8 Things to Buy Your Snarky Wife for Valentine’s Day that won’t get you laughed at or punched

What to Buy Your Snarky Wife for Valentine’s Day

The target audience for this post is a bit different than usual, ok a LOT. As in opposite. So, ladies, read this through and if it applies to you, feel free to forward to your Valentine. I’ll drop the not-so-subtle hints for you.

Cynical, snarky, jaded, sarcastic, whatever adjectives apply to your wife, for whatever the reason, she’s not into sappy, lovey-dovey bull shat. And that can make your job very difficult this Valentine’s Day. As a man, I’m fairly certain that you haven’t put much thought into this fabricated holiday of love. If history is any indication of your behavior in a week’s time, you’ll saunter into the closest convenience store and grab whatever they forcefully suggest you purchase your “One True Love” this Valentine’s Day. Because NOTHING says immortal love like a 4-inch plush animal unnaturally dyed red, a box of poor-quality chocolates wrapped and glued shut in cellophane, one rose with a poo-shaped chocolate where the petals should be, and a card with 2 beautiful people on the front, sitting by the ocean, with words you could never think of on your own, much less write down, on the inside.

I understand her because I AM her. Just because she’s jaded DOESN’T (I repeat, DOESN’T) mean she wants you to ignore this pretend holiday. She still wants to be shown you love her, just not in a conventional way and she definitely doesn’t want a bunch of shat she has no use for. That’ll piss her off. And that’s what you’re trying to AVOID. Roses and a sweet, sentimental card will NOT get her to take off her clothes and beg you to “love her long time”. It will get you an eye-roll, a punch in the arm for being “weird”, or even made fun of. (Again, we want to AVOID this.)

“SO WHAT DO I DO, E??”

  1. First up: the card. The card must meet her where she is. If you are the sappy type, get a sappy card but write in funny things to break up the weirdness. Make fun of your own sappy card in a way that tells her you love her AND her snarkiness. She’ll love your originality and authenticity.
  2. Make her a card. Come on, it’s not that hard. Go to Wal-Mart or Michael’s and get some construction paper. Or just raid your daughter’s stash. A piece of construction paper with a heart drawn on the front, folded in half, with a hand-written “I Love You and Your Snarky Ways” inside will go much further than something you would never say.
  3. One option for the main gift (yes, MAIN- as in “there should be MULTIPLE”… trust me. I have lady parts) is something to give her time alone, especially if she’s a mom. I highly recommend a gift card to a blow-out bar or a day spa if she enjoys getting pampered. If she’s not the pampered type, give her a gift card to her favorite store and keep the kids busy while she takes care of bid-naz.
  4. If you’re tight on money, don’t worry. In the words of Wanda from In Living Color, “I GOTCHU”. Look around the house for a basket. Go to Target or another store that has a beauty aisle and pick up the $1 face masks, some bubble bath, maybe a loofa. Purchase said items and place them in the basket with some other fun stuff. (Notice you just read “fun”, not shat). Take the kids for a WHOLE day. Plan a fun day away with them and let her be her at home. Bam. Insta-love.
  5. Plan a day away with her. Create sappy memories instead of crappy, sappy items that mean nothing to her. Where did you go on your first date? How about the first time you said, “I HEART YOU”? Anywhere she’s been dying to go? Here’s a hint: If she’s mentioned it out loud to you EVER, she’s been dying to go. Snarky, cynical women don’t reveal too much unless they’ve been thinking about it for a while. By the time it leaves our lips we’ve made up our minds that we wanna do it. (That’s what she said.)
  6. Unless it’s against her religion and she’s uber devout or she’s allergic (how tragic), alcohol will ALWAYS be a good option. But make it unique. Don’t go to Trader Joe’s and hand her the cheapo Chardonnay. Likely, it will end up broken. After she smashes it with your head. Let’s keep that from happening. Go online or to a wine store and ask. Always ask.
  7. Ghost Tour!!!!! If she likes that sort of thing, that is. But it’s such a different, fun thing to do. It’s quirky, dramatic, and she’ll snuggle in real close when that ghost comes running for you!
  8. Yes, I made fun of the BAD chocolate. However, Godiva = Heaven. If she likes chocolate, she’ll prolly have some mad love in her heart for a $50 box of crack. Trust me.
  9. Bonus: Ok, so I mentioned that she should receive multiple gifts. That doesn’t mean you have to break the bank. If you have one large gift, have some fun “extras” ready. Her favorite wine chilled, her favorite candy on the counter when she gets home, something special that only you know to do.

