Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Three ways to tame road rage (or not).

If only other drivers could hear me in my car.

Move.

What are you doing?

Way to use your blinker. Yup. So helpful.

It says, Incoming Traffic Does Not Stop, but you clearly can't read!

Road work? Again?

Some mornings, I feel that I would be better off staying home and off the road. On the way to my morning coffee (which is technically after my at-home morning coffee), I struggle to be even slightly patient. Old drivers, new drivers, they all drive me a little insane.

3. Take it personally.


The rich, delicious caffeine. It may be four stoplights away, but it's so close. Sure, all these people driving slow in front of you are probably purposefully ruining your morning. They clearly woke up and decided, today is the day they are going to drive annoyingly sluggish. It's not that they are trying to make it to their destination safely, or that they want to abide by the speed limit, or even that they are lost. It is definitely a malicious act to mess with you. Take it personally, it's the only rational thing to do in these moments.

Scream at them. Wave your arms and display a look that a 15-year-old uses while saying, 'Ew'. #DrivingProbs

2. Make a game out of it.


If someone wants to ruin your morning traffic experience, the least you can do is wreck the experience of others. Because that's what we do what life gets us down, right? We bring everyone to the party of our pain and suffering. Don't be content that life really is pretty good, and you have a ton to be thankful for in life. Instead, take this crucial opportunity to pay-it-backwards.

Someone cuts you off in the morning, you should pullout in front of at least two others to compensate. Be petty, you've earned it. When someone doesn't give you room to exit a parking lot, make sure you do the same to others. It's all a game to be won, or lost. #Winning

1. Pray that everyone else gets better.


Pray that everyone else learns to drive. You can only do so much. You've already caught on to their nasty agenda, and you've pushed the suffering on to others. Now, you need to pray that everyone else becomes patient and capable drivers. Obviously, you're perfect and don't need to change a thing. Pray for others to come up to your level. #Perfection

***
Did you catch it? The ridiculousness of that list. Yet, I'm sure that like me, you can find things you unfortunately relate to. Sometimes, I do drive slow just to make sure people can't get into my lane. They just want to cut me off. And sometimes, I get pretty embarrassingly dramatic with my driving rhetoric. 

Like everyone, sometimes I get so caught up in the failures of other people that I forget to work on my own shortcomings. 

Be brave to admit that you make mistakes, and you contribute occasionally to the disfunction of this society. Then fix it. Join me in becoming a self-aware driver, and human being. Let's all work on our own issues, and quit worrying or trying to point out other's issues. #BeBrave #BeBetter



Thanks for reading!

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Five ways to prepare for the renaissance festival.

For those who think the renaissance is for weirdos, 

you're wrong.

The Renaissance Festival is more that a place for weirdos to dress up and pretend to be anything other than a Sandwich Artist from Subway. Sure, it's mostly weirdos...but it's also fun. There is good food, entertainment, lots and lots of walking, and activities for the kiddos.

That being said, if you're a Festival newbie like I was just hours ago, take my advice below.

Five ways to prepare yourself for the Renaissance Festival (and, no, it isn't learning to say 'Huzzah' or 'Good Morrow').

Step 1: Learn how to spell renaissance.


If you're going to the festival, and you care one iota about your popularity, you're going to be posting about the event. Do yourself a favor and learn how to spell that main attraction. This also comes in hand when you need to google or search for directions.

Besides, as adults we learn far too few words. There is no way that we know them all, yet we do not apply ourselves to grow and expand our vocabulary. Don't get me wrong, I fully understand that society is becoming more and more efficient (lazy) with our speech. But, wouldn't you feel accomplished if you spent a few minutes each day learning something new? #YOLO

Ren·ais·sance
ren-uh-sahns

noun
1. the activity, spirit, or time of the great revival of art, literature, and learning in Europe beginning in the 14th century and extending to the 17th century, marking the transition from the medieval to the modern world.

2. the forms and treatments in art used during this period.

#LearningIsNotSoHard

Step 2: Prepare to see fairies.


The fairies, in my opinion, were the most confusing part. We are supposed to be reviving the art, literature,and learning from Europe from the 14th to 17th century...and who knew there were so many fairies?!

To be honest, the Festival wasn't as medieval as I imagined. It's not authentic, and it doesn't really try to be. It's unique, that's for sure. And hey, lots of props to the fairies out there today in the 80+ degree and high humidity. It's amazing you didn't sweat all the make-up off. #Congrats

Step 3: Wear shoes you do not like.


The Michigan Renaissance Festival is located in the middle of nowhere. You park in a dirt, grass, stone parking lot and start walking down a path. the path goes from decent wood chips to thick, sloppy mud. The trail makes you feel like you're in a scene of The Walking Dead. And, depending on who you're walking the path with, you may wish yourself into the world of the apocalypse.

There is a lot of mud, but you can save your shoes...for the most part. Just be prepared. They didn't have Fergie shoes in the Renaissance...so don't wear yours. #TheseAreMyFaireShoes

Step 4: Consider dressing "normal".


Sure, you may have seen the episode of The Big Bang Theory where they go to the Renaissance Festival and dress up to blend in. Sheldon even fashions his own undergarments our of his Leonard's bed sheets.

But, truth be told you will be hot, dirty, and using bathrooms that make you feel instantly forever unclean. Do yourself a great favor, don't wear a great outfit. Settle for good enough and weather appropriate. Besides, you'll be seeing a lot of fairies and wenches...

Step 5: Practice your medieval offense.


There is plenty of fun to be had at the Festival. Part of which is archery, knife throwing, and axe throwing. Who wouldn't take an opportunity to practice their medieval combat? Before you spend your $5.00, make sure you lower your standards. The equipment is shotty at best, but you'll feel cool doing it.








There was a time in my life that I wouldn't be caught dead at a Renaissance Festival. It's 5-steps down from the County Fair. However, it's an experience that I feel we should all have. Even if you walk away with a half-eaten turkey leg, and regretting the chain-maille you just purchased...it's an experience that you can claim. Don't be afraid to live a little.

So many people think they need to travel far to experience new things, but it is really that they are too self-righteous to try the many experiences close to home. Do not be that person. Explore your neighborhood. If you don't know all there is waiting only a few hours away, what makes you think you're ready to cross oceans? Spend a little time in your own backyard, you may find something awesome.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Getting ready for the school year

Can you smell the fresh paper in the air?

It is creeping closer and closer to the end of August, and school is just around the corner. This, along with Fall, is my favorite time of year. Sure, Summer has its beaches and tanned skin, and Spring has flowers and showers, but Fall has school supplies.

Please don't tell me you can't wait for Summer to be over.

Cool it. I love Summer. Being sticky with sweat and having hair three times its natural volume is great. I don't like to say "I can't wait", ever. Because I know that I can.

Nonetheless, when it is time for school to start, I get excited. And, here is why:

5. A fresh start.


This year, I'm going to keep my locker clean.

