Jul 21

Funday Monday!

Hope y’all had a great weekend that leads in to your week.This week’s Funday Monday is a two-parter. Just stay with it. I think you’ll agree.

Well, I think I might need this the most. But I figured if I needed it, maybe it was worth sharing. I’m sure we can all use a check. See for yourself.

So, now, let’s turn that frown upside down. I find it odd and a bit insulting that the person we love the most. The one we hold most dear, and that we stood before God and family tends to get the brunt of our gossip and insults. It’s like we think they can take it. Or that because we’ve been with them the longest, that’s some kind of pass to insult them, or joke about them. But what’s harder than being the brunt of a joke? It’s receiving a compliment.

We don’t like being gossiped about. But we can’t take compliments either. So, fight the gossip, and give sincere compliments instead. And be sure to do your part and sincerely receive compliments too. Either way, talk TO people. It works. It really does.

Happy Day.

Song of the Day: (It’s gonna be a Sara Bareilles love fest these next few weeks – She’s coming to see me….woops, I mean, I’m going to see her in concert next week. Deal with it.)

Jul 17

Why Moms text

I have a few pals who deserve explanation as to why I return their calls with texts.

We text you and then you call and we don’t answer. And that probably pisses you off. So, let me explain. I can be sitting here for 3 hours, writing and working while my kids ignore me. And then I feel like I’ve got some free time, so I text you. And then you go to call me, because it’s clear I have a minute, and I did. When I texted you.

And then someone needs me, I’ve forgotten an orthodontist appointment and I hustle to the car and tack on a few errands and I’m driving all over town, or someone is bleeding, or I realize “Oh yeah, I should probably make dinner” or I forget that my phone was on silent, for 7 hours. Whatever.

So, we text you for a moment of conversation. That’s why. Let’s be real, moms calling other moms is a dinosaur move. If it’s not my kid screaming in the background, it’s yours. And I’m trying to have a very important conversation about pot roast in the oven versus the crock pot. I can’t be bothered with interruptions to details like that.

Texting is more convenient too. A fellow mom on the rocks knows that I’ll forget to ask my friend what time our Girls Night Out is and what she’s wearing when I get distracted by the dog barfing and someone screaming that we’re out of toilet paper. So, I text my pal with the understanding that she’ll get back to me when she’s done breastfeeding, clipped her nip back in, and burped the baby.

Let’s not forget that the minute you put our phone to your ear, suddenly your kids need to talk to you about things like:

-” Mom, mom, I found a bug in my room and I killed it with Max’s shoe.”

- “Mom, mom, Max put the dead bug in my shoe. Make him get it out!”

- “Mom, mom, Who’s on the phone? Who is it? Who’s on the phone? What are you talking about?”

- “Mom, mom, yesterday in Science class, Bobby stuck a pencil up his nose and called it an experiment!”

We text because we can have an entire bff psycho analysis conversation about our feelings without having every sentence interrupted. And also, the kids can’t hear me texting. It’s getting harder and harder to code word every conversation. And the older I get, it seems the less appropriate my phone calls to my friends are. So chit chatting on the bluetooth speakers in the car with the kids isn’t going to work either. The courtesy is reciprocated, I’m sure. In the year my kids have had a cell phone, I’ve never heard them make one phone call.

The issue remains, that as the kids get older, they talk to us less. And so, those moments when we’re on the phone, and the kid wants to say something to us, we want to hear it. We want to hear whatever it is more than we want to hear you. Because we know that our phone conversation is just as trivial if not more trivial than whatever our kids are saying to us right now.

So, the only time we’re on the actual phone with a call in front of our kids, chances are, there’s no one on the other line. We’re just hoping that the kids come to talk to us.

Happy Day.
Song of the day:

Jul 07

Funday Monday

Hope you all had a great 4th of July weekend. The kids and I discovered this banned commercial this weekend. Can’t imagine why it was banned. Until Max and Lucy went to help with Vacation Bible School and started reciting this script with the kids…

Jun 30

Funday Monday – SURPRISE!

So, here’s how to totally surprise a girl who’s kind of expecting a surprise -

Basically what happened is I got my requested steak for my birthday. And Ricardo told me to be patient. That it would be chaos, but be patient first. So, I ate my delicious steak, and reveled in all the phone calls I got all day. I got to talk to some friends for a ridiculously long time. A mom luxury at it’s finest.

As I was talking to Yallison, I tried not to convince myself that she was secretly plotting and on her way to see me and surprise me. The longer she was talking to me on speaker phone in her car, the harder it was to not just know in my heart she was road tripping it from Michigan to see me. At one point she even got the kids to say hi and sing Happy Birthday. Wow, get your kids to lie like that. Jeez. That’s pretty low. So I ate the steak and waited.

Yallison never showed up.

