Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Whatever happened to the list?

Some of you have asked me about my 30/30 list and what was left on it. Considering I turn the big 3-0 on March 10, I figured now would be an appropriate time to talk about the list.

The list is HERE in case you want to refresh your memories. If something on that list is black, then it has been completed and blogged about and you can click on there to go to that post.

Now, I'm not going to finish. I know. At first when I realized that I wasn't going to finish, I was really bummed out. I really wanted it to be this grand thing that I could say that I accomplished and I had a period in time where I was all "woe is me, I'm a loser". But then I realized- fuck that. Seriously, FUCK THAT. Because I did things I never thought I would do on that list and I should be damn proud of myself. Of the things I could have not done and been like, "Oh, I ran out of time.. damn" (sky diving, for example) I didn't do that. I actually committed to it and I did it. I jumped out of a damn plane and I should be proud of that because how many people are too scared? I went kayaking, canoeing, my ten year high school reunion, all things that I said I would never do and I did it.

And I'm proud of myself.

The things I didn't get a chance to do were all because of lack of funds. Considering I started this list and came up with it in 2010 and left myself two years to do it when most people have years to do something like this, I feel like I did accomplish a lot in the short time and little money I had. I took my kids to Disney, I went to Vegas with Matt, Matt and I did a lot more together helping me with my list than we had in years, I ran a 5K even when I thought I couldn't, I lost weight and I didn't think I ever would, I went to some of the best concerts, I accomplished more in these last two years than some people do in a decade.

But the best, and possibly most important part of my list? Was #30, to be happy.

Which seems strange but not when you think about where I was when I wrote the list. I was just coming out of a low point in my marriage, I was emotionally and physically exhausted, I didn't think good things about myself and I'm not going to lie- I often wondered why my life sucked so much. Why was it always me getting the shit end of every stick? When were things going to turn around for me? When was I going to start loving life and enjoying my kids and being appreciative of everything I do have and not wish for more?

So in that two years of doing things way outside of my comfort zone and challenging myself with things I didn't think I could do, and taking better care of myself and demanding time away for me, I found it. I found everything I wanted and realized it was there all along, I just didn't look at it hard enough.

I have two wonderful kids who light up my life. With their crazy behavior, their hilarious personalities and their sweet nature- I lucked out as a mom. I really couldn't ask for better kids. I finally have a job where I feel like I'm actually appreciated and I love going to each and every day. No cranky student or teacher can ruin my day- I'm just happy to be there and be helpful. I feel like my relationship with my family is the best it's ever been. Especially the bond with my mom- we certainly still have our ups or downs but I feel like I finally understand her point of view all of these years, I totally get where she is coming from and I'm so grateful for that.

I have some of the best friends in the world. A lot of people that I adore are from blogging and I don't know where I would be without their calm and rational advice on everything. I am so lucky to have such a great core group of friends that I know I can show up on any one of their doors at 3 am and they will help me out in every way possible. And I hope they all know I'd turn it around and do it for them too.

And last but certainly never least- I have a great husband. Sure, he pisses me off when he sleeps all day while I work my ass off only to have him walk his muddy ass boots across the floor I just spent two hours scrubbing. Sure, I want to punch him in the face when the cat poops on the laundry room floor because he was too lazy to clean the litter box the night before. Sure, I feel kind of homicidal when he shaves and leaves the hair all over the tub. And maybe I still feel like smothering him when he clips his toenails in our room and I can't go to sleep until I get the vacuum out.

But at the end of the day? My husband is THE best. He will do just about anything I ask. Today? We had a blizzard with 35+ mph winds and snow falling like crazy but that guy went out and got me some Pepsi. And then let me take a nap. When I have friends over, he automatically tells us he's going to get ice cream and to write our orders down. He puts gas in my van. In the rain. He'll put air in my tires. In the rain. He cleans up pee, puke, and poop from kids or animals. He'll take a break from work and pick up mouse guts because I refuse to go back into the house until it's cleaned. He may be a moody asshole most of the time, but I know he loves me and would do anything for me. He provides for our family and doesn't blink an eye when he's working 70+ hours a week. He never says a word when I want to go out of town with my friends and he supported my decision to stop working FT and eventually go to a PT job because I felt like I was losing it. And he never questioned it.

I am far more happier today, as I sit on the cusp of 30, than I have ever been in my entire life. For every stressful moment, for every worry I have- I have ten great things to turn me around.

So fuck that damn list. Seriously- I got everything I wanted out of my 20's that I wanted by doing the things I got done. Does that mean I'm done? No way! I'm in the process of working on a 40/40 list because dammit- I want to do some incredible things in my life and be that kick ass grandma who tells her grand kids someday how she jumped out of a plane.

But here's to the end of my 20's. The beginning of my 30's is soon on it's way and I'm excited.

Tomorrow's post? All about what you can get me for my birthday. Because let's be honest? I love presents and if ever you were going to get me one? This is the birthday to do it. HA!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Before I Go To Sleep

Oh lambwhores. Oh do I have a fantastic book for you!!

Before I Go To Sleep by S. J. Watson












Memories define us. So what if you lost yours every time you went to sleep? Your name, your identity, your past, even the people you love--all forgotten overnight. And the one person you trust may be telling you only half the story. Welcome to Christine's life. 


You know I am nothing if not honest and I will tell you that after awhile I really struggled to get through the book. Don't get me wrong- it is magnificently written, it pulls you in and you are wondering if this is just a story about a tragedy or is it something more sinister? The only thing that kept me going through this book was the nagging thought that maybe it's more than a tragedy... maybe there is a huge plot twist at the end?

And THANK GOD that I kept with it because the twist at the end is so incredibly worth the wait.

Part of me really liked Christine's character because if you think about this, it is a terrifying thought. To wake up every day and not have a clue where you are, who is in the bed with you, how you got there, etc. The on the other hand, I got kind of annoyed with her because she kind of turns a little irrational. Which... I suppose you would kind of go insane after so many years of this continued cycle.

And oh lord do I want to tell you about the ending. It is SO good. At first I thought maybe the doctor is really her son, maybe Ben was trying to kill her, etc. I will tell you that none of those happen, but the ending is so worth reading this book. I hands down totally recommend it!

But definitely don't rely on just me, see what other people are saying about this book here. You can see S. J. Watson's Facebook, Twitter and website too!

Monday, February 27, 2012

Never go in without the caffeine.

Yesterday wasn't a very good day. For a lot of reasons, but pretty much nothing about yesterday was good and it only got worse as the day progressed. While I could talk about my frustrations with Matt being incredibly lazy as of late and me feeling overwhelmed and stressed out, I am going to talk about how you should never go to a vacation timeshare meeting with no caffeine in you, and worse yet, be persuaded by your husband when he gets giddy.

Oh yeah, you read that- we totally got scammed. BUT, this story has a *pending* happy ending, but for now, sit back and laugh at us. Because if nothing else, my increased blood pressure and anxiety that I am currently experiencing can be a funny highlight to your evening.

