A Letter To My Daughter on Her 14th Birthday

Dear Princess,

I’ve been writing these letters for more years than I can remember without looking but surely somehow we’ve gone from elementary school to middle school to where we are now, just weeks away from graduating 8th grade – about to begin your high school career. [Side note: I still think the idea of “graduating” from 8th grade is asinine, but that doesn’t mean that I won’t be there, teary eyed and so proud of you.]

It’s been an amazing year. I admit, the thought of the end of this school year has me a little bit sentimental – as we dug through photographs to put in the eight grade slide show and the choir concert slide show, I watched you grow up in pictures, from this round faced toddler to this graceful young lady. I never stopped paying attention, I was always watching and yet – somehow you teetered right out of childhood.

This year you were one of the leads in the school musical and oh my god was I so blown away – not only by your voice which was clear and beautiful and so perfect for the role, but by your presence. Your confidence and charisma radiated – and I could not take my eyes off of you on that stage and I kept thinking to myself, “I get to be her mom.” How lucky I am.

Your grades are excellent and when you struggle, you work to pick yourself back up. Some parents have to prod their kids and chase them down to do their work but I’ve never had to do that with you. You push yourself harder than I could dare imagine – and you are your own biggest critic, not that that’s a great thing. But you are self-motivated, and that I am grateful for because you do things for you and not because of what I, or anyone else, tells you.

Another year of gymnastics under your belt and a slew of medals to show for it. You had meets where you felt like you were on top of the world and meets you left disappointed and discouraged, cheeks streaked with tears. But my gosh, you tried and you tried – and when you went to the state gymnastics meet, I’ve never seen you work quite that hard. You medaled on the balance beam and even though you missed your goal of qualifying for regionals by such a narrow margin, I saw the joy on your face as you raised your arms in salute on the podium.

People tell horror stories of what it is like to have teenage daughters but I don’t feel that way at all. You’re pretty freaking likeable. You send me the funniest texts, and you have a dry sense of humor that’s probably several years older than you are. And I love it.

We watch Gilmore Girls, and you get my Friends references and sometimes we all go have ice cream for dinner. You help me talk your sister into brushing her hair. You are a pro at sorting laundry and you tell me what to eat when I’m hangry.

Fourteen years ago, I saw your face for the first time. Fourteen years ago, I held you in my arms for the first time Today, you are nearly as tall as I am and we wear the same size shoe (which means that we can share Chucks which is pretty much the best thing ever though I have yet to actually wear your Chucks – though I did wear your koala socks to work the other day).

I am excited for your future. Recently you’ve decided that you want to own a bakery when you’re older – and since you’ve started a Pinterest board for it, it must really be a thing. Whether it’s a bakery – or something else – I cannot wait to see what the years ahead bring for you.

Let’s start with this one. Fourteen is going to be a good one. I can feel it.

Happy birthday, Princess. I love you very much and I’m so very lucky to be your momma.

Love, mom

 

Thursday Ten: A Vacation From My Vacation edition

  1. A week ago, we were in California and now we’re back and I have been exhausted ever since. A quick trip to see Chris win an award for work and to spend a few days at Disneyland and then back again – just a matter of days but it was good to get away even if I’ve been sleepwalking since I got home.

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2. And yep, I still hate flying. I was fortunate that the long stretches of time in the air were quite smooth, but even the littlest bumps set me on edge. I am the actual worst. The one kind of awesome thing about being scared of flying is that my fear leads to some nice conversations with the poor unfortunate souls stuck sitting next to me. The conversations I had with people who saw fear in my face – well, I’m grateful that in this world where we all tend to put on our headphones and keep our eyes forward, there are still some people who truly see you.

3. I am frustrated that I spend so much time wishing away my weeks. For example, do you know how giddy I am that it’s THURSDAY and I’m only one day away from Friday? And while whooohooo the weekend is almost here, I don’t just want to endure my weekdays. I need to shake that sense of rushing through my life, because that sucks.

