About Me

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I'm a working single mom who loves to write in my spare time... so bare with me when there's a lull in the blogging. It means I'm out enjoying my daughter, Elly's, crazy antics!

Monday, December 30, 2013

It's been awhile

I haven't blogged in ages. I've missed it and it's been hard to get back into the groove. I've been so busy living life that it's been hard to put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard).

I've also been struggling to figure out what the hell I want my blog to be about. My life is more than just about being a mother to Elly. She's a hoot, don't get me wrong. And I love her more than anything on this planet (even more than bacon), but I'm more than just a mom.

The struggle then becomes how do I write a blog that is interesting and compelling, that has some kind of central focus about my life that people would want to read without it spiraling into some kind of crazy mommy/sex in the city/dear diary type of blog?

The answer is: I have no freakin' clue.

Here's what my life has been like the last six months:

Running, and lots of it
Mommy guilt
Co-parenting challenges and successes
Watching Elly blossom into an amazing little person with a tremendous personality
Dating- the good, bad and the ugly
Sports watching
Finding myself
Taking new risks and challenges
Oh, and a little knitting in there too.

So the question is, where do I go from here? I mean, the little dating life I do have is insane. I've just decided what my 2014 personal challenge is and it has nothing to do with running or marathons. (Although I will be doing another one of those this year.) Every day Elly says something absolutely hysterical that makes me think she's going to grow up to be Tina Fey. Oh and I'm almost done with the damn sweater I started knitting last year for Elly... and I finished a scarf!

Needless to say, I need to get back to this and I need to figure out what to tell you about. I may start with how I plan to plaster the city of Alexandria with signs looking for a guy I met last week in a bar. I can only imagine how this will turn out.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013


There are certain events in people's lives that you know just what to say when the moment arrives.  Congratulations to the new graduate, what a beautiful baby to the new parents, Mazel to the newly married couple, my condolences when someone passes.  But what exactly do you say to someone when they get a divorce?

It's really weird for me to tell people that I'm divorced.  Now that it's official, I haven't felt the need to make a giant facebook status about it.  I didn't run out and tell everyone I know (well, I did tell my mom and close friends, but ya know...).  There was no single ladies party. 

I'm not sad or embarrassed about it.  I'm not upset that I'm divorced.  I'm not even mad. 

I am content. 

And because of this feeling of contentment, I don't need to announce it to the world.  But when it comes up, I do tell people of my new status.  I think the biggest reason I haven't said anything publicly is because I don't know what to do with the reactions.  Because people just don't know what to say. 

I think the reason people don’t know what to say is because every divorce is different.  Some are terrible and messy and bitter.  Others are drawn out and exhausting (probably like the marriage was).  And some are like mine- neatly amicable.

We went to court, walked out, got a cup of coffee and then cheers’ed each other.  We then went our separate ways and it wasn't a big deal.  We work together pretty well for Elly's sake.  The biggest compliment I think we've had as a divorced couple so far is that Elly's daycare workers can't tell the difference of which parent she's with when she gets dropped off.  They don't know because she's the same no matter what.  I'm not sure if that's an example of our solid co-parenting skills or if we need to chalk it up to her blissful resilience.  Either way, she doesn't seem too phased by it.  And that's good. 

When people ask why we even get a divorce if we seem to be doing much better now, I say it's because we're not married that we get along.  It only works because we're not together. 

I'm happy now.  I feel like a weight is lifted.  I feel relieved. I can focus on my life and my goals and know that I can achieve whatever I want without compromise.  Stoofy isn't a bad guy.  He's not a bad father.  He's just not the guy for me and I'm not the girl for him.  We can't succeed together. 

So for me, when I tell you I'm divorced, a solid congratulations is enough.  I don't need the noisemakers or confetti thrown, because it's not that kind of congratulations.  But I don't need any sorrow or pity.  I'm happy and content.  I'm in a good place and I'm looking forward to the next chapter of my life.  

Monday, April 22, 2013

Earth Day

Today is Earth Day. What did I do for the planet? I remembered to take out my recycling.

Pretty exciting stuff! While it's no highway clean-up or a hemp sit-in, it's something.

I actually recycle regularly. And by regularly, I mean when I stop being lazy and dump my recycle bin from the upstairs patio into the downstairs approved bin that gets picked up about every two weeks.

I recycle just about everything I can. As it turns out, my earth-saving techniques have been honed over the last few years.

But I must confess, my green behavior is pretty selfishly driven.

It started off with turning in pop and water bottles when I lived in San Diego. Unlike Michigan, in California you can turn in just about any beverage receptacle for $.05. Not too shabby.

Then I just got greedy and started taking all the bottles off the ship.

See, on a Navy vessel you have to sort your trash. Contrary to Green Peace's thought, the Navy does its duty to save the planet. All plastic is kept, melted down and then shipped off to be recycled. I just didn't take the bottles to the compactor on the ship. Instead, I'd smuggle them off and turn them in for money. (My Senior Chief flipped his lid when he found out and told me I better not get caught, because he didn't want to hear about it in the Chief's Mess!)

