< Things I Can't Say: January 2011

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Monday, January 31, 2011

The Inspiring and Fabulous Women of Blissdom 2011

The Blissdom conference was inspiring. And fabulous. This is the post where I will probably overuse the words "inspiring" and "fabulous" way too much: but, that is what Blissdom is.

I'm still processing all of the ideas that I have from attending the sessions and talking to the women at the conference.

Friends from blogs and twitter became in real life friends. And one thing was perfectly clear: we can do just about anything if we put our whole hearts into it.

That we're not just bloggers, not just moms, but women on a mission. Those missions might vary, but we can all accomplish amazing things.

I'm inspired.

The opening of Blissdom used Katy Perry's "Firework" song and I've had it stuck in my head, so I thought it was appropriate to use in my photo montage of some of the fab ladies that I met, whom I connected with, whom inspired me.

In this montage, by twitter name: @anothermomof2 @bellebeandog @taminginsanity @mama_rosebud @bywordsmusings @mytweepplace @justheather @sippycupmom @thebluezoo @mycrazybusylife @dutchbeingme @crayonwrangler @mollyinminn @sellabitmom @sarahviz @bookieboo @colorado_mom @cecilyk @momtriedit @busydadblog

There were many, many, many others that I talked to during the conference... @chelechesnut @carolinamama @reallifesarah @unmarketing @prettyhandygirl @typeamom @allfookeduptoo @griffintech @blueviolet @lovethatmax @juliecole @ms_wonderfriend @sweetsadiemarie @mommyshorts @theculturemom @sdenise @momitforward @bsiron @highimpactmom @frelle @babypopdesigns @elainea @jeannettg @lawmomma77 @dancing_lemur ....I could keep going and going and going. I know I've left fabulous women off this list, but I came home to feverish, puking chilren, one of whom is in my lap, emitting a high pitching non-stop whine, making it hard to concentrate: yes, that is my official excuse for not listing all the fabulous women I connected with.

And there were some that I didn't manage to meet because there were hundreds of women there: like how the heck did I not get to meet @Blahggy? Even though I saw her and almost jumped up on the karaoke stage not to sing, but to get to meet her.

But, whether we were in a tribe together, roomed together, explored the city together, danced together, sat at the same table in a session, passed each other in the hall, or hung out at a party together.... there was so much connection, so much of the same vision.

I already know that I want to go back to Blissdom next year. @alliworthington @barbarajones and their crew do a fabulous job of building a community and inspiring us all. And no, I'm not just saying that because Alli told me I'm gorgeous, but you know, it might have helped a little bit.

I'll be sharing some of what I learned at Blissdom in posts this week. And I'm very excited about what it has inspired me to do next. Stay tuned...

Thanks again to LeadCheck for sponsoring me to Blissdom.

The outfit I'm wearing with the bright pink cardigan, white tank, and gray skirt is from Fresh Produce. It felt like pajamas, but I looked put-together.

As always, all opinions are always my own. I don't know how to do anything other than speak my mind.


Sunday, January 30, 2011

Blissed Out Thanks to LeadCheck

I spent the past few days at the Blissdom Conference in Nashville. It was inspiring and informative...and a whole lot of fun.

What you realize from meeting all of these wonderful women in person is that each one of us has a story: each one of us has our successes, we all have our own struggles that we have overcome or are working to overcome.

We're all very real.

My own personal story has been affected by my middle son who has lead poisoning.  Those of you who read me regularly know that I blog about all aspects of my life and not just about lead poisoning, but that is a part of my life.  A very real struggle.

While at Blissdom, I was able to share more about my son's lead poisoning and talk about LeadCheck, which has at-home testing kits for lead.  Lead poisoning is not something to be taken lightly and many people are not aware of the damage that it can cause; I wish that I didn't know all of the details about it, but unfortunately, as a mom of a child with lead poisoning, I've learned.

LeadCheck did sponsor me for the conference and I thank them very much for doing so.  I very much believe in their products and feel like our partnership was a natural one.