A couple of weeks ago we got a post card in the mail telling us that if we go to this "travel opportunity meeting" we would be awarded two round trip flights to anywhere in the continental United States as well as three nights in a resort. We totally bit on that because we are poor and want a vacation, but also because we've been through the timeshare crap before and held strong. I figured we were on our home turf and not some tourist trapped in a van being driven far, far away from your hotel, so we had the upper hand.

We got to the meeting way early, as directed by a coworker of Matt's who said then you got $50 in restaurant credit. So we got there early, got our credit marked down, filled out paperwork, and then watched a half hour of America's Home Video on Netflix. Not even kidding, that was their entertainment while we waited.

The presentation itself was fast, maybe thirty minutes? The guy doing the presentation, not even kidding, was on something. Nobody, absolutely nobody, paces that fast back and forth across the room speaking as fast as he was and gulping water. Not even televangelists are that frantic.

And we were the first group of the day, I'd be interested to see what the last group is like.

Of course, I was blown away by the prices they were showing us but I knew we didn't have no $7995 to plunk down on some program that enables you to travel. Matt though? Was SO excited. And for me to sit there and basically crush the enthusiasm, when he normally has NO emotional response to anything?

Not even I'm that terrible of a person.

So Matt completely said we'd buy in when the guy came to our table. And to be completely honest, the next 20 minutes were a blur. I really can't tell you how it all happened but we walked out of there owners into some weird vacation club. There is more to it, but I'm not going to throw Matt under the bus (though I totally could, I'm just going to be owning the fact that I signed on the line as well and yeah. *sigh*)

Once I got home, the reality of it set in and I go into full on investigation mode as I do when I'm stressed out. I arm myself with as much information as I can and go from there.

After a few hours of looking at their website, using other travel websites comparing trips, looking at online reviews, etc and I felt like throwing up. I literally felt like throwing up. So I had to talk Matt down from his euphoria of somehow thinking we're going to go on endless vacations and burst his bubble. I felt terrible, I really did. But I told Matt he absolutely had to sign the notice of cancellation form otherwise I basically would forge his name, get our money back, and move on.

So today I mailed the form and I am basically am holding my breath. I hope we can get our money back.

Keep your fingers crossed.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Dear Sara... oh we're back!

I swear, one of these days I'll get my life even more organized and be so consistent with these posts you'll pee yourselves. Until then, deal with what you get.

1. What inspires you? Hmm.. I guess it depends. If it's what inspires me to get out of bed? Definitely my kids and making their world amazing. If it's weight loss, it would be knowing I don't like feeling my stomach jiggle, so I try to combat that.

2. What is your favorite recipe? Hands down what I could eat every day because I love it so is spaghetti. I freaking love spaghetti and would eat it every day if it meant that I wouldn't become a beached whale. But baring that, I like making things that are ridiculously easy.

3. How are you? I'm good. I have a whole post about this coming up soon and how it pertains to my 30/30 list. Which, yeah. We'll talk about it.

4. What are your top 5 favorite albums of all time? To make me narrow down is kind of cruel. But I'm going to go off the top of my head and rattle of some that every person should own. Because I say so, obviously.

  • Death Cab for Cutie, Plans. Hands down my most listened to album on my iPod while I walk/run outside. Lyrically the entire album is so spot on and triggers memories and feelings from so many different points in my life that I can't even describe to you. I saw them in concert last year and to say it was a religious experience is an understatement. 
  • The Smashing Pumpkins, Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness. Want to talk about an album that changed my life? An album that was the basis for every teenage angst I ever had in high school? An album that reminds me to my dear friend Allena whom I adore and miss a ton? This would be it. I know every song, every riff, every lyric, every single thing about this album. 
  • Radiohead, The Bends. I'm not a huge Radiohead fan and pretty much everything after this record doesn't turn my crank a whole bunch, but this album reminds me of college. I went through a really rough break up in college, literally months before I started dating Matt, and this was the soundtrack to it. 
  • Manchester Orchestra, Mean Everything to Nothing. If you haven't heard of Manchester Orchestra, you are so grossly missing out you should be ashamed of yourself. This is a fantastic band and this album is probably the second most played in my massive collection. 
  • Kings of Leon, Because of the Times. When I saw them play in Chicago back in 2010 it was probably the best concert experience of my life. It was night, outdoors, and pouring rain. This is one of my very favorite bands and singing along to the song "Fans" was an out of body experience. If you don't buy any other Kings of Leon album ever, please buy this one. Their newest album Come Around Sundown is my second favorite in their discography because the overall sound mirrors that of Because of the Times.
5. What is your favorite book? You read so much that I'm curious to know what your all time favorite is? Oh, I can't choose. I'm going to absolutely bitch out on this one and not name a favorite. But here are some books you need to read in your lifetime (otherwise known as the books I tell people to read when they ask me what they should read next):
6. Do you think schools should teach sex education or an abstinence only program? I think you should promote waiting to have sex until your ready, and every body's definition of that is different. But I think they should also teach kids about safe sex, the consequences of practicing unsafe sex, and give a run down of STD's, contraceptive options, etc. I think parents need to talk about this at home as well, don't get me wrong, but what if parents aren't doing that? I think it is better that we educate teens about all of this in case they don't get the information at home. If they get it from both places, great, but if not at least they will be armed with information to make informed decisions. 

OK! That's it for this week's Dear Sara post. Do you have a question for me? Send me an email: sarastrand9438(at)hotmail(dot)com. Thanks!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

What Happened To Hannah

Holy bucket loves! I totally forgot to post my review about this book and I'm sorry for that because it was amazing.

What Happened to Hannah- Mary Kay McComas

As a teenager, Hannah Benson ran away from home in order to save herself. Now, twenty years later, the past comes calling and delivers life-changing news: her mother and sister have passed away, leaving Hannah the guardian of the fifteen-year-old niece. Returning home to bitter memories and devastating secrets, Hannah must overcome her painful past to pave a future with her niece, the last best chance at a family for both of them. She beings to create a new, happier life with her niece and rekindles a relationship with Grady Steadman, one of the few people she's ever called a friend. But she can't forget what she cannot forgive, or lay to rest those ghosts that will not die. Will love and trust-and the truth-give her the strength to stand her ground and fight for what she deserves?


I will tell you that I could not put this book down. It took me a little over a day to fly through it because I was so engrossed in the story. I have to say that I was afraid I wouldn't like Hannah's character- a lot of times when you read books with similar story lines, the main character comes off basically as a bitch. Not to be crude, but that's how they come off. Mary Kay McComas did Hannah's character so well and made her someone you really feel like you'd want to get to know. She isn't over the top, she's realistic, she's methodical, and she is genuinely scared of what would happen to her and her niece if people really knew about the night she ran away.

