Jude Landry Store

Thursday, May 31, 2012

The Merry, Merry Month of May.

Before I gloat about my May 2012 (which will surely make you red with envy - or is it green with jealousy?), I'll give you some time now to leave and check out another blog, more charitable and encouraging than this will be. I'll see you back again when I'm complaining about meal time or the house we can't seem to sell.

You stuck around? Ok, but I warned you.

Every April, I think ah, I can't wait for Jude's classes to be over so he can be home all day during the summer! And then inevitably, he starts work on some freelance job or website upgrade or that poster he's been dying to do for years or cleaning out his office or teaching that summer course or organizing the screenprinting lab or going on that fabulous summer trip to Italy for 5.5 weeks... Somehow that Summer ends up looking like Fall. Or Spring. And even Winter.

But May was actually Summer. Here's what it looked like:

6:07 a.m. The girls wander into our room. I roll over. Jude fixes breakfast.

7:57 a.m. I fix my coffee. Joan's already dressed and Charlotte is getting a diaper change.

8:38 a.m. The girls entertain themselves while we Facebook, Twitter, and blog.

8:58 a.m. Jude washes the morning's dishes.

9:04 a.m. Four Landrys ride together to that day's activity. The park? The library? Gymnastics playdate? Lowes? A birthday party? I possibly grocery shop alone. That's right, alone.

10:30 a.m. We somehow get custody of Evelyn and add a redhead to our family.

10:31 a.m. Five Landry's carry on with the normally scheduled program.

11:24 a.m. Lunch is prepared. Kids hosed down. Jude changes poop.

12:17 p.m. The front porch and hand-me-down lawn toys occupy the girls while Jude plays guitar and I read.

12:57 p.m. Jude drives Joan to school. I lay Evelyn and Charlotte down in their respective beds and catch up on my Netflix Instant Queue.

1:18 p.m. Jude arrives home (or maybe his office) to finish design work. I grab a coke. Maybe I start dinner.

2:46 p.m. Evelyn wakes up and eats quinoa. (This takes a while, but when finished, she plays independently and quietly in the playroom.)

3:46 p.m. Charlotte wakes up and eats junk. Then tries to take Evelyn's toy away.

3:52 p.m. Jude plays guitar while we sit on the porch.

4:33 p.m. The four of us drive to pick up Joan. The kids play on their playground until 5 p.m.

5:12 p.m. Evelyn's mom arrives. We chat and part.

5:40 p.m. Dinner with the fam. (sounds more fun than it actually is, trust me)

6:13 p.m. Evening wagon stroll downtown.

6:49 p.m. Short episode of Barney.

7:10 p.m. I do baths while Jude finishes the dishes. Or vice versa.

7:38 p.m. Teeth. Stories. Prayers. Lights off.

7:41 p.m. Jude brings Charlotte back to bed.

8:12 p.m. Kids passed out. Netflix or Hulu on.

10:35 p.m. Retire to bed for reading and sleeping.

It isn't always like this, and I know it might not be like this ever again, so not one day in May, have I taken for granted. I have recognized and been so grateful to have the blessing of my husband at home and involved each day. He's had just as much design work to do during the day as he's always had, but this year, he really made an effort to take care of it during their naps or in between activities. And it's made for a merry, merry month of May, indeed.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

We have fun.

And here's how we do it.

Playing hopscotch. Washing bicycles. Wearing hats. Pretending at the play kitchen. Meeting Dora. Going to carnivals and playing games. Getting manicures. Snuggling. Flying kites. Playing with shaving cream. Taking baths. Wearing pigtails and sunglasses. Running, bouncing, and hanging at gymnastics. Painting. Eating berries. 
Get the flash player here: http://www.adobe.com/flashplayer


running. jumping.








Thursday, May 24, 2012

Surviving the summer.

When it gets hot, I get grumpy. I'm hoping this makes us happy (and by us, I mean me), having to stay inside a lot more this summer.

First, before you confuse me with an actual over-achieving mom (have you seen my kids' snacks?), let me reassure you that the primary purpose of these kits are to get my children to leave me alone, not their development. (Did I just go from over-achieving mom to terrible parent?)

Sorry, but I strongly support independent play. I don't mind getting kids started on a game or a task, or a pretend scene, but I rarely participate. I think kids need to learn to how to imagine and manipulate stuff to make it work for them. I place boundaries, they do the rest. These kits are no different.

