29 April 2011


i adore games. just not the ones you have to either win or lose. those kinds make me panic.

but random? i'll play. because i do enjoy the jamie flannigan.

one. i always pretend i'm uncle sugar when i call about bank accounts, insurance policies, and other official documents if my name's not the primary one just so i don't have to answer a lot of security questions. i used to use a deep voice, but now i can't be bothered with even that. yesterday, i called one of our credit card companies to ask about a charge and she kept asking me questions about myself. "what's your name?" pat. "what's your full name?" patrick. "what's your middle name?" michael. long pause. "all right, MISSUS mackin. what's your question?" it's mister, mister. in other news, i like pretending to be pat. his life is way more exciting.

two. i have a nightmare every night about one or more of the girlies three. they mostly all involve large numbers of tigers or sharks, riptides, mean girls, or unfortunate accidents at school. like the time i laughed so hard in high school that i peeped my uniform skirt. no one noticed, but i panicked and told everyone about it.

three. if there's a secret in the room, i panic and tell it.

four. i sometimes at least three times a week walk into our bedroom at the end of one of those days that actually occur every day if i really kept track and sigh and ask uncle sugar whose idea was all this again?

five. all this was his idea. i should thank him more often.

play, why don't you? have a sweetheart of a weekend, why don't you? send me a present, why don't you? xoxo! oh! and jamie flannigan's pinterest is sick. you should go look here.

28 April 2011

what's it going to take?!

honest to britches, if it's the last thing i do, i'm going to make you understand how not nice i am! this may require testimonials from those who really know me.

just teasing. that could get ugly.

i love how hard-to-persuade you all are. if no one's told you how lovely you are yet today, allow me to be your first.

you. are. lovely.

that's all for today. i'm feeling stressy and think i need to step away from these writing assignments that are just blinking at me, all blank and uninspired. i never win staring contests, and i don't feel like today's the day my luck's going to change. off for a run and some sweat. catch you later. xoxo. sweet sentiment found here.

27 April 2011

lest you think i'm nice...

some of your sweetheart comments worry me every so often, and i think now is one of those times where i should remind you that i am not very nice. not really. at. all.

here. i'll prove it.

a few weeks ago, it was raining and i was wearing a cool dress and silly-cute shoes. my office windows look out onto the forest in back of my house, which means i see my share and probably yours, too, of foxes and raccoons and deer and cute golfer boys and even baby couples trying to steal away for a make-out.

i let coco interrupt the golfers, but i tend to leave the kissing bandits alone. making out should be encouraged, don't you think?

well. back to a few weeks ago. we have these neighbors from iraq. they're lovely. but the grandmother is suffering from some sort of dementia. is that the right word? when you regress back to your childhood?

anyway. i saw her back in the woods, running in the rain from something forever ago, probably. and she tripped in the thorns. i know there are thorns because uncle sugar and i take that shortcut to get to the real paths back there. when we're going to make-out. i mean, hike.

if i'm being honest? {and here's where the people who know me in real life cringe and yell at their monitors "do NOT be honest, karey! we already KNOW you're not a nice person! don't ruin it for your readers!}

ugh. here goes.

if i'm being honest, my first thought was not to jump up and help her. my first thought was more like a resigned sigh. like a dang it! not what i needed right now. at. all.

i take that back. my first thought was straight back to the night before when i said something or other to uncle sugar and he narrowed his eyes and shook his head at me and said "you're not a very nice person right now." i added the right now so it wouldn't sound so...forever permanent.

i said i most certainly was a nice person and that a number of people who don't know me think so, too, but that guy was not budging from his statement.

anyway. fifty percent of why i went out to help that grandmother was because i was trying to prove to myself that i am, in fact, a nice person. which really means i am not one. at. all.

it's funny. the only arabic word i really remember is habibiti. it kind of means my baby. my love. i kept saying it over and over to her while i was trying to untangle her.

