Aug 202014
 

It was a sour Monday morning.  Nothing was sitting right, and I was exhausted from a full weekend.  The task of caring for my kids AND brushing their teeth?  Unseemably daunting.  Throw in a laundry list of errands, laundry itself, and very busy evening of activities to cap off our day, and I wanted to quit before I started.

I was grouchy.

I longed to call and whine to my husband.  There was no way I could do this day.  It seemed cruel that he had to be at work.  I felt inexplicably lonely, and when I gear myself up for a downward spiral, and he’s the only one that can really level me out.  Plus, I just like being with him, but togetherness remains a luxury too often unknown to parents, right?

But, I was on my own.  So I found my bootstraps and struggled into them, and got myself to the grocery store. Which was packed full of back-to-school paraphernalia.  Guess which first-time mama of a Kindergartner is having more than a few mixed feeling about the start of the school year?  I want to be light-hearted and joyous about it, but I’m too busy trying to figure out ways not to attack the bus driver for stealing my baby away into the depths of scary unknown world full of things like backpacks and recess when she pulls up on the first day.  In this intensely logical frame of mind, I was most certain that the snack packs of Goldfish crackers on the shelves were mocking me.

It was at that moment I started to miss my mother. A lot. Excellent.  These active random bursts of aching for her don’t come as frequently as they once did , but when they do?  Holy stymieing heck.  I pitifully searched for the proper jar of applesauce through my tears and felt even more sorry for myself.

At least I had to buy paper towels that morning.  I do love shopping for paper towels.

What was wrong with me?? Could I blame PMS? A quick mental check of the month resulted in a resound NO. Crap.

And there was nothing particularly horrible that had happened. The truth was, I was just miserable.  Melancholy as it is best defined.

A big fan of my current anti-depressant/anti-anxiety pill, I am thankful to have discovered a relatively side effect-free solution to the diagnosis I have long struggled.  I love that while my medication enables me to more effectively cope with life situations, I still feel.

I feel normal, healthy things like pain and frustration.

The tricky part of still being able to feel is, of course, feeling.  And the fact of the matter was, I was feeling like crap that day.

I got in my van, rested my head on the wheel and just started praying.  Praying for peace, for a shred of less rage-y feelings, for…and then it hit me: I was depressed.

Not depressed as in call-my-doctor-to-pursue-a-med-change kind of depressed.  But I will always remember learning in school that part of the depression diagnosis “symptoms lasting longer than 2 weeks” (or something there-like).

This means that sometimes people have sad feelings and it’s “normal”.

This means that while my sad feeling that day were hard, chances were, if they didn’t last endlessly, they were okay.

For some reason, the 1961 Shirelles’ song started playing through my head, “Mama said they’ll be days like this…”.  Raised on a steady diet of golden oldies from my own mama who loved this genre of music, I’m figuring this tune was a message from her.  And she was right.

Because, you see, there are days like this.  Sometimes, depressed feelings are part of life.  I’m all for treatment of more serious conditions (obviously, because I do it myself), but outside of this, some days are just bad.  No good.

And giving myself permission to simply be depressed on that suck-tastic Monday was incredibly freeing. It was alright to hold the kleenex box close and accept my I wouldn’t be channeling any cheery Mary Poppins-like vibes.  Life could be bad that day, but I could still be okay. There will be days like this–teary applesauce aisles and all.

****This post was written prior to Robin Williams’ tragic suicide.  To be clear, I am tremendously in favor of pursuing medication and therapy when depressive symptoms are pervasive, and share this post as I feel it may be helpful to others.***

Aug 082014
 

You know how marriage is made out of the tough stuff of life?  The middle-of-the-night kids waking up, getting stuck with trash duty, hanging with your spouse through times when they need more support…from their underwear??  I know, I KNOW.  My husband is a saint…

It’s safe to say that some parts of me adjusted less well to postpartum life than one might hope. While I managed to reacquaint myself with my beloved Jillian Michaels DVDs in the months after giving birth, my bladder apparently didn’t get the memo that jump squats were now back on the agenda.

