Wednesday, December 15, 2010

'Tis the Season or Merry Stinkin' Christmas

'Tis the season . . .

I sent Christmas cards to all of our friends and family.

I sent out $100.00 worth of Christmas cards and postage to all of our friends and family.

I sent out Christmas cards to all of our friends and family that included a grammatical error.

I discovered the stinkin' grammar error after all of the cards were mailed.

I sent out $100.00 worth of Christmas cards and postage to all of our friends and family that included a grammatical error, and . . . (wait for it) . . . I used to be an English teacher.

Nice.

'Tis the season.



So,  all of you out there that may have received a Christmas greeting from my family, I offer you this prayer of comfort . . .

Lord,

Forgive us our grammatical errors (on any and all holiday greetings), as we forgive those grammatical errors committed against us (during this holiday season and beyond).

Amen.


Because, after all, isn't it the thought that counts, correct grammar or not?

I think so!

Monday, December 13, 2010

How to Write a "Real" Christmas letter or The Anti-Christmas letter 2010 edition

Dear Friends and Family,




2010 has been a year of blessings (and insanity) for our crazy clan.  With a 3 year old, a 6 year old, and a 9 year old, our life is never boring.


Ummmm, let's see . . . the highlights . . .


Ellerie, our enchanting 3 year old, is a study in contrasts.  When her eyes twinkle, you know that her devilish self is about to emerge, but when she flashes her disarming smile,  she knows that she can do no wrong.  She is still our budding artist. Lately, her favorite medium is chalk and . . . permanent markers.  Considering that her favorite canvas is herself, we are thinking that performance art is in her future. And, when Ellerie was recently caught autographing her basement wall masterpiece, she remarked, "Crap and dammit!"  Clearly as a performance artist she will be able to employ both her artistic creativity as well as her newly found language skills.  We are so proud.


Ethan, a budding kindergartner, is still as literal as ever.  In fact, he discovered that he had a new girlfriend on the bus this year when the girl told him,  "You are my boyfriend.  I am your girlfriend."  Ethan's comment?  "Well, she is a girl and she is my friend . . . so I guess she IS my girlfriend. "  Genius, no?  He is also very observant.  He has pointed out that my skin is getting wrinkly and that my husband's hair is getting grayer and grayer.  The boy also noticed the fact that not all moms yell, like his own. He has such keen observation skills!  These skills are probably what enabled him to be such a fantastic water boy at Paul's football games this year.  I mean, knowing exactly when a football player can use a drink of water is clearly a tough job, but he excelled at it.  We are so proud of our little Adam Sandler wannabe.


Abbie continues to be the resident fashionista of our household.  Not only does she provide unsolicited advice about our clothing choices daily with a well-meaning "You're not wearing THAT, are you?", she also has been known to provide grooming advice to the family members.  She seems to be a Stacy London and a Carmindy all rolled into one.  She will readily tell each of us when we can use some moisturizer for our dry skin, and she lets me know when it's time for me to get my eyebrows (or moustache) waxed. (A quality that I am so very thankful for, let me tell you!)  Clearly, she should have her own TV show entitled, How to Makeover Your Mom and Dad


Paul has had a busy year with coaching and teaching and remodeling our home. Throughout his labors, the kids have learned such valuable lessons. Things like how to spend 3 1/2 hours to make one mitred crown moulding cut are such invaluable lessons.  Their vocabulary is so much more colorful with some of the new four letter words that they now know. Paul deserves all of the credit for that!


I, of course, have been my usual crazy self , but this year I (again) particularly focused on my health. For instance, I have single-handedly done my part to eradicate malnourishment by consuming vast quantities of Krispy Kremes and Dove Chocolates and ice cream for dinner. It is the least that I could do. I have also embraced my yelling self and the fact that I drive a van that has been mommed.  These facts have been delightfully freeing, I tell you.  Dee-light-full!   I have also worked diligently on my mental health. Writing blog posts about my everyday life (and how mornings suck . . .) has brought me to the conclusion that my life IS insane . . . but . . . so is everyone else's life.  This gives me  joy, and a warped sense of peace.


So, all in all, it has been a memorable and fun-filled year for our family!


Merry Christmas!


Love,


Annie and family




********Disclaimer************






To my IRL friends and family that do bless us every year with an actual, honest-to-goodness, Christmas letter, I mean you no offense. My anti-letter is just poking a bit of fun, because I have never been able to see myself writing one of those my kid is on the honor roll kind of letters. I guess I am just a bit too warped, or my family is. Whatever. Forgive me! And, Merry Christmas! - Annie

Sunday, December 5, 2010

What To Say When Your Kid Asks, "Is SANTA real?"

 When Abs said yesterday, "Mom, I need to know the truth,"  I thought that she was talking about the truth about what I really put in my meatloaf (vegetables!  HA!) , or some other little white lie that I tell to get through the day.

She was not.

Instead, Ab wanted to know the answer to THE holiday question of all questions.  The BIG ONE.  Virginia's question.

You know the one.

"Mom,  I need to know the truth about Santa," Ab said with a stern face.

I stopped wiping up the counter, looked up to meet her eyes, and then answered, "Are you sure you can handle the truth?  Are you ready?"  I was clearly channeling Jack Nickelson in A Few Good Men.

She held my gaze and replied, " I'm ready mom."

And the moment was here, before I knew it,  and I WAS NOT READY TO ANSWER.

So,  I took a deep breath, threw the dishrag in the sink, and pulled up a stool next to Ab, and this is what I said:

Ab,  you know that there was an actual man, St. Nicholas.  He was a good man that made and gave toys to children in his village to celebrate Jesus' birthday.  He placed the toys and treats in the children's stockings that they had hung by the fire to dry. By giving children gifts to celebrate Jesus' birth, St. Nick brought great joy to many families.


But, St.  Nick was just a man, like you or like me, and  eventually, he died.


The people in the town wanted to continue to feel that joy that St. Nick had brought to the village.  So, they continued in his tradition.  They gave gifts and placed them in stockings, just like he had done.  St. Nick's spirit was alive in those people as they continued to feel the joy in giving to celebrate Jesus being born.


So,  yes,  Ab, Santa or St. Nick was just a man.  


But,  is he still alive?  


My answer is yes, my girl.


Santa is ALIVE.  He is alive in each and every one of us when we honor Jesus' birth by giving to each other.  He is ALIVE when we gather as a family to decorate the tree.  He is ALIVE when we sing Christmas carols. He is alive when our family treks across the frozen tundra to chop down a Christmas tree.  