then i delivered her home and yelled at her still-sleeping grandson and clicked my tongue at him for not locking the door and for allowing his grandmother to walk out in the rain in the cold forest like a dog. he said it was very nice of me to have rescued her.

and i wanted to tell him about my cool dress and silly-cute shoes and how i really hate helping people in the rain in the forest in the mud in the thorns when i look cute and what uncle sugar had said about me and what i honestly deep-down know about me, but i just said thank you. and then i came home and got all weepy for that poor poor old woman.

a little later, i called pat at work to tell him what had just happened. after cooing about the poor poor old woman and clicking his tongue at that grandson, he asked if i was okay. i said yes, of course. it was just sad.

before he hung up, he said "you were going to pretend you didn't see her, weren't you?" and i gulped and said yes. and i could feel him smile.

"see? i was right. you're not a nice person."

but it actually sounded a lot nicer than that.

oh, the things i tell you people. it makes me giggle. so...we're agreed. no more comments about how nice i am, ok? there. i feel better now. xoxo. the first four things that made me smile on pinterest today, in no particular order: here, here, here and here.

26 April 2011

i like you...

the girlies two were out late last night at swim team practice, which gave me some undistracted esmé time. i thought she'd need it after yesterday.

between me and you? i think i was the one who needed it. when in the world did i get so heartbroken about goodbyes? ugh. i bet i'm getting old lady, aren't i?

anyway. we played catch, i made her a very rare filet as red as she likes it and as much edamame as she wanted without stealing even one, i gave her a bath and let her eat jellybeans in it, and i told her stories about lillie and grae from when they were babies.

she loves those the most. especially the one where lillie dragged a still-crawling grae out of her crib, down a huge flight of stairs, through the living room and to the kitchen, where she then stood atop a teetering stool to get to the freezer and the box of popsicles because "gracie couldn't take a nap until she had a popsicle."

and a rather painful rug-burn, apparently. in retrospect, perhaps even a minor concussion. whatever. time heals all wounds, doesn't it?

every time, esmé's response is the same. "that gracie. she loves popsicles."

before bed, i read her a book from high up on one of her shelves. i like you by sandol stoddard warburg.

there are two parts in that book where i always get choked up. one is I can't remember when I didn't like you. It must have been lonesome then. and the other is I would go on choosing you, And you would go on choosing me, Over and over again. That's how it would happen every time. I don't know why. I guess I just like you.

esmé saw some writing at the back of the book and asked what it said. i told her it was a note i'd written to uncle sugar, and she looked very confused.

"did you give this book to daddy?" she asked.


"when you were kids?" she asked.

well, i guess it might have been before babies and oman and amman and all the rest. so yes. we were still kids in a lot of ways.

"so...you liked daddy?" she asked.

the conversation didn't really go anywhere after that and probably didn't mean a thing, but it got me thinking. i wonder if i'm showing the girlies often enough how much i like their dad. i mean, he knows i do and i tell you about how much i do and i feel like anyone who sees us together surely knows how much i do...but i wonder if insane schedules and threat-filled bedtimes and all the pat! can you come up here and kill this stinkbug for us? are getting in the way.

eh. it's probably nothing but i'm going to work on it. because i like working on a nothing. it's far less stressful than a something.

kiss hug kiss hug. i wrote it out because i mean it. have a sweet tuesday, you sweet you. also, i remembered last night why i've always dug the name holiday for a girl or a puppy. it's from i like you...that line We could be a HOLIDAY. We could be a CELEBRATION. We could be a WHOLE PARADE. kills me every time. random pics from storm in a teacup.

