Just a few random facts

Life is funny sometimes. You meet people and make connections, lose contact for a bit, and then one day you meet up again. This happens in real life as well as with the friends that we make online through blogging and social media and it recently happened to me (again). Sara from High Heels and Training Wheels tagged me along with some other awesome bloggers to share a little bit about ourselves and answer some questions.
I’ll admit that she did this like a week ago and I’ve just been lazy… I’d like to come up with some other excuse that it is really good but I can’t. So we’ll go with the truth… I’ve been to lazy to write. But I’ve put it off long enough and really want to try and write more so here it goes!

Do you believe you have a purpose in this life? If so, what is it?

I’d like to think that we all have a purpose in life and that we all know exactly what it is, but that would probably be wrong. Well, just the part about knowing what that purpose is. I think that we wander around aimless more or less once in a while trying to figure out what it is that we’re supposed to be doing. For me, well I don’t know yet. Right now I am trying my best to be a good mom, a good friend, a good wife, and a good Christian. None of it’s easy that’s for sure.

What scares you the most in life?

There is a lot that scares me in life but this is not to say that I walk around in fear of something bad happening all of the time. I fear death, whether it’s mine, my husband, kids, parents, siblings, or other family and friends. I’m afraid of how my kids will get along without me around, what will happen when my oldest goes off to college in the fall, how my youngest will turn out because he’s such a busy & loud little boy right now, and if I’ve made the right choices every day.
What is your favorite vacation spot?

Well, right now it’s any place where there isn’t snow, ice, and constant cold weather. This winter has been rough here in Michigan and I read an article yesterday saying that this state has the most snow cover than any other state and that the Great Lakes have more ice than they have had in years. So, warm and sunny.

What is your favorite way to unwind?

This is an easy one! Reading. I love getting lost in a good book.

What’s your home decorating style?

Decorating style? This is funny…. It’s called cluttered, messy, and lived in. I’d love it to be something beautiful and fit for a magazine but in reality I have 4 kids, a husband, and work full time so it is what it is.

What’s a favorite childhood memory?

I find this one a bit challenging. Not because I don’t have good memories of my childhood but more that I can’t seem to remember many of them because of all that bad that happened. This is something that I am working through in therapy. But I do remember holidays with my sister and parents before they divorced, camping together, spending time with my grandparents, and large family gatherings.

If money wasn’t an issue would you want a bigger home, smaller home, or stay where you are living now? 

I think that I would get a new house. The one that we have right now is okay, but there is a lot that we want to do with it and we also want more land (which is not an option where we live now).

What was your favorite age? Why?

Favorite age… Let’s see. I can look back at my life and say this or that was a good age because of X but honestly I have to say 41. 41 is my current age and it has taken a lot of time, a lot of change, and turmoil to get where I am but I have learned a lot along the way. Right now I am moving towards a really good place because of the therapy and becoming a Christian (again). I am starting to understand things that have happened in my life better and seeing things in a new light.

What’s a guilty pleasure?

I have two…. chocolate and Diet Coke.

What’s the most spontaneous thing you’ve ever done?

Nothing, because I am not a spontaneous person. I’m a big chicken and am always worried and wondering, “what if?”.

Why do you blog?

Ummm…. well, lately I haven’t been doing much blogging really. I’m at a point where I don’t know what I want or should do with my blog so I don’t have an answer for this one. Cop out, huh?

So, there are some rules that go along with this…

1) Acknowledge the nominating blogger. 2) Share 11 facts about yourself. 3) Answer the 11 questions the nominating blogger has created for you. 4) List 11 bloggers. 5) Post 11 questions for the bloggers you nominate to answer, and let all the bloggers know they’ve been nominated. Don’t nominate a blogger who has nominated you

I’m skipping 4 and 5 simply because I’m lazy and I don’t even know if anyone still reads my blog! I’d have to hunt people down to actually play along… seems like a lot of work doesn’t it?

Anyway, there you have it….. just a few random facts about me.

Tell me something random about you now.


