Friday, July 29, 2016

Fri-nally, we're here...

Let's make it a great Friday.

Hello, Coffee. Nice to see you. It's been a long time. You're just as lovely as you used to be.

Back in the day, when I worked as a teller, Friday's were a necessary evil. They are hands-down the busiest day, most people are getting paid and preparing for their weekend plans. But, it's still the wrap-up of your work week and the start of your weekend. Quickly, I learned the great joys that caffeine can bring to a busy day. Sure, at that point my caffeine consisted of multiple Mountain Dews, but now that I'm officially a grown-up, I drink coffee.

On this #FantasicFriday, I would like to dedicate some extra love to the magical drink. Enjoy the following eCards and enjoy your #FunFriday. It is what you make it, so make it great.

Cheers!













Loving the eCards as much as I'm loving to create them? You can find them on Pinterest and tack these babies up on your humor page. Because, when you get a little tired of planning your redecorating or craft projects...you need to find some humor, and coffee. Find more of what I find hilarious at my Pinterest page.





Show you're thankful that today is Friday and send your friends to the blog. If you do this, I will arrange another Friday just for you to arrive in 7 days. Pinky-promise.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

I don't like broccoli, but I've never had it...

I hate green food, at least I think I do.

My first experience, at least as I recall, of eating something I didn't like even though I had never had it was kiwi. My sister ensured me that I would like it, but I wasn't falling for her trap. It may be called fruit, but it's hairy brown exterior and green innards is a recipe for disaster. My sister made me close my eyes and promise to eat what I was served.

There's a trust exercise for you.

I ate it, and guess what.

It was delicious. I requested my mom buy more and have been a kiwi-fanatic ever since.

Why is it we are so adversed to change and risk? Sure, you may get burned, but that could happen in the safety of your home. Lightning strikes all the time, wouldn't you rather it happen in the face of a new experience?

Recently at work, we were encouraged to complete a questionnaire on our personal core values. We were instructed to list three, and I recommend you try this exercise. One of mine:

Form your judgments based on your experiences, not on the experience of others.

Note that it doesn't state not to judge. Judging is in our nature and needed for survival and success. But, you can't trust a judgment that isn't your own. Feel free to take recommendations, but have the fearlessness to experience things yourself.

Do yourself a favor and pick one of the following this next week:

5. Try not gossiping.

Let's start with defining gossiping. In my self-proclaimed professional opinion, gossiping is simply complaining to a person that cannot fix the problem. Think about it.

You're frustrated with Miss Can't-Get-To-Work-On-Time. There are logically two people you could share this complaint with that actually can fix the problem: your manager or the misses herself. If you're waiting for any unsuspecting co-worker to wander into your office so you can give the lowdown on the perceived slacker, please save the drama. Gossip is drama. If you think differently, you're wrong.

Are you starring in Big Brother Season 92? If not, you're probably out of line. We may call it the game of life, but just grow up and quit playing the game of high school.

I don't gossip. I'm perfection, but all my friends gossip and drag me into it.

Either get new friends or remove yourself from each conversation that leads to gossip, or both. Remember, you want to surround yourself with those that bring out the best in you.

#DropTheMic #JustKiddingThereIsSoMuchMoreIWillSayAboutGossipInFuturePosts #OverdoingTheHashtags

4. Try only clean venting to one person you trust.

Okay, you are self-aware enough to know that cutting gossip out cold turkey will drive you off the edge of insanity. Let's take it in steps and try the patch instead.

Pick one person, someone you trust will keep your confidence and not judge you too harshly. It needs to be a strong relationship and you need to warn them. Clean venting is actively choosing to vent to one person, and one person only. After that, fix it or move on.

I don't recommend choosing your mom for this activity. Moms are often great, but they are in a position to support you. If you fail, they fail, we all fail, crap. Don't put that stress on your mom, or really any family member. Choose instead a friend that can be an unemotional sounding board. What you need to clean vent is someone who will hear you out and agree that it is frustrating. They need to be empathetic but not encouraging of your anger. #NoMeanGirls

3. Try honesty and tactfulness.

I'm all for being blunt and telling it the way I see it, but there is blunt and there is offensive. There is empathetic and there is cold-hearted. Which one do you want to be? If it's the latter, you should probably stop reading. #CheckYourself

Remember, tactfulness isn't only in the words you choose but the tone. If you find yourself scowling and grumbling out your honest comments, just shut up and next time think first before opening your mouth. People read into everything, but they can't be blamed for taking you negatively if you feed into the perception with your bad attitude.