25 April 2011


ohmygosh. esmé's best friend, tootie, moved away this morning.

which is fine, really. we've prepared her so well that she totally ignored tootie yesterday. in between telling her she hated her three times loudly and then kissing her so hard i thought poor tootie's cheeks would crack.

it was just like that walton's episode when erin found that orphaned baby deer and wanted to keep it, but then realized that wild animals are better off in their natural habitat. kind of like tootie's better off in kentucky.

that final scene was gut-wrenching to a farm girl like me.

so anyway. esmé thought she had one more day with her tootie. and as soon as she wakes up, i'm going to have to tell her she's gone.

i am uncharacteristically teary about this.

you know me! i love goodbyes. they mean i'm going somewhere. and lillie and grae are great with goodbyes; they've had a lot of practice with some very big forever ones. but
esmé? this is one of her firsts.

and, i mean, tootie was her first best. her first real best. she laughed at all of esmé's nonsense, ignored all of esmé's naughtiness, and never listened when esmé declared their friendship officially over at least once a day. plus, their names were utterly perfect together.

esmé and tootie. tootie and esmé.


i am uncharacteristically teary about this.

i think these are prints. i think these are brill.

17 April 2011


my mom never emails. i bet she's never googled anything in her entire life.

this perplexes me to no end. i think of the whole world she's missing.

but then i get a little business envelope in the mail with her happy handwriting all over it. the same handwriting of my tooth fairy and my mrs. claus and my easter bunny's mom, who all wrote to me when i was her baby.

and it makes me misty. because even years and years later, i'm still her baby.

i wonder if my girlies three and i will email when we're all all-grown-up. i asked grae and esmé if we would, and they both looked equally perplexed and a wee bit annoyed with me.

why would we email? you're going to live in my guesthouse, grae answered, rolling her eyes as if i'd somehow forgotten these plans.

and me and you are living togethah forevah in gracie's guesthouse,
esmé added, rolling her eyes as if there was any other option for the rest of our lives.

i am a fan of brilliant plans. count me in.

{just before hitting publish, i asked lill where she was going to live when she grows up. she looked at me just like her sisters...except with a generous side of non-committal. "i'll probably move around a lot," she said. "see all the world i haven't yet." hmmm. see you in grae's guesthouse, lill.}

15 April 2011


i don't know what to tell you today. all i know is that i'd like to say hi to you.

hi. let me see what else...

i bought these this week because my kelly said they reminded her of me. i am a sucker for things that remind her of me.

i went on a field trip with esmé yesterday, and three different people i don't really know said she is my exact miniature version. i liked this compliment to my toes. she's so damn effusive and enthusiastic and sees others with such joy in her blues, and i'm so hoping those three people meant all that and not her unfortunate hairchop.

also, i am hoping they didn't see her lying brightly to the tour guide when he asked if she'd been there before or if she'd ever flown on the concord. yes to both, apparently. that girl gets around.

but this woman - another mother in the class with the all-time best china bob and teeny tiny bag holding probably only her phone, a credit card, and a red lipstick and of course you're from new york! - pulled me aside and told me i'd changed her way of thinking ever since a little birthday party a month or so earlier.

oh, crap. what did i say now? i wondered. and my heart started racing a little. you know how effusive and enthusiastic i can get!

she and i had been chatting about wanting to move. her back to new york and me...well...everywhere-but-here. and she was worried about taking her two babes back to a big city where everything would be smaller.

everything that doesn't matter would be smaller, i said. everything that matters would be giant.

and here's where i changed her little thought bubble, i guess. i told her life's too short to live somewhere that doesn't make you happy.

i think she's moving.

eep. i've never changed someone's thinking before. as a general rule, i think i should not attempt this ever again.

for the past few weeks, uncle sugar and i have been discussing our next move to somewhere-far-away. and it's the strangest thing...

now that a change is looming? i love where i am just fine.

don't get me wrong; i want to go as fast as i can. but staying isn't so bad, either.
i think i just needed a choice. does that make sense?

anyway. life is too short to live somewhere that doesn't make you happy. but maybe even if you're living somewhere that doesn't thrill you to your bones, it might be lovely to be a little more effusive and enthusiastic and look at it with such joy in your blues or browns or greens. that might very well work wonders.

have a sweetheart of a weekend. i may be lazier than usual with stories next week because the girlies three will be home with me and we have some grand adventures planned. xoxo and i'll see you when i see you. Pics from here, here, and here.

