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b POSITIVE PROJECT

Not as in B+ a blood type sillies! But BE POSITIVE. As in, your life. Don’t be a negative.

It takes work to always be happy. And actually, it’s impossible to always be happy. I allow myself some sad days too. But I try to keep those few and far between. You can feel sad, down in the dumps or melancholy, but still be positive.

Let me explain.

The kind folks at the b Positive Project  reached out to me. They are an apparel company that encourages the glass half full mantra. A guy quit his full time job to start this organization. They sell t-shirts and products and then send a portion of those profits to charity. But mostly, the employees and company of this gig are all about keeping on the bright side of things and spreading that message to the world.

They said I was their kind of gal who could help spread their message. Well, yeah! Don’t you love nice people who recognize nice people? I do. They sent me a t-shirt and now I wear it with pride and a smile.

Won’t you b Positive too?

I’ve said before that on the outside I must look like I live a charmed life. I brag about my kids on Facebook, I do my charity and volunteer work, I have fabulous meals at great restaurants. Heck, I’ve even been to the Grammys. I have an adorable husband. Parents who are close and dear to me, both physically and emotionally. I swoon over Daniel Craig and my husband doesn’t even flinch. I have a bathroom cabinet full of high-end beauty products, that regardless if they are doing their job, I am somewhat obsessed just by the mere having them.

So yeah- that sounds pretty dang good huh?

Well, here’s what you might not see. The husband and I have accumulated quite a bit of debt. I won’t go into this. It’s personal. What? You talk about your sex life, how can this be personal? I know. But it is. Times were tough, and they are better now. We plug on and keep swimming, doing our part and live within our means as often as we can. Minus a few treats now and then. Yeah, I know- Hawaii. Duh.  But that’s just the truth. We whittle away at the debt as we go. Sometimes life hands you some curve balls. We feel we’re still better off than most, so we just keep on, keepin’ on.

My sister is a disabled adult living with my already aging, and sometimes struggling parents. They struggle financially too. My mom lives with cancer and my dad has rheumatoid arthritis (and has recently overcome his heart episode!) and is also a cancer survivor. But hey- they are strong, fit and amazing, wonderful people. Yes, they get tired. But I remind them that old people are supposed to get tired!

The burden of my sister and her constant medical visits, pharmaceutical needs, paperwork, insurance claims, disability bureaucratic red tape, is a large anvil that weighs on my parents.  Especially my mom who is her appointed guardian. Like an ox’s yoke it can be heavy and restricting.

But our faith, our love and our spirit within, get us through. I’m there for my mom. She’s here for me. She has bailed me out of constant dilemmas. Why, we couldn’t have survived my restricted bed rest while I was on the last trimester pregnant with Emma if it wasn’t for her! My dad has fixed a flat tire on the side of the freeway for me. They are without a doubt, the definition of selfless people.

I know God gave me two healthy children because I’m already destined to be my sister’s guardian when that time comes. I don’t want to think about that time. You understand I’m sure.

So that is where positive thinking comes in my life. If we stack up each and every woe we have, it becomes a staircase of brambles and a giant hurdle no one could fathom.

If we take our problems like pebbles, putting them one by one on a garden path to cross each day as they come- it becomes a foundation, a gateway to walk on and see things laid out before us. Flat and less daunting. Not measured by what we haven’t done, but by how far we’ve come.

I think of my friends who have lost children to cancer. Children I know who have lost their mothers to suicide.

So with each warm cup of tea and dog snuggle I get each day, with each phone call from my mom and lunch out with her, and with each warm smile from the McSweetie when he comes home after an exhausting day of work; I remind myself that I am more positive than negative. I remind my children how blessed and fortunate we are. Not for the earthly comforts we have around us, but for the support and love we give to each other.

I will wear my shirt with the hopes of sharing b Positive’s message to anyone who needs it.

If you would like to order anything from their website for yourself or gifts, go on over and put in “FRUGALISTA” in the promo code box and get 20% off your order! For a limited time, so do it right away!

And also, like their Facebook page, and follow them on Twitter, so you can see all the positive they are accomplishing.

https://www.facebook.com/thebpositiveproject

https://twitter.com/bpositiveprojec

http://www.bpositiveproject.com/

Namaste my friends.

I Did- 15 years ago today.

Holy bajeezus, today is my 15 year wedding anniversary!

I remember this vividly!

McSweetie and I have been married 15 years!! How did this happen? I mean, it FEELS like 15 years sometimes. But most of the time it feels shorter. Like just a few years. Although we are parents to a 12 and 9 year old so I guess I should expect this.

