Cleaning up a bit in here. Just thought I'd say hey. So, "hey".
I feel like that uncle that keeps promising to get sober, and lets everyone down. Only, I'm not an uncle, I'm not an alcoholic and I'm not sure that anyone's all that let down if I don't post.
Other than that, it was a bangin' analogy, no?
I firmly believe I'm going to start posting regularly again, and then I fall off the posting wagon.
However, it drive me crazy when people go on and on about why they haven't posted rather than actually writing something, so I won't do that.
But, I will throw in that Busy D. getting older and having real homework and bunches of soccer (Soccer: it's the new volleyball if you've been around here for a while) really occupies the evenings when I used to post.
Also, either I'm too old to stay up late anymore, or my computer has turned into the poppies on the Wizard of Oz, and the moment I sit down to it, I can't hold my head up anymore and that puts a damper on posting.
The holidays have come and gone and I've recently returned from my 14th annual girls beach trip. Can you believe that?
We had a grand time, boosted the beach economy at the outlet mall, ate too much and laughed way too hard. Can't wait to do it again next year.
For our 15 year celebration, we're going to add an extra day, or a week or a month or something, I forget. Only 351 days to go...
I've also recently celebrated 10 years of blogging. I should probably do something more exciting than just make that statement, but I have no idea what. A blogaversary just doesn't have the same significance it once had, but that's OK. 2003 was still a very good year.
It boggles my mind that when I began, Busy D. was 8 months old, Busy Boy was 6 and Busy Girl was 8. I remember the first thing I wrote, and I was sitting the same place I am now when I wrote it.
Only now I have posterior vitreous detachment, so there's all sorts of weird thingies floating around my eyeball while I'm sitting here in this same place, but I digress...
In addition to my geriatric eyeball disease, so much has happened during these 10 years. Busy D. is nearing middle school, Busy Boy is looking at colleges (OK, that's not totally true, I'm looking at colleges and he's looking at skateboards), and Busy Girl is more than halfway through her first year of college.
10 years ago, if someone had described their kids to me like that I would have been all, "Yeah, that's nice (zzz...)," and now I'm there, the one with "older" kids.
It's OK though. You can freak yourself right out if you think too deeply about it, and I could write all kinds of angsty stuff about fleeting childhood and such, but you know what?
Other than being awake all the time because they're up all night prowling around rather than crying and being broke all the time from car insurance and college tuition rather than from daycare, this here is pretty good, after all.
By the way, if you're thinking of exploring Zip Car, if you sign up through me, we both get $25 driving credit.
As you were.
There's a little known fact about me: I am a Witty Banter Killer.
OK, so maybe some of you do actually know that and have witnessed me in action, but either way, I am where text messages and Facebook threads stop.
For example, a friend texts me with a question of some sort and the conversation turns silly and goes back and forth a few times. After a few exchanges, I respond as we've been doing, and then: nothing.
Another example is a Facebook conversation thread. There can be long list of comments on someone's post from a variety of people, but as soon as I jump in, BOOM! Everyone scatters, and I'm the last lonely face right there on your screen.
I don't make inappropriate or nonsensical comments (Oh, alright, who am I kidding?), and, as far as I know, I'm reasonably articulate, but for whatever reason, I am Banter Repellant there, too.
I enjoy communicating with people and I recognize that none of us has endless time to text or be on Facebook or Twitter.
But, I also like to think I'm someone who can recognize social cues when a joke or a conversation has been run into the ground, but what if I am The Lady Who Doesn't Know When to Quit, and I don't know it?
I mean, is there an online assessment I can take? Do I need some sort of intervention?
I realize online etiquette is different than face-to-face and that you don't necessarily have to have a formal closing to a conversation, but I seem to have a special talent for conversation killing.
I'm available for parties if you're interested, and I have a special coupon code you can use for your BCS Championship party on Monday (Roll Tide!).
Happy New Year!
Remember me? I'm still alive!
Had some technical trouble and then some, "Holy hell, this kid in college thing is a bit stressful" trouble, but here I am.
Since we last talked, Busy D. has played a lot of soccer, Busy Boy got a driver's license and Busy Girl finished a semester of college.
Only 7 to go!
My blog is all horked up in Firefox, no clue what to do.
Desperate for an upgrade of blogging platform as I'm still on MT 3.33 and it may explode, anyway. (Yes, really. Shut up.)
Let's see what happens if I publish this.
Well, THAT was an unplanned blog break if I ever saw one.
I figure my birthday's as good a day as any to try to snap this hiatus I took, so here I am.
Since we last talked, I've sent a kid to college, and she turned 18.
Yes, both of those things you "can't even imagine" right now happened in the span of 2 weeks around these parts.
You know how when you have a baby and you figure out what high school class he or she will be in when they graduate high school and laugh at how absurd that sounds?
