Tag Archives: personal

30 Day Blog Challenge: Day 7

Day 7: Your opinion on cheating on people

And here I was complaining about lightweight questions just a few days ago. Ask and ye shall receive.

Frankly, my opinion on cheating on people is that it’s reprehensible bullshit. I think it’s awful even when you’re dating and not married; I hate when people say “Oh, they were just dating.” If you’re in a committed relationship, you should honor that commitment, be it dating, living together, marriage, whatever. If you love your partner, you shouldn’t stray. If you value trust and honesty, you shouldn’t stray. If you respect them, you shouldn’t stray.

Relationships are hard. I call bullshit on the people who say they never fight or even have little disagreements; I believe those are the ones most likely to implode thanks to holding in everything. Relationships take work, and that work includes honoring the person you’ve made a commitment to. Granted, my perspective is as a long-time married. Has our marriage always been easy? No. Have we had some knock-down, drag-out fights? Absolutely. But do we work at making our marriage work on every level? Every single day. We both believe in upholding our wedding vows, and those vows applied to the two of us. No third parties allowed.

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30 Day Blog Challenge: Day 6

Day 6: The person you like and why you like them

I interpret this for what it sounds like: a question on a note passed to a middle-school classmate. For many obvious reasons, Rich is the person I like. He’s been my best friend pretty much since we got serious many moons ago. Over the years I’ve watched him grow and change, as he has with me; I like to think we’ve both changed for the better. In most ways and the ones that really count, at least. I still find him as good-looking, smart, and funny as when we first started dating, but he’s definitely matured. Which is a good thing, especially since it’s expected of humans in general. He’s evolved into a great husband, provider, and (I think) most importantly, a father. He’s also become much handier over the years, a point of pride when we tackle home improvement projects or repairs. He’s also embraced his creativity and pursues his art in a way that inspires me to pursue my writing, although he functions on much less sleep than I can, so he makes much more progress than I do. It’s a good thing I like this guy, since he’s the one I’m planning on growing old with.


Enjoying lunch at a restaurant in Colorado last summer


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30 Day Blog Challenge: Day 5

Day 5: 5 things that irritate you about the same sex/opposite sex

There are so many directions in which I could take this prompt. And the direction in which I choose to take it: 5 things that women do that irritate me. Prepare for some bitchiness.

1. Calling kids “littles” and “bigs”

This drives me nuts. It’s something I was first introduced to reading mommy blogs. And I hate it. Kids are kids. Calling them “littles” and “bigs” bugs the crap out of me. If you need to distinguish, call them “little kids” or “big kids.” Like the rest of the world does. Besides, these are the Littles:


Image found via Google search, which led me to a blog post at OfftheMike.com.


2. Calling every single woman who is a mother a “(fill-in-the-blank) mama”

This is another thing that I first noticed on mommy blogs and which has, to my dismay, spread everywhere. I was fine with Coraline calling me “Mama.” And I’m OK with my friends who refer to themselves as a mama. But it bugs the ever-loving shit out of me when women refer to any woman who is a mother as a warrior mama, tiger mama, fierce mama, scary mama, proud mama, whatever mama. I can’t even tell you exactly why I hate this, but I do. Hate. It.

3. Never leaving work at work

When I used to grab a workday lunch with a group of women, it would almost inevitably devolve into nonstop bitching about work. I have of course done that myself here and there, but some women would do it every single time. It got real old real fast. Now most of my workday lunches are spent by myself with a book or with male friends. Who do not bitch nonstop about work. We instead talk about family, politics, movies, TV, travel — you know, life outside of work.

4. Trashing other women for work, parenting, and life decisions in general

I honestly don’t know why we women do this. Men aren’t trash-talking other men for going back to work after the birth of a child and putting that kid in day care. They’re not criticizing or bullying other men because their wives breastfeed or bottle-feed. They’re not laying guilt trips on each other over work travel. And yet we women do all of that and more. Which I really don’t understand. That’s great if you didn’t have to go back to work after giving birth. Some of us didn’t have that option. It’s not anyone other than the mom and the kid’s business what they’re being fed. As long as the kid is healthy, who cares? If a woman travels for work, she’s a bad mother who ditched her kids. When a man travels for work, it’s expected and he’s a good father for providing for his family. We women need to stop tearing each other down and support each other instead, and mind our own children instead of offering unsolicited opinions on how others’ children are being raised.

5. Making bitchy lists like the one I just made

See: all of the above.

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30 Day Blog Challenge: Day 4

Day 4: What you wear to bed

So far with this challenge, I’m missing the quality of the last challenge’s questions. Maybe these will get more interesting the more days pass. Who knows.

Anyhoo, with regard to today’s super-exciting question, I usually wear mismatched things to bed. Old, ratty Old Navy long-sleeve shirts paired with comfy pajama pants in the fall and winter, old, ratty T-shirts and boxer shorts in the spring and summer.

I do still have my faithful old black sweatshirt. You know, the one we bought in 1987 when we first moved to Tennessee. You could say it’s seen better days.


