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Thursday, September 30, 2010

Type A Moms(who weren't really Type A)

When I decided to attend Type A Mom, it was mostly out of convenience, since it is in North Carolina. Even though it's across the state from me, it sounded like it's close when I was rationalizing this to Hubs.

But, the name intimidated me. Because I'm so not Type A. I was worried that I would stick out and possibly get kicked out for being Type R(relaxed mama).

I was pleasantly surprised by how real the women were that I met and that Type A Mom just referred to those of us who get it done.

Btw, after Type A Mom, I basically got home, unpacked and then repacked to go to my brother's wedding, so I'm a little behind on things- I'll catch up next week. Visiting your blogs, commenting, and a few new giveaways that I think you'll be excited about.  I also have a review coming up with CSN Stores, which has everything under the sun, it seems, including an ottoman coffee table. But, for this week, Please excuse Shell from blogland and don't hate her for being mostly absent.

The first night there, we had a speed dating event, where we were all changing tables and quickly introducing ourselves. I don't have any pics from that night...which is a shame because it's the night that I looked the most put-together and had someone tell me that I look like Kristin Chenoweth, all little and cute and bubbly...whom I googled as soon as I got back to my room because I'm clueless. So, since there are no pics from that first night, you'll have to assume that I looked just like this...only I was wearing a gray sweater and have brown eyes.

My roommate, Amethyst, and I went out to dinner with Jenn and Victoria from Eden Fantasys(who were so nice and fun- and didn't hold it against me when I started to get soooo tired and quiet as the night went on) to a local place where I had the best sandwich ever. Everything in Asheville is just so cute and funky. The food is soooo fresh. I could almost live in that adorable town- if only I didn't need the ocean air to breathe.

I couldn't have asked for a better roommate. We talked and talked and talked about everything and anything. And she brought me presents(note to self: bring presents for people at the next conference you go to, because maybe then people will gush about you, too).

This is Amethyst and I on day 3. Got that? Day one, I look like Kristin Chenoweth. Day 3, I am in my yoga gear with my hair in a ponytail.

I will do another post about the actual conference day itself, talking about the things that I learned and the women who inspired me, like Jennifer James. (Another note to self: if you absolutely fall in love with a blogger at a conference, you can tone down your enthusiasm when meeting them so they don't think you're a stalker. Kthanks.)

After the sessions on Saturday, I went to a Mystery Meet-up(let me clarify and say that this was NOT sponsored by Type A Mom). I almost don't want to tell you about it because I don't want you going and fighting for my RSVP spot next year. Except that HA! I already RSVP'ed for next year.

Megan and Jen put it together and it was so much fun. Probably because it felt so natural to connect with the women who were there. Plus, you know, I like to eat, so if you feed me, especially if you give me cheesecake, I'm a happy woman. Oh, and again, with giving of gifts. Why I didn't think of this, I'll never know.

Mama Dweeb and me. She is pregnant...I am not. Just to clarify.

Me and Caitlin from Mabel's Labels. I've worked with her quite a bit recently and it was so nice to actually get to meet her. 

Again, with the gifts. Really, I should have thought of this. My only even remotely-genius moment was wearing a bright pink scarf so that I could tell people how to find me. 

I loved hanging out with Blue Violet, who now lives sorta kinda by me, so I'm hoping to get to see her again!

I could never list all the wonderful people that I talked to, but definitely check out Mommiecooks, jdaniel4smom, and....yes, I'm calling people by their twitter names...well, just check out the Type A Mom twitter list.

I'm away visiting family this week and getting ready for my baby brother's wedding, so I know I've left fabulous people off of this list...I'm totally blaming my mother. Isn't that what usually happens in therapy? 

A HUGE THANK YOU to Tooth Soap for making my trip possible!

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Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Pour Your Heart Out: Margaritas All Around

If you need more info about Pour Your Heart Out, see THIS post.

But, really, it's anything that YOU consider pouring your heart out.

Be sure to check out some of the links- you will find some amazing stories out there.
Again, just a brief reminder that everyone linking is pouring their hearts out and we should all be respectful in our comments. ;)


Apparently, I have a problem with reading a calendar and didn't realize when I registered to go to Type A Mom that it was the week before my brother's wedding. I somehow thought there was an extra week in between September 24th and October 1st. Sadly, the calendar won out and I was wrong.

So, that put me getting back from being away at the conference for three days....to needing to pack up and leave two days later. As you are reading this, I'm most likely visiting family.

Such crazy timing has put me in a mood to have a random heart pouring. All the things that are weighing on me right now.

Maybe  I should have blogged about the conference first, before continuing my story about my past, because that felt draining. Good, but draining. Thanks so much to everyone for your supportive comments about my story.  Posts about the conference are coming, though, I promise.

This week, I'm visiting family and friends for the first time since we moved almost a year ago. I'm excited, but also stressing as to how I can possibly fit everything in, since we will only be there from Wednesday until Sunday morning...and I have the rehearsal dinner on Friday night and the wedding on Saturday, so that really doesn't allow a whole lot of extra time.  I wish that I could really get to spend time with everyone that I want to see, but I just don't see how it's possible.

My boys absolutely cannot wait to see my best friend's boys. Which is a total blessing, since I can't wait to see her, either.  I loved when we lived close and got to see each other every week. She understands me like no one else does. Everyone needs a friend like that.

I planned a night out with my margarita girls. Love them, but it feels weird because I haven't seen them in so long and we haven't been great at keeping in touch. Part of me is hurt about this, but another part of me knows that it's just as much my fault as it is theirs. And no, they don't know about this blog.

Totally stressing about Monkey's cat allergies, since my parents have a cat and his eyes now instantly swell up if he's anywhere near an animal these days. Bright red little slits for eyes will not be attractive in the ring bearer for my brother's wedding.

