My new favorite word is husband

Heeeeey there, Blog Friends!

I went and got married on you last month, and obviously I’m a brand new lady with a whole new personality. 

I’m lying about that last part. I’m the same me. Just way less stressed than I was during that whole wedding planning bullshit.

Our wedding was magical, and I can’t wait to tell you all about it, but first…let’s talk about how much more awesome the word husband is than boyfriend. 

I’ve been using it a lot on the twitter, and it’s pretty fucking magical.


It feels like using the word, “husband” has more clout than the word boyfriend. Like when we were in a bar in Belgium. Brian was getting drinks at the downstairs bar, and this guy starting hitting on me from across the room. I must have looked super sexy hunting pokemon on my phone or something. When he popped up creepily behind me in the middle of a selfie and asked if I wanted a drink, I told him my husband was getting me one. After an awkward 27 seconds, he walked away. And when Brian returned, I gave him a big ole smooch. 


Honeymoon at versaille

Or when we were in Disneyland Paris, and I went down to breakfast solo and asked to bring a take away box to my husband who slept through breakfast.

Because it’s important to ensure that your spouse is fed and happy. As my husband, it’s Brian’s job to make sure I’m properly fed at all times. I was just trying to return the sentiment.

Apparently, we spent a lot of time and energy on food during our honeymoon.

So far things are off to a good start. Three weeks of marriage, and I think I’ll keep my new husband.

I’m pretty confident I’m doing the wife thing right. I’m really good at being sexy.

Obviously, Brian is incredibly lucky to have me. Hopefully, he likes the word wife as much as I like the word husband.

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

Wedding Comeuppance is Upon Me

You guys. I’m a little concerned. With my pending nuptials coming up faster than I can say September 16, I’m starting to realize that this is time for a little payback. From my friends and family.

14 things that people are going to do at my wedding

You see, it may surprise you, but I’m not always the most well-behaved wedding guest on the block. I’ve done my fair share of things that brides don’t just forget. And now I see that my comeuppance is surely upon me. Here are a few things that could happen that wouldn’t surprise me…but may irritate Brian to no end.

Someone or 30 someones aren’t going to RSVP. I’m going to have to hunt them down via text, email, or gasp an actual phone call. Bonus points if it’s a member of my bridal party.

Someone’s going to make hilarious commentary through the ceremony. I’m sorry it’s not in a church, MOM.

Chrissy and Three makin' jokes

Someone’s going to injure themselves. It just wouldn’t be right if someone doesn’t fall down, scrape their knee, ruin their tights, and possibly twist their ankle. Bonus points if it’s me.

Someone is going to bring their own booze. I mean, we’re having bombass open bar, AND allowing people to bring drinks to the ceremony, but you never know who’s going to decide they need a magnum size bottle of white zin by their side…bonus points if it’s a member of the bridal party…

Bottles of wine

Honestly, guys, learn from my mistakes. Bring a twist off bottle.

Someone’s going to bring an embarrassing date. Who complains about the bar and says something on the wedding video like, “I’m  sorry.” when asked to give a message to the bride and groom.

Someone’s going to convince my dad to buy him or her a bottle of wine. Bonus points if it’s a member of the bridal party.

Quirky Chrissy's dad

It’s really hard for this guy to say no to a pretty face.

Someone’s going to eat all the passed hors d’oeuvres. But if they know what’s good for them, they’ll save me a bacon wrapped date.

Someone’s going to get stupid drunk. Okay…probably a lot of someones. Bonus points if it’s before dinner.

Someone’s going to talk loudly through the speeches. A word to the wise, my matron of honor doesn’t fuck around, and her speech will probably be brilliant. And she might hit you over the head with a Corona bottle if you talk when she’s talking.

Someone’s going to stack a bunch of glassware on their table as a point of pride. I’m actually looking forward to the leaning tower of glassware part deux, you guys.

Someone’s going to steal glassware. Or centerpieces. Or the wine key from the bartender. I can’t be the only one who went through a klepto phase…

Someone’s going to spill wine on me. Or ice cream. Or a plate full of food. Bonus points if it’s one of the servers.

Someone’s going to take their bra off. In the reception room. In front of Brian’s dad. Bonus points if it’s a member of the bridal party.

Someone’s going to be a bouquetzilla. I mean, someone needs to take my place. I’m leaving an empty hole in the universe, here.

catching the bouquet

Yes. That’s me.