Trust me, we all have frustrations but no one ever hurt their eyes by looking on the bright side.

2. Try being the one thing you think doesn't define you (in a positive way).

Once, not too long ago, I was defined as being strictly black and white. I was viewed as lacking creativity. At work, I manage projects complete with timelines, deadlines, checklists, and the like. It can be viewed as process-oriented, and that's a fair assessment.

Being defined as anything bothers me. Don't tell me what I'm capable of, you don't know me. I don't even know me. There are millions of things I have yet to try, so you can't fairly define me as being one way or the other. Since that comment of being black and white, I've taken up graphic art, painting, home improvement, writing short stories, and hey...I started a blog.

When someone tells you that you are not something, take that as a challenge! Don't let anyone put you in a box. #NoOnePutsBabyInACorner

This is one of those things you should not take too literally. If someone defines you as not being a murderer, take the compliment. If someone says you're actually a good writer, smile and thank them. If someone says your idea might actually work, be proud.

1. Try being fearless.

Go slightly against your biological desire to be safe and secure, and take some risk! My New Year's resolution for 2016 was to make this the year of fearlessness. It's still being decided if I'm living up to it, but I'm trying. You need to do the same! #BeFearless

Try new things!

Grow!

Develop!

No matter what age you find yourself at today, you can still change and improve. We are not perfect, but we can always be more fun, more interesting.

Be more...



This is awkward, I can't help but notice you haven't shared my blog yet. Oh, you're waiting for me to be consistently funnier and funnier until there is nothing but amazement when you read? 
So, you're telling me there is a chance! 
#ChallengeAccepted

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Your dog is cute, but my kid is cuter...

Let's agree that when she turns 2-years-old, we stop comparing her to your pets.

You're an animal lover, I get that. Once upon a time, I wanted to be a veterinarian. Sure, it was before I ever had to care for a living animal, but I read a lot about it.

Plenty of couples say they are having a 'starter' pet. A gerbil will get them ready for a cat. That cat gets them ready for a dog, and the dog gets them ready for a second dog. Eventually, maybe, if the timing is perfect, they may be ready for a baby. Because it's the same, right?

Truth be told, I made more of an effort bringing my kid into the world than you did your little fur ball. Not to say they don't have some similarities.

And yes, I am a pet owner. I have an annoying little cuddle-bug of a cat. His name is Bob. Most mornings we pass by each other in the hallway. My mom feeds him when she comes over, and cuddles him too. Layna has learned to kick him out of the bathroom and off the furniture. Come to think of it, I haven't seen him in awhile...

Let's play a game of child or dog. You decide.

5. You need to give yourself extra time before leaving the house.

The older they get, the more time it takes for to leave the house. They like their routine. Things need to be in their place, and no steps can be skipped. Walking out of the house, any toy or object in sight, obviously needs to come with us. There is no quick exit.

One last drink, one or two more bites. Before we go, let's take another quick lap around the house.

Oh, you're going to help me into the car? Let me wiggle to make it easier.

I don't want to sit in the back.

I don't want to be kept back here.

You need to sit by me.

I'm bored.

Are we there yet?

Somehow, no matter how much time you started with, you're now running late. #ImLateImLate.

Child or dog?

4. There are a whole lot of bodily functions.

Their food is all over the place. Their drink is splashed and splattered on the wall and the floor. And that lovely food and drink causes some wonderful things to happen.

You sit on the couch and they come to cuddle up beside you, and toot. The first one is funny, the next few are not. Each one, they seem not to notice.

Was that you?

Two minutes after getting inside, they need to go to the bathroom. Heaven-forbid they find a mysteriously old cracker behind the chair, because they will eat it and either spit the it out, or throw it up later. #ItWasALittleChewy.

Child or dog?

3. If they are awake, then you are awake.

It's after midnight and their up talking to themselves. Their hungry, tired, bored, and want to cuddle in bed with you.

Do not let them in your bed or your sleep is over!

