Dec 312013

Yeah, a whole year has gone by and 100% no change…we are DEFINITELY the crazy partying parents around these parts…

Or…not.  Can you even remember a New Year’s Eve without kids?  I vaguely recall a few things about it:

1.  There were no mad dashes to Walmart to stock up on diapers before it closed at 6pm for the holiday.  It mattered less if we ran out of Pampers because we didn’t need them.

2. My driving panic was less of the, “Ack!  A drunk driver is going to crash into my new-ish minivan!” variety and more of the “Crap!  I snagged my nylons.  Is there a place I can discretely pull over to change them without someone thinking I’m giving them a peep show?”.

3.  Staying up to see the ball drop at midnight was not an act of God.  As in, it was semi-feasible.

4. Not as many of the fake ringing-in of the New Year events at 5pm at the community center with a bunch of screaming kids.  In fact, there were none.

5. If I was going to waste a bunch of calories on grape juice, it would be alcoholic and definitely not have the “Welch’s” label on the bottle.

6.  The next day didn’t feel like the March of the Walking Dead because I had dared to stay up past 9pm.

7. If I wanted to actually leave the house for the evening I wouldn’t have had to pay off some teenager at 3x her normal rate to watch my kids after having booked her 5 mo. in advance.  I would have thrown a treat to the dog and just…walked out the door.  And I could stay out past 10pm.

8. We could drink out of actual glassware without fear of little heads breaking it.  Not that the discount plastic wine glasses aren’t super-nice.

9.  Pigs-in-a-blanket was not always the hors d’oeuvres of choice.

10. When I kissed my husband at midnight, he wasn’t always asleep.

Again, this is just a vague recollection, so I could be off on a lot of these points.  But it’s definitely possible that my husband and I won’t be blowing the top off of this New Year’s Eve.

Hey, my cozy heated mattress pad, latest issue of Star, and 9:30pm bedtime isn’t all bad, is it?  Just say yes so I don’t feel totally lame about myself.


Dec 112013
Source Perilous beauty

Perilous beauty

This past Sunday we were hit with a surprise nasty little snowstorm.  I say “surprise” because while the snow was well-predicted, after so many false calls for storms the past few years, no one around here believes the weather people any more.

In any case, we were leaving church. I in our beater Honda Civic with our daughter and my husband in the minivan with our son.  My husband has to arrive at an unseemly hour for worship practice, so we drive separately.

Shortly after pulling out, I realized the roads were bad.  Very bad. I called my husband in a panic and he suggested pulling over so we could switch vehicles.  I growled at him that I was too terrified to switch lanes and hung up on him. I am a peach.

After another 10 minutes of white-knuckle driving and glancing down at my cell, totally ticked that he didn’t have the decency to call back and do something to fix the whole icy road situation, I finally picked up my phone at a light.  He had called 3 times.  I had set my phone on silent during the service. Whoopsie with some misplaced blame.

In any case, we pulled over, switched up the vehicles and proceeded on.  But this wasn’t any better.  In fact, it was worse, and since we had determined the van was the safer vehicle, I now had both children.  After repeatedly losing traction and sliding into the curb I started hysterically sobbing.  You know the kind of wailing where you can’t breathe?  Yeah, that.  I was going to kill myself and both our children.

We ended up parking the car and setting off again as a whole family, with my husband at the wheel.  You can imagine how the “sweetness” of our marriage shone in the next 2 hours (it usually takes us 20 minutes to get home from church). I made helpful suggestions, such as ” Be careful!” and “Keep a safe following distance.”  Since my husband loves input on his driving, this went over extremely well.

We slid backwards on hills and we prayed. I put my head between my knees for dramatic effect.  We fed the kids random cupcakes we had in the van for lunch and told them it was a game to see who could be quiet the longest.  In short, we were scared out of our minds.

The roads were packed because no one expected the storm to be this bad.  There was no one to call because everyone was in the same boat.  Ambulances and firetrucks kept wailing by.  IT WAS NOT GOOD.

Source Martial bliss in a defining moment

Martial bliss in a defining moment

It was then that I realized we were The VonTrapps.

Clearly, someone stayed up until 11pm on Thursday night and had Maria and Georg on the brain…

But see, really, the parallels can’t be denied.  We were in a horrible situation, with only ourselves to rely on.