When I say parents, I really mean my mom and my stepdad. Though, I will be seeing my father and his wife at the wedding, too. I haven't talked to them in over 4 years.  By my own choice, because I decided it was the best thing to do for my kids. I'm worried that they are going to cause a scene.

Though, while we're at it, my mother could cause a scene, too, since she hates that we moved away again.

I'm happy for my brother that he is marrying someone that he loves. I really hope that their day is all that they imagine it to be and that everyone remembers that it is their day and only about them.

*I'm probably going to be a little absent this week since I'm away, but I will catch up with everyone when I can....and next week if I don't get any computer time while I'm away.

Please link up your Pour Your Heart Out posts: whether you are talking about one topic or you need to get a bunch of random things out like I did this week- remember it's your definition of pouring your heart out. Please take the time to visit some of the other linkers to share in their stories, too.


Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Was It a Big Mistake?

Yes, I do realize it's obnoxious to speak about yourself in the third person. But, it's how I've decided to deal with some parts of my story. Parts that feel as if they are from another lifetime. Though you don't have to have read it all to read this part, in case you want to, it started when I moved to a place I'd only been before for a few hours the day after I turned 22 HERE and then moved on to being flooded out by a hurricane less than two months later HERE. Ten days later, I met someone I had an instant connection with. Apparently, based on comments, it might be a little bit too much to handle if you are reading this before breakfast, but you can check that out HERE.

He walked her back downstairs as the sun was beginning to rise. At her car, they turned and faced each other. He leaned down so their foreheads were touching, his hands on the sides of her neck.

"I can't believe I found you," he whispered. "I hate that I have to go out in the field today. I'll call you when I get back. Ten days."

They kissed and lingered as long as possible, but she finally had to leave.

As she drove off base, alone, she had the biggest smile on her face. It was like a fairy tale. The set-up, the gorgeous guy, the instant connection. And then the night they had just spent together....

But, as she drove, the smile faded and the color drained from her face.

She didn't really know him. He didn't know her. He was going to be unreachable for the next ten days.

She wondered if she'd been played. He had the best excuse for not calling her soon. What if while he was out in the field, he thought about it and decided that he didn't want this to be anything more?

The only thing she could think to do was to try not to think about it at all. At least she knew that he wasn't lying about leaving that day, since Tonya's husband was leaving, too.

But, while she was out and about anyway, she decided to go to the store and get a phone and an answering machine. She had given him the phone number to her place, which was currently unlivable, due to the hurricane.Her phone and answering machine had been destroyed. She wasn't even sure exactly where she would be living when he would get back, so she gave him her home number.

He might not be the only one trying to reach her; that phone and answering machine were completely practical to buy right this second. And of course she needed to go set them up right then, too. Just in case.

She would like to remind you that this story is taking place in 1999, when cell phones were not common.

Pushing him out of her mind seemed like the logical thing to do.

But, she couldn't do it.

One minute, she would be swept up thinking of the romance of it all.

The next, she would be convinced that she would never hear from him again.

She tried to convince herself that she wouldn't care if she didn't hear from him again. That she could chalk it up to an incredible life experience, a memory she could have of a time when her life was like something out of a romance novel, if even for just a night.

He wasn't going to call.

It would be okay.

She would be okay.

As the ten days slowly began to pass, she kept her head held high and pretended not to care. Even when Tonya would mention wishing the days would pass faster so that her husband would be home.

Every day, she went by her place under the pretense of checking on the progress of the repairs from the hurricane damage. But, it was that message light that really had her attention.

On the tenth day, she and Tonya made plans to meet back at the school at 5 in order to get their cheerleaders ready for the game. Even though she tried to hide how anxious she was feeling, Tonya must have known because she said, "I don't think the guys will be back until later tonight."

Thankful for the distraction of the night's game and knowing that she shouldn't expect to hear anything from him until later that night or even the next day, she ran by her place quickly after school.

She held her breath as she pressed play on her answering machine and then let out a shriek when she heard his voice. His voice telling her that he missed her, that she was all he could think about when he was gone, that he wished he was talking to her and not her machine, and that he wanted to see her that night. And then he left his number.

Unable to play it cool for any longer than it took her to take a few deep breaths, she called him. It seemed their first night together wasn't just some sort of fluke. They really did share some sort of instant connection.

She had to disappoint him- and herself- and tell him that she couldn't see him that night, that she had to be there to coach the cheerleaders with Tonya. After all, if he was back, so was Tonya's husband, and yet her friend wasn't going to skip out of the game to spend time with her husband. So, it wouldn't be fair for her to skip out, either.

But, oh, how she wanted to. Middle school cheerleading? That's not important. At all. And compared to this, it was completely pointless. But, they agreed to meet the next night.

She hung up the phone, feeling both disappointed and excited.

At the game, Tonya passed on the information from her husband that X had called her the second they got back to the shop. He didn't even go back to his barracks to drop off his things or shower first.  And that he had talked about her all the time out in the field.

"I think it was love at first sight for him," Tonya laughed. And then, after carefully watching her friend's reaction, added, "For you, too."


Monday, September 27, 2010

I'm Excited to Be Dumb! And The Meaning of Friendship

Do you know what is better than spending the weekend away and coming home to find your husband cleaned the house and has a new appreciation for all that you do? Absolutely nothing.  Having the honor of being  a part of Dumb Mom's NEW and IMPROVED ifriends. So please, go check out her newest brain child. We are both talking about keeping it real. Her commentary on my guest post is hilarious. I wish I could be as dumb fabulous and witty as she is.

If you happen to be here from Dumb Mom's blog, and you want to see what my writing is like when it is not accompanied by Dumb Mom's commentary, click HERE. Because the fabulous post below was not written by me.