This year, I'm going to do my homework early.

This year, I'm going to be outgoing.

This year, I'm going to get straight A's.

This year, I'm going to...

Everyone has a list, because a new school year means a new opportunity. It's a fresh start. You've had the Summertime to take a break, relax, work on your jokes. Now, you're back and planning to make things happen.

Now, if you're like me, at the end of the school year you will be cleaning out your locker full of crap, just scraping by with all your late work, still too shy to talk to anyone new, and definitely not a straight A student (although you hangout with those people). Truth be told, you may find that you've fallen into your old rhythm, and nothing much feels different. That was school though, and you didn't know what you know now. Today you may not be actually anticipating the start of school (unless you're super excited for your little ones to start and get our of your hair), but you can still take this opportunity to start anew. #BeBold #BeAwesome #BeWhateverYouWant

4. Time to learn.


I love to learn. Who doesn't? If you say you don't like to learn, you're lying. People innately like challenges and like to overcome obstacles. Well, ignorance is your biggest obstacle of all. #TackleIt

Algebra got super boring last year, but this year I am taking Literature. To be or not to be? I'm going to find out!

Routine is great for many things, but it is so easy to get stuck in ruts. Break free from your routine this school year. Learn something new!

3. New outfits.


Who doesn't like a reason to buy a new outfit? No, I do not like shopping as a general rule, but I do like wearing new clothes. Even if it is solely for the fact that I can buy a full outfit and not have to pick out clothes for tomorrow, it's great. A new you deserves a new look. #TreatYourself

2. New notebooks and pens.


Oh my word. The. Paper. Supplies.

Fun fact: I collect (my husband would say hoard) notebooks. There is something special about a unique-looking, fresh, and beautiful notebook. Sure, paper kills trees and I'm generally a more efficient technology-user when it comes to the mundane, but when it comes to the creative...I like the feel of ink-to-paper. Yes.

I've already bought my first round of school supplies, even though I am not taking classes for awhile. This time of year there are entire sections, additional sections, in stores that are dedicated to school supplies. Can it get any better? I think not.

1. A chance to redefine yourself.


New year, new you! It may not be the start of a new calendar year, but it's almost more powerful than that. For the extent of your childhood, a new school year is a brand new opportunity. You are defined as something new on pen and paper, you are in a new grade level. Sometimes, you're even in a new building. There are new teachers, new lessons, new locker, new, new, new, new, new. 

Student or not, I challenge you to take this new school year as a fresh start. Redefine who you are and bring it evermore closer to who you want to be. Millions of students are doing it. Don't be left behind.

#BeYou




Have you tried The Tonight Show's new app? Give it a try, it will make you super relevant in all that social-media-ness. Go on, click here, download, and use it! #FallonTonight #Bonk

Curious what it's all about? Here is my first attempt:

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Tuesday, August 23, 2016

How to strengthen an argument.

Don't fling your opinions at me, or my Facebook wall.

It's another day and another issue is flooding my social media. Ever feel the need to lose faith in society and the intelligence of the human race? Spend 5 minutes reading the comments under any popular news article.

Oh my word.

More than once, I've been lost and dragged under by a comments section. It's like watching a train wreck turn lynching mob. My usual takeaway is how can people be this stupid. What gets me the most is that it's a known pit of stupidity, but intelligent people still succumb. Are you gluttons for punishment? You really think the way to convince me of your beliefs is to shout at me on social media? Just stop. You're making a fool of yourself, and making your friends question their association.

Really need to argue with me, or debate? Follow these pointers:

5. Convince me.


Take me through your entire story. Start from the beginning and lead me through what made you come to this conclusion. Tell me. Don't shout it at me, and don't post it trying to gain everyone's attention. Humble yourself and try to convince me. #No5MinutesOfFame

If you're looking for a soap box and the opportunity to share your opinion with little to no response, write a blog. But, don't post it on social media where your friends are forced to see it and question your sanity and relationship.

4. Appeal to my logic.


I try, pretty hard to be logical. Granted, I realize that no one admits to thinking illogical. That would be silly. If you know you're illogical, you'd change your thinking.

Anyways, logic means a lot to me. Sure, I'm a Christ-follower and you may argue that it isn't logical, but we can chat about that offline...not in this blog's comment section.

Logic, our brains, common sense, these are the tools at our disposal. Stick to the facts, and keep your ungrounded opinions out of it.

"Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere." - Albert Einstein

Thanks, Al. I agree, imagination is a great deal of awesomeness...but not when you're trying to argue with me. If you use your imagination in the argument, I'll see your crazy and raise you an unfriended.

3. Be polite.


Yes, yes...I'm all about the snarky comments, but there is a time and a place. Remember, this is my blog and I get to say what I want (hopefully what you find logical) and I won't force you to read it. Sure, I may share an eCard here or there and get super excited when you share my content, but I won't berate you on social media. Because social media is an opportunity to be social...not a communication channel for your rantings on everything under the sun.

Don't insult me. Chances are we won't be arguing online, because I'm no into that...duh. But, if you find yourself disagreeing with me and failing to find a concrete rebuttal, don't resort to insults. Sure, you don't like my shirt, hair, smile, or skin tone...that's your choice. Don't share your petty insults with me. I'm not looking for your approval.

2. Gain my trust.


If you really, truly need to convince me to agree with you, you need to have my trust. Trust is earned, you know that. So do it, earn it. If you're shouting your alternative opinions at me and I don't even have a level of trust developed with you, just shut up. If I don't trust you, just think of me as a brick wall.

1. Leave me alone.


Okay, so the most important 'tool' doesn't actually let you win the argument, but it may be an attempt at playing the long game. The truth is, if I want your opinion...I will ask for it. If I didn't ask for it...you know what to do, or what not to do.



Don't run off now, I know you missed the last post...or at least the post before that. 
Go ahead, look around. 

Communicating with children.

If you ask me why one more time...

My niece is an energetic 4-year-old that has a lot to say. She used to be much quieter, resorting to yes and no as her main communication tools. Lately, she has been making up for lost time. Every time I see her, there is a new selection of stories she will tell. And, if it was a particularly big event in her life...she will continue telling the story for months. If you asked, she'd probably still claim that she has a 'new bed', over a year later.

The difficulty with communicating with her is the length of the stories and the clarity of speech. I've seen other parents and siblings translate children speech, and I always thought it came with being close to a child. Well, let me clue you in...if you don't know already. No one is really listening. This happens with children and adults, alike.

Here's what is going on:

5. They do the nod and smile.


We've all done it, to children and adults. It's semi-polite behavior, if you can pull it off. The 'nod and smile'. Be sure not to tilt your head or let an eye-roll slip out. Keep a straight face, make eye contact, and nod and smile. Oh, and make sure your smile isn't too large and your nod isn't overzealous. Less is more in this arena. Also, don't get rhythmic with your nod, because then you're clearly head bobbing to the song in your head. This kind of behavior may work with children, but it's a giveaway with adults. It's best to keep the same level of quality with all audiences. 

