Dude, Where’s My Porch?!

I need a bigger porch. Attached to a house measuring over 2,800sqft, my porch is the size of a postage stamp in comparison. Not that I’m trying to complain; I’m grateful for my postage stamp and the enormous quantity of happiness that has occurred under the roof attached to it, but it does make it hard to sit outside and write when my nephews keep hitting me with the screen door every 2.7 seconds. I thought about bringing coffee out with me and enjoying the temperate weather, listening to the birds sing, soaking up the sunshine while I peacefully mind-dumped, but then I realized the only thing I’d be dumping is hot coffee all over my MacBook when the 3 year old plows the door into my shoulder for the 57th time.

What comes next is just a tiny glimpse of my real life juxtaposed with my fantasy life.

All parents have a fantasy life I think. All people, really, but since the only people I know anything about happen to be parents, we’ll just narrow it down to all eleventy billion of us. maxresdefaultIn my fantasy life, I get paid to travel to beautiful places. When I’m not working my “real job” I earn “extra” cash for effortlessly churning out brilliant blog-posts while a soundtrack of ocean waves crashes in the foreground and my toes are resting in the soft white sand (which doesn’t fly all over me & my computer when the wind blows). In this fantasy, I also have a perfect, sun-kissed body, look good in wide-brimmed hats & enjoy a never-ending supply of books, as well as free beverages ranging from water to coffee, to sweet iced tea, to bourbon depending on my mood. sourceAdmittedly, the need for bourbon may alter in direct proportion to the number of children trotting in and out of this fantasy. At this point that number is nil. The space in front of me is vast and insanely gorgeous, and there are no screen doors within 1000 miles of where I sit. While I’m at it, I’ve taken all the fat and calories out of food & chocolate is now the most densely nutritious thing on the planet.

In my real life…


Again, I’m not trying to complain. My real life is more wonderful & full of blessings than I ever could have imagined, but the closest I’ll ever come to getting paid to write is being awarded a $1,000 grant for school based on a two page essay about my personal goals. And I’ll be doing that writing (in hours rather than minutes) with a caffeine headache on a partly cloudy day from a small porch in a small town while listening to a combination of train whistles & the screeching sounds of my 4 year old nephew doing what he calls laughing while repeatedly smashing a poor pink monster truck on the concrete as hard as he possibly can, and being jostled by the repeated opening of the screen door as the 3 year old comes out to play with my ears. The cute little weirdo has a thing about ears.

Still…while I wouldn’t ever say no to a deserted island with clear, turquoise water, palm trees and a bottomless sea of books, my current circumstance is – in its own much less serene way – a sort of paradise. I am fortunate enough to have the privilege of being a full time parent to my three children and a temporary surrogate to my nephews. It’s a hard job with long hours, few breaks & infinite shoulder bruises, but as challenging and frustrating as it can be it is equally fulfilling. To see the fruits of my labor progressively manifest in these little people is pretty awesome. I won’t be able to do this forever though. I’m usually not a plan-for-the-future sort of person, preferring to usually just go with the flow, but my husband has rubbed off on me in that way recently and if things go the way they should, our home will be empty of ear-pulling, truck-smashing toddlers & fridge-emptying, soul-sucking, ride-needing, wallet-draining teens and pre-teens in as few as 8 years. I’m going to need something fulfilling to do other than stay home & watch Supernatural reruns & flip through baby books. Something that will help me to afford all this fantasy traveling I want to do.

That is the reason I’m sitting on my 8×4-foot porch procrastinating writing potential grant-awarding essays to help afford a future education in a field that pays in a more practical currency than ear-tugs and kisses. Unlike my husband, (who worked very hard & deserves every single benefit he sacrificed for) I don’t have a service-connected education allowance to pay for things like that, so essay-writing it is. My ultimate goal is to get myself trained in something that might get me a little closer to my fantasy life and still benefit my family in the meantime.

Why am I telling you this?

I hadn’t intended on producing (or publishing) this particular piece; it was meant to be a warm-up exercise destined to live out the rest of its days as #64 in my drafts folder. Yet, here we are. CgY5Qi8WEAAkU39I decided half-way through to publish it because there’s a parent somewhere who has a fantasy life they’re not expecting to even partly achieve & I want to encourage you to take steps now to make some version of it happen. Our circumstances could change at any moment & while I don’t want to take for granted the blessing I’m currently living, I do want to set myself up for a future that contains a little bit more than Empty Nest Syndrome & some kind of life crisis. Who knows? Maybe I’ll need this post in a year for my own encouragement or as a reminder for why continuing my education seemed like a good idea at 32 years old. The only way I’ll get to spend my 40s on a beach is if I take steps in that general direction now (I imagine it takes a while – & a sprinkle of Jesus juice – to walk to Hawaii). In the meantime, I’m going to sweet talk my husband into building me a bigger porch.


What are you thankful for right now? Tell me about your fantasy life! How close or far away are you? Is there any small thing you could change right now that might help put you on a new, potentially more positive path? Is chocolate also nutritious in your fantasy? (I’m asking because I wonder if we might make it happen if we put enough heads together. We should work on that fat and calorie-free thing while we’re at it).

