Monday Musings and Whatnot - February 8

Oh hey. Look at that.
I was able to spell February on the first try.

Yeah, it's a daily struggle.

I'm in a mood today.
Not gonna lie.
At this point in my afternoon I'd like to eat a lot of chocolate.
Problem is - there is NO CHOCOLATE IN MY HOUSE.


So we'll just talk about what I'm thinking about (other than chocolate).

1. I have a real job. No really, I do. I actually had someone say to me today at my kid's school "Oh we haven't seen you in a while." To which I said "I've been really busy with work and family stuff." And she said "Oh, you mean you have a real job?" Um. Yeah. I have a real job. Yes, I work from home and I can wear yoga pants every day and I don't have to wear makeup or do my hair. But I HAVE A REAL FREAKING JOB. I do real work (writing, social media, etc). I get a real paycheck. I get a real 1099 tax form every year. I have real coworkers.

2. I love politics. OK. I love MOST politics (I can't stomach listening to ANY of the Republican candidates). I stayed up too late last week watching the Iowa Caucus results. And I'll probably stay up late tomorrow night to watch the New Hampshire Primary results. Thank goodness the kids have a late start on Wednesday. Oh, I also had a dream Friday night that I was sharing a plate of pancakes with Bernie Sanders. Totally random.

3. My birthday is Friday. My husband keeps asking me what I want. And I keep saying "nothing." And it's true. I can't think of one thing that I want for my birthday - or at least nothing that we can afford. ;) Maybe I should tell him I want chocolate. HA!

OK. I need to find something chocolate to eat. Happy Monday. 


Monday Musings - FEBRUARY!

We made it to February.

And for some totally f**ked up reason I can't FOR THE LIFE OF ME spell F-E-B-R-U-A-R-Y correctly.

I have no idea why I'm having such a difficult time spelling the month of my BIRTHDAY correctly but there it is. I'm failing at spelling right now.

So..it's 2:03 p.m. as I'm typing this so here's what is running through my brain right now:

1. It's Iowa Caucus day. Which means I'll be watching CNN tonight as soon as dinner is over. OK, who am I kidding? I've been sneaking peeks at CNN and MSNBC all day. I know that Iowa doesn't "really matter" in the long run but as a political junkie I'm totally hooked. Also, the more I hear from/about Bernie Sanders the more I'm beginning to #FeelTheBern. True story.

2. My birthday is in 11 days. You know how I feel about that? Meh. I mean birthdays are great and all - and totally better than the alternative - but honestly I'm like "yep, it's my birthday, whatevs." I want sushi for lunch and Inky's pizza for dinner and I want to stay home that Friday night and do nothing. I told my sister the we can go out the next night to see 'Pride + Prejudice + Zombies' ONLY if it gets a good review. My husband asked me what I want for my birthday. I said "can't think of anything I need." I'd love a plane ticket to Orlando and a few days at Disney by myself but that's not happening. :)

3. I have a blog post sitting in the drafts that is all about the current health issue Olivia is dealing with. I'm not sure when/if I'm going to publish it. I mean, on one hand it's not a secret (well, OK...it sort of is since I've only told a few people). And on the other hand...well, honestly I can't think of a good reason to not publish it. Olivia is OK with me telling people - she's just not talking about it with her friends. And isn't not a a life-or-death health issue. It's just...well...it is what it is. So. Much. Vaguebooking.

4. They're predicting thunderstorms tomorrow night around here. I'm totally excited about that. The 55 mph wind gusts? Not so much. But bring on the thunder.

5. Just realized it is a Leap Year. Yay for 29 days of February. Use that "extra day" wisely my friends. 

OH! My "one new recipe a week" thing? Yeah, it's going OK so far. Last week I made this amazing BBQ chicken pizza dipper recipe and it was de-LISH. I'm not sure what this week's new recipe will be. I need to find inspiration. Tonight we're having meatloaf and there isn't anything inspiring about that.

