Chicken Noodle Soup of Disappointment

My Failed Attempt at Food Blogging

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Well, here I sit on a Saturday night at seven o’clock in the evening, in the softest of soft pants. I should be in my “Betta’ Butt” jeans, bought today, just for tonight’s local gig that all the family and friends have been excited to be able to attend for weeks.

I was so pumped to go, and mere hours before, The Daughter took an odd day shower (very odd for her to take a shower voluntarily, let alone in the middle of the day), then went to bed. Obviously, I checked her head, and wouldn’t you know, a fever on top of complaints of a sore throat. So here I sit watching the third Barbie movie of the night (have I mentioned how delighted I am the The ‘Flix added four hundred and sixty two new Barbie movies) while The ‘Book keeps alerting me of the event going on that I now have to miss.

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My poor sick baby! 

The band wife life comes with loads of disappointment, disappointment because The Husband can’t make it to your things, disappointment you can’t make to his things. It’s always challenging to not hold resentment. It’s frustrating having to stay home and he still gets to go. There rarely is an opportunity when the tables are turned, and you get to go and he stays home or you both stay home together. The show must go on, and just because I cannot go watch gives me no right to be upset with him.

The only way to appease The Son’s disappointment of not going to Grandpas was to let him make his own lemon bars, he is at it right now. The amount of trust in stepping back and letting him take over the kitchen is killing me.

Before I handed my kitchen over to the eleven-year-old, I did make my famous chicken noodle soup, though. Something about my babies being sick brings the nurse out in me. I know, its crazy how nurturing I can be at times. I get the sick bed all set up, and the “sick juice” as my kids always called it (Honey and lemon in hot water).

Then, as always, the chicken noodle soup. I make it every time someone gets sick, I even made it for my momma when she got real sick last year. I can’t just go to the store and get a can of that greasy chicken broth with a couple of mushy noodles in the bottom and weird grey cubes of chicken. It needs more oomph to pull you out of your virus. While making it I thought maybe it would be fun to blog about this. My night is pretty open now, the house is cleaned, and I am really sick of watching the Barbie movies, so why not!

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Blankets and endless Barbie, what more could a girl ask for. 

 

Things you should know about my chicken noodle soup is that I like flavor, when you are all stuffed up and your taste buds are failing you, you need more flavor, more spice, more pepper, get those sinuses cleared. Another is that it is hearty, like, real hearty. Some would argue it is more of a chicken noodle stew. I like lots of big chunks of veggies, whole chicken, and fresh flavors.

But I never have any of that goodness on hand, because you don’t plan on when your kids are going to get sick (obviously). So dry spices, that have been sitting in the cabinet for years, and frozen chicken breasts work.

Something you should know about me: I am not a professional, I am not even a novice. I have, like, three dishes I can successfully make and if it wasn’t for the talented Alton Brown (love that guy) and The Husband (love that guy more), who have taught me all I know about a kitchen, I wouldn’t have even those. I am in no way liable for food you had to throw out because you followed one of my recipes.

Now that the legal jargon is out of the way, let’s get to cooking!

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Enjoy my terrible handwriting and spelling errors, thank the Lord for modern technology and spell check. 

So, first you’re going to start with your locally grown, whole fresh, free range, organic kombucha fed, fryer chicken with cleansed chakras… Or like I said, four to five frozen chicken breasts from the nearest Aldi works just the same.

Go ahead and throw those in a half a stock pot of water, some salt and pepper, and four or five chicken bouillon cubes.

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Boiled chicken, yummy! Note: Please excuse my stained stove and filthy kitchen pictures, I tried to church them up as much as I could but I am not food blogger, obviously. 

While those are boiling chop up (by chop up, I mean cut in big chunks because ain’t nobody got time for a bunch of little dicing). I am really cheap, so I like to utilize all parts of the veggies, go ahead and throw in the celery leaves in with it all, it gives it good flavor and more greens.

But, always peel your carrots. First you have to find the peeler, its like a game of Where’s Waldo. How the hell do I live my life?! How do I function as a human being? This drawer is a metaphor for my life, I swear. Shameful!

