A Grace Full Life

5.16.2016

The Bench






Ten years ago this month, my daughter and I got married to my husband in a barn.
I have talked about it here before.
I am not going to re-write that post because I really love it and that isn't what this post is about.
As I said, it was held in a historic barn from the 1800's that was moved down the road to the site where it sits presently and on the day we got married in 2006.


I spy a bench. 



The barn isn't that particularly nice to look at from the outside as far as barns go.
I mean it isn't ugly but I have seen really charming barns in my day and this one isn't one of them.
The above was taken at a really flattering angle, as to make it look a lot better than it does in real life.
Kind of like pictures of me.
I can relate to this barn, completely.
Okay to look at on the outside but on the inside, it is pretty awesome.
It was the inside of this barn that hooked us.








An amazing silo that you could look up into while standing at the bar.





Creaky wood floors that were perfectly imperfect.

You can't recreate stuff like that in a plain beige reception hall that serves veal for 85 people.
We knew right away that this was the place and booked it immediately.



Our wedding day came and was perfect in every way.
I know everyone says that, but it really was.
Perfect for us.
We had our family and loved ones surrounding us in this barn with candlelight, music and laughter.
It was a magical night.
So magical that you could hear many a slurred sentence echoed in the barn parking lot of "you two totally need to do thissss next year!" and "YESSSS MIKE AND KARI NEEDSSSS TO GET MARRIED EVERY MAY!!!


It was as we were blowing out the candles, loading up the boxes of decorations and picking the bobby pins out of my hair, that my brother witnessed something very sinister going on in the parking lot.
A kidnapping of sorts.
Two of our dear friends were stealing a wooden bench that had previously sat right in front of the barn.
Why, you may ask?
WHY THE HELL NOT?
See, this is what happens kids, when you drink alcohol: you do stupid shit.

*Like fart in front of a lighter to see it turn blue or eat Taco Bell at 2 a.m. because four Taco Supremes sounds like a great idea in the middle of the night or steal furniture at a wedding reception because it's sitting there all innocent like, and most likely it pissed you off because it tripped you.
And now the bench must pay. 
Allegedly. 


*some of the above may or may not have been done by the author at one time or another while inebriated. 


It was the following day, somewhere in between the breakfast present opening and the afternoon BBQ/video presentation that my brother casually mentioned to us something to the effect of, oh by the way, did you know that Tim and Ed* stole one of the benches out in front of the barn?  *names changed to protect the guilty

Now, there have been a lot of changes in the past ten years but the one thing that hasn't changed is my paranoia.
I freaked the crap out, as one would guess.


OMG ARE YOU KIDDING ME??
THEY ARE GONNA CHARGE US FOR THAT BENCH, I JUST KNOW IT!
MIKE, DO WE KNOW HOW MUCH THOSE BENCHES EVEN COST??
AWW MAN, THAT IS JUST WHAT WE NEED.
TO PAY FOR A BENCH WE DON'T EVEN GET TO SIT ON.


Once they calmed me down, I rationalized that it happened so late at night, most likely no one related to the barn police would have seen the incident occur.
In hindsight, I don't think there is such thing as barn police but "freak the crap out me" could rationalize that point. I am good like that. 
We waited for the final bill from the barn and no bench removal fee was on there.
We said nothing, paid our bill and went on with our lives.
Looking back,  I did regret not saying anything but hey, we didn't take it!
We had accidentally left our flower arch there that was bought for our nuptials and that Rebecca and I painstakingly worked on for an entire Saturday before the big day.
I felt like it was an even swap because in all honesty, that bench was really ugly.
The barn people were probably even happy it was gone.



Normally relegated to the basement, we brought it to the living room only to get a better picture because the lighting in the basement sucks. 


The good-natured taunting started the following Christmas when we received a card from the family who were the proud new owners of the bench.
They signed their names and under their names, it simply said .........and the bench. 
We laughed and laughed and laughed.
Until we didn't.
Wait a second.
We should be the owners of that bench!
That is our marital bench!
That bench must be ours!
GET US THAT BENCH!

A few months later, my brother, his wife, my husband and I were out to dinner celebrating my birthday.
It was over a few birthday drinks that we came up with a plan that evening to avenge BenchGate 2006.
We were going to get the bench back!
That night!