Remember yesterday when I hinted about having something exciting to share with you on Facebook? Well, here it is…

What’s really exciting… this is the second time that I’ve been featured on BlogHer! The first was back in Novemeber about a soldiers homecoming.

I was shocked when I got the email on Thursday because the post that they’re featuring is one that I just posted on Tuesday this week. Did you see it? How to prepare for becoming a parent… there are 15 simple steps that one needs to follow and then they’re all set to become a parent. Trust me these are easy peasy and very true.

Anyway, I love that they noticed it and are featuring it… to me it’s a huge honor.

Anyway, check out my feature on the front page of BlogHer it’s in the BlogHer Moms topic section and let me know what you think.

Oh, and this is happening too…

BlogHer '13
Really… please come talk to me! I look scary… I’m not I promise. I’m just not super outgoing.

How to Prepare for Becoming a Parent

I spent some quality time cleaning up my email and happened upon this email that had been forwarded to me and as I read through it again I laughed. It was hilarious and oh so true! And before deleting it I had the genius idea of sharing it with all of you.

So if you’re already a parent you’ll laugh as you nod your head and if you’re not a parent already take notes. This is how to prepare for becoming a parent in the simplest format.

prepare to be a parent

Lesson 1

Go to the grocery store.
Arrange to have your salary paid directly to their head office.
Go home.
Pick up the paper.
Read it for the last time.

Lesson 2

Before you finally go ahead and have children, find a couple who already are parents and berate them about the following

  • Methods of discipline.
  • Lack of patience.
  • Appallingly low tolerance levels.
  • Allowing their children to run wild.

Suggest ways in which they might improve their child’s breastfeeding, sleep habits, toilet training, table manners, and overall behavior.
Enjoy it, because it will be the last time in your life you will have all the answers.

Lesson 3

To discover how the nights will feel…
Walk around the living room from 5PM to 10PM carrying a wet bag weighing approximately 8-12 pounds, with a radio turned to static (or some other obnoxious sound) playing loudly.
At 10PM, put the bag down, set the alarm for midnight, and go to sleep.
Get up at 12 and walk around the living room again, with the bag, until 1AM.
Set the alarm for 3AM.
As you can’t get back to sleep, get up at 2AM and make a drink.
Go to bed at 2:45AM.
Get up at 3AM when the alarm goes off.
Sing songs in the dark until 4AM.
Get up. Make breakfast. Keep this up for 5 years.
Look cheerful.

Lesson 4

Can you stand the mess children make? To find out…
Smear peanut butter onto the sofa and jam onto the curtains.
Hide a piece of raw chicken behind the stereo and leave it there all summer.
Stick your fingers in the flower bed. Then rub them on the clean walls.
Cover the stains with crayons. How does that look?

Lesson 5

Dressing small children is not as easy as it seems.
Buy an octopus and a small bag made out of loose mesh.
Attempt to put the octopus into the bag so that none of the arms hang out.
Time allowed for this – 15 minutes.

Lesson 6

Take an egg carton. Using a pair of scissors and a jar of paint, turn it into an alligator.
Now take the tube from a roll of toilet paper. Using only Scotch tape and a piece of aluminum foil, turn it into an attractive Christmas candle.
Last, take a milk carton, a ping-pong ball, and an empty packet of Cocoa Puffs. Make an exact replica of the Eiffel Tower.

Lesson 7

Forget the BMW and buy a minivan. And don’t think that you can leave it out in the driveway spotless and shining. Family cars don’t look like that.
Buy a chocolate ice cream cone and put it in the glove compartment.
Leave it there.
Get a dime. Stick it in the CD player.
Take a family size package of chocolate cookies. Mash them into the back seat.
Run a garden rake along both sides of the car.
There. Perfect.

Lesson 8

Get ready to go out.
Wait outside the bathroom for half an hour.
Go out the front door.
Come in again.
Go out.
Come back in.
Go out again.
Walk down the front path.
Walk back up it.
Walk down it again.
Walk very slowly down the road for five minutes.
Stop, inspect minutely, and ask at least 6 questions about every cigarette butt, piece of used chewing gum, dirty tissue, and dead insect along the way.
Retrace your steps.
Scream that you have had as much as you can stand until the neighbors come out and stare at you.
Give up and go back into the house.
You are now just about ready to try taking a small child for a walk.

