Earthquakes and Baseball {1989}


Is it the first of November already?
Wow, October just flew by.
You all know the drill.
Link up your favorite memories of 1989.
Want to know what I remember best about 1989?
The Loma Prieta Earthquake.
I was in 6th grade.
The Giants were playing the A's in the World Series.
My dad and I had just settled at home to watch the series.
I was upstairs in our condo, and dad was downstairs.
In that condo, you couldn't shut the door without the whole condo shaking.
That's why I thought my dad had slammed the door.
I thought, "Where is he going? The games gonna start."
Suddenly the TV went blank,
and the real shaking began.

via Google Images
In California they teach you to go under a table or in a doorway at birth.
This idea alluded me now.
I remember my dad yelling for me to come down the stairs.
It was like trying to walk on a rope bridge.
He met me half way and carried me out to the curb.
He sat me there, and said he was going to move our car,
in case the building fell.
Could that even happen?
Then, I swear I will never forget,
the ground started moving again...
and the pavement looked like waves.
My mom was still at work and that day her 15 minute commute took 45.
She said all the tiles in the ceilings in her building fell.
She said all of the lights were out in the entire town.
From our cars, we listened to KNBR for updates.
KNBR was supposed to be calling the World Series.
That day, it gave us the news.
As a result of the 7.1 earthquake, we were out of power for 2 days.
We stayed with my grandparents since they had a generator and a gas oven.
My aunts, uncles, and cousins stayed too.
Being kids, we thought it was fun.
I was and still am a news junkie, so I was glued to the TV.
We watched non-stop coverage.
We saw the collapsed bay bridge.
We the Marina District burn.
We saw a completely destroyed downtown Santa Cruz.

via Google Images

It was crazy.
We slept at Grandma and Grandpas for four days.
Mom was afraid to go home to our two story condo.
When we did, the three of us camped out in the living room.
And wouldn't you know a 5.0 aftershock hit that night.
I remember my dad throwing his arm around both my mom and I.
We just stayed there in a bear hug until the shaking stopped.
I don't think any of us slept soundly for a few months.
Just as life went on, so did the World Series.
The Giants didn't win the series that year.
They wouldn't win until 2010.
They also won this year.
When they won, the eleven year old in me
 thought about the 1989 Earthquake.


Happy Halloween {A word from our sponsors}

Happy Halloween, all you Halloweenies!
I hope that you are celebrating in style.
Me, I'm a little busy cleaning and making cupcakes for tonight.
I think I'll be dressing up as "Mother of the Year",
as inspired by this post.
Which means I'll be dressed exactly as I am,
jeans, tank, cardi, Toms.
I'll have most likely fed my kids Mc. Donalds for dinner,
because I'll be busy baking and cleaning so the
neighbors can come over for "treats".
I'll be serving microwave popcorn, Capri Sun,
and Funfetti cupcakes from the box, frosted with canned frosting.
My kids will eat all this and whatever haul they bring in.
They will go to bed about 10.
And we will wake up late for school the next morning.
Oh, did I mention that they probably won't wear jackets tonight.
Jackets would totally take away from their awesome costumes.
See, mother of the year.
The only dark spot to this spooky day,
Caitlin's school didn't allow dressing up for Halloween. 
Bummer right?
Seriously, the great pumpkin will not be visiting those
bah-humbugs who decided that.
Today, my October sponsors are sharing their Halloween fun.
Help me wish my lovely sponsors a Happy Halloween!
Bonnie, Life of Bon

My favorite Halloween ever was two years ago.  I dressed up like Voldemort.  I was a little afraid that it would totally turn off my then-boyfriend, but he didn't seem too disgusted by it.  In fact, the reason why I loved Halloween two years ago was because of what he said to me.  Halloween will always carry a special little place in my heart since last year. As we were cleaning up from our Halloween party, my boyfriend said to me "Bon, next year we're going to have to go with something real scary again.  Maybe something a little more coordinated.  You know, like our costumes go together."