4. They give vague responses.


Give vague, and I mean vague, responses. This isn't a time and place for yes and no. You're not answering any questions or validating the story. Keep it simple, stupid. There is the uh huh, and the I see. You can also use oh, and really?

Mix it up. This is another area where less is more.

3. They encourage the speaker to share their news.


Use your polite little responses and wait until the story is over. Then, say a simple phrase with a modicum of enthusiasm.

Whoa, you know who would love that story? Go tell [insert name of nearest third-party].

If you get any poor feedback from the third-party, be sure to appeal to their emotions. You want your child, friend, family member to share their lives with them. It may not seem important, but it was important to them and you want to encourage them. #AintNobodySeeingThroughThat.

2. They defer any questions.


If at the end of a long story, you tune into a question...you may find yourself with a slight panic, having not listened to a word they said and knowing not what the question is referring to. No worries. Defer the question. If there is another person capable of answered the question (spouse, grandparent, FedEx guy), then toss them the ball as soon as possible. If it's all on you, give yourself more time. Tell them you need to think about it.

Whenever you say 'let me think about it', it's a no. 

Yup.

1. They hold onto a few key words.


Pay attention long enough to pull a few meaningful words or phrases out and then hang onto them. If you hear someones name or the color of a dress, keep thinking about them until the story is done and then include them in a simple response.

How did Michael feel?

I like purple.

Trust me, I've used this with my fashion-inclined friends. It works.


There are many other tools you can use to fake listening, but these are key. The truth is, we should all take a break from our own universe and humble ourselves to listen to one another. I get it, it's the umpteenth time you've heard this story because they can't remember telling you. Is a few minutes listening to a story really going to kill you? 

If you really listen, you don't need tools to show you're listening.


I'm sorry, what?

Sunday, August 21, 2016

How to be a normal parent.

Mostly, crappy parents make the news.

Last night, I stayed up far later than I really should have, and much, much later than I would normally. What kept me up? It was a string of sad stories involving children. They were not all due to poor parenting, only about three quarters.

Why would you read depressing stories?

Fun fact: I'm just like every other normal human being, and I get sucked into social media. Facebook catches you reading one story and then it presents stories with similar content. Having hundreds of friends sharing content, when a theme of stories pops up...it's hard to look away. 

So, I lost some sleep that night. It is a situation that has repeated itself several times since I became a mom. In my younger days, I would have told you that nothing really scared me. I had no fears, only possible difficult situations. Now, my biggest fear is losing my child. 

Ugh, another parent post...but I don't have children, I don't like animals, and I just cannot relate.

Just calm down, read this anyways or go back to surfing Pinterest.

So, I stayed up way past my bedtime and struggled to coexist with people today; but, I'm okay with that. The amount of passion I have for my child, so much that the experiences of other toddlers makes me lose sleep and pray a lot, makes me proud. I feel this standard should be normal for parents.

5. Remember what parenting is all about.


Every corny thing you've heard about having a kid is completely and awesomely true... It's a major part of why we exist. Parents shape the lives of another human being. 

If you don't think parenting is amazing, I really hope you're not a parent yet. Sure, it's tough at times. You find yourself home on a Saturday night with vomit on your shirt and a little one who is only calm if you cuddle them while watching Daniel Tiger...which causes you to have the worlds most addicting, ear worm songs stuck in your head for days. But, they need you. You're the first one they will blame and the first one they will need comfort from. #SorryNotSorry.

4. Pray hard for the parents that don't get it.


I try really hard not to be an over opinionated parent, at least not in public...you know, in someone's face. It's very difficult for me to hear that you are sending your baby to bed with a blanket before "they" say it's okay. It pains me to discover you're co-sleeping with your newborn. But, as long as I'm caffeinated properly, I won't call you out because I truly believe you're doing your best and doing what is needed to survive. 

On the other hand, the parents who lose their little one because they watered down the formula, or failed to feed them altogether make me mad. If I meet you, no matter the caffeine level, I will struggle not to punch you in the face. The number one rule of parenting is that you accept life is no longer about you, so if you're failing to nourish your child and you don't get help, I have nothing but prayer and contempt for you.

3. Remember you can't be selfish.


It's the hardest thing I had to accept when becoming a mom. It was made easier with the gradual life of pregnancy where you slowly lose your ability to do common things. A paper that you need falls on the floor, but you can't bend over...so, you accept that your needs are important because you can't reach it anyways.

Your baby cries, you get up and you figure out what they need. Your toddler sleeps better if you settle them down early in the evening, you stay home and do it. One of the corny parenting sayings:

They grow up so fast.

Gosh, it's so true. My little one is almost 2-years-old and I can't believe it. She's a little person now and every day she's becoming more independent. Don't waste time putting yourself first. Give your children your best. #TOTO (They're Only Toddlers Once).

2. Cover the basics, and let the rest ebb and flow.


Feed them; clothe them; bathe them; comfort them; educate them; protect them.

You know the basics on what to do to ensure they are healthy and semi-respectable. That is your foundation. The rest, is really left to interpretation and trial. If you let your little one drink red pop, and they bounce off all the walls well into the night...call it a lesson learned. There is a lot you can learn from doctors and other parents, but you need to do what is right for you and your family. #BetterLuckNextTime.

1. Define your own normal.


We can get technical and state that normal is defined by society. It is a group think type of thing. But, sometimes life is about making your own definitions. In my house, normal includes going to bed with at least two books. Sure, this is usually Layna (I personally only fall asleep with books by mistake), but it works for us. It is also normal in my family for the television to always be on. 

That's crazy. Television will rot your brain.

Our television isn't always on garbage shows, but it is sometimes. We keep it appropriate for Layna, but it is generally on. If I'm not really watching anything, the Food Network will be playing or PBS or HGTV. This 'normal' was brought to light when my little one would wake up in the morning and see a television that was off, and say 'uh oh'! Maybe I should not be proud of the amount of time our television is on, but we also read, draw, paint, create, and spend lots of time outside. Judge us if you need to, but know that this is how we choose to define normal. #BeYou.



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Thursday, August 18, 2016

How to survive the County Fair

Meet me at the fair.

Tonight, we tackled the Midland County Fair. It had been years since I attended myself, and even longer since I had enjoyed the fair. Fair food is good, for an hour and then you regret it or at least how much you had. Fair rides are fun, until you feel the creaking sway and wonder if all the bolts are all tightened. Animals are great, if they want to show you their faces and you can get over the smell.

But, your children will enjoy it. They will enjoy the lights, the games, the rides, the animals, the foods. All of it, they will love. So go, go to the fair with them.