He is ALIVE when we think of others rather than ourselves.


SANTA is alive.


And, now that you know the secret, Santa is alive in you too.  




Abbie had been quiet the whole time, and when I paused,  I scanned her face to check her reaction.

"Well, what do you think baby?"  I finally asked.

A slow smile inched across her face, and she replied in a half-whisper, "Cool."

I laughed and grabbed both of her hands in mine,

"Yep.  It is pretty cool," I agreed.

We sat there holding hands for a moment, and then she broke our silence first and said,  "Can I help with the presents?"

"Sure.  You are part Santa now, so, yes, absolutely."

She smiled.  "And the elf on the shelf?  What about him?" she questioned.

"The job is yours if you want it, " I answered simply.  Then I teased, " . . .Santa."

Her hands flew up to her face and her eyes sparkled.  "I do!   I do!"

And off she went, to plan and to be Santa.


It is just one more reason that I can't wait for Christmas this year.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

O Christmas Tree?!?!

These last few weeks in Annie's world have been a bit grim to say the least. 

So, in an attempt to find my smile, I broke out the Christmas decorations last night.  I decked the halls and fa la la la la-ed and generally got my Christmas spirit on!

My biggest accomplishment was to clear a space in my living room for my Christmas tree.

I know.

I know.

I am gifted.

And now I have a big, empty space just waiting for our annual Christmas tree which we will trek out to the frozen tundra to get this Saturday.

I can not wait!

In honor of this upcoming family tradition, I give you my Christmas letter to my hubby last year.

Enjoy!





Oh Christmas Shrub!  Oh Christmas Shrub! originally posted 12/8/09

Dear Hubby,

It is that time of year again.  It is the time of singing carols, watching corny Christmas-y movies, and looking for the best  (and worst) Christmas light display.  These are fun times, undoubtedly.  But my favorite part of the holiday season has to be . . . our annual holiday tree fight.

You see dear, every year, as we trek out to the tree farm you bring up the inevitable.  "So, what kind of tree do you want to get this year?"

And, I know that that is really man-speak for, "How far do you want me to trek across the frozen ground to saw down a tree for you?"

Now, I always try to answer you politely with the truth.  "Honey, I'll know it when I see it."  And I do.  I always know it exactly when I see it.  The problem is that I am willing to trek over the river and through the woods to find the perfect Christmas tree.  I am kind of like Clark Griswold from Christmas Vacation in that way.  I will trudge through snow, with children, and with children's frozen body parts in order to find the right tree and have that Alleluia-like moment of reveal.
(video complements of youtube and National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation)

I am dramatic in that way.

This year is no different.  When we load up the kiddies to get our tree,  I envision the family bonding and the memory-making bliss that we are about to undertake.  I think that you envision . . .a long walk  . . . with 3 kids.  (Let's not forget that one of those kiddies has a cast on her foot, is unable to walk, and weighs 39 lbs.)  I envision a scene from It's a Wonderful Life.  You envision freezing temperatures, runny noses, and complaining kiddies.

Obviously, in this situation, I am the glass half full.

You, however, are the  beer glass half empty,  and you wish that you have already downed the first half.

Am I right??

To make matters worse, your idea of the perfect tree and my idea of the perfect tree are, shall we say, incompatible?

I prefer a tree with a conical shape.  You know, triangular?  Pretty.  Proportional. You are a math teacher.  I know that you get the idea.

You prefer a tree that looks remarkably like an overgrown bush. A rounded bush with long needles and soft limbs.  The kind of tree that can not and will not hold any ornament worth its weight.  If you really want a bush to decorate, we have several . . . in our front yard.  Just saying.

So dear, this year is no different.  I look forward to our little tree give and take.  I am ready to battle wits and words.  It is part of our holiday tradition after all.  And, I love it!

Just remember though,  I will win.  Make no mistake.  After all, if I am in charge of stringing lights and decorations, I will forever be in charge of picking out the tree.

Merry Christmas, hubs!

I love you and our battle!

Annie

Monday, November 29, 2010

It's So Hard to Say Goodbye

When I went into labor with Abbie,  I was prepared.

I had read all of the baby books.

I had required hubs to read all of the baby books.

I had prepared the nursery.

I had attended the requisite child birth classes, and (despite the fact that hubs and I were asked to leave after we got an intense case of the giggles one session where husbands were required to kneel behind their wives while the wives were perched on all fours,) I felt that we had acquired enough knowledge to birth my first baby.


I was prepared.


That is,  I was prepared until the contractions (complements of pitocin) doubled me over.

Hubs grabbed my hand and looked me in the eye and asked,  "What should I do?"  My mom and hubs' mom left the room and started praying in the hallway.  And me?  My eyes glazed over, and I howled.

I was worthless.

Enter Amy.

With her brown bob swinging at her chin,  Amy entered the labor and delivery room pushing her overflowing navy blue stroller.  Her bright "Hey guys!"  fell on deaf ears as I wailed and hubs tried to soothe me. Quickly, Amy's determined eyes scanned the room and took in the scene.  And then she got to work.

With ease,  Amy popped open a Tupperware container filled with cereal, and then she poured it onto the stroller tray for her daughter Cara.  Then she reached under the stroller and extracted a fast food bag from out of nowhere.  I swear, it was as if she were Mary Poppins and that stroller was her travel bag.  I smelled the yummy hamburger before she pulled it out.  With a smile she stated simply, "I figured that Paul hadn't eaten."  Then she lured a helpless hubs away from me, and over to the uncomfortable couch  with that hamburger.

Then, Amy came over to my bedside.

She gently grabbed my hand and said, "It hurts pretty bad doesn't it?"

I answered with a whimper, and her eyes widened with understanding. 

She patted my hand, wiped my hair from my face, and then asserted with no-nonsense, "I will be right back!"

I watched as she gave a quick check to Cara, and then over to Paul, and then she hurried out of that room and into the hall.

And as calm and in charge Amy was while in my room,  she was a crazed force when she went into that hall.

"WILL SOMEBODY PLEASE GET MY GIRL SOME DRUGS IN HERE!"  she bellowed in the hallway outside of my room.

And when no nurse responded quickly enough, Amy again took charge,  "WE ARE STILL WAITING FOR SOME PAINKILLERS DOWN HERE!!!"

Finally, a nurse took action, and Amy returned to my bedside calmly.  She restated the obvious and explained, "They will be right here with some meds."