And by this I mean that I really need to get to that grant essay & having finished this post, I now have no excuse not to be working on it. Pray for me. Lol

The Most Generous A-hole I Know

To my husband,

Today, we have been married for 14 years. In that time, you have both amazed and irritated me in almost equal measure. I want to dedicate this post to telling you how much I love & appreciate you, with specifics! Don’t worry, as you read through these your head may inflate a little, but you can count on me to keep you humble. 😉

These are not listed by importance, and I couldn’t possibly list everything, but I figured it would be okay since we’re going to have a whole lifetime to add to it. ❤

So, here goes. I love and appreciate you for many reasons, but here are just a few:

  • The K-cups you buy just for me even when we don’t really have the money
  • We could have $.11 in our bank account, $4 in your wallet, $2.37 in change in my ash tray, & a handful of pennies from underneath the couch, but as long as we had a full tank of gas in the truck you would still buy me Chick-Fil-A if I asked. It’s insane, unnecessary, and super sweet. PS – I’m hungry.
  • The way you bring me coffee in bed


  • The frequent breakfasts in bed, especially when those breakfasts are pizza.

    Did I mention I’m hungry?
  • The fact that you actually seem to enjoy spending time with me enough to make an effort to do so; even when our lives are chaotic and our schedules only sync up long enough to enjoy one meal or movie together, you △⃒⃘lways make time for me.
  • You kinda sorta almost smile at my dorky puns. Sometimes you laugh. That’s how I know you’re in a really good mood. Or high.
  • You listen to me. Mostly. I joke that you don’t, but I rarely mean it. When it’s important stuff regarding our relationship, our children, or any other big decision (like not buying another motorcycle or setting our house on fire), you try very hard to take my feelings into consideration.
  • You remember little things: the way I like my coffee, certain foods I like or don’t like, my favorite drinks, things I said when I was 16 (which has never, ever come back to bite me in any way whatsoever) and you also remember what I said as early as yesterday.
  • You are gracious about it when I need time for myself. It doesn’t matter if I need 15 minutes, an entire day, or a weekend. You’ve become very thoughtful and patient with me in that area and I can’t thank you for that enough. I hope you know that I will always do the same for you.
  • Vanilla Frappuccino’s.
  • I love and appreciate the way you love me when the kids are watching. Okay, so maybe the butt-grabbing is a little inappropriate and embarrassing, but everything else is okay. 😉 I don’t think we’re doing a terrible job of exemplifying a healthy, loving, supportive marriage. They say the best thing you can do for your kids is to love their mother and you’re doing an amazing job in that department.
  • Thanks for saying ‘I love you’ too much.
  • For always giving me a kiss before you leave, even if it’s just outside to the carport.
  • You open doors for me even when no one is watching.
  • You do not try to slide my chair back and up for me at restaurants. I’m not sure if that’s because you know I’m way too clumsy for that to end well so I prefer to do it myself, or if it’s because we generally only dine in restaurants with booths and crayons…either way, thank you.
  • You know that I’m capable of handling my own business – opening my own doors, getting my own food, carrying my own groceries, coming up with my own solutions, defending myself, etc – but I don’t always have to.
  • there-are-two-kinds-of-people-f-e-damn-i-16121363
    Thanks for being the first kind of person & for teasing me about being the second. 🙂
  • You are sweet to both our moms. You call them both “old farts” and make jokes about them having changed Jesus’ diapers, but you’re still pretty sweet to them. I appreciate that.
  • You have not decapitated my life-size Dean Winchester cardboard cut out. Probably just because it was a gift from my sister and not because I like him, but still…thanks for not killing Dean.
  • If I’m going to mention my Dean Winchester cut-out I have to also give you credit for not shredding the Damon Salvatore pillowcase also gifted to me from my sister. Especially since I actually sleep with that one.
  • You have this habit (that drives me CRAZY) of not eating until I do. It’s annoying because I often end up eating when I’m not hungry just because I know you are hungry and I’m fluffier than I’d like to be as a result; however, it’s still a sweet gesture & I appreciate where your heart is.
  • When the kids talk back, break rules, or fail to obey something I said, whether you agree or disagree, you are often the first to say something to them on my behalf. We could be in the middle of a disagreement about what course of action to take and as soon as one of the kids tries to take advantage of that, your super intimidating Dad Voice suddenly comes out all, “you will respect my wife” and stuff.
  • I kinda like how you say “my wife” when “your mother” would be just as appropriate.
  • You don’t complain at all much when I warm up my cold feet on you at night
  • I love when you warm up my side of the bed before I get in it during the winter months
  • You go to church with me. I am pretty certain that even if you didn’t also enjoy the church we go to, you would still go with me if I asked you. That, to me, is HUGE.
  • You support any stupid thing I want to do. I could say I want to take a course in basket weaving and you’d ask me when it starts. Admittedly, I get a little frustrated at your lack of enthusiasm when I’m trying to share certain things with you: my hobbies, my goals, my accomplishments. But, I do understand that your lukewarm responses are not meant to be discouraging; it’s just how you are. You may not jump up and do a jig or anything, but you support me in a thousand other, very practical ways. ***Still, I would like to use this opportunity to ask you to at least send me an excited gif if you can’t manage to muster a solid smile on your own face. Lol