The ending- I did not see coming. I had an inkling things weren't as Hannah remembers them, but the little twist Mary Kay puts in there blew me away. In a good way though, because I was worried that it would end in a boring, you-saw-it-coming way. Not the case in this book! I also really liked Grady. Raise your hand if you've read a romance novel with a police officer guy who comes off as over domineering and kind of a jerk? Yeah, we've all read those- but that is not how Grady is in this book. He comes off as a guy you'd like to date or even marry, just an all around good guy who just does his best with what he has.

After reading this book I am anxious for pay day to come so I can see what other works Mary Kay McComas has available because her writing style is fantastic and she writes a great a story. I highly recommend this book if you are looking for a good read or even something for a book club. I can't imagine anyone not liking this book!



Sara's mini rant on birthday parties.

I am currently trying to figure out what the hell to do for Jackson's fourth birthday party which is coming up in April and it reminded me of what I hate about birthday parties. Well, specifically little kid birthday parties. And let's just do this bullet style because I'm feeling efficient tonight.

  • If you are a parent and are considering just dropping your kid off and celebrating a few hours of freedom? Don't be that asshole. Because I'll tell you what- you try organizing 10+ kids that aren't yours and it's a nightmare. First off, I don't trust anyone with my kids as it is, I just don't. Never mind the fact that those parents probably don't know my kid; therefore, they would have no idea what kind of description to give to someone should my kid get lost. Second off, your kids are not always great with adults other than you. Third, assume other parents are going to take off so be that really awesome parent who sticks around as an extra set of hands. 
  • If you are throwing a birthday party for kids, have a freaking AGENDA. Don't let it become a free-for-fucking-all. 
  • If you are throwing a pool party- make sure kids can SWIM. If they can't swim, then you better have enough adults in the water to supervise so someone doesn't drown on your watch. I have heard lots of my friends witness kids almost drowning at pool parties because grown up's aren't watching. 
  • Don't serve beer at a kids party. I don't care how country you think you are, that is ridiculous. 
  • Pinatas are never a good idea. You will always have over aggressive kid that almost takes out the birthday kid and has no concept of sharing. 
  • Biggest party pet peeve? When kids other than the birthday kid is trying to open presents. So incredibly rude and the parents who just stand there and don't pull their kid off? Useless. 
  • Boiling hot dogs? Never OK, folks. Never. 
  • Forgetting to pick up your kid because you were too much of an asshole to sit and supervise your own kid? Not OK. 
  • If the kids need swimsuits, sled, boots, some kind of bib/apron for messy projects, or money to partake in activities? Fucking SAY THAT on the invitation so kids don't show up unprepared. 
  • Send a mother fucking thank you card for the gift we bring. BIGGEST PET PEEVE EVER. Don't be that unappreciative asshole. If you have the time to write out and mail/deliver the invitations? You have the god damn time to write out and mail/deliver a thank you. And this goes for any kind of holiday or party. 
Do any of you have kid party pet peeves? 

This past weekend Olivia was invited to a birthday party for one of the girls in her Girl Scout troop and I totally thought she should go and have a good time. I had the intentions of being the parent to go with her and bring Jackson, but I had a horrendous migraine and it wasn't happening. So instead, I told Matt he'd have to go. Matt wanted to LEAVE her there and I was all, oh hell fucking no. First up, I don't know these parents. I don't know if they have other kids, I don't know if they have aggressive dogs, do they have guns in their house, do they smoke, are they running a meth lab, whatever. These are the things that go through my head. So I was like NO WAY are you going to just leave her there- especially as they aren't right down the road, it's like out in the country so it's a bit of a drive. He was kind of pissed off about having to stay, but I basically said to stop being such a lazy ass parent and participate in their lives. (Which may or may not have been said super nicely. *admitting guilt*) But in reality? He does maybe two or three kid parties in a year, and those are usually with me. I do all of the other ones, so he can just buck up. Anyways. It turned out fine. Nobody was injured or killed and everyone (except Matt) was happy when they came home.  

We are going to a party on Saturday and that should be good- it's for my friend's son's first birthday. I haven't seen her baby ever and it'll be nice to see her again since we reconnected since the high school reunion. He looks stinking cute on Facebook so I'm excited to see a baby! Well, a kind of baby! Then we have a pirate party next week which Jackson is SO excited for. But I am running into problems with Jackson's- do I do something fun at a place, or do I cram a bunch of people in my house? I probably won't do my house, but I might rent the town hall and just do something there? I don't know. I'm undecided. It also doesn't help that he changes his birthday party ideas daily. I might just pick something and roll with it. 

Monday, February 20, 2012

Me & My Guy

So I told you that Olivia was going to the Me & My Guy Dance with her dad for Girl Scouts... that happened on Friday. I wanted to share some pictures with you because she is gorgeous and I'm a proud mommy.

Anyways. About a month ago I went shopping with Olivia and my mom and I found her this gorgeous purple dress from JCPenney for only $30. Then I was able to find a little cardigan with pearls to match so she wouldn't freeze. I ordered her a corsage ($32?!?!?!?!?) because everyone told me these dances are kind of like little girl prom- you have to go all out. I also called every salon in town to see how much it would cost to get her hair done because I am curling iron stupid. I can't operate a curling iron to save my life and it would have resulted in an emergency room burn visit. Trust. Luckily, I found one place willing to charge me $16 versus the $35 everywhere else, so Friday after school Jackson and I sat in a salon watching Olivia get her hair done. And it was worth the $16 plus tip because this lady knew how to use a curling iron.

 So then I got her all dolled up in a little makeup...
 Is she gorgeous? Take that you stupid pageant moms! Little girls don't have to look like crazed hookers to be pretty.
 And of course I had to get my picture with her. It's so weird to see how big she's getting already.
 And Matt wore his funeral clothes since we had nothing else. Thankfully, he looks good dressed up and I tell him he should do it more often but he says no.
 And she looks tiny compared to him! But Matt is only like 5'10, he's not this ginormous guy.

OK. So then they left to go to the dance. It was a "no moms allowed" event, but Matt tells me there were moms there taking pictures from the door. You know I wanted to be that mom, so it's probably best Matt didn't tell me until after they came home. Apparently, Olivia absolutely did NOT want to dance with Matt. He said he asked her a lot but she said she was too embarrassed. Which, honestly? Is kind of freaking adorable.

But to my absolute delight she danced with girls from her troop! Matt said she looked kind of worried when she didn't see anyone right away, but then she saw the other Olivia (there's two of them in the troop and the other Olivia's mom is AMAZING. She has helped me so much with Girl Scouts and basically rocks my socks.) and then the troop leader's daughter Grace.
 I am so glad that Matt had enough sense to get some cute pictures of Olivia and the girls because you know I'm totally doing a Girl Scout scrapbook.
 Plus, it's so fun to see Olivia's personality come out with her friends. It's stuff like this that I'm going to look back on and totally smile. I have really great kids.
 The dance got done at 8:30 and Matt actually stuck it out, in a small room full of people, the entire time. I was so impressed that he did that and didn't try to con her out of leaving early. At the end of the night she got her first "event" badge and was SO excited. I seriously have to learn how to sew so I can get her badges on her vest. My mom did the iron on ones for me, but not everything is iron on. *sigh*

So all in all? She had a great time. She said she felt like a princess and really loved going to the ball. Yes, she actually called it a royal ball. Um, melt your heart much? I paid for photographer pictures too but I have no idea when we get those back- I hope they turned out cute. I really hope that her continuing with Girl Scouts she'll kind of come out of her shell a little more. It's OK to be shy but she can be almost painfully shy, so I really hope this helps her open up and have a good time. Plus, I think her having Girl Scouts and now her dance class as her own thing will help too.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

It's the mother effing weekend.

