On Strike

10 Oct IMG_2356-0

That’s it. This mom is going on strike. 

I am tired of having capable beings in this house not doing their age-appropriate part. I know I’m to blame for this. I spoiled them too much. We make them pick up after their messes but don’t ever make them do set chores. 

Let me break it down.


  • When the 12-year-old only washes her lunch dishes and ignores what else is in the sink or drainer to put away.
  • When the almost 10-year-old who can make an awesome diving catch for an out in baseball and always knows the next play can’t seem to figure out how to put his dirty clothes in the hamper and not stashed in hidden (or not hidden) places of his room.
  • When both children leave their shoes and dirty socks scattered about the house.
  • And did I mention the food wrappers and trash they “throw away” on the tables or couches or bedroom floors?!
  • What about that time when aforementioned children put clean clothes they were supposed to properly put away for a week back in the hamper because they couldn’t tell what was dirty or clean?! And no, they don’t get credit for putting in hamper because I had to say something to them FIVE TIMES before the mix-n-match pile made its way to the hamper. 
  • Then there is the attitude I get when I tell them to contribute and help. 

I must simmer down now. After all, I’m on strike. No more washing their clothes. Nope. Not doing their dishes either. Just Andrew’s and mine. He helps beyond measure and I’m so thankful for him. He is most definitely in the strike-free zone and I know will support my stance. 

Done. And done and done. Starting now. 

Homemade Sauce, Lyrics and a Little Girl Growing Up

5 Oct IMG_2284-1

The time to clean out the kids’ clothes is always tough. As if the actual task of sorting through it all isn’t a drag enough, there’s that whole sentimental hurdle we have to face while conquering the closets. 

It’s such a tangible sign of how they are growing. This most recent gutting was especially stinging. Even more so than the time we first received this keepsake for the students to wear on the first day of Kindergarten.  

Then, 2021 seemed so far away. Sure, it still made us aware of its presence but that would be something like 12ish years away. Now, it’s less than SIX school years away. I gasped at this slap in reality and then gently folded the shirt and placed it in the pile of “special” things to keep safely in storage.

I didn’t fully feel the sting from the slap until later that night while I was making the homemade spaghetti sauce I learned how to perfect from my mom who learned how to perfect from my grandma Nancy. Nia was sitting at the kitchen table doing her homework and we were listening to “mommy’s” music. I’ve known and felt the lyrics from James Taylor’s “You’ve Got a Friend” but never like this. That night, they had me adding tears to the meatballs. I looked at Nia as her eyes tightened at a thought she was writing, unaware of the emotional montage I was producing in my mind.

No matter where that brilliant brain and lovely personality take her in life, I will come running. 

Class of 2021.




3 Oct

Who taught you makeup, fashion and overall “beauty” tricks? Sure, I had plenty of motherly and sisterly guidance in the form of taking care of myself and style but what I secretly obsessed and studied were my sis’ Cosmo mags. Photo linked from Bellazon.com and Pinterest

When I was 10-14 years old, my sister was 18-22. I remember absorbing every page — from the perfume ads to those relationship-solving quizzes. I most loved the makeup and fashion tips with featured products. I soaked up every word of these magazines like a soap opera and couldn’t wait for the next one. 

Not that I ever attempted the tricks though. None of it seemed like real life to me. It was a sensual and extraordinary fantasy world where I would live on the weekends when I visited daddy and sis. Kind of like the TV Guide or J.C.Penney catalog at grandma’s. Marking the shows like 90210 and New Kids on the Block appearances I didn’t want to miss and the toys and clothes I desperately needed. A wish list and a plan, charted out with blue-inked circles and stars. 

This memory got me to thinking about what our kids have that mirrors this. Sure, magazines like those still exist but my kids don’t see them. They do spy an occasional People or Us Weekly though. I’d imagine they feel the same land of pretend when they flip through one. Right after they leave the land of Minecraft, that is. 

Ah, young minds. Such a maze with so many maps to explore. Cosmo didn’t prepare me for this. (I did learn how to entertain sleepover buddies with great romance stories about winning over the hot lifeguard named Jordan or Donnie though.)

What’s Your Dream?

23 Sep

It’s a question I’ve been thinking about a lot lately. I don’t consider myself much of a dreamer but I’ve been hearing the man in Pretty Woman asking that question more and more in my head. It seems I don’t know how to answer it though. 

I’ve been throwing ideas at it. Not short on those. 

  • Beach rental investment properties
  • Mountain rental investment properties
  • Landscaping ideas 
  • Home renovation ideas
  • Self renovation ideas that include a complete body cleanse and better sleep habits — and more stretching
  • That one book idea I have
  • Volunteer compulsions
  • Donation compulsions
  • Adult volleyball
  • Reading more
  • Travel budget plans
  • Debt free budget plans 

Anyway. Lots of ideas. 