And that's how I first knew he wanted to marry me.    Because who plans a year in advance if you don't want to marry the person?!?!  By Halloween 2011 I was his wife.  And if that isn't a Halloween love story, I don't know what is.

Colleen, Paisley Boulevard

One of my favorite Halloween memories is from a few years ago. My husband dressed up like Edward Scissorhands and I did his makeup and he looked AMAZING. Literally we could not make it 5 feet in our neighborhood while we trick or treated without people freaking out about how cool his costume was. He was really into character, too so it was fun!
Check out Colleen and her husbands AMAZING costumes from this year.
She is so rad!!
Kristine, The Foley Fam {Unedited}

We are having a blast this Halloween Season doing all the fun kids crafts I can come up with. M&M love it and seeing their little faces light up when their project is complete melts my heart! Last year Mia was just born so we didn't go out, looking forward to dressing up this year and going out adults only after trick or treating with M&M. Wish this Momma luck :)
Laura, Our Reflection
Check out her Rag Tie Garland, perfect for Fall Decorating,
and a Fall Bucket List that she shared on her blog.
Laura is also an amazing photographer.
Check out her work here.
Thanks to these lovely ladies for sponsoring AbsoluteMommy this month!
I've made some awesome friends in the blogging world!
Interested in sponsoring AbsoluteMommy in November?

Halloween Crafty Biz 2012

While you read this I'm at the Pumpkin Patch with 28 Kindergartners.
Say a prayer for me.
While I'm out, here are some crafty crafts I threw together at the last minute.
I'm notorious for spending tons on craft supplies,
and then not crafting a single thing.
Since Mac was still sickie on Monday, my mom came over.
Saint Linda saved the day.
And allowed me to do a few of my To-do Halloween projects.
Isn't there a "pinned it / made it" link up?
If so, tell me in the comments.
Some of these were Pinterest inspired!!
On my front door.
Don't worry it's not that fancy.
Scrapbook paper.
Glue Gun.
See the original Pin for inspiration.
This is a canvas bag.
Plus paint and stencils.
I know, I'm that mom.
Why don't I just let them use a pillow case?
Well, because none of them are clean!
Also this took like five minutes, promise.
So if I can, so can you!
Hipster Pumpkins.
Seriously, two minutes.
$1 mustaches from Target.
$1 Googly eyes from Michael's.
A little tacky glue.
Halloween, LIKE A SIR!
I did a little something like this last year.
I just took it to another level when I saw this Pin.
btw, this pin gets a "HTTP 403", sorry
It's super easy, and you can get as creative as you want.
Plus, all the materials can be reused for Halloweens to come.
This is Caitlin painting her pumpkin in her undies.
Something about undies and crafting has her heart.
At least she didn't stain her clothes.
And don't forget to check out these guys over here!
I got the inspiration here.
Lena has the full tutorial!
Happy Day before Halloween!
And don't forget to Get 'Yo Craft ON!!! 