And here is how you can survive:

5. Watch your step.

Between the animals on show and those that bring their dogs, be ready for lots of muck. With tons of people and lots of children running crazy, there is often trash and other rubbish. In fact, wear some shoes you don't love. If you wear heels to the fair, you deserve to have them ruined. Sure, your outfit may not be the best with your faded and stained sneakers, but at least you'll fit in a little better. #Ew


4. Keep it in moderation.

If you go after work and before eating a decent meal, you may think that everything sounds delicious. 

I want fries. I want deep fried oreos. I want some cheesecake on a stick.

It's okay to live a little, but keep it in check. You don't want to end up spending the night regretting your meal choice. A lot of fair food is fun for no one. It's best to pick one.


3. Stay away from deep fried anything.

Speaking of deep fried oreos, just don't. It's good only in theory. You don't remember that you went through this in the past, because the year between fairs will get you. Trust me, sugar and grease brings anything but peace.


2. Ride the rides before eating the fries.

If you like to go to the fair to silently judge the wonderful people in your county, make sure you're not #oneofthosepeople who lose their lunch on the rides. If you're going to risk your life and a ride that was assemble less than a week ago, go for it...but please, please do it before filling your stomach. This goes for your children, too.


1. Loosen up.


You will most likely take a look around the midway and wonder if all of these people shop at Walmart, but guess what. You're one of them in this moment. Get over yourself. Try not to judge. Sure, you're going to see people who need a bit more material covering their bodies, but it's not really affecting you. If you don't want to see it, don't look.

Remember, you're here for the children. Everything fair is fun for them. Yeah, it's more expensive than it should be, but it's once a year. Give them your best, and just wait to complain about it on your blog that night...you know, like a respectable adult.

Also, if you look around the fairway, you may realize that you're at a golf course. Know your fair lingo, it's a midway. #Noob


Okay, if you really want fair food...and you cannot limit yourself to just one, try making your own. It's healthier because you pick the quality of ingredients, and it is year round.
I personally like recipes from Taste of Home.
#BonAppetit
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Wednesday, August 17, 2016

How to cook brown rice.

Not all rice is created equal, some take a different approach.

Today I learned that brown rice takes much more time and water than white rice. So, if your husband picks up brown rice for your stuffed peppers, make sure you know how to cook it. Truth be told, four delicious-looking but altogether uncooked stuffed peppers made their way to the trash tonight. #Fail

Life is full of disappointments. Wow, what a statement. Teenage-Marcie would be stating how life is endless possibilities and you're only disappointed if you make yourself disappointed. You control your life. But, married-Marcie knows that life is made better when it is shared. My husband is a witness to my world. He influences it, leads it, and lives it alongside me. That being said, he's also a liability. Being married means having another person with great influence and control in your world. It's great, but it will never be perfect and you cannot control your life with them.

So, here are five tips for a happy relationship. Take them or leave them. #WednesdayWisdom

5. Be willing to be wrong.

You're in a relationship, so that other half of yours is going to discover your secrets. Biggest secret of all, you're not perfect. Get to grips with that as soon as possible. It's vital. You will be wrong; you have been wrong. You're probably wrong about a few things right now. Just accept it. Don't be afraid to apologize when the situation warrants it. There will be mess-ups. There will be failures. And, guess what. If the relationship is worth anything, you'll get past them.

4. Expect mistakes, and roll with them.

Sometimes, you'll have a recipe for dinner that calls for white rice. Your spouse will bring home brown rice because it's healthier, and you didn't specify. Not knowing much about rice yourself, you'll think it's pretty much the same and keep the recipe as is. You'll be wrong. In this moment, you could blame the failure of a dinner on your spouse. Although a color wasn't specified, white rice is the norm. But, you made mistakes too, didn't you? Don't place blame, just accept that dinner was a bust and be grateful when your husband makes some hotdogs on the grill. #DinnerTime

3. Give it more time.

No matter how much you love someone, being with them every moment of every day can be a bit much. When tensions are high, be ready to take a step back. It's okay to let the waters calm a bit. You can always continue arguing over who left the laundry in the washer tomorrow, or better yet...you can drop it all together. #TakeABreath

2. Find the beauty in the mess.

Marriage doesn't come natural to anyone. You may have a picture perfect couple in your life, but don't be fooled. Couples often seem to be all that on Facebook, but there is no perfect marriage on Earth. This is another item to accept and roll with.

In the beginning of my marriage, I discovered my tendency to leave cupboard doors open. My husband, more than once, would come into the kitchen of our small apartment and be amazed that every cupboard door (all five) were open...yet, I was not working in the room. It was a crazy revelation for me. In the moment, I didn't appreciate the absurdity of leaving every door open, but I did it. It was probably efficient. And, I've come to realize that organization in the home is lower on my priority score than many other things in life.

The point is, you'll learn a lot about each other through your marriage. It will come to the surface over and over again that you're human and a little messed up. Learn from it, at least try, and appreciate the beauty of it. Relationships are hard and take work. I find it beautiful that my husband is willing to stick with me and remind me, "Really? Every single cupboard door is open again? How?"

1. Lean into your relationship.

News flash:

That spouse of yours, no matter how long you've been married, is not someone to merely coexist with. They made vows to you. They are there to witness your life and make a great impact on it; and, you're there to do the same for them. Be an active participant in your relationship, in their life. Don't just observe from afar while you do the dishes and the laundry, and write your blog. 

Participate. 

Be. 








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Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Hipster Town, USA


I took a little trip to Hipster Town, USA.

a.k.a. Portland, Oregon

Remember me? It's been awhile, I know. But, sometimes a person has to take a little vacay from work, home, and computers. My mom and I just returned from a semi-impromptu trip to Portland. Why? Mostly because we felt like it. And, here is what I learned while in hipster-ville.

5. Portland is the place to find writers.


The initial draw to Portland, for me, happened several months ago when I decided to change my unnamed style into that of a hipster. For awhile, it went a little overboard, but it was fun. I cut myself some bangs, bought a selection of wayfarer glasses regardless of my decent eyesight, and started purposefully selecting clothes that could pass as 'hobo-chic'. No offense to hobos or hipsters, it is just the style that Pinterest recommended for a true hipster.

The newfound commitment to a life of a hipster, in which you go against anything mainstream unless it is ironic (Starbucks, Apple, etc), also helped me fall back into my passion for writing. Hence the blog you are reading. While continuing my search for inspiration and guidance in the wild world of writing, I happened upon a conference that takes place each year in Portland. It is the Willamette Writer's Conference, and it's pretty legit. I signed up, asked my mom to join, and hey...it turned out to be worth it. The time I spent at the conference gave me some tools to use in my writing, and helped me to start a network and library to assist.

Specifically, the conference and Portland inspired me to dive into the genre of memoir. More to come on that later.

Thanks, Portland.