We had seriously considered just parking the van and going on foot. I was reminded of Georg saying as they were preparing to flee The Abbey, “But the children…”, and Maria answering, “We’ll help them.”  Yes, my husband had his Old Navy canvas shoes on, but we could walk fast, right?  I could carry our son on my back and sling my The Sak tote over my neck–no way would I leave that behind.

There were snow and hills. Granted, the way was concrete-paved and less wild territory, but it was a desperate winter situation nonetheless.

We even had a guitar, thanks to that early morning worship practice.  Granted, it was a bass guitar that had to be plugged into an amp, but it was there.  Maybe if my husband strummed loudly enough he could muffle the singing voice that caused me to flunk chorus in high school (this is a true story).

Yes, there were less nuns praying over us as we left, and no Nazis in hot pursuit, but I am pretty sure for Sunday afternoon, we were indeed The VonTrapps.

Step aside Maria and Georg, the hills most certainly are alive and Dr. J and I are taking Downingtown.

Nov 272013
Source A magical place indeed

A magical place indeed

Previously, when I heard this tagline from Home Depot, I never gave it much thought.  I presumed it had something to do with drills and bits and building houses or some such business.  Probably making people’s dreams come true through a lot of hand-on hard manual labor.  You know, the stuff that I love. (If you didn’t catch the sarcasm there, please just give up on today, go start eating turkey and drinking beer now please–it’s probably best for everyone).

My husband adores the store.  I think he wants to live in the tool department, and honestly, with how often he’s there, it would probably be a gas save.  By the way, what is an appropriate Christmas gift for Christine who works at the Return Counter?? For someone so important in our lives, a fruitcake just won’t suffice.

In truth, I kind of like the store too.  It’s bright, smells fresh and clean, and somehow makes me feel kind of boss to be trolling the aisles and kind-of know what I looking at.  A weekend trip to The Home Depot?  Sure, count me in.

Source Kids love it.  Seeing things like this? Same thing as Disney, really...

Kids love it. Seeing things like this? Same thing as Disney, really…

Then something happened to throw a bit a of wrench in the game.  We had kids.  Two of them to be exact. Two who need A LOT of attention, and lately have really been driving Mommy bat-crap crazy. It became a thing, when the first Home Depot run of the day was announced, I would suggest my husband grab one of the munchkins to take along.  I would stay home and enjoy the vacay of running herd on only one cherub.

Then one day, when it had been a very, very long time since I had taken a private dump, I asked my husband to take both of them with him.  He looked at me and said, “It’s really hard to shop with two kids.”

I just stared back at him.  Maybe there was some way to silently emblazen all the grocery store trips from hell I had endured into his brain with sheer will?  I tried.  It did not work.

He took one child. I pooped with an audience of one and we carried on.

Then this past weekend, we made a family trip of it.  I had to meet some people from my online yardsaling group there, so he would take the kids in the store until I finished peddling second-hand jeans in the parking lot and could join them.  Some people ended up being late, so I had time to just sit in the minivan and watch.  Watch all the dads with children. Screaming children. Trying to launch themselves out of the cart.

It looked genuinely hellacious for the dads.  No doubt.  But you know what I saw the most? NO MOM.  Genius women who set aside their Saturday guilt and cheerfully pushed their kiddos out the door with dad so they could clean the toilets in peace.  Or write blog posts, what-have-you.

And Home Depot?  I fell further in love because I saw at least 3 different kinds of carts that had fun seats for the kids.  Step aside, beastly grocery store car carts, this is the new generation of belting your kids into a metal cart.

Don’t get me wrong; my husband is a fantastic father and husband.  He is incredibly hands-on and does so much around here to help out.  But any future references to shopping with kids being a horror?

Yeah, I know.  DO IT ANYWAY.

Source Exactly what I was thinking, Home Depot.  Except maybe in a slightly different way...

Exactly what I was thinking, Home Depot. Except maybe in a slightly different way…

And this is my hope for you, dear readers, on this elongated weekend of thanks and kicking-off the holiday season–may you find yourself with a moment.   That perfect moment of guilt-free ALONENESS while someone else manages the sippy cups, snack bags, and the impossible joy of taking little ones to pee in public bathrooms.

Somehow, eek it out.  Find it.  Grasp it.

And if it happens courtesy of Home Depot, feel free to hop in on the thank-you gift to Return Counter Christine with me.