13 April 2011


it was my sister's birthday a few days ago.

i definitely don't talk about her here as much as i wax on about lin, but she's been my favorite person in the world for as long as i can remember. i know you'll understand if i explain it like this...

i'm the esmé to her grae-rose. really.

we were talking a while back, and we're both so crap with the phone and mucho better with written love, but she said something that made my life.

we should talk more, she said. i'd be a happier person.

best compliment i've caught in ages. and...me, too.

hope you're well! i'm mad busy and even worse with schedules and plans and deadlines as i am with the phone. but i am very good at sending you written love, so here's some just for you: xoxo. also! this woman with very good blonde who colors her hair at home offered to show me how. should i?! because i want this blonde and this worries me to no end. tell me what to do...

11 April 2011


we had such a kind little weekend. do you ever have that sort? they're gems, for sure.

i have so much i want to tell you lately, but most of that stuff includes uncle sugar's stuff and i'm pretty sure he'd be peeved if i shared it all with you. nothing personal. it's just that he doesn't know you like i know you. and he doesn't love you like i love you.

ehhh. what's your name again?


so at the risk of this becoming esmé ink...

in the mornings, i read the girlies the important headlines. aftershock in japan at the one month sad mark, that jackass Gbagbo was arrested, France's crap ban on Islamic veils took effect...and one little story about a will.

esmé: what's a will?

me: well. when someone dies, they leave a note and give away all the stuff they owned. like, when i die, i'll write a note that tells everyone i want to give my pink sweater to esmé, my brown sweater to lillie, and my yellow sweater to grae-rose.

esmé: i want the yellow sweater.

me: uhhh.

esmé: wait. you're joking me! you don't have yellow or brown or pink sweaters!

me: uhhh.

esmé: i'll take a black one. so will lillie and gracie.

i think this is the kind of day i'll be having. conversations that get the better of me and make me dizzy. this one was the first of four, so far. i'm forecasting more. have a sweetheart of a monday. you deserve it. whatever your name is. {kid!} xoxo. here and here and here.

07 April 2011

it fixes everything...

esmé: what does k-o-k spell?

me: ummm. nothing, really.

esmé: well, it has to spell something...

me: not always.

esmé: well, what does it kind of spell?

me: {sigh.}

esmé: uh huh?

she has learned this trick from me. one of two i use when i want people to do what i want them to do.

the first is that i nod my head and smile brightly when i'm suggesting something questionable, and always end my request with yes? it's catchy. the second is interjecting uh huh? in a pleasant manner when someone's hesitating.

esmé: uh huh?

me: kok. it's pronounced kok. but that's not a word.

esmé: yes it is! dad uses that all the time! he loves it!

me: {blink. blink.}

esmé: he fixes stuff with it?

me: {blink. blink. blink.}

esmé: like the tiles in the bath?

oh! caulk! yes! we love caulk! caulk is awesome! genius! brilliant! honestly. whoever invented caulk deserves a kiss from me. right. now. unlike the individual who invented dick's sporting goods.

i swear, i've never been more ecstatic to see a contact adhesive in a conversation.

did you know i do at least one headstand every day? also, i like red tootsies that jump a lot. both compliments of my mary's pinterest.