Then she held my hand until that nurse arrived with the painkillers.

Amy was that kind of friend.

She knew exactly what you needed even when you, in fact, did not.  She was a mentor mom to me when I was new and inexperienced and doubting every damn thing that I did as a new mom.  She was another mom and friend that had "been there."  She got me without explanation.  And, she made me smile just to be around her and her warmth.


And that is why I can not believe she is gone.



Last Tuesday  Amy went in for a routine surgery to help with her migraine headaches.  There was a complication.  Amy never woke up.


She left behind her four kids and her adoring husband.

She left behind a doting family.

She left behind an insane amount of friends and people that she had touched.


And, she left a hole in my heart.


I will miss you my girl.


I will be lost without your compass.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Til Death Do Us Part . . . For Real . . .

After being a sounding board for some friends, and reading some of your blogs out there about the realities of marriage, I thought that this favorite post of mine was worth a repost.

Enjoy!


The Decision

When my dad toasted hubby and me at our rehearsal dinner, he pointedly looked at each of us and said, "Love is a decision that you make each and every day."  At the time, I was so engrossed in the moment and celebrating with my family and friends that I did not really comprehend what he was saying, but nine years later, I am beginning to grasp its meaning.

To fully love another human being, you have to recognize that love is not just a feeling, it is a choice that you need to actively make. Each. And. Every. Day.  Falling in love . . . getting that butterflies in your belly feeling, that feeling that you get when you are a little kid and you are swinging just a little bit too high on the swing set, that feeling that you get when you are just about to dive off the high diving board at the pool, that feeling . . . is the easy part. 

It is the staying in love that is the hard part.

You see, once life takes over, the ability to choose to love takes over too.  And, choosing to love your honey when every fiber in your being just wants to scream, beat your fists into a pillow, and just let honey have it, is so much more difficult than just allowing the hate and anger to consume you.

So, when hubby decided to scrape the snow and ice off of my window one morning before work and used our metal shovel to get the job done, I had to almost bite my knuckle raw in order to not kill him for putting 4 foot long scratches across my windshield with the shovel.  When I found out that we would have to replace the windshield, I had to switch knuckles and keep on gnawing in order to maintain control.    I had to actively remember that hubby was just trying to be nice when he scraped my windshield down. I had to choose to love hubby even when every little nerve in my body was so mad that I could strangle him.  There was no rosy, pretty pink love feeling at that moment.  Instead, there was a bold and cold decision that I knew that I had to make, even though I didn't feel like making it.  

And when I recently messed up our bank account, hubby had every right to be downright ticked at me.  I had screwed up and screwed up royally, and it was going to cost us extra money that we did not have.  But instead of taking it out on me, hubby immediately recognized how terrible I felt, swallowed his angry feelings, and gave me a much needed hug.  He chose to love me even when I felt completely unlovable.  He made a decision to love me. A decision that, at the time, was not easy.

Hubby and I have to make these decisions daily.  Whether it is his clothes on the floor or my penchant for leaving egg shells in the sink, if we let the little things bother us day to day, if we accused and used each other to get our petty anger out, then we would be chipping away at our own foundation as a couple and we would be in no shape to handle the big things when they inevitably creep up.

And they always do creep up.

By choosing to love each other, hubby and I are constantly reinforcing our foundation.  With every choice, our wall gets a little thicker, and with every decision, we are just a bit more solid.  Together.  That's not to say that we don't have our cracks, either.  We do.  But because our focus is to be proactive in our foundation and in our relationship, we can weather the cracks.  We can repair them. And we are that much stronger for it.

So, when we have to face a new life or an unexpected death, when we have to face financial adversity or a tragic loss,  or when we have to face a success or a defeat, hubby and I are ready.  

We have nine (now ten!) years of decisions to prove it.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

This "Baywatch Babe" Says Goodbye . . .

Ages and ages ago, before my kids, before my stay-at-home momdom,  I taught English . . .  to seventh and eighth graders.

Yes.  I know that I have already earned my spot in heaven.

I taught those pubescent boys and girls about my love for reading and books.  I coerced them to write, write about anything.  We examined the parts of speech and their impact on the students' writing.  We rewrote Shakespearean scripts with modern day twists.  ( Anyone ever read a MTV's Real World show in Shakespearean form? No?  It was hysterical!)  We wrote soap operas and sitcoms.  We read poetry and music lyrics.  We talked about them.  We wrote about them.  And, even though my students were challenging every damn day, I loved every minute of it.

One class I had was particularly challenging.  It was an 8th grade composition class.  This class met immediately after lunch each day, and it was filled to the brim with 8th grade boys. 

Hormones-raging 8th grade boys stuffed in one small room after being hyped up with lunch time sugar. . . and one petite 20 something English teacher?

Not a good combination.

It was enough to make me start drinking.  Heavily.

Instead though, I tackled that class head on, including one particular student, Craig. 

Craig was the ringleader of those boisterous boys.  His red hair and freckled face were reminiscent of Mad Magazine's Alfred E. Newman, and his blue eyes were animated and filled with life and laughter.  Students naturally gravitated toward Craig.  He was good looking, quick witted, and pretty much a natural leader.  And even though at times he was wickedly ornery and made me want to pull my hair out, there was just no way that I could stay mad at him.  (Believe me.  I tried.)  His smile and his eyes disarmed me every time.

He had charm, and he knew it.

One time the students had a fairly straightforward assignment to write about a memorable teacher, good or bad.  I read countless papers about my colleagues that recounted ways that they had spent extra time with certain students or how they had inevitably scarred others.  (Incidentally, do we teachers really realize our influence?)  Then, I got to Craig's paper.

It was about me.

Except, it wasn't about how I had helped him discover all the wondrous joys of the English language,  and it wasn't about how I had scarred him from ever picking up a book again.  Nope.  Craig wrote about how I was a memorable teacher because I reminded him of one of the Baywatch stars on TV.

Yep.  Craig was saying that he thought that I looked like a Baywatch babe in a paper that I had to read and grade.

Brazen little sucker, wasn't he?

I remember reading his essay and thinking,  "This kid has got balls!  What was he thinking?!"  And truthfully, as a young teacher, I wasn't quite sure what my reaction should be.  I took the essay in hand and went for some counsel from the principal.

He read it silently, but before he was done, his shoulders shook with silent laughs and tears escaped the corners of his eyes.

"Well?"  I questioned.

He answered simply, "You have to confront this."  And then he added, "Good luck,"  with a wink.

Great.

