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    Monday, May 21, 2012

    Tooth Fairy Drop-Out

    Our Tooth Fairy is second rate. I wonder if I could explain to my kids that their fairy dropped out of high school, flunked her entrance exam to Tooth Compensation School twice, and is holding on to her job by a thread of dental floss?

    Some of you might remember last year’s Epic Tooth Fairy Fail and the resulting tears from my youngest. Well, I had a chance to redeem myself this weekend.

    On Saturday Chunky lost a tooth while getting a haircut. The girls at Great Clips thought this was adorable and made a fuss over him. Being Chunky, he enjoyed the attention tremendously.

    We wrapped the tooth in a tissue and stuck it in my purse to take home. Where it stayed. Sunday morning he told me he didn’t get anything from the Tooth Fairy because he’d forgotten to put the tooth in the special little pillow with a pocket. I breathed a sigh of relief, thankful he’d come to this conclusion all by himself.

    All day yesterday I reminded myself we had Tooth Fairy duty that night. You’d think I would’ve picked up some cash while I ran errands, but no. Bedtime came and Chunky asked for a piece of paper to write the Tooth Fairy a note.

    He composed his letter and tucked it into the pillow pocket with his tooth and a pen for the Tooth Fairy to use to write him back.

    We got the boys in bed and headed down to watch Doctor Who, because that is what I’m doing with my life these days. Naturally, I forgot about Tooth Fairy duty until Kory appeared in the bathroom door while I brushed my teeth sometime around 11:30 PM. He held up Chunky’s note and said, “I think this is your department.”

    Sure enough, Chunky had written a sweet little letter all about losing his tooth while getting a haircut. He asked the Tooth Fairy to write him a note on the back of the paper.

    After a moment of panic, I had an idea. A family friend had given each boy a two dollar bill when they were little. Because the boys didn’t really understand the concept of money at the time, I stowed the bills in my jewelry armoire. Perfect!

    I dug out one of the two dollar bills, found a sparkly pink pen, and set to work writing a letter in swirly handwriting that in no way resembles my own. The Tooth Fairy told Chunky how special and rare it was to lose a tooth while getting a haircut and that such an event warranted a special and rare two dollar bill. I tucked the note and the money in his pillow and went to bed.

    Tooth Fairy Win!


    This morning when I woke up I put off getting into the shower because I wanted to be there when Chunky found his stash. When he slept a little later than usual, I went in, scratched his back, and let Willie the Heeler “snuggle” him awake.

    Finally, he came out of his room and trotted over to the pillow hanging on the banister. (We convinced him to hang the pillow there so it’d be easy for the Tooth Fairy to do her job, hopefully resulting in fewer flub-ups.)

    My heart squeezed as he read the Tooth Fairy’s letter and broke into a gappy grin.

    Yes! Tooth Fairy Win!

    I left him admiring his two dollar bill and headed for the shower.

    A few minutes later, I stepped out of the shower to hear a knock on the bathroom door.


    “Mommy?” Chunky said. “Why does my two dollar bill have my brother’s name on it?”


    "Well, you see, honey, your Tooth Fairy is ‘special’ . . . "

    Wednesday, May 16, 2012

    Daleks at the Dollar Store

    You know you’re obsessed with Doctor Who when you encounter Dalek appendages at the Dollar Store and text your husband a picture.

    It took me awhile to get into Doctor Who. I desperately wanted to like it because, you know, all the cool kids talk about Doctor Who. But at first I couldn’t get over the cheesy effects and the fact that mop buckets with plungers and paint rollers were supposed to be terrifying.

    But we made it through the 2005 series, and then David Tennant stepped into the Doctor’s role and it was all over for me. I love a man with a Scottish accent! So much so in fact that his departure left me bereft. My only solace was to stand outside my boys’ room while they listened to their How to Train Your Dragon audio books, which Tennant narrates.

    We just finished the first series with Matt Smith as the eleventh regeneration of the doctor. I’m almost used to him. I still hate his bow tie. (I know, “Bow ties are cool.”) And why are his pants so short?! Can someone explain this to me?

    I don’t know why, but sometime during the first series we watched, I started counting Gareths in the credits. The most Gareths I’ve ever spotted is three. Other favorite first names to watch speeding by are Morag and Endaff. Again, I don’t know why I do this, but Kory knows better than to fast forward the Doctor Who credits. He patiently waits while I stare at the screen, hollering, “One Gareth! Two Gareths!” not unlike the Count on Sesame Street.