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After all veggies are chopped, throw them in a pan (I had to use our Dutch oven because we aren’t messing around here, this is some serious soup) with a little olive oil and sauté for a little while. After you’ve gotten the veggie warmed up go ahead and throw in your seasonings I use the seasonings to taste, I would guesstimate around two full teaspoons (I will sometimes throw in some crushed red peppers also, depending on how compacted our sinus cavities are).

Fry those babies up until they are making sweet hot love in your pan, or until the onions are tender and opaque. While doing that cut up your chicken that should be about done cooking (it doesn’t need to be fully cooked yet) I like to use scissors because I am, again, too lazy to pull them out and chop with a knife when you can just as easily stick a pair of scissors into a pot of boiling water and blindly start cutting.

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Always safety first (don’t try this at home). Notice the steam beading and glistening on my hairy arms. 

When your chicken is all chopped and veggies tenderized, add it all to the chicken water (don’t waste all that flavor and juices) and boil for about 10 minutes. When veggies are completely soft, add noodles (I like using egg noodles best, but all I had was penne) and boil until all cooked.

Voila, you have chicken noodle soup for days! Seriously, you will be eating this for breakfast, lunch, and dinner for the next week. If you imagine this with a whole chicken and fresh herbs it probably would be excellent, but nobody real keeps those things on hand, so you will have to settle for a mediocre soup that still gets the job done, much like my parenting techniques.

Now that culinary artists around the world are cumulatively cringing at my amazing cheffing skills. I will leave you with this…

… Yeah, I got nothing, no profound inspirational tag lines today. Well, I guess I will leave you with the inspirational cost of this soup instead. Everything in our kitchen comes from Aldi, so this recipe will set you back about ten dollars and will feed a family of four three times over. Profound.

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Seriously, ninety percent of my food comes from the greatest grocer in the world! 

Bon appetit!

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Like I said, best your gonna get from me. Food blogger? More like failed blogger.  

 

Tales From The Puberty Crypt

Run From The Stank, Hide From The Filth!

I love my Friday mornings, I get to sleep in, send The Husband off to work, wake the kids up and take them to school. Then, at last, I get two uninterrupted hours of coffee and blog time to myself before I head to work. Most, which is used on Facebook, because I don’t do time management well (so now you all know the reason for the low-quality blog I run here).

But, I am not blogging about my blog this beautiful crisp autumn morning, I want to address a more concerning matter. One I noticed this morning as I was dropping my preteen son off at school, as I gave him a nurturing motherly kiss atop his greasy, musty mop head, and watched him run off in his broken down, stinky sneakers.

which, I swear I just bought him a month ago (so please don’t pity him for his parents who don’t care enough to get him new shoes, I am just refusing to buy a new pair every freaking month because he can’t keep at least one freaking pair of shoes in good condition, and he doesn’t care enough to get with the program).

He ran off in his sneakers, barely brushed teeth, ill-fitting t-shirt, and sweat pants, because apparently now he doesn’t like the feeling of all the nice jeans I got him this school year. I promise, people, I don’t nag him half as much as I complain on here.

But it hit me, at that point, nothing can prepare you for the prepubescent stank the follows every child from the age of ten and beyond. The filth, the smells, the illogicality, and their utter lack of caring.

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It really is worse than you could imagine! 

 

I really thought I would be able to handle this age, I am not a clean freak, and am quite lackadaisical when it comes to sanitary qualities but these kids really have one over me. I mean how does one spill a cup of pickle juice in their room?

Oh, OK, it was a melted pickle pop you made from the leftover pickle juice that melted while you guys were playing video games. Well then, the food ban is back on, no food in your rooms, nowhere but the kitchen will there be food allowed!

I can guarantee the cease fire only lasts a day or two before they start smuggling food back in their rooms like the couple of dirty little rodents they are.

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Filthy little creatures!

Side note: do you know what pickle juice soaked dirty carpet in an eleven-year-old boys room starts to smell like after a while? A lot like him armpits I frequently have to remind him to deodorize, or as he so cleverly coined the phrase, “Deo the B.O.”.

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Here you can find them in their natural habitat. The barn is the perfect place to mask their odor from prey and parents, alike.

I really thought I would be able to handle this because I knew his father as a teenager. The boy I sat next to in math class, the boy who once told me he was going to see how long he could go with-out showering… somewhere in my teenage girl subconscious, I thought “hey, he seems like a catch, this guy is going places” I was right, though, he was and still is a catch and I love him still with all the smells.

