Goodbye December/ Goodbye 2016

It occurred to me an hour ago that I had not posted a single thing in the month of December.

I should have realized this sooner, but the truth is, I was too busy. Too overwhelmed. Too distracted by a season that should have been more focused.

My last post to this blog was November 8th, and after that it seems as though I have blinked and today is December 31st.

To say that December was hard is a complete understatement. Busy became a four letter word. I struggled the entire month to hold on tight to traditions, my knuckles turning white, and seemed to fail regularly. Christmas cookies were a three night project. I took a day off from work to wrap gifts. Class gifts were forgotten, gift cards were chosen last minute, even my regular binge of Christmas movies didn't happen before the 25th.

I spent the last 10 days before Christmas in a panic. How would it all get done? The class parties and the dance lessons, and the parties at the dance lessons. The Girl Scout party, the "Adults only" Christmas party, the family celebrations. As usual, they all fell into place, some last minute, some by the skin of our teeth. Some things we just had to let go of, because there were never enough minutes, barely enough moments.

That is why I woke up on Christmas Eve and decided to be happy. I made the conscious effort to be content. That is why I watched all five of my favorite Christmas movies between the 24th and the 26th. All in bits and pieces, I only saw my favorite scene in Love Actually (Hugh as the PM dancing, because duh); half of The Holiday while Santa worked furiously putting together a doll house. I switched back and forth between A Christmas Story and Scrooged. Home Alone on Christmas Eve afternoon while I baked cakes. It wasn't pretty or perfect, but I saw enough of them to soothe my soul. To make it feel like I was ready for Christmas.

Because I needed to be ready, for my family, for my kids, and I wasn't quite in the Christmas spirit. But the bits and pieces came together and made it feel whole enough to tear open gifts and eat candy first thing in the morning. To enjoy gifts of coloring books and colored pencils. To laugh with and at cousins I don't see regularly. To make reindeer food last minute with my girls who couldn't go to bed until the milk and cookies were out, and the reindeer food sprinkled.

We spent a rushed Christmas happily. All the traditions we didn't get to were forgotten Christmas morning. We didn't look back, we were too busy celebrating.

Truth is we are still celebrating. Our tree is still up, the lights are still on the house.

We haven't finished quite yet.

Because we made it to today, with a few bumps, but we still made it.

I'm grateful for that. I'm grateful for today and all the yesterdays of 2016. Even if some of them were complete and total bullshit. Even if some of the days included loved ones getting life altering diagnosis. Even if some of those days included fights about politics with family members. Even if some of those days included mom fails and wife fails and all around adulting fails.

I'm grateful I'm here. With my health and my family. With the people I love and those that love me. Tonight I'm heavy with reflection as I say goodbye to 2016. I'm heavy with hope for 2017. Mostly I'm happy and thankful as I greet a new year. It's like opening a fresh notebook. Blank pages just waiting to be filled.

Cheers to filling them well.

Chapter One...

30 Day Writing Challenge {Day 1 /Social Media}

November is National Novel Writing Month and every November I promise myself that I'm going to hunker down and write my novel. I haven't, but what I found was a 30 day writing challenge for the month to spark some creativity. I found this pin on Pinterest, and have been following it, mostly. I've also used this one too. 

As you can see, I'm publishing these out of order, the only reason is that I'm just writing the prompts and they are piling up before I can get them onto the blog. Day 1 was "The Problem with Social Media". I write these on my phone and leave them pretty much unedited. If you want to join in the challenge, check out the pin and jump in!