Well... the end of the weekend. I have been balls to the wall busy again and I'm trying so hard to keep everything afloat. I know I haven't been to yall's blogs much (um, my reader has now hit the 1700+ mark... *gulp*) but know that I'm reading as much as I can and I'm trying to leave you comments that make sense every chance I get.

What's new? Well I have had a migraine since Thursday and today was the first day I felt kind of normal. Olivia went to the Me & My Guy Dance with Matt on Friday (that will be it's own post), Matt braved a birthday party by himself (I have a post about parties coming), and today? Well today I got four days worth of work crammed into one. Like a god damn boss, that's what.

At Olivia's school the PTO is having this milk cap, box top, soup label collection contest as a fundraiser right now. It is really easy for the parents and teachers, but I'm realizing it's kind of a nightmare? Let me just say right now I feel really bad for the box top coordinator because she has her job cut out for her. Today I counted the collections out of eight classrooms (there are 20 total, but not every teacher has turned stuff in yet... but it'll be done weekly now) and I counted at least 2,000 milk caps, box tops, and soup labels. My eyeballs feel numb and my legs hurt. And then I started organizing the Girl Scout cookie orders.

*Side note: If you want to order Girl Scout cookies, let me know! Email me at: sarastrand9438(at)hotmail(dot)com! I am willing to ship orders anywhere for a $3 extra charge.*

Also on my mind is knowing that we should be getting carpet soon. They are supposedly calling us sometime this week or early next week to schedule an installation date. In order to do the installation, Matt is going to have to move all of the furniture from our bedroom and living room into the kitchen and dining room. Also? He has to rip out the carpet from the living room and stairs. I so don't want to be here because I'm afraid it'll be gross. In my head I'm wondering how I'm going to make breakfast for the kids if our kitchen and dining room are going to be full of crap from other rooms. I might have to be that shitty mom that makes the kids eat like a box of granola bars in the front porch? I don't know.

What I do know is that this week? Oh this week my ass is getting back ON the exercise routine. An unfortunate incident of jumping jacks with the kids turned into a horrifying realization that my thighs and ass are jiggly again. And not just the regular jiggle, but the jiggle that kind of hurts? Yeah. We're there. The fuckmill is getting cleaned off tonight. So I can start tomorrow. Obviously.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Delicacy (GIVEAWAY)

Book review time! Do you need a fast read that is easy to stuff into your purse? Well here you go.

Delicacy- David Foenkinos


Reminiscent of novels by Nick Hornby, Muriel Barbery, and Jonathan Tropper, internationally acclaimed novelist David Foenkinos delivers a heartfelt and deftly comedic tale of new love brightening the dark aftermath of loss—and of wounded hearts finding refuge in the strangest of places. After her husband’s unexpected death, Natalie has erected a fortress around her emotions—and Markus, clumsy and unassuming, will never be her knight in shining armor. Yet slowly but surely, an offbeat romance begins between these two mismatched, complex souls, and contrary to everything Natalie knows of affection, her perfect suitor may turn out to be love’s most unlikely candidate—the fool, not the hero, who is finally able to reach her heart.


OK, so this book clocks in at an easy 250 pages but the cool thing? Is that there are 115 chapters. Yeah, you read that right. What makes this kind of a genius idea is that you can't stop at one chapter- you can easily read 20 chapters and feel like you are sailing through this book.

This book was originally written in French and translated to English which is kind of obvious in some parts when you read it. People don't speak, let alone write, the way the words are written in the book and I'm sure that's because of translation. The other thing is that I don't know if any other reviewers noticed this, but there is WEIRD punctuation in this book- periods where there should be commas and vice versa, which makes it hard to read in some areas. Basically, this means I had to re-read some passages again because I had a hard time understanding it.

The story itself is like any other story about a wife losing her husband and then falling in love with the unassuming character in her life. We've all seen movies and read books with the same story line and I didn't feel there was anything different about this story to make it stand out from all of those. But I will say is that I think sometimes as women (OK, and sometimes this is men too) get so fixated on their list of qualities they have to have in a partner that they overlook the obvious. So maybe the person you're overlooking doesn't have it all, maybe he has a receding hairline, a shitty job, or maybe she has a moustache- whatever. Just because they aren't ideally perfect according to your list doesn't mean they couldn't make you happy. I think that was the biggest thing to take away from this book is that often times it's the person you give no thought to that ends up being the one who really is perfect despite their imperfections.

Check out what other bloggers are saying about this book here. In the meantime, I actually have two copies of this book because I am an idiot. Why? Because a lot of times I pick out books to review months in advance, and then forget about it. Then I go online and buy books for cheap and think, "hey- I wanted to read that" and forget that I'm getting a review copy eventually, so I buy it. Then I often end up with two. Because I am an idiot. So as is the case with another book in a few weeks, I have an extra copy and one of you will win it.

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Wednesday, February 15, 2012

The Hole. Part 2154678

Honestly, I don't remember how many hole updates you've had, but there has been progress. I can't even tell you how terrible fixing dry wall is but I can tell you that I hate it and I have lots of respect who do this as a chosen profession. I totally know why they charge so much for this shit because it horrid, horrid work.

For about two weeks my living room looked like this:

 It was a hot mess. Then once we were pretty sure we couldn't do any better of a job, we went to Home Depot to purchase paint. Guess what's really expensive? Paint and it's fucking supplies, that's what. We dropped $100 on three gallons of paint, one roller, some roller thingies, and something else I can't remember. We apparently have a large room which means you need this much paint.

So over the course of a week Matt and I painted our living room. I finally decided on a green (which may or may not have been blindly pointing at one of the two samples I had picked out. I'm sure the paint mixer guy sees lots of people like me) and a cream color for the walls, so I was already feeling badass.

Fun fact: Guess what I am not good at? Cutting in. I am not a cutter in any sense of that word. I don't have a steady hand apparently and I have zero depth perception. But guess what I'm a rock star at? Painting flat surfaces! I did a really good job. Obviously.

So here is where we are at now:
 The room already looks a million times brighter. So we have two walls green, two full walls and that little half wall cream. All of the trim is going to stay white because I couldn't commit to a third color and there we go.
The hole is painted on the inside, but there is not trim around the doorway. We are definitely going to make it a storage area for dvd's, scrapbooks, extra blankets, etc so it will be a functioning space. I thought about making it a play area but we let the kids in there and *surprise* it amplifies sound. Guess what we don't need in this house?