I know this is a lot to take in (that’s what he said), but just try it out. Even if you just take half of my advice. Or 1/4th of my advice. But please, PLEASE no stupid, sappy cards, plush animals or grocery store chocolates. Happy VD! Ladies, did I miss anything??

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How to Workout with Kids

For those of you who have kids and want to start a fitness journey, or for those of you who just wonder how moms juggle family, work, obligations, AND stay in shape, me too. I’m curious, too. Since I became a mom almost 9 years ago, I think I’ve tried to get back in shape more times than my 5 year old has asked me for gum this afternoon (that’s, like, a LOT of times). You wanna know how many times I’ve been successful? Um… once. But it didn’t last long.

Over Christmas this year I decided I was going to do it again. But for real this time. Each year my office closes between Christmas and New Year so it was the perfect time. I’d be home. I’d cleanse my diet. I’d restart my body. Trick it to think it doesn’t want that massive piece of chocolate cake from the grocery store, like I trick my kids to think that Chick-Fil-A doesn’t sell ice cream on the week days. It’d be so super easy. I even have everything I need at home in the form of workout DVDs. Bam.

Day one was AWE-SUM. It was great. My kids are obviously now old enough for me to reason with.

“Kids, I’m going to be in the basement for 20 minutes to workout. Everyone has snacks and drinks, everyone is good, right?”
“Yes, Mommy! We’re good!”
“OK! I’m going to close the door so that the dogs don’t come down but if you need me, you can come get me, OK?”
“OH KAAAAY!”
“But if you come downstairs, please don’t let the dogs down.”

Y’all, hand to Heaven I got 20 minutes with my Piyo DVD. It was so refreshing and I felt so alive. I was all,

“I got this. This time tomorrow I’ll be down to my fighting weight. Just to make sure I’ll have a smoothie for my after-snack snack.”

The next day was fairly similar.   Got ma fit-nass on (please read that as “own” for dramatic effect). BAM! But… It didn’t last long. Pretty soon, I was getting maaaybe 10 minutes in before Pandora opened her shatty box of cray-zee, Roman opened the basement door to demand I help him put on my gold pants (because he thinks they make him look like Slash), and our 50-lb lab, Georgia, came FLYYYYYYY-ing down the stairs and tackled me while I was attempting to perfect my push-ups which meant I was at the perfect height on the floor for my Chihuahua, Lola, to lick me up the nose. Yes, UP the nose. Her tongue is so long and slender that it actually fits UP MY NOSE.

Then Roman wanted to play the drums for me while I worked out. But I couldn’t hear the lovely Chalene Johnson! I asked him to play quietly but then he started crying because Guns n Roses doesn’t play the drums quietly! So that finished that day. Subsequent attempts were even worse… so I finally gave up. And by “finally” I mean by the third day.

“Oh, I know!” I naively thought to myself, “I’ll sign up for the special I saw on Facebook for the Krav Maga combat fitness classes! Three classes for $20. Done. I’m so gonna rock this. If I pay for it I’ll totally do it cuz I don’t wanna waste money!”

I took the first class on the last Wednesday before going back to work. Class started at 6. I had to wait for my hubs to get home from work to relieve me from my parenting duties so I was runnin’ a little late! Sue me! Weeeell, they very well may. Someone from the studio called me to make sure I was coming. I got there at 6:05. Intense. “Something tells me we’re not in LA Fitness anymore.”

I was the only person in the class who had never done it before. Everyone in the class… EVERYONE had on shirts and pants with the studio logo on it. I busted up in there in a hot pink sports bra, yoga shirt, and bright running tights. Like, have you ever gone to a costume party only to realize you need to stop at the store on the way so you’re walking through Target dressed like a giant poo emoji? Yeah. That was me.

And I was totally lost. Like a female pro bowler trying to be a Lakers Cheerleader. Lost like that. I loved it but felt totally lost. It was a great workout. But I knew that once work started back I wouldn’t be able to make those classes without, at best, being 10 minutes late. The schedule just didn’t match mine.

I realized something over the break. I’ve been going about this “all-or-nothing” for so long… it’s not fair. Not fair to me. So I’m going to do my best. Some days my best might mean I eat 1300 healthy calories and a refuse that break-room cupcake. Some days I may kill those 1300 calories by breakfast. Oops. But it’s about being more aware of my choices and creating realistic expectations for myself.

Do I want my abs to come back to me? Yes. Do I want to take care of myself? Yes. But I also know that with the kids’ schedules, my schedule, and my husband’s schedule, sometimes it’s all I can do to get them in bed before I fall asleep in the hallway on the way back to my room. Step by step, choice by choice, I’ll get where I need to be.