I’ll throw this away when Rich concedes and tosses his 25+-year-old pillow, which means never. I’ll be buried in this beautiful bastard.


I gave up sewing the cuffs back on every winter. The tattered cuffs have sentimental value, though, since my late cat Yum Yum used to suckle on them while flexing his paws on my side. Weird, I know, but it was his bedtime ritual for several years.

I do still dig the sweatshirt out every winter, though. Even though it’s literally threadbare and has huge tears in it — it’s not exactly meant to provide warmth at this point.

Now that I’m a bona-fide grownup, I’ve become more interested in actual pajama sets. So this winter I’ve been living it up in a pair of Star Wars pajamas, complete with long-sleeve top and warm, fuzzy pants. That’s about as fancy as my sleepwear gets.

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30 Day Blog Challenge: Day 3

Day 3: What kind of person attracts you?

This could be a loaded question for this old married lady. Obviously, the answer is someone like my husband: handsome, funny, smart, clever, handy, a good provider, and a great dad. Now, if I were single …

Back in the day when I had those crushes on celebrities that every teenage girl gets, I had a type: dark hair and dark eyes. Think 21 Jump Street-era Johnny Depp. I also like men on the bulkier side versus thin. And tall. A man’s gotta be TALL (Johnny was a very pretty exception since he’s not that tall and he’s never been bulked up). I think as a general rule, I still find tall men with dark hair and dark eyes more attractive than fairer men with light/blonde hair. I told Rich he broke the mold since he makes Casper the Friendly Ghost look tan by comparison, with his pale complexion, lightish brown hair and blue eyes. He’s my very own special snowflake. Also, he helped me make one seriously awesome kid.

thumb_IMG_0480_1024As I’ve gotten older, though, looks have become less important. Not that I’m looking or in the market, but I now find intelligence and responsibility more attractive than a pretty face. Priorities change as you get older. And while I find plenty of men attractive (I’m married with decent eyesight, not dead), I don’t find myself attracted to them. Although I do still appreciate a tall, well-built man with a pretty face.

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30 Day Blog Challenge: Day 2

Day 2: How have you changed in the past two years?

This is kind of a general question, isn’t it? I guess the way I’ve changed the most over the past two years is that I’ve given up trying to please other people. I’ve started taking a daily dose of Fuckitall (OTC. And imaginary).


Instead of worrying about what other people think about me, I’ve instead turned my energies to doing what is best for myself and my family. In doing that, I’ve become more patient. Well, specifically more patient with Coraline. She’s a great kid, but sometimes when she is going off the rails about whatever, I have to work hard to not lose my shit with her. I work hard to remind myself that she is a kid, I’m the adult in control, and occasionally she is going to lose control precisely because she is a kid.

I wish I had other great insights into how I’ve changed in the last couple of years, that I’ve become a more Zen person, become enlightened, discovered the secret to total happiness, yada yada yada, but I haven’t. I have, however, learned to be OK with that.

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30 Day Blog Challenge: Day 1

I started 2016 with good intentions, including journaling every day. Then tendonitis hit and, boy, did it hit hard. Any form of writing fell by the wayside since I couldn’t even hold a pen or pencil, and typing was pretty much out of the question (I became a hunt-and-peck typist at work). I won’t get into how the voice assist function on my iPad was essentially a traitorous whore, twisting whatever I said into ever more ridiculous words. I did a 31 day blog challenge back in 2012 and figure the first day of a new month is as good a time as any to start another challenge.

I found this list via a Google search, which led me to Pinterest user Madison Clayton‘s page:


Let’s start, shall we?

Day 1: Weird things you do when you’re alone

It’s not particularly weird, but when Rich and Coraline are both out, the thing I do to take advantage of being alone is listening to music and singing. Out loud. Really loud. I sing LOUDLY without fear of being laughed at, told I “don’t have a singing voice” (Coraline is mean about my singing), or making a dog howl (Mommy misses you, Caleb). Boring and not so weird, I know, but it’s my biggest solo-time indulgence. I may not be able to sing well, but damn if I don’t know the words to countless songs. At least I’ve got that going for me.

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Photoblogging: Mother’s Day 2014

Yesterday I enjoyed a low-key Mother’s Day, my fourth as Coraline’s lucky mom. We started the day with brunch — Coraline’s favorite meal — at The Egg & I, our first visit and one of the few places with a less than two-hour wait. Then we came home, where Rich and Coraline presented me with cards and presents. Coraline’s card made me cry (Rich chose well), while Rich’s was sweet and heartfelt. They gifted me with Lily Allen‘s new album, Sheezus, which I really like; a gift certificate to my favorite Italian restaurant, Altruda’s; and the Evil Dead Blu-Ray, which is a huge deal. It’s a huge deal because while I LOVE horror movies, Rich does not. At all. So he really took one for the team, because now that I own it, he knows there’s a chance he might have to watch it with me. That’s a good man right there. As far as Coraline is concerned, it’s a “people” (read: adult) movie that she can’t watch for a very long time.