Amplified sound.

So that is a no kid zone because we are terrible, terrible parents.

Right now I have no pictures on the wall and I feel almost scared to go any further in the decorating process. I am finding I have a terrible time making a decision on anything and Amy can attest to that after my big IKEA weekend of stupid purchases. I totally choked under pressure. But I have a nagging idea to put yellow curtains in my living room. Would adding yellow be too much color? I'm talking about a light, almost sunshine yellow.

HELP ME.

The other big news? We ordered carpet. But that? Is a whole other story.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Good weekends gone bad.

So.. thanks for all of the concerned emails asking where the fuck I've been for a few days. I had planned on taking the weekend off from blogging anyways because it was to be a girls weekend with Amy and to visit my friend Jess who is basically living at the Mayo Clinic indefinitely, or until she gets some new organs. But early last week we found out that Matt's grandma passed away and so we were going to be going to the funeral, scheduled for Saturday.

I won't even tell you of the the hellacious week I had last week other than the fact that it included child care planning, then scraping those plans because people can't just tell me what they want and I'm a shitty psychic, finding dress clothes for Matt because he is in denial that he no longer can fit into his suit from when he was 18, and then being pissed off that girls weekend was going to be severely dampened. I was still going to go but the funeral and subsequent traveling cut into it big time.

So Saturday morning we got up super early and got everybody dressed in their finest (sorry- I didn't take pictures, but take my word we were a fine looking family) and into the van for a three hour drive. Which went fine until fucking Maggie the craptastic GPS tried telling us to take an ATV trail to get to the church. I appreciate the fact that it probably is faster to go that route, but we're driving a mini van, not a mudding truck. This just meant that we got there literally as it was starting.

Weird thing though- they did the private internment first, and then the funeral. I have never done that before at any funeral so that was weird. Also weird? Is that they opened the casket OUTSIDE. I knew that some family wanted to say goodbye to Grandma but to be honest, I thought they would do that well before the services so they would have some privacy? No. Not at all. So when the casket was opened I had to completely whip my kids around because hello- I am not trying to have THAT conversation with them. I was doing OK until I realized Matt's dad was really emotional and then I cried.

The funeral itself was long, but actually really touching. I didn't know his Grandma well at all but I always sent cards, pictures and updates on us and the kids. Matt has some fond memories of his grandparents and their farm so I think he was actually more upset about it than he let on. It turns out his siblings weren't so fond of Grandma but you know? The more I think about it, I think that was maybe because they didn't know her much before Grandpa died. I think when you're married to a person for 55 years and become a widow- that changes you. So, as hindsight is always 20/20, I think that maybe they missed out and that's too bad because it's too late now.

After the funeral we all packed up to drive to Northfield, about 90 minutes away. We had Kate and Karl (my sis and bro in law) with us and they were staying at the same hotel Matt and the kids were. Matt had a bit of a pissy fit in the car (huge understatement) because when he's around a smoker (Karl), tired, emotionally exhausted, and hungry- he is not super awesome to be with. So he broke the GPS (awesome) and now it makes a weird ticking noise and I'm pretty sure I need a new one. Anyways. We get to the hotel and then Amy picks me up and we drive the 90 minutes to Rochester.

Obviously, I'm EXHAUSTED by the time we get there. I'm tired from the driving, I'm tired from crying, I'm so overwhelmed from my last few weeks that I seriously need to just do nothing. Which sucks for her, but god. I can't even tell you how burned out I feel. I really can't explain it.

But we ended up going to dinner which was great even though we had a shitty waitress who never did bring me my nachos. Which is fine... I don't need nachos AND a burger. Fucking MOO, right? We did some window shopping, but I did get some perfume and lotion from Victoria's Secret. And some face primer! Then we decided we were going to go see a movie and with it being so late, our options were limited. We ended up picking One For The Money because it looked funny.

Um, it's not. It is probably one of the worst movies I have ever seen. Katherine Heigl... I loved her in Knocked Up, but everything else is shitty. And she needs to never ever attempt a Jersey accent because it is criminal. They should have just told her to stop trying to do that. And her character is horrible. It basically makes me not want to read the books at all.

Anyways.

So on Sunday, Amy and I went over to St. Mary's to visit Jessica. I'm going to be honest- I miss Jessica. A lot. I feel wrong for wanting someone to die so my friend can have their organs, but I do. That makes me a terrible person, but I can't help it. We hung out with her for a little while and it felt good to see her not bed ridden or anything but god. I'm not going to lie- I didn't expect to see her look so frail. In my head it's like, obviously she isn't jumping around, but still. But I do want to go down to see her again and I hope to do that soon. I'm going to see what I can do money wise to make it happen. I feel like her spirits are going down and anything I can do to make them better I'm going to do.

After visiting Jess, Amy and I went to IKEA. I'm not going to even talk about the annoyingness of Matt telling me him and the kids are waiting in the parking lot therefore making me basically rush through the place. But I will say that I was SO excited to get Matt's lamp (to replace the one Olivia accidentally broke), some cutting boards, picture frames and tongs. For under $50. I was happy.

I was not happy to find out once I got to the parking lot that Karl? Puking. Sara fun fact: I don't do well with puke. It's not really my thing. So I instantly get pissed off because who is that fucking irresponsible to have even one beer when hello- you're basically an alcoholic? You're going to get sick. THANK GOD he did not puke in the van on the way home otherwise I absolutely would have kicked his ass out at the first exit. Not kidding. I don't put up with that kind of shit. But I did have to have the heat on full blast and sweat my ass off while smelling remnants of puke, sweat, etc. My van smells like a bar right now and no amount of Febreeze is doing it.

So that was MY weekend. That was just two days in the life, people. TWO DAYS. This week I have a bunch of stuff to do for the PTO and just trying to organize my life. I've been so much on the go I have a huge stack of stuff I need to get done. Everybody wants everything from me and then get pissed off when I can't help out or do something. Well, I'm sorry- but my life has a lot of stuff happening all at once. Deal with it.

Anyways. So tomorrow I'm going to give you a hole update. Because you know you want to know about the hole.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Spin

I have had a pretty eventful couple of weeks and so much to tell you. A ton, really. But tonight while I get some stuff in order at home and some crap off my desk, I am going to review a book that I absolutely loved. Loved so much it's getting it's well earned spot in my top ten book list.

Spin by Catherine McKenzie

Kate’s To-Do List:
1. Go to rehab
2. Befriend/spy on “It Girl”
3. Write killer expose
4. Land dream job

Piece of cake!