What do you do to take care of yourself?

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How to Survive Rogue One

My family and I did something a few days ago that we rarely do… we went to the movies! Usually my hubs and I wait until movies are available from the comfort of our own home and have the “lazy man’s movie night”. But we went all out for Rogue One. Given it’s been a bit since we’ve ventured out together like this, I forgot about a few nuances about the movie theater experience. In the event you are weighing the pros and cons of going to see a movie, I’d like to share with you what those nuances are.

  1. Cost – if you’re not in the top 1% of the top 1% of earners in the country, you may want to pawn that vase you had appraised on Antiques Roadshow before you purchase those tickets. And don’t get me started on the food. $4.99 USD for a SMALL BOTTLE OF WATER?????? I can get 32 bottles at Costco for that price! Just keep whispering, “It’s for the babies… it’s for the babies… it’s for the babies.” And hand over that $100 bill. To be fair, in exchange you’ll get a kid’s sized Icee, a small popcorn, and a box of Snowcaps. Did you get nachos? Want extra cheese? Well, that’ll be a kidney. Napkins? Those are free. You’re welcome.
  2. Time Management – Lines are inevitable even if you get your tickets online. Lines, lines everywhere. So be sure to plan for it. Concession lines to order your food and drinks, lines to get your food once you order it, lines to show the 13 year old your tickets, lines to use the bathroom. Lines again so that your 5 year old can use the bathroom for the 6th time in an hour. In my mind I’m famous and, as such, should not be subjected to lines.
  3. People – Ugh. I forget how much I hate being around people until I go to the movies. Remember that movie Crash? The one where Reese Witherspoon’s first husband played a cop? When I saw that movie so many years ago, something happened that caused me to forever lose faith in the classiness of the human race. A woman sat down rightbesideme (yes, that spacing is on purpose because that’s how I felt) in a not-so-crowded theater, reached into her oversized handbag, and pulled out of that Mary Poppins purse a paper bag from Churches Chicken. While the movie was just beginning (the actual movie, not the credits) she tore the bag down the side and rolled it down so that she could gain better access to her chicken wings. Then she- I moved. I have no idea what she did after that. In my mind she made love to those chicken wings without shame, no matter who was watching, and I wasn’t going to be a part of that. But, yeah, I hate being around groups of people. They’re stupid.
  4. My kids – I adore my kids. Seriously. I am in love with them. But I can’t handle going to the movies with them very often. When we order movies at home, they have full access to more than one bathroom. They can move around, they can talk, they can sit on their heads, they can cry because their socks feel funny. None of it matters because I didn’t spend $100 to watch it. I maybe spent $6 if I was feeling frisky and didn’t go with a free option. Today Roman spilled his popcorn, went to the bathroom 4 times, got his foot caught underneath himself and started bawling, sat in my lap, sat in my hubs’ lap, sat in his chair, sat in my lap, back to my husband, then back to me. He wanted my pizza, nope that’s gross, then drank an entire Icee. That’s right. He had to pee 4 times BEFORE he finished the Icee. Then there’s my 8-year-old baby girl. Bella is usually pretty good at the moves. Today, though, she wanted to know who everyone was in the movie, why they did what they did, point out how funny the robot was, impersonate the robot, crunch her chips, smack her chips, argue with me out loud when I told her quietly to stop smacking, and sit with her legs in what I can only describe as an open frog position.

Overall, even with the frustrations, we had a great time. Rogue One is a very entertaining, action-packed movie that the kids and the hubs loved. I love that a strong female character kicked ass. Bam, boys! It moves quickly and stands alone so you don’t have to be familiar with the whole franchise to get the story. So if you can get passed all the crazy out there and afford to sell your first born to whatever theater you prefer to visit, I highly recommend seeing Rogue One.

Maybe I’m impatient and frugal but it’s ok. At least I’m pretty. How do you prefer to watch movies?

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Life’s Bright Side

Sometimes life gets the better of us no matter how hard we try to have it all and keep it all together. I’ve learned to see the bright side of things over the years. That’s really the purpose of this blog: to share the bright side of the sometimes bad side of life. And my bright side is your bright side because we’re all pretty. Here’s a list of my life lessons so far:

