Evil Joy Speaks

Spawning the next generation of evil genius, one misadventure at a time

Tag: memories

Crying Over A Broken Glass

I cried over a broken glass last night. A simple,  slightly larger than pint sized glass. The graphic on the glass said, “No! You Can’t Have A Sip.”

I bawled as I swept up the shards of glasses from the floor. Each piece made me catch my breathe in the back of my throat. The pin prick cuts I got on my hands from picking up each and every single bit of glass were completely ignored. I cleaned up the floor, tidied the broom and dust pan. Then I went back to washing pots and pans, attempting (and failing) to hide my tears from my family.

A simple broken glass. A silly glass. One of many pint glasses we have. I’ve broken many things over the years but this glass breaking….it felt like a punch in the gut.

My parents recently moved. My family didn’t share much about it as we didn’t want anyone to know the house was unoccupied until it was ready for market. Many trips later, I returned with thousands of photos, some furniture, keepsakes, and these silly glasses. I wanted the glasses more than anything else in the house. When I was a kid I was always asking for a sip of my mom’s drink – water, soda, coffee – whatever. Constantly. I would take a sip and promptly drain the entire cup and leave her with nothing but ice. My mom bought the set of four glasses as a joke when I was grown and married. I always used them at my parents’ house.

And I shattered one of the three surviving glasses. Into a million pieces.

I cried about my parents moving. They are happy and healthy and doing well. The move is a positive thing that they willing embraced and are loving. It’s just change and change is hard. Life looks different when I visit “home” now. I won’t run out of my folk’s driveway, step over the creaky spot in the wood floor, or wrap Christmas presents downstairs while watching movies and chasing my kids away from peeking. Growing up I changed bedrooms once. The furthest I moved until I left for college was across the hall.  It’s weird to mourn a house.

But then again…I’m not mourning a house. I mourning the end of a stage.

And embracing the beginning of a new stage. One where I get to visit my parents and see them having coffee with friends. I get to hear about the outings they go on. And I have the peace of mind knowing they’re in a place that is perfect for them at this stage in their lives.

That glass shattered and I cried a few tears. It’s time to dry them and look forward to the new memories we are creating in their new home.

I can’t wait to visit them again. And tell my mom how I broke her glass. We’ll laugh about it and I’m guessing I’ll ask for a drink of her coffee.

And drink it all.

Being Present…And Still Planning

Given the speed of life I’m always planning but not always present. “Today is Monday and we have x, y, z to finish before Friday with the weekend holding q, r, and s.”

Here’s a more concrete example. It’s now 02 August 2016. School starts on 01 September. This weekend we have friends in town. Next weekend is camping and football. The following weekend is football, travel to Seattle, a potential college visit, and two softball tournaments. Then football. And finally Labor Day Weekend. Our weekends are full of fun, amazing, busy, and chaotic events. As are many days of the week. It’s easy to get caught up in the minutia of getting the right kids, two cleats, a cello, and kneepads properly delivered.

Finding the presence of mind to be present in the moment is necessary. We’ll lose the memory if we’re always rushing and thinking ahead. I’ve been guilty of this many, many times. I’m determined to fix it.

I realize now, more than ever, the time we have with our kids is short. I’ve been focusing on grabbing the moments I can…whenever I can. If it’s in the car driving and a chat happens…I turn off the radio and listen. Or maybe it’s turning up the radio and singing at the top of my lungs with my daughter while we try to figure out who’s got the melody and who’s covering the harmony. We try to walk to the library and sneaking in a visit to the candy shop once a week. God knows we spend a lot of time watching softball. It’s good to walk to the park or off to play catch with the kiddo who isn’t in the game. And sometimes…some of my favorite times…we sit quietly in the same space and read. Even right at THIS VERY MOMENT, one of my children is trying to figure out how to get her brother’s bedroom when he moves to college…in TWO YEARS. (I finally set a timer and sent two of the girls off to tidy up their toys – that way we both can focus for a few minutes.)

