Sneaking In is WAY Harder than Sneaking Out

I thought I’d talk to you guys about sneaking out. Or in. Or doing some type of “sneaking.” Me? I don’t think I’ve ever snuck out. I was a good kid. My mama raised me right.  (If you didn’t read that one, I highly recommend it.) I didn’t drink or do drugs. I didn’t do too many crazy things. I mean, I was a teenager at some point, so I did SOME stupid shit… (Like piling a lot of kids into my Explorer) but I was overall a pretty good girl.

One weekend, though. Columbus Day Weekend. My senior year of high school. My brother and I were left to our own devices. Sort of. Because there was Felix. Grandpa. G. However you sliced it, our 85 year old grandfather still lived with us. But my brother and I had big plans that weekend. My best friend (who was also my brother’s pal) was going to sleep over. And we were going to go dancing at Zero Gravity (the juice bar that we weren’t allowed to go to-because there were drugs there…even though I had already been there a few times over the previous year. Sleepovers were great.)

Sneaking In

Elizabeth’s mom had a pretty high regard for me among most of her friends, so it was easy to say she was coming to my house. Neither of our parents knew that there would be dancing at the club. (Or should I say in da club? What do the cool kids say these days?) Our other friend Rae came over to join us, though she wasn’t planning on sleeping over.

We got ready by dressing in tiny spandex skorts and skimpy sparkle shirts, said goodbye to G and the four of us hopped into Melba Toast (the Explorer). We made our way to Zero Gravity (which seemed SO FAR AWAY-and really I live like 10 minutes from it now).

We danced our little hearts out. Warded off dirty older (like 19-year-old old) guys by dancing with each other. My brother was falling asleep on the bench, so he took the keys and went to sleep in the car. When the club closed, we made our way out (around one I think), and headed home.

I’ve drawn a little “art” to demonstrate how we got home.

Going out Dancing and coming home to a locked houseSneaking into the house is hard when you're a teenager...Sneaking into the house is hard when you're a teenager...Sneaking into the house is hard when you're a teenager...Sneaking into the house is hard when you're a teenager...

The stupid dog was going to ruin EVERYTHING.

Sneaky!

Yes, I would leave him to believe I was just in the laundry room…for God only knows why. Real bright, Chris.

Tricky Grandpas and Tricky Granddaughters

He mumbled a lot of shit under his breath about not believing a word I said, but he went back to bed anyways. After I was assured that he was back in his room, I “let the dog out” in order to let my brother and Elizabeth in. We went to bed and all was (sort of) well.

When your grandfather still doesn't believe you

G mentioned it again when my parents came home, but I just kept brushing it off. Hopefully, he knew I still loved him even though I lied through my teeth…and let’s be honest. I’m a TERRIBLE fucking liar.

How about you, Blog Friends? Ever snuck in or out? How’d that work out for you?

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Monday Memories: Melba Toast and Me

I know. I know. I KNOW. You’re sitting there thinking, Melba Toast? Really, Chrissy? But there’s a lot going on in this post…so bear with me.

The Bloggess and Me

FIRST, this week is a very exciting week for me. In honor of the excitement of my meeting Jenny Lawson (AKA The Bloggess) on Thursday and creepily stalking her err…. making her my new best friend getting her to autograph a book at a bookstore 10 minutes from my apartment…I am dedicating this whole week to just a few of the bloggers I love (If you don’t make it into a post, this doesn’t mean I love you any less…I had to go with the bloggers that fit into my posts, yo. Promise.)

Get to the Fucking Point, Chrissy.

SECOND, today is Monday Memories and April from First Time Mom and Dad has created today’s topic: My First Car and Joyrides. So visit April and Lily from It’s a Dome Life (do not fret, Lily–your dedication is coming) for more memories of joy (rides)!