At first glance the obvious problem with social media would be the time it can consume, the envy that it can bring, the bullying that inevitably follows, and the overall idiocy that continues. Right now social media is a mirror image of what's happening in our lives. The election, black lives vs blue lives, trashy Halloween costumes, celebrity scandals and gossip. People are bullied. Families are divided over Hillary vs Trump and everyone is offended.
I could write for hours on all the problems and issues that plague social media.
Instead, Here is what I know is great about social media.
I'm connected with friends and relatives that I normally wouldn't be. Some live near, some live far, but thanks to Facebook and Instagram they are a click away.
I like that my husband and I speak meme, fluently. We can send each other memes all day long and talk and laugh about them later. I love those direct messages from him.
I love that social media allows me to connect with people I would never meet otherwise. Two of my dearest friends are products of the blogging world. We've only met up three or four times in real life. We text every day. Without social media, I wouldn't have them in my life and that would be a crime.
I love that people all over the world can have a heart felt connection over a cat video or a sheriff dancing in a high school gym. Real connections. Sharing comments.  Being kind or showing support. It's fun to read positive reactions instead of the negative ones usually highlighted on social media.
I love so many things about social media, about my iPhone, about Internet connections. For all the awful and negative aspects of this new age of communication, there are so many positive ones. It's true that my children will never know about a life without Facebook or Instagram. A life where real, tangible mail ruled. A world where you couldn't just download the best selling book or movie the night it was released. Standing in line on press day, waiting for the five o'clock news, having to wait for a rerun of a favorite show, are just tales of lore. Stories of yesteryear.
Still there is something to be said about watching a table of ladies, grandmas and great grandmas to be specific, taking pictures of each other, then taking selfies. Maybe they all have Facebook accounts to keep up with the kids. Maybe they have Instagram accounts for all the filters. Maybe one of those cool grannies even has a Snapchat and added the deer filter. I have no idea, but from where I sat last Saturday in a restaurant, those ladies were happy as can be. Armed with iPhones and great filters. Giggling and laughing at what technology is doing for them.
Oh to be that cool one day.

30 Day Writing Challenge {Day 2: Earliest Memories}

November is National Novel Writing Month and every November I promise myself that I'm going to hunker down and write my novel. I haven't, but what I found was a 30 day writing challenge for the month to spark some creativity. I found this pin on Pinterest, and have been following it, mostly. I've also used this one too. 

Day 2 was "Your Earliest Memory" and I had a few to share. This was fun to write, even if it was just on my phone while my girls were at dance. If you want to join in the challenge, check out the pin and jump in!

I can remember going to preschool, Bo Peep and Ms. Jean was my teacher. I always wanted to get the "good egg" award. It was given to the most well behaved children at the end of the day. It was a card stock egg, on a string. It was coveted by all the children. I remember the beautiful schoolhouse that was once an actual house on a street in town, and it had neighbors. I remember celebrating my fifth birthday with the most beautiful cupcakes from Pollyanna bakery. White cupcakes with white butter cream air brushed to look like grass, with jelly beans and candy eggs on top. The privilege of being a spring baby. I remember the playground. Filled with play houses with real food boxes, recycled for play before people did such things. A large fort with real logs. Play cars that I literally fought over. Because the red one was always mine. I remember the most delicious sugar cookies, their tops packed with “nonpareils”, every color of the rainbow. I nibbled that cookie all the way down to my fingertips but refused to eat more, because my hands were dirty from playing outside. My request to wash them denied, my need for clean, germ free hands, intense. But I remember the cookie, still thirty four years later. The buttery film it left in my mouth, the crunch of the non perils, the heartbreak of losing the last third of it to dirty hands.

I remember my first quesadilla. Jack cheese on corn tortillas. More please. I always wanted more of whatever My grandma Chila was cooking. We sat on the porch of her house, watching the cars go by, the afternoon sun fading, a glorious day for Salinas. A rare fog free day. We waited there for my mom to pick me up after work. Maybe I was four, maybe I was five. I remember my Grandpa's red and white can of Budweiser, the sharp tang of the Monterey Jack cheese, the soft shell of the corn tortilla. I can still see the angle of the sun on the porch, and know all these years later that I was barefoot and in shorts. I can still feel the sun on my back from the beautiful Salinas day.

I can remember the first time I wrote my name, in a picture book. Over sized capital “E” and “A”, as though I had a preference for vowels. I had been writing my bike in the driveway and stopped to look at the book. The sun was bright and I had to squint to see my name on the page. The first time I remember reading was with Mrs. Perkinson my kindergarten teacher. I read her flash cards of colors, orange and red, purple and blue, then of words like house and cat. I can still remember the paste in the jars, the stamps on the back of my hand when we were good, the lunch that my grandma would pack… One half ham sandwich on white, one half banana, red juice in a plastic barrel that she had bought at Monte Mart, because I didn’t like milk.

For the month of November I'll be posting the things that I write in this challenge. It just takes me a few days to get them from my phone and edited. I hope you liked reading as much as I liked writing.

