Dec 082014
 

Socializing and partying this time of year are BIG EVENTS!  And knowing how to do it with grace and class can be daunting. Check in here for some tips--and a few laughs to help take the bite out of the nerves!It’s a big night around these parts, friends. To restate, I am leaving the house. Before you fall over in shock, let me tell you the whole story–it’s to ATTEND A GALA. Okay, now I’ll pause a minute while this sinks in…

Not sinking in? I know, I get it.  This is truly an unbelievable occurrence. Mostly for me, who has never, ever attended a gala. Has never even imagined attending a gala. Will never attend a gala again.

But you see, my husband got an invite to a fancy-pants one at The Philly Art Museum tonight. For a machine. That’s right, a machine. In his science world, apparently new machines warrant celebrations of epic proportions. While I remain marginally concerned about hanging with a crowd who likes to dress-up on a Monday night to celebrate machines, the simple fact remains: I am being offered a night out. AT A GALA.

So while I madly fret over what to wear and prepare to meet Condoleezza Rice (In my understanding, there is never a gala that Condoleezza Rice does not attend, correct? This notion is partially fueled by my obsession with People magazine and limited awareness of galas, but I’m pretty sure I’m right), I remain very aware that I might be screwed.

I do not know how to behave at galas.

Should I start stroking the machine in awe immediately upon seeing it? On the other hand, will I be arrested if I touch the machine?

What if I accidentally knock over the waiter’s tray when grabbing a champagne? Please God, tell me there will be champagne.

Forget Condoleezza, will I have to shake hands with Angelina Jolie? I am strictly Team Jennifer and will always be; for this I will not apologize.

The eventualities are daunting.

Knowing how to act and what to/do say at a work holiday party can be tricky. Here are tips for not only surviving, but having a fantastic time out amidst all the glitz and glitter!

In any case, I have decided I need to commit to a few ground-rules to help see myself through the night. I always function better when boundaries are firmly in place.

1) I WILL NOT robot-dance if there if fast music. I am really quite good at The Robot, but I am not sure this will be fully appreciated at this event. Best saved for a more appropriate occasion.

2) I WILL order a fancy drink–because I can. And I will feel fantastically elaborate when I do–because I owe it to the yoga pants I wear ever other single day of the year.

3) I WILL NOT fantasize about going home and watching Hallmark movies. I WILL appreciate that I’m in the company of other adults and this can be pleasant even if there are no Santa Clauses in snow globes winking in the background.

4) I WILL NOT sneak into the ladies’ room to check in on my Amazon lightening deals. Horribly tempting, but potentially better done at another time.

5) I WILL allow myself to soak up the sweetness of a night out, flirt with my husband and enjoy the gift of a fancy night out during the holiday season. It’s a total win–how could I go wrong?

Friends, I’m SO acing out the gala–I can totally feel a shining moment coming on ;)

 

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Second image credit: depositphotos.com, image ID: 10709258, copyright:pressmaster

Nov 032014
 

Marriage is tough business and couples tend to...clash. For all the times things get a little dicey in your marriage, snatch up this book--with all it's laughs and encouragement to love your spouse, it's exactly what you need to add some perspective to your marriage!

My husband is a fabulous man. He’s full of ideas and plans.

Some of these plans are better than others.

Some of these plans include spending our date night at Home Depot shopping for refrigerators.

I’ve written before about how we don’t always see eye to eye on how we spend holidays.

About our varying definitions of relaxation (spoiler alert: his involves horseshoe pits and a lot of 2x4s).

And about how I love him despite his insistence on chewing milkshakes.

But when I recently found myself casing out freezer drawers with a dude named Chuck on a Friday night while my husband trolled the tool aisle, I realized we had reached a whole new level.

The kind of level that begs to be shared in the new book, Clash of the Couples, out today.

Crystal Ponti, Editor of the book, describes Clash of the Couples as “a new anthology featuring a collection of absurd lovers’ quarrels and relationship spats. Couples just starting their journeys and those who have been together ‘forever’ will relate to dozens of short stories running the “one said, the other said” gamut—from disagreements over furniture, to who gets the last beer, to where to store the placenta (yes, you read that right)”.