When Kate Sandford lands an interview at her favorite music magazine, The Line, it’s the chance of a lifetime. So Kate goes out to celebrate—and shows up still drunk to the interview the next morning. It’s no surprise that she doesn’t get the job, but her performance has convinced the editors that she’d be perfect for an undercover assignment for their gossip rag. All Kate has to do is follow “It Girl” Amber Sheppard into rehab. If she can get the inside scoop—and complete the thirty-day program—they’ll reconsider her for the position at The Line. Kate takes the assignment, but when real friendships start to develop, she has to decide if what she has to gain is worth the price she’ll have to pay.

I want so much to tell you everything awesome about this book... but I can't. I can't because I feel like it would ruin it for you. But the quick and dirty is that Kate is a 20something aspiring writer who really wants to write for a music magazine but doesn't quite have her life together. She goes out drinking to celebrate her pre-birthday and from there she ends up going to her dream job interview completely drunk and has a not so proud moment puking in the bathroom. From there she goes to rehab because of her alternative assignment and she has to go through the motions as an alcoholic. When in reality, she is an alcoholic but just doesn't see it.

This book was funny, hands down. I found myself laughing and completely relating to Kate even though I don't drink at all. But I really appreciated her almost anti establishment attitude about rehab because I imagine if I were in her shoes I'd be the same way. The kicker is that she starts to befriend her "target" so to speak and learns some very real lessons in life. The book is sad in a way because you see a bit of a glimpse of celebrity and what it's probably like for them. It's hard to get better when everyone prefers to see you down for their own selfish reasons. The other thing I really liked about this book is that I think a lot of people have a drinking problem but think they don't. I can name at least two or three people I know who have issues but won't acknowledge it. It's harder to do the work to get better than it is to just drink it away and lose it all.

I so highly recommend this book to you. You will laugh, you'll get a few introspective moments, and you will have an incredibly hard time putting it down. Excellent book. I wish I wasn't so tired at this very moment to be overly expressive about the awesomeness of this book because it so deserves it.

You know I always recommend that you check out what other people are saying and you can do that HERE. Catherine has a website, Facebook and Twitter too.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Hookers, Batman, Cuteness and 4K.

I've been upfront with the fact that Matt and I make freaking adorable babies. The fact we are no longer having babies seems criminally and this post will only highlight why we should have more.

One phrase you'll hear in our household quite often is, "I sure love my hooker!" courtesy of Jackson. Meet the hooker:
 He loves the hooker. I don't know how it ended up being called the hooker, but it is and it cracks people up when out of nowhere he talks about how much he loves his hooker.

A few weeks ago Jackson and I were shopping at Target and he is my boy fashionista. He is super picky about the clothes he wears, when he wears them, and god forbid anything gets them dirty and/or wet because it is grounds for immediate outfit change. But at Target he spotted this Batman sweatshirt from clear across the store. He is obviously a huge Batman fan.
 So I had to get it because hello- the hood has bat ears on it. How could I not get this? Once we got home he insisted that I take pictures of him because again, he also likes his picture being taken. Mostly.
 But this face? This face is what you get when he's gotten into something or done something he definitely should not have done. It's the "I'm totally innocent and cute and you aren't mad are you, mom?" look. It's hard to be mad at Batman, I've got to be honest.

The other thing Jackson loves? His sissy. He loves Olivia sometimes too much. I think he drives her insane and she sometimes wishes he'd hold back on the love. But he insists on walking her to her classroom everyday, giving hugs and kisses. One day she didn't give him a hug/kiss and he started balling. It was kind of a scene. So now we make sure she says goodbye to him properly. But he thinks she is the greatest thing ever. And she probably thinks he's OK too.
 Last night we signed Jackson up for 4K and not going to lie, I didn't full out cry, but I did tear up a little filling out the forms. For my baby. *sigh* He is actually a really shy kid but once you get to know him you can't help but absolutely love him. He is such a lovebug that you can't help but want to keep him for your very own. Until he pees down your heat vents or smash chapstick on your tables, then it's questionable.
 I joked with my mom that I feel sorry for his teachers because he is a devil. He's so cute but he'll be just like my brother- super smart but a handful. I feel like I should pin a note to his shirt that says, "I'm sorry- I did the best I could. Good luck." on the first day.
This was from this morning. Olivia was so annoyed that Jackson wanted to sit on her lap and their facial expressions are awesome.

It's kind of sad to see the kids growing up because I don't know where the time is going. It seems like the first four years for Olivia went so slowly and with Jackson they are gone in the blink of an eye. I know it's because I am getting busier and busier with each year and I do the best that I can do. I'd by lying if I said I wasn't more than a little disappointed that we aren't having any more kids. I do wish we could have more because I really enjoyed being pregnant, I had easy pregnancies and easy labor and deliveries, and I really do enjoy the baby phases. But Matt definitely doesn't want any more kids and I have to respect that. It's just frustrating that he doesn't understand the baby fever I'm basically suffering with. Does it get any better?

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Why my porch smells like rotten milk.

Some of the people who know me in real life visit me often and drop by my house to borrow books, movies, kitchen shit, and sometimes I think they come because they know Matt will go get us ice cream without asking. Which is totally fine because I love having company and I think some of them secretly try to bust into my house to see it messy.

Which it rarely is, so I'm always on my toes.

But recently I've had a LOT of comments about the putrid rotten milk smell up in here and I know. I totally know it's rotten and rancid and bad. I KNOW. But there is a reason for it and it's a good one, so there.

Some of you know that I recently became the PTO President a few months ago. The job is pretty stressful so I completely understand how our previous President had to step down because it is a huge time commitment and she is hecka busy with her regular life. After I got my bearings about me and had someone of a vague idea of what I should be doing, it was time that we tackle... the milk caps.

Now, around here we have a semi-local milk company called Kemps that runs this super great program called the Nickels for Schools and it's basically we turn in specially marked milk caps, they give us a nickel for each one. It's simple for parents and the PTO gets the benefits. We also do the Box Tops for Education and the Labels for Education on select Campbells' products. (Do you just throw these out? DON'T! Our school could definitely use them!) Anyways. So the previous president told me she had a few bags of milk caps that needed to be counted and so we arranged for a time for Matt to pick them up after skiing one day. No problem.

Until...

Matt got home. Holy shit he was PISSED. Because I failed to ask how big the bags were... and there were five lawn sized trash bags. *gulp* Now, I didn't think it would take us long to count them because I had recently counted what was collected on the front table and I got through 2019 caps in about 20 minutes.

So after Matt dragged them into the house, we started counting them when the kids went to bed. We got through 4000 and had to quit. Our eyes were bugged out, we were both exhausted and it's hard to count when you're watching Hoarders at A&E because you look around yourself sitting in a pile of milk caps and think perhaps you aren't the person to be judging these folk. So we went to bed.

The next morning, I stepped in a HUGE fucking puddle on my living room carpet. Guess what happened? Some of the bags collected moisture and the caps had frozen into huge blocks of ice (they were stored in a garage, so this happens) and yeah..... overnight they thawed. On my stank ass already carpet. It was right around then that the smell of rotten milk wafted across me and I almost threw up right then and there. I had to go to work that morning and get the kids to school and to my mom's so I didn't have time to deal with it. When I came home, I was cleaning up a really disgusting mess.

