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Sunday, July 20, 2014


This summer is a-flyin’ by.  I hate to say that.  I hate to answer, “Busy.  Crazy.  Crazy-busy,” when people ask how our summer is going.  But it’s true.  Last year, I bragged about how chill our summer was.  We had a lot of at-home time.  Our days filled up with things like play dates and running through the sprinkler and my never-ending house projects (last year’s was painting our master bathroom…a project still not entirely complete).  This year, I feel like when people ask what we’re doing, I must just give them a blank stare.  I feel like a deer in headlights.  I feel like if I LOOK like the way I feel, then I must look like the craziest most disheveled psycho ever. 

Yes, helping my mom has been the driving force in the busyness.  But I’m so happy to do it.  All of the craziness has been for the purpose of helping simplify her life (which, let’s face it, will simplify mine too).  With multiple properties to manage, a disabled son’s affairs/finances to manage and being recently widowed – it’s just a lot.  Too much.  So, I’m happy to take on as much as I can.  And Mike is just as happy to support me in whatever way I need to support her.  Unfortunately the craziness has kind of had to get worse before it’ll get better.

At the end of May, we got her main (and largest) condo ready to put on the market – where it has now sat for nearly two months with not an offer in sight.  We also moved my brother Chris into his first ever (living on his own) apartment.  Last month, I spent a weekend (along with Matthew) cleaning out the beach house, meeting with a realtor and getting it prepped and staged and listed to sell.  Just two weeks ago, we moved mom into her beautiful, new retirement complex.  This place has been referred to as a “cruise ship on land.”  It really is a perfect way to describe this sanctuary for mom.  But unfortunately, we’ve now gone from mom having three properties to manage (two too many) to five.  Holy poop.  It’s a lot of bills and craziness to say the least.

Accompanying the move is the need to downsize.  Thus, my new part-time job as a Craigslisting fiend – I’m a ‘lister’ not a shopper or buyer...for now, anyway.  We’ve managed to sell a few of mom’s things, but some of the biggest items remain (king size bed, two dining sets, a china hutch, etc.).  Not to mention many, many beautiful collectables, antiques, China sets, pieces of religious art, etc.  We’ve had three different estate sale companies come and take a look and all have said that, while she has nice things, it’s not actually enough for them to put on a sale.  Smells like another big project coming our way – we’ll be having a moving/estate sale on August 2nd to hopefully clear out the place.  If you’ve ever had a garage sale, you know how much work it can be to get ready for one.  Now, imagine that garage sale and Antiques Road Show coming together and you’ll understand what we’re dealing with.  We’ve got to research a lot of the items ourselves to (hopefully!) price them appropriately – sellable but also appreciating their value.

On top of the, well – everything – we’ve had a plague of Pink Eye hit the Martin home.  I’ve never had Pink Eye before.  Never had a kid with Pink Eye.  Now I can (hang my head in shame and) announce that 3 out of 3 Martin children have had Pink Eye in the last three weeks.  It’s like they did a weird relay, tag team nasty-eyeball hand-off thing.  When Matthew first came down with it, we got on top of it right away.  I got him in to see the doctor.  We started the antibiotic eye drops.  We cancelled plans for a couple of days.  We disinfected the house.  I felt like we rocked the socks off of Pink Eye.  Ain’t nobody getting’ this nastiness, foo.  A week later, Zachary got it.  Like the day, Matthew finished the eye drops; Zach started ‘em.  I feel like there’s something about Pink Eye (and the fact that all of our kids got it) that just makes us sound like trashy, gross, disgusting people.  Awesome.  We’re weirdly contagious with goopy eyes.  Wanna hang out?

So, again, some of our ‘fun’ events of the summer have had to be cancelled and rescheduled or put off ‘til we’re a less nasty people.

In the next few weeks, in this last ‘hurrah’ of summer, we have our few trips planned.  Next week, we go on a 4 night camping trip with our best friends.  We’ve been looking forward to it since we carefully selected the best possible site in the campground nine (or more) months ago.  A couple of weeks after that, we go up to our friends’ cabin for an Engaged Encounter weekend get-away/overnight.  A couple of weeks after that, we’re going with neighbors to Seaside, Oregon.  All fun things! 

My prayer is that a.) We can stay grotesque and germ-free, b.) In the midst of our ‘fun’ we manage to sell 2 of mom’s properties and most of her belongings, and c.) I maintain my sanity (or what’s left of it). Wish us luck!

Thursday, July 10, 2014


Like many 3.5 year olds, Kayliana has no filter nor knows no boundaries.  I mean, you obviously have to help these wild animals known as “toddlers” learn the ropes and does and don’ts of human interaction.  She poses an extra challenge though in her outgoingness and desire to share-all.  (Hmmm, I’ll admit that sounds oddly familiar).

Last week, after swim lessons, we were waiting in the pool lobby for the boys to come out of their locker room.  Kayli spotted a fellow mom (who was engrossed in Candy Crushing on her phone).  Without hesitation Kayli, scooted up on the bench next to this complete stranger and proceeded to tell her all sorts of things.  (“I have a blue blankie and it is very special…I have my boys – Matthew and Zachary…”)  I kept trying to subtly (and then not so) bring Kayli closer to me on the bench and give this poor lady some space.  My efforts were completely thwarted when Kayli quickly pulled away from me, laid her hand gently on the woman’s arm and said, “I love you, and I’ll kiss you now.”  That’s when I grabbed her (Kayli, not the lady), apologizing profusely for my daughter’s forwardness and lack of appropriate interaction with strangers. 

So, for the next several days following this embarrassing event, I continued to remind Kayli, that we can be ‘friendly’ with strangers and say ‘hello’ and ‘hi,’ but we don’t love them or offer to kiss them or tell them personal information about ourselves.

Last weekend, when Mike’s sister, her hubby and their son Tucker were visiting on for the 4th (more details on this in a future post…when I have more time to write about it!), we went to Red Robin.  As we were walking out of the mall, we passed another little girl holding her mom’s hand.  She was like the blond straight-haired, lighter-skinned version of Kayliana.  Kayli immediately noticed this kindred spirit.

“HI!” Kayli yelled waving crazily.

“HELLO!” Imitation Kayli yelled back. “You’re beautiful!”

“Thanks!” [Or “Fanks” as it sounds.] Kayli responded.  “I’m a stranger!” she added with glee.

Soooo…maybe she’s getting it.  Sorta.