4. I have been working on the Couch to 10K running program and managed to hit a 70+ minute workout last night. I never have that kind of time to get a workout like that – which could be why these run/walks are kicking my butt so badly. You’re supposed to do them 3 days a week, but who has that kind of free time? Not me, which is why I’ll never be able to run six miles without stopping to walk.

5. Seeing the fireworks spectacular at night at Disneyland was one of the most awesome things I’ve seen in a very long time. I took so many pictures and so much video – I loved it so much. You never really outgrow the magic of Disney, I guess.

6. It’s raining a lot lately. I know, that’s a spring thing, but I wish it wouldn’t rain quite as much. My backyard looks like a jungle and I don’t have time to mow it.

7. In the home stretch of the school year so that’s starting to get chaotic as well. Concerts, field trips, and all of that fun stuff. Makes for a chaotic few weeks. The Princess will be 14 in just over two weeks, so there will be a birthday celebration coming soon, also. Will be ready for summer to come and slow life down a bit.

8. SOooo. New Instagram logo. It’s pretty bad. And according to my kid, it’s somewhat traumatic. (We’re a family full of people offended by bad design, I guess)

9. Tomorrow’s Friday.

10. A summer vacation fell through this week and while I’m bummed, part of me is a tiny bit relieved I won’t have to deal with that whole re-entry back to the real world after vacation thing again. I should probably learn how work-life balance works.

Thursday Ten: When The Legends Are Dying edition

  1. Today, I was stunned at work when Chris messaged me, “Prince died?” and I was like, Nooooo, it couldn’t be and then I went to Facebook and my feed was already full of the news – the awful news – and it really just seems like 2016 is ripping people away too early, doesn’t it? Prince was a musical powerhouse – and as I drove home and listened to the words I had typed out, and seen, so many times today, “Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today to get through this thing called life…”, I felt my scalp tingle with goosebumps and tears fill my eyes.
  2. But my first instinct was to make a joke – which I restrained myself from doing – not about his death, but his death in comparison to so many others that haven’t made an impact on me. Because, well. Who cares, Sarah. Also: each of these people, these people I’ve never met, mattered to someone, lots of someones. Know who makes jokes about that kind of thing? A jerkface. Don’t be a jerkface.
  3. So, I’m consoling myself with episodes of Kimmy Schmidt on Netflix. As you do.
  4. The snow has finally (fingers crossed) melted and gone away – hey, it’s almost May afterall.
  5. And… I had a great trip to Iowa to meet a new eye doctor and for the first time in awhile, I feel hopeful about my stupid retinas. I know I’m always saying it, but that’s truly another post for another day – but an important one, and someday I’ll find time to write.
  6. There hadn’t been much time to write lately. Holy moley, life has been I-N-S-A-N-E.
  7. I finally finished the Couch to 5K program – next, I tackle trying to learn to run 10K. Oh the crazy things you do when you’re staring down your fortieth birthday.
  8. Did you know May 15 is National Chocolate Chip Cookie day? Now you know. It seems weird that over three weeks in advanced, I’m already thinking about baking cookies, but the thing is I probably won’t actually do it because see number 6 – I HAVE NO FREE TIME.
  9. I wasn’t this bummed when Bowie died.
  10. Alright, Universe. It’s time for sleep. Let’s go a day without a celebrity dying, huh?

Single mom with the check engine light on

Glug. Glug. Glug. Glug.

That’s the sound my car made when I started it leaving work this evening. A rattling spinning heavy noise that certainly doesn’t belong there, and then… it was gone.

And then, less than half a mile down the road as I called the Toyota dealership to schedule a service appointment…the check engine light popped on.

I should have called for service weeks ago, I know this. But there’s always something. Evenings are filled with picking up kids and meetings and school stuff. There’s rarely a night to just go home and stay home, something’s always gone on. Weekend hours at the service shop fill up fast, as you’d expect, and my weekends fill up with activities too – gymnastics runs, events, this thing, that thing.

Suddenly glug glug glug and a check engine light.