I would encourage you to check out their at-home testing kits for lead; you can also check out my review of their products.  They are definitely worth buying. You do not want any of your children to have to deal with lead poisoning.

I wish mine didn't.  And that is where my passion for this product comes from.

LeadCheck did sponsor me for Blissdom, however, all opinions of their company and product are my own.

@LeadCheck on twitter
LeadCheck on facebook

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Friday, January 28, 2011

Gigi's BFF post.

For today's Blog Friend Feature, I chose a fabulous blogger that I wish was here with me at Blissdom because I know we would have a blast hanging out. But, unfortunately, she couldn't be here...so instead, I decided that she would be the perfect to take over my blog while I'm away. And I hope you show her lots of love.

Gigi from Kludgy Mom does it all.  She did an amazing series this fall about improving your blogging. She has post that make me laugh, post that make me cry, and posts that make me think.  Meet Gigi!

First, I want to thank sweet Shell for featuring me today. I found Shell’s blog through the Ultimate Blog Party last year. I immediately felt welcome here.

A month or two later, when I was still fumbling my way thru blogging, Shell took time to try and help me work on a blog badge. She barely knew me and had scads of followers. She was a perfect bloggy role model and I’m grateful for her friendship!


So you know how it’s sort of easier to be angry or mean at a stranger than it is someone you know personally? The dude who parks his car like a jackhole in the parking spot next to mine? I curse at him. The person on Twitter whose face I can’t see and gets on my nerves? I mutter under my breath and plan her undoing.

But… the mom who irritated me during baseball season? I usually put my Nice Girl hat on and usually find I her…even though I had been previously designing her voodoo doll in my head.

I’ve decided that same theory applies to our body parts. The more we get to know them, the less likely we are to hate them, curse them or want them surgically nipped, tucked, altered, stretched, removed or enhanced. We need to make friends with our bodies!

I know. Easier said than done, right?

Well I think I can do it and here’s how: I’m going to name all of my body parts.

If I have to call them by a name, then I will have to be nice to them.

So I’m going to share with you what I’ve named all of the body parts I currently have an issue with. I hope this inspires you to make friends with your body, too.

The Saddlebags.

My most-hated body part. Yes, the fine Italian-Polish heritage of which I boast has given me what I currently like to call Fatballs on both my inner and outer thighs. There are four of them in all, lined up in a row: outer, inner, inner, outer. My kindergartener would call that an A,B,B,A pattern.

So I think it’s only fitting that I hereby rename my Fatballs Annifrid, Bjorn, Benny and Agnetha: ABBA.

Good day to you, Agnetha. It’s chilly today, isn’t it? And Benny? You have a little goo…um…yeah, go look in the mirror.

I’m feeling better already. Onward!

Crow’s Feet.

I have about five really prominent crow’s feet lines on each eye. Kind of like this picture. Although mine are worse.

Crow’s feet sound so ugly: they’re words you want to hate. So for my ten facial lines, I think Jon & Kate Plus 8 sounds better. I haven’t named the individual lines. All those damn Gosselin kids look the same anyway, except the one mean one. I can always identify her.

Muffin Top.

Sure, sure, muffin top sounds okay. Good enough to eat. But I prefer a more personal moniker to my fat rind. My muffin top shall heretofore be called Otis Spunkmeyer.

Old Looking Hands.

When you pass 40, your hands start to look kind of creepy. Veiny and crepey and wrinkly-like. Also, if you are into coke and meth and heroin and you never eat, you get these hands. Perez Hilton calls them Zombie Hands. They have prematurely afflicted many young Hollywood starlets.

And while I don’t have any age spots currently, I might get some.

So, I’m going to call my left hand Porcelana and my right hand, Nicole Richie. She’s pretty fashionable, anyway. Even with her zombie hands.

The Nether Regions.

So, while my nether regions look perfectly fine these days, I know full well that they, too, will start to, ahem, show the signs of aging. At the rate the hair on my head is graying, it can't be long.

So if Lindsay Lohan has absolutely no problem showing off her firecrotch, I will have no problem showing off the old silvercrotch in 15 or 20 years. What better designee for my future silvercrotch than the queen of SNL and the Twitter, Betty White? Hellllloooo, Betty!