Nov 042013

Green Street Grill @meredithspidel

I have fallen completely head over heels for Green Street Grill, and I can’t wait to tell you all about this gem of a new restaurant.  See, in our neck of the woods, adorable cafes that serve amazing breakfast can be hard to come by.  And I love, like passionately love, going out for breakfast.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that I am actually able to leave the house and have eggs served up to me often, but I like the option for a fantastic place to at least be there…you know, in case there’s a chance I might redeem my fantasy ;)

Um, yes PLEASE.

Um, yes PLEASE.

Recently, I had a business meeting scheduled at the Green Street Grill in Downingtown, PA.  Twist my arm.  I was thrilled for the excuse to check out this new hot spot.  The Green Street Grill did NOT disappoint. Everything about this place–the menu, the atmosphere, the delicious food, the eclectic coffee cups, and friendly staff–was dynamite.  It had me sold.  I then did what any normal blogger would do; I started hounding owner Kerry Greco to let me review his place.  More accurately, I forced two more friends to join me for breakfast there and stalked Kerry until he would listen me.

A word about Kerry?  He’s awesome.  He has that cool laid-back vibe coupled with an obvious incredibly savvy approach to business. Kerry’s the kind of guy who sets you at ease and leaves you wanting to knock back a few cups of java with him while you shoot the breeze. And when I spilled coffee on my pants during our latest chat?  He sweetly passed me a napkin and kept the conversation rolling.  God love him.

Check Kerry out for yourself:

And you can win a gift certificate to Green Street Grill!  Easy-peasy!  Enter the Rafflecopter giveaway below (you must be 18 or older and be a resident of the continental U.S.) for your chance to win one of TWO $25 gift certificates to this nifty new restaurant.  Giveaway will close at 12am on Friday, 11/8/13.  Winners will be notified by e-mail and given 48 hrs. to respond before new winners are selected.

And if you don’t win?  No need to shed tears in your coffee, Kerry is offering up a 10% off your order Monday-Friday through the month of November if you mention “The Mom of the Year”.

You can read all about the restuarant online, but the basic info you need to know about the Green Street Grill:

Menu: Full breakfast and lunch menus available at the website.  Their scones are sort-of FAMOUS (um, filled chocolate chip cookie dough scones?? Screw the Fitbit count, I need in on this action), and I went all-out one morning and dug into a fantastic Eggs-Benedict-esque dish with crab cake in place of the bacon.  And I am not a Hollandaise gal, but true story? Every time I think of this dish, I start to drool a little bit.  Husband, are you reading this??  I need to go back to Green Street Grill STAT.

Source I don't even know exactly what this is, but it looks like heaven on a plate.

I don’t even know exactly what this is, but it looks like heaven on a plate.

Tidbit of info possibly only important to a mom, but I still need to share it: During one of the breakfast/stalking-Kerry situations involved in the formulation of this review, my 2 yr. daughter was in accompaniment.  Annie, our sweet, sweet waitress said NOTHING when my girl chucked her cantaloupe on the floor (an offensive melon, apparently), and instead repeatedly cooed over how cute she was in her new fall boots.  Trust me, if you’ve spent the money on Pedipeds and/or are forced to take your daughter along to “work” (albeit, a gig that involves someone else pouring your coffee), you understand why I have forever pledged my love to Annie and the waitstaff of Green Street Grill.  The general takeaway?  The employees are really friendly, even if you have kids with you, and this makes me want to go back.

Address: 150 E. Pennsylvania Ave, Downingtown, PA, 19935 (former location of the Blue Cafe)

Phone: 610.873.1700

Hours: Monday-Saturday, 7am-2:30pm, Sunday, 7am-2pm

So we’re clear? Green Street Grill is The Place to Be.  Go snag a meal, and then chill over a delightful cup of coffee for me.  In my fantasies, I will be joining you.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This post is sponsored by Green Street Grill, but all opinions remain 100% my own.  Love Green Street!

Update 11/10/13: Congrats to Nicole H. & Kim  M. for winning the gift certificates to Green Street Grill!  Enjoy, ladies!

Oct 102013

National Night Out @throat_punch @meredithspidel I Just want to Pee alone #peealoneIt’s official, ladies.  Stash those kiddos in bed early, get the hubby or a sitter on duty, and dust off your fav pair off heels–or yoga pants, or muumuu or however you roll–it is time for a NIGHT OUT.