Triple secret bonus points if one person manages to accomplish all or most of these things for this one wedding. Pookie, I’m looking at you.

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

The Fucks Are Flying Today. Get it Together.

Listen…I’m not really one to get super political, but what the fuck is wrong with the representatives of the Republican party?

what is wrong with the republican party and why are they against gun control

I’m pissed. I’m sick with disgust. And fuck if I don’t need to let a dozen plus F bombs fly right now.

The right to bear arms does not mean you have to give free reign to anyone in the country with a motherfucking heartbeat.

You need a license to drive a fucking car, and if you screw up, it takes a lot of work, and a lot of money, to get it back.

You need to jump through hoops of fire to adopt children whose parents didn’t want or couldn’t raise them.

Want to buy alcohol? You sure as fuck better have an ID on you, even if you could easily pass for the parent of a 12 year old.

Need Claritin D at your doctor’s insistence because you are hella allergic to everything? Fuck you. You better sign your life away and hit up the pharmacy once a week to get your fix, because a couple of assholes used it and a shit load of other ingredients to make a drug that only harms THEMSELVES.

Want to travel to Canada? Better get a passport. Oh don’t forget, it takes months to acquire one of these documents.

If you’re planning on rescuing a dog, you better prove you’re going to be able to take care of it and keep it and other people safe.

Want to get on a plane to see your mother, father, aunt or uncle? You better not even think of bringing a bottle of water or a pair of fucking nail clippers with the sharp (and oh so dangerous) file inside it.

Teachers. Aids. Anyone who works with children is required to have a background check.

But guns? Ehhh let’s just give that shit away. No big deal. What’s the worst that could happen?

  • 49 people dead and 53 people injured in one fell swoop at an LGBT night club.
  • 14 dead and 22 wounded in San Bernardino, CA.
  • 3 dead; 9 injured at Planned Parenthood.
  • 9 people killed in a CHURCH.
  • 20 children between 6 and 7 years old and 6 adults who dedicated their lives to children dead and two injured adults at an elementary school shooting.

Hate crimes. Terrorism. Mass Shootings. I don’t care what the everliving fuck you call it. DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT.

What? You think it’s okay to throw away someone’s prescription shampoo before boarding a plane, but it’s not okay to make someone get a background check before buying a DEADLY WEAPON?

What the fuck is wrong with you?

You called the Democrat’s protest a publicity stunt. What the fuck do you think everything you do in the government is? A publicity stunt to keep your office or advance your members or show the country who’s the motherfuckin’ boss. Grow up, and admit that your childish response to Democrats who are trying to do something is all about your ugly power struggle. Quit hiding behind laws written two hundred and thirty years ago, before guns had the power to kill multiple fucking people with a single shot. More people died of disease in The Revolutionary War than from gun shot wounds. I doubt that would be the case today. Unless they needed Sudafed.

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

Fighting Jealousy: Slaying My Green-Eyed Monster

When our air conditioner broke, we had to turn the air off for a few hours. It happened to be one of the hottest, most humid days Chicago has seen in a while. As I was coming into the house from outside, I felt the cool relief of our well-insulated home. The humidity was gone and the temperature felt lower.

Shortly after coming inside, I went down to the basement to help my boyfriend fix the air conditioner. Not 30 minutes later, I walked back upstairs to grab something, and was hit with a wall of hot and stuffy air from the exact same space that was cool less than an hour before.

The temperature hadn’t changed drastically. There was no rapid rise in humidity. But coming to that same middle ground from the opposite end of the temperature spectrum modified my perspective. I felt that the temperature was warmer because I was experiencing it from the cold angle while earlier it felt cooler because I had experienced it from the hot angle.

Shortly after experiencing this weird body temperature conundrum, my brain started connecting some crazy dots. That same physical change in perspective can be applied to emotional perspective. It was an analogy that physically made sense to me. And there are so many other ways to consider how your perspective affects your life.

The same situation can be completely different for two people or even the same person at a different time in his or her life. It all depends on our current perspective.

slaying my green eyed monster

I used to get ridiculously,  unequivocally jealous of other people. I coveted what they had, whether it was more blog followers, a book deal, money when I was broke, a relationship when I was single, vacations, etc. My jealousy held no bounds. I would think horrible things, like why can’t I have that? or I deserve that; why is it theirs, not mine?

My green-eyed monster was uuuuuuugly. I hated her, but I didn’t know how to slay her. I knew I was in the wrong, but for the life of me couldn’t make it stop.

