DON'T QUOTE THE RAVEN

a blog

8.31.2016

An Anti-Blogger Anniversary Post


My husband and I celebrated our twelve year anniversary this past weekend. That's twelve years, to one person, no deaths. Pat on my back if I do say so myself. 

Look. I love my husband. He's great! He works hard for my money, lets me know when I'm gaining too much weight (accountability) and responds well to my threats. He only questions my spending habits once a month (when the credit card bill comes) and he loves our kids almost as much as he loves me. He's really fun to party with in Las Vegas and this one time, in the Dominican Republic, we almost died together as a result of a really poor choice. (You know the ones, the ones that seem like so much fun in the moment...until they're not.) We've had some really exciting times.

He's there for me, he provides for me, he protects me. Really, he's great. And twelve years is something to celebrate but let me tell you what. I am so sick and tired of seeing all those sappy anniversary posts proclaiming ridiculous nonsense.  They all sound the same, they are all contrite as hell and it's just one glaring shade of vanilla pudding.

They all go a little like this:

On this day, nine years ago, I married my very best friend. I can't believe how much we've grown together and you make my life better every second of every day. The day I married you was the best day ever and I look forward to many, many more years of happily married bliss.

Gag
me
with
a
spoon.

Or really, any other kitchen utensil you have sitting around because, no. Just...no.

Girl, you know he ain't your best friend. He may be your best husband (at least I hope he is) but best friend? Come on. Let's get real. A real best friend is someone you can go to when you want to complain and bitch about your husband. A real best friend will cry with you and actually listen to you and then after she's done wiping your tears, will help you think of a way to seamlessly dispose of said husband without any trace being led back to you. Husbands can't help you with that, but best friends can. 

I'm kinda sorta pretty much kidding, but my point still remains the same. 

I mean, I got my husband and I matching Toms and he wouldn't even wear them with me. A real best friend would wear those and matching beanies. 

And I don't remember my husband being there for me when I watched my littlest one go off into the big bad world they call school. His little legs walked onto the bus and his little hand waved at me goodbye...I felt like my world was ending. I cried big fat tears and needed someone, anyone to talk to. Who came through in my time of need? That's right, my best friend. Not my husband. Sure, I wouldn't have the amazing kids I do if it weren't for him, and sure, maybe the reason he couldn't be there to hold my hand was because he was working to provide a living for us, but once again, my point still remains the same. 

And best day ever? Ever? Come on. I admit, the day I got married was pretty groovy. We had fun with our friends and family and got a little too tipsy on tequila shots and yeah, I look back on it fondly. But best day ever? Shoot, I do that Monday through Sunday. Now if we're talkin' about a real best day ever, that would probably be the day I realized it was socially acceptable to only text everything. Or when you get a free Kylie lip kit in the mail. Or when Taylor Swift got taken down. 

I think if we're being honest here, we can all admit that your razzle-dazzle wedding doesn't even begin to compare to that time Taylor got owned. (And Tay girl, if you're reading this, do something about that hair, k? Every time I see a picture of you I get into a bad mood.)

Again, I think weddings are great (actually I lied) and anniversaries are cool too. But let's not get carried away. You don't have to copy and paste whatever Bethany wrote on her Facebook wall the day before and what Marcy will write on her Facebook wall tomorrow when it's her anniversary. Be original, a little more honest.

Try something like:

Dearest Rob, today we celebrate twelve long...long long long long years of marriage. We've been through a lot, you and I...me more so than you...but hey, I'm still here, ain't I! I can't say we make each other's lives better exactly, but we're really good drinking partners and that has to count for something, yes? The day I married you was the best day ever I got really drunk. I look forward to many more happy years of wedded bliss getting drunk with you this Friday. Love you! Mean it!

Butterflies and rainbows, people, butterflies and rainbows.

(ps, I'm working on getting the green hyperlinks and 
all the ads off my posts/photos. They are driving me nuts.)
8.08.2016

Back to School: Then and Now

back to school photo circa sometime around 1988

I  distinctly remember the feeling I got when it was back-to-school shopping time. I can remember getting super excited about going to the mall and picking out my new school clothes. My parents always made it a big deal: giving us a budget and letting us choose whatever it was we wanted (within limits...I once only wanted to get 50 t-shirts and one pair of shorts: so from then on, we had to pick out appropriate amounts of tops to bottoms) and I honestly can take myself back in time and put myself in that 10 year old body and feel all the feels from that day. (Heck, my 35 year old body still gets super excited to go clothes shopping!)