Lesson 9

Repeat everything at least (if not more than) five times.

Lesson 10

Go to the local grocery store. Take with you the closest thing you can find to a pre-school child. (A full-grown goat is excellent).
If you intend to have more than one child, take more than one goat.
Buy your week’s groceries without letting the goats out of your sight.
Pay for everything the goats eat or destroy.
Until you can easily accomplish this, do not even contemplate having children.

Lesson 11

Hollow out a melon.
Make a small hole in the side.
Suspend it from the ceiling and swing it from side to side.
Now get a bowl of soggy Cheerios and attempt to spoon them into the swaying melon by pretending to be an airplane.
Continue until half the Cheerios are gone.
Tip half into your lap. The other half, just throw up in the air.
You are now ready to feed a nine-month old baby.

Lesson 12

Learn the names of every character from Sesame Street , Barney, Disney, the Teletubbies, and Pokemon. Watch nothing else on TV for at least five years.

Lesson 13

Move to the tropics. Find or make a compost pile. Dig down about halfway and stick your nose in it. Do this 3-5 times a day for at least two years.

Lesson 14

Make a recording of Fran Drescher saying “mommy” repeatedly.
(Important: no more than a four second delay between each “mommy”; occasional crescendo to the level of a supersonic jet is required).
Play this tape in your car everywhere you go for the next four years.
You are now ready to take a long trip with a toddler.

Lesson 15

Start talking to an adult of your choice. Have someone else continually tug on your skirt hem, shirt-sleeve, or elbow while playing the “mommy” tape made from Lesson 14 above. You are now ready to have a conversation with an adult while there is a child in the room.

There you have it. 15 easy lessons on how to prepare to become a parent.

Okay…. what has been left out? Share your tips in the comments!

A&F CEO Mike Jeffries hates fat girls… but he’s not alone

This may be a rant… just thought that I’d warn you ahead of time. Okay… it will be a rant but that’s okay because that’s what our own personal blogs are for, right?

There are things that grate at me, get under my skin, annoy me, or just flat out piss me off. And this week there were two things that have been bugging me and here’s the kicker… they’re both the same or related.

What is it?

The hate for “fat” people. There are a lot of people out there passing judgement on others who are not rail thin without knowing the person, their health history, or what caused them to get the way and what’s preventing them from losing the weight.

The first thing that happened was my daughter told me that the high school band director did not want her to be one of the majorettes for the marching band. Why? Because she is not a rail thin, 5’0 – 5’5″ girl who went along with what she was told all the time. The dance coaches from a local dance studio and her friends fought for her because she was the best, she worked the hardest, and deserved it more than the other girls. The girl the director wanted… well she wasn’t good, didn’t practice, and thought that she was entitled to the position…. Oh, and met his vision of the perfect majorette.

The second thing was Mike Jeffries statement about not marketing to the uncool, fat girls. WTF!! They don’t stock XL or XXL sizes in women’s clothing because they don’t want overweight women wearing their brand. BUT they do make XL and XXL for men because those teen guys might be beefy because they play football or are wrestlers.

In every school there are the cool and popular kids, and then there are the not-so-cool kids,” he says. “Candidly, we go after the cool kids. We go after the attractive all-American kid with a great attitude and a lot of friends. A lot of people don’t belong [in our clothes], and they can’t belong. Are we exclusionary? Absolutely. Those companies that are in trouble are trying to target everybody: young, old, fat, skinny. But then you become totally vanilla. You don’t alienate anybody, but you don’t excite anybody, either.

So, if I put a few things together I can come up with a conclusion of sorts. The cool kids in school play sports, are good looking, thin, the guys are muscular, the girls have that long, flowing hair, both are sexy as hell, and above all else they are NOT fat.

Now, the fat kids. Well they’re the losers that the popular kids make fun of.