  • I sometimes wonder if you’re even capable of objectivity where I’m concerned. Read the previous point again. If I ever say I want to take a course in basket weaving, or cat herding, or hippo racing – you may want to ask some other questions besides how much it costs and when it starts. Sometimes I just need someone to tell me that something isn’t a good idea, but I kinda love that you’re not that person for me. You seem to think I can do any damn thing I put my mind to. Even herd cats, and nobody can do that.
  • You make me laugh when I REALLY, REALLY don’t want to. When I’m in one of those foul moods where I don’t want anyone to come near me or touch me or even bat an eyelash in my direction, you can usually do something crazy, immature, impolite or inappropriate and I end up laughing in spite of myself. It annoys me & I’m grateful for it.
  • You are reading this list even though you don’t particularly like to read. Never mind the fact that I’m making you…
  • We complement each other. I haven’t always regarded our very evident differences as a strength – or even something to be grateful for – and I’m sorry for that, but I definitely see it as such now. Where I am weak, you are usually strong & vice versa. We’re just better together.
  • I love you for remembering that my primary love language is words of affirmation & for all the nice things you said about me today. If you haven’t done that yet, don’t worry, you will. 😉
  • I love you for finding the above statement charming rather than bossy.
  • You respect my intolerance of mayonnaise enough to make your own damn sandwich.
  • In 14 years we have never had a single argument about who should make whose plate. You do it for me. I do it for you. We both do it for the kids. I know this seems small, but for reasons I can’t adequately explain right now, it’s huge to me. Thank you for not expecting me to carry all the plates and wear all the hats when you’re home to help me.
  • You tell me I’m beautiful even when I look like this (& worse):


  • Relationships take work and through all of our peaks and valleys you have △⃒⃘lways shown up ready to get your hands dirty. ❤
  • Thank you for being someone I can respect. We may disagree on a lot of things & express ourselves in vastly different ways, but our core values are pretty much the same. You are △⃒⃘lways true to your word & I appreciate that about you.
  • I love that you’re so sweet to animals & old people. I wish you were that sweet to our kids, but I guess we can’t have everything. giphy
  • Sarasota. ❤
  • For being the reason we got to experience Germany
  • NOLA
  • For our future trip to a certain Brewery in Texas….
  • For all of this & more:

Happy Anniversary. Here’s to many more:





The Birth of ‘Truth or Darth’

Today I decided to share an excerpt from a post originally made on April 2nd, 2013. It made me giggle.


The Birth of Truth or Darth:

I had no idea my kids even knew how to play truth or dare, but they kept it innocent so I went with it. “Truth or Dare!” “Dare.” “I dare you to eat those apple slices in five minutes!” <—-Mom is entirely okay with this.

At one point I even got an “I dare you to play Candy Crush on your phone!” I tried to be responsible and say that we were at the dinner table and I would not be playing games on my phone, but Princess Sassypants was adamant saying, “no, mommy, I double-dog-dare you!” I had to after that.

The Cuteness got in on the fun, too, when she looked at me and said, “truth or dare, mommy.”

Me: Truth.

The Cuteness: Try again.

(I had to giggle at that one.)

The Cuteness: Truth or dare?

Me: Truth. *for the second time.*

The Cuteness: *very seriously and with pronounced head-rolling* Try. Again. *Then she cracked a little smile because she’s incapable of holding a serious face for more than three seconds…*

Me: Truth.

The Cuteness: *getting exasperated now, but determined to get me to say what she wants me to say* Okay, Mommy – try again. *Small growl* (Yes, she growled at me a little.) Truth or Darth?

I have to admit, I was really impressed by the fact that she combined Truth and Dare into one word in an effort to try and trick me, so I had to humor her this time and pick darth. It didn’t work very well though because she didn’t know whether to ask me a truth question or dare me to drink my sweet tea so she just put her head in her little hands and mumbled about how “mommy doesn’t know how to play this game.”

Update: it’s January 2017 and I still don’t know how to play this game.


My Proudest Moment

30 Day Blogging Challenge, Day 5. If anyone is curious or wants to do it as well, this is the one I’m doing:

I know it breaks some sort of rule not to have shared it on Day 1, but I wasn’t kidding about that “Bad Blogger” thing. #Rebel

As you can see, Day 5 is to share my proudest moment. I did not expect these challenges to be as…well…challenging. At first glance, you look at this list and you think “I could write about those things in my sleep.” Well so far, I’ve discovered that my blog didn’t have an appropriate name or tag line (until now), more people related to my silly facts about myself than I thought, I don’t have a favorite quote, I have no idea what I want to do with the rest of my life aside from what I’m already doing, & I struggled with picking my proudest moment, but after some deliberation I think I’ve got it.