I ended up telling him “Dude, you stink, go take a shower tonight” he was about a week in. This is also the guy that had a turtle living in a kiddie pool in his bedroom, and I won’t go into what was under his bed. Stinky, illogical, teenagers. His mother is a wonderful, strong woman.

I am hoping to have half her strength as I raise my teenagers, because the daughter isn’t any better! When cleaning her room this summer, we found half eaten melted candy from last Halloween and Christmas. I swear she is the only kid who doesn’t candy (she prefers the pickle pops). The mice must have liked it, though, because we also found a nest, in an old shoe, hidden away in the corner of her bedroom. Unfortunately, the baby mice did not survive the wreckage and wrath of a ten-year old girls bedroom.

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Seriously, run, hide, fear the preteen girls bedroom!

Rest in peace, little rodents.

…the mice, not the kids, guys!

They even find ways to be gross while sleeping. I am usually out the door before my house is awake, so I get to kiss my sleeping angel’s goodbye every morning (except for my blogging Fridays, of course). Before my coffee, way too early in the morning, and before my stomach has nerved up for the day.

I have learned to keep my nose closed during these farewells. I don’t know what kind of gasses and oral bacteria’s grow while they sleep but it’s all hot boxed in their thousands of messy layers of blankets (because of course they aren’t going to make a bed, I am lucky they keep a bottom sheet on the mattress), mouths wide open, their hair all wet and unwashed, smelling of old church basements and wet dog. Half the time still wearing the clothes they have worn for two days now (only on the weekends, my friends).

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I really don’t know why they smell like dog all the time.

So, this is the best I can paint the image of raising preteens. And I swear, like I said before, as much as I complain on here, I just go with it most of the time. The best advice I can give anyone coming up on these amazing years of parenting is steel yourself, because if you thought those diapers and vomit were bad, you’re in for a treat. Relax and remember it will pass, they don’t stay in junior high forever. Dear Lord, I at least hope not.

Lastly and mostly, keep a sense of humor, because if you can’t laugh at your kids, you guys won’t survive, and more importantly they might not either.

Dress Code

Wearing Your Band Shirt

If anyone sees me in the same t-shirt every time they run into me, you know, the one with the band logo on the front, don’t be concerned, I do keep up on the laundry and I can afford clothing. I promise you, it at least smells fresh every time I put it on. In all honesty, even though it looks like I am wearing the same damn shirt all the time, it’s just that I have an unlimited supply, I do have more than one of the same shirt. They just happen to be all from the same band. Conveniently, the band I am married to.

My last count was five: pink, white, and three blacks. I am literally a walking billboard. In my defense, they are so comfy, and I can get as many as I like (not really, like I said before, band wives still pay) but they are there, so I buy them, and wear them, everywhere.  As do the kids, and the husband. We might as well get our family pictures in them. Sometimes we will all walk out of our bedrooms and it’s a new episode of bitch stole my look.

The son and I matched at his junior high orientation. He loved that! He is always ready to support the band, not so much with matching his Mamma. I told him I wasn’t changing, though, I was too comfortable at that point and that would have taken too much energy. He wasn’t changing, either, because he wanted to wear it for his school picture, starting his junior high years off on the right foot. We walked into that high school slow-mo style, made sure we were known. Flying our colors high.

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The kid found his locker, I think surviving the high school will be a breeze for this little bad ass.

I was probably feeling a little cooler than he was, or cooler than he thought I was.

Sometimes I plan this look, if we are going somewhere new where I can spread the word, I don’t ever mind a shameless plug. Vacations are a great time to plan some band t-shirt wear, not only for the husband’s band but other locals I love. You’d be surprised at how many people have stopped me (or another fan) to comment on a band shirt. Then, once a person sees something they like, they usually will Google it. Spread their names far and wide, I say.

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Onward, children, we have a band to promote and mountains to do so!

Sometimes the band t shirt is because I am too lazy to put on anything nice, and like I said, these shirts are so comfy and I really like the fit. I make anything look good, so I can get away with wearing band shirts every day.

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They are great for just cleaning the house, having mental break downs, and self medicated-ice cream-life breaks.