And that was after finding my car completely dead this morning when I went to leave for work, having apparently not shut my door all the way before I went out of town for the weekend. I can only blame myself, of course, for leaving the door ajar. The battery, completely drained, required a jumpstart, which required looking up a YouTube video on just how on earth you jumpstart a Prius anyway and calling my stepdad because what the hell am I supposed to jumpstart my car with when my only car is dead?

It gets a bit tiring sometimes – all of the stuff. And while I dig parenthood, and love the groove I have with my kids, what gets especially tiring is the stuff: car maintenance, securing the trampoline so it doesn’t fly out of the yard during a windstorm, finding time to workout between work and mom taxiing and the sun setting, the cooking the cleaning the clothes washing the… you get the point.

There’s inherently so many things to do to keep a home and family running and for the most part? I’m doing it all.

And I’m so tired.

Sometimes something’s gotta give and that something is that you don’t mop your kitchen floors every week.

All too often, that something is ignoring an oil maintenance light until a series of unfortunate events leads to glug glug glug and that bright ominous check engine light and ugh oh my god how badly did I just screw myself procrastinating this one?

I’m built of pretty tough stuff but I’m tired. Today, I am fantasizing about the idea of a concierge service – one that can swoop by my office, pick up my car and take it to the dealership while I sit at my desk in my office, churning away on projects that are so time-sensitive I haven’t taken time off to get to the damn service department in the first place. On their way back, they’ll pick up my groceries and maybe they’ll call my car insurance and make my first quarter insurance payment before it’s due on Monday.

We are not supposed to glorify busy – or so they say – but my god, I am busy and I’m kind of sick of it.

I’d drop a rope if I could tell which one was which – but since I can’t, I hang on to them all, hoping I don’t screw up too badly.

I am hopeful that the noise isn’t an expensive one. I can say that I’ve learned my lesson – that next time, I’ll just take time off for the appointment, and place a priority on keeping my car running smoothly and in good condition.

But I know better.

I suspect, much like my car, that somewhere and somehow, my own virtual check engine light is on.

I figure that, like my car, I missed one or two other signs that it was time to make time to tune things up.

Tomorrow, they’ll hopefully find the source of the noise and repair it and maybe it won’t cost me an arm and a leg and I’ll drive out of there lighter in wallet and quieter in car.

My own repair might not be as easy.

 

Thursday Ten: Wherein a Foot of Snow Turns Into 70 Degrees Edition

  1. Last week, mother nature walloped us with a ton of snow – in my neck of the woods, we received over a foot of snow in 24 hours. This week, temps hit 70 and all the snow melted away. While I’m not complaining, this weather pattern has made for a kooky winter. And now March is quite nearly half over, and whoa nelly. This year is zipping along.
  2. I am concerned that the United States is all sniffing glue. This election season is making me shake my head in complete and total confusion. How the hell is Trump even a thing? Can we wake up from that bad dream anytime soon?
  3. We’re already getting to that time of year where school activities are taking over life. Just this week there have been two rounds of parent teacher conferences and a choir concert. Usually, it seems this hits a wee bit later in the year – typically, we hit spring break and then it’s a downward slope of one thing happening after another. We’re getting a jump on it this year.
  4. I’m so tired this week – and it’s a bummer with this magic weather that I’m so tuckered out… but I haven’t slept well and I hate that, waking up in the middle of the night and never truly feeling rested. I suspect it will only be worse after the clocks spring forward this weekend.
  5. By the way, don’t forget to set your clocks forward.
  6. And check your smoke detectors.
  7. I just accidentally saw a Facebook picture with a snake in it so I’m sure I won’t sleep tonight either.
  8. I’ve been trying to read Mindy Kaling’s new book for a week now and I’m not getting very far. What are you reading?
  9. Sometimes there just aren’t enough rocks.
  10. Friday is almost here again. This is a good thing. I just finished a weekend and yet… I’m ready for one again.

We can’t all be winners

Pumpkin wears a dog hat almost every day from November through April. We bought it in Chinatown nearly five years ago, and when the weather chills, every year since, the hat takes near permanent residence on her head daily. Whether she’s inside, outside, sometimes even when she sleeps, that black and white spotted hat is nestled snugly on her noggin.

