How Lazy People Fold Fitted Sheets (In Less Than 5 Seconds)

It’s crap like this that gives Martha Stewart a bad name.

I have never…EVER…in my life spent more than 2-3 seconds folding a fitted sheet. And those methods like Martha Stewart proposes? Take a good minute or two, depending on how picky you are. Maybe even longer. Not only am I not picky, but I am extremely lazy…too lazy – in fact – to spend more time folding sheets than I do wiping my butt.

(WHAT?)

But seriously. Those “How To Fold A Fitted Sheet” things make feel equal parts
A) Shame – for not caring enough to want to learn that method and
B) Pride – for not caring enough to want to learn that method.

Now…I spend a LOT of time framing pictures around my house. And organizing my office supplies. And my craft closet. I get that we each have our things we care about. I would just like to go on the record saying that folding a fitted sheet perfectly – falls below “clean baseboards” and “dust-free blinds” on the list of Stuff I Care About.

So…if you’re like me and don’t even feel like wasting time looking at the folded sheet tutorial? Then here is the Fitted Sheet Folding Method just for you!

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Let me start by saying that I really had to struggle to turn this into five steps. In reality? It’s just one more step more than “Wad Up And Cram On Shelf.” And I would totally use that method if my shelves weren’t better suited to holding a faux-folded sheet as the wadded up method tends to lead to sheets falling onto the floor of my closet.

BECAUSE…BELIEVE ME…I HAVE TRIED.

Basically? It’s a roll instead of a wad. With a nice faux-fold at the end to give you a side of the wad to place outwards on your shelf so it at least looks like you folded it. Bonus points? The same method can be used for a flat sheet! It’s that advanced!

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See? It almost looks like those sheets are folded! When we know the truth. That it took you 5 seconds to do BOTH. Giving you more time to drool over shirtless men on The Arrow. (HEY! The show is good! I swear! Especially if you like shirtless men.)

photo(1)And if you’re curious about other domestic methods for the lazy? I also subscribe to the Never Put The Clean Clothes Away method of laundry sorting. The kids just get their clean clothes out of their baskets in the laundry room every day! And put the dirty ones in a pile in their room! This way, I never have to go upstairs with clothes. I only have to throw the dirty pile downstairs periodically. And the kids love it! It’s like a treasure hunt for their desired outfit ever day!

Bonus Points: When you can convince your kids that mismatched socks are cool. Which I have done. Eliminating the need to sort or pair up their socks.

Feel free to pay homage to my domestic supremacy however you see fit.

What I’ve Been Reading

Picture 2I started and almost finished Beauty Queens on my trip home from Denver last week. I had been told by dozens of people that I needed to read it, which is probably why I had been putting it off. I always get nervous when more than one person recommends a book to me because I feel like it raises my expectations too high.

But it didn’t happen this time. No one really gave me any details about what it was about so I was blown away by how much I enjoyed it. It’s hysterical. I don’t even know how to describe it, other than to tell you it’s about a bunch of teen beauty queens whose plane crashed on a deserted island. I’d love to give you tidbits to lure you in, but I think I’m glad I read it kinda blind. So, if you think you’d be entertained by a campy satire mixed with a social commentary on beauty and strength…then read it!

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Picture 3I can’t remember why I picked up Where Things Come Back but I’m glad I did. It was unlike any other Young Adult fiction I’ve ever read. Very real and dark in tone, so it was a nice change. And while it didn’t devastate me or anything, I wasn’t happy reading it. It kept me quite gray while I finished it. I’m glad I read it, but if you’re look for light fare that’s going to leave you seeing rainbows and petting unicorns? This is not it.

But if you’re looking for something that will be a bit introspective and serious and maybe leaving you thinking about life and loss a little longer than you normally like, then it’s a good read. It’s well written and a bit different from what I’m used to.