And..I haven't gone to the gym since November. Ugh. But I am (once again) giving up eating at night for Lent. It helped last year. And it stopped helping when I decided ice cream was better than nothing. ;)


Monday Musings - January 25

Another Monday....more random thoughts from me. Aren't you lucky? ;)

I'm honestly viewing these posts as a way to make myself write something that isn't work-related. Why? Because I need to write. I love to write. And it's a lot easier to be passive aggressive in a blog post than on Facebook.

Sort of.


1. January. Seriously this month. It really feels like the LONGEST MONTH OF THE YEAR. Every. Single. Year. I know there are only 31 days in January - just like March, July, August, October, and December - but damn. This month just goes on forever. And I can't really dislike the month since BOTH girls celebrate January birthdays. It just feels really, REALLY long.

2. I make a ton of lists. Honestly you should see my desk right now. I have a "to do" list for work. I have several sticky notes for things I can't forget to do (one of which I already forgot to do today). I have lists in my head. It is ridiculous. So man lists, so much shit to remember. Do you ever feel like maybe you're trying to do too much?

3.I'm disturbed by the increasing lack of common courtesy online. I just don't understand why people have to be rude to others whether it is on Facebook, Twitter, or even in an email. I wish everyone would stop and think "would I say this to this person's face?" or "would I use this tone (usually the "you're an effing moron" tone) when speaking to this person face-to-face?" I'm gonna bet that NO for the most part you would not behave like that if you were face-to-face so WHY IN THE WORLD is it OK to act like that just because there is a computer/smartphone/iPad between you and the other person. Think before you hit send.

4. This is how my week usually goes:
Monday - Long list of things to do and the mindset "I have all week to do all of this stuff!"
Tuesday - Still have a lot of time. Oh look, Pinterest!
Wednesday - Oh man. Just a couple more days. Better get busy.
Thursday - Crap.
Friday - Looks like I'm working on a Friday night.
Saturday - Time to do the laundry.
Sunday - Relax. A little bit.

Here's to a stress-free week.



Today we're celebrating Emma's 9th birthday.

I'm letting this sink in for a few minutes. It really doesn't seem possible that my youngest, my "baby," is one year away from double digits.

But let's not fast forward too much.


This is what almost 9 looks like:

Emma is our spunky, funny, smart, beautiful, athletic girl. She loves reading and animals and has declared that when she grows up she's going to open an animal rescue-veterinary office in Florida where she will tend to household pets in the front and rescue sea turtles and other wild animals in the back. She's even drawn up plans for this hybrid animal sanctuary.

This year Emma decided she didn't want to dance anymore. She had been taking dance for about five years and I think she just got bored with it. She would rather shoot hoops with her dad than put on her jazz shoes and learn a routine.

Emma and basketball - the kid loves her basketball. Last summer she started watching the Cleveland Cavaliers with Kevin and now she's their biggest fan. It's so fun to watch her watch their games. She has her favorite players - LeBron is, of course, one of them. She also has teams she can't stand (Golden State I'm talking to you).

The mornings after a Cavs game Emma will read the sports section in the newspaper to see what happened. She has also started collecting basketball cards. And, her pink and purple princess bedroom is also adorned with a LeBron James poster and 2016 calendar.

She is our one-of-a-kind kid and we wouldn't have it any other way. ;)

Happy Birthday to our sweet Emma G! We love you!


Monday Afternoon Musings - January 18, 2016

Holy Toledo it's cold outside.

Yes, I really DO understand that I live in Ohio but damn. This is cold. I'm currently sitting at my desk wearing two shirts AND a sweater (and pants, duh) AND I'm drinking hot coffee. And I'm still cold.

Which brings me to today's random thoughts:

1. I. Hate. Winter. That's not really an earth-shattering announcement. I told my husband over the weekend that we should move to Florida. Or North Carolina. And was totally NOT kidding.