And then one day, it hit me over the head like a pile of rocks. It was recent, and I’m ashamed to admit how recent. But it was something the unbelievably beautiful Samara said. At the wrong time, her words may have gone completely over my head, but at the time she said them, I was in a very solid place. I was surrounded by strong, brilliant women who were supporting each other. It was after I began really reading a lot of deep, heartfelt essays that put my own world into a different light. I had a new perspective and didn’t even realize it had happened.

So when Samara said something along the lines of, Why does anyone feel the need to compete with each other? We should be building each other up. There is enough success for all of us.

And oh my God did that resonate through every fiber of my being. It made sense on such a deep and powerful level, that I began to see more clearly the way to remove that green-eyed monster from my soul.

Even further still, the aphorism, “a rising tide lifts all boats,” which is often used in reference to economic changes was mentioned countless times this summer in reference to the writing community I call home. If we support each other, cheer each other on, help each other out, we are a part of the tide. And this can be applied to any aspect of your life.

We can all slay our green-eyed monsters.

Does this mean I never get jealous? Of course not. I’m only human. But I can be jealous without releasing that ugly kraken from within me. Instead, I try really really hard to isolate those twinges of jealousy before they overtake all of me.

When has your perspective changed how you react or respond to a situation? How do you battle jealousy? What inner-demons are you fighting with?

This piece was originally published on Sisterwives Speak.

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

The 3 Best Reasons to NEVER Dye Your Hair at Home

As you may or may not have known from my glamour shots, I’ve been dying my hair since I was 12. I started out with highlighting and going blonde(r)…but eventually went dark…then finally the ginger set in.

I’ve gone to professionals, had friends do my dye jobs, and done it myself. I’ve done it all.

Of the three, I obviously prefer the first. But I’d been known to frequently do my own hair (typically when I was broke). Now, I have a relationship with a hair stylist, like a grown up. And I could never cheat on her.

I used to be pretty awesome at it. I mean, dying your own hair blonde is no big deal. The blonde dye doesn’t really stain anything. It cleans up pretty easily…

After several attempts at dying my own hair, I finally only let a stylist handle my mane. Theses are the 3 reasons not to dye your hair at home as learned from my own experiences.

Reason # 1 to Never Dye Your Hair at Home: Stains

I did the auburn/brunette thing… That got a little trickier. I may or may not have stained the bathtub in my college apartment. I may or may not have almost stained mom’s bathroom floors, walls, sink, bathtub…you get the picture. Mom banned me from ever dying my hair at her house again.

So then I finally grew a pair…and decided it was time to go ginger. I had been waiting for so long to do this. Years! Friggin’ years! And finally…I was ready. I went to the store. I bought the color. It was awesome. Bright. Delicious. Ginger. Excitement!

I was living at my pal Mark’s at the time as he was uber busy working in some foreign land, and someone had to make sure Jerry the Mouse didn’t invade again. (Note: This is not like the time I stole his car. I had permission to live in his home.) So I took the opportunity to change my look (in not-my-mother’s bathroom).

Reason # 2 to Never Dye Your Hair at Home: The Stains Hide

So, I may or may not have accidentally made a huge mess in Mark’s apartment bathroom. I cleaned it all up and made sure to get all of the red spots before they dyed anything permanently…or so I thought. A few weeks later, when Mark came home, he called me up and asked “What the fuck did you do?!” He found some red stains. I went over there with my trusty Mr. Clean Magic Eraser and discovered that there were apparently stains that I had missed…quite a few of them…whoops! Those bitches hide.

Reason # 3 to Never Dye Your Hair at Home: Drastic Errors

That same dye job over at Mark’s apartment required a double process. The first was my own, in which I fucked up royally and had blotches of red, blotches of brown, and blotches of in between. It was a disaster. I had to call my sister (a beauty school drop-out) to come over and fix my huge err. Luckily, the second process was done by my sister, and she handled it like magic. And then once I thought it looked hot, I STILL got some pretty nasty commentary about going such a bold shade of red.

Of course, this wasn’t my last adventure in self-hair-dye.

After a few months of dating Brian, it seemed like an OK idea to dye my hair at his house (well, his roommate’s house). You know, since Mom banned me, Mark banned me, and I had already dyed my hair at several hotels–staining their white towels pink (I know, right–it was a terrible idea).