I’m honored to be included in this book, and it’s been a delight to work with Ponti, full of enthusiasm and dedication for this anthology. I love the book’s approach to recognizing the love and respect couples can have for each other while still taking time out to chuckle about the ridiculousness that ensues when sharing your life with someone.

When my husband decided to swing by the tool store for date night, let's just say it was one of the more interesting evenings of our marriage. Head over and read how we are totally rocking couple time!

The other authors in this book are funny.  And since we could all use a laugh break, take a minute out now from your own crazy day to snatch up a copy–and maybe buy a few extra to stockpile as holiday gifts. Your funny bone will thank you, and a shot of giggles is good for any marriage.

I’m also giving away two copies of the book here! As long as you are 18 or older and live in the continental U.S., you are eligible to win! Just leave a comment below by 5am ET on 11/10/14 and tell me you’d like a copy and why you want it–or tell me a funny couple story you have, because we all like those ;)

In the meantime, thanks for supporting this new book, and all of my writing efforts. Having you follow along with me here, and on Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Instagram means the world.  Thank you, friends!

 

Snag a copy of Clash of the Couples for only $0.99! What a deal! Treat for yourself or early holiday gift!

*****11/14/14 update: Congrats to winners Shannon C. and Ashley!*****

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Oct 202014
 

To-do lists are daunting! Actually getting stuff done is so hard! I finally figured out this one trick to not letting these lists loom scarily large over my day.I love my husband a lot.  He’s a good man.  He’s a smart man.  Some of the things he says makes me want to scream. Sometimes I do scream.

You see, he has this lovely gift of practicality and perspective. God decided to skip those traits in me.  I got ginormous thighs and a bent towards being ferociously emotional instead.

Often the things that I’m most passionately frustrated over my husband eradicates with a simple sentence. This is both a gift and highly annoying.

Most recently, I’ve had my panties in a bunch over my perceived lack of hours in the day. One particular evening, channeling my inner-Caillou, I broke into a rather heated whining rant, “There is just no way I can get everything done! I am slamming out every second of the day and still can’t keep up…I can’t keep doing this.”

My husband answered easily, “Then don’t.”

The screeching as my mind did an about-face was almost audible.  Whaaa?? “What in the world do you mean?”

“Stop. God didn’t design your life to be this way, tired and stressed all the time.  There are 24 hours in a day, and if you can’t get everything done you need to in that time, you shouldn’t be doing it.”

Scary red flags of indignation started waving wildly.  How dare he? Who does he think will drop his children off at school and wash the excessive number of dishes he insists on dirtying? Would his boxer shorts start washing and folding themselves?

I huffed away. I was right, and he was wrong, of course. Certain of his cruel insensitivity to the magnitude of responsibility I shoulder each day, I thought loads of helpful thoughts, like “Typical man!” and “He will never get it!”

My thoughts weren’t wrong; he is a man, and no, he won’t get it–just as I will never fully get his work.  But, as it turns out, as I allowed my rage to chill (frantic slamming of pots and pans around the kitchen always helps), he wasn’t wrong either.

In fact, he was very right.  Right in the punch-me-in-the-gut kind of way.

Crap. Darn. Shoot. I loathe it when he’s right. I more loathe it when it’s time to revamp my way of thinking because I’ve been completely wrong.

When your husband is right @meredithspidel

For days, for months, for years even, I have been approaching each day as a beast to be tackled. Something that if I plan just a little bit more, a little bit harder, I can form it into something smoother. Maybe even easier?

Wrong. The truth is, this life is never going to quit. There will always be another task that needs to be done and another ask from someone seeking something. Whether it’s my children needing their bums wiped or the Home and School committee looking for Book Fair volunteers, it’s never going to end.

I will always have a to-do list.

It will always be long.

I won’t get it all crossed off.  As long as I’m living and engaging in life, I’ll never get it all crossed off.

Huh.

So this is just the way life is.  And last I checked, there were no plans to add more hours to the day. And God is pretty darn wise; He knew what He was doing when He designed this whole ball game. 24 hours was and is the length of our day–the way it was meant to be.