Yeah, that. It's not so absurd, anymore.
The day we'd been preparing for for many months finally arrived, and we packed up the van to head to college:
After hanging out at the hotel that night, we got up the next morning and headed to the dorm at the appointed move-in time:
There was lots of stuff:
But, it somehow worked out:
After the van was unloaded (awesome university volunteers, it took like 7 minutes to get all that out and on the way to the room), I went to move the van to the parking garage so I could come back to help her unpack.
I was sitting at a stoplight on this very large campus in 1,000 degree weather when it became quite apparent the van was ADR (Ain't Doin' Right).
Now, if you know me at all, you know nothing at our house ever works right, and the van is no exception, but we'd just gotten it out of the shop the day before, and I'd just driven it several hundred miles without a problem.
Whatever. I was on the verge of the thing dying in an intersection on a busy campus on my daughter's first day of college.
I admit to knowing the alternator was a bit of an issue, so I figured if I could just get it to the garage, I could jump it later and drive around and recharge the battery and be on my merry way.
I somehow got it to the garage and it keeled over the very moment I pulled into the parking place.
I called campus Traffic and Parking (hint: the dispatcher would come to call me by name whenever I dialed them) to come give me a jump later so I could get the battery going again.
They arrived, and I jumped into action and drove the dang thing around and around on the highway surrounding campus, but I could feel it was still ADR, so I returned to the garage where it died again and a second jump failed.
Day turned into night, and I was still at my daughter's college on her first day.
I walked back to the dorm since there was nothing else I could do. I was already planning to stay the night so I had a hotel room and I figured I'd call the mechanic the next day.
But, I had to get back to the hotel it was late and no one had eaten dinner, so I ended up following Busy Girl and my son-in-faux around campus until we could eat and they could take me (his car) back to the hotel.
I promise no one wanted me to leave more than I wanted me to leave at that point.
I searched for a mechanic the next morning and had to get Busy Girl to come back and get me early the next morning and take me back to the van to wait for the tow truck.
The tow truck that took 2 hours to get there and even then there was no guarantee I could get it fixed on a Friday in a small town.
(Please note that if they hadn't been able to fix it, I would have had to STAY IN MY DAUGHTER'S DORM her second night at college because there were no hotel rooms left in town.)
My emotions regarding the tow truck wait were completely and totally squelched as the driver shared with me on the way to the shop how his daughter was killed while he was talking to her on the phone in the devastating tornado in April of last year (2011).
Perspective. I got some.
Anyway, a new alternator and several hours later, I was finally on my way home.
Things are most certainly different around here, and we miss her terribly.
However, you really do get sort of used to it, and she's doing quite well.
Only about 8 months left of school camp, and she'll be back home.
I went to NYC over this past weekend for BlogHer.
"Oh, me? I was in Manhattan over the weekend."
That cracks me up a little because we all know I don't actually go anywhere other than Atlanta for kids' sporting events.
Yes, I thought I was done with the ATL when Busy Girl graduated, but now it seems that I'm back on the I-75 corridor for a whole new generation of soccer this weekend.
But, back to BlogHer.
As usual, it will take me a bit to put the words together about my time at the conference.
This year, my words may be different, so I want to select them carefully. However, I will say that I relished time spent with good friends, but it's left me with a whole lot of thinking to do about my place here in this digital world.
However, my trip there made me wonder if it was one of several hundred hints (that I ignored) the universe was throwing at me not to go to the conference.
Perhaps at this point, you're all Condescending Wonka and thinking, "Travel stories about a conference I didn't attend? Please tell me more!"
I bought plane tickets out of Chattanooga (about 2 hours away) because oddly enough, it was cheaper than flying out of here. Schmelta Airlines connects in Atlanta (about 2 hours from Chattanooga with traffic), so I arrived in plenty of time to catch my small plane there.
Chattanooga only has 3 gates in operation, and after a lengthy wait in line for a simple bag drop, the ticket agent cast his doubt about me flying out anytime soon because the plane was broken, so he booked me on a flight that left about an hour later.
That flight made my connection in Atlanta pretty tight and if you ever fly with me, you know I'm destined to be at the farthest gate possible, but I didn't have much choice.
I proceeded to the gate where I interrupted the gate agent picking out plastic letters from a box in order to update the departure board who confirmed that I probably wouldn't be going anywhere at all, but did Johnny tell me about the ground transportation?
Nope, he didn't.
Shortly after that, I found myself waiting in a van (an outside company) with 2 other people to drive to Atlanta to make our connections. "Whatever", I thought to myself. We'll make it if we hurry.
We sat and sat some more. Finally, the driver tells us we really need to leave, but he can't go without Schmelta's permission and that he couldn't be the one to go talk to them.
He said that this kind of thing happens every day with them, and they make people wait until the van fills up.
