On Lies I've Been Told & Getting Myself Together

You know we just moved into a new house, right? Well, so something’s--  wait, I can sense that you’re giving me an “I won’t respond to that” face right now.

Ok, so it’s been 15 months since we moved, but I have a hard time with change, you know, and I’ve been mentally dealing with this effing teenager who has turned out to be someone I don’t even know, plus our youngest, who is the ebola monkey, and is constantly sick, and I can’t possibly be expected to keep up with getting this house set up and being a mom to two effed up children* and keep up with my chores so that Mark doesn’t have to dip into his reserve underwear, plus write to you once a week, as well as write a book, and stay groomed, for the love of God, and I am doing my best over here.

I just want to sip lattes and browse fall outfits for my Bitmoji - it’s not like I’m asking for a kidney.

Why Are My Kids So Effed Up?

Did you know I used to be a teacher?  I taught 8th graders and I loved being in the classroom so much!  I got out of teaching when I was on maternity leave with my youngest son.  I was in denial most of my pregnancy with him about having to leave him at daycare after maternity leave was over, so I put off the daycare search until the last minute.

You can’t do that.  

By the time I got my head together, all the daycares in our area had a waitlist, so I was pretty much screwed.  

I spent the last few weeks of my pregnancy freaking right the eff out because the only “daycare” with availability was one of those places you see on the evening news, with crooked shutters and names that start with a K in klever - ahem, clever - ways. Ack!!

Your "Perfectionism" Makes My Eyes Roll

Let’s talk about perfectionism.

I go insane when people say they’re perfectionists, because in most cases, they aren't using the term correctly*, which makes my left eye twitch spasmodically.

There's nothing worse in life than for some skinny, young PTA mom, freshly scrubbed and dressed up like a show pig, to harp, “Ugh, I feel like I’m just too good at yoga.” 

Or, “Sheesh, I’m such a perfectionist when it comes to housekeeping. It drives me bananas when my sofa cushions aren’t just so.”

Or, “I try to do just 50 burpees, but I can’t help myself from doing 75. I’m a perfectionist!” 🙄

No, no, no. That is not what perfectionism means.

The Dangers Of Removing Carbs & Granny Panties

You saw my last post about trying to new trends, right? Well let me tell you my thoughts on the latest diet trend: keto.

A hundred years ago I worked with this lady - she was a terrible person - but that’s not what I want to talk about.

She was fat.

And then, suddenly… she wasn’t.

Even though she was a terrible person, I was intrigued (this was back when I thought I needed to lose weight, but I didn’t really, but that’s not what I want to talk about.)

I asked her what her secret was and she said she was in ketosis. She was doing the Atkins diet.

I looked up everything Atkins and decided it wasn’t for me.

Too Old To Be Trendy?

One night a couple of weeks ago I was scrolling through Facebook and a hair tutorial caught my eye because the girl doing it was just so cute, but also seemed somewhat relatable.

She wasn’t one of those stick-skinny 20-year-olds that look super cute no matter how busted up they are.

No, this girl was a little older and a little curvier and her hairstyle ended up super cute: it was just a basic bob blown out with a tiny bit of sea salt spray and she scrunched her hair up in her hands as she dried it, so it was tousled and airy and just adorable.

I did my hair the same way the next day - it was meet-the-teacher night at my son’s school and I felt cute. My makeup was on point and my hair looked tousled and airy and just adorable, if I do say freaking so.

7 Uses Of Technology That Made Traveling In England A Breeze

In case you're new here, my dad and I just got back from a 10-day trip to Manchester, England, to visit family and to do research for my upcoming book and it was as amazing as I'd imagined, except for a few annoyances, the first being my cousin's daughter was due to give birth while we were there and I was very explicit in saying that I expected to hold my new tiny cousin before I left to come back home, but alas, there is still no baby as of this writing.

The second annoyance was my inability to exhibit one ounce of control when it came to meals. I ate like a velociraptor and can now only fit in sundresses or waistbands with some "give."

Dad and I talked about how different travel is nowadays because of technology - more efficient and seamless.

I started to include the different apps we used in my last post, Texans In England By The Numbers, but once I started listing out the ones we used, I ended up with seven and decided it needed a post of its own. 

I didn't even include the social media apps, FaceTime, and email, but those were certainly big players in our daily travel, as well.

Here's the technology that made for a dramatically different travel experience than back in the day: 

Texans In England By The Numbers

4 - Butt-puckering close calls of death by stepping off the curb while looking the wrong way. Everyone knows they drive on the opposite side of the road in England, but our muscle memory makes us look the wrong direction, apparently. Combine that with complicated intersections in a busy city like Manchester, along with two clumsy-footed Americans, and you’ve got yourself a dangerous touristy cocktail.

0 - Air conditioned spaces. England is experiencing record-breaking heat at the moment, and - despite the weather being gloriously cool compared to the 100+ temps we’d left behind in Texas - when the buildings and homes are all closed up tight without any air movement inside, we Americans who are used to cold, recycled air blasting in our faces start to get panicky. And very sweaty.

5 Fun Things To Do With Kids - In Air Conditioning - In Austin This Summer

In between breakfast, video games, letting dogs in and out and in and out, lunch, and watching YouTube videos, we barely have time to fit in a bunch of fun summer activities.

And I'm not interested in enjoying a bunch of "fun in the sun."

The sun makes me freckly.

Besides, I’d rather eat soup right out of the toilet bowl of a port-a-john than be hot.

