lip prints

it's been one of those months where grains of sand have gathered into a dust storm and just for good measure the calendar threw in a holiday.

i don't know about your holidays, but ours tend to create secrecy, chaos, tears, food fit for kings, and eating until even the largest tent still feels twelve sizes too small.

this year was no exception. the feast prepared could have fed two more familys, their dogs, their cats, and anything else that happened to be living under or on top of their roof.

and today when i was cleaning up after this feast i was feeling like i'd hosted all of them - and the entire contents of their barn too...

still, holidays (for various reasons) aren't my favorite time of year. so, though it was a wonderful day with more than excellent company and such a huge feast that i still can't button my pants, i wasn't feeling very thankful for any of it.

not in the least - just paint me green and call me Grinch.

so, there i was muttering as i was vacuuming food from the floor when i spotted a handful of rubber bands shaped like dinosaurs and three rudoulph the red nosed reindeer figures tucked into a safe hiding spot behind the sofa.

and almost as though it was their intent, they made me grin.

now, in case someone should forget this hiding spot before they return, i shut off the vacuum and bent down to pick them up. when i did, i noticed something odd about the photo of myself that sits on the shelf next to the sofa. 

it didn't look right somehow. but, when i stood with the retrieved toys and took another look at it straight on it was fine.

odd i thought.

i must investigate further.

so, with dinosaur rubber bands and rudolph toys still in one hand, i picked the photo off the shelf and brought it closer with the other.

indeed, something was very odd.

three dimensional and glittery even.

but only when i tipped it at the precise angle could i see it.  so i tipped it to and fro until i finally realized what it was.

and when i did, my grin became a full on smile...

there across my smiling face was a small, but perfectly placed, graham cracker crumb studded lip print.

a kiss from a tiny tornado who loves her grama all the way from "A (bcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxy) to Z" and as "big as my hands and feet can stretch and even further"

a reminder that i am indeed blessed and that i would fare much better during the holidays remembering that.

it started with a B

the mr and i were spending a nice afternoon with our children and their two tiny tornados.
there were stories and giggles and puzzles and games and a wonderful home cooked meal.
afterward a fire was lit in the fireplace and we settled in front of it. and, our two tiny tornadoes skipped and sang and danced and giggled.

and, after they had sufficiently amused us the elder tornado decided to play with a game, which - of course - her two year old brother then wanted to play as well...

if she can then i can.

problem being she didn't want him to.

he started to take those parts he needed to play, but she wanted them back and a scuffle soon ensued. 

hey! i was playing with that!

i wanna play too!

but i don't want you to!
but i want to!

parents - and grandparents - attempted to intervene; "he just wants to play with you because he loves you."

she protested;

but i'm 5 and he's 2! he's not old enough!

he, of course, took advantage of her attention being elsewhere and swooped in to take a few more pieces which she noticed with malice when her attention was once more focused on the scuffle.

hey! you give me those!


i had those! give those back!


i said give those back! 

but she realized he meant business and so tried to forcefully take the pieces back.

he stubbornly protested.

and finally she'd had enough;


grama wasn't sure she'd just heard what she thought she had.
grampa looked quite puzzled.
dad cocked his head in a quizical manner.

it was mom finally put words to our silence; "did she just say what i think she did?"

all of us agreed that we'd thought so, but none of us were truly certain. so mom called her over and quietly asked her exactly what she'd just said. 

she kept mum for a bit before saying she didn't want to repeat it out loud but would whisper it into her mother's ear.

and she did.

mom had to stifle a giggle; 'no, sweetheart, you did not say your brother was a "good boy."

crestfallen, she knew she'd been beaten. mom was right, but still she refused to repeat what she had said out loud.

then mom, who is very wise, thought up a different angle; "you don't have to tell us what you said, sweetheart, just tell us what the word starts with."

and the suddenly confident self assured little girl beamed with pride.

she knew this answer!

it started with a B!