Monday Letters {because Friday was a disaster}

Dear Monday,
Hay girl, hay.
Mac is still sick.
Caitlin has a smokers cough.
I've done nothing all weekend.
Thanks for always being consistent.
Dear Caitlin
I didn't have the heart to tell you that
this face painting was awful.
It was the crappiest job around.
I'm sorry.
But it was only 2 bucks.
When you are older you will know what I mean.
Dear Entertainment Weekly
You are one of my favorites.
This week you didn't let me down.
Degrassi is a secret love of mine.
And Drake will always be #wheelchairJimmy
Dear Mac
Oh sure.
Look like you are fine.
That you are not running a 101 temp.
Also whatever you do don't pee.
I love to sit in the doctor's office for 3 hours.
Oh, and when you finally pee,
thanks for letting us get the "all clear,
it's just a virus" talk.
Mommy loves you with all her heart.
Dear Donuts with Dad
Thank you for this picture.
That is all.
Dear Friday
That above is why there were no Friday Letters.
It was so much more than that too.
It would take me an entire post to get it out.
I don't want to write it.
So lets just agree it was a disaster.
Dear Pinterest
You never fail me.
Thank you for your humor board.
Also I need this shirt in my life.
I mean, who wouldn't?
Dear Uncle Eric
We have taken to calling you Uncle Dad.
That's right, because you are so awesome.
The kids love you.
And we love you because you hand over
your iPhone to Mac every time.
Plus, you introduced my kids 
kids to Steamboat Willie and Pinocchio.
Dear #notestagram
So you're telling me I can now write messages
and witty comments on Instagram.
Like create my own ecards, in a way?
In.  Love.
Dear Mac
I'm sorry you are so sick.
You have ran a temperature since Thursday.
The worst being 103 for 3 hours last night.
I hate when you are sick.
Let's hope that your screams at your sister
are a sign that the fever is gone.
It seems, business as usual, let's keep it that way.
Dear Cassie
This was the sweetest card.
Thank you.
And ditto.
Dear Caitlin
How did this happen?
A kindergarten picture.
Where did my baby go?
Dear girls
You guys were too cute watching Pinocchio on #uncledads iPad.
Let's thank him for bringing it over.
Well we all know it was so he and Daddy could
watch the World Series in silence.
But it was nice of him to trust a 5 year old
and a 2 year old with an iPad.
Dear BFF
Thanks for falling in love with baseball.
It's fun to talk about it with you.
I don't even miss talking about Greys or Glee.
This is way more fun!
Dear San Francisco Giants
Great job guys.
The World Series was a blast to watch.
But let's be honest.
The entire month of October was a blast.
I could write an entire post just about you.
And maybe I will, but not today. 
Everything I know about baseball I learned from my Dad,
and of course my Aunt Marilyn, both Giants fans.
I was born this way.
So when I met the hubbs, and found out he was a Giant's fan,
I thought 2 things.
One: this guy, no really THIS GUY,
Two:  My dad is going to be so happy.
See you on Opening Day.
Dear week
Let's.  Do.  This.

A sip of Love {mug swap reveal}

Is there anything better than meeting new bloggy friends?
Oh, yes of course, when you and said new bloggy friend exchange gifts.
So was the case with the Sip of Love mug swap, hosted by
Stephany of Our Hyder Home.
Any type of blogger gift swap is a great way to meet new bloggy friends.
Plus you get great swag like this...
That's right.
That mug says coffee is not my cup of tea.
Because it's the truth.
Tea is my cup of tea.
Jessica of Sugar in my Grits nailed it.
This is perfect.
Be sure to check out what I sent Jessica.
I had so much fun shopping for her.
Thank you Jessica, for my awesomely perfect mug!
Oh and see that little jar of honey.
Well it's super special, delicious, vanilla spice honey.
You can find it here.
I got mine thanks to Love Club.
But that's another post for another day.
Stay tuned.
PS:  Blogging was a little spotty last week because of this:
Sick kids were just the tip of the iceberg.
More on that later as well.

Sunday Funday with The Foley Family {unedited}

Have you met my gal Kristine?
She is the best bloggy friend a gal can have.
She is outspoken, funny, and completely down to earth.
I could spend this entire post telling you all the ways I bloggy worship her.
But instead I will just say that if you don't follow Kristine already you are truely missing out.
She is also an October sponsor.

Today she has invited me to co-host her weekly link up, Sunday Funday.
It's anything goes over at Kristine's place.

So be sure to check out her blog and link up anything you'd like.

Today, I'm going to share a fun and easy project that you can rock just in time for Halloween.
Candy Bar Mummies are all the rage...
Didn't you know?

Supplies: White Crepe paper/self sticking googly eyes/Hershey's bars any size/
not pictured: double stick tape/scissors

1. Stick your eyes on your candy bar.  2.  Place a strip of double stick tape on the back of the bar
3.  Stick a strip of crepe paper onto the tape.  4.  Start wrapping
Note: for the fun size bar, I cut the crepe paper in half length wise

It's ok to cover the eyes when wrapping, because you just move the paper around to get the final product.
How cute are these guys?