Monday Memories

 My First Car

When I was 16, I opened up a very lightweight box on Christmas morning from my parents and my grandfather. Inside was a slip of paper that said, “BAM! You’re getting a car!” OK, it may not have said BAM. But it was awesome. I had dreams of a cute little Jeep Wrangler…but those dreams would not come to fruition. Even better, of course, was stumbling upon this white 1994 Ford Explorer (in 1999) and even though it had a funny smell, I fell in love with it. I felt taller, stronger, and more awesome in this giant beast of a vehicle.

Obviously, I had to have it. And it, I did have. Throughout the rest of high school, this beast was recognized as different variations of “the Pink Mobile” thanks to the ever-changing, but always hot pink license plate frames, pink fuzzy dice, and furry pink steering wheel cover.

This car was the greatest thing for a high school kid, but it was also the worst thing. Back in those days, we 16-year-olds didn’t have a graduated license program. We just got the license and drove. Wherever. Whenever. With however many kids could fit in the vehicle. (MOM, stop reading here. No seriously…you don’t want to read this part.) For the record, in a Ford Explorer, that’s a lot.

(Mom. I’m not joking.) I’ll never forget my parents driving my car to an away football game (I was a cheerleader) so that my pals and I could go out afterward. They asked who else was driving, and I listed off a couple of names, as a huge crowd of my brother’s and my friends followed us to the parking lot. As my parents got into their own car, several of our friends hid behind the explorer, waiting for the P’s to drive away. At the very least, there were 8 of us. The five in the picture below, plus 3 more that I know for sure, and 2-3 maybes. It may have been 11 people in my vehicle that night.

my first car fit a lot of kids in it

This was that night. Don’t mind my terrible bangs.

On the plus side MOM (if you’re still reading…), I yelled at them all to shut the fuck up so that I could drive safely to the bowling alley. And they listened. Mostly.

It was a lovely car.

My first car

The Explorer is on the right, next to her replacement, Dawn, the Sunfire. My dad drove the Explorer after I was done with her.

Always Name Your Own Car Right Away

Where does Melba Toast come in? OH. RIGHT. In college, I met Katie. And Katie had this weird thing about naming…EVERYTHING. She named her plants. She named her car. She talked to her cereal in the morning. She was basically awesome with a side of awesome.

One Fourth of July, while sitting in my house, eating taco dip and potato salad, Katie decided to name my future child Melba Toast. (She had already named our BFF Deb’s future child “Stumpy.”) I told her that was a horrible name for a child. So, then, she opted to name my car Melba Toast instead. Just like she named Deb’s car, Julio. And somehow it stuck. I tried to fight it, but Deb and Katie kept calling her Melba Toast. And giggling uncontrollably. And until her death (sentence to the junkyard in 2009), she was lovingly referred to as Melba Toast. And I learned the all important lesson that you should always name your car right away…or anyone else has the right to.

Today’s Post is Dedicated to…(Drum Roll Please…)

Katie from Words for Worms

Katie is my butter-churning best friend from a past life. My best friend in real life (yes, REAL Freakin LIFE), Katie writes a brilliant book blog and sometimes sidetracks with quirky stories of her quirky husband…and she has a penguin problem obsession. But she’s awesome…and this post is a little about her…so dedicating it to her was easy! Also, she is nominated right along next to me (AND THE FREAKIN BLOGGESS) for Best Writing of a Weblog as a Bloggies Finalist.

AND

April from First Time Mom and Dad

One of my BBBs (Blogging Best Buddies) who is also nominated for a Bloggie (Best New Weblog!), April came up with today’s topic. She writes a blog about being a mom for the first time, and her hilarious husband who Photoshops their baby onto the funniest pictures. Product reviews, giveaways, and laugh out loud stories…you’ll love her honesty and humor.

 

Bloggies Finalist
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: My First Poem

Chrissy

Children's Poetry

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!