They see the sun at 6am, and it must be morning. Not wanting you to miss the day, they of course call out for you. #RiseAndShine.

Child or dog?

2. Silence is never golden.

You've been sitting peacefully for 10 minutes when you realize...it's quiet. For the love of God, what are they getting into?!

The groceries you left on the floor, are now rearranged throughout the house. Scattered just the way they want them.

You didn't say 'no' when I started, I took your silence as approval.

Why would you take away my cracker?! #FindersKeepers.

Child or dog?

1. They are cuddly.

It's 100 degrees and humid, and they want to saddle up next to you. You're on the computer, and they sense that you need some company. You're feet are just planted there, it's best if they sit right on top.

Child or dog?

You decide.



Afraid you're going to miss a post? Maybe it's best that you subscribe via email. Or you know, you could go on being lame and living life haphazardly. It's worked out for you so far.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Dear Monday, My momma don't like you...

Some days, mom is going to fail a little.

On a normal day, I'm blessed with my mom or dad coming over. Yes, I know how very blessed I am not to shuffle my family and self around each morning before work. But, today I did the shuffling and I didn't do it well.

My day wasn't routine. Today, I said one word more than ever before.

No.

No, you can only have one vitamin.

No, no, don't throw your milk.

Layna Renee, no, don't stand on the table.

No, that's it, go to your room.

No.

No.

No.

As a follow-up to my 'please-love-baristas' post this morning, I waited in line at Starbucks for 20-minutes. All the while, my little one whined behind me. 

All done. Please. All done. Pleeeaaase.

Tears.

We made it to my sister's house, dropping and splattering her milk on me while we walked in. Once inside, it was instant tears and screaming. And I ran. Although in the moment, I felt like a failure, there are many reasons I don't beat myself up.

5. It's too soon to tell, really.

You won't know if you'd screwed up until their about 18-years-old. Even then, it'll be debatable on whether you screwed them up or the public school system or Curious George. It might be that they had too much time outdoors, or not enough. They probably had peanut butter too early, gluten too late, high fructose corn syrup too often, and far too much red dye #5. Chances are that no matter how stable, sensible, and 'successful' your children are deemed, there will still be arguments for and against your parenting job. 

Then again, with every theory there are outliers. If you find yourself standing in the Kroger checkout line and hear your 13-year-old's belief on the Kardashians being inspirational...go home, throw away the television, shut off the internet, and fill their heads with Jesus, literature, and nature. #HeresHopingItsNotTooLate

4. Adults are not perfect.

It's best to let the children in on that big secret as soon as possible.

Guess what, kiddo. Mom messes up just like you. And, she goes to timeout (the bathroom) and says sorry (plus, let's have some ice cream), too.

Every adult knows we grow up, but in many ways we're still children. Today, I could have used a nap. On Sunday, I threw a mini tantrum when my husband left all the lights on and the TV when we were packing up for church. Don't worry, I've offered him some ice cream since. Good thing he doesn't like dessert, my kid and I don't like to share. #WeAllScream

3. They really are mini, yet magnified, versions of you.

In other words, karma. I don't like to share my food, she doesn't like to share her food. I like to keep the lid on the trash and the toilet seat down, she's quick to correct dad anytime he leaves them open or up. My tendency is to be literal in speech and actions, because that's the right way to be.

Can you say please?

*nods yes*

Can you say please?

*nods yes*

Layna, say please.

Pleeeeaaase.

#ProudMomMoment

All in all, it's hard to be mad at something that learned most everything from you. They learned how to handle frustrations, how to celebrate successes (we like to dance in my house), and when to say sorry, all from you and your family. 

We learned growing up, thanks to the teaching of Aaron Hess and his father, Terry:

Surround yourself with those that bring out the best in you. Don't tell me what you stand for, let me see your actions and I will tell you want you stand for. 

This is important for each of us, but crucial for our children. We choose who they are surrounded by, and what makes impressions on their tiny, fragile lives. When you see the brat coming out in them, think about the brats you must surround them with...it may be you. #Karma #TakesOneToKnowOne

2. Sometimes, we cheat.

Lately, the only time she favors me to dad is when I have ice cream. And for that reason, I have ice cream every night. 

Okay, okay, I also like ice cream. But, I do it mostly for her.

At least 50%.

