Happy As a Seagull with a Cheeto

PC: Instagram @mvm_frankfurt

Spring Break when you live on the beach means you get to entertain a good bit of company. In my case, it was teenagers who live forty-five minutes and a quarter of a tank of gas away. I’ve had a lot of visitors this week…mostly sandy-footed shower-takers and sun-kissed beach-worshippers who need power naps, and yes I loved every minute of it. Read more

The Warpath

PC: Instagram @deebryl

I finished a good book today, one that I’ve been reading for a few weeks now. I will not insert its storyline here because I don’t want this blogpost turning into a book review. But let me assure you, I slammed the stupid thing shut when I finished it, tossed it dismissively onto the floor in disgust and haven’t been able to shake its frayed ending out of my mind since. Read more

10 Things I Bet You Didn’t Know About Me

In June of 2015, I gathered 20 of my best friends together to celebrate the completion of my memoir, Aprils and Decembers. Much of what we talked about that night was how I got here, how I got to be the luckiest person in the world, one who lives through a bunch of tough stuff and still emerges from it with a blessed life and a published book. In other words, in this picture the girls are getting the backstory.  (Jaco’s Restaurant, downtown Pensacola)

For you, here’s a little more of my backstory…
  1. I absolutely cannot stomach horror movies and I am a staunch critic of tattooing oneself. Having said that, Dexter and Sons of Anarchy are two of the best shows I have ever watched. Ever. (once again, mothering determines everything)
  2. My guilty indulgences include chocolate milk and french fries. I need to make note here that the chocolate milk I like the most is light brown (you could say I like chocolate-infused milk) and I love my french fries a little soggy, if I’m honest.
  3. I am extraordinarily easy to wait on in a restaurant. After waiting tables all through college, I can promise you, it pays to be kind to the waitstaff. I know their power.
  4. I tried to train my dog not to jump on people by pinching his paws. Now he refuses to shake hands. My mistake. #dogwhisperingfail
  5. I once had a vivid dream that I had surgery for stomach pain and when they opened me up all of my insides were microwaved. I haven’t been back to a tanning bed since.
  6. When I was little, my mom told me that Jesus doesn’t like it when you write on yourself. So I don’t EVER write on myself. Thanks for that warped guilt, Mom.
  7. I can get lost in watching someone cut the grass. The sounds, the smell and the linear, methodical nature of their movement makes me unusually content.
  8. I never wear yellow. No one should decide to bury me in yellow, either.
  9. I own a first edition printing of Gone With the Wind. I bought it for $1 at a flea market in North Dakota in 1991. It’s worth a lot more now, folks.
  10. When I write a blog like this one, I have to proofread it on each of my devices before I publish it. I think psychologists call that OCD.

We’re all a just little bit nuts, aren’t we kids?!

If you’d like to know more about my journey as an author, and by more I mean more important than my tastes in junk food, I invite you to check out the Frequently Asked Questions link above! Enjoy!

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I’m Sorry, Mr. Hemingway

Ernest Hemingway 1899-1961

A couple of years ago, I set a goal for myself to start reading the American classics. It made me feel smarter to think I might one day know how to namedrop all of our most famous literary icons with real authority. I wanted to know all about the ones about whom my friends say, “Oh my God! He’s my favorite author!”

I especially wanted to fall in love with Ernest Hemingway. I’d saved myself for him, for after I finished writing my own book and was no longer in the middle of any other novels. I wanted to give him my undivided attention because everything I’d read about him pointed towards adoration. I anticipated a long, sexy summer reading about falling in love during the Spanish American War, bullfights in Spain and cafes in Paris, and salty men repairing fishing nets…all being ideas that made me swoon in romantic anticipation. I bought six of his most famous works and downloaded them all at once. Satisfaction was 100% guaranteed. A perfect collection of beach books, right? I nestled in. Read more

When Your Plaid Clashes With My Polka Dots

Photo Credit: Instagram @jamesdowd1.

Opposite patterns that just do not go together. That’s how I describe the relationship I have with this person I know on Facebook. I am allergic to him. Don’t laugh. You’re allergic to people, too. You just didn’t know it until reading this.

Have you ever known someone or known of them from a distance, and on the surface your potential for friendship seemed so promising? Your child’s algebra teacher, who seemed like such a cool chick when you first met at orientation. Your favorite student’s mom, who was so hysterical and real the first time you spoke over the phone. The other parents you were introduced to at the ballpark last week, realizing with amazement how many common friendships you shared with each other. All of the factors for a promising camaraderie were in place. The problem is, you realized there was a rub there and you couldn’t quite explain it or name what it was about her stripes or his plaid that didn’t match one of the polka dot patterns in your personality. Read more

The Island

Instagram: @dreewade Pictured: J. Otts, R. Wade

I took on a challenge a while back, one that has changed me in deep and profound ways as a mother, as a teacher, and as a friend. When my son began high school over three years ago, his circle of friends and their inner-connectivity were all at once right in front of me and I had a front row seat to the dynamics of teenage bonds and how they change and grow over time. I wrote in detail about what I was seeing during those days and that post has generated more chatter amongst my mom-friends than perhaps any other piece I’ve ever written.

It seems that girl friendships remain more complicated, more painful, more intricate and more beautiful than ever.

They cruise the human emotional spectrum almost daily, from giggly, heartwarming elation to often secret, painful exclusion. But oh, those bonds are so, so much deeper now than they were just a few years ago, and yet they still trip us up. How? Why? I decided to give the post a re-visit. Read more