Upon mentioning this situation to my OB/GYN, she immediately suggested I begin a course of rigorous physical therapy for my nether regions.  While I’m sure this is indeed a smart and lovely solution, the notion made me laugh so hard I nearly fell off the exam table, archaic leg stirrups and all.  Pretty sure my doctor was not impressed, but making time for something like this when I still hadn’t figured out a time to replace my toothpaste or shampoo my hair? “Hey babe, I’ll see you in a couple hours. Good luck with our screaming newborn.  I’m off for pelvic therapy.”

So we settled into a routine.  I exercised; I peed myself.  My husband threatened most days to stop on his way home from work for a pack of Depend. It was a high time in our marriage.

Fortunately, things have sorted themselves a bit and the threatening panic of having to clear closet room for both my children’s diapers and my own no longer exists.  We have both largely potty-trained.

BUT the thing is, while I certainly don’t hope for a repeat period of leakage in my life, should it happen again, I’m not going to be so loathe to have my husband swing by the store.  I’m impressed with Depend’s new campaign.  The whole idea is that if you need help, get it.  Don’t let what is a common problem stand in the way of carrying on with your life.  While I didn’t feel very fortunate while surrounded by fussy kiddos and dirty bottles, I was actually super-fortunate.  I was able to be at home and do multiple loads of laundry a day if need be (not that I wanted to!).

But if you can’t be at home to manage the situation (or just don’t feel like running your washing machine all day), don’t let bladder leakage get in your way.  Go grab a pack!  The new designs? Look, fit and feel like like regular underwear and feature a cloth-like fabric for a sleek, ultra-smooth fit.  Seriously, GO CHECK THEM OUT.

Also, for the next three years, Depend is donating $1, up to $3 million, to the Simon Foundation for Continence and United Way for each person who participates in the Underwareness campaign, a social movement and charitable cause.  To participate, share a Depend photo or video and tag your tweet or Instagram posts with #underwareness or #dropyourpants.

Over 65 million Americans experience bladder leakage, and nearly half of them are under 50. (Can you hear that rejoicing?  That’s the sound of me giddy-dancing that, for once, I’m not totally “the weird one”–other young people have had this problem too!).

I know no one wants to talk about it, but if you should find yourself grabbing that pack of Depend off the shelf, know that you’re not alone.  No judgement from this Mom of the Year–just a whole bunch of high fives.

******Thanks to Depend for sponsoring today’s post about the #dropyourpants for #underwareness movement!*******

Aug 042014
 

Happy 13 year anniversary! Thirteen years ago, my husband and I trekked down the aisle.  We started dating a couple years before that, so we’ve been hanging out for a while now.  Not the “Holy cow!  How did they do it?”-married-for-60-years kind of while, but for a while…

So I’ve gotten to know him a little bit.  And he’s an interesting dude.  Very interesting.  He rocks this whole multi-layered character thing to a tee.  He’s the kind of guy who just when you think you might know and love him, you realize there’s a whole lot more you could know and love.

He can surprise me every day, he can tick me off every day, he can make me swoon everyday.  And I think I might keep him–all of him, including:

His bizarre passionate aversion to mini cupcakes. Don’t ask him about them unless you have an extra 40 minutes to listen to a rant.

His exceeding loyalty and honesty.

That he has more hobbies than a dog has fleas.  This will never change.  Like fleas, when one hobby falls away, a new one will buzz up to replace it.

His endless piles of random papers strewn all over my house. I’m pretty sure he does this just to annoy me.  It’s working.

His claimed desire to relax, but the reality that he never sits for more than five minutes at a time.  There’s bee hives to build and such.

That he is always right.  Frustratingly, this true 90% of the time.

HAWT

HAWT

His stubborn refusal to go to the doctor. Ever. Even his eyes are swollen shut with poison ivy or bee stings.

His scary brilliance. I typically have no clue what he’s talking about.

That his words or acts of affection are never cheap.

That he chews his milkshakes.  This is unnatural and makes my skin crawl.

That his kids think he is the coolest person to walk the earth.  If I wasn’t so darn happy to see him myself, the excessive squeeing when he pulls in the driveway might be a tad insulting. Because Mommy really isn’t that cool.