Matt, obviously, was so pissed off he wouldn't look at me.

Rightfully so.

Because in the midst of the milk cap counting we were dealing with the hole in the wall in the living room situation. I feel bad that I didn't take a picture of all of the caps when they were in the massive pile because it was five times the size of this- no lie.
 Each box fits 2000 caps perfectly and I ended up with ten boxes total. So.. add more to this pile which is in my front porch. It all goes on Thursday so THANK GOD because my front porch now smells like rotten milk.
 Our school is also doing a classroom contest to see which class can collect the most milk caps, box tops, soup labels, etc so I had to come up with some collection containers. I ended up taking 20 empty coffee cans from my work and making them not look like coffee cans. But they made the other half of my porch look ghetto as well.
 But the cans aren't half bad. It's just awkward carrying twenty coffee cans into school.
So I've been busy. It's a good fundraiser for the school though so I'm happy to do it. I'll just be really happy when the milk caps are gone. And I'll have to just stay on top of the counting and boxing them up. Which I will be, no big deal. But I will say that Matt is kind of a milk cap counting rock star. He had a total system going and really counted more than I did, so fist pumps and booty shakes for him.

In other news, I'm fucking EXHAUSTED right now. Today was shit hole Tuesday which means I've only peed once and eaten none today. It is now 8:05pm and I am making Matt go get me something because I feel sick. And if you're wondering? I made it to everything without his help. Matt came to 4K registration, which was a stinking ZOO, and I ended up doing all of the paperwork while he sat and had pizza with the kids. I'll share more about that (with pictures) tomorrow.

Monday, February 6, 2012

You deserve better.

I know I have slacked off. It isn't because I didn't want to write or have material, because both counts are true. Oh do I have things to write about. Here's my problem: I'm friggin exhausted. I wish someone would just allow me to win the god damn lottery so I can hire professionals to do this house improvement shit. Any satisfaction that people say they get from this is false because if I paid someone I'd at least be able to bitch about the shoddy job.

Because what I am not, nor ever will be is a professional painter. And because my laziness got the best of me and I chose not to take the 20 minute total trip to get painter's tape? I have uneven lines and I am so damn exhausted I refuse to care anymore.

Anyways.

Let's talk about my Tuesday tomorrow. You all know how much I hate Tuesdays because everything happens on a Tuesday and every time Tuesday comes around I wish it were a real thing I could bitch slap into oblivion.

Sadly, it's not a real thing and I'd get questionable looks of concern and sadness from strangers if I had started beating up a calendar. But I'm telling you- we may get there yet.

Tomorrow my day looks like this:

7:30: Out of the house with both kids, drop off at mom's
8:30-12:30: Work.
1-2:30: Jackson has toddler class
3:15: Olivia done with school
3:15-4:30: Girl Scouts with Olivia (if you want cookies- let me know)
5:00-7:00: Jackson has 4year old Kindergarten sign up
6:00-6:45: Olivia's first dance class

I know- you're probably saying, "Sara, you have stuff double booked!" to which I say, I fucking know that whores. I KNOW. I can't miss either because they both have to get done tomorrow and yeah. Times like this I wish I could rely on Matt to not mess something up because I need his help. I could send him to dance class with Olivia but he has to decide on her costume sizing and ask questions that I need to know about. I could make him do the 4K registration, but again- I have questions I need answers for AND he'd have to not lose Jackson's birth certificate and other documents showing he is who he is.

My anxiety is a wee bit up.

Then Matt's grandma passed away and though we all knew it was coming, I secretly wished that she'd make it another week? This weekend is my girls weekend with Amy and we're going to see my sick friend Jessica in the hospital and the funeral is that day. So now I had to find a sitter for my kids for Saturday overnight, we have to leave super early on Saturday to drive four hours for a funeral and then Matt has to get me to Amy so we can do our girls thing and then somehow Matt and I need to reconnect on Sunday so you know, I can get home. It's going to be fun (the Amy and me part), stressful (trying to connect without issues), and long (the funeral) but what can you do? Matt wasn't close to his grandma and I have only seen her maybe 4 or 5 times total in the ten years we've been together but we're going because Matt is a pallbearer and to support his dad.

And THEN sometime this week (Matt thinks it'll be tomorrow... bwahahahahahahaha) we have to go to Home Depot to figure out the carpet situation. It's a hot mess and that is a whole other post for sometime this week. As is the painting (wall color pictures coming soon), the hole update, me high on fumes again, the baseboards, and then realizing we're more broke than we thought. Oh joys.

Prime Suspect, Face In The Crowd

I have not one, but TWO book reviews for you tonight. In between multiple coats of paint this weekend I got two books finished. I'll tell you right now that I think I was high from the paint fumes since I wasn't smart enough to you know, crack a window, so my comprehension of the books may be skewed. I think.


The moment Jane Tennison takes over Scotland Yard’s investigation into the death of sex worker Della Mornay, two grim facts become immediately clear to her. First, that the constabulary’s old boy club is determined to hinder, harass, and undermine the new female Detective Chief Inspector at every turn. And second, that their murder victim isn’t Della Mornay. Now the police are a step behind, and a madman is loose on the streets of London. To apprehend the criminal stalking women through the city’s shadows, Tennison will have to steel herself against the hostility of her fellow officers and conceal her own mounting obsession with breaking through the glass ceiling of the station house—even as department politics, a crumbling relationship, and a wickedly elusive prime suspect threaten her very existence.

Prime Suspect 2
The coroner’s report identifies the body as young, black, female, and impossibly anonymous. Yet one thing is clear to Detective Chief Inspector Jane Tennison about the latest victim discovered in one of London’s poorest districts—that news of her murder will tear apart a city already crackling with racial tensions, hurling Scotland Yard and Tennison herself into a maelstrom of shocking accusations and sudden, wrenching violence. Even as London’s brutal killer remains at large, Tennison remains locked in a struggle to overcome her station house’s brutal chauvinism and insidious politicking. And as the department’s deeply rooted racism rears its head to overshadow every facet of her new investigation, the trail of her prime suspect is growing colder. Worse, when the details of the beleaguered detective’s stormy personal life explode across the headlines of London’s sleaziest tabloids, Tennison’s already frenzied determination to bring the killer to justice will be catapulted into obsession—one that could send her spiraling over the edge.

I am working on the third book in this series right now because one thing I can tell you right off the bat is that these books are catchy. You are hooked into them right away and the writing is gripping. The only complaint I can really say is that I really struggled with some of the British slang used in the books. Admittedly, it might just be my skills as a reader but I have a hard time reading through it and find myself re-reading some passages and trying to decipher the meaning of it. So.. you may have no problem with this.