This month, I have been a part of Friends You Love, a diverse group of 15 bloggers who have been celebrating International Women's Friendship Month. I love getting to know new people.  On Mondays, we encouraged you to pick someone who follows your blog but isn't the most regular of commenters and ask them to guest post for you.


For my final choice for this blog hop, I picked royalty. Going out with a bang, you know. I asked The Empress, aka Alexandra from Good Day, Regular People. Though we do read each other's blogs, I'm not breaking the rules of the hop by having her guest post because she's not a regular on here. How dare she have better things to do than comment on every single post I ever write. But, like Dumb Mom, she's incredibly witty and I knew she would write something about friendship that would make you think. Plus, I get the feeling that she doesn't like me and I wanted to prove that I'm not an evil witch like I feel like she has been led to believe.

When Shell so graciously asked me if I'd like to write a guest post on friendship, I jumped at the opportunity. Friendship is a subject that is so very important in my life. "Yes!" I replied with way too much eagerness, "yes!"

"This will fly off my fingertips," is what I thought. "I won't be able to stop typing."

And, then, when I sat down to write, I sat. Just that. No words would come. There were too many fighting to be on the page. I sat, with my notebook open, my pen still, and wondered how I could capture all the feelings I have down about friendship, in one post.

What do I cover first? The story on how friendship has saved my life? Or do I talk about the kindness of a stranger that grew into a friendship? And I had to be sure to talk about how my friends can make me feel as young as a giggling teenage girl again.

The more I thought of what I had to be sure to cover, the less I was able to write.

Our English language is woefully inadequate and lacking when it comes to the definition and description of friendship.

There really are no words, there is only a mental image. The expression, "a picture is worth a thousand words," fits so aptly here. When you mention the word friendship to me, my mind is flooded with hundreds of smiling, beaming, radiant faces. I see my friends throughout my life. From when I was in kindergarten, to the most recent friends I've made here, when I began to blog.

It makes me think, is friendship a word, or is it an emotion?

It surely is a precious thing, for at the times I've been without it in my life, my days have never been darker, or heavier. Friendship means so much to me, that I value it, and esteem it, and appreciate the blessings that I have in my friends. I do not take knowing them for granted, for I know the richness of having a friend placed in my life.

If I were to write of the many, many times in my life, that my friends have come to my side, this post would have no ending. And, still, when I'd hit Publish, I'd yet remember another story that I neglected to mention.

I've had valleys in my life, where I've had no hand to hold, no arm placed around my shoulder, no ear to listen, hear, and understand. Times when I've not been able to lessen my pain, and halve my burden, by the gift of sharing it.

A friend will make the difference in your day, make things feel not quite as heavy and impossible anymore.

A friend will multiply your joy at good news, and rejoice with you when happy things are to be shared.

A friend will beam with pride at your accomplishments, and share the joy they feel at knowing you, with others.

And is there anything more delicious than laughter to the point of tears, with a good friend?

A friend is an ear, a heart, a hand. They will help you cross that bridge you need to cross: be it good or bad. They will help you carry what you need help carrying. Whatever it may be: work, family, changes, anything you may need their help with. They will get you to the other side.

One of the truest adages I read on friendship struck me to the core, because it feels so true, is the following, "In life, a friend feels so instantly familiar because they have already been chosen for you."

Thank you, to my friends, and thank you, for the gift of friendship I've had in my life. I hope I've been there as your lifesaver, as you have been for me. You save me every day. I've lived life without you before, and though it took a long while to find you, you were so worth the wait. Because since having spent time without you, I now feel the sweetness of the time spent with you.

Thank you, Shell, for giving me the space here, to think about something so very important and precious in my life: friendship.

Ironically, Alexandra just wrote a post about guest posting, so please show her that this was worth her time. Nothing worse than hearing crickets. So, please leave a comment and go visit her, too. A-hem, same goes for my guest post over at Dumb Mom. *hint, hint, obnoxious begging*

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Saturday, September 25, 2010

Webkinz Jr. Review and Giveaway-Two Winners

A few years ago, some of the parents of my boys' friends were talking about Webkinz ™ and the games they were playing with them online. I was completely clueless. I knew they were a stuffed animal that came with some sort of code that you entered online and then could play games with them. But, from what I heard, it was more the parents who were playing for their kids because their preschool-age kids needed help.

I never bought my boys any because I figured I would wait until they were old enough to be able to play on their own.

But, then, Webkinz Jr.™ came out. They are specifically designed for children ages 3-6. I figured why not give it a chance when I was asked to do a review of these.  I was especially happy that they were willing to send one to each of my boys who is in this age range. My two year-old tries to run off with his brothers' animals, of course. Can't win 'em all.

My boys picked out a puppy who is now named Max and a frog who is now named Greenie. When they arrived, I set up a parent account and then added their pets, using the codes that came with each of  the Webkinz Jr™.  It was quick and easy.

Don't try to take Max from him.

In the Parent's Area, you can set the difficulty levels from early preschool, preschool, kindergarten, and enriched kindergarten in the areas of language, math, art, science, mouse control, music, puzzle skills, social skills, and visual discrimination.

I set them for each of my boys. I especially appreciate the mouse control, since I don't often let my boys use my laptop. It's mine and I don't like to share. Wait, I'm supposed to be teaching them to share, aren't I? Hmmm, maybe that's what their Webkinz Jrs.™ are teaching me.

There are all sorts of activities for my boys to play on the site.  Whether they are working on colors or learning about communities or just practicing their computer skills, Webkinz Jr.™ is a fun site for them.  

My 4 year-old needs help with the site, but it's good mommy-son time. My 5 year-old quickly learned how to navigate the site by himself and doesn't want my help. The independence of a kindergartener, I guess.
Greenie looks on as my oldest plays a game.