Saggy Boobs.

I had the world’s tiniest boobs before having a geriatric pregnancy and turning 40. Now, it’s the double whammy: saggy AND tiny. So I figure that if I’m going to have tiny boobs, I should invoke the names of women who have PERKY tiny boobs.

From this day forward, my tiny, saggy boobs shall be named Twiggy and Paris, respectively.

Dimply Bootay.

My buns, once made of steel, are now sponsored by Krispy Kreme and Ghirardelli. They’re not what they used to be. So when I make friends with my bootay, I want to think of musicians who have CELEBRATED the big butt.

Left Butt Cheek shall now be known as Sir Mix-A-Lot. Right Butt Cheek shall now be known as Mystikal.

I decided to spare you the photos of my butt, or anyone else's I could take off Google images, for that matter. I'm sure you thank me.

Unhappy Feet.

I have big feet. Size 11 big. Size-I-have-to-shop-at-Nordstrom-for-shoes-accursed feet. And the older I get, the more my feet resemble those of, say, an 80-year old guy. But there are plenty of attractive people with biggish feet. When I think of my feet, I want to think “cute.” And when I think of cute people with biggish feet, I think of Hobbits, so, with my One Toe Ring To Rule Them All, I hereby dub my feet Frodo and Sam.

So that’s it. I’ve named all of my hated body parts and I think this is the start of a beautiful friendship! I encourage you to start making friends with your body, too!

Kludgy Mom

Please leave Gigi some comment love here and then go follow her blog!

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Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Pour Your Heart Out: Guilt Over No Guilt

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'm spending four nights away from my kids. I feel so bad. I shouldn't leave them. I'm going to be so worried about them while I'm gone and checking in on them every 10 minutes.

Mom Guilt tells me that that is how I should be feeling right now.  That spending four nights away should make me feel bad and frantic about leaving my kids.

But, I don't.

So, instead, I feel guilty that I don't feel guilty.

I know I'll miss my boys(and my husband) while I am at Blissdom.  But, I also know that I will have a blast and learn a lot.  And I am rarely away from my family, so why should I feel bad about this?

Why do we moms convince ourselves that we don't deserve the time away? And why do we get a judgement of "bad mom" if we get excited about time away?

My husband has to travel for work sometimes. He also takes short trips that are just for fun. Does he agonize over leaving us? Does anyone expect him to?

No, we say that he need needs a break, that it's good for him with all the stress he's under.

Well, guess what? Moms have stress, too. Moms need time for themselves every once in a while, too.

And we shouldn't have to feel bad about it.

I could rationalize right now and say that this is a "work" thing that I'll be gone for. And that is partly true. But, it's also a whole lot of fun.

Plus, I think that if a mom needs to take a few days and go somewhere, anywhere, every once in a while, that no one should make her feel guilty for it or make her feel like she has to have a good excuse for doing it: if you have a spa week planned with the girls, go for it.

I love my boys and husband more than anything on this earth.  But, it's NOT selfish to occasionally want "me time." It's human. It is a need.

Do you feel bad when you spend time away from your family?

Thanks again to LeadCheck for sponsoring me to Blissdom and allowing me this break! If you have not checked out their at home testing kits for lead, please do so.


Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Dear Daddy: When Mama's Away...

Only Parent Chronicles
Huge thanks to my Blissdom sponsor LeadCheck for sending me to the conference this week.
And thanks to Fresh Produce for sending me an outfit to wear, too: they have an all-new spring look for 2011 with refreshed styles, prints, textures, and looks.


Monday, January 24, 2011

"Sand, Sun and Family Fun" at Ocean Isle Inn AND Mom Blog Conference

To me, the beach has always meant relaxation and peace.  But, you have to find the right beach for that. Otherwise, you end up with crowds and touristy junk all around you.

You can find an "uncrowded, unhurried, and unforgettable" experience at Ocean Isle Beach in NC. "Sand, Sun, and Family Fun" are what you will encounter at Ocean Isle Inn.