I do have a rule to wearing my shirts to shows, though. I don’t wear the band shirt to local shows, unless it’s a competition type show. You see, a show is a night out for this girl, and this girl likes to look good occasionally. Cute top, cute jeans, cute boots. If the show is local enough where everyone already knows their name I don’t need to go full support. They got that covered.

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There is enough merch to promote themselves, they don’t need me to sport a shirt all the time, and seriously, a girl needs variety!

I will, however, wear the band shirt if the show is farther down the road. They are a little unheard of, or a competition type of show where your support is vital, where their name and logo are a force that needs to be reckoned with. That is when the shirt, the wrist bands, the whole uniform comes out. Because, we gotta represent.

Band shirts are not just a way to express yourself with the music you love, but also a way to support your favorites. Purchasing one also is helpful to the bands account (trust me, merch can be a bands life line sometimes). General rules of band shirts are: buy it because you love the band, wear it because you look good in it, and always express yourself with the music you love.

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It was a hot day on the deck with the fam (isn’t she a doll?), always express yourself, and keep cool!

 

And maybe pack a few the next time you go on a trip.

Living Fearlessly

When tragedy strikes

I got a glimpse of it on the news, when turning my laptop on and getting my hustle ready for work that morning. I only heard about it through talk throughout work that day, and I hadn’t realized the severity of it all until I got home that afternoon.  Then it hit me, watching the videos, the news reports, and the posts. The same feeling I got with the attacks of September 11th years back and columbine years before that, and so on and so forth.

Again, the world stopped and our hearts shattered, no one doesn’t feel it. The wave of odd emotion, humanistic urge to mourn for those we don’t even know. To feel fear, anger, sorrow, and confusion for a situation that isn’t anywhere near you.

I felt it all, relief, followed by guilt that we were the lucky ones who hadn’t felt worse. My family is still here, we are all safe.

And the questions flooded. How could this happen? How will these people ever go on with their lives? How do I explain this to my children? How do we step foot out our doors in the morning feeling security of the world around us?

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Time keeps moving but it seems to stop on days like these.

It is a terrifying world we live in and getting scarier by the day. Knowing that my husband gets on that stage, just like the ones at the harvest festival in Las Vegas or Arianna Grande in Manchester and many other concerts that have been targeted, is terrifying still. The only thing that can give me peace is the thought that he works on a much smaller scale, for now.

We shouldn’t have to fear a concert. A large group of people coming together for their shared love of music shouldn’t be an invitation for the insane, but a place of harmony. I shouldn’t fear for my husband, or worry if I should take my children to see him play in case someone picks that venue to take their anger and hate out on.

Music should always be a place of peace, a place in time where we can connect, let go of our frustrations, our fears, take a moment to step out of our heads and enjoy. It is devastating to think that we can no longer fully enjoy the heart and soul of what makes us all flow.

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Music should always bring us comfort, it should be home to where we can gather and enjoy. 

My heart goes out to all the families of the victims, and to the musicians, I am sure they carry their share of grief after such a horrific event. No one should fear sharing something they love, but we do, every day. Marathons, festivals, rallies, and so on. We, as humans gather to share, to comfort, to love, and to enjoy.

How do we keep going after so many hits we take as humans? Life is so fragile. Isn’t there a way we can wrap it up and put it up somewhere safe, so it doesn’t break anymore?

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There really isn’t. We can stay safely in our homes, keep hidden from all the scary pieces of the world out there, tucked away safely where no one will hurt us. But that is not life, there is no living in that.

After the many, many thoughts, prayers, tears, and hugs that day, I swore, as I have done many times before, that I will not let fear keep me from sharing what I love. As we have all done in the past, dust ourselves off and go back in.

We risk our lives every morning when we wake up and our feet touch the floor. We also prove to the world that we could survive another day when our feet hit that floor. We shout it from the rooftops every day our eyes open, we will not be afraid!

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This will not stop us from concerts, from running, from music. From love. From gathering, and sharing, spreading our love. Hold tight, my friends, the storm is not over, but we can weather it well, together.

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Battle of the Sexes

The complicated puzzle that is a relationship

What a shit storm this past week has been, the week before school starts for our fifth grader, last year for us in the elementary, sad. The sixth grader has his first year in the high school, so bittersweet.

