Paris? Oui Oui!

 paris is always a good idea - audrey hepburn quote - at the beach with kris

I’m the luckiest girl – my mom surprised us (me, my sister and sister-in-law) over Easter with these cute JCrew shirts…

jcrew tshirt oh la la - at the beach with kris

And the news that we are taking a girls trip to Paris in September!  We’ve rented a darling apartment right in the heart of it all.  And who isn’t inspired by everything French?  Here are some photos of our quaint little Parisian flat – our pied-a-terre for the week…

paris kitchen - at the beach with kris

paris kitchen -  at the beach with kris

 paris kitchen - at the beach with kris

 paris at the beach with kris 8

paris bedroom - at the beach with kris

paris bedroom - at the beach with kris

paris at the beach with kris 16

paris at the beach with kris 15

paris at the beach with kris 4

 paris at the beach with kris 5

     I’ve spent a lot of time googling Paris and have decided that I need to pack as lightly as humanly possible so I can bring back a purse, a pair of shoes, some perfume and some art – plus Christmas presents!  I will try to find some cute pants with an elastic waist band so I can eat crepes every single day.  I saw they have food trucks in Paris that serve crepes all day, all night.  Speaking of clothes – apparently Parisian women would NEVER be caught in public in their yoga pants!  Shut the front door!!!  I guess these women are way too chic and dress nicely AND in high heels for pretty much all occasions.   Good thing I have a few months to prepare!  This is how I picture myself looking in Paris….

french women dress like this - at the beach with kris


beach photo of the paris girls - at the beach with kris

And then there is reality – my sisters have a better chance of looking like that than I do – this is us in a beach selfie over Easter.  They can’t be too mad that I posted this considering they look adorable and me…not so much!


If you’ve been to Paris and have some favorites you’d like to share, I’d love to hear from you!


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Happy Mother’s Day!

     Happy Mother’s Day, Peeps!  A special shout out to some of my favorite mothers…of course my own mom who just drove 3 days cross country by herself, hopefully entertained with the 3 road trip cd’s I made for her. (Yes, we still kick it old-school with cd’s.)   I guess you don’t really appreciate your mom fully until you have kids of your own.  Then you appreciate and apologize.  Profusely.  And for Sister…who has the patience of Jobe with her child and who is raising one of the best citizens of the world that I know.  Kudos for that – it was ALL you.  And for Sister-in-law…who never raises her voice or loses her cool and who is raising three of the best kids that I know.  I love my niece and nephews exactly 1 degree less than my own children.  And for my other relatives and friends – mothering is a tough job and thank you for doing it so well and for being my role models.




The Mommy Chronicles


     Sister-in-law recently went on a tropical vacation with my brother.  So my mom…most commonly known as “Grammy”….flew back to North Dakota to babysit my 2 sweet nephews (J and K)  and my darling almost 3-year old niece “Bug”.  You already know that Sister-in-law has Victoria’s secret model hair – what you don’t know is she is also very pretty, she has a true blue P90X body (trust me, you do not want to be within 50 yards of her in a bathing suit or pajamas, or a mumu) and she is so kind, sweet and funny that you can’t even hate her for being so skinny and pretty with silky hair!  She is the best writer – I always tell her she should write a novel or start her blog again.  When we text, I realize I am 100% boring with my responses like “cool!” or “fun!” or “awesome!”.  Sister-in-law is witty in a Saturday Night Live comedy sketch writer kind of way.

     So, this sets the stage for this post.  She sent Grammy her kid directions called “Care and Feeding” – the e-mail said:  “Hi Grammy!  Here’s a little something for you to read on the plane.  Really, if nothing else, use it to doodle on, put your abc gum in, or practice your origami.”  My parents thought it was hysterical (of course) so they forwarded it to me, so I asked Sis-in-law if I could post it to the blog and she said yes!  Here it goes:

     Here are a few particulars regarding your charges.  I/We really hate to insult your intelligence/common sense/general Grammy-ness, but perhaps leaving some semblance of proper care and feeding instructions will help us relax a bit easier, with less guilt.  Bwahaha! Also, I’m keeping the teacher flame burning…

 The Bug:

 1. She’s thiiiiiiiis close to getting out of diapers. (And each ‘i’ represents a month or so. Ugh.) Actually, she sits on the “froggy potty” on a regular basis and occasionally, with a good video, snack, and chapter book, she’ll make something happen. Don’t give it much thought. We’ll figure it out someday.

 2.  She usually wakes up just before we have to leave for school; we both enjoy breakfast and deep conversation after we drop the boys.

 3.  Nap time is still around 1:00, just after lunch.  Most days I have to pluck her out of bed when it’s time to head back to the boys’ school at 3:00.  The monitor has fresh batteries, and the other part of it’s always plugged in and on, behind her recliner. 

 4.  We hit the 3 big B’s at 8:00 pm, give or take 20 minutes or so.  That’d be brushing, books, and bed!  Her toothbrush and paste are in the top left drawer of her bathroom, and she hasn’t yet mastered the spit.  Fair warning.  Books are in her closet, under her bed, in her dresser drawers, and pretty much everywhere else she calls “hers.” That’s the entire house.