Uncommon Gifts for this Holiday Season {Uncommon Goods}

***I was approached by Uncommon Goods to give my honest opinion on their site and the kinds of products they offer. The opinions expressed in this post are mine. I've been a fan of Uncommon Goods for years, so this was a fun post to write. And yes, I was compensated for this post.***

Halloween has passed, and I’m  playing Christmas music and strategically planning my Christmas shopping. To be honest I think about Christmas gifts all year because I have a lot of gifts to buy, but I also like to find unique gifts for my family. I love finding things that they love, and maybe wouldn’t buy for themselves. This gets difficult with my kiddos that are spoiled rotten and have everything you see in Target. I love when I can find something that isn’t Disney or whatever movie is currently playing. For the adults in my life, like the Hubbs, I love finding gifts that will make an impression. Half the fun of shopping is in the “hunt”, what’s great about Uncommon Goods, is that you can “hunt” in your pajamas!

Uncommon Goods is a great website to find gifts for everyone on your list. From Infants to Grandparents and everyone in between you are sure to find something they will love. Uncommon Goods also has a registry and a Blog called The Goods, where they go in depth when presenting their products. What I love about Uncommon Goods is that they have unique gifts from artists around the world that they partner with. Many of them right here is the USA. Great for family members that want American made products, and for those of us who try to keep it “local”.

For this post, I scoured their website to find some great gifts for those folks on my “Hard to Buy” list, for my kiddos, and of course, Me. I couldn’t post every item, but here are my favorites.

For my “Hard to Buy” folks, I started with (1) Game of Phones, which will keep us all connected and engaged, because lets face it we are all on our phones anyway. I love that it’s competitive texting and Google searches, among other competitions. A (2) Smart Phone projector makes a movie night possible anywhere and anytime. I have family members that travel so how fun would this be on a long trip? Also for my friends that have impatient little ones, movie nights in forts while the adults recover from the day. I loved these (3) Zodiac necklaces for my women friends. Unique to each person who receives it, but also not overly flashy. I love that these necklaces can be worn all the time, dressy or casual. For my wine enthusiast friends, (4) Personalized Wine Barrel lazy Susans are perfect. Each can bring some rustic charm to any setting, and how perfect would they be for cheese and crackers? Score! Finally for my beer drinking folks, (5) and Insulated Growler. Perfect for the tailgater in your life, or maybe the camper. It holds 64 ounces and stays cold for 24 hours. You can also take it a step further and get the keg kit that goes with it, to turn the growler into a personal keg!

Searching for unique gifts for my kids was super fun. My girls are spoiled rotten, so I’m always looking for gifts that you can’t just buy anywhere, but also will make an impact. I mean, how many more Shopkins can we buy at this point? For Caitlin I loved the (1) Llama Pouch. It’s perfect for pencils, make up, or whatever she can stuff into it. She loves anything with animals these days, so this seems like a great buy. For both girls (2) the Mobi Math Game. It’s like Scrabble, but numbers. I’m sure they won’t even notice they are learning since they are so competitive. I’m pretty sure they both need (3) Gummy Bear lights, because really who doesn’t need Gummy Bear lights in their life? And finally, (4) Unicorn and Rainbow mismatched earrings. Unicorns are big in our house right now. These are just perfect.

Of course I could not visit any website with awesome products and not create a wish list for myself. I absolutely want a (1) plush uterus. Sure there are other organs available, but come on, the uterus is the only way to go. It’s looks so mild and unassuming, like most organs, but we all know she is the strongest. I also have to have (2) Game of Phones. Any game that allows me to be on my phone with purpose is okay in my book. (3) The Zodiac necklace is a must, especially since it’s pictured in my sign, so now I know I can’t live without it. But my real wish is to have (4) The Diana Camera. It’s a definite throwback, as it takes real film… Real FILM. It also produces those soft and dreamy images that we all flock to Instagram to create. It’s a must have for any photography enthusiast, or for someone like me who is just obsessed with Instagram. 

Even if you haven't started your Christmas shopping, Uncommon Goods is a great place to go when you need a unique gift for the special people in your life. Check out these other categories and my favorite picks from each one...

Great Personalized Anniversary gifts can be found on the Uncommon Goods top picks page. My Favorites include: The Personalized Family Print, turn your family into a fun illustration; The Intersection of Love print, you and your love intersecting in name; and these amazing personalized Whiskey Barrels, I'm not a fan of whiskey, but my best friend is and she would love this in her life!