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If you’ll recall, I have put a moratorium on series books. I was getting frustrated with a few factors:

1) Having to re-read a book to refresh my memory once the next one came out. I only have limited time to read, I don’t want to waste it reading books I’ve already read once.

2) Being disappointed after what could be years of time put into a series.

So – my new rule is that I won’t read a series until it’s done and someone I trust assures me the entire thing is worthwhile. I won’t get to the end and regret having read it.

I read Matched when it first came out a million years ago, but didn’t continue with the series after I put my moratorium into place. Now that the final book has come out, and John Green said it was good, I decided to pick up the first one again. I started reading them on my trip to Denver.

I’m not done with the final book yet, but I’m almost done. But here’s the thing, I’m kinda having trouble sticking with it. I mean, it’s good, but I’ve hit a bit of a lull. I don’t want to give anything away, but I was kinda hoping someone who has read the series could maybe encourage me in the comments to finish it. I’ll just say that there’s some sick people and other people are trying to cure them and I feel like I’ve been reading about sick people for YEARS now. Just when I think the story is leading elsewhere, we’re right back to the sickness again.

So, it’s good, but I’m just struggling. A book has to really pull me in to keep my attention in my crazy life and this lull seems to be waning my interest a bit and I’m worried I won’t finish it.

Have you read it? Can you give me some words of encouragement to stick with it? BLAH.

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That’s what I’ve been reading, what about you? Anything good? What Libba Bray book should I read next if I ever finish the Matched Trilogy?

Grindstones and Battle Plans

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Holy CARP.

(I see that I typed “carp” instead of “crap” but I truly believe that typo was made for a reason and I’m leaving it…as is.)

What a whirlwind of a week, AM I RIGHT?

When Do We Get To Move To Denver?

I went to Denver to visit my brother, his wife, and my new, gorgeous, awesome, and brilliant nephew. I picked that weekend to visit so I could help them move so, when I wasn’t helping them do that, I was holding that wonderful baby and it made me wish we had 14 more kids. Seriously. If it wasn’t for the pregnancy part? If I could just wake up and have a baby? I would do it in a heartbeat. I just don’t think I am emotionally strong enough to go through another pregnancy and definitely not another potential loss. I feel I’ve reached my limit. Maybe I’ll feel differently further from my last miscarriage, after the wounds have healed more, but right now? I’d love another baby. But not the emotional strain of pregnancy to get there.

BUT THAT BABY? NOM. NOM. NOM. NOM.

We ran through the mountains around Red Rocks one day, and then went into the amphitheater itself later that same day. I made my first trip to an IKEA where I pondered how anyone ever makes a decision there…SO MUCH STUFF. I ate breakfast three mornings in a row at a place called French Press, and those are officially the three BEST BREAKFASTS of my life. If you’re ever around Lakewood, Colorado? Go eat there. And bring some back for me.

All in all? A wonderful trip. Even with the travel chaos trying to get there when Chicago was under a huge snow storm. I made it about 3 hours later and on an entirely flight plane different, but my luggage still tried (and failed) to go through Chicago. But the suitcase was in my hands the first morning I was there and nothing else went wrong the rest of the trip. As usual, I cried when I had to say “goodbye” because leaving my brother is always a really tough thing to do. I just hold on to the hope that one day our lives will lead us closer together geographically, until then? It’s periodic flights to hold us over. Which we do very willingly. I hope with all of my heart that my kids are as close as adults as we are, it makes navigating life’s waters so much easier.

Of course – I landed in Huntsville on Christmas Even and quite literally hit the ground running to finish everything for Christmas. Which I did! Almost!

Weaponry, Tablets, Dinosaurs…OH MY!

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Christmas was great. We opened our new Christmas PJs that night after E got back from his Dad’s, we watched “Pitch Perfect” again, and we went to sleep and waited for Santa to do his thing. Which he did quite early, I might add, because I hear he’s old and needs his sleep. (Seriously, presents were under the tree by about 10pm. He wasn’t fooling around.)