And then I got ambushed by my precious pals who live here in town. They just drove up in a caravan, and laid on their horns. It’s what affectionately is known as the Birthday Ambush among our group. They jumped out of their cars and pulled out what appeared to be a party on wheels: beer, ginger beer for me, a meat and cheese tray, chips and dip, and of course CAKE.  What a fun surprise! I had a ball. They got me good.

cake1Nothing says I love you like a homemade cake.

It was a perfect celebration. 40, done. Cake and hanging out with my close pals. Perfect.

And then, I’m just sitting there, two days in to being 40 years old, working. When I look up to see a foreign car pull into my driveway. Yallison’s son in the passenger seat. Yallison got me. She got me good!

I was blown away. And so happy to see my Yallison. It’s been way too long, and way too much shit has gone on in our lives since we’ve last seen each other. We share an intense history of emotions and friendship. We’ve been through extreme highs and lows together.

not quite showered yetThis is what happens when you surprise me. You have to hug me super tight and long and I haven’t showered yet. It’s your own fault.

wedding crashersOn the docket for this particular evening is a wedding. So, we found a dress for Yallison, I got showered and we are now officially wedding crashers. (Sort of) This is our historical pose. It’s our thing. 15 or 40 – we do the pose. Always.

Getting our kids together is always fun. Yallison and I had a blast playing Monopoly with our kids. Her son, Zach crushed us all. I can’t remember a time int he history of Monopoly that someone had both Park Place AND Boardwalk with four houses on each so quickly! “That’ll be $1,700 in rent please,” Zach said. I handed him all of my money and properties and left the game to eat some cake. Win-Win.

al visiting me in jailYallison visiting me in jail. Awwwww!

me and al 40The next day, JulzHOLLA – who also conspired with Yallison and Ricardo to get Yallison here – had us over for dinner. But first, whenever we get together, we have a photo session. Take note of my attire. I’m always cold at JulzhHOLLA’s house, so I grabbed my jeans and a 3/4″ sleeved tshirt. The outfit itself is probably 10 years old. But I didn’t want to wear my new adorable summer clothes I’d just gotten for my birthday, because I’d be cold and whiney about it. So I put on my old stupid clothes. The necklace fancied it up a bit, though, don’t you think? My moms made me the necklace and earrings for my birthday!

We get to JulzHOLLA!’s and she immediately asks me to go get something from Craig down in the basement. And then this happened:

surpriseSURPRISE! About 50 of my friends were in JulzHOLLA’s basement for a party for me. (I’m holding a bag of mint in my hand that I was so excited to bring to Sven so he could use his new muddle.)

cakkkke

Even Julie surprised me with this stunning cake! I was over at her house just a few days ago, and never suspected a thing! It was a stunning Strawberry Lemonade Cake – with Princess Bride quotes on it. For the record, if you don’t know Princess Bride, and a 40th Birthday Cake is delivered that says, “Prepare to die” it gets a little weird. But we’ll explain it to you. It also said, “As You Wish” and “INCONCEIVABLE!” As it should have.

It was such a stunning and delightful surprise to see everyone there, from all facets of my life – all the crazy gruntwork of party planning totally taken out of my hands. It was overwhelming to know how busy JulzHOLLA and Yallison and Ricardo and Sven are and must have sacrificed time and effort to pull this off. Most of my friends there have a lot going on, but stopped to honor me. It was seriously noted and overwhelming with inspiration.

conspiratorsThe Conspirators had a little TOO much fun doing all this.

So, was I surprised? Yes. Can you believe it!? So, how did they do it? Well, each day was a surprise. So, every surprise I got, I was so pleased with, I thought, “This is so great!” And it was totally enough. Then I’d get ambushed by another treat. Surprises in layers, if you will.

Truth be told, I couldn’t have done it better myself. Which is why I’m so glad I’m not a control freak. Except now, everyday I wake up, I’m peeking around the corner to see what the next surprise is. Which is really how we should live every day. So, thank you for that friends and universe!

Song of the Day: Love this video. Watch it – you’ll see.

 

 

 

 

Jun 25

Halfway to Christmas (Jesus’ Half Birthday!)

alwaysremember

Today is Halfway to Christmas!

Today is my Birthday. This. Is. 40. Bitches.

I don’t care if it’s the middle of a decade, or the beginning of one if it’s 21, 27, 32, or 38. I frikkin love getting older. Not only have I survived another year, but let’s be real here, I’ve kicked it’s ass. I’m so frikkin happy with myself, with my life, and my choices, it’s disgusting. I literally make people sick with my glee. And it’s fun! I never lost the weight I was hoping to by my birthday. I never got the makeover because I figured out I don’t need it. And the book I’ve been working on for years still isn’t done – and also, I’m alive, and healthy and happy, I mean really really happy with me, my marriage, my kids, my amazing friends (even the ones who never call…ahem) even the dog is pretty fabulous. It’s so gross, isn’t it?