4. Portland is the place to find roses.

No, Portland is not where the Tournament of Roses, Rose Bowl, and Rose Parade reside. Those take place in Pasadena, California (trust me, I just Googled it). But, apparently Portland is known as the City of Roses, and houses the International Rose Test Garden.

Looking for about a million different kinds of roses? Go to Portland. Just don't forget to wear your hiking shoes to get there. #Whew.


3. Portland is the place to find good food.


If the Greek, Thai, Chinese, and food fusion aren't enough to attract you, check out the Byways Cafe. It's this hole-in-the-wall cafe that was featured on Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives, and it is awesome. They know how to make breakfast food and coffee, which are two of my main loves.

Seriously, don't go to Portland without eating there. And, get there early because the regulars and the tourists who don't come from the east coast and get up at awful hours, will fill the place in a hurry. #GetItWhileItsHot.

2. Portland is the place to find books and coffee.


Have you heard of Powells City of Books? Well, get out from under that rock and look it up. It is a bookstore the size of a city block. It is the world's largest new and used bookstore. You need a map to find your way around, or else you find yourself in the cooking section looking at 16 different books for making eggs. But, it's a pretty awesome place to get lost in. #LeaveMeAloneIAmReading.

And coffee, mmm, coffee. Just a block down from our Airbnb, there was an awesome coffee slash bakery. Not only could they do a wonderful vanilla latte, they had some amazing breakfast pastries. Lattes for days, my friends. Lattes for days.



1. Portland is the place to find walkable urbanism.


This was the hardest thing for me to get used to. Sure, I knew that Portland was known for being walkable and biker-friendly, but I didn't fully appreciate. Several times a day, we would come to an intersection and vehicles would stop to let us cross. The driver's didn't have stop signs, or even yield signs, they just had what I came to understand as manners. Drivers are kind in Portland. Only twice in the city did I hear horns honking, and it was only when one driver would signal to another that they could go first. #DropTheMic. #ThatIsAwesome.

Normally, I prefer to staycation. It is awesome to get out and have adventures, but they are rarely relaxing and recharging. Portland is the exception.



Just a guess, but judging by your attitude, I'd say it's time for you to take a vacation.

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Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Your plate is overflowing...

There is a lot to be said for pacing.

You have a Pinterest board filled of projects you haven't completed. You may have some paintings in the closet and some coasters that turn to mush with moisture, but overall your board is a long list of things you'll never do. 

The internet is a wonderful tool to make plans you'll never keep, research facts you will never use, and all around waste time.

But, I'm just planning my trip to Europe, which I will take as soon as I remodel my house, overhaul the landscaping, and finally build my career as a fitness instructor.

Do yourself a favor. Quit choosing to tackle several things at once. You have great ideas, you do. You have wonderful ambition, be proud. But, you need to practice some focus.

3. Several almost successes will never beat an actual success.


If you stumble through several projects at once, are you taking time to enjoy any of them? If you are constantly playing catch up and crisis manager, can you really call the end result a success?

I just want to change the world. Now.

Guess what. You won't change the world with thousands of mediocre accomplishments. People are unfortunate and they will remember your struggle, your haphazardness. They will know the project could have been better.

I'm not saying strive for perfection, but do yourself a favor and dedicate yourself. Quit setting yourself up for small failure after small screw up. 

2. Do you want to be viewed as flighty?


Do you know what ADD is?

Yes, I can add, subtract, and multiply. Thank you very much.

We diagnose a lot of people with ADD these days. Maybe it is correct, or maybe our environments are contributing to our lack of focus, our struggle to focus. 

I'm not a fan of caring what other people think of me, but you need to be aware. Self-awareness is great, but without self-management you will never grow. 

Tackling several projects at the same time does not make you King of the World. It makes you overzealous. It is setting yourself up for failure. Think about it. If you tackle five projects poorly, you're seen as having a pattern of poor output. If you tackle one stellar project, you're seen as a rockstar; and, you can continue with the four other projects and be five times the rockstar.

1. Pick one thing to tackle this week, and actually tackle it.


Quit selling yourself short by trying to change the world tonight. Don't stop growing, but instead choose one thing to grow right now. After that is accomplished, move to the next.

Can't seem to choose one thing at a time? Now is your chance to become the Master of Lists. Seriously. Go to your local Barnes and Noble, checkout their journal section and you will find notebooks dedicated to making lists. Start writing. Keep track of every million dollar idea you have, but don't act on it until your done with your current hundred dollar idea.


Thanks for stopping by. I recently hit over 1000 pageviews, and I'm pretty sure only 200 of them was my sister proving that she 'Google +1's' every post. You may only read the first sentence most of the time, squirrel, but I still appreciate the effort.

Monday, August 8, 2016

You are pretentious...

This morning, I spoke Starbucks lingo at our local coffee shop.

Good morning. I will have a triple, grande, nonfat, vanilla latte.

What size is a grande?

Yes, I find it hard to believe that years at a local coffee spot have not clued you into the size of a grande. But, I understand you were calling me out in a not so direct way. What I meant to say:

Good morning, I would like a regular, nonfat, vanilla latte with an extra shot of espresso.

They mean the same thing, the first just comes off a bit pretentious. I bet the barista sensed I like Apple products and wear fake horn-rimmed glasses on the weekends. What can I say? Dressing like a showy, poet-liking, hipster makes me happy. No, I could not tell you what all the imagery means in that stanza, but it sounds interesting and I like it.

I try to be a locally-grown, owned, sold, manufactured, etcetera-consumer. It does not mean Starbucks does not taste good, or that Mr. Man-bun does not know my usual drink, but I am taking this morning's barista message to heart.

No one likes pretentiousness, not even my mom.

5. Do not offer people unsolicited advice.

We get it, you have lived. You know everything. Your child is a perfect, well-read, genius. Congrats. Seriously, job well-done. But, do not parent my child, and do not offer me advice for which I did not request. (Doesn't that sound pretentious?) 

Getting married, having a child, really just breathing, all seem to give people the inclination that they can tell you what to do. Or, more likely they will tell you what you should have done. The best advice is not only unsolicited, it is after-the-face and pretty much useless.

Oh, I should have kept breastfeeding? Thanks for letting me know I failed, especially since I am all dried up now.

I should have honeymooned in Europe. Thanks! I will just go back in time 6 years and book that flight.

It would have been better to stretch before that run? Perfect, I will just run backwards to undo the damage.

#KeepYourFreeAdvice

4. Do not avoid all contractions.


No worries, this is not pregnancy talk. We are moving on to English, because any pretentious fool keeps their tongues sharp and their every word dripping with drivel. 

Yes (never yeah), I have managed to avoid contractions thus far in this text. (At least I think so, I keep having to backtrack and remove them.) Indubitably. And, it's been annoying and quite difficult so I am stopping. We get it, you think you sound pretty intelligent, but you really just sound like you're trying too hard. Quit trying to impress us, it isn't working. #Transparent.