His ability to make me a better person.

That he loves me. Through everything.

That we’re in this together.

I think Dr. J is the kind of guy that will take me a lifetime to figure out, but that’s okay.  Because I like getting to know him, and I’ve got a lifetime.   Happy anniversary, babe.

Seriously hot.

Seriously hot.

Jun 302014
 
Source aka Fantasy Land

Source
aka Fantasy Land

It was the stuff of fantasies–a Saturday, kids at the zoo with my in-laws and my husband and I were left peacefully alone to tackle our massive to-do list.  Despite the stymieing length of the list, there was hope in the air.  We had a boatload of errands to run, sure, but we could attack them without having to dedicate 16 minutes after every stop trying to wrangle children back into their car seats.

The mood was light, giddy with the potential of completing an entire task before the sun set.  Stopping on our way for coffee to celebrate our good fortune, we were off.

Two hours into all our running, we were still cheerful as we pulled into Sam’s Club.  Upon walking through the doors, I proudly yanked my membership card from the depths of my wallet and flashed it front of the bouncer.  “Look at me! Leaving the house without kids! Getting things done on a Saturday morning!”, my head shouted.  I was majorly bummed when the sweet elderly lady didn’t seem as impressed with me as I was.

Whatevs.  This shopping trip was ON. We had driven in separate vehicles, as we thought the van might have to be left for the day so it could be suited up with new tires. Surprised to learn it would only take 45 minutes, my husband suggested we leave, cross a few more things off our list, and then return to pick up the van.

Yes! Me! I want to be organized!

Yes! Me! I want to be organized!

“But,” I ventured, wild possibility boiling inside me, “Can I stay?”

“You mean stay here while I leave? What would you do?”, he struggled to make sense of the insanity.

“I think I would shop.”

“Will you get bored in 45 minutes?”

Eyeing up some adorable new oven mitts in the corner of my eye right next to a fabulous pile of margarita-maker ball gadgets, I breathed, “No, no I don’t think I will…”

Shooing him away, I immediately realized my error of not grabbing a cart.  What a fool I’d been!

Cart the size of a small flatbed secured, I dove into my glory and BEHOLD.  The things!  Clothing!  Not all of which looked like something my grandmother would have worn in the 70s!  And the most adorable pair of flipflops and a perfect baby gift for my sister.

Speaking of my sister, I’d better check to see if she needed any road atlases. Or cucumbers.  So very many cucumbers.  Do I eat enough cucumbers? Lots of quick texts sent to her.

I’d better send my husband and his friend a pic of the beekeeping novel I found too–might be fab for them to do some light hobby-relevant reading together?

And the Lysol–Holy Cow!  What an amazing price on Clean Linen scent spray.  And such a super deal on kids’ vitamins…now, actually, I was starting to get a little ticked, feeling as though I’d been thoughtlessly left in the dark.  I called my sister, “Why have you never told me how awesome this place was?!”

“I thought you knew.”

“Well, I knew in the way I knew all things before I had kids.  You were supposed to keep me updated.”

“I’m sorry.”

“You should be.  Do you want more books about The Civil War?”

“I don’t have any. I don’t want any because I don’t read about it.”

“Fine. I’m stocking up on pizza in case you get hungry.”

“I don’t live with you.”

“You still might get hungry.”, Gracious, I hate it when she’s so illogical.

Blissful meandering continued, delightful treasures at every turn. This was the best Saturday morning of my life.

And then, right there before my very eyes, I saw It.  The Post-it aisle.  I think my heart actually skipped several beats.  I whipped out my phone and immediately texted my husband and my sister, horrific feelings of being foolishly unaware flooding my being, “WHY HAS NO ONE EVER TOLD ME SAM’S CLUB SOLD SUCH CUTE POST-ITS?!”

Can you EVEN IMAGINE all the cute notes I could write with these?

Can you EVEN IMAGINE all the cute notes I could write with these?

Here's the thing: if you can stash your Sam's Club haul in the passenger side of a Honda Civic, you're a good woman.  A very good woman.