Carrie, Yallison, and I all made a pact with each other that we’d all go to Greece to celebrate our 40th Birthdays. Then life (and effing death) happened. And this whole year leading up to the big 4-0 has been a huge lesson in life, celebration of it, and how to do it.

So, in my unhumble opinion, today is a great day. I look forward to hearing from friends and family. The best gift of all is that they feel obligated to contact me. So I’m taking advantage of it and all I really want for my birthday is to just know how my friends are, if they’re happy and healthy. I hope they are. And if they aren’t I hope they tell me about it. Because I want to know the good stuff and the bad. I want to laugh with them and just be with hem and love them. That’s all I want for my birthday.chris and me mexico copy

A few months ago, I was trying to sign up for a triathlon and Ricardo asked that I not ask any questions but that particular weekend, Please could I not go out of town and do a triathlon. Somebody’s planning a surprise. I promised to not pry or ask questions.

I’ve mostly honored that. I must say that I don’t think I’m that much of a control freak. But it’s hard not to drop hints like, “I hope I have cake on my birthday.” Or something like, “Look, if we’re dining with the Prince of Wales or you got Ellen DeGeneres to swing by, I’m going to need a new outfit.” Or “Do I need to update my passport?” “Did you get Justin Timberlake to run some kind of karaoke party in our back yard?”

Just to trust whatever he’s got planned, he knows my heart (and my heart loves cake). It’s hard. But it’s a huge life (even a spiritual) lesson – to just go with it and not try to speculate because I don’t want to suggest that anything he actually does have planned is less than perfect.

I know whatever it is, it better effing involve cake, and it’ll be fun. How’s that for spiritual?

I’m pretty sure, if I pressed hard enough, I could find out what’s going on. But where’s the fun in practicing your surprise face? People have been asking what I’m doing for my birthday. It’s people who probably know more about what I’m doing for my birthday than I do. So I quickly answer that I’m not asking any questions. One time I slipped just for fun and said, “Why, what do you know?”

Ricardo has suggested that by declaring I’m not asking any questions, I’m inadvertently asking for hints. So now I’m not even suggesting I’m not asking questions. Whatever it is, something, anything, was planned. And I’m grateful for the pre-thought. Even if it all falls through on account that I wasn’t the one that coordinated it.

And also, I’m not a big fan of lies. So, by not asking questions, I’m not backing my husband or kids in the corner to lie to me and deny stuff. I’m sure they never do it anyway.

Instead, I’ll wake up early for the next few days, and make sure I’m showered and put together, teeth brushed and bra on. Just in case, you know? Maybe that’s the universe saying, “Um, you should probably do those things anyway, Les.”

Good point.

Every day I wake up is a great day. But turning 40, a new decade older. Just feels a little sweeter.

So, for my birthday, tell me how you’re doing. Are you happy? Why or why not?

Happy Everyday.

p.s. this is your official heads up – only 6 months left to shop for Christmas.

Song of the day: Van Morrison – Brand New Day

Jun 23

Funday Monday!!!

Well this guy wins the Funday Monday contest. There’s not really a contest, but this guy still wins it. Watch it til the end. You won’t regret it. And then go spread joy and creative happy thoughts all over.

Jun 11

Mom of the Year

mazda copy Okay, we’re all in the car. Let’s go. Wait. Where are the keys?

Last week, I texted Ricardo who was out of town, “That moment when you realize you should have never left me alone with the kids: I’ve lost the car keys.”

My husband had to talk me into have kids – primarily, because I knew I’d do stuff like this. I mean, remember when I ran over the parking block because I saw horsies trotting by?

I tell the kids to all get in the car, we’re going to drop off the pal who slept over and then go run errands. It’s typical that I get in the car and have forgotten one of the following: My keys or my phone. This day, it was my keys. I pop out of the car and run back in, touting that “Hey, at least it wasn’t my phone this time. Yay!”

The kids await my return while taking advantage of my extended tardiness to all three whip out their phones. One’s on SnapChat. One’s on Instagram. One’s playing Subway Surfers. None of which have offered to download an app to find my keys. I search high and low, in my purse (I emptied it out three times), on counters, behind nerf guns. I can’t find them in the usual 16 places. And then I Hail Mary it and call JulzHolla! She’s the Mother version of MacGyver, but today, she’s the last place I remember having my car keys. I was in her car the night before.

I catch JulzHOLLA! at her happy place – Target. She’s hired a babysitter so that she can shop for her first-born’s birthday party. A party, that I have every intention of shlepping one of my kids on to her. So, while she’s enjoying her very precious kid-free time, and has a sitter on the clock, I break her intense birthday party shopping concentration with a Leslie-emergency – “Could you check your car for my keys?”

