls of... 
"be safe, have a good time, buckle up!" 

They piled into their cars and left.

After they left, that's when I started to....
I worried that Brett wouldn't know where to park,
I worried he might need more money,
I worried he wouldn't know how much to tip,
I worried that their dinner would take too long and they would miss the prom.

After the pictures, Dean and I went to dinner (a belated anniversary) 
and all through dinner, I kept texting Brett.

I got no response.

I even tried to call him, he sent me straight to his voice mail.

Dean sat across from me at dinner cutting his Chicken Marsala, shaking his head and saying;
"don't do it...just leave him alone...he'll figure it out"

I couldn't stop worrying,
so I did what any normal and perfectly stable mom would do.

I called the restaurant directly.

Yep folks, I did.

My message to the hostess was simple;
"hi my name is Hilary, my son Brett is there with some friends for Prom, have they arrived yet?"

Hostess: "yes, they are here and seated..."

Me: "oh great, could you mention to the waiter that I took too long taking pictures and if there is any way to hurry dinner along so they can get to prom, that would be great."

Hostess: "sure no problem."

~ my message was delivered - whew, (I thought.) ~

Here is what really happened;

Waiter walks up to Brett (in front of everyone):  "Hey is there a Brett here?

Brett raises his hand: "I'm Brett"

Waiter: "uh Brett, your mom called and said you need to hurry up and eat your dinner 
so you can get to the prom and then she can take your picture..."

that is worth repeating; 

"Brett your mom called...
and said you need to hurry up...
and eat your dinner... 
so you can get to the prom and then she can take your picture..."

Later Brett said he thought in that moment,
 "why mom...

poor boy,
poor poor boy.

I think if he could issue a restraining order against me, he would.  

This week Brett and Lauren are at different camps.
I kinda miss them. kinda

Truthfully, I just would love to be there with them taking pictures and generally getting in their way.
Again, I picture stalked them before they left.

At this point you might think I am a little wacko jacko.
But, I know one day my kids will thank me. 

It's all about the memories.

I think I have a total of twelve pictures of me from Junior high through High School. 

Please tell me my kids will thank me someday.

I am not so sure now. 

I know it's hard to believe, but a few days ago I found myself really, really mad at Brett.

I mean super mad. 

My annoyance over something small that Brett did turned to irritation, 
which turned to aggravation, 
which turned to me being really ticked off, 
which settled into full fledged anger. Which lasted for days.

It didn't help that he knew I was mad and yet continued to be smug and smart alec. 

One night, I was getting ready for bed...
and realized that Brett had left the hall light on downstairs. 

I reluctantly walked down to turn off the light and I paused at the doorway of Brett's room. 
He was already sound asleep. 

I stood there at his open door, flushed with anger at the sight of his wet towel in the hall and thought of all the reasons I had to be mad at him. 
In a kind moment a thought ran through my mind to go over and tell him I loved him. 

That thought was quickly rejected because I knew just one step in his room would reveal dirty clothes on the floor, garbage in the corners, projects undone, and promises unkept. 

I cautiously stepped forward anyway, trying to avoid all the junk in the dark. 
In the shadowed light from the hall, I saw my oldest son sound asleep, 
                                                           sprawled out on his bed, 
                                                             feet dangling over the edge, 
                                                    and I could see his arms that were wrapped around his pillow, 
were scratched and tanned from a hard days work of hauling hay. 

My heart softened as I looked at my sleeping son. 
I tried to see him as the lazy, inconsiderate, teenage kid
with overgrown hair that I thought he was. 

However, the longer I stood there, listening to him snore, all I could see was my sweet, three year old cheerful, adventurous, kind-hearted little boy laying there.

Dean says I'm stubborn sometimes, but I'm not. Although I didn't want to forgive and forget right then. I knew I would eventually, but I felt it was my right to still be mad at Brett. 

But I couldn't. So I said softly, "I love you Bretty."

unbothered, he continued to snore...so I took that as..."I love you too mom, 
               I'm sorry that I hurt your feelings and have been neglectful and disrespectful, 
              and I'm sorry that I am growing up so fast and leaving you out of my life, 
and I'm sorry that I don't have much time for you anymore, 

and that pretty soon I'll be graduating 
and leaving for a mission and then college and then soon, 
I'll be all grown up...I'm sorry too mom." 

If Brett would've woke up in that minute he would've thought I was for sure a stalker.

I let a few tears run down my face, remembered the moment, 
 and picked up the wet towel as I walked out of his room. 

I think I just invented a new term: 
"stalker mom."



