The Richest Woman on the Planet

My youngest is turning two today! She’s my little shadow these days, following me everywhere I go, chattering my ear off, getting into everything her little hands can find.

I was going through some old pics yesterday, looking for inspiration for this blog post (which in truth, probably would have been best suited for a Throwback Thursday post) and came across some gems from when her sister was her age. The resolution is grainy (thank you, first generation iPhone), but the memories – and the similarity between these two sweeties – is priceless. Check it out.

two years old toddler terrible twos

two years old toddler terrible twos golden retriever

 

Kids make your life chaotic. They make your wallet lighter. They exhaust you in ways you never knew you could be exhausted, and they’ll keep you from getting a decent night’s sleep for basically the rest of forever.

But, oh my Lord are they worth it. Every sacrifice, every frustration, every bit of anger (yes, anger) and weariness is made up with sloppy kisses and dandelion bouquets and scribbled drawings. But most of all, the unconditional love and fearless trust that my kids place in me (not just the younger gals, but the older boys, too)…those are the things that make my heart swell, that make me feel like the richest woman on the planet.

Myndi

Fashion + Passion: Help Fight Pediatric Brain Cancer

 

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Kylie Bowllitt, from Styling with Kylie

One of the things I LOVE about Social Media is how it has the power to connect us with people we otherwise would have next to no chance of ever knowing. 

For me, Kylie Bowllitt is one of those people. We connected through a mutual friend, exchanged a few words back and forth, and before I knew it she was hanging out of my blog. The last time she was here it was for a good cause, and guess what? Today’s no different.

Kylie is producing the Roots Fashion Show – a night out of fashion, food, music, and entertainment that will highlight small-town Nebraska show-stoppers, while creating awareness and raising funds for the Team Jack Foundation. She’s agreed to hang out for awhile, and answer a few questions.

MYNDI: Tell me about Team Jack.

KYLIE: The Team Jack Foundation is near and dear to every Nebraskan’s heart. Jack Hoffman is a little boy who was diagnosed with brain cancer. He’s from Atkinson, NE – only twenty miles from my hometown, which really hits home for me. He’s been through so much, and his family has chosen to use this trial to help fight pediatric brain cancer. The primary goal of The Team Jack Foundation is to raise money for research that will improve survival rates from this horrible disease.

Jack stole many hearts – including mine – when he was ushered into the Husker’s stadium in the spring game last year. He came onto the field as one of the team and when he scored his touchdown there wasn’t a dry eye in the stadium. It was a beautiful and touching moment that none of us will forget.

MYNDI: So donating the proceeds from the Roots Fashion Show to Team Jack holds a lot of emotional significance to a lot of people?

KYLIE:  Yes. I think in a way he’s helped unify so many of us – helped us realize that each day should be cherished no matter the circumstances. That you need to keep moving forward. Pediatric brain cancer is so devastating, but he and his family have been so inspirational. Anything I could do to help them, I would never hesitate.

MYNDI: Tell me a little more about the fashion show.

KYLIE: It’s a formal night of fashion and entertainment. All entertainment, showcases, volunteers, sponsors, and talent for the Roots Fashion Show derives from Nebraska. Alumni of the area will return home to show off their talents that have put Nebraska on the map.

MYNDI: What has been your favorite part of producing the show?

KYLIE: Honestly? Every single part. I’ve enjoyed the process so much and can’t wait to start planning another. It’s difficult, but when you pair it with a cause like Team Jack, it brings life to the event. Something about that makes you work harder, because you want the result to be extraordinary.

***

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Roots Fashion Show

May 10, 2014 @ the O’Neil Community Center

O’Neil Nebraska

Cocktail hour @ 7p

Showtime @ 8p

Purchase tickets here or call KBRX (402)336.1211

All proceeds from ticket sales and any live donations on site at the show will be donated to the Team Jack Foundation.

If you would like to donate to the Team Jack Foundation, click here.

If you’re a Nebraska-born artist, designer, writer, or vendor, and would like a booth at the Roots Fashion Show, click here.