Like any marriage, there’s compromise and sacrifice. He compromises his Saturday nights to watch the Lifetime network with me and I sacrifice a clean bathroom so that he can shave his virile, hairy face.

I admit in the beginning of our relationship, I was a little bossy. I’m sure friends and family of his, were like, are you sure about this girl? She’s a little high strung! I get kinda snippy when I’m hungry, okay?? Lots of people do! And I get a little grumpy once a month. Yeah, sure it lasts, like, two weeks, but hey- I can’t help it!

But there are some things I’ve taught him. For instance- Olive Garden is not the end-all in Italian dining. This, he did not know to be true in 1995 when we first met. He hadn’t really been to fancy restaurants downtown, or ‘foodie’ places. I have definitely expanded his horizons when it comes to his dining palette. He thought dressing up for a date was wearing his favorite fishing sweatshirt. I know, I know. A guy with such good looks can’t be wasted on logo wear and outfits bought at Dick’s Sporting Goods. I’ve expanded his wardrobe now too. He looks like any red-carpet walking, downtown strutting guy, when he wants to.

And even though he can drive me to crazy town sometimes, I’m still bananas for him. He gives me a lot of freedom. A lot of expression. He humors my ‘whims’ often. Sometimes, though, he does stupid stuff like take me out on date night with the gas gauge on ’empty’, he must know by now that it totally irks me. Funny story- when we were driving up to the florist for our wedding, we had bunches and bunches of flowers and ivy to bring her for the displays, he ran out of gas. On the freeway. On a Thursday night at 7 o’clock. Friends of ours lived in the city and we called them (yes, we had cell phones in 1997) and they came and brought us gas, THANK GOD! See? That jerk! He knows it still makes me bonkers driving on empty, but he does it anyway.

But here is what makes me love him and even fold his socks for him- He’s an AWESOME DAD. He works hard for his family. He is Owen’s den leader for Cub Scouts and helps coach soccer. He obsesses over events like Pinewood Derby races, Raingutter Regata boats and cake decorating contests. He’s very thorough, analytical and calculating. Yes- this can drive me nuts since he’s not a spontaneous, throw me on the counter make all sorts of sweet love to me, kind of guy. But that’s okay, the counters are pretty cluttered these days. He attends Emma’s performances and school events. Helps her with projects, teaches the kids strategy and games. Takes them to soccer and football games. Best Dad Ever!

He doesn’t mind when I go out with my girlfriends. He understands my volunteer efforts (doesn’t always like them, but understands and supports them.) He pretends my obsession with cosmetics, handbags, and cardigans isn’t unhealthy. I love the enabler in him!

Here’s what I do for him. I manage our daughter’s pre-teen mood swings. I figure all the stuff he does for Owen, just me being there for Emma when she goes into sobs for no good reason, means plenty to him that he doesn’t deal with that emotional powder keg!

Yes, I do a lot more for him. But honestly- while he was snoozing on the couch (after taking Owen to both Cub Scouts AND soccer practice tonight), I was soothing Emma in a crying fit of ‘I don’t know why I’m crying, but please stroke my hair mommy and don’t leave the room yet’. You know. The ‘I want you when I want you, unless I’m busy with my friends, then I’ll want you later’ whims of an adolescent girl! Yeah, that.

So in the end, I think what describes us best, is we are a TEAM. He and I. Me and Him. We go good together. He’s the peanut butter in my chocolate. The snap in my crackle, pop. The yin to my yang. We are pretty damn good for each other. I thank God for him every day. I pray we have 15 more years of wedded bliss. Then 15 more. Then 15 more…. You get the idea.

Love you babe!

We sealed that deal in a big Catholic ceremony in front of many friends and family. Our song was Etta James’, At Last. The best.

He told me on our honeymoon I was “Pot Pie Hot”. It’s stuck ever since.

RTLF #11 Affirmation

I remember an exercise I did at a church youth retreat in 9th grade. We broke up into groups and were assigned names of people from the other groups. We had to come up with a list of things we liked about that person, you know- thought were funny, kind, described them. Anything. And then share them with the big group all together for them to hear.

What I didn’t expect was how I would feel hearing the affirming things that the group said about ME. I was floored. People think THAT about me?? I mean, so often, we know our friends hang out with us, like us, or maybe we don’t know if someone likes us. Hearing things like, “she always makes us laugh”, “she makes these funny facial expressions that crack us up” (hmm, we know about this don’t we?) was a total game changer for me. I always felt awkward, unattractive, klutzy. Now, I realized, people liked those silly qualities!

I came away from that feeling so full. What a great exercise. We need affirmation all the time. Some people are shy of compliments. Some people are compliment whores (ahem, I don’t know what you are talking about!). But whether it is a spoken word, a written note, or an action, affirmation is what gives us that feeling of, “yep, I’m worth it”. Not in a L’Oreal kind of way folks.