When I moved east, the deposit system wasn't available. So my recycling took a giant step back.

But don't worry, I found another green choice that saved me money. Shortly after moving to Virginia, the area passed a bag tax. You pay more every time you buy something unless you bring your own bag. Then you get $.05/bag back.

I always had a million bags and I'll be damned if I got taxed for shit when using my own bag! That pocket change adds up!

Then I moved to a place that had curb-side recyclable pick up. I didn't have to sort a thing. I didn't have to bag anything. I just had to stick it in the blue trash can and not the green trash can. Perfect! That's easy. And you know what? It saves me money.

How? Because I'm not sticking every cereal box in a trash bag. I'm not flattening every milk jug to get it to fit better in the trash bag. I'm not worried about how I'm going to get the newspaper in the trash.

I just toss it in a bin and it saves room in the trash bag, which means I use less trash bags. Cha-Ching!

Turns out, this whole recycling thing isn't so hard after all... When I remember to wheel the bin out for the week, that is.

How did you celebrate earth day?

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Best worst decision ever

I've made some bad decisions in life.  Any of my high school photos can tell you I don't know how to style my hair. I typically make dinner decisions based off what would best be topped by cheese, not by what's best for my waist line.

But the decision I've made recently is easily the best worst decision ever.

Abby (my BFF) made a bold decision to get motivated and organize a team to run the Marine Corps Marathon this year for the organization she works for. She was apprehensive and gung-ho all at once.  I mean, she's a Marine vet and has run the MCM once before.  It was the organizing a team of 25 people to come out and run in honor of Disabled American Veterans PLUS running a marathon that was daunting for her. 

So I did what every best friend does and said, "Sure! I'll help you."

Somehow (my memory is a little fuzzy how this happened) we got from "That's so exciting! I'm all about helping you organize the team and finding runners," to "Hey! Why don't I run it with you?"

Yeah. I decided to run the Marine Corps Marathon... just like that.

How does that even fucking happen? I HATE running.  In fact, some of my most popular blogs talk about how much I really hate running.  Like really, really hate it.

So why not go ahead and decide I want to run 26.2 fucking miles.  Psssh! No big deal.

Then I started to think about the people I've seen running the MCM when I cheered on Abby. I saw tons of disabled veterans running.  I saw a double-amputee running.  I saw a couple blind guys running it.  I saw guys juggling and girls in tutus. I saw thousands and thousands of others out there running it like it was no big deal.  All in support of the Marine Corps and the sacrifices service members and veterans have made.

That's when I realized that if they can all do it, so could I. I have no excuse in the world big enough to get me out of it.  Because if a guy without legs can run 26.2 miles, then my fat ass needs to get out there and suck it up. 

It helps that I'm running to bring awareness to others about DAV and what they do to support veterans.  It also helps that Abby will be there to support me. And it also really helps when the MCM public affairs team posts videos like this that make me cry and motivate me to do it. Because honestly, I can, I just need to get off my ass and do it already.

So from now until Oct. 27, please expect plenty of bitching and complaining updates about running to go along with the crazy crap Elly does. And if you'd like to travel to the D.C. area to support me along the way, feel free.  Because honestly, I'm going to need it!!!

Linking up this week with Yeah Write. It's a great community for writers who blog and bloggers who write.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Mondays suck

Mondays are terrible.  They flat out suck.  This week especially.

I didn't have a very restful or peaceful weekend.  It's my own fault.  I have 10 million projects and side jobs going on right now and I'm over extended a tiny bit and grumpy about it.  Getting paid for these extra jobs makes me a tiny less grumpy. Coffee and/or booze also helps.

There were some snow flurries when I woke up this morning.  For me, that's not a big deal, for the rest of the D.C. area, you'd think the sky was falling. Traffic sucked even more than usual, which means it's not a great way to start the week. 

And on this particular Monday, the exhaustion from last week, coupled with the non-restful weekend, plus lack of good coffee creamer for my joe, makes for a really crappy Monday.

To add insult to injury, this week will seriously blow at work.  This week I get my formal letter stating Congress officially can't do their job, forcing the Defense Department to drastically cut spending.  And by cut spending I mean cut my pay by 20% starting next month until the end of September.  Fucking glorious.

It's like a pink slip, but worse. It's a slow-moving amber slip.  This is a warning signal to let you know to slow down (especially your spending) and brace for impact. I'm going to have one day off a week to figure out how to live off of 20% less of my income.  (Did I mention that I live in one of the most expensive places in the country to live.  If I could find a job elsewhere with as much career growth potential, I'd move.)

I've begun applying for second jobs.  I've updated my sitter-city profile. I've been taking on crazy ass projects to make extra cash. All in the attempt to survive this. 

What blows my mind is I don't think people across the country understand how this budget crisis can and will affect them.  It's not just going to be me taking a cut.