  1. Sometimes my son wants to wear my leather pants out of the house because he thinks he’s a rock star. If I don’t let him wear MY pants to dinner out, he tells me I’m mean. And maybe I am. Maybe I’m a horrible parent for that. But at least I’m pretty.
  2. I once got lost in a circle. A circle. Yes, you read that correctly. Sometimes I can’t find my way but that’s ok. Because at least I’m pretty.
  3. I have a very foul mouth and no filter. I would say I try but I don’t. Life’s too short to be someone you’re not. And I’m unfiltered. And pretty. Unfiltered and pretty.
  4. My husband is twice my size. He has muscles for days. On a vacation a few months ago I out ate him in crab legs. And the only reason I stopped is because there was no more to eat. I was still hungry. I don’t know if he was amazed, scared, or disgusted. Maybe all three. Yes, I have weaknesses but at least I’m pretty. For now. Until these crab legs catch up with me and I turn into one.
  5. I oversell things I like. I also oversell myself. I’m hoping it works like The Secret, where I put things out into the universe and they happen? No? Whatever. At least I’m pretty. Well, attractive. Ok, I’m average-looking. Let’s just say I do the best with what I’ve got.
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Comedy Birthday Show with Darren Knight

Two nights ago I took my mom to see Darren Knight (AKA, Southern Momma) for her 21st birthday so she could live my dream of becoming a standup comedian. {Yes, I have a young mom.  We’re from backwoods Mississippi, don’t judge}.
It was just the two of us, which is a treat in and of itself, and the night did NOT disappoint. I even came away with a surprise new girl-crush!

For those of you who don’t know who Darren Knight is, he’s an overnight Facebook comedy sensation who parodies moms from the south and, having a southern momma myself (and being one), I can tell you that his impersonation is spot on. It was an evening full of me elbowing my mom to say, “OH EM GEE, VICKI! It’s like he’s my long lost brother or somethin’!”

If you weren’t raised by a southern mom, you may not realize how “moming” in the south follows a pattern. One I know I’ve picked up along the way.

For example, if you need to talk to your kids, you yell out what you’re gonna say. Sure, you can speak in a normal tone but your kids will ignore you. Then it’ll take a five minute dance of:

Me: Bella, could you please pick your book up off the floor so Georgia doesn’t eat it?

Bella:

Me: BELLA! Did you hear me?

Bella:

Me: CANDY!

Bella: HUH?

Me: OH, SO YOU DO HEAR ME?! I KNOW YOU HEARD ME TELL YOU TO PICK YOUR STUFF UP OFF THE FLOOR! WHY DO I ALWAYS HAVE TO YELL?! DO YOU LIKE IT WHEN I’M CRAZY? NO! NO ONE LIKES ME WHEN I’M CRAZY BUT Y’ALL DON’T LISTEN TO ME WHEN I SPEAK LIKE A NORMAL PERSON! DON’T MAKE ME TELL YOU AGAIN!

Bella: Gosh, mom, you don’t have to yell.

So, instead, and to save us all the pain of living through what you just read, I yell, “BELLA! PICK YOUR SHAT UP OFF THE FLOOR RIGHT NOW OR I TURN OFF THE TV AND THROW AWAY THE REMOTE!” And she picks up her stuff.

Another example:

Clothes. My kids go through clothes like their little bodies are covered in sandpaper. And they love to wear their BEST clothes to play in. Cuz they’re purdy. But then when it’s time for church or a wedding or Thanksgiving dinner or bailin’ Uncle Mikey outta jail for that meth lab again, all their best clothes have holes in them and stains on them and prolly missing a sleeve. So to preemptively solve the problem, I make them take off their “church clothes” as soon as they come in the door. “Putchur play clothes own!” I yell as their sweet little booties walk in the house. Now, of course I have to fish the nice clothes out of the hamper and now they’re all wadded up and wrinkled, but at least I know they aren’t shredded by the rambunctious little honey badgers I call my children.

Darren Knight has observantly captured all of this. And those of us who survived sourthern mommas and those of us who are now southern mommas can all relate beautifully.

The best part of having a southern momma is that she’s always gotchur back. When you’re the child of a southern momma you know that if you’re wronged by someone (even your daddy), your momma will “take care” of the situation, much like Tony Soprano “took care” of his business. Alternatively, if you ain’t actin’ right with the Lord, you know your momma will also “take care” of the situation. Be right with the Lord. That’s all we’re askin’. Mainly that part that says, “Honor thy mother”, AKA do what we say and don’t ask questions.

His standup is different than the videos. If you’re expecting him to stand up on stage and perform an hour of Southern Momma skits, you’ll be disappointed. But if you go in with the expectation of a true stand-up routine, you’ll get lots of laughs.

There were 3 comedians that opened for him. The first one was Gary Cargal. I didn’t really relate to his material but he got a lot of laughs from the crowd. He’s a regular on the Atlanta comedy scene which is great to see. 