I had a system though. I would run a bath while dying and sit in the bathtub. That way the dye wouldn’t stain the porcelain. Brilliant right? Except that as I set the dye down on the tub edge, I learned (the hard way) that the edge was angled. I first dropped the bottle into the tub of water.

So I placed the bottle on the floor outside the tub. I had removed all towels and anything that could get destroyed in the process. But when the bottle fell onto the bath rug (that I had carelessly forgotten to remove or hadn’t noticed…I don’t even know–sometimes I’m not very observant), it was game over. I freaked out. Red toner spilling everywhere onto this rug.

Brian’s roommate liked nice things. While I wasn’t the biggest fan of this rug, I assumed that it was costly. So I tried to do damage control. I scrubbed it. I loaded it with soap. I did everything I could think of to get rid of the stain. And it looked…better.

I Googled the brand on the tag. No luck. I didn’t know where it came from or where I could replace it. So I contacted Brian…and he told me it was his rug. PHEW and that it was from Walmart DOUBLE PHEW (and I should have known the minute he said it was his, because everything he owned was from Walmart–just like Danell Leyva’s Towels).

I told him we would likely need to toss it. He didn’t believe me and said it could be washed. I explained it was pretty bad and hair dye was permanent. I had just checked on it again, and apparently “cleaning” it made it significantly worse after it dried a little…it was blood red and the stain was enormous. I was still having a panic attack as I typed a G-chat message to Brian, even though he kept telling me it was fine and not to worry. (He still does this a lot because I have a lot of unnecessary panic attacks.)

The following weekend, Brian threw the rug in the washer.

It came out clean.

Who knew?

What errors have you made when dying your own hair? Do you see a stylist or do it yourself? What are your thoughts on stylist loyalty?

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Weird Habits I Can’t Break

I’m a little crazy, ya know? I mean, it’s not like I’m Glenn Close crazy (anymore) or Scarecrow crazy (yet)…just my own personal brand of crazy. And I have these habits, right? And if you noticed them or had to understand/deal with them, you might think I’m just a little on the crazy side. Or if you’re Brian, you think I’m adorable. One of those. These are just a few of my little OCD tendencies/habits.

- Top Ten Tuesday -

  • I have to bag my own groceries. In my own way. Because it makes sense to me. And baggers/clerks be damned if they won’t let me do their job for them.
  • I have to sit facing the direction that the train is heading AND facing the center vestibule.

image

  • Quite frankly, I prefer to sit in the exact seat that I’m sitting in above (the outer side of the front-facing seat in the four-seater) in the 3rd car from the back inbound and first car outbound. I’m all about efficiency.
  • I count stairs. When I walk up or down (but especially down) a flight of stairs, I need to count them. In sets of 8 or 16, preferably. Partially because I’m afraid I’ll fall down (which I have) & partially because I’m afraid I’ll miss the last step (which I have).
  • Once I’ve learned how to do something, it has to be done exactly that way forever. Unless I come up with a more efficient system. Or someone else teaches me a new way that’s more efficient or fun. Efficiency, y’all.
  • I dry myself off in the exact same pattern after a shower or bath, and a bathtub without one of those sliding glass doors makes it so much easier. First I dry my face, then arms (right first), hair, front, back…then I put my left leg on the side of the tub, dry that off. Step out with left leg, right leg on the tub and dry that off, then step out. And I’ve been following this pattern as long as I can remember.

image

  • I have a thing with presentation and displays. I stacked my fancy game shelf (the less-fancy games are on shelves in the basement) like a fucking game store. As all game shelves should be stacked.
Game shelf

A thing of beauty…

I had to crowd source the rest because I’m writing this on the train. LUCKILY, Brian was pretty quick on the draw… these are the crazies according to him:

Screenshot_2015-02-17-08-19-53

  • Replying to every blog comment. He sees me glued to my phone, or saying from my computer, “I’ll be there in ONE minute…I just need to reply to this comment.” What he doesn’t see is that I’m sometimes days late or I miss a comment completely.
  • I put all the game pieces back in the same spot according to my system. I don’t think he  understands that this doesn’t make me crazy…it’s the only way the boxes close properly.
Lords of Waterdeep organized box

There are no game boxes that make me happier than the ones that have a place for everything so everything goes in it’s place

  • Collecting all the shells…okay…maybe I do go a smidge overboard. I pack an empty suitcase to bring shells home from Florida…and I have boxes and boxes of shells. Organized by type…
image

Some of the shells from this year’s Floridadventure.