There are additional games that you can play and reports that you can get on your child's progress if you pay to upgrade to a Deluxe Membership. Cost of this varies, depending on the option you choose.

TWO of you will win the Webkinz Jr.™ of your choice, suggested retail value of $24.99 each.  Open to residents of the US and Canada. Mandatory entry must be completed or additional entries will not count. Contest will close at 9pm EST 10/4. Winners will be announced on this post and will be contacted by email and have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be selected. If your email is not visible in your profile, you must leave it with your comment.

First/mandatory entry: Visit the Webkinz Jr.™ store and tell me which animal you would choose.

Additional entries: Please leave a separate comment for each additional entry that you do.
*Follow Webkinz Jr.™ on twitter: @WebkinzJr and leave your twitter name
*Like Webkinz Jr.™ on facebook
*Follow Things I Can't Say GFC or email subscription(1 entry only)
*Like Things I Can't Say on facebook(you can do this in my sidebar)
*Follow shellthings on twitter
*Tweet this giveaway- one tweet per day, leave a comment with the link to your tweet for each time that you tweet: Win a @WebkinzJr #giveaway @shellthings 2 winners! http://bit.ly/9iS4uq

I was provided with two Webkinz Jr.™ toys and their codes for the purpose of this review. No other compensation was provided. All opinions are my own.

This contest is now closed. Winners are #47 ModernMom and #186 Pauline15. Winners will be contacted by email and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be selected. Thanks to everyone who entered!

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Friday, September 24, 2010

BFF: Did She Really Say That?!?!

Nothing against you mamas to girls, but I usually feel an instant bond with mamas to boys. Especially mamas to just boys. And particuarly to mamas to a lot of boys. It's like our own crazy club that we are initiated into through being peed on, all the penis-talk, the dirt, the noise, the messes, the peeing in random places just because they can, the boy-ness that they bring into our lives.

And so, when I stumbled onto the blog of this week's Blog Friend Feature, I knew I had to read her! She has FOUR boys. Yes, even one more than my crazy little zoo. Hers was one of the first blogs that I followed. From her stories about life in a boy house, to her substitute teaching stories, to laughing at her shameless pleas for someone to give her a DSLR, to her Friday meme "Letters of Intent," she is one fabulous blogger. Meet Julie from Foursons.

Some of you may or may not know, but I was a teacher at one point in my life. For one whole school year from Aug. '00- May '01, I taught English and Drama to 7-12th grades in a very small, private, christian school. (I did not renew my contract in order to stay home with my unborn child who was due in October.)

My smallest class had 7 students and my largest had 15. I loved teaching at this school. I don't know how effective at teaching I actually was...I don't have a teaching certificate. But in TX, private schools are allowed to hire non-certified teachers to teach if they deem them sufficient enough.

My actual degree is Psychology with a minor in Art and Design. But, during my interview the committee looked at my English grades and saw that they were decent and figured I could teach English as well. I can't tell you how nervous I was about doing this job. I had no mentor- I was the English dept. for the middle and high school classes. Turns out that if you have a Teacher's Edition book, you can fake your way through most of the lessons. Who knew?!

I had my 8th graders in front of me one lovely school day discussing the classic novel, Huck Finn. This was my 3rd class of the day and I had started to settle down a little and relax in front of the classroom.

Apparently I relaxed a little too much- way too much actually.

I don't remember which part of the book we were discussing. It really doesn't matter at this point. What matters is that I had a MAJOR slip of the tongue in front of a group of 8th graders in a P.R.I.V.A.T.E. C.H.R.I.S.T.I.A.N. school. Did I make that clear? I was responsible for teaching children who were raised in a christian home...with christian parents...going to church on Sundays...and usually on Wednesdays...and living a very sheltered, innocent life. Yup, they hired me for this job.

"OK y'all. Did you figure out the symbolism in Fuc* Hinn? No wait, I mean Huck Finn!"

Please leave Julie some comment love here and then go follow her blog if you don't already!


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Thursday, September 23, 2010

I'm Guilty

Here are my crimes:

*Reading all the super-nice comments from yesterday about what I wonderful teacher I was when really, I was so strict that a lot of my students probably didn't like me very much. I might have made a difference in some of my students' lives, but I was far from perfect.

*Letting my roots get scary and then mocking the girl at the salon who asked "What do you want done to them?" when I called for an appointment to have my roots done.

*Recording two shows at once on the dvr that Hubs had no interest in watching, so that he had to go into the bedroom to watch tv instead of being able to watch on the "big tv." And then laughing at him when he threw the remote in disgust.

*Watching too much tv. Fall shows are back!

*Falling asleep at an hour that allows me to wake up feeling rested, but makes me feel like a preschooler when I tell someone just how early that is.

*Skipping the gym this week. Even though I just started going last week.

*Not paying the crazy amount for express shipping for my brother's wedding present, even though that means that it might not get there until they are on their honeymoon, instead of before the wedding.

*Getting annoyed with my oldest's kindergarten teacher. Especially because I tend to get up on my former-teacher soapbox and talk about how teachers deserve a chance and that we should cut them some slack. I'm still annoyed.

*Not writing the next part of my steamy story from my crazy early twenties.  Oh, and not really thinking that it was that steamy until after reading your comments.

*Not feeling the slightest bit guilty about leaving my kids with my husband for the entire weekend so that I can go to Type A Mom.

*Not actually being a Type A Mom, but going to the conference anyway. Thinking the jeans and yoga pants I packed will probably give me away.

*Hoping that mil can't help Hubs out with the kids during my weekend away so that he can see what it's like to be me.

Completely guilty. Thinking I should be punished. Maybe there's a mom-prison somewhere. On a tropical island. With lots of naps. And drinks. And no laundry to do. And wi-fi.

Oh yes, send me there.

What have you done? Tell me why you deserve to go to that island escape mom-prison with me.

