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PRIORITIES MAMA, PRIORITIES


As I’m getting ready to get the girls’ breakfast around Boo rushes over with a mug of water to put in the microwave. She says, “Your coffee has to come before our breakfast.” I say, “That’s really sweet, but you guys should get your breakfast before I get my coffee.” Boo gives me a half hearted grin and says, “No Mom you are so wrong!” I say, “Why shouldn’t I fix your breakfast first?” Boo chuckles and says, “Because you microwaved my corn flakes last week…. you need coffee before you do the things…priorities Mama, priorities…”

#keepinitreal #ionlydidthatonce! #reallifeatthestaleyhouse

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So I was Basically the Mean Girl

Last week I took my three girls shopping for new bathing suits as the following week swimming lessons were scheduled to start. Because we live in a fairly small rural town we made a day of going to “the city ” (Lawrence, Kansas) -big but not the big city. 

We pulled up in the parking lot of Target and the traffic was fairly busy so I told my oldest daughter Boo, whom is 7, to exit her side of our Yukon and walk round to the front and stand close to me as I still had to unbuckle my two youngest daughters (Owl 4 years old and Bunny 3 years old) from thier car seats. Boo exited the vehicle as I’d instructed and starts to make her way round our Yukon when I notice a lady exit an SUV on Boo’s side. She is looking at Boo and I can hear her ask her a question. I’m unbuckling the two little girls and watching this unfold. Of course as a mom that frequently travels with all three of my young girls, I am very aware of my surroundings and alarm bells are sounding in my head. I am literally mentally shouting at Boo to quickly get round my side of the Yukon. 

Thankfully I have frequently had the stranger talk with my girls. And just as Boo and I had practiced she didn’t pay the lady any mind and high tailed it to my side. I did a collective sigh when I had my hands on her shoulder. But then ! The lady from the SUV continues to walk round to us standing on our side of the Yukon and says to me, “Wow, you have a whole crew there!” I commenced to nodding and paying her no attention. I look up expecting her to have gone but she’s standing at the end of the Yukon just staring. If my alarm bells were yelling before they were utterly screaming now. There is no way this woman could be up to any good. 

She then proceeds to say, “Nice Yukon, it looks much newer than in your pictures.” Meanwhile I’m thinking what? I don’t know you! What scam is this?! 

I’ll tell you what happened next. I became 😡 angry. How dare someone think to threaten the existence of me or my daughters. So I did what any insane mother bear would do, I became the mean girl. I squared my shoulders, tucked my girls behind me and lifted my shirt enough to reveal my shoulder holster and pistol. And I said, “I don’t know what you’re going on about but I don’t know you and I’d be obliged that you respect the space of me and my girls.” I didn’t draw on her or anything of the like, but I wanted to send a very clear message. 

The color commenced to drain from her face at an alarming rate and she put her hands palm up in mock surrender and said, “I’m supposed to meet a lady with a black Yukon for sale.” 

Before I could say anything more a black Yukon, identical to mine with a few more bumps and bruises pulled up next to her, rolled down the window and asked if she was so and so that agreed to meet to look at the Yukon for sale…..

I tipped my hat and took my brood on in to the store. In the moment I didn’t think much about the whole experience, just the fact that I was relieved this woman whom I’d thought a threat truly was just meeting someone and it was a case of mistaken identity. 

But these few days later it appals me that I even feel the need to behave in such a way in today’s society. I grew up where everyone left doors unlocked, where everyone said hello and offered you a cup of coffee even if you weren’t a familiar face. And here I am today in a public car park with my three girls armed to the teeth and ready to push back if threatened. Has it really come to this? 

I don’t want to teach my girls that the world is a place to be scared of. I do want to teach them to be prepared, aware, and minimize themselves as a target or victim of crime. In today’s world how do we do this without going overboard? 

So today I’m praying for knowledge, the knowledge to lead my girls and raise them into independent women that can protect themselves, but yet be the person that still offers a friendly word to a stranger in a car park. 