. . .
it's so good, its' bad.

you agree?

Pinterest has got me right where it wants me;
 in it's neon painted, hand stitched, cutesy, clever claws.

My mom called the other day and she and I talked for ten minutes about all the things we just pinned.

Would that have made any sense to anybody two years ago?

My favorite thing to do in the morning is sit at the computer while the kids are watching Phineas and Ferb and I listen for random words or catch phrases and I type them in the PINTEREST search button and see what comes up.

"hey hey"
"ring a ding ding"
"oh yeah"

admittedly very lame of me, I know.

I've realized though that PINTEREST has an amazing effect on me.

You see, as I am browsing through all the amazing pins,

I say to myself in soft, sweet, almost sexy whisper...
"hey girl...you can do that...go ahead and pin it"

It is like the siren's song.

I am a wanna be of sorts.

I wanna be a seamstress, 
an artist, 
a writer, 
a florist, 
a baker...
a tanned girl in a Nike shirt with ripped arms, a insanely flat stomach, running down a picturesque path in the rain at sunset with the words "Determination" and "you gotta want it" as my caption.

might never happen for me.

But let's agree. 
PINTEREST is truly amazing.  

A while back I heard someone describing some rolls that they had at a company party.
I went home and searched for 'ham rolls' in Pinterest and BAM! 
There they were. Ten different versions, fifty pins all ready for me.
That next Sunday we gave them a try.
I felt very cool as called from the kitchen "hey can you look up the recipe on my pin board?"

this was my version...
meh, they were OK.  

They were really heavy and a bit too much for a Sunday afternoon. (this was only the first pan)

After a few bites, the kids all said; 'how come we can't ever have just like a salad or something?"
(Nacho Libre' anyone?...anyone?)

Moving on...

I'll humbly admit that I dabble with creating this or that, but I never really quite nail it.

oh pish posh you say?

ha! let me prove it.

For Kal's birthday I saw the idea for a Super Hero cake on PINTEREST just perfect for my six year old super hero, super cool Kal.                   I decided to go for it, sorta...


Kal just plastered on a smile because he could see I was about to lose it...
he wasn't sure if I was going to laugh or cry.
Either way he thought... "mom's losing it." 

Then a few weeks later when my cutie pie Canyon was turning two, I turned to PINTEREST for some help. Canyon loves cars, so I searched for a car cake and found this.
easy peasy...Oh I was all over it...



Wade looked at me anxiously...
"uh mom? you OK? a bit of a fiasco yes...but still edible, we think." 

 And then I had one more chance to redeem myself when my sweet Quincy Rain was turning four. One more chance to show the PINTEREST Gods that my baking, creating, artistic abilities were still in tip top shape.

Quincy had big ideas for her 4th birthday. She talked for days about getting a unicorn cake for her big day. I made the mistake of showing her this one we found on PINTEREST while she sat on my lap at the computer.    "try and stop me!" I said... someone really should've.



Wa Waa Waaaa

This was the look she gave me.

 "really mom? really?

I'm only four once, and this is the best you could come up with?

That is not the unicorn cake we agreed upon.

How hard is it to click on a link and follow the directions?

Did I mention I'm only four once?    really mom?"

deep sigh.

(photo credit) 

(which reminds me, I need to create a pin board "things that make me feel bad about myself")

Thanks for nothing PINTEREST!

However, Quincy's Dad didn't need Pinterest to save the day.
Men in general have no use for the site -
they have us.

Daddy saved the day when he pulled out a surprise gift for Quincy. 

A princess scooter for his princess!

(actually mom bought the scooter earlier and gave dad all the credit because
she didn't want to overshadow him with her cake-making greatness)

baby girl was finally contented.

Actually the PINTEREST concept is nothing new.

I remember when I was a girl growing up in the 80's, my mom had a big carboard box filled with all her Women's Day and Better Homes and Gardens magazine clippings.

you remember... the "good ol days."

Pinterest is just an old idea, modernized. 

I read an article a few days ago written by a guy, of course, trying to dissect why PINTEREST is so appealing to all of us females types. 

Comparing it to ESPN's Sportscenter, or Fantasy Football - 

something about...nesting...homemaking...sense of community...

yadda yadda yadda


I think it simply boils down to two things for me...

1 - it gets boring spying on people I barley know on Facebook. 

(and it usually feels down-right weird.)

and 2 - sometimes a girl just wants to feel like Superwoman once in a while.

 Even if it's just on a virtual pin board.


(a two minute video of the girl who needs to be everything)       So far my hobby has been micro-managing my kids and as rewardi...