WTF Wednesday: You Are Exactly the Same As You Used to Be

The only difference
That I see
Is you are exactly the same
As you used to be
 

17 years ago this coming summer, my mom took me, and my three best friends, to see the Wallflowers and the Counting Crows at The Midwest Bank Amphitheater Tweeter Center New World Music Theater concert venue in Tinley Park, IL that has changed its name so many times in 17 years, that I don’t even remember what it was called back then. We were 13. Yes, 13. Our very first concert. My 8th grade graduation present. Because my mom had taken my then-sister, now-estranged-sister Deven to Bon Jovi when she was 13. I used that as leverage. And besides, my mom was rockin’ out to Jakob Dylan with the rest of us.

Remember how I told you that Katie used to wear band tee shirts? The Wallflowers and Bon Jovi were the only two band tee-shirts that I had. And I wore them with pride. (Side note: If I can dig up the shirt, I’ll snap a picture of it later today when I stop by my parents house.)

So when Brian came home two weeks ago (during a pretty rough week) and said, “Guess who’s going to be at the Tivoli (small OLD amazing theater in downtown Downers Grove)?” and I couldn’t guess right anyways…he told me, “The Wallflowers.”

And I was all, “That was my first concert.”

And he was like, “I know, that’s why you should be excited! Because we’re totally going. Tickets go on sale tomorrow.”

The Wallflowers

So last night, we had an evening with the Wallflowers. It was like a jam session. It was fucking awesome. Jakob Dylan sings better in a studio, but they rocked out the instruments like motherfucking rockstars.

The only other bands/musicians that I’ve seen more than once  were Bon Jovi and The Backstreet Boys (stop it. Stop judging me. You know you loved boy bands a good decade ago…)But last night was different. Because I started noticing things. And they weren’t good things. While Jakob Dylan and The Wallflowers were “exactly the same as they used to be,” the crowd…the crowd was not.

The Difference 17 Years Makes

The Wallflowers

Not the world’s greatest picture, but I was busy watching a concert. Just saying…

Sure, there were still people who had gotten super stoned…There was still that woman who did a little coke before entering the theater and obnoxiously jumped up and down while everyone else was sitting…And I was still the youngest person at the venue…But the crowd (myself included) had aged significantly. WHY DOESN’T JACOB DYLAN LOOK OLD?!

No one threw their bras at Jakob Dylan…

I remember being 13, and watching bras flying on stage, thinking to myself, I would TOTALLY do that…you know, if it wasn’t a 13-year-old’s bra. That’d be a little awkward.

Most people were sitting down…

I mean it was a nice theater. The seats were comfy. It was more of a jam session that a crazy pumpin’ concert. And I got old. And kinda liked it.

No one had lighters anymore…

Back in the day, you may not remember this, but people used to hold up lighters when a great song was playing. No one carries lighters around anymore…It’s a lost tradition that our children and their children will probably never know. I remember a few years later, people would hold up their cell phones with the lights glowing…but now that doesn’t even happen. Because the cell phones are now cameras…which leads us to my most important point…

Half of the crowd was NOT watching the show…

Because they were too busy trying to capture it on film. You’ll note that I have one picture from inside the theater. ONE. No videos. No crazy awesome snapshots. Because I enjoyed the concert. I swayed to the music. I danced to my favorite songs. I took everything in. Including the fact that HALF of the people in the audience were too busy videotaping the show with their phones to actually appreciate the concert. It was worse when songs like One Headlight were playing or super awesome instrumental solos were happening.

What The Fuck?

Calendar After Tuesday WTF

What the fuck, people? When did we worry more about capturing things in life than actually living live? Stop for a minute. And just let life happen. My friend over at the B(itch)log wrote a post about a self-imposed technology strike and how people are all about capturing everything on film and it really resonated with me. (If you don’t read her, you fucking should. She’s awesome.)

I watched as all of these people were watching the LIVE concert through their tiny cell phones and tiny cameras, blocking the views of the people behind them, so worried about getting the right angle for the shot, that they must have forgotten where they were.