It’s a joke almost – that damn hat.

You see, part of me hates that hat. I hate that when she wears it, it’s hard to see her beautiful face – and oh, how I love that face. I hate that it tangles her hair and creates a near perpetual state of bedhead.

But part of me loves that I can pick my girl out in a crowd almost anywhere – just look for the hat. It’s her signature – she’s known for it. I also love the fact that she totally doesn’t care if other kids might think it’s weird that she’s always wearing the hat. She loves the hat, and could care less if anyone else likes it or not.

I kind of admire that about her, her individuality – how she marches to the beat of her own drummer. How she embraces weird, embraces herself. She’s so true to herself, that sometimes I think to myself that I want to be my ten year old when I grow up.

Yesterday she had a school competition. She was excited, nervous. I was apprehensive – I’ve never been to one of these before. I’ve been to tons of gymnastics competitions, so I know what to expect, but this was an academic thing, and I had no idea how it all would go.

We spent the morning racing around doing last minute shopping for the competition – a pit stop that ended up irritating me as I wasn’t expecting to have to do anything in the morning other than wake up and attend. The other moms had been talking about all of the things they had purchased for their kids to bring, and though my daughter’s plan was to bring things from her own collection to trade (because you can’t just have a competition, you also have to have a swap meet), when she mentioned that, the look that crossed the other moms’ faces indicated that wasn’t quite how things were done.

Fine. To the dollar store we went.

To the event we went.

Hurry hurry hurry. Wait wait wait.

The kids have been working really hard for months, so I was eager to see them shine. Eager to see Pumpkin shine. But we arrived at 10:30 and their first competition wasn’t until 1 and essentially we started out immediately with waiting – which is how we spent the bulk of the day. In total, despite needing to be there for hours, the actual performance for the kids was less than a half hour.

Wait. Wait. Wait.

(I am not a patient person)

We sat in a loud cafeteria filled which kids and their parents. Our team, with a later performance time, showed up late enough that the majority of tables were already filled and we tucked away in a dim corner. Dim. Loud. Waiting. Just kids and their moms sitting around the table. For hours.

I tried.

I’m not good at social but I tried. I had two books tucked in my purse – I’d honestly been hoping to read. I’d hoped that we’d be sitting in an auditorium, a gym, and that like gymnastics – when I wasn’t watching my daughter I could bury my face in a book.

That’s not the way this works.

Admittedly, it was frustrating – all the waiting. (Because if I’m being totally honest? I think it’s crappy to have kids – and their parents! – sit around all day. They could have better harnessed that downtime for the kids – maybe setting up some craft stations, reading corners, and the like – could have better occupied children filled with nervous energy far more than just sitting around a table ever could – and it could have relieved some of the parental pressure to be social).

Because.

Well, it was clear the other team moms were far closer and friendlier than me.. That’s fine, I guess – they’ve been doing this a few years. But I didn’t know what to expect. They’re lovely and friendly and social and fine… but I was overwhelmed with the noise and the dim and the kids everywhere. I just wanted to tune out.

It’s not because I don’t care.

It’s not because I’m a bad mom.

But it’s because well… that’s just not the kind of mom I am.

I suck at small talk. I suck at making friends with the other moms. Yeah, I’m nice enough, but I know that I come across as aloof and even stand offish. When I don’t hang around at practices, I know it may seem like I don’t care – I do – but I also have a limited amount of free time. If my presence isn’t required at a practice, I’m going to use that time for a sanity saving workout rather than just watching over the coach’s shoulder.

I’m not the mom who knows what to say to all the other kids – or even one who enjoys hanging out with hundreds of strangers’ children in a crowded cafeteria.

I don’t expect people are interested in me or what I have to say solely because our kids share a hobby. And that’s okay, for the most part.

And so.