So, I did the only thing that I could,  I called Craig up to my desk, pushed his paper across it, and looked him in the eye.

"What were you thinking with this, Craig?"  I asked.  "It is totally inappropriate."

Then I paused, continued to look at him, and waited.

He met my gaze, let a slow smile creep across his face, and answered, "Well,  I thought that it would get me a good grade."  Then his eyes twinkled and he asked, "No?"

It was all I could do not to laugh, and I replied simply, "No."

Yes.  Craig was that student that no matter what he did, he really could do no wrong.  So we continued the year.  He continued to drive me crazy, and I continued to suppress my laughs . . .unsuccessfully.

He was a life force, that Craig, and he was one of my favorites for sure.

That is why the news of his death has knocked the breath right out of me.

Craig, with his sparkle,  Craig, with his vitality,  Craig, with his endearing orneriness is dead.  There are just so many things that are wrong with this.  He was too young.  He was too vital.  He was such a force.

I am overwhelmed with sadness for all the things that Craig and his family will miss.

And one thing that I know is for certain.  He has definitely taken a part of this "Baywatch babe's" heart with him.

Rest peacefully, you imp!

I will miss you.

Monday, November 15, 2010

How to Tell When You Have PMS . . .

Reasons My Hubs Can Tell That  I Have PMS

1.  I proceeded to eat directly from the bag of pretzels and directly from the bag of chocolate chips simultaneously while we were having a conversation.

2.  When Hubs came home for lunch, my car was parked with two of its wheels on the curb.

3. My three year old's hair is not brushed, and I do not care.

4.  In addition to Ellerie's non-brushed hair, she also has several leaves still in it from our morning walk and again, I do not care.

5.  I am eerily not freaking out about the fact that a) Thanksgiving is at my house this year.  and b) THANKSGIVING IS AT MY HOUSE THIS YEAR!!!!!!

6.  I have consumed 5 cups of coffee today, and I could probably go for 5 more.

7.  I am considering inventing a salty lolli-pop to get me my salt fix.

8.  I have rearranged all of the furniture in my living room . . . two times, and, I still don't like it.

9.  I am considering tiling the kitchen myself tonight after dinner.

10.  I fell asleep for the night at 8 pm.


How can you tell when you (or your love) have (has) PMS?

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

That Woman . . . You Know the One

*****I am linking this to Mama Kat's confession prompt this week, since being "that women" entails  confessing some of my craziness. :)  Enjoy!**********



I am that woman.

I am the woman that allows her kids to climb through the clothing racks in the mall while I shop.

I am the woman that frequently has kids with unbrushed hair or dirty fingernails.

I am the woman that does not think twice about dropping off my kids at school while wearing slippers.

I am that woman.

I am the woman that goes to CVS to pick up a prescription without remembering to remove the zit cream from her face.

I am the woman that you caught picking her zit at a stoplight, while checking herself out in the rear view mirror.

I am the woman in the grocery store line, frantically searching through her purse for her ATM card, only to remember that I left in in my jeans pocket from the day before.

I am that woman.

I am the woman that occasionally (OK.  OK!  frequently) uses a curse word or four when the stresses of everyday life get the best of me.

I am the woman that will yell at her children if the occasion requires it.

I am the woman that will yell at YOUR children if you are at the park, with your nose in your kindle, and the situation requires it.

I am that woman.

I am the woman that dreads bringing treats to her kid's class.

I am the woman that would much rather pull my hair out strand by strand than organize and lead a girl scout meeting.

I am also the woman that feels guilty about the above, and therefore gets suckered into volunteering.

I am that woman.

I am the woman that likes to go on dates with my hubby.

I am the woman that loves to get tackled by my kindergartner as he gets off the bus.

I am the woman that loves tickle fights, wet kiddie kisses, and the smell of dirty kids after they have played outside for hours.

I am that woman.

I am the woman that wears her heart on her sleeve.

I  am the woman that prays hard.

I am the woman that loves harder.

I am that woman.


Hear me roar!






How do you embrace your "that woman"?

Monday, November 8, 2010

Let it Grow, Let it Grow, Let it Grow . . . Obama Chia for Christmas

Each year, as the holidays draw near, I eagerly anticipate the joys of the season. 

I look forward to the yummy holiday dinners I share with my family.  (Let's face it. . . any meal that can combine potatoes and marshmallows is a winner!)

I look forward to the fun of holiday decor.  The bright colors and shiny decorations always bring a sparkle to my day.  (Although organizers of the nativity animal scene take note:  Please make sure that the donkeys refrain from playing "horseback" with each other while we visit your display.  Thank you very much!)

And,  as the days become more crisp,  I also look forward to holiday shopping.

I know.  I know.

You think that I am crazy.

And, truth be told, I probably am.   I just love hunting for a deal or a special memento to give to the ones that I love.  I like to give my friends and family members just a small token to let them know that I am thinking of them.

And this year, I have found a gem of a gift that I know that each and every recipient will cherish.



(And, if President Obama is not to your liking,  Joseph Enterprises also offers a Chia Lady Liberty and a Chia Abraham Lincoln.)



After all, it's the least that I can do to show that I care.



*******Author's note . . . Apparently, this little Chia is causing a great controversy.  He has been banned by Walgreen's stores according to a CNN report because he is seen by some to be "racist."  While that was not my take on the gift,  I can certainly appreciate and validate that opinion.  I just wrote this post to poke a little fun at those of us that take gift buying a bit too seriously, and because I thought that it was ridiculous to put any president on a chia pet.  I mean, how does a President of the United States rank with the likes of the Shrek or Scooby Doo chia?  Seriously?!?  That said,  when I first spied the Obama chia I did chuckle.  So, readers, I ask you.  Is the hoopla warranted?  Should Obama chia be banned, or are we all taking ourselves a bit too seriously?************

Thursday, November 4, 2010

No Good, Very Bad, and Really Horrible Hair Day

When I was 18, I could have passed for a prostitute.

It was not because I wore short skirts.  (In my defense, mini skirts WERE in fashion.)

And, it was not because I applied too much make up.  In fact, at this point in my make-up career, I had not discovered the wonders of mascara or of  tweezers ( I think Bert of Ernie and Bert, Sesame Street  fame would correctly describe my brows).

No,  when I was 18, I looked like a hooker because of my hair.

As a Florida girl in the early nineties,  my hair was long.  Very long.  Middle of my back long.  It fell in lovely, long waves and was chestnut colored with honey highlights compliments of the Florida sun.  Looking back,  my hair color was beautiful.  To die for really, but did I appreciate it?

