Humorous thoughts on adulthood – thank goodness for chocolate, drinks, friends, and duck tape!

Graduation, frenemies, and Mother Theresa – my words of advice

I can’t believe it, but we have yet another niece graduating (and a nephew graduating from college but he’s not the sentimental type)!  And graduation always makes me reflective and feel the need to impart my wisdom.  Okay, my wisdom hasn’t gotten me a national TV show or a Pulitzer, but it also hasn’t landed me in jail or on a hit list (at least, none I’m aware of)!  So here are a few tidbits I hope our niece comes to learn and maybe you can share these with some kid in your family that listens better to somebody they don’t know! lol. Or maybe you just need your own little reminder:

Ba-bye, bitches!

First off, say farewell to your frenemies. Do it nicely. High school (and the business world and the PTA and the bar) is all about the people you like on any given day, hate on any given day, are jealous of on any given day, and can’t wait to get rid of on any given day. Today, you get to get rid of them. Do so gracefully. Wish them well. Cry over what was and what will be in all its scary glory, and then keep your mouth shut. You don’t have to burn a bridge, you can just choose not take that route anymore.

Old Money is still the best Money

Secondly, remember where you came from. Be loyal. Friends and family are just like clothing. The new is exciting and fun and always nice to have for special occasions, but the old stand-by pajama pants and prom t-shirt from 10 years ago will be comfy and reliable and what you need on a bad day. Same with the people you surround yourself with. It’s okay to have new people in your life, but don’t ditch the old. Dance with the one you came with. They brought you here.

Don’t be a Hater!

Third, the world may be screwed up, but you don’t have to be. I really like that Mother Theresa quote about how the world may hate or do wrong, do good anyway. There are plenty of screwed up people, situations, and moments in life. Rise above.

Better to change your mind than to not use it!

Fourth, it’s okay to change your mind. Not 500,047 times, but when you need to, go ahead. If the major isn’t right, switch it. If the friends aren’t the right circle, ditch ‘em. If the job is somewhere else, try it. We all have a plan. Sometimes, we stay on that path. Sometimes, we take the road less traveled and that makes all the difference… (Yes, Robert Frost, you were right.)

Humble and Kind, just like Tim McGraw says. Please!

Fifth, be humble. Never think you’re better than. There are those that have a lot to put on their résumé and there are those that could but don’t have to. There will always be people telling you how great they are and there will always be people that are just great. Be the great. Don’t think you’re owed anything. Hope floats when you realize your cup runneth over. (Yes, love that movie!)

It all comes out in the wash…

Here’s the bottom line: there will be crappy times when people die, your basement floods, your kid gets sick, and you want to crawl into bed and sleep it off. There will be times when you sit with a drink in your hand, look up at the blue sky, look around you at the group of people talking and laughing with you, and you’ll soak it in. Life isn’t easy, but it is doable.

Live well.
Do good.
Take God with you.
Build the right relationships.
Find your little piece of happiness and live in it.
Laugh when the wheels fall off. Then, put ‘em back on and bolt those sonofabitches down and take a roadtrip.
Happy Graduation, little girl! May life always treat you kind…

 

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Any words of wisdom you’d like to share?  Any of those ring true with you?  Got a graduation you’d like me to speak at? lol.  Tell me.

#ParentingFail for the Win on Mother’s Day

not happy – t-shirt slogan:  Ain’t no mama like the one I got. #Truth

 

Mother’s Day is looming. I haven’t handled Mother’s Day yet for either mother, mine or the husband’s. I know what I want to do but making it happen is a whole ‘nother ball game. The funny part is that I forget that the day is for me, too, now. It’s weird. I guess I still think of my mom instead because she is most definitely a great mom.

 

I, however, am not a great mom. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not looking for platitudes. I try. In fact, I try really hard, but my parenting fails are vast and many. So instead of telling you how glorious motherhood is and how wonderful the whole experience is, I will do my usual and keep it real.

 

Parenting fails – I don’t even know where to start on my list:

 

#ParentingFail #599 – Most nights, there’s more food on the floor at Chez Carley than in her mouth.

 

#ParentingFail #600 – Yes, she still sleeps with me.

 

#ParentingFail #695 – No, she is not potty-trained yet at 2 ½. No, I do not feel bad about that.

