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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What Do Joanna Gaines & A Members Only Jacket Have In Common? Nothing. Absolutely Nothing.

Remember I told you we moved to a new house recently?  We moved over the summer to a town about 10 minutes from where we lived before, and I'm just starting to feel settled. 

I'm like a cat when it comes to change. 

The style of this house is a little more modern than our old house, but I don’t really “do” modern.  I love rustic - not country - but distressed, modern-farmhousey, industrial-ish, old-world European-esque.  

Like if Joanna Gaines and Michelangelo’s David had a baby and pushed it around in a steampunk buggy.

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The 4 Things I Learned From Taking a Break

You know how I recently took a hiatus from writing, right?

It wasn’t planned, and I mentally flogged myself daily during the nine months I was away from the keyboard, telling myself I was throwing away the following I’d worked so hard to build, and then mentally arguing back that, “yah, but what’s the point?”, and then mentally consoling myself, saying, “hey, there are always people who tell me how meaningful my posts are to them, so just keep on keepin' on, gurl!”, but then mentally belittling myself with, “I could poop out a basket full of Japanese howler monkeys before anyone would pay attention.”

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Conservative Christianism, Anxious Sweats, & Feeling "Less Than"

As usual when I’m heading someplace important, especially if I’m right on schedule - or more likely, late - as opposed to being early and relaxed, which hasn’t happened since before I had children and has somehow become a habit, just like writing run-on sentences, I start sweating and my freshly flat-ironed hair starts to pop into the most pubic and freakish curls around my hairline.

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Back By Popular Demand

Oh heeeyyy!  I realize it’s been a little longer than a minute since you last heard from me.  

I’ve been on a nine-month, unplanned hiatus during which I pretty much gave up my entire life in service of others (I’m disgustingly selfless), got my oldest son graduated and moved off to college, moved our family to a new home in a new town, planned a once-in-a-lifetime family vacation in celebration of The Graduate, and find myself now pale with dark under-eye circles, greasy meth hair, dressed like I lost a bet, and almost completely unraveled.  

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