Psssst..... Please check out the Friends You Love blog for voting on the World's Greatest BFF and a Twitter Party announcement! Oh, and I hope you have been watching for the scavenger hunt clues this week!


Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Pour Your Heart Out: The Troubled Glass

If you need more info about Pour Your Heart Out, see THIS post.

But, really, it's anything that YOU consider pouring your heart out.

Be sure to check out some of the links- you will find some amazing stories out there.
Again, just a brief reminder that everyone linking is pouring their hearts out and we should all be respectful in our comments. ;)


I saw one of my former students on Monday. She's now the age that I was when I taught her- 24.

We didn't get a chance to talk- I had two of my boys with me and we were on our way out of their doctors' appointments and headed to school.

But, I remember her.

She was a very cute little girl. But, labeled by all her other teachers as Trouble. Maybe even TROUBLE.

With a sarcastic mouth, sometimes disrespectful as she tried to be a class clown or the tough girl. Wearing clothes that were too short and too tight to be appropriate. Skipping school, failing classes. Rumors of parties and boys and drinking.

But, somehow, I saw more in her. I saw a smart girl who just wanted attention. Someone who wasn't sure how to get it the right way. Insecure but not wanting anyone to ever know that about her. Unsure of her place in the world. Having a mom who worked nights and had no idea what she was doing. No father in the picture.  Not having the right clothes or look to fit in with the "in crowd." But wanting desperately to belong.

I was the "fun" teacher....as long as my students behaved, why have textbooks and boring assignments? I was "fun" in that we did a lot of projects and experiments(though "mean" because I did have rules).  I always told my students that they pretty much had to make themselves fail my classes because it was easy to pass...and with a little effort, they could have an A. Understand that this was middle school and I was teaching subjects that weren't tested on the state standardized tests at the end of the year.

This was intriguing to this particular student. You mean, a girl who had failed classes and only got socially promoted to the next grade could get an A?

I had special incentives for her. Go ten full days to school without skipping and I'd take her and a friend to the mall. We came up with other rewards that were appealing to her to get her to try in school. I'd help her with other subjects, too, and act as a go-between when she was having trouble with another teacher.

One Monday afternoon, in the middle of one of my lessons, I saw her writing a note. I kept going with the lesson, but walked over near her. I saw the note was addressed to me and she whispered that she'd give it to me soon.

This was unusual, so I thought I would just let it go and see what came of it.

At the end of class, she handed me the note with tears in her eyes. My stomach sank.

I read. She had been at a party that weekend and had been drinking. She knew she shouldn't drink, but it was a bunch of high schoolers and she didn't want to stick out, so she was drinking. And after two drinks, she felt really weird. The next thing that she remembered was waking up in a bedroom with one of the boys ontop of her- having sex with her. She said she screamed and hit him and told him to stop. That, despite the rumors, she was a virgin before that and the boy started freaking out at the sight of blood. And now she was scared and didn't know what to do.  What if she got pregnant or got a disease? Could I please tell her mom for her? But, please don't tell her other teachers.

My heart broke for her. Even though the skeptical part of me wanted to question some of her story...still, it was obvious that she was upset. And now, I had to talk to her mom.

When her mom was able to come in for a conference, one of the girl's other teachers told me "Make sure you tell her mom that she hasn't turned in a homework assignment in my class for a week." I ignored her because seriously, this was not the time.

I honestly don't remember exactly what I said to her mom. I do remember both of us crying. I don't know what else you do at news like that.

Her mom thanked me for being a good influence in her daughter's life and trying to make a difference for her, that much I remember.

I've always wondered what became of that girl. It seemed to me like she was standing at a crossroads(yes, I had to go all cliche on you). That her friends and everyone else in her life just expected that she would go down one path- the one that would lead to making nothing of her life and being a cautionary tale for the next generation of girls like her. But, she had the ability to go down the other path- one that seemed practically hidden from her, one that wasn't easy, to change.

I wonder which one she picked. I wonder if I will see her again so that I can find out.  I hope that she surprised everyone and took the unexpected path.


Tuesday, September 21, 2010

10 Days After the Hurricane...

It started when I moved to a place I'd only been before for a few hours the day after I turned 22 HERE and then moved on to being flooded out by a hurricane less than two months later HERE. I ended that post by saying that my life took a major twist 10 days later. Here's that twist and the continuation of my story. Yes, in obnoxious third person, but it's how I deal sometimes.

She was really nervous walking into the B's house. Tonya had been wanting to introduce her to one of her husband's coworkers for the past two months. But, she'd never really been set up before.

She hugged Tonya, said hi to Tonya's husband Eddie, and walked into the living room.

She felt her heart stop. There was one of the most gorgeous men she'd ever seen sitting on the couch, checking her out out of the corner of his eye, as he talked to someone who was introduced to her as Don, another coworker of Eddie's.

She wondered what he thought of her.

Tonya and Eddie must be crazy to think that this guy would be interested in her. He probably had girls launching themselves into his path all the time, hoping to get his attention. No way would he want or need a set-up.

But, as the day wore on, the conversation flowed easily in the group. And she and X fell into an easy flirting banter.  They smiled at each other from across the room, even when it was the others who were talking. She didn't really hear much of what anyone else was saying.

X told her he had a tattoo on his upper arm- a Marine Corps symbol,  of course. She walked over to him, stood way too close, and slowly slid his shirt sleeve up to see it. She wondered if he could hear her heart pounding.

She stood on tiptoe, one hand on the tattoo, the other on his shoulder, and whispered in his ear that she liked it.

He smiled at her and teased her that she was too much of a good girl to have one. She agreed with him, bit her lip, and then admitted to having her navel pierced.

He placed a hand on each of her hips, his fingertips under her shirt and asked permission with his expression.

She blushed and nodded.