3. Don't correct everyone's grammar.


It's okay if we are friends with an established relationship; but, if we just met...lay off my grammar. Here's a clue, no one likes to have their grammar corrected. Trust me, my old friends explained that's why they left me. #GrammarOrGrammer.

I'm proud that you paid attention in English class, and have kept up on the practice. Really, it is impressive and I applaud you for the effort. Let's have a conversation, you can prove your grammar-prowess in a subtle, really inconceivable way. You're doing it best if I can't even catch on that you're shaming me with your use of pronouns and conjunctions. While you're doing that, I'm going to speak the way I always do and let you win. We don't need to draw attention to it, just know that you get the unspoken award for super-grammar-skills. #Winning.

2. Don't complain about hipsters.


Really, don't complain about any group of people. Cause guess what, you're not better than them. You're different, sure, but not better. You many shop at higher-end stores and properly use your salad fork, but that just makes you different. Here's a clue in life, your standards on what makes people good or bad, successful or failures, cool or lame, are not fact! Feel free to judge your own sweetness anyway you choose, but your measurements do not need to nor will they ever match mine.

This includes millennials or any other generation. The society we grew up in and helped shape is a valid discussion, but you don't get to call one better than the other. We get it, you think you're a gift to the human race. Congrats on that self-assessment, keep it to yourself.

1. Don't be a know-it-all.


Fun fact: no one actually knows everything, not even you. Just be honest with yourself and everyone around you. Please, please, please, respect that just because you choose to like something does not make it correct. Just because you prefer a course of action, doesn't make it the only plausible option. If you always win every discussion, get used to having no friends because it's going to happen. 




Secretly identifying with one or more pretentious item on this list? 
No worries, there is a chance for recovery. 
Take some time this week to try something you claim to hate, 
or support something you've openly criticized. 
#GetOverYourselfAndLive

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Through this storm...

It's a summery Sunday evening, and I'm sitting here thinking about storms.


Since I was a child, I have loved storms. Rain pounding on the roof, lightning shooting across the sky, thunder shaking the room. In the safety of my parent's blue room (the name my sister gave our family room which once had blue carpet and a blue couch), I loved capturing the beauty of storms.

Moving past the literal, we face so many storms in our lives. They range from my toddler swallowed a penny, to the diagnosis of disease. There is the world-rocking pain of your first breakup, and there is uprooting your family, your life, for a new job. Some storms are small, like the cancellation of your favorite show, and some are huge, like the inconsolable experience of losing a loved one. All of these are storms.

Standing in my kitchen this morning, listening to my little girl talk about the newly hung cups on the wall, Casting Crowns sang Praise You in this Storm.

It's a not so snarky lesson for all of us. Christian or not, there is a lot of opportunity in storms. Another person's storm is hard not to watch.

So and so is getting divorced.

His dad passed away.

How sad for them and their family.

I won't harp on you for paying attention to another person's life. We should be here witnessing. Here to celebrate one another's accomplishments and comfort them through their struggles. You may call your Facebook stalking 'social research" but it is what it is. We watch other people, especially when they are going through hard times. And, just as it is anytime, we are watched; people are gathering perceptions about us.

Be brave and stay strong through storms. People will notice.

5. Don't fall to victim-thinking.


Work is swamped. Your boss keeps asking you to take on more work, being super thankful but all the while knowing you can't say no. You don't have enough time in the day. Everyone wants you to fail. If Mr. Slacker would come to work on time and do the tasks he agreed to, you wouldn't have to continue wasting time gossiping in the lunch room. #Wambulance.

Now remember, we talked about this. Gossiping is complaining to someone who cannot fix the problem. Quit being a self-proclaimed victim of your own circumstances. Tell your boss your need help, and that Mr. Slacker is at it again. It's either that or shut up about it. Everyone who comes into the break room and hears your sob stories will only think that you could do less yapping and more working.

Work can get hectic, life is hectic. Don't blame your situation on other people. Take responsibility for your situation. Make it better or shut up.

4. Look for a new outlet.


If your situation has you going insane, find a release. Maybe it is praying, working out, crafting, reading. Find something. Make sure it is decently safe and that the expense won't have you more stressed, and do it. #YogaAnyone?

3. Save your best self for your family.


If you can only manage being a sane, rational adult for a set number of hours each day, save it for your family time. From the sounds of it, you either won't have that job much longer or it won't have you, but you'll need your family either way. A spouse, parent, sibling should be a support for you. Everyone needs to have a rock in life, a stability they can lean on. But, if you are only ever leaning on your family, they will get eroded from your negativity. Remember, they need support too. #ItsNotAllAboutYou.

2. Let people see you struggle.


No one believes you're a robot. You may wear a pretty important cape and draw an 'S' on all your clothing, but you're not fooling anyone. People will respect you more if you show your humanity. Don't be afraid for them to see you bleed. If you're taking responsibility, steps to improve the situation, and staying sane, people will actually gain respect for you through this situation.

I keep my personal life separate. People should not bring their outside problems into the workplace.

Keep dreaming. We are products of our situation. If I'm going through a storm in my personal life, there will be no hiding it at work. I'm not two faced. There is something to be said for compartmentalizing, but that isn't a permanent solution. #RealityCheck.

1. Praise those helping you through the storm.


Get over yourself, and think about those most important to you. I choose to lean on God, first; family, second; friends, third. Focus on their help, support, and love. Focus on their presence; they don't need to put up with you at all, but they do. The worst thing you could do is be a fair weather friend. So don't be.

Go find those people that you need, that you've relied on, and thank them. #ItsStillNotAllAboutYou.




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Friday, August 5, 2016

It's Friday, you made it!

It may have taken ridiculous amounts of coffee...

...as if there is such a thing. It may have taken a few clean venting sessions. It may have taken a lot of balance between distractions and focus. It may have taken away a bit of your sanity, but you're here. You made it to the end of the week, congrats!

Even if you have to work the weekend, there is a different air around the days. It's designed for rest, recharging, and recreation. Two and a half days, if you count Friday evening as you should, to enjoy.

I challenge you this weekend to get out of your routine. Shake it up!

5. If you normally stay in, get out.

You're the reserved type. Why see people when people are what cause wars. Okay, a little extreme. I get it, you are set to finish your book this weekend. Or, you're going to catch up on every show of Gilmore Girls before Netflix releases the final four episodes. These are great things, I completely agree. But, make this weekend about shaking things up. Get out of the house!

Go to the farmer's market, go to the library, go hangout at the coffee shop. Try your hardest to actually speak with people. Don't be a creep and stare at them from the top edge of your book. Find out what is happening in downtown, and go experience it. Experience something new that gets you out of your normal comfort zone. #Grow!