Knowing that the circumstances of busyness nor daily time limitations won’t change, it appears there may be a distinct truth to my husband’s words. If the circumstances aren’t going to change, that means I have to change.

I don’t know how to make my days or my lists manageable, but I can handle waking up every day, and saying a silent prayer, “I don’t know how to do this. Let what is important get done. Help me not to panic about the rest–or at least send a sturdy paper bag my way to breathe in.”

And do you know what? When I do this, when I say this prayer, when I finally let go, the frenzy of the day dissipates.

No, my to-do list doesn’t magically shrink. There are no sweet miniature helper elves who come to my aid. Darn. But I am able to put one foot in front of the other.  And somehow the important things, the really important things manage to get done.

So that is my secret, my trick to finally, for once and for all, not allowing your to-do list to dominate your life. Let go of it. Allow a peace to prevail.

It’s a choice and you can do it–paper bag in hand if you need it ;)

 

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Second image credit: depositphotos.com, ID:49375597,copyright:Dmyrto_Z

Oct 062014
 

Of course parents can spend the morning in bed! (said the delusional desperate Mommy) Sleeping in with young kids goes so very well...right??I remember in the early days of pregnancy reading an adorable article in one of my parenting magazines that discussed the brilliance of parents being able to sleep in. With some careful planning and some strategically placed boxes of Cheerios that kids could easily grab by themselves for breakfast, the glory could all be yours!

I thought it was a fantastic plan and eagerly looked forward to being this kind of parent–the kind of parent who wakes up fully rested on a Saturday morning.

I even told a friend with older kids about it.  Why she didn’t punch me in the face, I’ll never know.  If I could go back in time, I would punch myself in the face.

Because then I actually had kids.

And I learned.

I learned the cold, hard truth: I will never be fully rested until EVER now that I have children.  By the time they make it through the night sans hysterical fits over blankets falling off beds or imaginary monsters plaguing dreams, we will likely have moved onto early morning soccer practices or some other meet-the-sunrise fun.

It’s a doomed existence to exhaustion.

That’s cool.  I signed up for this.  Table the gorgeous Star magazines and bubble baths–I’ll catch them in retirement. Maybe.

But the thing of it remains–I miss my husband.

Surely, somehow, by some wild stretch of imagination we could eke out one prolonged morning in bed?

So we tried this past weekend.  We really did.

Our son woke up. He’s five, so we barely humored his awakeness–he’s five and can totally handle independence, right?

Our daughter woke up.  She is three.  We told her to go potty.

That took 10 seconds.  We then told her to feed the dog, who was dedicatedly working himself into hysteria as his parents were clearly neglecting him by remaining in bed an extra 4 minutes.

God knows if she actually fed him or how much she fed him.  It may have been an entire 40lb. bag. We didn’t care.  It bought us at least an extra entire full minute of cuddle time before the psychotic, neurotic dog rejoined us in the bed, rolling his 70+ lb. body on top of mine in panicked fit that we had completely forgotten his existence on this earth.

My husband yelled at the dog. My daughter insisted I help her dress in a tutu. My son wanted eggs.

It was futile.

We had tried.

We had been bested.

It was time to call it a morning and get out of bed. Maybe someday Cheerios can work their magic and Mommy and Daddy can cozy up under those sheets.  But for now?

There just ain’t no rest for the weary, friends.  No rest at all…Bottoms up with that coffee cup.

Image credit: Depositphotos.com, Image ID:24640397, Copyright:monkeybusiness

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, 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?

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 a scary unknown world full of things like backpacks and recess.  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 random bursts of actively 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 calendar 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 DSM depression diagnosis is “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
 

Marriage is NOT easy, but loving on your husband despite all the stuff of life is your best bet for a healthy relationship--and a lot more smiles and laughs through all the stuff life throws your way!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.

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

HAWT

HAWT

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.

Seriously hot.

Seriously hot.

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.

Happy 13 year anniversary!

 

First image credit: depositphotos.com, ID:8656983, copyright:CITAlliance

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.

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