When I started this blog, I was hungry for affirmation. I wanted to be told all the time- good job, ooh funny, you are so talented…. blah blah blah. And I did get this. From my mom. From a few friends. It was great.

Now folks are reading that I never imagined would read. I have been mentioned on the Huffington Post for gosh sakes! I’ve been given kudos from a blogger I so greatly admire, People I Want To Punch In The Throat, listed me as one of her top 10 funny bloggers on Babble.com. And even sometimes on Twitter, I’ll get a compliment from someone in the biz, or whatever, that makes me gush.

There’s several blogs and writers out there I admire. Kind of, look up to, like the cool kids on campus. When they share my work, I am overjoyed. Like when my son says something sweet to me. My heart takes wings and soars.

Affirmation feels good when I’m given a Blogger Award from another blogger out there. These aren’t like ones that come with plaques and statues at award ceremonies, non blogging folks, they are like chain letters of the Internets, but in a good way. My first award came from Heather at B(itch)log. I was stunned! She’s all snarky and bitchy, and is a WRITER, that likes little ol’ me. ME? It felt good, let me tell you.

And then when others came along, I couldn’t believe it.

It feels good to be told someone likes you. Likes what you do. Or what you write. That they were moved, or changed by it in some way.

I want my children to feel affirmation every day. I want to smile to them when I walk in the room. Or they come home from school, I want them to see me happy to see them. I want my husband to walk in the door after a long day at work, and know that I appreciate him.

I want bloggers to know how much I like their stuff. How much I revere their writing and their talents. How so many of them help shape me in my posts. It’s like they unlock a little treasure chest in my brain for what is possible. All those things floating around in there that were suppressed with yoga pant wearing Gymboree runs, or serious, studious college days. ( I was such a square.) Now I get goofy ideas, and I think, ‘hey that would make a great blog’. And usually you guys embrace the goofy with me and it makes me super happy.

So my point is, share affirmation whenever you get the chance. Tell your children, your spouse, your mom, what you appreciate them for.

Share writers that you love. Pieces of work that touch you. If you think they are ‘too popular’, ‘too big’ to care- not true. I look at pages with thousands more fans than me, and I know that they too, enjoy compliments.

What I love about blogging, and people who don’t blog seem to always ask me WHY I blog if I’m not getting paid, is that it opens up my world and relationships to people out there dealing with things I may never have been exposed to otherwise. Getting my news and updates from Yahoo or CNN or EOnline is fine. But reading what people have lived, struggled through, overcome; that is what sticks with me throughout the day and shapes me. Not only that, but reading about other people’s episiotomy horror stories or embarrassing things their kids say at Starbucks, can be incredibly entertaining!

So with that, I will mention some big blogs and little blogs that inspire me, entertain me, and make me want to keep writing.

I Want a Dumpster Baby

This girl gets the Miss Congeniality award. Everyone loves Katy! AMIRIGHT? She is pregnant with twins, but her road from addiction and depression, to her struggles with infertility, inspire me every day to be a better me. She chooses happiness and is the most furkin’ positive, hilarious creature. I’m amazed by her.

Craughing

The horrors this woman has come back from and kicked ass through, amaze me. Her perspective and truth about dealing with an abusive ex, will compel you to make a choice each day to be who YOU want to be, and never give up.

Mary Tyler Mom

MTM will grab your heart and change it forever. She has lost her daughter Donna, to pediatric brain cancer, and now, she is chronicling her story of trying to adopt a baby. Her writing weaves in and out of your psyche and doesn’t let go. You will wonder how she gets up in the morning with all she’s been through. But like so many out there, she faces the day with purpose and intellect and soul.

These are just a FEW, I mean, there are SO MANY others. People write of their failure, their fears, their triumphs. I am moved, humbled and enlightened every time I open up one of their posts to read. I hope you will be too. You’ll notice the trend in their writing is their gratitude. Not in a sappy, drippy, make you sick way, but in a ‘wow, if they can find it, so can I’ way.

Remember to smile, give a compliment, tell someone how great they are. It can make a HUGE difference. Just think of what our world would be like if more people felt their worth, their affirmation from those around them. It would be AMAZING.

Practice rather than preach. Make of your life an affirmation, defined by your ideals, not the negation of others. Dare to the level of your capability then go beyond to a higher level. ~Alexander Haig

I break for metal chickens. Actually, I don’t. I almost rear-end cars in front of me.

Or, I should call this,  how my husband tells me how to drive.