I’ll admit that I’m guilty of snapping shots of my food. I want to show the world the delicious things I eat. Because, really, you need to understand why I’m a chubby kid, right? But I try really hard to live my life, and only capture on film what I need to. We take hundreds of pictures on vacation, but the really candid stuff? The things that happen that you just WISH you had taken a picture of? Those are truly the best moments. Because we remember them in our hearts and in our minds.

Another friend of mine is taking a social media break. FOR LENT. 6 weeks without Facebook. Or Twitter. Or cat memes. She’s blogging about her experience without social media, so you should ALSO check out her blog, Grass Oil. Instead of living life through Facebook and Twitter, she’s just living life.

So go out there, friends, and LIVE LIFE. Stop trying to capture it all on tape. Unless it’s some momentous occasion, like when I dreamed (two nights ago) that I was in Paris with Vince Vaughn, Leonardo DiCaprio, Robert De Nero, Matt Damon, and David Tennant…and you know what? I still didn’t manage to get my picture taken with any of them!

What was your first concert? What’s changed since then?

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!

Monday Memories: I Injure Myself More Than Anyone I Know

Obviously. If you’ve been here more than once, you’ve probably read one of my tales in which I’ve fallen down. Maybe it was that one time I went skiing, or the motherfucking strawberry, or the time I climbed a mountain, or when I wanted to be JUST. LIKE. Kerri Strug, or the hematoma death stairs, or how many times I hurt myself on vacation a few weeks ago, or even a collection of my favorite injury stories…you get the idea. I’m kind of a walking disaster.

That being said, today is the wonderful day in which we talk about memories! Monday Memories to Make You Laugh. I’ve teamed up with the ladies of It’s a Dome Life and First Time Mom and Dad to bring you some of our favorite memories. Today’s topic is INJURIES.

My First Big Injury AKA Why I’m Afraid of Monkey Bars

I was about 7 or 8 years old, and one of the biggest pains in the ass in the history of ever. One of mom’s friends was babysitting us, while she worked a relatively short shift at the bar (4 hours or so). We went to a park nearby, and 4 of us kids were having a great time. I was fearless. Crossing the monkey bars, like a boss.

Until I fell.

Like a boss.

APPARENTLY, even though those wood chip playgrounds LOOK safe enough, underneath a half inch of wood chips was fucking concrete. My arm went down rather unnaturally, and I screamed bloody murder. I could have sworn it was broken.

Of course, being 7 or 8, and having always wanted crutches or a cast (I know, the irony right?), I was hoping for a hot pink cast that all of my friends could sign. It would have been…cool. So we went back to the house and waited for mom. She picked my brother and I up, and we went straight to the doctor.

My pediatrician was seriously fucking old. She was old when she was MY MOM’S pediatrician…so those were some cold freakin’ hands. I thought she was lying when she said it wasn’t broken. I could feel the hot searing pain under those freezing hands. I knew what was going on.

Nope, just a sprain. We were told to get a sling, and I would have to wear that while my arm healed.

And Now the Part in Which I Was an Asshole

I know, I bragged last week about how my parents worked extra hard so that we weren’t little assholes. But hey, nobody’s perfect and that includes me. I had my moments. This was one of them.

After accepting the fact that I would not be sporting an awesome hot pink cast on my arm, I accepted (sort of) the fact that I would be wearing a sling. I envisioned a blue one, like everyone else who hurt their arms had. It wasn’t a cast, but it was the next best thing.

But Kmart only had GRAY slings. Ugly. Boring. Medical grade. GRAY. Being the fashion genius that I was, I refused to wear it.

90's fashion victim

Yep, stretch pants and my mom’s sweater. I was SO cool. NOT.

Mom used her mad artist skills to paint flowers on it, to make it pretty. And still, I wanted nothing to do with it. I was setting myself up for a world of disappointment when it came to injuries. While I would OFTEN find myself becoming a pro at crutches (remembering with disdain, the days we would play with the other kids crutches and wish for them ourselves), I never did get a sweet cast that my friends could sign. And I’m pretty sure that because I was a little asshole and didn’t rest my shit when it was hurt, I now have arthritis and carpal tunnel in my wrist.

injury prone

And BTW, this shit hurts like a bitch today.