4. If you normally get out, stay in.

If you're a man about town, or someone who gets antsy staying at home all weekend, you just need to be around your friends 24/7, stay inside for a change. Read the book you keep on your mantle to make yourself feel accomplished. Unpack those boxes in the spare room from when you moved in 6 years ago. Watch a documentary, watch a Ted Talk, take a little time to expand your thinking. 

#FOMO

I know, you have a great Fear-Of-Missing-Out. Guess what. You can wait until Monday evening to hear about Noelle's new outfit, don't worry...she won't let you live for long without knowing of its greatness. This next week, you may be the last to know about the new relationship that popped up. They even accidentally spilled the beans to the guy in the corner, you're literally the last to know! I'm sure your friend is worse off for not having your golden opinion on her life, but she will still live and probably have a better relationship for it.

#NoFOMO

3. If you normally clean, be crafty.

You could be both, I suppose. But, I've really seen to extremes in this area. You have the wannabe crafty lady who is too organized and OCD to ever get the supplies out of their well-contained space. There is a place for everything and everything has a place. While you like the idea of being craft, it would also mean making a mess.

I believe that anyone can be creative. Art is subjective which is a pretty word for 'no one is wrong'. It is all in the eye of the beholder. I may not understand your creepy painting of a doll (oh, that's your daughter?), but I don't have to get it. Be proud, be fearless. Create something!

2. If you're normally crafty, get cleaning.

On the other side, you could be too crafty. It's gotten to the point where in the search for the hot glue, you've found two unfinished necklaces, some lace you were going to use as a stencil, three copies of DIY magazine now cut to pieces and ready for some collage, whenever the opportunity strikes...as long as you can still find it. Your craft table has become a war zone, and it is starting battle with the living room. I'm sure that Pinterest piece you had in mind for this weekend is wonderful, but let it wait this time. Instead, take some time and organize your space.

1. Be with family.

You can define family many different ways. Blood related, emotionally connected, stuck together under one roof, many groups can be your family. Hopefully time with them is how you recharge. If not, it's probably because the adults are outnumbered by toddlers and barbies, and you're doing all you can to keep it together. If that is you, find the fun. Perhaps you let them make a mess this weekend, and you even join in. Be a kid again. In the end, you'll be exhausted, but it will be fun. #FunFamily.



Thank you for reading! Or, at least thank you for clicking the link and then realizing you're in the wrong place, it still counts in my book. The list of email subscribers is growing and my page views are better than I could have imagined. Perhaps, my mom and sister keep hitting refresh all day, but it still makes me feel pretty #blessed.

Make this weekend great!

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Toddlers are so easy going...

Toddlers are always teetering on the edge of emotionally unstable.


We brought our little one inside to eat dinner last night, and her bottom lip had never stuck out so far. It was like we broke her little heart. She could do nothing but lay on the kitchen floor and cry.

Outside!

Outside!

Her facial expressions are transparent, good or bad.

You made me come inside to eat dinner?! I thought you loved me. I'm so cute.

As a parent, you want to provide healthy, well-balanced meals to your child so they can mash it up and throw it on the floor. Yesterday evening, mom and daughter had an epic battle of wills over eating chicken. Layna used to like it, and she used to eat anything with the promise of something better.

Do you want applesauce? Okay, just two bites of chicken.

Screams.

I may not have won the book-in-bed battle of Spring 2016, but I won the chicken war last night. Someday, little one will learn that she cannot out-stubborn her mom, no one can. I always have time to prove a point. 

Doesn't mean I always do the right thing, like last night. It was a painful hour until those two pieces of chicken were eaten, and here is where I went wrong.

5. She got too worked up.


Oh my word. The level of hysterics was intense. You would have thought I was actively injuring the child each time I reminded her she needed to take two bites. It got to the point, where she couldn't hear me, she couldn't understand. My guess is she momentarily forgot why she was so upset, but couldn't stop.

You're making me eat chicken, I'm going to cry.

I hate chicken today, I'm going to keep crying.

Why would you make me cry my own tears? I'm going to cry louder.

I'm so sick of crying, I'm going to cry.

I hate crying, I'm going to keep crying.

... I need to catch my breath...

Okay, back to crying!

4. She needed comfort and trust.


Trying new things can be scary. We encourage her to be inquisitive and curious. She has no problem mixing her milk with the food of the day and seeing how it squishes. But generally, we also teach her to be cautious of what she puts in her mouth. Sure, mom and dad were serving her the chicken, but she also goes with Grandpa to feed chickens. 

Something doesn't add up here.

The hysterics stopped when I let her sit on my lap. Turns out, sometimes they just need a hug. But, hugs don't mean they will listen. The battle goes on.

3. There was too much on her plate at first.


I don't like pizza. For as long as I remember, I've hated it. It's passionate, the amount I loathe the food. If you put an entire pizza in front of me, and said that is all I'm getting. Sure, I'm an adult and would probably throw my hands in the are, cry, post the injustice on Facebook, and accuse you of taking my rights away.

We gave the kid a whole chicken breast. That's a lot for something that apparently is the worst thing in the entire world, this week.

2. We strayed from our normal discipline routine.


On an average day, if little girl does anything wrong, she gets a warning and then timeout in her room. Depending on the level of wrong, timeout may or may not be supervised. We always end with an agreement to right the wrong, and agree with a hug and a kiss.

Turns out, after an hour of terrorist negotiations, a little timeout was all that was needed. Not even a minute into it, she agreed to take two bites.

Why didn't we do this first?!

1. We haven't been consistent.


Some days, I'm exhausted after work. So when my little one is throwing her food on the floor and telling me she is all done, I don't fight it. It isn't her fault that she developed a preference for cheese and fruit, and thought she could swear off protein at dinner. There have been several nights lately where this has been the case.

That's on me. Parents don't always do the right thing, cause guess what...we're human. However, as parents we should be saving our best selves for our family. They deserve it, and they need it. So, find a way to laugh through the struggle, and do your job of loving, caring, and protecting them.


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Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Chopped champion or life champion...

Do these contestants watch the show before their turn?


My favorite channel is Food Network, and my favorite show is Chopped. The opportunity to watch my two favorite things: food and drama. It is a little unnecessary drama, but such is life. They play up the count down of the clock and cut to commercial before anyone is actually chopped off the block.

My mom can't watch the show. She feels bad for the losers and thinks the judges could be kinder. She also thinks I can do no wrong and taught me that everyone is a winner. #MaybeMaybeNot.

The thing that gets me with each episode is the lack of preparation. These are chefs who say they want to win $10,000, but they don't seem to research the biggest difficulties of the show.

Don't watch the show? No worries, I won't berate you now. Instead, I'll show you how success in the show is similar to success in parenting.

5. Research how to deal with the weird stuff.


The Show

There has been brown bread in a can, 100-year-old egg, marmite yeast extract, sea cucumber, and lots of gummy candies. Often in a Chopped episode, something will surprise the contestants.