And that's it!  So fun, and so easy.
It's almost Halloween, so don't forget to get yo' craft on!!
This tutorial was originally seen here... Check out her bloggy too!

Take it away Kristine!!!

Now on to the Sunday FUNday Link Up Partay!
Link up your projects, Momma advice, fashion posts, anything goes!
I will be showcasing my favorites on my Facebook page
and pinning them on my Pinterest Page thruout the week! If I've showed you off feel free to grab a featured
button on my sidebar <<<< and get your brag on!

This week I have my bloggy BFF Megan from Absolute Mommy co-hosting with me! After linkin up below, head on over to her casa to see some Halloween goodness as well!

*I ask that you follow this blog and Megan's in some way shape or form
(via GFC, Bloglovin, RSS feed, or by email)
*Visit at least TWO other links, because sharing the love is gooooooood!

 *You don't have to link to both our blogs, since the widget is intertwined.

Now show us what you got!

It's ok...

It's ok to link up with this awesome blogger today.
It's ok that I couldn't wait to get back into the yoga pants that are
reserved for lounging and kindergarten drop off.
It's ok that I've been procrastinating on a post.
It's ok to not want to do those kinds of posts, but for some reason can't say no.
It's really ok to say no.
It's ok that I've been reading more than blogging.
Great books just slay me!
It's ok that I have Halloween crafts to do.
It's ok that Halloween is next Wednesday and said crafts will most likely not get done.
It's ok that I am praying that the forecast is a liar and it will not be in the 80s next week.
It's ok that I had to force myself to sit down at this computer.
It's ok that I posted to Instagram showing
off my dirty bathroom.
It's ok that I've been quiet on social media as of late.
It's ok that everytime I opened blogger today I read my blog roll instead.
It's ok that I purposely ate late so I could skip my run.
It's ok that I didn't watch any debates.
It's ok that I've known for awhile who I'm voting for.
It's ok to blog in your car...
As long as you are not driving.
It's ok that I'd rather be watching the World Series with the hubbs.
It's ok that by writing this post, I'm hoping not to sit at the computer for another 24 hours.
It's ok to take a timeout at Starbucks.
Even if all you do is sit and stare at the display case.
It's ok to be this tired, this blessed, and this lazy.
It's ok.
Its Ok Thursdays

Bon's Thoughts on Writing {Meet Bon}

Today you get to meet Bon, from Life of Bon
I'm going to say your welcome in advance. 
Bon is hilarious, outspoken, and a great writer. 
So yeah, I'm sold. 
But what really gets me is her fearlessness
to actually post what's on her mind, no matter what. 
I find I'm not that brave. 
Today she is sharing how she writes her story. 
So thank you Bon for being brave and hilarious at the same time.
Happy Blogging friends!
Why hello there.

The name is Bonnie Blackburn Larsen and writing nonsense is my game.  Sometimes I get in trouble for what I write, but that's just the way the cookie crumbles.  The husband's name is Greg and I've been told I would be a fool for letting the internet Gods know my husband's name because now they can steal our identities and invade our home, GASP!  Therefore, to protect us from cyber devils and because it seems somehow hip I have named him Hubs.  I pride myself on originality.

This is me in my very sexiest form.  I look like this about 0.0021% of my life.  Maybe less.

This is me in my ugliest form- dressed up as Voldemort for midnight Harry Potter premieres. 
I just felt like from the get go you needed to know me in my best and worst forms.  Just know that usually I am somewhere in the middle of those two extremities, but creeping over more into the Voldemort side, no doubt.

If you are still interested in me, (oh this sounds so romantic!) you have a couple of options from here.