The second comedian was a woman who goes by the stage name “Red Squirrel”. Y’all, she’s HILAROUS. I may have laughed more with her than with Darren. She’s little, she’s spunky, and she is crude without you realizing it! She’s my new girl-crush for sure. If you have time to internet stalk anyone today, I highly recommend you waste your time on this chick. The third comedian was Rocky Dale Davis. He’s a young comedian and he’s pretty funny, too. He’s starting to gain traction as a performer so I’d say go see him now.

After the show there was a meet and greet with all of the comedians. Now, y’all need to understand something about my mom. She has this habit of making a bee-line for the door when an event is over. Vicki don’t play. And she walks SUPER FAST. I’m 5’2”. I couldn’t walk fast if I were escaping zombies and into the arms of chocolate wine. So I’m always behind her. She was already out the door and I notice someone smiling at me out of the corner of my eye. Y’ALL, IT WAS RED SQUIRREL!!!!! I geek out, because I’m me, and like a giddy school girl yell out, “OH MY GOD YOU’RE SO FUNNY!” Then I realize I’m being loud and stupid and bring it down a notch to ask, “Can I please get a picture with you?” She was SO nice! So that made my night. As you can see, I was so excited that my hands were shaking. See??

red-squirrelThe selfie will forever commemorate that. #yay. Do y’all geek out over meeting anyone, or is it just me?

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Let’s Be Honest

Let’s be honest. Nope, nothing after that sentence. That’s my complete thought. Let’s just be honest. Imagine how much clearer relationships would be, directions would be, lives would be if we were all just honest. Know what you want, say what you want, mean what you say. How comforting would that be, to know that no ulterior motives lie behind a message. No repressed feelings to fester after years of pretending.

If I were honest with myself I would have uncovered my fear failure much earlier in life. My flight response when self-doubt engulfs me and I feel the false pressure of my impending doom. (I mean, I’m not Indiana Jones! Thank God, right!? I mean, those caves! Gross.) I would have followed my dream of acting. I would have gone to school for something more creative.

If I were completely honest with my babies I would tell them that sometimes I’m terrified. Sometimes I wonder why these beautiful little creatures are calling me mom and looking to ME for answers. I don’t even know what color I want my toe nails! When did I become mature enough to manage little lives??? Answer: I DON’T REMEMBER THAT EVEN HAPPENING! Run, littles. Run to safety! Those Cheeze It commercials with the immature cheese and the guy with the white coat, run to the white coat guy. Run to him, little ones. He’s mature. Not me!

If I were totally honest with myself and with my husband I would have probably told us both that I wasn’t entirely ready to get married when we did. I was terrified. I was too guarded. The sins of my past were still too raw. Buuut, then again, it kept things interesting, right, bae? You know, “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” and all that. We definitely climbed a mountain. You’re welcome, Love. I made you work for it. And, by default, I made us BOTH work for it. So, that plan backfired.

You see, I’m a recovering co-dependent. That means I’ve spent my ENTIRE life not being honest. I spent my whole existence doing everything I could to control things, to please people, to keep peace, to stay under the radar and always do the “good” thing. That’s how you act so that people you love love you back. That’s how you get people you love to stay. You do the “good” thing. You become perfect. Everyone wants perfect, right? In the words (or word) of Donald Trump: WRONG!

You know what gets people to stay? People. They have to decide to stay. I’m not capable of controlling that! You know what gets people to stay? Beautiful chaos. The mess. The adventure. Respect. Trust. Memories. Life.

Some people will stay, some won’t. Those who don’t, well, that’s a reflection on them. Not you. Do what you do. Sky dive, go to the beach without planning to, have a mimosa at 6am on a Sunday, scream FUCK when things get overwhelming. (just not in front of the babies. No one wants THAT call from school.) Guess what? God won’t send you to hell for it. He doesn’t care what time you drink! It’s prolly 5pm up there all the time. Have a good heart. Have good intentions. Set boundaries you’re comfortable with for every relationship you have. Know what you stand for and stick to those convictions. Don’t apologize for them. Respect the boundaries of others. And respect your own. And let’s be honest. Who do you need to be more honest with? What do you need to say?

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Proud Pretty Moments

I have to admit, this post almost didn’t happen.

Not because I had a hard time coming up with stuff, (in fact, what follows is but a glimpse into the long, long list of incidents that tell the world I should be locked in a round, rubber room), but because some of the things you are about to read (assuming you aren’t eaten by a zombie in the next 10 seconds) are CRINGE-WORTHY.