It has to do with my family. Recently I was telling my husband about the kind, thoughtful choices our children made. The kids had some Christmas money they were itching to spend so I took them to spend half of it, with the stipulation that the other half was to be put away for savings. During the course of this shopping excursion, my son bought several things which he fully intended on sharing with his sisters. There was no arguing, no selfishness, no sense of ego behind it…it literally is simply the type of boy he is. He’s caring and thoughtful. He’s always been that way so – rather unfairly at times – I expect to see this sort of character from him. What is shocking is when he has his moments where he is not this way.

Not the case for my middle child, my oldest girl. If you know her, you know she’s super sweet, but also sassy as can be. She’s not quite as overtly & outwardly caring as my son is, (i.e. he wears his heart on his sleeve and she does not) but she has that potential & that’s not to say she isn’t compassionate; she absolutely is…she just mostly reserves that compassion for animals & really small babies. On this particular day she only had $10 to spend and she refused to spend any of it on herself until she got her aunt, her uncle, & both of her siblings something. This is really unusual behavior for her. She loves her siblings – don’t get me wrong – but she’s the one out of the three of them that would be most likely to say, “you have your own money; get your own stuff butthole” but then beat up anyone else who tried to speak to them that way. (I admit to feeling a mild sense of pride at that last part.)

She ended up spending $1 and some change on herself with the rest being allocated to what she picked for everyone else. It was a small act of kindness and yet it was so huge for her. She never has more than a couple dollars of her own money at any given time (though we give them plenty of chances to earn it) and yet, when she does get some, she spends the majority of it on others?! I enjoyed getting to witness that. However, that in itself isn’t the proud moment I chose.

The proud moment came when I was telling my husband about the events of the day and he said something to the effect of, “that’s all you babe. That’s you coming out of them. I didn’t do that. That’s happening because you’re doing a great job raising our kids.” I didn’t quite know how to process a compliment like that (from him specifically) so I don’t know that I responded appropriately. I remember saying “thanks” rather lamely. :/ I should work on my acceptance of compliments, clearly. But, it did mean a lot to me to hear him say that.

Side note: He compliments me all the time, but they’re mostly superficial compliments that, while nice, aren’t exactly in the habit of giving me the warm and fuzzies. When was the last time “nice ass” made you feel special? In James Dean Land, that’s a great compliment so I take it for what he means it to be, but for me personally, well…let’s just say it’s not my idea of a quality compliment. He tells me I’m beautiful. Again, really nice, but I’m usually looking for something a little deeper. This moment was that for me.

He went on about how he was gone through a lot of their early life & even after he got out of the military, how their manners & their character is all from what I’ve taught them. It kinda blew me away to be acknowledged and appreciated that way. Obviously, no parent expects to be praised for raising their kids, but when it happens it is so, so wonderful. It’s like being rewarded twice really, because seeing your kids act out things you’ve tried to teach them & watching them flourish into the amazing human beings you hoped they’d be is such a great affirming sight for any parent, but verbal affirmation is just as sweet. Especially when it came from my human. 🙂

Have you had a similar experience? What is your proudest moment? And just for fun, what is the sweetest thing your spouse thinks they’ve said to you vs. the sweetest thing they’ve actually said to you? How do you respond to compliments? Better than I do, I hope. :p


This Is My Unicorn & I’ll Ride It If I Want To

Day 4 of the challenge: I’m supposed to tell you guys about my dream job, which is really fun for me because I see absolutely no limitations here. It is called “dream” job for a reason, & as previously stated in another post, I do kinda struggle with what my calling is so while this is meant to just be silly, maybe it will also be informative. One can hope.

My dream job:

  • Has no official title meaning that I get to make up my own, which I will attempt to do when I finish making this impossible list of requirements
  • Allows me to hop around from field to field, project to project, doing exactly whatever I wake up in the mood to do that day: if I wake up in the mood to do yoga, my dream job would pay me for it! How awesome would it be to get paid to do something you’re planning on doing anyway? As an added bonus, it would give me a little extra push to master crow pose or spend all day doing spinal twists if I immediately got a return for my effort.
  • Likewise, if I wake up in the mood to paint…$$
  • or take pictures $$$
  • or have (another) HP marathon (or Supernatural, or read or…I’m sure you get where this is going)
  • My dream job would provide me with the company unicorn as my primary means of transportation & a wand with which to perform Patronus Charms as my primary means of communicating with HQ
  • My dream job would offer to compensate me via more tangible means than hugs and kisses for taking care of my kids and my house. Not that I need to be paid more than hugs and kisses for those things because they really are their own reward, but since I’m doing the whole maid/cook/nurse/taxi cab/dry cleaner/nutritionist/personal shopper/accountant/teacher/life-coach/counselor/DIYer thing…I wouldn’t be mad at a little extra compensation being tossed my way
  • Oh, and my dream job would also give me hazard pay for cleaning up vomit
  • My dream job would include massage therapy training. I’ve been interested in learning for a few years as it is an incredible tool for health and overall wellbeing. I am fascinated by the holistic approach to healing & it would definitely be something I would use in conjunction with yoga. Also, don’t you get tons of free massages while you’re in training? BONUS!
  • My dream job would allow me to set my own schedule & maybe even keep the unicorn on Saturdays.
  • I’d be able to have rainbow hair & not have to cover up my tattoos. I’m all for being courteous, but if I have to present myself as a Disney princess to work there, that kinda takes away some of the appeal