What crazy/weird habits do you have? What crazy habits would your partner/best friend say you have?

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

5 Things Grey’s Anatomy Taught Me About Life

I’ve been a die-hard Grey’s Anatomy fan since Season 1, when a slutty intern went home with a hot guy at the bar, who turned out to be her boss. While Grey’s has had its ups and downs (I’m sorry, but can someone PLEASE explain why Denny died and returned as a REALLY dirty brain-tumor fantasy?), I’ve been in this relationship longer than a lot of my friendships, and most certainly my current relationship. These people are MY people. When they cry, I cry. When they’re happy, I cry (because I’m happy. Geez).

Grey's

With Mer, Der, Bailey, and the gang back for the second half of the eleventh season, and the first ten seasons streaming on Netflix, I thought that now would be a good time to ponder the really important things in life…you know…how Grey’s has truly brought knowledge, wisdom, and understanding to those significant parts of my world. From the moment Meredith begged Derek to pick her to the day Cristina left everything to start something amazing in Zurich, the doctors at Seattle Grace/Grey Sloan have captured our hearts and taught us a little something about the world in which we live. Here are just a few of them.

On marriage

There is NO wrong way to do it. You want to have the big poofy wedding dress with tradition and romance? Go for it. You want the court house secret wedding? It’s all yours. Two ladies proclaiming their undying love for each other in a beautiful lady-lady wedding? Sure thing. Forget the wedding and vow all the vows to each other on a post-it note? You can do that too. We won’t judge. All of a sudden the post-it that was Carrie Bradshaw’s romantic end became Mer’s romantic beginning. It was like TV amnesia, and we ate it up (not unlike the guy who ate the guy who ate Judy dolls. Okay, maybe completely unlike the guy who ate Judy dolls). The point is that you can do what you want. And when my boyfriend of four years has yet to put a ring on it, that’s okay too, right?Grey's I love you

SPOILER ALERT: If you’re watching Grey’s on Netflix and not caught up with season 11, skip the invisible print and move on to work/life balance. Otherwise, feel free to highlight the blank space below…

As the mid-season premier comes this week…They better not flipping break up. Again. That is all.

On Work/Life Balance

It is an absolute necessity to enjoy the company of the people with whom you work. You spend a lot of time with them, and you don’t want to worry about petty BS when you screw up. You want people that are going to work with you and help you in your sticky situation, whether you cut someone’s LVAD wire or slept with the boss. Make friends with the people on your team so that they’ve got your back when you need it. Just make sure you’ve also got their backs.

On Becoming an Adult

One day you’re doing tequila shots and letting the teachers guide you; the next thing you know, you’re the teacher…or at the very least, you’re required to be a responsible adult 40-80 hours a week. Whether you create a mini army of tiny humans or live out your dream of becoming one of the finest doctors at the real-life version of Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital, responsibility just hits you. And you can’t make it stop.

On Friendship

Sometimes you’ll fight with your best friend. Sometimes things will get so low and so dirty that you say nasty things…you stop speaking to each other for months and when you do speak, it’s snappy and horrible. You might even leave your freshman dorm for the summer vowing never speak to one another ever again (that may have been my real life Mer-Cristina fight). But between tequila shots, dancing it out, boyfriend drama, and free Olive Garden birthday cake (okay, I threw that last one in for good measure; it didn’t actually happen on Grey’s either), you’re back together before the summer’s over. Or before one of you moves VERY far away. But even in distance, your friendship is totally still there.Dance it out

On Weird Medical Stuff That Could TOTALLY Happen

If you find yourself saying, “I saw that on Grey’s Anatomy Once,” odds are you learned something. Of course, just because someone survived a serious bout of being encased in a cement block, doesn’t mean you should go take a swim in liquid cement. And remember that this is real life…and real life doctors (who can be just as delicious in appearance) know their stuff. Don’t distrust the doctor when he tells you he’s going to do something different that the McDreamy/Steamy Dream Team. He’s still a licensed professional. And you’re (likely) not.

Are you a Grey’s fan? What have you learned from your favorite TV shows?

Netflix Stream Team

While no one paid me to write this, I am a member of the Netflix Stream Team. I was given a year’s membership to Netflix and a device on which to watch Grey’s Anatomy and all sorts of other delightful shows!

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

“Friendsgiving” is Stupid. We’ve Been Calling it Second Thanksgiving For Almost a Decade. And We Were There First. #StreamTeam

Thanksgiving is for giving thanks. Not giving friends.

