It’s Pumpkin Spice Equinox, Bitches.

I am literally shitting pumpkin spiced foods and beverages out my ears at this point, that is how much I am up in this fall business.

I have been for weeks.

Every year, I find myself here. Writing a blog post about how fucking fabulous fall is. Others have done the same, about decorative gourds season, and about the bliss that comes with the best fucking season of all seasons to ever exist.

Eventually I get sick of it. I tire of the maple candles and the apple picking and the farm stands and the pumpkin spiced flavors and the basic bitch UGG boots. Then I move on to Hallmark movies and cherry and cinnamon flavor palettes and holiday music and putting my tree up before Thanksgiving.

But for now, it’s fall. It’s fall and I am in my zone.

I’ve reached the point where I stop procrastinating on the Halloween costumes, and they begin to take their final form. My two oldest kids – 15 and 11 – still dress up to please their brother, and I am ready. I am ready to sew, tuck, pin, and hot glue that shit together like the most Pinteresty Mom you’ve ever known.

My fall display has been out on the front porch for several weeks now, but I’m ready for phase two: excessive fall display. I’m talking hay bails, I’m talking corn stalks, I’m talking fucking potted marigolds.

Two weeks before Halloween, it will morph to Halloween-themed.

November 1st, we move back to excessive fall display with a flair of Thanksgiving.

And about a week before Thanksgiving, the Christmas bonanza takes over and my fall display moves to the table for Thanksgiving dinner.

I have a system. I’m ready. It’s go time.

As I am typing this, I’m actually – legitimately – sitting here, yelling -nay, screaming – in my Steroid Starla voice: LET’S DO THIS! LET’S GO! Because fall is my jam, and I’ve got my canning gear out.

Literally. I’m ready to make some pickles. To pickle some watermelon rinds. To give salsa and pesto and spaghetti sauce another go around. To make up some fucking fruit butters and canned pie fillings. I hate cooking, and I especially loathe the heat and load of canning. And yet the thought of spending an entire day over a steaming pot of vinegar and boiling water has tingles shooting out of every hole of my Martha Stewart reading – water bath canning – yes, I can do this and no, none of us are going to get a deadly intestinal disease from improper processing – head.

And the icing on this fall’s apple cake is: we seem to have escaped our typical, autumnal heat wave. For quite a few years, it would be a muggy 105 degrees for several weeks through September and October. We would slog around in the heat, wondering how we could ever celebrate autumn when it feels like we live on the equator in the middle of summer.

But – fingers crossed – with the exception of a couple days of heat here, and a few days of humidity there – it is cooling down.

Cooling down for, you guessed it: layers.

The thing I’m loving this year is the new appreciation for basic ass girls like me being into this shit. Like finally people are standing up to the naysayers of all-things-pumpkin spice and proclaiming: NO! You will not make fun of me for enjoying the fusion of nutmeg and cloves! NO! You will accept and embrace the addition of cinnamon to create a trifecta of flavors that have literally been around for centuries. “You know pumpkin spice doesn’t even have pumpkin in it!” the naysayers proclaim, and finally we are there, ready to respond: no shit … it’s called pumpkin spice because it’s the spice used in pumpkin pie, you ignorant, nutmeg-hating twats.

So today is the first day of fall and I’m feeling fabulous about it. I’ve got crafts staged in the garage, and pumpkin spice pancake mix prepped in the fridge for breakfast. It’s Pumpkin Spice Equinox, bitches.

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I Did One DIY Project For Easter. One. Not Twelve. Not Twenty. Just One.

And even then, it nearly killed me.

I don’t mean that it was dangerous or wracked with mishap that could have severed my head or anything. I mean I hated doing it so much, I could have died.

I literally could have died. Literally. Not figuratively, like a spiritual death. I mean laid down on the floor and just stopped breathing – that is how over DIY projects I am these days.

(I did burn my finger on my glue gun, so maybe it was a little dangerous too.)

I think I’ve really evolved over time. First I hated Pinterest and all this perfect Mommy -DIYs everything crap. Then I felt guilt for that, or guilt for something, and went all Pinterest Mom crazy. Like everything was over the top DIY and perfect with all its perfection. Now I’m back to hating it, but mostly because I’m lazy and just over doing things.

Like any things.

So my devolving to this slovenly lard ass who would rather just buy something online than have to actually go and burn my fingers off with my glue gun again…it has been a slow one. It’s gone piece by piece, so that no one will ever notice that I went from DIYing everything to DIYing nothing. My theory is that the change will have been so slow that it will be hard to even remember that this wasn’t the way things were all along.

This Easter, I am officially down to the end game. The goal of DIYing absolutely nothing is within reach. In this – the final phase – I did but one DIY project.

And if I was going to be totally honest about it, I’d admit that the only reason I did it was to save money.

We gift all of the kids in my husband’s side of the family every major holiday. That’s Christmas and mini-Christmas, aka Easter. (Just kidding, we don’t consider it to be mini-Christmas, although I do find that a lot of people have turned it into that…)

Now at eight kids besides our own, this is starting to add up. And especially with holidays like Easter, it’s always the wrapping that makes the expense out of control. The baskets, the extra large eggs…whatever I wrap the Easter goods in for these kids, it always ends up being a hefty chunk of the overall cost.

So I made my own bags this year. Out of burlap. Burlap and buttons and some leftover chalkboard tags I had from something else.

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I hated every minute of it too, so I hope those kids realize how much effort went in to even convincing myself to make the bags to save the money. It hadn’t even occurred to me that I could give the gifts in CVS and Trader Joes bags – those kids would probably never notice.