No.  I did not.

So, the summer before my freshman year in college, I decided to color my virgin hair.

I asked for some low lights.  I opted for some caramel colored tresses to mix in with my own natural highlights.  I pointed at pictures in magazines.  I pointed at color charts in the salon.  I was confident in my decision.

That is, I was confident until the stylist wheeled my chair around to the mirror for my tah-dah moment.

Except, there was no tah-dah.

Just crickets.

Then tears.

Then snot. 

And, more snot.

Instead of the caramel-y streaked tresses in my vision, my hair was white.

Madonna, in the Blond Ambition tour, white.

(Compliments of madonna-online.ch)

Skunk stripe white.

(compliments of Looney Toons and above mentioned gallery.)

It wasn't pretty my friends.

Not pretty.

I cried the whole way home, the rest of the day, and finally I cried myself to sleep.

The next morning, I woke up and momentarily forgot my hair fiasco.  Then, I walked past a mirror, caught a glimpse of my unrecognizable self, and commenced crying again.

With my very dark brows, dark roots, and olive skin, I looked very much like a street walker . . .and I had no one to blame but myself.

That wasn't even the worst part.

When I went to work that morning to my camp counselor job, one of the 3rd graders started to cry when she saw me. 

Bad.

When I asked her gently what was wrong, she wailed, "My grandma's hair turned white like yours when she got cancer.  You must have cancer!" 

Worse.

When I called the salon to make an appointment to fix my hair, they explained that I needed to wait at least a week with my hooker hair.  They did not want to be responsible for my hair falling out.

Worst.


I had hooker hair for a week, and I vowed never to go blond again.  My only regret about my experience?

I did not let my mom get photographic evidence.


******Linking to Mama Kat's workshop.  Read more BAD HAIR DAYS there.*****

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Here's a Story . . . of a Family Named Brady . . .

As kids,  my sister and I would often come home from school, plop ourselves down in front of the boob tube, and watch one of our favorite reruns, The Brady Bunch.

Picture from connect.in.com
What?

Stop laughing.

You know you watched it too.

We would watch as Jan felt shunned as the middle child, as Peter's voice changed, as the whole family got locked in an Old West jail cell, and as Greg battled a bewitched Tiki necklace on Hawaii.  Even though we had a close knit family, I know sis and I wondered what it would have been like to have brothers to antagonize and 6 kids to play with every day.  It seemed like the Brady home was one big play date where the kids sold shampoo that caused hair to turn green, and  they washed clothes with too much laundry soap creating a suds fest only a college student at a dark, smelly bar could dream about.

Seriously.

It was family life nirvana.


Looking back though . . . I have some serious problems with the Bunch.


Picture courtesy Brady Bunch Shrine.

For example,  Alice was the Brady's housekeeper and part of the family.  Why did Alice have to wear that ridiculous uniform all the time.  Was it a job requirement?  Was it a turn on for Mr. Brady?  (Scratch that!  I just remembered that Mr. Brady turned out to be gay, so I am fairly certain that Alice was not his type.)

Hmmm.

Or what about the fact that the entire Brady clan calls their housekeeper by her first name, Alice, (duh!) but Alice had to refer to mom and dad as Mr. and Mrs. Brady?

Isn't that a little snobby?






Picture from Brady Bunch Shrine
 And, what about Mrs. Brady?  As a housewife, what exactly does she do?   Alice cooks.  Alice cleans.  And Mrs. Brady does . . . anyone? Anyone?   If memory serves (and more often than not, it doesn't),  I remember her sitting at her kitchen table, sporting that mullet (YIKES!),  drinking a cup of coffee while Alice prepped dinner.

Now that I think about it,  Mrs. Brady had it pretty good. 

I wish I had an Alice.





Picture from Brady Bunch Shrine
 Finally, my thoughts wandered to the Brady kids, and now that I am a parent myself,  I wonder,  how in the world were those kids sooooooo squeaky clean?  Yes, the kids do get into trouble here and there, but never anything serious, and never any trouble that real kids get into these days.  Where was the trip to the principal's office?  Where was the sneaking out of the house?  Where was the sarcasm or backtalk of the teenage years? 

Nowhere!  That's where!

Maybe, on second thought, I should get the episodes on DVD to show to my own brood.  I think I'd much rather deal with kid that throws a football at his sister's nose than a kid that knows how to text better than I do.



And hubs, if you are reading?

My birthday is in a few days and I would really like . . . an Alice.

Just sayin'.


I am linking to Mama Kat's this week!  Hop on over and visit!! :)

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Maybe I Should Be Dorothy Gale This Halloween . . .

What do Dorothy Gale and I have in common?


A love for sparkly, red shoes?

Picture from wizardsofcostume.com

                                                           Yes, of course,  but that's not all.





The ability to break into song when meeting a live scarecrow?

Picture from gonemovies.com
Well, no.  That would just be Dorothy. Although, I do sing a very lovely, if off-key,  version of Scarecrow's If I Only Had a Brain, especially when I lose my keys.





What about a herd of munchkins that follow us around offering us already licked-on lollies?

Picture from silive.com
Well, obviously that is true for both of us.  Although I am fairly certain that Dorothy's little people were always fully clothed and potty trained.  Just sayin'.





No, the main thing that Dorothy Gale and I have in common is that . . .

Picture from climate.umn.edu
we both survived getting into tornado ready position and lived to tell about it.



 
Although, truth be told,  I took some clues from Dorothy and did not retreat to my bedroom where I got bonked on my head by a shutter. Nope.  Not me.  Instead, when I heard the blaring tornado sirens, I grabbed my half-naked munchkin and hightailed it to the basement with my iphone. 

Grab what's important, remember?

Rest assured.  All is OK.  We just had a wild and crazy afternoon.

Monday, October 25, 2010

If you really knew me . . .

If you really knew me, you'd know . . .


-that I am freakishly good at math.  Seriously.  A lot of the tutoring I do is with English and reading, but, I actually have more students that I help with math.  So, I'll admit it.  I like math!  In fact, in 8th grade I was even a Math-lete.  Throw me a matrix or two, or maybe a sine or cosine, and I am perfectly happy.

-that I bite my nails.  I know.  I know.  Gross! But, I don't even realize I am doing it, and after 36 years, it is just part of me.

-that if I could, I would be barefoot 365 days a year.  Of course, living in the frozen tundra makes that especially hard, but this former Florida girl hates shoes (and socks for that matter).