Ocean Isle Inn is located between Wilmington, NC and Myrtle Beach, SC: so you have nearby attractions but can go back to quieter family fun near the hotel, like a local museum, playground, and mini-golf. And of course, there's the beach, too!

We headed to the outlets in Myrtle Beach for a little bit because mama needed to shop.  We also spent one evening at Medieval Times with the kids.  Another night, we stayed on Ocean Isle and headed to one of the charming local restaurants where everyone oooh'ed and aww'ed over the cuteness of my boys.

At Ocean Isle Inn, the kids enjoyed swimming at the indoor pool.  They kept looking out at the outdoor pool and asking to use that one, too, but it's too cold in January for that!  Their only complaint was that after getting out of the pool, they had to be in a short outdoor hallway to get to our room, but we bundled them up in the towels that were available by the pool and hustled them back to the room.

The beds in the rooms are heavenly.  Angels singing type of comfortable.

Even though parts of NC had snow this past weekend, we didn't get any on Ocean Isle. It was nice enough that we went for a walk on the beach on Sunday morning, after enjoying a free deluxe continental breakfast at Ocean Isle Inn.

The beach is a south-facing beach, which means the sun stays out in front of you all day long: it rises down to your left and crosses the sky to set on your right: you get gorgeous sunrises and sunsets.

My family enjoyed our stay at Ocean Isle Inn.  There is plenty of family beach fun here.  Though, my husband and I would love to come back for a couples' weekend when it's warmer so that he could go golfing at a nearby course and I could relax in the sand with a book.  Maybe for my birthday in July or his in September.

Whether you are looking for a family vacation or a couples' getaway or a girls' weekend(oooh! Sign me up!), I recommend that you check out Ocean Isle Inn.

NC Mom Blogger ConferenceNow, if you are a Mom Blogger, you need to check out the NC Mom Blog Conference going on at Ocean Isle Inn next month: February 24-27.

This social media conference is open to ALL mom bloggers: you do not have to be from NC. The conference is limited to 50 bloggers, so it will be an intimate conference.

You cannot beat the price of the conference: if you register by January 31st, the cost is only $129: which INCLUDES not only the 3 day conference but also some of your meals AND your hotel for three nights!!!

Plus, when you reserve your spot, you only have to put down half the cost as your deposit. This has to be the most affordable conference around. And you can't beat having a conference on the beach!

I will be there and hope that some of you will be able to make it, too!

I received 3 nights' stay at Ocean Isle Inn in exchange for my honest review.  All opinions are my own.  If you are interested in being their monthly featured blogger and experiencing the hotel for yourself, check out their featured blogger program.


Sunday, January 23, 2011

CSN Review: Clutch and Laptop Tote

CSN has just about anything you can imagine on their 200+ websites. I really thought I was going to help Hubs decorate the man cave with one of their modern rugs but then I decided it  was enough that he had a man cave, it didn't need to look all pretty.

And besides, I really needed a cute clutch and a laptop bag to take with me to Blissdom.

My laptop is a 17 incher so it was hard for me to find a bag that would fit my laptop, have some extra room, be cute, and not cost a fortune. After all, I don't carry my laptop around with me all that much, so spending a ton of money on one didn't make sense to me.

I found this cute Jenni Chan Computer Tote bag on CSN for just $24.99. AND it has plenty of pockets and room for other things.  I might end up using this bag even when I'm not carrying around my laptop because of how roomy it is and how much stuff I end up with when I'm running errands with three little boys.

Next, I need to find a cute little clutch.  I usually carry around a big purse because I need the room. Or, if it's a date night with my husband, I can carry everything I need either in my pocket or make him carry it.  So, I didn't have a clutch.

In case you can't tell, I'm a pink girl and so I went with a pink clutch- shocker, I know.  I found this Menbur Sileno Clutch in Fushia.  Figured it would give a nice pop of color with a little black dress(this is my attempt to pretend like I know what I'm doing fashion-wise). Of course, I ended up finding a dress that is the same color as the clutch instead of going with an LBD and now I'm going to look all matchy-matchy...but I can live with that.