The brilliant Jen of People I Want to Punch in the Throat, who was the driving force behind the anthology I Just Want to Pee Alone, has declared a National Night Out.  Authors who contributed to this book will be hosting Ladies’ Nights Out all over the country on the same night!

The idea is simple: ditch the family and come for a night to just hang out, have fun and BE REAL.  There are no pretenses on 10/16/13, ladies.  Just a bunch of women who who want to kick back and PEE ALONE.  There may be a long line for the bathroom that night; I’m sorry.

You can see the complete list HERE of where you can meet up with some fantastic friends–new or old.  If you’re local to the Lancaster area, please come hang out with Stephanie Giese and I!  We would love to see you at Applebees on Rt. 30, starting at 6:30 pm.  We aren’t that scary, I promise.  Though I am pretty darn socially-awkward, so I may be stuffing nachos in my mouth so I don’t say anything too weird…

To make it even more cool, the Lancaster Newspaper, The Intelligencer Journal (the paper I grew up with being on my kitchen table every single day of my childhood), interviewed Stephanie and I about the upcoming event and published a really neat article about it/us today.  Just fell more in love with the Lancaster paper…

The first sighting of our heavily photo-shopped faces this morning (but not you, Steph, you naturally look gorgeous and like Snow just me with the photo-shopping then...)

The first sighting of our heavily photo-shopped faces this morning (but not you, Steph, you naturally look gorgeous and like Snow White…so just me with the photo-shopping then…)

ANYWAY, the long point–come out for a fun night out.  Ladies all over the country will be hopping in and raising their glass to chance to wipe their bums sans an audience and we’d love you to join in the fun!

Sep 122013

#ITPRLipstick You Have Lipstick on your teeth book signing @meredithspidelSo there is a little something going down in these parts on 10/3.  I went and scheduled myself a book signing!  I have long been in love with Kelly and her crew over at Kismet Consignment Shop in Downingtown, PA.  When she agreed to get on board with this signing, I squeed and then promptly started annoying the crap out of my fellow local authors, Stephanie Giese, Erin Dymowski, and Ellen Williams.  They put up with me for one reason: they have to.

I have completely lost my head over this event.  Somehow, announcement postcards, book stickers, free lipsticks, and gourmet cupcakes have started flying by at an alarming pace.  I don’t want to overstate, but as far as importance, The Presidential Inaguration pales.  Significantly pales.

So friends, here we find ourselves bearing down on possibly the biggest non-event that this Mom of the Year has ever shed pre-game tears over, wondering will anyone actually come??  What can you do to help this situation?  COME.  If you are even semi-local, show up to grab a sweet free glass of wine and troll the pretty clothing racks…and oh, SNAG A SIGNED BOOK. Without exaggerating, you will rock my world and make me cry harder b/c I am so touched by your presence.

If you aren’t local?  Maybe just like one (or 2 or 14?) of my incessant posts on Facebook about it to help promote? (read: hold my hand virtually please).

The facts you need to know?

Event Date: Thursday, 10/3/13

Event Time: 7-9pm

Event Location: Kismet Consignment Shop, 5031 Horseshoe Pike / Downingtown, PA 19335

url for Event

Authors in Attendance: Stephanie GieseErin Dymowski, and Ellen Williams

Books for sale and for signage: You Have Lipstick on Your Teeth and I Just Want to Pee Alone.  Buy a copy of either book that night or bring your pre-owned copy to get signed!


Kismet is providing wine and appetizers and 15% OFF EVERYTHING IN THE SHOP THAT NIGHT.

Cocina Cupcakes is supplying homemade gourmet cupcakes, and

Raquel’s Avon will be handing out book-stickered new lipsticks.

In short: COME!  This will be a fun Ladies’ Night Out!  And I’m super-excited to meet you and make you take a picture with me :)

#itprlipstick book signing @meredithspidel

At this point in my 34-yr. old life, I rarely get to do cool things, but this is a cool thing, and I’m doing it.  Please rock my world and be there? xo.

We will all be there to greet you that night–possibly jump you a bit too if we get overly excited!