The kids did their thing. They rocked it. Pumpkin wanted to leave to attend a dance with Princess and their dad rather than stay and wait for awards. Considering that when she found out her competition and the dance were on the same day, she was about ready to quit her team rather than miss her dance, I felt okay with the compromise. Would it have been nice for her to stay and see how the team did? Yes. Did I understand why she made the choice she did? Yes. I wasn’t about to tell her not to go to a father-daughter dance with her dad. That’s an important tradition for them.

But, I realize how it may have looked to the team.

And then I saw the pictures on Facebook. And I felt left out. I could see the parents socializing and I felt outside that circle. I recently heard a podcast that said that when we feel judgmental, it has more to do with our own self than the person we are judging – so while my inclination was: Well, they just have more free time than I do and I don’t want to spend all my time at school making friends with other moms, the reality is: I felt left out.

I know I suck at the school mom game. I’m friends with several people who have kids in my daughters’ school – but I’m not the super involved mom and I probably never will be. I care tremendously what my children do. I want to support them and cheer them on. I’ll probably never coach their stuff and the front desk staff at their schools will probably always smugly ask for my ID when I arrive and then say (as they tend to), “Well, we don’t see YOU much around here.”

I’m… not that kind of mom.

I’m an introvert and to add to that – most of these social situations are challenging for me anyway with my stupid malfunctioning eyes and ears. Most people don’t know that – I certainly don’t wear a sign on my shirt letting people know that if I don’t respond when you ask me a question it may well be because I don’t hear you or see you out of the corner of my eye. Yesterday’s environment felt so challenging to me, that I was really tremendously overwhelmed internally that I didn’t have anything left to give externally – I was just trying not to cry.

So it was a perfect storm of emotion to later see pictures on Facebook of the team and knowing that myself and my daughter weren’t there. To know that no one had let us know how they’d done really made me feel outside the circle. I want to be angry at them but I can’t because it’s not really anything they did – it’s realizing that who I am doesn’t always fit in the circle… and probably never will.

And that’s okay. I have a life outside of the school. I have great friendships and relationships. I know that I am going through tough stuff and I have to be forgiving of myself. I know that I don’t have what it takes to go along just to get along and that, too, makes me seem abrasive and difficult to know and sometimes like.

At one point last night I thought to myself – maybe we can move. Maybe I can start over.

Then I realized: I’ll still be who I am. I will always be who I am. No matter if I fit, or if anyone else likes it. I can’t be anyone other than myself.

And that’s when I realized that I may be more like my daughter than I think.

All I’m missing is a dog hat.

 

Thursday Ten: Can I be honest? edition

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  1. Yesterday wasn’t a good day. I woke up just feeling completely grumpy, completely bogged down. And I went for a walk at lunch and felt a bit weepy for no good reason. And then the evening didn’t get significantly better. Alexander might describe a day like that as being “horrible, terrible, no good, very bad” and I’d be inclined to agree. I’m not sure what you do with a day like that though, because it’s far too easy to let the little moments add up to an unbearable fever pitch.
  2. It’s how I found myself eating cookies at 9:30 while watching Parenthood on Netflix, debating running a bath with Philosophy Pink Frosted Animal Cracker bubble bath.
  3. I find that I often have big judgmental ideas about things. I don’t know why. It probably doesn’t come from the happiest place, but I am difficult, I know, because my brain is always swirling and I can be hard and I can be awful. How are we the ways that we are, I sometimes wonder? The ways that make us difficult and closed off when we should be open?
  4. There’s a huge pimple on my forehead and I swear it’s eating my brain.
  5. Happy National Drink Wine Day! Cheers! I hope to pour a glass of white wine this evening – red gives me migraines. One of the most fun things about Michigan (remember, I don’t love Michigan!) is the number of terrific wineries in Traverse City – and most of them make white, not red, wine. TC is beautiful – and visiting the wineries is one of my favorite things to do here. (Beer City Whut?)
  6. I get really mad at the universe about my eyes sometimes. This week has been one of those weeks.
  7. My 39 before 40 list is going exceptionally slowly but… so far I have not caved in to my annual February whim to cut my hair. That’s HUGE.
  8. I started using Digit last week. In a week, it’s tucked away $11.50 for me. I’m a lazy saver, I know that I need to save… but don’t. It just tucks away a little bit at a time – and so it’s too soon to tell, but I’m hopeful that it’s a good way for me to meet my goal of starting to develop a REAL GROWN UP SAVING PLAN. I’m a bit obsessed with checking the dash to see if it’s saved anything more for me. In fact, I just messaged it yesterday to “save more.” [That link is an affiliate link – if you decide to sign up, when you start saving, I get some bucks for referral.]
  9. So, the very drawn on exaggerated eye brow trend. That’s…something.
  10. Sometimes I want to brag about my ability to make beautiful grilled cheese sandwiches, as if that’s a thing that anyone else but my kids cares about, but then I don’t because I have never actually eaten a grilled cheese sandwich and maybe it’s not something to brag about.