Go visit my memory writing friends today!

Monday Memories

If you want to participate in Monday Memories to Make You Laugh, send an e-mail to QuirkyChrissy@gmail.com. Next week’s topic is going to be love.

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Shit I’m Really Glad My Mom DIDN’T Do

There are some things that I see and I think, Seriously?  I look back on my own childhood and thank the world that I had my mom doing things the way she did things.

Sometimes (not always, of course) I feel like my mom’s a little too hard on herself. Even though there are definitely times that my mom drives me or drove me up the wall…I think she did a fucking bad ass job of raising a couple of relatively normal human beings. So I’d like to take this opportunity to thank her for the shit she didn’t do. Because I am a better person for it.

Things My Mom Didn’t Do

Call alcoholic beverages “mommy juice”

Please. Please. Please for the love of God. Stop. Your children will eventually find out that you’re a lush. Calling it “mommy juice” doesn’t make it any better. It makes you sound silly. And drunk.

Now, I grew up surrounded by alcohol, without having alcoholic parents. My parents owned a bar. I knew alcoholics. I knew I didn’t want to be one. So I knew what booze was. I even knew when my parents were drinking it. Big fucking deal. Get over yourself. You aren’t the first parent to need a glass bottle of wine after a rough day. Call it what it is. Wine. Vodka. Beer. Whiskey. Name your poison…It’s okay, I promise. Your kid will thank you one day. Besides, I think I turned out okay.

Make alcohol seem taboo

I was allowed to taste everything, including, but not limited to wine and beer. I hated alcohol. It tasted gross. Children’s taste buds don’t actually LIKE booze (unless you’re drinking the super fruity stuff that tastes like candy. Don’t share that with the kids.) It’s the idea that it’s forbidden that makes so many kids experiment.

Sure I made jokes about drinking when I was a kid… When told I should drink MGD when I grew up, I told my older sister, Deven, that I would “drink Bud Light like my Daddy.” When she later told me that she would take me to a college party (at the age of 9) and get me a beer, I responded with, “I prefer cocktails.” In kindergarten, I drew a picture of a bar for what I wanted to be when I grew up. Instead of playing house or grocery store, we played bartender. But I’m almost 30 years old and I drink MAYBE once a week. So I think I’m alright on that front as well.

Give me a time out

Nope, I was never given a “time out” and asked about my feelings. Instead my parents would slap me on the ass and tell me that what I did was wrong. Seriously. Just like Pavolv’s pup, I knew when I did something bad and when I did something good. I was praised for good behavior, and taught not to be an asshole. I grew up with a healthy fear of punishment. Which is part of the reason I was such a Stepford child.

When I was an education major (twice), all of the books for child development were saying that you need to ask children about their feelings and why they did bad things. This pissed me off to no end. I even wrote a paper for Argumentative Writing in favor of corporal punishment for kids (when combined with a lot of affection.)  Mostly this pissed me off because I know kids who had that kind of parent…and I know kids like me who had parents who actually punished their kids, and you know what? We were the teenagers who didn’t end up drunk off our asses and naked in the middle of a public street…(Yes, this actually happened to someone).

Let Me Run Wild

Whether in a restaurant, the grocery store, or even a kid-friendly locale, my mother had us on strict orders to behave. We weren’t allowed to run around like assholes, we had to ask to leave the table at a restaurant (even to go see the lobster tank at Red Lobster), and we had to stay close to her in stores. In other words, we were well-behaved little assholes. Most of the time.

I remember being pulled out of a restaurant and getting spanked in the parking lot, after which we returned to the table, and I was a silently crying, but sitting and not yelling, little girl. Another time, I remember playing in someone’s basement for 20 minutes, and mom thought we were outside. When she couldn’t find us, we were no longer allowed to go to the pool with our babysitter that day.