I think the kid’s favorite gifts were the Kindle Fire (regular version, bought when Amazon had them on sale for $129 which made it cheaper than a Nintendo DS! Which is what Santa was originally going to get her for her “big” gift) for Nikki, the Bow and Arrow for Wes (which he’s REALLY good at, by the way, it’s amazing), and the Kigurumi for E. That gift was a big risk. A bunch of our favorite YouTubers have them and they’re hysterical so I thought it would be awesome, but it’s one of those gifts that he could have totally opened and been like, “I don’t get it.” He may not have remembered that DailyGrace had one! Or Tyler Oakley! Or Chris Hardwick! (Ok, Chris Hardwick is actually my favorite YouTuber, but whatevs.) But he opened the gift and knew EXACTLY what it was and put it on immediately. THANK GOD. It would be very difficult to explain to him why I thought dinosaur pajamas would be a good gift for an almost-18-year-old if he didn’t remember them from YouTube.

All in all? A great Christmas. And I am lucky enough to work for a company that gives us the day after Christmas off too, which is always such a blessing. I usually enjoy that day more because it’s less chaos and more fun. Yesterday was just that. The kid’s spent some of their Christmas money, we ate crappy (but yummy) food and we went ice skating. (More on that in another entry.) So, as of 4:45am when I woke up this morning? It’s BACK TO REALITY.

Getting Back On Track

My life has been non-stop chaos since the marathon a few weeks ago. We had a Christmas show at E’s school to put on, I went to Denver, and then the chaos of the holidays just kept me off my feet and shoving gobs of bad food into my mouth. I have gained about 8 pounds in a month and I haven’t run a long run since my marathon. And I have a 50K I’m supposed to run on Monday.

WHAT?!

I’m not entirely sure that’s going to happen since my “training” has consisted mainly of eating junk food and watching “Pitch Perfect” every day. But, I’m not going to stress out about it. I’m going to use the next few days to get back into a normal eating, exercising schedule to prep myself for the new year which I always jump into with tons of hopes and dreams. I did a lot of what I set out to do in 2012, I’d love to be as successful in 2013.

So I’ll get back to work today, get my life back in some sort of normal routine, and I’ll just do the best I can on Monday. I’d rather not end my year with a “Did Not Finish” (DNF) but I’m not going to hate myself it that happens. I think I had too much on my plate the last few weeks and I don’t feel bad that I had to let my training slide for things like my kid’s last Christmas play and a trip to see my brother’s first kid. I take on a lot in my life, so when I say “Maybe that was a bit much” then you know I’m over my head. If I run 30 miles on Monday? Great. But if I only make it 15? I’m not going to hate myself. I’ve had a genius 2012 full of major accomplishments, if I don’t make the final goal on the list? I’ll be okay.

But today I’m only going to focus on two things:
1) Trying to get a normal run in and
2) Not eating the rest of the Pumpkin Trifle sitting in my refrigerator.

If I can manage those two things today? Then I’ll be on better footing than I have been the last few weeks.

Letter From Dad. (This is a FUNNY entry, I promise! Not depressing! Just look at the picture I included as proof!)

(That is officially the longest blog title I’ve ever written.)

photoSunday was my Dad’s birthday. I sometimes joke that his punishment for dying too soon is that I will now spend the rest of my life posting embarrassing photos of him on the internet.

Although – in my defense – this is no glamour shot of me either.

I stumbled upon a bunch of letters from Dad this weekend and sometimes I forget how funny his letters were. I mean – I remember him making me laugh – but the details as to how have faded a bit. I read these letters and his humor just came rushing back to me, and seeing it in written form really showed maybe where I get some of my writing style from. He writes a lot like I do, but with less mention of boob sweat.

This is a transcript of one of my favorite letters (October 1993 – I had been away at college for just a couple of months) along with my commentary (in italics), but with personal information of family members removed. Especially the part where Dad talked about how I was his favorite child. I didn’t think my brother should see that.