It can hold my blackberry, flip, camera(that's the benefit of only having a point and shoot, I guess), plus a few other small things.

I've worked with CSN several times now and have always had good experiences with their products and service.  Don't forget that if you find a product on another site for a lower price, you can submit that to them and they will come back with an offer, though usually, they really do have the best deals around!

CSN provided a gift code to me for the purpose of this review.  All opinions are my own.


Saturday, January 22, 2011

Book Review: Lady in Waiting by Susan Meissner

In present day, Jane is blindsided by her husband of 22 years walking out on their marriage.  Then she finds an old ring in the binding of a book, which ties her story to that of Lady Jane Grey in the 16th century.

This book goes back and forth between Jane's struggle with finding herself to Lady Jane's history.

I wasn't sure how I was going to like this at first, but by the second time the story switched points of view and settings, I was hooked on both of the stories.

Historical fiction is almost always a hit with me and when you add in love stories, I definitely enjoyed this book.

I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review. All opinons are my own.

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Fresh Produce Clothing: A Girl Needs Travel Fashion

What is the big question when it comes to blog conferences? What to wear, of course!

I'm always a fan of comfy clothing, but I need to look put together, too.  I remembered working with Fresh Produce a few months ago and thought that something from them would be perfect to wear to Blissdom!

They have travel fashion: Easily washable and wearable straight out of your suitcase.

So, I was browsing their site and I fell in love with this outfit:

I'm a girl who likes color in her clothes, so I adored this Crystal Cove Cardigan in Sangria, though it also comes in black, white, and oyster if you like a simpler color.

Since Fresh Produce clothing has such a great balance of being comfy and yet stylish, I begged shamelessly inquired politely if they could send me something to wear for Blissdom.

Here's the outfit that I was sent: Perfect beach resortwear. And yes, I'm on the beach right now! This outfit was crammed in my suitcase along with all of my boys' things for the weekend too and yet it was still fine and able to be worn without ironing. I hate to iron.

Crystal Cove Cardigan in Sangria, Swing Skirt in Oyster, and Lace Trim Cami in White

I feel put-together and yet it's still so comfy and soft!  I will be wearing this next week at Blissdom. Actually, I would be happy if my entire wardrobe came from Fresh Produce!

And pssst: they have some super-cute spring clothes on sale right now!  Check them out!

Fresh Produce sent me this outfit to wear to Blissdom, but my opinions and obsession with their clothes is my own.


Friday, January 21, 2011

Blog Friend Feature: Unexplained x2

There's not a whole lot today's Blog Friend Feature won't say. I think that's how I got a bloggy crush on her. I love honesty. And her sense of humor: you have to have a good sense of humor if you try to talk your doctor into giving you a tummy tuck even when you are in for a procedure that has nothing to do with your tummy. 

Rebecca at Unexplained x2 was diagnosed with unexplained infertility and then had boy/girl twins through IVF.  She's sarcastic and open and a great blog friend. I totally adore her...even though she'd give me hell for dropping my kids off at school in my bathrobe.

When Shell asked me to be her BFF, I was shocked. Being my best friend can be kind of exhausting because I say exactly what is on my mind. Then I got to thinking and came up with the fact that maybe that’s why she picked me! Maybe she likes my ability to say what everyone else is thinking!

If you know me, you know there’s not a lot that I “can’t” say…it pretty much all comes out of my mouth whether you want it or not.

So, here are the things that I love to say:
  • Ladies, when you leave the house, please put on some damn makeup. If you don’t, it’s like you’ve given up. Give a little effort…for the rest of us, please! After all, we’re the ones who have to look at you!

  • Take a leap of faith and buy a decent bra. Your poor little puppies shouldn’t be so far down that you need to move them out of your way to properly fasten your seat belt. I am still shocked that after Oprah’s bra revolution that we’re still having these conversations! Hoist them up…after all, if your boobs look bigger, your tummy will look smaller!

  • If you’ve worn it to bed, don’t wear it out of the house…jammies are not proper attire for anywhere but your own house…certainly not the grocery store!