I have a hard separating the need to do – write this now – and the want to do – play with them. “Do I need to write this right now? Can it wait?” Sometimes it can wait. Taking the time to write has always been the one thing I let slide. It’s the one thing I miss the most. Learning to prioritize and not beat myself up for taking time from “the family” to take care of myself has been hard. But when I do the self-care of meeting my needs, I can be present during the other instances. The ones that generate memories for us all.

I’m not easy-going enough to just let it all flow. At times, I wish I were. I’m working on accepting that isn’t my personality and embracing my love of planning. Why not build on a strength? I plan what I can – the devil is in the details – so that when we’re “doing” I’m there – physically and mentally.

It would be easy to miss the moments that make each day special in the hectic nature of planning but we’re finding our way to making each point in time matter…..and still looking forward to the next.


Ages and Stages

Looking back at old pictures yesterday I came to a startling realization.

These days are short.  The days of kids and noise and mess.  The days of cribs and bottles.  The days of high school football games and middle school dances.


The days my kids are MY KIDS and live with ME.


Everyone always said it, “Enjoy these days.  They’ll be gone before you know it.”  I clearly remember thinking those saying that particular phrase to me were a.) suffering from memory loss b.)remember only parts of having a screaming toddler running away with your shopping cart in Target containing his newborn sister c.) didn’t realize the cost of gas and the loss of my time in running cleats to a kid who forgot them … at an away game  or d.) were just trying to make me feel better and were actually lying through their teeth.


When my spawn were babes I felt like I was always waiting for the next stage.  “Won’t it be so wonderful when they can move a bit to get their own toy if dropped?”  “Won’t it be wonderful when they’re in a twin bed and not a crib?”  “I can’t wait until they can tie their own shoes.”  I did enjoy the cuddles but longed for sleep.  I felt like an addict in withdrawal – I NEEDED SLEEP.  But their little heads….oh did they smell good.

Then the toddler years arrived.  “Crap!  Now they can get into the dishwasher!!”  “Tall enough to reach into the toilet and then…get stuck.  Time for another bath!”   “Man I miss them not caring which shoes I put on their feet!”  “When did they start caring about which shorts I put on them.”  “Won’t it be wonderful when they can use the bathroom themselves?”  I prayed for patience …. and for cloning to be approved and available to the public.

Preschool years hit with a storm.  “I can’t wait for those few hours of peace with only 2 or 3 other children.”  “Wow, I have a preschooler – won’t full day school be easier with less running?”  “I can’t let him go in the men’s restroom alone – when did he start caring about being in a women’s bathroom with me?”   I met other moms and realized we were all going through the same thing and had the same thoughts about people lying to us about it being all awesome!

School arrived.  “Oh wow, they’re riding the bus.  Oh wow, the big yellow bus just ate my kid!”

They gained independence.  And opinions.  All the things I longed for them to have when they were in the needy stage and I felt needed-out.

And……I realized I missed that.  I missed hanging out at the park AGAIN.  I missed getting them popcorn at Target so I could make it through my shopping list.  I missed getting paged at the YMCA mid run because someone needed a diaper change.  I missed being needed.

I’m lucky.  I still have some time.  I have one starting high school. *GASP*  I have one starting middle school.  *GASP*  And the Littles will be in grades 4 and 1.  I have time to remember to enjoy them.   While I’m so happy they’re growing into strong, independent individuals, I’m trying to hold onto those last little straws of them needing me.  And trying to be there for them.  Because one day all too soon, they won’t need me like they do now.

And I’ll miss it.

But I’ll know I did what I could while I had their ear.

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EJ out – to make some breakfast on this first day of summer.


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Completing the Circle…..

You know those things your parents did or said to you as a child that have stuck with you into adulthood?  The words or statements, looks or actions that when witnessed as an adult take you right back to your 8-year-old self?