How do you raise children in today’s society to toe the middle of the road between safe, yet still personable ?

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What do you want now, my blood or my soul? Five Easy Ways to Take Back Time for Yourself


Do you ever have those moments as a parent that you just want to shout, “No! No! No! ITS MINE YOU CANT HAVE IT TO!” Because your children 👶 suck the ever loving life right the hell out of you? I mean really I gave up my body, my personal space, my time… I gave up sleeping in (ooooh I miss this one), eating candy outside of the pantry (because really the kids can hear that friggin crinkly wrapper a mile away) , and the list goes on…. My point? Well, sometimes in my parenting journey I just want to have something left for myself. As you can see from the above picture I can’t even eat a buttered sweet potatoe without someone pleading with thier eyes to share with them. Oi vay!

Here are a few simple ways I take back a little for myself even in a busy stay at home mom way of life:

  1. Write yourself into your schedule! Do you keep a planner? Block off some time just for yourself to read a book, pull weeds, lockbox, or whatever it is that you do by yourself that recharges you. All to often I get so wrapped up in everyone else’s schedule of needs I forget to make time for my own.
  2. Embrace nap time 😴! If your kids still take naps STOP ✋ trying to dash around like a crazy person trying to get all those chores done “while you have time” and they are asleep.  I know it’s tempting but really, just leave the clothes and dirty dishes were they are. Take the time to recharge your own battery. Catch some zzzzzs! If your kids have outgrown nap time, implement quiet time were all electronics are off and it’s books and quiet toys only.
  3. Get up early or go to bed later than you usually do. Don’t get me wrong sleep is important! But even fifteen minutes to yourself sometimes makes all the difference.
  4. Limit your extracurriculars. All those activities that have you running kids back and forth all week? Yeah those! Sit down and really consider which ones to keep. I tell my girls one sport or extracurricular at a time. Less time on those makes my girls really appreciate the activity they choose and value it. They get so much more out of it and it frees up so much time! 
  5. Ask yourself “What can I delegate?” My seven year old can unload the dishwasher. Will she do it exactly like I would? No, not at all! And sometimes I’ll have to deal with my favorite coffee cup being put way in the back. But my point is she CAN do it, and it frees me up from doing it and it teaches her responsibility and basic life skills. And I always try to tell my kids hey let’s get our team spirit on and get the chores knocked out first so then we can ALL PLAY! 

So when I’m on the verge of mommy melt down time I try to take a step back and reimplement these tips. I re-evaluate and more often than not if I’m following my own advice I feel so much better! Hope this helps!

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Where Do I Blog? 

Where do you blog? I often wonder about trivial things like this. While I am reading different blogs I wonder if the person is blogging from some beautiful beach somewhere as the sun comes up, or are they blogging from the bowels of a dark castle that seeps moisture, or maybe from a more ordinary place like an office cubicle; possibly blogging while they are truly supposed to be working their day job. I assure you, where I blog from is a mix of all three of these places I’ve mentioned above. The HK Bar is where I blog 99% of the time. Sometimes my view is the porch scene you see above. With my little people painting, coloring, or simply running about with the dogs and sometimes a miniature horse being drug across the lawn as my three little girls become Cowboys and Indians. I often blog standing up at my kitchen counter and it takes me hours to complete one post because I am also trying to run the farm, cook meals, watch kids, make phone calls, etc etc etc. And sometimes, during that 1% that I am not blogging from the HK Bar, I am blogging as I wait in the grocery store line, or have a five minute break working as a nurse, or when I’m sitting in the parking lot after I get off of a nursing shift. I am never really NOT blogging. In my head at least I am always thinking of something to write about. I generally think about epic posts in my head, only to sit down in front of the computer to realize I have forgotten them more quickly than I have composed them in my head. 