Hi Kim,

It is Sunday afternoon & I am at work. I should be working on my digital signal processing lab but I’ve decided to write you instead. (Dad was working on his Masters and taking very difficult engineering classes. We often commiserated on the difficulty of our classes, even though his were actually hard and I was just being lazy.) I have no class Monday night and my lab is due the following Monday. At first I thought it was going to be easy. The more I do of it the harder it looks. (I took a Cell Biology class that worked the same way.) I have to design a low pass filter mathematically and then translate it to assembly language understood by a integrated circuit. (SERIOUSLY? WTF does that even mean?) If that wasn’t bad enough, I have to scale it. My filter calls for numbers like:

1.23456 x 1023

but the biggest number the integrated circuit can take is 4096. I need to read some more before I understand how to do it. (HA! A MATH JOKE. I mean, do you realize how much bigger 1.23456 x 1023 is than 4096? TONS bigger! I love that I inherited my appreciation for math humor from him.)

By the way, how do you like that number? I am using my new wordperfect for Windows at work. It is a bitch to understand but it does some neat things. My last two weeks at work have been spent playing with it. It is a shared networked with 1.2 gigabytes of memory. That enough to store 600 million pages of writing. I have been seeing how much more than my share I can fill up. (I like to think he wrote at least 400 million pages of math jokes during his tenure at that job.)

I have changed my style at work. I haven’t wore a tie since summer. I don’t intend to for long. (I totally forgot Dad used to wear a tie at work! I wonder if he ever sported the Bud Light shirt a the hospital)

….

I am also at work this afternoon because it is freezing in our house. C is with Mom so I have the heat turned down. I will go home in a little while to begin warming it up. (Y’all. Dad was a FREAK about not wasting power/heat. We had one tiny baseboard heater in one room of the house that he only turned on if we were home and in that room. It basically put out enough warmth so that you didn’t get frostbite. AND THAT’S ALL. I do not tolerate anyone whining about a cold house because YOU JUST DON’T KNOW.)

I talked to A’s Mom the other day and gave her hell for setting precedence and buying A a car. (That’s right, children of American. I didn’t have my own car until I was a sophomore in college.) I haven’t heard from any more of your friends or their families. C doesn’t talk nearly as much as you used to. (Me? A Talker? WHAT WAS HE IMPLYING?) He is spending a lot of time studying this year…and his grades show it. (Is he calling me fat?)

We still go to Central to run and roller blade a couple of times each week. (I never got to see Dad roller blade, I don’t think. I forgot he did until I read this letter. I have a hysterical mental image of it though, I doubt real life would have been as funny.) Last Thursday an army helicopter overheated and sat down in the parking lot. (We chased down a hot air balloon once, struggling to land in a shopping center. We talked to them for a bit and they took us up for awhile. Dad must have had a magnetism for airborne people.) We talked with the army guys for about half and hour. They buzzed our heads as they were taking off. I think they may be just been playing instead of having engine trouble.

Time to get back to filters. Write or call when you can.

Love, Dad

P.S. Sometimes these printouts come out 3 floors away. I’ll have to be careful what I write about until we understand this network more. Love,Dad. (Now I wish he HAD talked more about boob sweat.)

My First Ever – Social Media Roundup!

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I am going to Denver today. (Depending on when this posts, I may already be there!) I’m ditching my kids and my husband and not returning until Christmas Eve.

YES. This is the craziest, most expensive, most stressful way to plan a visit with family.

But I had to do it because there’s a little boy in Denver waiting to meet his Aunt Kim and I would rather disappoint all three of my weirdos than him. I feel that way about both of my nephews. It’s amazing – being an Aunt – you really do get to enjoy all of the good parts of parenting without any of the sucky parts. I can’t wait to get my hands on the little guy.