Here’s the thing: if you can stash your Sam’s Club haul in the passenger side of a Honda Civic, you’re a good woman. A very good woman.

My sister wrote back, “Jared, I’m so sorry.”

As I continued to shake my head in disbelief before the glorious stock of Post-Its, my husband returned from his errand run and walked up beside me.

“Jared…,” I exhaled and grabbed his arm.

“I know,” he said, “I know.”

Beautiful, beautiful Sam’s Club.

 

Jun 252014
 
Welcome, bees!

Welcome, bees!

Long about 3 months ago, my husband officially delved into his bee obsession.  The hives were bought.  The sidelong expressions were initiated.  In short, I thought he was crazy and he knew it.

In I Just Want to Be AloneI wrote about all the “fun chats” that went into “our” decision to go forth with the bees.  It might now be time for an update since this little venture began.

I’ve talked about Dr J.’s partner in this whole bee business, but have not yet introduced my own partner through all the buzz.  You see, my husband’s bestie’s wife is a dear friend, and while the guys are in hot pursuit of honey-making, I get to shoot her lots of those sidelong “are they crazy??” glances.

Sidelong glances really do make everything more fun.

They are especially useful in the aftermath of trying to shield our children from the tremendous bee attack my husband staged in our living room.  One day, all 4 of the young kids between our two families were innocently hanging out by the couch, when Dr. J ran hysterically into the room, batting his arms against a swarm of bees he felt led to lead into our home.  I’ll let him tell his own version of how this happened and why he then chose to publicly strip off his clothes, but let’s just chalk this up as one of the “more exciting” times we’ve had since adding the bees to our family. ***

It's a family thing

It’s a family thing

This looks "less manly" to me, but what do I know??

No, really, it’s not so bad…

Featuring The Bees as an exhibit at my son’s recent 5 yr. old camping birthday party was also an interesting choice on my husband’s part.  The guests loved it.  I panicked thinking of the potential liability lawsuits and rapidly downed smores in the corner of the yard to self-soothe.

He swears his bee stings aren’t really that bad.  Absolutely.  Really, being able to see out of both eyes is probably overrated.

The thing is, while I am busy coaxing stray bees off our curtains, enforcing safe distance parameters at parties, and driving my temporarily blinded husband around, it remains apparent that my husband has committed goals in this life.  And that I’m in this for the long haul.

So, Dr. J, here’s to you, your bees, and my pledged support of all your insanity.  I’m with you, babe.

My eyes just might get stuck in a permanent sidelong glance while I’m offering all this support, but hey, small sacrifices.

***It should be noted that despite any levity, bee-safety is taken very seriously at our home, and aside from this one initial incident, children are not exposed to any threat from the bees. The stings that Dr. J incrues are part of the bee-keeping process as he works to better understand his hives and be less stupid about provoking them.  And trust me, his wife has made very sure that while he’s not actually allergic now, this is a situation we will continue to monitor.  I’d sort-of like to keep him around, weird hobbies and all.

Apr 282014
 
Dagnabbit.  Why does he have to be so cute??

Dagnabbit. Why does he have to be so cute??

It’s a weird place.  I’ve got kids, but I’ll be honest, I’m not sure I’m sure excited about all the ins and outs of them right now.  OF COURSE I love my children and am always grateful for them, but let’s be honest, I could happily table the Pull-ups forever and die a happy woman.  A very happy woman.

I miss it, you see.  I miss getting up in the morning and having The Freedom to pull on a fresh pair of panties without someone screaming that they need more chocolate milk or someone else claiming incapability to manuever the zipper pull on their jacket.

Someday.

I tell myself someday.

And then I fill the milk cups, pull the zippers, and pretend that my un-changed underwear really isn’t that gross.  GROSS, I know.

I know…

But I can’t do a darn thing about it.  We never were a “symphony” couple.  Nor were we a rockin’ Beyonce concert couple, but regardless, I just want to be able to go to these things.  It’s the emcumberment that’s getting to me.

It all got rather nasty around the 2 yr. anniversary of my mom’s death, when I started heavily mourning and fantasizing about about what life might have been like if we’d have a grandmother to throw in the mix of raising young kids. We do not.