Consequences. There were consequences to running wild. I see too many kids who dominate their parents, and the parents look frazzled and unsure of what to do…At which my point my mother would look at us and say, “I am the parent. You are the child. When you’re the parent, you can do what you want. Until then sit down and shut up.”

For the record, my dad’s pretty fucking awesome, too.

My first legal shot with my parents. (Isn't my mom short and adorable?)

My first legal shot with my parents. (Isn’t my mom short and adorable?)

What about you, Blog Friends? What are you glad your mom did or didn’t do? Will you do the same for your kids?

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!

Monday Memories: Wild Animals…AKA I Got Bit by a Duck

When I was growing up, we did a lot of “camping.” Of course, our version of camping was a little bit more civilized than the camping that I learned about when I went to college and planned my first “real” camp out. We had a motor home. A motor home that happened to be Dad’s daily driver.

We always had a fully stocked fridge, running water, a shower, a toilet, a functional kitchen, and beds. We stayed in resort campgrounds, mostly Yogi Bear/Jellystone Parks where we swam in heated pools with water slides instead of lakes or rivers. We played video games in the arcade, and the parents cocktailed by the pool. We watched cartoons in an outdoor theater, participated in exciting kid programming like water balloon fights, scavenger hunts, and snipe hunts.

Our favorite campground was in Calendonia, Wisconsin. Occasionally, we would take “nature walks” around Boo Boo Pond. This would always seem like an adventure, but we never really saw anything terribly exciting…Except for that one time we saw a duck. It was a white duck that was just sitting there…hanging out.

Usually, the ducks were in the pond, but not this little guy. Or girl. She was sitting a foot off the path. Just sitting there.

We often brought bread to feed the fishies, so I thought that it would be cool to feed the duck.

Big mistake.

Huge.

I reached out to hand the ducky a little piece of bread. The damn thing reached it’s beak out and bit the crap out of my little hand. I screamed. My mom laughed. My brother laughed. I started crying. I had a big red bite mark covering my entire hand. It was surprising how much it hurt. Stupid duck beak.

Apparently, the duck was sitting on a nest. It was definitely a she-duck. A mommy-to-be-duck. A biting-vicious-beast-duck.

I remember whining about how I got bit by a duck. The whole weekend. I’ll bet my family loved that. Then again, whenever something ridiculous happens to me, I whine for days…

Check out more wild animals at It’s a Dome Life and First Time Mom and Dad!

What about you, friends? Any strange encounters with wild animals?

Monday Memories

 

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!

Monday Memories: Vacation? Or Hell? But James Van Der Beek was there!

Everyone’s got at least one “vacation” that wasn’t a vacation at all. I, of course, have several. My mom probably thinks that I’m going to write about the worst vacation ever, which is also known by me as the worst Thanksgiving ever…but I’ll save that gem for another time. (Love you mom!)

This is one that we all look back on and think. Wow. Just freakin’ wow.

I was 15. A sophomore in high school. It was Spring Break, and we were going on vacation! We had gone to Florida the previous Spring Break (my 3rd visit of now 8 trips to the Sunshine State). That was the magical trip in which we named our dog, Buck, where we ventured through Disney World, traveled to the west coast and spent half our vacation beach side. My sophomore year, though, no Disney  World or beachy ocean view for us. There’d be lots of sand…but no beach.

I heard they called it The Desert.

We were off to Arizona, land of the sun. No rain. No snow. No oceany watery goodness. Just sand. Lots and lots of sand. Mom’s best friend had moved out there with her family, so we were going to visit them. Even at the airport, Brian (my brother), Dad and I stared longingly at the Florida departure gates.

Mom had heard about the beauty of Arizona, and was the only one who was really excited about the trip.