The four of us drove my brother's pick up truck to the bench owner's house and stole "our" bench right off their front porch that night under cloak of darkness.
We laughed and screamed, "WE GOT THE BENCH BACK" as we drove down the streets of their neighborhood with our fists in the air.
What a rush that was!
I finally understood why they stole it in the first place and started to worry if a life of petty crime was in my future.


That evening began a several year tradition of "stealing the bench" that went back and forth for three or four years between my husband, myself and the bench owners.
One year, Mike and I stole the bench back while they were having a huge neighborhood backyard party.
We casually walked in and started mingling and even had them make us drinks.
Everyone was either completely bombed or oblivious because the two of us were hysterically laughing and carrying this big bench while running through several yards with it.
Nothing to see here! Just getting our bench back! You wouldn't understand! 



The tradition ended a few years ago when we finally put the bench in the basement.
I feel a little sad that we ended the tradition by unfairly putting it somewhere they couldn't have taken it.
It was really fun, the whole back and forth.
The waking up in the morning and saying, crap, "MIKE THEY GOT THE BENCH".
"AGAIN". 
Everyone in our lives was getting a kick out of the bench shenanigans including our children.
We were teaching them all about thievery and sneaky tactics at a young age.
It was quite a proud moment for us.


Maybe we will put the bench in the backyard tonight for old times sake.
And maybe we will even leave the gate open too.
Just kidding.
There is no way in hell they are getting that bench back.















5.10.2016

Go Roma and Don't Stay Homa!


Last spring, I was approached by Go Roma to come on down to their cool restaurant and I shared it with you here
You all know me and food, we go wayyy back.
So when anyone approaches me with free food? 
I am alllll in.
If this screenplay goes anywhere, they honestly don't even need to pay me in anything other than food gift cards. 
I'm kidding obviously because I will need $$ to pay for my Weight Watchers membership.
#DUH

When they contacted me again this year to see if I would be interested in returning for more food and this time it included dessert? 
It was like they had heard the screenplay conversation I had with myself.
Whoa. 
Maybe I should start talking to myself more often!

So my friend Rebecca and I went to the Glenview Go Roma to eat their anniversary pasta in honor of the one year anniversary of their opening.
OR of the one year anniversary of me going to the restaurant.
I chose to believe it was the latter. 
We met the friendly manager, Josh there; he was very nice and he even talked with us for a long time.
Probably because it was my anniversary and all, hello.






They gave us both lunch AND dessert! 
Which made us say things out loud like: this is way too much!!
NOOO we couldn't possibly eat all of this! 
That is polite talk saved for people we don't know.

Then we ate all of it because please, we aren't amateurs.
But stand back if you don't want your hand to get eaten off. 





Their anniversary pasta is Parmesan Crusted Chicken made with rigatoni in this heavenly sauce.
Josh said their bread is even made at a local bakery and everything else they make on site, nothing is microwaved or heated. 
It's all cooked or baked right there at the restaurant.
So kind of like a fancy Italian place only in fast food form.
But man, that sauce is heavenly.
So heavenly that I bet there are nuns back in that kitchen making the sauce daily. *


*no there aren't




By the way, I took that above picture with my phone.
I really need you to ooh and ahh for a moment because I am pretty damn proud of that one. 
Take all the time you need.




That dessert is worth the drive to a Go Roma restaurant. 
Seriously. 
I mean, so is that pasta but DESSERT. 
Wait, here is an even better picture: 




This is what my husband would call "happy plate". 
We made "happy plate" at Go Roma this day. 
Then snuck out as not to be embarrassed at the mass quantities of food we ate.
HELL NOOO.
We were proud.
We might have even gotten ice cream on the way home. 
Told you, no amateur hour here. 

Go Roma is always looking out for us and they have your back yet again.
You have a chance to get yourself some of that dessert! 
OR that pasta! 
They are giving one lucky winner a $25 gift card! 
The giveaway ends May 17th so enter today. 

















Now through mid-June, you can head to Go Roma and party like it's your Anniversary!
Their anniversary pasta is only $9.49 at the Glenview, Bolingbrook and Northbrook locations. 
Head on in and tell them the anniversary girl sent you.
The one who can eat the pasta and dessert in one sitting.
They'll know me. 
No they won't.
But still go.
Because DESSERT. 