I had a revelation yesterday. A lot of you don’t follow me on Facebook (probably because I don’t friend people on Facebook unless I actually know them in some capacity since so many of my kid’s friends tag me in photos and I want to make sure I know the people who see them), a lot of you don’t follow me on Twitter (probably because you don’t do twitter) and many of you many not follow me on instagram (because you don’t like my filtered photos of tennis shoes). But – there’s a lot of things I post in those places you guys may miss! And then we’re not all on the same page! AND HOW AWFUL WOULD THAT BE TO BE MISSING PAGES?

So I’m going to do my first ever…

Zoot’s Social Media Roundup

(What I was babbling about elsewhere.)

Did you know I could hacky sack? And this is with a homemade hacky sack, made out of balloons and beans. I’m much better (although not mind-blowing) with a real one. This is how I spent time between classes for 5+ years in college. I miss it.

The Nerdist (Chris Hardwick who Donnie and I just saw in Nashville last week) got a full order for his BBC show!!!!

I don’t know how I got on the International Quidditch Association email list? BUT I AM SO HAPPY I DID.

I ran a 5K dressed like a fool!
I ran a 5K dressed like a fool! It was my first 5K “racing” in a year. I didn’t push it full out because I wasn’t sure if I could, but I finished in 28:xx which is THREE MINUTES slower than my fastest 5K. Someone needs to do some speedwork.

Forever Young Adult did a great write-up about my favorite of Rory Gilmore’s boyfriends.

Nikki ran a 5K and won FIRST PLACE in her age group!

Nikki ran a 5K and won FIRST PLACE in her age group! She hadn’t run in a month and still finished in about 38 minutes. She did wonderful!

Alabama State Parks are offering FIRST DAY of the year hikes across the state.

Modern parenting is weird sometimes.

I have a lot of copies of this song!
I have a lot of copies of this song! I guess it’s not that weird now that someone said it’s supposed to be about sex, not about religion, but I thought it was funny that I have all of these versions of this song. (I think the K.D. Lang one is my fave.)

My boot camp leader started a Random Acts Of Awesomeness group on Facebook. Five minutes after I did my first Random Act of Awesome, someone notified me that I had been gifted a random gift of awesome and I nearly cried. The person is anonymous and the gift is huge and I just don’t know how to deal with that other than to keep doing random awesome and hope I pay them back someday.

Power Rangers for Marriage Equality? Completely my favorite thing ever. All three of my kids have dressed as Power Rangers at some point in their lives for Halloween, and now I’m super proud of that fact.

E learns what it's like to be a stay-at-home parent/spouse.

I asked E to cook dinner the other night as Donnie had to pick up the kids and I had a meeting. This is the text I got from him around the time he was expecting us all to be home and eating. How many of you stay-at-home parents/spouses are shouting a loud, “I HEAR YOU, E!” from your desk?

I’m proud of my Alma Mater for booting the football player off the team for his racist tweet about Obama (addressing the nation about Newtown) that went viral. That said: TELL ALL OF YOUR KIDS THIS STORY. I know some wonderful teenagers only a year or two younger than this guy who are very smart on Twitter and all social media. But I also know some who say things I know they don’t want attached to their name forever. TEACH YOUR KIDS ABOUT THE POWER OF THEIR WORDS. And about the longevity of things they post on the internet. This is what I tell my kids, “If you wouldn’t want your grandmother to read it, or your favorite teacher, or your Dad – DO NOT PUT IT OUT THERE.” One minute you only have five people reading your posts, and then one of those five people sends it to the wrong person and the next thing you know you’re getting kicked off a football team and being lambasted all over the internet. Seriously. TELL HIS TALE TO YOUR KIDS. What you think is something funny between you and 10 friends might someday be ready by your minister. And this line from the kid is the most powerful part: “I put that on Twitter. I can’t take it back, and it’s always going to be in the back of somebody’s mind that I said that…”

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And how about one final and NICE picture just in case I’m not back before Christmas.

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I love you guys. I hope you have a wonderful Holiday season, no matter how you celebrate it.