I have discovered through my silly process of trying to figure out what in the world my dream job would be that all I essentially want is freedom. Freedom to change my mind, freedom from monotony, freedom to dress & express myself as I see fit, freedom to set my own schedule and something I can do for a career that would also benefit the health and wellbeing of my family – the most important thing in the world to me – rather than just being something that gets the bills paid & sucks the life out of me. The sum of money I get paid for my dream job isn’t really important to me. It seems to me that just being able to do something fulfilling, helpful, active & different each day are my main requirements in a dream job. And – duh – having a company unicorn, of course.

I said I would try to name the job at the end of this post but it is (not shockingly) difficult to create a title for Mom, Wife (and all the other potential job titles encompassed in just those two small words), Painter, Photographer, Professional Harry Potter Marathoner, plus the holistic health stuff. I did my best though. My official Dream Job Title would be:

Head of The Holistic Department of Whimsical, Creative, & Domestic Services

Hours of Operation: If the unicorn is in, I’m on duty & available. If the unicorn is out I’m already working or I’m not studying you today.

If anybody has any ideas about what this job actually is in real life (minus the unicorn), let me know in the comments. I’m interested to know what you think I’d be suited for…like my own personal career assessment test. :p What’s your dream job? Hopefully it’s a bit more attainable than mine? Or better yet, it might be exponentially more awesome if it’s not. I’m excited to hear!


Too Many Things

Blog Challenge, Day 2: 20 Facts About Me

1.) I don’t expect anyone to be interested in this, but if you read it, I’ll make you healthy, delicious, fat free, calorie free, weight-loss inducing, muscle-building, magical unicorn cookies.

2.) This is pretty much me with new people. e14db6d57a5feb8ec23ff91e16e61d42

3.) Unless we just “click” or I came to the party in a certain super-great mood, or if the room is generating a really comfortable, positive vibe. In any of those cases you might get the top half of that picture. I’m one of those weirdo extroverted introverts. If none of these apply, you’re going to get a purple-haired mouse at your party whose only interaction with you will likely be a few moments of me making borderline inappropriate jokes at exactly the worst time to precisely the worst person before I find an excuse to leave… “Oh I’m sorry, I just remembered – I was scheduled for a colonoscopy today. Bye!”

4.) My husband just asked me what the heck an extroverted introvert is. Basically it just means that I have days where I love being around people & can be just a fun as the average extrovert, but I need a little more down time to recover and recharge my batteries after. I love my people, but I also really value my alone time.

5.) When I said “my people” it felt a little like this:amiraclescienceclaims

6.) I’m the worst at planning ahead. My default is to fly by the seat of my pants so for me to even halfway successfully plan anything it takes a significant effort on my part, and a few other things including, but not limited to: 2 gallons of sweet tea, 67 sheets of paper, 2 pens because I’m going to lose at least one, a calculator, 8 solid hours of pinterest in which I look at everything except planning pins, 2 pounds of confetti, a bottle of rum, absolutely no sleep, & a sorting hat.

7.) Keeping with the previous admission: I fail at birthday parties & yet I just keep throwing them because my kids seem to be under the mistaken impression that I rock at it. What I lack in planning skills I make up for with skills of deception. 😉 Their parties usually end up being some combination of a sparsely decorated kitchen or living room with laundry shoved away in the pantry, epically messy group activities which may not have been thought out quite well enough, a bunch of half-eaten hotdogs & empty chip bags, and a colorful confection of some sort. As long as I don’t forget the cake and the Taylor Swift playlist, my girls are pretty happy. My son just wants knives, bows and arrows, grills…anything he can survive in the wilderness or hurt himself with and he’s there. So, while planning may not be my gift, I at least get some things right.

8.) I am incredibly indecisive. Mostly because I don’t care. Where do I want to eat? I don’t care. What do I want to eat? Don’t care. My kid comes home and tells me their best friend’s mom has a girlfriend…couldn’t care less. When it matters I can make the decision, but sometimes it takes me a while if it’s a big decision. I may suck at planning, but I’m great at pro/con lists!

9.) I often pray multiple times in a day. I don’t drop to my knees, hold up a bible or close my eyes and enter into a prayer posture while my friend is talking to me about her baby goat, but I do have an ongoing internal conversation with The Man at random times throughout the day or week, just whenever the desire strikes me.

10.) I don’t believe prayer in and of itself really solves much, but I do believe it calms the mind, can heal the heart, and give peace to the soul; all things which contribute to being able to think clearly and calmly enough to solve problems, or at the very least, not stress about things which are outside our control. I’m not one of those “just pray about it and it’ll be okay” people; it’s not a magic wand, but I absolutely believe it’s powerful.

11.) I believe miracles occur every day.

12.) I said I pray often, but I have some work to do with listening. Yoga & meditation is for listening.