(And yes, we will be sending love letters to whoever invented photo-shopping)

Yours Truly

Yours Truly

Stephanie from Binkies and Briefcases

Stephanie from Binkies and Briefcases




Aug 022013
Here's to you, babe

Here’s to you, babe

Twelve years ago Sunday, my husband and I said “I do”.  We don’t really go for grand anniversary celebrations around here, but we do celebrate.  Our celebrations may just look slightly different than they did in 2001.  How is a night out unlike those of the early days?

1. We make reservations far in advance not out of giddy excitement over trying some place new but rather a panicked fear that ALL the restaurants will be completely packed on the one night a year that we have secured a sitter. Because Downingtown is usually PACKED on Sunday nights.

2. BYOBs are appealing not for their groovy vibe, but for the knowledge that I am saving money on wine that can be immeadiately transferred to our diaper budget.

3.  The rush to get home is not purely motivated by desire to fulfill amorous intentions.  It is more motivated to address amorous attentions before we both pass out at 9pm.

4. “Queuing up the alternates” has zero to do with attire choices.  It has everything to do with fretting over the appropriate number of back-up babysitters I should try to bribe in case the first-string falls through. Ah, who am I kidding? I could barely find one person with a free evening. 

5. We have nothing to talk about. The no-talking-about-the-kids rule is fantastic in theory; there is then loads of time to talk about all the other stuff in our lives, which includes…???

6. Dressing nicely now means donning anything that is not covered with peanut butter smears.  Fancy yoga pants are beyond acceptable.

7. The cost of the meal doesn’t make me nervous.  Since we won’t be able to go out again for another year, the price tag can easily be stretched over the subsequent 12 months of the “Dining Out” budget.

8. Less trying to dodge the latest Britney Spears nonsense that was hitting the radio waves and more thankful rejoicing for listening to anything that is not sung by Alvin in the Chipmunks.  Don’t worry; I still plan to vlog-dance to “The Witch Doctor” sung by the furry trip when appropriate opportunity arises. I’m on it.

9. I will pay for it the next day–not because I’m hungover from too much wine or anything wild, but because it will take me the entirety of the next morning to find all the missing sippy cups scattered throughout my home.  Curses on me for daring to leave the war front against the evil sippies for a few hours.

10. Any stupid annoying comments I would usually make are silenced by my complete awe that I have actually left the house and do not necessarily need to take along a pack of wipes.  Though I probably still should.

11. My husband’s stray grey hairs are just so darn sexy.  Yes, this is where I start to take the sappy turn.

12. We savor the evening as a sacred treasure, and not just because we are enjoying time sans kiddos. We’ve got a dozen years of being together to celebrate, and that’s just pretty darn boss.


xo, my love, and happy 12.

Jul 192013

Whaa??  I know, what the heck is a brew conference?  Let me clarify.  My husband is a homebrewer.  This means he brews his own beer.  And he’s really good at it, as in, has won awards and stuff.  More importantly, he really, really enjoys it.  He is the King of Multiple Hobbies (while I just feel awesome if I remember to pick up my holds at the library), but this is a hobby that makes him super happy. Sure, it’s grouchy trying to keep the kids away from turkey-fryer pots of boiling water on brew days, but I like beer, so this hobby is basically a win-win for everyone.

Please ignore the bags under my eyes because I stayed up past my favored 9pm bedtime

Please ignore the bags under my eyes because I stayed up past my favored 9pm bedtime

A couple of weeks ago, The National Homebrewers Conference finally hit the East Coast for the first time in years and years and years. My husband’s local brew club collectively wet their pants and beat everyone down getting tickets to this Philly event.  It literally sold out in seconds.  I got in on the fun with a “social pass”.  This means I got to walk around, talk to fun people, taste beer, and read books in the hotel room when I got bored.  How is such awesomeness possible when we have a 2 yr. old and a 4 yr. old.?  We have some really good friends and a sister who I force to watch my kids. xo and thank you, guys.

So we found ourselves in Philly for a couple of nights with a whole bunch of beer nerds.  These guys were fun.  They were cute (never, ever tell them I described them as such–homebrewers generally like to think of themselves as “edgy”) .  It might be easy to poke a little fun at these middle-age dudes for obsessing over things like presenting the most fashionable kegging system while securing the best sanitizer for your mash tub.  Or I could easily laugh at my husband for finding a grain mill (do you know how big those things are??) on the cheap, getting all giddy over his bargain find and lugging it home on the train.  But…the thing is, I found myself looking around this super-packed convention center and I just saw joy.  On A LOT of faces.