5.02.2016

Titles Don't Come Easy You Know

I fear I am at the end of writing this blog.
Maybe it is God gently telling me, it is time Kari. 
Not that time! 

Time to stop blogging!
I sat at my computer for a solid ten minutes trying to think of a title for this blog post.
That up there is the best that I could think of.
Oh sure, I could have titled this post Miscellaneous or ETC. or Things that Come into My Brain Randomly.
But you expect more from me, don't you?
I would expect that from a beginning blogger but not from someone entering their seventh year in blogging.
This post is about random crap I am dealing with right now in my life and that was the best title I could come up with.
The alternate title was Screw It, I Am Eating Tater Tots. 
Which might also double as the title of my autobiography.



courtesy of Pinterest 


My blog is being an a#$hole.
My Google based blog currently isn't working in my Google Chrome browser.
That's right folks, you are hearing it here first with full honesty: I cannot see my previews any more on my GOOGLE owned blog in GOOGLE Chrome because apparently GOOGLE doesn't like GOOGLE.
I have to jump over to a FIREFOX browser to preview my GOOGLE owned blog in order to see/edit my blog before publishing it.
So thank you FIREFOX for being there for me when GOOGLE drops the ball.
Guess who has been pricing migration's to WORD PRESS this past week?


courtesy of Pinterest


Mike and I were watching The Breakfast Club (no we aren't John Hughes stalkers, yes we have a life, it was on the Sundance Channel as we were channel surfing) on Saturday night and it was as I was listening to the dialogue that I had a real moment.
I started thinking of how many words were in that screenplay.
I all of a sudden felt all screenwriterly and sh$%.

Then I ran and got my iPad and Bing'ed (I am mad at Google because of the above and Bing'ed just doesn't have the same effect does it? Bing'ed sounds like another word for sex) "how many words were in The Breakfast Club screenplay" which came up lots of results for the news that they found the original Breakfast Club script in the high school in suburban Chicago which STILL shocks and confuses me.


So then I happened to Google (dammit, I can't break up with you! Somebody create a better search engine and Bing isn't the answer) "how to write a screenplay for idiots" and I found a Wiki screenplay tutorial on how to do just that, that was amazing.
It was like I was taking a screenwriting class in my family room, while The Breakfast Club was playing in the background.
Essentially my wet dream.
If I were a guy.
Mr. Hughes would be so proud.


You think I am nuts now, don't you?
Well that will lead nicely into the next topic.



Courtesy of Pinterest 


Menopause is kicking me in the nuts.
I don't actually have nuts but I feel like I might have nuts soon because menopause. 
Man, this is hard, like really hard.
I hate all the women who have LIED to us before.
NO ONE TELLS YOU HOW AWFUL MENOPAUSE IS.
Or how long it lasts.
It lasts forever.
And ever.
You think childbirth was hard.
YOU HAVE NO CLUE.
At least with childbirth, you have a child at the end.
With menopause, you get a hairy chin and you are a complete and utter a#$hole.


courtesy of Pinterest 


I hate people more now than ever because of above.
Not bubbles.
FOCUS, MAN, FOCUS!
Menopause!
I do. I do. I do.
It sucks the life out of you. It makes you sob at a stoplight when a Dionne Warwick song comes on the radio.
But don't f#$% with me or I will cut a b$^%.
See?
A#$hole.


courtesy of Pinterest 




I miss bloggers. Where in the hell did they all go?
Like someone farted at a party and completely cleared the entire room.
Then you look around and you are one of like, three left.
And everyone is looking around and you are like, IT WASN'T ME, I SWEAR!
That is how I feel in the world of blogging right now.
Except there are a shit ton of those DIY/Recipe/Lifestyle bloggers.
They will survive a nuclear bomb, I am sure of it.



courtesy of Pinterest 



I am trying to renovate myself. Is that even possible? I am trying to become a better person.
That will, of course, have to happen after menopause because there is no way I can be a nice person now.