Here are the highlights:

  • I had given up pizza for lent. On the Friday night we were there, my family decided that it was a brilliant idea to order pizza for dinner at the hotel. I walked to the Cracker Barrel next door so I could pick up food that I could eat.  The smell of pizza made me wish I wasn’t Catholic.
  • When Mom and I went to breakfast one morning, James Van Der Beek, or his damn well doppelganger was sitting a few tables away from us…I kept staring, and he even smiled at me. (This was at the very beginning of Dawson’s Creek, when all of my peers were obsessed with the teen heartthrob).
  • That same day, some of my parents’ friends from Chicago were also on vacation in Arizona, and came to our hotel to spend the afternoon poolside with us. Imagine my surprise when James Van Der Beek was someone’s son! I was this awkward 15 year old, talking to this beautiful older boy. I’m almost sure I made an ass of myself.
  • After getting a raging sunburn during the aforementioned super hot poolside afternoon, it rained. And then it snowed. IN FUCKING ARIZONA. Where it never rains. Let alone snows. Especially when one is sunburned.
  • I climbed a mountain. Yes. Me. Klutzy. Crazy. Falls down like a boss. Me. I got all the way to the top of Camelback Mountain. I was a proud Chrissy. I rocked. Even though I only had sandals…and had to wear socks with them. And looked ridiculously stupid. I climbed a flippin’ mountain. And then I got all the way down the mountain. And there were stairs for the last leg of the journey. And at the very bottom stair…I sprained my fucking ankle. Like a boss.
arizona camelback mountain

Note the sandals with socks. I brought an entire suitcase full of shoes and not one pair of gym shoes…

What about you, Bloggie Friends? Any vacay memories that you’d like to share with me? I’d love to hear them!

Join in the fun! Blog your memories and grab the button!

This week’s participants are

Monday Memories

 

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!

Monday Memories: Snow Day

I live in the Midwest. We get snow. Sometimes, we get a lot of snow. Like a couple of years ago during the giant Chicago Blizzard of 2011, also known as SnO-M-G, Snomageddon, or The Snopocalypse, when the world as we (Chicagoans) know it was put on hold for a whole week(which actually felt like a lifetime.)

When I was a senior in high school, I had a car that I will one day write a whole post about (it was that awesome). And in our neighborhood, the bus was nasty, overcrowded, and smelled really really really really really bad. So even before I had a car, Mom drove our bus-hating asses to school every morning. And picked our bus-hating asses up every evening (My brother and I were also 2.5 season athletes, so we often needed the late night pick-up, anyways.)

So when my senior year came, and I was granted the coveted spot at one of the parents’ friends’ parents’ house across the street from our high school for the year, I was the happiest teenager ever. It was about 10 feet closer than the 50-spot lottery student lot. It was a mile closer than where non-lottery winners parked. It was awesome. And several of the kids in the neighborhood benefited from this spot. I drove my brother, myself, and at least 3 other kids to and from school on a daily basis. My Ford Explorer could fit several more (shhhh, don’t tell my mom), so sometimes we did.

One winter day in the early months of 2001, a blizzard was set to hit the Chi and surround ‘burbs. It was a normal weekday, and we had all made our way to school like it was no big thing. At about 9:30 in the morning, though, my brother and I were paged to the Dean’s office. Unexpected, but not unusual, I made my way to the office, where I sometimes spent a little free time, partially because I kind of liked the deans…and mostly because I was a total suck-up.

Mom had apparently called and told them to send her children home, because the blizzard was about to get bad she was not having and of this 17-year-old daughter driving home in a blizzard crap. Brian and I high-fived (does it confuse you that my brother and my boyfriend have the same name? My family hates it…There’s also a girl Bry in our fam too…and a boy Chris…it’s funny…err anyways…) So we looked at each other, plotting with the wonder twin powers (we’re Irish twins)…and I looked at the Dean and said, “What about the other kids we drive?”

The Dean looked a little confused and I went on…”There are 4 other kids who depend on us for a ride home every day. What about them? They need to leave with us, too.”