So today, From the HK Bar I m sending out this question into the great unknown to ask, “Where do you blog?” I have a feeling it will interest me more than what you might think. Are you the beach blogger? The castle blogger? The cubicle blogger? 

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A Date Designed For Him; Operation Romance Phase 3

Phase three was a total slam dunk! I keep thinking one of these phases is going to fall flat on its face and give me a reality check. it has been going so well! Ugh my pessimism creeps up sometimes. I am a bit of a serial realist. Ouch, hurts to admit. Anywho, phase three of operation romance I planned yesterday morning, the day of. I know talk about last minute, but hey, I can work under a time crunch and really let’s face reality, A day designed specifically for him just needs to include food and entertainment that can hold his attention. THe key to designing a date tailored specifically to one person is to actually know what would make that person happy. My husband isn’t a Neanderthal, but close. So basically I guess I have to admit I had a slam dunk from the word go. I mean really, my husband would have been happy to have no children in the house and stay in bed with a pizza and sex for the night. He would literally have been as happy as a rhody at a Duran Duran concert.

But that’s not what happened….well…completely. Having some respect for our private lives I will say his date started off with the kids going off to the babysitter and him getting to spend some time in bed…taking a nap….

After his nap he was much refreshed. He commented how sweet it was for me to think of that, and I secretly fist pumped (seriously NOT a sexual innuendo here) my victory in the bathroom as I prepared for phase two. I mean really score one for team Heather. 

I then whisked him away to his favorite place to eat. Longhorns Steakhouse in Lawrence, Kansas. I took the liberty of ordering for him. Starters were a bud light bottle for him and “make sure it’s cold” (I’m sure the waitress thought I was a real control freak) and a strawberry margarita for me. The husband was impressed with my skills I could tell. Or actually it was probably because I’m a huge non drinker and I get all frowny and pissy  faced when he usually orders a beer. (A little back story though my husband used to be a big drinker. Not alcoholic , just more than what pushed my comfor t zone. Oh to have been raised in an alcoholic family. It damages you somehow. But that’s fotter for another story). Then I commenced to ordering Chicken strips with french fries WITH barbecue sauce and ranch dressing. Because my husband can’t stand honey mustard and eats barbecue sauce on everything. Seriously, I told you he was the human being most closely related to the Neanderthal living! We chatted through supper like we were newly dating and getting to know each other. All the while I am thinking where is this coming from? Usually by now I’m irritated because he is spending two dollars on a beer and all I can think is how irresponsible  that is with my hard earned money. (HAHA right he is the one that works three jobs. Ok so I’m possessive. …..can I also blame this on thoses alcoholic members of my childhood??) We just enjoyed supper. I had to check my mouth a couple of times from discussing bills and other concerns I Have for the planning period for the HK Bar for next calendar year. I decided no business talk on his date. I mean really Ithink that is why I stress him out so much is because all I can think of is finance, planning, what’s next what’s next……I get it though, seriously from his point of view he works sixteen hour days and then comes home to three screaming children that want his full attention and a wife that is bitching because the finances are so tight you could bounce an elephant off of them. Like seriously I’d be thinking of doing a runner in his place. Maybe he fantasizes about it…. But back to supper. It was fantastic. Period.

I next took him to a movie that he has been talking about for weeks. ‘War Dogs’. But realized a flaw in my planning. We had an hour to kill in between supper and movie. That’s when my Neanderthal, I mean my husband stepped up his game to impress me. He said let me take YOU somewhere for the next hour. All I could think was Great he is gong to take my to some very public place and want to have sex in our new Yukon. (The back cargo area is huge), And then the police are going to come and arrest me and then I’ll go to jail for the first time in my life at thirty years old  because I had my naked ass up in the air in the back of our family vehicle in the middle of a populated area…..” Seriously the struggle is real inside my head sometimes. But he took me to a book store close out. Big red signs of 70% off flashed everywhere. BOOKS BOOKS BOOKS! And all at dirt cheap prices. This is the precise moment my husband turned from Neanderthal to Prince Charming. He so gets me . I love books. So for the next hour I put armfuls of books into a cart pushed by my husband who followed me silently like a loyal dog. God I love that man. 