A month or so ago, she cried in her bed at nighttime asking for her book. Over and over she would cry out for her book, saying 'please' every time. I held my ground for 15-ish minutes, and since then she has taken a book to bed almost every night. #WellPlayedLittleOne

1. If you all make it through the day, you win.

It's all about survival. I've been saying it since we brought the little thing home from the hospital. We planned to have her in a bassinet in our bedroom, so we could watch over our precious new angel. Little girl was the only one that slept that night, and she hasn't been invited back to our bedroom since. Having the newborn baby in the parent's bedroom works for many families, but it didn't work for us.

When she was only a few days old, my husband started giving her one bottle of formula at midnight to let me sleep a little longer.

Oh, the horror. The humanity. Don't you want your child to be healthy and smart?

Breastfeeding is a crazy miracle, and so is the whole childbearing experience. It is crazy beautiful to me that breastfeeding keeps the mom and the baby healthier as they share antibodies. But, all the antibodies in the world may not keep you from getting a cold if you don't sleep. So we gave our little one formula. Guess what happened...

I slept.
Dad and daughter bonded.
Everyone is still alive and healthy.

Plus, no worries, my genius-ness started on formula. #Winning

Each day I mess up and find my footing as a mom again. It is the hardest and best job I'll ever have. Today wasn't my best. My superhero cape was backwards and I never did get the nap I needed, but I have been surrounding myself with emotional toddlers lately.


To get your morning going, all you need is coffee...

Your barista did what?!

I get it, you're on edge because your toddler chose 2am to start complaining about their new molar. You stayed up too late watching reruns of Friends, even though you've seen them all 23 times they just suck you in. It took you 15 minutes this morning to coach yourself out of bed and into the shower, where you shaved one leg and managed to smear last night's eye-liner over half your face. #Fail.

Now you're in line at the coffee shop, or coffee shoppe if you're #snooty, and the barista is going slow just to make you suffer. He's all nicely caffeinated and chipper in his man-bun and suspenders. When you finally get up to order, he asks How are you doing? What a jerk. You order an extra shot of espresso and he comments on it must be a rough morning. 

You're now waiting for you coffee behind Miss Chats-A-Lot in her yoga pants and messy braid. She's the walking the line perfectly between trying just enough to make it not look like she's trying, and having stupidly good genetics. She chats up man-bun like she's a gift to society and their too busy making googly eyes to focus on why their here. #Coffee.

If you've made it this far and everything is lining up with the morning you had, stop reading!

I know, why would I tell you to stop reading my blog? That's craziness. Don't worry about the reason, just sit back and drink that foamy latte that took way too long to make, and come back when you're fully caffeinated.

!WARNING! ***Only highly, sufficiently, wonderfully caffeinated people beyond this point.*** !WARNING!

Now that you're in a safer frame of mind, let's switch gears. Here are the top reasons you should be nice to your barista.

5. Baristas are people, too.

I know it doesn't seem like it, but that slightly disheveled hipster behind the counter is in fact a human-being. Just 3 hours ago, he resembled a zombie just like yourself. If you've ever worked in customer service, think back to your frustrations. Don't be that rude, self-absorbed customer. Be a respectful human-being, and maybe, just maybe, try to be semi-pleasant.

4. Baristas love coffee, just like you.

In the afternoon, when you're drinking coffee out of pleasure and not necessity, think about that love. Perfectly brewed espresso with foamy milk on top. The smell of roasted coffee beans and the whir of the grinder. #Beautiful.

You may not understand their sense of style, hygiene, or quantity of hair product, but you can find common grounds. (Grounds...get it?) #Punny.

3. Baristas working while you're still picking up coffee.

You're feeling like this 4th Monday of the week is going to be your last. How can anyone expect you to work? Your brain might explode from all the activity and pressure placed upon it. Mr. Workaholic emailed you 6 times last night between the hours of a normal person's bedtime and are you kidding me it's too early.

Hello Marcie,

I have something super important to tell you, and I keep vampire hours...yada, yada, yada...you're not as good of a worker as me because you need sleep.

Have a good morning whenever you decide to actually start your day,
Mr. Workaholic

Your barista has similar struggles, only they have to start working at the hour of 'are you kidding me it's too early'. It may still be your morning, but it already feels like their afternoon. You wouldn't want someone barging in and grumpifying your afternoon, so don't do it to them.