Sheesh.

So I’ve mentioned Second Thanksgiving in the past when I told you about the hematoma on my butt. But I’ve been hearing the term, “friendsgiving,” a lot lately in regards to people throwing these “festive affairs” with cheap wine and instant mashed potatoes. Even the Netflix Stream Team is celebrating a discussion of “friendsgiving.” And people have started calling our 9-year tradition “friendsgiving.”

And I hate that.

friendsgiving is stupid

I hate it because that’s not what it is. It isn’t some hipster tradition that we just started doing in 2012 because we saw our favorite characters on TV celebrate Thanksgiving together as friends for years, but decided it needed a new name because Thanksgiving wasn’t good enough. The only place you can even find a definition of “friendsgiving” is on Urban Dictionary, which basically describes it as a subpar event where friends gather together the day before or the day after Thanksgiving to enjoy either leftovers or boxed wine and cheap dishes.

Did Jess and Schmidt re-name their Thanksgivings “friendsgiving?” No. (Okay, Schmidt may have decided on “bangsgiving” this year, but he’s dirty and ridiculous and it’s not REALLY a thing.)

Did Rory and Loralei head to “friendsgiving” with their people? No.

Did Ted and Marshall call it “friendsgiving?” Nope. (Fine, they had “slapsgiving.” Which was wicked and funny and not trying to MAKE A THING happen).

Go ahead! Celebrate the big Turkey Day with friends. Enjoy it. Watch a few Thanksgiving episodes of your favorite shows. Watch football.

I’ve heard people hosting and attending these “friendsgiving” dinners as early as the beginning of November. I’m sorry, what? That’s called a dinner party. If you’re going to host a Thanksgiving to celebrate with the family that you chose, instead of the family that you’re born into (or stuck with), do it the week of Thanksgiving. Or ON Thanksgiving. Last year, I attended 5 Thankgiving feasts. Five. And not one of them was called, “friendsgiving.” Because it’s stupid. We had work Thanksgiving, Pre-Thanksgiving, two family Thanksgivings and Second Thanksgiving. At all of these events, there was turkey. Ham. Homemade potatoes. Real vegetable dishes. Pie. Nothing was re-purposed leftovers. We made fresh, delicious food for each other. And celebrated a thankful day.

Second Thanksgiving may be a way to enjoy a turkey dinner with the family that you choose, but it’s not a cheap substitute for the real deal. It’s an equal. It’s powerful. No one’s fighting over what time to bring the turkey out. Dirty Uncle Jack isn’t flirting with your girlfriend. Crazy Cousin Maria isn’t drunk and picking fights. Grandma isn’t yelling at the little ones to sit down. It’s just friends. Drinking good wine, expensive beer, liquor-filled jello shots, and eating the best food that each attendee can prepare. We typically host it on the Sunday after Thanksgiving, so we can even watch football as per Thanksgiving tradition.

My college friends and I started Second Thanksgiving after a discussion of our crazy (albeit lovable) families on the holidays. Nine years ago at my best friend’s apartment (the same best friend who’s car I stole a few years ago), back when I used to throw parties at other people’s homes. The first year was a potluck of epic proportions, but the second year became a full turkey dinner because I wasn’t going to have a real Thanksgiving with my family (one day, I’ll tell you about that). And I wanted a real Thanksgiving.

This is a picture of everyone who attended the second annual Second Thanksgiving in my best friend's one-bedroom apartment. While he was in Australia.

This is a picture of everyone who attended the second annual Second Thanksgiving in my best friend’s one-bedroom apartment. While he was in Australia.

For nine years, I’ve hoped to one day host out of my kitchen. This year is the first year that I can host Second Thanksgiving in my own home. All my Clark Griswold dreams are coming true.

So tell me, Blog Friends, do you have a Thanksgiving with your friends? Do you call it “friendsgiving?” If you don’t, what do you call it? Would you have a Thanksgiving with friends?

This post is brought to you by the fine people at Netflix. As a member of the Netflix Stream Team, I was given a free year of Netflix along with some other sweet perks. Prior to joining the Stream Team, I had a Netflix subscription of my own accord. Because Netflix is awesome. And no one paid me to say that. 

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

Those Were the Best Days of My Life…Or Were They?

The other day I was jammin’ out in the car to Summer of ’69. As I was singing (and likely annoying the crap out of Brian), I started thinking about the places that this song takes me.