It’s so much easier to pretend none of it ever happened.  But, I promised to share the fugly as a public service to make everyone else feel better about themselves, so here we go:

{I’m so altruistic.  Deep breath aaaaand…}

There was the time in high school that I ran into the center of a double door.  During a class change.  Epic.

Also, I got a football helmet stuck on my head in PE.  Also epic.  Thanks for that, Coach Tucker.

Or the time I rocked brand new jeans to school one day feelin’ all special, sat down in my chair, ready to learn in Mr. Jerry Smith’s English class only to notice a very cold feeling directly under my left butt cheek.  Not sure how it happened but my new jeans fell apart.  A huge rip.  Awesome.

Then there was the time I drove the wrong way down 138 with my BFF in the car.  I honestly had no clue.  She was too horrified to speak.  She just kept pointing in the opposite direction.  Oops.  In my defense, it was before there was a median.  Cuz that makes it better.

Oh, Miss Salem!  Please come back from college to help us crown the new Miss Salem!  Ok!  I’d love to!  And when I ask the audience to clap for the contestants I’m going to say, “Please join me in giving the contestants a round warm of applause.”  Not my smartest moment but I did look pretty that day.

In college I opened the door to my townhouse to go outside for my 8am class, didn’t realize there was frozen ice on the stairs, and BAM!  I’m upside down on my front porch.  Of course I get up and look around to see if anyone (Joel Stringer) saw me.

Then there was the time I had to give a presentation in my Spanish Lit class.  It was awesome.  I was performing while speaking Spanish so I was excited.  After class my professor pulled me aside and said, “Did you realize that every number you said was in Italian?”  Well, I do now!  Yay!  I’m confused but I’m pretty.

And in Drama class one day I got to do an improv skill opposite a guy I had a huge crush on.  We were allowed only 3 lines or less to give the audience where we were and what we were doing without saying it directly.

No prep, no rehersal, aaaaaand GO!

I was so excited that I just ran at him.  Like a spider monkey.  I had no idea what I was going to say or anything.  I scared the shat out of everyone.  It was horrible.

Our teacher stopped the scene, thankfully, and let us start over.  Luckily I composed myself and redeemed my acting skills but I think he was pretty scarred from the whole experience.

Ever shown up to a “white elephant” Christmas party with a gag gift only to realize once you’re there that it isn’t actually a “white elephant” party but a “get-the-best-gift-you-can-find-for-$30” party?  I have.

When someone picked my gift and opened it, the disappointed look on that person’s face still haunts me.  And the best part was that someone else yelled, “who would do that!?  Whoever you are, you should be ashamed!”

I am.  I am ashamed.  But I’m going to sit here without saying anything and just look pretty.

Then there was the time I was talking to the Athletics Director of the rec team I coach for.  It was right before a game, I was dressed for it.  Looked like an amazing Cheerleading Coach (cuz I am).

I thought he seemed really interested in what I was saying.  Obviously, I’m awesome.  Or maybe he’s thinking, “Wow, she is an amazing Cheerleading coach!”

Nope.  All of a sudden he says, “I’m not sure if you know this, and I hope I don’t offend you, but you have a piece of food stuck in your teeth.”  Yaaay!  That’s not pretty at all.

My favorite is when my kids call me out. Like when I’m exercising, trying to get back to my pre-baby weight by digging deep to the Insanity Workout with my mentor, Shaun T, and my then 3-year-old daughter tells me, “You aren’t very good at this, Mommy.  Are you?  No, you aren’t.  But I am.”  That’s right, Bella.  Thank you.

Then there was the time she said, “Mommy, do you have another baby in your belly?”  No.  Your brother wanted to be sure he had room for all 9 lbs of himself so he stretched my uterus out reeeeeally big.  Now it won’t go back to its normal flat state because it is in shock.  Just like I am.  That a 9 lb human came out of that.  I realize it isn’t pretty.  Thank you for pointing it out.

AND my most recent “pretty moment” came courtesy of a nice older man named Phil.  I know him because we are both regulars at the same Starbucks.  He is very jolly, super friendly.

On this one day in particular, I decided to wear a sweater to work.  It was December, almost Christmas, so the weather was a bit chilly.  As I’m leaving Starbucks to go to work I wave to Mr. Phil and say hi.  And he smiles and says, “Ugly sweater day at work today?!  That’s great!”  To which I replied, “It is!  You like my choice?”  It was not ugly sweater day at my office.  It was normal sweater day.

Talk about being paranoid for the rest of the day.

Please tell me I’m not the only one with “pretty moments”…

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Beware of Paper Towels

Chopsticks at Panda Express… why?  You’re at Panda Express.  And you aren’t from China.  It’s like wearing a sombrero and poncho to Taco Bell.  Although, I think I’ve figured out why those who use chopsticks are so skinny.