 

#ParentingFail #789 – I have already had to restrict her YouTube usage because she was going to inappropriate sites, like ones that had spiders on them and ones that involved laughing after farting. No, no nudity, but spiders are bad enough. Thank you.

 

#ParentingFail #1050 – My daughter may, or may not, have been known to eat a brownie for breakfast, but in her defense, she saw me doing it first.

 

#ParentingFail #2000 – My daycare provider is counting the days till she is rid of us, partly in hopes that my daughter doesn’t break a bone on her watch and partly because we don’t follow rules well.

 

#ParentingFail #2999 – Sometimes, I yell when I get mad or growl in attempt at not yelling. My daughter now grrrs… Clearly, I need to rethink my attack. However, I will consider it a parenting win that she hasn’t said any cuss words…yet.

 

And those are just the ones that come to my head today.

 

So here I am trying to remind you that parenting is hard. You shouldn’t feel bad if you think so, too. And, your mom, well, she deserves a new house, car, grand reception, and a mini-bar, but if you can’t make that happen, at least give her a call or a card. They gave us life and we gave them problems and insecurities and, with any luck, some happiness along the way.

 

That’s how it is for me…

 

Everyday, I worry about what I screw up. Everyday, I try to be better. Everyday, I know that my daughter doesn’t have it bad and that all I can do is love her the best I/we know how. Everyday, I hope that it will be enough. But everyday, in spite of the things I get frustrated with her for, I see that little face asleep on my arm and I hope I am doing her justice because for every naughty thing she does, she is still my precious little puddin’ pop, and I am blessed that she’s ours.

 

I’m not really sure that Mother’s Day covers the years of hard work, but it’s a good place to start.

 

So, thank you, to all of you who try hard, who put food on the table, and give your kids a moral compass. It isn’t easy. I have 2 and a half years under my belt and I think I could use 50 to be good at it. In the meantime, give yourself an umbrella drink and a night out with a babysitter if that’s what life requires right now. You’ve earned it.

 

Happy Mother’s Day!

 

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Got any #ParentingFails? Got any #ParentingWins to brag about? Got something else to share or say? Let’s here it.

May Day, Stress Indicators, and why I Blab in Person only

That’s the way to do May Day!

Do you ever have that shining realization that work is easier than the rest of your life? It’s been happening to me lately. No, I don’t blab it all over Facebook because I’d rather blab it in person to the select few in my path, lol, but seriously, I wouldn’t want people to think my life is perfect. I don’t do perfect. Never have. Hoping someday I will. Lol.

 

Work is routine and I can do it. Don’t get me wrong. Working with teenagers is never “easy.” In fact, if I told you what’s been happening at my school, you’d be like, “Seriously?” but at least there is predictability to my job – it’s always going to be unpredictable. I’ve done it for 20 years, and I kinda know how to handle it. Whereas the rest of my life, well, it’s been a little bit of a rollercoaster. Not that I would expect anything less, but I was kinda hoping. Crazy me!

 

So you know how they have those charts of how to measure when you have a lot of stress? And they have a list of things that might cause you stress like deaths, moving, new children, natural disasters, new jobs, etc. Yeah, I might have a few of those checked off. Let’s see:

 

*I’m retiring from my job after 20 years.

*I’m job-hunting.

*I moved to a new house and town.

*I am trying to sell my other house in another town.

*I have ants in my new house.

*I have a two-year-old.

*I have a two-year-old who burned her hand on a garden tiller.

*I am commuting for the first time in 20 years.

*I am commuting with a 2-year-old.

*We have family functions every weekend till June.

*And, don’t forget, I am still employed, too.

 

Um, yeah, I think I might have some stress. In fact, let me assure you that if you see me, you can probably plan on me looking a little white-trashy with a cold sore or 5. That’s what stress does to me. But I know I’m not alone. EVERYBODY has stress! It seems to be a constant in our day and age, and I kinda hate that for all of us.

 

However, there are 2 saving graces to my week. One – I am going to see the Loop girls on Saturday and see horse racing for the first time ever! Secondly, even though I don’t need more to do, I am going to prep for one of my favorite holidays: May Day!