If you really knew me, you'd know . . .


- that I eat one chocolate thing every day, and I don't feel guilty about it.

-that despite the fact that I used to be a personal trainer, I still have a hard time motivating myself to go to the gym.  In fact, it was almost easier to get to get to the gym when it was my job, because I was accountable to my customers.  Apparently, being accountable only to me is not necessarily as motivating.

-that I don't diet.  I eat when I am hungry, keep my body moving, and try to make good food decisions.  Am I as skinny as my high school self?  Nope.  Not a chance.  But, I am happy where I am, and that is good enough for me.


If you really knew me you'd know . . .


 - that my house is, more often than not, a mess.  The laundry basket is in the living room, and there may be dishes in the sink.  Usually the mess doesn't bother me, but there are times when I lose it, and go on a cleaning spree.

-that I really do love to cook, but, my family's palate is not as adventurous as mine, and therefore, I am often bored in the kitchen.

-that I mean it when I say to just stop by.  You don't need to call me first, just show up at my door, and then, come on in.  My home may be a mess, but it is a home, not a house, and it is lived in and used and loved. So, put your feet up and stay awhile.  (You don't even need to remove your shoes if you don't want to!)



If you really knew me you'd know . . .


-that if I am yelling then all is good.  It is when I get quiet that you need to watch out!

- that I often use my smile and my humor to hide the way I am really feeling.

- that I take people's words and actions to my heart.  People's smiles can lift me up quite quickly, and just as easily, someone's remark or tone, can cut me deeply.  I have a tender heart.



If you really knew me you'd know . . .


- that I love to write.

-that I dream about writing my book someday.

-that that dream scares me sh*tless.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

One Reason to Wear Clean Underwear . . . Revisited

This post is originally from March of 2010, but considering Mama Kat's wardrobe malfunction prompt, I thought that it was more than appropriate.  Enjoy!  And, if you get the chance, hop on over to Mama Kat's and read some more wardrobe malfunctions. :)



Have you ever had one of those moments where you think to yourself, "This can't be happening to me?"

No?

Then, you should probably quit reading. You are perfect, and I probably hate you. (Not really, but, you know, hate is like a little bit of sugar. It just helps you swallow things that much easier.)

And really, after today's moment, I will probably need a truck full of sugar to step foot in the gym again.

You see, after arriving at the gym and depositing El at the playroom, I made my way to the cubbies to remove all of my extra clothes I was wearing. (Of course, all of these extra clothes would be completely unnecessary if Jack Frost would just die, but that is another post entirely.) First, I stripped off my hat and gloves. Then, I peeled off my husband's comfy sweatshirt leaving me in my favorite teal workout tee. Finally, I pulled my warm ups down and off haphazardly yanking them over my tennies. It was then that I first noticed the draft on my legs.

And, instantly, my heart stopped and my face turned a lovely shade of crimson.

Not only had I pulled off my warmups, but in my haste to get to my workout, I had also pulled off my workout shorts in the process.

Yes.

I was standing in the middle of the gym with a cute workout tee, tennies, and my exposed panties for all the world to see.


My first thought?

At least I do not have on my granny panties! Whew!!

And the second?

How many people are witnessing this right now?

As it turns out, while I was hurriedly putting my shorts back on, I darted my eyes around the facility and noticed that 1) It was quite empty, and 2) No one seemed to notice that I had, in fact, mooned the patrons with my black panties.

Although, I am not sure of this fact in the least. It is possible that I may be on some employee bulletin board later this week, but, I digress.

The worst part about this is that ( and I am embarrassed to actually write this down), this is not the first time that I have de-pantsed myself in public.

I know. I know.

You think that I would have learned to be a bit more careful.

Although, the last time that it happened, I am absolutely positive that there were witnesses to my mortification.

How, you ask?

The last time that I pulled my warm ups off, complete with my shorts too, I was up in front of the gym classroom, teaching the step aerobics class.

Try to live that one down!

Thank God I was wearing clean undies . . . both times!

Sniffing One Out

This morning as I sat snuggled under my Snuggie (Yes.  I have one. Do not judge!),  hubs moved frantically around the house while he packed his duffle bag for his afternoon football practice.

"You got everything?"  I asked.

"Yep.  I think so,"  he answered. 

I watched as he wandered from room to room gathering goodies as he roamed. Nikes?  Picked up in the living room.  Sweatshirt?  Retrieved from the back of a chair in the dining room.  You see, whenever hubs returns from work, he leaves a trail of clothing in his wake.

It used to drive me crazy,  his Hansel and Gretel like afternoon tendencies.

Seriously. 

Caaa - razy!

But, after 10 years of marriage, I am used to it.  Most days, I either leave his trail intact, or I place all of the items I find in one basket that I deposit in his closet.

It's not ideal, but it works for us.

So, when hubs zipped up his bag, paused and then said, "Oh!  Socks!  I need socks!"  I went into locator mode.  I quickly thought through a mental checklist of the done and to-be-completed laundry,and just as I was about to tell him where the clean socks were, I clammed up in awe.

There was hubs, bending over and picking up his discarded socks from yesterday.

"Really, hon?"  I asked.

He answered with a wry smile, "What? These?!?"  And then he took a good. long. sniff. of those yesterday socks.  He smiled again and said emphatically, "Really!"



And although I am completely grossed out by the yesterday socks and the sniffing . . .
at least it is one less pair of socks to wash.



Anyone else out there with a sock sniffing spouse, or is it just me?

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

From one mom to another . . .

Dear harried mom on the Continental flight to Jersey,


Girl!

I have been there.  I could see the despair in your face as you shushed and hushed your little one.  I could sense your desperation as you gently rocked that baby back and forth and back and forth as one traveler after another shot you dirty looks.  If I had an extra binkie, it would have been yours, my girl.  Flying with kids (especially babies) is an act of courage.

Good for you for shutting the meanies out and focusing on your baby.

Please know that although I was traveling without my kids (for once),  I was sitting 2 rows behind you, feeling every bit of your discomfort.  Although silly, I was sitting back, behind you, sending you positive thoughts and prayers.

Because, I have been there.

You needed them.

Here's hoping your return flight was better and peaceful!


From one harried mom to another,

Annie


PS   When that rude businessman rolled his eyes and made a comment about you and your baby behind your back (but really loud enough for you to hear)?  Good for you for taking the high road.

I would have told him to stick it.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

"Serious"ly Annie

Forgive me friends.