Ever take it full circle and wonder what things you do or say that will stick with your child into adulthood?  I wonder more often than not if it’ll be the silly things that make them laugh or the looks that make them cringe.

My memories include my sister and brother teaching me to spell Laurie – M-O-N-K-E-Y.  To this day I blame that trick as the reason I can’t spell my own name correctly!  I seriously carried a dictionary with me until the internet/smart phone age.

Or my sister drawing on my forehead and then cutting my bangs to match?  Every time I get a hair cut I recall this and just giggle.

Or walking down, no falling down the stairs, head over heels while not spilling a drop of my sister’s soda.  She was in bed after knee surgery and I kept tickling her foot.  Anytime I see her scars from her knee surgery I remember annoying the living hell out of her by tickling her immobilized leg.  (I was only 4 so be nice – I was little.)

Playing checkers with my mom.  Anytime I see a checker board I remember playing checkers.  She was so patient because I would want to play again and again and again.  I’m sure she was ready to throw that checker board out the window but she never did.

Polishing my dad’s shoes when he was getting ready to umpire.  That was my job.  I knew I had to do it right or he’d have me do it again.  Always showing me the right way patiently.

Every time I check dates on foods I remember the time I threw all the cereals aways – by dumping the contents into the garbage – because I thought they’d expired.  Not realizing that the June on the expiration date was the June to come, not the June past.  My mom just shook her head.  “Let’s get this cleaned up.”

My dad hollering in German.  That meant to HURRY IT UP NOW.  RUN.  it was time to go and we had somewhere to be.

When I hear my kids practicing their instruments I remember how my grandpa would suggest I practice my flute outside so the horses could hear.  Or so that he could continue to let me live and not have to tell me to get the hell outside before he lost his damn mind.


All of my memories are happy ones.


I so hope I am leaving my children happy memories from life.  I know I’m a banshee.  I speak too sharply too often.

I’m working on it.  

My patience isn’t great either.  Again, I’m trying to remember my kids are just that…kids.  Who are quickly growing into young adults who sooner than later will be leaving. Moving to college and onto adulthood where …..one day…..they will be forced to ponder the questions of what they are doing to MY GRANDCHILDEN!!


“It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men.” – Frederick Douglas


EJ out – to snuggle a spawn…who grew 3 – THREE – inches since November.  No wonder none of her pants were long enough.

Road Trip

Mom, when are we leaving?

Mom, did you pack for us yet?

Mom, when are we leaving?

Mom, when will be home?

Mom, how long is the drive?

Mom, how many songs will it take to get there?

Mom, can I sit in the front seat?

Mom, she’s touching me!

Mom, when are leaving?

Mom, did you wash my skirt?

Mom, is this the wedding?

Mom, who is going to take care of the dogs?

Mom, when will we see Dad?

Mom, when will Dad be home?

Mom, is Dad going to take care of the dogs?

Seriously.  This is what the first three minutes of my day were like today.  THREE MINUTES PEOPLE.  3.  Just three.

Can’t wait for the 5 HOURS in the car with these three spawn.

Today we are embarking on a road trip to Iowa.  We’re co-hosting a bridal shower for Miss (soon to be Mrs.) Niece O Mine.  We being..the Female Spawn and I.  All three of them and me.  All three of them.  Dr. Evil and Eldest Spawn are having a boy bonding weekend and taking the RV 5 miles down the road and visiting Willow River State Park.  And hopefully cutting down the dead tree in the yard.  (hint hint Dr. Evil….we’ll see if you actually read this….like you say you do…but don’t…BUSTED!)  I have no idea what they’re doing with the dogs.  I take care of everything most of the time for 5 people so they can deal with the dogs for two days when they’re in the same state as the dogs whilst I’m away.

The trip goes like this.  We leave.  About 10 minutes down the road someone has to pee.  And is hungry.  And thirsty.