Need a one of a kind baby gift? Need a housewarming gift for the family that has everything? Is Dad tired of socks and ties? Uncommon Goods top Personalized Gift collection is the place to find the perfect gift. My top three from this collection are: The personalized Alphabet Book for any child on your list, an awesome baby shower or first Christmas gift; The Personalized Amp Doormat, awesome for those rockers in your life; and The Baseball Stadium Blueprint, for any baseball fanatic!

Finally my top three birthday gifts for her, picked from the Uncommon Goods Birthday Gifts collection. The Make a Wish personalized birthday candle, with the birthday girls name and age; The Friendship Tree trinket box, for your dearest friend; and The New York Times Custom Birthday Book, which is a collection of the Times front page every year since you were born, what a unique gift for news lovers in your life!

Shopping is one of my favorite things to do, so this post was so fun to write. I hope I’ve peaked your interest and you will be headed to Uncommon Goods soon to check them out. Hopefully I’ve helped you find some great gifts for people on your list this Holiday Season. Check out Uncommon Goods on Facebook and Instagram for more gift ideas.

Happy Shopping friends!

Taking Stock {October 2016}

I haven't blogged in so long that I was looking for a way to come back and not write an extremely long post about life. In the past I've always loved the Taking Stock posts because they give readers a look into what you are doing right now. What you are loving, living, and eating which is super important right? Here is my Taking Stock for October.

Anything and everything that is pumpkin and also gluten free. The Trader Joe’s pancake mix is amazing and smells like all your pumpkin spice dreams are coming true. It’s a must in this house, because you can very easily turn it into Pumpkin Spice Gluten Free Donuts! I know. Life changing.

Dinner. At least once a week. Hot dogs and tater tots count right? I mean I do have to turn on my oven and all.

Starbucks Iced Tea. I’m not supposed to have it because I’m supposed to stay away from caffeine, but once a week I treat myself. It’s so bad, but also so good.  

Munching: On this fantastic gluten free popcorn mix made with SkinnyPop popcorn. I used gluten free ingredients to make it gf friendly. It’s so easy to make: Buy one bag SkinnyPop popcorn in the original flavor, one bag candy corn, one bag white chocolate chips and one bag mini chocolate chips. Mix popcorn, 2 handfuls of mini chips and half a bag of candy corn together in a bowl. Melt the white chocolate chips and pour over mixture in the bowl. Stir to combine and pour out onto parchment or wax paper. When cool eat, or eat immediately! Add sprinkles if you want! Super yummy and easy to make!

I read Winter Storms, by Elin Hilderbrand, who is one of my favorite authors. It’s a story that is set during the holidays which I love and its also the last book in a trilogy which totally breaks my heart. I also finished In Twenty Years, by Allison Winn over the weekend. It was fantastic, especially if you are on the verge of forty. I loved it.

All the boots. All the scarves. All the skinny jeans. And the all the cold weather so I can wear all these things.

For skinny jeans that will fit a petite person who carries their weight in their mid section and also has a flat ass… For a friend. I’m asking for a friend.

To 90s alternative on Pandora. Always 90s alternative on Pandora. Also the Chili Peppers new one that was released over the summer.

Precious hours watching New Girl. Before October I had only watched a few episodes, but now, I’ve seen everything except the current season. I always knew I’d love the show, but I just didn’t realize how much. I haven’t laughed this hard in years, and I laugh so loud that I scare the kids. I’m pretty sure Nick Miller is my spirit animal!

That the Giants would have made it to the World Series. Totally bummed that this wasn’t our “even” year.

Cooler nights and mornings. That way I can fake some fall fashion before the temperature is back up to 80 degrees!

And counting down the days until our Disneyland Trip! I have been to the park almost twenty times, but never when it’s decked out for Christmas. I’m beyond excited.

That I changed my schedule to have Wednesdays off. It’s the day we have the most dance classes, so it just made sense.  

Wondering: How next Tuesday is NOVEMBER FIRST!

Loving: Running. I know, but don’t hate me. A few years ago I became one of those people who loves to run after a lifetime of hating it. I have a 5:30 am call time with some girlfriends and it’s so fun to go and gab with them, but even better I get to run the “bitch” out. That’s what my neighbor says, and I believe her. It totally helps!

Hoping: That I can finish my Christmas shopping by Thanksgiving weekend. Praying on this also.

Marveling: That another year has past, faster than the last.

Needing: Boots. My others are trashed.