Today at the gym a woman who looked to be in her 70’s walked from the shower and placed two paper towels on the bench in front of me.  While she was covered in a towel she hiked it up and sat on the paper towels while putting her shoes on.  She stood up and the paper towels got stuck in her butt crack.  No, I’m not joking.  The best part was the giggle that came out of her.

Does anyone else with kids feel like they’ve run a marathon after bathing 2 kids???  It sounds like it should be so simple!  Bathing 2 kids… it’s like herding wet cats.

 

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Random Shat We All Think

I love being a regular at Starbucks.  Until I want to try something different.  Although, it does mean I get two drinks: the one the barista made me when she saw my car pull in the parking lot and the one I asked for, which they prolly spit in.

If my kids were less cute they’d be better behaved.

{I can’t stay mad at you.}

My dream job is teaching yoga on the beach.  I feel like it’s a thing.

Scratch that.  I’m not serious enough to teach yoga.  I’d just make fun of everyone.

I have an Oscar acceptance speech written in my head.  I practice from time to time.

When I was younger I used to wonder what kind of schedule celebrities keep to need hospitalization for “exhaustion”.  Then I realized that “exhaustion” must be code for “meth”.

Why do people apologize when they obviously aren’t sorry?  “Hi, um, you over charged me.  I’m sorry!”  No, you aren’t.  Why would you be sorry that SHE over charged you?  Are you sorry for pointing it out?  If so, you don’t deserve the money.  Are you sorry for the inconvenience?  You shouldn’t be.  If you hit the clerk in the face, then you should apologize.

 

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Christmas Card Chaos

Each year, I send a cute Christmas card to all 10,000 of my closest friends and family members.

{Yes, I exaggerate.  Maybe I get confused because I spend $10,000 on stamps.}

The first year we sent cards we didn’t have a ton of time or money to find a photographer so our card was a hodgepodge of candid pictures through the year.  Christmas Card 2011

Super cute, inexpensive, got the job done.

Then the hubs we raised the bar.

My hubs is a classic overachiever.  Bachelor’s degree + TWO Master’s degrees = super-smart.  He didn’t get to where he is now by being average.

And I love that he pushes me to rise to his level of over-achievement.  I appreciate this about him very much.

HOWEVER, the reason it takes him pushing is because I know that once that pesky little bar has been raised, it’s hard to shove it back down.  Believe me, I’ve tried.  A lot.

{“Wow, E.  You birthed a 9 lb. baby boy with a head the size of a bowling ball for my birthday!  That’s the best present ever!”  Dam.}

“Hey, E, we need to have family pictures taken.  Like the nice ones we see all over Facebook.  Not the ones that we take ourselves.”

{He has a point.  But I must tread lightly.  One misstep and by the time the kids are in high school I’ll end up with no place to go but the Kardashian Kristmas card.}

Kardashian Kristmas
nicksaglimbeni.com

 

Yes, we should send all of our enemies friends a 3-D Christmas card!  Should we include the glasses???  No, I’m sure everyone has the 3-D app on their iPhone 10.

Surprisingly, I am a perfectionist.  I want everything I touch, ESPECIALLY our Christmas card, to be perfect.  A beautiful representation of my sweet little family on our best day.

BUT, I realized early on that I didn’t want to die of a heart attack by age 15.

Because I know I can’t control everything and everyone, I step back.

I have to “Let it Go” in order to get anything done.  Otherwise, I’d work on my hair for 3 hours, spend 3 hours ironing my pants, another 8 hours scrubbing baseboards with a toothbrush, 10 hours organizing bills and stuff, 5 hours folding laundry perfectly… you get the idea.

So, when I take a picture of my family at home there may be a pile of crap in the background:

Crap in background

In my defense, we were renovating… that’s why the bed’s not made.

My clothes sometimes look like this:

Wrinkles

All the wrinkles will keep each other company!

My hair sometimes looks like this:

Gross Haire

Just. Gross.

I’ve learned to let things go for the sake of sanity.  Once I learned how it was like a thousand butterflies lifted the dumb bells off my shoulders and angels embraced me.  Aaaaahhhh.  For my tightly-wound friends I highly recommend trying it.

{Luckily, I don’t live in a town that will put me on the prayer list if someone “calls” on me and my bed isn’t made.  I’m just on the prayer list because I have the mouth of a convict sailor, drink alcohol on occasion, and have tattoos.}

Now, back to Christmas cards (You were wondering, weren’t you?)