He inched her shirt up, running his hands over her hips and her stomach, then bent to inspect the piercing. He stood back up and whispered in her ear, "Beautiful."

She had to stop herself from sighing audibly as the two then took seats beside each other on the couch.  It was as if they were alone, for as much attention as they paid to the three other people in the room.  They began to have a conversation that didn't include anyone else.

He whispered to her- oh God, every time he leaned in close and whispered, her heart beat faster, she didn't know if she could take much more, she'd never felt like this- "Don's going to want to leave soon. He's my ride back to base, but I don't want to leave yet."

As if on cue, Don announced that he was going to get going and asked X if he was ready yet.

She blurted out, "I'll take him back to base later."

She didn't want him to leave and this was what he was hinting at, wasn't it? She hoped so.

Now that it was just the four of them, they decided to head into town for dinner. Eddie drove, with Tonya beside him, leaving them the backseat. They sat close and held hands, continuing their whispered conversations. She tried not to blush when she saw the smug looks Tonya and Eddie were giving them in the rearview mirror.

She couldn't stop smiling. She wondered if maybe she'd been wrong and that love at first sight really did exist and that this was it. They had an instant connection.

They couldn't stop touching each other or whispering during dinner and the drive back to the B's house.  She held her breath as they approached the main gate, hoping that the B's wouldn't decide to just drop off X right then. She wanted more time with him. She sighed with relief as they passed the base.

Once back, they cuddled up on the couch together. She felt like they'd always known each other, like they always would know each other.

Eventually,  it got late enough that she had to take him back to base. He drove her car since she wasn't sure where they were going. When they got to his barracks, they both got out. He to go up to his room, she to get in the driver's side.

When she got around to the driver's side, he cupped her face in his hands, then ran them slowly down her neck, down her sides, to her back, and then pulled her towards him and kissed her.

Kissed her breathless. Kissed her on and on. Kissed her so that she didn't ever want it to stop.

And then he broke away and asked her to go up to his room with him.

She knew what that meant and she'd never done anything like that before in her life.

But, it was him and there was no way she could say no to him.


Monday, September 20, 2010

FYL: Mommy's Still Fabulous


Welcome to our third Friends You Love Blog Hop!

This month is about building friendships and making our existing friendships stronger...

We challenge you to dig into your "followers" list and find a follower you don't know well (someone who doesn't comment regularly) and reach out to them and ask them to do a guest post on YOUR blog. Link up with your guest post and have your new friend (guest poster) link up as well!

We will be running this blog hop every Monday this month, so spread the word, spread the love, and darn it, go make some new friends!
For this week's guest poster, I picked someone that I wish I would have met. We were both at Bloggy Boot Camp in Baltimore back in March, but didn't get to meet. I still say I should have stood up on my chair and started yelling for people, but then again, there are some people who probably would have hidden from the crazy chick up on her chair.

Erica from Mommy's Still Fabulous - don't you just love the name of her blog?


This month is about building friendships and making our existing friendships stronger...

I admit it. Sometimes? I’m not a good friend.

I forget birthdays and anniversaries. I don’t call as much as I should, and I certainly don’t give as much as other people do.

And I pay for it. Because while I might be a social butterfly, and love to have a bevy of friends around me, I don’t have many good, close friends.

Oh, I have lots of girlfriends to call and chat with, or to share a cocktail with on a Friday night. But I don’t have many friend friends…

I don’t know if it’s because I didn’t have many girlfriends in high school, or I pushed people away when I was dealing with depression in college, but I don’t feel like I have a core group of girlfriends who would drop everything they were doing to save my ass in a pinch.

Don’t get me wrong; people like me are blessed.

I’m blessed to have friends that send me Hallmark hellos in the mail… just because.

I’m blessed to have a circle of girlfriends who are always up for sushi.

I’m blessed to have girls I can call for advice about things I wouldn’t necessarily put out there in the Internet.

I’m blessed to have girlfriends with whom I can laugh over a bottle of wine.

I’m blessed to have girlfriends who tell me not to stress… and they mean it.

I’m blessed to have a husband who supports me and really is my one, true Bestie.

But sometimes, you need a girlfriend.

You need someone you know you can call at 2 am in tears, and not feel guilty about it.

You need someone you can have over for coffee, even if you’re not wearing a bra.

You need someone you can share your deepest darkest secrets with – even if you would never tell your husband the same thing.

You need someone to talk you out of chopping off all your hair.

You need someone to help you fix it when you do.

You need someone who won’t judge, even if you’re shouting in hysterics just to be heard.

You need someone who thinks like you and knows where you’re coming from.

You need someone who can hear you say, “I feel fat” and know you’re not really talking about your thighs.

And I don’t really have that.

So I keep a lot inside.
I run.
I write.
I laugh.
I clean.
I work.
I am my own voice of reason.
I am my own best friend.
And I’ve spent a lot of time building me and making me stronger.

I love honest posts. She really is fabulous.

I hope that you will visit her blog, along with others that are linked up. The blog you land on might be new to you or their guest will be new to you or both! It's all about making new friends!

I have a guest post up in the hop, too: HERE

Please note that this is not a follow you/follow me blog hop. While you are welcome and encouraged to follow the blogs participating and their guest posters as this is about making new friends, you need to have participated in this by either hosting a guest poster or being a guest poster.  Please do not link up if you have not participated.

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Sunday, September 19, 2010

Join in the Scavenger Hunt!

Come one come all and be our friend,
Friends You Love's Scavenger Hunt will soon begin.
Our tweets will point you in the right direction,
Follow each clue to the correct location.
Our posts will help you find your way,
Read each one carefully throughout the day.
Fabulous prizes are what we have in store.
For the lady who shows she can endure.
So tell your friends to come and play,
 It's time for Friends You Love's Scavenger Hunt Giveaway!