12 Things I Would Tell My 18-Year-Old Self

In honor of my 30-year high school reunion, I have some thoughts to share with my 18-year-old self:

1. You will not always be thin, so stop saying you’re fat. Around the age of 30 or so, you’ll be shooting your younger self a pudgy bird as you wipe queso from the corners of your mouth. Enjoy your perky, tight figure and take it easy on the carbs. 

2. Stop slathering yourself with baby oil and laying out in the sun. In fact, you have got to start wearing sunscreen. In 30 years, your dermatologist will use you as a poster model for What Never To Do, meanwhile your twice-yearly laser therapy appointments will fund summer trips to Bali for his wife and kids, AND new boobs for his girlfriend.

Stuck in the Middle

We drove 45 minutes to the ice rink this morning so the 10-year-old could get some much-needed ice time to help slow the loss of muscle tone while he’s in between hockey seasons.

Reaallly annoying to have put in 45 minutes to get there and 30 minutes to get back home, considering his total on-ice time was MAYBE 15 minutes

It doesn’t normally take quite so long to get to the rink from our house - it’s usually just about 25 minutes, but today’s one of those days when we hit everything juuuust the wrong way, starting with catching the tail end of rush hour traffic.

It's Already "Next Summer"

A few years ago, my dad and I talked about going to England so he could help me do research for the book I’m writing about him, his brother, and my grandmother.

It was one of those pipe dream things that you talk about doing, but you kinda know deep down that it won’t happen, just because life gets in the way.

We put a pin in it and said, “maybe next summer….”

And here we are in “next summer.”

Gimme My Rainbows & Butterflies

Can we all just agree to disagree? I mean - the stuff on social media and in the news, OMG.

Let’s just say this: negativity is alive and twerking its way around the world and I just cannot do it.

I’m a very delicate peach of a person and my brain and emotions can’t handle all the destructive stories and images.

Let me get specific here:

"Making Memories" In Galveston

We just got back from a long weekend down at the Texas coast with my brother's family, and overall it was a great trip, but just like on all family vacations, I have to sometimes hide away in a bathroom and tell myself, "we're making memories... we're making memories."

Here's the thing about family vacations: they are not only memory makers, they're also memory triggers. As in, "Oh yes, I remember now why I swore I'd never go anywhere with a teenager," or, "Oh that's right, now I remember why you should remove sand pronto from the seat of your swimsuit."

One Of The Lucky Ones

When I was growing up - especially in my late teens and early 20’s - my hormonal ups and downs were enough to cause whiplash for anyone close to me.

I’d be hyper and loud and laughing and “on” one minute, loving being the center of attention and the life of the party and making everyone laugh, and then worrying about all the things that were out of my control after I was alone: “Was everyone thinking I was obnoxious? Did I embarrass ______ when I said _____? Was I being too loud? Did I make a fool out of myself? Did I hurt ______’s feelings by saying _____? Did I pay enough attention to ____?”

The worries would consume me well into the night, to the point that I couldn’t fall asleep and I’d toss and turn for hours.

How To Avoid Losing $2,000 To iTunes

If you're signed up to get my emails, you probably saw my note about how much I love Apple right now because they refunded a hefty sum of iTunes charges back onto my credit card last week.

Here's the story (you know there's always a story):

When we were in the tippy top of a clock tower last week in Lucerne, Switzerland, I got a call from my credit card company saying there was a great deal of unusual activity on my card.

Turns out there was a flurry of iTunes charges onto that card happening since April 2nd.

To the tune of $1,923.47. 😱

Historic Geek-Out at The Bürgenstock Resort on Lake Lucerne

In case you missed it, we just returned from Switzerland, where Mark went for a business trip and I got to jump in his suitcase and ride along. Here's a fun recap of our ridiculous trip over there. 

Thursday was a day of meetings for Mark, so I signed up for the historical tour of the resort, which was flippin' amazing.

First things first. Here's how you pronounce the name of the resort: byorg-in-shtock.

They say it as if there's a bunch of thick, sticky taffy in their mouth that they're trying to work around when they say it.

What Moms REALLY Want For Mother's Day

Ok, guys - you have exactly six days to get the mommas taken care of and show them how appreciative you are of all the b.s. you’ve put them through.

Don’t fool yourself into thinking Mom wants a new coffee mug. Unless it’s funny, like this one.

And I promise she’s not been losing sleep wondering if this is the year she gets an engraved snow globe or any jewelry etched with “World’s Best Mom.”

A Shot At Being Supermom

You know that I try to be Supermom, right?  

I want to bake cookies with my kids, but not just once - I want it to be a thing. I want to be at all the sports games. I want to be the Room Mom (and I am), but I want to actually be good at it.  I want to make chores something that my kids feel fulfilled by doing.  I want to make homework time fun and full of learning and reflection.

I want to be that mom.

I mean, really, nothing fills me up more than creating educational games to support what my son is learning in school. Spending an afternoon funneling all my creative energy into making fun flashcards and word puzzles or crafting writing prompts like my dad used to do when I was a kid fills this momma’s heart.

Hahahahahahaha, ohmygosh, that’s such bullshit.

Was that the most boring thing you’ve ever read?  Because I actually fell asleep typing that last paragraph.

The truth is, I would rather eat a bag of human hair than use my “craft time” to make up educational games or crafts.

Barn Door DIY

You probably remember that we moved into a new house last summer, and if you’re going to ask how we’re doing now that we’re “all settled in,” let me stop you to say that I have a stack of wall hangings shoved in the back of a closet that I’m still trying to gather enough emotional energy to deal with.

I’ll get to it, geez.  I just have other projects that keep grabbing my attention.  

Like this Barn Door DIY.