 

 

Willie Nelson Puked on my Yoga Mat

Willie Nelson Puked on my Yoga Mat

When I brought Willie Nelson home for the first time, he rode in a basket lined with a soft towel. He whimpered, like puppies do, until I put my hand in the basket to comfort him. Then he settled in and fell asleep, leaving me, for the thirty minute drive home, to imagine all the future road trips we’d take together. We’d go to the park. We’d go to PetCo. We’d go to my dad’s house in the country. Maybe we’d even take him on vacation with us to Colorado this summer.

GinnySue used to love riding in the car with me. She’s never been a stick-your-head-out-the-window kind of dog; she’s always been content to curl up shot-gun style and fall asleep. Now, in her old age, she doesn’t get excited about car rides anymore. Getting into the car is just too hard, and getting out is worse. It’s too difficult for her to keep her feet beneath her, and she usually ends up in a sprawl on the ground looking up at me like What The Hell Just Happened?

So when we brought Willie Nelson home, it was with high hopes that I’d have a new travel buddy – someone who would, on nice days, run errands with me and Took. Someone I could take on long country drives when I was needing a bit of inspiration. Someone that wagged his tail to the tune of On the Road Again, because, after all, his namesake made that song famous.

It was not to be.

The first time Willie Nelson puked in my car, he aimed right for my diaper bag. Disgusting, but an easy clean. The diaper bag found its resting place in a Dillon’s trash can. I thought perhaps his stomach unrest was a fluke. Maybe his food hadn’t settled right; maybe he’d needed to go potty again and I just didn’t give him the chance.

The second time, third time, fourth time, and fifth time he puked in my car all happened in the same day. Let me lay it out for you.

My sister called and wanted to meet up to let the kids play. The weather wasn’t warm enough for the park, so we agreed to meet at a McDonald’s that was central to both of our locations where there was play equipment. Seemed like the perfect time to take Willie Nelson for a test run; and just to add a little comfort for him, I brought GinnySue along, too. (Picture Myndi heaving her eighty pound geriatric Golden Retriever into the Mommy Rocket. It wasn’t graceful or pretty, but we got the job done. Once in the car, however, Ginny looked at me with her ancient soulful eyes and seemed to say Beloved Human, you know this can’t end well. I brushed it off. Ginny is sweet, but she’s become a pessimist in her old age. In retrospect, this was a mistake on my part. GinnySue is a sage.)

With Took buckled in the back and occupied with books, and both dogs riding shotgun (Willie Nelson decided the view was fantastic perched upon Ginny’s back. She didn’t mind; she was asleep before we backed out of the garage), we took off toward McDonald’s.

At first I was nervously watching Willie Nelson for any signs of impending puke. He seemed fine. He liked watching our neighborhood pass by. He was sniffing at the vent, letting his Beagle nose enjoy the new smells that were coming at him. By the time I hit the highway, I was relaxed, sure in my previous assumption that that last puke had been a fluke.

And then the sound came. You know the one I’m talking about. Nnngulp, nnngulp, nnngulp. I glanced at my little Jack-a-Bee. His neck was stretching out in time with the nnngulp, nnngulp sound, back and forth, back and forth, and I knew time was short. Somehow I managed to get him off GinnySue’s back without flipping the MommyRocket and ending our lives in a fiery crash. The moment his paws hit the floor, he puked between the seats, narrowly missing my yoga mat. Namaste and thank you, Willie Nelson.

We made it to McD’s, with poor Willie Nelson shivering and looking ashamed, and GinnySue gazing up at me: I told you so. Thankfully my sister had already arrived. I dumped Took off with her and ran to the bathroom to grab paper towels to clean up the mess…

…only to find that this particular McD’s is green. Hand dryer’s aplenty, but no paper towels to be seen.

Mother. Of. Freaking. Pearl.

So, I jogged to the drink bar in search of napkins which, thankfully, they had. HOWEVER, their napkins only dispensed one at a time. I tried cramming my fingers in to grab several at once; it was a humiliating endeavor. People stared while my fingers became trapped inside the dispenser. I tried to act cool about it (What? I get my fingers trapped in napkin dispensers ALL THE TIME. I was getting my fingers trapped in napkin dispensers before napkin dispensers only dispensed one napkin at a time, namaste and thank you, beeatch! *pushes hipster glasses up nose and hikes up way too skinny skinny jeans*), but cool is something I’ve never done well. I’m pretty sure I came off more Crazy Woman On Aisle Twelve! than Trendy Mom Wins Battle With Single Napkin Dispenser.