These stereotypes piss me off! They do nothing to help kids with how they feel about themselves at all. What they do is help kids feel out of place and that if they’re not the picture perfect all-American kid they’re not going to fit in, have friends, be popular, or go somewhere in life. No moral boosting here… nope, just dragging the kids down.

It’s hard enough as it is to be a teen, but when you have companies and the media telling you what you should look like, how you should dress, and a that size 0 thin is what you should be life becomes a lot more difficult.

Abercrombie & Fitch has made it very clear in what they’ve said, their ads, the people that they hire, and the sizes of their clothing that they’re targeting a very specific demographic. One that usually gets their spending money from their parents by the way… I wonder if they have given thought to the fact that some parents will refuse to buy clothes for their “cool” kids from the A&F stores because of the statements they’ve made? My guess is that they didn’t and if they did they simply don’t care.

I know that I won’t be buying anything from them.

I think that Mr. Jeffries as well as my daughter’s band director need to take hard look at the world around them and realize that the average size is not a 0, or a 1, 3, or a freakin’ 5. I’m here to tell you that it’s probably closer to a 10 /12 or hell even a 14.

My daughter is an amazing person. She is smart, beautiful, talented, and you know what…. she’s in the “cool” kids group. I couldn’t be more proud of her and all that she has achieved and learned and the one thing that I know for sure is that she will do anything that she sets her mind to.

My fat, size 12 self won’t be caught inside an A&F store… or Hollister for that matter since they’re owned by the same company. I will however roll myself into H&M and American Eagle because they see that we all can’t be waifs and have larger sizes.


Evolution of a Blogger

Today I am so lucky to be sharing my thoughts, opinions, hopes, dreams, and all that over at the Girls Lunch Out site. About what you ask?

Well, this fun little picture is what it’s all about, Evolution of a Blogger.


Comments are off so please stop over at GLO and let me know what you think!

About the Illustrator
Steph Calvert is the work at home mom and illustrator behind Hearts and Laserbeams. Her work has been seen worldwide on apparel, in print, and online. She’s been writing the Hearts and Laserbeams blog for over 10 years, and is a current blog contributor to Moonfrye.com.

Steph lives in Savannah, Georgia with her hilarious partners in crime, husband Josh, son Phil, and mom in law Carole. She enjoys coloring with her son, karaoke, and a good glass of wine every now and then. (But preferably now, thanks.)

Click here to purchase this original illustration on Etsy.

I’m back….

So if you haven’t noticed I’ve been gone… I didn’t plan on taking the holiday season off from blogging but I got lazy.

On top of the laziness there was the holidays and we can’t forget the unforgettable illness that had it’s death grip on 4 out of 6 of us in my house. To make it more fun the toddler got sick and then a few days later I got sick.. oh the joy!

Worst. Holiday. Ever.

So, the holidays are done (yay!), I’m back to work (boo!), and looking forward to a great year of blogging and social media (yay!).

Want to know how I know the holidays are done? Well, my tree told me.

fallen tree

As I lay on the couch dying a slow, painful death the tree fell over all by itself.  I must say that it did add a bit of comic relief for that day…

Things we learned:

  • Our tree wasn’t wearing it’s life alert bracelet.
  • Our tree fell… and couldn’t get back up.
  • Our tree shed worst the furriest animal ever.
  • The tree falling over, you being sick, and helpful kids gets the ornaments put away fast with no help from you other than giving directions from the couch. #awesome
Anyway, I’m back.
Oh and that’s all you’ll probably see from me as far as a holiday wrap up.

Living in a small town

Life in a small town is quiet… I suppose that it could even be considered serene by some. Life goes at a little slower pace and you tend to know a lot more people in town than if you were in a big city.

I don’t live in a small town and I’m not sure that I really want to. I like being close to activity and all the opportunities that being near a city has to offer. But every once in a while we like to get away from our lives at home, get away and slow down for a bit (no internet or 3G there), and of course visit family.