I have been to open houses, and registration nights, and oh, dance class started also. There has been welcome back picnics, and hair appointments, and back to school shopping, which I like to wait until the day before to scrounge around in a panic to try and get everything ready. It keeps us all on our toes.

Of course, as with most big, strung out weeks, cram packed with all the crap I cannot avoid as a parent, The Husband’s was just as packed with band adventures (it’s like he plans it that way). The latest being a gargantuan of a mobile they planned on cruising around in that weekend, that had a list twice as long as mine to fix before they could get it on the road.

So, on my free nights (because I get a lot of those, right?) my only choice was to help out or be left behind and I didn’t want to spend another evening alone. Which meant, the only night or so I had available was with a paint brush and tape. Trying not to lose my damn mind with my two precious pre-teen and pre-angst angels that were trying their hardest to “help”.

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One part of my bickering angsty clan that was trying their best to drive me absolutely insane while the guys were practicing. I was putting myself in some compromising positions, there is a lot of nooks and cranny’s to a campers interior.

I was exhausted, frustrated, over worked, stressed out and wanted to blow up. I was tired of having to do it all alone, I was sick of being put second, and I wanted to send the worst shit text to The Husband, but I stopped and remembered that this was my choice.  I chose to be with a musician, and that comes with its share of carrying the load so he can travel, play, and record.

Is this fair? No, hell no, and you feel it. The pressure of knowing you’re doing it alone. It was a choice I made when we started dating, a choice consciously made when we got married, and a choice that I knew full well what I was getting into when we had children.

It was a choice we made together, and as much as I wanted to scream and yell, I knew it wouldn’t do any good, they already planned the weekend gig, they were already packing to go. It was pointless, so I took a deep breath and I texted him. I told him I loved him and missed him a lot.

And you know what? He missed me too, he was feeling it too. We live together and barley see each other during these times. It doesn’t just affect me, he is in this too, but this is his life. He could walk away, but neither of us want that for him. For us.

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Sometimes we do get to spend time together. I love watching him do his thing and that makes it all worth it.

The main thing that softened the blow and warmed my heart this past week also, was throughout the chaos of it all was that he was adamant about making sure he was there to take our son to pick out his first instrument for sixth grade band. He wanted to share that moment with him, and I understood that he can’t do all of it, but he tries his hardest to be there for the moments that most count.

In our many years of all our trials I have observed that most men want support, and most women want reassurance. And that there isn’t too much of a difference in these two marital securities. Men want to know that at the end of the day, they have someone cheering them on. When I first approached this theory, I thought it literally meant be his cheerleader.

Ok, I cheered in high school, I can do this. And I texted him throughout the day with “I am so proud of you” and “I appreciate everything you do” until he asked me to stop. That wasn’t what he wanted and let’s be honest it can make the best attention whore feel uncomfortable.

After stepping back and reevaluating I realized one thing in all the books I have read and seminars I have taking about the male/female brain (my work in early childhood education has given me a lot of time to study brain development, and I totally nerd out on it), is that men are doers, they don’t need to be showered with words and affection. They need a foot rub, or joining in on their most favorite activity. In our case, going to see them play, helping set up the merch table, understanding that what they do is hard on them also.

Women need words, we like to talk, talk about our day, talk about our feelings, talk about every aspect of our lives and how they work and who is where and why we are mad and so on and so on and so on…  we like to listen too, we want to understand and be understood. That is what makes a relationship tick for us.

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Let’s face it, males and females don’t necessarily fit, that is why it takes work, support, and dedication.

What we all want is companion, and what we get is confusion. You see, the battle of the sexes is real. Misunderstanding of what each other needs is the struggle, but if we remember to work together, our love becomes easier when we remember we are on the same team.

 

 

 

Dropping it Like it’s Hot

and other wisdoms I have learned in my thirties

This post contains affiliate links, I receive no compensation if you make purchases using this link

It’s my birthday month! I am not super into my birthday, at this age it’s like, whatever. There is something about waking up that morning, though, you still get that warm fuzzy feeling left over from your childhood. The “it’s my birthday” feeling. Then knowing (or hoping) your husband will roll over and wish you a happy birthday, or you go downstairs and your children will remember, or that text from your mom, and anticipating all the Facebook wishes. It always feels good, to know you’re remembered, especially when you are the absolute worst at giving out birthday wishes (guilty).