With much grunting and inward swearing (the inward part a remarkable feat) I managed to extract about five napkins. It would have to do since the line behind me had grown to a similar length as the Great Freaking Wall of China. I’m pretty sure you could have seen it from space. I ran out to the car, praying GinnySue hadn’t decided to do the worst while I was gone and eat the puke (she’s very fond of Willie Nelson’s Magical Poo-Treats and I figured Willie Nelson’s Magical Puke-Treats couldn’t be far behind). I was in luck!

[Editorial pause here: This is a very good indicator for where a person is in his or her life. If the only requirements you have for feeling lucky are that your dog didn't just eat the puke that your other dog just made, then it's safe to say you are experiencing a low point.] 

I was in luck! The puke was still there, hot and fresh and adding to that already distinct We Have A Huge Family smell in my car.

Point of Fact: Five flimsy napkins from a green McDonald’s won’t do JACK CRAP when it comes to cleaning up dog puke in your car. I had to cave and use my yoga towel. It was a sad sacrifice, but it had to be done. By some secondary stroke of luck I had a bottle of Febreeze in the car which I used in its entirety, and a large Starbucks bag that I stashed my yoga towel (all the puke shaken off) and mat in, making sure any and all puke-stains faced AWAY from the mat. I gave the dogs some love, promised we’d be quick, and ran inside.

Once inside, Took flat out refused to play with her cousin. Two year olds are so damn charming.

Now we were headed home. The car smells like We Have A Large Family and A Dog That Pukes and A Febreeze Factory Exploded so the windows are down and I’m breathing through my mouth. Took is dozing in her car seat and I’m not sure if it’s because she’s so tired from refusing to play with her cousin, or if it’s an effect of the noxious gas inside the car. Willie Nelson has climbed into the Starbucks bag (which of course I took a picture of because it was sooooo cute!) and looks unhappy, but there hadn’t been a nnngulp sound in a while, so I decided to do the Hubster a solid and take him lunch. This was a mistake.

Willie Nelson's ride of shame. This was pre-yoga-mat defilement.

Willie Nelson’s ride of shame. This was pre-yoga-mat defilement.

We were pulling out of the Arby’s drive thru when the god-awful nnngulp, nnngulp sound resumed. “No no no no no no no,” I shout, which probably confused the shit out of the poor dog – it’s not like he was being naughty. His lurching ended, and I looked down. My yoga mat had been fully defiled, and poor Willie Nelson, since he was inside a paper bag with the defiled yoga mat, was now covered in his own sick. He looks at me with his puppy eyes, then down at himself, and then something happened that I didn’t know could happen to dogs. He grossed himself out.

Let’s talk about this for a minute. Dogs are awesome. I love dogs, always have, always will. But dogs are sort-of disgusting. Dogs lick their own genitals. Dog lick other dog’s genitals. Dogs eat each other’s poop. Dogs eat their own poop. Dogs think the contents in your bathroom trash are primo chew it/roll in it objects. Dogs think dead things are primo chew it/roll in it objects. And this is just the short list of the ways that dogs are gross. For all their awesomeness, there is no denying this part of dog-hood. Which is why what happened next was such a surprise.

Willie Nelson looked down at himself. He looked at the puke on my (once so pretty and purple) yoga mat. He looked at me. He looked at the puke all over his lovely white fur. He looked at me. And then the sound came again.

Nnngulp. Nnngulp. Nnngulp.

Willie Nelson grossed himself out so much that he puked again.

And again.

And again.

Thank goodness I’d had the good sense to put the Hubster’s lunch in the far back seat of the car.

Yoga mats are resilient. They’re made to last. Most of them are actually pretty terrible on the environment because they basically don’t biodegrade, like, ever. Which is why I feel so awful about throwing my lovely purple mat away. But even after a good hosing/disinfecting, there would be no possible way I could ever rest in child’s pose without hearing that god-awful sound:

Nnngulp. Nnngulp. Nnngulp.

Nope. No way. Myndi’s Pretty Purple Yoga Mat went to Yoga Mat Heaven…

…and I will never put Willie Nelson through the horror of a car ride again.

Unless it’s to go to the vet.

Oh, that poor, poor dog.

Myndi