Toodling The Mediterranean For 10 Days Aboard The Disney Magic

Hopefully I don’t come across as self-absorbed as a Kardashian by assuming you’ve read about our Disney Cruise through the Mediterranean over the summer.  

We chose a Disney Cruise because we wanted a trip where we could see beautiful and historic treasures for us and for our then 18-year-old, but would also appeal to our 10-year-old.

If you’ve ever experienced anything Disney, you know that the up-side to the price tag is their reputation for providing high quality service, cleanliness, safety, and - of course - fun for all ages.

And let’s be honest: despite my housekeeping skills, I’m a bit of a germophobe, so cleanliness is important, especially if it’s a place I’ll be laying my head. I have been known to abandon hotels and drive in the middle of the night to another town if even one little thing makes me feel gaggy.

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Prepping For A Disney Cruise And Beanie Weenies For Life

Mark and I haven't always had our head screwed on straight, when it comes to priorities (I'm thinking of one incident in particular to share with you as Exhibit A: we'd bought a massive fish aquarium that spanned the length of a wall in our new (to us) house, and then filled it with a bunch of fancy, expensive fish, maxing out our one little baby credit card and we couldn't even afford groceries.

It was so sleek and tacky, with its blue LED lighting and the shiny black pebbles at the bottom, it looked like the backdrop for a budget porn.

This was "back in the day," before we had kids and we made about three dollars too much to qualify for the government cheese line. 

We paid more for that damn fish tank than we did for our honeymoon to Mexico, and I am dead serious, y'all.

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Saving A Teenager. Parenting Or Coddling?

If you’re set up to get my emails you got yourself a gander into the peculiar world of my fear-dreams earlier this week, you lucky devil, you.

(By the way, I’m currently accepting dream interpretations, AND if you aren’t subscribed, but you’re looking for something juicy to sit back with a bag of popcorn and watch play out like a kid at a carnie sideshow, click here and you’ll get the stuff I only share to people I trust with such oddities.)

You might have read this worried-mom post that I shared earlier this week about my son.

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Anxiety Or Irresponsibility? How Do I Know What's Happening With My Son?

It’s been about a month since my oldest was home from college for the holidays, so I checked in on him last week with a phone call that went like this:

Me: Hey, baby, whatcha doing?

18: Walking over to get some food.

Me: Oh ok, so you can talk for a sec - how were your classes today?

18: I haven’t had them, yet.  They’re later today - one’s at 1:50 and the other isn’t until 6.

Me: UMM, IT’S 1:54!!

18: Oh.

I swear to Jesus, Joseph, and Mary, he’s learned nothing since Mark and I lost every ounce of our shit with him over the Christmas break.

Let me update you.

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When Someone Asks Your Advice And You're Unqualified AF

My 10-year-old has been fawning all over a girl in his class for the last month or so, and last week he told me he was going to ask her to be his valentine, which - ohmygod - could that be any cuter?

He’s very different than my older son, who never shared this kind of stuff with me, and even to this very day he only hits me with the very vaguest of information, making me wonder if one day I’ll be sporting an “I ♥ My Grandcat” bumper sticker, which you might think I just made up, but I saw one on a car last week and couldn’t grab my phone fast enough to snap a picture to prove it to you.  

My youngest asks me relationship advice all the time, because I guess he thinks I’m qualified to give counsel to fourth graders seeking matchmaking tips.

Here’s the conversation about asking this girl to be his valentine:

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5 Things I Would Tell My New-Mom Self

You know how you look back on your life as a, say middle schooler or high schooler, and you think about how serious you thought things were, and you shake your head a little at how absurd those “serious” things were?  

Like standing in a bikini in front of a full-length mirror, turned to the side, and squishing your face up at the sight of the soft pooch in the belly area?

Or throwing yourself across your gingham bedspread-covered bed, in a fit of tears because the boy you liked found out you liked him, but didn’t like you back, because he liked your best friend, and the three of you lived in the same neighborhood and rode the same school bus, so you’d have to look them both in the eye the next day, and you just wanted to disappear?

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Why Today You Will Put On Your Sensible Panties

Hey, momma.

Yes, you.  You with the crispy hair from too many days of dry shampoo.  

You with the stack of mail you’ve promised to sort through for at least two weeks.  

You over there saying a little prayer that your kid doesn’t get salmonella from the slightly expired eggs you fed him this morning (cooked in the microwave, of course, and eaten on the way to school, as if that needed to be said).  

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The truth about my 504 article

A few years ago I wrote a post titled, “Back to School: How the 504 Is Keeping Your Kid From Adulting.”  

In case you don’t know what the 504 is, it's part of a civil rights law that prevents discrimination based on a disability.  

In layman’s terms, it’s a list of accommodations that level the playing field for students with disabilities or health issues that put them at risk of not having the same opportunities at learning as all the other students.

I knew it was a provocative title I’d chosen for my post.  That was the point.  I wanted it to catch your attention so you’d read it.  

It worked.  It got lots of comments.

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"You Need To Be A Better Loser"

As my son came off the ice yesterday following his hockey game, he looked at Mark and me, shrugged up one shoulder a bit and gave a, “meh, what are you gonna do?” expression.

They’d lost another game - they've had plenty of experience losing this season, which has been hard on the team’s morale.  

Except for my child’s.

He still comes off the ice with a smile.