    So, since I am hopelessly weird and perhaps need balance in my life, I thought we’d play a little game called How Obsessed with Doctor Who are You? I know some of my readers must be worse off than I am. You already know the extent of my obsession, (I count Gareths and listen to annoyingly juvenile dragon books read by MY Doctor), but I’ll give a couple more examples to get things started.

    I’m so obsessed with Doctor Who that I crocheted an Ood mask and I wear it on special occasions.

    I’m so obsessed with Doctor Who that I demand my husband wear pinstripe pajamas.

    I’m so obsessed with Doctor Who that I dress up as the TARDIS on weekends.

    I’m so obsessed with Doctor Who I’m eating myself into the shape of the TARDIS while watching Doctor Who marathons.

    Ok, your turn. Any TARDIS painted fingernails out there? Who is your favorite Doctor? If it’s not David Tennant just know that henceforth you’re dead to me. And if you don’t watch Doctor Who and you think I need a new hobby, what would you suggest, keeping in mind that I’m an Indoor Person?

    Monday, May 7, 2012

    Of Moths and Wild Boys

    Moths have invaded Colorado Springs. Most people find them annoying and a little creepy, but here in the Denmark household, they’re something special.

    The moths remind me of the summer after Kory and I met. We must’ve had a dry winter in 1997 because the moths took over that spring. I have memory flashes of insect aerial displays at intersections, warm evenings with moth-dotted walls, and fluttery things swarming porch lights. So, as weird as it is, I find our current moth infestation nostalgic and even a little romantic.

    Two little Nerf warriors in my house view the invasion with frenzied joy. Most evenings our bedtime routine is hijacked by Moth Wars. The boys pause somewhere in between changing for bed to take up arms and hunt the pests.

    Despite the fact that it is extremely hard to hit a moth with a Nerf dart, if I were a tiny, winged creature, I’d be terrified of the shirtless giants and their loud, yellow weapons. But nobody ever said moths were intelligent, and so the battles rage.

    My house is strewn with darts. I trip over a Nerf gun every night when I go to turn off their lava lamp. Then I’m startled by the flight of the silent enemy as I return to our bedroom.

    But I don’t mind.

    The next time the Miller moths invade they’ll bring with them memories of new love and wild little boys who refuse to go to bed. But who will they find? An overworked dad? Likely. A tired mom? Most definitely. Two teenage boys with plans, frustrations, too much homework, and too little sleep? Probably. I just hope that somewhere in those messy rooms, there’s still a Nerf gun or two ready for some action.

    Tuesday, May 1, 2012

    Wish You Were Here

    It’s Debut Day for my good friend and mentor Beth Vogt. Her first novel, Wish You Were Here, hits shelves today. I got to read this novel as it was being written. I got to kibitz on fun little details, brainstorm character arcs, and laugh and laugh some more at the antics of beleaguered heroine Allison Denman.

    Over and over as I read this manuscript, I told Beth, “I can just see this.” From the very first page, a movie—starring Katherine Heigl no less—played in my head. Beth’s voice recalls favorite rom-coms like While You Were Sleeping and My Best Friend’s Wedding. Her writing is immediate and visceral and her dialog is spot on. Even the title seems tailor-made for the big screen. But don’t mistake the Sandra Bullock worthy storyline for a shallow chick flick. The more you read, the more you uncover Allison’s painful past and the secrets behind her need to control her own life.

    Before I go any further, here’s a teaser to get you on the same page:

    Allison Denman is supposed to get married in five days, but everything is all wrong. The huge wedding. The frothy dress. And the groom.

    Still, kissing the groom’s brother, Daniel, in an unguarded moment is decidedly not the right thing to do. How could she have made such a mistake? It seems Allison’s life is nothing but mistakes at this point. Daniel’s adventures—chronicled through a collection of postcards—have always appealed to Allison’s well-hidden desire for something more. But how can betraying her fiancĂ©’s trust lead to a true happily ever after?

    Can Allison find her way out of this mess? Recognizing she doesn’t have all the answers won’t be easy because she’s used to being in control. To find her way again, she will have to believe that God has a plan for her—one outside her carefully defined comfort zone—and find the strength to let Him lead.

    Let me put on my writer’s hat for just a moment and say that I was amazed at how Beth revealed Daniel’s character through his postcard notes to Allison. Talk about making every word do double the work. In Twitter-length sentences at the beginning of each chapter, Beth made Daniel live, breath, and holler, “Come have fun with me!”

    Who could refuse?

    I guarantee you will laugh along the way as Allison tries to figure out what to do with her life while pursued by a determined ex-fiancé, the inconveniently handsome and heroic Daniel, and the wedding dress that refused to die!

    You can find Wish You Were Here at your local Christian bookstore or online at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or Christian Book Distributors