Ball. Ball. Ball.

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You know what this whole “blogging daily” experience has taught me? That I don’t need to blog every day. I know. Sad but true. Hear me out.

Before I tried this, I was making myself feel so guilty for not blogging everyday. I thought that if I just put the effort in I could have a booming website.  I would beat myself up daily for being such a failure and not even trying. Meanwhile, days and days would go by and this site would get dustier and dustier. BUT! While it was getting dustier I was focusing on other things, like working-out every day or writing books or creating really unique photoshoots for my clients or walking my damn dogs all over the planet. (I do a lot of dog walking…)

I decided to shut that inner nagging voice up with this blogging-everyday exercise and guess what I figured out?!! I suck at blogging every day! I actually don’t have that much that is interesting to say! Who knew?!! (Probably everyone.)

Maybe it’s okay not to blog every day. I mean, how much can I ramble and be entertaining? Not that much! Sure, I was entertaining back in the day when there weren’t a million bloggers creating amazing content but now there are and here I am just blowing raspberries into the wind. I have my loyal buddies (Hello guys! I love you!) who love every single sentence I ever write but you gotta admit I wasn’t really showing up with my A-game. Sigh.

So I might call it off. I know you understand. I think I’m just going to keep doing what I was doing and showing up here when I actually have something interesting to share. But maybe at least try to show up once a week. Even a week round-up post could be fun. Like a list or something.

All of this is very navel-gazing and meta. So let’s move on to more important things:

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SPRECKLES! Having three dogs has pushed us over the limit of sane dog owners. It’s a circus around here. Have you ever tried petting three jealous dogs at the same time? You have to use two hands and a foot. And if you don’t, one dog will paw at you with her extremely long dog toenails and give you bruises on your legs. The other will bark so loudly it will wake up the whole house and the other will jump up on your lap, lick your nose OR worse, growl at the other dogs, which can be a little scary.

I know it’s my own fault for spoiling them rotten with petting sessions but I can’t not spoil them! My heart doesn’t work the way a disciplinarian’s should. (Have you seen my kid?) I am the pied piper of the dogs. They follow me everywhere because they know I’m a sucker with a big, fat softie-dog-loving heart. I can be counted on to give them snacks, play with them and have three-limbed petting sessions at all hours of the day.

I try to play ball with Spreckles, because she is the crazy ball-loving type, but the other dogs do not play ball and insist on interrupting our games rudely. It’s mayhem.

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How could you ignore that face?

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Here, Mom, I haz ball. You can haz ball.

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See ball. It there. Stop all this drinking coffee and focus on ball. I has razor focus on ball.

Ball. Ball. Ball.

The “13 Doesn’t Succ…” Succulent Party

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It rained all week and then suddenly on Saturday, the day of Bug’s thirteenth birthday party, the sun came out, the rain dried up and it was a brilliant lovely summer day. Pretty much perfect for an outdoor succulent-themed birthday lunch!

(Of course we had a back up plan. We would have went ahead and had a birthday lunch inside and crowded everyone into our dining room. I would have pan-fried the hamburgers three at a time and it would have been a smokey mess but we could have pulled it off. I’m just so glad we didn’t have to.)

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From the outside everything looked perfect. It was sunny and warm day in January. The napkins I found stuffed in my party box were the perfect color of orange to match Bug’s neon orange shirt that she picked out last minute. The adorable little succulent plants fit perfectly into their little terra cotta pots. The cupcakes were the most cute! The hamburgers were delicious and the avocados were even the perfect amount of ripeness to make a big bowl of tasty guacamole. The puppies were happy guests in the side yard petitioned by a puppy gate. Everyone was happy.

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I, however, was not as happy. A shame, I know. It’s just that I’m think I am ready to retire from party-throwing. I know. Nobody believes me. And maybe I’m just all talk. Come May when it’s time to throw Joon’s “baking challenge” birthday party, I’ll probably be rearing to go again. But right now I just feel like I’m done. I’ve spent way too much money on these parties over the years and it’s starting to get to the point where the wonderful creative aspect of party-throwing is not outweighing the financial and operational stress of making them actually happen.