I do not have any funny stories to recount.

Or, any sassy observations to convey.


My heart is heavy today.


I just heard the news that a favorite uncle of mine has been diagnosed with liver cancer, and truthfully, I feel like I am under water and gasping for a breath.  You see, 8 years ago, hubs' mom was diagnosed with the same cancer.  At that time, I was younger, and more naive, and I didn't realize the gravity of a liver cancer diagnosis.  Even though it happened right in front of my eyes, I refused to see mom waste away with increasingly toxic doses of chemotherapy.  I was helped along in my denial by mom, of course.  You see, she was so very brave, and never once did she complain outright of pain or sickness.  Oh, she got a little cranky and even a bit spunkier than her normal self, but, she never complained about the cancer.  She was the ultimate mom, after all.  Worried about her kids and their feelings.  Selfless to the end.

But now that I am older, I see the seriousness of a liver cancer diagnoses, and it makes me feel like I have been punched in the stomach. Hard.


I ache.

I am tired.

And, most of all,  I want to reach out and hug my dad, my cousins, and my whole family.


Since they are far from me, I will hug my own little ones just a little bit closer.  I will drink in their delicious vitality, and  I will appeciate their warm smiles and mischievious laughs.  They heal the hurts.


Most of all, though,  I pray.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Honoring the "Fallen"

This morning the temperature dipped into the upper 30's, so when I went to wake up my sleeping bear, Ellerie, she decided to be very two, and bury herself under the comforters.  I snuggled my way in after her, and as I hugged her tightly to my chest, she posed the following question.

"Mom?  Where are your boobies?"

I didn't really understand what she was asking me, so I rephrased her question, "What do you mean where are my boobies?"  I hugged her a little tighter to me so that she could feel my chest.

Then, I heard her giggle.  "Oh!  There they are!" 

Her exclamation and laugh made me laugh too . . . until she dropped the bomb.

"They are right down here.  They just fell down."


So, there you have it.


My boobs fell down.


They have fallen.


And,  they can not get back up . . . without surgical help, that is.   First, Ab called them dangly, and now El says they have fallen down.  It is just too much for a Monday morning.  And, it is just one more reason why I would like to invest in my plastic surgery fund instead of the kids' college fund.

A girl (and her fallen boobs) has to have her priorities, after all.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Falling for Fall

10 Reasons Why I Love Fall

1.  I am married to a football coach.  It's kind of required to love fall.

2.  Cheerleaders! (Mine specifically, just in case you were thinking of the Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders.)




3.  Waterboys!  (Not Adam Sandler . . . but just as funny. )


4.  Sweatshirts   that can cover a multitude of wobbly and jiggly parts.

5.  Fall food . . . including but not limited to  . . .  pumpkin bread,  pot roast in the crock pot simmering all day, football snacks  (Walking taco?  Hello, yum!),  buffalo chicken dip, homemade potato soup, and well, the list could go on and on.

6.  Apple picking at the orchard.  (Wasn't El so cute last year? Yikes!  She is growing so quickly!)



7.  Dressing up for Halloween.  (Last year hubs was the Pope and I was a genie. One year when I was pregnant, I went as a basketball hoop and my belly was the ball.  That year hubs was a hemorrhoid, which was completely appropriate, because, let's face it, he CAN be a pain in the ass.)

8.  Sleeping with the windows open in a chilly room snuggled underneath my down comforter. . .  Bliss!

9.  Evenings by the fire with my family that include s'mores and family convos.

10.  Leaves changing colors.  Blue skies are the perfect backdrop to the yellows and reds and oranges the trees display at this time of year.


I fall for fall every year.


Linking to Mama Kat . . . and you should too! :)

Monday, September 27, 2010

Elmo and Katy . . . Hot OR Cold????

You may know Katy Perry.


She sings the song California Gurls and Hot N Cold.


Catchy tunes. Very catchy.  In fact, Ellerie, my 2 year old,  loves to sing the Hot N Cold song.  She first heard it on the Chipmunk's The Squeakqual movie.


Well, Sesame Street picked up on the fact that Hot N Cold is a catchy song and that the kiddies seem to love it, so they paired up Katy Perry and Elmo for a video.  Fun, right?



Apparently, no.



In the video released on You Tube, Katy and Elmo sing as she wears a yellow bustier.  Check it out.





The video begins with Katy explaining that Elmo invited her over to play dress up and that she wore her dress up clothes.  After getting over one million hits on You Tube, some very vocal parents and critics criticized Sesame Street for Katy's outfit in the video.  Most critiques said that the yellow bustier was too sexually suggestive for young children.



Really?



I personally thought that it looked like a ridiculous dress up outfit.  Completely normal for the 3 to 5 year old set in my mind especially when I considered the following womanly icons that my little girls have loved.





Isn't Tink wearing a green bustier?  Or is that just me?

And what about Jasmine? Maybe Aladdin was all gaga for her teal bustier.  Just sayin'.


Holy Pocahontas!  Isn't Poca's outfit similar to Katy's?  I didn't see John Smith protesting.










Or what about Ariel?  Those sea shells look as if one wave could knock them right off.  Am I right?













Hmmmm.

Deep thoughts, huh?

My point is that I don't think that Sesame Street should have pulled the video so quickly because a group of parents objected to Katy's outfit, because when you look at other kiddie figures,  Katy's outfit doesn't seem so risque.

Although, if Sesame Street was looking for publicity . . .  the you tube video now has over 3,500,000 hits and Katy Perry spoofed the show on Saturday Night Live. So, if publicity was Sesame Street's goal, their PR man was genius.

Either that or Elmo may just be getting the cold shoulder.

 


****pics were from various websites but all ultimately were (and are) Disney icons*****

Love on a School Bus

When Ethan hopped off the bus the other afternoon, he was grinning a wide toothy grin.  Since the start of kindergarten has been a bit rocky, to say the least, I was pleasantly surprised to see a happy kid emerge from the school  bus.

"Today was great mom!" E explained.

Giving him a big, bear-hug, I replied, "Oh Ethan!  I am sooo glad you had a good day."  I extracted myself from his cling, looked him in the eye, and then said,  "What made it so good?"

But before he could answer,  a little girl's blond head popped up in the school bus window and waved frantically.  The impossibly cute little girl shouted out the window, "BYE ETHAN!!!"

Ethan blushed, and I had a bit of a clue as to why Ethan's day was so great.

"Ethan, who was that?"  I asked, playing dumb.