Thursday Ten: Fevered edition

  1. Tis the season for all the germs and viruses. I’ve been battling a low grade fever on and off for over a week and yesterday finally couldn’t stand it anymore. Between the temperature and the queasy stomach, I couldn’t stand to sit at my desk any longer. I actually left work early to come home and rest. I… never do that. I know that I should. It’s not good to hang out in your office, spreading your germs to every single person and putting them at risk to catch the crud – but, I’m also afraid of falling behind, losing time that I could be working on things, and well… you see where I’m going with this. I suck at self care when I don’t feel well. Baby steps.

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2. Tax refund time means pay all the bills time. UGH. In case you were wondering? That sucks. Know what else sucks? When your insurance refuses to cover a legit thing, so one of your bills is a $250 payment for something you didn’t want anyway. (Insurance companies hate people who have bad ears. They’re a bit nicer about eyes. But eff you and your ears. Apparently.)

3. National Margarita Day is coming up on the 22nd. Yeah, it’s on a Tuesday. Yeah, I’ll still be celebrating.

4. One of the things I said I wanted to do before I turn 40? The Couch to 5K program – again! The last time I successfully completed it was about six or seven years ago. I was in GREAT shape then. I’m in week three, and my fingers are crossed that I can maybe get some of that fitness level back.

5. I’ve also got Jillian Michael’s “Ripped in 30” going on. Why? Because I am not ripped. I miss muscle tone.

6. This probably says a lot about body acceptance and lack of but I have never pretended that I was rational when it comes to that stuff. I realize I could probably benefit from a good big bunch of therapy about it, but I also figure like it could be worse – Sigh. Maybe I’ll be better when I’m 40. (I’m not holding my breath either. Sorry.)

7. I’ve finally been getting a lot more reading done and now reading “Guest Room” by Chris Bohjalian. I set a goal for myself to read 30 books in 2016 – yeah that’s a mighty low goal – but I’ve read six already. It feels good to get into the habit of curling up with a book again.

8. I have watched far too many episodes of “Private Practice” on Netflix in the past 24 hours. I’m not entirely sure how it managed to stay on the air so long.

9. I’m super grateful for the very mild winter we’ve had but it’s getting cold this week and while that’s better than a blizzard, I STILL WISH THAT IT WAS SPRING.

10. How are y’all doing? What’s everyone up to? Talk to me, goose.*

 

 

*Yeah, I couldn’t think of a tenth thing.

Thursday Ten: Thunderstorms in February Edition

1.So, El Nino is doing some funky things all over the place and in Michigan, we’ve got lots of rain which is just kind of weird at this time of year. Also? Thunderstorms? In February? What the what? I mean, I don’t even want to complain because any of it is better than snow but it’s still just a bunch of bizarre weather that’s making my sinuses cranky. Fog. Rain. Ice. It’s unlike most Michigan winters, and it’s weird. (I hate snow so much so I’m glad that this year has involved minimal shoveling, but… I’m ready for spring.)

2. Speaking of spring, I guess the groundhog says it’ll be here sooner. Which is good because otherwise there’d be groundhog road kill to contend with. Or something. I wouldn’t actually run over a ground hog. I mean, I drive a Prius, for god’s sake. A groundhog might do some damage.