courtesy of Pinterest 



I got fat this winter.
So this is what happened.
I started taking Topomax last year for my migraines.
Topomax has a side effect of weight loss. WEEEE.
Sooo, I lost some weight in the beginning. Then not too long after, I got the stomach flu. So then I was really thin.
Fitting into my skinny clothes. Then I noticed, I could eat anything I wanted and didn't have to try because Topomax. WEEEE.
Slowly, I started having some side effects with the medication.
So the doctor had to lower my dosage.
But I was still eating anything I wanted because I was on my Topomax high. WEEEE.
Only, what I wasn't aware of was that once you lower your dosage, you also lower your chances of losing weight.
DOHHHHHH.
So all the while I am eating away. WEEEE.
And the LBS. are going UP UP UP.
It was around February that I noticed my skinny clothes weren't fitting anymore and I needed to move up a size.
Or two.
Aww snap.
Only my jeans weren't saying Aww snap.
So back to the gym and watching what I am eating.
ALL DURING MENOPAUSE.
It's not fun to watch what you eat during menopause, by the way.
I might have almost cut a b$^% for running on my treadmill.
And I don't even have a specific treadmill.
SEE?
A#$hole.










courtesy of Pinterest


Prince died.
While I am going through menopause.

Cool side note: my eight year daughter, Ellie is just cool.
Well, both of my daughters are just the coolest people I have ever met, but that goes without saying.
Anyway, the day that he died, Ella was devastated.
Seriously devastated.
Because recently she had watched some snippets of Purple Rain (parts that were PG) and knew some of his music because her mama is raisin' her right.
Two cool things happened this weekend: we were on our way home from dropping off Annie at the high school and Purple Rain came on the radio.
She sang along with me.
YES SHE DID.
Purple rain, purple rainnnnnnnn. 
I wanted to cry. Right there in the car.
BECAUSE MENOPAUSE. 
She said, "I only know the words Purple rain, mom but I will sing those" and I said, "Prince would love that, I know he would".
Second thing: we have a dove living in our garage as of this weekend.
STOP IT.
I. kid. you. not.
I think we will name him Prince.



courtesy of Pinterest




One Sunday, I was editing one of my old posts because I spotted a grammar error.
I am anal retentive like that. 
Then I fell down the rabbit hole of blog posts and started reading my old posts.
Post after post. And you know what I realized?
I was funny. I was really funny.
Now I get what some of you were saying when you would message me and say, "wow, I never realized you were so funny!".
Yeah, I finally get it. But now?
 I am not so funny.
Oh sure, I have funny moments here and there but my creative juices aren't-a- flowin' like they were in the olden days.
Then I had a moment of "what if I hit my peak already?".
And what if all of my creativity is being used for a screenplay that will never be seen because I don't have sex with people in Hollywood or I don't know Tina Fey or I don't take prescription pain pills?
WHAT IF I AM WASHED UP??
What if I never have a funny thought as long as I live?
Holy crap, this must be what Kim Kardashian feels like.
God help that girl when she goes through menopause.
Although that bi$% will probably hire someone to go through menopause for her.




Then this morning, I open the box of Trix to find this:





Do you notice anything missing?
Oh I do.
Color.
Chemical shitstorm color.
Then I look at the box.
NO COLORS FROM ARTIFICIAL SOURCES.
Super. The crunchy people got to THEM too.
Dammit.
WHY CAN'T THEY LEAVE MY CHILDHOOD ALONE??????


Bring back the chemical shit storm green Trix balls, please?
And my personality?
And my skinny jeans?
And Prince?
And since we are bringing stuff back, can you bring all those bloggers too?
But only the ones who are nice because I will cut a bi$% if they aren't.





4.27.2016

Writing Challenge #How the Hell Should I Know: Something You Are Excited About

It is my birthday week, so that means a few things.

1- I get to eat cake. For a specific reason.
2- I can't wait for all of the Facebook notifications. Really, this does excite me. It's the one thing I love about Facebook.
3- I get presents. I love presents. Who doesn't?
4- I get to write about something I am excited about.
5- This writing challenge is over. Which means I need to start thinking of things to write about again on my own.


If you are sick of hearing about me talk about writing my screenplay, this post will be your least favorite.
Also, if you are sick of hearing me talk about my screenplay, I don't care!