Or, how I will tell The Bloggess that it’s really weird not to care to almost get in a car accident because you see a whole parking lot full of giant metal chickens.

I guess that’s a little long and wordy for a title. I suppose the title above that is kinda long. Is it bad that I’ve almost forgotten what I’m writing about?

Oh yeah- The Bloggess is coming to Seattle for her book signing! HOLY SHNIKEY!!!! Did you hear?? THE BLOGGESS IS COMING!

And I’m going. I will bring my mini Beyonce, her book “Let’s Pretend this Never Happened”, and my 2012 Bloggess calendar.

Oh, I know, I’m going to title this- “Let’s not pretend, but that in fact, it DID happen”.

Enough with the title dammit!

The Bloggess is why I started blogging. After reading her post on “And That’s Why You Should Learn To Pick Your Battles” from last June, (probably THEE best blog ever written. You better go on over and read it so you know what the hell I’m talking about.) I discovered what blogs really are.  Anyone can write a blog. But writing a blog that is fucking hilarious is a totally different story.

I appreciate all kinds of bloggers. But honestly, I want to laugh. I am passed parenting tips on how to potty train, I’m not planning a wedding, and I don’t can my own vegetables. So reading about other people’s marriages is way funnier than anything else right now.

I’m not saying that I aspire to be The Bloggess. Not at all. It was last year when my Facebook statuses were getting longer and longer. People are all like, you’re so funny, you should write a blog. Gee, okay. Twist my arm why don’t you.

So now I can tell random people around the world about my kids, my sweet and tolerant husband, my vajajay and whatever else I feel like dammit!

Recently, while driving to a party with the family, and I was driving so it’s always irritating when McSweetie is next to me saying things like, ‘don’t you want this lane?’, ‘I’d pass this guy’, or ‘are you staying behind this slow grandma?’. You get the idea. My driver’s ed teacher was less annoying.

So I’m humming along just fine, and what do I see out of the corner of my eye? GIANT METAL CHICKENS!! A whole parking lot full of them! I’d never seen so many in one place. I turn to look, when suddenly, I hear “LOOK OUT!” So I look straight ahead. And yes, indeed, the car in front of me has stopped. I gently step on the brakes and stop with PLENTY of time (plenty, dear sweet husband) and say, ‘Why are you screaming?’

McS- “You weren’t stopping!”

Me- “I totally was going to stop in time. And I did. So there.” (Okay, I didn’t say the ‘so there’ part at the end, but I was pissed!)

McS- “What were you looking at anyway?”

Me- “You didn’t see all those metal chickens at that store in the parking lot? How could you miss them? They were so colorful. I’ve never seen so many!”

McS- “I was watching the road, which is what you should’ve been doing.”

Me- “I am able to do both, thankyouverymuch.”

Well, I’m happy to report that it was Emma’s idea to stop on the way back home and get pictures of all those chickens. I’m glad we did. Oh, and I’m not sporting a new fad in makeup. There was a professional face painter at the birthday party we went to, so I didn’t want to miss out on the fun.

Dear Bloggess- I’m coming for you! I mean, I’m coming for you to sign my book.

Love,

Frug

Knock Knock Mother Fucker

Look, it’s Beyonce!

This here, mother f’er costs $1400! That’s some expensive yard art!

Apes are not monkeys and monkeys are not apes

Do YOU know the difference? Well, I’m sure you do, but keep reading. I’ll explain.

The family took a trip to the zoo last week. It was good for the 4 of us to get out and do something because we are kinda home bodies and we need to do things out in public and not just snuggle inside watching Harry Potter over and over and blogging. Not that the kids blog, but you know what I mean.

I realized that this trip isn’t just about watching the animals. It’s about watching the people. Between the kids on leashes and the tatted husbands pushing strollers, it’s fun to see all the socialization of primates. We’ll talk more about that later.

As we entered the park, the lemurs were first to see. There was a large flat rock with about 5 of them hanging out in a bunch. The funny thing about lemurs- remember Zaboomoofoo? Loved that show on PBS! Anyway, they sit together lounging like bff’s. They’re so chill. Just hangin’. One would sniff the air. He must’ve had an orthodontia problem because his tongue was always sticking out. Emma said he looked stoned. She only knows this phrase of course, because of the drug and alcohol awareness training they give at school.

As I’m trying to not let the talk of drugs drift over to the younger kids in the crowd and of course, avoid any judgemental looks from their parents, it’s hard not to laugh at the total stoned looks on these lemurs faces. Seriously? Do they get a Benadryl pill with breakfast? Watching them in their little lemur pile, doze and lick each other was very entertaining. Not to mention the one lemur cleaning his 6 inch wanker. That was also entertaining. And awkward.