The thumb region in Mid-Michigan is full of these kinds of small towns. They’ve been around for years and the families that live there have been there for generations. My family is one of those… my dad grew up in Caseville and we end up in the area every summer.

Farming is a way of life there and beans are big! Navy & soy beans of course and Bayside Best is one of the largest distributers around. As you drive through the countryside there are huge fields full of beans that you can see across for miles and the nearest farm a tiny speck in the distance.

bayside beans corn
 The sad part is that so many of these small towns are dying out. They are over 30 or 40 minutes to the nearest city and have little to no industrial type work there, very few businesses, and their downtown areas are grim. But once they were busy and bustling until times changed and now all that’s left are the buildings and ghosts reminding of us of the past.

fire dept downtown river
Like I said, farming is big in this region of Michigan. Aside from beans we produce a whole lot of sugar beets and when I say a lot I mean 29 – 34 tons for the growing season and the beets can handle all problems of nature – drought or damp, both of which are pretty common here (especially this summer).

Michigan Sugar company processes all the sugar beets grown in Michigan in four different factories all in small, mid-Michigan towns. Towards the end of summer (around August this year) you can see the truckers hauling loads of beets into town and then dumping them in huge piles to wait for processing. Just a little side note… the smell coming from the plant it really gross… all you can smell is manure! When you walk by the plant though you can smell the beets which is significantly better than the manure smell.

Mi sugar 20120919-205712.jpg20120919-205702.jpg
My parents like it there in the small town. They go there every year and stay all summer long just like so many other retired couples looking to get away. They relax, play bingo, tell stories around the campfire at night, and fish. Oh yes… most of these small towns are right on the Saginaw Bay (Lake Huron) and fishing is almost a national past time for some.

train tracks

What about you? Do you live in a small town? What’s it like there?

A homecoming

This week there was a homecoming in my town. The first ever of it’s sort.

One where almost everyone turned out. One where the middle school kids all walked down to the main street downtown and lined the streets with flags in hand.

It was the kind of homecoming that I hope that I never have to experience again.

Freedom Riders

We welcomed home a fallen soldier.

He was so young… barely 20 years old and had just graduated from high school a mere two years ago.

High school football star, son, friend, and soldier.

He was honored by an entire community in so many ways this past week.


He was brought into town by the Freedom Riders, military, police, and family.

I didn’t know him and as a matter of fact I had never heard of him until I saw the story on the news. He was on his first overseas tour and was killed in Afganistan when a bomb thrown over a base wall by insurgents exploded.

Another young life lost… lost to a war that seems to have gone on forever. A war some call senseless. A war that others support.


I went to watch the procession out of respect and to honor someone who was doing something that they loved. Something that afforded me the freedoms that I have today.

Watching this was one of the most difficult things that I have ever experienced in my life. It was heart wrenching to think of his parents,  his family, friends, and teachers who all loved him.

It was hard because my sister is an active member of the military and so is my brother in law (her husband) and my own brother is a retired Marine. I can’t imagine this happening to my family… then again who does? We all know that it’s a possibility but never fully accept it.



At then end people gathered to watch the military carry his casket into the funeral home with his family by his side. This is not the homecoming that they had ever dreamt of. This is not how his story should have ended.


I stood off to the side as the local MP unit left and tried as best as I could to hold my composure. They were all young… I wanted to reach out and thank them for all that they have done, but the words simply would not come out. I know that it had to be difficult for them too. But a soldier must remain stoic and hold their emotions in.

I called my sister as soon as I was back in my car. I went over the entire event with her… amazed at how silent the town had become as soon as people saw the first flash of light from the police cruiser. I was impressed with how well behaved and quiet almost 1000 middle school students were as the procession came into town.

Old and young… military and civilian… all stood outside together in the fall heat waiting for the return of a fallen soldier. All stood silent with flags and hands over there hearts as tears fell from their eyes.

I told her that I could never do it. I’m simply not cut out to be in the military and didn’t know how she and her husband did it. She explained that it takes a certain kind of person and they do what they have to do. I know that it hasn’t been easy for her and that while she was overseas in Iraq if was difficult. She doesn’t talk about her time in Iraq very much… it’s something that she keeps closely guarded.