Now, JulzHOLLA! doesn’t have the luxury of kids who sleep in. I have two kids. She has four. I have the luxury (I paid heavily back in the day) of having kids the same tween age. She has one that will be a tween tomorrow. My kids sleep in til about 11 a.m. She wakes up to feed and change the baby atleast twice in the night. The others awake about 7 a.m. And there’s odds against her that someone had a nightmare, barfed in their bed, or some sleep altering interruption. But hey, can you help me out?

With no judgement about why it’s 1 o’clock in the afternoon and I’m just now figuring out I don’t know where my car keys are, and without hesitation, she says she’s gotta check out and then she’ll run out to her car.

Ten minutes later, she calls with good news, she’s found my keys. She’ll bring them right to me. She doesn’t offer to bring me coffee though. But then again, she doesn’t remind me that she’s got a babysitter on the clock, and do I know what the going rate for four kids per hour is? (It’s double what my two is. And also, I don’t have to pay for a babysitter anymore.)

She doesn’t do all that. She shows up and hands me my keys. Because she’s awesome.

The kids hop out of the car to say hello. They’ve been in the car the whole time, never even blinked for the last twenty minutes of awaiting mom to put the keys in the frikkin ignition.

I text Ricardo, “They were in JulzHOLLA!’s car. Crazy night last night. She brought them to me.”

He returns with, “Oh God.”

Yep. For the kids, it’s just another day in paradise. Mom of the Year. Just not sure which year.

Song of the day: Let’s get (my car) started by The Black Eyed Peas

Jun 09

Rick Springfield at the MidAmerica Center – a recap

When Mom’s have time to put on eye shadow and skinny jeans, we do it. Not too shabby, don’t ya think?

photo-5

So, last Friday night, I conned JulzHOLLA! for our second Girls Night Out minus the kids this time – and we went to the Mid America Center for the Rick Springfield, Eddie Money, Little River Band concert. It involved me wearing a fancy top, and peeling on my skinny jeans.

photo 1

photo 2

We even had a lovely dinner out on the patio at Midtown Crossing’s Black Oak Grill complete with wine for my lady (I was trying to get her drunk), and dessert.

dessertThat there is a Coconut Rum Pineapple Cake. And in the background – a Kahlua infused Ding Dong. I’m not even kidding. I don’t joke about cake.

JulzHOLLA! and I had some serious time to talk about our feelings. Well, I talked, and she listened very sweetly. It’s rare moments like this when we can chat and not cut up someone’s food, or interrupted. We could simply focus on each other. It’s been a while.

The we headed to the Mid America Center for the concert. There’s a few things I love about the MAC and prefer over other concert venues here in the Heartland. First off, it’s super accessible, and it’s FREE parking. That’s pretty rare – usually you feel a little dirty as you hand some guy with a paper “$10 Park HERE” sign. As you park, you just pray it’s legit and your car will still be there, not towed away or with a ticket on the windshield.

As soon as we sat down, I remembered the other reason I love the MAC – there’s not a bad seat in the entire place. It’s an arena style seating, but not so gigantic that you need binoculars to see. I love live music, and this was the perfect fit.

We were on the second level and still had a great view.

rickThe first band was The Little River Band, and they stood out there and played their songs. I was pleasantly surprised at how many songs I recognized. It was fun. Next up was Eddie Money. Eddie’s movements prompted me to Google, “How old is Eddie Money?” SIXTY-FIVE is the answer. What? Every time he went to spin, I gasped and worried he was about to fall and break a hip. And yet, I was impressed. After every song, he’d drop his hands out like, “Ta-Da!” I told the guy next to me that I was going to try that after I served breakfast to my kids. He didn’t think I was as funny as I did. It’s okay, Mister. Neither will my kids.

Between Eddie and Rick, we met up with some other fabulous Omaha Bloggers. JulzHOLLA! snapped a picture. It’s fun to be a part of a supportive group that typically should be competitive. But all of the Omaha Bloggers are sincerely kind, interested, and helpful. They are also shorter than me. I got a little sassy with the paparazzi. Couldn’t resist.

photo-6We made it back to our seats just in time for Rick Springfield to greet us. Rick is 64 years old. And the guy still can move. Let’s just say, I wasn’t worried about him breaking a hip. He even old schooled it and walked around in the crowd getting everyone to sing, “We all need it, the human touch!” For the life of me, I have no idea how he chair surfed like that. I would have fallen and broken a hip. And when he got back to the stage, he confirmed perhaps a few got a bit too much of his Human Touch.  We had such an amazing time. It was a fun atmosphere and a lot of energy.

My thanks to Katie Manganaro for the tickets to the show and for the giveaway!

Song of the day:Rick Springfield getting the Human Touch