It will NEVER end.

It will NEVER end.

So let’s tell the true story–the laundry pile scares me.  It is now larger and fantastically heavier than my 70+ lb. lab. He might get buried by it.  On the days that he annoys me with his incessant whimpering for no explicable reason, I’m not sure this is a problem.

The thing is, my husband works and he’s important at his job.  As fate would have it, I’ve gone and got myself my own job.  We still have kids.  They still need to eat, and as it turns out, laundry does not do itself.  Darn it.

Raised on frozen dinners and take out, I always wanted something more for my kids.  I wanted the Pinterest-perfect life of theme-flavored pancakes and DIY fantabulous b-day parties.

But then life happened.

I started thinking my parents weren’t that incompetent.  That maybe they had done the best they could.  And that maybe I can’t really do any better.

We all want glorious lives for our children, but if we feed them, clothe them and let them know that we love them, have we really done that badly??

My husband is a man of hobbies and frankly, it is exhausting.  But you see, I want to do fancy things like brush my teeth and finish BJ Novak’s latest novel. In the sparse non-children-actively demanding-something moments, it gets dicey.  Because Dr. J and I each have our own goals in this world.  Despite the fact that we have gotten married and procreated, we remain individuals who have unique interests in this world. Granted, my husband has more interests than most, but we are human and we both have stuff.

Regardless of the stuff, we’ve still got kids.

And laundry.

And somebody’s got to do something about the laundry.  Soon.

Apr 232014
 

Add 16+” of gorgeous brown hair and this is SO ME

Easter was a very loooong day in these parts.  A day that started well before the sun rose and quickly frenzied its way into frenetically strewn Easter grass, multiple egg hunts, and at least one toddler crawling on my head during the church service. Topping off a week with a very sick husband, Mommy had reached her Maximum.  Grouchy Time In a Serious Way.

When my husband suggested swinging by Bass Pro Shops after a couple of “fun” hours in the car so he could make a return, I was thrilled.  You know, since I love languidly looking at fishing poles and all…

After an adorable twenty minutes of hefting my children in and out of display boats, I snapped and stumbled/stalked off in my obsencely high heels (they had seemed like an important vestige to my pre-mom self at 6am that morning; less so several well-developed blisters later).

With absolutely no interest in anything the store sold, but in the unique situation of being in a physical place where things are sold without my younger companions, it seemed a dishonor to not at least make a pass at bargain hunting. The clothing section.  I could do this.  I could at least find a well-fitted sweat-wicking tee on clearance, right?

I was on a mission.

I found nothing in the sale racks except bizarrely off-blue sweatshirts with pictures of grizzly bears on them.  As it turns out, I didn’t need any such tops at this point in time.

But darnit, I was in a Bad Mood and I was going to troll this clothing section like it had never before been trolled.

And then too-fun stuff like this starts showing up in my sidebar.  Craaaaap...

And then too-fun stuff like this starts showing up in my sidebar. Craaaaap…

And then craaaaaap.  I saw it. The Perfect Dress.  Adorbs in its design, but in person, it’s ideal washable summer-cool cotton/linen blend?  To lust after, trust me.  Did I mention it has pockets?

I pictured myself skipping through grassy fields in well-matched sandals while my children peacefully played and giggled in a nearby patch of wildflowers.

It is possible I was conjuring up the dress addiction I paid homage to in You Have Lipstick on Your Teeth. It’s also possible I didn’t care.  Suddenly, the excursion to Bass Pro was redeemed. Screw that, the entire Easter day-long extravaganza was redeemed.  I had found a dress.

Proudly, I looped back to my husband and showed him my find.  He looked at the price tag, said no, and stashed it on the nearest rack.

DONE. Stick a fork in me.  Cue up the Mommy Temper Tantrum.

Dude, he brought me into Bass Pro on a Holy Holiday after I sacrificed the last shards of my sanity to small plastic eggs for hours on end and then denied me the perfect purchase?

Listen up, Dr. J’d best be shoving aside the fishing poles and making room for these cute rustic dresses or it could get ugly up in here.  Real quick.   The way I see it, it was his fault for taking me in the store in the first place, after all.