I have been listening to all y'all go on and on about all y'all's stuff and have been very patient.
It is my turn!
I am so damn excited about my screenplay!
Have I mentioned I am writing a screenplay?
Oh, I AM WRITING A FRIGGIN' SCREENPLAY.
Pass. It. On.



I am the Queen of saying I am going to do something and then letting it fall to the wayside.
Not because I am necessarily lazy or don't want to do it but really because either I don't have the time or quite honestly, I am scared to do it.
And it is usually because of the latter.
Fear has been the reason I have not done many a thing in my life.

I am actually knocking out two birds with one stone with the writing of this screenplay without giving too much away.
Let's just say I am getting some bucket list items crossed off.
And in the words of the immortal Pointer Sisters:

I'm so excited and I just can't hide it. 
I'm about to lose control and I think I like it. 

OH YEAH.

I'm so excited and I just can't hide it.
And I know, I know, I know, I know, I know I want you. I want you. 


Actually, I don't.
Want you.
No offense.
But I am really excited!

So here is the thing.
The kicker, if you will.
I am writing my screenplay with specific actors in mind.
Like writing them into the screenplay.
No one else can play them because THEY ARE THEM.
I realize that is the kiss of death if they die, no pun intended.

It was as I was busy writing last week when I sadly found out Prince passed away.
It was then that I realized I need to get my butt kicked into high gear.
I got scared.
People are dying off in 2016, celebrities in particular.
And it is worrying me for many reasons but especially because I really want this dream to come to fruition.
Now, I do not want to come off all cocky like I think my screenplay out of all of the millions of screenplays out there will ever get chosen, never mind looked at, THEN made into a movie.

But I really think it is a good story line and I am not just saying it because I am writing it.
Have you seen some of the crap that is being put on big screens all over America?
If I have to see one more trailer for something being blown up, something to do with wizardry or a movie with the number 2 or 3 or 4 behind the title, I will scream.
No, I will write a screenplay because sick of seeing movies with something being blown up, wizardry, the number 2 or 3 or 4 behind the title.


So I have been busy pounding out my words and hoping they turn into something special.
And praying the rosary (even though I am not Catholic) that celebrities aren't dying.
I am not praying for specific celebrities because I feel like that jinxes it.
WHAT IF BY WRITING THIS SCREENPLAY I AM JINXING THEIR IMMINENT DEMISES.
No.
Maybe I am ensuring their long lives by writing this screenplay.
Yes.
Yes.
That is it.
I am sure of it.

I can't really tell you what it is about as of yet because I don't want to put it out there for fear of it being stolen.
I know you won't take the ideas but I don't trust the Internet and I especially don't trust the Twitter.
But I can tell you what it won't be about, judging by my least popular posts as of late.
It won't be about a recipe, a tutorial, or a new movie on Netflix.
I read you loud and clear.
I have 17,000 words written as of today and I am in love with my characters personalities and where this whole story line is going.
In fact, I play it in my head constantly.

There are times I have had to pull my car over to write ideas down; stop actually writing to write ideas down on the side for later; I am constantly researching people, places and fact checking and I even have my husband pitching me ideas as well.
Yes, he knows about it.
In fact. he is the only one I have read the entire screenplay to as I am writing it because I need feedback.
I want to make sure this isn't too stupid before getting in too much over my head.


I realize that I am not a "screenplay writer" by trade.
I don't have a college degree in English or film or whatever screenplay writers have degrees in.
How you would have laser sharp focus at the age of 18 to know that you not only want to go to college to major in something but ESPECIALLY in screenwriting is beyond me.
I don't even know what the hell I want for lunch today. 
I realize I don't have screenplay software on my computer to help me format the screenplay I am writing.
Do I even need that?
Is that what screenplay writers use or do they mock those who use that?
I am learning as I go, my friends.
All I know is I have an idea and I love to write.


I could have all the bells and whistles, the degree, the fancy computer and be sitting there staring at a blank screen.
But I have the golden ticket.
I have the ideas flowing from my fingers.
And to me. right now, that is magic.






4.25.2016

This Isn't My First Big Adventure With Pee Wee, Netflix. #StreamTeam

I have a secret.
Come closer.
Closer.
A little bit closer.
Did anyone see you come in?
No?
Are you sure?
Look both ways?
No one is behind you?
Okay good.