2. I didn't make New Year's resolutions. I figure it is still January (seriously the LONGEST MONTH OF THE YEAR) so I can still talk about resolutions. Or the lack thereof. What I did decide as the clock struck midnight (OK, it was actually a few days before and I was sound asleep at midnight at New Year's Eve) was this: I don't really care. Now that might sound all Negative Nancy but let me explain. I don't care about certain things anymore. I don't care about the newest fad diet that you're trying. I don't care about your drama. - real or imagined. I don't care about things that (1) I can't (or don't want to) control, (2) have no impact on my life, or (3) just don't interest me at all. I have enough really good stuff going on in my life (and enough crappy stuff too) where I don't need to worry/care/stress/fret about things that don't concern me, don't impact me, don't matter to me. Not my circus. Not my monkeys.

3. I love my job. That's all.

4. I love knowing that there are people friends out there who will call and check on you even though they are dealing with their own epic crap. More #Vaguebooking but we're dealing with a health issue with Olivia that I'm not posting about on Facebook (shocking, I know) and I've only told a few people about. One of those friends called me last week because she said she had been thinking about us all week and wanted to see how things were going. We had a wonderful 45-minute long phone call and when it was finished I couldn't stop thinking about how really awesome it is to have NICE people in your life.

5. Stop being jerks to people. Seriously you guys, it isn't funny. It isn't funny when your kids are assholes to other kids. It isn't funny when you're an asshole to other parents. It's crappy and immature and if your life is that freaking miserable that you have to channel all your anger and frustration (and jealousy) onto other parents and their kids, perhaps it is time to reevaluate what is making you so unhappy and change it. You get one freaking go-around on this crazy ride called life so why not make the most of it and actually BE F*CKING HAPPY instead of working really f*cking hard on being miserable and negative all the time.

[I told you that language was possible on this blog. It's totally a PG-13 to R rating. No apologies.]

Oh yeah that "try one new recipe a week" thing? I made two last week. Damn I'm good. The Crockpot Chicken Enchilada Soup was a hit (Olivia ate THREE BOWLS at dinner). The Farfalle with Mushrooms and Spinach was good but it really needed a Parmesan cream sauce so I'll have to rework it. This week I'm going to (finally) make Paula Deen's potato soup recipe that everyone raves about. I hate potato soup so this ought to be interesting.

Happy Monday all.
Stay warm.
Be happy.


Monday Afternoon Musings

So here we are. The second Monday of a new year and I'm just gonna throw this out there - I didn't make any New Year's resolutions. But, I did decide that there are a few things about which I will no longer give a f*ck. I'm not going to list them but they might show up in future blog posts.

[Oh yeah, language. That might show up more on the blog. Or it might not. Depends on my mood that day.]

Also, this whole "Monday afternoon musings" might become a regular feature on the blog. Or it might not. Depends on whether or not I can actually stick to this "regular blogging thing." I used to be good at it. Last year I totally sucked at blogging.

So here are the things I'm thinking about today:

1. Sometimes all the worrying you've done for weeks can be erased after one positive appointment. Sorry to #VagueBook but suffice it to say that my mind was put at ease today about something and it's all good.

2. Don't go on Facebook just to be contrary for the hell of it. Seriously. It's called social media for a reason people. Be sociable. Contribute to the conversation. But don't post on someone's page just because you want to debate/argue/contradict/attempt to look smarter than someone. It's annoying. And it defeats the whole purpose of social media.

3. Also this: My posts on Facebook are generally about (1) food allergies, (2) my kids, (3) grammar, (4) Disney, or (5) the weather. Please do me a favor and don't argue with me. Or debate me. Or say "but so-and-so says this." You know what kind of Facebook comments I like? The kind that I can respond to in a positive manner. I detest comments that are negative or argumentative. They serve no purpose.

5. The weather. Yes, shockingly I am already sick and tired of winter. I KNOW I live in Ohio (Really. I am fully aware of this fact.) But it's damn cold out there. And it is icy. And more snow is coming. I don't want to "deal with it" ... I just want to be able to wear my cute ballet flats (which also happen to be orthotic shoes) without socks and NOT have my toes freeze. That's not asking too much.