2. Baristas are fragile beings, don't upset them.

People are mean, in general. You may feel justified in your angry-pants, but you're just the 100th ornery person the barista has dealt with this hour. If you play your cards wrong, it could be their last straw. Your gruntled grumbling sets them off, they rip off their apron and storm out...and guess what, you get no coffee. #Karma

1. Baristas are your lifeline. 

Sure, you can make coffee at home, but every time you try to steam up some frothy milk, you end up scalding yourself, staining your shirt, and waisting the milk your child should have had with breakfast. You're out of your league. There are a lot of things you do right, but a coffeehouse-quality espresso is not one of them. Don't rock the boat, don't tip the boat over. Protect the relationship between you and your barista.

Next time I'm behind you in line, I better hear your pleasant voice.

I'm doing well, how are you?
Thank you, have a great day!
You always make my morning better!
See you this afternoon!

Friday, July 22, 2016

It's time to begin the weekend...

It's Friday, Friday, gotta get down on Friday...
P
Without fail, every Friday since the release there is a moment or five where I sing about the day. Rebecca Black's melody keeping rhythm in my head. I know what you're thinking.

How can someone who claims to be snarky like Rebecca Black? Haven't you read her comments section on YouTube? She's a hack! It was all auto-tuned.

Calm yourself.

One of my favorite things in life is how people will become so passionately against something that has absolutely no impact on their life. It's a song, not a law or regulation. Don't like it? Don't listen to it. #ProblemSolved.

Another semi-contraversal activity happening today is focused in downtown Midland. Individuals who have been working all week will be moving through town in packs, searching, hunting, posting about Pokemon.

*Gasp!* The horror. The humanity. How could someone possibly play such a dangerous and ill-conceived game?!

Let me take you through a few reasons you should settle down and get over yourself. #FastenYourSeatbeltsKids.

5. It won't hurt you.

If you don't like it, don't play it. But, if you don't play it...just shut up about it. Don't ask me what a Pokestop is or what stores sell Pokeballs. If you won't give it a chance, you have no right bombard me with questions. Charizard may be sad that you don't want to play, but he won't burn you to a crisp either.

People have died, been stabbed, and have talked to strangers all because of this game!

Yes, I know it has been reported to hurt some...but we'll talk more about that later.

4. It's helping people be active.

I must admit, I've even went on some additional walks and bike rides. When I could have been watching reruns of How I Met Your Mother, I chose to get fresh air and a little exercise instead. It was all in the name of hatching some Pokemon eggs.

What's a Pokemon egg?

Refer back to #5, or just leave. Life only gets harder from here.

3. It's nostalgic.

No, I never owned a gaming system as a kid. My dad had his old Atari, and I definitely mastered the destruction of asteroids, but there was no Gameboy in my childhood home. Instead, I remember fondly babysitting children down the street, watching them play for hours.

That's enough, get upstairs and do your homework. These games are going to rot your brain.

And then I'd sit in the living room and catch Pokemon, and laugh and laugh and laugh. #Winning.

2. It's another example of natural selection.

Back to that whole people are getting hurt. Let's be honest, the loss of a life is never something to discredit, but to blame it on a mobile game is ridiculous. If you wondered into a bad neighborhood, got robbed and stabbed, how can you possibly claim a mobile game made you do it?!

In 2011, a woman was caught on camera at a mall. While texting, she managed to walk straight into a fountain and fell in. She was injured. Did we blame this on the person she was texting? I'm sure her mom is in fact not at fault. Did we blame the wireless provider or the mobile phone manufacturer? Nope.

History and science argue survival of the fittest and natural selection. Walking around finding Pokemon may actually make some nerds the fittest. And, let's be honest, it's starting to weed some not too bright individuals out.

1. It's the biggest mobile game in U.S. history.

It's passed Candy Crush! The very game that got me through my pregnancy-insomnia-ridden 2am bouts of energy has had fewer users than Pokemon Go! #Epic.

All my friends agree it's lame.

Your friends are lying. There is a Pikachu behind their house and they don't want you to know. #NoPikachuForYou.

Gotta catch 'em all.


Thursday, July 21, 2016

Before I say that, let me start with this...