 5.  Art class is Wednesday morning at 9:30; don’t feel bad if you don’t really want to go.  She gets plenty of art and stories at home, minus a major rush to get out the door, the toddling germs, and nasty looks from the instructor when Mama brings her giant coffee cup.  Our “art cabinet” is the woven brown thing in the office. Pardon the mess.

 6.  Wouldn’t ya know it, she’s getting over a, uh, bug.  She’s on a teaspoon of medicine (it’s in the fridge) twice a day from now until her own version of eternity.  It’s actually quite tolerable to swill, and smells much, much worse on its way out. 

 The Boys:

 1.  You never need to worry about waking them; J’s up at the creak o’ pre-dawn, dialin’ up ESPN.  It’s habitual.  I guess the co-host of Sports Nation is quite blond and quite cute.

 2.  7:45 is when the whisper of the breakfast bell sounds down the stairs.  I’ve got some waffles, sausage, and–as my grandpa would say–”breakast food” in the freezer.  You may have to look under the discount club-sized bag of green beans.  (By the way, those are so good!  Go nuts!)  The cereal is behind the top doors of the pantry; K is our resident cereal hound.  Wait–I hold that honor. 

 3.  We’re usually out the door by 8:30, as school starts at 8:45 and we don’t want to get stuck behind “Malibu Angel.”  The boys can fill you in/provide warning/sing her special song.

 4.  Backpacks are to be emptied with homework completed right after school (unless it’s Waffle Cone Wednesday!). J’s planner will need to be initialed every night.  I’m toying with the idea of actually “signing my John Henry” one of these days, as that seems to be his teacher’s  favorite line (I’m not saying it bugs me, but you can make your own inferences), and I just want confirmation it actually counts for something.

 5.  Reading commences around 8:20 or so.  We let ‘em read for 20 minutes (give or take a handful) before lights out.  Don’t ask me why, but J chooses to read and sleep backwards. Symbolism?  Ha!

 6.  CCD is Wednesday from 4-4:50 at our church.  The Bug loves to see the water and “movie” towers when we drop off the boys.

 7.  The last game for the Blue Devils is Saturday at 9:00.  The boys’ uniforms and shoes are in their rooms, ready for sweat.  Water bottles and shoes are in their bags, on the hook.


 1.  K wants to take birthday cookies to school on Wednesday; he can just take ‘em in the morning and salivate all day long.  If you care to bring balloons/send a barbershop quartet/scream in with spankings, feel free to embarrass to your heart’s content.

 2.  The Odyssey runs like a dream, but if the starter should begin to chirp, just plug it into the cord dangling from the glove box.  The middle garage door opener is the middle HomeLink button just above the rearview mirror. 

 3.  The boys can grab the mail once or twice; the key is in the van.  K will probably get a package from my dad.  He can go ahead and let ‘er rip.

 4.  If you find yourself having issues with the DVR, see #1 under “The Boys.” 

 5.  The Bug’s hair accoutrements are in her top drawer (the tall chest), along with all her jeans.  Why there?  Not sure.  Oh, and her mix-n-match jammies are in the lower left of the other dresser.  If you go right, see #1 under “The Bug.” 

 6.  Sadly, the Keurig has been put out of her misery.  Now begins mine.  Their  customer service reps have grown weary of me, and  I’m sick of being scolded for using tap water and de-scaling every two days.  Ever drunk hot vinegar with a dash of coffee?  Blech… Anyhow, take as many K-cups as will fit in your suitcase (Bug can show you the stash) and I’ll do the same when we head south.  Just a heads-up about the crummy carafe I’m back to cursing (love me some alliteration; see opening paragraph):  I’m no geometry whiz, but the right pour angle can make or break your morning.

 7.  You’ll find ancillary milk, etc. in the garage.  Please, please, please eat and drink as much as you possibly can.  That’s our policy.

 8.  My phone is totally out of commish when we’re out of town, be it Bismarck or Bismark.  It may share a secret spot in the coulee with the Keurig before too long.  Husband’s phone will be on, but we’re not really sure what we’ll have for service.  We’d love to Skype or Facetime with y’all, so we’ll find a way to call and set it up. 

9.  My folks would love to help out if you want to get away to see les girls or need a few moments of quiet.  You’re welcome to drinks in trailer #1254, or in their almost-rebuilt house, too!  Give ‘em a call if you wish!  (Remember they lost their home in the flood and have been living in a FEMA trailer!)

 10.  Bath toys are in The Bug’s bathroom, in the closet.  Wouldn’t it be much easier to keep ‘em by the tub? Well, yes. 

 11.  Do not use the R/O.  It’s so gross.  I should say STILL so gross.

 12.  Flat Stanely will be going home with you!  Feel free (read:  PLEASE!) show him a good time and document it well. I’m kidding, but if you think of something we may have overlooked (a visit with the mayor?), take the reins.

 13.  I bought an unusually large amount of bananas, even though I know Wal Mart’s produce doesn’t keep.  You’ll find flour, etc. in the spice cabinet.  Just sayin’. 

 14.  Have a great, great time. Please, don’t hesitate to lie to us should we ask how much we were missed.

 15.  Understand just how much we truly appreciate your coming back.  We are so excited to get away, and the kids are practically kicking us out the door to get you in! 

I personally hope Grammy did a good job with Flat Stanely – that is son’s school project and he is beyond excited to see what adventures his nephews took him on!