 

Why? You ask. Because the best way to get over yourself is to do something nice for someone else. Will it be full-scale? Probably not, but it will be something for at least a few. If you don’t know what May Day is or how much I love it, click here. Welcome to the magical world of a Happy May 1st in a world where we do too much working and complaining and not enough “loving thy neighbor.”

 

So if you are stressed and on the brink of insanity, pick up a basket or a bucket or a gift bag and shove that thing full of a little piece of happiness for the next guy.

 

Happy weekend, everybody!

 

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Got a great May Day story for me? You have something good planned? Stressed out and have more on the list than me? Let’s here it, boys and girls!

the grass is always greener…especially when it rains…or beef, bahama mama, and nightcrawlers

So we are officially two weeks into living in our hometown again after 25 years in the ‘burbs. It’s kinda weird, but I’ve already realized a few of the reasons we are back on home turf, more than just raising our little girl in a small town and being close to the fam.

 

First off, I went to the locker in Hancock on Saturday, got me some dried beef and Colby cheese, drove back, went to Dollar General or “DG” as the locals call it lol, got my hooks to hold my hairdryer and was back home in a shorter amount of time than it would have taken me to even drive to Target, let alone shop and drive home! Oh, the efficiency! Yay!

 

Secondly, I’m outside Sunday trying to lasso my child back into the house when my former, I know better than to call her old, English teacher shows up at our door to welcome us home. Can I just mention how sweet that is? Now, I’m sure she has a few ulterior motives, but I’m game.

 

Third, a couple of nights ago, I had an actual conversation with my neighbors IN THEIR HOUSE! I have not hung out with neighbors just to shoot the sh** since I was in college. I feel like I should show up at their house with Domino’s pizza and Bahama Mama (if I could even find it) to celebrate!

 

Fourth, I went to pull out of my very soggy driveway yesterday morning and see a guy using a flashlight to look around on the ground in the cul de sac. No need to panic! As I suspected, he was simply gathering nightcrawlers! I love living in a place where people put a priority on fishing! Yes, ma’am.

 

Finally, I won some silent auction items at a Relay for Life event a couple of months ago in which I got babysitters for 3-hour blocks. I texted the first one this week to see if she might be available this weekend and she was! And she even sounded excited to babysit for us! Dude, if you have ever had a 2-year-old you know how damn happy that can make a person!

 

PS – we will be attending the Betterment Committee’s Murder Mystery Theater Saturday night if you’re interested, go here to buy tickets!

 

Seriously though, I will be honest and tell you that after it has rained every day for the entire time we have lived there and commuting, I was starting to have reservations… Starting to doubt my decision to load up and haul my hubby and baby out of the city. I may, or may not have, had a few meltdowns along the way, but I know in my heart, I was meant to be back home. Bon Jovi and I, we know these things. So here’s to my discovering even more great reasons to be home and here’s to all of you who continue to put up with me no matter where I live. Love you guys.

 

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What great things have you realized once you moved? Or is there something you really love about small towns or the ‘burbs that you want to share? Are you mid-life-changes and got advice for me? Bring it on!

Baby, or should I say Iowa? I’m home!

So, I have mentioned a few of the reasons why I will miss Bellevue, but I feel like that means I also need to say what I’m looking forward to in my hometown, AKA things other people take for granted when they live in a rural community!

 

I am looking forward to people waving at me, and not the only-the-middle-finger kind. Nothing makes me feel more like I’m in a small town than a jaunty wave from someone I may, or may not, know.

 

And with that sentiment, I also love knowing whose car is whose. Yes, you can call me a Nosy Nelly, but I like knowing who I’m meeting on the road and if I need to take the gravel so Old Man Klaus doesn’t hit me or if I should throw my head out the window like a sloppy-tongued dog to wave at my bro-in-law.

 

Speaking of, I’m kinda excited to be living next to my family again. I know I haven’t been that far away, but there’s a big difference between 5 minutes and 45 when you’re carrying a prime rib or a 2-year-old.  I am looking forward to being able to run to my parents’ house to let Ellen play with the calves or read a book with grandma when I know that my husband is going to be late getting home. I also will be able to get my hair cut on a weeknight, and I’m hoping my other sister drops off dirt cake occasionally. Ha ha.