Somehow, I was elected to go inside and convince Schmelta Johnny we needed to leave and leave NOW.
I went back inside where I was told (without him even looking up) that I had to get in the ticket counter line to talk to him. I did for a while, but I glared at him loudly enough to cause him to finally ask me what I needed.
I calmly told him we needed to leave and he said it would be, "a few minutes" and proceeded to continue ignoring me. I then asked him how many more people we were waiting for, and he didn't answer.
I was still about 3rd in line and I uncharacteristically got a little loud and lost my cool maybe just a smidge and asked him just how long a Schmelta minute was.
He was unaffected, but the lady in front of me was a tad surprised.
Then? Johnny tried to tell me the driver "doesn't want to leave until the van is full."
Oh, no he di'int.
There may have been some head bobbing and finger wagging on my part at this point.
Bud from the van (a very sizable human) came in to back me up and Schmelta Johnny told him, without looking up, it would be "a few minutes"
At that point, Schmelta Johnny was expecting us to quietly wait in the van, but we instead chose to wait next to Schmelta Johnny's ticket station.
Oddly, it became time to leave.
Vic the driver was great. He busted me, Bud and Chris outta there in a flash, and we were on our way to the ATL.
As we settled in, I pondered how I had just driven 2 hours to catch a plane in Chattanooga to get to New York and now my first connection is actually a van and I'm hurtling south with strangers.
Vic saved the day and got us there on time, where I OJ Simpson-ed my way to the gate (I ran through the airport, I wasn't looking for the real killer) only to find out the flight was delayed for weather.
We eventually boarded and got to NYC in good time where we landed nicely on the tarmac where we remained for an hour because the "gate was broken". But, I did eventually make it to the city courtesy of a delightful guy who was like a Middle Eastern Ray Romano.
Melisa sums up #BBSummit12 quite nicely, so I'm going to leave you with some of my pictures.
Chicago is one of my favorite places ever.
Busy Boy and Busy D. have been at camp for 3 weeks, they come home Saturday!
Busy Girl's enjoyed being an only child (when she's home) and we've gotten a few things done around the house, but nowhere near the volume of grand plans we thought we'd execute while they were gone.
I was ready to go all Clean Sweep on a few of the rooms around here, but while we've got the "empty the room" part down, we have to work on our follow through.
We redecorated Busy D.'s room so he'll be surprised when he gets home.
His room is tee-tiny, it's actually a dormer (old house fun!) so we do what we can. It's not so bad when they're little and don't notice, but when you're 10, you notice Harry Potter under the stairs may have had a bigger space than you do.
The newly redecorated room looks pretty good until you remember there's no closet (the nursery armoire had been in there), and we have no idea what we're going to do with items you typically put in a closet.
I try very hard to not let my, "We don't have a baaaaybeees anymore" gene get out of control, but something about cleaning out that room was sad.
It has been a nursery to all 3 kids, and I remember sitting in there before she was born, looking at the baby gifts, and marveling how this baby had "stuff" already. That made it all seem so real.
Now, Busy Girl is off to college in about 3 weeks, how did this happen?
While I don't subscribe to the school of thought that says a college freshman is, "on her own" quite yet, it's still kind of wild to think about.
By the way, if I birthed you, you're not, "on your own", until you don't have to call me for bail money in the middle of the night.
So, I simply refer to college (In my head. Mostly.) as, "school camp", and that makes it all better.
If I indulge in the "mah baaaaaybeee" line of thought, I begin to ruminate and wonder, "Did I enjoy them enough as babies?" "Did/Are they having a good childhood?', "I feel like I hardly remember anything!", and we all know how THAT can snowball.
Instead of falling down the rabbit hole of angst-ridden and emotionally overwrought recall, I'm just going to work on enjoying today with them and not letting our new routine with Busy Girl (school camp!) overshadow the boys.
So, first on the enjoy-the-moment agenda is making sure Busy D.'s future autobiography isn't titled, "I Grew Up Without a Closet".
I recently got the chance to try Dove VisibleCare™ Crème Body Wash. While I don't have an issue with really, really dry skin like some people do, I have noticed a difference in my skin over the years, and I'm also a little dry from the summer sun.
I'm not always a body wash kind of person (I go in cycles), but I've really enjoyed this one. It has a great smell that anyone can use. The smell isn't overpowering, but it's worth noting if you're very sensitive to such things.
I can be a bit of a skeptic, but I admit I noticed right away how my skin felt softer all day. I can see some improvement in the way it looks, but with continued use it's supposed to get better and better. I'm looking forward to see how it helps the problem areas of my elbows and heels.
I'll definitely keep using it (until one of my kids steals it) as it's been a nice way to change up my shower routine and treat myself a little.
Do check it out, you might find that you like it, too.
Don't forget to enter the sweepstakes, and here's the question for an entry:
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