It’s also possible I was very far from a logical sane place at this point.

You’ll excuse me while I go enjoy a time out.

Mar 102014
 
In their glory

In their glory

Did you know that in Oklahoma it is illegal to wear your boots to bed? True story. While hitherto, I may have howled over the ridiculous of such a law, I’m now giving these mid-western legislators the benefit of the doubt.  You see, I have now witnessed firsthand the effects of boots on a marriage.  Not sure exactly what was going on in those Oklahoma bedrooms, but hey, maybe some legal intervention may have been necessary if things got stressful enough.  Boots are no joke in a relationship.

It all began when, in my blind loyalty to anything Target-branded, I snagged a pair of “leather” boots on the cheap in the fall.  They were adorable, trendy, and surely, they were meant to be.  Six months later, I’m cursing the ripped-up toes and air-leaky soles of my bargain find.  Huh.  Who knew? Quality, apparently, sometimes must be bought.

Thus started a dedicated hunt for the perfect pair of hip, comfy, top-notch kickers. Honestly, it was a smart-shoppers dream.  There were endless tabs pulled up on my laptop, promo codes were flying around, and I was riding an an adrenaline rush of excited glee as I worked out the most economical choice to the penny.  I know, it was the most fun I have in ages (not joking, sadly).

But I kept coming back to the new line of shoes from The Sak.  If you remember, I fell hard for my The Sak tote in October, and haven’t put the darn bag down since.  If it ever gives out, I will cry, and cry hard.  My favorite feature of my tote is the Teak Multi leather accent–the subtle sheen is gorgeous and distinctive. So when I saw that The Sak made boots that incoorporated the same leather

Yeah, the mixed reviews citing the beauty of the shoes, but the near impossibility to actually pull them on your foot? Be darned.  I had a friendship with this particular Teak Multi material, you see.  I alone would certainly be able to overcome the fit problem of the boots.  The other purchasers were clearly pansies.  This Mom of the Year was on it.

Rocking my coupons and discounts, I walked around for days preening my feathers for scoring my new footwear for $33.  Boo-ya! My husband was less enthused, these being the second pair of brown boots I bought in the same season and all…but…

Then the boots came. I sweated through my shirt so badly to get them on I had to put on a new outfit. And then I sobbed a little from the sheer effort.

The reviews were perhaps not written by weak lunatics.

After a week of refusing to say anything in a fierce protection of my dignity, the hopelessness of a solo dressing effort could no longer be denied. The Day of Reckoning had come. Head hung low, I went to my husband, “So you know those boots you didn’t want me to buy?”

“Yeah?”

“Can you put them on for me?”

EXACTLY the blissful scene in our home.

Source
EXACTLY the blissful scene in our home.

I would like to pretend it was a very Cinderella-esque scene, with the calm, gentle man putting the shoe on the delicate princess’ outstretched foot.  It was not.  There was more grunting and under-the-breath comments.  Very few princesses. Some heavy “questioning” of spousal wisdom and the like–you get it.

It was a really neat scene for my neighbor to witness when she came to pick me up for breakfast the other week.  A true testament to the marital bliss that goes down around these parts.

We now find ourselves two months into ownership of the sweet boots. Things are better. I have accepted I can usually only wear the shoes on Saturdays, when my husband is here to help me dress.  They have started to stretch a teeny bit, so now there is only about five minutes of vigorous group dressing effort.  Really, it’s going well.

Sunday my husband leaves very early for worship team practice. As a general rule of habit, I never dress immediately upon getting up.  This past week, I was determined to sport my boots at church, so I threw my clothes on quickly and ran downstairs, boots in hand, hoping to catch him before he peeled out the door.  He looked at me, baffled by my attire and the switch in routine, “Did you sleep in your clothes?”

And then he saw the boots. And started to laugh. “Okay,” he said, holding out his hand, “Okay.”

As it turns out, these boots really were an awesome deal–they just have to be donned with a heavy, heavy dose of lovin’ patience.