  • Don’t complain about what you look like in pictures…in 10 years you’ll want this version of yourself back.

  • Try really hard not to compare yourself to everyone else…most people lie anyway.

  • Infertility sucks. So try really hard not to ask people you barely know when they’re having kids, that it’s time to start trying for a second, or tell them when/how to have sex (every other night so I’ve been told a like zillion times)…chances are they’re already on it (so to speak) and don’t feel like discussing it with you. Either that or you may have just sent them to the car in hysterics because they had just gotten their period that morning. It’s none of your business.

  • That being said, please don’t call your children miracles…it’s a mistake and will not serve them well down the road when they figure out that they’re not actually miraculous, but human like the rest of us.

  • Smile at each other. I feel that women avoid eye contact with each other and I don’t understand this phenomenon. Why do we hate each other?

  • When you start to feel jealous of someone, take a moment to realize that someone else is jealous of your life. It puts it all into perspective.

  • If all else fails, remember, again, that most people lie anyway.

  • Do something nice for yourself…you deserve it.

  • Do something nice for your husband…chances are, he deserves it.

  • Your kids will get nice stuff for the rest of their life…ignore them while you’re doting on yourself!

  • Enjoy your life…it’s the only one you’ve got!

Don't you just love her?  Please leave Rebecca some comment love here and then go follow her blog Unexplained x2.

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Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Pour Your Heart Out: Leaving Others Out

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. ;)


Last week, I wrote about how I felt left out at Bible Study.

But, it got me thinking about how I could unintentionally make someone else feel left out.

You see, here on my blog and even on twitter, I'm "loud."

I say what I think, I talk to tons of people. That talking is in the form of leaving blog comments, replying to comments and tweets, but it's talking.

No problem with public speaking or if I have a specific topic to talk to someone about. Hand me a microphone and I can speak to a packed room, no problem. I'll probably even tell you that I don't need the microphone and do a silly dance for the crowd while I'm at it.

But, if you were to meet me IRL...in a small talk type of situation...I'm quieter.  Much quieter.

I like to take things in and I'm not always the first one to jump into a conversation. Especially if there is a group of people standing or sitting together: that group might very well be incredibly welcoming, but it takes a lot for me to join in.

At the Blissdom conference that I'll be attending next week, there will be a TON of bloggers.  And I'm so excited to hang out with them. There's my roomie, plus a bunch of girls who I've exchanged phone numbers with, girls that I met at previous conferences, and some I've been tweeting with for a while.

We either have plans to meet up or when we bump into each other, I know we will be doing that squealing and hugging girl-thing because it's exciting to meet someone IRL that you've gotten to know online.

And so, if you were to see me at Blissdom, you might find me in a group of girls, all chatting away. And it might seem like I'm clique-ish. That I have my friends and am not interested in talking to anyone else.

Or you might see me tweeting on my phone or trying to write a post for Famecrawler, which I still have to keep up with while I'm away. I could look like a standoff-ish snob.

But, neither is true. At all. I want to meet as many people as I can while I'm at Blissdom.

I'm going to try to remember that this goes both ways: that if I see a group of women all talking to each other, it just means that they are excited to have met- it doesn't mean that they wouldn't be just as happy to talk to me.

And that this doesn't just apply to Blissdom, but to everywhere else, too.

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Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Moving On

Even though all she had done was to be the one to call it off when they both knew it was over already, the ending felt worse.

Yet, she still went to work the next day, trying to pretend like nothing had happened. She somehow got through the school day and got all her students to their buses at 2:10.

She went to her truck, grabbed her beach bag, threw on her bikini, and drove to the most secluded beach in the area.

She sat on her blanket, staring out at the ocean, alternately crying and then feeling strong. The waves crashing and soothing her broken heart. The vastness of the ocean making her realize how small she was in the grand scheme of things and how small her problems were. And then, in the next moment, she would feel alone and hurt.

Even though it was the quietest beach in the area, there were still some people around. Mostly young Marines who would try to come flirt with her. She was her hottest self back then, long blonde hair, perfect figure, tiny bikini.