The characters are... interesting. As a woman I want to root for Jane because she's rocking her vagina but also working her way up the ranks with brains, talent and skill in regards to her job so you automatically cheer for that. What I don't like is how she is almost.. stereotyped? Look at most crime shows where you have a woman in charge and what qualities do they have or lack? Usually they are ballsy, mouthy, maybe less empathetic than most women, sometimes oblivious to anything outside of what she's focused on, etc. All of these traits characterize Jane but at the end of the day- she is a damn good officer and her fellow police officers reluctantly realize that.

I kept trying to guess the outcome of both books and every time I thought I figured something out ahead of the characters... I was wrong. But I really like how the author changed up the story just a little bit and added so much to the story with very little effort.

I highly recommend these books because they are really great for suspense and the thriller aspect. It's like reading an episode of Law & Order. To see what other bloggers are saying about these books, check it out HERE. Lynda LaPlante also has her own website which I recommend.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Maybe I will help a baby be made, and where babies aren't being made.

So... let's announce the winner of the KY Intimacy Experiment, shall we? But before I get to that... the winner is going to get some KY products and a really cool eBook to help you put those products to good use! Seasons of Love: A Holiday Passion Planner, is dedicated to helping couples reclaim the holidays, whether it be Valentine’s Day or April Fool’s Day, by proving they don’t have to be filled with errands and commitments, but rather, can present themselves as the perfect time to tune in to and turn on one another. All of my readers are able to pick that up if you want to do a little experimenting of your own. And maybe you'll make a baby. If you make a baby because of this contest... I'm open to being a godmother. (Be real- I'd be kind of kickass at that)

BUT... let's find out who the winner is:


**
I have been super busy trying to make my house look less ghetto because I can only take so much. Last week I was shopping at Target for a new shower curtain (because I got over zealous with bleach and ruined my other one that was amazing and matched my sink perfectly) and liner, but then I saw a bedding set that matched my wall color perfectly. No easy task since I've been looking for this for just about two years.

Isn't it great? I have REAL bedding, folks! (And yes, I did get a shower curtain too and I think it's bull shit at how expensive they are, as a matter of fact.)

What isn't funny is me trying to put said bedding on. I have a queen size bed and what I recommend other 5'3 white girls with no upper body strength to do is NOT try to rotate and flip your queen size mattress alone. Because when you do this, you will take out both dressers, both side tables, bend your mini blinds in two windows, almost take out your ceiling light fixture, pull a muscle in your arm, pee yourself from straining, almost kill both cats and scare the shit out of your three year old son who will start crying when this all happens in a one minute time frame.

The more you know.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Phone Calls, Friends, and Winners

I have mentioned before how I have, hands down, the best blog readers ever. I've mentioned this a bunch of times and yet I am continually astounded at the connection I've made with virtual strangers who've become friends I come to rely on. So the other day I did a blog post about Olivia having a difficult time in school with some kids being raised by wolves apparently, and I had GREAT feedback. Not just in the comments, but I got some really fantastic emails about what you've dealt with, advice for me, things I should read, and most of all- kind words for Olivia.

Yesterday we got a ton of super fun boxes in the mail which were unexpected and always a cool treat to come home to. Two of them came from Shirley, whom I adore and wish so badly that we lived closer together because we'd be tight bitches. I'm sure of it. Shirley sent my kids the BEST things, completely out of the blue, and a total random act of kindness. Olivia got this huge book which she almost peed herself about because it's like a teacher's book (and she wants to be a teacher, and we all have to play students so she can be the teacher) and she has wanted a huge book FOREVER. Seriously, forever. But the book is called Chrysanthemum and it's about a girl with an odd name that suits her perfectly.... but all of the kids tease her. So she starts to dread school and no matter what she does, she can't get the kids to like her. In the end the coolest teacher ever has a funky name and tells the class how cool Chrysanthemum's name was and so everyone liked her again. Such a great story and Olivia and I had a great conversation about it afterwards. And we've read it easily twenty times in two days. Try saying "chrysanthemum" repeatedly- it's hard.

And then just because she sent something for Olivia, Shirley sent Jackson a Thomas the Train matching game. Which he was so excited about because he hates playing the princess one and I'm too cheap to buy two of the same game. So we've been having a great time with that too. Because Shirley is amazing and I love her so. SO, the kids made you a picture Shirley- watch your mail soon. THANK YOU for being such an awesome person and caring about my kids.
 So while the kids were off playing, I opened up my package from my super awesome friend Amy. Now, she told me she was mailing me something and I kept forgetting about it, so this totally surprised me. Amy is my go-to person about anything beauty or clothing related. I'm stupid in these areas and I have to have Amy tell me what's what because she's so much more knowledgeable about it than I ever will be. And she's had to hear me bitch about being too cheap, but desperately needing, a pedicure... so she gets me a pedicure set. AND ear warmers. Because we searched high and low when she was here last for ear warmers that weren't ghetto fabulous and dorky. Couldn't find them. But not only did I get non ghetto ones, they have HEADPHONES in them. That's right- headphones. Fucking amazing. I had no idea that such a thing existed. Amy- you rock. (Two weeks till girls weekend!)
 Then probably the cutest thing EVER happened yesterday. Olivia got her first phone call at home. Ever. It was kind of awkward but completely amazing and adorable. It came from her friend Paige who I hear about all of the time. Paige is apparently the coolest kid that has ever entered her world because she wants to be Paige I think. I think they coordinate outfits? Because Olivia tells me every morning what she HAS to wear and sure enough- there's Paige with something similar. Tutu's on the same day, same hair on some days, they have a couple of the same shirts so that's coordinated. And the teacher tells me they play teacher during choice time (since the class has two teachers it works out perfectly) and they are always together. SO, in an effort to help Olivia at school I thought if I start getting her together with kids outside of class that maybe that will help- so I sent Olivia to school with all of our contact information so Paige could give it to her mom.

Enter, phone call:
 At first she was nervous.
 And she tried DAMN HARD not to smile when I was taking her picture. Because you know I had to get such a monumental moment in a girl's life on camera. It lasted maybe 30 seconds and consisted of an awkward hello and a bunch of silence, but the point is- she received a phone call and she was thrilled. So Paige's mom and I spoke for awhile and we've got a play date set up for Monday.

AND, I signed Olivia up for dance class. She has been coming home begging to do a dance class which, *surprise*, Paige is in. I got the information from Paige's mom and for $30 a month, I can swing that. I'll just find the money. But I think this will be good for her in addition to her Girl Scouts. (Oh, by the way- my girl is selling Girl Scout cookies... email me your orders and I'll ship them to you for a $5 shipping fee. She thinks she can sell 100 boxes, I think I have my work cut out for me.)

OK, so before I go, let's do the winners for the Reader Rally Mega Giveaway that was happening.. a few weeks ago. I don't know who the big winner on that blog was, but the two book winners from my blog are: (thank you, Random.org)

#6 Eileen Ward

#14 Shadow Kohler

I will email you both to get your mailing information, but YAY for being winners. And even if you are a loser in this case... you're still a winner to me. (aw... after school special moment right there).