Taking back-to-school photos with my sisters and I was always a big deal also. My mom would line us up on the big day and take a picture...it's funny, because back then, I can remember the excitement of getting ready to start a new school year, make new friends, and putting on my first-day-of-school outfit was a big thing to me...but now, as a mom, I can understand how it was also a big deal for my own mom, and I relish in taking back-to-school photos of my own kids.

Sigh...the circle of life, I tell ya.

Below are just a few first-day-of-school photos of my sisters and I, and let's all just say it together now: the hair! The neon! The spandex! The bangs!!

Dear Lord the bangs...


Memories...

Moving on!

I get to now experience the same phenomenon of back-to-school shopping, only this time, it's a little different as I'm the one who has to pay for it all. Womp womp.

Yet, I get just as much joy out of taking my kids shopping and letting them go to town: they are a little older now (sob) and have a mini little style of their own, and except for everything being Pokemon and Minecraft, I basically let them choose their own clothing.

Gunner and I went to our mall the other day, Columbia Center, and it was pretty cool living my childhood over again through my own little 8 year old. We had a pretty good time and he picked out some stylish clothes.

found some pretty awesome duds at Old Navy

And shoes! Can't forget the shoes. Can never ever forget the shoes...


And now, I get to keep the tradition going and take back-to-school photos of my own kids.


Oh joy.

***********

What about you? Are you excited for back to school shopping? For your kids? Maybe yourself? Comment one thing you love (or hate - I don't discriminate) about back to school shopping and you will be entered to win a $100 gift card to Columbia Center Mall!
6.01.2016

The 4th of July is Kind of My Favorite


  
The Aquafresh brand has compensated me in connection with the statements made in this post.


We are a boating family.

Our boat is our second home in the summertime and basically Rob's first home as he tends to spend nights on the boat instead of coming home (side eye).

Anyway, one of my absolute favorite times to spend on the water and the beach is the 4th of July weekend. I grew up living by the river and the big 4th of July barge would park right in front of my grandparents dock, so fireworks on the water is essentially a huge part of my childhood.

Now that I have young kids of my own, I love sharing my memories and experiences with them. I love seeing them run on the beach and enjoy the fireworks and have fun with their friends and family. Making memories is so important to me as a mom, and I try my darnedest to mess them up as little as possible, ha ha.

We have a few holiday traditions as a family: invite as many good people as we can find, have cold beverages always on hand and assigning everyone one bomb side dish to enjoy beachside.

Because, food. This crowd loves our food. And of course on a holiday like the 4th, a lot of that food has sugar involved. How many red, white and blue combinations of fruit pizza can you make? You'd be surprised, but I can tell you from personal experience that it's more than ten.

After a long day out in the sun, having all the fun and eating all the food, I give my kids a bath, get them in the PJs and whip out the good ole' red, white and blue Aquafresh® Multi-Action Whitening toothpaste. I'm sure you all remember that as a kid? I know I do, and I know my kids think the colors are a pretty cool element.

Look. I'm crazy about my kids and their health. And I can probably count on one hand how many times my kids have gone to bed without brushing their teeth (seriously). So when I got re-introduced to Aquafresh® and then also learned how it provides Sugar Acid Protection (and what's a kid without sugar??), provided by active fluoride, to strengthen and shield teeth against sugar acid from everyday foods and drinks*, the key cause of cavities.

Not only that, but Aquafresh® also promotes healthy gums*, enamel strengthening and gives you fresh breath. The family that brushes together stays healthy together, am I right? (Ok that was kind of corny but still, true!)

Having fun responsibly, that's what I'm calling it. *wink

Have a fun summer guys!

You can check out the Aquafresh® Facebook page HERE
and their Twitter page HERE
*With twice daily brushing.

How do you celebrate the 4th of July? Tell me in the comments and you will be entered to win a $100 Visa gift card!