Trying to be cool, Ethan replied, "Oh Mom, that is just Tate.  She's my girlfriend."

I surpressed my giggle and remarked, "Oh really? How did you get to be boyfriend and girlfriend?"

Ethan explained it simply. "Well, she sat down on the bus next to me, and then she said, 'You are my boyfriend, and I am your girlfriend!'  so I figured, OK."

"You figured, OK?" I repeated.

"Yep!"  he answered.  "I thought that she IS a girl and she IS my friend so .  . .it's OK for her to be my girl-friend."

I laughed at his explanation and assured him that it was, indeed,  OK for her to be his girl-friend. As we walked away, I thought about how Tate had made E's day by just showing she cared about him (even if she was a little direct).  I wanted to  reach out and kiss that little girl named Tate who had made my little boy smile.  That is, I was thinking about kissing her until Ethan broke into my train of thought.

"Mom . . .isn't Tate sooooo stinking  cute?"  he remarked.

And I realized two things.  One,  apparently I was not the only one that was thinking about kissing Tate, and two,  I am in sooooooo much trouble.


Friday, September 24, 2010

Up in Arms or Embracing My Inner Grandma

As Ethan hopped out of the car on his way to kindergarten,  I ethusiastically waved goodbye.   Just then, something caught the corner of my eye.

"Did you see that, Ellerie?"  I asked my almost three year old in the backseat.

"What Mommy?"  she replied.

"Oh nothing, "I said.

I knew that I had seen something, but as my eyes scanned the front passenger seat of my van,  I didn't detect anything out of the ordinary.  Not one to worry, I shrugged it off, and I went on my way.

But, as I pulled away from the curb to drive back home,  I spied one of my girlfriends pushing a stroller on the sidewalk.  I rolled down the window, shouted a "Hey there!", and once again, waved enthusiastically.

And . . . I saw it again.  

There it was!  A flash of tan.  When I waved.  And with a sinking feeling, I instantly knew what it was.

It was me.

It was my arm.

Flapping . . .as I waved.


                                                                               Image from www.realself.com

After I recovered from the horror of discovering that I now have my grandma's arms,  I booked myself a session at the gym with a trainer.

That's right.

I'm not succumbing to my grandma arms without a fight.

(Cue Rocky music.)

Tricep dips, here I come!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

I LOVE MY JOB . . . (Really, I Do!)

10 Reasons Why Being a Stay At Home Mom Rocks!

1.  I get to pick which superhero that I want to be . . . first. ('Cause I'm in charge.)  Depending on my mood (or my PMS level), I can join the dark side and be Darth Vader or if I am climbing the walls, I can be Spiderman.  My favorite is Mrs.  Incredible because, let's face it, she's elastic girl, and what mom wouldn't love that superpower?

2. I get to pick what's for dinner.  So, even if I don't bring home the bacon, I still get to fry it up in the pan, nightly, if I want.  And, breakfast for dinner is, well, yum!

3.  I get to play CSI when I find a dark spot on the carpet.  I swab at it, sniff it, and then finally, taste it.  (And, FYI,  smooshed dark chocolate tastes just as good as unsmooshed dark chocolate.)

4.  I get the opportunity to hear my own voice over and over all day long.  And, who wouldn't want to hear their own voice all day long? 

5.  I get to take baths with boats, Dora the Explorer, and a stray kid or two.  Daily.  Bubbles are purely optional.  They do, however, enhance the experience.

6.  I get to laugh at Martha Stewart's idea of a "good" home. A good home is not perfectly clean and decorated.  Instead, it is a place that has smudgy fingerprints on the wall and glitter in the cracks of the wood floors.  It is a place where laughter is heard and hearts are warm.  That's a "good"  home, Martha!

7.  And speaking of glitter . . .I get to make huge messes with glitter and glue and sparkles, and I have the kids and their art time as an excuse. 

8.  I get to play. Yesterday, we had a water fight in the back yard.  Enough said.

9.  I get paid in hugs and tickles and sloppy wet kisses.  And, payday is every day.

10. I get to experience the world and all of its wonder through my kids' eyes, and that, my friends, is priceless!


*****I am linking this to Mama Kat today!  Hop on over to read more prompts.  :)  Go on.  Go!  

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Tori Writes. Annie Rants.

I just watched an interview with Tori Spelling on the Today Show on NBC this morning.

You may remember Tori Spelling as Donna Martin from the 90's TV show, 90210. 

You may not.

Seriously, she is one of those "pseudo"stars.  You know the ones.  Actresses or actors that had 15 seconds of fame from a popular TV show or movie, but because they happen  to have famous parents or they happen to be savvy business people, they stretch those 15 seconds into hours and hours of semi-fame.  They may appear on a reality TV show that sweats off their pounds or dances their booty off.  They may "write" a book about their experiences.  Either way, their star power is a bit diminished and on the blink.

I watch them more out of curiosity rather than for their true star power.

But today Tori Spelling stepped over the line.

Her crime?


She wrote a children's book.


I know.  I know.  Writing a children's book is not a crime, per se.  Tori's crime was her explanation about why she wrote the book.


She responded to Meredith Viera's question, (and this is not a direct quote but what I remember from the interview,) "Well, Meredith,  I read to my kids every night.  So, I felt that I knew children's books, what worked and what didn't, so I just wrote one."

Really?

So, in Tori logic, because I have read good books and bad books, I can now be a successful author and writer.  Would that logic work for anyone?  If I go to an art museum and I observe the art and appreciate the good and the bad,  can I  then go home and paint a masterpiece? If I watch Dancing With the Stars each week and I appreciate the good dancers as opposed to the bad dancers, can I then presume to become a dancing queen?


The answer, dear Tori, is no.


The answer is no, because writing (and painting and dancing and sculpting . . .) is an art.

Good writing is filled with passion and drive.

It is filled with the author's feelings and thoughts and desires.

It pulls the reader into and inside a new world. 

It forces the reader to feel something . . .anything.


Good writing can not just be observed and then imitated.


So, Tori, your flippant words about how you nonchalantly just wrote a children's book, angered me.


It angered me, because I do have a passion for writing.  It consumes me, truthfully.  I write because I feel like I have to write.  I have to express myself.  I have to get it out.

I do not purport to be an authority on good writing, nor do I think that I am the best writer on the planet, but . . . I am practicing and working at my craft each and every day.

And with every word that I type, with every phrase that I create, I am living my passion.



I am becoming a writer.



I am becoming a writer . . . in spite of published authors like you, Tori.
 

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