Sunday, November 17, 2013

5-Year Recap in Which I Also Show Off a New Skill (Part 1)

 I started this blog on December 15, 2008. Holy cowza! That's almost 5 years ago! For grins, I wanted to post a recap of some of my more popular posts (those with 40+ page views). I decided to get all fancy and present the first 10 graphically.

Despite what others think about my lack of digital skills, I don't think I've done too badly. (I won't tell you how long it's taken me. LOTS of trial-and-error (and maybe some swearing), which can only mean one thing: I've learned something new!)

I wanted to post the graphic straight up on this page, but it wasn't mean to be. But, you can check it out HERE, and start clicking away! (Update: The links take a little clicking, and one link — Where's My Change — dropped below the graphic when I uploaded it to Drive. GRRR!). Still, I think I did a fabulous job for my first time out.)

I do want to give a shout out to Mike C. (aka Blog Boy) at Sugar Pine Realty. His post on creating infographics inspired me to give this a try.


As always ... wherever you are, whatever you're doing ... Keep It Real.

Monday, November 11, 2013

High Road Vs. Low Road: What's the Diff? It's Just a Road

Photo courtesy of Stuart Miles @
Some of my most memorable parenting moments happen when I’m simultaneously horrified and proud of something that a peep said, did or didn’t do. Here's one of those moments:

On a recent trip to the grocery store, I had the peeps in tow. Normally, I have the luxury of shopping alone, but this day I had no choice. I was dreading the stop because I had a humongo grocery list. Here’s the equation:  

Humongo Shopping List + two 6-year-old peeps = THAT mom.
(Someone please tell me you know what I’m talking about. Lie if you have to.)

 On the drive to the store, I gave myself a mental pep talk that went something like this: “Suck it up. You are spoiled. People shop with their kids every day and handle it just fine. So can you. Let’s do this. You will not die. No one has ever died from taking their kids to the grocery store.”  

As we strolled (aka speed walked) through the aisles, things were going surprisingly well. We had our groove on, everyone was making a conscious decision to be pleasant, and I think we might have even cracked some jokes. (Those free cookies in the bakery are a godsend!)

We made it all the way to the milk aisle. I glanced away for a millisecond to peruse my choices. A millisecond was all it took.

Ruthie: “Audrey just hit me for no reason” (Man! They are SO fast! How do they do that?)

Me: Audrey, did you hit your sister?

Audrey: Yes.

Me: Why? (Why do I even ask that question? What answer do I expect to get? )

Audrey: I don’t know. (DUH)

I praised Ruthie for taking the high road and not slugging her sister back. When I asked if they knew what “taking the high road” meant, they both said yes and proceeded to tell me. This seemed like the perfect opportunity to launch into my “high road vs. low road” speech. You know the one. It’s the lecture that imparts the life lesson about always striving for the high road, despite what comes our way.

Satisfied with myself, we continued shopping. And then I heard …

“I took the low road and I don’t care because it’s just a road.”

 See? Horrified with a touch of pride. Because the kid's gotta point.

 I can't be the only parent who gets this odd feeling of accomplishment from time to time. Please share yours.

Wherever you are, whatever you’re doing … Keep It Real.


Sunday, November 3, 2013

The Ultimate Hook-Up

You know the climactic scene in romantic movies where the two leads, after a tumultuous journey, finally admit they are head over heels in love with each other and come together for one joyous, perfect moment? That’s been my life lately, with My Ideal Reality and My Real Reality cast as the romantic leads. It’s the ultimate hook-up. Warm fuzzies. Sunshine. Rainbows. Pure unadulterated contentment. Sigh.
It’s a rare but blissful blip, these two getting along. But in recent weeks, their marriage has created weekend nights filled with friends I haven’t seen for far too long, family chili festivities on a crisp fall night, and the chance to put the garden to bed while watching the peeps climb our magnolia tree and bury each other in mountainous leaf piles.
And there is romance, too. Today is my 12th wedding anniversary, and right now Mark is outside clipping 12 sweetheart roses from our bushes to make a bouquet. Sweet and simple.
I’m painfully aware that the peaceful coexistence between My Ideal Reality and My Real Reality will be short lived, and these joyous, perfect moments will fade into the sunset.
But for now, I’m just going to enjoy the brilliant colors these two realities create when they walk side-by-side.

Wherever you are, whatever you're doing ... Keep It Real.