6. Crockpot Chicken Enchilada soup smells really great as it cooks. Sure hope it tastes good too. ;)

7. I'm going to try and make a new recipe at least once a week. (OK, so I JUST decided this as I'm typing this blog post). I will likely fail after a week or two...but we shall see. If they're good maybe I'll share them. But that would mean even more blog posts and we all know how successful I am at blogging lately.

8. Trying to eat lunch while watching 'Bizarre Foods' on the Travel Channel is not a good idea. Leftover pizza does not pair well with words like "roasted rat." Blergh.

And there it is.
My ramblings on a Monday afternoon.
We'll see how this works out.



Today Olivia turns 12.

Let that sink in for a few minutes.

My first born is TWELVE YEARS OLD.

I'm not sure I'm ready for my "baby" to be 12 but there's no stopping time. (And she was technically only 11 in that photo but I loooove that picture of Liv!).

So let's talk about Olivia for a few minutes...

She's quiet and kind and brilliant and beautiful.

She used to be very shy but she is slowly coming out of her shell - you should see her perform on stage! The little girl who used to cry when she had to do a Christmas pageant at age 4 is graceful and gorgeous on stage now as a ballerina.

Of course, Olivia is still quiet. I'm not sure that will ever change. But that's what makes her special.

Did I mention that she's smart? I'm talking this kid has BRAINS. Watching her figure out math problems is rather impressive. Also: she didn't get that from me. ;)

This girl is also resilient. She's had her fair share of health issues in her 12 years but she handles them like a pro. I'm hoping she can continue to do that. I tell her all the time - you aren't different, you're special.

And now, I can't believe that in just one year I'll have a teenager in the house! I'm quite certain the next 12 months will be challenging, dramatic, fun, and full of adventure.

Happy 12th birthday Olivia. We love you to the moon and back.


Christmas Trees

Yes. I am decorating for Christmas.


No. I don't give a damn if you like it or approve of it.

That's all. 


It's Like Groundhog Day Around Here

And yes, I'm talking about the movie 'Groundhog Day' where Bill Murray's character keeps having the same day over and over again.

That is exactly what life feels like right now.

6:15 a.m. wake up. 6:30 wake up kid #1, make her breakfast. Pack lunch #1. Wake up kid #2, make her breakfast. Make sure kid #1 is dressing appropriately for school. Tell kid #1 goodbye. Get kid #2 dressed. Pack lunch #2. Stand on driveway with kid #2 until bus arrives. Go inside. Two options (a) drink coffee or (b) head to gym. Come home. Shower. Work all day. Three days out of five take one kid or the other to dance class. Come home. Do laundry or other stuff. Go to bed.


I sort of feel as if I'm on autopilot these days and it is quite annoying.

It's WAY TOO EARLY in the school year to feel like I'm living my own personal Groundhog Day.

I'm hoping vacation next month fixes this.

Anyone else feeling like they're stuck in a routine lately?


Ten Years

It seems this blog turned 10 years old a couple days ago.

Ten years.

That's a long time to be blogging I suppose.

I started this little ol' blog before Facebook and Twitter and Pinterest and Instagram were all the rage. I just wanted to write about things that were happening in and around my little "fishbowl."

And now 10 years later I'm still here. Still writing (occasionally). Maybe people are reading it, maybe not.

I've had the chance to do some cool stuff thanks to this blog including attending the Disney Social Media Moms Conference twice, being invited to Conversations with Coca-Cola, having the chance to visit Put-in-Bay with my family a couple of times, staying in an amazing vacation home with friends, and so much more.

With this blog I've never cared about page visits or advertising or any of that. It's just my blog where I put my thoughts down on the computer screen and if people read it that's great. If they don't read it, oh well.

So happy bloggy birthday to the fishbowl.

And if you're still out there reading what I'm writing - thanks! ;)