When we went to the primate exhibit there was a siamang sitting in the grass pulling up tufts of grass and eating them. What’s a siamang? It looks like a mini chimpanzee.  Black and not a monkey. Monkeys have tails. The siamangs (part of the ape family) don’t have tails. And there you have zoology 101. While sitting there chomping on his grass, Emma says, ‘mom, that looks like you eating chips’. Nice one daughter. I’ll remember that when I’m drafting the will.

We met Bobby and Suzi- two gibbons (Gibbons are also primates- not monkeys- OH MY GOSH- you are learning so much!) who are ‘mated for life’. Except Suzi is on birth control because Bobby is really horny and there are too many Bobby’s in the animal kingdom. So in order to be all kosher with the zoo animal gods that be, Bobby and Suzi can not mate. Then there’s Cho Cho. Cho Cho is also a gibbon who is like 100 in dog years. Okay, he’s 47. Apparently, he is the Mick Jagger of the gibbon world. This guy- which the zoo attendant (zoo keeper for crying out loud) was really excited to point out-  has worn out 2 previous females. Good lord! This gibbon gets some tail! Ooops, sorry, not a monkey- this gibbon gets ass.

Apparently, gibbons mate for life, but they are ‘socially monogamous’. Meaning, they’ll hang out with the same gibbon until another female gibbon gives it up for them. This is bull shit. How is this called mating for life? Clearly, some male scientist came up with this verbage! WTF? Oh, because it helps their gene pool! Pssht! Yeah, right. So they mate for life, and then they go to a neighborhood barbecue and Cho Cho meets Charo and decides he needs a new mate for the gene pool and then now they’re shacking up and got a double wide with an above ground pool. Cho Cho doesn’t need to worry about a lawyer because this is all cool in the gibbon world. Forget how the first Mrs. Cho Cho feels. He’s just doing this for the gene pool.

I went over to McSweetie and said, ‘I was going to say how cute you are like Cho Cho, but now he’s a whore in my book, so we’re clear what’s good for YOUR gene pool, right?’  McSweetie laughed.

Speaking of other primates-

Kids on leashes? Love them? Hate them? I’m not going to even weigh in. Some little kids are pure demons. They need to be tied down. Some children I think, are just victims of their parent’s laziness. Do what you gotta do, I guess.

Whenever we are out in public and if I get cranky and tell McS something in a somewhat bossy tone, he always gets really sensitive. He’s all, why are you talking to me like that so everyone can hear? And I’m all, why are you being a dumb ass for everyone to see?

But after being at the zoo, I witnessed so many other wives and girlfriends nag and yell at their guys, so I felt so much better about my nagging. I pointed out to McS, how much better my nagging is than those other wives’ nagging. Right?

Plus, he is NOT Cho Cho. So he better not wander around to some other nagging primate just for, you know I’m gonna say it, THE GENE POOL!

The best part of this zoo trip- my kids never ONCE asked us to go to the gift shop. Winning. Right there.

My mom, my friend, my soul mate

Today is my mom’s birthday. It wouldn’t be right without a blog post to commemorate her. She truly is the reason for so much in my life.

My friends and even Facebook folks (my mom is on Facebook, has an iPhone and texts her grandkids- she’s the coolest 71 year old ever!) know my mom as this sweet, white haired woman who is fair, crazy smart, and sharp as a whip. But mostly, she has the tenderest heart of anyone you will ever meet. Come on over for a cup of tea- she’ll be your best friend after an hour. You’ll be telling her your deepest concerns, she’ll council you and steer you in the right direction. I promise. It’s true. Just ask the lady that does her nails, checks out her groceries, my friends, the church organist, the Starbucks barista…. yeah- she makes friends with EVERYBODY!

It’s hard to picture little Uta in Germany born during the war. She remembers air raids, US soldiers occupying their house, her own father a prisoner of war to the Americans for two years. Two years. He was a civilian and NOT a Hitler supporter. But that’s politics and war for you. The story of the American soldiers in their house is kind of funny. My grandmother was disgusted that they left their boots on the bed, were messy and didn’t leave things as they found. Their mother’s clearly didn’t teach them what my mom taught me!

Don’t ask when she met and married my dad (shh, she was 17, but doesn’t like to admit!) and moved to the States. My dad was from England, 27, and ready to make a life for them in Chicago.

Struggles, foster children, their own special needs child, English as a second language, 3 children of their own- nothing could stop my parents for creating an American way of life that was comfortable and idyllic. We lived in the ‘burbs, my mom stayed home with us, my dad worked as a mechanic for United Airlines, they put us through college, took us on trips to Europe to visit family, made Christmas and birthdays the best days of the year. We weren’t spoiled. We had only what we needed. But we were exceptionally cared for.