3. It’s entirely possible that my brain needs to do a bit of work into being a brain that’s nicer to me, or so it feels. I sent myself in circles yesterday – so sure I had messed something up. I beat myself up and basically turned myself inside out stressing about this perceived screw up and finally got to the point later in the day where I stopped myself in my tracks and thought, “Wait, what? I didn’t mess this up. I had every reason to think that I was doing this correctly. This wasn’t me screwing up. This was me operating on incomplete information. This doesn’t make me an idiot. This is something I can learn from moving forward.” I am…proud of myself for getting to that way of thinking about it all. It’s not easy for me to not stress about something – especially when the outcome isn’t great. But… we can only do the best we can do, right? And we just have to learn from stuff, and keep on keeping on.

4. I don’t even know if y’all know just how huge it was for me to let go of the whole flogging myself cycle and letting myself feel peace at knowing that if indeed I made a mistake, it was an honest mistake. Making mistakes is something people do. Even smart, capable people. I KNOW, RIGHT?

5. It seems odd to me that the government hasn’t yet found a way to utilize dog flatulence as a weapon against our enemies.

6. Can you believe we have SEVERAL MORE MONTHS TO GO UNTIL THE ELECTION? Honestly, I’m curious to see how this all shakes out, who is left standing in this seemingly never-ending clown car of candidates, but I am just. So. Tired. Tired of the soundbites and talking heads and name calling and mud flinging. The internet has been a blessing and a big fat curse for politics.

7. Tomorrow is World Nutella Day. Plan accordingly.

8. Picked up a new podcast this week – been listening to the M.O.N.E.Y podcast featuring my fave mohawked finance blogger (okay, the only mohawked finance blogger I know), J Money… who y’all might remember from Love Drop days. J is joined by another finance whiz who I had never heard of before this podcast – and in the first ep I listened to, they were talkin’ ways to start saving – which AS YOU KNOW – is on my list of things to get real about before I turn 40. It’s pretty interesting to hear money smart people talk about money – and creating a real savings plan suddenly feels for real very doable.

9. The kids have dental appointments this morning and I’m at the point where before every dentist appointment I think to myself, “PLEASE don’t let this be the appointment where we start talking orthodontia because MY WALLET DOESN’T WANT TO HEAR IT.” Cross your fingers, y’all. Give us six more months of brace-free living.

10. You know what, you guys? It’s FEBRUARY. 2016 is 1/12 complete already. How does that even happen? We were just ringing in the new year. I’m not sure if i’m ready for the year to fly this way. Or maybe I am.

Thursday Ten: Can It Be Spring Yet?

  1. Yesterday, I told a client that February contains National Drink Wine Day, National Margarita Day, National Pizza Day, and National Bacon Day? Why? Because February SUCKS and February needs pizza and tequila. Obviously.
  2. I started the Couch to 5k program again and then we got a bunch of snow again, so you know, whatever, oh well… maybe in a few months?
  3. Day two of the Couch to 5K made me realize that I really NEEDED new running shoes because as I ran/walked/jogged, water was coming up through the bottom of my shoes and wow, that was cold and not really very much fun at all.
  4. We have taken to calling my mango-avocado smoothies “Unicorn Snot.” Mmmmmm. Delicious. (Unicorns are a good source of Vitamin A and Lutein.)
  5. In the midst of a snowy morning on Wednesday, I decided to wear a sweatshirt to work…forgetting I had a meeting later. Looking like a hobo with your web developer – achievement unlocked. (Ooops?)
  6. I’m not at the point yet where I’m hoping for the flu so I can take a break for a day and catch up on rest, but man, I could use a break for a day to catch up on rest. Where’s my mommy snow day?
  7. Spoiler alert: Apparently there’s no mommy snow day.
  8. In the aftermath of Christmas, one of the things I am happiest about is the stack of books I’ve accumulated from spending Barnes & Noble gift cards. ALL THE BOOKS ARE MINE!
  9. I loathe conference calls and speakerphones.
  10. It’s been a grumpy week. I’m not gonna lie. I’ve been looking forward to Friday since Monday. We’re almost there, y’all.