They're all no-mess activities (if you don't mind picking up 563 clothes pins or tooth picks), that mostly come from regular household items. I hardly spent anything to fill these suckers up. The secret is keeping them out of sight - so the novelty sticks around awhile. It's got to last us at least through the summer. Here's what's inside:

clothes pins, plastic cups, child safety plugs, and sponges cut into pieces

magnet paper doll set that Kristi made for Joan & an old baking sheet

buttons and pipe cleaners

pipe cleaners, drink stirrers, empty seasoning can

Easter eggs and cartons

ice trays, beans, and foam shapes for sorting

cardboard shapes

free paint swatches and brushes

beads, oil, water, and food coloring 

oatmeal carton, straws, popsicle sticks

shoe strings from shoes I never wear and cardboard

alphabet puzzles

felt sheets and felt shapes

old boxes with slanted tubes inside

they'll shove anything into this for hours

Don't take everything out at once, which I did to take these photos.
It'll make you swear you'll never take them out again.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Will you pray with us?

The negotiator we hired for our side of the short sale called today to say that the investor who owns our mortgage accepted the short sale offer. Now we just wait to make sure that the bank will accept the same offer. Hopefully we'll hear back in a few days, but until then, will you pray that things run quickly and smoothly from here on out?

I'd finally like to write a post entitled, Turns out we can sell a house!

Friday, May 18, 2012

The list of things I *should* like, because most normal people do:

1. Zoos
2. Watching movies at a theater
3. Parades
4. Fireworks
5. Clubs (do they even call it that?) and crowded, loud bars
6. Ice Tea
7. Texting
8. Clothes shopping
9. Cilantro
10. Talking on the phone

To be continued...

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Happy Birthday, Dad.

We're not in Sulphur, so we can't tell you in person.
You're probably not awake yet, so we can't say it on the phone.
Your Facebook friends will probably write it first, so we won't do it there either.

But, we have this blog (and access to Photo Booth & Youtube), and that's how we'll say, "Happy Birthday Papa John!" and "I love you" in a song...

Kind of hard to hear Jim Croce and not think of my childhood. 
Thank you for the memories, Dad.

Monday, May 14, 2012

I have a problem.

I'm obsessed with 410 Greene Street, Starkville MS 39759.

This is mostly a problem because we still haven't sold 3003 Geranium Dr, Bloomington IL 61705.
But also written on my hell-no-you-can't-buy-a-house list:
- we're still saving for our 3-6 months of expenses fund, which means...
- we're no where near close to having a down payment
- we're emotionally scarred from owning and trying to sell a home
- we will probably never be able to afford this house
- our credit score is shot from stopping our mortgage payments last year
- our credit score will be doubly shot if this short sale actually goes through
- we don't even know if we'll be in Starkville long term
- the house we rent right now (Also addressed as 410. Coincidence?) is perfect for us & fits easily into our budget

Oh. And I should probably mention that it's not even for sale.

Did that stop me from writing a 2 minute speech that I was fully prepared to deliver to the occupants on our evening walk? No. I was going to cover the fact that their yard was void of any signs (not to mention our wallets void of any cash) and casually offer a business card for reference for the day that sign does appear. The speech's main points were:
- we are not weird (read: stalkers)
- we are not ready (but neither are you)
- your house is beautiful (read: can I sneak a peak at your walk-in closet?)
- please call us if you plan to sell (preferably before you call someone that could make an offer you'd actually accept...)

Sadly, I chickened out. I never was one for public speaking...

Just because we're not ready to buy doesn't mean I don't like to look. If I could, I would go to every Open House on the weekends. I would walk up to homes and ask, "Can I see your floor plan? I'm just curious." I would roam the isles of IKEA, Target, Pottery Barn, or World Market (wait... I live in Starkville). Bottom line, I love love love looking at houses, homes, trailers, mansions, dorm rooms - anywhere people live, really. And I hate driving at night because it's harder, dangerous - actually, when you're trying to see into someone's living room through the open curtains.

But this house, it spoke to me from the road. It really is beautiful and on the most perfect street. I liked it so much, I immediately came home to type greene st starkville ms home for sale into Google's search engine to get an idea of what something around there might go for. And you wanna know what comes up first when you do that? The house! (Go ahead. I'll wait while you look through the 34 photos of this prime real estate). My guess is that the link is an old listing that the internet has saved, because it's not really for sale right now.