Wearing: The amazing boyfriend cut shirts from Old Navy and Rockstar jeans, which I will admit, I hated Rockstars in the beginning. But they fit really well (except in the butt, they sag, a lot!) and the mid rise waist guarantees that my crack will not show at work. No one wants to see “old lady crack”.

Following: Dan Rather on Facebook. I’m a liberal, so I may be super biased, but I love what he posts. He brings a historical element to this election that I find fascinating.

Noticing: That I have missed blogging and writing so much, but also noticing that I don’t feel as guilty as I used to when I skip it.

Thinking: About the Christmas story that I’ve been writing for two years may need to see the light of day.

Pinning: Gorgeous things for Thanksgiving and Christmas! Also delicious things for both holidays.

Giggling: With my husband at night after the kids go to bed. A few nights ago it was at Revenge of the Nerds. Before that A League of Their Own. Most nights its memes on Instagram.

Feeling: Like I want time to slow down. My favorite time of year is the weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas. I have a feeling that they are going to fly by this year.

What are you taking stock of these days?

Better Things are on the way! {Mom Giveaway}

I've been talking up the new FX show Better Things for over a week. Thanks for FX, I have a new favorite show! Thursday nights at 10 pm are booked for this season, which says a lot since I'm a huge fan of How to Get Away with Murder, which is on at the same time! Serious choices are happening.

If you read my first Better Things post, then you know I love Sam and her gang, but last week's episode (episode two) introduced us to Sam's mom, Phil. How do I explain Phil? I can't, you have to see her in all her British accented glory. Don't miss a moment of Sam and her life as TVs best mother.

To celebrate Sam, and mothers everywhere, FX has sent me a gift basket to giveaway to one of my readers. What fabulous swag can you look forward to? Giveaway items include:

Ray-Ban Sunglasses
Leather Clutch for mom’s things
Emergency Beauty Kit
Hypoallergenic travel pillow
Ultra-Soft travel pillow protector
Essential Oils Blend Mini

Cool Blue Tooth Keyring and Ray Ban Sunnies in a ultra hip black leather clutch!
Super soft travel pillow!
Glamorous Ray Ban Sunnies in their signature case!
All you have to do to enter is leave a comment on this blog about your current guilty pleasure. Starbucks? Chocolate? Grey's Anatomy? Currently mine is Better Things... So tell me yours for one entry. For extra entries, visit my Facebook page, visit my Instagram feed, or SHARE THIS BLOG POST! When you do, tag me so I can count your entry. This giveaway will close MONDAY 9/25.

Have fun, and don't miss tonight's new episode of Better Things!

Embracing My Mess {Life Lately} September Sixteen


For weeks I have been trying to embrace my mess. To love and thrive in the chaos that is my life.

In my mind, there are so many things to say, to write, to share. I'm overwhelmed at where to start.

I'll start with summer and go from there. 

I spent the summer in organized chaos. A sweet symphony of being over scheduled and overjoyed. It was a balancing act, trying to stay on top of obligations while still maintaining some spontaneity. We spent the summer dancing, literally, with both girls at the studio. School ended and recitals and competitions began. Then a full schedule of summer classes. I worked in between being at the studio with the girls and being home, but only part time which makes me incredibly happy. Part time has finally allowed me to moonlight as a sometimes working mom, bringing home "light" bacon, just enough to fund our Target addiction. We swam at my mama's pool. Sometimes all day, sometimes all night. Fresno boiled and baked us in the hot sun. Our bodies tan and sun kissed. Our ears plugged with chlorinated water and our hair tangled and crunchy. It was beautiful and glorious and exactly the kind of summer I have always wanted to give my kids.

I spent late nights with my neighbors and friends. Taking and laughing and sharing meals. Watching the Olympics and cheering for team USA and committing ourselves to insuring that one of our kids will be an Olympian one day and then we can all go and cheer USA together. Ping Pong or Women's trampoline has top billing in this house. Who needs gymnastics?

The Hubbs and I spent the summer trying to keep up with the girls and each other. Sundays spent lazily. Sometimes, most times in bed, watching movies with bad words and napping, among other things. There were no designated date nights. Just easy, lazy, summer nights, enjoying our company, our surroundings, and our shared sense of humor. There were heated political debates. We almost got a dog. We sent each other private messages on Instagram that were always inappropriate, but perfect if you know us in real life. Summer is our best season, it always has been. 