She shot each one down with a comment ruder than the one she'd used on the last guy.

Until he came along. He had the palest blue eyes she'd ever seen, along with hair so blonde it was almost white. It was obvious from his build that he was a Marine, too. Oh, the muscles on him...

He greeted her with a slow smile and approached as if she would break if he got too close. He said, "You look like you could use someone to talk to."

She angrily retorted that she just wanted to be left alone. But, he just shook his head and said, "I think you need to talk and I have the time to listen. Just take a walk with me, that's all I ask."

And, he extended his hand to help her up and held it out there as she stared at him, internally debating, for a few minutes.

It was his patience that won her over, continuing to hold out his hand and not otherwise pressing her. She still doesn't know why she decided to go with him.

She put her hand in his and they walked along the shore. She poured her heart out to him, crying a little. He listened.

He helped her gather up her things and walked her back to her truck. As she put her hand on the door to go, she caught sight of her naked ring finger and started to tear up again.

He caught her chin in his hand and turned her face to look at him and said, "You'll find someone so much better. Someone who will make this guy seem like the loser he is for letting you go." And then he asked her to meet him again the next night at the beach.

She did meet him the next night, despite some reservations. She went because it felt better than staying home and crying alone. She went because she secretly hoped that X would call while she was gone and her roommate could tell him she was out on a date. She went because she wanted to feel normal again.

He was there waiting for her, with a blanket spread out on the sand and a bottle of wine open. They talked until nightfall.

And then he pulled her to her feet, hummed an unidentifiable tune, and danced with her on the sand, in the moonlight.

And she began to have hope again. That her life wasn't over because her first true love had ended. That there were other men out there, ones who would love her, too.

She never saw him again after that. But, he served his purpose in her life: to give her the strength to move on.

This post was originally published in a slightly different form on 4/7/10. *Waves hi to the 1/4 of my current readers who were with me back then. Love you all*

When that post was published, I was asked why I never saw him again.  You can read that HERE.

If you missed any of the story of my past, where yes, I talk about myself in the third person, you can check out these links to get caught up:

10 Days After the Hurricane
Was It a Big Mistake?
A Romance Grows
And Then He Left Her
She Moves for Him
The Waiting Game
The Engagement
The Year It All Goes Wrong
The Break
The Worst Thing She Ever Did
We She Next Sees Him
Calling It Off


Monday, January 17, 2011

Once Is a Funny Story, Twice is a Mom Fail

I can't believe it happened.

No, let me rephrase that: I can't believe it happened AGAIN. 

Once and it's just something that a lot of kids do.

But, when it's twice in one week...well, you start to feel like a bad mom.

Last Monday, I showed you the pics of what happened when my boys cut each other's hair.  All their long, beautiful hair gone.

And so many of you  shared stories of your kids doing the same thing or even you doing that when you were a kid.

No judgement, just laughter.

But, what if I tell you that for the second Friday in a row, my Bear got out the scissors and pretended to be a barber?

Good God, woman, don't you ever watch your kids?

Didn't you learn to put the scissors away?

Your kids are going to get really hurt soon.

What are you doing when your kids do these things?

At least, that is what I hear in my head. Trust me, I've said that and worse to myself.

And tried to defend myself but my responses sound weak even to my own ears.

He was in the kitchen, having a snack.

I did put all the scissors away. Except for the kitchen shears, which were dirty and in the sink. Didn't realize he'd climb up on the counter and find them in there and use them to cut his hair.

He was out of my sight for less than five minutes.

What was I doing? Well, yes, I was on the computer.  I do work.

Do I think that my children could somehow get hurt if I don't keep them in my sight at all times? Yes. Though, they could still get hurt even if I can see everything they are doing...

I felt like a horrible mom.

And still feel guilty that it happened again. Like once is funny, twice is a total Mom Fail.

Let me remind you what my Bear looked like before any of the haircuts:

After haircut #1 last week:

This week's haircut:

If he does it again, he'll be bald.

They recognized us and called my kids by name at the salon. After all, it was less than a week since we'd been there.