Any new beginning comes with a heavy-handed disclaimer.

With my first post less than 24 hours old, I've heard the same question numerous times.

What's your blog about?

To answer that, let me instead explain what it is not about. Annoying, I know. But, at least I'm not answering with a question.

5. It's not targeted towards my two biggest (and only) fans.

When it comes to even small accomplishments, my mom and sister are my two biggest fans. And let's face it, after I give up on hounding my friends and co-workers to read this...my mom and sister may be my only readers. Regardless, this won't be geared towards them. There is only so much I can post about Fixer Upper, Tom Selleck, and myself. Those are a few of their favorite things, obviously.

4. It's not people-pleasing.

Hopefully your first clue was in the web address. But, incase you somehow missed it, the tone of this blog is snark. In short, that means it will be a little critical and, based on caffeine-level, it may be a bit cranky. Overall, it's not meant to be offensive. This simple site is not a virtual soapbox. Go to Facebook for that nonsense. Better yet, visit the comments section of your preferred news site...bet you'll find some crazies hanging out there. If you happen to be reading this and you're 45-years-old verging on 13 please read and enjoy, but don't come here looking for the drama you miss from high school.

3. It's not going to stay inside a neat little box.

Life is messy. I often say to my husband, I know I do some things wrong...but there is a lot of things I do right. The same holds true here.

Despite my best efforts, I'm still human. No matter how many spiders I let bite me, radioactive sludge I bathe in, or improvements I make to my utility belt...people still are not referring to me as superhuman or a hero. Crazy, I know. I save my toddler from electrocution, suffocation, dehydration, and malnutrition on a daily basis. Each day I survive, I certainly feel pretty superhuman.

It's called human error for a reason, and I help define that every day. If you don't make at least one non-crucial error each day, you're probably not doing enough.

1. It's not always going to fall into your definition of trendy.

Don't get me wrong, I'm pretty hip.

Are people still saying 'hip'?

I wear crop pants almost every day, and it isn't only because I bought one of every color at Old Navy and Target. When I'm feeling particularly hipster, I break out my horn-rimmed lenses and read The New Yorker, while drinking Starbucks to be ironic.

All that said, Fixer Upper is just about over and I'm going switch over to Blue Bloods. Love you, Mom and Miranda!


Wednesday, July 20, 2016

New beginnings happen for many reasons...

Why start a blog?

There are several reasons why an individual would think, Hey...I want to write things for people to read. They are the following:

5. You're narcissistic.

With an estimated 7.4 billion people inhabiting the earth, you still think you're at the center of it. Those lucky enough to read the blog that centers around your life will be made better for it.

4. You're not a salesperson, but you are a mom. #momblogs

All of your friends are out selling LulaRoe and hounding your social media, but you're not much of a salesperson. Still wanting to gain some attention, you write about the interesting things that happened to you.

     My toddler said 'ball' today, or it could have been 'bottle'. Can I get 100,000 likes/shares?!

3. You're oh so crafty.

Pinterest ain't got nothing on you. Breakfast bars that double as trendy earmuffs, done! Hand sewn clothing that gives the hobo chic look for upwards of $159 an item, done. #hipster

2. You're opinionated.

You're not voting for Trump, and Hillary is a liar. Gun control is bogus, or awesome, and marriage legalities should be debated a little more. No matter where you stand, you're in the right and everyone needs to hear it. Facebook is great for starting hateful and opinionated threads, but you want to branch out now.

1. You're a writer.

You have a pretty sweet gig from 9-5, but it doesn't quite meet your creative needs. You'd like to be an author someday, but between being a pretty sweet mom, wife, friend...and that full-time job, there isn't any time for writing. Maybe no one will ever care to read what you wrote, but that's not what this is about. Instead, you're sending something out into the vast, ever changing, world wide web and letting it be what it is...your thoughts on one pretty hectic Wednesday in July.

Yeah, that last one is me. Okay, maybe they are all a little bit me. Not so much the crafty part, although I can doodle pretty well. And politics aren't really my thing. I vote, that's for sure, but I won't be yelling my choice at you. But I am a mom, and will probably write a little on my awesome toddler. I'm also hoping that I don't get completely lost among 7.4 billion people.

Here's to trying something new!

#fearless