Instead of seeing the few sloppy drunks who were there to re-live their frat days or the annoying 50+ yr. old gals who came there in halter tops to bag a man (yes, these ladies exist), I just saw a bunch of people who were really, really happy.  They had the chance to hang out with other people who pursued the same craft and delight in it.  They were thrilled to be taking a break from their every day and pursue a little fun.  Leave the cubicle and the never-ending yard work behind for 72 hrs. and embrace something outside of the usual for bit.

National Homebrewer's Conference convention center

And moreover, just seeing the smile on my husband’s face was a gift.  He works hard, very hard, and while kicking back doesn’t usually even make his to-do list, for these few days, it topped his list.  I loved seeing his face and I love him.  Thanks for taking me along, babe.

Above all, I loved seeing this.  I can now die a complete woman because this view of the bathroom lines is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

Beauty defined

Beauty defined


Also, a pretty please–some time this weekend please pop over to Rants from Mommyland.  The famous Lady Lydia was kind enough to feature one of my posts there.  I really don’t want to look like the loser sans friends, so please go over, say hello and tell her I sent you!

Also, she described me as a “precious sparkling kitten of happiness”.  Such a descriptor has never happened in my life and will never happen again, so I really want to celebrate :)  Thanks, readers!

Jul 082013

My husband and I recently did the unthinkable–we went away. OVERNIGHT.  Crazy stuff, I know.  And we couldn’t have pulled it off without the kind help of my very beautiful and sweet sister, whom my kids lovingly refer to as Aunt A.  Aunt A is cool.  She’s boss.  And she’s got her crap together.  She doesn’t yet have her own kids, is admittedly wary of the havoc mine can wreck, but yet willingly comes to watch them anyway.  Without complaining.  And the real kicker?  She loves us in spite of all of this.  Yeah, she’s just the best.

Yeah, she lets them eat chocolate ice cream on her lap = true love

Yeah, she lets them eat chocolate ice cream on her lap = true love. Also, she’s gorgeous.

I always look forward to her debriefing post-sitting.  She has this way of describing all the fun times she had with the kiddos in this punchy observational, clinical way.  It’s like listening to a post-mortem report on one of those cop shows, but with less guns and more plastic toys and stuffed animals…


Me: So how was the weekend?

Aunt A: Do you mean before or after your 1 yr. old daughter dumped her chocolate milk on the table, cleared all the food off with a single arm swoop, then tried to push over a bench after I told her she had to eat dinner?

Me: Gives Aunt A second kiss cheek as an “I’m so sorry” and makes mental note to pursue “early signs that your child may be the Incredible Hulk” on the internet.

Aunt A: I tried to walk them down to the park.  I assume you have started an online-support group for people who have attempted to open a double stroller?

Me: We actually opened up a charitable foundation to cover losses from emotional stress.

Aunt A.  Fantastic. So, we drove to the park.

Me: Of course.

Aunt A: And then your son panicked over a make-believe thunderstorm and we had to frantically pile back in the van and come home after 10 minutes.

Me: Have I told you your hair looks really pretty? If I distract and compliment her enough will she forget this experience and come back? 

Aunt A: And, so your son takes 45 minutes to get ready for bed…

Me:  Your earrings look really nice with that top.

Aunt A: It was about 105 outside and I don’t really want to talk about it, but there is now melted hot pink crayon all over a car seat…and your daughter may be down a pair of shorts.

Me:  Excellent.  Were you able to find that nice bottle of wine in the basement then? She’s related to me, so she must be able to be bought with wine, right?

Aunt A: I tried to take a shower.

(Dead silent pause as I await the sure announcement that she will never, ever be returning to our house).

Me: And how did that go?  If I use an overly chipper tone, this may put a positive spin on things.

Aunt A: Your son told me he would just watch.

Me: Oh.

Aunt A: He pulled a stool up and sat beside the tub.  Then your daughter kept trying to crawl in with me.

Me: Oh.

Aunt A: I wasn’t sure at what point this was flat-out beyond weird, but then I looked at my watch and realized I only had 9 minutes until I had to leave for the train station to pick you up, so it didn’t really matter.