As a little girl, I was a junior cheerleader for a K-8 football and cheerleading organization. I was with the same team from 3rd through 8th grade, and we competed in poms against other suburban cheer teams. One of our first-place routines was choreographed to Summer of ’69, so it certainly has fond memories for me. I almost busted out a kick line and imagined myself ponying. In the car. In case you forgot.

But this time, instead of just reminiscing to my childhood, I found myself listening to the lyrics as I belted them out to Brian’s dismay (the singing, not the thinking).

In the song, Bryan Adams sings about the good ol’ days when he was carefree and in love, before responsibility and adulthood.

Those were the best days of my life…

And I looked back on my past (all *cough*29*cough* years) life and thought about it. Which of those years or experiences were the BEST days of my life? Where would I go back if given the chance? What summer truly seemed to last forever?

And the answer was simple. I’m living the best days of my life. Good, bad and ugly, my present is so much better than my past. Because my past led me here. And the here and now will lead me to my future, so that I can always say that my present is the best days of my life.

Those were the best days of my life…

I have had some absolutely wonderful experiences, childhood vacations and camping trips. Family memories full of love. Friendships that have withstood the test of time. A growing circle of friends that has expanded and multiplied with more friends and their families. Relationships that helped me realize who I am and what I want so that I could find (and pester until he finally took me out on a date) and recognize the person that I am meant to be with.

I’m lucky.

But for every bright day, there was a dark one. For every memory of love, I have a memory of being bullied or watching my brother get bullied. For every memory of friendship, I have a memory of deception or cruelty or loneliness. For every memory of sheer happiness, I know and understand depression. For every heartwarming relationship memory, I’ve known gut-wrenching heartbreak. For every success, I also recall the failures.

Our lives are not measured solely on the successes. Nor are they measured on the failures. Each piece of the puzzle has added a layer to our personality. Every triumph, every stumble. But each of these experiences is merely a stepping stone to the next. And the days, whether dark or light, that shall come to pass will be wiser steps to a brighter future.

Those were the best days of my life…

We are unique. Our experiences are shared, but different. Alike, but completely one of a kind. We empathize (or don’t).

I struggle. I have a hard time keeping it all together. Working a full time job. Commuting more than 10 hours a week. In total 55+ hours devoted to work. Looking for ways to progress my career, to learn more, to see more, to be MORE. Looking for a new home by buying a house and making it a home. Writing for me. Blogging, but also creating characters and stories, so that one day I may have that best-selling novel all writers hope to attain. Living a life that I can be proud of. Enjoying time with friends. Family. Experiencing things so that I can have something to write about.

I struggle, but I’m not alone. I’m surrounded by my family. My friends. You.

You make this blog worth writing. Because of you, I am here. And for that I thank you.

Do you agree? Do you think the present is full of the best days or is there another, more relevant time in your life that constitutes the best? Do you wish you could go back or are you always looking ahead?

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

Confession Friday: I Have a Planning Problem

In the last several weeks, we’ve been browsing house after house after house looking for OUR house. From hundreds of houses online to dozens of showings, we’ve/I’ve spent countless hours looking for just the right house.

Several times in the last few weeks, we’ve even thought to ourselves is this our home? And truly meant it. So we plan. We plan what we would need to do to it to make it ours and often…it’s too much.

Well, we’d have to knock out that wall.

We’d want to add on an entire section to make that room fit for a grown adult and not a gnome.

We should refinish those kitchen cabinets.

We need to remodel the entire kitchen.

Why don’t we just MAKE that room part of the kitchen?

That bathroom needs a nice tub.

I veto the claustrophobic shower.

We need wood trim throughout the house.

Oh dear God! Why would they paint that beautiful trim?

The list of random suburban home planning goes on. We realized that none of those houses were our house. We need a mix of old house bones and charm wirh modern conveniences like air conditioning for hot Chicago summers and a large kitchen for all the parties I can’t wait to host.

I also plan for parties. How we would decorate for Halloween and Christmas. Because I want to host Christmas. And you already know how I feel about Halloween.

The other day, Brian tried to rein in my Christmas tree problem by telling me that we couldn’t get a new tree if we end up with vaulted ceilings…which is ridiculous because I’ve already planned for the giant ass Christmas tree I’m going to put in whatever giant ass room I can.

So I have a planning problem. Because right now, I’m sitting here with a notebook and a pen…writing a list…drawing diagrams…planning.

For a house we haven’t bought.

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!