This raised a bigger issue, though, in my mind: how has it come to this? How has it come to the point where I hate doing DIY projects so badly that I would prefer to lay down and cease to exist? What happened to that Heather that just a few years ago would hand-paint the wrapping paper, and cut party cheese into shapes that went along with the party theme?

It’s possible that I burned myself out, as I do in so many other areas of life. But it’s also, and more likely to be the case, just a sign of this new era of parenting I am in – the my kids don’t want shit to do with me anymore phase. The themed parties aren’t really what they do anymore, now it’s all cellphones and God mom why do you have to embarrass us. So I may as well just stop caring about some of this dumb DIY stuff that doesn’t do anything but cost me frustration and heartache, and – apparently – embarrass them.

(Newsflash: everything embarrasses them.)

There’s also the distinct possibility that I am just on a Pinterest hiatus. That it’s only a matter of time before I am back in the saddle and DIYing everything to the point that other mothers hate me for all that I do.

I’ve written about this many times before, and I am most certain that I will write about it again. But just one DIY project this Easter. Not twelve. Not twenty. Not even two…just…one… I can’t help but think that is a sign of a much different and terrifying time to come.

For if I am no longer a Pinterest Mom, well then what kind of a mom have I become?

I Think I’m A Pinterest Mom

Counting the Deviled Egg Disaster of Easter 2015 as the recent (and glaring) exception, I think I’m a Pinterest Mom. And even so, the Deviled Egg Disaster of Easter 2015 was inspired by the famed pin site.

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It was like Night of the Living Dead meets a traditional, holiday appetizer.

When my husband said that the only thing he cared about on Easter was that I make a lot of deviled eggs; oh and by the way can you make those guacamole ones?; oh hey you should do those colored ones you did a few years ago…; oooh look at those bleu cheese buffalo spiced deviled eggs … well you can see I was overwhelmed. I also saw a pin where the person made the deviled eggs look like baby chicks, and immediately felt up for the challenge. This is around where it fell apart – I was just in way over my head.

It also didn’t help a single bit that my husband’s cousin and his wife showed up with this bullshit cheese and chartreuse platter. I call it bullshit because it was SO. DAMN. AMAZING that it put everyone else’s nonsense to shame. I could have brought in a watermelon carving fashioned in the likeness of Jesus Christ himself, and it wouldn’t compare to that goddamned cheese and chartreuse platter.  They actually hand-carved the platters at home, out of what I can only assume was wood they gathered from the homes of the gods on Mount Olympus.

So you can see, in the case of the Deviled Egg Disaster of Easter 2015, I was set up to fail from all sides. But this isn’t the normal course of affairs.

Usually I’m all over baking homemade dog treats, making my own laundry detergent, and hanging cutesy signs through out the house – that I happened to cross-stitch or paint out of, naturally, up-cycled materials I already had around the house.

Consider Exhibits A and B. After spending hours working on these, I can’t help but wonder if (a) anyone in my house will ever pay attention to them; or, (b) just how insane others will think I am when they visit the house.

I mean really… sock buddy system? How annoyingly cute can we get here?

Exhibit A

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Exhibit B

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Birthday parties aren’t just birthday parties anymore. They are events. Events where every food item is perfectly labeled.

Exhibit C

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Themes and color schemes are strictly adhered to.

Exhibit D

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And there is always – ALWAYS – a dessert table.

Exhibit E

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In Exhibit F you’ll see I’ve created a monogram for our family. It’s a fusion of our last name initials (P and S), and has taken over our house in monogrammed towels, wall letter art, and the labels I put on everything.

I actually have a day set each month to make more of those labels.

Exhibit F

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As time goes on, I’m making more and more from scratch. I’m getting to the point of needing nothing more than a cow, and I will be fully sufficient. I can for canning season. I make homemade dog food, from-scratch Chex Mix, and homemade butter.

Yes – moving on to Exhibit G, now – I make my own butter. As in I churn it.

Exhibit G

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And on the off chance that I’ve missed a beat, or something comes up like the Deviled Egg Disaster of Easter 2015, I feel that I have failed. Failed miserably – not only as a Pinterest user, or a Pinterest mom, but as a human being altogether.

tumblr_n0o4rm1zP71somw7ho1_500Why? Because like many of you, I can’t help but compare myself, both to others as well as to that vast world of pins and pictures and examples of the far greater things out there. As I see it, Pinterest is just the new era of Better Homes and Gardens and Modern Woman magazines. And this is why women have been comparing themselves for ages.

We could talk about the social problems with this for ages, the fact that it happens is just that: a simple fact. No matter how many positivity-be-myself-and-love-it articles I read on Buzzfeed and Huffington Post, a part of me is always going to wonder if I could do as well as the others.

But it isn’t just a matter of self-comparison, because – quite frankly – a lot of the time I couldn’t give a lick about what others do. It’s more like a challenge. There is better out there, and I know I can do better. So I’m going to (unless it has anything to do with deviled eggs).

So I think I’m a Pinterest Mom. That means that a lot of you hate me. Like really-really hate me; like you’ve written your own articles about how I’m a big asshole making everyone else look like a pile of crap.

And here I am, feeling like my own pile of crap because of a fucking cheese platter.

Well there are a few saving graces, here. (One) is that a lot of my Pinterest projects likely come out looking more like the Deviled Egg Disaster of Easter 2015 than I’m able to admit. (Two) is that unlike a lot of people I know, I can only keep up charades for a relatively short period of time. Which means that before we know it I’ll be back to my bargain basement decorating skills, coupled with parties that consist of no more than a bucket of chicken on my cluttered dining room table.

As I get ready to make a Moving Day Binder out of printables I printed off Pinterest tomorrow (that is, literally, the only thing I have planned for the entire day), I hold steadfast in my hope that this Pinterest Mom phase will pass quickly.

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