For example, in my home state of Michigan, the mitten will lose approximately $22 million in funding for primary and secondary education, putting around 300 teacher and aide jobs at risk. In addition about 25,000 fewer students will be served and approximately 80 fewer schools will receive funding. (Don't believe me? Or just want to know more about how much your state is going to lose? Check this out.)

And that's just one state.  People are up in arms about military service members' tuition assistance being suspended because of the budget cuts.  And I get it, I used TA when I was active duty.  But who is worried about the medical care they're not going to get because 40% of the medical staff in military hospitals are furloughed just like me?

Oh, and I love how everyone supports hiring our veterans... even the federal government.  But what they don't tell you is that they've hired us (yes, I'm a vet) and now they're giving us yellow slips.  So much for the support of the country's heroes. (Where's the Facebook petition on that?!) 

It's exhausting to think about how much this is going to suck.  I've been preparing for it for weeks.  But now, today, this Monday, the week is finally here.  The week my life as I know it for now comes to an end and I'm going to have to get creative financially and craft my way out of this financial burden. And right now, there's not nearly enough coffee or hot glue for that!

Mondays seriously suck.

Make Monday a little better, and come check out some great blogs linked up with Mod Mom.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Birds of a Feather

I've been crafting a lot lately.  I'm bouncing around from project to project.  I said I wasn't going to do that, but I just can't help it.  I have crafting ADHD. But I've got a lot of super cute things I'm working on.  The lastest is a super cute owl pillow.

I'm in a few diffent facebook groups (who isnt?). Someone asked if anyone could make this pillow:

Finding stuff on Pinterest to covet but with no way to buy
or instructions on how to make on your own- losing!

As a crafty girl, I responded.  I mean, I can make just about anything I see.  So a bunch of women requested pillows!

Here's what I did:

1) Find soft flannel fabric for the pillow and coordinating felt fabric for the owl body.

2) Cut out owl pieces.

3) Lay out to make sure it all fits right.

Everything cut and laid out.

 4) Start hand stitching all the pieces.

5) Sew the owl to the pillow.

6) Make the pillow and stuff the pillow.

7) Enjoy!

Pillow is done and super cute and soft!

I used felt to make all the owl pieces and then used embroidery floss to do all the owl sewing details.  I did add a "Baked by Betty" tag into the pillow.

I've gotten a ton more felt and fabric to make some more pillows for customers.  I can make them in almost any color based what felt is available.  But first, I need to finish the Jedi capes! Stay tuned for more details on that Star Wars adventure!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Snow Day

We've got a snow day today! YAY!!!!  I love snow days! They're the best.  I'm a Michigan-American and have enjoyed a few snow days in my life.  I probably enjoy them even more as an adult now because I have plenty of craft projects to complete and my DVR is nearly full.

Usually on snow days you get to sleep in.  Turns out that's not the case when you're a parent to a toddler.  I woke up a little after 4 a.m. to start notifying the masses (a.k.a. my job). Elly woke up at 5:51 a.m. to start her day. Awesome.

But you know what? The great thing about snow days is you get to do things you don't normal do.  On this snow day, I'm going to be the kind of mom I always dream to be, but am usually too busy with work to actually be.  I'm going to be the kind of mom who has time for a cup of coffee in a regular mug (not a travel, spill proof mug) in the morning.

I'm going to be the kind of mom who makes freshly baked muffins for breakfast for my daughter.  And I'm going to be the kind of mom who enjoys the day with my daughter doing fun inside activities and hopefully putting on our boots and snow pants and playing in the snow (when it actually accumulates).

Muffins and coffee on this perfect snow day.  I even made them in my heart-shaped tin!

I'm jealous of my stay at home mom friends who get the opportunity to be this kind of mom every day.  They make it look fun and easy (I know it’s not always).  They all seem to have such a great time doing amazing things for their kids.  I’m jealous. There, I said it.

I greatly respect my SAHM friends. They are amazing.  And their choice to stay home and raise their kids is, I’m sure, not always an easy one. I also greatly respect my working mom friends.  They work hard for their families and the sacrifices they make aren’t always easy either. But I’m still jealous.  I’m a single mom now.  I have no other choice but to work. 

As a working, single-mom, there's never enough time in the day for doing everything I want to do as a mom and as a professional.  I’m stuck leaving work at a certain time so I don’t get overcharged by the daycare, even though my work day really hasn’t ended. There's not always time to make homemade dinners from scratch. And there's definitely no time to make muffins in the morning (unless I was on some really awesome drugs and could survive on only a couple hours of sleep).

So this snow day is a blessing.

Tomorrow I'm sure I'll be ready to get back to my job and get back to work, but today I'm going to embrace the snow day and be the mom I always dreamed to be.

Check out all the great work over at Yeah Write Me. It's a place where bloggers who write and writers who blog hang out. And don't forget to stop back over on Thursday to vote for your favorite blog!