Entry Instructions:
No duplicate comments.
You may receive (2) total entries by selecting from the following entry methods:
1. Leave a comment in response to the sweepstakes prompt on this post
2. Tweet (public message) about this promotion; including exactly the following unique term in your tweet message: “#SweepstakesEntry”; and leave the URL to that tweet in a comment on this post
3. Blog about this promotion, including a disclosure that you are receiving a sweepstakes entry in exchange for writing the blog post, and leave the URL to that post in a comment on this post
4. For those with no Twitter or blog, read the official rules to learn about an alternate form of entry.
This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 or older (or nineteen (19) years of age or older in Alabama and Nebraska). Winners will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail. The notification email will come directly from BlogHer via the sweeps@blogher email address. You will have 2 business days to respond; otherwise a new winner will be selected.
The Official Rules are available here.
This sweepstakes runs from 6/1/2016 - 6/30/2016
Be sure to visit the Aquafresh® brand page on BlogHer.com where you can read other bloggers’ posts!
Sweepstakes is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by Aquafresh® or GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare
5.28.2016

Nothing Gets In The Way of My Summer Fun!



FLONASE® compensated me in connection with statements made in this post.


During the spring and summer, my husband and I live in the sun. He loves to golf, I love to garden and we both love taking our boat out on the water any chance we get.

It's our paradise: our place to forget about all the stresses Monday-Friday and relax with friends and family. We BBQ on the water, we have dance parties on the water and besides Hawaii there is honestly no place I would rather be! (Ok, and Vegas on New Years eve circa 2014, but you get the point.)

We were both raised on the water and spent our summers swimming, waterskiing, tubing... I mean, the color of my skin would always change five shades darker every year. And I loved it. I still love it! I admit I am a tried and true sun worshipper.

I of course make certain concessions so I can continue and enjoy my one true love: I make sure to slather on the sunscreen so I don't get a burn and to protect my skin and I also use FLONASE® Allergy Relief for my incredible allergies. I say "incredible" because for as long as I can remember, my allergies have been insane. Every spring/summer like clockwork, my allergies start to come out to play and for the longest time it was pure misery for me.

I would try everything to keep my allergies at bay. Over the counter, behind the counter, anything someone recommended...I was desperate, my allergies were that bad. And then I tried FLONASE®, a non-habit forming anti-inflammatory allergy relief that works in your nose to help block the allergic reaction that makes us allergy sufferers uncomfortable.

I didn't know what to expect, if it would really work this time but I am here to declare that this product has literally saved my summer life. It has made it not only bearable for me to be outdoors, but I actually forget I have allergies in the first place and can focus on having fun! Consistency is key. The nasal spray provides relief from allergies but its most effective with regular, once-a-day use. Use 2 sprays in each nostril once daily the first week. Then you can use 1 or 2 sprays in each nostril as needed to treat symptoms for up to 6 months. After 6 months of daily use – ask your doctor if you can keep using.

FLONASE® outperforms the #1 non-drowsy allergy pill*, it helps block six allergic substances, not only 1** and it's easy to find as it's an OTC nasal spray indicated to relieve stuffy nose and itchy watery eyes. (You can find FLONASE® in these locations.)
* Total nasal symptom relief vs. 10 mg single ingredient loratadine
**Mechanism vs. most over-the-counter (OTC) allergy pills. FLONASE® acts on multiple inflammatory substances (histamine, prostaglandins, cytokines, tryptases, chemokines and leukotrienes). The exact number and precise mechanism are unknown.

If you're like me and want to focus more on what you are doing and the people you are with, trying FLONASE® is where it's at. And you can easily earn points whenever you purchase FLONASE® Allergy Relief, watch videos, read articles and more! Be greater than your allergies, while earning greater rewards! Join today and you'll immediately earn points and save up to $4 with a FLONASE® coupon!

It has changed my summer fun having experience and now I completely look forward to those warm summer evenings!

Go boat or go home, am I right? Do you get seasonal allergies?
Tell me in the comments and you will be entered for a chance to win a $100 Visa gift card!

Entry Instructions:
No duplicate comments.
You may receive (2) total entries by selecting from the following entry methods:
1. Leave a comment in response to the sweepstakes prompt on this post
2. Tweet (public message) about this promotion; including exactly the following unique term in your tweet message: “#SweepstakesEntry”; and leave the URL to that tweet in a comment on this post
3. Blog about this promotion, including a disclosure that you are receiving a sweepstakes entry in exchange for writing the blog post, and leave the URL to that post in a comment on this post
4. For those with no Twitter or blog, read the official rules to learn about an alternate form of entry.
This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 or older (or nineteen (19) years of age or older in Alabama and Nebraska). Winners will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail. The notification email will come directly from BlogHer via the sweeps@blogher email address. You will have 2 business days to respond; otherwise a new winner will be selected.
The Official Rules are available here.
This sweepstakes runs from 5/26/2016 - 6/30/2016
Be sure to visit the FLONASE® brand page on BlogHer.com where you can read other bloggers’ posts!
Sweepstakes is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by FLONASE® or GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare
5.25.2016

Life Updates

bag found HERE

BLOG UPDATE
I admit, I miss my blog. I used to love it, back in the heyday, and then I totally got burnt out and I always say I'll be back with a vengeance and then I putter off but I think this impending summer is re-energizing me and making me feel the burn again, and also, I have some summer blog obligations I have to keep so I hope that motivates me also. I actually have a lot lot lot of things I want to write about, to give my never to humble opinion about. We shall see.

HUSBAND UPDATE
Still married to the same one. He turns 51 this summer. He still hates all my social media, especially snapchat, which makes me even more inspired to snap him all day long. My username is snapdragon15 for anyone interested in watching me successfully deteriorate my marriage. All I ask is those without a sense a humor bypass. (Obvs I love my husband and still think he's smoking hot, otherwise I'd be long gone tracking down Billy Bob Thornton in some back ally begging him to please take me in like a stray.)

KID UPDATE
The little one is losing teeth left and right, and I know any day now his front left tooth will grow back in after being knocked out at 8 months old. I say every day that once it comes back in, I'm going to knock it back out because all we have ever known is a missing-front-tooth Coltie. Everyone only thinks I'm joking. (Trust, it will totally look like an accident.) My oldest loves long walks on the top of the roof without asking permission and apparently also loves wooden spoon prints on his ass. Every night we say prayers and read books and talk life and I swear I almost learn more from them than I have from this season of The Real Housewives of Dallas. 

WORK UPDATE
I'm still working at the real estate magazine M-F and just moved my station home so I can work in my home office while the kids are out for the summer. I've also been doing some freelance writing work for the newspaper and local businesses lately and I absolutely love it. I'll admit a strict 9-5 would never work for me so doing what I love to do on my timeline is a true blessing.

BOTOX UPDATE
I admit, I'm an addict now. I had it done for the first time about two months ago and I love the results. No one can tell a difference in my appearance, and the only thing that's different is when I raise my eyebrows, there are no wrinkles. Seriously! No wrinkles! When I raise my eyebrows! I drank the Koolaide, I'm a lifer. On the subject of plastic surgery, I know sometime in the near future I will need to get my bubbs redone, but so far, they look as good as the day I got them...no sagging, no lumps or bumps, and yes, when I get them redone I will go a tad bit bigger. I'd love some lip injections but Rob said he'd leave me if I ever attempted such a fallacy so big boobs and a wrinkle-free forehead will have to do. #struggle

ANXIETY UPDATE
The clash of anxiety and life. I've talked extensively here and here about having anxiety and taking medication for it, and then here about going off my meds because they were "making my crazy," and then here where I talked about how life was going without being on my meds and then here when I once again went back on my meds which is where I currently am. I am happy to report that I don't check the door locks fifty times a night (but I do check them at least twice) and I'm able to sleep through the tiniest of noises without thinking someone is coming to rapture me. Progress at it's finest.

ANIMAL/BABY UPDATE
After our precious black lab went to heaven, we were pretty content not having a dog. Which is weird because the entire duration of my 11+year relationship with Rob, we have always had dogs. But now we are getting the itch, and we want two little lab puppies. But I have questions: such as, who is gonna take them out to pee in the middle of the night? Who is gonna clean up their inside mess? Who is gonna train them to not run away? Who is gonna pay for my lifetime supply of botox? Once I get those questions answered, we can proceed.

As for actual human babies, I had the pro-ceeg a few years ago. I was certain I was done with kids. Two boys two years apart was it for me. And now I'm wishing I hadn't done that because I want a baby so bad! Seriously, if a miracle baby made it's way through, I would be insanely ecstatic. Most likely, (like 99.99976354%) it's not gonna happen, but if it did, I would be in heav. The baby stage was so my favorite.

And there it is. 

Love you, mean it.