Then school started and the organized chaos just became chaos. From school to dance to home to bed. On loop like some kind of video surveillance, titled, "Insight into an over scheduled life". This year I have a fourth grader and a first grader, which is hard for me to believe. Our homework schedules include 20 minutes of reading and at least 20 spelling words a night. The first week of school was rocky at best with a new dance schedule and back to school kicking us around. Exhaustion set in, and by the first Friday, we were fried.

When I think about this school year, I can see the road ahead of me. All I can see are bumps. A rocky road filled with a schedules and obligations. Not only have I committed my daughters to a hectic dance schedule but I've also committed myself. I don't always just drop them off, on Mondays and Wednesdays I sit for 3-4 hours at a time. I'm at dance as I write this. I'm going to email it to myself and copy and paste into my blog template later. If I didn't email myself my writing, I may never write, I'd never get it down. This year I'm also on the schools PTC executive board, serving as the secretary. Which means I'm at all events early; movie night, back to school night, open house, you name it, I'll be there. I'm still a Girl Scout leader and our scout year begins this Thursday. School has been in session for a month and I'm already thinking about June.

Not really. Just a little. With every bump in the road, there will be a blessing. I know that, I have faith in that. Blessings will come when I least expect them, when I think I can't take another step. I've learned that blessings always rise from mess and chaos. Little moments that make all the bullshit matter. Why do I do this to myself? Why do I overbook my life? It's nature. I've always been an "over booker". If over scheduling my life was an Olympic sport I'd be a gold medalist. I said yes to all of those things. I have committed myself to a busy year. Don't feel sorry for me, I want to do all of those things, I wanted to do them when I signed up. But I also want to be lazy. I want to watch everything in my DVR and sleep in on Sundays. And I will. Don't worry about me. I'm lazy most days. Laundry is rarely folded, dishes pile up. Please never stop by my house unannounced because my bathroom looks like a fairy tale wasteland with Lalaloopsy dolls in the bathtub and the remains of a murdered tube of toothpaste in the sink. Towels litter the floor because that's my life. Please always give me 10 minutes to pretend I'm the kind of mom who cares when mostly I don't. Little by little, toothpaste glob by toothpaste glob, I'm embracing my mess. Even when I'm embarrassed by the towels and the Lalaloopsy dolls.

With school back in session and something that resembles a schedule falling into place,I've been trying to get back into blogging. All summer I tried. But the pull. The pull to be with my family. My friends. The pull to watch new TV shows. The pull to spend all day at the pool. The pull was greater than the pen. I missed it, I did. When I found a spare moment, mostly late at night, I did write, a little fiction, a little fact. Mostly, I left it, the keyboard, the screen, and for the first time since I started this blog it felt right. It felt okay, like a relief to be able to leave it. To surrender and say, "I'd rather go to yogurt than type on that keyboard". I used to feel so guilty when I'd skip a post. I'd be mad at the world if I couldn't make it to the screen. It would feel like I failed. But in the last year something clicked. My blog, while fun and self serving, wasn't my only identity. My page views or lack thereof no longer dictated how I felt. The comments became non existent, no matter how heartfelt or how much I bled into the post. I got more interaction on Instagram and Facebook and so I started to post little bits there, but soon that fell off too. Soon I didn't know what every single person I followed are for breakfast or lunch. I didn't watch all the Fallon or Kimmel videos that were trending. Last night I got into bed and realized I hadn't been on Instagram or Facebook all day. Something that hasn't happened since I got my first iPhone and added the appropriate apps. Really, it was the first time in years. I was surprised that I didn't miss it. I was surprised that it didn't bother me. 

This is me, currently, embracing my mess. Embracing my chaos. This is me as my patience is pushed to the absolute limit, because I am scheduled within an inch of my life. So overbooked that when I forget to buy new tights for ballet or realize that I forgot the spiral bound notebooks or HOLY SHIT WE ARE OUT OF TOILET PAPER, I lament and rant and eat chocolate. Messy happens, it's happening right now.

I never wanted to be "That Mom". The messy one. The late one. The crazy/bonkers/batshit mom. I resisted so hard that it almost killed me. Then I let go. I let all previous expectations go, and embraced the chaos.

This is me, I'm proudly, "That Mom", embracing my mess.

PS: After I emailed this to myself. Ran home to prep dinner so the Hubbs could finish it. Went back to the dance studio to get Daughter #1. We walk into the house and Daughter #1 exclaims that she forgot her lunch box at dance. I went back and got it after dinner. Because it wouldn't be a Monday without more mess.

