Woman Makes Life Choices Based on Pillow Platitudes

My newfound favorite genre to write in is satire. I LOVE it. There's something so gratifying about the genre. Mock Mom, McSweeney's, and The Bablyon Bee are my go-to sites when I need to read something funny that also has a layer of social examination to it. 

Today I've got a new satire piece up on Mock Mom. It doesn't examine a social problem, but it does have a little fun with those all-too-common household decorations emblazoned with quotes and cheesy sayings. Here's a teaser of the piece....
On a whim, Amelia and Jack Parker of Des Moines, Iowa packed their family of six into a U-Haul to trade their six bedroom, three bathroom home for a 527 square-foot A-frame beach house in Miami, Florida.  
"My kids are a little nervous about where they will all sleep, but I'm just not concerned anymore. I mean, I'm at the beach! There are no concerns at the beach!" Amelia gushed as she settled into a chaise lounge chair and slowly sipped a mimosa.  
When asked what prompted her to trade the burbs for the beach and abandon her cushy job at a tech startup, Amelia chuckled and answered, "The pillow made me do it! During one of my guilty pleasure trips to Hobby Lobby, I came across this seafoam green pillow decorated with the phrase, 'Life is better at the beach!' And I thought to myself: Amelia, life IS better at the beach. It's time to live, laugh, love--to shoot for the moon. What better place to do that than the beach?" 
Click here to read the full piece!  


Parenting Should-Haves: Mamas, Give Yourself Some Grace

I've got a new post up on Her View From Home this week encouraging mamas to give themselves grace. Here's a teaser:

"Mom, J was saying mean things about you and dad yesterday on the bus. He told people you say the F-word and that you don't feed him for five days. He's lying. He lied."  
I can always count on my daughter to be honest. But, for the love, we were six blocks form the kids' school, running late, and my coffee was cold. At that moment, I didn't have the emotional capacity to process something so significant.  
Immediately, from the back seat, J piped up, "Someone ELSE said that about their parents. Not me."  
I tried to remain calm while also, politely, call BS on my son who frequently takes creative liberties with the truth. A few seconds later, when he realized I wasn't going to believe his lie, he caved.  
"Well...I said it, but it was about my BIRTH  parents." 
Click here to read more! 


I quit my full-time job, but I'm not a failure

I've made some terrible choices in the last 30 years. The 90s were a decade of poor choices for me--I mean, JNCO jeans, body glitter, and white tube socks with Doc Marten wanna-be sandals?!? My poor choices expand beyond fashion and reach into more significant realms like alcohol consumption and $0.25 tacos at dive bars. Fortunately, I've managed to wise up with age and have made a myriad of good choices, but the one resonating with me the most lately is my decision to step away from teaching.

Now hold up: If you're expecting one of those rant-y, passionate here's-why-I-left-teaching letters, this won't be it. Helping young people engage with the world around them, uncover gems of wisdom from quality literature, and walking with them during tough moments was AMAZING. I loved lesson planning and learning how to more effectively manage my classroom. I loved how political and challenging teaching could be. It was my calling...until I became a mother to two high-needs children.


Be informed, inform others, and do something

Note: While this post is focused on Syria and its humanitarian crisis, it can be applied to any humanitarian crisis/human rights' violations. The action steps outlined in the post can also be applied to helping out the most vulnerable in our own communities. 

For the past year, the refugee crisis--particularly folks fleeing Syria--has gripped me. It's formed a perpetual lump in my throat that gets bigger with every story I hear. I don't pretend to understand the complexities of the civil war in Syria or the difficulties of the refugee crisis, and still--I'm drawn to it. I can't look away from it. While there is a lot that troubles me about this humanitarian crisis, what's bothered me the most lately is how few people seem to know or care about it.


Seven Sacred Pauses

The older I get, the better I understand myself. I'm learning that I thrive when I can be disciplined, or when I am pursuing a clear goal. Running marathons is absolute torture, but I love the training aspect. I thrive on having a clearly set training schedule telling me when to run, how to run, and what I should eat throughout the week. During the training seasons, I've never missed a long training run because if the calendar says I have to do it, then by damn, I'm going to do it. This sense of discipline doesn't carry over to all aspects of my life, unfortunately (like eating...I love me some candy and donuts). As an INFJ, however, I'm a natural doer. I like to be working towards a cause or self-betterment. If I'm not, I tend to be unfulfilled and a serious drag to be around.


Things I've savored without the presence of social media

Yesterday was the last day of my month-long social media fast. I downloaded the apps again on my phone and spent some time looking through the list of notifications. Honestly, it made me feel like I was having the beginning of an anxiety attack. I got sweaty, my breath shortened, and I felt a sense of panic. Facebook now notifies me when a "close friend" posts something?!? WTF is that?! I mean, I like to know what my friends are up to, but I want to do that on my own terms and in my own time. I don't need a little notification nagging at me to do it. I spent sometime updating my notification settings and removing myself from groups in hopes that I could limit the anxiety I feel at social media. If I didn't have to rely on it so much as a freelancer, I'd totally ditch it. The month away was, for the most part, refreshing. I wasn't as productive in my writing as I thought I would be, but I had more time to read and think and to just notice things like: