Love and hate – a birthday manifesto

Dear husband, today is your birthday. To celebrate your 29 years on our planet, I have arranged a list for you. Things I love about you. Things I love about us. Things I also hate about you and us.

With love.

Part One, Hate.

I hate that you leave all your socks on your side of the bed where I forget to look until there is suddenly a mountain of smelly socks peeking over the mattress.

I hate that you have pretty curly hair and I DO NOT.

I hate that you are so tall that you can find things in the cabinet in two seconds after I have spent thirty minutes tearing pots and pans out into the floor.

I hate that you are so young. Twenty nine. Damn you. Your thirties are coming.

I hate that you can work all the PhotoShop nonsensery and I can do it no more than I can speak Greek.

I hate that I cannot even begin to play you in basketball.

I hate that I cannot stay mad at you for any time. It’s totally unfair.

Part Two, Love.

I love that you are my best friend. Full Stop. Everyone says that they married their best friend, but I don’t think everyone knows what they are talking about because we are on the wavelength.

I love that you (at least most of the time) listen to my opinion. You let me ramble with my psychoanalytic babble and my drawn-from-the-air opinions and what’s more, you agree with me lots of the time. Maybe you’re just pretending, but it’s the shit.

I love that when you cook, you ignore that I don’t like things like mushrooms and onions and weird shallot things and you put them in anyway – but you make them big enough to pick out because you want me to enjoy what you’ve made.

I love that you wait to watch our chef shows until we can watch them together.

I love that you hold onto things you love – like cooking, basketball – and you make a point to do them just for you.

I love that you have friends. I envy that because I don’t have go-hang-out friends, but I love that you do.

I love that you can argue with people like car dealers and bank tellers and people who are trying to sell things for way too much. It’s a strength you have that I lack. I admire that in you.

I love that we have so much more to go.

I love that you are supportive of things l love.

I love that you are mine.


So today, though it may not be the birthday you will remember always, I hope you can stop a minute and realize that today is a big deal because it brought me you. Years before either of us knew. I love you so much. Thank you for being everything.

Guest Thankfulness

(Today the lovely Kelly from MomGotBlog is posting. About all the thankful. I asked her to guest post because I follow her on twitter and you guys….she’s just so cool.)
(looking for the giveaway?)

My 30-Day of Gratitude List-Cliff Note Version

As this is a month that many are doing a 30-day gratitude post, tweet, what-have-you, I thought I would cut to the chase and list them all at once. I am trying to participate in NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month), where I have 30 days to pen a 50,000 word novel. I’m already behind, so this short cut works for me and hopefully you too. You don’t have to wait to see what I am grateful for! WIN!

Ok, here goes in no particular order (other than #1. If they were not first, they may disown me.)

30 Things I am Grateful For:

1. My Family
2. My BFF Kim who makes me laugh, always.
3. My health
4. Morning runs (not the bathroom kind)
5. Coffee
6. Wine & Cheese
7. Good food
8. That I can make good food.
9. Sunflowers
10.Whoever invented peel-n-stick envelopes (I love you)
11. Sunny days spent on the patio
12. That we caught hubs cancer early
13. The ocean
14. Watching old (B&W old!) movies with my father-in-law
15. That we made a ‘Top 3, Must-Have’ Santa list
16. Chasing my dream
17. Making new friends
18. Never having to go camping again.
19. Seeing U2 in concert. Best. Ever.
20. Chocolate
21. Smelling the roses
22. Cereal of ANY kind.
23. My imagination
24. Liking sports
25. A good book
26. Beautiful artwork
27. I can now give rather than receive toys that make noise. Karma.
28. Christmas Music. It makes me happy for 24 days.
29. That I can cry at a commercial.
30. Finishing this list.

Ok, that last one was kind of cheating, but I needed a 30! Some things on this list are silly and some serious…I appreciate ALL things big or small that make up my life. I really am grateful for all of it. As the Thanksgiving Holiday draws near, I hope you will be able to sit for a moment and reflect on all that you are grateful for. Even the silly things! :)

One last bit of gratitude I have is for Emily and asking me to be a guest here! I think she is very cool and am honored that she has invited me to post on her blog! See? Number 17!!
Thanks Emily!!!

Kelly Pugliano | Writer, Blogger
Founder of Mom Got Blog
Contact me today for freelance or advertising needs.

Twitter: @Kpugs
Facebook: Mom Got Blog

I am woman. Hear me… more?

(Last night was the election, but to spare you political yammering, I’ve asked Lindsey from Campfire Song to grace us with her presence. I found her on Twitter, and I think I love her. Also, if you’re new here, you can follow me using one of the buttons on the right. I love it when people do that.)

When I asked Emily for a topic to write about today, she suggested, among other things, maxi pads.

I really wanted to write about maxi pads, just to see if I could do it.

Annnnd, I couldn’t.

But I thought for a few days about her suggestion, and what maxi pads mean in the world today… or at least who uses them.

Here goes – sort of.

I’ve never really considered myself to be a feminine woman. I know I’m attractive and all that, but somehow I’ve always thought of myself as slightly masculine. It might be the short haircuts I sported during my teen years or the fact that I’m an awful dresser or that I don’t have a cutesy voice or that many of my friends are men – I don’t know.

At face value I can identify myself as a woman in terms of being a wife, mother, sexual being – but what power does being “woman” give me? What makes me special to the world as a female? What do I offer that a male can’t?

Femininity can’t be all about hemlines and boobs and a sultry perfume, right?

Are my best qualities what they are because of my gender, or my personality? What makes me different from my husband, for example, might be

• my sensitivity
• my generous spirit
• my ability to make our house a home
• my desire to take care
• my drive to do what’s right, even facing adversity
• my profound ability to talk (much like every other woman, right?)

Recognizing the benefits of the female gender is difficult for me because both sexes have their strengths and purpose. Many of my best (and worst) traits are also shared by men. An individual’s actions don’t represent the entire gender. And gender transformations lend to the idea that femininity might not be all about biology or looks, either.

Maybe it’s… a feeling?

Some women don’t feel like women unless they’re done up in the mornings. I don’t feel feminine without a great hairstyle. For some it’s clothing, others it’s pampering, yet others it’s attention from their men that makes them feel powerful.

To me it seems to be something that’s in our heads. It’s a desire to embrace who we truly are, without conforming to societal expectations, that allows us to truly be feminine.

Have you ever wondered why you were born the sex you are? Or what your responsibility (if any) is to fulfill that role in your life? I’m still figuring out what my femininity is for.

Because some days (like when I’m 40 weeks pregnant or PMSing) I’m sure it’s a curse.

Lindsey is mom to four kiddos under the age of five. She writes at Campfire Song about life as a military wife and SAHM, growing up, social media and funny stuff. She’s @dashingly on Twitter, and she sometimes haunts Facebook too.

Network the net to work

I have no illusions that I am a particularly valuable part of the blogging scene. You might not know it, but the blog scene is hella huge. And I know exactly zero people who are clued into the hardcore blogging universe.

So, you know, that’s cool with me. I blog to speak my voice, and I have integrity – integrity in the sense that if this blog were an actress it would be the classy Julia Roberts type blog who never shows her boobs, as opposed to the skanky Holly Hunter blog who is naked in everything (and please, Holly Hunter, if you ever read this, I think you are great and in reality I can only really think of two movies I’ve seen you naked in).

The truth is, though, that unless you know somebody, or you go viral…well, to get any play you gotta show a little (figurative) boob.

And my blog isn’t giving up its virginity yet. Actually, it probably would but for all my metaphors I’m not really sure what constitutes blogboobs.

So what I’ve been doing, or trying to do, is network. I have joined mommyblog communities, I have chatted up some relative blogstars on Twitter, I comment my flat ass off on virtually every post I read, and I pimp Facebook and Twitter for all they’re worth.

And then when it comes down to it, I’m kind of speechless.

I mean, what’s the point? I want people to read what I write, sure. It’s a vanity thing. But if I know people read it’s also validation. An attagirl, a nudge that I’m doing alright. That I’m not alone in all the nonsense I think and feel and gush about on the Internet.

So while I know people won’t just come to me because I’m here, I don’t want to overdo.

And this blog is considering joining the celibacy club. Apparently that’s where the blogs go to put out.

Better than second place in the spelling bee

You like me!

Sorry today’s post is late and probably most of you won’t see it until tomorrow.

See, I have this routine where I write the next day0


Sorry, Lucy decided to type with her toes.

(see what I did there? Most people would have gone back and deleted the toe typing and continued on like nothing ever happened. Me? I leave it and then tell you about it because I’M JUST THAT REAL, YO.)

Anyway, my routine. I write the next day’s post the night before after I’ve gotten Lucy to sleep, and then I schedule it to autopost the next morning. That way I can sleep till noon and none of you are any the wiser.

Not really. Have I mentioned it’s summer now and I have three children?

Lucy, though, hasn’t wanted to cooperate with the routine lately and so Friday night I was exhausted and forgot to write today’s post.

Nay, I didn’t forget. I simply was too tired to do it. There.


I say all that to say, “Here, it’s Saturday’s post!”

And guess what. I’ve received accolades. Well, accolade.

My friend Genevieve has bestowed upon me an award.

I am thrilled.

So the terms of this award are that I tell you seven amazing things about me and then I award this award to 15 (fifteen!!) other bloggers. So it’s like virtual blog award relay, because I don’t get to keep the blog baton.

Or something.

So, seven amazing things:

1. I hate choosing music. Also I almost never know the title and artist of whatever music I’m listening to or song I currently like. I think that’s why I like soundtracks so much. The music gets chosen and chances are if I liked the movie I’ll like the soundtrack. Done.

2. I want to live in weird places. Josh gets annoyed because whenever we drive past abandoned warehouses or factories or the like, I always mention living there. Do you not think that would be awesome? Because I totally do.

3. I am developing various phobias as I age. Spiders, snakes. All that kind of etc.

4. I love pie.

5. I suck at typing.

6. I just made a list kind of like this the other day, so I’m quitting.

7. Plus this post is coming dangerously close to going the way of last night. So. Tired.

Now here’s the thing. I don’t know fifteen blogs and also I have good friends who blog and what if I forgot one?

So if you have a blog, please link it in the comments and then put this lovely photo on your own blog. Pass the baton, YO.

I Don’t Want To Learn Your Lessons

I know I stopped writing.
I read books and I watch movies and everywhere there are these stories…fantastic, moving, inspired works of art (well, some not so much so – I have been reading Twilight, after all). I suppose I feel a little (or a lot) subpar.

One thing I do a great deal is read blogs. People I know, people I don’t know, people everybody knows. And I have to wonder – why is everyone trying to teach me lessons?

Sure, some of the blogs I read I go to solely to learn. Knitting blogs, yarn and fiber, running, yoga. But these blogs are written by people who either make a living blogging about what they’re teaching me, or physically doing/teaching what they are talking about.

The blogs I’m mostly referring to, though, are just written by random Joes. 9 to 5 schmucks like everyone else, who register a blogspot/wordpress/whatever and spend chunks of their written time condescending.

I don’t want to learn about your religion/weightloss/philosophy/parentingif you call me “Dear Friend” or brother/sister/son/daughter. You’re not Billy Damn Graham.

What’s wrong with being real? With saying, “You know, I got up this morning and made my kids eat PopTarts and told them to play video games just so I could poop in peace,” I mean, hell, I can relate to that!

Maybe the lessonteachers are trying to help the world on some grand scale, I don’t know. I just know I don’t take them seriously.

London Southern Pop Tart Fairy

A few days ago, I wrote a ranty post about the bad parts of my life. About hating money and being grown up. Remember that? I’m sure you do.

Well, in that post I mentioned Pop Tarts. As in, worrying about being able to buy Pop Tarts.

My kids are Pop Tart Nazis. They would eat them every day, for every meal, forever and ever, amen.

In the mornings when we ready ourselves for the world, we are forced to be on a pretty tight schedule…one that consists of my hitting snooze exactly twice, then rising to the kids’ shared room (Ava has a room that was supposed to be hers, but she says it’s “too far, too far ‘way” from Max’s room and ours, so I’m considering making that room into a studio) to huddle under Ava’s covers while she pats my face. We have to be at the school by 7:45 at the latest for the kids to eat breakfast there, which puts us usually in a panicked rush, not helped along by the fact that no matter what I decide to wear that day, I end up changing at least once (usually into something without a buttoned waist). The kids get dressed, faces washed, teeth brushed, etc.

Many days we just don’t make it, and I resort to the happy solution of PopTarts in the truck on the way to school.

Except on days we’ve run out, or budgeted too tightly. Then we’re PopTartless.

The day of the ranty post, I had exactly $1.75 to my name, and we’d run late that morning. I took the kids up for breakfast at school anyway, because we hadn’t had any PopTarts and if they didn’t eat breakfast there, they wouldn’t eat until lunch. I was frustrated and tired and a little embarrassed…hence the post.

A day or two ago, I get a message on my facebook wall from Amanda Gurney, saying that I should be expecting a package from her soon.
My mind raced. I never know what to expect from Amanda, she is the queen of unexpected thoughtfulness, and boxes from her are always a delight.

Last night after rehearsal for The Sneeze, Josh and I were driving home (the kids were still at church with their Nana, so we were just ourselves for a moment), and as we drove past the front of our home to the driveway in the back, I spotted a brown box on the front porch.

“It’s my mail from Amanda! It came!”

I got out of the truck, unlocked the house, and hurried through to the front porch, bumbling out onto the wooden slats and retrieving my cardboard prize, anticipating the smooth familiar handwriting on the board and wondering about the hands that wrote it.

I walked back through to the kitchen, surveying the labels on the packaging and thinking there had to be a mistake.

“But this isn’t from Amanda, this label is…it’s like, mechanical. And it’s from the States.”

Nevertheless, it was my name, mechanical or not, so I opened the top tape and flipped open the box.

And I started to laugh.

Josh pushed his way over to peer past my shoulder, and he began to laugh, too.

For there, nestled in poofy bubble wrap, shipped from New York, and ordered from across an ocean, were boxes and boxes and boxes of Pop Tarts.

Amanda Diane, I love you.

On the day that future Baby Gurney is dragging his/her feet and you’re rushing to dress and get out on time, searching for pressed school uniforms and locating your other trendy oh-so-hip Mary Jane heel (the one that somehow freed itself from your organization), you will understand just how much I love you. And then you’ll laugh, just like I did. And you’ll remember that you made my life a little better. And I am thankful.