Me: I love your new shoes! Wanting to feel bad for her, but really just feeling my heart fill with love and thinking this woman is amazing and savvy with kids while wanting to call my BIL and tell him to knock her up ASAP because she would be a great mom.

Aunt A: I used to think you were exaggerating this stuff.

Me: I know.

Aunt A: But it’s official. Score 1 for the kiddos; Aunt A 0. They have won; I am defeated.

Me: How can I make it up to you?

Aunt A: Looks directly at me and doesn’t miss a beat. Oh, no worries, I’m having my own kids some day, Aunt M.

She loves them, giant Hershey kisses and toddler girls who are terrified of them and all

She loves them, giant Hershey kisses and toddler girls who are terrified of them and all



Jul 052013

In honor of my sweet cousin’s 1 yr. wedding anniversary, I am reposting my favorite post from last summer.  I don’t think anyone else chortles and snorts as loudly as I do when they read it, but I am raising it up in cheers anyway.  One year ago we were having the most fun sun-baked celebration and remembering it still makes me smile.  Happy 1 yr., my love!


I know, you can’t tell by how well I maintain my classiness, but the heat index was actually 108–feel for me a little.

I know, you can’t tell by how well I maintain my classiness, but the heat index was actually 108–feel for me a little.

We are in the thick of wedding season right now.  Weddings are great.  Sure, I won’t lie–I definitely have my characteristic planning freak-out usually shortly after the initial invitation (Who will babysit?  When will I have time to fight with their registry at Bed, Bath & Beyond?  Will we be able to clear our schedule of everything else?).  After these crises work themselves out, this Mom of the Year is good to go for a wedding.  It’s just fun to hang out with my husband, family, friends, whoever is there.  And oh yes–get me in my groove and I can seriously rock out the dance floor with some very happenin’ robot moves.  Oh yes.

It has been a while, though, since we’ve been to a wedding, so I was giving myself a little refresher course on some basic etiquette that I may want to stick to.  I’ll share my list here and if you have anything to add, please chime in.  I really am hoping to make a good showing this season and not do anything embarrassing, like jump up and flee from the middle of the minister’s sermon b/c I am having a nasty diarrhea attack or something–not that this has ever happened…

1.  The man sitting beside you is not your child and is probably old enough to cut his own steak.  DO NOT lean over and start dicing it up for him out of habit.

2.  Do not misinterpret the quiet meditative portion of the ceremony as naptime.  If you fall asleep and drool it may be very hard to play this off, especially if you have to stand up and give a reading later.  Don’t take the risk.  Keep pinching yourself.

3.  When they call for the prayer before the meal, this is the adult-version of a meal prayer–do not break into a vigorous rendition of “Johnny Appleseed” or “Open-Shut Them”.

4. Yes, the kids aren’t with you.  Take a change of clothes anyway.  This relates back to aforementioned possible diarrhea crisis.  Trust me on this one.

5.  Even if it’s heat-indexing 100+, you’ve gotta keep your legs together.  Sure, you want to “let it all air out”, start dramatically fanning yourself with the placecards and pouring the ice water over your head.  Not good form.  Save the water dumping for the baby pool and suck it up.

6.  Do not start yawning at 8pm b/c it is getting close to your bedtime.  Other adults will look at you weird.  Take a flask, fill it with expresso, and pound it as furtively as you can.  Yes, people may see you and question your alcoholism, but at least they won’t think you are lame and can’t stay up late.

You see gorgeous, I see breakable

7.  Avoid getting into a debate about Mickey Mouse vs. Curious George.  Of course, I get the penultimate importance of this subject, but apparently there are other things happening in the world that people care about more.  Something about Obamacare, Eric Holder, and an upcoming Presidential election??

8.  Don’t break anything.  Plate, glass, whatever–please, let’s just skip the breaking for a night.

9. Similarly, don’t knock over a candle.  Let them burn, let them illuminate and look pretty–don’t get close.  In fact, let’s just maintain a 10 ft. radius to be safe.

10. Resist the urge to horrify other wedding guests who don’t yet have kids with tales of how scary/gross children can be.  As in, don’t start sentences with “The other day, when my son was eating his snot…”.  This is very tempting, I know.  But weddings are all about love, so don’t spread the hate.  Plus, if you make having children sound glamorous, perhaps these other guests will get knocked up and be the crazed harried couple with the baby at home at the next wedding.

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