The Dean stared at me. Not surprised, he shook his head at me. “Write down their names.” A few minutes later, one by one, my friends from the neighborhood started piling into the office. The Dean greeted them as I grinned my Cheshire grin, “Call your parents. If they give you permission to leave school early, you can go home with Chrissy and Brian.”

30 minutes later, 6 of us were headed back to my house, where everyone was to stay until their parents got home. Mom made homemade chicken soup for everyone, while we played in the snow. We got the next day off of school with everyone else, but no one else got a day and a half, like we did. And it was a magical day.

High school Snow day snow day 3 Snow Day

Do you have any snow day memories, Blog Friends? Tell me yours!

Also, if you are interested in doing Monday Memories with me, I think that each week I’m going to have a topic, so let me know and I will give you the topic and link to you!

While you’re here, please click on this button to vote for me on Picket Fences. Just a click and that’s all! Thanks!

Oh and if you’re feeling EXTRA generous…you can go nominate me, Words for Worms, and any other bloggers that are AWESOME (I’m looking at you, B(itch)log, First Time Mom & Dad, It’s a Dome Life, Pocketful of Joules, Megcentric, That Ash Girl, Baking in a Tornado, and the list totally goes on, but I’d like to get this post published today and not next week…so if I read you regularly, odds are I nominated you, too–I think I nominated like 25-30 different freakin’ blogs!) for the 2013 Bloggies.

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 Oplatki Tradition and Holiday Wishes

Every year since before I was born, my family has had a Polish Christmas Eve tradition. We wash our hands with a silver dollar before dinner, starting with the oldest and ending with the youngest members of the family. It’s like…the sweetest tradition ever. This is to bring a year of financial goodness for everyone (I’m still waiting for mine to kick in…since 1997…)

My family celebrates Christmas Eve with oplatki and other Polish traditions, granting each other wishes for the coming year.

Then we feast on the Polish delicacies: pierogi (stuffed dumplings), gwumpki (cabbage rolls), kapusta (saurkraut), kielbasa (sausage–even though traditional Polaks don’t eat meat on Christmas Eve), and kolacky (cookies).

After the feast, we bust out one of my favorite parts of the evening: the oplatki (communion-like wafer of goodness). With the oplatki, everyone walks around to the members of the family, and shares with them three wishes and three pieces of their oplatki. When I was a kid, we all hated it. We would try to give Grandpa the biggest pieces, and ask for just the tiniest little bites for ourselves. As we got older, my sister and I would fight over the leftovers.

The thing was, three wishes to each family member can seem…tedious. I wish you happiness. Oplatki I wish you health. Oplatki I wish you lots of money. Oplatki Repeat for each person. From the time I turned 12, my aunt would always wish that I found love. Oplatki And so it would go until everyone had shared wishes with everyone else in a big happy family love sharing wish sharing circle. Oh and they hand fed the oplatki into your mouth, just like communion. (Click that if you’ve never read about my First Communion. Seriously. Go. I’ll wait.)

Anyways, back to wishes… I’ve already told you about my super awesome Christmas List… April, the sassy-pants behind First Time Mom & Dad granted me some wishes. Five of them for the holidays. Here they are in all their beautiful glory.

  1. I wish for the perfect job. One in which I am appreciated as a member of a team. One in which I can ask questions and offer answers/suggestions. One in which I make a decent salary, so that I can take my amazing boyfriend out to a fancy dinner once in a while. One in which I don’t feel worked to the bone, but I want to work hard for. One that makes me feel needed. You hear that, potential employers? I’m looking for the perfect job. Are you it?

  2. I wish for cancer to go away. Someone near and dear to our hearts is battling and I wish for her. To fight it. To beat it.*

  3. I wish for sponsorship from a cheese company. (Come on, we’ve got to lighten things up after the last one!)

  4. I wish for world peace world travel.

  5. I wish for cookies.

Cookie Monster Meme

 What are your 5 wishes?

*Brian’s mom passed away in March of 2013. We still miss her.

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!