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With my two most excellent sisters who threw me the best Gatsby (30th) birthday a girl could ask for! 

I think it is safe to say I am officially into my mid-thirties… no significant number but ebbing in at the mids for sure. OK, I am thirty-four, but seriously, I don’t care. There is no shame in my age game. I am not a ‘still twenty-nine’ gal, I wear my thirties like a badge of honor. Everyone should! It is a beautiful decade from what I have seen of it so far. Thirty and flirty is true, flirt with life in your thirties, you should, you deserve it, you made it through your twenties.

Your twenties suck, let’s be honest. Sure, you’re having fun, you still have your friends and have energy to go drop it like it’s hot, but I like to describe your twenties like the junior high of your adulthood. You think your top shit, just out of elementary, a bad ass adult, but your awkward, and you don’t know what you want out of life nor do you know what life wants out of you. You don’t see it until you hit thirty then you look back and realize you were awkward, you didn’t know what you were doing, and you made a lot of mistakes. At least this was my experience.

You will keep making mistakes, don’t get me wrong, but you will just be a little less awkward at it in your thirties. My experience is a little different being that I started as a younger mom, so during my awkward, uncomfortable, middle school stage of adulting I threw in parenting, which makes you question even being a functioning human being all together. But I survived and got out alive, children still intact, and The Husband and I just barely holding on and white knuckling through the twenties.

Now in my thirties, I have been on this ride a few times, we have visited the proverbial Cedar Point quite a lot and even though the rides are always fun, we know most (MOST, we are still talking about life here) of the dips and turns, or at least which way to lean when you see them coming up around the bend and when to pose for the camera as your flying by. So, I thought, with all my wisdom in my old age I would pass on some of the most important things I have learned in my thirties to you.

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Sharing my womanly wisdom with all of you. You can thank me later. 

The most important is that you can still drop it like it’s hot past thirty, it just might not be as easy to bring it back up. I promise you, though, you will still look as good doing it as you did in your twenties. The best part about this is that in your thirties you stop caring so much about how good you look doing it, it’s fun and you don’t give a shit anymore.

Speaking of dropping it like it’s hot: this one is dropping it to a more serious note. Learn to wear your heart on your sleeve. I spent most of my twenties being emotionally constipated. I always watched what I said on social media because I didn’t want people to think I was crazy, or too loving, or that I had feelings. I never wanted to show any PDA because I didn’t want to make people uncomfortable, nor did I ever want ANYONE to see me cry. Heaven forbid I have emotions.

Now, I have realized that, well, once again, I don’t care anymore. If I love someone, or appreciate them, I am going to let them know. If I am sad I am going to cry. If I am happy I am going to cry. If I really like a song on the radio I am probably going to cry (you cry a lot in your thirties, but its good cries). I laugh harder, I hug tighter, and yes, I post all my emotions online and stopped giving a flying flit. And you know what? I am happier, and I think everyone around me likes me more.

Next: it is not selfish to take time to yourself, it is not selfish to put your husband before your children, it is not selfish to not be completely involved in every aspect of your child’s life. You are not a bad mom for saying “I am not signing you up for football because I don’t want to do it”. They are ten, you are the adult. They will not hate you forever and they will probably love you more when you are not completely burnt out and able to enjoy them instead of zombie-ing your way through their childhood, grumbling as you drive them from activity to activity.

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Just say no! 

Tell your children no, hell, tell others no also. Be honest with everyone but be more honest with yourself. If you just don’t want to do it, say that. You can say no, save yourself sanity, and go get a fabulously guilt free massage instead (this happens to be The Husband and my favorite place to go, if you are in the mid-Michigan area). It won’t make you any less of the fabulous thirty-year-old you are, and you are fabulous at thirty, so treat yo’ self, and just say no once in a while.

Lastly and more of being honest with yourself: Are you really ever going to have that bikini body? Does it really matter anymore? No! Are you happy and healthy? Because in your thirties, you don’t care anymore. I was always so worried about plucking, exfoliating, polishing, pulling, tucking, moisturizing, calorie counting, exercising, and covering everything up. Guess what? I don’t care anymore, and it feels amazing!