It’s finally come to that. Maybe 2018 was a rough year for me and I’m finally growing up.

I love parties. I just don’t love who I become during party prep count-down time AND I don’t love how much money I spend. Unfortunately I’ve set the bar pretty high and the kids have come to expect this kind of festivities but I think it’s time to train them out of it because this can’t sustain itself. At least not for a while while I recuperate from losing my laptop and camera in Italy.

But you are not here to discuss my mental health and my party planning retirement. You are here to look at the details.

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Details! The green bar, the green lemonade, the sunny day, the succulents everywhere… It was all lovely

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Bug and I fell in love with the idea of succulent cupcakes. They are all over Pinterest these days. I didn’t really put a lot of effort into researching the how-to steps to make them though because Joon has become the baker in the house and I figured between the two of them, (Joon is the baker, Bug is the decorator) they would probably pull it off. I bought the Russian tips and let it all sit on the counter for a week until the day of the party.

Well, as luck would have it, the girls let me down. Not terribly but they kind of expected me to pull it off for them like I usually do and they were off in the bathroom somewhere doing their hair. So maybe you could say I let them down. Chalk it up to a miscommunication.

So there I was a the eleventh hour trying to figure out how Russian icing tips work. The kit I bought was super complicated with widgety plastic parts that for some reason with the last minute stress of it all turned into a rubic’s cube mystery operated by Greasy Fingers Mc-frustrated. Nothing worked and the cute little succulents of icing turned into smooshy blobs instead of leaf-like peaks. The color was perfect (because Bug, the color expert added the food coloring) but the shape was just a mess.  Of course it was 101 degrees in the kitchen because that is how our house works when the sun is out (pretty windows have an ugly side effect) and that probably contributed to my stress.

I grunted and screamed and pretty much turned into a Tyrannosaurus rex for twenty minutes. Poor Payam hovered nearby but there was really nothing anyone could do to calm me down or fix the situation.  I muttered through it and in the end the cupcakes turned out pretty cute. And since no one was comparing them to the Pinterest pin I had in my head, nobody realized they were a collassel failure.

Typical Brenda. Freak out and nobody knows.

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Payam cooked the hamburgers. Joon had perfect hair…

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And the party went off without anyone knowing that I was officially throwing in the towel. Last party I vowed.

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A funny thing about Bug and Joon. Bug loves to draw (of course! She’s just like me) and many of Bug’s friends like to draw too. Joon does not like to draw and many of Bug’s friends don’t like to draw either. So the party kind of split into two groups: the drawers and the game players.

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Joon LOVES any kind of game. The more active the better. I never realized how much I hated games until I met someone who really loves them. There are just so many games I am bad at!  Pretty much anything to do with math or being on the spot gives me anxiety. So that rules out all games except Pictionary. I love Pictionary because I love to draw. Sadly nobody else really loves Pictionary as much as I do.

When the party started out Joon was kind of moping around because it was a day for Bug and all of Bug’s friends were there. Joon didn’t get a chance to invite any of her friends, an oversight on my part. She was sad and bored.

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But then when Bug went off to a corner with her drawing buddies some of her non-drawing buddies got bored and wandered inside to find Joon who was standing by to save the day with TWISTER! and CARD GAMES! All the gamers were so happy and so was Joon. And that’s how that worked out.

It’s funny though because Payam came to me and said, Why are there two groups? Why are Bug and her two lone buddies off being anti-social to which I turned to him and said, Let them be. That was me. I always hated parties because I hated games and I just wanted to be off in a corner drawing. So we let them be.

 

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And that was that! Thirteen didn’t suck so much. But being the party planner did so maybe this is my last party. At least until May. And then THAT will be my last party.