 

You can also laugh at me when I tell you I’m looking forward to moving home in hopes of having a few more friends. I have found that the ‘burbs are full of acquaintances, but, at least in my case (which maybe it’s just me, I’ve often suspected that, but my sweet husband promises me it is not the case), it has not been full of long-time-laugh-and-drink-daiquiris-while-our-kids-play kind of friendships. Don’t get me wrong. I’ve been blessed with some incredible people in my life while I’ve been in Bellevue, and I plan to hold onto the ones I’ve got, but it doesn’t mean there isn’t room for more and I’m kinda hoping for some couple friends. We clearly need to get out more! Lol.

 

Another small thing is that I’m ready to see sunsets and sunrises again, or for that matter, stars in the sky. We live in a very treed-in neighborhood and although I love the trees, I miss seeing the sky. You will probably notice a sudden and annoying increase in my scenic view pictures on Facebook. Lol.

 

I’m also ready for that sense of community that only comes from a rural town. I want to be a part of something. I always have. I like knowing everyone and since I don’t have a lot of skeletons in my closet for the gossips to parrot about, I feel pretty safe about my rumor mill status. I think they call it nonexistent.

 

And, finally, I may sound like a snob and I don’t really mean to be that because Nebraska has been good to me, but well, I’m excited to say I’m an Iowa girl again!

 

I could go well beyond that list, but seeing how I should be packing instead of blah, blah, blahing as my husband would say, I’ll just say this: bring on the pott co!  Peace out, NE!

Ba-Bye, Bellevue, Nebraska. It’s been real.

Ba-Bye, Bellevue!

Have you ever ended up somewhere for a really long time unexpectedly?  That’s me and Bellevue.  We’ve had a good run considering it was supposed to be a 9-month lease, and I’d be out the door.  I totally blame the pool at my apartment complex.  It lured me in. Now, here I am 20 years later realizing I’m finally gonna leave.  And have you ever noticed you appreciate something or someone a lot more when you realize you’re not gonna have them around anymore?  Yep.  It’s like that aunt that pinched your cheeks or your fat jeans you no longer need but love for what they did for you or that ex-boyfriend who was cute and bought you flowers even if he was too dumb to keep.  That’s my relationship with Bellevue.

 

We go way back – 20 years. Lol.  Never thought I’d say that, but lately, I’ve been looking around and, surprisingly enough, I’m gonna miss this place.

 

The materialistic side of me is going to miss fast food row.  Laugh if you want, but it’s nice to have so many choices.  When you grow up with a Dairy Queen and a JACS Steakhouse, variety is the spice of life, or at least your diet.  I love me some Swine Dining ribs, some Catfish Lake tenderloins, some Stella fries, some B&B Classic Dogs (peanut butter and bacon, baby), some Sonic tots, some Reese’s Brownie Royale from Summer Kitchen Cafe, and a strawberry smoothie from Scooters.  Can we still come over and eat here?  Well, Jason tells me it will still be fine to cross the river, but you know how it goes, you just don’t get there as often.

 

The non-materialistic side is going to miss deer grazing in my backyard.  Now, maybe I will finally be able to have hostas and be able to wake up in my lounger without a deer staring at my pasty white body, but I like the deer.  I like their lack of concern for me and that sometimes you have to stop and take a picture of the baby triplets in the middle of the street causing you to be an extra minute late to work.  I’m gonna miss the overly-friendly squirrels that eat our pumpkins, the rabbits that hippy-hop through my yard, and the occasional wild turkey that crosses the road much more leisurely than any chicken people speak of.

 

And for that matter, I’m gonna miss my backyard, too.  I love that it’s green, lush, and peaceful.  I can lay out in all my lack of glory and nobody sees me but the deer and the jet pilots flying overhead (sorry, boys!).

 

Speaking of men in uniform, I’m gonna miss the patriotism, too.  One of my favorite things about Bellevue is that people honor the flag and the military here.  Obviously that might have something to do with Offutt Air Force Base, but that’s okay by me.  I like the Veteran’s Day parade (and the Aeros to Areospace one).  I like that most of my neighbors have an American flag flying.  I like seeing a jet come in for a landing over my head.  Oh, and don’t get me started about how I stalk the Air Show from my deck!  I also really like the old guy down the street who trained people to survive in hostile territories.  I like that nobody really cares about your nationality because there’s a little bit of everything here because people have been all over the world and skin color is the least of their concern.