PPS: Check out another Messy Mom on FX's Better Things. Click here for details!

Profanity over Perfection: Why FX's Better Things is Everything!

Image via Better Things Facebook Page

Better Things on FX is the perfect portrait of motherhood if your brand of motherhood includes; sarcasm, profanity, and very awkward situations. Rated MASL (mature audiences/sexual situations/language), it’s not going to be every mom’s shot of whiskey, but it is without a doubt, my cup of tea.

Better Things is a new comedy on FX about single mom Sam, and her three daughters; Max, Frankie, and Duke. Sam is a struggling, but working actress, busting her ass to get to casting calls, going over lines last minute. Sam also provides her voice to a kids cartoon, and we see her testing out her characters voice in the sound booth, only to be interrupted by a telephone call from one of her kid's teachers. Sam is a hard working mom both outside and inside the home. Her daughters all test the best of her abilities in their own ways, and Sam does her best to stay afloat. Even when she says that she is “dating her daughters”, she still finds quiet time to text a “buddy”, and enjoy some fun flashbacks, until the sexting runs cold.

Think that Better Things doesn’t sound relatable? There are three super relatable scenes from the Pilot!

The show opens with Sam and her youngest daughter Duke in the mall. Sam is sitting on a bench opposite another mom, while Duke stands beside her sobbing uncontrollably. You can see other kiddos jumping in a play area in the background, Sam is on her phone. The mom opposite Sam is just staring at her as Sam stares at her phone. Casually Sam looks up and explains to the woman that her daughter wants a pair of six dollar earrings in the store ( as she points to an unseen location). As Duke continues to cry, Sam explains that Duke doesn’t even have pierced ears, but she wants six dollar earrings, and she (Sam) is not buying them. Sam then tells the woman to go and buy them, no really go and buy my daughter these earrings… After the woman stares at her for a beat, Sam says, Well if you aren’t going to buy them then stop staring!!!

I’ve never laughed harder or related better to a scene on a television show!

In another scene with Sam and Duke, Duke begs her mommy to lay with her at bedtime. Sam is torn because she really wants to lay with her daughter but knows that if she does she will most certainly fall asleep. Sam tells Duke that she has so much work to do that she can’t fall asleep, but Duke presses harder, and finally Sam lays down next to her in her tiny bed. Sam tells Duke not to touch her with her “magic baby hands” because they will make her fall asleep, and if she falls asleep nothing will get done. The camera pans away and in the next shot we see a sleeping Duke and Sam. Sam opens her eyes, you see the realization that it’s the middle of the night, and you see the “Oh F&ck” look on Sam’s face.

Image via Facebook

I could feel Sam’s panic, and totally understood the impending doom. I too have fallen asleep with my kiddos, only to wake up at two in the morning and realize that the lunches never got made, and the spirit wear shirts are still in the wash. Also the "magic baby hands" are a real thing, I swear.

The third relatable scene was on of Sam in the car with her teenaged daughter Max. Max wants her mom to buy pot for her so that her mom can make sure it’s organic. Sam is driving and trying not to drive off the road while looking at her delusional daughter. Her daughter continues to talk with her mom about drugs and sex and it brings Sam to the edge. She finally yells, “Hide things from me! Please!”. That look on Sam’s face is so familiar because sometimes there are just things that my kid talks about that I just don’t want to know, and someday she will be a teenager and I will need her to hide things from me. Or maybe, at the very least, ease me into it very slowly.

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I have no doubt that Better Things on FX will be one of my favorite TV shows this fall. To me it feels like a reality show, but for many moms Sam maybe over the top. I’m 99% sure that Sam doesn’t have a Pinterest account and her Instagram, if she has one, is filled with snaps of her kids in poor lighting, or over filtered selfies. If she has Facebook it’s most likely filled with profanity and memes that cater to the mom of a certain age and stress level. Better Things is a show that my best friend and I should have written, because while it seems over the top, it’s incredibly accurate. Even if you don’t relate to the situation in the scene, you will relate to the emotion of that scene. I laughed a lot, but I also cried. Better Things just gets me.

I think my favorite scene in the pilot was the end. We see Sam on a movie set, pulling up her Spanx and readying herself to get shit done.

Like every mom, everywhere.

Better Things is Everything.