It drives Mark insane.

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January Book Club: Jen Hatmaker's Of Mess & Moxie

We put quotes around "book club" around here because my family insists that calling it that is just a cover for what it really is:  gossiping and drinking. 

Like the clever owners of a bar near the University of Texas, who named their bar The Library, helping students tell the truth to their parents when they say they went to The Library six days a week all semester.

Yes, we drink when we have our book club meetings.  But we never gossip, not ever.

We do discuss the book of the month, but it always somehow turns into a discussion about lady parts or dogs' anal glands.

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I'm Afraid This Was Caused By Old Eggs

Have I ever told you how we decided to have another kid?  

The truth is, I always wanted a house full of children until my youngest was born and I realized I could barely manage keeping two children alive, much less a throng of them.

Mark was perfectly fine just having one kid.  

I tried for years to get him on board, but our first-born wasn’t an easy infant.  He had colic, but not the kind that people claim to have when their baby is just an asshole and cries a lot.  

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The Real Reason I'm Writing Today

Last week my old friends, Ami and Jackie, who started out as work colleagues nearly 18 years ago, but became so much more than that over time, came down to Austin from Dallas for a work visit and squeezed me in for dinner.  

They asked me why I don’t email anymore, and I told them it’s because I don’t want to bug people, to which Jackie responded, “Would you rather be forgotten?  If people don’t want to read your emails, they can hit the delete button.”

The thought of being forgotten is what got me.  

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4 Lessons From Hosting A Classroom Party (or, How To Have Your Room Mom Of The Year Award Revoked)

Remember a few weeks ago when I told you how to win the Room Mom of the Year Award?  I didn’t want to just write about the craft that would help you win the award, I also did the craft myself, because what kind of person would I be if I just claimed I was sharing the magic recipe for Room Mom success, without even trying it for myself to make sure?

I want to take this moment to update you on the craft, the party, and about that day in general, so you’ll know how it all went down.  

Let me start by saying that a few days prior to the party, things were right on schedule and everything was coming together as planned.  

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Super-fun Craft You Can Do Today To Win Room Mom of the Year Award

There’s not really a Room Mom of the Year award.  At least, there isn’t at my kid’s school.  And if there were, I promise you I wouldn’t win it.  

The only thing I’m going to win is a shiny trophy for cutting corners.  

Because that’s what I’m best at.  People don’t know that, though.  

Every year (except last year, because I was overwhelmed and shirked most of my duties as co-room-parent, but thankfully my counterpart was kind enough to let me off the hook, and my son is oblivious, so he still thought I was doing everything for his class, making it a double-win for me) I come up with a craft for the class Christmas party, and every year people think the craft is soooo cute and so hard and complicated.

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A Few Ways To Save Your Marriage During The Trump Administration

It’s a bad time to be non-political, y’all (wait - apolitical? Pan-political? Anti-political?  Non-politics-specific?  I’m not sure which term is accurate, and with all the labels we throw out nowadays, I can’t keep up with all their meanings.  I just know that I’m not interested in any of it and I know that sounds naive and immature, but this isn’t about maturity.  It’s about politics.  And divorce.)

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Here's What Makes This Tree-That-Only-A-Mother-Could-Love Beautiful

Our Christmas tree has been up for over a week, but we only just put the ornaments on it yesterday.  It’s hard to get in the Christmas spirit when we’re walking around in shorts and flip-flops (to be clear, we are also wearing shirts).

This was the first time we decorated with only three of us, since the oldest moved off to college this fall.

That’s such a lie.  

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Silence Is Acceptance

He did it.  He admitted to it.  He did it and I am so disappointed.

Give me this one more day to grieve the loss of who I thought Matt Lauer was and I promise you won’t hear about it from me again.  

There are just a few things I need to get off my chest about it.

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I Wondered Who It Would Be Today

Ok, I just canNOT with all this sexual misconduct, y’all.  I mean - Matt Lauer?  Are you freakin’ kidding me right now?  I can’t even believe it.  

I’ve grown up watching Matt.  But not just watching him, knowing him.  Matt and I shared some laughs - albeit unbeknownst to him - over his Halloween costumes throughout the years.  

We shared tears through the unbearable sadness of the events of 9/11.

We traveled the world together through his annual Where In The World Is Matt Lauer series.

We shared the same disdain for Tom Cruise when Tom used that gorgeous mouth of his to blast Matt with an embarrassing misuse of his vocabulary by calling him “glib.”

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Why You Should Say The Nice Thing You're Thinking

A few weeks ago I was sitting on the train heading into Austin for the Texas Conference for Women.  I spent the hour ride visiting with my new friends, the veteran train riders, and also reflecting on last year’s conference.

Last year, I was honored to interview Carla Birnberg, a local author and blogger.  She and I had a 15 minute time slot, but she gave me nearly an hour of her time, and she’s so easy to connect with, that hour flew by.  

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My Birthday Wish

The story is that your birthday wish won’t come true if you share it.  But I’m feeling frisky, so I’m throwing caution to the wind.

Hopefully, by sharing, I’m not changing the course of my life’s direction, which is something I’ve worried about before:  when I got my driver's license renewed one year and checked the box labeled “Organ Donor,” and I stepped outside the DMV, I was suddenly paralyzed with fear, worried that I’d just set in motion a new purpose for my life - to be the body parts for someone else’s.  

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