Ready?

Big sigh.

My sophomore year in high school at band camp, I was given a nickname by the upperclassmen.

ARE YOU SURE NO ONE FOLLOWED YOU IN HERE???? 


I was given the nickname Pee Wee.

As in Pee Wee Herman.
Because I did the Pee Wee dance.
All the damn time.
And I honestly don't remember why.
NO I WASN'T ON DRUGS IN HIGH SCHOOL.
I was as straight as a strand of spaghetti for the most part of my high school career.
Well, with the exception of that bad three month period my junior year.
But I didn't do the Pee Wee dance during that time period.


Proof circa 1985


I guess I liked Pee Wee Herman?
I must have thought he was funny?
I mean he was a novelty and he was quirky but for the life of me I can't understand why I was doing the dance enough to earn me the name Pee Wee.
Probably because I thought he was pretty awesome and knowing me, I liked to make people laugh.
And knowing me, I also probably didn't know when to let a good thing go.
Hence doing the dance so much as to earn the nickname. 



When my youngest daughter discovered Pee Wee Herman late last year, inside I was secretly pleased.
I would send screenshots of her watching it to my high school best friend, saying "well lookie what Ella is watching".
It makes me feel like the second generation is carrying on the Pee Wee legacy.

I have yet to show her "the dance" though.
I mean, I haven't done the dance in years.
He doesn't even do that dance anymore.
Only hard core old school Pee Wee followers know "the dance".





Netflix recently sent us a box of goodies to open along with the watching of Pee Wee's Big Holiday movie but what Netflix doesn't realize is that the box came long after we had watched the movie.
Like ten times long after.

That's not exactly accurate.

I had watched it twice.
Ella had watched it ten times.

So we opened it without watching the movie because 1- big box and couldn't wait DUH and 2- Ella could recite the movie by heart at this point. No need to watch the movie and open the box at the same time. It would just get in the way of all that box opening.





When you are a kid and see all of those little boxes and they are individually numbered?
Yeah, there is no way you are waiting for a movie you have seen ten times to open them.





Like Christmas in April.




There were lots of fun things inside that pertained to the movie but I am not going to show you picture after picture because that would seem too braggy.
Plus it wouldn't make any sense to you if you haven't seen the movie yet.
Let's just say if you like root beer barrels and milk shakes, you will love this movie.
Oh and Joe Manganiello.
Do you know how hard that is to spell??








Her favorite part was the balloon that makes farting noises.
Okay, yeah.
That was my favorite part of the movie.
That might be yours as well.





She is reading the enclosed clues here.
Sorry, I just like looking at her.

This girl definitely makes this old school Pee Wee proud.
Maybe I will show her the "dance" after all.
After a few milk shakes.
Eh. maybe that isn't such a good idea.




4.19.2016

Writing Challenge #8- The Night of My 21st Birthday

Oh to be 21. My sweet grandma looking on at me and my childhood best friend Wendy. 



So I totally blew the writing challenges this month.
Oh come on, you knew I would and I knew it too.
It was too much pressure.
April is a busy month here anyway with soccer starting for both girls and now I am freelancing in addition to doing side work AND trying to work on my screenplay.
All of those writing challenges were not getting done plus once I read through some of them and started to write them?
Holy balls.
Boring and very negative.
You wouldn't have liked that side of me.
Trust me.

But I did stick to two writing challenges that I could hold to because I needed to write about them.
#8 the night of my 21st birthday and #9 something I am excited about.
Two reasons: I felt I needed to revisit my 21st birthday because it was appropriate (hello, birthday month) and I really want to talk to you about the something that I am excited about.
No I am not pregnant.
My 21st birthday will be one of those stories that my grand kids will tell to their children.
About how their grandma was incredibly socially awkward.
And how they are shocked the gene pool didn't stop with their grandmother.

My 21st birthday was supposed to be legendary.
Well, legendary in my eyes.
See, when I was in my late teens and early twenties, I wasn't going to frat parties and hanging out every weekend in the dorm.
I was working full-time.
When I met someone my age who was also working, I clung onto her like an 80's teenager to a mullet.
Because finding someone to do stuff with back then was hard, man.