I’ve decided to get busy on that book one. I’m going to try to kill two birds by writing each time I feel like late night snacking. This novel and self renovation will be accomplished in no time. 

I plan to start tomorrow. (It’s ok to laugh. Stand up comedian is another dream I have.)

Kids These Days

21 Apr

I’ve given this a lot of thought during the thinking parts of my day. (That equates to short commutes, mile runs and right after some select conversations with my two children. In other words, I’m an expert.)

Here’s what I believe kids these days need:

  • An instructional dose of ZZ-Top music videos to teach them about how to treat jerk faces after getting a makeover. It all leads to them riding off into the sunset with a crush. 
  • An older sister’s Cosmopolitan magazine to help them solve all of life’s love riddles and self-diagnosis.  
  • Soap operas. How else will they learn how complicated life can be and how glamourous people live?
  • Enough rock love ballads to make them ugly-face cry and wish for a love like that as they call the area radio station and make anonymous dedications to their crush of the month. (Getting through the phone line will teach them patience at the same time.)
  • Speaking of patience, how about they learn about the BUSY SIGNAL on the telephone? Remember what it was like before call waiting and getting a beep? How many times we would redial the number until we heard a ring. How many times we’d get yelled at by our parents because they couldn’t get through to us. 
  • Horror classics like Nightmare on Elm Street, Friday the 13th and Halloween need to be watched without permission at a friend’s sleepover and feared for weeks after exposure. That’ll teach ’em to not listen to mom or dad – and give them a healthy amount of the creepiness in the world. (It’s not all rainbows, unicorns, puppies and scratch-n-sniff stickers like Trapper Keepers make us believe.)
  • More cereal box toys. Because. 
  • Hugs and support from parents – especially after the list above fails them.

Like I said. I’m an expert. 

Chasing My Shadow

5 Dec

Chasing ShadowMy shadow often scares me when I run at night. I often catch a glimpse of it out of the corner of my eye and it makes me jump a bit as it starts to pass me. I think to myself, show off. Sure, there are times she stays behind me but she is mostly always out in front making it look so easy.

I can’t believe it’s been almost three years since I started consistently running each week. What I mean by “consistently running” is it’s been a part of my weekly routine for the last 156 weeks. I’ve run three or four times a week during that time. I’ve never been that consistent at anything that I didn’t HAVE to do. And many days, don’t WANT to do. So why do I?

I started running to get in better shape. Not necessarily lose weight, just not gain. To hold steady at a weight where I’m comfortable without giving up too much of the foods (and drinks) I enjoy. Sometimes, I get a bit frustrated that I haven’t lost any weight though. I feel like all this running should take a little off the (muffin) top but then I realize it’s kept me in a place I’m happy with and I shouldn’t complain – especially since I still hug bags of chips and cherish my wine. And cheese. Don’t forget about the cheese.

The running is holding me steady and actually making me feel pretty darn awesome. Accomplishing things I never thought I would — the miles I’ve covered, the discipline to find the time and energy to go for the run, the toughness I feel after running in the rain or cold or after falling on a trail, the stress break, the example I’m helping to set for the kids.

Run Family

It must be working because they recently ran their first official 5K because they wanted to run one. I was in my 30’s before I did that. Sure, I played softball, volleyball and danced growing up – heck, I even tested my limits when I joined Crew in college – but I never stuck with any one physical activity like I have with running. I’m even almost at my goal of running 500 miles in a year and I plan to increase it for next year because I want to keep at this thing. I’m not sure I have it in me to quit now. I have my shadow to catch, after all.

Shadow Rocks

Perpetual Wedgie

3 Dec

Man, I have been really annoying myself recently. Ever feel like that? When just the sound of your own voice aggravates you? Looking at yourself in the mirror makes you snarl?

I’ve been caught in a stress maze that kept leading me back to the start for the past two months. I would attempt to climb over the wall to get out of the dead end but all I did was exhaust myself. I felt like a buffering YouTube video – stuck on something I couldn’t shake and repeating it over and over again to my friends and family. I was finally able to break free and have been living in a lovely state of normal ever since. (The cause of the stress mess is for another share. I just got over talking about it and thinking about it all the time so I don’t really want to do that right now.)

What I can share is that it feels so good to be “me” again. To only worry about all that other “normal” and overwhelming day-to-day life stuff. I can handle that. Especially since I’ve started equating worrying to wedgies. So uncomfortable and thought-stealing  – all the focus turns to thinking about picking it out. You can’t concentrate until the underwear is free and you can escape somewhere to hide and snag it without someone noticing. Once you’re all adjusted, relief.

Worry is a wedgie and it needs to scram – I have things to do.

(Disclaimer: It is my belief that people who wear a thong or g-string have an exceptional stress tolerance. Buns of steel, for sure.)


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