13.) I am annoyingly inconsistent, even with things which I love and enjoy. Yoga, for instance. I love it. I always feel 1000% better when I do it, yet I still don’t practice everyday. I used to and then for whatever no good reason, I stopped. I plan to work on that this year.

14.) I don’t make New Year’s Resolutions. If I decide I want to do something I don’t have to wait until January 1st, or a Monday, or for anything else to happen first: I just do it.

15.) & then I quit 2 days later.

16.) #15 was mostly just funny, but also somewhat accurate. It’s that inconsistency thing again. I have to make very intentional decisions everyday because  – depending on what it is – it’s easy for me to just decide I’m not feeling something one day and give up on it. I hate that about myself so I try not to be that person. Sometimes I fail at that, too. 😛

17.) I still haven’t decided what I want to be when I grow up. On the outside, one could perceive me to be the type of person who knows exactly what I want out of my life and big picture-wise, I do. I just haven’t figured out the details in between. You know…like…what I want to be. I have way too many hobbies and interests, but nothing that I feel like is my calling or my purpose. Other than maybe being a mom of course, but I wouldn’t turn down a calling that pays in $20 dollar bills.

18.) Speaking of callings, that’s what I want. I don’t want “just a job, any job, any job will do!” :p I want a purpose; something meaningful and fulfilling. Realistically speaking, I realize that may never happen. Not everyone gets the angel-choir-hallelujah-this-is-what-I-was-meant-to-do epiphany so my biggest goal is just to be fully present wherever I am at whatever moment or phase of life I’m in, & to take it and enjoy it for whatever it is.

19.)  This talking about myself thing is really boring me now. I’m running out of facts, energy & give-a-craps.

20.) If you read to this point comment with a Supernatural or Harry Potter reference and not only will I recognize you as one of my tribe, but you, too, could be the lucky recipient of some of those healthy, delicious, fat free, calorie free, weight-loss inducing, muscle-building, magical unicorn cookies. Did I mention they’re vitamin-rich also? And invisible?


Trunk Or Treat

Trunk or Treat. Like Trick or Treat except supposedly safer because it’s usually done from decorated trunks in parking lots at churches or on private property where children can collect treats in a safe environment from people they trust. I’m cool with that, but I do have questions about other things.

Why the option? Trunk or Treat.Creepy much?!

Hi little child, Happy Halloween! You may choose your preference between my trunk or this delicious Halloween Reese Cup that your parents are obviously going to need to check for poison pinholes…by eating them. Which do you choose?

Like…at that point I don’t want anything from you creepy old man. No thank you.

I asked myself why we couldn’t just call it Trunk & Treat or Trunk-N-Treat, but then it occurred to me that taking away options isn’t really helping matters. It doesn’t make me feel much better to get the Reese Cup if I still have to get in your trunk.

Thus, I propose a name change. Let’s just call all forms of trick or treating what it is: Candy Capitalism for pint-sized sugar terrorists. All in favor? Share this post and let’s make it a thing.


It’s Okay To Be Emotional…Until It Isn’t

I’m going to be honest: I have no idea if Albert Einstein actually said that. I just thought it was appropriate for my blog today.

Surely you’ve heard people say, “it’s okay to cry” just as often as you’ve heard people – probably the same people – chastise their children for doing just that. So, when is it okay to display negative emotions? Because from where I’m standing, it seems as if it’s only okay to show them when you’re in a therapy session or at a funeral. Otherwise, suck it up, Buttercup! There’s nothing to be upset about.
 Actually…there’s nothing for you to be upset about. That person you’re talking to may feel entirely different, or maybe they’re experiencing some internal battle you know nothing about, which they can’t tell you about for fear of being judged, belittled, or embarrassed. It’s kind of an asshole move to tell someone when it’s okay for them to express how they feel or dictate how they should do so.

Someone asked me today why my youngest child is so emotional, and have I “gotten to the root cause of it?” The question threw me off a little. I actually said, “I’m not sure what you mean…” even though I did know exactly what she meant. It took me by surprise and I guess my brain just needed (more than) a moment to process, which I didn’t get and so I ended up giving a blundering, awkward response.

The more I think about it, the more I wish I had answered differently. I keep replaying my response (& the subsequent tears) over and over again in my head and the more I do, the more frustrated with myself I become. Why did I react that way and why did I give such a stupid reply?


It was an innocent question asked from a place of concern, but I felt oddly (& irrationally) attacked by it. I’ve never thought of The Cuteness as being “emotional” so much as she’s just intuitive and so very receptive to the world around her. She has such a pure, sweet, sensitive soul that I think even the smallest delights and cruelties in life affect her in the most profound – and sometimes puzzling – ways. I was told last year she had a high level of anxiety. Given our circumstances last year, I’m not surprised by that in the slightest, but then I thought about it a little more…


It wasn’t long before it struck me that my child is only 8 years old (and only 7 years old when I was told she rated very high for anxiety). Let that sink in a minute. She is only eight.
The Cuteness has the most vibrant, innocent, tender soul of anybody I’ve ever met. She expresses joy over the smallest things and it takes very little to make her happy. All she really needs is a lot of hugs, a puppy and some good music, and she’s the happiest girl you’ll ever meet. I call her my sunshine, because she really, really is. She radiates it like magic. 🙂 As generally happy as she is though, she’s the one that cries when she sees someone else crying, or a scene in a movie with someone hunting a deer, and especially when she sees a dead animal on the side of the road. She sheds quiet, melancholy tears every single time she hears the song “Burning House” on the radio…even as she’s singing along to it.