Having lived here for 3 years and driven around this small town, I can tell you that the number of houses with my dream wants are really limited, mostly by location. There's just not a large quantity of the older homes in the area we like that aren't surrounded by shady pockets (and not in a good way) or run-down college rentals. This house, seems at first glance, to have most (if not all) of my dream wants:
- it's in the center of town, 2 blocks from downtown, but not on a busy street like most of the streets in this area and not surrounded by crappy undergraduate rental properties
- older home with character, but upgrades, too
- front porch & back porch
- 4 bedrooms + a bonus den. Can you say studio space? Plenty of room for a master, kids room, guest room, play room, and one beautiful room devoted to sewing and graphic design. ahhh.
- dining areas (two!) separate the kitchen and living spaces which lessens the noise while watching tv or visiting - something really hard to find in today's open living floor plans (that's just a personal preference - I'm sure some of you would disagree, but I like my dining room in between the kitchen and living room, but I also don't like the kitchen secluded away in a corner like we have now. This kitchen is the breeze way to the other spaces. love.)
- all of the bedrooms appear to be along the same side - also something hard to find in today's floor plans that separate the master from the rest of the bedrooms. I like to be close to the kids.
- fenced in backyard and a front yard that's not 2 steps to the road (like we have now)
- easy flow from sitting room to dining to kitchen to breakfast nook to den - perfect for entertaining
- there's probably more, but I just haven't thought of it yet...

Originally, I thought writing this post would be some sort of therapy, helping me emotionally let go of something I obviously don't need, nor or ready for. I see now that it's only confirmed one thing. I'm right and I really want that house.


Sunday, May 13, 2012

So very blessed.

You knew it was coming, right? A post dedicated to all things Mother on this very special day. Well, here it is.

As tradition holds, my gift is an illustration of our family by Jude. This is my 3rd one. I just love them and I can't wait to have decades of drawings of us, watching us grow into the future - maybe more kids, the addition of their spouses & children, or maybe even a pet (who am I kidding...). And this year's is so sweet!

And since mother's day isn't all about me...

I want to say how very fortunate I feel. And not just in the general way that we all feel grateful for our moms on this day, but a very specific appreciation for the present relationships I have with my mothers.

We can all look back and be thankful for the gifts they've given us and the sacrifices they've made for us, but I've come to realize that so many people, many are dear friends of mine, have damaged relationships with their moms and especially with their mother-in-laws. And in this is where I feel most fortunate. Not only can I look to the past with appreciation, but I am so very blessed by the relationships I have now with these great women.

 My mom offers the same generosity and sacrifice now, as she did 28 years ago. That whole, "Hey - I did my time. This is pay back!" mentality will never find a place in my mom's heart or mouth. I've never known anyone to go to the lengths my mom will go, just to help. And to be so generous our entire lives, yet avoiding having 3 very spoiled girls, must be a miracle and a gift I hope to pass down... And some people have mothers that are still trying to raise them - butting in on their decisions and giving out unsolicited advice. But my mom chooses to listen and dole out compassion and encouragement instead.

And the mother-in-law I have - oh man - I am blessed. The stories some of my friends can share about the rude and antagonistic comments their mother-in-laws have made... these are what movies are made of. My friends have stories of how they've overstepped boundaries or interfered in their families, pinning kids or husbands against them. Or in the moments when they were seemingly generous or helpful, they hold these actions over my friends' heads and turn the gift into a debt. Not mine. In fact, she's so similar to my own mother, that it's been so easy and natural being around her. She is helpful and generous, but always defers to us for decision-making. And her gifts, tangible or not, always come from a truly humble place - never for leverage. She trusts me with her son and her grandchildren, and this is the foundation of our great relationship.

So yeah, I have it pretty good. My prayer is that I'm able to have these types of relationships with my own adult children and their possible spouses. I will forever remember the exchanges of love and admiration between me and my mothers, and hopefully I'll be able to demonstrate that in the future, too.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Joan's 4th Birthday Party

It was a circus, in theme and overall atmosphere.
Signage. (good to be married to a graphic designer)


As in popcorn! peanuts!


soft pretzels! animal crackers!

and send 'em home with cotton candy!

Lots of friends...

Lots of games...

Lots of love.
 Happy Birthday, Love.

(My friend Monica took most of these photos and if you live close to me, be sure to check her out!)

Saturday, May 5, 2012


"Momma, my feet are so big from all the four-ness."

Happy 4th Birthday, Joan Bernadette. 
You are one of a kind and we are blessed to call you ours.