The only thing I am mad about now is all the time and energy I wasted on worrying about my outters when I should have been focused on my inners. I love every ripple, lump, and jiggle my body has. Every wrinkle and grey hair tells the story of how I have lived, laughed, and loved, and I don’t take an inch of that for granted.

So, remember to wear your thirties with pride, don’t hide your age. Be proud of how far you’ve come, how much you have learned, and how awesome you are!

 

The Dynasty of Music

How my grandfather inadvertently is the reason my husband plays.

We are going to have a little history lesson today, because I LOVE history, and this is a cool story about The Husband and my families. The Husband and I grew up together in a very small town, the same little farming town both of our grandparents grew up in, and our great grandparents, and so on. We went to school together, the same school our families attended. Our families even had farms right down the road from each other. We have some very deep roots here in our lovely rural mid-Michigan village, and that is where our rockin’ story begins.

As I mentioned back in my first blog, my grandpa played an upright bass in a western swing band throughout the ‘50’s and 60’s. I, unfortunately, never got the chance to hear him play it. I only saw this larger than life beast of an instrument and an old black and white picture sitting on a small table next to it. The fiddle was always tucked behind a bed in the upstairs of the old farm house, covered under an old sheet. As a child, my cousins and I would sneak over and peak at it, plucking the thick strings quietly, letting off its thunderous tones. Fortunately, the rest of our big, Irish catholic family was being naturally too loud downstairs to hear us messing with Grandpas fiddle. It still sits in the upstairs of that old farm house, now occupied by my parents, it seems the only place it should live, relocating it just doesn’t seem right. It’s a bit more weathered these days, but a beautiful steadfast remembrance of my childhood memories and my grandfather. With the exception of my Grandmother talking about her “band wife” experiences (which are much different from the 2017 version I am living) I don’t remember much of anyone talking a whole lot about it, how he came about playing, or anyone else in the band. So, this is where the story begins for me, my grandfather and his big upright fiddle.

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My Grandfather and his big, beautiful bass. I wish I could have be able to watch him play.

I do know, after some fishing, the band played at town halls, old stages, and barn dances across rural mid-Michigan. One being a barn down the road, a family close with ours, the same family in which I would one day, far in the future, be deeply and legally (maritally) tied to. Where my future father-in-law (just a child at this part of the story) saw him play. He says my Grandpa was amazing. “I love watching those guys play, but especially the way your Grandpa hammered on those strings of that big bass.” He told me.  This inspired my father-in-law to try out the bass, as a teenager in the 60’s western swing would not have been a sound music choice, nor would an upright bass, so he went with the electric bass. He still plays to this day, he played in some great local cover bands. His lovely wife, my mother-in-law, even sang for them and played a little percussion. One of my childhood memories of my father in-laws band playing was at our towns (something)centennial celebration, right in the saw mill that sits next to our home now, the home my husband grew up in, and his father before him (roots, people, lots of roots here). I am sure the little boy, my future husband, was running around somewhere as well. As a teenager, they would play at my uncles annual Halloween bash, at this point the future husband was most definitely there, sneaking out back with the other group of teenagers (which included me) to get into teenage trouble, it’s all laughable now, but then I was only a starry-eyed teenager, pining for his attention, trying my hardest to act cooler than I really was. Thank dear, sweet, baby Jesus he actually finds my awkward, straight laced personality somewhat charming and irresistible… I think.

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My father-in-law and his bass. His archives for music is pretty amazing. He’s like the encyclopedia of classic rock.

Before that, though, there was that little boy (one of six), who watched mother and father on the stage with the same inspiration his father had as a child watching my grandpa. With a little guidance from his dad he taught himself to play bass, and with each ‘generation’ they take the music a little further. It now melts my heart to see our son watch him play, and practice with his dad. I wonder if he will follow through, if our son will take the music even further than his most talented father has. It also warms my heart to think that my grandfather is, inadvertently, the reason my husband now plays bass. Sure, it was his own hard work and dedication, it was his father’s own ambitions, but along the line, my grandfather was an inspiration. Our roots run so very deep, an intertwine in a dance that has been written for us in a way that amazes me every day. My husband has almost been chosen for me, but I am getting away from the coolest part of our love story. Of the very beginning of The Husbands journey to music love, a story that keeps writing itself.

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And finally, The husband and his bass. Always learning, always challenging himself… and, I mean, damn, I am pretty lucky!