 

I’m also gonna miss Haworth Park.  I love that I can get that close to the Missouri.  I love the view on a snowy day, on a foggy day, on a warm sunrise morning, or the view of the bridge at nightfall.  Some of my favorite pictures have come from there.

 

And believe it or not, I’m going to miss my sense of anonymity.  Yeah, I’m a Cheers “Where everybody knows your name” kind of girl in most situations (that’s one of the many reasons we are moving home), but then there’s that other feeling of being safely tucked away in your house with a blanket and a nap in your future on a Saturday afternoon that really can’t be beat.  And believe me, nobody’s knocking on our door in Bellevue.  Not even a Girl Scout cookie salesman.

 

But I will miss this house.  It was our first house.  Our first “we-really-are-adults” purchase.  Sure, there are plenty of things that could be upgraded, but it’s the home that we have shared for 10 years, the home we brought our baby home to, and the home I decorated the way I wanted it with the pennies we had at the time.  And don’t think for one second I won’t miss my bathroom wall complete with The Brady Bunch and Julia Child smashing nuts. lol.

 

And, of course, there’s one other building I will miss.  It might surprise some people, but I will miss Logan Middle School.  I have spent pretty much my entire adulthood going to that building and meeting some pretty special people in my life and some pretty impressive kids that became amazing adults.  Because that’s what it comes down to – the people.  I’m gonna miss the best daycare provider ever!  I’m gonna miss being a few minutes away from my walking partner.  I’m gonna miss my taxi service crew.  I’m gonna miss the lunch ladies that sing to me, and I’m gonna miss the me that has all those crazy memories.

 

But that’s okay.  I’m glad there will be something to miss.  And those people – well, I will make time for the ones that understood exactly why I’m leaving even when there’s all those things I will miss.  They’re the ones I will take with me, even if I have to cross the river to see them.

 

Change is hard for me, but I’m ready.  So thanks, Bellevue, for the memories, but there’s a little house in a little town waiting for me and my little family…

 

 

 

 

Good guy wins, Focus words, Wildcards, and Fun Facebook posts!

What's your word? "Phone a friend" is completely legal on this one!

What’s your word? “Phone a friend” is completely legal on this one!

 

So have you seen those My InTent bracelets you can get? I was watching them talk about them on the Today Show and about how the guy started it as a fun project he did for his friends and for birthdays and then, because Jay-Z and Kanye happened to wear one, it has turned into a crazy big business. If you haven’t seen them, he uses this string and ties it to what looks like a washer and there’s a word etched into the washer and you tie it around your wrist. The word is supposed to be something that means something to you and that keeps you focused on what you want in life.

 

Personally, I think I probably need more than just a bracelet! But I do understand that a visual reminder you see constantly should actually help. It’s like the Fit Bit telling you that you haven’t done crap today or looking at the pile on your desk as the cue that you are behind and swamped, except this is positive.

 

So what would your word be? Do you even have any ideas?

 

I was thinking about it for me. At first, I thought FOCUS, but that kinda defeats the purpose of finding a word to focus on. Lol. So then I thought of TELOS. Telos is your ultimate object or aim or purpose in the world. If I knew what my telos was, I’d already be focused on it! Lol. I still think it would be a good option, but my husband and I were having a conversation about how we are moving back to Oakland, and he said the perfect word. He said I was the WILDCARD. And I loved it!

 

That, my friends, is what I always hope to be: the wildcard! In any given situation, I could be the difference maker. I could be the one that sways the decision. I could be the one they don’t see coming.   I could be the unexpected. I could be the unpredictable one. I could be the one that pushes it to greatness. Now what that greatness is? Please don’t ask! Because I don’t know right now, unless of course you are referring to how I add just the right amount of frosting to a brownie! Lol.

 

But I do know I like the sound of being a wildcard. I like the idea of showing you left and going right. I like the idea of being the ace in the hole you have tucked away up your sleeve when you’re out of cards. I like being the surprise at the bottom of the crackerjack box.

 

So think about it. What is your word? Or what is the fun word you really want to be about? Share this post and ask your friends on Facebook what it should be! God knows we could all use some fun posts on fb right about now (instead of those awful political ones)! Or you can just tell me in the comment section. Maybe you already have a brilliant idea on your own!

 

So tell me what you’ve got to say! I’m excited to hear it!