That someone was a girl that I mentioned last year in my poop sandwich post. 
She will remain nameless because it is my blog and I am still holding a grudge.
It is only as I am writing this that I now realize she not only ruined my then bachelorette party but also my 21st birthday.
MAN THAT CHICK WAS BAD NEWS.
But before all of that went down, we did do a lot together.
Because before I met her, I was known to be a little "Amish" to those whom I worked with.

Every time they asked me to go out after work, I turned them down.

"Sorry! I have to hot oil my hair!" 
"Umm I am waiting on my boyfriend to call me long distance!" 
"Gosh I wish but I have to pay bills! Maybe next time!" 

At that time in my life, I just didn't like to party.
I was very content to go home after a long ten hour day/night at work, heat up dinner and watch Arsenio Hall with my mom.
I swear to God I am telling the truth. 




A few weeks before my 21st birthday, I had just bought my very first car.
I was so excited because I had bought it without any help from anyone.
I saved up the down payment, got the loan all by myself and went into the dealership with my dad and bought myself a car.
I may or may not have had my lunch break inside my car at work every day for the first month I owned it.
It was a proud moment in my life.


So the plan was going to be that my "friend" and I were going to go out on my 21st birthday, go to dinner in my fancy new car.
Maybe even have an alcoholic drink with one of those umbrella thingy's.
She even said she wouldn't drink and she would drive me home and have her brother pick her up.
Wasn't that nice of her??
I bought a new outfit and was all excited to go out like real people do.
To a bar!
Where they serve alcohol that isn't a Bartles and Jaymes wine cooler in a bottle!



It was as I was getting ready for my birthday extravaganza that I got the phone call.
My "friend" wasn't going to be able to go out with me.
She was going to go with her brother to a movie instead.
My parents saved the day, as parents always do.
We ended up at the Dairy Queen, drowning my sorrows in a Peanut Buster Parfait. while sitting in my brand new car on my 21st birthday.
It didn't sound pathetic until I was re-telling it to someone a few years later.
What did you do on your 21st birthday?
"I spent it with my parents at the DQ after my friend ditched me".
But as I get older I find that it was one of my better birthdays.


I see the differences in my children now, as there is an eight year age gap.
One is all about being away from her parents, the other is desperately in love with her parents but on the cusp of being independent.
I know one would love a birthday party for three at the DQ while the other one would look at it as one of the worst punishments in the world.
One day, that too will change in direction for both girls.
It is such a storm we are riding in with these children.
This one of love and pain and constant change that tears me up inside yet brings me joy at another turn.


I am so glad I had that DQ birthday party on my 21st birthday with my parents.
I am so glad they were there to save the day.
As for my girls, I will always have the car keys waiting for an impromptu Dairy Queen party.
And I am always happy to share with them the wonders of Arsenio Hall.
Woof woof woof.






4.15.2016

Writing Challenge #3- Ten Interesting Facts About Me. This Will Be Short

1- I love lists. But only when talking about specific things. These types of lists, however, suck.

2- When I have deadlines, I work on posts like these instead of articles that actually pay me.

3-  I am hyper-organized. Because of #1. But I mostly just move things around on my lists or move them to another list. But I am very good at organizing said lists. I should have been a professional list maker.  Or a professional list mover arounder.

4- I can write things under pressure better than I can when I have plenty of time. Some of my best work has been done in less than an hour. That can be said of many things in my life, not just my writing.

5- I am on a mission to make John Hughes proud of me. Yes, I realize he is dead.

6- I drink my water out of a straw so I can drink more of it in a smaller amount of time. Ella got me hooked on that recently and I have been doing it ever since. It is how I get in my almost eight glasses a day. It is also why my bladder is an a-hole.

7- It took me an hour and a half to get to this point on this list.

8- Tonight, we are going to binge watch Kimmy Schmidt season two and my husband is going to make his chocolate chip cookies. We know how to party on a Friday night.

9- Which leads me into number nine....we rarely watch live television anymore which makes me kind of sad. I only watch shows on the DVR or Netflix. I am also still really sad that MTV and VH1 don't play music videos any more but that is a post for another day.

10- I am not that interesting. 
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