Then it was on to the movie. War Dogs was the typical stuff based on a true story I’m a gun runner badass……. I did enjoy it. A little. Not as much as the bookstore, but I lived. My husband was grinning like a kid at Christmas on the drive home. And then he said the magic words….”That was the perfect date night, thank you Baby”. I melted into the seat and closed my eyes after those words. Phase three had been a success! And all I could do was smile. ……and start planning PHase Four of Operation Romance…….

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Handling His Meat With Precision; Operation Romance Phase 2

I finally decided on my next phase of operation romance! I made my husband a suprise steak lunch. What did you expect from the title? Gezzz you sicko, I literally meant I handled his meat,  you know the kind you EAT….errr….well, that could be misconstrued as well. Okay starting over, I made my husband a kick ass suprise lunch in an attempt to bring back some romance to our marriage. I seriously have been tuned out for awhile. 

Anyhow. I made marinated beef ribeye steaks (raised and butchered right here on the HK Bar), corn, and seasoned mashed potatoes. He was a happy man! I sat across the table staring at him as he took his first bite. He wore a worried look as he took his first bite. I said, “What’s wrong honey?” He said, “I don’t know I keep waiting for you to tell me. You have been so attentive these past few days I keep waiting for the punch line. I have to admit it has me a bit worried.” 

Im sure he saw my eager, happy face fall with his comment. Gezzz I know I’m not huge on romance, but I didn’t realize I have been the ultimate romance Scrooge. I told him, “I realized I have not been very attentive to you, or very romantic for a long time. I truly have had a great time first writing your note, and planning your suprise lunch. I guess I would worry a bit too if I were in your shoes. Not that you have to worry, I just wanted to do something nice for you.”  A genuine smile lit up his face and he took my hand from across the table. He even put his fork down to do this, and that is HUGE for my husband, although thin, he loves his food. And he said, “I really liked your note. It made me smile, and it was really sweet of you. Thank you, it is nice to be thought of.” And then he commenced to devouring my suprise lunch with impressive speed. 

So I guess after the initial shock of Operation Romance wears off my husband might not always look so Leary when I do something nice for him. We had some good moments during his lunch. And I truly did enjoy preparing the meal and coming up with the menu. Usually I’m not a huge fan of cooking. It’s not that I’m bad at it, because I’m not, it’s more the fact that everyone has to eat and it just becomes one more chore on my list to check off three times a day. This time was different. I really did feel like I was pouring my love into this meal. And I’m happy that it was received so well. 

So cheers to handling my husbands meat so well, and on to the next planning phase for Operation Romance. HMMMMM what will I do? What will it be? Stay tuned! 

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So I wrote My Husband A Love Letter; Operation romance Phase 1

I actually googled how to write a love letter. Pathetic? Maybe so. I told y’all I had killed (or very nearly) killed the romance in my marriage. But hey, I am TRYING here. So what did I uncover in my google search? Basically the best advice I read was to write the love letter HE would like to receive not the one YOU would like to receive. Also other good points were to keep the wording simple. You don’t really need to write a novel about how you love to watch him sleep (I think that is creepy as all get out. But hey, who am I to say I mean really I had to google how to write a love letter! ) be to the point and straight forward using simple terms. And another last but very good point is, men don’t necessarily want to hear they are handsome, they want to hear they are appreciated, admired, and needed. 

So after composing at least half a dozen long winded flowery love letters I opted to take some well given advice and see where it took me. I wrote a very short and very well intentioned letter to my husband and used a few of my daughter’s stickers to tape it to the back door. I put it right above the knob so that he has to see it. 


Even though it is very simple, I hope that it makes him smile that I took the time and thought of him. So now we wait, and see what the outcome is. Update to follow.