How do I cut this?
What pairs well with goats brains?

Come on people! Many websites and Reddit lists are dedicated to the weird ingredients on this show. Take a little time and google it. Unless you're one of those people who likes to be unprepared and made a fool on television.

The Parent

Google is your friend! So, you're home with a newborn and wondering if that bowel movement was normal? Look it up! There are several sites that show charts, descriptions, pictures. Sure, you'll want to vomit and may progress on the road to desensitized, but you'll sleep easy knowing your kid is healthy. Just kidding, you won't sleep either way. #IsItSupposedToBeGreen?

4. Stick with what you know.


The Show

Know your textures and your flavors. If it doesn't add a flavor dimension, don't add it. You don't want a dish that is all mush, but useless crunch is always criticized.

The celery didn't add anything.
The peanuts overpowered the dish.

If you'd like that $10,000 prize, spend a little time looking up flavor profiles and how they impact each other. You may slack off at work from time to time, but if it was a day you could get paid 10 grand wouldn't you try? #ChaChing.

The Parent

Your 4-year-old is questioning God and religion. Please, do not start philosophizing things you don't really know about. As a Christ-follower, I look forward to having talks about Jesus with my little girl and for myself I also keep up-to-date on other types of religions. That isn't the case with everyone, and you need to be honest if that's true for you. Please, please, please, I cannot ask enough, do not guess at religion with your child. If they are interested, nurture it like you would any other interest.

If your little one wanted to play basketball, you would sign them up for leagues, camps, lessons. You'd drive them to games and cheer them on, even if you've never cared for the sport. I love seeing parents willing to make that effort with religion, taking their children to church, VBS, Sunday School, and letting them make their own choices. Your children need support and protection. Don't drive them down to cult headquarters and setup their own sweat lodge, stick to textbooks for that one. #Scary.

3. Keep track of the important stuff.


The Show

You've never made ice cream? It must be simple, right? You should totally waste 15 minutes trying to work the machine while you ignore the basket of ingredients you're required to use. Solid plan.

It doesn't happen every episode, but many have involved a contestant forgetting to use or plate a basket ingredient. Well congratulations, you're a failure in more than one way. #EpicFail.

The Parent

Don't lose your kid, that's number one! Get off your phone and actually supervise. Don't helicopter, but keep peripherals on them and be ready to encourage or discourage behavior. Your child needs that feedback.

Kids cost money. They break things; they stain things; they all around destroy things. Again, keep them safe, but let them explore. #ExploringIsLearning.

2. Spend some time on plating.


The Show

Judges eat first with their eyes.

I know it's lame. It's all going to the same place, right? But in the real chef gig, plating matters. You wouldn't feel confident at a restaurant where all your food came out splattered together.

Why, why, why don't contestants get plates first and build as they go?? Instead they run all around grabbing dishes, splotching sauce down, and cussing. #GetItTogether

The Parent

This one is pretty literal. Help them get well-balanced meals. That is your responsibility, one of many. She may be adorable asking for that third cookie and refusing her protein, but you have to be the bad guy sometimes. Guess what. She will still love you, rely on you, and go to you with her scraped knees.

1. Watch the clock!


The Show

They like to play up the drama on the show, so I really hope not everyone is down to the wire like it appears. There are, however, often times where items are undercooked or poorly layered. I really believe that the clock is where the winner lives. The person who actually paces themselves is successful.

The Parent

You will get emotional that they grow up so fast. You will also pray for them to hurry up and get over stages in their life. Try to appreciate all of these moments.

And, prepare for your time to become their time. You want to stay out all night, keep them up and let them sleep in tomorrow. Don't do it! Trust me, it's not worth it, especially with a little one. They need their schedule and they need their sleep. Be kind and make the sacrifice. They grow up fast and you'll be past the stage before you know it.


I'm sorry, what...

I returned your call three seconds later, and you didn't answer.

Society has trained us to lack patience. We're all entitled to everything and we all need it now. Amazon.com Prime arrives in two days, and we love it. It's the culmination of everything we need in society.

I can do it myself.

I can get it fast.

I don't have to work hard for it.

Use the app, it's never more that an arm-length away. Order now. Don't wait. Don't think about the purchase. Of course you need those $80 shoes that won't actually fit.

Really, you're harping on me for being a consumer and using a well-known, successful company? 

Don't get me wrong, I love it. Amazon.com really cashed in on our societal wants. They cater to our disfunction, and everyone else is now in a world where they need to catch up.

Why go to the grocery store? Why go out in public? When I started getting nonperishables delivered to the house, my husband thought I had reached a whole new level of anti-social.

Let's shift to another example of impatience. It happens to me most mornings. I come to a roundabout near the expressway and continue to be amazed.

It says 'yield' not stop. What are you waiting for? Go home, life only gets harder from here!

Of course, this is before Coffee Chaos calms my nerves and makes me a presentable human being. I have to wait a few extra seconds because the vehicle in front wants to let everyone in first.

Whoa, whoa, you're going already? I think there is a car coming from Detroit that we should yield, I mean stop for too!

The joy of how other people living their lives can make us so angry, so judgmental. Slow, cautious drivers must be imaginary smart. Online shoppers must be hermits who can't be bothered to see others. When we return a call in three seconds and they don't answer, they must be maliciously trying to ruin our day.

Here are some ways to get over yourself:

5. If you don't know them, don't worry.

The lady in front of you at the gas station is fumbling through her purse. Papers fly. A few coins fall. Two tampons roll out. She's looking for her debit card.

Get your life together. You're a mess.

Whoa, do you know her? Did she ask for your opinion? Get over yourself, pick up the papers, coins, and tampons, and try to make her day a little better. #BeNice.

4. If someone didn't meet your expectations, consider their situation.

Mr. Khaki, the FedEx guy gave you the wrong package. You needed those weight-loss pills today and now you won't fit into your dress this weekend. He's ruined everything. Like his job is even that hard.

#SlowYourRoll.

Maybe Mr. Khaki's mother-in-law is staying with him for a weekend that turned into a month. He's found 7 new gray hairs, and his wife keeps saying that WebMD gave her four days to live.

Give the guy a break, he needs it.

3. Drink your coffee, and let it go.

Before coffee, no talkee. You cannot be held responsible for the things in your head before caffeine and logic have been invited in. I get it. Drink it up, and let's pretend your judgmental rudeness never happened.

2. If you pray for patience, expect some opportunities for practice.

Miracles happen, but prayer isn't a way around being a grownup. You need patience? We all do. Take every struggling moment as a chance to show others how strong you can be.

You're at work and Mr. KnowItAll won't return your call. Have a little class and refrain from badmouthing him to everyone. You may get some sympathy the first time, but you'll quickly get labeled as a drama queen. Don't be a victim. #BeClassy.

1. If you're the one that stops at roundabouts, here are some diagrams to help.







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