Option #1: Continue reading this post on Megan's blog where I will talk about risky writing and how somehow we have to write the stuff that is hard to write even though people might hate us for it, we must write it, dang it! 
Option #2: Visit my blog where you may read all my rambling to your heart's content.  You might wanna check out this post which will give you a very personal, loving tour of the blog and a guide to the greatest posts- the romantic ones about my Hub-a-dubs, the ones about teaching high school to bratty teenagers, and even the scandalous ones.
Option #3:  While at my blog, enter Monday's giveaway- the absolutely biggest giveaway I have ever done in the blog's history!  Option #4:  All of the above

(Pick #4!  Pick #4)

Let's dive right in, shall we?

Lately I've been thinking a little about writing and the act of writing and what we write about and writing what scares us even though we are scared.

You with me?

My theory is this:  You have to be willing to lose followers in order to really produce original, thought provoking writing.  You can't be afraid of the internet trolls, the mean commenters, the people who are going to disagree with everything you say.  You just have to realize that those people aren't who you're writing for and let them go find a nice blog where weekend recaps and Oh, so Pinteresting posts abound.

In May I sponsored a blogger who politey asked me three times to rewrite my post. My posts were too "controversial", "polarizing", and "inappropriate" for her blog. I had links to a post on birth control, a post about my students' threats to Justin Beiber, and of course, my favorite post describing my high school student who confused whores with horse.  The blogger stated that she didn't want her blog to be a place where these "kinds of things are hashed out." While I, of course, respected that blogger's wishes, I was also surprised and a bit saddened that she didn't want anything on her blog that could spark the least bit of controversy. Where was the fun? Where was the spark? Where was the risk?

In June I cried over a blog post. I had written a post admitting that I had parked in a handicapped stall to run in to the grocery store for five minutes.  I thought it would spark conversation, get some people to comment.   

Oh, I got that alright.  And a little bit more.  My readers tore into me.  They were merciless.  Wanted me dead.  The comments were fast and furious.  Some were posted anonymously, calling me a liar, classless, and rude.  One commenter even compared me to "bean paste." The post had only been up an hour, and already I couldn't take the heat.

I moseyed on in to the bedroom, where Hubs was dinking around on facebook, and with tears in my eyes I said to him, "You need to read the comments on the post I just put up. I think I went too far." We clicked on over to my blog and read through the comments together.

Hubs said nothing.

"I'm going to take it down," I said with a hint of panic in my voice. "People are crucifying me!"

Hubs kept reading in silence. Then he said, "I don't think you should take this down."

"Why not?" I was scared. And vulnerable. And was literally on the verge of tears. People hated what I had written.

"I think it's good. I mean, I don't think it's good that you parked handicapped. But I think this reaction is good. People who are going to stop reading your blog over this would stop reading within time anyway. You can't be afraid to post stuff like this. You can't be afraid of your readers."

And so, I kept it up. Not because I wanted to, but because I wanted to make Hubs proud and convince him that I was a strong girl even though heavens knows I'm not.

The next day I put on a brave face and lectured my readers via blog post: BE KIND, PEOPLE! IF YOU DON'T HAVE ANYTHING NICE TO SAY, DON'T SAY ANYTHING AT ALL.

And more people responded.

I had more hits to my blog in that two day period than any other time during the summer. I lost a few followers, but I gained many more.  And I had emails up the ying yang of people asking if they could sponsor me.

That wasn't the only time I was scared to post something I had written.

I was scared when I wrote about birth control laws in Utah.

I was scared when I wrote about farts. (Mostly scared of my mom, I admit.)

I was scared when I wrote about my religion. (Terrified is a better term.)

I was scared when I wrote about about gay marriage.

I was scared when I wrote about our culture's attitude toward breast feeding.

But guess what? ALL of these posts are in my top ten viewed posts of all time. They might have caused some readers to go, but they caused even more to come and stay.

Good writing does not succeed or fail based on its ability to please. Good writing suceeds or fails based on its ability to engage. And if I've got 66 people yelling at me for parking handicapped, well, by golly, I guess I engaged them.

Now come over to my blog and add your two cents!  Do you think bloggers should write about things that scare them or keep it to sweet, non-controversial posts?  Do you take risks with your writing?  What are your favorite type of blog posts?