She has a mom who is overly-empathic & (I like to think) pretty intuitive myself, an authoritarian dad who is stern & rough (at least on the outside), and she lives in a world that forces children to grow up too quickly, to ‘know better’ too soon. She is a student in an educational system that is broken; too much is demanded of our kids (not to mention our teachers), much of which isn’t even developmentally appropriate. She tries so hard and she still struggles. On top of all that she’s supposed to somehow figure out how to appropriately navigate social situations, make friends, deal with bullies, which is another burden entirely when you consider that she’s being taught to defend herself at home & told not to at school. It would be overwhelming for anyone, but an 8 year old who already has a proclivity for being sensitive?


How could she NOT be emotional? How is an 8 year old equipped to handle all the millions of unique thoughts & incomprehensible feelings they have on a minute-to-minute basis? When you think of it this way, it sounds silly to even ask why one is ‘so emotional.’


I know there are tons of kids who come in and out of school, church, and everywhere else who have some much bigger issues they’re facing which cause a lot of baffling emotional and behavioral responses; what if they’re being neglected or abused? I get the need to ask questions, to find the root cause & I understand this is the sad reality of the world.


However, sometimes a kid – an adult, even – is just emotional because they’re designed that way & the world is often a brutal, unforgiving place…I don’t think it’s terribly strange to see a child react to that in a mournful sort of way. It’s tough to know “the right way” to respond in any given situation. Especially when you’re a ridiculously perceptive eight year old and you have a limited number of tools in your belt to deal with those perceptions. People have so many absurd expectations! Why does there have to be a cut & dry reason/answer for everything? Sometimes, it just is what it is.


Sorry, today was a ranty day I guess. If you read this, many thanks to you. 🙂 If you would like to chip in your two cents, I would be happy to hear it in the comments below. ❤

Wordy 30

It’s almost that time: my 30th birthday is just two days away.

I could say a lot about turning 30:

I could whine and complain and refuse to ever be older than 29, continuing to celebrate each subsequent birthday as “The [1st, 2nd, 3rd, etc.] Anniversary of My 29th Birthday” but cute as it is, that’s not really my style. I’m SO EXCITED about turning 30! Maybe that makes me a weirdo, but I just think that the future is exciting. The fact that I’ve made it 30 years in this beautiful, amazing, horrible, awful, extraordinary life is exciting! I have fought for the privilege to be another year older & I feel blessed that God has allowed me this much time on Earth. I pray he gives me many, many more years, but I’ll be thankful for each one I get no matter how many (or few) they may be.

I also think that resentment of growing older is a bit incongruous. Nobody wants to die, but nobody wants to get older either; how’s that working out for you? I feel like grey hairs, crows feet, laugh lines, scars, and all most of the other things that come with growing older are a beautiful privilege, and they tell a unique, physical story about how we’ve lived. I do hope that when I’m 50 my story will say I’m 30 *wink wink* but still…even if it doesn’t I’ll be thankful for whatever story my body tells.

I could go on about how my health and fitness have been more important to me in the last 3 years than they have ever been, but that’s not really what I wanted to share today either. I’m sure that’s the story you’re dying to hear, but suck it up, buttercup. 😉 I want to share with you 30 things I’ve learned in my 30 short years.