I always bristled at anyone who called me spoiled growing up. My mom brought me a cup of tea in bed. Yeah, so?  Spoiled because she washed my clothes and packed my lunches? Hmm, I don’t think so. I was wearing hand me downs from my sister who was 8 years older than me, that my mom sewed. Imagine wearing clothes in 1984 that were made in 1976. Yeah, I was THAT kid. We traveled to Europe because my dad worked for the airlines, we stayed with family when we were there. These weren’t fancy trips. But they gave me the perspective of the world. My best memories are of time spent in Germany or England.

When I was a teenager my mom and I were still best friends. I told her lots of stuff! She would sit on my bed the next morning to hear about the previous night I spent with friends. I would tell her all the gossip and details. I trusted her. She never judged.

When I got married and was pregnant on bed rest with Emma for 10 weeks, she came and cooked for us so James could work. She saved us!

The best compliment of my life right now is how much my children love their Oma. They ask for special sleepovers where they can spend time with her. Not together, just one of them at a time! Owen loves to sit and read, drink cups of tea, learn to sew, listen to classical music. He is very content to visit there.

I’m off to spend the day with her. We will have lunch and then dinner. Nothing fancy. No shopping sprees or spa trips. We’ve got the kids and their schedules. It will be my dad and sister, James and the kids. We’re just happy to be with her. Our Oma.

Love you Mutti.

Dear McSweetie

Oh, that is the cute name I call my dear husband. He’s like McDreamy on Grey’s Anatomy, but he’s mine and even cuter than Patrick Dempsey. Which is hard to be, cuz that Patrick is FINE.

When I get the urge to write something like this, I pretty much drop everything and do it. Not always do I feel like a warm and devoted housewife. Often I feel like a cold-hearted bitch with a bone to pick. And by bone, I mean big ol’ fish to fry, burr in my craw, chip on my shoulder the size of Lisa Rinna’s top lip. SOO, I am in a good mood and was thinking fondly of the ol’ ball and chain. So I thought I would dedicate this little ditty to him.

Dear McSweetie-

It’s been 15 years that we have been married come this August. I can’t believe how time flies. And although you are not perfect by any means. And by ‘not perfect’, I mean, have no clue how to empty the dishwasher or load it.  You pretend you still don’t know where stuff goes in the cupboards even though we’ve lived here ten years, and things haven’t changed really- at all. You don’t know how to put your dirty socks IN the clothes hamper. You can’t seem to get your beard and neck hairs out of the sink or away from MY toothbrush. You seem to miss the garbage can while clipping your toenails. BUT- even with ALL those little flaws, I thank you for putting up with MY flaws.

Yes- shocker. I have them. You know this, but THEY might not know this. (THEY, are my blog readers honey, pretend we have an audience.) Okay- so here goes. Thank you for not picking on me for the following:

Wearing socks to bed every night of the year (even in summer except when it’s reallllly hot, like 85 degrees or something). Remember my orange socks of our early wedded years? I should’ve kept those. They were so thick and cozy. And orange.

Wearing the rattiest, saggiest pajamas to bed every night. I can’t sleep in the nude OR one of the various Victoria Secret nighties you’ve bought for me over the years. Sorry those only see day light when I bring them with us if you and I go away for an outing overnight that involves a hotel. Hotel nooky = sassy night gowns. Wearing that at home would mean that I would have to go through the trouble of changing out of them before morning came. Because getting the kids ready for school in satin and lace is just gross and weird. And itchy. So I’m not going to even bother. PJs it is. Sorry.

Wearing the same pair of lounge pants three days in a row  and not wearing any makeup despite the Sephora store that is practically our bathroom. Geesh, I’m lazy.

Never mentioning that my legs feel like a cactus since I haven’t shaved since September.

Not complaining over the bajillion products and lotion bottles that cover our bathroom counter top.

Having to see my lady bits when I birthed our children. I know you asked not to be down there. Cuz being ‘down there’ when they’re conceived is really different than when those watermelons are coming down the pike. There’s poop, there’s goo, there’s tearing.  Oh lawd, even I didn’t look when they offered the mirror. So I’m sorry. That must’ve been real hard for you. I’m also sorry I didn’t let you play with my milk jugs after the babies were born. I know I must’ve resembled someone out of Hustler magazine, but considering my boobs felt like flesh that had been twisted in a vice that was so sensitive even air hurt when it touched them- you didn’t have a chance.

Thank you for letting me complain how messy the garage is, but not saying anything to me about how ransacked the pantry looks.

Not complaining when I’ve been home all day, didn’t make dinner, and then ask you to pick something up.