Total mom fail.

But, here's the thing: anyone who would judge and say that I'm a horrible mom for this...well, no one is as hard on me as I am. So, trust me, I've already thought what you may be thinking and worse.

Btw, Natalie at Mommy of a Monster does a Mom Fail Monday you might want to check out if you've ever felt like I do.

Also, I saw this posted tweeted out yesterday by Lynn and thought it was a good philosophy to adopt: In Which I'm Not Even Worried About It.

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Sunday, January 16, 2011

For Kids With No Tushies: Dapper Snappers Review

We joke all the time that my middle son has NO butt.  It's challenging to find pants that are long enough for him that won't slide right down and make him look like a tiny plumber.

Yes, I know that there are pants with adjustable waistbands. We have some of those. But, the problem is that not all pants come with those. And even the ones that do sometimes can't adjust quite as small as he needs.

I know, I know, I could put belts on him. The problem with that is that he can't work a belt himself, so he'd need help every time he needed to use the bathroom. I'm sure his preschool teacher would just love having one more thing she has to worry about.

But, I had a chance to review a product recently that is a huge help with this! Dapper Snappers offers an alternative to belts for kids that doesn't get in the way of potty training.

Dapper Snappers loop through the belt loops in the back of your child's pants.

My 4 year-old not only has the adjustable waist in this pair of jeans, but he still needed the Dapper Snappers! They helped him from showing his tush to his preschool class.

Dapper Snappers come in a variety of colors for boys and girls: $10.95 for one or $29.95 for a three pack. 

They also sell clips for your Dapper Snappers in case your child needs them for a pair of pants that doesn't have belt loops.

Dapper Snappers definitely work for us! Now, to get that 3 pack.

This post was written for Family Review Network & Dapper Snappers who provided the complimentary product for review in exchange for my honest opinions


Friday, January 14, 2011

Blog Friend Feature: A Sassy Modern Mom

Yes, I'm introducing you to today's Blog Friend Feature using her twitter name. @SassyModernMom is so fabulous. She's another anonymous blogger, so even though I could tell your her name...um, and even her address, I think....I won't.

Instead, I'll tell you that ModernMom blogs over at How to Survive Life in the Suburbs.  She cracks me up with her humorous takes on the life of a mom.  In the world of blogging, I've known her forever and am so happy for you to get to know her, too.

I`m Shell`s BFF!
I’m truly honoured to be featured as Shell’s BFF this week!
My blog is a little place in the world where I escape into relative anonymity and then shout from the rooftops what is really going on behind those closed and competitive doors of the suburbs. Sometime's it’s good for a giggle, other times it’s a place to share frustration and pain. There seems to be a lot of venting about husbands lately. Huh.

Now that I have accepted Shell’s generous invitation to be her BFF for a week, sheer panic is setting in. Do I chat about what a BFF means to me? How I am so blessed to have a couple of really good BFF’s who I KNOW will be there for me know matter what life throws at me? How I am so lucky to be married to my BFF, the one person who really knows and understands me, who puts up with my eccentricities and thinks they are cute? not so much crazy Or do I vent about how BFF’s can suck. Yeah, I said it. You know it’s true. Sometimes a girlfriend can let you down, and those moments may hurt the most of all.

I think what I want to do is take a moment to say thank you.
Thanks to all the BFF’s out there.
For everyone of you who have:
-consoled a friend with a broken heart
-counselled a BFF through a rough time
-gamely stood by your girl while she dated some first class jerk, waiting for her to figure it out for herself
-talked on the phone for hours, through meals and even through pee breaks…until you were both hoarse
-shopped with your BFF until your feet ached…cause she just had to find the right outfit
-dropped what you were doing to run over some soup and gingerale to her poor family down with the stomach flu
-to each of you that held hair while she puked
-covered for her when she was late for curfew
-created a Martini and baked her a crooked cake in honour of her birthday
-told her she doesn’t look fat in those pants, but perhaps she should try on another pair?
-to each of you that have put HER needs before your own…
I thank you. You make the world a brighter place.
Life is just better with a BFF.

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

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