Rich then offered to watch Coraline so I could enjoy a solo trip to Barnes & Noble without my tiny bookworm in tow — so luxurious. After the bookstore I went to my parents’ house to give Mom her card and presents. Coraline will be personally presenting her abuela with her Mother’s Day card today; we knew she’d want to do that herself. I got home, hung out a bit more, then when Coraline went down for her nap, I passed out on the couch with my cats. Then it was time for dinner, which we picked up from a nearby restaurant, and more family time. All in all, it was another great Mother’s Day. I’m really fortunate to be mom to such a fabulous kid, which I would never be without an equally fabulous husband.

Speaking of, said husband indulged me and took some pics of me with our curly-topped cutie to commemorate the day.


Coraline insists she be called Darth Vader when wielding this little inflatable light saber.


A kiss from Mommy




A kiss from Coraline


A BIG kiss from Coraline


She’s very into making silly faces for photos these days.


Me and my little girl


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Happy 40th Birthday to My Blue-Eyed Boy

Today is Rich’s birthday, the 17th one I’ve celebrated with him. And it’s a biggie: his 40th. While I think I said everything there was to say last year, I still want to wish him all the happiness in the world and that all his birthday wishes come true. He’s my best friend, a fantastic father to Coraline, and the best husband I could ask for. Here’s to many more happy birthdays to you, my love.

Rich with a statue Coraline calls the Penguin of Death.

Rich with a statue Coraline calls the Penguin of Death.

Making homemade play dough together

Making homemade play dough together

Coraline and her poppa laughing it up

Coraline and her poppa laughing it up

Our little family

Our little family


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Processing Addiction

Song Lyric of the Day:

But I never asked for it / But I never did / It’s all a part of his plan / It’s all in his hands / In the basement

Perfume Genius / “Never Did

I had planned to come out of my long winter’s blog hibernation with a post I’ve had an idea for for some time now, the gist of which is materialism. Nothing serious. Nothing heavy. But then yesterday the actor Philip Seymour Hoffman died.

I grew up with an alcoholic father. I’ve alluded to that a tiny bit here and there over the years, and even though my dad has been sober 21 1/2 years now, it’s still not exactly an easy (or pleasant) topic for me to discuss or revisit. But with Hoffman’s untimely passing at the young age of 46, I am once again questioning what I believe about addiction.

I admit: When my dad was at his worst, if a doctor had said he needed a liver transplant, I would’ve been the first in line to say he didn’t deserve a new liver. Because he would have done that to himself with his drinking, right? His choice to drink. And drink. And drink. Why would he deserve that kind of help when he drank himself to that point? I certainly can’t speak for everyone who grew up with (or is still dealing with) an alcoholic parent, but that was how I felt and my reasoning for it. Obviously, now that he’s been sober for as long as he has, I’m grateful things never got to that point. God, am I grateful. But for a long time, it certainly seemed like that was the road he was heading down — and taking our family with him. Luckily he took to heart what he heard and discussed in Alcoholics Anonymous.

That’s it. That’s the extent of my personal, direct experience with addiction. I grew up firmly believing — knowing — that an addict chose to be one. They drank that first drink. They snorted that first line. They took that first pill. I do believe, however, that some people are predispositioned to become addicts. Not everyone who takes that drink becomes an alcoholic. Not everyone who tries that pill becomes hooked. But others, like my dad and Mr. Hoffman, they become addicts.

Everyone has pain. How we choose to deal with it is up to us. Some of us turn to therapy (raising my hand here), some confide in friends, some channel it into a creative or personal endeavor, still others find something — anything — to help them deal. But we all have to deal with it somehow. And as I’ve gotten older (can’t say wiser), I’ve come to see that for some people, whatever pain it is that they’re dealing with is just too great for them to handle. So they turn to some of the most destructive things out there.

No one deserves to become addicted to drugs or alcohol. No one sets out to become an addict. It happens. Whether through self-destructive methods, the wiring in their brain, a genetic predisposition, it happens. I grew up in fear of becoming an alcoholic like my dad. As a kid, I did a research project for school on alcoholism and learned that I was at least four times more likely to become an addict myself. So I decided very early on that I wouldn’t end up like him. I was 25 years old before I tried socially drinking. As of today, I’ve imbibed maybe three drinks in the last six months. Do I think I’m still at risk of becoming an alcoholic? No. But I choose not to drink that often because (A) I’d rather find other, more constructive ways of dealing with life when I feel overwhelmed and (B) I just really don’t like drinking alcohol all that much. Rich likes to joke that my vice is not having a vice. And also, I have a child of my own now, one who is (I imagine) enjoying having a sober, present mom.

Hoffman’s death is a tragedy: He was a father of three young children. He was a talented actor. He was still so young. We can only speculate as to why, after 23 years of sobriety, he fell off the wagon again, culminating in his passing yesterday. Me, personally, I can only thank God I have never felt so lost, so hopeless, been in such psychic pain, that I turned to drugs or alcohol to help me deal with life. There for but the grace of God go I …

Everyone has pain. How you choose to deal with it is up to you.

Philip Seymour Hoffman Memorial


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