You give me the remote.

Pretending that you don’t realize how many shoes and purses I actually have.

And who would have thought, the kids call you the 'goofy one'!

That’s all I can think of for now.  I’m sure I will add to this list soon. Despite the fact my flaws are so few and far between

xoxo

Love,

Hot babe

(okay, that isn’t what he calls me, I just think it’s what he thinks of me)

I don’t want to offend you or anything…

Ooh, famous last words.

How about- “I don’t want to argue, but…”, “Now don’t get mad, but…”

or

“We need to talk about something”, “I don’t want any drama“, “Maybe you’re just jealous, no offense“.

Do you see what I’m doing here? All these phrases are total mindfuck bullshit. Yep. That’s what I said. Why? Because they do exactly the opposite of what the speaker is saying.

It’s like telling someone not to think of an elephant. Whatever you do- don’t think of an elephant.

….How’s that working? Are you NOT thinking of an elephant?

What elephant? I don't see an elephant.

So when the husband comes home from work and has an issue with a recent blog, let’s say. And says, ‘now don’t get mad, I don’t want to start an argument’…. Guess what? He doesn’t even have to say anything- I’m already fired up. My gut has dropped to my feet and the anticipation of what he might say is worse than what he will say.

"Now don't get mad, but..."

Or when you’re with a group of ladies and one of them says, “No offense, but I hate PTA or I don’t let my kids watch TV or what’s up with your latest eating habits?”. I kinda get offended. I mean, not really OFFENDED, but just maybe more my feelings might get hurt. Offended is far more serious than just slightly bruised in the ego or feelings department, but still. Just saying, ‘don’t get offended’, kind of puts me on the defense, right away.

The worst is when you watch those ridiculous reality TV shows where the women all squawk and whine about the others behind their backs. Then at a party they say, ‘well the last thing I want is drama‘. Really? Cuz you were kind of poking the hornets nest back there by smack talking your friend’s best friend’s sister in law.

"That bitch said what about my hat?

Any leading statement to a statement you are about to say, can really set someone off, before you say  what you were going to say in the first place. Capiche?

Let’s have a lesson in semantics people. Husbands- listen up. Mother-in-laws lean in. This is what you do.

When there’s something you want to say, don’t lead in with the opposite/alternate/reverse psychology phrases as mentioned above. Just say,

Husbands– “Oh hey, would it be okay if you didn’t continue to blog about my lack of skills in changing the roll of toilet paper and that you think I’m an asshat?” Say it in a real nice tone, then finish with, “Would you like me to get you a glass of wine?”

Or this one-

Mother in law-“I think your children should eat more vegetables and swear less.”

And then-

Friends “I wanted to let you know that when your daughter was hanging out with my daughter last week she showed a picture of various venereal diseases and their symptoms on her smartphone and it grossed our daughter out. But I know she’s not a slut. It’s okay.”

See how easy that was? All straight forward, no passive aggressive lead-ins. Just say what you have to say. Remember, it’s all in the TONE of your voice, body language, actions, that sort of thing. And don’t end with, “I’m just sayin’.” That’s bad too.

I think this will make things so much easier.

But let’s be honest. When it comes to ME. If you know me, just say what I want to hear, not what I should hear. That’s what really works.

Remember, no elephants. How’ bout now? Now?

Ricky never leads with bull shit lines like, "Now don't be offended." He just goes straight to offending you.

Now?

Silently, the wondrous gift is given

Often with the stress of Christmas, the pressures of getting it all done, I forget what’s important. I know, I’ve probably griped about Christmas more than raved about it. And no, I’m not a Grinch. I just like complaining. (Ask James and see Pet Peeves) But really, remembering what’s important, is truly the reason for the season.  This sounds so cliche, I know. Blah, blah, blah the meaning of Christmas is more than presents. I get it. When disappointment sets in I remember this- I have my presents already.

They are, my two incredible children and my extremely tolerant, devoted husband.

The other day I dropped the kids off at the library entrance while I went to park the car. I watched them walk hand in hand inside the building, chatting kindly to each other. I practically burst into tears at the sight of this. For multiple reasons- first, they weren’t punching each other; second, they are the most incredible beings that have walked this planet. Yes, I’m biased.

Now for my husband:

When I was in college, before I met James, I used to pray every day for God to send me a husband. Does that sound a little too Doris Day for you? I know. But it’s true. So single ladies out there, light your candles and say your prayers and you too will get hitched to a swell guy like I did. Okay, just kidding. This isn’t a 1950’s article on how to land a husband.