30 Things I’ve Learned in 30 Years (In No Particular Order):

  1. Potty-training is the devil.
  2. You’re never “too old.” Wear what you want, style your hair how you want (purple and blue hair anyone??), and get excited over unicorns, rainbows, and glitter. Two words: Lisa. Frank. I am not ashamed.MTI0ODc2MDQ2MDg3NjA0MjM0
  3. Life is too short to waste time worrying about what other people think of you. To the extent of getting and keeping a good job and doing the things you need to do to take care of your responsibilities – yes, present yourself in a manner that people in positions of authority find pleasing (good hygiene, prioritizing, always being respectful, that sort of thing), but don’t change who you are at your core to please someone else. You want people in your life who love you for who you really are, not who they think you ought to be. Nerd out. Go on & share your love of T-Swift & YA novels with the world. You didn’t actually hate it when your three year old used to watch The Backyardigans? Go ahead and sing the theme song out loud. 99faefe255167765afeed34e19d0488f
  4. Comparison is the thief of joy. Yes, it’s a famous quote and you may have seen it so many times it makes you throw up in your mouth a little, but it’s beautiful and very, very true.
  5. You will never see me wearing matching socks.life-is-too-short
  6. It’s okay to go at your own pace. Sure, I got married at 18, had a baby, and didn’t get my license until I was 21 or start college until I was 22. I did things, as they say, “backwards.” Who died and made you The Keeper of Chronological Life Events? I turned out okay. If you did it the other way around, or if you’re unmarried at 30, don’t have kids, have a bunch of kids, don’t want kids, or still haven’t figured out what you want to be when you grow up – it’s okay! It’s not a competition.
  7. There is no one-size-fits-all “right time” to do anything. The right time is whenever you decide to do it.
  8. Getting carded is awesome.
  9. My high school playlist is on a loop…on the oldies station.
  10. It’s cool when people think you’re wise when really you’re just making it up as you go along just like everybody else.
  11. Jagermeister is disgusting.
  12. Jameson is even worse.
  13. Mixing them is not advised. 012624b3251ab1c8e7f934bc0c0b2484
  14. Don’t waste time trying to be trendy. Instead, strive to be a trendsetter. Mean-Girls-Meme-Fetch-05
  15. For the majority, no serious consequences will occur when your kid eats something that has touched the floor. It’s okay…relax.
  16. The best stories occur while your kids are on the toilet. I’m pretty sure my Facebook feed has been flooded with funny stories of things my children have done or said while on the toilet, in the bathroom, or having some relation to poop. 4013d2c3d7f8068ce2f291357b76447a
  17. There are more fun and creative ways to curse that your children can actually repeat and they have the added benefit of entertaining other people. POOP IN A BASKET! I don’t give a flying flock of frolicking catfish! “Fudgin’ touch me again and I’ll fudgin’ kill ya!” – Dean Winchester. However, sometimes it’s just nice to say the real thing. I don’t know why. It doesn’t make sense. Maybe I’ve just been married to my F-bomb dropping husband too long, but either way, sometimes it just feels good not to censor yourself.
  18. When you become a mom, you talk about poop a lot.
  19. “What is that smell?” is not an altogether uncommon thought.
  20. “Put that in your juice box and suck it” is probably the best line I’ve ever taught my children.  I am not ashamed. (Yes, there is a story behind this.)
  21. I will likely never master the art of keeping things “short and sweet.” I’m sorry. Actually, no…no I’m not. Suck it up.
  22. What is heard cannot be unheard. What is seen, cannot be unseen. 6f220603_what-has-been-seen
  23. Money isn’t everything. We need it to survive, & it’s nice to have a little extra, but there’s always more to be made. You can’t make more time & do-overs don’t exist. Prioritize what’s important to you and spend your time & money on those things as much as possible.
  24. Everybody compromises. Sometimes your ideologies take a backseat to your immediate needs. It’s okay to barely get by as long as you do get by. It’s okay to just be ‘okay.’
  25. Sometimes you’re the pigeon and sometimes you’re the statue. It’s just how life works.
  26. It’s okay if you don’t fart rainbows and sunshine 100% of the time. You don’t always have to be positive. Good days and bad days are part of being human. Embrace them for what they are and just keep moving forward.
  27. You should never stop having weird conversations.
  28. Laundry is never-ending so there’s really no rush to fold it. As long as it gets washed and dried, I don’t really care where it goes after that.
  29. I will never be adult enough to know how to properly fold a fitted sheet. A ball in the closet is good enough. 1021cef94d717a7ade3dcc5ab1c7b713
  30. “You can never have too much butter” is still the best life lesson I’ve received. Thanks Grandma.

Bonus lesson: Coke > Pepsi. Thanks Granddaddy.


Happy Birthday to me! I have no idea what I’ll be doing, but I really hope it includes Jensen Ackles James Dean (my husband, not the dead actor. Ew.)


Yes Silly, Of Course The Tooth Fairy Has Email!

When you’re a crappy Tooth Fairy you have to get creative. I sent my daughter an email this morning. 
Dear {Princess Sassypants},
I am emailing you because I wanted you to get this as soon as possible and also because your parents have a reputation for firing Tooth-fairies and I don’t want to be next! 

I’m so sorry I was unable to collect your tooth on time. Please allow me to explain: Yesterday was a super busy day for the Tooth Fairy. There were LOTS of children who lost teeth and so many of them even go to your school! 
I collected all the teeth I could, but then my satchel got full and I couldn’t carry it anymore. I had to call the ToothCab (the Tooth Fairy Taxi Cab Service) to come pick me up because I couldn’t fly with all those teeth. 
It took the Taxi two hours to come pick me up (he says he ran into some elf or something on the way, but I’m not sure I believe him. He was probably just rolling around in pixie dust again) and when he finally got there it was nearly time for me to stop collecting anyway. I still had 13 teeth to collect! 
Anyway, I noticed that you got up earlier than usual this morning so I wasn’t able to come back and get your tooth yet. I’m sorry dear. 
I’ll come get yours (& all the other teeth I couldn’t fit in my satchel) tonight and there will be an extra special prize from me included under your pillow.
Can you take care of the tooth until then? 

Thank you for being so kind to me {Princess Sassypants}. I’m so proud to have the honor of collecting your teeth! Please ask your parents to give me another shot. They just want their kids to have the best Tooth Fairy, and I want to be that Fairy!


The Toothiest Tooth Fairy That Ever Fairied Teeth 

Care to share your Tooth Fairy fails & successes?