{Ladies and Gentlemen, thank you for riding Tangent Airways.}

The second year we sent out Christmas cards we used a picture from our first family experience with a professional photographer.  Shameless plug, if you’re in Atlanta, Claire Elise is amazing.

Christmas Card 2012

Bar.  Officially.  Raised.

The third year we used the same photographer (she really is awesome).  This time we were dressed up a little more, all color-coordinated, on location at Piedmont Park.  Our card was breathtaking.  Especially when I MISSPELLED OUR LAST NAME.  Ooops.  Ma bad.  (I snipped the name part out of the card for the post so it’s like it didn’t really happen.  I’m still perfect.)

Christmas Card 201

What I love about this picture is that no one would have any idea that Bella decided it was hilarious to honk my boobs during much of the shoot.

{Bar raised, then lowered by half on account of the spelling mishap.}

So began our descent.

I knew this year the pressure was on.  All I had to do was nail spelling our last name correctly.  I got this.

I made the appointment with Claire in October, carefully taking into account my hubs’ call schedule, kids’ activity calendar, and any miscellaneous events I’ve over-committed to.

Every detail was planned.  Claire was going to meet us at the square and we were going to be all dolled up in our best holiday attire.  Heck, I was feeling so sassy that the cray-cray dogs were even going to be included!

I felt very prepared and accomplished… and then it rained.

Part of me was relieved.

The hubs wanted the opportunity to buy clothes specifically for the occasion and he hadn’t had the chance.  Maybe this would give him the window of time he needed to find the perfect Christmas outfit.

{Isn’t finding the perfect Christmas outfit top of mind for every man???}

Reno 911!
youtube.d3.ru

 

Hi Officers!  Just on my way to have my Christmas pictures taken.  No big deal.(Really I just wanted to reference “Reno 911!”)

 Plus, I found a corduroy blazer for Roman but the store was out of his size at the time I needed it for pictures.  Maybe now I had the chance to put my little guy in an old guy blazer!

{I love to see little boys dressed up like old men.  It’s like watching a Hallmark commercial.}

I also needed a “perfect” bow for Bella’s hair.

AND, I was looking a little pasty.  SPRAY TAN TIME!!!

Only none of those things ended up happening.

Instead of investing in the perfect family Christmas pictures we had to have our hardwood floors replaced because our furnace leaked.

We lived in a hotel for a week while our floors were being fixed.  Sooooo, that chunk of time was out of the question.

And then the kids started karate twice a week which narrowed our opportunities for free time even more.

But, around the middle of November I thought, “No big deal!  Our first Christmas card was totally adorable {“totes adorb” for those under age 25}.  We can revive the candid pic card!”

MM-MM.  Nope.  Not so cute.

We rarely get the chance to take a family picture.

When we do, chances are one of us has a wonky eye or a runny nose, someone {Roman} is crying, a random dog is pooping in the background, or I decide, “Today is the day I choose to not wash my hair.  I’m not doing anything important today.”

Joke’s on you, E.

Today is the day you will take a memorable, candid picture with your family during an impromptu ice skating adventure.  Today is the day everyone is adorably cute and perfectly poised.

And your hair will shine like the Star of David.  Your friends will ask why they just purchased cooking grease from the store when they could have harvested it from your head.

Also, today is the day your face decides to retain all the water you’ve been drinking for the past year.

Ugh.

I’ll take one for the team.

However, as the days ticked by, I thought, “Maybe I don’t have to use the swollen-face-dirty-hair picture.  I’ll dress the kids up in their cute Christmas pj’s and get a beautiful picture of them by the tree!  Who needs a pro??  I GOT THIS.”

Nope.  I attract jokes like a magnet.

I dressed the kids up and positioned them in front of the perfectly lit tree.  I got out my professional DLS Nokia phone.  AAAAAAAAAND our new black lab puppy who weighs 1,000 pounds photo bombs our picture.

What the face, Georgia!  MOOOOOOVE!

Bella, who is terrified of Georgia when she acts like a puppy (which is all the time), freaked out and just about pooped her pants.

Move Georgia

{The look on her face says enough.}

Roman decided it was time to tackle Georgia because all he’s ever wanted to be is a Football Player Boy.

Lola, our Chihuahua, was laid up on the couch with her eye hanging out.

{Different story for a different time.}

Sometimes in life (especially where kids are involved) you just have to say “at least we’re pretty”.  Or “shudda called Claire”.  But then I wouldn’t have this horribly transparent blog post.

So, without further ado, I present our 2014 “Swollen Face-Dirty Hair-Black Lab Bombed-Oops I Crapped My Pants” Christmas card:Christmas Card 2014

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