This is my tome of gratitude. My testimony to all that is good in my life. And how I must not forget how much I waited and wanted it, and now I have it. MY family. I knew that one day, my prayers would be answered. That I would have the person in my life to share my tomorrows, my todays, my children, my everything.  It was my faith that told me that.

I get all weepy when I listen to my Sarah Maclachlan’s Christmas CD. I’ll be in the car by myself, singing along and always tear up with Oh Little Town of Bethlehem.

How silently, how silently
The wondrous gift is given.
So God imparts to human hearts
The blessings of His heaven.
No ear may hear His coming,
But in this world of sin,
Where meek souls will receive him still,
The dear Christ enters in.

If you’re a Christian, this is the part of Christmas you accept. If you’re not a Christian, then this is the part of Christmas you scratch your head at, or maybe just dismiss altogether. And I know my previous post on Christmas and the Winter Solstice makes this post seem like a paradox, or just plain hypocrisy since I explained the Romans were all about their toga party and the Puritans banned the whole thing. And I wrote that folks should celebrate how they want. I still believe that is true. But I am a Christian, and my reason for celebrating Christmas is Jesus’ birthday.

I know that there’s a lot of cynics when it comes to Christmas. Back in the 60s even Charlie Brown was jaded by the whole true meaning of Christmas. This was 50 years ago! We haven’t improved at all since then.

So, I still cling to the belief that Christmas is silver bells, Jimmy Stewart, the Virgin Mary AND that little baby, lowly in a manger. It may be naive of me, childish, or just completely based on that thing called, FAITH.

So every Christmas Eve that I have the privilege of sitting under my tree, candles lit, children tucked in, presents under the tree, James sitting in the other room on his laptop (come on, what did you expect?) and the feeling that I get to do this all over again, my heart is truly full.  Thank you baby Jesus.

Silently, the wondrous gift is given

Often with the stress of Christmas, the pressures of getting it all done, I forget what’s important. I know, I’ve probably griped about Christmas more than raved about it. And no, I’m not a Grinch. I just like complaining. (Ask James and see Pet Peeves) But really, remembering what’s important, is truly the reason for the season.  This sounds so cliche, I know. Blah, blah, blah the meaning of Christmas is more than presents. I get it. When disappointment sets in I remember this- I have my presents already.

They are, my two incredible children and my extremely tolerant, devoted husband.

The other day I dropped the kids off at the library entrance while I went to park the car. I watched them walk hand in hand inside the building, chatting kindly to each other. I practically burst into tears at the sight of this. For multiple reasons- first, they weren’t punching each other; second, they are the most incredible beings that have walked this planet. Yes, I’m biased.

Now for my husband:

When I was in college, before I met James, I used to pray every day for God to send me a husband. Does that sound a little too Doris Day for you? I know. But it’s true. So single ladies out there, light your candles and say your prayers and you too will get hitched to a swell guy like I did. Okay, just kidding. This isn’t a 1950’s article on how to land a husband.

This is my tome of gratitude. My testimony to all that is good in my life. And how I must not forget how much I waited and wanted it, and now I have it. MY family. I knew that one day, my prayers would be answered. That I would have the person in my life to share my tomorrows, my todays, my children, my everything.  It was my faith that told me that.

I get all weepy when I listen to my Sarah Maclachlan’s Christmas CD. I’ll be in the car by myself, singing along and always tear up with Oh Little Town of Bethlehem.

How silently, how silently
The wondrous gift is given.
So God imparts to human hearts
The blessings of His heaven.
No ear may hear His coming,
But in this world of sin,
Where meek souls will receive him still,
The dear Christ enters in.

If you’re a Christian, this is the part of Christmas you accept. If you’re not a Christian, then this is the part of Christmas you scratch your head at, or maybe just dismiss altogether. And I know my previous post on Christmas and the Winter Solstice makes this post seem like a paradox, or just plain hypocrisy since I explained the Romans were all about their toga party and the Puritans banned the whole thing. And I wrote that folks should celebrate how they want. I still believe that is true. But I am a Christian, and my reason for celebrating Christmas is Jesus’ birthday.

I know that there’s a lot of cynics when it comes to Christmas. Back in the 60s even Charlie Brown was jaded by the whole true meaning of Christmas. This was 50 years ago! We haven’t improved at all since then.

So, I still cling to the belief that Christmas is silver bells, Jimmy Stewart, the Virgin Mary AND that little baby, lowly in a manger. It may be naive of me, childish, or just completely based on that thing called, FAITH.

So every Christmas Eve that I have the privilege of sitting under my tree, candles lit, children tucked in, presents under the tree, James sitting in the other room on his laptop (come on, what did you expect?) and the feeling that I get to do this all over again, my heart is truly full.  Thank you baby Jesus.