Feb 242014
 

Friends, I eked my way into another book!  The title of this book, I Just Want to Be Alone, is so gloriously appropriate, I considered ending my post by just sharing it’s name with you.  I think it speaks for itself??

But then I remembered this was a prime opportunity for me to lament about The Bees.  What are The Bees?  The Bees have become the defining element of my marital relationship for the coming spring season.  I introduced them before, but in I Just Want to Be Alone, Jen of People I Want to Punch in the Throat humored me and let me rant and rave about them in a full-blown essay.  An essay that professed my husband’s obsession with The Bees, my official non-love of The Bees, and the sticky situation we now find ourselves in–replete with honey and buzzing hives.

I know, I know, it’s a nail-biter.  WILL THE SPIDELS SURVIVE?  Honestly, the jury’s still out on that, but snatch up the book.  Our plight makes me snort, and did I mention there are 36 other essays from some really funny women?

Yeah, it’s that cool.  And it’s coming your way on March 22, but is available now for pre-order!  It’s selling quickly, so go reserve your copy–consider it a gift to yourself to open later ;).

Add it to your Goodreads shelves too–and then bump it to the top of of your to-read list.  You don’t want to miss this gem.

The second volume in the best-selling I Just Want to Pee Alone series is a collection of humorous essays from a bunch of the most Super Cool Lady Writers you’ll find on the web.

Don’t get us wrong, we love the men in our lives – we do (most of the time). It’s just that sometimes we would like them to go away. Not forever or anything like that. Just for an hour … or a day … or a weekend. We want some time to ourselves to read a good book or take a walk or do anything other than try to make a dent in the never ending mound of dirty clothes that keeps piling up on the floor on his side of the bed. We just want to be alone. All alone. Is that too much to ask?

I think not–go treat yourself to not only some laughs, but a some precious ALONE minutes while you read the book.  With love from all of us to you. xo.

I Just Want to Be Alone @meredithspidel #justbealone back cover

Feb 142014
 

The Two Cards @meredithspidel matching Christmas cardsWe’re simple people around here.  Before kids, Valentine’s wasn’t that huge of a deal.  Now? Like any parent knows, step aside major holidays, because there is an exorbitant display of  glitter-glued heart-shaped cards that need to squeeze their way onto the fridge before it gets ugly. Put down the red construction paper before Mommy gets cranky.

But is celebrating love such a bad thing?  After we sift through all the kids’ parties, the primary truth remains: my husband and I got ourselves to into this messful of sparkly cupid-themed events because we love each other. Our kiddos are the result of a relationship that has bloomed and grown and seen more burned pasta dinners that I’d like to admit.

We met in college, young, foolish and full of crazy suburban dreams. He was the swoon-worthy hot thing on roller blades and I was a goner.  Fifteen years later, I still get pretty light-headed whenever he gets snuggly. He’s hot stuff, and he’s my hot stuff. He’s also a gem that annoys the crap out of me when he makes his random paper piles throughout the house, but that’s another matter for another time.

My husband and I are different people.  Very different people.  He sees black and white; I’m all shades of grey.  He delights in the idea of keeping bees; I would rather shoot myself than tend buzzing insects. He understands things like science; I run around asking, “But really, how do you feel?” and acknowledging silly things like emotions.  We shouldn’t work together, but somehow we do.

There are many moments I look at the man and wonder if we are speaking the same language.  I am guessing my Urban Decay obsession makes little to NO sense to him.  Also, could he please not take up 3/4 of the bed? I’m not entirely sure I won’t strangle him with our decade-old duvet cover before the end of another day.

But the thing is, even when the stuff of life makes it seem so fantastically unlikely that we will still be able to love on, much less like each other, I will get some sort of a reminder.  A reminder like two cards.

You see, Christmas came this year, and we exchange cards. There are quite few fancy stores around here, places like Target and the grocery store and the Dollar Store.  All of which sell cards.  Different cards.  So how unusual that when woke on Christmas morning, we discovered that we gave each other the exact same card.  Out of all the dozens upon hundreds that were out there for sale…

Or maybe, not so unusual?  Because when it’s a match, however unlikely it may seem, it’s a match.

xo, Dr. J, and happy Valentine’s Day.

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