This final full week in September brings you the final full event we have planned.  This week, we are sending you on a scavenger hunt!

Please follow along with @FriendsYouLove and the other Friends You Love hosts via Twitter. Beginning Monday, September 20, we will be leaving clues via Twitter, leading you around the interwebs for the answers.  There will be 20 clues.  On Friday, September 24, come back to Friends You Love to submit your answers.  The first FIVE players to submit the correct answers will win prizes from our generous sponsors!

Our sponsors for this exciting event include:
Lisa Leonard, PeaceLoveMom, The Turkish Towel Company, Sheer Beauty, Scentsy Consultant Bradi Redmon, Paper Planet Etsy Shop, PurseHangers, Hapari, and EdenFantasys!

(Hint: All clues will have the hashtag #FriendsYouLove)


Friday, September 17, 2010

BFF: The List of S%#* They Should Have Warned You About

You know how some friendships take a while to develop? You get to know each other over time and slowly develop a connection. And then there are people that you meet and you instantly have a connection with, wonder where the heck they have been before that, and you feel like you've known each other forever? Well, that instant connection is what happened for me and today's BFF.

She found me through SITS back when it was my day to be featured and I think it took us a whole day to decide we totally needed to bring the BFF necklaces back into style. She's another anonymous blogger and fellow mom of boys. Love her sarcastic sense of humor, though she has her sentimental side sometimes, too. (You know you do, MommaKiss- don't hate me for outting you there- at least I didn't tell everyone your name. That secret I'll keep.)

Meet MommaKiss!

Well hello there! I can’t even begin to tell you how excited I am to be Shell’s BFF today. I’m like a kid on Christmas. Or really Halloween, that’s my favorite holiday. I mean, the modern day Halloween – with candy and fun costumes – not the historical bloody scary one. Ok ok, my point – I’m excited.

If you don’t know me, I go by MommaKiss (or MK) in the online world. Sort of like Shell, I prefer to keep some things anonymous so I try not to use names of my kids, exact locations, etc. You know, to protect the innocent and all. I started blogging in March of 2008. Can you believe it? I sure can’t. Things have changed since then. I have less time to tell stories, but when I do, look out – I let it flow. I’m sort of sarcastic [snort. “sort of.”] I’m almost 36 years old and have 2 kids. 2 boys. Love me some momma’s boys! I’m married and I work out of the home, doing accounting or whatever I’m told to do. I’m conflicted with the whole mom-guilt thing. A lot. But we make it work and my kids are healthy and happy (and a lil crazy, just like me).

I was trying to decide what kind of post to write today and figured that lists are like “my thing.” I make lists of lists. Some of my favorite blogs are in the list form.

So here we go – The MommaKiss List of Shit they Should have Warned you About before You became A parent:

1 - Poop and all things associated with dropping a deuce? Becomes a major topic of conversation. And? Can actually be really funny. Not to mention, if your kids are boys like mine, it will provide countless hours of entertainment. For the kids and parents alike. Before I was parent, I just thought of it as a necessary bodily function. After? I was pooped on when they were infants, fretted about the ‘kind’ of poop they were having, cheered for them pooping on the potty, laughing when they left a floater in the tub. Yah. Turds become part of the daily routine.

2 – You gotta be flexible. You are dead set on breast feeding? Good luck with that if your nipples are inverted and being ripped to shreds every time the monster latches on. You are dead set on never EVER co-sleeping? Remember that at 2am when no one has slept and your little sick cherub is conked out next to you. In your bed. You want the 2 year old to eat his veggies and said you’d NEVER bribe a kid to eat? Yah. When the carrots are followed by some gummy bears? It just happens.

3 – You may not always *like* your child. You will always always love them. But Like? Not necessarily when no one has slept in 3 days, you haven’t showered in a week, he’s on his 3rd tantrum of the day, he chucked his spaghetti on the floor, stepped on your healing c-section belly while you’re nursing the newborn to get to his McQueen car…you get my drift. (This is one I actually share with first time parents…that it’s OK to feel like this. Accept it, move on.)

4 – Speaking of that “no shower for a week” thing…personal hygiene is a commodity, take advantage when you can. You may need to learn the art of the PTA bath [Pu**y, Tits and Armpits – thank you mom.] You may have to shave one leg one week, one the other. And going to the bathroom? By yourself? Totally a luxury in my home. My 3 year old has a thing for skin contact. Whenever I’m, um, exposed, he likes to hug me and rub my skin. Even if I’m sitting down on the potty. And it’s stinky. *note to self, fix the bathroom door locks

5 – You may have to have The Talk with your child at the age of 3. I got the questions: “where’s your penis, momma?” and “why do you sit to pee, momma” and “I wanna hug your bumps, momma!” Yah – well. Listen, kid. I don’t have a penis. “What’s yours called, Momma?” NOT a penis. “Does your penis get big like this?” Again – it’s not a penis, and take your hands out of your pants! “Why did I be borned with a penis and came out of your belly {c-section} but Emily was borned with a gynnie and came out of her momma’s gynnie?” *headslap

6 – Laundry. It multiplies like gremlins under a sprinkler. And those cute little baby outfits that you HAD to have 17 different sets of? Pain in the ass to fold. Toddler underwear? Socks? Equally as painful. I’m considering a basket system: clean and dirty. Screw dressers.

7 – You will be a changed person. Having a kid, like a human, that you made, will alter you in ways you never imagined. I can’t believe the protectiveness I feel. The unconditional love for them. The unconditional love they give me. The pride inside me when I am complimented on their behavior. The rage that comes when they’re not behaving. The warmth I can’t help but feel when they tell me they love me best.

Yep, I’m changed. For the better. Someone should have warned me about that shit.

Doesn't she make you laugh? And nod your head in agreement? Leave MommaKiss some comment love here and then go follow her blog if you don't already!