I pretend to not hear them.  Mind you, we’re taking Dr. Evil’s compact hatchback so he can take the RV 5 miles down the road using the roomy truck.  So not hearing them is a blatant lie even the littlest of spawn see through.

We make it to Rochester.  It’s about 2 hours.  We’ll stop somewhere for lunch – I can hear the cries for McDonald’s already!  I’m hoping I can talk them into Five Guys.  Or something we can eat while driving.  Then a couple more minutes…the other side of Rochester.  We’ll have to stop again for the bathroom.

Some will sleep.  Some will cry.  Some will read.  Some will try.

I will drive.  I will drive with all my might.

Hopefully we make it to Springville.  Or Chester.  Because Chester is in Iowa.  On the border.

“YES!  We’re in Iowa!!!  How much further?!?!”

2 hours.


I bribe them to hold it so we don’t have to stop AGAIN!  Then we stop.  There is an 87 mile stretch of nothing.  After that only 45 more minutes.  Then…we get on I-380.  Love I-380.  Could drive this stretch asleep.  But I guess I shouldn’t.

Who’d have thought that exit 24 could be such a welcoming site?!  I love driving through parts of Cedar Rapids.  I pass my old haunting grounds Rockwell.  That means I’m about 5 minutes from my parents’ house.  Down the hill.  Do.Not.Speed.  They mean 20 miles per hour here.

Turn.  Turn.  There’s the park.

Oh God, we’re almost there.

One more turn.  Driveway.

From a while ago...Playing with Grannie's Red Hat Society stuff.

From a while ago…Playing with Grannie’s Red Hat Society stuff.

I will make it.  I will love it.  I get to spend the day with my girls.  Without interruption.  Just us together.

I am truly blessed.

Theme Thursday is hosted by the awesome Something Clever 2.0, The Next Step, The Insomniac’s Dream, and Mom With Her Running Shoes On.  These amazing bloggers host each Thursday.  You should pop over there and read some of the link ups.  You’ll find wonderful writing and new people to follow.

EJ out – to clean someone’s house before I clean my own so we can leave!

Please help an Evil Traveler out…I’m slipping out of the top 25 Humor Blogs at Top Mommy Blogs.  Please click on the juggling lady up there on the right.  That’s all you have to do.  You can and SHOULD do it daily.  I have spoken.  Thanks!

Secret Swap!

Welcome to Take Two of March’s Secret Subject Swap. This week, 13 brave bloggers picked a secret subject for someone else and were assigned a secret subject to interpret in their own style. Today we are all simultaneously divulging our topics and submitting our posts.

Here are links to all the sites now featuring Secret Subject Swap posts. Sit back, grab a cup, and check them all out. See you there:














My subject is : In 100 years, what will you be remembered for? It was submitted by Black Sheep Mom

Here goes……

In 100 years, I think I’ll be remember for being the awesome amazing Evil Joy I am today. I think my spawn and by then grand-spawn and great-grand-spawn will look online at the posts I’ve done and simply be thankful they have me in their spawnily line.

In the next 100 years I plan to accomplish several life affirming things. Not the least of which will be to tour the world and spread laughter and smiles Evil Joy Style. The tales and truths of Evil Joy will have brought smiles to millions…billions even.

I plan on being remembered for being happy, laughing and intelligent. And determined.

I plan on being an inspiration to slow runners everywhere. I run. Slowly. But I run. And I have run more than one half marathon, several 10 milers, and soon a marathon. In the next 100 years I plan to run quadruple that times 10.

I will be remembered for being a good wife and mother. And an awesome friend. I will be remembered for being there for those around me. For stepping up and doing what needs to be done regardless of what that is.

And I’ll be remembered for things like….




In 100 years I will be remembered. As long as I’m not remembered for being a serial killer, murderer, animal torturer, or bad mom…it’s all good.

I will be remembered.

Now go check out Black Sheep Mom. And as many of the other links as you can. Amazing bloggers. Amazing people.

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