06 April 2011

sleeping like...

uncle sugar's been away for a bit, so it's been quite the slumber party around here.

of course we miss him and we're certainly not eating as many ingredients without him, but grae says it best when she smiles and sighs that it's really nice. all girls.

until night, that is. because the first was a lightening and thundering hail-ish couple of hours. the kind that lights up the room two seconds before blasting it, do you know? the kind where you more-than-half-expect to see a killer standing over you with a knife? or is that just me and lill?

and then there are the stinkbugs.

we were up until 11.30 the other night, screaming and waving brooms and where the heck did we get that crutch? and trying to flick rubber bands up to the skylights. it was a mess, and a loud one at that. turns out, stinkbugs are deaf. my neighbors may not be.

esmé is the only one who isn't afraid of them. put me on your shoulders and i'll try to reach it. yeah. don't believe her. she'll reach it all right. and then she'll throw it at you and laugh her pants off. she's cute, but she's a devil. and that's the worst kind of devil. they get you every time.

however, she is deathly afraid of smoke and all things fire. so when three flew into the chandelier above my bed, which
esmé still frustratingly calls "my bed," and then we screamed at the thought of sleeping below three stinkbugs all night, and then they stopped moving except for a little flutter here and there, and smoke started flying upward?

hysterical. sobfest.

they are still in there. singed to bits, i am sure. the smell is awful.

what if we burn to bits?
esmé wailed. and i kind of knew it was less about the burning and more about her dad not being there to emphatically state we are mackins. we do NOT burn to bits. he is believable, that boy of ours.

as soon as the hail and stinkbug dramas had subsided a little, lillie tried to get us all super calm with this beauty of a question, complete with reenactment of the scenario with good old lill acting as killer:

what if we wake up and a killer is standing next to our bed with a knife? and all three looked at me like, yeah. what if that?

aaaaaand, scene.

do you even know how unlucky that would be for him? my words were measured and low and slipped out through my gritted teeth.

girls. do you even know the rage i have? three sets of circle eyes and three shakes of their little heads.

i've been doing laundry and cleaning bathrooms for two years now. YOUR bathrooms! and here i pointed to
esmé because she loves to play with wet toilet paper in the tub. she also like to make soap carvings. and if i scrub away one more E made from toothpaste on the mirror, well...then...i'll know it's today.

anyway. you'll be happy to hear that i'm just as believable as uncle sugar. they feel safe and worry-free and have been sleeping like babies.

in. my. bed.

photos from here and here and here. aren't they dreamy, all?

03 April 2011

plans with tassels...

i'm a big fan of tassels.

i used to google them, hunting down all things tassle. which really only sent me to all things stripper. not being judgy. just not for me. mostly.

but once i spelled it right...tassel...a whole new world opened up.

this is, perhaps, one of the happiest pictures i've seen in at least an hour. and these may be my summer earrings.

all of a sudden, i'm realizing i had less to tell you than i thought when i opened up a new post. i sure hate when that happens to you. would it help if i told you i'm taking the girlies three to the zoo today? mmm. i didn't think so.

here's something that will totally make up for it. this blog, to me, is a sigh. a for sure deep breath of calm. i fell in love with it last night.

at first sight...

tell me you didn't just sigh. you did, right? ok, then. i feel better about that whole tassel thing. happy monday, you.

big things shopping here. deep breaths and brill stuff here. nonsense here. xoxo.

01 April 2011

i'mma stand out...

i'm ordering this paint today for a cool wall in our kitchen. sweet tangerine, if you'd like to know.

and then i'm writing these kickass words on it. i swear, they should be tattooed on my girlies three.

i worry my head off when other girls are...well...girlish with them. you know the deal with girls. most aren't cool until they're where you and i probably are right now.

but it's mid-boggling to me...dizzying, really...that my girlies don't really care. they shrug it off. they've stopped apologizing. they don't obsess over why is that girl whispering about me? or why isn't she talking to me today? they simply don't. they don't try to fit in.

they just are.

i remember someone asking a question at alt summit about what i would do with rude commenters. i thought i'd probably apologize for them not liking me until they loved me or were utterly fright-fested of me. whatever. either way, the rude would be gone. it's kind of a problem.

i told lill and grae last night that they're already cooler than i'll ever be. that's probably the most right thing i've said all week.

my new obsession is this. have a sweetheart of a weekend, you little sweethearts. xoxo.