I worry that one day that procession will be for her or her husband. I worry that one day it will be someone that I know.

40 Before 40

I’m a little late to the game with this 40 before 40 thing. I mean I thought about it once in a while when I’d see other similar posts but then it would slip my mind until another post crossed my path. I mean the lists are supposed to be all the great things you want to do in your life… maybe they should be started when you turn 20 or something. Hmm… I’m not sure that the internet was around when I was 20… that means I wouldn’t have seen all those other lists.


My 40th birthday is less than 30 days away so even if I came up with a lame list and tried to do one thing a day I still couldn’t complete it because I don’t have that much time.

Instead here’s my list of 40 things to do before I turn 40 years old but made the list less than a month before my birthday so we’ll just pretend that I’m going to do a couple.

  1. Take a real vacation… you know to some place overseas. Some place beautiful and full of history.
  2. Take more risks and stop being so careful about everything.
  3. Open my own business
  4. Go to the Art Institute and become a pastry chef
  5. Figure out how to crochet something other than a really long chain
  6. Get over my fear of public speaking & vlogging
  7. Shopping spree in NYC
  8. Look hot in a bikini
  9. Write – not just here but fiction. Good fiction that will be published.
  10. Learn to swing dance
  11. Travel the US and visit historic places, Grand Canyon, Red Woods, etc
  12. Quit my job
  13. Do yoga at least once a week
  14. Redecorate my house to look like a magazine (HA… never will happen w/kids!)
  15. See a play/musical on broadway
  16. Get my bachelor degree
  17. Think about getting my masters
  18. Run a 5k without thinking I’ll die after the first 5 minutes of it
  19. Landscape my yard to look like a magazine (hmm… yard of clay… this may need to go on another list)
  20. Ride my bike for 10+ miles non stop
  21. Run for some sort of political office
  22. Take a zumba class (now this wouldn’t be a big deal but I did Wii zumba & I looked like a flaying fool & doing that w/others is HUGE)
  23. Go whale watching
  24. Spend a week on the east coast.. Maine or some place like that. I’m thinking beach house.
  25. Spend Halloween week in Salem
  26. Have a real plan on how to pay for college for my kids
  27. Learn a new language… I think French or Italian would be nice.
  28. See the Aurora Borealis
  29. Send birthday carda & thank you cards on time
  30. Don’t make anymore lists because they take to long and you know you won’t do them
I can’t even come up with 40 things to do! Maybe I’ll make this the things to do before I die list and then I’ll have more time to finish a couple of them.
Do you have a bucket list or just a list of things that you want to do before a certain date?

PYHO:That Girl….

There’s always one in school, the office, anywhere really… sometimes there are two, but that’s a horrible situation.

Some call them mean girls.

Some call them other things that I will not dare repeat.

Here is what I know for sure… there is one that is in my daughter’s school (it’s a big school so there has to be more but this one is my daughter’s nemesis). That girl seemingly goes out of her way to get under my daughter’s skin.

That girl does things on purpose to upset her.

That girl has made it almost impossible for my daughter to talk to much less hang out with one of her oldest and best friends. Oh… who now happens to be That girls boyfriend.

That girl spent the better part of the last school year stalking my daughter’s boyfriend, spreading rumors, and doing her damnedest to break them up.

That girl went so far as to have her mom call my daughter! Now, if you ask me that takes a hell of a lot of nerve!

That girl gets on my daughter’s last never, but she is the better person and says nothing. She lets it all go knowing that That girl is being petty and childish.

That girl needs a lesson taught to her.

But karma has a way of finding those who are most deserving of her wrath and one day That girl will learn how terrible she has been and tables will be turned.

That girl will learn that lying and spreading rumors is not the way to get ahead in life or to get the things that you want.

That girl is lucky that I am not in high school or else she’d get an ear full from me.

In the meantime I will do everything that I can to support my daughter and in my head say all the things that should be said to That girl

What about you…. do you know someone like that? How did you deal with her?