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Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Pour Your Heart Out: A Glass of Success

If you need more info about Pour Your Heart Out, see THIS post.

But, really, it's anything that YOU consider pouring your heart out.

Be sure to check out some of the links- you will find some amazing stories out there.
Again, just a brief reminder that everyone linking is pouring their hearts out and we should all be respectful in our comments. ;)


Today is my husband's birthday. He is 32.

Yes, I'm 33 and older than he is. Like 14 months matters. Even though he loves to tease me about being older.

I asked him on Sunday night what he wanted to do for his birthday. He just sort of shrugged it off.

Hubs doesn't usually shrug off birthdays. They are a big deal. In fact, the first time that we did anything together outside of work(I'm not really calling it a date because it wasn't really) was for his 23rd birthday. Tons of people out to dinner, the whole standing up on a chair in the middle of a restaurant while everyone sang to him sort of thing.

So, I wondered what was up. "You're not old you know. You're just 32."

"But, I haven't really accomplished anything with my life," he responded.

I replied, "But, you're only 32. You still have time."

I guess it's all in how you measure success.

Do we have friends who are our age or younger who have more than we do? Absolutely.

More toys, more awards, more STUFF.

But, I think that Hubs has accomplished a lot.

He's been my husband for seven years. Seven years of marriage- ups and downs, but we have made it through together.

He's the father to three beautiful, smart, hilarious little characters. Our boys love their Daddy.

He's loyal to the end to his family. BIL might sometimes get on my very last nerve and messes up sometimes, but Hubs is always there to support him or give him a kick in the butt if that's what is needed. He's a very loving and protective son, too.

A great friend to everyone. He'll always help out or be there for anyone.

He works hard to support us. He may not be where some of his coworkers who started at the same time as him are- but that is because he was gone for 4 years, moving with us to another state, and has only been back for about 6 months, while they have been there continuously.

I feel bad about that one. Maybe if we'd never left, he would be at that same level and feel better about where he is. Then again, if we had never moved away, I'm not sure what would have happened with our family.

It's all in how you define success, I guess. How you come to the conclusion that you have made something of your life, whether you have accomplished something or not.

In my eyes, my husband is a success. He has accomplished a lot. I just hope that he will see the value in the things that he has done and can realize that the rest of it can come someday, but it's not what matters most.


Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Really? You won't believe where I'm going today

That One Mom

Details HERE


Monday, September 13, 2010

Friends You Love Blog Hop: My Roomie-to-be


Welcome to our second Friends You Love Blog Hop!

This month is about building friendships and making our existing friendships stronger...

We challenge you to dig into your "followers" list and find a follower you don't know well (someone who doesn't comment regularly) and reach out to them and ask them to do a guest post on YOUR blog. Link up with your guest post and have your new friend (guest poster) link up as well!

We will be running this blog hop every Monday this month, so spread the word, spread the love, and darn it, go make some new friends!

When I was trying to find someone to guest post for me this week, I thought I KNOW! I'll ask my roomie for Type A Mom. While we "know" each other already, I thought it would be a good way to bribe her to be my friend so she doesn't ditch me to be all by myself at the conference  to get to know each other better.

Amethyst writes the blog Life, Music & Laughter: Life With a Soundtrack.  Since I relate all major events in my life to songs, I definitely love how she adds song lyrics to her posts.

So, when Shell asked me to guest post for her, I was like "OMG! YES!" I was so honored because Shell is so freakin' cool! Then I read the rules about the blog hop and realized she was asking me because I'm like that weird kid that's always staring at the cool kids and doesn't really say anything, so, her asking me was like "either say something, or go away you freak!" So, here I am! talking with the cool kids! And, in public!

And now, the pressure is on to say something really cool, so, you can't tell what a big nerd I am, and I might actually get invited to one of the cool kid parties. Which reminds me of the time in High School that my friend and I planned a little party.

I've always had lots of friends, but I've never actually felt like I fit in in any one group. I'm kind of a friendship nomad wandering from friend to friend stopping off for awhile, but never really having that one place to call home; no one to call and say "oh my gosh, guess what happened?!" and no one calling me to say "wanna go shopping?" I don't have that one girl that I do absolutely everything with, the one that just gets me.

So, I was in High School, and my nomadic ways had taken me to being friends with a girl in my Orchestra class (see, told ya, total nerd, here.) Her parents were going out of town, so we planned a small party of 10-15 people. I told my mom I was spending the night, "of course her parents are going to be there, Mom."
Word of our party spread like wildfire, and next thing you know there's beer, boys, cheerleaders, wrestlers, and a foot through a television screen! This was totally out of control, but we were the cool girls hosting this awesome party! Everyone was gonna wanna hang with us! Finally, I would fit in!

Then, because all good things must come to an end...

One of the boys had answered the phone, and it was my mom on the other end. With drunken brilliance he told me "it's okay, I told her I was your boyfriend!"

"What?! You did what?!"

Next thing I know, my mother is at the house yelling at everyone to get out because she had called the cops.
I don't know about you, but I just don't think there is any way to retain coolness when you're being dragged to the car by your mom while you cry how it wasn't your fault! Nope, no chance of being cool after that incident!

Of course, that was High School, thankfully, who you are in school doesn't stay with you in the real world. I'm much more confident than I was then. I'm still a nerd, but I'm okay with just being me; that tattooed music loving, frugal shopping, little bit weird, mother, wife, magazine junkie, pirate girl. And, while I still don't have that one bestie girl to call on, and I still sometimes don't feel like I fit in, I have a lot of people to call friend; and that's pretty damn cool!

I hope that you will go meet Amethyst! And visit some of the linkers- maybe the blog you hop to will be a new one to you or maybe their guest will be! It's all about making new friends!

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